Winckley, Thomas

Thomas Winckley was born at Garstang in 1638 and died in 1710. He was married to Frances, the daughter of James Hodgkinson of Preston and his wife, Elizabeth, the widow of Henry Lemon of Preston, thus linking three prominent Preston families. [1]

Winckley was member of the Tory group led by Thomas Hodgkinson that controlled Preston Corporation in the 1680s. [2] He was mayor in 1688, 1697 and 1705. [3]

Unlike Hodgkinson and other members of the Tory oligarchy that had controlled Preston, Winckley was able to reconcile his loyalist Tory principles with post-Revolution politics, overcoming his divided feelings to accept the realities of William’s accession. In 1696 he was able to sign the Association Oath, pledging his loyalty to William. As Mullett comments, ‘Thomas Winckley’s case best illustrates the position of local tories in the Revolution period.’ [4]

At this period Winckley added to the family’s estates purchasing Higher Brockholes in 1694 and Lower Brockholes in 1696. He lived in a substantial property on Fishergate from some time before 1684 (see plan) [5]

[1] Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston (Rochdale: The Aldine Press, 1900), 279.
[2] Michael Mullett, ‘“To Dwell Together in Unity”: the Search for Unity in Preston Politics 1660-1690’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire 125 (1975): 71, http://www.hslc.org.uk/documents/PDFS/1974.pdf.
[3] Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston, 79.
[4] Mullett, ‘Preston Politics 1660-1690’, 78.[5] ‘Townships: Grimsargh and Brockholes | British History Online’, accessed 4 March 2016, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol7/108-113.