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Ela Longespee's Roll of Benefits: Piety and Reciprocity in the Thirteenth Century

  • Emilie Amt

Extract

Ipsa autem, bonorum temporalium liberalissima ac spiritualium avida beneficiorum

— 1293 charter of Oxford University, describing Ela Longespee

In 1293, the elderly and twice-widowed Ela Longespee, countess of Warwick, or someone acting on her behalf, gathered together eighteen charters that had been issued to her over the past dozen years and sent them to the bishop of Lincoln, to be confirmed and copied into a single roll. The original charters have long since vanished, but the enrolled copy survives in The National Archives at Kew. Its component documents, all of them detailed grants to Ela by religious institutions in the Oxford area, are highly unusual; even when compared to the few surviving parallels, they stand out for their specific content. The roll itself, comprising eighteen such documents in a private archive created for a thirteenth-century laywoman, is unique. And when it is examined along with other surviving evidence of Ela's religious activities, it provides us with an extraordinary perspective on the reciprocal nature of religious patronage at this time. What is especially unusual about Ela's case is that we know much more about what the religious promised to Ela than what she granted to them. Thus Ela Longespee's records tell us the side of the story that is seldom told when we look at records of religious patronage; they reveal the return that donors expected in the late thirteenth century, with increasing precision and urgency. Using a chronological framework, this essay will examine the surviving documents, tell the story of Ela's life, and explore the most interesting dimension of that story: her startlingly explicit reciprocal relationships with religious institutions.

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1 Kew, The National Archives (TNA), PRO E132/2/18. Three of the component documents in the roll, the three charters from Oxford University, also survive in a register made for the University ( Munimenta Academica, or Documents Illustrative of Academical Life and Studies at Oxford , ed. Anstey, Henry, 2 vols. [London, 1868], 1:6267). The roll was not copied into or noted in the bishop's register that survives (Lincoln, Lincolnshire Archives, Bishop's Register 1).

I am grateful to Bruce Venarde, Barbara Harvey, Janet Sorrentino, and Benjamin Thompson for helpful comments on this work at various stages. My research was partially funded by a Hodson Fellowship from Hood College; was carried out in part while I was in residence at Studium, St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Peter, Minnesota; and was first presented at the College of St. Benedict, Minnesota.

2 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , ed. Matthew, H. C. G. and Harrison, Brian, 60 vols. (Oxford, 2004), 34:385–88.

3 Calendar of the Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office , 6 vols. (London, 1903–27), 2 (42 Henry III–28 Edward I, 1257–1300): 29, and The Early Rolls of Merton College Oxford , ed. Highfield, J. R. L. (Oxford, 1964), 447.

4 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , 18:1, and Knowles, David and Neville Hadcock, R., Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, 2nd ed. (Harlow, , 1971), 134, 281.

5 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , 34:388–89.

6 Bowles, W. L. and Nichols, John Gough, Annals and Antiquities of Lacock Abbey. (London, 1835), app., p. ii. If the elder Ela (who bore her eldest surviving son ca. 1209) reached puberty around age fourteen, in 1204, and immediately bore three surviving daughters at intervals of a year or so, her third daughter, the younger Ela, could have been born as early as 1207 or 1208, but this scenario is improbable. If, at the other extreme, the son born ca. 1209 was the first child, followed by three more sons and then three daughters, all at two-yearly intervals, Ela the younger could have been born as late as 1219, and married at age ten in 1229.

7 The manors were Canford (Dorset) and Chitterne (Wilts) (Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, Henry III , 6 vols. [London, 1901–13], 2 [1225–32]: 255).

8 Bowles, and Nichols, , Annals and Antiquities , 305, 321.

9 Mason, Emma, “The Resources of the Earldom of Warwick in the Thirteenth Century,” Midland History 3 (1975–76): 6775, and Crouch, David, “The Local Influence of the Earls of Warwick, 1088–1242: A Study in Decline and Resourcefulness,” Midland History 21 (1996): 1–22.

10 Close Rolls of the Reign of Henry III Preserved in the Public Record Office , 14 vols. (London, 1902–38), 1 (1227–31): 220, 2 (1231–34): 219; C[ockayne], G. E., The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, 13 vols. (London, 1910–59), 12.2:365.

11 She acquired land in Wiltshire in a settlement with the earl of Hereford in 1228–29 ( Complete Peerage , 6:460). Her husband was knighted and belted as an earl in 1233; her mother entered Lacock as a nun in 1237 and then was appointed to the abbacy of that house around 1239 (Complete Peerage, 12.2:365, and Close Rolls Henry III, 2 [1231–34]: 219).

12 Mason, , “Earldom of Warwick,” 73.

13 Close Rolls Henry III , 4 (1237–42): 454–55, 5 (1242–47): 10, 69; Curia Regis Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, 20 vols. (1922–2006), 17 (1242–43): 103, 116–17, 227–28, 257–59, 431, 437, 18 (1243–45): 22–23, 30–32.

