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n6 QpptYfoix &

to the tithes of all the lands in the "demesne" of the Bishop's Manor
of Downham appears to refer to a gift over and above that of Bishop
Longchamp of a "garb" of corn from every acre of the same domains.
Both pension and tithes appear in the annual receipts.


Offerings ; at Shrines, A ; at Altars, B, C, D ; at Crosses, E, F.

The yearly amounts received under these heads are given on page 119.

A. At Shrines. The plural Shrines is here used because in three of
the Rolls of Alan of Walsingham the entry is " de feretris " ; no explanation
is given for this, but it is possible that the great devotion to the sainted
relatives of Queen Etheldreda, recorded in the Liber Eliensis (Lib. ii., sect.
145 et seq.) at the time of their translations into the new Church, may
have led to offerings being from time to time laid on their tombs, which for
convenience sake may have been included in the plural form "de feretris."

It is only in the Rolls after Alan's departure from the Sacristy that the
entries take the form of " De feretro See. Etheldrede."

In later years an officer was appointed to take charge of the Shrine or
Shrines under the title of " Feretrarius " — or Shrine-keeper.

The first extant Roll of this officer is dated 9 Henry V. ; and only five
Rolls remain.

B, C, D. Offerings at Altars, viz. at the Great Altar ; the
Altar ad Crucem; the Altar at St Mary's Church.

B. The sums which reached the Sacrist from " The Great Altar " are
so similar in amount in the Rolls (in each of the last six years being
exactly the same, £8. 105. od.), that it is probable that the expression " de
visitacione magni altaris " may refer to an inspection made, from time to
time, of the Altar gifts, and the distribution of those gifts to different

in Christo Prioris et Conuentus Elyens. dominum Albertum de Alneto Clericum Suesson.
dyoc. germanum nobilis viri Dai Clementis de Alneto senescalli de Navarra, ad
Ecclesiam de Dunham nostre diocesis admisimus ipsumque in eadem ad presentacionem
ipsorum canonice instituimus. Saluis dictis Priori et Conuentui pensione dimidie marce
de dicta Ecclesia et omnibus decimis de dominico nostra in dicta villa de Dunham
annis singulis per manus Sacriste Elyensis qui pro tempore fuerit, percipiendis,...Dat.
apud Dunham manerium nostrum, xiii. Kal. Marcie An. Dni. MCCLXXIII .

Epis. Muniment Room, Liber M, f. 196.

(glppenbir QX 117

purposes ; the sum in the Sacrist's accounts representing the share assigned
to him from the Altar offerings; while the allotment to the Sacrist may
have been for offerings which had originally been made, not to him
personally, but for lights on the Altar, and which were assigned to him as
having the manufacture of wax candles in the " wax house " of his office.

C. Offerings from the "A/fare ad Crucem." The Altar of the Cross must
be regarded as the Altar of the Parish Church of the greater parish of Ely,
which stood under the great rood in the nave westward of the Ritual Choir.

Originally, indeed, a cross with an Altar was erected in the N.E.
corner of the Norman Church of 1107; but as the Church developed
westward the name seems to have been appropriated alone to the Chapel
of St Cross, assigned to the parishioners.

The gifts were virtually those of the people who worshipped there ; and
were taken possession of by the Sacrist as the impropriator of the Church,
and charged with payment of the Chaplains who performed the duty.

In Roll xv. and in the Notes on that Roll will be found an account
of the erection of the new Parish Church.

Under the first division of the receipts of the Sacristy have already
been given the payments relating to the parishes of St Cross and St Mary's,
under the name of "spiritualia" ; and it may be noticed that the offerings at
the Altars are kept distinct as falling under the head of " temporalia."

D. Offerings ; de Ecclesia Bte. Marie ; otherwise from the Altar of
St Mary's Church ; the Parish Church of the lesser parish. These also are
to be classed as " Temporalia," and appear in the Sacrist's accounts for the
same reason as the offerings from St Cross.

E. " De cruce ad Fontem." This entry occurs in the receipts of the
Sacrist every year, and the amount which is derived from the gifts at the
Cross varies from £9. $s. od. to $s. od.

