Readers - Please Note:

So far as has been possible (and sensible) this document is re-produced verbatim from a typescript copy of the original History written and published in 1986 by Arthur Neville Swinglehurst. The family trees are presented differently and the sections are separated in order to improve accessibility, both without change to the content.





"Not to know what happened before we were born is to remain perpetually a child.
For what is the worth of a human life unless it is woven into the life of our own ancestors?"
Cicero (Roman Statesman & Orator)


When Frank Swinglehurst died in March 1986 in his 90th year he left among his many odds and ends a pile of cuttings, notes and photographs appertaining to the Swinglehurst family. He had been interested in the family's history since he was a young man and must have spent a considerable amount of time in the pursuit of information. His imagination must have been fired in the first place by his uncle John William Swinglehurst (1861-1941) who also had a life time hobby of collecting family history.

John William it was, who having acquired some land near Cross Gaits, Barrowford from the Swinglehurst Holts of Park Hill, named his house Fair Oak in honour of the first of the family's great houses. When Jesse Blakey wrote his "Annals & Stories of Barrowford " in 1920 John William was able to supply much of the information on the Swinglehursts of Park Hill and it is said that he was in possession of some old maps referred to in the text and relating to the Park Hill estates. These and other interesting documents may have found their way via his grand-daughter to Fife in Scotland

Both Frank and John William had their tasks made easier by the fact that the family had lived in the Forest of Bowland and its immediate vicinity since Norman times and the activities of many of the inhabitants of the Forest were well documented in the regular Forest Courts held at Whitewell, at Slaidburn and at Clitheroe Castle. In addition Ecclesiastical Courts were held at Whalley Abbey and the parish records at Chipping, Waddington and Bolton by Bowland have much information on the Swinglehursts. Additional material has been obtained from the Record Offices of Lancaster and Preston and from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

So with a pile of notes gathered since before the turn of the century all that remains is to put them in some sort of order so that they may be enjoyed by the rest of the family. Otherwise much of the information may be lost, perhaps for ever.

Arthur Neville SWINGLEHURST 1986



Webmaster's Note: The following items were included in the original document but have now been published separately, for convenience. They are referenced on the main page


Almost the whole of the family history is centred on the area north of the River Ribble and along the banks of its tributary the Hodder. This relatively small area, no more than 10 miles across, now lies wholly within the County of Lancashire but until the latest boundary reorganisation, the land on the east bank of the Hodder and the west bank of the Ribble was contained in Yorkshire.

The higher ground to the north and west is an unbroken wilderness of remote gritstone fells, wild and bare, but in the south towards the Ribble and in the Hodder valley, the desolate uplands give way to isolated limestone ridges which are bounded by farmsteads and wooded dales. This then is Bowland which Norman kings declared a forest or hunting ground and so it remained for hundreds of years the haunt of red and fallow deer and a source of timber.

At the time of the Domesday Survey it was described simply as a wooded area and in 1350 a visitor described the inhabitants as "few, intractable and wild" and the place "in a manner inaccessible to man". Yet these people, (a survey quoted about 370 able bodied men) elected their own form of government under a Bow Bearer and Chief Steward (Seneschal) and also Keepers and Bailiffs who were required to attend the various Forest Courts. Each year there were two Swainmotes, a Woodmote, two Courts Leet and two Courts Baron "to which the inhabitants do suit and service, in which all such as fell anie wood without lycens, or kill anie deere will be fyned, also all actions under 40 shillings will be tryed". The family name appears frequently in the records of these Courts.

As early as the 14th century it became evident that nature was not providing sufficient deer or livestock to satisfy the demands of all those who hunted in the forest - some by Royal Licence but many more without permission. It than became necessary to restrict many of the deer to launds or large parks where they could be conserved as a source of food along with small herds of cattle. It was in the construction of these deer parks - at New Launde and Radholme (on opposite sides of the Hodder at Whitewell) and at Leagram, that we find the first records of the family. The Swinglehursts were concerned either directly or indirectly in all three of these parks as this history will show. At Leagram, the largest of these, a ditch was laboriously dug and planted with thorns. Beyond the ditch a stout fence six-and a half miles in length was erected. It seems that this was largely built by the hands of the Swinglehursts and the Crumbilholmes (a family whose descendants now live in New Zealand we are told).

Outside the launds the pastures were farmed out to various tenants and held for generations by the same family. There were eventually eight of these large pastures known as Vaccaries and these were at Battriss (Beatrix), Burholme, Browsholme, Greystonleigh, Lickhurst, Eshknott, Harden and Stapleoak. Apart from Leagram, the Swinglehursts were connected at one time or another with at least three of these. Elaborate records were kept of the tenancies and the stock which was farmed out by the Lord of the Manor. In the area around Leagram, the Lords were the de Hoghtons of Houghton Towers (south of the Ribble) and later the Shireburnes of Stonyhurst. It was recorded in 1422 that the stock consisted of 9 bulls, 179 cows and heifers, 42 young oxen, 44 bullocks and 150 Calves but by the middle of the following century the system was beginning to fall into disuse and new tenanted farmsteads were springing up to accommodate the growing population.

Today much of the area remains a Royal estate under the Duchy of Lancaster and consequently remains unspoiled. Railways and Motorways have not crossed this Royal domain and no large scale building has taken place, thus enabling us to trace and see much of the history of the family which did not sever its connection with the district until recent years.

EARLY RECORDS - 1190 to 1500

Among the odds and ends left by Frank Swinglehurst is a newspaper cutting dated 29th March 1916 from the "Burnley Express" regarding the Swinglehurst family. It states - "Swinglehurst spelt in its various ways, it has been for centuries closely connected with the district of Chipping. The Swinglehursts (Swynhulhursts) had a lease of land about 1190 when Sir Robert Fitzhenry, Lord of Lathom, gave part of his land in Aules-Large called Swynleyhurst (pig grazing wood)". The Lord of Lathom (near Ormskirk) had the jurisdiction over most of Lancashire and was the forerunner of the Stanley family who became the Earls of Derby and who are still in residence there.

Other records, preserved at Preston Record Office gives further information -


1322 - paid to Adam de Swynhilhurst and Thomas de Crumbilholme for the upkeep of the paling around Laythegryme Park (Leagram) both with old and new pales, shores and nails from the materials of the King by an agreement for the whole made by the Seneschal 46 shillings and eight pence.
1322 - paid to the same Adam for the upkeep of the New Launde below Fence in Bouland close to the Knottes by agreement for the whole made by the Seneschal three shillings and three pence
1335 - paid for making a gate on the north side of the Park by an agreement for the whole made by the Seneschal two shillings
1335 - custody of the paling of the Park. Wage for Nicholas Swynhilhurst working there felling and splitting oaks for the pales and rails and making 150 of pales at 12 pence per hundred 18 pence

There follow several more similar entries and payments which continue in the following century in 1435/36 William, Richard and Nicholas Swynhilhurst are all engaged as carpenters at Leagrim and in 1440/41 the accounts of the Master Forester show that Nicholas is employed as a carpenter at Radholm.

The receiver's Account of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1421/2 shows entries paying Nicholas Swynhilhurst as carpenter for work at the Manor House of Whitewell whilst in 1435/36 William Swynhilhurst did repairs at the same place.

The accounts of Clitheroe Castle in 1425 show that Nicholas Swynhilhurst, again described as a carpenter, undertook repairs at the Castle and was involved in the construction of a new gate.

From the above records it appears that the family included skilled carpenters and that this skill was handed down from generation to generation. Involved not only in the construction of the dear parks of Leagram, Radholm and New Launde but also in finer work on many of the large houses in the district.

Other records state where the family lived -

Church records show the following information -

Thus much of the early history of the family is preserved showing that they originated in a place called Swynhilhurst or Swynhulhurst (a pig grazing wood). The spelling in almost every document varies but perhaps this is not surprising for these are written in Old French or Latin and the scribe is putting his own interpretation on the sounds of the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Therefore at a time when surnames were being allocated, the family from this small settlement became known as de Swynhilhurst.

Where is Swynhilhurst? Early records locate it near where Browsholme Hall stands today, in the accounts of John Lombard; the Collector of Rents for King Henry VIII, a farm is referred to as being at a place called "Lees with Swynehurste" Without this latter information John William Swinglehurst in his research at the beginning of this century had pin-pointed it as being on a tributary of the Hodder, only one and a half miles south of Whitewell near a place called Middle Lees. This is a steep sided and well wooded valley (perhaps once known as Swindale) and when John William questioned a local farmer he learned that a wood there was known as Swinglehurst Ings and that a pile of stones nearby may be the remains of a settlement.

It is a short distance from this place to Leagram Park - only a matter of two miles across the Hodder so the family were on the doorstep as it were in the construction of the deer park in the 1300's. From the accounts of the Master Forester it is easy to build up a picture of the workmen felling the oak trees for the paling and fence on the top of the outer ditch, and the digging out of a trench to the depth of four and a half feet and a breadth of eight feet. The outer slope, planted with three sets of hawthorns and its fence of oak boards must have presented a real obstacle to the deer. Walk across Leagram Park today - the remains of this six and a half mile barrier are still visible!

Later we find the family as tenants of farms outside the pale at Leagram, particularly on the northern side of the park. As early as 1324, William de Swynelhurst has a vaccary at Knottes, just across the river from the original settlement and just outside the deer park. Fair Oak (or Faredokehouse or Farrick as it was known) is on the Knottes. Greystonlegh is next to Fair Oak. Burholme (Byerholm) is just north of Whitewell. Almost on the site of the original settlement is the Legh. Spaldingtonmon close was a waste plot in the chase of Leagram. By the 1400's all these places are tenanted by Swinglehursts and all are within a mile or two of each other.


(To see The Fair Oak Family Tree click this link)

As we have seen, the Swinglehursts had the tenancy of Fairdockhouse otherwise known as Faredokesholm or Ferrakhouse and later as Farrick, from the 1320's and they continued to thrive there. Their importance grew and they were being referred to as "Gentlemen" and "Esquire" in the later records.

