Monastic Wales.








Event detail for site: Grace Dieu

1217: Preparation for foundation

John, lord of Monmouth, requested permission from the Cistercian General Chapter to found an abbey in SE Wales.

In response to John's petition the General Chaper instructed the abbot of Morimund to appoint delegates to assess the suitability of the site and its endowment.
In 1222 the Chapter sent the abbots of Bruern (Oxfordshire) and Bordesley (Worcestershire) to check how John’s preparations were progressing, and if a new community of twelve monks might be sent from Dore to commence monastic life. The English abbots did not however manage to carry out their investigation. They were duly reprimanded at the General Chapter of 1223 and instructed to complete their task by the next meeting. In 1225 they reported that John had not yet managed to build the abbey but was to complete this by the following year.

In April 1226 the founding community was sent from Dore to commence monastic life.

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Statuta Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis ab Anno 1116 ad Annum 1786, 8 vols, ed. Josef Canivez (Louvain, 1933-1941) vol. 1, 1217: 67 (p. 481)

Statuta Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis ab Anno 1116 ad Annum 1786, 8 vols, ed. Josef Canivez (Louvain, 1933-1941) vol. 2, 1222: 32 (p. 19), 1223: 21 (p. 27), 1225: 39 (p. 43)

Harrison, J., 'The troubled foundation of Grace Dieu Abbey', The Monmouthshire Antiquary, 14 (1998) pp. 25-26

Robinson, David M., The Cistercians in Wales: Architecture and Archaeology 1130-1540, Society of Antiquaries of London, Research Committee Report (London, 2006) p. 247


Other events in the history of this site

1217Preparation for foundation - John, lord of Monmouth, requested permission from the Cistercian General Chapter to found an abbey in SE Wales. [4 sources]
1226 (24 April)Foundation - Eventually a founding community was sent from Dore Abbey, Herefordshire. [5 sources]
1232Trouble - The abbot and his monk companion were held captive by Welshmen. [1 sources][1 archives]
1233Destruction - The house was razed to the ground.  [2 sources]
1235Grant - Henry III granted the monks twenty trees from the Forest of Dean to rebuild their house which had recently been destroyed. [2 sources]
1236Relocation - The community relocated from its original site (probably on west bank of the R. Trothy) to its present site [2 sources]
1240Grant - Henry III granted the community four oaks from Grosmont Forest to help with building work. [2 sources]
1253Grant - Henry III granted the community two oaks from Seinfremy Wood. [2 sources]
1276Proposed move - The community sought to relocate to escape troubles in the area. [2 sources]
c.1291Wealth - The house had an estimated net income of £18 5s 8d and some 729 ha arable under the plough. [4 sources]
1351Resignation - Abbot Hugh [or Roger?] of Chepstow sought to resign from office for he felt the burden of administering the monastery was too great.  [4 sources]
c.1356Patronage - Henry, duke of Lancaster and lord of Monmouth (d. 1361), granted the community the chantry chapel in Monmouth Castle. [2 sources]
1484Resignation - John Mitulton resigned from the abbacy on account of the persecution of his enemies. [2 sources]
1521Contributions to the General Chapter - The abbot of Neath collected a contribution of 3s 4d from Grace Dieu to send to the General Chapter. [1 sources]
c.1535Wealth - According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus the house had an income of only £19 4s 4d.  [3 sources][1 archives]
1536 Suppression - The abbey was dissolved on 3 September 1536, under the 1536 Act of Suppression. [3 sources]

 
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