The parish of Wigan
Introduction, church and charities

Sponsor

Victoria County History

Publication

Author

William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

Supporting documents

Pages

57-68

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'The parish of Wigan: Introduction, church and charities', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 57-68. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41379 Date accessed: 23 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

WIGAN

WIGAN BILLINGE HIGHER END UPHOLLAND ABRAM
PEMBERTON WINSTANLEY DALTON HAIGH
BILLINGE CHAPEL END ORRELL INCE ASPULL
HINDLEY

This large parish was at the time of the Conquest included within the hundred of Newton, with the exception of its western township, Upholland and Dalton, which were within West Derby, and perhaps also of Haigh and Aspull in the north-east. The parish with the same exceptions became part of the fee or barony of Makerfield. Aspull was either then or later placed in the hundred of Salford, in which it has remained till the present. Except in the township of Abram the geological formation consists entirely of the Coal Measures. Coal was discovered and used in the 15th century, or earlier; the mines were extended, and during the last century became the predominant feature of the district. Other industries have also grown up.

Though Wigan was the meeting place of Roman roads which traversed the parish, but few remains of the Roman period have been discovered, and these chiefly at Wigan itself. From that time practically nothing is known of the history of the district until after the Norman Conquest.

A town with busy traders grew up around the church, and became a centre for the business of a large part of the hundred, political and mercantile. The rebellion of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in 1321–2, affected it through its rector and also through the Holands, one of the chief local families, who adhered to his cause. The only monastery in the parish, Upholland Priory, was founded in 1317, and Edward II stayed there a fortnight when he passed through the district on his way to Liverpool in 1323.

The landowners were hostile to the Reformation, and in 1630–3 the following compounded for the sequestration of two-thirds of their estates for recusancy by annual fines: Abram, Henry Lance, £10; Richard Ashton, £15; Aspull, Ralph Haughton, £6 13s. 4d.; Billinge, Edmund Bispham, £3; Birchley, Roger Anderton, £21 12s. 4d.; Dalton, Thomas Bank, £2; John Reskow, £2; Haigh, William Bradshaw, £3 6s. 8d.; Hindley, Abraham Langton of Lowe, £10; Ince, Thomas Gerard, £40; Thomas Ince, £8; Pemberton, Edmund Winstanley, £2 10s. (fn. 1)


INDEX MAP to the PARISH of WIGAN

INDEX MAP to the PARISH of WIGAN

The Civil War found the district as a whole loyal to the king; but the Ashhursts and some other families were Parliamentarians. There was fighting at Wigan in 1644 and 1651, and much confiscation by the Commonwealth authorities. The Restoration appears to have been generally welcomed. At the Revolution there was much more division, but no open opposition was made, and the Jacobite rising of 1715 does not seem to have had any adherents in the parish. The march of the Young Pretender through Wigan, Ince, and Hindley in 1745 brought in no recruits. The more recent history has, as in the north of England generally, been that of the growth of manufactures and commerce.

The total area of the parish is 29,033½ acres. Of this at present 12,938 acres are arable, 7,179 permanent grass, and 854 woods and plantations. The population in 1901 numbered 157,915. The county lay of 1624 was arranged so that the parish counted as six townships and a half, Wigan itself answering for two. The other groups were—Pemberton and Ince, Hindley and Abram, Holland and Dalton, Orrell, Billinge and Winstanley; Haigh was the half township. Aspull, being in Salford Hundred, was grouped with Blackrod. When the hundred paid £100 Wigan parish, excluding Aspull, paid £12 10s. The ancient fifteenth was more irregularly levied thus: Wigan £3, Haigh 7s., Hindley 16s. 8d., Ince 9s., Dalton 19s., Abram 11s. 8d., Upholland £1 7s. 8d., Billinge cum Winstanley 17s., Orrell 6s., Pemberton 18s. 4d., or £9 12s. 4d. when the hundred paid £106 9s. 6d. Aspull paid 7s. 8d. in Salford.

CHURCH

The church of ALL SAINTS (fn. 2) has a chancel of two bays with north and south chapels, the Legh chapel on the north and the Bradshagh or Bradshaw chapel on the south, a nave of six bays with aisles, and a tower at the north-east angle of the north aisle of the nave, with the Gerard (now Walmesley) chapel adjoining it on the west. East of the tower is a modern vestry.

Though the plan of the church is ancient, the building has undergone even more than the general amount of renewal which has been the lot of so many of the neighbouring churches. The chancel is recorded to have been rebuilt in 1620 by Bishop Bridgeman, and was again rebuilt in 1845. The Bradshagh and Legh chapels, which had been repaired if not rebuilt in 1620, were also rebuilt in 1845, and the nave taken down and rebuilt from the foundations in 1850, much of the old material being however used. The Gerard chapel, rebuilt about 1620, escaped the general fate. The tower and the lowest parts of the stair turrets at the west end of the chancel were not rebuilt, and contain the oldest work now existing. With such a history, any definite idea of the development of the plan is out of the question. The tower is at least as old as the 13th century, and in the course of rebuilding some 12th-century stones are said to have been found.

The nave arcades, as noted by Sir Stephen Glynne, (fn. 3) have somewhat the appearance of 14th-century work, with moulded arches and piers of four engaged shafts of good proportion. All the old stone has been retooled at the rebuilding of 1850, and the capitals are entirely of that date, so that it is impossible to deduce the former details of the work. A clearstory runs for the whole length of the nave and chancel, and the nave roof retains a good deal of old work, being divided into panels by moulded beams. The figures of angels on the roof corbels are terra-cotta substitutes for old oak figures. All the windows of the church before 1850, except the east and west windows, were like those still remaining in the Gerard chapel, with uncusped tracery and four-centred heads. The tower opens to the north aisle by a pointed arch, with half-octagon responds, and its ground story is lighted by a two-light window on the north, and a three-light window on the west. The latter was built up, perhaps when the Gerard chapel was added, and was opened out again in 1850; it is of three lights, apparently of the second half of the 13th century, though much repaired. In the sill of the north window is set an effigy of which only the face can be seen, the rest being entirely plastered over. It is said to be that of an ecclesiastic, wearing a mitre, and was found under the tower. In the east jamb of the same window is set a panelled stone with two scrolls on the top, locally believed to be part of a Roman altar. It is impossible to examine it satisfactorily in its present condition. The tower has been heightened to make room for a clock, and has pairs of windows on each face of the belfry stage, and an embattled parapet with angle pinnacles. In its upper stages no ancient detail remains, but it seems probable that all above the first stage was rebuilt in the 15th century. Of the ancient fittings of the church nothing remains. The turret stairs at the west end of the chancel doubtless led to the rood-loft, and before 1850 a gallery spanned the entrance to the chancel, carrying an organ given to the church in 1708, and afterwards moved into the Legh chapel. At the west end of the nave was a gallery with seats for the mayor and corporation, and a 'three-decker' pulpit and desk stood against the fourth pillar of the nave arcade. The altar-table is of the 17th century, of oak with a black marble slab. A piece of tapestry with the story of Ananias and Sapphira, formerly hung as a reredos to the altar, is now above the south doorway of the nave. A font dating from c. 1710, removed from the church in 1850, is now in St. George's church, and the present font is modern. (fn. 4) Two 14th-century gravestones with floriated crosses are built into the walls of the tower, and near them lies a slab with a plain cross and the inscription, 'O L 1585.' In the Bradshagh chapel is an altar-tomb with two effigies, said to be those of Sir William de Bradshagh and his wife Mabel, the effigy of the lady alone being old. Sir William's effigy was much damaged, and a new figure has taken its place, the remains of the old effigy being put inside the altar-tomb. Against the south wall of the chapel is the monument of Sir Roger Bradshagh, 1684, and there are several 19th-century Balcarres monuments. (fn. 5)

There are eight bells; the first seven of 1732, by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester, and the tenor of 1876, by Taylor of Loughborough. There is also a priest's bell of 1732, by Rudhall.

The church plate was for the most part given by Richard Wells in 1706, but was remade about 1850, the former inscriptions recording the gift being preserved. One large paten is, however, old, having an embossed centre with the Adoration of the Magi. There are three sets of large silver-gilt communion plate, and a smaller set, also silver-gilt. Of plain silver are three flagons and three cruets, and two almsdishes, the last dating from 1724. There are also seven brass almsdishes of various dates, two pewter dishes of 1825, and twelve of 1840.

The registers begin in 1580, and are contained in over seventy volumes, (fn. 6) and the churchwardens' account books are complete from 1651. The sexton's day book has much detailed information about the burials in the church.

ADVOWSON

In 1066 'the church of the manor' of Newton had one ploughland exempt from all dues. (fn. 7) It may be assumed that the lord of Newton, who at that time was the King, was patron. When the Makerfield barony was formed the patronage of this church naturally went with it, although owing to frequent minorities the kings very often presented. (fn. 8) This led to disputes. On a vacancy in 1281 the patronage was claimed by Edward I, but judgement was recorded for Robert Banastre. (fn. 9) At the following vacancy, 1303, William son of Jordan de Standish claimed the right to present, but failed to justify it. (fn. 10) The value of the benefice in 1291 had been estimated at 50 marks a year. (fn. 11) The value of the ninth of sheaves, wool, &c., was only £24 2s. in 1341, but Wigan borough was not included. (fn. 12)

In 1349 the crown revived its claim to the patronage and this time obtained a verdict. (fn. 13) It was certainly an erroneous decision, and the Bishop of Lichfield seems to have been unwilling to accept the royal nominee, (fn. 14) John de Winwick. It is to the credit of this rector that some time before resigning in 1359 he persuaded the king to restore the advowson to the Langtons. (fn. 15) The Standish family afterwards revived their claim to the patronage, and the matter appears to have been closed only in 1446 by a verdict for James de Langton, then rector. (fn. 16)

In the 16th century the Langtons began to sell the next presentations, (fn. 17) and in 1598 Sir Thomas Langton appears to have mortgaged or sold 'the parsonage of Wigan' to the trustees of John Lacy, citizen of London; the latter in 1605 sold it to a Mr. Pearshall, probably a trustee for Richard Fleetwood, of Calwich, the heir of the Langtons. (fn. 18) Bishop Bridgeman, then rector, agreed about 1638 to purchase the advowson for £1,000 from Sir Richard Fleetwood, but Sir Richard Murray, D.D., warden of Manchester, offering £10 more, secured it, and then tried to sell it to the crown for £4,000. (fn. 19) Charles I not being able to afford this, Sir John Hotham became the purchaser shortly afterwards; (fn. 20) and his trustees about 1661 sold it to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, (fn. 21) son of the bishop, in whose family it has since descended, the Earl of Bradford being the patron.

