The township of Clayton-le-Moors is in the chapelry of Altham, in the ancient Parish of Whalley, and lies three miles south of that village.
The principal proprietors during the seventieths century were the families of Walmesley of Dunkenhalgh, on the western side of the township, and the Grimshaws of Clayton Hall, on the eastern side. Both these families were Recusant during the greater part of the seventeenth century. Early in the eighteenth century the Walmsleys were succeeded by the Petres, and the Grimshaws by the Lomaxes. James Lomax of Clayton Hall (1717-1792) became a Catholic about 1765; his eldest son, Richard Grimshaw Lomax (1763-1837), gave the land on the road to Burnley for the Catholic Chapel of St. Mary, Enfield, about 1818, and was a principal contributor towards the building expenses. His eldest son, John (1801-1849), gave the land for the school at St. Mary’s, and the latter’s brother, James (1803-1886), who succeeded him, built the Church of St. Hubert, in Great Harwood.
The earliest recorded priest who is known to have exercised his missionary functions in the district was Fr. George Lovel, S.J. (1650-1720), who spent most of his career in Lancashire. He was at Dunkenhalgh in 1701, 1702, (Blundell’s Diary, p7), and in 1704. He died at Ince Blundell, 12 Dec. 1720, and was buried in the Harkirke Cemetery, Little Crosby (Gibson’s Lydiate Hall, and Foley, Records, S.J., v, 321; and vii, 466).
It is probable that the Grimshaws maintained an occasional chaplain at Clayton during the seventeenth century, but nothing is definitely known: though it is certain that the Rev. Nicholas Grimshaw, second son of John Grimshaw of Clayton Hall, was in the Clayton district about 1682. (See Gillow’s Dict. of English Catholics, iv, 323, under Longe, Henry). Fr. Gilbert Talbot, S.J., alias Grey, de jure thirteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, came to Lancashire in 1701, and officiated at Preston, Billington and elsewhere. About 1712 he removed to Ingatestone as chaplain to Lord Petre, but returned to Dunkenhalgh with the latter’s widow (Catherine Walmesley) about 1726. He returned to London in 1738, and died there in 1743 (Foley, vii, 754; C.R.S., xiii, 1890).
Fr. Charles Powell, S. J. (1661-1738), was missioner at Dunkenhalgh from 1734, for some years (Foley, vii, 626).
Fr. Giles Poulton alias Palmer, S.J. (1694-1752), was at Dunkenhalgh when Bishop Williams made his visitation in September 1728, and confirmed 23 persons (Foley, i, 164; and vii, 622).
Fr. Bonaventure Lane, S.J. (1684-1750), probably succeeded Fr. Poulton. He was at Dunkenhalgh in 1734, and according to Bishop Dicconson’s Lists, until his death there, 29 Jan. 1756 (Foley, vii, 432; and C.R.S., xiii, 178).
Fr. Thomas Conyers, S.J. (1715-1780), came from Crosby hall to Dunkenhalgh, 28 Nov. 1751, and appears there in Bishop Dicconson’s List for 1752 (Foley, vii, 156). Fr. Robert Petre, S.J. (1700-1766), came to Dunkenhalgh from Eccleston Hall about 1753, and remained till his death, 27 Apr. 1766 (Foley vii, 595; C.R.S., xiii, 166). He was apparently succeeded by
Fr. Andrew Thorpe, S.J. (1741- 1799), who was at Dunkenhalgh in 1773: he died there 9 Jan. 1799 (Foley, vii, 775; and v, 325). Fr. John Hodgson, S. J., was at Dunkenhalgh in 1783, when the communicants were estimated at 80. In 1784 Bishop Matthew Gibson made his visitation, and confirmed 44 persons: on which occasion the communicants were stated to number 146. He died at Dunkenhalgh in 1807 (Foley, vii, 363).
Fr. Francis West, S.J. (1782-1852), served the mission in 1816, and perhaps earlier: and about this time
Fr. John Gore, S. J. (1782-1824), occurs (Foley, vii, 310),: as appears by a note of the Rev. C. Brooke at the beginning of the first book of Registers.
Fr. Edward Scott, S.J. (1776-1836), was sent to Dunkenhalgh in 1816, and remained a few months (Foley, vii, 692).
Fr. Louis Moutardier, S. J., a Frenchman (educated and ordained at Stonyhurst) occurs in 1815 (Foley, vii, 531; C.R. S., vi, 368).
About this time the chaplaincy at Dunkenhalgh was given up: the chapel, it is said, being converted into a billiard room: and according to tradition Mass was said at Sparth House, in Clayton, then the property of R. G. Lomax. While Mass was being said at Sparth it is likely that there were no regular resident priest, but that the local Catholics were attended by visiting clergy from Stoneyhurst.
