In 1414, William of Bakewell succeeded Hucknall as prior. The conge d'elire was granted on 2nd April, and assent was given on 26th April.1 Here again there is no restitution of temporalities on record, which, like the previous case, may be explained that, by Edward III.'s special grant in 1350-1, such restitution had become a merely formal affair. Bakewell died in 1421-2. The conge d'elire was issued on 10th March, and on 23rd March assent was given to the election of Thomas of Carlton.2 This time the temporalities were restored, though not until 6th July, 1422.3 Neither of this nor of the previous election is there any record in archbishop Bowet's register, a handsome volume whose value is somewhat impaired by the omission of essential details. Newstead is found in its proper place in the programme of Bowet's primary visitation, when he gave notice of his intention to come there on 18th July, 1409. The representatives of some of the neighbouring parishes were summoned to meet him there, a proceeding unusual when the church to be visited was monastic and, as in the case of Newstead, had no parochial altar in it.4

Prior Carlton resigned his office on 8th June, 1424. As was customary on such occasions, neighbouring gentry came to witness the prior's solemn renunciation. Sir John Grey of Codnor and sir Hugh Willoughby were present, and John Clifton and Hugh Annesley witnessed the deed of resignation.5 The see of York was again vacant, and Carlton's resignation was not accepted at once by the dean and chapter. It was reported to them that the priory was in a bad way, and was suffering grievous scandal, damage and loss in its head and members and in its temporal and spiritual goods. Without a speedy remedy the house would go to ruin. They therefore used their prerogative as administrators of the spiritualities of the vacant archbishopric to visit the convent and gave notice of a visitation to take place on 24th July.6 On 22nd July, the sub-prior and convent returned their certificate that they had served the summons, and sent in a list of the members of the convent. In this list Carlton takes the second place. It is headed by Robert of Sheffield, the sub-prior, followed by six other priest canons, Carlton, John of Norton, William of Rotherham, Robert Alford, John Boston and Thomas Grene; two deacons, Thomas of Crofton and Robert Birkyn; one sub-deacon, Peter of Methley; and two novices who had made their profession, John of Durham and William of Campsall. There were thus twelve professed members in all, six of whom, from their surnames, appear to have been Yorkshire men.7 Thirteen was often a number contemplated in houses of this type, with reference to our Lord and his apostles, and, though there may sometimes have been more at Newstead in early days, the financial straits of the house would have made the continual maintenance of this number a difficulty. Of the number of unprofessed novices and conversi at any period we have no record.

The visitation was held and Carlton's resignation admitted.8 It was not until 2nd August that the Crown granted a conge d'elire.9 One result of the visitation was apparent in the choice of a new prior, who was introduced from another convent. As cellarer of Thurgarton, Robert Cutwolf must have had experience of business affairs, and he may have been selected for his gifts of economy. The royal assent to his election was obtained on 16th August.10 The election was confirmed by Thomas Haxey, as the dean and chapter's commissary, on 28th August, when Cutwolf took an oath to obey the dean and chapter, and Haxey as guardian of spiritualities.11 The temporalities were restored on 16th October.12

In 1427, the prior and convent petitioned archbishop Kempe to sanction an alteration of the terms on which they held the appropriation of Tuxford church. In spite of archbishop Thoresby's grant of the appropriation, and of their agreement to maintain two canons in the priory and three chaplains in the church of Tuxford out of the fruits of the living, they found that their revenues would not bear the charge. Various pestilences had diminished the population of the parish and there had been a consequent decline in agriculture and the profit accruing therefrom; so that the arrangement which had been made in the first instance for the good of the monastery "would at the present time, under the stepmotherly behaviour of fortune (novevcante fortune?), turn to its hurt and destruction." Kempe decreed at Southwell on ist October, 1427, that the charges incumbent upon the appropriated rectory should be limited to the maintenance of two secular chaplains, to fulfil the purposes originally contemplated by sir John Lungvilers, and to receive six marks a year each. This ordinance was agreed to by sir Richard Stanhope, the existing heir of the Lungvilers property, whose name was included among those of the persons to be specially remembered in the chaplains' masses.13

