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the community, but to the benefit of the revenue, and the glory of our free-trade policy.
The following Table exhibits the Registration and Election Returns for the parish of Burslem, for 1832, when the Registration commenced; and for 1837, in both which years contests took place in the Northern Division of the County, as we have already mentioned. We refer to the concluding portion of our sixth Chapter, for a further account of those Elections.*
PARISH OF BURSLEM.
Table of the Registered Electors, and numbers polled
Polled for 1837. Polled for
Total.... 435 186 224 186 479 269 115 173
The whole number of Electors who voted in the Parish of Burslem in 1832, was 365.
The like in 1837, 366.
With respect to the strength of the Parish of Burslem in the Elective Franchise for the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent, the number registered in 1832 was 357,-polled 335.
The like in 1837,-registered 355,-polled 308.
We refer to the tables inserted pp. 62, 65, for the numbers polled by the respective candidates.
* Page 132.
Cobridge and Abbey-Hulton.
COBRIDGE. HAMLET OF RUSHTON. - ETYMOLOGIES.DOMESDAY NOTICE OF HULTON AND RUSHTON. POPE NICHOLAS'S SURVEY. ESTIMATE OF THE COMPARATIVE VALUE OF LAND.-PURCHASE OF RUSHTON GRANGE BY R. BIDDULPH, ESQ.-NOTICES OF THE FAMILY OF BIDDULPH.-PEDIGREE. RUSHTON TITHE-FREE.THE OLD GRANGE.-ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL.-ROYAL ART OF HEALING.-LANDED PROPRIETORS.-FAMILY OF WARBURTON.-SNEYD GREEN. -HOT-LANE.-NEW CHURCH.-DISSENTERS' CHAPELS.-SCHOOL-HOUSE.
-POPULATION.-VIGNETTE OF THE OLD GRANGE.-ABBEY-HULTON.
ANCIENT HISTORY.-CISTERCIAN MONASTERY.-ACCOUNT OF THAT ORDER. THEIR POSSESSIONS. ABBEY SURRENDERED. NAMES OF ABBOT AND MONKS.-REMAINS OF THE ABBEY.-MILTON.-NOTICE OF THE MANOR AND PARISH OF NORTON IN THE MOORS.
THE modern town or village of COBRIDGE is intermediate between Burslem and Hanley, and principally seated within the ancient vill or hamlet of RUSHTON, and parish of Burslem. In documents, dated more than a century since, the place is called Cobridge Gate, and it then consisted of a few tenements and small potteries, erected near a gate opening into a lane leading from the Grange of Rushton to the Abbey of Hulton, and which, whilst that Abbey existed, formed a communication for the Monks and their retainers, between their domicile at the Abbey, and the Grange, nearly two miles distant.
With regard to the modern name of Cobridge, we can do no more than refer its origin to its situation on the way leading from the Abbey towards Newcastle, along the ridge, (the cop or cob-ridge,)* which commences at Sneyd
* The word cob is of ancient use for any thing big, and "the Cob of Cobridge" is a local sobriquet for any principal person there.
Green. Several fields contiguous are, in ancient writings, called the Cobridges. An estate situate lower down, but on the same rise, and in Shelton Township, is called the Ridge-House simply. Other lands, within Rushton Grange, are, in old deeds, called the Rushy-Cobridges, and here the etymology of the hamlet is discovered, viz. a Rushy-Town; though the character of the surface does not, at present, answer to that description in any remarkable degree.
Rushton was joined with Hulton in the DomesdaySurvey, and they were rated together for the third part of one Hide, held by Robert de Stafford, and by Ulviet, as his feudatory, or chief tenant.*
The Vill, or Hamlet of Rushton is of small dimensions, covering an area of not more than 420 acres. It was bestowed entire by Henry de Audley on the Abbot and Monks of Hulton, upon the foundation of that Monastery, as we have previously stated,† and continued to be their Grange, and subject to their own cultivation until the surrender by the convent of its possessions, in the year 1538, of which we shall presently speak more fully. The Vill of Rushton is described in the taxation of Pope Nicholas, (A. D. 1291,) as containing three plough-lands, worth 20s. each per annum, which proves that the Monks had, within 70 years after they obtained possession, cultivated this farm to good advantage; for none of their
* The Latin entry is as follows "IISDEM ROBERTUS tenet in HEL TONE, et in RISCTONE, terciam partem unius hida et Ulviet de eo. Ipse tenuit T. R. E. Terra est iiij carucarum. Ibi sunt iij villani et iij bordarii cum j caruca. Silva j leuca longitudine et dimidiæ latitudine. Valet X solidos.
