John Arneway and other benefactors, Benefactors to St Werburgh's

John Arneway was just one of many medieval citizens who gave gifts to the abbey, in return for special privileges and commemorations.

Records show that many local people gave gifts to St Werburgh’s, especially in return for burial rights and prayers after death. John Arneway, mayor of Chester from 1268 to 1278, gave St Werburgh’s property in Northgate Street and Bridge Street and in return requests burial in the abbey. He also established a chantry chapel there at the altar of St Leonard, where prayers could be said for his soul, and the souls of his family, forever. In 1506 Ralph Davenport, alderman, requested burial in the abbey next to the burial place of his father-in-law John Southworth. He provided for white cloaks to be worn by nine paupers carrying torches at his funeral, for eleven candles (five larger and six smaller), and specified that one of the larger candles should be placed above his grave, with another at the shrine of St Werburgh. William Donald of Chester, who requested burial in the monastery church of St Werburgh in 1527, asked his executors to glaze one of the new windows in the cloister, in memory of himself and his wife.