Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 5b

By WILLIAM BEAMONT. Second Edition, 1878


Part 1. Etymology of Winwick.
Part 2. Oswald, King of Northumbria.
Part 3. The Domesday Survey.
Part 4. The Church.
Part 5a. The Rectors of Winwick. 1192 – 1520
Part 5b. The Rectors of Winwick. 1520 – 1610
Part 5c. The Rectors of Winwick. 1610 – 1659
Part 5d. The Rectors of Winwick. 1659 – 1764
Part 5e. The Rectors of Winwick. 1764 – 1866
Part 6. The Winwick Chantries.
Part 7. The Grammar School.
Part 8. Some Winwick Antiquities.
Part 9. Some Winwick Names and Notabilities.
Part 10. Some Funeral Inscriptions in the Church and Churchyard.

Part 11. Bibliography


1521.—Thomas Larke, who is called parson of Winwick, in the will of Thomas, second Earl of Derby, who died 23 May, 1521, was probably not the Bishop of Ely’s immediate successor, as rector of Winwick. He is named along with Cardinal Wolsey and others supervisors of the second Earl’s will. The Cardinal, who was tutor to Edward, third Earl of Derby, availed himself of his position greatly to enrich himself, (56) and his name is unenviably connected with an intrigue said to have taken place between the Cardinal and the daughter of one Larke, of Cheshire.(57) One of the charges made against him at his trial was that he committed Sir John Stanley to the Fleet for a year in order to compel him to release a convent seal to one Leghe, of Adlington, who had married one Larke’s daughter, by which woman the Cardinal had had two children,(58) or at all events it seems most probable that Larke’s appointment may be traced to the Cardinal’s influence. The pedigree of Leghe of Adlington mentions the marriage of Geo. Legh, who died 12 June, 22 Henry VIII. 1529, to Joan daughter of Peter Larke, citizen of London, and relict of Geo. Paulet, brother to the Marquis of Winchester. In the account of the ancient parish of Prestbury the author discredits the truth of this charge against ,the Cardinal ; but Anthony a Wood affirms that the Cardinal had a son named Thomas Winter, whom he presented to several benefices while he was still under age.(59) We may rejoice that such shameless scandals are become things of the past.

1524.—William Bulloyne on the 24th December, 1524 (or 1529), was presented by the King by reason of the Earl of Derby’s minority. (60) On 20th of January, 1522, a William Boleyn, clerk, was collated by Cardinal Wolsey, then Bishop of Winchester, to the archdeaconry of that city.(61) A William Boleyn, possibly the rector, appeared amongst .the canonists and jurisconsults summoned to give their "opinions on the lawfulness of the King’s marriage.(62) It seems probable that Bulloyne was some connection of Queen Anne Boleyne, and it is somewhere stated that it was intended to make him a Bishop. In or about 1533 Leland, the royal antiquary, visited Winwick, where he was probably Bulloyne’s guest, and gaye this account of the place : " Winwike personage hath a parke and is ij or iij mile from Werington." (63) In 1530, as we learn from the inscription on the cornice of the south side of the church, the wall on that side was renewed, and at that time Henry Johnson was curate of Winwick. " Henricus Johnson curatus erat simul hie tunc," is the last line of the inscription, and his connection with the curacy continued for some time, for on 5 December, 28 Hen. VIII., 1536, he is mentioned in a contemporary charter, where he is described as a priest and curate of Winwick.

On the continent, the word " cure " still means the parish priest; and when the compilers of our Prayer Book translated the prayer for all bishops and curates, the word curatus had a similar meaning. (64)

In 1547, he is again mentioned as curate, and said to be presented by Gualter Legh. The words are "Dom Henr. Jonso. cur. conduct, p. Peter Legh, arm. in cap-ella ibidem."(65)

On 20th March, 1532, with the consent of the bishop and patron, rector Bulloyne alienated the tithe of corn, hemp, and flax in Culcheth to John Holcroft, in perpetuity, reserving -£10 as rent, which rent is still paid, though under the Tithe Act the tithes have been commuted at £345 (66)

The reparations of Winwick Church, although begun in 1530, seem to have been going on still in 1540, for on 22nd October in that year, Robert Ardern left by his will xxs. to the reparation of Winwick Church.(67) Church work was slow then as it is still.

