The cartulary: Chronicle

Pages 1-5

The Cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1971.

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1. [f. 1] Chronicle: The genealogy of Henry I and his consort is followed by a note of praise for the king's work in rebuilding churches and monasteries ruined by the Danes and in recalling Anselm. The virtues of Queen Matilda are extolled and the story of her washing of lepers' feet and her brother David's reaction to this, is narrated.

[f. lv] On the advice of Anselm she decided to build a church in honour of the Holy Trinity and it was founded in 1108 within Aldgate in a place where Syredus had established a church from which the dean and chapter of Waltham Holy Cross had received a rent of 30s. p.a. The queen, so that her church might be quit of all obligation, gave a mill to Waltham in exchange for the 30s. and this was confirmed by King Henry.

For Latin text of 1–16 see Appendix. 1–30 were printed in William of Newburgh, Historia, iii, 687–709.

2. [1108] Confirmation of Henry I: witnesses, [Roger] bishop of Salisbury, Th[omas] de Sancto Johanne, Jordan de Say, William bishop of Durham, at Dunstable.

Reg. A.-N., ii, no. 897; Cart. Antiq., ii, no. 385.

3. [?1108] Release by the church of Waltham: addressed to Richard (fn. 1) bishop of London by Walter dean and chapter of Waltham.

4. Chronicle: On the advice of Anselm, the queen gave the church to Norman, the first man to introduce the rule of the Austin canons into England and she endowed it with the gate of Aldgate and the soke pertaining to it and £25 blanch from the city of Exeter by the following charter: [f. 2] [1108] Notification by Queen Matilda of the soke addressed to Richard bishop of London informing him that Holy Trinity is quit of subjection to any church save St. Paul's: witnesses, William bishop of Winchester, Roger bishop of Salisbury, Robert bishop of Lincoln, Randolf the chancellor and Bernard the chancellor [chaplains], Giffard Clareb', Geoffrey de Clinton, William de Ponte, Ald(uino), at Westminster.

Reg. A.-N., ii, no. 906 & p. viii.

5. [1108] Confirmation of Henry I of the charter in 4; witnesses, Roger bishop of Salisbury, Robert bishop of Lincoln, at Westminster.

C.A.D., iv, A 6687; P.R.S., x, no. 2; Reg. A.-N., ii, no. 915; Facs. Nat. MSS., i, no. 7.

6. Chronicle: Norman was born in the Isle of Thanet in Kent of noble stock, was educated in France [f. 2v] and returned to Colchester and found a number of priests at St. Botolph's wishing to don the religious habit. He told Ainulf, their leader, of the Austin rule and he urged him to return to the Continent and study it. Norman went to Anselm who provided him with letters of introduction to the abbot of Mont-St.-Éloi.

7. Letter of Anselm to John prior of the canons of Mont-St.-Éloi asking that they instruct Norman in their rule.

Anselm, Opera Omnia, ed. F. S. Schmitt, iv (1949), Epistola 234.

8. Chronicle: Norman, accompanied by his brother Bernard, later prior of Dunstable, went to Chartres and Beauvais and learnt the rule and ascertained the material requirements of the canons. [f. 3] He returned to Colchester and the rule was established there but in 1108 Ainulf allowed him to leave and wrote a letter to the queen.

9. Letter of Prior Ainulf to Matilda in which he releases Norman upon Matilda's grant to him of the church of Holy Trinity.

10. Chronicle: Norman undertook the rule of Holy Trinity on 5 Apr. 1108 and daughter houses were founded at Dunstable, Launceston, Plympton, St. Frideswide's Oxford and St. Osyth. Norman and Ainulf sent to Pope Paschal that he might set his seal on their order. [f. 3v] At first the house was so poor that some pious women of the City individually undertook to bring a loaf of bread on Sundays and to persuade others to do the same. This secured the weekly supply of bread to the house until such time as its revenues were increased by, amongst other things, Matilda's grant of the gate and soke of Aldgate.

