Priors of Durham

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Institute of Historical Research

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Diana E. Greenway

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1971

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32-36

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'Priors of Durham', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: volume 2: Monastic cathedrals (northern and southern provinces) (1971), pp. 32-36. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=33860 Date accessed: 28 August 2014.


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PRIORS OF DURHAM

The foundation of the cathedral priory at Durham dates from 28 May 1083, whenbishop William of St. Calais, himself a monk, brought twenty-three Benedictinemonks from the recently refounded houses of Jarrow and Wearmouth to replace thesecular priests whose community at Durham had been in existence since 995. (fn. 1)

The priors between 1154 and 1195 are listed by G. V. Scammell, in ArchaeologiaAeliana 4th ser. xxxiii (1955) 61-2.

In September 1229 an agreement, le Convenit, was made between the bishop andconvent which allowed freedom of election, thus confirming the grant of king Johnin 1204. (fn. 2)

Aldwin

First prior, from foundation 28 May 1083 (Sym. Dun. 1 122, 171). D. either 10 Apr.1087 (ibid. p. 127) or 12 Apr. 1087 (Durham, MS. B.II.35 p. 277; B.M., Cotton MS.Claud. D. iv fo. 46v; Durham, Cart. II fo. i v). Commem. 11 Apr. (Durham obits.I fo. 20r, II pp. 142, 150, III fo. 13v), 10 Apr. (obit. IV fo. 127v). Fictitiously statedto have been also archdcn. (Liber Vitae Dunelm., [ed. J. Stevenson] (Surtees Soc. xiii)pp. 65-6; see Offler, Archdcns. p. 191).

Turgot

Monk of Durham, from after 1083 (Sym. Dun. 11 202-4). Appd. by bp. 1087 (ibid.p. 204; Will. Malmesbury, G.P. p. 273; B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 46v). Alsoarchdcn. from summer 1093 (see below p. 37). Became bp. of St. Andrews, nom.prob. 1107, and prob. remained prior until cons. 1 Aug. 1109 (Durham, Reg. II fo.350v; and see Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Medii Aevi, ed. D. E. R. Watt (Scottish RecordSoc., new ser. i) p. 290).

Algar

Previously monk of Durham, occ. Sept. 1104 (Reginaldi Dunelmensis Libellus [ed.J. Raine] (Surtees Soc. i) p. 84). Said to have become prior after Turgot's cons. toSt. Andrews, 1109 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v; cf. B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. ivfo. 67v, which gives 1108 for both events). Occ. several times between 15 May 1123(P.U.E. 11 no. 5) and 20 March 1132 (Feod. Pr. Dun. p. 56 n.). Said to have d. 1137(Durham, Cart. II fo. i v (fn. 3) and Reg. II fo. 350v) and 'c. 1138' in another source (B.M.,Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 73r). Commem. 18 March (Durham obits. I fo. 18v,II pp. 142, 149, III fo. 13v), 19 March (obit. I fo. 7/9r), 20 March (obit. II p. 139).So perhaps d. March 1138.

Roger

Subprior of Durham, occ. July 1127 and [c. 1121 × 1128] (Durham Episc. Chs. p. 97).Said to have succeeded Algar as prior in 1137 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), and 'c. 1138'in another source (B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 73r). (fn. 4) First occ. [28 July 1137 ×?1140] (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 24a). Last occ. 1148/9 (Misc. D. M. Stenton p. 206) and[c. 1148] (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 38). Said to have d. 1148 (Durham, Cart. II fo. i v), (fn. 5) 1149 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v) and 'c. 1149' (B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 79r).Certainly d. before 1152 (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 36a).

Laurence

Subprior of Durham, occ. 14 Nov. 1147 (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 36). Said to havesucceeded Roger 1149 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), c. 1149 (B.M., Cotton MS. Claud.D. iv fo. 79v). (fn. 1) First occ. [c. 1149] (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 39). Last occ. 16 Jan. [1154](P.U.E. 11 no. 82). D. in France between Feb. and May 1154 (Script. Tres p. 6; cf.Durham, Cart. II fo. i v and Reg. II fo. 350v). Commem. 16 March (Durham obits.I fo. 7/9r, II p. 139), 18 March (obits. I fo. 18v, II pp. 142, 149, III fo. 13v). So presum. d. March 1154.

