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Catholic Churches and Chapels of the Fylde

St Andrew's, Cottam

The photos above are of the church of St Andrew as it is today, left looking northwards from the road, and look southwards from the graveyard. The chapel, the white building, dates from the late 18th century and is substantially the same though with many repairs and improvements over the years, especially to the roof. Until the Reformation the parish was that of St Anne's, Woodplumpton, a mile or so to the north. At some time during the penal times that followed the domestic chapel of Cottam Hall was used as the mission centre, but there must have been many times when this became impossible because of the dangers and the shortage of priests.

In some of the records the village of Woodplumpton is entered simply as 'Plumpton' or as 'Plumpton Wood', but should not be confused with Little or Great Plumpton, villages near Kirkham.

Cottam Hall

The manor - which probably dated from the Norman Conquest - had been in the hands of the Haydocks from the 13th century, acquired from the canons of Cockersand Abbey in the parish of Cockerham who then owned it, when Roger de Haydock was the M.P. for Lancashire. It continued in their hands from the time of Henry Haydock, first Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster until the death of the last Squire, William Haydock. He is reputed to have taken part in the Jacobite rising of 1715 and died two years later. He himself was not married so he left all his property to his three brothers and three sisters. (text below)

The hall was 'one of those quaint mansions, the growth of centuries, so pleasing to lovers of the picturesque' according to the Haydock Papers. It was probably moated, rather like Broughton Tower a couple of miles to the east in Fulwood where the area around it has been cleared and the moat revealed, Salwick Hall, Chingle Hall at Goosnargh and many others, (This could be a response about the 14th century to raids of Scottish reivers for cattle as they occasionally penetrated this far south to steal cattle and drive them back over the border, although it tends to be expalined ). It must have been rebuilt several times, being once a 14th century half-timbered building with three gables. The hall was replaced in the middle of the 19th century by a typical Fylde brick farmhouse of the period, having three windows across in the upper storey and two in the lower flanking the front door with its porch. Much of the park and farmland have been built over, though with deliberate landscaping which retains a parklike atmosphere. (see hiding-place and skeleton, below)

Much of the land is low lying - part was 'Cottam Moss' - though since drained. There was a mill and roads (of beaten earth), some still identifiable, such as 'Cottam Hall Lane', and 'Tag Lane' from a house called 'The Tagg', others taking their names from local farmers, 'Miller Lane' and Hoyle's Lane'. The old word, 'Hey' for a meadow is still popular, but mainly on modern estates. The population of Cottam was probably much larger in the 18th century than at the end of the 19th, though dwarfed by today's population.

The mission at Cottam

The move to establish a purpose-built mission in Cottam began at the turn of the 17th to 18th centuries. It was a priest, John Baine, or Bayne, alias Peter Blacow or John Kendal, who rented a barn and four acres not far from Cottam Hall but just over the border in the Bartell (Bartle) quarter of Woodplumpton, from a local yeoman, William Bilsborrow. The land was on lease to William Bilsborrow from the Squire at Cottam Hall for 99 years. There is some dispute about the location of this barn as it is maintained in the Haydock Papers that it couldn't be the site of the present chapel, that being situated over the border in Woodplumpton. Wherever it was it is known that John Baine then made it suitable for use as a chapel and dedicated it to St Andrew. He appears as 'Jo: Kendall als. Baine, a popish priest' in a list of recusants prepared by William Willowsy, the constable for Woodplumpton.

In July 1718 William Bilsborrow was summoned, along with two others, John Worden of Cottam, labourer, and James Helme of Lea, yeoman to appear before the magistrates in Preston. They had already been convicted of recusancy the previous January, presumably being heavily fined, and now testified unwillingly that John Baine alias Kendall had 'fitted it up into a dwelling-house, and hath lived there15 years and hath heard him often say Mass there...' and that they had 'heard Bain preach and officiate at the altar'. In the registration of William Bilsborrow's estate as a 'non-juror' (i.e one who would not take the oath) his properties are given as a cottage and 6 acres of freehold land in Woodplumpton and a barn and 4 acres in Cottam, and a lease on another property from William Haydock the elder.

