A History of the County of London: Volume 1, London Within the Bars, Westminster and Southwark. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1909.
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HOUSES OF AUSTIN CANONS
5. PRIORY OF HOLY TRINITY OR CHRISTCHURCH, ALDGATE
The priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, was founded in 1107 or 1108 (fn. 1) by Maud, queen of Henry I, (fn. 2) on a spot once occupied by a church in honour of Holy Cross and St. Mary Magdalene. The abbey of Waltham had some kind of right there, but relinquished it on compensation by the queen, (fn. 3) and the new priory was freed from all subjection save to the bishop of London. (fn. 4) Besides the site of the house the queen gave to the canons the gate of Aldgate, with the soke pertaining to it, (fn. 5) including the churches of St. Augustine Pappey, St. Edmund Lombard Street, and Allhallows on the Wall, (fn. 6) and two-thirds of the ferm of Exeter, which amounted to £25 12s. 6d. (fn. 7) It is said that by her will she made other grants to the priory, but that while the king allowed the canons to have the relics and ornaments, among which were a piece of the True Cross and a wonderful basket of gold, silver, and precious stones sent to King Henry by the Emperor of Constantinople, he refused to let them have the lands bequeathed to them, or to allow her to be buried in their church. (fn. 8) Whether this was so or not, Henry showed himself on other occasions well inclined to them, granting them sac and soc, toll and team, (fn. 9) &c., in their lands; acquittance of all gelds and scots, aids and customs, (fn. 10) wardpenny and forfeitures; (fn. 11) and the exclusive right of trying their own tenants in their court. (fn. 12) He had, moreover, by royal charter (fn. 13) permitted them to close with a wall the road between the church and the city wall.
The priory received enthusiastic support from the citizens, pious women supplying the canons with food (fn. 14) in the early days of the foundation. But the best evidence of the feeling with which it was regarded is the grant which connected the house henceforth in such a peculiarly intimate way with the City, the gift of the soke of the English cnihtengild (fn. 15) in 1125, (fn. 16) in virtue of which possession the prior became the alderman of Portsoken Ward. The success of the house must doubtless be attributed largely to the first prior, chosen by Anselm's advice. (fn. 17) Norman, an Englishman by birth, had studied under Anselm in Normandy, and is famous for introducing the rule of St. Augustine into England for the benefit of St. Botolph's, Colchester, of which he had been a canon. (fn. 18) He considered that a prior, except in his greater responsibility, ought to differ in no way from the canons, and made rules that his successors should live in common with the brothers, and sleep in the dormitory; (fn. 19) provisions not always observed by them. (fn. 20)
Norman died in 1147, and was succeeded by Ralph who had been made sub-prior some time before to relieve Norman of the burden of administration. His management of the affairs of the house is said to have been exceedingly able, (fn. 21) and the task could have been no easy one, considering that the priory, which was almost entirely burnt down in 1132, (fn. 22) suffered great losses by fire again while under his rule. He appears to have secured powerful supporters for the house—King Stephen (fn. 23) and Queen Maud, (fn. 24) two of whose children were buried in the church, (fn. 25) and Henry II (fn. 26) —and it was to him that Pope Alexander III directed the bull of 1162, granting the prior power to correct excesses in his priory, and to recall fugitives notwithstanding royal or other secular prohibition. (fn. 27)
Ralph, who died in 1167, had been a friend of Becket, (fn. 28) a fact which was duly noted when all connexion with the martyr redounded to the glory of the house. At the time, however, when Gilbert Foliot was excommunicated by Becket, William, Ralph's successor, and the convent did not side with the archbishop, but joined their prayers to those of 'their mother, the church of London,' in interceding with the pope on behalf (fn. 29) of the bishop of London.
