An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 3, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part I. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
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CHAPTER XXXIX. OF THE PRIORS.
Bishop Herbert having built the monastery on the south side of the church, that the monks might be free from any noise or hurry of the people going backward and forward to the palace, and having obtained license of Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury to institute monks, instead of secular canons, that hitherto attended this see: in the year 1101, he introduced 60 monks, who were to be governed by a prior, elected by the majority of them; (fn. 1) the exact succession of which Priors, collected from the Institution Books, Cotton's, and Bishop Spencer's Lists, and other evidences, here follows. (fn. 2)
Priors and Sub-Priors.
1. Ingulf, the first prior, was witness to the foundation deed of Windham-priory, (fn. 3) and was alive in 1121, but died soon after, if not that very year, on the 16th of January, on which day his anniversary was always kept, and was succeeded by,
2. William Turb, afterwards Bishop; (fn. 4) see his life at p. 474.
5. Rannulf; I have an ancient deed, which proves him to have been prior here, by which Robert Popi sold to Henry de Fleec (or Flegg) 8 acres and three roods on the west side of Wintertune gate, which Rannulf prior of Norwich, and the convent there, had in demean and granted him for a rent of 2s. to be yearly paid to their church. Algar de Summertun, Roger de Ormsby, William, parson of Ormesby, and others, being witnesses.
6. John, prior here about 1170. I have an original deed of this prior, by which he granted to Rodbert, Bishop Turb's butler, 6 acres in Dodeholm, which Nigel formerly held of the church, to hold to him and his heirs, of the church, by the rent of 18d. a year; it is witnessed by Will. the Archdeacon, (of Norfolk,) so must be made before 1180, Jeffry, the Bishop's steward, Master Stangrin, Master Nicolas, Roger the scribe, Joceline, the archdeacon's brother, and others.
8. Tancred, died June 15, (fn. 5) and was succeeded by,
11 Randulf, or Ralf de Warham, so called from Warham in Norfolk, the place of his nativity; was first official, and mad Prior on Walsham's death, and after a few months, was confirmed Bishop of Chichester, by Gualo the Pope's legate, (fn. 9) and died Bishop there in 1222, on the 28th day of May, on which day his anniversary was celebrated in this church; he bare,
15. Nicolas de Brampton, so called from the neighbouring village of Brampton, where his ancestors had flourished for some time, was elected prior by the monks, Jan. 3, 1265, and on the 18th of April, 1266, was confirmed by the Bishop, and was installed by Rich. Gernun, chamberlain (fn. 10) of the monastery, according to the Bishop's mandate. He died 19th, and was solemnly interred in the cathedral (in St. Luke's chapel, as is said) by Bishop Roger himself, Feb. 23, 1268, having resigned some time. (fn. 11)
16. William de Brunham, or Burnham, named so from the place of his birth, was installed in 1260, in whose time the great insurrection between the citizens and monks happened, the whole account of which may be seen at p. 52, &c. for which being much blamed, he resigned Sept. (fn. 12) 28, 1272, being then infirm, and died Feb. 13, 1273.
17. Will. de Kirkeby, or Kirkby, so called from a village of that name near Norwich, was elected Oct. 1, 1272, confirmed at Thorp by the Bishop, and installed the day after; (fn. 13) he died March, 9, 1288, having settled an annual pittance for the monks to be added to their dinner; it made his anniversary a grand feast in this monastery; (fn. 14) in his time, viz. 1278, the cathedral was magnificently repaired, and its beautiful tower built. (fn. 15)
19. Robert de Langele, or Langley, who was installed on the first Sunday in Lent, as appears by his letters of invitation of the Prior of Bromholm, the Prior of Tofts, and the Abbot of Derham, to that solemnity. He died 1326, 24 Aug. (fn. 19)
20. Brother Will. de Claxtone, priest, a monk of this monastery, was elected by the convent, and confirmed by the Bishop, Sept. 4, 1326; (fn. 20) in 1343, he was one of the King's commissioners for levying the 15ths and 10ths then granted; and in 1344, Aug. 16, he died, and was buried here.
