[Note selections from this volume are included as the Rectory of Winwick, being both richly endowed and the advowson of the Stanley family had significant links both with that family and, through them, the Isle of Man. As an example Bishop Wilson was curate to his uncle at Winwick and was married in that church

Only those sections having some Manx relevance are included - please contact me if you need other pages]




1420.-RICHARD STANLEY, who about this time or before had become rector of Winwick, was the second son of Sir John Stanley, knight, who in 2 Hen. V. (1415), was elected member of Parliament for Lancashire, and was father of that Thomas Lord Stanley who was the first of his house to be ennobled, and from whom the present Earl of Derby is a lineal descendant. Richard Stanley, the rector, was a man of mark, who in 1431 was made archdeacon of Chester, and a circumstance of a private nature which happened the same year shows that he was held in esteem by his neighbours. A quarrel, it seems, had broken out between Nicholas de Rysley and Gibone his son on the one side, and William de Breche and Richard his son on the other, and the quarrel was embittered by the parties being near neighbours and probably relations. Both parties however, very wisely agreed to leave their quarrel to be settled by the Archdeacon, and he undertook the office of peacemaker between them. After carefully hearing the evidence on both sides he came to a conclusion upon the matter, and by his award in writing " Gyvn at Wynwhike upon Thursday after the conception of our Ladye. the yer of the reigne of Kyng Harry the sext the tent" (that is on 13th December, 1431) " he did fynd the trespas more done to the sayd Nicholas then was done to the said William, and did ordayne deme and awarde the William to deliver to the said Nicholas a hoggeshead of wyn, at Weryngton, als gode als the sayd Nicholas will chose of Rede or quoyt betwene that time and the feast of oure Ladye next, suying after the date of his awarde or elles to pay to the sayd Nicholas ii. marks of minee at the election of the sayd Nicholas, and if the sayd Nicholir, schose to the sayd payment of the sayd ii. marcs and refuse the sayd hoggeshead of wyne he did ordeigne and award the sayd William to pay to the sayd Nicholas the sayd ii. marcs that is to wete j marc at. the fest of St Hillare day next suyinge after the date thereof, and i marc at the fest of Pasche then next suying, and he did ordene deme and award the sayd partys to be fulle frendes for all manner trespas that had byn hade betwene them from the begynninge of the worlde until the day of the gyfyng of his sdyd awarde excpt ryghte of lond."1 The award, which is in English, is a very fair specimen of our mother tongue at that time, and the evidence which it affords that both red and white wines were to be had in the Warrington Market at that time.

The poverty of the priory of Nostel seems from some cause to have been both of old standing and to have been chronic. In 1225 Archbishop Gray, on being called upon to confirm to the prior and canons of the convent a grant which had been made to them of thirty nine marks of rent, expressly designates them as "paupertate et depressione compatientes"2 Their finances must have rallied a little before 1306, for they were then able to advance to one of the archbishop's successors a loan of forty marks.3 But in 1384, as we have already seen (page 12. ante), their resources were at the deepest ebb, and they were then involved in a debt of twelve hundred marks. In such a strait they had to consider how they might relieve themselves, and they came reluctantly to the conclusion of selling the living of Winwick; and after negotiations which probably continued for some time, the living was disposed of to Sir John Stanley, in 1433, in return for a perpetual rent charge of one hundred shillings a year, which still continues to be paid to the representatives of -whoever purchased the rent charge -after the dissolution of the religious houses at the Reformation. This grant "de patronatu eceles. de Winwick concedendo Johanni Stanley militi reser vanda priori annua pensione Cs." was afterwards confirmed by the King's letters patent.4 The arms, of Nostel were, gules a cross between four lions rampant or, and if, as is probable, they were once in the church windows at Winwick, they remain there no longer to preserve the, memory of its connexion with its former patrons. Richard Stanley, who was rector at the time of the sale, would,no doubt rejoice at the exchange of his patrons-from the canons who had taken the profits of. the living to spend them in their distant house, to his father who would give them to the rector to spend them within the parish bounds.

1 Proceedings of the Lanc. and Ches. Hist. Society, 1871, P. 107.
2 Gray's Reg. Surtees Society, p.4
3. Raine's "Archbishops Of York, ", P. 365.
4 Tanner's Notitia Monastica, 646.

1453. — EDWARD STANLEY, who succeeded Richard Stanley, both as Archdeacon of Chester and Rector of Winwick, was the third son of Sir John Stanley, knight, and consequently a brother of his predecessor. He [?Richard] died Archdeacon of Chester and Rector of Winwick on 5th November, 1467. The Stanley Chantry in Winwick Church is supposed to have been of his foundation.1 He was the third member- of his family who had enjoyed the dignity of Archdeacon of Chester within less than half a century. On the 27th July 1481, he was made warden of the collegiate church of Manchester, and he died warden of-that place, and probably Rector both of Winwick and Warrington, on ' or before 22nd July, 1485.1

1 Lancashire Chantries, Chet. Soc. i., 67, 68.

1467. — JAMES STANLEY, clerk, probably the same who was Rector of St. Peter's in Chester in 1464, and resigned, that living in 1466,1 was presented to the living of Winwick 22nd November, 1467, by Henry Byrom, gentleman, patronus pro hac vice. On 10th June,. 12 Ed. IV., 1472, he was an arbitrator, and signed the award in a dispute between John Culcheth, esquire, and William Eccleston2. On 7th September, 1476, he was presented to the rectory of Warririgton.

