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  Tonge, Prestwich, Salford Hundred  :   Extract from Victoria County History, Vol. 5, pg. 85.


Tonge, 1392, usual Tong, 1482.

This township occupies, as it name implies, a tongue of land between the Irk on the north and its affluent , the Wince Brook, on the south.  The area is 392 acres.  The surface is mostly above the 300 ft. level - 360 ft. is reached at Mills Hill (1) - sloping down to the streams named.  The population in 1901 was included with Middleton. (2)

The principal roads are those branching out from Middleton, to the east to Oldham and to the south-east to Hollinwood and Failsworth.  Dwelling-houses have spread out along these roads, so that the township has long been a suburb of Middleton, to which borough it was added for local government purposes in 1861.(3)  In 1894 Tonge lost its status as a Township and became completely merged in Middleton. (3b)

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's line from Manchester to Rochdale passes through the eastern side, with a branch to Middleton, opened in 1857.  From this the part of Tonge called Middleton Junction takes its name, though the junction itself is in Chadderton.  Middleton station is in Tonge.  A light railway is laid along the road from Middleton to Oldham.  The Manchester to Rochdale canal touches the eastern border.

In this township there were only fifteen hearths liable to the tax in 1666; no house had more that two.(4)

Originally TONGE seems to have been a part of Alkrington, and is not called a manor.  It was, therefore, part of the Prestwich lands, and does not come into notice for some time after these lands had descended to the Langleys of Agecroft.  In 1390 a Henry de Alkrington died, holding of the king by knight's service  two messuages and certain lands in Alkrington called Tonge.  (5)  From the inquisition and subsequent pleadings  it appears that Henry was descended from Thomas the son of Adam de Prestwich, whose daughters and heirs left no legitimate offspring (6).  It would appear that Thomas had a natural son named Henry for whom he made provision  by granting this outlying part of his manor of Alkrington.  Henry's son  Henry died , as stated, in 1390, leaving a son Henry only  eighteen months old (7).  He proved his age in 1412, and had livery of his lands;(8) afterwards he took Tonge as his surname, and his descendents continues in possession until the 18th century.

Henry de Tonge in 1437-8 laid claim to the Prestwich inheritance, but illegitimacy was asserted as a defense (9).  He died before 1470, when his son Richard had to claim his inheritance against  Thomas Langley of Agecroft, who had expelled him. (10) The suit was still proceeding in 1482, when John Langley and Richard Tonge stated their claims (11).  In 1498 Richard assigned a portion of his lands in Tonge to feofees in view of the marriage of his son Thomas with Margaret daughter of Thomas Newton; he died two years afterwards, holding various lands of the king as Duke of Lancaster , by knight's service.  His son and heir Thomas was the eighteen years of age. (12)

1.  O.S.

2. Pop. Ret. 1901.

3. By the Middleton and Tonge Improvement Act.

3b. By Local Govt. Bd. Order 31625 of 1894.

4. Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs.

5. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 57, 58, where several illustrative documents are printed.

In Feb. 1356-7, Henry son of Henry son of Thomas  demanded against John de Radcliffe the elder and Joan his wife, 24 acres in Prestwich; and against Alice , widow of Thomas Prestwich, 12 acres in the same town; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 4.

6. See the account of Prestwich

7. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.) , i, 57.  Henry the son was baptised in Middleton Church, 5 Oct. 1388.

8. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 174.

9. Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 58

10. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 37, m. 12d; Henry Tonge father of Richard, was seized of two messuages , 50 acres of land , 6 acres of meadow, and 4 acres of wood called Tonge, in the vill of Prestwich, and of 100 acres of moor called Tonge Moor.  After the death of Henry, Richard entered , until Thomas Langley, John Langley and others expelled him.  The Langleys, in reply, quoted the fine of 1313 respecting the descent of the Prestwich lands.

In 1450 -1 Richard Tonge, yeoman, had been charged with  felony by Thomas Langley; ibid. R. 17, m. 16.  Later, Richard had to complain that Edmund Ashton and various others of Chadderton had taken turf in his several turbary; ibid. R. 51, m. 7d.

Abstracts of the Tonge title deeds are contained in Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xiii, 172-81.

11.  Agecroft D. 85; the fine of 1313 was again referred to, and Richard Tonge asserted the legitimacy of his descent from Thomas son of Alice de Wolveley.  See also Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. file 22 Edw. IV, a.

12.  Duch of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 81; the estate is described as three messuages, 50 acres of land, &c., and 100 acres of moss and moor called Tonge Moor alias Tonge in Prestwich.   The bounds of the portion given to the daughter-in-law;s trustees mentioned  the 'little oak marked', the 'water of Irk,' and the Fyne meadow in Middleton.  Richard died 19 Apr. 1500;  his son reached eighteen years of age on the following Michaelmas, and was already married.