Award of the Prior of Plympton and James Chudleigh,
The Prior of Plympton, etc.

In: The Cistercian Houses of Devon: Introductory -
1. Buckland. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 7 (1875), pp. 356-359.


J. Brooking Rowe

Prepared by Michael Steer

This 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 Anglo-Saxon minster, Plympton Priory was re-founded as an Augustinian house by Bishop William Warelwast in 1121. The foundation was confirmed by Henry I sometime around then. Warelwast was apparently scandalised by the loose living of the existing canons of Plympton, and closed the house, sending them to a new house in Bosham, West Sussex. He then re-founded Plympton, with brethren from Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate.  The Priory supplied various local clergy (not always without controversy), and continued to be an important local establishment until its dissolution in 1539. It was the richest monastic house in Devon, and the fourth wealthiest Augustinian house in England and Wales 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.

To all the faithful in Christ to whom the present letters indented shall come. We, William the Prior of Plympton and James Chudleigh, Esq., send greeting in the Lord everlasting. Whereas divers suits and discords have been moved between William the Abbot of the House and Church of the blessed Mary of Bokelond of the one part, and James Derneford, Esq., of the other part, at length, by the intervention of friends between the parties aforesaid, peace hath been obtained in this manner; viz., that the parties aforesaid have submitted themselves to stand our judgment, ordinance, and award in the premisses, whereupon the aforesaid abbot by his council hath declared to us that whereas he and his predecessors from time to time, to the contrary whereof the memory of man is not, have held, and of right ought to have, the hundred of Boweborgh and a court of view of frankpledge, to be holden three times in the year at Boweborgh, and all which to view of frankpledge pertains, and also chatties of felons, fugitives, and escapes, of thieves, tumbrel, gallows, and pillory, with all the suit of free men and villeins, and with all liberties, free customs, or whatsoever things which to the hundred do pertain, or in any manner may accrue or pertain, as of the right of his church aforesaid. Nevertheless the aforesaid James Derneford hath caused to be set up a certain pillory and tumbrel at Estonhouse, and hath caused a certain court to be holden at Estonhous, within the pre- cinct of the hundred aforesaid, and there hath caused to be presented in his court aforesaid by his ministers the assize of bread and ale there levied, and effusion of blood and of arms and injuries done against the peace, and other articles which ought to be presented in the view of frankpledge at the hundred aforesaid; and hath refused the bailiffs and ministers of the said abbot to levy amerciaments and distress at Eston- hous of himself and his tenants there, and hath caused such and so many injuries to them that they are greatly impeded about the business of the said abbot in exercising his office there, so that the same abbot hath lost the profit of his hundred aforesaid for five years past, which he ought to have received within the precinct of his visne of the manor of Estonhous aforesaid during the same time; whereupon the aforesaid  J. Derneford being summoned before us, the aforesaid arbitrators says that he does not claim any right in the premises, or any parcel thereof, as against him is declared, nor hereafter intends to claim, but supposeth himself to be thereof not guilty. Therefore we the arbitrators taking upon ourselves the burthen of the arbitration, having heard the proofs thereof and mature deliberation thereupon had, do arbitrate, order, and adjudge on Thursday next after the feast of Saint Barnabas the apostle, in the 26th year of the reign of King Henry VI. at Boklond Monochorum, that the aforesaid pillory and tumbrel and every of them, together with appurtenances and supports, before Thursday next coming, shall be deposed, destroyed, and removed, and thereafter not erected, nor the same or any other be there used by the afore- said James Derneford, his heirs, or assignes, or by any other by his procurement Also we arbitrate, order, and adjudge that the aforesaid James Derneford and his heirs shall not hereafter hold any court with view to frankpledge at Estonhouse aforesaid, nor on any manner intromit himself, nor delay the said abbot and his successors concerning any articles which to view of frankpledge pertain, and he and his heirs shall permit the bailiffs and ministers of the said abbot and his successors at Estonhous aforesaid to collect, levy, and distrain the amerciaments, fines, executions, and other emoluments whatsoever which in the court of the hundred aforesaid so come, or in anywise hereafter may come, and to make summonses and executions, and also distresses and attachments there, and the distresses and attachments to there made to lead, drive, and carry away, and to retain in their custody without the contradiction, impediment, or disturbance of the aforesaid James Derneford and his heirs, tenants, servants, ministers, or other whomsoever by his abatement or procurement in any manner. Also we arbitrate, order, and adjudge that the aforesaid James Derneford shall pay to the aforesaid abbot and his successors, before the feast of St Michael the archangel next coming after the date of presents, £20 for his costs and expenses which he hath sustained against the said James Derneford by occasion of the disturbance of the ministers . of the said abbot in exercising his office in Estonshous aforesaid, and by reason of the execution and levying of the pillory and tumbrel aforesaid to be paid in favor of the said abbot by our award. Also we arbitrate, order, and adjudge that the security of this our award may for ever remain secure and be unbroken and be also secured in law as by the advice and counsel of Henry Fortescue and Wm. Hyndeston before the feast of St. Michael the archangel next coming shall and may be desired. In witness whereof we the aforesaid prior and James Ghudleigh to these indentures have set our seals, dated the day, year, and place above said, and hereupon the aforesaid Henry Fortescue and Wm. Hyndeston on Thursday in the feast of the beheading of St John the Baptist, in the 26th year of the reign of King Henry VI., at Bokelond Monachorum, have advised and given council upon the award, order, and judgment aforesaid that the aforesaid abbot, or some one of his successors of the house and church aforesaid do, or ought to, prosecute against the aforesaid James Derneford, Esq., an action of trespass according as the law on that behalf demapds and requires concerning the matters whereof the aforesaid award, order, and judgment are by the aforesaid arbitrators made and rendered. And the aforesaid James Derneford, in his proper person or by his attorney, in the same action ought to plead, have, and defend himself according to the advice and counsel of the aforesaid abbot or his or his successors, at the costs and expenses of the said abbot or his successors ; so that after judgment in the action aforesaid given, the damages, costs, and expenses by the said abbot or his successors recorded to the aforesaid James his attorney, be released, and in nowise levied.