Historic List of Abbots

Buckfast was first established as a Monastic Settlement in A.D. 1018

Benedictine Abbots:

Alwin (Aelwinus) first mentioned as having attended Shire-mote in Exeter in about 1040. Known from the Doomsday Book to have been Abbot in 1066.
Eustace first mentioned in 1143 in a Totnes Deed. He was Abbot when Buckfast was affiliated to the Abbey of Citeaux (Cistercian).


Cistercian Abbots:

Buckfast still followed the Rule of St. Benedict, as the Cistercians also live by that Rule.

William - acted as Papal Legate in 1190.
Nicholas - elected in 1205.
Michael - mentioned in the Cartulary of Buckfast Abbey (C.B.A.) in 1223.
Peter (I) - mentioned in the C.B.A. 1242.
William (II) - mentioned in the C.B.A. 1249.
Howell - mentioned in the Leger Book (L.B.) of Buckfast (Brit. Mus.) - no dates.
Henry - mentioned in C.B.A. 1264 and 1269.
Simon - mentioned in C.B.A. and Petre Archives (P.A.) between 1273 and 1280.
Robert - mentioned in L.B. and Exeter Episcopal Registers (Ep. Reg.) between 1280 and 1283.
Peter de Colepitte - mentioned in the P.A. between 1291 and 1313
Robert II - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1316.
William Atte Slade - mentioned in the Banco Rolls 1327.
Stephen I - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1328.
John of Churchstowe - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1332.
William Gifford - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1333.
Stephen of Cornwall - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1348.
Philip (Beaumont) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1349.
Robert Symons - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1355 and 1390.
William Paderstow - mentioned in the Ep. Reg and P.A. 1395.
William Slade - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and by Leland - "Com. de Scriptoribus Britanniae" and Boase - "Annals of Exeter College, Oxford" between 1401 and 1415.
William Beaghe - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. and P.A. between 1415 and 1432.
Thomas Roger - mentioned in Ep. Reg. and P.A. He was Prior Adminstrator c. 1422 - 1432, and blessed as Abbot in 1432.
John Ffytchett - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1440.
John Matthu (Matthew) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1449.
John King - mentioned in the Statuta Cap. Gen. Ord. Cist. from 1464 to 1498.
John Rede (I) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1498.
John Bleworthy - mentioned in 1505 - Cal. of Early Chancery Proceedings, also in Powderham MSS.
Alfred Gyll - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1512.
John Rede (II) - mentioned in the Ep. Reg. 1525.
There is no record of death or resignation from his office.
Gabriel Dunne (or Doone) - imposed on the Community in 1535 by Thomas Cromwell (State papers).He surrendered the Abbey to the King on 25th February, 1539.


Monastic Life restored at Buckfast in 1882.

Thomas Duperou - Superior, 1882 until 1884 (becomes Abbot of Sacred Heart, USA)
Leander Lemoine -Superior 1884 until 1885
Benedict Gariador - Prior, August 1885, until February 1899
Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1899
Ignatius Jean - Superior, April 1899, until March 1900 (not a Monk of Buckfast)
Leander Lemoine - Superior, March 1900, until July 1902 (was also Abbot Visitor)
Savinian Louismet - Superior, July 1902, until November 1902


Benedictine Abbots:

Boniface Natter - elected 19th November, 1902. Died 4th August, 1906.
Anscar Vonier - elected 14th September, 1906. Died 26th December, 1938.
Bruno Fehrenbacher - elected 10th January, 1939. Resigned 1956. Titular Abbot of Tavistock until his death on 18th July, 1965.
Placid Hooper - elected 5th January 1957. Ruling Abbot until 1976.Titular Abbot of Tavistock until his death on 11th December, 1995
Leo Smith - elected 30th January, 1976. Ruling Abbot until 1992. Titular Abbot of Colchester until his death on 10th July, 1998
David Charlesworth - elected 3rd January, 1992. Ruling Abbot until 1999. Titular Abbot of Malmesbury.
Sebastian Wolff - appointed Prior Administrator in January 2000
Philip Manahan - elected Abbot 10th December, 2003. Resigned 2006
Richard Yeo - appointed Abbot Administrator February 2007 until January 2009
David Charlesworth - re-elected 27th January, 2009 - 2017
David Charlesworth - appointed Abbot Administrator 2017-2019
Francis Straw - appointed Prior Administrator 2019