Thanks granny for link.Now I'm more confused than before.
I always thought that the monks from the Priory daily trudged from the priory to a farm of their own to work the land,but now think they may have had tenant farmers over a good deal of north west Wirral who paid their rent by crops and/or money
From granny's link
Moreton, Lingham and Great Meols have been occupied since before Roman times. Moreton became part of the Parish of Bidston and was the wealthiest and most productive part of the area run for the Birkenhead Priory. It formed part of the Manor of Eastham in Norman times. Earl Hugh being the Lord. Holding part of his Manor is a man by the name of Hamon de Mascy, whose descendants became Lords of Bidston. During the medieval period of the Manor's History
, Moreton was the most productive of the 4 towns. Moreton even paid for its own chaplain! In 1170, Birkenhead Priory was founded and a goodly portion of the tithes of Moreton were given in support of this endowment. The records of Pope Nicholas IV record the money earned from 6 curacates of land, which included Moreton.
Around 1180 -1190 Hamon de Mascy gave Moreton to his brother John, it being formerly held by Matthew of Moreton. In 1293 Hugh del Brom (Bromborough maybe?) gave William, son of Alan de Moreton rights to cultivate 3 acres of wasteland in Moreton. In 1307, Henry son of William of Moreton, prosecuted Robert, son of Henry de Salghale (Saughall) and others for trespassing on land in Moreton and for cutting his grass in Sargham Massey. In 1341, there was a murder, at least a recorded one. Simon, son of Roger del Brom, killed William, son of Henry de Moreton, in Moreton, and fled. He escaped justice but three of his accomplices were fined for aiding him! The entire village was fined in 1359 for failing to be fully represented at the Judges Eyre Court in Wirral.
In 1397, the Manor of Bidston was sold by John Lestrange to Sir John Stanley, an ancestor of the Earl of Derby.
In 1402, the Hundred Jury (Wirral was also know as the Hundred) was specially called together to hear a letter patent issued by the Prince of Wales in which Henry le Brwyn, of Moreton, Roger del Brom and others had driven cattle from north Wales into the Hundred of Wirral. The law they were alleged to have broken was probably designed to secure a supply of meat for the Kings Armies in North Wales. The defendants were taken to Chester Castle for judgement. The result is unknown.
In 1438, on November 30th, an inquest was held at Bidston on Robert Benet, killed at Salgham by William Anyon by striking him on the head with a mall. This jury, which included a Thomas Benet of Moreton, and Henry Benet of Salghall, returned a verdict of felony. Anyon, who had fled, was declared an outlaw.
The Earl of Derby's accounts for the years 1521 - 1522 show Moreton having paid:
Rent of free tenants for Military Service 5d
Rent of free tenants at will 114 6d
Rent of one house with dovecott & butt 6 8d
Rent of one tenement with 1 butt acquired
By the lord from John Whitmore to hold by
the Lord immediately after the death of
George Whitmore (note: the said George is dead) 8 0d
In 1397 the Manor of Bidston was bought by William Steele, a lawyer of some note, who also held the positions of Recorder of London, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
In 1536 Birkenhead Priory suffered along with most of the country's religious establishments in Henry VIII's suppression. In 1544 its lands in Moreton were leased to Edward Plankney but on the expiry of this lease the lands were sold to Richard Barnard and Robert Taylor. Also, following the suppression, the Nuns of Chester had land owned by themselves in Saughall given to the new Bishop of Chester and then, soon after, was surrendered to the Crown. Land that belonged to the Priory in Saughall was also siezed, both sets of land being sold to Sir Robert Dudley, of the Privy council, and to William Glascour.
In 1545 the earliest record of Moreton's population with 21 families living there (12 in Saughall Massie). By 1663 the figures remained the same.
In 1561, Thomas de Smythe Saughall Massie and William Rathbone de Murton are registered as keepers of Ale houses.
In 1653 the Manor of Bidston was bought by a William Steele, lawyer of some note, who also held the positions of Recorder of London, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The estate again changed hands in 1662, this time it was sold to Lord Kingston of Rockingham Co Roscommon. In 1665 he undertook a highly detailed survey of his Manor. The survey contained lists of the tenants of the four townships and maps showing the houses and roads, each field bore a name and that of its tenant. The survey of Moreton shows the main street passing through the village, now known as Pasture road. A back lane running parallel, was Chapel Lane, now Barnston Lane. The geographical orientation of the main street is SW to NW. The east side of the main road, that which favoured Wallasey, had tenants Henry Robinson, William Bennett, Richard Lenaker and James Bird. The west side, favouring north Wales, had two homes of the Urmston family, Thomas Watt, William Hancock, John Rathbone. Many paths crossed between the houses. A chapel stood on the western side of the village green (the location of which is not mentioned) with a maypole to the north. Nearby was the Tithe Barn and Pound. The town bull was kept in a field on the edge of the village bordering Saughall Massie. Other prominent names in Moreton were William Dod(d). John Anderton, John Gowen, Ellen Graviner, Richard Pemberton, Thomas Urmston and john Upshon. A piece of land, outside the village boundary,was given to the village constable. Saughall Massie, in the same survey contained names Edward Wainwright, Mary Smith, John & Henry Bennett.
In 1680 Sir Robert Vyner became the Lord, and Vyners have been there right up to the 20th Century.
A Mill stood on what is now the corner of Acton Lane and Saughall Road. Little is known of the Mill. In 1598 it was sold to John & Henry Bennett. In 1719 owned by the Vyner's and occupied by Esther Martin at a rent of £6 per year. In 1762, Thomas Kirk, paying the same rent. (Inflation was obviously not a problem back then!). It stood until approx 1870, the last miller said to be a Richard Hale. The Mill actually collapsed, parts of which were taken to Bidston Hall, turning part of a steam mill for another 20 years. The names of Dod(d) and Benet (Bennett) are still prominent in modern times. I had a Philomena Bennett in my class at school in Moreton. The Dodds are a well know local building company, their yard is still at the top of Bermuda Road. I think it moved sides thats all! Joseph Kitchinghman who lived near Mother Redcaps in Wallasey, described Moreton's Mill as:
"The old mill at Saughall Massie stood about a mile from the village. It was a most remarkable wooden structure, with strong oak beams and gaunt, primitive sails, standing alone on a rough base of stone, with a large wheel to turn the wooden mill round on the ground. The mill stood entirely by itself a little way from the edge of the moss. Secret meetings of various kinds, political and otherwise, were held in the old mill, which was away from civilization. It was supposed to be haunted, and there were ravens in it."
Daniel Wilson lived at Old Hall Farm, Barnston Lane (was previously called Chapel Lane) in 1719. His home was licensed to conduct religious meetings. He was the son of Robert Wilson of Bidston Hall. Towards the end of the reign of Charles II, a troop of horse searched the Hall for arms as well as in other local places. At this time Daniel is described as "of Lingham". They took away 122 guns, pistol etc. Daniel married Mary Ensdale, and on 18th August 1689, they baptised Robert, their son. He shares the same birthday as me, but not the year!! His grandson, Thomas, was probably the next tenant of Barnston Lane following Daniel's death in 1737. Thomas' sister, Catherine Gardener was the next owner of Old Hall Farm, the Wilson connection being severed.