Sir Orlando and his son adopted a 'self-denying ordinance,' and formed a body of trustees to exercise the patronage, (fn. 22) and thus it happened that for nearly half a century the Bishops of Chester were presented to the rectory. (fn. 23)

Meanwhile the value had very greatly increased. In the 16th century, and perhaps earlier, the system of farming the tithes prevented the rectors receiving the full revenue, (fn. 24) and in 1535 the gross value was set down as £110 16s. 8d., from which had to be deducted a pension of £20, anciently paid to the cathedral of Lichfield, and other fees and dues, (fn. 25) so that the net value was reported as £80 13s. 4d. In the first half of the next century Bishop Bridgeman found that the clear yearly value was £570 on an average. (fn. 26) Bishop Gastrell, about 1717, recorded it to be 'above £300 clear, all curates paid.' (fn. 27) In 1802 the receipts from tithes amounted to £1,306 8s., (fn. 28) and afterwards receipts from the coal mining under the glebe were added. The value is now estimated at £1,500. (fn. 29) The rector of Wigan pays a considerable sum from his income to the incumbents of various churches built in the parish.

The following is a list of the rectors and lords of the manor of Wigan:—

Instituted Name Presented by Cause of Vacancy
oc. 1199 Randle (fn. 30)
23 April 1205 Robert de Durham (fn. 31) The King res. of Randle
2 Nov. 1226 Ralph de Leicester (fn. 32) "
oc. 1241 John Maunsel (fn. 33) "
1265 Mr. Richard de Marklan (fn. 34) Robert Banastre d. of J. Maunsel
? 1281 Mr. Adam de Walton (fn. 35)
22 Sept. 1303 Mr. Robert de Clitheroe (fn. 36) John de Langton
15 June 1334 Ivo (John) de Langton (fn. 37) Sir Robert de Langton d. of Rob.de Clitheroe
13 Nov. 1344 John de Craven (fn. 38) "
26 Dec. 1344 Mr. John de Craven (fn. 39) "
oc. 1347 Henry de Dale, M.A. (fn. 40)
12 Mar. 1349–50 John de Winwick (fn. 41) The King
3 May 1350
10 July 1359 Richard de Langton (fn. 42) Sir Rob. de Langton
4 Sept. 1359 Robert de Lostock (fn. 43) " res R. de Langton
2 Jan. 1361–2 Walter de Campden (fn. 44) John Earl of Lancaster res. R. de Lostock
24 Aug. 1370 James de Langton (fn. 45) Ralph de Langton d. W. de Campden
oc. 1415–31 William de Langton (fn. 46)
oc. 1432–47 James de Langton (fn. 47)
oc. 1451 Oliver de Langton (fn. 48)
oc. 1485 John Langton (fn. 49)
9 Aug. 1504 Thomas Langton (fn. 50) Langton feoffees d. J. Langton
16 Aug. 1506 Richard Wyot, D.D. (fn. 51) The King d. T. Langton
10 Oct. 1519 Thomas Linacre, M.D (fn. 52) Thos. Langton res. R. Wyot
oc. 1528–32 Nicholas Towneley (fn. 53)
oc. 1532–3 Richard Langton (fn. 54)
24 Mar 1534–5 Richard Kighley (fn. 55) Sir T. Langton d. R. Langton
8 Aug. 1543 John Herbert (fn. 56) Thos. White d. R. Kighley
? March 1550 John Standish, D.D. (fn. 57) The King
1550 Richard Smith (fn. 58) "
2 Mar. 1554–5 Richard Gerard (fn. 59) Earl of Derby, &c. d. R. Smith
10 Aug. 1558 Thomas Stanley (fn. 60) John Fleetwood d. R. Gerard
Peter Farington
Apl. 1569 William Blackleach, B.A. (fn. 61) John Fleetwood d. Bp. Stanley
8 Feb. 1570–1 Edward Fleetwood (fn. 62) The Queen res. W. Blackleach
9 Oct. 1604 Gerard Massie, D.D. (fn. 63) The King d. E. Fleetwood
21 Jan. 1615–16 John Bridgeman, D.D. (fn. 64) " d. G. Massie
c. 1643 James Bradshaw, M.A. (fn. 65) Parliamentary Comm'rs.
1653 Charles Hotham, M.A. (fn. 66) [Hotham Trustees] [d. Bp. Bridgeman]
1662 George Hall, D.D. (fn. 67) Sir O. Bridgeman ejec. C. Hotham
1668 John Wilkins, D.D. (fn. 68) Bridgeman Trustees d. Bp. Hall
1673 John Pearson, D.D. (fn. 69) " d. Bp. Wilkins
1686 Thomas Cartwright, D.D. (fn. 70) Bridgeman Trustees d. Bp. Pearson
1689 Nicholas Stratford, D.D. (fn. 71) " " d. Bp. Cartwright
Mar. 1706–7 Hon. Edward Finch, M.A. (fn. 72) " " d. Bp. Stratford
30 April 1714 Samuel Aldersey, M.A. (fn. 73) " " res. E. Finch
12 May 1741 Roger Bridgeman, D.D. (fn. 74) " " d. S. Aldersey
(3 July) 1750 Shirley Cotes, M.A. (fn. 75) Wm. Lord Digby d. R. Bridgeman
27 Feb. 1776 Guy Fairfax, M.A. (fn. 76) Sir H. Bridgeman d. S. Cotes
30 July 1790 George Bridgeman (fn. 77) Sir H. Bridgeman, &c. res. G. Fairfax
4 Jan. 1833 Sir Henry John Gunning, M.A. (fn. 78) Earl of Bradford d. G. Bridgeman
17 Oct. 1864 Hon. George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman, M.A. (fn. 79) Bishop of Chester res. Sir H. Gunning
24 Feb. 1896 Roland George Matthew, M.A. (fn. 80) Earl of Bradford d G.T.O. Bridgeman

The earlier rectors of Wigan, when presented by the kings, were busy public officials, who probably never saw the church from which they drew a small addition to their incomes; and when presented by the hereditary patrons were, with few exceptions, men of no distinction, whose only recommendation was their family connexion.

The Valor of 1535 does not record any chapelries or chantries nor mention any clergy except the rector and the Bradshagh chantry priest, but Upholland Priory was still in existence. (fn. 81) The Clergy List of 1541–2 (fn. 82) shows that there were four priests within the parish, apart from rector and cantarist; one of these was the curate, Ralph Scott; two were paid by Robert Langton and Thomas Gerard; the maintenance of the other is not recorded.

In the Visitation List in 1548 is left a blank for the rector's name; then follow eight names, one being that of the chantry priest; but two of the clergy seem to have been absent. In 1554 Master Richard Smith, rector; the curate, and three others appeared, including the former chantry priest. No improvement took place under the episcopate of Bishop Scott, though he had a personal interest in the parish. In 1562 the Bishop of Sodor and Man did not appear, being 'excused by the Bishop of Chester.' Ralph Scott appeared and exhibited his subscription, so that he was prepared to accept the Elizabethan order, as he had accepted all the previous changes; two other names also appear in the list, one of an old priest, the other a fresh name. In 1565 only three names are shown in the list—Bishop Stanley, who 'did not exhibit,' his curate Ralph Scott, and Thomas Baron or Barow, whose name had appeared in each list from 1548, and who perhaps had no ministerial office. (fn. 83) Thus it appears that by this time the working clergy had been reduced to one, the curate of the parish church. (fn. 84)

The short incumbency of William Blackleach, of whom nothing is known, was followed by that of a decided Protestant, Edward Fleetwood. He was one of the two 'preachers' in 1590 at the parish church; there were no preachers at the two chapelries, Upholland and Billinge. (fn. 85) The Puritan rector and his curate in 1592 were reported to 'wear no surplice,' nor did they catechise the youth, and were admonished accordingly; it is also stated that 'they want a chancel.' (fn. 86) In 1610 there was 'a preacher' at the parish church, but none at either of the chapels. (fn. 87)

The Commonwealth surveyors of 1650 recommended the subdivision of the parish; Holland Chapel had already been cut off by an Act of 1646, and the committee of Plundered Ministers had made several increments in the stipends of the incumbents of the chapelries out of Bishop Bridgeman's sequestered tithes. (fn. 88) After the Restoration both the rector and a large number of the Protestants remained firm in their attachment to the Presbyterian discipline, while the rectory was till 1706 held by the Bishops of Chester, among them the learned Pearson. Here, as in other parishes, the great increase in population during the 19th century has led to the erection of many new churches and the subdivision of the ancient parish, there being now twenty parochial churches in connexion with the Establishment, besides licensed churches and mission rooms. (fn. 89)

There was only one endowed chantry; it was founded in 1338 by Mabel, widow of Sir William de Bradshagh, who endowed it with a messuage in Wigan and tenements at Haigh. (fn. 90) In 1548 the chantry priest was celebrating at the altar of our Lady in the church according to his foundation. (fn. 91)

CHARITIES

The charities of Wigan (fn. 92) comprise a large number of separate benefactions, mostly for the poor in general, but some especially for clothing or apprenticing boys. (fn. 93) Some have been lost. (fn. 94) The most important used to be the Edmund Molyneux bread charity, being the profits of his estate at Canewdon in Essex. (fn. 95)

In the following notes the Report of the 1899 inquiry has been used; in it is reprinted the Report of 1829.