"The History of Chipping" describes the house as being pleasantly situated among the Bowland Knottes three miles north east of Chipping village. Part of the original building still remains: one room, wainscotted with dark oak, contains a panel over the fireplace on which is painted a hunting scene showing the house as it stood in the early part of the 17th century. On the gable end of the out-buildings is the inscription in raised letters - "John Parkinson; Dorothy his wife and Thomas his son 1716" and on a pump in the yard "J.C.P.1819" (John Clince Parker). All these were direct descendants of the Swinglehursts. (See later chapter "Bowland Revisited" 1986).

In the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509) John Swinglehurst had a lease of the estate from the Crown and the wedding of Margaret, daughter of Nicholas to Richard de Alston in 1443 almost certainly refers to the Fair Oak family.

From the Act Book at Whalley Abbey there are several references to the family being called as Jurymen in the Ecclesiastical Courts. Robert Swynhilhurst appeared in 1515 and again in 1518. Also in 1518 John Swynhilhurst was called regarding a forbidden relationship between Agnes Sourbutts and Mathew Parker who were blood relations and in 1519 he was called again to pass judgement on Elizabeth, the widow of Jorn Robinson, who was denounced for declaring she would keep the black fast to get vengeance on Edmund Parker. In 1522 he was concerned in another case where the verdict of the Jury was that Reynold Sawer be commanded to go round Whitewell Church on two Sundays carrying a candle for committing adultery with Isabella Hayerst. (See later chapter re Burholme).

In 1527 there was recorded in the Court Rolls of the Honour of Clitheroe that Fair Oak was now let to John and Robert Swynehurst for four-pounds, ten shillings per annum, the old Vaccary system having given way to Leasehold Farms.

In 1509 Henry VIII had come to the throne at the age of 18 years. In 1527 he divorced Catherine of Aragon and broke with the Roman Catholic Church, an enterprise which abruptly altered the whole course of English history and caused much turmoil even in so remote a district as Bowland and even to the Swinglehurst family.

Perhaps it was the rugged and sturdy independence of character, together with a sincere attachment to their religious faith which caused local people to rise against the Dissolution of the Monasteries. When the cause was taken up by the Yorkshire lawyer Robert Aske with the support of prominent nobles, the gentlemen of Bowland and neighbouring Craven together with clerics from Whalley Abbey and Sawley Abbey responded by marching on Skipton Castle and laying seige to it. No blood was shed and they marched peacefully south to Pontefract and thence to Doncaster where they were confronted by the King's emissaries. On a promise that their grievances would be heard, the rebels dispersed. It is more than possible that. the: Fair Oak family took part in this episode for they were at this time closely connected with the Abbey at Whalley and also closely connected with families like the Tempests who did suffer the consequences of the "Pilgrimage of Grace", described in "History of Whalley" by Dr.Whittaker as a "fanatical rabble of priests and peasants headed by some men of military skill". The Abbot of Whalley and some local men were beheaded at Tyburn for taking part in this adventure.


(To see The Tempest Family Tree click this link).

The rivers Hodder and Ribble mark the old north east boundary between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Fair Oak, the home of the Swindlehursts being situated about a mile inside the Lancashire border.

Some close neighbours of the Swindlehursts were deeply involved in the 'Pilgrimage of Grace' of 1536 and 1537. Sir Stephen Hamerton of Hamerton Hall at Slaidburn, just over the border in Yorkshire, led the Bowland contingent. He was executed at Tyburn 25th May, 1537. In the same year his son and heir died leaving two young daughters.

Four or five miles from Fair Oak, across the Yorkshire border, was the home of Nicholas Tempest at Bashall. He was born in 1483, the third son of Nicholas Tempest (third son of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell and Waddington) and Margaret Pilkington.

In 1510, Richard Banaster of Altham died, leaving his widow Isabel (sometimes known as Elizabeth and a young son Nicholas. Nicholas Tempest married the widowed Isabel and in due course five known children were born - Richard b.1516, John and three daughters.

In a sworn statement at his trial on 23rd April, 1537, Nicholas Tempest tells how he came to take part in the 'Pilgrimage of Grace'. How on the 21st October 1536, a large number of men had arrived at his home whilst he was absent. They (the commoners) had done a great deal of damage to his property and taken his young son John away with them. A message was sent to Nicholas, that if he did not join them within two hours, they would "strike off the said John's hedde". To save his son, Nicholas joined the commoners and took the oath that same night.

For his albeit unwilling part in the 'Pilgrimage of Grace' Nicholas Tempest was tied to a hurdle and dragged on his back through the filthy streets of London to Tyburn, where he was hung, drawn and quartered on Friday 25th May 1537.

It is known that King Henry VIII came to Westminster on Thursday 24th May and returned to Hampton Court on Saturday the 26th. It is possible that he was there to witness the execution.

Richard, the eldest son of Nicholas Tempest, probably practised at the bar, a Richard Tempest was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1544. He married Thomasine, daughter of Nicholas Parker of Horrockforth in Clitheroe, her brother Bryan Parker was also a member of Gray's Inn. Five children are known to have been born of the marriage Nicholas b.1544, John and three daughters. Richard did not live long after the birth of his children. In his will, dated 15th Dec. 1552 and proved a month later, he describes himself as "of Catlowe in the parishe of Sladburne within the county of Yorke Gentylman". When Richard died at Mitton his son and heir Nicholas was only eight years old.

Nicholas was placed under the guardianship of two of his uncles Thomas Catterall and Giles Parker. Upon reaching the age of twenty -one, Nicholas found that one Ralph Greenacres, a great speculator in Church lands had procured his lands at Gradale during his infancy. Also a fulling mill leased by the Tempests at Catlow had been appropriated by one Christopher Escam and, as Nicholas complained in 1567, had kept the profits ever since.

Like his father he became a member of Gray's Inn, being admitted in 1572. He is mentioned in various deeds of the period as being "of Graddell-in-Bowland".

Nicholas married Jane the daughter of Robert and Alice Swindlehurst of Farrick House (Fair Oak). Alice was the daughter of Alexander Parker of Radholm and also related to Thomasine, Nicholas' mother. After the death of her husband Robert in 1563, Alice Swindlehurst appointed her son-in-law Nicholas Tempest as executor to her will.

Having lost his lands at Gradale and the fulling mill at Catlow, Nicholas and Jane settled in the family home at Catlow, Slaidburn.

On 20th September 1608, Nicholas died without issue. His widow Jane died in 1626. They are both buried in the Chancel of St. Andrews Church at Slaidburn. In her will, proved at York in 1628, Jane left all her goods to the Swindlehursts, having no children of her own.

Source - Mrs. Arthur C. Tempest, Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal XI pages 246 - 271


The family wealth and importance grew considerably in the 16th century. John Swynelhurste and Robert his son and later John his grandson in turn became masters of Fair Oak. All were great speculators in land with some leased from the Church in places as far away as Chipping and Ribchester. There are Court records at Clitheroe Castle showing that a considerable amount of land was leased in the Chatburn and Grindleton area to John and Robert Swinglehurst. Steps were also taken to enlarge the land around Fair Oak with sections of the forest (New Launde) being annexed in 1542, sometimes legally, but in the most part the legality of such extensions is doubtful. This led to many disputes being brought to the Forest Courts.

In 1544 Robert made other enclosures at Tunstall Ing between New Laund and Long Knott and at Wyneholme Yait. In 1552 Robert, John his father and Robert his uncle are recorded as having had sheep pasturing on a parcel of waste ground known as Chepyn (Chipping) Coomes and were fined. One such case brought before the Duchy Court in Lancaster in 1554 was to consider the lease of pasturages and closes around Fair Oak. It was stated that Henry Banyster the Deputy Master Forester and brother-in-law of Robert Swynlehurste had permitted the latter to enclose three acres of New Launde which adjoined Fair Oak. John Tempest and Thomas Parker sought entry to this land for hunting which they said was leased to them through the Crown. Christopher Parker (aged 39) gave evidence for the plaintiffs but Christopher Swynlehurst one of the keepers for the past 16 years spoke for the defendants. It is not certain what exactly was the legal outcome but New Launde remained part of Fair Oak. A 1566 roll recorded that he had broken down the hedge of the Long Knott so that his own beasts could graze there and he enclosed a further 4 acres 3 roods of New Laund for tillage.

It was during the reign of Henry VIII that visitations were made to most parts of the country by the King's agents principally to extract a tax for the financing of the Royal coffers and for the building of a new Navy. Knighthoods were offered at a price to certain gentlemen (£50 was suggested) and refusal to accept a knighthood meant a tax of about £15. One such visitation to Fair Oak House in a publication Seats and Residences of Nobility and Gentry in the County Palatine of Lancaster. The Swinglehursts apparently did not accept the offer of a knighthood. It is likely that they were not offered one for the family was not popular, having clung to the Catholic faith in spite of the edicts of Henry.

In 1547 Henry VIII died and was succeeded by the ten year old Edward VI. The relief of the Catholics was short lived for by 1553 Edward was dead with tuberculosis. Mary came to the throne and much to the joy of the Catholics she was determined to restore Roman Catholicism. She gave up Little Bowland (the area around Fair Oak) as a Royal preserve in 1556 and no doubt this led to some of the annexations referred to above.

The Court case of 1554 at Lancaster reveals further interesting information regarding the condition of the forest. The population of deer had declined to a mere 300 whereas between 1494 and 1523 there had been an estimated 2000. The chief cause of the steady decline in numbers was the excessive slaughter by poachers, mostly local gentlemen who organised massive hunts, sometimes holding the keepers captive whilst the hunt was in progress.

In 1558 Elizabeth I came to the throne and it was the turn of the Catholics to be persecuted again. Presumably because the Swinglehursts clung to the Catholic faith their fortune began to suffer.

In the early days of Elizabeth's reign the Catholic religion was tolerated. The Prayer Book had been revised so that either Protestants or Catholics could use it, putting their own interpretation on the words. The use of this book was strictly enforced in all Churches by the Act of Uniformity. Those who stayed away from Church were fined a shilling on each occasion but later when the Pope issued an edict excommunicating Elizabeth thus releasing her subjects from allegiance to the Crown, tolerance of the Catholics ceased and by 1580 the fine for non attendance at Parish Church was raised to TWENTY POUNDS A MONTH - quite a large sum. The wealth of a strict Catholic family could therefore be quite dramatically diminished.

