MUNIMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE DEAN AND CHAPTER OF WORCESTER.
The records of the Prior and Convent, and of their successors the
Dean and Chapter, of the Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Worcester,
are preserved in a room adjoining the Bishop's Registry in the Gateway
Tower, to which they were removed in recent years from the long
chamber over the south aisle of the nave of the church, where is now
the cathedral library. The muniments have in past times suffered
considerably from damp and from the ravages of mice. At present
there is no danger of damp since fires are constantly kept in two or three
of the adjoining rooms, and both in January and April I have found the
documents in a satisfactorily dry condition. It is right, however, to
add that the room in which the muniments are stored, while separated
by a massive stone wall from the Clerk's Office of the Registry, is
divided only by a light partition from the Registrar's room; and in
both these rooms there are open fires unprotected by guards. I also
observe that the cupboards in the muniment room itself are not, nor is
the door of the room, kept locked, so that all the records are open to
the servant who cleans the rooms in the morning and to anyone who
may chance to obtain access to them while the servant is otherwise
engaged. I would venture to urge upon the Dean and Chapter the
desirability of purchasing a safe large enough to hold at least the older
volumes and deeds, or else to have the muniment room itself made
fireproof. If a change of this sort were carried out it would be
advisable to have shelves made sufficiently roomy to allow of the books
standing upright. As it is, they are subjected to a great deal of
unnecessary friction and ill-usage in consequence of their being stored
in piles. The charters, which are preserved in drawers, ought to be
laid out flat, or nearly so, instead of being folded in small squares and
tied up in bundles with string. It is also most desirable that they
should all be furnished with numbers and so arranged that it should be
possible to verify a particular reference without a long search through
several drawers. At present, even in the case of those charters which
have received a pencilled number and been roughly calendared, it is
impossible to say with certainty in which of several drawers they are
contained: it is necessary to go through the tied-up bundles in a
drawer packed full of documents, only to find perhaps that the document
bearing a particular number is not among them. An attempt was
indeed made nearly seventy years ago to establish a regular system of
numbering and arrangement; but this system (as Bishop Edmund
Hobhouse observed when he examined the collection in 1881) is now
broken up, and the numbers supply no certain guide to the whereabouts
of the documents.
I.—The Priors' Register Sede Vacante.
Of the two classes of documents into which the collection is naturally
divided, (1) books, and (2) deeds, letters, and miscellaneous papers, I
take the former first (fn. 1) ; but before enumerating the registers and
ledgers in their order, it is convenient to mention one book which
stands altogether by itself among the muniments. This is the
Registrum Sede Vacante, a register drawn up after the pattern of a
bishop's register, and in the name, not of the prior and convent, but of
the prior alone, acting as official and administrator of spirituals in the
diocese during the vacancy of the see. The register includes the deeds
relating to the institution and deprivation of clerks; the collation of
dignities and benefices; the receipts of wardships, fines, and other
revenues; and the records of visitations, of ecclesiastical causes, and of
the exercise of the entire episcopal jurisdiction vested in the prior
during the vacancy by virtue of a Composition made between archbishop
Boniface of Canterbury and the prior in 1268. It contains also the
lists of persons ordained by the bishops of Llandaff, Enaghduñ
[Annadown], and other sees, acting under the authority of the prior.
The book begins with the vacancy caused by the death of Bishop
Godfrey Giffard, 26 January 1301–2, and extends to 1434, during
the interval between the death of bishop Polton and the appointment of bishop Bourchier. This volume has been taken in hand by
the Worcestershire Historical Society for publication by means of a
calendar, and is intended to form the first of a series of editions of the
Episcopal as well as Capitular Registers of Worcester. (fn. 2)
II.—The so-called Registrum Prioratus.
The so-called Registrum Prioratus was apparently unknown to
William Thomas, (fn. 3) Nash, and Valentine Green. (fn. 4) It had been carried
away from the church, presumably to Italy during the pontificates of
the four Italian prelates who occupied the see from 1497 to 1535, and
afterwards bound in red morocco, as it seems, by an Italian bookbinder.
At this time the incorrect and misleading title of "Registrum sive
Liber Irrotulatorius et Consuetudinarius Prioratus Beatæ Mariæ
Wigornensis" was written on the second of six vellum leaves inserted
at the beginning, and a table of contents on those following. On the
foot of the title-page is written, "E. M.S.S Thom. Astle"; and the
book is known to have been in the possession of Thomas Astle, afterwards keeper of the records in the Tower, in 1765 (fn. 5) , but whence he
acquired it is not stated. It was subsequently restored to the dean and
chapter; but how and at what date, is not recorded in any of the
papers in the muniment room that I have examined. Mr. Noake says
it came as a present from Astle. The volume was edited by the late
Archdeacon W. H. Hale for the Camden Society in 1865. (fn. 6) The title
quoted above was understood by Hale to represent "most probably the
original title." He assumed, it is evident, that the existing title and
table of contents stood in place of an old and worn leaf (or leaves)
removed at the time of binding. To this supposition there are several
objections. First, the book is not strictly speaking a register at all.
Although interspersed with occasional charters and miscellaneous
documents, it is essentially a Rental of the monastery, written in a handy
shape for carrying about on visitation of the various manors. (fn. 7)
Secondly, it may be questioned whether at so early a date as the latter
part of the thirteenth century, when the book was written, the style
"Registrum Prioratus" would be used in preference to the form
"Prioris et Conventus" or "Monasterii." It was only by degrees
that the prior obtained so commanding a position that his title could
absorb that of the society over which he ruled; and at Worcester the
great advance of the priorial dignity took place towards the middle of
the fourteenth century. Thirdly, the spelling "Wigornensis" for
"Wigorniensis" is of extremely rare occurrence in documents of
the thirteenth century. It is curious that Hale should have silently
changed it into "Wigorniensis" on his title page, while in the text of
his book he uniformly prints "Wigornia" for the substantive and
"Wigornensis" for the adjective, the manuscript itself offering only
Wigorñ or Wig'. A practical objection to the use of the term
"Register" for this Rental is that it introduces an unnecessary confusion
with the regular and orderly series of Registers of the convent.
The book being already published, no account of it need here be
given; but one point in connexion with it, the knowledge of which I
owe to the kindness of Dr. Liebermann of Berlin, deserves a brief
mention. On f. 16a there appear some excerpts from the so-called
"Laws of Edward the Confessor," which present the text in its second
redaction. Now the manuscript of the "Laws" in the Cathedral
Library, cod. 87 folio, which I have examined and partially collated, was
not written until about 1300 and gives the text in its earlier form
without the changes and interpolations which it subsequently underwent.
It may therefore be inferred that at one time the monastery of Worcester
possessed two copies of the "Laws."
III.—The Liber Pensionum.
