Cheshunt
Community ID
 
944
 
Alternate Names
 
S. Mary, Cheshunt, S. Mary of Swetmannescrofte
 
Town
 
Lincoln
 
Diocese
 
Lincoln
 
Region
 
Hertfordshire
 
Modern Location
 
Cheshunt
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary
 
Date Founded
 
1165 or earlier
 
Date Terminated
 
1536 or 1537
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

The founder is unknown. Thompson lists Conan, Earl of Richmond as a probable founder Thompson speculates that this priory may have anchoretic origins (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 220). The nunnery of Cheshunt was in existence by 1183 when Pope Lucius III took it under papal protection.

 
Notable Members/Residents/Guests
 

Queen Isabella was greeted by the nuns as she travelled to Hertford in May 1358.

 
Population Counts
 

There were 13 nuns and 2 chaplains circa 1300. In 1536 there were 4 nuns including the prioress.

 
Relative Wealth
 

The priory was chronically impoverished despite frequent bequests from London. It is most likely that their early surrender was also due to poverty. According to the Victoria County History, at the time of its dissolution the priory owed almost as much as it was worth.

 
Income
 

In 1535 the net incomes was about 14 pounds.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Pipe Roll 12 of Henry II, 77.

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

There is an interesting, but undoubtedly spurious account of monks caught using underground tunnels to visit the nuns at Cheshunt during the reign of Henry VIII. The church-history of Britain from the birth of Jesus Christ until the year M.DC.XLVIII endeavoured by Thomas Fuller available online at ">http://eebo.chadwyck.com/search/fulltext?ACTION=ByID&ID=D300001358922601... [Fullwood]

 
Admin. Notes
 

BOSB--Benedictine Order
[V0268]

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project, Ericka Swensson
 
Date Started
 
1165
 
Date Finished
 
1536
 
Length
 
854