CHAPTER XXXIX. OF THE PRIORS.
Bishop Herbert having built the monastery on the south side of
the church, that the monks might be free from any noise or hurry of
the people going backward and forward to the palace, and having obtained license of Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury to institute monks,
instead of secular canons, that hitherto attended this see: in the year
1101, he introduced 60 monks, who were to be governed by a prior,
elected by the majority of them; (fn. 1) the exact succession of which
Priors, collected from the Institution Books, Cotton's, and Bishop
Spencer's Lists, and other evidences, here follows. (fn. 2)
Priors and Sub-Priors.
1. Ingulf, the first prior, was witness to the foundation deed of
Windham-priory, (fn. 3) and was alive in 1121, but died soon after, if not
that very year, on the 16th of January, on which day his anniversary
was always kept, and was succeeded by,
2. William Turb, afterwards Bishop; (fn. 4) see his life at p. 474.
3. Helias was elected, and died also in 1149, on the 22d Oct.
4. Richard died May 16, 1158.
5. Rannulf; I have an ancient deed, which proves him to have
been prior here, by which Robert Popi sold to Henry de Fleec (or
Flegg) 8 acres and three roods on the west side of Wintertune gate,
which Rannulf prior of Norwich, and the convent there, had in demean and granted him for a rent of 2s. to be yearly paid to their
church. Algar de Summertun, Roger de Ormsby, William, parson of
Ormesby, and others, being witnesses.
6. John, prior here about 1170. I have an original deed of this
prior, by which he granted to Rodbert, Bishop Turb's butler, 6 acres
in Dodeholm, which Nigel formerly held of the church, to hold to him
and his heirs, of the church, by the rent of 18d. a year; it is witnessed
by Will. the Archdeacon, (of Norfolk,) so must be made before 1180,
Jeffry, the Bishop's steward, Master Stangrin, Master Nicolas, Roger
the scribe, Joceline, the archdeacon's brother, and others.
7 Elric, or Eluric; he died June 11, his obit being kept on that
day, but I do not find in what year.
8. Tancred, died June 15, (fn. 5) and was succeeded by,
9. Girard a learned man, very skilful in the law, (fn. 6) and one of the
justices in the King's court at Westminster, temp. Henry II. Ao. 1182; (fn. 7)
he died Dec 17, 1201. (fn. 8)
10. William de Walsham, died Feb. 14, 1218, and is said, by
some, to be buried not far from the altar in St. Luke's chapel.
11 Randulf, or Ralf de Warham, so called from Warham in Norfolk, the place of his nativity; was first official, and mad Prior on
Walsham's death, and after a few months, was confirmed Bishop of
Chichester, by Gualo the Pope's legate, (fn. 9) and died Bishop there in
1222, on the 28th day of May, on which day his anniversary was
celebrated in this church; he bare,
Gul. a fess or, in chief a goat's head, caboshed, in base three
escalops, 2, 1, arg. in a bordure ingrailed of the 2d.
12. William Ode, or Fitz-Odo, made prior in 1219, and died
12 April 1235.
13. Simon de Elmham, elected Bishop here, for which see p.
484; he died June 8, 1257. Mat. Paris says he was a man of great
sanctity and eminent learning.
14. Roger de Skerning, elected prior Aug. 21, 1257, and was
made Bishop here, for whom see p. 493.
15. Nicolas de Brampton, so called from the neighbouring
village of Brampton, where his ancestors had flourished for some time,
was elected prior by the monks, Jan. 3, 1265, and on the 18th of
April, 1266, was confirmed by the Bishop, and was installed by Rich.
Gernun, chamberlain (fn. 10) of the monastery, according to the Bishop's
mandate. He died 19th, and was solemnly interred in the cathedral
(in St. Luke's chapel, as is said) by Bishop Roger himself, Feb. 23,
1268, having resigned some time. (fn. 11)
16. William de Brunham, or Burnham, named so from the
place of his birth, was installed in 1260, in whose time the great insurrection between the citizens and monks happened, the whole account
of which may be seen at p. 52, &c. for which being much blamed, he
resigned Sept. (fn. 12) 28, 1272, being then infirm, and died Feb. 13, 1273.
17. Will. de Kirkeby, or Kirkby, so called from a village of
that name near Norwich, was elected Oct. 1, 1272, confirmed at Thorp
by the Bishop, and installed the day after; (fn. 13) he died March, 9, 1288,
having settled an annual pittance for the monks to be added to their
dinner; it made his anniversary a grand feast in this monastery; (fn. 14) in
his time, viz. 1278, the cathedral was magnificently repaired, and its
beautiful tower built. (fn. 15)
18. Henry de Lakenham, a native of that suburbian village,
(formerly sacrist here,) was installed in 1289.
