FOCM Research

Musings from Dr Charlotte Starkey

Local Historian

Many of you will already be aware that the Earth’s peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store (hosting approximately 42% of all soil carbon), yet they only cover around 3% of the land surface globally.  They contain more than 550 gigatonnes of carbon (wow!), exceeding all the carbon stored in every other vegetation type, including the world’s forests (you can find more information on the IUCN website).  

Despite being one of the most valuable and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, these habitats are also among the most threatened.  The shameful lack of protection for the UK’s remaining wetland habitats (only 274k hectares remained in the 1980s from an estimated over 2m hectares) has resulted in our peatlands being damaged and drained for agriculture and the development of homes or roads.

When they are damaged, our wetlands are a major source of CO2 emissions, so it is no surprise that countries around the world have been encouraged to include peatland restoration in their commitments to address climate change, and such actions can bring significant emissions reductions.  The IUCN estimates that drained peatlands release around 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 into their local atmospheres annually.

The international negative trend is replicated on Carrington Moss and our local wetlands are still being degraded, which has had an adverse impact to the biodiversity and other ecosystem services that would have traditionally been provided to society, including minimising flood risks and supporting a wide variety of birds, wildlife and plants.  Sadly, more than 25% of all wetland plants and animals globally are at risk of extinction, including the species that breed and feed on Carrington Moss. 

Further reading for those who are interested:

Take a look at these very interesting briefings from our Researcher, Dr Charlotte Starkey:

Charlotte has now included a precis of her talk on Medieval Carrington, click here to go straight to that very interesting section of the page.

Her Initial Musings from August 2019 introduce you to the importance of Carrington Moss and the value of Carbon Capture, including how the carbon capture process works, along with a little bit of Art History featuring Carrington Moss.

Her latest musings, from February 2020, pick up on the importance of Carrington Moss to the whole of the North East Cheshire Region, particularly in terms of the water table (take a look at our pictures/videos of the Carrington Lake, if you need more evidence of this). The other topic in this brief article is the Peat Moss as a Sponge.

More Musings from February 2020

Initial Musings August 2019

When Daniel Defoe, the writer, first passed between Chat Moss and Carrington Moss on his journey from Warrington to Manchester (c.1725) at twilight, coming with his 18th century ‘landscape garden’ view of the English countryside, he was horrified: “The surface, at a distance, looks black and dirty, and is indeed frightful to think of, for it will bear neither horse [n]or man…. the water that dreins from it look’d clear but of a deep brown, like stale beer… What nature meant by such a useless production, ‘tis hard to imagine; but the land is entirely waste.” (A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, Vol. II, Letter 10, 1724-7)

How wrong can someone be?

He, like many before and since, knew nothing of the value of Peat Bogs.

Peat Bogs are a unique source of CARBON CAPTURE. They trap up to 30% of the WORLD’S carbon in their water- saturated pools of sphagnum and other mosses, sedges and lichens.

All Organic Matter holds carbon as a vast reserve: trees, plant- life and vegetation are essential sources of carbon capture.

There are a number of excellent articles which highlight the important of our peat mosses. I’ll highlight a just a few of those here.

Smithsonian Institute, “The Mad Dash to Figure out the Fate of Peatlands”, April 20, 2016:

“Second only to the oceans in the amount of atmospheric carbon they store, peat bogs are integral to the Earth’s carbon cycle. Most peat started forming after the last ice age, roughly 12,000 years ago, and for millennia, they’ve been important carbon reservoirs. Now, though, with a warming planet and new weather patterns, the future of peat bogs has been called into question, including how fast they might start releasing all their stored carbon in the form of carbon dioxide”.

“Peat bogs, another term for peatlands, are wet, highly acidic and nearly devoid of oxygen. These conditions mean decomposition slows to a crawl. Plant, animal and human remains that fall into peatlands can lay perfectly preserved for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The carbon contained in these once-living organisms is trapped, slowly buried and sequestered away from the atmosphere over millennia”.

Any attempt to cut back, thin, or destroy any of these trees will be an attack upon one of the last surviving forests of Norman England, still evident in Trafford. We have already lost major woodland of this kind with the building of Manchester Airport’s second runway and other ‘developments’.

All life depends on CARBON, the 4th most abundant element on earth. Peat Bogs hold twice as much Carbon as all the Forests on Earth. 96% of Peat Bogs in the UK have been destroyed.

Carrington Moss is a Lowland Raised Mire. Damaged Peat Bogs are capable of restoration in order to hold hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Carbon.

