Friaries: The Dominican nuns of Dartford

Pages 181-190

A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.

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The priory of Dartford was the only house of Dominican nuns, or ' Sisters of the Order of St. Augustine according to the institutes and under the care of the Friars Preachers,' in England. The foundation of such a house was contemplated by Queen Eleanor of Castile, (fn. 1) and her son Edward II took the matter up. He proposed that the Friars Preachers of Guildford should surrender their house to a sisterhood, that the monastery of nuns should be made subject to the friary of King's Langley and should hold endowments for the maintenance of the brethren, who were forbidden by their constitutions to receive endowments for themselves. He petitioned the pope 22 April, 1318, to sanction this scheme, and addressed several Dominican cardinals and the master general on the subject. (fn. 2) These efforts failing, he tried to make over the priory of King's Langley to the sisters, but again failed to secure the papal licence. (fn. 3) At length Pope John XXII, 1 November, 1321, gave full sanction for a new foundation of a monastery of nuns, who should have the same privileges as those of Belmont in Valenciennes. (fn. 4) Edward II requested the master general, 9 March, 1322-3, to choose four devout sisters from one of the houses in France, who should instruct the women to be placed in the new monastery in the observance of regular discipline, (fn. 5) but he was dethroned before he had done anything more in the matter.

Edward III seems to have taken no steps to carry out his father's intention until after Thomas Lord Wake of Liddell, 20 August, 1344, had licence to bring over four or six nuns of the Order of St. Dominic from Brabant and found a house in England. (fn. 6) The king now took measures to establish the monastery projected by Edward II, and Thomas Wake seems to have retired in favour of his royal kinsman. Edward III sought the permission of the bishop of Rochester, 8 October, 1345, to found a house of sisters of the Order of Preachers at Dartford, and the request was supported by the archbishop of Canterbury. The bishop referred the matter (3 November) to the chapter of his cathedral and to the vicar of the church of Dartford, directing special attention to the probable effects of the foundation on the position of the church of Dartford; this was appropriated to the bishop, while a pension was due from the vicar to the chapter. The chapter (13 November) approved the king's plan, but demanded that security should be given against any future diminution of the vicar's portion or of the pension due thence to the chapter. The bishop, having probably applied meantime to the pope, gave the king a favourable answer, 3 February, 1345-6, subject to the indemnification of the parish church against all detriment and to the preservation of episcopal rights. (fn. 7)

The choice of Dartford was probably due to the generosity of William Clapitus, vintner and afterwards sheriff of London, who had before 27 April, 1346, laid out large sums in founding the new monastery at Dartford; to enable him better to bear these charges the king exempted him from certain taxes and other public burdens, (fn. 8) and gave him in December, 1348, the custody of the lands late of Robert le Reyny during the nonage of the heir. (fn. 9) He further granted William Clapitus licence, 29 June, 1349, to assign two messuages and ten acres of land in Dartford to the sisters. (fn. 10) This was probably the site on which the house and church were built, at the west end of the town. In November of the same year the king applied to the pope for confirmation of the new foundation. (fn. 11) The sisters had licence to acquire lands and rents, not held in chief of the crown, to the value of 100 marks a year. (fn. 12) The house with all its goods was committed, 6 January, 1350-1, to the custody of William de Carleton to administer and dispose for its benefit, (fn. 13) and he and William de Thprpe were appointed, March, 1351-2, to superintend the house and to inquire what lands and goods had been left to it for the weal of their souls by some who had died of the late plague, but had escheated to the crown and had passed thence to others contrary to the will and intentions of the donors. (fn. 14) Carleton was summoned to give in his accounts as receiver into the Exchequer, in Hilary term 1352-3, but as he did not then appear the sheriff of London was ordered to distrain him to attend on 1 April. (fn. 15)

The sisterhood was placed under the care of the Friars Preachers of King's Langley, six of whom resided at Dartford. Edward III granted them in 1351 a pension of £20 (5 marks each), and in 1352 paid £192 13s. 4d. towards making them a dwelling-house. (fn. 16) Friar John Woderowe, the king's confessor, was for some time superintendent of the works, (fn. 17) and was succeeded in this office by Friar John of Northampton, who in March, 1353-4 had a tally for £100 on the prior of Spalding in aid of the works. (fn. 18) The king further (1355) caused the profits of all the lands which had escheated to the crown on the death of Roger Bavent to be used for the building of the nuns' houses; (fn. 19) and the profits of some property in London formerly belonging to Augustine and Matilda Waleys were applied to the same purpose in 1356. (fn. 20)

The buildings were so far advanced in 1356 that a community of sisters could now take possession and commence religious observance under the friars already there. Four sisters were brought over from France, for whose expenses £20 was paid from the Exchequer (7 October), and one of them, Matilda, became the first prioress. (fn. 21) Ten more sisters were added, and the king gave them a yearly pension of £100, till a royal endowment of the same amount was made for their maintenance. (fn. 22) On 19 November he made the formal grant of the ' monastery of St. Mary and St. Margaret' for the weal of his soul, the souls of Queen Eleanor and Edward II, of all his ancestors and successors and all the faithful departed. (fn. 23) The pension was increased in 1358 to 200 marks 'out of the issues of our customs and subsidies in the port of London' for the fourteen sisters and six brethren, (fn. 24) with an additional 5 marks a year for each of the four French sisters. (fn. 25) Of the king's bounty they also received four casks of wine a year from the port of London. (fn. 26) The original intention of the founder was to establish a convent of forty nuns, which with the sixty friars of King's Langley would make up the hundred religious contemplated by Edward II when he founded the friary of King's Langley. (fn. 27) It is doubtful whether this number was ever reached.

A series of royal grants and orders shows the progress of the building. The king, 2 March, 1357-8, empowered John Onle to take as many workmen as were necessary for finishing the work, and also such as were needed for carrying timber and stone. (fn. 28) On 24 September, 1358, he gave 200 marks for the construction of the church, and 100 marks for lead to, cover the church and other buildings; (fn. 29)

In the spring of 1361 the masons' work seems to have been approaching completion. Simon Kegwprth and others were appointed to gather as many carpenters, cementers and others as were necessary for the royal works at the priory, and also for carrying stone, timber, tiles, &c., and a writ of 12 April required all sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs and others to aid in the matter. (fn. 30)

The permanent endowments of the house were also growing rapidly. William de Nessefeld and Richard Caumbray were appointed 20 February, 1356-7, (fn. 31) auditors of the issues and profits which the sisters received from their manors, and John de Berland was made seneschal and supervisor of their lands in 1358. (fn. 32) The king authorized the sisters to acquire £300 a year in lands, tenements, advowsons, &c., and receive the letters patent and writs in chancery on account of the same, free of fines and fees. (fn. 33) He also in 1357 made over to them 850 marks out of the 1,000 marks paid by Sir Peter de Braose for certain manors formerly in the tenure of Roger Bavent, (fn. 34) and Queen. Philippa gave them the advowson of the church of Witley in Surrey. (fn. 35) In 1367 the king gave them 1,000 marks for buying lands and tenements for the endowment of their house. (fn. 36)

