Colleges: Holy Trinity or Thoresby, Lynn

Pages 454-455

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

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Thomas Thoresby was a great merchant of Lynn; his father had been mayor of the town in 1442 and 1456, his grandfather in 1425, and he was himself mayor in 1477, 1482, and 1502. The south chancel aisle, with a chapel and tomb, of St. Margaret's church, was his work; all that has been swept away, but his memory is preserved in the college founded by him early in the sixteenth century.

He directed, by his will, dated 1510, that his executors were to provide two secular priests 'to sing and do service divine perpetually and daily ' after his decease, in his chapel in the church of St. Margaret. He adds by his will to the endowment of the charnel priest, founded by his predecessor, Walter Cany, and then continues: ' I will that the said charnel priest and also the said two priests that shall sing continually for my soul shall have convenient chambers in the college newly by me builded in Lynn.'

This college, begun in 1502, (fn. 1) was designed for the lodgement of these and other priests serving St. Margaret's church and the chapels of St. James and St. Nicholas. It was unfinished at his death, and he left towards its completion 500 marks, or more at the discretion of his executors. There was to be a master of the college, each priest' had his chamber, but they had their commons in the hall. (fn. 2)

The Valor of 1535 mentions 'Trenite College in Lynne ' in connexion with the Gild of the Merchants. There was a master with a stipend of £6 13s. 4d., and two chaplains each with a stipend of £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 3)

The date of the destruction of this college is not known. A special commission appointed in 1561 to inquire into the chapels, colleges, and chantries of Lynn, reported:—

We saye there was a house which was called Trenytie College, the founder thereof was one Thomas Thursbye, late of the same town, merchant, but to what use it was founded we know not, which college was sold by the mayor of the saide towne to one (Houghton, now owner thereof.) (fn. 4)


  • 1. Mackerell, Hist. of Lynn, 224.
  • 2. Beloe, King's Lynn, 97-103. Much of the college remains, and is well described and illustrated in this volume.
  • 3. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 402.
  • 4. Exch. Spec. Com. 1524.