A History of the County of York: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1974.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
96. THE AUSTIN FRIARS, TICKHILL
This house was situated to the west of Tickhill, close to Clarel Hall. (fn. 1) It is said to have been founded by John Clarel, Dean of St. Paul's. (fn. 2) There was, however, no Dean of St. Paul's of this name, and the founder was probably John Clarel who was canon of Southwell in 1256 and held many other preferments. (fn. 3) The house was founded towards the end of the reign of Henry III. On 20 September 1274, in the church of Blyth, one friar of this house, Thomas de Irkingeham, was ordained deacon, and three, John of Staunton, David of Haverford, and Robert of Retford, priests. (fn. 4) In 1276 the friars had royal licence to inclose a way without the town on the north of their church between their place and the land of William Clarel. (fn. 5) In 1279 the king gave them four oaks for the work of their church. (fn. 6) In February 1283-4 they sought permission to inclose a strip of waste land in Tickhill; the jurors, however, returned an unfavourable verdict, and the licence was not granted. (fn. 7)
From the executors of Queen Eleanor they received 40s. in 1291 (fn. 8); and Edward I in 1300 gave them 6s. for one day's food by the hand of Friar Ralph of Bamburgh. (fn. 9) There were probably eighteen friars at this time. Edward II gave £10 towards the expenses of a provincial chapter held here in 1319. (fn. 10) Edward III gave 4d. to each of the twenty-four friars in 1335. (fn. 11) Robert Clarel gave them 2 acres in Tickhill in 1332, and at the same time they had licence, on payment of half a mark, to inclose a lane to the west of their house. (fn. 12)
Robert de Wirsop or Worksop, theological writer, is said to have been an inmate of this friary, and to have been buried here in 1350. (fn. 13)
Among the benefactors of the house were Roger de Bangwell, rector of Dronfield, who left 20s. to the friary and 12d. to each of the brethren in 1366, (fn. 14) and probably some members of the families of Tibetot and Deincourt, whose arms appear on part of the friary buildings. (fn. 15) Thomas Clarel, the elder, who married Maud daughter of Sir Nicholas Montgomery, and his son Thomas, who married Elizabeth daughter of Sir John Scrope, were both buried here in 1442, and Robert Clarel, son of Thomas the elder, in 1446. (fn. 16) Sir Richard Fitz William, who married Elizabeth, heiress of the Clarels of Aldwark, and thus succeeded to the patronage of the friary, was buried here in 1479, (fn. 17) and his eldest son, Sir Thomas, was buried near his father in 1497. (fn. 18) Elizabeth widow of Sir Richard, in her will, December 1502, desired to be buried next her husband, and left to the friars 5 marks and 'a cape of white velvet sprinkled over with black marks made of silk, like the fur called powdered ermine.' (fn. 19) Sir Thomas Fitz William the younger in 1513 wished to be buried here if he came back alive from the Scottish war, and willed that his executors should make a tomb over his father's body. (fn. 20) He was slain at Flodden, but the latter part of his instructions seem to have been carried out. In the parish church is a gorgeous monument of alabaster, richly painted, which was removed from the friary church at the Dissolution. It is adorned with the arms of Fitz William, Clarel and Nevill, and upon it lie the effigies of a knight and lady. The inscription, now much defaced, contains names of (Sir Richard) Fitz William, kt., and Lady Lucy Nevill, daughter of John, Marquess of Montagu, his wife. (fn. 21)
Sir Hugh Hastings, kt., 1482, left a serge of wax to be burned daily in this friary in honour of St. Ninian, and bequeathed a quarter of wheat yearly for three years and 10s. to the friars. (fn. 22) Richard III gave them an annuity of 5 marks during his life. (fn. 23)
Richard Robinson, the prior, gave evidence respecting the relations of the prior of the Austin Friars of Grimsby with the rebels in 1536. (fn. 24) He and seven brethren gave up the house to Sir George Lawson and his fellow commissioners, 19 November 1538. (fn. 25) The goods, including a clock and a pair of old organs, were sold for £5 1s. 8d. Of this sum £2 10s. was distributed to the friars. The lead (80 or 90 fother on the roofs of the various buildings), two bells in the bell tower, and two chalices weighing 16 oz. were reserved. (fn. 26) The demesne lands consisted of 9 or 10 acres of orchard, meadow and pasture, and about 46 acres of arable land: all these lands, the collector of rents noted in 1539, are let to John Robinson by indenture under the common seal of the late priory for sixty years at a rent of 53s. 4d. Further, the friars owned in the town of Tickhill an acre of arable land at the lime kiln in the South Field, given by Christopher Norris about 1528, and a cottage in Westgate as well as a very considerable property in Newton on Derwent, which was let to tenants of the priory for 108s. a year. The total annual rent amounted to £8 6s. 2d. (fn. 27)
The seal, of which an indistinct impression remains, represents a saint preaching to a crowd of hearers. (fn. 28)