Houses of Augustinian canonesses: Abbey of Lacock

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

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'Houses of Augustinian canonesses: Abbey of Lacock', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, ed. R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall( London, 1956), British History Online [accessed 22 July 2024].

'Houses of Augustinian canonesses: Abbey of Lacock', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Edited by R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall( London, 1956), British History Online, accessed July 22, 2024,

"Houses of Augustinian canonesses: Abbey of Lacock". A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Ed. R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall(London, 1956), , British History Online. Web. 22 July 2024.

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The foundress of Lacock Abbey was Ela, daughter and sole heiress of William, Earl of Salisbury, and wife of William Longespée, a natural son of Henry II. It seems likely that she had the foundation in mind from the time of her husband's death in 1226, but delayed putting her plan into operation because her eldest son, whose confirmation would be necessary, was still a minor. The first steps towards its realization were taken in 1229, when, having obtained the consent of the rector of the parish, (fn. 1) Ela gave her manor of Lacock, together with the moiety of the advowson of the church, to God and the Blessed Mary and St. Bernard in free alms, for the building there of an abbey of nuns to be called locus beate Marie. (fn. 2) The grant was confirmed at the same time and place by the young William Lpngespée, (fn. 3) and by royal charter on 31 January 1230. (fn. 4) On 26 February Ela obtained express royal permission to assign her manor of Lacock for the building of an abbey, (fn. 5) in accordance with the terms of the charter already confirmed. The dedication suggests that her original intention was to found a community of Cistercian nuns; but in 1228 the general chapter of Cîteaux had reiterated its earlier prohibitions of the acceptance by the Order of responsibility for the direction of any further convents of women, (fn. 6) and when on 20 April 1230 the Bishop of Salisbury formally approved the foundation he specified that the nuns should follow the Rule of St. Augustine. (fn. 7) It was perhaps to compensate for the frustration of her original plan that Ela, when abbess, obtained from Cîteaux letters of confraternity for herself and her community (1253). (fn. 8)

The story of the foundation of Lacock is told in outline in the 'Annals', originally compiled, probably by one of the chaplains of the house, about 1275; (fn. 9) and in greater detail in the 'Book of Lacock', which relates the history of the foundress and her family, and was apparently written about the middle of the 14th century. (fn. 10) The annals record the veiling of the first nuns under the year 1232; (fn. 11) and the book gives the name of the first canoness as Alicia Garinges. (fn. 12) She was in all probability brought from the premier English Augustinian convent of Goring (Oxon.) to give the new community the benefit of her experience of the religious life. Although the annals ascribe the 'first foundation' of the abbey to the year following, (fn. 13) the book assigns it to a definite date, 16 April, in 1232, when, we are told, Ela 'founded' two convents in one day—Lacock in the morning, and the Charterhouse of Hinton in Somerset (originally established by her husband at Hatherop in Gloucestershire) in the afternoon. (fn. 14)

The site she chose at Lacock was an almost level meadow called 'Snaylesmede' lying between the village and the River Avon. (fn. 15) Local stone was used to a large extent in the building. The nuns acquired a quarry at Hazelbury in Box, from Henry Croc, (fn. 16) which they exchanged in 1241 for a portion of that owned by the Abbot and Convent of Stanley. (fn. 17) In 1246 Henry III contributed 4 oaks from the forest of Chippenham, (fn. 18) and in 1264 a further 15 from the royal forests, (fn. 19) while in 1247 he made the abbess a gift of 50 marks. (fn. 20) It is probable that by this date the main structure had been completed; but the fact that in 1285 Edward I gave 10 more oaks 'fit for timber' from Melksham Forest shows that building was then still in progress. (fn. 21) The 14th century saw the addition of a lady-chapel (fn. 22) and a separate lodging for the abbess, as well as extensive alterations to the dorter and frater. The cloister was completely remodelled in the later 14th and 15th centuries, and many minor improvements such as the insertion of fireplaces in various parts of the convent buildings were carried out. (fn. 23) Water was brought to the convent from Bowden Hill by means of a conduit, or aqueduct, built in the time of the second abbess, Beatrice of Kent, and a mill for grinding the abbey's corn was erected within the close, to the north-east of the claustral buildings, about the same time. These undertakings necessitated protracted negotiations with the abbey's neighbours, especially the Bluets of Lackham, whose interests suffered through the diversion of a stream to work the convent mill, and across whose land the nuns' conduit had to be carried. The matter was adjusted in a series of agreements between the abbess and convent and Sir William Bluet, whose losses and concessions were made good by various grants of land (fn. 24) and the promise of participation for him and his family in the prayers and good works of the community. (fn. 25)

Meanwhile Ela, on the advice, we are told, of Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury, had herself assumed the habit at the end of 1237 or the beginning of 1238. (fn. 26) It was no doubt intended from the first that she should become abbess of the house of her foundation, which was ruled in the meantime by a prioress, Wymarca. (fn. 27) The annals assign Ela's election to the year 1240, (fn. 28) and the 'Book of Lacock' gives the day as the feast of the Assumption (15 Aug.). (fn. 29) A letter of the prioress and convent to the Bishop and Dean of Salisbury, dated 15 August 1239, has, however, been preserved; it promises that the concession whereby their abbess-elect (religiosa domina . . . electa nostra) is to receive the episcopal blessing at Sherston, shall be without prejudice to the rights of the cathedral church. (fn. 30) From this it would appear that Ela's abbacy began a year earlier than has hitherto been supposed. Her profession of canonical obedience, marked with her cross, is still extant among the chapter records 'at Salisbury. (fn. 31) She ruled the abbey until 31 December 1257, when she resigned her office in favour of Beatrice of Kent. On 24 August (the feast of St. Bartholomew) 1261 she died, and was buried with due honour in the church of the convent she had founded. (fn. 32)

During her lifetime Ela laid a firm foundation of endowments, with the manor and village of Lacock as the nucleus. (fn. 33) Contemporary with the foundation-charter itself was a grant by Constance de Legh, a member of the de la Mare family of Leigh near Malmesbury, of Woodmancote in the parish of North Cerney (Glos.). (fn. 34) Ela herself added, after the house had been established, the manor of Hatherop (Glos.), (fn. 35) which the transfer of the Carthusians to Hinton had left at her disposal. On 12 February 1236, as a preliminary to taking the veil, she made an agreement with her son in which she undertook to surrender to him on the feast of All Saints all the land remaining in her possession: for his part, he agreed to the grant to the nuns of Lacock of the manor of Bishopstrow and promised to effect an exchange with the canons of Bradenstoke for the lands they held in Hatherop, and to buy out Sir Robert Bluet, who held half the advowson of the church of Lacock. (fn. 36) Sir Robert's obduracy prevented the execution of the latter plan, and under a new agreement the abbey was given instead an annual rent of £10 together with the advowson of the church of Shrewton. (fn. 37) Finally, on 19 October 1236 the moiety of the manor of Heddington, which had come into Ela's hands on the death of Maud de Bohun, was substituted for the rent charge. (fn. 38) The projected exchange with Bradenstoke was abandoned. Ela now issued a new charter formally granting to the convent the manors of Lacock, Hatherop, and Bishopstrow, and the moiety of the manor of Heddington, with the advowsons of Lacock and Shrewton. (fn. 39) It was duly confirmed by William Longespée, (fn. 40) and a royal inspeximus was obtained in 1237. (fn. 41) The church of Shrewton was appropriated to the convent and a perpetual vicarage ordained there in 1241 by Bishop Robert Bingham. (fn. 42) After the surrender of her lands, William gave his mother for her maintenance, 'whether or not she entered religion', the manor of Chitterne, (fn. 43) subsequently confirming the gift to her as abbess. (fn. 44) Royal confirmation was obtained in 1248. (fn. 45) Later he added Upham in Aldbourne, which had come to him by way of escheat. (fn. 46) On 8 February 1250 William Longespée (II) was killed on crusade at the battle of Mansoura; (fn. 47) and his son and heir, William (III), in his turn confirmed all the grants made by his grandmother to Lacock. (fn. 48)

Meanwhile the king had shown himself generous in his benefactions. In 1237 Ela obtained from Henry III the grant of a fair at Lacock to be held on the vigil, the feast, and the morrow of the Translation of St. Thomas of Canterbury (7 July); (fn. 49) and to this was added in 1242 the grant of a Tuesday market. (fn. 50) In 1257 the king granted the nuns a fair, to be held on the vigil and feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (29 June) and the six days following, a Monday market, and rights of free warren on their demesne lands in their manor of Chitterne; (fn. 51) and in 1260 they obtained quittance from cheminage in all the royal forests in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, with free warren on all their demesne lands outside the bounds of the forest, and the right to hold a Friday market at Lacock. (fn. 52) Henry had given in 1242 a weekly cartload of wood from Melksham Forest for the abbess's hearth. (fn. 53) In 1260 Ela petitioned that this might be increased to a daily cartload; but the king granted to the nuns instead 40 acres of the same forest, with permission to enclose the area with a hedge and ditch. (fn. 54) In 1388 leave was given to replace the hedge and ditch by a paling. (fn. 55)

Private donations did not cease with Ela's death. Thus, for example, the widowed Amice, Countess of Devon, whose daughter Margaret was a nun at Lacock, (fn. 56) gave to the convent in free alms during the abbacy of Beatrice of Kent the manor of Shorwell in the Isle of Wight. (fn. 57) The gift was confirmed by Isabel de Fortibus, Countess of Aumâle. (fn. 58) Land at Westlecott in Swindon was given by Katherine Lovel, sister of Philip Bassett, the second husband of Ela's daughter of the same name; (fn. 59) and in 1274 Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, and Constable of England, gave rents in Uffcott in Broad Hinton. (fn. 60)

After 1300 no landed property of any importance was acquired; but the two churches of Lacock and Clyffe Pypard were appropriated in the course of the fourteenth century. In 1311 Sir John Bluet at last agreed to surrender to the abbess and convent the share of the advowson of the church of St. Cyriac at Lacock belonging to his family. On 3 March Bishop Simon of Ghent authorized appropriation, (fn. 61) the necessary royal licence being issued on the day following. (fn. 62) The transaction was completed in 1316, when the abbess and convent were formally inducted as rector by order of Bishop Roger Mortival; (fn. 63) but the vicarage was not finally ordained until 1337. (fn. 64) On 29 July 1399, licence having been previously obtained from the king, (fn. 65) Bishop Richard Metford authorized the appropriation of the church of Clyffe Pypard, the advowson of which had been given to the convent by John de Maydenhithe, Dean of Chichester and Canon of Salisbury. (fn. 66) Papal confirmation followed on 23 January 1400. (fn. 67) Royal confirmation of the charters of the house was obtained by successive abbesses in 1399, (fn. 68) 1429, (fn. 69) and 1467. (fn. 70)

