[From Draper The House of Stanley]
Every view of the subject goes to favour the opinion that the town of Ormskirk derives its name from its church ; so that it may fairly be concluded that, prior to the foundation of Orms kirk, or Orms church, no town, manor, or village was known in Lancashire as Ormskirk ; and this satisfactorily accounts for the fact of Ormskirk not appearing in the Domesday Survey, the locality now known as Ormskirk being then the western extremity of Latune (Lathom), which may be found in the Domesday Book.1 The circumstance of no allusion to Ormskirk being found in the Domesday Book, which was not completed until 1086, and as it is pretty conclusively ascertained that Burscough Priory was founded about the year 1186, an earlier date must be claimed for Ormskirk than for Burscough Priory, as Robert Fitz-Henry, Lord of Lathom, the founder of Burscough Priory, gave Ormskirk, which he appears to have inherited from his ancestor, Orm, as part of the endowment of Burscough Priory.2 Granting that Robert Fitz-Henry was a descendant of the Orms, and the inheritor of their possessions in this locality, there can be nothing unreasonable in fixing the date of the foundation of Orms kirk, or church, about the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth century ; and, probably, there is more truth in the tradition, that it was built by two maiden sisters of the great Orm family, than many persons seem inclined to admit.3 Some historians, however, give Orm himself, the proprietor of Halton, the honour of having erected the church shortly after the Conquest, who, being driven from his estates in Cheshire, afterwards settled in Lancashire, having married Alice, the daughter of Hervens, a Norman nobleman, ancestor of Theobald Walter, by whom he obtained large estates in Lancashire. But whether the church was originally built by Orm himself or by his two female descendants, it possesses something of the Saxon-Norman style and strength ; and the lower portion of the massive tower and the tower portion of the present spire, probably the oldest parts of the existing edifice, correspond with the church architecture immediately following the reign of William II., which is a point strongly corroborative of the assumption that Ormskirk church was erected about the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth century, as already inferred. Granting this, Orms kirk would not be the first or only church in the neighbourhood, for, not to mention others, on the site of St. Nicholas Church, at Liverpool, stood the chapel of Our Lady, which was erected about the year 1050.5
The parish church of Ormskirk stands at the north of the town, its massive embattled tower and pointed spire, side by side, being prominent objects from the market cross. The edifice is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, which circumstance suggests the question whether the edifice was not originally built with a tower and a spire, and whether this peculiar double dedication was not suggested by the tower and the spire. Of course it is not now possible to solve these questions with certainty, but the existence of the two steeples and the circumstance of the dedication of the sacred edifice to the two great apostles, Peter and Paul, are sufficiently favourable to warrant the conjectures here advanced. The church, as originally built, was much smaller than it is now, but its enlargements from time to time seem to have been made in the width rather than in the length of the edifice, and this increase in the width has been gained principally by the erection of the Derby and Scarisbrick chapels on the south of the high chancel and the kings chancel, and the Bickerstaffe chapel on the north of the kings chancel.6
On referring to the ground plan it will be seen that the church consists of high chancel and kings chancel, nave, tower and spire, and north and south aisles, having Bickerstaffe chapel and vestry on the east of the north aisle, and the Scarisbrick and Derby Chapels on the east of the south aisle. The length of the church, from the east window to the west wall of the tower, is about 140 feet, and the greatest width, which is from the north wall of the Bickerstaffe chapel to the south wall of the Scarisbrick chapel, is about 72 feet. The tower is a very heavy and massive structure, its walls from the ground floor to the belfry being from 9 feet to 8 feet in thickness ; has a superficial area of about 27 feet by 27 feet ; and is about 72 feet in height to the top of the embattlement, from which rise eight crocketed pinnacles, 9 feet higher. The spire is about 100 feet in height, the vane being "The Eagle and Child."
The tower contains a peal of eight bells, one of which, the tenor or "big bell," is worthy of special notice. This bell is said to have been the third bell at Burscough Priory ; and, judging from the two dates which are on it, "1497 " and "1576," it would appear that the bell, after the dissolution of Burscough Priory, must have met with some serious accident, rendering its re-casting necessary in "1576," previously to its being hung in the tower of the Ormskirk Parish Church.7 This interesting relic from Burscough Priory bears an inscription in old English characters, the intervals between each word being filled with heraldic royal badges, connected with the period when the bell was given to Burscough Priory, which badges we describe thus :Asterisk (*), a rose ; dagger (+), a fleur-de-lis ; section (=), a red dragon ; double dagger (++), a portcullis. The inscription and devices are very neatly executed in a single line between three beads, and occupy the whole circle of the bell immediately below the cannons or ears.
