Vol. 90: The Durford Cartulary


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Editor: Janet Stevenson
Volume: Volume 90
Published 2006
ISBN: 978 085445 069 5

The text of this volume consists of an English calendar of the cartulary of Durford abbey, a house of Premonstratensian, or White, canons. The history of the order is discussed in the introduction as is that of the abbey from its foundation to its dissolution. There are five appendices: the first comprises deeds relating to the abbey, which might have been included in the cartulary but were not; the next three list all the abbots, canons and secular clerks of the abbey; and the fifth is a concordance of the cartulary’ s pagination and foliations with the entry numbers used in this volume. There are indexes of persons and places and of subjects.

Durford abbey was established about 1161 on the northern bank of the Rother in the parish of Rogate by Henry Hussey, lord of the neighbouring manor of Harting. The cartulary, mostly compiled in the late 13th century but with later additions, records its endowment by the founder, his son and others, notably Henry of Guildford in the early 14th century. The endowments were mostly in West Sussex and Hampshire, but some were in Kent and Wiltshire. In the early 13th century the abbey acquired by purchase the lands of the leper hospital at Harting, also a Hussey foundation. As one of the smaller religious houses, Durford was dissolved in 1536.

The cartulary records gifts not only of relatively unproductive lands such as marsh, which the Premonstratensians considered acceptable, but also of land already cleared for agriculture and pasture for their sheep. It yields some evidence of the ensuing consolidation by exchange and the change to leasing or farming of the abbey’s lands by the late 13th century; and records the terms of several corrodies or provisions for maintenance, some residential, sold by the abbey in the early 14th century to benefactors and servants.

Janet Stevenson, formerly an assistant editor of the Victoria History of Wiltshire, has edited The Edington Cartulary (Wiltshire Record Society, XLII, 1987).

Cover illustration: East front of the house built after the Dissolution on the site of the abbey and incorporating part of its buildings, depicted by S H Grimm in 1782 (BL Add. MS 5675, f. 28); reproduced by permission of the British Library.

ISBN 085445 069 6