Most of the land with which the abbey was originally endowed was given in free alms, with the intention that it should be quit of secular obligations; (fn. 71) but since when given it was already burdened with service, the claim to exemption was not always easy to enforce as against the chief lord of the fee, whose interest had often, before the Statute of Mortmain, to be bought out at considerable expense to the nuns. (fn. 72) In the case of Shorwell the distance from Lacock was a complicating factor. The nature of the abbey's tenure seems to have been early in dispute. An inquest of 1287-90 returned that the manor was held of the countess by the abbess and convent as I knight's fee; (fn. 73) and the nuns accordingly found themselves assessed for the aid to marry of 1302, and the three Scottish scutages of 28, 31, and 34 Edward I. Not until 1315 were they able to establish their claim to exemption on the ground that they held in 'fee pure and perpetual alms'. (fn. 74) As late as 1508 fresh complications arose when a jury at Carisbrooke returned that the manor of Shorwell was held in chief by knight-service. It was taken into the king's hand on the ground that the reigning abbess, elected in 1483, had entered upon it without observing the due formalities; and the nuns were unable to recover possession until 1516, when Joan Temmse, the last abbess, brought a successful suit in Chancery. (fn. 75)

The fact that the abbey rendered no service did not involve a similar exemption for its tenants. When William Longespée confirmed his mother's grant of Lacock, Hatherop, and Bishopstrow, he ordered his knights and free tenants there to render their service in future to the prioress and convent, (fn. 76) and Humphrey de Bohun did likewise in 1274 in the case of Walter Maudut of 'la Frithe'. (fn. 77) The rental of Bishopstrow preserved in the older cartulary, and dated by Clark-Maxwell between 1260 and 1280, shows one Alfred de Nicol holding a knight's fee in Zeals; (fn. 78) while at Hatherop three tenants are described as holding between them 2½ hides per regale servicium. (fn. 79) In 1306 we find Bishopstrow and Hatherop described in the cartulary as 'baronies'. In the former, three tenants are listed, holding between them 2 knights' fees; in the latter seven tenants holding in all 5½, 2/5, and 1 /10 fees. (fn. 80) At Woodmancote in that year a total of 78s. 0½d. was levied in scutage, in sums ranging from 72s. 6½d. paid by Richard de Woodmancote to 6d. paid by the Abbot of Tewkesbury for ½ virgate. (fn. 81) By that date military tenure of mesne lords had become merely scutage-paying tenure, and it would appear that a process of creating or multiplying fees for purely fiscal purposes had been in progress on the Lacock lands. A case in point is the acknowledgement in 1279-80 by the Master of the Hospital of St. John at Calne of his obligation to pay 12d. scutage, when scutage ran, for his tenement at Uffcott. (fn. 82)

Homage was performed to the abbess by her free tenants in her hall at Lacock, (fn. 83) and she laid claim to the usual incidents of feudal tenure, including reliefs and wardship. When John Maudut, son and heir of Robert Maudut, performed homage in 1330 for his lands in 'la Frithe', he was excused payment of relief because he had been for twelve years a minor in the wardship of the abbess. (fn. 84) Later we find Elena de Montfort (140329) undertaking the custody of her young kinswoman, Eleanor, daughter of John Montfort, who was a minor in the wardship of Sir Walter (afterwards Lord) Hungerford, Treasurer of England. Eleanor's elopement with Geoffrey Rokell exposed the abbess as well as the bridegroom to legal proceedings; but on 19 April 1426 Sir Walter came to an agreement with Geoffrey, and quitclaimed Elena of all responsibility in the matter. (fn. 85)

The position of the abbey as a land-owning corporation involved judicial rights and obligations. Of these it is impossible from the existing evidence to form any clear picture. The number of court-rolls still surviving is negligible. (fn. 86) The abbess claimed view of frankpledge, gallows, and the assize of bread and ale at Lacock (fn. 87) and Chitterne, (fn. 88) and a 'liberty', probably of similar nature, at Bishopstrow, (fn. 89) At Hatherop, under an agreement made by Wymarca with Abbot Hugh of Cirencester, the tenants of Lacock were bound to attend the abbot's view of frankpledge and to pay a composition of 30d. in lieu of amercements; while any robbers taken on the lands of the convent were to be delivered to the abbot's prison and a number of amercements were expressly reserved to him. (fn. 90) At Woodmancote the abbess's men attended the view of frankpledge held by the Earl of Gloucester at Rendcomb (Glos.). (fn. 91) At Aldbourne they owed suit to the hundred of Selkley, but the jurors reported in 1285 that it had been withheld for the last sixteen years. (fn. 92) In 1306 a jury found that the men of Bishopstrow, who were said in 1285 to have performed no suit for 50 years past, (fn. 93) were bound to appear at Warminster hundred on the two law-days, but to 'do nothing else'. (fn. 94) At Shorwell the abbess had originally held view of frankpledge, but her right was challenged by Isabel de Fortibus and thereafter her tenants had to attend the hundred of West Medine. Any amercements levied on them in the knighten court of Newport were, however, to be collected by Isabel's bailiffs to the use of the convent. (fn. 95) This latter concession was the cause of much subsequent controversy. After Isabel's death in 1293 the nuns experienced increasing difficulty in securing payment of the sums due to them, and eventually in 1347 they petitioned Parliament for redress. (fn. 96) The petition was referred to the chancellor, (fn. 97) but no satisfaction was obtained, for in 1360—the island being then in the hands of the king's daughter Isabel—a fresh complaint was lodged that the amercements due to the abbey were being levied to the king's use, and, moreover, that the abbess had been ousted from 300 acres of pasture belonging to her manor of Shorwell, and deprived of her rights of warren. It was found by inquisition that the facts were as alleged and the officials concerned were ordered to make restitution. (fn. 98) Exemption from suit to his manor of Wootton was granted to the nuns by Philip Bassett in respect of their land at Westlecott. (fn. 99) Ela, in her turn, exempted her 'beloved and especial brethren and friends in Christ', the Prior and Convent of Bradenstoke, from suit to her court at Chitterne; (fn. 100) and, divine caritatis intuitu, remitted to the Master of the Hospital of St. John at Calne that due from him for his tenement in Uffcott to her court at Lacock, except for the two law-days. (fn. 101)

The chief liability of the abbey to the Crown was in respect of taxation. On various occasions, however, the sums due were remitted. In 1238 Henry III repaid to Ela ('late Countess of Salisbury and now a nun of Lacock') 5 marks which had been paid by Wymarca towards the thirtieth. (fn. 102) In 1403 the house was exempted on the ground of poverty, (fn. 103) and in 1447 a special exemption for 40 years was granted after the bell-tower and bells, the bakehouse and brewery, and two barns full of corn at Lacock, together with the buildings of the convent at Chitterne, had been struck by lightning and burned. (fn. 104) In 1339 and 1341 the nuns were reimbursed for wool collected on the king's behalf on the abbey lands. (fn. 105)

Although the house was not of the king's foundation, it was obliged on various occasions to accept a royal corrodian, (fn. 106) but an attempt by Henry VI in 1447 to intrude two Duchy of Lancaster officials into the office of janitor was strenuously resisted by the abbess. (fn. 107) There are a few examples of private corrodies granted by Ela and Beatrice in return for gifts of land; (fn. 108) and in 1399 we find the nuns making handsome provision for a certain John Walcote, who had perhaps been one of their own chaplains. (fn. 109) In 1532 Joan Temmse granted an annuity of 4 marks to William Hoggekinson, clerk, which he continued to draw after the Dissolution. (fn. 110)

The relation of the foundress's family to the convent remained close throughout the thirteenth century. We learn from the 'Book of Lacock' that Ela's son, Richard, who was a Canon of Salisbury, was buried in the abbey church. Stephen, who was in turn Seneschal of Gascony and Chief Justiciar of Ireland, left his heart to Bradenstoke but his body to Lacock. Nicholas, Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and sometime Rector of St. Cyriac's, who ended his days as Bishop of Salisbury, left his heart to be buried in the convent of his mother's foundation, (fn. 111) as also did Amice, Countess of Devon. (fn. 112) Katherine and Lorica, daughters of Ida Longespée, who married Walter, son of Robert fitz Walter, became nuns at Lacock. (fn. 113) Ela's third daughter, who bore her mother's own name, and married as her first husband Thomas de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, held land to the annual value of £20 in Chitterne as part of her dower. (fn. 114) This she released to the nuns in 1246 in return for a life-interest in the manor of Hatherop, (fn. 115) which in turn she surrendered in 1287 for an annual allowance of £20. (fn. 116) It was at her instance that the convent was granted in 1260 quittance of cheminage and the other privileges noted above. (fn. 117)

After Ela relinquished office in 1257 she continued to be known as patrona or avouée. (fn. 118) William Longespée (III) having died in that same year, the patronage passed on Ela's death to his daughter and heiress Margaret, who was married to Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. Although a mere infant at the time of her father's death, Margaret became in later life a close friend and zealous protector of the abbey. In 1306 she and her husband obtained from the Pope, with the consent of the Abbess and the Rector of Lacock, licence to have a private chaplain in the chapel they had built in honour of St. Mary and St. John the Baptist on their manor of Bowden. (fn. 119) In the same year the countess was among those present when homage was performed to Abbess Joan de Montfort in her hall at Lacock. (fn. 120) Her death, which occurred on 22 November 1309, (fn. 121) was urged as a reason for the appropriation of the church of St. Cyriac to the abbey, which had been deprived thereby of her powerful aid and counsel as well in its internal as in its external affairs. (fn. 122) She was buried in the convent church. (fn. 123) The subsequent descent of the patronage is not easy to trace. The career of the countess's daughter and heiress Alice was full of vicissitudes. Her first husband, the ill-starred Thomas of Lancaster, was executed in 1322. Alice made two subsequent marriages, but died in 1348 without issue. In October of that year her lands were granted to Henry de Grosmont, son of Thomas's younger brother Henry, who was created Duke of Lancaster in 1351 and died ten years later. Neither Lacock nor Bradenstoke followed this descent. Between 1356 and 1361 the patronage of both houses was exercised by the Black Prince. (fn. 124) In 1380, however, it is found in the hands of John of Gaunt, (fn. 125) who had married, in 1359, Henry's daughter Blanche, through whom, three years later, he inherited the whole of his father-in-law's possessions. With the accession of his son to the throne in 1399 it passed to the Crown. Henceforward Lacock was officially described as of the king's foundation ratione ducatus sui Lancastrie. (fn. 126)

