Colleges: Staindrop

Page 129

A History of the County of Durham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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The college of Staindrop was founded in 1408 by Ralph earl of Westmorland. The establishment was to consist of a master or warden and certain other resident chaplains and clerks, with a number of poor and decayed gentlemen or other poor persons. (fn. 1) It seems probable that the earl intended the house to serve as a place of retirement for his retainers and servants when they grew old or infirm. In 1544 six of the inmates were 'gentlemen sometime in the service' of the then earl. (fn. 2) Four years later the household consisted of the master, four priests, brethren of the house, two choristers, two lay clerks, five poor gentlemen, six poor yeomen, and two poor grooms, all 'brethren.' (fn. 3)

The college, which really partook more of the nature of a mediaeval hospital, was built near Langley Beck, to the north of the church. Apparently Joan Beaufort, countess of Westmorland, carried out or completed her husband's design, for Leland states that 'Johan erectid the very house self of the college.' (fn. 4)

The original endowment consisted of two messuages and 12 acres of land in Staindrop, with the advowson of the church there. (fn. 5) Later the churches of Lytham, (fn. 6) co. Lancaster, and Brigham, (fn. 7) co. Cumberland, were appropriated to the college in augmentation of its revenues. The clear value at the dissolution amounted to £126 5s. (fn. 8)

In 1412 Bishop Langley confirmed the appropriation of Staindrop church to the college, and ordained that, lest the cure of souls should suffer neglect, a perpetual vicarage should be instituted, the vicar to be appointed by the warden and chaplains of the college. The house was to pay 40s. per annum to the bishop, and 20s. to the convent of Durham, as an indemnity for any loss which the church might suffer by this arrangement. (fn. 9) This vicarage lasted until the dissolution, when all the possessions of the college were surrendered to the crown, a small stipend only being reserved for the officiating minister. (fn. 10)

Masters of Staindrop

Robert Knayton, clerk, occ. 1432 (fn. 11)

John Norman, occ. 1438 (fn. 12)

William Lambert, occ. 1457, 1477 (fn. 13)

Thomas Nevill (fn. 14)

William Pollard, app. 20 July, 1498, p.m. Nevill (fn. 15)

John Claymond, M.A., app. 19 October, 1500 (fn. 16)

William Mawdesley, app. 1501, p.r. Claymond (fn. 17)

Edmund Nattres, occ. 1537 (fn. 18)

William Garnett, occ. 1548 (fn. 19)


  • 1. Surt. Hist. Dur. iv (2), 134.
  • 2. Ibid. 135.
  • 3. Chant. Cert. Surt. Soc. Publ. vol. 22, App. vi, p. lxxiv.
  • 4. Itin. (2nd ed.), i, 85.
  • 5. Surt. Hist. Dur. iv (2), 134.
  • 6. Pat. 2 Hen. IV.
  • 7. Pat. 16 Hen. VI.
  • 8. Surt. ut supra. The value in the Chant. Cert. of 1548 is £144 8s. 6d.
  • 9. Reg. Eccles. Dun. iii, 37.
  • 10. Surt.Hist. Dur. iv (2), 137.
  • 11. Madox, Formul. Angl. 143.
  • 12. Rot. Neville, B. No. 15 in dors.
  • 13. Surt. Hist. Dur. iv (2), 135.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Rot. 2 Fox, m. 11.
  • 17. Ibid. m, 17.
  • 18. Surt. ut supra; Leland, Itin. i, 92.
  • 19. Chant. Cert. Surt. Soc. Publ. vol. 22, App. vi, p. lxxiv.