Manchester During the Civil War




Old North-West England Families (8)

Alphabetical Listing - continued...

The Prestwich Family of Clifton

The now demolished Hulme Hall at Worsley was both the one-time seat of the Prestwich Family and the residence of the Lord of the Manor of Manchester. In 1291, Adam de Prestwich purchased the Manor of Pendlebury (known also as Shoresworth) later to be passed on to the Radclyffe family of Ordsall Hall (see below). Sometime around 1340 Richard de Langley married Joanna, sole heiress of the Prestwich family, and subsequently the Prestwich and Heaton estates came into the possession of the Langleys. In earlier times, the Prestwich family had been wealthy vintners, with extensive land holdings in the north of Manchester as far as Farnworth (now in Bolton), but lost most of their lands and fortune during the Civil Wars.

The Radclyffes of Ordsall

Sometime in the early 15th century, Elizabeth Radclyffe had married her cousin Robert Radclyffe and built their first home at Foxdenton Hall. The Radclyffe (or Radcliffe) family were to become major landowners in Ordsall, Prestwich and Salford, as well as owning Wythenshawe Hall and Park in early medieval times. The earliest part of Ordsall Hall dates from just before 1361 when Sir John Radclyffe (1354-1362) was granted a licence for his chapel at Ordsall. Sir John had fought for the bravely and victoriously in France and was awarded one of the most noble family mottos in the land: "Caen, Crecy, Calais". He was also responsible for the introduction of Flemish Weavers and as such began England and the Northwest's long association with the textile industry. In 1341 Richard de Radclyffe sold a piece of land in Prestwich called Roden (later to be known as Rooden) and nowadays as Heaton Park. The last of the family was Charles Robert Eustace who died in 1953 and brought to an end the long line of Radclyffes.

The Rigby Family of Standish

The name Rigby comes from the old Norse meaning "Ridge Farm" and almost certainly is derived from the place called Rigby in Lancashire. The earliest known spelling of the surname is that of Gilbert de Rigebi, which was dated 1208, and a little later in 1285 of one Henry de Ryggeby. It is recorded that in 1339 Ambrose de Wrightington leased to Edmund de Rigby and Joan his wife a parcel of land at Smithscroft, (Towneley). The Rigbys also appear in connexion with Arley as early as 1483, though this was later sold on to the Standish family. The Rigbys owned significant lands around Standish, Coppul, Chorley and Duxbury by the 16th century. Harrock Estate Wrightington and Parbold was long held by the Rigby family. Unfortunately, they were staunch Royalists during the Civil Wars, and subsequently Alexander Rigby's estate was confiscated by Parliament, which ruined the family's fortunes, and Alexander died penniless and disgraced in the Fleet Prison in 1713. Burgh is said to have been sold by the Rigbys in 1727. The church of St Mary the Virgin was built for the worship of the Rigby family of Middleton Hall in Goosnargh.

The Sandbach Family of Sandbach

The township of Sandbach in Cheshire, (probably originally spelt 'Sandbecd' ), is mentioned as having a church and its own priest in the Domesday Book in 1086. Consequently, it is a fair assumption that the family took its name from the town.
In the 13th Century, during the reign of King John, Sandbach and the surrounding lands were held by Richard de Sandbach, who was made High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1230. His brother, Thomas, was also Rector of Sandbach. Thomas's son, Randle, was made Lord of the (small) Manor Budenhall near Congleton. The succeeding centuries saw the ownership of the Manor of Sandbach passing out of the family to the Leghs of Booth and then the Radclyffes of Ordsall who held it for about 250 years. Margaret de Sandbach, daughter of Sir Richard, had married the powerful Sir William de Brereton, (whose family had accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of Britain), sometime after 1226, and thereafter the families were closely linked. (See Brereton Family). Later, sometime shortly before 1313, a later Richard de Sandbach became rector of the College at Chaplains located in the Church of St Mary and Thomas the Martyr at Upholland near Wigan. Thereafter the family seems to have been assimilated, along with their lands and wealth, into other noble families of the county through marriage and subsequent references to the Sandbach family are few and far between.

