Haliwell
Community ID
 
1014
 
Alternate Names
 
S. John the Baptist, Shoreditch, or Holywell; London Haliwell
 
Town
 
London
 
Diocese
 
London
 
Region
 
Middlesex
 
Medieval Location
 
According to Elkins, it was located on the site of an antique male monastery.
 
Modern Location
 
London
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
John the Baptist and Virgin Mary (The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, 195).
 
Date Founded
 
1127 (circa)
 
Date Terminated
 
1539
 
Religious Order
 
Probably Benedictine but there is some discrepancy among scholars; Elkins thinks Augustinian. Further research is necessary to verify first order. Knowles establishes the community followed the Augustinian rule at termination. / Augustinian
 
Rule
 
Augustinian
 
Foundation Information
 

According to Elkins, the foundation date is between 1133-50, and he lists the first order as Augustinian. S. Thompson sets the foundation before 1158 and 1162 and lists the probable founder as Robert fitz Generannus, canon of S. Paul's (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 225). Bird and Norman cite a MS recording the dedication: "dominus monialium sive prioratus beatae Mariae Virginis et sancti Johannis Baptiste de Hallywell" (The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, 153).

 
Notable Heads
 

List of known names of prioresses, with dates of occurrence in records:
Magdalena (c. 1185 or c. 1210), Clementia (c. 1193-1203), Maud (1224), Agnes (1234-40), Juliana (1248-1261), Christina of Kent (1272-1283), Alice (1293), Magdalena (?), Christiana (1314*), Albreda (c. 1320), Lucy of Colney (1328-1330), Mary of Storteforde (1330-1334), Theophania (1336), Elizabeth Montacue (1340-1357), Eleyne Gossham (1362-3), Isabella Norton (1387-1392), Edith Griffith (1400-1409), Elizabeth Arundel (1428#), Clementia Freeman (1440-1444), Joan Sevenok (1462), Elizabeth Prudde (1475), Benigna (time of Henry VIII), Joan Lynde (1515-1534?), Sybil Newdigate (1535-1539) (The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, 160-4; *except Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward II, Volume 2:146; Volume 5, 220-1; Haliwell, 177).

 
Population Counts
 

It appears that there were 30 nuns here in the 13th century. There were 10 nuns in 1379 and 14 nuns received pensions in 1539.

