known as the ‘St Bernard of the North’, was the leading figure in the Cistercian order in England in the mid‐12th cent. The son of a priest of Hexham (Northd.), he entered the abbey of Rievaulx, where he remained for nine years before being chosen as first abbot of Revesby (Lincs.), daughter house of Rievaulx. Four years later he was recalled to be abbot of Rievaulx itself. The monastery prospered and expanded, its numbers increasing to 150 choir monks and 500 lay brothers and servants. Ailred himself became a figure of national importance, beyond Cistercian circles, through his many friends, contacts, and writings.
Subjects: Christianity — History.