The mission continued under John Baine until he died on 25 Apr 1727 aged 73. He was not alone, being assisted by Gilbert Haydock, younger son of William Haydock senior and Jane Anderton. Gilbert was born at Cottam Hall, was sent as a boy to Douai, then Cambrai and was ordained in 1708, leaving immediately to begin his mission back at home. In 1715 after the defeat of the Jacobites in Preston he was found hiding up a tree in the old park at Cottam and subsequently spent several months incarcerated in Lancaster Castle. After his release he returned to the continent and became chaplain to nuns at Louvain, Belgium, dying there in 1749 aged 67.

John Kendal of Fulwood, son John, and his wife Catherine Tomlynson, were assisted shortly before John died, by a cousin, Henry Kendal, born 20 Jun 1769 . John was taught at a little school in Fernyhalgh , then went to Douai where he taught philosophy and theology for some years after being ordained. He eventually succeeded his cousin John at Cottam in October 1728, being present when some of the congregation were confirmed at Fernyhalgh. He was at Cottam for only a few years, moving principally to Manchester and then retiring in his last illness to Fernyhalgh where he died in 1752 aged 63.

Rev. John Cowban or Colborne, alias Butler, probably of Freckleton, went from the school at Fernyhalgh to St Omer's and then Douai. Known as Butler, he was ordained in 1728, teaching at the college till 1723 then going to take charge of the mission at Cottam till about 1741.

Rev. John Harrison, born in. 1714, son of John Harrison of Lea, yoman and Elizabeth Walmsley of Preston, was sent to Douai, ordained in 1741 and went to take charge at Cottam the same year. After the 1745 rebellion 'No Popery' mobs roamed the country destroying Catholic chapels and other property. In Preston the mob wrecked St Mary's in Friargate, then marched out to Cottam where they attacked Mr Harrison's house and chapel, burning both down. Mass was not then said at Cottam for two years. Mr Harrison went to Towneley Hall where he remained for 33 years, retiring through ill-health to live with his brother Lawrence in Friargate, Preston, where he died in 1780. During this period the Catholics in the area had to travel to the missions at Preston, Fernyhalgh, Salwick Hall, Mowbreck Hall (Kirkham) or Newhouse.

Rev. Mr Smith is a shadowy figure, the name possibly being an alias, and little is known of the period from 1745 to 1768. In 1767 an official return by the vicar of Woodplumpton to the Bishop of Chester estimated the number of Catholics in the parish as 276, and that of Preston, (attending St Mary's, Friargate) at 1043. In 1768 it was apparent that a new chapel had been built at Cottam for it was almost destroyed by a 'No Popery' mob again fresh from wrecking St Mary's in Friargate yet again. Joseph Gillow in his notes to the registers of Cottam thinks the Jesuits from St Mary's may have served the congregation at Cottam during this period after 1745, but there is no hard evidence. However, Mr Robert Haydock of Leach Hall and two other local Catholics repaired the chapel and house at Cottam and in 1769 another priest was sent to serve the mission there.

Rev. John Lund was born in Bartell (Bartle) in Woodplumpton in 1733, grandson of Anthony Lund of Midge Hall, Myerscough. He was ordained at Douai in 1750, served as a chaplain for a few years on estates in Northumberland and York and was sent to Cottam in 1769. It was reported in 1783 that he had 109 communicants there and later that year he began a new register of baptisms. In 1784 60 members of the congregation were confirmed and Mr Lund numbered his comunicants at 206. In 1796 he built the present chapel, still dedicated to St Andrew, and though ill for six years from about 1806 remained in charge until his death in 1812. He was buried in the chapel.

The register begun by the Rev. John Lund was, like the following two, a thin book with a stiff paper cover. It has 32 pages and is the size of an ordinary exercise book. (The others are slightly smaller but one has 44 and the other 94 pages, mostly of baptisms but with some pages at the end reserved for confirmations)

The first page of the register has the title and just two records for that year:

A register of ye baptised at Cottam
by ye Revd John Lund of Cotham

     Catherine Valentine born November 7th and bptzd the same day, daughter of James and Catharine Valentine
     John Hull, son of George Houle and Alice Singleton his wife Baptized ye 18th of Decemr, 1783. Sponsores, John Singleton and Agnes Adkinson

