Marrick Priory,

a Benedictine nunnery, founded either in the latter end of the reign of Stephen or the beginning of that of Henry II, by Roger de Aske, a man of great note in former days.

Marrick, when Domesday was taken, was taxed for five carucates, and there were in it two ploughs. Archil had formerly a manor there. Gospatric then had it and it was waste. There was a small wood; the whole one mile long and a half broad; valued in the time of Edward the Confessor at twenty shillings a year.

In Kirkby's Inquest taken two hundred years after, three carucates were only accounted for, which made the fourth part of a knight's fee. Of these the Nuns of Marrick held one carucate in pure alms of Hugo de Aske, and Hugo held that, with the other two in demesne, of the Earl of Richmond, and the Earl of the King.

Roger de Aske being lord of the manor, placed this Priory on a small farm of his own, with the consent of Conan Earl of Richmond, and gave to it the Church of St. Andrew in Marrick, and the carucate of land before mentioned, with the tythes of his mill, multure of the corn there, and liberty to grind their own corn there without paying multure.

This manor with Aske was valued in the eleventh year of Edward II. at 40£. 10s. a year, a very great sum in those days. Many other donations were given to the Priory by Conan de Aske and Roger his son, namely, the Vaccary, called Uvelands, in the territory of Marrick, for twenty-four cows with their followers till three years old; also pasture for five hundred sheep with their lambs till the time of separation, and their horses and swine without limitation of number. Likewise he gave them two whole meadows within the said pasture; all which gifts Edward III confirmed in the twenty-second year of his reign. The Nuns had possessions in Richmond which let for 2£. 13s. 6d. a year. Conan son of Helias gave them one oxgang three acres and a half of land, and pasture for one hundred wethers, in Cowton. Many other donations were given to it by various benefactors in different townships.

The Pirory, according to the charter of Henry II., was dedicated to the Virgin Mary; yet from some manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, to St. Andrew, the saint of the parish church. The seal attached to the act of surrender now lodged in the Augmentation Office, though so much defaced as to render it imposible to give a correct drawing of the whole, yet had undoubtedly upon it figures of a female and child, the usual mode of representing the Virgin Mary upon seals; this removes all doubt and clearly settles the matter at variance with regard to the dedication.

The Hospital of Rerecross, or the Spittal upon Stanemore, was given to Marrick Priory in 1171 by Ralph son of Ralph, Lord of Moulton. The close near the Hospital was given to it by John Earl of Richmond. The Nuns of Marrick were accustomed to pay the chaplain of it a yearly pension of 4£. 13s. 4d. for doing the duty, according to a foundation by Conan Earl of Richmond. This hospital contined part of the possessions till the Dissolution, when it was granted the seventh of Edward VI. to William Buckton and Roger Marshall.

The yearly revenues were rated by Speed at 64£. 18s. 9d., but having to give and distribute to the poor at the Supper of the Lord, bread to the value of 16s. 8d., in money 15s., alms to the mendicants on the day of the obit of Roger de Aske, the founder, to the amount of 11s. 6d., to the bailiff and keeper of their woods 40s. a year, with various pensions and rents to the King, Lord Scrope, and the Castle of Richmond, for the villages of Fleetham, Carperby, etc., and to the Prior of St. Martin, their income was reduced to 48£. 13s. 2d.

