A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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20. THE PRIORY OF LATTON (fn. 1)
Very little is known about this small priory, which was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is mentioned in the Hedingham Priory bede roll, (fn. 2) and so was probably founded some time in the twelfth century.
Its temporalities were valued in the Taxation of 1291 at £4 yearly; £2 11s. 6d. being in Latton and the remainder in Moreton, Chelmsford, Moulsham, Matching, North Weald, Ongar, High Laver and Roydon, and in Stortford and Gilston in Hertfordshire. The church of Latton was appropriated to it, and it owned the advowson of the vicarage. There is a petition (fn. 3) of the prior and canons of Latton of about 1327, setting forth that they used to take tithes of bread, beer, flesh, wax candles and other provisions within the manor of Ongar by grant of Maud de Lucy, whose son changed these tithes into a rent of 40s., which they received until the manor came into the king's hands by the forfeiture of Hugh de Audely the younger.
The advowson of the priory appears to have pertained to the manor of Mark Hall in Latton. The manor and advowson were held by Henry de Merke in 1270, (fn. 4) and were granted (fn. 5) in 1317 by Elias de Colecestre and Juliana his wife as held of the honour of Boulogne to Augustine Waleys or de Woxebrugge, and he held them at his death. (fn. 6)
Latton came to a curious end. It was found by an inquisition (fn. 7) taken on 9 September, 1534, that the priory was of the foundation of the ancestors of Thomas Shaa, and was originally founded for a prior and two canons, but that for a long time it had been governed with one canon only under the title of prior, by which many divine services, orisons, etc., had remained undone, and that John Taillour, late prior, had some time since voluntarily departed from it, leaving all to the will of the patron, and it had thus become a profane place. It was worth in all £12 yearly.
Nothing was done for the restoration of the priory, and it is omitted from the Valor of 1535. It was granted (fn. 8) with all its possessions on 1 April, 1536, to Sir Henry Parker; and on I February, 1541, he had licence to grant (fn. 9) the same to William Morres.
Priors of Latton
John Hurst, resigned 1472. (fn. 16)
Christopher Brown, collated 1482. (fn. 19)
John Stafford, collated 1486. (fn. 20)
John Cradok, collated 1491. (fn. 21)
William Taylor, died 1518. (fn. 22)
John Taylor, collated 1519, (fn. 23) deserted in or before 1534.