On 10th August, 1437, licence was given to prior Cutwolf and the convent to enclose eight acres of ground in Sherwood forest, immediately in front of the gatehouse and boundary dyke of the priory, with a dyke and a quick-set hedge according to the assize of the forest. The boundaries of this piece of ground are stated. On the west, south and east lay the dams and enclosures of the priory, and on the north was the road from Mansfield to Papplewick. The north end of the assart thus formed was at the head of the priory dam called Rownsefen, and its south end a place called "le Ledeyate" (the Leadgate) on the highway towards Papplewick, standing upon the abbey field.14 The prior and convent undertook to do service by rendering a rose to the exchequer every Midsummer.15

It may have been on account of the prior's early connexion with Thurgarton priory that, when in 1442 the Deyncourt chantry was founded at the altar of St. Katherine in Thurgarton church,16 the trustees as stated in the licence granted on 25th June made the prior and convent of Newstead depositaries of the endowment property. On the other hand, although it was an unusual proceeding to give one monastery such a trusteeship in a church belonging to another, the action may be explained by the fact that the property in question lay close to lands already belonging to the priory of Newstead, viz. three messuages, two tofts, two bovates and 160 acres of land, and five acres of meadow in Scarcliffe, Langwith, Milnhouse, Palterton, Rowthorn and Bateley, co. Derby, and nine messuages, five tofts, five bovates, and 126 acres of land, sixty-six acres of meadow and five acres of pasture in Starthorpe, Holme-by-Newark, Walkeringham, Misterton, Papplewick and Hucknall Torkard, co. Nottingham. These premises, granted in mortmain to the prior and convent, with a concurrent licence to them to acquire the same, not held in chief by knight service, were charged with a rent of 100s. yearly, to be paid by them to the two chaplains of the chantry.17

The archbishops of York at this period were too closely occupied in state affairs to pay much personal attention to their diocese. Although Kempe had become archbishop in 1425,18 he was unable to begin his primary visitation of the whole diocese until 1440, and then had to leave much of his work to various canons of York as his commissaries. According to their programme, the commissaries for Nottingham archdeaconry came from Annesley to Newstead on the night of Sunday, 28th May, 1442, and held their visitation on Monday morning, going on in the forenoon to Felley priory. They charged Newstead 60s. for procuration fees: it may be noted that the procurations demanded from Worksop and Thurgarton priories were 100s. each, and from Shelford 50s., while Felley was excused payment.19 Otherwise, the York registers are as usual deficient in information. The Patent rolls, however, supply a few more documents dealing with transactions during Cutwolf's regime. On 14th October, 1452, the prior and convent had licence to cut down forty acres of their wood in Sherwood forest and use the timber for building, sale or burning, keeping the space enclosed for six years afterwards for the safety of the shoots from the felled trees; and on 18th February following, Thomas Babyngton and others were commissioned to measure the forty acres.20 The enclosures made by Cutwolf and his convent within the wastes of Kighill and Ravenshede led to serious disputes about boundaries between them and the forest tenants whose holdings marched with theirs, and, owing to complaints of their transgressions on common pasture, commissioners, with Ralph, lord Cromwell, at their head, were appointed on 18th May, 1455, to settle the question of metes and bounds and inquire into the enclosures.21

Soon after this Cutwolf, who had been prior for thirty-one years, died. The conge d'elire was granted on 2nd November, 1455, and the assent to the election of William Misterton, the sub-prior, on 19th November.22 On 21st November, archbishop William Bothe commissioned William Clifton, LL.B., to examine the election, and the confirmation took place on 4th December.23 Meanwhile, the temporalities had been restored on 23rd November.24

Misterton resigned five-and-a-half years later. The conge d'elire bears date 2nd June.25 John Durham, who had been recently professed in 1424, was elected. The royal assent was given on 17th June,26 and the election was confirmed by archbishop Bothe at his house in Westminster on the following day.27 On 10th November, 1461, Edward VI. confirmed the letters patent of 1350-1, by which the temporalities had been permanently entrusted during vacancies to the sub-prior and convent, and Richard II.'s grant of wine for use in divine service from the port of Hull.28 On 18th November following, the new prior and convent had a licence for the enclosure of forty-eight acres of their wood and land, lying north, east and south of the priory, and for the cutting down and disposal of the timber growing thereon.29 It will be noticed that, owing to these successive enclosures from the forest, the site of the priory was gradually assuming an appearance which approximated more closely than in early days to that of the site as we know it now.

