Keynesham Abbey in Ireland
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
In medieval Ireland many English religious houses held property and parishes. Keynesham Abbey in the northeast of Somersetshire was one of these houses. At a basic level the history of this house in Ireland appears straight forward and without complication. But medieval history is never straight forward. It always manages to throw up questions of vision.
The very foundation date of Keynesham Abbey is not precisely known. It is said that Keynsham abbey in the County of Somerset was established in around 1170 where Bartholomew de Sancto Mauro (Seymour) witnessed the founding charter. Other sources say the abbey was founded around 1180 by William FitzRobert, Earl of Gloucester. Yet more established tradition says that the abbey was founded soon after 1166 when Earl William established it at the dying request of his son Robert.
Robert was the only son of Earl William. He was born at Cardiff. In 1155 he witnessed a charter of his father and mother. In 1158 all three were captured at Cardiff Castle, Earl William’s chief residence, by Ivor the Little. They were held as prisoners until the Earl redressed Ivor’s grievances. As Robert was dying he asked his father to found a religious house for his soul. This house was Keynsham but Earl William also made grant to St. Nicholas priory, Exeter for the chevage of Robert’s soul.
Cokayne quoted Dugdale’s Monasticism, volume 4, page 452 which says that Keynsham was founded in 1169. Like a number of local abbeys, Keynsham followed the Augustinian Rule as observed by the Abbey of St. Victor in Paris. These abbeys included Worspring (also called Woodspring) near Weston-super-Mare and Stavordale near Wincanton, both in Somerset. St. Augustine’s Abbey in Bristol also followed the rule of St. Victor. Further north two abbeys in Herefordshire also followed the St. Victor rule: Wormeley and Wigmore, the latter of which was founded directly by monks from St. Victor Abbey.
Earl William of Gloucester was a great benefactor of many religious houses such as Bermondsey, Bradenstoke, St. Augustine’s and St. James’s, Bristol, Neath and Tewkesbury to name but a few. Therefore when he died in November 1183 the Earl had a great choice of locations to find his last resting place. Earl William left three daughters as his heirs who continued his line with various rates of success but a male heir was something that William would have wished. His only son was buried at Keynsham and so it was to there that that the Earl was conveyed to be near his son.
The earliest abbot of Keynsham was a man called William who was mentioned in 1175. Around the year 1190 William was the second witness, after the abbot of St. Augustine’s Bristol to a transfer of land at Portbury from Herbert de Morevilla to Robert de Berkeley. Abbot William was second witness to a Berkeley land deed after John, abbot of St. Augustine’s Bristol around 1200. William was still abbot in 1204/5 as noted in a series of land disputes.
Rathkeale, County Limerick
In 1199 King John granted a district of mid-west Limerick to Hamo de Valognes. The district of two cantreds represented in the thirteenth century the cantreds of Askeaton-Rathkeale and Bruree and was usually called the cantred of Oconyll. Over this large area the manor of Askeaton held authority. The area today corresponds to the baronies of Upper and Lower Connello. In 1200 de Valognes was given ‘licence to lead his men to settle his land, saving the demesnes of the king and saving the assize of the barons of Ireland touching their villeins’.
Hamo de Valognes had served for a time as justiciar of Ireland and died by 1207. His son and heir, Hamo de Valognes, was a minor and thus the crown assumed control of his lands. In November 1207 King John granted the de Valognes estate to Hugh de Neville for a fine of £200. Sometime after this King John granted the cantred of Oconyll to his friend Sir Roger Waspail. When Hamo de Valognes paid £100 for his father’s lands in February 1215 it was possibly for a reduced inheritance.
Sometime between 1213 and 1226 Sir Roger Waspail granted the church of Rathkeale to Keynesham Abbey. The grant was for the salvation of his soul along with that of his wife Margery, his ancestors and successors. Waspail held extensive estates in Dorset, Wiltshire and in the Honor of Gloucester. It is possible that Waspail decided on Keynesham as his beneficiary because it was founded by the Earl of Gloucester and Waspail wanted to please his feudal lord. If he gave Rathkeale to a large abbey like Glastonbury it would just fall into a large income fund and be lost. Keynesham was an averaged sized abbey and his donation would be much appreciated.
After the death of Richard de Clare ‘Strongbow’, Prince John granted Waspail the fee of Tippercathan in present day County Laois. In 1189 this fee was taken over by William Marshal as his inheritance by order of King Richard. Around 1185 Roger Waspail held land in County Dublin which was formed into a parish called Westpalstown. Before 1204 Waspail married Margery, daughter of Thomas Flandrensis. She was previously married to Robert de Bigarz and secondly to David de St. Michael. These two men held land in the baronies of Oboy and Reban, County Kildare, respectively.
In 1224 Roger Waspail was appointed seneschal of Ulster. He was still alive in June 1226 when the king ordered the restoration of his chattels taken from Reban which he held in right of his wife. Roger died shortly after and was succeeded by his son Henry Waspail. Between 1226 and 1228 he reconfirmed his father’s grant of Rathkeale to Keynesham Abbey. Henry died in 1233 and was succeeded by his brother Roger Waspail.
This Roger Waspail got a grant of free warren at Rathkeale in 1251 and was made deputy justiciar of Ireland in 1262. In 1280 he exchanged the manor of Rathkeale with John Maltravers for a life grant of the manor of Wolcomb Maltravers in Dorset.
Meanwhile we return to Rathkeale and Keynesham’s ownership. It is said that church of St. Mary at Askeaton was founded in 1298 as a commandery of the Knights Templars. After the disbandment of the Templars (1307), Hubert de Burgo, bishop of Limerick granted it to Keynesham abbey. Evidence for these comments has yet to be found. Rather the evidence disputes and disproves such comments.
Rathkeale from the Lawrence collection
The aforementioned grant by Waspail of Rathkeale to Keynesham was made before 1226 and long before any suggested Templar connection. In fact an extensive study by Niall Byrne of the Knights Templar in Ireland provides no connection between that order and Rathkeale. This is further supported by original documents relating to Templar property published by Gearoid Mac Niocaill.
The bishop of Limerick that was referred to, Hubert de Burgo was bishop between 1223 and 1250. He was succeeded by Robert (1251-1272, Gerald le Marescal (1272-1301) and Robert de Dundonald (1301-1311).
