James I. visited Lancashire, and the famous Book of Sports was the answer to a petition presented to him at Houghton Tower in August. The proclamation was drawn up by Bishop Morton at Preston, and the King altered it from the style of a bishop to that of a king, and issued it from the court at Greenwich. It has several times been printed. (Axon’s Lancashire Gleanings.) His Majesty, in this memorable document, proceeds to state that “for his good people’s lawful recreation, his pleasure is that, after the end of divine service, his good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or women; archery (for men), leaping, vaulting, or any such harmless recreation; nor from having of May-games, Whitson-ales, and morice dances, and the setting up of May-poles, and other sports therewith used, &c.” And he “bars from this benefit and liberty all such known recusants, either men or women, as will abstain from coming to church.” This proclamation gave great offence to the Puritans.
Robert Radcliffe, of Radcliffe, gentleman, died March 26; survived by his wife, Susanna, and son Edward, aged 13. He held (under Sir Richard Assheton) 3 messuages, 4 cottages, 7 gardens, 2 orchards, 30 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 40 acres of pasture, and 10 acres of wood, with the appurtenances, in Radcliffe; also property in Manchester and Salford.(9)