1  Hist. Chet. Soc. i. 26o.
2 Culcheth Deeds.

1493. — JAMES STANLEY, who was presented to the living of Winwick on 28th February in the above year, was the 6th son of Thomas first Earl of Derby. He passed some time both at Oxford and Cambridge, and finally graduated at the latter University in or about 1458, in which year he took holy orders and was made prebendary of Holywell in the church of St Paul in London1. Probably without much regard to his own inclinations he was early destined to the Church, in which - for at least several generations before him there had always- been at least one cadet of the house of Lathom to be found. His uncle, a churchman of his own name, probably gave him his name at the font and chose his profession for him. In, 1470 he was appointed prebendary of Driffield, in the church, of York. In 1479 he was collated to the prebend of Dunham in, the church of Southwell; and so quickly did preferments come upon him that on 22nd July, 1485, he succeeded his uncle in the valuable wardenship of the Collegiate Church at Manchester. A pluralist already still, further promotion awaited him. In 1491, he was installed in the, prebend of Yatminster Prima, of the Church of Salisbury, and the next year in the prebend of Beaminster in the same church. In 1493 he was made dean of the royal chapel of St.Martin's-le-Grand in London, in 1478 rector of Rostherne, Cheshire, in 1500 archdeacon of Richmond, and in 1505 precentor of Salisbury. We can hardly suppose that all these preferments could have flowed in upon him without his having some good qualities, which history has omitted to record, and there is an improbability in the story which Jortin tells of him, that when Erasmus was in Paris with Lord Mountjoy and some other young nobles, in 1490, he was offered promises and a pension if he would take under his tuition James Stanley and fit him to be made a bishop, for James Stanley had then been long in the church, and was no longer young; moreover, though he was always said to be armis quam libris peritior, it is hardly likely that one who had mixed as he had done in his father's halls with Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, and the other learned persons whom Margaret of Richmond drew around her, there could be an illiterate person.2 For his next step in dignity, his advance to the mitre, he is believed to have been indebted to the Countess of Richmond, which it has been said we must not reckon amongst her many good deeds, but as the very. worst thing she ever did. On the 17th. July, 1506, Pope Julius II.. signed his bull of provision constituting him Bishop of Ely, and in the following year the University of Oxford granted and decreed that he might be created a doctor of decrees by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of London Placing a cap upon his head.3 At this. time, if not before he resigned the living of Winwick. On Holyrood Day, 3rd May, 11 Henry VIII., 1495, when the Earl of Derby as constable of England sat in the King's Chamber at Westminster to hear and decide a suit of arms between Sir Thomas Assheton and Sir Piers Legh, knight, as to the right of the latter to quarter-the Assheton arms, James Stanley, then warden of Manchester, and his brother Sir Edward Stanley, attended to hear and, witness the Earl's decision,4 and in the same year,- when the King and Queen came on a progress to Lathom to visit the King's mother and the Earl of Derby, they slept at Winwick on the night of the 20th July, where they were probably the guests of the rector. In the very next year the King, who never spared his friends when money was concerned, sued the rector under the statute of liveries. Let us hope that the offending livery had, not been used during the royal visit to Winwick.5 -After James Stanley's promotion to the See of Ely- he resided chiefly at the Episcopal Palace at Somersham, which he much improved, but he was very often both at Manchester and at Lathom. In 1508 two notices of the Bishop occur in the recently-published memorials of Bemard of Tholouse. In the first, dated in January, he mentions the Bishop's coming to London; but in the second,- dated six months later, he records the Bishop's-coming to Court after being long kept away by his bodily, infirmity- and the necessary attendance on his private affairs. 6 But perhaps that circumstance-in his life to which Fuller alludes may have had something to do with the Bishop's absence from Court. " I blame not the Bishop," says - Fuller,. "for passing his summer with the Earl of Derby, but for living all the winter with one who was not his sister, and who wanted nothing to make her his wife save marriage."7 It was the stain upon his birth that made his son Sir John Stanley, of Honford, write up so frequently the Scripture text " Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas," and at last drive him to retire into a convent.