June 24, 1295, he was called by writ to sit in parliament; (fn. 16) he resigned in 1309, (fn. 17) and died Oct. 21, 1311, having settled a pittance on
his obit day, (fn. 18) and was succeeded by
19. Robert de Langele, or Langley, who was installed on the
first Sunday in Lent, as appears by his letters of invitation of the
Prior of Bromholm, the Prior of Tofts, and the Abbot of Derham, to
that solemnity. He died 1326, 24 Aug. (fn. 19)
20. Brother Will. de Claxtone, priest, a monk of this monastery, was elected by the convent, and confirmed by the Bishop, Sept. 4,
1326; (fn. 20) in 1343, he was one of the King's commissioners for levying
the 15ths and 10ths then granted; and in 1344, Aug. 16, he died, and
was buried here.
21. Simon Bozoun was confirmed prior Aug. 25, 1344, and resigned in April 1352, being succeeded by
22. Brother Laurence de Leek, a monk here, who was confirmed
by the Bishop April 24, (fn. 21) 1352; he died in Dec. 1357. and
23. Nicholas de Hoo, priest, monk of the said monastery, was
elected prior, and confirmed by the Bishop in the church of St. Mary
at Bares, Dec. 12, 1357, at whose request, on the first of January following, the Bishop granted a commission to brother Thomas de Felethorp, Robert de Jermemuthâ or Yarmouth, and Will. de Dersyngham,
monks here, to hear confessions in the cathedral; (fn. 22) Tho. de Linne was
now sub-prior. He resigned in 1382, and was succeeded by
24. Alex. de Totington, who was afterwards Bishop; see his
life at p. 525. He gave a fine suit of vestments to the church.
In 1383, William de Thetford, sub-prior of Norwich, (fn. 23) by consent of
the prior and monks, was discharged from his office at his request,
and Joseph de Martham was elected in his room June 27, he being
presented to Sprowston.
25. Rob. de Burnham, monk here, was elected prior, Dec. 20,
1407; he died in the latter end of Sept. 1427.
William Depham, monk here, was made sub-prior, after Joseph de
Martham, and on the 15th of July 1412, Depham was removed, and
Brother John Brunsted made sub-prior, and after him Sir John
Hasyngham, who, at the request of the prior and chapter, in 1418, (fn. 24)
was removed, and Sir Tho. Roughton was made sub-prior, who before
that, was chamberlain; and April 18, Brother John Elyngham, monk
here, delivered a letter to the Bishop, at his manor-house at Thorp by
Norwich, by which the prior and chapter requested him openly to
profess (or depute the prior in his stead) Brother John Forncete, Brother Robert Hardwick, Brother Jeffry Salle, and Brother Will. Walpole, monks, they being examined and approved by Will. Cambridge,
John Salle, Robert Cawston, and John Eston, clerks and monks, and
sent with the prior's letter to the Bishop, before they put on their
habits, according to the order of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, requiring the Bishop to admit them to the kiss and blessing. (fn. 25)
26. Will. Worsted, S. T. P. born at Worsted in Norfolk, monk
here, was elected by the convent, and was confirmed by the Bishop
Oct. 8, 1427, who ordered brother John Derham, S. T. P. monk here,
to install him, which was done Oct. 17; and in 1428, he was summoned to convocation with the rest of the abbots and priors. (fn. 26)
In 1432, 2d Henry VI. he was the only prior sent to the council of
Basil, with the other commissioners, where he made a protestation in
the name of King Henry VI. his lord, and the revd. father Thomas
Bishop of Worcester, of the venerable Mr. Tho. Brouns, dean of Sarum,
John Symundesburgh, archdeacon of Wilts, and of himself, ambassadours to that council, against every thing which should be there
transacted derogatory (fn. 27) to the interest of the kingdom of England. (fn. 28)
He died in 1436.
27. Brother John Heverlond, monk here, was confirmed prior
Oct. 12. 1436. (fn. 29)
In 1441, the Bishop licensed Brother John Molet, monk of Norwich, S. T. P. and prior of their cell at Yarmouth; and Brother John
Eston, monk there, and prior of their cell at Hoxne, to hear confessions
in the cathedral; and in 1443, the prior requested the Bishop, to remove Nic. Burgate from the office of sub-prior; and Brother Nic.
Randworth, who was very old, from the office of penitentiary, and
confer them both on Dr. Molet, which was done accordingly.
In 1452, Sir John Witchyngham was sub-prior on Molet's resignation.
