Alien houses: The priory of Throwley

Pages 239-240

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

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The alien priory of Throwley, a cell to the abbey of St. Bertin at St. Omer in France, was founded about the middle of the twelfth century. Hugh de Chileham, son of Foubert of Dover, by a charter (fn. 1) near the end of the reign of Stephen granted the church of Chilham to the abbey; and William de Ipra by another charter about the same time granted the churches of Chilham and Throwley. The grants were confirmed by Stephen, Pope Anastasius IV, and Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury; and afterwards by Henry II and Richard I and by later archbishops.

Sir Nathanael de Levelande claimed the chapel of Leaveland against the monks, but yielded when the abbots of Faversham and Boxley were appointed to settle the dispute. Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, then claimed it; but Pope Alexander III ordered the bishops of Exeter and Worcester to hear the case, and it was proved that the chapel was one of those belonging to the church of Throwley, as granted to the monks by Archbishop Theobald. (fn. 2) About the same time Henry de Insula endeavoured to withdraw himself from the parochial jurisdiction of Throwley, but was forced to submit to the abbot. The property of the priory consisted almost entirely of spiritualities, its temporalities being valued at only £1 0s. 6d. in the Taxation of 1291. In an extent (fn. 3) taken in 1324, the temporalities were valued at £5 5s. 4d., and the churches at £83 yearly.

The priory, being alien, was taken into the king's hands during the war with France, but in the reign of Edward III it was divided, the abbot of Langdon paying £40 yearly for the church of Chilham with the chapel of Molash, while the prior paid £32 yearly for the remainder. (fn. 4)

The abbot and convent of St. Bertin had licence in 1385 to grant the manors of Throwley, Chilham, and Molash to William de Hoo, knight, and his wife, brother and sister for their lives, these rendering £81 yearly at the Exchequer, performing all the works of charity established there, and paying tenths and other quota with the clergy. (fn. 5) In 1386 a commission was appointed to inquire about wastes committed in the priory and its possessions. (fn. 6)

The priory and its possessions came into the hands of Henry V by the Act of Dissolution passed in his reign; and he granted the manors, rectories or churches of Throwley, Chilham, and Molash to Thomas, duke of Exeter, and others, who on 13 July, 1424, granted them to the abbess and convent of Syon in Middlesex, the grant being confirmed by Henry VI in 1443. (fn. 7)

Priors of Throwley

Peter, occurs 1297 (fn. 8)
Walter le Blok, occurs 1326 (fn. 9)
Giles de Ardenburgh, occurs 1356 (fn. 10)
Bartholomew, occurs 1370 (fn. 11)


  • 1. For these charters see Cal: of Doc. France, 483491.
  • 2. Ibid. 487-8.
  • 3. Carte Misc. (Aug. Off), 8, No. 1.
  • 4. Close, 11. Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 37; 12 Edw. III, pt. 1, m. 20.
  • 5. Pat. 8 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 1.
  • 6. Pat. 9 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 18 d.
  • 7. Pat. 22 Hen. VI, pt. 1, m. 9.
  • 8. Prynne, Records, iii, 707.
  • 9. Exch. K.R. Alien Priories, bdle. 5, No. 4.
  • 10. Close, 30 Edw. III, m. 9 d.
  • 11. Exch. K.R. Alien Priories, bdle. 10, No. 10.