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waste lands, or for the advancement amidst a growing population of arts and learning. And its founder, although an able statesman and ruler, over whose death the historian Matthew Paris mourned as an irreparable loss to the nation, was not a man of God to inspire holy work and workers. His gifts to " religion" in the technical sense of the time were great, but were not necessarily therefore in a later sense "religious." By grant of a manor from King John he founded the Abbey of Hales Owen in Shropshire; by a similar grant from Henry III the Abbey of Titchfield in Hampshire; a Dominican Friary at Winchester, and, best of all, a Hospital at Portsmouth, while he largely aided the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr at Acre; and so he seems to have given ungrudgingly of his wealth for objects which promised to perpetuate his name and keep it in remembrance to his personal honour. But Selborne evidently had no sufficient raison d'être; no special good work to do to keep it alive. And so we need not wonder at its early corruption and its sure decay. The injunctions given by William of Wykeham after a personal visitation, in the course of which he declares he found not merely disregard of rules and of the vow of profession but also of due and decent behaviour, show how great the laxity had become; the Prior and Canons, without being guilty of any gross and crying scandal (although there is even some small intimation of this), had become a society of worldly gentlemen living carelessly and very much at their ease. And upon careless spendthrift living followed indebtedness, dilapidation of buildings, and inability to maintain the statutable number of members; evils which Bishop Waynflete subsequently endeavoured in vain to remedy by the appointment and removal of several Priors in rapid succession. In 1478 we find that a visitation under the authority of the General Chapter of the Augustinian Order was held at Selborne, which very probably may have been in consequence of representations from the Bishop; and it is to be wished that the report of the official examination then made

were forthcoming. In that year, however, Peter Bernes, who was then Prior for a second time, resigned his office, very possibly as a result of the enquiry. At last, when in 1484 there was no one left but the Prior, an old man of seventytwo, Wayneflete took the final step of procuring the suppression of the useless house, and of transferring its endowments to a better object. But all was done with a care which justified to the world the course that was taken; a duplicated process of enquiry showed by sworn witnesses the actual state of things; the Prior, the next succeeding Bishop of Winchester and the Prior and Convent of St. Swithun gave their several consents; and the transfer was confirmed by the Pope. And for five years afterwards, at least, the Prior lived to receive from the College an annual pension of £6. 13s. 4d., two-thirds of the income which his predecessor had received; while the founder of the Priory was, by Wayneflete's order, commemorated at one of the quarterly obits observed at Magdalen College.

The entries relative to the family of Gurdon or Gurdun enable us to correct the account given by Gilbert White. He supposed that there was but one Adam Gurdun, the outlawed adherent of Simon de Montfort, who in 1266 fought his famous duel with Prince Edward, and that he married three wives, confusing in this way homonymous father and son. The pedigree really runs in this form :

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Of the prevailing pestilence and scarcity, involving a great rise in the price of all articles in common use, which are mentioned under the year 1352 as reasons for increasing the income of the then vicar of Selborne, there are notices in the Chronicles of Higden, Geoffrey Baker, a continuator of Murimuth, and Walsingham. The latter records that England, always so fertile, was in the following year driven to seek corn from other countries, no rain falling from March to July, and that the Duke of Zealand sent many ship-loads; while Baker mentions that corn was also imported from Ireland.

In the Church of the Priory there were, besides the high altar, altars of the Blessed Virgin, of St. Peter, St. Stephen, and St. Katherine. The inventories of church goods in the years 1442 and (probably) 1445, as well as that of goods and books remaining in 1490, are interesting, particularly in the enumeration of the few relics which the Priory (as a necessary part of its furnishing) possessed. The ear of St. John, as entered in the table of 1442, becomes three years after the bone of the ear-finger (ie. of the little finger) of St. John Baptist, which seems to show some doubt alike as to its ownership and its anatomy. The ring of St. Hippolytus, bishop of Ostia in the first half of the third century, would scarcely have been looked for in an obscure priory in Hampshire in the fifteenth. But for the authenticity of the remainder of the relics the Sacrist could no doubt speak with a little more certainty; the ring of St. Edmund Rich of Canterbury, who was primate when the Priory was founded, and the chafing-dish and comb and a finger-joint of St. Richard of Chichester, who died twenty years after the foundation, were no doubt veritable relics of the persons whose names they bore. It is curious that the joint-bone (if that is the meaning of the unregistered word "junctorium") of the latter would seem to have been acquired during the short interval between the two inventories of 1442 and 1445, since it is not mentioned in the first of these. There were also five

relics undescribed, enclosed in a small cross. Nothing has been left on record to show what became of these relics after the suppression of the Priory. Probably they were removed to the College, but no notice of them has been met with in registers or inventories there.1

