By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: English Monastic Life
Author: Gasquet, Abbot
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "English Monastic Life" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





  O.S.B., D.D., PH.D., D.LITT., F.R.HIST.S.





  PREFACE                                                               xi

  LIST OF MANUSCRIPTS AND PRINTED BOOKS                                 xv

    THE MONASTIC LIFE                                                    1

    THE MATERIAL PARTS OF A MONASTERY                                   13

    THE MONASTERY AND ITS RULERS                                        37

    THE OBEDIENTIARIES                                                  58

    THE OBEDIENTIARIES (_continued_)                                    85

    THE DAILY LIFE IN A MONASTERY                                      111

    THE DAILY LIFE IN A MONASTERY (_continued_)                        131

    THE NUNS OF MEDIÆVAL ENGLAND                                       154

    EXTERNAL RELATIONS OF THE MONASTIC ORDERS                          180

    THE PAID SERVANTS OF THE MONASTERY                                 201

    THE VARIOUS RELIGIOUS ORDERS                                       213

  LIST OF ENGLISH RELIGIOUS HOUSES                                     251

  INDEX                                                                319



  The Cloisters, Worcester                                              18
    J. Charles Wall.

  The Refectory, Cleve Abbey                                            23
    J. Charles Wall.

  Thomas Ramryge, Abbot of St. Alban’s (from brass)                     43
    J. Charles Wall.

  Brother John of Walingford, Infirmarian of St. Alban’s                87
    (Cott. MSS., Jul. D. vii.)

  Gloucester Cloisters, The Lavatory                                   102
    J. Charles Wall.

  Nun asking Pardon of an Abbess                                       179
    (Roy. MSS., 2 B. vii., f. 219.)

  Benedictine Monk                                                     215

  [The figures representative of the various Religious Orders
  are reduced from Dugdale’s _Monasticon_ (1655) and Stevens’
  _Continuation_ (1723).]

  Benedictine Nun                                                      216

  Benedictine Monk of the Cluniac Congregation                         219

  Cistercian Monk                                                      220

  Carthusian Monk                                                      223

  Canon Regular of St. Augustine                                       224

  Premonstratensian Canon                                              227

  Gilbertine Canon                                                     228

  Gilbertine Nun                                                       231

  Knight Hospitaller                                                   232

  Knight Templar                                                       235

  Dominican Friar                                                      236

  Franciscan Friar                                                     239

  Franciscan Nun, or Minoress                                          240

  Carmelite Friar                                                      243

  Austin Friar                                                         244

  Friar of the Sack                                                    247

  Trinitarian                                                          248


  St. Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monks                  _Frontispiece_
    From a painting by Sassoferrato at Perugia.

  I. Norwich Cathedral, with Cloisters                  _To face page_  14
    J. Charles Wall.

  II. Canons in Choir                                          "        16
    Cott. MSS., Dom. A. xvii. f. 11{b}.

  III. The Cloisters, Gloucester, showing Carrels              "        20
    From Murray’s _Cathedrals_.

  IV. The Chapter House, Westminster                           "        26
    J. Charles Wall.

  V. John Stoke, Abbot of St. Alban’s; Prior Reymund,
        St. Alban’s                                            "        52
    Cott. MSS., Nero D. iii., pp. 35, 49.

  VI. Heading of Mortuary Roll, Thomas Brown, Bishop of
        Norwich, _d._ 1445                                     "        64
    Cott. Charters, ii., 18.

  VII. Adam the Cellarer, St. Alban’s                          "        74
    Cott. MSS., Nero D. iii., f. 16{b}.

  VIII. End of Mortuary Roll, Thomas Brown, Bishop of
        Norwich, _d._ 1445                                     "        94
    Cott. Charters, ii., 18.

  IX. Franciscans in Choir                                     "       112
    Cott. MSS., Dom. A. xvii.

  X. Community in Chapter House, Westminster                   "       122
    Harl. MSS., 1498, f. 76.

  XI. Henry VI. being received as a Confrater at
        Edmondsbury                                            "       126
    Harl. MSS., 2278, f. 6.

  XII. Refectory Pulpit, Chester                               "       138
    E. H. New.

  XIII. Carmelite in his Study                                 "       148
    Roy. MSS., 14 E. i., f. 3.

  XIV. Elizabeth Harvey, Abbess of Elstow                      "       154
    From Walter’s _Brasses_.

  XV. Benedictine Nuns in Choir                                "       158
    Cott. MSS., Dom. A. xvii.

  XVI. Franciscan Nuns in Choir                                "       176
    Cott. MSS., Dom. A. xvii.

  XVII. Henry VII. giving Charter to Monks at Westminster
        Hall                                                   "       194

  XVIII. {Seneschal John Whitewell and Mother}
         {Illuminator of St. Alban’s         }                 "       200
    Cott. MSS., Nero D. iii., ff. 103, 105.

  Plan of Beaulieu Abbey, Cistercian                           "        14

  Plan of Repton Priory, Austin Canons                         "        24

  Plan of Watton Priory, Gilbertine, Double House              "        34

  Map of Houses of the Black Monks            }
  Map of Houses of the White Monks            }
  Map of Houses of the Carthusians and Friars }                "       318
  Map of Houses of the Regular Canons         }
  Map of Houses of the Nuns                   }


This volume does not appear to call for any lengthy preface. It should
introduce and explain itself, inasmuch as, beyond giving a brief account
of the origin and aim of each of the Orders existing in England in
pre-Reformation days, and drawing up a general list of the various houses,
all I have attempted to do is to set before the reader, in as plain and
popular a manner as I could, the general tenor of the life lived by the
inmates in any one of those monastic establishments. In one sense the
picture is ideal; that is, all the details of the daily observance could
not perhaps be justified from an appeal to the annals or custumals of any
one single monastery. Regular or religious life was never, it must be
borne in mind, such a cast-iron system, or of so stereotyped a form, that
it could not be, and for that matter frequently was, modified in this or
that particular, according to the needs of places, circumstances, and
times. Even in the case of establishments belonging to the same Order or
religious body this is true; and it is of course all the more certainly
true in regard to houses belonging to different Orders. Still, as will be
explained later, the general agreement of the life led in all the monastic
establishments is so marked, that it has been found possible to sketch a
picture of that life which, without being perhaps actually exact in every
particular for any one individual house, is sufficiently near to the truth
in regard to all the houses in general. The purposes for which the various
parts of the monastery were designed and were used, the duties assigned to
the numerous officials, the provisions by which the well-being and order
of the establishment were secured, the disposition of the hours of the
day, and the regulations for carrying out the common conventual duties,
etc., were similar in all religious bodies in pre-Reformation days; and,
if regard be paid to the changed circumstances, are still applicable to
the monastic and religious establishments now existing in England.

It remains for me to publicly record my thanks to those who have assisted
me in the preparation of this volume.

In regard to the list of the ancient religious houses, which it is to be
hoped may be found of use to the student of monastic archæology, I have to
acknowledge the kind help of the Rev. Dr. Cox, the general editor of the
series; of Mr. W. H. St. John Hope; of Mr. R. C. Fowler, of the Public
Record Office; of the Rev. R. M. Serjeantson; and of the Rev. H. J. D.
Astley. My readers are also indebted to Mr. St. John Hope and to Mr. H.
Brakspear for permission to reproduce three plans giving the typical
arrangement of different religious houses; and lastly, my thanks are due
to Dom H. N. Birt for various suggestions, and for his careful reading of
the proofs for me.


By the advice of the editor of this series, the present list of the
principal manuscripts and books used in this volume to describe the life
of an English mediæval monastery is here printed, in place of giving
multitudinous references at the foot of every page. In the case of the
MSS. full transcripts have been made of most of them, in order that all
the available evidence bearing on the subject might be fully considered.

_Consuetudinarium Monasterii B. Marie, Ebor._ St. John’s Coll., Cambridge,
MS. D. 27.

_Consuetudinarium Abbatiæ S. Petri Westmonasteriensis_ (Abbot Ware’s).
(4th part only, much burnt.) Cott. MS. Otho c. xi.

_Constitutiones pro monasterio de Abingdon._ Harl. MSS. 209, ff. 11-12,

_Ordinale S. Edmundi de Burgo._ MS. Harl. 2,977.

_Ordinale ecclesiæ S. Augustini Cantuariensis: de disciplina Monachorum_,
etc. Cott. MS. Vitellius D. xvi.

_Consuetudines quædam Abbatiæ S. Edmundi Buriensis._ (Stated in a Papal
letter in the Marini transcripts). Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 15,358, f. 439

_Traditiones patrum O.S.B._ in _Liber albus_ of Edmundsbury. Harl. MS.

_Consuetudines quædam Abbatiæ de Reading._ MS. Cott. Vesp. E. v. f. 37

_Memoriale qualiter in monasterio conversare debemus._ Harl. MS. 5,431, f.
114 d.

_Officium Senescall. aule Hospitum ecclesie Cantuariensis faciendæ._ MS.
Cott. Galba E. v. f. 26 d _seqq._

_Consuetudines Cantuarienses._ Arund. MS. 68, f. 55 _seqq._

_Traditio Generalis Capituli super mores et observantias monachorum
Ordinis S. Benedicti._ Cott. MS. Faustina C. xii. f. 181.

_Consuetudines Elemosinæ ecclesiæ Sti. Petri et S. Swithune, Winton._
Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 29,436, f. 72 d. _seqq._

_Walteri de Wykwane, Abb. de Winchcombe, perquisita spiritualia et
temporalia, una cum ejusdem monasterii Constitutionibus et Ordinationibus
per eundem factis._ Cott. MS. Cleop. B. II. f. 1. Printed in _Monasticon_.

_Statuta Capituli Generalis O.S.B._ (Reading and Abingdon, A.D. 1388).
Cott. MS. Faustina A. II. f. 93 _seqq._

_Westminster Chapter O.S.B. under King Henry V._ Cott. MS. Vesp. D. ix. f.
193 _seqq._

_Acta Capitulorum Generalium O.S.A._ Brit. Mus. Cotton Charter xiii. 3.

_Acta Capituli Generalis Ordinis Sti. Augustini_, A.D. 1506. R.O.
Exchequer, Q.R. Miscell. 916/44.

_Mortuary Rolls (Norwich)._ Brit. Mus. Cotton Charter II. 17 and 18.

_Visitationes Abbatiæ de Hayles Ord. Cist._ Brit. Mus., Royal MS. 12, E.
XIV. f. 73 _seqq._

_Visitatio Ecclesiæ Cath. Wynton_ (Bp. William of Wykham, A.D. 1386).
Harl. MS. 328.

_Monasticon Cisterciense._ Julianus, Paris. ed. nova Hugo Séjalon. 1892.

_Bibliotheca Premonstratensis_, 1633. Le Paige.

_Customary of the Benedictine Monasteries of Saint Augustine, Canterbury,
and Saint Peter, Westminster._ ed. Sir E. Maunde Thompson (Henry Bradshaw
Soc.). 1902.

_The Ancren Riwle._ ed. J. Morton (Camden Soc.). 1853.

_The Observances in use at the Augustinian Priory at Barnwell,
Cambridgeshire._ ed. J. Willis Clark, M.A., F.S.A. 1897.

_Apostolatus Benedictinorum in Anglia._ Reyner, Clemens.

_Antiquiores Consuetudines Cluniacensis Monasterii--Collectore Udalrico
Monacho._ Migne, Patr. Lat. vol. 149, col. 635 _seqq._

_The Lausiac History of Palladius._ ed. Dom Cuthbert Butler. Part I.
Introduction (Texts and Studies, vol. vi.).

_De Antiquis Ecclesiæ Ritibus._ Martène, III. pp. 253 _seqq._

_Ordinale Conventus Vallis Caulium._ ed. W. de Gray Birch. 1900.

_De Consuetudinibus Abbendoniæ, Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon._ ed. J.
Stevenson (Rolls Series), II. p. 296 _seqq._

_The Ancient English Version of the Rule of St. Francis--Abbreviatio
Statutoram._ 1451: in _Monumenta Franciscana_. Vol. ii. (Rolls Series).
ed. R. Howlett.

_Rouleaux des Morts du ix{e} au xv{e} Siècle_, Léopold Delisle (Soc. de
l’Histoire de France). 1866.

_Accounts of the Obedientiars of Abingdon Abbey._ ed. R. E. G. Kirk
(Camden Soc.). 1892.

_Compotus Rolls of the Obedientiaries of St. Swithun’s Priory,
Winchester._ ed. G. W. Kitchin (Hampshire Record Soc.). 1892.

_De prima Institutione Monachorum_ in _Monasticon Anglicanum_. (ed. Calley
Ellis and Bandinel), I. xix. _seqq._

_Processus electionis Abbatum S. Albani._ Mon. Angl. II. 191, _note_.

_De Consuetudinibus et Ordinationibus officialium separalium in Abbatia de
Evesham._ Mon. Angl. II. 23-5.

_Literæ Constitutionum Hugonis, Lincoln. Episcopi, Visitatione Monalium de
Cotun._ Mon. Angl. V. 677.

_Tractatus Statutorum Ordinis Cartusiensis pro Noviciis_, etc. Mon. Angl.
VI. pp. v., xii.

_De Canonicorum Ordinis Origine_, etc. Mon. Angl. VI. pp. 39-49.

_Ordinatio pro coquina conventus Canonicorum de Haghmon._ Mon. Angl. VI.

_Ordinatio pro officiis Prioris et Subprioris ibidem._ Mon. Angl. VI. p.

_Institutiones beati Gilberti et successorum ejus, per Capitula Generalia
institutæ._ Mon. Angl. VI. p. 2, pp. *xxix.-*xcvii.

_Regula Monachorum S. Trinitatis._ Mon. Angl. VI. p. 3, p. 1,558 _seqq._

_De primordiis et inventione sacræ Religionis Iherosolimorum._ Mon. Angl.
V. p. 2, pp. 787 _seqq._

_De Canonicorum Ordinis Præmonstratensis Origine_, etc. Mon. Angl. V. p.
2, pp. 857 _seqq._

_Consuetudines Abbatiæ Eveshamensis._ Mon. Angl. II. 27-32.

_De officis Præcentoris._ Mon. Angl. II. p. 39.

_De Sacrista._ Mon. Angl. II. p. 40.

_Constitutiones per Decanum et Capitulum Ecclesiæ Cathedralis S. Pauli,
Lond., factæ, Moniales Cœnobii S. Helenæ prope Bishop’s-gate, infra
Civitatem London, tangentes._ Mon. Angl. IV. p. 553.

_Leges Monachis Hydensibus ab Edgaro Rege datæ._ Mon. Angl. II. p. 439

_Constitutiones Capituli Generalis O.S.B. apud Northampton_, A.D. 1225, in
Mon. Angl. I. pp. xlvi.-li.

_A Consuetudinary of the Fourteenth Century for the House of St. Swithin,
Winchester._ ed. G. W. Kitchen, D.D. 1886.

_Collectanea Anglo-Premonstratensia_ (Camden Soc.). 1904.

_Charters and Records of Cluni._ G. Duckett.

_Visitations of English Cluniac Foundations._ G. Duckett.

_Two Chartularies of the Priory of St. Peter at Bath._ ed. W. Hunt
(Somerset Record Soc.). 1893.

_Rentalia et Custumaria of Glastonbury._ ed. C. Elton (Somerset Record

_Woman and Monasticism._ L. Eckenstein. 1896.

_S. Gilbert of Sempringham and the Gilbertines._ Rose Graham. 1902.

_Gesta Abbatum S. Albani._ ed. Riley (Rolls Series), II. pp. 95-107,
_Constitutiones Abbatis Johannis de Maryns_, c. 1308. pp. 301-316,
_Constitutiones_, c. 1336. pp. 418-466, _Constitutiones Abb. Thomæ de la
Mare_, c. 1386. pp. 511-519. _Constitutions for nuns of Sopwell._

_Gesta Abbatum S. Albani._ ed. Riley (Rolls Series), III. pp. 470-72.
_Constitutiones Abbatis Johannis de la Moote._

_Adam de Domerham._ Hearne, p. 123. _De electione Walteri More Abbatis
Cenobii Glastoniensis._

_The Register of Ralph of Shrewsbury, Bishop of Bath and Wells
(1329-1363)._ ed. T. S. Holmes (Somerset Record Soc.). 1896.

_Episcopal Register of the Diocese of Winchester._ William of Wykeham. ed.
T. F. Kirby (Hampshire Record Soc.). 1899.

_Episcopal Registers of the Diocese of Exeter._ Seven vols. ed. F. C.

_Episcopal Register of the Diocese of Winchester_, John de Sandale and
Rigaud de Asserio. ed. F. J. Baigent (Hampshire Record Soc.). 1897.

_Episcopal Registers of the Diocese of Worcester._ ed. J. Willis Bund
(Worcester Hist. Soc.).

_Visitations of the Diocese of Norwich_, A.D. 1492-1532. ed. A. Jessop,
D.D. (Camden Soc.). 1888.

_Rites and Customs within the Monastical Church of Durham._ ed. J. Raine
(Surtees Soc.). 1842.

_The Durham Household Book._ ed. J. Raine (Surtees Soc.). 1844.

_Halmota Prioratus Dunelmensis._ ed. J. Booth (Surtees Soc.). 1886.

_Durham Account Rolls._ ed. J. T. Fowler (Surtees Soc.). 3 vols.




The regular or monastic life was instituted to enable men to attain with
greater security to the higher ideals of the Christian life proposed to
them in the Gospel. In the early ages of the Church the fervour of the
first converts, strengthened and purified by the fierce persecutions they
had to endure for religion, enabled them, or a considerable number of
them, to reach this high standard without withdrawing from the world, its
business, or society. The belief that, by the means of regulated labour
and strict discipline of the senses and appetites, it was in the power of
man to perfect his moral nature and rise to heights in the spiritual
order, not otherwise attainable, seems almost inherent in man’s nature.
Well-regulated practices founded upon this principle have been existent in
all forms of religious worship other than Christian, and they can be
recognised no less in the observances of ancient Egypt than in those of
the lamas of modern Thibet. In the pagan world this doctrine seems to have
dictated much of the peculiar teaching of the Stoics; and among the Jews
the Essenes governed their lives in theory and practice upon this belief.
Even among the early Christians there were some, who by striving to master
their lower nature desired to attain the true end of human life as the
Gospel taught them, the knowledge and love of God and obedience to His
will. These were known as _Ascetae_, and in one of the earliest Christian
documents they are mentioned as a class of Christians between the laity
and the clergy. They were, however, in the world though not “of the
world,” and strove to reach their goal whilst living their ordinary life
by means of perseverance in prayer, voluntary chastity and poverty, as
well as by the exercise of mortification of all kinds.

Though the practice of seeking seclusion from the world for the purpose of
better carrying out these ideals was apparently not unknown in the third
century, it was not until after the conversion of Constantine that it can
be said to have become general. The triumph of Christianity not only freed
Christians from the spiritual stimulus of persecution, but it opened the
door of the Christian home to worldly habits and luxury which were
hitherto unknown, and which made the practice of the higher ideals of the
spirit difficult, if not impossible, in the ordinary surroundings of the
family life. To use the expression of Walter Hilton, the baptism of
Constantine “brought so many fish into Peter’s net that it was well-nigh
rent by the very multitude.” Henceforth it became necessary for
Christians, who would satisfy the deeply seated instinct of human nature
for the higher life, to seek it mostly in the solitudes of the desert, or
later within the sheltering walls of the monastery.

For a right understanding of monastic history and monastic practices in
the West generally, and even in England, it is necessary to have some
idea at least of the main features of Eastern monachism. It has been
pointed out by Dom Butler, in his masterly introduction to the _Lausiac
History of Palladius_,[1] that monachism developed along two lines in
Egypt. The first was the system initiated and directed by St. Anthony,
when about the year A.D. 305, after living a life of seclusion for some
twenty years, he undertook the direction and organisation of the multitude
of monks which the reputation of his sanctity had drawn to his
neighbourhood. The second was due to St. Pachomius, who, just about the
same time, at the beginning of the fourth century, whilst yet quite a
young man, founded his first monastery at Tabennisi in the far south of

The first system came to prevail over a great portion of the country by
the end of the first century after its foundation by St. Anthony. The
monks were mostly hermits in the strict sense of the word. They lived
apart and “out of earshot of one another,”[2] coming together at certain
times for divine worship. In other districts the religious lived together
in threes or fours, who, on all days but the Saturdays and Sundays when
all assembled in the great church, were used to sing their songs and hymns
together in their common cells. Of this system Palladius, who is the first
authority on the matter, says: “They have different practices, each as he
is able and as he wishes.” Dom Butler thus describes it:--

    “There was no rule of life. The Elders exercised an authority, but it
    was mainly personal.... The society appears to have been a sort of
    spiritual democracy, ruled by the personal influence of the leading
    ascetics, but there was no efficient hold upon individuals to keep
    them from falling into extravagances.... A young man would put himself
    under the guidance of a senior and obey him in all things; but the
    bonds between them were wholly voluntary. The purely eremitical life
    tended to die out, but what took its place continued to be

The second system introduced at the beginning of the fourth century may be
described as the cenobitical or conventual type of monachism. Pachomius’
monks lived together under a complete system of organisation, not, indeed,
as a family under a father, but rather as an army under a discipline of a
military character. This form of the monastic life spread with great
rapidity, and by the time of its founder’s death (_c._ 345) it counted
eight monasteries and several hundred monks.

    “The most remarkable feature about it,” says Dom Butler, “is that
    (like Citeaux in a later age) it almost at once assumed the shape of a
    fully organised congregation or order, with a superior general and a
    system of visitation and general chapters--in short, all the machinery
    of centralised government, such as does not appear again in the
    monastic world until the Cistercians and the Mendicant Orders arose in
    the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.”[4]

The various monasteries under the Rule of St. Pachomius existed as
separate houses, each with a head or præpositus and other officials of its
own, and organised apparently on the basis of the trades followed by the
inmates. The numbers in each house naturally varied; between thirty and
forty on an average living together. At the more solemn services all the
members of the various houses came together to the common church; but the
lesser offices were celebrated by the houses individually. Under this
rule, regular organised work was provided for the monk not merely as a
discipline and penitential exercise, as was the case under the Antonian
system, but as a part of the life itself. The common ideal of asceticism
aimed at was not too high.

    “The fundamental idea of St. Pachomius’ Rule was,” says Dom Butler,
    “to establish a moderate level of observance which might be obligatory
    upon all; and to leave it open to each--and to, indeed, encourage
    each--to go beyond the fixed minimum, according as he was prompted by
    his strength, his courage, and his zeal.”[5]

Hence we find the Pachomian monks eating or fasting as they wished. The
tables were laid at midday, and dinner was provided every hour till
evening; they ate when they liked, or fasted if they felt called on so to
do. Some took a meal only in the evening, others every second or even only
every fifth day. The Rule allowed them their full freedom; and any idea of
what is now understood by “Common Life”--the living together and doing all
things together according to rule--was a feature entirely absent from
Egyptian monachism.

One other feature must also be noticed, which would seem to be the direct
outcome of the liberty allowed in much of the life, and in particular in
the matter of austerities, to the individual monk under the systems both
of St. Anthony and St. Pachomius. It is a spirit of strongly marked
individualism. Each worked for his personal advance in virtue; each strove
to do his utmost in all kinds of ascetical exercises and austerities--in
prolonging his fasts, his prayers, his silence. The favourite name used
to describe any of the prominent monks was “great athlete.” They loved “to
make a record” in austerities, and to contend with one another in
mortifications; and they would freely boast of their spiritual
achievements. This being so, penances and austerities tended to multiply
and increase in severity, and this freedom of the individual in regard to
his asceticism accounts for the very severe and often incongruous
mortifications undertaken by the monks of Egypt.

Monachism was introduced into Western Europe from Egypt by way of Rome.
The first monks who settled in the Eternal City were known as “Egyptians,”
and the Latin translation of the _Vita Antonii_ (_c._ 380) became “the
recognised embodiment of the monastic ideal.” It preserved its primitive
character in the matter of austerities during the fourth century, and St.
Augustine declares that he knew of religious bodies of both sexes, which
exercised themselves “in incredible fastings,” passing not merely one day
without food or drink, which was “a common practice,” but often going “for
three days or more without anything.”

During this same century the monastic life made its appearance in Gaul.
About A.D. 360 St. Martin founded a religious house at Ligugé, near
Poitiers; and when about A.D. 371 he became Bishop of Tours, he
established another monastic centre in a retired position near his
episcopal city, which he made his usual residence. The life led by the
monks was a simple reproduction of that of St. Anthony’s followers.
Cassian, the great organiser of monachism in Gaul, also followed closely
the primitive Egyptian ideals both in theory and practice, whilst what is
known of the early history of the monastery at Lerins, founded by
Honoratus, to whom Cassian dedicated the second part of his Conferences,
points to the fact that here too the eremitical life was regarded as the
monastic ideal. On the whole, therefore, it may be said that the available
evidence “amply justifies the statement that Gallic monachism during the
fifth and sixth centuries was thoroughly Egyptian in both theory and

It is now possible to understand the position of St. Benedict in regard to
monasticism. The great Patriarch of Western monks was born probably about
A.D. 480, and it was during that century that the knowledge of Eastern
rules of regular life was increased greatly in Italy by the translation of
an abridgment of Saint Basil’s code into Latin by Rufinus. St. Basil had
introduced for his monks in Cappadocia and the neighbouring provinces
certain modifications of the Egyptian monastic observances. There was more
common life for his religious: they lived together and ate together; and
not when they pleased, but when the superior ordained. They prayed always
in common, and generally depended upon the will of a common superior.
About the same time St. Jerome translated the Rule of Pachomius, and the
influence of these two Rules upon the monastic life of Italy at the period
when St. Benedict comes upon the scene is manifest. Whatever changes had
been introduced into the local observances, and however varied were the
practices of individual monasteries, it is at least certain that at this
period the monastic system in use in Italy was founded upon and drew its
chief inspirations from Egyptian models. What was wholly successful in the
East proved, however, unsuitable to Western imitators, and, owing to the
climatic conditions, impossible. This much seems certain even from the
mention made of the Gyrovagi and Sarabites by St. Benedict, since he
describes them as existing kinds of monks whose example was to be avoided.
That he had practical knowledge and experience of the Egyptian and the
Eastern types of monachism clearly appears in his reference to Cassian and
to the Rule of “Our Holy Father Saint Basil,” as he calls him, and in the
fact that he made his own first essay in the monastic life as a solitary.

When, some time about the beginning of the sixth century, St. Benedict
came to write his Rule, with full knowledge and experience both of the
systems then in vogue and of the existing need of some reconstitution, it
is noteworthy that he did not attempt to restore the lapsed practices of
primitive asceticism, or insist upon any very different scheme of regular
discipline. On the contrary, “he deliberately turned his back on the
austerities that had hitherto been regarded as the chief means for
attaining the spiritual end of the monastic life.” He calls his Rule “a
very little rule for beginners”--_minima inchoationis regula_, and says
that though there may be in it some things “a little severe,” still he
hopes that he will establish “nothing harsh, nothing heavy.” The most
cursory comparison between this new Rule and those which previously
existed will make it abundantly clear that St. Benedict’s legislation was
conceived in a spirit of moderation in regard to every detail of the
monastic life. Common-sense, and the wise consideration of the superior in
tempering any possible severity, according to the needs of times, places,
and circumstances were, by his desire, to preside over the spiritual
growth of those trained in his “school of divine service.”

In addition to this St. Benedict broke with the past in another and not
less important way, and in one which, if rightly considered and acted
upon, more than compensated for the mitigation of corporal austerities
introduced into his rule of life. The strong note of individualism
characteristic of Egyptian monachism, which gave rise to what Dom Butler
calls the “rivalry in ascetical achievement,” gave place in St. Benedict’s
code to the common practices of the community, and to the entire
submission of the individual will, even in matters of personal austerity
and mortification, to the judgment of the superior.

    “This two-fold break with the past, in the elimination of austerity
    and in the sinking of the individual in the community, made St.
    Benedict’s Rule less a development than a revolution in monachism. It
    may be almost called a new creation; and it was destined to prove, as
    the subsequent history shows, peculiarly adapted to the new races that
    were peopling Western Europe.”[7]

We are now in a position to turn to England. When, less than half a
century after St. Benedict’s death, St. Augustine and his fellow monks in
A.D. 597 first brought this Rule of Life to our country, a system of
monasticism had been long established in the land. It was Celtic in its
immediate origin; but whether it had been imported originally from Egypt
or the East generally, or whether, as some recent scholars have thought,
it was a natural and spontaneous growth, is extremely doubtful. The method
of life pursued by the Celtic monks and the austerities practised by them
bear a singular resemblance to the main features of Egyptian monachism; so
close, indeed, is this likeness that it is hard to believe there could
have been no connection between them. One characteristic feature of
Celtic monasticism, on the other hand, appears to be unique and to divide
it off from every other type. The Celtic monasteries included among their
officials one, and in some cases many bishops. At the head was the abbot,
and the episcopal office was held by members of the house subordinate to
him. In certain monasteries the number of bishops was so numerous as to
suggest that they must have really occupied the position of priests at the
subordinate churches. Thus St. Columba went in A.D. 590 from Iona to a
synod at Drumcheatt, accompanied by as many as twenty bishops; and in some
of the Irish ecclesiastical meetings the bishops, as in the case of some
of the African synods, could be counted by hundreds. This Celtic system
appears to be without parallel in other parts of the Christian Church, and
scholars have suggested that it was a purely indigenous growth. One
writer, Mr. Willis Bund, is of the opinion that the origin was tribal and
that the first “monasteries” were mere settlements of Christians--clergy
and laity, men, women, and children--who for the sake of protection lived
together. It was at some subsequent date that a division was made between
the male and female portions of the settlement, and later still the
eremitical idea was grafted on the already existing system. If the tribal
settlement was the origin of the Celtic monastery, it affords some
explanation of the position occupied by the bishops as subjects of the
abbots. The latter were in the first instance the chiefs or governors of
the settlements, which would include the bishop or bishops of the churches
comprised in the settlement. By degrees, according to the theory advanced,
the head received a recognised ecclesiastical position as abbot, the
bishop still continuing to occupy a subordinate position, although there
is evidence in the lives of the early Irish saints to show that the holder
of the office was certainly treated with special dignity and honour.

The Celtic monastic system was apparently in vogue among the remnant of
the ancient British Church in Wales and the West Country on the coming of
St. Augustine. Little is known with certainty, but as the British Church
was Celtic in origin it may be presumed that the Celtic type of monachism
prevailed amongst the Christians in this country after the Saxon conquest.
Whether it followed the distinctive practice of Irish monasticism in
regard to the position of the abbot and the subject bishops may perhaps be
doubted, as this does not appear to have been the practice of the Celtic
Church of Gaul, with which there was a close early connection.

It has usually been supposed that the Rule of St. Columbanus represented
the normal life of a Celtic monastery, but it has been lately shown that,
so far as regards the Irish or Welsh houses, this Rule was never taken as
a guide. It had its origin apparently in the fact that the Celtic monks on
the Continent were induced, almost in spite of themselves, to adopt a
mitigated rule of life by their close contact with Latin monasticism,
which was then organising itself on the lines of the Rule of St.
Benedict.[8] The Columban Rule was a code of great rigour, and “would, if
carried out in its entirety, have made the Celtic monks almost, if not
quite, the most austere of men.” Even if it was not actually in use, the
Rule of St. Columbanus may safely be taken to indicate the tendencies of
Celtic monasticism generally, and the impracticable nature of much of the
legislation and the hard spirit which characterises it goes far to explain
how it came to pass that whenever it was brought face to face with the
wider, milder, and more flexible code of St. Benedict, invariably, sooner
or later, it gave place to it. In some monasteries, for a time, the two
Rules seem to have been combined, or at least to have existed side by
side, as at Luxeuil and Bobbio, in Italy, in the seventh century; but when
the abbot of the former monastery was called upon to defend the Celtic
rule, at the Synod of Macon in A.D. 625, the Columban code may be said to
have ceased to exist anywhere as a separate rule of life.

For the present purpose it will be sufficient to consider English
monasticism from the coming of St. Augustine at the close of the sixth
century as Benedictine. There was, it is true, a brief period when in
Northumberland the Celtic form of regular observance established itself at
Lindisfarne and elsewhere. This was due to the direct appeal made by King
Edwy of Northumbria to the monks of Iona to come into Northumbria, and
continue in the North the work of St. Paulinus, which had been interrupted
by the incursions of Penda. Iona, the foundation and home of St. Columba,
was a large monastic and missionary centre regulated according to the true
type of Celtic monachism under the abbatial superior; and from Iona came
St. Aidan and the other Celtic apostles of the northern parts. In one
point, so far as the evidence exists for forming any judgment at all, the
new foundation of Lindisfarne differed from the parent house at Iona. At
the Northumbrian monastery the bishop was the head and took the place of
the abbot, and did not occupy the subordinate position held by the bishops
at Iona and its dependencies.




In any account of the parts of a monastic establishment the church
obviously finds the first place. As St. Benedict laid down the principle
that “nothing is to be preferred to the _Opus Dei_,” or Divine Service, so
in every well-regulated religious establishment the church must of
necessity be the very centre of the regular life as being, in fact no less
than in word, the “House of God.”

In northern climates the church was situated, as a rule, upon the northern
side of the monastic buildings. With its high and massive walls it
afforded to those who lived there a good shelter from the rough north
winds. As the northern cloister usually stretched along the nave wall of
the church and terminated at the south transept, the buildings of the
choir and presbytery and also the retro-chapels, if there were any, gave
some protection from the east wind. Sometimes, of course, there were
exceptions, caused by the natural lie of the ground or other reason, which
did not allow of the church being placed in the ordinary English position.
Canterbury itself and Chester are examples of this, the church being in
each case on the southern side, where also it is found very frequently in
warm and sunny climates, with the obvious intention of obtaining from its
high walls some shelter from the excessive heat of the sun. Convenience,
therefore, and not any very recondite symbolism, may be considered to have
usually dictated the position of “God’s house.”

Christian churches, especially the great cathedral and monastic churches,
were originally designed and built upon lines which had much symbolism in
them; the main body of the church with its transepts was to all, of
course, a representation of Christ upon the cross. To the builders of
these old sanctuaries the work was one of faith and love rather than a
matter of mere mercenary business. They designed and worshipped whilst
they wrought. To them, says one writer, the building “was instinct with
speech, a tree of life planted in paradise; sending its roots deep down
into the crypt; rising with stems in pillar and shaft; branching out into
boughs over the vaulting; blossoming in diaper and mural flora; breaking
out into foliage, flower, and fruit, on corbel, capital, and boss.” It was
all real and true to them, for it sprang out of their strong belief that
in the church they had “the House of God” and “the Gate of heaven,” into
which at the moment of the solemn dedication “the King of Glory” had come
to take lasting possession of His home. For this reason, to those who
worshipped in any such sanctuary the idea that they stood in the “courts
of the Lord” as His chosen ministers was ever present in their daily
service, as with the eyes of their simple faith they could almost
penetrate the veil that hid His majesty from their sight. As St. Benedict
taught his disciples, mediæval monks believed “without any doubt” that God
was present to them “in a special manner” when they “assisted at their
divine service.” “Therefore,” says the great master of the regular
observance, “let us consider in what manner and with what reverence it
behoveth us to be in the sight of God and of the Angels, and so let us
sing in choir, that mind and voice may accord together.”



So far as the religious life was concerned, the most important part of the
church was of course the presbytery with the High Altar and the choir.
Here all, or nearly all, public services were performed. The choir
frequently, if not generally, stretched beyond the transepts and took up
one, if not two, bays of the nave; being enclosed and divided off from
that more public part by the great screen. Other gates of ironwork, across
the aisle above the presbytery and in a line with the choir screen, kept
the public from the south transept. Privacy was thus secured for the
monks, whilst by this arrangement the people had full access to all parts
of the sacred building except the choir and the transept nearest to the

The choir was entered, when the buildings were in the normal English
position, from a door in the southern wall of the church at the juncture
of the northern and eastern walks of the cloister. At the western end of
the same northern cloister there was generally another door into the
church reserved for the more solemn processions. The first, however, was
the ordinary entrance used by the monks, and passing through it they found
themselves in the area reserved for them within the screens which
stretched across the choir and aisle.

In the centre of the choir stood the great raised lectern or reading-desk,
from which the lessons were chanted, and from which, also, the singing was
directed by the cantor and his assistant. The stalls were arranged in two
or more rows slightly raised one above the other. The superior and the
second in command usually occupied the two stalls on each side of the main
entrance furthest from the altar, the juniors being ranged nearest to the
presbytery. This was the common practice except at the time of the
celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, or during such portion of
the Office which preceded the Mass. On these occasions the elders took
their places nearest to the altar, for the purpose of making the necessary
oblations at the Holy Sacrifice. In many monastic choirs, for this reason,
the abbot and prior had each two places reserved for their special use,
one on either side near the altar, and the others at the entrance of the
choir. Besides the great lectern of the choir there was likewise a second
standing-desk for the reading of the Gospel at Matins, usually placed near
to the steps of the presbytery. In some cases, apparently, this was always
in its place, but more frequently it was brought into the choir for the
occasion, and removed afterwards by the servers of the church.

