Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 3, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1796.
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This monastery was begun in the time of king Stephen, who confirmed the gift which (fn. 1) Raph de Bellasago made to God and the church of St. James at Wellebek of the land of Clun of his fee, afterwards, viz. 1 Joh. (fn. 2) called Hungreclun, as appeareth also by the deed of Raph Silvan, and Margaret his wife, directed to Henry arch-bishop of York (fn. 3) (who lived in that kings reign) wherein they gave and confirmed to (lord, or) sir Gerlo abbat of Neuhus, and the order of the præmonstratenses, and namely to the place of the abby which his (the said Raphs) brother Thomas had begun, in pure alms all their part which they had in that place, and the wood which was between the rivulet and the cart-way which leads from the place of the abby unto Belgh, &c. (fn. 4) But the founder Thomas (de Cukeney) son of Richard, directed his charter of foundation to Roger arch-bishop of Yorke, who lived in the time of Henry the second, wherein he gave and granted to sir Berengarius abbat of Wellebec, and to all his successours, and the brethren of that place, there according to the order of the præmonstratenses regularly serving God, by the counsel of sir Serlo abbat of Neuhus, in free and quiet and perpetual alms, the place of the abby of Wellebec, where the church of St. James was founded, and the whole land which is from the place of the abby unto a place called Belgh, and Belgh, and whatsoever was within the bounds of that place, in meadows, in pastures, in woods, in lands tilled, and his whole sart nigh Belgh, viz. where Galfr. Hugh, and Druing lived, and the remaining part of the sart which he had there. And further as much as belonged to him, the church of St. Mary of Cukeney, in which parish was the place of the said abby, and the church of St. Helen of Ettwell (Derbss.) and the church of Whitene, which were founded in his fee, with all which belonged to them, the mill also of Languat, and the whole land of Hirst, and common of pasture of his land. All these things he gave to God and the church of St. James at Wellebcc, and to the said abbat Berengar, &c. for his own soul, and his fathers, and mothers, and all his ancestors, and all theirs from whom he had unjustly taken their (goods) All these things he gave by the consent of Emme his wife, and Raph Silvan, and Richard his brother's: the witnesses were William prior of Radford, Austin the sub-prior, Fulc the canon of that place, Hugh, son of Sewal the canon, Osbert Silvan the canon, William the presbyter, Galfr. de Tivereshat, Peter de Scardeclyve, William de Bolesovere, William de Calum, Hugh, the said Thomas his son, Rodb. Avenell, Rodbert, son of Gaufr. Gilbert, son of Rodbert, Robert, son of the sheriff, Raph Barre, William, son of Glai, Roger de St. Audoeno, Robert de Willeby, Henry de Auring, Walter de Sidenham, Raph de St. Mary, Waltar de Bakepuez, Roger de Wauton, Raph, the clark of Warsop, Richard de Flintham, William his brother. Hugh, the painter, Swan the (præpositus) provost of Normandy, William, son of Gilbert, Raph de Mainill.
(fn. 5) King Henry the second confirmed the founders gifts, and the before-mentioned gift of Raph Silvan, and besides that of one bovat which was Leuric de Hirsts, and one bovat, and one dwelling house in Norton, which lay to that bovat, which Leveric de Hirst held, and common of pasture of the land of Raph Silvan of Norton, and of Wodehous, and all other things which the same Raph reasonably gave. And likewise of the gift of Richard, son of Richard, son of Joce, his culture of Bastegate, of the gift of Richard his son, his whole land of Langwath, with all the appurtenances, and one bovat of land with it, one tost in Cukenei, which was Edwins, and several wongs (or cultures) and his mill of Cukeney, with the tost, and pasture for five hundred sheep, and the whole part of the land of Tho. de Geldthorp which the monks held in fee farm of the said Thomas and his heirs for 8s. and the whole part of the land of Verbert de Arches, which they likewise held in fee farm for 5s. of the said Verbert, and his heirs for all services, with the appurtenances of the said town of Gledthorp. And the land of Cotes (Linc.) which they held in fee farm of William, son of Rener, and his heirs, for a marks, as his chartel (or deed) and that of Herbert, son of Alard, witnessed. Of the gift of Peter de Cotes, the chuch of Cotes, and the lands and meadows, as the deed (or chartel) of the said Peter witnessed; and the land of Cresswell which was Raph Cordus his, which they held in fee farm of John de Aiencurt, and his heirs for 5s. per annum. Of the gift of Simon Fitz-Simon, and Isabell his wife, two bovats of land of their demesne in Hertewell, and the church of the said town of Hertewell, which they confirmed to them, and the space of wood, &c. as before.