28. John Molet, doctor in the decrees, late sub-prior, was confirmed prior by the Bishop, Jan. 29, 1453.
He was a favourite of John Paston's, as appears by an original
letter (fn. 30) of Sir Walter Blount's then treasurer of England, dated at
London 27 Nov. 1464, when the said John was outlawed; in which
the treasurer tells him, that the King is advertised, that he is intrusted
with 7 or 8000 marks of the said John's, all which the King is intituled
to, and therefore if it be in his hands, or within his monastery,
he commands him not to part with any thing, but keep all for the
King's use. But however it was so managed, that Paston's son got it
out of the priory, without the prior's knowledge, as was pretended.
He died in 1471, and was succeeded by,
29. Tho. Bozoun, bachelor in the decrees, was admitted prior by
the Bishop, June 8, 1471, and died in the beginning of April 1480,
and lies buried in the passage into St. Luke's chapel, on the left hand;
his inarched monument being by the south-east part of the 18th south
pillar; on it are the arms of
Bouzoun or Bozun, gul. three bird-bolts arg. feathered or, impaling he priory, now the deanery arms.
And this inscription was on the upper part of the arch,
G tu, qui transis, Uir, aut Mullier, puer an sis,
Respice Picturas, apices lege, cerne Figuras,
Et memar Esto tui, sic bene disce mori.
Which was thus translated,
Man Woman or Child, that here pass by,
Remember Death, learn well to dye,
These Pictures see, these Figures View,
The Sculls below, the Truth tell you.
Underneath were three sculls, the first with teeth, to signify youth;
the second with only two teeth in the lower chap, to signify advanced
age; and the third without any teeth at all, to represent old age;
and these words three times, to answer to the three sculls, O Morieris.
i. e. O thou shalt die. (fn. 31) A certain truth applicable to all.
He was of the ancient family of the Bozouns of Wissingset in Norfolk,
where many of them lie buried.
30. John Bonewell, monk here, was confirmed prior by the
Bishop, April 27, 1480; he died Sept. 27, 1488.
31. William Spynke, monk here, was admitted prior by the
Bishop Dec. 22, 1488, (fn. 32) as appeared when John Archbishop of Canterbury visited his monastery in April 1499, when he certified that
there were then 47 monks in his monastery, among which William
Castleton, the last prior, was one. He died Nov. 8, 1502. (fn. 33)
Spink, gul. a chevron arg. between three spynks proper.
32. William Bakunsthorp, alias Baconsthorp, was elected in
1502, and died in 1504, 23 Sept. and was buried under a large stone
in the south transept, which is now robbed of its brasses. And was
33. Robert Bronde of Catton, called Robert de Catton, a monk
here, who was instituted rector of St. Mary in the Marsh, Aug. 18,
1526, (fn. 34) on the death of Robert Jackson, being presented by Thomas
Godsalve, who had that turn, granted by the prior and chapter, in
order to present the prior.
He was born at Catton, in which church John Bronde his father
was buried, and Agnes his wife. (fn. 35)
He repaired, if not rebuilt this chancel, and in the east window
thereof, placed his own effigies, kneeling bare-headed in a blue gown;
he holds in his hands a mitre or, supporting his crosier on his
shoulder or, his arms are,
Gul. an ounce or cat of mountain arg. spotted sab. between three
annulets arg. on a chief or, three cinquefoils pierced sab. and on the
chief a pale az. on which a mitre or. (fn. 36)
Reberendus in Christo Pater Bronde, Prior Normic:
Eccle: me bitriari fecit Anno Lti. M. D. rrbiiio.
And in a window on the north side of the church, are the arms of
the priory, and az. three serpents or dragons hauriant or, swallowing
each a croslet arg.
And over it,
Orate pro Anima Roberti Bronde Prioris Normic.
In 1529, he was preferred by King Henry VIII. to the abbey of
St. Albans, in the room of Cardinal Woolsey. (fn. 37)
In his time, viz. Ao. 1526, Dr. William Reppes, who was afterwards
Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 38) was sub-prior here.
He was succeeded by,
34. Will. Castleton, monk here, who was confirmed prior in
1529. (fn. 39) In whose time Master John Forncet was sub-prior. He was
one of those that complied with King Henry VIII. in all his desires,
voted that he might lawfully marry Queen Catherine, &c. and foreseeing the reformation approaching, resolved to get a share, and so
alienated from the church the priory or cell at Hoxne; (fn. 40) and the
manor of Yaxley in Suffolk and all the revenues belonging thereto, to
Sir Richard Gresham, Knt. for which he had an absolution under the
seal of the King's vicar-general, dated April 1, 1538, in which year
he surrendered his monastery to the King, (fn. 41) who on May 2, the same
year, new founded it, and made him the first dean, and on Trinity
Sunday, those monks that were retained, and made the six prebends,
and 16 choral vicars or minor canons, put on the habit of prebends, and
secular canons, and the other were turned out to shift as well as they
could; (fn. 42) those that had interest enough having got small pensions
allowed them for life, as John Suffield 53s. 4d. Rob. Pecfrey 53s. 4d.
