Colleges: Wingham

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

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'Colleges: Wingham', in A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2, ed. William Page( London, 1926), British History Online [accessed 21 July 2024].

'Colleges: Wingham', in A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Edited by William Page( London, 1926), British History Online, accessed July 21, 2024,

"Colleges: Wingham". A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Ed. William Page(London, 1926), , British History Online. Web. 21 July 2024.

In this section


The foundation of the college of St. Mary, Wingham, was completed by John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury, who made statutes (fn. 1) for it on 18 February, 1287. In these he states that the scheme originated with his predecessor Robert, who obtained a bull from Pope Gregory X on 23 December, 1273; and he himself took it up and finally came to an agreement with Tedissius de Camilla, rector of Wingham, in the time of Pope Honorius IV. The college was to consist of a master or provost and six canons, all to be appointed by the archbishop. The provost had a portion assigned to him and houses near the rectory for his habitation; and of the six canonries two were to be priestly, with prebends at Chilton and Pedding, two diaconal, with prebends at Twitham and Bonnington, and two subdiaconal, with prebends at Retling and Womenswold. The provost and canons might all appoint vicars under them, who were to be either priests or deacons, and the altarages of Ash, Nonington, and ' Goodwinstone,' were assigned for the maintenance of these. One of the canons was to be appointed steward for the administration of the common goods, and was to pay a daily, portion of 12d. to each resident canon, reserving the rest for the common needs. The conditions of residence were prescribed. The foundation and statutes were confirmed by Edward I on 7 June, 1290. (fn. 2)

Pope Nicholas IV in 1291 granted indulgence to penitents visiting the church at certain times; (fn. 3) and in 1292 he gave licence for the archbishop to grant land in Wingham to the canons to build houses upon. (fn. 4) The canons had licence in 1306 to acquire land in ' Goodwinstone ' to build houses upon; (fn. 5) and in 1441 they received lands in Preston, Ash, Staple, Wingham, and Stourmouth for a chantry for William Cokkowe. (fn. 6)

The archbishop in 1287 appointed Peter de Geldeford provost and also filled all the canonries except Twitham. (fn. 7) The vicarage of Wingham was appropriated to the provostship, and Peter was granted licence for non-residence until he should receive all the fruits; and he was also allowed to retain the church of Bishopsbourne for life. (fn. 8). In 1298 he had a grant of protection for one year while going to Rome. (fn. 9) He was deprived of the provostship shortly afterwards by the archbishop, who appointed James de Gobeham; but when Peter died at Rieti the pope appointed Amedeus de Sahcto Johanne provost. A struggle followed, James protesting that Amedeus was only seventeen years old and not in orders, but the latter secured a dispensation from the pope in 1301, and retained possession. (fn. 10)

William de Handle, provost, had an indult in 1306 to enjoy the fruits of his benefice and of the churches of Wootton and Hasely though non-resident for seven years for the purpose of study; (fn. 11) and in 1313 he had a further licence of non-residence for three years. (fn. 12)

In 1328 the provost had become too feeble to perform his duties, and the rector of Monkton in Thanet was appointed to act as his coadjutor. (fn. 13)

In 1344 John de Bourne, provost, had licence of non-residence for three years while studying at a university. (fn. 14)

Bernard Berardi de Montegasino and Thomas de Clipston obtained papal provisions to the provostship in the middle of the fourteenth century, but neither appears to have secured possession. (fn. 15)

In 1374 John Fordham, provost, was allowed to hold a parish church for two years together with the provostship; (fn. 16) and in 1391 William de Wyndesore, provost, who had spent much on the repair of the church, was given leave of absence for three years; (fn. 17) and was also allowed to hold another benefice for one year, as Wingham was near the seaport by Sandwich and so he was put to excessive expense in hospitality. (fn. 18)

Archbishop Warham made a visitation (fn. 19) of the college on 16 September, 1511, Henry Ediall, prior, said that the foundation was for eight vicars choral, but now there were only four; each canon had to give an ornament to the house at the end of his first year of residence, and also to serve his term of residence in his own house and at his own table, but none observed this. The house of one of the canons was very ruinous. The prior held. two incompatible benefices, and was ordered to show a licence for this. The chaplain of. Ash was a monk of Boxley, and one of the vicars a monk of Evesham, and both were, ordered not to cease wearing the monastic habit.

Richard Benger, one of the canons, got into trouble in 1535 for upholding the cause of the pope, but the matter seems to have been dropped. (fn. 20) About the same time the parishioners of Ash complained to Cromwell that the canons had usurped the vicarage to their own use for the last twenty-two years and let it to farm to temporal men, who put in the cheapest curates they could obtain. Within a quarter of a year they had seven curates. By their complaint to the archbishop the canons were compelled to appoint a curate, but kept from him the tithes of wool and lamb. (fn. 21)

