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Datr Of Elrction.

1885. Nov. 26 *Atherton, Webster. 8 Victoria park, Walton.

1886. Dec. 2 ';:Dixon, James. 27 Peveril street, Walton.

1893. Nov. 30 Dolan, Dora Gilbert, O.SB. 4 Great Ormond street, London, W.C

1889. Dec. 12 Grazebrook, George, F.S.A. Sudbury, Harrow.

1888. Mar. 8 *Shaw, George Thomas. Athenaeum, Church street, Liverpool, Hon. Librarian.

1888. Feb. 9 *Watts, Augustine, M.A. 67 Lord street, Liverpool.


1854. Sept. 27 Babington, Charles Cardale, F.R.S., F.S.A.

5 Brookside, Cambridge.

1855. Feb. 1 Clarke, Joseph, F.S.A. The Roos, Saffron

Walden, Essex.

1875. Jan. 7 Coughtrey, Millen. London street, Otago, New Zealand.

1880. Oct. 5 Dean, John Ward. 18 Somerset street, Boston, Mass., United States of America.

1870. Sept. 13 Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton, C.B. The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire.

1870. Sept. 13 Huxley, Thomas Henry, LL.D.,F.R.S. 4 Marl borough place, St. John's Wood, London.

1854. Sept. 27 Latham, R. Gordon, M.D. 96 Disraeli road, Putney, London.

1870. Sept. 13 Lubbock, Sir John, Bart., M.P., F.R.S., F.S.A. High Elms, Hayes, Beckenham, Kent.

1852. Dec. 9 Mac Adam, Robert. 18 College square East, Belfast.

1891. Dec. 3 Oxford, the Lord Bishop of, F.S.A. Cuddesdon Palace, Oxford, Vice-President.

1880. Oct. 5 Ruskin, John, LL.D. Brantwood, Coniston, Lancashire, Vice-President.

1870. Sept. 13 Stokes, Sir George Gabriel, Bart, M.P., P.R.S. LLD. Pembroke College, Cambridge.




Society of Antiquaries of London.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Royal Historical and Archaeological Society of Ireland.

Royal Archaeological Institute, London.

Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Kent Archaeological Society.

Somersetshire Archaeological Society.

Sussex Archaeological Society.

Chester Archaeological Society.

Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian Society.

Leicestershire Archaeological Society.

Yorkshire Antiquarian and Topographical Association.

Shropshire Archaeological Society.

Architectural and Archaeological Society of Lincoln and Notts.

Manchester Literary Club.

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By W. C. Ashby Pritt.

Read 14th January, 1892.


THE ancient Parish of Wallasey consists of that triangular peninsula containing the high land at the N.E. corner of Wirral and a low, flat strip of grass land and sandhill, stretching for two or three miles westward to Leasowe Castle, or Mockbeggar Hall, a racing box dating back about three hundred years, and originally called "The New Hall." The western boundary of the castle grounds forms the only land boundary of the parish, and that of only a few hundred yards; the other boundaries being the "Vergivian" Sea (Webb's Itinerary, in King's Vale Royal) on the north, and the River Mersey on the east; the third side of the triangle being formed by the Wallasey Pool, and its small feeder, the River Fender. In the Ordnance Survey maps, that branch of the stream rising near Grange, and forming the boundary between Wallasey and Bidston, is called the Birkett; and that flowing under the western slope of Bidston Hill, the Fender; though the names are applied indiscriminately by the country folk.

I will leave to geologists and philologists the vexed question as to whether Wallasey1 has or has not been an island; but before the draining of the Moss, and the conversion of the Pool into the Great Float, the means of communication between the parish and the outside world were very limited. During the winter, except in frost, the shortest land exit—that across the Marsh—was quite impassable, and the ford at Poolton could only be used at low water; the high road being that past Leasowe Castle and through Moreton to Neston, or through Bidston to Birkenhead.

But if the communications were bad fifty years ago, two hundred and fifty years ago they were worse; and " island " would not be an inappropriate term to apply to the parish. The delays and dangers in crossing the Mersey at Seacombe appear by the extract from the registers, quoted in a paper by Mr. E. M. Hance, in vol. xxxv of these Transactions, in reference to the drowning of four persons, in a boat loaded with coals, belonging to Mr. Bunbury, on the 22nd November, 1673; and by another entry, in the churchwardens' accounts for 1679, of an expenditure of 2s. 6d. "at Livrpoole, ," being wind bound 2 dayes." Robinson mentions "the flatt land called the Moss, on which the salt "tide flows"; and such field-names as Salt Ley field (W. 155, 174), Salt Croft (W. 156), Salty field (W. 171-2), and Salt Ley Croft (W. 287),2 situated between the banks of the Fender and the village of Wallasey, show that, at times, the tide flowed further inland from the Pool than at present. Before the building of the Leasowe Embankment, in 1830, the tide frequently washed over the low lands, and the inhabitants of Lingham, the farm behind Leasowe Lighthouse, were overflowed three years consecutively.3

1 " Wealas-ieg "—the Island of the Welsh, or strangers, as distinguished from the invading Saxons— is the generally accepted derivation.

Two centuries ago, all land transport and communication with the outside world would be by horse or boat, and several entries in the churchwardens' accounts point to the fact of heavy goods being carried by pack-horses, especially those in 1687—"to 9 barrells of Lyme at 2s id p. barrell, "00 : 18 : og "; "to the men that brought it all "night and 9 horses, 00 : 03 : 00 "—and in 1694, when five barrels of "Lyme" were bought for church use, the Wardens expended fourpence " to "Welchmen's horses in the Ch: Yard whilst we "unlightened ye Lyme." A startling entry occurs in the register of burials, during the latter half of the seventeenth century, that of the burial of three Welshmen (giving names) "which were "shipwrecked and starved to death on Wallasey "sandhills." 4

Before the enclosure of the common lands, early in the present century, (the first " improvements," such as the Birkenhead Docks and the Great Float and the building of New Brighton, dating back

» The numbers after the field-names throughout this paper refer to the numbers in the tithe maps and lists, and the letters to the Townships—W., Wallasey; L., Liscard; P., Poolton-cum-Seacombe.

3 A terrier of Liscard Township, in possession of the Rector, mentions lands "under ye level of ye tide "; referring to several fields on the shores of the Pool. The document is undated, but is apparently of about the middle of the last century.

4 I have no note of this entry, and quote from memory. This paper is, I regret, far from complete; writing, as I am, in Southern India, and with no opportunities of reference, or of verifying my references.

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