From then on until 1806 the register continues in full, in the printed copy at least in English, then in Latin from 18 Mar until 5 Jun 1799 when it is in English again. The last entry made by John Lund was on 17 Jul 1806:

     July 17. Mary Kellet Daughter of Leonard Kellet and Ann Fletcher, Conjes Catholici in Catford, was born and bapz'd the same day by me John Lund.    God Father John Kellet.    God Mother Margret Kellet
Conjes (conjuges) Catholici = Catholic husband & wife

Rev Thomas Caton was born in Broughton about 1750 and received his education in Lisbon. He arrived from Burnley in July 1812 and stayed till his death in 1820 aged 69, being buried in the chapel. On his arrival he immediately began a new register, as he wrote immediately after the record for Mary Kellet::

July 24, 1812
Owing to Mr Lund's ill health none were set down after the above. Since July 24 1812, I have set them down in a book of my own.

He began the new book by listing those he had baptised that day 'sub conditione' - conditionally, in case the sacrament was not administered properly the first time. The names given are (in their Latinate form). The next entries begin on 8 Sep and continue uninterrupted to the end of the registers in 1834. The average number of baptisms each year appears to be round 8, ranging from about 2 to 18 at a rough count, so there must have been many more baptisms needed during 1806-1812. It seems likely that a number of these would be found in other missions - and possibly even at St Anne's, the parish church of Woodplumpton rather than omitted altogether but there may of course also be some which have never been recorded.

1812 Conditional Baptisms (for 1806-1812)

Maria Cherry
Anna Fairclough
Susan Gardner
Margaret Gillow
Anna Gregson
James Hull
Maria Kellet
Anna Latham
George Swarbrick
Sarah Teebay
Helen Walmsley

A typical record by Mr Thomas Caton in Latin
     Die 3 Octobris 1813 natus et die 5 baptizatus fuit Thomas Kellet filius Joannis Kellet Catholici et Mariae Kellet Acotholicae (olim Cherry) conjugum in Wood Plumpton. Patrinus Thomas Kellet. Matrina Maria Kellet. a me T. Caton, Misso Aposto.
Born on 3 Oct 1813 and baptised on the 5th was Thomas Kellet, son of John Kellet, Catholic, and Mary Kellet (formerly Cherry), non-Catholic, married couple in Woodplumpton. Godfather Thomas Kellet, Godmother Mary Kellet, by me T. Caton, Missionary Apostolic (Mary more likely than Maria)

From 1812 onwards the record is printed without translation in the Latin version.

Confirmations appear together below but the references are linked here in chronological order. The first recorded Confirmations of those (ages unknown - there may have been adults included) took place on Wed. 8 Sep 1813 at Fernyhalgh. Two more groups were confirmed in 1821, first on 13 Oct 1821 in Preston (probably at St Mary's, Friargate) and on 24 Nov 1821 at Fernyhalgh.

Rev. Thomas Berry arrived from Crosby, near Liverpool on 25 Oct 1826 after a short gap after the death of Mr Caton during which the mission was looked after by the Rev. Joseph Bryan Marsh of Newhouse. While there he built the priest's house (presbytery) adjoining the chapel, partly visible in the photo above. He returned to Great Crosby in 1845, then aged about 79 and died there in 1851 aged 85.

The list of priests - continuing down till the present - is discontinued at this point as civil regsitration began in 1837. The registers for St Andrew's continued but the printed copies conclude with the following:

     Die 7 Decembris 1834 nata et die sequenti baptizata fuit Helena Ireland filia Guilielmi et Elizabethae Ireland (olim Parkinson) conjugum. Patrinus fuit Gulielmus Walmsley. Matrina Elizabetha Walmsley. a me Thoma Berry, Misso Aposto.
Born on 7 Dec 1834 and baptised the next day was Helen (or more probably Ellen) Ireland, daughter of William & Elizabeth Ireland (formely Parkinson), married couple. Godfather was William Walmsley. Godmother Elizabeth Walmsley. by me Thomas Berry, Missionary Apostolic.

The register concludes (in Latin with Latinised names) with Confirmations on 29 Sep 1825 at Newhouse. Whether this is a complete list of candidates or only those from the mission at Cottam is not clear. Those from Newhouse and Fernyhalgh would also be there.

