Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/126

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

yearly: which grant was ratified and confirmed by the bishop and patron of the church of Wigan. Ralph Bradshagh, having the said deed in his possession, refuses to give it up, although repeatedly applied to by the said complainant and others who have been mayors of Wigan before him. Ralph Bradshagh refuses to reply, but demands judgment and the dismissal of the bill.[1]

It is stated that the town and parish of Wigan contained, in 1548, 2,600 "houselynge people."[2]

Sir Thomas Langton, knight, still retained the stewardship of the manor of Wigan, under the new rector, and apparently with no better warrant than before. In or about the year 38 Hen. VIII. (1346) he appointed Edward, Earl of Derby, his deputy, but afterwards refused to pay him the fees; and in I Eliz. (1558-9) the Earl of Derby sues him in the Duchy Court for the same. He states that twelve years ago the defendant granted to him the office of the stewardship of Wigan (and Newton) with the profits and advantages to the same belonging, in the same ample manner as William Gerrard, Esq., had had the office before, with a yearly fee of £5 6s. 8d. to be paid half-yearly on Christmas Day and St. John Baptist's day; that he (Lord Derby) appointed Thomas Standish as his deputy for the space of two years; that the said deed (the grant of the office of steward) came into the hands of Sir Thomas Langton, who has withheld the yearly fee for the space of nine years, notwithstanding that both deed and fee have been many times demanded of him. In answer to which Sir Thomas Langton cooly declares that "he made no grant or sufficient deed to the complainant of the office of stewardship" and "that he (Sir Thomas)was never seized of the said office."[3]

John Herbert appears as rector in 1550,[4] but the benefice became vacant by his death[5] early in that year.

  1. Duchy of Lancaster Pleadings, vol. xiv. W. No. 4.
  2. Lancashire Chantries, Chetham Tract, lix. p. 67 note (e libra B. Duch. Lanc.)
  3. Duchy of Lancaster Pleadings, I Eliz. vol. i. D. No. I.
  4. Raines' MSS. (extracts from the Register of Chester) vol. xxii. p. 16.
  5. Strype's Memorials (printed Oxford, 1822), vol. iv. p. 260.