Colleges: Wingfield

Page 152

A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1975.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


In 1362, Lady Eleanor, relict of Sir John Wingfield, and Thomas Wingfield, brother of Sir John, being his executors, founded, in accordance with his desires, a college of priests in the parish church of Wingfield. The original foundation only provided for a provost or master and three other priests; but this number was afterwards increased to nine priests and three choristers. It was jointly dedicated in honour of St. Mary, St. John Baptist, and St. Andrew. The original foundation also provided for the support at the college of three poor boys. (fn. 1)

Licence was granted in November, 1401, to the provost or master and the chaplains of the collegiate church of Wingfield, for Thomas Doupe to grant in mortmain to them land in Stradbroke, Wingfield, and Earsham. At the same time Michael earl of Suffolk obtained licence to grant land rent in Stradbroke, Wingfield, Silham, and Earsham, worth 10s. yearly. (fn. 2)

The Valor of 1535 shows a clear annual value of £19 14s. 5d. The temporalities were obtained from Wingfield, Chekering, Sydehamcum-Esham, Stradbroke, Walpole, Benhall Robert, Middleton Chekering, and Raydon Wingfield; the gross value being £47 10s. 4d. The spiritualities were the rectories of Wingfield, Stradbroke, and Syleham, with the chapel of Esham. Among the deductions was the sum of £8 paid to the three poor boys on the foundation. (fn. 3)

Bishop Goldwell made a personal visitation of this college on 27 September, 1493, when William Baynard, the master, with three fellows and four 'conducts,' was examined. The report of the visitation stated that though there was not much worthy of reformation, the ordinance and statutes of the house were not read before the members, the master was too remiss in correction, and that no provision was made for teaching grammar. (fn. 4)

When Bishop Nykke visited in 1526, Thomas Halkyn, one of the fellows, said that the college seal was in the hands of only a single fellow, but that otherwise all was well ordered by the master. Three other fellows gave equally satisfactory testimony. (fn. 5)

The last visitation of this college, prior to its dissolution, was held on 4 July, 1532; it was attended by Robert Budde, master, Nicholas Thurlynge, fellow, and three stipendiaries. There were no complaints, and nothing to reform; but Robert Tompson, stipendiary and steward of the college, said that they were two priests short. (fn. 6)

Robert Budde, master of the college, and four of the fellows signed the acknowledgement of the royal supremacy on 17 October, 1534. (fn. 7)

The college was surrendered on 2 June, 1542. The instrument of surrender is signed by Robert Budde, master, and by four fellows. Annexed to the surrender is the commission, dated 12 May, of the same year, and the commissioners' certificate of the surrender, dated 17 June. (fn. 8)

In this college were buried the bodies of William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, 1450, and his son and heir, John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, 1491. (fn. 9)

The fine seal of this college bears St. Andrew crucified on a saltire cross; in the base the arms of Wingfield. Legend:—

+ COMMUNE + SIGILLUM + S + MARIE + De Wyngfieeld (fn. 10)

Masters of the College of Wingfield

Robert Bolton, occurs 1404, (fn. 11) resigned 1426 (fn. 12)

John Burthan, (fn. 13) appointed 1426

Henry Trevyllian, (fn. 14) appointed 1433

William Baynard, (fn. 15) occurs 1493

Thomas Dey, (fn. 16) occurs 1530

Robert Budde; (fn. 17) occurs 1532


  • 1. Norw. Epis. Reg. v, 88.
  • 2. Pat. 3 Hen. IV, pt. i, m. 22.
  • 3. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 407.
  • 4. Jessopp, Visit. 52-3.
  • 5. Ibid. 223.
  • 6. Ibid. 296.
  • 7. Dep. Keeper's Rep. vii, App. ii, 304.
  • 8. Ibid. viii, App. ii, 49.
  • 9. Weever, Funeral Monuments, 758.
  • 10. Add. Chart. 10642; B.M. Cast, lxxii, 15.
  • 11. Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ. xxi, 347.
  • 12. Norw. Epis. Reg. ix, 15. Mentioned as master in 1405; Pat. 5 Hen. IV, pt. ii, m. 7.
  • 13. Norw. Epis. Reg. ix, 15.
  • 14. Ibid. ix, 61.
  • 15. Jessopp, Visit. 52.
  • 16. Add. Chart. 10642.
  • 17. Jessopp, Visit. 296, &c.