Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Wells: Volume 2. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.
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CHAPTER ACT BOOK. (fn. 1) 1486–1487.
[1486–7,] Feb. 3.—John Wan[sforde ?], . . ., John Austell, John Lascy and William Chokke, capitularly [assembled], appointed . . . [? archdeacon] of Bath, and Richard Nykke, LL.D., proctors to convocation at St. Paul's.—fo. 6d.
At the request of Robert [Stillington], bishop of Bath and Wells, the presentation to the vicarage of Cheddre is granted to Mr. Thomas Goldweghe, notary public and bishop's registrar; the dean warned him to provide for the presentation to his vicarage of Sturmyster Newton at the will of the dean and chapter. Vacat, in margin.
1487, April —. — . . . letters of King Henry to the dean and chapter for . . . Cheddre to Mr. John Vowell, canon of the cathedral church . . . [at] whose recommendation and instant request . . . April 9 . . . parish of Cheddre to Mr. John Vowell. . . . Torn and crossed through.
1487, March —.—Richard Childe, chaplain, admitted to the perpetual chantry at the altar of St. Edmund in the nave of the cathedral, founded for the soul and good memory of Ralph Ergham, sometime bishop, on the nomination of Mr. John Vowell in order of his voice according to the form of the capitular acts [juxta ordinem vocis sue secundum formam actorum capitularium].—fo. 7.
1487, April 18.—The dean and chapter and the abbat of Athelnay agree to submit their differences concerning certain lands in Northcory to the arbitration of four skilled lawyers [jurisperiti], two . . . and two seculars.
1487, April 19.—Chapter acts with reference to the violation of the statutes and laudable customs of the cathedral church by the installation of Mr. Richard Worthington as provost of the cathedral church and prebendary of Combe XII by virtue of a mandate of the bishop, addressed to Mr. Hugh Sugar, the treasurer.—fo. 7d.
The chapter had communication with Mr. Sugar de et super injusta ac furtiva inductione et installacione Magistri Ricardi Worthington to the provostship of the cathedral church, made by Mr. Sugar on Easter Eve, in pursuance of the bishop's mandate, and by reason of the prebend of Combe XII annexed to the provostship. It was decided to write to the bishop pro reformatione eorundem.
1487, April 20.—The letters to the bishop were read, and signed by the dean and every canon present (Hugh Sugar was absent) and were sealed with the seal ad causas; the dean and canons unanimously engaged to observe and defend the statutes and customs of the chapter at their joint expense, protesting at the same time that they did not intend to do anything in prejudice of the bishop's jurisdiction.
John Austell and John Lascy, canons residentiary, John Emlyne, William Chaunte and John Rede, general proctors of the Court of Canterbury, and John Menyman, vicar choral, appointed proctors of the chapter; to be sealed with the common seal—.fo. 8.
Sir John Menyman, proctor of the dean and chapter, read a provocatio ad sacrosanctam sedem apostolicam et dominum nostrum papam (fn. 2) et pro tuicione curie Cantuar' coram me Thoma Wade, authoritate apostolica notario publico. Mr. Austell and Mr. Lascy appointed to demand and receive the third key of the common seal from Mr. Sugar, the treasurer.
1487, April 21.—They reported that they had asked for the key divers times, in the presence of Thomas Wade, notary public, and other sufficient witnesses, but that Mr. Sugar refused to deliver it up to the dean and chapter.
1487, April 24.—Immediately after the hour of prime [? post horam primam decantalam] John Menyman, vicar choral, proctor of the dean and chapter, in the choir of the cathedral, in the presence of Mr. Richard Worthington, pretending himself to be provost of the said church and being in the stall belonging to that office, read a monition, request and protest in writing, in the name of the proctors of the dean and chapter, in these words:—
In the name of God, amen! I, John Menyman, proctor of the venerable men the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of Wells, and in the name of them, my lords, demand, warn and require, for the first, second and third times, and peremptorily, and also instanter, instancius et instantissime, thee, Master Richard Worthington, who hearest, and namest thyself provost of Combe in the said church of Wells and canon and prebendary of the prebend of Combe XII, to the said provostship annexed, according to the laudable custom of the said church, and as Dom. John Gornesey and Master Richard Swan, late provosts of Combe did, that thou takest before my said lords, the dean and chapter, in the chapter-house of the said church, all and singular the oaths as well by reason of the provostship as of the canonry and prebend thereto annexed, wont to be taken, and which the said late provosts took in person on the Holy Gospel before the dean and chapter. —fos. 8, 8d.
