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no fitting place for the performance of their devotions-John, his successor, a stout-hearted Yorkshireman, who maintained in the retirement of the cloister the politic temper of the world, projected the erection of a choir, to the astonishment—nay, the indignation -of his contemporaries. He lived only to lay the foundation and raise some pillars, but he left a kindred spirit in John Pherd, who succeeded him in 1211, and after a diligent superintendence of eight years was elected Bishop of Ely. The Convent then availed themselves of the ability of another John, a Kentish man, who, with a vigour of mind like that of the original projector, brought the design to a conclusion. He not only instituted the nine altars, and added a “painted pavement,” but, in prosecution of an original project, constructed the southern part of the great cloister, and built the Infirmary, with the Hospitium, or house of entertainment for strangers, on the south side of the first court. He died in 1247, having probably seen the buildings of the Abbey nearly completed. “A period of subsequent poverty and distress was followed by great prosperity in the next century. Many persons of


and opulence purchased, by large donations, a sepulture within the walls of the Abbey. Favoured by popes, kings, and prelates, with various immunities and privileges, and enriched by a succession of princely gifts, Fountains Abbey became one of the wealthiest monasteries in the kingdom. The church ranked amongst the fairest structures of the land, and the possessions attached to it comprehended a vast extent, embracing the country from the foot of Pennigent to the boundaries of St. Wilfrid, of Ripon, an uninterrupted space of more than thirty miles. Besides many other wide domains, the lands in Craven contained, in a ring fence, a hundred square miles, or sixty thousand acres, on a moderate computation.”

After obtaining a high reputation for sanctity, and the possession of great power and immense wealth, the Monastery was surrendered by deed, enrolled 26th November, 1539, by Marmaduke Bradley, the thirty-third Abbot, and Suffragan Bishop of Hull; a man who, by the character of “the wysyste monke within Inglonde of that cote, well lernede, and a welthie felowe,” was recommended to Cromwell by the visitors, Layton and Legh, to fill the office which Abbot Thirsk, whom they thought a varra fole, and a miserable ideote,” had privately resigned into their hands. Bradley had then an annuity of 1001., Thomas Kydde, the Prior, another of 8l., and the thirty monks who were priests, allowances of a similar nature, varying in value from 6l. 13s. 4d. to 51. each ; the whole amounting


to 2771. 68. 8d.; an acknowledgment, certainly liberal, of their interest in the estates of the Abbey, which in 1535 had been certified to the Commissioners to be worth 9981. 6s. 7{d. annually, including the tenths. These terms, however, from the changed value of money, the nature of tenures, and many


have now become difficult of interpretation ; and a juster idea of the nature and extent of the establishment of the Convent may be formed from the fact, that, at the time of the dissolution, they possessed 1976 head of cattle, 1106 sheep, 86 horses, and 79 swine. They had also stored in their granges at Sutton, Morker, Haddockstanes, Swanley, and Brimham, 117 quarters of wheat, 13 of rye, 134 of oats, and 192 loads of hay, besides the temporary provision of 160 loads of hay, and 128 quarters of corn, which they had in the park and granaries of the Abbey.

Whilst the King found it politic to promise the application of the revenues of some of the Abbeys to their legitimate purpose of religion and education, the revenues of “Fontayne ” and of the “ Archdeconry off Rychemond were assigned for the endowment of a Bishopric of Lancaster ; but his evil genius prevailed, and, on the 1st of October, 1540, he sold the site of the Abbey, with its franchises, and the greater part of its estates, to Sir Richard Gresham, father of the munificent founder of the Royal Exchange.

From Gresham's representatives, who had previously alienated the extensive estates in Craven, the site of the Abbey, with its privileges, some of its adjacent granges, and a considerable tract of land in Nidderdale, were sold, in 1597, to Sir Stephen Procter of Warsell, an ambitious and speculative character, who pulled down the Abbot's house and the minor offices of the Abbey, to obtain materials for the noble house which he built near the west gate. His family having been burthened, after his decease, by his pecuniary embarrassment, the property was sold by his widow, in 1623, to Sir Timothy Whitingham, from whom it passed, two years afterwards, to Humphrey Wharton, Esq., of Gillingwood. From him it was purchased, in 1627, by Richard Ewens of South Cowton, Esq., whose daughter and heiress carried it into the family of Messenger of Newsham, who resided at Fountains Hall until John Michael Messenger, Esq., in 1768, sold the Abbey, with its franchises and a small estate, for 18,0001., to William Aislabie, Esq., of Studley, maternal grandfather to Mrs. Lawrence, the late possessor, and nephew to the ancestress of the present owner, the Right Hon. the Earl de Grey

Before the excavation of the Abbot's House*—undertaken by Lord

* The following is the succession of the Abbots of Fountains. For facility of reference to inscriptions and records, the enumeration used by the monks themselves is adopted; but it must be observed that it excludes Maurice and Thorald, who, I presume, were only deputies to Archbishop Murdac, and also Alyngs, Otley, Thornton, and Frank.

