The Deed of Foundation

In: The Cistercian Houses of Devon: Introductory - 1. Buckland. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 7 (1875), pp. 352-354.


J. Brooking Rowe

Prepared by Michael Steer

This Foundation Deed is one of several documents appended to the author’s seminal article  on the early history of Buckland Abbey. His paper was delivered at the Association’s Torrington meeting, July 1875.  The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries.   These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

In the name of the most glorious and undivided Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen, and by the favour of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Blessed Benedict, we, Amicia Countess of Devon and Lady of the Isle, trusting in the goodness of the Supreme Maker of all good things, who disposes the wills .of both men and women at his pleasure, and faithfully directs them though unseen, and sustains our hope by the revelation of His mind if we offer anything in perpetual memory to the honour of His name; We found the Abbey, which we desire should be called or entitled St. Benedicts of Buckland, which is in our manor of Buckland, for the perpetual maintenance of abbots and monks of St Benedict of the Cistercian order there to dwell, for the health of the souls of the Lord Henry, formerly King of England, the noble Queen Dame Eleanor his wife, and their children, of the Lord Edward, our illustrious King of England, the son of the same Henry, the noble Queen Dame Eleanor his wife, and the children of the same, and for the health of the souls of the Lord Gilbert of Clare, formerly Count of Gloucester and Hertford, our father, and the Countess Isabella, our mother, and the souls of Baldwin, Earl of Devon, our husband, and Isabella our daughter, Countess of Devon and Albemarle, and Margaret, our daughter, nun of Lacock, and for the souls of all our ancestors and descendants, and of all to whom we are bound for any kindness, we set apart, and give, concede, and have assigned as an abode and abbey for the aforesaid abbots and monks, and we decree that abbots and monks of the aforesaid order shall dwell for ever in the same abbey. And to this abbey, to Brother Eobert, the abbot, and for the support of the monks dwelling in the same house, which have been bought by us from Quarr Abbey, and to their successors, for ever in honour oi God and of the most Blessed Mary, Mother of God, and the Blessed Benedict; we give and we grant the same our manor of Bocland, and our manors of Columpton, Bykeley, and Walkatnpton, with the advow- sons of the churches, and with the hundred of Rugheberewe, with all service, as well of free-tenants, villiens, as of others belonging to the said hundred, with all their appurtenances, as in demesnes and seigniories, military service, services of freed men, villeins and villanages, with their chattels suits, reliefs, aids, rents, heriots, heirships, escheats, aids of every kind, meadows, pasturages, pastures, ways, paths, woods, arable land, mills, waters, fisheries, moors, heaths, turbaries, together with all liberties and free customs acquired by us for the same abbey, with all other appurtenances, named and not named, which belong to the said manors and hundred, of which can in any way belong by whatever name they may be known, without any reservation by us, or by our heirs, and we have confirmed the same by this present charter to the said abbot and convent and their successors, to be held in free and full alms for ever, freely, quietly, well and peaceably for ever, without any contradiction or impediment by us or our heirs.

And we, the said Amicia and our heirs, will warrant, and acquit, and for ever defend the said abbot and convent and their successors to the manor, with the advowson of the churches and with the said hundred together with all liberties and free customs, and other appurtenances, named and not named, which to the said manor and the said hundred in any way belong or can belong in holy, pure, and perpetual alms, as aforesaid, against all Nations, whether Christians or Jews. And that this my gift, concession, and confirmation of this my present deed may remain firm and binding, we have caused this our seal to be placed unto this deed. Witnesses Hugo Peverell, William of Bikells, Thomas of Pyn, Warren of Secchevill, Reginald de Ferrars, Knights, John of Valletort, Richard Meavy, Ralph of Lenham, Stephen of Stoyll, Baldwin the Bastard, Humphrey of Donesterre, and others.