Inquiry for enclosing a woman

Copy of a petition from the church at Shere, Surrey.

Letter from John, by divine permission Bishop of Winchester, to the officials of the Archdeacon of Surrey.

Christine, daughter of William called the Carpenter of Schire in our diocese, has besought us by her humble petition, that whereas, desiring not feignedly, but of truth to remove herself to the fulfilment of a better life, she wishes to vow herself solemnly to continence and perpetual chastity and to let herself be shut up in a narrow place in the parish church of Schire, that therein she may be enabled to serve Almighty God the more worthily, we should consider her worthy to be granted our favourable assent and consent.
We, observing the all too easy downfall of human frailty and that the Temptor, who is by this always gratified, is just as many times displeased by piety in our lives, and scarcely knowing the condition of the said Christine, and desiring to take care of the rights and indemnities of the Rector of the church of Schire and the parishioners there, and of any other persons who may be concerned in this matter; we commit and command you that, having first summoned to the said church of Schire, in person, the said Christine, the Rector and the parishioners there, and of any other persons who may be concerned in this matter; you shall apply yourself to seeking the truth diligently, as twhether the aforesaid Christine is of such good life and conversation that she is likely to make a success of this proposal for a more saintly life, and whether she is free or espoused to anyone or joined to marriage, and whether in the opinion of the Rector or the parishioners or of anyone else who may contribute in any way, the said Christine shall be enclosed in the manner and for the reasons aforesaid by trusty men, having full knowledge of the said Christine and of these things above mentioned, being formally sworn by law and examined one by one.
Given at Farnham, the 11th day of the Kalends of July in the year of our Lord 1329, and in the 7th year of our consecration