Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Peterstone

Page 391

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

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The priory of St. Peter of Peterstone (de Petra S. Petri) was founded in the parish of Burnham St. Clement, or Overy, as a house or hospital under the Austin rule, towards the close of the twelfth century. Blomefield states that it was to some extent subordinate to Walsingham Priory from its foundation, but this is doubtful. (fn. 1)

From a return made 2 Henry IV of the appropriated churches of the diocese, we find that the church of Beeston was appropriated to this priory in the year 1200, and the church of West Lexham in 1229. (fn. 2)

Some time in the reign of Henry III there was a dispute between the canons of Walsingham and Thomas prior of the hospital of Peterstone. The priory of Walsingham, which held the appropriation of the church of Burnham St. Clement, had granted to the master and brothers of the hospital a free chantry in their chapel with right of burial, for which they were to pay a mark yearly. On the refusal of payment, however, it was recovered with the arrears.

Messuages and lands were granted in 1336 to the prior and Austin Friars (sic) of Peterstone to the yearly value of 18s. 5d., (fn. 3) and other small grants were made at different dates.

The taxation roll of 1291 returned the temporalities of Peterstone at £20 10s. 10¼d. a year, and the spiritualities at £3 6s. 8d. (fn. 4) The temporalities of this priory were valued in 1428 at £20 10s. 10d. a year, and their spiritualities at £27 4s. 2d. (fn. 5) When a crown return of the appropriated churches of the diocese was called for, in 1416, the reply from Peterstone Priory was that they had held the rectory of West Lexham since 1229, but that they were in sore straits from the results of the pestilence of 1349, the inundation of 1378, and the still more serious inundation of 1387. (fn. 6)

This priory having fallen into considerable decay was annexed to Walsingham Priory in the year 1449. (fn. 7) In the episcopal registers where the bishop's sanction to the union is recorded, Peterstone, named as a hospital, is described as being insufficient, poverty-stricken, much dilapidated, and having its income reduced to twenty marks a year; a pension of 13s. 4d. was reserved to the cathedral priory of Norwich. (fn. 8)

Priors Of Peterstone

Thomas; (fn. 9) occur temp. Hen. III

Philip (fn. 10)

Simon, occurs 1248, (fn. 11) 1250 (fn. 12)

Geoffrey, (fn. 13) occurs 1270

Roger, (fn. 14) occurs 1272

Eustace de Barsham, (fn. 15) elected 1308

Warin de Reppes, (fn. 16) elected 1314

Thomas de Warham, (fn. 17) elected 1339

John de Howhurd, (fn. 18) elected 1349

John de Massingham, (fn. 19) elected 1365

John de Dunton, (fn. 20) elected 1375

William Bryflet, (fn. 21) elected 1393

Dionysius de Warham, (fn. 22) elected 1396

Richard Hulme, (fn. 23) elected 1433


  • 1. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. vii, 23-25.
  • 2. Norw. Epis. Reg. viii, 130.
  • 3. Pat. 10 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 38.
  • 4. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 78, 92, 93, 97-98, 100, 103, 105-6.
  • 5. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf.
  • 6. Norw. Epis. Reg. viii, 130.
  • 7. Pat. 28 Hen. VI, pt. i, m. 18.
  • 8. Norw. Epis. Reg. xi, 378.
  • 9. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. vii, 24.
  • 10. Called predecessor of Simon, prior in 1250; Assize R. 560, m. 11.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. vii, 24.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Norw. Epis. Reg. i, 28.
  • 16. Ibid. i, 58.
  • 17. Ibid. in, 31.
  • 18. Ibid iv, 115.
  • 19. Ibid. v, 65.
  • 20. Ibid. vi, 44.
  • 21. Ibid. 183.
  • 22. Ibid. 225.
  • 23. Ibid. ix, 63.