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The Last Days of the Abbeys of Durford and Titchfield and A Case of Mistaken Identity

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The entries for John Simpson in the lists of the heads of the Premonstratensian abbeys of Durford, Sussex, and Titchfield, Hampshire, given in The Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales 1377–1540, identify him with John Salisbury alias Thetford, later dean of Norwich and bishop of Sodor and Man. That identification first appears to have been made by F J Baigent in a list of abbots of Titchfield compiled from the registers of the bishops of Winchester and was followed by F A Gasquet, who named the last abbot of Titchfield, in office 1536–7, as John Sampson or Sympson and in parenthesis identified him as John Salysbury, suffragan bishop of Thetford. The relevant register, that of Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester 1531–51 and 1553–5, however, shows that John Simpson and John Salisbury were different men. This paper aims to demonstrate that they were, indeed, different men, explaining how they became confused and conflated. In doing so it offers an account of the final days of the abbeys of Durford and Titchfield.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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