Yet there is a connection between Bishop Hubert, Keynesham Abbey and Rathkeale. Following the grant by Roger Waspail, Keynesham managed its new benefice, collecting income and appointing clerics. But the politically unstable situation in Ireland, especially in west Munster which was still border country between the expanding English area of control and the declining Irish area, made it difficult to collect revenue. The battle of Callann near Kenmare in 1261 placed a stop to this expansion.
Many religious houses in England who got grants of property in Ireland found it more economically to sell the property. In 1224 Tewkesbury Abbey sold their Dublin lands to the Archbishop of Dublin and Christ Church, Canterbury gave their possessions to Tintern Abbey in Wexford.
Sometime after 1237 Keynesham followed the example of these houses and did both actions. Under the direction of John de Bureford, a canon of the abbey and their proctor in Ireland, they granted the church of Rathkeale along with nine dependent chapels and property rights in the cantred of Askeaton. These nine chapels were Rathofergus [Rathfergus], Mayntaueny [Moytawnach], Mayryne [Kiltanna], Browry [Bruree], Culbalysward [Howardstown], Karracnefy [Cathernasse & Cahernarry], Mayncro [Croagh], Maymolcally [Kilnecally] and Orosse [unknown].
In the same document Keynesham granted the church of Askeaton to the priory of St. Catherine outside the walls of Waterford. This priory was founded at an unknown date before 1207. The priory followed the Augustinian rule of St. Victor just like Keynesham. Because of this the two houses could have had a pre-1237 connection. An early donor to the priory, and possible founder, was Elias Fitz Norman. This man held land around Listowel and along the border between present day Cork and Kerry.
The grant of all these parishes to the bishop of Limerick was of benefit to both sides. Keynesham got ready money without the troubles of collection while the bishop got another source of income. During his episcopal, Bishop Hubert was involved in costly battles with the pope in Rome and the English government in Dublin. The legal bills were high and the bishop had to borrow money from the Italian bankers. He had difficulty repaying these loans and the interest bill was accumulating. In 1237, the same year he got the Keynesham parishes, Bishop Hubert repaid 160 marks of a loan which included 54 marks of interest.
Askeaton and Ballingarry
The early thirteenth century grant by Roger Waspail of Rathkeale to Keynesham Abbey failed to mention any other parishes. But as we saw by the grant to Bishop Hubert around 1237 Rathkeale had nine dependent chapels located across the cantred of Askeaton which included the earlier cantred of Bruree. The church of Askeaton was another unmentioned benefice and must have had formed part of a larger grant by Waspail to the abbey. As mentioned, the church of Askeaton was given to the priory of St. Catherine around 1237. Sometime afterwards Askeaton was granted to Bishop Hubert of Limerick by the priory. Before 1250 Bishop Hubert granted Askeaton to Keynesham.
Another unmentioned parish owned by Keynesham was Ballingarry which figured large in later documents. The family of Byboys are said to be the owners of Ballingarry in the mid-1200s. In the fifteenth century Ballingarry operated as the chief parish held by Keynesham with Askeaton as a junior parish. It is unknown if Ballingarry was transferred by Keynesham to another religious house in the thirteenth century as its other Limerick possessions were. It is also possible that the abbey kept control of Ballingarry without interruption. From 1294 onwards the abbey appointed attorneys to manage its Irish property which suggests that Ballingarry and Askeaton were under its direct ownership.
On 20th October 1294, Nicholas, abbot of Keynesham, got protection in Ireland while he stayed in England. The abbot nominated William de Spene and Richard Fykeys to represent the abbey in Ireland for the following two years. In 1295 the attorneys had to deal with attacks upon the abbey’s appointments to Ballingarry. Papal authorities called into question Keynesham’s right. But these attacks were rejected yet the abbey’s right of appointment continued to be in dispute far into the fifteenth century.
In May 1299 letters of protection were given to the abbot of Keynesham, staying in England, as he nominated Philip de Lyons and Ralph Body as his attorneys in Ireland for three years. On 2 June 1302 the abbot of Keynsham got letters of attorney for John Huse and Ralph Body to represent the abbey in Ireland. Their term of office was for ensuing two years. In January 1309 at Langley the abbot of Keynesham received protection in Ireland for two years while he stayed in England.
On 24th April 1316 Nicholas, abbot of Keynsham, while staying in England, had letters nominating Adam de Keynsham, a lay brother of the house and Adam Gower as his attorneys in Ireland for the ensuring two years. Abbot Nicholas also got personal protection in Ireland for the same time. On 1st April 1318 these two attorneys had their term of office extended for another three years. Twenty two days later the abbot of Keynesham got simple protection to cover him in Ireland while he stayed in England. This protection was for two years.
In 1320 the abbot of Keynesham held the rectory of Askeaton [Inysskesty], County Limerick. The income from the rectory was for the abbot’s own use. The abbey also had the presentation to the vicarage. In the ecclesiastical taxation of Ireland of 1302-1306 the parish of Askeaton is mentioned twice. In the document entitled “taxation of all the goods of the Bishop of Limerick” the rectory of Askeaton was valued at 16 marks while the vicarage was valued at 8 marks. Another undated document of the diocese of Limerick the church of Askeaton is valued at 12 marks.
The barony, castle and manor of Askeaton were held in 1320 by the late Thomas son of Richard de Clare.
Losses and financial pressures
On 12th March 1321 the abbot of Keynesham, got letters nominating Brother Adam de Keynesham and Adam Gower as his attorneys in Ireland for two years. In June 1324 the two Adams were reappointed as Irish attorneys for another two years. We do not know what business the two attorneys were engaged after June 1324. Their chief job was to collect the tithes and incomes from the Limerick parishes and sent the surplus back to Keynesham.
The responsibilities upon these Irish attorneys were increased in the early 1320s as the abbey suffered considerable financial stress in England and its revenues were stated to be insufficient for modern needs. The tithes of Stoke in the parish of Chyw were given to the abbey at its foundation but were taken by fraud and oppression. In 1324 the bishop and chapter of Bath and Wells gave the abbey the parish church of High Littleton in compensation. Further east the abbey was denied a pension of 12 marks from the church of Bradestede in the diocese of Canterbury. This loss was due to the default of trusted counsel, by the abbey’s own simplicity and the adversary of the then archbishop of Canterbury. Added to this was additional financial loss incurred by cattle mortality, barrenness of lands and flood damage. To compensate the fee for the archdeacon of Bath’s visitation of the abbey was reduced to 10s and the yearly rent to Wells cathedral was set at 5s. This 5s was appropriated to the cathedral fabric fund as appears in a receipt roll in 1390.