The Sankey Family of Little Sankey

The Sankey family name has been variously spelled Sonkye, Sonkey, Sanchi, Zanchey or Sanki. Some mention of the Sankeys will be found during documents belonging to the reign of Henry III. Little Sankey Hall was the ancestral family seat, and the family were wealthy and influential landed gentry of the county of Lancashire, though the old manor was transferred to Cheshire in 1974. The family name is probably derived from the village of Sankey and the river of that name in the locality. The name probably derives from the 7th century English "Sand ig" , meaning a sandy place, or even an island of sand in a fen or bogland.
First known mention of the name is Sonkey in 1086, though one Gerard de Sanchi, Lord of the manor of Sankey, the first known forebear of the family of any distinction, in an ancient record "Testa de Nevill" , during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307).
In about 1250, one Robert Banastre, Baron of Newton, granted land in the district of Lowton to William de Sonkye. In 1242 there is mention of a Roger de Sankey although his direct descendants are unknown.
The Sankey family arms are over the front door of the local parish church (later obscured by whitewash). One family member is known to have fallen at the battle of Agincourt, and another died at Flodden.
As late as 1670 there is an instance of the name being spelled as Zanchey. There are various recorded spellings of the surname, including Sonchi in the year 1180, Sanki in the tax rolls and registers of 1202, and as Sonkey in 1228, Roger de Sonky in 1299, John Sankey of Dublin in 1562, and Edward Sankey whose will was probated in Chester in 1609.

The Savage Family of Rocksavage

The Savage family were a powerful an influential family in Cheshire before the 18th century. Since 1368 they had been lords of half the Manor of Cheadle, (later known as Cheadle Moseley), and were the original owners of Bradshaw Hall, having been built by Sir John Savage during the reign of King Henry VIII. In 1569 Sir John built Rocksavage House at Clifton, near Runcorn in Cheshire, which became their main county seat. In 1674, this great red sandstone house was listed in the Hearth Tax returns as having 50 hearths. During the English Civil Wars, a later John Savage, a devoted Royalist, lost Rocksavage to Parliamentarian forces, who looted and demolished much of the building. After the Restoration of Charles I, it was restored to the family and was completely renovated. Sir John's celebrated son-in-law, Sir William Brereton also built Brereton Hall as a replica of Rocksavage. Sir Thomas Savage who was made 1st Viscount Savage married Elizabeth Darcy, 'Countess Rivers' sometime in the early 17th century and the title Earl Rivers remained in the Savage family of several succeeding generations. By the 17th century, Thomas and Elizabeth Savage were members of the royal court, Thomas being Chancellor to Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, and his wife Elizabeth was one of her ladies of the bedchamber. Unfortunately, they fell dramatically from grace when they were imprisoned for debt. Though the main branch of the Savage family died out in the 18th century, (through marriage of females of the family line, and no male heir to continue it), and Rocksavage House ceased to exist two centuries ago, the name still survives - in 1998, HM Queen Elizabeth officially opened Rocksavage Power Station (now the Rocksavage Power Company Limited).

The Scarisbrick Family of Ormskirk

The Scarisbrick family, major county landowners, were described once as the 'richest commoners' in Britain. From 1238 they lived on the site of present day Scarisbrick and held powerful influences as one of the great families of Lancashire. One of the earliest references to the family name is 1230 when Scarisbrick was included in lands which Roger de Marsey sold to Ranulf, Earl of Chester. The family married extensively with other notable Lancashire families, including the Heskeths, Halsalls, Bradhaighs and Barlows. They were patrons of and made several grants to support Burscough Priory.
Their country seat, Scarisbrick Hall is a most beautiful house, and originally dated back to the time of King Stephen. The present building of 1867, thought by many to be one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in Britain, was designed by Pugin. Its 100 foot high clock tower dominates the landscape for many miles around. The hall remained in the possession of the Scarisbrick family until 1948, but is now used as the school premises of Kingswood College. Greaves Hall was also built for the Scarisbrick family. The District of Downholland remained part of the Scarisbrick estate until 1945 when the hall and the estate sold in various lots. The Scarisbrick family business seems to have been in leather, textiles and drysalter's trades, as well as having a paper-making business at Milnthorpe in Cumbria. The Scarisbrick family vault is in Ormskirk Church and the last member of the family to be buried there was Thomas Scarisbrick, the funeral taking place on the 26th July 1833.