The cross and the fountain seem to have been occasioned by a miracle,
which is related in the Liber Eliensis, part 3, section hi. When the body
of St Etheldreda (which had been found in the cemetery, deep in the
bosom of the earth, in an ark of wood) was taken up by her sister
Sexburga, in the year 695, and placed near to the High Altar, a fountain
burst forth, living and strong, at the spot where the Saint had lain. The
writer of the story tells us that the original place of St Etheldreda's
burial was where the Bishop's stall then stood; and that the monks in
making a hole, as for a cistern, let loose the waters. Several cures are
related in a circumstantial manner which took place at this "fons" which
was clearly inside the Church, and very probably was in the south aisle of

u8 (glppenbtr $

the nave, which would be close to the Bishop's seat in the old Ritual
Choir of the Norman Church.

In the removal of the pavement from that end of the south aisle in
1869, plain indications were found of a Chapel having once existed there.
Mr Bacon, the clerk of the works then present, writes thus : " Upon taking
up these floors the foundation of a Chapel or Chantry was discovered in
the 10th bay of the south aisle.

" The door cell was on the west side near the column, and there was
evidence of there having been an Altar. The floor remained ; the tiles
were buff and black, coarse and such as were in all probability manufac-
tured in this locality ; it was not level, but laid highest next the south
wall, making up to the base of the arcading; the rubble under the
foundation [of the floor] being higher than the floor would have been, if it
had been laid level."

Some of the tiles are still preserved, and Mr Bacon has left in a work,
in the possession of the Dean and Chapter, a coloured drawing of them as
they were placed in the Chapel. It may be added, that the Altar probably
stood against a parclos joining a pillar to the south wall of the aisle. A
niche is still to be seen on the column, and marks of the two walls which
enclosed the Chapel on the west and north are clear. We may thus
reconstruct the position of the cross at the fountain, over the Altar.

The entry, " de cruce ad fontem," continues in the Sacrist's Rolls up
to the year 1420.

F. " De Boiis, or de Boys, or de Bogis." The meaning of this entry
is also to be traced to a miracle connected with St Etheldreda, which
evidently deeply impressed the minds of the people of Ely in the 13th and
14th centuries. " Boia," in medieval Latin, was used for a fetter or chain
with which prisoners were bound, and some " boie," which for generations
were suspended on a column near the Great Altar, represented a miracle
which was performed on a man incarcerated for a time in a London
prison and who was delivered by Saint Etheldreda and St Benedict. An
individual named Brithstane, after some years of disreputable conduct in
the world, took refuge in Ely repentant of his faults, but was dragged out,
again fettered in his prison, visited by his saints, and received with honour
into the Ely Monastery by Bishop Nigel and the Convent, who, in faith in
his story, hung his fetters in a notable place in the Church.

The story is told in the Liber Eliensis ; and carved in stone by Alan of
Walsingham's masons, on one of the eight pillars of his octagon.

In Roll xii., page 156, will be found an entry of a small cross made by
the Goldsmith at the fetters " ad Boias " ; and later Sacrist Rolls up to the
year 1420 contained annual donations received de Boiis.

(j&Minbix (&


That the fetters were hung in the Church near the High Altar, and
recognised as a sacred deposit, is supported by good evidences.

The MSS. of the History of the Bishops, when telling of the death of
Bishop Kirkenny, who died in Spain, are unanimous in stating that his
heart was brought to Ely and laid in an honourable tomb near the Altar of
St Andrew, while two of them add that his heart lies near the fetters,
" juxta boias." The tomb of Bishop Kirkenny, as seen in the presbytery
to-day, almost touches the column on the north of the Great Altar, against
which St Andrew's Altar formerly stood ; while northward of the column
and in the north aisle, the Altar of St Benedict, the other deliverer of
Brithstane, found a place.

The exact position in which the fetters may be conjectured to have been
hung, perhaps under the cross just spoken of, would be now occupied by
the eastern end of the huge tomb of Bishop Redman, which was raised to
his memory in 1505.

