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William Thirsk
(Died 1537)

Abbot of Fountains
Died: 1537 at Tyburn, London


A native, probably, of Thirsk, William was educated at Oxford where he graduated BD in 1523. He was elected Abbot of Fountains Abbey in 1526, but does not appear to have been of the desired irreproachable character. He was accused, by the monks, of "theft and sacrilege, stealing and selling the valuables of the abbey and wasting the wood, cattle, etc of the estates," which charges are confirmed by the report of Layton, the ecclesiastical inquisitor, to Thomas Cromwell. He was deposed from the abbacy in 1537, amidst the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and later, joining the rebellion of Aske, was hanged for treason at Tyburn (London).

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

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