The Andertons of Lancashire remained a staunch catholic family after the English Reformation. They suffered persecution on numerous occasions because of their religion.
St. John Rigbye, son of Margaret Anderton of Euxton
Margaret ANDERTON (Hugh of Euxton's daughter) married Nicholas Rigbye of Harrock Hall in 1508. One of their younger sons was St. John Ribye. John Rigbye, son of Margaret Anderton, was martyred in 1600. He was hung, drawn and quartered in London. When being dragged through the streets to his execution he is quoted as saying "I am a poor gentleman of the House of Harrock of Lancashire. My judgement and condemnation to this death is that I said I was reconciled to the Catholic Church and refused to go to the State Church".
A Benedictine Monk
Thomas ANDERTON (1611-1671) 6th son of William of Euxton above. He became a Benedictine monk at St. Edmund's in Paris in 1630, ordained priest in 1636 and in 1640 became Prior of St. Edmund's. From 1661-1666 he was Prior of St. Benedict's monestary in Sant Malo and again Prior of St. Edmund's in Paris from 1668-1669. He was sent on the English Mission and died at Saxton Hall in Yorkshire. He wrote "History of the Iconoclasts during the Reign of the Emperors Leo Isaureus, Constantin Copronimus, Leo IV, Constantin and Irene, Leo the Armenian, Michael Balbus, Thoephilus, Michael III and Theodora" in 1671.
A Family with many Monks & Nuns
Many of the Andertons became monks and nuns.
Illegal Catholic Publications
Roger ANDERTON of Birchley Hall. (d 1640). Brother of James and uncle of Lawrence. He was a Catholic layman, four of his sisters were nuns. He edited catholic publications in secret like the works by his nephew Laurence and others.
Laurence ANDERTON (nephew of Roger above) wrote "The Protestant's Apologie" under the pseudonym of "John Brerely, priest".
Read all about the life and works of Laurence Anderton in the article submitted by Alan Anderton.
Martyr for the faith
Robert ANDERTON (1560-1586). Priest and martyr. He matriculated in Brasenose College, Oxford in 1578. Then went to college in Reims in 1580. On returning to England he was siezed and questioned. When asked if he would fight against the Pope, he acknowledged Elizabeth as his lawful queen, but said he would not fight against the Pope. He was hung drawn and quartered (possibly in the Isle of Wight).
Fined for the Faith
After the reformation, attendance of Church of England services was compulsory. Many of Lancashire's Catholic gentry families refused to comply with this law and the Andertons appear frequently on the lists of rucusants of the time. In 1586, for example, Alice ANDERTON (a widow) was fined 250 pounds on the rucusancy rolls.
The American Anderton Legend
There seems to be a family legend or tradition among many American Andertons who have contacted me which says that the Andertons came to American to escape the religious persecution they were suffering in England. It seems they hoped to set up a Catholic Colony in the New World, possibly in Maryland If you have any information about this legend or have this story in your Anderton family, please contact me with the details so that I can include them on these pages.
Ince Catholic Chapel
The Ince Anderton family built a Roman Catholic chapel at Ince near Wigan which was in operation from 1760-1818.
Burscough RC Church
The priest at Burscough Roman Catholic Church from 1836-1849 was a Rev. J. Anderton. His initials (J.A.) appear engraved on a barn opposite the church at Burscough Hall.
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