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the said street of Hethestrete aforesaid on the west as far as land of William Botiller in the tenure of Henry Munke on the east. All which aforesaid premises render yearly to the said Peter Legh for chief rent four shillings and tenpence, [or,] as appears by an ancient roll of Gilbert Haydock made in the

II., eleven shillings.

year of Richard

RICHARD PASMETHE, late of Weryngton, and his heirs, hold of the said Peter Legh, knight, in capite by military service, one messuage with a barn and garden in le Kyrkestrete of the aforesaid town in the tenure of William Hille, lying in breadth of the said garden and in length of the said messuage between a messuage of William Botiller in the tenure of Ellen Munke on the west and an empty burgage of John Norreis in the tenure of the said William Hille upon the east, and extending in breadth of the said messuage and in length of the said garden from Kyrkestrete aforesaid on the north as far as a meadow of Roger Arosmythe and Thomas Hille called le Downehouse medo on the south.

Also he holds one acre of arable land in Hollay field, lying in two parcels, whereof one part lies in breadth between a half acre of Randle Rixton towards the west and another half acre


in the tenure of Laurence Balfrunte's wife towards the east, and extending in length from a certain acre of land of the said Randle Rixton called le Heghe Hadeland as far as the land . . . . .


Also he holds two fields lying at the north end of the said street called le Heth strete containing five acres of arable land inclosed with hedges and ditches, lying in breadth between Weryngton heath on the north and a field of John Wynyngton on the south, and extending in length from the croft of the said Peter in the tenure of John Hakynsall, called le Crymbull, and another field of the said John Wynyngton on the east, as far as the said heath towards the windmill, and towards the manor of Beawsee on the west; and one Gilbert de Sothewurthe and his heirs have a certain

pinquiorem brueræ de Weryngton versus Overforthe, quod messuagium cum terris prædictis dicti Ricardi Pasmethe et hæredis sui reddunt dicto Petro per annum de capitali redditu tres solidos et septem denarios.

NICHOLAUS BLUNDELL1 tenet de dicto Petro Legh milite in capite per servitium militare duo messuagia invicem jacentia quorum quidem unum nuper ædificatum cum camera et solariis modo in tenura Rogeri Clerk junioris et alterum in tenura Henrici Hawrobyn, jacentia in Newgate villa de Weryngton prædicta in latitudine inter vacuum burgagium Thomæ Dawne de Crawton ex parte boreali et messuagium Johannis Sonky modo in tenura Johannis Richerop ex parte australi et extendunt in longitudine a prædicto vico de Newgate ex parte occidentali usque ad terram Henrici Birom videlicet introitum usque ad domum nuper in tenura Johannis Hardewar et terram Willielmi Botiller in tenura Thomæ Derneluff ex parte orientali.

Item dictus Nicholaus tenet de dicto Petro per dictum servitium alium messuagium jacens super orientale latus bruera de Weryngton juxta molendinum ventriticum cum uno campo continente sex acras terræ in tenura Nicholai Kyngeley jacente in latitudine inter unum croftum vocatum Gille lande in tenura uxoris Laurentii Balfrunte ex parte occidentali et brueram de Weryngton ex parte orientali et extendit in longitudine a crofto Henrici Garnet ex parte australi usque ad dictam brueram de Weryngton ex parte boreali, quæ prædicta reddunt dicto Petro de capitali redditu per annum duodecim denarios.

Unum burgagium ruinosum nuper hæreditatis Gilberti Sothe

1 Two entries in the calendar of Inq. p. m. in the duchy of Lancaster show that the Blundells retained their property in Warrington at a later period : P. 19-8 Hen. S. Hen. Blundell.


Weryngton and other places." Kuerden MSS. 66, adds that the
Warrington lands were held under Thomas Butler.

acre of land in the said field nearer to the Weryngton heath towards Overforthe; which messuage with the lands aforesaid of the said Richard Pasmethe and his heirs render to the said Peter yearly for chief rent three shillings and seven pence.

NICHOLAS BLUNDELL holds of the said Peter Legh, knight, in capite by military service two messuages lying together, one whereof [being] lately erected with a chamber and sollars, is now in the tenure of Roger Clerk the younger, and the other is in the tenure of Henry Hawrobyn, lying in Newgate [street] of the aforesaid town of Weryngton, in breadth between an empty burgage of Thomas Dawne de Crawton on the north and a messuage of John Sonky now in the tenure of John Richerop on the south, and extending in length from the aforesaid street of Newgate on the west as far as the land of Henry Birom, to wit, an entry [leading] as far as a house lately in the tenure of John Hardewar and the land of William Botiller in the tenure of Thomas Derneluff on the east.

Also the said Nicholas holds of the said Peter by the said service another messuage lying upon the east side of Weryngton heath beside the windmill, with one field containing six acres of land in the tenure of Nicholas Kyngeley, lying in breadth between a croft called Gille land in the tenure of Laurence Bulfrunte's wife on the west and Weryngton heath on the east, and extending in length from a croft of Henry Garnet on the south as far as the said Weryngton heath on the north; which aforesaid [premises] render yearly to the said Peter for chief rent sixteen pence.

