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many others. One of these records shows that “ Henry VIII was emperor of this his realm as King Edgar was.

The editors of Dugdale print forty-eight original deeds relating to Ramsey Abbey.

The abbey stood at the upper end of the town, toward the south, at a little distance from the present church. The only remains are the ruined gateway, a rich specimen of architecture of florid Gothic, and some much older work in the kitchen of Lord de Ramsey's house : which was built, according to some, out of the ruins of the abbey. In 1782, an abbatial chair remained there, neglected.

In 1884, the “Cartularium Monasterii de Rameseia”, fine MS. preserved in the Record Office, was edited for the Master of the Rolls by W. H. Hart, of the Record Office, and the Rev. Ponsonby A. Lyons. “This MS. forms one of the small but valuable series of Monastic Cartularies or Registers which were formerly preserved in the Stone Tower at Westminster, but now have their permanent home in the Public Record Office.” It came to the hands of the Crown at the dissolution of the monasteries, and passed as a muniment of title to Richard Williams, alias Crumwell, Esq., who obtained from the Crown the grant of the site of the monastery. In 1583, it was delivered into the Court of Exchequer by Sir Henry Cromwell as an exhibit in a lawsuit. This Cartulary contains 271 vellum pages, 8.1 in. by 12} in., in a binding of white leather over oaken boards. It is of the fourteenth century, for the greater part, and contains copies of documents down to about A.D. 1343. A calendar of the contents is given in “ New Monasticon ”, and is due no doubt to the indefatigable work of Sir Henry Ellis, K. H., once the keeper of the MSS., in the British Museum, and editor, with Caley and Bandinel, of the “New_Monasticon", or new edition of Dugdale, and other English monastic histories.

In 1886, the Rev. W. D. Macray edited for the Master of the Rolls the Chronicon of the Abbey, from the tenth century to 1200 : parts 1–3 after Gale, part 4 being previously unpublished. Macray's preface is of considerable value. He shows how large a share it contributed

towards illustrating the period of the Danish occupation in England, especially in the district of East Anglia, then a wild expanse of marsh and fen, undrained, untilled, uninhabited; but when the great monasteries, of which Ramsey was not the least, sprang up, the marvellous results which arose from skill in draining, embanking, tillage, the study and practice of medicine, the teaching and practice of principles of justice, and right, and charity, seemed to be almost the direct miraculous outpouring at first hand of a blessing from on high.

Macray gives a curious account of a visit made in 1734 to Ramsey Abbey by Thos. Hearne, the antiquary, who has left an account of it in his diary preserved in the Bodley library, wherein he describes the sad plight of the Ramsey records. Fortunately for future histories of this abbey, many of these documents now find a happy and secure restiny-place in the British Museum, where they have been described and arranged; but others are in private hands or in possession of smaller libraries. The records in the British Museuin are

Cott. MS., Galba E. x. A MS. of the thirteenth century, containing inquisitions of abbey lands and possessions, and miscellanous instruments, from a very early period. This MS. also is calendared briefly in the “New Monasticon."

Cott. MS., Vespasian A. XVIII., contained inquisitions, pleas of assize, grants of corrodies, messuages, lands, and other possessions.

Cott. MS., Vespasian E. II. " Registrum Cartarum Abbatiæ de Ramsey,” copied by Rob. Dodford, a clerk, down to 30 Hen. III. This is a small 4to vol., beautifully written on vellum. Many of the deeds contained in the Record Office MS. are also to be found in this MS. The editors of the “New Monasticon "give a synopsis of the contents of this MS.

Cott. MS., Otho B. Xiv. Copies of the three great Inspeximus Charters of King Edward III, a grant of felon's chattels, etc., by the same king, and some pleadings of the same reign. This MS., Messrs. Hart and Lyons say, is a MS. of no value or authority. Nevertheless, a catalogue of its contents is given in the “ New Monasticon."

Harl. MS., 5071. A small register of the abbey, which has been printed by Hearne in his edition of Sprott's Chronicle. vellum MS., very much discoloured and defaced.

Harl. MS., 445. A fine MS., containing extracts from Court

It is a

Rolls of various manors belonging to the abbey, from Rich. II. to Hen. VI. It was formerly in possession of Peter Le Neve, the collector and antiquary.

Cott. MS., Julius F. ix, also contains some matters relating to this abbey

Stowe MS., 938. “Historia Monasterii Ramesensis;" seventeenthcentury copy of the Bodl. MS. (Rawlinson B, 333), and formerly in possession of Sir Henry Spelman.

Sloane MS., 4936. Collections relating to the Monastery of Ramsey.

Notes concerning Ramsey Abbey. Addl. MS., 5806, 5828, 6751. Leases by the Abbey. Farly sixteenth century. Addl. MS., 34,327.

Numerous extracts, copies, and abbreviations of these principal MSS. are contained among the miscellaneous MSS. in the British Museum.