No reports of episcopal visitations survive, but there is evidence that the house was visited on a number of occasions during the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1346-7, during the abbacy of Sybil de Sainte Croix, Bishop Robert Wyville carried out a visitation. An entry on the cellaress's roll which survives for that year records, under Wednesday 30 August, the purchase of extra delicacies such as salmon, lobsters, crabs, and lampreys, in visitacione episcopi. (fn. 127) He seems to have made a second visitation in the time of Faith Selyman, an undated copy of whose letter acknowledging receipt of his mandate is preserved in the older cartulary. (fn. 128) Bishop Ralph Erghum visited the house on 26 September 1377 during Faith's abbacy. (fn. 129) A visitation by Bishop William Aiscough coincided with the vacancy created by the death of Agnes Frary, and at the request of the community he himself nominated her successor, Agnes Draper, and presented her to the nuns in the chapter house on 4 September 1445, (fn. 130) The draft, in a rough 15th or early 16th-century hand, of a letter from an unnamed abbess to an unnamed bishop acknowledging his mandate and reporting the action taken in pursuance, (fn. 131) no doubt refers to another visitation of this period. The only reference in the abbey's records to a metropolitical visitation occurs in 1332, when the abbess and convent had to appear before the commissaries of Archbishop Simon Meopham to establish their right to the churches of Lacock and Shrewton. (fn. 132) When the see of Salisbury was vacant, the dean and chapter, or in the absence of the dean, the chapter alone, exercised jurisdiction over Lacock. (fn. 133)

As Augustinian canonesses the nuns were also liable to visitation under the system established by the twelfth Canon of the Fourth Lateran Council. (fn. 134) The cartulary affords evidence that in 1392, during the abbacy of Agnes de Wyke, Lacock was visited by authority of the general chapter of the province held in that year at Northampton by two priors of the order, Richard of Bradenstoke and John of Bustlesham Magna (Bisham, Berks.). (fn. 135) In 1518 the visitors appointed for the dioceses of Winchester and Salisbury reported that the abbess (Joan Temmse) had denied her liability to visitation on the ground that she did not belong to the chapter. It was ordered that she should be visited before the following Easter on pain of ecclesiastical censure. (fn. 136) In an assessment of the expenses of a visitation which Salter dates about 1450 Lacock's contribution is given as 26s. 8d.—a sum larger than was exacted from any other house of the region except Bradenstoke. (fn. 137)

The property of the house was assessed for the clerical tenth, in the so-called Taxation of Pope Nicholas of 1291, at £101 12s. 4d.—a total from which the appropriated church of Shrewton was unaccountably omitted. (fn. 138) The cartularies contain a number of later notes of the extent of its spiritualities and temporalities, the arithmetic of which is often obscure; but it would seem that the additional £31 6s. 8d. which represented the value of the three churches of Lacock, Shrewton, and Clyffe Pypard was in part off-set by a reduction in the value of Shorwell, and that the figure at which the house was assessed for taxation in the later Middle Ages was normally in the region of £120. (fn. 139) In 1520 the abbess and convent obtained from Bishop Edmund Audley letters testimonial in support of their claim to exemption from tithe on their demesne lands. (fn. 140)

Of the internal organization and daily life of the convent little direct evidence remains. Concerning their customs Ap Rice wrote in 1535: 'The Ladies have their rule, thinstitutes of their religion and ceremonies of the same writen in the frenche tonge which they understand well and are very parfite in the same, albeit that it varieth from the vulgar frenche that is nowe used and is moche like the frenche that the common Lawe is writen in.' (fn. 141) The book to which he refers no longer exists; but two volumes from the convent library of 14thcentury date—a manuscript of William Brito's Dictionary, and a collection of Anglo-French poems—are still extant at Lacock. The bindingleaves of the latter are from a two-column manuscript of about 1300 containing theological notes. The fact that these contain references to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas suggests the possibility that they were the work of Fr. William of Cirencester, a Dominican friar to whom Bishop Simon of Ghent entrusted the cura penitenciarie of the house in 1303. (fn. 142) In 1399 Bishop Ralph Erghum bequeathed to the abbess in perpetuity, after the death of his sister Agnes, 'my beautiful psalter which the Rector of Marnhull gave me'. (fn. 143) It is tempting to identify this with the choirpsalter in the Bodleian which is now ascribed to Lacock. (fn. 144) The suggestion has further been made that St. Edmund Rich's treatise, Speculum Ecclesie, was originally written in Anglo-French under the title of Meroure de Seinte Eglise for Ela and her community; but none of the existing manuscripts has so far been traced to the abbey. (fn. 145)

The convent was served by three chaplains, with the addition later of a confessor, described in 1535 as 'a discreet and learned priest' whose duty it was to instruct the nuns in the divine mysteries and the Word of God. (fn. 146) The staff of clergy found employment in ministering to the spiritual needs not only of the religious but also of the familia of the abbey. A note in the older cartulary calls to mind that, according to a long-standing arrangement with the vicar, only seven of the servants of the community—the bailiff, hayward, head porter, head launderer (meistre lauaunder), dairymaid (daye), carter, and swanherd (swanset)— attend the church of St. Cyriac. The rest are parishioners of the chapel of St. Edmund within the precinct. (fn. 147) In addition, there were a number of spiritual obligations in the form of obits and chantries to be met. Thus, for example, John de Ripariis gave all his lands in Heddington to the nuns for the maintenance of two chaplains to celebrate daily for his soul and the souls of his friends and benefactors 'until the end of time'. (fn. 148) Ela promised in 1249 to find a chaplain to celebrate in perpetuity in the chapel of St. Edmund for the soul of Nicholas de Heddington, clerk, and to distribute yearly to the poor on his behalf 8s. 4d. or its equivalent in corn, in return for the recognition of the rights of the abbey in land at Chitterne. (fn. 149) The obits of Ela's father and husband, and her own anniversary and the day of her profession, were observed with special solemnity, and were marked by alms-giving and the grant of pittances to the community. (fn. 150) Patrons and benefactors of the house such as the Countess Amice and Margaret de Lacy were similarly remembered. (fn. 151) When Sir John Bluet agreed to surrender his share of the advowson of the church of St. Gyriac to the nuns, one of the conditions laid down was that they should build between them a lady-chapel adjoining the conventual church in which he should be buried, and that a perpetual chantry should be maintained there for him and his wife from the revenues of the appropriated church. On his anniversary a halfpenny was to be given to each of a thousand poor. (fn. 152) In 1352 the executors of John Goodhyne gave to the convent a sum of money ad ardua negocia sua expedienda to keep his obit yearly on 3 August with full office of the dead and a solemn requiem, and granted a pittance on his anniversary to each of the nuns who had been present at his obsequies. (fn. 153) Master John de Maydenhithe in 1399 made it a condition of his gift of the church of Clyffe Pypard, in augmentation of the sum available for the nuns' clothing, that every year on 1 October there should be observed with full solemnity the anniversaries of his father and mother and of himself when dead, and that 6s. 8d. should be distributed each Good Friday to the poor for his intentions. (fn. 154)

By 1535 certain of these obligations would appear to have been consolidated into a daily dole of food and drink to one poor person throughout the year and to three during Lent. (fn. 155) In the 13th century it had been the custom on Holy Thursday to give bread, ale, herrings, and ½ bushel of beans for pottage to each of the poor folk whose feet had been washed at the Maundy; (fn. 156) but this, together with the traditional distribution of bread and cheese or herrings on All Souls' Day to as many poor as there were members of the community, (fn. 157) seems to have fallen into abeyance by 1346. (fn. 158) By the 16th century there had been substituted a dole of food and money to 40 poor persons on Holy Thursday, and of 22 loaves of bread on Good Friday. (fn. 159) For the purposes of the Valor Ecclesiasticus the total annual expenditure of the convent on almsgiving was reckoned at £9 1s. 5d. (fn. 160)

The community seems never to have been a large one. In 1395 it numbered 22. (fn. 161) At the election of 1445, which is described in detail in Ayscough's register, there were 17 nuns qualified to vote. (fn. 162) By 1473 this number had dropped to 14, of whom 7 had figured in the earlier (fn. 163) list, and at the Dissolution there were 17 religious in all, including 3 novices. (fn. 164) Judging by such proper names as have survived, the nuns were drawn for the most part from the smaller land-owning families of the neighbourhood; (fn. 165) although the occurrence of such surnames as Bristol, Gloucester, Cirencester, and of occupational names such as Draper, suggests that some came from the prosperous burgess class. The aristocratic element which was present under the early abbesses seems to have disappeared with the severance of the link with the foundress's family in the early 14th century. The bishops of Salisbury had the right, on appointment, to nominate a suitable candidate for the noviciate, and there is evidence that Bishop Metford in 1397 (fn. 166) and Bishop Hallam in 1410 (fn. 167) availed themselves of it. The Bluet family secured a similar privilege as part of the agreement reached in 1311 at the time of the appropriation of the church of Lacock to the abbey. (fn. 168) In 1346-7 we find Sir Thomas Seymour paying the expenses of the festivities on the occasion of the veiling of Alice Sthocus. (fn. 169) Bishop Ralph Erghum veiled several novices during his visitation of the house in 1377. (fn. 170) A note of the expenses of the clothing in 1395-6 of Joan, daughter of Nicholas Samborne, has survived. (fn. 171) In addition to her habit, which consisted of a tunic of white woollen cloth, a mantle lined with white cloth for summer and another lined with fur for winter, a fur pilch, a veil, and wimple, Joan's trousseau included a bed with mattress, blankets, coverlet, and tester, a silver spoon, and a mazer-bowl. (fn. 172)

In the 15th century the abbess was assisted in the government of the house by a prioress and a sub-prioress. (fn. 173) The name of a late 14th-century cellaress, Cecily Hart, has been preserved in connexion with rents due to the abbey in Bristol, (fn. 174) and two fragments of cellaress's rolls of the later 13th century have survived as the binding-leaves of Brito's Dictionary. (fn. 175) A 14th-century roll (1346-7) used as the binding-leaves of the two cartularies, which records the consumption of food by the convent week by week, together with the total quantities received and expended during the year, was also doubtless drawn up by or for the cellaress. (fn. 176) The account of Joan Samborne's clothing should probably be assigned to the chambress. (fn. 177) These fragments, together with a single surviving Status Compoti for 1476, (fn. 178) and some odd notes of rents at Westbury (fn. 179) which may be a section of a roll, are all that remain of the financial records of the house.