Gilbert Warren 3l. 6s. 8d. and William Nicholles the same, who where
alive and received them in 1555.
Annuities were reserved to
|Miles Spencer, per annum||4||7||4|
|John Corbet, Esq. steward||2||0||0|
|Rob. and George Themilthorp||14||0||0|
These being officers of the priory, had grants of such annuities
before the Dissolution, and so were to continue, and were paid in 1555,
all but Gawdie and Catlin, who were then dead.
This monastery, before its dissolution, was governed by
1. The prior, and other officers, of which the prior only, if present; or in his abscence or death,
2. The sub-prior was supreme; (fn. 43) the others, obediential.
The prior had lodgings, and all necessary offices and conveniences
to himself, with a chapel thereto belonging, which are now assigned
to the dean, and thence called the Deanery.
The chapel was dedicated to St. Edmund, and is now in ruins, but
stood so that it had a double entrance to it, one from the prior's lodge,
and another out of the entry or passage leading to Life's Green.
He was commonly called Lord Prior.
3. The Priors of the several cells of Lynn, Yarmouth, NorthElmham, Hoxne, St. Leonard's on Mushold, and Aldby, where, by
composition between the monks and prior, named by the prior out of
the monks, and confirmed and removed by the Bishop at the prior's
request. These cells were colonies, into which the monastery discharged their superfluous members, and whither the rest retired,
when infectious were feared at home; they were always dependant
on their mother monastery, and were wholly supplied from thence,
though they had revenues belonging to them separate, they being
given by the donors, to be applied only to their use, all these aforesaid cells (except Aldby) were visited by the prior once a year, and
were fixed in order that the Bishop, when he was at his country seals,
or palaces, at those several places, might have a sort of chapter, and
cathedral service in his churches there. Lyn, Yarmouth, North-Elmham, St. Leonard's and Aldby, being in Norfolk, I shall treat of them
under those places, and shall only observe as to
In Suffolk, the cartulary of which is now  in the hands of Mr.
Thomas Martin of Palgrave; from which, and the Institution Books,
I have found that there were generally about 7 or 8 monks resident
here, governed by a Prior, removeable, as well as nominated, by the
Priors of Norwich, who visited them annually; they were called
sometimes guardians or wardens, of the priory or cell and chapel of
the blessed St. Edmund the Martyr of Hoxne, or Hoxon, who was
there martyred by the Danes, in the year 871; (fn. 44) to whose honour this
chapel was erected very early, for Thomas de Blumville Bishop of
Norwich, who was consecrated in 1226, confirmed all revenues and
privileges to God, and the chapel of St. Edmund at Hoxne, and the
monks serving God there; who now were removed from the Bishop's
palace, where they were first placed, and fixed in their cell or monastery now built by this chapel, which they daily served. (fn. 45)
This reception for the monks was not finished till the year 1267,
neither had the chapel till then any cimetery or liberty of burial, for
Roger de Skerning Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 46) on the 3d kal. of Aug. being
then at Hoxne, solemnly dedicated a churchyard there, reserving at
the same time, all fees due to the mother church of Hoxne, granting
also forty days pardon, (fn. 47) to all that contributed to the building or sustaining this chapel, which henceforward increased in revenues, so
that at its dissolution, they were worth about 40l. per annum, which,
joined to the people's offerings, the Bishop's bounty, and the school
they kept here, sustained the monks well, who always kept two poor
children of the town at their own expense, in their school, till the
whole was sold by prior Castleton, to Sir Richard Gresham, and then
the monks were recalled to Norwich priory.
In Henry the Sixth's time, they had a manor in Yaxley, valued at
4l. 14s. 1d. and lands and rents to the value of 16s. in Thrandeston,
with which their lands in Denham, Horham, Hoxne, and other places,
were valued to the tenths at about 17l.
BENEFACTORS TO THIS CELL WERE
John son of Bartholomew de Heye or D' Eye, Ao. 1228.
Bartholomew de Cranley, gave them a moiety of his wood in Hoxne,
and Nic. son of Anselm de Hoxne and Emma his wife, gave the
Jeffry de Chickering, Ao. 5 Ed. II. and Clement son of Tho. de
Hoxne, chaplain, gave land in Hoxne
Ric. Lantre of Hoxne gave an annual rent of 4d. to maintain a
lamp before the image of St. Edmund in the said chapel, to be paid
out of Garbrodaker in Chickering.
Peter de Ringeshalle gave them two acres and an half, according
to the gift of Brian his brother, Sir Adam de Bedingfield, Hugh
Gernegan, and William de Hecham, Knts. being witnesses.
