OVERSEAS RELIGIOUS HOUSES
At least 10 overseas religious houses, including at least 6 in Normandy,
held property in London at an early date (mid 11C to mid 12C). In several
cases this was subsequently transferred to, or regarded as held by, a
dependent priory or cell in England. Thus for the property of the priory of
St. Bernard, Montjoux, see Hornchurch (166); for St. Ávroul, Normandy, see Ware (243); see also Ghent, Bec, St. Stephen, Caen, and St.
Valéry, below. By the mid 15C no London property remained in alien
hands: the dependent priories had either been 'naturalized' or suppressed, or the parent house had lost or disposed of the property in some
other way. Much of the property so lost went to new 14C or 15C religious
or collegiate foundations. See D. Knowles, The Religious Orders in
England (3 vols., 1948–59), esp. ii, 157–66; M. Morgan, 'The suppression
of the alien priories', History 26 (1941–2), 204–12. An inquisition of 1324
into lands of religious houses de potestate regis Francie is recorded, with
textual variations, in PRO, E106/7/18, mm. 4, 9, and King's College,
Cambridge, Muniments, 'Oak Cartulary' (Davis, no. 146), f. 68; details
under individual houses. PRO, E106, extents of alien priories, was not
fully searched; none of the items relating to specific houses contains any
London material, but some of the general extents or 'states' may.
The aim here has been to identify overseas religious houses with
London property, and where possible to indicate where these properties
lay and what became of them, but not to undertake a full search for all
records relating to those properties. The references given below derive
largely from a search of Regesta, Cal. Docs. France, and Tax. Eccl., and
any printed records and other works relating to the houses in question.
Dates of foundation, etc., are taken from L. H. Cottineau, Répertoire
topo-bibliographique des abbayes et prieurés (Macon, 1935–70), which
includes extensive bibliographies for each house. The uncertainties noted
below as to the location or fate of the estates can probably be resolved by
further research. It is also possible that further religious houses with
interests in London might be discovered.
266. Belgium: Ghent, abbey of St. Peter (Mont Blandin)
Fd. 610×35; Benedictine.
Many of the Ghent charters are suspect or spurious, but by the early 12th
century, and probably in the 11th, the abbey held a property called
Wareman acre (probably in 53, and neighbouring parishes). See A. van
Lokeren, Chartes et documents de l'abbaye de Saint Pierre au Mont
Blandin à Gand (Ghent, 1868); P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters, an
annotated list and bibliography (RHS, 1968), no. 1002; Regesta ii, nos.
730, 1148; ibid. iii, no. 340; J. Dhondt, 'La donation d'Elftrude à St.
Pierre de Gand', Académie Royale de Belgique, Bulletin de la Commission Royale d'Histoire 105 (1940), pp. 117–164. See also O. Oppermann,
Die älteren Urkunden des Klosters Blandinium und die Anfänge der Stadt
Gent (Utrecht, 1928), reviewed in EHR 43 (1928), 615–17. A rental or
survey of the abbey's property in 1281 (printed in van Lokeren, Chartes,
no. 896, p. 420) incl. references to 53, and Walbrook. In 1291 the abbey
had property in: 53, 90, 108, 156. The dependent priory of Lewisham
(179) later held a property in 156, possibly the same.
267. France: Bec, Normandy, abbey of B.V.M.
Fd. 1034; Benedictine.
In the late 11C the abbey acquired a property in London (Regesta ii, no.
1013); c. 1181 the abbey had an interest in a property, possibly the same,
called Musterlinbur' (Windsor, St. George's Chapel Muniments XI G II
(early 13C roll of Bec charters), printed in Select documents of the English
lands of the abbey of Bec, ed. M. Chibnall, Camden 3rd ser. 73 (1951) no.
8). For other references, see also Early charters of St. Paul's, ed. M.
