infobox UK place
country = England
population= 890 (Parish)
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= West Lancashire
postcode_district = L40
civil_parish = Lathom
Lathom is a village and
civil parishin Lancashire, England, about 5 km northeast of Ormskirk. It is in the district of West Lancashire, and with the parish of Newburgh forms part of Newburgh ward. The Leeds and Liverpool Canalpasses through Lathom.
Lathom Hall gives a hint to the previous importance of Lathom and the Stanley family, which has now become the Earls of Derby. The village of Lathom actually grew due to the building of the first "
Lathom House" which took place shortly after William the Conqueror had his success in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The first "Lathom" (now spelled Latham) was a man named William who, along with his followers, was a supporter of William the Conqueror. In 1066, all faithful supporters were given just recompense. In the case of this other William, it took the form of vast lands in what is now Lancashire. On this land, William's followers built him a brick house.Fact|date=August 2008 Although brick houses are the norm in Lancashirenowadays, in 1066 they were a rarity due to the difficulty in making and baking the bricks.
Also at this time, due to so many men having the same given name (e.g."William"), surnames were beginning to appear. Thus it was that William became William de Lothe Hom, or William of the brick house. De Lothe Hom has, over the centuries, finally evolved into the form most commonly seen today; Latham.
Lathom House itself has also changed over the years. It was rebuilt during the Middle Ages and again after the famous
Siege of Lathom Housewhich took place when the Roundheads, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, had surrounded the house (then being used as a fortification for Cavaliertroops).
The village of Lathom, which remains a small, quiet, rural hamlet, consisted in the past of local farmers and others who worked at Lathom House or farther afield in
Ormskirk. As mentioned earlier, The Stanley family play a role here, too. It was in 1526 that Isabella de Lathom, being the oldest daughter of parents who had no male heir, married Thomas Stanley and the Latham and Stanley families became forever linked. The Earl of Derby, since that time, has of course, always come from that particular Latham-Stanley line. The coat of arms of the Latham family had traditionally been an eagle carrying a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in its talons. In 1526 this coat of arms also became that of the Stanley family. One can still find many pubs throughout the area and, indeed, in much of England, named The Eagle and Child. In fact, the Inklings (members included C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkienand other notable thinkers and authors active in the mid 20th century) met regularly at a pub so-named in Oxford.
A final note of interest regarding Lathom House or Hall is that recently, the Historical Council of Northern Lancashire, in their efforts to reconstruct the buildings of the 1700s came across the medieval foundations and have tried to salvage them. While the main buildings became uninhabitable several decades ago, there are still almshouse cottages neighboring the Lathom Hall chapel. Senior citizens reside in the cottages and the chapel, named for St. John, still holds regular Anglican services.
One can see various plaques, etc. in the chapel dedicated to the memory of the last residents of Lathom Hall; the Bootle-Wilbrahams. The Latham and Stanley family, to a great extent, migrated to the New World, beginning with a teenaged "cabin boy" named William Latham in 1620. Both families have produced great contributors to science, the arts and their fellow man since that time. In 1967 the immediate descendants returned to the quiet village of Lathom and to Lathom House to celebrate, one year late, the 900th anniversary of the creation of their family name and lineage.
In 2004, Lathom House was immortalized by Steeleye Span in the title track of their album,
They Called Her Babylon.
* [http://link.library.utoronto.ca/reed/venue.cfm?VenueListID=20 Lathom House on the "Patrons and Performances Web Site"]
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