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Barton or Burton Oratory

As this convent or oratory has been dissolved long before the general suppression of monastic foundation, the licence of Dogdale, Speed, Tanner, and other writes on religious houses, must be attributed to that cause alone, nor would it under such circumstances, have been surprising if the memory of its existence had been quite defaced and the knowledge of its foundation wholly obliterated. But the register of John de Pontissera, Bishop of Winchester about or subsequent to the year 1282, has preferred the history of the convent. It was founded by John de Insula, rector of Shalfleet, and Thomas de Winton, rector of Godshill, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This bishop records in that singular, that he had seen the charters of these two founders, and he relates the constitution or rules of the said Oratory, which has been established under their seals, and were then in full force, for the due order and government of the society.

The rules established for their purposes, were as follows:
1. That there shall be six Chaplains and one Clerk to officiate both the living and the dead, under the Rules of St. Augustine.
2. That one of these shall be presented to the Bishop of Winchester, to be the Arch-priest, to whom the roll shall take an Oath of Obedience.
3. That the arch-priest shall be chosen by the Chaplains there residing, who shall present him to the Bishop within twenty Days after any Vacancy shall happen.
4. They shall be subject to the immediate Authority of the Bishop.
5. When any Chaplain shall die, his goods shall remain at the Oratory.
6. They shall have only one mess, with a Pittance at a Meal, excepting on the greater Festivals, when they may have three Messes.
7. They shall be diligent in reading and praying.
8. They shall not go beyond the Bounds of the Oratory, without Licence from the Arch-priest.
9. Their Habit shall be of one Colour, either black or blue; they shall be clothed pallio Hibernienfi, de nigra boneta cum pileo.
10. The Arch-priest shall sit at the Head of the Table, next to him those who have celebrated magnum miffam; the Priest of Saint Mary; next the Priest of the Holy Trinity; and then the Priest who says Mass for the dead.
11. The Clerk shall read something edifying to them while they dine.
12. They shall sleep in one room.
13. They shall use a special prayer for their Benefactors.
14. They shall in all their Ceremonies, and in tinkling the Bell, follow the use of Sarum.
15. The Arch-priest alone shall have Charge of the Business of the House.
16. They shall, all of them, at their Affirmation into the House, swear to the Observance of their Statutes.

Thomas de Winton and John de Insula, Clerks, grant to John, Bishop of Winchester, and his successors, the Patronage of their Oratory, at Burton, in the Parish of Whippingham, that he might become a Protector and a Defender of them, the Arch-priest, and his fellow Chaplains.

At the Influence of John de Insula, the surviving Founder, Thomas de Winton being at that time dead, the said Bishop orders that after a Year and a Day from their entering into the Oratory, no one shall accept of any other Benefice, or that shall depart the House. “Actum et datum in dicto Oratorio de Burton, a.1289. Jordano de Kingfton et aliis teftibus.”

It happened about one hundred years after, in 1386, that the arch-priest was suspended by the bishop, the celebrated William de Wykeham; on which the dean of the island was directed to take charge of the oratory in the house at Burton. About four years after, the arch-priest was made a captive in France; at which time the house was found to be in a ruinous condition, when the bishop gave orders for its being repaired, and for such other things as were necessary to be done.

In the eighteenth year of King Henry the Sixth, in 1439, this oratory was surrendered into the hands of the bishop by Walter Trengoff, at that time arch-priest; which was granted, together with its lands, to the College of Winchester, by the advice and concurrence of bishop Wainfleet, who succeeded cardinal Beaufort in the fee of Winchester. The endowments at this time consisted of the Manor of Whippingham, in which parish it is situated, with the demise lands of Burton or Barton, as it is now called, and some lands at Chale; and the site and demesnes of the oratory are all held under a lease from the warden and fellows of Winchester college. A part of the old building was very lately remaining.

Source: J Albin, A New, Correct and Much Improved history of the Isle of Wight, Scatcherd and Whitaker. London. (1795)

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:21

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