The older cartulary contains 13th-century rentals or custumals of the four manors of Bishopstrow, Heddington, Hatherop, and Lacock. (fn. 180) The information contained in the first three is abstracted from rolls separated from one another in date, according to Clark-Maxwell's estimate, by about 20 years, (fn. 181) and is of interest as illustrating the movement from labour services to money payments over that period; (fn. 182) but it still awaits scientific analysis. A reference in the Lacock custumal to visits to the town of 'the lord or lady' (fn. 183) suggests that it is based upon sources which antedate the foundation of the abbey. Various recent modifications of manorial custom are noted, including the release of the cotsetle from the obligation to labour service on the demesne after dinner between midsummer and Michaelmas, in return for the surrender of certain perquisites. (fn. 184) The manorial ministri mentioned include, besides the reeve and hayward, ploughmen, shepherds, cowherds, and wagoners, with the addition at Lacock of a goatherd, swineherd, fisherman, and forester. A tenement in Bewley, in Lacock, was regularly leased in the 14th century for a rent of 4s. and the service of carrying the rod for a day at the autumn boonworks, and for a day at bean-sowing time. (fn. 185) A group of deeds of 1308-9, releasing to the nuns pasture-rights in the field of Lacock so that they may enclose the land and hold it in severalty, (fn. 186) suggest a definite trend at that date towards the enclosure and consolidation of the demesne.

Among the abbey's servants mentioned in the records are the janitor, (fn. 187) the hostiller, esquire, palfreyman, porter, smith, granger, miller, baker, brewer, larderer, swanherd, poulterer, dairymaid, and cook. (fn. 188) The commissioners who visited the house in 1536 reported that there were then 36 servants, excluding the 4 chaplains, clerk, and sexton, and that they comprised 3 waiting servants, 9 officers of the household, 9 women servants, and 15 hinds. (fn. 189) The early deeds supply the names of a number of 13th-century stewards. (fn. 190) Nicholas Selyman, whose family was to provide an abbess in 1361, held the office in 1311-12. (fn. 191) References occur also to the bailiffs of Lacock, (fn. 192) Chitterne, (fn. 193) and Bishopstrow. (fn. 194) There is evidence that conversi were at first employed in the administration of the abbey lands; (fn. 195) but by the 14th century all the officials were laymen. In 1535 there were, besides the chief steward, a steward of the courts of the manor, excluding Hatherop, which had a steward of its own, and a steward of the abbess's household, who was paid the not inconsiderable yearly fee of £6 13s. 4d. There were also an auditor and a receiver-general; and each of the three manors of Lacock, Chitterne, and Heddington had its bailiff and receiver or rent-collector. (fn. 196)

In the absence of manorial accounts our knowledge of the way in which production was organized on the Lacock estates is necessarily limited. Cherchset in the form of eggs and poultry was payable to the abbey from the outlying manors. From the early custumals it appears that the individual contribution in the 13th century was three hens and a cock, of which the money equivalent was 7½d. (fn. 197) In 1311-12, during the stewardship of Nicholas Selyman, an ordinance was made as the sequel to a visitation of murrain, fixing the annual contribution in geese, capons, and eggs from each of the four manors of Chitterne, Bishopstrow, Heddington, and Hatherop, and providing for delivery at the convenience of the cellaress. Allowance was to be made to the reeves for the purchase of geese and capons at the beginning of the year, and for their keep until they were required for the convent table. (fn. 198) The roll of 1346-7 shows that there was by that date a certain amount of specialization in production for consumption by the community. Butter and milk were being produced mainly at Lacock, with its dependencies, Woodrow and Bowden, and at Heddington; pigs were supplied largely by the home farm; and most of the pigeons consumed in the convent came from the Lacock dovecote. Sheep and oxen, lambs and calves were contributed in varying quantities by the different manors; but in 1346-7 supplies seem to have been inadequate, for no fewer than 43 cows and oxen were bought by the larderer for the kitchen, as well as 181 sheep. The supply of meat was augmented by the carcases of animals which had died of murrain. The corn produced on the demesne, or accruing to the convent by way of rent or tithe, was in the charge of the granger, who was responsible for distributing it to the baker, brewer, and larderer to be made into bread, ale, and pottage. (fn. 199) The abbey owned a fish-pond at Heddington, (fn. 200) and a fishery in the Avon at Lacock, (fn. 201) but dried and salt-water fish was bought in bulk at Bristol, Salisbury, and Southampton. In addition to herrings, which formed the staple diet of the community on days of abstinence and during Lent, and were distributed in large quantities as alms, haddock, plaice, turbot, mackerel, hake, crabs, lobsters, oysters, salmon, lampreys, eels, bream, ray, ling, pollock, and 'mullewalle' are mentioned in the roll. (fn. 202)

If the abbey's estates were exploited primarily to provide the community with sustenance, they also yielded a revenue. Not only were casual profits derived from the sale of surplus produce, but from the first sheep-rearing was carried on on a commercial basis. No doubt pasture farming was already well established on the manors when they were transferred to the ownership of the convent, but the nuns appear to have pursued it with vigour. Some of the earliest deeds testify to the importance which they attached to the acquisition of pasture-rights; (fn. 203) while in the custumals the washing and shearing of sheep loom large among the services due from the unfree tenants, and the duties and privileges of the shepherds (pastores, bercarii) are carefully defined. (fn. 204) There was a sheepfold at Lacock, (fn. 205) but the most extensive pastures were at Chitterne, (fn. 206) Shorwell, (fn. 207) and Bishopstrow. (fn. 208) In 1476 the nuns owned a flock of over 2,000 sheep, most of which were at Chitterne. (fn. 209) At the Dissolution the Chitterne flock numbered 600 wethers, 600 ewes, and 300 hogs, and the customary tenants were still performing the traditional services of washing and shearing. (fn. 210) The fragmentary cellaress's account of 1266-7 records substantial receipts from wool sold at Chitterne and Shorwell, (fn. 211) and the Status Compoti of 1476 shows similar profits being made at Chitterne and Lacock, and includes among the abbess's assets the wool stored in her wool-house at Lacock. (fn. 212) The convent evidently played its part in the great expansion of the woollen manufacture that took place in the later Middle Ages, for at the Dissolution it had fulling-mills at Bishopstrow and Hatherop and a gig-mill at Bishopstrow. (fn. 213) By 1535, however, the pastures were all let, and the Chitterne flock itself was at farm. (fn. 214) At Hanham in Gloucestershire the nuns owned a coal-mine, their interest in which was strictly reserved when the property was leased in the 16th century. (fn. 215) The market rights possessed by the abbey at Lacock and Chitterne and the annual fairs held there not only yielded a revenue, but also fostered local economic development. Although detailed information concerning its growth is lacking, there is evidence that traders from as far afield as Old Salisbury (fn. 216) and the abbot of Keynsham's town of Marshfield (Glos.) (fn. 217) resorted to Lacock in the 13th and 14th centuries, while we find tenements there described as 'burgages' as early as the time of Ela. (fn. 218)

In the early days part of the wool yield of the Lacock lands was no doubt retained to be made up into cloth for the use of the community. The roll of 1266-7 records payments made for spinning to Dame Juliana Bristoll', and for the weaving and fulling of tapet and russet. Flax, on the other hand, was purchased to be spun and woven into towelling and material for lining. (fn. 219) It may be noted by way of contrast that all the material required for Joan Samborne's habit in 1395 appears to have been bought. (fn. 220)

In spite of the plea of poverty advanced from time to time to justify appropriations or to secure exemption from taxation, it would seem that the abbey's general condition was prosperous. In 1476, less than 30 years after the great storm which had wrought such havoc at Lacock and Chitterne, we find the abbess credited with a surplus of over £39. (fn. 221) Ap Rice reported in 1535 that 'the house is very clene, well repared and well ordered'. (fn. 222) The Commissioners of 1536 returned that the church, convent, and all the buildings were 'in very good astate', adding: 'Owing by the house nil, and to the house nil.' (fn. 223)

Meanwhile, during the later Middle Ages the direct exploitation of the abbey's manors was gradually abandoned. The process cannot be traced in detail, but the Status Compoti of 1476 shows Bishopstrow, Westlecott, and Upham already at farm. (fn. 224) By 1517 the East Farm at Chitterne was leased, together with the pastures and the convent flock, (fn. 225) and in 1532 the South Farm was let to John Immer, bailiff of the manor. (fn. 226) John Oldfield, bailiff of Heddington, obtained a lease of that manor in 1527; (fn. 227) and Edmund Thame, steward of Hatherop, of Woodmancote. (fn. 228) By the date of the Valor Ecclesiasticus the entire demesne lands of the abbey, apart from Lacock itself, were at farm, together with the rectories of Shrewton and Clyffe Pypard. (fn. 229) The last abbess, Joan, who was the daughter of William Temmse of Rood Ashton and Jane Baynard of Lackham, followed the common custom of the time in granting leases to her relatives, to whom also she entrusted a number of the more important offices connected with the administration of the abbey and its lands. Her brother Thomas, who represented Westbury in the Reformation Parliament, (fn. 230) was made auditor, and steward of the abbey's manor courts, (fn. 231) and in September 1529 received an 80-year lease of the manor of Shorwell. (fn. 232) Christopher, another brother, became steward of the abbess's household, (fn. 233) and in June 1533 obtained a 60-year lease of the manor of Hatherop; (fn. 234) while Robert Bathe, a clothier, who was the husband of her sister Elizabeth, was granted in the same year a 99-year lease of Bishopstrow. (fn. 235) The chief steward of the house was Sir Edward Baynton of Bromham, (fn. 236) who was also steward of Bradenstoke and Malmesbury, and of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster in Wiltshire. Besides being a landowner of importance, he enjoyed considerable influence at court, where he served as vice-chamberlain to three of Henry's queens. (fn. 237) He was not, as Bowles erroneously believed, related to the abbess, (fn. 238) but his sister Elizabeth was a nun at Lacock. (fn. 239)

In the absence of visitation reports it is impossible to draw any valid conclusions as to the state of discipline prevailing in the abbey during the 300 years of its existence. All that can be said is that the surviving records afford no hint of any grave scandal. The condition of the house on the eve of the Dissolution would appear to have been healthy. The number of professed nuns in 1535 was 15 (fn. 240) —one more than in 1473; and the fact that there were 3 novices suggests that recruitment was still satisfactory. When in the summer of that year the king's visitors came to Lacock their report was favourable. Ap Rice wrote that he had 'founde no notable compertes there' and commended the nuns for their familiarity with their rule and constitutions. (fn. 241) He informed Cromwell that Dame Marie Denys, 'a faire young woman of Laycock', had been made Prioress of Kington, where the visitation had revealed a less satisfactory state of affairs. (fn. 242) The Commissioners appointed under the Act of April 1536 for the suppression of the smaller monasteries were no less laudatory. They described the abbey as being to the town 'and all other adioynynge by common reaporte a greate Releef', and added that the nuns were 'by Reporte and in apparaunce of vertuous lyvyng, all desyrynge to contynue religios'. (fn. 243) On the strength of this commendation and in consideration of a fine of £300 paid into the Court of Augmentations, (fn. 244) Lacock was granted on 30 January 1537 licence to continue. (fn. 245)

