S. Mary de Pre
Community ID
 
949
 
Alternate Names
 
Delapre, S. Mary de la Pre, Pre, S. Mary de Prato, and known before the 14th century as S. Albans.
 
Town
 
Lincoln
 
Diocese
 
Lincoln
 
Region
 
Hertfordshire
 
Medieval Location
 
Near S. Albans
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary
 
Date Founded
 
1194 (probable date)
 
Date Terminated
 
1528
 
Religious Order
 
The first order is unknown. In 1328 the community is Benedictine. In 1256 it is referred to as Benedictine as well.
 
Foundation Information
 

According to Elkins in Holy Women of Twelfth-Century England., the community was first founded as a hospital for lepers with 13 Benedictine women and men. It became home to Benedictine nuns, evolving slowly into a priory during the period 1328-36 as the lepers died over time. It was linked earlier with S. Albans hopsital, and Thompson thinks the probable founder was Warin, Abbot of S. Albans (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 228). It was a large leper hospital and was not placed under Benedictine rule until 1328-36 (Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales, 218). Thompson places the hospital's development into a Benedictine priory earlier, in 1256, when a papal Bull referred to the community as Benedictine (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 39).

Dugdale states that according to tradition, Garinus, abbot of St. Julian's Hospital founded the community because some individual claimed S. Amphibalus had ordered it (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 3, 353).

 
First Members
 

Some of the initial residents had been inmates of the nearby hospital of S. Julian . It appears that women were removed from the proximity of the men at S. Julian's and enclosed in separate buildings at S. Mary de Pre (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 39).

 
Population Counts
 

There was a prioress and 8 nuns in 1352-3. In 1461-93 there were 9-10 nuns besides the prioress; in 1528 there were 3 nuns.

 
Dependency Of
 

S. Albans? or S. Julian's?

 
Income
 

Much of the initial provision was in the form of alms. Allowances of food and drink were to be recieved from the abbey and the women were to be given old cloaks and tunics belonging to the monks (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 39). In 1535 the community's annual income amounted to over 65 pounds (Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales, 218).

 
Other Economic Activities
 

King John granted the nuns a two day fair on the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 3, 354-355).

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Foundation charter fragments in the Public Records Office PRO, E40/11,538 and E40/15,365.
Dugdale, citing Bishop Tanner as his source, lists the following as manuscript sources regarding this community: MS. Dodsworth in bibl. Bodl. vol. lxxviiij fol. 96; Cart. 5 Joan. m. 7, n. 44; Pat. 8 Hen. V m. 27; Pat. 8 Hen. VI. p. 1, m.14; Pat. 19 Hen. VI. p. 1 m. 38 or 39; Pat. Edward IV. p. 2 m. 11

 
Published Primary Sources
  
Miscellaneous Information
 

The hospital became a priory sometime after 1352. Power, Medieval English Nunneries, 1275-1535, puts termination at 1352.

 
Admin. Notes
 

[V0761]

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project
 
Contributors Notes
 

The account of the community's foundation in the Gesta Abbatum states that the establishment of a church on this site was the outcome of a vision by a layman as to the sanctity of the spot where the bones of S. Amphibalus had met with the relics of S. Albans (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 39).

 
Date Started
 
1194
 
Date Finished
 
1528
 
Length
 
2424