So how does it work?


2) TWO CARBON CYCLES: Carbon migrates between objects, varyingly and fixed by natural processes.


SINCE THE START OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION c. 200 years ago human beings have upset this natural balance by using fuels from the slow carbon cycle for energy of every kind: transport, heating, lighting, electricity. The result is that we have increased the temperature of the Earth, upsetting the natural balance between the Four Key Elements of Creation: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

An historical view

On Carrington Moss, 1851, by David Cox (1783-1859)
from accounts c. 1830s (Mcr. Guardian)

This painting is the only known extant image of Carrington Moss before it was bought by Manchester Corporation in 1886. Cox liked dramatic landscapes. The painting now resides in RISD Museum (Rhode Island Art Gallery) which seems to have gathered a substantial portfolio of Cox’s works.

The painting is in watercolour and graphite, and, incidentally, some of the best graphite came from burning peat! Notice the Ravens and Rooks of Dunham in his painting, too, still to be seen on the Moss. They are in fact the Ravens and Rooks of Carrington because from the Middle Ages they have lived in these territories.

The Caryngtons of Carrington

Please find below an edited version of talks given on the History of Carrington Moss. Many people have requested a version that can be used as a reference point and I hope this new content, and later contributions, go some way to meeting the desire for knowledge about Medieval Carrington. All the material is free to use unless a specific copyright is stated, in which case separate permissions may be needed.

My thanks to Friends of Carrington Moss and to all who have been so supportive: historians, archaeologists and staff of archives, museums and religious establishments in London, Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Trafford, Chester and Cheshire for invaluable help. I am responsible for all views expressed C. Starkey (Dr) Research, FOCM May/June 2020.



Alongside is a summary guide when searching indexes for references to the Caryngtons of Carrington: there are exceptions. Cross-referencing is important. Example of two entries during Richard II’s reign: in 1311 (The National Archives/TNA, ref. SC 8/70/3488) a John de Carintone is part of a listed raiding party into Salford Wapentake (‘Wapentake’: administrative region like a Hundred) and in 1325 a John de Karynton is absolved of blame for an incident because he was acting under royal protection (Close Rolls, 19 Edward II, Membrane 21, November 26, 1325, p. 425,).  Names of other ‘raiders’ identical in spellings in the 1311 and 1325 sources, and clustered in other entries,  confirm both refer to the same event and person: ‘John de Carintone’ is ‘John d Karynton

Generational links are found across decades and centuries. In 1281 a John de Caretona provided important ancestral evidence relating to disputed Marcher lands and, in later decades, a John de Carynton was a significant landowner south of Chester in the Marcher region whilst still described as ‘Lord of Caryngton’. Careful cross-referencing can often, not always, ascertain or query the  authenticity of identities across a time span of years.

Caryngton, the archive spelling of the family name in the later Middle Ages, is used in commentary here, with variations including ‘Carrington’ as appropriate to sources with reference to the township.

Carrington in Cheshire: Revisiting History; Dispelling Myths

The Caryngtons of Carrington Village were a significant family who survived through more than four hundred years of important regional, national and European history. As a dynasty they participated in major economic, military, social and cultural changes of the Medieval World from c. 1170, if not before, to 1600, helping to shape the world that followed. Their dynasty for over 400 years is as important as that of the de Mascis of Dunham Massey, who survived as barons for just under 300 years. 


There is no evidence so far discovered to indicate the exact origins of the de Carynton family in Cheshire after the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Arley Charters identify c. 1170 as an initial date (cf. Beamont, p. 32).    The Caryngtons held Carrington from at least some date in the mid-twelfth century under the de Masci family, Barons of Dunham Massey. They survived beyond the death of the last baron, Hamo de Masci VI (c.1341-4) and Sir Peter Leycester’s final words on the Caryngtons of Carrington summarise their demise: “[s]ir George Booth of Dunham Massey … enjoyed Carrington’s lands, which after [Jane Caryngton’s] death [c. 1590] he recovered by a tedious suit there being no charterer at all therein [Leycester,1666: italics are mine/cs].”  (Orm, I, 542)

Arley Charters:  named after the Warburton family who moved to Arley Hall (CW9 6NA) from Warburton c. 15th century. Originally they were the Duttons, Adam de Dutton being an early member (1170). Some time after being granted Warburton they changed their name to Warburton (early 14th century). They were close acquaintances of the de Caryngton family until the demise of the Caryngton dynasty in c. 1600.

