Sunday 18 November 2012

The loss of Holcroft Hall—Part 3

Earlier postings have noted the attempts of James Tyldesley to sell large parts of the Holcroft Hall estates. In August 1765 James Tyldesley died. Following the subsequent death of his wife Sarah Tyldesley in September 1765, his executors moved to liquidate the entire estate.  

In June 1768 Holcroft Hall was offered for sale in the St. James's Chronicle or British Evening Post:
To be Sold, all the Manor or Lordship of
HOLCROFT, in the County of Lancaster, to-
gether with the Demesne and Demedne Lands thereto be-
longing, and also several Messuages, Lands and Tene-
ments thereunto also belonging, situate, lying and being 
in Holcroft aforesaid, containing 286 Acres of good Ara-
ble, Meadow and Pasture Land, or thereabouts, be the 
same more or Iess; together with upwards of 373 Acres
of Moss Land thereto also belonging, late the Estate of 
James Tyldesley, Esq, deceased.
Mess. Charles Clark, or John Clark, of Hollinsgreen, 
will shew the Premises to any Person desirous to see the
sarme; and for further Particulars apply to John Hough-
ton, Esq. the Rev. William Worthington, and Robert 
Bradley, the said Mr. Tyldesley's Executors; or to Mr. 
James Kearsley, in Hulton; or the Rev. John Lowe, 
of Winwick.
If there is any Person who has any Claim or 
Demand upon the Estate of the said Mr. Tyldesley, and
has not already sent an Account thereof to the said Robert
Bradley, they are desired forthwith to send the same.
Two disputes were then to arise. As will be described in a later post, Thomas Tyldesley, eldest son of James and Sarah Tyldesley argued that his father had not had the capacity to make a valid will. And Charles Grossett who had married Jane Tyldesley, the daughter of James and Sarah Tyldesley, raised an objection to the sale of Holcroft Hall. Acting on behalf of himself, his wife and his young brother-in-law, Henry Tyldesley he placed the following warning in the St. James's Chronicle or the British Evening Post in July 1768:

WHEREAS for some Time past there
has appeared in the London, Manchester and
Leverpoole Papers, an Advertisement for the Sale of all
the Manor or Lordship of HOLCROFT, with the De-
mesne and Demesne Lands thereto belonging; and also
several Messuages, Lands and Tenements, thereunto also
belonging, situate, lying and being in Holcroft aforesaid,
containing 286 Acres of good Arable, Meadow and Pas-
ture Land, or thereabouts, be the same more or less; to-
gether with upwards of 370 Acres of Hop-Land thereto
also belonging, late the Estate of James Tyldesley, Esq.
deceased ; Now I, Charles Grosset, do hereby caution all
Persons, who may become Purchasers of the said Estate,
that, by the last Will and Teftament of the said James
Tyldesley, the said real Estate is made subject to the Pay-
ment of all his just Debts and Legacies: And whereas
the said James Tyldesley did in his Life-time possess him-
self of, and received the Rents, Issues and Profits, of a
real Estate in the said County, which had been devised
to him in Trust for his younger Children, and also did
receive and apply to his own Use a Legacy bequeathed to
my Wife, Jane Grosset, formerly Jane Tyldesley, Daugh-
ter of the said Testator, James Tyldesley, I do hereby
declare, that I forthwith intend to file a Bill in his Ma-
jesty's High Court of Chancery, as well in Behalf of
myself and my said Wife, as also in Behalf of Henry
Tyldesley, an Infant, for an Account of the Rents and
Profits of the said real Estate, and to be paid by the Sale
thereof, several Sums of Money, which I, in Right of
my said Wife, and the said Henry Tyldesley in his own
Right claim to be due to us respectively, for which,
at all Times, we shall follow the said Estate.

Friday 16 November 2012

The loss of Holcroft Hall—Part 2

James Tyldesley 1719-1765 had already tried to sell part of the Holcroft Hall estates in 1760, as noted in an earlier post.

