|Andrews of Little Lever & Rivington|
John Andrews (1616-78) married twice, and his second wife was the only daughter and heiress of his neighbour, Robert Lever of Darcy Lever (Lancs). As a result of this marriage, one half of the manor of Rivington, on the other side of Bolton, came to John Andrews (1654-1700) on Lever's death in 1688, and this John's son, John Andrews (1684-1743) bought the other moiety, which included Rivington Hall, from the Breres family in 1729. Rivington Hall would appear to have become the family's principal seat from this time onwards, and John seems to have been responsible for some improvement works on the estate, including building the folly tower of 1733 on Rivington Pike.
When John Andrews died in 1743, a life interest in the family estates passed to Joseph Wilson (d. 1765), a Bolton solicitor, who had married Andrews' daughter, Abigail (1709-41). Wilson died without surviving issue and the Rivington and Little Lever estates reverted to Robert Andrews (1741-93), who was a great-nephew of John Andrews. Robert almost at once set about a major rebuilding of Rivington Hall, completed in 1774, and at the same time seems to have demolished most or all of the old house at Little Lever, where the exploitation of coal mines may already have rendered the estate undesirable as a gentry residence.
Robert Andrews was succeeded his elder son, Robert Andrews (1785-1858), who remained unmarried and died without issue. His brother, John Andrews (1786-1865), succeeded, but he too was unmarried, so on his death the estate passed to his sister's grandson, John William Crompton (1834-1905), who had been brought up in a middle-class household in Liverpool. In the 1840s, Robert Andrews sold parts of the estate to Liverpool Corporation for the building of water supply reservoirs, which ultimately greatly improved the setting of the house and estate, and he probably also sold the family's interests at Little Lever. In the 1880s and 1890s, unwise investments led J.W. Crompton into debt, and he was at last obliged to sell the whole property in 1899.
|The Oaks, Upton: home of Andrews Crompton from 1915-33.|
Little Lever Hall, Lancashire
Almost nothing is known of the history of this house, which stood on the site of Little Lever High School, in Church Lane. It is said to have been a semi-timbered building of the 15th or 16th century, and was largely demolished in about 1775. It seems likely that it was abandoned and taken down after the Andrews family completed the new house at Rivington in 1774. The name still appears on an Ordnance Survey map of the 1840s, but whatever fragment of the house or outbuildings survived at that time was no longer a gentry residence.
Descent: Thomas Lever; to daughter, Heath Lever, wife of Nicholas Andrew (d. 1626); to son, John Andrew (d. 1678); to son, John Andrews (fl. 1682); to son, John Andrews (1684-1743); to daughter, Abigail Andrews, wife of Joseph Wilson (d. 1765) of Manchester; to first cousin once removed, Robert Andrews (1741-93), who demolished the Hall; to son, Robert Andrews (1785-1858), who probably sold the property.
Rivington Hall, Lancashire
|Rivington Hall from the west.|
There has been a house on this site since before 1477, when Robert Pilkington employed William Holden to add a hall and cross-chamber with two large windows six feet broad to the existing building at a cost of nine marks (£6). The result is said to have been a quadrangular semi-timbered house with a central square court, approached through a gateway, but as the house seems to have had only four hearths in the mid 17th century, it must have been on a small scale.
|Rivington Hall: old stonework in the rear|
wings, photographed c.1900
The present building is a five bay, two-storey red brick house built in 1774 for Robert Andrews, with a pedimented one-bay centrepiece and a tripartite entrance. In the group of barns to the rear of the house is a most impressive, probably 16th century, cruck-framed barn 105 feet in length, which was restored and altered by Jonathan Simpson, c.1903-04 for Lord Leverhulme. The stable block formerly to the east of the house had datestones of 1713, with the initials of the Breres, and 1732, with the initials of John and Abigail Andrews.
