With regard to the land and the services due therefrom a beginning was made of the policy which culminated in the statutes of Mortmain and of Quia Emptores.
This was St Bernard's College, founded by Chicheley under licence in mortmain in 1437 for Cistercian monks, on the model of Gloucester Hall and Durham College for the southern and northern Benedictines.
His reforms in church matters made a great stir at the time, for he curbed the power of the clergy, suppressed some religious houses, reduced the mortmain and rejected papal interference.
This was the purely political feeling against the tyranny of the papacy, and the abuses of the national church, which in early ages had given supporters to William the Conqueror and Henry II., which had dictated the statutes of Mortmain and of Praemunire.
The Statute of Mortmain forbade any man to alienate land to the church without royal licence.
The council may borrow money for the erection of such buildings; they may acquire and hold land in mortmain by virtue of their charter, or with the consent of the Local Government Board.
Then he took the offensive himself, by persuading his parliament to pass the Statute of Mortmain (de religiosis).
The hitherto steady growth of clerical endowments began from this time, though licences in mortmain were by no means impossible to obtain.