Manchester During the Civil War


Historic Families of the North-West (9)

Alphabetical Listing –

Tetlows of Ashton
and Oldham

Sometimes spelled
‘Tetlawe’, there is evidence of fines being levied against this old
family with one Robert de Tetlawe in 1410, and in 1422 Adam de Tetlow
having rented properties in Ashton-under-Lyne. They still held lands
around Prestwich in the 14th century, when Joanne de Tetlawe married
Richard Langley and set up Langley Hall just north of Prestwich and
began the Langley family of Middleton and Agecroft, who held the lands
for several hundred years thereafter. Around 1320-21, during the reign
of King Edward II, Richard Tetlow, son of Adam de Tetlawe, had been
granted lands around Werneth in Oldham. Adam de Tetlow had also apparently
married Eva, daughter of William de Oldham, and obtained her lands
in Werneth and Oldham. The Tetlawes were to live at Chamber in Werneth
for many generations and the family name appears in numerous historical
documents which support this. Gradually, the name was changed to Tetlow,
and their family line remained intact until the 17th century, when
Jane, sole heiress of Robert Tetlow, married George Wood, who in 1646
sold it on to Henry Wrigley, a linen draper from Salford. Sometime
around 1680 Wrigley’s granddaughter, Martha married Joseph Gregge
and the estate past to him and thereafter was in the possession of
the Gregg family.

The powerful Towneley
(sometimes spelt Townley or Townsley ) family lived in
the Burnley area from the mid-thirteenth century. Towneley Hall, their
imposing Elizabethan country seat, dates from the early 15th century
and is set in 62 acres of parkland. Since 1903 it has been a museum
and art gallery and is rated as one of the finest medieval mansions
in Lancashire. It still displays a large wall chart displaying their
family tree.
In the year 1200, one Roger de Lacy had granted lands at “Tunleia”
(Towneley) to his son-in-law, Geoffrey, and building probably began
in about 1400 and completed during the 15th century.
The Towneleys were an important Catholic family and the hall contains
the 15th Century Whalley Abbey vestments and a private chapel – they
were consequently persecuted for their faith during the reign of Queen
Elizabeth I. In 1817 Peregrine Towneley donated an area of land at
Burnley Wood on which to build a Roman Catholic church as well as
donating £1000 towards its construction. For many years the
Towneleys possessed the original scripts of the Wakefield Mystery
Plays, (the so-called Towneley Manuscript); they are now in the Huntington
Library in San Marino, California and are sometimes referred to as
the ‘Towneley Cycle’.
In more recent times, the Towneleys held land around the Stargate
Pit until 1826, and gleaned a great deal of new wealth from surface
coal mining in the area, where coal had to be transported across Towneley
land for payment of a toll or wayleave.
Towneley Hall remained with the Towneley family until the early 20th
century, when Lady O’Hagan (Alice Mary Towneley) sold the Hall and
62 acres to Burnley Corporation for a nominal sum of £17,500
in 1901.

The Traffords
of Trafford Park

The Trafford family,
(or more properly the ‘de Trafford’ family), were once one of the
most prominent Catholic families in Victorian Britain, and trace their
ancestry back well before Norman times – a member of the family is
said to have served King Canute. One Radulphus, an early forebear
of the family died in about 1050 in the reign of Edward the Confessor.
The family’s long association with Trafford Park dates at least from
the late 12th century, though nowadays the family name is perhaps
best known by virtue of the Trafford Centre, Manchester United’s home
ground at Old Trafford and the industrial estate at Trafford Park
which now lies in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford and was formerly
in Lancashire.
Much later, around the beginning of the 17th century, Cecil de Trafford
was knighted at Houghton Tower, and Trafford Borough Coat of Arms
still bears a Griffon, emblem of the de Trafford Family.
The Traffords had extensive land holdings throughout Lancashire and
Cheshire, and had pre-Reformation connections with Wilmslow church
and held lands at Alderley Edge, where the De Trafford Arms pub still
In 1882,
their estates at Trafford Hall were threatened by the projected Manchester
Ship Canal which was intended to run round its north side. The plan
was vehemently opposed by Sir Humphrey de Trafford right up to the
time of his death in 1886. In 1898, after numerous abortive attempts
by Manchester City Council to buy the estate for conversion into a
public park, Sir Humphrey Francis de Trafford sold the land in its
entirety to Trafford Park Estates, who turned it into the first industrial
estate in Europe. It is reckoned now to be the largest estate of its
kind in the world, and perpetuates the family name of the Traffords.

The Tyldesleys
of Myerscough Hall

The Tyldesley
family seat was at Myerscough Hall where the family in 1617 acted
as loyal hosts to King James I. In 1651 Charles II also lodged there
on the way to claim the throne of England. The Tyldesley family were
devout Roman Catholics and Royalist supporters and Thomas Tyldesley
was killed at the battle of Wigan Lane, by Parliamentarian forces.
By 1332
they had established themselves as Lords of the Manor of Tyldesley,
and their lands would bear the family name thereafter right up to
the present day. The fields and forests of the Tyldesleys to the north;
then known as Tyldesleyhurst, and now called Mosley Common. In 1375
Thomas Tyldesley acquired lands in Chaddock hamlet by marriage to
Agnes Sutherland; later, Shakerley lands were added to the family
By 1700,
the Tyledsley family had virtually disappeared through marriage into
other noble families. As an example, in 1696 the men of Tyldesley-cum-Shakerley
were convened to swear an oath of loyalty to the new King William
III. Some sixty-five men are recorded as having taken the Oath of
Association , administered by the constables of the township. The
list shows only one inhabitant from the former prominent families,
Thomas Chaddock. Others, including the Tyldesleys, had gone.

The Urmston
Family of Urmston

When William the
Conqueror bequeathed substantial north west lands in gratitude to
Baron Rogier de Poitou (or Poictou) who had aided in his conquest
of England; he in turn gave part of his holdings to Albert de Greslé.
In turn, Geslé (or Grelley), sometime during the reign of King
John, bestowed lands upon Orme, the son of Edward Aylward. This area
became known as Orme’s Tun (meaning ‘Orme’s settlement’
or dwelling), which later became, Orme Eston , (crudely,
‘ Orme – his town’ ), then Ormeston and finally Urmston.

In 1292 Sigreda, the heiress of the neighbouring Manor of Westleigh
(in Leigh, now in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan), married Richard
Urmston, and these lands also passed to the Urmston family. However,
the Lordship of the Manor of Westleigh was to be frequently disputed
many times over the following years, but by the early 17th century
the rights seem to be firmly in the possession of the Urmston family
and remained there until the last of the male Urmstons died in 1659.
Elements of the Urmston Arms (notably, the spear) are to be found
included in those of Leigh.
Urmston Hall itself, the family’s county seat, was built c.1350, was
rebuilt towards the end of the sixteenth century, later became a farm
and was finally demolished in 1937. The township of Urmston, which
bears the family’s name is located west of Manchester in the Metropolitan
Borough of Trafford.

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This page last updated 17 Nov 11.