Below this inscription and between two ~neat floral borders, the red dragon, the~large~ rose, the portcullis, and the fleur-de-lis are repeated round the whole circle of the bell, and in the order here named ; and lower down occurs the second date, " 1576." The inscription on the bell in English is " J. S. of B., Esquire, and his wife, made me in honour of the Trinity. R, B. 1497." The question for whom the initials "J. S.," stand for has provoked conflicting opinions, none of which will stand the test of scrutiny. The formation of the first letter itself presents a difficulty. The form of the letter is not that of a capital, but that of a small letter (t) without the dot at the top, and without the stroke peculiar to the I, therefore the question presents itself Is the letter an I or a T ? Baines, in his History of Lancashire, and Glazebrook, in his Marina, have adopted the "J" and the latter takes the " B" after " de " to stand for Burscough, thus " J. S., of Burscough," &c [fpc: such mistakes are not unknown as the Bell maker was working in reverse and may have merely put the J in mirror image]. Subsequently to the publication of his work, however, Mr. Glazebrook, after his attention had been called to the subject by Mr. W. J. Roberts, late of Aughton, changed his opinion as to the reading of the first letter, and, in reply to Mr. Roberts, says,." It amounts to a conviction on my mind that it was presented by Thomas Stanley, first Earl of Derby, and his Countess, Margaret ; and that the letters I took for J. S. are really meant for "T. S.", and the inscription must necessarily be translated as follows :'Thomas Stanley, of Burscough, Esq., and his wife, made me (or caused me to be made) in honour of the Trinity. R. B. 1497. " This second conjecture by Mr. Glazebrook is a very unhappy one, and quite irreconcilable with the inscription itself. had it been the gift of Thomas Stanley, that nobleman would not, in 1497, have styled himself " armiger," or "esquire," whilst then enjoying and having then enjoyed for twelve years, the title of " Comes Derbiae -(Earl of Derby) of Lathom and Knowsley, and having succeeded his father, in 1459, as Baron Stanley.8 In arriving at the meaning and object of the devices on the bell, there can he little difficulty. Though the gift of the bell was clearly an act of piety on the part of the donor, it being made "honore Trinitatis," yet it was also intended to honour and be a memento of the happy results following the battle of Bosworth and the death of Richard III., which secured the throne of England for Henry VII., son of Margaret of Lancaster and Countess of Richmond and Derby, and which was allowed by the marriage of Henry with the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., the undoubted heiress of the rights of the house of York, since the murder of her two brothers in the Tower, which marriage united the White Rose of York with the Red Rose of Lancaster, and so terminated the long War of the Roses, in which, no doubt, the donor of the tenor bell at Ormskirk Church fought under the banner of his neighbour, Thomas, first Baron of Derby, and his gallant brother, Sir William Stanley, who crowned Henry on the battle field of Bosworth. The two roses on the bell (here shewn by the two small asterisks) represent the union of the Roses, or of the houses of Lancaster and York in Henry VIL and his Queen ; the single rose (here marked by the single asterisk) represents the Red Rose of Lancaster, which Henry VII. assumed as great-great grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ; the portcullis, Henrys descent from the renowned John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, the father of Margaret, the Countess of Richmond and Derby ; the fleur-de-lis, Henrys descent from the royal house of France, Henry VII. being the son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who was the son of Sir Owen Tudor and Queen Catherine, widow of Henry V., and eldest daughter of Charles VI. of France ; and the red dragon was the badge borne by the house of Tudor, marking its descent from Cadwaladyr, who was the last to bear the title of the King of the Britons, and who had for his ensign a red dragon ; and Henry VII, to mark his descent from that " blessed king,"9 also bore on his standard a large red dragon on white and green silk, in his memorable and successful struggle with Richard III. on the battle field of Bosworth. The initials "R. B.," before the date, seem to be those of the founder. The inscription and devices have the appearance of having been brazed round the bell after it was cast, all being in bas-relief on strips of thin metal
So much for the devices on the bell ; but for whom do the initials " I. S." stand for ? Scarcely for Thomas Stanley, first Earl of Derby ; and positively not for Margaret, his Countess. In those eventful times, however, there was a person of considerable standing in the neighbourhood of Burscough, whose ancestor, Walter, Lord of Scarisbrick, had increased the endowment of Burscough Priory, and that was James Scarisbrick, Esq., who, by an inquisition of 4th Henry VII., held lands in Burscough, as already noticed,10 and had, no doubt, added his interest to that of the other great families of Lancashire on behalf of the representative of the house of Lancaster, and so, probably, gave the bell to Burscough Priory, as a thank-offering to the Triune Deity, not omitting to ornament his gift with emblems associated with the great national event of the period. 11
After these remarks on the tenor bell at Ormskirk, we must proceed to observe that under the massive tower of Ormskirk Parish Church are two vaults, one under the Cross-Hall Chapel on the south side of the tower, and the other on the north-west corner, which is altogether hid from view by a brick enclosure. In the chapel on the south side of the tower are two mural marble monuments, that on the east side being to the memory of Charles Stanley, Esq., and Jane Stanley, his wife ; and that on the west side, to the memory of the Rev. Christopher Sudell, rector of Northmeols, and father of Mrs. Stanley.