[Illustration: CANONS IN CHOIR]

There were in every church, besides the High Altar, several, and
frequently numerous, smaller altars. The _Rites of Durham_ describes
minutely the nine altars arranged along the eastern wall of the church and
facing the shrine of St. Cuthbert.

    “They,” says the author, “each had their several shrines and covers of
    wainscot over-head, in very decent and comely form, having likewise
    betwixt every altar a very fair and large partition of wainscot, all
    varnished over, with very fine branches and flowers and other imagery
    work most finely and artificially pictured and gilded, containing the
    several lockers or ambers for the safe keeping of the vestments and
    ornaments belonging to every altar; with three or four aumbries in
    the wall pertaining to some of the said altars.”

It would be now quite impossible to describe the rich adornments of an
English mediæval monastic church. The _Rites of Durham_ give some idea of
the wealth of plate, vestments and hangings, and the art treasures, mural
paintings and stained windows, with which generations of benefactors had
enriched that great northern sanctuary. What we know of other monastic
houses shows that Durham was not an exception in any way; but that almost
any one, at any rate of the greater houses, could challenge comparison
with it. A foreign traveller almost on the eve of their destruction speaks
of the artistic wealth of the monastic churches of England as unrivalled
by that of any other religious establishments in the whole of Europe.


In every monastery next in public importance to the church came the
cloisters. The very name has become a synonym for the monastery itself.
The four walks of the cloister formed the dwelling-place of the community.
With the progress of time there came into existence certain private rooms
in which the officials transacted their business, and later still the use
of private cells or cubicles became common, but these were the exception;
and, at any rate, in England till the dissolution of the religious houses,
the common life of the cloister was in full vigour.


In the normal position of the church on the north side of the monastic
buildings, the north cloister with its openings looking south was the
warmest of the four divisions. Here, in the first place, next the door of
the church, was the prior’s seat, and the rest of the seniors in their
order sat after him, not necessarily in order of seniority, but in the
positions that best suited their work. The abbot’s place, “since his
dignity demands,” as the Westminster Custumal puts it, was somewhat apart
from the rest. He had his fixed seat at the end of the eastern cloister
nearest to the church door. In the same cloister, but more towards the
other, or southern end, the novice-master taught his novices, and the walk
immediately opposite, namely, the western side of the cloister, was
devoted to the junior monks, who were, as the Rule of St. Benedict says,
“_adhuc in custodia_”: still under stricter discipline. The southern walk,
which would have been in ordinary circumstances the sunless, cold side of
the quadrangle, was not usually occupied in the daily life of the
community. This was the common position for the refectory, with the
lavatory close at hand, and the aumbries or cupboards for the towels, etc.
It was here also that the door from the outside world into the monastic
precincts was usually to be found. At Durham, for example, we are told

    “there was on the south side of the cloister door, a stool, or seat
    with four feet, and a back of wood joined to the said stool, which was
    made fast in the wall for the porter to sit on, which did keep the
    cloister door. And before the said stool it was boarded in under foot,
    for warmness. And he that was the last porter there was called Edward

The same account describes the cupboards near to the refectory door in
which the monks kept their towels--

    “All the forepart of the aumbry was thorough carved work, to give air
    to the towels.” There were “three doors in the forepart of either
    aumbry and a lock on every door, and every monk had a key for the said
    aumbries, wherein did hang in every one clean towels for the monks to
    dry their hands on, when they washed and went to dinner.”

We who see the cold damp-stained cloisters of the old monastic buildings
as they are to-day, as at Westminster for example, may well feel a
difficulty in realising what they were in the time of their glory. Day
after day for centuries the cloister was the centre of the activity of the
religious establishment. The quadrangle was the place where the monks
lived and studied and wrote. In the three sides--the northern, eastern,
and western walks--were transacted the chief business of the house, other
than what was merely external. Here the older monks laboured at the tasks
appointed them by obedience, or discussed questions relating to
ecclesiastical learning or regular observance, or at permitted times
joined in recreative conversation. Here, too, in the parts set aside for
the purpose, the younger members toiled at their studies under the eye of
their teacher, learnt the monastic observance from the lips of the
novice-master, or practised the chants and melodies of the Divine Office
with the cantor or his assistant. How the work was done in the winter
time, even supposing that the great windows looking out on to the
cloister-garth were glazed or closed with wooden shutters, must ever
remain a mystery. In some places, it is true, certain screenwork divisions
appear to have been devised, so as to afford some shelter and protection
to the elder members and scribes of the monastery from the sharper
draughts inevitable in an open cloister. The account given in the _Rites
of Durham_ on this point is worth quoting at length:--

    “In the cloister,” says the writer--and he is speaking of the northern
    walk, set apart for the seniors--“in the cloister there were carrels
    finely wainscotted and very close, all but the forepart, which had
    carved work to give light in at their carrel doors. And in every
    carrel was a desk to lie their books on, and the carrel was no greater
    than from one stanchell (centre-bar) of the window to another. And
    over against the carrels, against the church wall, did stand certain
    great aumbries of wainscot all full of books, with great store of
    ancient manuscripts to help them in their study.” In these cupboards,
    “did lie as well the old ancient written Doctors of the Church as
    other profane authors, with divers other holy men’s works, so that
    every one did study what doctor pleased him best, having the Library
    at all times to go and study in besides these carrels.”


In speaking of the novices the same writer tells us that--

    “over against the said treasury door was a fair seat of wainscot,
    where the novices were taught. And the master of the novices had a
    pretty seat of wainscot adjoining to the south side of the treasury
    door, over against the seat where the novices sat; and there he taught
    the novices both forenoon and afternoon. No strangers or other persons
    were suffered to molest, or trouble the said novices, or monks in
    their carrels while they were at their books within the cloister. For
    to this purpose there was a porter appointed to keep the cloister

In other monasteries, such for example as Westminster and St. Augustine’s,
Canterbury, these enclosed wooden sitting-places seem to have been very
few in number, and allowed only to those officers of the house who had
much business to transact for the common good. At Durham, however, we are
told that “every one of the old monks” had his own special seat, and in
each window of the south cloister there were set “three of these pews or


The refectory, sometimes called the _fratry_ or _frater-house_, was the
common hall for all conventual meals. Its situation in the plan of a
monastic establishment was almost always as far removed from the church as
possible, that is, it was on the opposite side of the cloister quadrangle
and, according to the usual plan, in the southern walk of the cloister.
The reason for this arrangement is obvious. It was to secure that the
church and its precincts might be kept as free as possible from the
annoyance caused by the noise and smells necessarily connected with the
preparation and consumption of the meals.

As a rule, the walls of the hall would no doubt have been wainscotted. At
one end, probably, great presses would have been placed to receive the
plate and linen, with the salt-cellars, cups, and other ordinary
requirements for the common meals. The floor of a monastic refectory was
spread with hay or rushes, which covering was changed three or four times
in the year; and the tables were ranged in single rows lengthways, with
the benches for the monks upon the inside, where they sat with their backs
to the panelled walls. At the east end, under some sacred figure, or
painting of the crucifix, or of our Lord in glory, called the _Majestas_,
was the _mensa major_, or high table for the superior. Above this the
_scylla_ or small signal-bell was suspended. This was sounded by the
president of the meal as a sign that the community might begin their
refection, and for the commencement of each of the new courses. The
pulpit, or reading-desk, was, as a rule, placed upon the south side of the
hall, and below it was usually placed the table for the novices, presided
over by their master.

    “At which time (of meals),” says the _Rites of Durham_, “the master
    observed this wholesome order for the continual instructing of their
    youth in virtue and learning; that is, one of the novices, at the
    election and appointment of the master, did read some part of the Old
    and New Testament, in Latin, in dinner-time, having a convenient place
    at the south end of the high table within a fair glass window,
    environed with iron, and certain steps of stone with iron rails of the
    one side to go up into it and to support an iron desk there placed,
    upon which lay the Holy Bible.”

In most cases the kitchens and offices would have been situated near the
western end of the refectory, across which a screen pierced with doors
would probably have somewhat veiled the serving-hatch, the dresser, and
the passages to the butteries, cellars, and pantry.


Besides the great refectory there was frequently a smaller hall, called by
various names such as the “misericord,” or “oriel” at St. Alban’s, the
“disport” (_deportus_) at Canterbury, and the “spane” at Peterborough. In
this smaller dining-place those who had been bled and others, who by the
dispensation of the superior were to have different or better food than
that served in the common refectory, came to their meals. At Durham,
apparently, the ordinary dining-place was called the “loft,” and was at
the west end of a larger hall entered from the south alley of the
cloister, called the “frater-house.” In this hall “the great feast of
Saint Cuthbert’s day in Lent was holden.” In an aumbry in the wainscot,
on the left-hand of the door, says the author of the _Rites of Durham_,
was kept the great mazer, called the _grace-cup_, “which did service to
the monks everyday, after grace was said, to drink in round the table.”


Near to the refectory was, of course, the conventual kitchen. At
Canterbury this kitchen was a square of some forty-five feet; at Durham it
was somewhat smaller; and at Glastonbury, Worcester, and Chester the hall
was some thirty-five feet square. A small courtyard with the usual offices
adjoined it; and this sometimes, as at Westminster and Chester, had a
tower and a larder on the western side. According to the Cluniac
constitutions there were to be two kitchens: the one served in weekly
turns by the brethren, the other in which a good deal of the food was
prepared by paid servants. The first was chiefly used for the preparation
of the soup or pottage, which formed the foundation of the monastic
dinner. The furniture of this kitchen is minutely described in the
Custumals: there were to be three _caldaria_ or cauldrons for boiling
water: one for cooking the beans, a second for the vegetables, and a
third, with an iron tripod to stand it upon, to furnish hot water for
washing plates, dishes, cloths, etc. Secondly, there were to be four great
dishes or vessels: one for half-cooked beans; another and much larger one,
into which water was always to be kept running, for washing vegetables; a
third for washing up plates and dishes; and a fourth to be reserved for
holding a supply of hot water required for the weekly feet-washing, and
for the shaving of faces and tonsures, etc. In the same way there were
to be always in the kitchen four spoons: the first for beans, the second
for vegetables, the third (a small one naturally) for seasoning the soup,
and the fourth (an iron one of large size) for shovelling coals on to the
fire. Besides these necessary articles, the superior was to see that there
were to be always at hand four pairs of sleeves for the use of the
servers, that they might not soil their ordinary habits; two pairs of
gloves for moving hot vessels, and three napkins for wiping dishes, etc.,
which were to be changed every Thursday. Besides these things there were,
of course, to be knives, and a stone wherewith to sharpen them; a small
dish to get hot water quickly when required; a strainer; an urn to draw
hot water from; two ladles; a fan to blow the fire up when needed, and
stands to set the pots upon, etc.


The work of the weekly cooks is also carefully set out in these
constitutions. These officials were four in number, and, upon the sign for
vespers, after making their prayer, they were to proceed to the kitchen
and obtain the necessary measure of beans for the following day. They then
said their vespers together, and proceeded to wash the beans in three
waters, putting them afterwards into the great boiling-pot with water
ready for the next day. After Lauds on the following day, when they had
received the usual blessing for the servers, after washing themselves they
proceeded to the kitchen and set the cauldron of beans on the fire. The
pot was to be watched most carefully lest the contents should be burnt.
The skins were to be taken off as they became loosened, and the beans were
to be removed as they were cooked. When all had been finished, the great
cauldron was to be scoured and cleaned “_usque ad nitidum_.” Directly the
beans had been removed from the fire, another pot was to be put in its
place, so that there might always be a good supply of water for washing
plates and dishes. These, when cleaned, were to be put into a rack to dry;
this rack was to be constantly and thoroughly scoured and kept clean and

When the cooking of this bean soup had progressed so far, the four cooks
were to sit down and say their Divine Office together whilst the hot water
was being boiled. A third pot, with vegetables in cold water, was to be
then made ready to take its place on the fire, after the Gospel of the
morning Mass. When the daily Chapter, at which all had to be present, was
finished, the beans were again to be put on the fire and boiled with more
water, whilst the vegetables also were set to cook; and when these were
done the cooks got the lard and seasoning, and, having melted it, poured
it over them. Two of the four weekly cooks now went to the High Mass, the
other two remaining behind to watch the dinner and to put more water into
the cooking-pots when needed. When the community were ready for their
meal, the first cook ladled out the soup into dishes, and the other three
carried them to the refectory. In the same way the vegetables were to be
served to the community, and when this had been done the four weekly cooks
proceeded at once to wash with hot water the dishes and plates which had
been used for beans and vegetables, lest by delay any remains should stick
to the substance of the plate and be afterwards difficult to remove.


The chapter-hall, or house, was situated on the eastern side of the
cloister, as near to the church as possible. Its shape, usually
rectangular, sometimes varied according to circumstances and places. At
Worcester and Westminster, for example, it was octagonal; at Canterbury
and Chester rectangular; at Durham and Norwich rectangular with an apsidal
termination. Seats were arranged along the walls for the monks, sometimes
in two rows, one raised above the other, and at the easternmost part of
the hall was the chair of the superior, with the crucifix or _Majestas_
over it. In the centre a raised desk or pulpit was arranged for the reader
of the Martyrology, etc., at that part of Prime which preceded the daily
Chapter, and at the evening Collation before Compline.



The position of the dormitory among the claustral buildings was apparently
not so determined either by rule or custom, as some of the other parts of
the religious house. Normally, it may be taken to have communicated with
the southern transept, for the purpose of giving easy access to the choir
for the night offices. In two cases it stood at right angles to the
cloister--at Worcester on the western side, and at Winchester on the east.
The _Rites of Durham_ says that “on the west side of the cloister was a
large house called the Dortor, where the monks and novices lay. Every monk
had a little chamber to himself. Each chamber had a window towards the
Chapter, and the partition betwixt every chamber was close wainscotted,
and in each window was a desk to support their books.”

The place itself at Durham, and, indeed, no doubt, usually, was raised
upon an undercroft and divided into various chambers and rooms. Amongst
these were the treasury at Durham and Westminster, and the passage to the
chapter-hall in the latter. The dormitory-hall was originally one open
apartment, in which the beds of the monks were placed without screens or
dividing hangings. In process of time, however, divisions became
introduced such as are described by the author of the _Rites of Durham_,
and such as we know existed elsewhere. The cubicles or cells thus formed
came to be used for the purpose of study as well as for sleeping, which
accounts for the presence of the “desk to support their books” spoken of
above. The dormitory also communicated with the latrine or _rere-dortor_,
which was lighted, partitioned, and provided with clean hay.

For the purpose of easy access, as for instance at Worcester, the
dormitory frequently communicated directly with the church through the
south-western turret; at Canterbury a gallery was formed in the west
gable-wall of the chapter-house, over the doorway, and continuing over the
cloister roof, came out into an upper chapel in the northern part of the
transept; at Westminster a bridge crossed the west end of the sacristy,
and at St. Alban’s and Winchester passages in the wall of the transept
gave communication by stairs into the church.


In the disposition of the parts of the religious house no fixed locality
was apparently assigned by rule or custom to the infirmary, or house for
the sick and aged. Usually it appears to have been to the east of the
dormitory; but there were undoubtedly numerous exceptions. At Worcester it
faced the west front of the church, and at Durham and Rochester apparently
it joined it; whilst at Norwich and Gloucester it was in a position
parallel to the refectory. Adjoining the infirmary was sometimes the
_herbarium_, or garden for herbs; and occasionally, as at Westminster,
Gloucester, and Canterbury, this was surrounded by little cloisters. The
main hall, or large room, of the infirmary often included a chapel at the
easternmost point, where the sick could say their Hours and other Offices
when able to do so, and where the infirmarian could say Mass for those
under his charge. According to the constitutions of all religious bodies
the care of the sick was enjoined upon the superior of every religious
house as one of his most important duties.

    “Before all things, and above all things,” says St. Benedict in his
    Rule, “special care must be taken of the sick, so that they be served
    in very deed, as Christ Himself, for He saith: ‘I was sick, and ye
    visited me’; and, ‘What ye did to one of these My least Brethren, ye
    did to Me.’”

On this principle not only was a special official appointed in every
monastery, whose first duty it was to look to the care and comfort of
those who were infirm and sick, but the officials of the house generally
were charged with seeing that they were supplied with what was needed for
their comfort and cure. Above all, says the great legislator, “let the
abbot take special care they be not neglected,” that they have what they
require at the hands of the cellarer, and that the attendants do not
neglect them, “because,” he adds, “whatever is done amiss by his disciples
is imputed to him.” For this reason, at stated times, as for instance
immediately after the midday meal, the superior, who had presided in the
common refectory, was charged to visit the sick brethren in the infirmary,
in order to be sure that they had been served properly and in no ways


The guest-house (_hostellary_, _hostry_, etc.) was a necessary part of
every great religious house. It was presided over by a senior monk, whose
duty it was to keep the hall and chambers ready for the reception of
guests, and to be ever prepared to receive those who came to ask for
hospitality. Naturally the guest-house was situated where it would be
least likely to interfere with the privacy of the monastery. The
guest-place at Canterbury was of great size, measuring forty feet broad by
a hundred and fifty feet long. The main building was a big hall,
resembling a church with columns, having on each side bedrooms or cubicles
leading out of it. In the thirteenth century John de Hertford, abbot of
St. Alban’s, built a noble hall for the use of guests frequenting his
abbey, with an inner parlour having a fireplace in it, and many chambers
arranged for the use of various kinds of guests. It had also a _pro-aula_,
or reception-room, in which the guest-master first received the pilgrim or
traveller, before conducting him to the church, or arranging for a
reception corresponding to his rank and position.

In the greater monastic establishments there were frequently several
places for the reception of guests. The abbot, or superior, had rooms to
accommodate distinguished or honoured guests and benefactors of the
establishment. The cellarer’s department, too, frequently had to entertain
merchants and others who came upon business of the house: a third shelter
was provided near the gate of the monastery for the poorer folk, and a
fourth for the monks of other religious houses, who had their meals in the
common refectory, and joined in many of the exercises of the community.

The _Rites of Durham_ thus describes the guest-house which the author
remembered in the great cathedral monastery of the North:--

    “There was a famous house of hospitality, called the Guest Hall,
    within the Abbey garth of Durham, on the west side, towards the water,
    the Terrar of the house being master thereof, as one appointed to give
    entertainment to all states, both noble, gentle, and whatsoever degree
    that came thither as strangers, their entertainment not being inferior
    to any place in England, both for the goodness of their diet, the
    sweet and dainty furniture of their lodgings, and generally all things
    necessary for travellers. And, withal, this entertainment continuing,
    (the monks) not willing or commanding any man to depart, upon his
    honest and good behaviour. This hall is a goodly, brave place, much
    like unto the body of a church, with very fair pillars supporting it
    on either side, and in the midst of the hall a most large range for
    the fire. The chambers and lodgings belonging to it were sweetly kept
    and so richly furnished that they were not unpleasant to lie in,
    especially one chamber called the ‘king’s chamber,’ deserving that
    name, in that the king himself might very well have lain in it, for
    the princely linen thereof.... The prior (whose hospitality was such
    as that there needed no guest-hall, but that they (the Convent) were
    desirous to abound in all liberal and free almsgiving) did keep a most
    honourable house and very noble entertainment, being attended upon
    both with gentlemen and yeomen, of the best in the country, as the
    honourable service of his house deserved no less. The benevolence
    thereof, with the relief and alms of the whole Convent, was always
    open and free, not only to the poor of the city of Durham, but to all
    the poor people of the country besides.”

In most monastic statutes, the time during which a visitor was to be
allowed free hospitality was not unlimited, as, according to the
recollection of the author of the _Rites of Durham_, appears to have been
the case in that monastery. The usual period was apparently two days and
nights, and in ordinary cases after dinner on the third day the guest was
expected to take his departure. If for any reason a visitor desired to
prolong his stay, permission had to be obtained from the superior by the
guest-master. Unless prevented by sickness, after that time the guest had
to rise for Matins, and otherwise follow the exercises of the community.
With the Franciscans, a visitor who asked for hospitality from the convent
beyond three days, had to beg pardon in the conventual chapter before he
departed for his excessive demand upon the hospitality of the house.


In most Custumals of monastic observance mention is made of a _Parlour_,
and in some of more than one such place. Here the monks could be sent for
by the superiors to discuss necessary matters of business, when strict
silence had to be observed in the cloister itself. Here, too--it may be in
the same, or in another such room--visitors could converse with the
religious they had come to see. Sometimes, apparently, among the
Cistercians, the place where the monastic schools were held, other than
the cloister, was called the _auditorium_ or _locutorium_. At Durham, the
room called the parlour stood between the chapter-house and the church
door, and is described as “a place for merchants to utter their wares.” It
apparently had a door which gave access to the monastic cemetery, as the
religious were directed to pass through it for the funeral of any of the
brethren. During the times of silence, when anything had to be settled
without unnecessary delay, the officials could summon any of the religious
to the parlour for the purpose; but they were warned not to make any long
stay, and to take great care that no sound of their voices disturbed the
quiet of the cloister.


No religious house was complete without a place where the poor could come
and beg alms in the name of Christ. The convent doles of food and clothing
were administered by one of the senior monks, who, by his office of
almoner, had to interview the crowds of poor who daily flocked to the gate
in search of relief. His charity was to be wider than his means; and where
he could not satisfy the actual needs of all, he was at least to manifest
his Christian sympathy for their sufferings. The house or room, from which
the monastic relief was given, frequently stood near the church, as
showing the necessary connection between charity and religion. In most of
the almonries, at any rate in those of the larger monasteries, there was a
free school for poor boys. It was in these that most of the students who
were presented for Ordination by the religious houses in such number
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, (as is shown by the
episcopal registers of the English dioceses), were prepared to exercise
their sacred ministry in the ranks of the parochial clergy.


The common-room, sometimes called the calefactory or warming-place, was a
room to which the religious resorted, especially in winter, for the
purpose of warming themselves at the common fire, which was lighted on the
feast of All Saints, November 1st, and kept burning daily until Easter. On
certain occasions, such as Christmas night, when the Offices in the church
were specially long, the caretaker was warned to be particularly careful
to have a bright fire burning for the community to go to when they came
out of the choir. The common-room was also used at times for the purpose
of recreation.

    “On the right hand, as you go out of the cloisters into the
    infirmary,” says the _Rites of Durham_, “was the Common House and a
    master thereof. This house was intended to this end, to have a fire
    kept in it all the winter, for the monks to come and warm them at,
    being allowed no fire but that only, except the masters and officers
    of the house, who had their several fires. There was belonging to the
    Common House a garden and a bowling alley, on the back-side of the
    said house, towards the water, for the novices sometimes to recreate
    themselves, when they had leave of their master; he standing by to see
    their good order.

    “Also, within this house did the master thereof keep his _O Sapientia_
    once a year--namely, between Martinmas and Christmas--a solemn banquet
    that the prior and convent did use at that time of the year only, when
    their banquet was of figs and raisins, ale and cakes; and thereof no
    superfluity or excess, but a scholastical and moderate congratulation
    amongst themselves.”


“A monastery without a library is like a castle without an armoury” was an
old monastic saying. At first, and in most places in England probably to
the end, there was no special hall, room, or place which was set aside for
the reception of the books belonging to the monastery. In the church and
in the cloister there were generally cupboards to hold the manuscripts
in constant use. It was not till the later middle ages that the practice
of gathering together the books of an establishment into one place or room
became at all common. At Durham, about 1446, Prior Wessington made a
_library_, “well replenished with old written doctors and other Histories
and Ecclesiastical writers,” to which henceforth the monks could always
repair to study in, “besides their carrels” in the cloister. So, too, at
St. Alban’s, Michael de Mentmore, who was abbot from 1335 to 1349, besides
enriching the presses in the cloister with books, made a collection of
special volumes in what he called his study. This collection grew; but it
was not till 1452 that Abbot Whethamstede finally completed the _library_,
which had long been projected. About the same time, at Canterbury, Prior
Thomas Goldstone finished a library there, which was enriched by the
celebrated Prior William Sellyng with many precious classical manuscripts
brought back from Italy. In the same way many other religious houses in
the fifteenth century erected, or set apart, special places for their
collections of books, whilst still retaining the great cloister presses
for those volumes which were in daily and constant use.

[Illustration: WATTON PRIORY. E R YORKS]

In addition to the above-named parts of every religious house, there were
in most monasteries, and especially in the larger ones, a great number of
offices. The officials, or obedientiaries, for instance, had their chequer
or _scaccarium_, where the accounts of the various estates assigned to the
support of the burdens of their special offices were rendered and checked.
There were also the usual workrooms for tailors, shoemakers, etc., under
the management of the chamberlain, or camerarius, and for the servants of
the church, under the sacrist and his assistant. The above, however, will
be sufficient to give some general idea of the material parts which
composed the ordinary English religious house. More, however, will be
learnt of them, and especially of their use, when the work of the
officials, and the daily life led by the monks in the cloister is



The monastic rule, at least after the days of St. Benedict, was eminently
social. Both in theory and in practice the regular observance of the great
abbeys and other religious houses was based upon the principle of common
life. Monks and other religious were not solitaries or hermits, but they
lived and worked and prayed together in an association as close as it is
possible to conceive. The community or corporation was the sole entity;
individual interests were merged in that of the general body, and the life
of an individual member was in reality merely an item in the common life
of the convent as a whole. This is practically true in all forms of
regular life, without regard to any variety of observance or rule. Some
regulations for English pre-Reformation houses lay great stress upon this
great principle of monastic life. To emphasise it, they require from all
outward signs of respect for the community as a whole, and especially at
such times and on such occasions as the convent was gathered together in
its corporate capacity. Should the religious, for example, be passing in
procession, either through the cloister or elsewhere, anyone meeting them,
even were it the superior himself, was bound to turn aside to avoid them
altogether, or to draw on one side and salute them with a bow as they
went by. When they were gathered together for any public duty no noise of
any kind likely to reach their ears was to be permitted. When the
religious were sitting in the cloister, strangers in the parlour were to
be warned to speak in low tones, and above all to avoid laughter which
might penetrate to them in their seclusion. If the superior was prevented
from taking his meals in the common refectory, he was charged to acquaint
the next in office beforehand, so that the community might not be kept
waiting by expecting him. So, too, the servers, who remained behind in the
refectory after meals, were to show their respect for the community by
bowing towards its members, as they passed in procession before them. For
the same reason officials, like the cellarer, the kitchener, and the
refectorian were bound to see that all was ready in their various
departments, so that the convent should never be kept waiting for a meal.
In these and numberless other ways monastic regulations emphasised the
respect that must be paid to the community as a corporate whole.

As the end and object of all forms of religious life was one and the same,
the general tenor of that life was practically identical in all religious
houses. The main features of the observances were the same, not merely in
houses of the same Order, which naturally would be the case, but in every
religious establishment irrespective of rule. A comparison of the various
Custumals or Consuetudinaries which set forth the details of the religious
life in the English houses of various Orders, will show that there is
sometimes actual verbal agreement in these directions, even in the case of
bodies so different as the Benedictines and the Cistercians on the one
hand, and the Premonstratensians or White Canons and the Canons Regular on
the other. Moreover, where no actual verbal agreement can now be detected,
the rules of life are more than similar even in minute points of
observance. This is, of course, precisely what anyone possessing a
knowledge of the meaning and object of regular life, especially when the
number of the community was considerable, would be led to expect. And, it
is this fact which makes it possible to describe the life led in an
English pre-Reformation monastery in such a way as to present a fairly
correct picture of the life, whether in a Benedictine or Cistercian abbey,
or in a house of Canons Regular, or, with certain allowances, in a
Franciscan or Dominican friary.

This is true also in respect to convents of women. The life led by these
ladies who had dedicated themselves to God in the cloister, was for
practical purposes the same as that lived by the monks, with a few
necessary exceptions. Its end, and the means by which that end was sought
to be obtained, were the same. The abbess, like the abbot, had
jurisdiction over the lives of her subjects, and like him she bore a
crosier as a symbol of her office and of her rank. She took tithes from
churches impropriated to her house, presented the secular vicars to serve
the parochial churches, and had all the privileges of a landlord over the
temporal estates attached to her abbey. The abbess of Shaftesbury, for
instance, at one time, found seven knights’ fees for the king’s service
and held her own manor courts. Wilton, Barking, and Nunnaminster as well
as Shaftesbury “held of the king by an entire barony,” and by the right of
this tenure had, for a period, the privilege of being summoned to
Parliament. As regards the interior arrangements of the house, a convent
followed very closely that of a monastery, and practically what is said of
the officials and life of the latter is true also of the former.

In order to understand this regular life the inquirer must know something
of the offices and position of the various superiors and officials, and
must understand the parts, and the disposition of the various parts, of
the material buildings in which that life was led. Moreover, he must
realise the divisions of the day, and the meaning of the regulations,
which were intended to control the day’s work in general, and in a special
manner, the ecclesiastical side of it, which occupied so considerable a
portion of every conventual day. After the description of the main portion
of the monastic buildings given in the last chapter, the reader’s
attention is now directed to the officials of the monastery and their

In most Benedictine and Cistercian houses the superior was an abbot. By
the constitution of St. Norbert for his White canons, in Premonstratensian
establishments as in the larger houses of Augustinian, or Black, canons,
the head also received the title and dignity of abbot. In English
Benedictine monasteries which were attached to cathedral churches, such as
Canterbury, Winchester, Durham and elsewhere, the superiors, although
hardly inferior in position and dignity to the heads of the great abbeys,
were priors. This constitution of cathedrals with monastic chapters was
practically peculiar to this country. It had grown up with the life of the
church from the days of its first founders, the monastic followers of St.
Augustine. No fewer than nine of the old cathedral foundations were
Benedictine, whilst one, Carlisle, belonged to the Canons Regular.
Chester, Gloucester, and Peterborough, made into cathedrals by Henry
VIII., were previously Benedictine abbeys.

In the case of these cathedral monasteries the bishop was in many ways
regarded as holding the place of the abbot. He was frequently addressed as
such, and in some instances at least he exercised a certain limited
jurisdiction over the convent and claimed to appoint some of the
officials, notably those who had most to do with his cathedral church,
like the sacrist and the precentor. Such claims, however, when made were
often successfully resisted, like the further claim to appoint the
superior, put forward at times by a bishop with a monastic chapter. So
far, then, as the practical management of the cathedral monasteries is
concerned, the priors ruled with an authority equal to that of an abbot,
and whatever legislation applies to the latter would apply equally to the
former. The same may be said of the superior of those houses of Canons
Regular, and other bodies, where the chief official was a prior. This will
only partially be true in the case of the heads of dependent monasteries,
such as Tynemouth, which was a cell of St. Alban’s Abbey, and whose
superior, although a prior ruling the house with full jurisdiction, was
nominated by the abbot of the mother house, and held office not for life,
but at his will and pleasure. The same may be said of the priors of
Dominican houses, and of the guardians of Franciscan friaries, whose
office was temporary; and of the heads of alien monasteries, who were
dependent to a greater or less extent upon their foreign superiors.

Roughly speaking, then, the office of superior was the same in all
religious houses; and if proper allowance be made for different
circumstances, and for the especial ecclesiastical position necessarily
secured by the abbatial dignity, any description of the duties and
functions of an abbot in one of the great English houses will be found to
apply to other religious superiors under whatever name they may be


The title abbot (_abbas_) means father, and was used from the earliest
times as a title appropriate to designate the superior of a religious
house, as expressing the paternal qualities which should characterise his
rule. St. Benedict says that “an abbot who is worthy to have charge of a
monastery ought always to remember by what title he is called,” and that
“in the monastery he is considered to represent the person of Christ,
seeing that he is called by His name.” The monastic system established by
St. Benedict was based entirely upon the supremacy of the abbot. Though
the Rule gives directions as to an abbot’s government, and furnishes him
with principles upon which to act, and binds him to carry out certain
prescriptions as to consultation with others in difficult matters, etc.,
the subject is told to obey without question or hesitation the decision of
the superior. It is of course needless to say that this obedience did not
extend to the commission of evil, even were any such a command ever
imposed. Upon this principle of implicit obedience to authority depended
the power and success of the monastic system, and in acknowledging the
supreme jurisdiction of the superior, whether abbot or prior, all
pre-Reformation religious Orders agreed.

[Illustration: THOMAS, ABBOT OF ST. ALBAN’S]

It is useful at the outset to understand how the abbot was chosen.
According to the monastic rule, he was to be elected by the universal
suffrages of his future subjects. In practice these could be made known in
one of three ways: (1) By individual voting, _per viam scrutinii_; (2) by
the choice of a certain number, or even of one eminent person, to elect in
the name of the community, a mode of election known as _electio per
compromissium_; and (3) by acclamation, or the uncontradicted declaration
of the common wish of the body. Prior, however, to this formal election
there were certain preliminaries to be gone through, which varied
according to circumstances. Very frequently the founder or patron, who was
the descendant of the original founder of the religious house, had to be
consulted, and his leave obtained for the community to proceed to an
election. In the case of many of the small houses, and, of course, of the
greater monasteries, the sovereign was regarded as the founder; and not
unfrequently one condition imposed upon a would-be founder for leave to
endow a religious house with lands exempt from the Mortmain Acts, was
that, on the death of the superior, the convent should be bound to ask
permission from the king to elect his successor. This requirement of a
royal _congé d’élire_ was frequently regarded as an infringement of the
right of the actual founder, but in practice it appears to have been
maintained very generally in the case of houses largely endowed with
lands, as a legal check upon them, rendered fitting by the provision of
the Mortmain Acts. Moreover, on the death of the superior, the king took
possession of the revenues of his office, which were administered by his
officials till, on the confirmation of his successor, the temporalities
were restored by a royal writ. In some cases this administration
pertained only to the portion of the revenues specially assigned to the
office of superior; in others it appears to have included the entire
revenue of the house, the community having to look to the royal receiver
for the money necessary for their support.

In practice the process of election in one of the greater monasteries on
the death of the abbot was as follows. In the first place the community
assembled together and made choice of two of their number to carry their
common letter to the king, to announce the death and to beg leave to
proceed to the election of a successor. This _congé d’élire_ was usually
granted without much difficulty, the Crown at the same time appointing the
official charged with guarding the revenues of the house or office during
the vacancy. On the return of the conventual ambassadors to their
monastery, the day of election was first determined, and notice to attend
was sent to all the religious not present who were possessed of what was
called an “active voice,” or the right of voting, in the election. At the
appointed time, after a Mass _De Spiritu Sancto_ had been celebrated to
beg the help of the Holy Ghost, the community assembled in the
chapter-house for the process of election. In the first place was read the
constitution of the General Council--_Quia propter_--in which the
conditions of a valid election were set forth, and all who might be under
ecclesiastical censure or suspension were warned that they not only had no
right to take part in the business, but that their votes might render the
election null and void.

After this formal preparation the community determined by which of the
various legitimate modes of election they would proceed, either the first
or second method being usually followed. When all this actual process of
election had been properly carried out and attested in a formal document,
the community accompanied the newly chosen superior in procession to the
church, where his election was proclaimed to the people, and the _Te Deum_
was sung. The elect was subsequently taken to the prior’s lodgings, or
elsewhere, to await the result of the subsequent examination as to
fitness, and the confirmation. Meantime, if the newly chosen had been the
acting superior, he could still continue to administer in his office, but
could not hold conventual chapter, or perform other functions peculiar to
the superior, until such time as he had been confirmed and installed. If
he was not the acting superior, he was required to remain in seclusion,
and to take no part in administration until after his installation.

Immediately after the process of election had been duly accomplished and
the necessary documents had been drawn up, some of the religious were
despatched to the king to obtain his assent to the choice of the
community. In the event of this petition being successful, the next step
was to obtain confirmation from the ecclesiastical authority, which might
either be the bishop of the diocese, or in the case of exempt houses, the
pope. In either case the delegates of the community would have to present
a long series of documents to prove that the process had been carried out
correctly. First came the royal licence to choose; then the formal
appointment of the day of election; the result of the election, and the
method by which it was effected; the letter signed by the whole community,
requesting confirmation of the elect in his office, and sealed by the
convent seal; the royal assent to the election, and finally an attested
statement of the entire process by which it had been made.

The ecclesiastical authority, upon the reception of these documents,
proceeded to an examination of the formal process, and questioned the
delegates both as to this, and as to their knowledge of the fitness of the
elect for the office. If the result was not satisfactory, the pope or
bishop, as the case might be, either cancelled the election or called for
the candidate in order to examine him personally as to “doctrine and
morals,” and as to his capability of ruling a religious house in
spirituals and temporals. In the event of the election being quashed, the
authority either ordered a new election, or, on the ground of the failure
of the community to elect within a definite period a fit and proper
superior, appointed someone to the office.

The ecclesiastical confirmation of the election was followed, after as
brief an interval as possible, by the installation. In the case of an
exempt abbey, a delay of some weeks was inevitable, sometimes until the
return of the messengers from the Curia, and thus occasionally the office
of superior was necessarily kept a long time vacant. If the superior was
to hold the abbatial dignity, before his installation he received the rite
of solemn benediction at the hands of the diocesan. This was generally
conferred in some other than the monastic church, probably because until
after installation, which was subsequent to the abbatial blessing, the new
abbot was not supposed legally to have any position in the house he was
afterwards to rule.

