Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 5c

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


1615.—Josias Horne was presented by the King, because his predecessor had been promoted to a bishopric, and he paid his first fruits 22nd March, 13 Jac, ‘1615-16. There was evidently a great dispute about the right of patronage both before and after Home was presented, and a great lawsuit took place upon it, the fons et origo of which was the simoniacal lease made by Bishop Stanley to Sir Thomas Stanley.(94) On 8th August, 1609, Edward Earl of Worcester, probably representing the interest of the late Sir Thomas Stanley, the lessee, presented John Andrews to the living; and on March 5, 13 Jac. I., 1616, Tobias Archbishop of York intervened and presented Thomas Bold, and again in 1620 some one else, it does not appear who presented to the living the Rev. Canon John Meir or Meyre, who held the third stall in Chester Cathedral, (95) But we hardly need wonder that the King’s presentation ultimately prevailed, and that Home kept possession of Winwick. Home, who justly thought the lease which had been made of the rectory giving the rector only £120 a year, and assigning all the rest to be spent by lay hands, an abuse which, even if it were legal, determined him (and the step required some spirit) to try the validity of the lease at law, for which purpose he filed a bill in the Duchy Court at Lancaster, and at the Lancaster Lent Assizes in 1618 he succeeded in obtaining a special verdict in his favour. But a new trial having been ordered, all parties agreed to leave the matter to the Judges, Justice Finch and Baron Denham, who, in Feb., 1619-20, awarded that during the life of Home the capital messuage and manor of Winwick with other parts of the rectory should remain to him and the rest of the benefice to [the Earl of Worcester, Sir John and Dame Frances Fortescue, and Petronella Stanley—so that Home’s efforts and great expense, though not wholly successful, were not altogether thrown away.

A curious gossiping story is told of an event which happened during this rector’s time. " Sir Thomas Gerard, of the Bryn," says the story, " though a great recusant, had been chosen a burgess in the last Parliament of King James, but could nowhere be found, though a great search was made for him. Lately, however, by a mandate of the Council, he had been attached by Mr. Holland, of Heaton, the High Sheriff, and placed in custody. Upon the occasion of his arrest two of his maid-servants, who were washing clothes at a pit, fell a-talking of the brave times there would shortly be for their religion, when Mr. Turner, a busy Justice of the Peace, would be turned out of office; Mr. Horne, parson of Winwick, should have horns set upon his head, and the Bishop of Chester should be hoisted a peg higher to his little ease."(96) In the frequent change of rectors, who moreover were often non-resident, the clerical duties of the parish were for the most part discharged by a body of curates in succession. Zachary Taylor, who occurs in the parish register as one of these, seems to have officiated at the mother church from 1617 to 1648, when his name is struck through in the register as having then left. From January to April, 1649, he was at Grappenhall, and signs himself as being rector there. Calamy says of him that though he had been a chaplain to the King’s forces, he joined the classical presbytery and was Mr. Bath’s assistant at Rochdale until 1662, when he went out under the Act. He afterwards taught a school first at Rochdale, then at Bolton, and finally became master of the famous school at Kirkham-in-the-Fylde, until his death in 1692. He was a very good scholar, an useful schoolmaster, an orthodox preacher, and a pious man. Zachary Taylor, the author of the Lancashire Levite, was his son.(97) Winwick, or some of its chapelries, had the services of several members of the Gee family as curates. In 1571 there was an Edward Gee, who had a benefice in Chester, of which he was deprived, and he afterwards, in 1598, became proctor of Brazenose. Another Edward, probably the son of the former, received his education at Newton (or more probably Winwick School), in Lancashire, and went after- wards to Brazenose College, Oxford, where he ultimately graduated D.D., and became chaplain to Dr. Parr, Bishop of Sodor and Man, whom he succeeded, in 1643, in the bishop’s living of Eccleston. Before that time he had probably officiated as curate at Winwick. In 1646 he is set down as minister of the 6th Lancashire classis.(98) In 1648 he called himself minister of the Gospel at Eccleston, when he signed the Harmonious consent of the Lancashire ministers, and became scribe or secretary of the Manchester Presbytery. In 1654 he was a member of the committee to examine and reject incompetent ministers and schoolmasters in Lancashire, (99) In 1646 he was sent prisoner to London, in company with Angier, Herle, and several other good men who had made some complaint against the Government.(100) The Oliverian surveyors had justly given him the title of an " orthodox preaching minister," and Martindale calls him "a great knocker of disputation," by which he no doubt meant to compliment his powers in argument as a malleus theologicus. He wrote a " Treatise on Prayer," much approved of in his day, and which was printed in London in 1653. But it was not he, but another Edward Gee, who preached two sermons in 1620. In 1658 he published in London his " Divine Right and Original of Civil Magistrates from God Illustrated and Vindicated." Anthony a Wood says he wrote also another work on the "Oath of Allegiance." On the 26th May, 1660, he died at his rectory of Eccleston, and was buried at that place.(101) George Gee, Edward’s brother, was curate of Newton, one of the Winwick chapelries, from 1617 at the least to 1635-6, diligently watching over his flock, but not coming so much before the public as his well-known brother. Hollingworth enumerates Master Gee, of Newton, amongst his godly-learned men. Robert Gee, also a brother of Edward, had charge of Newchurch, another of the chapelries, in which Bishop Wilson at a somewhat later period laboured as a curate. Robert Gee remained the pastor of Newchurch until 1642, and Martindale mentions an interesting occasion in 1658 when the three brothers all met and preached in Manchester on the same day. While Rector Horne held the living these entries occur in the register, one of which is remarkable for its simplicity, and the other for the enquiry it suggests who Sir Richard Hosgham was. "Sir" was no longer applied to the clergy. "Buried our poor tinker’s child." "1623. Married Sir Richard Hosgham and Mrs. Marie Cotte." Mr. Horne died in 1626.