The barbarous sport of cock-fighting, which had so long been popular in Lancashire that according to the sheriffs King John kept there no less than 260 birds of game,8 had lost none of its popularity in the days of the Bishop of Ely. By previous appointment, and in compliance with a custom then seemingly common at Winwick, a great cock fight took place there on 27th April, 1514, and, as was not unusual, a great quarrel took place among the gentry who were present, and several angry law suits were the result; and the fight in the cock pit was followed by another fight in a court of law. The Bishop of Ely, though he is said to have fixed the day and place of the cock fight, was not himself present there ; but the amusement seems not to have been held unclerical, for the evidence in the suits shows that several priests and ecclesiastics were present and were among those who took an active part in it. It required a better monarch than King John to discountenance so barbarous a sport as cock-fighting, which, except during a short interval when it was forbidden by Cromwell, continued to hold its ground to our own day, when, to the glory of the present reign, it was abolished by law; and it is to be hoped has now finally and for ever disappeared.

When all Lancashire was astir with the King's summons before Flodden, the Earl of Surrey, as we are told in the "Scottish Field," supposing the Bishop to be either at Manchester or at Lathom, caused a messenger to ride

To the bishop of Eley
That bode in those partes.

By no means slack in answering the call, the Bishop mustered his large contingent, and being semper paratus ad arma in his calling and, if the infirmities of years had not forbidden it, he would have imitated Anthony de Bak, the famous old bishop of Durham, and put himself at their head; as it was, however, he found an able substitute in Sir John Stanley, of Honford, whom he sent in his stead.

The Bishop appropriated the rectory of Great Shelford to Jesus College, in Cambridge, and he compiled the statutes of that college and obtained the confirmation of them from Pope Julius II. He added largely to and improved the episcopal palace of Somersham, and in conjunction with Sir John Stanley, of Honford, he undertook to build the large chapel of St. John the Baptist on the north side of the collegiate church of Manchester.

He died at Manchester, 22nd March, 1514-15, and was buried in the above chapel under a tomb of grey marble, on which there was a small figure of him in brass and this inscription:-" Of your charity pray for the soul of James Stanley, sometime Bishop of Ely, and warden of Manchester, who deceased out of this transitory world the 22nd day of March, 1515, upon whose soul and all Christian souls Jesu have mercy.

Vive Deo gratus, toto mundo tumulatus
Crimine inundatus semper transire paratus.

Filii hominum usque quo gravi corde ut quid diligitis vanitatem et quocritis mendacium. Utinam saperent et intelligerent ae novissima providerent." In the rhyming chronicle of the Stanleys, where there is a notice of the Bishop's death and burial, we have a flattering portrait of his appearance :

A goodly tall man he was as any in England
He did end his life in merry Manchester
And right honourably he lies buried there.

The chronicler's laudation of the bishop extends only to comeliness of person and his great stature; but Godwin, forgetting that men's good deeds being written in water die with them, and that their evil deeds being written in brass survive them, and remembering only the scandal of the bishop's private life, for which to the King's honour he was discountenanced at Court, and laboured under the Pope's sentence of excommunication until he went to the grave, would rob the bishop of every good quality. Perhaps it would be safer to suppose that having attained the mitre it proved too heavy for his head and made him forget the good qualities which had led to his previous advancement.

After the bishop's death his executors instituted a suit in court to recover some arrears of a pension due to him.9


1 Athenae Cantab. ii. 16, 525.
2 Athenae Cantab. ii. 16, 525.
3 Hist. Ches. i. 343. f
4 Ibid.
5 Whitaker's Richmondshire,.ii. 245. t
6 5 Rep.
7 108, 125.
8 Raines' Hist. of Liverpool, 86.
9 Duchy Calendar.


1552. — THOMAS STANLEY, Lord Bishop of Man, was presented to the living of Winwick by Edward, third Earl of Derby, on the10th April, 1552, and paid his first fruits the same year. There had been four archdeacons and one bishop before him occupants of the living since the advowson became the property of Sir John Stanley. The bishop who now held the living had been consecrated to his see on the death of Hesketh, or Black-leach, in 1542; but in 1545 he was displaced from the see for refusing to comply with the Act of 33 Henry VIII,, disconnecting the bishopric of Man from the province of Canterbury and attaching it to that of York. In 1553, when the royal commissioners came to Winwick to take an account of the bells and vestments they found at Winwick the following:-


iij bells wherof a clokke stikketh upon one. ij....sacrying bells ij little pixes of silu' th chalices. A vestment of ... wt .... belonging to the same. A olde vestmet of silke wt. brannchez .... fustean. And at the trinitie Church a vestmet of white .... An other vestemet of silke An other vestmet of crule wt. all things belonging .... coape white fusteanj belle called a sancts belle Wh. ij lyttill sacring belles belonging to the said Church."1

