The abbey of St Augustine
Abbots

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Edward Hasted

Year published

1801

Pages

177-225

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'The abbey of St Augustine: Abbots', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12 (1801), pp. 177-225. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63693 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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ABBOTS OF ST. AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY.

1. PETER, from the first beginning of the building of this monastery, was designed and appointed, through the king's favour, to be the first abbot of it; hence the chronological tables put the foundation of it, and the constituting of Peter in the same year, 598, (fn. 1) as Thorn does in 605. This abbot was sent in 607, by the king, into France, and was drowned in his passage; (fn. 2) he was afterwards, on account of his sanctity, canonized. (fn. 3)

2. John, a benedictine monk, one of Augustine's companions, was made abbot in his room, being approved of by king Ethelbert, and receiving the benediction from archbishop Laurence in 607. In his time, anno 613, the church of this monastery was dedicated by archbishop Laurence, when the body of St. Augustine, with those of others, which had been deposited without the church, were removed into it. This abbot died in 618, and was buried within this monastery, in the church of the Virgin Mary, but his body, with those of other holy persons, was afterwards removed from thence and placed in the wall behind the altar of St. Gregory. (fn. 4)

3. RUFFINIAN, another of those monks, who came over with Augustine into England, was made abbot in 618. He died in 626, and was buried near his predecessor, His body was afterwards removed into the larger church to the others. (fn. 5)

GRACIOSUS, another of Augustine's companions, a Roman by birth, succeeded; and died in 638. (fn. 6)

5. PETRONIUS, a Roman likewise, was next made abbot in 640 He died in 654. (fn. 7)

6. NATHANIEL succeeded him in 655, a man noted for his probity, who had been sent with Mellitus and Justus into England. He died in 667, but there is no mention where he was buried. (fn. 8)

7. ADRIAN, born in Africa, was constituted abbot by the pope, after a vacancy of about two years. He had been abbot of Niridia near Naples, and was taken prisoner on his journey into England, and detained in France till the year 673, when being freed, he came to this monastery and took possession of his dignity. (fn. 9) He was, it is said, appointed a kind of coadjutor and inspector over the actions of archbishop Theodore. He is said to have been very expert in the liberal sciences of aftronomy and music, and was the first who with that archbishop, brought into fashion the singing in churches with tunes and notes. Having governed this monastery for thirty-nine years, he died a reverend old man in 708, (fn. 10) and was entombed in the church of it, at the altar of St. Gregory, in our Lady's chapel. (fn. 12)

8. ALBIN, an Englishman, Adrian's disciple, received his benediction as abbot in 708. He was a person well skilled in the Latin and Greek languages. Venerable Bede made use of his assistance, when he made his collections for his ecclesiastical history. (fn. 13) By some, he is said to have died abbot of this church in 732, and to have been buried in this church; and by others, to have been in his latter days, abbot of Tournay, in France, and if so, probably buried there. (fn. 14)

9. NOTHBARLD, a monk of this abbey, was shortly after the death or resignation of Albin, chosen abbot in his room, in 732. He died in 748, and was buried near his predecessors in this monastery. (fn. 15)

10. ALDHUNE succeeded as abbot in 748, in whose time the burials of the archbishops were taken from this monastery, which his brethren imputed to his supineness. He died in 760, and was buried here. (fn. 16)

11. JAMBERT succeeded him in 760 as abbot, and in 762 was elected archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 17)

12. ETHELNOD succeeded that same year, and died in 787, nor is it known where he was buried. (fn. 18)

13. GUTTARD was the next abbot, who died in 803. (fn. 19)

14. CUNRED succeeded the same year, and died in 822. (fn. 20)

15. WERNOD was the next abbot, and died in 844. He and his predecessor Cunred, the first being near of kin to the kings Offa and Cudred, and the latter to Kenulph, all three kings of Kent, procured from them different lands to this monastery. It is not known where he was buried. (fn. 21)

16. Diernod succeeded next, and died in 864, (fn. 22) of whom, as well as of his eighteen next successors, there is nothing known more than their bare names.

17. WYNHERE was abbot, and died in 866. (fn. 23)

18. BEADMUND died in 874. (fn. 24)

19. KYNEBERT died in 879. (fn. 25)

20. ETAUS died in 883. (fn. 26)

21. DEGMUND died in 886. (fn. 27)

22. ALFRID died in 894.

23. CEOLBERT died in 902.

24. BECCAN died in 907.

25. ATHELWALD died in 909.

26. GILBERT died in 917.

27. EDRED died in the same year 917.

28. ALCHMUND died in 928.

29. GUTTULF died in 935.

30. EADRED died in 937.

31. LULLING died in 939. (fn. 28)

32. BEORNELM died in 942. (fn. 29)

33. SIGERIE died in 956. (fn. 30)

34. ALFRIC died in 971, who in Thorn's Chronicle is confounded with his predecessor Sigerie. (fn. 31)

35. ELFNOTH, in whose time, anno 978, this church received a new dedication in honor of St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Augustine. He died in 980. (fn. 32)

36. SIRICIUS was first a monk of Glastonbury, whence he was promoted to be abbot of St. Augustine's, and thence to the bishopric of Bath and Wells in 988; (fn. 33) from which he was preferred to the see of Canterbury in the year following. (fn. 34)

37. WLFRIC, called the elder, succeeded him in his abbotship in 990; (fn. 35) and died in the year 1006, and was buried in the crypt, before the altar of St. Richard. (fn. 36)

38. ELMER, a person noted for his great sanctity, succeeded him as abbot, from which dignity he was in the year 1022, advanced to be bishop of Shirburne; and after some years falling blind, he returned to this monastery again, where he spent the remainder of his days in the infirmary of it; and dying there, was buried in the habit of a private monk in the church of it, opposite to the altar of St. John.

This Elmer appears to have been abbot when the Danes sacked the city of Canterbury, in the year 1011, when this monastery was spared by them, and the abbot was suffered to depart unhurt. In the time of this persecution, says Thorn, many relics of the saints and the precious jewels of this monastery, were hidden in different places, nor were they in his time taken away again; for those being dead, who had been present at the hiding of them, the memory of the places, as well as of the persons themselves, was become extinct. (fn. 37)

39. ELSTAN, or Ethelstan, succeeded him, and received his benediction at the altar of St. Peter, in the church of this monastery, from archbishop Agelnoth. In his time the body of St. Mildred was translated from Minster, in the Isle of Thanet, to this church in 1030, or, according to others, in 1033. (fn. 38) He died, according to the Saxon chronicle, in June, 1044; but according to the chronological tables, in 1047, and was buried in the crypt, before the altar of St. Thomas. (fn. 39)

40. WLFRIC, whom we may call the younger, was his successor, being constituted abbot, according to the Saxon chronicle, in 1044; or according to the chronological tables, in 1047, and received his benediction at the altar of St. Peter from archbishop Eadsin, with the king's leave, and that of Elstan, who was then abbot, who was yet alive; but labouring under bodily infirmities, king Edward the Confessor in 1046, sent him with others to the council of Rhemes, and in 1056 he was sent by the king to Rome, to transant some business for him there, when he obtained the apostolical authority to fit in councils next to the abbot de Monte Cassino. He translated the body of St, Mildred to another place in the church of this monastery, which chruch he began to rebuild, but was prevented by his sudden death with going on with his design, for he died, accoriding to the above tables, in 1059, or as others have it, in 1061. (fn. 40)

41.EGELSIN, a monk of Winchester, was, upon the death of Wlfric, made abbot by the king, and received his benediction from archbishop Stigand at Windsor, upon the feast of St. Augustine, about the year 1063. He was sent on a message to pope Alexander II. and received from him the grant of the mitre and other pontificals; which, however, he was afraid to make use of at his return to England, lest he should incur the king's or indeed rather the archbishop's displeasure; on which account, the privilege of them was laid aside for a long time, and the archbishop does not seem to have forgiven him, for he fled out of England into Denmark, through fear of him, or rather, as Thorn says, of the Conqueror, in 1070, being the same year that the archbishop came to the see; and if what the chronicler tells us is true, of this abbot's accompanying archbishop Stigand and the Kentish men, to oppose the Conqueror at Swanscombe, there can be no wonder at his dislike to him, and the abbot's flying to avoid the king's resentment. In the above year, the Conqueror, in violation of his promiles, caused the monasteries to be searched, and commanded the money, as well as the charters, in the liberties of which the nobles put their considence, and which he had, when placed on the throne, sworn to observe, to be taken from the churches where they had lain in security, and to be deposited in his treasury. (fn. 41)

42. SCOTLAND, or, as he is called by some, Scoland, a monk, and a Norman by birth, was, upon the flight of Egilsin, constituted abbot in his room by the king, who had seized on this monastery, which, with all its possessions, he conficated to his own use, and most probably he might owe this promotion to archbishop Lanfranc. The power which this abbot had, through the favour of both the king and archbishop, he made good use of to the benefit of his monastery, by recovering some lands and procuring the grants of others to it. He much improved the buildings of it, for on his return from Rome, whither he had been sent by the king on some business with the pope, he turned his thoughts to the enlarging of the church of the monastery; those buildings of it which his predecessor Wlfric had intended to carry forward, being too small and contracted, and the rest being ruinous and in danger of falling, he obtained the pope's leave to pull the whole down, and rebuild them anew, according to his own pleasure, and to remove the bodies buried in it; these therefore, he first removed, being the relics of St. Adrian, which he placed in the portico of St. Augustine; of the abbots Albin and John II. of that name, and of the other saints whose inscriptions had been formerly destroyed by the flames; the bodies of the four kings, Eadbald, who had built the oratory, Lothair, Mulus and Withred, with their wives and children, and a long list of grand-children. who likewise rested there. He then levelled this oratory to the ground, and in the place of it built the crypt of the blessed Virgin, and upon that a place for the reception of the relics of St. Augustine, with his companions; thus this abbot made the new work, beginning from the above oratory, as far as the portico of St. Augustine, where he antiently lay, but death prevented his proceeding further in this work, which his successor completed, as will be further mentioned hereafter. He died either on September 3, or 9, in the year 1087, (fn. 42) and was buried in a vault under the choir in St. Mary's chapel, with this inscription:

Abbas Scotlandus prudentibus est memorandus
……. Libertatis …. dare gratis
Actu magnificus generosa stirpe creatus
Viribus enituit Sanctis Sancte quoq; vixit.

