(See also DDSc 139/1)
These documents, relating to the estates of the Rigbye family of Harrock Hall, Wrightington, formed the evidences of title, with related papers, which were handed over to the purchaser of the Harrock estate in about 1839 (see DDX 877 4/3).
All deeds and papers dated before 1775 have been arranged by township, with cross-references where necessary. But a geographical division has not been possible for documents of a later date than 1775, since all subsequent deeds and papers resulted from transactions involving the whole of the Harrock estate. The deeds have been listed individually before 1650, and, as far as possible, by bundle thereafter. Names of witnesses have been given where deeds are undated, and the original spellings of place names and personal names have been retained, except that Latin Christian names have been translated.
DDX 877/1. Wrightington and Parbold (pre 1775)
DDX 877/2. Windle (pre 1775)
DDX 877/3. Euxton (pre 1775)
DDX 877/4. Wrightington, Parbold, Windle, Rainford and Euxton (post 1775)
DDX 877/5. Eccleston
DDX 877/6. Heskin
DDX 877/7. Liverpool
DDX 877/8. Wigan
DDX 877/9. Other townships
DDX 877/10. Other counties
DDX 877/11. Miscellaneous
Further information about the Rigbyes of Harrock may be found in the Victoria County History vol.VI, and in Baines' History of Lancashire (Croston edition, vol.IV, 1891, which corrects some errors in Baines' earlier edition). The author of the Victoria County History noted that a collection of Rigbye of Harrock charters exist in Townley's Mss., 00 no. 1270-1339, at Chetham's Library. Some of these charters are quoted in the footnotes of the Victoria County History, and a number relate to some of the same properties as appear in this collection: for example, "Ellencliff and Turnetcliff" (as in DDX 877 1/24); Kailscrooks (as in DDX 878 1/1); Allansfields, Priestfield (as in DDX 877 1/14).
Pedigrees of the Rigbyes are recorded in the Heralds' Visitations of 1567 (Chetham Society vol.LXXXI, 1870); 1613 (ibid LXXXII, 1871); 1664 (ibid LXXXIV, LXXXV, and LXXXVIII, 1872). Baines supplies a Rigbye pedigree up to about 1703.
|Administrative / biographical background:
The Rigbye's estate included a share in Wrightington Manor, and properties in Parbold and Wrightington, as well as other properties in Windle, Rainford and Euxton. There are other early deeds in this collection which relate to lands in Wigan, Eccleston, Heskin and elsewhere, but these properties were not part of the Harrock estate in 1775.
The Harrock estate descended in the male line of the Rigbye family until 1775. The head of the family always bore the name of Nicholas, until the last Nicholas died without heirs in 1754 and the estate passed to his brother Thomas, who also died without heirs in 1775. By his will (DDX 877 4/1(1)), Thomas Rigbye devised his estate to his sister Eleanor for life, and then to his nephew, the Rev. John Baldwin, rector of North Meols, who was the son of the Rev. Thomas Baldwin of Leyland by Thomas Rigbye's sister Anne. John Baldwin succeeded in 1787, took the name and arms of Rigbye, and resided at Harrock Hall. At his death, in 1793, he left his Cheshire estates to his eldest son Thomas and the Harrock estate to his third son, the Rev. Rigbye Baldwin who then became the Rev. Rigbye Rigbye. In 1829, the latter was succeeded by his eldest son, Rigbye Baldwin Rigbye.
Between 1818 and 1838, a series of increasingly heavy mortgages was placed upon the estate. In about 1839, Thomas Morris, as mortgagee, under a power of sale, sold the Harrock estate to Richard Boulton of Green Bank within Henllam co. Denbeigh, Wales. About this time, an Abstract of Title of Rigbye Baldwin Rigbye to the estate, and also the Schedule of Deeds already mentioned, were drawn up, and the documents as a whole were presumably handed over to the purchaser. In 1894, according to the Victoria County History Vol.VI, the estate was owned by Arthur Ramsden Boulton, probably a descendent, possibly a son, of Richard Boulton. But at the time the Victoria County History was written, (1911), Mr. Gerard Dicconson was the owner of Harrock.