Abram has certain lands, the rents of which are devoted to charitable uses, and some minor benefactions. (fn. 96) Pemberton also had some small charities. (fn. 97) At Ince, linen, oatmeal, and gifts of money were provided, (fn. 98) but part of the fund is lost; while at Aspull of the two charities one survives. (fn. 99) At Haigh Dame Dorothy Bradshagh about 1775 erected a building called the Receptacle, being an almshouse for twenty poor persons; (fn. 100) there were also a poor's stock and some minor charities, most of which have been lost. (fn. 101) Hindley has linen or flannel charities and one or two others. (fn. 102)

For the Billinge townships the principal foundation is that of John Eddleston, who in 1672 bequeathed his house and lands here for charitable uses; (fn. 103) there were several other benefactions. (fn. 104) At Winstanley are two charities founded by James and William Bankes, with incomes of about £20 and £17, used to provide cloth and blankets. (fn. 105) In Orrell, out of a number of gifts, about £6 a year is still distributed in doles of calico. (fn. 106) Pimbo Lane House and other tenements in Upholland were given by Henry Bispham in 1720 and 1728 for the benefit of that and neighbouring townships; (fn. 107) there are here also other charities of considerable value, though several gifts have been lost. (fn. 108) Dalton has nothing for itself. (fn. 109)

