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John Topcliffe
(Died c.1550)

Abbot of Whitby
Died: c.1550


John Topcliffe was a native of Topcliffe, near Thirsk, and sometime canon of Hexham Abbey. He often called John of Hexham. In 1527, he was raised to the Abbacy of Whitby, but only ten years later, King Henry VIII seized the revenues of the Abbot, under the pretext that he and his monks had encouraged the insurrection known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. He resigned his office into the hands of the chapter and became an ordinary monk, only to see his abbey finally dissolved under his successor, three years later.

Edited from Frederick Ross' "The Ruined Abbeys of Britain".

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