Part XI

The Croyland Chronicle: Part XI
The Fourth Continuation of the History of Croyland Abbey, with Notes


Also, in like manner to give our consent and assent, and in our name really and effectually to consent and assent, that the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston, before-named, together with all its rights and appurtenances, shall be canonically united, annexed, incorporated, and consolidated with the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter aforesaid, the abbat and convent thereof for the time being, and their successors for all future time whatsoever, the same to be held for ever to their own proper use; and, if need shall be, to dissent from the same; saving always to ourselves and our successors, a certain yearly payment of six shillings and eightpence of and from the fruits and profits of the parish church of Brynkhurst aforesaid, the same to be paid for ever in each year at the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, as and for an indemnification to us and our successors; and to demand and see that the parish church of Eston aforesaid, and the fruits, rents, profits, rights, incomes, offerings, tenths, and all and singular the emoluments whatsoever of the said church, are bound to payment and security for payment of the yearly sum aforesaid, and that the said abbat, and convent, and all their successors whatsoever are charged with payment of the said sum to us and our successors, in manner before stated, for ever; and in our name to receive all other bonds and secutiries whatsoever sufficient in that behalf; and to make, demand, and to hear, sentences both interlocutory and definite, given, and pronounced, and other enactments, ordinances, and decrees, in that behalf requisite, made and ordained, and to consent to the same, or otherwise, if needs be, to dissent therefrom; as also to carry out the said matter of union, annexation, incorporation, and consolidation, until and unto the final close thereof, and so to conclude the same; and to substitute any other Proctor or Proctors whatsoever, in the place of them, and of each of them, and to revoke each substitution, and to resume to themselves the duties of such Proctor, as often as, and when it shall seem good and expedient to them or to any one of them; and generally, to make, do, and execute all and singular other things in and about the premises which may be necessary thereto, or in any way desirable, although the same may require of them an authorization more special than is in these presents set forth. We do also promise that we will for ever hold as ratified, good, and established, all and whatsoever our said Proctors, or those of them substituted or to be substituted shall do, or any one of them shall do, in the premises or any one of the premises; and will abide by the judgment, and will do what shall be adjudged under pledge and obligation of forfeiting all our goods; and in that behalf we do by these presents make offer of the said security. In testimony whereof, we have to these presents set our common seal, the same being given in our chapterhouse on the first day of the month of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand four hundred and eighty-six.”

“Be it known to all men by these presents, that we, Richard Langueder, Doctor of Laws, archdeacon of Leicester in the cathedral church of Lincoln and officer of the consistory court of Lincoln, have named, ordained, made, and appointed, and do by the tenor of these presents, name, ordain, make, and appoint our dearly beloved in Christ, Masters Thomas Hutton, Doctor of Laws, Andrew Bensted, and Roger Wood Masters of Arts, and William Spencer, John Beil, and William Miller, clerks and notaries public, jointly and severally, and each of them, by himself wholly and solely, that so any one of them who has begun to act may not have more force and effect than the others, but that what any of them has begun, any other of them may be at liberty by himself to continue, conclude, and carry into effect, our true and lawful proctors, agents, factors, and managers of our business, and our especial deputies: and we do give and do grant to the same our Proctors jointly, and to each of them by himself, as before stated, severally and wholly, general power and especial authority, for us and in the name of our said archdeaconry, to appear in a certain matter of union, annexation, incorporation, appropriation, and consolidation of the said parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, in the diocese of Lincoln, with its rights and appurtenances, with the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, in the said diocese, the same to be duly and canonically made, before the reverend father and lord in Christ, John, by the grace of God, lord bishop of Lincoln, or any his commissary whatsoever, in that behalf appointed; as also to hear the reasons for the said union, annexation, appropriation and consolidtation, and as to the reasons so admitted and pronounced, to estimate the validity of them and each of them: and to consent, and in like manner make and give our assent and consent, that the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston aforesaid, together with its lands, tenements, rents, services, fruits, profits, commodities, and all other its rights and appurtenances whatsoever, shall be canonically united, annexed, and incorporated with the monastery of Burgh aforesaid, and the abbat and convent thereof, and all their successors in future times whtsoever: saving always unto ourselves and our successors, archdeacons of Leicester, a certain yearly payment in each year to come, as and for an indemnification to our said dignified office; seeing that the said parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston, is known to be situate within the precincts and circuit of our archdeaconry aforesaid — the same to be faithfully paid; and to demand, see, and obtain, that the said parish church, and the yearly fruits thereof, for all future time, are bound and charged for security of payment being made of the said yearly sum; and to prosecute, carry on, and conclude the said matter of union, annexation, incorporation, and consolidation, until and unto the final close thereof, and so to finish the same, and to make, do, and execute all and singular other the things in and about the premises, which may be necessary thereto, or in any way desirable, although the said things may be such as by their nature may require an authorization more special than is set forth in the premises, and which we ourselves would have done, made, or executed, in case we had been personally present in the premises. We also, the archdeacon before-named, do promise, for ourselves and our successors, that we will for ever hold as ratified, good, and established, all and whatsoever our said Proctors, or any one of them shall do in the premises or any of the premises; and will abide by the judgment, and will do what shall be adjudged under pledge, and obligation of forfeiting all our goods, and in that behalf we do by these presents make offer of the said security. In testimony whereof, because we do not happen to have the seal of our aforesaid archdeaconry at hand, we have to these presents set the seal of our office aforesaid. Given, so far as the sealing of these presents, at Stamford, on the fifth day of the month of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand four hundred and eighty-six.”

