chantries of St John's church
chantry of the holy trinity
Of the Church of St John the Baptist
The Chantry of the Holy Trinity, also sometimes known as the Chantry of the Holy Ghost, was founded in 1342 in the parish church that preceded the present St John's church. When the latter was built, the chantry transferred to the south choir aisle of today's church.
In 1348 Robert de Sambourne obtained a licence from John de Rysingdon to give twelve "burgages in Jevele", which he held of him as lord of the manor, to support three chaplains, one to be called the arch-presbyter, to "celebrate for the salubrious state of John Maltravers and Agnes his wife, the said Robert and John, whilst they all lived and for their souls after death, and for the souls of the father and mother of the said Robert, etc."
In 1355, under the confirmation and seal of the Earl of Arundel, he gave a further £27 [around £17,500 in 2017's value] in rents to John de Risingdon, of which 21 marks were to go to the three chaplains "singing perpetually at the altar of the Trinity", reserving from that sum one hundred shillings and a robe or two marks per annum for his life. The lands from which these sums were received were in "Yevell, Kingeston, La Marshe juxta Modeforde and Chestermour".
In 1388 Thomas Redman, prior to his appointment as vicar of St John's church, was described as the arch-priest of the Chantry of the Holy Ghost. The same year John Onewyn, one of the chaplains of the chantry, was a beneficiary in the will of John Sparkeford, receiving a bequest of 10 marks [about £4,400 at 2017's value] and "a flat piece of silver of London work".
A conveyance dated 1393 stated "To all the faithful to whom these presents shall come, John Onewyne Archpriest of the chantry of the Holy Trinity of the town of Yevelle, Christina his wife and Richard their son, a messuage within the free Borough of the Town of Yevele in a certain street called La Quydamstrete between a house of John Page belonging to the said chantry and a house of John Page belonging to the burgesses of the town of Yevele which houses Thomas French held formerly, paying a rent of four shillings per annum. Dated at Yevele Monday the Feast of St Michael the 17th year of Richard the Second" .
In 1538 the Abbess of Syon, then Lord of Yeovil, let "Lordship, parsonage and Towne of Yevyll" to Sir John Horsey of Clifton [Maybank] "except the advowson of the vicarage and of the Chauntrie there named Trente Chauntre" for £45 per annum.
A memorandum in the Return of the Chantries of 1548 states "Henry Lyrbecke, clerke of the age of 50 years incumbent there, of honest conversation and a good singing man."
A list of benefactors of the Chantry of the Holy Trinity in the year 1548 is shown below.
In 1450, indulgences were granted by the Bishop for those contributing to the relief of those who had suffered by the recent great fire in Yeovil and towards rebuilding property belonging to chantries and the almshouse. In 1791 Collinson wrote "In the year 1449 one hundred and seventeen houses in this town were destroyed by fire, among which were fifteen houses belonging to the Chantry of the Holy Trinity, founded in the parish church here."
In 1501 the Accounts of William Wever, senior priest in the chantry, show the following tenants of chantry properties -
John Wyning -
host of the
rent of which
had fallen from
100s to 43s 4d
Thomas Comsede - a tenement 'lying before the Cross of Yeovil"
Robert Cely - a tenement in Pyt Lane (today's Middle Street)
J Chalyner - in the High Street
Thomas Burnett - in Southstrete with divers lands in the fields of Yeovil
William Tyler - a house in Grope Lane (today's Wine Street)
John Lother - in Southstrete
William Broune - in Quedamstrete
Alice Wyche - house called Pandoxer in Quedamstrete
William Crokmaker paid 3s 4d a year rent for his house in Quedamstrete
Agnes Burford - 4s for her house in Pytlane
William Tanner - a barn in Southestrete
Thomas Tanner - a tenement in Quedamstrete
John Napper paid 6s 8d for his house in High Street
William Carpenter held 8s worth of land in divers parcels
The property of the chantry was sold off in 1549 and 1564. Henry Lyrbecke's name appears in Cardinal Pole's Pension Book of 1553 showing him receiving £6 13s 4d. Following his losing the position as a chantry priest following the Dissolution, his reputation earned him the Rectorship of Barwick in 1551 where he remained until his death in 1571.