Here follows a table of amounts received at the Shrines, Altars and
Crosses, taken from the annual receipts of the Sacrist's Rolls.

Receipts from the 2nd Division of Sacrist's Income.














of the




















16. 10.

11. 6.


10. 15.





11. 0.

31. 0. O

8. 12. 4 f
8. 0.

21. 4.
8. 11.


7. 1.
6. 12.







10. 1


34. O. O

13. 12.

7- 7-








31. 4. O

8. 0.

16. 5.

9. 16.






26. O. O

8. 0.

15. 6.

12. 0.





18. 4


27. 2.

5. 0.

15. 10.

10. 10.







12. I. O

1. 11.





20. O. O

7. 0.

17. 10.


14. 19.







35- 13- 4

8. 11. oj

20. 17.


10. 14.





0. 2


39. 14. 8

8. 11. oh

7- i5-

7- 5-






(39- "•
1 1. 9.0

8. 11.

5- 19-

4 . 0.






(16. 3.6
(24. 19.

8. 11.

4. 12.


5. 2.







40. 2.
37. 18.8

8. 11.
8. 11.

5. 2.

6. 4 -



5- i5-
5. 0.





14. 4

i2o Qpptttiix (&

was derived from Farms or Granges ; lands in various places ; Rents
of Tenements ; and Rent Charges.

The granges which appear in the Sacrist's accounts were four in number.

(i) Of these the Ely Grange was the most important and holds the
first place in the Compotus Roll. The farm buildings, with granaries and
barns, covered a considerable space in St Mary's Street, and were the
centre of the Sacrist's farming operations in the Vill of Ely. It represented
many separate pieces of land which had been given by benefactors to the
Sacrist's office, or assigned by the Chapter.

The net income of the Grange in the Rolls before us varies consider-
ably ; averaging in the earlier years as much as ^90, but falling later to an
average of ^20. Whether the returns from agriculture grew less and less,
or whether more of the produce was being sent into the Sacristy for
consumption by the household, is not in evidence. Of one year only can
a fall to the very low figure of £2. 4s. 2\d. be accounted for : it was the
year of the scourge of the Black Death which fell so heavily on the
Monastery and town of Ely.

(2) The Grange of Wentworth. The barns and homestead forming
this Grange may have come into the possession of the Sacrist by a special
gift ; or may be connected with Bishop Hugh de Northvvold's assignment
to him of the Church and Rectory.

(3) The Grange of Tydbreye. From Tydbreye, a hamlet bordering
on Ely (known later as Turbutsey), the establishment of the Sacrist was
supplied with a considerable part of the food consumed. A farm-house
there seems to have been frequently resorted to by Alan and his associates;
sometimes on the days of the minucio. The repairs of the farm often
appear amongst the outgoings of the Sacristy.

(4) A grange at Cambridge always has a place in the Sacrist's
receipts, but the amount received from it was very small.

The numerous items which follow in the receipts can scarcely be

The sheaves or garbs of the Bishop yield the largest amount.
Mills belonging to the Sacrist are two in number, the horse mill in the
Almonry and a mill at Cambridge.

Of farms, or parcels of lands, there appear —
in Sutton, 2, Waldehythe and Salle ;
in Wysbech, 2, Christien's and Hakebech ;

@4>penbtr (&


in Elm, i, called Runhale ;

in Flete, i, of Radulph and Richard ;

in Leverington, i, of Edmund and Robert ;

at Thrittiwere, a farm and 2 gurgites ;

at Lakenhethe (then in Norwich diocese) ;

at Richeye, perhaps Reche or Reach ;

at S. Botolph, in Lincolnshire.
Also income arising from —

assise in Ely ;

houses and tenements in Ely ;

shops — at the river side in Ely, and in Cambridge ;

the Bridge, tolls, and the meadow ;

the Jurisdiction of the Sacrist ;

and from Fishery on the Causeways.
Also from Tithes —

on lambs, flax, wool, in Ely ;

on 2 mills of the Bishops ;

on 1 mill of Andrew of Ely ;

on Fisheries ;
with small tithes from parishioners, and from Chapels of Bishop, Prior, etc.
It will be remembered that these items are small properties belonging
to the Sacrist's office, and are independent of the possessions of the
treasurer of the Prior and Convent. Larger estates, both at Sutton and
Lakenheath, were in the main properties of the Chapter.