|Rivington Hall: entrance front. Image: Dave & Carolyn Sawyer. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence|
|Rivington Hall in the 1840s: from the OS 6" map published in 1849. The house is the smaller block to the south.|
In 1847-57 the setting of the estate was radically altered when Liverpool Corporation created a series of eight linked water supply reservoirs in a shallow valley west of the house and village. William Hesketh Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) bought the estate from J.W. Crompton and his wife in 1899, although the Cromptons reserved the right to continue living in the hall until they died. Lord Leverhulme laid out the land east of the reservoirs as a public park, with several avenues and much informal planting by Thomas Mawson. The cruck barn became a refreshment house and function room. He also built a full-size replica of the 13th century ruins of Liverpool Castle on the lake shore, reproducing the castle from plans of 1892 by E.W. Cox that captured the original building immediately prior to its demolition in 1725. The long reservoirs, the park, and the sham castle create a landscape of considerable beauty, which Lord Leverhulme intended to benefit the citizens of his home town of Bolton, a few miles away. However, after a dispute the estate was acquired by Liverpool Corporation which was fanatical about protecting the catchment area of its water supply. The Corporation also bought, and demolished, Roynton Cottage, the bungalow which Lord Leverhulme built for himself on the steep hillside below Rivington Pike (which had already been burnt by suffragettes and rebuilt), and the moorland garden there which T.H. Mawson created from 1905. The gardens fell into complete decay, but have been restored since the 1970s, largely by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
|The tower on Rivington Pike, built in 1733. Link to image source.|
On the highest point of the estate, at Rivington Pike, is a single-storey folly tower with stepped battlements, which was built by the mason Henry Lathom in 1733 for John Andrews. It was originally heated and was probably used as a hunting lodge. A moulding in the form of a pointed arch over the door points at a faintly Gothick influence, but this far north and this early, it must be a case of Survival rather than Revival.
Descent: James Pilkington sold 1611 to Thomas Breres (d. 1617) and Robert Lever (d. 1620). The Lever moiety passed to his son, Robert Lever (d. 1644); to nephew, Robert Lever (c.1608-88); to daughter, Jane Lever, wife of John Andrew (c.1616-78); to son, John Andrews (1684-1743); to daughter, Abigail Andrews, wife of Joseph Wilson (d. 1765) of Manchester; to first cousin once removed, Robert Andrews (1741-93); to son, Robert Andrews (1785-1858); to brother, John Andrews (d. 1865); to great-nephew, John William Crompton (1834-1905), who sold 1899 to William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925), 1st Viscount Leverhulme. The Breres moiety passed to son, Thomas Breres (d. 1673); to brother, Rev. John Breres (d. 1696); to son, William Breres (d. 1723); to son, John Breres who sold 1729 to John Andrews (1684-1743).
Andrews family of Little Lever and Rivington
Andrew(s), Nicholas (d. 1626). Fourth son of William Andrew of Twywell (Northants) and his wife Bridget Rysly of Oundle (Northants), perhaps born about 1580. Citizen and salter of London. He and his children are recorded as both Andrew and Andrews, although the latter form became standardised later. He married, about 1613, Heath (fl. 1626), daughter of Thomas Lever esq. of Little Lever (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) John Andrews (1616-78) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. Sampson Andrews (1616-57), baptised 17 December 1616; educated at Emmanuel and Kings Colleges, Cambridge (admitted 1634; BA 1637/8); minister of Corton Denham (Somerset); married Joane [surname unknown] and had issue one son and two daughters; will proved in PCC, 2 June 1657;
(3) Thomas Andrews (fl. 1626), born between 1617 and 1623; died without issue;
(4) Elizabeth Andrews (b. 1621; fl. 1626), baptised 19 November 1621;
(5) William Andrews (b. 1624), baptised 30 May 1624; died without issue;
(6) Hannah Andrews (b. 1625), baptised 27 June 1625; married, 26 August 1669 at St Martin in the Fields (Middx), Edward Young, citizen and merchant tailor of London;
(7) Heath Andrews (fl. 1626); probably the person of this name who married, 2 December 1651 at Prestwich (Lancs), Miles Marshall;
(8) Marah or Mary Andrews (b. 1627), born posthumously and baptised 31 January 1626/7.