(fn. 6) Robert de Manill, sometimes lord of Whitewell in the county of Derby, gave to the church of Welbek a quarry in his land wherever it could be found most convenient, to build the church of St. James, and other offices, and free ingress and engress for those that carried necessaries for the building.
Walter de Goushull, knight, granted a quarry through the whole more between the town of Whitewell and Belgh, and other-where in the said common pastures of the parish of Whitewell, where ever it could be found, and free leave to discover, dig, work, and carry, &c. as the charter of the said Robert de Menill his ancestor mentioned without contradiction.
(fn. 7) Raph de Basset, by the consent of William Basset his father, and Matildis his mother (whose inheritance they were) gave to the canons of Wellebek his mills of Languat, the condition whereof was, That the men of the town of Languat, and of Haghton, were to make the house and dam of the Nether Mill at their cost, and to grinde the corn of their proper wanage (or tillage) at the sixteenth grain, and what they bought at the twentieth; and the abbat and covent were to make the upper Mill and dam at their costs; and it was lawful for the said William Basset and his heirs to fish in the upper pool whensoever they would, as the abbat did.
(fn. 8) Walter de Haincourt, by the consent and favour of John his son and heir, gave to God and the church of St. James at Welbec the whole land which Gaufr. de Kressewell held of his father, and Raph his son of him, free from all service belonging to him (except five shillings yearly, and three [preces] boons of one plow or carucat, and three [preces] boon days in harvest, viz. the first, with one man; the second, with two; and the third, with as many as shall be found there daily reaping.) And free from all service to the king (except Dana-geld, or the kings common aid) by his command should be levied through the whole country in every county; likewife the sheriffs and the kings bailiffs [præpositi] the canons were to pay for that land. This grant he made at the intreaty, and by the consent of the said Raph, son of Gaufr. who surrendered the land to him that he might grant it to the said church of St. James, and the canons, who gave the said Raph a mark of silver, and four goats: the witnesses were Robert the Presbyter, Will. de Cukeney, and Tho. lord of Cukeney, &c.
Oliver de Eyncuria, son of John de Eyncuria, gave to the said church of Wellebck the tythe of his multure of his whole mill at Cressewell, and of the issues and prosits which Olyver Deyncourt his son recognized, 16 H: 3, before S. de Segrave and his fellow justices itinerant.
(fn. 9) Roger Deyncourt gave to the church of Welbek to sustain three canons to celebrate divine service in that covent, his whole land and meadow in Wynefeild, with common of pasture in Loghagh (except the advowson of the church of Wynseld, and the land which belonged to the bovat of the Parkhuse, &c)
John de Eyncourt, rector of the church of Wynefeld, brother of sir Roger de Eyncourt, sometimes lord of the Park of Norton (Derbishire) for the health of his soul, and the soul of the said Roger his brother, lord and ancestor, and of the lady Alice, wife of the said Roger, confirmed the gifts of his said brother, viz. his whole land of Winnefeld, &c. and the homage of William de Eyncourt, brother of the said John, and of the rest of the free-holders. and services of the natives, with their sequels; and that whoever should hold the manor of Park should desend the said land from all suits. &c. Roger de Eyncurt, brother of the said sir Roger, lord of Park, made the like confirmation.
(fn. 10) William Deincourt was called Basset, after whose decease John Deyncourt entred.