Roger son of Eustace de Hoxne, Hugh de Suthwode, Anselm de Horham-Parva, and Rich. his son, and Alured de Horham, gave 10 acres
William, son of Thomas de Hoxne, Robert de la Brechl, Alexander
son of John Gode of Jakesle or Yaxley, and Henry de Hoga and
Beatrice his wife, of the same town, were benefactors.
Roger de la Bruere of Thrandeston released to them 14s. 9d. rent,
two cocks, and six hens, which they used to pay him for their lands
there, and gave them divers villeins, and their rents and services, which
constituted their manor in Yaxley, which they were to hold by the
payment of 8s. a year to the Bishop, as parson of Hoxne, and 1d. a
year to his heirs, as superiour lords of the fee; and Thomas son of
Sir Thomas Crowe, Knt. added to it; as did John le Mey, Barth. de
Pertrede of Melles, Thomas de Hoxne, priest, Thomas Pynel of Sutwode, priest, and Hugh his brother, Agnes, daughter of Roger de
Hoxne, Ric. Schoche, and others.
This manor, with the chapel of Ringesale, which was settled on it
by the prior of Norwich, in 1294, were the chief of its revenues; (fn. 48) for
it was returned by the oaths of Luke, parish chaplain of Ringeshall,
&c. that Ringeshalle chapel was a free-chapel, belonging to the prior
of Norwich cathedral, who assigned it now to his cell of St. Edmund
at Hoxne, that it was endowed with 32 acres of land, and two parts of
all the tithe corn and hay of the ancient demeans of Sir Ric. de la
Rokele and Robert de Wyllakysham, and their tenants in Ryngeshall,
the tithes being then of 30s. per annum value, all which were confirmed by the Bishop. And in 1313, Rob. Guer, chaplain, had the
whole assigned him for life, paying 30s. per annum, and serving the
chapel thrice a week, and keeping the houses in repair.
In 1307, brother Gilbert Bishop of Orkney (suffragan, I suppose,
to the Bishop of Norwich) granted a further indulgence of 40 days
pardon, to all persons of the diocese, that came in pilgrimage to St.
Edmund's image in this chapel, or that left any legacies towards
repairing it, or made any offerings there by themselves or others; (fn. 49)
his deed is dated at Mendham, in which monastery he resided, if he
was not prior of it.
Elias, chaplain of Hoxne, gave them a house and land in the
The tithes of the cleared lands belonging to the Bishop's manor of
Hummersfield were leased by Rob. de Dunbun, to this cell, for half a
mark a year during his life, and then to the cell for ever, they being
granted to the said Robert, by Bishop John de Grey.
The priors of this cell proved the wills of all the tenants of their
manor of Yaxley, the cell belonging to the prior of Norwich, who had
that jurisdiction in all his manors.
Priors of Hoxne.
Hervey. Their order or time of presiding here
not appearing, I can fix no dates.
Ric. de Hoxne.
Sir Will. de Acle.
Sir John de Shamelisford.
1411, Jeffry de Norwich.
1424, Brother Nic. de Kelfeld.
1430, John Eglington.
Will. Metingham, about 8th Henry VI.
John Elmham, about 16th Henry VI.
1441, Br. John Eston.
1452, Br. John Estgage.
1453, Br. Rob. Gatelee.
1453, Br. John Eston again.
Rob. Bretenham about 38th Henry VI.
Simon Folcard, about 13th Edward IV.
Nic. Berdeney, about 20th Edward IV.
1492, Br. Rob. Swaffham, removed.
1492, Br. John Attleburgh, succeeded.
1509, Br. Tho. Pellis, and in 1513.
1523, Stephen Dersham.
4. The Sacrist (sacrista) sacristain, or sexton (fn. 50) (as we now call it)
was the officer who had the charge of the sacra, or holy things, as the
church plate, copes, vestments, books, &c. and all within the church,
or churchyard; for which reason, as in all places, he lodged near, if
not within, the church, (or steeple in parish churches generally,) so
here he had a lodging near, if not over, the vestry, which is an arched
room, opening into the north transept, on the east side: the masses,
fees for graves, oblations, and other gifts, continually given to this
officer, made his place so valuable, that the servile part of it was
performed by a sub-sacrist or deputy; the sacrist was also chief
secretary, auditor, and chancellor of the convent, and was to write
and answer all their letters. He had many certain rents annexed to
his office, as 3l. 4s. 10d. ob. from lands, &c. in Henlye in Suffolk;
3s. 4d. paid by the Prior of Bukenham out of Griston and Bradenham
impropriations; 10s 8d. from Henly church; the annual carvage mentioned at p. 470, &c. out of which profits, he was obliged to find and
maintain a scholar in the convent's school, and a feast to 3l. value on
Whitsunday; another of the same value on the Octaves of the Trinity,
and pay his part of the feast on the foundation day; the sacrist had
also the custody of the library, which was well furnished, though in
order to share it among them, at the Dissolution, return was made,
that there was no place convenient for it, and so all the members at
that time, pillaged it in a most shameful manner.