At the east of the north aisle as already observed, is the Bickerstaffe Chapel, beneath which repose the remains of the Stanleys, baronets of Bickerstaffe, and many of their ancestors and kinsmen, who resided at Moor Hall,12 in Aughton. Under the gallery stairs, at the east end of this chapel, are two recumbent effigies, probably brought here from Burscough Abbey, where they were first placed as representations of personages of the Derby family, in accordance with the will of Thomas, the first Earl of Derby. The floor of the Bickerstaffe Chapel is now covered over with pews.
Opposite the Bickerstaffe Chapel is the Scarisbrick or Eccleston Chapel, and between the two is the Kings Chancel At the north-east corner of this chapel is the Scarisbrick vault. This chapel, like the Bickerstaffe Chapel, is now covered with seats ; and, on the floor of one of the pews, over the vault, is the figure of a knight, cut in brass, attired in armour, with the Scarisbrick ensigns. Most probably this is another relic from Burscough Priory, and may represent one of the Scarisbricks who so liberally added to the endowment of Burscough Priory. The last member of the Scarisbrick family buried here was Thomas Scarisbrick, Esq., son of Thomas Eccleston-Scarisbrick, Esq., of Scarisbrick Hall, the funeral taking place on the 26th July, 1833, being twenty-four years after the funeral of his father and brother William, both of whom were buried in the same vault on the same day, namely, the 8th of November, 1809, and whose deaths were deeply lamented throughout the district.
Derby Chapel in the Parish Church of Ormskirk.
The Derby Chapel, the final resting place of the deceased Earls of Derby, forms the south-east corner of the church, being separated from the Scarisbrick Chapel, on the west, by an oak screen, and from the high chancel, on the north, by two pointed arches, between which are also high oak railings. This chapel was built about the year 1572, in accordance with the will of Edward, the third Earl of Derby, who was buried in the high chancel of the church. The chapel is about twenty-four feet square, and is lighted on the east by a window with seven lights, and on the south by two windows having three lights each. On the north of the chapel, under the east arch, are two marble procumbent effigies, much dilapidated, one being that of a Stanley in armour, with his hands clasped, as in the attitude of prayer, and bearing, on the skirt of his mail, the three legs conjoined, the ensign of the Kings of Man ; and the other that of a lady. These effigies are supposed to represent Thomas, the first Earl of Derby, and his Countess, the mother of Henry VII., and were also brought from Burscough Priory at the time of its dissolution. In the walls are three mural bas-reliefs (two being on the north and one on the south) bearing the Stanley arms, and supposed to be in alabaster, but now coated with colouring in common with that on the walls. These are evidently very ancient ; and, probably, were originally inserted in the walls of the Derby chapel in the priory church of Burscough. With the exception of the effigies and the three mural bas-reliefs, just named, two hatchments, and one solitary mural marble monument, there is nothing to be seen to mark this particular part of the church as being the burial place of the Earls of Derby ; and the stranger feels somewhat disappointed to find no marble monuments recounting their deeds or setting forth their virtues. The only monument in the chapel is on the east wall of the north corner, and is to the memory of Alice, the wife of the Hon. and Rev. John Stanley, D.D., rector of Liverpool, Bury, and Winwick, and is thus inscribed
Beneath this monumental marble lyes,
One who, at once, was gracefull, good, & wise,
Lovd & admird in every scene of Life,
The daughter spotless, exemplary -wife.
Firm in her Friendship, & in Honour clear,
Discreet, sweettempered, modest & sincere,
Agreeable in all things, most in mind,
She livd a bright example to her kind.
ALICE, the Wife of the Honble. and Rev. John Stanley, and dauaghter of Edward Warren, of Poynton, in Cheshire, Esqr., by his Second Wife Margaret, the daughter of the Honble. William Spencer, Esqr. Died 5th Nov., 1737, aged 39.
