Guide to St Michael's Church
Chantries existed in England as early as the 12th century. They were small chapels usually built adjoining the sides or ends of churches, to which land was given for priests to pray for the souls of their donors, their ancestors and their heirs. Chantries needed a Royal Licence from the King (not the Bishop):
"A man might make a chantry by licence of the King without the ordinary (Bishop), for the ordinary hath nothing to do therewith" (Burns' Ecclesiastical Law vol i, 271)
Step one was to apply for the royal licence to alienate land in mortmain (the statutes of Mortmain stopped secular or religious corporations from holding landed property without the King's special permission).
A writ of ad quod damnum was then issued out of Chancery to the Sheriff to enquire what damage or loss might be caused to the King if the request was granted.
Royal letters patent would then be issued granting permission for a chantry to be founded and a chaplain to celebrate and pray for souls daily.
Elliot,32 refers to the Calendar of Patent Rolls: a licence granted in 1352 to Thomas de Bradeston for "the chantry newly made by him at the altar of St Michael in the church of St Mary, Winterbourne"
The following extract from the Chantry Certificates of Gloucester (Roll 22) 1549 gives details for our chantry, and Olveston is included for interest.
(howseling people are communicants)
The Countie of Gloucetur with the Cities of Bristowe and Gloucetur.
The Certificat off Anthony Hungerforde Walter Bucler William Sharyngton & Milez Partridge knightes Arthure Porter Richarde Tracye Thomas Throckemerton Esquyers Thomas Sterneholde and Richard Patf Gentilmen Commyssioners appointed by vertue of the Kingef maiestiez Commyssion beringe the date xiiijth daye of ffebruarie in the Secounde yere of the reigne of Edwarde the Sixthe by the grace of godd kynge of Englonde ffraunce and Irelonde Defendor of the faith and in this Churche of Englonde and also of Irelande supreme hedde vnto theym directed to take the Survey of all Colledges Chauntriez ffreechappellf and other like within the saide Countie and Cities as hereafter ensuythe."
"18. IN THE DEANERIE OF BRISTOWE THE P'SHE OF WYNTERBORNE where are howselinge people - - - - cciij
The wardenage of Wyntborne or otherwise called Bradstone Chuntrie Md that the seid wardenage or Chuntrie wt the whole possessions therunto belonginge or appteignynge haue byn for the Space of oon whole yere paste or theraboutf in the possession of oon Mr Wi
llm Denys nowe occupienge the same by what title they knowe nott, whoe sayed vnto theym he hathe the same of or Souaigne lord the kinge matie.
19. THE P'SHE of OLVESTON, wtin the seid Deanerie where are of howseling peple - - - - - - vc
The ffreechapell of Tokynton nott being pishe Churche of it self.
The ffoundation hereof is nott knowen butt it is thoughte the same to remayne & be in the Custodie of Sr Wi
llm Barkeley knighte whoe is patron of the seid Chappell, and the same is distaunt from thaforeseid pishe Churche halfe a myle.
All chantries in England were dissolved by the Protector Somerset in the second year of Edward VI. Eliot p34 refers to PRO Chantry Certificates detailing our chantry's dissolution in 1547.