The first indubitable Parson, or Rector, of Wigan that I meet with is
Ranulf, Treasurer of Salisbury, who, as a non-resident, appears to have nominated a vicar or perpetual curate to serve the church in his place. On 12th June, 1199 (1 John), a grant was made to Adam, clerk, de Frekelton, of the perpetual vicarage of the church of Wigan, at the request of Ranulf, Treasurer of Salisbury, Parson of Wigan. Ranulf resigned the benefice in the 6th year of John (1205), when the right of patronage, for that turn, fell to the Crown, because the land of Makerfield was in the King's hands by reason of the death of Guarin Banastre; and on the 23rd April, 1205. the King presented his beloved clerk,
- In a plea of 31 Edw. I. (which will be quoted in its place) a claim was made to the patronage by the Lord of Standish; who asserted that in the time of King Richard, one Ulf had been presented, and instituted, to the chapel of Wigan by a certain Ralph de Standish, and received the great tithes, &c., but the assertion was not proved, and his claim to the advowson was rejected.
- Charters of the Duchy of Lancaster (Appendix to 21st Report of Deputy Keeper of Records, p. 5). I have no means of ascertaining when Ranulf was presented to the church of Wigan, but Canon Jones, Fasti Sarum, 343, gives 1192 as the date of his appointment to the Treasurership of Salisbury, and 1210 as the date of his successor's appointment.
- Rot. Chart. and Rot. Pat 6 John, m. 2. Robert de Dunolm was one of the King's Clerks or Chaplains in 1201, in which year, on 28th December, the King's Treasurer had orders to pay out of the King's Treasury the sum of 25s. to Robert de Dunolm and Roger de Suhamton, the King's Clerks, because they had sung [mass] before him at Argent on on Christmas Day (Rot. de Liberate 3 Joh. m. 2). On 6th May, 1208, the same King conceded to Robert de Dunolm, his clerk, the church of Wistow with the chapels of Ravel and Uppewüd (Raveley and Upwood in the county of Hunts), the presentation to which belonged to the King by reason of the Abbey of Rames [Ramsey] being then vacant and in the King's hands (Rot. Chart. 9 Joh. m. i). In 1211 the same Robert had 40s. allowed him for going into Poitou in the King's service (Rot. de Prestito 12 Joh. m. i).
- This is the only instance I meet with of a Vicar of the church of Wigan having a vested right to his Vicaria under the Parson or Rector, but there can be no doubt that the benefice was often afterwards held by a non-resident Rector, who may very likely have appointed a Vicar to act for him.