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Wigan

The ancient market town and borough of Wigan stands on the eastern bank, and near the source, of the river Douglas; 15~ miles S. from Preston, 23 N.E. from Liverpool, 22 W.N.W. from Manchester, and 203 miles from London, an rail distances. The cotton trade is carried on to a great extent, both in the town and neighbourhood, besides which there are several iron and brass foundries, chemical works~ manufactories for spades and edge tools~ and various other important works, as will be seen by the directory. Great improvements have been effected in the town within the last few years, and its population has increased amazingly during the present century. In 1801 the number of inhabitants in the borough was 10,989; in 1811, 14,06U; in 1821, 17,716; in 1841, 25~11; and in 1851,~ and at the present time the number is considerably above more that 40,000.

Wigan was undoobtedly a place of considerable eminence in Saxon times, and though its name does not occur in the Domesday survey, three of its townships, Up-Holland, Dalton, and Orrell, are all returned as affording possessions to the thanes of the Conqueror; and the church is ofso high an antiquity that it cannot be reached by any authentic records now extant. Mr. Baines says, “the river Douglas, which glides past Wigan, is renowned in the early history of Britain, as the scene of King Arthur’s most splendid achievements. On the banks of this river, according to Ninnius, that gallant monarch fought four of the most memorable of his battles against the Saxon invaders. About eighty years ago, a large collection of horse and human bones, and an amazing quantity of horse shoes, scattered over a large extent of ground, and exhibiting evidence of sanguinary military operations) were found near this place

 

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