In March and April 1765 an advertisement appeared in the St. James's Chronicle or the British Evening Post announcing that further land would be sold by auction on 1 May 1765:
TO be Sold, by Way of Auction, at the
House of Mr. Mathias, being the Eagle and Child 
Inn, at Warrington, in the County of Lancaster, on 
Wednesday the first Day of May, 1765, at Three of 
the Clock in the Afternoon, subject to such Conditions
as shall be then and there produced;
The Fee-Simple and Inheritance of and in a Messu-
age and Tenement, called by the Name of the Hanging 
Birch Farm, situate and being at Holcroft, in the said 
County of Lancaster, with several Closes of Land thereunto
belonging, containing upwards of fifty Acres, after eight 
Yards to the Rood or Pole, or thereabouts, and now in 
the Possession of Joseph Hunt, as Tenant or Farmer 
One other Messuage and Tenement, with its Appur-
tenances, situate at Holcroft aforesaid, known by the 
Name of Barrow's Farm, and containing twenty-seven 
Acres and an Half of Land, of the like Measure, and 
now in the Possession of William Lowton, as Farmer 
One other Messuage and Tenement, with its Ad-
purtenances, situate at Holcroft aforesaid, known by 
the Name of Gellibrand's, containing nineteen Acres 
of Land, of the like Measure, or thereabouts, and now
in the Possession of William Gellibrand, as Tenant 
One other Messuage and Tenement, with its Appur-
tenances, situate at Holcroft aforesaid, known by the 
Name of Shaw's, containing twelve Acres of Land, of 
the like Measure, or thereabouts, and now. in the Pos-
session of Martha Shaw, as Tenant thereof.
Three several Messuages and Tenements, with their 
Appurtenances, situate at Holcroft aforesaid, known 
by the several Names of.Unsworth's, Rabbit Nest, and 
Wren Nest, and the several Closes of Land thereto be-
longing and enjoyed therewith, containing thirty-one 
Acres of Land, of the like Measure, and now in the 
Possession of Francis Broadhurst, as Tenant or Farmer 
Several Closes or Fields in Holcroft aforesaid, catlled 
Sudworth's Closes, containing nine Acres and an Half
of Land of the like Measure, and now in the Possession
of John Sudworth, as Tenant thereof. 
SeveraI Cottages or Dwelling-Houses, with the Crofts, 
Gardens, or Orchards, thereunto belonging, situate and 
being in Holcroft aforesaid, of the Yearly Value of Six 
Pounds, and now in the several Possessions of Thomas 
Hurst, John Sanderton, and--- Smiler.
The Reversion in Fee-Simp!e, after the Death of one 
Life, aged Seventy-eight Years, of, and in a Messuage
or Dwelling-House and Premises, situate in Holcroft, of 
the yearly Value of Seven Pounds, and now in the 
Possession of Elizabeth Sculfield, or her Under-tenant.
Also the Reversion in Fee-Simple, after the Death 
of one Life, aged seventy-eight Years, of and in one 
other Messuage or Dwelling-House and Premises, 
situate in Holcroft aforesaid, of the yearly Value of 
Nine Pounds, and in the Possession of Mary Mother.
Also the Reversion in Fee-Simple, after the Death 
of one Life, aged forty-two Years, of and in several
Cottages and Dwelling-Houses and Premises, situate in
Holcroft aforesaid, of the yearly Value of Five Pounds,
and in the Possession of —Caldwell, and others, as
Under-tenants thereof.
Also the Reversion in Fee-Simple, after the Death 
of three Lives, (one whereof is very old and infirm)
of and in a Messuage or Dwelling-House and Premises,
situate in Holcroft aforesaid, of the yearly Value of
Five Pounds, and in the Possession of —Sudworth,
as Lessee thereof.
Also the Reversion in Fee-Simple, after the Death
of three Lives, of and in one other Messuage or Dwelling-
House and Tenement, situate in Holcroft aforesaid, called
by the Name of Winstanley's, containing eleven Acres 
of Land of large Measure, or thereabouts, be the same 
more or less, and now in the Possession of Giles Win-
stanley, the Lessee thereof.
There is a considerable Quantity of very good Water-
Meadowing within the above Estates, with near 300 
fine large Huntingdon Willows, growing on the Banks 
of the Brook adjoining thereto, and there are upwards 
of 1300 fine young Oak Trees, growing within and 
near the Wood belonging to the said Premises, exclu-
sive of the Hedge-row Timber, which is more than 
sufficient for the necessary Repairs of the Premises.
All the above Estates lie very compactly together, 
and are capable of being greatly improved, there being 
good Marl in many Parts of the Premises, which may 
be got at a small Expence.
James Tyldesley, Esq; of Holcroft, will cause the 
Premises to he shown to any Person minded to view 
them; and for further Particulars apply to him; to 
Mr. Bradley, an Attorney at Leigh; or to Mess. Lloyd
and Turner, of Warrington.
The outcome of this sale is not known. James Tyldesley remained at Holcroft Hall until his death. He was buried at Leigh on 7 August 1765. His wife, Sarah Tyldesley neĆ© Hayne or Hanne died the following month and was buried at Leigh on 18 September 1765.  

Holcroft Hall was itself put up for sale in 1768—leading to disputes within the family, detailed in a later posting.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

James Tyldesley 1719-1765

James Tyldesley 1719-1765 was the son of Edward Tyldesley 1679-1725 and grandson of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715, the Diarist.

