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Walter de Wenlok

Walter de Wenlok was Abbot of Westminster from 31st December 1283 until his death on 25th December 1307. During his time a great fire destroyed some of the monastic buildings and he delivered the heart of Henry III to the Abbey of Fontevraud by order of the king. He was Treasurer of England but fell from favour in 1303 after the robbery of the royal treasure which had been placed in the monastic treasury during Edward I's absence in Scotland. He and many monks were sent to the Tower of London for a while on suspicion but not charged as the real thief was apprehended.

His father was Philip de Wenlok apothecary of Wenlok in Shropshire, and his mother was Agnes. He had a sister Edith and several nephews and a niece. Just before his death the Sedilia, or seats for the priests, had been completed to the south side of the High Altar and he was buried beneath the Cosmati pavement in front of it. A small head of an abbot on the Sedilia canopy may represent him.

Further reading

"Walter de Wenlok, abbot of Westminster " by E.H. Pearce, 1920

"Documents illustrating the rule of Walter de Wenlok" edited by Barbara Harvey, 1965

Died

25th December 1307

Occupation

Abbot; priest/minister

Location

Sacrarium

Memorial Type

Grave

Walter de Wenlok
Sedilia corbel head, possibly Walter de Wenlok

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.

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The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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