Winchester College Muniments

The archives at Winchester College are very important for the history of Milton Abbey prior to the surrender in 1539.

We were fortunate to contact the archivist who gave us access to photograph some of the key documents in this fabulous resource. These are Court Rolls, Account Rolls and grants of leases by the Abbey, and all in superb condition.

We have found only one reference in the literature to these documents: ‘Milton Abbey: A Dorset Monastery in the Middle Ages’, Peter Traskey, 1978.

How the documents came to be in the possession of Winchester College is another story in itself.

We took high resolution images of 170 of the documents, and there are plenty more to do!

We need to transcribe these before we can understand the significance to the study of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in general, and Milton Abbey in particular. The grants of leases are an example of the general phenomenon in the years just before the surrender for monasteries to obtain cash. This cash was used as ‘inducements’ – a euphemism for bribes, to Thomas Cromwell, his commissioners, and the local aristocracy, in the hope that they would support the monasteries.

There are documents of the grants of leases in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII held at The National Archives (SP/2).

We believe that this information would contribute significantly to a PhD on this particular aspect of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Please Contact Us if you are interested, or for more information.

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