On the day appointed for the solemn installation, the abbot, walking with
bare feet, presented himself at the church door. He was there met by the
community and conducted to the High Altar, where, during the singing of
the _Te Deum_, he remained prostrate on the ground. At the conclusion of
the hymn, he was conducted to his seat, the process of his election and
confirmation was read, together with the episcopal or papal mandate,
charging all the religious to render him every canonical obedience and
service. Then one by one the community came, and, kneeling before their
new superior, received from him the kiss of peace. The ceremony was
concluded by a solemn blessing bestowed by the newly-installed abbot
standing at the High Altar.

The position of the abbot among his community may be summed up in the
expression made use of by St. Benedict. He takes Christ’s place. All the
exterior respect shown to him, which to modern ideas may perhaps seem
exaggerated, if not ridiculous, presupposes this idea as existing in the
mind of the religious. Just as the great Patriarch of Western monachism
ordered that obedience was to be shown to a superior as if it were
obedience paid to God himself, and “as if the command had come from God,”
so reverence and respect was paid him for Christ’s love, because as
abbot--father--he was the representative of Christ in the midst of the
brethren. In all places, for this reason, external honour was to be shown
to him. When he passed by, all were to stand and bow towards him. In
Chapter and refectory none might sit in their places until he had taken
his seat; when he sat in the cloister no one might take the seat next to
him, unless he invited him so to do. In his presence conversation was to
be moderated and unobtrusive, and no one might break in upon anything that
he might be saying with remarks of his own. Familiarity with him was to
be avoided, as it would be with our Lord himself; and he, on his part,
must be careful not to lower the dignity of his office by too much
condescending to those who might be disposed to take advantage of his good
nature; nor might he omit to correct any want of respect manifested
towards his person. He was in this to consider his office and not his
natural inclinations.

The abbot is to occupy the first place in the choir on the right-hand
side. During the Office his stall is to be furthest from the altar, the
juniors being in front of him, and placed nearest to the sanctuary steps.
At Mass, however, the position is changed, the abbot and seniors being
closest to the altar, for the purpose of making the oblations at the Holy
Sacrifice, and giving the blessings. Whenever a book or other thing is
brought to him, the book and his hand are to be kissed. When he gives out
an Antiphon, or sings a Responsory, he does so, not as the others perform
the duty in the middle of the choir, but at his own stall; and the
precentor, coming with the other cantors and his chaplain, stand round
about him to help him, if need be, and to show him honour. When the abbot
makes a mistake and, according to religious custom, stoops to touch the
ground as a penance, those near about him rise and bow to him, as if to
prevent him in this act of humiliation. He reads the Gospel at Matins, the
Sacred Text and lights being brought to him. He gives the blessings
whenever he is present, and at Mass he puts the incense into the thurible
for the priest, and blesses it; gives the blessing to the deacon before
the Gospel, and kisses the book after it has been sung. The altar, at
which he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is to be better ornamented
than the other altars, and he is to have more lights to burn upon it
during the Holy Sacrifice. If his name is mentioned in any list of duties
all bow on hearing it read out in the Chapter, and they do the same when
he orders any prayers to be said or any duty to be performed, even should
he not be present when the order is published.

The whole government of every religious house depended upon the abbot, as
described by St. Benedict in the second chapter of his Rule. He was the
mainspring of the entire machine, and his will in all things was supreme.
His permission was required in all cases. All the officials, from the
prior downward, were appointed by him, and had their authority from him:
they were his assistants in the government of the house. In the refectory
he alone could send for anything, and could allow anyone to be admitted to
the common table. The meal was not to begin till after the reading had
commenced and he had given the sign to the refectorian to ring the
signal-bell. He might send a dish to any one of the brethren whom he
thought stood in need of it, and the brother on receiving it was to rise
and bow his acknowledgment.

In early times the abbot slept in the common dormitory in the midst of the
monks. His duty it was to ring the bell for the community to rise; and,
indeed, when any ringing was required for a public duty, he either himself
rang the call, or stood by the side of the ringer till all were assembled
for the duty, and he gave the sign to cease the signal. To emphasise this
part of his duty, in some Orders, at the abbot’s installation the ropes of
the church bells were placed in his hands. It was naturally the abbot’s
place to entertain the guests that came to the monastery, and he
frequently had to have his meals served in his private hall. To these
repasts he could, if he wished, invite some of the brethren, giving notice
of this to the superior who was to preside in his place in the refectory.
On great days in some houses, like St. Mary’s, York, after the abbot had
been celebrating the Office and Mass in full pontificals, it was the
custom for him to send his chaplain to the door of the refectory to ask
the sacred ministers who had served him, with the precentor and the
organists, to dine with him.

When the abbot had been away from the monastery for more than three days,
it was the custom for the brethren to kneel for his blessing and kiss his
hand the first time they met him after his return. When business had taken
him to the Roman Curia or elsewhere, for any length of time, on his
home-coming he was met in solemn procession by the entire community who,
having presented him with holy water, were sprinkled, in their turn, by
him. They conducted him to the High Altar, chanting the _Te Deum_ for his
safe return, and received his solemn blessing.

Whilst all reverence was directed to be given to him, he on his part was
warned by the Rule and by every declaration, that he must always remember
the fact that all this honour was paid not to him personally, but to his
office and to Christ who was regarded and reverenced in him.

He, above all others, was to be careful to keep every rule and regulation,
since it was certain that where he did not obey himself, he could not look
for the obedience of others; and that though he had no one set over him,
he was, for that reason, all the more bound to claustral discipline. As
superior, he had to stand aloof from the rest, so as not unduly to
encourage familiarity in his subjects. He was to show no respect for
persons; not favouring one of his sons more than another, as this could
not fail to be fatal to true observance and to religious obedience. “In
giving help he should be a father,” says one Custumal; “in giving
instruction, he should speak as a teacher.” He should be “ever ready to
help those who are striving after the higher paths of virtue.” He should
not hesitate “to stimulate the indifferent to earnestness, and to use
every means to rouse the slothful.” To him specially the sick are
committed, that he may by his visits console and strengthen them to bear
the trials God has sent them.

He must, in a word, “study with paternal solicitude the character,
actions, and needs of all the brethren; never forgetting that he will one
day have to render to God an account of them all.”


The prior, or second superior of the house, is above all things concerned
with the observance and internal discipline of the monastery. He is
appointed by the abbot after hearing the opinions of the seniors.
Sometimes, as at Westminster and St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, he was
chosen with great deliberation. In the first place, three names were
selected by the precentor and by each of the two divisions of the house,
the abbot’s side of the choir and the prior’s side. These selected names
were then considered by a committee of three appointed by the abbot, who
reported their opinion to him. Finally, the abbot appointed whom he



In all places and duties the prior’s place is next after the abbot. He
is to be honoured by all; when he enters the Chapter or comes to the
Collation, all rise and continue standing until he has sat down; when the
community are incensed in choir, he is to have that mark of respect paid
to him, next after the priest who is vested in a cope. “The prior,” says
one Custumal, “ought to be humble, kindly in disposition, a living example
of religious observance, excellent in everything, doing all things like
the rest of the brethren. He should be first among the first, and last
with the last.”

The reader will perhaps here recall Jocelin of Brakelond’s analysis of the
reasons which prompted the choice of Prior Herbert at Bury, in the closing
years of Abbot Sampson’s rule:--

    “The chapter being over, I being guest-master,” says Jocelin, “sat in
    the porch of the Guest-hall, stupefied, and revolving in my mind the
    things I had heard and seen; and I began to consider closely for what
    cause and for what particular merits such a man should be advanced to
    so high a dignity. And I began to reflect that the man is of comely
    stature and of (good) personal appearance; a man of handsome face and
    amiable aspect; always in good temper; of a smiling countenance, be it
    early or late; kind to all; a man calm in his bearing and grave in his
    demeanour; pleasant in speech, possessing a sweet voice in chanting
    and impressive in reading; young, brave, of a healthy body, and always
    in readiness to undergo travail for the need of the church; skilful in
    conforming himself to every circumstance of place and time, either
    with ecclesiastics or laymen; liberal and social, and gentle in
    reproof; not spiteful, not suspicious, not covetous, not drawling, not
    slothful; sober and fluent of tongue in the French idiom, as being a
    Norman by birth; a man of moderate capacity whom if too much learning
    should make (one) mad, might be said to be a perfectly accomplished

The prior’s main duty, besides taking the abbot’s place whenever he was
absent, and generally looking after the government of the monastery, was
to see to the discipline of the house and to maintain the general
excellence of observance. This he was to do as much by example as by
precept, and he was to make himself loved rather than feared. He was told
to endeavour to occupy in a community, what is called in one rule, “the
position of the mother of the family.” He stood, as it were, between the
father and his sons; and so long as discipline was not harmed, he should
not hesitate to be prodigal in kindness and ready to open his heart in
friendly intercourse with all who sought his help. “Let him remember,”
says one rule, “that the peace of the house depends on him.”

In monasteries where no other disposition was made, after the triple
prayer before the night Office had been said, it was the prior’s duty to
take a lighted lantern and go first to the dormitory to see that all were
up and that none had overslept themselves, and then to perambulate the
cloister and the chapels to see that no one had fallen asleep there, and
that the altars were ready for Mass. After Compline at night, having given
the sign for leaving the church, he himself went out first, and after
receiving the holy water at the door from the hebdomadarian, or priest
appointed for the weekly duty, stood aside whilst the community filed out
into the cloister, and each in their turn, after being sprinkled with the
holy water, put on his hood and passed up to the dormitory. When all were
gone, the prior was directed to go round the house and cloister, with a
lantern if necessary, to see that all the doors were fastened, that the
lights were safe for the night, and that all was well and quiet “in the
time of the great silence.” He then took the keys of the outer doors with
him to the dormitory, and sitting by his bed, waited to retire until all
the rest were lying down.

The prior had his regular week for acting as hebdomadarian priest like the
rest; but he did not take his turn with the others in reading in the
refectory or serving at meals. When he passed along the cloister the
brethren were not bound to rise and bow as they had to do to the abbot;
but should he wish to sit down anywhere, those near the place were to rise
and remain standing until he was seated. As his office was chiefly
concerned with the regular discipline, all permissions to be absent from
conventual duties, even if granted by the abbot himself, were to be
notified to him.

A true prior, it is frequently remarked in the old Custumals, is a
blessing to a religious house, and his presence is like that of an angel
of peace.

    “He should show,” says one English writer, “an example of the patience
    of holy Job and of the devotion of David. To his subjects he should
    manifest the religious observance of our holy fathers, so that he, who
    is first in name, may be ever first in the virtues of patience,
    devotion, and, indeed, in all the virtues of the religious life.”


The sub-prior was the prior’s assistant in the duties of his office. Like
the rest of the monastic officials, he was appointed by the abbot with the
advice of the prior. Ordinarily this third superior did not take any
special position in the community. He usually occupied the place of his
profession, except when he was called upon to preside over the religious
exercises instead of the abbot or prior. All the duties which had to be
performed by the prior, in his absence devolved upon the sub-prior.

Besides this, the sub-prior was often charged with specially looking to
certain matters of discipline, and with giving certain permissions, even
when the prior was present. All permissions given and arrangements made by
the sub-prior, during the absence of either the abbot or prior, were to be
reported to them on their return to claustral duties.

    “The sub-prior should be remarkable for his holiness,” says one
    English writer, “his charity should be overflowing, his sympathy
    should be abundant. He must be careful to extirpate evil tendencies,
    to be unwearied in his duties, and tender to those in trouble. In a
    word, he should set before all the example of our Lord.”

Besides the prior and sub-prior, in most large monasteries there were
third and fourth priors, called also _circas_ or _circatores claustri_,
that is, watchers over the discipline of the cloister. Their duty chiefly
consisted in going round about the house and specially the cloister in
times of silence, to see that there was nothing amiss or contrary to the
usual observance. They had no authority to correct, but they kept their
eyes and ears open in order to report. They did not go about necessarily
together, but according as special duties might have been assigned to them
by the abbot. When, in the course of their official investigations, they
found any of the brethren engaged in conversation or work out of the
ordinary course, it was the duty of one of those so engaged to inform the
official of the permission they had received. The usual time for the
exercise of their functions was after Compline, before Matins, after
dinner and supper, and whenever the community were gathered together in
the cloister.



The officials of a monastery were frequently known by the name of
_obedientiaries_. Sometimes under this name were included even the prior
and sub-prior, as they also were appointed by the abbot, and were, of
course, equally with the others in subjection and obedience to him. But as
usually understood, by the word obedientiaries was signified the other
officials, and not the prior and sub-prior, who assisted in the general
government of the monastery. Various duties were assigned to all
obedientiaries, and they possessed extensive powers in their own spheres.
Very frequently in mediæval times they had the full management of the
property assigned to the special support of the burdens of their offices.
Their number naturally varied considerably in different monasteries; but
here it may be well to describe briefly the duties of each of the ordinary
officials, as they are set forth in the monastic Custumals that have come
down to us.


The cantor was one of the most important officials in the monastery. He
was appointed, of course, by the abbot, but with a necessary regard to the
varied qualifications required for the office; for the cantor was both
singer, chief librarian, and archivist. He should be a priest, says one
English Custumal, of proved, upright character, wise and well instructed
in all knowledge pertaining to his office, as well as thoroughly
conversant with ecclesiastical customs. Under his management all the
church services were arranged and performed: the names of those who were
to take part in the singing of Lessons or Responsories at Matins or other
parts of the daily Office were set down by him on the table, or official
programme, and no one could refuse any duty assigned to him in this way.
In everything regarding the church services the cantor had no superior
except the abbot, although in certain cases, where the Divine Office, for
example, had been delayed for some reason or other, the sacrist might sign
to him in suggestion that he should cause the singers to chant more
briskly. What he arranged to be sung had to be sung, what he settled to be
read in the refectory had to be read; the portion of Sacred Scripture, or
other book that he had marked for the evening Collation, had to be used,
and no other.

The place of the cantor in the church was always on the right hand of the
choir; that of his assistant, the _succentor_, or sub-cantor, was on the
left. It was part of the cantor’s duty to move about the choir when it was
necessary to regulate the singing, and especially when any Prose, or long
_Magnificat_ with difficult music was being sung. Above all things, he had
to guard against mistakes, or even the possibility of mistakes, in the
divine service by every means in his power. With this end in view, he was
instructed to select only music that was known to all, and to see that it
was sung in the traditional manner. To guard against faults in reading and
singing he was obliged by his office to go over the Lessons for Matins
with the younger monks, and to hear the reader in the refectory before the
meals, in order to point out defects of pronunciation and quantity, as
well as to regulate the tone of the voice and the rate of reading.

When the abbot had to give out an Antiphon or Responsory on one of the
greater feasts, the cantor always attended him, and helped him if there
were need. If the abbot was unable to take any of his duties in church in
the way of singing, such as celebrating the High Mass or intoning the
Antiphons at the _Benedictus_ and _Magnificat_, the cantor took them as
part of the duties of his office. On all greater feasts of the second
class, the cantor, by virtue of his office, gave out the Antiphon at the
_Benedictus_ and at the _Magnificat_. At the Mass and other solemn parts
of the Divine Office on these occasions, he directed the choir with his
staff of office: assisted on first-class days by six of the brethren in
copes, and on feasts of the second class by four. His side of the choir
was always to take up any psalm he had intoned; the other side of the
choir, under the direction of the sub-cantor, doing the same in regard to
what he intoned.

Even when the cantor himself was not directing the choir, as on ordinary
days, he had to be always ready to come to the assistance of the
community, in the case of any breakdown in the singing or hesitation as to
the correct Antiphons to be used, etc. If an Antiphon was not given out,
or given out wrongly, or if the brethren got astray in the music, he was
to set it right with as little delay as possible. If the tone of the
chanting had to be raised or to be lowered, it was to be done only by him,
and all had to follow his lead without hesitation. On festivals it was
his duty to select the singers of the Epistle and Gospel, and he was to be
ever guided in his choice of deacon and sub-deacon by his knowledge of
their capacity to do honour to the feast by their good singing. When the
community were walking in procession through the cloisters or elsewhere,
it was his duty to walk up and down, between the ranks of the brethren, to
see that the singing was correctly rendered, and that it was kept
together. The brethren were charged unhesitatingly to follow his
suggestion and his leading.

Besides this, the cantor was naturally the instructor of music in the
community, and at certain times he took the novices and trained them in
the proper mode of ecclesiastical chanting and in the traditional music of
the house. In many monasteries he had also to teach the boys of the
cloister-school to read, and the exasperating nature of this part of his
office may be perhaps gauged from a provision inserted in some statutes,
that he was on no account to slap their heads or pull their hair, this
privilege being permitted only to their special master.

On account of the cantor’s care of the church services and the necessary
labour entailed thereby upon him, some indulgence was generally accorded
to him in regard to his attendance at the parts of the Divine Office where
his presence was not specially required. He was, however, forbidden to
absent himself from two consecutive canonical hours, and was not to stay
away from Matins, Vespers, or Compline. On Saturdays, like the rest, he
had to wash his feet in the cloister.

So much with regard to the duties of the precentor, as chief singer of the
monastery. He was also the librarian, or _armarius_; the two offices,
somewhat strangely, perhaps, to our modern notion, always going together.
In this capacity he had charge of all the books contained in the aumbry,
or book-cupboard, or later in the book-room, or library. Moreover, he had
to prepare the ink for the various writers of manuscripts and charters,
etc., and to procure the necessary parchment for book-making. He had to
watch that the books did not suffer from ill use, or misuse, and to see to
the mending and binding of them all. As keeper of the bookshelves, the
cantor was supposed to know the position and titles of the volumes, and by
constant attention to protect them from dust, and injury from insects,
damp, or decay. When they required repair or cleaning, he was to see to
it; and also to judge when the binding had to be repaired or renewed. For
the purpose of thus renovating the manuscripts under his care, he had, of
course, frequently to employ skilled labour. At such times he received an
allowance of food for the workmen engaged “on cleaning the bindings of the
choir books,” etc. Special revenues also were at his disposal “for making
new books and keeping up the organs.”

At the beginning of Lent the cantor was to remind the community in Chapter
of those who had given the books to their house, or had written them; and
subsequently it was his duty to request that an Office and Mass for the
Dead should be said for such benefactors. And, during the morning Mass of
the first Sunday of Lent, he was to bring a collection of volumes into the
Chapter-house, that the abbot might distribute one volume to each monk as
his special Lenten reading. In the ordinary course, the precentor was
bound to give out whatever books were required or asked for, taking care
always to enter their titles and the names of the borrowers in his
register. He was permitted sometimes to lend the less precious
manuscripts; but if the loan was made to someone outside the monastery, he
had to see that he received a sufficient pledge for its safe return.

All writings of the church, or made for the church, came under the charge
of the precentor. He made, for example, the _tabulae_, or lists of those
taking any part in the services. These were graven on waxen tablets, the
writing on which could easily be changed, and for making and repairing of
which the sacrist had to furnish the wax. Moreover, the precentor had to
supply the writers with the parchment, ink, etc., for their work, and
personally to hire the scribes and rubricators who laboured for money.
Also, he was supposed to provide those in the cloister who could write and
desired to do so, with whatever materials they required; but before
receiving these the religious had first to obtain leave from the abbot or
superior, and then only to signify their wants to the precentor. He was
told to give them what they needed, remembering that none of the brethren
wrote or copied for their own personal good, but for the general utility
of the monastery.

The precentor also, in his capacity of librarian, had to provide the books
used for reading and singing in the church and for reading in the
refectory and at Collation. He had personally to see that the public
reader had his volume ready, and that it was replaced in the aumbry at
night. To prevent mistakes, as far as it was possible so to do, the cantor
was supposed to go over the book to be read carefully, and to put a point
at the places where the pauses in public reading should be made. It was
also his duty as archivist to enter the names of deceased members of the
community and their relatives in the necrology of the house, that they
might be remembered on their anniversaries. In this same capacity, at the
time of the profession of any brother, he received from the abbot the
written charter of the vows that had been pronounced, so that the document
itself might be placed in the archives of the house. He was also required
to draw up the “Brief” or “Mortuary Roll,” wherewith to announce the death
of any brother to other monasteries, etc., and to ask for prayers for his
soul. This document, often executed in an elaborate manner and
illuminated, after it had received the sanction of the Chapter was handed
to the almoner, who sent it by special messenger, called a “breviator,” to
the other religious houses. In like manner the cantor received from the
almoner all such notices of deaths as came to hand, and presented them to
the conventual Chapter to obtain the suffrages asked for. If, as was
frequently the case, the roll had to be endorsed with the name of the
monastery, with the assurance of prayers, or some Latin verses in praise
of the dead or expressive of sympathy with the living at their loss, it
was the precentor’s duty to see that all this was done fittingly before
the roll was committed again into the almoner’s hand, to be returned to
the “breviator” by whom it had been brought.

The cantor also was one of the three custodians of the convent seal, and
he held one of the three keys of the chest which contained it. When the
die, often in the shape of single or double mould, was needed for the
purpose of sealing a document he was responsible for bringing it to the
Chapter with the necessary wax in order to affix the common seal to the
document, in the presence of the whole convent, and for then returning it
to its place of safe custody.

D. 1445]

Such an important office as that of precentor obviously required many high
qualities for its due discharge. According to one English Custumal, he
should “ever comport himself with regularity, reverence, and modesty,
since his office, when exercised with the characteristic virtues, is a
source of delight and pleasure to God, to the angels, and to men. He
should bow down before the altar with all reverence; he should salute the
brethren with all respect; he should in walking manifest his modesty; he
should sing with such sweetness, recollection, and devotion that all the
brethren, both old and young, might find in his behaviour and demeanour a
living pattern to help them in their own religious life and in carrying
out the observances required by their Rule from each one.”

The succentor, or sub-cantor, was the cantor’s assistant in everything.
When the precentor was absent he took his place and performed his duties.
In ordinary course he regulated the singing on the left-hand side of the
choir, and attended to such details of the cantor’s administration as
might be committed to him. It was part, however, of his own duty, as fixed
by rule, to see that all the brethren who were tabulated for any duty, or
who were involved in any change made in the daily _tabula_, had knowledge
of it, in order to prevent the possibility of mistakes, which would
interfere with the solemnity of the divine service, and by such
carelessness manifest a want of that respect due to the community as a
body. Moreover, before the morning Mass and the High Mass the succentor
was to be at hand to point out to the celebrants the Collects that had to
be said in the Holy Sacrifice, and the order in which they came. If,
whilst at the altar, notwithstanding all his care, the priest could not
find the proper place, or made delay from some other reason, he was at
once to come to his assistance. Lastly, to take one more instance of the
succentor’s duty: if during the course of the night Office he should see
any of the brethren drowsy or forgetting to recite, it was his duty to
take his lantern and go towards them, in order to remind them that they
were to be more alert as “watchmen keeping their vigil in the Lord’s


Next in importance to the office of cantor, especially in regard to the
church services which formed so integral a part in the daily life of a
monastery, was the sacrist. To him, with his several assistants, was
committed the care of the church fabric, with its sacred plate and
vestments, as well as of the various reliquaries, shrines, and precious
ornaments, which the monastery possessed. It was his duty to provide for
the cleansing and lighting of the church, to prepare the choir and altars
for the various services, to see that on feast days they were decked out
with the appropriate hangings and ornaments; to provide that the vestments
for the sacred ministers were ready for use as required, and that, on days
when the community were vested in albs or in copes, these were rightly
distributed to the brethren. The High Altar was specially in his own
personal care: he had to see that it was becomingly decked for the great
feasts, and he was particularly enjoined never to leave it without a
frontal of some kind, that he might not seem to neglect the place where
the daily Sacrifice was offered.

Upon the sacrist was specially enjoined the necessary virtue of
cleanliness. Every Saturday he had to see that the sconces of the
candlesticks were all scoured out, and that the pavements before the
altars were washed and cleaned. The floor of the presbytery was, like the
High Altar, to be his own special charge. He was directed constantly to
change the linen cloths of the altar and all those otherwise used in the
Holy Sacrifice, remembering as a guiding principle that it was “unbecoming
to minister to God, with things unsuitable for profane use.” The corporals
he was also to wash and prepare himself, polishing them with a stone,
known as “_lisca_”--“lischa,” or glass-stone. For this and the making of
the altar breads--concerning which work the minute legislation of the
Custumals testifies to the care required in the production of the bread
for the Holy Eucharist--the sacrist and his assistants had to be vested in
albs and were required to take every precaution in order to secure
spotless cleanness of hands and person. During the operation psalms and
other prayers were to be said. Once a week, also on Saturdays, if he were
a priest or deacon, the sacrist was ordered to wash thoroughly all the
chalices and sacred vessels used at the Holy Sacrifice, and to see that no
stains of wine, or marks of use, were left on them. If he were not in
Sacred Orders he had to get one of the brethren who was to do this office
for him. On the Wednesday of each week all the cruets were to be
thoroughly cleansed at the lavatory, as also all the jugs and utensils
under his care or belonging to his office.

Another function of the sacrist was the care of the cemetery where the
dead brethren were laid to their last rest. He was to keep it neat and
tidy, with the grass cut and trimmed, and the walks free from weeds. No
animals were ever to be allowed to feed among the graves or to disturb the
peace of “God’s acre.” This evidence of his care was intended to show to
all that it was here that the bodies of the holy departed were laid to
their peaceful repose to “await the day of the great Resurrection.” In
some places the sacrist also had care of the bells, especially of those
which summoned the brethren to the church; and of the clock, where there
was one, and this last could be touched by no one but himself or one of
his assistants on any pretence whatsoever.

Perhaps his most important duty, however, was that of looking after the
lighting of the entire establishment. His office in this matter, somewhat
curiously as it may appear to us, was not confined to the church; but from
him the officers of other departments had to obtain the candles or other
lights they needed. He had to purchase the supply of wax for making the
best candles, and the tallow or mutton fat for the cressets and the
commoner sort of lights, together with the cotton for making the wicks. At
certain periods of the year, it was his province to hire the itinerant
candle-makers and, having provided the necessary material, to preside over
the process of manufacturing the waxen and other lights that would be
needed by the community. From his store he had to supply the church with
all necessary lights for the altars, for the choir, and for illuminating
the candle-beams and candelabra on feast days. To light up the dormitory
and church cloister, the sacrist had to rise before the others were called
for Matins, so that all might be in readiness for the beginning of the
service. For those who had to read the Lessons, he was warned to provide
plenty of lights, especially in view of the difficulty experienced by “old
men and those with weak sight,” if the light was poor. Moreover, he had to
furnish the novices, who as yet did not know the psalms by heart, with
candles to read by. At Matins, he himself was always to have a lighted
lantern ready in case of any difficulty, and at the verse of the _Te
Deum_, “The heavens and the earth are full of Thy glory,” he took this
lantern and, going to the priest whose duty it was to read the Gospel,
bowed, and gave it to him so that he might hold it to throw its light on
the sacred text. At the conclusion of Matins he received back his lantern,
and going out from the choir rang the bells for Lauds.

For the use of the monastery, as has been said, the sacrist had to find
the material for lighting the cloister. When it was dark he had to light
the four cressets, or bowls of tallow with wicks, which, one in each part
of the cloister, can have done very little more than help to make the
darkness visible. When more light was needed the sacrist found tallow or
wax candles for particular purposes. He did the same in the church, where
also great cressets, one in the nave, one at the choir-gates, one at the
steps of the sanctuary at the top of the choir, and one in the treasury,
were always kept burning during the hours of darkness. Moreover, the
sacrist had to furnish the two candles for the abbot’s Mass, and to give a
certain specified amount of wax to each of the community to make their
candles. At St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, and Westminster, for instance,
the abbot had to receive 40 lbs. of wax for his yearly supply of candles;
the prior had 15 lbs.; the precentor, 7 lbs.; each of the senior priests,
6 lbs.; the junior priests, 5 lbs.; and the juniors, 4 lbs. He had
likewise to find all the candles necessary to light the refectory and
chapter-room, and to give the cellarer and the infirmarian what they
needed for the purposes of their offices. In winter, after the evening
Collation, the sacrist waited in the chapter-room after the community,
standing aside and bowing as they passed out. When all had departed, he
extinguished the lights and locked the door. As one amongst the many minor
duties of his office, the sacrist had each Sunday to obtain from the
cellarer the platter of salt to be blessed for the holy water. For this he
could either himself enter the kitchen, otherwise out of the enclosure, or
send another to fetch it. After the Sunday blessing of the salt, he was
himself to place a pinch of the blessed salt in every salt-cellar used in
the refectory.

In brief, the sacrist, as one of the English Custumals has it, “should be
of well-tried character, grave at his work, faithful in all his duties,
careful in keeping the brethren to traditions, and watchful over the
things committed to his care.” “If he love our Lord,” says another, “he
will love the church, and the more spiritual his office is, the more
careful should he be to make the church becoming and attractive for use,
and to study to make it in every way more fitting” to be called “the House
of God.”

The sacrist in most of the greater monasteries appears to have had under
him four principal assistants: the sub-sacrist, called in some places the
_secretary_, in others the _matricularius_, in others, again, the _master
of works_; the _treasurer_; the _revestiarius_; and the assistant
sacristan. The first named, the secretary, had charge of the offerings
made to the church, and was to look after the fabric of the church. He was
entrusted also with the general bell-ringing, and was exhorted by the
Custumals to endeavour by study to master the traditional system of the
peals, which in most monasteries was very elaborate. The secretary also
had to see that wine was provided for the altar, and that a supply of
incense was procured when it was needed; also that the store of charcoal,
wax, and tallow was replenished and not allowed to fall too low. He had to
purchase these, and the materials, such as lead, glass, etc., for the
repair of the fabric, at the neighbouring fairs; and he was warned to keep
an eye to the building so that it might not suffer by neglect.

Besides these duties, he was the official chiefly concerned in the opening
and closing of the church doors at the appointed times, and in seeing to
the safe custody of the monastic treasures. For this purpose, he with two
other under-sacristans always slept in the church, or close at hand,
whilst the treasurer and one other monk slept in the treasury, and even
took their meals near at hand, so that the church was never left without
guardians either day or night.

The _revestiarius_, as his name implies, was mainly concerned with the
vestments, the copes, albs, curtains, and other hangings belonging to the
church. He was responsible for their care and mending, and for setting
them out for use according to their proper colour, and as their varied
richness was appropriate to the order and dignity of the ecclesiastical
feasts. By his office he was also charged with giving the albs to the
brethren when they were to be vested in them, and also with bringing to
the precentor in the choir sufficient copes for him to distribute one to
each of the community on festivals when the Office was celebrated “_in
cappis_”; or at other times to the _schola cantorum_, who assisted him in
the singing at the lectern.

The _treasurer_ was appointed for the purpose of looking after the
shrines, the sacred vessels, and other church plate under the orders of
the sacrist. He assisted also in other duties of the sacrist as he might
be required; for example, after Compline he, with the others, when the
community had retired to bed, prepared whatever lights would be necessary
for the night Office. Several times a year it was the general duty of the
officials of the sacristy to sweep the church and remove the hay with
which it was mostly carpeted, and to put fresh hay in its place. Once a
year also they had to find new rush mats for the choir, for the altars,
for the steps of the choir, to place under the feet of the monks in their
stalls, and before the benches, and at the reading-place in the
chapter-house. Various farmsteads, belonging to the monastery, were
usually bound at certain times to find the hay, straw, and rushes
necessary for this part of the sacrist’s work.


The cellarer was the monastic purveyor of all foodstuffs for the
community. His chief duty, perhaps, was to look ahead and to see that the
stores were not running low; that the corn had come in from the granges,
and flour from the mill, and that it was ready for use by the bakers; that
what was needed of flesh, fish, and vegetables for immediate use was ready
at hand. He had to provide all that was necessary for the kitchen; but
was to make no great purchases without the knowledge and consent of the
abbot. In some places it was enjoined that every Saturday he was to
consult with the prior as to the requirements for the coming week, so as
to be prepared with the changes of diet associated by custom with certain
times and feasts.

To procure the necessary stores, the cellarer had of course to be
frequently away at the granges and at neighbouring fairs and markets; but
he had to inform the abbot and prior when he would be absent, and to leave
the keys of his office with his assistant. As the “Martha” of the
establishment, always busy with many things in the service of the
brethren, he was exempt from much of the ordinary choir duty, but when not
present at the public Office, he had to say his own privately in a side
chapel. He did not sleep usually in the common dormitory, but in the
infirmary, as he was frequently wanted at all hours.

As part of his duty the cellarer had charge of all the servants, whom he
alone could engage, dismiss, or punish. He presided at their table after
the conventual meals, unless he had to be present in the abbot’s chamber
to entertain guests, when the under-cellarer took his place. At dinner,
the cellarer stood by the kitchen hatch to see the dishes as they came in,
and that the serving was properly done. On days when the community had
dishes of large fish, or great joints of meat, or other portions from
which many had to be served before the dinner, the dishes, after being
divided in the kitchen, were set in the vestibule of the cellarer’s
office, and there the prior inspected them to see that the portions were
fairly equal. At supper it was his duty to serve out the cheese and cut it
into pieces for the brethren.

In the case of Westminster and St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, the cellarer
was urged to look well to the supply of fish, both fresh and salt. In the
case of the first, he was to be careful that it had not been caught longer
than a couple of days or so, and that it was always properly cooked. In
regard to all the meals he was to see that the cooks were prepared and in
time with their work, since, says the Custumal, “it were better to let the
cook wait to serve up the dinner, than to oblige the brethren to sit
wanting for their meal.”

In Benedictine monasteries, on those days when, in the daily reading of
the Rule, the part dealing with the duties and qualifications of the
cellarer was read, he was supposed to furnish something extra to the
brethren in the refectory. On those occasions he was to be present when
the passage of the Rule was read out, and to make sure that he might not
be away, was to ask the cantor to let him know a few days beforehand.


Besides the main part of his office as caterer to the community, on the
cellarer devolved many other duties. In fact, the general management of
the establishment, except what was specially assigned to other officials,
or given to any individual by the superior, was in his hands. In this way,
besides the question of food and drink, the cellarer had to see to fuel,
the carriage of goods, the general repairs of the house, and the purchases
of all materials, such as wood, iron, glass, nails, etc. Some of the
Obedientiary accounts which have survived show the multitude and variety
of the cellarer’s cares. At one time, on one such Roll, beyond the
ordinary expenses there is noted the purchase of three hundred and
eighty quarters of coal for the kitchen, the carriage of one hundredweight
of wax from London, the process of making torches and candles, the
purchase of cotton for the wicks, the employment of women to make oatmeal,
the purchase of “blanket-cloth” for jelly strainers, and the employment of
“the pudding wife” on great feast days to make the pastry. He had, of
course, frequently to visit the granges and manors under his care, to look
that the overseer knew his business and did not neglect it, to see that
the servants and labourers did not misconduct themselves, and that the
shepherds spent the nights watching with their flocks, and did not wander
off to any neighbouring tavern. Besides this he was charged to see that
the granary doors were sound and the locks in good order, and in the time
of threshing out the corn he was to keep a watch over the men engaged in
the work and the women who were winnowing. He was constantly warned by the
Custumals that he should frequently discuss the details of his work with
his superior, and take his advice, and get to know his wishes. Finally, in
one English Custumal at least, he is warned, in the midst of all his
numberless duties undertaken for the community, not to let it affect his
character as a religious. He should avoid, he is told, ever getting into
the habit of trafficking like a tradesman, of striving too eagerly after
some slender profit, or of grinding out a hard bargain from those who
could ill afford it.

As chief assistant the cellarer had an under official, called the
sub-cellarer, who was told to be kind and to possess polished manners.
Besides taking the chief’s place when occasion required, in most
well-regulated religious establishments certain ordinary duties were
assigned to the sub-cellarer. They were mainly concerned with the
important matters of bread and beer. He kept the keys of the cellar, and
drew the necessary quantity of beer before each meal. When he took his
place in the refectory he handed his keys to the cellarer, in case
anything should be required during the meal. He was specially charged with
seeing that the cellar was kept tidy, and that the jugs and other “_vasa
ministerii_” were clean. When the barrels were filled with new beer, they
were to be constantly watched by him for fear of an accident. In winter he
was to see that straw or hay bands were to be placed round the vats to
protect them from frost, and that, if need be, fires were lighted; in
summer he should have the windows closed with shutters, to keep the cellar
cool. He was not to serve any beer till at least the fourth day after it
had been made.

His special help, in seeing to the bakery and the bread, was the
_granatorius_, or guardian of the grain. It was his duty to receive the
grain when it came from the farms, and to note and check the amounts, to
see to the grinding, and to superintend the bakery. He had to watch that
the flour was of the proper quality, and on feast days he was supposed to
give a better kind of bread and a different shape of loaf. At times the
community might have hot bread--a special treat--and if it were not quite
ready, the meal could be delayed for a short time on such occasions. The
granator was supposed to visit the manors and farms several times in the
year, to estimate the amount of flour that would be required, and to
determine whence it was to be furnished, and when. Under the
assistant-cellarer and the granator were several official servants, of
whom the miller, the baker, and the brewer were the chief. It was the
sub-cellarer’s place to entertain any tenants of the monastic farms who
might come on business, or for any other reason, to the monastery; and
from him any of the monks could obtain what was necessary to entertain
their relatives or friends when they visited them, or the small tokens of
affectionate remembrance, called _exennia_, which they were permitted to
send them four times in the year.


