Preston deeds in the Cockersand Cartulary

Cockersand Abbey, which occupied an isolated site on the Lancashire coast near Cockerham, owned land in Preston during the middle ages. In 1267-8 Brother Robert de Lechford compiled a list and abstract of the property deeds held by Cockersand up to 1267. [1] His compilation formed the basis of what is now known as the Cockersand Chartulary or Cartulary. Further abstracts were added subsequently, although, according to the William Farrer who edited the cartulary for the Chetham Society, few of the deeds are later than the end of the 13th century. [2] The deeds are not dated but Farrer supplies approximate dates, without, however, giving his evidence.

Farrer’s editing was criticized in a fairly harsh review by Mary Bateson, but her rebukes do not detract from the valuable insights Farrer’s work has provided into life and landscape in medieval Preston. What she does show is that the land measurements in the charters are too ambiguous to rely on in attempting to work out boundaries.  [3]

The documents

[1] Grant in frankalmoign from Richard Spendlove [to the monks of Cockersand] of a certain portion of his land in Ashton, viz., in Sidgreaves, by these bounds: commencing from Fulsike where the Plumpton road goes down into Fulsike, following the sike to the boundary between Cottam and Sidgreaves, from the said bounds on the south side into Savock, following the same westward, thence across to the first road from the Nun’s field, following it to the crofts, and by the side of the crafts to the boundary between Cottam and Sidgreaves, following the same on the eastern side, to the road from Plumpton, following that into Fulsike; to wit, sixteen acres of land and the said Richard’s liberty in the water of Ribble, to wit, the sixteenth part of the fishery and fishing, with seines and nets; and all the appurtenances. [S.D. 1220—1240 c.]

[2] Grant in frankalmoign from Robert, son of Arthur de Ashton [to the monks of Cockersand], of half an acre of land in Ashton, in the assart which was Geoffrey’s, in the eastern part of the town, with common of pasture for four oxen, eight cows with their offspring, two mares with offspring, twelve pigs with offspring, and one horse; and all other the easements and liberties of his fee. [S.D. 1201-1240.]

[3] Grant in frankalmoign from Orm, son of Roger [to the monks of Cockersand], of a portion of his land in Ashton, to wit Muckhalgh, as Haredene runs down from the moss in Middle-lache, so going up Midle-lache to the stream from Sunderland, and up the stream from Sunderland to the lache which comes down from the moss; with common of pasture and other appurtenances. [S.D. before 1268.]

[1] Grant in frankalmoign from Adam de Lee [to the monks of Cockersand] of eight acres of land in the town of Tulketh, lying near the boundary of Preston, with common of pasture and other appurtenances. [S.D. 1212-1250 c.]

[2] Grant in frankalmoign from Alice, daughter of William, son of Arthur [de Ashton], in her free viduity to the monks of Cockersand], of a portion of her land in Tulketh, within these bounds – commencing at six ash trees, in a straight line northward to an oak tree in the old hedge by the Foxhole-greave, along the hedge towards the south-west, to the hedge of old William of Tulketh, following the hedge to the first stream, down the stream eastward to a pit digged there, then southward in a straight line to Ribble, and so eastward to Claycarr-keld and northward to the said six ash trees. The said Alice also gave the said monks the pasturage of all her portion of the wood in Ashton, and the moiety of her part of Tulketh Carr, together with the moiety of her share of the liberty to fish in the waters of Ribble; with the appurtenances. [S.D. 1240 c.-1268.]

[1] Grant in frankalmoign from William, son of Adam Blundel [Adae albi?] of Preston, to God [and St. Mary of Cockersand and the monks of the same place] for the health of his soul, of eighteen silver pennies to be paid to them yearly from the rent of a certain toft in the town of Preston, which Wyon formerly held, with the homage and service of Margaret, Helen and Constance, daughters of Amuria de Preston, and their heirs. [S.D. 1235 c.-1250.]