22. Brother Laurence de Leek, a monk here, who was confirmed by the Bishop April 24, (fn. 21) 1352; he died in Dec. 1357. and
23. Nicholas de Hoo, priest, monk of the said monastery, was elected prior, and confirmed by the Bishop in the church of St. Mary at Bares, Dec. 12, 1357, at whose request, on the first of January following, the Bishop granted a commission to brother Thomas de Felethorp, Robert de Jermemuthâ or Yarmouth, and Will. de Dersyngham, monks here, to hear confessions in the cathedral; (fn. 22) Tho. de Linne was now sub-prior. He resigned in 1382, and was succeeded by
In 1383, William de Thetford, sub-prior of Norwich, (fn. 23) by consent of the prior and monks, was discharged from his office at his request, and Joseph de Martham was elected in his room June 27, he being presented to Sprowston.
William Depham, monk here, was made sub-prior, after Joseph de Martham, and on the 15th of July 1412, Depham was removed, and Brother John Brunsted made sub-prior, and after him Sir John Hasyngham, who, at the request of the prior and chapter, in 1418, (fn. 24) was removed, and Sir Tho. Roughton was made sub-prior, who before that, was chamberlain; and April 18, Brother John Elyngham, monk here, delivered a letter to the Bishop, at his manor-house at Thorp by Norwich, by which the prior and chapter requested him openly to profess (or depute the prior in his stead) Brother John Forncete, Brother Robert Hardwick, Brother Jeffry Salle, and Brother Will. Walpole, monks, they being examined and approved by Will. Cambridge, John Salle, Robert Cawston, and John Eston, clerks and monks, and sent with the prior's letter to the Bishop, before they put on their habits, according to the order of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, requiring the Bishop to admit them to the kiss and blessing. (fn. 25)
26. Will. Worsted, S. T. P. born at Worsted in Norfolk, monk here, was elected by the convent, and was confirmed by the Bishop Oct. 8, 1427, who ordered brother John Derham, S. T. P. monk here, to install him, which was done Oct. 17; and in 1428, he was summoned to convocation with the rest of the abbots and priors. (fn. 26)
In 1432, 2d Henry VI. he was the only prior sent to the council of Basil, with the other commissioners, where he made a protestation in the name of King Henry VI. his lord, and the revd. father Thomas Bishop of Worcester, of the venerable Mr. Tho. Brouns, dean of Sarum, John Symundesburgh, archdeacon of Wilts, and of himself, ambassadours to that council, against every thing which should be there transacted derogatory (fn. 27) to the interest of the kingdom of England. (fn. 28) He died in 1436.
27. Brother John Heverlond, monk here, was confirmed prior Oct. 12. 1436. (fn. 29)
In 1441, the Bishop licensed Brother John Molet, monk of Norwich, S. T. P. and prior of their cell at Yarmouth; and Brother John Eston, monk there, and prior of their cell at Hoxne, to hear confessions in the cathedral; and in 1443, the prior requested the Bishop, to remove Nic. Burgate from the office of sub-prior; and Brother Nic. Randworth, who was very old, from the office of penitentiary, and confer them both on Dr. Molet, which was done accordingly.
He was a favourite of John Paston's, as appears by an original letter (fn. 30) of Sir Walter Blount's then treasurer of England, dated at London 27 Nov. 1464, when the said John was outlawed; in which the treasurer tells him, that the King is advertised, that he is intrusted with 7 or 8000 marks of the said John's, all which the King is intituled to, and therefore if it be in his hands, or within his monastery, he commands him not to part with any thing, but keep all for the King's use. But however it was so managed, that Paston's son got it out of the priory, without the prior's knowledge, as was pretended.
29. Tho. Bozoun, bachelor in the decrees, was admitted prior by the Bishop, June 8, 1471, and died in the beginning of April 1480, and lies buried in the passage into St. Luke's chapel, on the left hand; his inarched monument being by the south-east part of the 18th south pillar; on it are the arms of
Underneath were three sculls, the first with teeth, to signify youth; the second with only two teeth in the lower chap, to signify advanced age; and the third without any teeth at all, to represent old age; and these words three times, to answer to the three sculls, O Morieris. i. e. O thou shalt die. (fn. 31) A certain truth applicable to all.
