Thomas of Marlborough

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Thomas of Marlborough
Abbot of Evesham
Elected 1229
Installed 29 September 1230
Term ended 13 July 1236 (resigned)
Predecessor Mannig
Successor Walter
Personal details
Birth name Thomas
Died 12 September 1236
Nationality English

Thomas of Marlborough (died 1236) (sometimes Thomas de Marleberge) [1] was a medieval English monk and writer. He became abbot of Evesham Abbey in 1230.

The Abbot of Evesham was the head of Evesham Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Worcestershire founded in the Anglo-Saxon era of English history. The succession continued until dissolution of the monastery in 1540:

Evesham Abbey abbey at Evesham in Worcestershire, England

Evesham Abbey was founded by Saint Egwin at Evesham in Worcestershire, England between 700 and 710 AD following an alleged vision of the Virgin Mary by a swineherd by the name of Eof.



Thomas studied civil and canon law at Paris where he studied under Stephen Langton, later Archbishop of Canterbury. He made friends with Richard Poore, later Bishop of Chichester, Salisbury and Durham, while a student. After finishing his studies, Thomas taught at Oxford University before becoming a monk around 1199 at Evesham. [2] While at Oxford, he also studied with John of Tynemouth, a canon lawyer and later Archdeacon of Oxford. [3]

Stephen Langton 13th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, theologian, and cardinal

Stephen Langton was an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Canterbury between 1207 and his death in 1228. The dispute between King John of England and Pope Innocent III over his election was a major factor to the crisis which produced Magna Carta in 1215. Cardinal Langton is also credited with having divided the Bible into the standard modern arrangement of chapters used today.

Archbishop of Canterbury senior bishop of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.

Richard Poore 13th-century Bishop of Chichester, Bishop of Durham, and Bishop of Salsbury

Richard Poore or Poor was a medieval English clergyman best known for his role in the establishment of modern Salisbury and its cathedral at their present location, away from the fortress at Old Sarum.

Thomas was the author of a history of the abbots and abbey of Evesham, entitled the Chronicon Abbatiae de Evesham , or Chronicle of the Abbey of Evesham. Thomas' main purpose in writing the Chronicon was to show that Evesham was exempt from the supervision of the Bishops of Worcester. In writing his work, Thomas incorporated an earlier work on the history of the abbey. [4] This earlier work was probably composed by Dominic of Evesham, a monk at Evesham around 1125. [5] Most of the evidence for Thomas' incorporation of an earlier work is stylistic, but it appears likely that Thomas reworked it in order to strengthen his argument. [4]

The Chronicon Abbatiae de Evesham or Chronicle of the Abbey of Evesham, sometimes the Evesham Chronicle, is a medieval chronicle written at and about Evesham Abbey in England.

Bishop of Worcester Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Worcester is the head of the Church of England Diocese of Worcester in the Province of Canterbury, England.

Dominic of Evesham 12th-century monk, Prior of Evesham Abbey, and writer

Dominic of Evesham was a medieval prior of Evesham Abbey in England and historical chronicler.

Thomas needed evidence to help Evesham's legal case due to the conflict between the abbey and Mauger, the Bishop of Worcester, which began when Mauger attempted to visit and inspect the abbey in 1201. [6] Thomas was one of the leading defenders of the rights of the abbey, [2] in what was to turn into a long drawn out legal case before the king and then the papacy. Although it was suspended with the exile of Mauger during the Interdict on England in King John's reign, it was later revived, and finally decided in 1248. However, the case against the bishop became entangled with a dispute within the abbey between the monks and the abbot Roger Norreis over the payment of the costs of the legal fight with Mauger, which eventually resulted in the expulsion of Norreis in 1213. [7]

Mauger was a medieval Bishop of Worcester.

Roger Norreis was Abbot of Evesham in England. He was a controversial figure, installed in several offices against opposition. In his appointment to Evesham he was accused of immoral behaviour and failing to follow monastic rules. In 1202 Norreis became embroiled in a dispute with his monks and his episcopal superior the Bishop of Worcester; litigation and argumentation lasted until his deposition in 1213. He then was appointed prior of a subsidiary monastic house of Evesham but was deposed within months, then re-appointed to the office five years later.

Thomas was previously the prior of Evesham before being elected by the monks in 1229. However, his election was not considered valid until he was admitted to the office by the pope, which occurred before he was blessed in the office around 11 July 1230. He was enthroned as abbot on 29 September 1230. [8]

Prior Ecclesiastical title

Prior, derived from the Latin for "earlier, first", is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior.

After Thomas had petitioned the papacy for permission to resign the abbacy on the grounds of old age and physical disability, the pope gave permission to the Bishop of Coventry to allow his resignation on 13 July 1236. Thomas died on 12 September 1236. [8]

Bishop of Coventry diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Coventry is the Ordinary of the England Diocese of Coventry in the Province of Canterbury. In the Middle Ages, the Bishop of Coventry was a title used by the bishops known today as the Bishop of Lichfield.


  1. Knowles Monastic Order p. 333
  2. 1 2 Knowles Monastic Order p. 335
  3. Boyle "Beginnings of Legal Studies" Viator pp. 110-111
  4. 1 2 Gransden Historical Writing pp. 111–112
  5. Knowles Monastic Order pp. 704–705
  6. Gransden Historical Writing p. 519
  7. Knowles Monastic Order pp. 335–342
  8. 1 2 Knowles, et al. Heads of Religious Houses p. 41

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Randulf of Evesham
Abbot of Evesham
Succeeded by
Richard le Gras