1626.—Charles Herle, M.A., the next rector after the death of Josiah Heme, was presented on the 26th June, 1626, by Sir Edward Stanley, with the consent and acquiescence probably of William, 6th Earl of Derby, who although the right to present did not belong to the lessee, was probably willing that he who had so large an interest in Winwick should have a voice in the appointment of one who was to be his neighbour, the new rector. Though born in Cornwall at Prideaux, where his parents lived, Herle came of a worshipful family seated at West Herle, in Northumberland, and had received his education at Exeter College, Oxford, which he entered in 1612, and where he graduated M.A. in 1618. Where he settled after taking his degree is not quite clear ; for Brook, who in his " Lives of the Puritans " states that Devonshire was his first sphere, fell into that mistake by strangely misquoting a passage in Prynne and confounding him with Charles Earl of Devon. It seems most probable that he was first placed in or near London, where he had relations, with William Earl of Derby, to whose Countess, a De Vere, he was chaplain, and whose will he made at her request on 19 Feb., 1626. He had been tutor also to the Earl’s son, afterwards James Earl of Derby, who had nursed him through a long and well nigh hopeless sickness, and to whom he acknowledged himself bound "by engagements of preferment, favour, gratitude, duty, and domestic service." Herle had scarcely entered upon his living, however, before he found himself compelled to resort to the law to assert his legal rights. The rectory house was in the possession of the late rec tor’s widow, and an injunction had issued from the duchy court ordering her to restore the possession of it to the Earl of Worcester, Sir John and Lady Frances Fortescue and Isabella Stanley claiming under the lease which has been so often mentioned of the rectory. In the meantime Herle had gained possession of the house and placed in it two servants to keep it; but on the 26th June, 1626, the Earl of Worcester and the other adverse claimants had obtained another injunction under which he and his servants were put out of possession by the sheriff. In his turn, however, he dissolved this injunction, and then both parties thought it best to come to a compromise, by which it was agreed that the parish titles and all oblations should be conveyed to trustees to hold for 34 years, if Herle should so long continue rector, and that the rector should receive out of them a yearly sum of £225, while all the rest, amounting to £500 per annum, should go to the other claimants. In 1631 Herle published his first work Contemplations and, Devotions on the Several Passages of our Blessed Saviour’s Death, and dedicated it to his former pupil, James Lord Strange, afterwards the martyr Earl of Derby.