A list of known names of nuns with date of occurrence:
Maud de la Cornere (1275a), Alice Romayn, Margaret Vernoun (1314b), Alice and Joan (nieces to Christine of Kent, Prioress, 1321c), Christine de Burgh (de Burgo) (1329d), Margery Donestapel, sub prioress, Matilda of Thorkyyng , precentrix, Margaret Vernoun, sacrista (1330e), Isabella Westmelne (1363f), Johanna (1381g), Agnes Grene (1397h), Alison Credy (1426i), Katherine Burton (1438j), Alice Crichefeld (1462k), Elene Claver, Margery Frauncis, Alice Martyn, Alice Goldwell, Kateryne Grene, Kateryn Fogge, Isabell Gine, Beatrix Lewes, Mary Good, Agnes Bolney, Alice Frelond, Cristyane Skypper (1539l). Sources: a-Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled in the Court of Hustings, London, A.D. 1258- A.D. 1688, Volume 1:26; b-Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward II, Volume2:146; c-Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward II,Volume 1:388; e-Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem Part 1:68-9; f-Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall, Volume7:152-3; g-Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters (1198-1492) Volume 5:75; i-The Fifty Earliest English Wills in the Court of Probate, London, 1387-1439; With a Priest's of 1454, 76; j-in a MS inscription in MS Douce 372, quoted in Madan, Faloner. Summary Catalogue of Western MSS in the Bodleian Lib.Vol. 4 Oxford: Clarendon, 1897, 610; k-Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall, Volume 11:8; l-The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, 165.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Robert Fitz Gelran, a canon of S. Paul's, donated 3 acres as did Walter, precentor of S. Paul's. John de Hilewit is mentioned as a benefactor; Robert de Rothomago granted the community 100 acres of wood in the reign of King Stephen. Nicholas Pointz gave 10 acres; Solomon de Basyng granted 10 acres and land called Newelersfield. Richard de Belmeis, bishop of London (1152-62) was a patron. Geoffrey Chamberleyn gave the community a half rood of land at Dunton in 1194; Geoffrey de Melichi and his brother, William, gave a half a rood of land in 1194 as well. In 1194 Thobald, son of Fulk gave one rood of land at Hinxeworth, in Herfordshire. Robert Fitz Walter granted the community the enclosed marsh in his demesne of Burnham at the end of the twelfth century. Gunnora de Valoynes gave Halliwell a church at Welwyn, possessions at Luiton or Leyton in Essex in 1201. In 1201 Hugh de Marenny granted the nuns an acre in Brumfeld in Leyton. John Gatesby granted the community lands in Gatesby (43 1/2 acres) in the early thirteenth century. Juliana Gardin granted the community a garden without Cripplegate in the early thirteenth century. Richard Langeford granted the nuns land in Braughing circa 1238; Cecily, daughter of Henry of Oxford granted 180 acres of marsh in Elmley in Sheppey in 1248. Serlo the Mercer gave the community his chief messuage in the parish of S. Antholin, a house in Milk street (S. Lawrence parish), his share of various shops, 2 shops in goldsmiths' area in the Cheap, lands and houses in Cloeman Street, his share of land and houses and shops in Honey Lane, half of a 'seld' with shops in Westcheap,parish of All Saints, in Honey Lane. Gunnora, widow of William Lovel, granted lands in Farnham in 1256; in 1261-2 she granted lands in Southminster and Althorne. Henry de Hallingbury in 1275 gave the community rights to lands, tenements, escheats, wards, and reliefs in Hinxeworth and Dunton. Elias de Essewell gave the community 6 acres; Walter Bonesquiere gave them 47 acres in Upwick in Albury; Guy of Upwick granted 12 acres in Upwick. Stephen Gravesend, bishop of London is mentioned as a benefactor in 1318. Simon, bishop of Ely granted patronage of the church of Trumpington in Cambridgeshire in 1343. Sir Thomas Lovell had a chapel built at the priory, where he was buried. John Billesdon granted money to maintain chantries in 1522.

 
Income
 

In 1535, the community's net income was valued at over 294 pounds.

