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The Lordship of Entwistle: From Edgeworth to Edgehill and beyond

As we’ve said in previous articles, although Lordships were often in place before William the Conqueror invaded, it was William who formalised their existence. Entwistle is very different in this respect, however. It was created in 1212, under King John’s reign, by one of his trusted knights, William… and it’s proved to have quite some longevity.

Entwistle’s early days

Sir William actually held the Lordship of Edgeworth, but he granted a fourth part of Edgeworth Manor (specifically two oxgangs; an oxgang being an amount of land tillable by one ox in a ploughing season) to Robert de Entwistle when he married William’s daughter. And thus, the Lordship of Entwistle came into being. What makes Entwistle stand out even further, though, is that it then stayed in the Entwistle family for nearly three hundred and fifty years before being passed on. It really did mean something.

Gloriously gutsy years

Things were quiet for some while, but in the mid 15th Century, what had simply been a title that passed from owner to heir, started to develop some history. In 1436, John Entwistle died and passed the Lordship to Anian. Anian died just six years later, however John’s wife then sued Anian’s widow for a dower (the compensation afforded a widow from her late husband’s estate). Within the next decade or so, though, Entwistle had passed to Sir Bertine Entwistle, Viscount and Baron of Bricqbec, Normandy.
Sir Bertine was Bailiff of Constantin. He’d been knighted by Henry V at Agincourt in 1415. And although he ‘only’ owed forty days fighting per year to his king, it appears that he loved a good battle more than many; he contributed his might to the Hundred Years War against France way beyond that which was required. In 1455, however, his luck ran out. Fighting for Henry VI at the Battle of St Albans, the battle that marked the start of the War of the Roses, no less, he was wounded in the shoulder and died six days later. The Lordship of Entwistle had clocked up some major doses of valour.

The Hospitallers

By 1544, the individual bearing the Lordship was Edmund Entwistle. He died, leaving a son and heir, George. George was 22 and the title was held of the king for a rent of 12d, which was in lieu of the Hospitaller’s rent. Within a couple of years, George had made various settlements from Entwistle, and for the first time the title passed out of the family. Thurstan Tyldesley, MP for Lancashire and Receiver-General of the Isle of Man, and his youngest son were named as George’s heirs. When Thurstan died, his youngest son Edward Tyldesley took on Entwistle.

Ensuring the hereditary line

Edward, perhaps recognising that the title could no longer be linked to a family name, per se, took steps in 1586 to make a grant of Entwistle to ensure the hereditary line. First, he granted it upon himself for life, next he granted it upon Elizabeth, the widow of his brother, and then lastly he granted it upon Edward, the infant son of his brother. The rent payable at that time was 10d. He then also had a son, Thomas, and Thomas inherited Entwistle sometime after 1621.

The English Civil War

Thomas Tyldesley became a wealthy man, having entered Gray’s Inn and pursued a career in the law. Now both valour and the legislature were nouns associated with the title. However, not only was Thomas a wealthy man, but his name also went down in history as being responsible for the first bloodshed of the Civil War. A linen weaver, Richard Perceval, was shot in 1642 in Manchester, and legal proceedings were commenced against Thomas. Interestingly, though, Parliament interceded, and this enabled Thomas to then take part as a lieutenant colonel in the Battle of Edgehill the same year. The following year he earned a knighthood for his part in the Battle of Burton Bridge. And by 1645 he’d found himself Governor of Lichfield. It would seem Richard Perceval was no longer a concern from beyond the grave.
But Sir Thomas’s illustrious fighting career was put to an end when he then served as a Major General in the Battle of Wigan Lane in 1651. The royal army was annihilated, with at least half being slain. It was a massacre and a parliamentary victory. Sir Thomas’s heir, Edward, found his considerable estates sequestered by Parliament. And although Edward did manage to recover his inheritances a few years later, he sold off Entwistle to a large number of people and both the lordship and the manor seem to then disappear from records…Entwistle
… Until now, that is. Because the Lordship of Entwistle is very much a title waiting for new shoulders upon which to sit. It is a title that was valued for centuries by the Entwistle family, and was connected to courage, the law, and loyalty to the crown. Could that now pass to me…? It’s a question that will be crossing many minds.