Sir Richard de Wyverton for forty-nine marks of silver given him by Galfr. FitzPeter, gave to the abby of Wellebek the town of Dukmanton (in Derbish.) which sir Richard Basset confirmed, (fn. 11) and so did Henry de Stuteville, and Leonia de Reynes his mother, of whose barony it was held.
(fn. 12) King Edward the first by his charter bearing date at York, 5 Apr. 19 E: 1, granted the abbat and covent of Wellebec and their successours free warren in all their demesne lands in Whyten, Filingham, Ingham, and Cotes in the county of Linc. Whatton, Aslacton, Flintham, Kniverton, Yvershagh, Gledthorp, Hatfeild, Hirst, Belgh, Cukney, Colingthwait, Languat, Cloune, Norton, Milnethorpe, Swaynthorp, Ulecctes, and Stirape in this county, Dukmanton, Winefeld, Newbold, and Cressewell in Darbyshire. The same king by another charter dated at Keneylleworth, 1 June, 29 E: 1, granted his whole part of the wood and soil of of Roumwood, between the wood of the said abbat, and the pare of Thomas de Furnivall, extending itself by the kings high-way between Wirkesop and Warsop towards the west, and containing sixty acres by the perch of the forest, together with that place of land which was called Carberton Storth by the said wood, paying 28s. per annum for all services; which last the said abbat had licence to inclose, and make a park of, and to destroy and fell the wood, and essart the soil, or otherwise to make profit as he should fee convenient; and by this warrant, 3 E: 3, (fn. 13) they claimed, &c. where the jury found the abbat, and all his predecessors and canons (but not their tenants, or men) quit from toll of all things which they could secure to be their own demesne, and from bridges, except the town bridge of Nottingham was broken.
(fn. 14) The composition between I. de Nottingham, abbat of Wellebeck, and the covent of that place, and John de Hothum, bishop of Ely, bearing date 29 December 1329, 3 E: 3, was to this effect, viz. That for the manor of Cukeney, with the appurtenances, and two mess. one hundred and twenty acres of land eight of meadow, six of wood, with the appurtenances in Holbeck by Cukeney, which the said bishop gave to the said abbat and covent; they the said abbat and covent without any compulsion freely bound themselves and their successours to find eight canons in their abby, daily to celebrate divine offices for the soul of Edward king of England, grandfather of the then king, and for the soul of Edward late king of England, father of the said then king, for the wholesome estate of the lady Isabell queen of England, the said kings mother, and of her children, and chiefly for the state of the king, and the lady Philippa his consort, queen of England, while they lived, and for their souls when they should die. Also for the souls of Alan and Maud, father and mother of the said lord John de Hothum, bishop of Ely, and for the souls of the children of them the said Alan and Matildis then dead, and of the living when they should die, and for the soul of frier (or brother) William de Hothum, sometimes bishop of Dublin, for the state of the lady Mary de St. Paul, countess of Pembroke, and her soul when it should be separated from the body, and also for the soul of Peter de Gaveston, late earl of Cornewall, and for the souls of sir John de Wogan, and Isabell his wife, and for sir Raph Camoys, and Elizabeth his wife, and for their souls after death, for sir John de Fawconberg, and for his soul after his decease, and especially for the healthful state of the said lord bishop while he should live, and afterwards for his soul, and for all theirs who had faithfully served him, and bestowed bene fits upon him, and for all the faithful departed. And besides this, they and their successours to celebrate in their abby, as long as-the world should endure, the anniversary of the said lord bishop, with such solemnity as the anniversary of their first and principal founder, as well in alms to the poor, as in divine obsequies, was wont in times past to be celebrated, and every day whereon commemorations of the dead should be read in their chapter house, his soul should therein be absolved by name. And when any of the said eight canons should by sickness, or other lawful cause, be hindred from celebrating, another canon of their house should faithfully supply his turn. And when any of those eight should go the way of all flesh, another canon should immediately be put in his place. They were also to swear that they would never diminish the number of eight, but maintain the said celebration for ever decently, and that they would never obtain any thing of the pope, or the k. of England, or the superior of the order of the præmonstratenses, or of any other whereby any thing should be substracted from the said celebration. And every new abbat before the covent should do him obeisance, or