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Walter de Musewell, formerly my husband, in his and my great need sold to the said Peter. And that this my
spying him, back he straight brought him with an Ave-Marie ; and forcing the devil to be just, against his will, made him restore them, which were so .coarse, that I think he that stole them would scarce have worn them. For his jerkin was of iron, of which suits of apparel he wore out three in the time of his hermitage, a strange coat, whose stuff had the ironmonger for the draper, and a smith for the tailor: neither was his lodging much unsuitable to his clothes, who had the ground for his bed, and a stone for his pillow. His tutilary angel oft played the sexton, and rang his bell to awake him to his nocturns, who for want of beads used to number his prayers with pebble stones. His diet was as coarse as his coat, and as his shirt was of sackcloth, so half the meat that made him bread was ashes. The devil used to act Proteus before him, and with his shapes, rather made him sport than affrighted him. Only once as Saint Godric sat by the fire, the devil came behind him and gave him such a box of the ear, that had felled him down, if he had not recovered himself with the sign of the cross. He had the l'salter continually hanging on his little finger, which with use was ever after crooked." Other authorities say that Godric, besides mixing ashes with the flour for his bread, kept it three or four months before he ventured to eat it, lest it should be too good! Like Saint Anthony, he was often haunted by fiends in various shapes; sometimes in the form of beautiful damsels, and so was sore visited by evil concupiscence, of which he cured himself by rolling among thorns and briars. When his body grew ulcerated, he increased the pain by pouring salt into the wounds: by these uncommon penances andmiracles, which he is said to have wrought, (amongst which Lambardc says that his "pilgrimage was profitable to barrcin women,") he obtained so much renown, that he was admitted into the calendar of saints. From the life of Godric, written by Reginald, a monk, and probably the historian of Durham, who was personally acquainted with the hermit, it appears that the saint was born of humble parents at Walpole, in Norfolk. He resided with his parents for some time on the Lincolnshire coast, near the river Welland. Soon after he attained man's estate, he engaged in merchandize, and continued so occupied for sixteen years. He acquired a ship, in which he traded to Denmark and elsewhere, and became himself a sailor. He made sundry pilgrimages to Rome, Jerusalem, and other foreign and continental shrines, and on his return took up his abode for a short time at Carlisle, where ho fully learned the Psalter. He afterwards withdrew from human society for nearly two years, and lived in the woods upon herbs, and among the wild animals. For a time he abode in the hermitage of Wolsingham; then at Eskdaleside near Whitby; afterwards at Durham, and finally at Finchalo.
The original Finchale stood about a mile above the present Finchale, on the same side of the river, and became, by the gift of Bishop Flambard, the residence of Saint Godric, about the year 1110. Here Godric resided for a while, and stubbed and cultivated the little plot of ground (still known as Godric's garth) quit claim be of perpetual force, I have confirmed the present writing by adding my seal. SSJttnessrs:
assigned to him. Of this first Finchale there are distinct traces: remains of old walls covered with ivy, lines of masonry covered with earth and turf, and a smooth green sward, marking ancient care and cultivation. The little plot of ground which comprises about a quarter of an acre, is of a triangular shape, bounded on one side by the river Wear, a brook on another, and a ditch on the third: the ruins of a modern cottage stand in the midst of it. Afterwards, the holy man discovered a plot of ground (the present Finchale,) in another part of the deep solitude of the wooded banks of the Wear, which formed a more favourable situation. Accordingly he removed from his original garth, and on the spot of ground more after his own heart, he built his chapel, dedicating it to Saint John the Baptist, and when this had been done, Bishop Flambard granted the reversion of the hermitage, its fishery, lights, privileges, and possessions to the prior and convent at Durham. By the Bishop's charter, Godric was to hold the hermitage of the prior and monks of Durham for his life; and the monks, after the death of their brother Godric, were to be at liberty to place in it any other of their brethren.
