Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Brandwoods 1642-1826

Extract from Entwistle by Clive Walsh, Chapter 3.3, pages 20-24.

In the Protestation returns for Entwistle of 1642 (Appendix 1) only two Brandwoods are listed: Oliver, grandson of Oliver Junior of Entwistle Hall, and his son Roger. In the Hearth Tax records of 1663 for Entwistle (Appendix 2), two Brandwoods are listed: Roger Brandwood, of Wayoh Hall, Lower Crow Trees, with four hearths and John Brandwood (his brother) of Entwistle Hall with one hearth (by this time the Hall had been divided into three parts).


By 1657 the Brandwoods had established themselves as prominent local business people in Entwistle. John Brandwood, grandson of Oliver, was wealthy enough to purchase the central part of Entwistle Old Hall from the Tyldesleys in 1657 and the family became the new Lords of the Manor of Entwistle. The first Lord was Roger Brandwood, (1657-1678) and subsequently Roger, his son, (1678-1707), then James Brandwood, eldest son of James (d 1715) followed by Roger, the second son, until 1761. Then Roger’s only child, Ann Brandwood, married Christoper Baron and he became Lord of the Manor.

The Brandwoods established a thriving local building enterprise. They contracted to build farmhouses, barns, cottages, loom workshops, roads and bridges in Entwistle, Edgworth, Quarlton, Egerton, Chapeltown, Turton and as far afield as Blackburn, and Westhoughton. In 1690 one of the Brandwoods was living in ‘The Dower House’, or ‘New House’, now ‘Entwistle New Hall’ (2011).

Two Brandwoods were assessed for the Poll Tax in 1678 (Appendix 3). Roger, his wife and children paid 5 shillings and John, his wife and one child paid 3 shillings. In later Poll Tax returns only John is present because Roger Brandwood had died. Among the bequests in his will, dated January 1678, were:

‘Yee testator gives his Messuages and Co in Wayoh in Entwisle [Lower Crow Trees] containing Fowerscore acres off land to mye eldest sonne James Brandwood provided that the stone staynes in my dwelling at Wayoh are not defaced or removed, which I have often charged mye sonnes not to suffer to be done, But if this breach were madde, the testator demanded that the delinquent shoud fforfeit Ten pounds, to be divided amongst thee other children of thee donor. Mye will to be divided in three equell parts, one part mye wyffe Mary, Seconed part bequeath to Lawrence, William and Christopher my sonnes & Alice mye daughter equally divided amongst them.’ 

The third part commonly called the death part reads:

‘I give & bequeath as follows, to James mye eldest sonne two’e Cubboads, onne Presse [chest], thee long table of the house and fourme belonging it, a stoole there, the Chimny P [spits, brasses, fenders, kettles etc] now in thee house with tongues spit & rack belong to it…One great Arke that be in the kitchen laffe [round top large chest]. To Rodger mye sonne one plain Bedsted and bed cloathes belongin itt (Exepting ffeather bed). To every onne off mye children I give ffive shillings apeac I remitt to John Bendwood [sic] mye sonne tenn pounds offe debte he oweth me by bonde; I give Alice mye daughter tenn pounds. I give towards the augmentery of the Chappell stock at Turton off the Ministry there off Thirty Shillings. All goods I give & bequeast to Lawrence & Christopher Brendwood mye sonns & Alice Brandwood mye daughter equaily amongst them divided: I nominate & appoint James Brandwood mye sonne sole executer of this mye Will hoping hee Faithfully execute same as mye Trust in hym reposed.
Sealed signed in the precence of - William Horroskes, Christopher Horrockes (his mark), Tom Ainsworth (Aterny) Maie 30th 1679.

The total value of Roger Brandwood’s Estate was £834 14s 6d.

The full inventory of this will is missing, but J.C.Scholes in 1882 calls it a singular production, being written on a slip of parchment about 1 yard long and 6 inches wide.

On the 10th of May 1707 Roger Brandwood, greatgrandson of Oliver Brandwood Junior died. His family were no longer rent paying tenants but property owning farmers and businessmen in their own right. His will reads:

‘I Rodger Brandwood off Entsil Parrish of Boulton Le Moores, Yeoman. I stand sized in mey Demisne as of ffee in one Massuage & Tenement liying in Entisil commonly called bye the name of Entisl Hall, which I give to bequeath unto James Brandwood mye eldest sonne and hee shall paye thee som of one hundred and twenty ppounds of good and lawffull moneys of England fore my children too dwel together fore thee space off two yrs next insueing and Rodger Brandwood My second sonne shall carefully looke aft’r the rest of my young children for the space off tow years that mye eldest sonne James Brandwood take care of mye three youngest children till the youngest off them shall attaine the age off seventeen years. And as concerning mye personall estate I give unto Rodger Brandwood my second sonne, the sume of twenty ffive pounds; unto John Brandwood my third sonne, the sume of twenty ffive pounds; I give unto Mary Brandwood mye Daughter the sume of twenty ffive pounds; It is mye will that three ffive pounds which is above twenty pounds apeese bee deducted out of mye p’sonall estate and that the rest of mye personall estate togath’r with one halph of the one hundred and twenty pounds be equally to divided amongst mye three youngest children, Crsitwell, William, and Margret.’

