Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/40

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28
History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

King. This is the last official business in which we find Maunsell engaged. Having been stripped of all his possessions, with his Royal patron in captivity in England, he died in poverty and in exile at the close of that year or early in 1265.

Thus ended the career of this remarkable man, who exercised a greater power than any other subject during the reign of King Henry III. and who seems to have possessed an almost unbounded influence over his Royal Master. Whether this influence was always wisely used or not he never swerved in his allegiance to the King, whose letters preserved in the patent and close rolls shew how fully he trusted him in all his affairs. He must also have been a man of extraordinary courage, talent, and powers of persuasion, for the delicate embassies on which he was despatched were almost invariably successful.

When Henry was about to start for Gascony, by his will dated at Suthwyk on the Tuesday next after the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul (1st July), 1253, he named Maunsell one of his executors.[1]

John Maunsell's chief ecclesiastical preferments were the chancellorship of St. Paul's, the Deanery of the Royal collegiate church of Wimborne in Dorsetshire, the Treasurership of York, the Prepositure of Beverley and the Rectory of Wigan; besides which, we know him to have held the Rectory of Hoton (Hoveden or Howden) with Skern, in the county of York, the churches of Ferring, in Sussex, Sawbridgeworth, in Dorset, and Maidstone, in Kent (then probably a Rectory), the prebend of Totenhall, in the Diocese of London, that of Crackpole St. Mary's, which he afterwards exchanged for that of Leicester, in the Diocese of Lincoln, and prebends in Wells, Chichester, and the Collegiate church of Bridgnorth in Shropshire, as also, for a short time, the prebend of Fenton in the Diocese of York, to which he was appointed by the King, 29th November, 1258. He was also chaplain to the King and to the Pope. He appears

  1. Rymer's Fœdera vol. i. p. 496.