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The Crawford Collection of Early Charters and Documents

The Crawford Collection of Early Charters and Documents

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Excerpt from The Crawford Collection of Early Charters and Documents: Now in the Bodleian Library

The nucleus of the collection is a valuable set of documents relating to Crediton monastery, which restore to us a large portion of the forgotten history of that foundation. These Crediton muniments (nos. I, II, III, IV, VII, X, XIII) have been, no doubt, kept together from the time of the dissolution of the monastery, for they probably remained at Crediton after the bishop's see was transferred thence to Exeter, since Crediton retained its chapter until the dissolution of the monasteries 2. Certainly No. XIII, Bishop Warelwast's confirmation of the liberties of the canons, must have come from Crediton long after the transfer of the see. Possibly these charters came from Crediton Free School, upon which Edward VI conferred the church and some of the lands of this old foundation. To these Crediton documents have been added two Westminster charters (nos. VI, IX), which, as we have said, were in possession of the Dean and Chapter in 1705 and 1702; a charter (no. XI) that formerly belonged to the great monastery of St. Albans, where it passed under the eyes of Matthew of Paris; a charter (no. XII) from the monastery of St. Augustine, Canterbury; another (no. VIII) that probably owes its preservation to the monks of Coventry; and one (no. V) whose earlier home we are unable to trace. The few twelfth-century charters (nos. XIV to XVII) have obviously no relationship to any of the foundations above named, and they were.

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