Alien houses: The priory of Brimpsfield

Pages 102-103

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

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The alien priory of Brimpsfield was a cell of the Benedictine monastery of St. Wandrille in Normandy. (fn. 1) Although no exact information exists about the founder and the date of the endowment, there can be little doubt that one of the Giffards, after 1086 and probably before 1100, gave the church of Brimpsfield and a small grant of land to the abbot and convent of St. Wandrille. (fn. 2) The abbot and convent of St. Wandrille sent one of their monks to act as their bailiff or proctor, they presented him as prior to the bishop of Worcester, and the custody of the manor of Brimpsfield was committed to him; the bishop instituted him, and issued a mandate that he should be inducted into the priory. (fn. 3) Brimpsfield was not a conventual house, and accordingly, when the alien priories were seized in time of war against France, the custody was not restored to the prior for payment of a ferm to the exchequer, but remained in the king's hands. (fn. 4) The manor was very small, and in an extent of 1293 its goods and chattels and yearly produce were only valued at £6 19s. (fn. 5) In 1374 the church was worth 12 marks a year. (fn. 6)

The priory was finally seized in 1414 under the Act for the confiscation of the alien priories. In 1441 Henry VI gave it to Eton College, (fn. 7) and Edward IV confirmed the grant in 1467. (fn. 8) However, in 1474 he bestowed the property on the dean and chapter of Windsor. (fn. 9)

Priors of Brimpsfield (fn. 10)

Gilbert, 1289 (fn. 11)

Robert le Masiner, 1290 (fn. 12)

Thomas le Brykebek, 1311 (fn. 13)

Roger de Argenciis, 1327 (fn. 14)

Richard de Hente, 1328 (fn. 15)

Roger de Hegneto, 1329 (fn. 16)

John Fabrun, 1361 (fn. 17)

Peter le Cerbonour resigned 1363 (fn. 18)

Simon Halley, 1363 (fn. 19)


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. vii, 1048. St. Stephanus de Fontanello, i.e. St. Wandrille.
  • 2. Osbern Giffard held Brimpsfield in 1087; cf. Taylor, Domesday Surv. of Glouc. 272.
  • 3. Worc. Epis. Reg. Giffard (Worc. Hist. Soc.), 357, 365, 368; cf. notes to list of priors.
  • 4. There is no record of any institution of a prior between 1327 and 1361, when the alien priories were restored.
  • 5. MS. Add. 6164 (B.M.), fol. 46.
  • 6. Reg. Sede Vac. (Worc. Hist. Soc.), 308.
  • 7. Dugdale, op. cit. vii, 1048.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. The list is necessarily very incomplete, as the sole source is the registers of Worcester.
  • 11. Worc. Epis. Reg. Giffard (Worc. Hist. Soc.), 357.
  • 12. Ibid. 368; ob. 1311, ibid. Reynolds, fol. 34d.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. Ibid. Cobham, fol. 131.
  • 15. Ibid. Orlton, fol. 16d.
  • 16. Ibid. fol. 23.
  • 17. Ibid. Brian, fol. 31d.
  • 18. Ibid. Barnet, fol. 26.
  • 19. Ibid.