Alice Swinglehurst the widowed mistress of Fair Oak had reason to plead with the Duchy of Lancaster in 1570, as the Church had broken a lease and taken valuable lands from her. £100 had been paid for the lease of this land and a rent of £25.15s.8d per annum had always been promptly paid to the Right Reverend William, Bishop of Chester, yet a new Deed had been made in favour of Edward Gibson for 21 years and she was being evicted. It was all to no avail. The lease to Edward Gibson was confirmed by the Court.

The Swinglehursts also gave up lands at Ribchester. These had been sub-let for £19.17s.9d per annum to Robert by Christopher Parker of Radholm his brother-in-law. Although this had a 90 year lease from the Bishop, the interest was sold for 400 marks to Alex Houghton of Lee and John Talbot of Salbury.

In 1562 Queen Elizabeth had bestowed Leagrim upon her favourite Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who promptly sold it to the lessee, Sir Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst, a prominent Catholic family. This purchase meant that in the next century Leagrim would become a centre for Catholic Recusants and that later Stonyhurst would become one of the leading Catholic Public Schools. Sir Richard had the title of Head Keeper and Robert Swinglehurst II of Fair Oak had been Deputy Keeper of the Forest.

These were momentous years in English History. Adventurers such as Francis Drake were sailing to the Americas and plundering Spanish Treasure ships almost as a religious duty. In 1587 Mary Queen of Scots was executed and the same year Drake sailed into Cadiz and destroyed 10,000 tons of shipping and stores. In 1588 the Armada sailed towards England and the beacons in Bowland and on Pendle Hill were lighted. The country was solidly behind Elizabeth and the Chipping Parish Church Records suggest that Fair Oak was in the Protestant fold.

In 1596 Sir Richard Shireburn died and a document was drawn up by the Queen's Commissioners who met "at the Whytewell" (now an inn) to survey the state of the forest. The Commissioners were Rauffe Assheton, High Sheriff of Lancashire, Richard Hoghton of Hoghton Towers, Thomas Talbot and James Anderton. Evidence was taken on oath, and the chief witnesse was William Swinglehurst of Hareden near Dunsop Bridge, aged 44 the Deputy Keeper of the Forest, having succeeded his uncle Robert of Fair Oak.

William stated that "he had heard of divers timber trees and others cut down within the last five years". He then named several of the culprits and "for further certainty refereth himself to his books" and "he deposeth and saith that three years ago there was a view and certificate made of Her Majesty's game of deer within the Forest of Boulland and Raddum Park to the Chancellor of the Duchy of over 1000 red and fallow deer and there now remaineth 800 or thereabouts and that there died in the last winter past 13 score or thereabouts". He then stated that "divers of Her Majesty's game of deer as well red as fallow have been killed without warrant" and that the "keepers have proceeded against divers offenders". Most of the culprits were bound over by Richard Sherburne to be of good behaviour. Some of these were not men of Bowland but had apparently come from Wyresdale.

Other offenders were named on charges of having cut timber or for poaching, one Robert Dobson accused the Deputy Keeper William Swinglehurst of chasing and killing a deer, and Arthur Parker accused him of having felled one tree near Whitewell, a common practice by four of the Queen's tenants during the past five years, he said. George Harrison of Batterax admitted killing a deer but said he had already been dealt with by William Swinglehurst.

Altogether about 30 men were charged. William Swinglehurst was found guilty of felling one ash tree worth six pence, but on the charge of chasing and killing the deer he was able to explain that the fence and ditch around Leagram Park, built by his ancestors some 270 years previously, was now in a poor state and deer had escaped into the forest. He and Mr.Hugh Sherburn had chased and caught the deer which had escaped.

It was evident that Sir Richard and his Stewards had been very lenient over the years as regards poaching and felling trees by the forest dwellers. The Queen's Commissioners heading the Enquiry were themselves not innocent. The Asshetons of Downham Hall wrote in their journals of numerous illegal hunts; other hunts had been organised by the Hoghtons and the Talbots.

The proceedings at "the Whytewell" help to piece together some of the family tree and the will of Alice Swinglehurst of Fair Oak, proved in 1580, throws more light on the subject. She is described as the "late wiffe of Robert Swinglehurst". She requested her body be buried "in the Church of Chipping as near to the place where my late husband lyeth as possible can be". To her son Ambrose she leaves £40, to Edith Bannister £20 when 21 years of age, her son John "to keep her until then with meate, drink and clothes". To Alice Moreton and Jane Hairst 20 marks apiece. To her daughter Jane Tempest and her son 20 nobles each; to her sister Edith Bannister "my baye mare" and to her son John "the foal she now bath". Residue among her children John, Thomas, Richard and Jane; her son John to be sole executor. Witness Robert Sherburne of Wolfe House, gent., Jane Banastre of Waddington, widow, Gilbert Moreton, Nicholas Tempest.

An inventory was taken by Thomas Parker of Greystonleigh, Alexander Bleasdale of Dinkling Green, Arthur Parker of Lickhurst, Reynold Parker also of Greystonleigh. Of great length, it includes

8 oxen £24
4 fat oxen 40 marks
20 kine and one bull £33.6s.8d
13 styrkes £8.13s.4d
2 graze horses £5.6s.8d
one large horse £2
50 sheep £8.6s.8d
10 lambs £1
10 weathers £3.6s.8d
10 olde swyne and 5 young pigges £3.5s.Od
oats £18.8s
3 acres of barley £10
hay £3.6s.8d
meal and malt £5
brass pottes £3.6s.8d
feather beds, 12 boulsters, eight pillows and five mattresses £15
13 pair of blankets and an olde blanket £3
lent money to Alex Parker of Radholm £27
lent money to Roger Sherburne 55 shillings
Total £264.7s.8d.

Funeral expenses were £3.2s.7d, and Leonard Walker charged 10 shillings for writing the Will, Mr. John Moreton claimed "an angel of golde, a golde ring and a felt hatte" value 26s.6d. and William Hodgkinson of Preston "a frise gowne" value 16s.

This will does more than throw light on the value of farm animals and household goods in the 16th century, for it gives a complete family tree in an age when Church records were incomplete. It connects Swinglehursts with the Parkers and the Bannisters, both very important families and with the Tempests. In view of the happenings 200 years later in Barrowford, the Bannister and Parker relationships are most remarkable. It also relates the interesting story of a young lady Edith Bannister, not yet 21, living at Fair Oak and her mother who would presumably be the widow of Henry Bannister, the Deputy Master Forester mentioned previously.

In 1598 the family had apparently returned to favour with the Church for the lease to Ed Gibson referred to earlier had expired. The lands were now leased by the new Bishop of Chester (Richard Vaughan) to Robert Swinglehurst for his own life, the life of his brother Thomas and Richard his younger cousin. The full memorandum is attached to a copy of the lease in the Bishops Registry at Chester - "that Chipping Rectory for quantity of ground it covers is greater than Ribchester. it measures 3600 acres and it yields a store of limestone. That part which lies beyond the River Loud doth yield the farmer clearly in tythe over one hundred pounds".

This lease was still applicable in 1647 (see later).


The year 1600 is recorded in the Chipping Parish Register as being one of bad weather. "Between Pendle and Pirlook (Parlick) two known hills there was not three fare days in all sixe weeks last before the sixt October above said, and sixe weeks before to the great loss of much corne, being great showe on the grounde". The twelve weeks of bad weather recorded thus date back to mid July (St.Swithin) and during this time a drowning tragedy occurred at the farm next to Fair Oak, the home of the Parkers who were close relations of the family.

The clerk records the tragedy thus - "Issabell Gregson alias Parker baste daughter of Thomas Parker of Grastonlee fil Meg in Bolland being by misfortunate channce upon a heble (footbridge) going over was drowned over a neede an ashe. Beyond Grastonlee my fatheres late house for want of a good bridge and so carried downe to humfrey linne (a pool in Greystonleigh Brook) there found the same day being the Wensday the iii day of September the ould bridge being driven dowen by a flood before". There followed immediately two further entries - Ric Parker also the son of Thomas, and Edward Parker of Greystonleigh both drowned within a few days.

In 1603 Elizabeth I died and the first of the Stuarts - James I - came to the throne. His toleration of the Catholics was swept away by the anti-catholic hysteria which followed the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Puritanism began to prosper in this period and it was also the time of the persecution of witches particularly in this corner of the country. John Swinglehurst, the master of Fair Oak, had apparently torn himself away from Catholicism and was attracted towards the village of Grindleton where a new parson, the Rev. Rodger Brierley, had taken up office. According to Dr. Whittaker in his "History of Whalley" he [ the Parson ] was some frantic enthusiast who turned the head of his followers. He had founded a new sect known as "Brierlists" or "Grindletonians". They had a simplified form of worship that cut out many of the frills of the old church. John Swinglehurst became one of his most ardent supporters.

The actions of the Rev.Brierley were not approved of in higher circles and he was viewed with suspicion. When he preached in Gisburn the churchwardens asked him to produce his licence but he declined: then he christened a child in the vicar's absence without making the sign of the cross on its brow. Eventually he was taken to York for trial and spent 50 days in prison awaiting the hearing in which he was admonished for preaching false doctrines. After this he resumed preaching and took up office at Burnley. In 1677 (more enlightened times) his sermons and poems were published.

A Survey of Bolland Woods of 1610 states that Mr. Swinglehurst (of Fair Oak) had 30 saplings at two shillings each, 60 Ash trees at eighteen pence each, and 120 loade of Underwood at 12 pence ye loade. 30 acres of woodland at Fence was stated to be fit for coppice.

But we now turn to the journal of Nicholas Assheton of Downham Hall who was prominent in the story of the Lancashire Witches. These witches were conveyed through Bowland to Lancaster for trial in 1612 but it is an entry under the date of April 18th 1618 which concerns us. It reads "John Swinglehurst buried, he died distract, he was a great follower of Brierley". Nicholas Assheton knew the family well. In the past he had hunted on many occasions from Fair Oak and soon after the funeral he called at the house to console the family.

The question which remains unanswered is what made John Swinglehurst distraught? Was it his connection with the renegade parson as perhaps suggested by Nicholas Assheton? Or was something going on in the hay loft which concerned his family and which was more disturbing?