We give a list of their endowments on 20 July, 1372, when Edward made a formal grant of the priory and its possessions to the community, to hold in free alms. (fn. 37) In or near Dartford, besides the site, the sisters had the lands and tenements granted by John Brond, chaplain, formerly belonging to William Clapitus and Jane his wife, in Dartford, Stone, Wilmington, and Southfleet; a messuage given by John of Chertsey; (fn. 38) three messuages once belonging to Roger Folkes; 2 acres given by Simon Kegworth; one messuage, one dovecote, 30 acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, 15 acres of pasture and 20s. rent, formerly of Robert Mount; 34 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, and 6s. rent in Dartford and Wilmington, formerly of William of Wilmington; seven messuages, two tofts, four gardens, 128½ acres of land, 4 acres of meadow, 30 acres of pasture, 12 acres of marsh and 20s. rent and reversion of a messuage and 8½ acres, formerly of William Newport, citizen and fishmonger of London; a messuage and 7s. rent formerly Nicholas Crofton's; two messuages and a garden, formerly Alexander Folks'; a messuage formerly John Lambyn's; 3 rods of meadow and pasture for two oxen, formerly John Michel's; 16 acres of land, given by John Chipstede and John Walworth, citizens of London, in 1369; (fn. 39) 30 acres of land in Wilmington formerly John Pikman's; two messuages, lands, rents, tenements, and services in Dartford, Wilmington, Stone, Southfleet, and ' Mersch,' (fn. 40) of the yearly value of £40, which Alice Perers formerly held and which she gave up 10 December, 1371, for the priory, receiving from the king in exchange the manor of Wendover; (fn. 41) a plot of land called ' le castelplace ' in Dartford, and 5s. 3d. rent formerly William Moraunt's. In London the sisters had certain property which came to them from Augustine and Matilda Waleys in 1356 and 1358, namely a tenement with six shops in Aldgate, one in Thames Street, (fn. 42) and a messuage and four shops in Fleet Street; (fn. 43) two messuages and three shops in Cordwainer Street, (fn. 44) paying a rent of £10 16s. 8d., acquired in 1358 of Margery de Weston, widow of Robert de Upton; a tenement acquired from the executors of Robert de Hauwode, late citizen and merchant of London; certain annual quit-rents in the parish of St. Martin Orgar, bequeathed to the Friars Preachers of Dartford by Peter. Fyge, fishmonger, 1361; (fn. 45) and 66s. 8d. rent in Tannerfield and Westcheap, belonging to the manor of Portbridge, once Robert Bikenore's. The lands and rights granted to the priory on the death of Roger Bavent consisted of the manors of Shipborne in Kent with rents and services in Mailing; the manors of Norton and Fifhide or Fyfield Bavant in Wiltshire, with certain members and appurtenances of the same in Billegh, Ernewell, Traw, Westwithyhull, Warminster, Bourton at Nash, Burton at More, Ditchampton, Foulestone, Wilton, Gerardston, Rollestone, Parva Durnford, Maddington and Purbeck, in Wiltshire and Dorset; the manors of Hatcham and Pitfold or Putford in Surrey; those of Brandeston arid Combs in Suffolk; the manor of Colwinston in Glamorgan, with lands and tenements in Moldeston, Herefordshire. (fn. 46) Further they had the manor, of Portbridge, Kent, given to the king by John de Bikenore of Clavering, 1366, and the manor of Magna Belstead in Suffolk. (fn. 47) The advowson of the chapel of St. Edmund in Dartford belonged to them, (fn. 48) together with the advowsons of the churches of Witley, with the chapel of Thursley (Surrey), Washbrook, with the annexed chapel of Velechurch, and Appleton (Suffolk), Norton; Fyfield, and St. Michael in West Street, Wilton, (Wiltshire), (fn. 49)

For the tranquillity and quiet of the prioress and convent, the king, 12 August, 1372, exempted them from all royal taxes, gave them all manorial rights, freed the monastery from enforced hospitality towards any magnates or servants of the crown contrary to the will of the prioress, received it and all its goods into the royal protection against the king's purveyors, freed it from all corrodies, and granted the sisters free warren in all their lands. (fn. 50) A royal licence of 18 April, 1373, enabled the community to lease for life or in fee-simple all the manors and lands which they had received of the royal gift. (fn. 51) In July they had the king's grant of the advowson of the church of King's Langley and licence to appropriate it. (fn. 52) A papal brief of Gregory XI had already been granted sanctioning this appropriation on the plea that the means of the sisters were so slender that they could not fitly maintain themselves and support the burdens incumbent on them. (fn. 53) They also had permission to appropriate the church of Norton Scudamore or Norton Bavant and to accept from William of Huntingfield the advowson of the church of Boxworth (co. Camb.). (fn. 54)

Sir John Daunteseye, kt., 11 November, 1373, acknowledged in Chancery his debt of 1,000 marks to the prioress of Dartford and bound himself to pay half at next Michaelmas and half at the Michaelmas following. He released to the prior and friars of Dartford his inheritance of Baventre (?), for which they gave him 300 marks. This sum was restored to the prior of King's Langley and the prioress of Dartford by the king in 1374 and 1376. (fn. 55)

Friar Thomas Walsh being at this time prior of King's Langley and of the house of the sisters at Dartford had a yearly pension of 10 marks granted to him out of the sisters' revenues as long as he remained in office. (fn. 56) The prioress and convent in 1386 granted to William of Gainsborough, clerk, parson of Norton Bavant, a yearly rent of £18 for his life. (fn. 57)

Richard II was reckoned the second founder of the house. (fn. 58) In 1380 he confirmed many of the grants of his grandfather, (fn. 59) and gave the sisters, 3 September, 1384, the manor of Massingham and the reversion of the manor of West Wrotham (Norfolk) to find a chaplain to celebrate mass daily in the chapel lately built in the infirmary, for the relief and maintenance of the sick sisters and friars there, and for continual prayers for the soul of the king and other benefactors. (fn. 60) Richard also granted to the convent in 1392 four messuages, one toft, four gardens, 48 acres of land, 2 acres of pasture, and 12s. 3½d. rent in Dartford, and a tenement built at ' le Hay wharf' in London, all which he acquired of Walter atte Water of Dartford. (fn. 61)