“After these premises had been completed, the before-named lord John Croyland, the Proctor of the abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh aforesaid, in their names, did before us judicially and actually present the royal letters containing the royal licence granted to the said abbat and convent, for despatching the said matter of union, annexation, appropriation, incorporation, and consolidation, the same being sealed with an impression of the king’s great seal on wax of a green colour, in presence of the Proctors there before us still in person remaining, of the lords before-named, the dean and chapter and the archdeacon, to whom reference has been made above; the tenor whereof was to the following effect:

“Henry, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. Know ye that we, of our special grace, as also at the humble prayer of Edmund, abbat, and the convent of Croyland, have granted and given permission, and by these presents do grant and give persmission, for ourselves and for our heirs, so far as in us lies, unto our dearly beloved in Christ, the abbat of Burgh Saint Peter and the convent of the said place, and their successors, that they shall be empowered and enabled for ever, for themselves and their successors, to appropriate, unite, annex, and consolidate the church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, in the county of Leicester, and in the diocese of Lincoln, together with all the rights and emoluments, thereof whatsoever both spiritual and temporal, with the said abbat and convent, and their successors, and their house and church aforesaid, and when so united, appropriated, annexed and consolidated, to hold, possess, and retain the same to their own proper use; and that, without any way taking, making, or paying any fine or fee for the same to our use, and without any writ being in any way had or issued of Ad qoud damnum,(1) by reason of the premises; and without any demand, let, or hindrance on the part of ourselves, our heirs, justices, escheators, sheriffs, or other the bailiffs or servants of ourselves or of any of our heirs whatsoever. We do will, however, that the vicarage or vicar of the church aforesaid, or in the said church, sufficiently * * * * * and a certain sum of money from the fruits and profits thereof each year to be paid and distributed by the diocesan of the said place, shall be divided among the poor parishioners of the said church, according to the form of the statute in that behalf made and provided. In testimony whereof we have caused these our letters patent to be made. Witness, myself, at Westminster, this twenty-fifth day of February, in the first year of our reign.”