The following entries appear in the Chipping Parish Register of Births. In 1614 a child was christened John Swinglehurst reputed son of Robert Swinglehurst and Marie Clarke. Then in 1620 there is another entry even more intriguing - the birth of Dauratie the reputed daughter of Elizabeth Swinglehurst and Samuel Clarke. Who were these Clarkes? Perhaps they lived in the farm house adjoining Fair Oak House. If this was so then it could possibly disturb a man of John Swinglehurst's apparent religious background. On the other hand it is possible there were two other young people in the Chipping area with the names of Robert and Elizabeth Swinglehurst.

Soon after the episode concerning Marie Clarke, Robert became married to the widow of Richard Falkingham and a family followed in quick succession. Ann was born in 1618, John in 1619, Mary in 1620 and Alice in 1621. By then he was master of Fair Oak but his son and heir died in infancy. There was a further tragedy in 1633 when two of his daughters died within a month of each other leaving only Mary to succeed him.

From the foregoing and future events as they begin to unfold, we obtain an interesting insight into the character of Robert Swinglehurst.

In 1632-35 a dispute pending in the Duchy Court over a right of way between Henry Richmond of Stakes and Robert Swinglehurst of Fair Oak. Concerning "a common highway and passage with cart carryage on horsebak and on foote and for driving and leading of beasts and cattle, loaden horses at all seasons of the year". The course of the road is described as "beginning at Stakes which stands on the banks of the Hodder and so leading across the ford of the river upon the north west into a close called Wardesley and from thence northwards into a straight through a pasture called ffarick house pasture, which was anciently all one pasture, and now made into several closes".

Robert contended that the road was not a common highway, that in his lease of Fair Oak from the late King no reservation of right of way over the closes was made. However, the Court decided in Richmond's favour. Not to be outdone, two years later in 1637, Robert purchased the fee farm inheritance of Fair Oak and stopped the road. The Court then appointed four gentlemen to meet the parties and make some reasonable settlement. This did not apparently satisfy the Richmond family for some sort of feud developed which led to recrimination later.

When James I's unpopular reign ended in 1625 it was thought that Charles would be a great improvement on his father, but he continued in the obstinate belief of the "Divine Right of Kings" and he was continually at loggerheads with his Parliament. This was to lead him and the country to disaster.

In 1642 the Civil War started. Robert became a Captain in the Royalist forces and after Preston was captured from the Roundheads in 1643 he joined a force of 1000 horse and 500 foot soldiers which crossed MorecambeBay to harass the supporters of Cromwell. The force was led by Sir George Middleton of Leighton Hall, near Silverdale and Sir John Girlington of Thurland CastleLancaster, with Colonel Tyldesley of Holker Hall. Lord Molyneux of Bardsea was to be the supreme commander in Furness. The people of Furness resolved at first to keep them out but seeing such a vast number on the Cartmel sands (Grange), they lost heart and took to their heels. The Royalists plundered Furness grieviously and seized all the arms and five hundred pounds in money and then retreated.

A young lieutenant riding with Robert was Christopher Harris, the son of Gervase Harris of Torrisholme Hall (Morecambe) and this meeting and the escapades in Furness were to have serious consequences for Fair Oak and the family. In 1644 they rode together to York to link up with the forces of Prince Rupert and there they became involved in the largest battle of the Civil War at Marston Moor. For the King and Prince Rupert this battle was a disaster - they lost 3000 men and control of the North. Robert Swinglehurst himself was "maymed" and brought back to Fair Oak where he died within the year. It can be assumed that Lieut. Harris accompanied him across the Pennines back to Bowland where he put down his roots and married Mary Swinglehurst, Robert's daughter and the heiress to Fair Oak.

The Civil War continued and locally the climax came in 1648 when Preston was recaptured by Cromwell in a bloody battle. Cromwell's army had camped near Fair Oak at Stonyhurst at one time during the war and one can well imagine the consternation at the time.

With Cromwell in power after the war, came the Inquisitions. The Royalist Composition Papers give a lengthy account of the hearing at Preston in 1650 regarding the "delinquency" of Robert Swinglehurst and Christopher Harris. George Richmond of Chipping, a member of the family involved in the feud over the right of way in 1637 claimed that he was taken by force to "Yorke battle" in 1644 by Captain Robert Swinglehurst and so presumably escaped punishment. A Captain Thomas Hunter of Roswaite in Furness (Cark in Cartmell) stated that he had been plundered of all his personal wealth to the value of six hundred pounds by Christopher Harris in 1643.

As a consequence most of the Fair Oak estate was seized by the State and some houses owned by Harris in Lancaster and Forton were also sequestrated. Mary his wife put in a claim for dowry in respect of Fair Oak House but their wealth was greatly reduced and the great days of Fair Oak were over.

The lease granted in 1598 in respect of Church lands near Chipping was revoked by the Bishop of Chester in 1647. In the survey it stated that all the original lessees were dead except for Roberts cousin Richard Swinglehurst, aged 57, and that the daughter Mrs. Mary S. Harris was a Papist and wife of Christopher Harris a Papist in Arms. Therefore the Committee awarded the titles to Captain Clement Townson of Stakes. There was small comfort in the fact that in 1660 the Commonwealth was ended with the death of Oliver Cromwell. Charles II was put on the throne but Catholics were still not tolerated. At Preston in 1667 Christopher Harris was convicted as a Recusant. Richard Swinglehurst and his wife Isabel now living in Chipping were also convicted. Many of the Catholic Recusants thus convicted sought refuge at Leagram Hall and others at Stonyhurst and it is believed that Richard and Christopher and their wives moved to one of these places although the Harris's had a daughter Dorothy who married John Parkinson of Sykes and this ensured that Fair Oak continued in the occupancy of the same family.

The Parkinsons moved into Fair Oak and unencumbered by Catholicism seem to have prospered there. Christopher Harris on the other hand moved to Sykes where he died in the 1690's. Sykes situated near Dunsop Bridge, Slaidburn is reputed to have a priest hole, a feature often found in houses of Catholic families.

Although the Swinglehurst name was no longer connected with Fair Oak, their descendants continued to live there until Dorothy Clince Parker died in 1886.


(To see The Hareden Family Tree click this link)

The Swinglehursts of Fair Oak had become the Lessees of Hareden in the early 16th century and in about 1550 John of Hareden married Anne, daughter of William Shuttleworth of Asterley, near Whalley - a branch of the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe Hall. This marriage is mentioned in Dugdale's "Visitation of the County Palatine of Lancaster 1664/5" in which it reviews prominent Lancashire families. From this publication we also learn that Anne's mother was Anne Nowell, daughter of Roger Nowell of Read Hall, a family which were to become connected with the convictions of the Lancashire Witches early in the next century.

From Forest Court records we know that a son William was born in 1552, and from Parkinson family records that in 1578 William married Margaret the daughter of Richard Parkinson of Fairsnape (between Chipping and Garstang). Both the Shuttleworth and Parkinson families were wealthy and important and no doubt both these ladies brought wealth to the Swinglehursts in the way of dowries. Both families had Coats of Arms, details of which are outlined below. The family tree can be seen .

As well as land at Fairsnape, the Parkinsons had land at Pilling and at Heysham but in 1580 Margaret Swinglehurst assigned her interest in all these to the Parkinson family, no doubt for a large sum of money.

The Hareden family steered clear of the Civil War and did not openly involve themselves in Catholicism. Apart from appearances at Woodmote Courts as witnesses, the Hareden Swinglehursts seem to have behaved themselves rather better than their cousins at Fair Oak although like many others they were concerned in 1583 with the encroachment onto common land in the Slaidburn and Newton area.

In 1570 at a Woodmote Court held at Whitewell the tenants of Hareden were required "between Hareden Fence and Lower Fence to make their heges between New Parke and Buckesalle and between Lawes Greves and Redd Sike Heye".

A further link with the Parkinsons of Fairsnape is shown in a will of 1641 where Robert Parkinson leaves Richard Swinglehurst and his wife Elizabeth £3.4s.8d. Both men have a common ancestor in Richard Parkinson and also became brothers-in-law when they married sisters in the Thompson family.

By this time the evidence is that the Swinglehursts had left Hareden and were surfacing in the Bolton by Bowland area.

There is an interesting note in the Accounts of the Nowells of Read Hall under the heading of "Spending money of R.Nowell 1586" recording donations to local people and kinsmen. One such is to "Willm. Swinlehurste - a poor fchollar - vj d [4 pence] ". The following year a payment of xii d. [12 pence] is made to him. This time he is described as a "fchollar of Cletherall Grammer School". The Royal GrammerSchool at Clitheroe had been founded in 1554. It is possible that this William Swinlehurste was William of Harden, the grandson of Roger Nowell.

Arms of Shuttleworth - Argent three weavers shuttles sable.

Arms of Parkinson of Fairsnape - Gules on a Chevron between three ostrich feathers three mullets sable impaling gules, three Chevronells between three martletts argent. Crest a cubit Arm Vested or, charged with five ermine spots Sattire sable cuffed argent the Hand proper holding an Ostrich feather gules.


Burholme is on the eastern side of the River Hodder about two and a half miles north of Fair Oak. Under the old name of Byreholm it was one of the original vaccaries within the forest and there are records which connect the Swinglehursts with it over a period of 250 years, from 1418 in fact when John Swynhilhurst was granted a lease of five shillings and four pence per annum. This lease was confirmed for a further 20 years in 1422. In the accounts of Sir Thomas Stanley, the King's Receiver in the reign of Edward IV, it is confirmed that John Swynhilhurst was still a tenant in 1464, when the rent was 62s.10d. for half the vaccary, the other half being leased to Nicholas Bounds for a similar amount.

From this date it is evident that the vaccary had grown into a small settlement with dual and latterly multiple tenancies. Several dwellings were built and a small chapel was established. Forest Courts were held at Burholme before the court was moved to nearby Whitewell. Above the existing farm buildings, up on the hill side, the walls of these old dwellings can be traced and the high barn reveals stone-work and timbers of the early 16th century. A stone trough by the present farm house is said to be of an earlier age than 1550 and in the centre of what was the old hamlet is an ancient washing and drinking stone well fed by a natural spring. The old road, now covered over, can be traced winding its way up the hill side and recent excavations of the site of the Chapel are in evidence.

