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The Foundation of Bridlington Priory |

The Foundation of Bridlington Priory

Bridlington Priory written by the late John. W. Lamb, M.A., Ph.D.

The Manor of Bridlington, formerly held by Earl Morcar and in 1072 forfeited by him to the Crown, was granted by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Gaunt or Gant, who accompanied him from Normandy. The property, along with other great possessions, was inherited by his son, Walter de Gaunt, who was the Founder of the Priory.

The Charter of Foundation opens with the words, translated from the Latin, "I, Walter de Gaunt, do hereby declare to all faithful sons of Holy Church, that I have established Canons Regular in the Church of Saint Mary, Bridlington, by the authority and consent of King Henry, for the good of his soul, and the souls of his father and mother, and my own soul, and the souls of my friends. I yield therefore to the same Church, and to its Ministers, whatever I am possessed of in the same Township".

This grant of the Founder in 1113 and other benefactions were confirmed by King Henry I in a Charter, a translation of which reads, "Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, to the archdeacons, bishops, princes and barons, and to the whale of the faithful clergy and laity in all England . . . greeting. We do . .. confirm to the Church of Saint Mary of Bridlington and the Canons Regular serving the Lord in the same place two carucates of land of my own demesne . . . Moreover, the rest of the donations, which have been made . . . to the aforesaid Church . , . we concede and by the authority of the same Charter do confirm". (Photostat copies of the original Charters are to be seen in the Museum over the North Porch). Guikeman, the first Prior, with his Canons Regular of the Order of Saint Augustine, applied through Thurstan, Archbishop of York, to Pope Calixtus II for papal confirmation, which was formally issued. Thus, according to the usual custom, by the united sanction of Pope, Archbishop, King and Founder, the Priory of Bridlington was established.