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Thorney, Abbey of


Former benedictine monastery, earlier known as Ancarig, in the county of Cambridge, and the ancient Diocese of lincoln, England. It was founded c. 972 by et helwold of winchester with the patronage of King edgar the peaceful, on the site of a hermitage destroyed by the Danes. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and to St. botulph, whose shrine was there. Under the first abbot, Godeman, the abbey became a center of intense literary activity. Fulcard of Saint-Bertin wrote lives of the Old English saints, and developed a school of calligraphy. Abbot Gunther (10851112) began rebuilding the church and his work was continued in the 13th century by Abbot David. When the abbey was suppressed in 1539 under King henry viii, the abbot and 20 monks were pensioned. The nave of the abbey church became the parish church.

Bibliography: w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (London 165573) 2:593613. The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, ed. l. f. salzman (London 1938) 2:210217. d. knowles, The Monastic Order in England, 9431216 (2d ed. Cambridge, England 1962).

[f. r. johnston]

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