The Abbey of Newhouse, near Brockelsby, Lincoln, the first Premonstratensian abbey in England, was founded in 1143 by Peter de Gousel, with the consent of his lord, Hugh de Bayeux, and the approbation of Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, with a colony from Liegues Abbey near Calais, France, then under the rule of Abbot Henry. On their arrival in England the White Canons were hospitably received by William, Earl of Lincoln, who confirmed the donations made to Gelro, the first Abbot of Newhouse, by Peter de Gousel the founder, by Ralph de Halton, and Geoffrey do Tours. The abbey was built in honour of Our Lady and St. Martial, Bishop of Limoges. In time Newhouse became the parent house of eleven of the Premonstratensian houses in England. The seal of Newhouse represents an abbot at full length with his crozier and the inscription: Sigill. Conventus Sci Marcialis. Ep. Li. De Newhouse . Of this abbey which was granted (30 Henry VIII) to Charles, Duke of Suffolk, parts only of the old foundations still remain. The names of Twenty-six abbots are known, the last being Thomas Harpham, who was abbot from 1534 to the suppression of the abbey by Henry VIII. The following list gives in alphabetical order the names and dates of foundations of the Premonstratensian, or Norbertine, abbeys, made from the Abbey of Newhouse and existing in England at the time of the Reformation : Alnwick, Northumberland, this was the first foundation made from Newhouse (1147); Barlings, near Lincoln (1154); Bileigh, near Maldon, Essex (1180); Coverham, Yorkshire (originally established at Swainby, 1190); Croxton, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire (1163); Dale, Derbyshire (1162); St. Agatha's at Easby, near Richmond, Yorkshire (1152); Newbo, near Barrowby Lincolnshire (1198); Sulby, Northamptonshire (originally established at Welford (1155).
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online