14 Cal. Patent Rolls Henry III , 3 (1232–47): 505–7, 509, 4 (1247–58): 42. “Neweton” cannot be identified.

15 Close Rolls Henry III , 6 (1247–51): 86, 378, 471; Cal. Charter Rolls, 1 (11–41 Henry III, 1226–57): 369.

16 Cal. Patent Rolls Henry III , 3 (1232–47): 510, 4 (1247–58): 133; Close Rolls Henry III, 7 (1251–53): 136.

17 Close Rolls Henry III , 9 (1254–56): 170. Abraham of Berkhamstead was one of the Jews whose debts were to be collected and assigned to Richard of Cornwall, and among the Jews Abraham was especially close to Richard (Denholm-Young, N., Richard of Cornwall [Oxford, 1947], 22 n. 1, 69–70, 108). It is possible that Ela's marriage to Richard's associate Philip Basset at about this time led to the eventual forgiveness of her debt.

18 In 1242×48 Ela quitclaimed to her brother William land in Chitterne (Wilts), which he then granted to Lacock ( Lacock Abbey Charters , ed. Rogers, Kenneth H. [Devizes, 1979], nos. 266, 269). In 1249, the two Elas, mother and daughter, made a legal arrangement concerning the manor of Hatherop (Glos) — the countess of Warwick recognizing it to be Lacock's by right and leasing it back from the abbess for 100s. per year (Lacock Abbey Charters, nos. 418–19). No. 419 is dated 1249; no. 418, undated, is witnessed by Philip Basset and some of his associates, suggesting a possible date after Ela's second marriage. Hatherop certainly belonged to the younger Ela, so this agreement may be the remaining trace of a benefaction by her to the nuns (Cal. Charter Rolls, 1 [11–41 Henry III, 1226–57]: 369). In 1287, the younger Ela would quitclaim Hatherop to Lacock, receiving an annual income of £20 in return (Lacock Abbey Charters, no. 423).

19 Lacock Abbey Charters , no. 271, and Calendar of the Close Rolls of Edward I Preserved in the Public Record Office , 5 vols. (1900–1908), 2 (1279–88): 139. In 1255, Ela was listed among the “Oxfordshire and Berkshire” debtors of Abraham of Berkhamstead (Close Rolls Henry III, 9 [1254–56]: 170). In 1287, Ela exchanged her dower manor of Sutton Coldfield (Warwick) for Spilsbury in Oxfordshire (Victoria County History, Warwickshire, 4:233).

20 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters , vol. 1 (1198–1304), ed. Bliss, W. H. (London, 1893), 307, 312–13, 345–46.

21 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (n. 2 above), 4:267–68, 34:389, and Sir Christopher Hatton's Book of Seals , ed. Loyd, Lewis C. and Stenton, Doris Mary (Oxford, 1950), no. 437 and note. Philip may also have been acquainted with Ela because of an earlier association of his with Abbey, Lacock (Lacock Abbey Charters, no. 418).

22 Cal. Patent Rolls Henry III , 4 (1247–58): 529, 539, and Close Rolls Henry III, 10 (1256–59): 54–55.

23 Cal. Charter Rolls , 2 (42 Henry III–28 Edward I, 1257–1300): 35. In 1257 Ela was granted five dead oaks from the royal forest of Wychwood (Oxon) (Close Rolls Henry III, 10 [1256–59]: 72).

24 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , 4:267–68.

25 Kingsford, , The Grey Friars of London , 150, and Röhrkasten, Jens, The Mendicant Houses of Medieval London, 1221–1539 (Berlin, 2004), 46, 389–90.

26 Hinnebusch, William A., The Early English Friars Preachers (Rome, 1951), 24, and Röhrkasten, , Mendicant Houses, 32–33.

27 They specifically exempted the land that the friars had appropriated and enclosed when they quitclaimed land in Warwick to a third party in 1268×71 (BL Add. 28,024 [Warwick Register], fol. 63r).

28 Cartulary of Oseney Abbey , ed. Salter, H. E., 6 vols. (Oxford, 1929–36), 2:401, no. 993.

29 Lacock Abbey Charters , no. 23; Cal. Charter Rolls, 1 (11–41 Henry III, 1226–57): 29; Oseney Cartulary, 1:192, no. 206; The English Register of Godstow Nunnery, Near Oxford , ed. Clark, Andrew (London, 1905–11), no. 645; Kew, TNA, PRO E164/20 (Godstow Latin Cartulary), fol. 115.