In the Valor (fn. 22) of 1535 the gross income of Master Edmund Cranmer, provost, was given as £65 6s. 8d.; from which deductions had to be made of £9 to the resident parish priest, £3 to the sexton of Wingham, and £22 to Master William Warham, late provost, for life. The gross income of the six canons was £143 7s. 8½d. and their net income £84 5s. 11d., the deductions including the salaries of five priests serving the cures at the chapels of Ash, Overland, Richborough, Nonington, and Womenswold, and two priests, two choristers, and a sexton in the church of Wingham. In 1546 the gross income of the college was given (fn. 23) as £209 12s. 4d. and the net income £170 18s. 7d. It was suppressed in the first year of Edward VI, and the gross income was then said to be £187 15s. 8d.; and it possessed 40 oz. of gilt plate, 6 oz. of parcel gilt, and 89¼ oz. of white. (fn. 24)

The site and possessions of the college were granted on 16 June, 1553, to Henry Palmer, knight, and his heirs. (fn. 25)

Provosts of Wingham

Peter de Geldeford, appointed 1287, (fn. 26) occurs 1298 (fn. 27)
James de Gobeham (fn. 28)
Amedeus de Sancto Johanne, occurs 1301, 1305 (fn. 29)
William de Handle, occurs 1306, (fn. 28) resigned 1317 (fn. 30)
Walter de Kemeseye, appointed 1317, (fn. 30) occurs 1318 (fn. 31)
John de Brutpn, occurs 1321 (fn. 32)
John de Bourne, occurs 1344, (fn. 28) resigned 1351 (fn. 33)
Robert de Solbery, appointed 1351, (fn. 34) died 1359 (fn. 35)
William de Traty nton, appointed and resigned 1359 (fn. 36)
John de Severley, appointed 1359, (fn. 36) died 1365 (fn. 37)
William Reed, appointed 1365 (fn. 37)
John Fordham, occurs 1374 (fn. 38)
William de Wyndesore, appointed 1374, (fn. 39) resigned 1401 (fn. 40)
Andrew Yonge, appointed 1401 (fn. 40)
Matthew Assheton, occurs 1434 (fn. 41)
Thomas Moonie, occurs 1436 (fn. 42)
Thomas Rotheram, occurs 1467 (fn. 43)
John Coppyng, died 1495 (fn. 44)
Thomas Mortpn, appointed 1495 (fn. 44)
Henry Ediall, occurs 1511, (fn. 45) died 1520 (fn. 46)
William Warham, appointed 1520 (fn. 47)
Edmund Cranmer, occurs 1535, (fn. 48) the last provost (fn. 49)


  • 1. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Peckham, fol. 32; Dugdale, Mon. viii, 1341.
  • 2. Pat. 18 Edw. I, m. 26.
  • 3. Cat. Papal Let. i, 543.
  • 4. Ibid. 548.
  • 5. Pat. 35 Edw. I, m. 46.
  • 6. Pat. 19 Hen. VI, pt. 3, m. 28; Pat. 7 Edw. IV, pt. 2, m. 12.
  • 7. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Peckham, fol. 34b, 35.
  • 8. Ibid.; Cal. Papal Let. i, 497.
  • 9. Pat. 26 Edw. I, m. 15.
  • 10. Cal. Papal Let. i, 593.
  • 11. Ibid ii, 4.
  • 12. Ibid. 115.
  • 13. Lit. Cant. (Rolls Ser.), i, 268.
  • 14. Cal. Papal Let. iii, 124; Cal. Papal Pet. i, 50.
  • 15. Cal. Papal. Let. iii, 483, 484, 516; Cal. Papal Pet. 1, 239, 261, 320, 338.
  • 16. Cal. Papal Let. iv, 199.
  • 17. Ibid. 357.
  • 18. Ibid. 370.
  • 19. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Warham, fol. 37.
  • 20. L. and P. Hen, VIII, viii, 386-7.
  • 21. Ibid, ix, 1110.
  • 22. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 36.
  • 23. Chant. Cert. 29, No. 15.
  • 24. Ibid. 28, No. 15.
  • 25. Pat. 7 Edw. VI, pt. 4.
  • 26. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Peckham, fol. 34d.
  • 27. Pat. 26 Edw. I, m. 15.
  • 28. See above.
  • 29. Pat. 33 Edw. I. pt. 1, m. 11.
  • 30. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Reynolds, fol. 19.
  • 31. Pat. 11 Edw. II, pt. 1, m. 5.
  • 32. Ibid. 14 Edw. II, pt. 2, m. 9.
  • 33. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Islip, fol. 257. He joined the Friars Minor (Cat. Papal Let. iii, 483; Cal. Papal Pet. i, 261).
  • 34. Ibid.
  • 35. Ibid, 338.
  • 36. Ibid. 281-2.
  • 37. Ibid. 503.
  • 38. Cal. Papal Let. iv, 199.
  • 39. Pat. 48 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 6.
  • 40. Cant. Archiepis; Reg. Arundel, vol. I, fol. 276.
  • 41. Pat. 12 Hen. VI, pt. 2, m. 23.
  • 42. a Cal. Papal Let. viii, 615.
  • 43. Pat. 7 Edw. IV, pt. 2, m. 12.
  • 44. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Morton-Courtenay, fol. 159.
  • 45. Ibid. Warham, fol. 37.
  • 46. Ibid. fol. 370.
  • 47. Ibid. He was archdeacon of Canterbury and had a papal dispensation to hold the provostship in addition without residence (B.M. Stowe Chart. 590).
  • 48. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 36.
  • 49. Chant. Cert. 28, No. 15.