In 1323 (10th November) there is a mention of the yearly rent and quarter of wheat which John de Stutevill had granted to the convent out of the manor of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, as already mentioned, to provide wine and hosts for the altar. The manor was in the king's hands during the minority of the heir, and this charge upon its revenues, which had been attested by the inquisition held on the late owner's decease,1 was in arrears. Thomas Wake, as holding the manor in his custody, was ordered to make the arrears good and continue the payment.2 A second order to the same effect followed on 24th October, 1325, addressed to the keepers of the lands of aliens in Nottinghamshire: the manor, being held in dower by Laura, the French widow of John de Stutevill, had been taken into the king's hands on that ground, and the payment to the prior and convent had been withheld.3 A document of 10th March, 1323-4 refers to a change of tenure in the manor of Scarcliffe, with its appendages in Palterton and in the soke of Scarcliffe, which the prior and convent had held of Ralph de Frechevill by knight service. These Ralph, the tenant-in-chief, granted, with all the services, etc., attached and the homage and service of William of Warsop in Crich, Derbyshire, to the prior and convent in frankalmoin. This transaction was completed without a licence in mortmain, and was ratified by letters patent in which the transgression involved was pardoned.4

Richard Grange, full of years and infirmities, resigned the office of prior before 9th December, 1324.5 The news was brought to court by Robert of Sutton, the canon severly censured by Greenfield, and Robert of Willoughby, and the conge d' elire was granted on 13th December.6 The choice of the brethren fell upon William of Thurgarton: the royal assent was given on 18th December, and the temporalities restored on 10th January, 1324-5,7 after the election had been quashed on the ground of informality and Thurgarton had been provided by the archbishop on 5th January.8

During the frequent journeys of the beginning of his reign, when he was often in the neighbourhood, Edward III. came to Newstead on 12th November, 1327.9 On 22nd March, 1327-8, the escheator was ordered not to distrain upon the prior and convent for fealty due to the king, as such fealty had been done10. To the early years of this reign belong the two pleas by which the convent made good its warrant to its temporalities in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. On 13th November, 1329, they answered to the Crown for Papplewick and its appurtenances, with their lands and tenements in Walkeringham, Misterton, Scepwyk, Walkerith, Nottingham and Starthorpe, as held in frankalmoin. The prior claimed view of frankpledge and amends of the assize of bread and ale from his tenants. The jury testified to his possession of these rights from time immemorial, but stated that there was neither pillory nor tumbril in his manors. Offenders against the assize of bread and ale, whose repeated delinquencies should be punished by pillory and tumbril, were habitually fined in money. The prior's liberty, view of frankpledge, etc., were therefore forfeit to the king, and were restored to him by the payment of a fine of half a mark, for which he found pledges.11 On 2nd July, 1330 he made good his claim to the park in his manor of Scarcliffe, which was proved to be appurtenant to the manor, and to freedom from toll throughout the realm by virtue of the foundation charter of the priory.12

In connexion with these pleas may be taken the earlier information contained in the Hundred Rolls of 1275-1276. The property of the priory here mentioned includes six bovates of land, sometime of Henry de Schepewic, and 100s. rent in Walkeringham of the king's socage as of the founder's gift, with £7 rent in the same towns of the king's socage, as of the gift of John, with a fishery in Bykeresdike worth half-a-mark a year.13 In Budby the canons held a bovate of land of the fee of Tickhill given in the time of Henry III., viz. half a bovate given by Andrew de la River, and half a bovate by William of Walesby.14 In Thurgarton wapentake they had two-thirds of half a knight's fee in Starthorpe, held of the fee of Mowbray and granted in the time of Henry III.,15 and a toft and an acre of land in Egmanton, also of the fee of Mowbray, given in the same reign by sir John de Eyvill.16 They had appropriated temp. Henry III. two acres of demesne land in Linby under North Hill, and held ten acres sometime of the hay of Linby by charter of the same king.17 In the Nomina Villarum of 1316 they are noted as lords, jointly with others, of Misterton and Walkeringham, and of Linby and Papplewick jointly with the Crown.18

On 7th July, 1329, William of Cossall, king's clerk, had a licence to alienate to the prior and convent in mortmain five messuages, eight bovates and sixty acres of land, sixteen acres of meadow and £5 17s. 8d. rent in Cossall and Nottingham, to find two chantry priests in Cossall church and one in the church of the priory for the souls of the grantor, his ancestors and successors.19 The various tenements are more clearly specified in a second licence of 5th May, 1334, granted after an inquisition ad quod damnum, as twelve messuages, a mill, eight bovates and sixty acres of land, twenty acres of meadow and 20s. rent, viz. two messuages and 17s. rent in Nottingham, held of the king as of the burgage of Nottingham, and ten messuages, the mill, land and 3s. rent in Cossall, held of the king as of the honour of Peverel.20 A somewhat similar gift was that of the manor of North Muskham, granted to the prior and convent by Henry of Edwinstowe, king's clerk, and his brothers, by licence of 2nd October, 1341. This was held by the priory in trusteeship for the maintenance of a chantry of two chaplains in Edwinstowe church. The fines by which the manor was conveyed to the trustees in 1342 are recorded on the Patent roll for 17 Edward III. The prior and convent undertook to pay the chaplains a rent of eleven marks a year, chargeable upon the revenues of the manors of North Muskham and Walkeringham.21

