Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bradwell Priory: further comments

In my post about Bradwell Priory on Monday I gave the impression that it was not very well endowed. That much is true, but it was not neglected, and there is evidence that in the first 100 years of its life people were willing to make bequests.

First up, from around 1230, is a grant from Radulph Barre, then lord of the Manor of Stantonbury.
Know all men that Radulph Barre has granted to the chirch of Marie de Bradewelle 9 shillings in annual rents from the lands in Stany Stratford of William Galun, which land was granted to them by Hugo Barre, uncle of the grantor.
About 20 years later, there is a small grant of land to pay for the shoes and clothing of the monks.
Petronilla Permayn grants to the Church of St Mary of Bradwell, the Prior and the monks serving God and his Mother, three rods of land in the field of Wolverton, viz: 1/2 acre above Thornidole between the land of the Prior and the land which Hugh Pope held, and 1 rod above Middlefurlong between the land of the same Prior and the land of Robert son of Ranulph. These three rods Dominus Nicholas, clerk of Bradwell, granted to the Prior in free alms for their shoes and clothing. She also demises 1/2d rent per annum paid by Nicholas at the Feast of the Nativity
In the same period, circa 1250, another small grant:
William Vis de Lu of Stratford grants and confirms to the Church of St Mary of Bradwell and the monks serving God out there, to God with the sacristy 3 half-pennies rent p.a. in Wluerthon and in Stratford at 2 terms yearly 1/2d from Jueta widow of Thomas Piston at the Feast of the Nativity, 1/2d from the land at Spitelescroft next the land of William, son of Basil and of the heirs of Willim Ferrarius with 1/2d at the feast of St Mary in March from half acre in Fuleweelslade next land of Thomas the clerk and from William Fule. from 1/2 9indecipherable) abutting on the garden of John de Haue.
Free of all service, etc, wardship, escheat etc. 

There is more but I won't bore you too much. The flavour of all these grants is that they are all tiny piecemeal additions to the Priory's property. A "rod", sometimes known as a perch or a pole, is a length of only 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet - little more than a small garden plot. What Bradwell Priory lacked throughout its unspectacular history was a significant bequest that could move it into a bigger league.

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