The south choir aisle was re-established as a chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1962 on the site of the chantry bearing the same dedication originally founded by Canon Sambourne, the builder of the present church.
See also the Windows in St John's church.
Survey of the Chantry & its benefactors, 1548
The following is taken from the Survey and Rental of Somerset Chantries of 1548. Note that I have converted amounts from Latin to English, for example xiiijli xjs ijd as £14 11s 2d.
In yerely worth in
Landes ten[amen]ts and hereditam[en]ts in the tenure of sondery psones as may appere pticulerly more at large by the rentall of the same
Whereof in Rents resolute paide yerely to sondery psones
And also Remayethe clere
Plate and ornamte
Henry Lyrebecke clerke of the age of 1 yeres incumbent ther, of honest conversation, and a good singinge man.
Chantry of the
..... holds the dwelling house there with a garden and renders per ann. 6s 8d.
Lionel Carter holds by indenture a burgage there with a garden and an orchard adjacent containing by estimation 2 acres, and 44 acres and a half of arable land there, and renders per ann. 33s 4d.
Thomas Pynne holds by indenture a tenement in Kingestone juxta Yevill with a garden and an orchard adjacent containing by estimation half an acre, and two closes of pasture containing 16 acres and 27 acres of arable land there, and renders per ann. 28s.
John Pynne holds by indenture a cottage in Kingeston aforeaid with a garden and an orchard adjacent containing 3 rods of land, and 7 acres of arable land there, and renders per ann. 12s.
Richard Hacker holds by indenture half a rofeles tenement [roofless tenement = a plot of land with no building upon it] there with an orchard containing an acre, and 17 acres and a half of arable land, and renders per ann. 16s.
The same holds two burgages lying in Quedamstrete with a garden to the same appertaining, and renders per ann. 12d.
John Locke holds by indenture a burgage with a garden and 4 acres of arable land, and renders per ann. 5s 4d.
Thomas Erlyche holds a burgage with a garden and 3 acres and a half of arable land, and renders per ann. 6s.
Stephen Trent holds a burgage with a garden there, and renders per ann. 9s 4d.
John Pytman holds a burgage with a garden, an acre of meadow, and 11 acres of arable land, and renders per ann. 12s.
John Whitby holds a garden in Southstrete, and renders per ann.4d.
William Hayne holds by indenture a burgage with a garden, and a close of pasture containing 2 acres and 4 acres of arable land, and renders per ann. 12s.
John Dowrede holds 8 acres of land and pasture lying in Swyncombe within the manor of Kingeston, and renders per ann. 16d.
William Woodhele holds a garden in Pytlane, and renders per ann. 16d.
William Bere holds a burgage with a close of pasture containing 4 acres, and renders per ann. 8s.
Isabella Welfare widow, holds a burgage or Inn, with certain curtilages, called the Bell, and renders per ann. 33s 4d.
Alexander Yonge holds two burgages there with appurtenances, and renders per ann. 8s 8d.
William Delegryse holds a cottage with a garden and 6 acres of arable land, and renders per ann. 8s.
Thomas Lye holds a cottage with a garden and 3 acres of arable land, and renders per ann. 8s.
Thomas Gromes holds a burgage with a garden there, and renders per ann. 20d.
Jone Marshe (late John Wolfe) holds a burgage and a garden, and renders per ann. 3s 4d.
John Hotkins (late John Wolfe) holds a burgage and a garden, and renders per ann. 4s.
Robert Grobyn (late John Parker) holds a cottage with 12 acres of land and pasture, and renders per ann. 12s.
Total £11 11s
Deduct in. - Rent resolute to the Lady the Queen for free rent of the premises, per ann. 3s.
Rent resolute to William Caraunt, Kt., for free rent per ann. 16d.
Rent reolute to the Rector of Yevill for free rent, per ann. 8d.
And remains over, per annum. £11 6s
The south choir aisle of St John's church - site of the altar of the Chantry of the Holy Trinity. The glass in the window is Victorian. Photographed in 2013.