43. WIDO, a monk, was next elected abbot, and received his benediction from archbishop Lanfranc. The Saxon chronicle tells us, that he was by violence obtruded on the monks, by the archbishop, on the seast of St. Thomas, in the year 1087. The new church begun by his predecessor, was finished by this abbot, (fn. 43) who translated the bodies of St. Augustine and those others which had been buried in the chapel of the Virgin Mary, as above-mentioned, into it.—The body of St. Augustine being privately reposited in a stone coffin in a wall under the east window, where it lay hid for upwards of 130 years. (fn. 44) Abbot Wido died on August 6, 1099, (fn. 45) and was buried in the crypt at St. Richard's altar, with this epitaph engraved on his tomb-stone:

Hunc statuit poni tumulum mors atra Widoni
Cui stans sede throni superi det gaudia doni.

44. HUGH DE FLORIAC, a Norman, being of kindred to king William Rusus, received the benediction from the bishop of London, archbishop Anselm being then in banishment. (fn. 46) He built the chapter-house and dormitory from the ground, out of the riches he had brought with him, and the pulpitum, or space between the nave and the choir of the church. He bought a great brass candlestick for the choir, which was called Jesse; he made the lower silver table of the great altar and other costly ornaments of his church, which from his name, was called Florie. He appointed the yearly commemoration of the benefactors of the abbey to be celebrated on July 3, and that thirty poor persons should be sed in the hall for ever, on his anniversary. (fn. 47) He died on 7 cal April, 1124, and was buried before the steps on the south side of the chapter-house, built by himself from the foundation, (fn. 48) for whom this epitaph was made:

Abbas, eheu! Floris specimen vertutis, honoris,
Hic jacet in tumulo presul peramabilis Hugo.
Floruit ut terris, pater hic, pace & quoq; querris;
Florent nunc celo Christi pugil iste sereno.

45. HUGH DE TROTESCLIVE, a monk of the church of Rochester, and chaplain to king Henry, being a man equally learned in monastical and secular discipline, the year after the above abbot's death, (fn. 49) procured the government of this abbey, when the arch bishop peremptorily refused to give him the benediction in his own monastical church; upon which the matter was controverted in a provincial council before the king and cardinal Cremona, the pope's legate, who notwithstanding the opposition of the archbishop to the contrary, commanded, by virtue of the apostolical authority, Sifred, bishop of Chichester, to perform that solemnity. This abbot restored to his convent the full number of monks, being sixty; he founded the hospital of St. Laurence, and left behind him the character of a prudent and good manager of the concerns of his monastery. He died on the morrow of St. John Baptist in 1151, and was buried before the steps in the chapter-house, on the north side, opposite to Hugh de Floriac, his predecessor.

46. SYLVESTER, prior of this monastery, was elected abbot in his room. Archbishop Theobald refused to give him the benediction, objecting to his want of character; to clear himself from which, the abbot elect went to Rome, when having so done, the pope Eugenius confirmed him in his office, and recommended him to the archbishop, and he received the benediction from him, by the pope's mandate, on St. Augustine's day, 1152; but this was not without much delay, and a peremptory rescript from the apostolic see. (fn. 50)

Archbishop Theobald carried his inveteracy against the abbot and convent of this monastery to such a height, that having excommunicated them, he deposed this abbot Sylvester from his office, and prohibited the celebration of divine service in the church of it, so that there was none in it from the time of Lent to the month of August, (fn. 51) when the excommunication was taken off, and the abbot was restored to his office again. Before his death, he ordained that there should be yearly received into the hall of the monastery, on the first day of Lent, as many poor persons as there were monks in it, who should there receive food and drink, during the whole time of it, for ever. He died in August 1161, and was buried in the chapter-house, at the distance of twelve feet westward from the reading-desk, under a plain white stone. (fn. 52)

Thorn, the chronicler of this abbey, and Gervas the monk, the writer of the history of Christ-church, have given opposite characters of this abbot, accordingly as they stood affected to him.

47. CLAREMBALD, a secular, (fn. 53) was obtruded in 1163, upon the monks as their abbot, by the king against their will, upon which account the convent never owned him as such, or admitted him into their chapter, or suffered him to celebrate any offices in their church, (fn. 54) nor would they insert his name among the catalogue of their abbots; he offered himself to archbishop Becket, to receive his benediction, but the monks making an appeal against it, it was deferred, and he was afterwards deposed by papal mandate directed to the bishops of Exeter and Worcester, and the abbot of Faversham, (fn. 55) principally on the allegation of the monks, that he was a bad man, and had wasted the goods of the monastery. However, since, he is by others stiled abbot elect, during which time they had no other abbot, and although the monks would not permit him to exercise any spiritual government in the monastery, yet he had the management of the whole temporalities of it, having obtained the custody of their common seal, (fn. 56) and not being formally deposed as abbot, he is here inserted as such. In his time, in 1168, this abbey was the greatest part of it burnt. (fn. 57) Clarembald was deposed in 1173, or, according to the chronological tables, in 1176. Upon his deposition, the king, highly incensed at it, seized on this monastery, and kept it in his hands for two years and an half, (fn. 58) when

48. ROGER, a monk of Christ-church, and keeper of the altar in the martyrdom there, (fn. 59) was elected in 1176. He refused to make prosessional obedience to the archbishop; who, upon this, refused to give him the benediction, and he took a journey to Rome, when in 1179, he received it from the pope himself at Tusculana, near that city, and at the same time the mitre and ring; after which, he sent him several presents, as special marks of his favour, together with the sandals and pastoral staff, (fn. 60) and his letters likewise to the archbishop, in which he pronounced a definitive sentence, that in future the archbishops should give the abbot elect, the benediction in his own monastery of St. Augustine, within forty days, without exacting any profession; which if they failed in, the abbot elect should go to Rome, and receive it from such bishop as the pope should appoint for that purpose. (fn. 61) But this does not seem to have put an end to these disputes with the several metropolitans, which were still carried on with much animosity on both sides; an account of them, and the various compositions entered into between them on this subject, are inserted at length throughout Thorn's chronicle, and are again related by Gervas, but are by far too tedious and uninteresting to recapitulate in this work.

The intercourse and favour which this abbot obtained at the court of Rome, together with the suggestions of the archbishop, highly incensed the king against him, who being softened him to his favour, and the letters in his behalf, restored him to his favor, and the monastery to its possessions, which he had seized on and retained in his hands, and a reconcilemement seems likewise to have taken place between the archbishop and this abbot; (fn. 62) after which, I find the latter making fine to the king for a perambulation of his barony. (fn. 63) —He died an old man, having sustained much troble in desending the rights of his church, on 13 cal. November, in 1212, (fn. 64) and was buried in the chapter-house, on the north side, under a white stone, with this inscription:

Antistes jacet hic Rogerus in ordine primus
Pastor devotus quondam nunc nil nist simus
Mortuus in cists requiescit nunc semel ista
Qui vivus mundo parum requievit eundo.

49. ALEXANDER succeeded in 1212, and received his benediction from the pope himself at Rome. (fn. 65) He was a monk of this monastery, and a noted professor of sacred theology, a man of universal eloquence and exceedingly learned, as well in secular, as ecclesiastical knowledge, being most dear to king John, so that he was most graciously received by him; accordingly, he most firmly adhered to the king, at the time when most of the prelates and barons of the realm had left him, and when Lewis the French dauphin invading the kingdom had landed in Thanet, the abbot opposing him to the utmost of his power, excommunicated him and all his adherents. (fn. 66)

Matthew Westminster says, he was elegant in his person and of a venerable countenance, and that for taking part with his sovereign, he endured much trouble and suffered great indignity. (fn. 67) He died on 4 non. October, in 1220, and was buried on the south side of the chapter house. (fn. 68)

50. Hu H, the third abbot of this name, monk and chamberlain of this convent, was elected abbot in his room on 7 cal. Sept. anno 1220, by general con sent, (fn. 69) and afterwards went to Rome, where he received his benediction on April I, next year. In his return through France, he made some stay with king Lewis, with whom he was in intimate friendship; during the above time, John de Marisco, prior of this monastery, desirous of knowing where the body of St. Augustine was deposited, caused the wall to be broken near his altar, in the eastern part, under the middle window, where they found a tomb of stone, exceedingly well closed with iron and lead, on which was written

Inclitus Anglorum presul pius & decus altum
Hic Augustinus requiescit corpore sanctus,

After which, the silver shrine, the altar, and all the stone work, on which the shrine stood, being broken; in the middle of it, at the bottom, was found a large piece of lead, almost seven feet long, on which was written in Latin: In this is contained a part of the bones and ashes of St. Augustine, the apostle of the English, who being formerly sent by St. Gregory, converted the English nation to the Christian faith, whose precious head and greater bones, Guido the abbot honourably translated to another small stone vessel, as the leaden table placed with those same bones shews, in the year from the Incarnation of our Lord, 1091.

But because this work could not be effectually done, unless the lead being removed, the above vessel of stone was removed likewise; it was carried thence to the great altar by the abbots of Battel and of Langdon, and by the priors of St. Edmund Bury, of Faversham, and of St. Radigund's and many other religious persons, with great veneration, where it was watched by the monks; after which it was opened in the prefence of the abbots, priors and great men of the land, in the sight of the clergy and people, master H. Sandford the archdeacon, being invited to it; when there was found a leaden plate, with the head and bones, the superscription of which was, In the year from the incarnation of our Lord, 1091, William, king of the English reigning, the son of king William, who acquired England; abbot Guido translated the body of St. Augustin, from the place where it had lain for 500 years, and placed all the bones of that saint in the present casket, and be deposited other parts of the sacred body in a silver shrine, to the praise of him who reigns for ever. And in a third place, viz. on the summit of the silver shrine there was found a small piece of lead, in which was some of his flesh, but yet reduced to earth, but which was like moist earth and coagulated blood; the superscription of which was, this lead contains part of the dust of St. Augustine, and in this his bowels were likewise placed; near which were found several other precious relics, and by these discoveries, it came to be known, that the body was to be found in three different places; for king Henry III. and the convent had caused the body to be so deposited; the major part being placed as before, under the silver shrine, strongly bound with iron, and well closed with lead; the second part lower under the marble tomb, and the third part under the middle window in the eastern part; but the head, at the instance of the great men present, and to excite the devotion of the people, was retained without the shrine, and was wonderfully decorated, at the abbot's expence, in gold, silver and precious stones, as it was then to be seen. (fn. 70) This abbot Hugh had the character of being religious, honest and provident, adorned with learning and with a godly life. He died on November 3, 1224, and was buried in the nave of this church, in the north wall, by the altar of the Holy Cross, under a flat stone, with this inscription: (fn. 71)
Prosuit in populo domini venerabilis Hugo
Ettribuit sanctæ subjectis dogmata vitæ.

