Pages ix-xiii

Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 3, Lincoln. Originally published by Institute of Historical Research, London, 1977.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



The see of Lincoln

Although the starting-point of this project is the year 1066, it was not until 1072 that the first practical steps were taken to transfer the see of Dorchester to Lincoln, and the cathedral was not dedicated until 1092. The move to Lincoln was discussed at the council of Windsor in May 1072, (fn. 1) and both papal approval and the first royal charter were given before April 1073. (fn. 2) The diocese was by far the largest in the English Church, probably the largest in western Europe. It comprised the entire counties of Lincoln, (fn. 3) Huntingdon, Northampton, Leicester, Rutland, Oxford, Buckingham, and Bedford, as well as part of Hertfordshire, (fn. 4) and until 1109, when the see of Ely was formed, Cambridgeshire.

The cathedral dignities

At the time of Remigius's death, on the eve of the dedication of the new cathedral in May 1092, there were twelve dignitaries-dean, precentor, probably master of the schools, treasurer, seven archdeacons, and an official who was by c. 1145 to be called the archdeacon of the West Riding (Stow). By c. 1133 there was also a subdean, and by the early 1150s the master of the schools was called 'chancellor'. Thus by the middle of the twelfth century all thirteen dignities of the cathedral had been established. Only the deanery, precentory, chancery and subdeanery had endowments in churches, tithes, and lands, and for the most part these were settled before the end of the twelfth century.

The prebends

The establishment of the prebends is less easily traced, and was a more complex and lengthy process than the setting-up of the dignities. Gerald of Wales, writing in c. 1198, states that Remigius founded twenty-one prebends, and that his successor, Robert Bloet, doubled this number, making forty-two by his death in January 1123. (fn. 5) This latter figure appears to be confirmed by the first list of canons in the Lincoln Psalter, of ? c. 1132, where forty-two names are given. (fn. 6) By c. 1187, when the Psalter's second list was compiled, there were probably fifty-six prebends in existence; (fn. 7) one of these was divided between the deanery and the Common in the 1190s, (fn. 8) and for the next century the establishment at Lincoln consisted of fifty-five prebends. In 1290, with the separation of Milton Ecclesia from Aylesbury, the figure of fifty-six was again reached.

This may be an accurate outline, but it is deceptively simple. In practice, the establishment of the prebends was a prolonged business, subject to many reverses. Only a few prebends were founded with their endowments complete. (fn. 9) Most gathered additional estates, churches, tithes etc., over a period of time. Rearrangements were frequently made. Some prebends, such as Baldric de Sigillo's prebend of £14, (fn. 10) failed to survive. Some were diverted to other uses: the prebend of Canwick was granted by bishop Robert de Chesney to the Gilbertines for St. Katherine's priory, Lincoln; (fn. 11) the prebend of Roger of Derby, called Leverton, was divided between the deanery and the Common in c. 1194; (fn. 12) and some other prebendal properties went to the deanery, (fn. 13) and some to the Common. (fn. 14) Some grants were ineffective, such as king Stephen's grant 'in prebendam' of the chapelry of Blyth (Notts.) in c. 1146, (fn. 15) or subject to dispute, such as the church of Melton Ross (prebend of Scamblesby) and the manor of Marston St. Lawrence. Doubtless some prebends originated in money payments from the bishop, later translated into property. (fn. 16) Three of the Lincoln prebends remained as cash payments: Decem Librarum ('de bursa episcopi'), Centum Solidorum ('de prepositis'-from the farm of the city), and Sexaginta Solidorum (of unknown origin).

The chapter established by bishop Remigius took over the endowments of the old minster of St. Mary Lincoln, and some of the earliest prebends may have continued to be of the communal pre-Conquest type. Welton by Lincoln, shared by six canons with five plough-teams in 1086, was probably similar in organization to ancient prebends in other old English minsters. (fn. 17) By the late twelfth or early thirteenth century the prebends of Welton were territorialized, the five prebendaries perhaps being established in the five 'halls' or farms represented by the five teams of Domesday. The five prebendaries of Welton had, in addition to their estates, payments from the tithe of the farm of the city, and similar payments were made to the prebendaries of Caistor and Centum Solidorum. These payments originated in the middle of the twelfth century, superseding a much older arrangement, probably made in Remigius's time, of payments from the tithes of three royal manors. (fn. 18) Other prebends which may be attributable to Remigius were formed from the ancient endowments of the see of Dorchester: the churches of Aylesbury, Buckingham (later Sutton-cumBuckingham prebend), and Leighton Buzzard, and the manor of Leighton Bromswold. To this group may belong the two prebends of Bedford Major and Minor which were established on land seized by Remigius before 1086. At least two of the city churches may have been held by canons from Remigius's time: St. Lawrence (later part of Carlton Paynell prebend) and St. Martin in Dernestall. It is possible, too, that Empingham church, certainly given by Gilbert de Gant before c. 1095, was actually given before Remigius's death, and perhaps also Asgarby, given by Roger son of Gerold, and Binbrook (later part of Milton Manor prebend), given by Osbert the sheriff.

