South Wales Chantries Certificate, 1548.
DURING the religious changes of the
16th century the royal confiscation
of the property of ecclesiastical institutions was rigidly carried out in
Wales, as in England. Before the
Reformation, every charitable foundation was religious. Whether it was
a trade guild, a school for poor
children, a hospice for the infirm,
or even a stone bridge across a
river, the Church was the body
which organised and maintained it.
When, therefore, in pursuance of an anti-Catholic policy, the State
seized for the royal coffers the funds upon which the religious
institutions rested, charities which would nowadays be considered in
their nature secular were involved in the common ruin. Educational
and poverty-relieving organisations suffered as much as those which
were purely ecclesiastical, and funds which had been given for the
maintenance of schools and hospitals went the same way as moneys
left to provide Masses for the dead.
Hence, in the document before us, we see not only the extinction
of lights which burned before altars, shrines and images; not only
the cessation of dirges, obits and month's minds—but also the closing
of the poor-school at Llandaff Cathedral, which David Mathew had
founded, and in which the children were taught by the priest who
daily said Mass of Requiem for the donor's soul.
The information contained in this document is of such great
interest in every respect, that I have included particulars relative to
some places outside the Cardiff district. Had the whole not been
so long, I should have printed it in full. Very interesting is the
information given as to the number of "houseling-people" (i.e.,
Easter communicants) in each parish. Great as the number is, it
had probably fallen off very considerably since the commencement
of the religious changes. The two Cardiff parishes together held
1,360 houseling-people. We have also some interesting particulars
as to vestments, altar-vessels, organs and church furniture. The
whole record constitutes a schedule or inventory of property which,
having been given to or acquired by the Church, was now regarded
as the possessions of the Sovereign, his father and predecessor
having declared himself to be Supreme Head of the Churches of
England and Ireland.
It would seem that Saint Mary's had already ceased to rank as
the premier parish church of Cardiff—since Saint John's takes
precedence in this document. If so, this was perhaps because Saint
Mary's had been dependent upon the now suppressed Abbey of
The late possessions of the churches, chantries and guilds of
Cardiff are referred to also in Vol. I., pp. 208–223, 254–258, 380,
397, 398, 427–429, 452, 472–483, where their gradual disappearance by sale may be traced in Ministers' Accounts and Patent
The Guild of the Holy Trinity, established in Saint John's, was
a very wealthy and important fraternity. It had an altar and chantry
in the church, where Mass was daily celebrated for the members,
living and dead, by a priest specially retained for that purpose. At
the altar (doubtless before a painting of the Arcus Fæderis, or
symbolic representation of the Trinity), a lamp was kept constantly
burning. The matrix of the Guild's official seal is reproduced in
Vol. I., facing p. 261. Trinity Street takes its name from property
of this brotherhood.
From a comparision of this Inventory with that drawn up in
1558 (Vol. I., p. 380), it would seem that, whereas the present (1548)
list comprises only the belongings of the guilds, chantries, free
chapels, colleges and hospitals, the confiscation of 1552 extended to
the vestments, vessels and ornaments of the parish churches themselves. Whatever things of the like nature were restored or given to
the Church in the reign of Queen Mary Tudor, were soon taken away
again under Elizabeth. The difference in value between the chantry
vestments and those of the church, as shewn on a comparison of the
same two lists, is so strikingly in favour of the latter as to suggest
that the more valuable of the chantry vestments had been confiscated
earlier than 1548—especially as we find that Saint Mary's parish
church this year was quite devoid of such property.
R.O. Chantries Certificate 74. South Wales.
2 Ed. VI. 1548.
[A quarto paper book stitched in vellum.]
The certificat of Sir Thomas Johns knyght, Dauid Broke
Sargyant at Law, John Bassett, John Rastall and John phillip
Morgan gentilmen Auctorised by the kings Ma[jes]tie Com[m]ission Datid
the xiiijth of ffebruare in the second yere of the reigne of or said
soveryne Lord the King, Edward the Sext by the grace of god of
England ffraunce and Ireland King, Defendor of the ffaithe, and in
Earth Supreme heid of the Churche of England and also of Irelond,
to Surveye all and sing'ler Colleigs Chaunteries ffree Chappells
ffratrnytes Brotherheids Guyldes and Salaryes of Stipendarye prests
having p'petuytes for ever. Whiche were in esse or had bene wtin
v. yeres next before the iiijth of Novembre last past And also all
Manors lands ten'ts hereditaments and possessions wt the good and
Ornaments plate and Jewells to the same belonging or apperteynyng,
being wtin the Circuyt and Surveye of the above named John Bassett
p'tic'ler Surveyor ther as here after more planely may appere.
