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GENEALOGY COLLECTION



i A i L ifi N inffliiii N i ¥i nil? 110 library

3 1833 00730 8882



VOL. XXXI.



THE CARTULARY

OF THE

MONASTERY OF ST. FRIDESWIDE
AT OXFORD



ii.



0?;for5

HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



The Cartulary

of the

Monastery of St. Frideswide

at Oxford



EDITED FROM THE CHRIST CHURCH AND CORPUS MSS.
AND OTHER SOURCES



REV. SPENCER ROBERT WIGRAM, M.A.

OF BALLIOL COLLEGE

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
VOL. II

The Chantry and Country Parish Charters



Oxford

PRINTED FOR THE OXFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1896



DEDICATED BY PERMISSION



DEAN AND CHAPTER OF CHRIST CHURCH



V*



^

^



INTRODUCTION.



Volume II having been edited on exactly the same lines
as its predecessor, nothing need be said as to the general
plan of the work. It contains (i) the charters relating to the
Chantry or Chantries founded in 1346 by Elizabeth Lady
Montacute, (2) those concerning property held by the
Monastery in Country Parishes, and (3), in an Appendix,
a few documents which came to hand too late for insertion
in their proper place in the body of the work, together with
copies or summaries of such others as seemed necessary in
order to carry the history on to the Dissolution.

It will be observed that the possessions of the Monastery
were very widely scattered, Mr. Hurst's admirable map em-
bracing an area of about 40 x 35 miles, while outside this
large tract of country the Prior and Canons held property in
three other places. In all, their possessions were spread over
some forty parishes, of which twenty-five are in Oxford-
shire, five in Bucks, six in Berks, one in Wilts, two in
Northamptonshire, and one in London. It is of course not
to be expected that these documents will have the same
interest for students of the history of the city of Oxford
as those contained in vol. i. but they have a value of their
own, not only as showing the property held by Oxfords
chief Religious House, but also as being a contribution to
the history of the various counties in which it was situated.

Early History of the Monastery. A promise having been
given in the Introduction to vol. i. that something should
be undertaken towards piecing together the few facts that
have come down to us, it remains that the task be taken
in hand, although it must be premised that it is one of
considerable difficulty, as the dates of each successive change



viii INTRODUCTION.

are involved in the utmost uncertainty. We have however
the year 727 l assigned as the date of the foundation of
St. Frideswide's Nunnery, and 1122 2 as that in which the
Monastery assumed the form in which it survived until the
Dissolution. It is true that neither of the documents giving
these dates are of the nature of charters — rather they are
memoranda ; but the former date appears to have been
generally accepted, and the reasons for receiving the latter
have been already stated 3 . Taking these then as starting
and ending points, it remains that an effort be made to fix
as nearly as may be the dates of the various events which,
as we are told, took place in this period of nearly 400 years.

These events are three in number: — (1) that some time
after the glorious death of St. Frideswide, the nuns having
been taken away, Secular Canons were introduced 4 ; (2)
that before the Norman Conquest the Church was given to
a certain Abbot of Abingdon, the Secular Canons ousted,
and Regular Canons installed in their place 5 ; and (3) that
the Regulars were afterwards dispossessed, and Seculars, being
once more restored, remained there until the final constitution
of the Monastery under Gwymundus 5 .

With regard to the first of these it may be observed that
the terms in which it is spoken of are so vague as to give
little, if any, clue to the date. The death of St. Frideswide
is supposed by Wood to have occurred c. 739 6 , and if this be
correct, we may conjecture that the first installation of Secular
Canons took place about the middle of the eighth century ;
but it must be remembered that this is only conjecture,
though it sounds reasonable enough. Of this event too our
author gives such a pretty little account that it must be
reproduced here, although it is to be feared that it will not
bear the test of criticism. He suggests that ' they ' (the
nuns), ' being of most noble extraction and lacking such a
princly governesse, betook themselves home to their parents,
and were most, if not all, afterwards married into honourable
houses of the Saxon nobility. Besides, it being a receptacle

1 No. 1. 2 No. 3. '■' Vol. i. p. io, n. 1. 4 No. i. 5 No. 3.

6 Wood's City of Oxford, ed. Clark, ii. 134.



INTRODUCTION, ix

appointed for women was not thought soe convenient for the
University,' thus assigning to that body an existence a
century before the time of Alfred the Great 1 .

The date of the next change, when the Church was given
to the Monastery of Abingdon and Regular Canons intro-
duced in place of Secular, is also most uncertain. Mr.
Parker, it is true, quotes a passage from a Rochester MS.
which runs as follows : — ' 1049. King Edward the Third, who
is called Saint Edward, restored the Monastery of St. Peter
at Westminster and extended it, by granting abundant pos-
sessions and liberties. The same year was the institution
of the Canons of St. Frideswide at Oxford V but he urges
the possibility that the chronicler has made a mistake between
Eadward the Martyr and Eadward the Confessor, and that
apparently on the ground that probably the change had been
effected, as he had already stated 3 , in the year 964, when
Abbot ^Ethelwold, who had recently been made Bishop of
Winchester, besought King Eadgar to give him certain
Monasteries to restore. Thus the date remains in doubt,
and all that can be done is to state the difficulty and leave
it to the reader to decide which he will accept on the evidence
adduced.

