Richard de Barton

There maybe a link between St Nicholas and the Knights Templar.

In the book "The History of the Knights Templar" written by Charles G. Addison in 1842 there is a description of the suppression of the military order called the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon who are better know to us as the Knights Templar.

On November 22, 1307 Pope Clement issued the bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.

In Chapter 9 of Addision's book mentions that in 1308 among the prisoners confined in the Tower of London was a Brother Radulph de Barton, priest of the order of the Temple, and custos or guardian of the Temple church at London. Radulph de Barton was questioned between 25th of October and the 17th of November 1308.

On the 19th and 20th of November, seven lay witnesses, unconnected with the order, were examined before the inquisitors in the chapel of the monastery of the Holy Trinity, but could prove nothing against the Templars that was criminal or tainted with heresy. One of those questioned was a Richard de Barton who is described as a priest. Richard de Barton declared that he knew nothing of the order, or of the members of it, but what was good and honourable.

The first question is whether the Richard de Barton mentioned here is the same priest who appears in the List of clergy of St Nicholas. Sutton.

The second question is whether Radulph de Barton and Richard de Barton are related?

Sutton was controlled by the Benedictine house of, Chertsey Abbey located at Chertsey in Surrey.

The order was founded by Benedict, who wrote a code for monastic life called the Rule of Benedict. The Benedictines followed this rule. The Templars in turn followed a rule that was connected to the Benedictines.

An interesting coincidence is that when Chertsey Abbey was dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII he actually transferred the majority of the estates and property of Chertsey abbey to a refounded Benedictine abbey at Bisham, Berkshire. Bisham had originally been a a Templar foundation dating from 1260. The Templars had Bisham as their property in 1308.

There was a Philip de Barton who was appointed Archdeacon of Surrey in 1301 according to
'Archdeacons: Surrey', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300-1541: volume 4: Monastic cathedrals (southern province) (1963), pp. 48-49. de Barton is also given as de Barthon' in the sources.

Richard de Barton would have to minister to his congregation as great crop failures hit England in 1315. Food shortages and malnutrition would have become very real.

In 1318, in return for the sum of £100 granted by Philip de Barthon', archdeacon of Surrey, the abbot of Chertsey Abbey
"arranged that a monk should be specially deputed to celebrate masses at the altar of Holy Cross for the good estate of their benefactor, and for the souls of Richard his brother, his parents and all the faithful dead; and that the two brothers, Philip and Richard, should be had in remembrance by the brethren in all their masses, and their names inscribed on each missal of the church and in their martyrology, and named daily in the chapter with other benefactors. Also that the sacrist should distribute yearly on the anniversary of the said Philip 20s. to the brethren and 6s. 8d. to the poor, and that both he and his brother should be participants in all the spiritual privileges and exercises of the house.

When Philip de Barthon' died in 1327, he bequeathed a sum of £250 to the abbey for the augmentation of the two chantries already founded within the conventual church. By a covenant with his executors the abbot and convent agreed to provide two secular chaplains in their house, and to maintain them in food and lodging and everything necessary for divine service; to pay them 5½ marks a year, and to provide them a fitting chamber near the great gate of the garden within the abbey, and to keep the same in repair, and to find them a clerk to minister to them, sufficient bedding, and two cartloads of firewood, when provision was made for the chamber of the abbot. The chaplains were to officiate, one at the altar of St. Leonard in the nave, and the other at the altar of St. Thomas the Martyr. One mass was to be celebrated early in the morning before the mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the other at a fit hour at midday between the end of the mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the celebration of high mass. They were to take the oath of obedience to the abbot, and to be removed if found unfit or disobedient. 'And always in the principal mass, they should turn to the people who were hearing mass, and should say a paternoster for the souls of Philip de Barthon', his brother, and his family and the faithful departed.' The former distribution of 26s. 8d. on the anniversary of Philip de Barthon' was to be kept up."

'House of Benedictine monks: Abbey of Chertsey', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2 (1967), pp. 55-64. URL:"de barthon". Date accessed: 08 April 2008.

Was the Richard named above as the brother of Philip de Barthon our Richard de Barton? If prayers were being arranged for the souls of Richard and Philip's parents in 1318 did this mean that Richard was already dead? And if this was the same Richard why weren't the masses said at Sutton's second Church which was often supposed to be a chantry? Perhaps that second Church mentioned in the Domesday Survey had already been lost?

There is another mention of a Rector of Sutton called Richard in 1319. So it is possible that this is also our Richard de Barton. Malden, Henry Elliot. 'Rectors and vicars of Surrey parishes (supplementing and correcting the lists in "Manning & Bray's History of Surrey").' Surrey Archaeological Collections, 27 (1914).

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