Absalom

El. 1154 (Durham, Cart. II fo. i v, pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix; Durham, Reg. II fo.350v; B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 81v). First occ. 1155/6 (Feod. Pr. Dun.p. 121 n.). Last occ. 3 Feb. 1157 (P.U.E. 11 no. 94). D. 18 March 1159 (B.M., CottonMS. Claud. D. iv fo. 82v). Said to have d. 1158 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), and 'c.1158' (Durham, Cart. II fo. iv, pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix). Commem. 18 March(Durham obits. I fo. 7/9r, fo. 18v, II pp. 139, 142, 149, III fo. 13v).

Thomas

El. either 1158 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), or between Dec. 1161 and Dec. 1162(Durham, Cart. II fo. i v: in 9th year of bp. Hugh du Puiset). Occ. 15 Oct. 1162(P.U.E. 11 no. 107). Res. 1162 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v). D. 1162 or 1163 (Durham,Cart. II fo. i v, where 1163 (pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix) has been altered to 1162).Commem. 25 Apr. (Durham obits. I fo. 21r, II pp. 143, 150, III fo. 13v), ?11 Apr.(obit. II p. 142, erased in obit. I fo. 20r).

Germanus

Said to have been el. 1162 (Durham, Cart. II fo. i v; (fn. 2) B.M., Cotton MS. Claud.D. iv fo. 83r; Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), but 1170 called his 8th year (Script. Tresp. 9), so perhaps el. early 1163. First occ. 29 May [1163] (P.U.E. 11 no. 111). Last occ.26 July 1188 or 1189 (Memorials of St. Giles, Durham, [ed. J. Burnby] (Surtees Soc.xcv) p. 204, where the year of grace is 1189, but 36th year of bp. Puiset gives 1188).Said to have d. 1189 (Durham, Cart. II fo. i v (fn. 3) and Reg. II fo. 350v), and 'c. 1189' inanother source (B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. iv fo. 84v). Date of d. given as 31 July1189 (15th-cent. roll of evidences, Durham, Misc. Ch. 5828/14 m.2d, citing an ancientKalendar 'inter libros Bede', which is not MS. B.IV.24 (obit. I)). Commem. 31 July(Durham obits. II p. 151, III fo. 14v).

Bertram

Said to have been el. 1189 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v) and 'c. 1189' (B.M., CottonMS. Claud. D. iv fo. 84v). (fn. 4) First occ. 2 Feb. 1194 (J. Raine, Hist. and Antiquities ofNorth Durham (1852) app. no. 466). Last occ. 15 Sept. 1202 (Feet of Fines Northumberland and Durham, ed. C. Johnson (Newcastle-upon-Tyne Records committeepublications x) no. 24), but prob. to be identified with unnamed prior of 17 July1211 (Innocent III, Cal. Letters no. 894). D. 1212 (Script. Tres p. 27; Durham, Reg.II fo. 350v and Cart. II fo. i v, where 1199 has been altered to 1212). (fn. 5) Commem.8 Feb. (Durham obits. II p. 149, III fo. 13r, IV fo. 126r). So presum. d. Feb.1212/13.

William [of Durham] (fn. 1)

El. 1212/13 (Script. Tres p. 27; Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v). (fn. 2) Occ. c. 1213 (Rot. Chart.p. 208a-b), 20 Feb. 1214 (ibid. p. 207b), 30 June 1214 (Durham, 2.2. Spec. 16), c. June1215 (Rot. Chart. p. 207b), and n.d. (Durham, Reg. I fo. 66v and Cart. Elemos.pp. 135-6, 155, 156). D. 14 May 1218 (Chron. Melrose p. 70). Commem. 14 May(Durham obits. II p. 150, III fo. 14r). Said to have d. 1214 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v;cf. Cart. II fo. i v, pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. l).

Ralph Kerneth

Said to have been el. 1214 (Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v), but clearly impossible if hispredecessor did not die until May 1218 (above), and said in another source to have beenel. temp. bp. Richard de Marisco, i.e. after July 1217 (Durham, Cart. II fo. iv). (fn. 3) Firstocc. 29 Sept. 1218 (C.Ch.R. v 191) and 10 Dec. 1218 (Misc. D. M. Stenton p. 213).Disp. for promotion to any dignity save that of bp., notwithstanding his illegitimacy,17 May 1231 (Reg. Greg. IX no. 687). Last occ. 12 Sept. 1231 (Priory of Finchale,[ed. J. Raine] (Surtees Soc. vi) p. 51). D. 4 March 1234 (obit. roll, Durham, Loc. I.5*,pd. Obit. Roll of W. Ebchester and J. Burnby, [ed. J. Raine] (Surtees Soc. xxxi) pp.45-8). (fn. 4) Commem. 8 March (Durham obits. II p. 149, III fo. 13r-v), 9 March (obit.IV fo. 127r).