1487, April 27.—On the nomination of Master William Chokk, the dean and chapter appointed William Corbet to the office of chaplain in the hospital of St. Saviour, the B.V.M. and All Saints, near St. Cuthbert's church, Wells. Andrew Grantham, vicar choral, and Thomas Wade, scribe of the chapter acts, were appointed to induct him.—fo. 8d.
1487, April 28.—Perpetuation of John Gyles, vicar choral. Et quia idem Johannes propter infirmitatem psalterium corde tenus non reddidit, ut est moris, dominus decanus monuit ac illi injunxit ut infra breve redderet dictum psalterium, sub pena incumbente.—fo. 9.
1487, May 12.—The chapter recounted to Canon John Vowell all that had been done with regard to the usurpations of Hugh Sugar and Richard Worthington, all of which he affirmed, approved and ratified.—fo. 9d.
1487, May 19.—Ordered that pending the suit with Mr. Richard Worthington, pretending to be the provost of the cathedral church, the third key of the common seal should not remain in the hands of Mr. Hugh Sugar, although he was the senior residentiary; and that he should not act as president of the chapter in the absence of the dean and subdean. It was desired that the key be kept by Mr. Thomas Overay and in his absence by the next senior residentiary.
1487, May 24.—A bond under the common seal was delivered to Hugh Sugar, treasurer, John Wansforde, subdean, and John Aleyn, vicar choral, the executors of the testament of Mr. Richard Swan, late provost of the cathedral church, by which the dean and chapter were bound to pay to the executors yearly one third of the rent of a water-mill in the lordship of Northcory, after the building thereof, repairs only being deducted.
1487, May 25.—At the instant request of the dean he was allowed 6 oaks from the chapter's wood at Wynnescombe, for timber for his building to be constructed at Bytesham. Mr. John Dicce, the steward of the cathedral church, was assigned to deliver them.
1487, June 2.—Read a letter from John [Morton], archbishop of Canterbury, dated at Kyllyngworth, May 23, 1487, urging the installation of Richard Worthyngton in the office of provost of the cathedral.
Read letters patent of John, archbishop of Canterbury, sealed with his great seal in red wax, and also letters patent of Robert, bishop of Bath and Wells, directed to Hugh Sugar, the treasurer, for the induction and installation of Richard Worthyngton, LL.B., to the provostship of the cathedral and the prebend of Combe XII annexed thereto, vacant by the death of Mr. Richard Swan. On his renouncing all benefit of the installation by Mr. Sugar and humbly submitting himself to the dean and chapter and praying to be admitted and appointed to his proper stall, and on promising not to molest the chapter or their servants in regard to what had taken place, and on swearing on the Holy Gospels to indemnify them against the bishop and his successors (all of which matters were reduced into writing), Mr. Worthington was duly installed by Mr. William Boket and Dom. John Hyll, canons residentiary, deputed for that purpose. The dean thereupon received him again in the chapter house, and gave him the kiss of peace. Present:—Dom. John Combe, Dom. Richard Huchons and Dom. John Menyman, vicars choral, Mr. Peter Motyn [?], clerk and notary public, and very many other trustworthy witnesses specially called, and me, Thomas Wade, notary public, scribe of the acts.—fos. 11–13.
1487, July 3.—Thomas Titrygge, third altarist, was warned to take the oath of canonical obedience to the dean and chapter, according to the statutes of the church, under penalty of privation. He refused, and the dean warned him not to use any further the habit of an altarist within the church.—fo. 13.
