WIGAN, Hugh, of Shrewsbury, Salop and Hereford.
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Family and Education
prob. s. of Nicholas Wigan (d. bef. 1352), of Shrewsbury by Benedicta, da. of Walter Geoffrey of the same.1
An ancestor of Hugh Wigan’s of the same name appeared on the merchant’s guild roll of Shrewsbury for 1318-19, and he himself spent the first part of his career residing in the town, where he obtained an income from property on ‘Le Wyle’ between the King’s Highway and Bepston Lane. Although not apparently himself engaged in trade, Wigan was party in 1381 to a recognizance under the statute merchant in the exchequer of Shrewsbury. He was described as a resident of Shrewsbury on 6 Nov. 1386 when, being at Westminster to represent the borough in Parliament for the first time, he there entered into a bond for £30 payable to William Damiot, esquire. On 14 Mar. 1388, during the first session of the Merciless Parliament, which Wigan also attended in the same capacity, he, together with his fellow Member, Robert Thornes, stood surety for the Exchequer lessees of the abbey of Alberbury, Shropshire, namely, the prior and Sir Fulk Fitzwaryn. Throughout the decade the municipal government of Shrewsbury had been unsettled, with the consequence that disorder had become endemic. It was for this reason that an assembly of burgesses took place in the abbey church there on 29 June 1389 in the presence of Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, for the purpose of devising good and sufficient remedy’. The result of its deliberations was contained in an agreement, drawn up on 16 Aug. and later confirmed by Richard II in January 1399, by which one of the main sources of controversy, the mode of election of the bailiffs, was temporarily settled by the continuance in office of the existing bailiffs, Wigan and Thornes, and the formulation of regulations for their better governmen