The British Museum Addl. MSS. bearing the numbers 33,445-33,469 are twenty-five volumes of original collections relating to the abbey from the tenth to the seventeenth century, consisting of household books of the Abbots, Cellarers, accompt books, general accompt books, register-books of the Abbots, chamberlain's books, and chartularies; with Court books and papers of the family of Williams, al. Cromwell, who acquired the abbey buildings and lands at the dissolution in 1539. Of these the most important are

33,445. Receipts and issues 1350-57.

33,446. do. do. 1360-1363. Both in the time of Abbot Shenyngdon.

53,447. Cellarer's Accompts, 1388-1537, with extracts of similar accompts 1257-1379, and copies of six deeds relating to grants to the abbey of lands in Lynn, co. Norfolk.

33,448-9. General accompts in two vols. I, 1391-1484; II, 1485-1526. At the end of vol. II, a note that Brother Richard Tychemerche drew them up.

33,450. Register of abbot John Tychemersh, 1431-41.

Proceedings of the Court of the Abbots' Chamberlains, 1393-1538; and notes of the foundation of the abbey by Ailwin "dux Orientalium Angloruni,” and of its subsequent history to 1324.

33,451. Copies of charters, extracts of records, fragments of Court Books, and other miscellaneous papers, 1234-1555; with a list of the Royal Charters to the Abbey, and a complete list of abbots with their years of session.

33,465. Extracts from the leiger book of Ramsey Abbey, with copies of charters, depositions, etc., relating chiefly to the boundaries of cos. Hants and Cambridge, followed by presentments of juries and miscellaneous papers. 17th-19th century.

Addl. MS., 34,484, is a Book of the Expenses of Ramsey Abbey for the seventh year of Abbot Richard of Shenyngdon, i.e. 1355-6, arranged under different heads : as gifts and offerings, kitchen expenses, minute or petty expenses, wardrobe expenses, robes and

furrure." It may be compared with Addl. MS., 33,445.

Among the smaller records in the British Museum


Julius F. ix.

A Grant in Wistow, co. Huntingdon, 1114-1133. f. 79.

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Confirmation by King Stephen to the Abbey, of land in Hurstingstone Hundred, co. Huntingdon, c. 1136. Add.ch. 5861.

Covenant of the Abbey with the Bishop of Ely, concerning a road in Chatteris, co. Cambridge, 1177-1185. Harley ch., 44 D. 31.

Lease in Ramsey, t. Rich. I. Add. ch. 7497.

Release to Ramsey Abbey of Crowenesthill in Ellington, co. Huntingdon, 1216-30. Add. ch. 5949.

Papal Bull of confirmation of privileges, 1245. Cott. MS. Augustus 11. 118.

Release to Ramsey Abbey in Broughton, 1254-67. Add. ch. 7549.

Confirmation of grant of the Fair at St. Iue's to Ramsey Abbey, 1258. Harley ch. 51 1, 16.

Grant to Ramsey Abbey of a market and fair in Ramsey, 1267. Harl. ch. 58 1. 16 B.

Compotus of Abbot W., 1267. Cott. ch. XIII, 25.

Grant to Ramsey Abbey, in Burwell, co. Cambridge, 1267-85. Add. ch. 7503.

Compotus-rolls of Warboys Manor, co. Huntingdon, 1350-1. Add. ch. 26,833; 1451-2, 26,834.

Inspeximus of proceedings concerning the boundaries of the counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon in Whittlesea Fen, 1390. Cott. ch. II. 12.

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Mortuary roll of Bishop Wakeryng of Norwich, subscribed by Ramsey Abbey, 1425. Cott. ch. II. 17.

Catalogue of the Abbey Library, 15th century. Cott. ch. 11. 16. Inspeximus and confirmation of the Privileges of Ramsey Abbey, 1488-1510. Add. ch. 39,264 and 5.

Profession of the Abbot of Thorney to the Abbot of Ramsey, 1514. Harl. ch. 45. A. 5.

Exchequer quietus to Richard Williams, al. Cromwell, knt, for the purchase money of the Abbey, 1613. Add.ch. 33,147.

Valor of the Abbey lands in the Court of the Augmentations of Crown Revenues, 1540. Add. ch. 39,266.

The two great collections of original charters of Ramsey Abbey in the British Museum are—

33,047-34,933 1887, acquired by purchase in 1888.
39,039-39,941 = 903, acquired by purchase in 1893.

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This total of 2,790 documents has been arranged into two sections of Charters or sheets, and Rolls, and extends over eighteen counties of Great Britain.

The charters are-

Barton in the Clay, 1267-85 .
Colmworth, 1562.
Cranfield, 1267-85, 1538
Devilhoe, c. 1228
Gravenhurst, 1265-1274
Pegsdon, 1265-6
Shitlington, 1265-6

Stapelhoe, o. 1228 2. BUCKINGHAMSHIRE :

Aston-Clinton, 1579 3. CAMBRIDGESHIRE :


33,048 33,049-50

33,054 33,051-53 33,052-53 33,052-53


General, 1572-1598
Badburgham, al. Babraham, 1595-1607
Benwick Manor, 1508
Bottisham, t. H. II, 1489
Boxworth, 1474
Burwell, 1200, t. Eliz.


39,041-48 39,040-54

33,065 33,055-58

33,059 33,227,33,241

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