Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 6

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


On the very edge of Winwick, and just outside the boundary, there is a place called Hermitage (or more popularly Armishaw) Green, which, no doubt, obtained its designation from some hermit who in former times had made it his station, where, in return for a pater noster, he might obtain alms from the many pilgrims who came to pay their orisons at St. Oswald’s well. The brethren of the house of Hermit Friars, of the order of St. Augustine at Warrington, had a station at Appleton, to catch travellers who came from the south, and it was probably these same hermit friars who stationed one of their body on the borders of Winwick, to collect the alms of the faithful ; for the hermits had no endowments and might have wanted bread, if they had neglected to take advantage of bridges, thoroughfares, and holy places, where pence were to be earned by those prayers which, while they hindered no journeys, helped to kindle devotion. The Canons regular of the order of St. Augustine at Nostel, the owners of "Winwick, and the rectors of the church, looked with an eye of pity, akin to scorn, upon the hermit friars, who, though called after the same saint as themselves, were yet mendicants, and it was probably this reason which led the friars to plant themselves outside the boundary of their rich brethren, the Canons.

As to the time when the hermit or hermit friar first came to the place near Winwick, where his name still lingers, we shall not be wrong if we place it about the middle of the thirteenth century, when the hermit friars at Warrington seem to have first built their house, and the Winwick hermit’s last knell rang out at his departure after the fall of the lesser religious houses, when he quitted the place and left there nothing but his name. Towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, the riches which had flowed into the religious houses had produced upon their inmates such damaging habits of pride and luxury, as led to a new direction being given to religious gifts, leading the donors, instead of endowing monasteries, to found chantries, such as that of the Holy Trinity in Winwick church, which arose out of this feeling and had this beginning. This chantry was founded by Sir Gilbert de Haydoc, of Haydoc, in the parish of Winwick, knight, who in 4 Edward III., 1330, presented his petition to Ricard de Northburgh, formerly archdeacon of Richmond, and at that time bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, for a licence to build and endow it. And in the same year for the good of his soul after death, and for the souls of his father and mother, for the souls of all his ancestors and of all the faithful deceased, and for the increase of Divine love, the same Sir Gilbert obtained the king’s licence by a writ of ad quod damnum, which issued 2 Edward III., together with the consent of the rector of Wynquek and others, to found such chantry. He thereupon granted in pure and perpetual alms, and for the sustentation of a chaplain, to say Divine offices in the chapel of Holy Trinity, in the parish church of Wynquick, 8 messuages, 7 tofts, 41 acres, and 3 roods of land, with the appurtenances, situate in Newton-in-Makerfield, and also 2 messuages, 2 tofts, and 3 acres of land in the same village, which Adam de Walton held for the term of his life. To have and to hold to the said chaplain and his successors for ever, to celebrate for the soul of the said Gilbert and for the souls of others in the said chapel, and to sustain the chantry service there, saving to the mother church of Wynquick all accustomed rights, which it was not his wish in any respect to diminish. And he ordained that a fit and honest chaplain at the time of saying mass should especially pray for his (the founder’s) soul while he lived, and also for the soul of the venerable Father Roger, by the grace of God bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. And after the founder’s death in every mass, privately and publicly, he was to pray for him by name and on every day, except on double festivals at matins, vespers, and other canonical hours, was to say Commendacionem, Placebo and Dirige for the soul of the said Gilbert de Haydock and others. The chaplain was to provide such chalices, books, vestments, and other ornaments as the said chantry might need, or might be required for the greater glory of God, those first used being provided by the founder himself. The chaplain was to pray for all those whose names might be notified during the life of the founder, and after his death by Mathew de Haydock, his son and heir. The founder’s heirs were to nominate a fit chaplain after the death of Humfrey Pinder, who was to receive during the term of his natural life, even though he became infirm and unable to discharge his duties, a fixed and certain salary, in order that he might be decently supported out of the endowment of the said chantry until the impediment should cease. If on a vacancy a fit priest was not appointed by the founder’s heir within three months, the nomination was to lapse to the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry for the time being. Hi is testib. Thorn, de Latham, Willielm. le Botiller, Rob’to de Langton militib, Gilbert, de Southworth, Willielm. de Ines, A$a de P ember -ton, Simon, de Holland, et aliis. Datum ap’d Haydock die Lune p’x ante fest. Nativ. D’ni. A.r.r. Edward "III. a conquestu quarto 24 Dec. 1330.(137) Beyond the advantage which the founder of such a chantry had in having always a priest at his command, who, besides being his adviser and friend, was bound to commemorate him and his family in his prayers, it was a service to the rector or parish priest to have a fellow-workman in his church, who on an emergency could assist in the public services.

