M.I.s for Beetham were transcribed in Monumental Inscriptions of Westmorland by E. Bellasis 1888-89 and are available on Westmorland Papers.
Nicolson and Burn: The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 1777. Transcribed by Anne Nichols.
"Betham seems to have had its name from the river Betha, which runs through the village, and so by Milnthorp into the sea; as much as to say, the hamlet or village on the river Betha. This river is now called Bela, by corruption as it seemeth; for in Mr. Machel's account it is invariably written Betha, without any imtimation of its having any other name. And Mr. Leland who travelled through this country in the reign of king Henry the eighth, says, "By Bytham runneth Byth water, a pretty river." And especially, in a grant of landss and other possessions to the priory of Conishead (as hereafter mentioned), it is expressly called the water of Betha.
Sometimes the name of the place is written Bethom; in which respect it may be understood to signify the holme ground adjoining the river.
This parish is bounded on the East by the parish of Burton (indeed it runs almost quite through and intersects the said parish of Burton, which part is called Farleton); on the South, by the parish of Warton in the county of Lancaster; on the West, by the sea; on the North-west by the parish of Cartmell in the said county of Lancaster; and on the North, by the parish of Heversham.
The church, according to Mr. Machel's account, is dedicated to St. Leoth or Lyth, otherwise called Lioba or Liobgytha; but according to Mr. Brown Willis it is dedicated to St. Michael. It is a vicarage, in the patronage of the crown, and in the presentation (under the crown) of the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. In the parish of Betham there are three divisions (exclusive of Witherslack) which seem anciently to have been all one manor or lordship, to wit, Betham, Haverbrack, and Farleton. ...Witherslack, Methop and Ulva, are included within a peninsula (as it were) between Winster beck, Brigsteer moss, and the Sands... by reason of their great distance from the parish church, a chapel was anciently erected... ... consecrated in the year 1671, by the name of the chapel of St. Paul."
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