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NORTH TRANSEPT - STALLS—CENOTAPH.
Stalls are of the same early introduction as the other Normen appendages. “When composed of stone,” says the author already quoted,
, “they were first used near the altar by the officiating priests in choirs, and as subsellia in parish chancels." Those of oak, now seen in the North Transept of the abbey, formerly stood in the choir. They are tolerably perfect; and in their canopies much intricate design and delicate carving are apparent. “In choirs, where many were united in one general plan, oak was soon introduced in place of stone," as a material much better adapted to the purpose of elaborate carving
The cenotaph of Abbot Wich is at the entrance of St. Edward's Chapel; it represents, as already stated, an emaciated figure, surrounded by the ensigns of mortality, which seem to address every ear in these emphatic words Memento mori!
The east end is hexagonal, separated from the aisles by six short massive columns supporting pointed arches. Beneath these are some larger monuments, and over them are windows fitted with painted glass. In two of them are very curious figures of knights in armour, eight in number, and represented standing under very rich Gothic canopies, each filling nearly one of the principal compartments of the windows, some in mail, others in plated armour. They are said to represent Robert first earl of Gloucester, the three Gilberts de Clare, Richard de Clare, Hugh le Despenser the younger, and one of the La Zouch family; all of whom have been already noticed in the genealogical introduction to this subject. - History of the County, art. Tewkesbury.
Benedictine. To fashion my reply to your demand
The razor-thus.-SHIRLEY. Tewkesbury Abbey was the last of the monastic establishments in Gloucestershire which surrendered to the mandate of Henry the Eighth. The surrender was made, under the convent seal, by John Wich, with fifteen of the brotherhood, on the 9th day of January, 1539, being the thirty-first year of the king's reign, and began in these terms:"To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, We the Abbot, etc., and Brothers of the said monastery, send greeting. Know ye, that we upon full consideration, certain knowledge, and mere motion, and for divers causes just and reasonable moving our souls and consciences thereto, have freely and voluntarily given and granted to our Lord the King," etc.
The clear annual “value of all the possessions belonging to the said monastery, as well spiritual as temporal, besides £136 8s. 1d., granted in fees and annuities to several persons by letters patent, under the convent seal, for their lives, was £1595 178. 6d. The pensions assigned by the royal commissioners—Southwell, Petre, Kairn, Price, Kingsmen, Paulett, and Bernarsto the abbot, the prior, and other members of the establishment, amounted to £532 6s. 8d., leaving a handsome balance of £1063 108. 10d. in favour of his Majesty's exchequer. The keys of the treasury were delivered to Richard Paulett, receiver; but the records and evidences belonging to the monastery, which were deposited therein, and the houses and buildings which were to remain undefaced, were committed to the keeping of Sir John Whittington. Of the houses and buildings to be preserved were,—the lodging called Newark, leading from the gate to the Abbot's Lodgings, with the buttery, pantry, cellar, larder, kitchen, and pastry thereto adjoining: the late abbot's lodging; the hostrey; the great gate entering into the court, with the lodging over the same; the Abbot's stable, bakehouse, brewhouse, and slaughter-house; the almary, barn, and dairy-house; the great barn next the river Avon; the malt-house, with the garners in the same; the ox-house in the Penton gate, and the lodging over the same.”—These afford some notion of the domestic offices of a lord abbot of that day.
The buildings “deemed to be superstitious or superfluous, and therefore to be domolished, were the church--but which was happily preserved with its
DISSOLUTION OF THE ABBEY.
appendages, and made parochial—the chapels, the cloister, the chapter-house, the two dormitories; the infirmary, with the chapels and lodgings within the same; the workhouse, with another house adjoining to the same; the convent kitchen, the library, the misericorde, the old hostrey, the chamber and lodgings, the new hall, the old parlour adjoining the abbot's lodgings, the cellarer's or butler's lodging, the poultry-house, the garner, the almary, and all other houses and lodgings not before reserved."
The list of materials to be converted to the king's use, and delivered to the commissioners, were as follows:—the leads remaining on the choir, aisles, and chapels annexed; “ the cloister, chapter-house, fratery, St. Michael's chapel, halls, infirmary, and gatehouse, were estimated at 180 fodder. The bells remaining in the steeple were eight poizes, by estimation 14,600 lbs. weight.”
The jewels reserved for his Majesty's use were,—two mitres, gilt, garnished with rugged pearls and counterfeit stones. The silver plate consisted of silver-gilt, 329 oz. parcel of do. 605 oz.-plain silver, 497 oz.— making a total of 1431 ounces, which evinced no great luxury in that department. The ornaments reserved for his Majesty's use were, -one cope of silver tissue, with one chesible and tunicle of the same; one cope of gold tissue, with one chesible and two tunicles of the same. The ornaments, goods, and chattels belonging to the said monastery were sold by the said commissioners, as in a book of sales thereof made appears, for the sum of £194 8s. To money given to thirty-eight religious persons of the said monastery, £80 13s. 4d. To one hundred and forty-four servants, for their wages and liveries, £75 10s. Paid the debts of the said monastery, £18 12s These together made a sum of £174 15s. 4d., which deducted from the proceeds of the sale, left a balance in the commissioners' hands of £19 12s. 8d.—History of the Abbey, referring to the Record in the Augmentation-office, dated 38 Hen. VIII.--Dyde.
