Colleges: Manchester

Page 167

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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The parish church of Manchester was incorporated in 1421 at the instance of Thomas la Warre, its rector and last lord of the manor of his name, who endowed the college with certain lands and the advowson of the church. The royal licence was given on 22 May in that year. (fn. 1)

The college was to consist of nine chaplains: a master or warden, and eight fellows with other ministers (fn. 2) who were to celebrate for the healthful state of the king, Bishop Langley (head of the founder's feoffees) and La Warre while they lived and for their souls after death, as well as for the souls of the parishioners and of all the faithful departed.

About the time of the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace a correspondent of Lord Darcy wrote that 'This week past, Manchester College should have been pulled down and there would have been a rising, but the Commissioners recoiled.' (fn. 3) This must surely have been a false alarm, for the commissioners had no power to deal with the colleges.

The college was, however, dissolved in 1547, but refounded by Queen Mary. The ancient common seal of the college, an impression of which is appended to the foundation deed of St. George's Gild in the collegiate church, represented the Assumption of the Virgin; at the base the Grelley and La Warre shields. Legend:



  • 1. S. Hibbert-Ware, Hist. of the foundations of Manchester, iv, 145. Further details will be found in the account of the church.
  • 2. Ibid. 163. From the founder's letter presenting the first warden, we learn that the 'other ministers' were from the first four clerks and six choristers (ibid. 173). In 1546 two of the priest fellows served the parochial cure, the rest 'kept the choir;' Lancs. Chantries, 8.
  • 3. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xi, 635.
  • 4. Lancs. Chantries, 29.