1200 Info 1: From the Norman origins to the Tudors
Origins in the village of Crompton


The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire (VCH) records the history of the settlement of Crompton, now subsumed by the town of Shaw near Oldham in Lancashire, from where it is believed that the present family evolved. Early family research associates our family name with Simon dela Legh (pronounced Lee and assumed to be the toponym of High Legh in Cheshire) and his son Hugh, who took the toponym Hugh de la Legh de Crompton, signifying that he was of the settlement of High Legh and Crompton. But ‘it will be seen that a family or families using the local surname had existed in the 13th century'. (VCH p.110 note 17)

Hugh (or Hugo) received lands from the Crown for services rendered, such lands being then known as High Crompton, Crompton Fold and Crompton Moor in the area of Shaw near Oldham. Hugh's son Adam dropped the de la Legh to become Adam de Crompton.

The number of inhabitants in the early fourteenth century has been estimated at no more than a dozen families, with the main tenants being the Traffords, Chethams, Chaddertons, Tetlows and also the Cromptons.’ (Stott, 1996) Whilst the toponym de Crompton, used to signify that they were ‘of Crompton’, could have been used by any of these families the Traffords, Chethams, Chaddertons, Tetlows continue to appear in the VCH.

There is evidence (source unknown) that the ‘surname’ de Crompton’s existed before Hugh de la Legh took the name. Ballard thinks that the family stems from Ellis, Adam de Crompton and Robert of Crompton Hall, circa 1246. (Ballard)

However, the origins of the family name remains complex as the following data shows.

Early written records

At this time the earliest written record of the Crompton name is to be found in the Lancashire Assize Roll for 1246 when Gilbert de Barton, Brun de Crompton and Jordan his brother, Simon dela Lee and Hugh his son and Adam son of Ellis, were involved in a dispute with the Abbot of Roche, Andrew de Thoong and Robert Scalpy about a mine or quarry on the Saddleworth/Crompton boundary.

In this one record alone is the problem of linking the modern families to the 13th century: Brun de Crompton and Simon dela Lee arte mentioned in the same document. Eventually the descendants of both could have had the surname Crompton.

Other early recording of the family name are:

1200info1, sheet2

Crompton through the ages

Anglo-Saxon Period

The name Crompton is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘crom’ or ‘crumb’, meaning bowed or crooked, and ‘ton’, meaning a homestead or village. (Stott, 1996)

‘The name aptly describes the appearance of the place with its uneven surface, its numerous mounds and hills as though it had been crumpled up to form these ridges.’ (Unknown)

In the Middle Ages

1076 - Crompton was given to Roger de Pictaventis [or de Puicton], maternal nephew to William I, who seems to have been paramount lord of Oldham and Crompton, and to have held them immediately as appendages of the royal manor of Salford, which was part of the demesne of the King and the ‘honour of Lancaster’ under the Earl of Lancaster.

1085-86 - At the time of the Domesday Book the Hundred of Salford was very thinly populated. There were large areas of forests, bogs and swamps, and a few cultivated clearings, but there had been much pillage and destruction by the invaders. In the Hundred of Salford there were twenty-one small estates, or berewicks, each one farmed by a thane for the King.

1166 - About a hundred years after the compilation of Domesday Book, Crompton was part of one of these thanage estates known as Kaskenemoor, comprising Glodwick, Sholver, Oldham, Werneth and Crompton with Belemore. It was held by Swain Fitz Alric and then by his son Adam Fitz Swain with the property rented to various tenants.

1212 - The estate descended by the marriage Adam Fitz Swain’s daughters Matilda and Annabel to Roger de Montbegon and William de Nevil in equal parts with the property being rented to various tenants.