In 1548 there appear to have been no less than 14 priests in Winwick parish, including those of the lately suppressed chantries.(68) In 1548 it appears very clear that the benefice of Winwick must have been leased ; for in the will of Andrew Barton, of Smithells, dated 7th February in that year, there occurs this passage, "And whereas the said Gowther Legh did make me and Thurston Tildesley, Esq., his assigns of his lease of his benefice in Winwick, I make my assigne for my portion thereof the said Thurston Tildesley. To the entent that he may thereout pay the parsons of Wyn-wyck, his rents, make reparacyons there, that I stand bounden unto, and pay wages to priestes according to the last wyll of the said Gowther." (69)

At this time there were deer in the parsonage park, and Gualter Legh, then most likely living at the rectory, sued his brother Peter and others for trespassing in the park, and there taking the deer and assaulting the keeper.(70) This lease of the rectory, the first instance which we have of it at Winwick (where it had probably prevailed before), affords a trace of a common but most reprehensible practice which the law as it then stood permitted of letting churches to farm, whereby the patron or some other person was benefited, but the parson was starved. This bad practice, which arose from the power which all parsons of churches formerly had with the consent of their patron and bishop to make leases of their parsonages to endure for any length of time, was put a final end to by the disabling statutes of 13, 14, 18, and 23 years of Queen Elizabeth, since which time no parson, even with the above consents, can make a lease of his parsonage for longer than 21 years or three lives, and then only at the old accustomed rent or more and subject to other conditions which must in every case be complied with.(71) William Bulleyn, or Bullein, a name idem sonans with that of the rector, was a contemporary and probably a relation of the rector. He was a very learned physician, and about this time published "a dialogue both pleasant and profitable" on health; and a tract by him, printed in 1564, is mentioned in Notes and Queries,(72) And a life of Wm. Bullen, physician and botanist, of which Oldys was the author, is given in the " Biogra-phia Britannica." Rector Bulloyne being Archdeacon of Winchester besides having the living of Winwick was probably for the most part an absentee, which may account for Johnson’s name occurring on the church wall, and for the rectory being leased. Wm. Bullinge, the rector, Dom. Hugh Bullinge, the curate, Dom. Lawrence Penyngton and Dom. William Stanley answered Bishop Bird’s visitation ”call" in 1547. (73) Pening-ton and Stanley were chantry priests.

1552.—Thomas Stanley, Lord Bishop of Man, was presented to the living of Winwick by Edward, third Earl of Derby, on the 10th April, 1552, and paid his first fruits the same year. There had been four archdeacons and one bishop before him occupants of the living since the advowson became the property of Sir John Stanley. The bishop who now held the living had been consecrated to his see on the death of Hesketh, or Black-leach, in 1542; but in 1545 he was displaced from the see for refusing to comply with the Act of 33 Henry VIIL, disconnecting the bishopric of Man from the province of Canterbury and attaching it to that of York. In 1553, when the royal commissioners came to Winwick to take an account of the bells and vestments they found at Winwick the following:—

" iij bells wherof a clokke stikketh upon one. ij.. ..sacrying bells ij little pixes of silu’ th chalices. A vestment of….wt….belonging to the same. A olde vestmet of silke wt. brannchez….fustean. And at the trinitie Church a vestmet of white…. An other vestemet of silke An other vestmet of crule wt. all things belonging….coape white fusteanj belle called a sancts belle Wh. ij lyttill sacring belles belonging to the said Church."(74)