When Keynesham reappointed Irish attorneys in 1326 Brother Adam de Keynesham was not reappointed. We do not know if he had returned to England due to old age or if he had died. In July 1326 Adam Gower was reappointed attorney and was joined by John de Hembury, a canon of Keynesham. They were to serve for two years and we presume that they saw out the full term. In October 1328 Abbot Nicholas reappointed Adam Gower as Irish attorney but gave him a new second partner. The new man was Brother Adam le Fitz Richard, a member of the abbey. Their term of office was for two years.
On 29th November 1330 the abbot of Keynsham nominated attorneys to serve in Ireland for two years. These were Brother Adam son of Richard and John Fynamour. The long standing attorney, Adam Gower (first appointed in 1316), does not appear in the nominating letters. His fate is as yet unknown.
In June 1334 the abbot appointed two new attorneys to serve in Ireland for the succeeding two years. These were Nicholas and Richard de Wedmor. Later the same month the abbot received protection with clause volumus in Ireland, for two years while continuing to stay in England.
On 28th June 1336 Abbot Nicholas of Keynsham got letters nominating Brother Richard de Wedmor and John de Hembury as his attorneys in Ireland for two years. Brother John de Hembury had previously served in Ireland from 1326 to 1328. On this later occasion Brother Hembury didn’t serve the full term. In September 1337 Abbot Nicholas replaced both Wedmor and Hembury as attorneys. Instead he nominated Brother William de Bromfield and John de Stokwood as his attorneys in Ireland for three years. The prior of Bath received the attorneys by writ.
Most of these attorneys were members of the abbey as brothers or lay-brothers. The surnames of most of the attorneys appointed by Keynesham over all the years suggest that they came from areas of England and Wales where the abbey owned or held property. None of the attorneys appear in the extensive registers of attendees to Oxford University which would suggest that the abbey did all its training in-house. A visitation in 1526 found the education system at Keynesham to be totally inadequate. There was a deficiency of books and many novices were illiterate.
Many brothers of the abbey spent all their lives involved with Keynesham as monks, vicars in the various abbey held churches or attorneys in Ireland. This lack of exposure to the wider religious world may have made low standards within the abbey acceptable as normal. The absence of a greater skill base affected the abbey’s ability to respond to troubled conditions.
The financial strain upon the abbey in England seen in the early 1320s had by 1333 affected standards within the abbey. The bishop of Bath and Wells wrote to the abbot to say that he considered the canons to be insufficiently clothed. By the late 1330s the abbey’s Irish possessions were suffering in the declining conditions. Wars had devastated their Irish lands and burnt their churches while nature delivered further loss with severe flooding. The wars principally created by Maurice Fitz Thomas Fitzgerald, first Earl of Desmond, as he sought to acquire the Irish estates of the de Clare absentee heirs. Thomas son of Richard de Clare died in 1321 without any direct heirs so that his possessions were divided between his aunts, Margaret, wife of Sir Bartholomew de Badlesmere and Maud, wife of Sir Robert de Wells.
To add to the break up of the de Clare estates the area wherein lay the Limerick parishes owned by Keynesham Abbey passed as dower land to Joan, wife of the late Richard de Clare.
Maurice Fitzgerald regarded all the former de Clare lands in the Counties of Kerry, Limerick and Cork along with those in the lordship of Thomond as his by descent. Any legal claims he had to those lands were very thin but still Maurice assembled his troops to take these lands on the basis that possession was nine tenths of the law.
The amount of losses suffered by Keynesham in the wars is unknown. It was stated at the time that the abbey was in great poverty because they depended upon the rents in Ireland. Without detailed receiver accounts it is difficult to assess what proportion of the abbey’s total income came from Ireland. A papal document in 1394 valued Keynesham Abbey at 250 marks. It is unclear if this figure covers the entire abbey’s income or just the English possessions.
Sir Walter de Rodenye recognized the abbey’s troubles and in 1337 he assigned the advowson of the parish church of Westharptre to the abbey. This grant was no totally to the financial benefit of the abbey as the dean and chapter of Bath and Wells, although approving the transfer, stipulated certain conditions. Keynesham was require to pay 6s 8d per year towards the fabric of Wells cathedral and 2s to the archdeacon of Bath for the loss of the parish from his income. The chapter of Wells was to get 6s 8d in compensation for the loss of revenue during vacancies at Westharptre.
If these financial commitments demised the abbeys gains from its new parish Keynesham Abbey did not get full control of the parish. It first had to wait to appoint a vicar until the next vacancy. Yet even then there were restrictions as the new vicar was to have the rectory house and associated buildings along with part of the parish’s crops of oats, what, barley, straw and hay.
Further appointments of Irish attorneys and trouble in the abbey
On 9 May 1343 Abbot Nicholas re-nominated Brother William de Bromfield as Irish attorney. He was accompanied by a new partner, Thomas Osmound. Thomas de Evesham received the writ for the attorneys on this occasion. Brother Bromfield and Osmound were supposed to serve two years in office but this did not happen.
On 8th September 1344 Abbot Nicholas of Keynsham nominated Brother Nicholas de Leygrave, his fellow canon and Walter Whityng, chaplain, as his attorneys in Ireland for the following three years. This is no reason given for such a change of personal and speculation would produce many different suggestions.
Sometimes the reason for changing attorneys is available and it is not always because of unsatisfactory performance in Ireland. On 12 January 1346 the bishop of Bath and Wells instituted Walter Whityn, on the presentation of Keynesham Abbey to its new vicarage of Westharptre. The abbey held a number of parishes in England and Wales as it did in Ireland.
This redeployment necessitated a change of Irish attorneys. On 30 March 1346 Abbot Nicholas nominated Walter Bagworth to partner with Brother Nicholas de Leygrave for the ensuing two years. At the same time the abbot nominated Henry Gamelyn to also act with Brother Nicholas.
In March 1350 Abbot John of Keynesham nominated Peter de Marsfeld, a lay-brother of the house, and Richard de Luttelbury of Donyngton as his attorneys in Ireland for two years. We hear of no other Irish attorneys until June 1357 when Abbot John appointed Thomas de Keynesham, his fellow-canon, and John Bathe as attorneys for two years. James Huse received the attorneys by license of the chancellor.