During the interdict of 1208 the canons were not deprived of the consolation of religion, for by the bull of Innocent III in 1207 (fn. 30) they were permitted in such circumstances to celebrate the divine offices with closed doors, without ringing of bells, and in a low voice. But their property must have suffered with that of all the clergy from the royal exactions, and it is the more surprising that they should have taken the king's side in his quarrel with the barons. They certainly seem at first to have refused, like the deans of St. Paul's and St. Martin's, to publish the sentence of excommunication and interdict against the City and the opponents of the king when they were ordered to do so by the abbot of Abingdon in pursuance of the papal mandate, (fn. 31) but they must have ultimately given way, since Gualo, the papal legate, allowed them in 1217 to appropriate the church of Braughing, co. Herts., 'for their devotion and obedience to Rome in the discord between the king and barons in which they have suffered not a little damage.' (fn. 32)
The priory about this time (fn. 33) was under the guidance of Peter de Cornwall who, according to the fifteenth-century author of the register, possibly a partial critic, was the first of all the learned men of England of his day, and is said by his arguments to have converted a Jew to Christianity. (fn. 34) He not only wrote much himself, but appears to have encouraged others to write, for it is believed that the Itinerarium Ricardi I was the work of one of the canons, Richard de Temple, who succeeded him as prior. (fn. 35) The Lady Chapel dedicated by Archbishop Stephen Langton (fn. 36) was added to the church by Prior Peter.
The priory found itself involved in several struggles for its rights with the foreigners who came into England after the king's marriage, and must have heartily echoed the sentiments entertained by the clergy for Archbishop Boniface and by the inhabitants of the City for Queen Eleanor. The canons of Holy Trinity took the same stand as those of St. Bartholomew and St. Paul's in opposing the attempted visitation by the archbishop in May, 1250, and were excommunicated by him in consequence. (fn. 37) The pope declared the sentence of excommunication null and void, (fn. 38) but after two years decided the point in dispute against the priory, and condemned the convent to receive the archbishop as metropolitan to visit their churches, and to pay procurations. (fn. 39) In the case of the church of Bexley, of which the archbishop had despoiled the priory without a shadow of justice, (fn. 40) the papal court after long litigation pronounced in favour of the priory in 1254. (fn. 41) The convent, however, though completely establishing its claim, was not wholly victorious, for when Master William, who had been put into the church by Boniface, was raised to a bishopric, it was conferred by papal licence on Ubaldino, nephew of the cardinal of Santa Maria in Via Lata; and the court of Rome decided, while annulling the grants to William and Ubaldino, that the prior and convent were to pay an annual pension of 25 marks to the latter until they had secured for him a benefice worth at least 60 marks per annum. (fn. 42)
While this case was proceeding, a difficulty had arisen in the internal affairs of the priory itself. (fn. 43) There had been some irregularity about the appointment of the prior, John de Toking, but his election had been in the end confirmed by the bishop. He had been in possession for over two years, when during his absence at Rome, (fn. 44) presumably over the Bexley affair, an inquiry was ordered by the bishop, and he was suspended for non-observance of his oath. But John had been of service to Albert of Parma, (fn. 45) the papal legate in England, and the pope in 1254, declaring the oath simoniacal in nature, dispensed him from any obligation to fulfil it, and gave him power to hold the priory. It would seem that in the defence of the material interests of the house the prior neglected a more important duty, for the discipline and supervision must have been lax if Matthew Paris' tale is true that in 1256 one canon killed another, and then wounded himself to prove provocation. (fn. 46)
The king up to this time had shown himself well disposed towards the priory: besides the confirmation of their charters in 1227, he had in 1253 granted them free warren in their demesne lands in the counties of Hertford, Kent, and Middlesex, and had given them leave to hold a weekly market and an annual fair at their manor of Corney. (fn. 47) It is possible therefore that his severity in taking the priory into his hand in 1256 because a thief who had escaped from Newgate took refuge there, (fn. 48) may have been due to the queen's influence.
