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Abbot Richard (II) of Fountains

I have not found in any man such skill in comforting the sad, in raising up the fallen and in finding out the hidden causes of the sickness of a conscience.
Often, I tell you, I have come to his feet to speak of my conscience and he has anticipated me in the very things I was about to say, has sketched for me, as it were, the form of my mind and to my amazement has told me the whole state of my soul.

[Foundation history [Narratio], pp. 191-2.]

Richard, who was sacrist of the Benedictine abbey of St Mary’s, York, was committed to monastic reform and initiated moves to reform the community, which resulted in the departure of a group of the monks who later established Fountains. Richard officiated as prior of the new community at Fountains and it was only with great reluctance that he accepted the abbacy, following the death of the first Abbot Richard. He was a gentle and well-loved abbot, but his unwillingness to hold office never abated. Richard died at Clairvaux, on his way to the General Chapter meeting.