31. William Spynke, monk here, was admitted prior by the Bishop Dec. 22, 1488, (fn. 32) as appeared when John Archbishop of Canterbury visited his monastery in April 1499, when he certified that there were then 47 monks in his monastery, among which William Castleton, the last prior, was one. He died Nov. 8, 1502. (fn. 33)
32. William Bakunsthorp, alias Baconsthorp, was elected in 1502, and died in 1504, 23 Sept. and was buried under a large stone in the south transept, which is now robbed of its brasses. And was succeeded by,
33. Robert Bronde of Catton, called Robert de Catton, a monk here, who was instituted rector of St. Mary in the Marsh, Aug. 18, 1526, (fn. 34) on the death of Robert Jackson, being presented by Thomas Godsalve, who had that turn, granted by the prior and chapter, in order to present the prior.
He was born at Catton, in which church John Bronde his father was buried, and Agnes his wife. (fn. 35)
He repaired, if not rebuilt this chancel, and in the east window thereof, placed his own effigies, kneeling bare-headed in a blue gown; he holds in his hands a mitre or, supporting his crosier on his shoulder or, his arms are,
Gul. an ounce or cat of mountain arg. spotted sab. between three annulets arg. on a chief or, three cinquefoils pierced sab. and on the chief a pale az. on which a mitre or. (fn. 36)
In 1529, he was preferred by King Henry VIII. to the abbey of St. Albans, in the room of Cardinal Woolsey. (fn. 37)
In his time, viz. Ao. 1526, Dr. William Reppes, who was afterwards Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 38) was sub-prior here.
34. Will. Castleton, monk here, who was confirmed prior in 1529. (fn. 39) In whose time Master John Forncet was sub-prior. He was one of those that complied with King Henry VIII. in all his desires, voted that he might lawfully marry Queen Catherine, &c. and foreseeing the reformation approaching, resolved to get a share, and so alienated from the church the priory or cell at Hoxne; (fn. 40) and the manor of Yaxley in Suffolk and all the revenues belonging thereto, to Sir Richard Gresham, Knt. for which he had an absolution under the seal of the King's vicar-general, dated April 1, 1538, in which year he surrendered his monastery to the King, (fn. 41) who on May 2, the same year, new founded it, and made him the first dean, and on Trinity Sunday, those monks that were retained, and made the six prebends, and 16 choral vicars or minor canons, put on the habit of prebends, and secular canons, and the other were turned out to shift as well as they could; (fn. 42) those that had interest enough having got small pensions allowed them for life, as John Suffield 53s. 4d. Rob. Pecfrey 53s. 4d. Gilbert Warren 3l. 6s. 8d. and William Nicholles the same, who where alive and received them in 1555.
|Miles Spencer, per annum||4||7||4|
|John Corbet, Esq. steward||2||0||0|
|Rob. and George Themilthorp||14||0||0|
2. The sub-prior was supreme; (fn. 43) the others, obediential.
The chapel was dedicated to St. Edmund, and is now in ruins, but stood so that it had a double entrance to it, one from the prior's lodge, and another out of the entry or passage leading to Life's Green.
