Abbots of Evesham

Abbots of Evesham

The table below lists the various abbots, their dates and associated notable events, of Evesham Abbey:

Abbot / Event Dates Notes
Ecgwine / Egwin fl. 692–717 Third bishop of Worcester. Founder and first abbot of Evesham.
Æthelwold dates unclear The early Anglo-Saxon abbots maintained the original estates broadly intact.
Aldbore dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Aldbath dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Aldfefert dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Tildbrith dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Cutulf dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Aldmund fl. c.783/787 Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Crendan / Credanus / Credan / Creedan dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Tintferth / Thincferth / Thineforth / Tinthferith fl. c.803 Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Aldbald dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Ecbrith dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Elferd dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Wlfard fl. c.851, 857×868 Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Kinelm dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Kinath / Kinach dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Ebba dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Kinath II dates unclear Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Edwin / Edwinus date unclear to 946 Little is known of this abbot other than a name.
Secular canons 946 to 970 Secular canons installed by Alchelm, chieftain of the Wiccii. Following the death of Alchelm the abbey was occupied by various lay rulers.
Osward c.970 to 975 (expelled) Abbey church fell and rebuilt in the same style.
Secular canons 975 to c.978 Monks expelled and replaced with secular canons by Alferus (or Elfere), prince of Mercia. On his death bed, the contrite Alferus restored the lands to the monastery and installed an abbot.
Frithegar / Freodegarus / Feodegarus c.978 to c.993/996 The canons resisted the abbacy. Earl Godwine obtained the foundation for himself and his heirs. In c.983-93 Ethelred II made a contradictory grant to Bishop Athelsig (Agelsius / Agelsi) who subsequently lost this grant and was banished. In c.993-96 the king gave the abbey to Bishop Aethelstan (died c.995/6).
Adulf / AEldwulf c.995/6 The king gave the abbey to Adulf (Aeldwulf), then Bishop of Worcester.
Alfric / Africianus / Alfricus c.995/6 to c.997 Little is recorded of this abbot.
Alfgar / Alfgarus / Algar 997 x 1002 Presumed to have died only months after his appointment.
Brithnar / Britheneraus / Brithmar Unclear date to 1013 (died) He repossessed 40 hides of land from Godwin by repaying the sum paid for them.
Agelwinus / Athelwynus / Agelwy / Ethelwyn 1013 to 1014 (died) At his death the abbey lands were unilaterally seized by Godwin.
Aelfward / Alward / Ailfwardus / Alwoldus / Aylfward 1014 to 1044 Asserted Evesham’s independence from Worcester. He appointed Prior Aefic (Avikin or Ankin) as Rural Dean of the Vale of Evesham; and Aefic later became spiritual guide to Earl Leofric and Lady Godiva as well as a friend of Canute, King of Denmark. Died 27 July 1044.
Mannius / Mauricius / Wulmar / Wlmarus / Mannig / Mannie / Mannui 1044 to 1058 (resigned) Consecrated 10 August 1044. Monk of Evesham.  When he was stricken by paralysis, the estates were administered by a monk named Aethelwig (later abbot). Resigned in 1058 as disabled by paralysis. Died 5 January 1065.
Egelwin / Aethelwig / Egelwynus / Eluui / Aluuinus / Alwin 1058 to 1077 Consecrated 23 April 1058. The last Saxon abbot. Favoured counsellor to Edward the Confessor and later to King Harold. Increased abbey estates. Monks grew from 12 to c.36. Ordered the Northern Mission (1074) to restore monasteries of Durham, York and Whitby. Died 16 February 1077. He left five chests of silver for the building of a new church.
Walter May 1077 to 1086 Monk of Crisey (Cerasia). Appointed May 1077 by William the Conqueror. The first Norman abbot. Planted vineyard in Hampton. Died 20 January 1086. He seems to have agreed the whole abbey plan and built the east arm, crypt, crossing, and transept. Design was probably based on Lanfranc’s churches at Caen and Canterbury, with enhancements from St Augustine’s, Canterbury.
Robert I c.1086 to 1096 Monk of Jumiges (or Gimeges). Mission to Denmark to found monastery in Odense. There were 67 monks, 3 paupers at command, 5 nuns, 3 clerks and 65 servants. Died 9 September 1096.
Maurice / Mauritius c.1096 to c.1121 (died) Monk of Evesham.
Robert II c.1121 to 1130 Not listed in the Chronicon which records the abbacy as passing from Maurice to Reginald Foliot. Presumed to be an oversight during times of complex legal negotiations with the Holy See.
Reginald Foliot 1130 to 1149 (died or resigned) Monk from Gloucester. Presumed to have obtained from the Pope the right to use the mitre and other pontifical garments (gloves, ring, dalmatica, tunic, sandals).
William de Andeville (de Longa-Villa) 1149 to 1159 Prior of Dover. Attacked and razed the Beauchamp’s castle in Bengeworth. Died 4 January 1159.
Roger I 1159 to 1160 Monk of St Augustine’s, Canterbury. Died 4 January 1160.
