A Clerk of Oxford posts a marvelous remembrance of a pilgrimage to the ruins of Crowland Abbey in Lincolnshire. John Clare, the 19th century "labouring-class poet" wrote a sonnet about the abbey ruins:
IN sooth, it seems right awful and sublime
To gaze by moonlight on the shattered pile
Of this old Abbey, struggling still with Time,
The grey owl hooting from its rents the while;
And tottering stones, as wakened by the sound,
Crumbling from arch and battlement around,
Urging dread echoes from the gloomy aisle,
To sink more silent still. The very ground
In Desolation’s garment doth appear,
The lapse of age and mystery profound.
We gaze on wrecks of ornamented stones,
On tombs whose sculptures half erased appear,
On rank weeds, battening over human bones,
Till even one’s very shadow seems to fear.
An anxious desire to appease Cromwell and Henry VIII appears in the abbot's correspondence in 1534, 1539, and 1539. Demands were made on him for leases and grants which were beyond his power to satisfy. There is no record of any discussions among the monks about the progress of affairs, and they certainly swallowed any scruples which they may have had. In June, 1534, the abbot and thirty-two monks subscribed to the royal supremacy. On 25 March, 1537, the abbot sent a present of fen fish to Cromwell, begging him 'to be good and favourable lord' unto him and his poor house. Between 1535 and 1539 he granted over thirty small annuities, some of them possibly for sums of ready money with the object of providing for the future.