The Liber Pensionum is distinguished from the Registers by the
fact that its contents, properly speaking, relate not to the property at
large held by the church of Worcester but exclusively to its spiritual
possessions and spiritual privileges. It comprises copies of deeds of
confirmation of the churches appropriated to the monastery, grants of
"pensions" or fixed payments due to the church of Worcester from
certain churches in the diocese and from certain religious houses in
respect of particular churches in the diocese appropriated to them. The
documents range from the time of bishop Roger [1164–1179] to the
beginning of the fifteenth century, which is the date of writing of the
book. The ground of the payment of a pension by a religious house is
usually expressed as in consideration of the advantage gained by it
through the appropriation of the church, and of the trouble that might
be given to the prior of Worcester in the event of a vacancy taking
place in the see. Thus f. 4, "Pensatis equo libramine dampnis et
interesse que, occasione consolidacionis et appropriacionis vicarie ecclesie
parochialis de Wynchecome Wygorñ dioc' nobis et monasterio nostro
predicto per venerabilem patrem et dominum, dominum Tidemannum,
Dei gracia Wygorñ episcopum nuper facte, priori et capitulo ecclesie
cathedralis Wygorñ quociens eiusdem ecclesie cathedralis sedem futuris
temporibus vacare contigerit et alio modo accidere poterunt multipliciter
in futurum," abbat William and the convent of Winchcombe agree to
pay an "annuitas" or "census annuus" of 3s. 4d. to the said prior and
chapter (1398). Another formula appears on f. 14, where the provost
and scholars of the Queen's college at Oxford, desiring "in recompensacionem congruam fructuum seu emolumentorum, quos tempore vacacionis
dicte ecclesie solent vel debent in futurum percipere, debitum reddere
repensivum," bind themselves to pay 20s. of silver whenever there is a
vacancy in the see. Oxford 1350.
Among the documents included in this book are:—
f. 5b. Agreement for the payment of 40s. in lieu of 100s. under
conditions by the prior and convent of Great Malvern to the church of
Worcester on the vacancy of the see. 1337.
f. 12. Award of B[artholomew] bishop of Exeter, delegated by the
pope to decide a cause between the churches of Oseney and Worcester
relating to the rights of the former in the church of Begeberia [Bibury,
co. Glouc.]. For Oseney appeared Eadward abbat, Harding prior, and
the canons; for Worcester, Roger bishop, Ralph prior, and the monks.
Witnesses: Hamet of Gloucester, A. of Evesham, John of Messend'
[Missenden], William of Lileshell [Lilleshall], abbats; Robert of
Kenilworth, Rem. of Selford, priors; Robert of Oxford, R. of Surrey,
Simon of Winchester, archdeacons; John dean of Chichester; John
treasurer of Exeter; William dean of Lichfield; J. chancellor of
Chichester; Master Moyses, Master Silvester, Robert monk, master
Robert de Auc', (fn. 8) master Roger and Trustin, canons of Exeter; Osb.
canon of Kenilworth, Philip canon of Derby, master Robert of Gildeford, Nicholas priest of Auinton [Avington], John of Lilleshell, Ascat'
of Messend', canons. Salisbury 1173. This document shows that
John of Salisbury (unless there was another John) held the office of
treasurer of Exeter a year earlier than was previously known. (fn. 9)
f. 16. Confirmation by William [Courtenay] Archbishop of Canterbury of the various churches, pensions, and tithes, held by the church
of Worcester. Kempsey, 29 October "anno ab incarnacione Domini
secundum cursum et computacionem ecclesie Anglicane" 1384, Ind.
VIII. anno pontif. Urban. VI. 7.
f. 17. Bull of Clement VI. appropriating the church of Croppethorne
to the monastery. Axignon, 9 March, anno 8 . The special
cause assigned is the need for repairing the cathedral church: "quod
eadem ecclesia et eius campanile ac quamplura edificia prioratus eiusdem
ecclesie, quorum refeccio et construccio ad eosdem priorem et capitulum
noscitur pertinere, in tantum minantur ruinam et tanta ac tali refeccione
indigent quod ad illa reficienda ac reparanda minime ipsorum prioris et
capituli redditus sufficiunt, absque eo quod aliuude super hoc subveniatur
eisdem; et quod ipsi prior et capitulum per hospitalitatem tam nobilium
quam popularium ad ipsum prioratum confluencium, et propter sumptus
necessarios circa defensionem iurium prioratus eiusdem nuper factos, ere
alieno sunt multipliciter onerati, eciam et gravati; quodque redditus et
proventus eorundem, propter obitum tenencium possessiones et bona ab
cis qui tempore epidemie in illis partibus nuper ingruentis decesserunt, in
magna parte diminuti existant," &c.
f. 18b. Confirmation by Clement VI. of the appropriation to the prier
and chapter of the church of Overbury in their gift, in relief of their
burthens and to assist them in sending two monks to study at Oxford
("pro supportacione huiusmodi onerum leviori ac sustentacion eduorum
monachorum quos in Oxoniensi studio tenere oportet"), the latter
obligation being made a condition of the grant. Avignon: 2 October
anno 5 .
f. 19b. Appropriation by Clement VI. of the church of Wolvardeley
[Wolverley] to the prior and convent, substantially in the same terms as
those cited above with reference to Croppethorn. Avignon: 11 June
anno 10 .
f. 26. Inspeximus by John [Green], prior (1388), of inspeximus of
Henry [Wakefield], bishop, of a chirograph of a fine levied in the
king's court for a month from Easter 49 Henry III.  between
John, master of the Carnaria at Worcester, and Walter [of Cantelupe],
bishop, and of the deed of the said bishop Walter establishing four
chaplains in the chapel of the Carnaria, or charnel house, at Worcester,
31 Jan. 1265–6 (fn. 10) ; bishop Henry now appropriating the said chapel to
the sacristry of the church of Worcester, 2 Oct. 1385.
The documents are arranged according to churches, and the part of
the volume which is strictly the Liber Pensionem ends on f. 29. After
this, with a new gathering, comes a series of leading documents bearing
upon the rights of the prior sede vacante (the composition between
archbishop Boniface and the prior, 1268, &c.), followed by miscellaneous
documents relating to the property, rights, privileges, and exemptions
of the convent. Among these are:
f. 31. Appropriation by bishop Walter [Maydenstone] of the church
of Tibberton to the precentory, on the ground "quod officium precentorie in Ecclesia nostra Cathedrali supra dicta propter sui exilitatem
ouera dicto officio incumbencia tam in librorum novorum scriptura quam
antiquorum raparacione (fn. 11) et emendacione Clericorumque dicto officio
deserviencium exhibicione (Equm quoque ac famulum propter negocia
dicte Ecclesie expedienda adinvenire tenetur ex consuetudine hactenus
approbata) nec non in multis aliis rebus ipsi officio necessariis consistencia sustinere non valebat quovis modo." Fladbury: 19 March
f. 34. Escheator's inquisition as to the tenure of the priory's temporalities. Sept. 1 Edw. I. . The witnesses declare that all its
possessions are held in pure and perpetual alms
f. 46. Grant by Henry III. (fn. 12) of a market to be held by the prior and
convent at Shipston on Stour weekly on Saturdays and a yearly fair
(feria) on the feast of St. Barnabas, its vigil, and morrow. Woodstock:
28 June, an. 52 .
f. 47b. Indulgence of Clement [VI.] to the prior and monks to eat
fleshmeat from Septuagesima to Quinquagesima, but not in the refectory,
and for the rest of the year in the refectory. Villanova: 15 May, an.
f. 50. Composition between Bishop William [of Blois] and the convent
concerning the election of the prior .
f. 51. Bull of Clement [VI.] authorising the prior John of Evesham
to make use of "mitra, baculo, tunica, et dalmatica pastoralibus"; and
to give the solemn blessing, except a legate or bishop be present
(Avignon: 8 Jan., an. 9 [1350–1]): followed by other confirmations of
privileges by Boniface [IX.] (Rome: 11 Dec., an. 8 ), Nicolas
[IV.] (Rome: 5 Jan., an. 2 [1288–9]; and Rieti, 1 Aug., an. 2
) and Boniface [IX.] (Rome, 13 Dec., an. 10 ). The earlier
rescript of Nicolas IV. contains a license to the prior and chapter to
preach, considering "quod plures ex vobis sunt in divina pagina, in qua
studium infra claustrum ecclesie vestre continue sicut asseritur vigeredinoscitur, plenius eruditi"; the second one empowers them to wear
hats (pilleis vel almiciis non curiosis) during divine service in cold
f. 52b. Letter under privy seal of Henry [IV.] forbidding the bailiffs
of Worcester to have their maces carried before them within the church,
cemetery, priory, and sanctuary. (Bubwith: P.S.) Westminster: 6
December an. 2. .
f. 54b. Endowment of a secular chaplain to serve the altar of the
blessed Mary "at rededore" in the cathedral church (or, as it is in the
rubric, "ad rubrum hostium in Navi ecclesie"), 1315.
f. 55. Settlement of a complaint of the sacrist with reference to the
expense he incurred "in exhibicione pecunie pitancie piscis et vini pro
O Oriens," 1339.
f. 58. King's writ concerning a dispute between the bailiffs of the
city and the church of Worcester as to the coroner's jurisdiction,
Westminster: 19 December 22 Edw. III.  and other documents
of the legal proceedings down to Whitsuntide 23 Edw. III. .