The _refectorian_ had charge of the refectory, or as it is sometimes
called, the _frater_, and had to see that all things were in order for the
meals of the brethren. He should be “strong in bodily health,” says one
Custumal, “unbending in his determination to have order and method, a true
religious, respected by all, determined to prevent anything tending to
disorder, and loving all the brethren without favour.” If the duties of
his office required it, he might be absent from choir, and each day after
the Gospel of the High Mass he had to leave the church and repair to the
refectory, in order to see that all was ready for the conventual dinner,
which immediately followed the Mass.

Out of the revenues attached to his office, the refectorian had to find
all tables and benches necessary, and to keep them in repair; to purchase
what cloths and napkins, jugs, dishes, and mats might be required. Three
times a year he received from the monastic farms five loads of straw, to
place under the feet of the brethren when they were sitting at table, and
the same quantity of hay to spread over the floor of the refectory. Five
times a year he had to renew the rushes that were strewn about the hall;
and on Holy Saturday, by custom, he was supposed to scatter bay leaves to
scent the air, and to give a festal spring-like appearance to the place.
In summer he might throw flowers about, with mint and fennel, to purify
the air, and provide fans for changing and cooling it.

In preparation for any meal, the refectorian had to superintend the
spreading of the table-cloths; to set the salt and see that it was dry; to
see that in the place of each monk was set the usual loaf, that no
wood-ash from the oven was on the underside of the bread, and that it was
covered by the napkin. The drink had to be poured into jugs, and brought
in, so as to be ready before the coming of the community; and on the table
the cup of each monk was to be set at his place. In some houses the spoons
also were distributed before the commencement of the meal; but in others,
after the food had been brought in, the refectorian himself brought the
spoons and distributed them, holding that of the abbot in his right hand a
little raised, and the rest in his left hand. Both cups and spoons were to
be examined and counted every day by the refectorian, and he had to repair
them when necessary, and see that they were washed and cleaned every day.

Amongst the refectorian’s other duties may be mentioned his care of the
lavatory. He was to provide water--hot if necessary--for washing purposes,
and was to have always a clean hanging-towel for general use, as well as
two others always ready in the refectory. All towels of any kind were to
be changed twice a week, on Sundays and Thursdays. The refectorian was to
be blamed if the lavatory was not kept clean, or if grit or dirt was
allowed to collect in the washing-trough. He had to keep in the lavatory
a supply of sand and a whetstone for the brethren to use in scouring and
sharpening their knives. When the abbot was present at meals, he had to
see that the ewer and basin with clean towels were prepared for him to
wash his hands. On Maundy Thursday the tables were to be set with clean
white cloths, and a _caritas_, or extra glass of wine, was to be given to
all the community. At the approach of the festival of All Saints the
refectorian had to see that the candlesticks were ready for the candles to
light the refectory; one candlestick being provided for every three monks
at the evening meal from November 1 to the Purification--February 2.
Lastly, it was the refectorian’s duty to sample the cheeses intended for
the community. He could taste two or three in a batch, and if he did not
like them reject the whole lot. At Abingdon a “weight of cheese” was equal
to eighteen stone, and such a “weight” was supposed to last the community
five days!


The office of kitchener was one of great responsibility. He was appointed
in Chapter by the abbot with the advice of the prior, and he should be one
who was agreeable to the community. According to the Custumal of one great
English abbey, the kitchener was to be almost a paragon of virtue. He
ought to be “a truly religious man, just, upright, gentle, patient, and
trustworthy. He should be ready to accept suggestions, humble in his
demeanour, and kind to others. He should be known to be of good
disposition and conversation; always ready to return a mild answer to
those who came to him.” He was “not to be too lavish, nor too niggardly,
but ever to keep the happy mean in satisfying the needs of his brethren,
and in his gifts of food and other things to such as made application to
him. And as the safeguard of all the rest, he should strive ever to keep
his mind and heart in peace and patience.”

The kitchener needed to be well instructed in the details of his office.
He had to know, for example, how much food would be required for the
allowances of the brethren, in order to know what and how much to buy, or
to obtain from the other officials. He was to have what help he needed,
and, besides the cooks, he had under him a trustworthy servant, sometimes
called his _emptor_, or buyer, who was experienced in purchasing
provisions, and knew how and at what seasons it were best to fill up the
monastic store-houses. It was obviously of great importance, in order to
prevent waste, that the kitchener should keep a strict account of what was
expended in provisions and of what amounts were served out to the
brethren. Each week he had to sum up the totals, and at the end of the
month he had to present his accounts for examination to the superior,
being prepared to explain why the cost of one week was greater than that
of another, and in general to give an account of his administration.

As his name imported, the kitchener presided over the entire kitchen
department. He was directed to see that all the utensils made use of were
cleaned every day. He was to know the number of dishes required for each
portion, and to furnish the cook with that number; he was to see that food
was never served to the community in broken dishes, and was to be
particular that the bottoms of the dishes were clean before allowing them
to leave his charge, so that they might not soil the napery on the
refectory tables. Whilst any meal was being dished, he was to be present
to prevent unnecessary noise and clatter, and he was to see that the cooks
got the food ready in time, so that the brethren might never be kept
waiting. If the High Mass and Office, preceding the dinner, were for any
reason protracted beyond the usual time, the kitchener was to warn the
cooks of the delay. In the refectory his place was opposite to that of the
prior on the left, but if there were need, he could move about during the
supper to arrange or change the portions. In a special manner he was to
see to the sick, and serve them with food that they might fancy or relish
or that was good for them.

In some places the office of kitchener, like many of the others, was
endowed with special revenues which had to be administered by the
kitchener. At Abingdon, for example, the rents of many of the town
tenements were assigned to it. From his separate revenue the abbot in the
same place paid into the kitchener’s account more than £100 a year, to
meet the expenses of his table, chiefly in the entertainment of guests.
Besides money receipts, in most monasteries there were many payments in
kind. In the same abbey, to take that place as a sample, at the beginning
of Lent various fisheries had to supply so many “sticks of eels.” So, too,
on the anniversary of Abbot Watchen, the kitchener had the fish taken from
the fish-stew at one of the monastic manors; and during Lent, from every
boat which passed up the Thames carrying herrings, except it were a royal
barge, the kitchener took toll of a hundred of the fish, which had to be
brought to him by the boat’s boy, who for his personal service received
five herrings and a jug of beer.

The character of the religious kitchener as sketched in one English
Custumal is very charming.

    “He should be humble at heart and not merely in word; he should
    possess a kindly disposition and be lavish of pity for others; he
    should have a sparing hand in supplying his own needs and a prodigal
    one where others are concerned; he must ever be a consoler of those in
    affliction, a refuge to those who are sick; he should be sober and
    retiring, and really love the needy, that he may assist them as a
    father and helper; he should be the hope and aid of all in the
    monastery, trying to imitate the Lord, who said, ‘He who ministers to
    Me, let him follow Me.’”

The long list of duties for the kitchener to attend to set forth in the
monastic Custumals, and the grave admonitions which accompany them, show
how very important a place that official occupied in the monastery. He had
to attend daily in the larder to receive and check the food. When the eggs
were brought, for example, by the “vitelers,” he had to note who brought
them, and whence they came, and to settle how they were to be used. He was
to see that the paid “larderer” had meat and fish, salt and fresh, and
that the fowls and other birds were fed whilst they were under his charge,
waiting for the time they would be wanted for the table. After having made
his daily inspection of the outer larder, the kitchener was to visit the
inner larder, in order to see that all the plates and dishes were properly
scoured, that all the food ready for cooking was kept sweet and clean, and
that all the fish was well covered with damp reeds to keep it fresh.
Moreover, he was to inspect the fuel, to see that the supply was always
kept up by the doorkeeper of the kitchen, with the help of the

The kitchener was warned, not without reason, no doubt, to be careful
about his keys. They were to be kept in his room, and no one might touch
them without having first obtained his leave. “And,” says the Custumal,
“he should prudently take heed not to put too much trust in the cooks and
the servants, and on account of the danger of temptation” should not let
them have his keys without going personally to see what they wanted them
for. In this way only was it possible to guard against waste and
alienation of the monastery goods.

In discharge of his duties, which were exercised for the common good, the
kitchener might easily be excused from choir duties. During the morning
Office he was permitted, for example, to say his Mass, and his first daily
duty was to visit the sick to see if there were anything they would relish
that he could get, and to cheer them with a few kindly words.

Among the many things that the kitchener might be called upon to provide
at various times for the brethren, it may be mentioned that he had to
furnish the cantor with some of the best beer when he desired to mix the
ink for the writers.


Closely connected with the office of kitchener is that of the weekly
servers, for they were among his chief, though constantly changing,
assistants. They entered upon their weekly duties on the Sunday after
Lauds, when those who were finishing their week and those who were
beginning had to ask and receive the triple blessing. Immediately after
receiving the benediction, the new officers went to their work. They drew
water to wash with, and after their ablutions went to the kitchen to be
ready to do whatever might be needful.

During their week of service, if there were two Masses, one server went to
the first, the other to the second. Whilst the community were in the
cloister at reading-time, both were to be at work in the kitchen. They had
to be in the refectory ready to serve at meal times, and before all
refections they were to see that the lavatory was prepared for the
brethren. If there were a frost they had to provide basins of hot water
and put them near the washing-place, and they were to make ready the
water, towels, and other things requisite on shaving days. After each meal
one of the weekly servers in an apron went to the kitchen to assist in
washing up the dishes and plates.

On Saturdays they had to prepare hot and cold water, with towels, in the
cloister, for the weekly feet-washing; to clean out the lavatory and scour
the pot used for boiling water in the kitchen; to help to sweep up and
tidy the kitchen, and to prepare wood for the fire next day. In the
evening, as the last day of their weekly service, they performed the
_mandatum_, or feet-washing: the first server washed the feet of the
brethren, beginning with those of the abbot, and the second wiped them
with the towels he had already dried and warmed. As a last act they
returned and accounted for all the vessels and other things they had
received when entering upon their duties on the previous Sunday.




The official appointed to have the care of the infirm and sick should have
the virtue of patience in a pre-eminent degree. “He must be gentle,” says
one Custumal, “and good-tempered, kind, compassionate to the sick, and
willing as far as possible to gratify their needs with affectionate
sympathy.” When one of the brethren was seized with any sickness and came
to the infirmary, it was the infirmarian’s first duty to bring thither the
sick man’s plate, his spoon, and his bed, and to inform the cellarer and
kitchener, so that the sick man’s portion might be assigned to him in the
infirmary refectory.

Whenever there were sick under his charge the infirmarian was to be
excused, as far as was necessary, from regular duties. He said Mass for
the sick, if he were a priest, or got some priest to do so, if he were
not. If the sick were able to recite their Office, he said it with them,
provided lights, if necessary, and procured the required books from the
church. Whatever volumes they needed for reading he borrowed from the
aumbry in the cloister; but he was warned always to take them back again
before the cantor locked up the cupboard for the night. If there were
more than one monk sick at the same time and they could help themselves,
the infirmarian was then to go to the regular meals in the refectory; but
he was to return to his charges as soon as possible and see that they had
been properly served. He always slept in the infirmary, even when there
were no sick actually there, and this because he had always to be ready
for any emergency. Out of the revenue assigned to his office he had to
find whatever might be necessary in the way of medicine and comforts for
the sick. He was charged to keep the rooms in the infirmary clean, the
floors sparsely covered with fresh rushes, and to have a fire always
burning in the common-room when it was needed. According to one set of
English directions, the infirmarian was advised always to keep in his
cupboard a good supply of ginger, cinnamon, peony, etc., so as to be able
at once to minister some soothing mixture or cordial when it was required,
and to remember how much always depended in sickness on some such slight
act of thoughtful sympathy and kindness.

The mediæval rules of the infirmary will probably strike us, with our
modern notions, as being strangely strict upon the sick. The law of
silence, for instance, was hardly relaxed at all in the infirmary; the
sick man could indeed talk about himself and his ailments and necessities
to the infirmarian at any time, and the latter could give him every
consolation and advice; but there was apparently no permission for general
conversation, even among the sick, except at the regular times for
recreation; even at meal times the infirm ate in silence and followed, as
far as might be, the law of the convent refectory.


The brethren who were unwell were not all received in the infirmary for
treatment. There were some monks sick, as one set of regulations points
out, who were ailing merely from the effect of the very monotony and the
necessarily irksome character of the life in the cloister; from the
continued strain of silence; from the sheer fatigue of choral duties, or
from sleeplessness and such-like causes. These did not need any special
treatment under the infirmarian’s care; they required rest, not medicine;
and the best cure for them was gentle exercise in the open air, in the
garden or elsewhere, with temporary freedom from the strain of their daily
service. Those who had grown old in their monastic service were to find a
place of rest in the infirmary, where they were to be specially honoured
by all. They too, however, had to keep the Rule as far as they were able
without difficulty, and were to remember, as one English Custumal reminds
them, “that not even the pope could grant them a dispensation contrary to
their vows.” So they had to keep silence, for instance, if possible, and
especially the great night silence after Compline.

The curious practice of periodical blood-letting, regarded according to
mediæval medical knowledge as so salutary, formed part of the ordinary
infirmarian’s work. The operation was performed, or might be performed, on
all, four times a year, if possible in February, April, September, and
October. It was not to take place in the time of harvest, in Advent or
Lent, or on the three days following the feasts of Christmas, Easter, or
Pentecost. The community were operated upon in batches of from two to six
at a time, and the special day was arranged for them by the superior in
Chapter, who would announce at the proper time that “those who sat at
this or that table were to be blooded.” In settling the turns,
consideration had, of course, to be paid to the needs of the community.
The weekly server, for example, and the reader, and the hebdomadarian of
the community Mass were not to be operated upon during the period of their
service; and when a feast day was to be kept within four days of the
blood-letting, only those were to be practised on who could be spared from
the singing and serving at the necessary ecclesiastical functions of the

From first to last, the operation of blood-letting occupied four days, and
the process was simple. At the time appointed, the infirmarian had a fire
lighted in the calefactory, if it were needed, and thither, between Tierce
and Sext, if the day was not a fast, or between Sext and None if it were,
the operator and his victims repaired. If the latter desired to fortify
themselves against the lancet, they might proceed beforehand to the
refectory and take something to eat and drink. During the time of healing,
after the styptic had been applied and the bandages fastened, the
discipline of the cloister was somewhat mitigated. The patient, for
instance, could always spend the hours of work and reading in repose,
either lying on his bed or sitting in the chapter-room or cloister, as he
felt disposed. Till his return to full choir work, he was not to be bound
to any duty. If he were an obedientiary or official, he was to get someone
to see to his necessary duties for him during the time of his
convalescence. If he liked to go to the Hours in choir, he was to sit; he
was never to bend down or do penance of any kind, for fear of displacing
the bandages, and he was to go out of the church before the others, for
fear of having his arm rubbed if he were to walk in the ranks. During the
three days of his convalescence he said his Compline at night in the
chapter-room or elsewhere and then went straight to bed before the
community. Though he had still to rise for Matins with the others, after a
brief visit to the church he was allowed to betake himself to the
infirmary and there to say a much shortened form of the night Office with
the infirmarian and others. When this was done he was to return at once to
bed. In the refectory the monk who had been “blooded” received the same
food as the rest, with the addition of a half-pound of white bread and an
extra portion, if possible, of eggs. On the second and third days this was
increased in amount, and other strengthening food was given to him. In
some places these meals were served in the infirmary after the
blood-letting; and it was directed that the infirmary servant should on
the first day after the bleeding get ready for the patients sage and
parsley, washed in salt and water, and a dish of soft eggs. Those who
found it necessary to be cupped or scarified more frequently, adds one set
of regulations, had to get leave, but were not to expect to stay away from
regular duties on that account.


The conventual almoner was not necessarily a priest; and although, as his
name imports, his chief duty was to distribute the alms of the monastery
to the poor, there were generally many other functions in behalf of the
brethren which he had to discharge.

    “Every almoner must have his heart aglow with charity,” says one
    writer. “His pity should know no bounds, and he should possess the
    love of others in a most marked degree; he must show himself as the
    helper of orphans, the father of the needy, and as one who is ever
    ready to cheer the lot of the poor, and help them to bear their hard

In order to distribute the alms of the house the almoner might be absent
from the morning Office, and although he should be discreet and careful in
his charities, not wasting the substance of the monastery, he should at
the same time be kind, gentle, and compassionate. He should often visit
the aged poor and those who are blind or bedridden. If amongst his
numerous clients for assistance he ever found some who, having been rich,
had been brought to poverty, and were perchance ashamed to sit in the
almonry with the other poor, he should respect their feelings, and should
try and assist them privately. He should submit without manifesting any
sign of impatience to the loud-voiced importunity of beggars, and must on
no account abuse or upbraid them, “remembering always that they are made
to the image of God and redeemed by the blood of Christ.”

The general measures for the relief of poverty were in the hands of the
almoner; but he is told that should he find that his charity to any
individual was likely to be continuous, he must consult the superior; and
in like manner, when anyone has been a pensioner of the house, the almoner
must not stop the usual relief without permission. Whilst engaged with
Christ’s poor in the almonry, in ministering to the wants of the body, he
should never forget those of the soul, and should, as a priest, when
opportunity served, speak to them about spiritual matters, of the need of
Confession and the like. He had charge of all the old clothes of the
religious, and could distribute them as he thought fit, and before
Christmas time he was enjoined not to omit to lay in a store of stockings,
etc., so as to be able to give them as little presents to widows, orphans,
and poor clerks.

To the office of almoner belonged the remnants of the meals in the
refectory, the abbot’s apartments, the guest-house and the infirmary. At
the close of every meal one of the weekly servers took round a basket to
collect the portions of bread, etc., which the monks had not consumed, and
after the dinner the almoner could himself claim, as left for him,
anything that was not guarded by being covered with a napkin. In many
places, on the death of a monk, it was the almoner’s duty to find the
community an extra portion for the labour involved in the long Office for
the dead, and to remind them to pray for the soul of the deceased. In some
monasteries, on the other hand, the almoner daily received a loaf and one
whole dish of food that the poor person who received it might pray for the
founder of the monastery. In most houses, too, upon the death of any
member of the establishment, a cross was put in the refectory upon the
table in front of the place where the dead monk had been accustomed to
sit, and for thirty days the full meal of a religious was served and given
to the poor, that they might pray for the departed brother.

The almoner also superintended the daily maundy, or washing the feet of
the poor selected for that purpose. At Abingdon, for example, every
morning, after the Gospel of the morning Mass, the almoner went to the
door of the abbey, and from the number of those waiting for an alms he
chose three, who subsequently had their feet washed by the abbot,
according to the approved custom. After this maundy they were fed and
sent away with a small present of money. On the great maundy, on the
Thursday before Easter, it was the almoner’s duty to select the deserving
poor to be entertained--sometimes they were to be equal in number to the
number of the community--and after they had had their meal, the almoner
furnished each religious with a penny to bestow upon the poor man he had

As an ordinary part of his office the almoner had also a good deal to do
with any monastic school, other than the claustral school for young
religious, which was connected with a monastery. There, young clerks were
to have free quarters in the almonry, and the almoner was frequently to
see them set to argue one against the other, to sharpen their wits. He was
to keep them strictly, or, as it was called in those days of belief in
corporal punishment, “well under the rod,” and he had to find, out of the
revenues of his office, all “discipline rods” both for the boys and for
use in the monastic Chapter. On feast days, when there were no regular
lessons, these young clerics were to be set to learn the Matins of the
Office of the Blessed Virgin; or to practise writing upon scraps of
parchment. If they did not learn, and especially if they would not, the
almoner was to get rid of them, and fill their places with those who

As before noted, to the almoner belonged, at least partially, the duty of
attending to the mortuary-rolls or notices of deaths. That is to say, he
had to supervise the “breviators,” or letter-carriers, who were sent to
announce the death of the brethren, or who came with such rolls. He
received the rolls, and gave them into the hands of the cantor to copy and
to notify to the community. If it were the mortuary-roll of a prelate,
and especially if it announced the death of the head of any associated
monastery, the superior was to be informed at once, in case he should
desire to add to the roll something special about the dead; that is, more
than the mere name of the place, which was simply meant to testify that
the notice had been seen and read in Chapter. Whilst the bearer of the
roll was waiting to receive back his “brief,” he was to be entertained
liberally in the almonry. Sometimes the almoner was to get the cantor to
multiply copies of the death-notice, and these he at once despatched far
and wide by the hands of such poor people as were tramping the country and
called at the monastery for assistance.

Amongst the miscellaneous duties of the office of almoner, in some places
that official had to see that the mats under the feet of the monks in the
choir were renewed each year for the Feast of All Saints. He had also to
find the rushes for the dormitory floor. From St. Dunstan’s Day, May 19th,
till Michaelmas the cloister was kept strewn with green rushes, which the
almoner had to find, as well as all the mats used in the cloister and on
the stairs, and also in some houses the bay-leaves or “the herb-benet, or
common hedge avens,” to scatter in the refectory and cloister at Easter.
At the time of the long processions also on the Rogation days, two of the
almonry servants, standing at the church door, were wont to distribute
boxwood walking-sticks to such of the community who through age or
infirmity needed them to walk with.


The almoner, says one Custumal, should remember that from his office might
be derived great spiritual gain. He should keep before his mind our
Lord’s words: “I was hungry, and you gave me to eat,” etc. For this reason
alone he should ever be gentle and kind to the poor, for in them he was
really ministering to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He ought to endeavour
to be seldom, if ever, without something to give away in charity, and he
should try to keep a supply of socks, linen and woollen cloth, and other
necessities of life, so that if by chance Christ Himself were at any time
to appear in the guise of a poor, naked, and hungry man, “He might not
have to depart from His own house unfed, or without some clothes to cover
the rags of His poverty.”


In mediæval days the hospitality extended to travellers by the monastic
houses was traditional and necessary. The great abbeys, especially those
situated along the main roads of the country, were the halting-places of
rich and poor, whom business, pleasure, or necessity compelled to journey
on “the King’s highway.” For this and many other causes, such as the
coming to the monastery of people desiring to be present at church
festivals and other celebrations, visits of the relatives of monks, and of
those who were concerned in the business transactions of a large
establishment, the coming and going of guests was probably of almost daily
occurrence. The official appointed to attend to the wants of all these and
to entertain them on behalf of the monastery was the _hospitarius_ or

The official guest-master had the reputation of the religious house in his
hands. He required tact, prudence, and discretion in a full measure.
Scribbled on the margin of a monastic chartulary as a piece of advice,
good indeed for all, but most of all applicable to the official in the
charge of the guests, are the following lines:--

  “Si sapiens fore vis, sex serva quæ tibi mando
   Quid dicas, et ubi, de quo, cui, quomodo, quando.”

Which may be Englished thus:--

  “If thou wouldst be wise, observe these six things I command you,
   Before speaking think _what_ you say and _where_ you say it; _about_
       and _to_ whom you talk, as well as _how_ and _when_ you are

On the other hand, the guest-master is frequently warned that he must
certainly be neither too stand-off, silent, or morose in his intercourse
with strangers. And, as it is part of his duty to hold converse with
guests of all sorts and conditions, with men as well as women, “it becomes
him,” says one Custumal, “to cultivate,” not merely a facility of
expression in his conversation, but pleasing manners and the gentle
refinement which comes of and manifests a good education. All his words
and doings should set the monastic life before the stranger “in a
creditable light,” since it becomes him to remember the proverb: “Friends
are multiplied by agreeable words, enemies are made by harsh ones.”

The guest-master’s first office was to see that the guest-house was always
ready for the arrival of any visitor. He was to make certain that there
was a supply of straw sufficient for the beds; that the basins and jugs
were clean inside and out; that the floors were well swept and spread with
rushes; that the furniture was properly dusted, and that, in a word, the
whole house was kept free from cobwebs and from every speck of dirt.
Before the coming of an expected guest the master was personally to
inspect the chamber set apart for him; to see that there was a light
prepared for him should he need it; that the fire did not smoke; and that
writing materials were at hand in case they were required. Moreover, he
was to ascertain that all things were ready in the common rooms for his
entertainment. When it was necessary to procure something that was
needful, the master could enter the kitchen, which was, of course,
otherwise out of the enclosure for the monks generally. He was to get coal
and wood and straw from the cellarer; the cups, platters, and spoons that
were required from the refectorian; and the sub-cellarer was to arrange as
to the food itself. At Abingdon the guest-master had a special revenue to
be spent upon what must have been a source of very considerable expense in
those days, the shoeing of the horses of travellers generally who came to
the abbey, and especially of those belonging to religious and to poor
pilgrims. People also at various times left small bequests for this as for
other monastic charities. In the same abbey, the guest-master had also a
small yearly sum, charged on a house in the town, which had been left by
“Thurstin the tailor,” to help to entertain poor travellers, as a memorial
of the day when he and his wife had been received into the fraternity of
the monastery.

When word was brought to the guest-master of the arrival of a guest, he
was charged forthwith to leave whatever he was about, and to go at once to
receive him, as he would Christ Himself. He was to assure him--especially
if he were a stranger--of the monastic hospitality, and endeavour from the
first to place him at his ease. He was to remember what he would wish to
be done in his own regard under similar circumstances, and what he would
desire to be done to himself he was to do to all guests. “By showing this
cheerful hospitality to guests,” says one English Custumal, “the good name
of the monastery is enhanced, friendships are multiplied, enmities are
lessened, God is honoured, charity is increased, and a plenteous reward in
heaven is secured.” The whole principle of religious hospitality, as
practised in a mediæval monastery, is really summed up in the words of St.
Benedict’s Rule: _Hospites tamquam Christus suscipiantur_--Guests are to
be received as if they were Christ Himself.

Directly the guest-master had cordially received the new-comer at the
monastery gate, he was to conduct him to the church. There he sprinkled
him with holy water and knelt by him, whilst he offered up a short prayer
of salutation to God, into whose house he was come safely after the perils
of a journey. After this the master conducted his guest to the common
parlour, and here, if he were a stranger, he begged to know his name,
position, and country, sending to acquaint the abbot or superior if the
guest was one who, in his opinion, ought to receive attention from the
head of the house. When the guest was going to stay beyond a few hours, he
was taken after this first and formal reception to the guest-house, where,
when he had been made comfortable, according to the Rule, the master
arranged for the reading of some passages from the Scriptures or some
spiritual work. If the strangers were monks of some other monastery, and
the length of their visit afforded sufficient time, he showed them over
the church and house, and if they had servants and horses he sent to
acquaint the cellarer, that they too might receive all needful care. If a
conventual prior came on a visit he was to be given a position and portion
of food, etc., similar to that of the prior of the house, and every abbot
was to be treated in all things by the monks like their own abbot. For
each monk-guest the master got from the sacrist four candles, and the
chamberlain found the tallow for the cressets in the guest-house. It was
the master’s duty to see that the guests kept the rules, which were to be
made known to them on their first coming. Strangers were entertained for
two days and nights by the house without question. If any of them wished
to speak with one of the monks, leave had to be first obtained from the

When the guest desired to say the Office, books and a light were to be
provided in the guest-hall, and the master was to recite it with him if he
so desired. If on great feasts guests desired to be present in the church
for Matins, the master called them in ample time, waited for them whilst
they rose, and then with a lighted lantern accompanied them to the choir.
There he was to find them a place and a book and leave them a light to
read by. Before Lauds he came to them with his lantern to take them back
to their chambers that they might again retire to bed till the morning

Either the guest-master, or his servant, had to remain up at night till
the fires were seen to be protected and the candles put out. If the guest
was obliged to depart early in the morning, the master had to obtain the
keys of the gate and of the parlour from the prior’s bedplace. After
having let the visitor out, he was charged to take care to relock the
doors and to replace the keys. At all times when guests were leaving the
master was bound to be present, and before wishing them Godspeed on their
journey, he was instructed to go round the chambers, “in order,” says one
Custumal, “to see that nothing was left behind, such as a sword, or a
knife; and nothing was taken off by mistake which belonged to his charge
by his Office, and for which he was responsible.” With the departure of
guests came the duty of seeing that everything in the guest-house was put
in order again, and was ready for the advent of others.


The chief official duties of the chamberlain of a religious house were
concerned with the wardrobe of the brethren. He consequently had to know
what and how much clothing each religious ought to have by rule, and what
in fact he had. For this purpose he was provided with an official list of
what was lawful, or required, and from time to time with his servant he
had to examine the clothing of the monks, removing what was past repair,
and substituting new garments for the old, which were placed in the
poor-cupboard to satisfy the charitable intentions of the almoner. In the
distribution of these cast-off clothes, however, it was to be remembered
that those who worked for the monastery had first claim, if they were in
need, upon the old garments of the monks which had found their way to the

It is somewhat difficult to discover exactly the amount of underclothing
considered sufficient for religious, especially as in most places there
seems to have been little difficulty in furnishing more, if there was any
particular reason shown for additional clothing. Three sets, however, of
shirts, drawers, and socks, seem to have been an ordinary allowance for
priests and deacons, and probably two sets for others; with two tunics,
scapulars, and hoods, and two pairs of boots. These last were over and
besides the “night-boots,” which were apparently made of thick cloth, with
soles of some heavy noiseless material, such as our modern felt.

The chamberlain by virtue of his office had also to provide the
laundresses and superintend their work. These necessary servants were to
mend as well as wash all sheets, shirts, socks, etc., and all clothes that
needed regular cleansing and reparation. All underclothing was to be
washed, according to one set of rules, once a fortnight in summer, and
once every three weeks in winter. Great care was to be taken that no
losses should occur “in the wash,” and all the clothes sent to the tub
were to be entered on “tallies,” or lists, and returned in the same way
into the charge of the official.

The chamberlain, according to the amount of his work, could generally have
a monk as assistant chamberlain either for a time, or continuously.
Amongst the duties assigned to this assistant was that of looking to the
repairs needed in the clothes, which in a large establishment were
sometimes very heavy. In one of the Custumals, any monk who wanted a
garment repaired, had to place it in the morning in one of the bays of the
cloister leading to the chapter-house, Thither each day came the assistant
chamberlain to see what had been placed there, and what was wanted. He
then carried what he found to the tailor’s shop and fetched it again when
the repairs had been executed. This necessary establishment was generally
well organised. For example, at Abingdon there were four lay officials
and five helpers in the tailor’s department. The first had charge of the
skins and furs; the second was the master tailor; the third the master
cutter; and the fourth was called the “proctor of the shop”; and his
office was to see that all materials had been supplied by the camerarius,
that there was a store of cloth and skins, an abundance of needles, pins,
and thread, and a sufficiency of knives and scissors, and wax for the
thread. The proctor of the shop also had charge of the lights and fire,
and he himself slept in the shop and was responsible for its safe custody.


The camerarius by his office had to provide all the cloth and other
material necessary for the house. For such purposes he had to attend at
the neighbouring fairs, whither merchants brought their goods, where he
purchased what was necessary. For such matters he frequently had the use
of a cart and horse, with its driver. When vendors of cloth came to the
monastery the chamberlain had to interview them, and, if necessary,
entertain them out of the revenue attached to his office.

In mediæval times, when patent methods of heating were unknown and windows
were often unglazed or badly glazed, the cold of our northern climate
required the general use of skins and furs as lining to the ordinary
winter garments for protection from the weather and draughts. The cloister
was no exception, especially when the monks had to spend some hours each
night in their great unwarmed churches; and so we find in the Custumals
that the camerarius was warned to prepare a store of lamb-skins and
cat-skins before the cold set in, and he was granted a special supply of
salt for the purpose of curing them. He had charge also of the boots of
the community; and, at one place at least, three times in the year he had
a right to a supply of pigs’-fat from the kitchener, in order that he
might compound the grease with which the community liberally anointed the
leather of their boots to keep it supple and to make it weather-proof.

On the chamberlain of every monastic house devolved also the duty of
making preparation for the baths and for the shaving, etc., of the
brethren. He had to purchase linen cloth for the towels in the cloister
lavatory, for the monks’ baths, and for the general feet-washing each
Saturday. He was charged always to keep an eye upon the lavatory, and,
when it was frozen in the winter, he was told to see that there were hot
water and warm dry towels for the monks’ use. He had also to buy the wood
needful to warm the water for the baths, which were to be taken by all,
three or four times in the year; and he had to keep by him a store of
sweet hay to spread round about the bathing tubs for the monks to stand
on. From November to Easter he was to provide hot water for the general
feet-washing on Saturdays, and on Christmas Eve he was charged to see that
a good fire was kept burning in the calefactory, so that when the monks
came out from their midnight Mass and Office, they should find a warm room
and plenty of hot water to wash in after their long cold vigil in the
church. For all these occasions, too, the camerarius had to provide a
supply of soap, as well as for the washing of heads and for shaving

In Cluniac monasteries, at least, the arrangements for shaving had also to
be made by the chamberlain. The brother who undertook the office of barber
kept his implements--razors, strop, soap, and brushes, etc.--in a small
movable chest, which usually stood near the dormitory door. When necessary
he carried it down to the cloister, where, at any time that the community
were at work or sitting in the cloister, he could sharpen up his razors or
prepare his soaps. When the time of the general “_rasura_” came, the
community sat silently in two lines, one set along the cloister wall, the
other facing them with their backs to the windows. The general shaving was
made a religious act, like almost every other incident of cloister life,
by the recitation of psalms. The brothers who shaved the others, and those
who carried the dishes and razors, were directed to say the _Benedicite_
together before beginning their work; all the rest as they sat there
during the ceremony, except of course the individual actually being
operated upon, said the _Verba mea_ and other psalms. The sick, and those
who had leave, were shaved apart from the rest in the warmer calefactory.
It would seem that the usual interval between the times of shaving the
monks’ tonsures was about three weeks; but there was always a special
shaving on the eve of all great festivals. Sometimes in monasteries
situated in towns the work of shaving was performed by a paid expert. In
the Winchester chamberlain’s account-roll, there are entries for such
payments, as, for example, “for thirty-six shavings, 4{s}. 6{d}.”

According to custom, the chamberlain had also to find, out of his
revenues, various little sums for specified purposes. For example, from
the same Winchester rolls it appears that he paid 20_s._ to each monk, in
three portions of different amounts, apparently as pocket-money; he also
year by year paid the money for wine on Holy Innocents’ Day for the
boy-bishop celebration; he kept several boys in the school, and also
defrayed the cost of a student at Oxford University. At Abingdon, in the
same way, from rents received by him, the chamberlain had to furnish each
of the monks with threepence to give to the poor whose feet were washed on
Maundy Thursday. The chief virtues which should characterise the true
monastic chamberlain are stated to be, “wisdom and learning, a religious
spirit, a mature judgment, and an upright honesty.”


The master of novices was, of course, one of the most important officials
in every religious house. So far we have spoken of the obedientiaries, who
were immediately concerned with the management of the whole monastery; and
the novice-master is placed here, not because his was a less dignified or
a less important office, but because he was officially concerned merely
with those who were being proved for the religious life. The master of
novices, we are told, was to be a man of wide experience and strength of
character. “A person fitted for winning souls,” is St. Benedict’s
description of the ideal novice-master. It is obvious that he should be
able to discern the spirits and prove them; to see whether their call to
the higher life was really from God, or a mere passing inclination or

During the year of his probation the novice was in complete subjection to
his master. The postulant, who came to beg for admission into religion,
usually remained in the guest-house for four days; after that time, in
some houses, he came to the morning Chapter for three consecutive days,
and, kneeling in the midst of the brethren, urged his petition to be
allowed to join their ranks and to enter into holy religion in their
monastery. After the third morning, if his request was granted, he was
clothed in the habit of a monk, and was handed over to the care of the
novice-master, who was to train him, and to teach him the practices of the
religious life; whose duty it was to test him and to prove him; and who,
for a whole year, was to be his guide, his master, and his friend.

One walk of the cloister, generally the eastern side, was assigned to the
use of the novices. In their work and life they were to be separated, as
much as possible, from the rest of the community except in the church, the
refectory, and the dormitory. Even in these places they were to be still
under the immediate control and constant watchful care of their master.
From the day of their reception the systematic teaching of the rules and
traditional practices of the religious life, which was imparted in the
noviciate, was commenced. The first lesson given the novice was how he was
to arrange the monk’s habit and cowl, which were new to him; how to hold
his hands and head; and how to walk with that modesty and gravity which
become a religious man. These minutiæ were not always so easy to acquire;
and to most, frequently presented some difficulty. The neophyte was next
shown how he should bow, and when the various kinds of bows were to be
made. If the bow was to be profound, it was pointed out to him how he
could tell practically when it was correctly made, by allowing his crossed
arms to touch his knees. Then he was instructed how to get into his bed in
order to observe due modesty, and how to rise from it in the morning, in
the common dormitory. In a word, he was exercised in all the usual
monastic manners and customs.

