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DUCHY and County Palatine of Lancaster, Account of
Fees and Revenues of the Duchy
Page 122 126 134
138 . 139
147 . 154
L A N C A S H I R E.
Preston, a market town, borough, and parish, locally situated on the river Ribble, in the hundred of Amounderness, County Palatine of Lancaster.
“ Since this place in length of time was ruined by war, or as the common people think by an earthquake, lower down, where the Ribell receives the tide, and is called by the geographer BELLISAMA ÆSTVARIVM near Penwortham, where, in the Conqueror's time was a castle, as appears from that prince's survey, out of the ruins of Riblecester arose Preston, a large, and, for these parts, handsome and populous town, so called from religious persons, as much as to say Priest's town. Below it the Ribell receives the Derwen, a small river, which first waters Blackborne, a noted market town, so called from a black water ; which formerly belonged to the
Lacies, and gave to the tract adjacent the name of Blackburnshire. Thence it passes by Houghton Tower, which gave name to a famous family that long resided at it; and Waleton, which William, lord of Lancaster, son of king Stephen, gave to Walter de Waleton ; but it afterwards belonged to the famous family of the Langtons, which derive themselves from the Walton's.
“ Preston before-mentioned is vulgarly called Preston in Andernesse for Acmundesse-nesse*; for so the Saxons called this part of the country which runs out with a long compass between the rivers Ribell and Cocar, and forms a promontory resembling a nose, and afterwards called Agmonder nes. In the Conqueror's time it had only sixteen villages inhabited, the rest lying waste, as we read in Domesday book-t, and it was held by Roger of Poitou. Afterwards it belonged to Theobald Walter, from whom the Butlers of Ireland derive themselves: for so we find in a charter of Richard I. Know
that we have given and by this present writing confirmed to Theobald Walter
Ακμην Ισιδος. See the records of the church and monastery of York under Ripon. Gale MS. n.
+ Q. If Mr. Camden does not confound this with Preston in the W. Riding of Yorkshire, which also belonged to Roger de Poitou, Domesd. f. 332. Lancashire was included in the counties of York and Chester at that survey.
for his homage and service all Agmondernes with its appurtenances, &c.' This tract yields plenty of oats, but will not bear barley. It has rich pastures especially on the sea side which is partly champain, whence great part of it seems to be called the File, q. d. the Field, though in the Tower rolls it is called by the Latin name of Lima, which signifies the instrument used to polish iron. But because it is in some places marshy it is accounted unhealthy. The little river Wyr runs swiftly through it, from Wierdale, a wild desart, by Grenhaugh castle, which Thomas Stanley, first earl of Derby of this family, built when his life was in danger from certain of the nobility of this county who had been proscribed, and whose estates Henry VII. had given him. They often assaulted him, and continually ravaged his lands, till the moderation of that excellent man prudently extinguished their resent
“ In many places on this coast one sees heaps of sand, on which they pour water till they contract a saltness, which they afterwards boil over turf fires to white salt *. Here are likewise some quicksands as they are called, so dangerous to travellers, who take the shortest
* See Ray's Northern words, p. 209. G. and West's Furness, p. 191.
way when the tide is out, that they ought to be particularly careful that they do not suffer ship-wreck at land, as Sidonius expresses it: but particularly about the mouth of the Cocar, where as it were in a land of quicksands stands Cockersand abbey, a house of Cluniacs, formerly founded by Ranulphus de Meschines, but exposed to the violence of the winds between the mouths of the Cocar and Lune or Lone, and having an extensive command of the Irish sea.
“ This river Lone or Lune rising in the Westmoreland hills runs southward between craggy banks and an unequal channel, inriching those who live on it in the summer months with a fine salmon fishery; which fish delighting in clear streams and sandy flats come in shoals to this and other rivers on this coast. As soon as it visits Lancashire the little river Lac unites its waters with it from the east, where now is Over Burrow, a mean country village, which the inhabitants told us was a great city, and occupied large fields between the Lac and Lone, and suffered all the miseries of famine before it surrendered, according to the tradition handed down to them from their forefathers. Certain it is that this place asserts its antiquity by various monuments of antient date, as stones with inscriptions, tesselated pavements, Roman coins, and this