Schofield – the Place and the Name

I got a request for early references to the name “Schofield” so here is some information.

Schofield, in East Rochdale was in the township of Butterworth. Schofield was also adopted as a surname, let’s trace the roots of the Schofield family and the place back to Medieval times. As usual Fishwick’s History of Rochdale is a good place to start, it’s freely available online.  Fishwick covered the pedigree of the Schofield family name in the chapter on the Old Houses and Families of Butterworth.

Schofield Family

This information was deposited in the Duchy of Lancashire Court on 1537 as evidence of  James Scholfield’s claim to lands in “Wittaker”.

What does Schofield mean?

The modern study of Lancashire place-names started with Ekwall’s Placenames of Lancashire.  This is the most comprehensive survey, but it is not the latest work on Lancashire place-names and some of Ekwall’s work is disputed.

Ekwall on Schofield

“Scholefleld, or Schofield : de Scholfele 1212 LI, de Scolefeld 1374 LF, Scolfeld 1582 DL. O.N. skdli ” hut ” &nd field. “

So a “hut in a field” is the probable meaning., with the Old Norse word for hut being the first element in the name.

LI is an abbreviation for:

LI : Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids. Ed. W. Farrer. Record Soc. xlviii, liv. 

Other Early References to Schofield

Both the Lancashire and Greater Manchester record offices also have documents of interest as does Touchstones in Rochdale.


The black Book of Clayton (Bodleian Library) includes documents that mention “Schofield”. The Raines manuscripts have many references too.  Chethams and Rylands Libraries in Manchester also have original material relating to Schofield.

Manor Surveys

The 17 thC. Manor Surveys have many references to the place and the people names Schofield. The manor court records also should be checked for Schofield references.


You can also search the British History Online site, and of course the National Archives, which include the British Library Collection. The Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey has references to Schofield, start with the index.

Later Entry from Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey

Here is an example from the Appendix of the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, perhaps early 16th. C



Schofield Hall



The site of the Hall has some field boundaries but little trace of the hall remains. The Old Hall was depicted in the Raines Manuscripts. There were many of these old halls, Fishwick’s History has some illustrations.

Under construction…


Published in: on June 27, 2014 at 9:32 am  Comments (4)  
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