In 1556, however, the bishop was restored to his see, and on 5th August 5 and 6 Phil. and Mary, 1558, when he occurs in a deed with Thomas Lord Monteagle, he is expressly described as Thomas Lord Bishop of Man.2 In 4 and 5 Phil. and Mary, 1557, and on the 9th August, 5 and 6 Phil. and Mary, 1558, he was first made Rector of Wigan, and then Rector of North Meols.3 And as if this heap of preferments was not enough for one pluralist, he became also Rector of Badsworth and of Berwick-upon-Tweed, for all which it is said that he obtained the Pope's bull to hold them with the bishopric. If this were so, however, we see in it the last expiring glimmer of this once profitable part of the Pope's power in England. The Bishop was Rector of Winwick when the fall of the chantries took place in 1553, and William Stanley was returned as being the priest then serving the rector's, or perhaps more properly Lord Derby's chantry, as being founded under his will with an endowment of £3 0s. 9d.4 In 1557 "dominus Ricardus Smith" is returned as.the bishop's curate at Winwick. In 1559 Sir John Holeroft the elder, by his will of 2nd December, declared that if the tenants in Culcheth would purchase and make sure for ever lands of the value of £6 13s. 4d., and thereat to hire a priest at £5 13s. 4d. and a clerk at 20s. his best chain should be given towards the same-and this is believed to be the origin of the church at Newchurch.5 The testator had probably the founding of this chapel in his mind when he purchased the Culcheth tithes. By his same will he left xx-s. towards the glassinge of Winwick Church. In 1563 the parish registers commence, and the name of Andrew Rider, the curate, appears in them as having made the first, and a little later the bishop's monogram and autograph may be seen in some of them.6 Not satisfied with the injury his absenteeism inflicted upon the parish and with living in forgetfulness of his responsibilities, of which we have a glimpse in a letter written by Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, to the Archbishop of Canterbury about this time, in which he says, "The Bishop of Man, Thomas Stanley, liveth here at his ease as merry as Pope Joan."7 It would almost seem from this that to his other preferments he had added a stall at Durham, if not he was only imitating a number of the beneficed clergy of his time who absented themselves from their livings that they might be more free to enjoy themselves.8 But pluralist as he was, the bishop was far eclipsed by Sir John Mansel, once Rector of Wigan, the next adjoining parish to Winwick, on the north, in the reign of Hen. III., who, besides being Lord Chancellor and occupying other offices in the State, presented himself to every living in his patronage which fell vacant while he was Chancellor9. But his absenteeism was not the worst evil which Bishop Stanley inflicted upon the living of Winwick; for on the 5th October, 1563, by an indenture in which he calls himself Thomas Stanley, Bishop of Man and rector of Winwick, he granted to Sir Thomas Stanley, knight, a lease of the rectory parish church and benefice, with the manor park and glebe lands for the term of 99 years, at the yearly rent of £120; which lease was confirmed by Edward Earl of Derby and William Bishop of Chester.

Hitherto we have seen no rector of Winwick appear as an author. Now, however, Bishop Stanley appears in that character among the first of the rectors of Winwick as the writer of the "Rhyming Chronicle," a sort of history in verse of the Stanley family continued to the year 1562. He is said to have had in his possession a very ancient painting of the face of our Blessed Lord, which was taken by him to Douglas in the Isle of Man, where it is still preserved.10 The bishop died in 1568, but neither the place of his burial nor the exact nature of his origin has been ascertained. His name does not appear in the Knowsley pedigrees. It has been said that he was the son of the second Lord Monteagle, but if so he is unnoticed in the pedigree of that family, and was probably illegitimate. The first Lord Monteagle was Edward, who died in 1523 ; the second, Thomas, who died in 1560; and the third, William, who died without male heirs in 1551.

[see Seacombe]


1 From a copy in the Public Record Office obtained by J. E. Bailey, Esq.
2 Lanc. and Ches. Wills, Chetham So., part III.
3 Hist. Lanc.iii. 540, and iv. 277.
4 Lancashire Chantries, Chet. Soc., i. 69, in notis.
5 Lancashire and Cheshire Wills, Chet. So., i. 148.11
6 Hist. Lanc. iii. 625.
7 Hist. Lanc. iii. ioo, and Parker Correspondence.
8 Froude's Hist. Eng. ii. 416.
9 Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors.
10 Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institute, No. 107, p. 190 see also
Manx Soc Vol XX


1569. — CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON was presented by the Queen on 19th March, 1569, and he paid his first fruits on the 31st Of the same month. It does not appear under what circumstances the Queen claimed the right to present. It was not on account of the patron's minority, for he was of full age. If it was because his predecessor had been made a bishop, Her Majesty could hardly have claimed the presentation after suffering Thomas Stanley to hold it to the end of his life, notwithstanding that he had been made Bishop of Man.

It is possible that the Queen disputed the right of the late bishop's lessee to exercise the right of presentation.

At all events, Christopher Thompson, of whom we have been unable to learn any particulars, held the living but a short time.


