Richard Gough’s book The History of Myddle has got some pretty horrific behaviour, in it, which leads me to think it was a pretty rough area, but it does cover a long period of time, and there are a lot of people coming and going, and he often names people and says they were good and honest but nothing to record, so like today I suppose.
“William Bickley was a faire dealing person, and well to passe, but hee was unfortunate in his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of William Tyler, of Balderton. Shee was more commendable for her beauty than her chastity, and was the ruin of the family.
William Bickley had 2 sones – Thomas and William, and 3 daughters – Mary, Elizabeth, and Susan. Thomas practised his father’s virtues, William imitated his Grandfather’s villanyes, and the 3 daughters followed the mother’s vices.
Susan the youngest daughter had a bastard by John Billingsly Vicker of Kinnerley. This Billingslye was born in Merriton… Hee went into Ireland in his youth, and it is sayed he was a mountebanke there. Hee returned into England about 20 years past, and came to bee parson of Preston Gobballs for a while, and then went to bee curate to Dr Fulke, at Kinnerley, and att last came to bee Vicker there. Hee produced his ordination by a Scottish Bishop: but it was thought to be a piece of forgery. Hee marryed a kinswoman of these Bickleys, and when shee lay in childbedde, this Susan went to tend her, and then this Billingsley gott her with child. Soone after this the Parishioners preferred many articles against him which were proved, and he was silenced, and went out of this country. Susan came to Myddle, and lived ther with her mother, and there was brought a bedde, and not long after shee and her mother dyed togeather, what tyme a vyolent feaver raged in Myddle; and this parish maintained the bastard.