Dorchester, Abbey of
DORCHESTER, ABBEY OF
Former house of the canons regular of st. au gustine, Oxfordshire, England, lincoln Diocese, present-day Oxford Diocese. Its patrons were SS. Peter, Paul, and Birinus. The abbey was founded c. 1140 by Bishop Alexander of Lincoln, who replaced the secular canons left from the bishopric before the time of the Conquest, with 13 Augustinian canons, probably of the Arrouasian congregation, to which the monastery remained affiliated. Canons from Dorchester colonized Lilleshall monastery (1143–48). Dorchester claimed the bones of the 7th-century St. birinus. The large church was built mainly from the late 12th to the mid-14th century. Visitations after 1441 found an exceptionally disorderly community, numbering ten or 12. Its 1535 income was £190; the house was suppressed in 1536.
Bibliography: No known chartulary or chronicle. h. e. salter, ed., Chapters of the Augustinian Canons (Oxford 1922) 136,277. a. h. thompson, ed., Visitations in the Diocese of Lincoln … 1420–1449, 3 v. (Horncastle 1914–29); Visitations in the Diocese of Lincoln 1517–1531 3 v. (Hereford 1940–47). The Victoria History of the County of Oxford, ed. l. f. salzman et al. (London 1907–) v. 2, 8. e. h. cordeaux and d. h. merry, A Bibliography… Oxfordshire (Oxford 1955).