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Abbey of Saint Augustine



A Benedictine monastery, originally dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul, founded in 605 outside of the City of Canterbury, on the site of the earlier Church of St. Pancras given by King Ethelbert to St. Augustine in 597. It was subsequently enlarged, and in 978 St. Dunstan, then Archbishop of Canterbury, dedicated it anew to St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Augustine, since which time it has always been known by the name of the latter saint whose body lay enshrined in the crypt of the abbey church. In spite of its proximity to the neighboring cathedral priory of Christ Church, the abbey precincts covered much ground and the monastery was of considerable importance for many centuries. At the dissolution in 1538 the act of surrender was signed by the abbot and thirty monks, who were rewarded with pensions. The abbey itself was appropriated by Henry VIII as a royal palace, but since that time the greater part of the buildings have been allowed gradually to fall to ruin. In 1844 the remains of the abbey were sold at public auction and on the site was erected a college for missionaries of the Church of England. The revenues of the abbey at the time of its suppression were £1684.

TANNER, Notitia Monastica (London, 1744) DUGDALE, Monasticon Anglicanum (London, 1817-30); Customary of St Augustine's Abbey (ed. THOMPSON), XXIII, Henry Bradshaw Society's publications (London, 1902).

G. CYPRIAN ALSTON








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