SOWTH WALLS. The Countie of Glamorgan.
1. The parish of seynt Jones in Kardif.
There be within the said parishe certyne landes and Tenements
wherof the proctors or Churchwardens for the tyme being hathe vsed
yerely tyme out of mynde to receyve gather and Collect the yssues
Revennewes and proffitts of the same And therw[i]th all hathe founde
certeyne stipendarye prestes and Clerkes as hereafter is mencioned.
The same prests and Clerks being removable at the Will and
pleysure of the said Churchewardens for the tyme being. The
yerely valew werof amountith as particlrly apperith in a Rentall
exhibetid and delyured to the Court of Thaugmentac'on to the
Som[m]e of xxijli xjs. vijd.
Rentt Resolut. In Rentts Resolut to oure sovereign lorde the
kyngs Ma[jes]ties as by the seid Rentall appeyrith xiiijs. iijd.
The Stipend or Wagis of Salarie prests. In the stipend or wagis
of Richard Ooks being of the age of xxxiiijth having none other
sp'uall promoc' serving at the alter of or lady by yere vjli xvjs. viijd.
And in the stipend or Wags of David Morgan prest of the age
of xxxijth having none other sp'uall promoc' serving at the altre of
saynt katryne by yere cxiiijs. iiijd.
And in the stipend of hew Lame, Clerke, Organ player there,
being no prest (fn. 1) of the age of xxviijth having none other lyving by
yere vjli xiijs. iiijd.
xixli iijs. iiijd.
Et valet vltra per annum liiijs.
Plate, Vestmentts w[i]th other Ornamentts. There be also within the
said parishe Churche certeyne vestements and other Ornaments,
gyven to thentents forsaid, as hereafter followeth. That is to say ij
payre of Vestements, one of blewe velvet w[i]th thappurtenances valewed
at iiijs. Thoder of Cheker silke w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at viijs.
ij Candelsticks valewed at xijd. Thalter clothes valewed at xvjd. and
a Chales of Silver w[i]th a patent of Copper gilte valewed at xxxvjs. all
whiche apperteyne to the altre of the Trynytie ls. iiijd. Also one
Chales valewed at lijs. ij payre of Vestmentts, one of white Damaske
w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at vs. Thoder of blew velvet w[i]th
thappurten'nces valewed at viijs. ij Candelsticks valewed at xijd. a
Coffer viijd., and a front of Bridges saten w[i]th iij alter Clothes
valewed at iiijs. All whiche apperteyne to the Alter of or Lady
lxxs. viijd. Also one payre of vestments of blewe velvet w[i]th
thappurten'nces valewed at viijs., an alter Clothe vjd. ij Candelsticks xijd. and a front of Red say and grene vjd. all whiche
apperteyne vnto the Altre of saynt kateryne xs. Also ij payre of
vestmentts, one of blew saten valewed at iijs. iiijd. Thoder of Bridges
saten w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at vs. ij Alter clothes xijd. A
front of grene and Red say valewed at viijd. and ij Candelsticks
valewed at xijd. all which apperteyne to the Alter of saynt James
in all vijli ijs.
The nomber of howselling people. Also there be w[i]thin the parishe
of saynt Jones afforsaid of howseling people, the nomber of Nyne
hundreth and thre score ix c. lx.
2. The parish of Saynt Marys in kardyf.
There be w[i]thin the said parishe certeyne landes and Tents
Wherof the proctors or Churchwardens for the tyme being stond
seysed, and from tyme to tyme Do Collect and gather the Issues
and p'fitts of the same, and therw[i]thall hathe founde certeyne
stipendarie prests, as hereafter is mencyoned. Thesame prests
being removable at the will and pleasure of the said Churchwardens
for the tyme being. The yerely Valew whereof amountith as
partic'l'rly apperith by a Rentall exhibetid and delyverid into the
Court of Thaugmen' to the Som[m]e of
xxxviijli xvs. ijd.