Several prebends were founded by lay patrons in the episcopate of Robert Bloet (1094-1123). Roger Bigod granted the church of St. Benedict Wigford, Lincoln (later part of North Kelsey prebend), and Robert de Stuteville gave the houses that formed the prebend of Thorngate, both before 1106. The considerable influence that the bishop had with king Henry I was doubtless an important factor in bringing about several royal grants. In the first years of his reign, before 1107, the king granted to the canons all the churches of his fee in Lincoln. (fn. 19) Some of these became prebends, or formed parts of prebends: St. Botolph, St. Mary Crackpole, Sanctae Crucis, All Saints in Hungate, St. Mary Wigford (later part of Gretton prebend), and St. Margaret Pottergate (finally part of Haydour-cum-Walton). Outside Lincoln, the king founded prebends in the churches of the manors of Corringham (before 1115) and Nassington (before 1116); he added the church of King's Sutton and land in Horley to the prebend of Buckingham before 1122; and he probably gave Walton (which with St. Margaret Pottergate and Haydor later formed Haydour-cum-Walton).

The papal confirmation of 1146 mentions several prebendal churches for which we have no earlier evidence. Ketton and Gretton were in royal manors and were perhaps given by Henry I. Another eight were in episcopal manors: Banbury, Buckden, Cropredy, Leicester St. Margaret, Leighton Bromswold (Leighton Ecclesia), Louth, Sleaford (Lafford), and Thame. It is impossible to say which of these were granted by bishop Bloet-perhaps to match royal munificence or to encourage by example- and which by bishop Alexander.

Some prebends were certainly founded in the time of bishop Alexander (1123-48). The bishop himself established Dunham and Newport before 1145. He added Milton to Binbrook before 1146, to form the prebend of Milton Manor, and probably at the same time added Milton church to the prebend of Aylesbury. South Scarle, another church in an episcopal manor, was made a prebend in 1146 or 1147. Lay patronage created other prebends during this period. In c. 1133 the bishop's constable granted the churches of South Carlton and Thurlby, which were added to St. Lawrence, Lincoln, to form the prebend of Carlton Paynell. King Stephen gave the church of North Kelsey in 1139 or 1140, the church, and perhaps the manor, of Langford before 1146, and the church of Brampton between 1146 and 1149. By 1146 the churches of Scamblesby and Melton Ross were granted either by the king or by lay lords, to form the prebend of Scamblesby.

The accumulation by the canons of the churches of episcopal manors continued under Robert de Chesney (1148-66). Between 1146 and 1163 the churches of four manors outside the diocesan boundary were granted to form three prebends: Clifton, Farndon-cum-Balderton, and Stoke. The prebends in the bishop's manors of Stow St. Mary and Stow Longa were both in existence by 1163, and in exchange for Canwick, which bishop Chesney gave to the Gilbertines, he founded a prebend in the church of his manor of Lyddington. It was probably under Chesney that Ranulph earl of Chester gave Marston St. Lawrence, shortly before 1153.

During the vacancy after the death of Robert de Chesney, the Pipe Rolls for 1167 and 1168 list eight prebendaries who received payments 'in prebendis constitutis a tempore regis Henrici de camera episcopi'. (fn. 20) The sums vary from 8s. to £10. One of the two canons receiving £10 presumably held the prebend called Decem Librarum, which was almost certainly established by the 1170s. Of the other payments-one of £10, one of 110s., two of 100s., and one each of 30s., 19s. 4d., and 8s.-there is no more evidence, although perhaps the prebend of Sexaginta Solidorum had its origin in one of these. The smaller payments may have been attached to existing prebends, and the larger ones may have been exchanged for property later. The prebends of Biggleswade and Norton Episcopi were the last to be founded in churches of episcopal manors, and may have been provided in place of annual sums of cash some time after 1168. The prebend of Carlton Kyme, founded shortly before 1181, consisted of the churches of North Carlton and Dalby, given by Philip de Kyme, and an annual payment of 50s. from the bishop.

Additions and losses, adjustments, disputes and compromises continued throughout the thirteenth century. No changes were so dramatic as those affecting the enormously wealthy prebend of Aylesbury, which was reduced in value by the loss to the Common of its chapels in 1266, the appropriation to the Common of its mother church in 1274, and the separation of its church of Milton in 1290 to form the last prebend constituted before 1300, Milton Ecclesia.

The arrangement of the lists

After the list of bishops, the lists of the dignitaries of the cathedral are arranged in the order of precedence found in the first surviving Lincoln customs of 1214, (fn. 21) and the archdeacons also are placed in their traditional sequence. The prebends appear in the loosely alphabetical order adopted by Hardy and used in the revised (1962) edition for 1300-1541. Within these lists the names of holders are arranged chronologically. Where a conjecture is made as to the identity of a canon's prebend, the entry is placed in the list for the prebend, introduced by a query. (fn. 22)

The canons whose prebends cannot be identified are given in two alphabetical lists: those who held a dignity but whose prebend is unknown, and those who occur as canon without note of prebend. Where a canon seems to have held an unidentified prebend at one point in his career, and an identified prebend at another, this is recorded under his identified prebend. (fn. 23) It should be noticed here that an 'expectant' canon might have a stall in choir and be called canon while he waited for a prebend to fall vacant. (fn. 24) Another difficulty arises from the common practice, particularly in the twelfth century, of canons appearing without that title.