As recorded on FamilySearch, James Tyldesley married Sarah Hayne on 11 December 1739. The marriage was by Licence, and the Bond survives, albeit in damaged condition. The bondsmen were Sam Williamson of Leigh and Bartholomew Shuttleworth of Ashton.

Writing in 1906, Gillow suggested that James and Sarah Tyldesley had at least seven children:
  1. Thomas, baptised at Astley, 9 January 1740/1 
  2. Jane, baptised 13 August 1743 
  3. Anne, baptised 25 September 1744 (buried at Leigh, 22 February 1745/6) 
  4. Charles, baptised 12 May 1747 
  5. James, baptised 25 January 1748 
  6. Edward, baptised 21 March 1750 (buried at Leigh, 28 March 1751) 
  7. Henry, baptised 6 October 1752
In 1966 John Lunn suggested there were eight children:
  1. Thomas Tyldesley 9 January 1741
  2. Jane Tyldesley 19 August 1742
  3. Edward Ann Tyldesley, 25 September 1744
  4. Ann Catharine Tyldesley, 10 January 1746
  5. Charles Tyldesley, 12 May 1747
  6. James Tyldesley, 23 January 1749
  7. Edward Tyldesley, 21 March 1751 
  8. Henry Tyldesley, 6 October 1752

Saturday 10 November 2012

Jane Tyldesley marries Charles Grossett 1767

Jane Tyldesley was the daughter of James Tyldesley and Sarah Hayne, and was thus the great-granddaughter of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715, the Diarist.

As recorded on FamilySearch, Jane Tyldesley married Charles Grossett (whose name appears variously as Gorsett, Gossett, Grosett and Grosset) at Manchester Cathedral on 21 April 1767. The marriage was by Licence, with John Haughton acting as Bondsman. Charles Grossett is described by Gillow as a London Merchant and gave his address for the Licence as Inner Temple.

Charles and Jane Grossett had at least one child, James Alexander Charles Grossett, who was born on 3 December 1768 and christened on 7 January 1769—as recorded on FamilySearch.

The Muirhead website suggests that Charles Grossett was Charles Schaw Grossett, that there was a second child, Henry William Grossett born in April 1782, and that Charles Schaw Grossett died in Spain after April 1782.

As will be seen in a later posting, in July 1768 Charles Grossett was to object to the sale of the Holcroft Hall estates.

Thursday 8 November 2012

James Tyldesley and Sarah Hayne 1741-1752

James Tyldesley 1719-1765, grandson of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715, the Diarist, married Sarah Hayne on 11 December 1739.

John Lunn suggests that they had at least eight children and gives the dates they were baptised:
  1. Thomas Tyldesley 9 January 1741
  2. Jane Tyldesley 19 August 1742
  3. Edward Ann Tyldesley, 25 September 1744
  4. Ann Catharine Tyldesley, 10 January 1746
  5. Charles Tyldesley, 12 May 1747
  6. James Tyldesley, 23 January 1749
  7. Edward Tyldesley, 21 March 1751 
  8. Henry Tyldesley, 6 October 1752
Lunn also points out contradictions and difficulties with the available information:
Between these years James Tyldesley was living at Morleys, if not in the whole, then in part of the hall and lands. There were eight children born during this period and all are entered on the Leigh registers as having been baptised in the old chapel of St. Stephen at Astley. The dates and names raise difficulties. Thomas was baptised January 9, 1741; Jane, August 19, 1742; Edward Ann, September 25, 1744; Ann Catharine, January 10, 1746; Charles, May 12, 1747; James, January 23, 1749; Edward, March 21, 1751 and Henry, October 6, 1752. When the will of James their father was dated February 8, 1765 it makes mention of Thomas, Charles, Jane, James and Henry. Presumably the others had died. Yet if Thomas was in fact baptised January 9, 1741 he was certainly over 21 in 1765 which evidence clashes with the will wording for the father left Thomas £500 to be put out at interest till he was 21. Then further why such an absurd entry as Edward Ann? The Chancery papers describe Charles as the second son, which is true, for the elder Edward died in infancy. These two, the registers and the will are primary sources of authority and they do not agree. Most likely as papist children they were never brought to baptism at Astley chapel and that from oral notice, given in obedience to the law, some of the dates were quite misconstrued, when entered up for transcription to both Chester as the seat of the bishop and to Leigh as the mother church of the chapelry. These entries of baptisms at Astley as well as those in the Newchurch books were in all likelihood entered as affording some aid, in case they were needed at some time for inheritance guidance.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Holcroft Hall 1704

Holcroft Hall came into the possession of the Tyldesley family by the marriage of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715 ("the Diarist") to his first wife Eleanor Holcroft in 1679.  It was eventually to be sold in July 1770 following the death of the Diarist's grandson, James Tyldesley 1719-1765.

