Articles, records and resources relating to the history of the Lancashire town of Preston
Anthony Hewitson, who transcribed the diary of Lawrence Rawstorne, published only selected entries and does not specify whether dates not included were omitted by the transcriber or by the diarist himself. The dates for which Hewitson supplies no information are set in roman type. For background information about the diary see Introduction and for information about Rawstorne see his biography.
Lawrence Rawstorne’s diary entries for September 1683
1 At home and Aidenfield Hewitson writes: ‘At home means at New Hall, near Rawtenstall. This hall is a very ancient one, and seems to have been built in sections at different times. It occupies an elevated position – is something like 850 feet above the level of the sea — on the higher side of the wood, which stretches upwards from the Plunge valley. In its palmy days, New Hall (of the Tudor style of architecture), was one of the most attractive of the old ancestral mansions in or adjoining the Forest of Rossendale. It is now in a ruinated state, and is chiefly used for farm outbuilding purposes. Aidenfield is intended for Edenfield, which is near New Hall. It is a very old parochial chapelry — indeed there was a chapel here anterior to the reign of Elizabeth. Modern manufacturing enterprise has materially improved and enlarged Edenfield.’
2 At Holcom [Holcombe]. Heard Mr Rishton 2 Hewitons writes: ‘Holcombe is a village on the side of a high hill, in the division of Tottington Lower End and two or three miles from Edenfield. Mr Rishton would be a minister – possibly the Rev. John Rishton, who for some time was curate of Bury, and subsequently, on the presentation of Mr Edward Fleetwood, of Penwortham, he became the vicar of Leyland; if so, then he would be simply on a visit of Holcombe from Leyland, for his vicariate at the latter place extended from July, 1677, to December, 1684. Anyhow, and whoever he was, the diarist evidently heard him preach twice on the day named, and this would be in Holcombe old chapel — a building which was enlarged in 1714 and 1774, and supplanted by a new chapel built in 1852-3.’ In each of his diaries, when Rawstorne adds a ‘2’ as here he means the minister preached two sermons.
3 No entry recorded
4 At Bamford, and my wife wth mee. Fetched the children home that went thither on Saturday before. Hewitson writes: ‘This was the fourth day from and including Saturday. The diarist’s children would at this time consist of a boy and a girl, Peter and Rachel, the latter being the elder. Bamford is between Rochdale and Bury.’
5 At home and Aidenfield. Capt parker &’s mother, Dr Halstead &’s sonne, & lawyer Holden dyned wth’s. Hewitson writes: ‘Captain Parker would probably be connected with the Parker family of Lovely Hall, in Salesbury, or with that at Browsholm Hall, near Clitheroe [Browsholme Parkers]. Dr Halstead was of Manchester. Lawyer Holden would most likely be a descendant of Robert Holden, of Holden hall, near Haslingden, whose daughter Katherine married Edward Rawstorne, and thus became the mother of the diarist.’
6 Went to Todhall to dinner. My wife and Peeter wth me. Hewitson writes: ‘Todd Hall is near Haslingden, and was occupied by a branch of the Holden family. It was a plain strong-looking building, and several years ago was rearranged for small tenement purposes. Peter was the diarist’s young son.’
7 At Blacklane-head. Mr Holden, the lawyer, & I tooke the severall informations of Coz. Holden, Mr Clayton, of litle Harwood, Mr Clayton of Sharrockgreen, Mr Walmsley the curate &c, agt young Mr Livesey &c Hewitson writes: ”Blacklane-head was presumably in the Radcliffe district. The information would perhaps relate to certain conduct or expressions about political or Jacobite matters [Why? And surely it is premature to be using the term Jacobite]. Sharrock-green is intended for Shorrock Green in Mellor. Mr Walmsley, the curate, was probably from Bury or some place in the neighbourhood and may have been related to if not the actual Rev George Walmesly [sic], who was presented to the vicarage of Leyland on Feb. 17th, 1684-5. Young Mr Livesey would very likely be Ralph Livesey, son of Ralph Livesey Esq of Livesey Hall, near Blackburn, who at this time was 27 years of age. Cos. or Cousin, as here used, simply means a close friendship or kindly familiarity [Why not a family connection? A Holden family connection has been established in an earlier entry]. Hewitson locates Sharrock-green as Shorrock Green in Mellor. It could also mean Sharoe Green in Fulwood and the Mr Clayton could be the Robert Clayton who was the principal resident of Fulwood at this time. Mr Walmsley could be the Rev George Walmsley, later the vicar of Leyland, who was born in Bury. Young Mr Livesey Hewitson identifies as Ralph Livesey, son of Ralph Livesey of Livesey Hall, near Blackburn.