Under his marriage settlement, he acquired a one-third share in the manor of Little Lever from 1624.
He died in 1626; his will was proved in the PCC 12 April 1627.
Andrews, John (1616-78). Eldest son of Nicholas Andrew(s) (d. 1626) and his wife Heath, daughter of Thomas Lever of Little Lever, baptised 17 March 1615/6. A Captain in the Parliamentarian army during the Civil War and a Presbyterian; when the presbyterian system was set up in Lancashire, he was chosen as one of the ruling elders for the Bolton district. He married 1st, 24 October 1647 at Manchester Cathedral, Sarah (d. 1651), daughter of William Bourne of Broadgate (Staffs) and 2nd, c.1653, Jane, daughter and heiress of Robert Lever of Darcy Lever (Lancs), and had issue:
(1.1) William Andrews (b. & d. 1648), baptised 7 September 1648; died in infancy and was buried at Manchester, 19 September 1648;
(1.2) Mary Andrews (1650-1704?), born 24 and baptised 28 January 1649/50; married, 28 December 1670 at Bolton, James Grundy MB of Lancaster and had issue; perhaps the Mary Grundy who was buried at Wardleworth (Lancs), 20 March 1704;
(2.1) John Andrews (1654-1700) (q.v.);
(2.2) Robert Andrews (b. 1655), born 2 and baptised 11 November 1655; a physician in Liverpool; died unmarried;
(2.3) Nicholas Andrews (1658-73), born 1 and baptised 10 January 1657/8; died young and was buried at Bolton, 30 May 1673;
(2.4) Thomas Andrews (1660-66), born 11 and baptised 21 May 1660; died young and was buried at Bolton, 30 April 1666;
(2.5) Ellen Andrews (b. 1664), born 31 January and baptised 4 February 1663/4;
(2.6) Elizabeth Andrews; married, 10 May 1688 at Bolton, Christopher Marsden of Manchester and had issue.
He inherited one third of Little Lever manor from his father in 1626 and purchased the rest of the estate in 1640. His second marriage brought one moiety of the Rivington estate to the family on the death of his father-in-law in 1688.
He died in 1678. His first wife was buried 29 August 1651. His second wife's date of death has not been found.
Andrews, John (1654-1700). Eldest son of John Andrews (c.1616-78) and his second wife, Jane, daughter of Robert Lever of Darcy Lever (Lancs), born 21 and baptised 29 January 1653/4. He married, 6 July 1682, Anna/Hannah (d. 1715), daughter of Robert Mort of Wharton Hall, Little Hulton (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) John Andrews (1684-1743) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Andrews (fl. 1687); probably died young;
(3) Robert Andrews (1687-1732) (q.v.);
(4) Marah or Mary Andrews (1690-1733), born 16 and baptised 29 May 1690; married, 30 November 1713, John Sharples of Sharples (Lancs) and had issue; buried 22 June 1733;
(5) Anne Andrews (d. 1741); married, 14 August 1714, John Walmsley of Wigan (Lancs) and had issue; buried at Brindle (Lancs), 9 March 1741.
He inherited the Little Lever estate from his father in 1678, and one moiety of the manor of Rivington from his maternal grandfather in 1688.
He died in December 1700. His widow was buried 19 March 1715.