The appointment of a lay-brother was not usual. Brother Adam de Keynesham was a lay brother on his first appointment as Irish attorney in 1316. A non-cleric as attorney is of interest and may reflect the effects of the Black Death which struck in 1348-1351. Thousands of people died and monasteries were badly affected. Keynesham possibly lost brothers. But rather than starting more intensive prayer and faith renewal the opposite seems to be the case. The remaining brothers seem to have given up and lost interest in maintaining religious standards.
The Bishop of Bath and Wells visited the house in February 1350 and issued a sad report afterwards. He cited the neglect at keeping the abbey’s gates safely closed which made the ornaments of the church and valuables in the abbey open to be stolen. At refection hour lay people were allowed into the refectory contrary to regulations while nightly offices were irregularly kept. Poor financial accounts were observed in the abbey’s kitchen, tannery, smithy and vineyards. Estates were let out in perpetual copyright to the damage of the abbey and the death of the chamberlain would deprive Keynesham of a wealth of corporate memory. The title deeds and charters of the abbey were not stored in a secure location.
Another fault area was that not a third of canons attended the refectory at meal times while lay men and women entered the abbey at unlawful hours. Stealing by the abbey’s staff was also a big problem as was the serious issue of serving the poor. Rather the religious house was accused of abolishing many of the charities bequeathed by the abbey’s founder to help the poor. One of the biggest faults seen on the visit was the presence of sporting dogs within the abbey and their use by the monks. This was viewed as something unbecoming of a religious monk.
Battles for Askeaton
We learn little about the state of affairs within the Irish parishes of Keynesham until the fifteenth century. Sometime before May 1427 a new vicar was appointed to the vicarage of Askeaton. Edmund McAdam, the incumbent had resigned the benefice to Cornelius, Bishop of Limerick. The rector of Ballingarry, John Kyndton, was specially empowered by Abbot William of Keynesham to present a new incumbent. Kyndton selected James Cleayn, priest of the diocese of Killaloe, to fill the vacancy. Bishop Cornelius instituted Cleayn despite Gillabertus Ykatyl illegally holding Askeaton for more than a year.
But James Cleayn had doubts about whether the presentation and institution held good. He petitioned the pope for papal letters to make good his position. These were issued in May 1427 to the bishop of Alet along with the chancellor and treasurer of Limerick to collate and assign the vicarage to Cleayn. He held Askeaton in June 1427 when he was charged to pay 6 marks in first fruits.
Later Edmund McAdam changed his resignation of Askeaton and recovered possession. Sometime before December 1458 McAdam again resigned the vicarage before the public notary of Limerick and other judges. They then gave the vicarage to Thomas Macega by papal authority and he gained possession for a period of time. Then John Maclanchie lodged a claim of false possession and took the case to Rome although the vicarage had not lawfully devolved to the papal see.
Pope Eugene IV committed the case to a papal auditor who favoured Thomas over John. Subsequently Philip Offlait, priest of Limerick, brought false accusations against Thomas Macega and the official of Limerick (acting on papal authority) to remove Thomas from Askeaton. At this Thomas appealed to Rome where Pope Nicholas V sent the case to a papal auditor of Thomas’s choice. With little surprise judgement was given in Thomas’s favour and against Philip.
Bishop John of Limerick then admitted Thomas Macega to Askeaton to the objection of Philip Offlait. Faced with a choice between two priests in his diocese, the bishop expelled both candidates and appointed Philip Ocathill, clerk of Limerick, to Askeaton. Thomas Macega made another appeal to Rome and got dispensation on account of his illegitimacy as the son of unmarried parents. He then got a mandate to have Askeaton. This mandate set a value on the vicarage at 8 marks and also mentioned previous incumbents of Askeaton as Gilbert Itaschill and William Ymolcorkra along with Edmund McAdam. It is not known if Macega succeeded to the vicarage or if more appeals were made. In these deliberations not mention is made of Keynesham Abbey.
Challengers for Ballingarry in the 1450s
Keynesham Abbey did not have all of Ballingarry for its own enjoyment. Sometime between 1399 and 1426 a house of the Franciscan Third Order Regular was founded at Kilshane by John Fitzgerald of Pobbnesheagh. In 1488, John Lesse, the minister of the Ballingarry community was in a dispute over tithes.
We have no records of the appointment of Irish attorneys between 1357 and 1409. The problems of keeping proper standards within the abbey may have contributed to poor management of it interests without. On 16 May 1409 Abbot Thomas of Keynesham appointed Thomas Danyell and John Littelbury as his attorneys in Ireland for one year. John Roderh, clerk, received the attorneys until the coming they came to Ireland.
About this time the vicarage of Ballingarry became vacant by the death of William, son of Thomas Ymalcorkra. The vicarage was then valued at 12 marks. Thomas Saleys, alias Cristour, was presented to the benefice by, it seems, Keynesham Abbey as the parish’s ancient patrons. But Thomas had doubts as to their authority so he petitioned the pope for further security. Clerics, and people who were not very clerical, in fifteenth and sixteenth century Ireland were often looking out for suspect presentation to a benefice so that they could ‘run to Rome’ and get the benefice for their own benefit. Shortly after the petition a mandate was issued to the chancellor of Limerick to assign the vicarage to Thomas.
In 1445 the vicar of Ballingarry, Gilbert O’Liathain, exchanged the benefice with that of Croom held by Malachy Oconify. This received the sanction of the bishop of Limerick. But Malachy had doubts about the transaction and in July 1445 got a papal mandate to confirm the exchange. Ballingarry was valued at 16 marks. In his received mandate Malachy also got the canonry and prebend of Kilrossanty in the diocese of Lismore.
In about October 1450 Gyllocius Okeyt, a canon of Lismore, was collated to the prebend of Kilrossanty (Lismore diocese) along with the deanery of Lismore, the prebend of St. Munchins with a canonry (Limerick diocese) and the vicarage of Ballingarry (also Limerick diocese). Okeyt got a papal dispensation on account of charges of simony, perjury and other ill-regularities to acquire all these benefices. Keynesham Abbey was acknowledged as holding the right of presentation to Ballingarry when there is no situation of papal reservation. Okeyt did not enjoy the benefice for long as a new claimant emerged in 1452.
