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Burton-in-Kendal Parish c.1866

BURTON-IN-KENDAL parish comprises a long narrow and irregularly formed tract of country, lying in two of the Westmorland Wards, and in the Hundred of South Lonsdale, in Lancashire. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Kirkby-Lonsdale, on the south by that of Warton, in Lancashire, on the north by the parish of Kendal, and on the west by those of Beetham and Heversham, and is divided into the four townships of Burton, Dalton, Preston Patrick, and Holme. Its population in 1801 amounted to 1182; in 1811, 1330; in 1821, 1642; in 1831, to about 2000 ; and in 1841, to 2387, and the estimated value of the lands and buildings in 1815, was £9690.

Holmescales, a hamlet in Old Hutton township, belongs ecclesiastically to Burton parish.

BURTON-IN-KENDAL is a clean and well-built market town, occupying a pleasant and salubrious situation eleven miles S. of Kendal; seven miles W. by S. of Kirkby-Lonsdale ; eleven miles N. by E. of Lancaster; and 251 N.W. by N. from London. The market place is a large area, lined with good houses and shops, and having in the centre a hand-some stone cross.Although its present general appearance is that of a modern country town, yet some of its buildings attest that it is a place of considerable antiquity. The market, which is held on Tuesday, was established in 1661, and in the course of the next century had become the most extensive corn market in the county, the chief part of which was brought hither by the formers of North Lancashire, from whom it was purchased by the Kendal, Sedbergh, and Kirkby-Lonsdale corn dealers; but shortly after the opening of the Kendal and Lancaster canal, in 1819, the market began to decline, and is now of very small importance. Two annual fairs were also established here in 1661, one on the 23rd of April, and the other on Whitsun Monday, the latter of which in 1829, was described as more a mart of pleasure than of traffic, " though," says that writer, "a few cattle are brought for sale, and a number of farm servants stand to get the straws taken out of their mouths, or in other words to get hired." Of late years the increased facility of transit by railway, and the consequent partially desertion of the two Kendal and Lancaster turnpike roads, which pass through Burton, has nearly annihilated the trade of the town. The salubrity of the climate has, however, induced many respectable families to select it as an eligible place of residence.

The church, dedicated to St. James, is an ancient Gothic edifice, with a square tower and six bells. The interior consists of a chancel, nave, side aisles, and two chapels, or burial places, belonging to Dalton and Preston Halls. It was thoroughly repaired and restored in 1844, at a cost of £500. The pulpit and reading desk are of oak, curiously carved, and dated 1607. On the chapel belonging to Preston Hall is the following inscription :- Gloria in excelsis, Deo J.F.F., 1634 ; and inside Dalton Hall chapel is the following:- Soli Deo Gloria, P.S, Fundator, 1628.

This church, with many others, was given by Ivo de Talebois, the first Baron of Kendal, to St. Mary's abbey, in York, and was confirmed to that sacred institution by his successor, Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, about the year 1200. In 1460, the vicar's revenue was £20. a year, arising from a house and garden and a close called Kirk Butts, "with all small tithes, oblations, and mortuaries," but out of this income he had to repair the chancel, find candles, and pay £10. 3s. 4d. to the monastery. After the dissolution, the rectory and advowson of the vicarage were granted by Queen Elizabeth to the Earl of Lincoln and Christopher Gough, Esq., "with reservation of a rent to the crown of £9. 7s. 8d,; to the schoolmaster of Kendal, £9. 6s. 8d.; to the curate of Hugill £3. 6s. 8d , and to the Bishop of Chester, £2". The great tithes afterwards belonged to the Prestons, of Preston Patrick, whose two heiresses carried them in marriage, about the middle of the 17th century, to the Lords Montgomery and Clifford; the former having for his share the tithes of Burton, Holme, and Dalton, which were subsequently purchased by Colonel Charteris, of Hornby castle ; and the latter having the tithes of Preston Patrick and Holmscales, which, about the year 1770, were sold to Mrs. Gibson, of Lancaster.

The advowson of the vicarage passed through several families, one of whom sold it to Thomas Hutton, of Kirkby-Lonsdale, and Jeffrey Tenant, of Bentham, Yorkshire. It afterwards passed with the heiress of the Hutton family to John Johnstone, Esq , and was next possessed by the Rev. Charles Simeon, whose trustees are now the patrons. The Rev. Robert Morewood, M.A., is the present incumbent, inducted in 1842.

