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|Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 5a|
|Written by Steven Dowd|
ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES.
Part 1. Etymology of Winwick.
THE RECTORS OF WINWICK. 1192 - 1520
1192.—Hug. Clericus de WynewhikIs witness to a deed made at Winwick this year by Hugh, Bishop of Coventry, and dated the second year after the King's departure for Jerusalem. Although Hugh is merely styled clerk and not rector, he was very probably both.(17) The same Hugh witnesses a deed of Edith de Barton.(18) Hugh's daughter married William Fitz-Adam de Lowton.(19)
1212.—Richard de Wynwyke, called persona de Wyn-wyck, held one carucate of land, or, according to another account, he held two parts, and Robert de Walton the remainder of the endowments.(20) An ordinance concerning Winwick was made in March 1231.(21) Bishop Alexander, who issued it, calls it Ordinatio sup. Eccles. de Winwick.(22)
1233.—Dominus Roger de Phitun, persona de Wynic, appears as witness to a charter in 18 Hen. III., when Richard de Wybunbury was Sheriff, and Richard Fitton, Justice of Chester.(23)
N., persona de Winwick, is a witness to an early Southworth charter.(26) In 1284 the Prior of Nostel gave his consent to Sir Robert Banastre to found a chantry at Rokeden, in Newton; but if anything should occur to the prejudice of the mother church, the prior and canons, in conjunction with the vicar of Winwick, were to excommunicate or suspend the chaplains.(27) And in the same year the same Sir Robert gave to God and St. Oswald an annual rent of xiid. on the feast of Oswald, to find a light in Winwick Church in honour of St. Mary the Virgin.(28)
1296.—Dominus John de Mosley, rector of Winwick, and Dominus Peter, chaplain of the same.(31) It is possible that the chaplain was in reality a vicar. Such an ecclesiastic occurs afterwards.
1306.—John de Bambourgh, priest, on the 8th February, 1306, was presented by the prior and convent of Nostel as " presbyter in vicaria de Wynwyck," and instituted at Carlisle, when he took the oath of residence.(32)
1331.—John de Chisenhale, persona de Winwick. He continued parson to 1336, or longer.
1349.—Geoffrey de Burgh, vicar of Winwick. A person of both his names, of whose family he probably was, became bishop of Ely in 1225. On the 12th December, 1349, Roger, bishop of Coventry, addressed a letter to him respecting pensions, and at the same time addressed a letter to his patrons, the prior and convent of Nostel. In 1356 (4th April) Gilbert de Culcheth, the elder, and Cecilia, his wife, granted a lease of 20 acres of land in Culcheth to Sire Geoffrey de Burgh, " perpetual vicar of the church of Winwick," and Henry de Haydock, for their lives, and the life of the survivor. Geoffrey de Burgh's seal is attached to the deed, but it is defaced. In 1359 he is spoken of as Geoffrey de Burgh, late perpetual vicar of Winwick,(35) Notwithstanding the frequent mention of a vicar at Winwick, there never seems to have been a regular endowment of one. Bishop Alexander's ordinance, before alluded to, referred to it, and in 1376 there was a process super reformationem cartarum rasurarum in registro Rogeri de Northburg and Walter de Langton (Bishops of Lichfield) concernent. vicar de Wyn-wyk.(36) In 1351, as we learn from a Norman French deed, dated at Warrington, 25th December, 25 Edward III. (1361), Gilbert le Norreys sold to John de Hay-dock certain chattels, out of which he was to pay xxxiiis. ivd., left by the will of Gilbert de Haydock, "a le fesaunce de la eglise de Winwick." Probably it was for the steeple.(37) The Haydock and Southworth shields on the steeple at Winwick probably go back to this time.
