Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Chipley

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

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'Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Chipley', A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2, (London, 1975), pp. 99. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Chipley", in A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2, (London, 1975) 99. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Chipley", A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2, (London, 1975). 99. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Neither the date of the foundation nor the name of the founder of this small priory of Austin canons, dedicated to the honour of the Blessed Virgin, is known.

The earliest known records pertaining to it are of the year 1235, relative to lands at Clopton and Denardiston. (fn. 1)

The taxation roll of 1291 gives diverse entries of its small possessions, which then reached a total annual income of £4 19s. 4d.; including 20s. of spiritualities out of Poslingford church, £3 4s. of lands, meadows, and pasture at Stoke, and 15s. 4d. of smaller temporalities at Stansfield, Poslingford, and Gelham Parva (Essex). (fn. 2)

Licence was granted in 1343 to Roger Normaund to alienate to this priory the manor of Chipley, knights' fees and the advowson of the church excepted, to find two canons to celebrate daily in the priory church for the souls of Roger and Joan his wife, when they shall depart this life, and for his ancestors and heirs. (fn. 3) Roger Normaund or Norman died seised of the advowson or patronage of this priory in 1363. (fn. 4) From this it seems probable that an ancestor of Norman was the founder.

The buildings being in a ruinous condition, and the income not exceeding £10, the Bishop of Norwich consented in 1455 to the annexing of this little priory to the collegiate church of Stoke-next-Clare, who had become its patrons. (fn. 5)

When the Valor of 1535 was drawn up the college of Stoke held temporalities in Chipley to the annual value of £14 13s. 4d.; and there was also a small pension accruing from the church of Poslingford and the chapel of Chipley. (fn. 6)

Priors of Chipley

John de Cavendish, died 1333 (fn. 7)

Richard de Norwich, elected 1333 (fn. 8)

David de Thornham, elected 1349 (fn. 9)

Reginald de Rushworth, elected 1350 (fn. 10)

Thomas de Hippesworth, resigned 1370 (fn. 11)

Richard Man, elected 1370 (fn. 12)

Thomas Hepeworth, elected 1395 (fn. 13)

The pointed oval thirteenth-century seal of this priory bears the Blessed Virgin, half length, with the Holy Child on the left arm; in base, under a trefoiled arch is the kneeling prior. Legend:



  • 1. Feet of F. Suff. 19 Hen III, Nos. 83, 175
  • 2. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 17, 121, 121b, 132.
  • 3. Pat. 17. Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 15.
  • 4. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, pt. ii, No. 7.
  • 5. Norw. Epis. Reg. xi, 36.
  • 6. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 469-70.
  • 7. Norw. Epis. Reg. ii, 62.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid. iv, 120
  • 10. Ibid. iv, 129.
  • 11. Ibid. vi, 3.
  • 12. Ibid.
  • 13. Ibid. vi, 210.
  • 14. B.M. Cast, lxxi, 102.