1487, Sept. 18.—Mr. William Smyth, LL.B., installed in the person of Mr. Thomas Overay, his proctor, in the provostship of the cathedral church and in the prebend of Combe XII, thereto annexed, vacant by the death of Mr. Richard Worthington, pursuant to mandate of Robert, bishop of Bath and Wells, sealed with the common seal of the college of Blessed Mary and St. George within the castle of Wyndesore.
Thomas Wade, the scribe of the said church [sic], swore on the Holy Gospels that he would keep secret the councils of the chapter and that he would not, for favour or gain, write the acts otherwise than truthfully.—fo. 14.
Auditors: Mr. Thomas Overay, precentor (not on the nomination of the dean and chapter, but at the instance and request of the dean and chapter, he freely and voluntarily undertook the office); also Mr. William Bocat and Mr. John Hyll, by nomination and election of the dean and chapter.
To the four chantries at the altar of St. Nicholas in the new chapel, of the dean's collation, as he asserts; the bishop being absent, the dean, for his right, nominated Lefman, Touker, Robyns and Wardor; and Mr. Hugh Sugar, for the bishop's right and possession, nominated the same.
1487, Oct. 4.—John White admitted to the office of sacrist, on taking the accustomed oath of canonical obedience to the dean and chapter. He must take the first tonsure within six days, and, until he do so, he shall have no fees for installation of canons.—fos. 16, 16d.
William Capron and John Godard, who had been chosen and named as altarists of the cathedral church by Mr. Hugh Sugar, the treasurer, humbly submitted themselves to the dean and chapter and asked pardon for their manifest offences and rebellion, and obtained it; each of them took the oath of canonical obedience to the dean and chapter, and was received by the dean among the altarists, and his habit was delivered to him.—fo. 16d.
1487, Oct. 5.—Henry Grendall, vicar choral, collated to the stall of the prebend of Ilton, now vacant. He had license to reside continually in his vicarage of Mertoke, and to be absent from the cathedral church until Easter next; but before Palm Sunday he must come back and inform the dean and chapter if in the feast of Easter he intends to return to his stall or reside at his vicarage. He shall take nothing from the vicars' commons during the time of this license, but only the takings [percepcione] of his stall.
1487, Oct. 17.—Mr. John Standerwyke, notary public, appointed proctor of the dean and chapter to represent them; in the presence of Mr. Hugh Sugar, the treasurer of the cathedral church and official of the episcopal council of Wells.—fo. 17d.
In the matter of a dispute between the dean and chapter and Mr. Hugh Sugar, the treasurer, for cutting down, pollarding [decapitacio] and lopping [shridicio] of trees in the churchyard, for assigning graves for burials, and respecting lights in the church by the treasurer to be maintained and lighted, the dean and chapter, for the sake of peace, referred the whole question to Mr. Richard Lechfeld, LL.D., and Mr. — Jane, LL.D., giving them power to determine the same, under the supervision, if necessary, of Robert [Stillington], bishop of Bath and Wells.
William Chamberlane appointed messenger [nuncius] of the dean and chapter, and general and special agent [gestor] of their business, at a yearly fee of 20s. and one robe, with meat and drink with the canons resident, as an altarist, and taking 4d. a day for his expenses so often as he shall ride or walk on the business of the steward or any other residentiary. He took the oath of canonical obedience in these words: I shalbe faithfull and trew to the deane and chapitre and to this cathedrall churche of Welles, and as ferre as in me is, solicite and procure the worship and profecte of the same, and duely and trewly do and execute all and every thinge that I shalbe commaunde to do by the saide deane and chapitre, the stywarde [steward] or auditours of the accomptes of the said churche; and suche messages as I shalbe chargede or sent to do, I shal them well, feithfull and diligently do, as ferre as in my power is, and trew report make to suche as hathe sent me in any message, how I have sped in the same, not sparyng so to do for fere, favor, mede, desire or prayer of any person; and generally all thinges do that to a trew messager belongeth. So help me God and holy dome and by this boke.—fo. 18.
