20. THE PRIORY OF TOOTING (fn. 1)
The name of Tooting Beck or Tooting
Bec still preserves the former association of a
part of this town with the great Benedictine
abbey of Bec in Normandy. A certain part
of Upper Tooting, in the parish of Streatham, was given to the abbey of Bec in the
life of the Conqueror by Richard de Tonebridge, and the abbey placed some monks
there in charge of their property establishing
a grange or small priory. The chapel at
Streatham mentioned in the Domesday
Survey (fn. 2) as paying 8s. may have been the
church or chapel of this priory. The estate
was sometimes accounted as a distinct alien
priory and sometimes as a member of Okeburn, Wilts, which was the chief English
cell of Bec.
The prior of Tooting (Theuteng) was
appointed by Pope Innocent IV., in 1251,
conservator of certain pensions from certain
churches granted to the abbot and convent
of Westminster. (fn. 3)
The taxation roll of 1291 returns the
abbot of Bec as holding an income of £4 out
of the church of Streatham as part of the
alien priory of Streatham.
In 1315 it was said that the prior of Okeburn held the manor of Tooting (Totynge)
Bec and Streatham of Gilbert de Clare, Earl
of Gloucester, by the service of one knight's
fee. (fn. 4) Hugh le Despenser, heir of the Earl
of Gloucester, died seized of a knight's fee in
Tooting and Streatham, which the prior of
Okeburn held of him. (fn. 5)
When the alien priories were definitely
seized by Henry V. in 1414, Tooting Bec
was granted to his brother John, Duke of
Bedford. The duke died seized of it on 14
September 1436, whereupon it devolved on
Henry VI. as his nephew and heir. Thereupon Henry VI. granted it to John Ardern
for ten years at a rent of £19; which rent,
with the reversion, was granted in 1440 to
the college of Eton. (fn. 6)
||Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surrey, iii. 382-3;
Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 1053.
V.C.H. Surrey (i. 315).
Cal. of Papal Letters, i. 271.
||Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II. No. 68.
||Ibid. 23 Edw. III. pt. ii. No. 169.
||Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 702.