51. ROBERT DE BATHEL, a monk and treasurer of this convent, was next elected abbot, on 8 cal. December 1224, (fn. 72) and received the benediction at Rome, by the hands of the cardinal bishop of Albania, on Ascension-day, anno 1225. (fn. 73) During his time, in 1240, the high altar of this church was new made and dedicated anew in honour of St. Peter and St. Paul, apostles, and St. Augustine, and the altar behind it, at the eastern extremity of the church, placed before the shrine of St. Augustine, was dedicated to the Holy Trinity; (fn. 74) and the altar of St. Adrian was new made likewise.—He died on 17 cal. Feb. 1252, and was buried within the body of the chapel of St. Mary, in the nave of this church, at the entrance of the chancel, with this epitaph:

Abbas Robertus virrutis onore refertus
Albis exutus jacet hic a came solutus.

52. ROGER DE CHICHESTER, chamberlain of this convent, succeeded as abbot on 3 non. Feb. 1253, (fn. 75) being elected by way of compromise, (fn. 76) and received by virtue of the pope's letters, the benediction in his own church, from the bishop of London, the archbishop refusing to perform the ceremony. (fn. 77) In his time, anno 1260, the new refectory was begun and finished six years afterwards, (fn. 78) and in 1270, the altar, which was placed before the shrine of St. Mildred, in the church of this monastery, her body having been laid in a new tomb, was dedicated to the Holy Innocents; (fn. 79) and three years after this, the lavatory, which was before the door of the resectory, was finished by this abbot at his sole cost of 300 marcs. (fn. 80) He founded the chapel of Kingsdown, in this county, and dying on St. Lucia's day, 1272, (fn. 81) was buried before St. Katherine's altar, under a marble stone, on which was engraved his effigies in brass, and this epitaph;

Prudens & verus jacet hac in scrobe Rogerus
Constans & lenis, populi pastorq. sidelis.

During the time of his presiding over this monastery, Adam de Kyngesnothe, chamberlain of it, was a great benefactor to it; among other things, he built the bathing room entirely new, and made the baths in it; he caused one bell to be made in the church, and gave different cloths, ornaments and vestments, for the use of it, as well as garments and coverings, for the use and comfort of the monks; he caused seventy shillings to be allotted to the making of the prior's chamber; 100l. to covering the dormitory with lead; 30l. in aid to the charge of the backhouse and malthouse; twenty marcs to the building of the chapel over the gate, and twenty marcs to the repairing of the infirmary; twenty marcs to increase the ornaments of the church, and sixty marcs to make the lavatory decent, besides many other beneficent acts conferred on the monastery. He was afterwards, for his worthiness, promoted to preside over the monastery of Chertsey. (fn. 82)

53. NICHOLAS THORN, written in Latin De Spina, then third prior of this convent, was elected abbot, by way of compromise, on January 2, 1273, and was confirmed at Rome, where he received the benedicton from the cardinal bishop of Portsea, on Easter-day, 1273; after which, on his return, he received a subsidy from all his tenants, in the name of his palfrey. (fn. 83) During his time, anno 1276, the inner chamber of the prior next to the kitchen, and the cloyster, with the pillars and roof, were new made, and the resectory was ornamented. (fn. 84) In the year 1277, this abbot was appointed conservator of the order of the Præmonstratentians in England; (fn. 85) in 1283 he went to Rome and intreated permission of the pope to resign his dignity of abbot; (fn. 86) being, as it is said, discovered to have privately procured several bulls of privileges to this monastery to be fabricated, in order to make use of them at proper seasons against their adversaries. (fn. 87) After this, he turned monk of the Carthusian order, at Selby, in Yorkshire, and was relieved by his successor in this abbotship, with a yearly pension of ten marcs, being fallen into a languishing condition, or rather into extreme poverty. (fn. 88)

54. THOMAS DE FYNDON, the third prior of this monastery, was nominated abbot by his predecessor, for so it seems the pope required; accordingly he was constituted and received the bebediction at London, from the bishop of Dublin, by the pope's mandate, on 11 non. April, (fn. 89) but before his temporalities were restored, he was fined by the king 400 marcs, for being constituted abbot without his royal licence; however, at the request of the bishop of Bath, the king's chancellor, a fourth-part of the fine was remitted. (fn. 90) In his time, in 1287, the new kitchen for the convent was begun, though it was not finished in less than four years at the expence of 414l. 10s. (fn. 91) the roof of the dormitory was new made and leaded, the stalls made in the choir, and the window in front, and many other things; the charge of which, was 5961. 7s. 10d. The stone tower (Torule) was built, as was the chapel of the abbot, with the new chamber and the great gate; by his care, about the year 1300, St. Augustine's relics were again removed, with several of his successors, and placed near the high altar, in a sumptuous monument, and the former inscription put on it, with these two additional lines:

Ad cumulum laudis Patris almi ductus amore
Abbas hunc tumulum Thomas dictavit honore.

About this time, king Edward I. being highly incensed at the pope's usurpation of his prerogative, called a parliament of his nobility and commons, from which he, however, excluded the bishops and clergy, and caused to be enacted in it, that these should be out of his protection, and their goods subject to confisca tion, unless they would, by submitting themselves, redeem his favour. Upon which, the abbot of St. Augustine, with many others, made liberal offers to be again taken into his favour and protection; this abbot giving to the king for that purpose, 250l. in money, though notwithstanding his haste in doing it, he had lost of the goods of his abbey, during this consiscation, 250 quarters of corn, which the king's officers had seized to his use, and had shipped for Gascony. (fn. 92)

In the 2d year of king Edward II. anno 1309, being the last year of his abbotship, he obtained licence from the king to embattle the gates of his monastery, (fn. 93) at which time it appears, that the abbot was charged with six horses with their appurtenances, to the ward of the coast.

Between this abbot and archbishop Winchelsea, the disputes concerning the privileges of this monastery were carried on with increased vigour, and the abbot having had them strengthened by a declaratory bull of pope Boniface VIII. ventured to institute three new deanries, in which he included all the churches of the patronage of his monastery; this new jurisdiction was of course, opposed by the archbishop, by the chapter of Christ church, and by the archdeacon, who jointly appealed to the court of Rome. At last, after violent proceedings and animosities on both sides, the abbot was compelled to humble himself, and to sue to the archbishop for peace between them, which was, in 1303, by the intercession and mediation of the earl of Pembroke and other friends, at last obtained, and various articles and concessions were agreed to, and ratified between them; one of which was, the abolition of these new deanries, and the restoring of the churches of them to their old jurisdiction. (fn. 94)

This abbot made a great seast, at which were present all the prelates of the county, and sixty six knights, besides a great many other presons of note; among which were J. de Berewick, and his sociates, justices itinerant, here at that time; the whole company amounting to 4500 persons. He had the character of being watchful and assiduous in the government of his church, sage and just in his determinations, greatly attentive to the assicted and infirm, and compassionate in relieving the wants of the poor. (fn. 95) He died on 14 cal. March 1309, (fn. 96) and was buried before the altar of St. Mary, in a small chapel where he had daily celebrated mass, opposite the place where St. Augustine was formerly buried under a marble stone, on which was his portrait in his mitre and pontisicals, inlaid with brass, and this inseription round it:

En Jacet hic Thomas morum dulcedine tinctus
Abbas egregius, equitatis tramite cinctus.
Firma clumna domus, in judicio bene rectus
Nec fuit hic presul donorum turbine flexus
In pietate pater, inopum damnis miseratus
Nec fraudis patient curarum presbyteratus
Jussu pontificis summi…… Capit iste
Cetibus Augelicis nos Thome jungita Christe.

In the time of this abbot, John Peckham, one of the monks of this monastery, who was steward or bailiff of part of their estates, became a great benefactor to it, from the increase he made of them beyond his annual account, being of service to them in many difficult affairs, and paying many large sums of money to the different and urgent uses of the monastery, among which was forty pounds to the casting of a new bell, twenty marcs to the beginning of a new gate, twenty marcs to the making the new tower; and he devised to it by his will 300l. besides which, he made three good granges, large and fair, beyond the charges in his account, which he built anew, one in the parsonage at Littleborne, another at Little Mungham, and the third at Norborne. (fn. 97) It appears, by the writs of Edward I, of the time of the death of the above abbot, that the king, by his prerogative, claimed the palfry, cup, ring, and cry or kennel of dogs, of every abbot after his death, as his due from the abbot and convent; and the king, accordingly, always on these occasions, issued his writs to his escheators for the purpose. (fn. 98)

55. RALPH BOURN was elected abbot in his room, on March 7, 1309, (fn. 99) and received the benediction at Avignon, on II cal. July, from the cardinal, bishop of Hostia. On his entering upon this dignity, he made on his return a sumptuous and splendid feast, at which six thousand guests, of whom many were of good quality, are said to have been entertained with three thousand dishes of meat. The bill of fare, the prices of the provisions, and the whole expence of the entertainment, which amounted to 287l. 5s. are printed in a table in Thorn's Chronicle; (fn. 100) and next year, anno 1310, he received a subsidy from his tenants; as for his palsry, as his predecessors had done before. (fn. 101)

In his time, Peter Dene, LL. D. being canon of the churches of York, London, and Wells, retired to this monastery, and was made a monk of it, in order to avoid the enmity of the nobles against him, on account of the death of Thomas, earl of Lancaster. He was in his life-time, as well as by his will, which is dated in 1322, a very considerable benefactor to this monastery; by it he left his books, which were many, as well as his silver plate of various kinds, to it. (fn. 102)

At this time the archbishop of Armagh, consecrated five crosses to be used in processions, and one cross for Easter, and two for the chief altar, and the image of the blessed Virgin, in the chapel of the dormitory. In the year 1324, the high altar was repaired, and reconsecrated by one Peter, an Hungarian bishop, to the honor of St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Augustine. He afterwards, says Thorn, (fn. 103) dedicated it anew to the blessed Trinity, St. Augustine, and his companions. (fn. 104) He consecrated likewise the altars of St. John Baptist, St. Katherine, St. Stephen, and St. Laurence. The altars likewise of the blessed Virgin, St. Michael, Gabriel and Rabhael in the undercrost. The altars of St. Thomas, St. Blaze, and St. Cosmus and Damian. The altar of the blessed Virgin in the infirmary; and all this he did by a general commission as the vicar of archbishop Walter. The altar of St. Adrian was then dedicated to the martyrs St. Stephen, Laurence and Vincent. The altar of St. Mildred had been before dedicated to the Holy Innocents, and therefore was not dedicated anew. (fn. 105) By means of these dedications we come to the knowledge of such altars as this church abounded with, in the different parts of it. At this time the abbot caused vines to be planted near the Northolmes, then called Nordhome, which was before a hiding place for thieves, and a resort for every king of wickedness, to which there was a common way by le Kenile, by the subtersuges of which this iniquity was the more easily carried forward. To remove this-scandal, the abbot, by the king's licence and authority, levelled their dark holes and hiding places, grubbed up the thorns and bushes, cut down the trees, surrounded the whole with a wall, and planted a choice vineyard in it, as above-mentioned, much to his honor and the advantage of the monastery. (fn. 106) He died on 3 non. February, 1334, in a good old age, and was entombed under the north wall, opposite the Countess's chapel, near the altar of the Annunciation, with this epitaph: (fn. 107)

Pervigil in populo morum probitate decorus
Abbas hoc tumulo de Borne jacet ecce Radulphus,
Mille trecentenis triginta quater quoque plenis
In Februi mense celo petebat inesse.