30 Godstow English Register , no. 105; PRO E164/20, fol. 160–160v.

31 Early Rolls of Merton College , 27, 41, 52; Oxford, Merton College Archives, nos. 646, 647, 648.

32 Cal. Close Rolls Edward I , 2 (1279–88): 139. She owed a debt of wool to a London merchant in 1276; complained in 1278 that her reeve had been imprisoned when she sent him to collect a relief owed to her in Warwickshire, and of a break-in and poaching at a park of hers in Hampshire; and appointed attorneys in lawsuits in 1279 (Cal. Close Rolls Edward I, 1 [1272–79]: 355, 570; Victoria County History, Warwickshire, 6:276; Cal. Patent Rolls Edward I, 1 [1272–81]: 287).

33 Kew, TNA/PRO E40/45.

34 The revenue was augmented by a royal grant of a daily cartload of firewood from old oaks in either Bernwood (Berks) or Wychwood (Oxon) forest, at pleasure. Calendar of the Patent Rolls of Edward I Preserved in the Public Record Office , 4 vols. (1893–1901), 2 (1281–92): 269, 338, 349. She had received ten live deer from Odiham park in 1276 (Cal. Close Rolls Edward I, 1 [1272–79]: 365).

35 They are printed in Munimenta Academica (n. 1 above), 1:6267.

36 Except the last three Godstow charters, all from the same year, but enrolled in reverse order. The three Oseney charters, two of whose year-dates are illegible, appear to be out of chronological order; as they come first in the roll, this may indicate that the scribe had not yet decided on the chronological scheme.

37 Victoria County History, Oxfordshire , 2:7779.

38 Longespee Roll, no. 6: Godstow charter 1 (see Appendix 1). Because the thirty masses of St. Gregory's Trental, as it was practiced in England, were spread out over the course of a full year, this would amount to a continuous state of St. Gregory's Trental being sung for Ela at Godstow. Given that this “great” trental, in which the masses were accompanied by a demanding regime of additional devotional practices, was sometimes confused with the simple or “lesser” trental of thirty masses on consecutive days, one might suspect the latter here, except that the Godstow charter notes after each mention of the trental “quod plenarie sine omissione celebrare faciemus,” as if to emphasize its length or complexity. All three of Ela's charters promising her St. Gregory's Trental were issued in 1282, suggesting that it was a devotional idea in which she was interested that year. For the Trental, see Pfaff, Richard, “The English Devotion of St. Gregory's Trental,” Speculum 49 (1974): 7590, and Duffy, Eamon, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c. 1400– c. 1580 (New Haven and London, 1992), 370–75. The references to the trental in the Longespee roll predate most of those adduced by Pfaff.

39 The latter two were certainly copied from the Rewley document. This, along with the general standardization of phrasing from one charter to the next, suggests that Ela's own clerk or clerks wrote many, if not all, of these documents, just as the beneficiary's scribe often wrote the charter in the case of donation to a religious house.

40 BL Harl. Ch. 54 D.15; printed in Dugdale, William, Monasticon Anglicanum: A History of the Abbies and Other Monasteries, Hospitals, Frieries, and Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, with their Dependencies, in England and Wales , 6 vols. (London, 1846), 4:45, no. xxvi, and Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, 4:112. A near-duplicate, now lost, is printed in Book of Seals, no. 327, where the editors argue for a date of December 1284×90. However, B. R. Kemp assumes the grant was shortly before 6 January 1280 (Reading Abbey Cartularies , ed. Kemp, , 2 vols. [London, 1986–87], 1: no. 84 n.).

41 “unde totus conventus … habeat singulis diebus dominicis unam bonam pietanciam per quoquinarium domus et conventus Rading' in honorem Sancte Trinitatis, et aliam bonam pietanciam singulis diebus Jovis per eundem quoquinarium in honorem sacrosancte Assencionis inperpetuum” (Kew, TNA/PRO C146/3589). Another of the additional gifts in this second charter to Reading was a revenue of 20s. to be put toward the perpetual observation of Ela's anniversary at Reading.

42 “duo monachi … pro predicta domina Ela celebrantes cotidie et inperpetuum celebraturi, prout sibi per scriptum nostrum communi sigillo nostro signatum concessimus” (BL Add. Ch. 19,633). The two chaplains celebrating masses for “the countess” were mentioned in an account written at Reading in 1305 (BL Harl. 82, fol. 2v).

43 Calendar of Charters and Documents Relating to Selborne and Its Priory , Preserved in the Muniment Room of Magdalen College, Oxford, ed. Dunn Macray, W. (London 1891), 72. What prompted Ela to forge a relationship with Selborne is unknown, though Oseney charter 3 in the Longespee Roll mentions Selborne as a house in close relationship with Oseney.

44 The evidence is a debt of 300 marks owed by Ela to Stanley, recorded in the Rolls, Close ( Cal. Close Rolls Edward I , 1 [1272–79]: 338). In documents where Ela makes gifts to other houses, the language is sometimes that of debt, with enforcement clauses, e.g., at Selborne Priory, where she indebted herself to Selborne, promised to pay within five years, and authorized the distraint of her lands and goods in Oxfordshire and Hampshire to guarantee the debt (Calendar of Charters and Documents Relating to Selborne, 72). Alternatively, the debt to Stanley may simply be in connection with Philip's burial. Philip had been a benefactor of Stanley, whereas Ela does not appear in its muniments (Birch, W. de G., “Collections towards the History of the Cistercian Abbey of Stanley in Wiltshire,” The Wiltshire Magazine 15 [1875]: 239–307, at 256, 268, 274).

