Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/21

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

November, 1243).[1] It was in the summer of 1244, according to Matthew Paris, that the King appointed Sir Poyntz Piper, Knight—(whom he had made acting steward of the Palace), and John Maunsell, Chancellor of St. Paul's, his principal councillors.

Maunsell had been made Chancellor of St. Paul's during the vacancy of the See of London, by the King's patent dated on 24th May, 1243,[2] and he seems to have retained the office till about the year 1259. In the year 1245, he also obtained a stall at Chichester.[3]

In what year he became Rector of Wigan I do not find; but it was probably about this same time, or at all events some time between the years 1242 and 1245-6, when Robert Banastre, the young lord of Newton, was in his minority, and his lands in the King's custody. By charter dated at Woodstock, on the 26th of August, 30 Hen. III. (1246) the King concedes to his beloved and faithful John Mansell, Parson of the church of Wygain, that his town of Wygain should be a borough for ever, and that the burgesses should have a guild-merchant and other the liberties and customs thereto belonging.[4] The Rector's own charter of freedom to the burgesses, which was probably granted in the same or following year, runs thus: "To all sons of our Holy Mother church to whom this present writing shall come, John Maunsell, Rector of the church of Wigan, greeting in the Lord. Be it known to all men that I have given and conceded, and by this my present charter have confirmed, for myself and my successors, to the burgesses of Wegan, and their heirs or assigns, that they should have their free town, and all rights, customs, and liberties, as is contained in the charter of liberty and acquittance of the Lord King; and that each of them should have to their burgage five roods of land to themselves and

  1. Rym. Fœd. vol. i. p. 254.
  2. Pat. 27 Hen. III. m. 10.
  3. Hutchins' Dorsetshire, vol. ii. p. 534.
  4. The original charter to John Maunsell is not extant, but it will be given more fully when speaking of the charter of inspeximus granted to Adam de Walton, one of his successors.