1406.—William Daas, who, it appears, was the receiver of the rents of the honour of Halton in Cheshire from Michaelmas 1399 to the same period in the following year,(38) became rector of Winwick in or before 1406 ; for in this year he purchased from Sir William Butler the right to make a weir or attachment in Sankey water. William Daas, who describes himself as parson of Winwick, hoped by this means to obtain a supply of fish for his table. Fish then abounded in all our brooks and streams, and especially in the Sankey; but, alas, there are none now, and the stream is so foul that the Dead Sea is not more destitute of life. The deed between Sir William Butler and Sir William Daas bears date, 5th Aug.,, 8 Henry IV., 1407, and is amongst the Butler deeds. That rare fish the grayning was abundant in the Dallam brook within living memory.(39)
1420.—Richard Stanley, who about this time or before had become rector of Winwick, was the second son of Sir John Stanley, knight, who in 2 Hen. V. (1415), was elected member of Parliament for Lancashire, and was father of that Thomas Lord Stanley who was the first of his house to be ennobled, and from whom the present Earl of Derby is a lineal descendant. Richard Stanley, the rector,- was a man of mark, who in 1431 was made archdeacon of Chester, and a circumstance of a private nature which happened the same year shows that he was held in esteem by his neighbours. A quarrel, it seems, had broken out between Nicholas de Rysley and Gibone his son on the one side, and William de Breche and Richard his son on the other, and the quarrel was embittered by the parties being near neighbours and probably relations. Both parties, however, very wisely agreed to leave their quarrel to be settled by the Archdeacon, and he undertook the office of peacemaker between them. After carefully hearing the evidence on both sides he came to a conclusion upon the matter, and by his award in writing " Gyfyn at Wyn-whike upon Thursday after the conception of our Ladye the year of the reigne of Kyng Harry the sext the tent" (that is on 13th December, 1431) " he did fynd the trespas more done to the sayd Nicholas then was done to the said William, and did ordayne deme and awarde the sayd William to deliver to the said Nicholas a hogges-head of wyn, at Weryngton, als gode als the sayd Nicholas will chose of Rede or quoyt betwene that time and the feast of oure Ladye next, suying after the date of his awarde or elles to pay to the sayd Nicholas ii. marks of monee at the election of the sayd Nicholas, and if the sayd Nicholas schose to the sayd payment of the sayd ii. marcs, and refuse the sayd hoggeshead of wyne he did ordeigne, and award the sayd William to pay to the sayd. Nicholas the sayd ii. marcs that is to wete j marc at the fest of St. Hillare day next suyinge after the date thereof, and i. marc at the fest of Pasche then next suying, and he did ordene deme and award the sayd partys to be fulle frendes for all manner trespas that had byn hade betwene them from the begynninge of the worlde until the day of the gyfyng of his sayd awarde excpt ryghte of lond."(40) The award, which is in English, is a very fair specimen of our mother tongue at that time, and the evidence which it affords that both red and white wines were to be had in the Warrington Market at that time.
The poverty of the priory of Nostel seems from some cause to have been both of old standing and to have been chronic. In 1225 Archbishop Gray, on being called upon to confirm to the prior and canons of the •convent a grant which had been made to them of thirty nine marks of rent, expressly designates them as " paupertate et depressione compatientes.(41)" Their finances must have rallied a little before 1306, for they were ' then able to advance to one of the archbishop's successors a loan of forty marks.(42) But in 1384, as we have already seen (page 12 ante), their resources were at the deepest ebb, and they were then involved in a debt of twelve hundred marks. In such a strait they had to consider how they might relieve themselves, and they came reluctantly to the conclusion of selling the living of Winwick; and after negotiations which probably continued for some time, the living was disposed of to Sir John Stanley, in 1433, in return for a perpetual rent charge of one hundred shillings a year, which still continues to be paid to the representatives of whoever purchased the rent charge after the dissolution of the religious houses at the Reformation. This grant " de patronatu eccles. de Winwick concedendo Johanni Stanley militi reser-vanda priori annua pensione Cs." was afterwards confirmed by the King's letters patent. (43) The arms of Nostel were, gules a cross between four lions rampant or, and if, as is probable, they were once in the church windows at Winwick, they remain there no longer to preserve the memory of its connexion with its former patrons. Richard Stanley, who was rector at the time of the sale, would no doubt rejoice at the exchange of his patroms—from the canons who had taken the profits of the living to spend them in their distant house, to his father who would give them to the rector to spend them within the parish bounds.
