Houses of Augustinian canons: Priory of Ivychurch

Pages 289-295

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

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The priory of Ivychurch, or Ederose (Monasterium Ederosum), dedicated to the Blessed Mary, lay in the hundred and parish of Alderbury, 'adjoyning', as Aubrey described it, 'to Clarendon Park pale, a delicate grove of elms, with a noble prospect to Salisbury and over the country north and west'. (fn. 1) A small minster, a dependent chapel of Alderbury church, stood on the site before the foundation of the priory. Both church and minster were granted by Henry I to Bishop Roger of Salisbury between 1110 and 1122. (fn. 2) After Roger's fall from power in 1139 King Stephen restored and confirmed the gift of the church to Salisbury. (fn. 3) His charter does not mention Monasterium Ederosum and this omission may imply that the king had retained it with the intention of founding a priory there. No foundation charter is known and the earliest evidence comes from the Hundred Rolls for 1274. The jurors of the hundred of Alderbury then named King Stephen as founder. (fn. 4) The priory was certainly a royal foundation, and the fact that it is mentioned in the first pipe roll of Henry II confirms the jurors' evidence. In this pipe roll the Sheriff of Wiltshire accounted for 32s. 6d. paid for the half-year in liveries to Ralph 'prior of Ederose chapel'. (fn. 5) This title suggests that the minster itself had become the priory church, a suggestion which is borne out by the plan of the priory. The 12th-century cloister was on the north side of the church and ran out 12 ft. beyond the west wall of the nave. Probably this cloister was built on to the minster church, with the intention that the latter should be rebuilt on a larger scale. But this was not done and the church remained small (43 by 16 ft.). With the site the priory church also inherited the status and function of parish church for the inhabitants of Clarendon Forest. These it retained until the Dissolution. (fn. 6)

From 1155 until the reign of Henry VIII every king gave the priory a royal alms of 1½d. a day. This sum, paid by the sheriffs of Wiltshire, amounted to 45s. 7½d. a year, although until 1219 the odd halfpenny was omitted. From 1178 an additional daily penny, or 30s. 5d. annually, was paid to the canons of Ivychurch 'who minister in the king's chapel of Clarendon'. From the reign of Edward III to that of Henry VI the total was increased to 100s., but thereafter reverted to 76s. 0½d. The need of such service in the palace chapel of All Saints may have been one of the original causes of the foundation of the priory. When a new chapel was built in 1236 in the palace, 'near the king's great chambers', Henry III granted a further sum of 50s. for another chaplain to serve there. This payment was discontinued in the later pipe rolls, perhaps because Clarendon had ceased to be a regular royal residence. (fn. 7)

The spiritual and temporal endowments of Ivychurch were never of great value, and in later years they were insufficient, but from its foundation the priory enjoyed the use of land and privileges within the forest and park of Clarendon, granted by its royal patrons. King Stephen is said to have given the site of the priory and ½ carucate in Clarendon Forest to be held in chief, in pure and perpetual alms. (fn. 8) Henry III was the next king who is known to have been a benefactor of Ivychurch. He gave two oaks from the forest of 'Panchet' (a part of Clarendon) for repairs to the priory in 1225, and oaks from Clarendon in 1254, 1270, and 1271, as well as many grants of dead wood for fuel. (fn. 9) In 1237 he ordered the bailiff of Clarendon not to vex, or permit others to vex, the priory in its enjoyment of herbage and pasture in the forest. (fn. 10) In 1248 he granted the right to agist 20 pigs with their young, quit of pannage, in the years in which the forest was agisted, provided that they were ringed so that they could not dig. (fn. 11) The priory already enjoyed rights of pasture in the forest in 1252, when it was given more land to serve as pasture for its plough beasts. (fn. 12) It had a croft of 60 acres called Sandcroft, (fn. 13) and in 1237 an area called 'Filethicroft', with rights of assarting and inclosing it, both gifts of Henry III. (fn. 14) On two occasions the same king pardoned the priory for infringement of his forest rights. The first offence was the assarting of 7½ acres of forest land at Pitton, without royal licence, after the land had been granted to the priory by Robert de Stodlegh. The fine of £53 17s. 4d. was remitted in 1246 and the king gave more land in the same place for the celebration of the obit of his mother, Isabel, in the priory church. (fn. 15) On the second occasion, in 1255, the priory was pardoned for having received a gift of 1 acre of land at Pitton from James de Pitton, or Puton, a bailiff of the forest, who had held it of the king in serjeanty. The land was confirmed to the priory 'forever quit of waste and regard'. When a regard of Clarendon Forest was held in 1263 it was presented that the Prior of Ivychurch held 7 acres of old assart, sown once with wheat and once with oats, and 5 acres of new. He came and showed the king's warrant, whereby he was acquitted. (fn. 16)

