Talk:Edmund Grindal

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The belief that that Grindal was born at Hensingham cannot be supported by the evidence shown in the article published in the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society; "Archbishop Grindal's birthplace: Cross Hill, St Bees, Cumbria" By JOHN TODD AND MARY TODD, 1999 vol XCIX

The opening paragraphs set the scene;

"... the house wherein I was born, and the lands pertaining thereto, being a small matter, under twenty shillings rent, but well builded at the charges of my father and brother.

So wrote Edmund Grindal, on the point of promotion from bishop of London to archbishop of York, to Sir William Cecil, Secretary of State to Elizabeth 1, in 1570. But where was this house? Antiquarians have been undecided, but it is now possible to say that the house wherein Archbishop Grindal was born still stands on Cross Hill in the village of St Bees, otherwise known as 19 and 20 Finkle Street. As will be shown, Grindal's letter also enables us to give a date for its construction or rebuilding, namely between 1500 and 1520. ........................

Edmund Grindal's early biographer, Strype, believed that the Archbishop's birthplace was at Hensingham, which was formerly within the parish of St Bees. Local tradition puts it either at the former farm known as Chapel House, or at Overend Farm, where stones with the initials W. G. and W. R. G. were thought to refer to William Grindal, Edmund's father. In the last century William Jackson doubted Strype's opinion. Professor Patrick Collinson, Grindal's modern biographer, shared those doubts. New evidence from the building on Cross Hill, and from the court book of the manor of St Bees, shows that the doubts were well founded."

Later it is stated.....

"Thanks to the records of the governors' manor court, which show changes of leaseholders and sales from one to another, it is possible to piece together the subsequent history of "Grindal's tenement", or Cross Hill as it came to be known, up to the present day, so proving that this was indeed the house in which the future archbishop was born."

It is therefore proposed that the reference to Hensingham be omitted, unless evidence can be shown otherwise, in the light of the article cited above.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougsim (talk • contribs) 19:22, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

It would perhaps be well to incorporate all the evidence as it stands, something like this: “ Local tradition holds that Grindal was born in the village of St. Bees, either at the former farm known as Chapel House, or at Overend Farm, where stones with the initials W. G. and W. R. G. were thought to refer to William Grindal, Edmund's father. Grindal himself later gave a description of his birth place in a letter to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, which corresponds to Cross Hill.[Insert Todd reference here] However, John Strype, Grindal's first biographer, had it on the authority of "a very inquisitive learned gentleman" named Ralph Thoresby of Leeds that Grindal had been born in Hensingham, a separate village within the same parish.[Strype. p. 2.] The evidence, and Grindal's other biographers, casts doubt on this claim.[Todd reference] ”

--Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 19:59, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Such a composite approach would enable an explanation of the change from Hensingham, which appears in so many accounts over such a long time. However, the documentary evidence of Grindal's letter, and the tying in of Cross Hill House to the Grindals is a solid case, so such an approach would have to end with the firm assertion that the latest evidence says it is Cross Hill House, rather than just "casting doubt" - which is woolly. In terms of supportability, the Todd paper shows a definite trail, and is the kind of robust research that should be respected and used, rather than retailed hearsay. It certainly passes the Wikipedia Citation test. Something like "on the evidence now available, Cross Hill House in St Bees is regarded as the Birthplace." I would accept reference to Strype only for getting the historiography right. I would like more evidence or citation for the assertion that he moved to St. Bees when three months old. Where is this described? Dougsim

I see that Collinson's Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Grindal now directly mentions the research on the birth place. The change regarding Grindal moving when three months old was added two years ago by User:Wassock, with no references given, so that can be removed. I have to be somewhat "woolly" with the wording since I can't say for sure whether the Todds' article presents a good case, having not read it. By all means, cite the article and make it clear that the Hensingham reference has been debunked by the evidence. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 22:42, 6 September 2009 (UTC) I have changed the entry and added the Todd's article reference. Also an explanation of how this recent scholarship has changed the birthplace to a certainty at Cross Hill.

dougsim —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougsim (talk • contribs) 19:11, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougsim (talkcontribs) 21:30, 13 September 2009 (UTC)