Meanwhile arrangements were being made for the building of a new and independent chapel, and St. Mary’s Enfield, was the result. There is some uncertainty as to the precise date of its erection and opening. The Salford Diocesan Almanack for 1913 says that the chapel was opened in 1810. It appears, however, from an extract from the Stoneyhurst “Prefects’ Journal,” quoted in the Stoneyhurst Magazine, x, 482, that the opening was 1819. The journal states “ July 11th : on this day Mr Lomax’s new chapel was opened. Mr Thompson [choirmaster] and band attended.”
Later missioners have been as follows:
Fr. Charles Brooke, S.J. (1777-1852), was sent to St. Mary’s Enfield, in Sept. 1817, and built the chapel and presbytery. He left in 1826 (Foley, vii, 88). During his time and later the following occur:
Fr. Joseph Cross or Tristram, S. J., 1818 and 1825; Fr. William Cotham, S. J., 1819: Fr. Thomas Glover, S.J., 1822, as does Fr. Edward Scott, who had been at Enfield in 1816: Fr. George Perkins, S. J. , 1825; Fr. Roger Baxter, 1825, who during his stay preached a series of controversial sermons at Clitheroe, which caused some stir (Gillow, Dict. i, 157).
Fr. Joseph Pater, S. J., came in Oct. 1826, and remained till march 1831, in which year Fr. Charles Lovat occurs (Gillow, iv, 333), as does Fr. Richard Raby. Fr. William Rowe, S. J., appears in Dec. 1830, and in March 1831 and Fr. A. J. Fishwick in May following. Fr. R. Raby occurs in July 1833, and Fr. Charles Walter Clifford in 1834. Fr. John Leadbetter, S.J., came in Dec. 1833, and server the mission till the Jesuits made it over to the Bishop of Salford in Dec. 1873. The first secular priest was Rev. Thomas Fox, who was followed by the Rev. James Hothersall in July 1876. The Rev. John Crombleholme succeeded 1892, and the Rev. James Taylor in 1905. Fr. Crombleholme returned in 1908 but retired in 1923. Later priests have been the Rev. A. Bartlett (d.1925), the Rev. P. Gorman, and the Rev. Francis Foy, the present incumbent (1935).
Adjoining the chapel are some old building s formerly used as a school. These fell into disuse and Adela (Howard), second wife of Henry W. Petre, of Dunkenhalgh, erected, or provided for the erection of, a handsome building near the chapel. * She was married in 1830, and died in 1833, but I have reason to believe that her school was not built until 1837. Being some distance from the village, its situation was found inconvenient, and in 1854 “St Edward’s School” was established in Canal street. The Misses H. and C. Wilkinson were principal benefactresses, and for some years taught the school. In 1894 it was sold and new schools were built near Whalley Road: to this site Adela Petre’s school was removed, and now forms the Infant’s School.
A small school was maintained by James Lomax for some years in a cottage opposite the entrance to the drive to Clayton Hall. This was started about 1852, and continued till about 1868 or 1869. It was the successor of a similar school which he had maintained near Allsprings, in Great Harwood, from about 1845. There is a tradition of a small school having been kept in a cottage near Red House Farm in Clayton about 1807.
A cemetery adjoins the chapel, and the earliest record in the Register of a burial is in 1837. This cemetery was enlarged in 1839, and again in 1894.
The chapel is a plain rectangular structure, with Priest’s House adjoining at the east end.
The silver sanctuary lamp came from the chapel at Dunkenhalgh, as did a large crucifix inscribed:
DONUM ANNAE ROGERS DE DUNKENHALL
FRANCISCO WALMSLEY ARM:
The only memorial at Dunkenhalgh of the old chapel there, is a brass tablet to the memory of Francis Fettiplace. It is engraved with a coat of arms: Quarterly (1 and 4), two chevrons; (2 and 3), three bars, and in chief a lion passant: and crest, a lion’s head ‡; and the following inscription:
* There is a stone now in the new Infants’ School, and brought there from the school near the chapel thus inscribed:
PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF
ADELA MARY PETRE
TO THIS SCHOOL
OB. SEPT. IX 1833.
† Francis Walmesley was the last male representative of his family: he was born 13 Oct. 1696, and was buried at Blackburn 2 May 1711. His sister Catherine inherited the Dunkenhalgh estates, and married first, the seventh Lord Petre, and secondly in 1733, Charles Stourton, who became fifteenth Lord Stourton in 1743-4. [above the word ‘ARM’ is the symbol~]
‡ The colours are no longer discernible.
FRANCISCO FILIO UNICO BARTHOLEMAEI FETTIPLACE
DE SYNCOMBIE IN COM. OXON. ARMIG.