In 1527 the Clitheroe Court Rolls listed the tenants as John Swynelhurst, Thomas Borogh, Reynold Sawer (probably the same Reynold Sawer who in 1522 is commanded to go round Whitewell Church on three Sundays carrying a candle for commiting adultery), William Bound and Thomas Bond. Twelve years later in 1539 Christopher Swynelhurst and James Swynelhurst also have tenancies as also has John who was presumably their father. Similarly there was a Reginald Sawer and Christopher Bond included in the list.

Christopher Swynlehurst of Burholme was born in 1497. A later Christopher (born in 1577) had three sons - Anthony, Richard and Christopher; it is difficult to draw up a definite family tree due to the probability of three families of Swinglehursts living there at the one time.

Thomas Swinlehurst figures constantly in the records from 1570 onwards when one so named is presented to the Woodmote at Whitewell accused of "hubbleshowe" (assault) and fined 12 pence. In 1571 Thomas Swinlehurst is accused of keeping geese on common ground - "Item - we laye a payne that Thomas Swinlehurst shall not keep his geese in the mean grounde under penalty after one fortnight every time so taken".

In 1571 James Swinlehurst was fined 6 pence at the Woodmote for cutting "ten ollers" and a further 6 pence for felling " 6 fother of a yardinge" in the Cleyholme and 6 pence for felling "one fother of yardinge" in Lamye Clough. ("fother of a yardinge" - fother (Old English) - load, i.e. cart load --- Yardinge (Old English) - straight branches, i.e. poles used for fencing). Among the jury at this Court was Anthony Swinlehurst but the records do not state whether he was from Burholme or not.

In 1596 a Reynold Sawer (aged 33), a likely descendant of one of the Sawers of Burholme referred to previously, accused Thomas Swinlehurst of Burholme of "taking two pair of crookes with some other timber and hath builded the same upon the upper inheritance of the said Swinlehurst". Thomas admitted his guilt but claimed "delindie" (exemption) as he had charge and custody of the Park of Radholme during the illness of Sir Richard Sherborne. He was exonerated but it is an interesting story nevertheless. It is puzzling why another member of such a small community as Burholme should take the trouble to present a neighbour to the Woodmote Court. It is possible that the Sawers were victims of the "hubbleshowe" some years earlier, and possibly the Sawers too who objected to the geese being kept on common ground.

Apart from the Woodmote Court records, Thomas left his mark on the buildings he was busy converting from single storey crofts, for high up on what is now the lower barn is a stone bearing the date 1619 and the initials T.S.. Below this is another stone with the weathered inscription - "I JANE LOVE FOR TRUE TO W-- AND FAITHFULL I WILL BE". It seems reasonable to assume that this stone being in close proximity to the former would refer to the Swinglehurst family and perhaps to a wedding to a lady named Jane.

The Parish Church Register at Chipping records many births, marriages and deaths of the Burholme families and here Thomas Swinlehurst features frequently in the early 1600's. In 1599 there is registered the birth of one Margaret Marsden, the illegitimate daughter of Thomas Swinlehurst. In 1609 a man of the same name is father of a son Richard and in later years a son John. A baby Ellena was baptised in 1631 and the mother named Thomas Singleton as the father, but the clerk added knowingly "alias Swinlehurst".

Though all these births cannot with certainty be laid at the door of one man it is obvious that Thomas of Burholme was a notorious character and in 1677 the parish clerk recorded the death of one Thomas Swinlehurst adding that he had reached the age of 100 years and 4 months!

The 17th century therefore saw a large increase in the population of Swinlehursts at Burholme as one would expect from the concentration of three families there. This led inevitably to the colonisation of farms on the periphery of the Forest, particularly in the Bashall and Waddington area, whilst others engaged in trade and farming around Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge and Newton. One branch found its way through the Trough of Bowland to Lancaster as it was developing into a thriving port engaged in the West Indies trade.

By the early 1700's the records of Swinglehursts at Burholme are less frequent, in 1708 a Margaret Swinglehurst of Burholme married Giles Houghton of Giggleswick. Other Swinglehursts were still in the Chipping district. William is a churchwarden there in 1729 and 1730 and as recently as 1818 a Nicholas Swinglehurst is living at Clayleach Farm, Chipping. A Thomas Swinglehurst farmed at Halstead, Slaidburn in the 1740's and at Sykes, near Dunsop Bridge in the 1750's. The Swinglehursts were still at Sykes in 1782 and at Root, Dunsop Bridge from about 1780 to the end of that century.


The register of Padiham Parish Church records the baptism in 1607 of Elizabeth, daughter of John Swinglehurst of Burholme in Bowland. It is odd that a church so distant as Padiham should be used and one wonders whether the family had connections with that district well before 1793 when William farmed at Simonstone, near Padiham.

The tenure of Burholme finally ceased in 1737 when John Swinglehurst the last male member bearing that name died. He died intestate. Administration of an inventory of personal goods totalling less than twenty pounds was granted to Giles Houghton of Giggleswick who had married John Swinglehurst's daughter Margaret in 1708 and thus became his next of kin.

So ended an era at Burholme. The Swinglehursts lived there from 1418 - an unbroken tenure of 319 years!

Burholme remains a Royal farm as part of the estate of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Duke of Lancaster, Charles Prince of Wales visited Burholme in August 1989.


The registers of the Parish Church of St. Helen at Waddington record the births, marriages and deaths of many of the Swinglehurst family. The Church has been there since 1438 and until 1760 it served much of the area of the forest lying to the east of the River Hodder, including Grindleton.

In 1539 a Survey of the Forest listed only 378 able bodied men, the largest concentrations being at Slaidburn and Grindleton with the area between these townships largely unpopulated. In the period between 1550 and 1630 there was nationally a large increase in the number of births over the number of deaths and consequently there was a demand for land and new settlements. The Bowland folk were no exception and they made encroachments on to Common and Manorial land where new farmsteads were created, which profoundly changed the forest landscape.

In 1583 William Swyndelhurst of Hareden encroached on to Common land and paid fines at the Slaidburn Manor Court in respect of cottages and small parcels of land in the Slaidburn and Newton area. In 1585 and 1587 he transferred the ownership of some of these to his tenants but 1592 records him as still being in possession of the remainder.

Earlier in that century John and Robert Swyndylhurst had aquired land at Fold by the Grease, or Greave, (Harrop Fold ?) and leased land in the Grindleton and Chatburn areas at such places as Chatburn Flote and Bold Croke and a Survey of the Bowland Woods dated 1610 records that "John Swinlehurst hath Carbige Land on ground called the Fence - 30 acres fitt to be in coppice".

The Swinglehursts of Burholme faced with a minor population explosion sought new farmsteads in the Bashall and Waddington area. One of those so aquired was the farm at Over Browsholme (pronounced Broosum) situated just north of the present Browsholme Hall but no longer in existence. Over Browsholme had been the home of the Parker family who had long been associated with the park at Radholme and who were closely allied to the Swinglehursts of Fair Oak. In 1603 Thomas Parker of Over Browsholme bought the freehold of Nether Browsholme and proceeded to build the present Browsholme Hall.

In the early years of the 1600's a William Swinlehurst lived at Over Browsholme. A son Christopher was born there in 1621 and a man of the same name served as a soldier under Captain Parker of Browsholme Hall in 1660. This was part of Colonel Pudsey's Regiment of Foot centered on the Pudsey home at Bolton by Bowland. On the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1660 the monarchy was restored and the army was not engaged in any conflict. By 1662 Christopher had moved to or more likely was visiting Wales and his absence on parade at Keighley had to be explained in a letter to Captain Parker by his cousin at Waddington. (The full text of this appears later).

One of the leading Swinglehurst families to emerge in the area lived at Grindleton and is believed to be a direct line from the Hareden family. In the centre of Grindleton today is a house dating from the 17th century and still called Swindlehurst House. It stands at the junction of the road to Slaidburn where some demolition of surrounding farm buildings has taken place and much of the land has been used for modern houses.

Outside Grindleton towards Bolton by Bowland is Hill House, once occupied by Swinglehursts and a further settlement or farm was at Moses Clough at Sawley - referred to as Mawces Clow in old records.

Richard Swinglehurst from Grindleton was appointed Magistrate or Steward at Bolton by Bowland in the first half of the 17th century and a Court room was incorporated in his dwelling which still stands there. The old panelling in the Court room has been preserved by the present occupants.

Mr.T.M.Armistead of Whalley, connected to the Swinglehursts by marriage, writes in his own family history - "The Swinglehursts spread themselves throughout the Bowland district but it would seem only began to settle outside Bowland in the 17th century and then only in the parishes just over the county boundary in Ribblesdale, Gisburn, Long Preston and Giggleswick particularly, but probably later in other areas on the northerly and westerly sides of the Bowland Fells. It is arguable that the initial exodus was to avoid persecution on account of many of the family adhering to the "Old Faith". The senior branch of the family were certainly staunch "recusants" and that as such, they refused to attend the Established Church and to pay tythes: they may also have harboured itinerant priests and Jesuit missioners particularly during the reign of Elizabeth and the early Stuarts. Recusants were of course fined when their attitude and activities were reported to the authorities by the "Pursuivants" whose job it was to operate within the boundaries of each county and root out the "delinquents" as they were called. They were particularly active in Lancashire and one way of avoiding the trauma to some extent was to send wives and children over the county boundary until the pursuivants had left the district. There was a marked move north from Bowland resulting in the establishment of young Swinglehurst families in the Yorkshire parishes previously mentioned and later in Westmorland".

In 1646 Richard was granted Arms which according to a letter dated 6th February 1929 from the College of Arms are as follows - "Gules a Broad Arrow between a pair of wings Argent on a chief of the second three pheons. The crest a broad arrow between a pair of wings gules set in a Crown Mural".

This Coat of Arms was carved in stone above the front entrance of 'the house. Sometime during the 1900's (probably the 1940's) this house was used as a Police Station and later sold as a private house. One day Frank Swinglehurst noticed that the Arms were no longer there. He enquired and was told that it was chipped off by the new owners as they thought it had something to do with the Police!

On August 9th 1641, John Swinglehurst, Gent. became Master of the then new Queen Elizabeth GrammerSchool at Blackburn and held the post until his death in November 1655. He is believed to have come from Grindleton and may have been the brother of Richard.

