Joseph Holland, innkeeper of Cuerden.
Buried 4/4/1761 at Leyland Parish Church.
Deed of 1756 describes him as Innkeeper of Cuerden, late of Preston. This deed also mentions a deed of 1742 when he bought land in Cuerden.
Deed of 1748: Thomas Woodcock Gentleman of Woodcock Hall, Cuerden, buys a cottage in Cuerden on the west side of the King's Highway from Wigan to Preston in trust for Joseph Holland, Innkeeper of Cuerden. The Inn was situated on the east side of the King's Highway from Wigan to Preston.
Will dated 31/3/1761 and proved 29/1/1766. Leaves everything to Elizabeth his wife during her natural life so long as she continue in her chaste widowhood. After her death or on her marriage to be divided equally among his children share and share alike after all just debts and funeral expenses be paid.
Born c. 1707.
Buried 22/10/1787 at Leyland Parish Church.
Papist List 1767 describes her as widow aged 60 who has resided in Leyland parish for 20 years (Cuerden).
Deed dated 20/11/1787 describes her as deceased late in the possession of a cottage on the west side of the King's highway leading from Wigan to Preston and half a rood of land situated in Cuerden.
Papists (ie Roman Catholics) were penalised at this time in not being able to convey land and property. This seems to have been overcome by employing trustees who were willing to have the conveyances in their name in trust for the heirs and assigns of the papists concerned. Some deeds were enrolled invoking double land taxes.
Cuerden was located just to the south of Preston. It is now apparent in one or two road names (Cuerden Way) on the southern edge of Preston.
All Joseph's children could write. Elisabeth, his wife, used her mark "X" to sign all deeds.
Papist lists recorded the names of Roman Catholics who, at one time, would have paid fines rather than attend Church of England services. As in the case of Joseph Holland, other penalties applied, too.
My mother's maiden name was Holland, and, on her side of our family, we trace back to Joseph Holland. Catholic all the way. It gives the Feast of the English Martyrs that we celebrated yesterday a quite personal resonance. I enjoy, from time to time, confusing people by describing myself as a "papist" in recognition of my family history.