Only two of the above-mentioned sources of the Sacrist's income need
further notice here.

First, the sheaves of the Bishops — entered as de Garbis Episcopi.
They were received under a deed of William de Longchamp, Bishop
from 1 189 to 1 198, who granted a sheaf of corn, not from every acre of his
lands, but from every acre in the demesne, that is the land in his own
hands under his bailiffs and cultivated by the tenants of other farms in the
manor. It was to provide three wax lights — two to be burnt before the
Shrine of St Etheldreda, the third before the Altar of St Peter in
the Choir 1 .

The second source of income worthy of remark is entered as " de Sco.

l Willielmus Dei Gratia Elyensis Episcopus Apostolice Sedis Legatus et Domini
Regis Cancellarius. Salutem in Domini.

Noverit Universitas Vestra Nos dedisse Ecclesie de Ely et Monachis Deo et Beate
Etheldrede ibidem servientibus, in honorem Dei et Beate Etheldrede Virginis, unani
garbam bladi bonam de unaquaque acra terre que sit in dominio nostra in omnibus
maneriis nostris, unoquoque anno percipiendam, ad inveniendam tres cereos honorabiles et
competentes, perpetuo et continuo ardentes in prefata Ecclesia de Ely; Duos videlicet
ante Corpus Beate Etheldrede Virginis, et tercium in Choro.

Bp Ely Reg. Liber M.

122 Qpptnbix (&

Botolpho," and is of interest, not from its money value, but from the
persons through whose hands it came into the Sacrist's possession. It
formed part of an original grant made by the Conqueror to his relative,
Alan of Brittany. The fourth in descent from the Duke of Brittany seems
to have been unable to pay his wine merchant's account, and so made over
a property at Boston to a London vintner, named Jocius, who had been
useful in various ways. Jocius did not retain it long, when moved by care
for his soul he conveyed the " place," as he calls it, in part to the Church
of St Etheldreda in Ely, in part to the Church of St Peter in Burgh ; the
Ely donation being especially for " the administration of the Altars of the
Church," was handed over to the Sacrist and brought him ;£io per annum.
It was not, however, so small as to escape the eyes of the Popes, and the
Sacrist every year has to pay his tenth of 10s. and to get his quittance at
Lincoln by an extra payment of one penny; and so is it written in
these Rolls.

The documents which tell this story are in the Bodleian Oxford MSS.
Laud. Miscel. 647, fol. 106.

The making of wax candles for the Altars of the Church is every year
prominent in the expenses of the Sacrist's office ; and a considerable
portion of his receipts was originally earmarked for that purpose; the
individual donors being so numerous that they could not be introduced into
the accounts. In the large volume marked M in the Muniment Room of
the Bishop of Ely, from which many extracts have already been brought
into these Notes on the Sacrist Rolls, there are copies of more than 50
carte in which money is given for providing lights for the shrine and altars.

The documents contain generally expressions which are not without
interest, but one only will be given here, because it is connected with an
entry which appears every year in the Sacrist's Rolls as " Capellano
Marshalli," and which in two places is more clearly set out as a payment
to a Chaplain " celebrante pro anima Stephani marescalli."

A copy of the " carta " is given in a foot-note 1 .

1 Sciant presentes et futuri quod Ego Stephanus Marescallus Ely concessi et hac
presenti carta mea confirmaui Deo et Beate Marie et priori et Conuentui Elyen.

Ad augmentacionem luminaris coram altari Beate Virginis in presbiterio maioris
Ecclesie Elyensis constructo in liberam et perpetuam elemosinam octo solidorum sterling-
orum annui redditus in villa de Ely....

Quern quidem redditum Custos dicti altaris, qui pro tempore fuerit, de dictis mesuagiis
percipiet et inde trabem unam decern Cereos gestantem in festiuitatibus eiusdem Virginis
et in festis principalibus per annum dum diuina ibidem celebrantur accendendos.