In 9th Henry IV. that King sent his writ to the collectors of the
petty customs in London, to let go freely without custom, six barrels of
books sent to the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, (fn. 51)
by Adam, (fn. 52) late cardinal of the church of Rome, given them by will,
dated Oct. 3, in this year.
Pits, in his Alphabetical Index of Books, (fn. 53) quotes Liber Trinitatis
Norwici, &c. which I take to be the same book, now in Bennet
college library, (fn. 54) and is the original consuetudinary or custom book, (fn. 55)
of the monastery of Norwich, containing the customs of that church,
as to saying their masses, in what vestments they were to appear in, the
rules of the monks living, when they were to wash, have their meals,
and what ceremonies they used on particular days, &c. what part of
the Pentateuch was to be read at the common-hall during dinner, the
manner of their processions, (fn. 56) &c.
The names of such sacrists as I have met with, are,
1325, Rob. de Hecham. 1418, Sir Rich. Helyngton. 1418, Sir
Will Silton, late master of the Normans. 1444, brother Rich. de
Walsham. 1488, Edm. Derham, who was then removed, and Will.
Spynk, then prior, served this office voluntarily.
5. Cellarius, Cellerarius, the cellerer, or burser, was the officer, who bought in all provisions, appointed the pittances, ordered the
daily provisions, and overlooked the cellar, buttery, and kitchen; he
had always lodgings assigned him, and lands to maintain himself and
office; and that he might be near his offices in this monastery, his
lodgings were on the south side of the cloister, on which the refectory
or common-hall, kitchens, cellars, and buttery, are placed hard by the
dormitory, or dortour, (fn. 57) all which are now standing (converted to other
uses) on the left hand as you go out of the door at the south-west corner of the cloister, by which door, on the west side of the cloister,
is the lavatory, (fn. 58) or washing place, where the monks washed their
hands, there being as much good fellowship in washing, as in eating
This being one of the principal offices, it had a deputy, called the
sub-cellerer, or butler, and a seal of office belonging to it, having
for its device, the cellerer's hand holding up his celler key thus
The cellerer (fn. 59) had in Suffolk, in Athelyngton, 2s. per ann.; in Hopton
in Lothiugland 2l. 5s 6d. per ann.; in Marlesford 3s.; in Barsham
3s.; a portion of 4 marks from Possewick church; several rents from
houses in the Precinct; from Hopton church in Lovingland, a yearly
portion of 21s. 4d. Bishop Ayreminne gave 200l. with which an estate
was purchased and settled on the cellerer and sub-cellerer, (fn. 60) they being
tied to say masses for his soul, and distribute two marks yearly to the
poor on his anniversary. (fn. 61)
The names of the Cellerers I meet with, are,
Hugh, (Dapifer Monachorum,) about 1158.
1272. 1283, Brother Ralf de Elingham. 1332, Brother John de
Hedyrsete. 1333, Brother Rob. de Donewich. 1356, Brother Roger
de Hadescoe. 1358, Brother John de Elingham. 1403, Brother Ric.
Mydelton. 1423, Brother John Walsham. 1459, Brother John
Elyngton. 1487, Brother Will. Bakenthorp, afterwards prior. 1468,
Brother Thomas Fulmerston.
6. Camerarius the chamberlain, or treasurer, his office was to
keep the keys af the treasury; (fn. 62) issuing out and receiving in, all considerable sums of money, (fn. 63) and was so called à camerâ from the
chamber or treasury.
1418, Sir John Roughton, he was made sub-prior, and Sir. Nic.
Burgate succeeded; he was removed, and in 1443, John Molet,
D. D. late prior of Yarmouth, succeeded. 1487, Brother Edmund
7. Eleemosinarius, or the almoner, who distributed the alms of
the convent to the poor, his office for that purpose, is called the
almonry; he looked over and took care of the alms-houses and alms
people of the convent, had many certain revenues settled on his office,
as temporal rents in Waybred in Suffolk taxed at 5s. 1d.; in Askeby
8d.; in Lowestoft 3l.; in Stokeash 6s. 8d.; in Yaxley 13s. 5d. ob.;
10s. pension from Sprowston rectory, &c.
He was always to find the wine, feast, and boys, or clerks of St.
Nicolas, (fn. 64) on that day when they went in procession to St. Leonard's,
and heard high mass there; he was also at the expense of the rogation
procession or perambulation.
