Exeter College (University of Oxford).

Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents online

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Online LibraryExeter College (University of Oxford)Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents → online text (page 1 of 61)
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'Oh what contentment were it unto me to hear somebody that would
relate the customs, the countenance, the most usual words, and the fortunes
of my ancestors ! Oh how attentively would I listen unto it '










* '» . :



History of Exeter College i-clxxviii

List of Authorities clxxix

Abbreviations clxxxiv


Of Rectors and Fellows I~I99

Of Scholars and Exhibitioners 200-267

Benefactors' Book 268-274

List of Pictures 274-275

College Plate 276-2S3

Documents 284-310

Prideaux's Survey 311-320

Livings 321-338

CoMPUTi Rectoris 339-34S

Extracts from the Register 349-356

Date-List of Buildings 357-359

Diagrams 360-363

Tenants of Halls 363-364

Notes 365-375

INUEX 375-399



{ai end of volume)

Plate I. — Loggan's View of Exeter College, 1675 (from the West)
Plate II.— Bereblock's Plan, 1566 (from the North)
Plate III.— Agas' View, 1588 (from the North)
Plate IV. — Plan showing sites of Old Halls

(See references, pp. 357-365)


The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries witnessed a great effort to
improve the education given at Oxford, which had hitherto been largely
in the hands of the monks and friars. The feeling against them
had been growing for some time, and that for many reasons ^ ; Roger
Bacon says they withstood the progress of true knowledge. Hence
Walter de Merton, Chancellor of England and bishop of Rochester,
founded Merton College 1264-74, to train students for the service
of God in church and state. Was he incited to it by Robert de
Sorbonne having just founded his college at Paris to educate poor
secular students of theology? No 'religious' person, i.e. monk or
friar, was admitted by Merton, His aim was to establish ' a con-
stant succession of scholars devoted to the pursuits of literature,'
'bound to study arts or philosophy, theology or canon law, or
even civil law'; the students in canon law however were limited
to four or five. To remedy the prevailing ignorance of grammar,
which Roger Bacon so emphatically laments, one of the fellows
was to devote himself to the study. He was to be provided with
the necessary books, and regularly instruct the younger students,
while more advanced scholars were to have the benefit of his
assistance when occasion might require. English as well as Latin
entered into his province of instruction. As the learned professions
then practically belonged to the ranks of the clergy, most lawyers,
doctors, &c. being in the minor orders, the clerical obligation at
Merton, as far as it existed, was not at all a narrow limitation : in
fact it did not exclude any of those professions that possess a

' Maxwell Lyte, Hist, of Univ. of Oxford 1886.




curriculum at either Oxford or Cambridge in the present day. IMore-
over, as the Quadrivium included arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and
music, the system implied a wider idea of culture than the modern
course which, until lately, was almost limited to classics, and eve . to
a very few classical authors. The statutes of Balliol, University,
Oriel, and Peterhouse (the earliest college at Cambridge) all borrowed
more or less from those of Merton ; just as later colleges at Oxford
and Cambridge copied those of New College. By the statutes of
Exeter, the fourth college in order of foundation, only one fellow was
required to be in orders. In the earlier Colleges not even the Head
was required to be in orders of any kind, nor were students ordered
to go to church or chapel except on Sundays and holidays. It is clear
that the education of the laity was now thought to be as important
as that of the clergy. The colleges were, legally speaking, lay
corporations \ and the religious services devolved on chaplains.

All students had been of course hitherto ' Unattached,' and discipline
was not much enforced. The creation of Halls, i. e. lodging-houses
let out by the owner to a group of students (artists or legists, Welsh or
Irish, &c.), each under a Principal, had been a first attempt to secure
discipline, but it had not been very successful. They became impor-
tant however in 1420 when Unattached students were abolished, and
every scholar or scholar's servant was obliged to live in a hall under
a responsible Principal. The Masters, Bachelors, and students elected
their own Principal ^, i. e. consented to the transfer of the house by the
landlord from one Principal to another. A student might remove
from hall to hall at pleasure, until the statute passed between 1533
and 1547 ; and even then they might do so on just cause, or on the
death or cession of the Principal ; their free choice of a Principal
tended to keep them in the hall. Each Principal had to give
security to the University for the payment of dues. The creation of
a College, a corporate body, for poor students, under adequate disci-
pline, was a step in advance ; and as Merton College soon acquired
influence in the University, Stapeldon and Wykeham were led to follow
the example. The improvement in discii)line is shown by the special

