Talk:Bermondsey Abbey

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Founded in 1082 or 1089?[edit]

Founded in 1082 or 1089?

The information is confusing. Clearly a church existed at the earlier date, 1082, and this was settled by the Cluniacs and hence referred to in Domesday as "the new ... church" ie 1086. Rufus' connection is in regard to major land grants. I am of the view that not all landed granted by the king was his directly, but held in reversionary title, and gifts to the church would be in mortmain so extinguishing his title. Therefore, the king's consent would be required to give the land to the church. (talk) 13:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

Nortonius' edits in early May 2008 make the whole article much better and help clarify the early foundation issue. However, I would suggest returning the reference to the Ailwyn/ Aylwin dynasty and the City of London. (talk) 13:06, 14 May 2008 (UTC) (Tony S)

Thanks for the compliments! I think I see what you mean about "returning the reference to the Ailwyn/ Aylwin dynasty and the City of London" - sorry if I've removed something, I thought I was being careful not to, but could you be specific about what it is? I think the reference you're referring to as removed is in this passage, e.g. in an edit by, of 22 April 2008:

The church may have been the original gift of one Aylwin 'Cild' an Englishman who also gave properties in London to support the St Charite house at Cluny, in or before 1082

The thing is, I wonder if this information isn't covered by the present passage:

Alwinus Child's only recorded gift to the new monastery was 'various rents in the city of London', and these may be represented in Domesday Book by mention of 13 burgesses there paying 44d (£0.18) annually to the estate at Bermondsey.

Also by the citation after the first occurrence of "Alwinus Child" in the article, in which the significance of his name is explained; by the paragraph mentioning the "arrival in 1089 of four monks from St. Mary's of La Charité-sur-Loire"; and by the discussion of the name Alwinus in the reference given at the end of the sentence mentioning his "only recorded gift". That was my intention (and note the lower case "c" I've used in "city": I'm sure it's reasonable to distinguish the city referenced here from the modern "City of London", as it's all there was of London in 1086). But if the earlier version of this passage was actually referring to some other piece of information, then I'd say sorry, that wasn't clear (e.g. your mention of a "dynasty"), and certainly my edit has lost sight of it - I'd be delighted if that were so, and if it were to be put back, with citations! Cheers. Nortonius (talk) 14:15, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Nortonius - yes, the point of the 'city' dynasty is that Henry Fitz Aylwin, first 'mayor' of London and his descendants were a mercantile dynasty in the city, they were Aldermen for generations and the name and rank (Cild denotes high status ie 'Junior' to another important 'senior' of the same name) of our founder Alwin is just too much of a coincidence. Henry's daughter in law certainly had a monument in the Abbey and Henry owned property in Southwark. '13 burgages/ burgesses' is now and certainly was then a significant property in the city. Although the city was not a commune or corporation there were collective rights which is what William I's charter clearly demonstrates and these were held by the magnates like Cild who became the later Aldermen, who were not elected representatives but mercantile grandees. So could you put something back in like that? Balliol1980 (talk) 08:28, 16 September 2008 (UTC) Tony S

Hello, sorry I've been so slow coming back on this, but I've just about given up editing - though it's been a very slow discussion anyway, beginning back in April! I see what you're getting at, and I was unaware of this mayor and dynasty that you mention (my angle is Anglo-Saxon England), but do you have any more information, or better still is there anything in print about this, that can be cited? The thing is, though I do see what you're getting at, as things stand I would be very wary of giving the name this significance beyond simply mentioning it as a possibility, and I think it's the sort of thing that ought to be supported with a citation. Forgive me if you're already aware of what follows, and apologies for going on a bit, but I'm only sharing my thoughts with you.
"Alwinus" is almost certainly a corruption of an Old English name, most likely either Ælfwine or Æthelwine; the same would be true of the form "Ailwin/Aylwin", for which I would say an origin in "Æthelwine" is more likely. So far so good, but, either way, these names are pretty common, so one would have to begin by assuming that there was no connection until the likelihood of one becomes strong from other evidence. You can check the frequency of these names for yourself here (click on the button "Æ" near the top): though that resource covers the whole of the Anglo-Saxon period, 53 Ælfwines and 39 Æthelwines are listed, and these are just the ones we know about.
The fact that Alwinus Child and Henry Fitz Ailwin clearly were both important figures in London does make the possibility of a connection intriguing; but Alwinus Child is said by the "Annales" to have died in 1094, so he couldn't have been Henry's father. (I'm assuming you know, by the way, that "fitz" signifies "son of", as it's rather the point!) Was there another Alwinus/Ailwin in between? Or more than one? Or was Henry himself the son of a "Fitz Ailwin"? Was "Fitz Ailwin" even being used as a family name at that time, rather than just as a descriptor? Can we know? Already it seems tantalisingly tenuous. Also, as I recall, "cild" isn't necessarily the same as modern "junior", and I'm not sure it necessarily implies status (although Alwinus Child's status in London is obvious) - I think all we can confidently say about it is that it means "the Young". I don't think I'm aware of an example where it clearly was used to distinguish between a father and son of the same name (though you might be able to find one), without which it could equally have been used to distinguish between unrelated individuals who happened to share the same name, and moved in the same circles - remembering that we are talking about a period before surnames became the norm. This brings us back to the problem that Ælfwine and Æthelwine are names that occur with some frequency, in that this use of "cild" might of itself suggest that in fact there was more than one high status Alwinus around in London at about the right time. Incidentally, I've used the spelling "Child" in the article because that's how it appears in the "Annales" - so "Alwinus Child" is a quotation, rather than a transliteration.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm very much not trying to claim that a connection is unlikely, let alone impossible - just that, without direct evidence, I think it is problematical. Forgive me if I seem to be playing devil's advocate, but against "just too much of coincidence", I would suggest that, "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is". On their own, a single monument in the abbey for a daughter-in-law, and ownership of land in Southwark, could easily be coincidences, plain and simple: I take it this monument is the only definite, recorded connection between the abbey and Henry's family that you know of? Another useful source might be a list of benefactors, and the "Annales" are full of this sort of information: though I did have a pretty thorough read of them when working on the article, I wasn't struck by the appearance of lots of Fitz Ailwins among the benefactors, but then I wasn't looking for them, obvious though it seems now that you've explained the idea. It might be worth another look. Or, is there a calendar recording obits of people connected with the abbey? If so, there might be some Fitz Ailwins there. Armed with that sort of information, I think there'd be a stronger case for a connection. But for all I know you or someone else might have covered all the possibilities.
So, I don't see why there shouldn't be mention of this issue in the article, I just think it would have to be made clear that it is only a possibility - unless there's any other information that you haven't mentioned? On the other hand, wouldn't any detailed discussion really belong in Henry's article rather than here? Anyway, as I've all but given up editing, I really am just sharing my thoughts with you, in a collaborative spirit - having noticed your further comment, I would've felt it was rude of me not to say something. I'll try to check back to see if you respond. Cheers. Nortonius (talk) 05:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Archeological reports[edit]

