Richard (d.1170) (DNB00)

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RICHARD (d. 1170), sixth abbot of Fountains, a native of York, and a friend of St. Bernard and of Henry Murdac [q. v.], archbishop of York, was abbot of Vauclair in the diocese of Laon, and afterwards precentor of Clairvaux. He held that office when, on the resignation of their abbot, Thorold, the monks of Fountains sent to St. Bernard requesting him to appoint an abbot for them. By the advice of Archbishop Henry he appointed Richard, who was well received by the convent, ruled it diligently, maintained strict discipline, and raised it to a high pitch of excellence. In 1154 William, archbishop of York, visited Fountains, was received by the abbot, and was reconciled to the convent, which had long been active in opposing him. The deaths of St. Bernard and Archbishop Henry in 1153 had weakened Richard's authority. Dissension arose in the convent, and the monks rebelled against him. For a time he withdrew from the strife. At last the disobedient monks yielded; he punished them with fitting penance, and expelled the ringleaders. From that time he had no further trouble in maintaining discipline, and the convent again flourished under his rule. He appears to have completed the fabric, and specially built the chapter-house. He died full of years and honour on 31 May 1170. Leland, in ascribing a treatise on harmony to Richardus Anglicus or Sacrista, confuses him with Richard (d. 1143) [q. v.], second abbot.

[Hugh of Kirkstall, ed. Walbran, ap. Memorials of Fountains, i. 110–13 (Surtees Soc.); Gallia Christ. ix. 633, xii. 602; Leland's Comment. de Scriptt. Brit. p. 194, ed. Hall; Bale's Scriptt. Brit. Cat. cent. xiii. c. 70, p. 150; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 624.]

W. H.