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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

View movies The will of the Countess of Cambridge (1)

In the name of God, Amen. On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15th August), in the year of our Lord 1446, I, Matilda of York, Countess of Cambridge, being of right mind and sound memory make my will in this manner:

First, I leave and commend my soul to God and the Blessed Mary and all his Saints, and my body to be buried in the monastery of Roche, in the chapel of the Blessed Mary, before her image, situated in the southern part of the church of the said monastery. (2)
A stone of alabaster should lie over my body, raised aloft like a tomb, with an effigy, after the manner which I will tell my executors.
Also, I leave to each chaplain present at my funeral twelve-pence, and to each parochial clergyman, six-pence.
Also, that my executors organise that wax be burnt around my body at the time of my funeral, according to their discretion.
Also, thirteen poor persons should be clothed in white gowns, and each of them shall carry a large twisted wax taper, in honour of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mary, and all His Saints; these should be held by them at the time of my funeral and my Mass, and each of them should receive twelve-pence.
Also I leave to three chaplains of honest conversation forty-two marks that they may celebrate and pray for my soul and for the soul of my lord and for the souls of my parents; and that one keep a school, should he wish.
Also, that every year each of them say thirty masses of the Blessed Gregory, and, when they can conveniently do so, daily say in their masses this prayer: ‘Deus qui est summa nostrae Redemptionis …’
Also, I leave to Roche one white vestment so that one monk of the same place will celebrate for my soul for a week, and have daily one penny; and another monk for another week, and so each in turn may separately celebrate and pray for my soul in the said monastery, for the space of seven years complete.
Also, I leave to the abbot of Roche 6s 8d, and to each monk there twenty pennies on the day of my burial.
Also, I leave to the abbot and convent of the same place forty if they are willing sufficiently to show their obligation to their founder and, once a year, for ever, for my soul’s health, celebrate my obit in funeral services and a mass with two candles burning over my body during the same time.
Also, my whole vestment of red colour, worked with gold, with one chalice and two phials, two candlesticks of the finest silver, and one silver bell, should remain with my body for the perpetual use of the said church. …

[The will continues, listing benefactions to other religious and family]

... In witness whereof I have to this present writing affixed my seal. Given in the monastery of Roche on the day aforesaid.