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TWO MEDIAEVAL PARISH BOOKS FROM THE DIOCESE OF ELY: NEW COLLEGE MS.98 & WISBECH MUSEUM MS.l

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TWO MEDIAEVAL PARISH BOOKS FROM THE DIOCESE OF ELY: NEW COLLEGE MS.98 & WISBECH MUSEUM MS.l Dorothy Owen In March 1979, Richard Hunt called on me to inquire about the identification of certain CaIT)bridgeshire
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TWO MEDIAEVAL PARISH BOOKS FROM THE DIOCESE OF ELY: NEW COLLEGE MS.98 & WISBECH MUSEUM MS.l Dorothy Owen In March 1979, Richard Hunt called on me to inquire about the identification of certain CaIT)bridgeshire place-names which he had found in a New College manuscript. They were easily recognisable as Haddenham, in the Isle of Ely and its hamlets, Lindon, Hill, Hinton and Aldreth. When it was learned that these names were found at the head of lists of personal names, and in association with accounts and miscellaneous estate memoranda, and that the entries occurred in a volume containing a copy of synodal statutes for the Isle of Ely, further investigation of the manuscript's provenance was undoubtedly desirable. Professor Cheney and Dr. Kef had thought it had belonged to the cathedral priory at Ely ' , but since Haddenham had passed from conventual hands to those of the bishops after the creation of the diocese of Ely in 1108 an association with episcopal properties seemed far more certain 2 . Haddenham was administered as a demesne manor, and it seemed quite possible that the accounts and memoranda were those of a steward, although their occurrence in conjunction with a copy of synodal statutes was hard to explain. The history of the manuscript became clearer when the lists of names could be examined: they were headed by the words de ciragio, and were thus a parochial list of house owners liable for the payment of wax-scot. Since there are already known two lists of episcopal tenants in Haddenham in surveys of demesne manors made in 1222 and 1251 3 , and since these wax-scot lists include men who appear in one or other of these, it was possible to conclude that they could reasonably be assigned to , to which period the handwriting almost certainly belongs. Thus we have here a comemporary working list compiled for the use of whoever collected wax-scot in [he parish. Wax-scot was one of the ancient components of the 'offerings of the altar' payable twice or three times a year, by all householders in the parish, towards the lighting of the parish church 4 . It seems to have been first mentioned in 1008 in the law-code of King Ethelred, where it is among the annual obligatory church dues . . Many post-conquest references, in valuations of rectories, ordinations of vicarages and disputes between owners of neighbouring churches, mention it. A late twelfthcentury example from the Stixwold cartulary records a dispute between the rectors of Barkston and Honington about wax-scot due from the inhabitants of a grange at Stixwold which lay on their boundaries 6 . Synodal legislation has many references to the levy, but the clearest account comes perhaps from the borough of Torksey, where in 1271, the responsibilities of the inhabitants included: 121 From every house which had a hearth alight throughout the year saragium due three times a year, at All Saints, Purification and Easter, to find candles for the church. 1 An even morc explicit account appears in a valuation ofwhaplode rectory copied by the antiquary William Cole from a Spalding priory register:' 67,.