45 Rous, John, The Rous Roll , ed. Ross, Charles (Gloucester, 1980), cap. 36, and Dugdale, William, Antiquities of Warwickshire, 2nd ed., ed. Thomas, W. (London, 1730), 383.

46 Boynton, Susan, Shaping a Monastic Identity: Liturgy and History at the Imperial Abbey of Farfa, 1000–1125 (Ithaca, 2006), 144.

47 Burgess, Clive, “‘A fond thing vainly invented’: An Essay on Purgatory and Pious Motive in Later Medieval England,” in Parish, Church and People: Local Studies in Lay Religion, 1350–1750 , ed. Wright, S. J. (London, 1988), 5683; Colvin, Howard, “The Origin of Chantries,” Journal of Medieval History 26 (2000): 163–73, at 169; Goff, Jacques Le, The Birth of Purgatory , trans. Goldhammer, Arthur (Chicago, 1984), 130–208, 289–333; Southern, R. W., “Between Heaven and Hell,” review of The Birth of Purgatory , by Goff, Jacques Le, Times Literary Supplement, 18 June 1982, 651–52; Horrox, Rosemary, “Purgatory, Prayer and Plague: 1150–1380,” in Death in England: An Illustrated History , ed. Jupp, Peter C. and Gittings, Clare (New Brunswick, NJ, 1999), 90–118, at 109–12.

48 Colvin, , “Origin of Chantries,” 163–73; Wood-Legh, K. L., Perpetual Chantries in Britain (Cambridge, 1965), 5; Cook, G. H., Mediaeval Chantries and Chantry Chapels (London, 1947), 6, 17; Kreider, Alan, English Chantries: The Road to Dissolution (Cambridge, MA, 1979), 72–76; Brown, Andrew D., Popular Piety in Late Medieval England: The Diocese of Salisbury, 1250–1550 (Oxford, 1995), 33–34, 93–95. Crouch, Cf. David, “The Origin of Chantries: Some Further Anglo-Norman Evidence,” Journal of Medieval History 27 (2001): 159–80.

49 Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries , 811, and Colvin, , “Origin of Chantries,” 171.

50 Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries , 11. Crouch adduces evidence of lay demand for daily commemorative masses in monasteries from the eleventh century on (Crouch, “Origin of Chantries,” 162–63, 170–71). Similar to Ela's enrolled charters (though much less detailed) is an early thirteenth-century charter from Waltham Abbey promising a daily mass for a layman (Kew, TNA, PRO DL 36/1/247, printed in Hector, L. C., The Handwriting of English Documents [London, 1966], 110 [transcription] and plate 5[a] [p. 73]).

51 The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary , ed. Hearne, Thomas, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1770), 2:125–28, and Munby, Julian, Simmonds, Andy, Tyler, Ric, and Wilkinson, David R. P., From Studium to Station: Rewley Abbey and Rewley Road Station, Oxford (Oxford, 2007), 8, plate 1.

52 Roll, Longespee, no. 12, Rewley, charter (see Appendix 1).

53 Leland, John, The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535–1543 , ed. Smith, Lucy Toulmin (Carbondale, IL, 1964), 1:124. Leland, also recorded, accurately, that Ela gave “riche giftes” to Reading Abbey.

54 One of the witnesses recalled that “cartam de feoffamentam … vidit, et in presencia dicte domine Ele, et parochianorum de Mapeldrewelle, eandem cartam verbis Anglicis audivit exponi” ( The Registers of John de Sandale and Rigaud de Asserio, Bishops of Winchester [A.D. 1316–1323] , ed. Baigent, Francis Joseph [London, 1897], 143, 145).

55 The land was in Nately Eastrop, now known as Up Nately; the village is a mile from Maplederwell. Kew, TNA, PRO C143/8/16 and C143/9/30. Ela was granted the manor of Maplederwell by her stepdaughter Alina Basset in 1272 ( Victoria County History, Hampshire , 4:150).

56 Calendar of Charters and Documents Relating to Selborne , 72. In the Longespee Roll, Godstow charter 5 says that the two chaplains saying mass for Ela are supported by a combined revenue of £7 7s.; in Godstow charter 3, an endowment of 200 marks purchases an annual revenue of 15 marks (£10).

57 Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries , 281–90, using mostly fourteenth-century examples.

58 Of these, the designation for Wednesday is the one made least often in Ela's documents. Additionally, in one case the Sunday mass was to be the mass of the day (Longespee Roll, no. 6: Godstow charter 1 [see Appendix 1]), and in another case the Saturday mass was to be that of the Virgin after Ela's death (Longespee Roll, no. 5: St. Frideswide's charter 1 [see Appendix 1]).

