Faringtons of Leyland

Major Henry Farington of Leyland portrait
unknown artist; Major Farrington, Esq.; Lancashire County Museum Service; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/major-farrington-esq-151791

The Faringtons of Leyland make several appearances in the Bellingham/Rawstorne diaries at the end of the 17th century.

William Farington (1612-73) split his estate between his two sons. The eldest, Henry, was settled at the family seat, Worden Hall (now Worden Old Hall), and George at Shaw Hall (subsequently re-named Worden Hall).

Henry is generally referred to as Major Farington and Rawstorne refers to a Cousin Farington, possibly George, but it can be difficult to distinguish the two and their offspring in the diaries.

David Hunt points to the possible Catholic and Jacobite connections of members of the family at this time, ‘With comparatively dangerous political leanings and the division of the family estate, the Farington inheritance passed through a potentially dangerous phase at the end of the 17th and early 18th century.’ [1]

Henry was a major in the militia by 1678, as witness a letter to him from the Earl of Derby dated May 16th of that year. The letter gives a clear description of the arms of militiamen at this time:

Every Musqueteer is to have a musquet the burrell whereof is not to be under 3 foot in length, and the gage of the bore to bee for 12 bullets to ye pound; a collar of Bandeliers, with a Sword. Every Pikeman is to bee armed with a pike of Asshe not under 16 foot in length, (the head and foot included) with back, breast, head-piece and sword. And every Musqueteer is to bring with him [for four days’ training] half a pound of Powder and half a pound of Bullets; and every Musqueteer that serves with a Matchlock shall carry with him 3 yards of Match. [2]

In 1683 the earl was writing to Farington ordering him to seize arms and ammunition from a number of Lancashire gentry including Sir Charles Hoghton. Lawrence Rawstorne also signed the orders. In November 1688 Farington was receiving orders from Derby to muster the earl’s regiment and drill the men in readiness for action. [3]

[1] David Hunt, The History of Leyland and District (Preston: Carnegie Press, 1990), 61–63.
[2] S.M. Farington, ‘The Farington Papers’, Chetham Society, OS, 34 (1856): 74, https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=STfRAAAAMAAJ.
[3] Farington, 176–79.

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