In 1556, however, the bishop was restored to his see, and on 5th August 5 and 6 Phil, and Mary, 1558, when he occurs in a deed with Thomas Lord Monteagle, he is expressly described as Thomas Lord Bishop of Man.(75) In 4 and 5 Phil, and Mary, 1557, and on the gth August, 5 and 6 Phil, and Mary, 1558, he was first made Rector of Wigan, and then Rector of North Meols.(76) And as if this heap of preferments was not enough for one pluralist, he became also Rector of Badsworth and of Berwick-upon-Tweed, for all which it is said that he obtained the Pope’s bull to hold them with the bishopric. If this were so, however, we see in it the last expiring glimmer of this once profitable part of the Pope’s power in England. The Bishop was Rector of Winwick when the fall of the chantries took place in 1553, and William Stanley was returned as being the priest then serving the rector’s, or perhaps more properly Lord Derby’s chantry, as being founded under his will with an endowment of £3 os. 9d.(77) In 1557 "dominus Ricardus Smith" is returned as the bishop’s curate at Winwick. In 1559 Sir John Holcroft the elder, by his will of 2nd December, declared that if the tenants in Culcheth would purchase and make sure for ever lands of the value of £6 13s. 4d., and thereat to hire a priest at £5 13s. 4d. and a clerk at 20s. his best chain should be given towards the same—and this is believed to be the origin of the church at Newchurch.(78) The testator had probably the founding of this chapel in his mind when he purchased the Culcheth tithes. By his same will he left xxs. towards the glassinge of Winwick Church. In 1563 the parish registers commence, and the name of Andrew Rider, the curate, appears in them as having made the first, and a little later the bishop’s monogram and autograph may be seen in some of them.(79) Not satisfied with the injury his absenteeism inflicted upon the parish and with living in forgetfulness of his responsibilities, of which we have a glimpse in a letter written by Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, to the Archbishop of Canterbury about this time, in which he says, "The Bishop of Man, Thomas Stanley, liveth here at his ease as merry as Pope Joan."(80) It would almost seem from this that to his other preferments he had added a stall at Durham, if not he was only imitating a number of the beneficed clergy of his time who absented themselves from their livings that they might be more free to enjoy themselves.(81) But pluralist as he was, the bishop was far eclipsed by Sir John Mansel, once Rector of Wigan, the next adjoining parish to Winwick, on the north, in the reign of Hen. III., who, besides being Lord Chancellor and occupying other offices in the State, presented himself to every living in his patronage which fell vacant while he was Chancellor.(82) But his absenteeism was not the worst evil which Bishop Stanley inflicted upon the living of Winwick; for on the 5th October, 1563, by an indenture in which he calls himself Thomas Stanley, Bishop of Man and rector of Winwick, he granted to Sir Thomas Stanley, knight, a lease of the rectory parish church and benefice, with the manor park and glebe lands for the term of 99 years, at the yearly rent of -£120; which lease was confirmed by Edward Earl of Derby and William Bishop of Chester.
Hitherto we have seen no rector of Winwick appear as an author. Now, however, Bishop Stanley appears in that character among the first of the rectors of Winwick as the writer of the " Rhyming Chronicle," a sort of history in verse of the Stanley family continued to the year 1562. He is said to have had in his possession a very ancient painting of the face of our Blessed Lord, which was taken by him to Douglas in the Isle of Man, where it is still preserved.(83) The bishop died in 1568, but neither the place of his burial nor the exact nature of his origin has been ascertained. His name does not appear in the Knowsley pedigrees. It has been said that he was the son of the second Lord Monteagle, but if so he is unnoticed in the pedigree of that family, and was probably illegitimate. The first Lord Monteagle was Edward, who died in 1523 ; the second, Thomas, who died in 1560; and the third, William, who died without male heirs in 1581.

1569.—Christopher Thompson was presented by the Queen on 19th March, 1569, and he paid his first fruits on the 31st of the same month. It does not appear under what circumstances the Queen claimed the right to present. It was not on account of the patron’s minority, for he was of full age. If it was because his predecessor had been made a bishop, Her Majesty could hardly have claimed the presentation after suffering Thomas Stanley to hold it to the end of his life, notwithstanding that he had been made Bishop of Man. It is possible that the Queen disputed the right of the late bishop’s lessee to exercise the right of presentation. At all events, Christopher Thompson, of whom we have been unable to learn any particulars, held the living but a short time.

