Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Valle Crucis

1535: Abbatial arrest

Abbot Robert Salisbury of Valle Crucis was arrested for his part in a highway robbery.

Henry VIII’s commissioners, John Vaughan and Adam Becansaw, found Abbot Robert Salisbury guilty of leading a band of highwaymen in Oxfordshire who had committed a number of robberies. The abbot was duly arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London; the administartion of the abbey was granted, temporarily, to the prior of the house. In September of that year (1535) the commissioners wrote to Cromwell explaining that it was their intention to deprive the abbot of office and proceed with the election of a new head. However they remarked that none of the six monks was capable of taking over, other than the prior, Robert Bromley, who did not wish to take up office given the extent of the abbey's debt and decay. The abbot of Cymmer, they claimed, 'would fain have it' and maintained that he would give Cromwell 20li and no more for the house.

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) p. 345

Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII, 1509-47, 23 in 38 vols, ed. J.S. Brewer, R.H. Brodie and J. Gairdner (London, 1862- 1932) vol. 9, p. 244

Evans, Derek Haydn, Valle Crucis Abbey (Cadw: rev. edn; Cardiff, 1995) p. 12

Pratt, D., The Dissolution of Valle Crucis, Dragon Local History Series, 1 (Bridge Books: rev. edn; Wrexham, 1997) p. 26

Price, G. Vernon, Valle Crucis Abbey (H. Evans: Liverpool, 1952) pp. 263-264

Robinson, David M., The Cistercians in Wales: Architecture and Archaeology 1130-1540, Society of Antiquaries of London, Research Committee Report (London, 2006) p. 290

Other events in the history of this site

1201Foundation -  [4 sources]
1225Dispute - The community engaged in a dispute with its neighbouring Cistercians at Strata Marcella. [1 sources]
1227Dispute - The community engaged in a dispute with its neighbouring Cistercians at Cwmhir. [1 sources]
1234Official reprimand - The General Chapter reprimanded the community for allowing women to enter the abbey precincts. [2 sources]
c.1236Destruction - The abbey was destroyed by fire. [1 sources]
1236Burial - The abbey's founder, Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, was buried in the church. [2 sources]
1236Confirmation - Madog's son, Gruffudd Maelor, confirmed all the gifts and liberties his father had granted to the abbey. [2 sources]
1269Burial - Gruffudd Maelor, the son of the founder, was buried at the house. [1 sources]
1274Allegiance - The abbot was one of those who wrote to the pope in support of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. [2 sources]
1276-1277 Destruction - The abbey suffered devastation during Edward I's Welsh wars. [1 sources]
1282, 11 December Loan - Llywellyn ap Gruffydd (the last) loaned the community £40 to 'expedite and sustain Abbot Madog' on abbey business. [2 sources]
1282-1283Destruction - The abbey again suffered devastation during Edward I's Welsh wars. [2 sources]
1282-1332Literary production - The Brut y Tywysogyon [Chronicle of the Princes] was compiled at Valle Crucis. [3 sources][1 archives]
1284Compensation - Edward I granted the community £160 by way of compensation for losses incurred during the warfare.  [2 sources]
c.1291Wealth - According to the Taxatio Ecclesiastica the community's lands and granges were valued at just £14 14s 89. [4 sources]
1295Royal visit - Edward I visited the abbey in July and made an offering at the High Altar. [2 sources]
c.1300Patronage - At this time the house was under the patronage of Richard, earl of Arundel. [1 sources]
1306Burial - Madog ap Gruffudd, the great-grandson of the founder, was buried before the High Altar. [2 sources]
1309Attendance of General Chapter - The abbot of Valle Crucis was present at the General Chapter. [3 sources]
1330-1344Building work - The gable top at the west front of the church records that this building was undertaken by Abbot Adam (1330-1344). [1 sources]
1409-post 1419Custody - Valle Crucis was at this time held in commendam by Robert of Lancaster, who from 1410 was bishop of St Asaph. [3 sources]
1450-c. 1527Revival - Abbots Siôn ap Rhisiart (c. 1455-61), Dafydd ab Ieuan (c. 1480-1503) and Siôn Llywd (c. 1503-1527) raised the monastery's profile. [1 sources]
pre 1493Corrodian - The Welsh bard, Guto'r Glyn, was at this time a corrodian of the abbey. [2 sources]
1528Numbers - At this time there were seven monks under Abbot Robert Salusbury, who was deposed in 1534. [2 sources]
1534Visitation - In February a visitation of Valle Crucis was conducted by Abbot Leyshon Thomas of Neath who accused Abbot Robert Salusbury / Salisbury (1528-35) of various crimes and excesses.  [5 sources]
1535Abbatial arrest - Abbot Robert Salisbury of Valle Crucis was arrested for his part in a highway robbery. [6 sources]
c.1535Wealth - According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus the abbey had a net annual income of £188 8s 0d. [4 sources]
1535Community life - There were at this time six monks living at the house. The two royal commissioners remarked on the general state of degeneration - and debt. [1 sources]
c.1537Dissolution - The abbey was dissolved at some time between November 1536 and January 1537. At this time the abbey was under the patronage of Henry Fitzroy, duke of Richmond and Somerset.
 [6 sources]