Saint Godric died on the twenty-first day of May, 1170, and soon afterwards Bishop Hugh Fudsey had confirmed to the monks of Durham, the gift of his predecessor, and had conferred upon Reginald and Henry, the two Durham monks in possession, and their successors, the tract of land contiguous to the hermitage, which now chiefly constitutes the Finchale Farm. Such was the state of Finchale in 1196, when Henry Pudsey, the eldest of three natural sons of Bishop Pudgey, by Adelis de Percic, in penitential compliance, was compelled to transfer to it the possessions of the new place at Baxterwood, about a mile from Durham. There was a small church or oratory, a salmon fishery in the Wear, a place of residence sufficient for two monks, and their attendants, and nearly the whole of the present Finchale farm, three acres of land at Bradley, and two bovates at Sadberge, for their maintenance.
In the latter half of the twelfth century, certainly after the year 1180, Henry Pudsey, having become possessed of the vills of Wingate and Haswell, near Durham, founded a monastery at the latter place, and conferred the two upon persons of a religious order, which, however, is not named; but that they were a branch from the church of Gisburne or Gisborough, in Yorkshire, may not be doubted. In the charter of a subsequent benefactor, the newly founded monastery is called the church of Saint Mary of Haswell. A doubt, however, may arise whether the building of any ecclesiastical edifice was ever actually commenced at Haswell (the ruins near that place being apparently those of a chapel of small dimensions, and of a much later date), as we almost immediately afterwards find the same, and other more extensive possessions, conferred by Henry Pudsey and other donors upon a newly-founded monastery, situated in a warm glen, upon the Brownie streamlet, at a place t ailed Haxterwood. Haswell could hoast of no sneh natural beauties of Galfrid de Ryhope, Ely de Wearmouth, Henry the
wood and water, and this was probably the reason why it wa3 deserted. This second monastery was also dedicated to the Virgin; it was to bo called the New Place upon the Brun; and we find the canons of Gisburne specifically recognized as the Ecclesiastics by whom it was to be peopled. A detachment from the monastery, under tho superintendence of Stephen, one of its dignitaries, was deputed by the mother church for the purpose; but no progress seems to havo been made in the building of the New Place on the Brownie, as the most accurate search has not been able to detect even the lines of a wall or a foundation The situation is extremely beautiful, and, upon a small scale greatly resembles that of Finchale. The infant establishment met with other benefactors in addition to Henry Pudscy, their chief patron; but, as might naturally have been expected from their vicinity to the rich and firmly seated church of Durham, from their being of a different order from that establishment, and from the intermixture of their possessions, harmony did not long prevail between the two. Galfrid of Coldingham informs us of tho various modes by which the monks of Durham harassed the settlers, till at last, as he says, Henry Pudsey, sorry for what he had done, begged pardon for his presumption, and an agreement was entered into that he should abandon tho canons of Gisburne, should take possession of the church of Finchale, should confer upon it the possessions previously conceded to our lady of the New Place upon the Brun, should stock it with monks from Durham, and should subject it and them and their rights to the jurisdiction of their mother church. The church of Gisburne was conciliated by concessions elsewhere in the county, and for a while at first, Stephen the superior of the New Place, seemed to favour the arrangement. He eventually, however, became restive and opposed the arrangement, but, being overpowered by ecclesiastical domination (the pope, the monks of Durham, and a promise into the bargain, were not easily resisted), he failed in his opposition, and means were adopted to compel him to resign tho foundation charters of the establishment, over which he had for so short a time presided.
When Henry Pudsey transferred the possessions of the New Place at Baxterwood, he reserved to himself and his heirs tho right of appointing the prior, and in the year 1196, conferred the dignity upon Thomas, the Sacrist of Durham, who was the first to hold an office, which afterwards was in such high ropute, but before his death the founder conceded his privilege of appointing the prior to the prior and convent of Durham. The founder also, by his charter, ordained a perpetual daily distribution of alms, in bread, drink, and vegetables, among paupers and divers indigent persons, who should resort to the monastery of Finchale; and the charitable purpose of the donor was fulfilled as long as his monastery existed.
It may be stated, that besides the property granted to the hermitage by Bishop Flambard, and that which was conferred by the charter of Bishop Pudsey, and the manors of Wingate and Haswell, and the land in Helton, granted by their founder, Henry Pudscy, as already mentioned, they had land by his gift at Yokeflete, in the
bailiff* of Sunderland, Roger son of Hulot, William son of Jordan, William Hunting, Bcrtilot son of John, Robert the Carter, Alexander son of Elwin, Osbert son of Jordan, and others."