After these first lessons in the external behaviour of a monk, the novice
was taught the necessity and meaning of such regulations as custody of the
eyes, silence, and respect for superiors and other brethren, both outward
and inward. Step by step he was drilled in the exercises of the regular
life, and taught to understand that they were not mere outward
formalities, but were, or ought to be, signs of the inward change of soul
indicated by the monk’s cowl.

The cloister was the novice’s schoolroom. His master assigned to him a
definite place amongst his fellows, and after the morning Office he sat
there in silence with the book given him, out of which to learn some one
of the many things a novice had to acquire during the year of probation.
The Rule: the prayers and psalms he had to learn by heart: the correct
method of singing and chanting and reading: and sometimes even the
rudiments of the Latin language, without a knowledge of which the work of
a choir brother was impossible, were some of his daily studies; and hard
work enough it was to get through it all in twelve fleeting months. His
master, however, was ever at hand to help him and to encourage him to
persevere, if he only showed the real signs of a call to the higher life.

Before beginning their work the novices always had to recite a _De
profundis_ and a prayer, as an exercise in decorum and deliberation. Not
more than three of them were to use the same book together. At times there
must have been a considerable amount of noise, for in practising the
reading, singing, and chanting they were all directed to make use of the
same tone, as they would have to do in the church or refectory. The
novice-master began their exercises with them, but he could pass them on
for this kind of drilling to someone else, provided he was competent and a
staid and true religious.

Thrice during the year of probation, if the novice persisted in his
design, his master brought him to the morning Chapter, where on his knees
he renewed his petition to be received as one of the brethren. At length,
as the end of the year approached, a more solemn demand was made and, the
novice having been dismissed from the Chapter, the master gave his
opinion, and the verdict of the convent was taken. If the vote were
favourable to the petitioner, a day was appointed for him to make his
vows, and, having pronounced these with great solemnity, he received the
kiss of peace from all as a token of his reception into the full charity
of the brotherhood. In some Orders, certainly amongst the Benedictines,
the ceremony concluded with a formal and ceremonious fastening of the hood
of the newly professed over his head. This he wore closed for three days,
as a sign of the strict retreat from the world, with which he began his
new life as a full religious; and just as our Lord was buried in the tomb
for part of three days to rise again, so was he buried to the world to
rise again to a new life. At the morning Mass of the third day the
superior with some ceremony unfastened the hood, and the late novice
joined the ranks of the junior monks, who for some years after their
profession still remained under the eye and guidance of an immediate
superior called the junior master.


To complete the account of the officers of a monastery some few words are
necessary about the officials, whose duties lasted merely for the week.
The first of these was known as the _hebdomadarian_, or the priest for the
week. In most places, apparently, the hebdomadarian began his labours with
the vespers on Saturday and continued them till the same time the
following week. It was his chief duty to commence all the various
canonical Hours during his week of office. He gave all the blessings that
might be required; he blessed the holy water and, on the proper days, the
candles and ashes. He gave even the blessings bestowed upon the weekly
servers on the Sunday morning. Besides these duties it was his office to
sing the High Mass on all days during the week, and in monasteries where
there were two public Masses, during the week which followed his week of
service, he took the early Mass and assisted at the second.

A second weekly official was the _antiphoner_, whose duty it was to read
the Invitatory at Matins. He did so alone on ordinary days, and sang it
with an assistant, or even with two or more, on greater feasts. He gave
out, or intoned, the first Antiphon at the Psalms, the Versicles, the
Responsoria after the Lessons, and the _Benedicamus Domino_ at the
conclusion of each Hour. He also read the “Capitulum,” or Little Chapter,
and whatever else had to be read at the morning Chapter.

Amongst the other weekly officials may be noted the servers and the reader
at meals. These brethren could take something to eat and drink before the
community came to the refectory, in order the better to be able to do
their duty. The reader was charged very strictly always to prepare what he
had to read beforehand and to find the places, so as to avoid all
likelihood of mistakes. He was to take the directions of the cantor as to
pronunciation, pitch of the voice, and the rate at which he was to read in
public. If he were ill, or for any other reason was unable to perform his
duty, the cantor had to find a substitute. The servers began their week of
duty by asking a blessing in church on Sunday morning. They were at the
disposal of the refectorian during their period of service, and followed
his directions as to waiting on the brethren at meal times, preparing the
tables, and clearing them after all had finished. With the reader, and
other officials who could not be present at the conventual meals, they
took theirs afterwards in the refectory.




The night Office in most monasteries began at midnight, although in some
places the time varied according to the seasons of the year, from that
hour till half-past two or three o’clock. Midnight, however, was so
generally the time, that, in considering the daily life of a monastery, it
may be assumed that the night vigils began with the first hour of each
day. At some short time before the hour appointed for the commencement of
the night Office the signal for rising was given in the common dormitory.
Sometimes the sub-sacrist was charged with the ringing of a small bell, as
he passed rapidly down the passage between the monks’ beds or cubicles. In
other places it was the duty of the abbot himself, or his prior, to awaken
the monks from their slumbers and invite them to come and keep their night
watch in the church. In any case the sacrist and his assistant had to be
up betimes and before the others, for, as has been already said, they had
to see that the lights were lit on the stairs and in “le standards” in the
church. It was the duty of one of the novices, however, to light candles
for his fellows, and set them about the places they occupied in the choir,
since they did not as yet know the psalmody by heart.

Meanwhile the monks when roused from their sleep were taught to begin the
day by signing themselves with the cross and commending themselves to
God’s protection. As they rose from their beds they put on those parts of
their monastic habit which had been laid aside during the hours of sleep,
and shod themselves with their “night-boots.” These were probably
fur-lined, cloth protectors for the feet, which served the double purpose
of keeping them warm during the winter nights spent in the cold church,
and of rendering their footfall inaudible, during the hours of the greater
silence which lasted from Compline till Prime. Each monk as he finished
his simple preparation, seated himself in front of his bed and there
waited in silence, with his hood drawn well over his head, till the bell
began to toll. Then, preceded by a junior carrying a lighted lantern, the
religious went out of the dormitory in companies of six at a time, and
took their places in the choir. The juniors occupied as their normal
position the stalls nearest to the altar, the youngest being next to the
chancel step, the seniors being furthest away, and the superiors next to
the entrance. The abbot or prior waited outside the church in the
cloister, or at the entrance to the choir, until all had passed in before
him and had taken their places, when he gave the signal for the tolling of
the bell to cease, and then himself entered and took up his position in
the stall next to the gate of the choir.


At the coming of the superior all rose from their knees, returned his
salutation, and at once bowed down for what was known as the
“Triple-prayer”--the Pater, Ave, and Creed--with which the night Office
always commenced. Then the weekly antiphoner at a sign from the superior
gave out the first of the “Fifteen,” or “Gradual” psalms. Great
importance was always attached to the recitation of these psalms, and all
the obedientiaries were bound to be present, except the guest-master when
his duty to any stranger took him away, or the cantor on a day when any
proper Lessons had to be read at Matins, and he was occupied officially in
finding the places in the great chained book at the choir lectern. At the
end of these psalms, by which, on all but the great feasts, the night
Office was commenced, those officials who had duties to perform departed
from the choir during the interval between the Psalms and the second
ringing of the bells for the beginning of Matins proper.

When the second night-tolling ceased, at a sign from the superior, the
hebdomadarian of the week, who had to sing the daily High Mass, began the
Office with the usual _Deus in adjutorium_. This weekly official was bound
always to be present at Matins during the time of his office when he sang
the Mass; and so strict indeed was the law of connection between Matins
and the Mass, that should the hebdomadarian be unable for any reason to be
present at the former, he had to obtain the services of some priest who
could assist at Matins, to sing the Mass for him.

After the Invitatory, which was said or sung by the weekly antiphoner,
either alone or with a companion, or on the great feasts by the cantor and
his assistant, the superior, or hebdomadarian priest, gave out the first
antiphon, and the rest of the antiphons were taken in turns by the seniors
on either side. At the conclusion of the psalms of each Nocturn, the
reader appointed for the first Lesson fetched the lighted candle, bowed to
either choir and to the abbot if he were present, and then ascending the
steps of the reading-place, so held the candle that its light fell as he
desired on the book which had been prepared by the cantor. Before
beginning his reading he asked the usual blessing, bowing down from the
place where he stood towards the abbot or superior, who gave it sitting in
his stall. The Lesson was followed by the _Responsorium_, during which the
reader of the Lesson made way for another, who had been appointed on the
cantor’s official list for the second Lesson, and so on, till after the
last Lesson had been read, when the reader carried back the light to the
place whence the first reader had brought it, that it might be found ready
for the Lessons of the next Nocturn. In some places the readers of the
fourth, eighth, and twelfth Lessons were told to extinguish the candle,
taking care that it did not smoke so as to annoy the brethren. It was to
be lighted again by one of the novices appointed for the purpose during
the last psalm of each Nocturn.

If the abbot was to sing the twelfth Lesson, or to take part in a
Responsory, or other portion of the service, as he did on the great
festivals, the cantor had to come with the abbot’s chaplain and others to
his stall, bringing the necessary books with lights carried by servers,
and the cantor in a low voice was to assist him in the singing. On feasts
with twelve Lessons, whilst the _Te Deum_ was being chanted, preparations
were made for the solemn singing of the portion of the Gospel selected for
the Office of the day. The church servants brought into the choir a
portable reading-desk, which they placed at the steps leading to the
presbytery. Others brought a cope of the colour of the day, with an amice,
stole, and maniple. Meanwhile the sacrist had fetched the book of the
Gospels with some solemnity from the altar, and had placed it on the
desk, where the cantor was waiting to find the proper place. Having done
so, at the indicated verse in the _Te Deum_, the cantor went to the stall
of the hebdomadarian of the Mass, and bowing to him conducted him to the
desk, assisted him to vest, and pointed out to him the place in the Holy
Gospels that had to be sung or read. Meanwhile the servers had come into
the choir from the sacristy with incense and lights, and when the _Te
Deum_ was concluded all turned towards the priest whilst he chanted the
appointed Gospel, and finished Matins with the prayer of the day.

Immediately the bells began to ring for Lauds, and during the brief
interval the priest unvested, and with the usual bow to each choir, which
was slightly acknowledged by the monks on either side, he returned to his
stall to wait till the cessation of the ringing gave the signal for the
beginning of the next canonical Hour. Meantime the incense and lights had
been taken back into the vestry, and the sacrist, having carried the
Gospel-book back to the altar, the servants removed the desk out of the
choir. The cantor busied himself during the interval at the great chained
Antiphonary on the lectern, in order to see that all the places of Lauds
were marked, and that the hanging lantern in front of the book was burning
brightly enough to light up the great parchment page with its large square
notes and big letters. In this interval the monks either remained sitting
in their stalls with their hoods covering their heads, or they could take
the opportunity of leaving the choir, to restore their circulation by a
brisk turn in the cloister, or for any other purpose.


In ancient days the Office of Lauds was called _Matutinæ Laudes_--“the
morning praises”--because they were supposed to be always celebrated at
dawn of day. In mediæval monasteries, however, this canonical Hour was
generally said or sung, with only a short interval between it and Matins.
It would, therefore, have been probably somewhere about one o’clock in the
morning that Lauds usually began.

If the feast was of sufficient rank for the hebdomadarian to be vested in
a cope, he then occupied the stall next to the abbot; if not, he remained
in his own place, and, when the tolling of the bell ceased and gave notice
of the conclusion of the interval, he at once intoned the _Deus in
adjutorium_ for the beginning of Lauds. It was his place to give out the
first antiphon, the second being taken by the abbot, or by the first
religious in choir. The rest of the antiphons were given out as at Matins,
by one on each side in turn. The Chapter--called the “Little Chapter”--was
supposed to be known by heart, and no book or light was allowed to be used
in saying it.

The hebdomadarian gave out the antiphon of the _Benedictus_, and if he
were vested in cope he would have to incense the altar or altars during
the singing of that canticle. For this purpose two thurifers, and acolytes
bearing candles, came from the sacristy before the antiphon was begun, and
the thurifers, after the incense had been blessed by the abbot,
accompanied the hebdomadarian to the High Altar, returning whence they had
come after the ceremony had been performed. On Sundays, at the conclusion
of Lauds, the hebdomadarian gave the blessing to the outgoing and incoming
weekly servers.

Directly the Office was over the community retired once more to the
dormitory and to bed. The juniors led the way with a lighted lantern, as
when they had come down to Matins. The prior, however, waited in his stall
until he had seen that all had passed out of the church except the
sacrist, who had to remain behind to see that the lights were safely put
out, and that the _Collectarium_, or book of Collects, and other choir
books were carefully replaced in the aumbry. Then he too retired again to
his bed in the room near the church. It would have been probably some time
about half-past one or two in the morning before the monks found
themselves once more in bed for their second period of repose.


It is somewhat difficult to say exactly at what time the Hour of Prime was
generally said in a mediæval monastery. It is possible, however, to assume
that it was not earlier than six or later than seven o’clock in the
morning. One Consuetudinary, that of St. Mary’s, York, says that the bell
was to ring for that Hour at seven, “unless for some reason the time was
changed; but that Prime must never be said before daybreak.”

At seven o’clock, then, or thereabouts, after the monks had been allowed
five hours for the term of their second repose--making with the rest they
had had previous to the midnight Office, about eight hours in all--the
prior, or whoever was appointed for the duty, roused the brethren. This
was done by sounding a bell for the space of a _Miserere_ psalm, and
before the ringing was finished the religious were expected to be already
out of bed. They were now, at their second rising, to dress themselves in
their day clothes and shoes, and to betake themselves to the church, where
they were to be in their places before the bell had ceased to toll. Prime
with its hymn, three psalms, and the beautiful morning prayer: “O Lord God
Almighty, Who hast brought us to the beginning of this day, so assist us
by Thy grace, that we may not fall this day into sin, but that our words
may be spoken and our thoughts and deeds directed according to Thy just
commands,” did not take very long, and concluded with the usual
_Benedicamus Domino_. Immediately after this the great bell was rung for
the _Missa familiaris_, or early Mass, chiefly intended for the servants
and workpeople of the establishment. At this the community were not bound
to be present; and so, whilst the bell was tolling, they passed into the
cloister to begin their washing and complete their dressing, etc. The
seniors and priests first occupied the lavatories, since they had now to
say their own private Masses as soon as they were ready. Whilst the
seniors were dressing, the juniors waited in their places reading or
praying till their turn came. When the sign was made that the lavatories
were free, the novice-master ceased his instructions, and the novices put
down their psalters in their places in the cloister; the juniors returned
their books to the shelves of the aumbry in the cloister, and then they
went in turns to wash, going afterwards to the corner near the door of the
refectory to smooth their hair.

It was during this hour after Prime that those who desired to approach the
Sacrament of Penance could always be sure of finding a confessor in the
chapter-room, where alone, be it remarked, the confessions of the
brethren were heard. On all Sundays and feast days the early Mass was
delayed until the washing was finished, when the religious who were not
priests went in procession to the church to hear this Mass and to receive
the Holy Eucharist. On these occasions they were sprinkled with holy water
at the door of the church, and a crucifix was offered to them to kiss.

On other days during this time, except the priests who, as has already
been pointed out, now said their private Masses, the monks either took
their books and studied in the cloister; or, if they were obedientiaries,
busied themselves in the necessary duties of their various offices.

The early Mass had to be taken in turn by all the priests, except by the
infirmarian, who always celebrated for the sick in the infirmary, and by
some of the other officials whose duties prevented their celebrating at
this time. The priest, whose name was on the _tabula_ to take this Mass,
had to see that the altar had been prepared, and that the places were
marked in the missal beforehand, so as not to cause unnecessary delays. At
the same time those about to celebrate their private Masses prepared their
chalices and cruets in the sacristy; and, assisted by the junior monks not
in priest’s orders, went to the altars assigned to them. When two priests
had their names entered on the _tabula_ for the same altar, the senior
took the first turn and the junior followed. If the former did not come,
the latter was to wait till the priest saying the early Mass had got to
the Epistle, and then he could himself take the altar, presuming that his
senior had for some reason been unable to come.


Before the next public duty, which was the _morning Mass_--celebrated it
would seem about half-past eight, or thereabouts--on all days but fasting
days, the community were called to the refectory for what was variously
called the _mixtum_, or breakfast. Three strokes of the bell at the church
door was the signal for this slight refection which the young members, who
were not priests, could take at an earlier hour, if the superior so wished
or thought good. This meal--if meal it could be called--was very slight,
and consisted, according to one set of directions, of a quarter of a pound
of bread, and a third of a pint of wine or beer. There was, however, even
in this slight refection a religious decorum and a certain amount of
ceremony. The weekly reader asked a blessing, and the first religious
present in the refectory gave it, saying: “May the Giver of all good gifts
bless the food and drink of his servants.” Then the small portion was
served out and consumed by each in silence, and standing. At the end, each
monk said to himself when he had finished: “Grant, we beseech Thee, O
Lord, for Thy name’s sake eternal life to all our benefactors. Amen.”

In Lent the _mixtum_ was not taken except on Sundays. It was also omitted
on the three Rogation days, on the Ember days, and on certain vigils of
feasts, which by ecclesiastical law were days of fasting.


Whilst the monks were at their morning refection the first bell was kept
ringing for the morning Mass. This Mass was frequently called the “Ladye
Mass,” because it was usually celebrated at the altar of our Blessed
Lady, and as a votive Mass in her honour, when the feast permitted it. In
other places it was called the “Chapter Mass,” because it was followed
immediately by the daily Chapter. When the first bell had ceased to ring,
the monks took up their position in that part of the cloister known as the
_Statio_, that is, the place where all assembled when they had to go into
the church in procession. This place naturally varied in different
monasteries according to circumstances. In St. Mary’s, York, it is
described as being in the western walk of the cloister, before the common

On the second tolling of the bell the community proceeded in procession to
the church. At the door they were presented with a crucifix to kiss, took
holy water, and bowed to the representation of the Holy Trinity, or the
crucifix, at the entrance. They then stood in their ranks in choir facing
the altar, till, on the entrance of the superior, the bell ceased.
Sometimes the Hour of Tierce was said before the morning Mass, but in any
event the seniors were now in the stalls nearest to the altar.

At a sign from the cantor the novices took the graduals from the choir
cupboard, or the psalters if the Mass was _de Requiem_, and distributed
them. The priest came in at once and the Mass was said in a low but
audible voice, with more or less solemnity according to the ecclesiastical
rank of the day.


Immediately after the conclusion of the morning Mass the great bell was
set ringing for the daily Chapter. It would now have been somewhere about
nine o’clock in the day. As long as the tolling continued the religious
as a body remained sitting in their stalls in the church, “thinking,” as
one Custumal says, “over any transgressions against the Rule or good
discipline of which they may have been guilty.” Meanwhile the chief
officials responsible for the order of the house, called generally the
_custodes ordinis_, repaired for a few minutes to the private parlour to
consult as to any matter which might need correction, or to which public
attention should be called; at the same time, on the sound of the bell,
all those who for any reason had not been present at the Mass, hastened to
the chapter-room. During this interval one of the custodians of the
cloister went round to see that all the doors were so closed and fastened,
that no one could enter the monastery precincts during the time of the

When the brief talk of the custodians was over, the junior among them went
back to the door of the church to stop the bell ringing, and its cessation
was the signal for the community to leave the choir and proceed to the
chapter-room, the juniors walking first. Here all stood in their places
till the entrance of the superior. If the abbot were present all bowed as
he passed through their ranks, and as he reached his seat at the upper end
of the room, the prior and one of the seniors from the abbot’s side of the
choir came forward to kiss his hand, bowing to him both before and after
this act of homage. By this ceremony they publicly renewed their monastic
obedience on behalf of the community.


Whilst the community and superior were coming into the Chapter, the junior
appointed for the office of weekly reader in the refectory, stood holding
before his breast the _Martyrology_, or book of the names of the saints
daily commemorated by the Church. When all had entered and taken their
seats, the reader came forward, and placing the volume upon the lectern in
the middle of the room, asked the blessing of the president in the usual
form. This having been given, he read the portion of the Martyrology which
gave the brief notices of the lives of the martyrs and other saints
commemorated on the following day. When mention was made of any saint
whose relics were possessed by the house, or who was specially connected
with it as patron or otherwise, the community removed their hoods and
bowed down as a mark of special reverence.

After the Martyrology all stood up and turned to the crucifix, or
_Majestas_, during the usual morning prayers, which were said to call down
God’s blessing upon the work of the day, and to ask His protection over
all the words and deeds to be uttered and done in His service. With the
blessing: “May the Lord Almighty regulate our days and acts according to
His peace” and the short reading called the _Capitulum_, this portion of
the daily Chapter was concluded. Then, all again sitting, the abbot or
presiding superior said, _Loquamur de Ordine nostro_: “Let us speak about
the affairs of our house.” At this point the novices retired from the
chapter-room, and also any stranger religious, who was not professed for
the monastery, who happened to be present. About all that was transacted
in this part of the daily Chapter, the strictest silence was enjoined.
Some of the Custumals even declare that they do not set forth the manner
of holding the Chapter, as the secrets of the religious family are its own
and all loyal sons would desire to keep them inviolate. Other
regulations, whilst permitting the infirmarian to convey to the sick monks
who were not present any order given, charged him on no account to relate
anything else that happened in the Chapter, since no one was ever allowed
to speak about such matters, not even to mention and discuss them with
those who had been present.

When the room had been cleared of all but the professed monks of the
monastery, the Chapter devoted itself to the correction of faults against
good discipline. It was lawful for any religious, except a novice, to
speak in the secrecy of Chapter about any matters that in his judgment
required to be corrected. These generally resolved themselves into one of
three classes relating to regular life: (1) negligences of all kinds,
changes of customs, and mistakes in the divine service; (2) want of due
care in the keeping of silence; and (3) neglect of the proper almsgiving
on behalf of the house. As to all things in the first class it was the
duty of the cantor and succentor to speak first, and to call attention to
anything they had noticed amiss; concerning shortcomings in the second
class, the superior and the guardians of the cloister, whose special duty
it was to watch over the monastic silence, were to have the first say; and
as regards the third, naturally the almoner and his assistant would have
most information to give on all that regarded the monastic charities.

After the “proclamations” or “accusations,” the superior pronounced the
punishment. No one was allowed to offer any defence or make any excuse,
and the whole process was summary and without noise or wrangling. The
penance was generally some corporal chastisement, with rod or other
discipline; and this, which to our modern ideas seems so curious, and
indeed somewhat repellent a feature of mediæval monasticism, was evidently
at the time regarded as quite a natural, and indeed a useful and healthy
form of religious exercise; for, besides being looked on as a punishment,
this form of corporal chastisement was resorted to with permission of the
superior as a common means of self-mortification. Such voluntary penances
were chiefly sought for on days like the Fridays of Lent, and especially
on Good Friday, and when some brother specially desired to offer up
penitential works for the soul of some departed brother.

When the questions of discipline had been disposed of, which ordinarily
would have taken only a very brief time, the superior, if he desired to
say anything, made his short address or exhortation. He then, if there was
any need, consulted his community about any temporal or other matter, or
asked their consent, where such consent was required. In all such temporal
matters many of the Custumals advise the junior members to defer to the
age and experience of their elders, although they were of course free to
give their own opinions, even if contrary to that of their elders.

It was at this time in the daily Chapter that any deed or charter to which
the convent seal had to be affixed, and to which the convent had already
assented, was sealed in presence of all by the precentor, whose duty it
was to bring the common seal to the meeting when it was needed. When this
part of the Chapter was finished, all matters such as the issuing of
public letters of thanks or congratulation, etc., in the name of the
community, were sanctioned, and the granting of the privilege of the
fraternity of the house to benefactors or people of distinction. When the
actual ceremony of conferring this favour, which was both lengthy and
solemn, was to be performed, it was at this point that the “confratres”
and “consorores” were introduced into the Chapter. After the ceremony the
“confratres” received the kiss of peace from all the religious; the
“consorores” kissed the hand of each of the monks.

In the same way, on the day before a Clothing or Profession, the candidate
presented himself before the abbot, at this point in the Chapter, and
urged his petition. Also, before a monk was ordained priest he had to come
before the Chapter; and kneeling, to beg the prayers of his brethren. The
superior was charged to explain to him again carefully at this time the
responsibilities of so high a calling, and to warn him of the dangers and
difficulties which he would have to encounter in his sacred office. Then
the superior pronounced over him a special blessing and offered up a
special prayer for God’s assistance. When there were many candidates for
ordination who had to go elsewhere to receive their Orders, it was at this
time in the Chapter that the schedule of their names was drawn up and
handed to the senior, who was to accompany them to the bishop at whose
hands they were to receive ordination.


Only on rare occasions, however, would there have been any such matters of
public business. Ordinarily speaking, from the superior’s address, if he
made any, followed by his blessing, the Chapter passed to the
commemoration of the departed. If the day was the anniversary of a
benefactor whose soul ought to be remembered in the prayers of the
community, the precentor, or the succentor in his absence, came forward
immediately after the superior had given his blessing, and standing in
front of the reading-place, said: “To-day, sir, we should have the great
bell rung”--or some other bell, according to the solemnity of the
anniversary. “For whom?” asked the superior. “For so-and-so,” replied the
precentor, naming the special claim the person whose anniversary it was,
had upon the community. Then the superior, bowing, said: “May his soul and
the souls of all the faithful, by the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
Whereupon the precentor wrote the name of the benefactor upon the “tabula”
for the day, that no one might have the excuse of absence for not knowing
for whom the whole convent had to offer up their prayers that day. Then
from the lectern the reader announced the usual list of the anniversaries
of brethren entered in the necrology for the day; and this again was
followed by the precentor reading any mortuary roll, or notice of death of
some religious of another house, or of some personage of distinction, if
any such had been received. After reading such a roll, it was his duty to
explain to the community what were their obligations in regard to the
deceased. The Chapter was then concluded with the _De profundis_ and a
prayer for the souls of all departed brethren and benefactors.

On ordinary occasions, of course, the daily Chapter would not occupy a
very long time, possibly a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. At any
rate, a full half-hour of the morning would be left before the High Mass,
which began at ten o’clock. This time was generally spent by the monks in
conversation in the cloister. On days when there was talking, the prior,
or abbot if he had been present, on coming into the cloister when the
Chapter was over, would sound three times the _tabula sonatila_, which was
apparently a piece of hard wood, to which two other smaller pieces were
loosely fastened, so that when shaken it gave forth a musical sound and
served the purpose of our modern gong. This triple sounding of the
_tabula_ was always the signal for talking; the superior, or whoever acted
for him, pronouncing the word _Benedicite_, without which no conversation
was to be permitted in the monastery. “By the three strokes,” says one
author who sees deep meanings in ordinary things, “is to be understood the
signs of our mortality, representing our coming into the world, our
passage through life, and our transit through the portals of death.” The
special significance of this thought in regard to conversation was
apparently that in view of it, a bridle should be set upon the tongue and
a guard upon the heart, which was so frequently disturbed by trifling


After the Chapter the common business of the house was transacted. The
discussion about all the many details of a great administration like that
of a mediæval monastery necessitated regular consultations between the
officials and the superior, and frequent debates upon matters of policy,
or matters of business, or on points of the Rule or observance. These
meetings were known as “the Parliament,” or Discussions, and from them the
word to signify our house of national representatives was taken.

One particular part of the cloister was selected where these monastic
Parliaments were held, and thither all came who had any matter to suggest
or business to transact with the officials. Here the abbot, or he who
took his place, was ordered to be ever ready to hear what those had to say
who sought him for guidance or direction. In another part of the cloister,
during this time after Chapter, the senior monks met together to listen to
devotional reading, and to discuss points that might strike them in their
reading, or which had been suggested by the Divine Office. In the same way
the juniors were to be in their places in the western walk of the cloister
with their master, or one or more of the seniors, similarly engaged in
asking questions as to observance, or seeking to know the meaning of any
difficult passages in Holy Scripture. The novices, and the juniors who had
been only recently professed, were together in the northern walk of the
cloister, being taught the principles and practices of the monastic life.
It was a precious time for the beginner, when the disciple was exhorted to
question his instructor on all matters connected with the regular
observance, but especially about the Rule and the Divine Office.

During this period of the Parliament the guardians of the cloister were
directed to go about from group to group, to see that the laws of the
regular life were observed as they should be. During this half-hour,
except in the case of the officials who had to transact necessary business
of the house, no conversations about worldly matters or vain tales were to
be permitted. The Parliament time--between Chapter and High Mass--was
devoted exclusively to spiritual matters or to the discussion of necessary

During this and all similar times of conversation the monks were warned to
keep watch over their tongues. When asked their opinion or advice, they
were to give it with modesty and moderation. No signals were to be
permitted between various parts of the cloister; the conversation was to
be conducted in a low tone, and it was to be considered a matter of first
importance that at these meetings all should be present.




The daily “_Magna Missa_”--the Conventual, or High Mass--began at ten
o’clock. The first signal was given by the ringing of a small bell some
short time before the hour; and forthwith, on the first sound, the juniors
and novices laid aside the tasks upon which they were engaged. All books
were at once replaced on the shelves of the aumbry in the cloister, and
then the monks waited in their places till the second signal. On this
being given, talking at once ceased, and the religious made their way to
the church. Meanwhile, on hearing the first signal, the hebdomadarian, or
priest, who had to sing the Conventual Mass, and the other sacred
ministers, after having again washed their hands “to be ready to fulfil
their functions at the sacred altar with fitting purity” of body and mind,
made their way to the sacristy to vest for the service.

The community having entered the choir and taken their places, the senior
members nearest the altar, the prior, who was up to this time waiting
outside the door of the church, gave the sign for the tolling of the bell
to cease. As he did so, he himself entered the choir and took up his
position in the stall nearest to the presbytery steps and opposite to
that of the abbot when he was present. If Tierce had not already been said
at the time of the morning Mass, after the usual silent Pater and Ave, the
superior made a signal for that Hour “by rapping with his hand upon the
wood of his stall.” Whilst the community were engaged in the recitation of
the Office, the ministers were completing their preparation in the
sacristy, and when it was over, if the day were a Sunday, the priest came
into the choir for the solemn blessing of the holy water. He was preceded
by the thurifer bearing the processional cross between two candle-bearers,
and was accompanied by the deacon and sub-deacon in albs. Two vases of
water had been prepared on the first step of the presbytery by the church
servers, and thither the procession went for the weekly blessing of the
holy water. The cross-bearer mounted the steps and then turning somewhat
to the north, stood with his face towards the priest; the deacon assisted
upon the right hand of the celebrant and the sub-deacon on his left. The
solemn blessings of the salt and water were then chanted by the priest,
the whole community answering and taking part in the service. When the
exorcism and blessing of the salt was finished, the sub-deacon, coming
forward, took a little of it on a smaller dish and handed it to the priest
to mix with the water. The rest of the blessed salt was then taken by one
of the church servants to the refectorian, whose duty it was to see that a
small portion was every Sunday placed in every salt-cellar in the

After the blessing of the holy water came the _Asperges_. The priest,
having given the book of the blessings to one of the servers, received the
_aspersorium_, or sprinkler, and dipping it into the vat of water, went to
the altar, and after having sprinkled the front of it thrice, passed
round it, doing the same at the back. Meanwhile the vat-bearer with the
holy water awaited his return and then accompanied him as he gave the
_Asperges_ to all the religious in the choir. At the abbot’s stall the
priest paused, bowed, and presented the sprinkler, so that the superior
might touch it and sign himself with the newly-blessed water. When the
abbot had finished the sign of the cross, the priest passed down the ranks
of the brethren, sprinkling them with the water, first on one side and
then on the other. If a bishop were present in the choir, he was treated
with the same special reverence shown to the abbot, and to him the blessed
water was to be taken first. When all the brethren had received the
_Asperges_, the priest accompanied by his ministers went to the choir
gates and sprinkled those of the faithful who were in the body of the

After this two priests, accompanied by two of the brethren, proceeded to
take the holy water round the house. One pair went through the public
rooms and offices of the monastery sprinkling them and saying appropriate
prayers in each. The other mounted to the dormitory and did the same for
each bed and cubicle, and returning through the infirmary, gave to each of
the sick brethren the same privilege of receiving the holy water, which
their brethren in the church had had.

Whilst this was being done by the two priests and their associates, the
community, under the direction of the precentor, passed out of the choir
into the cloister for the Sunday procession. First walked the bearer of
the holy water which had just been blessed. He was followed by the
cross-bearer walking between two acolytes carrying lighted candles. Then
came the sub-deacon by himself with the book of the Holy Gospels, and
behind him the priest who was to celebrate the Mass accompanied by his
deacon. These were succeeded by the community, two and two, with the abbot
by himself at the close of the double line. Ordinarily the procession
passed once round the cloister, the monks singing the Responsories
appointed for the special Sunday. On greater feasts there was more
solemnity, for then the community were all vested in copes, which had been
brought into the choir by the church servers and distributed to the monks
after the _Asperges_. On these occasions, as also on the Sundays, the Hour
of Tierce followed, instead of being said before the blessing of the holy
water. On the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent also, and on the Rogation
days, there were processions; but these were penitential exercises, and on
such occasions the community walked barefooted round the cloister.

If the day was one of the solemn feasts, upon which the abbot celebrated
in pontificals, he was vested by the sacred ministers before the altar in
the sacristy, whilst Tierce was being sung in the choir. At the conclusion
of the Hour he entered with due solemnity, being met at the door of the
choir by the prior and others, and he took his seat upon a throne erected
before his stall in the upper part of the choir until the procession was
formed. The abbot only celebrated at the High Altar on these great feasts;
and never except with full pontifical ceremonies, if he had the right to
use pontificalia at all.

In most monasteries several times a year--four or more, according to
custom and circumstances--there were exceptionally solemn processions with
relics and banners. On these occasions every care was taken to make the
religious pageants worthy of the best traditions of the monastery. Such
processions would be preceded by the vergers of the church with their
maces of office; and the community, all vested in copes, walked in couples
with some four feet between them and between the next couple. Every here
and there a single individual walked in the middle carrying an appropriate
banner; and at intervals the great shrines, which were the special pride
of the house, or the chief notable relics, were borne by the requisite
number of religious clad in sacred vestments. At the close of the
procession came the abbot in full pontificalia, assisted by his sacred
ministers. Finally, following the church servers, walked the _janitor_ of
the church, or “door-keeper,” “who,” according to one Custumal, “was to
raise his rod well above his head, to warn the people who pressed on after
the procession, to stand farther away.”

These were the ceremonies preliminary to the High Mass on Sundays and on
the greater festivals. Ordinarily speaking, the conventual High Mass would
begin either directly after Tierce, or if that Hour had been already
recited at the time of the early Mass, immediately the community had
entered the choir, and the cessation of the bell-ringing had given notice
that the prior was in his place. The two juniors appointed by the cantor
had meanwhile taken the graduals and psalters from the presses in the
choir, and had distributed them to the seniors, juniors, and novices
according to their needs. The cantor of the week, also, had by this time
put on his cope, had chosen a book, and had taken his stand at the lectern
to be ready to lead the singing. The High Mass then commenced and went on
as usual till after the Blessing. At the Offertory the prior or some of
the seniors brought the oblations to the altar and gave them to the
celebrant. On Sundays, after the Blessing, the hebdomadarian priest gave
the usual benediction to the weekly reader, who had come forward from his
place in choir to the steps of the presbytery to receive it. The Gospel of
St. John was said after the priests and the ministers had reached the
sacristy and were standing before the altar there, whilst the community
were leaving the choir for the next conventual duty, or were unvesting, if
they had that day worn copes or albs.

If the abbot celebrated, the ceremonial was somewhat more elaborate. The
prior made the oblation at the Offertory, and assisted the abbot to wash
his hands after the incensing of the altar, and before the Post-Communion
at the end of the Mass. If the abbot had been taking part in the
procession, at the end of it, when the religious returned to the choir for
Tierce, the abbot retired to the sacristy, accompanied by the ministers,
where he took off his cope and put on the dalmatics and chasuble for the
Holy Sacrifice, waiting in the sacristy till the signal was given for
beginning the Mass.


Dinner followed Mass directly, with only a brief interval for the washing
of hands. As a rule, the midday meal would be served about eleven o’clock.
The reader and servers were permitted to take some slight refection
beforehand; and for this purpose could leave the church before the
conclusion of the service with the refectorian and kitchener. On Sundays,
however, the reader had to wait till after he had received the usual
weekly blessing, but he might then go straight from the altar to take his
bread and wine.

Just before the close of the service in the church, the prior came out
into the cloister and either himself began to sound the signal for the
dinner, or caused someone else, appointed for the purpose, to do so. If
through any accident the meal was not quite ready, or, as one Custumal
says, “if the bread be still in the oven,” it was the duty of the
kitchener to wait for the coming of the prior and to inform him of the
delay, so that the signal might not begin to sound before the cook was
ready. In this case the community, upon coming out of the church, after
they had performed their ablutions, sat as patiently as they could in the
cloister till the signal was given. Ordinarily, however, the bell began to
ring at their coming out of the choir, and continued to sound whilst they
were preparing themselves for the meal, and, indeed, until all were in
their places.