The respite thus purchased lasted just under two years. Of the fortunes of the community during this brief interlude we know little. At the date of the Valor the income of the house had been assessed at £203 12s. 3½d. and the outgoings on which exemption was claimed from the new royal tenth at £74 17s. 7½d. A number of the claims made under the latter head, including the fee of the steward of the abbess's household, expenditure upon pittances and obits and the salaries of three of the four chaplains were, however, disallowed, with the result that the taxable income was raised from £128 14s. 8d. to £168 9s. 2d. (fn. 246) Next year a new valuation was made by the Commissioners, who returned the net income of the house as £194 9s. 2d. with an additional £16 3s. 4d. for the Lacock demesnes. (fn. 247) It was therefore doubtless financial stringency, combined with a general sense of insecurity, that led the abbess and convent in November 1537 to lease to Christopher Temmse a tenement in Lacock with the appurtenant pasture and a portion of the tithe of hay and corn, (fn. 248) and next year to sell the Chitterne flock outright to Thomas Temmse for £150. (fn. 249)

The end came on 21 January 1539, when the abbey was surrendered to Petre and Tregonwell. (fn. 250) Pensions ranging from £40 in the case of the abbess to £2 in that of the novices were granted to all the members of the community, which was forthwith dispersed. (fn. 251) Before the year was out two of the recipients had died. (fn. 252) Fourteen years later the number of pensioners had fallen to seven, of whom the former abbess was still one, (fn. 253) and one of the younger nuns had married. (fn. 254)

After receiving the surrender, Petre and Tregonwell, acting on Cromwell's instructions, conducted an inquiry into the circumstances in which the lands of the convent had been demised; (fn. 255) but there is no evidence that any of the existing leases were revoked. The monastic buildings, stripped of most of their lead, which was sold for £193 12s., (fn. 256) were handed over forthwith to William Sharington, the prospective purchaser, who farmed the site of the abbey together with the manor and rectory of Lacock and the former possessions of the dissolved house in Melksham and Calne, (fn. 257) until the preliminaries of the purchase were completed on 26 July 1540. (fn. 258) He destroyed the abbey church and adapted the conventual buildings for use as a dwelling-house, adding the elegant octagonal tower and muniment room which are still in situ. In order to divert the traffic from his new mansion he is said to have sold the church bells and rebuilt Ray bridge with the proceeds. In September 1548 he purchased the manor of Hatherop. (fn. 259) Meanwhile, in April 1540, John Godard had bought the property at Upham and Westlecott of which he had formerly held the lease, together with the rectory and church of Clyffe Pypard and the advowson of the vicarage. (fn. 260) In October 1542 Giles Poles of Sapperton (Glos.), 'the king's servant', received a grant in fee of the reversion of the land at Wodemancote leased by the convent to Sir Edmund Thame. (fn. 261) Heddington was sold in July 1543 to John Lambarde, a London clothier, (fn. 262) who in 1546 also bought the rectory of Shrewton from John Pope, who had purchased it in the previous year. (fn. 263) Chitterne was granted by the king to Lord St. John in September 1547. (fn. 264)

The officials of the abbey were not penalized as a result of the surrender. Thomas Mardytt, who was bailiff of Lacock in 1535, retained his position under the grant to Sharington. (fn. 265) Sir Edward Baynton (d. 1545-6) and his son Andrew were continued in the office of chief steward at the former fee of 4 marks, (fn. 266) and Thomas Temmse in that of auditor, and steward of the manor courts, for a similar emolument. (fn. 267) Christopher was paid £4 a year as receiver-general (fn. 268) —an office he had filled since 1537, when, presumably, the stewardship of the abbess's household had been abolished. These fees were still being paid in 1553. (fn. 269) Of the relatives of the former abbess, Thomas, who seems to have commanded considerable financial resources and to have had friends at court, (fn. 270) was the most successful in consolidating his position. In February 1544 he obtained from the king a grant in fee of the manor of Shorwell, (fn. 271) and in the same year he purchased Bishopstrow, subject to the existing lease to his brother-in-law, Robert Bathe. (fn. 272) The purchase was confirmed by Edward VI in 1550, (fn. 273) by which date all the abbey's possessions would appear to have been dispersed.

Abbesses of Lacock

Wymarca (prioress). (fn. 274)

Ela (first abbess), 1239-40—1257. (fn. 275)

Beatrice of Kent. (fn. 276)

Alice. (fn. 277)

Juliana. (fn. 278)

Agnes. (fn. 279)

Joan de Montfort, occurs from 1303 to 1332. (fn. 280)

Katherine le Cras, 1332-4. (fn. 281)

Sybil de Sainte Croix, 1334-49. (fn. 282)

Maud de Montfort, 1349-56. (fn. 283)

Agnes de Brymesden, 1356-61. (fn. 284)

Faith Selyman, 1361-80. (fn. 285)

Agnes de Wyke, 1380-1403. (fn. 286)

Elena de Montfort, 1403-29. (fn. 287)

Agnes Frary, 1429-45. (fn. 288)

Agnes Draper, 1445-73. (fn. 289)

Margery Glowceter, 1473-83. (fn. 290)(fn. 291)

Joan Temmse, 1516(?)-39. (fn. 292)

A number of impressions survive from the 13th and 16th centuries of a pointed oval conventual seal measuring about 2¾ by 1¾ in. (fn. 293) It shows the Virgin, crowned and seated on a carved throne with the Child on her left knee. Over her is a panelled and pinnacled canopy surmounted by a cross, and in the base, under a trefoiled arch, is a kneeling figure with hands upraised in prayer. It has commonly been identified as the foundress, but since the head appears to be uncovered it may be St. Bernard. The seal bears the legend:


Ela as abbess had a seal of her own, of which a few impressions have been preserved. (fn. 294) It is a pointed oval, measuring about 2 by 1¼ in., and showing the Virgin and Child under a canopy. The remains of the legend read:

. . . GILL ELE ABB . . . TISSE DE LA . . .

Most surviving impressions of this seal are appended separately to documents issuing in the name of the abbess and convent, but one is on the reverse of the convent seal. (fn. 295)