* Huber i. 163, 187, 271, ii. 220, 240, 549; Rogers i. 22-4 ; Hook iii. 329.
^ Laud's Chancellorship 35, 132 ; Wood's City i. 68. Laud's statute of 1636
gave the appi)intinent of Principals t(i the Chancellor.


exemption of Merton et aularum consimiliuvi — probably University,
Balliol, Exeter, Oriel and Queen's — from the general rustication which
followed the sanguinary riot on S. Scholastica's day lo Feb. 135I.
A matriculation oath was now imposed on students that they should
keep the peace.

Merton, Stapeldon, and Wykeham (like Chicheley, Warham, Fox,
and Wolsey, in later times) were statesmen as well as bishops. The
Kings then paid their officials, and clerks in chancery, by church
appointments, the only means at their disposal ; this had one good
result, of securing large-minded men for the Episcopate.

In 1 3 1 4 Walter de Stapeldon, bishop of Exeter, founded Stapeldon
hall for scholars from Devon and Cornwall ; but the ground in and
near Hart hall, which he bought for this purpose, not proving large
enough, he removed the students next year to S. Stephen's hall, and
gave them the rent of Hart hall, about £2 a year, that their rooms
might be rent-free and kept in repair. Their new abode was at first
also called Stapeldon hall, but was soon known as Exeter College \

Stapeldon ^ had taught Canon law at Oxford, and at the time of his
election to Exeter 13 Nov. 1307 was precentor of the cathedral,
rector of Aveton Gifford, and chaplain to Clement V. He was
employed on service in France, before and after he became bishop ;
sent thither by Edward I 6 June 1 306 ; Edward II sent him to Gascony
in June 1310; on 6 Nov. 13 12 he was ordered to defend the King's
cause about Aquitaine before the Parlement of Paris, and again 8 Feb.
I3I|^ He was one of those who elected the Lords Ordainers in
Mch \z\V'

His predecessor Thomas de Bitton made several bequests to him.
He was consecrated 13 Oct. 1308 and zealously pushed on the rebuild-

* Called Exeter hall in 136S, Lyte 181 ; Exeter college 1404. Wood (MS. D. 2,
p. 94) says ' autoritate Innocentii vii,' but adds 'by a bull of Gregory xii, 15 Jan.

^ See Stapeldon's Reg., ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 1S92. The bishop's brother
Sir Richard m. Joan d. of Serlo Haye; their greatgranddaughter Thomasin m.
Richard Hankford, and the heiress of Hankford [Stafford's Reg. 122, 142, 196,
337] brought the family estates to her husband Thomas earl of Ormond. Of the
bishop's sisters Douce m. William Herward, Joan m. Thomas Kaynes of Winkleigh,
Matilda m. [? Richard] Inwardleigh of Waghfield [Waysfeld, now Washfield] ;
William Walle, son of the fourth sister, was murdered with the bishop.

^ Reg. 398, Close Rolls Edward II i. 269, 488, 496, 505, 567, 583, ii. 168.

* Close Rolls i. 253.

b 2


ing of his cathedral. The Fabric Rolls show that he was a benefactor
to the amount of £i,8oo, an immense sum in those days.

