Colleges of secular canons: Shrewsbury

Pages 114-123

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.

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The church of St. Chad appears in Domesday Book as a well-endowed and already ancient institution, closely linked with the bishopric of Lichfield. In the late Anglo-Saxon period the church held 1½ hide in Shrewsbury and 5½ hides in the neighbouring townships of Bicton, Onslow, Little Rossall, and Shelton. (fn. 1) It also possessed more distant estates, comprising 8 hides, at Broughton and Yorton to the north of Shrewsbury, Little Eton in Pitchford, Marton in Chirbury, and Wrentnall in Pulverbatch. (fn. 2) Domesday records that the bishop was its overlord at Shelton. (fn. 3) In the 13th century the college's estate at Broughton was also said to be of the bishop's fee (fn. 4) and, despite the silence of Domesday, it is likely that most of the other St. Chad's manors had at one time been the bishop's demesne manors. Other indications of close ties between church and bishop are not lacking in Domesday. An obscure reference to the 16 canons whom the bishop 'used to have' in Shrewsbury (fn. 5) was plausibly interpreted by Eyton (fn. 6) as a reference to the canons of St. Chad. They were said to be exempt from geld and the extent of their obligations to the bishop was not known in 1086. (fn. 7) Among the manors near Shrewsbury, which the bishop held in demesne in 1086, Betton was shortly afterwards granted to Shrewsbury Abbey, Crowmeole formed part of the original endowment of Buildwas Abbey, and Longner-on-Severn passed into lay ownership. (fn. 8) Tithes from these manors, however, continued to be paid to St. Chad's. (fn. 9) In addition the church received tithes from Welbatch and Woodcote, manors which were already in lay hands by 1086 (fn. 10) but may once have formed part of the bishop's estate, and from Horton. (fn. 11)

All the manors in or near Shrewsbury held at Domesday by the bishop or by the church of St. Chad were later accounted part of St. Chad's parish. Among the church's more distant manors Little Eton was ceded to Pitchford when that parish was created in the early 12th century, (fn. 12) but it was a member of the Liberties of Shrewsbury until the close of the Middle Ages. (fn. 13) Broughton (with Yorton) remained a chapelry of St. Chad until the Dissolution. (fn. 14) The ancient parish included the greater part of Shrewsbury within the walls. To the west it included a compact group of townships to the south of the Severn, stretching from Frankwell to the boundary of the manor of Ford and broken only by detached portions of Shrewsbury St. Alkmund and St. Julian. (fn. 15) Welbatch to the west of the town and Betton to the east were detached portions of the parish of St. Chad, but it is possible that Betton became so detached only through the appropriation of the eastern suburbs of Shrewsbury by Shrewsbury Abbey.

The size and structure of the parish suggests that St. Chad's was the oldest of the Shrewsbury churches, but its foundation date and the date at which it became collegiate are alike unknown. It is supposed to have been founded not more than a century after the death of St. Chad, first bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 16) Archaeological evidence seems to confirm this, (fn. 17) and medieval Welsh literary evidence suggests that the bishops of Lichfield may have obtained possession of the endowments of a Celtic church at Shrewsbury. (fn. 18)

There are indications in Domesday Book that the college of canons which had served St. Chad's in Anglo-Saxon times had ceased to exist. Canons, presumably of St. Chad's, are mentioned only once and then in the past tense; (fn. 19) elsewhere the institution is referred to either as 'St. Chad' or as a 'church'. The 16 canons may once have lived in the 16 houses which the bishop held in Shrewsbury in 1086, but at that time these houses were occupied by burgesses. (fn. 20) Such circumstances would make it easier to explain the evident shrinkage of the college estates in the generation before Domesday, when Wrentnall had been lost by means which the jurors could not or would not specify (fn. 21) and at least three other manors had passed into the possession of lay under-tenants. (fn. 22)

The college was reorganized, if not refounded, by an early-12th-century bishop of Chester and thereafter consisted of a dean and ten canons, all in the bishop's collation. Although the church was said to have been dedicated during the episcopate of Walter Durdent (1149-59), (fn. 23) who in 1152 obtained a papal bull confirming his rights as patron, (fn. 24) the change is more likely to have been made in the time of Durdent's predecessor, Roger de Clinton (112948). Clinton was described as founder of St. Chad's in 1546. (fn. 25) He may well have seen fit to adjust the endowments of the college when he granted other parts of his mid-Shropshire estate to Buildwas Abbey c. 1135, (fn. 26) for by 1278 the college was in possession of 21 burgages in Shrewsbury which had formerly belonged to the bishop, including his dominicum hospicium. (fn. 27) Clinton may also have assigned to the college tithes from the former episcopal estates at Alkmere, Betton Strange, and Longner-on-Severn. At about the same time the chapel at Little Eton was converted into the church of the newly-created parish of Pitchford, but the great tithes of this portion of the Anglo-Saxon endowments of St. Chad's were reserved to the college. (fn. 28)

The endowments of the reconstituted college were more modest than those of the pre-Conquest foundation. They were valued at only £19 in 1291 (fn. 29) and there is little reason to suppose that any serious inroad had been made into the estate between the early 12th century and 1326, when it included the great tithes of Broughton and Yorton, Little Eton, and twelve townships within the ancient parish of St. Chad. Rents of 53s. 2d. a year were derived from property in Shrewsbury, Broughton and Yorton, Little Eton, Onslow, Little Rossall, and Shelton, but many of these were merely quit-rents and the only considerable landed property belonging to the college was a carucate and 37 a. at Shelton.

By 1326 the greater part of these endowments had been apportioned to the dean. He received all the tithes from seven townships, portions of tithes in four others, and 37s. 10d. in rents. The greater part of the Shelton estate also lay in his portion and he held a court twice yearly both for his tenants and for the canons'. Most of the canons drew their income from a single township — four of them from Yorton and three from Shelton. In addition each canon, with the dean, shared in a common fund, which included income from the great tithes of Horton and Little Eton, and each was entitled to oblations in the parish church on every eleventh week. (fn. 30)

No significant change was made in sources of income between 1326 and the Dissolution. The rise in the gross value of the college estate in this period was due to the endowment of obits and chantries, (fn. 31) which benefited the vicars choral and parish clergy rather than the canons. The total income of the dean and canons was said to be only £14 14s. 4d. in 1535, when the dean's portion was £8 and only one of the canons received more than £1 a year. (fn. 32) In 1546, when the gross income of the college was put at £38 6s. 8d., the share of the dean and canons had apparently risen to over £21. (fn. 33) Two valuations of 1548 conflict. In the earlier and more detailed the dean was said to receive £21 3s. 4d. and seven of the canons a total of £10 2s. 2d., while a further £18 12s. 10d. appears to have formed a common fund for the three remaining canons, the vicars choral, and other parish clergy. (fn. 34) The later valuation, like the earlier, gave a gross valuation of nearly £50 but put the dean's portion at only £10 and that of the ten canons at a total of £9 6s. 2d. (fn. 35)

Presumably one of the bishop's motives in reorganizing the college was to provide endowments for his diocesan officials, and, although positive evidence is largely lacking, many appointments to prebends at St. Chad's seem to have been so used until the end of the 13th century. Papal provisions were rare (fn. 36) and, although king's clerks were sometimes collated to prebends, such appointments were made only during vacancies of the see. (fn. 37)

The appointment of king's clerks reached notable proportions during the episcopates of Walter Langton (1296-1321) and Roger de Northburgh (1322-58), both of whom had begun their careers in the royal household. One of the first was Robert Peet, who was collated dean in the year of Langton's consecration. (fn. 38) Richard Abel, who secured a prebend at the age often in 1302 and became dean in 1323, was the son of a baron of the exchequer. (fn. 39) Three other deans and seven canons, collated between 1309 and 1334, are known to have been king's clerks. (fn. 40) Most of them, however, held their prebends for very short periods and at an early stage in their careers. Such appointments may well have been made on episcopal initiative, rather than through Crown pressure. They apparently ceased after 1334, for Northburgh preferred to use the prebends in his gift to provide for relatives, friends, and diocesan officials. In 1329 he had secured the deanery for his nephew Michael de Northburgh (fn. 41) and five other close relatives later obtained prebends. (fn. 42) Some half-dozen canons collated by the bishop between 1331 and 1350 came, like himself, from East Anglia (fn. 43) and two others were connected with the Northburghs of Northborough (Northants.). (fn. 44) At least seven other canons collated between 1334 and 1350 were or soon afterwards became prebendaries of Lichfield. (fn. 45)

