During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, surveys of the assets of monastic institutions were compiled. This one is for the small Benedictine nunnery known as Blackladies at Brewood, Staffordshire. One of the surveyors was Sir John Gifford, whose son Thomas bought the site from the crown after the nunnery's suppression. While England gradually moved toward Protestantism, the Giffords maintained their centuries-old Catholic beliefs and methods of worship. By the end of the sixteenth century, therefore, they found themselves portrayed as potential enemies of the state and were persecuted as recusants.
Catalogue reference: E 315/172 (date: 15 November 1538)