Rentts Resolvt. In Rentts Resolut to or sovereign lorde the
kyngs Ma[jes]tie and others, as by the same Rentall more partic'l'rly it
may appear xixs. xd.
The Stipends & Wagis of Salarie prests. In the stipend or Wags
of John Thomas prest, serving at the Altre of saynt Maris, being
of the age of xlij yeres, having none other sp'uall promoc' by yere
vjli xiijs. iiijd.
And in the stipend or wags of Thomas Smythe prest serving at
thaltre of or lady and keping the Organs w[i]thin the sayd Churche,
being of thage of xxxijth yeres, having none other sp'uall promocion
by yere viijli iijs. iiijd.
And in the stipend or wags of Nycolas penllyn prste serving at
saynt Nycolas Altre, being of thage of xxxvjth yeres, having none
other sp'uall promoc'on by yere iiijli.
And in the stipend or Wags of John pill p'ishe Clerke w[i]thin the
said churche, as in p'te towardes his said stipend by yere xxvjs. viijd.
xxli iijs. iiijd.
Et valet vltra p' Annu[u] vijli xijs.
Plate, Jewells and other Ornamentts. There is in plate, Jewells,
Ornamentts, gooddes, Cattalls and other Implementts app'teynyng
and belonging vnto the service afforsaid null.
The nomber of howseling people. There be in howseling people
w[i]thin the parishe afforsaid the Nomber of iiij c.
The answer for the Towne of Kardyf. The Towne of kardif
afforsaid is the Shyre Towne, being also a market Towne, walled
about and sore charged w[i]th a Bridge, being vppon the water of
Toof, by reason of the great rage of the streme there, and w[i]th the
Repayring aswell of their Walles as also the key adyoyning to the
same Towne the whiche is there edified and made for the safeguard
of Shippes and other Vessells repayring to the sayd Towne.
Toward the whiche Rep'ac. the said proctors by the advice of the
Mayre, Bayliffs and Aldermen have vsed as occasion dyd serve to
bestow sum yere xli, sum yere xxli, sum yeres more, sum yeres les;
and when they wer accustomyd to bestowe any suche Sum[m]es vppon
the premysses, then they for that tyme dyscharged certeyne of the
sayd stipendarie prests.
3. The parish of Lantrissen.
There is w[i]thin the parishe afforsaid One howse and one acre of
medow adyoynying to a Chappell callid saynt John his Chappell, and
one acre of arable lande callid Erow wensan gyven towardes the
fynding of ij prests to say Masse in two sundre Chappells. The
yerely Valew wherof, as it may appere by a Rentall exhibetid and
delyured into the Court of Thaugmen' amountith to the Som[m]e
4. The parish of saynt Nycolas.
There is w[i]thin the said parishe one acre of arable lande which
was gyven to fynde a light before the high altre there. The valew
wherof, as it may appere by a Rentall exhibeted as is afforsaid
amountith to the Som[m]e of vjd.
5. The parish of mychelton vppon Ele.
There is wihin the said parishe one messuage and one acre di.
of lande which was gyven to fynde light before the high altre there.
The yerely valew wherof as by the Rentall apperith amountith to
the Som[m]e of ijs.—wherof
Rent Resolut. In a Rent Resolute paid to sir William harbt
knyght by yere viijd. ob.
Et valet vltra clar' p' Annum xvd. ob.
6. The parishe of Lankervan.
There is w[i]thin the same parishe iij q2rtrs of an acre of Medowe
grounde lying in Lanbethrie More, and a quarter of arable grounde
lying in lancarvan gyven towardes the Rep'ac'ons of the body of the
Churche there. The yerely Valew wherof as it may appere by a
Rentall amountithe to the Som[m]e of ijs.
7. The parishe of Sully.
There is w[i]thin the said parishe one Orchard and one di. acre of
Medowe callid Maris Medow, gyven to fynd light before or lady
there. The yr[r]ely valew wherof as it may appere by a Rentall
amountithe to the Som[m]e of xvjd.
8. The parishe of Wenvoo.
There is w[i]thin the same p'ishe one acre of Meddow callid saynt
Barrowgis (fn. 2) acre gyven to fynde light before saynt Barrowg. The
yerely Valew wherof as it may appere by the Rentall amountith to
the Som[m]e of xvjd.