In this reign the plan of endowing the priory of King's Langley through the medium of the sisters of Dartford was at length carried out; the advowson of the churches of 'Wylye' near Baldock and Great Gaddesden (Hertfordshire), the manors of Preston, Elmstone, Overland, Woodling, King's Ham, Westgate, Goodnestone, Wadeslade, Harrietsham, Beaurepaire, and Packmanstone, all in Kent, being granted to the sisters for the use and benefit of the friars of King's Langley. (fn. 62)

Henry IV confirmed the various grants of his predecessor, (fn. 63) and ordered the chief butler to deliver to the sisters all the arrears of the four casks of wine yearly which Edward III had granted in 1357. (fn. 64) In 1404-5 William Makenade and William Cave paid a fine of 5 marks for licence to confer on the priory three messuages with some land and wood in Bexley and Dartford, the whole being worth 13s. 4d. a year besides reprises. (fn. 65) By common recovery the prioress received in 1405 from William Baret of Dickleburgh and Jane his wife three tofts, a dovecote, 104 acres of land, I acre of meadow, 15d. rent, and the liberty of three folds in East Wrotham, West Wrotham, and Elryngton; for this she paid 20 marks of silver. (fn. 66) In 1406 Makenade and Cave had licence to assign to the sisters two tofts, 66 acres of land, 12 acres of ' bruery,' 22d. rent, and the liberty of three folds in West Wrotham; these were held of the countess of Warenne, and were worth 4 marks a year. (fn. 67) In 1407 the same benefactors, with John Martyn and others, had licence to assign to the sisters a messuage called Gyldenhill and another called Fyndares tenement, three tofts, 166 acres of land, pasture and wood, and 3½d. of rent in Sutton at Hone, and 20s. rent from a tenement called Crowchefeld in Dartford. (fn. 68) William Makenade was for many years one of the attorneys of the prioress; in this office he was for some years associated with Friar Walter Durant. (fn. 69)

Confirmations of several earlier grants were obtained from Henry V and Henry VI. (fn. 70)

Early in the fifteenth century the sisters tried to free themselves from subjection to the prior of King's Langley. In 1415 the provincial visited the priory ' for the increase of religion and reformation of due obedience,' and for this purpose sought the help of the king, who commissioned Master John Aylmere and Master Richard Alkyrton to assist his inquiry and to chastise offenders. The question was referred to the pope, and Martin V, 16 July, 1418, decided wholly in favour of King's Langley, to whose obedience the sisters were enforced by ecclesiastical censures. (fn. 71)

In 1436 the convent received a messuage and 17½ acres of wood and land in Dartford from John Martyn, sometime justice of the Common Pleas, William Rotheley (fn. 72) and Walter Greneherst, and 7 acres of wood in Bexley from Martyn, the whole being valued at 10s. 4d. a year. (fn. 73) At the same time licence was given to Thomas Osborn, mercer, and John Selby, citizens of London, to assign to the priory two messuages in St. Alban's parish, Cripplegate Ward, worth 16s. 8d. a year; and the moiety of twenty messuages, part in Cripplegate, part in Broad Street Ward, valued at 58s. 4d. a year. A fine of 26 marks was paid for the mortmain licence. (fn. 74)

In 1446 Edmund Langford, esq., assigned to the prioress and convent all his property in Wood Street and Broad Street near to Austin Friars, consisting of lands, tenements, and rents worth £3 a year. (fn. 75) At this time Margaret Beaumont, daughter of Henry Lord Beaumont, was prioress. Having obtained royal licence 20 November, 1458, she sold with the consent of her chapter a messuage adjoining the churchyard of St. Mary de Arcubus, heavy expenses rendering this necessary. (fn. 76) About this time the bishop of Lincoln compelled the prioress of Dartford to increase the portion of the vicar of Great Gaddesden by 5 marks, and to distribute 4s. yearly to the poor of the parish. (fn. 77)

Of the next prioress, Alice Branthwait, an interesting memorial is still preserved in the British Museum. (fn. 78) It is a manuscript containing ' The Treetis that is kallid Prickynge of Love made bi a frere menour Bonaventure that was Cardynal of the Court of Rome.' On the fly-leaf are the notes:—

Thys boyk longyth to Dame Alys braintwath the worchypfull prioras of Dartford. 'Orate pro anima Domina (sic) Elizabith Rede huius loci . . . (fn. 79) Orate pro anima Joanne Newmarche.' (fn. 80)

In 1471-2 Joan, daughter of Lord Scrope of Bolton, the prioress, obtained further grants of property: namely, from Sir Thomas Ursewyk, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Henry Spelman, Richard Nedeham, and John Colard, the manor of Crokenhill in the parish of Eynsford, Kent, valued at 5 marks a year, some lands and tenements in Eynsford, Lullingstone, and Frindsbury, and elsewhere (valued at £4 5s. 5d. a year in all), and the rent of 20s. out of an inn called 'le Hole Bole,' of old called ' Whalesbone,' in Dartford; further, from the same donors, the manor of Pettescourt in the parishes of Bapchild and Linsted in Kent, with I acre of land and a croft, worth in all 100s. 6d. a year. (fn. 81)

An inquisition taken at Penn in Buckinghamshire 28 January, 1479-80, found that John Hunden, late bishop of Llandaff and formerly prior of King's Langley, and Sir Thomas Montgomery, kt., might assign to the prioress and convent £5 yearly rent at Chenies (Bucks.) (fn. 82); and an inquisition held at Dartford, 1481, found that Sir Thomas Bryan, kt., might assign to them seven messuages in Dartford, 300 acres of land, 36 of pasture and meadow, 200 of wood, and 13s. rent in Dartford, North Cray, and Wilmington, valued altogether at £13 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 83) The obits of other donors of lands were celebrated in the monastery, but the dates and circumstances of their grants are not known: their names are William or John Millett, who gave lands in- Dartford; John Exmewe, who probably gave a tenement in London; William Sedley and John Nedmers. (fn. 84)

Many citizens of London and residents in or near. Dartford left legacies to the sisters, and several were buried in the church or cemetery. Among these benefactors were Thomas Chayner, mercer of London, 1361; Peter Fyge, fishmonger of London, 1361; Henry Vanher, 1394; (fn. 85) Agnes, wife of Richard Fagg of Dartford, 1452, who was buried in ' the cemetery of the Blessed Mary and Margaret, virgins, of Bellomont'; Richard Bolton of Dartford, 1457; John Millman of Dartford, 1462. (fn. 86)

Roger Rotheley of Dartford in 1468 left the nuns 10 marks. Roos Pitt, sister of John Groverste in 1470 left I mark to the convent, 20d. to Joan Stokton and 20d. and a candlestick to Joan Mores, both apparently nuns. The Groverste family, the principal inhabitants of Dartford at this period, were doubtless benefactors of the priory; there was a room in their mansion hung with tapestry, which, according to tradition, was worked by the nuns. (fn. 87)