The last Confirmations printed in the CRS records took place at Cottam chapel on 20 Jun 1831, this time the Rev. Thomas Penswick D.D being named as the Bishop and his Coadjutor, Bishop of Bolina, being the Rev. Thomas Smith D.D.


From the will of William Haydock, d.1717

'all that my Capitall messuage called Cottam Hall and the Demesne and Demesne lands thereunto belonging...and all my other messuages, lands, tenements and heriditaments whatsoever within Cottam...that Richard Starkey, George Haydock and Jeffrey Prescott may ..sell...every part of the said manor...22nd May 1717'

Cottam Hall then passed to the Farringtons and later to the Cross family of Red Scar, Grimsargh. (VCH vii, 1912, 133)

Joseph Gillow, a member of the Haydock family, and the compiler and historian for the Catholic records of Lancashire published by the Catholic Record Society, wrote in the latter half of the 19th century:
'Cottam Hall was one of those quaint mansions, the growth of centuries so pleasing to the lovers of the picturesque. To the south it presented three gables in the post and pan style, a fine remnant of the half-timbered houses of the 14th century. At the north-western corner of the house stood a lofty stone erection, with a flat leaded roof. This was probably the portion of the house described in the marriage settlement of William Haydock and Jane Anderton in 1670 as "the hall, the buildings over the hall, the chamber at the higher end of the hall, the buttery, the boarded chamber with a little closet, and a chamber over the entry."
The banqueting hall was a spacious apartment, having at one end a huge stone fireplace, stretching from one side to the other. A moat surrounded the mansion, which was approached through an extensive and well-wooded park by a long avenue from the Tagg on the eastern side and a shorter drive from Woodplumpton on the north. When the building was removed in the earlier part of this century (i.e. the 19th), and a farmhouse erected to the south-west, a secret hiding place was revealed adjoining the ancient domestic chapel and in it were found a few articles of altar furniture and a skeleton...the moated and semi-fortified manor house of Cottam.' (Gillow 1888 5-6)

The Tagg

This was the Dower house to Cottam Hall and was where George Leo Haydock was born and lived. It was at the end of Cottam Hall Lane and had a garden laid out in Dutch style by Beaumont, gardener to James II, with many clipped and shaped yew and other trees. It was a plain two storey building without a porch and with three windows above and the front door offset the left of the centre. It was a modest house for a dower house so probably replaced an earlier, larger one. The younger brother of Cuthbert Haydock of Cottam was

John Kendal

It was common practice for priests to take an alias for safety, often their mother's maiden name. John Bayne was the younger son of Richard Bayne and Jennet of Catforth and was baptised in Cottam on 30 Nov 1653. He began his studies at the mission in Kirkham and was sent to the English College in Rome in 1674 where he took the name Peter Blacow. Though ordained in 1678 he delayed travelling owing to the danger created by activities of the infamous Titus Oates, but probably arrived in the Fylde soon after he landed in England in 1681. He had been chaplain at Cottam Hall for some time before 1703 and on the English mission was known as John Kendal..

Confirmation Lists

Names where the 'translation' is not clear are left in their Latinate form in the first group but have already been anglicised in the second. They are placed in alphabetical order for convenience, not in the order in which they appear, and it cannot be guaranteed that those with the same surname are brothers and sisters or even cousins, though it is of course quite likely.

There are common variants on some of these names which may appear in the same families : Hathornthwaite may be spelt Hawthornthwaite, Hathornwaite, Hawthornwaite etc The spelling in Cottam may be consistent here but different in the next mission or parish, so the following also occur - Fairclough as Fearclough; Beesley as Beasley etc. There is no right or wrong spelling!

The obvious names have been listed in their English form but others where the form is doubtful are left as written :Masculine names usually end in 'us' and feminine in 'a'. Anna (Ann), Maria, (Mary). Thomasina=Thomasin (fem) 'Margaret' and 'Margarita' both appear here, but Joanna has been changed to the usual Jane, and 'Aloysia' to Alice.. Helen is often written Ellin or Elling, or Hellin, the rendering of this name being inconsistent, but the 'H' was probably dropped in speech in any case - the confusion over where to use this initial letter could be a throw-back to the French in the early Middle Ages. (In the 19th century it was correct to say 'an hotel', presumably dropping the 'h' in the French style) Note that' Gu' is the Latin and French form of 'W', a letter not existing in those languages, so 'Gulielmus' is always 'William'.