Andrews, John (1684-1743). Elder son of John Andrews (d. 1700) and his wife Anna, daughter of Robert Mort of Wharton Hall, Little Hulton, baptised 18 September 1684. Solicitor practising in Bolton. He married, 19 May 1707 at Bolton, Abigail (fl. 1734), daughter of Thomas Crook of Abram (Lancs) and co-heir of her brother Richard Crook (d. 1727) and had issue:
(1) Anna Andrews (1708-12), baptised 20 February 1707/8; died young and was buried 14 May 1712;
(2) Abigail Andrews (1709-41) (q.v.);
(3) Lydia Andrews (c.1710-11); died in infancy and was buried 19 September 1711;
(4) Lydia Andrews (b. 1711), baptised 23 September 1711; died young;
(5) Jane Andrews (d. 1712); buried 19 May 1712;
(6) Hannah Andrews (d. 1716); buried 25 April 1716;
(7) John Andrews (b. 1714), baptised 1 September 1714; died young;
(8) Lydia Andrews (1718-36), born 21 and baptised 26 December 1718; died unmarried and was buried 20 June 1736.
He inherited the Little Lever and Rivington estates from his father, and purchased the second moiety of the Rivington estate in 1729.
He was buried 13 September 1743. His wife was living in 1734 but her date of death has not been found.
Andrews, Abigail (1709-41). Only surviving child of John Andrews (1684-1743) and his wife Abigail, daughter of Thomas Crook of Abram (Lancs), baptised 19 April 1709. She married, 29 September 1737 at Bolton, Joseph Wilson (d. 1765) of Manchester and Bolton, attorney-at-law, and had issue:
(1) Lydia Wilson (1738-55), born 18 and baptised 27 September 1738; died without issue and was buried at Bolton, 16 February 1755;
(2) John Andrew Wilson (1741-60), born 16 and baptised 26 March 1741; educated at Warrington Dissenting Academy, where he died of smallpox without issue, 10 April 1760, aged 19.
Her husband inherited the Little Lever and Rivington estates from her father in 1743.
She was buried 27 November 1741. Her husband was buried 30 July 1765.
Andrews, Robert (1687-1732) of Bolton. Second son of John Andrews (d. 1700) and his wife Anna, daughter of Robert Mort of Wharton Hall, Little Hulton, born 14 and baptised 23 March 1687. He married, 30 December 1712, Hannah (d. 1741), daughter of Joseph Crompton of Hacking and Bolton-le-Moors (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) John Andrews (d. 1716); died young; buried 17 July 1716;
(2) Joseph Andrews (1715-49) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Andrews (1717-20), born 7 September 1717; died young, November 1720;
(4) Hannah Andrews (1719-1801), born 5 August 1719; married, 9 December 1740, Peter Dorning of Prestal (Lancs) but had no surviving issue; died 19 August 1801;
(5) Jane Andrews (1720-25), born 16 March 1720/1; died young and was buried 2 September 1725;
(6) Rev. Robert Andrews (1723-66); educated at the Dissenting academy, Kendal; Presbyterian minister at Lydgate, Kirkburton (Yorks), 1747-53, Platt Chapel, Rusholme (Lancs), 1753-56, and Bridgnorth from 1756, where he remained till his health broke down and he became mad; poet and translator of Virgil; married Hannah Hazlewood (d. 1815) of Bridgnorth, but died without issue;
(7) Cicely Andrews (1724-34), born 12 February 1724; died young and was buried 18 October 1734;
(8) Thomas Andrews; died young;
(9) Nicholas Andrews (d. 1730); died young and was buried 4 March 1729/30;
(10) James Andrews (1728-68) of Manchester and later of Bolton-le-Moors, born 4 February 1728; married, 31 October 1750 at Eccles (Lancs), Susanna (d. 1787), second daughter and eventually heiress of Robert Dukinfield of Manchester, and had issue five daughters, of whom three died young; buried at Bolton, 27 November 1768.
He was buried 22 January 1731/2. His widow was buried 24 October 1741.