However, it is clear from the Norris papers that the Diarist attempted to sell Holcroft Hall to Richard Norris in 1704—a sale in which Jonathan Case was eager to interfere:
Red hassells, 22 Decr 1704.
Mr. Richd Norris,
Hearing that your about the purchas of Holcroft, from Mr Tildesley, I thought meete to lett you know that there is a mortgage lyes on that estate, and others, of a considerable sum, which Mr Atherton of Atherton and his sisters clayme an interest in. The Mortgage deed lies in Mr Winkleye's hands, as Register of the Dutchy, being lodged there by advice of that Counsel some yeares since, and now Mr Athertons youngest sister is attained age there will be speedy course taken for the recovery of that money. I being lately with Mr Atherton he desired I would give you this account, which I thought it a neighbourly duty to perform, in addition to quieting the title, especially where my worthy good friend Mr Norres is interested. This, with my humble service at present,
Your obliged friend and servant,
Jonn Case.
Sr, I can give you a full satisfaction how this matter stands.
The writer is likely to be Jonathan Case of Red Hazels or Redhasles in Huyton.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

William Blundell's Commission 1642

After the inconclusive Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642, Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651 returned to Lancashire to raise further forces for Charles I.  At Leigh on 22 December 1642 he appointed William Blundell 1620-1698 as a Captain within his regiment, with authority to raise a company of dragoons:
By virtue of his Mats commission under his signe Manuall to mee directed, I doe hereby constitute and appointe you William Blundell Esqre to bee Captaine of one companie of Dragoones in my Regiment. And I doe hereby give you full power and Authoritie for his Matie and his name to raise, impresse and retaine the said companie, raised or to bee raised by sound of Drumme or anie other waie (and in anie of his Mats Dominions) for the defence of his Mats royall person, the 2 houses of parliament, the Protestant religion, the Lawe of the Land, the libertie and propertie of the Subject and Priveledge of Parliament.  And when soe raised to bringe together and employ in his Mats service as you shall from tyme to tyme receive directions for. And I doe hereby require all the inferiour officers and souldiers of ye companie you to obey as Capitane, you likewise obeying your superiour officers, According to the discipline of warre.
Thos Tyldesley
Leigh this 22th
of December
William Blundell was wounded during the assault on Lancaster less than three months later on 18 March 1642/3. A musket shot shattered his thighbone, leaving him lame for the remainder of his life—to his tenants he was known as "Halt-Will".

Monday 5 November 2012

A Masque at Knowsley Hall 1641

On Twelfth Night 1640/1 a masque written by Sir Thomas Salusbury was peformed before James, Lord Strange—later the seventh Earl of Derby—at Knowsley Hall.

The part of January was played by "Mr Tilsbey":

Januarie. Mr Tilsbey.
I twofac'd January first apear
that am the lock, and key to either yeare
in w:home the sage Astronimer surveyes
ye face of Heauen, of fate, and following dayes
In homage thus to both, yor honors bow
which all as well as I for tymes past know
But of theire length of date, and light of glory
you shall obtaine, requires an endles story
This onelie they shall last, let me ensure
whilst revolutions of new yeares endure.

David George [FN1] tentatively suggests this may be Edward Tyldesley, the younger brother of Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651. However, Edward Tyldesley died in 1621 and was buried at Cartmel Priory. There is no evidence that there was a further son who was given the same name. 

It is more likely is that this is Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651—later Sir Thomas Tyldesley.

The masque therefore provides evidence of the close connection between the Strange and Tyldesley families, and the long friendship between the two men: James Strange, the seventh Earl of Derby 1607-1651 and Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651.

1. Records of Early English Drama, Lancashire, David George, 1991.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Cartmel Priory 1605

Edward Tyldesley 1582-1622 married Elizabeth Preston in the Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael at Cartmel on 15 September 1605. The registers also record the christening of their eldest son, Thomas Tyldesley, on 10 September 1612, and the burial of their second son Edward Tyldesley on 8 June 1621:

Marriages 1605
Edward Tildsley gener and Eliza : Preston 15 September
Christenings 1612
Thomas Teldesley sone of Edward Esqr 10 September
Burials 1621
Edward Tildsley sone of Edward Myerschow Esqr 8 June

Thomas Teldesley was, of course, later to be better known as Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651.  His brother, Edward Tildsley, was christened on 14 November 1615, as recorded in the Garstang registers.  It is therefore likely that he was just 5 years old at the time of his death.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Visit to Leigh 12 October 1889

Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII 1889:
Saturday, October 12th, 1889. VISIT TO LEIGH.
Some twenty members visited Leigh to inspect the various objects of antiquarian interest which are to be found in and around this district. The rendezvous was at Glazebury, and here the party were met by the Rev. J. H. Stanning, M.A., vicar of Leigh, who acted as leader. The members were then conveyed to Newchurch Church, Culcheth, where they were met by the Rev. Dr. Black. The church is notable on account of Thomas Wilson, afterwards Bishop of Sodor and Man, being the curate here at one time, the rector being his uncle, Dr. Sherlock, of Winwick. It contains a brass inscription regarding the Holcroft family, and the registers record the marriage of the notorious Colonel Blood, who, in 1671, attempted to steal the regalia from the Tower of London. It was intended to visit Hope Carr Hall, but this was abandoned as there was not time. On arriving at Leigh the party proceeded to the parish church.  
Mr. J. E. Worsley, F.S.A., in the course of a paper, read in the Leigh Parish Church, on Sir Thomas Tyldesley, stated that immediately under his feet, where he was then standing, rested the mortal remains of a Christian, a hero, and a gentleman, over whose neglected grave hundreds of heedless feet had passed, until his resting place at length became a matter of tradition, handed down here from father to son, and in 1869, to the best of his belief, known almost to one man only, a curious old man who was clerk and sexton there.  
That old man often showed him (Mr. Worsley) where Sir Thomas was believed to be buried. The north aisle was then filled with pews, and, except the beautiful ceiling, had left in it few traces of the old chantry chapel of St. Nicholas, before the site of whose altar the hero's bones lay with those of some of his long line of ancestors. Here for some years he lay forgotten and unrecorded by the little world of Leigh. It was recorded that James, seventh Earl of Derby, when in Leigh on his way to his place of execution at Bolton, wished to visit the grave of his old comrade in arms, but was not permitted to do so. Upon the rebuilding of the church the tradition of the burial place was not forgotten, and as the excavations proceeded great care was taken, with the result that the body of Sir Thomas was discovered. He (Mr. Worsley) was informed of the discovery by a letter written to him by Mr. Passe on the 28th December, 1870, who stated that a large oak coffin, six feet two and a half inches long, and one foot and a half wide, containing the skeleton of some tall and well-formed person, had been found. A similar coffin, five feet eleven inches long, and some fifteen inches wide, was also found near the other, but there was no plate or inscription on either of them. 
When the restoration of the church was completed a subscription was raised, and by it the brass plate now inserted in the north wall of the chapel was put up. The arms in the margin of the brass are Tyldesley quartering Worsley, brought in by the marriage of Thurston de Tyldesley with Margaret, daughter and heiress of Jordan de Workedeslegh or Worsley, tempo Edward II.; and Leyland of Morleys, brought in by the marriage of Edward Tyldesley with Ann, daughter and sole heiress of Thomas Leyland of that family, tempo Henry VIII. The following is the present inscription on the brass plate in the Leigh Parish Church: "At the east end of the north aisle, formerly the Tyldesley chantry of St. Nicholas, within this ancient parish church, rested the body of Sir Thomas Tyldesley, of Tyldesley, Morleys, and Myerscough, in this county, knight, a major-general in his Majesty's army, and governor of Lichfield, who was slain fighting gallantly for his royal master under James, seventh Earl of Derby, in the battle of Wigan-lane near this place, on the twenty-fifth day of August, 1651." Thus, after a lapse of over two hundred years, had a memorial to him been placed in the church. 
But Sir Thomas had made for himself a memorial more lasting than brass. Major Edward Robinson, of the Parliament army, speaking of Sir Thomas, said: "There was not a man in all the country more zealous a servant for the king's part than Colonel Tyldesley, who was a noble and a generous-minded gentleman." It had been well said by one of the biographers of Sir Thomas that he was one of those cavaliers whose deeds were more suited to the pages of a romance than those of history. He was a soldier, and had seen foreign service, and at the beginning of the great Civil War he raised a troop of soldiers for the king at his own cost. He commanded at the storming of Burton-upon-Trent, when the town was stormed over a bridge of thirty-six arches. For this he was knighted by the king and made a brigadier. He fought as lieutenant-colonel at the battle of Edgehill, and was taken prisoner in 1644 at Montgomery. He was at the taking of Bolton under the Earl of Derby, and was in command at the siege of Lancaster. He was governor of Lichfield during its celebrated siege. After the execution of the king he served the royal cause in Ireland under Ormonde, and then in Scotland. He fell at last in the fight in Wigan Lane, whilst endeavouring, with the Earl of Derby, to carry out an act of the greatest daring. The device on his banner was an eagle feeding her young ones from blood flowing from her own breast, surrounded by a wreathed border with the motto: "Regis et patriae tantum valet amor" ("So greatly avails the love of king and country"). 
