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WILLIAM TILBURY, PRIOR OF LATTON IN ESSEX
Of the Austin order (followers of St. Augustine)

Research by John Tilbury of Nottinghamshire
 

Priors of Latton (from The Victoria County History, Essex)

William TILBERY or TALLEBURYoccurs 1426, resigned 1434
William COTYNGHAMcollated 1434, resigned 1440
Thomas WAPELODE or WHAPPELODEcollated 1440, occurs 1443
John HURSTresigned 1472
William CHAAScollated 1472, resigned 1482
Christopher BROWNcollated 1482
John STAFFORDcollated 1486
John CRADOKcollated 1491
William TAYLORdied 1518
John TAYLORcollated 1519, deserted
in or before 1534

Collations made by the bishop because the number of canons was insufficient for election


 
Founded before 1200 [before 1270]; dissolved [1534]
"on too small a scale to prosper"

In 1446 only the Prior was in residence, and the house was in peril of collapse.
The Reformation in Essex to the Death of Mary" Oxley, James Edwin, 1965

 
LATTON PRIORY, ESSEX

"Latton Priory was erected for canons of the order of St. Augustine, and dedicated to St. John Baptist; but by whom it was founded, and the time of its foundation, are not precisely known. It stands about three miles south of the parish church of the same name, and half a mile west of the road from Epping to Harlow. The ground that seems to have been the site of the Priory is surrounded with a moat, without which, south of the present buildings, human bones have been frequently found, a circumstance which points out the ancient burial-place. At a short distance from the moat, east of the church, appear somewhat like the remains of an entrenchment: the interspace between this and the moat is called by the neighbouring peasantry the 'Monk's Bowling Green'.

According to Doomsday, St. Edmund's Bury abbey held lands in the parish of Lattuna, and it is conjectured that these lands were afterwards the endowment of Latton Priory. Morant dates its foundation before the year 1270; and Tanner says that it was in being antecedent to the twentieth of Edward I. because mentioned in the Lincoln taxation. The history of few religious foundations is less known than that of Latton Priory; it is supposed that the society was never very numerous, nor the revenue considerable, as the bishop of London frequently appointed a prior, for want of a statutable number of canons to elect. At the dissolution the site of this establishment was granted to sir Henry Parker and his heirs, to be held by the twentieth part of a knight's fee. It was afterwards in the possession of John Hitta, who, in 1556, sold it to John Titley, by whom, in the fourth of Elizabeth, it was conveyed to James Altham; his descendant and heir disposed of it to Wm. Luchington, esq. who, by his mother, is nearly related to the Altham family: it was lately sold by this gentleman to Thomas Glyn, esq. the present possessor."

 

A GOTHIC BUILDING USED AS A BARN

"This Priory, though of inconsiderable note, possessed a handsome and rather spacious church, which in greater part is still remaining. It is built in form of a cross, the centre divided from the extremities by four lofty-pointed arches, resting on slender-clustered columns; the height of the columns is eighteen feet and a half.

Before the fall of the south transcept the length of the building, from north to south, measured within the walls, was sixty-six feet; from east to west its length is fifty-four feet; the walls, which are composed of rubble flint-stones and the flat brick usually called Roman, are two feet and a half in thickness; the columns and arches are of freestone. About three years since the south transcept, as before hinted, fell to the ground, leaving but a small part of the eastern wall. In this fragment is the remains of an elegant window; its outer moulding is terminated on each side by a corbel head, and the arch is supported by two slender columns.

The fall of this part of the building has exposed the interior to the injuries of the changing atmosphere, and perhaps the period is not very remote when this venerable pile will become an untenable ruin.

The proprietor of the farm has endeavoured to repair the damage with an enormous mass of peas-straw, but this futile substitute bends with every wind; and as the withered foliage waves to and fro, the rustling murmur echoes round the walls, presaging the approach of their final desolation."

Above from "Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet", James Storer, J. Greig, 1810 (W. Clarke)
 

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