59 Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries (n. 48 above), 282, 284, 288. Most of the evidence is from later centuries.

60 Roll, Longespee, no. 3: Oseney charter 2 (see Appendix 1).

61 Roll, Longespee, nos. 6, 16: Godstow charter 1 and Studley (see Appendix 1).

62 Roll, Longespee, nos. 7, 9: Godstow charters 2 and 4 (see Appendix 1).

63 Roll, Longespee, nos. 5, 6, 15: St. Frideswide's charters 1 and 2 and Godstow charter 1 (see Appendix 1).

64 See Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries , 290, for fifteenth-and sixteenth-century examples.

65 Clark-Maxwell, W. G., “Some Letters of Confraternity,” Archaeologia 75 (1926): 1960, esp. 23–26, for examples of confraternity granted to lay benefactors in return for their gifts, and noted in the charter of gift, sometimes in language similar to that used in Ela's charter; Clark-Maxwell, , “Some Further Letters of Fraternity,” Archaeologia 79 (1929): 179–216; Knowles, David, The Monastic Order in England (Cambridge, 1966), 472–79; Cowdrey, H. E. J., “Unions and Confraternity with Cluny,” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 16 (1965): 152–62; Clark, James G., “Monastic Confraternity in Medieval England: The Evidence from the St. Albans Abbey Liber Benefactorum,” in Religious and Laity in Western Europe, 1000–1400: Interaction, Negotiation, and Power , ed. Jamroziak, Emilia and Burton, Janet (Brepols, 2006), 315–31. For some attempts to quantify the proportion of donors granted confraternity and other benefits, see Christopher Holdsworth, The Piper and the Tune: Medieval Patrons and Monks (Reading, 1991), 12–14.

66 See discussions in Brown, , Popular Piety , 3233; Thompson, Benjamin, “From ‘Alms’ to ‘Spiritual Services’: The Function and Status of Monastic Property in Medieval England,” Monastic Studies: The Continuity of Tradition , ed. Loades, Judith, vol. 2 (Ipswich, 1991), 227–61, esp. 227–37, 250–54; Thompson, , “Monasteries and Their Patrons at Foundation and Dissolution,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6 (1994): 103–25, at 107–11.

67 example, For, Reading Abbey Cartularies , nos. 803, 1079, 1193, and Stoke by Clare Cartulary: BL Cotton Appx. xxi , ed. Harper-Bill, Christopher and Mortimer, Richard, 3 vols. (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1982–84), 1: nos. 11, 14.

68 BL Harl. Ch. 54 D.15; printed in Monasticon Anglicanum (n. 40 above), 4:45, no. xxvi, and Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, 4:112; for its date, see Reading Abbey Cartularies, 1:84 n.

69 It is not unusual for charters to refer in this way to a fuller document in the donor's hands, but as far as I know this is the only such existing reference in the context of confraternity.

70 Cheney, C. R., “A Monastic Letter of Fraternity to Eleanor of Aquitaine,” English Historical Review 51 (1936): 488–93.

71 Colvin, , “Origin of Chantries” (n. 47 above), 167.

72 Harvey, Barbara, Living and Dying in England, 1100–1540: The Monastic Experience (Oxford, 1993), 1011; Harvey, , “Monastic Pittances in the Middle Ages,” in Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition , ed. Woolgar, C. M., Serjeantson, D., and Waldron, T. (Oxford, 2006), 215–27, at 216, 219–20.

73 “nichil eisdem causa predicte pietancie in cibatus discrescat nec sit diminutum” (BL Add. Ch. 19,633).

74 Longespee Roll, no. 8: Godstow charter 3 (see Appendix 1).

75 Longespee Roll, no. 11: Godstow charter 6 (see Appendix 1).

76 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ch. Northants. 53.

77 BL Add. Ch. 19,633.

78 Godstow was founded for twenty-four nuns and is never recorded as having that many, whereas Reading had at least sixty-five monks in 1305; Knowles, and Hadcock, , Medieval Religious Houses (n. 4 above), 74, 259.

79 Longespee Roll, nos. 7, 9: Godstow charters 2 and 4 (see Appendix 1).

80 Longespee Roll, 17, 18, University charters 1 and 2 (see Appendix 1); Munimenta Academica (n. 1 above), 1:6264, 66–67; and Rous, , The Rous Roll, cap. 36. Ela's fund is the third such endowment known to have been established in the medieval University, and was modeled on the first loan chest, established in 1240 and located at St. Frideswide's (Aston, T. H. and Faith, Rosamond, “The Endowments of the Universities and Colleges to circa 1348,” in The Early Oxford Schools , ed. Catto, J. I., vol. 1 of The History of the University of Oxford , ed. Aston, T. H. [Oxford, 1984], 267, 275–79).

