Burton Abbots

There were 38 Abbots of Burton (although not to be caught out as with American Presidents, this includes one Abbot who served two non-consecutive terms making 37 different ones).

Abbot From Until Notes
Wulfgeat 1004 1027 Formerly of Winchester.
Brihtric I 1027 1050 Formerly of Winchester.
Leofric 1051 1066 Also Abbot of Peterborough (1052–1066), as well as Coventry, Crowland, and Thorney, he was the nephew of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.
Brihtric II 1067 1085 Formerly Abbot of Malmesbury, he was appointed by William the Conqueror soon after Abbot Leofric’s death in 1066.
Geoffrey de Mala Terra 1085 1094 Formerly of Winchester. Expelled for dissipating lands and goods of the abbey.
Niel (or Nigel) 1094 1114 Formerly of Winchester. Began building west end of church.
Geoffrey 1114 1150 Formerly of Winchester. Began building tower over choir. Wrote ‘Life of Saint Modwen’.
Robert I 1150 1159 Expelled for dissipating abbey lands but restored in 1176.
Bernard 1160 1174 Formerly Abbot of Cerne.
Robert I (Repeated!) 1176 1177 Restored but died within a year.
Roger Mal-Branche 1177 1182 Formerly prior of Great Malvern.
Richard 1182 1187 Formerly prior of Rochester.
Nicholas 1187 1197 Formerly prior of Abington. Founded burgage tenure; endowed chamberlain’s and kitchener’s departments.
William Melburne 1200 1213 Formerly of Reading. Endowed St Andrew’s chapel; received Royal Charter to establish the borough and began Horninglow Street.
Stephen de Lucy 1214 1214 Elected but resigned shortly afterwards.
Roger 1214 1216 Formerly prior of Winchester.
Nicholas de Wallingford 1216 1222 Formerly prior of Burton. Endowed almonry.
Richard de Insula 1222 1229 Formerly prior of Bury St Edmonds. Granted mills on Trent; established borough at Abbots Bromley. Returned to Bury St Edmonds to take up post of abbot.
Laurence de St Edward 1229 1260 Formerly kitchener of Burton abbey. Gave stone house next to the church to the poor; began building St Mary’s chapel. Summoned to King’s council in 1257.
John de Stafford 1260 1281 Formerly prior of Burton. Extended the borough; built Monk’s Bridge over the river Dove at Clay Mills.
Thomas de Packington 1281 1305 Formerly prior of Burton. Rebuilt chancel; enlarged borough.
John de Burton 1305 1316 Formerly prior of Burton. Built guest house between tower and sacristry; built Helle – house with paintings depicting heaven and hell.
William de Bromley 1316 1329 Formerly cellarer of Burton. Built a hall and infirmary annex.
Robert de Longdon 1329 1340 Formerly monk of Burton and Prior of Tutbury. Started the chapter-house.
Robert de Bryknell 1340 1347 Former prior of Burton. Completed chapter-house; built window over high alter and barn at Shobnall Grange.
John of Ibstock 1347 1366 Formerly almoner of Burton. Rebuilt north side of lower church.
Thomas of Southam 1366 1400 Formerly chaplain to abbot of Burton. Recast three bells in tower of the lower church.
John de Sudbury 1400 1424 Formerly sacrist of Burton. Pardoned in 1407 for violence and theft and found guilty of rape. Charged with mis-administration in 1422; found guilty of adultery; resigned amid financial crisis!
William Matthewe 1424 1430 Formerly almoner of Burton. Built abbey gates and constructed causeway.
Robert Ownesby 1430 1433 Formerly of St Albans – imposed by bishop for who he had been chaplain.
Ralph Henley 1433 1455 Formerly of Burton. Impoved abbey gates; suspended by bishop for mis-administration, absence, gambling and drunkeness.
William de Bronston 1455 1473 Formerly cellarer of Burton.
Thomas de Feld 1473 1493 Formerly of Burton. Repaired church after tower collapsed in 1474; built abbot’s chamber; built Guild Hall.
William Flegh 1493 1502 Formerly kitchener of Burton.
William Beyne 1502 1531 Formerly prior of Burton. Founded Burton Grammar School.
William Benson 1531 1533 Formerly of Peterborough. Friend of Thomas Cromwell. Became Abbot of Westminster.
John Beaton 1533 1534 Formerly prior of Burton.
William Edys 1534 1539 Formerly prior of Burton. Last abbot who surrendered the abbey as part of the dissolution by Henry VIII


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