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At the same time this thought must not be absent from the mind, that
there was one man who was occupying a position of exceptional authority
in Ely from the year 1335 in which the stalls are first mentioned, to the
year in which the last subscription was given, 1347 — namely, William of
Hurle, Master Carpenter — the man who, by the evidence of the documents
in the Record Office, was engaged on the stalls of St Stephen's Chapel,
Westminster 1 , in the months of July and August, 1352, and who was
superintending the carpenters' work in Ely, up to the year 1353-4.

Another slight to Alan the Sacrist which raised doubt as to one of his
entries in this Roll viii. will be fortunately made to disappear if the parallel
extracts, which have already been given, between some words on page 644
of the Anglia Sacra and the corresponding passages from the MS. codices,
are again consulted. On page 91 in Roll viii. among the ordinary accounts
of the Sacristy as given by Alan of Walsingham, is one which is headed
by this note: "the building of the new bridge" — the expense of which
in the summary of the paragraph stands as 105 shillings and 6 pence.
In Wharton's text in the Anglia Sacra this bridge is stated to have been
built by Bishop John Hotham ; the words "Johannes Episcopus" however
slipped into the sentence by error; doubtless because by the admission of
the interpolation concerning Saxmundham and the executors of Bishop
Hotham, the original subject of the sentence, who was Alan, had been
forgotten and the name of the Bishop substituted. A glance at the two
parallel passages shews both how the error arose and how easily it might
have been prevented.

l Smith's Westminster, p. 199.

(Roff Qto* viiu 6 1

The Sacrist's responsibility for the care of the bridge grew out of the
assignment by Bishop Northwold of a portion of the Rectory of Wentworth
to the Sacrist of Ely for the purpose of keeping up the causeways and
bridges on the Stuntney road. A copy of the original deed will be found
in Appendix A which treats of the Receipts of the Sacristy.

Under the marginal heading " Custus calcet." the heavy expenses every
year appear in fulfilment of this duty; and in this Roll viii. there are
separate entries of payments for the work, which shew that the 105 shillings
above mentioned as the cost of the bridge was considerably exceeded,
an additional expense having also been incurred by the payment of the
Sacrist's farm men who had to protect the bridge from the ice in the river.
The excessive cold of this winter is noted by Walsingham in his Historia
Anglicana, i. 223. The bridge had evidently been under repair for some
time, as in Roll vii. page 79 there is a charge for ferrying over travellers
" tempore reparacionis dicti pontis."

From other sources we understand that Prior Fressingfield, who had
retired in the month of February, 1321, passed away some time after
Michaelmas in this year 1338. He had been an inmate of the Priory
for seventeen years since he had ceased to exercise any authority in the
Monastery. Apparently special rooms had been assigned to him, with
a fair retiring income.

Whether Prior Fressingfield recovered any measure of bodily or mental
vigour during his long rest, we know not, but he was certainly allowed a
free hand in the management of his income, for the historians tell us that
after his withdrawal from active life he made purchases of lands and
tenements, the rents of which were to be distributed to the poor on his
anniversary; as well as of other property to provide pittances for the

Reference has been made in earlier notes to the document which was
drawn up by Prior Crauden at the time of Prior Fressingfield's retirement,
known as his " Status Prioratus." The word " status " having in those
days the technical meaning of " Inventory," we have in the paper a list of
the transactions which Crauden gradually brought to light, by which he
could represent to the Chapter the actual condition of the affairs of the
Priory at that time.

The document is too long to be inserted here, but a brief account of it
may be of interest. It is to be found on the back of a parchment Roll
12 feet long which had already served for an account of the agricultural
work done in one year, on several of the principal Chapter manors — and
the " status " is followed by a copy of the Roll of the Treasurer of the
Priory for the year 1324-25; in which occurs the only notice which has
come down to us, of the cost of Crauden's building of his Chapel and

62 (Roff (Jto* tnin

The introduction to the document runs thus : —

Status Prioratus Elyensis, die Sci. Michaelis regni Regis Edwardi [ii.]
incipiente et relevacio ejusdem xx. maie anno dicti Regis xiiij. quo die
frater Johannes de Crawedene suscepit dicti prioris regimen usque ad
festum Sci. Michaelis predictum, quern idem Prior fecit — magnam sum-
mam debitorum soluendo — vetera placita tempore predecessoris sui
predicti in ecclesiam suam mota et actiones diuersas contra eandem
ecclesiam habitas pacificando — et alia necessaria faciendo — prout inferius
plenius continetur.

In pursuance of the programme here announced, the writer gives first: —

i. Antiqua debita fratris J. de Fressingfeld nuper Prioris Eliensis

The King is the first creditor and receives ^342. $s. 8d., 28 creditors'
names follow for divers sums, by which the old debts are mounted to
^835. igs. nd.