The Vicarage is valued in the King's books at £15. 17s. 3?d , and was certified at £31. 6s. 8d., in 1725, in which year it received an augmentation of £200. from the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, and £200. from the executrix of Lady Moyer, and other donors, which sums were laid out in the purchase of a house and estate for the vicar ; the ancient house and glebe called Kirk-Butts, having' been seized by one of the lords of the manor. In 1772, it was augmented with an estate at Yealand Conyers, in Lancashire, purchased with £400., viz.: £200. obtained from Queen Anue's Bounty, £100. given by the Rev. John Hutton, then vicar, and £100. given by the Countess Dowager Gower. On the enclosure of the commons in 1815, the tithes of the parish were commuted for an allotment of 55A. 0R. 20P., for Burton; 48 acres, for Holme; 58A. 1R., for Dalton ; and the sum of £1,400. for Preston Patrick; and £420, for Holmscales. The Vicarage house is a neat building, erected in 1844, and commands a beautiful prospect. It stands on a gentle eminence, at the end of an avenue, and is dotted with thirty-six fine lime trees, planted about 120 years ago.

The National School, which was erected by subscription in 1817, on land given by John Hutton, Esq., ancestor of one of the late vicars, is now conducted by Mr. William B. Carter; but the Grammar School which once possessed a considerable endowment, has not been in existence for several years.

The manor of Burton is chiefly of the Marquis division of the ancient Barony of Kendal, and is held of the crown by a yearly quit-rent of £1. 11s., paid to the Earl of Lonsdale as lessee. It is called Bortun in the Domesday book, and, at the time of the conquest, belonged to one Torsin, but in 1190, was in the possession of the crown. It was soon after granted to the de Burtons, but on the failure of the heirs male of the hose of Burton, about the year 1320, it was carried in marriage by an heiress to Sir Thomas de Betham, of Beetham Hall, by whose posterity it was held till the close of the 15th century, when it was carried in marriage by Anne de Betham to Sir Robert Middleton, of Leighton, and by a co-heiress of that house to the Oldfields, of Cheshire. It was afterwards purchased by Thomas Benison, Esq., of Hornby, in whose family it continued till 1770, when it was sold to T. Pearson, Esq., who was succeeded in 1782 by Miss Pearson, and in 1790 by W. Atkinson, Esq., husband of Mrs. Sarah Atkinson, the present owner, who came into possession in 1826, as tenant for life under the will of her husband, and who holds a Court Baron on Whit-Monday and Martinmasday, at the Green Dragon, for the admission of the customary tenants, and for the recovery of debts under forty shillings. She is also the principal land-owner of this township, which is rated at £3240. Petty sessions are held here every alternate Tuesday, when George Wilson, Esq., of Dallam Tower, and Edmund Hornby, Esq., of Dalton Hall, are generally on the bench, Mr. Edward Hutton, solicitor, of Milnthorp, is clerk to the magistrates. A Friendly Society was established here in 1827, and here are also lodges of Oddfellows, Mechanics, &c.

In 1777, the inhabitants expended "some hundreds of pounds" in draining a large tract of marshy and mossy ground on the west side of the town, the main drain being "between two and three miles long, four yards broad, and two yards deep." Under the soil " is a bed of whitish earth, which is neither sand, nor clay, nor marl, and yet in some respects resembles each of them. It every where abounds with shells of the snail and periwinkle kind, and such as appear sometimes in limestone and marble." Trunks of large oak and fir trees were found imbedded in the moss. Heron-sike is a small hamlet, in this township, half a mile S. of Burton.

Clawthorp, or Clawthrop, as it is generally pronounced, is a small hamlet in this township, one mile N.N.E. of the town, and about the same distance S.S.E. of Farlton Knott, a beautiful limestone mountain, said to resemble much in form the rock of Gibraltar. On the edge of another mountain, nearer to Burton, is a natural curiosity called Cawthorp-Clints, or Curwen Woodkins. It consists of a large plain of naked limestone rock, a little inclined to the horizon, and deeply rent with a number of fissures, six, eight, or ten inches in width, which could only have been formed by the ebbing of copious waters, and, there being in the neighbourhood several limestone plains, with a surface of similar lineaments, shews that the dry lands were once submerged in the great deeps, that the ocean has gone down from the hills, and left records of the several stages of a constructive process, which furrowed the earth's surface.

Adjoining the township of Burton, but in the county of Lancaster, is a place called Hilderstone, the residence of Mr. John Backhouse, where many of his forefathers have been interred.

DALTON township, which is one mile E. by S. of Burton, is in the hundred of South Lonsdale, in Lancashire. It is rated at £1,814. The principal landowners are Mrs. Atkinson, and Edmund Hornby, Esq., who is also lord of the manor, and resides at Dalton Hall, a splendid mansion, about one mile of Burtun. He has been for thirty years chairman of the Quarter Sessions, and was High Sheriff for Lancashire, in 1829.

[Taken from Mannex P: Topography and Directory of North and South Lonsdale, Amourderness, Leyland (includes Hawkshead and Cartmel) dated 1866]

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