Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/7

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INTRODUCTION.

THE History of the Church and Manor of Wigan possesses an interest of its own, not only from the close connection of the one with the other, but also from the fact of its being the only instance, as far as I know, in which a secular priest held, in right of his church, such plenary powers as were conferred upon John de Winwick and his successors by King Edward III. There were others who became lords of the manor as parsons of their churches, as for instance the rectors of the neighbouring parish of Winwick, but I am not aware of any, beside the rectors of Wigan, who enjoyed a view of frankpledge, acquittance for themselves and their tenants from attendance at the Sheriffs' tourns, cognizance of all pleas as well concerning lands, tenements and rents as concerning transgressions, covenants and complaints, together with issues, forfeitures, amercements, fines and redemptions in cases of this sort arising within their town, manor or lordship, and also pleas of assizes, concerning tenants within their manor, who should happen to be arraigned before the King's justices appointed to hold assizes within the county, so that the said justices, when called upon by the parson or his bailiff, should give them up to