Katherine, anchoress of St Margaret, Newebrigge

Died 1314-5 

What little we know of Katherine is from her will which was proved in the Court of the City of Norwich.

An image of City of Norwich Court Rolls. Will of Katherine anchoress of St Margarets, Newbrigge. 1314-5 NRO, NCR case 17m 9

City of Norwich Court Rolls. Will of Katherine anchoress of St Margarets, Newbrigge. 1314-5 NRO, NCR case 17m 9

The will was brought before the court in Norwich on the Thursday before the feast of St Peter in cathedra [in Antiochia] (22 February)  in the eighth year of the reign of Edward II (8 July 1314-7 July 1315). The will was brought by the priests Herudun of Happisburgh and Simon of Elingham. Katherine’s messuage in Norwich was to be sold, (the location of the property is not mentioned), her debts paid and the remaining money used to pay for the sake of her soul (prayers said). The entry was signed by Ervaldi de Stamford.

Image of 'Norwich in the Middle Ages', The Religious Houses from R. Taylor 'Index Monasticus' 1821

‘Norwich in the Middle Ages’, The Religious Houses from R. Taylor ‘Index Monasticus’ 1821

There are references to at least fifty anchorite or anchoress between the mid-13th century and the Reformation. These are most often mentioned as being left bequests in wills.  Some were attached to churches, others lived on or by bridges and gates.

 When St Margaret Newbridge was depopulated by the plague of 1349, the church was converted into a hermitage chapel.  The parish was then  united with George Colegate.  The church was then known as St Margaret Colegate.

An image of Detail of R. Taylor's map showing St Margaret at Newbridge

Detail of R. Taylor’s map showing St Margaret at Newbridge.

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