Walter de Wenlok
Died: 25 Dec, 1307
Field: Priest; abbot
Location in the Abbey: Sacrarium
Type of memorial: Grave

Walter de Wenlok was Abbot of Westminster from 31 December 1283 until his death on 25 December 1307. During his time a great fire destroyed some of the monastic buildings and he delivered the heart of Henry III to the Abbey of Fontevraud by order of the king.  He was Treasurer of England but fell from favour in 1303 after the robbery of the royal treasure which had been placed in the monastic treasury during Edward I's absence in Scotland. He and many monks were sent to the Tower of London for a while on suspicion but not charged as the real thief was apprehended.

His father was Philip de Wenlok apothecary of Wenlok in Shropshire, and his mother was Agnes. He had a sister Edith and several nephews and a niece. Just before his death the Sedilia, or seats for the priests, had been completed to the south side of the High Altar and he was buried beneath the Cosmati pavement in front of it. A small head of an abbot on the Sedilia canopy may represent him.

A photo of the small head can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

"Walter de Wenlok, abbot of Westminster " by E.H.Pearce, 1920

"Documents illustrating the rule of Walter de Wenlok" edited by Barbara Harvey, 1965. 

© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Website design - Design by Structure