2 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 12


Like? Memorandorum Ecclesie de Bernewelle. Edited by John Willis Clark, M.A. With Introduction by the late F. W. Mait- land. (Cambridge University Press. 15s. net.)—Professor Mait- land remarks that the document here printed is neither a history nor a cartulary. It may be said to stand by itself. Some industrious monk, with the various deeds and books of the monastery before him, set himself to make such extracts as might be useful to the house in time to come. Here is an example. The manor of Chesterton had come into the hands of the Prior and Canons from the King, a rent of £31 being reserved. This transfer extinguished the King's right to tallage. Neverthe- less, John, who was not easily put off when money was to be got, demanded and received it on two occasions On a third the grant

• was pleaded and the demand withdrawn. The Prior obtained from the Council an acknowledgment that the tillage was not payable. This is recorded because it would protect the house in future from such demands. The widow of a tenant claims dower. The Prior pleads that he held for life only, and gains his cause. This also is recorded, with the writs copied in full. The Master of the Temple claims the advowson of Waterbeach, on the ground that a prede- cessor had held it temp. Richard I. The Prior pleads that a similar claim had already been made before, in which possession temp. Henry II. had been alleged. This barred the claim because time did not run beyond the coronation of Richard I. The Prior's success is recorded. Then we have an anecdote about the Bishop of Ely. The Priory church had been greatly injured by fire. Was it to be reconsecrated or reconciled ? The Bishop comes, and the Prior meets him with the remark that they do not need his services. He turns away in a rage, and finally excommunicates the Society. In the end peace is made and the church is recon- ciled. The writer adds, not, one fancies, without a certain satis- faction: " idem Johannes episcopus mortuus et sepultus est ante Pascha in anno sequente." A very different person was Robert de Fulburn. He was buried in the church ; the two palfreys which drew the hearse were left in possession of the house, with other effects and librerum multa copia, altogether to the value of two hundred marks, together with the quittance of a debt of three hundred. But, adds the canon pathetically: "qualiter ista pecunia cite fuit exhausts Deus novit." A stone house in the town was a more permanent possession. This was also given, burdened, it is true, with the perpetual obligation to say Mass for Robert de Fulburn's soul. A most valuable and interesting volume this.