1220 - Gilbert de Notton acquired estates in the township of Crompton from Roger de Montbegon and Willia de Nevil. Although it is known that Crompton was part of this estate, the township was not mentioned by name until shortly after the year 1200, when part of it was granted to the Abbey at Cockersand, near Lancaster. The following extract is taken from the Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey:

‘A grant from Gilbert de Notton of a portion of his land in Crompton within these bounds, where the brook runs between Bachebrookhurst and the land of Robert, the Clerk, unto Bachebrook, following the same unto Beal, following Beal unto the Hay of Robert, the Clerk, following the same unto Hilly-Leach (or Hulhillshaw), going round the same unto the black leach, following that leach unto the little syke, following that syke by going round the little land unto the said brook between Bachebrookhurst and the land of Robert, with common right and casements of his fee of that town, and common pasture as much right as belongeth to such a tenement‘.

1241 - Gilbert de Notton’s share descended to his son Roger. After Roger’s death in 1241 the land passed to Gilbert de Barton, son of William and grandson of Gilbert de Notton. (VCH p.108)

1245 - The grandson of Gilbert de Notton, now Gilbert de Notton Lord Barton, made a grant of land of about 80 acres at Whitfield to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem.

The area belonged to the Royal Manor of Salford, a demesne of the King. There was a separate district, the township, known as the ‘fee 1 of Crompton’ which belonged to Simon dela Legh. Rent was paid to Earl of Lancaster. It was Hugh, son of Simon, who changed the family name to de Crompton - Hugh De La Legh de Crompton.

1246 - The Assize Roll for 1246 shows that Gilbert de Barton, Brun de Crompton and Jordan his brother, Simon dela Lee and Hugh his son and Adam son of Ellis, were involved in a dispute with the Abbot of Roche and Andrew de Thoong and Robert Scalpy re: a quarry minera etc in Crumpton [sic]' on the Saddleworth/Crompton boundary. The verdict showed that the defendants delved in land joint property of the plaintiffs, took earth away and excluded them from the quarry. Judgement was for the plaintiffs. Damages of 2s(illings) were awarded. (Parker,1904 p.6)

From the Assize Roll of 1246, Ballard (Ballard p.15) records the family named ‘de Crompton’ as:

Adam m. Margery
William     Brun        Jordan      Richard     Dobbe (Robert)
                        |           |
                        Adam        William
1200info1, sheet 3

1246 - 'John, son of Thomas de Chaydock had a grant from William, son of Adam de Crompton.’ (Source: VCH p.110The Trafford family stood sureties for some of the above, suggesting a possible relationship between the Trafford and Crompton families. (Ballard p.15)

‘An exciting glimpse into the mediaeval way of life is shown in an event revealed by these same court records. Mabel de Parbold (near Wigan) accused Adam Dun, Robert de Crompton and others of killing her husband Albin and her son Richard. It seems that Albin and Richard were cattle rustlers, and had been caught red-handed by a group of Crompton men, who settled the matter there and then by beheading Albin and Richard on the spot. Cattle stealing must have been regarded as a serious offence, because the court condoned the action of the accused men, and they were acquitted. In addition to the ‘de Crompton’ family named above, others who apparently lived in the township at this time were: Adam Dud, Simon de Whitfield, Henry de Whitfield, Simon de la Legh and Hugh, his son, Adam, son of John de Birchongh; John de Turneys, Luvecoc Schayf, and William, son of Robert Schayf. The members of the Schayf family did not answer to the summons to court, and were reported as having fled. This meant that they had left the township to escape the consequences of their misdeeds, often very trivial, and become outlaws.’ (A Chronicle of Crompton p.15)

Gilbert de Notton, Lord Barton, probably sold his lands to Geoffrey de Chetham.

In those early days the family held large tracts of land, part of which was the subject to a rent payable to the Abbott of Cockermouth Abbey, near Lancaster. The Crompton estate stretched from the River Beal, near Buckstones Road, up the hill and over Crompton Moor to the Crompton/Saddleworth boundary and included Whetstonehill and Sholver. There were two family homes, Crompton Hall and Whetstonehill Farm.’ (Ballard 2001)

1259 - Geoffrey, son of Luke de Mamcestre (Manchester), leased to Sir Geoffrey de Chetham ‘all the land in Crompton which he holds of the Abbot of Cockersands. The Crompton family lived on part of this land, which later became Crompton Hall estate, another part being the area later referred to as Crompton Park.’ (Ballard p.14) Ballard (2001) refers to this deal as being between Robert de Crompton and Geoffrey de Chetham.