&1. for Cokwax and Rome penny from eleven score and twelve houses plus forty- nine widows' houses' a . This collection on a household basis, seems to have been universal, and can be paralleled in other sorts of parochial money-raising, from holy-bread provision to rates for the repair of the church-yard wall. It clearly required the making and maintenance of a list of houses in the parish, and here we have just such a list, used for collection for a time, and amended at need. There must have been many such lists, although I have never seen an example, and clearly they would have become obsolete too soon to have been long preserved. The importance of such lists in demographic and settlement studies, especially in an area where other contemporary sources are available, made it advisable to publish a complete transcript, which appears in Appendix A below. Along with the wax-scot lists are accounts for expenditure on buildings and on church supplies, for which the accountant was reimbursed by R. the rector. It seems from this that the accountant and collector was a parochial chaplain (there was no vicarage) who was acting as proctor of the church for a non-resident rector. For his memoranda he used a book, or at least a quire of parchment, which was itself part of the church furniture. Many of the diocesan statutes which had been promulgated regularly in England after the fourth Lateran council in 1216 included a decree for the keeping of a copy of the statutes in all parish churches, as at Winchester in 1224 . . The parochial chaplain, if he had the cure of souls, might be expected in the diocese of Worcester to take his copy of the statutes to the synod and read it there, or or be examined on its contents ,0 . Other bishops required the parish priest to learn the statutes by heart and to expound them in the vulgar tongue to his parishioners 11 . At times an archdeacon or episcopal official conducting a visitation would call on parish priests to exhibit their copies of the statutes, as was done in Ely and Norwich in the fourteenth century 1 V. It is hard to decide whether the whole contents of New College ms. 98 had been at Haddenham. It was said by Coxe to have been pan of the founder's gift , 3 and there is nothing in it (three lractates by William de Montibus and a collection of allegorical stories, all in thineenth-cemury hands) which cannot be paralleled among lists of books recorded in the next century in Norwich churches. The gathering containing the parochial material shows no sign that it was added to the rest at a later date, and so far as I am aware, Dr. Hunt had reached no conclusion about it before his death. Four versions of the Ely synodal statutes were identified by Professor Cheney. Two of these were in diocesan sources, the vetus tiber archidiaconi and the so-called 122 Black Book which was compiled for use in the episcopal consistory. i4 A third copy appears in what seems to be a monastic collection in Jesus College Cambridge ms.31, and the fourth, now apparently identified as a parochial copy, is the New College text. It was surprising and gratifying to find a fifth text, and a second of parochial origin, a short time later. The manuscript in which it was identified was recently rediscovered in the library of the Wisbech Museum, to whose curator, Miss Jane Arthur, and the officers of the Society, I am grateful for bringing it to my notice. I! had been given to the library on 12 October 1931 by Mr. L. S. Penrose, who inherited it from his Peckover forbears. A note inside the cover shows that Mr. Jonathan Peckover acquired it in a Quaritch sale of Puttick books, on 19 December He paid 6 Ss. for it and seems to have had it rebound immediately. The last full folio shows signs of attachment to an earlier cover, but both it and the first folio have been badly rubbed by exposure without protection at some time. Names perhaps of former owners, 'Thomas Penson senior', 'Thomas Penson', and 'Thomas Hendry', are written in hands of the late seventeenth century on the first folio, and similar hands annotate the latter half of the contents. There seems to be no Penson or Hendry known to Wisbech sources; it is possible that one of them may have been connected with William Penson, heraldic paimer, who wrote il Ihe years a journal of a foreign tour which is now BL Harleian ms 3516 1 5 . The Wisbech manuscript consists of twelve folios which had been paginated 1 to 23, apparently in the eighteenth century, with an additional fragment, perhaps cut from a cover, or used as a binding strip. The whole manuscript is written in three hands of the first half of