Alien houses: The priory of Minting

Pages 239-240

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

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The priory of Minting, for Benedictine monks, was founded in consequence of a grant made by Ranulf de Meschines, earl of Chester, to the abbey of Fleury. The grant was made before 1129, (fn. 1) but it is uncertain when the priory was actually built; the earliest mention of a prior is in 1213.

The priory does not seem to have done the parent abbey much credit. About 1238 Bishop Grosteste wrote to the abbot requesting him to send a prior who knew the way of truth, and would walk in it fearlessly and lead his brethren to salvation. This request received no attention, and a few years later he wrote again still more strongly. He told the abbot he ought not to send to such a distance from their home any but men long tried and found faithful; those who had been at Minting lately had been wont to live luxuriously with harlots; they had enriched themselves, known no obedience to rule, and had been given to much eating and drinking, not being ashamed to eat meat even on Wednesdays. The monks of Fleury might be all that could be desired; but this English cell was a disgrace to them. One brother had been deposed for incontinence, disobedience, wandering abroad, and eating flesh contrary to the rule; three others for holding private property, intolerable disobedience, frequenting houses of ill-repute, and taking part in sports not merely idle and worldly, but actually sinful. More than one complaint of this kind had been made, but the last state of the house was worse than the first. (fn. 2)

It is to be feared that the abbots of Fleury looked upon their English property mainly as a source of revenue, and cared little about the conduct of the brethren sent to take charge of it.

In 1322 Bishop Burghersh issued a commission for the visitation of the priory, and for the absolution of the prior, who on a former visitation had refused admission to the commissioners. (fn. 3)

The priory was in the king's hands in 1337, 1344, and 1346 on account of the wars with France. (fn. 4) It is probable that the losses of this time rendered it unable to support more than one or two monks. In 1403 it was being farmed by a clerk, William Spenser. (fn. 5) It was finally granted in 1421 to the Carthusian priory of Mount Grace. (fn. 6)

The original endowment included the manor and church of Minting, and the church of Gautby, with other lands. (fn. 7) The church of Lavington also belonged to the priory in the fourteenth century. (fn. 8) Its total revenue was valued in 1384 at £41 11s. 8d.; and in 1387 its goods and chattels were worth 50 marks. (fn. 9)

Priors of Minting

Raymond, (fn. 10) occurs 1213

John, (fn. 11) appointed 1239, occurs 1240

William, (fn. 12) occurs 1322

John Chauvel, (fn. 13) resigned 1327

William de Sargolio, (fn. 14) presented 1327, resigned 1330

William le Spicer, (fn. 15) presented 1330, resigned 1334

John Chaperon, (fn. 16) presented 1334, occurs to 1345

Peter de Soliaco, (fn. 17) presented 1349, resigned 1358

Simon de Naudaria, (fn. 18) presented 1358


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1023. Ranulf died in 1129.
  • 2. Epis. Grosseteste (Rolls Ser.), 168, 319.
  • 3. Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Burghersh, 70 d.
  • 4. Pat. 11 Edw. III, pt. iii, m. 10; ibid. 18 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 35; ibid. 20 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 26.
  • 5. Acts of the Privy Council (Rec. Com.), i, 190-3.
  • 6. Pat. 9 Hen. V, pt. ii, m. 19. The grant was again confirmed in 1462; ibid. 1 Edw. IV, pt. vi, m. 14, 13.
  • 7. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1023.
  • 8. Pat. 10 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 26.
  • 9. Add. MS. 6164, fols. 370, 480.
  • 10. Lansd. MS. 207 C, fol. 256.
  • 11. Linc. Reg. Epis. Rolls of Grosteste; Boyd and Massingberd, Abstracts of Final Concords, 317.
  • 12. Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Burghersh, 70 d.
  • 13. Ibid. Inst. Burghersh, 1.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Burghersh, 29.
  • 16. Ibid. 52; and Close, 19 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 22 d.
  • 17. Ibid. Inst. Gynwell, 54.
  • 18. Ibid. 83.