John Whethamstede

John Whethamstede (died 20 January 1465) was an English abbot.


He was a son of Hugh Bostock, and was born at Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, owing his name, the Latin form of which is Frumenlarius, to this circumstance.

After early schooling at the Abbey School (now St Albans School) he entered St Albans Abbey when only sixteen. He was chosen abbot of this Benedictine monastery in 1420. In 1423, Whethamstede attended the Council of Siena. In the Kingdom of England, his time was mainly occupied with lawsuits, several of which he carried on to defend the property and enforce the rights of the abbey.

In 1440, he resigned his post but, in 1451, on the death of his successor John Stoke, he became abbot for the second time. He died on 20 January 1465, and his tomb may still be seen in the abbey church.

Whethamstede was an energetic and successful abbot. He greatly improved the buildings at St Albans, which suffered somewhat during his later years owing to the Wars of the Roses, the first open conflict of which was the First Battle of St Albans in 1455. He also did some building at Gloucester.

He was also closely, if clumsily, associated with the humanistic activities of Henry V's youngest brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, who died in 1447 and was buried in St Albans Abbey, where he was honoured as a benefactor.

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