I.—Humfrey Pindere, who was appointed the first priest of the Holy Trinity at Winwick, on 24 December, 1330, and had probably before been the founder’s adviser about its foundation, was, from the words used about him in the deed, then an old man, and he seems to have died before the 3rd Kalends of June (30 May), 1334, for on that day his successor was appointed.

On Monday next, after the feast of the nativity, 6 Ed. III. (29 Dec, 1332), Sir Gilbert de Haydoc augmented his chantry by granting to Sir Peres de Wynquik, his chaplain, the feudal services of Wm. Fitz-Henry de Haydoc, Richard de Cayley, Robert Fitz-Wm. de Goldburne, Henry de Haydoc and Hugh his brother, Hen. Fitz-Richard de Bret-telond, Richard del Spaine, Richard Walle, Henry de Bulling, John Fitz-John le Smith, de Newton-in-Maker-field, and Cecilie, who was the wife of Hen. le Hasty, being free tenants, who held of the said Gilbert in Haydoc, Warrington, Walton-in-le-Dale, Newton-in-Maker-field, and Bold, and also the reversion of a messuage and six acres of land.(138)

II.—Sir Peres de Wynquik, chaplain, was appointed on the 3 Kalends of June (30 May), 1334, by Sir Gilbert de Haydoc, the second chantry priest of the chantry of Holy Trinity at Winwick. Sir Gilbert de Hay-doc, who was a religious man and had a value for ordinances, on November 2nd, 1348, paid Richard Pygas, prior of the Carmelites at Chester, 17 marks, a large sum in those days, to have a perpetual chantry in their house, and he also left money towards the building of Win-wick and Warrington Churches.

III.—William de Rokeden, who was the third priest of the chantry of the Holy Trinity at Winwick, appointed by Sir Gilbert de Haydoc, was still chaplain there in 22 Ed. III., 1343, when he executed a deed and sealed it with his seal, a copy of which may be seen in the Warrington Museum ; but he died before the 2nd Ides of April (12 April), 1358.

IV.—Richard de Heton, the fourth priest of the chantry, was presented by John de Haydoc on the 12th April, 1358, after the death of William de Rokeden.

V.—Radulf Wabbley, the fifth priest of the chantry, was presented by John de Haydoc on the resignation of Richard de Heton on the 6th Nones of May (2nd May), 1361.

VI.—William de Wygan the sixth chantry priest, was presented by John de Haydoc on the 7th Kalends of April (26 Mar.), 1370, probably after the death of Radulf de Wabbley. This chaplain became of use to his patron, who appointed him a trustee of his family estates, and on Monday, on the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, 46 Ed. III., 3 April, 1372, at Newton-in-Makerfield, William de Wygan, Capell. de Wynwyk, conveyed lands in Newton to John de Haydoc and Joanna his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas de Dutton.

VII.—Matthew de Haydoc, chaplain, was appointed chantry priest of the Holy Trinity at Winwick by the guardians of Piers Legh, esquire, an infant.

VIII.—Matthew Fowler, chaplain, was presented to the chantry of the Holy Trinity in Winwick by Sir Peter Legh, knight.(139) Matthew Fowler was still priest of the chantry when the patron having decided to augment its emoluments, by a deed dated on nth Nov., 18 Ed. IV. (1478), granted and conveyed to Thomas Molyneux, Esq., John Molyneux, clerk, Wm. Ireland, Esq., Thomas Molyneux, senr., Henry Kighley, Tho. Kighley, Wm. Molyneux, Thomas Ireland, and Peter Ireland, all the lands, messuages, and tenements, which Wm. Fulshaw held at the will of the donor in Newton-in-Makerfield ; and also all the messuages, lands, and tenements, which Robert Gethskolles held in Fearnhead, and all the fields in Low-ton, which Thomas Turner held, and one croft in Hynd-ley. To hold the same in order that all the annual rents and profits arising therefrom might be paid to Matthew Fowler, chaplain, celebrating Divine service in the chapel of Holy Trinity, in Winwick, for the term of his life, and after his death might pay all the rents and issues of the same to William Gam, chaplain, celebrating Divine service in the chapel aforesaid, for the term of his life, and afterwards to all their successors, being chaplains nominated by him, the said Peter Legh, and his heirs or assigns celebrating in the said chapel. Witnesses, Jas. Stanley, archdeacon, C. Rich. Bold, Rich. Kighley and others.(140)

Towards the end of the Legh MS., which was drawn up by the above Sir Peter Legh, there occurs a passage from which it appears that he had contemplated the above augmentation of the chantry so long before as the year 1465, though he only carried it out in the year of his death. The passage is as follows:—

"Et prcedictus Petrus Legh proponit gratia Dei mediante legare dicta messuagia cum terris prcescriptis cantarics antecessorum suorum ecclesice de Whynwyk cappellcc de Haydoc in dicta ecclesia ad orandum pro anima sua, uxor is parentum antecessorum et benefactorum suorum. Amen."—(The lands were no doubt those mentioned in the text.)

