Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 2.djvu/33

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213
History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

or more other mills (horse mills) set up, the right to the possession of which were challenged by him, as will be shown hereafter.

Before following these long suits with the millers, however, I will speak of his more important action against the mayor and corporation for the restitution of his manorial rights.

In this matter Dr. Bridgeman commenced as follows: "On ffryday, 17­° Octob., 1617, being the fayre even, in the morning I sent my man, Alexander Buckley, to Hugh Ford, mayor of Wigan, entreating him not to deal or meddle with the ffayres or profits thereof to the prejudice of my right, till we had determined the controversye for the ffayres, courts, &c., and that therefore he and his brethren the aldermen and the rest of the burgesses of the town would meet me in the pendice chamber, wch they did at 10 of the clock in the forenoon, where I carried wth me as witnesses of my offers Augustine Wildbore and William Wicksteed and Alexander Buckley: there I told them that (because I was unwilling to goe to law, yet more unwilling to hurt my conscience with sacrilege against my successors in letting goe those rights wch I found my predecessors enjoyed) if they would give me reason for those things wherein I thought my church was wronged I would rest satisfied, otherwise that I must needs goe to law. I desired then we might doe it charitably, and use the law as God's ordinance for the tryall of right, not for the maintaining of wrong, and that for my own part I would be as kind to all of them, even in the tyme of sute, as to my brethren. They answered that I had what my predecessors enjoyed, and desired me to demand no more. Whereto my reply was, [that] none of my predecessors (but Dr. Massy) were wthout the use & possession of all those things wch I claymed, or at least did clayme and sue for them, as Mr. Fleetwood did, and that till 30 Elizabeth these things for hundreds of years were enjoyed by the parsons of Wigann, untill that Bp Stanly, upon fear and for a fine of money received, past over ye use of the courts, ffayrs and markets unto the town, but that this act of Stanley's could not prejudice his successors, unless they would