Inserted are a few documents in hands of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, f. 49b, 62b–67b (end of book).
f. 62. Commission to Arthur, prince of Wales, and Thomas, prior,
to execute the statutes relating to the keeping of the peace, the use of
liveries, &c. [undated] with the oath of a justice of the peace [in the
f. 63b. Confirmation by Thomas [Cranmer] abp. of Canterbury of
the possessions of the prior and chapter of Worcester. Gloucester:
30 August 1534. [The date is given by error as "Anno domini millesimo
quingentesimo tricesimo quarto decimo. Et nostre consecrationis anno
f. 64. Note of a customary payment: "Memorandum quod Prior
Ecclesie Cathedralis Wigorn in prima creacione sua percipiet de singulis
Maneriis et dominiis suis speciale subsidium anglic' Saddell silver viz.
de dominio de," &c. (fn. 13)
On the last flyleaf is an account "Staurorum diversorum Maneriorum
ab Antiquo Assignatorum Officio Coquinarii Ecclesie Cathedralis beate
Marie Wygorn'." The sum is 159 swine, 318 hens, 3600 eggs, 280
The volume contains two flyleaves cut out of a manuscript of Statius of
the eleventh century. It is written in double columns, and the left-hand
column in the first leaf and the right-hand one in the second have been
mutilated to fit the cover. The passages are from the Thebais x. 877–
900 (i. col. 1), 902–924 (col. 2); x. 778–800 (ii. col. 1), xi. 53–75
(col. 2). This singular derangement of the order is apparently to be
accounted for by the hypothesis of some leaves in the archetype, containing lib. x. 801–876, 925–939, xi. 1–52, having been misplaced. In
a manuscript in the Cathedral Library, Qo 8, Dr. H. Schenkl found
similar flyleaves which were manifestly taken from the same MS. of
Statius and begin with lib ii. 70. Dr. Schenkl however erroneously
assigned the writing to the ninth century. (fn. 14)
IV. Register I.
The volume designated by Thomas and Nash Register I. and by
Dugdale "registrum quoddam penes decanum et capitulum ecclesiæ cath.
Wigorniæ," is a small folio in gatherings of twelve leaves written as far
as f. lxiii in a hand of the middle of the 13th century. The uniformity
of the handwriting is interrupted by insertions on ff. lviii, lix, lx. The
book opens with the 'Nomina fundatorum Wigornensis ecclesie" (Inc.
"Tempore Æthelredi"), followed by the charters of Edgar (Inc.
"Altitonantis dei largiflua clementia"), of William I. to Wulstan bishop
and Ur[so] de Abetot sheriff (confirming their customs and rights
"Alfstano decano et monachis de Wigrecestra"), of bishop Wulstan
concerning Alveston and concerning Tapenhal', of William I., Henry I.
and his successors down to Henry III., papal bulls, charters of bishops
and of private persons. F. lxi has a new heading, "Incipiunt transcripta
cartarum"; but the documents are of the same character as the
The documents are of great local interest and contain notices of value
for the topographical history of the city of Worcester: e.g. "Hucsterestrete" is mentioned on ff. lv, lvb, "vicus cirothecariorum" on f. lvii.
On f. lxiii is a charter of Henry III.: "H. Dei gratia rex Anglie
dominus Hibern[ie] dux Normanñ Aquitanñ et comes And[egavensis]
omnibus baillivis et fidelibus suis ad quos presentes littere pervenerint
salutem. Sciatis quod suscepimus in protectionem et defensionem
nostram specialem priorem et monachos ecclesie Sancte Marie Wigorñ
in qua corpus Regis patris nostri ecclesiastice traditum est sepulture,"
This charter is followed by entries of documents in a handwriting of
the end of the thirteenth century, and the book becomes more and more
irregular in respect of writing, ranging from that of the time of Henry
III. to that of Edward I. Then from f. lxxi to f. lxxxviii the writing
is of the 14th and 15th centuries. The volume deserves a full calendar:
between 30 and 40 of the documents are printed at length by Thomas.
Among the contents are:—
f. lxvib. The composition between archbishop Boniface and the
monks (1268) on procedure during a vacancy of the see.
f. lxviib. Cardinal Otho's constitutions concerning regulars:
"In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. Amen. Cum grande
sit opus et arduum civitatem Dei, que est sancta religio, novis et innovatis propugnaculis premunire contra versuti hostis insidias, qui eam
novis et antiquis iugiter nititur machinis debellare: nos O'o miseracione
divina sancti Nicholai in carcere Tulliano diaconus cardinalis, apostolice
sedis legatus, ex iniuncto nobis legationis offitio adiuvandum pro viribus
tam favorabile opus obnoxios reputantes, quedam tum ex sancti patris
beati Benedicti Regula, tum ex sacris conciliis et canonicis sanctionibus,
tum ex statutis etiam abbatum ordinis eiusdem heati Benedicti colligi
fecimus et notari; que si servati fuerint, sacre religioni erunt in presidium et tutelam.