The Seddon Family of Middleton & Manchester

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Sedan, dated 16 January 1521, when he married Elizabeth Greenehalghe, at Manchester, during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547). Recorded as Seddon and sometimes as Sedan, Sedden, Seden, and Seyden, this is an English surname originally associated with the county of Lancashire. It was locational and originated from a now "lost" place thought to have been situated in the Manchester area of Lancashire. There are no recordings extant of the early forms of the placename, but it is believed to mean "the broad, wide hill", from the Olde English pre-7th century "side", used in the sense of a hill-slope, with "dun", a hill. An estimated three thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since the 12th Century, due to such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and the enforced clearing and enclosure of rural lands for sheep pasture from the 15th Century on. Recordings of the surname from Lancashire Church Registers include the marriage of Richard Seddon and Alice Scholefeild on 13 January 1542, at Middleton near Oldham. Richard Seddon (1845-1906), Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born in St Helen's, Lancashire, and served an engineering apprenticeship before going to the Australian gold fields in 1863, and then on to New Zealand.

We are indebted to Beth Seddon Busby for providing this information on the Seddon Family.

Daniel Seddon of Farnwoth emailed further details of the Seddon family. He states that according to the Bridgewater Papers held in the University of Salford: "The earliest recording of the family name is that of Thonet and Edward Seddon, who were tenants of The Lords of Worlsey in 1446. Richard Seddon of Ringley is also recorded as having married a Joan Standish in 1473."

The Sherburne Family of Stonyhurst

The Sherburne family's ancient country seat was at Stonyhurst in Lancashire and had been so since around 1246. Variations on the surname include Sherburn and Shyrburne. Richard Sherburne (1460-1513) built the choir at Mitton church and was succeeded by his son, Hugh Sherburne (1480-1528). Thomas Sherburne (1505-1536), was High Sheriff of Lancashire and Richard Sherburne (1526-1594), was knighted and held various public offices including Lieutenant of Lancashire. He enlarged his estates and rebuilt the house at Stonyhurst and Mitton church. He retained his Catholic faith after the Reformation and his son, Richard Sherburne (1546-1629) bought the rectory and advowson of Mitton from James I to avoid problems with non-attendance at church. Richard Sherburne (1586-1667), married Elizabeth Walmsley (d.1666). In 1540 a Barony was granted to the Sherburnes. The family also had close connections with the Isle of Man. Richard Sherburne was deputy-governor in 1532, and his son, Sir Richard, was governor from 1580 to 1592. During the 1640s they were forced to flee to York when their estates were confiscated by Parliament on account of their Catholic faith and support for the Royalist cause during the English Civil Wars. Their son, Richard Sherburn (1626-1689), remained at Stonyhurst. Their daughter, Anne, married Marmaduke Constable, who was also Catholic and Royalist, and they lived with the couple on their Everingham estates. Their lands were passed down through several subsequent generations of the family until 1702 when the Sherburne estates then passed to Mary, the young wife of Thomas Howard, 8th Duke of Norfolk, ensuring that they would be, once and for all, into the ownership of the Dukes of Norfolk. Stoneyhurst Hall is now a Roman Catholic college.