He soon obtained high place under Edward II, was a collector
of the Tenth imposed on the clergy in 1318 (Close Rolls ii. 551, 555,
561); Treasurer 18 Feb. 13^^ and again 9 May 1322, after an interval
of rest granted at his own request ^ In 1324 he held Cornwall against
the chance of a French invasion ; he accompanied young Edward to
France 9 Sep. 1325 when the prince went to do homage for Guienne,
and probably saw enough to convince him that Queen Isabella was
plotting against her husband. He had remonstrated strongly with the
King about the Despensers, but when the revolution broke out the
bishop was left by Edward, 2 Oct. 1326, in charge of London, and was
murdered in Cheapside 15 Oct. 1326. ' The bishop of Exeter, riding
towards his inn in Eldedeanes-lane [Warwick Lane] for dinner, en-
countered the mob and, hearing them shout " Traitor," rode rapidly to
S. Paul's for sanctuary, but was unhorsed and taken to Cheapside, stript
and beheaded. William Walle, and John Padyngton his steward, met
with the same fate. About the hour of vespers the same day the
choir of S. Paul's took up the headless body of the prelate and
conveyed it to S. Paul's but, on being informed that he died under
sentence, the body was brought to S. Clement's beyond the Temple,
but was ejected ; so that the naked corpse, with a rag given by the
charity of a woman, was laid on a spot called ' Le Lawles Chirche '
and, without any grave, lay there with those of his two esquires,
without office of priest or clerk ^.'

^ '27 Sept, 1323. De custodia sigilli Scaccarii commissar — The King having
appointed Hervicus de Stauntone, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to execute the
office of Chief Justice, by which he is not able at present to attend to the said
office of Chancellor, — "Custodiam sigilli nostri Scaccarii predicti venerabili patri,
'W[allero] Exon. Episcopo, Thcsaurario nostro commisimus ; habend. quamdiu
nobis placuerit, pcrcipiendo pro custodia predicta feodum consuetum. In cujus &c.
Teste Rege, apud Skergill xxvij die Sept.'" Rot. Pat. 17 Edw. II p. i, m. 16.

* French Chronicle of London 5 2 (^Camden Soc. 1844); see too\Vaisinghami.iS2;
Leland Coll. i. 467 ; S. Paul's Documents (Camden Soc. 1S80) 51, 177 ; Stubbs'
Chronicles of Edward I and II i. pp. xcv, 316 ; ii. p. xcviii ; Galfridus le Baker 23,
43, 198. For the grant of Cornwall see Kymer II. i. p. 569, and further mention of
Stapeldon p. 19 (1307), 202 (1313) Stapeldon in P' ranee, 344 (1317) to the Pope
against Stapeldon's enemies, 422, 428, 448, 520, 564, 565, 574, 584, 605 for going
abroad, 617, 627; 603 the Sheriff of Cornwall ordered to proclaim the truce, and
610 to arrest suspected persons. See Index to Rolls of Parli:\inent, Pat. Rolls


His remains were buried in S. Clements Danes, bul transferred to
Exeter cathedral 28 Mch 1327. The present epitaph on his monu-
ment there was composed by John Hoker in 1568, and put up at the
expense of Bishop Alley; it has been repaired by the College'. His
house, Exeter Inn, near Temple Bar, was sacked by the mob, his
books — including his ' libri pontifical's' — destroyed. His Register
at Exeter ends 15 June 1325; that of his last sixteen months was
probably destroyed in London. We might perhaps have found in it
some account of his benefactions to his new foundation at Oxford.
He also left funds to establish in S. John's Hospital at Exeter
a grammar school to prepare boys for Oxford, and another at
Ashburton^ His inventory shows that he possessed books valued
at £201 los 6d, which treated chiefly on Scripture and Canon law,
with a few historical works such as the Letters of Frederic II and
Peter de Vineis. He had previously given to the Cathedral Library
a Catholicon, beginning with the words Temponim summa, valued at
£5, and the Chronicles of Westminster De gcsiis Anglorum valued
at £1 6s 8d.

As early as 21 Oct. 131 2 Edward II granted a mortmain licence

1327 p. 27, 153 ; Gutch iii. 104 ; Hist. Comm. ix. 212 a ; Stephens' Chichester 64 ;
Hearne 1 7 Ap. 1 71 2 ; W. Antiq. iv. 218. S. Clements Danes belonged to the Bishop
of Exeter: it had previously belonged to the Temj^lars, Eyton's Henry II y>- 160.
J. Diprose's Parish of S. Clement Danes 1868-76.