he be installed in the monastery, and every novice before he should be admitted to probation in their monastery, should be bound by the same oath, faithfully to keep every article of the said ordination according to his utmost power for ever. Furthermore if their said order (which God forbid) should by any emergent chance be suppressed, or transferred to any other order, then they willed and granted by the tenour of the said agreement, that the said bishop or his heirs without any obstacle might enter, and peaceably enjoy the said manor of Cukeney, and two mess. one hundred and twenty acres of land, eight of meadow, six of wood, with the appurtenances in Holbeck by Cuckeney. But that the present ordination might last for ever without any diminution, the said abbat and all the priests of the covent, with candles burning, and stoles hung at their necks, solemnly excommunicated all and every one that should weaken, break, diminish, or violate, or procure the said ordination or any part of it to be weaked, broken, diminimed, or violated by any means, or presume to go against it in any thing: subjecting themselves and their successours in this to the jurisdiction and cohercion of the abbat of Neuhus, father of their abbat, and of the yearly visiters, that if in their visitation they found any thing of this ordinance violated or diminished, they might proceed against them as guilty of perjury and excommunicate. And left oblivion should abolish what gratitude had charitably instituted, This ordination was every year on All Souls day to be read through in their monastery in the presence of all the brethren. But king Henry the eighth, 26 Feb. 30 H:8, (fn. 15) granted to Richard Whalley and his heirs, the scite of the abby of Welbeck, and all the houses and lands beneath the scite of it, and the two granges called Bellers Granges, and Hirst Grange, and the several closes and groves, &c. queen Elizabeth, 20 May, 1 Eliz. (fn. 16) granted licence to Richard Whalley, esquire, and William Whalley, gent. to alienate the house and scite of the monastery of Welbeck, by the name of the demesne of the manor of Welbeck, and the said two granges Bellers and Hurst, and the grange of Gledethorpe, and the manor of Norton, and the grange called Hardwick grange, to Edward Osborne, citizen and cloathworker of London, and his heirs. She, 9 Feb. 42 Eliz. (fn. 17) granted to Robert Booth, esquire, and Ranulph Catterall, gent. the whole scite, &c. which sometimes was belonging to, and parcel of the lands late of Richard Whalley, esquire. It is now, Nov. 11, 1674, the mansion house of his grace the duke of Newcastle, of whose noble atchievements I ought to have given some particular account, but that the dutchess his wife, not long since dead, hath done it far beyond my hopes in her famous books, especially that of his life, besides what himself hath communicated to the world in several poems: and his most excellent pieces concerning horsmanship both in French and English, whereof he is so great a master, that though he be above eighty years of age, he very constantly diverts himself with it still, insomuch that he is thought to have taken as pleasure in beholding his great store of choice well-managed horses (wherewith his fine stables are continually furnished) appear to exercise their gifts in his magnificient riding-house, which he long since built there of brick, as in elder time any one could take to see the religious performances of the monks in the quire of the great church of St. James, now utterly vanished, except the chapel for the house was any part of it, which of late years also hath lain buried in the ruines of its roof, the want whereof doth a little diminish the glory of this brave palace; yet seeing that neither the wisdom, nor piety, nor charity of those formerly concerned here, nor their right, title, nor propriety, nor indeed of God himself, could in this place secure or preserve a church against a king and parliament, prosessing the same God and the same religion; I cannot perceive how the most obstinate and zealous pretenders to religion and property of this time, can justly wonder though his grace be not much concerned for the ruinous chapel. The woods, especially those nigh the house are better preserved. (fn. 18) The number of the acres of the woods of the abbey of Wellebek were, Of the first foundation of the house in woods about the house sixscore acres. Of the gift of the king of England in Roumwood fivescore and ten acres. Of the gift of Richard, son of Richard, in the Hay of Cukeney fourscore acres. Of the gift of Thomas de la Rivere in Hesellund eight acres. Of the gift of Brian de Insula in the wood of Eskelhagh fourscore acres. These acres were measured by the king perch, containing twenty-four feet. The sum is three hundred thirty-eight acres, sixscore to the hundred.