Some of the nmes occur in baptisms from about 14-20 years earlier but no such identification can be proved. Many 'expected' names are missing and may appear in the records of another mission or not at all.

Confirmations on Wed. 8 Sep 1813 at Fernyhalgh

Maria Anderton
Helen Arkwright
Helen Beesley
Mary Beesley
Anne Billington
Elizabeth Billington
Jane Billington
Richard Billington
James Carter
Elizabeth Clarkson
Helen Cottam
Edward Crumbleholme
Mary Dewhurst
Anne Dobson
Elizabeth Dobson
James Dobson
Robert Dobson
William Dobson
John Gregson
Maria Hayes
Anne Hodson
John Hodson
Agnes Holmes
John Hubbersty
William Ireland
Jane Kellet
Mary Kellet
Thomas Kellet
Helen Livesey
Jane Lund
John Miller
Helen Miller
Margaret Miller
Mary Miller
William Miller
John Noblet
Thomas Noblet
Martin Rushton
Alice Sheppard

Jane Sheppard
William Slater
Margaret Swarbrick
Mary Swarbrick
Agnes Turner
Anne Turner
James Walker
Jane Walker
Alice Wilcock
Helen Wilcock
James Wilcock
Joseph Wilcock

Confirmations on Sat 13 Oct 1821 at Preston

Margaret Arkwright
Edward Billington
Elizabeth Billington
George Billington
Margaret Billington
William Billington
Anna Caton
John Carter
Maria Carter
Sarah Catteral
Thomas Cornwall
Elizabeth Crook
Lawrence Fairclough
Margaret Fairclough
Maria Hardman
Jane Laurenson
Anna Lee
Maria Livesey
John Lund
Joseph Miller
John Miller
Anna Noblet
James Noblet
Jane Noblet
William Noblet
Alice Parker
Elizabeth Rushton
Anna Swarbrick
Helen Turner
Helen Worden
Maria Worden
Thomasina Worden

Confirmations on Sat 24 Nov 1821 at Fernyhalgh

Edward Billington
Elizabeth Billington
William Billington
Thomas Cornwall
Elizabeth Crook
Francisca* Hawthornthwaite
Maria Hawthornthwaite
William Hawthornthwaite
Elizabeth Melling
Joseph Melling
Elizabeth Poulton
Margaret Poulton
Helena Rushton
John Rushton
Robert Rushton
Joseph Shepherd
Sarah Teebay
'Francisca' has a feminine ending but is in the same column as the boys, so it is not clear whether this is Francis or Frances.

Confirmations on Thurs 29 Sep 1825 at Newhouse

Robert Akers
Henry Beesley
John Beesley
Leonard Beesley
Thomas Beesley
William Beesley
Richard Billington,
Rachel Fairclough
Helena Fairclough
Catherine Hathornthwaite
Margaret Hathornthwaite
Anna Horn
George Hull
Jane Hull
Anna Kellet
Anna Lang
Francis Melling
Maria Miller
Helena Morton
Margarita Morton
Joseph Noblet
Maria Noblet
Helena Poulton
John Poulton
Hester Rigby
Peter Rushton
Thomas Rushton
Maria Smith
Robert Smith
Maria Southworth
James Teebay
Elizabeth Walker
Joseph Walker
Helena Walmsley
Peter Wearden
Anna Wilcock
William Wilcock
James Wilding.

Confirmations on Mon 20 Jun 1831 at Cottam

Helen Barnes
Ann Carter
Ann Caton
Mary Caton
Ann Clarkson
Dorothy Clarkson
Elizabeth Cookson
Richard Cookson

Jane Hathornthwaite
Thomas Hathornthwaite
William Hathornthwaite
Mary Heaton
Ann Hornby
Elizabeth Hull
Robert Hull
Thomas Melling

John Middlehurst
George Noblet
Catherine Rushton
Mary Rushton
John Rushton
John Smith
William Smith
Mary Teebay

Margaret Thompson
Mary Walker
James Walmsley
William Walmsley
Elizabeth Wilding
Catherine Wilkinson