Richard de Crokesley
Field: Abbot
Location in the Abbey: St john the evangelist

Richard de Crokesley was Abbot of Westminster from 1246-58 and a stone coffin, thought to be his, was discovered in 1913 to the north of the monument of Sir Francis Vere in St John the Evangelist's chapel in Westminster Abbey. With the skeleton was a chalice and paten, indicating the burial of a cleric. The coffin lid with a floriated cross was not re-buried and stands upright in the chapel. Richard is first mentioned at the Abbey in 1239 when he travelled to Rome. In 1246 he went to Gascony to carry the relic of the Virgin's girdle to Henry III. He died at Winchester, some say of poison, during the Parliament being held there. He was first buried in a chapel of St Edmund of Canterbury which was built by him but which was demolished when work on the new nave began in 1376 and his body was moved. Matthew Paris, a contemporary of his, writes that he was gentle in person, eloquent and well skilled in civil and canon law but his love of power was too great and sometimes caused him trouble.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

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