Edward I increased the endowment of Ivychurch in Clarendon Forest, and Edward II in 1314 granted 112 acres of waste for cultivation. The priory was given power to inclose the area by dyke and hedge, with free entry and exit for all the beasts belonging to the monastery from and to the nearest highway. A rent of 56s. a year to cover all service was demanded by the Crown. (fn. 17) The priory also suffered the loss of certain assarts by Edward's policy of imparking a large area of Clarendon Forest. Some return was made by his grant in March 1317 of the right of pasture for 40 oxen and cows in Clarendon Park. (fn. 18) Another gift of Edward II was 100s. a year from the issues of Clarendon manor in aid 'of finding a light burning forever in the monastery'. (fn. 19) But the keepers of the manor found it impossible to meet such a charge and after some years of friction the prior made a formal complaint to the king and council in 1331. Edward III had already heard in 1330 from Giles de Beauchamp, keeper of Clarendon Forest, that he was prevented from raising more than £4 for Ivychurch because so much of the park had been inclosed. The matter was settled by an order for the money to be paid out of rents in Chippenham and Rowden. (fn. 20) This appears to be the last royal gift of property in Clarendon Forest or Park of which there is any known record. The total amount was considerable. By 1473 Ivychurch held at least 740 acres of pasture and wood in the forest and park. (fn. 21)

There were limitations to the enjoyment of such an endowment, because none of it could be converted into ready money, and the other endowments of the priory in temporal and spiritual possessions were mostly small in value. In 1291 Ivychurch had in temporal income £3 16s. in Laverstock, £1 4s. in Shrewton, 13s. 4d. in Salisbury, 16s. in Barford St. Martin, 6s. in Downton, and 2s. in Grimstead. (fn. 22) It also had a mill at Mumworth, in Laverstock, worth 10s. 4d. in 1250, but not included in the Taxation of I291. (fn. 23) The revenue from spiritualities in 1291 was much higher. The church of Tilshead was wholly appropriated to Ivychurch, and with its vicarage was worth £16 13s. 4d. (fn. 24) It had a portion of £2 in Alderbury church and in Winterslow church, and in Caundel Haddon, now Stourton Caundle (Dors.), it had either a portion or a pension of £3 6s. 8d. (fn. 25) This last church was worth only £1 more in total value, so that it was mainly appropriated to Ivychurch. But the sub-dean of Salisbury was the rector or proprietor and he claimed the mortuary dues and also had a pension in the church. Friction between the two parties was inevitable, but after many years of dispute an agreement was arranged in 1474 by Bishop Richard Beauchamp. The sub-dean renounced to Ivychurch his proprietary and rectorial rights. The bishop then declared the church wholly appropriated to Ivychurch and the prior and canons agreed to pay a yearly pension of 26s. 8d. to the sub-dean. (fn. 26)

Among the earliest endowments of Ivychurch was a bequest from Bishop Jocelin of Salisbury of a portion of certain commons, for which he gave funds to the Chapter of Salisbury between 1155 and 1160. The income was derived from Alton Pancras church (Dors.). In return the canons of the priory were bound to say prayers for his soul and celebrate his obit. In July 1214 the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury agreed with the prior and canons to pay 8 marks yearly instead of the commons, and continued to do so until the Dissolution. In 1406 it was granted to Nicholas Caperon, clerk, for the term of his life because he had given such good and laudable service to the prior and canons. (fn. 27) Another legacy of 50 ewes and 1,000 cows (fn. 28) was given in 1225 by the will of William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury. In 1267 by the will of Robert de Careville, Canon and Treasurer of Salisbury, Ivychurch received 40s. (fn. 29)

In the 14th century there were many grants of land of considerable value. The insufficiency of the early endowment of the priory may have stimulated the flow of gifts. The most important acquisition was the grant of the manor of Whaddon in Alderbury, with the advowson of the church, given in 1328 by Master Robert de Bluntesdon, Canon of Salisbury. The value of the manor was £7 12s. a year, which was covered by a royal licence of 1320, allowing Ivychurch to acquire lands in mortmain worth £10. (fn. 30) The church, which was worth £5 yearly, was eventually abandoned as a parish church and Ivychurch took its place. Presentations to it had ceased by the end of the 13th century, but according to the evidence given at an episcopal visitation of 1394 the priors of Ivychurch were obliged to say mass three times a week in Whaddon church. The duty had been neglected and Prior Roger Virgo was called to account for his negligence. (fn. 31) Two other grants of property in Whaddon were made by Robert de Bluntesdon. One was of 1½ virgate and 2 messuages, worth £1 15s. 4d. yearly. The prior took seisin before an inquisition into the value of the property had been returned to Chancery. For this misdemeanour the house was fined 20s. in 1334. The king also ordered that some of the income should be devoted to the sustenance of a canon to celebrate daily in the priory church 'for the good estate of the king in life, for his soul after death, and for the souls of his progenitors and the faithful departed'. (fn. 32) The second gift was of 4 carucates worth 16 marks. For this the priory was to find three canon chaplains to celebrate daily for the souls of Robert and his parents. (fn. 33) During the rule of Prior Virgo, 1374-1404, when discipline was slack and income was wasted by his extravagance, this daily celebration was not kept up because there were too few canons. At one period there were only five and by 1399 the number had fallen to two besides the prior. (fn. 34) Richard II in 1397 deprived Ivychurch of Robert's lands because his condition was not being fulfilled and committed the custody of them to two royal ministers who accounted at the exchequer for the issues. On the accession of Henry IV the prior complained of the great loss he suffered by the retention of the property, but there was no immediate restoration because he made no effort to find the three necessary canons. (fn. 35)