"Inprimis igitur duximus statuendum quod nullus ante vicesimum
annum completum ad professionem et nonumdecimum ad probationem
in monasterio decetero admittatur. Item qui ad probationem admissus
erit professionem incontinenter (fn. 15) faciat anno probationis elapso vel
exeat monasterium. Abbas alioquin vel prior qui aliquem sine profess[ione] sustinuerit ultra annum per presidentes capitulis graviter
puniatur, et ille novitius nichilominus profiteri cogatur et habeatur
pro professo. Item quod ab aliquo qui velit monasterium ingredi
nichil exigatur omnino, sed pure propter Dominum et sine aliqua
pactione qui admittendi fuerint admittantur. Recipi tamen poterit
sine culpa si quid sine pactione et taxatione aliqua fuerit gratis
oblatum. Item quod monachus aliquis decetero proprium aliquod non
habeat, et si habet sine dilatione suo abbati assignet. Item quod aliquis
monachus decetero ad firmam aliquod manerium vel possessionem aliam
etiam a prelato suo recipere non presumat. Alioquin ut proprietarius
haberi debeat ac puniri. Item quod in maneriis monachi non morentur,
nec etiam in ecclesiis nisi plures fuerint, saltem duo. Item quod discreti ac fide digni ad officia deputentur, qui ter saltem in anno prelato
suo presentibus aliquot de senioribus reddant de suis administrationibus
et officiis rationem. Et tunc quicquid eis superfuerit, sive in pecunia
sive in aliis quibuslibet quibuscunque rebus consistat, sine difficultate
qualibet omni fraude amota suis prelatis restituant et assignent penam
proprietariorum contra facientibus incursuris. Abbas quoque vel prior
non habens abbatem saltem in anno semel coram conventu vel aliquot
de senioribus ad hoc a conventu deputatis reddat de statu monasterii et
administratione sua plenariam rationem. Item statuimus quod prelati
bis saltem in anno publice in conventu in omnes proprietarios excommunicationis sententiam ferant, alias nichilominus nisi non resipiscant
punientes maxime per ignominiam sepulture. Item statuimus quod
silentium sp[ecialiter] in locis debitis et horis statutis iuxta Regulam
observetur, et quod signa studeant scire omnes. Ad hec, cum esus
carnium sit monachis iugiter ordinatis per Regulam beati Benedicti et
per statutum nostrum nec non et abbatum Anglie presidentium eorum
generali capitulo interdictus, ut monachis qui consueverunt vesci carnibus per abusum tollatur materia et occasio murmurandi, precipimus
abbatibus et prioribus ut loco illius cibi eis vetiti studeant et procurent
monachis iuxta facultatem domus competenter alium ministrare. Item
quod monachi tam ad dorsum quam ad lectum secundum Regulam et
facultatem domus habeant sufficientia et congrua indumenta nec camiseis
lineis vel birretis utantur. Item quod simul dormiant monachi, lectos habeant iuxta regulam, nec in eorum dormitatione desit lumen. Hospitalitem
vero tam a prelatis quam a subditis secundum regule sanctionem et facultatem loci cum caritate et hilaritate observari statuimus et mandamus
semper, et ad hoc benignus et mansuetus monachus iuxta Regulam
deputetur. Idem cum infirmis fratribus statuimus observandum. Item
quod omnes horis intusint divinis et maxime collationi et completorio,
nisi ex honesta causa aliquis circa hospites occupatus de speciali licentia
seu prelati necesse habuerit remanere. Numerum vero equorum et
familie prelati studeant in quantum poterunt moderare. Item statuimus
quod abbates et priores continue iuxta Regulam scribi faciant constitutiones et sanctiones summorum pontificum ad eos et eorum ordinem
precipue pertinentes que in compilatione domini Gregorii noni pape sub
infra scriptis titulis continentur, videlicet de regularibus et transeuntibus.
|Ad religionem (fn. 16) ||Ex parte.|
|De statu monastorem (fn. 17) ||Monachi.|
|Cum ad monasterium.|
|Ea que religionis honestate.|
|De symonia||Quoniam simoniaca labes.|
|De sententia excommunicationis||Monachi.|
|Cum illorum absolutis.|
|De fideiussoribus.||Quod quibusdam.|
|De solutionibus.||Si quorundam.|
"Ideo districte precipimus abbatibus et prioribus quod predictam
regulam beati Benedicti et Decretales et constitutiones suprascriptas
scire studeant et ea secundum speciem habeant. Curent etiam diligenter
quod ea subditi non ignorent. Item statuimus et districte precipimus
observari quod in conventu quolibet monachorum una lectio diebus
singulis de predicta regula vel prescriptis sanctionibus et statutis hora
competenti legatur et minus intelligentibus exponatur."
f. lxviiib. Writ of Henry III. to the sheriff of Worcester. Having
ascertained by inquisition made by Mr. Symon de Walton that the prior
of Worcester and his predecessors from time whereof no record is preserved "habuerunt salsam suam in villa nostra de Wych' et sal suum
bullire consueverunt et uti quodam bukecto communi ad hauriendum
salsam suam, et pro illo bukecto aliquando dare plus, aliquando minus,
et quod solebant locare homines de eadem villa ad hauriendum predictam
salsam et ad bulliendum sai suum et ad reparandum plumbos suos, et
per quatuor plumbos bullire consueverunt, neque ad tempus quo baillivi
nostri de Wych' ceperunt manerium de nobis ad firmam; et quod idem
prior per predictos baillivos super premissis est impeditus: tibi
precipimus quod eundem priorem de premissis seysinam habere facias,
qualem inde habuit ante quam predicti baillivi eandem villam de nobis
ceperunt ad firmam. T[este] me ipso apud Messenden." N. d.
f. lxviiib. Inspeximus by Henry III. of Charter of Henry II.:
"Precipio quod prior et monachi sancte Marie de Wyreter [sic] habeant
iuste omnes fugitivos suos cum tota pecunia sua ubicunque inventi
fuerint. Et nullus eis super hoc eos iniuste detineat super decem libras
forisfacture. T[este] Canc[ellario] apud Wyreter."
Confirmed: Westminster: 8 March 50 Hen. III. [1265–6].
f. lxx. Reply of Guido bishop of S. Sabina and legate of the apostolic see [afterwards pope Clement IV.] to the English nobles in
rebellion against Henry III. Amiens: 26 July .
"Gwydo miseracione divina Sabinensis episcopus apostolice sedis
legatus viris nobilibus comitibus baronibus militibus et comitatibus (fn. 18)
regni Anglie salutem in Domino. Si gens Anglorum ad antiquam
veritatem hystorie sedula meditatione recurreret, si sedis apostolice beneficia circa se pluries inculcata cognosceret, si eiusdem sedis dominium
quo regi dominatur et regno reverenter attenderet, in insolentiam erigi
non deberet sed pocius ad obsequium inclinari. Est enim gens peculiaris
populus et thesaurus gratissimus alme sedis, quem beatus Gregorius per
Anglorum apostolum Augustinum a dupplici servitute liberans Deo
noscitur (fn. 19) adquisisse, quemque nostris temporibus, ut vetera taceamus,
ab inclite memorie domino Ludowico patre domini regis Francorum
qui modo regnat ex parte maxima subactum, per . . . legati sui
prudenciam pariter et potenciam de manu liberavit eiusdem, et si gentis
eiusdem saluti consuleret et honori, Francorum regnum exasperare non
timuit tam carum, tam nobile, tam sublime, regnum a Domino benedictum. Miratur igitur terra et celi desuper obstupescunt ad hanc
ingratitudinem Anglie nune delapsam, si in matris et domini manifestam
iniuriam legatum suum, non quemlibet sed corporis sui partem, si non
merito saltim officio reverendum, irreverenter abiciat et eiusdem legati
nuncios simplices et pacificos non admittat. Mira siquidem tarditas[?]
et detestanda crudelitas negari matri quod Tartaris, paganis, scismaticis, et
penitus infidelibus non negatur, quorum legati ab omnibus regnis et
curiis et curialiter admittuntur et pacienter auditi ab omni gravamine
liberi remittuntur. Sane vos viri nobiles et capita populorum nobis
scribitis quod communicato consilio sic Lond ordinastis et asseritis
privilegium vestrum esse quod ad vos legatus non veniat non petitus.