^ Keg. 23 Jan. 173I a sum of ^7 2^- was added to what had been given before
for the repair of Bishop Stapeldon's tomb. Stapeldon's arms were argent, two
bends wavy sable, on a bordure of the last 8 keys or. An older coat was without
the bordure and the keys. Izacke says the elder coat was in the north side of the
quire of Stapeldon's own chapel near the high altar. The College arms, as allowed
by Portcullis in 1 5 74, were Argent, 2 Bends nebulee, within a Bordure, sable, charged
with 8 pair of Keys, addorsed, or ; Visit. Oxon 5, 86, 100.

^ It is touching to see what a number of bequests he had made to poor scholars.
The accounts are for several years (Reg. 576), and the repeated payments show that
some received so much a year. These names include Henry de Tuvertone, William
de Heghes, and William de Polmorva ; and others also may have been scholars,
i. e. fellows. This may apply also to the scholars who have letters dimissory (536 ),
though only Philip de Chalvedon is expressly said to come from Stapeldon Hall.
One item is 'in expensis domini R. de Brayleghe eundo versus Oxoniam, morando
ibidem pro edificiis et negociis scolarium de Stapeldone halle, et redeundo, per xv
dies xxxvij.' Dean Brayleghe paid several visits as acting executor (578-9). The
bishop's other agents in communicating with the College were Robert de Tauton
(Stapeldon's Reg. 3S5) ; and Gilbert de Koldish.all (R. of White Roding, Essex
26 Mch 1322, res. for Avely 1329; Rymer II. i. 605, Newcourt ii. 22, 500).


to the Bishop's brother Richard, allowing him to give an acre of land
at Draynek in Penwyth (Drannock in Gwinear, Cornwall), together
with the advowson of Gwinear, to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter,
to hold for the support of twelve scholars studying at Oxford and
their successors for ever; Sir Richard paid a fine of loo shillings for
this licence, and on Friday before Lady day 13 if, at Crediton, he
transferred the property. The land and the advowson had been
conveyed to him by Reginald de Bevyle in a deed dated Walneston
5 Dec. 131 2, after the Earl of Gloucester as lord of the manor had
authorised the gift at Westminster 24 May 131 2. The hcence of
mortmain for Stapeldonhall itself is dated 10 May I3i4\ On 4 Ap.
1314 Bishop Stapeldon, after praise of Oxford where he had been
educated, says that on consultation with the Dean and Chapter,
IVL John le Deneys rector of Gwinear, and Adam [de Carleton]
archdeacon of Cornwall, he gives the rectory of Gwinear ^ to the Dean

^ Pat. 10 May 1314 licenses bishop Stapeldon to give 2 messuages in Oxford to 1 2
scholars studying in the University.

Pat. 4 Nov. 1315 confirms Skelton's charter of 6 Oct.

Pat. 30 Oct. 1318 confirms agreement with Godstow of 23 Ap.

Pat. 30 Nov. 13 1 8 licenses Stapeldon hall to acquire lands and rents to value of
£20 a year, and advowson of a church, or of two, to value of 40 marks a year.

Pat. 20 May 1322 licenses bishop Stapeldon to give advowson of West Witten-

Pat. 18 June 1326 licenses bishop Stapeldon to give 5 messuages in Oxford to the
house of Stapeldon.

Pat. 20 June 1326 pardons the house of Stapeldon for acquiring without license
2 messuages in Oxford of bishop Stapeldon, 1 of Agatha d. of Henry Owen,
I of Walter Siward, and i of Gilbert Beford.

Pat. 12 July 1 35 1 licenses Warden of the King's free chapel Windsor to give
advowson of South Tawton in Devon to Stapeldon hall in exchange for West
Wittenham [Carta Custodis de Wyndesore 21 Sep. 1351 in Ashmole MS. 11 25
fol. 24].

Pat. 12 Mch 1457 licence to acquire land to value of ;^ii 14J S</ a year, and
advowson of i or 2 churches to value of 40 marks a year.

