Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/42

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

neither did they know whether he had bequeathed those houses to his cousin Amabilla de Rypun or not.[1]

From what has been stated it is clear that Parson Maunsell could never have resided at Wigan, and his spiritual duties were probably discharged by a resident vicar, of whose name we have no mention. But on account of his charter of freedom to the inhabitants of Wigan and the other immunities which he obtained for them, his history must ever be a matter of interest to them as well as to his successors, the parsons of Wigan.

Maunsell was succeeded at Wigan by Master Richard, who, as Rector of Wigan, joined Sir Robert Banastre, the patron, in settling on the Cathedral church of Lichfield an annual pension from the revenues of the benefice. From a copy of the original document, made in 1625 by Anthony Nichols notary public and preserved in the Diocesan Registry at Chester,[2] it appears that Sir Robert Banastre, Knight, with the assent of Roger de Meyland, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and with the consent of Richard, then Rector of Wigan, gave to God and the church of St. Mary and St. Chad of Lichfield thirty marks of silver annually to be paid from the fruits of the church of Wigan, by the hands of the Rector for the time being, of which fifteen were to be paid within the quinzaine of St. Michael and fifteen within the quinzaine of Easter, to the following uses, namely: ten marks for six boys to be elected by the bishop to minister in the

  1. Inq. post. mort. 50 Hen. III. No. 9.
  2. Bishop Bridgeman's Register, folio 484, see also Gastrell's Notitia Cestriensis, vol. ii. pp. 244, 245, who quotes from Lichf. Dioc. Reg. Lib. v. fol. 85 b. This pension has continued to the present day, though the amount has varied at different times. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus, temp. Hen. VIII. it is put at £20. In the Notitia Cestriensis of Bishop Gastrell, who was consecrated in 1714, it is described as a pension of 30 marks per annum. A sum of £16 is now (1887) paid annually by the Rector of Wigan to the Sacristan of Lichfield Cathedral, who informed the writer, in 1878, that the pension is now disposed of as follows, namely: to St. Paul's Cathedral, £4 3s. 4d.; to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, £2 14s. 8d.; to bread (St. Thomas' Dole) to all householders of the close, Lichfield (being Vicars choral and a few others), £1; to the Sacrist, £2 12s. 8d.; Total £16.