[Throsby] Welbec Abbey,
The seat of his grace the duke of Portland, sometime since that of the duke of Newcastle. As a religious house, Thoroton has given it an ample detail, suffice it to say, that its original foundation is not accurately ascertained, neither with respect to time nor that of its founder, although its foundation is attributed, generally, to Thomas de Cuckney, who may justly be said to have given it rank as a religious house, by his bountiful hand. Edward the first, and John Hotham, bishop of Ely, were afterwards liberal benefactors to this abbey, particularly the latter, who has been reputed a second founder. From Richard Whalley, who we find had a grant of this place the thirtieth of Henry the 8th, being then valued, with its appurtenances, at 249l. 6s. 3d. it passed, successively, through the families of Osborne, Booth, and Holles, till it came into the possession of the earl of Oxford by his marriage with the only daughter of John Holles duke of Newcastle, in 1713. The surviving daughter of this marriage brought it into the Portland family, by her marriage with his grace William duke of Portland, in 1734.
This seat being a favorite place of the present duke of Portland, it has, by him, been much improved and enlarged. It is however, upon no regular plan, although it appears, in some points of view, on a scale large and magnificent. Very little remains of the old abbey, but the cellar arches. This seat is adorned with many paintings; those in the hall are mostly, horses in various attitudes, left by his grace of Newcastle, the famous master of horsmanship. The lake, as it is called, near, is a fine addition as a member of this noble mansion. (fn. 19)
Welbec was visited by king William the third, from Lincoln, with a splendid retinue, as were many other places by him to acquire popularity. Here he was attended by Dr. Sharp, archbishop of York, and his clergy. It was then the seat of the duke of Newcastle.
Welbec is seated in the lowest part of a fine extensive park, stocked with deer, and many fine venerable oak trees; although the latter are not quite so numerous as they were about twenty years ago, yet there is sufficient left to dignify this dwelling, and to add strength to the wooden walls of old England. Several, lately, I find have been cut down for that purpose. The subjoined view, will give some idea of the woody part of this park; which I took, as it were, passing to the celebrated GREEN DALE OAK. In this view, at a distance, part of the house, is discoverable. The other view was taken some years since, in another situation.
The venerable GREEN DALE OAK, represented page, 360, fig. 4, is supposed to be upwards of 1500 years old. The passage or arch-way through is ten feet high, width six feet and some inches, through which it is said a coach and horses have been driven. (fn. 20) Its girth, in the widest part of the trunk, 35 feet. This aged, decrepit tree, now on its stumps, is propped, in some places caped with lead, and in others barred to hold its limbs together; only one solitary branch shews signs of life, it has been for centuries expiring; and now, seemingly in its last stage of declining years, braves the storms and tempests of each revolving severe winter: while the winds of heaven blow down towering edifices of stone, and tear up by the roots many a losty tree, this stands firmly rooted on the propitious soil that gave it birth.
In another place, in this park, stands an oak tree also of repute: it is called the Seven Sisters, from its containing, sometime since, seven branches or stems from one root; this I did not see, but I was informed that one of its branches was gone when I was last at Welbec.
Welbec, since the marquis of Tichfield's marriage with MissScot, the great heiress, has been his chief abode. The duke of Portland, (fn. 21) chiefly resides in London.
The marquis of Tichfield appears to be fond of Welbec, and no wonder; it abounds with comforts. His attachment to field sports may six him frequently here: if domestic happiness in retirement suit his noble mind, this once great sanctuary of the religious is much better calculated for that purpose then the gay and bustle of the metropolis. The times, a little back, called forth the illustrious owner of Welbec, his father, with almost all the rank abilities, and fortune of the kingdom to the seat of the legislator, to form a phalanx round the throne; firmly to oppose the spirit of innovation that pervaded the ignorant, the disobedient and the plunderers: there may he still be useful while his son enjoys the calm comforts of the peaceful retirement of Welbec Abbey.