Richard Nelson, Benefactor

Sawston ChurchRICHARD NELSON of the diocese of York, was B.A. when ordained deacon on the title of the hospital of St. John, Cambridge, 17 Dec 1468. He was ordained priest 27 May 1469, and was admitted to the vicarage of Sawston, Cambridgeshire on 17 Apr 1476.

Richard Nelson was a liberal benefactor of St CATHARINE'S COLLEGE (Founded 1473.) He founded a fellowship in 1503 and a Bible clerkship settled on 4 Sep 1506 with preference for natives of Lonsdale. Lonsdale being a hundred of Lancashire, which covered most of the northwestern part of Lancashire around Morecambe Bay, including the detached part around Furness, and the city of Lancaster. (MS. Cole, xxv. 105, 200, 201. MS. Baker, vii. 31-35).

The latter foundation came with many conditions as seen in pages 37-38 of

St. Catharine's College (University of Cambridge) 1833-1930 by G.F. Browne.

St. Catherines CollegeThe Fellowship deed is dated August 20, 1503. It records that Richard Nelson, clerk, had given to John Wardall, Master, and the Fellows, for the use of the College, £100. He gave also to the Library three treatises of Thomas Aquinas for the special use of the Fellows. They bound themselves to accept as Fellow any one whom Richard should nominate, and after Richard's death to elect as Fellow, within three months after each vacancy, a native of Lonsdale, or, in default of such, a native of the neighbouring parts of the diocese of York, to pray and celebrate for the souls of Richard his parents and his benefactors, with a stipend of £4 a year paid quarterly. When Richard's death is known, they are to have a requiem mass with exsequies solemnly in choir, with singing. If they go a month beyond the three without electing, or are a month late with a quarterly payment, they are to pay five marks to John ffotchet, Master of St. Michael's, and the Fellows, besides paying the stipend overdue. If they go three months beyond the three, or are two months late with a quarterly payment, they are to pay to St. Michael's another ten marks besides the five and besides paying up the stipend. If they are nine months late in electing, they are to pay twenty marks besides the fifteen and the stipend, and are to hand over the £100 to St. Michael's: power is given to distrain on the College estates in case any of these penalties become due by neglect. St. Michael's House binds itself to William Tomlyn, clerk, the Master of the College or Hospital of St. John the Evangelist, under a penalty of £100, to expend the moneys received from St. Catharine's, viz. £100 and £4 and 35 marks, on such works of charity for Richard's soul, and his parents' and benefactors' souls, as are agreed upon by the Masters and Fellows of St. Michael's, Clare, and St. John the Evangelist's. These were, indeed, onerous conditions, and no doubt the College felt itself very safe against the contingency of having to pay £127 6s 8d. out of a gift of £100, besides paying up £3 of arrears.


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