1660. — RICHARD SHERLOCK, D.D., was presented to Winwick, by Charles, Earl of Derby, before the 20th June, in this year; but the patronage on some ground seems to have been disputed either by the Crown or by the lessee of the living whose term had not then expired, and Sherlock was not actually admitted full rector until the year 1662. The scandalous lease, for 99 years, which had been made of the glebe, patronage, and tithes to the prejudice of the Rector on 25th March, 5 Eliz. 1563, expired on 25th March, 1662 ; and Sherlock was fully admitted to the living shortly after that time. Roger Lowe, the diarist, mentions his being at Warrington on the 17th March, 1662-3, and going to Mr. Barker's to hear the organs. Were there organs in the church at that early time ? The editor of the 1841 edition of Wilson's "Sacra Privata " is mistaken in calling Sherlock its author, for Wilson wrote the book and Sherlock only edited it. He says that the patronage being in dispute the living was given to Sherlock by the King, but probably the King did no more than merely confirm the patron's appointment.1 He says also that the Mr. Potter, who did the duty before Sherlock's arrival, appears on the register as Curate in August, 1662, and October, 1663, when he married two couples from Grappenhall, at Winwick church.2 Certain it is, however, that , Sherlock had been nominated to the living of Winwick before 20th June, 1660 ; for on that day he was restored "to a fifth part of the profits of the living, till such time as he should try his right to the parish against Mr. Jessop, the then incumbent."3

Soon after Dr. Sherlock took possession of the living, Grace Eden, an inhabitant of Winwick, sued him, pretending a right to the tenements she was in possession of upon paying a small rent and a fine certain upon the coming in of every Rector; but she was cast and forced with the rest to take leases from the Doctor upon his own terms and with what fine he thought fit, which leases he granted for the term of 21 years if he continued so long Rector, and therefore he continuing to be such until 1689, they were forced to renew with him a second time.

Dr. Sherlock was the son of the Rector of Woodchurch n1, of both his names, and was born at Oxton in that parish, on the 11th November, 1612. Like very many eminent men, Sherlock . had an excellent and pious mother. He was educated for a while at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and afterwards at Trinity College, Dublin, where he became M.A. in 1633. His first preferment was a living of £80 a year in Ireland, which he lost on the breaking out of the great rebellion in 1641, whereupon the Marquis of Ormond appointed him chaplain to one of the regiments then going over to England. In the defeat of the King's forces under Lord Byron, before Nantwich, on 25th Jan., 1643, where Sherlock was with his regiment, he was made prisoner, but he was taken in good company, Monk, afterwards celebrated as the restorer of the King, being taken prisoner at the same time. Fairfax, in his despatch from Nantwich of the 29th Jan., 1643, mentions the fact of Sherlock's being made prisoner in the battle. To be named in an official despatch has proved of service to many a young soldier ; and although Sherlock was but a non-combatant and was only named as among the prisoners taken, the circumstance kept him before the eye of the Court, and possibly had some effect on his future fortunes. The great Duke of Wellington, at the end of one of his Peninsular Despatches, threw in an expression of regret that the enemy had taken Tom Waters, the best earth-stopper in the army. Tom Waters was a colonel in the service; and the Duke's regard for him thus casually thrown in did not hinder his promotion. From Nantwich, where he was captured, Sherlock was sent to Oxford, where he became chaplain of New College, was made a B.D. in 1646, and had for his colleagues two men of mark, Isaac Barrow and Peter Gunning, both afterwards bishops.4 From this employment he was removed in 1648 by the Parliamentary Commissioners, and he then became curate of Cassington, in Oxfordshire, where he must have laboured for love of the work, and not for lucre, for his stipend was only £16 a year. Leaving this cure upon his rector being ejected, he next entered the service of Sir Robert Bindloss, of Borwick Hall, whom he faithfully reproved for indulging in those excesses to which some of the cavaliers at that time were but too much addicted. We should remember, to Sherlock s honour, says Whitaker, that when he reproved his patron the established clergy were a persecuted race, and were often in want of bread.5 Wilson says he was a father and a priest to Sir Robert, and that the latter to his honour did not resent his faithfulness. At Borwick he had a controversy with George Fox, who frequently resorted to that neighbourhood, and during the controversy some pamphlets and papers appeared as well from Sherlock's pen as from that of Fox and his partisans. From Borwick he removed to the more congenial atmosphere of Knowsley, to become chaplain to the Earl of Derby, the patron of Winwick, who, as we have seen, at the Restoration presented him to that living. And about the same time he received from Dublin his D.D. degree. In 1664 Roger Lowe mentions going to see Winwick Hall and the chapel, so that Sherlock must have had a domestic chapel there. The Earl, after the Restoration, entrusted Sherlock with a commission to settle the church in the Isle of Man, and possibly that detained him awhile from Winwick after he was presented to the living. When he first came to his living the rumour that he was a High Churchman which had preceded him, had so prejudiced the people against him that on the very day that he read himself in, when he came to the XXII. Article against Purgatory, one of his hearers, who had not patience to hear him to the end, arose and left the church exclaiming, " Nay, if you be for purgatory, you shall be no teacher of mine." In 1666 Mr. Potter was his curate, and in 1669, at the Bishop's Visitation, Sherlock preached the sermon, which was afterwards printed in London. We learn from the parish register that in 1679 a Mr. John Shaw was Sherlock's curate; and in 1681 Thomas Crane, of Brazennose College, Oxford, who had graduated there as an M.A. in 1670, filled the same office.