One ruinous burgage late the inheritance of Gilbert Sothewurthe

P. 27-20 H. 8. Jacobus Blundell.


Weryngton and other places."

wurthe tenetur de dicto Petro Legh in capite per servitium militare quod quidem burgagium jacet et situatur in vico de Newgate prædictæ villæ de Weryngton videlicet super ripam maris de Mersee ex occidentali parte dicti vici videlicet ad finem borealem ubi pons1

1 It may not be improper to inquire here at what period the first bridge was erected over the Mersey at Warrington. An opinion prevailed which was implicitly received until the publication of the History of Cheshire, that to the Earl of Derby, who in 1495 was honoured with a visit by his royal father-in-law, King Henry VII., and to his wish to facilitate the royal progress, we are indebted for the first bridge at Warrington. During the Roman period, when the passage over the Mersey at this place was the entrance to a new province, and was consequently held in much estimation, a ford was the only means of communication. The ford, as there is every reason to believe, was at some distance from the present bridge, and was made to enter Latchford near to a place now called the Wash. The works for making the river navigable, and an extensive desertion by the river of its ancient bed, in consequence of a violent flood which occurred nearly a century ago, have now nearly obliterated every trace of the former site of the ford.

The writer of the story of the Bewsey tragedy, in the Bodleian collection, makes the dispute which originated it arise out of Sir John Butler's claim to take toll for passing over the Mersey. "King Henry the VII." (says the story) "being come to Latham, the erle Sir John's brother in law sent unto him a message to desire him to wear his cloth at that time; but in his absence his lady scorn'd that her husband should wayte on her brother, being as well able to entertaine the king as he was, which answer he tooke in great disdeigne and prosecuted the said Sir John with all malice that could be, and amongst other things the said Sir John had a ferry at Warrington which was worth c. marcs by the year unto him, there being no bridge and the erle coming to go to London, the said Sir John would not suffer him to pass, but forced him about by Manchester, whereupon the erle bought a piece of land of one Norris of Warrington, by which means he was privileged to on the other side, and so builded a bridge at Warrington, on both sides being his own land; and the said Sir John Butler after the bridge was builded did notwithstanding exact and take toll and tax of all passengers as before, whereon the erle caused the king to make it free. On that and such like discontents they tooke arms against one another."

In the Introduction to this work we have given Seacome's version of the cause of the building of the bridge. At the general quarter sessions of the peace for the county of Chester, held at Nantwich on the 13th July 1624, the grand jury presented the Cheshire half of Warrington bridge, and found that Edward, son of Thomas earl of Derby, did, at his own charge, repair the same, and Henry, the son of Edward, did likewise; and they thought that William, the then earl, ought to repair the same; but they desired the advice of his majesty's justices at Chester, whereupon, after motion at the assizes, reciting that the repairs of the said bridge

is held of the said Peter Legh in capite by military service, which burgage lies and is situate in Newgate street of the aforesaid town of Weryngton, to wit, upon the north shore of the sea of Mersee, and on the west side of the said street where the bridge of Weryng

would be useless unless there was a causeway with arches from Wilderspool bridge, and that Sir Thomas Ireland, knight, and Thomas Marbury, esquire, were content to give so much land as was necessary for that good use for ever, the court said the hundred of Bucklow should ever afterwards repair the same works; nevertheless, it is believed that this half has always been repaired by the county of Chester. In the Kuerden papers, (ii. 607,) we find some further particulars. On the 26th Aug. 1656, the account states, it was stated before the court at Lancaster that a deed, made thirty-five years before, by some of the earls of Derby, was in the custody of Sir Thomas Ireland, knight, at Bewsey, whereby lands called Norres's tenement were committed to certain persons for the repair of Warrington bridge, and that Thomas Ireland, son of the said Sir Thomas Ireland, had sold, amongst other things, the said lands unto Mr. Robert Neild, deceased, for £30; whereupon it was ordered that the owners should pay £13 per annum to the surveyors of the highways yearly for ever towards the repair of the said bridge. And we learn from Ormerod, (i. 447,) that the Earl of Derby, by his will, dated 28th July 1504, bequeathed three hundred marks "to the purchase of the rent and toll of Weryngton bridge, to the intent that the passage shall be free for all people for ever, and also for the making up of the said bridge ccccc marcs, that no toll or farm there be asked." Upon these and similar statements the public opinion was founded, that the first Earl of Derby was the founder of the first bridge at Warrington.

From the History of Cheshire, however, (i. 446,) we learn that, by a charter of Randle Blundeville, earl of Chester, the passage of the river Mersey, from Thelwall down to Runcorn, was granted about the reign of Richard I. to Hugh Boydell of Doddleston, lord of the manor of Latchford; and at this time a ferry boat probably supplanted the ancient ford across the Mersey from Warrington to Latchford. In the 40th Edward III., as we learn from the same authority, the renowned Black Prince appointed certain commissioners to arrest all persons who made passage across the Mersey by boats between Runcorn and Crosse Ferry, (which latter place was probably the Fiddlers' Ferry, about half way between Runcorn and Warrington,) and to commit them to the castle of Chester. The commission here given had no doubt relation to some infringement of the privileges before granted to the Boydells; and its being limited to the river intermediate between Runcorn and Cross Ferry, a place short of Warrington, affords an inference that there already existed at the latter place some more steady passage over the river than that afforded by a boat. And this we shall soon see was actually the case. By an inquisition on the death of William Boydell of Doddleston, in the 23rd Edward III., (ibid.) he was found to have held in Latchford "quoddam passagium cum piscaria quod val. per an. xiii iiiid ;" and by another inquisition on the

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