A monument commemorative of the fall of this brave soldier was placed, in 1679, about a quarter of a mile to the north of Wigan, in the hedge fence, on the spot where the engagement took place, and where he received his last wound; and upon a brass plate thereto affixed is the following inscription: "An high act of gratitude which conveys the memory of Sir Thomas Tyldesley to posterity who served King Charles I. as lieutenant-colonel at Edgehill battle after raising regiments of horse, foot, and dragoons, and for the desperate storming of Burton-upon-Trent over a bridge of thirty-six arches, received the honour of knighthood. He afterwards served in all the wars with great command. Was governor of Lichfield, and followed the fortune of the Crown through three kingdoms, and never compounded with the rebels, though strongly invested; and on the 25th of August, A.D. 1651, was here slain commanding as Major General under the Earl of Derby, to whom the grateful erector, Alexander Rigby, Esq., was cornet, and when he was High Sheriff of this county (A.D. 1679) placed this high obligation on the whole family of the Tyldesleys to follow the noble example of their loyal ancestor." The family of Tyldesley derived its name from the lordship of Tyldesley, anciently part of the Leigh parish, and the pedigree commenced with Henry de Tyldesley. His grandson, Thurston, acquired Wardley, in Worsley, by his marriage; and his son, Thomas de Tyldesley, was serjeant-at-law to Henry IV. From Thurston descended, in the fifth generation, Thomas Tyldesley, who was receiver-general to Thomas, Earl of Derby, and his son, Thurston, was, in 1532, receiver-general for the Isle of Man. His son Edward acquired Morleys, in Astley, by his marriage, and from him descended in the second generation Edward Tyldesley, of Tyldesley, Morleys, and Myerscough, who entertained King James I. at Myerscough on his progress through Lancashire; and Sir Thomas, our hero, was his eldest son. 
Of the descendants of Sir Thomas, his son Edward, who married Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Fleetwood, was one of those royalists whose names were on the list for the intended order of knighthood of the Royal Oak, and who suffered, as did all the adherents to the Stuarts, from neglect and ingratitude. His son married Mary, daughter of Alexander Rigby, son and heir ot the erector of the monument in Wigan Lane; and his son Thomas, following the traditions of his family, joined Prince James in 1715. On the defeat of the Pretender he was tried for high treason, but acquitted. His son, James Tyldesley, again proved his loyalty to the Stuarts by serving Prince Charles Edward in 1745, and with him the prosperity of the family ended. The chantry chapel of St. Nicholas, called the Tyldesley Chapel, in which Sir Thomas lies buried, is believed to have been erected at the same time as the tower, namely, at the end of the fifteenth century. The roof is all that remains of the building. Mr. Worsley after expressing his belief that the chantry was built by Sir William Leyland, of Morleys, knight, concluded his interesting address by pointing out that now, under a constitutional government, they were able to realise Sir Thomas Tyldesley's motto.  
The Vicar said he might take the opportunity of saying a little to them about the parish church, which was, at any rate, quite distinct from the parish of Leigh. There was nothing old at the church with the exception of a few things which he had pointed out, except the brass to Henry Travice, of Light Oaks. To Mr. Worsley, he ought to say, they were indebted for the brass to Sir Thomas Tyldesley in the north wall. He took the matter in hand, got subscriptions, and they had the result in the brass they saw. And he might call their attention to the way in which it was placed in the wall, which was one of the best methods he had seen. Mr. Worsley, too, was the historian of the parish church of Leigh, and he had written a small book dealing, as far as was known, with the history of the parish church of Leigh. There were a few further particulars which he (the speaker) had obtained, though they did not go any further back than what Mr. Worsley had been able to go. They did not know the first date of the preaching of the gospel there, or of the first building of the church. 
Mr. Paley, the architect of the present church, believed the old one to have been built as early as 1616, in fact the figures 1616 were found on a principal of the old roof. The old church was not quite on the same site as the present one, which had been moved northwards. The old nave was very much narrower, and the old floor was eighteen inches below the present one. There was nothing interesting in the old church except the Tyldesley Chapel and the Atherton chantry. The latter was given up by Lord Lilford when the church was rebuilt twenty years ago. The first reference to Leigh church they could get at was 1264, when on the 29th of January of that year a complaint was made by the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, he seeking the king's aid against certain parties who had seized the churches of Leigh, Bury, and Winwick. Leigh was in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry before the time of the Reformation, when it was taken out of the old diocese and put in the newly-formed diocese of Chester. 
In later years it became a question whether Leigh should be left in the old diocese of Chester, or put in the new diocese of Manchester. The late vicar was a man who had many fights with his bishop about various things, and when he was asked by the Bishop of Chester which diocese he preferred, he answered that he preferred to be near his bishop ; therefore he would be in the diocese of Manchester. The bishop replied that the late vicar might not always think it an advantage to be near the bishop. It was put in the diocese of Manchester, but when the diocese of Liverpool was formed it became a question whether Leigh should be in the new diocese of Liverpool or not. This ancient parish is in the hundred of West Derby, the only portion of that hundred not in the diocese of Liverpool. He thought it would be much better if ecclesiastical and civil boundaries coincided. There had once been litigation touching upon the right of presentation. In the course of it there was a certain charter of Richard de Urmston referred to, and in that reference was made to the church as dedicated to St. Peter. When the church was rebuilt it was dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, he (the vicar) being under the impression at the time that the old church was dedicated to St Mary. 
