Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 2.djvu/28

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

on entry. On 17th October, 1617, John Fayrbrother came to Dr. Bridgeman in the hall of Wigan, and confessed to the said Dr. Bridgeman that he had never bought the toft of ground which adjoins to the house in Scholes where he now dwells, neither was it given to him, nor did he receive it by mortgage, but that he entered upon it only by virtue of the lease of his house which he holds of Mr. Gerard, thinking that the said toft belonged to his house. He also confessed that his master, Mr. Thomas Gerard, told him that he could not, nor would he, set him that toft, but that it did belong to the parson, and that he should compound with Dr. Bridgeman for the same, or else he the said Fayrbrother should lose his (the said Mr. Gerard's) favour. But on being asked whether he would pay the fine which he had agreed with Dr. Bridgeman to pay, he answered that the town had spoken hardly of him about yielding to the parson in the fine of his toft, and therefore now he would not pay it, whereupon Dr. Bridgeman discharged the said John Fayrbrother from the said toft, and demanded satisfaction for the profits thereof for more than two years last past, whiles he had been parson, which (as it was told him) are worth a mark a year, and he ordered Henry Reynolds to go presently and re-enter the said toft and take possession thereof to the use of him and his successors, the parsons of Wigan; who presently went and took possession thereof, there being then no living thing in the said toft.[1]

The concluding history of this last dispute is as follows: On the last day of October, 1617, Dr. Bridgeman laid a complaint, before Sir H. Montague, Lord Chief Justice of England, against the said John Fayrbrother, that whereas Henry Reynolds and Thomas Higham, by his appointment, had put a black nag into his toft in the Scholes, and told him of it, willing him either to come and talk with Dr. Bridgeman about it, or to impound the horse, that he (Dr. Bridgeman) might defend his action in law; he the said Fayrbrother beat the horse, and wounded Reynolds

  1. Wigan Leger fol. 10.