A writ of prohibition of 1344 alleged that the college had been founded by former kings of England and that it was thus a royal free chapel. (fn. 46) This cannot, however, be accepted as evidence for a serious attempt by the Crown to obtain control of patronage. In issuing it the Crown seems to have aimed at revoking a papal provision to a prebend from which the alien canon William Vacce had been removed in 1337. (fn. 47) Claims of royal patronage were revived in 1375, when the king was alleged to have recovered the right to present to the deanery. (fn. 48) The bishop was summoned to answer for his contempt in refusing to appoint a Crown nominee but his kinsman, Robert of Stretton, who had already been collated to the deanery, was not in fact replaced. (fn. 49) In 1382 the Crown appointed two canons under papal dispensation (fn. 50) and in the following two decades was able to establish some control over the appointment of deans. The king's clerk, Nicholas Mocking, was nominated dean sede vacante in 1387. (fn. 51) Although this appointment did not take immediate effect, Mocking had become dean by 1392. (fn. 52) His successor, the king's clerk Ralph Repington, was nominated by the Crown in 1396. (fn. 53)

There is no indication of Crown interference in the appointment of deans or canons between 1399 and 1460. Repington was followed, possibly at his death in 1416, by the bishop's nephew Robert Catterick, (fn. 54) whose successor, Thomas Salisbury, was dean from 1436 to 1460 and Archdeacon of Salop for most of that period. (fn. 55) At least ten of the canons collated between 1405 and 1460 were prebendaries of Lichfield or held other office in the diocese. (fn. 56) Clergy of the latter type continued to preponderate at St. Chad's until the 1530s, after which date most vacancies seem to have been filled by local men without connexions with either the bishop or the Crown. King's clerks reappeared at St. Chad's in 1460, when Richard Shirburn, formerly almoner to Richard, Duke of York, was collated to a prebend, (fn. 57) and the king's chaplain, Thomas St. Just, was appointed dean. (fn. 58) The latter, who had been a fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge, was presumably responsible for the appointment of two other fellows of that college to vacant prebends in 1466. (fn. 59) His successor, another Cambridge man, was the king's secretary Oliver King. (fn. 60) King was followed by two prominent scholars, William Wrexham (first Principal of Brasenose College) (fn. 61) and Henry Hornby (Master of Peterhouse). (fn. 62) George Lee, the last dean of St. Chad's, represented a reversion to an earlier form of patronage, for he was the bishop's brother. (fn. 63)

It is unlikely that more than one or two of the canons ever resided in the college at any time in or after the 13th century. A dean, c. 1200, and two 13thcentury canons were closely enough connected with the church to endow obits there, but this custom seems to have lapsed after 1293. (fn. 64) Prebendal houses appear commonly to have been leased to laymen or to clergy unconnected with the college; at least four of them were occupied by laymen in 1278. (fn. 65) One house was occupied, c. 1350, by the married clerk, Richard de Watington. (fn. 66) In the early 15th century at least one canon seems usually to have resided. John Hopton (canon 1394-1425) (fn. 67) was apparently resident in the 1390s (fn. 68) and in 1417. (fn. 69) His chamber was assigned in 1425 to his successor John Pecton, (fn. 70) who was dispensed from residence in 1432. (fn. 71) Mandates to induct to a vacant prebend were addressed to two other canons in the 1430s (fn. 72) and to another in 1466, (fn. 73) but this function was normally performed in the 15th century, as in the 14th, by the sacristan. Three canons attended the bishop's visitation in 1524. (fn. 74)

Routine service of the church was the responsibility of minor clergy styled indifferently sacristans, vicars, or curates. (fn. 75) It was implied in 1546 that the original foundation had provided for two parish priests to celebrate daily in the church (fn. 76) and this is known to have been the case in the mid 14th century, when John Beget and Ralph de Kington were the sacristans. (fn. 77) At the Dissolution, when the two sacristans received stipends of £6 13s. 4d. and £4 6s. 8d. respectively, a Welsh priest was also employed during Lent. (fn. 78)

Rather more is known about the vicars choral. They are first recorded in 1326 (fn. 79) but, if developments at St. Chad's followed the pattern of those at Lichfield, it may be concluded that vicars choral had existed there since the later 12th century. (fn. 80) St. Chad's had eight vicars choral in 1417 (fn. 81) and the same number in 1524, (fn. 82) but there were only four by 1548. (fn. 83) In 1326 their only formal income appears to have been that derived from the tithes of 14 a. of demesne at Betton Strange (fn. 84) and their share in the college's resources was still considered inadequate in 1498. (fn. 85) Bishop Arundel, who then commended the vicars choral for their assiduous performance of daily services in the church, directed that in future each canon should pay the vicars choral half his first year's income. (fn. 86) Their endowments were further increased by Arundel's successor Geoffrey Blythe, who presented them with a gilt chalice and obtained for them a 99-year lease of Meole Brace rectory from Wigmore Abbey, and in 1529 the vicars choral established an annual obit in his honour. (fn. 87) By the 1540s, when the canons' portions had apparently been adjusted to produce a larger common fund in which both canons and vicars choral had a share, the latter were also entitled exclusively to the tithes of Whitley and Welbatch. (fn. 88)

A more profitable source of income for the vicars choral was that provided by the endowments of numerous chantries and obits in the parish church, which it was their principal duty to serve. The earliest of the chantries was probably Baldwin's chantry, in existence by 1406 but not recorded at the Dissolution, which may have been founded by one John Baldwin (d. 1324). (fn. 89) The chantry of Our Lady, management of which was transferred to the Weavers' Guild in 1469, (fn. 90) received its original endowment in 1339 from John of Prees, who had undertaken to provide statuary in 1330. (fn. 91) The Mercers' Guild chantry similarly began as a private chantry; (fn. 92) those of the Tailors and Skinners and of the Shoemakers probably did so also. (fn. 93) By 1548, when the four guild chantries had a net income of £11 13s. 9d. a year, three of them were served by vicars choral and the fourth by one of the canons. (fn. 94) A further £4 1s. 2d. was then derived from obits. (fn. 95)

The college was dissolved in June 1548, when pensions totalling £16 11s. 6d. were assigned to the dean and canons and £8 6s. 8d. to the vicars choral. (fn. 96) The whole estate was then leased to George Beeston. (fn. 97) The site of the college and the tithes of a farm at Crowmeole were sold to John Southcote and Henry Chiverton in June 1549. (fn. 98) In the following month the endowments of the Mercers', Tailors', and Weavers' chantries were granted to Robert Wood, (fn. 99) and in January 1550 those of the Shoemakers' chantry to William Fountayne and Richard Mayne. (fn. 100) By the latter date the college estate in Shrewsbury and the lease of Meole Brace rectory had been acquired by Hugh Edwards and William Knight. (fn. 101) Tithes in Bicton, Frankwell, Shelton, Woodcote and Horton, and Whitley and Welbatch were granted to Shrewsbury corporation as part of the endowment of Shrewsbury School in 1552. (fn. 102) The remainder of the college estate, including the advowson of St. Chad's and its chapelries, was granted to Sir Christopher Hatton in 1579. (fn. 103)

The site of the college lies to the west of the former St. Chad's church and includes College Court, a complex of buildings set round a quadrangle, the east range forming the western boundary of the churchyard. Of the church itself, which was cruciform and 168 feet long, (fn. 104) only the ruins of the crossing, dating from c. 1200, and a later chancel chapel survive. The remainder disappeared after much of the building had collapsed in the late 18th century and a new parish church had been built on a different site. (fn. 105)

As in other early medieval colleges of secular priests a separate house and garden were originally attached to each of the prebends of St. Chad's. The houses were said to stand next to the church in 1326 (fn. 106) and several prebends still included pieces of garden ground at the Dissolution. (fn. 107) The exact disposition of the canons' houses is uncertain. A few courses of red sandstone in a wall facing the west side of the churchyard are unlikely to be later than the 13th century and may mark the eastern extremity of the domestic buildings. A covered passage formerly led from this part of the college to the church, and there was some indication of a cloister on the south side of the church itself before destruction. (fn. 108) One of the canons, c. 1425, lived in a chamber over the college gateway, (fn. 109) which is known to have stood north of College Court, on the site of its present entrance from College Hill. (fn. 110)

It is not improbable that the precinct originally extended as far west as Swan Hill. (fn. 111) By the Dissolution, however, the area seems to have been restricted to the present College Court, together with the gardens belonging to the houses on its south side, which still extend nearly to the town wall. Priests' Lane, of which only a short section remains in use, seems to have led southwards from College Hill to Chad Lode (later Crescent Lane), (fn. 112) thus marking the western boundary of the more restricted site. The principal buildings in this area were probably the communal quarters of the vicars choral who were said to be living in a common house in 1498. (fn. 113)

