In his diary, Dr Thomas Cartwright, then Bishop of Chester, records receiving "a fat buck " from "Mr Tyldesley" on 13 August 1687 [FN1]:
I wrote to Dr. Johnson, dined with the Judges, went after dinner to the Catholic Virgins, where Mr. Gooden lives with the Lady Allebone and her friends, and supped at the vicarage. Mr. Tildesley, whose grandfather Sir Thomas was killed by Wigan, sent me half a fat buck; Mr. Molineux, Mr Braithwaite, Mr. Townley, Sir William Gerard, Mr. Poole, Mr Labourne, &c. visited me.
Catholic Virgins was Aldcliffe Hall. The name relates to the staunchly Roman Catholic Dalton family. Robert and Elizabeth Dalton had two sons and ten daughters, with most of the daughters living at Aldcliffe Hall for many years. Seven were convicted of recusancy in 1640. In 1687 the surviving daughters erected a defiant tablet:
*** VIRGINES NOS
SUMUS ; MUTARE
ANO + DMI
two Virgins are we
Even with time
We disdain to
"Mr Tyldesley" was, of course, Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715 the Diarist. He was a regular visitor at Aldcliffe Hall. For example on 28 September 1712 he takes his daughter Agatha there on horseback [FN2]:
In the morning tucke Aggy behind mee to Aldcliffe, to prayrs, and the remaindr off the day att home...
1. The Diary of Dr Thomas Cartwright, Bishop of Chester 1686-1687, Camden Society, 18432. The Tyldesley Diary 1712-1714, Joseph Gillow and Anthony Hewitson, 1873