There were several other small grants of lands in Whaddon. In 1340 John de Tropynell gave ½ acre of arable lying in 'la Westfeld' in a certain culture called 'Shortdene' which had land belonging to Ivychurch on each side of it. (fn. 36) In 1392 Bernard Brocas, knight, Arnold Brocas, and John Chytherne, clerks, granted 2 messuages, a toft called 'Northokerye', and 11 acres of land in Whaddon, 4 messuages and 2 acres of land in Shaftesbury (Dors.), 2 acres of arable, 3 of meadow, and 12s. 8d. yearly rent in Alderbury, and 1 messuage and 16 acres of land in Farley near the church. (fn. 37) Since 1341 the priory had enjoyed by gift from the Crown the right of free warren in all its demesnes in Whaddon and Alderbury. (fn. 38) Thus the manor of Whaddon became the richest temporal endowment of Ivychurch at the Dissolution. The demesne and pasture for 700 sheep were farmed in 1535 for a rent of £14. (fn. 39)

Robert de Hungerford was another benefactor who granted to the priory in 1334 2 messuages in Salisbury, 5 acres of land in 'Muleford' and Laverstock, 52s. in rents in Quidhampton and Bemerton, and 20s. in rents in Ugford and Rushall. The priory was to find, in return, a chaplain for a daily celebration after morning mass in Salisbury Cathedral for the souls of the donor and of Walter Hervy, late archdeacon of Salisbury, and of their ancestors. (fn. 40) This chantry was maintained until the Dissolution. The yearly cost of 26s. 8d. was charged in 1535 upon the rents from Quidhampton. (fn. 41) Robert also granted to Ivychurch in 1321 the advowson of the church of Blunsdon St. Andrew, but there is some doubt as to whether the priory ever effectively enjoyed this gift. (fn. 42) In 1349 William Randolf settled on the priory the reversion of I messuage in Salisbury, 4 messuages, 1 mill, 250 acres of arable, 20 acres of meadow, and 40s. of rent in Laverstock, Ford in Laverstock, and Alderbury, worth in all 100s, a year. (fn. 43) Ivychurch was to find a chaplain to celebrate daily for the souls of William and his wife Agnes. Ten acres and a messuage in Bulkington were given by Henry Thomas in 1331 and another 10 there by John Gille for a chaplain to perform daily celebration in St. Mary's, Bulkington, for the souls of the donors. (fn. 44) Henry Russel and Robert de Hechelhampton granted to Ivychurch in 1341 a messuage and 4½ virgates of land in Winterslow. (fn. 45)

The Black Death gravely affected the community of Ivychurch. The prior and twelve canons died, one only being left, James de Groundewell. He informed Edward III of what had happened and, as no election of a prior could take place, the king appointed James to that office. (fn. 46) The General Chapter of Austin Canons, which met at Northampton in 1350, deferred from 1349 because of the plague, heard from the official visitors that no religious life then flourished at Ivychurch. It was decided to send suitable canons there to restore religion, and to any other religious house in similar circumstances. (fn. 47) The canons were to stay as long as it was expedient, and the bishop was to be informed so that the restoration might be effective. Some of the canons sent to Ivychurch do not appear to have been suitable for any religious house, and from this time the decline of the priory both in its spiritual and economic life undoubtedly began. The new prior, James de Groundewell, had resigned by 1 April 1350; his successor John de Langeford resigned in 1357. (fn. 48) Neither was fit to be prior. James and another canon, John de Groundewell, with their fellow canons Peter Rossall, Robert Turent, Robert Gowyne, John de Salisbury, and the prior himself, John de Langeford, assisted by two lay brothers and other disreputable persons, broke into the property of Joan, widow of John de Grymsted, knight, at West Grimstead in 1356. They carried off her goods, assaulted her servants at Alderbury, and stole some of her bondmen. (fn. 49) In 1358 a royal mandate to all sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, and other ministers gave powers to arrest John de Langeford, late prior, Peter Sele, and John de Salisbury, who, having left the monastery without licence, were now vagabonds in secular habit, and to deliver them to Prior Roger de Chiselden for suitable chastisement. (fn. 50) There are other indications of the worldliness of the canons at this time. One, Thomas, was caught hunting a buck with greyhounds in Clarendon Forest in 1370, and was known to have hunted the royal conies both within and without the forest. Twice he was attached by the king's foresters and each time rescued by his own servant. The Prior of Ivychurch, John Bromley, was also guilty of having given him and his dog shelter. A royal pardon was granted to both prior and canon. (fn. 51) Again, in 1379 a royal pardon was granted to Prior Virgo for having allowed his servant with the prior's harriers to chase a hare and kill a buck in Clarendon Park. (fn. 52)