In a renewed rental made the 31st of Henry VIII., the demesne in their own hands was thus valued by Leonard Beckwith and Hugh Fuller, the auditors. The site of the Priory, with dove-cotes, orchards, gardens, and other conveniences within the precinct of the same, was valued at 3s. 4d. a year; one close of meadow called Applegarth, containing by estimation one acre, 16d.; one close called Applegarth Flatt, by estimation four acres, 2s. 8d.; one close of arable land called Snawdon Flatts, by estimation seven acres, 4s. 8.; the herbage of a coppice or the spring wood called Tebby Strands, by estimation four acres, nothing; one close of meadow and pasture called Wintering Holme, five acres, 6s. 8d.; one close of meadow, called Straunds, with a small piece adjacent to the same called Sandbed, four acres, 5s. 4d.; one close of meadow called Sir John Carre, two acres, 2s. 8d.; one close of arable land called the Methorne Flatts, four acres, 2s.; one parcel of arable land called Cow House Flatts, four acres, two shillings; the herbage of a coppice or the spring of wood called Brery Bank, four acres, nothing; one small close of meadow called Stane Garth, two acres, 2s.; one close of meadow called Low Coote Close otherwise Applecoote Ing, four acres, 5s. 4d.; the herbage of a coppice or the spring called Colte Park, three acres, nothing; a close of meadow called Abbey Coote Ing, otherwise West Coote Close, ten acres, 13s. 4d.; a close of pasture called New Close, seven acres, 7s.; the herbage of a coppice or the spring wood under Barkestayre called Syke Bank, one acre, nothing; a close of pasture called Yew Close, five acres, 5s.; the herbage of a coppice, or the spring of wood, called Dynnys Hagg, two acres, nothing; a close of meadow and pasture called Westgawnels, four acres, 4s.; the herbage of a coppice, or the spring of wood, called Gawnles Spring, three acres, nothing; the herbage of a coppice, or the spring of wood, called Cowes Hagg, six acres, nothing; a close of meadow called Kydde Close, two acres, 2s. 8d.; the herbage of a wood called the Shepe Bank, three acres, nothing; a close of pasture and wood called the Ox Close, otherwise Cow House Close, four acres, 16d.; a close of arable land called the East field, four acres, 2s.; a close of wood and meadow called Milne Croft, one acre, 20d.; -- sum total of the demssne lands, 4£. 1s. Also certain lands, closes, meadows, woods, and tenements, which lie in divers places, mixed along with lands of Ralph Bulmer, Knt., and Lady Anne his wife, which were always in the hands of the Prioress, and worth four pounds a year; certain lands, closes meadows, woods, pastures, and tenements, with the appurtenances, called Ullands in the territory of Marrick, which were always in the hands of the Prioress, and worth 2£.13s.4d. Also certain lands and tenements called the Hospital or the Spyttal de Staynemore, with certain fields, pastures, commons, and meadows, belonging to it, which were always in the hands of the Prioress and Convent, and worth 2£. 13s. 4d. a year. Note, this last parcell is demised to Christopher Maunsell and Reginald Alderson conjointly. Elizabeth, relict of Roger Metcalfe, holds a tenement called Berepark, with two tenements and a cottage in Carperby, with the appurtenances, for a term of years not yet finished, and pays 5£. 18s. 3d. Also five acres and common of pasture in Downham, which were always in the hands of the Prioress and Convent, and worth per year 11s. Sum, 15£. 15s. 11d. Total of the temporals, 19£. 16s. 11d.

Spirituals. -- The Rectory of Marrick, with the lands and glebe belonging to the same with the appurtenances, worth per year 8£.16s. Also the tythe of the ninth sheaf of corn in Ascue, worth 13s. 4d. a year. Also the tythe of corn, hay, and potherbs of Carken, with the appurtenances, valued at 1£. 13s. 4d. a year. -- Sum, 11£. 2s. 8d.; all which spirituals were always in the hands of the Prioress and Convent. Sum total of the temporals and spirituals, 30£. 19s. 7d.

There were deducted for the stipend or salary of the priest doing duty in the parish church of Marrick 6£. 13s. 4d., and for the fee or stipend of the keeper and bailiff of the woods belonging to the King there, forty shillings. Sum of the deduction 8£. 13s. 4d., so there remained clear 22£. 6s. 3d.

By the act of Parliament of the twenty-seventy of Henry VIII, which gave to the King the lesser monasteries, that is, those which were rated under 200£. a year, and contained fewer than twelve religious persons, he was empowered to continue those which he thought proper. This Priory, in consequence of this act, had the King's letters patent, dated the ninth of September in the twenty-eighth year of his reign, to continue after the dissoution of the small houses; but four years after, on the 15th of September, 1539, the thirty-first of Henry VIII., at the general abolition of all religious houses, it was surrendered by Christabella Cowper, the Prioress, and sixteen nuns.