There was also Swinglehursts living in Chipping and as recusants at Leagram Hall but the main movement of the family was away from the Hodder valley and along the Ribble to beyond Bolton by Bowland.


Captain Parker

After my respects & c. Sr the deputie leivetennants have ordered my Cozen Swinglehurst as principall for a Corselett, but my Cozen Core is pleased to take the Corselett, and let my Cozen have his muskett, I beseech you Sir be pleased if any thinge be said by the Lievetenants against my Cozen Swinglehurst at Kighley because of his non appearance, that he liveth in Wales & could not appear him selfe, but one of yr old soldiers viz. John Leminge of Grindleton will be there to show a Muskett with its furniture for him, and my Cozen Core will carry the pike alloted for my Cozen. if things be not at prsent suiteable to yr mynde, I pray you dispence for this tyme & after you shall order vs for the armes as you will be pleased to have them. I beseech you Sir be pleased to assist my Cozen at this tyme herein, & you will very much ingage

your already much ingaged servant


Waddington March the 18th 1662

ffor his much honoured ffreind Captaine Thomas Parker Esquire

The William Calverley who wrote the above letter on behalf of his cousin Christopher Swinglehurst was the vicar of St. Helen's Waddington from 1640 to 1690.

(Note - A Corselett is armour covering the upper body)


Within the Lancashire border (and this included the "Whitewell" area) the activities of "persuivants" under the Archbishop of Chester were particularly rife, but across the Yorkshire border, the Archbishop of York was much more tolerant of Catholics. One way to avoid the trauma therefore, was to aquire land over the County boundary into Yorkshire and establish their families there.

During the late 16th and early 17th Centuries much land around Slaidburn, Bolton-by-Bowland, and Chatburn - to the north of the River Ribble was being leased by the Swinglehursts at the Halmote courts held at ClitheroeCastle. These were offshoots of the Fair Oak and Hareden families.

In the Rent Rolls of 1662 John Swinglehurst was firmly established as "Yeoman of Gill" and listed as a substantial copy-holder in the Forest of Gisburn. In this same year he was appointed Commissioner for the Forest of Gisburn in an enquiry into Copy-hold lands and their possession. At the same meeting Henry Bannister of Park Hill, Barrowford was the Commissioner for PendleForest. and this meeting of the two men had a lasting effect on the fortunes of both families.

The "Gills" were contained in an area running north from Bolton-by-Bowland along a tributary of the Ribble towards the village of Tosside, but still only about 10 miles as the crow flies from the original home at Fair Oak. The estate comprised three fairly substantial dwellings at Higher Gill, Lower Gill and at Gill. The Gill and Lower Gill still stand, at Gill is an old fireplace with the inscription - James and Anna Swinglehurst 1728. When Uncle Frank visited the house he found to his disgust that the inscription had been covered up by an Aga cooker!

John Swinglehurst, son of the above John, appears to have lived at what is now called Low Gill and was probably the second generation to live there. The house was rebuilt later in the 17th Century, inside the front door porch is an inscription - John and Elizabeth Swinglehurst 1692.

"Park Hill" at Barrowford had been since the 1300's the home of the Bannisters, a branch of the Bannisters of Altham. In 1661 Henry Bannister rebuilt Park Hill at considerable expense and soon afterwards mortgaged the larger part of the house and estate in the sum of £1,000 to John Swinglehurst of Gill. (John Holt of Park Hill a descendant of John Swinglehurst, always maintained it was £7,000 but he may have been relating this to the value of the pound in 1900).

From that date the Swinglehursts in the shadow of Pendle Hill, continued to flourish, helped by the rents from their many Copyhold farms. The fortunes of the Bannisters on the other hand were in the decline and in 1706 they were forced to ask for a further loan of £500. In return the Swinglehursts obtained a 1000 year lease on Lower Park Hill. In 1708, John Bannister, unable to meet the repayments, renounced the title and John Swinglehurst assumed full ownership of Park Hill as Mortgagee in Possession. In 1710 John Bannister was bankrupt.

We can only guess why the Bannisters failed to meet their mortgage repayments. When Charles II returned to the throne after the austere days of Cromwell, Puritanism had given way to a world in which men were not ashamed to enjoy themselves - a natural reaction perhaps to the grim old days which had also seen in 1665/6 an outbreak of Plague which had decimated the population.

This latter half of the 17th Century was also a time of religious tolerance. The Grindleton priest Roger Brierley was preaching in Burnley and one day in 1652 George Fox received his first illumination on Pendle Hill, he founded the Quaker Movement.

A Will of 1719 (see Append.) shows that the then John Swinglehurst, Yeoman of Gill, still lived at what is now Low Gill and that it comprised of several houses, buildings and surrounding lands. He also owned Moss Tenement comprising farms towards Wigglesworth and the vast estates at Park Hill, Barrowford. All this he left to his eldest son, also John, who was to take up residence at Park Hill. To James, his younger son, he left "The Gill at Clough Head" together with its lands and farms, Hegbert Hall (north of Tosside) and freehold and leasehold tenures in Giggleswick. With the Gill at Clough Head would be included Mill Gill, a watermill almost adjacent to Clough Head.

James, the new Yeoman of Gill, moved into Clough Head and apparently renamed it the Gill. He married Anna Atkinson. The marriage produced eight children, five of them girls. Two of the sons died in infancy. The surviving son, also James, was only 15 years of age when he inherited the estate on the untimely death of his father. The administration of the estate fell into the hands of his mother Anna. It was 1748.

In 1750 the eldest daughter Elizabeth now 22 years of age, eloped with a Mr. Craven Cookson of Giggleswick and went through a form of marriage at Gargrave. Her mother never accepted this as a legal marriage and in her Will of 1764 (see Append.) she went to great lengths to ensure that Mr. Cookson did not lay hands on any of the family's money.

The general tone of Anna's Will suggests that this was not a very happy family. The husband of Ellen, the second daughter, was also out of favour and there is a suggestion that the mother and her son James were at loggerheads. Emor Rishton of Slaidburn was on the other hand a "Gentleman", for he was appointed an Executor of the Will and in 1765, a few months after the mother's death, he promptly married daughter Ann.

The young James now became Yeoman of Gill and he also married soon after his mother's death, and no doubt she would not have approved of his marriage. His bride was Alice Scherwood or Silverwood, a servant girl, probably in the family's employ. From this date there is a marked decline in the fortunes of the Yeoman of Gill. The outlying properties of Hegbert Hall and Moss Tenement were disposed of and by 1777 they were obliged to borrow £275 from Ellen Rimmington (a widow) on the security of the farm. In 1784 to repay the first mortgage they borrowed £320 from Samuel Atkinson (Yeoman of Kirkby Malveard) and £100 from Asa Moore (cordwainer of Wigglesworth). In 1786 they drew up a mortgage with Christopher Harrison of Swabed, Giggleswick, to raise £400 to repay existing mortgages. By 1789 the amount outstanding was £650 and they had to let part of the farm to two tenants. By 1796 they were borrowing a further £22 pounds from Robert Knowles executor for Christopher Harrison deceased. Harrison's widow Ann Harrison paid £902 for the farm leaving £126 to be divided between James' widow and her three daughters. (The source of the information on these mortgages comes from - Deeds of the Gill at Clough Head (also known as Lady Lodge and in recent times as Beckfoot Farm). Original Deeds were destroyed in a fire at a house called Hartleys in the parish of Gisburn, the home of Ellen Rimmington - c1778).

Meanwhile their cousins who had taken over at Park Hill, Barrowford were enjoying a new found prosperity.l


(To see The Park Hill Family Tree click this link).

In 1780 John Swinglehurst of Gill assumed the full title of Lower Park Hill and Park Hill and all the estates and lands lying on the east side of Pendle Water to the confluence of Colne Water in the south and including land as far north as Cross Gaits; It was a formidable estate.

John Bannister now pronounced bankrupt left Barrowford in 1710 with his family - a branch of that same family who were so closely associated with Alice Swinglehurst in 1580 and the unfortunate Isabel Tempest in 1537. It was Nicholas Bannister of Park Hill who, along with Roger Nowell an examining Magistrate, who sent the Lancashire Witches for trial in 1612. Their progeny today includes Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile within four minutes.

John and Elizabeth Swinglehurst took up permanent residence at Park Hill. She was the daughter of Henry Parker of Wheatley -yet another alliance with a Parker ! Three daughters were born before they had a son christened John Parker Swinglehurst in 1738.

There was an interesting episode in 1743. The Bannisters had for centuries worshipped at Colne Parish Church where they had their own private chapel. Believing that the ownership of the chapel went with the Park Hill manor a dispute took place between the two families which resulted in locks being put on the pews by one or other of the parties. The dispute was finally settled by a decree of the Consistory Court of Chester which gave "the northern moiety of the Choir and the four pews therein to John Swinglehurst and his successors with liberty to stand, sit, kneel and hear divine service and sermons with his and their families and tenants on Sundays, holidays and other opportune times and with the power to exclude all strangers who had not first obtained leave to enter". To Henry Bannister and his successors was reserved the right to continue to bury their dead replacing, immediately after interrment, any seats taken up for the occasion. In consequence of this ruling, although they used the Colne Church for worship, the Swinglehursts chose to bury their dead at Newchurch in Pendle.

John Parker Swinglehurst was but a youth when his father John Swinglehurst died and he came under the influence of his grandfather Henry Parker who had been appointed his Trustee under the will of his father. The Industrial Revolution was in its infancy at this time although the Barrowford district had long been connected with the woollen industry, many people employing themselves in handloom weaving in their own homes. Henry Parker and his daughter, the widow Elizabeth Swinglehurst, reasoned that with the strides now being made in industry in other parts of the country the future lay in manufactured goods and not so much in farming. Consequently, the young man at the age of 18 was in 1756 apprenticed to Richard and William Hodgson of Bradford, Yorkshire, "Stuff Makers". The term of apprenticeship was four years during which period, in return for being instructed in the business, it was laid down that the youth was to serve his masters - "well and faithfully, guard their secrets, keep their lawful demands everywhere to the best of his power and to do no injury to his masters". Further, "he shall not do nor willingly suffer injury to be done by others, but give notice of the same to his masters, not embezzle, damage, waste or spoil any goods. Cards, dice or other unlawful games he shall not play, nor attend alehouses or sports, nor commit matrimony. Keep good and regular hours at morning, noon and night and behave at all times as good and faithfull apprentice".