1453.—Edward Stanley, who succeeded Richard Stanley, both as Archdeacon of Chester and Rector of Winwick, was the third son of Sir John Stanley, knight, and consequently a brother of his predecessor. He died Archdeacon of Chester and Rector of Winwick on 5th November, 1467. The Stanley Chantry in Winwick Church is supposed to have been of his foundation(44) He was the third member of his family who had enjoyed the dignity of Archdeacon of Chester within less than half a century. On the 27th July, 1481, he was made warden of the collegiate church of Manchester, and he died warden of that place, and probably Rector both of Winwick and Warrington, on or before 22nd July, 1485.(45)
1467.—James Stanley, clerk, probably the same who was Rector of St. Peter's in Chester in 1464, and resigned that living in 1466,(46) was presented to the living of Winwick 22nd November, 1467, by Henry Byrom, gentleman, pat-ronus pro hac vice. On 10th June, 12 Ed. IV., 1472, he was an arbitrator, and signed the award in a dispute between John Culcheth, esquire, and William Eccleston.(47) On 7th September, 1476, he was presented to the rectory of Warrington.
1493.—James Stanley, who was presented to the living of Winwick on 28th February in the above year, was the 6th son of Thomas first Earl of Derby. He passed some time both at Oxford and Cambridge, and finally graduated at the latter University in or about 1458, in which year he took holy orders and was made prebendary of Holywell in the church of St. Paul in London.(48) Probably without much regard to his own inclinations he was early destined to the Church, in which for at least several generations before him there had always been at least one cadet of the house of Lathom to be found. His uncle, a churchman of his own name, probably gave him his name at the font and chose his profession for him. In 1470 he was appointed prebendary of Driffield, in the church of York. In 1479 he was collated to the prebend of Dunham in the church of Southwell; and so quickly did preferments come upon him that on 22nd July, 1485, he succeeded his uncle in the valuable war-denship of the Collegiate Church at Manchester. A pluralist already still further promotion awaited him. In 1491, he was installed in the prebend of Yat-minster Prima, of the Church of Salisbury, and the next year in the prebend of Beaminster in the same church. In 1493 he was made dean of the royal chapel of St. Martin's-le-Grand in London, in 1478 rector of Rostherne, Cheshire, in 1500 archdeacon of Richmond, and in 1505 precentor of Salisbury. We can hardly suppose that all these preferments could have flowed in upon him without his having some good qualities which history has omitted to record, and there is an improbability in the story which Jortin tells of him, that when Erasmus was in Paris with Lord Mountjoy and some other young nobles, in 1490, he was offered promises and a pension if he would take under his tuition James Stanley and fit him to be made a bishop, for James Stanley had then been long in the church, and was no longer young; moreover, though he was always said to be armis quam libris peritior, it is hardly likely that one who had mixed as he had done in his father's halls with Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, and the other learned persons whom Margaret of Richmond drew around her, there could be an illiterate person.(49) For his next step in dignity, his advance to the mitre, he is believed to have been indebted to the Countess of Richmond, which it has been said we must not reckon amongst her many good deeds, but as the very worst thing she ever did. On the 17th July, 1506, Pope Julius II. signed his bull of provision constituting him Bishop of Ely, and in the following year the University of Oxford granted and decreed that he might be created a doctor of decrees by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of London placing a cap upon his head.(50) At this time, if not before, he resigned the living of Winwick. On Holyrood Day, 3rd May, 11 Henry VIII., 1495, when the Earl of Derby as constable of England sat in the King's Chamber at Westminster to hear and decide a suit of arms between Sir Thomas Assheton and Sir Piers Legh, knight, as to the right of the latter to quarter the Assheton arms, James Stanley, then warden of Manchester, and his brother Sir Edward Stanley, attended to hear and witness the Earl's decision,(51) and in the same year, when the King and Queen came on a progress to Lathom to visit the King's mother and the Earl of Derby, they slept at Winwick on the night of the 20th July, where they were probably the guests of the rector. In the very next year the King, who never spared his friends when money was concerned, sued the rector under the statute of liveries. Let us hope that the offending livery had not been used during the royal visit to Winwick.(52) After James Stanley's promotion to the See of Ely he resided chiefly at the Episcopal Palace at Somersham, which he much improved, but he was very often both at Manchester and at Lathom. In 1508 two notices of the Bishop occur in the recently-published memorials of Bernard of Tholouse. In the first, dated in January, he mentions the Bishop's coming to London; but in the second, dated six months later, he records the Bishop's coming to Court after being long kept away by his bodily infirmity and the necessary attendance on his private affairs.(53) But perhaps that circumstance in his life to which Fuller alludes may have had something to do with the Bishop's absence from Court. " I blame not the Bishop," says Fuller, " for passing his summer with the Earl of Derby, but for living all the winter with one who was not his sister, and who wanted nothing to make her his wife save marriage." It was the stain upon his birth that made his son Sir John Stanley, of Honford, write up so frequently the Scripture text " Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas," and at last drive him to retire into a convent.
