HOUSE OF KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
17. THE PRECEPTORY OF TEMPLE ROCKLEY
John Marshall, ancestor of the Earls Marshall
and Earls of Pembroke, gave 1 hide of land in
Rockley (Ogbourne St. Andrew) to the Knights
Templars in 1155-6. (fn. 1) They had already been
given 2 hides in Lockeridge (West Overton) by
Miles, Earl of Hereford, and other parcels were
given about the same time by William Beauchamp, Richard Sokemond, and Thomas de
Hacy. (fn. 2) From the terms of these gifts it is clear
that the Templars had established a preceptory at
Rockley during the reign of Henry II. In 1185
they also held lands in Durnford, Farley, Netheravon, and Berwick Basset, (fn. 3) and they had a royal
grant of 1 mark annually, which was paid by the
Sheriff of Wiltshire. (fn. 4)
A survey of the Templars' lands at Rockley and
elsewhere was made in 1185. At that time their
estate was valued at £3 15s. The servile customs
of the manor were set out in detail. Each holder
of 5 acres was bound to find one woman to milk
the ewes and make cheese, also for shearing and
washing the sheep. Boon-work at the harvest time
and the small payments in kind to which the
tenants were entitled were fully described. (fn. 5)
No single preceptor is known to us by name,
nor any event in the history of the house. The
Order of the Templars was suppressed in England
in 1308, and in 1313 the keeper of their lands in
Wiltshire was ordered to pay the Bishop of Salisbury for the maintenance of four Templars, John
de Mohun, John de Egle, Robert de Hameldon,
and Robert de Sautré, (fn. 6) the only Wiltshire Templars whose names survive. With other estates of
the Order, Rockley passed to the Knights Hospitallers, but this Order did not establish a preceptory there. The lands at Rockley and Lockeridge were added to the holdings of the preceptory
at Sandford (Oxon.). In 1338 these lands were
valued at £20. There was 1 messuage in each
place, pasture altogether for 1,200 sheep and other
livestock, and small rents and services. The
Knights maintained one chaplain, a bailiff, and a
reeve. The net profits were £12. (fn. 7) After the dissolution of the Hospitallers, the manor of Rockley
was granted to Sir Edward Baynton in 1541. (fn. 8)
Records of Templars in Engl. ed. B. A. Lees (Brit.
Acad.), 206; Sandford Cartulary, ed. A. M. Leys (Oxf.
Rec. Soc.), no. 247.
Sandford Cart. ed. Leys, nos. 248-52.
Records of Templars, ed. Lees, 52-53.
Pipe Rolls, 1159-1242 (Rec. Com. and P.R.S.), passim.
Records of Templars, ed. Lees, 56-57.
Cal. Close, 1307-13, 504.
||L. B. Larking, Knights Hospitallers in Engl. 1338
(Camden Soc. 1857), 187.
L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 278.