INGLEFIELD DE CATTRINGTTON IN COM.
JUVENI DIE XXVII MAII AN. DNI MDCLXXXIo
A notable ornament in Enfield chapel is a large picture of the Presentation in the Temple, by one of the Caricci. This and other sacred pictures are mostly the gift of the Petre family.
The font is black and white marble: on it are carved the arms of Lomax. Under the organ gallery is a nearly life-size marble statue of Adela Petre, in a kneeling position. On the base is the inscription:
SECOND WIFE OF HENRY PETRE OF DUNKENHALGH
AND THIRD DAUGHTER OF HENRY HOWARD
OF CORBY CASTLE
JESUS! HAVE MERCY ON ME.
On the north wall is a black and white marble tablet, surmounted by a helmet and sword, and inscribed as follows:
UNDERNEATH LIE THE REMAINS OF
OSWALD PETRE, LIEUT, CARABINEERS
YOUNGEST SON OF
HENRY PETRE ESQRE OF DUNKENHALGH AND OF ADELA HIS WIFE.
HE DIED AT DUNKENHALGH NOVER 25TH 1855 AGED 23,
FROM THE EFFECTS OF FEVER CONTRACTED WHILST
SERVING WITH HIS REGIMENT IN THE CRIMEA.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
Also on the north wall, and nearer the alter, is a large white marble tablet, surmounted with the Petre arms, crest, etc. Below are two figures of angels, representing Hope and Resignation. The tablet is inscribed thus:
MEMORIAE ET QUETI
HENRICI PETRE DE DUNKENHALGH ARM,
IN EGENOS BENEFICENTIA
IN SACRAS AEDES MUNIFICENTIA
OBIT DIE XXVI NOV. A.D. MDCCCLII
* Bartholomew Fettiplace was the only son of Francis Fettiplace, by his wife Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Yate of Lyford, co. Berks. He was buried at Swyncombe 6 may 1686. He married first, Mary, dau. of William, fourth son of Sir Francis Englefield, Bart., by whom he had issue, the son Francis, named in the Inscription. (See Estcourt and Payne, Catholic Non-jurors of 1715, p. 217, quoting Napier’s “History of Swincombe”).
ADELAE MARIAE PETRE
IPSIUS UXORIS AMANTISSIMAE
QUAE ILLUSTRI ORTA PROSAPIA,
SED SPECTATA IN DEUM PICTATE ILLUSTRIOR,
OBII DIE XI SEPT. A.D. MDCCCXXXIII,
HUBERTI REGINALDI PETRE
QUI DIES TANTUM XIX NATUS
ANIMAM INNOCENTEM EFFLAVIT
DIE XXII SEPT. A.D. MDCCCXXXIII
GEORGII GLYNN PETRE DE DUNKENHALGH
PLAECLARISSIMI S.S. MICHAELIS ET GEORGII ORDINIS
HENRICI GULIELMI PETRE ET ELIZABETHAE GLYNN
QUI MULTIS LEGATIONIBUS APUD DIVOS PRINCIPES
PRO TANDEM IN PACE QUIEVIT ANNO MDCCCCV
AETATIS SUAE LXXXIII
HOC MOMENTUM PATRI DILECTISSIMO
HENRICUS HENRICI FILIUS CUM LACRYMIS POSUIT.
A brass plate on the pedestal of the statue is inscribed:
PRAY FOR THE SOUL
OF THOMAS BYRNAND TRAPPES
WHO DIED 23RD APRIL
In conclusion I have to acknowledge very considerable assistance from Mr. Joseph Gillow, and the Rev. J. Crombleholme, who gave every facility for the transcribing of the registers; also to Captain C.B. Petre, Mr. B Daniell, late of the Dunkenhalgh Estate Office , and to Mr. G.A. Stocks, late Head-master of Blackburn Grammar School.
The earliest book of Registers is a small parchment-bound book measuring 8? x 6? x ¾ inches, and contains 176 numbered pages. The entries are exclusively baptisms.
[The following is written inside the binding]: “N.B. The entries in my writing & signed C.B are copied from loose memoranda in the hand of Rd J. Gore. The dates etc. enclosed between [ ] are supplied from other sources. Ap. 30, 1835
*What follows from this point down to R.I.P. is a later addition.
[and]: “N.B. The few entries signed J. L. * are copied from a manuscript belonging to Mr Stansfield, surgeon. Other entries made in this book faithfully correspond with the above-mentioned manuscript. This with other sources of information render these [entries erased] baptisms certain. Jan. 25. 1840”
The second book of registers measures 6½ x 4 x ½ inches. It is half-bound in brown leather and cardboard, partly covered with mottled paper.
[On the outside of the back] C,Brooke.
[On the inside of the cover- in pencil]
1829 – 21 (sic)