Friaries: The Carmelite friars of Blakeney

Page 425

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

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At Blakeney alias Sniterley, a house of White Friars, dedicated to the honour of the Blessed Virgin, was established in 1296, when John and Michael Storm and John and Thomas Thobury, copyhold tenants of Sir William Roos, lord of the town, gave 13½ acres of land to the Carmelities, with the consent of the king and the lord. The friars were to build a chapel and necessary buildings on the site, and to pray for Sir William Roos and Lady Maud his wife, as their principal founders. Sir William gave them 100 marks towards building their church and houses, and promised to build their hall and kitchen, as well as proper chambers suitable for him and his heirs whenever they should think proper to stay there. (fn. 1) The church and all the offices were not completed until 1321. (fn. 2)

Pardon was granted to the Carmelites of Blakeney, in 1316, for acquiring in mortmain without licence, 1½ acres of land from Michael Bret, with leave to extend their dwellings and build thereon. (fn. 3)

These friars were evidently prospering, for there were several other enlargements of their site. Thus in 1331 licence was granted to the prior and convent to receive in mortmain from John Tolour the younger and Richard Storm 4 acres adjoining their house. (fn. 4)

In 1337 John Storm granted to the prior and Carmelite Friars of Sniterley 4 acres of land for the enlargement of their house, (fn. 5) and fifteen years later there was yet another extension. (fn. 6)

This house was suppressed towards the close of 1538. (fn. 7) In February, 1542, the king granted the house and site to William Rede, mercer of London, and Anne his wife; but in the following month Rede transferred it to Sir Richard Gresham. (fn. 8)

Among the spoils of church plate from the suppressed Norfolk houses were '100 oz. gilt and 54 oz. white, with two paxes of ivory' from the White Friars of Blakeney. (fn. 9)


  • 1. Tanner, Notitia, Norf. viii; Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. ix, 365.
  • 2. Steven, Continuation of Mon. vol. ii, App. 454.
  • 3. Pat. 9 Edw. II, pt. ii, m. 25.
  • 4. Ibid. 5 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 23.
  • 5. Ibid. II Edw. III, pt. i, m. 23.
  • 6. Ibid. 26 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 6.
  • 7. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (2), 508.
  • 8. Ibid. xvii, 104 (69).
  • 9. Ibid. 139.