In 1672 the house of Richard Birchall, in the parish of Winwick, was licensed for a presbyterian meeting place, and at the same time William Aspinwall received a licence to be a presbyterian teacher in the above house, which was no doubt situated in Ashton.

In 1674 Thomas and Anne Sherlock, the rector's nephew and niece, erected the house at Owler Root, in Winwick, on which their initials appear.

In 1683 there occurs in the register a notice of a ceremony now forgotten, that of the King touching for the evil, which seems to have been a kind of exorcism, and to have had a regular religious service appropriated to it, the form of which may be seen in "Notes and Queries." There seems at this time to have grown up some laxity in admitting people to the touch, in consequence of which there issued a proclamation which enjoined upon all ministers and churchwardens, before giving any certificate to persons desirous of being touched, to enquire into the truth and reality of their complaint, and not only to assure themselves that such persons had not been touched before, but to see that a regular register was kept of all the certificates which they granted. In the above named year Rector Sherlock and his churchwardens granted a certificate, which is duly entered in the register, signifying that Henry, the son of Ralph Bate, of Croft, "who had the evill, had been touched by his majestie." A similar certificate appears in the register of the parish of Eccleston, on the 21st March, 1685.6 We need not wonder at the proclamation against the promiscuous issue of such certificates, seeing that in the year 168?. no less than 8,500 people were touched.7 The persecution which he had suffered as a Royalist had taught Sherlock mercy. His life was so consistent, and his charity so tolerant, that he lived down the prejudices which met him on his coming into the parish, and in the end the people learned to revere and love him, which is the more remarkable considering how opposite his doctrines and teachings were to those of Herle, one of his near and great predecessors. He would never, however, tolerate any open profaneness; and one day observing a person, who ought to have known better, openly misbehaving in church, he desired the churchwardens to remove him; but as they were doing so the man expressed sorrow for his misconduct, and so was allowed to remain, which he did, observing at the same time that ", he did not fear the devil half so much as he did that old gentleman with the long grey beard " (Sacra Privata).

Sherlock was a great benefactor to his native parish of Woodchurch, and founded there several useful charities, of which an account will be found in the history of Cheshire.

At Winwick also his charities were abundant and judicious. It was his, maxim that when the shepherd is absent the flock will wander; and so unlike was he to Rector Herle, that in 30 years he was not absent as many weeks from his benefice, where he constantly kept three curates, who always resided in his house, and who, being thus placed near so experienced a master worker, were able to learn from him both by precept and example. Dr. Sherlock was active in his pastoral duties, and was eminently a man of prayer, and the effect of both showed itself in the good order of his parish.

He was a great polemical writer, and the divine may still consult his voluminous works with profit.8

Richard Sherlock from portrait at Winwick church
Richard Sherlock
(from portrait at Winwick courtesy Alan Craven)

A portrait of Sherlock, which still remains at Winwick, and of which there is a copy at Lyme, represents him wearing a black skull cap, with a grave and benevolent but somewhat mortified countenance. He wears a long beard, which he is said to have never shaved after the execution of Charles I. This feature in the portraits of our old divines gives them so very reverent a look that a humourist took occasion lately to observe that he doubted whether there had been any sound divinity since beards were left off. Perhaps, as they having now again begun to be cultivated, divinity may revive also.

Sherlock died at Winwick on the 20th June, 1689, and was buried in the chancel of the church. He maintained a constant and decent hospitality at the parsonage, which for some time was at Broad Oak Cottage, but the greatest part of his revenue was spent in charity. He fasted much, and practised habitual self-denial. He voluntarily chose to live a single life, and he leaned towards asceticism ; and he left behind him not more than one year's profit of his benefice. He left by his will, made the same year that he died, £10 to the poor of Eccles.9 Bishop Wilson, his nephew and former curate, wrote his life, and Crane, another curate, afterwards a non-juror, preached his funeral sermon, which in 1690 was printed in London for Philip Burton, bookseller, in Warrington. Sherlock wrote his own epitaph, which by his desire was in-scribed on his tomb. It has the great fault common to epitaphs in that age of omitting all mention of the deceased's faith; but in other respects it accords well with Sherlock's characteristic humility


Indignissimi hujus
Ecclesiae rectoris
Obiit xxo. die junii
Ao. ietat. 76 Anno Do.
Sal infatuatum conculcate.

The Remains
Of Richard Sherlock, S.T.P.,
The very unworthy Rector
of this Church.
He died 20th June, aged 76,
Anno Domini 1689.
Tread under foot the worthless salt.