The ecclesiastical livings in the gift of the monastery were numerous ;* the abbots, who successively presided as the spiritual lords of Tewkesbury, were twenty-six in number, and filling a long interval of four hundred and thirty-four years. Their names are,-Giraldus, 1104; Robert, 1110; Benedict, 1124; Roger, 1137; Fromund, 1162—during whose abbacy the con
ventual church was burnt. (A vacancy occurs here.) Robert II., 1182. (Another vacancy.) Alan, prior of Canterbury, 1187; Walter, 1202; Hugh, 1213; Bernard, a monk of Tewkesbury, 1215, but not approved; Peter, a monk of Worcester, 1216; Robert Fortington, prior of the Abbey, 1232; Thomas Stoke, 1253; Richard de Norton, 1276; Thomas Kemsey, 1282; John Cotes, 1328; Thomas de Legh, 1361; Thomas Chesterton, 1362; Thomas Parker, 1390; William Bristow, 1414; John Abingdon, 1443; John de Salys; (?) John Strensham-supposed that in his time the abbey was made parliamentary; Richard Cheltenham, 1481; Henry Bewly, 1509; John Wich or Wakeman, the last abbot, and first bishop of Gloucester, 1531. The abbey demesnes consisted of Stanway, modified and enlarged by Abbot Cheltenham; Forthampton, on the right bank of the Severn, about a mile below Tewkesbury; and Tewkesbury Park, Manor Place, on the east or left bank of the Severn.—Hist. and Antiq. of Tewkes. Chron. Series of the Abbots.
Domesday Survey.-In Teodechesberie were fourscore and fifteen hides in the time of King Edward. Of these forty-five were in demean, and free from all royal service and tax, except the service due to the lord of the manor. The manor was in capite. There were in demean twelve plough-tillages, and fifty between the servi and ancillæ, and sixteen bordurs in waiting about the hall, and two mills of 20 sol., and one fishery, and a salt-pit at Wich, belonging to the manor.
In all Teodechesberie there are 120 acres of meadow, and a wood one mile and a half long, and as much broad.
.. There are now thirteen burgesses paying 20 sol. a-year; a market, established by the queen,* pays 11 sol. and 8 den. And there is one plough-tillage more, and twenty-two between the servi and ancillæ, a fishery, and a salt-pit, &c. This manor of Tewkesbury, when entire in the time of King Edward, was worth 100 lib. Whereas Radulf received 12 lib. because it was spoiled and disordered. .. Brictric, the son of Algar, held this manor in the time of King Edward ; and at that time had the underwritten estates of other thanes under his jurisdiction, &c. &c.—Dyde, 135. [The Norman pound or lib. equal to 12 ounces solid silver = £3 28. sterling; the sol. = 3 shillings sterling; 48 Saxon shillings = £1 sterling.t-Ibid.]—See References and Authorities.
* Who had been put in possession of the ancient manor of Brictric in the way already mentioned.
+ In his observations on the value of silver at the time of the Survey, 1086, Sir Robert Atkyns gives the following statement :--The rate of necessaries which subsist human life is the true estimate of money. Since, therefore, wheat-corn seems to be the most necessary of anything, we may best value coin by the price of wheat in the several ages. A bushel of wheat, soon after the Norman Conquest, was sold for a penny, which was equal in weight to our three
pence. At this day (1729) a bushel of wheat, one year with another, may be valued at four shillings, which is sixteen times the value of it six or seven hundred years ago.
The conclusion will be, that a man might live in that time as well on twenty shillings a year of our money, as on sixteen pounds a year at present. And, to carry it further, two pounds of their money would buy as much wheat as ninetysix pounds of the present. — Dyde on Atkyns' Hist. Gloucest. 142. Hist. of the Abbey.
Environs.— The first locality in the immediate neighbourhood to which the stranger's attention is directed is the ancient battle-field, or, as it is now emphatically called, the “Bloody Meadow.” It was on this spot—the "field of Tewkesbury,"—that, on the 4th of May, 1471, the grand question between the rival houses of York and Lancaster was finally decided. The subject is familiar to every reader of history and the drama.
It is commemorated, with many interesting details, by the old chroniclers; it is chosen by Shakspeare himself as the closing scene of one of his most powerful dramas; while the fair author of "Margaret of Anjou” has made it the theme of a spirited and graceful poem, in which the morning of the battle is thus introduced :
“ 'Tis May-a bright and cloudless morn
Smiles on the world—on every thorn
Each hails the promise for his own,
And spake to him alone.
"When Queen Margaret,” says Grafton, “knew that King Edward was come so near her, she tarried not long at Bath, but, removing in great haste to Bristow, sent out certain horsemen to espie whether she might safely pass ouer the riuer Seuerne, by Gloucester, into Wales, whither she determined first to go to augment her armie; and then without any delay, with speere and shielde, to set on her enemyes wheresoeuer they would abyde.” But having learned from the spies that the city of Gloucester had been intimidated by Richard, the king's brother; that the Governor, Lord Beauchamp, had peremptorily refused to allow her to pass over their bridge; and that the townspeople were neither to be won by promises nor deterred by threats, "she shortly departed from Bristow with her armie to a propre towne on Seuerne-syde, called Tewkesbury. The Lord Beauchampe tooke from her rere-ward more ordinance than she might have well spared, which did to her