The will of a 16th century canon

At his appointment to a Canonry of Windsor in 1504, Robert Honiwood was Chancellor of Norwich. He subsequently became Archdeacon of Taunton (1509) and Prebendary of Lichfield (1512). He died in 1523. The fine brass monument to Robert Honiwood can be seen on the wall of the Rutland Chantry Chapel in St. George’s Chapel. Two account rolls that he compiled during his time as Canon Steward of Windsor still exist and are held in the Chapel Archives.

In his will, Honiwood is named “Robert Honywode, Archdeacon of Bath and Chanon of King’s College of Wynnessore”. The will continues thus:-
“My body to be buried in the Chapell where the Duchesse of Exeter lies buried in the College of Wynnessore by the awter [altar].  At my burying to Master Dean if he be present 6s 8d, to every pety canon [minor canon] present 2s. To every vicar and chantry prest 20d. To every clerk 12d. To every chorister 4d. so that the Dean and chanons and choristers and other ministers sing … masses of Requiem for my soule and all of those for whom I am bound to pray. As soon as possible after the day of sepulture, 1000 masses to be caused to be said … for  … all christian soules.  At the day of my burying £20 to be disposed among pour people, to every pour householder 20d and to every pour body 4d.” The subchanter of Windsor was to receive 6s 8d “for his diligence”. Each of Honiwood’s executors and servants, also the torchbearers at his burial were to receive a “blak gowne” and his servants and his chaplain were each to receive “the horse they were wont to ryde on”.  Master Orchard, Honiwood’s servant was granted, additionally, a feather bed.

To the Abbess of Burnham was willed 6s 8d and to every nun, 3s 4d to say prayers for the Canon’s soul.  The “Maister of Eton” was to receive 6s 8d; each chaplain, 20d and every clerk 12d to sing the prayers on the day of Honiwood’s burial.

The College of All Souls, Oxford, was bequeathed Honiwood’s house and land in the parish of Clewer.  His executors were to sell his house and land in “Estburnham” [East Burnham] and dispose of the proceeds for his soul, the residue being used for “charitable werkes of mercy and pitie”.

On a scroll issuing from the hand of the kneeling figure of Robert on his memorial tablet is written in Latin:  Virgo tuu’ natu’ p’ me p’cor ora beatu’ [O Virgin, I beseech you, pray to your blessed son for me].

Jill Hume, Archives volunteer

The Queen's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.