Footnotes

1 From the list in Lucas's 'Warton' (MS).
2 By an inquisition in 1370 it was found that Roger Hancockson of Hindley had, without the king's licence, bequeathed a rent of 40d. to the church of Blessed Mary of Wigan. Possibly the gift was to the Bradshagh chantry, which had this dedication. See Q. R. Mem. R. 160 of Mich. 6 Ric. II. The All Saints' fair dates from 1258. For burial places in the church in 1691, see Genealogist (new ser.), i, 282. Arms in the church; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiii, 248.
3 Chs. of Lancs. (Chet. Soc. xxvii), 58.
4 The octagonal bowl of a 14th-century font, used successively as a water trough and flower pot, lies in the garden of Wigan Hall; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xvii, 68.
5 The monuments are fully described in Canon Bridgeman's Wigan Ch. (Chet. Soc.), 689–715.
6 The first volume, 1580–1625, has been printed by the Lancashire Parish Register Society. The volume for 1676–83 is among Lord Kenyon's family deeds; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 102.
7 See V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286a.
8 This, it will be found, was the case in the earliest recorded presentation, 1205. About ten years later Thurstan Banastre granted the patronage to the canons of Cockersand, but this gift does not appear to have had effect; Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 676. The Wigan charter of 1246 was witnessed by Robert Banastre, lord of Makerfield, as 'true patron' of the church.
9 Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.). 201; Dep. Keeper's Rep. l, App. 262. A few years earlier there had been a dispute as to the patronage, but the particulars are not recorded; De Banco R. 7, m. 39.
10 William de Standish alleged that his ancestor Ralph, living in the time of King Richard, had presented his own clerk, Ulf by name, to the chapel of Wigan; and that Ulf was instituted and received the tithes, oblations, and dues, 'amounting to half a mark and more.' Nothing otherwise is known of this Ulf. Although it is unlikely that such a claim would have been put forward by the Standishes against great personages like the lords of Makerfield unless there was justification for it, the description as a 'chapel' and the very small amount of dues received raises a doubt. The distinction of 'church' and 'chapel' was at once seized upon by the defence; 'We cannot yield up what plaintiff demands, for we hold the advowson of a church, and at present we do not know if he demands the advowson of a chapel in that church, as we have seen in other cases, or if he means to say that there is another chapel.' See the late Canon Bridgeman's Hist. of the Ch. of Wigan (Chet. Soc.), quoting Year Bk. of Edw. I (Rolls Ser.), 358. The information in the present notes is largely drawn from his work, in which documents quoted are usually printed in full. Many of them are from the family records. The Standish claim was still pending in 1312; Bridgeman, op. cit. 797. The following references to the suit may be added: De Banco R. 153, m. 98d—an extent of the chapel of Wigan; R. 161, m. 11—the chapel extended at £9 a year, but the case adjourned because Robert de Langton was setting out for Scotland on the king's service. Thomas de Langtree released his claim to the advowson of the church or chapel of Wigan in favour of Standish; Coram Reg. R. 297, m. 20.
11 Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249. In the claim made by the rector against John del Crosse in 1329 it was alleged that the gross value was about £200 a year.
12 Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 41. The values were: Haigh 47s. 8½d.; Aspull 47s. 8¼d.; Hindley 64s. 5½d.; Abram 32s. 2½d.; Ince 32s. 2¼d.; Pemberton 64s. 5½d.; Billinge 64s. 5½d.; Orrell 32s. 2¼d.; Holland 64s. 5½d.; Dalton 32s. 2¼d. The value of the ninth of the movable goods of the men living in the borough of Wigan was 109s. 4d.
13 De Banco R. 358, m. 50. The king alleged in support of his claim that Ralph de Leicester and John Maunsel had been presented by Henry III. Sir Robert de Langton replied that he had himself presented Master John de Craven, who was admitted, John de Craven, and Ivo de Langton; while his father John had presented Master Robert de Clitheroe, and before that Robert Banastre had presented Master Richard de Marlan in the time of Henry III; he had thus the prescription of a century in his favour. See also Coram Reg. R. 357, m. 21. No allusion was made to the presentation of Adam de Walton, which renders it almost certain that he was the clerk presented in 1281, when the king had before claimed the patronage.
14 See De Banco R. 361, m. 42 d; the king v. the Bishop of Lichfield, who had refused to admit John de Winwick to the vacant rectory. Adam de Hulton was also nominated; Cal. Pat. 1348–50, pp. 473, 496, 514, 524.
15 Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 336.
16 Bridgeman, op. cit. 61–7, quoting Standish papers in Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. ii, 60, 61. A fine concerning it, dated 1432, may be seen in Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 6, no. 59.
17 Bridgeman, op. cit. 102, 107, 121, 131.
18 Ibid. 477–80, where abstracts of fifteen deeds relating to the transfers are printed.
19 Dr. Bridgeman appears to have thought of purchasing the advowson soon after he became rector; ibid. 197. For his later attempt to purchase, see 416–18. Laud's letter in reply shows the demands made by Dean Murray; 418, 419.
20 Bridgeman, op. cit. 483; quoting the Wigan 'Leger,' in which Sir John Hotham is in 1641 called 'the new patron.' At Michaelmas 1638 an agreement seems to have been arrived at between Charles Hotham and others and the Bishop of London and others as to the advowson; Com. Pleas, Recov. R. Mich. 14 Chas. I, m. 3. In a fine of Mar. 1642 relating to the advowson, John Murray, esq., and Marian his wife were deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 140, no. 15.
21 Bridgeman, op. cit. 484. In a fine of 1659 Charles Hotham and Elizabeth his wife were deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 164, no. 16. See also Com. Pleas, D. Enr. Mich. 1662, m. 95 d.
22 Bridgeman, op. cit. 484; 'bearing in mind the corrupt practices of former patrons, who had turned the advowson into a means of private gain,' and wishing to avoid such abuses, Sir Orlando associated with himself as trustees the then Archbishop of Canterbury and others.
23 Ibid. 601. In 1713 the Bishop of Chester made inquiries as to the conditions of the trust, supposing that some preference was to be given to the Bishops of Chester; ibid. 613.
24 See the Kitchin lease described under Rector Kighley. Apart from disadvantageous leases it was not always easy to secure the tithe; see Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, III; and the complaint of Rector Smith in 1553, quoted by Canon Bridgeman, op. cit. 123–7, 130; see also 158, 159. The difficulties of the rectors concerning their tithes were quite independent of those they had with the corporation of Wigan as lords of the manor.
Besides disadvantageous leases and open violence the rectors lost through prescription, by which a modus or composition in lieu of tithes was established. Thus the Earls of Derby had long held the tithes of the townships of Dalton and Upholland at a low rent; and about 1600 William, the sixth earl, claimed an absolute right to the tithes, paying only £12 13s. 4d. a year to the rector. Rector Fleetwood tried to defeat this claim, and Bishop Bridgeman made a still more vigorous effort, but in vain; and the same modus is still paid by the Earl of Derby's assigns in lieu of the tithes; Bridgeman, op. cit. 161–3, 254–9, 647–50. Prescription was likewise established in the case of Ince, £4 being paid by the Gerards and their successors; ibid. 190, 655.
25 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 220. The gross value was made up of the rents of tenants, free and at will, £25; rent of two water-mills 66s. 8d.; tithes of corn, hay, wool, &c., £61 3s. 4d.; oblations, small tithes, and roll, £18; perquisites and profits of the markets, 66s. 8d. Robert Langton as chief steward had a fee of £4.
26 Bridgeman, op. cit. 417. A statement of his receipts and payments for his first year of occupation ending at Christmas 1616 is printed 188–203; many curious details are given. A later account of the profits of the rectory will be found on pp. 307–19. Bishop Bridgeman compiled his 'Leger,' extant in a copy made by Rector Finch in 1708, recording all the lands and rights belonging to the rector and the endeavours he had made to recover and preserve them. In 1619 he compiled a terrier of the demesne lands of the rectory; op. cit. 244–6. The names of the fields include Parson's Meadow, Diglache or Diglake, the Mesnes, Conygrew, Rycroft, Carreslache, Parsnip Yard, and Cuckstool Croft. Potters used to come for clay to the parson's wastes, undertaking to make the land level again; 268. Another terrier was compiled in 1814, and is printed ibid. 651–8.
27 Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.). ii, 242. The rector was instituted to 'Wigan with the chapel of Holland.' There were two wardens and eighteen assistants, serving jointly for the whole parish; seven of the assistants were for the town.
28 Bridgeman, op. cit. 642. 'The tithes were valued by two competent persons and offered to the farmers at their separate valuations, which they all accepted, and paid their respective shares on the first Monday after Christmas, which is the day usually appointed for payment.' The tithes of Wigan itself were gathered in kind. The mode of tithing is thus described: 'The corn in this parish is bound up in sheaves. Eight sheaves set up together make one shock, and every tenth shock is the rector's property, and if under the number of ten the rector had none. The practice was so common on small farms to have eight or nine shocks in each field bound up in large sheaves— the farmers called it "binding the titheman out" —to put a stop to this I (Rector G. Bridgeman) now take every tenth sheaf when small quantities of corn are grown. Beans and peas which were hoed in rows or drills were not tithed… . The practice in this parish was so common for corn growers to claim waste land corn exempt from tithe that in the year 1809 I was advised to make them pay an acknowledgement or to take it in kind'; ibid. 645, 646.
29 Liverpool Diocesan Cal.
30 Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 436; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxi, App. 5; a charter by which the king appointed Adam de Freckleton perpetual vicar of the church of Wigan, 'which is of our donation,' at the request of Randle treasurer of Salisbury and rector of Wigan; the latter was to receive a pension of a mark.
31 Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 147. A few years later the church of Wistow was given to the same Robert; ibid. 177. The patronage at this time was in the king's hands through the minority of the heir of Warine Banastre. The new rector was one of the king's clerks, and probably never visited Wigan; the 'vicarage' of Adam was expressly reserved in the presentation.
32 Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 88. The cause of vacancy is not stated, but Robert de Durham was living in 1222; see Cal. Pat. 1216–25, p. 332. In 1228 Ralph de Leicester was presented to the chapel of Cowesby; ibid. 195. See also De Banco R. 358, m. 50, where it is stated that he and John Maunsel were nominated by Henry III. A Ralph de Leicester was Treasurer of Lincoln Cathedral in 1248; he died in 1253; Le Neve, Fast. ii, 88.
33 John Maunsel was one of the most important of the royal officials; for a sketch of his career see Bridgeman op. cit. 4–30, and Dict. Nat. Biog. He was a great pluralist, adding Wigan to his other benefices before 1241, when he charged Thurstan de Holand with setting fire to a house in Wigan; Cur. Reg. R. 121, m. 26 d. As Robert Banastre is supposed to have come of age about 1239, the presentation must have been earlier than this; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 147. In local history he is notable as procuring the first borough charter. He died abroad in great poverty at the end of 1264 or beginning of 1265.
There are numerous references to him in Cal. of Papal Letters. Alexander IV, in 1259, approved the dispensation granted, at the king's request, by Pope Innocent, allowing Maunsel to be ordained and promoted although his mother married his father, a man of noble birth, not knowing that he was a deacon; his father repenting, resumed his orders, and a divorce was declared; the dispensation should hold good, even though the mother's plea of ignorance and the reputation of a lawful marriage could not be sustained; ibid. i, 362. Many documents refer to his superabundance of benefices; see specially ibid. 378.
34 He in July 1265 joined with the patron, Sir Robert Banastre, in assigning an annual pension of 30 marks to the mother church of Lichfield. Canon Bridgeman states: 'A sum of £16 is now (1887) paid annually by the rector of Wigan to the sacristan of Lichfield Cathedral.'
Master Richard was still living in 1278; Assize R. 1238, m. 33 d. His surname shows that he was a local man. He had a son Nicholas, who in 1292 was summoned to warrant William, rector of Donington, in the possession of a messuage in Wigan claimed by Robert Sperling and Sabina his wife; Assize R. 408, m. 35 d.
