Charles Towneley (1600-1644), royalist catholic and son of Richard and Jane Towneley of Towneley Hall, was educated in Belgium, later entering the English College in Rome. He left Rome in 1624, returned to England, and married Mary Trappes in 1628. His father died in the same year. When his eldest brother Richard died unmarried in 1635, Charles inherited the estate. Charles Towneley was killed fighting for King Charles I at the Battle of Hesom Moor in August 1644.
English MSS 736-737 relate to the administration in Lancashire of the collection in 1639 of contributions from Catholics to help finance the Scottish expedition of Charles I. This collection was organised by Charles' consort, Queen Henrietta Maria, herself a Catholic, in an attempt to demonstrate Catholic loyalty. The collectors for Lancashire were Sir Basil Brooke and Sir Kenelm Digby, assisted by local lay coadjucators (in this case Charles Towneley junior, William Gerard and Mr Bradshaw). The gathering of funds was usually entrusted to local clergy.