Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 3, Lincoln. Originally published by Institute of Historical Research, London, 1977.
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By Judith A. Cripps
I THE FARM OF THE CITY OF LINCOLN
In 1535 the income of the dean and chapter included the sum of £80 paid from the farm of the city of Lincoln. The greater part represented the endowment of two chantries, but a total of £18 was credited to several prebends: Centum Solidorum and Caistor were said to receive £5 each, Welton Westhall 53s. 4d. and the four remaining Welton prebends 26s. 8d. each. (fn. 1)
These payments seem to derive from the grant which Henry II, early in his reign, had made to the canons, of £18 from the farm of the city of Lincoln, in lieu of an equal sum which they were wont to receive from the royal manor of Kirton in Lindsey. (fn. 2) In turn, this endowment appears to originate in William I's charter to Remigius at the foundation of the cathedral in 1072, when the king granted inter alia the churches of Kirton, Caistor and Wellingore, and the tithes of demesne rents in the three manors. (fn. 3) In 1139, Stephen gave the canons lands worth £18 p.a. 'in prebendam' in the wapentake of Corringham, in exchange for £18 for tithes in Kirton and Caistor. (fn. 4) Presumably this is the same payment as £18 in alms to the canons of Lincoln, recorded among the allowances to the sheriff of Lincoln in the Pipe Roll of 1129-30. (fn. 5) It is likely that this represents the tithe of demesne rents granted in 1072, for if the valuation of the three manors in Domesday Book is the sum for which they were farmed, tithe in 1086 would have been £14 10s., and by 1130 might well have risen to £18. (fn. 6) Stephen's grant of lands in Corringham wapentake was confirmed by the papacy in 1139 and 1146. (fn. 7) The description given in the king's charter indicates that the property lay within the soke of Kirton, and was identical with the lands of the canons of Lincoln excluded from Stephen's grant of the manor and soke of Kirton in Lindsey to William de Roumare, earl of Lincoln, in 1140 or 1146. (fn. 8) Henry II granted Kirton to his uncle Thierry d'Alsace, count of Flanders, shortly after his accession, (fn. 9) and presumably it was to compensate the canons for the loss of the eighteen librates in the wapentake of Corringham, that Henry II made the grant out of the city farm. (fn. 10)
Several other charters however need to be considered before this hypothesis can be fully accepted. The charge of £18 on the city farm granted by Henry II, represented a tithe of the revised farm paid from Michaelmas 1155, (fn. 11) and in 1139 × 40, Stephen had granted a tithe of the farm, amounting to £14, as a prebend for his clerk Baldric de Sigillo. (fn. 12) Foster apparently thought that this was the foundation of the prebend of Decem Librarum, (fn. 13) but despite the fact that Baldric de Sigillo remained a canon of Lincoln for at least twenty years before becoming archdeacon of Leicester, (fn. 14) this payment out of the farm of the city is not recorded in the pipe rolls of Henry II's reign. This prebend, confirmed by pope Eugenius III in 1146, (fn. 15) was passed over in silence in 1163, and clearly did not survive in its original form after the death of Stephen.
William I's foundation charter, including the grant of the three churches of Kirton, Caistor and Wellingore, and the tithe of demesne rents of the three manors, was confirmed by Stephen during the last years of his reign, and by Henry II soon after his accession. (fn. 16) The statement in the papal confirmation of 1146 that the canons held lands in exchange for these tithes, (fn. 17) and the omission of all mention of them in the papal bull of 1163, demonstrate that the canons of Lincoln were no longer entitled to these tithes as such, at the dates of the royal confirmations. It appears that the terms of William I's original charter were copied verbatim, without due regard to their current significance.
A payment from Crown revenues to the cathedral can thus clearly be traced from the foundation to 1535. Evidence for payments to individual canons before the latter date is fragmentary, but there are indications that some may originate during a very early period. In 1535, the prebendary of Caistor received £5 p.a., a sum probably equal to the tithe of demesne rents of the manor of Caistor in 1086. (fn. 18) This suggests that the original endowment of the prebend was the church of Caistor and the tithes of demesne rents of the king's manor there. Similarly, evidence survives for the interests of two of the five prebendaries of Welton in the church of Kirton in Lindsey in the thirteenth century. (fn. 19) In conjunction with the sixteenth-century evidence for payments totalling £8 from the farm of the city to the Welton prebends, it seems likely that the tithes of the demesne rents of Kirton, (fn. 20) as well as the church, were appended to the manor of Welton at an early stage in the development of the cathedral foundation, and that compensation for loss of the tithes was charged on the city farm from 1155.
In 1086 there had been six canons of Welton, (fn. 21) and the payment of four marks to the prebendary of Welton Westhall in the sixteenth century may indicate union of two canonries, but also raises the possibility that the prebend of Centum Solidorum represents the sixth canonry of Welton, displaced in the later division of the Welton estate. (fn. 22) Since the prebend of Centum Solidorum was known in the thirteenth century as Centum Solidorum 'de prepositis', (fn. 23) or 'prebenda de prepositis', (fn. 24) it seems likely that it was established early in the reign of Henry II, when the reeves of the city of Lincoln first made the payment to the canons as ordered by the king. (fn. 25) On the other hand, the prebendary of Centum Solidorum may have been the successor of a prebendary of Wellingore. Tithes of the demesne rents there were acquired in 1072, and a payment out of the city farm was presumably made to compensate the former beneficiary after 1155. The church of Wellingore, listed among the prebendal churches in 1146 and 1163, (fn. 26) ceased to be prebendal within about twenty years, for when St. Hugh appropriated the rectory to the common fund, the incumbent, Alan of Wellingore, was not a canon. (fn. 27) In these circumstances, the title Centum Solidorum 'de prepositis', indicating the current source of income, would naturally supersede the earlier name of the prebend.