35 This rector was probably appointed at the vacancy in 1281, when the king, as stated in the text, claimed the patronage. Adam was the rector summoned in 1292 to show his title to manorial rights in Wigan; Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 371. He was chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral from 1276 till 1292, when he was made precentor, retaining the latter office till his death in August 1303; Le Neve, Fast. i, 579. His executors were Adam de Walton, rector of Mitton, Adam de Walton, junior, and Richard de Fulshaw; De Banc. R. 164, m. 300 d.
36 Lichfield Epis. Reg. i, fol. 9b. He was not ordained priest till he became rector; ibid. i, fol. 98b. John de Langton, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, presented as guardian of Alice Banastre, heiress of the barony of Newton.
The new rector was a king's clerk and held several public appointments; Parl. Writs, ii (3), 685–6. Leave of absence was granted by the bishop in September 1322; Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 7. He sided with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and in 1323 was called upon to answer for the part he had taken in the rising of 1321. By the jury of the wapentake of West Derby it was presented that Robert de Clitheroe, rector of Wigan, who had for thirty years been a clerk in the king's chancery and for some time escheator this side of Trent, had at his own cost sent two men at arms to the earl's assistance, one of them being his own son Adam de Clitherow, accompanied by four men on foot, all properly armed; also, that on a certain solemn day, preaching in his church at Wigan before all the people, he had told them that they owed allegiance to the earl and must assist him in his cause against the king, which was a just cause; in consequence whereof divers of his hearers joined the earl. Robert at once denied that he had sent anyone to swell the earl's forces; and all he had said in church was to ask his parishioners to pray for the king and the nobles and for the peace of the realm. He was, however, convicted, and made peace with the king by a fine; Parl. Writs, ii (2), App. 240.
At the beginning of the next reign he sued for relief as to the payment of his fine of 300 marks, alleging that most of it had been paid, though the sheriff, since deceased, had not accounted for it to the Exchequer. He did not obtain his request. He acknowledged that he had sent a man mounted and armed for the earl's service, as indeed he was bound to do by the tenure of his rectory; Rolls of Parl. ii, 406.
He died 4 June 1334 and was buried in Sawley Abbey. He granted his 'manor of Bayley' to the abbey of Cockersand in 1330; Harland, Salley Abbey, 64, 65; Whitaker, Whalley (ed. Nichols), ii, 471.
37 Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 109b, where he is called John, son of John de Langton. On the day of his institution two years' leave for study within England was granted him, on condition that he proceeded to the higher orders, ibid. ii, fol. 8b. The new rector was a younger brother of the patron, with whom in 1343 he had a dispute as to the tithes of Hindley; it was alleged by Robert that Ivo was bound to pay him twenty marks a year, and £20 every other year, and that the tithes taken had been assigned in lieu of the pension; Assize R. 430, m. 8 d.; 434, m. 3 (quoted by Canon Bridgeman).
Ivo was still rector in 1344; Assize R. 1435, m. 37.
Clarice de Bolton, 'formerly aunt of the rector of Wigan,' in 1354 brought a suit against the Langtons to recover an annuity; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3, m. 4 d, 1.
38 Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 118, may refer to his nomination. See De Banc. R. 358, m. 50. Though presented it is not certain that he was instituted; he is probably the John de Craven indicted two years previously for entering into a conspiracy to procure the presentation of himself to the rectory; Lancs, and Ches. Recs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 362.
39 Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 118; De Banc. R. 358, m. 50. Master John de Craven was a canon of St. John's, Chester, from 1344 (or earlier) until 1363; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 308, 309. Before 1348 he was commissary for Peter Gomez, Cardinal Bishop of the Sabines, as archdeacon of Chester; Cal. Pat. 1345–8, pp. 245, 297.
In 1351 he was fined £40 for extortion in his capacity as official of the deanery of Warrington; Assize R. 431, m. 2.
40 In 1347 the pope reserved to Henry de Dale, M.A., B.C.L., B.M., a dignity in Wells, not episcopal; he held various canonries and the churches of Higham and Wigan, but was ordered to resign the latter; Cal. of Papal Letters, iii, 242. See also Cal. Close, 1349–54, p. 54. Nothing further seems known of this rector's possession.
41 Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 126, 125b. The dispute as to the patronage has been related above; John de Winwick was twice presented and instituted. He was another busy public official; see Rymer, Foed. (Syllabus), 330, &c. Among his ecclesiastical preferments he held the treasurership of York Minster; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 160. He was entrusted with the wardship of William de Molyneux in 1359; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 346. He died about the end of 1359 and was buried at Huyton, where a chantry for him was founded. In 1352 the pope granted him the union of the rectory with the Treasurership of York, of which he was not yet in actual possession; Cal. of Papal Letters, iii, 460.
A detailed account of his career will be found in Canon Bridgeman's work, 47– 56.
42 Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 6; he promised to pay the £20 a year to Lichfield Cathedral.
43 Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 6 (quoted by Canon Bridgeman).
44 Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 80; he took the oath to pay the pension. John of Gaunt presented, owing to the minority of Ralph de Langton. The new rector had leave of absence granted him in January 1365–6; ibid. v, fol. 12b.
This rector complained to the pope as to the pension he had to pay to Lichfield; the Bishop of London was thereupon, in 1367, directed to inquire into the matter, and if the facts were found to be as alleged he was to relax the rector's oath regarding this payment; Cal. of Papal Letters, iv, 66. Walter de Campden died at Plymouth 10 July 1370, as appears by the Lich. Reg.
45 Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 85b; v, fol. 28b, 30. He had received only the tonsure, but was made priest 11 April 1371; ibid. v, fol. 100b.
James de Langton is mentioned as rector down to 1414, about the end of which year he died; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 12, 'late rector.' He was one of the feoffees of Richard de Molyneux of Sefton in 1394; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 70; ibid. 103.
46 William de Langton is mentioned as rector a number of times from 1417 to 1430; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, 13, &c. In 1431–2 he was 'late rector'; ibid. 32.
47 In a plea of 1441 mention is made of William de Langton as rector before 10 Hen. VI, and James de Langton as rector in the same year; a note is added, recording a pardon to the latter, dated 1446–7; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 3, m. 31b.
In 1436 James de Langton, rector of Wigan, was proceeding to France in the retinue of the Duke of York; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlviii, App. 310.
He appears to have been a violent and lawless man, and his name frequently occurs in the plea rolls. In 1442 the sheriff was ordered to arrest Christopher, Edward, Edmund, and Oliver de Langton, sons of James de Langton, the rector; also Margaret Holerobyn of Wigan, the rector's mistress; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 4 (quoted by Canon Bridgeman).
48 Oliver Langton in 1451 covenanted to pay the £20 yearly to Lichfield; Bridgeman, op. cit. 69. He was still living in 1462; ibid. 70.
In 1457 the Bishop of Lichfield issued a commission to Dr. Duckworth, vicar of Prescot, and others to inquire as to the pollution of the churchyard of Wigan by bloodshed, forbidding it to be used for interments until it should be reconciled; Lich. Epis. Reg. xi, fol. 91b.
49 John Langton, rector of Wigan, occurs in July 1485; Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. i, 266. In 1498 he was called upon to show by what title he claimed various manorial rights in Wigan; Pal. of Lanc. Writs, Lent, 13 Hen. VII.
50 Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 53; the patrons were James Anderton, William Banastre, Thomas Langton (brother of Gilbert Langton of Lowe), and William Woodcock, feoffees of Ralph Langton, deceased.
51 Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 54b; Act Bks. at Chester; the king presented on account of the minority of Thomas Langton. Dr. Wyot was a man of some university distinction, being at one time master of Christ's College, Cambridge; and he held several benefices; see Atbenae Cantab. i, 26.
52 Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 60b. The biography of this distinguished man may be read in Dr. J. N. Johnson's Life of him; also in the Dict. Nat. Biog., and Canon Bridgeman, op. cit. 73–95. He appears to have exchanged the Precentorship of York Minster for the rectory of Wigan, Dr. Wyot receiving the former office on 13 November 1519; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 156. It was only in his later years that Linacre, though made rector of Mersham in 1509, devoted himself to theology, and he was not ordained priest until 22 December 1520, the rectory of Wigan giving him a title.
53 Nicholas Towneley, as rector of Wigan and chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey, complained of a disturbance in his court at Wigan in Apr. 1528; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 173. He was appointed to a prebend in York Minster in Dec. 1531; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 181; and died at Hampton Court on or about 10 Nov. 1532; Duchy Plead. ii, 111 (where there is an error in the year; cf. Le Neve).
54 There is mention of him in Piccope's Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 247 n.
55 Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 34; he made oath that he would pay the £20 to the dean and chapter of Lichfield, according to ancient custom.
Soon after his appointment he leased the rectory for five years for £106 13s. 4d. a year, the odd £6 13s. 4d. being payable to the curate in charge. The lessee, John Kitchin, a lawyer, had become surety for the first-fruits, which had now become part of the royal revenue. This transaction was the origin of much disputing. Kitchin was not satisfied with this short lease, and appears to have obtained the promise of an extension for thirty-three years, and to this he obtained the patron's consent. When, therefore, the rector attempted to regain possession in 1540 he was resisted, and though he had the assistance of a number of persons 'of cruel demeanour,' who 'in a riotous and forcible manner' entered the glebe lands and turned the lessee's cattle out, the inquiry which took place was so far favourable to Kitchin that the rector granted a lease for thirty years at the same rent; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 164; ii, 64. The evidence is given very fully in Canon Bridgeman's History, 102–7.
56 Act Bks. at Ches. Dioc. Reg.; Bridgeman, op. cit. 113. Paid first-fruits 6 Aug. 1543; Lancs. and Ches. Recs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 408. John Kitchin had purchased the right of next presentation from Sir Thomas Langton in 1538, and afterwards sold it to Sir Richard Gresham and Thomas White, citizens of London.
John Herbert became one of the canons of St. Stephen's, Westminster, in Dec. 1530; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, 6803 (19). He was vicar of Penistone from 1545 to 1550, the patron being the dean of the Chapels Royal; Hunter, Doncaster, ii, 339.
57 It is possible that Dr. Standish was never actually rector of Wigan, though Edward VI presented him on the death of John Herbert; Strype, Mem. iv, 260. He does not appear to have paid firstfruits. His singular and discreditable career is sketched by Canon Bridgeman, op. cit. 115–21. See Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
58 He paid his first-fruits 11 Feb. 1550–1. He had much trouble with the tithepayers, or rather the sub-lessees under Kitchin's lease; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 141; Bridgeman, 123–7.
59 Act Bks. at Chester. The patrons were the Earl of Derby, Lord Strange, and others, under a demise by Sir Thomas Langton in 1551. The new rector, a son of William Gerard of Ince, had been presented to Grappenhall as early as 1522, and to Bangor on Dee in 1542, resigning the former on becoming rector of Wigan; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 600. He took part in 1554 in the examinations of George Marsh at Lathom; speaking of the second Prayer Book of Edward VI he remarked, 'This last Communion was the most devilish thing that ever was devised'; Foxe, Acts and Monuments (ed. Cattley), vii, 42.
