THE MOSLEY FAMILY OF MANCHESTER
While the Mosley family were not resident in Cheshire, like the Traffords they were a significant family in the region just outside North East Cheshire and I include them here for their general interest. Sir John Parker Mosley in generation 9 below owned Bolesworth Castle. Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the Blackshirts in Britain in the 1930s was from the Staffordshire and Lancashire Mosley family. This family tree is taken from two sources. Croston giving a more traditional family tree while Baines and Harland focus on the tortuous descent of the manor of Manchester until its sale to the City in 1845.
The family has its origins in Staffordshire. Near Wolverhampton lies the village of Mosley where there was a half timbered hall. Charles II is reputed to have taken temporary shelter there after the battle of Worcester. Ernold de Moseley lived in the reign of King John and from his second son, Oswald, the Lancashire branch descended. This branch is first mentioned in the reign of Edward IV with Jenkin Moseley in 1465. In 1473 a Robert Moseley is mentioned with a tenement believed to be near Deansgate and Victoria Street. He had a coat of arms quartered with that of his wife, which was eventually allowed by the Visitation of the Heralds in 1613 (Richard St. George).
The family tree is very complicated because of the failure of male lines and the transfer of property to cousins. In generation 4 below, Nicholas and Anthony became wealthy cloth merchants with Nicholas handling trade in London. Anthony was the eventual ancestor of the Moseley families of Ancoats and Hulme; the latter became extinct in the early 18th century.
In 1579, Nicholas Moseley, with a friend John Layce, advanced £3,000 on the security of the manor, lordship and seignoury of Manchester to Sir William West. When Sir William failed to comply with the conditions for redemption he lost these assets. Lacye was Lord of the Manor from 1582 to 1596 but then Nicholas Moseley bought him out for a further £3,500. The Moseleys then held the manor until they sold it to the Manchester Corporation in 1845 for £200,000. Nicholas was Lord of the Manor from 1596. Nicholas became Lord Mayor of London in 1599. He was knighted by Elizabeth I for his efforts in raising money and men for a campaign in Ireland. He built a new house at Hough End and in this generation the spelling became Mosley which suited the motto mos legem regit. In his final years, Nicholas lived at Withington. He was sheriff of the county in 1604 and died at Hough End aged 85 in 1612. He was buried at Didsbury on 8 December where there is a monument in the Mosley Chapel.
Nicholas married twice. With his first wife he had six sons, some of whom died in infancy. Nicholas enclosed part of the common land, leading to a dispute with the local people which was not settled until his son Edward succeeded him. However, the line from Nicholas died out three generations later, with the death of his great grandson, Edward in 1665. Thus it was the line of his brother Anthony that provided the next heirs.
Sir Edward Mosley* in generation 6 below was involved with a minor skirmish of the Civil War at Middlewich in 1643. Colonel Sir Thomas Aston and Royalist forces took refuge in the church tower but the town was later captured by Sir William Brereton of Handforth, the Parliamentary commander. His relative, Sir William Brereton of Brereton was a Royalist. The church was damaged by cannon fire. At the time of the action, Sir Edward Mosley was captured. He had estates at Rolleston in Staffordshire and in Manchester. He had been made a baronet in 1640. He was released on condition that he took no further part in the war. His estates were sequestered and recovered on payment of £4,874. In other payments and loans he provided the Royalists with about £20,000. He died aged 41 in 1657 and is buried at Didsbury in the Mosley Chapel.
Sir Edward Mosley, in generation 7 below, died in 1665. He had made a will in 1660 which he revoked a few days before his death, leading to a prolonged dispute. Eventually an agreement was reached under which the Rolleston estates in Staffordshire went to Oswald, eldest son of Nicholas Mosley of Ancoats, who also inherited from his uncle Sir Edward Mosley of Hulme, the manor and lordship of Manchester.
- 1. Jenkyn Moseley, mentioned 1465.
- 2. John Moseley, born 1469
- 3. Edward Moseley
- + Margaret, dau. of Alexander Elcock a wealthy Stockport merchant and mayor in 1549. They had three sons: Nicholas, Anthony and Oswald.
- 4. Sir Nicholas Mosley, 2nd son of Edward Mosley, of Hought End, Didsbury, a cloth merchant, acquired the Lordship of the Manor of Manchester in 1596, was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1599 three years after purchasing the manor and was knighted by Elizabeth during his mayoralty. He was sheriff of Lancashire in 1604 and died 12 Nov 1612 aged 85. he was succeeded by his eldest son Rowland.
- +Margaret Whitbroke of Bridgenorth.
- 5. Rowland Mosley of Hought End succeeded in 1612 but died in 1616 while High Sheriff of Lancashie. Rowland married twice. His second wife was Anne Sutton, sister and co-heir of Richard Sutton of Sutton near Macclesfield. She survived him by 45 years. They had one son, born in 1616, Edward.
- 6. Sir Edward Mosley*, succeeded to his father’s estate in 1616 and in 1638 to that of his uncle Edward (generation 5 below). Was a Royalist in the Civil War and in 1640 made a baronet 20 July 1640 by Chales I, then sheriff of Staffordshire. He had the lodge at Alport Park which was burned down by townsmen during Lord Strange’s seige of Manchester. Died 1657 aged 42 and buried at Didsbury on 4 December and succeeded by his son then aged 18..
- + Maria, dau. of Sir Gervase Cutler of Stainborough Hall, in 1636.
- 7. Sir Edward Mosley, 2nd Baronet, purchased Hulme Hall in Manchester, the ancestral home of the Prestwich family, which had been ruined by the Civil War. He died in 1665 aged 27 in the first year of his marriage and the title became extinct. His will was the cause of much litigation and the manor was for a time in the hands of his executors and his widow who married Sir Charles, afterwards Lord North. Sir Edward bequeathed the manor to Oswald son of Nicholas in genearation 7 below who eventually succeeded in 1665 but did not take possession until 1672. Sir Edward in generation 6 below obtained Hough End.
