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Whethamstede, John

WHETHAMSTEDE, JOHN (d. 1465), English abbot, was a son of Hugh Bostock, and was born at Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, owing his name, the Latin form of which is Frumenlarius, to this circumstance. In early life he entered St Albans Abbey and in 1420 he was chosen abbot of this house. In 1423 he attended a council at Pavia, but in England his time was mainly occupied with lawsuits, several of which he carried on to defend the property and enforce the rights of the abbey. In 1440 he resigned his post, but in 1451, on the death of his successor, John Stoke, he became abbot for the second time. He died on the 20th of January 1465, and his tomb may still be seen in the abbey church. Whethamstede was an energetic and successful abbot. He greatly improved the buildings at St Albans, which suffered somewhat during his later years owing to the wars of the roses; he also did some building at Gloucester College, Oxford, with which he was connected. He was a friend of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, whom he helped to gather together his famous collection of books, and was himself a writer, his works including Granarium de viris illustribus', Palearium po'etarum; and Super Valerium in Augustinum de Anchona.

Whethamstede's Chronicle, or the Registrum abbatiae Johannis Whethamstede, is a register compiled soon after the abbot's death, which tells the events of his second abbacy. It has been edited by H. T. Riley, and is in vol. i. of the Registra quorundam abbatum monasterii S. Albani (London, 1872). The events of his first abbacy are narrated in the Annales monasterii S. Albani of John Amundesham, also edited by H. T. Riley (London, 1870-1871).

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

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