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VMs: More about Abbot Bere / Beere...

Hi everyone,

Abbot Richard Bere also spelt his surname "Beere", so here are some more links. :-o

From Leland's account, it would seem we know exactly where Beere was buried: under a marble floor in the South Aisle of the Chapel of the Sepulcher (which he had built), in its South End Nave.

Taking the story at face value, if he was indeed our dead Catholic "bishop" (and he seems to fit the bill in many other respects), a grave robber would have had to open up the marble floor to get access to it. Heavy work - no wonder he was thirsty when he got to the pub! :-9

However, if this same tomb can be proved never to have been opened, we can probably rule him out as our deceased prelate. I'll have a look on Monday, see what I can see...

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

* * * * * * *

(1) http://www.isleofavalon.co.uk/history/h-abbywebb.html
Although Glastonbury was the largest, certainly the most magnificent, of all the monasteries of England, yet few abbots could refrain from an addition of their own to the vast complex of edifices over which they presided. In the 14th century the cloisters, dormitory and fratery were rebuilt and the Abbot's Kitchen constructed. Up to the verge of the final catastrophe the masons were busy. Abbot Beere built the Edgar Chapel at the extreme east end and Abbot Whiting was able to add some final touches before the hand of the destroyer came down to kill him and ruin Glaston forever.

Richard Beere, the last great builder, was elected on January 30th 1493. He was a great scholar and possessed the most distinguished gifts of any abbot since Dunstan. When King Henry VII visited the abbey on October 1st 1497, the princely abbot entertained him right royally. The king occupied the new chambers which Abbot Beere had built, and the apartments henceforth bore the name of the King's Lodgings. Abbot Beere died on 20th January 1524

(2) http://vrcoll.fa.pitt.edu/medart/image/England/glastonbury/Willis-Chapter3.html
No other works about the church are mentioned till we pass over more than a century, to Abbot Richard Beere. Leland's visit to this abbey was made, as he tells us, [17] in the time of Beere's successor, Richard Whyting, the last abbot, and he records his works in the following memoranda:

	*  Abbate Beere buildid Edgares Chapel at the Est End of the Chirch
	   but Abbate Whiting performed sum part of it.
	*  Bere Archid on bothe sides the Est part of the Church that began
	   to cast out.
	*  Bere made the Volte O the Steple in the Transepto and under 2
	   Arches like S. Andres Crosse els it had fallen.
	*  Bere made a rich Altare of Sylver and Gilt and set it afore the High
	*  Bere cumming from his Embassadrie out of Italie made a Chapelle
	   of our Lady de Loretta joining to the north side of the Body of the
	*  He made the Chapelle of the Sepulcher in the South End Navis Eccl.
	   whereby he is buried sub plano marmore yn the South Isle of the
	   Bodies of the Church." [18]

[17] Vide his account of the discovery of the MS. of Melkin in the library at Glastonbury, p. 16, above.

[18] Leland also found a lectern of his gift in the choir, "Lectura antiqui operis ex dono Richardi Bere, Abbatis Glaston."

(3) http://www.streetandwalton.co.uk/church/brue.php
The Proceedings for 1916 (Vol. lxii, 1-25) contain a valuable paper by the Dean of Wells on "Memories of Saint Dunstan in Somerset." It includes the text, with translation, of the early part of William of Malmesbury's section "Bundae duodecim hidarum" and of the much more detailed "Perambulation" of Abbot Richard Beere, both of them referring to the boundaries of the Hundred of Glaston XII hides as far as the Lake-house at Bradley.

(4) http://www.wringtonsomerset.org.uk/history/villagerecords/page6.html
Sources: Abbot Richard Beere's Terrier of Wrington, 1516 printed in the Chronicle John of Glastonbury, ed. T. Hearne, (1726) vol. 2

The Terrier is a detailed description of the Abbot of Glastonbury's property in Wrington, with special attention to his financial profits from it.

The Terrier opens with a description of the "fair manor house".

According to this, it contained "a large hall, spacious rooms on either side of the hall, storehouse, cellar, kitchen, storehouse and stable in the inner court-yard there: with high-built walls with ramparts on the eastern circumference and with deep water in the moat on the western circumference, which contains together with the lower courtyard and the garden, one acre."

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