The Problem with the Booths of Dunham Massey for the Caryngtons

The chaotic state of the Dunham barony upon the death of Hamo de Masci VI c. 1342, under Edward III, indirectly led to the eventual demise of the Caryngtons. In 1321 the sixth and last de Masci mortgaged the lands of the Barony of Dunham to Oliver de Ingham, justice of Chester and steward of Gascony, in some problematic accounts, contemporary with the period, also having already committed a moiety to his son Hamo, born to Alice de Beauchamp, his second wife, before he married her. The disputed acquisition of Dunham Massey by the Booth family, almost one hundred years later, through Sir Robert Booth (1433-1437), had doubtful legality even though Caryngton was a fee of the Barony of Dunham. The Booths saw marriages as a means of acquiring land and status in Cheshire, which could explain why none of the initial charters for Caryngton survived.                                      
The penultimate John de Caryngton also compromised the Caryngton succession by marrying as his second wife Ellen Booth (1537, 29 Hen. 8/ CRO: Lib C fol.257, c), the daughter of George Booth, 5th Baron of the Booths of Dunham (d. 1531). They had a son John de Caryngton,  heir to the lordship, whose daughter, Jane Caryngton, in turn sole heir to the Caryngton estate, was married (18th Feb. 1577), aged fifteen, on the death of her father just one month before, to ‘young’ George Booth, 8th of the Booths of Dunham, aged eleven years at the time. After Jane’s death, sometime after 1590 and by 1600, this ‘Sir’ George Booth, , using the legal advocacy of Sir Edmund Anderson, obtained possession of Caryngton. Booth then married Katherine, the daughter of Anderson. From Leycester’s account it is possible that the missing original charters for the foundation of the Caryngton dynasty at Caryngton Hall, had been ‘removed’ or destroyed during the lifetime of the above Sir George Booth, husband of Jane Caryngton, sometime between 1600 and his death in 1652.

Lost/destroyed Charters: History as Fiction; Fiction as History

There are a number of contentious and fallacious ‘histories’ of the Caryngtons of Carrington and elements of these fictions have entered into the ‘lore’ of the north-east Cheshire medieval story.

Walter Arthur Copinger’s History and Records of the Smith-Carrington Family (pp. 70ff, esp. p. 76), using numerous unsupported statements, asserted that a Nottingham Smith banking family had a claim to the medieval Carynton dynasty. A ‘discovered Middle English biography of the de Caryngtons (c. 1390-1400), already transcribed by a 16th century hand’, both ‘lost’ before Copinger wrote his book, was supposedly produced by a certain John de Carington (1374-1446), a supporter of the fated Richard II. The relevant details of this ‘find’, documented in the Second Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (II, xii, App. 93-4), are first found in The Antiquities of Warwickshire by William Dugdale (1656) credited to “an ancient Manuscript” sourced from a Henry Smith of Cressing Temple, Essex (Dugdale, 601). This John, to escape the wrath of the House of Lancaster,  supposedly fled to Milan as a mercenary, c. 1400 (no date given) under the Duke of Milan (d. 1402), returning (1404) via Paris to St. Osyth in Essex,  greeted by a relation who was Abbot of the Priory, adopting the name ‘Smythe’. 

Copinger’s story and all his above sources ignored Jane Cayngton’s  marriage to young George Booth. Eventually all dates disappear from his genealogy from the later sixteenth century. It could be a piece of unidentified history: it has nothing to do with the Caryngtons of Carrington in Cheshire and the error of Copinger and others was to assume otherwise.  J. Horace Round, a respected genealogist, described the account as a “pretentious pedigree” (Round, 64). Curiously, too, this John is always spelt ‘Carington’, an infrequent medieval spelling of the  name of the Caryngtons of Carrington in Cheshire..

Lionel M. Angus-Butterworth (Butterworth, pp. 25ff) elaborated the fiction, using Dugdale, by summarising 

the idea that the Caryngtons received their manor as a gift for loyalty to William the Conqueror (again no 

sources given), when supposedly fighting alongside Hamo de Masci I at Hastings in 1066. The claim of the de Mascis at Hastings is not proven (not mentioned in the Battle Abbey Roll, itself a suspect 16th century compilation, the original lost) in many instances; and there is no evidence of the Caryngtons there. 

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066 many of the followers of William the Conqueror, as part of the ambitious nouveau riche particularly as years passed, sought validation, sometimes through fraudulent charters. Such a charter created a number of problems for one Sir William de Caryngton and his family (discussed later) relating to lands in Ashton-on-Mersey. That was relatively easy to clarify through due processes; but with the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, Welsh and Scottish Wars, civil disputes in England itself, and finally the Reformation in England, many conflicting claims for land and title acquisitions were made. 

