Colleges: College of Lingfield

Pages 127-128

A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1967.

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The chief founder of this college was Reginald Lord Cobham. On 16 March 1431 license was granted to the abbot and convent of Hyde, who were the patrons of Lingfield Church, to cede the advowson of the parish church to Sir Reginald Cobham, William Crowmere, John Arderne, and John Bayhall, to convert it into a collegiate church, consisting of six chaplains, one of whom should govern as master of the collegiate church of St. Peter of Lingfield, and four clerks, together with thirteen poor persons, for the good estate of Reginald and his coadjutors and all other benefactors whilst living and for their souls after death. The college was to have a common seal, and to hold a messuage in Southwark on payment to the abbey of a rent of 20s. At the same time license was granted to Reginald and the others to transfer the advowson and rectory of this church to the newly founded college. (fn. 1)

The college was built at the west end of the churchyard, with a first storey of freestone, but above that brick and timber. Aubrey, writing in 1719, describes the court and cloister of the buildings as nearly perfect.

On 1 March 1449 license was granted to Anne Cobham, lady of Starburgh, Sir John Fortescue, chief justice, Edward Sackville, Gervase Clifton, and others to alienate to the college the manors of Hexstede and Bylyshough, with appurtenances, and five messuages, two watermills, 128 acres of land, and 16d. rent in Lingfield. (fn. 2)

The Valor of 1535 gave the clear annual value as £75. Provost Culpepper surrendered the college to Henry VIII. on 26 April 1544. The surrender is signed, in addition to the provost, by Anthony Sharde, priest; Richard Augur, clerk; and by Maurice Wells, Richard Rowell, and Thomas Woody. (fn. 3)

There are two inventories among the Loseley charters of this college; the one is a small roll, endorsed—"Inventory of the household goods cloaths money farming stock etc. of Jn° Robson Mr of the College of Lyngfield 1 Aug. 1524"; and the other is an inventory of seven pages taken upon the dissolution of the house in 1544. These documents were printed in 1880 by Mr. Granville Leveson-Gower. (fn. 4) The church was exceptionally rich in copes and vestments.


John Acton, 1431 (fn. 5)

John Wyche, (fn. 6) died 1445

John Wetecote, died 1469

John Bow, appointed 1469 (fn. 7)

David William, died 1491

John Knoyle, instituted 1491, (fn. 8) died 1503

Robert Blynkynsop, resigned 1520

John Robson, instituted 1520, died 1524

Edward Culpepper, LL.D., instituted 1524, (fn. 9) and surrendered 1544

The pointed oval fourteenth century seal (fn. 10) represents St. Peter seated in a canopied niche, with tiara, in the left hand a patriarchal cross, and the right hand raised in blessing. In the base a half-length priest praying; and below this the arms of Cobham the founder. Legend imperfect:— . . . . Collegii SCI PETRI.


  • 1. Pat. 9 Hen. VI. pt. ii. m. 6.
  • 2. Pat. 27 Hen. VI. pt. ii. m. 28.
  • 3. Dept. Keepers' Reports, viii. app. ii. 28; Rymer's Fœdera, xv. 66.
  • 4. Surrey Arch. Coll. vii. 228-245.
  • 5. Winton. Epis. Reg., Waynflete, ii. f. 133.
  • 6. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr., ii. 353, gives this name and date from a gravestone then in the church.
  • 7. Ibid. and Winton. Epis. Reg., Waynflete.
  • 8. Ibid. Courtney, f. 42b. Knoyle was presented by Sir Edward Burgh in right of Anne his wife.
  • 9. Ibid. Fox, iv. ff. 6b, 45b, 69.
  • 10. B.M. lxii. 61.