databas cerddi guto'r glyn
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Abbot Thomas of Shrewsbury, fl. c.1433–d. 1459

Guto composed a poem of praise (poem 77) for Abbot Thomas. It is the only surviving poem for the abbot.

His abbacy
Thomas was a Benedictine, for the only abbey in Shrewsbury, namely St Peter and St Paul, was a Benedictine establishment. Guto refers to him as a [g]ŵr … / Du ‘black man’ (77.43–4), and the Benedictines were also known as the Black Monks (on the abbey, see CTC 505). In the fifteenth century there were three men named Thomas who held the abbacy at Shrewsbury: i. Thomas Prestbury alias Shrewsbury who was elected in 1399 and who died in 1426; ii. Thomas Ludlow who was elected in 1433 and who died in 1459; and iii. Thomas Mynde who was elected in 1460 and who died in 1498 (Gaydon 1973: 37). According to Lloyd (1939–41: 127), Thomas Mynde was Guto’s patron (but he does not mention the others) and this view was adopted by Ifor Williams in GGl 326 and in CTC 505–6. However, according to Emden (1957–9: 1172), Thomas Ludlow obtained the degree of Doctor in Theology on 27 August 1433 at Oxford, and Guto refers to his patron as a doctor da ‘good doctor’ (77.31). It is more likely, therefore, that it was Thomas Ludlow who gave Guto patronage. The spirit of the poem, also, could easily belong to Guto’s early period, and is more in keeping with the date of Ludlow’s abbacy than with those of Thomas Mynde.

Emden, A.B. (1957–9), A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford (3 vols., Oxford)
Gaydon, A.T. (1973) (ed.), A History of Shropshire, vol. ii (Oxford)
Lloyd, J.E. (1939–41), ‘Gwaith Guto’r Glyn’, B x: 126–7

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