Snelshall Priory

editorial image

O’ pray deliver us from pseudo provocative clerics seeking to get their fizz hogs in the media.

And what’s the latest rant? Apparently ‘baby boomers’ being a burden on the State.

Well listen up, sunbeam, as one who’s been continuously in the workplace since 1968, and for all that time paid taxes, a fair proportion of which has no doubt been used to cushion assorted scroungers, police, binge drinking immature teeny bops, fund illegal wars and goodness knows what else, you can go and whistle up your cassock if you think a pension is a ‘benefit.’

It’s a fully funded entitlement, so if you want to thump your soap box, go and find some other topic.

And on the subject of irritating prelates, it was just such an annoyance that caused King Henry VIII to boot hundreds out from their monasteries and priories at the Dissolution.

These included Snelshall Priory, which had been founded around the beginning of the 13th century.

However, it seems not to have flourished, since a bishop’s report would record that the monks had to beg for the essentials of life.

Nevertheless, they didn’t seem to lack for secular pleasures, for following a report in 1529 all women were dismissed from the Priory, excepting two servants aged above 48.

After the abolition of priories the priory house of Snelshall was duly submitted to the Crown, with the prior being awarded a pension of £5 a year.

The remaining household of three monks, two priests, the prior’s parents and eight servants subsequently left the accommodation, and this was then sold off.

Some of the materials were used to rebuild Tattenhoe Church, but when the landowners turned their local acres over to sheep farming the village fell into decline.

Not until the arrival of the New City would the church then be rescued from its remote location, a situation to which certain turbulent priests should perhaps now be banished.

> For more of John Taylor’s columns visit the Columnist section of www.miltonkeynes.co.uk