11. Boundary of the soke given by Queen Matilda: (fn. 2) From the gate of Aldgate to the gate of the bailey of the Tower called (C)ungate and all the lane called Chykenlane by Berkyngchirche [All Hallows Barking] to the cemetery except one house next to the cemetery and returning by the same road to the church of St. Olave and thence by a little lane which leads to Colemanschurch [St. Katherine Coleman] next towards Fanchirche [St. Gabriel Fenchurch] to a brewhouse which now has the sign of 'The Dove'. From there it continued as far as the house of Theo(bald) son of Ivo, alderman, in Lymstrete by a small lane which is now blocked up because it was the scene of nocturnal thieves and so it goes by the small lane against St. Michael's chapel to Lymstrete to Richard Ca(v)el's house and then by a lane next St. Andrew's church as far as the church of St. Augustine by the City Wall [St. Augustine Papey], and thence to the gate of Aldgate. Prior Norman rebuilt the gate and Geoffrey de Clynton, one of the members of the English Knyghtengild, helped him to enclose a certain road.

12. [f. 4] [1122] Notification by Henry I addressed to Richard bishop of London and Aubrey de Ver, Sheriff, informing them that he has allowed Prior Norman and the canons of Holy Trinity to enclose a road between their church and conventual buildings and the wall of the City and that the road is to run henceforth in front of their church: witnesses, Ranulf the chancellor, Geoffrey de Clynton, Ralph Basset, at Northampton.

Reg. A.-N., ii, no. 1315; Cal. Letter-Bk. C, 75; Cart. Antiq., ii, no. 386.

13. Chronicle: The church had grants of land and churches in Tottenham and Walthamstow among other places, but in London, Norman acquired £20 of rents because the church was popular with the citizens. Matilda was a good friend to the house and the story is told of the scandalous way in which the monks of Westminster obtained her body after she had expressed a wish to be buried in Holy Trinity. [f. 4v] Henry did not allow them to possess some land which she had left to the house but it did obtain some of Matilda's relics including a portion of the True Cross which had been sent by the emperor in Constantinople. In 1132 the church and nearly all the conventual buildings were burnt out by a fire which started in Gilbert Beket's house in which a great part of London was destroyed. By a miracle a cross was saved. Norman, although in ailing health refused [f. 5] any additional comforts and laid it down that all his successors should share the dorter and the refectory with the canons. He died on 12 Jan. 1147.

14. Chronicle continued: Ralph, the second prior, was elected 17 Jan. 1147. He was a learned man, born and reared in the city of London, known and well-liked by Stephen, his queen Matilda and Archbishop Theobald. [f. 5v] Two of the royal children, Baldwin and Matilda, were buried in the church and Ralph acted as father confessor to the queen. Thomas, 'dei atleta', was a great friend of the prior and Ralph is said to have revealed the martyr's death in a dream which he had on the night of Becket's assassination. (fn. 3) He doubled the revenues of the priory. Ralph died on 14 Oct. 1167 and the house was without a prior and all was done under the name of Prior Edmund who had no letters of appointment. (fn. 4)

15. Stephen, the third prior, was elected 17 May 1170, resigned 2 May 1197 and died 14 Aug. 1198.

16. [f. 6] Peter of Cornwall, the fourth prior, was elected 9 May 1197 and died 7 July 1221. This prior was the foremost English doctor and, after three years' argument, he converted a Jew who became a canon. He wrote many books including 'Pantheologon', 'De reparacione lapsus' and 'De duabus corigiis predestinacionis et reprobationis'. Edmund, a canon of the house, introduced the rule to Ireland where he became bishop of Limerick. (fn. 5)

17. Richard, fifth prior, elected 16 July 1223, (fn. 6) died 14 Aug. 1248.

18. John de Totynge, sixth prior, elected 24 Aug. 1250, (fn. 7) died 15 June 1258.

19. Gilbert, seventh prior, elected 1260, (fn. 8) died 30 Dec. 1264.

20. Eustace, eighth prior, elected 7 Jan. 1265, (fn. 9) died 20 Dec. 1280. (fn. 10)

21. William Aiguel, (fn. 11) ninth prior, elected 31 Dec. 1280, (fn. 12) died 21 May 1289.

22. [f. 6v] Stephen de Watton, tenth prior, elected 1289, (fn. 13) resigned (depositus) 11 Mar. 1302, (fn. 14) died 5 Oct. [?1302].