8 No entry recorded
9 At Aidenfield Chapell. Heard Cousin Warbton 2. Twas thanksgiving day for Ks & Ds deliverance Hewitson writes: ‘Warburton was, it is not unlikely, the Rev Richard Warburton, rector of Middleton from 1682 to 1701, or some clerical relation of his. The deliverance and thanksgiving pertain to the Rye House plot. The object of the plot was the assassination of Charles II and his brother, the Duke of York, afterwards James II. Through a fire at Newmarket on June 14th, 1683, which necessitated the return of Charles and his brother to London sooner than the plotters expected, the scheme of intended waylaying and murdering was frustrated. The thanksgiving service was held on the same day throughout the country.’
10 No entry recorded
11 No entry recorded
12 At Moston – Mr Lightbourn’s house there; invited to dinner. Hewitson writes: ‘Moston is a township four miles n.e. of Manchester.’ Mr Lightbourn not identified.
13 No entry recorded
14 No entry recorded
15 At Aidenfield Chapell. Heard Cos. Warburton 2
16 No entry recorded
17 At home and Aidenfield. Cos. Braddyll & Joshua Nuttall at New Hall Hewitson writes: ‘Cos Braddyll would be Thomas Braddyll, of Portfield, on the Whalley estate of the family. He purchased the manor and hall of Samlesbury from Edward Southworth in 1679. Joshua Nuttall, it is very likely, was related to the Nuttalls of Tottington Hall or Nuttall Hall, in Holcombe. Some years after this there was a Joshua Nuttall residing in Rawtenstall, and another person of the same name at Gambleside, a few miles from Haslingden, and it is probable they were descendants or relatives of the Joshua mentioned in the diary.’
18 At Bury. Dyned at Parsonage. Met the feofees of the schoole, & Capt Hulme and Mr Egerton. Discours’d about the suite with Mr Walmesley. The Capt offered, for peace sake, to give £50, and that Mr Allen Mr Egerton should give £50, & Capt Allen, one of the ffeoffees, said make it £200 and I will consent to accept it, and the Parson replyed, I will never agree to accept any lesse sulne; and all the ffeoffees then prsnt gainsaid it not; but nothing more concluded then Hewitson writes: ‘The school in question, if not the direct predecessor of, was certainly on an older foundation than the present Grammar School, which was not founded till 1726. The parson would be the Rev Thomas Gipps, who was the rector of Bury from 1674 to 1712.’
19 No entry recorded
20 At home & a Coursing
21 At home & at Haslingden faire
22 No entry recorded
23 No entry recorded
24 At Hollins and Antley to see Coz. Rishton & returned Hewitson writes: ‘Hollins is a large old house near Accrington, on the west side. Antley is also near Accrington. Higher and Lower Antley formed an estate belonging to the Rishton family about the middle of the 16th century. Later, Higher Antley passed from the Rishtons. Lower Antley was the seat of Ralph Rishton at the beginning of the 16th century — at the time of the diarist it was held by Edward Rishton, son of Jeffrey Rishton, who was one of the MPs for Preston from 1661 to the time of his death in 1677. [His son was Preston’s second postmaster, Ralph Rishton]. Edward Rishton married Lucy, daughter of George Pigot Esq of Preston.’
25 A Coursing & after at Holcom Hewitson writes: ‘Coursing has long been in favour at Holcombe. There is now a keen appreciation of this kind of sport in the district and the Holcombe Hunt (harriers) may be described as a well-sustained and very good going concern.’
26 No entry recorded
27 No entry recorded
28Went to Ashworth to visit Mr Holt, who was hurt by’s horse Hewitson writes: ‘Ashworth is a chapelry in the parish of Middleton and about three miles from Rochdale.’ [Holt not identified].
29 No entry recorded
30 At Aidenfield Chapell. Heard Coz. Warburton 2. This day was the first Christning at the font newly erected by L.R. Hewitson writes: ‘L.R. would be Lawrence Rawstorne, the diarist.’