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No. 14, Brimstage 5 and 6; Eastham Nos. 40, 41, Sefton No. 44, Bebington No. 137, Ormskirk Nos. 5, 13, 14, and Backford No. 10.

Nos. 1 to 6, is found at Birkenhead No. 66, Bebington (slightly altered) No. 76. It does not appear again until about 1530, at Bidston (No. 24), with which may be compared Stonyhurst 28 and 29—the latter possibly being differenced—Bidston Hall No. 60, and the walls of Chester No. 15.

Birkenhead Nos. 31, 71, &c., the hour glass in various forms, is often repeated, two or three examples of nearly the same date may be mentioned—Chester Cathedral No. 20, Eastham No. 42, and Sefton No. 27. A common form (Nos. 37, 42)—West Kirkby No. 5, Eastham No. 14—is found later at Sefton (No. 70), Ormskirk No. 4, and Bidston Hall (Nos. 58, 59).

Different forms of No. 31 may be compared, in Bebington Nos. 48, 61, Eastham No. 27, Aughton No. i, and Chester Cathedral Nos. 39, 40.

The star, Nos. 44, 78, 85, appears at Thornton (No. 14), and at a later period at Lydiate Nos. 9, 10, Chester Cathedral No. 44, a slightly different form at Stonyhurst and Mitton No. 16, and on the City Walls, Chester No. 16.

The triangle, West Kirkby No. 3, occurs at Thornton (No. 9), and Backford (No. 2).

The figure, St. Peter's Church No. 66, appears only once again, at about the same period, at Chester Cathedral (No. 6).

The crossed tick, Nos. 7, 20, 21, of Thornton, are found at Bebington (Nos. 35, 78, 81 j, Storeton Hall (No. 14), St. Peter's Church, Chester (No. 2), and at a later period, Woodchurch (No. 6), Bebington (Nos. 72, 78, 81), and Shotwick (No. 20).

Of the pentalpha, Thornton No. 16, there are not many examples; Sefton (Nos. 7, 8, 16) an incomplete form: Ormskirk (No. 12), and on the two buildings of about the same date, Stonyhurst (No. 48) and Bidston Hall (Nos. 2, 7, 8, 9).

For Bebington Nos. 38, 39, 43, 47, 54, 55 and 69, no corresponding marks appear. No. 60 is found at Storeton (No. 17), and Heswell No. 27.

No. 65, a common mark, bearing some resemblance to Burscough Nos. 1 to 6, is found at Brimstage (No. 12), Lydiate (No. 6), Sefton (Nos. 39, 48, 58, 60, 68, 79), Bebington (Nos. 84, 107), and in an extended form at Bidston Hall (No. 1).

Sefton No. 17, occurs at Heswell (No. 23), St. Peter's Church (No. 5), Ince Manor (Nos. 2, 3), Chester Cathedral (No. 31), Sclton (No. 51), Bebington (Nos. 122, 126, 132, 133), and Shotwick (No. 31).

Of a number of ihe Heswell marks (Nos. i to 14) I find no other examples. No. 19 is found at Ince Manor (No. 10) with a somewhat similar mark (No. 9).

The long cross, Storeto.i No. 22, is found at Stoke Church No. 13, and appears again at Bebington at a later period (No. 100).

The mark already mentioned, I.ydiate No. 1, occurs also at Bebington (No. 129), Ormskirk (No. 28, etc.), and Aughton (Nos. 10, 12).

The double axe, Chester Cathedral No. 54, appears at Bebington (Nos. 108 and 116); in an altered form No. 118; Bidston Hall (differenced) No. 47, and Chester Cathedral (late work) Nos. ss, 56.

The letter H, Woodchurch No. 9, seems to correspond with Bebington No. 20, Stonyhurst No. 9, other forms (Nos. 10, 11) appearing on the same building.

1 he anchor, Chester Cathedral No. 47, agrees with Sefton No. 77; and Sefton No. 47 appears at Shotwick No. 10, and Backford Nos. 7 and 8.

A somewhat similar mark—Shotwick Nos. 12, 13, 15 16, with a differenced form, Nos. 13 and 16—is found at Backford (No. 6).

The portion of a star, Bebington No. 115, agrees with Stonyhurst No. 35, and Bidston Hall No. 30.

The curious forms of the letter M—Sefton Nos. 82, 83— somewhat resemble Stonyhurst Nos. 5 and 6.

Shotwick Nos. 1, 2, 4, 27, 28, is probably the same mark as Backford No. 9; and various forms of the letter R will be found in Shotwick No. 5, Stonyhurst Nos. 7 and 8, Bidston Hall Nos. 27, 28, 29, and 51. The letter K appears—Stonyhurst Nos. 24, 25, and Bidston Hall No. 45. A form of the letter B is found at Stonyhurst (No. 61) and Stoke (No. 1).