To this epitaph some one10 who knew Sherlock, and had a higher estimate of his character, has added this comment, which is engraved upon the same plate

En Viri Sanctissimi
Modestia qui epita
lphiu se indignu inscri
bi volebat cum vita et
merita ej's laudes omnes
Longe superarent.

Behold the modesty of this holy man!
Who wished this unworthy epitaph
Inscribed on his grave, while his
Life and merits exceed all praise! 

1 The Winwick terrier of 27 May, 1701, says all the glebe and tithes of Winwick were leased out in the 5 Eliz., for the term of 99 years, at a rent ofabout £200 per annum.

2 Keble's Life of Wilson, i. 53, and Pref. to Practical Christian, edit. 1846, P.52.

3 Kennet's Register and Chronicle, p. 185 ; Wood's Athenae, Bliss edit., iv. 259 ; and journals of the House of Lords, June 20, 1660.

4 Barrow became bishop of St. Asaph and held also the bishopric of Man in commendam ; Gunning became Bishop of Ely. Both the Bishops were Cambridge graduates. The sneer at the cavalier chaplains might be spared when it is recollected that besides Sherlock, Jeremy Taylor, Fuller and Pearson were among them.

5 Hist. Richmondshire.

6 Hist. Lan., iii. 476.

7 Macaulay's Hist. Eng.

8 Wood's Athenae, Keble's Life of Wilson, Hickes's Life of Kettlewell, Whittaker's.Richmondshire, ii. 313-14-15; and Hist. Ches., ii. 388-89-9o.

9 Hist. Eccles, p. 23.

10 Mr. Hy. Prescott, of Chester.

11 Keble's Life of Wilson, i. 41-45.

n1 Richard Sherlock, DD, is almost certainly the son of John Sherlock, and Cicely nee Fells, John Sherlock being one brother to Richard, Rector of Woodchurch whose will of 1643 describes him as 'nephew'.

The Will of Richard Sherlocke Rector of Woodchurch : dated 19/7/1643. Proved 1643

In the name of God Amen the nyneteenth day of / Julie in the nyneteenth yeare of the Raigne of / our Sovereigne Lord Charles by the grace of god / kinge of England Scotland France and Irelande / defendor of the faith etc. anno domini 1643 I / Richard Sherlocke Rector of Woodchurche w[i]thin / the countie of Chester beinge weake in body / but of whole mynde and in good and p[er]fecte / remembrance laude and prayse bee unto / allmightie God doe make and ordayne this my / last will and testament in manner and forme / followeinge First I comende my soule unto / allmightie god my maker redeemer and / sanctifier and my body to be buried in the chauncell / of Woodchurche afo[re]said by the discretion of / my executrixe hereafter named It[e]m I doe / give unto Henrie Hatton Cler[k] for his / curtesies don unto mee three poundes / It[e]m I doe give unto the poore of the p[ar]ishe / of Woodchurche aforesaid five poundes / It[e]m I doe give unto my nephewe Richard / Sherlocke the some of one hundred / and fortie poundes and my will is that he / the said Richard shall have the one halfe / of the said sume and that the other halfe / he the said Richard shall dispose as he in his / discretion shall thinke fittinge and convenient / unto such frendes as shalbe hereafter named / vizt John Sherlocke, Richard Sherlocke, / Henrie Sherlocke, Thomas Sherlocke and / William Sherlocke sonns of Henrie Sherlocke deceased, Margaret Holme, John Hunte? / the sonne of Richard Hunte? Mary ……. / Hunt and Elizabeth Hunt doug…. [daughters?] ……..said Richard Hunt and such oth….. / kindred of the said Richard Sher[locke?] ……. / accordingly as the said Richard Sh[erlock] …. / and the same to be paid unto the …… / Sherlocke by my executrixe according… / securitie given for the payement of the…… / It[e]m I doe likewise give unto my neph….. / Richard Sherlocke one halfe of [t]he pr….. / or incomes of this harvest to [b?]ee lik…. / at his disposall and the other halfe of …. / profitts of this harvest I doe give unto …… / weife It[e]m I doe give unto my serv…. / Richard Brokebank Susan Leene….. / Stephenson and Isabell Sharpe five …. / accordingly as my kinsman Richard She…. / shall thinke fittinge It[e]m my will is th…. / my debtes w[hi]ch I doe owe of right, or of …… / conscience to any p[er]son or p[er]sons whatsoe[ver]…. / be well and truly contented and paid [by?] / my executrix w[i]th as much speede as / conveniently may bee And after my debts / paid my funerall expences p[er]formed and theis my legacies herein contayned fulfilled / All the rest of my goodes debtes cattells / and chattells whatsoever I doe wholie / give and bequeath unto my wiefe / Elizabeth Sherlocke and I doe hereby / bequeath assigne and give over unto my said / wiefe all and every my landes the hereditaments and appurten[an]ce / whatsoever to her and to her heires forever / by theis p[re]sents and I doe ordayne her the / said Elizabeth my sole executrixe of this / my last will and testament and I utterly / revoke all and every other former wills and / executors by me before this time in any / wise willed or bequeathed In wittnes / whereof I the said Richard Sherlocke have / [h]ereunto sett my hand and seale the day / [and] yeare first above written

