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Abbot of Glastonbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Abbot of Glastonbury was the head (or abbot) of Anglo-Saxon and eventually Benedictine house of Glastonbury Abbey at Glastonbury in Somerset, England.

The following is a list of abbots of Glastonbury:

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Name Dates Works Notes
St Benignus ?458–469 (reputed)
’Worgret’ c.601–?
’Lademund’ c.663–c.667
’Bregored’ c.667
Berhtwald c.667–676/7 Archbishop of Canterbury 693–731
Haemgils 676/7–701/2
Beorhtwald 701/2–709/10
Ealdberht 709/10–718/9 Church of SS Peter & Paul built by King Ine
Ecgfrith 718/19–?
Walhstod 729 (rejected by some sources)
Coengils ?–737
Tunberht 737–?
Tyccea 754–760
Guba 760–762
Wealdhun 762–794
Beaduwulf 794–800
Muca 802–824
Guthlac 824–851
Ealhmund 851–867
Hereferth 867–891 (now thought probably to come before Ealhmund)
Stithheard 891–922
Aldhun 922–?
St Dunstan 940–957+ Lengthened Ine's church and added a tower. Raised the level of the cemetery and constructed various monastic buildings. later Archbishop of Canterbury[1][2]
?Ælfric occurs after Dunstan in some lists[2] (probably spurious)[3]
Ælfstan occurs in some lists after Ælfric (probably spurious)[3]
Sigar c.970–975(?)[2] later Bishop of Wells 975–997[2]
Ælfweard c.975–1009[2][3]
Brihtred (Beorhtred) 1009–?[3]
Brihtwig (Brihtwine) c. 1017–1024[3] later Bishop of Wells[3]
Æthelweard (Aegelweard) c.1024–1053[2]
Æthelnoth 1053–1078[3] deposed by Lanfranc[2]
Thurstan c.1077–after 1096[2] Began a new church 1091. Translation of relics of St Benignus from Meare
Herluin 1100–1118[2] Rebuilt Thurstan's church on a grander scale
Seffrid Pelochin 1120/1–1125[2] Bishop of Chichester from 1125 to 1145
Henry of Blois 1126–1171[2] Built a bell tower, chapter house, cloister, lavatory, refectory, dormitory, infirmary, the 'castellum', an outer gate, a brewery and stables also Bishop of Winchester from 1129[1]
Robert of Winchester 1173–1180[2] Built a chamber and chapel previously Prior of Winchester[2]
Peter de Marcy 1186. New St Mary's Chapel consecrated. Work on Great Church begun. 1184 (25 May). Great Fire
Henry de Sully 1189–1193[2] supposed tomb of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere discovered in the cemetery c. 1190[1]
Later Bishop of Worcester 1193–1195[2]
Savaric FitzGeldewin 1193–1205[2] also Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury
(Master William Pica) (1198–1200) (elected 1198 but election quashed 1200)[2]
Jocelin of Wells 1206–1219[4] also Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury from 1206–1242
William of St Vigor 1219–1223[4]
Robert of Bath 1223–1235[4] Deposed 29 March 1235[4]
Michael of Amesbury 1235–c.1252[4] Carried work on the choir forward
Roger of Ford 1252–1261[4] died 2 October 1261, buried at Westminster[4]
Robert of Petherton 1261–1274[4] Built abbot's chamber died 31 March 1274[4]
John of Taunton 1274–1291[4] Choir completed; west end of nave and galilee built. King Arthur's remains transferred to new tomb 1278. died 7 October 1291[4]
John of Kent 1291–1303[4]
Geoffrey Fromond 1303–1322[4] Spent £1,000 on buildings: completed various parts of the Great Church
Walter of Taunton 1322–1323[4] Built pulpitum at west end of choir died 23 January 1323[4]
Adam of Sodbury 1323–1334[4] Completed vaulting of nave of Great Church; worked on great hall and built a new chapel on the Tor Concealed Hugh le Despenser and Robert Baldock, Lord Chancellor at the end of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer's Overthrow of Edward II in 1326[5]
John of Breynton 1334–1342[4] Completed abbot's great hall and worked on various other related buildings including prior's hall
Walter de Monington 1342–1375[4] Extended choir by 40 feet, adding 2 bays. Completed abbot's chapel and infirmary. King Arthur's tomb transferred 1368.
John Chinnock (John Chynnock) 1375–1420[4] 1382. Restored chapel and rededicated it to SS Michael & Joseph; rebuilt cloisters, erected or repaired the dormitory and fratry.
Nicholas Frome 1420–1456 Finished chapter house, rebuilt misericord house and great chamber; constructed bishop's quarters and a wall around abbey precincts. Probably responsible for the abbot's kitchen.
John Selwood 1456–1493 Built parish church of St John Baptist. Erected pilgrims' inn.
Richard Beere 1493–1524 Began Edgar Chapel; built crypt under Lady Chapel and dedicated it to St Joseph; built a chapel of the Holy Sepulchre at south end of nave; built the Loretto chapel; added vaulting under central tower and flying buttresses at east end of choir; built St Benignus' Church and rebuilt Tribunal
Richard Whiting 1525–1539 Completed Edgar Chapel Hanged on Glastonbury Tor, 15 November 1539.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Geoffrey Ashe (1973), King Arthur's Avalon, Fontana
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Knowles Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales, I 940-1216 pp. 50–52
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Knowles Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales I 940–1216 pp. 248–250
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Smith Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales, II 1217-1377 p. 46-47
  5. ^ Close Rolls 1224–1468.


  • Carley, James P. (1988). Glastonbury Abbey'. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Knowles, David; London, Vera C. M.; Brooke, Christopher (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales, 940-1216 (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80452-3.
  • Close Rolls. Westminster: Parliament of England. 1224–1468.
  • Smith, David M.; London, Vera C. M. (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales II. 1216–1377. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80271-7.
This page was last edited on 19 March 2019, at 19:07
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