Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Alnesbourn

Page 91

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

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At Alnesbourn or Albourn, near the river between St. Clement's, Ipswich and Nacton, in the ancient parish of Hallowtree, was one of the smallest of the several small Austin priories of Suffolk. This house, dedicated in honour of the Blessed Virgin, was probably founded by Albert de Neville; at all events he endowed the priory early in the thirteenth century, with the manor that bore his name in the parish of Hethill, and also with the advowson of Carlton St. Mary. (fn. 1) It is stated in a certificate of the year as to the diminution of the profits of the churches of Alnesbourn and Carlton St. Mary that those two rectories were appropriated to this priory in the year 1247. (fn. 2)

The taxation roll of 1291 gives a total annual value of £71 1s. 1½d. to the temporalities of this priory, all in the county of Suffolk; the largest item was for rents and lands in Hallowtree valued at £2 11s. 9d. a year; there were also small rents from the Ipswich parishes of St. Clement, St. Matthew, St. Nicholas, and St. Margaret. (fn. 3)

Robert de Belstede and Robert de Thweyte obtained licence in 1301 to alienate to the priory the advowson of the church of Halghtree or Hallowtree, with two acres of land in that town, (fn. 4) and in 1334 licence was granted for the appropriation of the church. (fn. 5)

Before 1324 the priory of Alnesbourn held the church of St. Mary, Carlton, county Norfolk, appropriated to them. It was served by a stipendiary chaplain, but was conveyed in 1324 by the priory to the master and brethren of St. Giles' Hospital, Norwich. (fn. 6)

In 1391 Robert Bretenham, prior of Alnesbourn, held Neville's manor, Hethill, as half a fee, and paid £5 for a relief as his predecessors had done, and was taxed at £3 5s. 5d. for his temporalities. (fn. 7) This manor was sold in 1424 by the priory to John duke of Norfolk, Walter bishop of Norwich, and others, and by them conveyed to the hospital of St. Giles, Norwich. (fn. 8)

Soon after this date, the exact year has not been ascertained, the priory of Alnesbourn ceased to have an independent existence, and was united to the Austin house of Woodbridge. (fn. 9)

The Valor of 1535 gives the annual value of this priory, under the heading of Woodbridge Priory, as £7 13s. 11d. (fn. 10)

Priors of Alnesbourn

Robert, occurs 1286 (fn. 11)

Walter de Cretynge, appointed 1311 (fn. 12)

John de Stoke, died 1345 (fn. 13)

John de Fynyngham, appointed 1345 (fn. 14)

Robert Snyt, appointed 1350 (fn. 15)

John de Louder, appointed 1350 (fn. 16)

Robert Bretenham, occurs 1391 (fn. 17)

Richard Susanne, appointed 1392 (fn. 18)

John Turnour, occurs 1424 (fn. 19)


  • 1. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. ii, 98, 107.
  • 2. Norw. Epis. Reg. viii, fol. 130.
  • 3. Pope Nich. Tax (Rec. Com.), 124b, 125, 128, 129, 129b.
  • 4. Pat. 30 Edw. I, m. 36.
  • 5. Ibid. 9 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 28.
  • 6. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. v, 98.
  • 7. Ibid. ii, 107.
  • 8. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. ii, 107.
  • 9. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 583, 601.
  • 10. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 422.
  • 11. Bodl. Chart. Suff. 187.
  • 12. Norw. Epis. Reg. i, 45.
  • 13. Ibid. iv, 51.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Ibid. iv, 123.
  • 16. Ibid. iv, 124.
  • 17. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. ii, 105.
  • 18. Norw. Epis. Reg. vi, 170.
  • 19. Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. ii, 107.