Alien houses: The priory of New Romney

Page 239

A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.

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The Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny in France owed its possessions at Romney to its connexion with the archbishops of Canterbury. Thomas Becket was received at the abbey while in exile, (fn. 1) as was also Stephen Langton; and the latter in 1222 granted to the abbey 50 marks yearly from the church of Romney, (fn. 2) the grant being confirmed by the convent of Christchurch, Canterbury, (fn. 3) and Pope Honorius III (fn. 4) in the same year. Archbishop Edmund, who was afterwards buried at Pontigny, (fn. 5) added 10 marks in 1238, (fn. 6) the convent of Christchurch confirming the grant in 1245. (fn. 7) Archbishop Boniface in 1264 granted (fn. 8) the whole church to the abbey, reserving a vicarage; and Rornriey thus became a cell to Pontigny, though it is doubtful whether there was ever any regular settlement of monks at it.

During the war with France the possessions of the abbey were taken into the king's hands and let at farm. In 1342 John de Wymbourne held them at a rent of 40 marks yearly, but was unwilling to pay more, and they were let to Joan de Bare, countess of Warehne, and William de Wath, clerk, at a rent of 45 marks. (fn. 9) The advowson of the vicarage was also seized by the king. (fn. 10)

The possessions of aliens were finally confiscated by Act of Parliament in the reign of Henry V; and Henry VI on 20 May, 1439, granted ' the priory ' of Romney to the warden and college of All Souls, Oxford. (fn. 11)


  • 1. Edmund Martene, Thesaurus Novus Anecdotorum iii, 1874.
  • 2. Ibid. 1246.
  • 3. Ibid. 1247.
  • 4. Ibid. 1248.
  • 5. Ibid. 1767.
  • 6. Ibid. 1250.
  • 7. Ibid. 1251.
  • 8. Ibid. 1254.
  • 9. Fine R. 16 Edw. III, m. 28.
  • 10. Pat. 5 Ric. II, pt. I, m. 21.
  • 11. Pat. 17 Hen. VI, pt. 1, m. 2.