Small round seal of white wax—a jleur de lis. + SIGI...
East Riding of York; land at Bradley, which appears to hare hccn conferred on the monks before Pudsey's foundation; land in Little Stainton; at Wudcshend in the parish of Chester-le-Street; and a toft and a croft at Brandun; land and a fishery at Cocken; land at Softley, Spirlswood, and Lumley; at Fery-manside, near Cocken ford; and at Newton, near Durham; at Amerston, near Elwick, and at Castle Eden; land at Hutton ; land and a mill at Coxhoe ; land and a rentcharge in the manor of Thorpe; at Hollingside; at Ivcston; at Yupeton and at Smallees, in the parish Wolsingham; the fishery of Crook in the Tyne; common of pasture at Baxterwood, and a house in the North Bailey, at Durham; rentcharges from Hartlepool, Nclston, Emhleton, and several other places already named; burgages in Sunderland; and wheat from Hart, and from Owton, in the parish of Stranton. Amongst their possessions were the advowson and appropriation of the church of Giggleswick, in the West Riding, given by Uenry Tudsey, and confirmed by Bishop Hugh Pudscy, and the appropriation of the church of Bishop Middleham. Amongst the royal confirmations is one of Henry the second, who, at Knaresliorough, in the presence of Bishop Hugh Pudscy and other nobles, granted to "God and tho Chapel of Finchale," two bovatos of land of his demesne, at Sadbcrgc, to., &c.
At tho time of the dissolution of religious houses in England, the yearly revenues of tho priory were valued at one hundred and twenty-two pounds, fifteen shillings and threepence. In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. (1541), the church and the possessions of the houso were granted by the crown to the Dean and Chapter of the new cathedral church of Durham, and now remain attached to one of her prebtndal stalls. The Rev. Henry Douglas, M. A., better known as Mr. Canon Douglass is now, in right of his stall in Durham cathedral, the owner of the priory of Finchale, and has manifested his taste by doing much to preserve its venerable ruins, and free them from the accumulated impurities of three centuries.—Hutchinson's Durham, Hcggi's Legend of Saint Cuthbert, Zambartlc's Topographical Dictionary, Maine's rrcfacc to Finchale Charters, and Gibson's Notices: of Northumbrian Castles, Churches, §c.
* Or reeve, head-borough, superior, or mayor, for thus variously has the Latin word propositus been translated.
II. "To all the faithful in Christ, to whom the present writing shall come, Peter de Newton, greeting in the Lord. Know ye that I have sold, and by the present charter confirmed to Kalph the prior * and to the monks of Finchale, one burgage, with croft and buildings, and all its appurtenances in the town of Sunderland; that is the same which Walter de Musewell sold to me; to have and to hold to the prior and monks of Finchale and their assigns for ever, with all liberties, free customs, and easementsf pertaining to the said burgage, within the boroughJ of Sunderland, and without it, and everywhere. And that this my sale be of perpetual force, I have confirmed the present writing by affixing my seal. SEJttntSSES: Galfrid de Ryhope, Hely de Wearmouth, Henry the bailiff of Sunderland, Roger son of Hulot, William son of Jordan, William Hunting, Bertilot son of John, Robert the carter, Alexander son of Elwin, Robert son of Jordan, and others."
Seal—a star of six rays. S. PETRI DE NEVTONA.
HI. "To all the faithful in Christ, to whom the present writing shall come, Ysoda, formerly wife of Gerard a servant, greeting. Know all of you, that I, in my free widowhood and full power, quit claim, and by the present writing confirm to the prior and monks of Finchale,
• Prior Ralph, mentioned in this charter, was contemporary with Thomas Melsonby, Trior of Durham, from 1233 to 1214.
t Easement, a convenience which one neighbour has of another, by grant or prescription; as a way through his land, a water course, or a prospect over his grounds, &c.,—Cabinet Lawyer.
% It would appear that Sunderland had been incorporated or erected into a borough under its present name sometime anterior to the date of this charter.