In the old days the church was over and over again called the Church of Westleigh. The ancient parish of Leigh comprised six townships, viz., Astley (or East Leigh), Tyldesley, Westleigh, Atherton, Pennington, and Bedford. The church itself stood in two townships, the body of the church being in Westleigh and the chancel in Pennington. One other curious fact was that in 1450 the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry was a William Booth— one of the Booths of Barton—and he was previously the rector of Leigh. In the old church the extraordinary custom of cursing by bell, book, and candle was observed in 1474. It was in connection with the forging of certain deeds. One Sunday there came a man named Nicholas Rylands, who took an oath that the deeds were not forged. The vicar cursed him, if he was guilty, by bell, book, and candle,, and, as the candle went out, the vicar cursed those who had aided Rylands in forging the deeds. In the seventeenth century a complaint was made about the rabble outside throwing stones on to the roof of the church and disturbing the congregation. About 1693 the parishioners of Leigh thought it desirable to add a fifth bell to the four old ones, and this was done. It was stated that Queen Elizabeth caused the other four bells to be hung. To defray the cost of the fifth bell, which was £60, a call was made on each of the six parishes to contribute £10. They had now a peal of eight bells, varying from ten to twenty-one hundredweight in weight. With regard to the new work, he might mention that they had put in the east window within the last month, and they hoped by this time next year to have a reredos and also a chancel screen, when the work in the church would be getting more complete.  
The vicar then conducted the visitors into the vestry, where they were shown the church registers dating from 1597, two books which at one time were chained in the church ; a piece of wood taken from the roof bearing the figures 1616, and three old constables' staves. Afterwards the Grammar School was visited, and the various matters of interest explained by Mr. Ward, the headmaster. In the lower portion of the school was a man trap, the property of Mr. Richard Barton, of Westleigh Lodge, and an unique book-case for the school library, a brass plate attached having on the inscription, " All left of the books given to the Grammar School of Leigh by Ralph Pilling, master from 1699 to 1726, are placed herein." The books referred to were placed on the desks of the upper school for inspection.  
Mr. James Ward referred to the history of the school and the school library. The date of the foundation of the school has never been correctly ascertained. The earliest reference was in the will of Mr. James Starkie, a tailor of Pennington, who was buried in Leigh Churchyard in June, 1614, and who bequeathed 40s. towards a free grammar school for Leigh. There are records of a Mr. Worthington being master in 1641-2. Then one Symon Karsley was schoolmaster, and was succeeded by John Battersbie. Mr. Battersbie was probably the first master under a regular endowment by Mr. John Ranicar, of Atherton, who by will dated 16th August, 1655, left a yearly sum of arising out of two pieces of land in Leigh, called the Black Fields. A further endowment of £6 per annum, secured on the corn tithe of Pennington, was added in 1681 by Mr. Richard Bradshaw, of Pennington, who had previously given a house to keep the school in, and whose name was written in several of the volumes in the library. To Mr. Ralph Pilling, who became master in June, 1699, they were indebted for the library. In 1722 Ralph Pilling gave the yearly interest of £10 for an annual sermon in Leigh Church upon New Year's Day. Previous to the election of Mr. Ralph Pilling, a Mr. Samuel Simpson was master. Succeeding Mr. Pilling was John Norris, of Bolton, and in 1736 Thomas Barn, of Pleasington, occupied the master's chair. During the present century the following have successively held the mastership:—T. Hodgkinson, A. Hargreaves, Rev. James Simpson, Rev. Joseph Finlinson, Samuel Twist, R. W. A. Scott, B.A., Robert Wilson, and Mr. Ralph Passe, the late respected master, who was appointed in 1863 and resigned at Christmas, 1885. 
Mr. Ward afterwards went on to refer to the school library. He said that forty-eight volumes of Heskin's library still remain, but they have been much mutilated, only one or two being perfect. Many of the books were probably given after the completion of the new schoolhouse in 1719. They were indebted to Mr. Rose for rescuing that library, for he cleaned and examined the books and published in the Leigh Chronicle* Scrap Book an annotated catalogue, which unfortunately was not reprinted. Mr. J. E. Bailey also materially assisted in the work. The library now consists of about one hundred and twenty volumes, most of them in bad condition. A suitable bookcase had been provided for the books in response to an appeal made to the old boys by Mr. Rose, and the books will be therein placed, along with several old documents relating to the school. The lecturer concluded by noticing the books of special interest.  
At the close of the paper, Mr. Nicholson proposed and Captain French seconded a vote of thanks to the vicar and the readers of papers, which was carried with acclamation.  
A meeting was held after tea, when Mr. Stanning, as chairman, opened the business, and in doing so referred to the Holcrofts, of Holcroft, as being at one time a powerful family. He called the attention of the visitors to two pictures which were hanging on the wall, and which illustrated Leigh Church and Market Place as they used to be, the avenue and the old Atherton Hall, which he said cost £60,000 to build. The frontage of the old hall was one hundred feet, the great hall forty-five long by thirty-six feet, and some of the rooms were also very large. The old church, he said, used to be a very low building, and the tower, which was now standing, appeared to be very tall, but now that the body of the church had been raised the tower looked considerably less.  
A paper by Mr. Josiah Rose, on the Old Time Associations of Leigh, was afterwards read by Mr. William Norbury. The members then paid a visit to the Literary Society's Rooms and Reference Library.  
* See Christie's Old Lancashire Libraries, p. 182.