Transactions of this kind, of course, added little or nothing to the revenues of the convent, being primarily concerned with special foundations whose maintenance the canons guaranteed. On 16th September, 1330 the rent of four pounds from the 180 acres of waste in the hay of Linby was altogether remitted in frankalmoin in consideration of their poverty;22 and on 18th December following, the prior had letters of protection.23 John of Cromwell had licence, 8th May, 1331, to grant to the prior and convent forty acres of arable land in Bardeley within the hay of Linby, with sixty-eight acres of land in the same, held by rent payable at the exchequer.24 On 1st June, 1335, a licence was granted to William of Cossall to convey to them four messuages, three bovates and ten acres of land, two acres of meadow and twopence rent in Egmanton, and to Walter of Winthorpe, clerk, to convey a toft in Nottingham not held of the king and six messuages held of him in burgage. These premises, extended at £70 yearly, were obtained in satisfaction of £4 of the £20 specified in the mortmain licence of 1317.25 Lands in satisfaction of a further half mark were obtained in 1349, when, on 5th May, Gilbert of Willoughby, chaplain, had licence to alienate twelve-and-a-half acres of land and an acre of meadow in Walkeringham, Cossall and Egmanton, with the reversions of two messuages in Walkeringham and a messuage in Cossall after the deaths of the present tenants, all valued at 5s. 1d. yearly.26

In 1337 the commissioners appointed to choose men and archers for the king's service on the Scottish border distrained upon the lands of the priory for its failure to contribute to expenses. The convent complained to the king that its goods were insufficient for its own maintenance: their priory was close to a highway which ran through the middle of the realm, far from a town and in a solitary place, and was burthened and impoverished by frequent hospitality to magnates and others. On 18th August the king, learning on trustworthy authority that this was true, ordered the distraint to be raised.27 Although the canons thus met with consideration from the king, their favour with him and his clerks meant liability to occasional gifts and loans. Thus in September, 1335, they gave two oaks in their woods to William of Lound, king's clerk28; and on 18th December, 1345, they lent seventeen marks to the king for his expenses in the French war, which he promised to repay by 1st November, 1349.29

Prior William of Thurgarton died in the summer of 1349, at the height of the Great Pestilence. The conge d'elire was granted on 19th August, and two days later custody of temporalities was given to the sub-prior and convent.30 On 24th September, the royal assent was granted to the election of Hugh of Collingham,31 which was confirmed by archbishop Zouche at Bishop Burton on 3rd October.32 The temporalities were restored on 26th October,33 It may be remarked that, of the Augustinian houses in Nottinghamshire, all except Worksop lost their priors during the pestilence. A year after Collingham's election, on 23rd September, 1350, Edward III. gave his confirmation to the early charters of the house and to various royal grants by letters patent which have already been mentioned, as well as to private charters from persons.34 By letters patent of 5th February, 1350-1, the custody of temporalities during voidances was granted permanently to the sub-prior and convent, in consideration of the slender endowment of the house. Knight's fees and advowsons alone were reserved to the Crown, which otherwise limited its claims after a voidence to a formal declaration of seisin by the escheator, who was to enter the priory gate and, having taken seisin, to depart without carrying away anything.35

The standing mortmain licence held by the priory was used in 1352 for the acquisition from William of Wakebridge, the co-founder of a chantry in Annesley church in 1361-2, of two messuages, two tofts, four bovates and seventy-six acres of land, and twelve acres of meadow in Walkeringham, Tuxford, Weston-in-the-Clay, and Stapleford, and the reversion of a third of a messuage, twelve acres of land and an acre of meadow in Tuxford, held in dower by Maud, late the wife of Hugh Flambard. This property, valued yearly at 15s. 4d., and satisfying 30s. of the licensed amount, was alienated by Wakebridge under a licence of 16th May, 1352.36 On 30th November, 1355, William Trussebut had licence to grant the church of Babworth in mortmain to the convent, with licence to them to appropriate.37 This, however, did not take effect.