In 1632 and 1634 the Chancellor and the Archdeacon made their visitations at Winwick, and the presentments then made at them give us a curious glimpse into the state of the parish at that time, and show that discipline was then enforced. In the former year William Burscoe and another were presented for lying and loitering in the churchyard and giving indecent words to the church officers ; Wil-lim Clare was presented for bowlinge in the afternoon at service time ; Lawrence Edelston’s son was presented for going out of church at service time, and being warned to come in would not, but contemptuously laid himself down on a hillock; Oliver Robie was presented for going forth of the church before the sacrament of baptism ended, being bidden to staye; Thomas Hedge and others were presented for making bricke at Winwick Hall upon St. Peter’s day in time of service.(102) Robert Horner was presented for shear ing sheep at service time, upon Tuesday in Easter week; Roger Burchall was presented as a depraver of religion as established in the Church of England, and a negligent comer to church, and as having reported that my lord suffered seminary priests to walk hand in hand, and did not so much as point at them. The wife of James Starkie and others were presented for having a candle burning upon the bier in a superstitious manner, and for kneeling by the corpse of Mathew Hall, set downe at a crosse. In 1634 laymen of rank were presented for that they sent for the blesser to blesse cattle that were sicke at Win-wicke, and used invocations on the bodies of men and beasts and " gloried in it;" Robert Downing, of Rysley, was presented for receiving the cupp sittinge, and refusing the bread unless out of another man’s hands and not the minister’s; Thomas Aspinall, a swearer, was presented for saying that he had a prayer which would shorten a man’s life ; Margaret Hey was presented for sleepinge in churche at prayer and sermon; Margaret Otewise was presented for dippinge a child in the font after itt was baptised.(103) A little later in his abode at Winwick, Mr. Herle records a still more remarkable instance of superstition in one of his parishioners, who maintained that he saw in Prince Rupert’s dog an enchanted Camp Lady of intelligence, that is to say, a spy.

John Ley, of Budworth, in his Defensive Doubts, in 1640, tells us that a monthly exercise was set up or held at Winwick with the good liking and allowance of our late learned Sovereign as a godly, and graceful memorial of his Majesty’s and the kingdom’s deliverance from the powder treason, and at one of these exercises Bishop Bridgeman preached in one part of the day and himself in the other.

In 1641 the House of Commons, on the motion of Mr. Pym, having resolved on a protestation to defend the privileges of both Houses and the performance of those duties to God and the King to which they were obliged as good Christians and good subjects, Herle,(104) his curates Nicholson, Gee, and Norman, his three men servants and a number of his parishioners signed the required protestation, the language most part of which finds its echo in the words found on some of the royal coins of the time Relig., Prof. Leg., Ang., Liber., Par.

A list of the parishioners who signed and of those who refused to sign the protestation is given below :—

Names of persons above eighteen years of age, within Winwick and Houlme,. who hath taken the Protestation before the said Charles Herle, Rector, and George Nicholson :—

Gawther Kerfoot the now cunstable,Gawther Kerfoot, filie, Henry Coocke, Raph Coocke, Ralph Morte, Henry Orford, George Darrow, John Darrow, Thorns Darrow, Jeffrey Holcroft, Edmund Ashton, John Foster, Peter Hart Thorns Corles, Thorns Marsh, Gilbert Eden, Hugh Codoe, Edward Birch, James Bilbie, Anead Of orrall , Henry Marsh, William Birch, Thorns Spode, Richard Dutton, Willm Lawrancson, Andrew Massie, Thorns Massie, now Willm Ellam, sen, John Ellam, John Launders, Pichard Penketh, Thorns Mullinex, Robt Downall, Robt Dicke, Thorns Orford, Thorns Spakeman, sen, Nathaniell Etkins, Henry Taylier, Henry Ashton, John Crooke, Thorns Talier, Gawther Whittell, Thorns Croft, James Spoad, Henry Spakeman, Thorns Kerfoot, John Bate, Willm Bate, Thorns Darrow, William Ellam, jun., Roger Kerfoot, John Barnes, Richard Tayler, Thoms Kay, Thorns Thelwall, Edward Coocke, John Towers, Josiath Whittell, Richard Woodcraft, Thorns Woodcraft, John Mather, Ralph Taylor, James Brunt, Willm Shaw, Edmund Lowton, Henry Thelwall, Roger Cowe, Thorns Bate, Christopher Darrow, John Occleshawe, Tho. Occleshawe, Ralph Thelwall, Willm Holcroft, Thorns Burton, Thorns Heys, Richard Hampson, Richard Hayle, Richard Woodcocke, George Doson, Roger Leigh

Richard Bate, Hugh Lancheshire-servants

Names which have not taken the Protestation within Winwick aforesaid as followeth:—

Raph Coocke, Thorns Golden, John Golden, Henry Golden, Raph Golden, Richard Spakman Richard Taylor, Henry Orford, jun John Vrmston, Richard Hey,Gawther Bretherton, Willm Bretherton, Raph Partiton, Thorns Spakeman, jun. Thorns Plumley