Gibbs, Camden 3rd ser. 58 (1939), no. 165; Cal. Wills i, 62. The location
of this property or properties is uncertain; it or they probably passed to
the dependent priory of Ogbourne, Wilts. (193). See M. Morgan
(Chibnall), The English lands of the abbey of Bec (1946); A. A. Porée,
Histoire de l'abbaye du Bec (Ávreux, 1901).
268. France: Caen, Normandy, abbey of Holy Trinity
Fd. c. 1066; Benedictine nuns.
In the late 12C the abbey acquired property in 92: Charters and custumals
of the abbey of Holy Trinity, Caen, ed. M. Chibnall (British Academy,
Records of Social and Economic History n.s. 5, 1982).
269. France: Caen, Normandy, abbey of St. Stephen
Fd. 1064; Benedictine.
The abbey acquired a house in 151 in 1069×79: Placita Anglo-Normannica, Law cases from William I to Richard I, preserved in historical
records, ed. M. M. Bigelow (1879, reprinted 1974), pp. 261–3; Regesta i,
no. 105; ibid. ii, no. 1575; Cal. Docs. France, nos. 452–3, 459, 1409. By
1291 the property was held by the dependent priory of Panfield, Essex
270. France: Fécamp, Normandy, abbey of Holy Trinity
Fd. 658, 952; Benedictine.
In 1291 and 1392 the abbey had property in 38. In 1324 the abbot had an
inn in Castle Baynard ward, in which his bailiff stayed when in London,
and 18s. rent: King's College, Cambridge, Muniments, 'Oak Cartulary'
(Davis, no. 146), f. 68; PRO, E106/7/18, m. 4.
271. France: Grestain, Normandy, abbey of B.V.M.
Fd. c. 1050; Benedictine.
In 1189 Richard I confirmed the abbey's English possessions, including a
house in London, the gift of Maud, wife of Robert, count of Mortain, the
founder (d. ? 1091): C. Breard, L'abbaye de Notre Dame de Grestain
(Rouen, 1904), 29, 206–8. In 1291 the abbey held property in 1.
272. France: Montreuil-sur-Mer, Picardy, abbey of St. Saviour and
Fd. c. 600, 878; Benedictine.
The abbey had property in Westcheap (apparently 81) in the 12C:
Cartulary of St. Mary Clerkenwell, ed. W. O. Hassall (Camden Soc. 3rd
ser. 71, 1949), no. 273. The abbey had lost the property by the mid 13C.
Deeds relating to the same property are in the archive of Balliol College,
273. France: Paris, priory of St. Martin des Champs
Fd. 1060, 1079; Cluniac.
In 1107–8 William Giffard, bishop of Winchester, gave land in foro or in
magno vico, formerly belonging to Odo, bishop of Bayeux (d. 1097), to
the priory of St. Martin de campis: J. Depoin, Recueil des chartes et
documents de St. Martin des Champs, monastère parisien (Ligugé and
Paris, 1912–21); Regesta ii, no. 646. The archives of St. Martin des
Champs, in Archives Nationales, Paris, are noted in Inventaire, sommaire, et tableau méthodique des fonds conservés aux Archives Nationales, I, Régime antérieur à 1789 (Paris, 1871), pp. 499–501. To judge from
papal confirmations, the priory ceased to lay claim to the London land
between 1143 and 1147 (Archives Nationales, LL 1351, ff. 5, 6v, 9v), and
no London rents are noted in the later 13C rentals (ibid., LL 1375,
passim). The land may have passed to the English dependent priory of
Barnstaple (fd. c. 1107), but no London land is recorded for either house
274. France: St. Valéry-sur-Somme, Picardy, Abbey
Fd. 611, 10C; Benedictine.
In 1291 the abbey had property in 144. In 1324 the renter of St. Valéry had
an inn in Cripplegate ward in which he stayed when in London, and 6
shops, rendering 50s.: King's College, Cambridge, Muniments, 'Oak
Cartulary' (Davis, no. 146), f. 68; PRO, E106/7/18, m. 4. The property
subsequently passed to the dependent priory of Takeley, Essex (233).