Helen Glenn Court


According to the usual source, in 1200 England King John granted land Towneley — meaning field belonging to the town — to Roger de Lacy, a Norman landowner and constable of Chester. Roger, in turn, turned a portion over to his son-in-law Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley. By 1236, a grandson of Geoffrey inherited the land, married his cousin the widow Cecilia and recombined the two estates and the gene pool. A Towneley married a Warner and moved to Virginia. Another married a Smith and did the same.

Officially, the Towneleys in 2009 are well enough summed up by explaining that the name in the family is long since gone and that Towneley Hall, some six miles off the M65 southeast of Burnley, Lancashire, has been a museum since 1903. From the mid-13th century onward, it was the family home, with a Gothic window added about 1460, and in the early 1800s a Regency wing adjacent to the lower floor's six-foot thick mediaeval walls.

Sources: Pedigree of Towneley of Towneley; History of Whalley, History of Burnley, Raine, Visitation of Lancaster, p. 314; McCurdy, "A Discovery," pp. 475-76

generation no. 1

Sir Richard de Towneley, knight. Married Elena. Appointed sheriff of Lancaster by John of Gaunt in 1375, 1376, and 1377, served in house of Commons. Died in 1379, inquisition of estate in 1381.

generation no. 2

John de Towneley, born 1350, died 1399. Married (1) in 1382 Isabel Rixton, daughter of William Rixton, (2) Elizabeth.

generation no. 3

Richard de Towneley, born 14 May 1387 at Stydd Chapel, Dutton, died 30 September 1454. Inherited estate 1408-9. Married Alice. Fought at Agincourt.

generation no. 4

John (Esq) Towneley, born 1415, died c 1474. Married (2) Isabella Sherburne, daughter of Richard Sherburne and Mathilda Hamerton. Built the gatehouse chapel in 1454 and south wing about 1460.

generation no. 5

Laurence Towneley, of Barnside, born after 1455, died 11 October 1530 in Townley Hall. Married Joan Banastre.

generation no. 6

Henry Towneley, born c 1480, died 1531. Married Grace.

generation no. 7

Laurence Towneley II, born c 1510 in Barnside, died 1566. Married between 1529 and 1546 Hellen Hesketh, born c 1514 (illegimate).

generation no. 8

Lawrence Towneley, born 1543, died 19 January 1597-98. Married Margaret Hartley c 1562, daughter of John Hartley. Acquired Stone Edge.

generation no. 9

Lawrence Towneley, born 1564 Stone Edge, Colne, died 12 Feb 1645. Married Jennet Halstead c 1598, daughter of John Halstead, died 12 August 1623 in Burnley.

Source: Taliaferro, "Thomas Smith of Fairfax County"

generation no. 10

Mary Towneley, born 13 May 1614 in Stone Edge, Lancashire, died 11 August 1662 at Warner Hall, Gloucester Co. VA. Married Augustine Warner Sr., born 28 September 1611 in Norwich, England.

Elizabeth Towneley, born 1598, died 1679. Married Christopher Smith, born 18 March 1592, Stannihurst, England.

go back | page up