Eleanor was just then engaged in a contest with the convent over the custody of St. Katharine's Hospital, which she was determined to wrest from them, though they held it by the grant of the founder, Maud wife of King Stephen. (fn. 49) The civil courts in 1255 twice decided that the perpetual custody of the hospital belonged to the priory. She then declared to Fulk, bishop of London, that the priory had wasted the goods of the hospital and unjustly detained its charters and seals, and requested him to make an inquiry. From the inquisition taken on St. Giles's Day, 1257, it appears that the priory and convent had appointed one of their own canons to be master of the hospital, but with this exception they do not seem to have exceeded their rights. The bishop, however, deprived them of the custody, and made the brothers and sisters of St. Katharine renounce all obedience to them. In 1261 Bishop Henry de Wengham and others succeeded, by threatening the prior with the king's displeasure, in obtaining an oral surrender of the custody. The canons appealed to Rome, and obtained a decision in their favour from Pope Urban IV, (fn. 50) but to no purpose; they never regained the custody of the hospital.
Eustace, prior 1264 to 1280, took advantage of the disgrace into which the City fell after Evesham, to inclose within the priory bounds a piece of the high road running from Aldgate to Bishopsgate. (fn. 51) Certain ordinances for the prior of Holy Trinity, issued by 'John bishop of London,' are probably to be attributed to Bishop John Chishull during Eustace's time of office. (fn. 52) In these the bishop enjoins the prior to dwell at home more with the brethren, giving greater attention to his divine ministry, and resorting more frequently than he is wont to the observances of his profession in choir, chapter, and other places, that he may teach his brethren by the example of his life, and by the word of doctrine inspire them with zeal for religion, not annoying them with bitter words, but reproving them, if they go astray, in all patience. He is also ordered not to concern himself with secular business beyond what necessity demands, (fn. 53) but to appoint a fitting person of the monastery to each office with the consent of the convent or the greater part of the same. These persons, and the bailiffs of the manors, are to render an account of receipts and expenses twice a year before the prior and six of the older and more discreet of the chapter, and the next day a brief summary is to be given in the chapter, that the state of the house may be clear to all. The prior, whom all the convent shall obey, is to see that he carries on the business of the house with the counsel of the convent or the greater and senior part of the same. None of the canons is to eat or sleep elsewhere but in the places assigned for those purposes. They are not to be permitted to go beyond the bounds of the house except for good reasons, and then are to be accompanied by one of the older monks. Other injunctions are concerned with attendance at mass, the care of the sick canons, and the observance of the rule of silence, and that forbidding private property.
In the summer of 1290 the prior, William Aygnel, came into collision with the royal authority. He had cited Edmund earl of Cornwall, in the hall of Westminster, to appear before the archbishop of Canterbury, and as the earl was there in obedience to the king's summons to Parliament, the prior's action was considered to be in contempt of the king. (fn. 54) He was sent to the Tower to remain there during the king's pleasure, and a fine of £100 was imposed. But a few months later the canons paid such honour to the body of the late queen, which rested at the priory after entering London on its way to Westminster, (fn. 55) that they reinstated themselves in the king's favour, and the fine was remitted. (fn. 56)
A view of the condition of the priory at the beginning of the fourteenth century is afforded by the ordinances made by Archbishop Robert (Winchelsey) after a visitation in 1303. (fn. 57) It will be noted that the points on which amendment was needed are much the same as thirty years before. The brethren were all to be present at divine service, and no one was to absent himself before the end without leave of the sub-prior; silence was to be kept better than it had been, and those who persisted in talking when they should not were to be punished; the prior was not lightly to grant leave to the canons, especially to the younger ones, to go out, and those canons who had leave to go beyond the bounds of the monastery were to take a fitting companion with them and to return within the time assigned; the canons were not to receive money for clothes, but clothes of one value and quality, and shoes, were to be given out according to the means of the priory by an officer deputed for that purpose, and the old clothes and shoes were to be given up before fresh ones were supplied; the prior, sub-prior, and cellarer were to visit the sick every day and supply them with suitable food; two-thirds of the convent were to dine in the refectory every day and were all to have food and drink of the same quality and quantity, and the prior was to make choice of the third part as seemed expedient to him and have them to dinner in his room; secular persons, and particularly women, were to be excluded from the choir, cloister, and other inner places, and especially from the offices of the house, unless they were women of good same passing through on a pilgrimage and leaving when their devotions were over. Then follow the ordinances dealing with the administration of the house: all the officers of the priory were to give an account of receipts and expenses to the prior before the older and more discreet of the whole convent as often as they should be required, but the rendering of the account was not to be deferred beyond a year; the seal was to be kept under guard of three keys, so that no document should be sealed out of the chapter or in the absence of the greater part of the convent, and every letter before and after sealing was to be read aloud in the presence of the convent or the greater part of the same; the alienation or letting at farm of the house's possessions, and the selling of liveries or corrodies without cause approved by the diocesan, were strictly forbidden, since in these matters the monastery was found to be exceedingly burdened. The regulations as to conduct indicate a laxness in the fulfilment of religious duties and in some of the minor observances of the rule, but nothing worse. That the inquisitors sent by the pope to inquire into the charges against the Templars sat several times at the priory (fn. 58) is doubtless no proof of anything but its great standing and the size of its buildings; but after the dissolution of the Order of the Temple one of the knights would hardly have been sent there to live (fn. 59) if the character of the house had not been good.
