MORTON, Gilbert, of Whalley, Lancs.
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Family and Education
Exchequer feodary, Lancs. by Sept. 1560, particular surveyor 1565.1
Though the will of John Morton, who died in 1609, refers to ‘my brother Gilbert, deceased’, his name does not appear in the Lancashire Visitations, and no details of his marriage or children have been found. He was related to a number of parliamentary families in Lancashire, including the Fleetwoods and Nowells, but he almost certainly owed his seat at Preston, not to his local connexions, but to the 3rd Earl of Derby, lord lieutenant of the county. A list of the Earl’s servants, drawn up in 1562, contains the entry under ‘wages, annuities, etc. Gilbert Moreton 53s.4d.’, but gives no information about his actual status in Derby’s household.2
As feodary he found it almost impossible to find out how much land was held of the Crown, owing to the complicated conveyances devised by landowners. In September 1560 he made a determined (though apparently unsuccessful) attempt to collect all ‘men of worship, gentlemen and freeholders’ at key points in Lancashire to show proof of tenure. In July 1565 he received his patent for the surveyorship of Lancashire, with an annuity of 20 marks. Late in 1566 he was granted two crown leases of lands in Lancashire, on condition that he kept them in repair. The last reference found to him is to his sitting on an inquisition post mortem commission at Whalley in 1579.3
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. J. Hurtsfield, Queen’s Wards, 34; CPR, 1563-6, p. 319; 1566-9, p. 311.
- 2. W. D. Pink and A. B. Beaven, Parl. Rep. Lancs. 144; VCH Lancs. vi. 387, n. 51; Lancs. and Cheshire Wills (Chetham Soc. n.s. iii), 223-4; Vis. Lancs. 1613, ed. Raines (Chetham Soc. lxxxii), 66; Lancs. RO, Stanley pprs. DDK/6/3, p. 17.
- 3. CPR, 1563-6, pp. 319, 397, 482; Abstracts of IPMs (Chetham soc. xcix), 159.