The Amount to be paid in the instruction of the apprentice and the provision of food and drink and lodging in Bradford was one-hundred pounds. In addition the boy was to be provided with a horse by his mother to enable him to make the journey over the Pennines at holidays and to enable him to visit the firm's customers.

It may have been the intention to convert the old mill in the meadow to the south of the house to a worsted or cotton mill but at the conclusion of the apprenticeship John Parker Swinglehurst became involved in the manufacture of fine worsted material in the West Riding. The success of this business and the income from the Park Hill estate enabled him in 1780 to build a fine Georgian mansion abutting Park Hill. By then he had four children, the eldest John born in 1766, Elizabeth in 1767, Robert in 1769 and Henry in 1771.

The old Barrowford Mill had been retained by the Bannisters and let to other operators, but the Swinglehursts made a charge for the supply of water from the top of the waterfall to the mill dam and thence to the water wheel. In 1783 the Bannisters were obliged to sell the mill in order to raise sufficient money to pay a debt of two-hundred and fifty-three pounds to John Parker Swinglehurst. The new owners then negotiated for the purchase of the mill dam and this transaction was completed in 1800.

John Parker Swindlehurst had only lived in his new house for three years when he died in 1783 at the relatively early age of 45. His son John succeeded him when he was only 17. He and Henry had received their early education in the village from a Mr.Hargreaves who conducted classes for as little as three pence a week. Pupils came from as far away as Foulridge and Blacko and their names and progress were dutifully logged in the schoolmasters diary and account book. Henry Swinglehurst, we learn, attended for six years at a guinea a year but John's education appears to have cost 12d per week - a higher fee than was charged to other pupils. Perhaps he was a more difficult pupil or perhaps his search for knowledge was more demanding. [ More probably he was subsidizing all the others or it could have included lodging.] John eventually became involved in business in Halifax like his father, but evidently spent most of his time at Park Hill making occasional journeys by horse back on the difficult moorland road via Hebden Bridge to Halifax. (See "Park Hill after the Swinglehursts" regarding the family's involvement in Halifax with the Parkers.)

The estate had grown in size by the addition of several farms following the death of Henry Parker, his grandfather. Farm management therefore demanded more of his time particularly when in 1792 the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company brought their excavations to the Barrowford boundary with Colne and acquired quite a slice of the Park Hill land. The construction of the locks and the 1,630 yard long Foulridge tunnel caused some excitement in the village but the digging of a large reservoir to service the canal on land adjoining the estate changed the whole character of Park Hill. This reservoir now impeded the old road from Clitheroe to Colne and a new road had to be made from Colne to Barrowford and this passed directly in front of the house. By 1796 the whole project was completed and the canal opened.

In 1792 John had been appointed Overseer of the township of Barrowford and some notes from the Overseer's books make interesting reading. A skilled man's wage at this time was 1/6d to 2 shillings per day. The cost of building ten houses at Pendleside including everything - £542.1s.2de. In 1794 "candels" for the meetings cost 1/2d and the sums of £44.5s.6d, and £50.18s.6d.s was paid as the town's share in raising seamen for the war with France following the revolution in that country. A note in 1804 says simply - Defence of the Realm - six men wanted, none went '" £2.Os.3d- and in 1806 the town had to pay a fine of £22.2s.9d. for failing to raise men under the Additional Forces Act. It would appear that the disquieting rumours of invasion by Napoleon in 1804 had little effect in the district although a special meeting chaired by John Swinglehurst was called to discuss what should be done.

Meanwhile work on the Estate had been continuing apace and John Swinglehurst found it necessary to enlist the help of his old schoolmaster who once again turned to his account book and recorded that in 1795 he went to one of the Swinglehurst farms near Trawden to measure the hay. For this he charged 3/6d. He charged a further 3/- for copying a Church Book for John and 8/6d for five days work making maps of the estate.

Great changes were taking place in England's main road system which became totally inadequate for the new industrial society and a new road - a turnpike was planned for Burnley via Marsden (Nelson), Barrowford and Gisburn to Hellifield. John Swinglehurst became a member of the Turnpike Trust with the powers to raise tolls on the road. A Toll Bar was constructed on the road by Park Hill and an old map shows it was necessary to acquire land from the Swinglehursts and others to make a more direct route to the village or as it frequently referred to "town". At this time (1801) it had a population of 1224, and Colne had 2476 and Burnley 3305.

The new Turnpike was open by 1810 and three new bridges were built replacing the old fords. The old cart track through Park Hill farm fell into disuse.

By 1819 the new Cotton Industry was in turmoil and wages were having to be reduced. There were demonstrations by workpeople and many were on the breadline. Handloom weavers from Colne and Barrowford congregated outside the Nelson Inn in protest but happily the affair passed off peacefully helped by the landlord's liquor and when this was consumed many set off for Holgate's Marsden Brewery for further supplies. But such was the plight of many of the villagers that a Workhouse was constructed in the Square and John Swinglehurst was appointed Chairman for the Care of the Poor.

This was the year that Stage Coaches commenced running between Leeds and Liverpool calling at Colne. By 1826 it seemed a full time job caring for the poor. Mobs were afoot, particularly in Colne where new looms were being destroyed in transit.

In 1830 John Swinglehurst died - the last of the Swinglehursts of Park Hill. His memory is perpetuated in Colne Parish Church with a tablet in the Bannister Chapel - his body lies at Newchurch in Pendle with others of the family - a result of the edict of 1743. Over his memorial is a Coat of Arms he had adopted - the crest appropriately a boars head from the origins of the family in Bowland and five sheaves of corn on the shield denoting no doubt the large amount of land he owned -farms in Trawden Forest and in Gisburn Forest - Lumb Laithe Farm, Boulsworth Dyke, Lodge Moss, and two cottages - farms in Admergill between Blacko and Gisburn, farms in Barrowford and Blacko - Trough Laithe, Clough Farm, Fulshaw Farm, Higher Park Hill, Cross Gaits Farm and the Inn there, Malkin Tower Farm, Lower Park Hill and many cottages and other dwellings.

The old Inn at Cross Gaits has the carved stone legend over the door - "Good ale tomorrow for Nothing" - a typical Swinglehurst joke '.


In 1831, a year after John Swinglehurst's death the Bannister Chapel at Colne Church once again came into the news when a sale by public auction was advertised in the local press - "the spacious, dry, comfortable and well situated pew in the choir with boarded floor... and containing ample room for 8 adults .....also the right of sepulture or burial throughout the whole of the ground of the Chancel, called Bannister Chancel ...without payment of the usual fees, price and particulars from John Bannister, Top of Trawden, weaver, and Henry Bannister, bottom of it, labourer. There were no offers and no sale took place.

At this time, Mary Swinglehurst, now married to Christopher Grimshaw, a local cotton manufacturer, was living at Park Hill but they were not happy there and moved to a smaller property in Gisburn Road. She died in 1841 childless, and was buried at the then new church of St.Thomas, Barrowford. During her latter years she had attended Higherford Methodist Church near her home where she had been a Sunday School Teacher. Her cousin Ann Hoyle who had married Sam Holt of Wigan moved into Park Hill and this marriage produced a new generation of Swinglehurst Holts who continued to occupy Park Hill until 1920.

A further link with the Parkers of Bowland was established in 1855 when Parker Swinglehurst Holt qualified as a solicitor and joined the practice of Robert Parker in Halifax. Back in 1719 a Robert Parker of Gamblehole, near Newton in Bowland had married Elizabeth Swinglehurst of Gill and a Robert Parker of Gamblehole, born 1731, went on to study Law at Lincolns Inn, London. In 1753 he was admitted as attorney in the Kings Bench and late that year joined a law practice in Halifax. By 1768 he was the most eminent lawyer in the West Riding and was the prosecuting counsel in the Cragg Coiners Case, a case which made history.

The leader of the Cragg Coiners was David Hartley of Heptonstall Crag and was known as "King David". He was hung at York in 1770 and buried at Heptonstall. An accomplice named Oldfield was also hung. Two other members of the gang were tried for the murder of an Excise man in Halifax in 1769 but were discharged on the lack of evidence. Robert Parker however collected new evidence and put them up for highway robbery. One named Thomas was executed at York in 1774 and his body hung in chains on Beacon Hill, Halifax. The other named Normington was arrested in 1775 and hung in chains next to Thomas. The pair remained hanging there for 20 years.

Because of the work of Robert Parker and his partner Deighton the coiners gang were destroyed and from this time coins were made a standard weight and the milling of the edges was introduced.

Seventy-five years after this important case Parker Swinglehurst Holt joined the law partnership - a family connection through both the Parkers and the Swinglehursts. He took up residence at Triangle near Halifax and when he died in 1890 his body was conveyed to Newchurch in Pendle to the family grave. His younger brother John Holt had taken over the reins at Park Hill but advancing years and the absence of an heir forced him to retire to Grove House, Wheatley Lane Road, Barrowford before the first World War.

During the final decade of the century, another branch of the Swinglehursts of Bowland had moved into the village. At the time of the Park Hill story they had been farming in nearby Higham and Simonstone but my grandfather, a fully qualified pharmacist, bought the house and shop next door to the White Bear Inn from Mr.Nowell. This had been built a few years previously in the farmyard adjoining the inn, known as Charles' Farm. The business had traded under the name of "Thomas's Medical Hotel" and briefly as "Nowell's Medical House". My grandfather had no such grand pretentions and described it simply as a Chemist shop or Pharmacy although in those early days the room over the shop had been used for tooth extractions and other such medical tortures. My grandfather's brother John William had established by this time a plumbing business and when John Holt of Park Hill died in 1920 at the age of 85, he was sufficiently prosperous to buy a plot of land from the Park Hill estate. This land was behind the Cross Gaits Inn and he named his new house "Fair Oak" in honour of the first great house of the Swinglehursts in Bowland.