23. Ralph of Canterbury, eleventh prior, elected 12 Mar. 1302, (fn. 15) died 18 June 1314. (fn. 16)

24. Richard Wymbyssh, twelfth prior, elected 25 June 1314, (fn. 17) resigned (depositus) 2 June 1325, (fn. 18) died 17 Mar. [?1326].

25. Roger de Poly, thirteenth prior, elected 3 June 1325, (fn. 19) resigned (depositus) 26 May 1331, (fn. 20) died 7 Jan. [?1332].

26. Thomas Heyron, fourteenth prior, elected 27 May 1331, (fn. 21) died 20 Feb. 1340.

27. [f. 7] Nicholas de Algate, fifteenth prior, elected 26 Feb. 1340, (fn. 22) died 6 July 1377.

28. William Risyng, sixteenth prior, elected 27 July 1377, (fn. 23) died 5 Aug. 1391. (fn. 24)

29. Robert Execestre, seventeenth prior, elected 14 Aug. 1391, (fn. 25) died 4 Aug. 1408. (fn. 26)

30. William Haradon, (fn. 27) eighteenth prior, elected 1408, (fn. 28) died 1 Sep. 1420 [f. 7v blank].


  • 1. Cf. Stow, Survey, i, 139, ii, 290–1, who has Tungate.
  • 2. An untrustworthy account as he died over 3 years before Becket.
  • 3. See Letters and Charters of Gilbert Foliot, ed. Morey and Brooke, 260, 515, 535.
  • 4. Richard de Belmeis I, elected 24 May 1108, consecrated 26 July 1108.
  • 5. See R. W. Hunt, 'English Learning in the late 12th century', R.H.S. Trans., 4th ser., xix, 33–4, and Hunt, 'The disputation of Peter of Cornwall, against Symon the Jew', Studies presented to F. M. Powicke (1948), 143–56.
  • 6. Rectius 1222, C.P.R. 1216–25, 342.
  • 7. Cf. C.P.R. 1247–58, 73, 75, licence to elect 26 Aug. 1250, royal assent 5 Oct. 1250.
  • 8. C.P.R. 1258–66, 160–1, which gives the date of the licence to elect as 16 June 1261.
  • 9. C.P.R. 1266–72, 312, which gives the date of the writ de intendendo as 12 Jan. 1269.
  • 10. C.P.R. 1281–92, 147, which gives the date upon which the news of Eustace's death reached the court as 27 Dec. 1284.
  • 11. Or Aignel.
  • 12. C.P.R. 1281–92, 147, 151–2, which gives the date of the royal assent to Aiguel's election as 10 Jan. 1285 and the restoration of temporalities as 18 Jan. 1285.
  • 13. C.P.R. 1292–1301, 70, which gives the date of licence to elect as 24 May 1294.
  • 14. C.P.R. 1301–7, 420, gives the date of cession as 8 Mar. 1303.
  • 15. C.P.R. 1301–7, 120, 123, licence to elect 8 Mar. 1303, signification of royal assent, 13 Mar. 1303.
  • 16. C.P.R. 1313–17, 480, which gives the date upon which the news of Ralph's death reached the court as 27 June 1316.
  • 17. C.P.R. 1313–17, 478, which gives the date of the royal assent as 27 June 1316.
  • 18. C.P.R. 1324–7, 124, 29 May 1325.
  • 19. C.P.R. 1324–7, 125, royal assent 7 June 1325.
  • 20. C.P.R. 1330–4, 120, 20 May 1331.
  • 21. C.P.R. 1330–4, 123, restoration of temporalities 11 June 1331.
  • 22. C.P.R. 1338–40, 430, royal assent for Nicholas de London 29 Feb. 1340.
  • 23. C.P.R. 1377–81, 12, royal assent 29 July 1377.
  • 24. C.P.R. 1388–92, 469, licence to elect 8 Aug. 1391.
  • 25. C.P.R. 1388–92, 470, signification of royal assent 17 Aug. 1391.
  • 26. C.P.R. 1405–8, 340, 347, licence to elect 19 Aug. 1408.
  • 27. Haraday in G. R. C. Davis, Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain (1958), 68.
  • 28. C.P.R. 1405–8, 346, restoration of temporalities 22 Sep. 1408.