‘I nominate and appointe James Brandwood and Rodger Brandwood mye sonnes Executors of this mye Last Will and Testament.’

‘Sealed Signed and Delivered In the sight and Presence of us- Rodger Brandwood [son], John Brandwood [brother], James Bradwood [brother], Ellin Knowles (Aterny)’. 

All the executors were illiterate and ‘made their mark’, only the attorney signed. Roger Brandwood died five days later on May 10th 1707, 62 years old and his heirs would have had to pay the equivalent of inheritance tax. John and James were his brothers and John died in April 1740 aged 86.

The ages of Roger Brandwood’s children in this will were: Mary 31, James 26, Roger 23, John 20, Cristwell 16, William 13 and Margret 10. James Brandwood would have to look after the three younger children for 7 years until 1714 when Margret reached the age of 17.

The inventory attached to Roger’s will reads as follows:

‘A true and perfect Inventory of goods and Chattels and Personall Estate of Rodger Brandwood late of Entwistle Hall in the County of Lancaster yeoman decd apprised by us James Brandwood sen’r, John Postlethwhite, John Brandwood, and Andrew Knowles, twenty fourth day Maie 1707 as followeth:


  • in Bease [cattle] £13-0s-0d
  • one horse  £3-0s-0d
  • in Bedding £3-0s-0d
  • one Arre- [domed lid chest] £-10s-0d
  • Three Chisses-[small chests] £-10s-0d
  • in Pewter and brass £-10s-0d
  • one Table and Cupboard £-10s-0d
  • Pair Chairs £-4s-0d
  • Capogears for a horse –[harness] £-5s-0d
  • His Apparell £3-3s-0d
  • in Hussellment-[minor household goods] £-5s-0d
  • The sum total £24-17s-0d


James Brandwood Sen’r, John Postlewhite (Attorney at Law), John Bendwood his mark (brother), Andrew Knowles his mark.

John Brandwood Sen died in 1784. In his will, dated 17th March 1784, he left Higher House Fold to his son John Brandwood Jnr, subject to a payment of £100 ‘to mye daughter Marye. To mye sonnes William and Thomas I leave New House, also part of the land belonging to that part of the Old Hall late owned by Christopher Baron, this plot known as Sanderfield’. John Brandwood junior was overseer of the poor in 1797 and died in 1799. The youngest son James was disinherited because he had joined the Society of Friends!

James Brandwood (1739-1826) was born at New Hall. He became known as the Steward of Turton and was one of the Commissioners appointed for the enclosing of Edgworth Moor in 1795 and Harwood Common in 1797. He joined the Society of Friends in 1761 and a formal account in the Rossendale Preparative Meeting Book where Minute 4 for the 15th of the 11th month reads:

‘This day Joseph Kershaw, Samuel Haslam, Thomas Thomasson, John Wood and James Brandwood all of Entwistle in the Parish of Bolton who have for some considerable time frequented our Religious Meetings and also our meetings for Discipline and being Convinced of Friends principles they are desirous to join in Society with us; They therefore laid before this meeting a written paper signed by each of them signifying the same; which paper was first read, approved and ordered to be Presented to our next monthly meeting by our Representatives according as it was by them directed.’

James Brandwood soon took an active part in the affairs of the Society of Friends and for over 50 years was a ‘minister’ of that body. He preached in various parts of the country travelling to the new Rossendale meeting house, to the chapels in Edgworth, Crawshawbooth, Preston and as far afield as Huddersfield to practice his new religion. For this he became an outcast to his family and was excommunicated from St Peter’s Parish Church, Bolton. He was the first to farm Pleasant View Farm Entwistle, called ‘Brandwoods Farm’ on the census of 1801.

James’s working life was spent as a builder. He was plainly a man of outstanding talent and during his working life kept most detailed account books, containing plans of new buildings, repairs to old ones, road repairs and other sundry matters. A typical example from James Brandwood’s account book reads: ‘September 1805 paid to Mr Yates (Millwright) the sum of £1 3s 4½d, for Water Wheel buckets and repairs’.

At the time of his death in March 1826 he had made his home in Westhoughton and was interred in the burial ground attached to the Quaker meeting house there.

Armsgrove Farmhouse
Armsgrove Farmhouse, built by the Brandwoods c1700
Although now in Turton, Armsgrove was originally part
of Entwisle Manor


Original plan of Armsgrove House
Original plan of Armsgrove House