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IN NORTHUMBERLAND AND DURHAM.
LIST OF OLD DURHAM CHURCH PLATE.- Continued.
1742 Cup. Isaac Cookson
Sockburn. Do. Ewer-shaped flagon. James Kirkup Staindrop. 1744 Paten, dated 1744. Wm. Partis
St. Mary-le-Bow, Drhm. 1749 Paten, dated 1760 ...
St. Margaret, Dhm. City.
Sunderland. 1772 Flagon, given 1845. Same maker ... ... St. Giles, Durham City. Do. Paten, dated 1772. Same maker ... Heworth. 1773 Flagon, dated 1769. Same maker ... Jarrow. 1774 Cup and cover, and two patens, given 1776. Same maker
St. Cuthbert, Darlington. 1780 Alms dish, given 1780. Langlands and Robertson ...
... .. St. Mary, Gateshead. 1784 Flagon, given 1785. Pinkney and Scott ...
... Greatham Hospital.
V.-MISCELLANEOUS AND UNCERTAIN.
1608 Cup and paten cover, dated 1608 ... ... Bishopwearmouth.
Lamesley. 1718 Tall cup, dated 1718 ...
St. Hilda, South Shields. 17 cent. Straight-sided cup on low foot .
St. Helens Auckland,
St. Oswald, Dhm. City.
XVI.—A BULL OF ADRIAN IV. RELATING TO NEASHAM
PRIORY, CO. DURHAM. BY MAJOR-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM CROSSMAN, K.C.M.G., F.S.A.
[Read on the 28th May, 1893.] NEASHAM, a Benedictine nunnery, dedicated to the Virgin, was one of the two monasteries (St. Edmund's, Gateshead, being the other) within the palatinate that alone were independent of the church of Durham ; it contained only eight female votaries, and appears to have been founded by an ancestor of Lord Dacre, one of the old barons of Greystoke.
Surtees says that the original charters of the house of Neasham have been preserved by the family of Lawson, to whom the monastery was granted at the Dissolution. The earliest is apparently a charter of Henry II. confirming the foundation.
The bull of Adrian IV. is dated 3rd February, 1156-57.1 The charter of Henry II. is not dated. Henry came to the throne in October, 1154, and probably his charter may have been granted about 1164, when the Constitutions of Clarendon were passed by a general council of barons and prelates, and when various rules were made with reference to ecclesiastical property, one being that the churches belonging to the king's fee should not be granted in perpetuity without his consent. The charter is therefore probably of a later date than the bull.
In it he concedes and confirms, 'in perpetuam elemosinam,' to God and to St. Mary of Nesham,' and to the nuns there serving God, the site of the church, and the carucate of land given by Emma, called in the bull the daughter of Waldeof, but now described as de Teisa and as having given it with the consent of her son Ralph. He also confirms the grant made by Engelais, here called the sister of Emma, the gift of Alan, son of Torfin, of land in Toretona, and an additional gift not mentioned in the bull, of two oxgangs (bovatas terre) in Neasham, by Alan de Eggescliva. Ralph fitz Ralph confirms, in a later charter, the gifts of Emma, his mother. William fitz Ralph confirms the charter of his father Ralph and adds more land.
?1157 according to our reckoning. Adrian was at Benevento from January to July, 1156; he was, however, at Rome in January and February, 1157, in which month several bulls were issued by him from the Lateran.
RELATING TO NEASHAM.
Then Ralph fitz William, lord of Neasham, again gives to the nuns the whole plot called the Milne hills of Kent, lying betwixt Kent and the nun's land in the village of Neasham, in breadth and length from le Croke, betwixt the said plot and Hurtheworth lands to Kent bridge. Seal (white-wax): Barry, over all three chaplets for Greystoke.
Up to the time of Henry VII. other gifts of land which are detailed in Surtees, Durham, vol. iii., page 259, were made from time to time to the nuns. And in 1540 when dame Joan Lawson the last prioress surrendered the house to the king, 29th December, the revenues were reported as follows:
Priory, orchard, garden with eight oxgangs of land
in the manor of the prioress ..