Catherine, widow of. Sir Maurice Berkeley, late governor of Calais, desired, 1526, to be buried in the chapel of our Lady in this monastery, and ordered that a tomb should be constructed there to her memory at the cost of £13 6s. 8d.: she gave to the monastery a suit of vestments, price £20, and left £8 a year for four years that a priest should sing mass for her soul. (fn. 88) Hugh le Serle of Dartford left by will, 1523, to the convent, after the decease of his wife, half the rents of two tenements in Overy Street, Dartford, the other half to be applied to the repair of St. Edmund's Chapel. (fn. 89) Sir John Rudstone, kt., citizen and alderman of London, bequeathed, 1530, £20 towards the amendment of the walls about the monastery, and white habits to the prioress. and four nuns. Three of these had been gentlewomen to the countess of Salisbury. (fn. 90) John Roper of Eltham, Kent, esq., 1524, left to his daughter Agnes, the nun of Dartford, £13 6s. 8d.; for the prioress and convent £3 6s. 8d.; to the lady Fyneux, sub-prioress, 40s. (fn. 91)

The property of the sisters was managed by a staff of officers. At the head was the high steward or seneschal: John de Berland was seneschal and supervisor of the lands in 1358; (fn. 92) the office was held by William de Nessefeld in 1366. (fn. 93) About 1534) when Thomas Cromwell recommended the appointment of his servant Mr. Palmer as steward, the prioress replied that the office had never been occupied save by one of the King's Council, as Sir Reginald Bray, Sir John Shaw, Mr. Hugh Denys, Sir John Heron, and Sir Robert Dymmock, who had just resigned; she begged Cromwell to accept the post with the usual fee. (fn. 94) The usual fee seems to have been £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 95) Cromwell took the office, and in 1537 received 10 marks as a half-year's fee. (fn. 96) The office of overseer of all the lands or receiver-general was held in 1437 by John Martyn, (fn. 97) in 1535 by Martin Sedley, with a fee of £8, (fn. 98) and at the time of the Dissolution by William Sydenham, with an annuity of 10 marks, potherbs for himself and his servant, and the usual overseer's chamber within the precincts of the monastery. (fn. 99) Other officers were the auditor and the under-steward. William Roper, esq., in 1529 received an annuity of 40s. for acting as steward of the manorial court of Colwinston. (fn. 100) Much of the nuns' land was let on lease; thus in 1437 the sisters were receiving rents from the prior of St. Peter's, Ipswich, for some of their Suffolk property; (fn. 101) in 1533 the sisters leased to Robert Dove of Dartford, husbandman, their principal house in Stoneham or Stanham, with many pieces of land, for thirteen years, at a rent of £20 14s. a year; in 1534 to George Tusser of Dartford their manor of ' Bignours' (Portbridge), their two water-mills called the Wheat Mill and the Malt Mill and other premises for twenty-one years at £12 a year; (fn. 102) in 1538 their property at Bavent Combs (Suffolk) to Sir Richard Gresham for eighty years, for £4 a year; (fn. 103) and other leases were granted on the eve of the Dissolution. They rented from the bishop of Rochester the 'manor and domain' of the rectory of Dartford. (fn. 104)

The friars who served the spiritual needs of the sisters were six in number in the fourteenth century, but in 1535 only three are mentioned, each having an annuity of £5 a year. (fn. 105) John Sill was head of the friars' house in 1396. (fn. 106) The chief of the friars had the title of president; and the close connexion with Langley Regis seems in course of time to have been lost; for in 1481 the provincial had the right of appointing a president with the consent of the sisters, and the prioress had the right of choosing a confessor for the convent. (fn. 107)

Strict discipline and plain living were characteristic of the monastery throughout its existence. Sister Beatrice, the prioress in 1474, obtained a special licence to use linen owing to weakness and old age. Sister Jane Tyrcllis (sic) was permitted by the Master-General of the Dominican Order in 1481 to speak in the common parlour with friends of honourable fame even without a companion. Another sister in 1500 was permitted by the same authority ' to speak at the grill with relatives and friends being persons of no blame.' (fn. 108)

The nunnery was noted as a place of education. Sister Jane Fitzh'er (sic) in 1481 was allowed by the Master-General to have a preceptor in grammar and Latin who might enter the common parlour, where she and other gentlewomen received instruction. (fn. 109) Among these were not only nuns and novices, but also the daughters of nobles and gentlefolks sent to Dartford for their education, and there is some evidence that even boys were taught in the nunnery. (fn. 110) The. practice of admitting secular women was not always approved by the authorities, and was forbidden by the Master-General in 1503. (fn. 111) But about 1520 Elizabeth Cressener, the prioress, was authorized to receive any wellborn matrons, widows of good repute, to live perpetually in the monastery, with or without the habit, and also receive young ladies and give them a suitable training according to the mode heretofore, pursued. (fn. 112)

The monastery formed a retreat for many well-born women, Catherine de Breous, daughter of Sir Thomas of, Norwich, resigned the lordship of Sculthorpe on entering this house in 1378. (fn. 113) Elizabeth Botraus, illegitimate daughter of noble parents, was a nun here in 1412. (fn. 114) Bridget, fourth daughter of Edward IV, was placed in this house, at the age of ten years, when Her mother retired to the monastery of Bermondsey, in 1490; here she took the veil, and here she died, and was buried about 1517. (fn. 115) Lady Fyneux was sub-prioress in 1524, (fn. 116) and several of the prioresses whose names are recorded belonged to noble houses.

Elizabeth Cressener was prioress for nearly fifty years. In her time, between 20 November, 1507, and I November, 1508, was drawn up the rental of the priory, of which an incomplete manuscript still exists; it gives with great minuteness the situation, extent, and tenancy of the convent's lands in Kent and some of those in Norfolk, with the rents and services due, and shows the prioress to have been a careful administrator. (fn. 117) She obtained several privileges from Henry VIII, (fn. 118) and exchanged the four casks of wine granted by Edward III (which she had great difficulty in collecting) for an annuity of £16 put of the customs of London. (fn. 119) The few remaining buildings of the monastery probably date from her time; but the last years of her rule (fn. 120) were full of troubles, great and small. An attempt was made to compel her under the statute of farms (21 Henry VIII) to give up the lease of the lordship, manor, and parsonage of Dartford which she held from the bishop of Rochester. This resulted in a long and costly action, in course of which she had to sue for Cromwell's favour. (fn. 121) A full and formal acknowledgement of the royal supremacy was made by the nuns assembled in their chapter-house 14 May, 1534, in the presence of the commissioners, Friars George Browne and John Hilsey, and the seal of the convent affixed to the deed, though none of the nuns signed it. (fn. 122)

In 1535 the valuation of church property was taken to ascertain the amount of the first-fruits and tenths appropriated to the king under the Act of 26 Henry VIII, cap. 3. The Valor Ecclesiasticus gives the net annual revenues of the monastery as £380 9s. 0½d. The totals do not, however, always correspond with the detailed figures in the Valor. According to these the gross revenue works out at £495 15s. 5d., the charges allowed amounted to £134 9s. 11½d. and so the net annual value is £361 5s. 5½d. The property in Dartford itself was worth yearly £49 9s. 11½d.; that in the rest of Kent £142 8s. 8d.; that in London (including the £16 for wine), £66 11s. 10d.; and that in the rest of England and Wales, £237 4s. 11½d. The manors held by the sisters for the use of the friars of Langley are not included in these estimates.