Sed absit ut Romana ecclesia lege propria se artaverit, ne possit per
alios visitare quorum visitacionem presencialiter nequit implere; nec
potuit aliquis summus pontifex legem ponere successori, quia non habet
imperium par in parem, nec papa unius predecessoris heres est sed
successor. Cessant tamen hec omnia ipso facto, cum rex vester institerit
et inportune pecierit, sed nichilominus oportune, ad regnum suum multa
dilaceracione concisum destinari legatum: et nunc contempnitis destinatum, querentem vos et non vestra, salutem vestram et aliorum omnium
sicientem ad pacem salubriter reformandam, et iusticiam misericordia
temperandam piis visceribus hanelantem. Porro quem sic despicitis
inverecunde rogatis ut exercitum contra vos evocatum faciat revocari et
inducat dominum regem Francorum (fn. 20) ad pecuniam non solvendam
vestris, ut dicitis, emulis que debetur pro quingentis militibus regi
vestro. Nos vero quo ad primum articulum preces vestras prevenimus,
et in ipso convocacionis exordio quibus modis potuimus laboravimus ut
nulla fieret militum congregacio: sed quod volumus non valuimus
optinere; et tamen cessari tunc poterat sine dampno, cum nunc in mari
et terra multis stipendiis persolutis optinendi creverit difficultas. Ad
secundum articulum non processimus, quia rem integram non invenimus
pecunia iam soluta. Ceterum ad id quod finaliter petitis ut vestris
nunciis apud Bonoñ. occurramus, sic vobis duximus respondendum:
quod videlicet apropinquare proponimus et ad vestros nuncios nostros
mittere quorum communicato et intellecto tractatu, si dignum nobis
videbitur nostram presenciam exhibebimus, et quicquid boni poterimus
faciemus honore sedis apostolice in omnibus conservato. Demum monemus vestram nobilitatem obnoxius [sic] quatinus discreto consilio communicato a sinistra ad dextram redeatis. Et si vobis non sufficiunt
exaggerata discrimina nova veteribus non addatis. Nec enim credimus
vos ambigere, quod omittere non potuimus, quin apostolice sedis iusticiam prout decuerit et licuerit prosequamus. Dat. Ambian. vij. Kal.
August' pontificatus domini Urbani quarti anno quarto."
f. lxxb. Bull of Innocent [III.] confirming the exemption of the
Cistercians from paying tithes. Inc.: "Audivimus et audientes mirati
sumus." N. d. [Reg. Innoc. III., Suppl. xxxiv. (Migne, Patr. Lat.
ccxvii. 62); dat. Lateran, 26 May 1200.]
f. lxxvib. Pleas in the king's bench, Westminster, 28 Edw. III.
f. lxxxvib. "This endent' (fn. 21) made bytwene the Prior and the
Couent of the monastry and the Cathedrall Churche of oure lady of
Worcestr on the oon partye and the Balyffes (fn. 22) and Comynalte of the Cyte
of Worcest' on the othyr partye beryth witnesse that the sayde Priour
and Couent haũ geuyñe lysance and grauntede to the sayde Balyffes and
Comynalte that the sayde Balyffes and ther successoures Balyffes of the
sayde cyte and yche of the sayde Balyffes for ther worshype and honor
schall haue ther maces borñ a fore them by ther sergeauntes when they
cõme in to the sayde monaster and Cathedrall Church and wythin the
same monastry Church and Cymitory of the sayde Priour and Couent
called Seyntmary (fn. 23) Churchay (fn. 24) and with inne seynt Johannis and all soo
ther' sergeaunts may bere there maces undur' ther' gurdylles yeff they
wyll with inne the same monastry Churche and Cymitory and seynt
Johannis afore wrytt in the absense of ther masteres and as for as moche
as the sayde monastry Curche and Cymitory and seynt Johannis byn
closely within the fraunches Jurisdiction and liberte of the sayde priour'
and Couente and owte of the fraunches Jurisdiction and liberte of the
sayde Cyte and that the bailyffes of the sayde Cyte nor noñ other officers
nor ministres of the sayde Cyte have no maner power nor auctorite nor
never hadde to make any Areste or do any other execucion be longyng
to any of the officeres wythin the sayde monastry Churche and Cymitory
and seynt Johannis. The sayde Balyffes and Comynalte of the sayd Cyte
graunten and permittoñ (fn. 25) to the sayd Priour and Covent thatt (fn. 26) yeff her'
after any sergeant of the sayde Cyte a rest or do any other execucion by
colour' of hys office wythin the sayd monastry Churche Cymitory or
seynt Johannis that then the Balyffes of the sayde Cyte att that tyme
beyng' schall take awey the mase from the same sergeante and that the
same sergeant' schall never be sergeant nor bere mace wythin the sayde
Cyte afterwarde. And yeff ther be any arest or any execucion don'
wythiñ the sayde monastry Churche Cymitory or seynt Johannis by any
of the balyffs of the sayde Cyte for the tyme beyng by colour of hys
office or by any sergeant or other by hys commaundement and that
dewly proved before the supprior' and (fn. 27) celerer' of the sayde monastery
for the tyme beyng' and iiij of ther brethryn Monkes of (fn. 28) the sayde
monastery by them therto chosyn and afore ij Aldermeñ of the sayde
Cyte for the tyme being' and iiij of the worthyest of the syttsens of the
sayde Cyte by the sayde aldyrmen all soo ther too schosen yeff the
sayde aldyrmen and iiij sittesens be so schosyn and wyll ther too attende
wyth that they have ther' of warnyng by the space of vii dayes and yeff
nott then the dew preffe (fn. 29) ther off made and hadde be foure the suppriour
and Cellerer' and there iiij brethern that then noon of the sayde bailyffs
of the sayde Cyte for the tyme beyng' schall never have therafter any
mase boron' a fore them within the sayde monastery Churche Cymitory
or seynt Johannis. In wytnes ther off &c. Mr. John Carpynter then
beyng' Byschoppe of the Dyoc' of Worcestr Syr thomas lytylton
Sergeant of the lawe Syr Walter Sculle Thomas Frogmorton (fn. 30) Thomas
Everdon and Humfrey Salwey (fn. 31) viz. that non of ther sargeants to have
ther maces boron under ther' gurdellis nor opynly with inne the sayde
monastry Churche Cymitory or seynt Johannis."
On the back of the last folio (which should be "89") is written (fn. 32) ;
"Anno ab incarnacione domini m° cc° l tercio facta est hec remissio
particularis sive relaxatio servicii quod non tanget regulam de consensu
conventus adomino Th. priore ut divinum servicium protraxius pungtacius
honestius et sine tedio fiat. (fn. 33) Pro hac autem relaxacione dicet conventus
cotidie particulatim (fn. 34) totum psalterium per porciones cuilibet assignatas."
Facing this leaf is a leaf, mutilated on the left-hand side, and pasted
on to the end-cover, from a manuscript of the Vulgate written in a noble
English hand of the 8th century. The one side visible contains the
passage Marc. x. 26–33.
IV a. The (lost) Second Register.
Of the Second Register mentioned by Nash there is now no trace
in the muniment room. It may be assumed to have bridged over the
interval between the First Register and the Liber Albus.
V. Liber Albus.
The Great Register or Liber Albus is a massive volume of 497
vellum leaves written at various times in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries. A note attached to the flyleaf by Mr. Henry Clifton, formerly
chapter clerk, attributes the name presumably to "the circumstance of
its being originally bound in boards of white sycamore which were so
full of grubs and so worm-eaten as to require removal from the book,
which was bound in vellum under my superintendence in the year
1824." It is probably best to retain the name since, owing to the loss
of the Second Register, it is impossible to say whether it continues an
old, or begins a new, series. Chancellor Price, in his "Notitia Diœc.
Wigorn." (fn. 35) seems to distinguish this from its predecessors, as the register of the priory from the older registers of the church; a distinction which will not bear examination. It is, however, a real mark of
division that, whereas the First Register accumulates its documents
without exact regard to the order of time or the official years, this
Liber Albus is divided strictly under the administrations of successive
Priors. The heading of p. 1 is "Registrum incipiens in prima creacione
Fratris Johannis de Wyk Prioris Wigorn'. Anno domini m° ccc° Primo."
The register is continued regularly down to the time of Prior Wulstan
Braunsford. Of the two Simons who are said to have occupied the
priorate from 1339 to 1340 nothing is registered; Braunsford being
followed immediately by Prior John of Evesham, 1340 (f. clxiii).