1575.—John Caldwell, B.A., on 7th January, 1575-6, was presented to the living by Henry Earl of Derby, on the death of the late rector, and on 20th February following he paid his first fruits. It appears, however, that the bishop, probably claiming by lapse, presented John Sherburne, S.T.B., to the living on 21st January, 1575-6. But Caldwell’s nomination prevailed. He was the son of John Richard Caldwell, M.D., a student of Christ Church, Oxford, and afterwards president of the College of Physicians, at which place he founded a lectureship and died in 1585. Caldwell the rector, when he was presented to Winwick, held also the living of Mobberley, to which he had been presented in 1570. On 2nd January, 1577, he preached a sermon at New Park, Ashton in Makerfield, which is noticed in Herbert’s Ames, III., 1009. It is dated from Mobberley, 8th February. In 1586, when the country was in a state of ferment owing to the discovery of Babington’s conspiracy, John and Thomas Goulden, two of the rector’s Winwick parishioners, fell under suspicion of being implicated in it because they were recusants and had been known to resort to the seminary priest at Samles-bury.(84) Caldwell was one of the Earl’s domestic chaplains, and was in such favour that none of them was called to preach before the Earl so often as he.(85) His celebrity as a preacher led to Henry Trafford, the Rector of Wilmslow, leaving it as a request in his will that Mr. Caldwell should preach his funeral sermon and receive a noble for it.(86) And also to his being presented with 7s. 4d. by the Corporation of Congleton for preaching in their chapel before them in I590.(87) Caldwell must have been shocked to find how the day was concluded after some of his sermons in the morning at Lathom, where a performance by a company of players often concluded the day. He must have been pained to see the little impression on his hearers the sermon of the morning had made. His name occurs several times in the proceedings of the Lancashire and Cheshire Lieutenancy. (88) When the Queen, on 23rd January, 1586, wrote to the Bishop of Chester notifying her royal wish to assist the Hollanders against Spain, and requiring the bishop to fit out a number of horses, John Caldwell, parson of Winwick, signified his readiness to provide two horsemen for such a service, while his brother rector of Wigan only offered to find one man. The reason which the Queen assigned for this request, was that the clergy being in as much danger as herself from the King of Spain, it was fit they should either find horses or advance £26 for each horse and its furniture to procure them abroad.(89) Caldwell (who must be distinguished from another divine of both his names, who was first Dean of Rochester and afterwards Bishop of Salisbury) was born at Burton-upon-Trent, and going into that neighbourhood to see his friends he fell sick at the parsonage of Clyfton Convill, in Staffordshire, as he was about to return home, and dying there on the 30th June, 1595, he was buried the next day, being 51 years of age.(90) Mr. Caldwell, on 2nd Feb., 1577, preached a sermon which he afterwards printed and published with the following title : " A sermon preached before the Right Honourable the Earle of Darbie and divers others assembled in his honour’s chapell at Newparke, in Lankashire. The second of Januarie, anno humanse salut. 1577. Gala. vi. Dum tempus habemus operemur bonum. While we here live let us do good, Gala. vi. Imprinted at London by Thomas Easte, the xiii. day of March, 1577. Written by John Caldwell, Rector of Winwick." He died intestate, and the following nuncupative will was proved and registered at Chester :—

" Memor, that John Cald-wall, clerk and parson of Moberlegh, deceased, being of good understanding, delivered his last will and mind to me, Wm. Walkedeyne, clerk and parson of Clifton Campville, in the hearing of Margaret Caldwall, his wyfe, and Thomas Hill, his son-in-law, in these words : ‘ 20th June, in the year of redemption, 1595. My will is that Margaret my wife shall have half of my goods moveable and unmoveable and £20; Judith Caldwall, daughter of my brother Willm., -£10; Samuel, son of my brother Edward Caldwall, £10; and the rest I give wholly to my son-in-law Hill, desiring my executors to consider my servants, the poor, and my brethren and sisters as shall seem good to them,’ and he appointed his wife and Thomas Hill his executors. His personalty was appraised July 8, 1595, by Humphrey Harrison, vicar of Sixhills, in the county of Lincoln ; William Morgan, citizen of Coventry ; Laurence Eccles, of Ashley ; and James Bury, of Moberley ; and admitted by Mr. Joseph Cash, curate of Moberley. His cattle and husbandry for number and extent were worthy of an old patriarch. In his studdie house were his books valued at xl li., a very large sum. His maps, pedigree, and genealogies, iiis., silver plate, xxi li. iiis. iiijd. In tankards, rings, piggins, viij li. viiid., armour as calivers, pis-tolate, haulbert, &c., iii li. xiiis. In all £314 18s. 6d."(91)

In 1590, during Rector Caldwell’s time, the number of communicants is said on authority to have amounted to 5,000.

