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Before the Dissolution

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Two documents, dated about 1200, deal with further pieces of land for the Priory - an exchange with the monks of Rievaulx and a gift of property in Sandhutton - and in a charter of 1302, in French, Henry le Scrope confirms the Priory's ownership of a wood given by Milys de Stapelton. The collection's other fourteenth-century charter, dated 16 January 1382, concerns a 'tenement in Lartyngton'. In such ways, for some four hundred years from the Priory's foundation, the nuns of Marrick saw a steady increase in their income and landed property through benefaction.

A late fifteenth-century 'imprecation' or curse, promising punishment by authority of the Pope for any man who troubles the Priory, is transcribed here in full (with line numbers indicated):

1. Overmor We Comande on all' Wysse
2. that itt be noght leffull' vnto no man forto
3. dises ne dystrubell' ye befor sayd monestere
4. ne to take fra tham thar possescyones ne
5. their gud es ne to hald tham fra tham ne to
6. lesse tham ne to vex ne to trubell tham ne
7. to harm tham bott alle their gudes beto tham
8. saffye and kepyd haylle & sownde Forto
9. thar governaunce & sustenaunce thay ar
10. gyffen and on to their vsse in thym endlesse
11. to cum: Saffand the Right and the actorite
12. that falles to the Cowell' off Rome
13. and the lauffulle ryght off ye dyosyse that
14. is off ye Byschope and off ye Essbeke
15. Wherffor what so euer he be in tym
16. comynge man off haly kyke or seculer
17. man that wyttandly & wylfully dar
18. take on hym folely to do oghtt a
19. gaynes my bull': oone and twysse &
20. ye third thym ammonysched botte yff
21. he amendes hyes presumpcyon that is hys
22. mystakynge he schalle be deprivyd
23. of the dignyte off hys powre and
24. off his house//And weytt he welle
25. for hyes wykkednes// that he has don'
26. he schall be gylty in the domme off god
27. and putt away fra ye most hallyest
28. sacrament off the body & the blode off our
29. lorde god & our againe by ere Jesu crist
30. and to be putte vnto ye straytte vengaunce
31. in hyes laste examynnynge// Morover in
32. contrere maner vnto alle thos that be
33. kepand helpand & supportand ye
34. Ryght off ye housse he gyffen the pese
35. and the blessynge off owr lord' Jesu
36. criste swa that thay may ressayff and
37. take the froyte off gud werkes in thys
38. world and before ye strayte Juge
39. Fynde yay and take the medes ande
40. the Rewardes off euerlastynge pesse
41. Amen etc etc

This imprecation is complemented by a somewhat later document, a memorandum by the nuns in response to alleged wrongs done to them. It begins (again with line numbers):

1. Memorandum that thes be the artykylles off wronges that be done
2. to god & our lady & scaint andro off marryke
3. In primis the lord off the town doth mercy vs for
4. appearance in hys cowrte as hys frehold the
5. wych we deny
6. Item he hath inclossed a grett parte off the more
7. they wych we clame Enter/commone in & itt
8. lay opyn euer more // vs eldyng nor no lying to our husy.
9. Item he wyll pay no tende att the Schaw ffor
10. Intak' that ys latly inclossyd ne latt hys tennandes
11. pay none in pane of loseying of their farmoldes
12. Item we can nott haue no resonabyll way to bryng
13. gdes' part fro the twone feld bott to pay th[ere]fore
14. euery yere
15. Item because we wold not pay mercy ment for the
16. after Crope off a certyn grownd callyd the pykalles
17. the wich we haue the ouercrope & schold haue the after
18.the last yere he toke a nox to strys & thys zere
19. he causyd all' the towne cattyll to be put there in
20. Item he wyll pay vs no tende off the mylne the
21. wich we haue aspecyall' grantt off by our fyrst fownder
22. item yf there be ony that mak ony vareans with in owr presynkes
23. he wyll ned' haue the hay wherr in we Rekkyn that he dothe
24. vs wrong for as we trist by owr fyrst ded of gyft that we
25. ar mayd fre within owr selff ne suffer vs to haue no
26. stokes with in our self/ Item he wyll nott sufer vs to haue no
27. fold to fold these cattyll that cumys in to our feld bott says we
28. schall' haue thaim to the towne fold more ouer he says yff
29. we oppyn ony grownde ...

In 1530, barely six years before Henry VIII's suppression of the monasteries began, Christabella Cowper became the last Prioress of Marrick. A rental initiated by Christabella in 1533 summarises the Priory's substantial income.