bishop Bridgeman was permitted to retain his stalls at Exeter and Lichfield, together with the rectory of Wigan, in commendam. Among his disbursements for the year 1619 he mentions the painting of his picture in bishop's robes, for which the cost was but thirty-five shillings. He also mentions among his episcopal equipments two black velvet caps, and a scarlet cap.
In this year, 1619, after Easter, bishop Bridgeman held his first court leet and his first court baron for the manor of Wigan, to which he had now made good his title, and also his first fair at Ascension tide. But the profits of the former were barely sufficient to pay the fees of the officers who kept his courts. At the first court leet his charges were: for the diet of his officers and jurors, at John Hyde's, because he was himself at London at the time, 28s..; given to the steward's man 5s.; and for wine for the justices who came to see that good rule was kept 12s. The charges for his first fair came to £8 11s. 8d., namely, for wages to tollgatherers and to the watchmen 28s. 3d.; the diet for Mr. Fleetwood deputy steward and his train all the fair time £6 9s. 5d.; sweeping the streets after the fair 18d.,; to Wm Rigby clerk of the pypouder court 5s. 6d.; the steward's horses charge 7s.
Though the profits of these courts were small in themselves, they were of inestimable value to the lord of the manor as the means of establishing and preserving his rights. At a court baron held at Wigan on the 4th October, 1619, a verdict was given by a jury of Wiganers that Letherbarrow holds the corn mill as a tenant at will, and by no other title:
"Curia Baronis Reverendi in Christo patris ac Domini Joh'is Episcopi Cestren. et Rectoris de Wigan tent. apud Wigan quarto die Octobris Anno Regni Regis Jacobi Angliæ Franc, et Hiberniæ decimo septimo et Scotiæ Quinquagesimo tertio Annoque Domini Millesimo Sexcentesimo decimo nono.
- This is probably the picture which is still in the bishop's palace at Chester.
- Pypowder or Piepowder Court; a court held in fairs for redress of all disorders committed therein.