Thomas of Melsonby (fn. 5)

Previously prior of cell at Coldingham (Berwicks.), occ. 24 Sept. 1229 (Feod. Pr.Dun. p. 217). Bp.'s lic. el. gr. 4 March 1234 (Durham, Loc. XIII.2). Said to have beenel. 1233/4 (Durham, Cart. II fo. i v, printed Sym. Dun. 1 p. l; Durham, Reg. II fo.350v), so perhaps el. before 25 March 1234. First occ. 11 June 1234 (Durham, Cart. IIfo. 45r). Bp.-el. of Durham, 1237-40 (see above p. 31). Last occ. 22 May 1244 (Durham, Cart. Vet. fo. 93v). Res. 1244 (Script. Tres p. 41; Durham, Cart. II fo. i v). (fn. 6) Commem. 15 Sept. (Durham obits. II p. 151, III fo. 15r, IV fo. 130r).

Bertram de Mediltone

Bp.'s lic. el. gr. 18 Sept. 1244 (Durham, 1.6. Pont. 15). El. 22 Sept. 1244 (DurhamAnnals p. 9; Script. Tres p. 41). (fn. 7) Res. 14 Aug. 1258 (Durham Annals pp. 12-13;Script. Tres pp. 43-4).

Hugh de Derlington (fn. 8)

Subprior of Durham. Bp.'s lic. el. sought and gr. 15 Aug. 1258 (Durham Annalsp. 14). El. 16 Aug. 1258 (ibid. pp. 14-15; Script. Tres p. 44). Res. 26 Dec. 1272 (DurhamAnnals pp. 19-20; Script. Tres pp. 48-9). Res. accepted by bp. 8 Jan. 1273 (DurhamAnnals pp. 26-30; Script. Tres p. 53). El. for second term Jan. 1286 (see below p. 36).

Richard de Claxton

Prior of cell at Lindisfarne (Northumb.). Bp.'s lic. el. sought 9 Jan. 1273, gr. 11 Jan.(Durham, Loc. I.60 m.2; cf. Durham Annals pp. 33-6). El. 26 Jan. (Durham, Loc. I. 60m.2; Durham Annals pp. 36-9; Script. Tres p. 55). Bp.'s conf. 28 Jan., instal. 2 Feb.1273 (Durham Annals pp. 44-5; Script. Tres p. 55; cf. Durham, Cart. II fo. 9r-v).Res. 27 Dec. 1285 (Durham Annals pp. 65-6). ?Commem. 27 March (Durham obits.III fo. 13v, IV fo. 127r).

Hugh de Derlington (fn. 1) (again)

Bp.'s lic. el. sought and gr. 28 Dec. 1285 (Durham Annals p. 67). El. for secondterm 11 Jan. 1286 (ibid. pp. 75-82; Script. Tres p. 72). Bp.'s conf. 22 Jan. (DurhamAnnals pp. 83-4; cf. Script. Tres p. 72, which gives 31 Jan.). Instal. 7 Feb. 1286(Durham Annals p. 84; cf. Script. Tres p. 72, which gives 5 Feb.). Res. 11 March 1290(Script. Tres p. 72). Prob. d. by 16 March 1290 (Durham, 1.6. Pont. 11). Commem.?25 June (Durham obits. II p. 150, III fo. 14r, IV fo. 128v).

Richard de Hoton (fn. 2)

Henry de Luceby (fn. 3)

Bp.'s lic. el. gr. 16 March 1290 (Recs. A. Bek pp. 20-1). Richard de Hoton, prior ofcell at Lytham (Lancs.), el. 24 March 1290, bp.'s conf. 28 March (Script. Tres p. 73).Excomm. 20 May 1300 for contumacy at bp.'s visitation (Recs. A. Bek pp. 62-7).Depr. 21 May for disobedience, perjury and violation of monastic rule (ibid. pp. 68-72,201-4). (fn. 4) Agreement between prior and bp. arranged by king 20 June 1300 (ibid.pp. 72-4), but not effective (Gesta Dunelmensia, ed. R. K. Richardson, CamdenMiscellany (Camden 3rd ser., xxxiv) pp. 18-22).