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NOTES ON THE ANCIENT RELIGIOUS

HOUSES OF THE COUNTY OF

LANCASTER.

By Dom Gilbert Dolan, O.S.B.

Read 151I1 December, 1S92.

F'EVV counties in England have altered so greatly in the last two centuries as Lancashire. While Wilts and Dorset—even Cheshire and Derbyshire, nearer home — have scarcely changed with the passing years, the discoveries of iron and coal, the growth of a

great

commerce

and the vast increase of its population have made of Lancashire a land which the men and women of the sixteenth century would barely recognise. And we, if we would understand the manners and institutions, the tone of thought, the social standards of olden days, must try and forget the present. Above all, if we would grasp the right idea of the theory and functions of the religious houses which—few in number and comparatively of slender importance—were scattered over the broad surface of Lancashire, we must put aside all thought of our ever-growing cities, the busy, crowded and unrestful population, the marts and manufactures, the canals and railroads, the ships and the smoke, the thousand enterprises and multiform activity which we associate with our county to-day, and go back in imagination to the times when there was scarcely a more thinly-peopled part of England than the land between the Duddon and the Mersey. This great shire was but a poor place as things went then. Of its towns, Lancaster was probably the only one whose name was known two hundred miles away; Preston, and the vast aggregation of cities which men call Manchester, were but thriving market towns; Liverpool—mistress of the commerce of two continents—was but struggling into existence, when the earliest of the Lancashire monasteries was founded on the banks of the Ribble. From the eleventh to the eighteenth century the county was sparsely peopled; its towns and its parish churches were small, and few and far between; woods and wolds, fen' and heathland, had but in part been brought under cultivation. In matters ecclesiastical things were little better; the distant sees of York and Coventry shared between them the responsibility of its spiritual needs. A borderland between Briton and Saxon, its people retained but traditions of the apostolate of Germanus, Patrick, and Kentigern, of Augustine and Wilfrid; and no great minster had arisen, as in other shires, to be the home of those traditions, and the central shrine and focus of the religious life of the surrounding country.

But though, with the exception of Whalley and Furness, the monasteries of Lancashire attained to no great eminence, the work and influence of the monastic orders made itself felt at an early period after the Norman settlement in England. We must look to the abbey of SS. Peter and Paul at Shrewsbury for the first connexion of the county with the new life which was welling forth from the great Benedictine houses, thanks to the energetic and healthy action of Lanfranc and St. Anselm. Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, had refounded the decayed minster in the town of Shrewsbury, and there in later life was sworn a monk and ended his days. Godefrey, his viscount, shared his lord's enthusiasm for the new foundation. His little son Achard was already consecrated to the monastic life in the cloister school at St. Peter's; and on the day of its hallowing the devoted father made over to the abbey his church of St. Mary at Walton, and the church of Kirkham and his vill of Garstan.1 Shrewsbury Abbey held these gifts till the suppression of the monastery; and besides Walton, it enjoyed the patronage of the daughter chapelries of Liverpool, West Derby, and Kirkby. The spiritual connexion between the Shropshire abbey and its Lancashire churches was strengthened by other ties; the manor of Wolstan, lands at Wildgrene and a fishery in the Mersey, gave the monks a very real interest in the prosperity of their northern estates.

While Shrewsbury was thus attending to the souls, the priory of Birkenhead was busying itself about the bodies of the good townsfolk of Liverpool. The history of our commerce may be said to begin with the foundation of the monastery at

1 "Godefridus vero vice comes ejus [i.e., Roger, Count of Poitou, son of Roger the founder] qui in eadem ecclesia filium habebat monachum. concedente sibi comite, dedit monacbis ecclesiam de Walleton et illam de Chercheham cum quariam villa quce diciiur Garstan, teste Roberto Cestrice episcopo."— Afonasticon, iii, p. 519. Godefrey's charter is given at p. 521 w. St. Mary's Church at Walton was given ''in die dedicationis eiusdem eeclesice cum omnibus io^ius vilice, et ccciesiam ouce habebat in dominio S. Michaeiis [? St. Michaei in the hamlet], Chercheham. cum sacerdotibus, et terram quae ad eos nertine;. Adjecit etiam iose Godefridus donis suDradictis, viliam quce dicitur Gerstan (Garston) el omnia perpetuo concessit in eiemosina suprariictis monachis, pro anima sua et sure coniugis et parvuio filio nostro Achardo, quem monachum fectt in eccie.^ia S. Petri."

The church of Kirknam. after being alienated for a time, was recovered by the monks. A patent of Henry VI. confirms the church of Walton "cum capeiiis de Liverpooie, Derby, et Kirkby annexis," to Shrewsbury Abbey.

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