On acount of the readiness with which these religious yielded to the King's measures, pensions proportionate to the value of the house were assigned to each of them by John Uvedaale and Leonard Beckwith, the commissioners appointed by the King under his privy seal. In 1553 there remained in charge here, to Christabella Cowper the late Prioress, one hundred shillings; in annuities 18£., and to the following nuns, Dame Margery Conyers 66s. 8d., Johanna Norres 53d. 4d., Margaret Lovechild, Elizabeth Dalton, Elenor Maxwell, and Johanna Barnyngham, forty shillings each; to Grace Rotherwood, Elizabeth Robynson and Anne Ledemen, 26s. 8d. and to Johanna Marton, Elizabeth Close, and Elizabeth Syngleton, twenty shillings each.

These nuns being thus disposed of, it was not long before the site of the Priory and its possessions were disposed of by Henry VIII.; for in the thirty-first year of his reign, they were granted by him to John Uvedale, his heirs and assigns, for the term of twenty-one years. His son Alured enjoyed them in the third of Edward VI., and in the fourth of the same King, we find another John Uvedale had them in psossession.

The next owners of this estate and probably by purchase from the Uvedales, were the Brackenburys, as we find that the site and Priory of Marrick was assured by Richard Brackenbury, Esq., by his deed of feofment dated the 9th of April in the thirty-fourth of Elizabeth, to Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth his wife, for their lives and the lives of their two bodies, remainder to the right heirs of the said Timothy for ever. Marrick Priory and the tythes of that township were sold by his son Matthew about the year 1633 for 3280 pounds, the rental being 230 pounds, to the Blackburnes, and in 1658 we find from Wood's Decrees in tythe Causes, that the Blackburnes and others had a trial about these tythes with on Miles. These premised were in the possession of the Blackburnes for many years, want of economy however and a numerous offspring obliged the owner to sell them at different times to the Bulmers, Pigotts, and various other persons.

On the 12th of February, 1683, John Blackburne of Marrick Abbey, Gentleman, sold for 1581£. 8s. to John Mitford of London and Christopher Cratford of St. Giles, Middlesex, Gent., in trust for Charles Powlett, Marquis of Winchester, certain lands in Marrick, and all that Rectory or Church of Marrick, with all houses, tythes, oblations, portion of tythes, etc. to the said Rectory belonging, and the advowson, donation, and repesentaion of the patronage of the Vicarage or Parish Church of Marrick, with all mines and other appurtenances, except to the said John Blackburne, his heirs etc. all manner of tythes, etc. hereafter growing upon any of the remaining parts of the freeholds of the said John Blackburne situate in Marrick, and also growing and renewing upon the lands of Thomas Buckden of Oxcough situate in Marrick. The deed also recites, that there was payable by Mitford and Cratford out of the said Rectory of Marrick the sum of 10£. for the stipend of a chaplain or curate for serving the cure of the church of Marrick.

The site of the Priory, with part of the estate formerly belonging to it, is now the property of James Pigott Ince, Esq., a descendant from the Pigotts.

Much of the Priory is destroyed, except part of the west end of the church, the steeple, and some detached buildings too indistinct to admit of description. The body of the old church was not long since used as a parish church, but wanting some repairs, most of it was pulled down, and a small one built on its site mixed with parts of the old fabric.

The manor of Marrick remained in the family of Aske for many generations, till Roger de Aske died without male issue, leaving two daughters, coheiresses, Elizabeth and Ann. Ann, the youngest, marrying Sir Ralph Bulmer, Knt., about the year 1535, transferred the Marrick part of their estate to the Bulmers. Dorothy, only daughter and heiress of this marriage, marrying John Sayer of Worsal, Esq., the same property was transferred to the Sayers. The family of Sayer also ended in females about the year 1660, when Dorothy, daughter and coheiress of George Sayer of Worsall and Marrick, marrying William, son of Sir Bertram Bulmer, Knt., this estate returned to the Bulmer family. This manor, with the presentation to the living, tythes, etc., was sold by one of the Bulmers to Charles Powlett, Marquis of Winchester, afterwards created Duke of Bolton, who left them to his second son, Lord William Powlett, whose descendant, the late William Powlett Powlett of Lanston House near Winchester, conveyed them by purchase in 1817 to Josias Morley, Esq., the present proprietor.

Clarkson, Christopher (1821) The History of Richmond, in the County of York.