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Death & Destruction at Abingdon Abbey

Rioters attack Abingdon Monks -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • The townsfolk of Abingdon were jealous of the Abbot at the Abbey. They didn't like him being in charge of their market.
  • In 1327, a group of them tried to burn down the Abbey gates. There was a fight and the monks killed two of townsfolk.
  • The people of Abingdon were very angry. They asked their friends in nearby Oxford to come and help them.
  • A large mob arrived from Oxford in the middle of the night. The people from both towns burnt down the Abbey gates.
  • They ran riot within the monastery walls. They attacked the monks in the Abbey Church. One got his arm chopped off!
  • The Abbot and several monks fled into the River Thames. Some of them drowned trying to escape.
  • The rioters stole anything of value and burnt all the Abbey's ancient books and manuscripts.
  • Their leader was a man named Edmund De La Beche from Aldworth. He was the Archdeacon of Berkshire and was supposed to be a religious man!
  • The Abbot's deputy met the rioters in the woods and agreed that they could do what they liked with their market.
  • The Abbot complained to the King though. He sent a lot of soldiers and many rioters ran away.
  • Some of them were caught though. They were hanged at Wallingford Castle.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved. This location is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.