23. THE PRIORY (fn. 1) OF THOBY (fn. 2)
The date of foundation of this priory is not
certain, but it was in existence in the time of
Robert, bishop of London (1141-1151), to whom
Michael Capra and Rose his wife and William his
son and heir address a charter (fn. 3) granting to Tobias
the prior and the canons a hide of land round
the church and other things. This may possibly
be the foundation charter. The name of the
priory appears first as Ginges, then as Gingetobye
(probably from the prior), and afterwards as
Thoby. It was dedicated to St. Mary and
St. Leonard. The advowson belonged later to
the Mounteney family.
The church of Mountnessing was appropriated
to the priory, and a vicarage ordained. The
temporalities mentioned in the Taxation of 1291
amount to £13 16s. 1d. yearly, made up of
£7 15s. 4d. in Great Burstead, £2 6s. 8d. in
Warley, £1 13s. in Ingrave, and other sums in
Ramsden Cray, Shellow, Mountnessing, Shenfield, Staundon, Rawreth, Ingatestone, Springfield
and Colchester. Very few entries relating to
the priory are found in records.
The priory was dissolved (fn. 4) by John Alen, an
agent of Wolsey, on 15 February, 1525, its
spiritualities being valued (fn. 5) at £18 13s. 4d. and its
temporalities at £56 13s. 6½d. yearly. By an
inquisition (fn. 6) taken on 8 August, it was found that
there were at Thoby at the time of the suppression a prior and two canons, and that the prior
had since died and the canons had been transferred to other places. Among the possessions
of the priory were included the manors of Thoby,
Mountnessing, Bluntswalles (in Great Burstead)
and Cubfold, and the church of Mountnessing.
Wolsey granted (fn. 7) it to Cardinal's College, Oxford,
on 10 February, 1526. After Wolsey's fell it
was granted (fn. 8) to Sir Richard Page for life on
24 December, 1530; and later the reversion on
his death was granted (fn. 9) in fee to William Berners,
one of the auditors of the Court of Augmentations,
and Dorothy his wife on 24 April, 1539.
Priors of Thoby
Tobias, (fn. 10) occurs circa 1150.
Adam, (fn. 11) occurs circa 1185.
Ralph. (fn. 12)
H. (fn. 13)
William, occurs 1227. (fn. 14)
Henry, (fn. 15) occurs 1242, 1245, 1252.
John de Pleyces or Plessych,appointed 1306. (fn. 16)
Thomas de Parco, resigned 1393. (fn. 17)
John Passour, elected 1393 (fn. 18) , occurs 1405. (fn. 19)
John Ponde, died 1430. (fn. 20)
John Mone, elected 1430, (fn. 21) occurs 1445. (fn. 22)
Thomas, occurs 1447. (fn. 23)
William Ely, occurs 1457. (fn. 24)
Richard Mulcent, resigned 1461. (fn. 25)
Robert Willy, collated 1461, (fn. 26) occurs 1469. (fn. 27)
John Bedford, resigned 1490. (fn. 28)
William Walden, collated 1490. (fn. 29)
John London alias Hersy, (fn. 30) the last prior.