3. The Priors of the several cells of Lynn, Yarmouth, NorthElmham, Hoxne, St. Leonard's on Mushold, and Aldby, where, by composition between the monks and prior, named by the prior out of the monks, and confirmed and removed by the Bishop at the prior's request. These cells were colonies, into which the monastery discharged their superfluous members, and whither the rest retired, when infectious were feared at home; they were always dependant on their mother monastery, and were wholly supplied from thence, though they had revenues belonging to them separate, they being given by the donors, to be applied only to their use, all these aforesaid cells (except Aldby) were visited by the prior once a year, and were fixed in order that the Bishop, when he was at his country seals, or palaces, at those several places, might have a sort of chapter, and cathedral service in his churches there. Lyn, Yarmouth, North-Elmham, St. Leonard's and Aldby, being in Norfolk, I shall treat of them under those places, and shall only observe as to
In Suffolk, the cartulary of which is now  in the hands of Mr. Thomas Martin of Palgrave; from which, and the Institution Books, I have found that there were generally about 7 or 8 monks resident here, governed by a Prior, removeable, as well as nominated, by the Priors of Norwich, who visited them annually; they were called sometimes guardians or wardens, of the priory or cell and chapel of the blessed St. Edmund the Martyr of Hoxne, or Hoxon, who was there martyred by the Danes, in the year 871; (fn. 44) to whose honour this chapel was erected very early, for Thomas de Blumville Bishop of Norwich, who was consecrated in 1226, confirmed all revenues and privileges to God, and the chapel of St. Edmund at Hoxne, and the monks serving God there; who now were removed from the Bishop's palace, where they were first placed, and fixed in their cell or monastery now built by this chapel, which they daily served. (fn. 45)
This reception for the monks was not finished till the year 1267, neither had the chapel till then any cimetery or liberty of burial, for Roger de Skerning Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 46) on the 3d kal. of Aug. being then at Hoxne, solemnly dedicated a churchyard there, reserving at the same time, all fees due to the mother church of Hoxne, granting also forty days pardon, (fn. 47) to all that contributed to the building or sustaining this chapel, which henceforward increased in revenues, so that at its dissolution, they were worth about 40l. per annum, which, joined to the people's offerings, the Bishop's bounty, and the school they kept here, sustained the monks well, who always kept two poor children of the town at their own expense, in their school, till the whole was sold by prior Castleton, to Sir Richard Gresham, and then the monks were recalled to Norwich priory.
In Henry the Sixth's time, they had a manor in Yaxley, valued at 4l. 14s. 1d. and lands and rents to the value of 16s. in Thrandeston, with which their lands in Denham, Horham, Hoxne, and other places, were valued to the tenths at about 17l.
Roger de la Bruere of Thrandeston released to them 14s. 9d. rent, two cocks, and six hens, which they used to pay him for their lands there, and gave them divers villeins, and their rents and services, which constituted their manor in Yaxley, which they were to hold by the payment of 8s. a year to the Bishop, as parson of Hoxne, and 1d. a year to his heirs, as superiour lords of the fee; and Thomas son of Sir Thomas Crowe, Knt. added to it; as did John le Mey, Barth. de Pertrede of Melles, Thomas de Hoxne, priest, Thomas Pynel of Sutwode, priest, and Hugh his brother, Agnes, daughter of Roger de Hoxne, Ric. Schoche, and others.
This manor, with the chapel of Ringesale, which was settled on it by the prior of Norwich, in 1294, were the chief of its revenues; (fn. 48) for it was returned by the oaths of Luke, parish chaplain of Ringeshall, &c. that Ringeshalle chapel was a free-chapel, belonging to the prior of Norwich cathedral, who assigned it now to his cell of St. Edmund at Hoxne, that it was endowed with 32 acres of land, and two parts of all the tithe corn and hay of the ancient demeans of Sir Ric. de la Rokele and Robert de Wyllakysham, and their tenants in Ryngeshall, the tithes being then of 30s. per annum value, all which were confirmed by the Bishop. And in 1313, Rob. Guer, chaplain, had the whole assigned him for life, paying 30s. per annum, and serving the chapel thrice a week, and keeping the houses in repair.
In 1307, brother Gilbert Bishop of Orkney (suffragan, I suppose, to the Bishop of Norwich) granted a further indulgence of 40 days pardon, to all persons of the diocese, that came in pilgrimage to St. Edmund's image in this chapel, or that left any legacies towards repairing it, or made any offerings there by themselves or others; (fn. 49) his deed is dated at Mendham, in which monastery he resided, if he was not prior of it.
The tithes of the cleared lands belonging to the Bishop's manor of Hummersfield were leased by Rob. de Dunbun, to this cell, for half a mark a year during his life, and then to the cell for ever, they being granted to the said Robert, by Bishop John de Grey.
Priors of Hoxne.
