Wallingford, William

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English Benedictine abbot; d. May 19, 1492. Possibly educated at Oxford, Wallingford became a Benedictine monk at saint albans Abbey where he was called officiarius generalis because of the many offices he held (144554). He served as prior and kitchener (146476) and finally became abbot (147692), being appointed visitor to the Benedictine houses of the diocese of Lincoln in 1480.

As early as 1454 Wallingford was accused of fraud in handling the abbey's money by Abbot John Whethamstede; Wallingford must have persisted in such questionable monetary practices during his term as abbot, because chancery proceedings were later brought against him at the King's Bench (1483) and by the prioress of Sopwell at the Court of arches (c. 1485). Wallingford failed in his efforts to secure from Rome episcopal exemption for his abbey (1487). In February 1490, however, he procured a papal bull commanding Abp. John Morton of Canterbury to protect existing abbatial privileges. In July of 1490, however, the archbishop warned Wallingford that if certain abuses were not eradicated (simony, usury, the selling of abbey goods, and consorting with nuns of Pres are specified), he would make an official visitation of the abbey. Morton was upheld by Pope innocent viii against the abbot's appeal, but whether the archbishop used his permission to visit is not known. Wallingford contributed a fine reredos to the abbey church and carried out various building projects at the abbey at an estimated expense of £8600. He is thought to be buried there.

Bibliography: Registra Johannis Whetharnstede et Witlelmi Walingforde, abbatum monasterii S. Albani, ed. h. t. riley, 2 v. (Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores 28; London 187273) 1:109124, 476479, and passim; 2:140291. d. wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae, 4 v. (London 1737) 3:630632. v. h. galbraith, The Abbey of St. Albans (Oxford 1911) 5561. 3374. The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, ed. w. page, 4 v. (Westminster, Eng. 190214) 2:495; 4:403408. d. d. knowles, "The Case of St. Albans Abbey in 1490," The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 3 (1952) 144158. a.b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A. D. 1500 (Oxford 195759) 3:196768.

[v. i. j. flint]