||From the list in Lucas's 'Warton'
||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.
Chs. of Lancs. (Chet. Soc. xxvii), 58.
||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.),
||The monuments are fully described
in Canon Bridgeman's Wigan Ch. (Chet.
||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.
||See V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286a.
||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.
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.
||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.
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
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.
||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
||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.
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 336.
||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.
||Bridgeman, op. cit. 102, 107, 121,
||Ibid. 477–80, where abstracts of
fifteen deeds relating to the transfers are
||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;
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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,
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.
||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.
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.
||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.
Liverpool Diocesan Cal.
||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.
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.
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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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–
||Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 6; he promised to pay the £20 a year to Lichfield
||Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 6 (quoted by
||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. 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.
||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.
||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).
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||There is mention of him in Piccope's
Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 247 n.
||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.
||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
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,
||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.
||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.
||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),
||Act Bks. at Chester; Bridgeman,
op. cit.; the patrons acted under a grant
made by Sir Thomas Langton on 10 May
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.
||Church P. at Chester. First-fruits
paid 22 June 1569.
||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,
||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
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.
||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
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.
||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
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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,
||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.
||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;
||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
||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.
||Lord Digby was the only surviving
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.
||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
||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.
||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,
||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,
||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.
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 220.
||Printed by the Rec. Soc. of Lancs.
and Ches. p. 14.
||A Thomas Baron, perhaps the same,
had been chantry priest in 1534; Valor
Eccl. v, 220.
||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.
||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.
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.
Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 13.
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.
||An account of the sale of a pew in
the parish church in 1796 is given in
Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 128.
||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.
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.
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.
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.
||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.
||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
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
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 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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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
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
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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
||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.'
||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.
||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.
||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
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.
||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.