The register of Prior John Malvern stops short abruptly in 1408
(f. ccccxxxv). Then follow (f. ccccxxxvi) first the record of the appeal
of Cardinals Angelo of Ostia, Anthony of Palestrina, bishops, Conrad
of St. Chrysogonus. Jordan of St. Martin in montibus, priests, and 3
others deacons, against certain acts of pope Gregory XII., heard at
Pisa, 7 May 1408; secondly, a mandate of Thomas [Arundel] abp. of
Canterbury for convocation, addressed to Richard [Clifford] bp. of
London, Lambeth 25 June 1408, printed from the abp.'s register in
Wilkins' Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ, iii. 306–308; and thirdly, the
instructions given to Robert Heremyte, sent by the king to the Duke
of Albany regent of Scotland on church business. This last ends imperfectly at the end of the gathering. A new gathering opens in the
middle of a document of 25 June 11 Henry VI. , at which date
John Fordham was prior, having occupied this position at least as early as
2 March 1418–19. (fn. 35) The formal register is now resumed and continues
into the priorate of John Hartlebury. Nash says it ends in 1456;
Clifton, in 1446: in fact the regular register closes with entries of
Dec. 1455; after which (ff. cccclxxxxi–cccclxxxxv) in a different style
of writing are entered documents of 1457 and 1456–7; and then several
detached and partly fragmentary documents, one of which bears date
January 1493–4. To the beginning of the volume are prefixed sundry
documents, the last of which is an appointment to the vicarage of
Overbury, dated February 1545–6. The register in any case may be
said to end with Hartlebury, though the exact year be undefined owing
to the irregular and unbusinesslike habits which had now for some
time characterised the management of the convent. The next volume
(the First Ledger) begins, though defectively, with the priorate of
Thomas Musard and the year 36 Henry VI.
The Liber Albus contains charters of donation and confirmation,
releases and bonds, relative to churches and lands in the gift of the
chapter, letters of appointment for proctors in convocation, numerous
deeds of manumission of bondsmen, and some miscellaneous documents.
Among these are—
f. clxiiib. Charter of King Edward [III.] confirming the privileges
of the city of Worcester. Oseney: 12 July an. 4 .
f. clxxxxix. "Acta et processus provisorum domini Clementis pape
sexti coram fratre Iohanne de Evesham priore ecclesie cathedralis
Wigorn' per venerabilem in Christo patrem dominum Wolstanum Dei
gracia Wigorn' episcopum auctoritate apostolica executorem unicum
graciarum infra scriptarum subexecutore earundem constituto habit[a]"
8 Nov. 1342.
f. ccclxxxviiib. "Ista sunt que concessit dominus papa priori Wygorñ
quantum ad usum mitre et baculi pastoralis.
"Primo quod in presencia episcopi existentis in ipsa ecclesia cathedrali posset uti mitra aurifrittata sine lapidibus et gemmis preciosis,
burdono non facto ad modum baculi pastoralis, anulo, et cyrotecis
tantum, nisi contingat quod propter indisposicionem episcopi seu
aliquam aliam causam prior celebret missam: quo casu ob reverenciam
divinorum concessum est sibi in presencia episcopi uti mitra preciosa,
baculo pastorali, et aliis insigniis pontificalibus; dum tamen inter preciositatem mitre et baculi episcopi et preciositatem mitre et baculi
prioris apparens et notabilis existat differencia.
"In presencia vero episcopi extra ecclesiam cathedralem concessum
est sibi uti mitra preciosa, baculo pastorali, et aliis insigniis pontificalibus, cum huiusmodi notabili differencia.
"In absencia vero episcopi, tam in ipsa ecclesia cathedrali quam
extra, concessum est sibi uti mitra preciosa, baculo pastorali solenni (fn. 36)
tunica, dalmatica, et aliis insigniis pontificalibus, sine aliqua restriccione vel limitacione differencie." This document is inserted in
the register of Prior Malvern, a. 1397. In 1351 Pope Clement VI.
had conferred the privilege on prior John of Evesham, but only in the
absence of the legate of the holy see or of a bishop: Lib. Pensionum
f. 51. (fn. 37) Another grant to the same effect was made by Urban V. in
1365. (fn. 38) The arrangement spoken of above must be later than abp.
Courtenay's inspeximus of Jan. 10, 1386–7. It differs also in several
particulars from the agreement arrived at between bp. Wakefield and
prior John Grene, 13 Nov. 1391. (fn. 39)
f. ccccxxxvi. "In dei nomine Amen. Anno a nativitate eiusdem 1408
Indictione prima die dominica vij° die mensis Maii hora terciarum vel
quasi, presbiteris (fn. 40) sanctissimi in Christo patris et domini nostri domini
Gregorii divina providencia pape xii Anno secundo, in Civitate Pysarum
in Archiepiscopali palacio videlicet in camera, infrascriptus Reverendissimus Antonius Episcopus Penestrñ presencialiter residebat, presentibus
ibidem magnifico et egregio viro Iohanne quondam domini Francisci
de Urcinis laurencio Aiubalbi de Stephanest' valeriano de Fregiã
panibus de urbe regionis transtiberĩ, domino Bartholomeo Iohannis de
Monte gwacie, domino Angelo de Fuscis canonico lateranensis, et lorvo
gunsalvi canonico lametensi ac aliis quam pluribus (fn. 41) testibus ad hoc
specialiter convogatis et rogatis: Cum hoc scilicet (fn. 42) quod pridie videlicet
die Veneris iiii.ta mensis predicti Maii hova terciarum vel quasi prefatus
sanctissimus dominus noster dominus Gregorius papa xii infrascriptus
et aliis reverendissimis dominis Cardinalibus sancte Romane ecclesie
tunc residentibus in Civitate Lucana circa mandata fecerit de quibus
infra fit mencio. Inprimis quod infrascripti domini Cardinales quamvis
predicta mandata crederent, reputarent, ymmo tenerent fuisse et esse
nulla et omnino invalida de iure et ab eis in quantum ferentur fuisse et
esse nulla et omnino invalida in iure," they make appeal.
f. ccccxliiii. in marg. "Quomodo Basileñ et alii plures naciones honorabiliter venerunt obviam episcopo Wyg' et priori Norwycenci ambassatoribus domini regis Auglie ad consilium Basiliense concurrentibus."
The text, giving the order of the reception, is printed by Thomas, doc.
123 pp. 140 f.
The Liber Albus is immediately followed by three volumes called
by Nash the Ledgers (or as he writes the word "Legers"). Although
these are precisely of the same character as their predecessor, and
are in fact designated "Registra" in sundry sixteenth century notes
on the flyleaves, it is desirable to retain the distinction of name not only
for the sake of avoiding confusion but also because they are denoted by
the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the (modern) bindings.
(1.) The First Ledger has lost a leaf at the beginning, and the first
date in it that can be fixed is 1 July 36 Hen. VI. . It begins
therefore with the priorate of Thomas Musard: it is carried through
those of Robert Multon and William Wenlock, and ends in 1498.