[2] Grant in perpetuity from William, son of Richard Cross, to Master William de Kirkham, Clerk, of all his land within the town of Preston and without, and in the town-fields of Preston, with the appurtenances and rents, to wit, one burgage between Adam son of Siward’s burgage, and the house of Thomas son of Ralph, with the buildings; the third part of one toft, between the house which was formerly Hugh Cross’s, and the house formerly William the Physician’s; all the land in his assart between Astin’s assart and Great Tulketh; four shares of the land upon Sickling moor, to wit, two lying together between John of the Chapel’s land, and Richard son of Ughtred’s, one between land of Henry son of Roger, and Roger son of Adam’s land, and the other between land of Adam Blundel [Blundel is Farrer’s translation of ‘Adae albi’, but does it not translate as Adam White?], and Roger son of Adam’s land; one half acre upon Aldfield, between land of William the armour-smith (or Lorimer?), and land formerly Geoffrey the Clerk’s; three perches of land in Platford-dale between land of Richard son of Ughtred, and land which belonged to [the hospital of] St. Mary Magdalene of Preston; half an acre of land in Platford-dale, between land of Robert son of Alexander, and Adam son of Siward’s land; half an acre of land which the grantor bought from Robert son of Stephen, near his own barn; all his land on either side of Sewallsike; and all his meadow land between Adam Blundel’s [Adae albi?] meadow and the common or public Carr; to hold in perpetuity, performing the service due from so much land in the town of Preston; for which grant the said Master William [de Kirkham] gave him sixteen marks of silver. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.] [In the margin] We have these charters [i.e. Nos. 2-11] from Master William de Kirkham.

[3] Grant from William de Newcastle to Master William [de Kirkham] of one acre and a half, and one perch of land, and one perch and a half of meadow in the town-fields of Preston, which meadow he formerly bought from Richard son of Simon, to wit, an acre of land in Woodholme, between land of Richard son of Malbe, and land of Hugh le Sposage; half an acre in the same holme, between land of Robert Forester, and Richard Hellbole’s land; and one perch of land upon Whitaker, between land of Richard son of Malbe, and land late belonging to Walter the Deacon; with all the appurtenances; for which grant he gave to the said William de Newcastle twenty-four shillings. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255]

[4] Grant from William de Singleton to Master William [de Kirkham] of all that land, with buildings and appurtenances in the town of Preston, which he bought of Sir William de Carleton, knight, to wit, all the land between St. John’s land and Hugh Shoemaker‘s land, in St. John’s quarter of the town, to hold by the yearly rent of one penny at the feast of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin Mary for all service; for which grant the said Master William Kirkham gave him three marks of silver. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255] William de Carleton’s charter to William de Singleton, and Richard son of Malbe’s charter to Sir William de Carleton, knight, both concerning this land [have not been transcribed].

[5] Grant from Robert, son of Alexander, to Master William [de Kirkham], with the common assent of the whole town of Preston, of all the land within the ditches in Dustysargh field, containing two acres and a half with the appurtenances; to hold by the yearly payment of the third part of sevenpence to the township of Preston at the feast of St. Michael for all service, for which grant William gave Robert two marks and a cloak. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.] The Burgesses of Preston by their unanimous consent confirmed this sale, [by charter] sealed with the common seal of Preston, and duly attested.

[6] Grant from Roger, son of Walter de Preston, to Master William [de Kirkham] with the common assent of the whole town of Preston, of all the land enclosed within ditches, called Aldfield, with the appurtenances; for which grant William gave to Roger two marks of silver. The Burgesses confirmed the sale, with the affixture of the common seal of the town. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255]

[7] Grant in fee from Henry, son of Baldwin de Preston, to Master William [de Kirkham,] of one toft in Preston, opposite the said Master William’s house in the St. John’s quarter, with all the appurtenances belonging to one burgage in Preston; for which grant William gave to Henry fourteen shillings and fourpence in silver. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.]

[8] Quitclaim by Benedict the Clerk, to Master William [de Kirkham], of all his land, with a barn and the appurtenances, which he had from the said Master William in exchange for his own tofts and the house opposite St. John the Baptist’s quarter [in Preston]; for which quitclaim William gave Benedict three marks sterling. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.]

[9] Grant from Adam, son of Agnes de Preston, to Master William [de Kirkham,] of that land with the appurtenances in Preston, which he purchased of Beatrice de Bentley in her pure viduity, to wit, all the land between the ditches of Gildhouse; for which grant William gave to Adam three marks and three shillings of silver. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.] Beatrice de Bentley’s charter to the said Adam, which the said monks had, was not transcribed.