Shortly after the Dissolution the site of the college was acquired by Hugh Edwards. (fn. 114) His son Thomas, who was living there c. 1600, (fn. 115) may have been responsible for building a timber-framed range (later the north wing of Clive House) in Priests Lane. No radical alterations, however, appear to have taken place until after 1752 when the property was bought by John Oliver. He remodelled the south range of College Court as three substantial Georgian houses, cased in red brick; (fn. 116) as St. Winefride's Convent, No. 3 College Court, and Clive House, they survived in 1969. Other buildings in the court were added in the 19th century. A description of the site before the alterations of c. 1752, based on the memories of a lady who had lived there, was published about 70 years later. An ancient structure of red sandstone was said to have enclosed a small court which was separated from the street (College Hill) by a high wall with a gateway of which the superstructure had disappeared. A long range on the south side had a porch and lobby leading to a great chamber containing a raised dais and an oriel window with roundels of stained glass; other chambers adjoined it. (fn. 117) Some part of these structures may be represented by the surviving remains of a timber-framed range which is incorporated in the 18th-century buildings. It runs north and south at right angles to and at the junction of Clive House and No. 3 College Court. A partition near the south end of the range has moulded studs and two finely carved door-heads. The roof truss above is intact as are two more trusses to the north of it. In the corridor and kitchen of No. 3 are angle posts marking the site of two further timber-framed bays. The surviving trusses have slightly-cambered tie-and collar-beams, through purlins, and no trace of cusping, suggesting that the range was built in the very late 15th or early 16th century. It is possible that the south partition, where the carved doorheads are of similar date, represents the service end of a communal hall of the vicars choral newly built following efforts made after 1498 to increase their endowments. The upper end of the hall, with its dais and oriel, may well have survived until the rebuilding scheme of c. 1752 during which the south end of the timber-framed range appears to have been demolished.

Deans of St. Chad's College, Shrewsbury

Adam, perhaps dean 1198 × 1208. (fn. 118)

William of Coleham, died or resigned 1245. (fn. 119)

Wibert of Kent, collated 1245. (fn. 120)

William de Seukeworthe, resigned 1296. (fn. 121)

Robert Peet, collated 1296, resigned 1310. (fn. 122)

Owen of Montgomery, collated 1310. (fn. 123)

William Vaughan, resigned 1323. (fn. 124)

Richard Abel, collated Mar. 1324, resigned 1325. (fn. 125)

Laurence Fastolf, collated 1325, resigned 1328. (fn. 126)

John de Oo, collated 1328, resigned 1329. (fn. 127)

Michael de Northburgh, collated 1329, resigned 1330. (fn. 128)

Richard of Swinnerton, collated 1330, resigned 1338. (fn. 129)

John of Weston, collated 1338, resigned 1342. (fn. 130)

Thomas of Madeley, collated July 1342, died or resigned later in the same year. (fn. 131)

Richard of Swinnerton, collated Aug. 1342, dead by 1375. (fn. 132)

Robert of Stretton, collated 1375, (fn. 133) resigned by 1392. (fn. 134)

Nicholas Mocking, collated before 1392, resigned 1396. (fn. 135)

Ralph Repington, collated 1396, (fn. 136) probably held deanery until death, 1416. (fn. 137)

Robert Catterick, probably collated 1416, (fn. 138) resigned 1436. (fn. 139)

Thomas Salisbury, collated 1436, died 1460. (fn. 140)

Thomas St. Just, collated 1460, died 1467. (fn. 141)

George Dawne, collated 1467. (fn. 142)

Oliver King, resigned 1492. (fn. 143)

William Wrexham, collated 1493, resigned 1494. (fn. 144)

Henry Hornby, collated 1494, probably held deanery until death, 1518. (fn. 145)

John Constable, occurs 1519. (fn. 146)

Richard Strete, occurs 1524, (fn. 147) died 1542 or 1543. (fn. 148)

George Lee, collated 1543, pensioned 1548. (fn. 149)

An impression of the pointed oval conventual seal was formerly attached to a deed of 1330. (fn. 150) It showed a standing figure of the patron saint, holding a crozier in his left hand and his right raised in benediction. Legend, lombardic:



The tradition current in the early 16th century that St. Mary's was founded, like some other West Midland royal free chapels, by King Edgar (957-75) may embody truth, although it is incapable of proof. (fn. 151) The ancient parish was large and compact, comprising the northern part of the town and a score of townships in the country to the north. Though the oldest parts of the existing fabric date from a major rebuilding of the mid 12th century, foundations discovered in 1864 are thought to represent earlier churches of two dates: a small apsidal church, the nave of which was later rebuilt on a somewhat more ample scale. (fn. 152) Regarded as the principal church in the town in the 1070s, (fn. 153) St. Mary's seems to have been even less successful then St. Chad's in preserving its original estate. (fn. 154) The single virgate which the church held in Shrewsbury in 1086 (fn. 155) was a smaller town estate than those of the three other town churches. To the north of Shrewsbury it held 10 hides in Mytton, Astley, and Clive, but the first was already held at farm by Picot de Say, whose descendants soon afterwards secured full possession. (fn. 156) There is no evidence for the status of the other two manors before the 13th century, when they were held by free tenants at nominal rents. (fn. 157) By the mid 13th century the college estate also included a virgate at Charlton in Wrockwardine. (fn. 158)

The rebuilding of the church on a comparatively large scale in the mid 12th century (fn. 159) suggests that the college may have been reorganized at about the same time as the neighbouring college of St. Chad (fn. 160) but, if so, this involved no known change in its endowments. The college seems to have put up little resistance to the new threat to its estate posed by the growth of Haughmond Abbey, being normally content to forgo its rights in return for small annual pensions. Common rights in Astley wood were granted to the abbey's Uffington tenants for a pension of 12d. a year before 1162, (fn. 161) the tithes of Albright Hussey were released to the lord of that manor in 1173 for a pension of 4s. a year, (fn. 162) and those of Little Berwick to Lilleshall Abbey for 18s. a year some time after 1214. (fn. 163)

Further extensive additions were made to the church, c. 1190-1210, (fn. 164) in the time of deans Robert of Shrewsbury and Henry of London. (fn. 165) The first was appointed Bishop of Bangor in 1197, and the second Archbishop of Dublin in 1213, and one of them is presumably commemorated by the head of a bishop, carved alongside that of a king on a capital in the arcade of the north aisle. (fn. 166) At about the same time, however, there seems to have been an attempt to transfer the endowments of the college to Lilleshall Abbey; Henry III was later asked to confirm a grant to this effect made by King John. (fn. 167)

Between 1248 and 1256 the college made an energetic if unsuccessful attempt to recover some part of its lost rights. Most of the resulting lawsuits involved properties acquired by Haughmond Abbey and the college was most nearly successful in its efforts to recover the advowson of Fitz, which seems to have passed with Mytton manor to the Say family in the course of the 12th century. (fn. 168) An attempt had been made to recover the advowson in 1200 (fn. 169) and a pension of 22s. was reserved to the college when the chapel was granted to Haughmond Abbey, c. 1240. (fn. 170) A lawsuit with Robert de Girros, lord of Fitz, was in progress in 1250. (fn. 171) In 1253 a chaplain intruded by the college was ejected by the representative of the existing incumbent but the latter afterwards acknowledged the college's right of patronage and surrendered the chapel to the Crown. (fn. 172) Fitz was accounted part of the possessions of St. Mary's in 1255 (fn. 173) but in the following year the latter released its interest in the advowson to Haughmond Abbey, whose rights had been established by the dubious expedient of trial by battle. (fn. 174) Less effective claims were made at this time in Mytton, where Haughmond's title to the mill was questioned in 1253, (fn. 175) and in 1256 the heirs of Robert de Girros were able to establish their title to what remained of the manorial estate. (fn. 176) Care was also taken at this time to protect the college's rights elsewhere: a perambulation of the boundary between Astley and Shawbury was made in 1248 (fn. 177) and lawsuits were instituted in 1256 against Robert Corbet and the tenants of Haughmond Abbey for offences in the commons in Clive. (fn. 178)

