House of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Rothley

A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1954.

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, 'House of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Rothley', in A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2, (London, 1954) pp. 31-32. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "House of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Rothley", in A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2, (London, 1954) 31-32. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "House of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Rothley", A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2, (London, 1954). 31-32. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

In this section



The Knights Templars already possessed land at Rothley in 1203, when King John confirmed to them 5 librates of land there, given by John de Harecurt. (fn. 1) A further 10 librates of land at Rothley were given to the Templars by John de Harecurt some years later, probably in 1218-19, (fn. 2) but it is unlikely that a preceptory of the Order of the Temple was established at Rothley until Henry III, in 1231, granted the manor and advowson of Rothley to the Templars in free alms. (fn. 3) The church of Rothley, a large parish with five dependent chapels, was appropriated in. 1240. (fn. 4) A rental of c. 1250 gives the yearly revenue of Rothley Bailwick as £62. 10s. 5d., besides a rent of 5 marks from the Rothley mills. (fn. 5) The revenue from Rothley was used to furnish a pittance for the Templars at Acre. (fn. 6) Early in the 14th century the Templars had granges at Baggrave and Gaddesby, where they themselves carried on farming. (fn. 7)

In 1308 Rothley was seized by the Crown, together with the Templars' other possessions in England. (fn. 8) An inventory of the Templars' goods at Rothley, drawn up in 1309, mentions the hall and chapel of the preceptory, and lists the livestock, including more than 350 sheep and lambs, belonging to it. (fn. 9) The preceptory of Rothley thus came to an end, though its lands were later transferred to the Hospitallers. (fn. 10)

Preceptors of Rothley

Stephen of Todmershe. (fn. 11)
John Feversham. (fn. 12)
Walter of Ewenightewith. (fn. 13)
William of Wald. (fn. 14)
Alexander blundus. (fn. 15)
William of Colewell, occurs 1271. (fn. 16)

No seal is known.


  • 1. Rot. Chart., 1199-1216 (Rec. Com.), 104.
  • 2. Rott. Lit.Claus., 1224-7 (Rec. Com.), 402.
  • 3. Cal. Chart. R., 1226-57, 135.
  • 4. Rot. Ric. Gravesend, ed. F. N. Davis, 162-4; cited by A. Hamilton Thompson, 'The Vicars of Rothley', T.L.A.S. xii, 122-3. The appropriation was to take effect when the rectory became vacant.
  • 5. G. T. Ckrk, 'Customary of the Manor and Soke of Rothley', Archaeologia, xlvii, 96.
  • 6. Cal. Pat., 1272-81,159; cited by G. F. Farnham, 'Rothley. The Descent of the Manor', T.L.A.S. xii, 44.
  • 7. T.L.A.S. xii, 45.
  • 8. Ibid. 45.
  • 9. T. H. Fosbrooke, 'Rothley. The Preceptory', T.L.A.S. xii, 32-34. The inventory is also printed in Nichols, Leics. iii, 947-8, where the date 1293 is assigned to it in error.
  • 10. See the account of Dalby and Heather, below.
  • 11. Customary of the Manor and Soke of Rothley (1881), ed. G.T. Clark, 13. The dates and order of the first 5 preceptors are unknown.
  • 12. Ibid. 14.
  • 13. Ibid. 17.
  • 14. Ibid. 38.
  • 15. A Cal. of Chart. and Other Doc. belonging to the Hosp. of Wm. Wyggeston, ed. A. Hamilton Thompson, 542.
  • 16. Ibid. 545.