Friday, 30 November 2012

Alan of Tewkesbury

Alan, Abbot of Tewkesbury became a monk at Canterbury, rising to prior in 1179. In the struggle between Thomas of Canterbury and Henry II, he was a strong supporter of Thomas. As a result, he went to Tewkesbury as abbot where he was out of Henry's way.

His "Life of Becket" is to be found in the second volume of Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, edited by the Rev. J. C. Robertson (Rolls Series, London,; 1875–85; Part I, CXC, 1475–88). He also collected and arranged a number of Thomas' letters.

His Life of Becket was primarily intended by him as a introduction to the collection of the Becket letters which he assembledand edited.  Alan of Tewkesbury's collection of the Becket correspondence an enlargement upon John of Salisbury's collection was originally designed to be prefaced by the following works: Alan's prologue, followed by John of Salisbury's Life of Becket, followed by Alan's more explanatory Life of Becket. It was also used in the Quadrilogus versions II and I.

In 1179 Alan became prior of Christ Church Canterbury, and in 1186, after a dispute with Archbishop Baldwin, he became abbot of St Mary's, Tewkesbury.

There is a theory that Alan of Tewkesbury and the scholastic philosopher Alan of Lille are one and the same person.


"Alan of Tewkesbury". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

DNB Reference

Michael Staunton (2006). Thomas Becket and His Biographers. Chapter 4: Criticism and vindication: Anonymous II and Alan of Tewkesbury: Boydell. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-84383-271-3.

Anne Duggan (1980). Thomas Becket: A Textual History of His Letters. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822486-0.

Anne Duggan (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175. Volume 1. Alan of Tewkesbury's Collection: Clarendon Press. pp. lxxx–. ISBN 978-0-19-820892-1.

Interpretations of the Rebuilding of Canterbury Cathedral, 1174-1186: Archaeological and Historical Evidence
Peter Draper
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 184-203
Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians
DOI: 10.2307/991283


Alanus Cantuariensis; John Allen Giles (1846). Alani prioris Cantuariensis postea abbatis Tewkesberiensis scripta quae extant. Parker.

Alani prioris cantuariensis postea abbatis tewkesberiensis scripta quæ extant.
Oxonii, apud J. H. Parker; [etc., etc.] 1846.

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