In 1251 we find an agreement made beforehand with Sir James de Norton, with regard to possible future disputes as to trespass by cattle, for the referring of such cases to the arbitration of good men meeting in the churchyard of Selborne, instead of having recourse to suits at law. In 1253 Aylmer de Lusignan, de Valence, half-brother of King Henry III, for ten long years, from 1250 to 1260, the justly unpopular bishop elect, but not consecrated, of Winchester, and who died very shortly after consecration, is found borrowing "for his necessity" the large sum of 200 marks from the Priory, to be repaid in two years and a half. In that year, as we learn from Matthew Paris, an aid of forty shillings from each knight's fee was granted to the King for the knighting of his son Edward, and a writ was issued for compelling Aylmer's tenants to pay their quota ; possibly the necessity" which demanded the loan may have arisen from difficulties in connection with this taxation.


The succession of Priors of Selborne is as follows. names and dates placed within brackets are supplied by Gilbert White, and in the last edition of Dugdale, but do not occur in these charters or in the others preserved in Magdalen College. The dates are the earliest and latest for which authority can be found.

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1 It may be worth while to note here the meaning of some words in these Selborne inventories which are not of frequent occurrence. Offertoria chalice-veils; ridelli curtains; costrellum = a large wooden jug; tunicæ de ray = tunicles of striped cloth; par vestimentorum de borde Elesaunder = a pair of chasubles with border of Alexandrian work, i.e. of striped silk. In a very long sacrist's inventory of vestments, books, ornaments, etc., for use in Magdalen College Chapel in 1481, we have for the seven altars, for weekday use, "xii paria vestimentorum sacerdotalium de Bordalysaundere cum scutis de aliis in dorso"; and again, "duos pannos de Bordalysaunder chekere pro anibonibus." 2 M. Paris, edit. Luard, vol. vi, p. 250.

1234-1258, dom. John.

1261, R[ichard] of Kent. The editors of Dugdale give "Nich. de Cantia," a misprint for "Rich. de Cantia," to whom the temporalities were restored 24th Dec. 46 Hen. III, 1261.1

1267-1271, dom. Peter de Disenhurst, or d'Isenhurst.

1277-1291, Richard.

[1299, March-1324] William [de Basing]. Died 17 Edw. II, 1324. The royal licence to elect his successor is dated 25 Aug.2

[1324]-1339, dom. Walter [de Insula or de L'Isle.]

[1339, John de Winton.]

1352-1357, Edmund (not in White or Dugdale).

1364—1366, Nicholas (not in White or Dugdale).

[1377]-1392, Thomas [Weston].3

[1410]-1413, John Wynchestre.

1415—1453, John Stepe.

[1454-1468], Peter Bernes.

1468-1471, John Morton.

[1471, William Wyndesor; prior for a few days, but removed because irregularly elected.]

[1471, Thomas Farwill, or Fairwise].
[1472-1478], Peter Bernes, re-elected.
1479, John Scherpe, or Sharp.

1484, Thomas Assheford.

One name of which casual mention occurs must not be passed over without notice. In the writ directed in 1425 to Thomas Chaucers (sic) as keeper of Wolmer Forest, we meet with the eldest son of the poet as holding an office which does not appear to be named in connection with him in printed accounts elsewhere.

With regard to place-names in the Index the Editor has endeavoured (with the kind assistance in several instances of the Dean of Winchester) to group the names of hamlets, manors, lands, etc., under the parishes to which they belong. But ignorance on his part of the archaic or extinct forms of local nomenclature in Hampshire may possibly have involved mistakes

1 MS. note by White Kennett in his copy of the original edition of the Monasticon in Gough's collection, Bodl. Lib.

2 MS. note by the same, ibid.

3A deed with the date of 1392, in which Prior Thomas occurs, is among the charters in Magdalen College relating to Bramdean.

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