He held it
In English thus:-"The same Robert holds in Heltone, and in Risctone, the third part of a hide, and Ulviet under him. in King Edward's time. The land is four plough-lands. three husbandmen and three cottagers, with one plough. wood one mile in length, and half a mile in breadth. The value is ten shillings.
There are There is a
+ Page 136.
RUSHTON GRANGE. ANCIENT VALUE.
Estates were rated so highly, and Normacote in the proportion of one half only of the rent of Rushton.*
The Grange of Rushton, soon after the surrender of the Abbey property, was granted by King Henry VIII., in the 31st of his reign, (A. D. 1539,) to James Leveson, Esq., who immediately sold it to Richard Biddulph, Esq., of Biddulph, for the price of £130 7s., and conveyed it by deed of feofment, dated the 7th day of February, 31st Henry VIII. Nearly one half of the Hamlet has been subsequently disposed of, by Mr. Biddulph's descendants, to various purchasers. The remainder, which lies on the west side of Waterloo Road, with the farm
See extract from the Valor of P. Nich. Appendix, No. XIX, (A.) A plough-land contained at least 100 acres, (probably 120,) so that there being three plough-lands in Rushton, proves that nearly the whole hamlet was then under husbandry, (allowing little for waste or wood-land.) If we suppose two-thirds to have been in profitable cultivation, (the rest fallow,) and one half of that yielding a wheat crop, averaging only 24 bushels per acre, the produce, (2400 bushels,) at 10d. per bushel, (which appears from Adam Smith's account to have been about the average price of wheat at the period we are speaking of,) would amount to £100 per annum of the money of that day, for the wheat crop only. The shilling of that period contained three times the weight of our present coin, which would give £9 intrinsically for the rent of an estate of more than 300 acres, which now lets for about 50s. per acre for husbandry purposes. This vast difference in the comparative rent of land, in ancient and modern times, is perfectly inexplicable, but leads to the conclusion that the valor of Pope Nicholas, in 1291, was grounded on some other datum than the price of corn, which fluctuated more about that period than we have any idea of in modern times, viz., from 1s. to £4 per quarter, (or from 3s. to £12 in modern reckoning.)
Rushton Grange was valued in the Ecclesiastical Survey, 26 Henry VIII., (four years prior to its surrender,) at the annual sum of £4 only, which was much less intrinsically than what it was rated at in the survey of Pope Nicholas. When this estate was sold by James Leveson, Esq. to Richard Biddulph, Esq., in 1540, it was stated, in the Deed of Conveyance, to be of the annual value of £7 10s.
+ This deed, now in the hands of Lord Camoys, with a great number of ancient deeds, by which the pedigrees of his ancestors, the Biddulphs, is authenticated, has, by his lordship's kind permission, been submitted to our inspection. (J. W.)
Wealth of Nations, Book I., Cap. XI. (Tables.)
stead of the Grange, is still enjoyed by the representatives of this eminent family.
The Biddulphs, of Biddulph, are particularly spoken of by Erdeswicke, who commences his survey of Staffordshire with the parish of Biddulph. The family derive their lineage from Ormus le Guidon, Lord of Darlaston, the son of Richard the Forester, one of the Staffordshire tenants in capite named in Domesday, through Edward de Bidulfe, the second son, and also by a female ancestor, through Sir Thomas de Bidulfe, the third son of the said Ormus; and, during the life-time of the late John Biddulph, Esq., who died in 1835, he could count an uninterrupted ascent through twenty-one generations of his male ancestry, up to Richard the Forester; a very rare occurrence in English genealogy.
Upon the decease of John Biddulph, Esq., his estates in Biddulph, with Rushton Grange, together with large estates in the counties of Sussex and Surrey, descended to his coheirs, Thomas Stonor, Esq., of Stonor Park, in the county of Oxford, (who has since made good his title to the dormant Barony of Camoys,) and Anthony George Wright, Esq., of Burton Park, who assumed the name of Biddulph, by royal license, in 1837.
We take leave to insert a pedigree of this ancient house, and to introduce it by a Vignette of the venerable ruins of Biddulph Hall, their family mansion, erected in 1558, (as appears by a date still existing over an arched entrance,) and demolished by the Cromwellians within ninety years afterwards. John Biddulph, Esq., who was the head of this house in the time of King Charles the First, was a captain in the Royal Service, and contributed men and money towards raising the army which was defeated at Edge-Hill. He was afterwards slain, nobly fighting in the cause of his Sovereign, in the disastrous battle of Hopton Heath, (March 19, 1643,) together with his commander, the Earl of Northampton, and many other brave cavaliers. His estates were of course