Bourne Archive: FNQ: Spalding Priory
http://boar.org.uk/ariwxo3FNQ1102 Latest edit 26 Apr 2010
Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY
The Bourne Archive
Part 41. April 1905.
This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in
which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the
[This article is by R.M.G. Notes in the smaller type are by RJP]
1102. --- Spalding Priory. --- I have put together a short account of the notices about Spalding Priory that appear in the Chronicon Angliæ Peterburgense. This chronicle was printed by Sparke early in the 18th century: but a more careful and exact transcript was published by the Caxton Society, under the editorship of Dr. Giles, in 1845. Unfortunately there is no index to this, so that a reader who desires to collect all the entries on a particular subject has to go through the whole book.
A.D. 1052. --- Priory of Spalding took its beginning from six monks, taken from Crowland, by Thoraldus brother of Godiva, Countess of Leicester. He assigned to them sufficient lands from his manor for their support. The establishment was a cell of Crowland.
A.D. 1059. --- Wulfketyl, Abbot of Crowland, at instigation of Earl Algar, granted to his cell at Spalding, to enable the monks to shew proper hospitality, his wooden chapel there, with certain rents: and the Earl also considerably enriched them.
A.D. 1074. --- William I., and his two sons, William II. And Henry I., at the insistence of Ivo Tailbois, confirmed to the monks of Spalding all their property, and in particular the manor of Spalding with all its appurtenances.
It does not appear in the chronicle, but
we learn from other sources, that the connection with Crowland only lasted
about fifteen years. Ivo Tailbois
“drove the Crowland monks back to their own abbey, and introduced some monks
from the Benedictine
Priory of St. Nicholas, at Angiers, in
A.D. 1229. --- Simon appointed Prior.
A.D. 1232. --- The first agreement (compositio prima) made between Constantius, Abbot of Angiers, and Simon, Prior of Spalding.
A.D. 1252. ---Death of Prior Simon. He
had been at first a “dative” Prior. [That is, he was appointed (and was liable
to be removed) by the Abbey of Angiers. Compare the
word “donative,” in the English ecclesiastical law.]
But his good management and the kind offices of Bishop Hugh II., of Lincoln, [Hugo
Wallis or Hugh of Wells, Bishop of Lincoln from 1209 to 1235; immediately
before Robert Grosseteste.] and of Ranulfus, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, an agreement was
come to (as before mentioned) with the foreign abbey. It seems that the monks
of Spalding had certain grievances. It was agreed at Brampton, near
Huntingdon, that in
future the Priors should receive institution from the Bishop of the diocese,
and should have a fixity of tenure in their office (immobiles permanentes).
The next Abbot, James, wished to upset this agreement, and went to Spalding,
and attempted to depose Simon. The matter was submitted to the papal court, and
discussed for fifteen days; at the end of which time the second agreement was
drawn up. Upon the Prior’s undertaking to pay an annual tribute of £40 to the
abbey of Angiers, and to maintain four monks (mora quatuor monachorum), this agreement was confirmed at
A.D. 1274. --- Abbot John died. An
opposition had been made to his election quia detrimentum patiebatur
in natalibus; but he answered the objection by
producing a legitimation from the Pope. While almoner he had purchased lands,
built houses and a chapel, made a garden, planted a vineyard and orchards, and
supplied food to the poor. As Prior, he bought a wood in Kesteven, and lands (to be
devoted to his anniversary). He established his claim for certain services and
customs from his tenants (sokemannos)
in Pinchbeck [Grid
ref. TF2425], Weston [TF2925],
and Moreton [TF0924], which they had refused. After being
Prior 21 years he went to
A.D. 1293. --- Death of William of Littleport. More particulars are given of the suit between
Crowland and Spalding. William claimed, as a right of his church, 110 acres of
wood, and 1760 acres of marsh, within the precincts of Crowland, lying in
Moulton, Weston and Spalding, of all of which his predecessor Wazinus, a “dative” Prior, had been seised.
These rights were given up to Crowland for a sum of money, here said to have
been 550 marks. The settlement seems to have included the counter claim of the
Abbot of Crowland for a messuage and carucate of land in Spalding, and 12 acres of land in Wiberton. With this money the Prior gloriously adorned the conventual church. To the fabric he appropriated the tithe
of wood at Weston. The right of presentation to the
A.D. 1318. --- Prior Clement died. His
character was expressed by his name. He adorned the chapel at Wickham, enriched
the manor there and manor-house, and planted trees. He improved Thornholm manor, constructed a barn at Golwiw
(?), and a new chamber for the Prior. He acquired lands and revenues at Obthorpe
from Ranulfus Drinkdregges,
and assigned them together with some houses at
A.D. 1322. --- Death of Prior Walter de Halton. Although old when he was appointed he freed the houses of debts of £1100 sterling. He built at great cost a hall and building adjoining, for rest and recreation. He made an annual payment to the Chamberlain for each monk: bought land at Weston, called Bishoptoft, and assigned it to the Pittancer: reformed some abuses: acquired much property in Pinchbeck and Spalding. In the time of Edward II., during the French war, the property of alien houses had been seized, as though they were under the dominion and authority of the King of France, by the King’s writ; and it cost great labour and expense to get the property restored: but this had been done, with the help of Ebulo le Strange, Earl of Lincoln, [Ebulo married Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln and Salisbury in 1348. She was the daughter of Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln.] at a special court of the Chancellor, Treasurer, Barons of the Exchequer, and others of the council. He successfully resisted the encroachments of Thomas de Wake, who even sent an armed force, in the marsh and elsewhere, injuring men and cattle, and damaging the property. He was prior for 14 years, and was succeeded by Thomas de Nassington.
A.D. 1353. --- Thomas de Nassington died. He had been chosen because of his good character by the saner portion (saniori parte) of the convent: but the election was disputed by James de Haghem, who asserted that he had been elected by four of the monks. But the opposition failed.
R. M. G.
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