  • 1. Wards 2/94B/28.
  • 2. W. G. Clark-Maxwell, 'Earliest Charters of Abbey of Lacock', W.A.M. xxxv, 191 seq. 200, App. C, i; Lacock Abbey MSS., Older Cartulary, f. 7v.; Newer Cartulary, f. 1. (Hereafter abbreviated as O.C. and N.C.). Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 9350. An excellent report on the MSS. at Lacock was prepared for the Hist. MSS. Com. in 1944 by Mr. Neil Ker. The two cartularies are being edited for Rec. Brch. of W.A.S. and collated with the large collection of Lacock deeds at the P.R.O. by Miss Joan Gibbs.
  • 3. W.A.M. xxxv, 201; O.C. f. 8v.; N.C. f. 2; Wards 2/94B/137.
  • 4. W.A.M. xxxv, 201, App. C. ii; Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 112; N.C. f. 4v.
  • 5. Cal. Pat. 1225-32, 328.
  • 6. Statuta Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis, ed. J. M. Canivez, ii, p. 68, c. 16.
  • 7. W.A.M. xxxv, 201, App. C. iii; N.C f. 5v. For the Rule of St. Augustine see J. C. Dickinson, Origins of the Austin Canons, App. I.
  • 8. The original is at Lacock, and is numbered 187 in Mr. Story Maskelyne's calendar. The grant is made 'exigente pie devotionis affectu quem ad ordinem nostrum accepimus uos habere'. In 1266 the Countess of Salisbury (the young Margaret de Lacy) received permission from the General Chapter of Cîteaux to take into her service a laybrother of Dore: Statuta, ed. Canivez, iii, p. 40, no. 19.
  • 9. Contained in the badly burned B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, ff. 113 seq. The dating is carried on in the same hand down to 1320, at the bottom off. 128; but the entries are in a different hand after 1275. The annals are continued by various writers down to the end of the 15th cent. but with few references to the internal affairs of the house.
  • 10. The original in B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, ff. 128v. seq. is almost entirely illegible. A MS. copy of late-16th-cent. date exists in B.M., MS. Harl. 5019, ff. 222 seq. For printed versions see Dugd. Mon. vi (i), 501-2; Bowles and Nichols, Annals of Lacock Abbey, App. I, pp. i seq. The compilation cannot be later in date than 1357, since Queen Isabella, who died that year, is mentioned as still living: Bowles, Annals, 374. In his preface (p. vi) Bowles refers to a second MS. bound up in Tiberius B XIII, which was apparently completely destroyed in the fire of 1731.
  • 11. 'Hoc anno velantur prime moniales de Lacok. MCCXXXIII': Dugd. Mon. vi (i), 502a.
  • 12. 'Alicia Garinges apud Lacok prima canonissa velata': Bowles, Annals, App. I, iii.
  • 13. 'Isto anno primitus fundatur coenobium de Lakoc. MCCXXXIII'. Dugd. Mon. vi (i), 502a; B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII.
  • 14. Bowles, Annals, App. I, iii. XVI kal. maii anno MCCXXXII. The calendar in the Lacock psalter at the Bodleian (Bodl., MS. Laud. Lat. 114 (649)) gives 11 Sept. as the date of the dedication of the church, and the following day as that of professio prima.
  • 15. Bowles, Annals, App. I, iii. Her choice is said to have been directed per revelationes.
  • 16. N.C. f. 30v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxii.
  • 17. Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxii.
  • 18. Cal. Lib. 1245-51, 69.
  • 19. Cal. Close, 1261-4, 335.
  • 20. Cal. Lib. 1245-51, 139.
  • 21. Cal. Close, 1279-88, 311.
  • 22. C. H. Talbot, 'Agreement for building a chapel at Lacock', W.A.M. xvi, 350 seq.; Harold Breakspear, 'Lacock Abbey', Archaeologia, lvii (1), 132-4.
  • 23. Archaeologia, lvii (1), 125 seq.; W.A.M. xxxi, 196 seq.
  • 24. Bowles, Annals, App. III, xviii-xix, xxii; O.C. ff. 19v., 65, 68v., 70v.; N.C. f. 12.
  • 25. O.C. f. 65, cf. N.C. f. 118. The grant of this privilege normally took the place of a money payment in the early fines and covenants.
  • 26. B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, f. 127: 'Hoc anno nobilis matrona domina Ela Comitissa Sar' assumpsit habitum religionis. MCCXXXVIII'. 'Liber de Lacok', Bowles, Annals, App. I, iv, gives the date as viii kal. Januarii (25 Dec. 1237). Ela was certainly 'a nun of Lakoc' by Apr. 1238: see below, p. 307, n. 3.
  • 27. A covenant of 1238 with the Abbot of Cirencester (Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxvii-ix); a lease of the same year (Wards 2/94E/19); a letter of 15 Aug. 1239 to the Bp. of Salisbury (Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 251); and a final concord made with Constance de Legh (N.C. f. 118) are in her name.
  • 28. 'Eodem anno Ela comitissa Sar' eligitur in abbatissam': Dugd. Mon. vi (1), 502a.
  • 29. 'Anno domini MCCXL. xviii kal. Septembris confecta est Domina Ela Lungespe fundatrix in Abbatissam primam de Lacok': Bowles, Annals, App. I, iv.
  • 30. Sar. Chart. & Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 251 seq.
  • 31. Ibid.
  • 32. 'Liber de Lacok', Bowles, Annals, App. I, iv. A tombstone inscribed to her memory, but of later date than the actual burial, is preserved in the cloisters at Lacock.
  • 33. In O.C. f. 57v., is a list of the acquisitions made by the house during the abbacies of Ela and Beatrice. The early deeds relating to Lacock are grouped together in N.C. ff. 1-42v.
  • 34. W.A.M. xxxv, 202, App. C. iv; Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 8911. For the early deeds relating to Woodmancote see N.C. ff. 106-18v. Constance later added an annual rent of 35s. at Calmsden (Glos.): N.C. f. 106v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xli.
  • 35. W.A.M. xxxv, 202, App. C. v; O.C. f. 7; N.C. ff. 101-5v.
  • 36. W.A.M. xxxv, 203, App. C. vii; O.C. f. 23; N.C. f. 66; Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 8877. For deeds relating to Bishopstrow see N.C. ff. 66-75.
  • 37. W.A.M. xxxv, 204-5, App. C. x; O.C. ff. 9, 11; N.C. f. 7. For deeds relating to Shrewton see N.C. ff. 60-62.
  • 38. W.A.M. xxxv, 206, App. C, xiii; O.C. f. 10v.; N.C. ff. 76-81.
  • 39. W.A.M. xxxv, 206-7, App. C. xiv; O.C. f. 7; N.C. f. 1v.; Wards 2/94E/24.
  • 40. W.A.M. xxxv, 207, App. C. xv; O.C. f. 13; N.C. f. 2v.; Wards 2/94E/59.
  • 41. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 225; O.C. f. 12v.
  • 42. N.C. f. 60; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxix.
  • 43. W.A.M. xxxv, 208, App. C. xvii; O.C. f. 22v.
  • 44. W.A.M. xxxv, 208, App. C. xviii; O.C. f. 20; N.C. ff. 43-59.
  • 45. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 332.
  • 46. N.C. f. 86; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxiv.
  • 47. 'Liber de Lakoc', Bowles, Annals, App. I, ii.
  • 48. W.A.M. xxxv, 197; Wards 2/94B/11.
  • 49. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 230. The 'Tolselde' in the village is mentioned in a deed of 1350 (Wards 2/94B/150). For disputes over the payment of toll see Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 268, and an indenture attached to f. 89 in O.C. (no. 200 in Story Maskelyne's list).
  • 50. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 274. The market cross was destroyed c. 1825: Bowles, Annals, 273.
  • 51. Cal. Chart. R. 1226-57, 460.
  • 52. Ibid. 1257-1300, 29.
  • 53. Cal. Pat. 1232-47, 287.
  • 54. Cal. Close, 1259-61, 22-23; Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 25-26; Cal. Inq. Misc. i, 243; Wards 2/94C/7. J. M. Elphinstone, 'Firewood for Lacock Abbey', W.A.M. l, 47 seq. Lacock had originally formed part of the forest, and it was probably Ela who secured its disafforestation: G. B. Grundy in W.A.M. xlviii, 581.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1385-8, 517.
  • 56. Ibid. 1313-17, 126.
  • 57. N.C. f. 128v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xliv-v.
  • 58. N.C. f. 129v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xlv-vi. For early deeds relating to Shorwell see N.C. ff. 125-34v.
  • 59. N.C. ff. 82-85; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxiii-iv. For comprehensive list of abbey's possessions see the Status Compoti of 1476 (Wards 2/94C/9); Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 115 seq.; and Bowles, Annals, App. III.
  • 60. N.C. ff. 87-90; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxiv-v.
  • 61. W. G. Clark-Maxwell, 'Appropriation of Rectory of Lacock', W.A.M. xxxiii, 358 seq.; Wards 2/94E/66.
  • 62. Cal. Pat. 1307-13, 511.
  • 63. Sar. Reg. Mortival, ii, f. 3v.
  • 64. W.A.M. xxxiii, 374.
  • 65. Cal. Pat. 1396-9, 447.
  • 66. Cal. Papal Reg. v, 327 seq. The advowson had formerly belonged to John de Cobham, who had been impeached in 1397 for his attack upon Richard II's favourites in 1388. John de Maydenhithe held also a canonry at Wells and at St. Martin le Grand, and was Rector of St. Dunstan's in London. He acted as guardian of the sees of Salisbury and Bath and Wells sede vacante.
  • 67. Cal. Papal Reg. v, 327 seq.
  • 68. Cal. Pat. 1395-9, 482.
  • 69. Ibid. 1429-36, 28-9.
  • 70. Cal. Pat. 1461-7, 527.
  • 71. In 1242-3 the abbess was returned as holding Lacock and Bishopstrow 'de comite Sarisberie in pura elemosina de novo feoffamento, et ipse de rege de honore de Trobrige'. The 'half of the vill of Hedington' was said to be held 'de dono Ele Comitisse Sarisberie in pura elemosina de assensu comitis Sarisberie de rege': Bk. of Fees, ii, 737, 742.
  • 72. See, for example, the cases of Woodmancote (Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 9378; N.C. f. 107); and Westlecott (Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 9357; N.C. f. 83v.). Sometimes the service was expressly reserved: e.g. Galiena de Calne gave the nuns properties in Calne burdened with various rents, including 6d. due to the king, and regale servicium: Bowles, Annals, App. II, xxxv-vi. Cf. pp. xx-xxi, xxxi-ii, xliii, xliv. The Provisions of Westminster (1259) c. 14 forbade 'religious men' to enter any fee without the licence of the chief lord.
  • 73. Bk. of Fees, ii, 1305.
  • 74. O.C. f. 2v. On death of Isabel de Fortibus the lordship of the Isle of Wight passed to the Crown. In 1312 it was granted to Edw. Earl of Chester, later Edw. III.
  • 75. N.C. ff. 136v. seq.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xlvii seq. In 1483 Anthony Wydville, who had received a grant of the lordship from Edw. IV, was attainted, and the island reverted to the Crown. After 1509 only captains of the castle of Carisbrooke were appointed.
  • 76. W.A.M. xxxv, 202, 3, 4, App. C. vi, viii, ix; O.C. f. 10; N.C. ff. 9, 66v., 67.
  • 77. N.C. f. 87; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxiv.
  • 78. W. G. Clark-Maxwell, 'Customs of Four Manors of Abbey of Lacock', W.A.M. xxxii, 311 seq.; O.C. f. 47.
  • 79. W.A.M. xxxii, 329.
  • 80. O.C. f. 74v.
  • 81. O.C. f. 88.
  • 82. N.C. f. 89v.
  • 83. O.C. ff. 74, 74v., 79v., 88.
  • 84. O.C. f. 88.
  • 85. Aubrey, Topog. Coll. ed. Jackson, 92, n. 1. The connexion between the Hungerford family and the abbey was close. Their sickle badge and coat of arms appear among the ornamentations of the north walk of the cloister, built in the 15th cent.
  • 86. The records of the proceedings of the manor court of Hatherop for years 18-30 Hen. VIII are bound in a book with those of Oaksey and Poole Keynes; D.L. 30/127/1907.
  • 87. O.C. f. 77. References to the suit due to the abbess's court at Lacock occur frequently in the deeds. See, for example, Wards 2/94B/24, 27, 75, 143; Wards 2/94E/31, 71, 77.