THOMAS PONEY, (fn. 108) S. T. P. was elected on March I, 1334, and received benediction at Avignon on June 12 following; (fn. 109) the expences of which, till his return into England, were 1481. 4s. 0½d. (fn. 110) He died on id. September, in 1343, and was buried at the altar of St. Katharine, under a stone, on which was his figure, engraved on brass, and this inscription: (fn. 111)

Est abbas Thomas tumulo presente reclusus,
Qui vite tempus sanctos expendit in usus.
Illustris senior, cui mundi gloria vilis.
L. V. a primo pastor fuit hujus ovilis.

57. WILLIAM DRULEGE, chamberlain of this monastery, was elected abbot on October 2, the same year, and had the benediction at Avignon. Thorn says, he was, like Zaccheus, small of stature, but in keeping and defending the rights of his church, powerful and great, (fn. 112) He died on Sept. 11, 1346, and was buried at the upper end of the chapter-house, with this epitaph: (fn. 113)

En parvus abbas hic parva clauditur arca,
In gestis magnus, major nec erat patriarcha.
Willelmus Druleg illustri dignus honore,
Conventum claustri qui multo rexit amore.
Pro dilectoris anima tui dulcitur ora
Sancti Augustini conventus, qualibet hora.

During this abbot's time, in 1335, Solomon de Ripple, bailiff of the convent's manors of Nordborne, Stodmerch, and Chistlet, built at Nordborne a most fair chapel from the foundations, and a barn there; and at Little Mungam he built much; and at Chistler a chapel, similar to that at Nordborne and Littleborne; besides other improvements, all the buildings of that manor were, as it may be said, wholly rebuilt, and were sumptuously erected from the ground. (fn. 114)

58. JOHN DEVENISSE was constituted abbot by papal provision in 1346. (fn. 115) He was a monk of Winchester, and had been elected by that convent bishop of that see, but the pope made void the election at the king's entreaties; (fn. 116) and on his being constituted abbot here, the king not only refused to restore the temporalities of this abbey to him, but commanded the convent, upon pain of the forseiture of all their goods, neither to admit him to come within their monastery, nor to suffer him, in any shape whatever, to intermeddle in the ordering or disposing of the affairs of it, as far as was in their power; so he kept his abode at a small distance from hence, on the estate belonging to the abbey at Nackington. In the mean time the convent elected William Kenington to be their prior, who ordered all the concerns of the monastery at his pleasure, and appointed the obedientaries and other officers, as was usual for the prior to do, when there was no abbot presiding over the convent. It should be observed, that this William had, upon the death of abbot Drulege, been elected by the convent for their abbot; but the pope took upon him to cassate the election, and to put in John Devenisse as above-mentioned, who never had more than the bare name of abbot; (fn. 117) in his room therefore, with both the king's and pope's consent, the dignity was conserred on

59. THOMAS COLWELLE, sacrist of this monastery, a sage and discreet person, was next made abbot by the pope's bull of provision, in October, 1349, anno 22 Edward III. (fn. 118) and received the benediction at Avignon (fn. 119) immediately afterwards, for he was in great savor and familiarity with pope Clement VI. insomuch, that he is said to have ofter offered him this abbey. On his return, having performed his fealty to the king, he had the temporalities restored to him, and on Christmas eve was installed into his abbotship. At length, having governed this mon tery wisely for twenty-seven years, he died full of year, on 4 cal. June, in 1375, and was buried in the north wall in St. Anne's, commonly called the Countess's chapel, opposite the altar of the Annunciation. (fn. 120) During his time, in 1358, the bells which were called Austyn, Mary, and Gabriel, and four in the tower, were cast by Thomas Hickham, sacrist. (fn. 121)

60. MICHAEL PECKHAM, chamberlain of this monastery, was elected abbot, and by the pope's licence received the benediction in England, from the bishop of Winchester, (fn. 122) and had the temporalities immediately restored to him. To avoid the charges of a public feast at his installation, he kept it privately with the convent, in the refectory. (fn. 123) He died on Feb. 11, 1386, and was privately buried in the chapter-house, on the south side of it. After his death there was a vacancy of the abbotship, till the year 1389. (fn. 124)

61. WILLIAM WELDE, doctor of the canon law, was promoted next to this dignity, by way of compromise, on Feb. 28, 1389; (fn. 125) but before he could be installed, he was forced to undergo the fatigue of long and tedious journeys, and to be subject to great expences; for as soon as he was elected, he was obliged to go to the king, who was beyond Lincoln, to obtain his assent to the election. He then sent his proctor to Rome, to use out the papal confirmation, who followed the pope from city to city, presenting his supplication with large gifts. Several English noblemen who were at that time at the court of Rome, intreated the pope for a quick dispatch in this business, but the delays were still prolonged; the proctor remonstrated to his holiness, that this monastery had been destitute of an abbot for near thirteen months, during which vacancy the king had received 100 marcs every month for the temporalities of it, which then amounted to the sum of 1250 marcs; and that the abbey was, besides, charged with 600 marcs towards the desence of the coasts op. posite France and Flanders; that it was dangerous for the abbot to cross the seas, left he should be taken prisoner by the enemy; that the abbot elect lay sick of a quartan ague, and was unable to undertake a journey to Rome, without evident danger of his life, and that more than 10,000 florins had been already spent, besides the proctor's charges during his attendance at the court of Rome; but all these representations were made in vain, for the abbot elect was cited to appear personally in the pope's court, and there prove the right of his election; this he was obliged to do, and then, after some further delays and expences, he received the benediction on St. Lucia's day, (fn. 126) and returning into England, his temporalities were restored to him on April 5. By these delays the abbot's stall remained vacant two years, two months and four days; the expences, which were very great, were, to the king for the temporalities 14181. 18s. to the apostolical court for first fruits, 1532 florins and four bolon, viz. to the pope's chamber 600 florins; to the chamber of the cardinals 600 florins; to the pope's attendants 405 florins, 37 bolon; to the servants of every one of the cardinals (who were present, to the number of fourteen) 46 florins, 16 bolon; besides the expence of the proctor's journey, and his attendance on the court of Rome. (fn. 127) Thus, this convent, by renouncing all obedience to the archbishop, threw themselves into the power of the court of Rome, which devoured great part of their substance. During this abbot's time, Thomas Ickham, sacrist of this monastery, died, who had expended no less than 3251 marcs in repairing the church, chapel and chapter-house of it. (fn. 128)

In the year 1293, king Richard II. with his queen, made their abode in this monastery from the octaves of the Ascension, until the morrow of the Holy Trinity; and being accompanied by the prelates and nobility of the realm, and a multitude of people, on Whitsunday and the day following, the king, as well in the processions, as at the table, took the lead, and being crowned, sat in his royal splendour, when he commanded, that the sealt of St. Ethelbert should be constantly held in due veneration. (fn. 129) This abbot died on the vigil of St. Mildred, on July 12, anno 1405, and was buried in the chapter-house, between the reading-desk and the tomb of abbot Sylvester. (fn. 130)

62. THOMAS HUNDEN was next elected abbot in 1405, (fn. 131) and received the benediction in St. Paul's church, London, from archbishop Arundel, on May 6, that year. (fn. 132) It appears by the patent rolls, that he had a licence in the 13th year of king Henry IV. anno 1412, to take a journey to the Holy Land; (fn. 133) he continued abbot till the year 1419, according to the chronological tables, at which time they end, and till his death, which happened on August 17, 1420.

63. MARCELLUS DANDELYON occurs abbot in 1426. (fn. 134)

64. JOHN HAWKHERST was the next abbot, (fn. 135) who was succeeded by

65. GEORGE PENSHERST, prior of this monastery, who being elected, obtained the king's consent, by his writ, dated February 27, 1430, anno 8 Henry VI. (fn. 136) but his temporalities were not restored to him till June 22, following. (fn. 137) He occurs abbot in the year 1450. (fn. 138)

66. JAMES SEVENOCK was elected the next abbot in 1457. (fn. 139)

67. WILLIAM SELLINGE probably succeeded him, but resigned this dignity.

68. JOHN, who is said to be John Dunstar, prior of Bath; (fn. 140) but this disagrees with an account of the succession of the priors of Bath, (fn. 141) for John the prior died in 1412, but John the abbot died towards the end of the year 1497. (fn. 142)

69. JOHN DYGON was elected on the vacancy of the abbot's stall, by the death of John, the last abbot, and had the temporalities restored to him on Feb. 17, 1497, anno 12 Henry VII. He died in 1509. (fn. 143)

70. THOMAS HAMPTON was next elected abbot, and had the temporalities restored to him on July 21, 1509. (fn. 144) He is said to have died in 1522, anno 13 king Henry VIII. but that could not be, for

71. JOHN HAWKINS occurs abbot in 1511. (fn. 145)

72. JOHN ESSEX succeeded him as abbot, about the year 1523, (fn. 146) and outlived the monastery itself, for now the fatal blow of its utter dissolution approached; little had all the former casualties been to the ruin of this goodly abbey, had not this sudden and tempestuous storm, which bore down before it all the religious structures of this kind throughout the kingdom, falling upon it, brought this with the rest, to irrecoverable ruin; to perpetuate which, this abbot, with thirty of his monks, among whom were the several officers of the monastery, signed the surrendry of it into the king's hands, on the last day but one of July, anno 30 king Henry VIII (fn. 147)

The deed of the surrendry of this abbey, which is in Latin, is dated in their chapter-house, the day and year above-mentioned. (fn. 148) By which the abbey, with the scite and precinct of it, and debts, chattels and goods, manors, houses, lands, advowsons, and churches, and all other possessions whatsoever and wheresoever situated, are surrendered to the king, to the use of him and his heirs for ever. It is signed by
John Essex, abbot.
Infirmarer, Thomas Barham.
John Langdon, precentor.
Edward Benet, sacrist.
John Sandwich, sub-prior.
Richard Compton, iij prior.
Richard Canterbr, refectorer.
William Mylton.
David Franklyn, fourth prior.
William Holyngborne, chaplain of the lord abbot.
John Ryvas.
Laurence Goleston.
John Antoni.
Ralph Adrian.
William Horsemunde.
George Amys.

