Southrey, Simon (DNB00)

SOUTHREY or SOTHEREY, SIMON (fl. 1396), Benedictine monk, may have taken his name from Southrey, near Market Downham in Norfolk. A monk of St. Albans and a doctor of divinity of Oxford, he had become by 1389 prior of the Benedictine hostelry in that university. In 1389 Southrey successfully resisted Archbishop Courtenay's proposed visitation of the Oxford house (Walsingham, ii. 190). Three years later (May 1392) he took part in Courtenay's trial of the heretic Cistercian Henry Crump [q. v.] at Stamford (Fasciculi Zizaniorum, p. 357). Between the two dates he had been transferred from Oxford to be prior of the cell of St. Albans at Belvoir in Lincolnshire. In 1397 the new abbot of St. Albans, John de la Moot, recalled him at his own request to the abbey, where he was chosen prior. He still held this position in 1401 (Gesta Abbatum, iii. 425, 436, 479; Monasticon Anglicanum, iii. 287). A fellow-monk (perhaps Walsingham the historian) records that Southrey by his sermons converted many Wiclifites from the errors of their ways; also that ‘in arte versificandi præcipuus, in astrologia peritissimus, in poetria doctissimus inter cunctos regnicolas nostris temporibus habebatur’ (Amundesham, ii. 305). Bale credits him with treatises on the authority of the church, the sacrament of the altar, and against the followers of Wiclif. A Bodleian manuscript (Digby 98) preserves the first words (‘Anès, Steder, Denepker’) of an ‘Almanak Stellarum fixarum secundum Symonem Southray.’ He died on 28 Nov., but the year is unknown (Monasticon Anglicanum, iii. 287).

[Walsingham's Historia Anglicana, Fasciculi Zizaniorum, Gesta Abbatum S. Albani, and Registrum of Amundesham (all in the Rolls Ser.); Monasticon Anglicanum, ed. Caley, Ellis, and Bandinel; Bale's Scriptt. Maj. Brit. vi. 83; Pits, Illustr. Angliæ Scriptt. p. 538; Tanner's Bibl. Scriptt. Brit.-Hib.]

J. T-t.