  • 88. O.C. f. 77.
  • 89. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 277.
  • 90. N.C. f. 101v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxvii seq. In 1535 an annual payment of 12d. was being made to the abbot for release from suit due to Cirencester hundred: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117a.
  • 91. N.C. f. 107; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xli.
  • 92. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 270.
  • 93. Ibid. 277.
  • 94. O.C. f. 88.
  • 95. N.C. f. 129v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xlv-vi; N. Denholm-Young, Seignorial Administration in England, 103.
  • 96. Rot. Parl. ii, 182-3; SC. 8/2755. Compare O.C. ff. 56v., 74.
  • 97. Rot. Parl. ii, 182-3.
  • 98. Cal. Close, 1360-64, 156; Cal. Pat. 1358-61, 109; Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, no. 408. In 1535 an annual payment of 12d. was being made in default of suit to Carisbrooke hundred. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117a.
  • 99. N.C. f. 83v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxiii.
  • 100. O.C. f. 73v.
  • 101. N.C. f. 89v.; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxv.
  • 102. Cal. Lib. 1226-40, 322.
  • 103. Cal. Pat. 1401-5, 223, 241. Petitions for allowance were presented by the collectors in 1412-15: E 179/52/65, 66, 71C.
  • 104. Cal. Pat. 1446-52, 86.
  • 105. Ibid. 1338-40, 297; Cal. Close, 1341-3, 209.
  • 106. See, e.g., Cal. Pat. 1330-4, 322; Cal. Close, 1381-5, 90.
  • 107. D.L. 7/1, no. 61a.
  • 108. For examples see O.C. f. 46; N.C. ff. 24, 84; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xx; R. Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster, i, 411.
  • 109. Wards 2/94E/91.
  • 110. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985 m. 31; E 315/420, f. 120.
  • 111. 'Liber de Lacok', Bowles, Annals, App. I, ii.
  • 112. N.C. f. 128v.; Bowles, op. cit., App. III, xlv.
  • 113. 'Liber de Lacok', Bowles, Annals, App. I, ii.
  • 114. N.C. f. 105v.; Bowles, op. cit., App. III, xli.
  • 115. Bowles, Annals, App. III, xli.
  • 116. N.C. f. 103v.; Bowles, op. cit., App. III, xxxix.
  • 117. See above, p. 305, n. 52.
  • 118. Cal. Close, 1259-61, 22-23; Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 25-26; O.C. f. 88v.
  • 119. Cal. Papal Letters, ii, 17. For 'Benedoune' read 'Bouedoune'.
  • 120. O.C. ff. 74, 74v.
  • 121. B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. VIII, f. 128v. Her anniversary was observed on the feast of St. Cecilia: Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 122. Wards 2/94E/66, 'in agendis interius eciam et exterius, auxilium potentissimum impendere et consilium in adversis'.
  • 123. B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, f. 28v.
  • 124. Black Prince's Reg. iv, 180, 183, 184, 400, 405.
  • 125. John of Gaunt's Reg. (Camd. Soc. 3rd ser. lvi-viii), 20, 924. At the Dissolution Lacock was included in a list, drawn up by the clerk of the Council, of houses to which the Duchy of Lancaster had made collation: D.L. 5/6, f. 205.
  • 126. Cal. Pat. 1446-52, 86; Sar. Reg. Aiscough, f. 14v.; Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, i, f. 142; Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster, i, 287, 289.
  • 127. N.C. f. 3.
  • 128. O.C. f. 87v.
  • 129. Sar. Reg. Erghum, f. 23.
  • 130. Sar. Reg. Aiscough, f. 14v.
  • 131. N.C. f. 144v.
  • 132. Cat. Anct. D. v, A 13651. No trace of any metropolitical visitation of the house has as yet come to light among the Lambeth Palace records.
  • 133. I. J. Churchill, Canterbury Administration, ii, 57. Composition between Archbishop Boniface and the dean and chapter, 1262.
  • 134. J. D. Mansi, Sanctorum Conciliorum . . . Collectio Nova, xxii, 999-1000; H. E. Salter, Chapters of the Augustinian Canons (Oxford Hist. Soc.); M. D. Knowles, The Religious Orders in England, 28 seq.
  • 135. N.C. f. 135v.
  • 136. Salter, Chapters of the Augustinian Canons, 139.
  • 137. Ibid. 193.
  • 138. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 186, 189, 192, 193, 214, 237.
  • 139. O.C. ff. 87, 87v.; N.C. f. 135. There are similar notes on the dorse of the loose leaf in O.C. numbered 201b.
  • 140. Wards 2/94C/6; A. Savine, English Monasteries on the Eve of the Dissolution (Oxford Studies), 108.
  • 141. L. & P. Hen. VIII, ix, p. 47; W.A.M. xxviii, 296-7.
  • 142. Reg. Simon de Gandavo (Cant. & York Soc.), ii, 860.
  • 143. Som. Medieval Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xix), 295.
  • 144. Bodl. MS. Laud. Lat. 114 (649). A study of the calendar places beyond reasonable doubt the fact that this MS. belonged to Lacock. Its identification with the bequest of Bishop Erghum is a more difficult matter. The script is of late-13th-cent. date, but the only decoration which is contemporary with it is that on ff. 139-50. This includes an illuminated capital D, illustrating Psalm 109. In the margin, holding a book, is the kneeling figure of a nun wearing a black mantle, beneath which can be seen the sleeves of a white tunic. All the rest of the decoration is of 15th-cent. date, and the calendar itself is a 15th-cent. addition. The author of this article is indebted for this information to Fr. S. J. P. van Dijk, O.F.M.
  • 145. M. D. Legge, Anglo-Norman in the Cloisters, 96.
  • 146. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117a., The abbey is there said to have employed 3 chaplains a tempore fundacionis. They are named in one of Ela's deeds, among the witnesses: N.C. ff. 55, 55v.
  • 147. O.C. f. 2v. Cf. Ela's agreement with Rector of Lacock: Wards 2/94B/28. The whereabouts of this chapel, which was dedicated to Ela's friend and spiritual adviser, St. Edmund Rich, are unknown.
  • 148. N.C. f. 76v. There is no subsequent mention of this grant, which may have been the source from which two of the three chaplains derived.
  • 149. O.C. f. 46. Nicholas was evidently a trusted servant of the house. His obit is not mentioned in the Valor, although it appears in the 13th-cent. list of obits and pittances mentioned in the following note.
  • 150. See list in O.C. f. 88v., which can be dated between 1261, the year of Ela's death, and the death of Amice, Countess of Devon, whose anniversary is not mentioned. This probably occurred on 30 Nov. 1283. Her obit was kept on the feast of St. Andrew, and she is known to have been dead by the beginning of 1284. Clark-Maxwell confuses her with her daughter, Isabel, who died in 1296. See 'The Outfit for the Profession of an Austin Canoness', Arch. Jnl. lxix, 120-4; Eileen Power, Medieval Nunneries, 121.
  • 151. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 152. Ibid.; O.C. f. 76. His obit was kept on the feast of St. Petronilla, 3 May. He died in 1314: B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, f. 128v.
  • 153. Wards 2/94B/60.
  • 154. Cal. Papal Reg. v, 327.
  • 155. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 156. O.C. f. 88v.
  • 157. Ibid.
  • 158. The cellaress's roll of 1346-7 (O.C. ff. 90-93; N.C. ff. i-iv, 144-7) shows doles, chiefly of herrings, being given to the poor on Shrove Tuesday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday, and on the feast of St. Bartholomew (Ela's anniversary).
  • 159. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 160. Ibid.
  • 161. O.C. Paper numbered 202 in Story Maskelyne's list, attached by a pin to f. 90v. Expenses of veiling of Joan Samborne. Each nun received 2s., making total of 40s.; but it seems that this did not include the abbess, who received a special 'fee' of 20s., or Joan herself. Cf. the 22 loaves distributed on Good Friday. Above, n. 60.
  • 162. Sar. Reg. Aiscough, f. 14v.
  • 163. Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, i, f. 142.
  • 164. SC 12/33/27.
  • 165. e.g. Montfort, Ste Croix, Selyman, Wyke, Denys, Auntylle.
  • 166. Sar. Reg. Metford, f. 132. Matilda Ward was the 'young woman' nominated.
  • 167. Sar. Reg. Hallam, f. 22. Agnes, daughter of Thomas Gunch (?) domicilla was nominated. She does not appear in the list of 1445.
  • 168. O.C. f. 76.
  • 169. N.C. f. iv, Cellaress's Roll. 'Ea die' (Monday, 29 Oct.) 'non plus quia dominus Thomas Seymore acquietavit omnia alia propter velacionem Alicie Sthocus'. Thomas held land in Wick and Notton (Lacock): B.M., Add. Chart. 47145; Cal. inq. p.m. ix, 93.
  • 170. Sar. Reg. Erghum, ff. 21v., 23.
  • 171. Above, p. 310, n. 62; Arch. Jnl. lxix, 117 seq. Joan Samborne was still a member of the community in 1445: Sar. Reg. Ayscough, f. 14v.
  • 172. Cf. York Episcopal Registers. Melton, f. 248v., where the community of Moxby are ordered to wear mantles, tunics, and other garments according to the statutes of the rule. The note makes no mention of the rochet, which is a characteristic feature of the habit worn at the present time by the Augustinian canonesses of Abbotsleigh (Som.), who represent the post-Dissolution foundation at Louvain.
  • 173. Sar. Reg. Aiscough, f. 14v.; Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, i, f. 142.
  • 174. O.C. f. 85v.
  • 175. Lacock Abbey MS. Brito, ff. i, ii, 195; see above, p. 309.
  • 176. O.C. ff. 90-93; N.C. ff. i-iv, 144-7.
  • 177. With reference to the problem of the degree of literacy possessed by women religious in the later Middle Ages, it may be of interest to point out that this note is written in Latin, in the first person, and may be presumed to be the autograph of the chambress of that date.
  • 178. Wards 2/94C/9.
  • 179. Lying loose between ff. 22 and 23 of Brito's Dictionary.
  • 180. O.C. ff. 47-56; W.A.M. xxxii, 311 seq.; above, p. 306, n. 78.
  • 181. de veteri rotulo, f. 49; de novo rotulo, ff. 48v., 51; W.A.M. xxxii, 310-11.
  • 182. W.A.M. xxxii, 311-12.
  • 183. Ibid. 331.
  • 184. Ibid. 332.
  • 185. Wards 2/94B/4, 84, 120; Wards 2/94E/97.
  • 186. Wards 2/94B/67; Wards 2/94E/27, 96, 113.
  • 187. John de Menstreworthe held the office in the early 14th cent. Wards 2/94B/34, 69; Wards 2/94E/20. William Wolfe is named in D.L. 7/1, no. 61a.
  • 188. O.C. f. 2v.; Brito, ff. iv, ii; N.C. ff. 144, 145, 146. It seems to have been usual to grant leases of tenements in Lacock to the abbey's servants. See Wards 2/94B/55, 56, 75, 85; Wards 2/94E/92. The roll of 1346-7 shows them receiving consuetudines on Shrove Tuesday: O.C. f. 90v.
  • 189. SC 12/33/27; G. C. Clark, 'The Fall of the Wiltshire Monasteries', W.A.M. xxviii, 310 [C].
  • 190. e.g. Everard the German and Ralph de Holta, clerk, in Ela's time; Robert Pig and Richard de Roscrux under Beatrice, and Adam de Rugham under Alice and Juliana: N.C. ff. 5v., 16v., 19; 30, 37, 38, 43v., 55, 83v., 121; Cat. Anct. D. iv, A 9397.
  • 191. O.C. f. 2v.
  • 192. N.C. ff. 145, 146v.; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 193. O.C. f. 79v.; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 194. Wards 2/94B/3; Cal. Pat. 1338-40, 150; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 195. In 1254 Brother Robert was bailiff of Bishopstrow: Wards 2/94B/3a. Brother John de Hyheleye is mentioned in the 13th-cent. cellaress's roll: Brito, f. iiv.; but conclusive proof is provided by the appearance among the witnesses to a deed of 1241 of the name of Brother David, conversus of Stanley, followed by that of Brother William de Lacok: N.C. ff. 55, 55v.
