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rivers Lune, Wyre, and Ribble. Near the south end of the hamlet, is a building called Vauxhall, now in a state of ruinous decay. It was long the retreat for popish recusants, and in 1715,
up to receive the Pretender, in a state of concealment, till matters were ripe for a general insurrection; and being surrounded by a lofty wall, it was only accessible from the north; the south and east sides being defended by the pool and a swamp, and on the sea-side could not be approached by any vessel. It also contained many secret recesses and hiding places, and was therefore well adapted to guard against surprise. The regulations for bathing at Blackpool are certainly entitled to approbation. At the proper time of the tide, a bell rings for the ladies to assemble, when no gentleman must be seen on the parade, under the forfeiture of a bottle of wine; and on their retiring, the bell again rings to summons the gentlemen to a similar ceremony. On the sea-beach is the parade, a pleasant grass walk of about six yards wide, by 200 yards in length. A News-house and Coffee-room have been established here for the convenience of visitors, who, in some seasons, have amounted to 400, or more.
ROSTALL-HALL, about five miles north of this hamlet, is the seat of Fleetwood Bold Hesketh, Esq. who is Lord of the manor of Blackpool *
Is a small town, with a population of 1561 persons, and consists of 362 houses. The Church here, together with those of Walton and Biscopeham, were given by Roger of Poitou, or Poitiers, to the abbey of St. Peter and Paul in Shrewsbury, which his father had founded; but in the seventh of Richard the First, a fine was levied between Theobald Walters, demandant in a writ of right of advowson of this church, against the Abbot of Shrewsbury, when a rent
For many local particulars relating to this place, see “A Description of
Blackpool," by W. Hutton, F. A. S. $. second Ed, 1804,
of twelve marks was reserved to the Abbot, with a clause for the incumbents fealty for true payment. This claim, however, seems to have been of little avail; for Edward the First appropriated it to the abbey of Vale Royal, in Cheshire *. The vicarage is now in the patronage of Christ-church college, Oxford; and it comprehends the chapels of Goosenarth, White Chapel, Hamledon, and Lund. We read of Walter de Kirkham, who was keeper of the king's wardrobe, nineteenth of Henry the Third. In this town is a well endowed free-school, with three masters. Its market is on Tuesday; and it has two fairs, in June and October. It has some trade in coarse linens, and also in sail cloth. One mile west of the town is RIBBY-HALL, a large well-built brick mansion, belonging to Joseph Hornby, Esq.
BLACKBURN HUNDRED is bounded by Yorkshire on the north and east, with Salford Hundred to the south, and the Hundreds of Leyland and Amounderness to the west. This district was formerly called Blackburnshire, and though at an early period it was a wild, dreary, and uncultivated part of the county, yet it is now filled with inhabitants, and abounds with manufactories, The Leeds and Liverpool Canal, with that called the Haslingden, traverses this hundred, and opens a navigation with the towns of Colne, Burnley, Haslingden, and Blackburn. Besides these towns, that of Clithero is within this hundred, which is noted for an important Roman station at Ribchester : also for a Castle at Clithero, and an Abbey at Whalley. In this district were several ancient manor houses, some of which are deserted, and in ruins : and instead of the old wood-built mansion, many elegant and comfortable structures have been raised within the last century. Several turnpike-roads intersect this hundred, and render the intercourse, either for pleasure or business, between the towns, easy and pleasant,
* See King's Vale Royal, p. 115, Dugdale's Mon. Angl. Vol. II. f. 925.
The principal town of this hundred, and that which gives name to it, is
The following account of the parish, town, and scenery of Blackburn, and its vicinity, was kindly communicated to me by the Rev. Thomas Starkie ; and as the history and topography of this district are but little known, I presume that the whole will be perused with pleasure and interest by the readers of this work.
The parish of Blackburn is bounded on the west by the Ribble, which separates it from the parishes of Mitton, Ribchester, and Preston; by the Calder on the north; and by the Hyndburne, and an imaginary line, on the east, it is separated from the parish of Whalley. To the south it abuts on the parishes of Bury, Bolton, Leyland, and Brindle. The form of this parish is irregular; its greatest length from north-east to south-west is about fourteen miles, and its greatest breadth exceeds ten miles. It contains the following townships-Blackburn, Walton, Cuerdale, Samlesbury, Balderston, Osbaldeston, Salesbury, Dinkley, Wilpshire, Billing. ton, Great-Harwood, Little-Harwood, Rishton, Clayton-le-dale, Ramsgrave, Over-Darwen, Lower-Darwen, Tockholes, Mellor, Witton, Pleasington, and Livesey. Its area may be estimated at 86 square miles, or 55,040 statute acres. In the year 1802, its population was 33,599 persons, which allows 390 inhabitants to every square mile, or one acre and three fifths, to every inhabitant. Since the average throughout the kingdom has been computed to be four acres of arable and meadow land for every inhabitant, and as the lands in this parish are not rendered very productive, either by nature or art, the inhabitants are greatly dependant on other districts for a necessary supply of provisions.
