The Clergy of Deane

During the years that Saynte Mariden was a chapel of the mother church at Eccles, the clerics preferred to the cure of souls at Deane were chaplains or curates, though they were sometimes referred to by the more dignified name of "parson." The "persona" was a person of some standing, but the status of a chaplain was much the same as that of a chantry priest, whose life was hard and fare frugal. The list of chaplains is incomplete and the period of service uncertain.

There are records referring to the following chaplains at Saynte Mariden; following the appointment of "one Thomas, a clerk of Eccles," mentioned in the earlier pages, they were:-

1230 William de Eccles, junior.
1240 Thomas de Halgth.
1275 Robert de Burnden.
1290 Thomas, "persona de la Dene."
1294 Roger the Clerk.
1388 Richard de Workesley.
1471 Wilfred de Whalley.
1520 Willus de Cledesham.
1521 Peres Crompton.
1522 Galfrid de Catherall.
1531 Theodore de Paslew.

About this time there appear to have been several clerics ministering at Deane, and probably serving at the chapels at Westhoughton and Smithills. The Subsidy Roll of 1535 gives "Thomas Strete curat Vs IVd. Dom Jacob Leythwaite IVs. Vd. Dom Adam Robynson IVs. Vd." Hamlet Mabon succeeded Thomas Street in 1541, and was curate for one year at a salary of five marks (£3 6s. 8d.). He was appointed by the Vicar of Eccles, for Whalley Abbey had been closed, along with other monasteries, by Henry VIII, and its possessions, including tithes, glebe and advowsons, confiscated by the King.

By Letters Patent in 1541 the King did ordain "...that the said chapel of Deane from hencefore shall be and shall be deemed to be, a parish church, altogether free and distinct from every other church or chapel...."

From 1542 the vicars of Deane were nominated directly by the Crown until 1855, when the appointment was made by the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the Crown. In 1877 the advowson was purchased by the Simeon Trustees for the sum of £2,000.