9. The parishe of Landaf.
There is w[i]thin the same parishe one service callid David
Mathewes service (fn. 3) Whervnto belongith certeyne landes and Tenths
gyven to thentent to haue a prest to celebrat Masse in the Churche
there for ever and he to teache Twentie Childre[e] and to be removable
at the will and pleasure of the heyres of the said d'd Mathewe. The
valew wherof as partic'l'rly it may appere by a Rentall delyverid into
the Court of Augmen' amountithe to the yerely Som[m]e of cxvs. xd.—
Rentts Resolut. Rentts Resolute to Dyverse parsons as it
apperith by the said Rentall by the yere xijd.
Stipendes or Wagis. In the stipend or Wagis of John Syngar,
stipendarie prest there, of thage of xliijth yeres, having none other
sp'uall promocyon (by yere) cxiiijs. xd.
Et valet vltra clare p' Annum n1
Up to this point the document has been copied in full and
verbatim. Henceforward I give only extracts, in compressed form
and modern spelling, unless otherwise indicated.
Lands given to find a priest to celebrate at an altar in the body
of the church. The profits are levied by the proctors of the said
church time out of mind, and they therewith at their will and
pleasure find a priest there. Annual value 42s. 10d.
Deduct the stipend of the salaried priest, Leyson Williams,
serving at the altar abovesaid, 42s. 10d.
2½ acres of meadow and 2s. 6d. rent, to find a priest to celebrate
Mass every Sunday in the church. Annual value 7s. 6d.
Another acre hath been taken away and dissolved by Hopkyn
Thomas son unto the giver thereof. Annual value 2s.
Kenfig and Pill.
3 acres of arable ground, whereof 1a. was given to find a light
before the image of Mary Magdelyne in the church; and the other 2
to be prayed for in the pulpit. (fn. 4) Yearly value 2s. 6d.
Saint Bryde Major.
2 acres of arable land given to find light before the Rood.
Yearly value 8d.
Lands and tenements given to the finding of two priests, whereof
the one is a chantry-priest having a "parpetuitie" in the chantry
called Our Lady Chantry in the west end, and the other a salaried
priest, removable, of the service called Our Lady Service. Annual
value of the chantry lands 6l, and of the said service 30s.
Thereout, in the stipend of Edmonde Ragland, (fn. 5) salaried priest of
Our Lady Service, of the age of 40 years, having none other living,
by year 27s. 5d. And in the perpetuity of John Taylor, the chantrypriest, 5l 18s. 2d.
There be 360 houseling-people in the said parish.
There be also within the said parish, belonging to the said
Chantry and Service, a Chalice weighing 14 ounces, valued at 51s. 4d.,
and a pair of vestments of old velvet valued at 2s., all which belong
to the said Chantry. Item to the said Service nil—in all 53s. 4d.
Lands and tenements given to find a priest to sing 3 Masses by
the week continually in the chapel of Aberthaw. Yearly value 19s.
Saint Mary [Hill]
2 acres pasture given by one Mary Church to be prayed for in
the pulpit. Yearly value 2s.
Lands, tenements and title in the said parish, belonging to the
free chapel of Henlles, and the incumbent there George Harbert,
gent', of the age of 24 years, having none other promotion. Yearly
value 40s. 4d.
Lands and tenements belonging to the service of William Prior, (fn. 6)
given to find a priest to say Mass for his soul. Yearly value
11l 15s. 6d.
Thereout the stipend of the salaried priest, 6l.
The said town is a market town and walled about, having "iij c
howselling people" within the same.
There be within the said parish certain lands, tenements and
tithes belonging to the Hospital or Wardenage of Saint David, in
Swansey, with the chapels of Ostermouthe and llanguge appropriate
unto the same, founded, as is reported, to the intent to have a
Master, a Vicar, two stipendiary priests and ten poor men; and
they and every of them to have one of the said revenues for their
livings, as hereafter may appear. Yearly value 10l 17s. 9d.—
In a pension paid to Sir Edward Karne, knight, going out of the
premises, unto the late suppressed cell of Wenny, by the year
In the fee or wages of Sir George Harbt, knight, Steward there
by Letters Patent, by year 26s. 8d.
