LEVER, GREAT, a township, in the parish of Middleton, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 1½ mile (S.) from Bolton; containing 657 inhabitants. This place was long held by the family of Lever, but in the 6th year of Edward IV., Sir Rauff Assheton, Knt., sued out a "write of right of warde" against Roger Lever, for the recovery of the manor, and obtained judgment against him at the assizes of Lancaster. Lever, however, with a number of dependants of his name, and a large concourse of persons, many of whom had been outlawed, riotously broke into Lancaster Castle, and carried off the record of recovery. Sir Rauff complaining of this outrage to the two houses of parliament, they ordained that the copy of the record which was annexed to his petition should be of the same force and efficacy as the original; and the justices thereupon ordered execution to issue, and reinstated him in the possession, which, notwithstanding, was not undisturbed until some time after. In the reign of James I., Sir Ralph Assheton held the property, which, in 1629, he sold to Dr. Bridgeman, Bishop of Chester, from whom it has descended to the present noble possessor, the Earl of Bradford. Lever Hall, an ancient mansion, was the residence of Bishop Bridgeman; and an ancient chapel contiguous to it was the place of worship for his family and the inhabitants of the immediate neighbourhood. The township is bounded on the east by the Irwell, and comprises 770 acres of land; it is entirely insulated from the rest of the parish, and is distant west ten miles from the town of Middleton. The Bolton and Manchester railway, and the road between those places, pass through. Owing to its proximity to Bolton there are a number of elegant modern mansions, among which is Bradford House. A church was completed in 1848, on an eligible piece of ground presented by the earl, who contributed £500 towards the erection, and £1000 towards the endowment; among other liberal subscribers to the building were the Earl of Ellesmere, Messrs. Heys and Hamer, and T. Bonsor Crompton, Esq.: it is a substantial edifice in the early English style, with accommodation for about 400 persons. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Earl of Bradford. His lordship allows the old chapel at Lever Hall to be used as a Sunday-school.