1596.—John Rider was presented and paid his first fruits 18 Feb., 39 Elk., 1596-7. He was born at Car-rington, in Cheshire, about 1562, was entered at Jesus College, Oxford, in 1576, and was made minister of Bermondsey, in Surrey, then Rector of Wynyke and Archdeacon of Meath. In 1597 he was made Dean of St. Patrick’s, and in 1612 Bishop of Killaloe, being allowed by the King to hold Winwick in commendam. In his see he was much reverenced for his zeal and learning. He resigned the living of Winwick nth August, 1615. He died 12th November, 1632. When he was made Dean of St. Patrick’s, the Queen called him Sir John Rider, and thought to have made him Dean by her own authority.(92) Rider wrote "Dictionarium Latine et Anglice," published at Oxford, 1589, the first of the kind ever printed. He wrote also " A Letter Concerning News out of Ireland and the Spaniards landing, and of the Present State there," London, 1601; "A Caveat to the Irish Catholics," Dublin, 1602; "Claim of Antiquity on behalf of the Protestant Religion," 1608 ; "A Tract Written in Controversy with Fitz Simon the Jesuit."(93) The sanctus bell at Winwick, which bears this inscription :—

" P.L. T.G. E.E. E.S. T.S. J.R."

which stands for the names of Peter Legh, Thomas Gerard, Edward Eccleston, Edward Stanley, Thomas Stanley, and John Rider, must have been cast and set up in Rector Rider’s time.

(56) Collin’s Peerage, iii. 89. .
(57) Stanley papers, Chet. Soc, 14.
(58) Fiddes’ Life of Wolsey.
(59) Renaud’s Fasti Oxon., and Dr. Renaud’s Prestbury, Chet. So., 94.
(60) Lichf. Reg. .
(61) Fiddes’ Life of Wolsey, i6g app.
(62) Fiddes’Life of Wolsey, p. 163, appendix.
(63) Lane, and Ches. Historic Society’s Proceedings, vol. vi., new series, p. 70, where a fac-simile of the passage is given.
(64) Froude’s Hist. Eng., i., innotis, p. 46, et passim.
(65) Lancashire Chantries, by Chet. Soc, 62 to 72.
(66) Lich. Reg.
(67) Lancashire and Ches. Wills, Chet. So., part II., 138.
(68) Lanc. Chantries, Chetham Soc., pref. xxvii.
(69) Idem, part ii., pp. 99, 100.
(70) Calendar of the Duchy of Lancaster.
(71) Blackstone’s Corns., II., 320.
(72) July 27th, 1861, p. 61.
(73) Lan. Chantries, Chet. Soc, i. 58, in notis.
(74) From a copy in the Public Record Office obtained by J. E. Bailey, Esq.
(75) Lane, and Ches. Wills, Chetham So., part III.
(76) Hist. Lanc.,iii. 540, and iv. 277.
(77) Lancashire Chantries, Chet. So., i. 6g, in notis.
(78) Lancashire and Cheshire Wills, Chet. So., i. 148.
(79) Hist. Lanc. iii. 625.
(80) Hist. Lanc. iii. 100, and Parker Correspondence.
(81) Froude’s Hist. Eng. ii. 416.
(82) Campbell’s Lives of the Chancellors.
(83) Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institute, No. 107, p. 190.
(84) Hist. Lanc, i. 543.
(85) Derby Household Books, Chet. So., p. 132 in notis.
(86) Lane, and Ches. Wills, Chet. So., ii. 19.
(87) Notes and Queries, Feb. 11, 1865.
(88) Chet. So., 116, 182.
(89) Hist. Lanc, i. 541.
(90) Hist. Ches., i. 323.
(91) Stanley Papers, Chet. So., ii. 133.
(92) Haydn’s Book of Dignities.
(93) Watts’s Bibliotheca and Mag. Brit. Antiq. et Nova.




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