“The royal licence being then and there by us inspected and understood, the before-named lord John Croyland, the Proctor aforesaid, in the name thereof, and in the presence of the others, this is to say, the Proctors of the lords of the dean and chapter and the archdeacon, who were still present, then and there did actually propound a certain article or petition, set forth in writing, and urgently requested that the same might be admitted and that inquisition might be made thereon, and that he might be decreed to be admitted, and so be effectually admitted, to make proof of what was set forth and contained in the same. The tenor of the said article or petition is set forth in the form of words as follows:

“In the name of God, Amen. Before you the reverend father and lord in Christ, by the grace of God, lord bishop of Lincoln, or your commissary in this behalf last appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, on part of the religiouis men, the abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, of the order of Saint Benedict, in your diocese of Lincoln, patrons of the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, in the same your diocese, and canonically holding the right of advowson and patronage in the said church, in the matter underwirtten, it is, in such mode, manner, and form, as it may be best, most usefully, and most efficiently, consistently with that is lawful, said, alleged, and in these writings, lawfully propounded: That the abbat and convent before-named have been and are the true and lawful patrons of the parish church of Brynkhurst aforesaid, and that the right of patronage and advowson thereof, have anciently and from ancient times, and have in times and from a time to which the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, peacefully and inviolably belonged, do belong, and for ever ought to belong unto the monastery aforesaid, and the abbat and convent thereof for the time being: And that the present abbat and convent, have been, and still are, through and by reason of the premises, openly, publicly, and notoriously, commonly held, had, called, named, and reputed to be the true and lawful patrons and the canonical possessors of the said rights of patronage and advowson: and that, between the venerable monasteries of Burgh Saint Peter and of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle and Saint Guthlac of Croyland, of the order of Saint Benedict; in your diocese of Lincoln, holding lands and territories close adjoining to each other, and without limits sufficiently set forth, there have long prevailed, and have arisen, now on the one side and now on the other, strifes, dissensions, quarrels, and disputes, the which have notoriously caused, and still do cause, to the commuities of both convents many vexations, expenses, and damages, by both greatly impeding and lessening the worship of God, and the due observance of hospitality, in the said places, to such a degree that unless by means of the moderate measures of wholesome counsel, provision shall be duly made for the indemnifying of each, the advantages and prosperity of the one monastery or the other, or perhaps, which may God forbid, of both, must be utterly sacrificed: And that, for the purpose of allaying strifes, dissensions, quarrels, and disputes of the said nature, and of encouraging and nourishing peace and concord amongst the parties aforesaid, (seeing that only in the time of peace is the Author of all peace duly worshipped), and to the end that thereby the duties of hospitality as well as the worship of God may be promoted in either monastery, it has seemed that the same could not be more conveniently brought about or provided for, than by an arrangement that the parish church of Brynkhurst aforesaid, together with its lands, tenements, rents, services, fruits, and profits, as also all the advantages to the said church belonging, (saving always the portion from ancient times reserved and set apart for the support of the perpetual vicar of the said church), should be duly and canonically united, annexed, incorporated, and granted, for their own proper use for ever to be held, to the said lords the abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter aforesaid and their successors, at the costs and expenses of the said lords the abbat and convent of the monastery of Croyland. All and every of which things have been and are true, public, notorious, manifest, and well known; and public rumour and report have long treated of and still do treat of the same. Wherefore, the sureties having been given which were required in this behalf, it is prayed on behalf of the said lords, the abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, that the reasons for the union, annexation, incorporation, and appropriation aforesaid, and above set forth, shall be admitted, and that it shall be pronounced and declared as to the same and the validity thereof; and that the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston aforesaid, together with its lands and tenements, rents, and services, fruits, proceeds, and all the advantages thereof, may by and with the licence of the king’s majesty, and the consent and assent of all and singular the parties having an interest in the said matter, be duly and canonically united, annexed, incorporated, and appropriated to the aforesaid monastery of Burgh Saint Peter and the abbat and convent thereof, and all their future successors whatsoever, and may, saving always the portion aforesaid of the perpetual vicar, be granted for ever to be held to the proper use of the said abbat and convent of Burgh, and their successors; and that the said monastery and parish church, saving always the portion of the perpetual vicar aforesaid, may be consolidated; and that the abbat and convent, for the time being, of the monastery of Burgh aforesaid, may be decreed, by themselves or by their Proctors, to be inducted into real, corporal, and actual possession of the said parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston, and of the lands, tenements, rents, services, fruits, and proceeds thereof, so soon as it shall happen that the said parish is vacant, by reason either of the resignation, cession, or death of Master John Tapton, the present rector thereof, or in any other lawful way, and may then be effectually inducted therein; and that leave may be effectually granted and given by you, and by means of your sentence and decree, Reverend Father before-named, unto them, the abbat and convent of Burgh, so soon as the same shall happen to be vacant in manner aforesaid, to enter upon the same and to take possession thereof, together with all the rights and appurtenances above-mentioned, and, after possession so taken, to keep and continue to keep the same; and that further, all things may be enacted and decreed to be done in the premises, and in all matters concerning the same, which shall be consistent with law and reason. All which things are propounded and prayed to be done, on part of the said abbat and convent of Burgh Saint Peter aforesaid, jointly and severally; the said parties not restricting themselves to the proof of all and singular the premises, nor yet undertaking the burden of making any superfluous proof, against which they do hereby protest; but confining themselves solely to those things which shall suffice in this behalf lawfully to manifest their intention to establish their right; and, saving all things what is for their benefit, in this behalf, Reverend Father before-named, humbly invoking your aid.

