College: Blessed Mary at Manton

Page 163

A History of the County of Rutland: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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The college of Manton was founded in connexion with the altar of Blessed Mary within the parish church, by Sir William Wade and others, in the year 1356. (fn. 1) The founder had represented the shire in Parliament from 1342 to 1352, and was afterwards buried at Manton. (fn. 2) His college was designed for three chaplains, of whom one was to be warden, and their main duty was to sustain the divine office in the church. Every day they were to sing three masses: the first a requiem for the founder and all Christian souls; the second, at the celebrant's discretion, was to be a mass of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Cross, Blessed Mary, or St. Thomas of Canterbury; the third was to be of the season. (fn. 3) The advowson of the parish church was afterwards, in 1383, granted to the warden and chaplains by John Wade the rector, who was the founder's brother. (fn. 4)

The records of the college are very meagre, but it seems to have been fairly well maintained. William Villiers, who was made warden in 1491, (fn. 5) and his successor, Robert Newton, were remembered as faithful to their office, and for their good deeds in repairing and beautifying the church. (fn. 6) In their time and afterwards there was but one chaplain besides the warden.

In 1534 the revenues of the college were stated to amount to £13 8s. 8d. clear, apart from the parish church. (fn. 7) In 1548 the warden was said to be of honest conversation and repute, aged seventy-eight years, and no longer able to serve a cure: he was also vicar of 'Aynsford' (fn. 8) Oxfordshire. His colleague, William Smith, served the church of Manton: their stipends were respectively £13 10s. 6d. and £9 8s. The Chantry Commissioners pleaded that a vicar was very necessary, as the rectory was appropriated to the chantry, and there were 100 houseling people in the parish: but their recommendations do not seem to have had much effect. (fn. 9) The college was dissolved, and its revenues were granted to Gregory Lord Cromwell: (fn. 10) the ornaments of the church, valued at £27 3s. 4d., went into the royal treasury. (fn. 11)


  • 1. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Gynwell, fol. 163.
  • 2. Wright, Hist. of Rut. 85.
  • 3. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Gynwell, fol. 163. On great feasts such as Christmas and Easter all the masses might be of the season.
  • 4. Pat. 6 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 9.
  • 5. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Rotherham, fol. 75.
  • 6. Wright, Hist. of Rut. 86. A brass plate to their memory was erected in the church.
  • 7. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 343. John Gorle was warden at this time and also in 1548.
  • 8. a Probably an error for Eynsham.
  • 9. P.R.O. Chant. Cert. 39, no. 2.
  • 10. Wright, Hist. of Rut. 86.
  • 11. P.R.O. Chant. Cert. 39, no. 2.