In 1900 Anthony Hewitson says in his book 'Northward':

"About 300 yards past the entrance to the avenue on the Myerscough House property a road branches, on the east, from the highway this leads into Claughton & Barnacre.
Claughton Hall is about a mile and a half distant, north-east. From certain parts of the diverging road - on the northern part, it can be seen. The Hall stands on the east side of a spacious, wooded park, a long, winding sheet of water, centred by an ornate bridge, fronts it, and laterally also at the rear there are fine, ancestral-looking trees. For many generations the name of Brockholes has been associated with the district of Claughton the original home of the Brockholes was however, at Brook-holes, on the Ribble, near Preston, the earliest record being of a Roger de Brochol who married Mabil, sister of Huctred de Bradsae, in 1254.

In 1286, his second son, Adam, who lived at Byreworth, near Garstang, was one of the viridars in a forest assize, at Lancaster; but it does not appear that a Brockholes possessed any property in Claughton previous to a purchase of land from the heirs of William de Tatham, - a priest, by Roger de Brockholes (great-grandson of Adam) and Ellena, his wife, about the middle of the 14th century. His grandson John married Catherine. heiress of William de Heton, and afterwards the family lived sometimes at Heton (Heaton in Lonsdale) and some times at Claughton until 1600, or perhaps later. A subsequent Roger de Brockholes, whose inquisition was taken in 1490, founded a chantry in the parish church of Garstang (Churchtown), for the perpetual singing of divine service.

A younger scion of the Claughton Brockholes (Anthony Brockholes), who went to America in 1674, as second in command to Major Edmund Andros, the first Governor of New York, became the second Governor of that city in 1677. In 1715 John Brockholes, oldest son of the then squire of Claughton, and William, his youngest brother, joined the army of the Chevalier; and there is reason to believe that John was wounded during some fighting in or near Preston, and removed in a hopeless condition to his father's residence, in Claughton, where he died in September, 1717.

William Hesketh of Mains Hall, near Poulton-le-Fylde, married Mary, daughter of John Brockholes, of Claughton, and had issue a son Thomas, who succeeded his uncle, William Brockholes, and took the name and arms of Brockholes. Dying unmarried, Thomas Hesketh - Brockholes was succeeded by his brother Joseph, who married, in 1768, Constantia, daughter of Basil Fitzherbert, of Swinnerton, in Staffordshire, and, dying without issue, his estates passed to his brother, James Hesketh who devised them to William Fitzherbert (second son of Basil Fitzherbert) who took the name and arms of Brockholes.

William Fitzherbert-Brockholes (known as 'Pink William' as this was his favourite coat colour) was very fond of the then fashionable sports and pastimes. In 1810 he was one of the stewards of Lancaster races, and during the races there for five years in succession - 1813 to 1817 inclusive he fought mains of cocks with one Mr. Rawlins Satterthwaite. Cockfighting was at that time quite a high fashionable sport. Three times out of the five fighting meetings at Lancaster his "birds" were beaten; but he was successful with those he brought into the pit when the principal main of the series was fought during the races in 1814, the stakes then being 10 guineas per battle and 200 guineas for the entire main. He was also evidently a very ardent sportsman with his gun.
Once he was fined 5 5s. 0d. for absenting himself from the Grand Jury, at Lancaster to which he had been summoned, and tradition says that he had heard of a flight of woodcocks, the previous evening, and went after them instead of obeying his summons to Lancaster.
In the latter part of 1817 he died, leaving as his heir his son Thomas, who, being only 17 years old at the time, did not enter into possession of the property till 1821, when he attained his majority.

Thomas Fitzherbert Brockholes (the son just referred to) was a great sports man, and was an excellent shot as well as a good fisherman. It is said that he shot 99 woodcocks to his own gun in one year, and spent days trying to find a straggler left behind to make up the 100. He only seems to have fought a main once at Lancaster races, in 1821; but there are records of his having, along with the Lord Derby of that time, fought many mains at Preston, and they were evidently two of the principal cock-fighters of the day.
He was also very fond of hunting, and he kept a pack of foxhounds for many years. For the first few years, he rode to them; but, meeting with an accident that prevented him from riding, he followed them on foot, and he continued to do so till he was over 60 years of age, and there were few who could keep up with him when hounds were running.
" It is well known that the fox possesses an excellent head for country." Referring to this subject in an interesting article in the Zoologist, Mr. Harting says a fox has been known to return seventy miles to its "earth" and this not once, but three times. A fox was once caught in Yorkshire, and sent into Lancashire to be hunted by the hounds of "the old Squire", of Claughton, and the identity of it was established by its having been marked in the ear by the fox-catcher. This story Mr. Harting had from his friend Captain F. H. Salvin, who was living in Yorkshire at the time, and was well acquainted with Mr. Brockholes, who gave him all the details.
"The Old Squire" resided at Claughton Hall for upwards of 50 years. In 1842 he was High Sheriff of Lancashire. He was never married, and died in 1873. Whenever referred to, by those now living who knew him, he is called the "Old Squire'." He was an excellent specimen of the English country gentleman.

"The Old Squire" was succeeded by his nephew, James Fitzherbert, who took the additional surname of Brockholes. This gentleman died in 1875, and was succeeded by his cousin, William Joseph Fitzherbert (son of Francis Fitzherbert, of Swinnerton), who assumed the name, etc, of Brockholes, and is still living a genial squire, an active county magistrate and county council alderman, and much respected by all who know him.

James' widow Catherine, moved to Clifton Hill, Forton where she spent the remainder of her life.

"Northward" by Anthony Hewitson - ISBN 1872895603

Home Page

Thomas Fitzherbert-Brockholes (1799-1873)