The borough, composed of three townships identical with the ancient manors of Salford, Pendleton and Broughton, is for the most part separated from Manchester by the river Irwell, which is crossed by a series of bridges.
In the reign of Edward the Confessor Wem was held as four manors, but at the time of the Domesday Survey William Pantulf was holding the whole as one manor of Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, from whom it passed to the Botelers, barons of Wem.
The see of Worcester and the archbishopric of York had been held together before 1062 by Archbishop Aldred, who, when he was compelled to resign Worcester, retained twelve manors belonging to the see, which Wulfstan did not recover for some years.
The only alien priories granted were Abberbury in Oxfordshire, Wedon Pinkney in Northamptonshire, Romney in Kent, and St Clare and Llangenith in Wales, all very small affairs, single manors and rectories, and these did not form a quarter of the whole endowment.
In the meantime the Six Nations (in 1768) had repudiated their sale of the region to the Susquehanna Company and had sold it to the Penns; the Penns had erected here the manors of Stoke and Sunbury, the government of Pennsylvania had commissioned Charles Stewart, Amos Ogden and others to lay out these manors, and they had arrived and taken possession of the block-house and huts at Mill Creek in January 1769.