Wig'an, a town of Lancashire, on the Douglas (a feeder of the Ribble's estuary), 15 1/2 miles S. by E. of Preston, 18 1/2 NE. of Liverpool, and 18 WNW. of Manchester. Situated in the heart of a rich coalfield, and commanding easy communication by both rail and water, it is an ancient place, on the site, it is thought, of a Roman station, but owes its present development to the growth of the cotton industry. The manufactures include calicoes, ginghams, table-cloths, fustians, linen, iron, paper, etc, some of its cotton-mills and ironworks being among the largest in England. All Saints parish church, a stately edifice dating from the 14th c, was in great measure rebuilt in 1856; and there are also the county buildings (1888), public hall (1853), market-hall (1877), free public library (1878), infirmary (opened by the Prince of Wales, June 4,1873; enlarged 1884), baths (1882), grammar-school (1619; rebuilt 1876), and a public park (1878) of 27 acres, laid out at a cost of 20,000. A prescriptive borough, Wigan returned two members from Edward VI.'s reign till 1885, now only one; it became a county borough in 1888. Pop. (1831) 20,774; (1881) 48,194; (1901) 60,770. In 1642 Wigan was occupied by the royalist Earl of Derby, but it was twice taken by the parliamentarians; and in 1651 the earl was defeated here by Lilburne. Prince Charles Edward passed through. Leland was a native. See Sinclair's History of Wigan (2 vols. 1882).