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Samson, Abbot Of St Edmunds

SAMSON, ABBOT OF ST EDMUNDS (1135-1211), was educated in Paris and became a teacher in Norfolk, the county of his birth. In 1166 he entered the great Benedictine abbey of St Edmund's as a monk and was chosen abbot in February 1182. He was a careful and vigilant guardian of the property of the abbey, but he found time to attend royal councils and to take part in public business; also he was frequently entrusted with commissions from the pope. During the absence of Richard I. from England he acted with vigour against John and visited the king in his prison in Germany. He did some building at the abbey, where he died on the 30th of December 1211. Samson is famous for the encouragement which he gave to the town of Bury St Edmunds, the liberties of which he extended in spite of his own monks. His name is most familiar owing to the references to him in Carlyle's Past and Present.

See the chronicle of Jocelyn of Brakeloud in vol. i. of the Memorials of Si Edmund's Abbey, edited by T. Arnold (1890); and J. R. Green, Stray Studies (1892).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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