And there is indorsed on the back of the instrument,
Robert Glassonbury.
William Bangos.
John Dygun, prior.
John Langport, treasurer.
William Wynchelse, celerer.
Robert Cenett, vesterer.
John Story, gate-keeper.
Robert Garwinton, sub-celerer.
Robert Saltwood, keeper of the chapel of St. Mary.
Thomas Strykynbow, chamberlain.
William Hawkherst, sub-sacrist.
John Haylsam.
John Shroynsbery.
Thomas Haplys.
Edward Hales.

Received, recognized and delivered before me Richard Layton, one of the masters of the chancery of our lord the king, in the year and on the day asoresaid.

More on the back on the instrument;
Inrolled on the back of the close rolls of the king's chancery under-written.

The following pensions appear by the rescripts in the augmentation-office, to have been granted to the abbot and the monks of this abbey, after the surrendry for their lives, or until they should be promoted to one or more benefices of the same value or upwards.

To the abbot for his support, a grant of lands equal to 200 marcs per annum, on the 3d of February following, being the manor of Sturry, with the lands and appurtenances belonging to it, for his life, or until he should be promoted to one or more benefices, of the same or superior value. (fn. 149)

The several pensions to the monks, granted anno 3d Sept. 30 Henry VIII. were as follows:

To Edward Sawyer,monk,100s. Sterling.
William Curle,ibid.6l.
John Dingibid.5l.
Thomas Croston,ibid.5l.
William Mynes,ibid.5l.
John ...ylinin,ibid.5l.
John Hythcroke,ibid.6l.
Robert Winstanley,ibid.100s.
Robert Butter,ibid.5l.
Edward Mynes,ibid.10 marcs.
George Amys,ibid.100s.
David Franklyn,ibid.6l.
William Burgis,ibid.100s.
Robert Whyte,ibid.10 marcs.
Thomas Ware,ibid.10 marcs.
Thomas Brecher,ibid.6l.
William Myllis,ibid.100s.
John Baynes,ibid.10 marcs.
Robert Davyson,ibid.6l.
Thomas Edmund,ibid.10 marcs.
Richard Stonard,ibid.6l.
William Jurdyn,ibid.6l.
John Hall,ibid.10 marcs.
John Burden,ibid.8l.
William Okynsold,ibid.8l.
Laurence Marden,ibid.100s.
John Snowthe,ibid.100s.
John Dyer,ibid.8l.
Richard Orgar,ibid.6l.
…Wydebere,ibid.13l. 6s. 8d.

In all, thirty monks, being the exact number of those, who, together with the abbot, signed the instrument of surrendry; but how strangely they had altered their names immediately afterwards, cannot escape observation. (fn. 150)

The revenues of the abbey of St. Augustine were valued, according to Dugdale, at 1413l. 4s. 11¾d. being the gross value of them, the clear sum being, according to the manuscript valor, 1274l. Os. 10¾d. yearly value. (fn. 151)

A schedule of the plate and vestments delivered at the surrendry of the monastery to the king's commissioners, may be seen in Stevens's Monasticon, supplement to the 1st volume.

The coat of arms belonging to this abbey, was, Sable, a plain cross, argent.

The common seals of this abbey were only two; the earlier, was the smaller of the two, a very antient one, representing on one side the names and portraits of St. Peter and St. Paul the apostles, with this inscription round it: + Hoc SIGILLUM FACTUM EST ANNO PRIMO RICARDI REGIS ANGLORUM; and on the other side, the effigies of an archbishop in his pontifical habit, (probably meant for St. Augustine) with this inscription: + SIGILL ECCLESIE SANCTI AUGUSTINI CANTUARIE ANGLORUM APOSTOLI. The other and later seal, the larger of the two, and of more curious work than the former, representing on one side a church, and in the middle of it both the name and effigies of St. Augustine, together with the arms of the abbey, viz. a plain cross, and some other embellishments, with this inscription round it:

ANGLIA QUOD DOMINO FIDEI SOCIATUR AMORE
HOC AUGUSTINO DEBETUR PATRIS HONORE.

On the other side, a church also, with the figures of both those apostles, Peter and Paul, this with a sword, the other with a key in his hand, and underneath, what seems to represent the christening or baptizing of St. Ethelbert, by St. Augustine, with these words round it: SIGILLUM MONASTERII BEATORUM APOSTOLORUM PETRI & PAULI SOCIORUM AUGUSTINE ANGLORUM APOSTOLI CANTUAR.


South-west view of the gate

South-west view of the gate

THE FRONT OF this statcly abbey was towards the west, extending 250 feet, having at each extremity of it two handsome gateways, the northern one, being the most superb, was the chief approach to the monastery, (fn. 152) which was situated mostly at the back part of it; the other was the gate through which the entrance was to the cemetery. (fn. 153) After the dissolution of this abbey, the great buildings of it, such as the dormitory, kitchen, halls, and the like, to which may be added the church, being covered with lead, were, for the lucre of it, at different times, stripped of it; after which, the walls of them were either demolished for the sake of the sale of the materials, or being left uncovered, perished by the inclemency of the weather, and the mouldering hand of time; so that the very ruins of the far greatest part of this once extensive monastery scarcely appear, and the very foundations of them are with difficulty traced at this time. (fn. 154)

Notwithstanding, soon after the suppression of this monastery, many of the buildings of it had been demolished, there was sufficient left to accommodate king Henry VIII. as a palace for his own use; (fn. 155) but whether he or any of his royal successors ever took up their residence in it, for any time, is not mentioned, till queen Elizabeth in her 15th year, anno 1573, being on one of her royal progresses, kept her court in it for several days.

At this palace, on June 12, 1625, king Charles I. consummated his marriage with the princess Henrietta of France, whom he had met at Dover, and married at Canterbury (fn. 156) that day; after which, the dowager lady Wotton resided here during the time of the great rebellion; and king Charles II. lodged in it on his passage through this city, at his restoration; many of the buildings of it therefore, must have been demolished since that time, as there now remains of the whole of it, no more than is sufficient for the use of a common alehouse, into which it has been for some years converted.

Dugdale, in his Monasticon, has given a print of it, as it was in his time, anno 1655. The view was taken from the high tower of the cathedral, and shews how small a part was then left standing, being no more than remains at present, excepting the refectory and an apartment adjoining to it, since pulled down; so that considerable buildings must have been destroyed before that time. (fn. 157)


West view of St Ethelbert's tower

West view of St Ethelbert's tower

When we enter the scite of the monastery, the first object is Ethelbert's tower, whose beauty, though much defaced, (fn. 158) especially by sacrilegious hands of late years, will witness to succeeding ages, the magnificence of the whole, when all stood compleat in their glory together. (fn. 159) This tower was named in honour and memory of king Ethelbert, being built about the year 1047, when, as Thorn, in his chronicle, tels us, archbishop Eadsin, besides other marks of his bounty to this abbey, gave 100 marcs to the compleating of the tower, which they were then building; meaning, as Mr. Somner conceives, this tower. There are but small remains of the antient abbey church; the above tower, a wall of one of the isles on the southern side, and the east end of another, or at least of a chancel, with the stone case or frame of a pointed gothic window belonging to it, are all that are left of it, so that what the dimensions of it were, can hardly be traced with any degree of certainty. (fn. 160) The west side, how ever, of Ethelbert's tower being adorned with small pilastres from the top almost to the bottom of it, seems to shew that there never were any cross isles, nor any part of the church continued westward from it. This tower seems to have stood either in the centre of the west front of the church, or perhaps towards the southern part of it; (fn. 161) about sixty-six feet southward from it, was, till lately, a very massive ruin, composed of flint and rubble stone, of an extraordinary thickness, seemingly a part of the two sides of a hollow square tower, having to all appearance been once a campanile, or belfry, but whether separate from the building of the church itself, or contiguous, can only be conjectured; (fn. 162) an effort had been made, many years past, to undermine it, by which means it had been thrown much out of its perpendicular, and hung tremendous to the view in a very inclined position. (fn. 163)

The only thing that remains further for observance among these heaps of ruins, is the chapel of St. Pancrase, built, as Thorn tells us, (fn. 164) before the arrival of St. Augustine in this kingdom, and used by king Ethelbert, before his conversion to Christianity, for the place of his idol worship. If so, it was a very small temple for a king's devotions, being only thirty feet long, and twenty-one wide; the walls, which are yet standing, have quantities of British or Roman bricks among them. In the south wall is a small circular arch of a door-way, regularly composed of such bricks, being the work of that time; in the east wall is a large pointed gothic window, with an arch of those bricks, of the same pointed form, above the stone work of it. In this chapel, or a former one here, St. Augustine is said to have celebrated mass, having first purged it of its former idolatrous worship, though many suppose that this chapel was used before Augustine's arrival by queen Bertha, as an oratory for her christian devotions. (fn. 165)

During the great storm of wind, which happened in the night time in the year 1361, one Ralph, a chaplain, a very devout man, took shelter from it in St. Pancrase's chapel, to avoid the danger of it, and staid in the chancel as the safest part, it having been but lately new roosed; but a great beam being thrown down by the fury of the wind, over the image of the blessed Virgin, fell on him, whilst on his knees before it, and killed him; and he was buried in the chapel before the cross, under a marble stone. (fn. 166)

The ground north-westward from this chapel, being now a meadow of about two acres, is all over it very uneven, consisting underneath the surface, entirely of ruined foundations of buildings. Close to the wall of the east end of the ruins of the abbey church, is a plentiful spring of most excellent water, (fn. 167) with which the city, by the bounty of the family of Hales, owners of these precincts, is in a great measure supplied.

