Friaries: Friaries of Hull

Page 270

A History of the County of York: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1974.

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The tradition of the order that the Carmelite friary of Hull dates from 1290, and that the chief founders and benefactors were Edward I, Sir Robert Ughtred, and Sir Richard de la Pole, is probably substantially correct. (fn. 1) The earliest mention of the house is contained in a petition of Master Robert of Scarborough, Dean of York, in 1289, for licence to bestow a messuage in Wike-upon-Hull on the Carmelites. (fn. 2) The convent seems to have consisted of thirteen brethren in 1298, when the king gave the friars 13s. for three days' food through Friar Robert de Saunton. (fn. 3) From the royal alms (5s. for one day's food in 1300 by the hand of Friar Geoffrey of Corringham, and 20s. for three days' food in 1301), (fn. 4) it appears that the inmates of the house increased rapidly. It soon became necessary for them to obtain more room both for the friars and for 'the great multitude flocking there to divine service.' Edward I gave them 3 acres in Milncroft outside the walls in 1304, in exchange for their site in the town, and at his request, dated 25 January 1306-7, Clement V authorized them, 23 June 1307, to transfer themselves to the new site by Beverley Gate, and to have the first stone of their new buildings blessed by a bishop. (fn. 5) The archbishop licensed them (17 May 1311) to have their church consecrated. (fn. 6) In 1320 Walter de Scorby and Robert de Barton gave them small plots of land adjacent to their house (fn. 7); and William son of Sir Richard de la Pole, kt., added 1½ acres to their area in 1352. (fn. 8)

Several bequests were made by women to the image of the Virgin in this church. Isabel Wilton in 1486 bequeathed to the Lady at the White Friars a chest bound with iron; Elizabeth Hatfield of Hedon, in 1509, a pair of chaplets of silver with a cross (also a chalice of silver to the church); Diones of Hull, a girdle. (fn. 9) Richard Doughty of Hull, merchant, in 1513 bequeathed to the friars a tenement next St. James's Maison Dieu. (fn. 10) John Fynwell of Hull, 1521, left to the prior his Golden Legend. (fn. 11) Dame Joan Thurescrosse left £4 towards rebuilding the church in 1523. (fn. 12) Sir Thomas Sutton, kt., was buried here. (fn. 13)

Shortly before the Dissolution there were eight friars in the house. (fn. 14) The friary was surrendered by John Wade, the prior, to Richard Ingworth, Bishop of Dover, 10 March 1538-9. (fn. 15) The lands comprised the site with gardens (½ acre) and a close of pasture (1 acre), and three more gardens let to various tenants, at a total rent of 13s 4d. a year. The rents in the town amounted to 20s. a year, and included 12d. from the masters or wardens of the Gild of Mariners for a rent derived from the house called Trinity House, situated on the south of the priory. (fn. 16)


John Craven, 1410 (fn. 17)

John Wade, 1538


Geoffrey de Hotham of Cranswick and John de Wetwang had royal licence in 1317 to grant a plot of land in Hull, measuring 205 ft. by 115 ft., for the construction of a house of Austin Friars. (fn. 19) The grant was made to the Austin Friars of York, who sent some of their members to found the house at Hull. (fn. 20) The land owed a rent of 16s. 8d. to the town; the friars petitioned to be released from this payment about 1321, but failed to obtain relief till Richard son and heir of Geoffrey of Hotham and John de Wilflet, in 1341, conferred on the town rents from other messuages to the amount of 17s. 9d. (fn. 21)

Friar John de Hornyngton, S.T.P., having been granted licence by the prior-general to choose any convent of his order, and a chamber therein to dwell in for life, and also to retain as servant one of the brethren of the convent, selected the house at Hull; he complained to the Crown that certain envious persons were scheming to expel him, and obtained a writ of protection 20 August 1381 for himself, his serving friar, household, chamber, books and goods. (fn. 22) He was S.T.P. of Cambridge, and took part in condemning Wycliffe's doctrines in 1382. (fn. 23) Richard Clay, of this house, was appointed papal chaplain in 1413. (fn. 24)

Adam Correy was buried here in 1392, and left, as mortuary gift, his horse with saddle and bridle, and to Friar William Bridlington £9. (fn. 25) Richard Wilflet of Hull, mariner, 1520, endowed lights on the altars of our Lady and St. Catherine in this church. (fn. 26) The friars are said to have numbered eighteen about the end of the 15th century, (fn. 27) and seem to have depended entirely on alms. At the time of the Dissolution they held only the site with a garden in Blackfriars Street, measuring 49 yds. by 33 yds., worth 5s. a year. (fn. 28) The house was surrendered by Alexander Ingram, prior, 10 March 1538-9, to the Bishop of Dover. (fn. 29)

The seal represents St. Michael in combat with the dragon, in a canopied niche; in base on a corbel a prior kneeling. Legend:—



  • 1. Harl. MS. 339, fol. 25.
  • 2. Inq. a.q.d. file 12, no. 7. Robert afterwards obtained the consent of the Abbot and convent of Meaux, from whom he held the land, and renewed his petition in the Parliament of 1290; Parl. R. i, 63. It does not appear whether the licence was given.
  • 3. Exch. Accts. (P.R.O.), bdle. 356, no, 21.
  • 4. Liber Quotid. 28 Edw. I (ed. Topham), 37; Add. MS. 7966a, fol. 25.
  • 5. Chart R. 33 Edw. I. no. 73; Rymer, Foed. (Rec. Com.), i, 1008; Cal. of Papal Letters, ii, 30; cf. Leland, I tin. i, 51. The entry in Cal. of Papal Letters, vi, 162, refers to Carthusians, not Carmelites.
  • 6. Fasti Ebor. i, 378 n.; Fabric R. of York Minster (Surt. Soc.), 236.
  • 7. Pat. 13 Edw. II, m. 5.
  • 8. Inq. a.q.d. file 303, no. 8; Pat. 26 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 2; the friars paid 20s. for the licence.
  • 9. Test. Ebor. iv, 16; v, I; iv, 198 n.
  • 10. Ibid. v, 48.
  • 11. Ibid. 140.
  • 12. Ibid. 171; cf. vi, 53-4.
  • 13. Coll. Topog. et Gen. iv, 131.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), 348, 413; Mins. Accts. 30-1 Hen. VIII (Yorks.), 166; cf. Acct. of Mon. Treasures (Abbotsford Club), 17.
  • 16. Mins. Accts. loc. cit.
  • 17. Harl. MS. 6969, fol. 86.
  • 18. They were locally known as Black Friars; hence Blackfriars Gate, &c. There was no house of Friars Preachers in Hull.
  • 19. Inq. a.q.d. files 102, no. 13; 130, no. II; Pat. 11 Edw. II, pt. i, m. 27; cf. Leland, I tin. i, 51.
  • 20. See 'The Austin Friars of York' in this volume.
  • 21. Inq. a.q.d. files 149, no. 10; 251, no. 4; Anct. Pet. 3362; Pat. 15 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 17.
  • 22. Pat. 5 Ric. II, pt. i, m. 27.
  • 23. Fascic. Zizan. (Rolls Sen), 286, 499.
  • 24. Cal. of Papal Letters, vi, 173.
  • 25. Test. Ebor. i, 148. John Grimsby and Margaret his wife were buried here; Coll. Topog. et Gen. iv, 132.
  • 26. Test. Ebor. v, 114.
  • 27. Coll. Topog. et Gen. iv, 132.
  • 28. Mins. Accts. 30-1 Hen. VIII (Yorks.), 166.
  • 29. Ibid.
  • 30. B.M. Seals, lxxix, 66; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi, 1603.