Brother Tho. de Stanfield (temp. Will. Prioris.) Brother H. de
Norwold. 1348, Brother John de Hedersete. 1379, Brother Peter,
de Derham. 1380, Brother John de Len. 1399, Brother Nicholas
de Geyton. 1409, Brother Nic. de Elyngton. 1417, Brother Thomas
Hyndryngham. 1458, Brother John Molet. 1461, Brother Ric.
Marsham. 1483, Brother Tho. Fulmerston. 1590, Brother Dionise
Hindolveston. 1506, Brother Robert de Watfield. 1520, Brother
John Shelton. 1528, Brother Henry Manuell.
8. Refectorarius, or the comptroller of the refectory, or common
hall; his office was to take care of the linen, and all things belonging
9. Pitanciarius, or pittancer, whose office was to see the pittances of the convent regularly observed. He always expended 13s. 4d.
in wine for the convent at dinner, on St. Margaret's day, and the
whole feast on Prior Kirkeby's anniversary; and another on the
anniversary of St. Tho. de St. Omer, (fn. 65) and on all high festivals treated
the convent with almonds and raisons.
10. Infirmarius, the keeper or curator of the infirmary, or firmary; wherein persons downright sick, had care taken of them, as
physick, and private attendance; no Lent or fasting-days entered
this room, sickness being a dispensation for eating flesh, and it was
punishable for any to eat here, that were not regularly put in.
This officer had divers rents, &c. and paid annually on the conception of the Virgin Mary, 4s. to the prior, and 1s. to each monk for
gingerbread; 3d. on St. Nicholas's day to the boy bishop, and 4s. 2d.
ob. for ale, bread, and cheese, to be distributed to the poor of St.
Peter's per Montergate, on Easter day, (fn. 66) according to the ancient
custom of the city of Norwich. And it appears from these accounts,
that the prior was paid in all things, as four monks; and in Henry the
Sixth's time, there were 53 monks.
21. The keeper of the shrines of St. William, and Walter de Suffield, who was a reputed saint here, though never canonized, as St.
The Lay-Officers in the monastery were,
The Janitors or Porters, who kept the gates; there were several of them, but the head porter was an office for life, named by the
prior; 4th Richard II. Nic. de Hoo, prior, (fn. 67) granted this office to Nic.
de Clenchwarton for life, who was to have every day, one monk's loaf
and a flagon of ale, and the same provision out of the kitchen, as
every monk in the infirmary daily had, at noon and at night; and
one mark yearly, or a livery of the same suit with the cellerer's servants,
and a chamber over the gates.
The Keepers of the Garners, called granarij, or granary-men, took
in, and delivered out, the corn. The granaries were the long buildings
in the lower-close, east of the deanery.
They delivered annually to the city poor, three quarters of mixtling
every Easter, of the convent's alms.
The Gardiners gave annually 2d. to the boy bishop, and his clerks.
The Hostilarij, or grooms, kept their annual feast the day before St.
Edmund, and always offered 16d.; the head of them was Stallarius,
keeper of the stalls, or master of the horse; next him was the Provendarius, (fn. 68) or procurer of their provender.
They had under their care, four sorts of horses, viz
Manni, saddle geldings, or coach horses,
Runcini, galloways, or pad nags,
Averij, plough or cart-horses.
The Swanard, was keeper of the swans and swan-marks.
The prior's buttler, cellerer's buttler, clerk of the infirmary, miller,
cooper, malster, carpenter, porter of the cellar, porter of the fish-house,
caterer, woodherds, or keeper of the woods and wood, gardiner's men,
servants of the lardery, carters, servants of the kitchen, tokener, (fn. 69) and
scullions, had all their certain daily subsistence of bread, meat, fish,
and beer, out of the convent's celler, buttery, and kitchen.
Besides these, they had a
(Carcerarius) goaler, or keeper of the prison, who had the care over
the prison, for incorrigible monks, who would not be ordered otherwise, into obedience;
And also of the
(Sanctuarium) Century, or Sentwery, as it was called, a place
where debtors took sanctuary or refuge from their creditors, and even
malefactors lived there in all security.
They had several (grangearij) grangers, overseers, or chief servants,
to take care of the stocks, &c. at their several granges, (fn. 70) or farms at a
distance, which they kept in their own hands, to find them with corn,
muttons, and other meats, and fowls, all which they killed of their
And thus you have an account of the several offices, &c. of this
monastery, by which we may judge of all the rest, they being much
the same, I shall therefore only add what men I find of note, that were
monks here; referring those that have a desire to know the general
rules to which all convents in some measure conformed, to Fuller's
Church History, Lib. VI. fo. 287, 299.