The prior, or the senior who was going to preside at the meal if he were
absent, remained at the door of the refectory, and gave the sign for the
bell to cease ringing when all was ready. Whilst waiting here, the various
officials who had to make any communication to the prior about the meal,
or ask any permission appertaining to their office, came to make their
reports or proffer their requests. For example, the infirmarian had now to
notify the names and number of the sick under his charge, or to ask
permission for some one of the brethren to dine with them. The
guest-master would do the same in regard to his guests, and, on the great
feasts when the abbot had pontificated, he would frequently send his
chaplain to the prior or presiding senior, when thus standing at the
entrance to the refectory, to acquaint him that he had invited the sacred
ministers who had assisted him in the function, to dine at his table. In
some places also, on every fish-day, the cellarer acquainted the prior at
this time what provision he had made for the community meal, in order that
the superior presiding might judge whether there ought to be anything
further supplied to the religious, by way of a _caritas_, or extraordinary

The monks on entering the refectory were directed to pause in the middle
and salute the _Majestas_ over the high table with a profound bow. They
then passed to their places to await the coming of the superior. If this
was delayed they could sit down in their places till the bell, ceasing to
ring, told them that the superior had given the sign for his entry. They
then stood in their ranks and returned the bow he made to each side as he
came into the hall. If the abbot dined in the refectory, each monk also
individually saluted him as he passed up to his seat. The usual Grace was
then chanted, and the prior, or whoever presided, gave the blessing to the
reader, who came forward into the middle of the refectory to ask for it.
Whilst the community were sitting down in their places at table, the
reader mounted the pulpit and opened the book at the place he had already
prepared. When all was quiet the superior sounded the small bell at his
table as a sign that the reader might begin; and, when the first sentence
had been read, he sounded it a second time for the commencement of the
meal. That the interval between the two bells might not be over long, the
reader is warned in some monastic directions to make choice in all
refectory reading of a short sentence as the first.


The monk who read one week had to serve the next, and during his week of
reading he was never to be absent from his duty except with grave cause.
For example, if he were to be invited during his week of office to dine at
the abbot’s table, he was to excuse himself and say that he was the
conventual reader. The reason assigned is obvious: the reading had to be
carefully prepared, and was besides a labour; so that to ask anyone to
take the duty unexpectedly would mean not only that he would have a burden
placed upon him, but that the community would not have proper respect paid
to it, in having to listen to reading that had not been prepared
previously. One common and useful direction given to the refectory reader
is, that he was not to hurry. The quantity he got through was immaterial
compared with distinct pronunciation and careful rendering. Any specially
noteworthy passage should be repeated so as to impress its meaning upon
the hearers.

When the second signal had been sounded by the president’s bell, the
brethren uncovered their loaves, which had been placed under their
napkins, arranged the latter, and broke their portion of bread. At the
second signal, too, the servers began their ministrations. In some of the
greater houses, at the beginning of the meal, two juniors, one from each
side, took their goblets and spoons and came to the table of the presiding
superior. Here they took up their places, standing at either end of the
table, unless the superior should invite them to sit. These junior monks
were to act as the special servers of the religious presiding in the
refectory. They were to assist him in his wants, to anticipate them if
possible, and to act as his messengers should he require them to do so.
On first taking up their position, the senior of the two was directed to
cut the superior’s loaf in two for him, the other was to fill his goblet
with the beer or wine served to the community. These two assistants at the
president’s table had to eat their meals as they stood or sat, as the case
might be, at the ends of the high table, and were to be helped immediately
after the president himself.

When the sign for beginning the meal had been given, two other juniors,
one on each side of the refectory, rose from their places, and, receiving
the jugs of beer or wine from the cellarer or his assistant, proceeded to
fill the goblets set before each of the religious. When this was done they
asked permission from the superior, by a sign, to fill the measure of
drink intended as the convent’s charity to the poor. Meanwhile the servers
had gone to the kitchen-hatch to bring in the dishes. These were taken
usually first to the superior, and from this dish the two juniors serving
at his table were helped; then, should there have been any one of the
brethren lately dead, his portion, to be given to the poor, was served out
into a special dish. Finally, in many places, two dishes were taken by the
servers to the tables on each side of the refectory; one to the top and
the other to the bottom and so passed along the tables, the monk who
passed the dish, and he to whom it was passed, bowing to each other with
ceremonial courtesy.

In some houses the method of serving was somewhat different: the portions
were served separately, having been previously divided under the direction
of the kitchener or refectorian. When the first dish was pottage, the
serving always began with the youngest member of the community, the
superior receiving his last; in other cases the first dish was always
taken to the superior’s table. The servers were exhorted always to attend
to their work, not to keep standing about the kitchen-hatch, and much less
to stop gossiping there; but to watch carefully and even anxiously for any
sign that might be made to them by the brethren.

In some Custumals there were minute directions for the serving. Those who
served the brethren were not to rush about, nor stand aimlessly in one
place, nor gossip with the kitchen-servers even about the dishes they
received. They were to watch to supply what was wanted; they were to serve
with decorum and with patience, as if, indeed, they were waiting upon our
Lord Himself; and they should not attempt too much at a time, as, for
example, to try to carry in more dishes, etc., than they were well able to
do. As a rule, they were to be contented to use both hands to carry one

During the service of the first course, the reading was to proceed
uninterruptedly; but when the community had finished eating it, a pause
was made until the second course had been set on the table. Meanwhile, at
some religious houses at this point in the dinner, the poor man selected
that day to receive the alms of the community, or as the recipient of the
portion of a deceased brother during the thirty days after his death, was
brought into the refectory by the almoner. His share was given to him, and
one of the juniors helped him to carry his food to the door. At this
point, too, that is, after the first course, if there were not many to
serve, permission from the superior was to be asked by a sign for one of
the two servers to sit down and begin his meal.

The second course was served in a way similar to the first. Many and
curious are the directions given as to what the monks might or might not
do according to the code of mediæval monastic manners. The regular food,
for example, was not to be shared with anyone, as, indeed, all had
received their own portion; but if anything special or extra was given to
an individual, except for sickness, then he might, and indeed would be
considered wanting in courtesy if he did not, offer to share it with his
two neighbours. These neighbours, however, were not to pass it on. If the
superior in his discretion sent a brother some extra dish, the recipient
was directed to rise and bow his thanks. If the dish came from the table
of the abbot, when out of the refectory, he who received it was still to
bow towards the abbot’s place as if he were present. If it came from
anyone else than the superior, the recipient had to send it by the server
to the senior presiding in the refectory, that he might, if he so pleased,
partake of it, or even dispose of it altogether according to his pleasure.
If any mistake was made in serving, or if by any accident something was
dropped or spilt on the tables or ground, the delinquent had to do penance
in the middle, until the prior gave a sign to him to rise, by rapping on
the table with the handle of his knife.

Some of the hints as to proper decorum at table seem curious in these
days. No one was to clean his cup with his fingers, nor wipe his hands, or
mouth, or knife upon the tablecloths. If he had first cleaned the knife
with a piece of bread, however, he might then wipe it on his own napkin.
The brethren were exhorted to try and keep the tablecloths clean. Stained
cloths were to be washed without delay; and to avoid stains, all soft and
cooked fruit was to be served in a deep plate or bowl. Every care was to
be taken not to drop crumbs upon the floor; salt was to be taken with a
knife, and the drinking-cup was to be held always in both hands.

When the prior, or the senior presiding at the table in his place, saw
that the monks had finished their repast, he knocked upon the table with
the handle of his knife, as a sign for the collection of remnants intended
for the poor. The two juniors appointed for this purpose then came
forward, each carrying a basket, and bowing in the middle to the superior,
passed down each side of the refectory, collecting the pieces of bread and
anything else that the religious had placed in front of them as their
individual alms. Whatever portion of bread any monk desired to keep for
the evening meal, he guarded by covering it with his napkin. Any loaf, or
part of a loaf, left uncovered after the dinner was over, was claimed by
the almoner, as belonging to “the portion of the poor” at his disposal.

When the two juniors had finished their task, the prior rapping the table
a second time, gave the sign for the servers to collect the spoons and
knives, and take them to the kitchen hatchway to be removed for washing in
the place set aside for that purpose. Meanwhile the monks folded their
napkins and waited silently for a third signal, upon which they rose from
their places and took up their position for Grace, facing each other on
the inner sides of the tables. When they were ready in their ranks, the
reader who was waiting in the pulpit, at a sign from the prior, sang the
usual conclusion of all public reading: “_Tu autem Domine, miserere
nobis_,” the community answering “_Deo gratias_.” Then followed the
chanted Grace, which was concluded in the church, to which the community
went in procession, during the singing of the _Miserere_ or other psalm.

The officials and religious who had been occupied with serving, stood on
one side at the end of the meal, and as the brethren went out from the
refectory they bowed to them, to show their reverence for the community in
its corporate capacity. The servers then went to the lavatory and washed
their hands in preparation for their own meal. The refectorian remained
behind when the community went out of the refectory, so as to see that all
was ready for the second table. At this second meal the cellarer generally
presided; and one of the junior monks was appointed to read whilst it was
being eaten by the servers and by all those who for any reason had been
prevented from dining at the first table.


The community dinner would probably have taken about half an hour; and by
the time the monks came from the church after finishing their Grace, it
would have been about 11.30 in the morning. The first duty of the monks on
coming into the cloister was to proceed to the lavatory to wash their
hands again--a not wholly unnecessary proceeding in the days when forks
were unknown, and fingers supplied their place at table. At Durham a
peculiar custom was observed by the monks each day after dinner on coming
from the church. They betook themselves to the cemetery garth “where all
the monks were buried; and they did stand all bareheaded, a certain long
space, praying among the tombs and graves for their brethren’s souls being
buried there.” If None had already been said in choir, the community had
now several hours to devote to reading or work, or both. If that canonical
Hour had yet to be said, then the religious, after their ablutions, took
their books and sat in the cloister till the monks at the second table had
finished their meal, when the signal was given, and all went to the church
and recited None together, returning to their occupations immediately
afterwards, by which time it would have been about midday.

After washing his hands on coming out from Grace, the prior, or the senior
who had presided in the refectory in his place, was directed in some
houses to go and satisfy himself that all was well at the second table,
and that those who had served others were themselves well served. From the
refectory he had to go to the infirmary to visit the sick, and to see for
himself that their needs had been properly supplied. When these two duties
had been fulfilled, it was the custom in some places for the prior on
occasions to invite some of the seniors to his room for a glass of wine,
to warm themselves in winter, and for what is called in one Custumal “the
consolations of a talk.” When the prior was not present, the presiding
senior was allowed to invite some of the brethren to the _domus
recreationis_--the recreation-room. At certain times and on certain feasts
the whole community joined in these innocent and harmless meetings.

At this same time the juniors and novices with their masters were
permitted with leave to go out into the garden and other places to unbend
in games and such-like exercises proper to their age. In this way they
were assisted when young to stand the severe strain of cloister
discipline. Without the rational relaxation intended by such amusements,
to use the simile constantly applied to these circumstances, “as bows
always bent” they would soon lose the power of “aiming straight at

The monk, it must be remembered, was in no sense “a gloomy person.” There
is hardly anything that would have interfered more with the purpose of his
life than any disposition to become a misanthrope. His calling was no bar
to reasonable recreation. In fact, the true religious was told to try and
possess _angelica hilaritas cum monastica simplicitas_. Thus at Durham we
read of the greensward “at the back of the house towards the water” where
the younger members of the community played their games of bowls, with the
novice-master as umpire. On the stone benches, too, in the cloisters at
Canterbury, Westminster, Gloucester, and elsewhere, traces of the games
played centuries ago by the young religious may still be seen in the holes
and squares set out symmetrically, and oblongs divided by carefully-drawn
cross-lines. Sometimes we read of hunting, contests of ball, and other
games of chance. Archbishop Peckham was apparently somewhat shocked to
find that the prior of Cokesford, in Norfolk, at times indulged in a game
of chess with some of his canons. In other houses he found that dogs were
kept and even stranger pets like apes, cranes, and falcons were retained
in captivity by the religious. It is difficult to draw the exact line by
passing which monastic gravity is supposed to be injured, and so there
was, no doubt, constant need for regulation on all these matters. But some
such amusements were necessary, and by them, the tension of long-continued
conventual exercises was relieved. The monastic granges to which from time
to time the religious went for a change of scene and life were most
useful in this regard and enabled them to recreate their strength for
another period of service.

In the disposition of the early part of the afternoon, some slight changes
had to be made between the winter and summer observance. In summer,
immediately after the dinner, the community retired to the dormitory for a
sleep, or rest, of an hour’s duration. This was the rule from Easter till
the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in September, and all the
community were bound to observe the hour for repose if not for sleep. The
period of rest, thus allowed at midday, was taken in reality from the
night. During the summer the times for vespers, and supper, and bed were
each an hour later than they were in the winter months, when the light
failed earlier. This hour, by which in summer the sleep before Matins was
shortened, was made up by the rest after dinner. During the same period,
except on vigils and such-like days when None was said before the dinner,
that canonical Hour was recited after the midday sleep. On the signal for
the termination of the hour of repose the religious came from the
dormitory and, having washed, sat in the cloister till the notice was
given to proceed to the church for None, which at this time of the year
would have been finished some time between 12.30 and one o’clock.


The chief working hours in a mediæval monastery, including a period for
recreation and outdoor exercise, were between twelve o’clock and five in
winter, and one o’clock and six in summer. It was during these five hours
that the chief business and work of the house was transacted. The
officials then attended to the duties of their offices; the writers and
rubricators made progress in their literary and artistic compositions in
the cloister or scriptorium; the juniors and novices studied with their
masters, or practised public reading and singing under the precentor or
his assistant; those who had work in the kitchen, or the bakehouse, or the
cellar, etc., addressed themselves to their allotted tasks. In a word,
whilst the morning of each monastic day was devoted mainly to prayer and
the church services, the afternoon was fully occupied in many and various
labours and in the general administration of the monastery. Of course
manual labour, that is the working in the gardens, or fields, or workshops
of the establishment, always occupied at least a part of the working hours
of every monastery, and frequently a large part. This manual labour was
necessary for health and exercise, and it was insisted upon in all
monastic codes, not so much as an end in itself, as a means to avoid
idleness, and to strengthen the constitution of individuals by regular and
systematic corporal exercises. The work of a labourer in the fields and
gardens was never looked upon as derogatory to the monastic profession;
and St. Benedict expressly tells his followers that they are to look upon
themselves “as true monks, when they have to live by the labour of their


This manual labour was generally a conventual work, that is, undertaken in
common; and the permission of the superior was always required to stay
away from it. In some Orders, such as the Cistercian and Cluniac, it was
performed with a certain amount of ceremonial usage. The prior, for
example, rang the bell, or struck the _tabula_ to call the brethren
together, distributed the necessary tools amongst them, and then led the
way to the place where they were to dig, or weed, or plant, etc. In the
Cluniac houses, the abbot went with the community. When they were
assembled at the door of the cloister he was to be informed, and he then
came into their midst saying, “_Eamus ad opus manuum_”--“Let us go to our
manual labour.” Upon this, the youngest leading the way, the monks went in
procession to where they had to work, saying the _Miserere_ or other
psalm. Arrived at the place, they stood round the abbot till the psalm was
ended, then the abbot said the _Deus in adjutorium_--“O God, come to my
aid,” etc., with the “Our Father” and the versicle of Prime to obtain
God’s blessing on the labours of the day: “Look down, O Lord, upon Thy
servants and upon Thy works, and guide Thou Thy sons.” To which the
community replied: “And may the glory of the Lord our God be upon us, and
may He guide us in the works of our hands and direct us in our manual
labour.” Then bowing to the abbot and to each other, they began the task
allotted to them.

At the conclusion of their period of labour the religious returned to the
cloister as they had come; the tools were gathered up and put away; and
after a short time allowed for washing, they went to the refectory for an
afternoon drink of some kind. After this they returned to their places in
the cloister: the novices and juniors to their studies, the seniors to
their reading or writing.


At five o’clock in winter and at six in summer the bell rang for Vespers.
In some houses, however, as for instance at Durham, the Vespers were
always sung at the fixed hour of three in the afternoon, which would
divide the working hours of the day into two portions. This would probably
have been the rule in all cathedral monastic churches, where, as being
public places of worship, regularity of hours would have been aimed at. At
the first signal for the Vesper hour the books were all replaced in the
aumbry in the cloister, and the community then waited until the
commencement of the tolling of the great bell, when they betook themselves
to their places in choir. The Vespers were sung with varying pomp and
ceremony, according to the rank of the feast celebrated, and the monks
were vested for the service in cowls, albs, or copes, according to the
solemnity of the occasion.


Immediately after the Vespers, at the beginning of the “Suffrages of the
Saints,” or later if Vespers of the “Office of the Dead” were to be said,
the cellarer and refectorian left the choir to see that all was prepared
for the evening meal, should there be one. At Durham the hour of supper
was always five o’clock, after which the doors of the cloister and public
rooms were locked and the keys given to the sub-prior until seven o’clock
the following morning. In English monasteries the general rule as to
supper apparently was that during the summer half of the year--that is
from Easter to the 14th September--the second meal was served on all days,
except on vigils and fast days. From the feast of All Saints to Advent,
supper was only granted on the great feast days, when the community were
vested in copes in the choir. During Advent, and in fact till Easter,
except during the short time between Christmas and the Epiphany, there was
but one meal a day in most religious houses. The infirm and those who
through weakness needed more food had to receive special dispensation from
the superior.

On supper days the prior, or whoever was presiding in the choir, left the
church at the same time as the cellarer and refectorian, and began to ring
the bell or gong for the meal. The community then came out of the church
and, as at dinner, went to wash their hands at the lavatory, and thence to
their places in the refectory. In many monasteries it was the custom for
the seniors to serve and read during this meal, which was short,
consisting of one good and full dish (_generale_), and one pittance or
light additional plate, consisting of cheese, fruit, nuts, or the like.
The prior was served, as at dinner, by two juniors, who took their places
at the ends of his table and had their meal there. There was a special
“pittance” for this table, and from it the prior, or whoever was acting
for him, was supposed to reserve something for the senior who was reading.
One dish with the “pittance,” and sufficient to serve those who sat
thereat, was placed at the head of each table and passed down.

The conclusion of the supper was like that of the dinner. The religious
went to finish their Grace in the church, and thence passed up to the
dormitory to change their day habits, girdles, and boots for those better
adapted for the night. When this was done they went again into the
cloister to wait there till the signal should be given for the evening
Collation or reading. At Durham there was no interval between the supper
and the Collation; but “Grace being said,” we are told, “the monks all
departed to the chapter-house to meet the prior, every night, there to
remain in prayer and devotion till six of the clock, at which time upon
the ringing of a bell they went to the _Salve_.”


About half-past six in winter, and half-past seven in summer, a small bell
was rung in the cloister to call all together for the evening reading,
called the _Collation_, which took place in the chapter-room. Whilst the
bell was ringing any of the community who desired, on days when there was
no supper, could go to the refectory and obtain some kind of drink, called
the _potum caritatis_, with which possibly was also given a small portion
of bread, to sustain them till their dinner the following day. When they
had finished this very modest refection, the brethren at once betook
themselves to their places in the chapter-hall, where the reader was
already waiting in the pulpit with the book open at the place where he
left off the night before.

Meanwhile the abbot, or prior in the absence of the abbot, waited for a
time in the private parlour ready to hear any petitions for exemption from
rule, and grant any leave that might be necessary. When this business had
been transacted he came to the Collation, at which all were bound to be
present. The reading apparently only occupied a short time, and in the
brief interval between this and the Hour of Compline the community could
in the summer pass into the cloister, or in winter time could go to warm
themselves at the fire in the common recreation-room.


At seven o’clock in the winter, and eight in the summer, the tolling of
the bell called the community to Compline--the last conventual act of the
monastic day. This Hour was not necessarily said in the choir of the
church. At St. Mary’s, York, for example, the brethren recited their
Compline standing in the Galilee, the juniors nearest to the door. The
Office began with the _Confiteor_, as the Collation had already taken the
place of the _Capitulum_, with which otherwise the Hour of Compline
commenced. When the anthem to the Virgin Mother of God, with which
Compline always concluded, was being said or sung, all turned to the
Crucifix or _Majestas_.

Immediately the triple-prayer of the Pater, Ave, and Creed, said at the
end, was finished, the superior gave a signal, and the community rose and
passed to the door of the church. Here either the superior or the junior
priest who had said the prayers at Compline was ready to sprinkle each
with holy water as he passed in solemn silence to the dormitory. Before
half-past seven, then, in winter, and an hour later than this in summer,
all would have been in bed, and the busy round of duties, which so
completely filled the working day of every mediæval monastery, would have
come to an end.



No account of English monastic life would be complete without some special
reference to the nuns and nunneries. It is, it may be first observed in
passing, altogether wrong to apply the word “convent” exclusively to
houses of nuns, as is so frequently done in these days. The title
“convent” as well as that of “monastery” and “abbey” was applicable to any
house of either monks or nuns, and the exclusive use of the word for a
religious house of women is, indeed, of quite modern origin.

It is unfortunate that our information in regard to the inner life of the
nuns in pre-Reformation England is so scanty. Beyond the delightful
picture we get of the social life of the nuns of Kington in Old Jacques’
recollections, as recorded by John Aubrey, and the charming portrait of
the prioress who

  “Was so charitable and so pitous ...
   and al was conscience and tendre herte,”

in Chaucer’s tales, there is but little information to be obtained about
the nuns of England; of the simple, hard, yet happy lives they led in
their cloistered homes, and of the ample charity they dispensed to all in
their immediate neighbourhood.


Of course, so far as the usual forms, manners, and customs of cloister
life are concerned, what has been already said of the monastic method of
life generally, applies to nuns, with certain necessary reservations, as
well as to monks and canons. It will be useful, however, to furnish the
reader with some account of certain special features of female religious
life. One of the most charming mediæval pictures of that life is given in
an account of the abbesses of the Benedictine nunnery of Wherwell, in
Hampshire. It records the unblemished life and good deeds of the abbess
Euphemia, who ruled the house from A.D. 1226 to 1257, and is translated
from the chartulary of the abbey by the Rev. Dr. Cox in the second volume
of the _Victoria History of the County of Hampshire_. The account is too
delightful not to be given in full.

    “On the 6th of the Kalends of May, in the year of grace 1257, died the
    blessed mother abbess, Euphemia, most worthy to be remembered, who, by
    our affection and good fellowship, and with divine sanction, succeeded
    the late abbess Maud of sweet memory. It is, therefore, most fitting
    that we should always perpetuate the memory, in our special prayers
    and suffrages, of one who ever worked for the glory of God, and for
    the weal of both our souls and bodies. For she increased the number of
    the Lord’s handmaids in this monastery from forty to eighty, to the
    exaltation of the worship of God. To her sisters, both in health and
    sickness, she administered the necessaries of life with piety,
    prudence, care, and honesty. She also increased the sum allowed for
    garments by 12_d._ each. The example of her holy conversation and
    charity, in conjunction with her pious exhortations and regular
    discipline, caused each one to know how, in the words of the Apostle,
    to possess her vessel in sanctification and honour. She also, with
    maternal piety and careful forethought, built, for the use of both
    sick and sound, a new and large infirmary away from the main
    buildings, and in conjunction with it a dormitory with the necessary
    offices. Beneath the infirmary she constructed a watercourse, through
    which a stream flowed with sufficient force to carry off all refuse
    that might corrupt the air.

    “Moreover she built there a place set apart for the refreshment of the
    soul, namely a chapel of the Blessed Virgin, which was erected outside
    the cloister behind the infirmary. With the chapel she enclosed a
    large space, which was adorned on the north side with pleasant vines
    and trees. On the other side, by the river-bank, she built offices for
    various uses, a space being left in the centre where the nuns are able
    from time to time to enjoy the pure air. In these and in other
    numberless ways, the blessed mother Euphemia provided for the worship
    of God and the welfare of the sisters. But notwithstanding all this,
    she also so conducted herself with regard to exterior affairs, that
    she seemed to have the spirit of a man rather than of a woman. The
    court of the abbey-manor, owing to the useless mass of squalid
    outbuildings, and the propinquity of the kitchen to the granary and
    old hall, was in much danger of fire; whilst the confined area and the
    amount of animal refuse was a cause of offence to both the feet and
    nostrils of those who had occasion to pass through. The mother
    Euphemia, realising that the Lord had called her to the rule of the
    abbey at Wherwell, not that she might live there at ease, but that she
    might, with due care and despatch, uproot and destroy and dissipate
    all that was noxious, and establish and erect that which would be
    useful, demolished the whole of these buildings, levelled the court,
    and erected a new hall of suitable size and height. She also built a
    new mill, some distance from the hall, and constructed it with great
    care in order that more work than formerly might be done therein for
    the service of the house. She surrounded the court with a wall and the
    necessary buildings, and round it she made gardens and vineyards and
    shrubberies in places that were formerly useless and barren, and which
    now became both serviceable and pleasant. The manor-house of
    Middleton, which occupied a dry situation and was close to a public
    thoroughfare, and was further disfigured by old and crumbling
    buildings, she moved to another site, where she erected permanent
    buildings, new and strong, on the bank of the river, together with
    farmhouses. She also set to work in the same way at Tufton, in order
    that the buildings of both the manor-houses in that neighbourhood
    might be of greater service, and safer against the danger of fire.
    These and other innumerable works, our good superior Euphemia
    performed for the advantage of the house, but she was none the less
    zealous in works of charity, gladly and freely exercising hospitality,
    so that she and her daughters might find favour with One Whom Lot and
    Abraham and others have pleased by the grace of hospitality. Moreover,
    because she greatly loved to honour duly the House of God and the
    place where His glory dwells, she adorned the church with crosses,
    reliquaries, precious stones, vestments, and books. And because the
    bell-tower above the dormitory fell down through decay one night,
    about the hour of Matins, when by an obvious miracle from heaven,
    though the nuns were at that moment in the dormitory, some in bed and
    some in prayer before their beds, all escaped not only death but even
    any bodily injury, she caused another bell-tower of worked stone to be
    erected, conformable to the fair appearance of the church and the rest
    of the buildings, of commanding height, and of exquisite workmanship.
    But as she advanced in years, towards the end of her life, there was
    imminent danger of the complete collapse of the presbytery of the
    church; by the advice of skilled builders, she caused the presbytery
    to be taken down to the last stones of the foundations; and because
    the ground was found to be undermined and unsafe, she caused the damp
    soil to be dug out to a depth of twelve feet till firm and dry ground
    was found; when, having invoked the grace of the Holy Spirit, with
    prayers and tears she laid with her own hands the first stone of the
    foundations. Moreover she rejoiced to have found favour with God, so
    that before her last days were ended she saw this work that she had
    begun brought to its desired end. Thus she, who had devoted herself
    when amongst us to the service of His house and the habitation of His
    glory, found the due reward for her merits with our Lord Jesus Christ,
    through the prayers and merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the
    blessed apostles SS. Peter and Paul, in whose honour, at the
    instigation of the abbess Euphemia, this church was dedicated, who
    with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever liveth and reigneth God
    through all the ages of eternity. Amen.”

Of the life, social and religious, led by the nuns of England, something
may be learnt from the few scattered account-books that have survived the
general destruction of documents in the sixteenth century. The following
sketch is founded upon one such paper-book of accounts now in the public
Record Office. It was printed privately some few years ago, and is here
reproduced as affording, in the judgment of some, a not uninteresting
glimpse into the cloister life and work led in the nunneries in the early
days of the fifteenth century. The accounts were kept in a small book by a
nun called Dame Petronilla.


Her family name (or was it that of her birthplace?) was Dunwich, and in
keeping her accounts she had as assistant and auditor another nun, Dame
Katherine Midelton. Their convent was Grace Dieu in Leicestershire--the
only religious house of Augustinian nuns in England. The scanty but
picturesque ruins of their old convent may still be seen not far from the
present Cistercian Abbey of Mount St. Bernard, and quite near to Grace
Dieu Manor-house, the home of Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle. The convent was
founded in Charnwood Forest by Lady Rohesia de Verdon in the middle of the
thirteenth century, and it is said that the boundary of the garden, made
by the sisters to resemble that of Gethsemane, may yet be traced with a
little trouble. Wordsworth wrote several of his poems in the immediate
neighbourhood, and thus describes the situation of the old nunnery as
seen, or rather _not_ seen, from Cole Orton some few miles away:--

  “Beneath yon eastern ridge, the craggy bound
   Rugged and high of Charnwood’s forest ground
   Stand yet, but, stranger, hidden from thy view,
   The ivied ruins of forlorn Grace Dieu.”

Our guide-books, of course, ascribe the destruction of the convent in 1539
to the fact of serious complaints having been made of certain
irregularities on the part of the inmates. Most people nowadays know how
to estimate these “complaints” at their right value, proceeding as they
did from the Visitors of Henry VIII., who having been sent for the purpose
of finding evidence of irregularities to justify the intended spoliation,
of course found them. In the special case of this convent of Grace Dieu we
have subsequently the direct testimony of the country gentlemen of
Leicestershire, that the fifteen nuns following the rule of St. Austin
then inmates of the establishment, and whose good name had been so vilely
traduced by the king’s emissaries, were all “of good and virtuous
conversation and living,” and that their presence in the wilds of
Charnwood Forest was a blessing to the neighbourhood.

We are, however, concerned with the convent of Grace Dieu in much earlier
days: very nearly a century and a half before its final destruction in
1539. Dame Petronilla and Dame Katherine kept their accounts of the
establishment in this old paper-book “from the Feast of the Purification
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first year of King Henry V.,” for four
years: that is, from 1414 to 1418. The volume in question, though simple
enough in its style of book-keeping, presents in reality the general
accounts of the house. Probably Dame Petronilla would have opened her eyes
very wide indeed at the present system of elaborate checks and
counter-checks devised to exercise the brains and possibly the patience of
modern cellarers, and “double entry” and such-like mysteries would
probably have seemed to her a useless expenditure of time and nerve-power,
and hardly consistent with the religious simplicity which ascetic writers
had taught her to cultivate. Her system is simplicity itself: so much
received for such a thing, ordinary or extraordinary: so much spent, and
on what; that is all.

In one point, however, this careful nun does not hesitate to take a
considerable amount of trouble. What would a cellarer say to-day, were he
or she asked to give the ages of all the live stock under their care! Dame
Petronilla would have been quite able to do so at any moment, for from
time to time she enters, not indeed the birthdays of the cattle and pigs,
but their ages. In 1415, for example, which by the way was the
ever-memorable year of Agincourt, this is her “tally” of all the pigs in
the keeping of the herd, Nicholas Swon (or should it be Swine?)

    “5 boars, _i.e._--two aged three years, two aged two, and one aged
    one; ten sows, _i.e._--nine at three years, and one aged one;
    forty-one small pigs of a year, and thirty of six months old; ten full
    grown pigs, and ten _porcelli lactantes sub matribus_ or sucking

Pork, it is clear, must have been one of the chief articles of food for
the nuns and their retainers, since there are frequent notices of pigs
transferred from the farm to the larder; on two occasions during the four
years, Dame Petronilla chronicles the death of a good many of the convent
pigs from disease. Their stock of cattle appears somewhat large at first
sight, till it is realised that with one thing and another there were a
good many mouths to feed in this establishment. Thus in one year we find a
list of 32 cows, “three of which had not calved; three bulls, 16 steers,
22 heifers and eight bull calves.” Besides this there were 27 yoke-oxen
under the care of their driver, and 29 calves, one of which on the
account-day is noted as having, since the making of the list, gone to the
cook to furnish forth the conventual dinner. At this same time Henry
Smyth, the outdoor bailiff, gives in the account of Henry, the shepherd,
which shows that he had 103 ewes and 52 lambs under his pastoral charge.

The revenue of the convent consisted chiefly of the rent of lands and
buildings and the sale of produce, timber and such-like. Thus we have the
rent of a farm at Belton put down as £21 17_s._ 9_d._, this being the
largest item in the receipts, and indeed a very large item in those days
from any farm rent. From another parcel of land, besides the rent, one
year Dame Petronilla and her assistant, Dame Katherine Midelton, account
for the price of sixteen quarters of lime at 9¾_d._ the quarter. Roger
Dan, the miller, pays a rent of £5 13_s._ 4_d._ for the mill at Belton,
and at the same time there is another receipt for “half a hundred
merkefish and twelve stone of cheese.” Besides these and other similar
sums which are entered under the heading of “ordinary,” we find, such
“extraordinary” receipts as £3 for twenty-four ash trees, and a few
shillings for the skins of lambs that had been used in the kitchen.
Another year we see that 100 kids were sold at 2_s._ each, and that there
was a sale of hurdles and faggots about Shrovetide. Thirty stone of wool
was purchased at one time by one Thomas Hunte, a neighbour, who, by the
way, had his two daughters evidently at school in the convent; once there
was a sale of fish from the mill down at Belton, and it brought into the
nuns’ exchequer over £6.

The mention of Thomas Hunte’s daughters may be supplemented by evidence in
these accounts of other children being under the care of the “White
Ladies” of Grace Dieu. Thomas Hunte appears to have paid at the rate of
17_s._ 4_d._ for each of his two children, but as it is expressly stated
that it was for their food only, probably their education was thrown in
without consideration. Lady Beaumont also had a daughter in the convent,
for whom she and her lord undertook to pay £2 13_s._ 4_d._ a year; but
when Dame Petronilla last made up her accounts, or rather in the last
account we have from her pen, the good nuns had only got £2. Lord
Beaumont, however, was evidently too great a personage to be reminded of
the missing 13_s._ 4_d._, and the convent authorities evidently desired to
stand well in his favour. They fed him well, for instance, when he came to
see his child; for on one occasion Dame Petronilla gives some of the
expenses of his entertainment. These included, besides 1½_d._ for “1
shoulder le molton,” and 8_d._ for two lambs, an almost unique payment for
two fowls for the nobleman’s table. This slight glimpse of the relations
between the convent and the neighbouring gentry, in regard to the
education of their children, affords a corroboration of one of the laments
made at the general dissolution, that their destruction was a terrible
thing for those who had hitherto made use of them for this purpose.
According to Robert Aske, the leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace, one of
the reasons why the Yorkshire people strongly resented their overthrow,
was because “in nunneries their daughters were brought up in virtue.”

Another practice revealed by these old accounts was that of people coming
to stop at the convent for the celebration of some of the greater feasts.
Thus for one “All Saints’ Day,” Mary de Ecton, Joan Villiers, and the two
daughters of Robert Neville were lodged and entertained by the nuns. These
visitors eventually made an offering for the hospitality shown them; as,
for instance, on this very occasion each of the Neville ladies paid 5_s._
and Joan Villiers 6_s._ 8_d._ The last-named lady was at Grace Dieu no
less than four several times in the year 1418, and each time left behind a
similar offering. At another time Giles Jurdon paid 7_s._ for the board of
his daughter during the week of Pentecost, when she probably came to visit
her sister, who, known as Dame Elizabeth, was a nun in the convent. Roger
Roby also, who was apparently the father of Dame Alice, was entertained by
the nuns twice in the year 1416, and gave an alms of 6_s._ 8_d._ at one
visit and 13_s._ 4_d._ at the other.

It may be of interest to give a list of the nuns at this time living in
Grace Dieu. They were fourteen in number, exclusive of the prioress, and
their names were:--

  Dame Margaret Kempston, prioress.
  Dame Alice Mortimer, sub-prioress.
  Dame Margaret Twyford.
  Dame Philippa Jake.
  Dame Alice Dunwich.
  Dame Katherine Midelton.
  Dame Anne de Norton.
  Dame Alice Roby.
  Dame Margery Witham.
  Dame Katherine Pounce.
  Dame Alice Prestwold.
  Dame Elizabeth Jurdon (originally put 3rd).
  Dame Petronilla Dunwich (originally put 5th).
  Dame Elizabeth Hakulthorp.
  Dame Alice Powtrell or Pouncstrell.

The spiritual needs of this community were, of course, ministered to by a
chaplain. He is generally called “Sir William,” but on one occasion he
appears as “Sir William Granger, or Norwich.” He was paid 38_s._ 4_d._ a
year as his stipend, and this was to include 6_d._ as the price of a pair
of gloves. On certain occasions, as on the greater feasts, Sir William had
other clerical help, such as that of “Henry the Chaplain,” and the “Parson
of Hatherun.” It is not uninteresting to notice that the nuns’ little
present for the services of these reverend gentlemen was, it would seem,
delicately handed to them in purses purchased for the purpose. They had
also the ministration of an “extraordinary” confessor, a certain Friar
William Young, and to him was given 1_s._ 8_d._ for the expenses of his
journey each time he came to the convent. Something additional was, of
course, bestowed on him when, as in 1418, he remained to help in the
Holy-Week services. At times, not very frequently, “my Lady,” the
prioress, entertained the clergy at a little simple banquet; she did not
merely provide for them, for that, of course, the convent always did with
true hospitality; but she dined with them. Dame Petronilla does not say,
when they “dined with my Lady,” but when “my Lady dined with them,” as,
for example, when she notes on the Sunday within the octave of our Lady’s
Assumption in the year 1416: “a sucking-pig for the table of my Lady,
because to-day she dined with the Vicar.”

