The Wirral is a square-nosed peninsula about 16 miles long by approximately 6 miles wide, which juts north-west into the Irish Sea between the estuaries of the rivers Mersey and Dee. Across the water on one side is the City of Liverpool; on the other the rolling hills of north Wales. Wallasey, Birkenhead and Ellsmere Port stretch along the Mersey side. On the Dee side there are country towns, part village, part suburb, but closer in spirit to Chester than to Liverpool.
At the time of the Domesday Book, Cheshire was divided between two great landowners, the Bishop of Chester and Hugh d' Avranches, Earl of Chester. Earl Hugh, had two nicknames, 'the Wolf' for his ferocity against the Welsh and 'the Fat' for his obesity.
When the great book was recorded, each county was divided up into areas consisting of roughly 100 villages. Because of its unique shape the Wirral was given Hundred status and surveyed accordingly.
The ancient Hundred of the Wirral was made up of the following 31 villages.
John married Mary Croft at the Holy Trinity Church, Hoylake on 28 December 1840. Mary the daughter of Simon and Ellen Croft was christened on 31 March 1797 at West Kirby. Simon died in 1836 aged 70 years followed by his wife in 1849.There is some circumstantial evidence that John worked on the construction of the Leasowe embankment in his early days before returning to farming. This transition back to farming would have been a natural process, having been brought up and worked on his father's farm.
The ceremony was witnessed by Michael Croft and Ellen Goodwin and both John and Mary signed their names in the Register.Mary was about 40 years of age when she married John some 10 years younger. Given John's background he would appear to be an idea candidate to take over the management of the Clunie. It is difficult to say who would benefit the most, Mary finding someone to marry her at a later age or John who had a ready made business.