Thomas Goldwell (prior)

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Not to be confused with Thomas Goldwell, the last Catholic bishop of St Asaph.

Thomas Goldwell was the last prior of Christ Church Priory, Canterbury before it was dissolved in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in March 1540, entering office in 1517. During his term of office he corresponded with Thomas Cromwell about Elizabeth Barton, the "Maid of Kent".[1][2] In these letters, he reported that his then archbishop William Warham "gave much credence unto her words in such things as she knew and surmised to know, that she did show unto him".[3][4]

He and 69 of his monks signed the acknowledgement of the royal supremacy on 10 December 1534 and from then until its Dissolution he kept the house generally obedient to the will of the king and Cromwell. In summer 1537 he received the king and Jane Seymour at St Augustine's Abbey on their summer progress to Canterbury and Dover.[5] For his obedience to the Supremacy and for keeping his house obedient to the king, he was given a pension of £80 on 4 April 1539 along "with the office of one of the prebendaries [at the new Cathedral]"[6] after the monastery's surrender by its archbishop in March 1539.



  1. MS Cleopatra Eiv ff92r - 92v (L&P 6:1470). Quoted in Diane Watt, 'Reconstructing the Word', Renaissance Quarterly Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), page 149.
  2. E.H.Shagan, 'Print, Orality and Communications in the Maid of Kent Affair', The Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2001), 52: 21-33 Cambridge University Press
  3. EH Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation, page 70
  4. R.Voaden (ed.), Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval Europe
  5. Agnes Strickland, Lives of the Queens of England
  6. Notes section, p164-165, from Pilgrimages to Saint Mary of Walsingham and Saint Thomas of Canterbury, a translation of Erasmus's Perigrinatio religionis ergo, one of the Colloquia.