The foregoing lists give 97 as the number of the male inhabitants of the specified age in Winwick-with-Hulme, which much exceeds the number of such persons to be found there now. Most of the old names are gone, and but few are left in the place now. The numbers in other parts of the parish were :-

Protestors and Non-Protestors.
Southworth and Croft……………………………………..99
Houghton Middleton and Arbury ……………………..59
Lowton (62 non-prot.) …………………………………..155
Kenion………………………………………………………….. 4
Goulbourne………………………………………………….. 83
Others…………………………………………………………. 12
Culcheth …………………………………………………….210
Newton, " Borough "of ………………………………..188

The great civil war had now (1642) begun in earnest, and Herle, who had always leaned to the Presbyterians, ranged himself on the Parliament side, and thus unhappily became opposed to the Earl of Derby and James Lord Strange, his patrons, who were persons of the greatest influence in Lancashire and had espoused the opposite side. The royalists having garrisoned Warrington, and Sir John Fortescue, its Roman Catholic owner, having fortified and provisioned Winwick Hall, in which he was living, Herle’s position, who up to this time had done his duty manfully, became so embarrassing that he betook himself to London, which he and many of his brethren found at this time to be a sanctuary, and the parish was left to his curates, some of whom had been his predecessor’s able assistants Gee and Norman, and to Dr. Nicholson, who had been with him since 1630 and remained with him at this time.

On 25th April, 1642, when a list was made out of orthodox divines (at the head of which was Archbishop Usher), which was presented to the House to be consulted touching the reformation of church government and liturgy, it seems strange not to find in the list Herle’s name, as he must have been well known as a sound divine.(105)

Herle’s reputation, which stood so high " as a painful and godly preacher," soon led to his being constantly employed in the larger sphere to which he had now removed ; and on the 30th November, 1642, at the summons of the House of Commons, he preached before them at their monthly fast a sermon which he called "apayre of compasses for Church and State." On the title page of the sermon, which was published, the author calls himself Rector of Winwick. In 1642-3, Herle proffered to preach every Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock in the new church in Tothill Fields, and the House of Commons "allowed and approved of this free offer of the learned and orthodox divine," and about the same time he was also appointed one of the morning lecturers at Westminster Abbey.

In the same year that the ordinance passed against the liberty of unlicensed printing, which called forth against it Milton’s celebrated discourse called " Areopagitica," Herle, who must have already taken the solemn league and covenant, was made a licenser of works on divinity, which made him obnoxious to Milton’s censure against such an officer, and caused him other trouble.(106) Fuller, author of the " Church History," had published a sermon on reformation before the licensing began, and Mr. Saltmarsh intempe-rately attacked it in a work which received Mr. Herle’s imprimatur as licenser, at which Fuller was hurt; and writing upon it he says, "As I dare not defend all the doctrine delivered in Mr. Herle’s own books, so I will not inveigh against him lest in me it be interpreted a revenge on his memory for licensing a book written against me by Mr. John Saltmarsh, wherein I was taxed for popish compliance, though since in myself still the same man I groan under a contrary representation." Herle, in afterwards editing a short tract, being the substance of three sermons on Ahab’s fall by his prophet’s flatteries to make amends for licensing Saltmarsh’s book, dedicated the work " to his worthily much esteemed and choicely learned friend Mr. Thomas Fuller, B.D., late preacher of God’s word at the Savoy." Fuller accepted the dedication as putting an end to their passage of arms.

There were, however, passages of other arms which had compelled Mr. Herle to flee from Winwick, and must have made him feel that he had fallen on evil times. The civil war, which had broken out the year before he became a licenser of divinity books, was now raging in the very middle of his old parish ; and on the 25th, or as some say on the 23rd May, 1643, which latter day, according to the Parliament papers, had been designed for fasting and prayer in Manchester to meet with the beginning of the enterprise against Warrington. Whilst the duty was in performing, tidings came of the taking of Winwick church and steeple, they on the steeple standing on terms till God sent " a deadly messenger out of a fowling piece to one of them;" also a strong hall, possessed by professed Roman Catholics, and stored with provisions, as if it had been purposely laid in both for our supply and ease. The taking of the church was effected by some Parliament troops commanded by Colonel Assheton, who, on their march to attack Warrington, finding a party of royalists in possession of the church, which they had fortified, summoned them to surrender, when some of the royalists, who had ascended the steeple, offered to yield it upon terms, in answer to which they were fired upon by the enemy. Truth is the daughter of time, and the fact so profanely recorded of the wounded man falling from the steeple received a singular confirmation in 1854, when in digging a grave near to the steeple a skeleton was found with an iron bullet imbedded in its thigh bone. The next day after the surrender of the church the victors issued the following warrant:—

