Charnock Richard has been known by the following names:
- Schernoc, 1288
- Chernok Richard
- Chernoke, 1292
The village was named in the early 13th century by the local landowner, who gave the township his first name of Richard, to distinguish it from neighbouring Heath Charnock. There are several hamlets: Charnock in the south, Charnock Green and Bolton Green to the north, and Dob Brow to the east.
Charnock was within the barony of Penwortham, and was given to Randle de Marsey (son of Roger de Marsey) by Warine Bussell . in future years it became held by the Lords of Leylandshire.
In 1242, Charnock was given as the 4th part of a knight’s fee by the heir of Robert Banastre. The village was then given to Henry de Lea by William Banastre. The family of Henry de Lea were not related to the Banastre’s however they gave the village the epithet of Richard.
In 1284, Henry de Lea obtained a royal charter for a market every Friday at his manor of Charnock, and an annual fair on Christmas Eve through till Boxing Day. He also allowed the villagers free roam over his land during this period. This led to the formation of Park Hall. Like the other Lea manors, it descended to the Hoghtons of Hoghton Tower, and in 1606 was acquired by Richard Hoghton, an illegitimate son of a former Sir Richard, who had probably settled him there at first. Richard Hoghton of Park Hall died in 1622 holding the portion of the manor of Charnock Richard, with various lands, water-mill, dovecote, of Richard Shireburne and Edward Rigby. Also other lands in Welch Whittle, Heskin, Chorley, Euxton and Lancaster. Richard’s son Alexander had died before his father so Park Hall descended to Richard’s younger son William.
This branch of the family were Roman Catholics and William Hoghton supported the king’s cause on the outbreak of the Civil War. He was made a lieutenant-colonel, but fell at the first battle of Newbury in 1643. The estates were hidden by Parliament, and in 1652 John Hoghton, William’s son and heir, petitioned for an allowance from his inheritance.
The estates, unfortunately, were sold under the third Confiscation Act of 1652, but were regained in future years. John Hoghton recorded a family tree in 1664, and his son William who was born in 1659, married the daughter and heir of Robert Dalton of Thurnham. Their son John took the name and arms of Dalton about 1710, and his descendants have retained possession of Thurnham. Park Hall was sold by the Daltons in the late 18th century.
Richard Prescott German was the owner in 1836, Mrs. Alison in 1869, & Mr. Henry Alison, great-grandson of the purchaser in 1789.
Little can be said about other owners of Charnock Richard. Richard de Charnock, who appears in 1242, had before 1284 been succeeded by Henry de Charnock. In 1292 William de Lea and Henry de Charnock were lords of the village.
In 1304, Adam de Charnock was married to Joan de Molyneux. Adam was succeeded by his son Henry. The succession for some time is uncertain, but in 1427–8 Richard de Hoghton and Henry de Charnock were Lords of Charnock. The next to appear is Robert Charnock, living in 1491 and 1498, who was succeeded by his son William, with his son and heir being Henry.
Henry Charnock died in 1534 holding the portion of the manor of Charnock Richard of the Earl of Derby, Lord Mounteagle, and Richard Shireburne & lands in Chorley, Speke, Hindley and Much Woolton. His grandson Thomas, son of Robert Charnock, was the heir. Thomas Charnock died in 1571 holding the portion of the manor, and leaving a son and heir Robert. John Charnock, a younger son of Thomas, was implicated in the Babington plot, and executed for high treason in 1586, being hanged till he was dead.
Robert Charnock obtained a general pardon on the accession of James I. He married five times, and by his last marriage had a son and heir Thomas, who married Bridget Molyneux. A family tree was recorded in 1613, when Robert, his son Thomas and grandson Robert, were all living. Robert Charnock died in 1616 holding the manor as before, and leaving his son Thomas to succeed him.
Thomas Charnock died in 1648 and his son Robert had had his estates hidden by Parliament. He left a daughter and heir Margaret, who by 1732, survived both her husbands—Richard Brooke & John Gillibrand. The portion of the manor of Charnock Richard descended with the issue of her first marriage, and the late T. Townley-Parker of Cuerden was the representative of the family.
Other members of the Charnock family had lands in the township along with other families such as:
It is believed that the Hospitallers had land in Charnock Richard from an early time.
The wives of Robert Charnock and of Edward Worthington were landowners in 1542–3. In 1564 it was the wives of Robert Charnock and John Waring.
Jane Foster, widow, William Crichlow and Elizabeth Parker, asked to be allowed to compound for their estates in 1653–4. Several ‘Papists’ registered their estates in 1717. Robert Dalton (double assessed), Peter Brooke and Thomas Lawe were the chief contributors to the land tax of 1783; in 1798 the names were — Mr. Dalton (sic), Mr. Parker’s heirs and Mr. Low’s heirs.
The village’s church, Christ Church, was erected in 1860.