The Victoria history of the county of Lancaster, England


The County Palatine of Lancaster presents to the eye of the traveller and historian alike a wide diversity of characteristics, physical, social, and industrial. The western or coastal region is flat, or very slightly undulating, whilst the eastern and northern regions consist of extensive areas of moorland and fell, intersected by deep and once secluded valleys. Inhabited at the Con- quest by a sparse population mainly dwelling in the open country, the hills and pastoral region in course of time afforded settlements to the gradually increasing population, under conditions somewhat removed from the old-established village communities with their feudal influences. Whilst the western and southern regions were in the main composed of large estates held by knightly families and their dependent franklyns or freeholders, the eastern and northern regions consisted of small estates painfully improved from the woods and hilly wastes by the predecessors of the small yeomen and copyhold tenants, a vigorous and thrifty race of men, whose rapid disappearance during the last half- century amounts almost to a grave national and social disaster. From the race inhabiting these small pastoral estates sprang the great bulk of the spinners and weavers, artisans and colliers, who have done so much to give to this county that industrial supremacy which has long distinguished it in common with the neighboring county of York. The impetus which led to the result was largely due to the limited application of labour required upon small pastoral estates, whereby the leisure time of the inhabitants was available for home industries, a condition which did not obtain on the arable lands of western and south-western Lancashire. A hardy life, an invigorating climate and surroundings, engendered industry, thrift, and inventiveness. Wool, the raw material for manufacture, and water power for the fulling mills necessary to finish the woven cloth, were available in every valley, whilst an unlimited supply of materials for building and of fuel for burning engendered amongst the people a love of substantially built homesteads and homely comforts.

Trading centres naturally sprang up in such places as Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Wigan, Preston, and Lancaster, due to their situation upon frequented roads giving communication between the west of England and the lowlands of Scotland on the one hand, the eastern shires and Ireland by way of Chester, Liverpool, Formby, Preston, and Lancaster on the other.

Such is a brief outline of the causes and conditions which have made the Lancashire of to-day. To give some account of the race of men who utilized these natural conditions for the development of their native county, and of the gradual growth and ultimate result of their work, is one of the main purposes of this history. In this and in other directions the design and scope of The Victoria County Histories differ materially from any other county history hitherto published. The plan of execution is described in the general advertisement, and will be found to embrace natural history; pre-historic, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon remains; a topographical account of each parish, township, and manor; chapters on ecclesiastical history, architecture, agriculture, industries, social conditions, schools, sport, and family history. In dealing with the wide field of learning, the services of specialists in the various branches of knowledge here represented have been secured, with the object of placing upon record in a scientific and entirely original manner as much matter touching local history and its kindred subjects as may be contained in a work of limited size and cost. The chapters on pre-historic, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon remains are admittedly brief and fragmentary; but there is, unfortunately, no such interest or activity of research in these directions as to encourage the hope that greater light may be thrown locally upon these periods of history within the era of the present generation. In the department of natural history a great amount of work has been and is being done.


Table of Contents

Dedication v
The Advisory Council of the Victoria History vii
General Advertisement vii
The Lancashire County Committee xiii
Contents xv
List of Illustrations xv
Preface xix
Table of Abbreviations xxiii
Natural History

Geology 1
Palaeontology 31
Botany 37
Marine 87
Non-Marine Molluscs 97
Insects 101
Spiders 145
Crustaceans 157
Fishes 179
Reptiles and Batrachians 188
Birds 189
Mammals 206
Early Man 211
Anglo-Saxon Remains 257
Introduction to the Lancashire Domesday 269
Text of the Lancashire Domesday 283
Feudal Baronage 291
Index to the Lancashire Domesday 377


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations and Maps xiii
Editorial Note xv
Ecclesiastical History :