The deductions allowed by the king's commissioners were chiefly for rents, expenses of management, and the celebration of obits. The alms given by the sisters consisted of £5 I2s. 8d. a year, given twice a week, for the support of thirteen poor by the ancient custom of the monastery; and £6 10s. a year, paid weekly, to five poor out of lands in Swanscombe and Bexley granted for this purpose by William Millet. (fn. 123)

Cromwell shortly after this gaye the stewardship of the house to Mr. Palmer, one of his servants, and the prioress could only escape this indignity by begging Cromwell to accept the post himself. (fn. 124) Her relations with the president of the friars at Dartford was another cause of worry; John Hilsey, provincial of the Black Friars, finding that he could not live quietly with Dr. Robert Strowdel, prior of the London house, unkindly sent him to Dartford; (fn. 125) Strowdel assumed the office of president, for which he claimed the royal authority, and subsequently purchased from Cromwell letters under the founder's seal making him president for life. (fn. 126) In the midst of these and other troubles, Elizabeth Cressener died, probably in December, 1537. (fn. 127) Hilsey recommended to Cromwell the election of Joan Fane or Vane, as prioress; she was good and virtuous and over thirty years of age; there were many older but none more discreet. (fn. 128) She showed her discretion by sending to Cromwell a gift of £100 on her election, (fn. 129) besides a fee of £20 a year as steward, (fn. 130) and by granting to her brother, Sir Ralph Fane, a lease of the manor of Shipborne for ninety-nine years at £5 a year, and stabling for six horses within the monastery, hay, litter, and provender for the horses, board and lodging for two men for his life, with forfeiture of 3s. a day for every day that any part of the grant was not fulfilled. (fn. 131) She also provided for a number of other friends and dependants. (fn. 132)

The dissolution of the priory took place some time after 1 April, 1539, when the bishop of Dover begged Cromwell to let him 'have the receiving ' of Dartford. (fn. 133) Pensions were granted to the nuns; the prioress had a pension of 100 marks; Elizabeth Cressener, perhaps a niece of the late prioress, 106s. 8d.; Agnes Roper, £6; fifteen of the sisters received pensions of 100s. each; one 53s. 4d.; five lay sisters 40s. each, and two others £4 a year each. (fn. 134) Of these twentysix sisters, twenty were still alive and in receipt of their pensions in 1556. (fn. 135) Dr. Strowdel obtained an annuity of £5. (fn. 136) Fees and annuities varying from £4 to 20s. were paid to the clerk, the auditor, the overseer, the physician, some servants and others. (fn. 137) The grant of stabling, &c. to Sir Ralph Fane was in 1540 commuted for an annuity of £20, which was still being paid to his widow in 1556. (fn. 138)

Henry VIII kept the site and buildings of the priory in his own hands as a house for the residence of himself and his successors, and in 1540 made Sir Richard Long, kt., keeper of the same, with wages of 8d. a day. On his decease this office was conferred by Edward VI (1547) on Sir Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, the Protector's brother. In 1548 the king, in consideration of the compulsory surrender of certain lands in Surrey, granted to Anne of Cleves the priory and manor of Dartford. (fn. 139) After her death in 1557 the priory was restored to the Dominican sisters. Seven of the nuns who were inmates of the priory at the Dissolution in 1539 had already been permitted by Queen Mary to re-establish the conventual observance at King's Langley, with Elizabeth Cressener as prioress, and they were now (8 September, 1558) removed to their ancient habitation at Dartford. (fn. 140) Mary died on 17 November, and in 1559 three visitors chosen from the Privy Council came to Dartford and tendered the oaths of supremacy and uni formity first to Richard Hargrave, (fn. 141) provincial prior, and then to each of the nuns separately. All refused to take it, whereupon the visitors sold the goods of the convent at a very low rate, paid the debts of the house, divided what little remained among the sisters, and ordered them to leave within twenty-four hours. The band of Dominican exiles, consisting of two priests, the prioress, four choir-nuns, and four lay sisters, and a young girl not yet professed, joined the nuns of Syon House, and crossed to the Netherlands. They went first to Antwerp and were then sent to Leliendael, where they suffered great hardships; after two months they returned to Antwerp and lived on casual alms till the iconoclastic outbreak in 1566 drove them from that city. At length in January 1573-5 the Master-General ordered the sisters of Engelendael near Bruges to receive charitably into their monastery the three surviving nuns from England. (fn. 142)

The priory, site and buildings again reverted to the crown, and Elizabeth kept them in her own hands and rested at her own house here on her return from progression into Kent in 1559 and 1573. (fn. 143) James I granted the premises to Sir Robert Cecil in exchange for Theobalds, Hertfordshire, and Robert Cecil and his son William conveyed them to Sir Robert Darcy, kt. (fn. 144)

Soon after the Dissolution in 1539, the property of the monastery in Dartford was granted to several persons. (fn. 145) Many tenements in Dartford, including messuages and a wharf (fn. 146) in ' le Hithstrete,' besides lands in Wilmington, were granted to John Beer and Henry Laurence in 1544; (fn. 147) a messuage called Me Bulhedde' and a forge in the tenure of Thomas Yarde, farrier, were granted to John Cokke; (fn. 148) a tenement called the Crown or King's Inn was let to John Thompson. (fn. 149) Martin Bowes, alderman of London, purchased some of the property in Bexley, Welling, and Cray ford in 1540; (fn. 150) Henry Cooke, of London, merchant tailor, bought a house called ' le Tylekyll' in Bexley, and various woods, &c. in the neighbouring, parishes; (fn. 151) Sir Ralph Fane the manor of Shipborne. (fn. 152) The group of manors in East Kent which the nuns held for. the use of the friars of King's Langley was granted to the bishop of Dover for his life, and the reversion purchased in 1544 by Sir Thomas Moyle, one of the general surveyors, for £962 0s. 9½d. (fn. 153) Other purchasers of the priory lands in Kent were Walter Hendle, Sir Percival Harte, John Wrothe, Thomas Babington, and Cyriac Petytte of Canterbury. (fn. 154)