The Shrigley Family - Macclesfield

Shrigley originally spelled " Shriggelegge" in 1285 was derived from the Old Englich "scric" and "leah". Scric is believed to refer to the grey backed shrike that was found in the woodland clearings in the Peak District of Pott Shrigley. Also sometimes spelled Shriggley. The Manor of Shrigley was first given to Horswin, Lord of the Manor and great-nephew of William the Conqueror. Horswin and his 5 brothers all had lands and titles given to them as part of the new Norman establishment after the Conquest of 1066, and these lands in the County of Cheshire were all held personally by William the Conqueror's family, the Macclesfield Forest was itself a Royal hunting forest. Shrigley hall, now an hotel, dates back over five centuries and was originally home to the Downes family until it was sold to William Turner, High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1821. Historically a private family house, Shrigley Hall opened as a hotel in 1989 and was carefully restored to its original beauty. The hotel sits high above the estate on the edge of the Peak District National Park and has exceptional views. See also: Downes family.

The Shuttleworth Family of Gawthorpe

The Shuttleworths were for several centuries an influential land-owning family in the Burnley area whose wealth came from wool weaving. They lived at Gawthorpe Hall, their family seat for some 400 hundred years and their estates date back to medieval times. The family name reflects a connection with the old woollen weaving tradition of the district, probably being derived from the old English word "schotil" ("shuttle"), a device still in evidence three times on the family Coat-of-Arms. The Shuttleworths numbered Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) as a family friend - she spent some time as a guest at Gawthorpe. Gawthorpe Hall is situated in Padiham on the edge of the Pennine Hills, standing in its own secluded wooded grounds on the banks of the river Calder. It began life as a 14th century so-called 'pele' tower, built as a defence against the invading Scots. Then, sometime between 1600 - 1605 for Sir Richard Shuttleworth, a wealthy Elizabethan barrister. Nowadays it is a compact three-storey largely Jacobean house.
One of the family's most celebrated members was Colonel Richard Shuttleworth (1587-1669). He was twice made High Sheriff of Lancashire, Member of Parliament for Preston and commander of the Parliamentarian Army of the Blackburn Hundred during the Civil Wars of 1642-49. After his death Gawthorpe was not occupied by a member of the family for 150 years, but several 'caretaker' occupants looked after the estate.
It was not until the 1850s that the Hall would see the family's return, when Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, the great Victorian reformer, commissioned Sir Charles Barry to carry out restoration and improvements to the house. More recently, in view of the exorbitant cost of upkeep of the Hall, Lord Charles Shuttleworth left Gawthorpe and moved to live at Leck Hall near Kirby Lonsdale in 1953. Today the Hall is a National Craft Centre, thanks initially to donations given by the Hon. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth (1886-1967) in the 1960s - she was the last of the family to live at Gawthorpe Hall. Her particular skills in the art of embroidery and lacemaking and the extensive collection she made have formed the basis of the nationally important textile collection that she formed. The Hall is now looked after by the National Trust and is leased to Lancashire County Council who partly let it as a College of Further Education. Lord Shuttleworth is currently the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire.

The Staffords of Botham & Eyam

The family branches of the Staffords and de Staffords of Botham and Eyam are numerous and are widely spread over many English counties, though strictly speaking, as a predominantly Derbyshire family, their place in this website is arguable, though on account of their Mellor connection they have been included here as a courtesy.
They trace their certain history back as far as Robert de Teoni, born in Rouen in Normandy in 1039, who was a standard bearer and cousin of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He was created First Baron de Stafford for services to the Conqueror. It is also likely that the family ancestry may trace back even earlier to one Sviedi Svidrasson, born in 675 AD at Maere in Norway. Generations of the de Staffords were subsequently born at Stafford Castle (in Staffordshire) and in the 11th and 12th centuries several were made Sheriffs of Staffordshire. By 1480 the 'de Stafford' surname had been dropped in favour of, simply, 'Stafford'. Botham Hall in the township of Mellor, about 8 miles southwest of Glossop, probably came into the possession of William de Stafford in 1380 through his marriage to its co-heiress, Margaret de Mellor, daughter of Roger de Mellor. The Botham estate was of modest size, and there are many gaps in the history of the family. While Botham was one of the Stafford's traditional country seats, the other branch at Eyam in Derbyshire probably began around 1200, when Richard de Stafford, a Templar to King Henry III, set up a home at Eyam Hall. Richard had been given the land by Sir Eustace de Thorstein, Lord of the Manor of Eyam, in gratitude for services rendered. Eyam stayed in possession of the family until the 16th century when it passed by marriage into the Bradshaw family and was renamed Bradshaw Hall. The Staffords, largely through marriage, acquired much property and lands over the years, eventually owning nearly all the property in the townships of Eyam, Foolow and the hamlet of Bretton, comprising many hundreds of acres. They were also lords and sole owners of the two manors of Calver and Rowland. In 1787 Botham Hall was purchased by Samuel Oldknow, the celebrated mill owner and cotton manufacturer of Mellor (Marple).