Among its contents are—
f. 13b. Note of receipts by the prior "in prima creacione sua de
singulis maneriis se[u] dominiis suis" of the special subsidy known as
f. 14. Rental of the prior, 1463.
f. 17. Order by Henry VI. (9 April, an. 38 ) for the reception
of the oaths of John Hampton and Henry Lombe, whom the king has
pardoned for their rebellion before 20 November last past. With the
oath of allegiance in English.
f. 22. Letter of Edward IV. to the prior asking for a benevolence to
aid him against the invasion threatened by "oure grete Adversary
Henre namyng hymselfe Kyng of Englond by the malicious counseille
and excitation of Margarete his wyfe namyng her selfe Quene of
Englond." Stamford: 13 March an. 2 [1461–2].
f. 35b. Declaration by bishop John [Carpenter] of the boundaries of
the sanctuary or cemetery ("cimitorium") of the church of Worcester
(21 May 1460).
f. 55. Revocation of licence to William Walewen, S.T.B., "ad scolatizandum" at Oxford or Cambridge, 7 February 1468–9. (Walewen
was shortly afterwards admitted to the monastery of Eynsham, f. 55b
and f. 57b.)
f. 74b. Appointment of the prior's servant, John Salwey, gentleman,
to the office of "gentylmankerver" at his table, 1472. The document
is headed "de Officio Sironomontis ad Mensam."
f. 107. Title of prior Wenlock's register, with the arms of the church
(argent, ten torteaux gules) and of himself (azure, a lock or), and the
(2.) The Second Ledger begins in 1499 and contains the registers
of priors Thomas Mildenham, John Weddybury or Weddesbury, and
On a blank leaf (f. 107) is scrawled:
"Md that owyr (fn. 43) Mastr ye p'or shall ress' (fn. 44) off eu'y vicar & p[ar]son pr[e]sent
by owir (fn. 45) place at ys dezth suche duyteis as yer folowit
Itm. A Hatt A Typet & Tache A Rydyng Gowne & A port[uos]. (fn. 46)
A purs a gyrdyll a peyer of knyves a hors sadyll & brydill & hernes
A peyre of bots & sporys. A Kanger."
f. 182. "Ordo quidam observandus erga dominum regem Henricum octavum &c. Et in quali estimacione habebimus Episcopum
Romanum:" a deed whereby prior More and the convent of Worcester
unanimously declare their fidelity and obedience to king Henry VIII.
and queen Ann his wife; acknowledging him as "caput ecclesie
Anglicanæ" and denying that the bishop of Rome hath any greater
jurisdiction in this realm of England than any other foreign bishop, &c.
17 August, anno 26 .
f. 183. The oath in English follows:
"Ye shall swere to bere fayth trothe and obediens to the Kynges
mageste," according to the act of succession.
f. 187. Archbishop Cranmer's "Iniuncciones et provisiones" for the
order and discipline of the convent: on the reading of the Bible, and
its exposition in English; the use of the common seal; the need of
making an inventory of the moveable goods of the monastery; the
keeping and rendering of accounts; the provision of properly cooked
food; and the general conduct of the officers of the house. Knoll:
22 February 1534–5 anno consecr. 2°.
(3.) The Third Ledger is that of "Henry Holbeche S.T.P., monk
of Crowland and prior of the black monks studying at Cambridge, who
was elected prior of the cathedral church of Worcester by the convent
at the same place, 13 March 1535 and by . . . Henry VIII. . . .
under Christ supreme head of the English church on earth confirmed,
22 March 1535." It ends on 10 January 31 Hen. VIII. [1539–40,
eight days before the surrender of the house].
VII.—The Registers of the Dean and Chapter.
In succession to these ledgers are the many volumes variously known
as the Ledgers or Registers of the Dean and Chapter, Holbeche
having retained his office as first dean of the cathedral church. This
series is numbered continuously with the ledgers, and thus begins with
vol. iv. (fn. 47) It extends to the present day and to fifty-five volumes.
Volumes xv. and xvi. mentioned by Nash seem to have disappeared. The former ran from 12–17 Charles I. [1636–1641]. The
latter began in 1641 but was presumably discontinued in the troubles
of the civil war. Possibly all that was written was eight leaves ending
23 June 1641 and now prefixed to vol. xvii, which begins in September
Among other volumes are:—
VIII. A book in parchment covers containing transcripts of charters
relating to the possessions of the church in handwritings of the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries. At least one leaf is lost at the beginning.
IX. A chartulary and rental arranged under manors and written in
hands of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
X. A small chartulary written in the fifteenth and early sixteenth
centuries. At the end is written, "Browne Willis."
XI. A volume containing a journal and accounts of William More,
prior, chiefly from 1513 to 1534. This has been copied by or under
the direction of Mr. Hooper, who has placed his transcript at the
disposal of the Early English Text Society for publication under the
editorship of Mr. Littlehales.
XII. "The book marked +" (thus cited by Green) or "Liber
chartac. p. & cap." (as referred to by Chancellor Price in his MS.
"Notitia Dioec. Wigorn.") is a volume in rough calf with a cross drawn
on the back in ink. The volume contains miscellaneous collections,
notes, inventories, and memoranda, written principally between 1532
The following articles may be noted:—
f. 1. "The provisions for stuff of howsold with impliments [on]
our Manors of Crowle, Batnall, and Grymley, by the reverend father
William More prior of Worcester" 1 May, 1532.
f. 3. Accounts of purchases, including many of books, made by prior
More, October 1518.
f. 7. Receipts of fixed corn-rents from the capitular estates, 1513.
f. 12b. Receipts in money of the officers of the house, 15 Hen. VIII.
f. 13. Rental of the priory, 5 Hen. VIII., 1513.
f. 27. "The indulgence to the Pater noster et Ave Maria."
f. 28. "The scripture upon the iiij bells in the leddon stepull.":
|The first bell..||Campanas dia serues has virgo maria.|
|The ijd bell.||Cristus vincit. Xpc regnat. Xpc imp[er]at.
Xpc nos ab om[n]i malo.|
|The iijd bell.||Joh[an]es Lyndesey.|
|The iiijth bell. p. [Tho]mā
myldenh[a]m priore[m].||Hoc op[er]e impleto. Xpc virtute faueto.
Aue maria gracia plena dñs tecum the
f. 28. The prior's allowances, and the receipts and expenses of the
several officers of the house.
f. 52b. "Soluciones ad le Spycery money," and receipts for "le
f. 53b. Rental of the prior, 1518.
f. 56. Salaries of the servants, and their livery.
f. 57b. "Nomina qui habent hose money ad natalem Domini."
f. 62b. "Composicion betweene the prior and coventt of Worcetter
and the baylyes and cytesons of the same," 1 Aug. 1516, 8 Hen. VIII.
f. 65. "Composicion for berynge of macis," 20 Jan. , 1 Edw.
f. 66. Perambulation between the liberties of the monastery and the
city, 12 April, 12 Hen. VII.
f. 77b. Annals of the building of the fabrics of the church and
monastery, 1372–1386, headed in a later hand "Ædificiorum chronologia."
f. 103. Ordinance respecting wills and customary dues at death.
f. 104. Chronological lists of the bishops and priors, drawn up
before 1535 and continued in later hands down to the seventeenth
f. 114. "Lyvereye of bred" and "Lyvereye Ale."
f. 124b. Procurations charged upon the officers for Cardinal Wolsey's
legatine visitation, 17 April, 1525.
f. 125b. "The Scholars Pension of Oxforde.
"In primis of the cellerar for ther bred ale fewell and other necessares
payd of ye rent of Blackwell to every one of them . . . vi li.
"Item of the chamberar for ther comens and other necessary dewties
. . . . xxx s.
"Item of the kesynner for ther mete by the hands of ye abbot of
Oseney out of ye churche of Bybery for ye pension . . . xxx s."
f. 129b. Rules for painting portraits of saints.
f. 130b. Expenses of the cellerar, 1529, and other accounts.
f. 133. "De missis celebratis quotidie in ecclesia cathedrali beate
f. 135b. Historical notices concerning the church and diocese of
f. 138. Indentures between the monasteries of Malmesbury and
Worcester transferring to the latter certain chambers at Gloucester
College, Oxford, 1412 and 1440: (fn. 48)
"Indentura terre nostre in glowcester college in oxonia.