Andrews, Joseph (1715-49) of Bolton. Eldest surviving son of Robert Andrews (1687-1732) of Bolton-le-Moors and his wife Hannah, daughter of Joseph Crompton of Hackin (Lancs), born 25 November 1715. He married, 24 July 1734, Hannah (d. 1757), daughter of Edward Kenyon, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Andrews (1736-38), born 13 October 1736; died in infancy and was buried 29 September 1738;
(2) Mary Andrews (1738-1820), born 29 April 1738; died unmarried, 21 March 1820;
(3) Hannah Andrews (b. 1740), born 13 April 1740; married, 5 August 1766 at St Nicholas, Liverpool, John Fletcher of Liverpool and had issue four sons and three daughters;
(4) Robert Andrews (1741-93) (q.v.);
(5) Jane Andrews (1743-44), born 9 March 1743; died in infancy and was buried 11 October 1744.
He died 29 October and was buried at Bolton, 31 October 1749. His widow was buried at Bolton, 20 February 1757.
Andrews, Robert (1741-93) of Little Lever and Rivington. Only son of Joseph Andrews (1715-49) and his wife Hannah, daughter of Edward Kenyon, born 30 December 1741. JP for Lancashire. He married 1st, 7 October 1766 at Rivington, Mary (d. 1768), daughter of Samuel Darbishire of Bolton-le-Moors and 2nd, 17 May 1781 at Guiseley (Yorks WR), Sarah (d. 1791), daughter of Thomas Cockshott of Guiseley, and had issue:
(2.1) Hannah Maria Andrews (1783-1859) (q.v.);
(2.2) Robert Andrews (1785-1858) (q.v.);
(2.3) John Andrews (1786-1865), born 25 July and baptised at Rivington Unitarian Church, 7 November 1786; died unmarried, 22 December 1865; will proved 29 January 1866 (estate under £3,000).
He inherited the Little Lever and Rivington estates from his cousin's widower in 1765, rebuilt Rivington Hall in 1774, and demolished Little Lever Hall.
He died 13 August and was buried at Rivington, 16 August 1793. His first wife died without issue and was buried at Turton Chapel, 5 August 1768. His second wife was buried at Rivington, 2 May 1791.
Andrews, Robert (1785-1858) of Little Lever and Rivington. Elder son of Robert Andrews (1741-93) and his second wife Sarah, daughter of Thomas Cockshott of Marlow (Yorks), born 13 January and baptised at Rivington Unitarian Church, 24 May 1785. JP for Lancashire, 1835. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Little Lever and Rivington estates from his father in 1793, and made some improvements to Rivington Hall in 1820. At his death his estates passed to his brother (d. 1865) and then to his great-nephew, John William Crompton.
He died 4 July 1858 and is commemorated by a monument in Rivington Unitarian Church; his will was proved 20 August 1858 (estate under £14,000).
Andrews, Hannah Maria (1783-1859). Only daughter of Robert Andrews (1741-93) and his second wife Sarah, daughter of Thomas Cockshott of Marlow (Yorks), born 21 July 1783. She married, 20 June 1803 at St Nicholas, Liverpool, her cousin, Robert Fletcher (1776-1849) of Toxteth Park, Liverpool, merchant, and had issue:
(1) Robert Andrews Fletcher (1804-50), born 31 July 1804; died unmarried, December 1850; will proved 15 March 1851 at Chester and 7 February 1852 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury;
(2) Jane Fletcher (1806-82); born 21 July and baptised at Paradise St. Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, 25 September 1806; died unmarried at Rivington Hall, 15 April 1882; will proved 16 May 1882 (estate £7,003);
(3) Sarah Fletcher (1808-83), born 29 July and baptised at Paradise St. Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, 9 November 1808; died unmarried at Rivington Hall, 1 December 1883; will proved 10 December 1885 (estate £5,090);
(4) Lucy Fletcher (1810-48) (q.v.);
(5) Mary Ann Fletcher (1813-91), born 24 October 1813 and baptised at Paradise St. Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, 24 March 1816; teacher in a Liverpool school in 1851; died unmarried at Rivington Hall, 27 September 1891; will proved 20 April 1892 (estate £4,219);
(6) Catharine Fletcher (1816-80), born 19 July 1816; died unmarried at Rivington Hall, 4 June 1880; will proved 26 August 1880 (estate under £6,000).