We are indebted to Geoffrey Stafford for supplying a detailed genealogy of his family, from which this extract was taken.

The Standishes of Lancashire

The start of the old Lancashire family of Standish came into being shortly after the Norman Conquest, when the Bussel family acquired the two adjacent villages of Stanedis and Longetre, (now known as Standish and Langtree) as gifts from a grateful William the Conqueror. Later, an elder daughter of the family, Juliana, married Radulphus de Stanedis, who took the name "de Standish". The family held the unbroken Lordship of the Manor of Standish over the following seven centuries (1220-1920). Later the name was simplified to Standish. The country seat of the family is at Standish Hall, which was first built on its present site in 1574 by Edward Standish. The family of Standish held extensive lands in Lancashire, including coal mining rights over their lands in Adlington, near Macclesfield. In 1840 Sir Thomas Standish of Duxbury is reported to have sold a coal mine in Duxbury for £8,000. Henry Noailles Widdrington Standish, the last Lord of the Manor, died without any heir at Contreville in France and the house of Standish came to an end.

The Stanleys of Knowsley & Lathom

The Stanleys were one of the great families of Lancashire whose main houses were at Knowsley (now in Merseyside) and Lathom in south-west Lancashire between Liverpool and Ormskirk. The family name derives from Adam de Stanley (1125-1200) who became Lord of the Manor of Stanley in Staffordshire, close to the Cheshire border. They also came to own extensive lands in the Isle of man and, in 1405, Sir John Stanley became First Lord of Man. The Stanleys had providentially joined the winning side during the Wars of the Roses and in 1485, Sir John had joined Henry of Lancaster against Richard III, and thereafter received several more estates in Cheshire in payment for his loyalty and support to the new king. In 1408 he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Eventually they were to hold extensive lands in Lancashire including Huyton, Prescott, Winwick and Ashton-in-Makerfield (now part of Wigan Metropolitan Borough), as well as being made Earls of Derby.

The Starkie Family of Huntroyde

The Starkies originally came from Barnton in Cheshire. It is recorded that in 1465, Edmund, son of William Starkie of Barnton, married Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of John de Simonstone whose family had held land in Simonstone since 1230. Already a powerful and influential family, it was Roger Nowell Starkie who presided at the trial of the so-called 'Lancashire witches' at Lancaster in 1612. The Starkies were sufficiently wealthy to provide arms for the local militia in 1574, and Edmund Starkie was summoned by the Queen's Council to lend money to Elizabeth I to defend the country against the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Edmund was the original builder of the family's country seat at Huntroyde. His grandson, John (1584 - 1665) inherited the Huntroyde estate in 1618 and went on to become one of the Chief Justices of the Peace in Lancashire, and in 1633 he was appointed Sheriff of Lancaster. John's eldest son Nicholas, a captain in the Parliamentary army, was killed at the siege of Hoghton Tower in 1643. During the Commonwealth period John Starkie was also appointed to the committee responsible for the confiscation and disposal of former Royalist lands.
Later, through marriage, the house at Hall i' th' Wood in Bolton, passed into the ownership of the Starkie family. Other inheritances and shrewd purchases added Simonstone, Shuttleworth Hall in Hapton, lands in Osbaldeston and Salesbury, property at Heaton near Horwich, and Westhoughton, estates in Pendle, Mearly, Pendleton and Heyhouses to be added to the Starkie family wealth and holdings. By the end of the 19th century, the Starkies were the owners of nearly 9,000 acres of land in north-east and central Lancashire. Nicholas Le Gendre Starkie (1799 -1865) was Member of Parliament for Pontefract from 1826 -32, but was also a prominent Freemason, being Provincial Grand Master for the Western Division of Lancashire. Well known and respected philanthropists, later family members donated churches in Padiham, Clowbridge, Higham and Hapton. In more recent times, Edmund Starkie (1871 -1958) who served as Captain in the Boer War, with his wife, were prominent local promoters of the Red Cross and St John's Ambulance Brigade, and gave Huntroyde to be used as a hospital for convalescent soldiers during the First World War. After On his death in 1958, the estate passed to his nephew, Guy Le Gendre. The house was partially demolished in 1969 and eventually sold in 1983.