Thomas Overay, the precentor, William Bocat and John Vowell, canons, appointed agents [gestores] for the chapter's business before the king and the magnates [principes], and especially to act for [ad procurandum] and to labour for the bishop then in custody in the castle of Wyndesore. They were to be allowed the days of their absence for the whole time in complement of their residence, without cotidians.
1487, Oct. 20.—Mr. John Gunthorp, the dean, appointed proctor for the business of the chapter within the realm of England, and especially with the king and other magnates [magnates]; he shall be allowed his absence up to the nativity of St. John Baptist next, without cotidians. Copy of the deed of appointment.
1487–8, Jan. 2.—Mr. John Vowell, for his manifold labour about the business of the bishop, is allowed all days from Jan. 2 until Easter next in complement of his residence, without cotidians, on condition that he is continuously with the reverend father or on his business during that time of grace.—fo. 19.
The perpetual chantry at the altar of St. Edmund in the nave of the cathedral church, founded for the soul of Ralph Erghum, sometime bishop, is conferred on Mr. John Welmote, and he is admitted and instituted to the same, on taking the accustomed oath.
1487–8, Feb. 5.—Stephen Clerke, perpetual vicar choral, admitted to the prebendal stall of Cliva, on the presentation of Humfrey, abbat, and the convent of the monastery of Blessed Mary of Cliva, John Stephyns, the last vicar of the same, having resigned.
1488, April 2.—The venerable masters William Nykke, archdeacon of Wells, Richard Lichefelde, archdeacon of Bath, John Lascy and John Vowell, LL.D., canons residentiary, Masters William Chaunte, John Emlyne and John Rede, general proctors of the court of Canterbury, and John Manyman and Stephen Clerke, vicars choral, are appointed special proctors for all causes, suits, businesses or plaints of the dean and chapter.
Ordered that the common seal be taken out of the chest in the treasury and handed in a sealed box to Thomas Overay, the precentor, for safe custody, the key to remain with the dean and in his absence with the president of the chapter.—fo. 20d.
Unanimously resolved to prosecute all causes, plaints and suits against Hugh Sugar, the treasurer, for withdrawing lights and for other injuries and grievances against the customs and statutes of the church.
Leave given to John Austell, canon residentiary, to bury his body, when his soul shall have fled from this light, in the chapel of Corpus Christi within the cathedral church. The like to John Wansforde, the sub-dean, when he shall have closed his last day, to be buried in the chapel of Blessed Mary Magdalene, Katherine and Margaret, on the south side of the cathedral.
John Lascy, canon residentiary, appointed special proctor of the dean and chapter; with cotidians for the time of his absence. John Vowell appointed proctor with Lascy; to be allowed all the time of his absence, without cotidians.
1488, May 17.—John Genyn admitted a perpetual vicar; the vicars deposed to his ability, according to custom; he must render corde tenus the last part of the psalter with the hymnary [cum ympnario] before Easter next, under pain of being deprived of his habit.
To four chantries at the altar of St. Nicholas in the chapel of B.V.M. near the cloister [juxta claustrum], of the collation of the bishop, the dean or the archdeacon of Wells, whichever of them chances to be present; this year the dean, being present, collated these: Wardour, Garner, Skynner and Lefman.
James Grenehalgh admitted master of the schools, on the nomination of Robert Wilson, the chancellor; he was assigned a vicarial habit and a stall in the choir, with all other emoluments anciently belonging to that office; he took the oath of canonical obedience to the dean and chapter.
1488, Oct. 10.—John Hyll, canon, deputed to inspect and survey all jewels, vestments and ornaments belonging to the chantry founded for the soul of Thomas Bekyngton, of pious memory, sometime bishop.—fo. 24.
It was decided to proceed with the causes against Hugh Sugar, the treasurer, for subtracting certain lights within the cathedral, which ought to be sustained by him by reason of his office, and for other injuries and grievances done by him to the dean and chapter.