From this point, to the suppression of the house, its history is almost a blank. Durham ruled the priory for almost exactly six years. The conge d' elire upon his death was granted on 9th June, 1467.30 There is no record of the royal assent to the election of Thomas Gunthorpe, which was confirmed, after examination by the official, by archbishop George Neville, at Westminster, on 10th July but the temporalities were restored next day.31 Gunthorpe resigned in 1504, but, of these thirty-seven years, the longest period of office covered by any prior, we know nothing; nor are there any entries relating to his resignation or the election of his successor upon the Patent rolls. William Sandall, however, was elected, and his election confirmed by archbishop Savage's commissary, Christopher Fitzrandolph, LL.B., on Monday, 29th April, 1504.32 Sandall's twenty-two years of office, again, are devoid of record. He died before 27th June, 1526, when the conge d' elire was issued;33 and on 4th September, the king assented to the election of the last prior, John Blake.34 It is probable that during this period the history of the priory was altogether uneventful; but it is much to be regretted that the absence of any records of visitations at York, such as those which enable us to estimate the condition of so many monasteries in the diocese of Lincoln in the 15th and 16th centuries, leave us ignorant of its internal history.

IV.—The Suppression of the Priory.

John Blake's confirmation as prior of Newstead took place in the chapel of St. Agatha in the priory church, on 19th September, 1526.35 There is no record of the restitution of temporalities. We know nothing of the internal state of the house during his rule; but the Valor Ecclesiaslicus of 1535 gives us a detailed statement of its finances, which may be analysed as briefly as possible. It may be added that the sums total given in the printed edition36 are singularly inaccurate, and in the present summary are revised and corrected.

The spiritualities amounted to £35 2s. 7d. net, arising from the appropriated rectories of Papplewick (£3 0s. 4d.), Hucknall Torkard (£6 6s. 8d.), Stapleford (£3 7s. 4d.), Tuxford (£7 12s. 6d.), Egmanton (£8 13s. 4d.), and Ault Hucknall, with the chapel of Rowthorne in Derbvshire (£6 2s. 5d.). The gross amount, with charges undeducted, was £58. In all these churches the prior and convent were responsible for procurations to the archdeacon, and at Papplewick and Stapleford, where no vicarages were ordained, for the archbishop's synodal fees. Papplewick and Stapleford appear to have been served by two of the canons, and William Dutton, whom we know to have been a canon, is called vicar of Stapleford, with a special pension of £2 13s. 4d. yearly, probably to meet his expenses in going to and fro. From Stapleford there was also an annual pension of £3 6s. 8d. due to the prior of Lenton; while a similar pension of 30s. to the prior (sic) of Croxton out of the church of Ault Hucknall represents the composition by which an early dispute about the patronage was settled. The fruits of the church of Tuxford were charged with £8 a year payable to the two chantry priests upon the Lungvilers and Stanhope foundation,37 and with £3 in tithes to the vicar of East Markham, as well as with small annual fees paid to the archbishop and dean and chaptcr of York as indemnities for the appropriation. A yearly pension of 13s. 4d. was also paid to the vicar of Egmanton in addition to his normal endowment.