The identification of prebends is often assisted by references to prebendaries as patrons or landowners. Therefore in this volume brief notes are given on the endowments of the prebends and dignities, with references to some relevant documents, such as grants, ordinations of vicarages, and presentations by prebendaries. For the prebends, under the heading Valuations, two values are given: 1254, as recorded in Val. Norwich pp. 278-80; and 1291, as recorded in Taxatio p. 56a-b (unless otherwise stated). The archdeaconries did not have special endowments, but to assist identification, the lists of archdeacons are preceded by notes on the areas of the archdeaconries. To give a rough indication of the resources of their territories, these notes also include the total value of the spiritualities of each archdeaconry in 1291.

Editorial conventions

The same style and conventions have been used in this volume as in the first two volumes of the 1066-1300 series of the Fasti. The details given in the entries are reduced to a minimum. Biographical information appears only where it sheds light on a problem of identity or chronology. Some brief notes are given of posts in other dioceses held at the time of an appointment to Lincoln or held concurrently with an office at Lincoln. These are not intended to be exhaustive, but to assist the reader in anticipation of further volumes in the series.

The first names of individuals are normally anglicized. Surnames are given in the most usual Latin form found in the sources, except in the case of identifiable placenames, such as cities or major towns, or where there is documentary evidence to support identification of a place in the case of a particular individual. A footnote referring to such evidence is given only on the first occasion that the individual appears in the volume. Significant variant Latin spellings of surnames and placenames are to be found in the index. As in the Fasti 1300-1541, the title 'M.' is given in the entry headings for men who regularly appear as magistri, but for the period 1066-1300 academic degrees are not given, and for these reference should be made to Dr. Emden's biographical registers of Cambridge and Oxford.

The conventions used for dates are as follows. Two dates linked by a dash, as 1238-42, indicate a term of years, from 1238 to 1242. Two dates linked by a cross, as 1154 × 65, indicate a particular but undetermined date between the outer limits, thus a date somewhere between 1154 and 1165. An oblique stroke, as 1239/40, is used for old style/new style: a document dated '1239' may actually belong to any date up to 24 March 1240. When the date is approximate, c. for circa is used, but whenever possible this is avoided except to indicate a date within a year or two, as in the charters dated in the appendices.

The dating of undated charters is a matter of such technical complexity that in the present volume a series of forty-seven appendices has been added to explain the dates assigned in the text to 119 important charters and related documents.


  • 1. Willelmi Malmesbiriensis de Gestis Regum, ed. W. Stubbs (R.S. xc) II 353.
  • 2. R.A.L. I no. 2.
  • 3. Including Lindsey, disputed by York, but confirmed to Dorchester in 1061, and to Lincoln later (see ibid. no. 247 and note).
  • 4. The remainder of Herts. belonged to the London diocese. In the Lincoln portion was the exempt monastic archdeaconry of St. Albans, see J. E. Sayers, in Church and Government in the Middle Ages, Essays presented to C. R. Cheney, ed. C. N. L. Brooke, D. E. Luscombe, G. H. Martin, and Dorothy Owen (Cambridge, 1976), pp. 181-2.
  • 5. Gir. Cambr. VII 19, 32.
  • 6. See below, app. 2.
  • 7. See below, app. 33.
  • 8. See below, p. 142.
  • 9. e.g. Asgarby.
  • 10. See below, p. 170.
  • 11. Before 5 June 1163, R.A.L. I no. 255 p. 207; confirmed by king Henry II 1154 × 66, ibid. no. 194.
  • 12. See below p. 142.
  • 13. Ashbourne, Chesterfield, Wirksworth, and Mansfield, below pp. 5-7.
  • 14. e.g. the chapels of Aylesbury, below list 15. For the history of the Common Fund, see K. Major, 'The finances of the dean and chapter of Lincoln from the 12th to the 14th century', Jnl. of Ecclesiastical History v (1954) 149-67.
  • 15. Regesta III no. 485; confirmed by pope 23 Dec. 1146, R.A.L. I no. 258.
  • 16. cf. below pp. xi-xii.
  • 17. e.g. Combe in the cathedral of Wells, and others at Exeter and Hereford, see Edwards, Sec. Caths. p. 20.
  • 18. See below pp. 169-71.
  • 19. Regesta II no. 821 = R.A.L. I no. 45.
  • 20. P.R. 13 Hen. II (P.R.S. xi) p. 58, and 14 Hen. II (P.R.S. xii) p. 77. The chancellor is also listed here, as receiving 100s., cf. below list 4.
  • 21. L.S. II(1) 136-42, esp. p. 141. This was the order used by John Le Neve in his first edition of the Fasti in 1716, but was changed for no obvious reason by Hardy in 1854, and Hardy's sequence was followed in 1962 by H. P. F. King in his revised edition for 1300-1541.
  • 22. e.g. Robert of London, list 28.
  • 23. e.g. M. John Le Fleming, list 37.
  • 24. Edwards, Sec. Caths. p. 34.