4. The Sacrist (sacrista) sacristain, or sexton (fn. 50) (as we now call it) was the officer who had the charge of the sacra, or holy things, as the church plate, copes, vestments, books, &c. and all within the church, or churchyard; for which reason, as in all places, he lodged near, if not within, the church, (or steeple in parish churches generally,) so here he had a lodging near, if not over, the vestry, which is an arched room, opening into the north transept, on the east side: the masses, fees for graves, oblations, and other gifts, continually given to this officer, made his place so valuable, that the servile part of it was performed by a sub-sacrist or deputy; the sacrist was also chief secretary, auditor, and chancellor of the convent, and was to write and answer all their letters. He had many certain rents annexed to his office, as 3l. 4s. 10d. ob. from lands, &c. in Henlye in Suffolk; 3s. 4d. paid by the Prior of Bukenham out of Griston and Bradenham impropriations; 10s 8d. from Henly church; the annual carvage mentioned at p. 470, &c. out of which profits, he was obliged to find and maintain a scholar in the convent's school, and a feast to 3l. value on Whitsunday; another of the same value on the Octaves of the Trinity, and pay his part of the feast on the foundation day; the sacrist had also the custody of the library, which was well furnished, though in order to share it among them, at the Dissolution, return was made, that there was no place convenient for it, and so all the members at that time, pillaged it in a most shameful manner.
In 9th Henry IV. that King sent his writ to the collectors of the petty customs in London, to let go freely without custom, six barrels of books sent to the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, (fn. 51) by Adam, (fn. 52) late cardinal of the church of Rome, given them by will, dated Oct. 3, in this year.
Pits, in his Alphabetical Index of Books, (fn. 53) quotes Liber Trinitatis Norwici, &c. which I take to be the same book, now in Bennet college library, (fn. 54) and is the original consuetudinary or custom book, (fn. 55) of the monastery of Norwich, containing the customs of that church, as to saying their masses, in what vestments they were to appear in, the rules of the monks living, when they were to wash, have their meals, and what ceremonies they used on particular days, &c. what part of the Pentateuch was to be read at the common-hall during dinner, the manner of their processions, (fn. 56) &c.
1325, Rob. de Hecham. 1418, Sir Rich. Helyngton. 1418, Sir Will Silton, late master of the Normans. 1444, brother Rich. de Walsham. 1488, Edm. Derham, who was then removed, and Will. Spynk, then prior, served this office voluntarily.
5. Cellarius, Cellerarius, the cellerer, or burser, was the officer, who bought in all provisions, appointed the pittances, ordered the daily provisions, and overlooked the cellar, buttery, and kitchen; he had always lodgings assigned him, and lands to maintain himself and office; and that he might be near his offices in this monastery, his lodgings were on the south side of the cloister, on which the refectory or common-hall, kitchens, cellars, and buttery, are placed hard by the dormitory, or dortour, (fn. 57) all which are now standing (converted to other uses) on the left hand as you go out of the door at the south-west corner of the cloister, by which door, on the west side of the cloister, is the lavatory, (fn. 58) or washing place, where the monks washed their hands, there being as much good fellowship in washing, as in eating together.
This being one of the principal offices, it had a deputy, called the sub-cellerer, or butler, and a seal of office belonging to it, having for its device, the cellerer's hand holding up his celler key thus circumscribed,
The cellerer (fn. 59) had in Suffolk, in Athelyngton, 2s. per ann.; in Hopton in Lothiugland 2l. 5s 6d. per ann.; in Marlesford 3s.; in Barsham 3s.; a portion of 4 marks from Possewick church; several rents from houses in the Precinct; from Hopton church in Lovingland, a yearly portion of 21s. 4d. Bishop Ayreminne gave 200l. with which an estate was purchased and settled on the cellerer and sub-cellerer, (fn. 60) they being tied to say masses for his soul, and distribute two marks yearly to the poor on his anniversary. (fn. 61)
1272. 1283, Brother Ralf de Elingham. 1332, Brother John de Hedyrsete. 1333, Brother Rob. de Donewich. 1356, Brother Roger de Hadescoe. 1358, Brother John de Elingham. 1403, Brother Ric. Mydelton. 1423, Brother John Walsham. 1459, Brother John Elyngton. 1487, Brother Will. Bakenthorp, afterwards prior. 1468, Brother Thomas Fulmerston.
6. Camerarius the chamberlain, or treasurer, his office was to keep the keys af the treasury; (fn. 62) issuing out and receiving in, all considerable sums of money, (fn. 63) and was so called à camerâ from the chamber or treasury.