John Vowell appointed proctor for the dean and chapter, to act before the king and his officers as to the renewal and confirmation of certain charters, etc. All his days of absence shall be allowed him, including going to London and returning, but without cotidians.
1488, Oct. 24.—Each canon then making actual residence to have 40 days of grace, in complement of his residence, without cotidians; each canon may use his grace as he pleases up to Michaelmas next.—fo. 24d.
Dean Gunthorpe appointed proctor for certain special business before the king and the magnates, for defence of the rights, etc. of the chapter; he shall be allowed his necessary absence up to the nativity of St. John Baptist next, without cotidians.
1488, Oct. 24.—Ordinance for the anniversary of Master Thomas Hope, late canon of this church, for 30 years next to come, on the morrow of the chair of St. Peter the apostle unless that feast fall on a Saturday, in which case the anniversary shall be celebrated on the second feria, etc. For this the dean and chapter are to receive 40l. from John, archbishop of Canterbury, and have given a bond to forfeit 40s. for every default that shall be made.—fo. 25.
1488, Dec. 4.—All suits and controversies between the dean and chapter and prior and convent of Montagow [deMonte acuto, margin] shall be referred to the arbitrament of two or four trustworthy men, skilled in law, to be chosen by the dean and the prior.
1489, pridie Kal. Aprilis.—The dean delivered up 25 charters and evidences belonging to the cathedral, which he lately had at London for the confirmation thereof, together with a charter of confirmation of Henry VII and an exemplification of the same.
1489, May 30.—Ordered that a chamber at the end of the nave, occupied by Hugh Sugar while he lived, be used to keep the evidences and muniments of the church in; the master of the fabric to provide for the same forthwith.—fo. 25d.
Ordered that Thomas Overay, precentor, John Wansforde, sub-dean, John Austell and William Bocat, canons, do survey all treasure, jewels and ornaments in the treasury, and cause to be made indentures thereof between the dean and chapter of the one part and the sub-treasurer of the other part.
1489, June 22.—Mr. William Bocat, canon residentiary, in the name of the executors of Hugh Sugar, late treasurer, prayed for leave to take down and remove the wooden chapel in the nave, and to rebuild the same. The dean and chapter gave leave.
1489, Sept. 7.—Canons John Austell, John Hyll and John Stevens, to survey and inspect all treasure, ornaments and jewels in the treasury, and to make new indentures thereof with the sub-treasurer.—fo. 26d.
Ordered that two wax candles ought to burn on the screen [in pulpito], as by ancient custom they used to do; and that the stone lantern lately made by Hugh Sugar be destroyed and removed, which the clerk of the fabric was ordered to do.
Ordered that the master of the fabric shall provide for inclosing the grave-yard [pro clausura cimiterii], and shall have the ordering and keeping of the herbage and trees therein; and the master or clerk of the fabric, with the authority of the dean and chapter, shall assign a convenient burial-ground for the vicars choral and all minor ministers of the church, and the families and servants of all canons, canons only excepted.
1489, Sept. 10.—William Walton appointed principal apparitor for life, pursuant to letters patent of the bishop, sealed with the seal of Richard, bishop of Exeter, at the special request of the bishop of Bath and Wells, who also sent, by Edmund Mill, his beloved servant, letters of credence, as follows:—
I recommaunde me unto you. And for such besinesse as I have now in hand about thies ambassadoures and other maters, I may not at this tyme write unto you my mynde at large in all maters. Wherfore I hertly pray you that in suche thinges as I have commaunded my welbeloved servaunt, Edmunde Mill, this berer, to shewe unto you on my behalve, ye will yeve unto hym therin as moche feith and credence as if I spake personally wit you my selve. And here after, at better leiser, I shall write unto you.
Your lovyng broder,
Masters John Austell, John Hyll and John Stevens deputed to survey all jewels, vestments and ornaments belonging to the chantries of bishop Thomas Bekynton and bishop Nicholas Bubbwith, and all other chantries, as well perpetual as for single years on the feast of St. Jerome.
