Alien houses
The priory of Wilsford


Victoria County History



William Page (editor)

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'Alien houses: The priory of Wilsford', A History of the County of Lincoln: Volume 2 (1906), pp. 240. URL: Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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The priory of Wilsford, for Benedictine monks, was founded by Hugh Wake, who presented the manor on which it was built to the abbey of Bec Herlouin during the reign of Stephen. (fn. 1) Like nearly all the alien cells in Lincolnshire, it was endowed only for the support of two or three brethren, and never became at all important; during the wars with France the prior was usually the only monk in the house.

In 1324 the prior of Wilsford had to give security that he would conduct himself faithfully towards the king and not send money or goods out of the realm, or quit it himself without licence. He was to be released, however, if he had been put under arrest as an alien; for the king had not intended to seize the persons of religious men governing priories, nor to deprive them of their property. (fn. 2)

In 1380 the revenue of the house was found to be so small that after a farm of 12 marks had been paid by the prior, and a clerical subsidy of 10 marks, the residue was not enough to provide him with food and clothing; he was therefore pardoned his arrears for two years. It was not a monk of Bec who was in charge at this time, but one who had been prior of St. Peter de Castro in Aquitaine. (fn. 3)

The scanty revenue of the house diminished still further under the losses sustained by the recurrent seizures of alien cells during the French wars, and a payment of twenty marks was due to the Exchequer nearly all the time. (fn. 4) Some time during the reign of Edward III the priory was granted to Thomas of Holland, earl of Kent, a descendant of Hugh Wake, and by his influence its property was finally secured to the abbey of Bourne in 1401. (fn. 5)

The original endowment included only the manor of Wilsford and 9 carucates of land besides, worth £16, with the advowson of the church of Wilsford. (fn. 6) Its revenue in 1371 was valued at £18 2s. 10d., in 1387 at £29 16s. 2d. (fn. 7)

Priors of Wilsford

Roger, (fn. 8) occurs 1202

Adam de Subyr, (fn. 9) presented 1226, resigned 1229

Peter de Cambren, (fn. 10) resigned 1229

Richard de Flaunvill, (fn. 11) presented 1248

Roger de Gilmore, (fn. 12) presented 1248, resigned 1251

Jordan of Huttoft, (fn. 13) presented 1251

William de Tribus Montibus, (fn. 14) resigned 1274

John de Insula, (fn. 15) presented 1274

Stephen of Stoke, (fn. 16) died 1290

Walter de Ponte Andomari, (fn. 17) presented 1290, resigned 1298

John de Saunarvilla, (fn. 18) presented 1298, resigned 1300

Richard de Bonebor, (fn. 19) presented 1300, resigned 1303

Michael de Ponte Antonio, (fn. 20) presented 1303

Richard de Flagellon, (fn. 21) presented 1312, died 1314

William of St. Albin, (fn. 22) presented 1314

William de Nassaundres, (fn. 23) presented 1319

Durand of St. Stephen, (fn. 24) presented 1341, occurs 1345

John de Efreno, (fn. 25) resigned 1367

John de Laomers, (fn. 26) presented 1367


1 Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1018, from Hund. R.
2 Close, 18 Edw. II, m. 36.
3 Pat. 3 Ric. II, pt. iii, m. 3.
4 Ibid. 20 Ric. II, pt. iii, m. 8.
5 Ibid. and 2 Hen. IV, pt. ii, m. 8; Cal. of Pap. Letters, v, 432.
6 Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1018.
7 Add. MS. 6164, fols. 411, 480.
8 Boyd and Massingberd, Abstracts of Final Concords, 26.
9 Linc. Epis. Reg. Rolls of Wells.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid. Rolls of Grosteste.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Ibid. Rolls of Gravesend.
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid. Memo. Sutton, 6 d.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid. Inst. Sutton, 31.
19 Ibid. Inst. Dalderby, 2.
20 Ibid. 6 d.
21 Ibid. 48. His name is put into both places as dead and as then presented; probably it was Michael who had just died.
22 Ibid. 53.
23 Ibid. 357.
24 Ibid. Inst. Burghersh, 91 d.; and Close, 19 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 22d.
25 Ibid. Inst. Bokyngham.
26 Ibid.