Sir Thomas Cromwell’s request for the Advowson of Batcombe, Dorset in 1538

John Mynterne of Batcombe
& Sir Thomas Cromwell’s request for the Advowson of Batcombe, Dorset in 1538.
& Richard Whiting the last Abbot of Glastonbury

My connection to John Mynterne
John MINTERNE (1514 – 1592)
is your 13th great grandfather

Henry ‘of Hooke’ MINTERNE (1546 – 1593)
son of John MINTERNE

Henry ‘the Farmer of Hooke Manor’ MINTERNE (1570 – 1651)
son of Henry ‘of Hooke’ MINTERNE

Henry ‘the Younger of Hooke’ MINTERNE (1607 – 1684)
son of Henry ‘the Farmer of Hooke Manor’ MINTERNE

Henry ‘Rector of Chedington’ MINTERN (1660 – 1723)
son of Henry ‘the Younger of Hooke’ MINTERNE

Samuel MINTERN (1695 – 1746)
son of Henry ‘Rector of Chedington’ MINTERN

Samuel ‘the younger of Hooke’ MINTERN (1708 – )
son of Samuel MINTERN

Henry MINTERN (1740 – 1812)
son of Samuel ‘the younger of Hooke’ MINTERN

Hannah MINTERN (1774 – 1806)
daughter of Henry MINTERN

Jane BEST (1792 – 1870)
daughter of Hannah MINTERN

Emma GALE (1829 – 1871)
daughter of Jane BEST

Charlotte Anna DISKETT (1866 – 1935)
daughter of Emma GALE

Hannah Maud Mabel BARRITT (1890 – 1957)
daughter of Charlotte Anna DISKETT

Rosie May JANES (1930 – 1997)
daughter of Hannah Maud Mabel BARRITT

Looking for new directions to carry your family history forward can be very rewarding. we are very fortunate today to have so much information at our fingertips and this wealth of information is ever increasing.
I once thought that my family’s history (as I travel further back in time) would consist of nothing more than a Birth, Marriage and Death and I was very wrong.
With a lot of patience, digging and a good understanding of how to key word your online searches efficiently can uncover lots of information and direct you towards sites and books you would never have found otherwise.

If you have been lucky enough to research your families history back to the 16th and 17th century then you may have noticed that the persons you are researching have stepped up a notch or two on the social ladder. I have personally discovered in my own history that wealth, position and social status increases in a family line the further you move back in time.

Currently I am researching the Mintern (Minterne/Mynterne) family of Hooke, Chedington and Batcombe, Dorset a branch of my tree I relate too through my late grandmother Rosie May Janes. The research has taken me in directions I never expected, it has uncovered the biggest collection of wills I have seen for one family alone and has connected me to key historical events and figures, that are both well known and helped shape our past.
This particular post showcases one such event, ‘The dissolution of the monasteries’ and beginning of what we now know as ‘The Reformation’.

Two men in particular are famous for laying it’s foundations; King Henry Viii and Sir Thomas Cromwell, although Henry was probably a Catholic at heart and Cromwell just got a little big for his boots.

Recently I have found three or four references that tie together Cromwell, John Mynterne and the parish of Batcombe, Dorset.
This story may even be the beginnings of a Dorset folk tale that is known as; ‘John Mynterne the conjuror of batcombe’. I published a post a couple of months ago regarding this story and it can be viewed here:

The Dark Conjurer of Batcombe

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former members and functions. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1536) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). – Source:

Batcombe was affected greatly during the Dissolution of the Monastries and many who owned property their had connections with Glastonbury Abbey, so people like Thomas Cromwell were probably very disliked. I have no records to suggest that the Myntern family had connections with the Abbey but they would have been very influential in the parish of Batcombe.

Batcombe, Dorset - Parish Church

Batcombe, Dorset – Parish Church

In 1538 Sir Thomas Cromwell wrote to Abbot Whiting of Glastonbury Abbey requesting he be appointed Advowson of Batcombe.

Advowson (or “patronage”) is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop (or in some cases the ordinary if not the same person) a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as presentation (jus praesentandi, Latin: “the right of presenting”). The word derives, via French, from the Latin advocare, from vocare “to call” plus ad, “to, towards”, thus a “summoning”.[1] In effect, an advowson is the right to nominate a person to be parish priest (subject to episcopal approval), and such right was often originally held by the lord of the manor of the principal manor within the parish.

This request would have been met with a lot of opposition, appointed Advowson’s are usually Lords of the Manor and there was profit to be made with positions this important. There is a record suggesting that the Myntern family were at the forefront of Cromwells opposition. ‘The Ballads of Cromwell’ published on 3rd January 1541.