IX.—William Gam, who succeeded Matthew Fowler as the ninth priest of the Haydoc Chantry, in pursuance of the deed made by Sir Peter Legh, was presented to it by Sir Peter’s grandson, another Sir Peter Legh, knight and priest.

X.—Sir Christopher Houghton, who was presented by the same Sir Peter Legh on igth May, 20 Hen. VII., 1505, probably succeeded on the death of William Gam.

XI.—Robert Garnet, who was presented by the same Sir Peter Legh on the death or resignation of Houghton, died on the 15th May, 1507. Opposite to this date occurs this entry in the Legh Missal:—" Obitus Roberti Garnet capel lani cantarice Sanctce Trinitatis apud Wynwick p. se et bond societate ac plena mente."—(This if meant to ask a prayer on his behalf is obscurely worded.)

XII.—Dominus Laurentius Penington, who occurs as the next chantry priest, though there must have been one or more others between him and Garnet, was presented, in 1532, by Peter Legh, esquire, the son of Sir Peter Legh, knight and priest. Penington survived until 1548, when he was 48 years of age, and was then said to be lame and in the enjoyment of a pension of £3 a year, which, small as it now seems, was not so small then.

XIII.—Sir Thomas Coke, the next priest of the Haydoc Chantry, was probably appointed by Peter Legh, Esq., afterwards Sir Peter Legh, knight, of Lyme and Haydoc. He seems to have been quarrelsome, for he was charged in 28 Hen. VIII. with having assaulted John Homelaw at Winwick.(141)

XIV.—Dominus Henricus Johnson, who for a long time had been curate of Winwick, was appointed in 1547 priest of the Haydoc Chantry by the same Sir Peter Legh. He is the same person commemorated in the inscription on the cornice of the church when it was repaired in 1530 and there called " curatus."

These names, collected almost wholly from the Legh papers, are the only ones that have been found of the persons who were appointed to the Haydoc Chantry at Winwick, though, as the dates show, there must have been some others. In the year 1548, the number of "houselying people" in Winwick parish (communicants, we suppose) are said to have amounted to 1,000 persons. When Queen Mary came to the throne and restored the chantries, the chantry priest at Winwick was allowed £2 a year.(142)

The Legh Chantry.

An Act of 23 Hen. VIII., c. 10 (1537), having made it unlawful for any person in future to charge his lands, for the purpose of a chantry, for a longer period than twenty years, virtually put an end to the founding of perpetual chantries, and Peter Legh, Esq., of Bradley, like his ancestors, anxious to establish such a chantry, was obliged to yield compliance to the Act, and to limit the new endowment, which he intended to make for a term of years, and by a deed dated 10th January, 1538, he accordingly conveyed lands of VIII. per annum, in Dalton, to find a fit chaplain to celebrate a mass in Winwick Church for seven years after his decease for the soul of him the said Peter Legh, and his ancestors.(143)

The Stanley or Rector’s Chantry.

It is supposed, from a part of the endowment being a house in Lichfield, that this chantry was founded by Edward Stanley, son of Sir John (a younger brother of Thomas, first Lord Stanley), Archdeacon of Chester and Rector of Winwick, in 1453; but it might have been founded under the first Earl’s will, of 28th July, 1504, by which he directed that a priest should be provided for a year in the churches of Winwick and Warrington, to say mass for the souls of those whom he had in any wise offended and all Christian souls.

1540.—Dns. William Stanley, conduct, pro comite de Derbie. He was 56 in 1548. In 1553 he had a pension of £3. os. gd.

The Gerard Chantry.

The Gerard Chantry in Winwick Church had no permanent foundation, and is unnoticed by any of the Royal Commissioners, (144)


(137) Reg. Northbury, Lichfield.
(138) Lanc. mss. vol. 38, p. 237.
(139) Legh deeds.
(140) Legh mss.
(141) Calendar to Duchy Pleadings p. 156
(142) Hist. Lanc i, 500.
(143) lbid.
(144) Lanc. Chantries, Chet. So. p. 100.




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