Henry de Luceby, prior of cell at Lindisfarne (Northumb.), appd. by bp. 10 Aug.1300 (Recs. A. Bek pp. 74-6). Bp.'s conf. 16 Aug. (Gesta Dunelmensia p. 30). Forcibleentry of Luceby 20 Aug. (ibid. p. 31). Hoton forcibly removed from his stall andimprisoned, and Luceby formally instal. 24 Aug. (ibid. pp. 36-9). Hoton escaped fromprison 16 Dec. 1300 (ibid. p. 52), and had king's protection to go to papal court fortwo years, 1 March 1301 (C.P.R. 1292-1301 p. 578). Luceby's appt. declared uncanonical and Hoton's rest. ordered by pope 29 Nov. 1301 (Reg. Bon. VIII no. 4296). Lucebyleft Durham 14 Apr. 1302 (Durham, Loc. VII.67; cf. Script. Tres p. 79).

Hoton's proctor put in possession of convent 21 Apr. 1302 (Durham, Loc. VII.60,77, 80; Misc. Ch. 5523(49)). Hoton returned from Rome 1 Aug. 1303 (Script. Tresp. 81).

Hoton suspended from office by pope, and bp. made administrator of convent 5March 1306 (Recs. A. Bek pp. 118-19). Luceby appd. bp.'s proctor to administerconvent 10 March (ibid. pp. 119-21), but expelled by monks (Script. Tres p. 83).Royal letters forbidding execution of papal mandate, 29 Apr., 16 June 1306 (C.C.R.1302-7 pp. 444, 452). Luceby d. 1306 (Chron. of Walter of Guisborough, ed. H. Rothwell (Camden 3rd ser., lxxxix) p. 365).

Hoton had king's protection to go to papal court for one year, 7 Aug. 1306 (C.P.R.1301-7 p. 459). Hoton's suspension lifted by pope by 27 Oct. 1307 (Reg. Clementis V,ed. O.S.B. (Rome, 1885-92) no. 1925), and rest. to office 1 Dec. 1307 (ibid. no. 2312).Hoton d. at papal court 9 Jan. 1308 (Script. Tres p. 84).

Footnotes

1 Sym. Dun. 1 122-4; cf. Script. Tres app. p. 7.
2 Feod. Pr. Dun. pp. 212-17, 93-4.
3 Given in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix, from same source, as '1127'.
4 El. temp. bp. Geoffrey Rufus in Durham, Cart. II fo. i v, pd. Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix.
5 Given in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix, from same source as '1146'.
1 El. temp. bp. William de Sancta Barbara in Durham, Cart. II fo. iv, pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix.
2 Given as 1163 in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix.
3 Given as 1188 ibid. and G. V. Scammell in Archaeologia Aeliana 4th ser. xxxiii (1955) 62.
4 El. temp. bp. Hugh du Puiset in Cart. II fo. i v, not [22 Sept.] as given in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix (cf.Bertram de Mediltone, below p. 35); G. V. Scammell in Archaeologia Aeliana 4th ser. xxxiii (1955) 62gives 1188.
5 Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlix gives 1199 and [17 July] for which there is no authority in Cart. II fo. iv.
1 Said to have been a native of Durham, Script. Tres p. 27.
2 El. temp. bp. Philip of Poitou in Cart. II fo. i v (i.e. before Apr. 1208), pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. xlixas '1212'.
3 Given as [1214] in Sym. Dun. 1 p. I.
4 D. 1233/4 in Cart. II fo. iv, pd. in Sym. Dun. 1 p. l; also Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v.
5 Yorks., North; son of rector of Melsonby (Script. Tres app. p. lxxii).
6 Said to have d. [July] 1244 in Sym. Dun. 1 p. l, from same source. Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v statesthat he d. as prior in 1245.
7 Durham, Reg. II fo. 350v gives 1245.
8 ?Darlington, co. Durham.
1 See above p. 35.
2 Prob. Hutton, Yorks., North; see C. M. Fraser, Hist. Antony Bek (Oxford, 1957) p. 150 n. 1.
3 ?Lusby, Lincs.
4 For a detailed narrative of this and subsequent events, see C. M. Fraser, Hist. Antony Bek (Oxford,1957) pp. 132-69.