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Abbots of Tintern

A list of the known abbots of Tintern Abbey

William: occurs as abbot c. 1139; he died in 1148.

Henry: occurs as abbot in or before 1153 and resigned at some time between 1154 and 1161 to take up the abbacy at Waverley.
Robinson (Tintern Abbey, p. 12), gives his dates as 1148-57 and explains that Henry was a former robber who repented of his ways, took the Cistercian habit and was duly appointed abbot of Tintern where he was renowned for his profusion of tears at the altar.

William II: ?-1188.
He occurs as abbot of Tintern in or before 1169 but resigned from office in 1188.

Eudo: 1188-?
Eudo previously served as prior of Waverley and abbot of Kingswood (c. 1180-88) before he was elevated to the abbacy at Tintern.

Richard: occurs as abbot in 1218 where he is mentioned in the Fine Roll C 60/11, 3 Henry III membrane 11 item 20:

'Lincolnshire. Order to the sheriff of Lincolnshire to place in respite, until the king comes of age, the demand that he makes from Richard, abbot of Tintern for £100 and two palfreys for one boar. Witness the bishop of London. By Earl W. Marshal and the bishop of Winchester in the presence of the same and the Treasurer and W. Brewer'.


Ralph: ?-1245 when he was appointed abbot of Dunkeswell where he presided until 1252 when he became abbot of Waverley.
Ralph occurs as abbot in June 1234 and may have presided over Tintern from 1232 until 1245.

‘J’: occurs as abbot in October 1253.

There was an election at Tintern in 1259 following a vacancy.

John: ?-1277.
John occurs as abbot of Tintern in 1267 and on various occasions until 1276.
He was probably the unnamed abbot of Tintern who was deposed from office in 1277 for failing to attend the General Chapter, on account of infirmity.

Ralph: occurs as abbot in 128? and on various occasions until 1303x4.

Hugh de Wyke (le Wyke): 1305-1320
Hugh was appointed abbot in 1305 and presided over the community until his death in November 1320. Hugh died in London and was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Stratford Langthorne in the city.

Walter of Hereford: 1321-?
Walter had previously served as cellarer of the house and was elected to the abbacy in February 1331. He occurs as abbot until November 1331.

Roger de Camme (Kamme): occurs as abbot in December 1330 and on various occasions until November 1331.

Walter: occurs as abbot in January 1333.

Gilbert: occurs as abbot in July 1340 and from May 1340 to October 1341.

John: occurs as abbot in July 1349 until June 1375.

John Wysbech(e) (Westbych, Wisbech): 1387-1407.
Prior to his appointment to the abbacy at Tintern John served as abbot of Grace Dieu. He presided over Tintern from 1387 until 1407 although in 1390 he is described as former abbot of the house intrusor fuit.

John: occurs as abbot of Tintern in March and November 1411.

John Chernyllis, Cherville (Charefeld, Chernell): appointed papal chaplain in May 1413. He occurs as abbot of Tintern also in May 1415 and August 1421.

John Chapfeld: occurs as abbot in October 1437 and should perhaps be identified with John Chernyllis (above).

Robert Acton: occurs as abbot of Tintern in December 1438 and also in November 1440 and June 1441.

John Tynyern: occurs as abbot in June 1442 and October 1455.

Thomas Monmouth (Monmothe): 1456-?
Thomas had previously officialted as cellarer of Tintern. His election to the abbacy of the house was confirmed by the Cistercian General Chapter in 1456. He occurs as abbot of the house on several occasions from July 1456 until November 1459.

Thomas Colston: occurs as abbot of Tintern on a number of occasions from May 1460 until 1486.

William Ker (Kere): occurs as abbot in February 1488 and August 1492.

Harry Newland (Newlond): occurs as abbot of Tintern in 1493 and January 1506.

Thomas Morton: occurs as abbot of the house on various occasions in 1514.

Richard Wiche (Weche, Whyche, Wich, Wyche): ?-1536.
Richard occurs as abbot of Tintern on various occasions from 1521 until the dissolution of the house in September 1536. He was awarded a pension on 29 June 1536 and as former abbot of Tintern he was granted dispensation to hold a benefice, with complete change of habit, in November 1536. Following the Dissolution a case was brought against him, as former abbot of the house, for claimed annuities from the abbey.

Sites associated with this person

Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, I, 940-1216, ed. D. Knowles, C. Brooke and V. London (London, 1972; 2001) p. 145

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) pp. 316-317

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) p. 341

Robinson, David, Tintern Abbey, Welsh Historic Monuments (4th edn; Cardiff, 2002) pp. 12-15

Williams, David H., Welsh History through Seals (Cardiff Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru: Cardiff, 1982) p. 30

Archival sources

Canterbury Cathedral Archives, 'Abbatial seal, Tintern Abbey, attached to letter from Tintern (Ireland) to the Canterbury monks', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives and Kings College London, 'Fine Roll C 60/11, 3 Henry III', (Document), membrane 11 item 20 (View website)


 
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