81 Kew, TNA, PRO C146/3589.

82 Swanson, R. N., Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise? (Cambridge, 2007), 1115.

83 Swanson, , Indulgences , 5657, 224–28.

84 Longespee Roll, nos. 3, 5, 6: Oseney charter 2, St. Frideswide's charter 1, and Godstow, charter 1 (see Appendix 1).

85 Longespee Roll, nos. 17, 19: University charters 1 and 3 (see Appendix 1); Munimenta Academica , 1:6263, 65.

86 Denholm-Young, , Medieval Archives of Christ Church (Oxford, 1931), 7, and Oseney Cartulary (n. 28 above), 3:24. Denholm-Young dates the indulgence to 1272, Salter to 1282; Nicholas Cusack became bishop in 1279. Cusack was probably acting here as a suffragan bishop in an English diocese (Swanson, , Indulgences, 36–37). There is no indication of what Ela paid for or did to earn this privilege.

87 Swanson, , Indulgences , 57.

88 Book of Seals (n. 22 above), no. 339.

89 Early Rolls of Merton College , 445–46.

90 The fact that Ela retired to Godstow rather than her mother's foundation of Lacock is not surprising, given the overall shape of her religious patronage, with its focus on the Oxford area, and her apparent residence in or near that city in the later part of her life; she also seems to have had relatively little interest in Lacock or in her mother.

91 Ela's kinswoman was one of two anonymous nuns involved in the elopement of a third Godstow nun in 1290 in what the bishop later determined had been a staged abduction, on the road near High Wycombe in 1290 ( The Rolls and Register of Bishop Oliver Sutton, 1280–1299 , ed. Hill, Rosalind M. T., [Lincoln, 1954], 3:132–33). We do not know who this kinswoman was, but there was a nun named Isolda Lovel at Godstow in 1283, and Philip Basset's sister Katherine had married into the Lovel family (strictly speaking, though, a Lovel woman could not be called Ela's consanguinea) (Cal. Patent Rolls Edward I, 2 [1281–92]: 89). Alternatively, the nun who was Ela's kinswoman may have been a Longespee, related to Ela through one of her many siblings; in 1445 there would be a nun at Godstow named Alice Longspey, possibly indicating a continuing family connection (Visitations of Religious Houses in the Diocese of Lincoln, vol. 2, part 1, Records of Visitations Held by William Alnwick, Bishop of Lincoln, A.D. 1436–1449 , ed. Hamilton Thompson, A. [Lincoln, 1919], 114).

92 Longespee Roll, no. 6: Godstow charter 1 (see Appendix 1).

93 Longespee Roll, nos. 7–11: Godstow charters 2–6 (see Appendix 1); Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ch. Northants. 53.

94 Jones, John, Balliol College: A History , 2nd ed. (Oxford, 1997), 1314; The Rolls and Register of Bishop Oliver Sutton, 1280–1299 , ed. Hill, Rosalind M. T., vol. 4 (Lincoln, 1958), 83–85, 94–95, 97, 132; Emden, A. B., “The Last Pre-Reformation ‘Rotulus Benefactorum’ and List of Obits of Balliol College,” Balliol College Record (1967), supplement, 6.

95 Early Rolls of Merton College , 445–46, and Merton Muniments , ed. Allen, P. S. and Garrod, H. W. (Oxford, 1928), plate 8c.

96 Early Rolls of Merton College , 223, 254, 258–59. As Ela had already been in residence for some years, the last item (“in datis hominibus Comitisse operantibus circa cameram construendam apud Godestowe”) may have meant she was remodeling her own rooms, or that she was helping with some other work at the abbey.

97 Oseney Cartulary (n. 28 above), 1:xix, and Early Rolls of Merton College, 262. Allen, and Garrod, (Merton Muniments, 28) stated without attribution that she died at Headington, but I have been unable to find any evidence for this, and I believe it is probably an error resulting from a confusion of Ela with Philippa Basset, lady of Headington, and also a dowager countess of Warwick (see, e.g., Victoria County History, Oxfordshire, 5:160). Ela almost certainly died at Godstow.

98 Westerhof, Danielle, Death and the Noble Body in Medieval England (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2008), 7595, 141–49; Golding, Brian, “Burials and Benefactions: An Aspect of Monastic Patronage in Thirteenth-Century England,” England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1984 Harlaxton Symposium , ed. Ormrod, W. M. (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1985), 64–75, at 66–70, 73; Bradford, Charles Angell, Heart Burial (London, 1933), 22–25, 38–52, 63–101; Horrox, , “Purgatory, Prayer and Plague” (n. 47 above), 99–100; Park, Katharine, “The Life of the Corpse: Division and Dissection in Late Medieval Europe,” Journal of the History of Medicine, 50 (1995): 111–32; Brown, Elizabeth A. R., “Authority, the Family, and the Dead in Late Medieval France,” French Historical Studies 16 (1990): 803–32, at 809–14. Pope Boniface VIII banned the practice in 1299; see Brown, Elizabeth A. R., “Death and the Human Body in the Later Middle Ages: The Legislation of Boniface VIII on the Division of the Corpse,” Viator 12 (1981): 221–70; Brown, , “Authority, the Family, and the Dead,” 824–29.