... ... vis xd
xxvil ixs ixd The clear value after deductions being £20 17s. 7d. Not one stone of the old priory now remains upon another. James Lawson of Newcastle purchased the property for £227 5s. Od., and the old charters connected with the priory are still in the possession of his descendant Sir John Lawson of Brough.
The bull, which is written in the ecclesiastical Latin of the period, is the property of Mr. Salvin and has been kindly lent by him. It is an excellent specimen of caligraphy. It is in a remarkably good state of preservation, and is signed by the pope and nineteen other cardinals and bishops. The leaden bulla’ attached is also perfect. The following is an exact transcript of the text carefully collated with the original :
Adrianus Episcopus Servus servorum Dei dilectis in Christo filiabus sancti. monialibus in Ecclesia Sancte Marie de Neshann Domino servientibus tam presentibus quam futuris regularam vitam professis in perpetuum.
Prudentibus virginibus que sub habitu religionis disposuerunt Jesu Christo vero sponso lampadibus accensis occurrere. Tanto sunt a sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia ampliora beneficia conferendą quanto propensius in servitio domini comorari noscuntur, et ad nuptias eterni regis bonis operibus festinare. Ea propter dilecte in Christo filie vestris justis postulationibus clementer annuimus, et prefatum monasterium in quo divino mancipate estis obsequio, sub beati Petri et nostra protectione suscipimus et presentis scripti privilegio communimus. In primis siquidem statuentes ut ordo monasticus qui secundum Deum
et beati benedicti regulam in eodem loco dinoscitur institutus, perpetuis ibidem temporibus et inviolabiliter observetur. Preterea quascumque possessionis quecumque bona idem monasterium in presentiarum juste et canonice possedet, aut in futurum concessione pontificum, largitione regum vel principum, oblatione fidelium, seu aliis justis modis per ante domino poterit adipisci, firma vobis vestrisque successoribus et illibata permaneant. In quibus hec propriis duximus exprimendi vocabulis. Locum in quo prefata ecclesia sita est, qui dicitur Mahaldecroft, quem dedit vobis Emma filia Waldef, unam carrucatam terre de dominico ejusdem Emme. In Neshann, cum medietate Offnamarum suarum, in culturis pratis et turbariis, communem pasturam totius terre sue. Culturam que vocatur Sadelflat. Molendinum super Kent. Culturam que est inter molendinum et ecclesiam. Ex dono Engelais unam carrucatam terre. Omnes decimas vestras de dominico vestro in Neshaim, tam in blado quam in aliis. Ex dono halani filii Torphin unam carrucatam terre in phornetuna. Sane novalium vestrorum que propriis manibus aut sumptibus colitis sive de nutrimentis vestrorum animalium, nullus a vobis decimas exigere presumat. Sepulturam quoque ipsius loci liberam esse concedimus ut eorum devotioni et extreme voluntati nullus obsistat qui se illic sepeliri deliberaverint nisi forte excommunicati vel interdicti sint. Salva tamen justitia matricis ecclesie. Decernimus ergo ut nulli omnino hominum liceat prefatam ecclesiam temere perturbare, aut ejus possessiones auferre, vel ablatas retinere, minuere, seu quibus libet vexationibus fatigare. Set illibata omnia et integra conserventur eorum pro quorum gubernatione et sustentatione concessa sunt usibus omnimodis futura. Salva sedis apostalice auctoritate, et diocesani episcopi canonica justitia. Siqua igitur in futurum ecclesiastica secularisve persona hanc nostre constitutionis paginam sciens, contra eam temere venire temptaverit. Secundo tertiove commonita, nisi presumptionem suam digna satisfactione correxerit, potestatis honorisque sui dignitate careat, reamque se divino judicio existere de perpetrata iniquitate cognoscat et a sacratissimo corpore ac sanguine dei et domini redemptoris nostri Jesu Christi aliena fiat, atque in extremo examine districte ultioni subjaceat. Cunctis autem eidem loco sua jura servantibus, sit pax domini nostri Jesu Christi. Quatinus et hic fructum bone actionis percipiant, et apud districtum judicem premia eterne pacis inveniant. Amen. Amen. Amen."
2 The legend on the bulla, ó Oculi mei semper ad Dominum,' was one generally used by Adrian IV.