7. Eleemosinarius, or the almoner, who distributed the alms of the convent to the poor, his office for that purpose, is called the almonry; he looked over and took care of the alms-houses and alms people of the convent, had many certain revenues settled on his office, as temporal rents in Waybred in Suffolk taxed at 5s. 1d.; in Askeby 8d.; in Lowestoft 3l.; in Stokeash 6s. 8d.; in Yaxley 13s. 5d. ob.; 10s. pension from Sprowston rectory, &c.
He was always to find the wine, feast, and boys, or clerks of St. Nicolas, (fn. 64) on that day when they went in procession to St. Leonard's, and heard high mass there; he was also at the expense of the rogation procession or perambulation.
Brother Tho. de Stanfield (temp. Will. Prioris.) Brother H. de Norwold. 1348, Brother John de Hedersete. 1379, Brother Peter, de Derham. 1380, Brother John de Len. 1399, Brother Nicholas de Geyton. 1409, Brother Nic. de Elyngton. 1417, Brother Thomas Hyndryngham. 1458, Brother John Molet. 1461, Brother Ric. Marsham. 1483, Brother Tho. Fulmerston. 1590, Brother Dionise Hindolveston. 1506, Brother Robert de Watfield. 1520, Brother John Shelton. 1528, Brother Henry Manuell.
9. Pitanciarius, or pittancer, whose office was to see the pittances of the convent regularly observed. He always expended 13s. 4d. in wine for the convent at dinner, on St. Margaret's day, and the whole feast on Prior Kirkeby's anniversary; and another on the anniversary of St. Tho. de St. Omer, (fn. 65) and on all high festivals treated the convent with almonds and raisons.
10. Infirmarius, the keeper or curator of the infirmary, or firmary; wherein persons downright sick, had care taken of them, as physick, and private attendance; no Lent or fasting-days entered this room, sickness being a dispensation for eating flesh, and it was punishable for any to eat here, that were not regularly put in.
This officer had divers rents, &c. and paid annually on the conception of the Virgin Mary, 4s. to the prior, and 1s. to each monk for gingerbread; 3d. on St. Nicholas's day to the boy bishop, and 4s. 2d. ob. for ale, bread, and cheese, to be distributed to the poor of St. Peter's per Montergate, on Easter day, (fn. 66) according to the ancient custom of the city of Norwich. And it appears from these accounts, that the prior was paid in all things, as four monks; and in Henry the Sixth's time, there were 53 monks.
The Janitors or Porters, who kept the gates; there were several of them, but the head porter was an office for life, named by the prior; 4th Richard II. Nic. de Hoo, prior, (fn. 67) granted this office to Nic. de Clenchwarton for life, who was to have every day, one monk's loaf and a flagon of ale, and the same provision out of the kitchen, as every monk in the infirmary daily had, at noon and at night; and one mark yearly, or a livery of the same suit with the cellerer's servants, and a chamber over the gates.
The Hostilarij, or grooms, kept their annual feast the day before St. Edmund, and always offered 16d.; the head of them was Stallarius, keeper of the stalls, or master of the horse; next him was the Provendarius, (fn. 68) or procurer of their provender.
The prior's buttler, cellerer's buttler, clerk of the infirmary, miller, cooper, malster, carpenter, porter of the cellar, porter of the fish-house, caterer, woodherds, or keeper of the woods and wood, gardiner's men, servants of the lardery, carters, servants of the kitchen, tokener, (fn. 69) and scullions, had all their certain daily subsistence of bread, meat, fish, and beer, out of the convent's celler, buttery, and kitchen.
They had several (grangearij) grangers, overseers, or chief servants, to take care of the stocks, &c. at their several granges, (fn. 70) or farms at a distance, which they kept in their own hands, to find them with corn, muttons, and other meats, and fowls, all which they killed of their own produce.
And thus you have an account of the several offices, &c. of this monastery, by which we may judge of all the rest, they being much the same, I shall therefore only add what men I find of note, that were monks here; referring those that have a desire to know the general rules to which all convents in some measure conformed, to Fuller's Church History, Lib. VI. fo. 287, 299.
