Houses of Austin canons
Priory of Thremhall


Victoria County History



William Page, J. Horace Round (editors)

Year published





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'Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Thremhall', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 163-164. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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24. THE PRIORY (fn. 1) OF THREMHALL (fn. 2)

The Augustinian priory of St. James the Apostle, Thremhall, was founded probably about the middle of the twelfth century by Gilbert de Mountfitchet, or possibly by Richard his son. In an account of the Mountfitchet family Gilbert is said shortly before his departure for the Holy Land to have given Thremhall to a Scot called Daniel to build a monastery on. A grant to the canons by Richard is mentioned in a charter to them by his son, Richard the younger. The advowson appears always to have belonged to the manor of Stansted Mountfitchet, descending finally to the De Veres, earls of Oxford, by a settlement made in 1320. (fn. 3)

The temporalities of the priory were valued in the Taxation of 1291 at £17 2s. 11d. yearly; the chief amounts being £3 13s. 6d. in Tendring, £3 10s. 4d. in Manuden, £2 14s. 1d. in Stansted, £1 16s. 4d. in Takeley, £1 13s. 2d. in Farnham and £1 in Hatfield Regis, with smaller sums in Birchanger, Elsenham, Ongar and Hallingbury in Essex, Thorley, Stortford and Brent Pelham in Hertfordshire and in Cambridge. There were also portions of £1 in the church of Birchanger and 13s. 4d. in the church of Berden. The advowson of the church of Stansted was acquired in 1305 and the church appropriated in 1342. (fn. 4)

In 1250 the prior and convent established & chantry (fn. 5) in their church for Master Richard de Wendover, canon of St. Paul's, London 5 in return for which he gave them 40 marks to buy land.

The net value of the priory is given in the Valor as £60 18s. 7½d. yearly, the gross value being £70 19s. 3½d. It was dissolved among the smaller monasteries in 1536, the prior receiving a pension (fn. 6) of £10. An inventory (fn. 7) of the goods in the various chambers and buildings was taken on 16 June, these being valued at £17 2s. 3d., besides cattle worth £8 10s. 4d. and corn worth £14 16s. 8d. The debts due to the house amounted to £11 0s. 11d, and those due by it to £2 13s. 8d. There were 20 ounces of plate, valued at £3 12s, 0d.

The priory was granted (fn. 8) on 21 July in tail male to John Gary and Joyce Walsingham, whom he was about to marry, with all its possessions, including the manors of Thremhall, Engeyneshall in Clacton and Beches in Pelham Furneux, the whole being said to be of the clear yearly value of £61.

Priors of Thermhall

Daniel. (fn. 9)

William, occurs 1202. (fn. 10)

Robert. (fn. 11)

John, occurs 1241, (fn. 12) 1250. (fn. 13)

John, occurs 1306. (fn. 14)

William de Shereford, died 1368. (fn. 15)

John de Takeley, elected 1368. (fn. 16)

Richard de Brangtre, resigned 1403. (fn. 17)

John Rokby, died 1438. (fn. 18)

Reginald Harneys, collated 1438, (fn. 19) died 1465. (fn. 20)

John Crowne, collated 1465, (fn. 21) died 1474. (fn. 22)

John Herbert, collated 1474, (fn. 23) resigned 1489. (fn. 24)

John Hasilton, collated 1489, (fn. 25) occurs 1492. (fn. 26)

Simon Sponer, occurs 1512, (fn. 27) the last prior. (fn. 28)


1 Dugdale Mon. vi, 75.
2 In the parish of Stansted Mountfitchet.
3 Pat. 13 Edw. II, m. 11.
4 Newcourt, Repertorium, ii, 549; Pat. 16 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 28.
5 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. ix, 33.
6 L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), 575.
7 Ch. Gds. (Exch. K.R.), xii, 31, 32, 33. See Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. ix, 280, 341.
8 L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 202 (44).
9 See above.
10 Cal. Feet of F. (Essex Arch. Soc.), 27.
11 Tilty Reg. ii, 41.
12 Cal. Feet of F. (Essex Arch. Soc.), 88.
13 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. ix. 33.
14 Ibid. 39.
15 Lond. Epis. Reg. Sudbury 107. On 15 June.
16 Ibid. On 15 July, by way of inspiration.
17 Pat. 4 Hen. IV. pt. 2, m. 19. Licence for the convent to elect was granted on 3 July by the king, on account of the minority of the earl of Oxford.
18 Lond. Epis. Reg. Gilbert, 110d.
19 Ibid.
20 Ibid. Kemp 95.
21 Ibid. On 6 June, through defective numbers.
22 Ibid. 145 d.
23 Ibid. On 28 April.
24 Ibid. Hill, 1.
25 Ibid. On 8 December, through defective numbers.
26 Aug. Off. Conv. Leases, Essex, 175.
27 Ibid. 180.
28 L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 202 (44).