Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Ravenstone

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 Ravenstone', in A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1, ed. William Page( London, 1905), British History Online [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Ravenstone', in A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1. Edited by William Page( London, 1905), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024,

"Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Ravenstone". A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1. Ed. William Page(London, 1905), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024.

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The priory of St. Mary, Ravenstone, was founded about the year 1255 by Peter Chaceporc, keeper of the royal wardrobe, on lands which formed a part of the barony of Wahull. (fn. 1) After the death of Peter the patronage of the house reverted to the Crown, and the canons were bound to sing a certain number of masses for the soul of the king as founder. (fn. 2) The number of canons provided for in the original foundation is unknown: at the dissolution of the house there were only two left, though an income of about £70 would have easily supported more. It was probably on account of this diminished number that the priory was granted to Cardinal Wolsey for his college at Oxford, and dissolved 17 February, 1524. (fn. 3) The canons received 20s. each as 'wages.' (fn. 4) No visitations of the house are recorded at Lincoln: nor is it easy to recover any details of its history, exterior or interior.

The original endowment included half a knight's fee at Ravenstone, with the parish church, and a demesne of 386 acres besides. (fn. 5) There is no evidence that it was ever much increased. The Taxatio of Pope Nicholas assigns to its temporalia a value of £11 10s.; the church was worth £10 a year. In 1316 the prior held one third of the village of Ravenstone, (fn. 6) and the same amount in 1346. (fn. 7) At the dissolution the total value of the house is given as £66 13s. 4d., (fn. 8) or, at another reckoning, £72. (fn. 9) The moveable goods were worth £10, the bells £33 6s. 8d. (fn. 10)

Priors of Ravenstone

Adam of Wymondley (fn. 11) (probably first prior), resigned 1275

Ralf of Ravenstone, (fn. 12) elected 1275

John, (fn. 13) died 1309

Roger de Clare, (fn. 14) elected 1309, died 1324

William Aubel, (fn. 15) elected 1324, died 1328

Robert Maunsel, (fn. 16) elected 1328

John Man of Raundes, (fn. 17) elected 1398

John Stanwigg, (fn. 18) elected 1417

Ralf Newport, (fn. 19) died 1456

Thomas Gryber (fn. 20) (or Wolvercote), elected 1456, resigned 1465

John Holt, (fn. 21) elected 1465, resigned 1473

Eustace Bernard, (fn. 22) elected 1473, resigned 1485

Ranulf Bleese, (fn. 23) elected 1485

William Wittlesey, (fn. 24) died 1509

John Penkith, (fn. 25) elected 1509

Thomas Cockes, (fn. 26) last prior, occurs 1524

Only a fine fragment remains of the seal of the priory attached to a charter dated 1278. (fn. 27) It is pointed oval and creamy white in colour, and represents the Blessed Virgin seated on a carved throne. In base under a trefoiled arch with carved spandrils supported by a central pillar, a woman kneels, holding up some object. Legend defective: . . . G D RAVENES . . .

The reverse is a smaller pointed oval counterseal of Prior Ralph representing the Blessed Virgin, half length, under a trefoiled arch, the Holy Child on her left knee. In base, in a quadrilobe with arched spandrils, the prior is kneeling in prayer. Legend: . . . ADVLPH PRIORIS D'RAVE. . . .


  • 1. Cal. of Chart. R. i. 447.
  • 2. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i. 37.
  • 3. L. and P. Henry VIII. iv. 1137.
  • 4. Ibid. 6222. Two servants were paid off at the same rate.
  • 5. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), ii. 348.
  • 6. Feud. Aids, i. 110.
  • 7. Ibid. 131.
  • 8. L. and P. Henry VIII. iv. 3538.
  • 9. Ibid. 6788.
  • 10. Ibid. 6222.
  • 11. Pat. 3 Edw. I. m. 32.
  • 12. Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Gravesend.
  • 13. Ibid. Inst Dalderby, 183.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Ibid. Inst. Burghersh, 330d.
  • 16. Ibid. 335d.
  • 17. Ibid. Inst. Bokyngham, ii. 424d.
  • 18. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Repingdon, 466.
  • 19. Ibid. Inst. Chadworth, 141.
  • 20. Pat. 4 Edw. IV. pt. ii., m. 3.
  • 21. Pat. 12 Edw. IV. pt. i., m. 18.
  • 22. Ibid. m. 5.
  • 23. Ibid. 2 Rich. III. pt. iii., m. 2d.
  • 24. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Smith, 387d.
  • 25. Ibid.
  • 26. L. and P. Henry VIII. iv. 1137.
  • 27. Harl. Chart. 44 H, 56.