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St. Robert of Newminster



Born in the district of Craven, Yorkshire, probably at the village of Gargrave; died 7 June, 1159. He studied at the University of Paris, where he is said to have composed a commentary on the Psalms; became parish priest at Gargrave, and later a Benedictine at Whitby, from where, with the abbot's permission, he joined the founders of the Cistercian monastery of Fountains. About 1138 he headed the first colony sent out from Fountains and established the Abbey of Newminster near the castle of Ralph de Merlay, at Morpeth in Northumberland. During his abbacy three colonies of monks were sent out; monasteries were founded: Pipewell (1143), Roche (1147) and Sawley (1148). Capgrave's life tells that an accusation of misconduct was brought against him by his own monks and that he went abroad (1147-48), to defend himself before St. Bernard, but doubt has been cast upon the truth of his story, which may have arisen from a desire of this story, which may have arisen from a desire to associate the English saint personally with the greatest of the Cistercians. His tomb in the church of Newminster became an object of pilgrimage; his feast is kept on 7 June.

Raymund Webster.








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