Spartingus (de Whalley)
1st Dean of Whalley
The Deans of Whalley were a "compound of patron, incumbent, ordinary and lord of the manor"¯ according to Whitaker. This lordship was hereditary and passed in supposed unbroken male succession. However, this covers about 378 years which is an average of 47 years per generation. There is also a possible gap as Henry the elder is called "heir"¯ in the list of names and not son or brother as with the other names. The deans were apparently the freeholders of the church at Whalley"”White Church under the Legh and later St. Mary's"”and the attached lands.
With the marriage of Geoffrey to a daughter of Roger de Lacy, Constable of Chester, came land in Tunleia (Towneley), Coldcotes and Snodeswerth. In about 1235 Roger (the last Dean of Whalley) gave these lands at Towneley that had passed down from his grandfather to his brother Richard, who became known as Richard de Towneley. His grandson, also Richard, took his mother's maiden name of de Towneley.