The list of temporalities is headed by the site and demesne lands of the priory, which, less a rent of 3s. 4d. payable to the Crown for a close called Bardley, were valued at £13 3s. 4d. a year. The net value of the rents received from other places was as follows: Hucknall Torkard, £13 5s. 10d.; Papplewick, £10 3s. 8d,; Stapleford, £1 19s. 0d.; Cossall, £2 8s. 4d.; Calverton, 2s. 6d.; Colwick, 2s.; Kirkby-in-Ashfield, 15s. 4d.; Nottingham, £1 19s. 10d.; Barton-in-Fabis, £1 4s. od.; Ruddington, 13s. 4d.; Radcliffe-on-Trent, 15s.; Staythorpe, £19 17s. 1d.; Caunton, £2 12s. 4½d.; North Muskham, £5 1s. 6d.; Sutton-on-Trent, £4 2s. 7d.; Ompton, 9s.; Walkeringham, etc., £33 13s. 11d.; Clumber, 11s.; Tuxford, £1 1s. 8d. In Derbyshire: Rowthorn, £7 13s. 1d.; Hardstoft, £2 1s. 4d.; Scarcliffe, £15 0s. 3d.; Calver (near Eyam), £7 15s. 1d. The total net sum of the temporalities was thus £146 11s. 0½d., from a gross sum of £161 19s. 8½d. Of the £15 8s. 8d. charged upon the gross amount the most important items were £5 6s. 8d. to a chantry-priest at Edwinstowe out of the rents of North Muskham, and £5 to the chaplain of the Deyncourt chantry at Thurgarton out of Walkeringham. Other rents were 14d. yearly to the lord of the manor of Nuttall out of Hucknall Torkard; £1 6s. 8d. to the prioress and convent of St. Mary's at Derby out of Stapleford; 2s. 8d. to the Crown as serjeanty out of Kirkby-in-Ashfield; 6d. to the rural dean of the liberty of Southwell, 18s. to Richard Banaster, 4s. to the heirs of Miles Bushy, and 4s. to the abbot of Rufford, all out of Staythorpe; 6s. 8d. to the bailiff of the duchy of Lancaster, for the honour of Wheatley, 6s. 8d. to the prior of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, and 6s. 8d. to the bailiff of the hundred of Bassetlaw, all out of Walkeringham; 9s. to the honour of Tickhill out of Rowthorne; 3s. 4d. to the abbot of Darley out of Scarcliffe; and out of Calver to the churchwardens of Eyam 5s. 10d. for ten pounds of wax at 7d. a pound, and 2s. 6d. in ready money.

From the total net sum of £181 13s. 7½d. were further to be deducted £4 in alms, viz., a corrody of £3 to a poor man, and 20s. given to the poor on Maundy Thursday. The corrody was equivalent to the commons of a single canon, amounting to fourteen loaves of bread and seven gallons of beer every week, with a daily allowance of meat and fish from the kitchen. £9 16s. 8d. was due in various fees, of which the bailiff of Walkeringham had 33s. 4d.; the steward of the priory court at Walkeringham 26s. 8d.; the earl of Rutland as steward of the priory, the steward, auditor and receiver of the priory in Derbyshire, and the bailiff of Hucknall Torkard, 20s. each; the bailiffs of Calver and Scarcliffe, 13s. 4d. each; and the bailiff of Papplewick, 10s. The entire net value was thus £167 16s. 11½d.

Newstead was specially exempted by letters of 16th December, 1537, from the fate of religious houses with incomes under £200 a year, and John Blake was continued as prior.38 On 29th September, 1538, fines, amounting to £233 6s. 8d., were paid into the Augmentations office for the toleration and continuance of the house.39 But the end was not far off, and on 21st July, 1539, John Blake and eleven other canons surrendered the priory, after some 368 years of existence, into the hands of the commissioners.40 On 24th July, Dr. John London certified the surrender to the chancellor of the court of Augmentations, asking for the ratification of the pensions to begin at Michaelmas. The most ardent inveigher against the iniquities of suppression will admit that the prior's pension of £26 13s. 4d. was extremely handsome. Richard Kechyn, probably the sub-prior, received £6; Robert Sisson and John Bredon, £5 6s. 8d. each; William Dutton, £5; John Darfield, William Bathley, Geoffrey Acrice, Christopher Motterham and Richard Hardwike, £4 13s. 4d. each; and Harry Tynker and Leonard Alenson, each £3 6s. 8d.41 This pension list is repeated on 28th October, 1540.42