Within the town the property of St. Mary's remained insignificant. In 1278, 18 of its 20 burgage properties lay within the old 'church fee', presumably representing the original residences of the canons, and nearly half were then waste. (fn. 179) Apart from a small property at Coton Hill, devised to the canons before 1311, (fn. 180) the college seems to have acquired no new sources of income during the later Middle Ages. Although lower valuations were sometimes given (fn. 181) its gross income amounted to some £40 a year between the later 13th century and the Dissolution. (fn. 182) The dean received £13 6s. 8d. in 1291, when the canons' incomes ranged from 15s. to £8 apiece, (fn. 183) but the dean's share had fallen to £8 by 1548. (fn. 184) By the latter date it was the custom to assign the rents of particular properties to each prebend, while tithes, Easter dues, and the profits of spiritual jurisdiction, which together made up nearly nine-tenths of the total, were divided among them after collection; (fn. 185) it is likely that some such method was in use by the 13th century. (fn. 186)

In the 13th and 14th centuries the college comprised a dean and nine prebendaries, (fn. 187) the latter being named after the following saints: St. Paul, St. Gabriel, St. John the Evangelist, St. Peter, St. James, St. Michael, All Saints, St. Nicholas, and St. Stephen. (fn. 188) Since feast days of these saints fall at regular intervals of a month or somewhat longer throughout the year it seems probable that they date from an early period in the history of the college, when each canon was responsible for serving the church in rotation. (fn. 189) The prebends of St. Nicholas and All Saints were reported to be ill-endowed in 1413 (fn. 190) and may have been suppressed at about this time, for there were only seven prebends in and after 1535. (fn. 191)

In 1251 the king gave St. Mary's a cope and chasuble of samite (fn. 192) and in 1266 the canons were given 15 oaks, possibly at the instance of the notorious pluralist Bevis de Clare, then one of their number. (fn. 193) There is no other evidence that the Crown concerned itself with the welfare of the church in the later Middle Ages, except as a convenient means of providing for its servants. Until the mid 15th century there seems to have been little serious interference with the Crown's right of patronage. St. Mary's was among the royal free chapels claimed in 1245 to be exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop (fn. 194) and its exemption from ordinary jurisdiction was confirmed by agreement with Bishop Meuland in 1281. (fn. 195) During this period nearly all deans of St. Mary's were king's clerks. Robert of Shrewsbury and Henry of London had been royal justices (fn. 196) but, if there was a close connexion with any one department in the century following the latter's resignation in 1226, it was with the wardrobe. Of 15 deans appointed between 1226 and 1341 at least 7 can be identified as wardrobe clerks or diplomats. (fn. 197) The dean seems to have been successful in 1310 in thwarting an attempt by the dowager countess of Cornwall to intrude one of her clerks in a vacant prebend. (fn. 198) Lay influence from another quarter may have been involved when title to the deanery was in dispute, 1327-41. Nicholas of Ludlow, who obtained a crown grant of the deanery only three days after Edward III's accession in 1327, (fn. 199) and Walter of Wetwang, nominally dean between 1337 and 1341, (fn. 200) were both king's clerks, but Thomas de Baddeby, who secured Ludlow's ejection in 1341, (fn. 201) was installed with the help of the Earl of Arundel. (fn. 202) He may have been one of Arundel's clerks, for two canons of St. Mary's were members of the earl's household in 1355. (fn. 203) Whatever Baddeby's origins his four successors were again king's clerks. Although Richard Bromley (dean 1381-c. 1402) and Thomas Standon (from 1402) were also canons of St. Chad's (fn. 204) the latter college was at that time under some measure of royal control (fn. 205) and the connexion cannot thus be taken as evidence of interference by that college's patron, the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. Hugh Holbache (1407-17) was a diplomat and canon lawyer, (fn. 206) and Thomas Rodbourne (1418-24) a royal chaplain. (fn. 207)

The patronage of the prebends had been granted to Henry of London on his appointment as dean in 1203 (fn. 208) and this privilege was normally enjoyed by his successors, although canons were occasionally appointed by the Crown between 1327 and 1341 (fn. 209) and during Baddeby's deanery. (fn. 210) It is thus not possible to recover the names of more than a small proportion of the canons, most of them of the 13th century. (fn. 211) No valid deductions on their origins can be based on so small a sample but it may be noted that, of 61 canons known to have been appointed before 1424, 11 were king's clerks (at least four of whom were employed in the wardrobe) and a further 11 bore the same surname as the contemporary dean and were presumably his kinsmen.

The Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield secured a measure of control over the college for a short period in the mid 15th century. John Burdett (dean 1444-9) was Archdeacon of Chester (fn. 212) and his successor John Launcell was the only dean to be instituted by the bishop. (fn. 213) John Crecy, however, who was appointed dean by the Crown in 1457, was a king's clerk who held prebends in other royal free chapels, (fn. 214) and in 1462 the bishop was forbidden to exercise jurisdiction over the college. (fn. 215) The king's under-almoner John Blackwin was dean from 1471 to 1472. (fn. 216) The next presentation was granted in 1486 to Sir William Tyler, (fn. 217) and it appears that the Crown occasionally exercised its patronage in an indirect manner. Robert Reyfield (dean from 1498) was Abbot of Boxley (fn. 218) and Thomas Lloyd (dean from 1540) was appointed at the suit of Mr. Knyvett. (fn. 219) Adam Grafton (dean c. 1509-13) was a notable royal chaplain (fn. 220) and, like the last dean, William Cureton, and three other 16th-century canons, was also a canon of St. Chad's. (fn. 221)

Although some early deans and canons had local connexions, (fn. 222) residence had ceased to be normal by the early 13th century. Until the 14th century, however, it seems to have been the custom for one of the canons to live at the college and to act as proctor for the rest. Herbert of Attingham, who was described as 'official of Shrewsbury' c. 1217, (fn. 223) may have been such a canon, and Richard de Houton, proctor in the mid 13th century, displayed great energy in protecting the college's interests. (fn. 224) The proctor John de Colushull was apparently resident in 1304, when a burglar took sanctuary in the church, (fn. 225) and the canon John de Watenhall was assigned a house in the churchyard in 1335. (fn. 226) In 1415 John Hopton, a resident canon of St. Chad's, was acting as Dean Holbache's commissary. (fn. 227)

Routine service of the church was performed by parochial chaplains, usually styled curates, and vicars choral. Although there may have been two curates in 1371, (fn. 228) there was only one at the Dissolution, when he lived in a house rented from the vicars choral and was paid £6 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 229) Little is known of the vicars choral, who were less numerous and less well endowed than those of St. Chad's. (fn. 230) By 1371 they held property in Coleham (fn. 231) but their only income at the Dissolution was 34s. 6d. derived from the endowments of obits. (fn. 232) There were three vicars choral at this time but one of these was in fact a lay corrodian. (fn. 233) One of them received an additional £4 a year as priest of St. Mary's chantry (fn. 234) but this service, founded before 1278, (fn. 235) was not being served by the vicars choral in the later 14th century. (fn. 236) In 1548 one of the canons was priest of the Drapers' chantry but Sturry's chantry, the only other such service at St. Mary's, was served by its own priests. (fn. 237)

The college was dissolved in January 1548, when the dean was appointed Vicar of St. Mary's and was assigned the deanery as a parsonage. (fn. 238) In June pensions totalling £18 10s. were granted to the dean and five canons and £3 13s. 4d. to the vicars choral. (fn. 239) Arthur Kelton, to whom the deanery, great tithes in Astley, Clive, and St. Mary's parish, and small tithes within the borough had been leased in 1543, (fn. 240) obtained a renewal of his lease in March 1549. (fn. 241) Other portions of tithes in St. Mary's parish were sold by the Crown later in that year, (fn. 242) and in 1552 the great tithes of Astley, Clive, Sansaw, Leaton, and Alkmond Park were granted to the corporation to endow Shrewsbury School. (fn. 243) The site of the college and deanery were sold in 1554 to Thomas Reeve and George Cotton, (fn. 244) who sold them in the following year to the tenant, Thomas Kelton. (fn. 245) In 1569 the latter obtained a lease of the profits of the college's spiritual jurisdiction and such tithes as still remained in the hands of the Crown. (fn. 246) Officials of St. Mary's continued to exercise a peculiar jurisdiction, including probate of wills, until the 19th century. (fn. 247)

As was the normal practice in such colleges, the deans and each of the canons of St. Mary's were originally assigned separate houses. (fn. 248) Since there were so few vicars choral it is improbable that the precinct ever included any communal buildings. No structural remains of these houses are known to survive and their sites can be identified only in general terms. The deanery stood near the Dominican friary at the north-east end of St. Mary's Square (fn. 249) and other canons' houses stood near the junction of Castle Street and St. Mary's Street. (fn. 250) It is possible, though direct evidence is lacking, that the precinct also included the south-east side of St. Mary's Square and some part of the south-west side of St. Mary's Street. (fn. 251) A description of the church itself is reserved for a later volume.