In the Archeological / Reports section towards the end, the text currently says: "The report for the current dig is not online as of March 2006 but should be published here."

I can't see which of the multiple reports on the linked page is most relevant here. There is a general summary of work done in Bermondsey Square that might be relevant:

Anyone know if any particular report was intended as the link?

Dcorney (talk) 11:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Eleanor of Aquitane and the birth of Henry the Young King at Bermondsey Abbey?[edit]

A question has come up on the Wikipedea Humanities Reference Desk about Bermondsey Palace prompted by a question on the BBC quiz Mastermind. There are plenty of sources saying that Henry was born at "Bermondsey Palace"[1][2] but it appears that the "palace" may have been a figment of the imagination of John Aubrey and some local folklore. Is there a definitive and modern source that confirms where Henry was born? If it was indeed at the Abbey, it ought to go into the "Royal Connections" section. Alansplodge (talk) 19:03, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

FWIW, Henry the Young King is mentioned in Bermondsey Abbey's Annales, or chronicle, but only in the same way as he might've been in any chronicle, with no mention of his birth in 1155: only that he was consecrated king while his father was still alive in 1170; and that he died in 1183. There's nothing about his marriage and "second coronation" in 1172, either. The Bermondsey chronicle is pretty dry and to the point, but one might've expected to see a little more about this Henry if he'd been born in Bermondsey at all I'd have thought, whether at a "palace" or at the abbey itself...? The Bermondsey chronicle even calls him the king's first born son, which is wrong, from what I've seen, so it doesn't seem to be very well informed even generally. On the other hand…
The Stricklands are annoyingly loose with their information: they "cite" the Bermondsey Annales for an "ancient Saxon palace", but don't say where in the Annales, and I'm not going to go looking for it, far too tedious for me, I'm afraid. But, while the "Royal Connections" section of the abbey's article makes it look like royalty were fairly frequent visitors, monasteries did normally have accommodation for visitors. As it happens, Bermondsey Abbey was endowed by William II, so maybe a royal connection persisted, and it is just across the river from London. Incidentally, per that last link (1183) the chronicle doesn't say that the young Henry isn't numbered among the English monarchs because he died before his father (which is what the Henry the Young King article says); rather, it says that this was because he was wrongfully crowned by Archbishop Roger of York, while Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury was exiled. HTH. Nortonius (talk) 00:58, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits by[edit]

I reverted recent edits by, principally because I was unable to verify a reference underpinning the introduction of doubt concerning the identity of "Vermundesei" with Bermondsey. I was unable to find the cited source "T Sharp: 'Origins of Christianity in Surrey 2011'", but an online search led me to a "Tony Sharp" who has papers on similar subjects posted to – e.g. the first of that writer's papers listed there is entitled "The Seventh Century Conversion of Surrey and Southwark". I believe that is not a reliable source; but of course, if anyone can identify the cited source published in a WP:RS format, then this information can be restored. Other information added in the relevant edits, concerning a putative "Ailwyn civic dynasty", looks like WP:OR: compare the above topic, "Founded in 1082 or 1089?" Nortonius (talk) 16:45, 19 September 2013 (UTC)