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Abbots of Neath

List of the known abbots of Neath.

Richard: 1130-45.
The founding abbot of Neath. According to the Annals of Margam Richard died in 1145, but an Abbot Richard of Neath is mentioned in a document of 1147x83. The most likely explanation for this discrepancy is that there were two Richards (see Heads of Religious Houses, I, p. 273).

Ralph: occurs as abbot in August 1250 and in 1169x75.

Walter: occurs as abbot 1169x79 and on various occasions until 1196 (or later).

Abraham: occurs as abbot in 1201.

Clement: ?-1218, when he died.
He was likely the Prior Clement mentioned in 1201.

Gervase: 1218-?
Gervase was previously prior of Neath.

Robert:
In 1245x53 Robert was excommunicated and there were instructions for his imprisonment. Read more

Adam of Carmarthen (Kaermerdyn): occurs as abbot in June 1266 and April 1289.

David: occurs as abbot in October 1322.

William: occurs as abbot in April 1336 and on various occasions until October 1341.

Thomas: occurs as abbot in June 1358 and is mentioned in November 1359.

John: occurs as abbot of Neath in December 1401 when he was ordained as a priest.

John Nicholle (Nicholl): occurs in a request to the archbishop of Canterbury c. 1390-1412 and in October 1415.

Lleisian (Leysan, Leysant, Leyson): occurs as abbot of Neath in May 1421 and April 1423.

John: occurs as abbot of the house in April 1422.

Thomas: occurs as abbot of Neath in May 1424 and 1426. He has been equated with Thomas Frankelen who was abbot of Margam from 1441.

John ap Houwel: occurs as abbot of Neath in November 1450.

Robert: named as abbot of Neath in June 1468.

Thomas: occurs as abbot of Neath in March 1485. He later presided as abbot of Margam.

John: is mentioned as abbot of Neath 1493x1500 when the abbey suffered destruction during warfare between the men of Carmarthenshire and the lordship of Glamorgan. He is perhaps to be identified with John ap Hywel (below).

John ap Hywel (Hoell): occurs as abbot of Neath in August 1503, November 1504 and May 1507.

Llyson Thomas (Leisan, Lesan, Leyshon, Leyson, Lleison, Llysan or Thomas Llyson): ?-1539.
He occurs as abbot of Neath in January 1510 and on various occasions until the suppression of the abbey in 1539.

Sites associated with this person

Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot

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) pp. 138, 272-3

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) p. 295

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) pp. 314-315

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

Archival sources

The National Archives, 'Acknowledgement of receipt of land by Neath Abbey; abbatial seal attached', (Document), (View website)


 
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