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Joseph Greenhalgh

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Greenhalgh, the name, the place, the History

  John Greenhalgh (Governor, Isle of Man)

The gentleman to the right is believed to be John Greenhalgh, Governor of the Isle of Man, grandfather of Thomas, and friend of James the Martyr, who was killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651?

With regard to the "Greenhalgh" village near Preston I would ignore any tenuous connection because Greenhalgh is a "land" name, i.e. a certain type of land; and must be of ancient origin. There is, and has been for over 200 years, a Greenhalgh Moss in Bury, Lancashire. That must surely give some credence to my suggestion!

" This part of booke it doth conteyne
Those dead, yett sure must ryse againe
There names thow sees & soe have I;
Then Letts prepare us both to dye."

p me, Ro: Welsh

At the massacre of BOLTON on 28th May 1644, there is an entry of " All these 78 of Bolton slayne on the 28th May 1644 " Included in the 78 named is: Jo: Greenhalgh.

Peter also found this very interesting snippet in the Bury Library its a news paper cutting and adds just a little more information and detail to the John Greenhalgh

Bury Library, Newspaper cuttings 1893 - 1908 volume 4

Rambles around Bury

There is an old folk's tale that once a detachment of the Roundhead Army encamped in the woody valley below Brandlesome, and that a night attack upon the hall was arranged. John Greenhalgh, however, was on the alert. He had put the hall or tower in readiness for a siege so that when the Roundheads, in the dead of night, silently gathered together, and crept up the woods to the big meadow by the Hencroft they were met by Greenhalgh, who acquainted with the ground, had hoped, by a sally to have driven them off again. He had double reason for this, the preservation of his ancestral home and (tradition says) also of the jewels or valuables of Lady Derby. There may possibly be a grain of truth in this story as it is on record that about the time of the siege of Lathom, Lady Derby "parted with her jewels, which were pledged for 3,000 to fulfil the promise made by her husband to Prince Rupert," and Greenhalgh, perchance a trusted servant, might have had them in his charge. Fighting bravely, but unsuccessfully, in the night, beaten back step by step, and seeing that defeat was upon him, Greenhalgh resolved upon flight, and tradition further says that the jewels of Lady Derby along with the valuables of the Greenhalgh family, were sent by a trusted retainer to be thrown into the old slime-pit, besides which now stands the barn. Another story has it that these valuables were carried away through a secret passage, the supposed entrance to which was accidentally discovered some years ago. In this conflict, it is said, Greenhalgh lost his signet ring, and two hundred or more years later this ring was turned over and picked up by the ploughlad while leading the horses, and sold by him to the ploughman for a penney; but the story having been carried to Captain Powell, the then owner of the estate, he offered 5 for it, and the ring passed into his hands. The ring is said to have been curiously engrave with the Brandlesome and Greenhalgh coat of arms. It is said that in the fields around, many years ago, were found the bones of some of the men who fought in this encounter along with many an old pikestaff head or broken sword and handle. According to local tradition, John Greenhalgh met with a tragic fate while keeper of Peel Castle, under Lady Derby. Standing upon the battlements one night, he was stabbed in the back and thrown down on the rocks below. It was thought that on the tide rising the body would be washed away. But the water did not reach the place where the corpse lay, and it was discovered in the gray light of morning. The remains of John Greenhalgh were brought to England and buried in Holcome churchyard. Also in the same cutting.... Brandlesome Hall was an object of superstitious regard in my grandfather's boyhood. I have heard him tell old stories of "th' Brandlesome Boggart"----- how, for instance, his father was followed" down th' lone o' dark neets wi'summat as ad hoofs on". Also in the same cutting... Captain John Greenhalgh is believed to be a minor character in Sir Walter Scotts "Peveril of the Peak" In the Bolton Evening News from the 24th October 1997 was the following article Hall's grim secrets to be revealed Archaeologists will attempt to open up an ancient priest hole in a Bury house where a man starved to death during the civil war. The Manchester University archaeology unit and English Heritage have expressed their intention to open the hole, once thought to have been haunted, in Brandlesome Old Hall, Tottington. The hall, a Grade 2 listed building, is known to have existed in the 16th Century and may have been built on the foundations of a Norman home dating from the 13th Century. The hidden priest hole is believed to have survived a fire, which destroyed about a third of the manor. The hall was once the family seat of the Greenhalgh's, who sold the property in 1728. It was once a catholic stronghold, which is why it had its own secret priest hole. However, a man became trapped in it during the civil war and died from starvation. And it was his death which is believed to have started a well-documented haunting ^[.. Unexplained noises, banging and moaning were accompanied by " an emaciated figure pointing a fleshless finger" towards the priest hole. A skeleton was finally discovered in 1763 and the haunting stopped after the remains were laid to rest.

Some very detailed information about this family can be found here at the university of surrey and here at the isle of man website

If you have been inspired by Peters information and would like to add to the name of Greenhalgh please contact me by clicking the email box. No matter if your view is different the idea is to have all view points in one place and let those who read it make their minds up.