8. THE AUSTIN FRIARS, HUNTINGDON
The earliest mention of the friars of Huntingdon is in the year 1286, when King
Edward I granted them eight oaks from Sapley
forest for building purposes. (fn. 1) It is probable
that they had then but lately settled in the
town, and were erecting the priory; for in the
year 1293 Bishop Sutton gave them leave to
have their altars consecrated by any Catholic
bishop. (fn. 2) A few gifts of land and rents to the
friars of Huntingdon are recorded in the
Patent Rolls of the first three Edwards, (fn. 3) and
in 1335 they received a pardon for acquiring a
plot of ground for enlarging their area, without license. (fn. 4) Bequests to this house are
noted in wills of 1383, 1415 and 1453, (fn. 5) and
doubtless might be found at other dates
during the same century. In 1354 the friars
got into trouble for aiding in the escape of a
convict actually brought to the gallows for
execution and assisting him to take sanctuary
in the church of St. Andrew, Huntingdon. (fn. 6)
They had license in 1363 to make a conduit
of water underground from a well called
Caldewell, by pipes through the town of
Huntingdon. (fn. 7) Beyond such notices very little
is known of their history. In 1538, at the
dissolution of their priory, the bishop of
Dover found the house very poor, but
'metely leaded.' (fn. 8) Their actual income
cannot be given, as for some reason unknown
they were not mentioned in the Valor
||Close, 14 Edw. I, m. 5.
||Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Sutton, 88d.
||Pat. 30 Edw. I, m. 10; 13 Edw. II, m. 16;
8 Edw. III, pt. I, m. 17; &c.
||Ibid. 8 Edw. III, pt. 2, m. 6.
||Gibbons, Early Lincoln Wills, 43, 155, 180.
Cal Pat. 1354-8, 102, 125, 134, 317.
||Ibid. 1361-4, 306.
||Wright, Suppression of Monasteries, 192.