“And we, John, the bishop before-named, seeing that it would be meritorious to grant to this prayer that which is only just, and regarding the contents and tenor of the said article or petition, which we did there have and hold as set forth and fully understood, did, at the instance and prayer of the said Proctor, so propounding and praying, as before stated, as also with the consent and assent of the said Masters William Miller and Roger Ward, the Proctors of the lords the dean and chapter and our archdeacon of Leicester before-named, judicially decree that the said article or petition should be admitted, and that inquisition should be made of and concerning the truth of the matters in the said article or petition contained; and that the said Proctor of the said abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh, should be admitted to make proofs of the contents of the said article or petition; and we did name and appoint unto the before-named John Croyland, the Proctor aforesaid, the Monday then next ensuing, and the eighth hour before mid-day of the same day, at the parish church of Croyland aforesaid, for him to produce witnesses and all other kinds of proof whatsoever, to him belonging in this behalf, the same being granted at the prayer of the said Proctor of the abbat and convent aforesaid; so continuing and proroguing the said matter, in the plight in which it then was, until the said day, hour, and place.

“Accordingly, upon the said Monday, at the eighth hour before mid-day of the same day, in the church aforesaid, we then sitting there in judgment, in presence of the Proctors then personally present of the lords the dean and chapter and the archdeacon before-named, the lord John Croyland, the Proctor of the abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, and in their name, did produce John Hyeremouth, John Douthfiere, William Digle, John Slyng, and William Spencer, of Croyland, and Thomas Grace, and Robert Austhorp, of Peterbrorough, as witnesses to depose to and upon the truth of the contents of the said article or petition above-mentioned, as also to undergo the examination by us, and of our authority, in that behalf to be made; and did urgently request that the said persons might by us be received, admitted, and, after the form of swearing witnesses, sworn and examined. Upon which, the said John Hyeremouth, John Douthfiere, William Digle, John Slyng, William Spencer, Thomas Grace, and Robert Austhorp, the witnesses before-named, then and there, by our commands, touching the Holy Evangelists of God, did make oath upon the same, that they would speak all and every the truth in this behalf, to the best of their knowledge, all love, hatred, fear, solicitation, reward, and all other things whatsoever like thereunto, utterly removed and set aside. The burden of the examination of all and singular which witnesses in this behalf to be made, we, being then occupied with other business, so as not to be able to give our personal attention to the examination of their evidence therein, did, by the consent and assent both of the before-named lord John Croyland, the Proctor of the said abbat and convent of Burgh, and of the before-named Masters William Miller and Roger Wood, the Proctors aforesaid, fully entrust unto the venerable man, Master Thomas Hutton, Doctor of Laws, then present, who did willingly accept and undertake the same; and we did then and there give and grant unto the said Master Thomas full power to do the same, acting in our behalf, to examine them orally and prorogue the aforesaid matter, in its then plight, until the second hour after mid-day of the same Monday, at the parish church of Croyland aforesaid.