Ballad No. 11.—“An Artificiall apologie, articulerlye answerynge to the obstreperous obgannynges of one W.G. evometyd to the vituperacion of the tryumphant trollynge Thomas Smyth. Repercussed by the ryght redolent and rotunde rethorician R. Smyth P. with annotacions of the mellifluous and misticall Master Mynterne, marked in the mergent for the enucliation of certen obscure obelisques, to th’ende that the imprudent lector shulde not tytubate or hallucinate in the labyrinthes of this lucubratiuncle.” In 22 stanzas, in the course of which it appears that the name of the assailant “W. G.” is Graye, and he is asked why he thus assails “our Smyths.” Of Master Thomas Smyth it is said: “He commeth of the smyth that shod Saynt Georges horsse By ryght dessent, it may not be denyed; But yf any wolde it shall not greatly force.” Printed at London by Richard Bankes, “and be to sell in Paternoster rowe at the sygne of the Rose.” No. 12.— “A paumflet compyled by G. C. To Master Smyth and Wyllyam G. Prayeng them both, for the love of our Lorde, To growe at last to an honest accorde.” In 21 stanzas of eight lines each (those of the previous ballads being of seven lines each). Printed by Bankes, &c., like the last.

I don’t think any letters exist from Cromwell to Abbot Richard Whiting, but the Abbot’s reply does exist and can be found below;

10th February 1538

Abbot Whiting to Cromwell, that he cannot let him
have the Advowson of Batcombe in Somersetshire, it
having been given away ; but sends him that of
Netilton in North Wilts.
[ibid, 2 Ser. xiii. 65.]

My right singler good Lorde, after due commendacons, pleaseth you to be aduertised thatt I have
received yowre gentle lettres dated the vj*** day of
this moneth, purportinge th’empetracdn of th’advou-
sante of Batcombe in Somersetshire, together with
an advousante redie writen, which ye desired to be
graunted and sealed under owre Convente Seale.
The truth, my veraye good Lorde, is thatt M’. Doctor
Tregonwell, (att his instaunte desire and contenipla-
con,) hath obteigned the same for a nygh frinde of
his, thatt we cannot accomplishe youre desier therin ;
nor ahnooste Avith any suche other thatt ar worth
Butt my good Lorde wee have one parsonage
lyinge farre from us in North Wiltishere, called
Netilton, yett remaynyng in oure houses to gyve,
th’advousant wherof wee have sente vnto youre Lorde –
shipp by this bringer. Trustinge moche, and neuer-
theless hartely prayinge youe contently t’accepte the
same, which we wolde were as goode as anye wee
may yeve for youre pleasure, as knowith our Lorde
God, whoo preserve youe in contynuaunce of lyf with
moche bono””. Att the rude house of Sturmester-
castell, the x”” day of February.

Yo’ owne assured

Ric. Abbott off Glaston.
To the right honorable Sir Thomas Cromwell,
Knight, Lorde Cromwell’s good Lorde-
shippe, be this dd.


Blessed Richard Whiting was the last Abbot of Glastonbury, Whiting presided over Glastonbury Abbey at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1541) under King Henry VIII of England. The king had him executed after his conviction for treason for remaining loyal to Rome. He is considered a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church, which beatified him on 13 May 1895.

Sir Thomas Cromwell was executed on the morning of 28th July 1540

“Henry VIII’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, sent to walk the same, well-trodden path to the scaffold as his victim, Anne Boleyn, implored the young executioner to dispatch him with a single stroke. But the novice made a butchery of Cromwell’s decapitation, hacking and sawing at his thick neck and causing even the bloodthirsty crowd on Tower Hill to protest.”

John Mynterne died on 31 December 1592, in Batcombe, Dorset and his descendants married well.


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2 thoughts on “Sir Thomas Cromwell’s request for the Advowson of Batcombe, Dorset in 1538

  1. Wow, that medieval English is tough sledding! What is he saying…in modern English!? Interesting stuff, and so different from American history with our longstanding separation of church and state. Fascinating!

    • The Ballard is very difficult to understand, but there are little snippets that talk of false apologies. I’m guessing they are calling Cromwell false and possibly out for self gain. They are also talk about a Rose, I would presume this is the Tudor Rose and that through right of descent of Saint George (our patron saint) that any decisions made are just and correct. Possibly Henry’s decision to have Cromwell executed or perhaps using the King’s position and belief he is annoited by God that the protestation of England is just and true.
      Although, I’m probably incorrect, but hopefully not far off. 🙂

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