Adam de Senlis 1161 to 1189 (died) Cluniac monk from Charit sur Loire and Prior of Bermondsey. Established independent jurisdiction of the abbey; being a mitred and parliamentary abbey.
Roger Norreys (Noreis / Norreis / Noricus) 1190 to 1213 (resigned) Previously Prior of Christ Church appointed abbot against conventual wish. Known as the ‘Bad Abbot of Evesham’. The ‘Case of Evesham’ (1204-6) established in the Roman curia the independence of Evesham from the bishopric of Worcester. On 22 November 1213 he was deposed and descended to be prior of the dependent cell at Penwortham, Lancashire.
Randulf / Randulfus / Randolph / Ralph / Randal 1214 to 1229 Consecrated 9 March 1214. Prior of Worcester. In 1215 established ‘The Institutes of Evesham Abbey’. Died 17 December 1229.
Thomas of Marlborough (Marlberg / Marleberge / Marleberg ) 1230 to 1236 Consecrated 12 July 1230. Monk of Evesham, then sacrist (1217) and prior (1218). Period of major rebuilding. Died 12 September 1236.
Richard le Gras (le Grais / Le Grai / Le Gros / Crassus) 1236 to 1242 Prior of Hurley (Berkshire). In 1239 church dedicated according to the Constitution of London with oleo sanctificantionis (odour of sanctity). Lord Chancellor of England in 1241. Died 9 December 1242.
Thomas of Gloucester (de Glovernia / Glocestria /de Glancer / de Gloucestria) 1243 to 1255 Monk of Evesham, possibly Prior of Penwortham. Buried in the middle of the church. Died 15 December 1255.
Henry of Worcester 1256 to 1263 Installed St Egwin’s Day, 1256. Previously Prior of Evesham. Buried in the body of the church. Died 13 November 1263.
Interregnum 13 November 1263 to September 1266 During this period was the Battle of Evesham (4 August 1265).
William of Whitechurch 1266 to 1282 Died 3 August 1282. Monk of Pershore. Previously Abbot of Alcester.
John of Brockhampton 1282 to 1316 Confirmed 1284. Previously cellarer at Evesham. Established rights of prior and convent to have custody during vacancies. Died 18 August 1316.
William de Chyryton (Chiriton / Shiriton / Cherington) 1316 to 1344 Elected 30 August 1316; confirmed 6 February 1317. Died 13 December 1344.
William du Boys 1345 to 1367 Elected 1 January 1345; confirmed 20 March 1345; installed 16 May 1345. Obtained leave from the Pope that new abbots, canonically elected, should ipso facto be confirmed, and then blessed in England by any bishop of their choosing. Buried in the nave. Died 6 June 1367.
John of Ombersley (Ombreslye) 1367 to 1379 Elected 4 July 1367; consecrated 18 July 1367; installed 1 August 1367. Died 30 October 1379. Buried in nave in front of the screen.
Roger Zatton (Yatton) 1379 to 1418 Elected 20 November 1379; installed 24 December 1379. Previously Sacrist of Evesham. In 1381 he successfully opposed rights of visitation claimed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rebuilt main span of the bridge; in 1405 arranged for paving of town. Died 24 November 1418
Richard de Bromsgrove (Bromsgrave) 1419 to 1435 Elected 6 December 1419; installed 25 December 1419. Previously Infirmarer of Evesham. Died 10 May 1435. Buried in St Mary’s chapel near the steps ascending to the altar.
John Wykewan (Wykwane) 1435 to 1460 Elected 21 December 1435. Previously Prior of Evesham. Buried in St Mary’s chapel before the image of St Catherine.
Richard Pembroke (Penbrok) 1460 to 1467 Elected 30 March 1460. In 1466 the monastery of Alcester was united and appropriated to Evesham. Died 7 May 1467.
Richard Hawkesbury (Haukysbury / Hauskysbery) 1467 to 1477 Installed 6 August 1467. Previously Prior of Evesham. Died 6 April 1477.
William Upton 1477 to 1483 Elected 6 April 1477; consecrated 6 May 1477; installed 10 May or June 1477. Monk of Evesham. Previously Prior of Alcester. Died 11 August 1483. Buried between the baptistery and the altar.
John Norton 1483 to 1491 Elected 4 September 1483. Previously Prior of the Cloister.  Died 2 July 1491. Buried in the nave before the steps of the altar of Jesus.
Thomas Newbold 1491 to 1514 Elected 18 July 1491; installed 10 September 1491. Previously Cellarer of Evesham. Amongst those who officiated at the funeral of Prince Arthur at Worcester. Died on 6 December 1514. Buried at head of his predecessor’s grave.
Clement Lichfield (Lychfeld  / Wich / Wych) 1514 to 1539 (resigned) Elected 28 December 1514. Monk of Evesham. Previously Prior of Evesham. Signed the Round Robin with six bishops and twenty one other abbots telling the Pope that Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon had to be granted. Resigned on or before 17 March 1538 [Old Style]. Died 9 October 1546 and buried in his chantry chapel in All Saints’ Church.
Philip Hawford (Ballard) 1539 to 1540 Monk of Evesham. Previously Cellarer of Evesham. With the reformer Hugh Latimer of Worcester, on 28 October 1538, broke the so-called Shrine of the Holy Blood at Hailes Abbey. Evesham Abbey was surrendered on 17 November 1539, and suppressed during Vespers on Friday 30 January 1540. Unsuccessfully petitioned Thomas Cromwell seeking the establishment of a college. Later rector of Elmley Lovett, then in 1553 Dean of Worcester. Died 30 July 1557. Buried in Worcester Cathedral.

The above dates and details are taken from David Kendrick, Evesham Abbey (Worcester: Privately published, 2010).

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