The Scofield family of Rochdale took their name from the estate of Schofield. First mention of the family is around 1310 when 'John de Scolefield' is witness to a charter (Coucher Book of Whalley, p.692). John son of John de Scolfeld is recorded as witness to a charter in 1321 (Coucher Book of Whalley, p.634). In 1340 the same John de Scholefeld is witness to a grant of land in Burnley to the Monastery of Whalley (Coucher Book of Whalley, p.326). The poll tax of 1380 shows a John del Schofelt, his wife, and sons Thomas and John Schofelt.
In a land dispute with his distant cousin Hugh Schofeld in 1537, James Scofield of Schofield placed his pedigree into evidence at the Duchy court:
'James Schofeld' (the plaintiff) son and heir of 'Hugh Schofeld' son and heir of 'James Schofeld' son and heir of 'John de Schofeld' son and heir of 'John de Schofeld' (1272-1307)
According to William Flower's Visitation of Lancashire, 1567, Cuthbert Scofield was son of the above-mentioned James Scofield and Anne Lathom, daughter of Edward Lathom of Parbold.
Sometime prior to 1561 Cuthbert Scofield married Ann Halgh, the illegitimate daughter of Sir John Byron and Ann the wife of George Halgh of Halgh, near Manchester, a gentleman. In 1561 Cuthbert filed a suit in the Bishop's Court of Chester for a divorce from "the Lady Birron's daughter" on the plea of adultery.
According to depositions by a tailor employed by Cuthbert Scofield and Helen Scofield (Cuthbert's 23 year old sister), both witnesses to the incident, Mrs. Scofield and Michael Goodricke were alone in an upper chamber of Schofield Hall while Cuthbert was away with his mother at the Rochdale market. Cuthbert returned and "got to his sword" in an attempt to slay Michael Goodricke and Ann Scofield who both escaped out a window.
Other depositions state that Mrs. Scofield lived with her mother, the Lady Byron, awhile but left suddenly one night. William Lathom of Aigburth in Childwell and his wife deposed that Michael Goodricke, a relation of the Lathoms of Allerton and Parbold, "brought a gentlewoman" into their house whom he called his wife and they stayed there for two months while waiting for passage to Ireland. Upon discovering she was Mr. Scofield's wife, they "presentlie rid ye house of them." Michael Goodricke and Ann Scofield soon afterward left for Ireland. Ann Scofield's friends testified that Cuthbert was remarkable for "hys hatrid that he bare vnto women" and his numerous infidelities, particularly with Ann Collins who bore his illegitimate child, caused Mrs. Scofield to leave him (Lanc. MSS cited in Derby Household Books, Chetham, XXXI).
Cuthbert Scofield also had children out of wedlock with Jane Langley (referred to by some in this forum as Joney): Alexander Scofield, born 1588, and John Scofield, born 1590.
Since Cuthbert did not have any legitimate heirs, his estate along with Schofield Hall went to his nephew, Gerrard Scofield.
Gerrard Scofield married Mary Linney on 10 March 1602 at Rochdale and by 1626 he held the estates of Schofield Hall, The Round House, The Holt, and Booth Hollins. He died in 1638 passing Schofield Hall on to his son and heir James Scofield. James was the last Scofield to inhabit the family's ancestral home. In 1673, James Scofield had become very poor and sold Schofield Hall to Seth Clayton, Esq.
Cuthbert's illegitimate son Alexander Scofield, under the guardianship of Cuthbert Holdsworth, sued his cousin Gerrard in 1601 for the Manor of The Holt. Ownership of The Holt was due to revert to Cuthbert Scofield upon the death of its current owner, Jane Grimshawe. Alexander claimed his father made an arrangement with Gerrard in 1583 that The Holt would be Alexander's for a term of ninety-nine years after the death of Mrs. Grimshawe. Alexander lost the case and it passed on to Gerrard Scofield's heirs.
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