S. Helens, Bishopsgate
Community ID
 
1000
 
Alternate Names
 
S. Helen, Holy Cross, Bishopsgate, London S. Helens
 
Town
 
London
 
Diocese
 
London
 
Region
 
Middlesex
 
Modern Location
 
London
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
Helen / Holy Cross
 
Date Founded
 
1212 according to Dugdale and Oliva
 
Date Terminated
 
1538
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

According to S. Thompson, the probable founder is William, son of William the Goldsmith (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 225). It was likely built over the site of a church built in the reign of the Henry II.

 
Population Counts
 

This was a large priory, probably for 26 nuns. In 1372, 7 nuns were professed, and in 1378, there were 11 nuns. In 1466, the prioress and 11 nuns witnessed a deed. After the suppression, the prioress and 14 nuns were granted pensions (Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales, 214).

 
Dependency Of
 

The nunnery was granted to the dean and canons of St. Paul's, the nuns were to swear fealty to St. Paul's.

 
Income
 

In 1535 the community's income was valued at over 320 pounds.

 
Other Economic Activities
 

Due to their extreme poverty, Edward I in 1306 gave the nuns the right to have a market and fair at Brentford.

 
Relics
 

In 1285, Edward I gave the priory a piece of the True Cross which he had taken from a foundation in Wales.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Guildhall MS 25, 121/2038.

 
Published Primary Sources
  
Admin. Notes
 

BOSB--Benedictine
[V0485]

 
Contributors
 
Marilyn Oliva
 
Date Started
 
1212
 
Date Finished
 
1538
 
Length
 
963