John de Cella alias John of Wallingford was born as John Hyde, a younger son of John Hyde Senior, lord of the manor of Hyde in Denchworth. He studied in Paris, presumably with the help of a rich patron, perhaps the Prior of Wallingford Priory which he later entered. He gained an excellent reputation and "in grammar, he was considered a very Priscian, in poetry a perfect Ovid, and in physics esteemed equal to Galen". After taking Benedictine vows, he was sent to Wallingford Priory, where he became Prior in 1191. Four years later, on 20th July 1195, he was elected Abbot of St. Albans, where he presided with "sanctity and success". He rebuilt the west front of the abbey church and wrote such works as the 'Flood at London Bridge' which predicted the high water mark of the River Thames. He died on 17th July 1214.
He should not be confused with John of Wallingford, the Infirmarer of St. Albans in the mid-13th century.
Edited from Sidney Lee's "Dictionary of National Biography" (1899).
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