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  Can Row, Bolton Moor : Notes relating to the owners and occupants of Can Row, Bolton Moor, Great Bolton 1796 - 1832, including Ralph Tonge (d. 1810) and Robert Tonge (1778 - 1832).  By Stephen Tonge, Oct 2002.

In his will of 1831, Robert Tonge of Heaton, farmer, left several cottages in Can Row to his children.  In an effort to try to identify who his parents are I have checked out the Rate Assessment records to see if there was an earlier Tonge's living in or owning these cottages.

In the 1796 Great Bolton Township Survey and Valuation we find Can Row on p60, but there are no Tong(e)'s listed.
In 1800 and 1801 the Poor Rate Assessments show Can Row, house numbers one to nine and an additional four cottages with no numbers.  There are various tenants, and most of the cottages are owned by John Blackburn, Esquire.  There are no Tonge's.

In 1803, The Poor Rate Assessment for Heaton records Robert Tonge as being resident at a farm, assessed at 55-9-9 and rated at 4-3-3.

By 1804 Ralph Tonge is listed as both the owner and proprietor of number 14 Can Row.  There he stays until 1807, when while still listed as the proprietor, the house is in the occupancy of John Higson.
In August 1810, Ralph Tonge is still listed as the proprietor, but the house is in the occupancy of John Broughton, Betty Halliwell, Isaac Halliwell and John Halliwell.  By September 1811 the tenants are the same, but the proprietor is listed as Tong's Exos.  We therefore know that Ralph Tonge died between August 1810 and September 1811.  There is a corresponding burial at St. Marys, Deane, on 29th October 1810, of Ralph Tong of Great Bolton.  There is however no will listed in the indexes for Lancashire, proved at either Chester or Richmond.
The records are then missing until 1816, when we find Tongs Exos. still listed as the proprietor, with Nathan Wood residing there.  There is also another cottage listed, tenanted by James Ward and Richard Makin, the proprietor of which is R. Tong - quite possible Robert Tonge of Heaton.
There is another gap in the records then until 1821, in which I was unable to find Can Row.

In his 1822 will, John France of Rumworth leaves cottages in Can Row to his daughters Ginney Horrox and Alice Edge, in the occupation of Peter Horrox and Widow Openshaw respectively.

The 1823 Survey of Great Bolton Land Owners lists the following leasees and occupiers:

  • James Cross & John Booth, leasees. Occupiers: George Entwisle, William Farren, James Naylor, James Johnson, Richard Holt, Robert Berry, Samuel Marsh, Margaret Fairclough, Phillip Halliwell, James Robinson, Thomas Morris, James Whittle
  • Joshua Knowles, leasee, Betty Halliwell (Farther Field & Nearer Field), Thomas Allen, William Makin, Joseph Hulme, James Bradshaw, Joshua Knowles, Samuel Morris (Rick Croft, Barn Field, Middle Field, Farther Field), John Halliwell, Thomas Whitham, John Parkinson, Nathan Wood, William Brabbin, John Allen, John Ward

The next record in the Poor Rate Assessment was from 1829, but unfortunately by this time the records no longer record who the owner of the house was, only the persons residing there.  There is a fairly long list of people living at Can Row, including Betty Halliwell, Isaac Halliwell, John Halliwell and Nathan Woods.  What is interesting is that not one of the people listed in the 1831 will as being occupiers of the cottages are listed in the 1829 Poor Rate Assessments:

Occupiers of Can Row (Robert Tonge will, 1831):-
  • John Marsh
  • James Blundell
  • Peter Lomax
  • William Madder
  • John Crank
  • Charles Wood

In the local newspaper, three days after the death of Robert Tonge, we find the following:

The Bolton Chronicle, Saturday 18th February, 1832, p1.

To be sold by auction

By Mr. William Lomax

(Under and by virtue of a certain Trust Deed)

At the House of Mr. William Mosley, the sign of the Hen and Chickens, in Deansgate Street, within Great Bolton, in the County of Lancaster, on Friday, the 30th Day of March, 1832, at Six o' Clock in the Evening, subject to such conditions of sale as will then and there be produced;

ALL those Six several messuages, cottages or dwelling houses, with the appurenancies thereunto respectively belonging, situate, lying, and being at the top of CAN ROW, within Great Bolton aforesaid, and now in the several occupations of Robert Tong, Robert Nuttall, William Heathcote, Charles Crompton, Rachel Smith and John Chadwick, as Tenants thereof.

Also, all that Annual GROUND RENT of  £2 15s 9d issuing and payable from a Plot of Land, which adjoining to the above mentioned Premises, and is well secured by Buildings erected and built thereupon.

The whole of the above Premises are held by lease for the residue of a Term of 4000 years, and will be Sold subject to a Yearly Ground Rent of £6 17s 3d.

For further particulars apply at the office of Samuel Gaskell, Attorney at Law, in Great Bolton aforesaid.

Bolton Chronicle, Saturday, June 29th, 1833

Valuable Leasehold Property

At the house of Mr. WARD, the SWAN INN, in Great Bolton, on Wednesday the 17th Day of July, 1833, betwixt the hours of Six and Seven o’clock in the Evening, Subject to such Conditions of Sale as will be then and there produced:-


All those 8 several MESSUAGES and COTTAGES situate in Can Row, on Bolton-Moor, in Great Bolton aforesaid, in the Several Possessions of James Summers, Robert Berry, Margaret Fairclough, James Baron, Edward Cipax, John Booth, John Halliwell and Phillip Halliwell, as Tenant, at yearly rents amounting together to £14 12s 0d. Together with all that Vacant unbuilt LAND, MEADOW and three Gardens, adjoining the said Cottages, now in the several Possessions of James Whittle and others, at Yearly Rents amounting to about £5 10s 0d which said Meadow, Gardens and Land, including the site of the said cottages contain together 2A. 2R. 6 perches Statute measure or thereabouts. And also all that well secured YEARLY GROUND RENT of £10 14s 0d payable in respect of 2641 Square Yards of land leased to the late Mrs. Howcroft (formerly part of the said Premises) for a term of 999 years; except one part of the is Lot, 1?62 Square Yards of such land sold to Mr. William Simpson.

The above Premises are held for the remainder of 5000 years, commencing on the 1st day of June, 1821. Subject to the Yearly Rent of £41 10s.

There is a Main Sewer running under the whole of the above Lot.


Can Row, Bolton Moor

Can Row, Bolton Moor, OS 1947, 5ft to 1 mile

Click on picture for bigger version

I am reliably informed by Wayne Ashton, local historian, that Can Row is the row of cottages shown highlighted in the above map.  The cottages were demolished some time between 1900 and 1950.