The township of Blackburn, in 1802, contained 11,980 persons, which is more than double the number it contained in 1782, when its population was ascertained: but this great increase must, in part, be ascribed to the influx of people, occasioned by the prosperous trade of the place.
A rivulet, whose ancient name, Blakebourne, has been long absorbed in that of the town, divides it into two unequal parts, of which the western is by much the larger. There is little regularity in the form of the streets, which may in a great measure be accounted for by the intermixture of glebe and other lands. This town contains two Churches on the establishment, one Chapel for Presbyterians, one for Anabaptists, one for Papists, two for Methodists, and one in which the services of the Church of England are performed by a person licensed at the quarter sessions; but who never obtained episcopal ordination. It has a GrammarSchool, founded by Queen Elizabeth, and governed by fifty persons, who are required by the charter to be inhabitants of the vill, or parish of Blackburn. The present revenues of this school are 160l. per annum; of which 100l. is appropriated to the master, and 60l. to the usher. There is also a Charity-School, founded by a Mr. Leyland, for the instruction of about sixty girls, in reading, sewing, and knitting: they are partly cloathed, and the whole is supported by benefactions and annual collections made in the two churches on the establishment. Above twenty years ago a Sunday School, for 300 children, was established, and continues to be superintended by the Reverend Thomas Starkie, the present vicar. It is supported by annual subscriptions. At a little distance from the town, in an airy situation, is a commodious dwelling for the reception of the poor belonging to the town: in one of its apartments is a dispensary, appropriated to their use and benefit.
Three fairs are annually held in this town, viz. at Easter, Mayday, and Michaelmas: it has also a market every Wednesday and Saturday; and a police for regulating the market, and for paving, lighting, watching, and cleansing the streets. The expence of the police_is supported by a rate on the occupiers of buildings. The distance of Blackburn from Manchester is 25, and from London 208 miles.
The benefice of Blackburn is a vicarage renaining in charge, and valued in the king's books at 8l. 1s. 8d. per anınım. It is in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the appropriate
rector. Within the parish are eight Chapels of Ease; they are all endowed, and in the nomination of the vicar, viz. Walton-le-Dale, formerly called Lawe, or Low, Samlesbury, Balderston, Lango, Great-Harwood, Over-Darwen, Toekboles, and St. John's, i Blackburn. To these may be added another Chapel of Ease, built this year in Salesbury, but not yet consecrated.
It appears from a census, taken previous to the Bishop of Chester's primary visitation, in the year 1804, that this parish, exclusive of the chapelries, contained 1490 Presbyterians, 396 Independients, 71 Anabaptists, 13 Quakers, 765 Methodists, and 754 Papists. In the summer of 1803, the popish bishop of the northern district confirmed popish catechumens in this town, perhaps for the first tiine since the Reformation.
The former trade of this town was the manufacture of Blackburn-Checks, a fabrick consisting of a linen warp and a cotton woof, one or both of which being dyed in the thread, gave to the piece, when woven, a striped or checked appearance. This article was afterwards superseded by the Blackburn-Greys, so called from their colour, neither the warp nor the woof having been dyed before they were put into the loom. These goods were generally sent to London to be printed. About thirty years ago, another change took place in the manufaciure of this town, and its neighbourhood, when the greys were succeeded by Calicoes, which differ from the former in this respect only, that the warp, as well as the woof, consists of cotton, and owe their name to their resemblance of the cotton cloth of India, brought hither chiefly from the province of Calicut. The manufacture of calicoes, at first confined to this town and neighbourhood, is now become one of the most important branches of industry, not only of this, but of several of the northern counties. Blackburn is, however, still considered as the great mart for calicoes, and is become, through their means, for its size and population, one of the richest towns in Europe. In consequence of the late improvements which have been made in spinning cotton, this manufacture, both here and in various other parts of the county of Lancaster, bas attained a great degree of perfection. On being printed, the calicoes be