Matilda, 1356, 1372 (fn. 155)
Jane Barwe, c. 1377, 1400 (fn. 156)
Maud, 1413 (fn. 157)
Rose, 1421, 1428, (fn. 158) 1432 (fn. 159)
Margaret Beaumont, 1446, 1460 (fn. 160)
Alice Branthwait, 1461, 1465, (fn. 161) 1467 (fn. 162)
Joan, daughter of Lord Scrope of Bolton, c. 1470 (fn. 163)
Beatrice, 1474 (fn. 164)
Alice Branthwayt, 1475, (fn. 165) 1479 (fn. 166)
Anne Barn, 1481 (fn. 167)
Alice, 1487, 1488 (fn. 168)
Elizabeth Cressener, 1488 or 1489-1537 (fn. 169)
Joan Fane, 1537 (fn. 170)
Elizabeth Cressener, 1557 (fn. 171)

Impressions of several seals of the priory remain. A pointed oval seal of the fourteenth century, in which the legend has been destroyed, represents the coronation of the Virgin, under a canopied niche; on the right, in a smaller niche, a saint with a long staff, perhaps St. Margaret. (fn. 172) The seal affixed to the acknowledgement of the royal supremacy has a full-length figure of St. Margaret, crowned, under a Gothic niche with canopy arid buttresses; in her left hand a book, in her right a long cross with which she is piercing the head of a dragon; below, a king (Edward III) crowned, kneeling, holding a small model church; on either side of the chief figure, a shield pendent on a tree with the arms of England and France. Legend:—


A rough drawing of another seal attached to a deed of 1446 is given by Cole: (fn. 174) this represents two female saints (St. Mary and St. Margaret) seated under a double canopy, both crowned, one having a globe on her knee, the other praying; in niches on either side of them a crowned figure holding a cross with left, and a book with right hand, and a bishop holding a crozier; below, under an arch, a man in armour (the founder) kneeling and holding a model church; on the ground a crown. Legend:—