Deans of St. Mary's College, Shrewsbury

Richard, perhaps dean in the 1180s. (fn. 252)

Robert of Shrewsbury, occurs between 1186-7 and 1200. (fn. 253)

William Lestrange, occurs at an unknown date. (fn. 254)

Henry of London, appointed 1203, resigned 1226. (fn. 255)

Walter of Kirkham, appointed 1226. (fn. 256)

Stephen de Lucy, appointed 1229. (fn. 257)

William de Houton, appointed 1232, (fn. 258) occurs between 1235 and 1250. (fn. 259)

William of London, resigned 1262. (fn. 260)

Simon of Wycombe, appointed 1262, died 1272. (fn. 261)

John le Faukener, appointed 1272. (fn. 262)

William of Dover, resigned 1282. (fn. 263)

Nicholas of Arras, appointed 1282, occurs until 1286. (fn. 264)

John de Witham, occurs from 1291, (fn. 265) resigned 1300. (fn. 266)

John of Kenley, appointed 1300, dead by 1305. (fn. 267)

Peter de Shendon, appointed 1305, resigned 1321. (fn. 268)

Robert of Hampton, appointed 1321, (fn. 269) ejected 1327. (fn. 270)

Nicholas of Ludlow, appointed Jan. 1327 and apparently in possession by October of that year, (fn. 271) ejected 1341. (fn. 272)

Thomas de Baddeby, appointed 1341, (fn. 273) resigned 1381. (fn. 274)

Richard Bromley, appointed 1381, dead by 1402. (fn. 275)

Thomas Standon, appointed 1402. (fn. 276)

Hugh Holbache, appointed 1407, (fn. 277) occurs until 1416. (fn. 278)

Thomas Rodbourne, appointed 1418, resigned 1424. (fn. 279)

John Shipton, appointed 1424, resigned 1444. (fn. 280)

John Burdett, appointed 1444, dead by 1449. (fn. 281)

John Launcell, instituted 1449. (fn. 282)

John Crecy, appointed 1457, dead by 1471. (fn. 283)

John Blackwin, appointed 1471, resigned 1472. (fn. 284)

John Whitmore, appointed 1472. (fn. 285)

Robert Reyfield, appointed 1498. (fn. 286)

Adam Grafton, appointed before 1509, (fn. 287) resigned 1513. (fn. 288)

Edward Higgins, appointed 1513. (fn. 289)

Richard Twyford, dead by 1523. (fn. 290)

William Vaughan, appointed 1523, resigned 1540. (fn. 291)

Thomas Lloyd, appointed 1540. (fn. 292)

William Cureton, occurs 1548, surrendered 1549. (fn. 293)

A damaged impression of the college's large oval common seal, attached to a lease of 1311, (fn. 294) shows the seated figure of the Virgin, with Child, holding a lily in her right hand. Legend missing. A smaller version of the same device was used in a round seal, 1 in. diameter, known from an impression of 1444. (fn. 295) This was supposed by Owen and Blakeway to be the deanery seal but is more likely to be that of the churchwardens. (fn. 296) An oval seal, known from impressions of 1444, (fn. 297) and measuring 2 × 1¼ in., is probably that of dean John Burdett. It shows two seated figures beneath canopies; the Virgin in prayer on the left and a crowned figure with right hand raised in benediction on the right. The letters 'IHC' are blazoned on a shield at their feet. Legend, black letter:



  • 1. V.C.H. Salop. i. 310, 314.
  • 2. Ibid. 313, 314, 341.
  • 3. Ibid. 310.
  • 4. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 75.
  • 5. V.C.H. Salop. i. 310.
  • 6. Eyton, vi. 361.
  • 7. V.C.H. Salop. i. 310.
  • 8. Ibid. 310–11; Eyton, vi. 181–2, 359; viii. 205, 208–9.
  • 9. Bodl. MS. Gough Salop. 14, pp. 28–35.
  • 10. V.C.H. Salop. i. 324, 326.
  • 11. Bodl. MS. Gough Salop. 14, pp. 28–35.
  • 12. V.C.H. Salop. viii. 122.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 202.
  • 15. S.R.O. 1048/848–58.
  • 16. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 180–1. The possibility that the church was as early as the later 7th century is discussed in J. T. Smith, 'Shrewsbury: Topography and Domestic Architecture' (Birm. Univ. M.A. thesis, 1953), 10–11. Taken by itself the dedication proves nothing in a church founded by a bishop of Lichfield.
  • 17. Smith, 'Shrewsbury', 11–12.
  • 18. The earliest piece of Welsh evidence is the Lament for Cynddylan incorporated in the poems of Llywarch Hen, which date in their written form to c. 850. 'Pengwern', where Cynddylan (fl. 642) had his palace, may be Shrewsbury: Antiquity, ix. 326–7; I. Williams, 'The Poems of Llywarch Hen', Proc. Brit. Acad. xviii. 27–35; I. Williams Lectures on Early Welsh Poetry (1944), 45–48. The very late Historia Monacellae identifies Pengwern with Shrewsbury, puts the palace of Brochwel Ysgithrog, Prince of Powys, on the site of the College of St. Chad, and records a tradition that Brochwel granted his estates to pious uses: Arch. Camb. iii. 139; for Brochwel's date cf. P. C. Bartrum, 'Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs', N.L.W. Jnl. xiii. 108, 131. Another Welsh source attributes the foundation of the church of Pengwern to Brochwel's son Tysilio: S. Baring-Gould and J. Fisher, Lives of the British Saints, iv. 303. The identification of 'Pengwern' with Shrewsbury is questioned in H. P. R. Finberg, Lucerna, 78–80.
  • 19. V.C.H. Salop. i. 310.
  • 20. Ibid.; Eyton, vi. 361.
  • 21. V.C.H. Salop. i. 341.
  • 22. Ibid. 313, 314.
  • 23. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, f. 9v.
  • 24. Magnum Registrum Album (S.H.C. 1924), 126-7.
  • 25. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 306. This statement may have been based on the evidence of foundation charters, but no such muniments were said to exist in 1548: Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 205.
  • 26. See p. 50.
  • 27. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. i. 167.
  • 28. V.C.H. Salop. viii. 122.
  • 29. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 247.
  • 30. Bodl. MS. Gough Salop. 14, pp. 28-35; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 184-5. The Shelton estate was said to comprise 6½ nokes in 1278: T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. i. 169-70.
  • 31. See p. 117.
  • 32. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii. 188.
  • 33. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 306-7.
  • 34. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 202-5.
  • 35. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 339-40; cf. S.C. 6/Edw. VI/394 mm. 44d.-45d.
  • 36. Cal. Papal Regs. i. 493, 535.
  • 37. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 116; Cal. Pat. 121625, 437, 441; ibid. 1232-47, 456, 467.
  • 38. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 186, 210.
  • 39. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/1, f. 21v.; ibid. B/a 1/2, f. 204; Emden, Oxf. i. 3.
  • 40. Laurence Fastolf, dean 1325-8 (Emden, Camb. 221); John de Oo, dean 1328-9 (Emden, Oxf. ii. 1399); Michael de Northburgh, dean 1329-30 (ibid. 1370); Engelard of Warley, canon until 1310 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/1, f. 65; Tout, Chapters, passim); Hugh of Leominster, collated canon 1315 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/1, f. 67v.; Tout, Chapters, iv. 71; vi. 61); Thomas of Astley, canon 1322 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 136, 202v.; Emden, Oxf. i. 66); Thomas of Charlton, canon 1322-3 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 136, 203; Emden, Oxf. i. 393); John of Offord, canon 1323-after 1327 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 203; Cal. Papal Regs. ii. 267; Emden, Oxf. ii. 1391); Richard of Newcastle, canon until 1334 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 212; Tout, Chapters, ii. 287; v. 111); Thomas de Newhawe, canon 1334-41 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 212; Cal. Pat. 1340-3, 273).
  • 41. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 207, 208.
  • 42. William de Northburgh, collated 1331 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 209v.); Roger de Northburgh, collated 1336 (ibid. f. 213v.); Laurence de Northburgh, provided by the pope 1344 (Cal. Papal. Regs. iii. 149), resigned by 1348 (Cal. Close, 1346–9, 254–5; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 222v.); Robert de Northburgh, collated 1348 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 222v.), resigned 1352 (ibid. f. 227v., cf. f. 225; Cal. Papal Pets. i. 191); Peter de Northburgh, died or resigned 1369 (S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 200).
  • 43. Notably Hugh, John, Ralph, and Roger de Deping: L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 156, 209v., 212, 213v., 215, 215v., 216v., 218, 225.
  • 44. Robert and Roger of Sulgrave: L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 224, 227; Cal. Papal Pets. i. 191; S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 215; Emden, Oxf. iii. 1815.
  • 45. William de Appletre, canon 1334–9 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 156, 224); Henry of Hastings, collated 1339 (ibid. f. 216); John Gerard, died or resigned 1340 (ibid. f. 216v.); Hugh Mareys, canon 1340–55 (ibid. ff. 216v., 229v.); Walter de Chilterne, resigned 1349 (ibid. f. 188); John de Haverberge, collated 1349 (ibid.); Hugh de Wymundeswold, canon between 1350 and 1362 (Cal. Papal Regs. iii. 361–2; Cal. Papal Pets. i. 386); cf. Le Neve, Fasti (revised edn.), x, passim.
  • 46. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 185–6.
  • 47. C 47/19/3/17; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 218, 222v.; Cal. Papal Regs. iii. 149; Cal. Close, 1346–9, 254–5.
  • 48. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 197–8.
  • 49. Ibid.; S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 206; Cal. Papal Regs. iv. 212.
  • 50. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, 176.
  • 51. Ibid. 1385–9, 285.
  • 52. See p. 119.
  • 53. Cal. Pat. 1396–9, 40.
  • 54. See p. 119.
  • 55. Le Neve, Fasti (revised edn.), x. 18.
  • 56. John Pulford, 1405–12 (L.J.R.O., B/a, 1/7, ff. 111v.– 112, 117); Thomas Admunston, 1412–18 (ibid. f. 117; Le Neve, Fasti (revised edn.), x. 21); Thomas Clerk, 1425–34 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/9, ff. 97, 102v.); Walter Bullock, c. 1425–6 (ibid. ff. 97, 98); Gregory Newport, 1434–44 (ibid. ff. 102v., 107v.); John Wendesley, collated 1442 (ibid. f. 106v.); John Meneley, 1444–77 (ibid. f. 107v.; ibid. B/a 1/12, f. 89v.); John Reedhill, 1444–50 (ibid. B/a 1/9, f. 107v.; ibid. B/a 1/10, f. 26; Cal. Pat. 1446–52, 333); Thomas Mylly, 1455–8 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/11, ff. 34v., 35v.); Thomas Lye, 1458–64 (ibid. f. 35v.; ibid. B/a 1/12, f. 84).
  • 57. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/12, f. 82; Emden, Oxf. iii. 1685.
  • 58. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/12, f. 82; Emden, Camb. 503.
  • 59. John Stubbs, canon 1466–70 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/12, ff. 85, 87; Emden, Camb. 563–4); Robert Bellamy, canon 1466–92 (L.J.R.O., B/a 1/12, f. 86; ibid. B/a 1/13, f. 155; Emden, Camb. 53).
  • 60. Emden, Camb. 343–4; J. Otway-Ruthven, The King's Secretary (1939), 155, 178–9.
  • 61. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 199.
  • 62. Emden, Camb. 313–4.
  • 63. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 201.
  • 64. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, ff. 2v., 32v., 130.
  • 65. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. i. 167.
  • 66. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, f. 227; Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, ff. 4, 43, 68; S.P.L., Deeds 1719. 'Benet Tupton' the traditional founder of St. Chad's almshouses, c. 1409, was said to be a brewer living at the College, but both name and attribution are dubious: see above, p. 110.
  • 67. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/6, f. 70; ibid. B/a 1/9, f. 97.
  • 68. Ibid. B/a 1/6, ff. 70v., 72v., 73.
  • 69. Shrews. boro. rec. 827 (ct. r. 1416–17).
  • 70. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/9, f. 97.
  • 71. Cal. Papal Regs. viii. 447.
  • 72. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/9, ff. 103v., 104v.
  • 73. Ibid. B/a 1/12, f. 86.
  • 74. Ibid. B/v 1/1, pt. 2, p. 34.
  • 75. e.g. ibid. B/a 1/2, ff. 228v., 229v.
  • 76. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 306–7.
  • 77. John Beget occurs in 1324. He acted as proctor for the dean in 1326 and is last recorded in 1344. Ralph de Kington occurs 1340–2: S.P.L., Deeds 3707; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 185; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 208v., 211v.–218v. passim.
  • 78. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 307.
  • 79. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, f. 85.
  • 80. K. Edwards, Eng. Secular Cathedrals (1967), 263–4. The Martyrologium of St. Chad's (Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225), apparently compiled at various dates by the vicars choral, contains 12th-century music.
  • 81. Shrews. boro. rec. 827.
  • 82. L.J.R.O., B/v 1/1, pt. 2, p. 34.
  • 83. E 101/75/28 m. 1d.; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 340.
  • 84. Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, f. 85.
  • 85. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/13, f. 224v.