Under the rule of Prior Virgo, 1374-1404, and of his successor John Morton, 1405-12, the economic difficulties of the priory became serious. (fn. 53) In 1394, at the visitation of Bishop Waltham, it was shown that Roger Virgo's sister, Eleanor, lived in the priory, was fed and clothed of its revenues, and often disturbed the house by her quarrels with the brothers. (fn. 54) The number of pensions, annuities, and corrodies, and indiscreet farming of manors greatly increased, and in some cases led to the permanent loss of endowments. In fact there was scarcely sufficient revenue left by 1412 to sustain the canons in the necessities of life, even though their numbers had fallen as low as two in 1399. (fn. 55) Prior Rowde, soon after his election in 1412, appealed for royal protection, to prevent the dispersal of the canons which he feared might happen because of the poverty of the house. The Crown granted protection in May 1412, and committed the keeping of all the issues and profits from the possessions of Ivychurch to Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, and Edmund, Duke of York. (fn. 56) They were to disburse to the prior and canons a sum necessary for their maintenance, and the rest of the income was to be applied to the discharge of the debts of the house. The royal protection was renewed by Henry V, who also in December 1419 ordered an inquisition to be held upon the reported detention of its lands, rents, services, rights, and other possessions. (fn. 57) But these measures do not appear to have solved the problems. In June 1423 Henry VI, considering the continued poverty and the poor endowments of Ivychurch from its earliest history, granted to the priory the possessions and advowson of the church of Upavon and of its dependent chapel of Charlton. Upavon had been an alien priory of the abbey of St. Wandrille (Seine-Inférieure), and formed one of the prebends of Salisbury Cathedral. (fn. 58) Thus the Prior of Ivychurch became the holder of a prebendal stall in Salisbury, in place of and with the agreement of the Abbot of St. Wandrille. In 1535 he discharged his duties through a vicar, Cuthbert Burdon, who received a pension of 40s. for serving in the choir of Salisbury Cathedral. (fn. 59) By the charter of 1423 the possessions of Upavon Priory were incorporated, annexed, and united to Ivychurch, provided that the accustomed dues were paid to the Crown and to Salisbury Cathedral, and a daily mass celebrated in the priory for the souls of the king and of Catherine, his mother. The Abbot and Convent of St. Wandrille quitclaimed their whole right, and by royal licence made the grant in mortmain. (fn. 60) In the Valor of 1535 the Upavon prebend is valued at £24 10s. 10d. and the chapel of Charlton at £11, the two forming the wealthiest spiritual endowment of the priory. (fn. 61) But Henry's gift was really an exchange, and Ivychurch had to surrender to the Crown all its rights of pasture for 40 oxen, kine, and 20 pigs in Clarendon Park, as well as its prescriptive right to send a daily 'stikker' to collect wood for fuel. (fn. 62) The enjoyment of the new endowment of Upavon was disturbed by the Crown resuming possession of it in 1456 for a term of 20 years, for some unknown reason, and in 1459 it was granted to Eton College. (fn. 63) But this was hot permanent, and in 1461 Edward IV confirmed Upavon to Ivychurch on the same terms as in the original settlement, with the additional surrender of the land called 'Felethicroft' or 'Feleschcroftis'. (fn. 64) At Michaelmas 1463 the prebend was, however, still in the hand of the Crown. (fn. 65) Finally, by a clause in the Act of Resumption of 1473 Ivychurch recovered the advowson and patronage of Upavon church 'with the free chapel of Charlton annexed'. In return the prior and convent 'by their comune assent and by their dede and seale under their Convent Seale' granted the Crown 740 acres of pasture and wood in the park and forest of Clarendon as well as the pasture, originally surrendered, for 40 oxen and 20 pigs with their issue. (fn. 66) The Crown appears to have benefited again by additional land surrendered. But at the Dissolution the priory still had some 112 acres in 'great woods and underwoods', which were valued at £136 4s. 2d. (fn. 67) It is clear that Ivychurch did not immediately profit from Henry VI's gift of Upavon. A royal commission was appointed in 1433, with power to hold inquisitions in Wiltshire and Dorset as to the persons reported to have been intruding upon divers lands belonging to the priory. (fn. 68) The lands are described as being in the king's possession, and so the Crown must still have held the priory in its special protection. Again in November 1447 the Archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Winchester and of Chichester, Edmund, Marquess of Dorset, and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, with others, were appointed to keep all the possessions of Ivychurch, releasing to the prior and canons only sufficient for their sustenance and reserving the rest for the relief of the house. All pensions, annuities, corrodies, and farms, with which burdens the priory had become overcharged 'for lack of good governance and the carelessness of late priors', were to cease for ten years. (fn. 69) Some recovery must have resulted from these measures, although as late as 1515 a licence was granted to the prior and convent to acquire lands in mortmain to the annual value of £10, which may indicate a financial need. (fn. 70) But the chantry certificate of 1536 shows a greatly improved economic and spiritual condition. There were then no debts, and £14 10s. was owing to the house. It had a fair quantity of stores and jewels, comprising £54 19s. 2d. in jewels and plate, £28 9s. 8d. in ornaments, £11 in stuffs, and £89 2s. 2d. in stocks and stores. The number of canon priests with the prior was five, and one novice, by report all of honest conversation, but only one of these desired to remain in religion. Besides the brethren in the house at the Dissolution there were 4 household officers, 4 waiting servants, 5 children for the church, and 3 'hinds'. The church, mansion, and outhouses were reported as in very good condition 'with moch newe buylding of stone and breke. Lead and belles none but only upon the church and in the stepall of the parish'. (fn. 71)

