May 24, 1649. A True Representation
May 24, 1649.
A true representation of the present sad and lamentable con-
dition of the county of Lancaster, and particularly of the towns of
Wigan, Ashton, and the parts adjacent.
THE hand of God is evidently seen stretched out upon the County, chastening it with a three-corded scourge of Sword, Pestilence, and Famin, all at once afflicting it: They have borne the heat and burden of a first and second War, in an especiall manner above other parts of the Nation: through them the two great bodies of the late Scottish and English Armies passed, and in their very bowels was that great fighting, bloud-shed and breaking. In this County hath the plague of Pestilence been ranging these three years and upward, occasioned manifestly by the Wars. There is a very great scarsity and dearth of all provisions, especially of all sorts of grain; particularly that kind by which that Countrey is most sustained, which is full six-fold the price that of late it hath been. All trade (by which they have been much supported) is utterly decayed: it would melt any good heart to see the numerous swarms of begging poore, and the many families that pine away at home, not having faces to beg: Very many now craving almes at other mens dores, who were used to give others alms at their dores: To see palenesse, nay death appear in the cheeks of the poor; and often to hear of some found dead in their houses or highwayes for want of bread. But particularly the Townes of Wigan and Ashton, with the neighbouring parts, lying at present under the sore stroak of God in the Pestilence: In one whereof are full two thousand poor, who for three moneths and upward have been restrained, no relief to be had for them in the ordinary course of Law, there being none at present to act as Justices of the peace: The Collections in our Congregations (there only supply hitherto) being generally very slack and slender, those wanting ability to help who have hearts to pity them: Most mens Estates, being much drained by the Wars, and now almost quite exhaust by the present scarsity, and many other burdens incumbent upon them: There is no bonds to keep in the infected hunger-starved poore, whose breaking out jeapoardeth all the Neighbourhood.
Some of them already, being at the point to perish through famine, have fetcht in and eaten Carion and other unwholsome food to the destroying of themselves, & increasing of the infection: And the more to provoke pity and mercy it may be considered, that this fatall Contagion had its rise evidently from the wounded souldiers of our Army left there for cure.
All which is certified to some of the Reverend Ministers of the City of London, by the Major, Minister, and other persons of credit inhabitants in, or wel-wishers to, and well acquainted with the Town of Wigan, together with four godly and faithfull Ministers of Lanchashire, by providence in this city at this present.
Now if God shall stir up the hearts of any or more Congregations in and about the City of London (the premises considered) to yeeld their charitable contribution to the necessities of these afflicted & distressed parts and places, it wil be carefully sought after, and thankfully received by Mr. Iames Wainewright, Mr. Thomas Markelande, Mr. James Winstanley, and Mr. John Leaver or some of them, and faithfully disposed according to Christian discretion by Major General Ashton, William Ashurst, Peter Brookes, Esquires, Mr. Jolly Major of Wigan, together with Mr. Richard Heyricke, Mr. Charles Herle, Mr. Alexander Horrockes, and Mr. Iames Hyet Ministers of the Gospel, or some of them.
of the Town of Wigan
- Ambrose Jolly Major
- Iames Bradshaw Minister
- John Standish Bailiff
- Ralph Markland Bailiff
Ministers of Lancast [...]
- Iames Hyet
- Richard Hollingworth
- Isaac Ambrose
- John Tilsley