60 Act Bks. at Chester; Bridgeman, op. cit.; the patrons acted under a grant made by Sir Thomas Langton on 10 May 1558.
Thomas Stanley, supposed to have been an illegitimate son of Lord Mounteagle, was Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1558 to 1568; Moore, Sodor and Man, 96, 138. He also held the rectories of Winwick and North Meols in Lancashire and Barwick in Elmet. He was living quite undisturbed in South Lancashire about 1564 to the great indignation of the Protestant Bishop of Durham; Parker, Corres. (Parker Soc.), 222. The metrical history of the house of Stanley is attributed to him. See Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
61 Church P. at Chester. First-fruits paid 22 June 1569.
62 Ches. Reg. (quoted by Canon Bridgeman); first-fruits paid 12 Feb. The queen presented by reason of the minority of Thomas Langton, and opportunity was taken to place in this important rectory a staunch adherent of the newly-established religious system. Edward Fleetwood was a younger son of Thomas Fleetwood of the Vache, Buckinghamshire. He was but a young man, and established a good example by residing in his rectory; he was 'the first beginner' of monthly communions at Wigan; Bridgeman, op. cit. 235. He also caused forms to be placed in the nave; they were made from the timber of the rood-loft; ibid. 272. He instituted various suits for the recovery of the revenues and rights of his church; Bridgeman, op. cit. 143–63.
He took part in the persecution of 'Popish recusants,' and it is clear from the letter printed in Bridgeman, 166–71, as from his not wearing the surplice in 1589 (Visit. Bks.), and his joining in the petition to Convocation in 1604, that he was a Puritan; he was indeed charged with 'neglect and contempt' in not observing the forms of the Book of Common Prayer, op. cit. 160; also Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 597. A sympathizer with the victims of his zeal 'could not stay his pen from writing unto him to commend him to leave off blaspheming against this our Catholic faith or else he would drink of Judas' sop,' and threw the protest into the rector's pew; Bridgeman, op. cit. 174. For some of the presentments made by Rector Fleetwood against parishioners alleged to have received priests, see Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 239, 240.
63 On 21 June 1604 the benefice was sequestered to preserve the fruits for the next incumbent; on 6 Oct. Brian Vincent, B.D., was presented by John Sweeting and William Hobbes, acting by demise of Sir Thomas Langton; but this grant not being satisfactory, the Bishop of Chester referred the matter to the king, who had presented Gerard Massie, B.D., as early as 17 July; Bridgeman, op. cit. 179. The first-fruits were paid 23 Feb. 1604–5. See also Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 296, m. 5, where it is stated that the advowson was held by the fifth part of a knight's fee.
The new rector was son of William Massie of Chester and Grafton, near Malpas; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 706. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; B.A. 1592; D.D. 1609; Foster, Alumni Oxon. In 1615 he was nominated to the bishopric of Chester, but died in London, 16 Jan. 1615–16, before consecration; Bridgeman, op. cit. 180.
64 Bridgeman, op. cit. 181–455, the whole of pt. ii. The following is a brief outline:—John son of Thomas Bridgeman was born at Exeter in 1577; educated at Oriel College, Oxford, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, being elected fellow of Magdalene in the latter university in 1599; he also took degrees at Oxford; D.D. at Cambridge, 1612. He soon obtained preferment, and married; having attracted the attention of James I his advance was rapid (pp. 181–6). At Wigan he recovered many rights of the church, and thus greatly increased the rectorial income (pp. 188– 262). In 1619 he was appointed Bishop of Chester, retaining in commendam the rectory of Wigan and the prebends he held at Exeter and Lichfield (p. 236). He compiled the valuable 'Wigan Leger'; caused the church to be repaired, procured the erection of an organ (destroyed under the Commonwealth), and made the seats in the body of the church uniform; without interfering with claims to particular sitting places, 'he advised them to rank the best in the highest seats, and so place on the one side only men and on the other side their wives in order; and to seclude children and servants from sitting with their masters or mistresses' (pp. 272, 273). Down to 1629 he usually resided at Wigan (p. 333). In ecclesiastical matters he was a somewhat strict disciplinarian, though not unduly harsh to the Puritans.
Adhering to the king at the outbreak of the Civil War, he was ejected from the bishopric and rectory and fined £3,000 by the Parliament (pp. 437–40). He died at his son Orlando's residence, Morton Hall, near Oswestry, in Nov. 1652 (p. 440). This son was made a judge on the Restoration, and was Lord Keeper from 1667 to 1672; the Earl of Bradford is his descendant and heir. Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
65 James Bradshaw, son of John Bradshaw of Darcy Lever, was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; M.A. 1637; Bridgeman, op. cit. 462; Foster, Alumni Oxon. He was placed in the rectory by the Committee of Plundered Ministers 'upon the delinquency of Dr. Bridgeman,' but was never legally the rector; in 1650 he was described as 'a painful, able, preaching minister,' but he had refused to observe the last fast day; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. 59; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 41. He lost the benefice in 1653 because of the legal rector's death, but was soon afterwards appointed to Macclesfield, where he remained till the Act of Uniformity of 1662 was enforced; ibid. 470. Afterwards he ministered as a Nonconformist in Lancashire.
66 Charles Hotham was a son of Sir John Hotham and ancestor of the present Lord Hotham. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge; M.A. 1639; fellow of Peterhouse, 1640–51, being deprived by Parliament. He was probably presented by his father's trustees, after the death of Bishop Bridgeman, and paid his first-fruits 9 May 1653. Soon after the restoration of Charles II John Burton was presented to the rectory by the king, Hotham being accused of heterodoxy; but on 8 October 1660 the latter was reinstated, only to be ejected in 1662 on refusal to comply with the Act of Uniformity; Bridgeman, op. cit. 473–6; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xliv, App. 34, 68. He afterwards resided in the Bermudas; returned to England and became a fellow of the Royal Society; Dict. Nat. Biog.
67 Son of Dr. Joseph Hall, Bishop of Norwich; educated at Exeter College, Oxford, of which he became fellow; M.A. 1634; D.D. 1660. He was made Bishop of Chester in 1662, and held the archdeaconry of Canterbury and the rectory of Wigan in commendam. While he was rector communion was administered at Wigan six times a year. Bishop Hall died 23 Aug. 1668 from a wound inflicted by a knife in his pocket when he chanced to fall in his garden at Wigan. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 485–96; Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
An inventory of the church goods in Apr. 1668 is printed by Canon Bridgeman, op. cit. p. 551; the vestments consisted of two surplices; there was a green carpet cloth for the communion table; the books included a copy of Fuell and Hardin; there were an hour-glass, a great chest, and other miscellaneous articles.
68 Son of Walter Wilkins of Oxford; educated there, graduating from Magdalen Hall; M.A. 1634. He was made vicar of Fawsley in 1637; conformed to the Presbyterian discipline under the Commonwealth; D.D. 1649; readily accepted the Prayer Book on the Restoration and rose rapidly, being made Bishop of Chester in 1668, and receiving with it the rectory of Wigan. As bishop he was extremely lenient to the Nonconformists. He was devoted to scientific studies, and was one of the founders of the Royal Society in 1660. He died 19 Nov. 1672. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 497–513; Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
69 Bishop Pearson, the most famous of the modern rectors of Wigan, was the son of Robert Pearson, archdeacon of Suffolk. He was born in 1613, educated at Queens' and King's Colleges, Cambridge, becoming fellow of the latter in 1634; M.A. 1639. He retired into private life on the success of the Parliament and devoted himself to study and controversy, his Exposition of the Creed first appearing in 1659. In 1662 he was made master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1673 he was appointed Bishop of Chester and also rector of Wigan. He resided part of the summer at Wigan, employing three curates, two being preachers and the third a reader in deacon's orders. He died 16 July 1686 at Chester, and was buried in the cathedral. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 513–64; Dict. Nat. Biog.
70 Thomas Cartwright was a grandson of his namesake the famous Puritan of Queen Elizabeth's days. His parents were Presbyterians, and he was educated at Queen's College, Oxford, while it was under Puritan rule; M.A. 1655. This makes it the more noteworthy that he ignored the laws in force and was ordained in the year just mentioned according to the Anglican form by Dr. Skinner, who had been Bishop of Oxford, but was then living in retirement. He took a benefice under the existing rule, but as might be expected, at once conformed on the Restoration, and received various preferments. He also secured the firm friendship of the Duke of York, and was one of the very few who thoroughly devoted themselves to his cause when he became king. He was made Bishop of Chester and also rector of Wigan in 1686, and retired to Ireland with the king, dying in Dublin 15 Apr. 1689. His diary, printed by the Camden Society, contains many particulars of local interest.
See Bridgeman, op. cit. 564–78; Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.; Chester Arch. Soc. Trans. (new ser.), iv, 1–33.
71 He was the son of a tradesman at Hemel Hempstead; educated at Trinity College, Oxford; M.A. and fellow 1656; D.D. 1673; warden of Manchester 1667–84; dean of St. Asaph 1674; noted for his tolerance of Dissenters; Bishop of Chester and rector of Wigan, 1689, being one of the first bishops nominated by William III. He resided at Wigan occasionally, and rebuilt the parsonage house in 1695. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 578–601; Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Dict. Nat. Biog.
72 The bishopric of Chester was at this time kept vacant for a year, while the rectory of Wigan was filled by the appointment of the Hon. Edward Finch, a son of the first Earl of Nottingham, and a brother of Henry Finch, dean of York and rector of Winwick. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, of which he was a fellow; M.A. 1679. He represented his university in the Parliament of 1690; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 650. The patrons were Sir John Bridgeman, the Bishop of London, Lord Digby, and John and Orlando Bridgeman. The old organ, situated in a gallery in or near the arch between the nave and chancel—'between the two hollow pillars which divide the new and old chancel,' was the phrase used—had been pulled down in the Commonwealth period, and in its place the mayor and corporation had in 1680 made themselves a pew. This was pulled down in 1709 and a new organ erected, the rector being himself a musician; while the rents from the west end gallery, originally intended for the singers, were appropriated to the organist's salary. Members of the corporation did not take kindly to this ejection from their gallery, and it was probably owing to the ill-feeling and disputes thus engendered that Rector Finch resigned in 1713, apparently before the new organ had been brought into use. He died at York, where he had a canonry, in 1738. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 601–13; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 447; Dict. Nat. Biog.; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 223; i, 48.
73 He was the second son and eventual heir of Thomas Aldersey of Aldersey; was born in 1673, educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; M.A. 1700. He no doubt owed this promotion to his marriage with Henrietta, daughter of Dean Bridgeman of Chester; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 740. He appears to have resided at Wigan. Among the improvements in the church during his incumbency were the recasting of the bells, including 'the little bell called the Catherine bell,' a new clock, 'repairing the curtains at the altar,' a new gallery, &c. At other times (e.g. p. 658) 'a small bell called the Tingtang' is named. The dispute as to the corporation seat was settled by assigning them the western gallery. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 614–28; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