The gross value of the spiritual and temporal possessions of Ivychurch in 1535 was £141 9s. 11d., the temporal in gross being £69 11s. 3½d. The net total was £123 8s. 9½d. and the net temporal £59 0s. 1½d. (fn. 72) The priory therefore suffered dissolution by the Act of Parliament of 1536. (fn. 73) The exact date of its surrender is not known, but it was early in 1536. The last prior, Richard Page, elected 1493, was more distinguished than some of his predecessors. (fn. 74) He had been appointed by the general chapter of Austin Canons, held at Leicester in 1518, one of the two official visitors for the dioceses of Salisbury and Winchester. (fn. 75) He was friendly with Lord and Lady Lisle, and from a letter of his to Lady Lisle of August 1533, thanking her for wine and requesting some venison from Clarendon Park from Lord Lisle, he implies his need of friendship with wise men in good authority. (fn. 76) Another letter of Richard Page to Thomas Cromwell, of 18 November 1535, shows how anxious the prior was to be on cordial terms with him, no doubt realizing by then the imminence of dissolution. Cromwell was asked to nominate the bearer of the letter, William Grene, to the office of high steward of Ivychurch Priory, which had long been without one, 'not for want of applicants but from our desire that you should take pains therein'. (fn. 77) William Grene was appointed under-steward at a fee of 40s. a year and Cromwell himself became high steward at the same fee. (fn. 78) Already in February 1536 John Tregonwell was asking for the farm of Ivychurch Priory, among other religious houses, promising Cromwell consideration and reward for his kindness if the favour were granted. (fn. 79) But from 26 March 1537 Robert Seymour, king's servant, was granted a 21 years' lease of the site of the priory, with most of its manors and lands, and a life-grant of the same in September 1539. (fn. 80) In lieu of a pension Prior Page was granted in 1537 the rectory and prebend of Upavon. (fn. 81) In May 1544 John Barwicke, steward of the Wiltshire property of the Earl of Hertford, bought for £513 16s. 3d. the reversion of the site and of the lands of the priory which had been granted to Robert Seymour. (fn. 82) The priory buildings came eventually into the hands of Henry, Earl of Pembroke, who converted them into a dwelling house. Here Sir Philip Sidney is said to have written much of his Arcadia. (fn. 83) During the Civil War Ivychurch house was held by the royalists, and in 1644 the young Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, then commander-in-chief of the parliamentary forces in Dorset, reported to the Governor of Poole that the enemy from Ivychurch made perpetual inroads 'into the eastern part of our country, and bring the northern part of Wiltshire into contribution to them'. (fn. 84) Much of the priory building, including the original 12th-century cloisters, remained until 1888, when it was pulled down. In the Green Dragon Inn at Alderbury, until a few years ago, there was a very finely moulded chimney-piece said to have come from the priory, and some of the handsome woodwork now part of the structure of the inn may also have come from there. Some of the capitals and coupled columns of the cloister may be seen in a fountain near the inn. The whole of the lower east wall of the frater was covered with a painting of the Last Supper, probably of the 13th century. A farmhouse with many sculptured stones in its walls now occupies part of the site, and two sculptured figures stand outside against the end wall of the house. West of the house are the few ruins of the church, which have recently been described in detail, (fn. 85) There is no record of when it ceased to be the parish church for Clarendon and Whaddon, but neither Ivychurch nor Whaddon was included in the survey of church goods of 1548. (fn. 86)

All the priors of Ivychurch whose elections are known were chosen from the canons of the. priory, except Thomas Griffin, canon of Osney (Oxon.), and Robert Stokys, canon of Southwark. One of the early 13th-century priors, perhaps William de Calne, was appointed by Popes Honorius III and Gregory IX to act as a papal commissary with others to hear causes of appeal in England in 1227 and 1229. (fn. 87) There are detailed accounts of the elections of Priors William de Calne, 1303, John Chiveley, 1428, Robert Franke, 1452, Edward Thacham, 1464, and Richard Page, 1493, in the registers of the bishops of Salisbury.