Just without the principal gate of entrance into the monastery, was that of the eleemosinary or almonry, vulgarly called the ambry, being under the government of an officer of the monastery, called eleemosinarius, or almoner. At this place the alms of the monastery, the remains of their food being sent thither, were distributed, as a main part of their subsi tence to certain alms people, consisting of a society of brothers and sisters. It had a chapel belonging to it, long since tumbled into ruins. (fn. 168)

After the suppression of this monastery, the king retained the scite and precincts of it, with great part of the adjoining domains, in his own hands; those buildings belonging to the abbey, which, on a survey, had been judged useless, were taken down, and the remainder fitted up as a palace for the king's use, that part of the domains adjoining to the precincts, retained likewise, was formed into a park for deer and beasts of chase, and called the king's new park. (fn. 169) In the 2d and 3d year of Philip and Mary, the scite of this abbey was, by the queen, granted to cardinal archbishop Pole, for life; on whose death, in the last year of that reign, it reverted to the crown, where it remained no long time; for although queen Elizabeth, in one of her royal progresses, in the year 1573, kept her court here, during which time she was magnificently entertained with all her attendance, and a great concourse of other company, by archbishop Parker, at his palace, on her birth-day; yet she had, some years before, on July 7, in her 6th year, anno 1564, granted it to Henry, lord Cobham, on whose attainder, in 1603, it was granted by letters patent, March 27, anno 3 James I. to Robert Cecil, lord Essenden, viscount Cranbourne, afterwards earl of Salisbury, at the yearly rent of 20l. 13s. 4d. (fn. 170) from whom it came into the possession of Edward, lord Wotton of Marley, who at times resided at it, and at his death in 1628, gave it to his widow Margaret for her life; she was succeeded in it by her only son Thomas, lord Wotton, who kept it likewise in his own hands, and died possessed of it in 1630, leaving four daughters his coheirs; by his will, he gave this palace, with its adjoining lands and appurtenances, to his wife Mary, who resided in it during the time of the great rebellion; when her house here was plundered, and the furniture of it destroyed, by order of the usurping powers, (fn. 171) from which time it has retained the name of lady Wotton's palace, and the space before it, that of lady Wotton's green.

She died here on March 17, 1658, and was buried in Boughton Malherb church. Upon her decease, and the partition of the lord Wotton's estates among their four daughters and coheirs, Anne, the youngest, marrying with Sir Edward Hales, bart. of Woodchurch, in this county, entitled him to the possession of this estate, which consisted not only of the scite and precincts of this monastery, but of the grounds called the Old Park, eastward of them, the North Holmes adjoining the north side of them, and much other contiguous land, amounting in the whole to upwards of 1000 acres, all parcel of the dissolved monastery; and in his descendants the chief and greatest part of this estate has continued down to Sir Edward Hales, bart. of St. Stephen's, the present owner of it. (fn. 172)