- + Catherine, d. of William Lord Grey of Wark who survived him. No issue.
- 5. Sir Edward, became barrister at Gray’s Inn. Attorney General of Duchy of Lancaster, knighted 1614, MP for Preston, and purchased the Rolleston Estate in Staffordshire where he lived until 1638. Died without issue and left his estate to his nephew, Edward, in generation 6 above.
- 4. Anthony Mosley, died 25 March, 1607 aged 70 and buried at the collegiate church in Manchester. He purchased Ancoats Hall from Sir John Byron of Newstead. He had nine sons and four daughters.
- +Alicia, dau. of Richard Webster of Manchester.
- 5. Oswald Mosley of Ancoats, died 1630 aged 47 had five sons and 3 daughters.
- + Anne dau. and co-heir of Ralph Lowe of Mill End, Cheshire.
- 6. Nicholas Mosley of Ancoats. JP in Lancashire.
- + Jane, dau. of John Lever of Alkington.
- 7. Oswald Mosley inherited from Edward, his second cousin in generation 7 above Rolleston, and the manor and lordship of Manchester. Died aged 87 in 1726.
- + Mary Yates.
- 8. Sir Oswald Mosley, eldest son, created a baronet by George I in 1720. On the death of his father he inherited Ancoats and the Rolleston estates and on the death of Lady Bland in 1734 succeeded to the manor of Manchester. He died at Rolleston on 10 July 1751 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Oswald.
- 9. Sir Oswald Mosley, resided mainly at Rolleston, died there 26 Feb 1757 in his 52nd year without issue. He had Rolleston, Ancoats, and the manor of Manchester. He was succeeded by his only brother but made bequests to his cousin, Sir John Parker Mosley.
- 9. Rev. Sir John Mosley, died unmarried in May 1799 in his 77th year and was succeeded by his second cousin.
- 7. Nicholas Mosley, a surgeon who moved to London and died in 1698.
- 8. Nicholas Mosley, woollen merchant and draper, died 1734.
- 9. Sir John Parker Mosley, created a baronet on 24 March 1781 was 4th and youngest son of Nicholas Mosley of Manchester, succeeeded to all the family estates. He died in his 67th year on 20 September 1798 and as his eldest son, Oswald Mosley of Rolleston and Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire had predeceased him he was succeeded by his grandson Oswald.
- 10. Oswald Mosley, died before his father on 27 July 1789.
- 11. Sir Oswald Mosley, bart., DCL, of Rolleston Hall, was the last lord of the manor of Manchester. By an agreement dated 24 June 1845, he sold the manor and manorial rights to the mayor and corporation of Manchster for the sum of 200,000 ( the inhabitants of Manchester had refused to give 90,000 in 1815 and they were finally conveyed on 5 May 1846, 250 years after their purchase by Sir Nicholas Mosley for 3,500.
- 6. Sir Edward Mosley of Hulme, 2nd son of Oswald Mosley of Ancoates, received Hough End from Sir Edward the 2nd Baronet (generation 7 above) with lands in Didsbury, Withington, Heaton Norris, Chorlton, Hulme Hall, Cheadle Mosley, and Breadsall Priory in Derbyshire. He was a barrister and aftewards an Irish judge. He died in 1693 aged 76. All his sons died but one daughter, Ann, survived.
- 7. Ann sole heir who married Sir John Bland and had no issue. She had a life interest in the manor. She lived at Hulme Hall and entrusted management of the estate to her second cousin, Sir Oswald Mosley, Baronet, (generation 8 above) who under her father's will succeeded to the estate on her death in her 70 year in July 1734.
- 4. Oswald Mosley married at Collegiate Church, Manchester. 10 June 1589. He became a successful clothier and in 1595 purchased Garratt Hall a mansion on the banks of Shooter’s Brook which had formerly belonged to the Traffords but through an heiress came into the possession of Thomas Gerard of Bryn. Oswald married a second time on 13 Feb 1616/7 at Stockport to Elizabeth, dau of Rev. Richard Gerard, Rector of Stockport an offshoot of the Gerards of Ince, descended from the the Gerards of Bryn. No children from the second marriage. Oswald died in 1622.
- + 1st wife, Cicely, 3rd dau of Richard Tipping, who came from Preston and was a leading merchant who lived at Hanging Ditch. He purchased and enlarged the house, which became known as Tipping Gates. Three (or four) sons and one daughter. Eldest two sons died in father’s life.
- 5. Samuel Mosley, third son succeeded at Garratt Hall. He sold his estates in 1631 and moved to Ireland.
- 5. Francis Mosley. He had a son Francis who had a son Thomas who became Lord Mayor of York in 1687
County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire, by James Croston, M.A., published by John Heywood, Manchester and London, 1887.
History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster by Edward Baines, Esq., M.P. Vol. II, first published by Fisher and Sons, London, 1836, a new revised and improved edition edited by John Harland published by George Routledge of London and Manchester, 1870, Vol 1. page 277.
I have had an interesting comment from John Lacey, Chair of the Mowsley Heritage Society which suggests that the conclusions from the sources above need further investigation.
"Whilst the adoption of the Mosely place name as a personal name would appear to be the obvious origin I have found virtual proof that the name is in fact derived from another source. I reside in the village of Mowsley in Leicestershire which has variously been spelt as Mouseley (which is how it is pronounced), Musele etc., but is pronounced by the uninformed as Mosely. One of the ancient families of this village was the de Mousleys who had a coat of arms which is identical to that of the Mosely family. I would have thought it unlikely in the extreme that two families of different origin would claim the same coat of arms."
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