1. Thomas de Brinton, (fn. 71) who having studied in most of the Universities and places of publick learning in Britain, became so much noted, that he was sent for to Rome, by the Pope, before whom he often preached in Latin, to his great commendation; and being much admired for his good understanding, affability, and learning, the holy Father made him his penitentiary, and bestowed upon him the Bishoprick of Rochester, (fn. 72) after which he returned to England, and applying to King Richard II. for confirmation of the temporalities of of his see, that Prince was so taken with the humility and facetiousness of the man, that he appointed him his own confessor: he was a great benefactor to the English hospital at Rome, and having sat Bishop from 1372, to 1389, died in a good old age, leaving behind him, two volumes of his works published to the world, viz.
2. A volume of Sermons on divers Festivals. (fn. 73)
2. William de Binham, so called from the town of that name in Norfolk, where he was born, was a great opposer of Wickliff's doctrine, with whom he was contemporary at Oxford, and published a book against him; (fn. 74) he flourished in 1370, under the most noble Prince Edward III. and is erroneously called by some, Will. Bingham. (fn. 75)
3. About 1384, Robert Casterton, or Castre, (fn. 76) who took his sirname from Castor near Norwich, the place of his birth, became remarkable for his great skill in divinity, having then published divers comments on St. Paul's epistles, and a volume on the Revelations; all which, were carefully preserved in the library of this monastery, till its dissolution, and were then destroyed, though there still remain copies of some of them in other libraries.
4. Adam de Easton, born at Easton by Norwich, (fn. 77) brought up by the monks at their cell of St. Leonard's on Mushold, near the city, afterwards a professed monk in their monastery at Norwich, studied in the University of Oxford, and in 1366, became D. D. at the expense of the cell, where he had his juvenile education; (fn. 78) a man so eminent for his skill in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, that for his merit only he was called to Rome by Pope Gregory XI. and made cardinal of St. Cecily; but being not liked by Urban VI. who suspected that he favoured his adversary Clement VII. he was imprisoned by him at Genoa; and though at the desire of King Richard II. (who valued him much) he was enlarged, (fn. 79) and so escaped the sack, (fn. 80) yet he suffered great hardships, till Boniface IX. restored him to his former estate and dignity. He is said to have translated the whole Old Testament out of Hebrew into Latin, and did certainly publish no less than nineteen other volumes upon different subjects, a catalogue of which are extant in Pits's Lives of the Illustrious English Authors.
5. Richard de Folsham was a great favourite of Tho. Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury; he was born at Folsham in Norfolk, was much in the Pope's court at Rome, and very conversant with John XXII. to whom he wrote many epistles, 28 of which he published in one volume, besides divers others in another; (fn. 83) he flourished about 1410, in the reign of Henry IV.
7. John Stow, D. D. of the University of Oxford, for his abilities in all sorts of polite literature, was chosen by Dr. Worsted, then prior of Norwich, to attend him to the council of Basil, in 1432, (fn. 84) where he gained so much respect, that he was requested to publish the acts of that council, (fn. 85) which he performed with much credit to himself; his other works extant, are, a book of solemn disputations; and another volume of letters to the Norwich Cardinal, &c. which shows, that at that time he must be somewhat advanced in years.
9. John Meare, or Mears, of Stukey, (fn. 86) D. D. of the University of Oxford, flourished in the reign of King Edward IV. he wrote a book of sermons; and four books on the Master of the Sentences, which were preserved in the library of his monastery.
10. Will. Bokenham, prior of the cell of Yarmouth, was elected abbot of Windham in 1466. (fn. 87)
These are the few remarkable men produced from this monastery, which considering the number of monks belonging to it, are few indeed; the other monasteries of this place producing so many more in proportion than this, evidently shows, that the monks were a more lazy sort of people than the friars, who having no settled revenues to live on, always endeavoured to outvy each other in learning, as well as living; whereas the former, who had large revenues to subsist on, and little or nothing to do, glutted with ease and plenty, thought of little else but enjoying those good things that their predecessors had given them, or that their poor vicars and substitutes, the secular clergy, (upon whom they laid their whole burthen,) daily earned for them.