Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Blackmore: Suppression of Augustinian Priory

Henry VIII became King of England, following the death of Henry VII on 21st April 1509. Perhaps one of the most instantly recognisable monarchs, he is known to have dissolved many monasteries (including Blackmore Priory) and ‘created’ the Church of England declaring himself ‘Supreme Head’. But the suppression of the monasteries began earlier than the 1530s.

In 1524, authority was granted by Henry to Cardinal Wolsey to dissolve a number of smaller priories. This included Blackmore. It was intended that the money raised would fund a college in Oxford. In the following year, Blackmore Priory was assessed at £85.9s.7d. In a further declaration, in March 1526, the rectories at Blackmore and Margaretting were granted to Wolsey. The legal process over, the four remaining Canons were ejected and the Priory transferred to Wolsey in 1527. However, two years later, Wolsey was stripped of his wealth when he fell out with the King over the divorce of Catherine of Aragon (Henry’s first wife). In 1531, the Priory was passed from the Crown to the Abbey at Waltham Holy Cross. This was the last monastic establishment to be dissolved, in England, in 1540. About this time much of Blackmore Priory was demolished.

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