I am trying to piece together the early history of Eversholt Church in Bedfordshire, UK. The earliest record found so far is in The Cartulary of Newnham Priory from 1166. Simon [II] de Beauchamp, who oddly has no Wikipedia entry, was lord of Bedford. He seems to have had control of many churches and their income. Simon granted entire churches, and a part of the tithe of other churches, to Newnham Priory.
Possessiones autem et pertinencie memorate ecclesie sancti Pauli Bed' quas eis concessi sunt iste: ecclesia de Rauenysdene, de Ronhal', de Bereford', de Wiliton', de Kerdington', de Goldington', de Suguile, de Hattele, de Wutton', de Stacheden', de Asple, de Turueye, cum omnibus pertinenciis et libertatibus suis; et ecclesia de Grauenhurst' de dono Willelmi filii Roberti; et ecclesia de Saleford' de dono Nigelli de Salforde.
Concessieciam eis has decimas, scilicet duas partes decimarum in molendinis et pannagiis et in ceteris dominiorum de Stotfolde, de Hagenes, de Kaishoo, de Lincelade, de Euersholt, de Hunesdone, de Puttenho, de Calworth', de Asple, de toto feodo meo in Holewelle.
Google has a good go at that:
The possessions and appurtenances of the aforesaid church of St. Paul of Bedford, which they were granted to them: the church of Rauenysden, of Ronhal, of Barford, of Wilton, of Kerdington, of Goldington, of Suguile, of Hattele, of Wootton, from Stacheden, from Asple, from Turueye, with all its appurtenances and liberties; and the church of Gravenhurst concerning the gift of William the son of Robert; and the church of Saleford concerning the gift of Nielson of Salford.
To them these tithes were granted, namely, two parts [I think in ten] of the tithes in mills and pannages and in the other lordships of Stotfold, of Hages, of Kaishoo, of Lincelade, of Euersholt, of Hunesdon, of Puttenho, of Calworth, of Asple, of all my fee Holwelle.
- Am I right to understand that Simon granted entire churches to the priory?
- Does that mean that the priory would administer the church? Receive all the tithes? Appoint the priest? Possibly take rent from the priest?
- In that case, how might Simon have come by this control? By what right?
And then Simon grants, I think, two-tenths of the tithes from a number of churches, the tithe being a tenth of the produce from the parish, so Simon is granting 2% of each parish's produce to the priory.
- Might there be some reason why Simon didn't grant these churches to the priory? For example, that he controlled the tithes but not the churches? How might that happen?
- And, do I have that 2% right?
C H D Grimes wrote A Short History of Eversholt about 1926 and conjectured that Hugh de Beauchamp or one of his successors commanded the construction of Eversholt Church. Hugh was great-grandfather of Simon and mentioned in Domesday as holding land in Eversholt.
The next mention we have of Eversholt church after Simon's grant is negotiation to lease it from the Knights Hospitaller to Dunstable Priory, and it is entirely unclear how that fits in with this. Neither Simon nor Newnham Priory is mentioned.
Thanks for any insight!