In the summer of 1452 William Torriger was presented to Ballingarry by Keynesham Abbey and instituted by John bishop of Limerick. Torriger claimed to have the presentation in succession to Malachy Oconify who had died. Torriger further claims that he obtained possession of the vicarage but was opposed by Gillacius Okeyt, the former vicar. Torriger petitioned the pope for resolution as did Okeyt. Pope Nicholas V gave the case to the papal auditor William bishop elect of Oloron who judge the vicarage in favour of Torriger. Auditor William went on to issue a perpetual silence upon Okeyt and charged him the legal costs along with a fine of 24 gold florins. Pope Nicholas, on the recommendation of Torriger, issued a mandate in June 1452 to the bishop of Limerick, the vidame of Rheims and Richard Purcell, canon of Cloyne to give peaceful possession to Torriger and impose the punishments upon Okeyt.
The Torriger case valued the Ballingarry vicarage at 20 marks and mentioned previous incumbents as Gilbert Ylan and Thomas Sales.
The fines and sentences, including that of excommunication, imposed on Okeyt made a further appeal uneconomic. He surrendered the vicarage to Torriger with an agreement on the fruits and costs. But the sentence of excommunication still stood and as dean of Lismore along with other benefices Okeyt was severely restricted in his career. Okeyt tried to celebrate masses while under sentence for which he was further reprimanded. In July 1454 Okeyt petitioned the pope for deliverance. This resulted in a mandate to the bishop of Lismore to lift the sentence of excommunication and restore Okeyt to full cleric status.
In 1457 Gillacius Okeyt another petition relating to Ballingarry. He restated his loss of Ballingarry and his subsequent excommunication. Gillacius goes on to recount an agreement between Torriger and Gillacius whereby they submitted the matter to John bishop of Limerick for arbitration and to assign costs of legal action. The judgement was that Torriger had to pay costs to Gillacius while the latter left the former in peaceful possession. But Gillacius felt he had left himself open to a charge of simony for taking money in connection with a benefice placement. Therefore he petitioned the pope for absolution from simony and to have the deanery of Lismore in peaceful possession which mandate was given.
In 1458 Matthew Ogriffa, a canon of Limerick, was dispense by the pope to hold benefices on account of his illegitimacy as the son of a priest. Ogriffa had studied canon law for more than ten years (of which four year were in Oxford). He was given provision to the vicarage of Disertmalacala (Killaloe diocese), the prebend of St. Munchins with a canonry in Limerick diocese along with the vicarage of Ballingarry (value 20 marks). Ogriffa was also given the archdeaconry of Limerick to add to his collection of benefices and later on the deanery of Cashel. But Ogriffa had difficulty in getting actual possession of St. Munchins.
The mandate to Ogriffa for Ballingarry didn’t state the reasons for the vacancy at the vicarage. The death of William Torriger or the resignation of previous incumbents, Malachy Ycomnyd and Gillasius Okeyt were given to cover all possibilities. An earlier mandate said that Malachy died while incumbent. A few years later, in May 1463 Matthew Ogriffa was appointed bishop of Killaloe which position he held until his death in September 1483.
In a papal mandate of 1460 we learn some financial details of Keynesham’s Limerick parishes. According to Cornelius Ydeayd, a priest of the diocese of Limerick, the abbey held a number of rectorial tithes in the parishes of Ballingarry and Askeaton. These tithes were not collected in person by an abbey representative but set out on lease to lay people for a yearly rent. Ydeayd feared that because these tithes were leased out for such a long time that their ownership could be assumed by these lay people to the loss of Keynesham. Ydeayd said that the granting of tithes to lay people was forbidden under diocesan regulations. He recommended the granting of the tithes to himself for which he would seek recovery from the lay holders and pay good money to Keynesham. Pope Pius II mandated the bishop of Limerick to investigate the matter. If he found as Ydeayd said then the bishop was to let to farm to Ydeayd who was to send a yearly payment to Keynesham.
References after 1460 about Ballingarry do not mention any Keynesham connection but as Mick Ashton of Time Team fame once said ‘the absence of evidence does not mean the evidence of absence’. In 1488 Nicholas Wall, priest of Limerick diocese, was granted the vicarage of Ballingarry (value 16 marks). The occupier, Philip Okayl was to be removed by the three mandated judges. In 1492 William Omulcorery, cleric of Limerick applied to the pope for the vicarages of Ballingarry and Kilscannell which were occupied by Nicholas Wall and Thady Offlahyf, respectively. By June 1492 he was successful and was charged to pay half the first fruits (annatis) to the papal court as vicars were obligated to do in their first year in a parish. At the Irish Parliament of 1537 the papal right to annatis was ended and the money became due to the crown. In 1500 Kilscannell was united with the chancellorship of Limerick.
Keynesham under lack rule in the 1450s
The many challengers and security of Keynesham’s tithes in 1450s Limerick has to be seen against the lack of discipline within the abbey. In 1451 Bishop Beckington of Bath and Wells found several poor standards and lacked rules at Keynesham. He ordered improvements. But Abbot Walter Bekynsfield was aged and incapable or unwilling to change to harsher administration. In 1455 another commission found no improvements and forced the abbot to resign for his resistance to change. Thomas Tyler was appointed the new abbot but resistance was still strong. Canon John Ledbury, a resistance leader, was transferred to Worspring abbey in 1458 after which things settled down. But a few months later the resistance to harsh administration grew again. Further commissions had to be issued in 1458 and 1459 to affect obedience.
Dungarvan rectory, Co. Waterford
In 1413 Keynesham Abbey acquired the plebania rectory of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. This acquisition was not just gaining a normal parish church. Dungarvan had the right of presentation to thirteen parishes across mid-County Waterford. These parishes were Affane, Aglish, Clashmore, Clonea, Colligan, Fews, Kilgobinet, Kilronan, Kinsalebeg, Lisgenan, Ringagonagh and Whitechurch.
The plebania status in action can be seen in many papal documents such as in 1493. Around that year a vacancy occurred in the vicarage of Kinsalebeg. The rector of Dungarvan, Walter Mandeville, presented Philip O’Delaney as it was the rector’s right by ancient and approved custom. The bishop of Lismore then made the institution by his ordinary authority. O’Delaney then secured a papal mandate as added insurance to his title against challengers.
The crown held the advowson of Dungarvan for many decades up to the early fourteenth century. Roger Mortimer granted Dungarvan advowson to the archbishop of Cashel in return for allowing a crown prison in Cashel which was the archbishop’s town. Rev. Richard de Clare, the crown incumbent at Dungarvan was removed at the transfer time.