the fourteenth century; there are additions in one or more late fifteenth century hands. The first section, to page 12, contains documents relating to the boundaries and revenues of the parish ofwisbech. These are followed by the Ely statutes and by Archbishop Mepham's statutes for the province of Canterbury of The second section, pages 13 to 20, is taken up entirely by Stratford's provincial constitutions of 1342, and the third consists of copies of documents concerning clerical grievances in Notes on the law of marriage were added in the late fifteenth century together with memoranda on the observance of feast days, together with a prayer to St. Hugh, extracts from a will recording bequests to Wisbech church, and some incoherent scribbles. Overlying all of these are pen trials and personal names in hands of the sixteenth century. From these later additions it is clear that the manuscript had remained iil Wisbech until the Reformation, and that we have here a Wisbech parish book or books. Many of the thirteenth~century synodal statutes include provisions that copies of documents relating to the possessions and revenues of the church, and lists of its books and vestments should be written into the missals, psalters or other service books of the parish. , 6 . Bishops, in ordaining a vicarage, approving the endowment ora chapel, or adjudicating in a tithe dispute, often ordered that a copy of their act should be registered in the missals or other books of the parishes concerned. Bishop Oliver Sutton frequently made such orders, and the practice was maintained by his 123 successors in the see of Lincoln 1 i . Many such documents must have been copied into parish books throughout the country, but natural wear and tear have ensured that few missals or other service books of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have survived even to the Reformation, and the Wisbech book is certainly not a missal or other service book. The documents which appear in the first section must already have existed in earlier copies, or as original documents 18 , The compilation which we have is a fourteenth-century gathering of material of use to the vicar ofwisbcch, and retained with other parochial evidences at least until the end of the fifteenth century. The Haddenham book, on the contrary, is, it seems, a version ofa parish list which was discarded as out of date before 1300, and passed out of the hands of the church. 124 APPENDIX A Ms. New College Oxford 98 f. De Ciragio The list printed below is presented in four columns, mostly in a si ngle hand of c Additions in a slightly later hand are italicised; the crosses represented by + are evidently made in this second hand. Where a name also occurs in the 1222 survey this is indicated by A; where it is found in the 1251 list this is shown by B. This wax-scot list records 213 houses in the parish. The 1222 survey, which does not mention Aldreth and Hinton separately, although it appears to include them, has 97 holdings, while that of 1251, when many holdings appear to be divided between two men, has lsi. HADANAM LINDUNE HILLE HALDERHITE Rad' Waren' Hcnricus de Rayechircht; Avelina Lotrix Mauricius sci/retl.simo pulla Paulinus Mabilia Col + Ernebur' Michael Brid + Passelewc B Nova domus ad crucem Domus Iuhannis Ruffi de Ste phor Willelmus filius Reginaldi + Lecia vidua + A Gunnild warenarius Robertus Vacarius + Domus Huberti A A,I'nt's Altera domus Huberti A Ad, Malilda uxor SUloris Randulfus Brid lohannes Cocus Beatrieia Warloc Matilda de Standun Mabilia Walleis Alfreud Rele (sic) Gunnild Pt:lc:ie Alberd Avdina Doget Tova filia Toli Reginaldus sutor Lc:voc de Heli Alieieia (sic) mia Aldw Gunnild Menenae'... soldus Dolitel... uz Pureloc Domus domini loh ~ nnis de Chewdlc: Hubertus de Teford Dominus ffenricusde Aula A Rogerus Mubrai + Goddridus Harding + Rieardus ad caput ville + Matilda de Aula Henrieus filius Eadmundi Petrus ~'ron g... A EUSlaclUS A Mabilia vidua +,,,hannes de Teverc:sham Ricardus ad fontem A Alexander Rugem' Unfridus Colvile Clariz vidua Simon Molc:ndarius Reiner Adam &aeheer