The ordinances dealing with the financial affairs of the priory disclose difficulties, of which there is clear evidence two years later when an action for the recovery of a debt of £300 was brought against the prior. (fn. 60) This seems to be the first notice of the burden of debt (fn. 61) which, in spite of the riches of the priory, oppressed it at intervals henceforward. What was the cause of the strain in this instance it is impossible to say, for the corrodies and liveries may have been not the reason but the result of the need of money and a way of raising it. (fn. 62) Circumstances seem to have been sometimes unpropitious, since in 1282 the prior and convent had found papal bulls necessary to force their tenants to pay the rents due to them, (fn. 63) and the bishop of London, in appropriating the church of Bromfield to their uses, spoke of the burdens due to their charitable works and difficulties caused by hostility in time of war. (fn. 64) In 1318 again they alleged the sudden spoliation of the greater part of their substance as a reason for refusing Pope John's request to admit a certain John de Cantia as a canon. (fn. 65) They were, doubtless, referring to the seizures of their manors of Braughing and Corney and various other lands of which they recovered seisin in 1318–19; but although they were awarded damages to the extent of £432 18s. 10d. against Masters Geoffrey and John de Hengham and others, they had not received the money in 1324. (fn. 66) The canons found it easier to resist the pope than the king, who, not content with a provision for one of his clerks on the election of a new prior, (fn. 67) attempted, and for a time successfully, to charge the priory with the maintenance of some of his old and infirm servants. This method of performing a duty was too convenient not to be abused, and if Edward I obtained an asylum there for one (fn. 68) or two servants, his son provided in this way for four. (fn. 69) At last the prior and convent had to protest, and Edward III, acknowledging in 1335 that such charges were contrary to the charters of the priory, promised that the corrodies should cease with the lives of the holders, (fn. 70) and although he did not altogether keep his word, (fn. 71) the practice soon afterwards died out.