2. Expenses of restoring the necessary equipment of the Convent's
manors, ^137. 13s. io^d. ; New buildings and ditchings, ^453. 18$. $d. ;
Purchase of lands and tenements, ^33. 16s. ud.; Silver vessels bought,
;£io. 16s. 8d. Suraraa, ^650. 55-. 10^.

3. Certain other debts paid to five individuals, amounting to
£64. 6s. 8d.

4. Outgoings in the form of exhennia (hospitable gifts) to the King
and to le Dispenser Senior, with money given to the fabric of the new
Chapel, ;£So; crops bought on account of the badness of the year,
^250. 16s. 5|y£ Payment of tenths, £1^5. 105. gd. and ^27. 8s. 6\d.
Legal expenses, ^160. Summa, ^693. 15s. 8^d.

Thus the " summa summarum predictarum " amounted to
^2244. 8s. 2\d., Prior Crauden adding that the portion allotted to
the late Prior had limited the means at his disposal.

Then follow Recepta forinseca — sums which had been paid in to the
Prior from six sources, amounting to £$2>6. 1 is. 8d.

Then some new debts are brought forward, due to 13 persons,
amounting to ^391. 17s. i\d.

Then debts to 15 persons which seem to have been incurred before
Prior Fressingfield's time, reaching the sum of ^328. 16s. i^d.

Next, is a vague entry of fees due to individuals, presumably legal
officials, 10 in number, of which the sums owing are unknown. Fees
of _^io owing to two brethren who had held the office of Camerarius ;
£?>■ l S s - 5^- claimed by Prior Crauden himself as due to him before he
was Prior; ^26. 13s. ^d. for the mitre and pastoral staff of Bishop Robert
Walpole ; £681. gs. ud. representing a very old debt to a certain Alured
de Broke; ,£38. 14s. 4d. due to the King for tenths — with a brief summary
of debts old and new, which is of uncertain value.

(Roff (llo. x>ixu 63

So the Status Prioratus closes without any definite balance sheet, and
may probably have been left by Prior Crauden in an unfinished condition
with the expectation that other claims might yet come in against the
Chapter for whom he was acting.

Under the marginal heading of "Talliag." page 95 in this Roll, pay-
ments were made for procurations of the Cardinal and for the remuneration
of his messenger.

This was a certain Cardinal Gailhard de Mota who for some years was
Archdeacon of Ely. He is supposed to have been the titular Cardinal

of Ste Lucie in Sic He held the office of Archdeacon from 1344 to

1 35 1 ; and at his death, which seems to have occurred some years later,
he left a legacy to the Sacristy of Ely which is entered in the receipts
given in Roll xiv., p. 173 as: "Item ^5 ex legato Cardinalis de Mota."
Cf. Le Neve's Fasti, vol. i. p. 351.

The accounts for the year Mich. 1339 to Mich. 1340 are as follows :

Expenses of the Sacristy including arrears
Cost of new work

Receipts of the Sacristy
Adverse balance at end of year

297 4 1
98 18 6

396 2 7
226 18 8

169 3 n

Description of the Roll.

Heading good. Beautiful Roll, but sinister margin gone as far as to
" Spec, empt."

Length of Roll 10 ft. 8 inches, or 128 inches; to Custus noui operis
88 inches.

Summary at end of Roll in dorso ; with Receipts summary 40 inches
from the top.

Then Stores of corn, etc.




(glfdn of TEafetn^Cttm Sacrist from Michs. 1341 for
nine weeks to the feast of St Andrew, Nov. 30.

There is no Sacrist Roll extant for the year Michs. 1340 to Michs.
1 34 1. On the 5th September in the latter year, Prior John of Crauden,
who had presided over the Monastery for nineteen years, passed away, and
was buried on the 30th of the same month.

The loss of the account Roll of that year is to be deplored; partly,
because it might have yielded us some interesting notices concerning the
late Prior ; but more especially because it was the last full year's Compotus
of our great Sacrist, and would certainly have revealed to us, to what
portions of the Church his final efforts were directed.

Alan of Walsingham was elected Prior on the 25th October, 1341, and
was installed on the 30th November. The returns from the Sacristy were
therefore due from him for the nine weeks which intervened between
Michaelmas day and the feast of St Andrew.

Necessarily the Compotus for so short a period could not be drawn out
after the usual form observed in the annual returns. Alan, therefore, on
quitting office, seems to have contented himself with handing in six sheets
of parchment which in a vague manner served as vouchers for money
received and expended. These separate sheets, for convenience sake, will
now be referred to as A, B, C, D, E, F.

Parchment A.

(Page 102.)

In the heading of this sheet the name of the Sacrist is omitted and
a very peculiar form introduced, " Receipts of the Lord of the Sacristy."
The account is for the fifteenth year of Edward [III.] from Michaelmas
day to the feast of St Andrew the Apostle.

(gtoff (lto + it

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