[Signed] Richard Sherlock Cler[k]

[Sea]led and delivered in the
[presen]ce of Henrie Hatton
Ann Bennett Hugh Benet
John Baylie his marke

1689. — THOMAS BENNET, D.D., who was presented to the living on the death of Dr. Sherlock, was a native of Wiltshire, and studied at Oxford, where he became Fellow, and afterwards Master of University College. He had been promised the next presentation to Winwick three years before Sherlock's death, and upon hearing it, Sherlock immediately invited him down to Winwick to take part in the duties of the cure, and share the profits of the living. Another writer says, but erroneously, that it was not Bennet but Obadiah Walker who received this invitation from Sherlock.1 But whoever was the person, the motive was the same, and the invitation was equally creditable to Sherlock. When Bennet succeeded Sherlock several of the tenants commenced a suit in chancery against him upon the like pretences as they had formerly sued his predecessor, but after several hearings their bill was dismissed. Dr. Bennet lived only a short time to enjoy his benefice, and during that time was probably but very little there. At any rate, he died at Oxford in May, 1692, and the living again became vacant. He had for his curates Wilson, the future bishop, and William Yates. Dr. Bennet must not be confounded with his namesake, another Thomas Bennet, of whose numerous works an account may be seen in Watts' " Bibliotheca."

1 Sacra Privata, edit. 1841.

1692. — THE HONOURABLE AND REVEREND HENRY FINCH, who was presented by William George Richard, Earl of Derby, after the death of Dr. Bennet, was presented on June 30th, instituted 30th July, and inducted August ist, 1692.1 Mr. Finch was the 6th son of Heneage, Earl of Nottingham, and Lord Chancellor, and a younger brother of Daniel, Earl of Nottingham, a nobleman of great , political influence at that time, and who filled the office of Secretary of State the same year that Mr. Finch was presented to Winwick. Heneage- Finch, the rector's father, was the Amri of Dryden's " Absalom and Achitophel," one of the few characters commended in that peom, where he is thus spoken of-

Sincere was Amri, and not only knew
But Israel's sanctions into practice drew
Our laws that did a boundless ocean seem,
Were coasted all and fathomed all by him.
No rabbin speaks like him their mystic sense
So just and with such charms of eloquence.

For a short time after the rector's presentation, both Wilson, Sherlock's nephew, and the Rev. Edward Allenson, were his curates, and the latter remained his curate after Wilson was promoted to the Bishopric of Man.

1Winwick Terrier of 1701.


Some Winwick Names and Personalities

XVII. — THOMAS STANLEY, afterwards Sir Thomas Stanley, knight, the second son of Edward, third Earl of Derby, following a then common but most reprehensible practice, in 3 Elizabeth, 1563, took from the rector, with the bishop's and patron's consent, a lease of the rectory, glebe and tithes of Winwick, for the term of ninetynine years, at the yearly rent of £200. The lessee and not the rector seems then to have taken up his residence in the rectory, and he is mentioned'in the Proceedings of the Lancashire Lieutenancy as still living there.1 Sir Thomas, who married Margaret, the daughter of Sir George Vernon (the King of the Peak), was probably the same person who from 1562 to 1566 was governor of the Isle of Man, and who died on 15 Decr., 1576, at Walthamstow, and was buried there.

1 Chet. Soc. 1., 36.

XVIII. — SIR EDWARD STANLEY, knight of the Bath, of Tonge Castle, in Shropshire, and of Eynsham, son and heir of Sir Thomas, seems like him to have made the rectory at Winwick his occasional residence 1 Sir Edward married Lucy, daughter of Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who for engaging in the northern insurrection, was attainted of high treason, and executed on 22 August, 1572. Sir Edward was made a knight of the Bath by James I. at Greenwich on Sunday, 24 July, 1603.2 He died 16 June, 1632, and was buried at Eynsham. His wife died before him, and was buried at Walthamstow. Their only son Thomas, who had died an infant before them, was buried at Winwick, and their four daughters became the heirs. On the 29 June, 1586, another Sir Edward Stanley, uncle of the former, wrote a letter from his nephew's house at Winwick, asking his brother, the Earl of Derby, to use his good offices with the Archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint his friend John Kine one of the proctors of the Court of Arches.3 Over the grave of the first Sir Edward is the following inscription:-,-

Hic jacet corpus Edvardi Stanley, equitis balnei (filii Thomae, comitis Derby filii), obiit 18 June, 1632, aetatis suae 69. Petronilla Stanley, filia posuit.4

1 Hist. Lan. iii., 540.
2 Ibid 622,
3 Brit. Lib, May, 1737.
4 Collins' Peerage, iii., 78.

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