"These are to will and require and immediately to charge and command you that, immediately upon the receipt hereof, you summon and require all men, and others of ability within your townes, to come and appear before us at Winwick upon Fryday next, being the 26th of May [by the houre of …. of the clocke in the afforenoone, to lende and contribute money…..of Parliamant……if they will avoyd……of theire estats and securinge of their persons…..p’voyd and….. . able men furnished with spads and mattocks and 3 days’ p’vicion of . . . . . for such service for the …. as shall be appointed them ; and further that you shall gather in and p’voyd…..victuals for p’vicion of our armes and bringe it and the ….. in to-morrow morninge to Bewsey hall, as you will answer the contrary at your uttermost p’ill. Given under our hands this 24th day of May, 1643.—T. Stanley, Richard [Holland] ; Peter Edgerton; John Houcrofte.–To the Constables of Sothworth-with-Croft."

Mr. Herle, who in 1643 was elected a member of the assembly of divines at Westminster, was much in and about London at this time, and so escaped seeing his fine church thus desecrated by a carnal warfare.
Winwick hall having fallen, Colonels Holland and Holcroft, the parliamentary commanders, wrote to Herle to come down and take possession of it, and they left in it a guard of soldiers, who remained there half a year ; but Herle, the house being none of his, instead of taking possesion of it himself, and acting as he says by the injudicious advice of his friends, permitted a sequestration to be put on the living, on the ground that it belonged to Sir John Fortescue, a recusant, who was in possession of it in right of his wife and her late sister, and so Sir John’s property became sequestered, and Herle continued to receive his £225 per annum.

Herle, before 1643, had written a paper against Dr. Feme’s celebrated case of conscience touching rebellion ; and in the same year, upon the discovery of what was called Waller’s plot, on the 30th May, the Parliament set apart the 15th June to be kept as a day of general thanksgiving for " God’s great deliverance of the Parliament city and kingdom from the late mischievous conspiracy against all three," and Herle upon it preached before the House of Lords in Westminster Abbey his sermon called David’s song in three parts, in which he said, " I cannot but wonder that any English Protestant can be contented to fill his hands only with orders and declarations, while the papist in the land hath a sword in his." Herle printed this sermon describing himself as pastor of Winwick on its title page.

In 1644 there appeared a book, "The hypocrite discovered and cured by Samuel Torshell (the pastor of Bunbury), with an epistle to the assembly of divines about the discerning of spirits," to which Herle wrote a short recommendatory preface.

On the 12th September in the above year when by an order of Parliament collections were made to relieve the prevailing distress, part of the collections in the London churches were ordered to be paid to Mr. Herle and Mr. Case, to be transmitted by them to Mr. Hartley, of Manchester, who was to disburse them under the direction of Mr. Heyrick of that place and Mr. Ward of Warrington.

In the same year Herle wrote a tract called the Independency of Scriptures or the Independency of Churches, in which, though maintaining his preference for Presbyterian-ism, he showed more charity to the Independents than warden Heyrick, saying that "the difference between them did but ruffle the fringe not rend the garment." In the preface to this work he uses the word Methodists, a word which until Dr. Featley used it in a sermon preached at Lambeth on 3rd August, 1639, was perhaps not used before as the name of a sect, which perhaps led to its being adopted by the Wesleyans at a later period. In excuse for the shortness of this treatise he says " that it is no greater the little leisure of the times may be excuse enough ; men are loath with Archimedes to have their brains dashed out whilst they are in the midst of beating them about demonstrations ; besides, readers now a days look upon long books as upon long bills after the imprimis and an item or two glanced, throwing them aside for executors to examine at leisure more thoroughly. However, ’twas in all times in any subject by wisest men held better to say enough than all ; how much soever the tricubitary volumes of Jesuits (able sooner to wear out a cobbler’s thumb than a scholar’s nails, to score the margin) still protestant writers, Methodists, systematists, and but pamphlet pedlars we see the narrowest stuffs are most closely woven."

In 1645 Mr. Herle was appointed one of the seven Presbyterian ministers charged with the duty of holding a " morning exercise" in Westminster Abbey.(107)

In the same year the inhabitants of the chapelries petitioned the committee for plundered ministers, stating that having been so much plundered and impoverished of late they could no longer, as formerly, maintain their ministers, and begging to have a constant maintenance for them. Herle, who had liberally helped his brother ministers, supported the petition, and very shortly afterwards the tithes of the chapelries were distributed in certain proportions for the purpose, and Parliament sanctioned the arrangement.

