THE DISPERSION OF WESTBURY COLLEGE ESTATES AND OTHER LOCAL CHURCH LANDS, ETC.
AFTER the dissolution of the monasteries and the surrender into the hands of Henry VIII of a large amount of local church property, the king, " on the 24th day of March, in the thirty-fourth year of his reign," for the consideration of 1,000 marks, granted, inter alia, much of this property to Sir Ralph Sadleir and Elen, his wife, and which included the whole site of the collegiate church or college of Westbury-upon-Trym, together with the lordships, manors, rectories and lands of the college, the manor of Westbury, the manor of Clifton, the rectory and church of Westbury and Henbury, with the tithes ; also the tithes of Laurans Weston, Aust, &c., and the site, manors, lands, &c., of St. Lawrence Hospital.
Certain variations were made by an indenture, dated November 19th, in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Henry VIII, and mentioned in the Letters Patent of Edward VI, given June loth, in the first year of Edward VI's reign.
By the last-mentioned Letters Patent Edward VI granted and confirmed to Sir Ralph Sadleir (in consideration of 500-marks paid to his father, Henry VIII, and a further payment ill £1,837 Is- 8d. to the Treasurer of the Court of the Augmentations of the revenues of his Crown, and for certain surrenders to him of previously-granted tithes, which included " divers portions of the tithes in Westbury, Compton, Radwick, North-wick, Aust, Lawrence Weston, Charlton, Henbury, Berwick, Crosmershe and Stowick in the County of Gloucester ") the manors of Stoke Bishop ; of Henbury, with its hundreds, liberties, &c. ; Snede Park ; Pen Park ; the advowson of Henbury ; lands at Westbury, Aust and Shirehampton, and the manor of Olveston.
At this date it is impossible to define with complete accuracy the precise boundaries of all these properties, or to trace the many various parcels into which they have been split up ; but the main portions are still capable of identification.
Barrett (Antiquities of Bristol A.D. 1789) gives us an insight into the extent and value - which, of course, bears no proportion to the greatly enhanced value of to-day—of the possessions of West-bury College. Writing of the survey of the manor of St. Lawrence, taken in April, 1629, he tells us : " The manor house and its site, together with the chapel - house, &c., abutted south on London highway and Chapel Lane on the east, St. Lawrence leeze on the north and west parts ; and that the sum total of the yearly value was £96 13s. 4d., and the sum total of the then yearly rent being out on lives was £16 i8s." In Barret's day this was in the possession of Robert Hooke, but it is impossible at this date to trace it, for a large portion of " East Bristol " now stands on this property.
Barrett continues : " This was but a small part of the possessions belonging to the College of Westbury, which was granted at the Dissolution (36 Henry VIII) to Sir Ralph Sadleyr. They had lands in Henbury, &c., which then yielded from the lessees yearly, as from valuation and survey.... '
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