Friday 2 November 2012

John & Jennet Tyldesley 1934

Beloved husband of
Jennet Tyldesley
Died July 4th 1931, Aged 80 Years. 
"His Duty Nobly Done"

Also The Above
Jennet Tyldesley
Died January 26th 1934, Aged 82 Years. 
"To Memory Ever Dear"

Also Ellen Daughter Of The Above
Died September 15th 1942, Aged 68 Years.

Also Jennet Tyldesley Their Daughter
Died May 21st 1977, Aged 87 Years. 
"Cremated Colwyn Bay."

Thursday 1 November 2012

Isle of Man August 1651

On 12 August 1651, James Stanley, the seventh Earl of Derby wrote two letters to Sir Thomas Tyldesley which show that both men were on the Isle of Man—Stanley at Castle Rushen, and Tyldesley at Douglas. The letters concern their plans to join Charles II on the mainland:
Thom. — I have received several letters from you this day; to them all I have had the best intent that could be to give satisfaction to those desires, which were so reasonable and fitting for the present service.
I knew but at seven of the clock this evening that there was need of a boat hence for our horses. I sent you word, nevertheless, that you might expect one to-morrow morning, but I reckoned too fast; nevertheless it shall come, God willing, at the noon-tide, and the new galliot with it.
All this evening we have been casting forth coal, and still they are at work; and because of the great haste of her coming, so much shall be left thereof as may serve for ballast; the rigging of the sails, and many other lets, make, that she cannot possibly be ready this night. In my opinion Cottrells vessel might have some of my horses, and some other invention for the transport of the men; but of that you will consider.
Baggerley did desire our Dutchman, or one Dopson, to set a plank into the John; but the first must go in the galliot, else it must stay; and I assure you it will be, God willing, of better use than our Manx boats for landing men. The other is sick in bed; so of him I need not say more. George Joyner is, I hope, as capable as either of them, and him I send; and will want of no care or pains that may advance the present service.
I have looked into my store, and find a mistake of your opinion concerning the arms, for we have not so many fired as you think, and divers of them we have must go into St Bryde and St Andrew's parish, in the stead of others which were lately taken from them. And I would not have any excuse among this people, as that they could not defend their country by reason I had disarmed them to fit myself elsewhere. Nevertheless, I will send twenty musquets, twenty-four pikes, and two barrels of powder, which, when I have told you all, may be thought as much as could well be spared.
I shall expect to hear from you to-morrow morning. If please God that all be ready, we may make use of this wind.
My hearty service to yourself and the gentlemen.
Believe me very faithfully your assured servant,
Aug. 12, 1651.
Thom. — So I call you, lest I offend you. Since my wife and I commanded our dear daughter to be our secretary I have observed the wind to turn fair, at least as I think; however, I desire that all things may be in readiness, that in case so great a blessing come to us, we make good use thereof.
If my horses be come up to Douglas, and the vessel, it will be necessary to ship all again immediately. If you do this, let me hear from you presently; and nothing shall hinder me, God willing, to haste unto you, and ever be,
Your faithful friend and servant,
Castle Rushin, Aug. 12, 1651.

My little vessel will be ready this tide. The great prize vessel, which I was in hope to have taken for my horses, is not in case.

1. Private Devotions and Miscellanies of James Seventh Earl of Derby, The Revd. F R Raines, Chetham Society FS Vol 66, 1867.