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Priors of Brecon

A list of the known priors of Brecon

Walter: c. 1125-?
The first prior of Brecon; he was a monk of Battle.

? William: occurs as prior 1131x7 (but this may be an error for Walter).

Ralph: occurs 1139x57 and in 1165.

John: occurs as prior in 1203, 1203x14, 1219x29, 1222 and May 1226.

Ralph:: occurs as prior in May 1235.

Reginald: occurs as prior September 1248.
Reginald had left office by 1260 when royal assent was given to elect him as abbot of Battle.

Stephen de Oteringber: described as former prior in November 1265.
In November 1265 Stephen was described as former prior and now vagabond, signified for arrest.

Sampson: pre 1272.
A document of 1336 refers to Sampson as prior during Henry III's reign (1216-72).

A document of 1336 describes him as Sampson' successor and prior during Henry III's reign; he had been in office long before the Statute of Mortmain of 1279.

Michael: occurs as prior in July 1277

William: occurs as prior Easter 1282.
Archbishop Pecham's visitation of Battle Abbey in 1283 records his displeasure that Prior William of Brecon, who had been removed for incontinence, had since been restored.

Nicholas: He occurs in 1290, 1292, 1305, 1307, 1308, and 1309.

Goderinggus: occurs as prior at Easter and Michaelmas 1310, and in 1311.

John de Cherring: occurs as prior in October 1312, July 1315 and May 1326.

R. de Horwood: ?-1328x47.
'R.' had resigned from office at some time between 1328 and 1334, the first occurrence of Prior Walter.

Walter (of Exeter): was presented, as W. of Exeter, conventual prior of Brecon, by A(lan), abbot of Battle (1324-51), to H(enry) Gower, bishop of St David's (1328-47) as prior. He occurs as Walter, or W., in 1334, 1336, 1337, 1338, 1339, 1342, 1343, and 1344.

Thomas Bennays: was a monk of Battle. He was nominated as prior by the abbot of Battle and presented by the earl of Hereford to the bishop of St David's for installation. He had resigned by Michaelmass 1350, when he was mentioned in a court case concerning Prior John de Lose.

Nicholas Wardeden
Described as John de Lose's predecessor. His dates of office must have occurred somewhere between 1350 and 1355.

John de Lose (Lese, Loze, Losa): was a monk of Battle. He was nominated by his abbot. He occurs as prior in July 1355 and from July 1363 until October 1368.
In 1355 the bishops of St David's, Hereford, and Worcester were informed that Prior John had been absolved from excommunication that had been imposed on him following the archbishop's visitation of Battle Abbey, and restored to office at Brecon in December 1355.

Perhaps the same John who occurs as prior in 1375 and the poll tax returns of 1379 [see details] and 1381 [see details].

John Echyndenn: occurs as prior in December 1401, January 1405, April 1408, and June 1410.
There was a warrant for his arrest on 28 March 1411.

Thomas: occurs at Easter and Trinity terms 1412.

William York: named as prior in December 1408 when he was ordained priest.

John Boregrove (Burgrove):
A monk of Battle, John was presented to office by his abbot, William of Battle (1405 x 15). He occurs as prior in 1414, 1415, 1418, 1421, 1424, 1425, 1431, and 1433.

William Waller: ?-1435.
Resigned from office in 1435 to take up the abbacy at Battle.

Thomas Hamon:: Notification of his appointment was received in July 1435. He occurs as prior of Brecon at Michaelmass 1436. He may be the same man as Thomas, the next recorded prior.

Thomas: occurs as prior in 1437, September 1452, and 1455. The occurrence in 1437 is likely to be Thomas Hamon, but those in 1452 and 1455 may be Thomas Spaldying.

Thomas Spaldyng: occurs as prior at Easter 1476, in June 1486, July 1487, and February and October 1488. He was dead by 20 May 1491.

Philip Rytlinge (Ritlyn, Rytlynge): 1491-1495.
A monk of Battle, he was presented to office upon the death of Thomas Spaldyng on 20 May 1491. Philip was admitted to office on 3 June 1491 and had resigned by 18 November 1495.

John Lewis: 1495-1497.
A monk of Battle he was admitted to office in November 1495 and had resigned by May 1497. John was prior of St Nicholas, Exeter, from 1499 to 1522.

William Westfield: 1497-1503.
William was admitted to office in May 1497 and presided until 1403 when he took up the abbacy at Battle.

Thomas Redyng: occurs as prior in August 1504, January 1509 and September 1514.

William: occurs as prior at Trinity term 1517.

Robert Manwode: occurs as prior in October 1514, 1524 and on 1 March 1527. The first occurrence is puzzling, as it seems to place Robert before William, but it is possible that it refers to the date at which he became Doctor of Divinity at Oxford rather than as prior.

Robert Sadler: occurs as prior in August 1527.

Robert Holden (Halden, Holdyn): occurs as prior in March, June and July 1529 and on various occasions until the dissolution of the priory when he was awarded a pension on 29 June 1536.

Sites associated with this person

Brecon Priory, Powys

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, I, 940-1216, ed. D. Knowles, C. Brooke and V. London (London, 1972; 2001) pp. 86, 259

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) pp. 93-4

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) pp. 98-9