The information about the state of the convent which is plentiful in the earlier archiepiscopal registers is much more scanty as the 14th century proceeds, and is chiefly confined to formal notices of visitation or of the inquiries into appropriations which archbishops usually held upon coming into office. It is possible that, in spite of the havoc caused by pestilence in the middle of the 14th century, the circumstances of the priory became more easy. Archbishop Thoresby, a careful administrator, has left no injunctions to Newstead on record; and, although in 1353 he found it necessary to send commissaries to Shelford priory to inquire into a state of things which threatened immediate collapse,38 no similar commission was issued with regard to Newstead.

Hugh of Collingham resigned in 1356. The conge d'elire bears date 17th October, and the assent to the election of ]ohn of Wilsthorpe followed on 6th November.39 As on two former occasions, the election was irregular, and Wilsthorpe was provided by the archbishop after quashing the election. This was on 8th November, 1356, when the prior was sent to sue for his temporalities.40 The temporalities are said to have been restored on 7th November,41 but this must be a mistake for the 17th. We know, but not from his register, that the archbishop directed the canons to make some provision for the retiring prior. Their letters patent, dated 3rd December, 1356-7, assigned him the upper stall and place on the prior's side in quire, i.e., the nearest stall to the prior's, and a similar place of honour in the chapter-house and frater. He might use his accustomed bed in the dorter, if he pleased; but a lodging with a cellar under was allotted to him on the side of the infirmary next the churchyard. His daily allowance in bread, ale and commons was made equivalent to that of two canons; and straw for his floor and a sufficiency of Paris candles were furnished by the convent, which bound itself to pay a servant to wait on him, either at his appointment or that of the prior, and to furnish him with a pension of 20s. a year by the hands of the cellarer or some other canon. This ordinance was confirmed by royal letters patent of 10th March, 1358-9.42

Two interesting documents about this time relate to Edmund of St. Andrews, a canon of the house, employed by Edward III. as master carpenter at Westminster palace. On 15th August, 1355, the sheriff of Nottingham was ordered to send the tools of Edmund and his carpenters from Newstead to Westminster43; and on 17th November, 1360, Edmund was appointed master of the work of the stalls in St. Stephen's chapel, with power to hire and employ carpenters.44 This instance of a religious acting as a master-craftsman is rare, and was certainly most exceptional. In any case, it must not be taken as a proof of the theory, which is contradicted by fact, that secular clergymen and inmates of monasteries usually designed their buildings. Such work was habitually left to lay artists, clerks, monks and canons actually filling the position of clerks of the works and paymasters. How Edmund of St. Andrews acquired his skill as a carpenter without neglecting his religious duties must be left to conjecture; but in Sherwood forest a man with a taste for wood-carving would find an opportunity.

The intention of John Lungvilers to found a college of five chantry-priests in Tuxford church was changed, as stated in royal letters patent of 8th February, 1356-7, into a foundation of three chantries in that church and two in the church of Newstead priory.45 For this purpose he granted the advowson of Tuxford to the prior and convent, who had licence to appropriate.46 The appropriation was confirmed by the archbishop 31st May, 1357, and a vicarage ordained 12th December following.47 It has already been noted that the neighbouring church of Egmanton was appropriated to the convent. It is satisfactory to observe that, as appropriators, the canons of Newstead did their duty by Tuxford church; for the fine chancel, built late in the 15th century, must, in default of other evidence, be taken as a fulfilment of their legal responsibility to the fabric.

Edward III. was at Newstead on 18th and 19th August, 1363.48 On 1st September following, while at Bestwood park, he granted a quittance of rent amounting to 52s. and arising from sixty-eight acres of land and waste in the hay of Linby, and eighty acres of waste in Bulwell, payable by the prior and convent to the Crown. These lands, in occupation of various tenants, were to be held rent free, even if brought into cultivation.49

A new conge d'elire was granted on 6th May, 1366, upon the resignation of John of Wilsthorpe.50 William of Ollerton was elected, the royal assent bearing date 12th May.51 There is no mandate for the temporalities. The election was confirmed by archbishop Thoresby on 13th May. Wilsthorpe's retirement was founded on a plea of old age, and there is an undated commission to the prior of Thurgarton and John of Chilwell, rector of Clifton, to inquire into the circumstances. Possibly these commissaries were responsible for the confirmation.52 Ollerton ruled the convent for forty years, but records of his rule are scanty. A few documents belong to his later years. On 10th May, 1392, the prior and convent were confirmed in their right of free warren in Scarcliffe, Palterton, Langwith, Rylah and [Scarcliffe] Grange, which they had acquired before 1323-4: the charter which formed their title-deed had been granted on 19th June, 1252, to Henry of Lexington, dean, and afterwards bishop of Lincoln, his heirs and successors, and had thus passed with the property.53 On the same day the mortmain licence granted in 1317 was fully satisfied by a licence to John Danby, clerk, and William Forester of Hucknall, to alienate to the prior and convent two messuages, 110½ acres and half a rood of land, nineteen acres of meadow, six acres of wood and eight shillings rent in Caunton, Starthorpe and Egmanton, with the reversion of an acre and a half of meadow in Starthorpe, a messuage and thirteen acres of land in Hucknall Torkard, and a messuage and twelve acres of land in Caunton, held by various tenants for life. The premises were extended at 40s. 6d. yearly.54 On 1st July following, the king gave the canons in frankalmoin a tun of wine yearly in the port of Hull for the maintenance of divine service.55 This gift was confirmed by Henry IV. on 7th May, 1400, and by Henry V. on 2nd April, 1414.56

