House of Premonstratensian nuns: The priory of Orford

Page 209

A History of the County of Lincoln: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906.

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The priory of Orford or Irford, in Staintonle-Vale, was probably built some time during the reign of Henry II by Ralf d'Albini, in honour of Blessed Mary. (fn. 1) Scarcely anything is known of its history. There is a notice of its poverty in 1341, when the nuns were allowed to appropriate the church of Wragby. (fn. 2)

A nun of Orford was excommunicated in 1491 by Bishop Redman for breach of her vow of chastity, her partner in crime being a canon of Newhouse. (fn. 3) There are no notices of visitation of this house in Bishop Redman's register, but he issued some regulations as to the reception of nuns here and at Broadholme. None were to be admitted unless they could read and sing— and only under the form authorized for use in the order. (fn. 4)

The house was not dissolved, as it might have been, under the first Act of Suppression; and during the Lincoln rebellion the prioress was required to furnish a horse for Dom William Moreland, late of Louth Park, to ride upon. (fn. 5) There were seven nuns and a prioress when the surrender was finally made on 8 July, 1539. (fn. 6) Dr. London made the same general remarks about this house as he did of Heynings and Nuncotham. (fn. 7) The prioress received a pension of £5, and her sisters annuities of 40s, or 26s. 8d. (fn. 8) She and four others were living in 1553, and one of them had married. (fn. 9)

The original endowment is unknown. In 1341 William Roos, of Hamlake, gave the nuns the advowson of Wragby church to assist their poverty, and it was still appropriated to their house at the dissolution. (fn. 10) Their revenue in 1534 was £13 19s. 9d. clear, including the rectory of Wragby. (fn. 11) The Ministers' Accounts came up to £25 5s. 7d.

Prioresses of Orford

Julian de Redmere, (fn. 12) occurs 1341

Joan Thompson, (fn. 13) last prioress, occurs 1534


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 936.
  • 2. Pat. 15 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 47; Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Bek, 75 d.
  • 3. Ashmole MS. 1519, fol. 94-113.
  • 4. Ibid. 37.
  • 5. Gasquet, Hen. VIII and the English Monasteries, ii, 60.
  • 6. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), 1235.
  • 7. Wright, Suppression of Monasteries, 213.
  • 8. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), 1280.
  • 9. Exch. Accts. bdle. 76, No. 26.
  • 10. Pat. 15 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 47.
  • 11. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 78.
  • 12. Close, 15 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 42 d.
  • 13. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), 1280.