There are occasional hints of the great importance of the house. In 1294 (fn. 72) and 1309 (fn. 73) the prior acted as one of the collectors of the taxes on the clergy; in 1340 he was appointed with the bishop of London and the dean of St. Paul's to collect and value the tax of the ninth sheaf, lamb, and fleece in the City; (fn. 74) and in 1316 the Court Christian, before which John de Warenne brought a suit for divorce from his wife, the king's niece, was composed of two canons of St. Paul's and the prior of Holy Trinity. (fn. 75) Like most monasteries it was used as a place for the deposit of valuables: a certain Tiged' Amadei had chests there in 1275; (fn. 76) Bartholomew de Badlesmere, from the statement of his widow in 1327–8, evidently kept some of the charters of his estates in the priory; (fn. 77) and during the London riots of 1326 a raid was made on the house, and the treasure placed there by the earl of Arundel was carried off. (fn. 78) But it is in its relation to the City that it is most interesting. It was one of the three London churches which had schools 'by privilege and authority of antiquity,' (fn. 79) St. Paul's and St. Martin's being the others. In times of distress or of rejoicing the church of Holy Trinity was the goal of the solemn processions made through the City; (fn. 80) and it was in the priory that the mayor and the representatives of the wards assembled in time of war to consider the question of the City defences. (fn. 81) That the prior as alderman of Portsoken took an active part in City affairs is shown by his being engaged with Thomas Romayn the mayor and others in 1310 in choosing the London contingent of the army raised for the war with Scotland. (fn. 82)
The very list of the monastery's property is sufficient testimony of the light in which the house was regarded by the citizens, for it had possessions in seventy-two London parishes in 1291. (fn. 83) Nor had it by that date exhausted its popularity, as is shown by the grants and bequests still made to it, though there were now many newer foundations. Ralph le Blund (fn. 84) in 1295 left to the priory rents in the parishes of St. Mary Woolchurch and All Hallows Bread Street, for the establishment of a chantry; (fn. 85) Thomas Romayn, alderman, in 1312 bequeathed to it 100 marks; (fn. 86) Walter Constantyn in 1349 left tenements and a brewery in the parish of Holy Trinity for the maintenance of its church and the establishment of a chantry in the church of St. Katharine Cree; (fn. 87) Thomas de Algate, rector of 'Sheering,' co. Essex, left to his brother Nicholas the prior, and to the convent of Holy Trinity, tenements and rents in the parishes of St. Katharine within Aldgate, St. Andrew Cornhill, and St. Botolph without Aldgate; (fn. 88) and John Malewayn, in 1361, (fn. 89) left the residue of his goods, after payment of certain bequests, to the maintenance of chantries there, besides a money legacy to the work of the church. These are, moreover, only examples of many other bequests. (fn. 90)
The convent certainly needed everything it could get. The rebuilding of the church had been begun about 1339, (fn. 91) and engrossed all its available funds, even before the Black Death diminished its revenues, and thereby increased the difficulty of repaying loans which had to be contracted if the work was to go on. The pope in 1352 offered a relaxation of penance to those who contributed to the restoration during a period of ten years. (fn. 92) But the house was still burdened with debt in 1368 when Master John Yong, official of the court of Canterbury, gave £100 to its relief, (fn. 93) and was rewarded by a daily mass being established in the church for his good estate in life, and for his soul after death. The same fact is also apparent in the grants of corrodies and pensions which were evidently made to raise money. (fn. 94) There may have been other complications which prevented the priory's extricating itself from its difficulties, for in 1369 (fn. 95) the convent had procured from the pope a bull similar to that of 1282 directed against those who occupied its property, and when the king took it into his hands in 1380 he attributed the loss of revenues and the decrease in divine services to its being harassed by rivals. (fn. 96)