It may be mentioned that Dame Petronilla and her assistant Dame Katherine
made up their accounts from Sunday to Sunday, as far as expenses are
concerned, so that in running through the pages it is possible to form
some idea of how these good mediæval nuns lived. I do not think that the
most captious critic could charge them with feasting on the “fat of the
land,” or with much indulgence in the luxuries even of those primitive
days. There is one peculiarity, however, in these otherwise excellent
accounts, which rather interferes with a full knowledge of the
commissariat at Grace Dieu. The sisters did not think it necessary to
enter among the payments the value of the farm and garden produce they
consumed, beyond the cost of sowing and gathering into their barns.
However, we know that they must have eaten bread and made use of the
exceedingly few vegetables and pot-herbs that were then grown in the
gardens of England, so we may take these as additional to the “food
stuffs” shown in the accounts as paid for. A few examples will be
sufficient to give the reader an insight into the general catering at
Grace Dieu early in the fifteenth century. These are the first entries
among the expenses written by Dame Petronilla when she commenced her
duties as “Treasurer,” as she calls herself in one place, after the Feast
of the Purification, 1414.

    “For two Sundays after the Purification purchased two small pigs price
    6_d._ For house food during the time of Lent, £3 6_s._ 8_d._ For
    seventy hard dried fish for the same time, 11_s._ 6_d._ A calf bought
    for the convent for Quinquagesima Sunday (Shrovetide), 9_d._ Four
    small pigs for the same day, 9_d._ Beef bought for the same day,
    20_d._ Mustard bought at Ashby, 1_d._ Cheese bought on Friday in
    Sexagesima week, 5_d._ Thomas Fene for 2 quarters of red-herrings for
    Lent, 12_d._ Nicholas Swon (the swineherd, as the reader may
    remember), 2_d._ for catching two small pike at the sluice.”

The Lenten arrangements for feeding the natural man and woman from Ash
Wednesday to Easter Sunday in those hardy and robust days are, even to
think of, enough to turn our refined and educated stomachs. Eggs, to a
certain limited extent, no doubt these good religious had; although, on
the principle before explained, we do not find them mentioned, except as
included in their natural producer, the domestic hen. But beyond this,
during all this penitential time, the staple food, here as everywhere
throughout England, was salted and dried fish. Conger, green fish, ling,
and codling stockfish, wealing or whiting, and mackerel are among those
named in Russell’s _Book of Nurture_ as the usual Lenten food. How tired
the mouth of even the most ascetic religious must have got of the taste of
salt fish, however much it was disguised with mustard sauce, or, as on
great festivals, “baken, dressed, and dished with white sugar”! No wonder
the rising generation in those primitive times were warned by Russell to
look carefully upon what they ate for fear they might light on some
unsavoury morsel; and “of all manner salt fish,” he says, “look ye pare
away the pele (skin) before beginning upon it.” No wonder that after six
weeks of salt herring, stockfish, and such-like, our ancestors in the
cloisters could look forward to the time-honoured Easter-day joke of “the
devil on horseback,” or a split red-herring riding as a jockey on the back
of a duck, perpetrated by the convent cook.

Lent, however, is naturally not a fair sample of the food supplied to the
Grace Dieu nuns, so let us take the page of expenses for Easter week. Here
it is:--

    “A stall-fed ox, 16_s._ 1 pig from the farm. 3 small pigs, price
    14_d._ 1 calf, price 2_s._ Almonds and rais (raisins), 12_d._, and for
    Friday 150 fresh herrings and a stockfish (_i.e._ cod), 2_s._”

The almonds and raisins were a great luxury to the good sisters, and only
on a few other occasions during the four years of Dame Petronilla’s
housekeeping does this extraordinary expense occur! We cannot help
thinking, too, with what pleasure the nuns must have welcomed the change
of fish diet on the Friday in Easter week. Two shillings was in those days
a great sum to pay for any article of food, but the fresh sea fish must
have been scarce enough in Charnwood Forest before the days of railroads.
“White herring fresh, if it be seaward and newly caught, with the roe
white and tender,” says an old authority, “is toothsome food”; and the
_Book of Nurture_ tells “the cook” how best to prepare it for his master’s

  “The white herring by the bak a brode ye splat him sure,
   Both roe and bones voyded, then may your lord endure to eat merily
       with mustard.”

We need not linger further over the food supplied to the sisters. One week
was very much like another, and the changes were few and far between. It
is not often that the accounts show such expenses as “paid to the wife of
James the miller for twelve chickens for the table, 12_d._”--spring
chickens, too, they must have been, for they were eaten on Low Sunday.
One All Saints’ Day, by the way, the nuns had four geese, for which the
price paid was 3_d._ each; and one Christmas Day their table was supplied
from the farm with nine fowls, and we are told they had seven at their
dinner, the other two being reserved to furnish forth their supper. Pork,
beef, veal, and fish: these were the ordinary dishes supplied. Mutton,
curiously, though not altogether rare, does not appear very frequently in
their _menu_, and lamb is named as a dish at only one of my lady
prioress’s little banquets; although the receipt for “lamb-skins sold from
the kitchen” shows that it was not altogether unknown to the common table.
Probably these nuns were “good housewives,” in the best sense, and
preferred to get all they could out of their flocks in the shape of wool,
etc., rather than eat tender, but tasteless and immature mutton.

It should be remembered that in the commissariat of Grace Dieu was
evidently included the feeding of the retainers of the convent, as well as
that of the nuns. These domestics were many, and were fed certainly as
well, and sometimes apparently better than were the ladies themselves. The
names of two-and-twenty men-servants and eight women who were retainers of
the convent, and their wages, or “rewards” as they are called, are
preserved in the account-book. They vary very considerably, from 26_s._
8_d._ paid to one Henry Smith, to 2_s._ 6_d._ bestowed on “Hirdeman”; and
among the women the difference ranges from 22_s._ 6_d._ paid to Isabel
Botelor, to 1_s._ 8_d._ to Matilda Gerrard. Henry Smith, named above,
seems to have been a sort of factotum, a real treasure and excellent
servant. He is called bailiff in one place, and was no doubt of a higher
standing than most of the others. Whatever there was to be done, inside
or outside the house, it is evident that no one but Henry Smith could see
to it properly.

Besides their wages, these retainers of the Augustinian dames had their
cottages and clothes looked to for them by the convent bursar. Thus before
the autumn work of cleaning the land and sowing the winter corn commences,
we find a record of “twenty-four pairs of shoes” given out, which are
charged to the convent account at 2_s._ 8½_d._--not the pair, but the two
dozen. This sum would appear, perhaps, ridiculously small, even for those
days, had we not some reason to think that the leather for making them was
provided to the local cobbler from the convent store; for on one occasion
Dame Petronilla notes that she paid 8_d._ for tanning (_pro albacione_)
the skin of a horse, bought of Robert Harston. Another present from the
nuns to their workpeople in view of these autumn works, the cost of which
appears in these accounts, was a pair of gloves to each of the thirty men
and women about to be engaged in the weeding and ditching and hedging; as
for their clothes, these were all made on the premises from the raw
material. Thus in one year we read:--

    “Paid for the spinning of six score (bundles) of linen flax, 5_s._;
    paid for weaving the three score ells of linen cloth from the same,
    3_s._ 4_d._; paid for woofing and warping three-and-twenty ells of
    woollen cloth, 6_s._ 2_d._; paid for spinning twenty lbs. of wool at
    1¼_d._ the pound, 2_s._ 6_d._; paid for dyeing twenty-seven ells of
    cloth blood red, at 4_d._ the ell, 7_s._ 8_d._; paid for spinning
    woollen cloth for ordinary livery, 11_d._”; and so on.

All this evidently was for the clothes of the entire establishment,
including the men and women who worked on the farm, and in the laundry,
the kitchen, and the bakehouse, etc.

Curiously, as it seems to us perhaps now, each of the nuns had a maximum
allowance of 6_s._ 8_d._ a year for clothes. It taught them, no doubt, to
look after the articles of their dress with care and thrift, better than
if the white woollen tunic, scapular and veil, woven from the produce of
their own flock of sheep, and the still whiter linen wimple spun from the
flax and made into good sound cloth by their own hands, or at least under
their own direction, were to appear to drop from the hand of Providence
without reference to cost. One or two curious entries seem to show that
friends sometimes gave the annual sum allowed for the clothing of some of
the nuns. Thus one year William Roby paid “for the clothes of his
relation, Dame Agnes Roby”; and at another time Margaret Roby brought the
6_s._ 8_d._ for the same purpose when she came on a visit. One interesting
item of knowledge about the work of the nuns is conveyed in a brief entry
of receipt. It is clear that these ladies were good needlewomen, and their
work must have been exceptionally excellent, seeing that a cope was
purchased from them by a neighbouring rector for £10.

The indication that these accounts give us of the farming operations of
the Grace Dieu nuns is sufficient to make us wish that Dame Petronilla had
been a little more explicit; still we are grateful for what we learn about
the crops, and their sowing, and weeding, and gathering, the stacking of
the wheat, and oats, and peas, and the threshing out of the grain. Thus
the wages of Adam Baxter and his wife, and the wife of Robert Harston for
weeding thirty acres of barley are set down. Each of these, by the way,
had a pair of gloves given them before they were set to the task, and the
entire work cost the convent 10_s._ 3_d._ Three men beyond the usual farm
staff were ordinarily employed in cutting the grass, and in making and
stacking the hay. In the general harvesting, men and women were employed
in the fields; and, be it remarked, their labour was paid for at the same
rate. What are called the autumn works--the harvesting and the subsequent
cleaning of the ground--seem to have lasted about seven or eight weeks,
and were begun soon after the feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Lady.
It is curious, and not uninteresting, to find that the Irish came over for
the harvesting in Leicestershire in the fifteenth century as they do now;
thus we have Mathew Irishman and Isabel Irish named, together with Edward
Welshman, as engaged in the fields of Grace Dieu in 1415. Altogether, the
cost of the extra labour in the autumn works amounted to nearly £10, a
large sum indeed in those days.

Besides payments of extra money for the harvesting and regular work, some
indication of the kindly way in which the good nuns recognised the
services of their dependents on special occasions appears in these
accounts. In the lambing season, for instance, Henry, the shepherd, was
given 2_d._ “for his good service and care of the sheep,” and John
Stapulford received the same sum “for looking after the lambs before their
weaning,” whilst John Warren for “fold-hurdling” was rewarded with 1_s._;
and to take another instance of a somewhat different kind, the convent
bailiff at Kirby, one Richard Marston, was given a purse, as a sign that
the nuns appreciated his care of their property. One chance entry shows
that when the sheep were being sheared, the labourers were given extra
meat for their meals, since Dame Petronilla gives 16_d._ for a calf to
feed them specially, on a day when evidently she and her sisters in
religion were eating fish in the convent refectory.

A word must now be said about that necessary item in the accounts of every
well-regulated religious house, “repairs.” These seem to have exercised
the two bursars of Grace Dieu very considerably. The special trouble
evidently began with the roof of the house. In the first year of their
stewardship they had in, of course, Robert the Slater, and for some reason
his bill was only partly met in that twelvemonth. All during Lent, he and
his mate were at work mending holes, and making others. From the house his
ministrations extended to the cloister. Then came the gutters all over the
establishment, which stood in urgent need of attention, as gutters always
appear to do, even in our more civilised days. Next it was found that the
church must be looked to; and before this was over, the dependants had
come to the conclusion that whilst all this repairing was being done at
the convent and Robert the Slater was about with his mate and his material
upon the ground, it would be a pity not to renovate their cottages. Poor
Dame Petronilla must have been well-nigh distracted at the thought that
Robert the Slater--who, by the way, did more than roofing, and seems to
have been a jack-of-all-trades, though loose tiles were his forte--having
once secured a foothold in the establishment, had come to stay. But she
gave in with exemplary resignation, and the dependants had their cottages
repaired, or what was the same thing, received money to pay for them.
Taking one thing with another, more than £10 went in this way during the
first year of the procuratorial reign of Dames Petronilla and Katherine.

Among the workmen that haunted Grace Dieu in these days, and who, if there
is any fitness in things so far as ghosts are concerned, ought to be found
haunting the ruins to-day, was one called Richard Hyrenmonger. He came, we
learn, from Donington, and the accounts prove that he must have had a good
store of all kinds of nails, and keys, and bolts, judging by the variety
he was able to produce. Under him worked John the Plumber, or rather two
Johns the Plumber, senior and junior; and, like modern plumbers are wont
to do, they appear to have plagued Dame Petronilla and her assistant with
their constant tinkering at the pipes and drains of the establishment.
“John the senior” and “John the junior,” for example, were six days
mending “le pype,” for which they were paid 3_s._ 4_d._; but apparently it
was not properly done, for just after this, “le pype” misbehaved itself
again, and Dame Petronilla had to purchase a new _brass_ pipe to bring the
water to the door of the refectory, and the two Johns were at work again.
Of course Richard the Ironmonger always found a lot of work for himself on
the farm, so that what with one thing and another, Grace Dieu must have
been a very comfortable inheritance for him.

Among the miscellaneous manners and customs of the good nuns of Grace Dieu
which are recalled to us in these faded papers of accounts, very few of
course can find place here. One such is the yearly visit of the
candle-maker to prepare the tallow dips for the dark winter evenings. The
preparation made for his coming appears in the purchase of tallow and
mutton fat to be used for rush-lights and cresset-lights, which must have
done hardly more than make visible the darkness of a winter evening and an
early winter morning at Grace Dieu. My lady prioress apparently had an
oil lamp of some kind, and we read of special candles for the wash-place
and at the door of the refectory, etc. It is to be supposed that the nuns
had some means of warming themselves during the cold winter months, for we
read of a travelling tinker employed upon mending a chimney to the hall
fireplace, and probably they were burning logs from out of Charnwood
somewhere or other; but in these accounts there is no mention of fuel
except on one occasion, when Richard the Ironmonger had some coal
purchased for him; but this was only that he might heat a ploughshare that
had got out of shape.

Another most important matter in mediæval times was the annual salting of
the winter provisions which took place in every establishment. On St.
Martin’s Day, November 11th, the mediæval farmer considered seriously what
was the number of his live stock, what was his store of hay, and how long
the one could be kept by the other. The residue of the stock had to go
into the salting-tub for the winter food of the family and dependants. So
at Grace Dieu the purchase of the salt for the great operation is entered
in the accounts. On one occasion also Dame Petronilla, “when a boar was
killed”--whether by accident or not does not appear--had it spiced as well
as salted, and it was no doubt served up on great occasions as a special
delicacy in the common refectory.

The picture of the Grace Dieu nuns afforded by these accounts is that of
charming, peace-loving ladies; good practical Christian women, as all nuns
should be; taking a personal interest in the welfare of their tenants and
dependants; occupied, over and besides their conventual and religious
duties, in works of genuine charity. They taught the daughters of the
neighbouring gentry, and were not too exacting in requiring even what had
been promised as the annual pension. They encouraged ladies to come and
join them in celebrating the festivals of the church, and out of their
small means they set aside a not insignificant portion for the care and
clothing of sick in their infirmary; whilst out of their income they found
not less than eight corrodies--or pensions--which cost them £7 7_s._
4_d._, or more than five per cent. of their annual revenue. Of their work
mention has already been made. They grew the wool and spun it and wove it
into cloth, not only for their own garments, but also for those of their
retainers; whilst a chance entry of receipt reveals that they were indeed
skilled in a high degree in ecclesiastical embroidery. That they were not
guilty of “dilapidation” of their house their extensive repairs prove; and
that they cared for their lands and farm buildings must be obvious from
the purchases made, and the items of expense in connection with every kind
of agricultural implement. They took their burden in common ecclesiastical
expenses, even contributing their quota of 3_d._ towards the expenses of
the _Procurator cleri_ of the district to Convocation. They were
peace-loving, if we may judge from the absence of all law expenses, save
and except one small item for an appearance at the local marshal’s court,
and whether even this was for themselves or for one of their tenants, and
what it was about, does not appear. As it was only 2_d._, it could not
have been much to interfere with the general harmony which apparently
existed in the neighbourhood. They lived, too, within their income, which
was, more or less, £103 13_s._ 6_d._ a year. It is true that in the first
year, owing probably to the exceptional repairs which the nuns undertook,
they went somewhat beyond their means. The sum was only slight, being but
£7 11_s._ 10½_d._, and it is pleasant to observe that “out of love of the
nuns,” and “to relieve the house of anxiety,” a lady paid the deficit,
making her gift £7 12_s._

Dame Petronilla and Dame Margaret! how little they could have thought when
they penned their simple accounts that they would have given such
pleasurable information five hundred years after their time! How little
they could ever have dreamed of the pleasant light their jottings would
have thrown on so many of their doings and their little ways! They were
kind, prudent, charitable souls, without a doubt, and if they might at
times have used better ink than they did, that fault was a point of holy
parsimony. And if they might have given here and there just a little more
information on certain points, they are willingly forgiven and more than
forgiven, for what they have left to posterity. Their souls, oft so
troubled and vexed by the many cares incidental to the office of a
conventual Martha, have long doubtless been in peace, and their spirits no
longer vexed by Richard the “Hyrenmonger” and the two Johns, the senior
and junior plumbers. What would they think, could they to-day revisit the
scene of their former labours and cares? The old home they evidently loved
so well is past repairing now, and not even the kindly help of that old
servant and friend of the convent, Henry Smith, could avail to suggest the
best way of setting about reparation.


All the larger nunneries and probably most of the smaller ones, to
whatever Order they belonged, opened their doors for the education of
young girls, who were frequently boarders. In fact the female portion of
the population, the poor as well as the rich, had in the convents their
only schools, nuns their only teachers, in pre-Reformation times. Chaucer,
in describing the well-to-do miller of Trompington, says--

  “A wyf he hadde, come of noble kyn;
   Sche was i-fostryd in a nonnery ...
   Ther durste no wight clepe hir but _Madame_
   What for hir kindred and hir nortelry
   That sche had lerned in the nonnerye.”

John Aubrey, too, writes almost as an eye-witness of the Wiltshire
convents that “the young maids were brought up ... at nunneries, where
they had examples of piety, and humility, and modesty, and obedience to
imitate and to practise. Here they learned needlework, the art of
confectionery, surgery (for anciently there were no apothecaries or
surgeons--the gentlewomen did cure their poor neighbours: their hands are
now too fine), physic, writing, drawing, etc. Old Jacques could see from
his house the nuns of the priory (St. Mary’s, near Kington St. Michael)
come forth into the nymph-hay with their rocks and wheels to spin: and
with their sewing work. He would say that he had told threescore and ten:
but of nuns there were not so many, but in all, with lay sisters and
widows, old maids and young girls, there might be such a number. This,” he
concludes, “was a fine way of breeding up young women, who are led more by
example than precept; and a good retirement for widows and grave single
women to a civil, virtuous, and holy life.”

In the well-known case of Nunnaminster, Winchester, there were, at the
time of the suppression, twenty-six girl boarders who were reported by the
local commissioners to be daughters of “lords, knights, and gentlemen.”
The list that is set forth begins with a Plantagenet and includes
Tichbornes, Poles, and Tyrrells. So, too, in the case of the Benedictines
of Barking, of Kingsmead, Derby, and of Polesworth and Nuneaton,
Warwickshire; of the Cluniacs of Delapré, Northampton; of the Cistercians
of Wintney, Hants; and of the Gilbertines of Shouldham, Norfolk, it can be
established that not only were many of the nuns of good birth, but that
their pupils were in the main drawn from the same class.

_The Episcopal Visitations of the Diocese of Norwich_ for 1492 to 1532,
edited by Dr. Jessop, throw some interesting light on the inner life and
social working of the nunneries of East Anglia. From the names of the
inmates it becomes evident that some of these houses were in the main
occupied by ladies of gentle birth, such as Willoughbys, Everards,
Wingfields, Jerninghams, and the like. This was especially the case with
the Austin house of Campsey and the Benedictine houses of Bungay and
Thetford. When Bishop Nicke visited the last of these houses in 1514,
complaint was made to him by one of the ladies that the prioress was
intending to admit an ignorant (_indocta_) novice, and particularly one
Dorothy Sturges, who was deaf and deformed. Apparently the arguments of
the objector prevailed, but poor Dorothy was, not long after, admitted to
the smaller nunnery of Blackborough.

When the priory of Carrow, a favourite retreat for the religious daughters
of the citizens of Norwich, was visited in 1526, several of the ladies
were advanced in years. The sub-prioress, Dame Anna Marten, had been in
the convent for sixty years, and two others, Dames Margaret and Katherine,
had been thirty-eight years in religion. It is a little touching to note
that almost the only complaints that reached the bishop’s ears were those
of the aged sub-prioress and Dame Margaret that the pace of chanting the
Office by the sisters was too rapid, and lacking the proper pauses, and
that of Dame Katherine who found the beer too small. At the next recorded
visitation, six years later, all these good old ladies were still at
Carrow, though Dame Anna’s age did not allow her to discharge the duties
of sub-prioress; but she was then (1532) in charge of the infirmary. At
this time the bishop interfered, probably at the suggestion of the aged
dames, to stop an accustomed Christmas game (on Holy Innocents’ Day), when
the youngest of the novices assumed the functions of a lady abbess, after
the same fashion as a boy-bishop amongst the choir boys. The nuns of
Carrow maintained a school for some of the better-class girls of the city
and district, and doubtless this Christmas-tide sport was intended in the
main for their delectation.





Normally, the bishop of the diocese in which a religious house was
situated, was its Visitor and ultimate authority, except in so far as an
appeal lay from him to the pope. In process of time exemptions from the
regular jurisdiction of the diocesan tended to multiply; whole Orders,
like the Cistercian and the Cluniacs among the Benedictines, and the
Premonstratensians among the Canons Regular, and even individual houses,
like St. Alban’s and Bury St. Edmunds, on one ground or another obtained
their freedom from the jurisdiction of the Ordinary. In the case of great
bodies, like those of Citeaux, Cluny, Prémontré, and later the
Gilbertines, the privilege of exemption was in the first instance obtained
from the pope, on the ground that the individual houses were parts of a
great corporation with its centre at the mother-house. Such monasteries
were all subject to the authority of a central government, and regular
Visitors were appointed by it. In the thirteenth century, on the same
principle, the mendicant Orders, whose members were attached to the
general body and not to the locality in which they might happen to be,
were freed from the immediate control of the bishops of the various
dioceses in which their convents were situated.

In the case of individual houses, the exemption was granted by the Holy
See as a favour and a privilege. It is hard to understand in what the
privilege really consisted, except that it was certainly considered an
honourable thing to be immediately subject only to the head of the
Christian Church. Such privileges were, on the whole, few; only five
Benedictine houses in England possessed them, and even such great and
important abbeys as Glastonbury, in the South of England, and St. Mary’s,
York, in the North, were subject to the regular jurisdiction of the
diocesan. In the case of the few Benedictine houses which, by the
intercession of the king or other powerful friends, had obtained exemption
in this matter, regular fees had to be paid to the Roman chancery for the
privilege. St. Alban’s, for example, at the beginning of the sixteenth
century, made an annual payment of £14 to the papal collector in lieu of
the large fees previously paid on the election of every new abbot, and as
an acknowledgment of the various privileges granted to him, such as, for
example, the right to rank first in dignity among the abbots, and for the
abbot to be able “even outside his own churches to use pontificalia and
solemnly bless the people.” Edmundsbury, in the same way, paid an annual
sum for its exemption and privileges, as also did Westminster, St.
Augustine’s (Canterbury), Waltham Holy Cross, and a few others. By this
time, too, some of the Cluniac houses, such as Lewes Priory and Lenton,
had obtained their exemption and right of election.

In regard to the non-exempt monasteries and convents--that is
ordinarily--the relation between the bishops and the religious houses was
constant; and, apparently, with exceptions of course, cordial. The
episcopal registers show that the bishops did not shirk the duty of
visiting, and correcting what they found amiss in the houses under their
control; and whilst there is evidence of a natural desire on their part to
bring the regular life up to a high standard, there is little or none of
any narrow spirit in the exercise of this part of the episcopal office, or
of any determination to worry the religious, to misunderstand the purpose
of their high vocation, or to make regular life unworkable in practice by
any over-strict interpretation of the letter of the law. It is, of course,
after all, only natural that these good relations should exist between the
bishop and the regulars of his diocese. The unexempt houses were not
extra-diocesan so far as episcopal authority went, like those of the
exempt Orders; but they were for the most part the most important and the
most useful centres of spiritual life in each diocese. It was therefore to
the bishop’s interest as head of the diocese to see that in these
establishments the lamp of fervour should not be allowed to grow dim, and
that the good work should not be permitted to suffer through any lessening
of the cordial relations which had traditionally existed between the
bishops and the religious houses within the pale of his jurisdiction.

The bishop’s duties to the religious houses in his diocese were various.
In the first place, in regard to the election of the superior: here much
depended upon the actual position of the monastery in regard to the king,
to the patron, or even to the Order. If the king was the founder of the
house or had come to be regarded as such, which may roughly be said to
have been the case in most of the greater monastic establishments, and
especially in those which held lands immediately from the Crown, then the
bishop had nothing to say to the matter till the royal assent had been
given. The process has been already briefly explained; but the main
features may again be set out. On the death of the superior, the religious
would have to make choice of some of their number to proceed to the court
to inform the king of the demise and to obtain the _congé d’élire_, or
permission to elect. The first action of the king would be the appointment
of officials to administer the property in his name during the vacancy,
having due regard to the needs of the community. He would then issue his
licence for the religious to choose a new superior. All this, especially
if the king were abroad or in some far-off part of the country, would take
time, sometimes measured by weeks. On the reception of the _congé
d’élire_, the convent proceeded to the formal election, the result of
which had to be reported to the king; and if he assented to the choice
made, this was signified to the bishop, whose office it was to inquire
concerning the validity of the election and the fitness of the person
chosen--that is, he was bound to see whether the canonical forms had all
been adhered to in the process and the election legal, and whether the
elect had the qualities necessary to make a fitting superior and a ruler
in temporals and in spirituals. If after inquiry all proved to be
satisfactory, the bishop formally confirmed the choice of the monks and
signified the confirmation to the king, asking for the restitution of
temporalities to the new superior. If the election was that of an abbot,
the bishop then bestowed the solemn blessing upon the elect thus
confirmed, generally in some place other than his own monastic church,
and wrote a formal letter to the community, charging them to receive their
new superior and show him all obedience. Finally, the bishop appointed a
commission to proceed to the house and install the abbot or prior in his

In the case of houses which acknowledged founders or patrons other than
the king, the deaths of superiors were communicated to them, and
permission to proceed to the choice of successors was asked more as a form
than as a reality. The rest was in the hands of the bishops. In ordinary
circumstances where there was no such lay patron, a community, on the
death of a superior, merely assembled and at once made choice of a
successor. This election had then to be communicated at once to the
bishop, whose duty it was to inquire into the circumstances of the
election and to determine whether the canonical formalities had been
complied with. If this inquiry proved satisfactory, the bishop proceeded
to the canonical examination of the elect before confirming the choice.
This kind of election was completed by the issue of the episcopal letters
claiming the obedience of the monks for their new superior. It was
frequently the custom for the bishop to appoint custodians of the
temporalities during the vacancy at such of these religious houses as were
immediately subject to him. The frequency of the adoption by religious of
the form of election by which they requested the bishop to make choice of
their superior is at least evidence of the more than cordial relations
which existed between the diocesan and the regulars, and of their
confidence in his desire to serve their house to the best of his power in
the choice of the most fitting superior.

Sometimes, of course, the episcopal examination of the process, or of the
elect, would lead to the quashing of the election. This took place
generally when some canonical form had not been adhered to, as on this
matter the law was rightly most strict. Less frequently, the elect on
inquiry was found to lack some quality essential in a good ruler, and it
then became the duty of the bishop to declare the choice void. Sometimes
this led to the convent being deprived of its voice in the election, and
in such a case the choice devolved upon the bishop. Numerous instances,
however, make it clear that although legally the bishop was bound to
declare such an election void, he would always, if possible, himself
appoint the religious who had been the choice of the community.

In other instances again, the bishop’s part in the appointment of a new
superior was confined to the blessing of the abbot after the confirmation
of the election by the pope, or by the superior of the religious body.
This was the case in the Cistercian and Cluniac bodies, and in such of the
great abbeys as were exempt from episcopal jurisdiction. Sometimes, as in
the case of St. Alban’s, even the solemn blessing of the new abbot could
by special privilege be given by any bishop the elect might choose for the

Outside the time of the elections and visitations, the bishops exercised
generally a paternal and watchful care over the religious houses of their
diocese. Before the suppression of the alien priories, for example, these
foreign settlements were supervised by the Ordinary quite as strictly as
were the English religious houses under his jurisdiction. These priories
were mostly established in the first instance to look after estates which
had been bestowed upon foreign abbeys, and the number in each house was
supposed to be strictly limited, and was, in fact, small. It was not
uncommon, however, to find that more than the stipulated number of
religious were quartered upon the small community by the foreign superior,
or that an annual payment greater than the revenue of the English estate
would allow was demanded by the authorities of the foreign mother-house.
Against both of these abuses the bishop of the diocese had officially to
guard. We find, for instance, Bishop Grandisson of Exeter giving his
licence for a monk of Bec to live for some months only at Cowick Priory,
and for another to leave Cowick on a visit to Bec. Also in regard to
Tywardreath, a cell of the Abbey of St. Sergius, near Ghent, the same
bishop on examination found that the revenue was so diminished that it
could not support the six monks it was supposed to maintain, and he
therefore sent back three of their number to their mother-house on the
Continent. This conclusion, be it remarked, was arrived at only after
careful inquiry, and after the bishop had for a time appointed a monk from
another religious house to assist the foreign superior in the
administration of the temporals of his priory. Upon the report of this
assistant he deprived the superior for negligence, and appointed
custodians of the temporalities of the house. From the episcopal registers
generally it appears, too, that once the foreign religious were settled in
any alien priory, they came under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the
locality, in the same way as the English religious. The alien prior’s
appointment had to be confirmed by him, and no religious could come to the
house or go from it, even to return to the foreign mother-house, without
his permission.

In regard to all non-exempt monastic establishments of men and convents of
women, the episcopal powers were very great and were freely exercised.
Thus to take some examples: the Benedictine abbey of Tavistock in the
fourteenth century was seriously troubled by debt, partly, at least,
caused by an incapable and unworthy superior. This abbot, by the way, had
been provided by the pope; and apparently the bishop did not consider that
his functions extended beyond issuing a commission to induct him into his
office. In a short time matters came to a crisis, and reports as to the
bad state of the house came to the ears of Bishop Grandisson. He forthwith
prohibited the house from admitting more members to the habit until he had
had time to examine into matters. The abbot replied by claiming exemption
from episcopal jurisdiction, apparently on the ground that he had been
appointed by the Holy See. The bishop, as he said, “out of reverence for
the lord Pope who had created the both of us,” waived this as a right and
came to the house as a friend, to see what remedy could be found to allay
the rumours that were rife in the country as to gross mismanagement at the
abbey. How far the bishop succeeded does not transpire; but a couple of
years later the abbot was suspended and deposed, and the bishop appointed
the Cistercian abbot of Buckland and a monk of Tavistock to administer the
goods of the abbey pending another election. How thoroughly the religious
approved of the action of the bishop may be gauged by the fact that they
asked him to appoint their abbot for them.

In the ordinary and extraordinary visitations made by the bishop, the
interests of the religious houses were apparently the only considerations
which weighed with him. Sometimes the injunctions and monitions given at
a visitation appertained to the most minute points of regular life, and
sometimes the visitatorial powers were continued in force for considerable
periods in order to secure that certain points that needed correction
might be seen to. One curious right possessed and exercised by the bishop
of any diocese on first coming to his see, was that of appointing one
person in each monastery and convent to be received as a religious without
payment or pension. It is proper, however, to say that this right was
always exercised with fatherly discretion. Again and again the records of
visitations in the episcopal registers show that the bishop did not
hesitate to appoint a co-adjutor to any superior whom he might find
deficient in the power of governing, either in spirituals or temporals.
Officials who were shown to be incapable in the course of such inquiries
were removed, and others were either appointed by the bishop, or their
appointment sanctioned by him. Religious who had proved themselves
undesirable or impossible in one house were not unfrequently translated by
the bishop to another. Thus in A.D. 1338-9 great storms had wrought
destruction at Bodmin. The priory buildings were in ruins, and a sum of
money had to be raised for the necessary repairs which were urgently
required. Bishop Grandisson gave his permission for the monks to sell a
corrody--or undertaking to give board and lodging for life at the
priory--for a payment of ready money. A few years later, in 1347, on his
visitation the bishop found things financially in a bad way. He removed
the almoner from his office, regulated the number of servants and the
amount of food; and having appointed an administrator, sent the prior to
live for a time in one of the priory granges, in order to see whether the
house could be recovered from its state of bankruptcy by careful

One proof of the friendly relations which as a rule existed between the
bishop and the regular clergy of his diocese may be seen in the fact that
the abbots and superiors were frequently, if not generally, found in the
lists of those appointed as diocesan collectors on any given occasion. The
superiors of religious houses contributed to the loans and grants raised
in common with the rest of the diocesan clergy, either for the needs of
the sovereign, the Holy See, or the bishop. That there were at times
difficulty and friction in the working out of these well-understood
principles of subordination need not be denied; but that as a whole the
system, which may be described as normal, brought about harmonious
relations between the bishop and the regulars must be conceded by all who
will study its workings in the records of pre-Reformation episcopal


The monastic Orders were called upon to take their share in the common
burdens imposed upon the Church in England. These included contributions
to the sums levied upon ecclesiastics by Convocation for the pope and for
the king in times of need; and they contributed, albeit, perhaps, like the
rest of the English Church, unwillingly, their share to the “procurations”
of papal legates and questors. Sometimes the call thus made upon their
revenues was very considerable, especially as the king did not hesitate
on occasions to make particular demands upon the wealthier religious
houses. At Convocation, and in the Provincial Synods the regular clergy
were well represented. Thus, from the diocese of Exeter in the year 1328-9
there were summoned to the Synod of London seven abbots to be present
_personaliter_, whilst five Augustinian and seven Benedictine priories
also chose and sent proctors to the meeting. As a rule, apparently, at all
such meetings the abbots, and priors who were canonically elected to rule
their houses with full jurisdiction, had the right, and were indeed bound
to be present, unless prevented by a canonical reason. The archbishop, as
such, had no more to say to the regulars than to any other ecclesiastic of
his province, except that during a vacancy in any diocese he might, and
indeed frequently did, visit the religious houses in that diocese
personally or by commission.


Besides the supervision and help of the bishop, almost every religious
house had some connection with and assistance from the Order to which it
belonged. In the case of the great united corporations like the Cluniacs,
the Cistercians, the Premonstratensians, and later the Carthusians, the
dependence of the individual monastery upon the centre of government was
very real both in theory and in practice. The abbots or superiors had to
attend at General Chapters, held, for instance, at Cluny, Citeaux, or
Prémontré, and were subject to regular visitations made by or in behalf of
the general superior. In the case of a vacancy the election was
supervised and the elect examined and confirmed either by, or by order of,
the chief authority, or, in the case of daughter-houses, by the superior
of the parent abbey. Even in the case of the Benedictines, who did not
form an Order in the modern sense of the word, after the Council of
Lateran in 1215, the monasteries were united into Congregations, for
common purposes and mutual help and encouragement. In England there were
two such unions, corresponding to the two Provinces of Canterbury and
York, and the superiors met at regular intervals in General Chapters.
Little is known of the meetings of the Northern Province; but in the South
the records show that they were regularly held to the last. The first and
ordinary business of these General Chapters was to secure a proper
standard of regular observance; and whatever, after discussion, was agreed
upon, provided that it met with the approval of the president of the
meeting, was to be observed without any appeal. Moreover, at each of these
Chapters two or more prudent and religious men were chosen to visit every
Benedictine house of the Province in the pope’s name, with full power to
correct where any correction might be considered necessary. In case these
papal Visitors found abuses existing in any monastery which might render
the deposition of the abbot necessary or desirable, they had to denounce
him to the bishop of the diocese, who was to take the necessary steps for
his canonical removal. If the bishop did not, or would not act, the
Visitors were bound to refer the case to the Holy See. By the provisions
of the Lateran Council in A.D. 1215, the bishops were warned to see that
the religious houses in their dioceses were in good order, “so that when
the aforesaid Visitors come there, they may find them worthy of
commendation rather than of correction.” They were, however, warned to be
careful “not to make their visitations a burden or expense, and to see
that the rights of superiors were maintained, without injury to those of
their subjects.”

In this system a double security was provided for the well-being of the
monasteries. The bishops were maintained in their old position as
Visitors, and were constituted judges where the conduct of the superior
might necessitate the gravest censures. At the same time, by providing
that all the monasteries should be visited every three years by monks
chosen by the General Chapter and acting in the name of the pope, any
failure of the bishop to fulfil his duty as diocesan, or any incapacity on
his part to understand the due working of the monastic system, received
the needful corrective.

One other useful result to the monasteries may be attributed to the
regular meetings of General Chapter. It was by the wise provision of these
Chapters that members of the monastic Orders received the advantage of a
University training. Common colleges were established by their decrees at
Oxford and Cambridge, and all superiors were charged to send their most
promising students to study and take their degrees in the national
Universities. Strangely enough as it may appear to us in these days, even
in these colleges the autonomy of the individual Benedictine houses seems
to have been scrupulously safeguarded; and the common college consisted of
small houses, in which the students of various monasteries dwelt apart,
though attending a common hall and chapel.


