Monastic Wales.

Display person:

Abbots of Strata Florida

A list of the known abbots of Strata Florida.

Enoc: monk of Vaucelles and possibly monk of Whitland; founding abbot, 1164.

David: ? - 1185, when he died.

Seisillus: occurs as abbot in 1188.

Deniawal: occurs as abbot c. 1201.

Cadwgan of Llandyfai: ? c. 1202.
A monk of Strata Florida, it seems that Cadwgan served as abbot the house briefly before he was elevated to the abbacy at Whitland, c. November / December 1202.

Unnamed abbot:
Both the Melrose Chronicle and the Statutes of the General Chapter mention but do not name an abbot of Strata Florida who was deposed in September 1217.

Cedifor: ?-1225, when he died.

‘P.’: occurs as abbot in 1226 and 1227.

Gruffud: occurs as abbot of the house in 1248.

Joab: ?-1268, when he died.

Philip Coch (Goch): ?-1280; he occurs as abbot in 1278.
Philip, who was the thirteenth abbot of the house, died in 1280.

Anian Sais: occurs as abbot in 1280 and on various occasions until August 1294.
He is perhaps the Anian who officiated as archdeacon of Anglesey and subsequently as bishop of Bangor (1309-28).

‘J’: occurs as abbot in Februsry 1299.

Meredith (Maredudd) Bool: occurs as abbot of Strata Florida in October 1336.
He was excommunicated on 1 October 1338.

Llewelyn Vaughan (Vichan): 1344-?
A monk of Strata Florida, Llewelyn’s election to the abbacy involved him in a dispute with a rival claimant, Clement ap Richart (Richard, Rycard), who, it was alleged, had taken away the goods of the house [Read more.]. The case was brought to the attention of the papacy and the bishop of Hereford duly appointed delegates to hear the case in June 1345 and April 1346. The case was decided in Llewelyn’s favour. He subsequently occurs as abbot of Strata Florida in 1377 and 1380. The poet, Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hen (1330-70) wrote a congratulatory poem to Abbot Lleywelyn following his recovery from a serious illness:

[Clement ap Richard (Richard, Rycard):] he disputed the election of Llewelyn Vaughan (above) and took possession of the house but was ejected by Vaughan. Following several investigations the case was decided in Vaughan’s favour.

Richard ap Griffith: appears as abbot of the house in September 1407.

Reso (?Rhys): appears as abbot of Strata Florida in April 1416.

John: occurs as abbot in c. 1428.

Rhys: is mentioned as abbot in February 1433 and is perhaps to be identified as Abbot Richard (below). Rhys was patron of the bard, Guto'r Glyn, who dedicated at least five poems to him.

Richard: appears as abbot in May 1435 but in a document of March 1422 is described as late abbot of the house. In 18 Henry VI (1439x40) Richard was imprisoned in Carmarthen Castle by royal officials on account of his debts; he died in prison. Richard is perhaps to be identified with Abbot Rhys (above).

William: he appears as abbot of Strata Florida in November 1441 and is seemingly to be identified with Abbot William Morris who was defamed by the abbot of Cymer who duly took control of the abbacy; and Morris was forced to resign. View details.

Morgan: he should probably be identified with Morgan ap Rees, a monk of Strata Florida who in 1446 received papal dispensation on account of his illegitimacy. Morgan appears as abbot in February 1458 and November 1486.

William Marlow: appears as abbot of Strata Florida in June 1487 and should perhaps be identified with Brother William Marlow who is mentioned in a document of March 1487 which reveals that he was imprisoned by the Abbot of Stratford on account of the dispute between Cîteaux and Clairvaux.

David: he should perhaps be identified with David ap Owain who may have been abbot c. 1497; but this is rather uncertain.

John: appears as abbot in January 1501.

Richard Talley (Tallei): occurs as abbot in January 1508 and should perhaps be identified with Richard Talley (see below).

Richard Dorston: his abbatial seal survives in a deed dated January 1512; the counterseal reads ‘R. Dorston’. But Smith (Heads of Religious Houses, 3, p. 335), explains that the evidence is problematic as Richard Talley’s name appears in a copy of a deed of 1508 (see above) and again in 1530. Smith suggests that Dorston may have been an alternative name for Talley.

Richard: occurs from February 1509 and o various occasions until January 1529.

Richard Talley (Tallai): appears as abbot in December 1530 and until the suppression of the house in February 1539. Smith (Heads of Religious Houses, 3, p. 336) points out that a letter from the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield to Cromwell in October 1534 suggests there was at this time a dispute over the abbacy.

Sites associated with this person

Strata Florida Abbey, Ceredigion

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, I, 940-1216, ed. D. Knowles, C. Brooke and V. London (London, 1972; 2001) p. 143

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, II, 1216-1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. London (CUP: Cambridge, 2001) pp. 312-313

The Heads of Religious Houses in England and Wales, III, 1377-1540, ed. David M. Smith (CUP: Cambridge, 2008) pp. 334-6

Benoît-Michel Tock, 'Les fondations anglaise et galloise de l’abbaye de Vaucelles', Revue du Nord 93 (2011), p. 795–814

Rees, E. A., A Life of Guto'r Glyn (Talybont, Ceredigion, 2008) pp. 35-42