The increasing popularity, from the early sixteenth century, for a historic validation of families through the acquisition of heraldic identity, coats of arms and crests signifying family lineages dating back to Norman origins, coincided with the demise of the civil wars of the Middle Ages between rival baronial families that were a not infrequent blood-letting means of settling disputes about land, ownership and power up to 1485 (Bosworth). With the advent of the Tudors, and under Henry VIII, the subsequent Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1541) and disbandment of religious houses released a vast pool of monastic and religious houses. Many titled families lost their lands and possessions for non-compliance with the new religious demands. Successive Tudors, with the fearsome exception of Mary Tudor, found in this vast pool of property a way of affirming a new national identity among those who hitherto would have formed their own regional factions. In this context these ‘new’, unrelated, ‘Carringtons’, surfaced. The Booths of Dunham, fiercely anti-Catholic during the English Civil War, eventually bankrupted their assets through largely failed military ventures defending their priorities.

More Myths and Some Qualifications from stone monuments

Copinger echoed Dugdale’s story that a Sir Michael de Carynton became Standard Bearer to Richard I at the Battle of Acre (1191) in the Third Crusade. There is no evidence for this Sir Michael. The only reference to a standard bearer at the battle is found in an almost contemporary chronicle which mentions “Henricus Teutonicus, regis signifier” [“Henry the German, the king’s standard bearer”], one of Richard’s ten companions (Ricardi, Liber vi, ch. 22, p. 415). Horace Round firmly dismissed this Sir Michael, using Cokayne’s account (GEC, 167-9),  as a ‘cock-and-bull’ story (Round, 23) . St John the Baptist Collegiate Church, Chester, the original cathedral church of Norman Chester, dating back to pre-Norman times, safeguards the mutilated effigy of the cross-legged knight known as the ‘Carrington Knight’ (rear of the nave, north aisle). The significance of a cross-legged knight as a ‘Crusader-Knight’ is debated: Edward III is seen with crossed legs when he bestows the Duchy of Aquitaine on Edward, Prince of Wales (1362/British Library). The Carrington effigy  dates from  late 13th c. to late 14th c.(cf. Lysons in Magna Britannia v.II, pt.ii, p. 445,  places the effigy in the 13th century). Its mutilated state resulted either from a roof fire, a suggestion of the cathedral archaeologist (2019); or from vandalism during the Reformation; or from the Civil War when the church was used as a garrison by Cromwell (Rector’s suggestions). The shield, now lost, reputedly displayed the Caryngton coat-of-arms [Lysons, II, ii, 445; cs/see insert] and one finds stone chisel marks on the side of the torso between the shoulder and elbow of the upturned left arm, suggesting that the shield, removed from the left of the effigy, was destroyed in the process. His gloved right hand clasps what would have been his sword’s hilt, the blade’s scabbard still nestled in the draped surcoat reaching to his ankles. He was about six feet tall.

The only possible extant physical record of the Caryngtons is found on the medieval external stonework above the keystone of the east window, St Michael’s church, Flixton, which was used by the tenants of the Caryngtons, reached by the original bridge across the River Mersey at the southern end of the present B5158 (‘Mile Road’).   The weather-worn stone-carved image of three lozenges, part of the de Caryngton crest, can be found over the external arch of the window: the stone was preserved during rebuilding of the east wall (V.C.H. V, 42-5).  As a caution, this suggestion is not found in any of the aforementioned historians’ accounts. 

The Sources on which the History of the Caryngton Family can be based.

