Priors of Rochester

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Institute of Historical Research

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Diana E. Greenway

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1971

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78-80

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'Priors of Rochester', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: volume 2: Monastic cathedrals (northern and southern provinces) (1971), pp. 78-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=33874 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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PRIORS OF ROCHESTER

The small chapter of canons at Rochester was replaced by a convent of twenty-two Benedictine monks in 1083, by the action of archbishop Lanfranc and bishop Gundulph. (fn. 4) The customs were modelled on those of Christ Church, Canterbury, and from 1239 elections of priors seem to have followed the Canterbury procedure, with the bishop as scrutator. (fn. 5)

[Ernulph

Thought to have been prior of Rochester before he became prior of Canterbury in 1096 (Mon. Ang. 1 157; Ang. Sac. 1 392 etc.). But never occ. as prior of Rochester, and occ. as monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, after 1094 (Anselm, Opp. iv ep. no. 182; cf. Eadmer, H.N. p. 192).]

Ralph

Monk of St. capÉtienne, Caen (Ben., Calvados, France) and prob. then of Christ Church, Canterbury (Ecclesiastical Hist. of Orderic Vitalis, 11 ed. M. M. Chibnall (Oxford, 1969) p. 192; cf. R. W. Southern, St. Anselm and his Biographer (Cambridge, 1963) pp. 206-7). Prior of Rochester before 1107, when he res. to become abbot of Battle (Ben., Sussex), el. 1 Aug. 1107 (Chron. de Bello, [ed. J. S. Brewer] (1846) pp. 51-2; cf. ann. Battle in U.G.Q. p. 52 and Orderic Vitalis (ed. Chibnall) 11 192).

Ordwyn (fn. 6)

First occ. [Aug. 1107 × March 1108] (Regesta 11 no. 845). Last occ. after May 1125 (Reg. Roff. p. 8). (fn. 7) Perhaps to be identified with Ordwius, who occ. as monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, [1104-5] (Anselm, Opp. v ep. no. 355, also ibid. nos. 327, 336).

?Thomas

Occ. once only, [c. 1129] (cart. of Thorney: C.U.L., Add. MS. 3020 fos. 166v- 167r). (fn. 1)

Brien

Occ. 1 Sept. 1145 (Saltman, Theobald no. 222), 25 Feb. 1146 (Ang. Sac. 1 344, where for '5 kal. May', read '5 kal. March' (Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, ed. P. Jaffé, S. Loewenfeld et al. (Leipzig, 1885-8) no. 8870)), and [1142 × 48] (Reg. Roff. p. 10). (fn. 2) Commem. 5 Dec. (Canterbury obits. I fo. 17r, III fo. 244r).

Reginald

Occ. 8 March 1155 (P.U.E. 11 no. 88), and c. Nov. × Dec. 1160 ('R. Sancti A. de R. presbiter' in letter pd. F. Barlow, Edward the Confessor (1970) p. 322). Commem. 29 Apr. (obit. of St. Augustine's, Canterbury: B.M., Cotton MS. Vitell. C. xii fo. 127r).

[?William de Borstalle (fn. 3)

Previously cellarer, occ. as prior n.d., before Silvester (Reg. Roff. p. 121).]

Silvester

Perhaps previously cellarer (Ann. Roff. in Ang. Sac. 1 343). S- prior occ. 15 May 1177 (Reg. Roff. pp. 410-11). Silvester prior occ. 8 Apr. 1180 (P.U.E. 11 no. 197) and n.d. (Reg. Roff. p. 121).

Richard

Occ. after Nov. 1181 (Reg. Roff. p. 168); (fn. 4) 1 May 1182 (Cal. of Kent Fines, ed. I. J. Churchill (Kent Archaeol. Soc. Records xv) p. 1); [Dec. 1182 × Aug. 1184] (Reg. Roff. p. 481). (fn. 5) Prior until became abbot of Burton (Ben., Staffs.), in succession to abbot Roger who d. 1182 (Ann. Burton p. 187; cf. Reg. Roff. p. 121).

Alfred

Prior of Rochester until became abbot of Abingdon (Ben., Berks.) May 1186 (Gerv. Cant. 1 335; cf. Reg. Roff. p. 121; Chron. Abingdon, ed. J. Stevenson (Rolls ser. ii) 11 244-5).

Osbern de Scapeia (fn. 6)

Occ. as prior n.d. (Reg. Roff. p. 121). O- prior occ. Sept. 1189 × Sept. 1190 (cart. of Rochester: B.M., Cotton MS. Domit. A. x fos. 165r-166r).

Ralph de Ros

Sacrist of Rochester (Ang. Sac. 1 393). First occ. as prior before 14 Aug. 1193 (Reg. Roff. pp. 152, 530, 633-4). (fn. 7) Last occ. Jan. 1203 (C.R.R. 11 160), and perhaps later, but before 18 May 1208 (Rot. Chart. p. 179).