  • 86. Ibid.
  • 87. Ibid. B/a 1/14, ff. 97–97v.; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 533.
  • 88. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 202–5.
  • 89. Ibid. 208; Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, f. 20v.
  • 90. S.R.O. 1048/4506; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 310, 342.
  • 91. S.R.O. 1048/4487,4489.
  • 92. See p. 110.
  • 93. For the Tailors' and Skinners' chantry see S.P.L., Deeds 1185, 1719; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 308–9.
  • 94. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 308–11.
  • 95. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 204. Over 100 obits, ranging in date from c. 1200 to the early 16th century, are recorded in the Martyrologium of St. Chad's (Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225). Other names have been erased. Most of those commemorated were Shrewsbury burgesses but the list includes Robert Burnell and several of his successors as lords of Acton Burnell manor.
  • 96. E 101/75/28 mm. 1d.–2, 3d.; cf. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 206.
  • 97. S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 mm. 38v., 43; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 202–5.
  • 98. E 315/68 f. 520; E 318/35/1963; T.S.A.S. 4th ser. i. 184–6; Cal. Pat. 1548–9, 177.
  • 99. Cal. Pat. 1549–51, 93–94.
  • 100. Ibid. 1548–9, 384.
  • 101. Ibid. 1549–51, 75–76.
  • 102. E 318/35/1941; Cal. Pat. 1550–3, 387.
  • 103. S.P.L., MS. 2, ff. 257–8.
  • 104. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 190, 194.
  • 105. Ibid. 245–53. An account of the parish church is reserved for another volume.
  • 106. Bodl. MS. Gough Salop. 14, pp. 28–35.
  • 107. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 203–4.
  • 108. Ibid. 256–7; T.S.A.S. [1st ser.] iii. 243, which associates the covered passage with the daughter of 'Benet Tupton', for whom see above, p. 110 n. 1.
  • 109. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/9, f. 97.
  • 110. Owen, Hist. Shrews. (1808), 177–8; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 256.
  • 111. One of the canons' houses, alienated in the later Middle Ages, formed part of the endowment of the Tailors' and Skinners' chantry at the Dissolution. It may have stood on the site of the Tailors' Hall, at the junction of College Hill and Swan Hill: S.P.L., Deeds 1185, 1719; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 308–9; cf. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 257–8.
  • 112. T.S.A.S. [1st ser.] xi. 93.
  • 113. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/13, f. 224v.
  • 114. For its later ownership see S.P.L., Deeds 14886–7, 14889; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 258–60; title deeds of St. Winefride's Convent penes Messrs. B. D. J. Hayes, solicitors, Shrewsbury.
  • 115. T.S.A.S. [1st ser.] iii. 341–2; xi. 164.
  • 116. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 260.
  • 117. Ibid. 256; cf. Owen, Hist. Shrews. (1808), 177–8.
  • 118. A witness to a charter of Geoffrey Muschamp, Bishop of Coventry: Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 196. An earlier dean may have been one William, who is described as 'dean' in an obit of c. 1200: Bodl. MS. Rawl. D 1225, f. 130. See also below, p. 122 n. 3.
  • 119. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 456.
  • 120. Ibid.
  • 121. Ibid. 1292–1301, 186.
  • 122. Ibid.; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/1, f. 65.
  • 123. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/1, f. 65. He was ejected after regaining possession of the deanery in 1326: ibid. B/a 1/3, ff. 21–21v.
  • 124. Ibid. B/a 1/2, f. 204.
  • 125. Ibid. f. 204; ibid. B/a 1/3, ff. 13–14.
  • 126. Ibid. B/a 1/3, ff. 13–14; ibid B/a 1/2, f. 206; cf. Emden, Camb. 221.
  • 127. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/2, ff. 206v., 207, 208.
  • 128. Ibid. ff. 207, 208, 208v.
  • 129. Ibid. ff. 208v., 215.
  • 130. Ibid. ff. 215, 218–218v.
  • 131. Ibid. f. 218 and v.
  • 132. Ibid. f. 218v.; S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 206; Cal. Papal Regs. iv. 212.
  • 133. S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 206.
  • 134. Stretton's tenure may have been interrupted by Ralph Daventry, who resigned the deanery to Nicholas Mocking in 1387: Cal. Pat. 1385–9, 285. Stretton's estate was ratified in 1388 (ibid. 413) but Mocking had succeeded by 1392 (ibid. 1391–6, 129).
  • 135. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, 129; 1396–9, 40; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/6, f. 72v. An exchange with John Prophete in 1392 was abortive: Cal. Pat. 1391–6, 129; T.S.A.S. 4th ser. i. 140.
  • 136. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/6, f. 72v.; Cal. Pat. 1396–9, 140.
  • 137. His estate was twice ratified in 1399: Cal. Pat. 1396–9, 528; 1399–1401, 27. Last recorded as dean 1407: Cal. Papal Regs. vi. 111–12.
  • 138. He was nephew of Bp. Catterick of Coventry and Lichfield (1415–19), by whom he was collated to a Lichfield prebend in succession to Repington in 1416: Le Neve, Fasti (revised edn.), x. 64.
  • 139. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/9, f. 103v.
  • 140. Ibid.; ibid. B/a 1/12, f. 82.
  • 141. Ibid. B/a 1/12, ff. 82, 86.
  • 142. Ibid. f. 86.
  • 143. Ibid. B/a 1/13, f. 155; cf. Emden, Camb. 343–4.
  • 144. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/13, ff. 155, 155v.
  • 145. Ibid. f. 155v.; Emden, Camb. 313–14.
  • 146. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 533.
  • 147. L.J.R.O., B/v 1/1, pt. 2, p. 34.
  • 148. Ibid. B/a 1/14, f. 33; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
  • 149. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/14, f. 33; E 101/75/28 m. 3d.
  • 150. S.R.O. 1048/4487. Described in Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 260.
  • 151. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 305. It has been suggested that these royal free chapels were founded early in Edgar's reign, when he was under the influence of Elfhere, Ealdorman of Mercia, later a supporter of the secular clergy; D. Styles, 'The early history of the king's chapels in Staffs.' Birm. Arch. Soc. Trans. lx. 58–59.
  • 152. Described by Archdeacon Lloyd in T.S.A.S. 2nd ser. vi. 359–61, from which all later accounts are derived. The second church was about 27 feet wide and 76 feet long. Lloyd suggested that this second building dated from Edgar's time. A similar reorganization of an existing church may have occurred at Wolverhampton (Birm. Arch. Soc. Trans. 1x. 58–59) but, if such was the case at Shrewsbury, the first church is not likely to have been more than half a century older. It stood close to, if not within, the northern boundary of the 'burh', which was probably established in the late 9th or early 10th century, and was perhaps originally thus sited for defensive reasons: cf. J. T. Smith, 'Shrewsbury: Topography and Domestic Architecture' (Birm. Univ. M.A. thesis, 1953), 25–36. In themselves the foundations as described by Lloyd provide no evidence for the date of either structure; small apsidal churches like the earlier of those at St. Mary's could be as late as the 12th century: F. H. Fairweather, Aisleless Apsidal Churches of Great Britain (Colchester, 1933), 12, 26, 45; A. W. Clapham, English Romanesque Architecture after the Conquest (1934), 101–2.
  • 153. The 'Vita Wulfstani' of William of Malmesbury, ed. R. R. Darlington (Camd. Soc. 3rd ser. xl), 26–27, 92.
  • 154. See pp. 114–15.
  • 155. V.C.H. Salop. i. 310. Probably in Meole Brace: ibid. 313.
  • 156. Ibid. 313; Eyton, x. 156.
  • 157. Eyton, x. 158; S.P.L., Deeds 5838.
  • 158. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 122; Feud. Aids, iv. 222; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 537.
  • 159. Cranage, x. 925–8, 931–2, 934–5, 946, 1008–9.
  • 160. See p. 115.
  • 161. Eyton, x. 158; S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. ff. 6v.–7, 53.
  • 162. Eyton, x. 85; T.S.A.S. 2nd ser. i. 106.
  • 163. Eyton, x. 215; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii. 198.
  • 164. Cranage, x. 927–9, 932–3, 935–8, 941, 947–9, 951–2, 954, 955–7.
  • 165. See p. 122.
  • 166. Cranage, x. 949. Robert of Shrewsbury had strong local connexions: see n. 72 below
  • 167. Cal. Papal Regs. i. 52; cf. Birm. Arch. Soc. Trans. lx. 67–69, for similar developments at Wolverhampton.
  • 168. Eyton, x. 150.
  • 169. Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), i. 270.
  • 170. Eyton, x. 146; S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 60v.
  • 171. Eyton, x. 147.
  • 172. Ibid. 150–1; Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 128.
  • 173. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 78.
  • 174. Eyton, x. 151–2; S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 61.
  • 175. Eyton, x. 156.
  • 176. Ibid. 156–7.
  • 177. Close R. 1247–51, 218.
  • 178. Eyton, x. 160.
  • 179. S.P.L., MS. 28.
  • 180. S.P.L., Deeds 3991.
  • 181. £10 in 1428: Feud. Aids, iv. 258; £13 1s. 8d. in 1535: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii. 188.
  • 182. Sixty marks in 1278: S.P.L., MS. 28; £42 16s. 8d. in 1291: Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 247; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 308; £38 9s. 9d. in 1548: S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 mm. 38d.–39.
  • 183. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 308.
  • 184. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 336–7.
  • 185. S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 mm. 38d.–39.
  • 186. S.P.L., Deeds 5838.
  • 187. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 78; S.P.L., MS. 28; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 308.
  • 188. Cal. Pat. 1413–16, 149; S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 mm. 38d.–39.