The Derby vault is in the centre of the chapel ; and, previously to being closed after the funeral of the thirteenth Earl, in July, 1851, was entered by three folding doors ; but the vault is now bricked over, and covered with seats, which are generally occupied by the girls attending the Sunday schools. The vault, when closed, contained about thirty coffins, but many of them were fast going to decay, and the inscriptions on about sixteen only could be deciphered.12 One of the coffins is remarkable for its large size this being the one in which rest the remains of the Hon. Thomas Stanley, brother of the twelfth Earl of Derby,. major of the 79th Regiment, who died at Jamaica, September 24th, 1779, and which is 7ft. 7½ in. in length, 2 ft. 6 in. in width,and 1 ft. 10 in. in depth. The coffin containing the remains of the illustrious and heroic Countess Charlotte de la Tremouille could not be singled out with certainty but the coffin, or rather the coffins,13 the one containing the headless body, and the other the head of her beloved and loyal husbandthe brave and martyred Earl of Derbywere in a very good state of preservation, but bore no inscriptions, their uncoffin-like shape being their only indication of the depositories of the mortal remains of the great Earl of Derby, whose loyalty and martyrdom has thus been immortalised by his faithful chaplain, Archdeacon Rutter :-
Hail ! honourd Vault, thou sacred dust,
Should neer be quite extinguished without him;
The Derby vault in Ormskirk Church is now finally closed, and the future burial place of the Derby family will be Knowsley Church,
1 This remarkable book, sometimes called Rotulus Wintoniæ, was framed by order of William the Conqueror, and was the book upon which judgment was to be given upon the value, tenures, and services of the land therein contained. Lancashire does not appear under its proper name ; but Furness and the northern part of the county, the south of Westmoreland, and part of Cumberland are included within the West Riding of Yorkshire; and that part of Lancashire which lies between the Mersey and the Ribble, and which at the time of the survey included six hundreds, and eighty-eight manors, of which Latune was one, is subjoined to Cheshire. The Domesday Book is said to derive its name from having been laid up in the Kings treasury in the church of Winchester or Westminster called " Domus Dei " (Gods house) hence the name Domesday.
2 See page 314.
3 The tradition states that Ormskirk Church was built by two maiden sisters of the name of Orm, who, when they came to consider the steeple part of the structure whether it should have a tower or a spire, could not agree, but afterwards accommodated their difference of choice by giving to it both,hence the singular adornment of Orms kirk with a tower and a spire.
4 Some writers, and Baines among the number, have adopted the opinion that Orm was a Saxon, and is by them called the Saxon proprietor of Halton." The ethnologist, however, will be loath to grant that Orm was a Saxon ; and it must be remembered that when the country was divided between the Saxons and the Danes, after the struggle between Edmund and Canute, the Saxons held the counties south, and the Danes those north of the Thames. In Marryats Jutland of the Danish Isles, vol. i., p. 186, we are assured that Orm is Danish, signifying in English "worm." The name appears to have been borne by one of the oldest families in Denmark, a family now extinct, or nearly so, in that country. Then again, the word " kirk " is Danish for the Saxon word eyrce, or English church. The fact of Ormskirk having two steeples is also very significant when coupled with the Danish name Orm, for there is a Danish " Legend of the Two Church Towers," the dates of which two Danish church towers and that of the foundation of Ormskirk Church are remarkable co-incidents. The legend is as follows :" Sir Asker Ryg, son of Skialm Hvide, was a knight of large possessions, and dwelt near the village of Fiennesleville. One day when about to start for the war, he first went into the little church to pray, and greatly scandalised was he to find the doorway so low that he was compelled to bow his head on entering therein : the roof, too, was of black straw, and the damp and green mould hung to the crumbling walls. Greatly shocked was Sir Asker Ryg ; perhaps had he been more regular in his attendance he would have already discovered the dilapidated state of the building ; so previous to his starting he gave directions to his wife, the fair lady Inge, at that time in an interesting condition, to rebuild the church during his absence, and if she were brought of a boy to erect a lofty church tower, if only a girl, a spire. The lady loge promised obedience to the wishes of her lord, and off he goes, followed by a numerous train of squires, to fight the battles of his country, and perform prodigies of valour. When the war is at an end he bends his way homewards, and on approaching Fiennesleville his impatience is so great he outsteps all his train, and arrives first alone on the brow of the hill which overhangs the village : he strains his eyes and sees not one tower but two,the lady Inge has given birth to twin boys during his absence,and on arriving at his castle, half mad with joy, he embraced his wife, exclaiming, Oh, thou noble lady Inge ; thrice honoured be thou, thou art a Dannewif ! (a woman who first bears twin sons to her husband is termed a Dannewif). These twins grew up to be the most celebrated characters of their century. Absolon became in 1158 Bishop of Roakilde, and was afterwards Archbishop of Land and Esbern Snare."
5 The following inscription in the Mossock Chancel in the north aisle of the church, the position of which will be seen by referring to the ground plan of the church, has given Mr. Glazebro and others the idea that Ormskirk Church was built about the year 1278; but the date on the inscription is merely intended to communicate the fact it sets forth, but has no reference to the date of the original erection of the church. This seemingly. intended poetical inscription is as follows
" JESUS, MARIA,
God sauve the King.
My Ancestors have been interred heare 385 yeares,
This by auntient evidence to me appeares
Whiche that all maye knowe, & none doe offer wrong
It is tenne fotte broade & 4 yeards & a halfe longe
Anno Domjnj 1661. Henry Mosoke
Ætatis suæ 74 Ad majorem Dei gloriam
Richard Mosock sculpsit"
A brass plate, almost similarly inscribed, marks the burial place of another branch of the Mossock family in Aughton Parish Church. This inscription is as follows :" Jesu, Salvator. My ancestors have been intered Here above 380 years. This to me by ancient evidence appears, which that all may know & none Doe offer wrong, It is ten foot & one inch broad & four yards and a half long. Richard Mosock, 1686. God save the sing to the great glory. Amen."