  • 1. Cat. Papal Let. ii, 217. On the history of the house, see Father Palmer's articles in Arch. Journ. xxxvi and xxxix.
  • 2. R. Rom. et Franc. 11-14 Edw. II, m. 13, 13d.
  • 3. Ibid. m. 9 d.
  • 4. Cal. Papal Let. ii, 217; R. Rom. et Franc. 15-18 Edw. II, m. 13 d. Bull Ord. Praed. (ed. Ripoll Rome, 1730).
  • 5. Close, 16 Edw. II, m. 12 d.; Rymer, Foedera (Rec. Com.), ii, 510.
  • 6. Pat. 18 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 26.
  • 7. Documents printed in Thorpe, Reg. Roff. 312-14.
  • 8. Pat. 20 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 11. He was sheriff of London 1347.
  • 9. Pat. 22 Edw. III, pt. 3, m. 12. The king also supplied Clapitus, who is described as ' warden and overseer' of the house, with wood from the manors of Chiddingly and Oldcourt, Sussex, 12 March, 1348-9; Pat. 23 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 20.
  • 10. Pat. 23 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 22. A tenement and various gardens in Hithe Street, Dartford, most of them held in 1507 by Christopher Todde, and several plots in the north of Dartford, had been granted by William Clapitus. B.M. MS. Arundel, 61, fol. 24, 26, 34b.
  • 11. Cal. Papal Pet. i, 187.
  • 12. Pat. 24 Edw. III, pt. 3, m.,13.
  • 13. R. Fin. 24 Edw. III, m. 5.
  • 14. Pat. 26 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 16 d.
  • 15. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 244, from L.T.R. Memo. R. 27 Edw. III.
  • 16. Pat., 25 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 26. Exch. Issue R. (Pells), Mich. 26 Edw. III, pt. 1 and pt. 2, m. 19, etc. On the position of the friars' quarters see Dunkin, Hist, and Antiq. of Dartford, 168-9, and Arundel MS. 61, fol. 47.
  • 17. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 244-5.
  • 18. Exch. Issue R. Mich. 28 Edw. III, m. 26; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 244-5; Cf. Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt: 1, m. 22; 36 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 10.
  • 19. Pat. 29 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 22; Fine R. 30 Edw. III, m. 10; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 245-6; Orig. R. 30 Edw. III, m. 14.
  • 20. Close, 30 Edw. III, No. 9, m. 6d.; Orig. R. 30 Edw. III, m. 15.
  • 21. Exch. Issue R. (Pells), Mich. 31 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 2.
  • 22. Chart. R. 30 Edw. III, m. 2.
  • 23. Ibid. In the Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 119, it is called the monastery of St. Mary and St. Katherine.'
  • 24. Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 31.
  • 25. Ibid. m. 34.
  • 26. Ibid. 31 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 2.
  • 27. Cal. Papal Pet. i, 187; Chart. R. 30 Edw. III, m. 2; Pat. 30 Edw. III, pt. 3, m. 4. A case reported in the Year Book 38 Edw. III, which probably refers to Dartford, speaks of thirty sisters being contemplated in the foundation charter; Let Reports de Cases en Ley (1679), Mich. 38 Edw. III, p. 28.
  • 28. Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 26.
  • 29. Ibid. pt. 2, m. 27. This sum was a fine paid by Ralph de Middelneye, kt. In the same year the king gave the sisters a 'crayer' with its equipment, which John Godman of Dartford had forfeited to the crown; Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 3.
  • 30. Pat. 35 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 8.
  • 31. Orig. R. 31 Edw; III, m. 18; cf. Pat. 31 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 22.
  • 32. Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 13.
  • 33. Pat. 30 Edw. III, pt. 3, m. 5;. 31 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 24.
  • 34. Pat. 31 Edw. III, pt. 3, m. 1; Cf. Coll. Topog. et Geneal. vi, 76.
  • 35. Pat. 31 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 12; Witley in diocese of Winchester. Cf. Cal. Papal Pet. i, 244; Winton Epis. Reg. Will, de Edendon, vol. 1, fol. 98; vol. 2, fol. 38; Cal. Papal Let. iv, 517.
  • 36. Arch. Journ. from Exch. Issue R. Mich. 41 Edw. III, Easter, m. 1.
  • 37. Pat. 46 Edw. III, m. 28; cf. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A. 5280. A translation is given in Dunkin's Hist. and Antiq. of Dartford, 115, and the charter is printed in Dugdale, Mon. vi, 538.
  • 38. A chaplain was maintained to celebrate for John of Chertsey and his family till the Dissolution; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 119-20.
  • 39. Close, 43 Edw. III, m. 16d.
  • 40. The saltmarsh of Dartford; B.M. MS. Arundel, 61, fol. 37.
  • 41. Orig. R.45 Edw. III, m. 30, 34; Pat. 45 Edw. III, pt: 2, m. 7.
  • 42. Probably the dyehouse bought by John Lambard in 1544; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), 1035 (47).
  • 43. One tenement here called 'le Bell' paid a rent of 9s. to the prior of St. John of Jerusalem in England; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120.
  • 44. Cf. Cal of Wills Proved in Ct. of Husting, Lond. ii, 166; Close, 49 Edw. III, m. 32 d. 34; Pat. 49 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 3; Pat. 19 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 3. The sisters had some difficulty about this property in 1384, as their tenant, John of Northampton, draper, was convicted of high treason. Close, 8 Ric. II, m. 38.
  • 45. Cal of Wills proved in Ct. of Husting, Lond. ii, 331.
  • 46. Feet of F. Suff. file 94, No. 5; cf. Close, 36 Edw. III, m. 43.
  • 47. Pat. 40 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 26. For the manor of Bignors or Portbridge they paid a quit-rent of 10s. to the Knights Hospitallers; Dunkin, Hist. and Antiq. of Dartford, 286.
  • 48. Many presentations to this chapel are noted in Dunkin, Hist, and Antiq. of Dartford.
  • 49. Cf; Cal. Papal Let iv, 517.
  • 50. Chart. R. 46 Edw. III, m. 2.
  • 51. Pat. 47 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 7.
  • 52. Ibid. pt. 2, m. 34. From the church of King's Langley a pension of 2 marks a year was due to the priory of St. Oswald Nostell till 1390 when various persons granted the prior and convent lands in exchange for the pension; Pat. 13 Ric. II, pt. 3, m. 28.
  • 53. Line. Epis. Reg. Buckingham, vol. 1, fol. 305; Clutterbuck, County of Hertford, i, 435.
  • 54. Pat. 47 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 32, 30.
  • 55. Close, 47 Edw. III, m. 12 d.; Exch.Issue R. Mich. 49 Edw. III, m. 8; 50 Edw. III, m. 4; 51 Edw. III, m. 18.
  • 56. Pat. 48 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 21.
  • 57. Close, 9 Ric. II, m. 21 d.; Pat. 9 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 22.
  • 58. Weever, Fun. Monum. 335.
  • 59. Chart. R. 3 Ric. II, No. 1; Pat. 4 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 29. A fine of 5 marks was paid for the confirmation.
  • 60. Pat. 8 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 25, printed in Dugdale, Mon. vi, 539; translation in Dunkin, Hist, and Antiq. of Dartford, 121. These manors were held by several tenants during the life of Catherine de Breous or Braose, who became a nun at Dartford in 1378. See below.
  • 61. Pat. 16 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 31.
  • 62. Pat. 17 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 35; cf. Rot. Parl. iii, 61; Pat. 22 Ric. II, pt. 3, m. 15.
  • 63. Pat. 1 Hen. IV, pt. 2, m. 24; pt. 5, m. 2; Chart. R. 1 Hen. IV, pt. 2, m. 14.
  • 64. Close, 1 Hen. IV, pt. 1, m. 29.
  • 65. Inq. a.q.d. fol. 436, No. 10; Pat. 6 Hen. IV, pt. 1, m. 15.
  • 66. Feet of F. Norf. 7 Hen. IV, No. 61.
  • 67. Inq. a.q.d. file 437, No. 2; Pat. 8 Hen. IV, pt. 1, m. 29.
  • 68. Inq. a.q.d. file 438, No. 16; Pat. 8 Hen. IV, pt. 2, m. 14. Some of these were subject to quitrents to the Knights Hospitallers; Dunkin, op. cit. 286.
  • 69. e.g. Pat. 11 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 4; 14 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 36; Pat. 5-6 Hen. IV, pt. 1, m. 29.
  • 70. Chart. R. 1 Hen. V, pt. 1, m. 8; Pat. 1 Hen. VI, pt. 5, m. 32; 3 Hen. VI, pt. 1, m. 13.
  • 71. Pat. 3 Hen. V, pt. 2, m. 36; Bull. Ord. Praed.; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 256-7.
  • 72. Five cottages in Dartford were given to the priory by Roger Rotheley (L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), 690 (15)), who died in 1468, leaving 10 marks to the convent; Dunkin, op. cit. 129.
  • 73. Inq. a.q.d. file 448, No. 8; Pat. 16 Hen. VI, pt. 2, m. 30.
  • 74. Inq. a.q.d. file 448, No. 7; Pat. 16 Hen., VI, pt. 2, m. 30.
  • 75. Inq. a.q.d. file 450, No. 29. In 1460 30s. rent was still payable by the prioress for messuages in Wood Street near the church of St. Mary Staining; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), B. 2082.
