Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Chetwode

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1905.

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'Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Chetwode', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1, (London, 1905), pp. 380-381. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Chetwode", in A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1, (London, 1905) 380-381. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

. "Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Chetwode", A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1, (London, 1905). 380-381. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,


The priory of Chetwode was founded in the year 1245 by Ralf de Norwich. (fn. 1) A licence was granted by Bishop Grosstête for its foundation, and a canon was sent from Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire to be the first prior. (fn. 2) The endowment was a small one, and it seems probable that there were never more than three or four canons. King Henry III. granted to the priory a carucate of land for the service of the hermitage or chapel of St. Werburga in the forest of Brill, and 50s. besides for the service of the royal chapel when he kept his court at Brill (fn. 3); the canons also served the churches of Chetwode and Barton Hartshorn. (fn. 4)

During the first year of the existence of the priory there was a dispute with the founder concerning the lands which formed the endowment. (fn. 5) A few years later the king's gift lost almost all its value because the deer in the royal forest could not be kept out of the canons' cornfields; but Henry III., with that generosity which he always displayed towards the religious, made them a further grant, and allowed them to enclose their ploughlands. (fn. 6) This right was disputed in 1313 by a certain Roger Pymme and other men of the neighbourhood, who claimed part of the land as common, broke down the enclosure, and fed their beasts on the grass there. The prior complained that he had suffered losses amounting to 40s. in value: but it is not known whether he recovered anything at this time. (fn. 7)

The house was reckoned from the first among royal foundations, and the names of all its priors may be found on the Patent Rolls. We may gather from the record of the prior's death in 1349, that the Great Pestilence visited this house as well as most of its neighbours during that year. Beyond this and the few facts mentioned above, it has no history at all. In 1460 it had become too poor even to maintain canons enough to serve the appropriate churches, and was annexed with the king's consent to Nutley Abbey. (fn. 8)

No visitations of this priory are recorded at Lincoln.

Its original endowment was merely the demesne land at Chetwode, the king's gift above mentioned, and the churches of Chetwode and Barton Hartshorn. (fn. 9) In 1284 the prior held 8½ virgates at Chetwode with the site of the priory, of Robert de Chetwode. (fn. 10) There is no mention of the house in the Taxatio.

Priors of Chetwode

Thomas of Hanworth, (fn. 11) first prior, elected 1245, resigned 1261

John of Woodstock, (fn. 12) elected 1261, resigned 1270

William of Dadington, (fn. 13) elected 1270

William of Bricklesworth, (fn. 14) resigned 1304

Roger of Lynham, (fn. 15) elected 1304, resigned 1317

John of Warmington, (fn. 16) elected 1317, died 1328

Robert of Brackley, (fn. 17) elected 1328, died 1337

William of Halton, (fn. 18) elected 1337, died 1349

Henry of Wykeham, (fn. 19) elected 1349, died 1361

John of Westbury, (fn. 20) elected 1361, died 1386

Richard Langton, (fn. 21) elected 1386

Thomas Rede, (fn. 22) elected 1405

Richard Borton, (fn. 23) died 1445

John Humberstone, (fn. 24) elected 1445, died 1458


  • 1. Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Grosstête.
  • 2. Ibid.; and Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i. 37.
  • 3. Pat. 40 Hen. III. m. 15.
  • 4. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Dalderby, 177.
  • 5. Feet of F. 30 Hen. III. No. 9.
  • 6. Pat. 40 Hen. III. m. 15.
  • 7. Coram Rege R. 6 Edw. II. n. 66.
  • 8. Pat. 1 Edw. IV. pt. iv., m. 23; Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Chadworth, 76d.
  • 9. The hermitage of SS. Stephen and Laurence at Chetwode never had any connection with the priory: all its chaplains during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were presented by members of the Chetwode family.
  • 10. Feud. Aids, i. 87.
  • 11. Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Grosstête.
  • 12. Ibid. Rolls of Gravesend. His name is given as John of Woodstock in Close, 3 Edw. I. m. 23.
  • 13. Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Gravesend.
  • 14. Ibid. Inst. Dalderby, 177d.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Ibid. 190.
  • 17. Pat. 2 Edw. III. pt. ii., m. 31.
  • 18. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Burghersh, 350.
  • 19. Ibid. Inst. Gynwell, 240.
  • 20. Ibid. 275d.
  • 21. Ibid. Inst. Bokyngham, ii. 385.
  • 22. Ibid. Inst. Repingdon, 429.
  • 23. Ibid. Inst. Alnwick, 193.
  • 24. Ibid.