London reported to Cromwell on 27th July, 1539, that Sir John Byron had custody of Newstead.43 He implies that the canons were beginning to leave, or had already left the house; but, before they left, they flung into the lake the eagle-lectern, with their title-deeds in the hollow of its body, a gift of Ralph Savage, which was recovered long after and is now at Southwell. On 13th May, 1540, Sir John Byron had a grant of the buildings and site of the priory, with the church, steeple and churchyard, and various of its possessions, including lands and a water mill in Papplewick, the brook, etc., in Papplewick, with the fishery of the mill dam there, and of the brook called Rownsefen; common at Ravenshede and Kighill; various land-holdings in Papplewick and Linby; woods in Papplewick and Sherwood forest; the manor, rectory and advowson of the [non-existent] vicarage of Papplewick, with all possessions of the priory there; lands in Hardstoft, Derbyshire, and Thersell (sic), Yorks.; a rent in Colwick; a wood called Bulwell wood, and land in Hucknall Torkard. The rent for this and for Normanton or Plumtree grange, which had belonged to Haverholme priory, was estimated at £4 10s. 0d., free of charges, save for £2 13s. 4d. to the parish chaplain of Papplewick, 3s. to the archbishop for synodals and 4s. 2d. to the archdeacon for procurations for the same church.44 The Byrons remained in possession of Newstead for the best part of three hundred years, thus defying the traditional fate of spoilers of religious houses. In 1643, John Byron, sometime M.P. for Nottingham and a steady supporter of Charles I., was created baron Byron of Rochdale. William, fifth lord Byron, was succeeded in 1798 by his grand-nephew the poet, who made the name of Newstead famous in literature and, in Don Juan, has left an elaborate, and on the whole, a faithful description of the house to which he was sincerely attached. In 1817 he sold the estate to Colonel Wildman, who began the work of restoration. It was sold again in 1860 to Mr. Webb, who continued the same work in a highly conservative spirit. Although the principles of the preservation of ancient buildings have been revised considerably in more recent times, and the removal of post-suppression features in favour of imitations of mediaeval work is somewhat to be regretted, the priory has been singularly fortunate in owners who have valued their priceless possession, which shares with the cathedral church of Southwell the first place among the mediaeval buildings of the county of Nottingham.

(1) Ibid. 1413-6, pp. 296, 299, 324.
(2) Ibid. 1416-22, pp. 415, 426. (3) Ibid, p 437: the document is printed by Rymer, Foedera, X., 226. (4) Surtees Soc. CXXVII., 173-4. (5) Reg. Sede Vac., ff. 380d, 381. (6) Ibid. fo. 377. (7) Ibid. ff. 379d, 3S0. (8) Ibid. fo. 381. (9) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1422-9, p. 213.
(10) Ibid. p. 210. (11) Reg. Sede Vac. ff. 384d, 385. (12) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1422-9, p. 233. (13) Reg. Kempe, ff. 32d, 33.
(14) The word "abbey" is used in this connexion as referring to the priory. See note on p. 54 above. (15) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1436-41, p. 63. (16) See Transactions of the Thoroton Socicty, XVIII., 86-7, 132-3.
(17) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1441-6, pp. 103, 104. (18) Not in 1426, as usually stated, owing to an error at the beginning of his register. See Surtees Soc., CXXVII., 136. (19) Surtees Soc , CXXVII.. 261.
(18) Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1452-61, pp. 20, 60. (19) Ibid. p. 224. (20) Ibid. pp. 272, 279. (21) Reg. W. Bothe, ff. 80d, 81. (22) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1452-61, p. 279. (23) Ibid. 1461-7, p. 11. (24) Ibid. (25) Reg. W. Bothe, fo. 93.
(26) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1461-7, p. 48. (27) Ibid. p. 79. (28) Ibid. 1467-77, p. 35. (29) Reg. G. Neville, fo. 36 and d (30) Cal. Pat. Rolls. 1467-77. p 35. (31) Reg. Savage ff. 72d, 73. The commission to Fitzrandolph (fo. 37) bears the wrong date of 30th May (? 30th March). (32) Lett, and Papers Hen. VIII., IV., (33), 1027 (No. 2286).
(34) Ibid. IV. (2), 1097 (No. 2459). (35) Reg. Wolsey, fo. 83d. (36) Val. Eccl. (Record Comm.) V., 153, 154. (37) See p. 102 above.
(38) L. & P. Hen. VIII., XII. (1) 141 (No. 311 [4]). (39) Ibid. XIII. (2), 177 (No. 457). (40) Ibid. XIV., (1), 566 (No. 1294). (41) Ibid. p. 573 (No. 1313 [2]). (42) Ibid. XV., 546 (No. 1032.) (43) Ibid. XIV. (1), 575 (No. 1321) : see also Letters relating to the Suppression of Monasteries (Camden Soc ), p. 215).
(44) L. & P. Hen. VIII., XV., 348 (No. 733 [66]).