The Stockports of Stockport

After the Invasion of 1066, Normal earls ruled their newly acquired lands with absolute power. They, in turn, created barons, exercising authority beneath them and responsible for raising armed men when they were required. One of those feudal barons was the Sir Robert, newly created Baron de Stockeport. It was his son Robert who would be largely responsible for the development of the town of Stockport, which still bears the family name. The de Stockport family virtually controlled the township over the next 600 years, obtaining a Charter in 1220 granting the burgesses of Stockport the right to elect their own mayor, without interference from their Earl or Baron.

The Sudell Family of Blackburn

Although the Sudell (sometimes spelled 'Sudel') family came from lowly beginnings and were of peasant stock and tradespeople, they have been associated with the development of the Borough of Blackburn for more than 400 years. John Sudell, who held chantry lands at Oozebooth in 1548, is the earliest member of whom any records are known, and a William Sudell was living in Blackburn during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His son was baptised at the parish church in September 1601. William Sudell was elected Governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1714. Around 1799 Henry Sudel, purchased the Woodfold estate and built Woodfold Hall in Mellor which was to develop into an extensive estate, apparently well stocked with deer and wildfowl. Several local estates were also purchased and by 1820 Henry Sudell was a millionaire. However, ill-advised speculation in continental and American markets led to major financial losses and in 1827 he was declared bankrupt and the family left Woodfold Hall to live at Ashley House near Bath , thus bring Sudell family influence in Lancashire to an ignominious end.

The Talbot Family of Bashall, Salesbury & Carr

The Talbot family traces their origins back to Richard de Talbot, who is mentioned in Domesday Book of 1086 as holding land from Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham.
The unfortunate King Henry VI of the house of Lancaster is recorded as having sought refuge from his enemies at Clitheroe and was betrayed to Edward IV by the Talbots of Bashall and Salesbury, including Thomas Talbot, son of Sir Edmund Talbot, together with his cousin John, to whom Henry surrendered his sword. The Talbots were rewarded for their work by King Edward, receiving all their costs and charges. Additionally, Sir Thomas Talbot received the sum of £100, and a yearly pension of £40, thereby identifying him as the prime mover in the capture of the deposed King. It is recorded that later the Talbot family held the Manor of Withnell (near Chorley) in Lancashire, when James Talbot married Mary Parke. In 1783 two of John Talbot's sons were educated at the English College in Rome and were priests in England, one becoming a Jesuit. Other Talbot family members lived in Preston. In 1813 William Talbot founded the Talbot Schools at St Walburges, Preston. Bagganley Hall, Chorley, was a one-time home of the Talbot family, rebuilt by one John Parker 1633 and demolished in modern times prior to the building of the M61 Motorway.

The Tattons of Wythenshawe

The Tatton family first appeared in Northenden around 1297. In 1370 the family became Lords of the Manor of Northenden and took control of the Wythenshawe and Northenden districts. Robert de Tatton built their new home at Wythenshawe Hall around 1540 and it was to be the family home for fourteen generations of Tattons over the next four centuries. The Family and the Hall withstood and survived an abortive siege by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil Wars. By 1926 the last member of the Tatton family died and Wythenshawe Hall and the surrounding parkland was left to Manchester Corporation.

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This page last updated 21 Dec 10.