II THE ESTATES OF THE PREBENDS OF CORRINGHAM AND STOW ST. MARY
In 1650 the prebend of Corringham consisted of a messuage, arable and tithes in Great and Little Corringham, tithes in the hamlets of Great Corringham (Somerby, Wheatbeare, Aisby, Yawthorpe and Dunstall), and in the parishes of Springthorpe, Sturton and Normanby, worth together £95 6s. 8d. p.a., and rents of assize in Springthorpe, Heapham, Blyton, East Stockwith and Great and Little Corringham totalling 91s. 2d. p.a. In addition the prebendary of Corringham derived an income from two-thirds of the tithes of the prebend of Stow St. Mary in Stow, Normanby and its members, valued at £92 p.a. (fn. 28)
The origin of this considerable estate can be established only in part. Henry I's grant of the church of Corringham and two and a half carucates there may include all the land and tithes in the parish of Corringham, (fn. 29) but no reference has been found to the permanent endowment of the cathedral with property in Springthorpe, Heapham, Blyton and East Stockwith. (fn. 30) The cathedral held lands 'in prebenda' in these four parishes c. 1200, as well as five carucates in Great and Little Corringham. (fn. 31) Since the acquisition of these properties is not recorded in the Registrum Antiquissimum dating from c. 1225, it is likely that the endowment is implicit in another grant. Springthorpe, Heapham, Blyton and East Stockwith lay wholly or in part within the soke of Kirton in Lindsey, which was royal demesne in 1086. (fn. 32) William I had included the church of Kirton with its land and some tithes, in his foundation grant to the cathedral. (fn. 33) The modern form of the place-name Kirton shows Scandinavian influence, but derives from an Old English form Ciric-tun or Circe-tun, suggesting that the church there was of some eminence in the Anglo-Saxon period. Kirton may well have been the site of the minster for the northern part of the West Riding of Lindsey, and the grant to the cathedral may have signified the transfer of considerable estates in the neighbour hood, and in particular within the soke of Kirton. If this hypothesis is correct, it appears that the estate of the church of Kirton was dismembered in the twelfth century to enlarge the prebend of Corringham and at least two of the Welton prebends. (fn. 34)
The prebend of Corringham was among the richest on the cathedral foundation, the prebendary holding not only this considerable estate within the wapentake of Corringham, but also tithes in Sturton and Normanby in the parish of Stow St. Mary, and two-thirds of the tithes of the prebend of Stow. By contrast Stow appears never to have been a wealthy prebend. In 1650 the prebend of Stow comprised: the prebendary house, a close of meadow in Normanby, and twenty acres in Willingham, valued at £6 8s. 8d. p.a.; one-third of the tithes in Stow, Normanby, Branston (for Bransby), Willingham, and elsewhere, worth £40 p.a.; and £30 p.a. composition for the tithes of Stow Park. (fn. 35) The origin of the greater part of these endowments clearly lies in the grant of the tithe of the bishop's demesne in Stow, and of two-thirds of the tithes of the parishioners of the vill, confirmed by the pope in 1163. (fn. 36) Stow was an Anglo-Saxon minster, and the bishop's manor the head of the soke of Stow; thus the tithes of Normanby, Sturton, Bransby and Willingham were probably included in the grant of the tithes of Stow. (fn. 37)
Later references to the prebendary of Corringham's share of the prebend of Stow suggest that the recorded distribution of the tithes between the two prebends was not an early arrangement, whereby the share of the prebendary of Corringham would have become an integral part of his prebend. (fn. 38) In 1277 one priest in the church of Stow was maintained at the expense of the prebendary of Corringham, (fn. 39) and this obligation may reflect a division of the tithes of Stow similar to that found later. Since the recorded values of both prebends rose four-fold between 1254 and 1291, increases without parallel among the prebends of Lincoln, (fn. 40) it is possible that the tithes of Stow were allocated to these prebends some time between 1254 and 1277. As there is no evidence for the earlier endowment of any dignity or prebend with these tithes, this can be no more than supposition. Alternatively, the duty of the prebendary of Corringham to maintain a priest in Stow may reflect his ownership of the tithes of Sturton and Normanby which were an integral part of his prebend. If the division of the greater tithes of Stow dates from an even later period, further investigation of the later archives of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln may reveal the fact.
The inconclusive nature of the discussion in the light of available evidence is heightened by the recognition that certain properties mentioned in the papal confirmation of 1163 cannot be ascribed to either prebend with any certainty. (fn. 41) Two messuages (in Stow) may be the site of the house of the prebendary of Stow, and a meadow in Corringham belonging to Stow probably formed part of the Corringham prebendal estate, but nothing is known of the subsequent history of the bovate in Bransby.