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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

Drink up

Reconstructed tankard
© Abbey House Museum
<click to enlarge>
Reconstructed tankard

Gerald of Wales maintained that on one occasion when Henry II arrived unexpectedly and unrecognised at a Cistercian abbey in Wales, he was entertained to a drinking session with the abbot and monks.

According to Gerald, who was a harsh critic of the Cistercians, one time when King Henry was hunting in Wales, he was separated from the rest of the royal party and thus made his way to a Cistercian abbey that was on the edge of the forest. The monks did not recognise the king, but welcomed and fed him. After he had eaten, the abbot and monks joined their guest for a hard drinking session, with the abbot and king pledging each other ‘after the English fashion’, that is with Wril and Pril, rather than Wesheil and Drincheil. The party continued in full swing until early the next morning.
[Gerald of Wales, Giraldi Cambrensis Opera IV, pp. 213-5.]