Footnotes

1 Chron. Sci Aug. col. 2229, 2230.
2 He is said to have been drowned in the bay of Amfleete, and to have been buried first by the inhabitants, in an ignoble manner, but being afterwards known, his body was translated to St. Mary's church, in Bologne, with proper dignity. Lel. Coll. vol. i. p. 209. Brompton, col. 733. Thorn, col, 1766. Weever, p. 50, who says, he was drowned in 614, and that an honorary monument was erected to his memory in this abbey, with this inscription:
Quem notat hunc metrum meritis & nomine Patrum
Abbas egregius primus laris extitit hujus.
Dum semel his transit mare ventus in urbe remansit
Bolonia celebris virtutibus est ibi crebris.
3 See his life in Brit. Sanct. vol. i. p. 9.
4 See Thorn, col. 1766, 1768; and Chron. Tab. 2230; and the print of the high altar, taken from the manuscript in Trinity college library. Weever, p. 50, says, he had this epitaph:
Omnibus est annis pietas recitanda Johannis
Culmine celsa nimis patribusq; simillima primis.
Vir probus & mitis fuit hic si fare velitis
Interger & mundus, sapiens Abbasq; secundus.
5 Thorn. col. 1768; and Chron. Tab. 2230. Weever, p. 50, says, he was interred here, with this epitaph:
Pausa Patris sani palet isthæ Ruffiniani
Abbatis terni, quo frenditur hostis averni.
6 Thorn, ibid. who says, there is no mention where he was buried. Weever, p. 50, says, he died in 640, and was here interred, with this inscription:
Hic Abbas quartus Gratiosus contulit artus
Cujus adest hausa miti spiramine clausa.
7 Thorn says, it is not mentioned where he was buried, col. 1769. Chron. Tab. 2230. Weever says, he was buried here, with this epitaph:
Abbas Petronius bonitatis odore refertus
Subjectos docuit vitiorum forde piavit.
8 Thorn, col. 1769; and Chron. Tab. 2231. Weever, p. 50, says, he was buried with this distich:
Spiritus in celis Abbatis Nathanielis
Nos faciat memores Patres memor are velitis.
9 Gervas, col. 1326, says, archbishop Theodore gave the abbotship to Benedict, one of his chaplains, surnamed Bissop, who going to Rome with the archbishop's leave, this dignity was conferred on Adrian.
10 Thorn, col. 1769, 1771. Chron. Tab. 2231, 2234. Godwin, p. 60. Weever, p. 51, says, he had this epitaph:
Qui legis has aspices, Adriani pignora, pago.
Hoc sita sarcophago sua nostro gloria pago.
Hic decus Abbatum, patriæ lux vir probitatum
Subvenit a celo si corde rogetur anhelo.
11 See his life in Brit. Sanct. vol. i. p. 17, 25.
12 Weever, p. 51. says, he was offered the archbishopric by the pope, which he declined, and recommended his friend Theodore.
13 See Bede's Præf. to his Eccles. Hist. in which he acknowledges the assistance he received from this abbot.
14 See Leland Coll. vol. iv. p. 9. Thorn, col. 1772, says, he was buried in this monastery, in the church of St. Mary, close to Adrian his predecessor; but on the translation of St. Augustine and his companions, he was, with Adrian and the rest buried there, removed from thence into the greater chruch, and placed in the wall behind the altar of St. Gregory. Weever, p. 51, says the same, and that he had this epitaph:
Laus Patris Albini non est obnoxia fini
Gloria debetur sibi quam sua vita meretur
Multa quippe bonos faciens virtute Patronos
Abbas efficitur bonus hic et honore petitur.
15 See Thorn, col. 1772. Weever, p. 51, gives him this epitaph.
Nothbaldi mores rutilant inter sentores
Cujas erat vita subjectis norma ponta.
16 Thorn says, there was no monument nor any writing to point out where he lay buried, col. 1775. On account of his want of attention to the affairs of his monastery; the following epitaph given by Weever, p. 52, is said to have been fastened to a pillar near the place of his burial, about tweleve years after his death.
Fert memor Abbatis Aldhumi, nil probitatis:
Pontisicum pausam cassat tutans male causam,
Prisca premens jura dum Cuthbertus tumulatur,
Fulta sepultra sanctis per eum, reprobatur.
17 Thorn, col. 1775. Chron. Tab. 2236.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid. col. 1775; and Chron. Tab. 2238.
20 Ibid.
21 Ibid.
22 Thorn, col. 1776; and Chron. Tab. 2240.
23 Ibid. col.1777 and 2240.
24 Ibid
25 Ibid
26 Ibid. col. 1777 and 2242.
27 Thorn, col. 1777 and 2242.
28 Ibid.
29 Thorn, col. 1778; and Chron. Tab. 2243.
30 Ibid.
31 Ibid. col. 1779 and 2243.
32 Ibid. col. 1780 and 2243.
33 Chron. Tab. col. 2245.
34 See Thorn, col. 1780. Godwin, p. 75, and 387. Weever, p. 52.
35 Chron. Tab. col. 2246, anno 989.
36 Thorn, col.2780. Chron. Tab. 2246. Weever, ibid.
37 Thorn, col. 1781, 1782. Chron. Tab. 2246. Biog. Brit. p. 128.
38 See before, p. 632.
39 Thorn, col. 1783, 1784 Chron. Tab. 2247. Weever, p. 52, says, king Knute would have preserred him to the see of Winchester, which he resused; nor would he have taken this abbotship, but by the importunity of his brethren.
40 See Thorn, col. 1784,1785,1790. Chron Tab. 2248. Weever,p. 52.
41 Thorn, col. 1784, 1785, 1790.
42 Thorn, col. 1787. Chron. Tab. 2250. Obituar. Cantuar. Weever, p. 53.
43 Anglia Sacra, pt. ii. p. 285. Thorn, col. 1793. Chron. Tab. 2250. Weever, p. 53.
44 The body of St. Augustine had, in the year 613, on the former church of the monastery being finished, been entombed in the north portico of it, on the scite of which the church of St. Mary was afterwards built, where it lay for 478 years, till it was in 1091, by abbot Wido, in his third year, removed into the new church, begun by abbot Scotland and now finished. Thorn says, col. 1793, that the greater part of these relics were removed and hidden privately, (through fear of their being taken away on any invasion of an enemy) in the presence only of the abbot and a few antient monks, in the night time, and laid as before-mentioned; and that they concealing the fact, the memory of it became with them extinct. till the year 1221, when it was discovered in the time of abbot Hugh III. as will be further mentioned hereafter. The small remains being part of the bones and ashes of St. Augustine, were closed up in two small leaden vessels and hidden, and the one placed at the very bottom, and the other at the summit of the shrine, with divers other precious relics; and that it was reported, that there were many other relics of saints hidden in different places of the church, which were not then discovered.
45 Thorn, col. 1794, and Weever, p. 53, say anno 1091.—Chron. Tab. 2250, anno 1099.
46 Thorn. col. 1794. Chron. Tab. 2250. Weever, p. 53. Thorn says, he had been a knight of esteemed valour, who had been much employed in the wars, not only in this reign of William Rufus, but of his father the Conqueror; and had on a time coming to Canterbury with king William Rufus, and visiting this monastery, been so captivated with a religious life, that refusing to quit it he turned monk in it; after which, going over to Normandy, he there distributed the greatest part of his property among his relations, and in acts of charity; the remainder of it he brought home to this monastery, and resigned it to the abbot for its use. Before he had completed the years of his noviciate, the abbot Wido died, and the monks petitioned the king for the liberty of chusing an abbot, but were refused; upon which, the convent again sent two monks, together with this Hugo to the king, to intreat him to give them this licence. As soon as he saw his kinsman, who had ever appeared before him in all military pomp, but then, in the humble garb of a religious, he burst into tears, saying, that he granted them this his kinsman to be their abbot, whom unlest they directly received as such he would burn down their monastery to ashes; to which the monks submitted, and received him as such; and he accordingly received the benediction at the hands of Maurice, bishop of London, in the king's chapel at Westminster, with a protestation, however, of its not being drawn into a precedent.
47 Thorn, col. 1798. Weever, p. 53, says, he died, as full of years as of goodness, on March 26, 1120.
48 Chron. Tab. col. 2252, say, he was buried on the north side of the chapter-house; as does Weever. p. 53.
49 Thorn, col 1798 and 1810. Weever, ibid. Chron. Tab, col. 2251, anno 1126, which latter might perhaps be the year of his receiving the benediction.
50 When the abbot on his return from the pope attended the archbishop, with the pope's letters on this occasion, the archbishop delayed the performance of it with many objections from time to time, till receiving a peremptory rescript from the pope, which fearing, or at length not daring to oppose, he came to this monastery and gave the benediction to the abbot elect, according to antient custom, on the day above-mentioned, in the presence of the bishop of Norwich; Roger, archdeacon of Canterbury, and an innumerable croud of clergy and laity. Thorn. col. 1811. Gervas, col. 1370; and among the archives of the dean and chapter in their treasury, is the prosessionl of this abbot Sylvester, before archbishop Theobald, with the archbishop's feal appendant, and those of Richard, bishop of London; Robert, bishop of Bath; Hilary, bishop of Chichester; William, bishop of Norwich, and others.
51 In this time, king Stephen's queen used to frequent this abbey, the building of the abbey of Faversham being then carrying forward by her and the king; and because this silence was imposed on the monks of St. Augustine, she used to send for the monks of Christ-church to celebrate before her in it.—See Gervas, col. 1366.
52 See Thorn, col. 1799, 1811, 1814. Chron. Tab. 2250. Weever, p. 54.
53 So Thorn, col. 1815, but he afterwards, col. 1819, says, he was a fugitive and apostate monk in Normandy, whence king Henry II. brought him to preside over this monastery.
54 Thorn, col. 1815, 1816. Chron. Tab. 2255. Weever, ib.
55 R. de Diceto, col. 561. Gervas, col. 1432.
56 Thorn, col. 1816.
57 Ibid. col. 1815.
58 See Thorn, col. 1825.
59 Thorn, col. 1819, says, it was on this account that they elected him for their abbot, hoping he would purloin and bring with him some relics of the martyr; in which they were not deceived.
60 Gervas, col. 1443. R. de Diceto, col. 602. Chron. Tab. 2256.
61 Thorn, col. 1824, 1835.
62 Gervas, col. 1475, says, that on the seast of St. Augustine next after archbishop Baldwin's inthronization, the archbishop at the intreaties of the abbot and convent coming to the church of this monastery, was honourably received there, and celebrated mass; and at the same time dedicated two cemeteries; at which reception of the archbishop, the abbot reverently laid till he was ordered to do so by the archbishop.
63 Madox's Exchequer, p. 351.
64 Thorn, col. 1864.
65 Chron. Tab. col. 2260.
66 Thorn, col. 1864 and 1870.
67 Mart. Westminster, anno 1209, says, a summo honore in summam Confusionem viliter præcipitatus est.
68 See Thorn, col. 1864, 1782. Chron. Tab. 2260. Weever, p. 55.
69 Thorn, col. 1873. Chron. Tab. 2260. Weever, p. 55, says, he was elected, iworn, and blessed, by the pope's legate at Winchester, before the king and many peers of the kingdom.
70 See Thorn, col. 1876.
71 Thorn, col. 1879. Chron. Tab. 2262. Weever, p. 55.
72 Ibid.
73 Thorn, col. 1889 to col. 1899.
74 See the print, from the antient manuscript in Trinity college library.
75 Thorn, col. 1899. Chron. Tab. 2268. Weever, p. 55.
76 This meant, an authority delegated by the whole convent in chapter, to a select number of their body, to the amount of four or five, to make the election; which on their report, was confirmed by the rest in chapter; and this was done to prevent the frequent disputes and animosities which former open elections of their abbots had occasioned.
77 Chron. Tab. col. 2268.
78 Thorn, col. 1905.
79 See the print above-mentioned.
80 Thorn, col. 1905.
81 On id. Dec. 1273. Chron. Tab.
82 Thorn, col. 1915.
83 This abbot being duly elected by the monks, with the licence and assent of the king's lieutenants in England, he being then abroad, repaired to the pope for confirmation, where he was put to vast expences; but meeting king Edward there, in his return from the Holy Land, and informing him of this, the king sent his letters to his vicegerents in England, to grant the abbot writs to levy such an aid from his tenants, towards his expences, as had been formerly used; and for the restitution of his temporalities, which the monks had obtained, during the vacancy, a fine of 500l. Original writs in the tower, anno I Edward 1. n. 6. Ibid. n. 18, pat. I Ed. I. ps 2, m. 19—m. 15. See Prynne, vol. iii. p. 123, 176, 313, 315.
84 Thorn, col. 1923.
85 Ibid. col. 1925.
86 Ibid. col. 1937. Chron. Tab. col. 2272.
87 This is said, in two manuscript copies of Thorn, printed at the end of the Decim, Script, among the Variantes Lectiones.
88 See Thorn, col. 1964.
89 Weever, p. 56, says, at Civita Vecchia, by the pope's appointment.
90 Thorn, col. 1938.
91 Ibid. col. 1943.
92 Thorn, col. 1965. Lambarde, p. 297.
93 Pat. ejus an. ps. 2, m. ult.
94 Thorn, col. 1976, et seq.
95 See Thorn, col. 2009.
96 Ibid. col. 1938. Chron. Tab. 2278. Weever, p. 56.
97 Thorn, col. 2008.
98 Prynne, p. 930.
99 Ibid. col. 2009. Chron. Tab. 2278.
100 Thorn, col 2010. Stev. Mon. vol. i. Supplem. p. 304.
101 Ibid. col. 2011.
102 His will is printed at large, in Thorn, col. 2037, in whose Chron. col. 2054, and the twelve following columns there is a long story of his escaping from the monastery, and being taken and brought back, and the dispute which his being taken in the archbishop's liberty occasioned, between him and the convent.
103 Col. 2038.
104 The print of the antient high altar, with the shrines placed round it in the church of this monastery, taken from the antient manuscript in Trinity college library, in Cambridge, serves at least to shew us the form of the antient building of this church in the eastern part of it; the places of the several altars and shrines, and the decorations and ornaments of the high altar; and in what parts of it the several saints were buried; all which have been mentioned above a; the several æras, in which they happened, or were made.
105 Thorn, Chron. Tab. 2039.
106 Thorn, col. 2036. In 1332, there were certain constitutions put forth by the abbot, for the reformation of the stare of this monastery, and inserted in the martyrology, that they might be read at all times; but on his death two years afterwards, before he was buried, they were, by order of the president of the chapter, torn out and burnt, on account of their unusual strictness. Thorn, col. 2054.
107 Thorn, col. 2067. Chron. Tab. 2282. Weever, p. 56.
108 Thorn, col. 2082, writes his name Poucyn; as do the Chron. Tab 2282; and Weever, p. 56.
109 Chron. Tab. col. 2282.
110 Thorn, col. 2067.
111 Thorn, col. 2067. Weever, p. 57.
112 Ibid. col. 2082.
113 Ibid. col. 2067. Chron. Tab. 2282. Weever, p. 57.
114 Thorn, col. 2068.
115 Thorn, col. 2082. Chron. Tab. col. 2283. Weever, p. 57.
116 Ibid. col. 2082.
117 Ibid. col. 2081. He died at Avignon, on the vigil of St. John Baptist, anno 1348, and was there buried. Chron. Tab. col. 2284. This agrees with two manuscript copies of Thorn, which say, that Devenish having with great fatigue and expence prosecuted his suit at the pope's court to no purpose, died of grief, on the day and in the year above-mentioned, and was buried in the church of the friars minors at Avignon, at the entrance of the church, on the right hand; and that the prosecuting the cause of this lamentable provision, run the convent in debt, to the amount of 1000l. and more. See at the end of Decem. Scriptores, variantes lectiones.
118 In Rymer's Fædera, vol. iii. p. 350, there is an autograph of a bull of provision of pope Clement VI. by which he appointed Thomas de Colewell, a monk of this monastery, to be abbot of it, in the room of John, the late abbot, who died lately at Rome, dated at Avignon, 5 non. Oct. in the 7th year of his pontificate.