After this the convent appears to have enjoyed for more than half a century a tranquillity interrupted only by the arrest and imprisonment of one of its members by the council in 1429, for some unexplained cause. (fn. 97) In 1438, however, the condition of the house called for serious attention. The archbishop of Canterbury, in a letter to the bishop of London, (fn. 98) said that he had heard that the prior at the bishop's last visitation was accused of dilapidation and consumption of the goods of the house and other wrongdoings, and that the bishop, although requested by many noble persons to proceed to correction and reformation in these matters, had neglected to do so. The bishop answered that he had found nothing proved against the prior, William Clerk, for which he could be justly removed, but as his administration of the temporalities of the priory had been foolish and imprudent, he had committed the management of these, with consent of the prior and convent, to one of the canons and some secular persons, and hoped that the heavy burden of debt might in a short time be lightened and the necessities of the fraternity relieved. This arrangement did not suffice to meet the case, and the next year the king, to raise the house from the deplorable state of want (fn. 99) and insecurity to which it had been reduced by its inefficient head, took it into his hand, and committed it to the care of the abbot of Leices ter, and the priors of St. Mary Overy, of Newark, and of Stone. (fn. 100) If the loans requested for the defence of Guienne can be taken as showing the relative wealth of the lenders, (fn. 101) the priory seems in 1453 to have scarcely regained its old position, (fn. 102) though it probably had before 1481, as Edward IV marked his sense of the standing of the house by petitioning the pope to allow Prior Thomas Pomery to use the crosier and mitre. (fn. 103) The bishop of London had been accused of laxness in the exercise of his powers over the priory in 1438, but the same failing could hardly be urged against Bishop Hill in 1493. (fn. 104) On a visitation of the priory he found that Thomas Percy, the prior, had not only wasted the goods of the house, but had given occasion for scandal by his relations with a married woman named Joan Hodgis. Hearing afterwards that Percy, to facilitate his intercourse with Joan, had given her the office of embroiderer by letters patent to which he had forced the canons to affix the common seal, the bishop extorted a resignation from him by threatening to depose him, and put Robert Charnock in possession. Percy turned Charnock out, and was in turn forcibly ejected by the bishop. The case, tried first in the court of Canterbury and then at Rome, was decided against the bishop on the ground that he had exceeded his rights by taking the law into his own hands, (fn. 105) but a sentence adverse to Percy must also have been delivered, for he was not prior in 1506 (fn. 106) nor in 1509, (fn. 107) though he may have been reinstated before his death in 1512. (fn. 108) In the early years of Henry VIII the priory must have seemed as important as ever to the ordinary observer, who could judge only by the position it held in the City and at the court, (fn. 109) and by its lavish hospitality. (fn. 110) But it was keeping up appearances when it should have been engaged on retrenchment and strict economy. If it had ever been on a sound financial footing since the middle of the fifteenth century, it was again involved in difficulties by the maladministration of Percy, and on the accession of Henry VIII it owed money to the crown, (fn. 111) which it never appears to have been able to pay. (fn. 112) It was exempted from the payment of the two-tenths to the king in 1517 from its lands in Braughing, Layston, and Edmonton, because of the debts with which the house had long been and still was burdened. (fn. 113) In 1526 Bishop Tunstall gave leave to the prior, Nicholas Hancocke, to withdraw from the monastery for three years, in order to relieve the debts of the house, which was to be entrusted to the charge of suitable and skilful persons chosen by the prior and convent. (fn. 114) Its condition was evidently rather hopeless, and the reason given by the prior and convent for their surrender of the house to the king in February, 1532, (fn. 115) viz., that it had so deteriorated in its fruits and rents, and was so heavily burdened with debt, that unless a remedy were quickly provided by the king it must become extinct, was much nearer the truth than the majority of such statements. Hancocke's friends, however, considered that he had betrayed his trust to secure an easier competency for himself. (fn. 116) In that case the desired object was not immediately attained, since he was afraid to stir out owing