  • 76. Pat. 37 Hen. VI, pt. 1, m. 18.
  • 77. Line. Epis. Reg. Chadworth, fol. 8b.
  • 78. Harl. MS. 2254.
  • 79. Possibly prioress.
  • 80. Another volume belonging to the house is in Bodl. MS. Douce 322, a fifteenth-century collection of religious poems by Lydgate, devotional treatises by Richard of Hampole and others, given to the nunnery by William Baron, esq., 'specially to the use of Dame Pernelle Wrattisley, sister of the same place,' his niece.
  • 81. Inq. a.q.d. file 453, No. 13. Two obits were celebrated yearly for John Reynauds for lands given by him in Pettescourt and ' Belstede Parva'; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120.
  • 82. Inq. a.q.d. file 454, No. 19.
  • 83. Ibid.
  • 84. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 119-20. Elizabeth Exmewe was a nun at the time of the Dissolution.
  • 85. Cat. of Wills proved in the Ct. of Husting, Land. ii, 37, 76, 331.
  • 86. Dunkin, op. cit. 126-8.
  • 87. Ibid. 129-30; cf. ibid. 13 and 286; the nuns held, land in Soceden (?) formerly belonging to John Groyerste.
  • 88. P.C.C. Porch, 10; Weever, Fun. Monum. 335.
  • 89. Dunkin, op. cit. 145.
  • 90. Harl. MS. 1231, fol. 1.
  • 91. Arch. Cant, ii, 169.
  • 92. Pat. 32 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 12.
  • 93. Pat. 40 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 37.
  • 94. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 1634. Dymmock was high steward in 1535; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120.
  • 95. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), 782.
  • 96. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), 782 (p. 318).
  • 97. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A. 3739.
  • 98. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120. In Jan. 1536-7 Thomas Maykyn, overseer, was granted 5 marks annually from a ' selda' in West Cheap; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 265.
  • 99. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 266.
  • 100. Ibid. 263. On a claim suit for arrears of rent here 1518, see Ducatus Lane. Cal. ii, 15.
  • 101. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A. 3739.
  • 102. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 263.
  • 103. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, 723.
  • 104. Dunkin, op. cit. 125.
  • 105. a Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 120.
  • 106. b Dunkin, op. cit. 122.
  • 107. See extracts from the registers of the MastersGeneral of the Dominican Order in Arch. Jeurn. xxxix, 177-8; cf. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 1322.
  • 108. Reg. of the Masters-General, Arch. Journ. xxxix, 177.
  • 109. Ibid.
  • 110. Thus Friar John George of Cambridge seems to have received his early education from the nuns of Dartford; L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 939; Gasquet, Hen. VIII and the Engl. Mon. i, 183.
  • 111. Arch. Journ. xxxix, 178.
  • 112. Ibid. Cf. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 1634; the prioress petitions Cromwell that none be received into the house 'except they be of the same profession and habit as themselves.'
  • 113. Blomefield, Norf. (1807), vii, 173.
  • 114. Cal. Pap. Let. vi, 392.
  • 115. Some details about her will be found in Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 261. She had a pension of 20 marks a year from her sister Elizabeth of York; her grandmother bequeathed to her in 1495 the Legenda aurea, a life of St. Catherine of Siena and a life of St. Hilda.
  • 116. Arch. Cant, ii, 169. See also Plumpton Corresp. (Camd. Soc.), 14-15.
  • 117. B.M. MS. Arundel 61. Of the 15 tenements which the priory owned in the main street of Dartford, four or five were inns or hostels.
  • 118. L. and P. Hen. VIII, i, 825, 3527.
  • 119. Ibid. ii, 2021, 2101. (A.D. 1516).
  • 120. She was at her own request absolved from her office by the General Master in 1527, but was soon reinstated; Arch. Journ. xxxix, 178.
  • 121. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 666,1264; App. 34; ix, 1104.
  • 122. Ibid. vii, 665, given in full in Dunkin, op. cit. 148-50.
  • 123. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 119-20. No account is taken of offerings, and there are a few other omissions, e.g. the manor of Billegh in Tisbury, Wilts, valued at £4 a year in the Ministers' Accounts, 34 Hen. VIII, is omitted; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 539.
  • 124. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 1634.
  • 125. Ibid. xi, 1322, 1323.
  • 126. Ibid. xiv (2), 782. He gave Cromwell £4 for his confirmation.
  • 127. Ibid. xi, 1324, 1325, 1-326. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 265.
  • 128. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 1324-6.
  • 129. Ibid. xiv (2), 782.
  • 130. Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 662; 1 Jan. 1538-9.
  • 131. Ibid.
  • 132. Ibid.
  • 133. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), 661.
  • 134. Ibid. 650. The pensions seem to have been paid, though irregularly. See Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 269.
  • 135. 'Cardinal Pole's Pension Book'; Arch. Cant, ii, 49 et seq.
  • 136. Ibid. 56.
  • 137. Ibid.; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 266-7.
  • 138. Ibid.
  • 139. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, 713, 722; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 269; Hasted, Hist. and Topog. Surv. of Kent, i, 220.
  • 140. Pat. 5 & 6 Phil. and Mary, pt. 3, m. 20; Arch. Journ. xxxvi, 270; Reliq. xix, 218.
  • 141. His letter to the Master-General, dated Antwerp, 1 Oct. 1559, is the chief authority for these events; printed in Pio, Delle Vite Degli Huomini de S. Dominico (1607), 337.
  • 142. Arch. Journ, xxxvi, 271; xxxix, 179; B.M. Add. MS. 32446.
  • 143. Nichols, Progresses of Queen Eliz. i, 73, 350.
  • 144. Hasted, Hist. and Topog. Surv. of Kent, i, 220; Dunkin, op. cit. 184.
  • 145. The accounts of the property in Mins. Accts. 30-1 Hen. VIII (Kent), No. 105 et seq. are incomplete, some of the membranes being lost.
  • 146. The priory or ' le Hegge wharf; see Dunkin, op. cit. 327-8.
  • 147. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), 690 (15).
  • 148. Ibid. 166 (25).
  • 149. Ibid. (1), 648.
  • 150. Ibid. xv, 611(25).
  • 151. Ibid. xix (2), 166 (71).
  • 152. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. 23, m. 26.
  • 153. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), 610 (67); cf. ibid. 981 (36).
  • 154. Ibid. xiv (2), 113 (15); xix (2), 34 (36), 36 (60), 527(15). 340(2).
  • 155. Exch. Issue R. Mich. 31 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 2; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A. 5280; Pat. 46 Edw. III, m. 28.
  • 156. L.T.R. Memo. R. Mich. 9 Hen. V, m. 9 (in reference to 22 Ric. II); Pat. 7 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 30; 9 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 22; 11 Ric. II, pt. 1, m. 4; 14 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 36; Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 258; Pat. 2 Hen. IV, pt. 1, m. 9; cf. Dunkin, op. cit. 123 (confused with Joan, daughter of Lord Scrope).
  • 157. a Exch. K.R. Accts. bdle. 81, No. 9.
  • 158. b Ibid. No. 13.
  • 159. L.T.R. Memo. R. Mich. 9 Hen. V, m. 9; Dunkin, op. cit. 124.
  • 160. Inq. a.q.d. 25 Hen. VI, No. 12; Pat. 37 Hen. VI, pt. 1, m. 18; Close, 37 Hen. VI, m. 7 d. Weever, Fun. Monum. 335; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), B, 2082; Dunkin, op. cit. 125.
  • 161. a Exch. K.R. Accts. bdle. 84, No. 10.
  • 162. Dunkin, op. cit. 127; Cart. 5, 6, 7 Edw. IV, m. 5; B.M. Harl. MS. 2254; Roch. Epis. Reg. vol. 3, fol. 235 d.
  • 163. Weever, Fun. Monum. 335; Inq. a.q.d. file 453, No. 133.
  • 164. Arch. Journ. xxxix, 177 (from the Reg. of the Masters Gen. of the Dominican Order).
  • 165. a Exch. K.R. Accts. bdle. 82, No. 15.
  • 166. b Ibid. No. 16.
  • 167. Arch. Journ. xxxix, 177 as above.
  • 168. Ibid.
  • 169. Ibid.; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 1322, 1324, 1325.
  • 170. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 1324, 1325; xiii (2), App. 38; xiv (1), 650.
  • 171. Arch. Journ. xxxix, 179.
  • 172. B.M. Seals, lxv, 40.
  • 173. Cf. B.M. Seals, xlv, 36.
  • 174. Add. MS. 5846, fol. 389. 'Inter chartas societatis de Leathersellers Lond. dat. 1446, 25 Hen. 6.'
  • 175. In the British Museum are also impressions of the seals of Joan Fane, prioress; and of William Spencer, servus of the prioress in 1416.