Pope Innocent IV, to whose predecessors in the See of Rome the
First Fruits and Tenths of all Ecclesiastical Benefices had for a long
time been paid, gave the same in 1253 to king Henry III for three years.
This occasioned a valuation to be made in the following year, sometimes called Pope Innocent's Valor, sometimes the Vetus Valor, and
sometimes the Norwich Taxation from the circumstance of its having
been executed principally by the Bishop of Norwich. A second
valuation was made at the instigation of Pope Nicholas IV, when,
in 1288, he granted to Edward 1 all the Tenths of the Benefices for
a period of six years. It was a grant towards defraying the expense
of an expedition to the Holy Land, and, in order that the tithe might
be collected to the full value, a survey known as the "Antique
Taxatio Ecclesiastica" was made of all Ecclesiastical possessions. At
the time of these Valors there were seven churches in the Barony,
viz:—Kyrkeby-in-Kendale, Gressemere, Wynandermer, Everesham,
Betham, Burton and Kyrkeby Lounesdale.
Excepting in respect to a certain number of Benefices that lay
adjacent to the Border, which were considerably relieved by Pope
Clement V in 1318 (see vol. ii, p. 2) and called the "Novo Taxatio," the
"Antique" formed the basis of the Papal Taxation for nearly 250 years.
But during this long period great changes took place. As the
spiritual power of the great monastic institutions declined, a very
robust and personal religion animated the people to build private
chantries and other foundations in almost every parish church. And
with this personal enthusiasm there also grew up a disposition to
doubt the validity of the Pope's title to supremacy and to question
the political expediency of allowing the Church of Rome to encroach,
as it was increasingly doing, upon the ancient freedom and
property of the English Church. Therefore when the yoke was
finally thrown off, 1533, a new Survey became necessary.
Parliament began a new session on 3rd November, 1534, the
Commission to make the Survey was issued on 30th January, 1535, and
the returns had to be made to the Exchequer by the Octaves of the
In the 14th item of Instructions to the Commissioners it is ordained
that they "serche and know the nombre and names of ev[er]y p[ar]sonage
vicarige chauntrie as well mortized as other and frechapell within ev[er]y
denry . . . . . And the true and entire yerely value of all the londs
ten[an]ts glebes demeanes rentts possessions tithes offerings porc[i]ons pensions and all other p[ro]fetts as well sp[irit]uall as temporall belongyng to ev[er]y
suche p[ar]sonage . . . . . . And the true c[er]tentie of the annuell and
p[er]petuall rentts pensions and synods and p[er?]xis paide and yerely goyng
oute of suche p[ar]sonages vicara[g]es chauntries and frechapells and to
whome suche rentts pe[n]sions synods and p[er?]xis bene yerly payde."
It will be seen then that this Valuation is pre-eminent amongst
Ecclesiastical Records as it is an estimate of the entire ecclesiastical
establishment and made on the very eve of the Reformation. As in
Domesday Boke we are presented with a view of the feudal distributions
of England as they were settled at the Conquest, so here we have the
ecclesiastical distributions as they existed and had existed with
scarcely any alteration from the close of the reign of Henry I.
The Valor at once shows to us that there were only seven Churches
in Kendale before the Reformation, viz:—Kirkeby Kendall, Grysmer,
Wyndeandermer, Evershame, Bethome, Burton and Kirk Lounsdalle,
Further that there was a Hospital for Lepers near Kendall, a Free
Chapel at Windermere and a Chantry under the Chapel of St. Leonard's
at Kirkby Lonsdale. In order, however, to bring each Decanatus up to
ten churches the Rural Deanery of Kendall at this time embraced the
churches of7 Warton with a chantry, 8Bolton, 9Halton and 10Heisham.
So too the Rural Deanery of Kirkby Lounsdall embraced,1 Sedberghe
"et Scola Gram.",2 Kirk Lounsdalle" et Cant.,"3 Whittington,4 Tunstall
"et 2 Cant.,"5 Mellyng,6 Tatham,7 Claughton, 8 Bentham,9 Claypham,
and10 Thornton. And, although not strictly within the sphere ofthese
Records, it is interesting to note that the neighbouring Decanatus de
Furnes et Cartmell embraced 1Cartmel Priory,2 Hawkeshed,3 Ulverston,
4Penyngton, 5Conyngeshed Priory, 6Urswick, 7Aldyngham, 8Furnes
Abbey, 9Dalton and 10Kirkeby Yerlethe.