6 The church, from time to time, has undergone many alterations. The Bickerstaffe and Scarisbrick chapels were, most probably, built about the same time that the Derby Chapel was erected. About the year 1730, the south side of the church was rebuilt, when that view of the sacred edifice was similar to that given in our wood engraving, which an embattlement and crocketed pinnacles corresponding with those on the tower, but which were all swept away some thirty years ago. The north aisle was widened about the year 1766, and two or three years ago both tiers of windows were renovated and filled with. stained glass, those in the Bickerstaffe Chapel and the gallery above, by the Earl of Derby the other four forming the upper tier, by the parish ; and the four In the lower tier 1. " The Baptism of Christ," by Wm. Welsby, Esq., already noticed ; 2, " The Last Supper," by Edward Stanley, Esq., of Cross-Hall; 3, " Faith, Hope, and Charity," by Mrs. Webb, only daughter of the late Edward Boyer, Esq., LP., of Brooklands, Scarisbrick ; 4, " The Good Shepherd," by the late Miss Blundell, of The Cottage,
7 An opinion prevailsbut it is only an opinion, and one only barely plausiblethat on the dissolution of the monasteries, &c., in 1540, by Henry VIII., eight of the bells of Burscough Priory were removed to Ormskirk, when it was found necessary to build the present tower for their reception, as the original steeple was not large enough to contain them; and it is also asserted that some of the bells at the Burscough Priory were removed to Croston ; and hence it is concluded that Ormskirk Church had only a spire previously to the reign of Henry VIII., or about the middle of the sixteenth century. That bells were removed from Burscough Priory at the time of its dissolution to the churches of Ormskirk and Croston may be true, and accommodation for the reception of some of them may have been made at Ormskirk Church, but we cannot resist an impression that the required accommodation was secured rather by the rebuilding and Gothicising of the upper portion of the tower, which had fallen into a state of dilapidation, than by the addition of a second steeple ; and this, to some extent, will account for the difference in the style of the arches of the windows in the bell-loft, &c., and that of the once principal entrance into the church at the west side of the tower, which latter and the lower portions of the tower and spire, are of an earlier date than the superstructure from about the floor of the present belfry ; and, most likely, it was at the time of this partial rebuilding of the tower that the light pointed arch on the east side of the structure, and the similar one on the east side of the adjoining spire tower were erected, which throw open the ground floor of the tower and spire, but which are hid from viewthat of the tower by the organ and west gallery, and that of the spire by the west end of the south galleryWith regard to the current opinion that eight of the bells of Burscough Priory were removed to Ormskirk, it is quite certain that, if such was the case, the other seven, as well as the eighth or tenor bell, have been recast, but at other and more recent dates, for four of the bells bear the year " 1714," and the other three, the year " 1774." The following are the inscriptions and dates on these seven bells, according to their order in the peal : st, " 1774 ;" 2nd, " Peace and Good Neighbourhood, 1774 ;" 3rd, " Wm. Grice, Psh Clerk, 1714, A R. ;" 4th, "Henry Helsby, 1714, A.R. ;" 5th, "Archippus Kippax,*1 Vicar, 1714, A.R. ;" 6th, " Beni. Fletcher, Thos. Moorcroft, Thos. Aspinwall, Chwardens, 1714 ;" 7th, " Thomas Budhall, Glocester, Founder, 1774." It is worthy of remark that these seven bells bear each one date only, and that they are without any mark to shew their connexion with Burscough Priory, or with any event prior to the dates on them. This being the case, and there being no authoritative record respecting their earlier history than the dates on them, the reader must be left to form his own opinion as to their having been removed from Burscough Priory, and as to the erection of the present massive tower of Ormskirk Church for their accommodation. The weight of the tenor bell is registered in the belfry as being "25½ cwt, 25 lbs."
8 This correspondence between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Glazebrook is contained in the Additional Manuscripts, in the British Museum, contributed by Mr. Roberts. The bell is thus noticed by Mr. Roberts, from which it will be seen that his opinion, as to the donor, is decidedly more at variance with the inscription than that advanced by Mr. Glazebrook. Mr. Roberts writes, " This badge is an evidence of the fidelity of the artists of the middle ages, whose works evince the scrupulous accuracy in delineation of costume. The heraldic devices on the bell are the strongest evidence that could be adduced to identify its connexion with Burscough Priory. They are those of the pious Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, by her right as daughter of Beaufort and wife of Earl Edmund. No doubt the bell was given by her to the Priory in 1497." How Margaret, the mother of Henry VII. could use the inscription, " I. S. de B., armig. " it would be difficult to divine. We have also heard an opinion hazarded to the effect that the bell was a gift to the Priory of Burscough by Henry VII., after his visit to his mother and the Earl of Derby, at Lathom, as a balm to his conscience for his ingratitude to, and the beheading of Sir William Stanley, the brother of Earl Thomas, who crowned Henry on the battle field of Bosworth : But this, too, is equally at variance with the inscription.