“At the said second hour after mid-day, on the said Monday, in the parish church of Croyland aforesaid, we, John, the bishop before-named, then sitting there in judgment, did, at the prayer and insistance of the before-named lord John Croyland, and Masters William Miller and Roger Wood, the Proctors aforesaid, who did then appear and were personally present before us, publish the words and evidence of the witnesses before-named, so as aforesaid produced before us and by our authority sufficiently examined, and did then and there cause the same to be publicly declared; after publication of which words and evidence, so made as before stated, the discreet men, Masters William Miller and Roger Wood, Proctors of the lords of the dean and chapter, and our archdeacon of Leicester, saying before us, that, as it appeared to them, the reasons set forth in the article or petition aforesaid, for such union, annexation, appropriation, incorporation, and consolidation, were well and sufficiently proved, did, at the prayer and request of the before-named lord John Croyland, the Proctor of the lords the abbat and convent of Burgh, before-named, then and there spontaneously and voluntarily consent and assent to the union, annexation, appropriation, incorporation, and consolidation, so to be made as already stated, and did likewise give their consent and assent in that behalf. After which, the said lord John Croyland, the Proctor before-named, and in the same behalf, did often and repeatedly, with urgent prayers, request that the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston aforesaid, might, in manner above prayed in the article before stated, be united, annexed, appropriated, and incorporated, with the monastery of Burgh aforesaid, and that decree or sentence of the said union, annexation, appropriation, and incorporation, might by us be made and in that behalf pronounced, and that the other things might be done, enacted, and decreed, according as, in the aforesaid article or petition it was prayed and that justice might be done for him in the premises. Wherefore we, John, bishop of Lincoln before-named, considering the reasons for the union, annexation, appropriation, and incorporation aforesaid, to be fully and effectually before us proved, and that the same are reasonable, and were and are of such a nature as may, by reason of the premises, be in many ways to the advantage of both of the convents before-mentioned, and wishing, so far as we are able, with all becoming speed, to bring to an end and conclusion the matter aforesaid, of which, as it is not unknown to us, the abbat and convent of the monastery of Croyland and of Burgh Saint Peter in the premises, did, at the prayer and instance of the before-named lord John Croyland, the Proctor before-named, in presence of the before-named Masters William Miller and Roger Wood, the Proctors of the lords the dean and chapter and our archdeacon of Leicester, then personally present, and with there assent and consent thereto expressed, determine that we would proceed to pronounce our decree or sentence in this behalf to be given; and accordingly did so proceed, and did then and there read, give, and publish our decree or sentence in writing, in words to the following effect:

“In the name of God, Amen. The merits and circumstances having been heard, understood, and fully discussed by us, John, by Divine permission, bishop of Lincoln, of a certain cause or matter of union, annexation, appropriation, and incorporation of the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, in our diocese, together with the lands, tenements, rents, services, fruits, and proceeds, and all the advantages thereof whatsoever, the same canonically to be made, with the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, in our diocese aforesaid, and the abbat and convent of the said monastery, and all their future successors whatsoever, and which cause or matter is being discussed before us, and is still pending, and undecided, and undisposed of; and there appearing personally before us the discreet man, brother John Croyland, a brother and monk of the said monastery of Burgh, as also the Proctor, well and sufficiently appointed of the abbat and convent of the said monastery, patrons of the aforesaid parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, and known to hold the right of patronage and the advowson of the said church; as also in presence of the discreet men, Master William Miller, clerk and notary public, Proctor of the venerable men the lords and dean and chapter of our cathedral church of the blessed Mary at Lincoln, and Master Roger Wood, Master of Arts, Proctor of the venerable man Master Richard Lavynder, Doctor of Laws, our archdeacon of Leicester, within the precincts and circuit of whose archdeaconry the said parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise Eston, is known to be situate; the said Proctors there personally appearing and being sufficiently and lawfully appointed, as from the commission of Proctorship of the said Proctors before us in the said matter by the said Proctors severally and actually exhibited and lawfully empowering them to act in this matter or cause, sufficiently appeared; and [the said Proctor of the said abbat and convent of Burgh Saint Peter aforesaid] (2) by their petition, often and urgently requesting of us that the reasons for the said union, annexation, and appropriation may by us, of our authority as ordinary, be admitted and approved of, and the validity of the same be declared and pronounced, and that the aforesaid parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, together with all its lands, tenements, rents, services, fruits, and enrolments whatsoever, may be canonically united, appropriated, annexed, and incorporated with the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter aforesaid, and the present abbat and convent thereof, and their future successors, the same to be held for ever to their own proper use, and that the said monastery and parish church may be consolidated, and that the sentence or final decree may by us in this behalf be given and pronounced: — we have thought proper to proceed to give or pronouce our sentence or final decree in the said matter, and do proceed to pronounce the same, to the following effect:

“Forasmuch as, upon diligent inquisition by us and of our authority made, of and upon the reasons for the union, annexation, incorporation, appropriation, and consolidation of the premises, before us in this behalf alleged and proposed, fully, sufficiently, and canonically made, and upon the sufficient and lawful proof by witnesses before us in this behalf had and made, as also the other kinds of proofs and evidences sufficiently before us in this matter exhibited and produced, we have found and understood that the reasons for the union, annexation, incorporation, appropriation, and consolidation above specified, are true, reasonable, satisfactory, and admissable in this behalf; and that the said abbat and convent of the monastery of Burgh Saint Peter, have on their behalf, expressed their intentions in a certain article or petition on behalf of the said abbat and convent before us in the matter aforesaid actually propounded and given; in which said article or petition the causes for the said union, annexation, incorporation, appropriation, and consolidation are more fully set forth; and which said article or petition begins in the words following, the tenor thereof being to the following effect: — ‘In the name of God, Amen. Before you, the reverend Father and Lord in Christ, the lord bishop’ &c.; and the tenor whereof we shall hold as read and as inserted herein; and have found the said intentions set forth so far as is here under-written, and the same to be well-founded and the reasons thereof fully proved; and have found that no other matter has intervened to preclude us from proceeding to the sentence and decree aforesaid, and from giving or pronouncing the same in this behalf; therefore, we, John, the bishop before-named, considering how pious and meritorious it will be to allay and quiet the strifes, discords, disputes, and dissensions which have long continued between the before-named monasteries of Burgh and Croyland, to the heavy and almost insupportable detriment of them both, and for ever, as we do firmly hope, to put an end to the said strifes, discords, and dissensions, and to do those things which shall tend to nurture and cherish peace, amity, and brotherly love between the parties aforesaid, to the end that in the said monasteries the Divine worship and observances of religion may be the more quietly performed, and wishing, with all the ability we can, to interpose our duteous offices herein, the licence of his royal majesty for the union, annexation, appropriation, incorporation, and consolidation aforesaid, with the said abbat and convent of Burgh, being first, as already stated, graciously granted in this behalf and obtained at the prayer and instance of the before-named the abbat and convent of Croyland, and before us, in the present matter actually produced; do, having first invoked the name of Christ, and having God Himself alone before our eyes, by the advice of persons learned in the law with whom we have held communication in this behalf, as also the Proctors before-named of the venerable men, the lords, the dean and chapter of our Cathedral Church of the blessed Mary at Lincoln, with whom we have treated upon this union, appropriation, annexation, consolidation, and incorporation, so to be had, and, with the consent of them in chapter assembled, to be made, and of the venerable man, Master Richard Lavynder, Doctor of Laws, archdeacon of Leicester, within the precincts and circuit of whose archdeaconry the parish church of Brynkhurst, otherwise called Eston, aforesaid, is known to be situate; the said Proctors, so as aforesaid, appearing before us, and expressing the wishes, consent, and assent of both of them the said Proctors, as to the union, appropriation, annexation, incorporation,* * * * * *

[The rest of this Continuation is lost.]


Notes on Part XI
 

  1. A writ to enquire whether a grant to be made by the sovereign will be to the damage of him or others.
  2. Some words to this effect are evidently omitted in the original.