Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 2.djvu/36

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216
History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

In the meantime, a quo warant, signed by Sir Henry Yelverton, the king's attorney-general, had been issued against the mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses of Wigan, and a writ was served upon them to appear the next term at the Crown office in London. Peter Marsh and old William Forth, with Ralph Markland and Robert Pennington, accordingly came to London upon the quo waranto in Easter term, 1618, but would not appear that term, pretending that they had not had time enough, nor their counsel sufficient leisure, to draw up their answer. In the meantime they used means to Sir Henry Yelverton, the king's attorney, to induce him to withdraw the quo waranto; and upon his refusal they petitioned the king that it might be withdrawn, and because the master of requests, Sir Christopher Perkins, had their petition, and they were again urged to put in their answer, they delivered a private information to his Majesty in writing, which, says Dr. Bridgeman, "his Majesty tore, saying he knew Dr. Bridgeman would not wrong them, and delivered it to my Lord Hay, who gave it to me, and it now lyes among my other papers concerning this business.

The information was thus verbatim: 'Information for his Majestie concerning the Town of Wighan. Whereas the said Town of Wighan is and hath been in diverse Kings' tymes, his Majestie's predecessors, a Mayor Town, and hath a Mayor and Aldermen at this present, and payes his Majestie all subsidyes and customes as other Mayor Towns doe; the said Town is now chalenged by the parson thereof, Dr. Bridgeman, to appertaine to him, who seekes the overthrow of their customes and freedomes, like as heretofore in Queen Elizabeth's tyme there was another parson of the same Town sought the like and sued the Town by Law, whereupon the Town obtayned a decree well against him in the Dutchy that it belongs no way to the parson thereof. Wherefore it may please his Majestie to be graciously pleased to signify to his Attorney Generall that the said Decree formerly made may stand good, and that his Majesty is pleased that the controversye between the parson and the Town may be