The third change, when the Secular Canons were once
more reinstated, is supposed by Mr. Parker to have taken
place on the accession of Eadward the Martyr in 975 4 , by
Wood in the reign of Harold 5 , but as his chronology is
hereabouts unquestionably faulty — e. g. he places the gift of
the Church to Abingdon after the Norman Conquest instead
of before 6 — it seems safer to accept the earlier date, though
at the same time it must be confessed that there is really
less evidence in support of either than was forthcoming in
the case of the preceding change.

Thus all these dates are shrouded in difficulties, and the
only point that remains for discussion is the question how the
Monastery came into the hands of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury.

1 Wood's City of Oxford, ed. Clark, ii, 135. 2 Parker's Early History of

Oxford, p. 1 68. J ib. 167. ' ib, 5 Wood, ut supra, ii. 146,

6 ib. 147.



x INTRODUCTION.

Wood is of opinion that the Abbot of Abingdon, finding the
property rather an encumbrance than otherwise, gave it to
his Diocesan, ' though, as 'tis thought, he rather took it away
from them Y which latter idea is certainly supported by the
terms in which Charter No. 13 is couched.

With this brief sketch of the vicissitudes which befell the
Monastery in its early days I close my labours on the Cartu-
lary of St. Frideswide, but I cannot finally lay aside my pen
without once more tendering my most hearty thanks to those
who have so kindly and willingly assisted me in my work.
Again I have to thank Mr. Macray and Mr. Madan, also
Mr. Hurst for his map, which, I may add, so completely
indicates the nature of the property held by the Monastery
at each place as to render a catalogue of its possessions
unnecessary. Mr. George Parker has also rendered me most
valuable help, and when I mention that he is the compiler of
the Index, I feel sure that all readers of the work will unite
with me in rendering him the thanks which he so justly
merits. Finally, I have to express my thorough appreciation
of the kindly criticisms on vol. i. which have appeared in the
press, and my hope that the present volume will prove no
unworthy successor. In one point, however, I have been mis-
understood, and I wish to take this opportunity of affording
explanation. When I said in the Introduction to vol. i. that
' had I known at the outset what the work would involve,
I should probably never have undertaken it,' I did not mean
that I in any sense grudged the time and labour spent upon
it, but rather that throughout the sense of my own incom-
petence for the task was constantly forcing itself upon me.
In fact I had to learn my work as I went on, and thus if
I have in any appreciable degree succeeded in it, it is doubly
satisfactory to me to know that my efforts have not been
wasted.

SPENCER ROBERT W1GRAM.



Walden Place, Saffron Walden,
May, 1S96.

1 Wood, /// supra, ii. 147.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



Introduction .....

Stockwell Mead and the Chantry

Country Parish Charters : —
Binsey
Langney .
bolles [shipton]
Headington .
Marston .
Garsington .
Elsfield .
Piddington
Oakley .
worminghall

THOMLEY .
ICKFORD .

Over Winchendon

Chearsley

Beanton .

cuddesdon and hamlets

Forest Hill .

Horspath

Cowley .

Cutslovv .

KlRTLINGTON .

Fritwell
Steeple Barton
Tackley .
Fawler .

WlLCOTE .

Great Houghton
Moulton .
Great Rollright
Ascot d'Oilli
Souldern



PAGE

vii



18

a.

22

ib.
37
49
67
92
ii5
142

154
174
1 89
197
198
199

ib.
200
202
206
214
219
227
229

ib.
230
231
234
237
241

253



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGE

Churchill 255

Knighton 297

bockhampton 314

ASHBURY 317

Idstone 319

hungerford 323

Chilton [Foliat] 359

Clifton [Hampden] 362

Clapcote 364

Wallingford 365

Witney 368

Appendix 371

Index 391



Map Illustrating Property of the Monastery . End of Vol.



CARTULARY OF ST. FRIDESWIDES.



688.

A. p. 293. Patent Roll 19 Edw. Ill, part 3, memb. 11 '.

[Royal Licence for Elizabeth Lady Montacute to give, and
the Prior and Convent of St. Frideswide to receive,
Stockwell Mead for the foundation of two Chantries in
the Conventual Church, and also for the Prior and Con-
vent to charge an annual sum of 10 marks on their Manor
of Hidden towards the maintenance of the same.]

Licencia domini Regis super appropriacione prati vocati Stokwellmede 2 [1345.]
habenda. Nov - a6 -

Pro Priore



Online LibraryOxford Historical Society. cnThe Cartulary of the Monastery of St. Frideswide at Oxford (Volume 31) → online text (page 1 of 51)