Green’s Dictionary of Slang

abbey-lubber n.

[SE abbey + lubber, f. OF lobeor, swindler, parasite; the word is the origin of the nautical use; the abbey lubber also describes a demon, haunting monasteries and supposedly the ghost of a drunken, idle monk]

a lazy monk; a reproachful name in regular use after the Reformation.

Starkey England (1878) 131: The nuryschyng also of a grete sorte of idul abbey-lubbarys, wych are apte to no thyng but [...] only to ete and drynke.
[UK]Halliwell Burnynge of Paules Church n.p.: The most of that which they did bestow was on the riche, and not on the poor indede... but lither lubbers that might worke and would not. In so much that it came into a commen proverbe to call him an abbay-lubber, that was idle, wel fed, a long lewd lither loiterer, that might worke and would not [F&H].
[UK]Lyly Euphues and his England (1916) 98: Neither was I much unlike these abbey-lubbers in my life (though far unlike them in belief).
[UK]Nashe Anatomie of Absurditie in Works I (1883–4) 14: The fantasticall dreames of those exiled Abbie-lubbers.
[UK]R. Cotgrave Dict. of Fr. and Eng. Tongues n.p.: Archimarmiton-erastique an abbey-lubber, or Arch-frequenter of the Clooyster beefe-pot or beefe-boyler.
[UK]R. Herrick ‘The Temple’ Hesperides 104: Of Cloyster-Monks they have enow, I, and their Abbey-lubbers, too.
[UK]Fuller Church Hist. of Britain Bk I 28: Abbey-labourers, not Abbey-lubbers like their Successours in after-Ages, who living in Lazinesse, abused the Bounty of their patrons.
[UK]Dryden Spanish Fryar III iii: This is no huge, overgrown abbey lubber; this is but a diminutive sucking friar.
[UK]W. Robertson Phraseologia Generalis 446: A porridge-belly Friar, an abbey lubber [F&H].
[UK]E. Hickeringill Priest-Craft II 45: The Dissolution of Monasteries (that fed abby-lubbers and wanton Nuns).
[UK]Johnson Dict. Eng. Lang. (1785).
[UK]W. Holloway Dict. of Provincialisms 1/1: Abbey-Lubber, [...] inhabitants of Abbeys, being indolent.] (A lazy idle fellow).
[UK]W.H. Smyth Sailor’s Word-Bk (1991) 12: Abbey-lubber. This is an old term of reproach for idleness, and here is quoted only as bearing upon the nautical lubber.