Friaries: The Carmelites of Bridport

Pages 95-96

A History of the County of Dorset: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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In a letter of which the superscription is lost the writer, who represents himself as the special protector of the Carmelite order, requests his correspondent 'to permit the friars to perform divine offices without molestation or difficulty in the oratory which they have built at Bridport. The letter was probably written by Cardinal Ottobon, papal legate in England 1265 to 1268, to Walter de la Wyle, bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 1) In 1269 the Carmelites of Bridport received a legacy of 2s. from Christina de Strikelane, widow, of Bridport. (fn. 2)

The house had only a brief existence. In 1365 Sir John Chideock, knt., applied for licence to confer on the provincial prior and Carmelite Friars of England 3 acres of land in Bridport for the establishment of a friary, together with a mill the profits of which would supply them with bread, wine, wax, and other things necessary for celebrating masses. An inquiry being held, the jurors declared that the grant would be injurious to the patron and rector of the church of Bridport, and the licence was not given. (fn. 3) It would appear from this that the original settlement had either ceased to exist or that the friars were for some reason compelled to vacate their premises. No further attempt to re-establish the Carmelites in Bridport appears to have been made.


  • 1. Bodl. MS. Laud. Misc. 645, fol. 135; other letters in the collection appear to have been written by a papal legate about this time.
  • 2. Hutchins, Hist. of Dorset (ed. 3), ii, 19.
  • 3. Inq. a.q.d. file 355, No. 13. The writ says 10a., the return 3a.