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John of York, abbot of Fountains (1203-11)

an honourable man and worthy of all praise.’
['The foundation history of Fountains' (Narratio) in A. Oxford, The Ruins of Fountains Abbey, p.225]

According to the foundation history of Fountains (Narratio), John was a worthy man who derived his name and birth from York, as well as the morals of its citizens. John entered Fountains as a young man and held various offices including the important post of cellarer of Fountains and the abbacy of Louth Park, a daughter-house of Fountains. Following the death of Ralph Haget, John returned to his home community to preside as abbot. John is described as an able and generous abbot, who was accessible, courteous and hospitable, but there were less favourable reports and it was rumoured that he sought to buy favour – and a mitre. John initiated building work at the abbey, an extensive programme that was completed by his successors. He was buried in the chapter-house at Fountains.