go to home page go to byland abbey pages go to fountains abbey pages go to kirkstall abbey pages go to rievaulx abbey pages go to roche abbey pages
The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

Text only version

About the Project






Contact Us

Roland Blyton, abbot of Rievaulx (1533-38)

Roland had been a monk and then abbot of Rufford, Nottinghamshire. He was elected to the abbacy of Rievaulx in 1533 in rather controversial circumstances, for the royal commissioners decided that he should replace Abbot Edward Kirkby who had been forced to resign following allegations of misconduct. This choice was accepted by only a few members of Rievaulx. As abbot of Rievaulx, Roland seems to have enjoyed an aristocratic lifestyle. According to one contemporary (George Huton of Kirkdale who lived with his father at Skiplam Hall) the abbot and six or eight of his community would frequently arrive at the grounds of Skiplam and Welburn, which belonged to the abbey, to hunt and hawk. Roland surrendered Rievaulx Abbey to the royal commissioners in December 1538 and he, like all of the Rievaulx community, was given dispensation to hold a living (with a change of habit). He seemingly retired to Welburn, on land previously belonging to the abbey, and received a handsome pension. Roland, who had only been a member of Rievaulx for a few years, maintained links with his old abbey of Rufford and following the Dissolution kept in touch with several former monks of that house.(1)