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in history. It is not our intention to give any detail of the circumstances which led either remotely or immediately to the event in question, which would open too wide a field for disquisition, and carry us far beyond our limits, suffice it to say that in the year 1540, most of the larger monasteries were surrendered to Henry VIII. The prior and convent of Durham seem to have escaped better than most of their brethren. Hugh Whitehead, the last prior, surrendered the monastery on the 31st December, 1540 ; previous to which an “Act had been passed vesting all the religious houses, with their lands, rights, and possessions in the crown; by force of which, the king on the 12th May, 1541, founded the cathedral church, and appointed a dean and twelve prebendaries therein for ever; dedicating the church to the glory of Christ and the honour of the Blessed Virgin, by the name of The Cathedral Church of Christ and Blessed Mary the Virgin'; ordaining that it should be the cathedral church and episcopal seat of the reverend father in Christ, Cuthbert, then Bishop, and his successors, bishops of Durham, for ever. The king, by this foundation charter,* appointed the surrendering prior (Hugh Whitehead) the first dean, and twelve of the most eminent of the fraternity prebendaries, whom he incorporated by the appellation of the 'Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Christ and Blessed Mary the Virgin', and granted them a common seal, with power to the dean, for the time being, to appoint inferior officers, and ministers
* For a copy of which, see Hutchinson's Durham, vol. II., page 102.
of the church. By letters patent,* dated 16th May, 1541, the king endowed the church with all (or nearly all) its former possessions, having previously dissolved the inferior monasteries or cells which were dependent thereon.t Among the many places thus restored to the new Dean and Chapter of Durham, we find Southwick, Fulwell, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, Silksworth, &c., &c. We do not mean to affirm that the whole town of Sunderland was conferred by Henry VIII. upon that newly incorporated body, but only such patches of property therein as had been held by the priories of Finchale and Durham, the guilds at Houghton, and the chantry or chapel at Sunderland just alluded to. The rest of the borough was and remained the property of the bishop.
• See this curious and very important record in extenso, in Hutchinson's Durham, vol. II., pages 105-14.
† Hutchinson's Durham, vol. I., page 423.
LEASES OF THE BOROUGH. EARLIEST NOTICE OF SHIP
BUILDING. HATFIELD'S SURVEY. THE YULEWAITSTAND. GRANT OF THE BOROUGH BY EDWARD IV. PATENTS OF BAILIFF AND WATER BAILIFF. COMMISSION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. SUNDERLAND AND THE TRINITY HOUSE OF NEWCASTLE. COMMISSION OF CONSERVATORSHIP.
IN 1345, the rents of the borough of Sunderland, the passage by the ferry-boat, the fisheries, and the dues and profits of ships, vessels, &c., &c., plying to the port, were leased by, or otherwise accounted for to Thomas Hatfield, then bishop of Durham.*
In 1346, Thomas Menvill (probably the second son of John Fitz Adam Menvill, lord of Horden, in the parish of Easington), occupied a certain place at Sunderland, called Hendon, for the building of ships, paying to the bishop an annual rent of two shillings.t
This place is evidently the dene where Hendon Bath Hotel now stands, the property of Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry. The sea has made heavy ravages upon this part : a lime kiln, on the north side of
* Spearman's Enquiry, page 24.
the road leading from the bath house to the sea beach, built by Benjamin Hodgkin, Esq., solicitor, Sunderland, and afterwards the property of Hendry Hopper, Esq., of Hendon House, and tenanted for many years by Mr. William Dowell and his son-in-law, Mr. Smith Graham; a M ware" (sea weed or kelp) road on the south side of the burn leading from the sea beach to Hendon mill, &c, for the exclusive use of the bishop's copyhold tenants in that locality; the ground south of the bath house, on which was a platform with two heavy pieces of cannon upon it, during the wars of the French revolution, with the words "Hendon Bay" painted on their carriages, have all been washed away by the sea within our recollection. The dene at Hendon and the surrounding land are now held by copy of court roll, by the tenants of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as part and parcel of their manor of Houghton, at nominal yearly rents. In addition to his copyhold land at Hendon, Mr. Hodgkin held a lease from Bishop Trevor, for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence, from the 3rd February, 1769, "of all the sea rocks and loose stones lying within the high water-mark of the tide, between Sunderland pier on the north, to Ryhope Nook on the south." After Hendry Hopper, Esq., solicitor, previously of the city of Durham, became possessed of the Hendon House and some adjoining copyholds, this lease was renewed to him by bishop Egerton, on the 4th February, 1782, and by bishop Barrington, on the 23rd September, 1797, at the same yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence.
In 1358, bishop Hatfield leased to Richard Hedworth, of Southwick, the borough of Sunderland, with the fisheries, manor, and Wolton yare, together with all the profits pertaining to the said borough, for twenty years, under the rent of twenty pounds.*
From the above named Richard Hedworth, Sir William George Hylton JollifFe, Bart., M. P. for Petersfield, and the Right Hon. Lady Noel Byron, are descended, representing the elder branch of the Hedworths of Chester Deanery; and the Right Hon. the Earl of Durham, and Sir Hedworth Williamson, Bart, represent the Hedworths of Harraton Hall, (now the site of Lambton Castle,) a younger branch of the same family in female blood.
The estate of the Hedworths at Southwick is now possessed by John Stafford, Esq., of Roker Terrace, Monkwearmouth; Thomas Pratt, Esq., of Union Street, Bishopwearmouth; Mr. Alderman Moore, St. Beda's Tower, Bishopwearmouth; Messrs. Scott, bottle manufacturers, Southwick, and others.
Between the years 1377 and 1380, Bishop Hatfield caused a general survey of the possessions of the see of Durham to be made, something after the manner of Boldon Buke, but in a much more extended form. It contains a full list of all the tenants, with the quantity of land they held, in addition to the enumeration of services belonging to each manor, which it contains in common with Boldon Buke, and thus possesses a still further interest than does that valuable record. It is singularly
* Hutchinson's Durham, vol. II., page 617.