Henry, Prior of Wenlock

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Henry, Prior of Wenlock Warden of the Isles

Henry was one of the men given responsibility for the Channel Islands during the absence of Lord of the Isles Otto de Grandison. He is mentioned as Otto's lieutenant on 16 September 1299, having been an itinerant justice at the Assizes earlier in the year.

Nominated prior

He was Henry de Bonvillars, nominated as Prior of Wenlock Abbey in 1285. He was a fellow-countryman of Edward I's friend and servant, Otto de Grandsion, and was frequently employed on public business during the 35 years that he governed the priory.

He acted as one of the visitors of the English province of Cluny on at least four occasions between 1291 and 1301. Either he or his friends at court were able to save Wenlock from the disabilities of alien status in 1294, when its lands were restored immediately. The monks were not moved from their priory, though it was within three miles of the navigable river Severn, and Otto's brother, William de Grandison, testified that the prior was not of the power of the king of France, having been born near Grandison on Lake Neuchatel. Restrictions were imposed on sending money abroad to the mother-house, but Wenlock enjoyed its last period of relative prosperity under Prior Henry and his successor, Guichard de Charlieu.

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