Pat. 18 June 1705 licence to purchase in mortmain advowsons of yearly value of

'■' On 28 Sep. 1319 at Clist the bishop arranged thus for the Vicarage of Gwinear
(Reg. 332) : dominus Andrew de Tregiliou now Vicar and his successors are to
have the houses previously belonging to the rectory with the whole sanctuary
within the close, and the glebe of one acre, except a long building on the sanctuary,
with a curtilage of half an acre English adjoining, which the Vicar is to keep up
for the Chapter when they want it, to gather the harvest in. The Vicar is to have
the lesser tithes, oblations and obventions belonging to the altilagc, am! the tithe
of hay, mortuaries, llax, hemp, heifers, lambs, fowls, and 'blades' cultivated with


and Chapter, who are to pay the money arising from the rectory to
the use of the twelve scholars of Stapeklonhalle studying philosophy
'in municipio Oxon, vel alibi in eodem municipio ubi duxcrimus
ordinandum dum ibi subsistit universitas, vel alibi in regno Anglic
si ad alium locum eiusdem regni eandem universitatem, quod absit,
transferri contigerit'; if the Dean and Chapter delay payment, they
are to pay forty shillings to the help of the Holy Land and forty more
to the Bishop's alms. But bishop Grandisson had to remonstrate with
the Chapter 28 Aug. 1329 because they withheld great part of the
money (Latin printed in ed. i. p. xliv), and again in 1354, and the
fellows petition Brantingham to the same effect 18 Sep. 1372 ^

spades in the present gardens. The Chapter is to pay the Vicar 40J yearly, but the
Vicar is to supply sufficient hay (literam ' litter,' et buscam) to the Chapter's agents
while on the spot. The Vicar is to pay the Chapter for the glebe two shillings of
silver yearly. And the Vicar is to pay all ordinary expenses of the church, keep
up the chancel, books, ornaments, belonging to the rectory, and the glass in the
windows of the Chancel at his own expense ; extraordinary burdens however to be
paid by the Chapter. A receipt is preserved, dated Exeter 7 Oct. 1382, given to
the Chapter by William Slade rector of Stapeldon hall for £,2}, 14J %d received
through the hands of dominus Walter Compton seneschal of the exchequer of the
Chapter in presence of M. Hugh Hickelyng precentor and dominus William Fereby
canon of Exeter in payment for 1378-81. Extraordinary burdens probably refer to
voluntary subsidies, and to the tenths exacted by Legates and Nuncios &c., as in
the parallel arrangement made for the vicarage of Menheniot. The Vicarial glebe
now is 34 acres, ? = the sanctuary of 33 acres (after deducting the half acre) and the
one acre. For the Rectors and Vicars of Gwinear, see Lake ii. 146, N. and
Gleanings iv. 181. In the Taxation of Nicholas IV, 1288-91, Gwinear is valued
at 1 1 35 4</, the tenth of which \% \\s A^i.

^ Documents in Chapter Library at Exeter.

1162. Tuesday before S. Martin 15 Edward II. Joan who was wife of Philip
de St. Wynnoc and daughter and heir of William de Tregilla, widow, to Bishop
Stapeldon and Sir Richard de Stapeldon his brother, grant of an acre of land in
the vill of Menhenniot and the third part of the advowson of the church of
Menhenniot. [Year Books xii and xiii Edward III (Rolls Series 1885) pp. 282-98
A. D. 1339 Adam de Helygan v. Richard de Stapeldon and others. The advowson
of Mahynyet was alleged to be appendant to the manor of Tregilla. The descent
was from Adam de Tregilla to his daughters Emma Isabel and Joan, and from
Isabel to Adam Doygnel her son. Partition was made between Adam Doygnel,
Emma and Joan. Emma gave her purparty to Adam de Helygan. Richard
confessed Helygan's right to present in turn, and judgement was accordingly given
against him.]

1163. 12 Nov. 15 Edward II, letter of attorney to deliver possession of the

1 177. 4 May 1478 appointment, by Nicholas Gosse chancellor of Exeter and
others, of proctors to obtain from the archbishop the confirmation of the appro-


On 7 Ap. 1314 Richard de Wydeslade precentor of Crediton quit-
claimed at Oxford to the bishop his right over Hart hall ' now

priation of the church of Menheniot to the Dean and Chapter for the use of the
fellows of Stapeldon hall.