  • 196. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b. These appear to be the 9 'officers of the household' mentioned in the report of 1536.
  • 197. W.A.M. xxxii, 335, 338, 341.
  • 198. O.C. f. 2v.
  • 199. N.C. ff. 144v.-6v.
  • 200. O.C. f. 20v.
  • 201. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 23 d.
  • 202. O.C. ff. 90-93; N.C. ff. i-iv, passim.
  • 203. e.g. Wards 2/94E/19; N.C. 73; Bowles, Annals, App. III, xxxii; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117a.
  • 204. W.A.M. xxxii, 320, 322, 323, 325, 326, 327-8, 330, 332, 333.
  • 205. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 24 d.
  • 206. Ibid. m. 25.
  • 207. See above, p. 307, n. 98.
  • 208. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 28.
  • 209. Wards 2/94C/9. De stauro vivo.
  • 210. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 28.
  • 211. Lacock Abbey MS. Brito, f. 95.
  • 212. Wards 2/94C/9.
  • 213. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, mm. 28, 32. There was also a grist-mill at Bishopstrow: ibid. m. 28. It is mentioned as early as the time of Abbess Beatrice: Bowles, Annals, 311-12.
  • 214. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116a. and b; SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, mm. 25, 28.
  • 215. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 31 d. 'uno puteo carbonum et omnibus carbonibus eiusdem . . . omnino exceptis et reservatis'.
  • 216. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 268.
  • 217. See the indenture attached to f. 89 in O.C. (no. 200 in Story Maskelyne's list).
  • 218. See, for examples of the use of the term burgagium, Wards 2/94B/9, 86, 87, 122, 125, 140, 141, 152, 153, 154, 155; Wards 2/94E/25, 32, 33, 48, 55, 56, 60, 64, 73, 78, 87, 89; E40/9244, 9364, 10899, 11183, 11184.
  • 219. Lacock Abbey MS. Brito, f. iv., ii.
  • 220. See above, p. 310, n. 62.
  • 221. Wards 2/94C/9.
  • 222. L. & P. Hen. VIII, ix, p. 47.
  • 223. SC 12/33/27; W.A.M. xxviii, 310 [D], [F].
  • 224. Wards 2/94C/9.
  • 225. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 26 d.
  • 226. Ibid.
  • 227. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 28; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116a.
  • 228. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116b.
  • 229. Ibid. 115, 116a.
  • 230. It was he who urged the Commons in 1531 to petition the king to take back Catherine: P. Hughes, The Reformation in England, i, 236.
  • 231. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 232. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 33 d; Bowles, Annals, 320.
  • 233. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b.
  • 234. Thus in SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 32 d. (cf. B.M., Harl. Roll, I, 14); but in Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116b, John Spencer, senior, is returned as the lessee.
  • 235. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 28; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116a; Bowles, Annals, 291, 313. The original lease is in W.R.O., Deed 132/3.
  • 236. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 117b. He was appointed on 24 Aug. 1531: E/135/442.
  • 237. D.N.B. under Baynton, Andrew; Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster, i, 632.
  • 238. Bowles, Annals, 289 n., who is followed by G. Baskerville, English Monks and the Dissolution, 197, makes Baynton cousin-german to Joan Temmse; but elsewhere (p. 291), quoting from pedigree of Temmse family made in 1565, he gives name of Joan's mother as Jane, daughter of Robert Baynard of Lackham. Cf. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Hundred of Downton, 7.
  • 239. Hoare, op. cit. 7; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 43; xv, p. 542. By 1553 she was evidently dead, since her name does not appear in pensions list of that year: Bowles, Annals, 283.
  • 240. That is, if Marie Denys, who was made Prioress of Kington in that year, is included.
  • 241. L. & P. Hen. VIII, ix, pp. 39, 47.
  • 242. Ibid. ix, p. 47; W.A.M. xxviii, 297. The report of the Commissioners of 1536 upon Kington was favourable: ibid. 311[B].
  • 243. SC 12/33/27; W.A.M. xxviii, 310[B].
  • 244. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xii (1), p. 143, g (42).
  • 245. Ibid. xiii (2), p. 177.
  • 246. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116b, 118b.
  • 247. SC 12/33/27; W.A.M. xxviii, 310[A].
  • 248. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 24.
  • 249. Ibid. m. 26 d.
  • 250. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), pp. 40, 43. The act establishing the Court of Augmentations had provided that monasteries in Lancashire, and all religious houses elsewhere which were of the foundation of the king as Duke of Lancaster should be surrendered to the Duchy's control. In fact, however, only the first part of this provision was implemented, so that Lacock and its possessions passed direct to the Crown: Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster, i, 288 seq.
  • 251. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 43; xv, p. 542.
  • 252. E 135/442, ff. 33, 33v.
  • 253. W.A.M. xxviii, 315.
  • 254. Ibid.
  • 255. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 40.
  • 256. E 135/442.
  • 257. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 24 d.
  • 258. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 479, g (110); B.M., Harl. Roll, 1, 14.
  • 259. Bowles, Annals, 308.
  • 260. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, 613, p. 296, g. (20). Cf. B.M., Harl. Roll, I, 14.
  • 261. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, 1012, p. 567, g. (49).
  • 262. Ibid. xviii (1), p. 543, g. (104).
  • 263. Ibid. xxi (1), p. 693; xx (2), p. 323, g. (10).
  • 264. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 116a; SC 6/Hen. VIII/ 3985, m. 26 d.; Cal. Pat. 1547-8, 67; Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Hundred of Heytesbury, 171.
  • 265. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 23; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 479, g. (110).
  • 266. SC 6/Hen. VIII/3985, m. 25.
  • 267. Ibid. m. 27.
  • 268. Ibid. m. 25. For his activities see ibid. mm. 28 d., 30 d., and B.M., Harl. Roll, I, 14.
  • 269. Bowles, Annals, 283.
  • 270. He had been one of Cromwell's gentlemen: L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiii (2), p. 497 (iii).
  • 271. Ibid. xix (1), p. 84, g. 74.
  • 272. Bowles, Annals, 313-14; Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Hundred of Warminster, 70-72.
  • 273. Hoare, Mod. Wilts. Hundred of Warminster, 70-72. Baskerville's account of post-dissolution developments on the Lacock lands is inaccurate in several particulars: English Monks and the Dissolution, 197. He represents Christopher Temmse's office of receiver-general as a new appointment; and he makes Robert Bathe and not Thomas Temmse the purchaser of Bishopstrow. The picture he presents of the last days of the abbey is, as a whole, misleading.
  • 274. Above, p. 304, n. 27.
  • 275. Above, p. 304.
  • 276. Beatrice was expressly designated by Ela as her successor: 'dum vixit abbatissam prefecit Beatricem de Kancia': 'Liber de Lacok', Bowles, Annals, App. I, iv. She died in or after 1280, in which year her name appears in deed dated 1 Aug.: Wards 2/94B/59.
  • 277. Mentioned in deed dated 2 June 1283: Cat. Anct. D. iv, 9244; and in fine dated the quindene of Easter, 1286: Feet of F. 1272-1327 (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), 28. The information contained in O.C. ff. 1 and 2 concerning the procedure to be followed in abbatial elections may have been assembled at this time, since Alice was the first abbess of the house to be formally 'elected'.
  • 278. Mentioned in deeds of 1288 and 1290: Bowles, Annals, 278.
  • 279. Mentioned in a lease of 1299: Ibid. 280.
  • 280. First mentioned in a deed dated 8 July 1303: Wards 2/94B/143; last mentioned in a deed dated 10 May 1332: Wards 2/94B/27.
  • 281. Elected 31 Aug. 1332; blessed by the Bishop at Ramsbury, 18 Oct.: Sar. Reg. Wyville, ii, Inst. f. 18.
  • 282. Election confirmed 28 May 1334; blessed at Potterne, 29 May: Sar. Reg. Wyville, ii, Inst. f. 29. The last occurrence of her name is in deed dated 4 Sept. 1349: Wards 2/94B/4, 132. She may have died of the plague.
  • 283. Election confirmed 10 Oct. 1349; blessing 11 Oct. at Potterne: Sar. Reg. Wyville, ii, Inst. f. 219v.
  • 284. Licence to elect issued 8 Feb. 1356 by Black Prince; signification to bishop of election, with request for confirmation, 18 Feb.; appointment of commission to receive fealty and acknowledgement of service of the abbess-elect, whose health did not permit her to appear before the Prince's council in London, 1 Mar.: Black Prince's Reg. iv, 180, 183, 184. No mention of Agnes's election appears in Wyville's register.
  • 285. Licence to elect 28 Oct. 1361; notification to bishop of election, with request for appropriate action, 20 Nov.: ibid. 400, 405. Confirmation by bishop 7 Nov. followed next day by blessing at Potterne: Sar. Reg. Wyville, ii, Inst. f. 295.
  • 286. Notification by prioress to John of Gaunt, as patron, of death of Faith Selyman, with request for licence to elect, May 1380: O.C. f. 86v. Licence to elect 9 May 1380. John of Gaunt's Reg. 1379-83, 924. Notification by community to patron of election of new abbess 4 June: O.C. f. 86v. Request of patron to bishop to admit and institute 1 June: John of Gaunt's Reg. 1379-83, p. 20.
  • 287. Licence to elect 7 June 1403: D.L. 42/16, f. 8 d.
  • 288. Elected per viam spiritus sancti; election confirmed 15 Apr. 1429; blessed next day in parish church at Lacock: Sar. Reg. Neville, f. 9v.
  • 289. Licence to elect from Henry VI, as Duke of Lancaster; nomination entrusted, for avoidance of pericula et discrimina which an election might occasion, to bishop 4 Sept. 1445; notification the same day to patron of his choice; blessing at Marlborough 25 Sept.: Sar. Reg. Aiscough, f. 14v. Died 12 July 1473: Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, i, f. 142; B.M., Cott. MS. Vit. A. VIII, f. 132.
  • 290. Licence to elect from Edward IV, as Duke of Lancaster; elected per viam scrutinii 12 Aug. 1473: Sar. Reg. Beauchamp, i, f. 142.
  • 291. In record of suit concerning Shorwell (Bowles, Annals, App. III, xlvii seq.), Margery Glowceter is represented as immediate predecessor of Joan Temmse, the last abbess, and as having succeeded an unnamed abbess who died on 6 Feb. 1483. This is manifestly an error. It was Margery who died in Feb. 1483. The name of her successor is unknown.
  • 292. There is no record of election of Joan Temmse, but she was in office when the proceedings in Chancery for recovery of Shorwell were instituted (Bowles, Annals, App. III, xlvii seq.), and the earliest surviving deeds issued in her name belong to that year: B.M., Add. Chart. 26480; Hist. MSS. Com. Fifth Rep. 327.
  • 293. e.g. E 40/6820/11184; E 42/194/344-7; E 322/119; Wards 2/94E/78.
  • 294. E 42/194/345-6; Wards 2/94E/78.
  • 295. E 42/345.