Buttelee, Butelai, or Buthele
This parish is situate in two hundreds, the church being in that of Loes, but
the abbey in this: concerning which we collect the following particulars:
The priory and church were both dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary; here were
also the chapels of St. Anne, St. Peter, and St. Paul, All Saints, and St.
Sigismund. It was of the order of St. Augustine, or Black Canons; and founded in
the reign of King Henry II., in 1171, by Ranulph (or Randal) de Glanville, Lord
Chief Justice of England, and founder of Leiston Abbey, in this county.
By Bertha his wife, the daughter of Theobald de Valoins, Lord of Parham, he held
the lands called Brockhouse, on which the Priory was afterwards built, in frank
marriage. On his removal from office, he joined the Crusades, and was with King
Richard I. at the siege of Acre, having previously divided all his lands between
his three daughters.
The following table shows the descendants of the founder, who were benefactors
and patrons of this Priory:
Ranulph de Glanville=Bertha, d. of Theob. de Valoios.
|Matilda=Wm. de Auberville
||Amabilla=Ralph de Ardern
|Hugh. William. Johanna=Nicholas Kyriel, Knt
||Thos. de Ardern
Nicholas Kyriel=Margaret, dau. of Galfridus Peche.
In the 20th of King Henry III., William de Auberville, who married Matilda,
eldest daughter and co -heiress of the founder, gave the advowsons of the
following churches in this county, to Adam, Prior here: namely, Aspal,
Wattisden, Capel, Benhall, Baudsey, and Finborough; with the moiety of the
church of Little Glemham, with lands in Butley and Stratford, by fine.
The church of West Somerton, in Norfolk, was appropriated to this Priory, by
John, of Oxford, Bishop of Oxford, and confirmed by the said William de
Auberville, who gave the advowson to it: and in the 50th of the same reign, the
lady Cassandra Baynard granted, by fine, to Walter, Prior here, a messuage with
twelve acres of land, and the advowson of the church of Chatgrave, in Norfolk.
It was also enriched by the contributions of various noble and pious persons;
besides great possessions in this county and Norfolk, it had interest in, or the
patronage of, eleven churches in the latter county, twenty-three or more
churches and chapels appropriated in Suffolk, one in Lincolnshire, two in Essex,
and one in London; fourteen or more manors, two rabbit warrens, and a mill at
According to the foundation deed, the appropriated rectory of West Somerton, in
Norfolk, was charged with the annual sum of £10,
to pay and to find food for two canons, in this monastery, who should celebrate
divine worship for the souls of the founder, and his father and mother, and also
of all the faithful deceased.
There was also a distribution of alms at this monastery, to a certain class of
poor people, to the annual amount of £7 12s.
Valuations. Tax Eccles., 1291: Suffolk, in sixty-one parishes,
£89 5s. l½d.;
Norfolk, in six parishes, £4 19s. l0½d.;
diocese of Lincoln, £5 12s. 0d.:
£99 17s. 0d. Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1534:
Clear value, £318 17s. 2½d.
ARMS the same as Glanville, the founder: or; a chief indented,
azure; over all, in bend, a crosier; the staff, gules; the crook, of the first.
In 1540, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, had the grant of this Priory, and in 1544,
William Forthe, of Hadleigh, Esq., purchased the same: it continued in his
descendants, until the decease of William Forthe, Esq., in or about 1643, when
Anne, his only daughter and heir, inherited it. She married to Walter Devereux,
Esq., the third son of Sir Walter Devereux, of Marlesford, Bart,, afterwards
In 1660, he was a Burgess in Parliament for Orford, in this hundred: he died in
1683, and Elizabeth, their eldest daughter and co-heiress, inherited Butley
Priory for her portion. She married John Clyatt, Gent., in 1684, and settled
this estate upon him and his heirs: she died without issue. The said John Clyatt
survived until 1691, and devised this estate to Samuel Clvatt and his heirs, who
deceased in 1693, and Frances Clyatt his widow, held a life interest in the
In 1737, George Wright, Esq., who married the heiress of Clyatt, inherited this
estate; the gate-house of which monastery he fitted up, and converted into a
handsome mansion, much of which was preserved nearly entire, and of which there
are several illustrative views extant. The trustees of Lord Rendlesham are the
present possessors, by purchase from Lord Archibald Hamilton.
The manor of Tangham, in Butley, was part of the possessions of Anne of Cleves,
wife to King Henry VIII.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page