99 Book of Lacock , appendix, p. ii.

100 Parsons, John Carmi, Eleanor of Castile: Queen and Society in Thirteenth-Century England (New York, 1998), 5960, 208–9.

101 Horrox, , “Purgatory, Prayer and Plague,” 99100.

102 See, e.g., Golding, , “Burials and Benefactions,” 6670.

103 Westerhof, , Death and the Noble Body , 7577.

104 Brown, , “Authority, the Family, and the Dead,” 820, and Horrox, , “Purgatory, Prayer and Plague,” 100.

105 The exception is a passing but correct reference by Greening Lamborn, E. A., “Suum Cuique,” Notes and Queries , 188 (1945): 158–61, at 161. Ela is not included in published lists of multiple burials such as that by Westerhof, , Death and the Noble Body, 141–49.

106 “Ele dowghter to sir Wm. Lonspe Eorl of Salisbury … is buryed a fore the hygh aulterre of Osney of Oxneforde” (Rous, , The Rous Roll , cap. 36).

107 Leland, , ed. Smith, Toulmin (n. 53 above), 1:124. The tomb at Oseney was no doubt Ela's corporal tomb, given its depiction of her whole body on the metal plate. Leland's description of the plate as “copper” should probably not be taken literally, as the words “copper” and “brass” were sometimes used interchangeably in the early modern period; see, e.g., Deut. 8:9; Burgess, Frederick William, Chats on Old Copper and Brass (London, 1914; repr. 2008), 27–28; Middle English Dictionary , ed. Kurath, Hans (Ann Arbor, MI, 1959), 3:590. Nor need we take seriously Leland's description of Ela as being depicted “in the habite of a woues.” This is the only evidence for Ela as a vowess (i.e., a widow vowed to chastity), and it seems to be a sixteenth-century misinterpretation of a thirteenth-century image of a widow. Medieval vowesses wore mantles, but no other special habit. While it is possible that Ela took vows, there is no credible evidence that she did, and even without vows she could have been a valued member of the community at Godstow. See Erler, Mary, “English Vowed Women at the End of the Middle Ages,” Mediaeval Studies 57 (1995): 155–204, at 156, 162 (for the confusion of widows and vowesses on memorial brasses), 174–75, 177, 181; Erler, , Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England (Cambridge, 2002), 9.

108 Horrox, , “Purgatory, Prayer and Plague” (n. 47 above), 108, and Saul, Nigel, Death, Art, and Memory in Medieval England: The Cobham Family and Their Monuments, 1300–1500 (Oxford, 2001), 61–67.

109 Stukeley, William, Itinerarium curiosum, or An Account of the Antiquities, and Remarkable Curiosities in Nature or Art, Observed in Travels through Great Britain (London, 1776), 1:45. For the conversion of Rewley into a brewhouse, see Munby, et al., From Studium to Station (n. 51 above), 9.

110 Hearne, , Itinerary , 2:128; Stukeley, , Itinerarium curiosum, 1:45; Munby, et al., From Studium to Station, 8.

111 Merton Muniments (n. 95 above), 28.

112 Merton Muniments , 28.

113 When a body was divided for burial in two places, the second burial was usually of the heart (unless the entrails were removed only because the body had to be transported a long distance, which was not the case for Ela); Bradford, , Heart Burial (n. 98 above), passim. However, Westerhof assumes that the heart and viscera were often buried together and that the latter included the former (Death and the Noble Body [n. 98 above], 88).

114 Early Rolls of Merton College , 261–62. Wanting, John, the College's warden, was one of Ela's executors (Martin, G. H. and Highfield, J. R. L., A History of Merton College, Oxford [Oxford, 1997], 70).

115 Thompson, Benjamin, “From ‘Alms’ to ‘Spiritual Services,’” 236, 252, and The Statutes of the Realm (1225–1713) , ed. Luders, A., Edlyn Tomlins, T., France, J., Taunton, W. E. and Raithby, J., 9 vols. (1810–22), 1:91–92.

116 Longespee Roll, no. 19: University charter 3 (see Appendix 1).

117 No copies of the charters have been found in surviving books from any of the religious houses.

118 Donovan, Claire, The de Brailes Hours: Shaping the Book of Hours in Thirteenth-Century Oxford (Toronto, 1991), 132–43, and Duffy, Eamon, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers, 1240–1570 (New Haven, 2006), 8–11.

119 Lacock Abbey Charters , no. 271.

120 Donovan, , The de Brailes Hours , 136–43, 148–49, 155–56. Alternatively, Ela may have preferred to delegate her devotions to those saying masses and prayers on her behalf.