The various farms on the Park Hill estate were put up for auction in 1905 when John Holt moved to Grove House and an auction of his goods and chattels was held in 1921 after his death. Many articles, I am told, were bought by Mr. Samuel Holden, the local mill owner but thanks to John William's close contact with John Holt some interesting family relics were passed over, among them the Indenture of 1756, a breast plate of armour, a rapier and a cross bow inlaid with silver. Perhaps this latter object had been used in those BowlandForest hunts in days of yore. All the land to the south of Park Hill alongside the river was bought by John Dixon and Samuel Holden who promptly handed it to the Council for use as a park and recreation ground. The Council bought Park Hill house and in 1982 opened it as Pendle Heritage Centre.

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes, a descendant of the Bannisters of Park Hill, performed the opening ceremony.


We have followed the fortunes of the Fair Oak and Burholme families and seen how the new farmsteads were created on the edge of the BowlandForest near Waddington and Bolton-by-Bowland. John William Swinglehurst (1861 - 1941) and Frank Swinglehurst (1896 - 1986) who collected the major part of this family's history appear to have been of the firm opinion that their own branch, was directly linked with the Gill and Park Hill family, the divide having been made at Grindleton. But I think it more likely, that we are descended more directly from the Burholme family who had made incursions towards Waddington.

In the 17th Century Burholme had ceased to be a hamlet housing four or five families and archaeological evidence suggests that some of the buildings were probably engulfed by a flash flood from the surrounding hills. It is also in this same period of time that the Swinglehurst families are found at Browsholme, at Bashall and around Waddington, the exact locality given by our historians for the birth of our ancestor William Swinglehurst in 1731. He would appear to be the son of John and Ann Swinglehurst, baptised at Whitewell Chapel, but this is not yet proven.

From William the history of the family is well documented. Three children are recorded - a son William (b.1764), a daughter Betty (b.1765) and another son Wilfred (b.1768). William the son, was 29 years of age when he married Betty Sagar of Simonstone, near Padiham. They possibly took over the Sagar farm at Simonstone, although Sagars are recorded as farming in the village until comparatively recent times. William and Betty had 8 children and the eldest son John, born in 1794 continued farming there. This same John was my Great-Great-Grandfather.

The family obviously maintained its link with Bowland for Benjamin, one of the younger sons, married a girl from Mitton and returned to the area to work. Tragedy struck this particular branch of the family, when Richard one of their sons was drowned in the Ribble when still a young boy. Benjamin tried several jobs - working at Mitton, Clitheroe and finally at Padiham where he died in 1861. Incidentally, his family are referred to throughout Parish records as Swindlehurst (spelt with the 'd') and as far as is known his descendants have retained that spelling to this day.

My great-great-grandfather being 13 years older than his brother Ben, married Miss Ann Ashworth in 1818 and four children were born. James, the eldest, was born in 1819 and in later Census returns gave his birthplace as Whalley. Elizabeth (b.1821), John (b.1823) and Ann (b.1826) gave their birthplace as Simonstone, but as Simonstone at that time was within the parish of Whalley, they were probably all born at the farm.

James and John were destined to bring the family out of farming. They both married locally in the 1850's, the bride of John, my great grandfather, being Ann Stanworth of Higham and it is to this nearby village that our story moves. The Stanworths were farmers at Copthurst Farm, but John turned his attention to cotton weaving. A new mill was built at Higham village in 1852, at a time when the cotton industry was thriving in the area. An older mill at Fir Trees just outside the village towards Padiham was already in existence and Padiham itself was growing from a village into an industrial township, thanks to its new rail links with Burnley, Blackburn and Manchester and the ample deposits of coal at nearby Altham and Habergham.

John had four daughters born at Higham, I remember meeting two of these as great-aunts when I was a small boy in the 1920's. They were only very small children themselves when in 1859 John and his brother James decided that they were sufficiently confident to try for larger stakes in the heart of the cotton industry - at Heywood between Rochdale and Bury, and so close to the cotton capital of Manchester. Here they set up with a fellow named Grindrod, the firm of "Swinglehurst & Grindrod, Manufacturers of Cotton Goods, Twills, Shirting and Domestics" at Ivy Green Mill, John Street, Heywood. This is close to the centre of the town.

Many of the local people of Higham appear to have made the move to Heywood at the same time, as Census returns of Castleton and Heywood show. Among these was Elizabeth, the sister of John and James, with her husband Joseph Foster of Sabden. James and Jane (nee Ingham) with their son Richard shared the same mill as Cotton Weavers in their own right. The Inghams had come from Newchurch in Pendle, they shared Room and Power at the Ivy Green Mill and lived at 24, William Street, Heywood.

Little did these people know that the 1860's were going to prove to be very difficult times for the cotton industry. Almost the whole of the staple cotton came from the southern states of America, but with that nation embroiled in a bloody Civil War and the southern ports blockaded by northern ships, virtually no supplies of raw cotton were reaching Liverpool. Cotton workers throughout Lancashire were being laid off and there was widespread poverty. Many manufacturers became bankrupt.

The Swinglehurst brothers however, battled on and by 1871 we learn that the mill had 57 employees including daughters Mary Ann, now 17, employed as a beamer, Susannah, aged 16, a weaver, and Caroline Foster their cousin aged 20, another weaver. In addition John, the farmer from Simonstone and grandfather of the three girls was now employed as a "Cut Looker". He was now 76 years of age and near the end of his life. He had become a widower twice over and had come to live with his daughter Elizabeth Foster at 105 Greentown, Castleton. He actually died later in 1871 at the home of his son John at 6 William Street, Heywood, and was buried in Heywood Cemetery. (Grave ref.Con.G.278). John Swinglehurst died age 77 on 22.7.1871. The grave also contains the remains of Joseph Foster age 53, d.1874, painter and decorator of Brunswick Street, Heap, Heywood - Elizabeth Foster age 64, d.1885 at 7 Rochdale Road, Heap and Emily Warburton age 14 months d.1885, daughter of Daniel and Caroline Warburton of Garnet St. Castleton.

William Street was adjacent to John Street and the Ivy Green Mill, quite handy for the master. It has now been renamed Queens Park Road but John Street is still there. James on the other hand lived with his wife Elizabeth at 32 Greentown, Castleton, a mile or so to the east. There seems to be no record of any offspring, and it is assumed that if there were any they have been assimilated into the population of Manchester.

The troublesome times of the 1860's did not leave John altogether unscathed. In 1867 his wife Ann died, leaving him with the four girls born at- Hiqham now aged between 8 and 13 years. in addition he now had two sons born at Heywood - John William aged 6 years and Josiah only 3 years old. In December 1868 John married Sarah Maria Maneice, a young lady from Nantwich who admitted to being born in Manchester. She was 4 years younger than John and said to have Irish connections. She was apparently of a "well to do" family for several items of quality furniture and oil paintings, some of which are still in the family, are attributed to her.

What happened during the late 1870's is still a mystery. Possibly the business failed or it was wound up or sold. Its name disappeared from the Trade Directories of Heywood but old papers in the records left by Frank Swinglehurst mention very briefly the "Up Steps Inn" at Oldham and there was an old photograph of this. My father said his grandfather used to own the Inn and his sister Marion said her father Josiah lived at Oldham before his marriage. Does this mean that John became a publican? Both Frank and Marion were of the opinion that their grandfather travelled about quite a lot in the cotton industry. Did he combine this with Inn keeping or was the public house just a temporary venture whilst he was able to re-establish himself as a Pattern Card Maker in the cotton industry at 85 Pheobe Street, Salford? By the 1880's and during the 1890's Salford was being mentioned in the family story. (Slaters 1885 Directory)

It would be about 1884/5 when the family started moving back to the Pendle area, probably just after the death of Sarah, the second wife of John. The girls were all married now and had taken up residence in Higham and Fence. John William married a Brierfield girl in 1887 and started a plumbing business in Nelson. Whilst Josiah, having received his Education at Manchester GrammerSchool, qualified as a pharmacist. He was employed in a chemist shop in Mossley in the late 1880's and this is probably the period when he is said to have travelled from his home in Oldham (Up Steps Inn?).

During the time Josiah was employed in Mossley, he met and eventually married Marion Crossley. The Crossleys were in business adjacent to the Chemist shop. There was Mrs. Crossley's Emporium selling all kinds of haberdashery and drapery, next door in this town centre block was Crossleys Caterers and Confectioners. Marion and her elder sister Emily managed this latter department whilst their sisters, Annie and Martha had taken over the running of the dressmaking, haberdashery and drapery from their mother. The family's commercial ventures were completed by their father Charles Crossley - who had a Joinery and Cabinet Makers business at the rear of the premises. Mid-day would see Josiah lunching at the Crossley Restaurant and from then on the romance with Marion blossomed. The wedding took place in 1891 and the following year my father Arthur was born in Salford. Josiah had perhaps found a better position there or perhaps the Salford connection was brought about by his father moving the family home there.

In 1893 the business known as "Nowells Medical House" in Barrowford came up for sale. Josiah bought the business and thus the name of Swinglehurst became re-established in the village. The Chemist Shop, being also the Post and Telegraph Office, was a regular meeting place for the village folk and my grandmother used to tell' of her recollections of meeting people who had been in service with the previous Swinglehursts of Barrowford at Park Hill some 60 years before. John Holt, a Swinglehurst descendant, was still at Park Hill and became quite friendly with the new Swinglehursts. He regularly rode his horse through the village and exercised it in the meadow across the road. He explained that he had to ride the path from Park Hill to the mill to preserve his right of way on the old road.

Now settled in Barrowford, Josiah and Marion added to their family. Frank was born in 1896, Geoffrey in 1900 and Marion in 1902. They appear to have had a prosperous business, for they added to their property by purchasing half of the White Bear Inn (the part adjacent to the family house and shop) and also the cottages and shop on the south side as far as the Conservative Club. These were all let and I remember as a boy in the 1930's collecting rents at three of the cottages for my grandmother. In addition to the White Bear, there was behind it a derelict 17th Century building which was part of the original farm which once stood on this site. This was let to Mr.Stansfield, the plumber, who used it as a storeplace. Another link with the old days, which survived to the Second World War was a double seated privy. This used to fascinate us as young boys and we often sneaked round the back to these old buildings to sample the thrill of using the double seater.

blank spacer