The barbarous sport of cock-fighting, which had so long been popular in Lancashire that according to the sheriffs King John kept there no less than 260 birds of game,(54) had lost none of its popularity in the days of the Bishop of Ely. By previous appointment, and in compliance with a custom then seemingly common at Winwick, a great cock fight took place there on 27th April, 1514, and, as was not unusual, a great quarrel took place among the gentry who were present, and several angry law suits were the result; and the fight in the cock pit was followed by another fight in a court of law. The Bishop of Ely, though he is said to have fixed the day and place of the cock fight, was not himself present there ; but the amusement seems not to have been held unclerical, for the evidence in the suits shows that several priests and ecclesiastics were present and were among those who took an active part in it. It required a better monarch than King John to discountenance so barbarous a sport as cock-fighting, which, except during a short interval when it was forbidden by Cromwell, continued to hold its ground to our own day, when, to the glory of the present reign, it was abolished by law; and it is to be hoped has now finally and for ever disappeared.
When all Lancashire was astir with the King's summons before Flodden, the Earl of Surrey, as we are told in the " Scottish Field," supposing the Bishop to be either at Manchester or at Lathom, caused a messenger to ride
To the bishop of Eley
By no means slack in answering the call, the Bishop mustered his large contingent, and being semper paratus ad arma in his calling and, if the infirmities of years had not forbidden it, he would have imitated Anthony de Bak, the famous old bishop of Durham, and put himself at their head; as it was, however, he found an able substitute in Sir John Stanley, of Honford, whom he sent in his stead.
The Bishop appropriated the rectory of Great Shelford to Jesus College, in Cambridge, and he compiled the statutes of that college and obtained the confirmation of them from Pope Julius II. He added largely to and improved the episcopal palace of Somersham, and in conjunction with Sir John Stanley, of Honford, he undertook to build the large chapel of St. John the Baptist on the north side of the collegiate church of Manchester.
'"'Of your charity pray for the soul of James Stanley, sometime Bishop of Ely, and warden of Manchester, who deceased out of this transitory world the 22nd day of March, 1515, upon whose soul and all Christian souls Jesu have mercy.
Vive Deo gratus, toto mundo tumulatus Crimine mundatus semper transire paratus.
In the rhyming chronicle of the Stanleys, where there is a notice of the Bishop's death and burial, we have a flattering portrait of his appearance :
A goodly tall man he was as any in England He did end his life in merry Manchester And right honourably he lies buried there.
The chronicler's laudation of the bishop extends only to comeliness of person and his great stature; but Godwin, forgetting that men's good deeds being written in water die with them, and that their evil deeds being written in brass survive them, and remembering only the scandal of the bishop's private life, for which to the King's honour he was discountenanced at Court, and laboured under the Pope's sentence of excommunication until he went to the grave, would rob the bishop of every good quality. Perhaps it would be safer to suppose that having attained the mitre it proved too heavy for his head and made him forget the good qualities which had led to his previous advancement.
Transcribed by Steven Dowd from the original book which he owns, Originally publication is from 1878, this text version and layout, edits and errors is © 2008 Steven Dowd, for use at the Newton-le-willows website