And in the fee or wages of Morgan John ap Hopkyn, Bailiff
there by Letters Patent, by year 26s. 8d.
Richard Morgan, stipendiary priest, 6l 13s. 4d. a year.
Thomas Lygat, stipendiary priest, 100s.
And in the wages of 4 poor men, after the rate of every one 2d.
the week, in all by the year 34s. 8d.
And in livery gowns to the same poor men after the rate of 10s.
Clear annual value 21l 9s. 9d.; which Richard Rawlins, churchwarden, taketh towards his living and the repair of the premises.
Mem. that the Vicar of Swansey hath yearly in the right of his
vicarage the third part of the tithe of the said parish, not valued in
the charge aforesaid.
The County of Pembroke.
20. The parish of Saint David.
Our Lady College founded by Adam Hutton and John Duke of
Lancaster and Dame Blanche his wife, for a Master, 7 fellows and
2 choristers. And about 60 years past the same, as is reported, was
united to the cathedral, to the intent to have a Master of the same
College found and 27 vicars choral, 8 choristers, and other servants.
And the same is situate on the north side of the cathedral church
there, being covered with lead. That is to say, the church containing in length 24 yards, and in breadth 9 yards; the vestry in
length 7 yards, and in breadth 5 yards; one stair covered with lead,
containing in length 6 yards di., and in breadth 3 yards di. To the
which College appertains property to the yearly value of 95l 17s.
Plate &c. Chalice and paten of silver weighing 11oz.
Another chalice and paten weighing 11oz
3 fronts for an altar, val. 4s.
4 copes val. 5s.
4 other copes 10s.
2 other copes 8s.
3 vestments with albs 20s.
3 mass-books 4s.
a pax of silver, enamelled, parcel gilt, weighing 17 ounces, val.
[The Master of the College had sundry other chalices, cruets,
censers, bell &c.]
There is within the said parish 2 chantries founded within the
cathedral church there, to the intent to find 2 priests for ever to say
Mass every day and to keep the choir within the said church every
Sunday and holy-day by the year.
* * *
23. The parish of Tenby.
Lands given to find 3 stipendiary priests to celebrate at the
altars of Jesus, Saint Ann, and the Rood of Grace, for the souls of the
donors. Lands given to find a lamp in the church, and to find light
and an obit. There is also a Hospital or free chapel of Saint John,
founded to find a Master to serve God and Our Lady and Saint John
Baptist for ever. There be 900 houseling-people.
* * *
The County of Carmarthen.
The parish of karmrthen.
A free chapel of Our Lady, called the Rood Church, in the
town. Lands of the yearly value of 9l 10s. given to find a priest for
ever to sing Morrow Mass daily there. Nicholas Byford is the
A chalice of silver, 9oz.
1 pair of vestments of blue satin.
2 altar cloths.
2 small bells.
There is also in the said parish a service called Our Lady
Service, in the parish church.
There is in the Castle of Karmrthen a chapel called the King's
Majesty's Free Chapel. 1100 houseling-people.
"The same Towne of karmrthen ys a fayre Merkett Towne,
having a fare haven, and the ffarest Towne in all South Waills and
of most Scevillytre."
* * *
The County of Cardigan.
There be within the said parish and in the custody of the
churchwardens there for the time being 20 oxen, valued every ox at
13s. 4d.; 60 kine, every cow valued at 10s.; and 100 sheep, valued
every sheep at 16d. The which cattle were given by divers of the
parishioners there towards the finding of two priests to aid the vicar
to minister the Sacraments and the sacramentals, and towards the
reparation of the said church.
There is within the said parish one chapel called Spitykenvyn,
whereunto is given by divers of the inhabitants, adjoining to the said
chapel and being distant from their parish church 8 miles, towards
the finding of one priest to sing Mass in the said chapel, 13 kine,
every cow valued at 10s.; 7 yearlings at 4s., and 46 sheep at 16d.
There is within the said parish of houseling-people to the number
of iijl' iijl'
36. "The parishe of Abrvstwythe
There is wtin the said p'ishe one grist Mill beildid vpon the
comon there by the burgags and inhabitaunts of the said Towne, being
of the yerely Valew of vli. The proffetts wherof bene yerely
bestowid in and vpon the Repa'cions of one pere maid there for the
saifegarde of Shippes, and in & vpon the Repa'cions of one bridge
adyoininge to the said Towne—vli.
