Prescot is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Lancashire.
Chapelries of Prescot: Rainford and Great Sankey
Other places in the parish include: the townships of Bold, Cronton, Cuerdley, Ditton, Eccleston, Parr, Penketh, Rainhill, Sutton, Whiston, Widness with Appleton, and Windle.
Parish church: St Mary
Parish registers begin: 1573
Nonconformists include: Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, and Unitarians
Prescot, a market and post town and parish of England, in Lancashire, 8 miles E. from Liverpool. Manf. Cotton fabrics, sail cloth, and earthenware; but the chief part of the working mechanics are employed in making watch-tools, for which the town has been long celebrated, and watch movements. Mar. D. Tues. and Thurs. Pop. 6066. The nearest station is Rainhill, on the Manchester, Liverpool, and Carlisle line of the London and North-Western Railway, from which it is distant about 2 miles.
Source: Beeton’s British Gazetteer 1870. Ward, Lock & Tyler, Paternoster Row, London.
Prescot, a parish in the hundred of West Derby, county palatine of Lancaster, comprising the market town of Prescot, the chapelries of Rainford and Great Sankey, and the townships of Bold, Cronton, Cuerdley, Ditton, Eccleston, Parr, Penketh, Rainhill, Sutton, Whiston, Widness with Appleton, and Windle, and containing 22,811 inhabitants, of which number, 4468 are in the town of Prescot, 51 miles (S.) from Lancaster, and 197 (N. W.) from London. This town, consisting chiefly of one long straggling street, on the high road from Liverpool to Manchester, lies principally on a substratum of coal, several mines of which are excavated to its very edge, and which not only furnish abundant employment to the labouring class, but supply fuel at a cheap rate to the inhabitants, and essentially promote the manufacturing interests of the district, which has long been noted for the superior construction of watch tools, and the more minute parts of that beautiful piece of mechanism comprised in what is termed motion-work. The drawing of pinion wire, extending to fifty different sizes, and remarkable for its exquisite adaptation to the requisite purposes, originated here; and small files, considered to be of unparalleled excellence, are made, and exported in large quantities. The manufacture of coarse earthenware, especially sugar moulds, has been established here for a very long period, the clay of the neighbourhood being peculiarly adapted to that purpose; and a few persons are employed in the cotton business. The Liverpool and Manchester railway passes about one mile south of the town. A charter for a market and a fair was granted in the 7th of Edward III. : there are now two markets, on Tuesday and Saturday; a fortnight fair for cattle, from Shrove-Tuesday to the first Tuesday in May, and annual fairs on Ash-Wednesday, the Wednesday after Corpus Christi, August 24th and 25th, October 21st, and November 1st. The inhabitants have, since the time of Henry VII, claimed exemption from serving on juries, except within the manor, also from the payment of all tolls to public markets, with divers other privileges. A court baron is held six times a year; a court leet annually, on the festival of Corpus Christi, when a coroner for the manor and liberty is appointed; and a court of requests, for the recovery of debts to any amount, at which last, the steward of the manor presides : petty sessions for the Prescot division of the hundred also are held once a month. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Chester, rated in the kings books at £24. 10., and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of King s College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice: in 1789, the old steeple was taken down, and replaced by an elegant tower and spire, one hundred and fifty-six feet high: in the interior are some modern monuments, particularly one of great elegance, by Chantrey, to the memory of William Atherton, Esq. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, and Unitarians. The free grammar school is of somewhat uncertain foundation : it has been endowed by various benefactors, and, in 1759, the present school-house was built by subscription : the entire income is estimated at £159. 17. 4.; the stipend of the master is £90 per annum: nearly fifty boys are instructed, but classical education has not of late been required. This school has a preference to seven fellowships in Brasenose College, Oxford, and two exhibitions to the same college, for boys being natives of Prescot, and educated in it ; several children not on the foundation are instructed for pay. In 1824, Mrs. Jane Chorley bequeathed to trustees the sum of £2000, for establishing and supporting a schoolmistress to educate poor girls. Almshouses were founded and endowed originally by Oliver Lyme, to which several additions have been made; nineteen almspeople are eligible under the direction of the trustees, preference being given to inhabitants not receiving relief in Prescot and Whiston, and to widows. Among the numerous benefactions to the parish are funds for apprenticing poor children. The celebrated tragedian, John Philip Kemble, was born here, in 1757.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831