to an undischarged butcher's bill. (fn. 117) No one would lend to him, he complained, as he had given up his house, and if something were not done for him he would have to go into sanctuary, which would be a disgrace to Cromwell. (fn. 118) At last he received an annuity of 100 marks, (fn. 119) with which he professed himself well satisfied. The canons, who numbered eighteen at the time of the surrender, are said to have been sent to other houses, (fn. 120) but it is clear that provision was not made for all, since John Lichefeld, one of the latest admitted, wrote to Cromwell, saying that after his religious training he is an entire outcast, for no house will receive him. (fn. 121)
In the face of all this it is curious to read that Parliament in 1533–4 confirmed the gift of the monastery to the king 'because the Prior and Convent had departed from the monastery leaving it profaned and desolate for two years and more whereby the services, hospitality, etc. . . . remained undone.' (fn. 122) At first there was some idea of placing the friars of Greenwich in the vacant house, (fn. 123) but in 1534 the king granted the site and all the possessions of the late priory in the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate to Lord Audley. (fn. 124) The City, in spite of the fact that the prior was an alderman, seems to have made no protest either about the surrender of the house or about the king's grant, yet it is evident that they afterwards felt uneasy, for before the election of the first lay alderman of Portsoken in January, 1538, (fn. 125) there appears to have been some idea of buying Lord Audley's lands. (fn. 126)
The possessions of the monastery in 1291 were reckoned in the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas as worth £235 10s. 6¾d. per annum, (fn. 127) probably too low an estimate. (fn. 128) No valor exists for the whole property (fn. 129) in the reign of Henry VIII, but what the house held in London, valued at £121 16s. 6½d. in 1291 (fn. 130) and £105 17s. 3¼d. in 1425, (fn. 131) was said to be worth £355 13s. 6d. in 1537, (fn. 132) and consisted of tenements within the site of the priory and in sixty parishes besides, (fn. 133) a pension of £100 paid from the farm of the City since 1361 in return for tithes granted by the priory to St. Mary Graces (fn. 134); the churches of St. Botolph without Aldgate and St. Katharine Cree-church appropriated to the priory before the end of the twelfth century and by order of Pope Innocent III (fn. 135) served by two of the canons, and the advowsons of St. Edmund Lombard Street, St. Augustine Pappey, Allhallows on the Wall, the gift of the founder, and of St. Gabriel Fenchurch Street. From St. Edmund's a pension of 13s. 4d. appears to have been paid before the close of the twelfth century, (fn. 136) and from the others small sums were due yearly in 1301. (fn. 137) About 1175 it was arranged that the canons of St. Mary's, Southwark, should pay 10s. per annum from the church of St. Mildred. (fn. 138) At the time of the surrender the priory also held in Middlesex a manor at Tottenham, (fn. 139) and the church the gift of Simon, earl of Northampton, to the priory early in Stephen's reign, (fn. 140) the tithes being added by David, brother of William the Lion, king of Scotland, before 1214; lands in Bromley (fn. 141) and Edmonton, (fn. 142) where grants had been made to the convent before 1227; (fn. 143) in co. Herts the church of Braughing given to them by Queen Maud (fn. 144) the wife of Stephen, and appropriated to them in 1217; (fn. 145) the manor of Braughing, (fn. 146) where grants had been made to them by the same king and queen and by Hubert the chamberlain; (fn. 147) the manors of 'Bysholt,' Milkley, and Corneybury, and the church of Layston (fn. 148) acquired from Hugh Tricket in Stephen's reign, (fn. 149) the church being appropriated to them between 1189 and 1199; (fn. 150) the advowson of Astwick, (fn. 151) given by Richard son of William between 1162 and 1170; (fn. 152) lands in Throcking (fn. 153) in which place and Hodenhoe they held two carucates in 1227 granted to them by Roger son of Brian and Matilda his wife, (fn. 154) in Wyddial and Westmill, (fn. 155) where they held land at the earlier date; (fn. 156) the manor of Berksdon, (fn. 157) the gift of Richard de Anesty before 1227; (fn. 158) the hamlet of Wakeley, (fn. 159) and tithes in Bendish (fn. 160) which were given by Hubert the chamberlain in Stephen's reign (fn. 161); in 1291 the prior received a pension from the church of Wyddial (fn. 162) and in 1428 one also from that of Westmill (fn. 163); in Essex the convent held the manor of Cann Hall or Canon Hall (fn. 164) with appurtenances in Wanstead and West Ham, which they possessed before 1207; (fn. 165) the church of Walthamstow which, granted by Alice de Toeni (fn. 166) and confirmed to them by Pope Eugenius III in 1147, (fn. 167) had been appropriated to them by William de Sainte Mere l'Eglise, (fn. 168) bishop of London 1191–1222; the churches of Black Notley and Bromfield, the gift of Walter de Mandeville before 1147, (fn. 169) the former paying a pension of a mark, increased to two by Bishop William de Ste. Mére l'Eglise, the latter church appropriated to the priory in 1292 (fn. 170); to the priory in 1291 and 1428 were also due pensions from Lambourne, (fn. 171) Stapleford Abbots, (fn. 172) and West Ham (fn. 173); land in Leyton given by Simon de Molins and his wife Adelina was one of the earliest grants made to the priory (fn. 174); at the Dissolution the priory held in Kent the church of Bexley, (fn. 175) which with its tithes had been given to the canons by William Corbeuil, archbishop of Canterbury, between 1123 and 1135, (fn. 176) and the appropriation of the church must have been of early date, for a controversy as to the vicar's portion was settled by Archbishop Stephen Langton, 1207–1228 (fn. 177); in the same county Richard de Lucy had given them in Stephen's reign land in Lesnes, (fn. 178) to which they afterwards added more, (fn. 179) and the church of Lesnes (fn. 180) where a vicarage was ordained before 1218 (fn. 181); in the thirteenth century the priory held land in 'Hamstead,' co. Surrey, (fn. 182) and in the reign of Henry VI a messuage in the parish of St. Peter's, Oxford. (fn. 183)
The priory held in 1428 a quarter of a knight's fee in Edmonton, (fn. 184) where in 1353 it had also had another quarter called Peverel's fee, (fn. 185) one knight's fee in Alswyk, (fn. 186) two half fees in Berksdon, (fn. 187) and in Corney a quarter fee (fn. 188) and a half, (fn. 189) which latter it had possessed at an early date. (fn. 190)
Priors of Holy Trinity, Aldgate
Norman, the first prior, (fn. 191) occurs in 1145, (fn. 192)
died 1147 (fn. 193)
Ralph, elected 1148, died 1167 (fn. 194)
William, occurs 1169 (fn. 195)
Stephen, elected 1170, deposed 1197 (fn. 196)
Peter de Cornwall, elected 1197, died 1221 (fn. 197)
Richard de Temple, elected 1222, (fn. 198) occurs 1250 (fn. 199)
John de Toting, elected 1250, (fn. 200) occurs 1261 (fn. 201)
Gilbert, occurs 1261, (fn. 202) died 1264 (fn. 203)
Eustace, elected 1264, (fn. 204) died 1284 (fn. 205)
William Aygnel, elected 1285, (fn. 206) occurs 1292, (fn. 207) died 1294 (fn. 208)
Stephen de Watton, elected 1294, (fn. 209) resigned 1303 (fn. 210)
Ralph de Cantuaria, elected 1303, (fn. 211) died 1314 (fn. 212)
Richard de Wymbysshe, elected 1314 (?), (fn. 213) resigned or was deposed 1325 (fn. 214)
Roger de Poleye, elected 1325, (fn. 215) resigned, 1331 (fn. 216)
Thomas Heron, elected 1331, (fn. 217) died 1340 (fn. 218)
Nicholas de London or Algate, elected 1340, (fn. 219) died 1377 (fn. 220)
William de Rysyng, elected 1377, (fn. 221) died 1391 (fn. 222)
Robert Excestre or Exeter, elected 1391, (fn. 223) died 1408 (fn. 224)
William Harrington or Haradon, elected 1407, (fn. 225) died 1420 (fn. 226)
William Clerk, elected 1420 (fn. 227)
John Asshewell, occurs 1429 (fn. 228)
William Clerk, occurs 1432 (fn. 229) and 1438 (fn. 230)
John Sevenok or Sevenot, S.T.B. elected 1439, (fn. 231) occurs 1440 (fn. 232)
Thomas Pomery elected 1446, (fn. 233) occurs 1478 (fn. 234)
Thomas Percy, elected 1481, (fn. 235) deposed 1493 (fn. 236)
Richard Charnock, died 1507 (?) (fn. 237)
Thomas Newton, occurs 1506 (fn. 238)
Thomas Percy, died 1512 (fn. 239)
John Bradwell, elected 1512, (fn. 240) occurs 1520– 1523, (fn. 241) 1524 (fn. 242)
Nicholas Hancoke, elected 1524, (fn. 243) surrendered 1532 (fn. 244)
The seal attached to a charter of the late twelfth century (fn. 245) is a pointed oval, and shows Our Lord seated on a rainbow, with a cruciform nimbus, lifting up the right hand in benediction, and holding in the left hand a book; in the field on the right a star. Legend:—
A counterseal also of the twelfth century (fn. 246) is oval in shape, the impression being that of an antique intaglio: a naked man holding some object in the left hand, and walking on an estrade to the right.
The seal of Prior John Bradwell (fn. 247) represents a shield of arms, and a Trinity for the priory. The legend round the shield is:—