On the 3rd June, 1646, in virtue of an order of Parliament of the 2nd May previous, it was directed that £40 a year out of the tithes of Culcheth, sequestered from Mr. Culcheth, a papist delinquent, should be paid to the officiating minister at Newchurch, he having but £5 a year from that chapel.

Dr. Twisse, the prolocutor of the Assembly of Divines, having died, Parliament, on 22nd July in the above year, elected Herle to be his successor. South, speaking of the corresponding officer in the Scotch Assembly, said he was "something greater than their King." The new prolocutor took part in the weighty debates on Church government and on the Directory for Public Worship; and he here acquired his character of a " deep divine," and was at the same time much commended for his moderation.

In the same year when the Lancashire Provincial Classis was established, on the 2nd October, Herle was set down as the minister and Robert Watmough and Giles Eden as the lay elders of Winwick, and John Ashton and George Aynsworth as the lay elders of Newton, while William Leigh is set down as the minister of Newchurch.(108)

The year 1646 was a busy time. In it there was thought that some accommodation might be come to with the King, and somewhat prematurely there arose discussion who would be the fittest persons to be his chaplains and to have the education of the King’s children; and Robert Baillie, of Glasgow, gave it as his opinion that among English divines to be selected there was none so fit to be placed at their head as Mr. Herle. In 1647 he with Stephen Marshall and others, went with the Parliamentary Commissioners to Scotland, to give the Scotch a right understanding of the affairs of England, when Wood says what they did there "was chiefly to give constant notice of the Scots’ resolution and the forwardness of their levies." Professor Dickson’s " Latin exposition of the apostolic epistles" having hung on the publisher’s hands, Herle and his party wrote an eulogium commending the edition of 1647; and their good opinion as scholars as well as divines helped the book off the bookseller’s shelves, no doubt to the author’s contentment.

Between the outbreak of the civil war and the King’s death Herle had been absent from Winwick, but after that sad event, and when he had obtained satisfaction for the losses he had sustained in the civil war, he again settled upon his living. On 20th June, 1650, when certain commissioners appointed under the Great Seal sat at Wigan, Winwick was found to be worth £445. 2s. a year from the tithes, of which Herle was to have about £245 ; and it was stated that the Earl of Derby claimed to be the patron. It was also found that there was a chapel in Newton, another in Ashton, and a third in Culcheth, and that each was fit to be made a parish church (the last named chapel to be called Newchurch). There was no chapel in Lowton ; but the commissioners thought one ought to be built for the townships of Lowton, Kenyon, and Golborne.(109)

The 17th, 18th, and 19th days of August, 1648, were memorable for the three days’ encounter of Cromwell with the Duke of Hamilton. On the last of these days, the Duke having made a final stand at Red Bank, and being there vanquished, fled with his horse; and here or at Warrington his foot laid down their arms. Hodgson says, the foot, about four or five thousand strong, ran into Winwick church, where a guard was set upon them.f But this story is incredible ; probably the troops who surrendered at Winwick, 1,000 or more, were marched into the church, and having there laid down their arms, were marched out at the opposite door.

Mr. Carlyle thus notices this battle:—The Duke of Hamilton, at the head of a large army, having entered England with the intention of restoring the King, was encountered by Cromwell near Preston on the 17th August, and the battle, a sort of running fight, in which the Duke was always worsted, continued for three days. His army made their last stand at Red Bank, near Winwick, where according to Sir James Turner (Dugald Dalgetty, as Mr. Carlyle persists in calling him), "they were commanded by a little spark in a blue bonnet, who performed the part of an excellent commander, and was killed on the spot." " Does any one," asks Mr. Carlyle, continuing the story, " know this little spark in the blue bonnet ? No one. His very mother has long ceased to weep for him now. Let him have burial and a passing sigh from us."(110) The question which Mr. Carlyle, in his moralizing, thuS asks, but does not answer, we believe we are able to answer for him, and to give "the spark in the blue bonnet" the name of Major John Cholm-ley, who is recorded to have been buried in the chancel of Winwick church, on the 3rd September, 1648, and who, of all who fell, is the only person mentioned to have been buried after the battle.

