Newstead Abbey

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Coordinates: 53°04′42″N 01°11′33″W / 53.07833°N 1.1925°W / 53.07833; -1.1925

Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire, England, originally an Augustinian priory, is now best known as the ancestral home of Lord Byron.

Contents

Monastic foundation

The priory of St. Mary of Newstead, a house of Augustinian Canons, was founded by King Henry II of England about the year 1170, as one of many penances he paid following the murder of Thomas Becket.

The Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1534 gave the clear annual value of this priory as £167 16s. 11½d (£70,000 as of 2010),[1]. The considerable deductions included 20s. given to the poor on Maundy Thursday in commemoration of Henry II, the founder, and a portion of food and drink similar to that of a canon given to some poor person every day, valued at 60s. a year.

Despite the clear annual value of Newstead being below the £200 assigned as the limit for the suppression of the lesser monasteries, this priory obtained the doubtful privilege of exemption, on payment to the Crown of the heavy fine of £233 6s. 8d in 1537.

The surrender of the house was accomplished on 21 July 1539. The signatures attached were those of John Blake, prior, Richard Kychun, sub-prior, John Bredon, cellarer, and nine other canons, Robert Sisson, John Derfelde, William Dotton, William Bathley, Christopher Motheram, Geoffrey Acryth, Richard Hardwyke, Henry Tingker, and Leonard Alynson.

The prior obtained a pension of £26 13s. 4d. (£10,000 as of 2010),[1], the sub-prior £6, and the rest of the ten canons who signed the surrender sums varying from £5 6s. 8d. to £3 6s. 8d.

The lake was dredged in the late eighteenth century and the lectern, thrown into the Abbey fishpond by the monks to save it during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was discovered. In 1805 it was given to Southwell Minster by Archdeacon Kaye where it still resides.

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