When William de Calne was presented as priorelect to Bishop Simon de Ghent at Potterne in 1303, he was moved to resign 'purely, simply and absolutely'. In spite of this the bishop, considering his merits, confirmed the election, and William accepted office. (fn. 88) John Chiveley was elected unanimously per viam spiritus sancti and public announcement was made in the church of St. Thomas at Salisbury on 1 April 1428. As was usual, the Archdeacon of Wiltshire was asked to install him. (fn. 89) The act of confirmation of the election of Robert Franke gives many details of the election which took place in the priory chapter house on 3 October 1452. There were present only three canon-priests, and one acolyte, John Philipe. All except Robert Franke with one accord chose him as prior. The Bishop of Salisbury was then informed and he confirmed the election on 10 October. (fn. 90) The election of Edward Thacham took place on 13 May 1464 with similar procedure. By this time John Philipe had become subprior, and with him there were three other canons, John Galeway, Edward Thacham, and Richard Ovyngham. The sub-prior was unanimously chosen to elect, and to assist him with counsel were John Stretton, resident canon of Salisbury, and Robert Stokys, the last prior, who had just resigned Ivychurch because of his election as Prior of Breamore (Hants). To these three the chapter gave full power to deliberate in the western end of the chapter house until noon and to come to some agreement. Thus Edward Thacham was elected. (fn. 91) After his death on 21 February 1493 the new election took place on 4 March, those present being James Keving, sub-prior, Simon Bartlot, the cellarer, John Thacham, and Richard Page, priests and canons. After hearing an exposition by Master Laurence Cokkes, Doctor of Laws, the electors without hesitation acclaimed Richard Page as prior. He was carried to the High Altar as the Te Deum was sung, and between 1 and 2 p.m. Cokkes announced the election to clergy and people in the conventual church. Twice Page was asked for his consent and given an interval for deliberation, and at the second asking, between 2 and 3 p.m. in the south aisle of the church he gave his consent in a formal written deed. (fn. 92)

In 1455 Prior Franke was elected by the burgesses of Salisbury alderman of the 'Mede' because he was seised of 2 messuages and a freehold in right of his church, held of the bishop by fealty, rent, and the service of being alderman or provost of the city. The prior refused to serve and secured from Chancery three writs of discharge, in spite of which he was 'dayly amersed grevously'. His resignation from the office of prior in 1456 released him, but he submitted his successor, Robert Stokys, to the bishop 'to do and fulfyll all constytucions and ordynances as his olde predecessores hath done afore hym'. (fn. 93)

Priors of Ivychurch

Nicholas, occurs 1214. (fn. 94)

Thomas, occurs 1221. (fn. 95)

William de Calne, occurs from 1234 to 1245. (fn. 96)

Thomas Griffin, elected 1247. (fn. 97)

Henry de Boteham, elected 1250, died 1281. (fn. 98)

Richard de Katerington, elected 1281, died 1303. (fn. 99)

William de Calne, elected 1303, resigned 1347. (fn. 100)

Stephen de Mordon, elected 1347, died of plague 1348-9. (fn. 101)

James de Groundewell, appointed 1349, resigned by 1 Apr. 1350. (fn. 102)

John de Langeford, elected 1350, resigned 1357. (fn. 103)

Roger de Chuselden, elected 1357. (fn. 104)

Priory void 14 Oct. 1361. (fn. 105)

John Bromleye, provided by Bp. of Salisbury, 1361, died before 17 May 1374. (fn. 106)

Roger Virgo, elected 1374, died 1404. (fn. 107)

Richard Compton, elected 1404, died 1405. (fn. 108)

John Morton, elected 1405, resigned 1412. (fn. 109)

Walter Rowde, elected 1412, died 1428. (fn. 110)

John Chiveley, elected 1428, died 1452. (fn. 111)

Robert Franke, elected 1452, resigned 1456. (fn. 112)

Robert Stokys, elected 1456, resigned 1467. (fn. 113)

Edward Thacham, elected 1467, died 1493. (fn. 114)

Richard Page, elected 1493, died as 'Prior of Uphaven' 1540. (fn. 115)

The fragment of a seal (fn. 116) used in 1409-10 shows the Holy Trinity in a canopied niche. It is a pointed oval about 15/8 in. long. Only the letters COM of the legend survive.

The seal (fn. 117) of Prior Walter, on a deed of 1412, is circular and measures 13/16 in. in diameter. On it, the Virgin with the Child on her lap is seated within a canopied niche and against a rayed background. The legend is now indecipherable, but apparently the following letters were formerly legible:


A pointed oval conventual seal (fn. 118) on a deed of 1423 measures about 2½ by 15/8 in. and shows an irradiated figure of the Virgin within a canopied niche holding the Child on her right arm. The legend is:


The seal (fn. 119) of Prior John Chiveley on a deed of 1432 is round and measures ¾ in. across. Within a crescent an angel holds a shield charged with a cross. Only part of the legend survives:



  • 1. The usual medieval name was Ederose by Clarendon, or Ederose of Clarendon. But it appears to have been known to Gervase of Canterbury as 'Whitchreche', and in the 16th cent. it was sometimes called Ivestchurch and Westchurch: Gervase of Canterbury, Opera Hist. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 421; Cal. Pat. 1553-4, 474; 1560-3, 6; Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Alderbury Hund. 187.
  • 2. Reg. St. Osmund (Rolls Ser.), i, 208: the printed text is not quite accurate; there should be no 'in' before Monasterium Hederosum: Sar. Reg. S. Osmundi, f. 45.
  • 3. Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. i, 361; Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 10-11.
  • 4. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 242.
  • 5. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 648. Several historians have ascribed the foundation to Henry II: Dugd. Mon. vi, 416; Tanner, Notitia Mon. 602. In 1535 an annual distribution of alms was made 'in accordance with the foundation and ordinance of the Lord King Henry II, our founder', but the title of 'founder' was used of every English king: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 97.
  • 6. Sir H. Brakspear, 'Ivychurch Priory', W.A.M. xlvi, 433-40.
  • 7. Pipe Rolls, passim.
  • 8. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 242.
  • 9. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 63b; Close R. 1231-4, 4; 1247-53, 20; 1253-4, 37; 1254-6, 26; 1256-9, 226; 1268-72, 309, 447. By the 15th cent. the priory had the right to collect dead wood for fuel daily: Cal. Close, 1422-9, 75.
  • 10. Close R. 1234-7, 409.
  • 11. Ibid. 1247-51, 88. Payment of 9s. 2d. as pannage for two years in Clarendon Forest was remitted in 1249: Cal. Lib. 1245-61, 269.
  • 12. Close R. 1242-7, 536; 1251-3, 125.
  • 13. SC 8/2659.
  • 14. Close R. 1256-7, 191-2. 'Filethicroft' lay within the bounds but outside the coverts of the forest. Its boundary was from the croft of the canons next the east side of their house to a place called 'Benekstaple', thence northwards to the 'Lichewaye' and from there to the road from Romsey to Salisbury: Dugd. Mon. vi, 417.
  • 15. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 304; Close R. 1242-7, 448, 527.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. 1247-58, 445; E 32/199. Ivychurch's right to the acre at Pitton was confirmed in 1281, and the priory had a grange there in 1535: Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 800.
  • 17. Cal. Fine R. 1307-19, 206. Dugd. Mon. vi, 417 gives 122 acres.
  • 18. Cal. Pat. 1313-17, 628; Cal. Close, 1313-18, 507; SC 8/2659.
  • 19. Cal. Pat. 1313-17, 631.
  • 20. Ibid. 1330-4, 77; Cal. Close, 1330-3, 7, 82; SC 8/2659, 13927.
  • 21. Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), vi, 91a.
  • 22. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 185-6.
  • 23. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 47; Cal. inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, pp. 356-7. Mumworth, now lost, was by the present Dairy Bridge House on the Southampton Road near Salisbury. A fulling mill there was held of Ivychurch by Sir Thomas Mylbourne by rent of a red rose in 1492. With 10 acres of meadow it was then worth 10s. yearly. The name of the tenant given in the Valor is the same as in 1492, and no rent had been paid for many years: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 96.
  • 24. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 181. The church of Tilshead is not declared as appropriated in the printed text but is so described in an original assessment: E 179/68/28. It was dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket and is said to have been given to Ivychurch by Henry II. There is no contemporary evidence, but the dedication to the archbishop and the gift to Ivychurch recall the tradition preserved by Fuller that St. Thomas stayed in the priory during the Council of Clarendon and daily walked to and fro between its stormy sessions.
  • 25. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 178, 180, 194b, gives a 'portion', but in E 179/68/28 it is called a 'pension'.
  • 26. J. Hutchins, Hist. & Antiq. of Dors. (3rd ed.), iii, 670; Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, ii, pt. ii, f. 2. The annual payment to the sub-dean continued to the Dissolution: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 97.
  • 27. Reg. S. Osmundi (Rolls Ser.), 220, 236; Sar. Reg. Metford, f. clxxi; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 96.
  • 28. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 71b.
  • 29. Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 344.
  • 30. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, 267; C 143/197/19.
  • 31. Sar. Reg. Waltham, f. 71v; W.A.M. xlvi, 436–7.
  • 32. Cal. Pat. 1334–8, 48; C 143/224/11.
  • 33. E 372/245/Wyltes.
  • 34. Ibid. E 179/52/12, a clerical subsidy of 1381, gives the names of five canons with the prior Roger Virgo. They were John Wodebold, Henry Darden, Richard Watton, Thomas Hyndon, and Peter Wernour. Each canon was assessed at 40d. and the prior at 14s. 11d.
