History

Pentney Abbey - 3

King Henry II

The first Prior's name mentioned is that of Geoffrey, in 1167.  He was followed by William de Vaux, who was Prior during the reign of Henry II.
Ralph's name is seen next, in 1225, Simon in 1228 and 1250, and then William, during the reign of Edward I. Richard de Marham was elected in 1302, and Giles de Whitwell, in 1338.

Next came Thomas de Helgeye, in 1342, with Ralph de Framlingham, in 1349 and Vincent de Caldecore, in 1353.  (Notice the names of local villages in their surnames. The next Prior was Walter Tryington, in 1381 and he was followed by John de Wilton, in 1397. 

William de Swaffham, Prior in 1414 and John de Tryington, in 1416, were at last followed by Richard Pentney - a local man?
There were just four more Priors,
Ralph Medylton, 1464, John Woodbridge, 1496, John Hawe, 1518, and Richard Codde, 1526.
He was the last of the Priors of Pentney, and was later made the Warden of St Giles' Hospital, in Norwich.

Almsgiving ended, the Guest House was closed.  Five hundred years of history's chapter was at last over, its like, never to return!  It had been  a rich and colourful era, albeit harsh for the not-so wealthy!  A time of pilgrimage, to Canterbury, that we read about in the stories of Geoffrey Chaucer, and to Walsingham, not far from Pentney, where Richeldis had her vision of the Holy House.  Julian of Norwich, an anchorite, living in a tiny cell, had written books, which still inspire us today.

It is interesting to see that Margery Kempe, who wrote a Spiritual Biography in the 15th Century, must have known of Pentney.  She lived in Kings Lynn, and an extract from her book tells a story, including these words, " The preste askyd wher was hys dwellyng. "Ser," he seyde, "but fyve myle fro this place in Penteney Abbey." "Ther have I ben," seyd the preste, "and I  have not sey yow." "No ser," seyd he ageyn, "I have be ther but lytyl whyle and now have I ther a lyvery, thankyd be God."

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Margery Kempe
Julian of Norwich
Walsingham
Geoffrey Chaucer

Margery Kempe

Other Augustinian Priories nearby were at Walsingham and West Acre.  On a personal note, the last Prior of West Acre was named William Wingfield.  I wonder if he was part of my family?  (See "My Family in Pentney" )

Rita Sheridan, Warwickshire, England

Email: rasheridan@lineone.net