74 He was a son of Sir John Bridgeman; educated at Oriel College, Oxford, of which he became fellow; M.A. 1725; D.D. 1736. He held several benefices, and was appointed vicar of Bolton in 1737. He appears to have resided at Wigan from time to time. He died unmarried in June 1750. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 628–34; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
75 Lord Digby was the only surviving trustee.
The new rector was a son of John Cotes of Woodcote in Shropshire, &c.; educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford; M.A. 1737. He appears to have resided at Wigan until the last years of his life. He died at Woodcote, 11 Dec. 1775. His eldest son John was member for Wigan from 1782 to 1802. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 635–8; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
76 Guy Fairfax, a son of Thomas Fairfax of Newton Kyme, and a cousin of Lady Bridgeman, was educated at Christ Church, Oxford; M.A. 1759. A new church, St. George's, was built in 1781. It appears that the 'prayer bell' was rung twice a day on week days. Mr. Fairfax resided at Wigan during his tenure of the rectory, which he resigned for Newton Kyme in 1790. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 638–40; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
77 The other patrons were Richard Hopkins and John Heaton. The new rector was a son of Sir Henry Bridgeman, who in 1794 was created Lord Bradford. He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge; M.A. 1790. He also became rector of Weston under Lizard and of Plemstall. He died 27 Oct. 1832. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 640–59.
78 H. J. Gunning was a younger son of Sir George W. Gunning, bart., and a nephew of the patron. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford; M.A. 1822. On the death of his brother Sir Robert in 1862, he succeeded to the baronetcy. The parish church was restored during his tenure of the rectory; and in 1837 he obtained an Act of Parliament enabling the rector of Wigan to grant mining leases for working the coal under the glebe. In 1860 with the consent of the patron he sold the manorial rights to the mayor and corporation. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 659–73; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
79 The new rector, a son of the second Earl of Bradford, was collated by the Bishop of Chester, to whom the right had lapsed. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge; M.A. 1845; ordained in 1849, and held various preferments. He was chaplain to Queen Victoria, rural dean of Wigan, hon. canon of Chester and then of Liverpool. He procured the passing of the Wigan Glebe Act, 1871, enabling him to rebuild the rectory, much shaken by coal-mining, and to sell part of the glebe. Canon Bridgeman died in 1896. See his work, already cited, 673–83.
80 Son of David Matthew of London; scholar of Wadham College, Oxford; M.A. 1877; vicar of St. Michael and All Angels', Wigan, 1881; hon. canon of Liverpool, 1904.
81 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 220.
82 Printed by the Rec. Soc. of Lancs. and Ches. p. 14.
83 A Thomas Baron, perhaps the same, had been chantry priest in 1534; Valor Eccl. v, 220.
84 These details are taken from the Visitation Lists preserved in the Diocesan Registry at Chester. A communion table had replaced the altar by 1561; Bridgeman, op. cit. 136.
85 Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 248, quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, 4. The second preacher at the parish church was paid by the lord of Newton, apparently in continuation of the old custom.
86 Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), x, 192. Bishop Bridgeman gives a full account of the 'old chancel' as it was in 1620. Rector Fleetwood had removed the 'goodly, fair choir seats' formerly there and allowed 'plain, rude seats' to be placed instead. The communion table stood in the middle of it; the bishop as rector was placed at the west end, his 'wife, &c.,' at the east end, his servants on the south side; the 'minister's box' was on the north side, where also the clerks had a seat. In the old rood-loft the bishop had lately placed an organ; and he built up a 'new chancel,' at the east end of the old one. See Bridgeman, op. cit. 263, 264. This new chancel was several steps higher than the old, and contained the altar, 271.
87 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 13.
88 Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 59–64; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 25, 41; ii, 129.
A list of the modern curates is given by Canon Bridgeman, op. cit. 723–9.
89 An account of the sale of a pew in the parish church in 1796 is given in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 128.
90 Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 213, no. 16–21; Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 468. The chaplain was to celebrate at the altar of St. Mary in Wigan Church for the souls of Edward II, Sir William de Bradshagh, Mabel his wife, and others.
Very few names of the chantry priests have been preserved; Raines, Lancs. Chant. (Chet. Soc.) i, 66:—
1338. John de Sutton, presented by Dame Mabel de Bradshagh.
Richard Fletcher.
1488. William Holden, presented by James Bradshagh, on the death of R. Fletcher.
oc. 1521. Geoffrey Coppull, vicar of Mountnessing and chantry priest of our Blessed Lady at Wigan, aged 56, gave evidence in a plea of 1521–2; Duchy Plead. i, 102.
oc. 1534. Thomas Baron.
1535. Vacant.
1544. Hugh Cookson. In 1541 he was paid by Thomas Gerard, and soon afterwards appointed to this chantry. In 1553 he had a pension of 60s. 3d., and was fifty-one years of age. He was not summoned to the visitation of 1562, so that probably he had died before that time.
91 Lancs. Chant. loc. cit. His duty was 'to celebrate for the souls of the founders and to sing mass with note twice a week.' There was no plate, as he used the ornaments of the church. The total rental was 66s. 10d., but 1s. was paid to the rector as chief rent, perhaps for a burgage in Wigan.
92 There was an inquiry at Wigan in the time of Jas. I concerning £100 given in 1616 by Hugh Bullock the elder, citizen and haberdasher of London, for setting the poor of the borough to work 'in spinning of cotton, wool, hemp, flax, and making of fustians, and other stuffs;' it was alleged that the fund was misapplied; and an order was made, 3 Mar. 1624–5, to rectify it; Harl. MS. 2176, fol. 32b, 34.
93 The particulars hereafter given are taken from the Char. Com. Rep. xxi (1829), 271–319. An inquiry into the endowed charities of the parish, except the township of Wigan, was made in 1899.
For Wigan township Hugh Bullock of London, as recorded in the previous note, and Henry Mason, rector of St. Andrew Undershaft, London, each gave £100, the latter adding £140 later, which in 1632 and 1639 were conveyed to the corporation; and a farm in Rainford, and lands called Bangs in Wigan, and Hall Meadow in Pemberton, were purchased. In 1828 these were underlet at rents amounting to £60 a year, of which only part was received by the charity. This was used in binding apprentices. In a feoffment of 1665 lands at Angerton Moss, Broughton in Furness, are described as the gift of Oliver Markland, citizen and innholder of London; this land was sold in 1706, and with the proceeds, £25, a rentcharge of 20s. a year on premises in Standishgate, Wigan, was purchased; but in 1828 no payment had been received for many years, and it was not known upon what premises the charge was made.
John Guest, by will in 1653, charged £3 15s. upon premises in Abram called Bolton House, for cloth to the poor, to be distributed by the minister of the parish church; in 1828 £3 10s. was divided among Wigan and the other townships in the parish.
Robert Sixsmith, by his will dated 1688, gave two closes in Wigan and one in Ince, for the needy people of the town, half the rents being applicable to schools. In 1828 the nominal income was about £30; the usual practice was to give to each poor person in the districts into which the town was divided for distribution, so that from 2d. to 1s. was all that each received. Gilbert Ford, in 1705, left the moiety of a close at Wigan called the Bannycroft; in 1828 the half-rent amounted to £3, which was spent in linen or flannel garments.
In 1707 Ellen Wells left £100 for the poor, and Richard Wells, her husband, £200 for apprenticing boys; Edward Holt in 1704 bequeathed £150 and £75 for oat bread or other sort for a Sunday distribution of bread; these sums and other charitable funds were in 1768 used in building a workhouse, and in 1828 £27 6s. 3d. was paid to the churchwardens out of the poor-rate as interest, which was to be laid out according to the wishes of the donors in linen, apprenticing boys, doles of bread, and school fees. An inquiry respecting the Wells charity is printed in Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. ii, 143.
John Baldwin in 1720 left closes called Barker's Croft and Pilly Toft, charged with the payment of £100, which had been entrusted to him by Orlando Bridgeman for apprenticing two boys each year; £3 a year was still paid in 1828. William Brown in 1724 augmented a bread charity founded by his uncle George Brown; and £2 a year was paid by the owner of a farm in Poolstock as interest, and laid out in bread.
Ellen Willis, widow, by her will of 1726 left a bond for £100 to her sons Thomas and Daniel Willis, as trustees, and added another £100; Margaret Diggles, widow, gave £100 also; and in 1737, Daniel Willis, the surviving son, and William Hulton, conveyed to trustees closes called the Page fields in Frog Lane, Wigan; two-thirds of the interest was to be spent in clothing for poor persons 'frequenting the communion of the Lord's Supper in the parish church of Wigan,' while the other third might be used for apprenticing boys. In 1828 the rental amounted to about £42, which was distributed with the Sixsmith and Guest charities.
Thomas Mort of Damhouse, in 1729 gave money for the Throstle Nests or Baron's fields, near Gidlow Lane, the interest to be spent in binding children as apprentices. The rent in 1828 was £16, but the trustee being in difficulties, a considerable sum was in arrears. John Hardman in 1742 left £200 to found a clothing charity, and £9 10s. a year was available in 1828, being spent on woollen coats and cloaks distributed by the curate of Wigan.
James Molyneux, by his will of 1706, left his lands of inheritance, as also a leasehold messuage in the Wiend, until £100 should accrue from the rents to found a charity for the poor, or for apprenticing boys. The money was not paid, but in 1757 Richard Barry, son and executor of Lord Barrymore, who had given a bond for the execution of the will, gave Houghton House and another burgage in Wigan to the corporation to fulfil the trust. The lands were leased for 1000 years, bringing in total rents of £11 5s.; but the buildings upon them, including the Woolpack Inn, were worth over £100 a year in 1828. Philippa Pennington in 1758 gave £200 to found two charities, one for the poor generally, the other for apprenticing boys in Standishgate; this seems to have been intact in 1828.
In 1899 the following changes were reported in some of the charities named.
John Guest's Charity:—The rentcharge on Bolton House has been redeemed, and £140 consols produces the income required for the charity.
Holt's Charity:—The workhouse having been sold £302 was invested in consols as the share of this charity. The income was practically unused, and has recently been applied to found exhibitions for poor boys in the grammar school.
94 John Bullock left a rent-charge of £5 a year on premises in St. Dunstan's in the East, and St. Botolph's to the corporation of Wigan for the poor; but in 1828 no information could be obtained. Ralph Sale in 1722 bequeathed to his wife Hannah a burgage in Wigan, on which, after paying 20s. as lord's rent and four groats as chief rent to the rector, he charged 10s. a year for the poor. His widow gave £15, the messuage being chargeable. In 1828 the Charity Commissioners could not find which the premises were; only one house in Wallgate paid four groats to the rector, and the owner, Sir R. H. Leigh, was not aware of any charge of that kind upon it. John Baldwin, brother of Thomas Baldwin, rector of Liverpool, by his will of 1726, charged his house with £3 a year for the apprenticing of a child; but no information as to the premises or the charity was forthcoming in 1828. Robert Forth in 1761 left a charge of 20s. for the purchase of religious books for the poor; up to December, 1816 this sum had been yearly paid to a Wigan bookseller for the purpose named, but in 1828 nothing could be ascertained as to who was liable. Anne Lyon in 1803 left £40 for the poor; but the acting executor died insolvent, and the money was lost.
95 Edmund Molyneux was a citizen of London, whose will was dated 8 October 1613; sixty poor people at Wigan and thirty at Upholland were to have each a penny loaf every Sunday. In 1828 it was producing £55 a year, and the interest was distributed in bread.
A new scheme was approved in 1889, by which the net income is applied for the benefit of schools at Wigan and Upholland. Owing to agricultural depression the net income has fallen very much, being at best only £9 a year.
