Houses of Austin canons
Priory of Thoby


Victoria County History



William Page, J. Horace Round (editors)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Thoby', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 162-163. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


(Min 3 characters)

23. THE PRIORY (fn. 1) OF THOBY (fn. 2)

The date of foundation of this priory is not certain, but it was in existence in the time of Robert, bishop of London (1141-1151), to whom Michael Capra and Rose his wife and William his son and heir address a charter (fn. 3) granting to Tobias the prior and the canons a hide of land round the church and other things. This may possibly be the foundation charter. The name of the priory appears first as Ginges, then as Gingetobye (probably from the prior), and afterwards as Thoby. It was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Leonard. The advowson belonged later to the Mounteney family.

The church of Mountnessing was appropriated to the priory, and a vicarage ordained. The temporalities mentioned in the Taxation of 1291 amount to £13 16s. 1d. yearly, made up of £7 15s. 4d. in Great Burstead, £2 6s. 8d. in Warley, £1 13s. in Ingrave, and other sums in Ramsden Cray, Shellow, Mountnessing, Shenfield, Staundon, Rawreth, Ingatestone, Springfield and Colchester. Very few entries relating to the priory are found in records.

The priory was dissolved (fn. 4) by John Alen, an agent of Wolsey, on 15 February, 1525, its spiritualities being valued (fn. 5) at £18 13s. 4d. and its temporalities at £56 13s. 6½d. yearly. By an inquisition (fn. 6) taken on 8 August, it was found that there were at Thoby at the time of the suppression a prior and two canons, and that the prior had since died and the canons had been transferred to other places. Among the possessions of the priory were included the manors of Thoby, Mountnessing, Bluntswalles (in Great Burstead) and Cubfold, and the church of Mountnessing. Wolsey granted (fn. 7) it to Cardinal's College, Oxford, on 10 February, 1526. After Wolsey's fell it was granted (fn. 8) to Sir Richard Page for life on 24 December, 1530; and later the reversion on his death was granted (fn. 9) in fee to William Berners, one of the auditors of the Court of Augmentations, and Dorothy his wife on 24 April, 1539.

Priors of Thoby

Tobias, (fn. 10) occurs circa 1150.

Adam, (fn. 11) occurs circa 1185.

Ralph. (fn. 12)

H. (fn. 13)

William, occurs 1227. (fn. 14)

Henry, (fn. 15) occurs 1242, 1245, 1252.

John de Pleyces or Plessych,appointed 1306. (fn. 16)

Thomas de Parco, resigned 1393. (fn. 17)

John Passour, elected 1393 (fn. 18) , occurs 1405. (fn. 19)

John Ponde, died 1430. (fn. 20)

John Mone, elected 1430, (fn. 21) occurs 1445. (fn. 22)

Thomas, occurs 1447. (fn. 23)

William Ely, occurs 1457. (fn. 24)

Richard Mulcent, resigned 1461. (fn. 25)

Robert Willy, collated 1461, (fn. 26) occurs 1469. (fn. 27)

John Bedford, resigned 1490. (fn. 28)

William Walden, collated 1490. (fn. 29)

John London alias Hersy, (fn. 30) the last prior.


1 Dugdale, Mon. vi, 553.
2 In the parish of Mountnessing.
3 Printed in Mon. vi, 554. The original is in the Bodleian Library. Cf. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, 169.
4 L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, 1137.
5 Ibid, 3538.
6 Exch. Inq. Ser. ii, 309, No. 8.
7 L. and P. Hen. VIII, vi, 1964.
8 Ibid. 6803 (24).
9 Ibid. xiv (1), 906 (6).
10 See above.
11 Bodl. Chart. (ed. Turner and Coxe).
12 Colchester Chartul. 304.
13 Ibid. 305.
14 Assize R. 229, m. 14.
15 Feet of F. 26, 29, 36 Hen. III.
16 Lond. Epis. Reg. Baldock, 4. On 25 August. He was a canon of Blackmore. John, probably the same, was prior in 1313 (Close, 6 Edw. II, m. 11 d.).
17 Ibid. Braybrook, 295b.
18 Ibid. On 21 May.
19 De Banco, Mich. 7 Hen. IV, 8.
20 Lond. Epis. Reg. Gray, 71.
21 Ibid. On 14 July.
22 De Banco, Hil. 23 Hen. VI, 96.
23 Ibid. Easter, 25 Hen. VI, 9d. He was late prior of Tiptree.
24 Ibid. Trin. 35 Hen. VI, 213.
25 Lond. Epis. Reg. Kemp, 76. On 16 April; an exchange with Tiptree.
26 Ibid. He is mentioned in Early Chanc. Proc. 32, No. 298.
27 De Banco, Mich. 9 Edw. IV, No. 283 d.
28 Lond. Epis. Reg. Hill. 3.
29 Ibid. On 25 October. The three brethren of the priory put the appointment in the bishop's hands.
30 L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, 1137. In the inquisition the prior's name is given, apparently in error, as William Walden.