 
Litigations
 

In January 1238 there was a mandate to the priors of S. Saviors in the diocese of Winchester, and of the Holy Trinity and S. Bartholomew's, London, not to suffer the prioress and convent of Haliwelle, in the diocese of London, to be molested in regard to the grant made to them by St. Hugh, bishop of Lincoln.
From: Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters (1198-1492), Volume 1:07.
On Aug. 14, 1240 the prioress of the Augustinian convent of Haliwell petitioned "to induce the bishop of Lincoln to desist from molesting them in regard to the church of Wellewes" (Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters (1198-1492), 191). On April 13, 1314 a complaint was registered by Katherine de Cretingge that Christiana, prioress, Margaret le Vernoun and Alice Romeyn, nuns, and brother Peter Lambyn and brother John Peseventre, lay brothers of the house, and Richard de Dertford, parson of the church of Welewes, Matthew le Clerk and Thomas le Peletre, carried away her goods at Shoreditch (Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward II, Volume 2:146). On June 6, 1317 the prioress and nuns were granted protection, with clause nolumus for one year (Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Edward II., 660). On May 10, 1329 a pardon was granted, on fine made by Lucy de Colneye, now Prioress of Haliwell, of the trespass of Albreda, late prioress, and Christiana de Burgo, daughter of Robert, son of Walter. One of the nuns aquired for the life of Christiana a yearly rent of 20 marks out of Robert's manor of Lexindon. The rent which had been taken into the king's hands by reason of the trespass was released to them (Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. : Edward III. A.D. 1327-[1377], Volume 1:388). On Jan. 26, 1356 Elizabeth, prioress, complained that a group of more than 5 men "broke her close, houses, gates, doors, and window, at Halywell and took away and married Joan, daughter of John de Coggeshate of London, who had been delivered to her by Henry Galeys, for safe deping, for which she bound herself by her deed with the condition that she would restore the said Joan to the same Henry unmarried or incur the penalty of 110 pounds, carried away her goods, and assaulted her men and servants (Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. : Edward III. A.D. 1327-[1377], Volume 10:383). In 1357 Elizabeth Montacue reached an agreement with Westminster Abbey to provide food and clothing to the priory, since Haliwell's revenues are not sufficient (The Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, 162). On March 10, 1362 the executor of the will of Robert de Westmeine, tailor, appeard in the Chamber of the Guildhall to answer for money bequeathed to Isabella, under age, a nun of Haliwell. He left 40 pounds to her, on condition that if at the age of 14 she decided to leave Haliwell, the money should be returned. On March 22, Dame Elena (Eleyne Gossham, prioress, acknowledged this to be true (Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall, Volume 7:152-3). On Jun 10, 1388 there was a dispute between Isabella Norton, prioress, and Thomas Mewe over a shop, the land and shop recently granted to him, which lay in the ancient foundation of Haliwell priory, and whose revenues had belonged to the priory. The prioress asked that the granting of the land and shops to him be revoked (Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office : Richard II ; Prepared under the Superintendence of the Deputy Keeper of the Records., Volume 3:376-7). On Nov. 30, 1405, Richard Wydden released all actions, plaints and demands to Edith Griffith, prioress (Calendar of the Close Rolls. Henry IV., 74). On Feb. 18, 1408: writ of supersedeas, by mainprise of Robert Gore, Ralph Hadde, Walter Gore, and Stephen Walkelyn of Kent in favour of Henry Kaym of Kent at suit of Edith Griffyth, prioress, for debt (Calendar of the Close Rolls. Henry IV.., 488). On Der. 27, 1421 there is a list of civil complaints, "Also they say and present that a house of the prioress of halywell is so ruoinous and feeble that it is on the point of falling to the ground. . ." (Calendar of Plea and Memoranda rolls, Preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall, A.D. 1413-1437., Volume4:118). On July 10, 1428 Elizabeth Arundell, prioress, brought a plaint of intrusion against Roger Jurdan, prior of the hospital of S. Mary without Bishopsgate touching her free tenement in the parish of S. Antonine, London (<10896>, Volume4:220-1). On Sept. 19, 1462 Dame Johanna Sevenok, prioress, and Alice (daughter of John Crichefeld) a nun aged 15 1/2 and acknowledged satisfaction for her patrimony (Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall, Volume 11:8).

 
Art & Artifacts
 

Quantities of sculptured stone (dug up during the work of forming the North London Railway); 2 leaden coffins found in 1863 when the Middle level Sewer was being constructed. A portion of an effigy of a bishop, sculpted in Purbeck marble,was found in 1883 during demolition of a house east of North London Railway. This fragment of sculpture rests in the Guildhall Museum and measures 25 by 21 by 8 inches (Haliwell, 168 (includes plate 84)). The community also has an existing seal.

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

The community had a north-cloister church with parallel aisle divisions segregating the nuns from the parishoners (Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Religious Women, 102).

 
Manuscript Sources
 

[1]British Museum, Harleian Collection 83A.39, 83A.50, 83B.110, 83B.39, 83B.45, 3688f.156.
[2]MS Cole British Museum Vol. xxvi, fol. 160,
[3]British Museum, Harlien Chartulary, 43A 37, 52I12.
[4]Fragments of records surviving in MSS: Bodleian Dodsworth 102; MS Cotton Vitellius F.8ff 84-86, 189-91;British Library Cotton MS Vitellius F. viii, fo. 84. Guildhall MS 9531/7 f. 5 & 9531/11 ff. 76-9; British Museum MS 5937 (As mentioned by Kirby, 175; Davis, G. R. C. Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain: A Short Catalogue. London: Longmans, Green 1958, 68; Madan, Falconer. Summary Catalogue of Western MSS in the Bodleian Library. Vol 4. Oxford: CLarendon, 1897, 928.)

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

The first order was Benedicitine (needs verification). It adhered to the Augustinian rule at termination date (Knowles).

 
Admin. Notes
 

RBQ / --Augustinian rule
[V0416]

 
Contributors
 
Amy Reiswig; Mary McLaughlin;
 
Date Started
 
1127
 
Date Finished
 
1539
 
Length
 
9530