Radulfus Sineker Radulfus Faber... Wlllelmusc3pellanus... Godefridus mius Ailrie + Alexander Pue... 8 Rogerus filius Roberti + lohannes Kek Radulfus Cuper Wil!elmus Cuper' B Ailbern ad caput ville... Alexander Porkar'... A Henricus Cod Simon Neuman + Willelmus Lc:eelun Willelmus Grum A Willelmus Pirie Willelmus mius Roberti Brunig Turoldus messer... A Radulfus filius $clc:d + A Rc:ginaldus mius Rogeri Osbertus Frost A Iordanus Kind + Iohannes filius prepositi + Willemus prepositus + A Petrus Heming... B Avdina vidua + lordanus Turbern... Willelmus T russe B Rc:ginaldus mius Rieardi... A tordanus Qumchold... lordanus filius Bnxtan + A Galfridus fil ius Agnetis Radulfus Hog + Robertus Neuman... Walterus Trusse + A Alexander Fekere + Matilda &rutinger Simon Hering... Radulfus filius Swetwn B Petrus Colc:vile + A B Petrus filius Radulfi A Hosbc:rn Hog Beatrix filia Ailrie Gunnild Turbcrn Ermenilda vidua Willc:lrnus Cornewalcis... A lordanus Bue... Margareta fliia Helenis Agnes filia Radulfi Willeimus Kibbel A Agnes vidua Willelmus Hoceard Wahcrus Frost... Hcnricus filiu\ Wlnard Eustaehius... A Henrieus Aeri Henrieus Esl Osb(rn Toni Robcrtus Men!... Robc:rtus Prille... Robertus Carpentariu5 + Robertus del grene + Ricardus milts... Ricardus filius capellani Warinus + Willc:1mus a hi grave Filius Unwin!! Walterus Resbc: Willelmus biscop... Everardus del brae... Radulfus Cappe Iohannes ad pontem (19) Robc:rtus ad!){intem Toraldus &hail Rieardus surdus... Henricus Aqi Petrus Lemmer Iordanus Pril1e Rieardus West Rogerus West 125 Tomas Socneman A Ricardus dt: Chewelle A dominus Matilda Bue Matilda Tectrix Willelmus CiSS(\ Item Henricus parcerius Eva vidua Alexander Parvus + Johannes cltri~us Alexander filius Herherti + Nigellus Henricus Parkbtne lohannes Parlebene + A Petrus Warloc + A Grigorius Emild Reme del broc leticia vidua A Willelmus filius Herbtrd Ada de Wiuune Robtrtus de Cupwuc Matilda fllia Mirielis Matilda filia fabri lohannes de Chewelle Ema uxor Turoldi Henricus de... bel Rohertus Godwin Ricardus Lindwelle Nicolaus Parlebene WiHelmus Rusticus Radulfus Freg Erm In ild~ a lece (ilia... Toli Ricardus Fitte Rogerus Crud + Matilda de Godmecestre Brictive Hude lordanus filius Ruald + Robtnus messer + Robertus Pune Lece vidua + A Osberne Wronge + A Gunnild Wronge + TeclTices Matilda Webister Henricus Toli Waherus Crummebred Ger:1lrd Tabur lohannes de Toft Matilda Toli Cecilia HOTS Ricardus Basllard Rogerus Pune Henricus ColviJe PelTUS Fleming B Walterus Cruenme Alanus ad capud ville Cecilia vidua Matilda Sent Willelmus Wimarc Wimare SI... (a bioi] Tomas filius Radul(i Ricardu5 One + Petrus Wlnard + HENEGETUNE Filippus de Insula lohannes de Walde Ailbern Rus Filippus Alexander Seful + Ade Busser + Aluric Galfridus Gardener Gunnild vidua Hugo Willelmus Puc Ailric de Waude Ordery + Tomas de Waude Willelmus Hanere 126 APPENDIX B Wisbech manuscript; calendar of contents; the numbers of individual items are supplied by me. p.l 1. Limilalio man'sci. A bounder of the marsh called Heyfen in Wisbech, belonging to the manor of Wisbech and to the vilis of Leverington, Newton, Tydd, Elm and Wells (detailed bounds omitted here), where the vilis named could common horn under horn with their beasts, saving to the Bishop the demesne and fisheries within the limits. Another copy of this document is entered in the Red Book of Thorney (University Library, Cambridge, Add.ms. 3020,f.193v.); it also appears in the Old Coucher of Ely (E(ly) D(iocesan) R(ecords) G3/28,f.33) and in the Ely Priory cartulary (BL Egerton ms. 3047, f.208v. ). 2. LimirQcio parochiarum de Wysbech et Elm. A definition of the boundary between Wisbech and Elm, made by a jury of twenty four sworn men elected by the vilis of Elm, Wisbech, Wells, Leverington, Newton and Tydd, on the authority of the Bishop of Ely (details omitted). Whatever lies to the south of the named points belongs to Elm, whatever is to the north belongs to Wisbech. 3. Memorandum of an agreement made on 24 August 1246 with the consent of the Bishop, and in his presence, for the definition of the boundaries between Wisbech and Elm, on the oaths of not more than fourteen men of the parishes of Tydd, Newton, Leverington and Wells. 