9 Cadwaladyr succeeded to the nominal sovereignty of Britain in 660 but dispirited at the success of the Saxons, be proceeded to Rome, and died there in 708 This prince was called " one of the three blessed kings," owing to his favour and charity towards distressed Christians
10 See page 315.
11 Since writing the above, the writer has had his attention called to the bell at Bickerstaffe Hall, which bears, in old English characters, the names, "Iames Scarisbrek, Esq., Marget hys wyfe. I. E. R." This James Scarisbrick, too, would be living about the year 1497, the first date on the tenor bell at Ormskirk. His wife Margaret was the only daughter of Thomas Atherton, Esq., of Bickerstaffe. who, as well as Gilbert is mentioned as a trustee in the will of Thomas, the first Earl of Derby. This James Scarisbrick had issue, an only daughter, Elizabeth,who was married to Peter Stanley Esq., of Aughton, by which marriage the Bickerstaffe estate passed to the Stanleys of Bickerstaffe, and subsequent Earls of Derby. See page 262.
12 While a portion of the foregoing pages have been going through the press, Moor Hall, the old Aughtort seat of the Stanleys, has again changed hands, John Peter Duff, Esq., being now the owner by purchase from Miss Rosson. Over the south front entrance of this mansion is the following inscription :" Praye ye for the goode estat of Peter Stanley, Esqir and Cecely hys With with ther children who caused this woork to be made in the yere of ovr Lord God a Thovsand ccccaiLxvl. ;" and on the east, and adjoining, is a shield, bearing a stags head and the initials, " P. S."
13 In the south-west corner of the Scarisbrick gallery, which is over the Scarisbrick chapel, there is a mural marble monument to the memory of Robert Scarisbrick, Esq., erected by the affectionate and afflicted widow, Mrs. Anna Scarisbrick, who was also buried at Ormskirk in 1743. The monument bears the Scarisbrick arms, and is thus inscribed :" M. S (Memorim sacrum.) Hic situs est Robertus Scarisbrick de Scarisbrick, Armiger, functus vita, quam piae ac religios duxit, Vidus Martias, Anno reparat Salutis. wnecxxxvie,, )Etatis Lxix., vix ineunte. Conjux, Parens, Paterfamillas, Amicus, Civis, Conjugis, Liberorum, Familim, AmicoruÌn, Patriae amantissimus, vixit nataerta, gloriæ, Sibi satis, Conjugi, Liberis, Familim, Amicis, Patriæ parum. Invidi~ et calumnit major rectae factorum fama sibi superstes vivit, reternum Den, qtti rectae factorrim merces est magnanimis victurus. K. I. P. conjugi amantissimo hanc Tabulam memoriæ, Pietati conjugali, posteris sacram arnantissirna Conjux Anna Scarisbrick de Scarisbriek, moerens posuit." This affectionate tribute to the memory of this good man may be thus rendered : " Sacred to memory. Here is buried Robert Scarisbrick, of Scarisbrick, Esquire, who ended this life, which he led piously and religiously, hardly preserving health, eleventh March, 1737, in the early part of the 69th year of his age. Husband, Parent. Father of a Family, Friend, Citizen a most affectionate lover of his wife, his children, his family, his friends, his country. He livedlong enough for nature, glory, and himself, but scarcely long enough for his wife, his children, his family, his friends, his country. He was above envy and calumny, and he lived after himself in the fame of deeds done rightly (or honourably) and will continue to live eternally to God, who, to the magnanimous, is the recompense of deeds done virtuously. May he rest in peace. His most affectionate and afflicted wife, Anna Scarisbrick, of Scarisbrick, caused to be erected this tablet of remembrance to her most loving husband, to conjugal attachment, and to their children."--In the south wall of the Scarisbrick gallery there is also a mural panel bearing the family crestThe Scarisbrick family is one of great antiquity, and is one of those great heraldic Lancashire families whose history is connected with the chivalry of the country, The Scarisbrick, Eccleston, Dicconson, and Wrightington families are now represented by the two daughters of Thomas Eccleston-Scarisbrick. Esq., who married Eleanora, the heiress of the Scarisbrick family, of Scarisbrick, and assumed in consequence the additional surname of Scarisbrick, and who also inherited the Wrightington estate on the death of his uncle, Edward Dicconson, Esq., of Wrightington. Thomas Eccleston-Scarisbrick, Esq., sold the estate of Eccleston to Colonel Samuel Taylor, of Moston. Mr. Scarisbrick was suddenly taken ill at Ormskirk during the celebration of the jubilee-day of George III., from which he never rallied. His death was universally lamented. His son William only survived him three days, and both were interred in the family vault at Ormskirk church on the 8th of November, 1809. Mr. and Mrs. Eccleston-Scarisbnick had three sons and three daughters, namely, Thomas, Charles, and William, and Anne, Eliza, and Maria. William (interred at Ormskirk on the same day that his father was buried), and Maria died unmarried. Thomas, on the death of his father, succeeded to the Scarisbrick estates, and assumed the surname and arms of Scarisbrick only. He married Sybella-Georgina, daughter of William Herrington, Esq., of Shaw Hall, Leyland, but died, without issue, on the 11th July, 1833, and was succeeded by his brother, Charles Dicconson, Esq., of Wrightington, who had assumed the surname of Dicconson, instead of Eccleston ; but who, on succeeding to the Scarisbrick estate, assumed the surname and arms of Scarisbrick only. Charles Scarisbrick, Esq. died Tth May, 1860, and was buried at Bescar Chapel, on the 12th of thes ame month, the funeral being as private as possible, and his remains being borne, according to his express wish,
