#OnePlaceBlackSheep Jordan Bridge

Perhaps not a 'Black Sheep' as such, but not above a bit of dubious dealing, Jordan Bridge demonstrates how hard life was in the early part of C16. People were trying to exist in pretty unpromising terrain and squabbles emerged as the land was deforested (in 1507) and began to be inhabited.

In 1527 there was an entry in the Halmote records of the manor describing how Jordan, by ‘Synister labor, Craft and subtilite’ ‘fined and connveyed’ to deprive Adam his brother of his share of the lands on deforestation ‘value of xxs’ in Deadwenclough. The ‘false and untrue delying’ was ‘openly Kawne’. As a consequence of mediation by their friends the matter went to court which found for Adam. Jordan was ordered to compensate Adam which Jordan refused to do
contrariety to all gud Right and conciens and his faith and fidelity and contrary to his seyd agreement thereof ‘ and the Halmote ‘pray…for…Reformacien’.
(Farrer vol III pp 58-9).

Then next year (1528) he was sued together with his brother Adam and other tenants of Deadwenchough for trespass with beasts, a common offence in the area.

In Jan 1536/7 Jordan, together with three others, sued 4 neighbours over partition of land in Deadwenclough called ‘The Edge’, just above Springhill. Four others were ordered to divide the land equally amongst all the parties.

1541 finds Jordan together with Adam and John Bridge being sued for obstructing a right of way and was bound over for 6s 8d to repair it before the feast of St John the Baptist. The vicar was charged with deciding which man had to clear which bit.

Jordan Bridge died in 1546.


It was a privilege to be asked to lead a session of #HouseHistoryHour on Twitter on Jan 13th. This is an hour where a group of house historians lead a discussion on a topic related to an aspect of house history, and last week Springhill House was presented as a worked example of a house history.

#HouseHistoryHour is rapidly paced. I was well advised to prepare and schedule Tweets in advance to be published at regular intervals throughout the hour, leaving me free to respond to comments and questions as they arose.

The 1921 census had been released the week previously so inevitably there was a side-conversation with people sharing tips and findings. That's fine.

In the end it was great fun and the time passed very quickly. The conversation is summarised in their 'Moments':

#OnePlaceBlackSheep Francis Bridge

Petition re maintenance of child of Francis Bridge
Lancashire Record Office QSP 198/9 c1660
To the right worshipfull his Masties Justices of the peace and Quarum for the County Pallatine of Lancaster the Petition of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the poore of the pish of Rossendale,
Humbly Showeth
That Francis Bridge of Dedwenclough in the pish of Rossendale aforesaid having married one Ann Chadwicke daughter unto Robert Chadwicke of Spotland in the pish of Ratchdale and having [sue] by her two children the younger whereof being borne about some eight or nine weekes agoe the said Francis before the birth thereof did disowne his wife inso much that when she was in Child bed she had utterly [Starved] for want of convenient necessaries (as we have heard and do verily believe) had it not been for her friends and some of her charitable neighbours, who did looke uppon her in that condition, as an object of their pittie and charitie: But so it is as soone as Ann mother unto the said Infant had [recovered] health and Strength [shee] [overrun] the said Infant; and so exposed it to the hazard of the world, which said Infant being brought unto us by a poor woman disowned by its father and [overunne] by its mother we thought it no lesse than that we did [concerne] our pittie to save the child from perishinge by providing [conveniently?] for it until we [could] have opportunitie to make our addresses unto your worshipps for your present consideration;
May it therefore please your worhsipps that we may have an order whereby the said Francis may be Compelled to provide for his child without further charge unto the parish and that he may likewise be accoumptable to the parish for what they have already spent; and laid out concerninge the child; he beinge Heire unto an estate of fortie pounds per annu; as it is commonly reported to be; and he having the one halfe thereof in his own possession; and so we shall pray (as in duty bound) for your worshipps health and happinesse.
[Peter] Ormerode
John Law
John Ormerod
Adam Bridge
Robert Ashworth
Thomas Rawsthorne

#OnePlaceBlackSheep James Pilling

Lancashire Record Office QSP 622/28 1686
‘Bad character of James Pilling of Deadwenclough’
All wch is certified against the sd Pilling to be true, and more particularly hath playd the theif at Haslingden and other places and stole John Whittakers work looms and used to keep his cattle and horses uppon other mens pastures hauving none of his owne (and now keeping in a house contrary to the will of the owner) and the 17th of this instant May rescued his horse or mare and violently tooke her out of the hands of the servants of Alexander Howorth uppon whose grounds the sd Mare was taken  trespassing, and wounded one of the servants of the sd Alexandr and used violence against all of them, is asserted by Tho. Saunders minister at the New church in Rossendale
In a word he is a lawless person and cares not so what he doth speakes or sweares
Tho Saunders
James Piccop
Adam Bridg
These may certify his majesties justices of this parish and all others whom it may concerne that James Pilling of Dedwenclough in the forrest of Rossendale and County of Lancaster woolen webster[1] is and for diverse years last past hath been an idle dissolute persen and of bad name fame credit after [extremes] and reports repute that he hath been suspected to have committed diverse petty theft and felonies and is a grabbing[2] quarrelsome fellow very abusive and much disquiete troubles and wronging his neighbours that he is a [pa—er ] [broaser][3] and guilty of divers and sundry other misdemeanours all of which we may bid to cerfity this 22th day of May Anno II Jacobi [] [] and [] [4]1686
James Piccop
Jon Ashworth
Robert Ashworth
Edmund Ashworth
Olliver Pilling
Richard Holland
Thos Saunders
Jas Nuttall
John Hoult
Edw Couper
James Ashworth
Henry Hargreaves
George Ashworthe
Tho Miller
John Heaton
James Hey
Richard C-anis—y 

[1] = weaver
[2] Looks like it says brabling – possibly a dialect or archaic word
[3] bruiser?
[4] Think this is Latin along the lines of King of England and Scotland

(grateful thanks to Dr J Few for checking the transcript)

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