S. Radegund
Community ID
Alternate Names
S. Mary and S. Radegund; Cambridge S. Radegund (Cambridge?)
Modern Location
Corporate Status
Dedicated to S. Mary and S. Radegund
Date Founded
1133-1154 (circa -- sources give diffrent dates)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Foundation Information

Elkins places the foundation date at 1138. Thompson lists probable founders as either William Monachus or Bishop Nigel of Ely (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 219).

Notable Heads

Prioresses: Lettice, occurs c. 1213, 1228
Milisent, occurs 1246, 1249Dera, occurs 1258
Agnes Burgeylun, occurs 1274
Constance, 13th century
Amice de Driffeld, 13th century
Alice Chamberlain, c. 1278
Ellen, occurs 1289, 1299
Christiane de Braybrok, occurs 1311
Cecily de Cressingham, occurs 1315, 1316
Mabel Martin, occurs 1325, (fn. 38) 1330, 1332
Alice, occurs 1347
Eve Wasteneys, occurs 1359
Margaret Clavyle, occurs 1363, resigned 1 Feb. 1378
Alice Pilet, elected 20 Feb. 1378, occurs 1398
Isabel Sudbury, occurs 1402
Margaret Harlyng, elected 1407
Agnes Seyntelowe, occurs 1415, died 8 Sept. 1457
Joan Lancastre, elected 27 Sept. 1457, occurs 1466
Isabel, occurs 1468
Elizabeth Walton, occurs 1468, 1479
Joan Cambridge, elected 1483, died 1487
Joan Fulborne, appointed 12 Oct. 1487

Population Counts

In 1459 there were 11 nuns. When the nunnery was dissolved in 1496 there were only 2 members, only one of which, according to Bishop Alcock, was formally professed. Due to the less than desirable state of the nunnery at this time, Bishop Alcock was given permission from Henry VII to dissolve the nunnery and, in it's stead, found the College of St. Mary the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Radegund the Virgin, most commonly known as Jesus College.


In 1372, Thomas de Wormenhale, a representative of Archbishop Wittlesey, visited the nunnery. At that point, the prioress was Margaret Clavyle, who resigned in 1378. Wormenhale found the nunnery in great disrepair on account of the foundation's extreme poverty. The roof of the refectory was severely damaged and the prioress claimed she was unable to pay for the services of priests. Another visitation was made in 1389 by Archbishop Courtenay. At this time her found that one Margaret Cailly was "living in sin" and wearing a secular habit. She was sent to the care of Bishop Fordham of Ely who assigned her penance and returned her to S. Radegund's. Bishop Arundel visited in 1401 but no record of the visit remains. In 1487 Bishop John Alcock made a visitation and finding none of the nuns capable of electing a new prioress, appointed Joan Fulborne.


In the 1150's, Stephen and Juliane de Scalars gave 80 acres in West Wratting to the foundation when their daughter Sybil was admitted. In 1159, King Malcolm IV of Scotland, (also the Earl of Huntingdon) donated 10 acres of land adjoining Grenecroft.


In 1450 the annual income was £75.

Art & Artifacts

There are four extant seals. One is from the 12th century and depicts S. Radegund standing with a staff in right hand and an open book in her left. A tasseled bag hangs over her right shoulder. The inscription reads: SIGILLVM SANCTE RADEGVNDIS. The second seal, perhaps made by the 13th century prioress Margaret, depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary seated with child on her left knee. The inscription reads :MATER DEI MEMENTO MEI. The third seal, a small common seal last used in 1485, shows Radegund between two palm branches her arms upraised. The final seal, from 1392, shows Radegund with a nun kneeling below her.

State Of Medieval Structure

The bell-tower fell in 1277. The buildings were burned in 1376 and ruined by storms in 1389.

Published Primary Sources
Miscellaneous Information

Dedication S. Mary (needs verification), suppressed to found Jesus College. A brother of the house, called Sturmi, can probably be identified with th man of the same name who granted the advowson of the church of All Saints to the nuns (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 72).

Admin. Notes

Need to verify the volume and page for published primary sources.

WRL Project, Ericka Swensson
Date Started
Date Finished