Court Leet and View of Frankpledge for the Manor of Warrington

Scope and Content

The records of the court leet and view of frankpledge for the manor of Warrington consist of a single court roll that dates from the period when the Booth family were lords of the manor. It is probable that other records of the court leet were transferred to John Blackburne upon his purchasing the manor, and that this roll was overlooked having been wrongly identified as belonging to the court leet for the barony of Dunham Massey (see below).

Administrative / Biographical History

The manor of Warrington, which had formerly been held by the Boteler family, was purchased by Thomas Ireland in 1597. On 18 May 1629 his son, Thomas Ireland of Bewsey, joined with George and Robert Ireland in conveying the manors of Warrington, Orford and Arpley, together with various lands and rents, to William Booth (d 1636), son of Sir George Booth bart (1566-1652). Under the will of George Booth (1675-1758), 2nd Earl of Warrington, the manor and barony of Warrington were devised to trustees for sale for the speedy payment of debts and legacies (for the probate copy of the will see EGR1/8/12/3). They were duly sold to Thomas Blackburne esq of Orford in c.1762.

In 1292 William le Boteler destroyed the borough court that had grown up in Warrington, though he granted a number of privileges to his free tenants in the town. Eight years later the free tenants and burgesses renounced their claim to hold a borough court, and for the next five hundred years Warrington was controlled by the lord's manor court. Constables elected annually at the lord's court governed the town until 1813 when commissioners were appointed under a local Improvement Act. In 1832 Warrington became a Parliamentary borough and the town was incorporated in 1847, the corporation purchasing the manorial rights four years later. It was reported that latterly the court had done little more than appoint various officials, present nuisances and superintend the town's fire engine.

For information on Warrington court leet see William Beamont, Annals of the lords of Warrington and Bewsey from 1587 to 1833 (Manchester: Charles Simms, 1873); Victoria History of the Counties of England, The Victoria history of the county of Lancaster, ed. William Farrer and J. Brownbill, 8 vols (London: 1906-14), vol. 3, pp. 318-20; Hearnshaw, Leet jurisdiction in England, p. 313-4.