  • 35. E 372/245/Wyltes.
  • 36. Tropenell Cart. ed. Davies, ii, 165.
  • 37. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, 184; C 143/421/25.
  • 38. Cal. Chart. R. 1341–1417, 8.
  • 39. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 97.
  • 40. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, 434; C 143/225/20.
  • 41. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 96.
  • 42. In 1344–5 Ivychurch acquired a licence for the grant of the advowson, but the manor with the advowson belonged to the family of Wace until 1348: Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), 268; C 143/141/13; Aubrey, Topog. Coll. ed. Jackson, 151.
  • 43. William Randolf, a bastard, died 1361 without heirs and the property then devolved on Ivychurch: Cal. inq. p.m. xi, p. 163; Cal. Close, 1360–4, 445; C 143/292/14.
  • 44. C 143/215/20.
  • 45. Cal. Pat. 1340–3, 281.
  • 46. Ibid. 1348–50, 260, 268, 272.
  • 47. Chapters of Augustinian Canons (Cant. & York Soc.), xxix, 58.
  • 48. Cal. Pat. 1348–50, 482, 502; 1354–8, 600.
  • 49. Ibid. 1354–8, 386.
  • 50. Ibid. 1358–61, 81. Peter Sele may be the Peter Ottesele, an apostate canon of Ivychurch, who was allowed by papal mandate of 1358 to be reconciled with his Order.
  • 51. Cal. Pat. 1367–70, 458.
  • 52. Ibid. 1377–80, 427–8.
  • 53. Ibid. 1408–13, 400.
  • 54. Sar. Reg. Waltham, f. 71v.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1408–13, 400; 1413–16, 23.
  • 56. Ibid. 1408–13, 400.
  • 57. Ibid. 1416–22, 272.
  • 58. Ibid. 1422–9, 106–7; Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 179– 81. The grant included the advowsons of the vicarages of Upavon and Charlton.
  • 59. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 96.
  • 60. Cal. Pat. 1422–9, 106–7; Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 180.
  • 61. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 96.
  • 62. Cal. Pat. 1422–9, 109; Cal. Close, 1422–9, 75; Rot. Parl. iv, 181.
  • 63. E 372/308, Wiltes; Cal. Pat. 1452–61, 477.
  • 64. Cal. Pat. 1461–7, 95.
  • 65. E 372/308/Wiltes.
  • 66. Rot. Parl. vi, 91a.
  • 67. W.A.M. xlvi, 435.
  • 68. Cal. Pat. 1429–36, 301.
  • 69. Ibid. 1446–52, 137–8.
  • 70. L. & P. Hen. VIII, ii, (1), p. 184.
  • 71. W.A.M. xlvi, 435.
  • 72. The gross total in the Valor, £133 5s. 2½d., is inaccurate. These figures are from A. Savine, Engl. Mon. on Eve of Dissolution (Oxford Studies), 285.
  • 73. L. & P. Hen. VIII, x, p. 515; xiii, (2), p. 502.
  • 74. He was ordained sub-deacon in April 1490, deacon in the following Sept. and priest in Dec.: Sar. Reg. Langton, f. 82.
  • 75. Chapters of Augustinian Canons (Cant. & York Soc.), xxix, 142.
  • 76. L. & P. Hen. VIII, vi, p. 415.
  • 77. L. & P. Hen. VIII, ix, p. 283.
  • 78. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Alderbury Hund. 197.
  • 79. L. & P. Henry VIII, x, p. 105.
  • 80. Ibid. xiii, (1), p. 582; xix, (1), p. 382.
  • 81. Ibid. xiii (1), p. 574. In his will dated 1539 Page called himself Prior of Upavon. He desired to be buried in Salisbury Cathedral, and died 12 Jan. 1540: Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Alderbury Hund. 186.
  • 82. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix, (1), 382.
  • 83. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Alderbury Hund. 187.
  • 84. W. D. Christie, Life of Shaftesbury, i, 69.
  • 85. W.A.M. xlvi, 433–40; J. E. Nightingale, 'The Priory of Ivychurch and its Wall-paintings', Proc. Soc. Antiq. 2nd ser. xiii, 352–5.
  • 86. W.A.M. xlvi, 433–40. Brakspear's opinion that the priory church had a south aisle is confirmed by a reference to it in the election of Prior Page in 1493: Sar. Reg. Langton, pt. ii, f. 42v.
  • 87. B.M. Stowe 925, f. 120; Cal. Pap. Reg. Lett. i, 122; Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 183.
  • 88. Reg. Simon de Gandavo (Cant. & York Soc.), 650–1.
  • 89. Sar. Reg. Neville, f. 9.
  • 90. Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, pt. i, f. 21v.
  • 91. Ibid. f. 115.
  • 92. Sar. Reg. Langton, pt. ii, f. 42v.
  • 93. Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. iv, 202–3.
  • 94. Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 78.
  • 95. Ibid. 114.
  • 96. Som. Rec. Soc. lix, p. lxiii.
  • 97. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 500.
  • 98. Ibid. 1247–58, 83; 1272–81, 454.
  • 99. Ibid. 1301–7, 162.
  • 100. Ibid. 1301–7, 200; 1345–8, 293.
  • 101. Ibid. 1345–8, 295; 1348–50, 260.
  • 102. Ibid. 1348–50, 260, 484.
  • 103. Ibid. 1348–50, 502; 1354–8, 600.
  • 104. Ibid. 1354–8, 627.
  • 105. Ibid. 1361–4, 88.
  • 106. Ibid. 1361–4, 90; 1370–4, 446.
  • 107. Ibid. 1370–4, 443; 1401–5, 475.
  • 108. Ibid. 1401–5, 479, 485.
  • 109. Ibid. 1401–5, 499; 1408–13, 392.
  • 110. Ibid. 1408–13, 392; 1422–9, 470.
  • 111. Ibid. 1422–9, 471; 1452–61, 15.
  • 112. Ibid. 1452–61, 17, 294.
  • 113. Ibid. 1452–61, 325; 1467–77, 15; Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. iv, 202.
  • 114. Cal. Pat. 1467–77, 16; 1485–94, 410.
  • 115. Ibid. 1485–94, 419.
  • 116. E 213/343.
  • 117. E 213/344.
  • 118. E 329/325.
  • 119. E 213/345.