1260 - Robert, son of Adam de Crompton, was witness to a charter relating to Sholver. (Ballard, 2001)

1278 - Geoffrey de Chadderton laid claim to the moiety of Crompton. (VCH p.108 note 7)

1280 - Land deal between William, son of Adam de Crompton and John Chaydoc. (Ballard, 2001)

1291 - Pilkingtons, heirs of Geoffrey de Chetham, had a 1/7 share in the ‘manor’ including his estates in Crompton. (VCH p.108 note 7)

1301 - Crompton seems to have been given to the younger branch of the Chadderton family and other lands were acquired by them. (VCH p.109)

1307 - ‘In 1307 Roger de Pilkington granted all his lands in Crompton to Adam son of Geoffrey de Chadderton, together with the homage of Adam son of John de Birshaw ... This grant was by way of exchange for lands in Chetham held by Adam, who is called also Adam de Crompton. (VCH p.109 note 9)

A corn mill is recorded.

Geoffrey de Chadderton
Adam de Crompton   m.  Cecily
b.                 |
d. -1324           |
                   John de Birshaw

1317 - Jordani de Crompton, held land in the Rent Roll of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, in the Salford Hundred. (VCH p.109)

1324 - William, son of Peter de Crompton, is mentioned in the Rent Roll of Thomas Earl of Lancaster. (Ballard p.16)

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1332 - Robert de Crompton paid land tax. (Ballard, 2001)

1346 - Rents payable to the Crown, in the right of the Earl of Lancaster were by Henry de Trafford [Whitfield], John de Chetham in Crompton, Roger de Chadderton in Beal Moor, William, son of Peter [de Crompton] assarts in Crompton, Adam de Tetlow in Birshaw, Low Crompton Farm and Edmund de Chadderton in High Crompton. (VCH p.108 note 7)

1383/1393 - Thomas Chadderton* was involved in the death of Thomas de Chetham in September 1383. In 1398 Thomas Chadderton granted land in High Crompton.

Thomas Chadderton
Alexander     Thomas*
Died without  d.jul1393
issue         |

1422 - William, son of Ralph de Crompton held land in Crompton. (Ballard, 2001)

1439 - John de Crompton held land on lease from John de Chetham. (Ballard, 2001)

1442 - John de Crompton renewed the lease on Crompton Hall. (Ballard, 2001)

Thomas Crompton occupied Crompton Hall called after its tenants under the Abbey of Cockersands. It remained in the Crompton family until 1608 when, on the death of a later Thomas, the estate passed to his three daughters.

1454 - John de Crompton died and left his property to his son William. William married Johanna Beaumont of Lingard (near Huddersfield). (Ballard, 2001)

1480 - Boundary dispute between William Crompton and Thomas Chetham. (Ballard, 2001)

1481 - Disputes as to bounds and rights of way between Thomas Chetham and William Crompton were settled by arbitration. (VCH p.110)

1483-1485 Thomas Brodie and his wife Margaret, previously wife of Ellis Crompton and Robert Crompton son and heir of the said Ellis were in dispute over land in Chedyll [Cheadle, Stockport] (TNA C1/65/50 and 51)

1451 to 1537 - One John Crompton after another was a free tenant of the Abbot of Cockersands, paying 12d rent, for Crompton Hall. (VCH p.110)

1500 - William Crompton died, holding Crompton Hall and Whetstonehill Farm. (Ballard, 2001)

1502 - Johanna Crompton, widow and John Crompton her son, agree a settlement with Robert Crompton, son and heir of William Crompton. This John married Katherine Hulton and settled in Prestolee, near Farnworth, and is responsible for the Prestolee branch. (Ballard, 2001)

1523 - Robert Crompton of Crompton Hall contributed to the subsidy for his lands. (VCH p.110)

1526 - Robert Crompton paid tax on Crompton Hall. (Ballard, 2001)

1544 - The first mention of the Crompton coat of arms on the seal of Robert Crompton. (Ballard, 2001)

1550 - Thomas Crompton married Margaret Newton of Newton in Longendale. (Ballard, 2001)

1560 - Thomas Crompton’s son William paid the rent for ‘Cockersand’ land to James Browne. (Ballard, 2001)

1573 - Thomas, son of William Crompton d.1587, was born.

