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Magna Britannica et Hibernia

Volume 6: Westmorland

by Thomas Cox (Vicar of Bromfield, Essex) 45 pages, printed in 1731.


p37-39 Ecclesiastical History; Monasteries; Martyrs; Divines


The Ecclesiastical History of this County.

THIS County has no Bishop of its own, but is divided between the Bishops of
Carlisle and Chester, the Barony of Westmorland being under the Jurisdiction
of the former, and the Barony of Kendal of the latter; and according to this
Division, the Barony of Westmorland is made a Deanery under the Archdeacon
of Carlisle, and Kendal under the Archdeacon of Richmond in Yorkshire;
Kirkby Lonsdale is a Deanery under the same Archdeacon, though only the Town
so called belongs to it in this County; the other Towns in it are Parts of
Yorkshire and Lancashire.


The Monasteries of this County are,

            Appleby, a Priory of Carmelite or White Friars, founded and
endowed by the Lords Vesci, Piercy, and Clifford, and by them dedicated to
the Virgin Mary, Anno 1281.  10  Edw. I.  This is all the Account we find of
this Monastery; Dugdale mentions it not.
            Heppe, or Shap, (Mr. Speed calls it by Mistake Sharpe) a
Monastery of the Monks called Præmonstratenses.  It was first founded in
Honour of St. Mary Magdalen at Preston, by Thomas the Son of Gospatrick, and
by him endowed with divers Lands; and among other Things he gave the Canons
here as much Wood as  they would take out of his Woods, and to grind at his
Mill Toll free.  The said Thomas gave them also Pasture in and about
Swindale for sixty Cows, twenty Mares, and Five hundred Sheep, with other
Possessions in the Territory of the Town of Heppe, where he erected this
Convent a-new.
Robert de Vipont, Lord of Westmorland, confirmed all his Gifts, which, with
the Benefactions of others afterwards, so much enriched it, that at the
Dissolution it was valued at 134 l. 12 s. 7 d. ½. per Annum.  Dugd.  166 l.
10 s. 6 d. ½ per Ann. Speed ex Lel.
            Here are all the Monasteries which we can find in this County,
and 'tis probable there was no more, the Monks chusing a Goshen, and not
such a barren Country as this for their Habitation; but we may not suppose
that the People of those Parts wanted Devotion, because they did not build
Monasteries, as was usual in other Countries; for we may observe, that their
chief Towns are named from their Churches, as Kirkby-Stephans,
Kirkby-Lonsdale, and Kirkby-Kendale; which shews, that tho' they had no
great Respect for Lazy Monks, they had a judicious Regard to the Honour and
Worship of GOD.

Martyrs this County had none, and but few Sufferers in the late Times.

            Henry Hutton, Prebendary of Carlisle, and Son of Judge Hutton,
was deprived of his Prebend, and the Living of Long-Marston; but he outlived
the Usurpation, and 'tis probable was restored to both his Preferments.  He
was a very Reverend and Learned Man.
            George Buchanan, a Scotchman, Minister of Kirkby-Lonsdale,
suffered in an high Degree, being persecuted by two of his Parishioners, who
were Captains in the Parliament Army, who got him not only sequestred, but
taken several times, and hurried to Lancaster Gaol, at the last of which he
suffered near three Years Imprisonment.  Being at length released, he fled
into Yorkshire, and was patronized by Sir Wentworth, who gave him the
Vicarage of Royston of about 22 l. per Annum Value, where he lived securely
and comfortably, with some Contributions of such Royalists, who cam to join
in the Church Service with him, to the restoration, when he was repossessed
of his living in Lonsdale, which yet he kept but a little while, because
being made a Prebendary of Carlisle, he removed to that City, and exchanged
it for a Living near it.  He died in 1665,

and was universally lamented by the Citizens.  One of the Captains who
persecuted him died in Gaol; and while he was there was relieved by one of
Mr. Buchanan's Sons, and his Son afterwards by one of his Grandsons.  Other
Clergymen, tho' not many, were sequestred in this County, but their
Sufferings we find not.

Charity-Schools in this County.

Kendal, where there is one School for sixteen Boys and ten Girls, all
clothed and taught, but whether by Contributions, or a settled Revenue, we
know not.

Divines of Eminency born, or inhabiting this County, at Places unknown.

          Thomas Vipont, descended of the antient Barons of that Name, who
were the hereditary Lords of this County.  His Merit, together with the
Interests of his potent Relations, was the Cause, that being elected Bishop
of Carlisle by the Chapter, though King Henry III. recommended John Prior of
Newbury, his Councillor, to their Choice, they would not recede from it, and
so he was consecrated , but fate but one Year, dying in 1256.
           Hugh Coren, or Curwen, made by Queen Mary, Archbishop of Dublin,
so moderate a Papist, that none was persecuted in Ireland in her days, which
must be in a great measure imputed to him.  He conformed to the Reformation
at Queen Elizabeth's Accession, and left his Archbishoprick for the See of
Oxford, being old, and desiring a quiet Repose.  He died in the Year 1567.
full of Age.

           
Magna Britannica et Hibernia. Volume 6 Contents

Transcription by Sarah Reveley,  Joan Fisher and Lisl Schoenwald. (Rootsweb Westmorland Listmembers)  (c)  2003

Last updated: January 2005 Dave Huddart

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