Of note belonging to this monastery, were,
1. Thomas de Brinton, (fn. 71) who having studied in most of the Universities and places of publick learning in Britain, became so much
noted, that he was sent for to Rome, by the Pope, before whom he
often preached in Latin, to his great commendation; and being much
admired for his good understanding, affability, and learning, the holy
Father made him his penitentiary, and bestowed upon him the
Bishoprick of Rochester, (fn. 72) after which he returned to England, and
applying to King Richard II. for confirmation of the temporalities of
of his see, that Prince was so taken with the humility and facetiousness of the man, that he appointed him his own confessor: he was a
great benefactor to the English hospital at Rome, and having sat
Bishop from 1372, to 1389, died in a good old age, leaving behind
him, two volumes of his works published to the world, viz.
1. His Latin Sermon before the Pope,
2. A volume of Sermons on divers Festivals. (fn. 73)
Besides other works now lost.
2. William de Binham, so called from the town of that name
in Norfolk, where he was born, was a great opposer of Wickliff's
doctrine, with whom he was contemporary at Oxford, and published
a book against him; (fn. 74) he flourished in 1370, under the most noble
Prince Edward III. and is erroneously called by some, Will. Bingham. (fn. 75)
3. About 1384, Robert Casterton, or Castre, (fn. 76) who took his
sirname from Castor near Norwich, the place of his birth, became
remarkable for his great skill in divinity, having then published divers
comments on St. Paul's epistles, and a volume on the Revelations;
all which, were carefully preserved in the library of this monastery,
till its dissolution, and were then destroyed, though there still remain
copies of some of them in other libraries.
4. Adam de Easton, born at Easton by Norwich, (fn. 77) brought up by
the monks at their cell of St. Leonard's on Mushold, near the city, afterwards a professed monk in their monastery at Norwich, studied in the
University of Oxford, and in 1366, became D. D. at the expense of
the cell, where he had his juvenile education; (fn. 78) a man so eminent for
his skill in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, that for his merit only he was
called to Rome by Pope Gregory XI. and made cardinal of St. Cecily;
but being not liked by Urban VI. who suspected that he favoured
his adversary Clement VII. he was imprisoned by him at Genoa;
and though at the desire of King Richard II. (who valued him
much) he was enlarged, (fn. 79) and so escaped the sack, (fn. 80) yet he suffered
great hardships, till Boniface IX. restored him to his former estate
and dignity. He is said to have translated the whole Old Testament
out of Hebrew into Latin, and did certainly publish no less than nineteen other volumes upon different subjects, a catalogue of which are
extant in Pits's Lives of the Illustrious English Authors.
He died beyound sea in 1407, being then dean of York; (fn. 81) he was
called the Norwich Cardinal, and was a benefactor to the library of
his own monastery at Norwich, as is before observed. (fn. 82)
5. Richard de Folsham was a great favourite of Tho. Arundel
Archbishop of Canterbury; he was born at Folsham in Norfolk, was
much in the Pope's court at Rome, and very conversant with John
XXII. to whom he wrote many epistles, 28 of which he published in
one volume, besides divers others in another; (fn. 83) he flourished about
1410, in the reign of Henry IV.
6. William Sylton was so great a favourite with Hen. Chicheley
Archbishop of Canterbury, that during the vacancy of the see, he
constituted him his official, to visit Norwich diocese, Dec. 3,1415.
7. John Stow, D. D. of the University of Oxford, for his abilities
in all sorts of polite literature, was chosen by Dr. Worsted, then prior
of Norwich, to attend him to the council of Basil, in 1432, (fn. 84) where he
gained so much respect, that he was requested to publish the acts of
that council, (fn. 85) which he performed with much credit to himself; his
other works extant, are, a book of solemn disputations; and another
volume of letters to the Norwich Cardinal, &c. which shows, that at
that time he must be somewhat advanced in years.
8. Thomas Scroop, of whom I shall treat, under the Carmelites
9. John Meare, or Mears, of Stukey, (fn. 86) D. D. of the University of
Oxford, flourished in the reign of King Edward IV. he wrote a book
of sermons; and four books on the Master of the Sentences, which
were preserved in the library of his monastery.
10. Will. Bokenham, prior of the cell of Yarmouth, was elected
abbot of Windham in 1466. (fn. 87)
These are the few remarkable men produced from this monastery,
which considering the number of monks belonging to it, are few
indeed; the other monasteries of this place producing so many more
in proportion than this, evidently shows, that the monks were a more
lazy sort of people than the friars, who having no settled revenues
to live on, always endeavoured to outvy each other in learning, as
well as living; whereas the former, who had large revenues to subsist
on, and little or nothing to do, glutted with ease and plenty, thought
of little else but enjoying those good things that their predecessors
had given them, or that their poor vicars and substitutes, the secular
clergy, (upon whom they laid their whole burthen,) daily earned for