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five out of the sixteen marks at Ormskirk are found also at Burscough. Of the others, No. 3, if we reverse it, becomes fig. 37, a . V / sign found upon many buildings here and YV, abroad. Fig. 37.

No. 7, which is spade-like in form, is found with some variations; for example, one or more cross-bars, at Carlisle and elsewhere. Nos. 8, g, 23, and 24, which may be connected with a small letter Q, formed by straight lines, is an uncommon form. It is found at Strasburg Cathedral. Nos. 10, 11, and 12 are found in the Derby Chapel, which, as Mr. Bromley states, was built about 1572, according to the will of the third Earl of Derby. No. 12 is not uncommon, and is really an unfinished pentalpha. Nos. 13 and 14 correspond with Nos. 4 and 5; Nos. 15 and 16 with No. 1. Nos. 17 to 20 are not very common forms. No. 21 agrees with Burscough No. 32, with only a slight difference. No. 22 is a multiplication of angles, to be classed with Burscough Nos. 38 and 39.

As is well known, there is a tradition that when the inhabitants of the Priory suffered the same cruel fate as those of other similar monastic institutions the Priory Church was dismantled, and the bells taken away, to find a new home in the church of Ormskirk. In vol. vi. (3rd S., 1877-78, pp. 141150) of our Transactions, Mr. James Dixon has given an account of certain discoveries made during alterations in the church. In this he states that the only positive date hitherto recognized with the building is 1273, the year in which it is recorded the endowment was made. Some remains were found belonging to a Norman edifice, which Mr. Dixon supposes existed before the church endowed at the end of the thirteenth century. He also argues other points, which can only be examined properly on the spot.

The Bickerstaffe Chantry was founded in the fifteenth century. The Derby Chapel is entered by two arches. Tradition records that at the dissolution of Burscough Priory the remains of the Stanleys buried there were removed to the newlyconstructed chapel at Ormskirk. The dissolution took place about 1536, and ten years afterwards, in 1547, Mr. Bromley states that it was granted to Sir William Paget, K.G.

On the wall of the Bickerstaffe Chapel are two examples of one of the Burscough marks (Ormsk. Nos. 13 and 14, Burscough Nos. 33, 31). Mr. Bromley points out, in his very interesting account of the excavations he carried out at Burscough {Trans. Hist. Soc, vol. xli.), that the masons' marks on the tower of Ormskirk Church are identical with those now remaining at the Priory; and supposes that the tower was built from the stones brought from the ruins of that place. I have given above a comparative list of the marks. It will be noticed that Burscough Nos. 1 to 6, 15, 16 to 27, 29, 36, 37. 38, 39. 42 to 44, 45, 46, and Ormskirk Nos. 3, 4, 17, 19, 22, 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 43, are not common to both buildings. Mr. Bromley also calls attention to the fact that the church of the Priory was not demolished until some time after the dissolution, but is spoken of as utterly destroyed in 1572. This would fit very well with the recasting in 1576 of the old 1497 bell, also with the construction of the chapel as a new burial-place by Edward the third Earl of Derby in 1572; he died in 1574. As, however, many marks have been trimmed off the stones at Ormskirk, and many, doubtless, remain on the still-uncovered stones at Burscough, it cannot be positively stated that those marks not at the present time found in either of the lists do or did not exist on the buildings themselves. From the similarity in size of the two sets of marks, I cannot believe that those at Ormskirk are modern copies of the earlier marks. It certainly is a curious fact, as Mr. Bromley points out, that those parts of the church which tradition connects with the Priory are the very portions upon which the marks are found.

It will be observed on looking at the marks given on the plates, that some of them appear with the angles and other parts pointing different ways, i.e., a mark, as well as exactly the same form reversed. This cannot be accounted for by supposing that the mason took no trouble whether he cut his mark right way up on the stone. For example, Burscough Nos. 30, 31—which corresponds with Ormskirk No. 5—appears reversed in Burscough No. 32, and Ormskirk Nos. 13, 14, and 42; Ormskirk Nos. 8, 9, 23, 24, 27—which is also found at Aughton—appears reversed in Ormskirk Nos. 25, 29, 37, and perhaps 36; Ormskirk Nos. 26 and 28, of similar forms, occur alone. The Z or ]/[ of Ormskirk No. 39, I have already mentioned, appears at Aughton as N or Z.

Reversed forms of certain marks are not peculiar to these buildings, and I cannot suppose that they arise always from carelessness or accident on the part of the mason. They appear to me to be sometimes, at least, separate and distinct marks— perhaps a form of "difference."

An interesting point arises about some of the marks from Ormskirk Church The tower was built about 1560, according to Mr. Bromley. On the tower and spire of Aughton Church, near Ormskirk, (late fourteenth century,) and on the windows of the north aisle (probably post-Reformation),6 are several marks. Some of these correspond with Nos. 2, 33; 3; 9, 23, 24; 29, 36, 37; 39; and, I think, probably also Nos. 20 and 32. Five of the marks are found at both places, and only two of them occur at Burscough (Nos. 17 and 14), both of them very common forms. It may, therefore, very naturally be assumed that the same workmen were employed on both the buildings.

6 For this information, as well as for the marks, I have been indebted to Mr. Edward W. Cox.

In visiting Birkenhead Priory, from which a number of marks are given, I had the advantage of the assistance of Mr. Edward W. Cox, my brother, Mr. Irvine, and Mr. Charles Aldridge, F.R.I.B.A., whose very valuable paper so fully describes and illustrates this interesting ruin, the very existence of which would be hardly suspected from its surroundings. [Trans. Hist. Soc, vol. xlii, pp. 141, &c.)

The marks had already been copied for me by Mr. Cox, Mr. Irvine, and my brother. They are about sixty-three in number, and it will be seen at a glance how much they differ from those at Burscough. I have in each instance given a number of examples, showing the various positions in which each form of mark is found on the stones. They vary in size, and are most plentiful on the inner wall of the refectory- Most of them are usual forms, to be found elsewhere; some, however, present unusual combinations—for example, Nos. 29, 51, 75, 76, the double mark 80, 91, 92, and 93. Only the commoner forms correspond with those found at Burscough Priory. Birkenhead Priory was founded about the year 1150, and Burscough by Robert fitz Henry de Lathom, about 1124.

I have added five plates of marks from churches and buildings in Lancashire and Cheshire, forming probably the most complete collection of marks published from any counties. There are many more buildings to be examined, and it is to be hoped that before long the whole series will be completed.

The following series of seventeenth century

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