Abbot of Arbroath

The Abbot of Arbroath or Abbot of Aberbrothok (and later Commendator) was the head of the Tironensian Benedictine monastic community of Arbroath Abbey, Angus, Scotland, founded under the patronage of King William of Scotland from Kelso Abbey and dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The abbot, John Gedy, was granted the mitre on 26 June 1396.[1][2] Arbroath Abbey became the wealthiest and most powerful abbey in later medieval Scotland.

Abbey seal, depicting the murder of St Thomas Becket
Another abbey seal, again depicting the murder of St Thomas Becket

According to the poem "The Inchcape Rock" by Robert Southey, John Gedy, then Abbot of Aberbrothok, fixed a bell to the inchcape rock in 1300s to warn mariners of the perilous rock.

The following is a list of abbots and commendators.


  1. ^ Cowan & Easson, Religious Houses, p 67
  2. ^ Sumerson, ODNB, John Gedy
  3. ^ Became Bishop of Aberdeen.
  4. ^ Became Bishop of Dunblane.
  5. ^ Became Bishop of Dunblane.


  • Cowan, Ian B. & Easson, David E., Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland With an Appendix on the Houses in the Isle of Man, Second Edition, (London, 1976)
  • Summerson, Henry, "Gedy, John (fl. 1370–1401?)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 27 Jan 2009
  • Watt, D. E .R. & Shead, N. F. (eds.), The Heads of Religious Houses in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th Centuries (The Scottish Records Society, New Series, Volume 24), (Edinburgh, 2001)