Along with the extensive archives of the Barony of Dunham including Carrington at John Rylands Library (GB 133 EGR) and the work of Beamont in his transcribed and translated version of the Arley Charters (BAL), the key initial texts to be followed here are: the transcript of Leycester’s Cheshire Antiquities (Orm I) which details the Caryngton family (Ibid, pp.542-4; and passim in Orm I). Leycester (1672) was followed in 1701 by Dr Edward Williamson’s Villare Cestriense (ms. at Cheshire Record Office/CRO), transcribed in English and continued by Dr John Stones of Coddington in 1739, giving the origins of the Caringtons (his spelling) as of “Henry 2 s” time, citing Gilbert and William de Carington as witnesses (see later below) to an early charter. Williamson follows Leycester in mentioning the long legal suit of the Booths to acquire the Carrington manor and lands c. 1600. John Parson Earwaker’s East Cheshire: Past and Present; a History of the Hundred of Macclesfield from Original Records (Earwaker, London, 1847-89) is a compendious major contribution to the sources relating to the Caryngton family. They held extensive interests in the Hundred of Macclesfield from their manor in Carrington. In 1866 William Beamont’s Arley Charters, a Calendar of Ancient Family Charters Preserved at Arley Hall brought together some of the key charters in transcript relating to the medieval history of Cheshire including charters in which the Caryngton family figured significantly (McCorquodale & Co., 1866).  George Ormerod’s History of the County Palatine and City of Chester (2nd ed., London, Routledge, 1882, in 3 vols) was the earliest full-length study of the available evidence for the history of Cheshire, using charters and major collections (Harley, Arley, etc.) relating to Carrington. Later historians have been dismissive of the focus upon pedigree and genealogy in some sections of these studies, but without the exhaustive work of Ormerod and his predecessors, much of later scholarship would still be searching for archive material possibly otherwise lost. 

Caryngton/Carrington Place-Name and Origins: Toponomy and Etymology 

Toponomy: – Lionel M. Angus-Butterworth claimed (Butterworth, pp. 25ff, “Caryngton of Carington”) that the Caryngton name came from Carentan in the Cherbourg Peninsula. Etymologically both Cheshire and Cherbourg names have related Celtic roots: archives show this spelling for the family (Letters of Protection and Muster Rolls use both Carentan and Caryngton for the same person during the Hundred Years’ War); but the variant spellings, when identified with the township of Carrington, indicate more a ‘normanisation’ of a northern Mercian Anglo-Saxon name. The suffix ‘ton’ (farmstead, dwelling-place) in Anglo-Saxon place-names locates Carrington in a geographic line of Norton, Warrington, Rixton, Warburton, Partington, Ashton, Barton, Urmston and Flixton.  Copinger also dismisses Butterfield’s claim. 

The French place-name ‘Carentan’ comes, in fact, from the Roman name Carentomagus, indicating a long independent history in Normandy.  Butterworth could have mis-translated an item from The Great Roll of the Pipe (PR, 21. Hen. II, p.  27). This refers to a monetary ‘Account’ de Carentonehđr perhaps mistakenly seen as a reference to Carenton whereas it refers to Carentone Hundred, a Somerset location now called Carhampton (General Introduction to Domesday, Henry Ellis, vol. 1, p.261; 21 Hen II , Accounts for Dorset and Somerset). This possibility is suggested by the fact that just above this entry is the name Willo de Kenetenora (PR, p. 26). Possibly this name could have been confused  with William de  Caryngton. Kenetenora could be an early name for Kenn in Somerset: it has no connection with William de Caryngton. This example illustrates both the potential for confusion and also for possibly irrelevant research in attempts to understand where confusions have arisen. This becomes important when errors, as here, also recur in later histories of the subject. 

Carr Etymology 

Carr is a recurrent element in north-east Cheshire and Lancashire place-names. Close to Carrington is Carr Lane, by Carr Green Croft on the 1838/42 Tithe Maps.  Carr, in Old Norse, indicates a ‘boggy’ or ‘marshy’ landscape which fits Carrington completely. Carr Lane, Alderley Edge, an old trackway, runs through typically flat, boggy land within one and a quarter mile of Lindow Moss. Some topographical accounts have suggested a name from an Anglo-Saxon personal name which is impossible to verify.

Carr also indicates, in Anglo-Saxon, a ‘place of rocks’ (cf. Welsh careg, a stone), not immediately obvious for Carrington Moss; but David Cox’s 1852 painting On Carrington Moss, the only image we have of the Moss before the purchase by Manchester Corporation in 1886, shows rock deposits at the forefront of his scene.  Large erratic (wandering) boulders were found in their final/original resting place along ancient courses now feeding as rivers and tributaries into and around the Moss. The Roch, Irk, Medlock, Etherow, Corn Brook, Goyt and their tributaries were shaped by glacial activity from the Lakes. The River Mersey from the Peaks and River Irwell from the Pennines funnelled the water courses of the Great Ice Melt and the prefix Carr could reflect a topography now lost to us. The discovery of the ‘University’ boulder 28 feet below Oxford Road excavations for sewers near the River Medlock, in February 1888, suggests a long-hidden history of vast ice movements, so many millenia beforehand, with their powerful sources in the Lake District.

THE CARYNGTONS OF CARRINGTON (to be expanded with further sections of the history). 