The only relics of the battle are a large handsome spur, a few cannon balls and two coins kept in the Warrington Museum, and some camp kettles which are preserved in Winwick. At a much later period (15th September, 1665) Roger Lowe, the diarist, says he found a sadder memorial of the battle, a head which had ever since remained unburied, and that he took it and buried it. One of the traditions of the battle is that Cromwell’s horses were stabled in the house formerly called the White Horse. These entries, which occur in the register at a. somewhat later date, refer to some Winwick people who, after the defeat at Red Bank, returned to Scotland to wait for better times—

" March 2, 1650, Henry Beach dyed the 2nd of this month, at Hamble-ton, in Scotland;" and "James Barton died 16th of this month, and was buried at Hambleton, in Scotland." These Winwick men, who had thus retired to Scotland, had doubtless been in Monroe’s contingent which was cut off from the rest of the army, and not having been in the fight escaped into Scotland. In his first letter from Warrington Cromwell says, with a sneer, " Monroe is about Cumberland with the horse that ran away."

In August, 1651, the King, on his advance into the kingdom from Scotland, arrived in the neighbourhood of Winwick on the 15th. He slept at Bryn, and on the same day, at Ashton, he signed a commission appointing Edward Woogan to be colonel.(111) The next day, though the register makes no mention of it, the King passed through Winwick to Warrington, and fought his way over the bridge, Harrison retiring before him. On the same evening he encamped at Higher Whitley, in Cheshire, and there probably on the following day Lord Derby, who had landed in Wyre Water on the 15th, had an interview with him, and the next day the Earl and General Massey had a meeting with the leading Presbyterians at Warrington, to which meeting Herle was summoned.(112) Herle, who was supposed to have considerable influence with his party, obeyed the summons and attended the meeting, but his party insisted on terms which Lord Derby and Massey could not listen to, and the meeting was a failure. After the battle of Worcester he, with a number of other ministers and elders, amongst whom was Mr. Gee, being charged with having taken an active part against the Commonwealth, were seized and conveyed to London. They were all committed to prison, and Heyrick the warden of Manchester one of their number, narrowly escaped being put to death.(113) The next year Herle was again at his benefice, and Winwick had the high honour of giving the celebrated John Howe to the Church. Howe, who was born at Loughborough in 1630, had spent his boyhood and schooldays at the free school at Winwick, where he was prepared for the university by Mr. Gorse, the master. In his 17th year he entered at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but in 1648, when he was in the middle of his university course, he left Cambridge for Oxford, and having first been Bible clerk at Brazenose, he became afterwards Fellow and Chaplain of Magdalen College. So long ago as Dec, 1644, an ordinance of Parliament had passed empowering. Herle and others to ordain ministers in Lancashire, and he continued in the same office when Presby-terianism was established, and he was the foremost man of his classis, and in 1652 when Howe was ordained after the Presbyterian form at Winwick, " Herle," who took a principal part in his ordination, was " probably assisted by the ministers of the several chapels in his large parish, for Howe used to say there were few men whose ordination had been so truly primitive as his, having been devoted to his work by a primitive bishop and his officiating presbytery. "(114) But the Presbytery and its classes had been then established, and it may therefore be doubted whether the ordination was conducted by Herle and the ministers of the dependent chapels.