"Hec indentura testatur quod Thomas permissione divina abbas monasterii de Malmmesbury et eiusdem loci conventus assignaverunt [et] concesserunt ex communi concensu Iohanni priori ecclesie cathedralis beate
Marie Wigornie et eiusdem loci conventui quoddam solum sive fundum cum
edificiis ac aysiamentis dicto fundo pertinenlibus: quod fundum iacet in
prioratu dictorum abbatis et conventus in Stockwelstrete in suburbio
Oxoñ, continens in longitudine viginti et quatuor pedes et dimidium a
camera Wynchelcombie versus boriam et in latitudine viginti et unum
pedes; et camera superior eiusdem fundi continet in longitudine quinquaginta et duos pedes versus cameram Wynchelcombie, cum camera
parva inferiori inmediate situata inter edificium de Tewkesbury et
Wynchelcombie, continente duodecim pedes in latitudine et viginti et
duos pedes et dimidium in longitudine: pro mora et habitatione monachorum dicti prioris et conventus causa studii vel necessitatis illuc
destinatorum sive imposterum destinandorum. Et eciam predicti abbas
et conventus concesserunt quod predicti prior et conventus ibidem
possunt quocienscunque eis placuerit de novo editicare ac premissa
habere et tenere pro monachis suis qui illuc causa studii sive necessitatis vel more fuerint transmissi vel imposterum transmittendi absque
impedimento vel contradiccione cuiuscumque dictorum abbatis sive
conventus vel successorum suorum. Reservata prefatis abbati et conventui et suis successoribus proprietate soli predicti. Racione tamen
istius concessionis aliquam terram extra edificia predicta predicti prior
et conventus ocupare sive vendicare non debent nisi causa reparacionis
edificii predicti. In cuius rei testimonium uni parti huius indenture,
penes dictos priorem et conventum remanenti, sigillum commune dictorum abbatis et conventus est appensum. Et alteri parti eiusdem
indenture penes dictos abbatem et conventum remanenti sigillum commune dictorum prioris et conventus in domo eorum capitulari est appensum. Dat' in domo capitulari ipsorum abbatis et conventus ibidem die
Veneris proximo post festum exaltacionis sancte crucis. Anno regni
regis Henrici quarti tercio decimo.
"Item indentura alia de eadem.
"Hec indentura faeta inter religiosos viros Thomam permissione divina
abbatem monasterii Malmmesbury et eiusdem loci conventum ordinis
sancti Benedicti ex parte una, et Thomam eadem permissione priorem
ecclesie cathedralis Wigorñ et eiusdem loci conventum prefati ordiuis
ex parte altera, Testatur quod prefati abbas et conventus tradiderunt,
concesserunt, et assignaverunt dictis priori et conventui ecclesie
cathedralis Wigorñ quandam cameram cum fundo eiusdem infra
prioratum dictorum abbatis et conventus de Malmmesbury vocatum
nune Glowceter college in Stocwell strete infra precinctum universitatis Oxoñ, subtus cameram et mansionem superiorem scolarium (fn. 49)
predicti monasterii de Wigorñ directe situatam, continentem infra
muros viginti pedes in longitudine et duodecim pedes in latitudine:
Habendam et tenendam predictam cameram cum fundo predicto prefatis
priori et conventui et eorum successoribus pro se et suis infra predictum
prioratum Oxon. causa studii et doctrine aut alia causa honesta pro
tempore contingente ibidem morantibus et imposterum moraturis: Ita
quod prefati prior et conventus et eorum successores valeant edificare
super predictum fundum quociens sibi visum fuerit et per suos dictum fundum sive cameram occupare [et] ad usum proprium retinere absque impedimento seu perturbacione predictorum abbatis et conventus seu alterius
cuiuscunque: proprietate tamen soli sive camere predicte dictis abbati
et conventui in omnibus semper salva: quas quidem tradicionem, concessionem, et assignacionem prefati abbas et conventus sub forma predicta
warantizabunt (fn. 50) et defendent contra quoscunque imperpetuum. In cuius
rei testimonium partes predicte (fn. 51) hiis scriptis indentatis sigilla sua communia alternatim apposuerunt. Dat' quo ad abbatem et conventum de
Malmmesbury in domo capitulari eorundem, vicesimo secundo die
Augusti anno Domini Millesimo ccccmo quadragesimo: Et quo ad
priorem et conventum monasterii sive ecclesie cathedralis Wigorñ in
domo capitulari eorundem, vicesimo sexto die mensis Augusti anno
f. 148b. "The Copie of the Actes for Holydays."
f. 165b. List of sanctuaries authorised by 32 Hen. VIII., cap. 12.
f. 166b. Recipes for cooking and medicine, interspersed with various
notices, some of events in public history.
f. 170b. "The surrender of the priory of Worceter," followed by
an inventory of plate, printed by Green, whose text extends somewhat
further than that now preserved in the manuscript, which has suffered
much from ill-usage and of which at least one leaf has been lost within
the last hundred years.
Besides these there are numerous books of acts, registers of admissionsand installations, patent and seal-books, rentals, and other volumes.
Among these may be mentioned:—
XIII. "Liber Visitacionis domini Johannis . . Wigorniensis
episcopi . . . 1540."—The book thus entitled on the parchment
wrapper contains in fact principally valors, but has also the depositions, 26 April, 1541, touching the opinions of one Matthew Price
of Staunton in Worcestershire concerning the sacrament of the altar
and the use of holy water; evidence (22 May an. 33) against Sir
James Darkes, priest of the college of Stratford, for immorality,
given before Dr. John Bagard, vicar general, "commissioner . . .
for thexecucion of a certeyne acte of parliamente concernynge the
syx articles;" evidence against Roger Waxmaker of Bristol, 7 May,
1541, who "dyd see god"; and others. Then follow certain visitation
detecta relating to heresy (imperfect), John Dydson's answers to
articles, with a note on books found in his possession—"Lutherus in
postill' Bucher in epāla Pauli ad Romanos et Zyngulus unica (fn. 52) exposicio,"—and many other sets of depositions during the visitation
XIV. A volume, marked on the vellum wrapper "Liber Canonum
Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Wigorn.," containing sundry articles of visitation,
1578–1639; injunctions, acts, &c., of the dean and chapter, and
caveats. Among the contents are:—
"Articles to be inquired of for the Cathedrall Church in the Visitacion
of the Right Reverend Father in god John Lo. Bpp. of Worcester Anno
Requisition by Henry VIII. to Hugh [Latimer] bishop of Worcester
for an account of the revenues of the churches in the diocese, 20
February, an. 28 [1536–7].
The Return, under Deaneries, follows; and a table of procurations.
f. 29. The "Liber Canonum Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Wigorn'," torn
f. 47. Articles of visitation of the diocese and cathedral church by
bp. Freake, 1589, in fragments.
f. 59. "Detecta in visitacione Ecclesie Cathedralis Wigorn." by
bp. Whitgift, 1580.
f. 107. "A rate of the arms and military furn[iture] assessed upon
"the Clergie within the Co[untie] and Dioces of Worc'," by bp. Henry
Parry, 1615. The same list has been used for a return about fourteen
years later, and some of the names and specifications changed. The
arms are almost entirely corslets, muskets, and calivers, furnished.
XV. A volume containing the depositions in the matter of charges
alleged against the late dean and the present prebendaries of the church
for mismanagement of the capitular estates. 1587.
XVI. A treatise of the bishoprick and Church of Worcester, a thin
volume in small folio, ending with the dissolution of the priory. A note
on the fly-leaf asks, "Was this written by Dean Hickes (obit 1715)?
or Browne Willis?" It is believed to be Habingdon's. The volume
was deposited in the muniment room in 1822.