Selected Bibliography and Sources.

Sources: – Research: –  Archives: The National Archives, British Library, John Rylands Library, Cheshire Record Office. 

Texts:  Mss in Latin, French, Middle English for various Rolls, Charters, Inquisitions, Indictments, Letters of Protection and Muster Rolls; transcripts of original sources in printed editions (some online) from Chetham’s Library, Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society, William Salt Collection (Derbyshire). 

The Battle Abbey Roll with some account of the Norman Lineages, 3 vols., ed. Duchess of Cleveland, London, John Murray, 1889. Vol. III has a useful summary of branches of the Massey family. No reference to de Masci/Massey at Hastings in 1066; abbr. BAR. 

Beamont, William ed., Arley Charters, A Calendar of Ancient Family Charters…; London, McCorquodale, 1866; abbr. BAL.

Calendar of Close Rolls, 19 Edward II, Membrane 21, November 26, 1325, Public Record Office, pub. 1898; abbr. Close Rolls, 19 Ed.II

Chester Record Office: a large holding of medieval documents, heraldries  and copies of publications; abbr. CRO.

Dugdale, Sir William, rev. (the 2nd ed. Wm Thomas and Henry Beighton also consulted, p. 810);  main original text used: The Antiquities of Warwickshire; illustrated from Records, Leiger-Books, Manuscripts, Charters, Evidences, Tombes, and Armes: beautified with maps, prospects, and portraictures, Vol. II, p. 601b; 1656, London, Thomas Warren. Note: this entry and the associated Herald’s Visitations have to be read with extreme caution because some pedigrees are either fraudulent or unverifiable from known medieval sources; abbr. Dugdale.

Earwaker, John Parson, East Cheshire: Past and Present; a History of the Hundred of Macclesfield from Original Records, London, 1847-89; abbr. Earwaker.

The Great Roll of the Pipe, for the Twenty-First Year of the Reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1174-1175 from the Original in the Custody of the Right Hon. the Master of the Rolls (The Pipe Society, London, 1897); abbr. PR. <plus Regnal Year>. 

Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, Liber vi, ch. 22; in  Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi [The Itinerary of the Travels and the Deeds of King Richard I], ed. William Stubbs, London, Longman, 1864: the original text is from Geoffrey de Vinsauf [intro.] and Richard de Tempo, a London cleric, AD 1220; the section deals with the Third Crusade and the Battle of Acre; abbr. Ricardi.

Lysons, Daniel, Magna Britannia: The County Palatine of Chester, Vol II, Part II,  London, Cadell and Davies, 1810, p. 812; abbr. Lysons 

Ormerod, George, The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester… with a Republication of “King’s Vale Royal and Leycester’s Cheshire Antiquities, 1st pub. 1672; 2nd enl. ed. Thomas Helsby, Vol. I; 1816-9; repr. in 3 volumes, London, Routledge, 1882: the edition used here, p. 542; abbr. Orm, I.

John Rylands Library, Univ. of Manchester, has an excellent synopsis of the Massey, Caryngtons, Booths and Stamfords history as an introduction to its collection of papers including the original charters. Grey (Stamford) of Dunham Massey Papers, Elgar: ref. GB 133 EGR..

The National Archives (Indictment Rolls; Muster Rolls; Court of Star Chamber); abbr. TNA.

Williamson, Dr Edward, Villare Cestriense, 1701; cont. by continued by Dr John Stones of Coddington in 1739; manuscript Chester Record Office.

Histories (some references below, not used in this first instalment, will be found in later pages). They are found in alphabetical order beneath the first list. 

Angus-Butterworth, Lionel M. (Old Cheshire Families and Their Seats, Manchester, Sherratt and Hughes, 1932; abbr. Butterworth.

Cokayne, George Edward, The Complete Peerage, vol. II, 1889, George Bell & Sons,1889; abbr. GEC

Copinger, Walter Arthur, History and Records of the Smith-Carrington Family, London, Henry Southeran, 1907.

Farrer, W., Brownbill, J., Victoria County History, Vol. 5, London, Constable, 1911 (available on British History Online); abbr.VCH

Round, J. Horace, Studies in Peerage and Family History, Westminster, Archibald Constable & Col, 1901; abbr. Round.

Second Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (London, 1874; refs: II, xii, Appendix/pages 93-4).

For later pages: – Morgan, Philip, War and Society in Medieval Cheshire 1277-1403, Chetham Society, 3rd ser., vol. 34, 1987.