To the Reformation 1
From the Reformation40
Religious Houses :
Introduction 102
Priory of Penwortham 104
Priory of Lytham 107
Priory of Upholland 111
Cell of Kersal 113
Abbey of Furness 114
Abbey of Wyresdale 131
Abbey of Whalley 131
Priory of Conishead 140
Priory of Cartmel 143
Priory of Burscough 148
Priory of Cockerham 152
Abbey of Cockersand 154
Priory of Hornby 160
House of Dominican Friars, Lancaster 161
House of Franciscan Friars, Preston 162
House of Austin Friars, Warrington 163
Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, Preston 165
Hospital of St. Leonard, Lancaster 165
Gardiner's Hospital, Lancaster 166
Lathom Almshouse 166
Hospital of St. Saviour, Stidd under Longridge 166
College of Upholland 166
College of Manchester 167
Priory of Lancaster 167
Political History :
To the end of the Reign of Henry VIII 175
From the Reign of Henry VIII 218
Social and Economic History 261
Table of Population, 1801-1901 330
Industries :
Introduction 351
Natural Products 354
Gapper Smelting 355
Coal Mining 356
Iron 360
Hardware and Allied Trades 364
Watch-Making 366
Engineering 367
Ordnance and Armaments 374
Shipbuilding 375
Textile Industries 376
The Woollen Industry 376
The Linen Industry 378
The Cotton Industry 379
Felt-Hat Making 393
The Silk Industry 394
Calico Printing 395
Bleaching, Finishing, and Dyeing 398
Chemical Industries 399
India-rubber 401
Soap Industry 402
Potteries and Glass 403
Potteries 403
Glass 404
The Sugar Industry 406
The Paper Industry 407
Asbestos 408
Miscellaneous Industries 408
Sea Fisheries 409
Agriculture 419
Forestry 437
Sport Ancient and Modern
Introduction 467
Hunting 469
Staghounds 470
Harriers 470
Beagles 471
Otter Hounds 472
Coursing 472
Racing 479
Flat Racing 479
Steeplechasing 480
Polo 481
Shooting 482
Duck Decoys 485
Angling 487
Cricket 489
Sport Ancient and Modern (continued)
Rugby Football 493
Golf 495
Wrestling 499
Bowls 500
Tennis 501
Cock-Fighting 502
Whippet Racing 504
Ancient Earthworks :
Lancashire South of the Sands 507
Lancashire North of the Sands 555
Schools :
Introduction 561
The Royal Grammar School, Lancaster 561
Preston Grammar School 569
The Harris Institute, Preston 574
Middleton Grammar School 574
Prescot Grammar School 578
Manchester Schools 578
The Grammar School 578
Hulme Grammar Schools 589
The Municipal Secondary School 589
Farnworth Grammar School, Widnes 589
Blackburn Grammar School 590
Stonyhurst College, Blackburn 591
Liverpool Schools 593
The Grammar School 593
Liverpool Institution, Liverpool Institute, and Liverpool College 595
Bolton-le-Moors Grammar School 596
The Church Institute School, Bolton-le-Moors 600
Leyland Grammar School 600
The Boteler Grammar School, Warrington 601
St. Michaels-upon-Wyre Grammar School 603
Winwick School 603
Whalley Grammar School 604
Kirkham Grammar School 604
Penwortham Endowed School 605
Clitheroe Grammar School 605
Rochdale Grammar School 606
Rivington and Blackrod Grammar School 606
Blackrod School 607
Burnley School 607


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
Index of Parishes, Townships and Manors xi
List of Illustrations xiii
Editorial Note xv
West Derby Hundred

Introduction 1
Walton on the Hill 5
Sefton 58
Childwall 102
Huyton 151
Halsall 183
Altcar 221
North Meols 226
Ormskirk 238
Aughton 184
Warrington 304
Prescot 341
Leigh 414


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Table of Contents

Dedication v Contents ix Index of Parishes, Townships, and Manors xi List of Illustrations xiii Editorial Note xv Topography

West Derby Hundred (cont.)
Liverpool 1 Wigan 57 Winwick 122
Salford Hundred
Introduction 171 Manchester 174 Ashton-under-Lyne 338 Eccles 352


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations xi
Editorial Note xiii

Salford Hundred (continued)
Deane 1
Flixton 42
Radcliffe 56
Prestwich-with-Oldham 67
Bury 122
Middleton 151
Rochdale 187
Bolton-le-Moors 235
Index to Volumes III, IV, and V 305
Corrigenda 409


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
Index of Parishes, Townships and Manors xi
List of Illustrations xv
List of Maps xix
Editorial Note xxi
Leyland Hundred

Introduction 1
Leyland 3
Penwortham 52
Brindle 75
Croston 81
Hesketh-with-Becconsall 111
Tarleton 115
RufFord 119
Chorley 129
Hoole 149
Eccleston 155
Standish 182
Blackburn Hundred
Introduction 230
Blackburn 235
Whalley (Architectural description of Abbey by S. C. K. Smith) 349


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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations xi
List of Maps xii
Editorial Note xiii
Blackburn Hundred (continuation) -

Mitton (Part of) 1
Chipping 20
Ribchester 36
Amounderness Hundred
Introduction 68
Preston 72
Kirkham 143
Lytham 213
Poulton-le-Fylde 219
Bispham 242
Lancaster (Part of) 251
St. Michael-on-Wyre 260
Garstang 291
Index to Volumes VI and VII 337
Corrigenda 435


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It has always been, and still is, a reproach that England, with a collection of public records greatly exceeding in extent and interest those of any other country in Europe, is yet far behind her neighbors in the study of the genesis and growth of her national and local institutions. Few Englishmen are probably aware that the national and local archives contain for a period of 800 years m an almost unbroken chain of evidence, not only the political, ecclesiastical, and constitutional history of the kingdom, but every detail of its financial and social progress and the history of the land and its successive owners from generation to generation. The neglect of our public and local records is no doubt largely due to the fact that their interest and value is known to but a small number of people, and this again is directly attributable to the absence in this country of any endowment for historical research. The government of this country has too often left to private enterprise work which our continental neighbors entrust to a government department. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that although an immense amount of work has been done by individual effort, the entire absence of organization among the workers and the lack of intelligent direction has hitherto robbed the results of much of their value.

In the Victoria History, for the first time, a serious attempt is made to utilize our national and local muniments to the best advantage by carefully organizing and supervising the researches required. Under the direction of the Records Committee a large staff of experts has been engaged at the Public Record Office in calendaring those classes of records which are fruitful in material for local history, and by a system of interchange of communication among workers under the direct supervision of the general editor and sub-editors a mass of information is sorted and assigned to its correct place, which would otherwise be impossible.