Malvern, Abbey of

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Former benedictine monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, in the county and Diocese of worcester, England. St. wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, inspired its foundation c. 1085 under Prior Aldwin. It became c. 1090 a dependency of westminster abbey under the benedictine rule and was known as Great Malvern priory. This connection with Westminster led to frequent disputes with the bishop of Worcester, until in 1283 Edward I ruled in favor of the priory's independence. Much fine building there was directed by Henry VII's architect, Sir Reginald Bray. Windows were filled with beautiful glass, some panels depicting the priory's history. In 1540, despite Bishop latimer's pleading, the priory was suppressed and pensions granted to the prior and ten monks. The church was bought by the townsmen for use as their parish church.

Bibliography: w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (London 165573); best ed. by j. caley et al., 6 v. (181730) 3:440454. The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, ed. j. w. b. willis-bund et al., 4 v. (Westminster, Eng. 190124) v. 2.

[f. r. johnston]