List of Chapelries within St Michael Ashton Under Lyne Parish

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Return to the Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A page.

Here's a List of Chapelries Within St Michael Ashton Under Lyne ancient parish:


ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE (St. Michael), a market town, parish, parliamentary borough, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 6 miles (E.) from Manchester, 58 (S. E.) from Lancaster, and 197 (N. W. by N.) from London; comprising the parochial divisions of Ashton-town, Audenshaw, Hartshead, and Knott-Lanes; and containing 46,296 inhabitants. The primary part of the name of this place is derived from the Saxon words æyc, an ash, and tun, an inclosed place or town; the adjunct under-Lyne is of obscure etymology, and various hypotheses have been ventured in elucidation of its origin. The most probable seems to be that of Mr. John Ross Coulthart, of Croft House, Ashton, who ascribes the term to the situation of the town near to or under the line or chain of hills which separates Yorkshire from Lancashire, popularly denominated "the back-bone of England." The original proprietors, the Asshetons, a family distinguished in the early period of English history, exercised the power of life and death; and a field on the west side of the Old Hall, through which now passes the Ashton branch of the Manchester and Sheffield railway, was the place of execution, and is still known by the name of the Gallows' Meadow. In the reign of Henry VI., when the feudal system was generally relaxed, Sir Ralph Assheton, still inheriting extraordinary privileges, exercised them with great rigour and exactitude; and in order that no fines or forfeits might be lost for the want of strict supervision, it was customary for him, clad in black armour and mounted on a charger, with a numerous retinue of dependents, to perambulate the manor in person at uncertain intervals, taking cognizance of every infraction of his rights as a baron, levying from his tenants, by force if necessary, all fines for heriots, weifs, strays, &c., and rigidly punishing with the stocks, imprisonment, or death, all offences committed within his jurisdiction. To commemorate the abhorrence in which Sir Ralph's conduct was held, the ceremony of "riding the black lad" was instituted, and is still observed on every Easter-Monday. The effigy of a man of colossal dimensions, clad in black, is placed on a horse, and, followed by a rabble, is led in procession through the principal streets of the borough, while the promoters of the cavalcade beg small sums from door to door; at night, the effigy is dismounted at the old market-place, and after being torn to pieces, the fragments are usually burned amid the execrations of the populace.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis  (1848), pp. 90-96. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50765 Date accessed: 08 June 2010.