King Henry III.The earliest incorporation of the town is actually mentioned in the report of the Norroy King of Arms in 1613, that "The Towne and Bourrough of Wiggin was antiently incorporated by the most noble Kinge, Kinge Hen, the first, in the first year of his raygne."
English Civil War
The Battle of Wigan Lane was fought on August 25, 1651 during the Third English Civil War, between Royalists under the command of the Earl of Derby and elements of the New Model Army under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne. The Royalists were defeated, losing nearly half their officers and men. The Earl of Derby, as Lord of Mann, had enlisted ten men from each parish in the Isle of Man; 170 in total. David Craine states, "those who did not fall in the fighting [were] hunted to their death through the countryside." A monument, on Wigan Lane, stands in memory of Sir Thomas Tyldesley who was killed at the Battle of Wigan Lane.
Wigan, primarily a mill town, was once an important centre of textile manufacture. The Leeds-Liverpool Canal was diverted from its original planned course, at the request of the mill owners, to transport coal from the Lancashire coalfield pits into Wigan for the mills and was used extensively to transport local produce. In 1818 William Woods introduced the first power looms to the Wigan cotton mills. These mills swiftly became infamous for their dangerous and unbearable conditions, low pay and use of child labour. After the war there was a boom followed by a slump from which Wigan's textile industry did not recover. The last working cotton mill, the May Mill, closed in 1980. The novel Rose by Martin Cruz Smith is centred around the Victorian era coal mining community in Scholes, a predominately poor Irish Quarter and is contrasted by conditions of the ruling local lord of the manor, based somewhat on The Earl of Balcarress of Haigh near Wigan. In 1937, Wigan was prominently featured in George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier, which dealt, in large part, with the living conditions of England's working poor.
The leather Industry in Wigan on a commercial scale was limited to the fact that many of the butchers in the district also doubled as Tanners, processing hides from the animals they sold as meat.