She died 22 June 1859; her will was proved 9 November 1859 (estate under £3,000). Her husband died in 1849.
Fletcher, Lucy (1810-48). Daughter of Robert Fletcher of Toxteth Park, Liverpool and his wife Hannah Maria, daughter of Robert Andrews of Little Lever and Rivington, born 23 August 1810 and baptised at Kaye Street Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool, 16 January 1812. She married, 25 March 1834 at Walton-on-the-Hill (Lancs), Woodhouse Crompton (1809-42) of Liverpool, merchant, son of John William Crompton of Birmingham; he was described as "a man of the warmest heart and most active spirit of kindness...an earnest lover of the various pursuits of natural history". They had issue:
(1) John William Crompton (1834-1905) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Andrews Crompton (1836-89), born 8 August and baptised at Renshaw Street Unitarian Chapel, 20 December 1836; married, 1872, Henrietta Fletcher (d. 1891), but had no issue; died 31 August 1889; will proved 18 October 1889 (estate £2,913);
(3) Samuel Crompton (b. 1838), born 26 May 1838; educated at Knutsford Unitarian School; probably died young;
(4) Joseph Crompton (1840-1901), born 17 January 1840; educated at Knutsford Unitarian School; emigrated to South Australia, 1860 and worked there in partnership with Henry Clark of Stonyfell as one of the pioneering vignerons in South Australia; later developed a wide range of other manufacturing and exporting businesses; married, 8 May 1866 at Adelaide Unitarian Church, Susan Elizabeth (1846-1932), daughter of Francis Clark of Hazlewood and had issue seven sons and four daughters; died 27 April 1901;
(5) Harriet Crompton (b. 1841).
She died in Jul-Sept 1848. Her husband died 17 January 1842.
Crompton, John William (1834-1905). Eldest son of Woodhouse Crompton (d. 1842) of Liverpool and his wife Lucy, daughter of Robert Fletcher of Toxteth Park, Liverpool, born 13 December 1834 and baptised 20 December 1836 at Renshaw Street Unitarian Chapel, Liverpool. In partnership with Edmund Peel Potter as a chemical manufacturer at Little Lever, c.1870-72; the business being continued by Potter alone after 1872. He married, 1868, Margaret Evelyn (1844-1910), daughter of Andrew Leighton of Liverpool, commission agent, and had issue:
(1) Andrews Crompton (1870-1933) of Garstang (Lancs) and later The Oaks, Upton (Cheshire), born about January 1870; married, 21 July 1907 at Rivington, Theresa Richardson (1877-1958), daughter of William Richardson Moss of The Oaks, Upton (Cheshire) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 4 February 1933; will proved 5 April 1933 (estate £11,305).
He inherited the Rivington estate from his great-uncle in 1865, but sold it in 1899 to William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925), 1st Viscount Leverhulme.
He died 23 March 1905 and he and his family are commemorated by a monument in Rivington Unitarian church; his will was proved 6 May 1905 (estate £3,456). His widow died 11 February 1910; administration of her estate was granted 8 April 1910 (estate £151).
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, supplement p.5; S. Lewis, A topographical dictionary of England, 1848, vol. 3, pp. 74-78; W.F. Irvine, A short history of the township of Rivington, 1904; J.M. Robinson, The country houses of the north-west, 1991, p. 230; C. Hartwell & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Lancashire - North, 2009, p. 578.
Location of archives
Andrews family of Little Lever and Rivington: Deeds and papers of Pilkington and Andrews estates in Ainsworth, Little Lever, Middleton and Rivington c.1300-c.1880 [Lancashire Archives, DDHw]
Coat of arms
Gules, a saltire or, surmounted of another, vert, in chief a trefoil argent for difference.
This post was first published 18th September 2014, and was updated 6th April and 3rd June 2015. I am grateful for additional information supplied by Phil Norris and Simon Potter.