[10] Quitclaim by Seynte, daughter of Ralph Poyneur of Preston, in her pure virginity, having full power and being of lawful age, to Master William de Kirkham), of all her right in the third part of the toft with the appurtenances, which her father Ralph had by the gift of William Blundel [Willelmi albi?] of Preston in frank marriage with Constance, formerly wife of the said Ralph, and her mother; for which grant and quitclaim the said William gave to her one silver mark. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.] William Blundel’s [Willelmi albi?] charter of this land to Ralph the Poyneur was not transcribed.

[11] Grant from Robert, son of Alexander of Preston, to Master William [de Kirkham,] of one acre and a half of land in Woodholme, to wit, a half acre between land that was formerly Walter the Deacon’s and land of Henry de Grimsargh on the eastern side of the pool; one perch between land of Roger son of Walter, and the said Henry’s land; one perch between land of Roger son of Roger, and William Shepherd’s land; one perch between land of the said William Shepherd, and land that was formerly William Blundel’s [Willelmi albi?]; and one perch between land of the said Henry, and Robert Forester’s land, to hold freely, &c., according to the uses and customs of the town of Preston, with all the appurtenances. [S.D. 1230 c.-1255.] A charter of William, son of Richard Cross [Ricardi de Cruce], made to his brother Robert, of all the land between land of Walter de Penwortham and land belonging to Richard, the son-in-law of Benedict the Weaver; another charter of the said William made to Matilda de Newton, of all the land with buildings between land once John the Chaplain’s and land of Richard, the son-in-law of Benedict the Weaver, beginning at the King’s highway extending to the highway towards Penwortham; and a charter of Robert, son of Richard, of the same land, made to William Chamber (literally Bedchamber) and the latter’s quitclaim to William, son of Richard Cross [Ricardi de Cruce], have not been transcribed.

[12] Quitclaim by Robert, son of Alexander the Clerk, to God and St. Mary [of Cockersand and the monks of that place], for the health of his soul, of fourpence yearly rent, which the said monks formerly rendered to him yearly [for land] in Preston. [S.D.. 1230 c.-1255.]

[1] Grant in frankalmoign from Roger, son of Richard, son of Ughtred de Singleton, to God and St. Mary [of Cockersand], of one acre of land in Cottam, and a toft lying between land of Robert and Lambert’s toft, as set out by the land-marks and crosses of the said monks, to wit, half an acre of his demesne in Briary furlong, one perch upon Cottam which was Adam the Bulur’s, and one perch upon Sandybuttes and upon the Toftes, with common of pasture and the appurtenances of his fee, for sixteen aged beasts, with the offspring of three years, two horses in Hegergarth, and one mare with the offspring of three years in the common pasture, forty wethers and six pigs; with free ingress and egress to the moss and to the common pasture. [S.D. 1206-1235.] [Marginal note] Henry de Haydock has the homage of this tenement in exchange for his land in Forton.

[2 Grant in frankalmoign from Robert, son of Ughtred, for the health of his soul [to the monks of Cockersand], of four acres of his land in Cottam, to wit, half an acre in high Cottam, half an acre in Briary furlong; half an acre in Cross furlong; half an acre in Hall furlong and one acre and a half on either side of Haystack-greave near the hollows; half an acre on the western side over against Cottam-greave; and a toft over against that of his son Alexander; with common of pasture and easements belonging to his fee there; also pasturage for ten cows with the offspring of two years, one bull, and twenty beasts of full age; pasturage for two horses, three mares with their offspring of two years; and in the wood ten sows with there offspring viz., porkers of one year, quit of pannage, and one hog; also pasture for forty breeding ewes with their offspring of one year, and one ram. [S.D. 1200 c.-1230] Roger, son of Ughtred, confirmed this grant to the said monks, together with eleven acres of land in Bilsborough.

[1] William Farrer, ‘Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey’, Chetham Society vol 38 (1898): xv.
[2] Ibid., xvi.
[3] Mary Bateson, ‘Review of The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey, of the Premonstratensian Order by William Farrer’, The English Historical Review 17, no. 65 (1 January 1902): 151–53, http://www.jstor.org/stable/549147.