The archbishop kept Dungarvan for a number of years but in 1322 the crown revoked the grant to the archbishop. The reason given was that the chantry in Cashel cathedral, which Dungarvan was to maintain, was not functioning. In 1332 the crown granted the advowson to Maurice Fitz Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond. The Earl’s ancestor, Thomas FitzAnthony held the advowson in the early years of the thirteenth century. For more on Thomas FitzAnthony see the article = http://celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/2013/09/thomas-fitz-anthony-thirteenth-century.html
John O’Grada, archbishop-elect of Cashel, asked for restoration of Dungarvan but without success. Successive archbishops sought restoration over the century. Archbishop Philip de Torrington asked for restoration of Dungarvan and its chapels around 1378 but again without success. The Earls of Desmond kept the advowson of Dungarvan until 1413 when they sold it for political reasons.
Keynesham gets Dungarvan
In 1413 Thomas Fitzgerald, fifth Earl of Desmond (d. 1420) wrote to the King asking permission to grant the advowson of the church of Dungarvan to the abbot and convent of Keynesham, notwithstanding the Statue of Mortmain. It could be presumed that Keynesham gave Earl Thomas the advowsons for its County Limerick parishes in exchange for Dungarvan yet documentation does not support this. Although the survey of the abbey’s possessions at the dissolution mentions Dungarvan rectory as the only owned benefice of Keynesham in Ireland. There was no reference to the former Limerick parishes. Yet, a document from 1427 shows Keynesham as holding its two Limerick parishes as noted above.
On 12th September 1413 the king gave licence for the grant on payment of 20 marks. A few months later on 18 December 1413 Abbot Thomas of Keynesham received protection with clause volumus for half a year as he went to Ireland on the king’s service in the company of the Earl of Desmond and so ensure the safe-keeping of that land.
In the previous year (1412), Earl Thomas was driven out by his uncle, James Fitzgerald. He travelled to England seeking support to recover his earldom. It would seem for later documents that Earl Thomas found support at Keynesham Abbey. The Limerick parishes of Askeaton and Ballingarry were situated in the heart of the earldom. A stable earldom was to the obvious benefit of Keynesham. It would appear that the abbey opened doors for the Earl in London and among the regional magnates.
The results can be seen in August 1413 when ships were arrested for the passage of the Earl to Ireland with a considerable force of Englishmen to devastate Munster. The Munster civil war which followed is poorly documented and we do not know what part the Abbot Thomas played. Yet by 1417 Earl Thomas was falsely and deceitfully taken prisoner by James of Desmond. The Lord Lieutenant, John Talbot, spent great labour and expense to secure the release of the Earl. In 1418 the Earl surrendered his earldom to his uncle and left for France where he died in 1420. He was buried in Paris on 10 August in the presence of King Henry V of England.
The abbey under strain and under orders
It is unclear what attitude the new Earl of Desmond, James Fitzgerald, had towards Keynesham Abbey after it gave aid to the disposed Earl. The civil war within the Fitzgerald family cannot but have had effected the abbey’s Irish revenue. By 1423 it seems that the abbey was short of money both in England and Ireland. On 15 June 1423, a writ was issued from Henry VI on the advice of the great council for Keynsham Abbey to have certain lands both spiritual and temporal in Ireland to aid their sustenance in England and that the abbey was to find a canon to be their proctor in Ireland and to stay there continuously. It would seem that John Kyndton, rector of Ballingarry, acted as the abbey’s proctor a few years later in 1427.
The proctor gained revenue by the collection of tithes, leasing or selling the fruits and acquiring income generated from farming the landed estates. Not all of this Irish revenue could be sent back to Keynesham. The proctor had first to pay all subsidies and charges, according to the annual value of the possessions, to the Dublin government. This money was to aid the war against the Irish rebels and enemies. Other English abbeys with possessions in Ireland were similarly charge to pay Irish taxation before any remissions to England.
Burnham and Stack make claims for Dungarvan
In about 1427 Henry Burnham of the diocese of Norwich petitioned the pope for Dungarvan rectory and control of its rural chapels after it had been vacant since the death of Maurice Ocogereyn. The rectory was then valued at 40 marks. Henry Burnham also sought the archdeaconry of Lismore (value 10 marks). Pope Martin V mandated Richard, Bishop of Lismore to collate and assign the benefices to Burnham. At this development Keynesham Abbey inserted its claim to hold the advowson of Dungarvan and the right of presentation. The bishop of Lismore held judgement and accepted Burnham as rector without any acknowledgment of Keynesham’s title.
Keynesham Abbey appealed to the pope but not within the lawful time limit. Still the pope gave the case to Ralph, auditor and papal chaplain who judge Keynesham to have proper title of presentation and deprived Burnham of the rectory. Burnham lodged an appeal and the pope cancelled the judgements of both Bishop Richard and Ralph. Both sides then went into legal discussion in Rome.
Meanwhile back in Ireland Henry Burnham forcibly entered the rectory of Dungarvan based on the judgement of Bishop Richard. Later the chancellorship of Limerick became vacant and Henry Burnham lodged a claim for it for which he would resign from the archdeaconry of Lismore. In April 1439 Pope Eugene IV ordered Burnham to resign both benefices. Following the resignation the pope granted Dungarvan (value 100 marks) and the chancellorship (value 60 marks) to Burnham. The archbishop of Cashel, the bishop of Adria and the archdeacon of Hainault were to implement the mandate.
Keynesham Abbey was not happy with this result and lodged further appeals and protests. By May 1440 Pope Eugene’s patience with Keynesham had reached low ebb. He issued an order declaring that the abbey had no right to Dungarvan and gave corporal possession to Henry Burnham. The pope placed a perpetual silence of Keynesham and condemned them for the costs of legal appeals. He fined the abbey 50 gold florins.
Into this troubled situation the papal authorities decided in 1441 to add a new element. John Stack, a canon of Limerick who had studied canon and civil law, was recently dispensed to hold church benefices as a son of a deacon. Before October 1441 John Stack was granted the archdeaconry of Limerick and the rectory of Dungarvan. In that month he was granted a canonry and two prebends in the diocese of Tuam.
In the grant of Dungarvan to John Stack, the institution was to be in succession on the death of Maurice Ocogorayn or by the resignation of Ralph Beldesford and Gerald son of Maurice son of Sir Richard Fitzgerald. The absence of any mention of Henry Burnham would suggest that Keynesham filed another appeal which was successful.
