Bodsey Deed

The building at one time was a hermitage, as the following translation of a deed, still preserved in the British Museum, shows.

“To all the faithful in Christ to whom the present writing shall come Theobald de Luke greeting in the Lord:-

Be it known to your society that I have ratified the asked for release and quit claim which my father Henry by his own legal power made a gift of, to the Church of S. Benedict at Ramsey, and to the Abbot and Monks serving God there, the Hermitage of Bodesheye with all its appurtenances, as well in fisheries as in other rights also; and that I myself in my own person, and having touched the holy gospels have for myself and all my heirs and successors ‘made over’ the said Hermitage of Bodesheye and given a quit claim thereof for ever as the right and property of the said Church of Ramseye and for this my grant and quit claim the aforesaid Abbot and Convent have given me 30 marks of silver and one horse and have remitted to me and my heirs for ever the action which they had against me for claiming the patronage of the great tithes of Gillinge (i.e. Yelling), out of which the said Abbot and Monks have been accustomed to take for their sacrist 10s. yearly, at two terms, viz: at the Feast of St Michael 5s. and at Easter 5s. which 10s. I and my heirs will pay for ever to the Church of Ramsey, and if by chance my stepmother Katerina shall claim her dower out of the aforesaid Hermitage, against the aforesaid Abbot and Convent of Ramsey, I Theobald and my heirs will upon their aforementioned petition free the Church of Ramsey and preserve it indemnified.

I Theobald have sworn that on reasonable summons of the aforesaid Abbot and Convent of Ramsey I will appear in court of the Lord King at Westminster before the justice of the bench.

In testimony of which thing I have granted to the said Abbot and convent of Ramsey these my letters patent ratified with my seal in proof of my aforesaid release and quit-claim and furnishing assurance of every kind which has been in the same promised regarding them.

Unfortunately there is no date given for the above deed, but is interesting as showing that there was property even on the island which did not belong to the Monastery until transferred to it by special grant, or which had been alienated. Bodsey House stands at one end of the King’s delph, which ran from there to Peterborough, but is now partly filled up. (Ref 7)