121 See, for example, Erler, , Women, Reading, and Piety (n. 107 above); Annette Grise, C., “Women's Devotional Reading in Late-Medieval England and the Gendered Reader,” Medium Ævum 71 (2002): 209–25; Meale, Carol M., “‘… alle the bokes that I haue of latyn, englisch, and frensch’: Laywomen and Their Books in Late Medieval England,” in Women and Literature in Britain, 1150–1500 (Cambridge, 1993), 128–58.

122 In addition, charters in the Longespee Roll record these donations to Godstow by Ela: an annual revenue of 10 marks (Godstow no. 2), a one-time gift of 200 marks (Godstow no. 3), a one-time payment of 25 marks (Godstow no. 4), and a one-time payment of £100 and 10 marks (Godstow no. 6).

123 For Bicester, only individual charters remain: Victoria County History, Oxfordshire , 2:9394; Monasticon Anglicanum (n. 40 above), 6.1:434–35; Kennett, White, Parochial Antiquities Attempted in the History of Ambrosden, Burcester, and Other Adjacent Parts in the Counties of Oxford and Bucks (Oxford, 1818), 185–226, 241–305, 327–42, 386–407. Extracts of a lost Studley cartulary are found in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Twyne MS. 24, 642–61; some Studley charters are printed in Dunkin, John, History and Antiquities of the Hundreds of Bullingdon and Ploughley (London, 1823), 130–40.

124 For another example of significant non-land donations, see Clark, , “Monastic Confraternity in Medieval England” (n. 65 above), 324–25.

125 And like the one given by Waltham Abbey to Hugh de Neville, Kew, TNA, PRO DL 36/1/247.

126 Below, , Longespee Roll, no. 17, University charter 1.

127 Kew, TNA, PRO DL25/138.

128 In a charter of Waltham Abbey to Hugh de Neville, 1229×30, Hugh's late wife and their heirs are co-beneficiaries (Kew, TNA, PRO DL 36/1/247, printed in Hector, L. C., The Handwriting of English Documents [London, 1966], 110 [transcription] and plate 5[a] [p. 73]). A charter from Ankerwyke Priory, 1239×41, promised masses for Master Nicholas of Farnham and others (Wood-Legh, , Perpetual Chantries [n. 48 above], 285–86, and for later examples see 288–90).

129 Early Rolls of Merton College , ed. Highfield, , 446.

130 I owe the latter suggestion to Bruce Venarde.

131 BL Harl. 82, fol. 2v.

132 Munimenta Academica (n. 1 above), 2:370–72.

133 Monasticon Anglicanum , 4:370, and Valor ecclesiasticus tempore Henrici VIII auctoritate regia institutus , ed. Caley, John and Hunter, Joseph, 6 vols. (London, 1810–34), 2:187, 215, 250, 255.

134 Walworth, Julia (Fellow Librarian, Merton College), personal communication to author, 21 November 2006.

135 MS ebdomodomodam

136 MS altari

137 MS sconfessoris

138 missing through damage

139 MS Reliqus

140 MS colecta

141 MS celebratur

142 followed by me cancelled

143 sic

144 MS consessisse

145 MS reditus

146 sic

147 sic

148 MS arcamus

149 sic

150 sic

151 MS arcamus

152 MS precuniem

153 de inserted above line

154 sic

155 MS cuncis

156 MS adunatis

157 sic

158 sic

159 MS meus

160 See Corpus Orationum , ed. Moeller, Eugene, Clément, Joanna Maria, and 't Wallant, Bertrand Coppieters, 14 vols. (Turnhout, 1992–2004), 1:8488.

161 Corpus Orationum , 1:94, no. 174.

162 Repertorium hymnologicum: Catalogue des chants, hymnes, proses, séquences, tropes en usage de l'église Latine depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours , ed. Chevalier, Ulysse, 6 vols. (Louvain, 1892–1912), 1:108, no. 1812.

163 Breviarium ad usum insignis ecclesiae Sarum , ed. Procter, Francis and Wordsworth, Christopher, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1886), 3:1073.

164 Corpus Orationum , 4:275, 279, nos. 2956b, 2958b.

165 Corpus Orationum , 5:164–65, nos. 3366, 3367.

166 Corpus Orationum , 6:73, no. 3859.

167 Corpus Orationum , 6:165–66, no. 4064.

168 Missale Romanum: Mediolani, 1474 , ed. Lippe, Robert, 2 vols. (London, 1899–1907), 2:287.

169 Corpus Orationum , 7:260, no. 4843.

170 Guéranger, Prosper, The Liturgical Year: Advent , trans. Shepherd, Laurence, 2nd ed. (Dublin, 1870), 361–62.

171 Corpus Orationum , (n. 160 above), 9:9, no. 5553a.

Ela Longespee's Roll of Benefits: Piety and Reciprocity in the Thirteenth Century

  • Emilie Amt

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