A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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The date of foundation of this priory is not certain, but it was in existence in the time of Robert, bishop of London (1141-1151), to whom Michael Capra and Rose his wife and William his son and heir address a charter (fn. 3) granting to Tobias the prior and the canons a hide of land round the church and other things. This may possibly be the foundation charter. The name of the priory appears first as Ginges, then as Gingetobye (probably from the prior), and afterwards as Thoby. It was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Leonard. The advowson belonged later to the Mounteney family.
The church of Mountnessing was appropriated to the priory, and a vicarage ordained. The temporalities mentioned in the Taxation of 1291 amount to £13 16s. 1d. yearly, made up of £7 15s. 4d. in Great Burstead, £2 6s. 8d. in Warley, £1 13s. in Ingrave, and other sums in Ramsden Cray, Shellow, Mountnessing, Shenfield, Staundon, Rawreth, Ingatestone, Springfield and Colchester. Very few entries relating to the priory are found in records.
The priory was dissolved (fn. 4) by John Alen, an agent of Wolsey, on 15 February, 1525, its spiritualities being valued (fn. 5) at £18 13s. 4d. and its temporalities at £56 13s. 6½d. yearly. By an inquisition (fn. 6) taken on 8 August, it was found that there were at Thoby at the time of the suppression a prior and two canons, and that the prior had since died and the canons had been transferred to other places. Among the possessions of the priory were included the manors of Thoby, Mountnessing, Bluntswalles (in Great Burstead) and Cubfold, and the church of Mountnessing. Wolsey granted (fn. 7) it to Cardinal's College, Oxford, on 10 February, 1526. After Wolsey's fell it was granted (fn. 8) to Sir Richard Page for life on 24 December, 1530; and later the reversion on his death was granted (fn. 9) in fee to William Berners, one of the auditors of the Court of Augmentations, and Dorothy his wife on 24 April, 1539.
Priors of Thoby
Tobias, (fn. 10) occurs circa 1150.
Adam, (fn. 11) occurs circa 1185.
Ralph. (fn. 12)
H. (fn. 13)
William, occurs 1227. (fn. 14)
Henry, (fn. 15) occurs 1242, 1245, 1252.
John de Pleyces or Plessych,appointed 1306. (fn. 16)
Thomas de Parco, resigned 1393. (fn. 17)
John Ponde, died 1430. (fn. 20)
Thomas, occurs 1447. (fn. 23)
William Ely, occurs 1457. (fn. 24)
Richard Mulcent, resigned 1461. (fn. 25)
John Bedford, resigned 1490. (fn. 28)
William Walden, collated 1490. (fn. 29)
John London alias Hersy, (fn. 30) the last prior.