There is within the said p'ishe one p'ishe Churche comenly callyd
the Colledge of Landeweybrevey." Roland Merick incumbent, called
presenter or chaunter of the same.
* * *
The County of Brecknock.
Parish of Brecknock.
Christ College, founded by King H.8 anno 32° regni sui.
Chapel called ystradwallwen, to which pertain 16 kine and 5
Cappel Mihangell, with 16 acres given to the intent to have Mass
within the said chapel.
A cottage given by Owen ap ll'n, clerk, to find a light before the
* * *
The County of Radnor.
1a. arable, out of which 2d. a year hath always been paid
towards the finding of a light before the image of Our Lady.
Meadow called Gweyrne y colstone containing 3 acres; a parcel
of land called Reid berrye; 4a. arable; 1a. arable, & di. acr' meadow,
&c., given to find lights.
6l 6s. 8d. given by one Mr Powell, clerk, towards the finding of
a priest to sing Morrow Mass there.
The County of Monmouth.
"Jenkyn Clerke his Chauntrey."
Repairs of Newport bridge.
John Thomas, chantry-priest.
Morgan ap Rosser's Chantry.
Henry Morgan, chantry-priest.
Free chapel of Saint Lawrence.
James Verney, stipendiary priest.
"The said Towne of Newport ys a fare Mrket Towne and hathe
a fayre Haveyn comyng to the same and adyoining to the same towne
ys there one fare bridge, over the Ryvar of Vske being in lenthe
iij c l. yardes. Where the water most comenly doithe flowe in heithe
frome the low Water marke. Vpe right vij fadome. The Repa'cions
of the whiche bridge doith stand thenabitaunts of the said Towne
yerely in the som[m]e of xli and above."
John Edwards' Chantry. John Williams, chantry-priest.
The Trunte Chantry. Edward Kemys, chantry-priest.
Messuage and garden paying 5s. a year towards the finding of a
priest to say Morrow Mass in the parish church.
* * *
½ acre to find light before the high altar.
Messuage and 23 arable acres, and 8 of wood, given towards the
finding of a priest for ever.
One acre called the Sepulcre Medow, given to find light before
the sepulchre, paying therefor yearly one pound of wax.
The Queen's Grace is Lady of the Manor.
* * *
Our Lady Service. John Williams, salary-priest.
The Rood Service. Griffith ap Ieuan, stipendiary priest.
A little chapel covered with slate, called the Chapel of Gwynnoge, with lands and tenements given towards the finding of a priest
to say Mass in the said chapel.
There is in the tenure of William ap Ieuan, vicar, a garden
given by John Nycoll, clerke, to be prayed for in the pulpit.
6d. yearly rent to the Chapter of Llandaff.
Messuage charged with 12d. a year to pray for the souls of
Roger ap John and Mawlde his wife in the pulpit there yearly.
* * *
Lannehangell ystyme llowyth.
Messuage and lands charged yearly with 6d. to find a light before
1a. arable, given to find a lamp before the image of the Rood, 4d.
Saint Kateren's Service. John Evans, chantry-priest.
"The saide Towne of Chepstow ys both a portt Towne and a
mrkett Towne, and well wallid being somewatt in Dekey, the same
Towne standyth w[i]tin 2 miles of the Ryver of Seyverne and yonyng
upon the Ryver of Wye, wher of late the Inhabitaunts of the said
Towne dyd beyld a goodly Bridge of Tymbre over the said Ryver
of Wye, where yt doithe floye and ebbe vnder said Bridge frome
the lowe water marke vpright ix ffadome by reason wherof the
yerely Rep'acc'ons of the said Bridge ys very chargeable to the said
* * *
A garden given to find light before the picture of Our Lady in
the parish church. 4d. a year.
12a. arable and 12a. of meadow, given to have a priest to say the
Morrow Mass every Sunday in the church.
104. Langattoycke keleuyk,
1a. meadow given to be prayed for in the pulpit. 6d. a year.
10a. arable and ½a. meadow given to find light before the high
A chantry with lands and tenements. Richard ap Hoell G'l'm,
A tenement given by John Mere, sometime the vicar, for the
keeping of an obit in the parish church yearly.
Meadow called key yr ffranks given by Watkyn Gunter to the