On some thick cloud that dare resist,
There shews a kind of bloody mist,
So did his clearness then arise,
And dart upon the people's eyes,
That none did ever see they say,
A bloodier and a fairer day;
Fixed in the sweetness of a mind,
Free from guilt and fear we find;
His boldness now bowing to none,
But his God and him alone
And as triumphing consuls thought
~ ~ ~. ~
Their crowns to th temple as was meet,
They laid them down at great Pans feet.
So after all this triumph he
A servant still to MAJESTY
Before his God fell on his face;
At which the genius of this place,
This reverend vault fetchd him away,
Tenthrone him where the STANLEYs lay;
Whose ashes whisper their desire,
From his warm blood to take new fire;
~ lights blinded world to see
-- .- ~-. "J ~ ~ims olessing of their LOYAj~I~
by a select number of his servants through the grounds and across several fields to Bescar Chapel, a portion of the graveyard having been removed to admit the funeralThe late Charles Scarisbrick, Esq., was succeeded by his two surviving sisters :To the Scarisbrick estates, by the elder, Anne, widow of the late Sir Thomas Hunloke, Bart, by whom she had a son, the late Sir Harry Hunloke, Bart., who died without issue, and a daughter, married to the French Count de Castajie, and the absolute heiress to the Scarisbrick estates; and to the Wrightington estates, by his younger sister, Eliza, married to Edward Clifton, Esq., of Clifton, and formerly of The Blythe, Lathom, by whom she has a numerous family. Lady Hunloke, on succeeding to the Scarisbrick estates, assumed the surname of Scarisbrick only. SCARISBRICK HALL is said to have been the residence of the Scarisbrick family for upwards of seven centuries. The style of the present mansion is Elizabethan Gothic, having been partially rebuilt by the late Charles Scarisbrick, Esq., and his sister, Lady Scarisbrick, from designs by the late Mr. Welby Pugin. The style of the architecture bears a strong resemblance to the Houses of Parliament, but more elaborately ornamented, many of the figures being knights in armour. which, with the handsome clock tower, give to the mansion a most magnificent coup-d-æil. The mansion is surrounded by a moat, which is spanned on the principal or south front by a beautiful bridge in character with the style of the hall, and here are beautiful gates, elaborately and beautifully designed, bearing the arms of the family. The south, north, and west fronts were erected by the late Charles Scarisbrick, Esq., but the east wing and clock tower have been erected, and many of the internal improvements completed, by Lady Scarisbrick, who has also commenced the building of the chapel, on the east side, which will be a beautiful and costly structure. Round the arch of the south vestibule is a beautifully-wrought scroll, bearing, in raised Latin characters, the words, " This Hall was built by me, Charles Scarisbrick, MDCCCXLII., Laus Deo ;" and round the arch of the doorway leading into the entrance-hall Is another similarly-wrought scroll, inscribed, " Ye will shew kindness to my Fathers houseJoshua lie., 12v." Along the front architrave of the noble edifice are the following other Scripture texts, also in Latin characters :" I have raised up the ruins, and I have builded it as in the days of oldAmos ix., 14." " Every house is builded by some man, but He that buildeth all is GodHebrews iii., 4." On the left of the entrance-hall is the banquetting-hall, a most magnificent apartment, and exceedingly rich in tasteful ornamentation, the splendid tracery of the oriels being filled with stained glass. This apartment is about 45 feet by 30 feet, and 80 feet from the floor to the top of the lantern-light, and is floored with encaustic tiles of beautiful and rare designs. The mantel-piece of this splendid apartment is built of stone from the Lathom Park Round 0 Deif, and bears the inscription, on a scroll, " Make the Pile for Fire Great ;" and over this is a rich piece of carved work in Caen stone, supporting two mail-clad knights, and having. the arms of the Scarisbrick family in the centre. On the west side of this apartment is an imposing and splendid piece of oak carving, inserted in the wall, the subject being " Christ Crowned with Thorns ;" and opposite this, on the east side, is a magnificent and elaborately-carved dark-oak screen, above which is the orchestra. The spandrils and roof are filled with the representations of antediluvian and fabulous monsters, in gold and appropriate colours, and in the hollow of the rich illuminated cornice round the apartment are the following Scripture verses :" Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it ; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, for so he giveth his beloved sleep." To the west of the banquetting-hall is the carved oak room, the curious antique wainscotting of which displays, besides many other subjects, " The Deluge," " The Day of Judgment," " Gathering Manna," " David and Goliath," " The Valley of Dry Bones," " The Place of Skulls," " Moses in the Mount Receiving the Ten Commandments," " King David Playing on the Harp," " The Descent of the Holy Spirit like a Dove," " The Holy Eucharist " " Grand Mass," &c. Leading from the carved oak room is a splendid saloon, called the " Tudor Hall," and here, not only the wainscotting, but the ceiling is of richly-carved oak, the upper panels of the wainscotting being filled with portraits, including those of Henry VIII. and his wives, the Princess Mary, the Princess Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Darnley, James I. and his Queen, Prince Rupert, Earl of Surrey, the Queen of Bohemia, &c., being twenty-seven in number. The canopies over these portraits are most exquisite, the carving being picked out with gold, red, and blue. The drawing-room is a spacious and splendid apartment, the ceiling bearing beautiful medallions of Englands greatest worthiesKing Alfred, Edward the Confessor, Chauser, Roger Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, and Shakspeare, and richly illuminated scrolls and the motto " Sit Deo gloria " are repeated with tasteful effect between the medallions and on other parts of the ceilings. The mantel-piece in this apartment is a magnificent specimen of stone carving, the subjects in the two panels being two views of the hail, underneath which is a handsome scroll bearing the name " Charles Scarfs-brick." the whole being executed in bold relief. Round the lantern light of the grand staircase are displayed, on the sides, in carved oak, two views of Scarisbrick Hall, " A Wild Boar Hunt," and " Stag Hunt." The lantern light in the centre of the staircase bears the following verse, " For He that is mighty hath done great things for me, and holy is His name. Allelujah." In the decorations, in the several apartments, scrolls, monograms, shields, and crests are tastefully displayed in all directions, and with admirable effect. Scarisbrick Hall stands in the centre of a fine park, which is picturesquely and tastefully wooded, and has a fine lake of water to the south-east of the mansion. The plantations have been so laid out that a view of the hall cannot be had from any point outside the park. The lodges round the park are very neat, and particularly those on the east side.
14 The limited number of inscription plates, &c., found in the vault seems to justify the suspicion that the vault has from time to time been plundered. which may account for the fact of no plate being found on the coffin containing the remains of the illustrious Countess Charlotte de la Tremouille. The probability is, that there were no inscriptions on the coffins containing the remains of James, the seventh Earl, as " the authorities" in those days would treat the corpse of the great Earl as dishonoured. An old sexton, Mr. John Hankin, was wont to narrate to persons visiting the Derby Chapel during his time the particulars of a very singular robbery from the vault. In those days the Ormskirk Free Grammar School and house stood in the churchyard, on the north side. The robbery was attempted by a woman dressed in deep mourning, who, affecting great distress of mind, succeeded in gaining the sympathy and commiseration of the sextons wife, who allowed the apparently distressed widow to go into the church alone, and whenever she required. On the occasion of one of these lonely visits to the church, however, the strange conduct of the woman attracted the curiosity of the school boys, and they watched the widows proceedings through the church windows, and saw her coming out of the Derby vault carrying an entire hand and arm belonging to one of the bodies interred in the vault. The boys immediately gave the alarm, and the completion of the theft was prevented, but not before the widow had concealed her strange booty under her clothing. The coffin from which the hand and arm were extracted is supposed to contain the remains of a foreign ecclesiastic, who died during the sixteenth century at Lathom House, and whose body had evidently been embalmed, as the flesh thereby had acquired hardness and a dark brown colour, which was seen when the vault was closed in 1851, the wood coffin being then almost entirely decayed away,. and the lead one, which was shaped to fit the head and neck, had several openings in it, laying bare the body and the cloth in which the body had. been tightly wrapped at the time it was embalmed. This coffin is under the one containing the body of the seventh Earl of Derby. In consequence of the attempted robbery above noticed, for several years visitors were not allowed into the Derby Chapel, but the privilege was again conceded on the condition of the sexton being personally present with all future visitors,
*1 A 'Archippus Kippax' was Rector of Andreas and Archdeacon of Man in 1697