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1587 - William Crompton died holding Crompton Hall, the capital messuage called Whetstonehill, a total of 163 acres, and messuages in Crompton of James Browne of Westhoughton (the purchaser of the Cockersands lands). His son an heir Thomas was 13. Edmund Crompton died - his will was printed in Shaw (p32).

1588 - Thomas Crompton mustered five armed men against the Armada.

1598 - Thomas Crompton married Jane Newbold, daughter of Edmund Newbold of Rochdale. (Ballard, 2001)

1607 - Thomas Crompton is on the list of freeholders. He died in 1607, aged 33, leaving his widow Jane and three young daughters, Alice, Deborah and Grace as heirs. Because the children were all under seven they were made ‘wards of court’, the estate was taken under the control of the King until the girls reached 21, and their guardianship was given to a member of the fathers’ family. What little evidence there is suggests that the girls went to live with their Uncle Abel and his family at Whetstonehill and Thomas’s brother Samuel managed the estate. There is no further mention of Jane. (Ballard, 2001) This was the last Crompton of Crompton Hall. His will is printed in Shaw (p.45) and mentions brothers Abel and Samuel.

Robert circa 1532
Thomas      Abel        Samuel
b. 1573
d. 1607
Alice        Deborah       Grace
b.~1600      b.~1602       b.~1604
|            |             |
m 1630       m             m
|            |             |
Robert Hyde  Samuel Hamer  John Nuthall
of Denton    of Rochdale   of Blakely

1625 - The girls, now all over 21 years of age and applied to the Courts for the restoration of their inheritance. (Ballard, 2001)

1642 - A law suite claiming unpaid rents due to the estate shows that the girls had married:

1672 - Crompton Hall is owned by William Richardson.

1692 - Crompton Hall is owned by Hugh, who died 1746 or 1747, and Alice Yannes. His heirs were his daughter Alice, wife of the Rev. Samuel Townson and the children of his other daughter Esther, who had married Buckley.

1848 - The old Hall was demolished around 1848 when Alice Milne (nee Crompton) bought the property and reunited the estate with the family. The rebuilt Hall incorporated some fifteenth century oak panelling and an open fireplace from the old Hall.

1952 - Edward Leigh organised the demolition of the second hall. A bungalow stands on the site.

Right: Crompton Hall before its 1952 demolition. Source: Stott, 1996
The second Crompton Hall at its 1952 demolition - 19kB jpg
1200info1, sheet 6


The turmoil in the country in the early 1600 and the ensuing Civil War means there are large gaps in the parish registers. Any links, from these early days, are therefore tenuous.

It is thought that apart from the Driffield line there are three other main Crompton lines:

From these origins we have to find Thomas of Bennyington, Hertfordshire, who as Comptroller of Finances to Queen Elizabeth 1 and Auditor to the Exchequer. It is believed that around 1588, under the Patronage of Earl of Essex, Thomas took the land of Elmswell, a medieval village to the west of Driffield.

Mary Agnes Tibbits (Crompton) suggests, in her research of 1912, that the ‘clothier’ John, son of John Crompton of Prestolee and Katherine, was married to Eleanor, daughter of Ralph Assheton, on 27 May 15?? at Breton. This John also held land in London and could therefore account for the move of the family name to the south. Their second child was our Thomas.


By 1936 the family name died out in Crompton. Crompton Hall School, Old Crompton was established in 1926 on the site of the family home. In October 2001 Crompton Hall School celebrate its 75 anniversary by publishing a history of the family name.

1 A ‘fee’ or 'feud’, ‘feudality’, ‘fief’is in feudal law an estate in land granted by a Lord to his vassal on condition of homage and service. Demesne - lands retained by a feudal lord for his own use; grounds belonging to a mansion or country house.


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  Version C9
Updated 10 April 2020