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Chapter House F. Death.

Richard, ex-Prior of St.

Mary's, York
Henry Murdac, elected

Archbishop of York
Maurice of Rivaux
Thorold of Rivaux
Richard Fastolph, Prior

of Clarevall Robert, Abbot of Pipewell William, Abbot of New

Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.

典 4
Ely Cathedral Promotion.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter H. Vaudy Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Res. or Dep.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Resignation?
Chapter House F. Resignation?
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Death.
Chapter House F. Resignation.
Chapter House F. Death.
The Church F. Death.
Lady Chapel F. Resignation.
Choir Fountains Death.

Expulsion. Nave of Church F. Death. Nave of Church F. Resignation. Nave of Church F. Death.



7 8 9

1190—1203 1203-1211



Ralph Haget
John de Ebor.
John Pherd, afterwards

Bishop of Ely.
John de Cancia
Stephen de Eston.
William de Allerton
Peter Alyngs
Adam Ravensworth
Henry Otley
Robert Thornton .
Richard Bishopton
William Rigton
Walter Coxwold
Robert Copgrove
Robert Monkton
William Gower, B.D.
Robert Burley.
Roger Frank, intruder
John Ripon
Thomas Passelew
John Martin
John Greenwell, D.D.
Thomas Swinton.
John Darnton
Marmaduke Huby
William Thirsk, B.D.
Marmaduke Bradley



6 months
Seven weeks
1534 -1539

18 19 20 21 22 23 24


25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33


Death. Resignation. Resignation.

de Grey-a visitor, approaching the Abbey from the garden, was unable to see the greater part of the outside, before he was conducted through the interior of the building. This inconvenience has recently been very judiciously obviated by the direction of the path along the kitchen bank on the south side, where, from its elevated position, hitherto buried in brushwood and rubbish, by far the most picturesque views of the building are not only obtained, but also a bird's-eye view or synoptical idea of the plan and relative position of the apartments, before proceeding to a particular survey.

On leaving, therefore, Robin Hood's Well, and rising immediately! above the recently discovered foundations of the Abbot's House and domestic offices of the Abbey, we see the several parts of the conventual church, Lady chapel, choir, transept, tower, and nave, successively developed ; nearer us—and parallel with the south end of the transept—the chapter house, distinguished by the double tier of round-headed windows ; next, but placed in a contrary direction towards the river, comes the Frater-house. After that the kitchen, with its tall chimney, and the court-house above. Then the refectory', with its graceful lancet lights ; then, receding to the cloister-court, the buttery and its little garth ; and, lastly, in connection with the main structure, the vast range of the dormitory above the cloisters, stretching nearly from our feet to the nave of the church. Turning in a contrary direction, we may observe, on the slope of the hill above, a part of the wall which bounded the site* of the Monastery ; the intermediate broken ground having been chiefly occupied by the Common STABLE, GUESTS' STABLE, Barns, Kilns, Tan-HOUSE, BARK-Mill, Dove-Cotes, ForGr, and other similar offices. Of these, the Mill—to which large granaries were formerly annexed—is alone left entire, and will be observed immediately before us, shrouded in tall trees, and running on, merrily, as in days of yore.

On a little knoll, above the mill, stands the remnant of the Yew Trees, that are said, by tradition, to have sheltered the monks before the erection of the Abbey ; which, in some measure, they

* The walled close of the Abbey, which was a parish of itself, contained above thirty acres. Of these the site of the building, with its orchard, gardens, and several adjacent garths, occupied, at the dissolution, twelve acres on the north side of the Skell; the rest, which lay on the south side, was divided into the East Applegarth, in which was a fish-pond; three West Applegarths of twelve acres; and the Kitchen bank of three acres, covered with brushwood. But besides the close, there was on its southwest side a pleasant park of above two hundred acres, of which the better half was covered by woods and fish-ponds. It still retains its name, and, though divided into farms, much of its ancient and picturesque character.

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