Elias

Prob. to be identified as sacrist of Rochester who occ. Jan. 1203 (C.R.R. 11 160; cf. Reg. Roff. p. 122). First occ. as prior 1 Nov. 1214 (Rochester, D. & C., T. 193/1). Occ. n.d. (cart. of Rochester: B.M., Cotton MS. Domit. A. x fo. 177r-v; Reg. Roff. pp. 122, 373). Said to occ. 1217 (Kentish Cart. of St. John, Jerusalem, ed. C. Cotton (Kent Archaeol. Soc. Records xi) p. 56 and index sub Rochester). Occ. after 1215 as 'H.' prior (Bodl., MS. Rawlinson B. 461 fo. 57r, from lost cart. of Lesnes).

An unnamed prior occ., in person, in case of 8 March 1215 (C.R.R. vii 322-5).

William

First occ. 6 Oct. 1218 (Cal. of Kent Fines, ed. I. J. Churchill (Kent Archaeol. Soc. Records xv) p. 57). Last occ. Apr. 1222 (ibid. p. 75; Reg. Roff. p. 368).

An unnamed prior occ. Oct. 1223 (C.R.R. xi 193).

Richard de Darente

Perhaps prior of cell at Darenth (Kent) (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 183). El. c. 26 May 1225 (Ann. Roff. (Vesp.) fo. 33v). Last occ. 21 Nov. 1238 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 226).

William de Hoo

Sacrist of Rochester (cf. Reg. Roff. p. 125). El. 25 June 1239 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 235). Last occ., as W- prior, 1 June 1242 (Reg. Roff. pp. 344-5). Res. and became Cistercian at Woburn (Beds.), presum. between June and Nov. 1242 (ibid. p. 125).

Alexander de Glanvill

Monk of Rochester (cf. Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 219). El. 5 Nov. 1242 (ibid. p. 256; Ann. Roff. (Vesp.) fo. 33v). D. 5 March 1252 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 376).

Simon de Clyve

Sacrist of Rochester. Succeeded after 5 March 1252, perhaps before 25 March (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 377 and (Vesp.) fo. 33v). Res. through illness 1262 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 477-8).

John de Renham

Succeeded 1262 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 477-8). First occ. 10 Feb. 1263 (Cal. of Kent Fines, ed. I. J. Churchill (Kent Archaeol. Soc. Records xv) p. 343). Abp.'s mandate for his depr., 3 Dec. 1283 (Reg. Epistolarum J. Peckham, ed. C. T. Martin (Rolls ser. lxxvii) 11 641-2). Res. shortly before 24 Dec. 1283 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 111 59 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r), because of illegitimacy (Les Registres d'Honorius IV, ed. M. Prou (Bibl. des capÉcoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, 2nd ser. vii) no. 537).

Thomas de Wouldham alias de Southflete (fn. 1)

Succeeded as prior 24 Dec. 1283 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 111 59 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r). Prior until became bp. of Rochester, el. June 1291, cons. Jan. 1292 (above p. 78).

John de Renham (again)

Succeeded for a second term 7 Jan. 1292 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist, 111 74 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r), having had disp. for illegitimacy 13 June 1286 (Les Registres d'Honorius IV, ed. M. Prou (Bibl. des capÉcoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, 2nd ser. vii) no. 537). D. 1294 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist, 111 92 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r).

An unnamed prior occ. 30 Sept. 1294 as collector (C.P.R. 1292-1301 p. 89).

Thomas de Shelford

Succeeded as prior 1294 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 111 92 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r). Disp. to retain priorate despite illegitimacy, 19 June 1295 (Reg. Bon. VIII no. 249). Res. on account of illness [c. 2 Feb.] 1301/2 (Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 111 110 and (Vesp.) fo. 34r).

Footnotes

4 'Vita Gundulfi', in Patrologia Latina, ed. J. Migne, clix col. 820-1; Textus Roffensis, ed. T. Hearne (Oxford, 1720) p. 143; Will. Malmesbury, G.P. p. xxiv; Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 12; and see R. A. L. Smith, in E.H.R. lviii (1943) 264-6.
5 Ann. Roff. in Flor. Hist. 11 235; Reg. Roff. pp. 102-4; cf. above p. 8.
6 He occ. in spurious documents dated 20 Sept. 1089 (Mon. Ang. 1 175) and 1091/2 (Cheney, Eng. Bps.' Chanceries p. 151).
7 Temp. John I bp. of Rochester (above p. 76). Letard, who seems to occ. as prior [1114 × 24], in Textus Roffensis, ed. T. Hearne (Oxford, 1720) p. 185, was actually reeve, 'prepositus monachorum' in the MS. (Rochester D. & C.) fo. 192v.
1 Circa the time of the dedication of Thorney (Ben., Cambs.).
2 Temp. Ascelin, bp. of Rochester (above p. 76).
3 ?Borstal, Kent.
4 After death of Roger abp. of York.
5 Temp. Waleran bp. of Rochester (above p. 76).
6 ?Sheppey, Kent.
7 Charters conf. by Richard I, 14 Aug. 1193 (L. Landon, Itinerary of Ric. I (Pipe Roll Soc., new ser. xiii) nos. 378-82).
1 See above p. 78 n. 3.