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Conference Paper: Crisis at Syon in the 1530s: the ailing finances of one of the "Greater" English Abbeys

TitleCrisis at Syon in the 1530s: the ailing finances of one of the "Greater" English Abbeys
Authors
Issue Date2015
Citation
The 10th Biennial International Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS 2015), Brisbane, Australia, 14-18 July 2015. How to Cite?
AbstractAt the time of its suppression in 1539, Syon Abbey was one of the most generously endowed monasteries in England, with an income of nearly £2,000 per annum. In spite of this great wealth, however, the abbess felt compelled to take the extraordinary step of selling one of her most valuable manors to Sir Richard Riche in 1538. So unusual was the transaction that Riche deemed it necessary to secure a private act of parliament in 1539 to confirm the validity of his purchase. What was the reason for this unprecedented sale of a manor that was part of Syon’s original endowment, and why was the crown prepared to endorse it? Was this just another example of well-placed government officials benefiting from the coming dissolution by squeezing monastic heads for spoils, or was it a financial necessity for Syon? This paper will argue that a closer examination of Syon’s household accounts from the 1520s and 1530s reveals that the abbey was facing a financial crisis of disturbing proportions on the eve of its suppression. Does this discovery suggest that the greater abbeys of England were not as financially robust on the eve of the dissolution as has previously been believed?
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/214951

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCunich, PA-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-21T12:13:28Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-21T12:13:28Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationThe 10th Biennial International Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS 2015), Brisbane, Australia, 14-18 July 2015.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/214951-
dc.description.abstractAt the time of its suppression in 1539, Syon Abbey was one of the most generously endowed monasteries in England, with an income of nearly £2,000 per annum. In spite of this great wealth, however, the abbess felt compelled to take the extraordinary step of selling one of her most valuable manors to Sir Richard Riche in 1538. So unusual was the transaction that Riche deemed it necessary to secure a private act of parliament in 1539 to confirm the validity of his purchase. What was the reason for this unprecedented sale of a manor that was part of Syon’s original endowment, and why was the crown prepared to endorse it? Was this just another example of well-placed government officials benefiting from the coming dissolution by squeezing monastic heads for spoils, or was it a financial necessity for Syon? This paper will argue that a closer examination of Syon’s household accounts from the 1520s and 1530s reveals that the abbey was facing a financial crisis of disturbing proportions on the eve of its suppression. Does this discovery suggest that the greater abbeys of England were not as financially robust on the eve of the dissolution as has previously been believed?-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, ANZAMEMS 2015-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleCrisis at Syon in the 1530s: the ailing finances of one of the "Greater" English Abbeys-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailCunich, PA: cunich@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityCunich, PA=rp01191-
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.hkuros248273-

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