Houses of Austin canons: Priory of Dodnash

Pages 99-100

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

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Information respecting the small Austin priory of the Blessed Virgin at Dodnash is somewhat scanty. Neither the time of the foundation nor the name of the founder is known, but it was probably founded by an ancestor of the earl and dukes of Norfolk, as they held the patronage of the priory for many generations.

The priory held lands in Bentley, (fn. 1) Chelmondiston, (fn. 2) and Bergholt, (fn. 3) in the thirteenth century, and in 1327 the prior of Dodnash obtained free warren over his lands in Bentley, Falkenham, and Bergholt. (fn. 4)

Licence was obtained in January 1331 by the prior and convent to acquire lands or rents in mortmain to the yearly value of £10. (fn. 5) In April of the same year John de Goldyngham, under the foregoing licence, was allowed to alienate to the priory, property in Bentley, Bergholt, Capel, Brantham, and Tattingstone, of the yearly value of £5. (fn. 6)

The endowment of the priory in 1485 included the tithe of barley in Falkenham, 320 acres of land in Hemingstone, Coddenham, etc., 280 acres of land in Burstall, Bramford, etc., a messuage and 39 acres of land in Bergholt, free warren in the three places already named, and rents and lands in fifteen Suffolk parishes. (fn. 7) The total clear annual value of the priory was declared at £44 18s. 8½d., when it was suppressed by Cardinal Wolsey, in 1525, among the group of smaller houses whose endowments were intended to be used in the founding of his colleges of Ipswich and Oxford. The priory of St. Mary Dodnash was surrendered by Prior Thomas on 1 February 1524-5, in the presence of Thomas Cromwell and other members of Wolsey's commission. (fn. 8)

On the downfall of Wolsey the priory site and lands were assigned, on 1 April 1531, to Lionel Tolemache, his heirs and assigns. (fn. 9)

Priors of Dodnash

John de Goddesford, resigned 1346 (fn. 10)

Adam Newman, elected 1346 (fn. 11)

Thomas de Thornham, resigned 1383 (fn. 12)

John Capel, elected 1406 (fn. 13)

Robert Newbone, resigned 1438 (fn. 14)

Michel de Colchester, elected 1438 (fn. 15)

Richard Whytyng, elected 1444 (fn. 16)

Thomas, resigned 1525 (fn. 17)


  • 1. Feet of F. Suff. 19 Hen. III, No. 77.
  • 2. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), ii, 177, 190.
  • 3. Feet of F. Suff. 15 Edw. I, No. 99.
  • 4. Chart. R. 1 Edw. III, No. 11.
  • 5. Pat. 4 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 10.
  • 6. Ibid. 5 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 18.
  • 7. Esch. Enr. Accts. Suff. 3 Ric. III, No. 156.
  • 8. L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, pt. i, 1137, 1832; pt. ii, 3538.
  • 9. Pat. 22 Hen. VIII, pt. i, m. 17.
  • 10. Norw. Epis. Reg. iv, 54.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Ibid. vi, 90.
  • 13. Ibid. iv, 332.
  • 14. Ibid. x, 19.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Ibid. x, 55.
  • 17. L. and. P. Hen. VIII, iv, pt. i, 1137.