1489, Oct. 2.—John White, the sacrist, warned to ring the bell at mass and other canonical hours, both day and night, longer than he has been wont to do; also to sleep in the cathedral church, according to custom and statute; also that whereas he had contracted matrimony with some woman, the matrimony between them must be solemnly performed before St. Andrew's day, under pain of privation of his habit.—fo. 28d.
The altarists are warned that each of them must be daily in his habit before the beginning of the mass of St. Mary in the chapel of the same, and that each of them continue until the end of the high mass in the choir; and in the same way at the time of vespers.
1489, Oct. 3.—The vicars choral are warned that they must be present at divine service in the choir as well by day as by night; they must not leave the choir wandering about in the church, until all masses and hours are fully ended; each of them must be decently clad in honest clothes and habits, and must have his ears showing [aures patentes] and not covered by his hair; they must observe the statutes and ordinances of the chantries to which they are nominated on St. Jerome's day and admitted for the following year, according to custom, diligently and faithfully according to each man's conscience.
1489, Oct. 17.—John Gunthorpe, dean, appointed proctor for the chapter in the suits and controversies with the prior of Montacute, and for all other business before the king and the magnates, and is allowed his absence until the nativity of St. John Baptist next, without cotidians.—fo. 28.
1489, Oct. 17.—John Vowell, canon residentiary, appointed proctor to appear in the cathedral church of St. Paul, London, before John [Morton], archbishop of Canterbury, at the convocation of prelates and clergy; he shall be allowed the days of his absence, including going and returning, in complement of his residence, without cotidians.—fo. 28d.
1489, Nov. 5.—John Atya, chaplain, appointed to the chantry of St. Saviour, B.V.M. and all the elect of God, at the altar of Holy Cross in the north of the cathedral, founded for the soul of John Storthwayte, vacant by the resignation of John Orchard.—fo. 29.
1489–90, Jan. 13.—John Stevens, canon, and John Bawdwyn, vicar-choral, the escheator, were appointed to survey all tenements within the city of Wells and elsewhere in Wells forum, belonging to the church, and to make a new rental.
John Menyman, the communar, to pay to Master John Blackdon, the administrator of the goods of Masters John Riche, late canon residentiary, and of William Childe, his executor, 30l. due on a bond from the dean and chapter to John Riche.
1489–90, Jan. 15.—Mr. William Bocat, steward of the church, to ride to the manor of Northcory to confer with the counsel of the prior [cum consilio prioris] of Monte Acuto as to the controversies between them concerning the newly-built mill, the fishery of the waters there, and other matters.
1489–90, Jan. 16.—John Pope, annuellarius and chaplain of one of the four chantries founded for the soul of Nicholas Bubbwith, was charged with adultery with Margery Andrews, whom he often had at night in his chamber within the college, and by whom he had issue. He confessed; and the dean pronounced sentence, that the said John, on Sunday next, should carry a wax candle of ½lb., with bare head and feet, clad in his surplice, before the procession in the church, and when the procession had entered the choir the said John was to stand in his stall, in the like form, until the end of mass, saying the seven penitential psalms, and at the time of the offertory he should offer the wax to St. Andrew. John utterly refused to do this. For his manifest contempt and rebellion he was deprived of his habit and chantry; he voluntarily gave up the keys of the chantry.—fo. 30.
1490, April 20.—Mr. Hugh Oldam, proctor of Mr. William Smythe, provost of the cathedral church, came and delivered a bond to secure the repayment to the dean and chapter of 30l. for the use of his successors, provosts, whenever he shall resign or be removed by death or other cause; according to the ordinance of Mr. Richard Swan, late provost, from whose executors the said William Smythe received the 30l. Witnesses: Christofer Norys, M.A., Robert Pemberton, in decretis bacallario, and Thomas Wade, notary public and scribe of the acts.
1490, June 12.—John Skynner, vicar choral, charged with often going out of the town to his benefice, without leave, contrary to the statute, and that when he came to the town he was wont to sleep at the house of a woman named Maude Practon, outside the close of the vicars choral. He could not answer well, and was deprived of his habit.