4. Confirmation by Bishop Nigel of a judgment made by men chosen for their age and experience as to the boundary between Wisbech and Thomey, which is in dispute between the monasteries of Ely and Thomey This charter occurs in a slightly different form in the Red Book of Thomey, fo1.l68. p.2 5. Con/ir11lacio d011lj,zi episcopi Elyensis super li11lieacionem parochiarum lam in 11larisco quam in cerra arabili. Confirmation by Bishop Hugh de Northwold of an agreement about tithe of the marsh of Northwold between the parishes of Doddington, Elm and Wisbech, made in the marsh, in the Bishop's presence, 17 June Amplified definition of 5 with regard to personal tithes and offerings due from Northwodeland and Le Whythemoor, which were uninhabited in p.3 7. Sententia in visitatione Walterarchiepiscopi Cantuariensis. Mandate of Archbishop Walter Reynolds in the dean of Wisbech ordering him to carry out, with ecclesiastical censures if necessary, his commissaries' decision in a cause appealed to the Archbishop by the vicar of Wisbech, who complained that his parishioners were refusing to pay personal tithes and other lesser tithes from grass, straw, sedge, garden stuff, poultry, windmills, cheese and butter. 6 July The legend on the seal 'Ad Christum pro me sit semper passio Thome' is described. p.4 8. Sententia magistri Iohannis de Bruton commissarii archiepiscopi Cantuariensis. Original mandate as in no. 7, ordering the dean of Wisbech to implement the decision of the commissaries in the cause, 5 August p.5 9. Excommunicacio contenta in concilio Oxoniensi pro refrenacione perversorum. A list of all faults which incur the penalty of excommunication according to the constitutions of the Council of Oxford of 1222, to be read in the diocese of Ely three times each year. This list is longer than that supplied by the 'original' text of the council (Councils and Synods ii, pp ) and resembles the expanded versions included in the Oxford text of Lyndewode's Provincia Ie (1679), appendix, p.9. p Constitucio archiepiscopi Cantuariensis videlicet magistn Simonis. Provincial statutes of Archbishop Simon Mepham issued in a council at St. Paul's in February 1328/9. The text of this entry resembles closely the copy included in Provinciale, appendix, pp p Incipium statum synodalia. Synodal statutes for the diocese of Ely, dated by Councils and Synods parll, pp , , with additions for 1256 x 76. This text closely resembles the latest redaction quoted there. p Confirmacio vicarii de Wysebech per dominum... Nicholaum IV. Bull of confirmation to William de Schropeham and his successors of their title to the vicarage ofwisbech. 13 December This document is not included in Les Rigislres de Nicolas IV, ed.e.langlois, Bibliotheque des ecoles franfaises djalhenes el de Rome, 2e ser, 5, p Constitutions of Archbishop Stratford, 1342 , 0 . The text resembles closely that given in Provinciale, appendix, pp.43-49, although the paragraphs are slightly differently divided. 128 p Articles and responses of the clergy to Edward II during and after the Parliament of Lincoln in 1316, with a copy of a royal writ of protection of clerical goods from distraint, 14 November The articles and responses, here apparently associated with the diocese of Norwich, are printed in Concilia Magnae Brirallniae, ed. D. Wilkins. ii,459-62, 4 vols., London 2 I p.22 Extracts from the Corpus l uris Canonici concerning marriage within the prohibited degrees; fragmentary prayers addressed to St. Hugh of Lincoln; Hoc rusti dusti dignum Anglice the devyliis Hown c1os. Rusti dusti. p.24 Binding strip containing a list offeast days, and an extract from the will of Roger--, concerning a gift of plate to Wisbech church and a couplet: FI.... s octobris vicesima prima kalendas Henrici sexti sex to Wysbech notat an no 129 NOTES 1. Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, a List of Surviving Books, cd. N. R. Kef, Royal Historical
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