John Stack informed the pope that the vicar of Dungarvan had responsibility for the cure of souls in that parish while the rectory had such responsibility in the wider plebania of Dungarvan. Stack also said that the cathedral church of Lismore had few canonries and prebends. He asked if the plebania responsibility for the cure of souls be suppressed and the plebania erected into a prebend for John’s life then divine worship would increase at the cathedral. The pope mandated the abbot of Molana abbey to investigate this and if true grant Stack’s wishes, provided the assent of the patrons was given. These patrons are described as laymen but are not named. Keynesham Abbey could be suggested here or the previous Earls of Desmond.
By February 1450 John Stack had failed to get peaceful possession of the archdeaconry of Limerick, but did get Dungarvan rectory which was created into a prebend and attached to a canonry which Stack got in Lismore cathedral. John Stack was unable to get the Tuam benefices. Pope Nicholas V issued a mandate that Stack should have all these benefices with the addition of a canonry and prebend in the diocese of Cloyne.
In 1458 we learn that John Stack, by then dean of Ardfert, had got the archdeaconry of Limerick along with the plebania of Dungarvan and holding a canonry and prebend in the diocese of Cloyne. But Stack had received so many papal letters at different times relating to these benefices that he felt his title to be insecure. Thus in July 1458 he got a papal mandate to hold all the benefices. This provision was made even though Stack was for a long time only in minor orders and was lately promoted to the priesthood. He would eventually end up as bishop of Ardfert.
In this entire mandate little, if anything, was said about administrating Christian ideas and ceremonies to the parishioners across the four dioceses. We saw earlier how Stack got the Dungarvan plebania responsibility for the caring of souls suppressed. This absence and the many battles for benefices mentioned above along with other abuses would soon reach a crisis point. King Henry II came to Ireland on a mission to bring reformation to the Irish church. His descendent, King Henry VIII would soon bring a transforming reformation that would change the landscape of Ireland and Britain for centuries to come.
It was stated earlier that the rectory of Dungarvan was valued at 100 marks by papal authorities. In a mandate of 1489 we learn that the vicarage of Dungarvan was valued at 20 marks. As the vicarage of a parish was one third the value of the parish rectory this would make Dungarvan rectory worth 60 marks. The extra 40 marks would be accounted as the value of the plebania.
In the aforementioned mandate of 1489 Denis Oronan, priest of Lismore diocese, was appointed vicar by the patron, presumed to be the rector acting on behalf of Keynesham. Oronan was then instituted by Thomas Purcell, bishop of Lismore. Oronan said that the patron was in ‘peaceful possession or what amounted to it’ and so he sought a papal mandate to confirm his appointment.
In the Act of Parliament of 1537 for the taking into crown ownership the plebania of Dungarvan, a brief outline of its history under Keynesham Abbey was given. We are told that after the abbey got Dungarvan in 1413 it enjoyed peaceful possession for a long time and earned good money from the various sources. But then following the rebellion of the late Earls of Desmond the abbey lost out. The Earl seized the plebania and appointed his own clergy. These clerics, helped by the Earl, took the parochial incomes for their use and that of the Earl. Keynesham Abbey appealed to the king for help in recovery and started legal proceedings in the courts. But all avenues proved futile and the Earls kept possession and presentation. The seizure of Keynesham’s Irish property under the Act of Absentees (1536) was to prevent the Earls of Desmond from having any further claim to Dungarvan.
What were these events and do we have any evidence to substantiate the claims of crown officials?
Reformation, absenteeism and dissolution
The fortunes of Keynesham Abbey received a boost in 1495 when Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford and Earl of Pembroke, asked to be buried in a tomb within Keynesham abbey and gave 100 marks to make the tomb. He further authorised that revenue from certain manors be given to fund 4 preestes to sing perpetually in the abbey for his soul and that of his father, mother, Edmund, late Earl of Richmond, his brother and all his predecessors. In default of this he authorised one or two benefices to the value of £40 or £50 be given in perpetually for five or six priests to sing for his soul daily. In default of this the abbot was to get £100 for two priests to sing in perpetually. To further delight the abbey Jasper Tudor gave his best gown of gold for vestments.
By 1518 Keynesham Abbey along with its English and Irish interests began to come up against a reform movement that would change the face of Christianity in these isles. The Augustinian general chapter in June 1518 heard the order faced imminent ruin if it did not reform. Delinquent canons threatened to confiscate monastic assets if disciplinary penalties, approved by the pope, were introduced. Some argued for a stricter regime with new rules but others argued against. Cardinal Wolsey was asked not to let any harmful writ passed through Chancery when the chapter adjourned for three years.
In response, Cardinal Wolsey obtained papal approval to reform all monastic orders in Britain including the Augustinian order under the rule of St. Victor to which Keynesham was affiliated. He devised new rules for presentation at a conference of leading Augustinians, Benedictines and Cistercians at York Place, London in November 1519. The Benedictines rejected the rules almost immediately. In February 1520 the Augustinians said no and repeated that answer when Wolsey tried again in March 1520. Thereafter the religious houses continued their declining standards until Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell reformed the houses by complete closure in the late 1530s.
During the 1520s Keynesham Abbey was in urgent need of reform. A visitation in 1526 by the vicar-general of the bishop of Bath and Wells found a deplorable situation. Things were so bad that the abbot, John Stourton, admitted that the fabric of the abbey was in a ruinous condition. The Visitor found the choir of the church to be a filthy state and much frequented with dogs as if it were a kennel. Perhaps these dogs were successors to the sporting dogs observed at a previous visitation. Water and fuel were scarce and there was a lack of books for divine service. None of the brothers studied at Oxford and many of the novices were illiterate although they desired to study grammar.
It is difficult to see how Keynesham could manage its Irish possessions when the abbey itself was in such a bad condition. At the best of times absentee land owners living in England found managing their Irish property to be difficult. The English and Irish governments were concerned about absentee owners since the early days of the Norman Conquest.
At the first session of the so-called ‘Reformation’ Parliament held at Dublin in May 1536 an Act of absentees was passed. The preamble of the act said that the defence of Ireland had been damaged by absentee landlords, living in England while holding land in Ireland. The act seized all the Irish lands, benefices and revenues held of Keynsham Abbey along with other English abbeys and three named English lords (the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Berkeley), along with the heirs general of the Earl of Ormond and members of the Kildare Fitzgeralds.