119 In Chron. Tab. col. 2284, he is said to have been elected abbot on August 5, and to have received the benediction on 4 non. October, and is said to have been elected by scrutiny, on the recommendation of Wm. de Clynton, earl of Huntingdon.
120 Thorn, col. 2150. Chron. Tab. 2286.
121 Thorn, col. 2121.
122 At Eastcher. Chron. Tab. col. 2286.
123 The whole of the expences of the vacancy and election amounted to 1008l. 13s. 8d. See Thorn, col. 2150.
124 See the expences the convent was put to on the vacancy by his death, in Stev. Mon. vol. i. Suppl. p. 305. Thorn, col. 2151. Chron. Tab. 2286. Weever, p. 57.
125 Thorn, col. 2184. Chron. Tab. 2286. Weever, p. 57.
126 See a long account of it, in Thorn, col. 2183, et seq.
127 Thorn, col. 2194.
128 He died in the year 1391. Thorn, col. 2196, enumerates his several good acts to the benefit of this monastery. Among others there mentioned, he caused to be made four bells in the choir, at the price of 60 marcs; a new roof on the north side of the church, 80 marcs; two great bells in the belfry, 174 marcs; two bells in the tower at the end of the church, 60 marcs; the bell Gabriel, 42 marcs; the great window in the church, 186 marcs; and he made the chapel of St. Pancrase, at the cost of 100 marcs; and expended for the making of the new chapter. house, 1320 marcs. He made the new hall, with the chambers at Salmestone, at the price of 100 marcs. He paid for the new gate of the cemetery, 610 marcs; besides much money laid out in ornaments, for the use of the church. The whole sum of what he expended, being 3251 marcs, as above mentioned.
129 Thorn, col. 2197.
130 Chron. Tab. col. 2290.
131 Concil. Brit. tom, i. p. 118.
132 Chron. Tab. col. 2290.
133 Pat ejus an. ps. ii. m. 17, vel. 18.
134 Chron. Tab. col. 2290. Weever, p. 57.
135 Chron. Tab. col. 2290.
136 Rym. Fæd. vol. x. p. 451.
137 Ibid. p. 494.
138 Register Abb. Sci Aug. cart. 51.
139 Pat. 36 Henry VI. Weever, p. 57.
140 See Weever, p. 57.
141 Anglia Sacra, p. I.
142 John was abbot of this monastery in 1489. Regist. Abb. Sci Aug cart. 32.
143 This date, as well as the names of the seven abbots last mentioned, are taken from a manuscript, entitled Liber de Diversis Evidentiis Monast Sci Aug. Cant. de acquisitione Frat W. Byholt.—See Battely, pt. ii. p. 168.
144 See Weever, p. 57, anno 1 Hen VIII. rot. 37.
145 Anth. Wood's manuscript, in Willis's Mitred Abbeys.
146 Weever, p. 57. Willis's Mitred Abbeys. He had been admitted Bachelor of Divinity at Oxford, anno 1515, 7 king Henry VIII. This abbot's family name was Foche, his brother Henry was of Ripple, in this county; under the description of which parish in the History of Kent, more may be seen of them; and also in Twine de Rebus Albion.
147 There is a tradition, that the monks opposed the king's commissioners, who came to take the surrendry of the abbey, and shut their gates against them; till terrisied by two pieces of ordnance placed on a neighbouring hill, they hastened to deliver up the keys to them.
148 This deed is printed at length, in the Decem. Scriptores, col. 2293.
149 Deeds of Inrolments, Augmentation-office. He was deceased before the month of February, anno 32 Henry VIII.
150 Anno 1553, there were only sixteen of these monks upon the pension roll, of whom four were returned to be dead.
151 Tanner's Monasticon, p. 203. The taxation of this abbey to the see of Rome, was 1300 florins of gold. See Harleian MSS. No. 1850 16.
152 At the back of this gateway is one of the most beautiful pieces of squared slint work that can be imagined; the flints in it are squared to such a nicety, that the thin edge of a knife cannot be insinuated through, or between the joints without a great deal of difficulty, and it is no easy task to make out, that they were laid with lime; most of them are the size of the very small bricks, and as smooth and level, as if they had been ground, and they are laid with such great exactness, that no brick work or even hewn stone can appear more regular in its courses.—This art which our ancestors knew, of cutting or rather breaking slints into uniform equal sizes, with smooth furfaces, seems to have been lost for some length of time; besides the above, there are some few other buildings remarkable for the same sort of materials thus excellently fabricated; as the antient bridewell at Norwich, and the gate of St. John's abbey at Colchester, and the gate some years since pulled down at Whitehall, was much in the same taste.
153 This gate-way was new built by Thomas Ickham, a monk and sacrist of this monastery, at the latter end of Richard II.'s reign, at the charge of 466l. 13s. 4d. as has been mentioned before, and was called the west gate of the cemetery of St. Augustine, It was called the west gate in distinction, as there was another gate in the wall of the monastery in a straight line eastward near St. Martin's, there being a path or footway through the cemetery, from one of these gates to the other in former times, and indeed after the dissolution, and till within Mr. Somner's memory; but the west gate has been for many years inclosed and converted into a dwelling house, and the eastern one in the wall of the precinct, has likewise been closed up.
The antient public highway from the city gate of Burgate to St. Martin's hill, is supposed to have once led in a straight line thither, but that it was inclosed with the precinct of the monastery soon after the first building of it, and to have been then turned to its present angular course by Longport, of which, mention has already been made before.
154 King James I. in his 16th year, anno 1618, granted his letters patent (See Rym Fæd. vol. xvii. p. 104) to certain persons therein named; for that having been informed of their art, skill and industry, in discovering, searching, and finding out treasure trove, plate, jewels, copes, vestments, books, and things of like nature, hid or supposed to be hid in abbeys, priories, monasteries, churches, chapels, and other places within the realm. He therefore granted to them full and free licence, authority, &c. by themselves or their deputies, servants, &c. at all times, for seven years, lawfully to enter any the said abbies, &c. and into the grounds, lands, or soil, belonging to the same, and into every other place where they should think fit, for the searching and finding out the same; and there to view, search for, dig and break up any of the earth of the said abbies, &c. or other places, thereby to put in practice the said art, skill, &c. and to use all lawful means, for the finding out and obtaining the same; one moiety of which to go to them, and the other moiety to the king; proviso that they should not enter upon the said abbies, &c. to the hurt of any of his subjects, and without having first agreed and compounded with the owners or occupiers of them, for the doing of the same; and all mayors, justices, &c. were ordered to be aiding and assisting in the furtherance of the same; and all parsons, vicars, curates, church wardens, &c. belonging to the said abbies, &c. and all owners, occupiers, &c. of the same, were required to deliver up the keys of the said abbies, &c. to them or their deputies, on receiving a proper caution for the delivery of the same.
In consequence of these letters patent, many dissolved abbies and monasteries, among which was this of St. Augustine, were searched, and the soil among the buildings and ruins of them was dug up and overturned; but what was the issue of their search here, or what, or if they made any discoveries within these precints, I have not found mentioned.
155 By the account of George Nycolls, surveyor of this palace, under Sir Thomas Moyle, surveyor of the king's works, in the last year of king Edward VI. it appears, that the demolished buildings lay then spread over the ground in heaps of ruins and rubbish, which were then selling by degrees, by the load, to all the neighbouring places. This rubbish was particularly from the old steeple, small round marble pillars, the walls of the undercrost, the ashlar stone of the church, and other broken window frames, broken gravestones, corbel stones, the walls of the old church, and the south isle, and the pillars of the church southward.
The repairs then accounted for, shew some of the buildings which were remaining; these repairs were, to the roof of the king's great hall, the great chamber called the wardrobe chamber; over the staircase coming up into the great hall, the great cellar, the dresser kitchen, next the great hall; the stairs going down into the great kitchen, the two coves over the cellar entry, the cloyster door, the door of the vestry, the chimney of the porter's lodge, the cloyster at the end of the great hall southward, the king's housing, called the amery, and other buildings of less account.
156 An account of the king's marriage, and of his reception at Canterbury, will be found among the additions to this volume.
157 Bishop Kennet, in his life of Somner, says, he furnished Sir William Dugdale with the draft of the monastery, which, with another, representing the high altar, in the church of this abbey, with the several chapels and shrines behind it, may be seen likewise, in Battely's Somner, p.25, pt. ii. p. 161.
158 Since the above-mentioned print was taken, this tower has lost its whole north side down to the ground.
159 See Battely's Somner, p. 31. Weever; and Speed's Hist. in vita Ethelberti.
160 The print given above-mentioned, of the antient high altar of the abbey church, seems designed to shew, that behind it were several circular porticoes or chapels, furnished with altars and shrines of other saints, which the monkish writer knew no otherwise how to express. It appears by a lease in the Augmentation office, that there was payable out of the rectory of Kennington, belonging to the abbot and convent, the yearly sum of 6s. 2d. and three cocks and six hens, the same being so reserved to the keeper of the chapel of St. Mary in criptis, within this monastery.
161 Mr. Somner supposes, that Ethelbert's tower was sometime a steeple or bell tower, annexed and contiguous to St. Augustine's church, standing by the north side of the west end thereof, and opening on the south side or quarter of it, as it is a square piece, into the nave or body of the church, as on the east into the north isle thereof, even just as that we call Arundle steeple, in Christ-church doth, from which it differs but a little in the work. Of certain, this and the church when standing, were contiguous; and there were those then who remembered that north isle standing in their time, entire and undemolished. Batt. Somn. p. 32.
162 William Berne, by his will anno 1461, gave towards the rebuilding of the bell tower of this monastery 9l. to be paid as soon as the work should be begun; and John Varedge, in 1463, gave 53s. 4d. to the repair of the new bell tower of this monastery; and there were afterwards, legacies in different wills, devised for the same purpose; and some towards the building of a new steeple, in the church-yard of St. Augustine's, so late as the year 1516.
163 It was composed of chalk, flints, and mortar, in regular layers, cemented so firmly, as to be nearly as hard as a solid rock, appearing to have been once faced with ashlar stone. It measured thirty-two feet in height, and in the part where it had separated, more than twenty in breadth, and had every appearance of having formed the angle, or corner of a square building, the walls of which, exclusive of dilapidations, were more than ten feet thick; the solidity of it, and its very shallow foundation, seemed to shew its antiquity. This huge fragment was taken down in June, 1793, having been undermined by the united efforts of near two hundred men, and with the assistance of jacks and ropes, was, not without great difficulty, thrown down, its immense weight seemingly shaking the ground to some distance. In its fall it separated into three parts; the materials of it were supposed to amount, exclusive of the rubbish, to near five hundred cart loads.
164 Col. 1760.
165 Hamon Beale, anno 1492, gave by his will to the reparation of St. Pancrase's chapel, within the precincts of St. Augustine's church-yard, and of the chapel where St. Augustine first said mass in England, annexed to the former, 3l. 6s. 8d. but that this was the place where he first did so (St. Martin's being the place, according to Bede, lib. i. cap. 26) there is much doubt. Joane, widow of William Manston, esq. late of St. Laurence, by her will in 1475, left a sum, for finding a chaplain to celebrate mass in the chapel of St. Pancrase, in the cemetery of St. Augustine's. Alice Brode, of Canterbury, was buried in this chapel in 1525. John Alcock, who was mayor of this city in 1525, was buried in it, beside his wife. John Casyer in 1526, beside John Ashenden there. William Casyer, of Canterbury, in 1532, next to his brother Robert. William Rutland, citizen and alderman of Canterbury, was buried here next to Joane his wife, in 1532; and Francis Rutland, citizen and alderman, was buried here, near his late wife, as appears by their several wills in Prerog. off. Cant.
166 Thorn, col. 2122.
167 I find in a will in Henry VIIth's reign, mention made of the conduit, within the cemetery of this monastery.
168 Battely's Somner, p. 31.
169 In the Augmentation-office, are several sales of small parcels of land, from different persons to the king, which he had included within his new park here; and in the deed granted by the king, in his 37th year, to the dean and chapter, for the preservation of the water running through his park, mention is made of the deer in it. This park was so named, to distinguish it from one in St. Martin's parish, called le old park, belonging to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine's, as appears by a lease demised by them, June 30, anno 30 Henry VIII. to William Coppyn; by the description of a parcel of land, called le old park, in the lordship of Longport, with its appurtenances, and the profits of conies in the park; and a piece of land, called the new purchase, in St. Paul's parish, to hold for forty years, at 40s. rent per annum, viz. for the old park 20s.–and for the rest of the premises 20s.— and he convenants, not to cut down any trees, except for the pales of the park, and for firing to be used in the lodge of it. Inrolm. Augtn. off.
170 To hold to him and his heirs male; remainder, in like manner, to Francis, earl of Kildare; remainder, to William, son of George Brook, and his heirs male; remainder, to Frances, lady Stourton, and Margaret, lady Sands, two of the daughters of William, lord Cobham; remainder, to the said Robert, viscount Cranbourne, in fee. Roll Partic. temp. inter regni, roll 43, No. 152.
171 During the time of lady Wotton's residence at this palace, it was twice broke open and plundered; her effects in it, to the amount by appraisement, of 350l. were taken away and sold, by order of the state; and one large picture of nearly two ells square, of the passion of Christ, valued in the appraisement at 20l. was taken away by the authority of the mayor, and publicly burnt; at which time the palace and the adjoining lands belonging to her, were of the value of 500l. per annum, out of which, she was paid for her support one third part, after deducting all charges of the committee of sequestration out of it, as appears by the original papers of the sequestrators.
172 So little is the veneration paid at this time to the remains of this once sacred habitation, that the principal apartments adjoining the gate-way, are converted into an ale-house; the gate-way itself into a brew-house, the steam of which has defaced the beautiful paintings over it; the great court-yard is turned into a bowling-green; the chapel and isle of the church on the north side, into a fives court; and the great room over the gate, into a cock pit.