Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Grace Dieu

1351: Resignation

Abbot Hugh [or Roger?] of Chepstow sought to resign from office for he felt the burden of administering the monastery was too great.

At the visitation of the abbey in 1351, Hugh explained that he found the wrangling with the monastery’s ruthless neighbours overwhelming and wished to resign.
Having retired from the abbacy Hugh was well provided for and enjoyed a number of privileges on account of his former status as abbot. For example, he had his own private chambers at the abbey, he ate with the new abbot and, like him, was permitted to speak anywhere within the precinct. Hugh was also allowed to have at least one servant and an annual pension of £20.

NB There is some confusion over the name of the abbot and the date of his resignation; Harper-Bill ['Cistercian visitation in the late Middle Ages', p. 106] names the abbot as 'Hugh' and places his resignation in 1351, while David Smith [Heads of Religious Houses, III, p. 297] names him as Roger of Chepstow but also dates his resignation to 1351; Williams (White Monks in Gwent and the Border, p. 62) favours 1451 as the date of resignation.

People associated with this event

Abbots of Grace Dieu

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) p. 284

Harper-Bill, Christopher, 'Cistercian visitation in the late Middle Ages: the case of Hailes Abbey', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 53 (1980) p. 106

Kerr, Julie E., Life in the Medieval Cloister (Continuum: London and New York, 2009) pp. 190-191

Williams, David H., White Monks in Gwent and the Borders (Pontypool, 1976) p. 62

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]