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The Parish of Rishton
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From: The History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster
By Edward Baines, Esq.
Volume IV. 1891. Pages 48-49.

RISHTON, three miles east-north-east of Blackburn, is a large, dreary, barren tract of moorland, near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and containing a spacious reservoir belonging to that navigation. It was styled a manor in the time of Edward de Lacy, who died 42 Henry III. (1257-8), and in 4 Edward II. (1310-11) two carucates of land in Rishton were in fee of the castle of Clyderhou. Before the reign of Edward I, it had given name to a family who held a moiety of the manor of Clayton-le-Moores, and, like the latter, it was held in equal portions--one moiety by the Rishtons and the other by the Talbots of Bashall. The Rishtons were an offshoot of the ancient family of Blackburn.

In 30 Henry III. (1245) Gilbert, son of Henry de Blackburn, had the manor of Ryssheton-juxta-Harwode bestowed upon him by Robert de Praers in free marriage with Margery, sister of the said Robert, when he assumed the name of his estate, and in the "Liber Feodorum" is returned as holding the tenth part of a Knight's fee in Ruston. His son and heir, Henry, married, in the reign of Edward III., Margaret, a daughter and coheir of the house of Clayton, of Clayton-le-Mores, by whom he had a son, Gilbert, who died 18 Edward I. (1290). The estate descended in direct lineal succession from father to son until the death, without issue, in 1425, of Richard de Rishton, the fifth in descent from Gilbert, who died in 1290, when his younger brother, Roger, was found to be the next heir. This Roger was father of the Richard who inherited the Rishton property, and of a younger son, Roger, living in 1474, the first of the line of Pontalgh.

Richard, the eldest son, who inherited Rishton, was the progenitor of the line that continued in possession for six generations, the last of whom, Nicholas, son and heir of John Rishton, sold his patrimonial lands in Rishton, with Dunkerhalgh, to Judge Walmesley before 1582.

In his notes to the Visitation of 1533, Mr. Langton relates a curious story concerning John, the father of Nicholas Rishton. His kinsman, Ralph Rishton, of Pontalgh, having formed an illicit connection with Anne, daughter of James Stanley, of Cross Hall, the lady's mother, who was then a widow, living at Holt, in Rishton, carried her daughter by night to Harwood Chapel (Great Harwood Church), and forced the unfortunate young woman, who was then three months gone with child, into marriage with John Rishton. In spite of the efforts of her unnatural parent, Mistress Anne effectually resisted cohabitation, and she was eventually released from her difficult position by a divorce.(1) In 4 Edward II. (1311) Joan, daughter of Sir Robert de Holland and widow of Sir Edmund Talbot, son and heir of Thomas Talbot, of Bashall, held two carucates of land in Risseton as the fourth of a knight's fee, which had been granted to her and her husband by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, and which had been previously held by Adam de Rishton, a bastard; and William de Haskayth other two carucates of the Lacys, earls of Lincoln.(2) In 23 Edward III. (1349) John de Radclive and Joan, his wife, held, in dowry of the same Joan, one carucate of land of the inheritance of Thomas Talbot's heir, in Rushton, of which twenty carucates constituted the fee of one knight.(3) The heir was Edmund Talbot, who died 46 Edward III. (1372), leaving a son, Thomas Talbot, who was outlawed for debt 3 Henry V. (1415), when his manor of Rishton was taken into the king's hands. In 15 Henry VII. (1499-1500), Sir Thomas Talbot, who had married Alice, daughter of Sir John Tempest, of Bracewell, and who, by deed dated 2nd August, 2 Richard III. (1484), had a grant of an annual payment of L40 for the part he took in the betrayal (in conjunction with the Talbots of Salesbury) of King Henry VI., enfeoffed Thomas Tempest, apparently his maternal uncle, with the tenth part of a Knight's fee, and the rent of 9d. in his lordship of Risshdeen.(4) The Talbots had the privilege of free warren in this township. Sir Thomas Walmesley purchased the moiety held by this family before 1598 from Thomas Talbot and his brother and next heir, John Talbot, of Halton, and it is now enjoyed by his representative, Henry Petre, of Dunkenhalgh, Esq., who now owns all but a very limited portion of the township.

Rishton Hall is a plain edifice. In this township are the villages of Tottleworth, Cunliffe, and Cowhill Fold.

Several cotton factories, a paper mill, firebrick works, and other manufactories have been erected in this township, and the population, which in 1851 was 800, had increased in 1881 to 4,055. The church of SS.Peter and Paul, which was consecrated June 16, 1877, is a stone building in the Early English style, with a tower and spire rising to the height of 140 feet. The building, which will accommodate 574 worshippers, all the seats being free, cost £8,000. The living, which is vested in trustees, is valued at L300 a year; The Rev. Henry West, B.A. (1885), is the present vicar.

A Wesleyan chapel and school, costing £1,500, were opened in 1863; the Congregationalists have a chapel in Derby Street; The Primitive Methodists and the United Methodist Free Church have each their places of worship. There is a Mechanics' Institution in the town.

(1) Chetham Society, vol. xcviii., p. 33.--C.
(2) De Lacy Inquisition of 1311.
(3) Lansdowne Collection of Manuscripts, cod. Dlix., fo.27.
(4) “Duchy of Lancaster,” vol. iii., n. 69.

From: Local Events and Occurrences (pages 25-35), mentioning Rishton specifically:-
1415. Sir Thomas Talbot, lord of Rishton, outlawed for debt, and Rishton manor taken into the King’s hands.
1806. May: Canal excavation at Rishton Common let.
1870. January 30: Ice incident on Rishton Reservoir, Four skaters drowned.

Page 2:-

Population of Rishton: 1851 800
  1861 1,198
  1871 2,577
  1881 4,055
Area in Statute Acres: 2,982  
Valuation in pounds: 1854 £4,893
  1866 £8,217
  1872 £10,700
  1877 £19,002
  1884 £23,332

Entered here by Lynn Ransom Burton - July 21, 2004.

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