Et unam peluem cum uno cereo singulis diebus dum diuina celebrantur ibidem
accendendo coram dicto altare inueniet. Hiis testibus, Nicholao fil. Elye.

Andrea fil. ejus.
Andr. fil. W. et aliis.
Ely Epis. Reg. Liber M, p. 434.

(gtppen&ir (& 123

With regard to the wax itself, which was purchased in large quantities
by the Sacrist each year, there is reason for supposing that it was not all
the produce of bees, and most certainly not of bees belonging to the Ely
neighbourhood. The scribe records frequently that the wax came from
Lynn, from Paris (page 66), or that it was sold to them by different
merchants, and carriage or porterage paid for it. The descriptions of the
kinds of wax purchased lead us even further afield ; wax of Rys or Rye ;
wax of Polan or Pullan ; of Lubik ; suggest that the supplies come from
the Baltic — from Riga, from Poland, from the town of Lubeck, which was
the centre of the wide-spread Hanseatic League. One commodity said
to be sold by them was wax, not the produce of bees, but of vegetable
origin. "Wax," writes the author of a work on the " Hansa towns," "which
played so large a part in medieval religious rites, and was required in great
abundance, was furnished by the ' honey trees ' of the virgin Russian
Forests 1 ."

This great trading company of the Hanseatic League possessed in the
13th century depots not only in London but in other towns.

Dr W. Cunningham, in his " Growth of English Industry and Com-
merce," tells us that " there were merchants from Lubeck, and other
German towns, in Boston and Lynn ; and Hanse houses were eventually
built at both places 2 ."

Several plants are known now to yield wax, which is used for making
candles ; but they appear to have become known only in hot climates.
One plant at the Kew Gardens is a late introduction from South America.

The summary of all the receipts of the Sacristy from all sources will be
found in two divisions — in two separate lists.

1. Relating to the years in which Alan of Walsingham was Sacrist,
on page 17.

2. Concerned with the Rolls of his successors, on page 74.

i The Hansa Towns, by Helen Zimmern (Story of the Nations). Ed. 1891.
2 Growth of English Industry and Commerce, Early and Middle Ages. Vol. i.
p. 195. (Ed. 1905.)



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xo\t§ pfan.

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Yoitfy pfan.

tij. £#e ^SacriBfg* (glfmontg* JE)OBftfarta + wiffl pfan.


Zfyt 0fb (priory dnb f0e eurrounbing QBuifbinge*

wtfij pfdn.

In the Rolls of the Sacrist which have been here transcribed and
in the Notes on the Rolls, attention has, in the main, been concentrated
on the reconstruction of the parts of the Cathedral Church which were
destroyed in the great catastrophe of 1322; yet we are aware that during
that period other works of some importance were being carried on in
the circuit of the Monastery which still remain (at least in part) to bear
their witness to the zeal and artistic excellence of the men of that day.

These also deserve remembrance, not only as valuable studies in
architecture, but as connecting links between the past and the present life
of the Church of Ely. For if it be fitting for the churchmen and anti-
quaries of to-day to seek to enter into the ideas, religious and artistic,
which of old inspired the chief builders of our great Cathedral, for their
better guidance in the restorations which become needful as time goes
on; so is it right that some care should be taken to realize when and
for what purpose the various secular buildings of the Monastery were
erected, that in all changes or repairs the work should be undertaken in a
reverent and conservative spirit. So best will each generation which enters
into houses which it builded not, hand over with a good conscience
the trust committed to them to generations which are still to come.

Now, of the buildings which arose during the reconstruction of the
Church by Sacrist Alan and Bishop Hotham, the earliest in point of time
are those which are credited to John Crauden, Prior of the Church from

The first notice concerning them is an entry in a Roll of the Treasurer
of the Prior and Convent for the year Mich. 1324 to Mich. 1325. Among
the outgoings for the year are these few words: "In noua constructione
capelle et camere Domini Prions, ^138. 8s. 5

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