1 190. 23 July 1479 copy of composition for tithes of Menheniot, from original
at Exeter College.

1 191. Extracts from the Chapter Act Books, registers, &c., relating to Menheniot
and Exeter College.

1487. Nov. 1 316 Reginald de Beovyle knight to Richard de Stapeldon knight,
grant of an acre of land in the manor of Drayneck, and the advowson of the church
of St. Wynner.

1488. Nov. 1 316 Laurence de Beovyle son of Ralph de Beovyle to Reginald de
Beovyle, Release of the premises (see also no. 1499).

1489. 21 Dec. 1316 the same to Richard de Stapeldon knight, Release of the

1490. 21 Oct. 6 Edward II (131 2) Licence of Mortmain for Richard de
Stapeldon to grant the premises to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter (see also
no. 1500). Seal.

1496. No date, Memorandum of matters to be inquired of respecting a suit
brought against the Dean and Chapter by the descendent of Reginald de Beo\'yle
for the advowson of S. Wynner.

1497. Thursday after S. Andrew 5 Edward II (Dec. 131 1) Reginald de Beovyle
knight to John de Trejagu knight, letter of attorney to deliver seisin to Richard de
Stapelton knight of the manor of Drennek in the hundred of Penwith, together
■with the advowson of the church of S. Wynner in the said manor [Seal, an ox,
S(igillum) Reginald! de Bevil].

1499. Friday after S. Andrew 5 Edward II (Dec. 131 1) Laurence de Beovyle
son of Ralph de Beovyle to Reginald de Beovyle, Release of his right to an acre of
land in the manor of Drayneck prope pa7-aiin prati rectorie eccksie Sancti Wynneri
in atistrali parte parci, et tendit iisqiie regale iter de ecclesia de Wynieri versus
Rtidruth, and the advowson of the said church.

1500. Friday before the Annunciation 7 Edward II (Mch 131I) Richard de
Stapeldone to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, Grant of the aforesaid English
acre of land and advowson of S. Wynner (Seal, a shield) : Witnesses Robert de
Stokhay, Richard de Merton, John de Valletort of Clist, Hugh le Prous, William
le Espek, knights, at Criditon. No. 1501 Duplicate of same deed.

(Miscellaneous Deeds.)

2142. 24 May 4 Edward II Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester to tlie Dean and
Chapter, Grant of lands in Dreinok, Cornwall, in aid of the poor scholars of Oxford
(injured by damp).

2215. 23 Nov. 1332 Ordinance of Bishop Grandisson for the foundation of the
school in S. John's Hospital Exeter. It recites that Bishop Stapeldon after
having founded Stapeldon Hall at Oxford had obtained the king's licence to
acquire the advowson of the church of Erniscombe, &c.

2278, 24 May 1402 Agreement by Dean and Chapter to save harmless John
Keynes and John Whityng the consanguinei and heirs of Richard Stapeldon knight
for a suit brought against them concerning lands in Drennok belonging to the


called Stapeldonhalle,' and Arthurhall (two messuages conveyed to
them jointly by John de Dokelington), witnesses Sir Richard de
Merton, Sir Richard de Stapeldon, Sir John de Treiaugu \ Richard
de Inwardlegh, John de la Pomeray. Hart hall lay within Smythgate,
in S. Peter's in the East, between Black hall to the west and Scheld
hall to the east ; this Scheld hall was where New College cloister now
stands. But Hart hall proving too small, the bishop moved his
scholars to the site of the present College, where he obtained from
Peter de Skelton for £50 on 6 Oct. 1315 S. Stephen's hall in
S. Mildred's parish. Later on, a tower, part of which still remains
in the rector's house, was built on the site of S. Stephen's halP,
with a gate under it opening out into the lane inside the City wall.
Skelton \vas very much favored by the bishop. Stapeldon's Reg.
12 Oct. 13 1 5 'Apud Chuddelegh xii die mensis Octobris optinuit
magister Petrus de Skelton^ rector ecclesie de Esse [Saltash] in

Online LibraryExeter College (University of Oxford)Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents → online text (page 1 of 61)