  • 189. Feast days of these saints occur respectively on 25 Jan., 24 Mar., 6 May, 29 June, 25 July, 29 Sept., 1 Nov., 6 and 26 Dec. The dean, who presumably took his title from that of the church, had perhaps served the church during August and September, a period which includes two feasts of the Virgin Mary (15 Aug. and 8 Sept.).
  • 190. Cal. Pat. 1413–16, 149.
  • 191. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii. 188; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 305, 336–7. Leland, however, refers to 'nine poor prebendaries': Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, ii. 82.
  • 192. Cal. Lib. 1251–60, 1.
  • 193. Close R. 1264–8, 164. Cf. V.C.H. Staffs. iii. 304 n. 40.
  • 194. Ann. Mon. (Rolls. Ser.), i. 275–6.
  • 195. Magnum Registrum Album (S.H.C. 1924), 251–2; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 306–8.
  • 196. Robert of Shrewsbury: Eyton, vi. 368; viii. 106–7; Pleas before the King and his Justices, 1198–1212 (Seld. Soc. lxxxiii), pp. lxxvii, xciii; Henry of London: ibid. passim; D.N.B.; Eyton, i. 71 n.
  • 197. Kirkham: Tout, Chapters, i. 195-201; vi. 25; Lucy: Cal. Lib. 1226-40, passim; Close R. 1227-31, passim; Houton: Close R. 1234-7, 85; Wycombe: Cal. Lib. 1251-60, 171-88, 395; Arras: Tout, Chapters, ii. 160; Cal. Pat. 1281-92, 14, 239; Ludlow: Emden, Oxf. 1155; Walter of Wetwang: Tout, Chapters, iv. 110; vi. 27, 29; and see n. 23 below. John of Kenley was the king's physician: Tout, Chapters, ii. 23. John le Faukener had been keeper of the hanaper: Cal. Lib. 1251-60, 353; 1260-7, passim.
  • 198. C 81/75/1741; S.C. 8/241/12027; Cal. Chan. Wts. i. 345, 359.
  • 199. Cal. Pat. 1327-30, 2.
  • 200. Ibid. 1334-8, 437; 1338-40, 11; 1340-3, 82.
  • 201. C 47/76/1/4; S.P.L., MS. 2, f. 352; Cal. Pat. 1340-3, 276, 444.
  • 202. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 538.
  • 203. Cal. Papal Pets. i. 278.
  • 204. S.H.C. N.S. x (2), 203-4; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/6, f. 73; Cal. Pat. 1396-9, 423; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/7, f. 113.
  • 205. See p. 116.
  • 206. Emden, Oxf. 944-5.
  • 207. Ibid. 1582-3.
  • 208. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), i. 110.
  • 209. Cal. Pat. 1327-30, 26, 181, 187, 456; 1330-4, 340, 369, 518.
  • 210. Ibid. 1350-4, 377; 1364-7, 102; 1370-4, 232; C 47/ 76/1/5.
  • 211. Apart from incidental references to individual canons, there are lists for 1255, 1278, and 1291: Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 78; S.P.L., MS. 28; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 308.
  • 212. Le Neve, Fasti (revised edn.), x. 13.
  • 213. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/10, f. 24v.
  • 214. Cal. Pat. 1467-77, passim; V.C.H. Staffs. iii. 289.
  • 215. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 310.
  • 216. Cal. Pat. 1467-77, 276, 357.
  • 217. Ibid. 1485-94, 126.
  • 218. Ibid. 1494-1509, 170.
  • 219. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 347.
  • 220. Emden, Oxf. ii. 798-9.
  • 221. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii. 188. The canons were Edward Beeston, John Hodges, and Thomas Tonge: ibid.: L.J.R.O., B/a 1/13, f. 155v.; ibid. 1/14, f. 57; T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 337.
  • 222. Robert of Shrewsbury seems to have had private property in the town, witnessed local charters, and was warden of Shrewsbury mint in the 1190s: Eyton, i. 98; ii. 112 n, 133 n; ix. 79; x. 336, 358; S.R.O. 322, deeds, no. 10. William Lestrange, who may have succeeded him, came of a Shropshire family and had private property in Shrewsbury: Eyton, x. 110, 262; S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 181. John of Kenley, who had connexions with Robert Burnell, was also involved in property transactions in the county: Eyton, ii. 311, 312, 322-4.
  • 223. S.R.O. 322, deeds, no. 10.
  • 224. Close R. 1259-61, 441; and see above, p. 120.
  • 225. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. v. 165.
  • 226. Cal. Fine R. 1327-37, 433; Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), ii. 94.
  • 227. Reg. H. Chichele (C. & Y.S.), iii. 421; and see above, p. 116.
  • 228. S.P.L., Deeds 170. For a late-12th-century curate see S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 53.
  • 229. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 305; S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 m. 39. The stipend was said to be £6 13s. 4d. in 1548: T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 337.
  • 230. See p. 117.
  • 231. S.P.L., Deeds 170.
  • 232. S.C. 6/Edw. VI/393 m. 39.
  • 233. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 337; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 341.
  • 234. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 337.
  • 235. S.P.L., MS. 28.
  • 236. S.P.L., Deeds 170.
  • 237. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 337-9.
  • 238. E 321/20/34.
  • 239. E 101/75/28 m. 1.
  • 240. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 330.
  • 241. Ibid. 332.
  • 242. Cal. Pat. 1548-9, 395; 1549-51, 76. For the resulting disputes see Sta. Cha. 2/23/13; ibid. 3/7/28; C 1/1247/4344.
  • 243. Cal. Pat. 1550-3, 387.
  • 244. Ibid. 1553-4, 98-99.
  • 245. S.P.L., Deeds 5984.
  • 246. Cal. Pat. 1566-9, 387; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 341.
  • 247. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 361-6; Salop. Shreds & Patches, ii. 34, 36, 39.
  • 248. This is made clear in the Shrewsbury 'Hundred Roll' of 1278: S.P.L., MS. 28.
  • 249. Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 53. The latest known reference to the house, under the name of the Deanery, is in 1644: S.P.L., Deeds 1459.
  • 250. S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 192v.
  • 251. Part of the south-west side of St. Mary's Street formed an enclave in St. Mary's parish. 'Painted tiles' and masonry remains, including the carved head of a monk, which were found when houses on this side of the street were demolished in the 18th and early 19th centuries, were taken to be evidence that the 'college' of St. Mary's formerly stood there, but without justification: Owen, Hist. Shrews. (1808), 23; T.S.A.S. [1st ser.] iv. 100; 3rd ser. vii. 315.
  • 252. Assumed to be dean of St. Mary's in Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 325, on the evidence of S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 53, where he occurs as 'Ricardus decanus'. It is not clear from the context whether the dean of St. Mary's or of St. Chad's is intended.
  • 253. Eyton, ii. 112 n; Cur. Reg. R. (Rec. Com.), i. 270. Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 325, gives Henry Marshall as dean before 1194 but cites no source.
  • 254. S.P.L., Haughmond Cart. f. 181; Eyton, x. 110. He may have preceded Robert of Shrewsbury but, as he was still a canon of Bridgnorth in the 1220s, this is unlikely.
  • 255. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), i. 110; Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii. 161.
  • 256. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii. 161; Cal. Pat. 122532, 96.
  • 257. Cal. Pat. 1225-32, 276.
  • 258. Close R. 1231-4, 42.
  • 259. Ibid. 1234-7, 85; 1247-51, 218, 378.
  • 260. Cal. Pat. 1258-66, 221. Possibly the same as the preceding.
  • 261. Ibid. 221; 1266-72, 663.
  • 262. Ibid. 1266-72, 663.
  • 263. Ibid. 1281-92, 12; C 47/15/3/28.
  • 264. Cal. Pat. 1281-92, 12, 14, 239.
  • 265. Ibid. 1292-1301, 120, 277; Tax Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 247; Cal. Chan. R. Var. 50.
  • 266. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 533. His resignation in 1298 was not effective: Cal. Chanc. Wts. i. 95; Cal. Close 1296-1302, 333.
  • 267. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 533; 1301-7, 316, 322.
  • 268. Cal. Pat. 1301-7, 316; 1321-4, 24.
  • 269. Ibid. 1321-4, 24.
  • 270. By Nicholas of Ludlow: Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 395.
  • 271. Cal. Pat. 1327-30, 2, 187. Estate ratified 1331: ibid. 1330-4, 181.
  • 272. C 47/76/1/4; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 538. Walter of Wetwang, who was appointed dean in 1337 and 1338 (Cal. Pat. 1334-8, 437; 1338-40, 11) and resigned before Jan. 1341 (ibid. 1340-3, 82), presumably did not secure possession of the deanery. Ludlow was still laying claim to it in 1342: ibid. 1340-3, 444.
  • 273. Cal. Pat. 1340-3, 82 (Feb. 1341); instituted in Aug. 1341 after ejection of Nicholas of Ludlow: ibid. 276; Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 538; C 47/76/1/4.
  • 274. Cal. Pat. 1377-81, 613, 623.
  • 275. Ibid. 613, 623; 1401-5, 175. An abortive appointment of John Repingdon as dean was made in 1397: ibid. 13961399, 251.
  • 276. Cal. Pat. 1401-5, 175.
  • 277. Ibid. 1405-8, 318.
  • 278. Cal. Papal Regs. vi. 419-20; Shrews. boro. rec. 827 (ct. r. Mar. 1416).
  • 279. Cal. Pat. 1416-22, 132; 1422-9, 198.
  • 280. Ibid. 1422-9, 198; 1441-6, 260. Cf. Cal. Papal Regs., ix. 72.
  • 281. Cal. Pat. 1441-6, 260; L.J.R.O., B/a 1/10, f. 24v.
  • 282. L.J.R.O., B/a 1/10, f. 24v.
  • 283. Cal. Pat. 1452-61, 385; 1467-77, 276. Estate ratified 1461: ibid. 1461-7, 94.
  • 284. Ibid. 1467-77, 276, 357; C 47/15/3/20.
  • 285. Cal. Pat. 1467-77, 357.
  • 286. Ibid. 1494-1509, 170.
  • 287. C 1/514/5.
  • 288. L. & P. Hen. VIII, i (2), p. 932; T.S.A.S. 2nd ser. vi. 372.
  • 289. He resigned at an unknown date: C 1/514/5.
  • 290. L. & P. Hen. VIII, iii (2), p. 1452.
  • 291. Ibid.; ibid. xv, p. 347.
  • 292. Ibid. xv, p. 347.
  • 293. T.S.A.S. 3rd ser. x. 336; E 321/20/34.
  • 294. S.P.L., Deeds 3991.
  • 295. S.R.O. 1831 uncat., almshouse deed, 1444.
  • 296. The legend is SIGILLUM . . . ECCLESIE BEATE MARIE SALOPESSBURIE. The illegible letters do not read DECANALE as suggested in Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. as suggested in Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 414; cf. T.S.A.S. liv. 82.
  • 297. S.R.O. 1831 uncat., almshouse deed, 1444.
  • 298. The missing words are presumably [JOHANNIS BURDE]T DECA[NI] as suggested in Owen and Blakeway, Hist. Shrews. ii. 414.