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"left of doing So to treat themselves with every Whitson-Tuesday "Yearly; & the Interest of the aforesd Seven pound, i.e. of four "pound to be Yearly distributed to Eight poor people, of which "the Clark for the time being may be one, if he pleases, for "calling them together, and let them be parish-born poor, and be "given them by Sixpence a piece, at my Grave place, and not "elsewhere, and treat themselves with the rest for their labour: "But when the money is not set forth on Interest, the Legacies "aforesaid to cease, till they can procure a place for it;—but if "they neglect to improve the same to the Uses aforesd, then my "farther Will and pleasure is that the Said Seven pound, Shall be "for Jonathan Dean, and his Heirs"
I always fancy that Goldsmith's schoolmaster in The Deserted Village must be an apt description of our friend Robinson — a genial, kindly, but somewhat pedantic old man, with a good opinion of his own learning, the oracle and chronicler of the parish.
The persons mentioned in the heading to the following "Account" are — Thomas Glover, appointed to the rectory of West Kirby by Charles I, in 1631, and sequestered and deprived for " delinquency" in 1643 (see " The Ancient Parish of West Kirby," by the late Mr. Chas. Brown: Trans. Hist. Soc, vol. xxxvii, p. 41); Richard Watt, probably the "Richarde Watt Christned the X August," I59i, who would be about 50 years of age at the time of Robinson's birth; Robert Wilson, may be the one of that name baptized 26 February, 1588; and the Mr. Bunbury just mentioned.
MR. ROBINSON'S "ACCOUNT OF WALLAZEY."
"An Account Of Wallazey, taken from Parson Glover of West Kirby, Richard Watt of Wallasey, and Robert Wilson of Liscard, by Mr. Robinson, schoolmaster; extracted from Mr. Robinson's letter to Mr. Bunbury, 1720.
"One Wally was Reputed Chiefe and Prime Man at Wallasey, whose Dwelling house was where
Stanny's House now stands nearly, the foundation of the Dove house is apparently in ye Yard or Croft. This Wally had his Kirk of two Bays of Building in the new Church Yard, between the Steeple and Hall, the foundation whereof is still to be found.'S And the town was called then Kirby Wally; it has been seen in old Deeds written Wallazey alias Kirby Wally. It obtained the name of Wallazey by the foreign Invaders or Conquourers of Great Brittain, who coming to the utmost jutting Land hereaway call'd Outhill and seeing the Sea ask'd what or whose Sea that was and being answered by these Incolants 'twas Wally's Sea, hence 'twas call'd Wally's Sea, now Wallazey; the same great man was also Wally of Pooltown, hence Wallazey Pool.16 Wally's Heirs male being extinct the Heires married with Litherland of Lancashire, near Ormes Kirke,'7 where he had severall Royalties or Chiefs, the last whereof and of Wallazey estate also was sold by the last Edward Litherland of Poolton ;»8 some of the descendents of the first Litherlands sold severall Estates in Wallazey to the then Lord of the Manor of Bidstone, besides several Charters which are tributary to Bidstone, as Pembertons, Slades, and Watts. Either one of the Litherlands (which I rather incline to) or Wally gave two Closes of Ground called the far Crookhey and near Crookhey'9 and a meadow at the foot of the latter to the Parsonage of High Altar for a burying place in the Chancel, which Gift I have seen and read and was Engrost in our old Parish Register Book,20 then in custody of George Pemberton, Clerk, but was cut out by James Ball21 a younger Brother to
lS This description of the position of the church must be a mistake, There is no trace of buildings to the west of the tower, i.e., "between the "Steeple and Hall," and no foundations have been found in digging graves in that part of the churchyard. The oldest foundations—those of the Norman church—were found to the east of the tower, or steeple, as it was always called, the base of which is Edwardian.
16 Though Robinson's derivations are absurd, we can hardly afford to laugh at them, when such a derivation as " Wall-o'Sea," or " Wall-o'th'Sea," has been seriously put forward in recent years. They are doubtless traditionary, and not mere inventions of the schoolmaster.
17 De Waley and Litherland. The "great man called Wally" seems to have had some existence, other than in tradition or in Robinson's imagination; or, rather, a family of that name had some existence in the parish. According to Harl. MS. 1965, Chartulary of S. H'erburgh, quoted by Ormerod, a moiety of the Rectory was given to that Abbey, with all its appurtenances, in pure alms, by William, son of Richard de Waley, temp. Henry II. In an Inq. P. M , 32 Edward III, Hugh de Walay holds lands in Kirkbye in Waly; and in another Inq. P. M-, 36 Edward III, occurs the name of John de Kyrkbye in Walay.
Shortly after this date the Litherland family appear, for in the reign of Henry VI Henry Litherland and Sir Thomas Stanley held a moiety of the manor; and, "in 1404, John de Litherland opposed the Abbot's right of "presentation, but the Abbot afterwards presented Thomas de Charnock in "the same year." (Ormerod.)
In two documents quoted in Mr. Beamont's Hale and Or/ord, John de Walays appears as witness to a charter dated "Werinton," I Dec., 1288. and Richard de Wallays as witness to another, dated 5 June, 1305; and the following note appears on p. 4 of A Cavalier's Note Book, "Up-litherland "was likewise a separate lordship, until absorbed into the township of "Aughton. Here in a secluded spot, amidst low-lying meadows, stands "Walsh Hall, occupying the site of the ancient residence of a powerful "family of Waleys, a name frequently met with in early local charters."
Here, then, we have a family of Waleys in Wallasey and in the lordship of Up-Litherland, the former branch merging into the family of "Litherland of I^ancashire" about the first half of the fifteenth century. This may have been by the marriage spoken of by Robinson ; or, possibly, may have been an accumulation of names, as " de Waley de Litherland."
18 "The last Edward Litherland of Poolton Hall" is the subject of the amusing extract from the registers, No. 101 in Mr. Hance's paper on Wallasey, Trans. Hist. Soc., vol. xxxv, in which a few notes on the family are given. Edward Litherland signs the two notes dated 1687 (Appendix D), the entry of a parish meeting in 1700, and others. The "Mr. Letherland" who, with the other "Heads of the Parish," installed Robinson as schoolmaster, as mentioned in the note appointing the new schoolmaster, would be the father of the last Edward Litherland. This note is signed by Edward Mainwaring, into whose family Poolton Hall and the Litherland property passed.
»9 Crook Hey (W. 194, 195).
=° Bishop Gastrell, in Notitia Cestriensis, writes on Wallasey:—"There "were formerly 2 churches here, one called Walley's Kirk, situated in ye "present Church Yard, ye foundations of wch are yet visible, and Lee's Kirk, "near a narrow Land still called Kirkway; but wch became ruinous, and ye "other wanted a priest, they were both taken down, and ye present church "was built in their stead. Walley gave these Lands, called the Nar Crook "Ley, and meadow adjoining, and the Tun Crook hey, to ye High Altar, "and to ye priest for ever, for a burial place in ye chancell belonging to this "Church. This deed of gift was in the Parish Chest, and read by H. "Robinson, Schoolmaster, from whom I received this information, anno "1718."
"James Ball, Churchwarden, 1666.