In 1295, King Edward I took steps to form a parliamentary system - this was later to be known as the Model Parliament and was the beginning of democracy in Britain.
Wigan was one of 120 towns at the time that sent representatives to the Parliament of Westminster. The two Wigan members were William Teinterer and Henry le Bocher, who were paid two shillings a day by the borough.
Burgesses considered it a waste of time and money feeling that their presence had little influence on proceedings. After 1306, no more representatives were sent.
In Wigan's case, no members were sent to parliament for nearly two and a half centuries. From 1307 until 1547 that right - seen as an expensive burden rather than a privelege - remained unused.