96 Abigail Crook gave £12, Thomas Ince £40, and others various sums, so that £95 was laid out in lands, on which a schoolhouse and cottages had been erected, producing £18 a year in 1825, laid out in linen and blankets. The trustees of Thomas Crook distributed £1 a year from his foundation in accordance with their father's will; and 6s. 6d. was received for woollen cloth as the interest of £10 left by William Newton in 1724.
Elizabeth Bevan of Lowton, widow, left £700 in 1833 for a church and school in Abram, and the Rev. Nicholas Robinson in 1839 left £20 for the Sunday school. Frances Elizabeth Chadwick in 1878 bequeathed £200 for the benefit of the poor.
Dissatisfaction existing as to the administration of the older charities a scheme was prepared in 1877, and a new one was made in 1897, under which the charities are administered by the same body of trustees, who have greater liberty in the application of the income, which now amounts to £114 a year.
97 Thomas Molyneux gave £20 and James Rainford £10 for the benefit of the poor; the money was devoted to building the school, and 30s. a year was in 1828 paid out of the rates and given to the poor in sums of 6d. to each, a 'useless mode of distribution.' Similarly £5, arising from £100 given by James Kitts, was distributed in sums of 1s. each. William Worthington's gift of £10 had been lost. Molyneux's and Rainford's benefactions have since 1829 been lost, and Kitts' is applied improperly—to the benefit of the schools.
The Rev. Joshua Paley in 1849 left £1,000 for the endowment of the church, but the greater part was lost in 1886 by the bankruptcy of a solicitor; £200 remains, the interest of which is applied to the schools, and a ground rent of £9 16s. 2d. applied to the choir. Pemberton also shares in the Algernon Egerton Memorial Fund.
98 John Walmesley, by his will of 1726, gave £100 to his son John and others to purchase a rent-charge or estate, the income to be spent on linen for the poor. Edward Richardson directed that for fifty years after his death five loads of oatmeal should be given to the poor, and this was still in operation in 1828. Mary Collier in 1684 left £20, for which it was conjectured 20s. a year had been given by a Mrs. Anderton, though this her son regarded as a voluntary gift. Peter Whittle in 1727 bequeathed 40s. out of his messuage in Ince; £2 10s. had for long been received out of a close called Fillyhey, but for some years before 1828 Mr. Legh's agent had refused to pay.
In 1899 it was found that the Walmesley charity had been in existence as late as 1863. For the Whittle charity £2 is still paid by Lord Newton out of Rothwell's or the manor-house estate, and is distributed by the overseers to the poor.
99 Houghton's charity was a charge of £5 upon an estate called Kirk Lees; it was in 1828 given in doles of 1s. each. James Hodkinson's benefaction produced 10s. a year, given in money or calico.
In 1899 the rent-charge of £5 out of Kirk Lees was still paid and distributed to the poor; the £10 belonging to Hodkinson's charity had disappeared since 1863.
100 The Receptacle in 1828 contained ten dwellings, each having a sitting-room and pantry below and a chamber above, with a little garden attached. The townships of Haigh, Wigan, Aspull, and Blackrod were to benefit. The donor's charitable bequest of £3,000 was void by the Statutes of Mortmain, but the Earl and Countess of Balcarres decided to give effect to her charitable designs. The income in 1828 was about £110, of which £80 was given to the almspeople, £10 to the chaplain, and £12 on an average to the apothecary.
In 1899 the annual income was found to be £139. Some of the rules—as that against the use of Bohea or green teas— are now inapplicable; but preference is still given to Haigh people who have worked in the mines; applicants must be over fifty, and adherents of the Established Church.
101 Ellen Kindsley charged an estate in Whittington Lane with £1 a year, which was usually distributed with other charities. Ralph Greaves in 1696 gave £20 for apprenticing children or for the poor; James Monk £20 in 1723 for cloth or apprenticing; William Higham in 1729 a similar sum for linen or woollen; and Sir Roger and Lady Bradshagh in 1767 each gave £20 to augment the fund; it appears to have been lost before 1828 by the practical bankruptcy of the person to whom it had been lent. A poor's stock of £68 5s. existed in 1744, but no information could be obtained in 1828. James Grimshaw in 1822 left £40 for the poor.
For Kindsley's charity in 1899 the rentcharge of £1 on Hilton Farm was found to be paid by the Wigan Coal and Iron Company; the money is distributed in doles of flannel. All the other charities have been lost.
102 Frances Dukinfield in 1662 left four closes in Mobberley for the minister of Hindley Chapel, 'So as he should be elected or approved by the trustees for the time being, by any two or more godly ministers, and by the greater number of the householders and masters of families in Hindley,' and for other charitable purposes; in 1828 £4 was given for the poor of Hindley and Abram from this source, being £2 8s. for the former and £1 12s. for the latter, and laid out in linen cloth. Randle and Mary Collier also left £60 for linen cloth and a further £10; and Edward Green and Robert Cooper £30 for the poor; all was in practice used for gifts of linen.
In 1899 it was found that £7 10s. was paid out of land at Mobberley in respect of the Dukinfield charity; under a scheme sanctioned in 1890 £2 10s. was paid to the vicar of All Saints', Hindley, £1 to the grammar school, £1 12s. to the trustees of the Abram United Charities, leaving £2 8s. for distribution in Hindley. The other charities have a capital of £151 consols, the interest being spent on flannel, which is distributed on New Year's Day.
Richard Mather in 1852 conveyed certain lands to trustees for the use of a school and for bread for the poor; but the school has been given up, and a new scheme was in 1899 being prepared. Thomas Winnard in 1860 left £40 for the benefit of the poor attending St. Peter's, Hindley. The public park and the library are also noticed.
103 The estate consisted of a house and about 14 acres of land, part of the Blackleyhurst estate, on which was a quarry called Grindlestone Delph; it was subject to a fee-farm rent of 20s. to John Blackburn and his heirs (to Sir William Gerard in 1828 by purchase). The use was for the maintenance of 'a pious and orthodox minister' for Billinge chapel, for the school, and the relief of the poor. In practice the house and land were occupied by the incumbent of the chapel, and the profits of the quarry, let for £50 a year in 1828, to the schools and the poor of the two townships of Billinge. The gross income in 1899 was £98, out of which £1 ground rent was paid to Lord Gerard. The beacon on the hill stands on this property. As the quarry is becoming exhausted the trustees have ceased to distribute the income from it, but £10 a year has been given to the poor.
104 William Bankes in 1775 left £20 to each of the Billinges, and in 1828 18s. was paid yearly out of the estate of Meyrick Bankes. For Chapel End from the same estate was paid £2 12s. a year for bread for the poor, which was distributed every other Sunday; in 1786 there was a poor's stock of £23 5s., the accumulation of numerous small gifts, producing in 1828 23s. 4d. from the overseer's accounts and expended in linen and woollen cloth; £57 resulting from the sale of William Birchall's estates, and supposed to have arisen from a gift of £40 by — Okill, was in 1799 used to purchase a cottage, the rent of which was also spent in linen for the poor. The cottage in 1899 produced a net income of £4 3s. 6d., distributed by the vicar in money and clothing; and 18s. was paid to the overseers by Mrs. Bankes of Winstanley, and distributed in doles of calico or flannel. Nothing is now known of the other ancient funds. Elizabeth Comber in 1896 left £100 for the provision of coals and food for the poor at Christmas.
For Higher End the Digmoor estate in Upholland in 1828 produced £10 a year, which was added to other charities and spent in linen and cloth. The net income is now £13 10s.; this is added to the township's share of the Eddleston and other charities, and distributed in doles of calico.
105 The Rev. James Bankes, rector of Bury, in 1742 gave £40 for linen cloth for the poor; William Bankes in 1775 gave £50; Robert Bankes in 1747, £100; Frances Bankes in 1764, £50; Catherine Bankes in 1766, £20; and there were smaller sums, the total being £402 10s., yielding in 1828 £19 11s., which was laid out in linen for the poor. William Bankes in 1798 left £400 for blankets; this yielded about £19 in 1828, and was spent according to the benefactor's wishes. On account of the former set of charities £19 8s. 6d. is now paid by Mrs. Bankes at Winstanley: the overseers distribute it in cloth. William Bankes' benefaction is represented by £600 consols; the income is distributed in blankets, and 'it is supposed that every cottager in the township received a blanket every alternate year.'
106 Jane Leigh in 1707 gave £10 to the poor, William Naylor £8, and Peter Parr £4; Anne Sandford in 1746 gave £25; in 1828 the agent or trustee of Sir Robert Holt Leigh and Meyrick Bankes paid £1 and £1 7s. as interest on these sums. Out of the poor rates 5s. was paid as 'Widow Naylor's Charity.' One Holt in 1723 left land called Crossbrook, which brought in a rent of £2 10s. These sums were all placed together and distributed on St. Thomas's Day to poor persons in sums of 1s. or 1s. 6d. James Thomason in 1786 left £200, of which £100 had been lost; the £5 interest on the other half was distributed to the poor on 25 July.
In 1899 it was found that £1 is paid yearly by Mr. Roger Leigh, and £1 7s. by Mrs. Bankes, on account of the Leigh, Naylor, and Parr, and Sandford gifts; Thomason's charity has an income of £3 17s. 4d. The whole sum is given in doles of calico. Holt's charity has failed; the land called Crossbrook was owned by the late Colonel Blundell.
107 In 1720 he surrendered a messuage and tenement with right of turbary on Upholland Moss, and land called Moss Close, to trustees for the townships of Upholland, Orrell, Billinge, and Pemberton, also Rainford and Windle, the yearly profits to be spent in apprenticing children; it was let for £70 a year in 1828. Part of the income was used for repairs and legal expenses, and the rest divided among the townships named and used as intended. In 1728 by his will he gave Pimbo Lane House and another tenement called Sefton's Estate to provide woollen garments and oat bread for the poor of Pemberton, Orrell, Upholland, Billinge, Winstanley, Windle, and Eccleston. The gross income in 1828 was £117 10s. a year, but owing to heavy expenses in buildings only about £50 was used for the charity, of which £20 was spent on woollen cloth and £30 on oatmeal loaves.
The income of the charity has greatly increased, owing to the development of coal mines on the lands, and now amounts to about £250, the estate consisting of lands and £2,120 consols, chiefly the products of mining leases. The charity is supposed to be regulated by a scheme giving larger powers, authorized in 1891; but no practical change has been made in the distribution of the income, the threefold system of apprenticing, clothing, and bread doles being continued.
108 Henry Prescot in 1638 gave £20 for poor householders; Richard Walthew in 1643 gave £130; James Fairclough, £250, and others smaller sums; the 1829 information concerning the total sum of £446 13s. 4d. was that in 1771 £376 had been placed out on private security. James Fairclough also gave £100 to establish a bread charity, and in 1828 £5 a year was received from the rents of the Moss estate, and added to the share of Edmund Molyneux's benefaction. Thomas Barton in 1674 gave to the poor of Upholland £3 6s. 8d. charged on an estate there, and paid in 1828; Thomas Mawdesley, by his will of 1728, devised his copyhold lands—the Little, Rushy, and Meadow Baryards—to the use of the poor as an addition to 'Barton's dole'; in 1828 £17 10s. was received, and, with the preceding gift, divided among the poor in sums of 2s. or 2s. 6d. The Rev. Thomas Holme in 1803 left £100 for a gift of blankets; it was in operation in 1828.
Of the above the Fairclough charity has benefited by the working of mines, and now has an income of £40 from the Moss estate and £124 from consols arising from the investment of mining rents; the money has been distributed indiscriminately in doles of bread and flannel, &c. The rent-charge of £3 6s. 8d. on Barton House Farm is still paid, and distributed with Mawdesley's charity, the total varying from £16 to £23 a year; tickets worth 2s. 6d. each are given to the selected applicants. The Holme bequest produces £4 16s. a year, expended on blankets for the poor.
109 It shared in the charities of Peter Latham (Croston), and Edmund Molyneux and John Gaunt (Wigan). Thomas Ashhurst was supposed to have made a rent-charge of 25s. to the poor, paid in 1786 by the owner of Ashhurst Hall; but in 1828 nothing could be ascertained. The share of the Latham charity coming to Dalton is now £68, and is distributed in doles of clothing, valued at from 10s. to £1, and rarely in money gifts.


<--Previous:
Liverpool:
Charities
Next:-->
Townships:
Wigan