On 19th January 1541 a survey of Keynesham’s possessions in County Waterford was made. These possessions included the rectory of Dungarvan and its vicarages. No landed property is mentioned. If land was attached to Dungarvan rectory in ancient times such did not pass to Keynesham in the Earl of Desmond’s gift. Much of the abbey’s revenue came from tithes on the grange land of the various parishes and the altar dues collected at the different churches. The total value of the possessions was £40 Irish. The income from Dungarvan and its vicarages was granted for 21 years to James Earl of Ormond and James Butler, viscount Thurles at an annual rent to the crown of £26 13s 4d. Mention of this rent is recorded in an Ormond document of 1540.
The English possessions of Keynesham Abbey in 1335 were valued at £450 10s 4½d. Out of this came dues and pensions worth £30 13s 1¾d which left a net value of £419 10s 4¼d. This would place Dungarvan as worth about 10% of the abbey’s value. No mention is made of the Limerick parishes of Ballingarry and Askeaton. What the two surveys do show is that whereas in the 1330s the abbey was dependent on its Irish possessions to generate a profit, this had changed by 1535. By then any income from Ireland was a bonus rather than a vital part of the abbey’s finances.
Not all the parishes within the plebania of Dungarvan appear in the 1541 survey. These absent parishes were Clonea, Colligan, and Kilgobinet. It is possible that Keynesham or the rector of Dungarvan, acting on their behalf or his own initiative, sold the three parishes sometime before the dissolution. Many religious houses disposed of some of their estates before the dissolution. They possibly believed that the government’s madness would fade in time and the houses could return to their previous status. At their return they could recover the hidden property and continue their previous lifestyle.
At the last session of the Irish ‘Reformation’ Parliament (13 October-20 December 1537) the crown got an act passed to take formal control of the rectory of Dungarvan and its plebania of dependent parishes. The dependent parishes were named in the act but those of Clonea, Colligan and Kilgobinet were not included or named.
The seizure by the crown did not result in a clean out of the incumbent clergy as what happen when Dungarvan was given to the archbishop of Cashel in the 1320s. The incumbent vicar of Dungarvan, Rev. Maurice Connell was left in his position for life as were any vicars of the dependent parishes. It was not so stated but these clerics had to acknowledge the king as head of the church as an act to that affect was passed in the same Parliament. And by another act the Parliament banned the pope from all matters relating to religion in England and Ireland. How many of these clerics did conformed to the new Protestant religion is difficult to say.
For many years after the dissolution the name of Keynesham Abbey and its Irish possessions continued to appear in the state papers. Following the grant to the Earl of Ormond, the County Waterford possessions were granted on lease to John Luker for 21 years by letters patent issued on 31 October 1577. A new grant was issued on 10 March 1596 to Roger Dalton for another 21 years. Dalton had previously inherited large estates between Dungarvan and Cappoquin.
On 10 September 1603 the Dalton lease was superseded by a grant to Sir George Carey of Dungarvan rectory for 40 years. The usual practice was that these various leases would come into operation once the last lease had finished its full term. To add to the mathematical calculations on 19 December 1614 Sir Charles Wilmot got a grant in fee simple of various properties across eleven counties including the former Keynesham possessions.
In the ‘Account of the temporalities of the Bishopric of Waterford’ written by Rev. Joshua Boyle in 1660 the Earl of Cork had acquired the advowson of Dungarvan rectory and the presentment of the vicar. Joshua Boyle mentions that Keynesham Abbey once held the rectory. The said Earl had also acquired the depended parishes of the old plebania of Dungarvan because of ancient custom as he held the head rectory. These other parishes included those which were absent from the 1535 survey, namely, Clonea, Colligan and Kilgobinet. The first fruits of the combined parishes were worth about £72.
The world after dissolution
Keynesham Abbey was dissolved on 23 January 1539 and surrendered by Abbot John Staunton and 10 monks. Richard Walter got £12 to melt the roof lead on the church, cloisters and steeple and for the bells for scrap. The abbey house was pulled down in 1776. The abbey site was destroyed in 1960’s with the building of a bye pass.
Extent of the rectory of Dungarvan in the said county parcel possession of the abbey of Keynesham in England --- -- --- -- -- king’s authority of parliament -- -- at the city of Waterford 19 January 32 Henry VIII
Rectory of Dungarvan
Who say upon their oath that the possessions that rectory aforesaid of the said abbey of Keynesham – ad quam quidem rectorial tithes of parishes and vills following evidently view. Two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of Kinsalebeg besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value 66s 8d sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage in the parish of Lisgenan besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value £6 13s 4d sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of Affane besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value 66s 8d sterling; all tithes of Ballymacart parcel of the parish of Lisgenan annual value 26s 8d sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of the parish of Aglish besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value 40s sterling; the tithes of the parish of Clashmore annual value 66s 8d sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of the parish of Whitechurch besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value 106s 8d sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of the parish of Rossmire and Templewyre besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value £6 sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of the parish of Kilronan besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value £6 sterling; two parts of the tithes of granges and altarage of the parish of Ringagonagh besides third part of the vicarage of the same place belonging, annual value 53s 4d sterling and likewise manor rectory of Dungarvan aforesaid is worth annually 10s sterling and the tithes of corn in parish of Dungarvan besides altarage of the vicarage there annual value £10 sterling.
The sum extent of the aforesaid rectory £50 10s sterling
That likewise of the rectory is set aside for James Earl of Ormond and for James Butler, viscount of Thurles by provision of lord king of the land of Ireland by formal indenture of the great seal lord king of the land of Ireland signed on date 30 April in the royal 29th year as advertised by Anthony St. Leger and the else while commissioners of lord king for the term of 21 years thence annual rent £26 13s 4d sterling which is £40 Irish
The sum firm possessions of the above abbey of Keynesham pertaining £40 Irish
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 www.aracnet.com/~thentao/seymourtext.htm accessed 15 June 2010
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 W.H. Bliss and J.A. Twemlow (eds.), Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland (Stationery Office, London, 1902), vol. IV, p. 524
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 J.A. Twemlow (ed.), Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol. VII, p. 509
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 Aubrey Gwynn and R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 273
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 Time Team, Series one, episode four
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 Michael J. Haren (ed.), Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1978), vol. XV, no. 886
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 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry V, 1413-1416, p. 146
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 Paul Dryburgh & Brendan Smith (eds.), Handbook and Select Calendar of Sources for Medieval Ireland in the National Archives of the United Kingdom (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2005), p. 188
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 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, 1422-1429, p. 104
 J.A. Twemlow (ed.), Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol. VII, p. 512
 J.A. Twemlow (ed.), Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol. IX, p. 52
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