Ordered that the third part of all fruits, rent and income of the prebend of Dultingcote, due to the executors of the will of Mr. Henry Sharpe, prebendary of the same, lately deceased, for the year next after his death for the good of his soul, shall wholly remain for the use and benefit of the cathedral church, for the repair and renewal of vestments and other ornaments at the yearly chantries on the feast of St. Jerome.
Austell and Stevens, canons residentiary, to survey all jewels, chalices, vestments and ornaments belonging to the chantries of Thomas Bekyngton and Nicholas Bubbwith sometime bishops, and to all chantries, perpetual or yearly at St. Jeronimus' day, both in the cathedral and in the chapel of B.M. near the cloister, and to provide for the repair of the same.—fo. 33.
William Atwodde, freemason, for his good service in his art to God, the church of Blessed Andrew, and the dean and chapter, was granted the same office that William Smythe, also freemason, late had in the cathedral church, together with a yearly pension of 26s. 8d.; he must have his place or dwelling house within the city of Wells, and must faithfully do what may be required, before everything else and without excuse.
1490, Nov. 3.—John Austell and William Bocat appointed to supervise three writers to write and register in a book all evidences and muniments belonging to the cathedral church; also to survey all vestments and ornaments as well in the treasury as in the chantries, and to provide for amendment where required.—fo. 33d.
William Baron, vicar choral, having been intitled to rule [ad regendum] the choir on the feast of St. Andrew the apostle, neglected to do that office, either by himself or another, at matins on the said feast day, to the great scandal of the church and the evil example of the other vicars; he was suspended for a month from wearing his habit [a delatione habitus] and from receiving commons.—fo. 34.
1490–1, Jan. 7.—Order as to vacant prebends: On the vacation of any prebends by the death of any prebendaries, one third part of the fruits of the same, which by the statutes and customs of the cathedral ought for one whole year to belong to [? the deceased canons], if not claimed within the year in which they die, shall be converted to the use of the cathedral for the souls of those so deceased.
John Gunthorpe, dean, appointed agent and proctor of the chapter for all business before the king and magnates of the realm; he shall be allowed his time of absence to the nativity of St. John Baptist next, without cotidians.
1491, May 15.—In the great parlour within the dean's house, Thomas, bishop of Tine [episcopus Tinensis], prayed leave to perform the office at the burial of Robert, late bishop of Bath and Wells; which leave was granted, without prejudice to the statutes and customs of the cathedral.
1491, June 9.—Ordered that the prior and convent of Bath be notified that proctors for each chapter should be at Fernton on June 14, to provide proctors to go to the king for license to elect a new bishop; William Bocat and John Vowell were appointed for Wells, to go to Fernton; John Gunthorpe, dean, and William Bocat were appointed to go with the Bath proctors to the king.
Memorandum that John Gunthorpe, the dean, with the consent of his co-brothers, delivered to King Henry VII a missal, late belonging to Thomas Bekyngton, sometime bishop of Bath and Wells, in exchange for another missal delivered to them by the king's orders.
1491, Sept. 23.—William Chokke, canon residentiary, was charged with the crime of adultery with Agnes Meryke, wife of John Richard, to the grave scandal of the church. He denied it. Ordered that he must purge himself on the morrow, with six priestly compurgators [sexto manu sacerdotali], of whom [the priests] 3 are canons and 3 vicars choral, honest, discreet and trustworthy. He appeared the next day, and failed in his purgation. He was admonished, and took his corporal oath on the Gospels to amend. He humbly submitted, and swore to pay 10l. to the fabric of the church if he were charged with any incontinence in future and should be unable to purge himself, 15l. for the second offence and 20l. the third time, and after the third conviction deprivation of his canonry. He was sentenced to absent himself from the church and city of Wells for two years, taking nothing for great commons nor cotidians, nor other emoluments of the church, unless after the first year he should obtain the special grace of the chapter to come back. All [? his] emoluments to go to the fabric or for the repair of ornaments.