On 29th August, 1406 the conge d' elire, consequent upon the death of prior Ollerton, was granted.57 His successor was John of Hucknall, to whose election assent was given on 10th September.58 There is no record of the restitution of temporalities. The see of York was vacant, and the chapter, as guardians of the spiritualities, appointed Thomas Haxey, a name famous in the history of the later part of Richard II.'s reign, and John Gibby to examine the election. They held their inquiry on 15th September, in Tuxford church, where William of Bakewell appeared on behalf of the canons, and the election was confirmed.59 The prior and Bakewell both received papal licences to have portable altars on 10th May, 1413.60 Data for the history of the priory from this period become extremely scanty. We know, however, of a strike of its tenants and bondmen at Walkeringham in 1410, into which a commission of oyer and terminer was issued to Sir William Gascoigne and others on 30th April.61

(1) See Cal. Inq. p.m. II., 245, (No. 417.)
(2) Cal. Close Rolls, 1323-7, pp. 40, 41.
(3) Ibid., p. 414.
(4) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1321-4, p. 393.
(5) Reg. Melton, fo 428.
(6) Cal. Pat, Rolls, 1324-7, p. 61.
(7) Ibid. pp. 62. 85.
(8) Reg. Melton, fo. 428.
(9) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1327-30, p. 187.
(10) Ibid. p. 272.
(11) Plac. de Quo Warranto (Record Comm.) pp. 646, 647.
(12) Ibid. p. 142.
(13) Rot. Hund. (Record Comm.), II., 25, 301, 305.
(14) Ibid. II. 26, 305.
(15) Ibid. 11., 29.
(16) Ibid. II., 305: see also ibid. II., 26, where "prior de Novo Burgo " should be " prior de Novo Loco."
(17) Ibid. II., 315.
(18) Feudal Aids, IV., 106, 110.
(19) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1327-30, p. 413.
(20) Ibid. 1330-4, pp. 533, 542,
(21) Ibid. 1340-3, pp. 286, 357-8 ; 1343-5, pp. 123-4 : see also 1345-8, p. 64. For other documents relating to this chantry see Transactions of the Thoroton Society, XVII., 97.
(22) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1330-4, p. 3.
(23) Ibid. p. 29.
(24) Ibid. p. 112.
(25) Ibid. 1334-8, p. 107.
(26) Ibid. 1348-50, p. 282. (27) Cal. Close Rolls, 1337-9, pp. 164, 165. (28) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1334-8, p. 164. (29) Ibid. 1345-8, p. 342. (30) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1348-30, pp. 361, 368.
(31) Ibid. p. 376. (32) Reg. Zouche, fo. 135. (33) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1348-50, p. 408. (34) Ibid. 1350-4, p. 1. (35) Ibid p. 36.
(36) Ibid. p. 259. (37) Ibid. 1354-8, p, 322. (38) Reg. Thoresby, fo. 13. (39) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1354-8, pp. 440, 467. (40) Reg. Thoresby, fo. 237. (41) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1354-8, p. 472.
(42) Ibid. 1358-61, p. 183. (43) Cal. Close Rolls, 1354-60, p. 143. The St. Andrews from which Edmund took his name can hardly have been the place in Scotland : it may be more probably identified with a place called Andreskirk, near Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire. (44) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1358-61, p. 490.
(45) This, as appears from the revised decree about Tuxford church in 1427 (vide infra) was construed as implying the maintenance of two canons. (46) Ibid. 1354-8, p. 506. For documents see Transactions of Thoroton Society, XVII., 1G0. (47) Reg. Thoresby, ff. 239 and d, 242 and d. (48) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1361-4, pp. 387, 408.
(49) Ibid. p. 418. (50) Ibid. 1364-7, p. 234. (51) Ibid. p. 242. (52) Reg. Thoresby, fo. 262 and d. (53) Cal. Pat. Rolls., 1391-6, p 60.
(54) Ibid. p. 64. (55) Ibid. pp. 99. 131. (56) Ibid. 1399-1401, p. 263 ; 1413-6, p. 259. (57) Ibid. 1405-8, p. 226. (58) Ibid. p. 223. (59) Reg. Sede Vac. ff. 295d., 296. (60) Cal. Papal Letters, VI., 347. (61) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1408-13, p. 223.