Hough Hall and the Mosley Family

Hough Hall, commonly called Hough’s End and pronounced Ouse-End, although now situated in the township of Withington, is a place of great local interest, hence this allusion to it. The place is so called from the Anglo-Saxon ‘hof’, a dwelling, and ‘ende’, a boundary, the hall standing close to the boundary line of the townships of Chorlton cum Hardy and Withington.
For several generations this was the seat of the Mosley family, but now the chief residence of the family is Rolleston Hall in Staffordshire, which they took possession of about the middle of the 17th century. The family descended from Robert Mosley, the possessor of a burbage in Manchester in the reign of Edward IV. Jenkyn Mosley, gentleman, resided here in 1465, by whom it is supposed the first hall was built, probably in the ancient style of wood and plaster, so characteristic of this period, although no reference to the building can be traced. He was succeeded by his son James Mosley, who attained his majority in 1490. This gentleman was followed by his son Edward, who married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Elcocke of Stockport, and died in 1571, leaving three sons, Oswald, Nicholas and Anthony.
At this time a spirit of commercial enterprise had diffused itself throughout the land, and the two younger sons of Edward Moseley, Nicholas and Anthony, embarked in trade in Manchester. The business prospered, and it was determined that one of them should take up his residence in London in order to direct the exportation of such of their goods as were destined for foreign markets. Nicholas accordingly proceeded thither, and success still attending his efforts, he quickly advanced in fame and fortune.
In 1599 he was elected to the high position of Lord Mayor of London, during which he received the honour of a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty presented him at the same time with a handsomely carved oak bedstead, and other articles of furniture, for the new house which he had recently erected at Hough End, on the site of the old mansion. In 1596 he purchased the Manor of Manchester from John Lacy, citizen of London.
In conformity with a custom at that time prevalent, and it is stated, in compliment to his son Edward, then rising into note as a barrister, he changed his name from Moseley to Mosley, so that it might better harmonise with the motto he had recently adopted – ‘Mos legem regit’ (customer or precedent rules the law). In 1604 he was appointed High Sheriff of the County of Lancaster. Sir Nicholas was twice married: his first wife being Margaret, daughter rof Hugh Whitbroke, of Bridgnorth, by whom he had issue Rowland, who was his eldest son and successor; Anthony, whose dissolute habits greatly estranged him from his friends; and Edward, who became distinguished in his profession, receiving the appointment of Attorney-General of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the honour of knighthood in 1614. He was the purchaser of Rolleston estate. Sir Nicholas had other children who died in their infancy. He married secondly, in 1592, Elizabeth, daughter of John Rookes, and relict of Mr Hendley, who survived him. His later years were passed at Hough End, where he died in 1612 at the advanced age of 85. He was buried at Didsbury, in the Mosley Chapel, at the south side of the chancel, a handsome monument, still in existence, being erected to his memory by his widow. Elizabeth, the second wife of Sir Nicholas Mosley, survived her husband about five years, and dying in 1617, was also buried at Didsbury.
Rowland Mosley then succeeded to the estate. He married, first Anne, daughter of Humphrey Houghton, and was left a widower in 1613 with only one surviving child, a daughter named Margaret. Within a year of his wife’s death he married a second time. Anne, daughter of Francis Sutton, sister of co-heiress of Richard Sutton of Salop, by whom he left issue an only son, Edward, born in 1616, heir also to his uncle, Sir Edward Mosley of Rolleston. Rowland Mosley was High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1616, in which year he died. He was succeeded by his only son, Edward, who was a staunch adherent to the Royal cause in the civil dissensions which agitated the country during the reign of Charles I. In 1642 he placed Alport Lodge, one of his residences, situate in Deansgate, Manchester, at the disposal of Lord Strange, when that nobleman laid siege to Manchester in the King’s name. In the following year he joined a detachment of the Royalist forces, and, suffering defeat near Middlewich, was taken prisoner. After his release his estates were sequestrated but afterwards restored to him by Parliament on payment of a fine of £4874.
His attachment to the Royal cause entailed upon him other heavy losses. He advanced money on several occasions for the King’s use, and his property at Alport sustained much injury, the house being burned to the ground during the siege of Manchester. In 1640 he was created a Baronet, and two years later was appointed High Sheriff of the County of Stafford. He died at Hough’s End in 1657 having impoverished himself greatly by his own extravagance. During his lifetime he appears to have borrowed about £4000 from Humphrey Chatham, and the mother and sister of Sir Edward became sureties for its repayment. The loan carried interest at the rate of 8% per annum, and after several years of litigation a verdict was given in favour of the plaintiff.
Sir Edward Mosley was succeeded by his son Edward, the second baronet of the name, then in his minority, but who in 1661 reached his majority. This representative of the family purchased the Hulme Hall Estate from the Prestwich family. He married Katherine, daughter of William Lord Grey, of Wark, and dying without issue in 1665, brought to a close the male line in direct descent from Sir Nicholas Mosley, the Lord Mayor of London.
The estate then fell into the hands of Edward Mosley, second son of Oswald Mosley, of Ancoats, and grandson of Anthony Mosley, the younger brother of Sir Nicholas. Scarcely had he taken possession when he was menaced on all sides by threats of legal proceedings, as to the validity of the will, which were speedily carried into execution, but after much contention, terms were agreed upon a partition of the estates took place. He was knighted by William III in 1689 and died six years later, leaving an only daughter and heiress, named Anne, wife of Sir James Bland. Sir John, after his marriage in 1685, gave early indications of a love of dissipation, and by his addition to the gaming-table reduced himself to the verge of ruin. He died in 1715. Lady Bland died in 1734. She was succeeded by her son, who bore his father’s name and shared his vices, and through his extravagances the property was sold about 1751, the purchasers being the Egertons of Tatton.
The present Hough End Hall was erected in the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth and though of modest proportions, may yet be considered a fair example of the style of architecture of the period. At the present day, with its ivy-covered walls, clustered chimneys, and gabled roof, it presents a picturesque and pleasing appearance. The building is entirely of brick, with stone dressings, comprising a centre with a bay at each end, the walls of which are a little advanced from the main structure. The latter is of three storeys, lighted with square-headed windows, divided into lights by substantial stone mullions. The upper structure is tabled and ornamented with the usual ball ornament of the period. The centre is of two storeys only, similar in character to those just described, and surmounted by a parapet forming a triplet gable. The entrance appears to have been originally by a gabled porch at the east end of the building, but this has since been built up and its place supplied by a doorway opening in the south front. The hall is at present occupied by Samuel Lomas, whose nephew farms the surrounding land, and was previously in the occupation of Henry Jackson.

This document was written in1900. Author unknown. 

Copyright © 2008 Anthony F Walker
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