It is an honour to Winwick to have had the education and ordination of Howe, whom Baxter called " a very judicious godly man, of no faction, but of Catholic healing principles." Cromwell wisely made him his chaplain, and not fearing the face of man he never failed to discharge his duty to the Protector, while he left the issue to God. He had a most catholic spirit, as he showed when Fuller, an episcopalian and a staunch royalist, appealed to him. Fuller, who had been appointed to the rectory of Waltham, having to satisfy the committee of Tryers before he could enter upon it, applied to Howe—"You see," he said, "I am a somewhat corpulent man, and I am to go through a very straight passage; I beg you to give me a shove, and help me through." And Howe gave him such advice as enabled him to satisfy his examiners without crossing his own conscience. Howe asked so many favours of Cromwell for others that Cromwell once said to him, " I wonder when the time will come that you will ask something for yourself;" to which he replied, " My Lord, my turn is always come when I can serve another." Howe preached before Richard Cromwell’s last Parliament " On man’s duty in glorifying God." And Dr. Watts,who reverenced Howe, wrote an ode in his honour. John Grice, of Abram, yeoman, by his will dated 28th September, 1653, left £3 15s. od. a year for ever to buy 112 yards of linen cloth to be given to such 45 poor people of Winwick as the minister should think stood in most need of it. In the same year Herle must have felt some of his church functions usurped, for on the 29th September in that year an ordinance was passed directing all marriages to be solemnized before justices of the peace—(Scobell’s Acts)—and a marriage of this sort is recorded in the same year to have taken place at Winwick before John Atherton, Esquire, Justice of the Peace. In 1654 Herle again appeared in print, and published his " Worldly Policy and Moral Prudence: The vanity and folly of the one, the solidity and usefulness of the other." In the same year he was appointed an assistant to the commissioners for ejecting scandalous ministers and schoolmasters in Lancashire, being then held in high esteem by his party. He lived in troublesome times, when it was difficult for a good man to keep the even tenour of his way, and when the administration of his parish of Winwick must have been one of great difficulty. Society was in a continual ferment, and those whose principles were most settled had to contend with those whose principles of a different kind were as firm, and who had besides both a strong will and a strong arm. Winwick was one of the earliest scenes of a struggle between the rival parties in the civil war. But Herle was now drawing to the close of his long and troublous occupation of the living of Winwick; and on the 29th September, 1659, the register thus records his burial:—" Buried, Mr. Charles Herle, rector." A full account of his writings will be found in Wood’s Athense, by Bliss, iv. 477, Watts’ Bibliotheca, Fuller’s Worthies, and Carew’s Cornwall. Wood, however, is wrong in ascribing • to him " Micro-cosmography," for that is the work of John Earle, Bishop of Salisbury.(115) Herle’s strong Presbyterian views did not belong to his family name ; for Thomas Herle, the Warden of Manchester in 1578, was notorious for his complaint of Mr. Darker for preaching Puritanical doctrines, (116) Rector Herle left a son, Edward Herle, who, however, was not the Captain Edward Herle, one of the Parliamentary Commissioners appointed to treat with Lord Hopton in Cornwall in 1646. If Herle had lived another year he would have seen changes still stranger than any of those he had yet witnessed while Rector of Winwick. He went down to the grave with the well-deserved character of an excellent Christian minister. His moderation as prolocutor of the Assembly of Divines was highly commended by all parties. Fuller said of him that he was one so much the Christian, the scholar and the gentleman, that he could unite in affection with those who were disjoined from him in judgment; and Howe, whom he had ordained and who must have known him long, ever spoke of him with great respect.

A lady named Margaret Herle was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1647, near which Herle was residing. If, as is probable, she was the rector’s wife, he lost her at a time of great anxiety, which must have embittered his loss. She bore him a son, Edward, who was born at Winwick in April, 1632, and baptised there 23rd of that month; and who, in 1688, married Mrs. Dorothy Partington, at Manchester. Edward became a justice of the peace in Lancashire. The rector’s second son, Henry, also born at Winwick in 1633, who was afterwards a merchant at Truro, left issue a son Charles, afterwards Captain Herle of Truro, who died in that town without issue, and with him the male line of the family became extinct. Herle had two daughters, Margaret and Margery. The baptism of these four out of ten children are entered in the Winwick parish register.


(94) See the case in the library in Exeter Coll., Cat. 32.
(95) Hist. Chesh., i. 222.
(96) Court and Times of Charles I., p. 38.
(97) Calamy’s Nonconform., ii. 299.
(98) Hist. Lanc , iii. 475.
(99) Scobell’s Acts.
(100) Hollingworth’s Manchester, 125.
(101) Athenae Oxon., ii. 258, and iii. 504; Hunter’s life of Heywood, 89 ; Martin-dale’s Life, Chet. So., 90.
(102) The hall was not then occupied by the rector, but by Sir Edward Stanley, the lessee of the living.
(103) Stanley Papers, Chet. So., p. iii., v. i.xliii.
(104) Clarandon’s Hist, of the Rebellion, iii. 181
(105) Peacock’s Army Lists, p. 61.
(106) Oldmixon’s Hist. Eng., ii. 231.
(107) Stanley’s West. Abbey, 505
(108) Hist. Lanc, ii, 39.
(109) Hist. Lanc, iv. 812. f Civil War Tracts, Chetham So., 264.
(110) Cromwell’s Letters, vol. i. 360.
(111) Original penes Whitehall Dod, esquire.
(112) Seacome’s Mem. of the House of Stanley, 128-9.
(113) Manchester Recorder, 22.
(114) Macray’s Lecture on Howe.
(115) Boase and Courtenay’s Biblia Cornubiensis.
(116) MSS. in C.C. Lib., Cambridge Cat., page 166.




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