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Abbots of Basingwerk

A list of the known abbots of Basingwerk.

Gilbert: appears as abbot from 1155 to c. 1180.

Matthew: occurs as abbot of Basingwerk in 1155.

Robert: appears as abbot in November 1192.

'W.': is named as abbot in June x July 1198.

Geoffrey: occurs in the early thirteenth century.

'A.': appears in the time of the justice, Philip Orreby, and Abbot Hugh of Chester (1208-26).

Simon: occurs as abbot in September 1226.

John: is mentioned as abbot in November 1245.

Hugh: is named as abbot of Basingwerk in January 1282 until 1286x87.

Robert: occurs as abbot of Basingwerk in August 1292.

Arnald de London: occurs in 1294.

William: occurs as abbot of the house in 1307, April 1316 and March 1317.

German: in 1330 he is described as the former abbot of Basingwerk, but as Smith and London explain it is not certain just how long before this he officiated.

Richard de Kokenfeld / Dokynfeld: occurs as abbot in June 1330 and on several occasions until January 1345. In May 1357 he is described as late abbot of Basingwerk.

Ralph: occurs as abbot in April and May 1362 and in 1378x79. [link:archive/65: :View details]

Richard: occurs as abbot of Basingwerk in 1362 and 1378x9 View details.

Richard de Acton: occurs in 1384 and 1385; he may be the same man as the previous abbot.

Henry: appears as abbot of Basingwerk in September 1394 and until October 1405. He may be the same as

Henry de Pontysbury: who occurs in 1413.

Richard Lee (Ley):he was involved in a tussle for the abbacy with Henry de Wyrehall (see below).

Henry (de) Wyrehall (Werall, Worall, Worrall, Wyrehale): Henry is named as abbot of Basingwerk in April 1430 and the following year was involved in a legal dispute for the abbacy with Richard Lee (above). Arbitration found in Lee's favour but Henry continued in office. In 1454 Henry was accused of treason and arrested.

Richard Kirkby (Kyrkeby): Richard was a monk of Aberconwy and had previously presided as abbot of Cymer. He too was involved in a dispute over the abbacy - with an Edmund Thornebar (see below). In 1466 the Cistercian commssioners found in Edmund's favour but the matter was not evidently resolved for Richard is named as abbot in February 1476.

Edmund Thornebar: In 1466 the General Chapter declared Edmund the rightful abbot of Basingwerk.

Thomas Pennant: occurs as abbot of Basingwerk from September 1481 and on various occasions until February 1523. Read more about Thomas

Nicholas: is named as abbot of Basingwerk in November 1515, Smith (Heads of Religious Houses III, p. 265) mentions that this is 'a puzzling entry' for it surely refers to Nicholas Pennant, son of Thomas (see below) yet falls within the time of Thomas's abbacy.

Nicholas Pennant (Pennaunte): ?-1536/7.
Nicholas was the son of Thomas Pennant (above). He is cited as abbot of Basingwerk in July 1528 and presided until the suppression of the house.

Sites associated with this person

Basingwerk Abbey, Flintshire

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. 126

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) pp. 259-60

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) pp. 264-5

Jones, Arthur, 'Basingwerk Abbey', in Historical Essays in Honour of James Tait, ed. J. G. Edwards, V. H. Galbraith and E. F. Jacob (Manchester, 1933), pp. 169-178

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

Archival sources

British Library, 'Dispute over abbacy; conventual seal attached', (Document), (View website)