In regard to the external relations of the monastic houses, a word must be
said about their dealings with the parochial churches appropriated to
their use. Either by the gift of the king or that of some lay patron, many
churches to which they had the right of presentation became united with
monasteries, and a considerable portion of the parish revenues was applied
to the support of the religious, to keeping up adequate charity, or
“hospitality” as it was called in the neighbourhood, or other such
objects. The practice of impropriation has been regarded by most writers
as a manifest abuse, and there is no call to attempt to defend it. The
practice was not confined, however, to the monks, or to the action of lay
people who found therein an easy way to become benefactors of some
religious house. Bishops and other ecclesiastics, as founders of colleges
and hospitals, were quite as ready to increase the revenues of these
establishments in the same way.

In order that a church might be legally appropriated to a religious
establishment the approval of the bishop had to be obtained, and the
special reasons for the donation by the lay patron set forth. If these
were considered satisfactory, the formal permission of the Holy See was,
at any rate after the twelfth century, necessary for the completion of the
transaction. The monastery became the patron of the benefice thus attached
to it, and had to secure that the spiritual needs of the parish were
properly attended to by the vicars whom they presented to the cure. These
vicars were paid an adequate stipend, usually settled by episcopal

Roughly speaking, the present distinction between a vicarage and a rectory
shows where churches had been appropriated to a religious house or other
public body, and where they remained merely parochial. The vicar was the
priest appointed at a fixed stipend by the corporation which took the
rectorial tithes. It has been calculated that at least a third part of the
tithes of the richest benefices in England were appropriated either in
part or wholly to religious and secular bodies, such as colleges, military
orders, lay hospitals, guilds, convents; even deans, cantors, treasurers,
and chancellors of cathedral bodies were also largely endowed with
rectorial tithes. In this way, at the dissolution of the religious houses
under Henry VIII., the greater tithes of an immense number of parish
churches, now known as vicarages, passed into the hands of the noblemen
and others who obtained grants of the property of the suppressed

Whilst the impropriation of churches to monastic establishments
undoubtedly took money out of the locality for the benefit of the
religious, it is but fair to recognise that in many ways the benefit thus
obtained was returned with interest. Not only did the monks furnish the
ranks of the secular priesthood with youths who had received their early
education in the cloister school or at the almonry; but the churches and
vicarages of places impropriated were the special care of the religious.
An examination of these churches frequently reveals the fact that the
religious bodies did not hesitate to spend large sums of money upon the
rebuilding and adornment of structures which belonged to them in this way.



Of many of the religious houses, especially of the greater abbeys, the
king either was, or came to be considered, the founder. It has already
been pointed out what this relation to the Crown implied on the part of
the monks. Besides this the Crown could, and in spite of the protests of
those chiefly concerned, frequently, if not ordinarily did, appoint abbots
and other superiors of religious houses members of the commissions of
peace for the counties in which their establishments were situated. They
were likewise made collectors for grants and loans to the Crown,
especially when the tax was to be levied on ecclesiastical property; and
according to the extent of their lands and possessions, like the
lay-holders from the Crown, they had to furnish soldiers to fight under
the royal standard. In the same way the abbot and other superiors could be
summoned by the king to Parliament as barons. The number of religious thus
called to the House of Peers at first appears to have depended somewhat
upon the fancy of the sovereign; it certainly varied considerably. In
1216, for example, from the North Province of England eleven abbots and
eight priors, and from the South seventy-one abbots and priors--in all
ninety religious--were summoned to Parliament by Henry III. In 1272 Edward
I. called only fifty-seven, mostly abbots, a few, however, being cathedral
priors; and in later times the number of monastic superiors in the House
of Peers generally included only the twenty-five abbots of the greater
houses and the prior of Coventry, and these were accounted as barons of
the kingdom.


The division of the monastic revenues between the various obedientiaries
for the support of the burdens of their special offices was fairly
general, at least in the great religious houses. It was for the benefit of
the house, inasmuch as it left a much smaller revenue to be dealt with by
the royal exchequer at every vacancy. It served, also, at least one other
good purpose. It brought many of the religious into contact with the
tenants of the monastic estates and gave them more knowledge of their
condition and mode of life; whilst the personal contact, which was
possible in a small administration, was certainly for the mutual benefit
of master and tenant. Since the prior, sacrist, almoner and other
officials all had to look after the administration of the manors and farms
assigned to their care, they had to have separate granges and manor-halls.
In these they had to carry out their various duties, and meet their
tenants on occasions, as was the case, for example, at Glastonbury, where
the sacrist had all the tithes of Glastonbury, including West Pennard, to
collect, and had his special tithe-barn, etc., for the purpose.

Two books, amongst others, The _Rentalia et Custumaria_ of Glastonbury,
published by the Somerset Record Society, and the _Halmote Rolls_ of
Durham, issued by the Surtees Society, enable any student who may desire
to do so, to obtain a knowledge of the relations which existed between the
monastic landlords and their tenants. At the great monastery of the West
Country the tenure of the land was of all kinds, from the estates held
under the obligation of so many knights’ fees, to the poor cottier with an
acre or two. Some of the tenants had to find part of their rent in
service, part in kind, part in payment. Thus, one had to find thirty
salmon, “each as thick as a man’s fist at the tail,” for the use of the
monastery; some had to find thousands of eels from Sedgemoor; others,
again, so many measures of honey. Some of those who worked for the
monastery or its estates had fixed wages, as, for example, the gardeners;
others had to be content with what was given them.

Mr. Elton, in an appendix to the Glastonbury volume, has analysed the
information to be found in its pages, and from this some items of interest
may be given here. A cottier with five acres of arable land paid 4_d._
less one farthing for rent, and five hens as “kirkset” if he were married.
From Michaelmas to Midsummer he was bound to do three days’ labour a week
of farm work on the monastic lands, such as toiling on the fallows,
winnowing corn, hedging, ditching, and fencing. During the rest of the
year, that is, in the harvest time, he had to do five days’ work on the
farm, and could be called upon to lend a hand in any kind of occupation,
except loading and carting. Like the farmers, he had his allowance of one
sheaf of corn for each acre he reaped, and a “laveroc,” or as much grass
as he could gather on his hook, for every acre he mowed. Besides this
general work he had to bear his share in looking after the vineyard at

Take another example of tenure: one “Golliva of the lake,” held a
three-acre tenement. It consisted of a croft of two acres and one acre in
the common field. She made a small payment for this; and for extra work
she had three sheaves, measured by a strap kept for the purpose. When she
went haymaking she brought her own rake; she took her share in all
harvest work, had to winnow a specified quantity of corn before Christmas,
and did odd jobs of all kinds, such as carrying a writ for the abbot and
driving cattle to Glastonbury.

The smaller cottagers were apparently well treated. A certain Alice, for
example, had half an acre field for which she had to bring water to the
reapers at the harvest and sharpen their sickles for them. On the whole,
though work was plenty and the life no doubt hard, the lot of the Somerset
labourer on the Glastonbury estate was not too unpleasant. Of amusements
the only one named is the institution of _Scot-ales_, an entertainment
which lasted two, or even three days. The lord of the manor might hold
three in the year. On the first day, Saturday, the married men and youths
came with their pennies and were served three times with ale. On the
Sunday the husbands and their wives came; but if the youths came they had
to pay another penny. On the Monday any of them could come if they had
paid on the other days.

On the whole, the manors of the monastery may be said to have been worked
as a co-operative farm. The reader of the accounts in this volume may
learn of common meals, of breakfasts and luncheons and dinners being
prepared ready for those who were at work on the common lands or on the
masters’ farming operations. It appears that they met together in the
great hall for a common Christmas entertainment. They furnished the great
yule-log to burn at the dinner, and each one brought his dish and mug,
with a napkin “if he wanted to eat off a cloth”; and still more curiously,
his own contribution of firewood, that his portion of food might be
properly cooked.

Of even greater interest is the picture of village life led by monastic
tenants which is afforded by the _Durham Halmote Rolls_.

    “It is hardly a figure of speech,” writes Mr. Booth in the preface of
    this volume, “to say we have (in these Rolls) village life
    photographed. The dry record of tenures is peopled by men and women
    who occupy them, whose acquaintance we make in these records under the
    various phases of village life. We see them in their tofts surrounded
    by their crofts, with their gardens of pot-herbs. We see how they
    ordered the affairs of the village when summoned by the bailiff to the
    vill to consider matters which affected the common weal of the
    community. We hear of their trespasses and wrong doings, and how they
    were remedied or punished, of their strifes and contentions and how
    they were repressed, of their attempts, not always ineffective, to
    grasp the principle of co-operation, as shown by their by-laws; of
    their relations with the Prior, who represented the Convent and alone
    stood in relation of lord. He appears always to have dealt with his
    tenants, either in person or through his officers, with much
    consideration; and in the imposition of fines we find them invariably
    tempering justice with mercy.”

In fact, as the picture of mediæval village life among the tenants of the
Durham monastery is displayed in the pages of these _Halmote_ accounts, it
would seem almost as if the reader were transported to some Utopia of
Dreamland. Many of the points that in these days advanced politicians
would desire to see introduced into the village communities of modern
England in the way of improved sanitary and social conditions, and to
relieve the deadly dulness of country life, were seen in full working
order in Durham and Cumberland in pre-Reformation days. Local provisions
for public health and general convenience are evidenced by the watchful
vigilance of the village officials over the water supplies, the stringent
measures taken in regard to springs and wells, to prevent the fouling of
useful streams, as to the common places for washing clothes, and the
regular times for emptying and cleansing ponds and milldams.

Labour, too, was lightened and the burdens of life eased by co-operation
on an extensive scale. A common mill ground the corn of the tenants, and
their flour was baked into bread at a common oven. A smith employed by the
community worked at their will in a common forge, and common shepherds and
herdsmen watched the sheep and cattle of the various tenants, when
pastured on the fields common to the whole community. The pages of the
volume, too, contain numerous instances of the kindly consideration
extended to their tenants by the monastic proprietors, and the relation
which existed between them was in reality rather that of rent-chargers
than of absolute owners. In fact, as the editor of this interesting volume
says: “Notwithstanding the rents, duties, and services and the fine paid
on entering, the inferior tenants of the Prior had a beneficial interest
in their holdings, which gave rise to a recognised system of tenant-right,
which we may see growing into a customary right; the only limitation of
the tenant’s right being inability, from poverty or other cause, to pay
rent or perform the accustomed services.” And, it may be added, even when
it was necessary for a tenant on these accounts to leave, provision was
made with the new tenant to give the late owner shelter and a livelihood.





No account of the officials of a mediæval monastery would be complete
without some notice of the assistants, other than the monks, who took so
large a part in the administration. Incidentally something has already
been said about the paid lay officers and servants; but their position
requires that their place and work should be discussed somewhat more
fully. They were all of them salaried servants; and frequently, if not
generally, faithful, lifelong friends of the monks, whose interest in the
well-being of the establishment with which they were connected was almost
as keen and real as that of the brethren themselves. In some of the
greater houses their number was very considerable, and even in small
monasteries the records of the dissolution make it clear that there were,
at least in most of them, a great number of such retainers. In many places
the higher lay offices, such as steward, cook, etc., became in process of
time, hereditary, and were much prized by the family in whose possession
they were. It was also possible, of course, that by default of male heirs,
the position might pass to the female line. Thus in one case the office of
cook in a great Benedictine monastery was held by a woman in respect to
her inheritance of the last holder. She became the ward of the superior,
and he had thus a good deal to say to her marriage, by which she
transmitted the office to her husband as her dower. Among the various paid
officials the following were the most important.


The caterer, says one Custumal, “ought to be a broad-minded and
strong-minded man: one who acts with decision, and is wise, just and
upright in things belonging to his office; one who is prudent, knowing,
discreet and careful when purchasing meat and fish in the market or from
the salesman.” Under the kitchener, the caterer had to look after the cook
and his assistants, and every day to see that the expenses were properly
and faithfully set down. He had to watch that the right things were given
out to those who had to prepare them, and at the daily meals of the
community it was his duty to stand at the kitchen hatchway and see that
they were served up in a fitting manner. In the market, the buyer for the
superior always gave way to the caterer for the community. In the case of
Edmundsbury at least, it was settled by Abbot Sampson that this was always
to be so. Under the conventual caterer were two servants always ready at
his call to carry the provisions he purchased in the market to the
monastery. The stipend of the caterer was whatever had been agreed as
just, and he usually had clothes “according to his station,” and certain
provisions at his disposal.


This official held more the position of a steward, or valet to the
superior, than that of a cook. He had to go each morning to the abbot or
prior for orders, and to find out what would be required for the
superior’s table for the day, and he had then to proceed to the kitchener
to inform him what had to be provided. He helped in the kitchen on
occasions such as great feasts, when he was asked to do so by the
kitchener; and as a matter of course, when there were many strangers or
other persons to be entertained and the work was consequently heavy. For
this and such-like services he received a stipend from the kitchener; but
his ordinary payment came from the superior, who also furnished him with
his livery. He was told by the Custumals to remember that, although he was
the abbot’s cook, he had, nevertheless, to obey the kitchener in all
things, and to look conscientiously to try and prevent waste and
superfluity in spices and such other things as passed through his hands.

If he needed help, the abbot’s valet could have a boy to run on errands
and generally assist; and they were both warned that in the season for
pig-killing and bacon-curing they, like all other servants, were to be
ready to help in the important work of salting. He had, as part of his
duty, to keep a careful list of all the spoons, mugs, dishes, and other
table necessaries, and after meals to see that they were clean; and, if
not, to clean them before the close of the day. Once each year the
inventory had to be shown to, and checked by, the kitchener.


The larderer should be “as perfect, just, and faithful a servant” as could
be found. He had charge of the keys of all the outhouses attached to the
great larder of the monastery, which in one Custumal are specified as “the
hay-house, the stockfish-house, and the pudding-house.” These keys,
together with that of the outer larder itself, he had always to carry with
him on his girdle, as he alone might be responsible for their safety. In
all matters he, too, was to be under the kitchener, and not to absent
himself without his permission. Amongst his various duties a few may be
mentioned here. He had to grind and deliver in powder to the cook all the
pepper, mustard, and spices required for the cooking of the conventual
meals. When the convent were to have “bake-meats,” such as venison,
turbot, eels, etc., the larderer had to prepare the dish for the cook, and
to sprinkle it over with saffron. All the live animals intended for the
kitchen, such as sheep, bullocks, calves, pigs, etc., had to pass through
his hands. He had to see to the killing, skinning, and preparing them for
the spit; the tallow he kept in order to provide the treasurer with
material for the winter candles. The larderer also had to see that the
live birds, such as pheasants, partridges, capons, hens, chickens,
pigeons, etc., were fed properly, and were ready for the table when the
kitchener should need them. In the same way the store of fish, both in the
stews, and salted in the fish-house, were under his charge, as were also
the peas and beans for the convent pottage.


For the infirmary, and especially for the use of those who had been
subjected to the periodical blood-letting, there was a special cook
skilled in the preparation of strengthening broths and soups. He was the
chief or meat-cook of the establishment, and had under him two boys, one
as a general helper, the other to act as his “turnbroach.” He was
appointed to his office by the abbot, and at least in the case of some of
the greater houses it was secured to him for life by a formal grant. It
was his duty to provide those who had been “blooded” with a plate of meat
broth on the second and third day, and also to give them, and the sick
generally, any particular dish they might fancy. Moreover, he had to
furnish the whole community with soup, meat, and vegetables on all days
when meat was eaten by the whole convent.

He had also to see to the process of salting any meat in the proper
seasons, or whenever it might be necessary. He also prepared the various
soups or pottages for the community; for instance, “Frumenty” on all
Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from August 1st to September 29th; or
“Letborry,” made with milk, eggs, and saffron on fish days, from July till
October; or “Charlet,” the same composition with the addition of pork, for
other days during the same time; or “Jussel,” from Easter to July; or
“Mortrews,” in which the quantity of meat was increased, and which was
served on all days, except those of abstinence, during the winter months,
from All Saints’ day to Lent.

One English Custumal warns the cook to reflect often that his work in the
kitchen is necessarily heavy and tedious; and that he should endeavour to
keep up a goodly feeling between himself and his assistants, for “without
this mutual assistance it is difficult” to do what his office requires of
him for the good of others. For his trouble he had a fixed wage and a
house; and many recognised perquisites, the choppings of joints, and two
joints from every other chine of pork, as well as half the dripping that
came from the joints roasted for the community.


The cook to attend to the needs of visitors was appointed by the cellarer,
and had under him a boy to help in any way he might direct. His office was
frequently for life, and certainly, once appointed, he could be removed
only with difficulty. He had to get everything ready for the entertainment
of strangers and of the parents of the religious, whenever they came to
the monastery and at whatsoever hour of the day or night. Besides this
ordinary work he had to assist, when disengaged, in preparing the meals
for the monks, and in the season for salting the pork and mutton, to help
in that work with the chief cook and the larderer. He was to be in all
things obedient to the kitchener in the matters of his office, and in the
times of his service was not to absent himself except with the permission
of that official. His wages were paid by the cellarer according to
agreement; and he had the usual kitchen perquisites of choppings and


In the large monasteries, such as, for example, Edmundsbury, there were
two cooks for the fish-dishes: the first was properly called the
“fish-cook,” the other the “pittance-cook.” Their appointment was made for
life, and by letters-patent signed by the abbot in Chapter, with the prior
and the community as witnesses. Though called the “fish-cooks” these
servants had also to attend to the general work of the kitchen, even on
days when meat was eaten, and to cook the meat and make the gravy
required; whilst the “pittance-cook” was specially detailed to fry or
poach the eggs required for the extra portions, or to prepare whatever
else took their place in the dishes served as pittances to the community,
or to individuals such as the president of the refectory, and the priest
who had sung the High Mass. These two cooks also had to help in the
salting time, and in other common work of the kitchen.


To serve the sick a prudent, skilful cook was to be chosen by the
infirmarian, who, besides the knowledge of his art, should have compassion
and feel pity for the sufferings and afflictions of the sick. Like the
officers previously named, the appointment of the infirmary cook was for
life; but though he could not be moved at the whim of a superior, he was
not formally appointed in Chapter, but by a letter from the infirmarian.
Day and night he was to show himself solicitous for the welfare of those
in the infirmary, and be ready at all times to make for them what they
needed or might fancy. He, too, had to help in the general kitchen, and he
had to obtain thence all the requisite food for those who were having
their meals in the infirmary. Like the rest of the above-named officials,
he had to give what help he could in the kitchen in the seasons of great
pressure, and in particular at the time for the winter salting, about St.
Martin’s Day.

When the infirmary cook or servant came to die, for his faithful service
he was borne to the grave, like all the other servants of the monastery,
by the whole convent. His body was met at the great door of the church by
the community in procession, and after Mass had been celebrated for the
repose of his soul by the sub-sacrist, the monks carried his remains, as
that of a good and faithful servant gone to his reward, to his last
resting-place. In some houses there was even a special portion of the
consecrated ground dedicated to the burial of monastic servants: at Bury,
for example, it was called “Sergeant’s hill,” and the Custumal says that
in that “venerable monastery” such old friends “shall never be forgotten
in the prayers and devout supplications of the community.”


The salter, who was also called the _mustardarius_, was appointed by a
letter of the kitchener; and like the rest he was irremovable after his
appointment, except for grave reasons, and then only with difficulty. By
his office he had to see to the supply and preparation of all the mustard
used in seasoning the dishes and by the brethren in the various places
where food was partaken, such as the refectory, guest-hall, infirmary,
etc. This was by no means the unimportant office we might in these days be
inclined to consider it, as it was then considered useful if not necessary
to take mustard with all salted food, flesh or fish. The quantity thus
required in a large establishment was very considerable. The salter was
also expected to make some, if not all, the sauces required for certain
dishes. At Easter, for instance, he was to prepare “vertsauce” with
vinegar for the lamb, if the herb could be found for it; by which it may
be supposed that “mint-sauce” is meant, except that this particular
concoction was supposed also to go with mackerel as well as lamb!


On all days when the great bells were rung and the services of the church
were more elaborate than at ordinary times, the ringers and servers had
their rations and some extra portion from the conventual refectory. In a
great place like Bury St. Edmunds these days amounted to some
two-and-forty in the year.


The gardener was appointed by the cellarer at his pleasure. His chief duty
was to keep the convent supplied with herbs on four days a week in winter
and spring, and with other vegetables in their season. He was frequently
to visit the kitchen in order to learn what was required from him, and he
was always to bring his vegetables and herbs cleaned and prepared ready
for cooking.


The carriers were servants who were continually occupied in the work of
provisioning the establishment. They had to be at hand to carry to the
monastic stores whatever the caterer bought in the market. Also in the
time of the great fairs, they attended the cellarer to take charge of his
purchases of spices, almonds and raisins, ling and stockfish, and salted
herrings, red and white, and to convey them to the monastery. On ordinary
days they were occupied in bringing to the cook the food he required from
the various officials; in carrying in the fuel and keeping up the fires,
and in carting away the refuse to the waste-heap. These carriers had a
money wage and numerous perquisites; amongst other things, they could
claim all the little barrels in which salmon, sturgeon, and salt eels had
come to the monastic larder, and they might take and use what they could
for their own meals of every pig that was brought to the salting-tub and
found to be “measly.”


In most great monastic houses there were naturally several porters or
door-keepers. The _kitchen-porter_ was in some ways the most important, as
so much of the traffic from the outer world to the cloister came this way.
He was set there for the purpose of preventing any unauthorised person
gaining access to the kitchen so as to disturb the cook; and at all times
he had to check the coming in of seculars, or of begging clerks, or of the
neighbours, unless they could show leave or business. He had to receive
and distribute all the daily alms of food to those waiting at the gate.
The _porter of the great cloister gate_ had to watch over the main
entrance of the house, to open the door to visitors, and at once to
acquaint the guest-master of their arrival.


The _brief-bearer_, by his office, was intended to carry the notice of the
death of any of the brethren in the monastery round to other monasteries
and religious houses in England. The abbot appointed this official, and
the office was held for life. In Benedictine abbeys, according to a
provision of the General Chapter of Northampton, the bearer of the
mortuary roll was to be received with honour and entertained until he had
obtained his roll again and could pass on to the next house on his list.
Besides his regular wage and portion of food from the monastic kitchen, on
the death of any monk he could claim as his right the mattress of the
deceased brother, or in lieu of it a sum of six shillings and eightpence.

Besides the above-named officers there were, at least in the greater
houses, many minor paid officials and retainers. For example, the
_discarius_, or server of dishes in the refectory, was bound always to be
at the kitchen-hatch whenever conventual meals were in progress, and it
was his place to wait upon those who took their meals at the second table.
He was a kind of lower servant in the kitchen; he had to help in bringing
in the fuel, and to see that the wheelbarrow for the waste was in its
place, and was emptied when it was necessary. After the meals, the
discarius washed the plates and dishes, and saw that when dry, they were
stacked in their proper cupboards ready for the next occasion.

Another minor official was the “turnbroach”--a boy chosen by the cellarer
for his activity. He had to be always ready when required to turn the
spits on which meat or fish was cooking. He helped in carrying fuel for
the kitchen and elsewhere; and when ordered, he had to go to the ponds and
stews to help to catch fish for the conventual meal.

In some places, for example at Edmundsbury, there were certain women
employed at times by the monastery for the making of pastry, etc., called
_pudding-wives_. They had a house or chamber near at hand to the kitchen,
called the “Pudding-house.” These women were chosen by the larderer with
the assent of the chief cook; they lived in the neighbourhood and came up
to the outer kitchen offices when their services were required. Great care
was taken in the selection of these servants, and it was directed that
they “be always married, sober, of good repute and honest, that all danger
of detraction from evil tongues be avoided.” At all times when animals
were slaughtered, in particular about St. Martin’s Day, and when pigs
were being killed, the services of these women were required to make black
puddings. At other times, if the cook desired, they were to be ready to
make pasties and other things which seemed to require the gentler touch of
a female hand. Among the women servants there were, of course, also
laundresses for the washing of the clothes of the community, and others
for the infirmary, the guest-hall, and the church linen. All these were
selected with care and upon the same principles which guided the selection
of the above-mentioned pudding-wives.



The various Orders existing in England in pre-Reformation days may be
classified under four headings: (1) Monks, (2) Canons Regular, (3)
Military Orders, and (4) Friars. As regards the nuns, most of the houses
were affiliated to one or other of the above-named Orders.


i. _Benedictines_

St. Benedict, justly called the Patriarch of Western Monachism,
established his rule of life in Italy; first at Subiaco and subsequently
at Monte Cassino about A.D. 529. The design of his code was, like every
other rule of regular life, to enable men to reach the higher Christian
ideals by the helps afforded them in a well-regulated monastery. According
to the saint’s original conception, the houses were to be separate
families independent of each other. It was no part of his scheme to
establish a corporation with branches in various localities and countries,
or to found an “Order” in its modern sense. By its own inherent excellence
and because of the sound common-sense which pervades it, the Rule of St.
Benedict at once began to take root in the monasteries of the West, till
it quickly superseded any others then in existence. Owing to its broad and
elastic character, and hardly less, probably, to the fact that adopting it
did not imply the joining of any stereotyped form of Order, monasteries
could, and in fact did, embrace this code without entirely breaking with
their past traditions. Thus, side by side in the same religious house, we
find that the rule of St. Columba was observed with that of St. Benedict
until the greater practical sense of the latter code superseded the more
rigid legislation of the former. Within a comparatively short time from
the death of St. Benedict in A.D. 543, the Benedictine became the
recognised form of Western regular life. To this end the action of Pope
St. Gregory the Great and his high approval of St. Benedict’s Rule greatly
conduced. In his opinion it manifested no common wisdom in its provisions,
which were dictated by a marvellous insight into human nature and by a
knowledge of the best possible conditions for attaining the end of all
monastic life, the perfect love of God and of man. Whilst not in any way
lax in its provisions, it did not prescribe an asceticism which could be
practised only by the few; whilst the most ample powers were given to the
superior to adapt the regulations to all circumstances of times and
places; thus making it applicable to every form of the higher Christian
life, from the secluded cloister to that for which St. Gregory specially
used those trained under it: the evangelisation of far-distant countries.

[Illustration: BENEDICTINE MONK]

[Illustration: BENEDICTINE NUN]

The connection between the Benedictines and England began with the mission
of St. Augustine in A.D. 597. The monastery of Monte Cassino having been
destroyed by the Lombards, towards the end of the sixth century, the
monks took refuge in Rome, and were placed in the Lateran, and by St.
Gregory in the church he founded in honour of St. Andrew, in his ancestral
home on the Cœlian Hill. It was the prior of St. Andrew’s whom he chose to
be the head of the other missionary monks he sent to convert England. With
the advent of the Scottish monks from Iona the system of St. Columba was
for a time introduced into the North of England; but here, as in the rest
of Europe, it quickly gave place to the Benedictine code; and practically
during the whole Saxon period this was the only form of monastic life in

ii. _Cluniacs_

The Cluniac adaptation of the Benedictine Rule took its rise in A.D. 912
with Berno, abbot of Gigny. With the assistance of the Duke of Aquitaine
he built and endowed a monastery at Cluny, near Macon-sur-Saone. The
Cluniac was a new departure in monastic government. Hitherto the monastery
was practically self-centred; any connection with other religious houses
was at most voluntary, and any bond of union that may have existed, was of
the most loose description. The ideal upon which Cluny was established was
the existence of a great central monastery with dependencies spread over
many lands, and forming a vast feudal hierarchy of subordinate
establishments with the closest dependence on the mother-house. Moreover,
the superior of each of the dependent monasteries, no matter how large and
important, was not the elect of the community, but the nominee of the
abbot of Cluny; and in the same way the profession of every member of the
congregation was made in his name and with his sanction. It was a great
ideal; and for two centuries the abbots of Cluny form a dynasty worthy of
so lofty a position. The first Cluniac house founded in England was that
of Barnstaple. This was speedily followed by that of Lewes, a priory set
up by William, earl of Warren, in A.D. 1077, eleven years only after the
Conquest. The last was that of Stonesgate, in Essex, made almost exactly a
century later. On account of their dependence upon the abbot of Cluny,
several of the lesser houses were suppressed as “alien priories” towards
the close of the fourteenth century, and those that remained gradually
freed themselves from their obedience to the foreign superior. At the time
of the general suppression in the sixteenth century there were thirty-two
Cluniac houses; one only, Bermondsey, was an abbey; the rest were
priories, of which the most important was that which had been nearly the
first in order of time, Lewes.

iii. _Cistercians_

The congregation of Citeaux was at one time the most flourishing of the
offshoots of the great Benedictine body. The monastery of Citeaux was
established by St. Robert of Molesme in A.D. 1092. The saint was a
Benedictine, and felt himself called to something different to what he had
found in the monasteries of France. The peculiar system of the
Cistercians, however, was the work of St. Stephen Harding, an Englishman,
who at an early age had left his own country and never returned thither.
He struck out a new line, which was a still further departure from the
ideal of St. Benedict than was the Cluniac system. The Cistercians, whilst
strictly maintaining the notion that each monastery was a family endowed
with the principles of fecundity, formed themselves into an Order, in
the sense of an organised corporation, under the perpetual pre-eminence of
the abbot and house of Citeaux, and with yearly Chapters at which all
superiors were bound to attend. It was the chief object of the
administration to secure absolute uniformity in all things and everywhere.
This was obtained by the Chapters, and by the visitations of the abbot of
Citeaux, made anywhere and everywhere at will. The Order spread during the
first century of its existence with great rapidity. It is said that, by
the middle of the twelfth century, Citeaux had five hundred dependencies,
and that fifty years later there were more than three times that number.
In England the first abbey was founded by King Henry I. at Furness in A.D.
1127, and of the hundred houses existing at the general suppression
three-fourths had been founded in the twelfth century. The rest, with the
exception of St. Mary Grace, London, established in 1349 by Edward III.,
were founded in the early part of the thirteenth century.


[Illustration: CISTERCIAN MONK]

iv. _Carthusians_

The Carthusians were founded in the eleventh century by St. Bruno. With
the help of the bishop of Grenoble he built for himself and six
companions, in the mountains near the city, an oratory and small separate
cells in imitation of the ancient Lauras of Egypt. This was in A.D. 1086;
and the Order takes its designation from the name of the
place--Chartreuse. Peter the Venerable, the celebrated abbot of Cluny,
writing forty years after the foundation, thus describes their austere
form of life. “Their dress,” he says, “is meaner and poorer than that of
other monks, so short and scanty and so rough that the very sight
affrights one. They wear coarse hair-shirts next their skin; fast almost
perpetually; eat only bean-bread; whether sick or well never touch flesh;
never buy fish, but eat it if given them as an alms; eat eggs on Sundays
and Thursdays; on Tuesdays and Saturdays their fare is pulse or herbs
boiled; on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays they take nothing but bread
and water; and they have only two meals a day, except within the octaves
of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, Epiphany, and other festivals. Their
constant occupation is praying, reading and manual labour, which consists
chiefly in transcribing books. They say the lesser Hours of the Divine
Office in their cells at the time when the bell rings, but meet together
at Vespers and Matins with wonderful recollection.”

A manner of life of such great austerity naturally did not attract many
votaries. It was a special vocation to the few, and it was not until A.D.
1222 that the first house of the Order was established in England, at
Hinton, in Somersetshire, by William Langesper. The last foundation was
the celebrated Charterhouse of Shene, in Surrey, made by King Henry V. At
the time of the general dissolution, there were in all eight English
monasteries and about a hundred members.


The clergy of every large church were in ancient times called
_canonici_--canons--as being on the list of those who were devoted to the
service of the Church. In the eighth century, Chrodegand, bishop of Metz,
formed the clergy of his cathedral into a body, living in common under a
rule and bound to the public recitation of the Divine Office. They were
known still as canons, or those living under a rule of life like the
monks, from the true meaning of κανών, a rule. This common life was in
time abandoned in spite of the provisions of several Councils, and then
institutions other than Cathedral Chapters became organised upon lines
similar to those laid down by Chrodegand, and they became known as Canons
Regular. They formed themselves generally on the so-called Rule of St.
Augustine, and became known, in England at least, as Augustinian Canons,
Premonstratensian Canons, and Gilbertine Canons.

[Illustration: CARTHUSIAN MONK]


i. _Augustinian Canons_

The early history of the Austin, or Black Canons, is involved in
considerable obscurity, and it is only after the beginning of the twelfth
century that these Regulars are to be found in Europe. The Order was
conventual, or monastic, rather than congregational or provincial, like
the Friars: that is, the members were professed for a special house and
belonged by virtue of their vows to it, and not to the general body of
their brethren in the country. In one point they were not so closely bound
to their house as were the monks. The Regular Canons were allowed in
individual cases to serve the parishes that were impropriated to their
houses; the monks were always obliged to employ secular vicars in these
cures. The Augustinians were very popular in England; most of their houses
having been established in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The
earliest foundation was that of Christ Church, or Holy Trinity, Aldgate,
made by Queen Maud in A.D. 1108; and at the time of the dissolution there
were about 170 houses of Augustinian Canons in England; two of the
abbeys, Waltham Cross and Cirencester, being governed by mitred abbots. In
Ireland they were even more popular and numerous, the number of the houses
of canons being put at 223, together with 33 nunneries. The Augustinian
priors of Christ Church, and All Hallows, Dublin, and seven other priors
of the Order, had seats in the Irish Parliament. The habit of the Order
was black, and hence they were frequently known as BLACK CANONS.

ii. _The Premonstratensian Canons_

This branch of the Canons Regular was established by St. Norbert in A.D.
1119 at a place called Prémontré, a lonely and desolate valley near Laon
in France. Their founder gave them the Rule of St. Augustine, and they
became known either as Premonstratensians, from their first foundation, or
Norbertines, from their founder. The habit of these canons was white, with
a white rochet and even a white cap, and for this reason they were
frequently known as WHITE CANONS. Besides following the ordinary
Augustinian Rule, these Canons made Prémontré into a “mother-house,” and
the abbot of Prémontré was abbot-general of the entire Order: having the
right to visit, either by himself or deputy, every house of the
congregation; to summon every superior to the yearly General Chapter; and
to impose a tax for the use of the Order upon all the houses. This, so far
as England is concerned, lasted in theory until A.D. 1512, when all the
English houses were placed under the abbot of Welbeck. Previously they had
been for more than thirty years supervised on behalf of the abbot of
Prémontré, by Bishop Redman, who also continued to hold the office of
abbot of Shap. In England, just before the dissolution, there were some
thirty-four houses of the Order.


[Illustration: GILBERTINE CANON]

iii. _The Gilbertines_

The Canons of St. Gilbert of Sempringham are said to have been established
in A.D. 1139, although the actual date appears to be uncertain, some
annals putting the foundation as early as A.D. 1131, others as late as
A.D. 1148. St. Gilbert, the founder, was Rector of Sempringham and
composed his rule from those of St. Austin and St. Benedict. It was a dual
Order, for both men and women; the former followed St. Augustine’s code
with some additions, whilst the women took the Cistercian recension of the
Benedictine Rule.

These canons, according to Dugdale, had a black habit with a white cloak
and a hood lined with lamb’s wool. The women were in black with a white
cap. In the double monasteries the canons and nuns lived in separate
houses having no communication. At first the Order flourished greatly. St.
Gilbert in his lifetime founded thirteen houses, nine for men and women
and four for men only. In these there are said to have been seven hundred
canons and fifteen hundred sisters.

The Order was under the rule of a general superior, called the master or
prior-general. His leave was necessary for the admission of members, and,
in fact, to initiate business or at least give validity to the proposals
of any house. There were, in all, some twenty-six of these establishments
in England at the time of the general dissolution. Four only of these were
considered as ranking among the greater monasteries whose income was above
£200 a year.


i. _Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem_

The Hospitallers began in A.D. 1092 with the building of a hospital for
pilgrims at Jerusalem. The original idea of the work of these knights was
to provide for the needs of pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and to afford
them protection on their way. They, too, followed a rule of life founded
upon that of St. Augustine, and their dress was black with a white cross
upon it. They came to England very shortly after their foundation, and had
a house built for them in London in A.D. 1100. They rose in wealth and
importance in the country; and their head, or grand prior as he was
called, became the first lay baron in England, and had a seat in the House
of Peers.

Upon many of their manors and estates the Knights Hospitallers had small
establishments named _commanderies_, which were under the government of
one of their number, called the commander. These houses were sometimes
known as _preceptories_, but this was a term more generally used for the
establishments of the other great Military Order, the Templars. An
offshoot of both these orders was known as “The Order of St. Lazarus of
Jerusalem.” There were a few houses of this branch in England, which was
founded chiefly to assist and support lepers and indigent members of all
the Military Orders. They are, however, usually regarded as hospitals. The
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem had their headquarters at the Hospital of
St. John, near Clerkenwell, to which were attached some fifty-three cells
or commanderies.

[Illustration: GILBERTINE NUN]


ii. _The Templars_

The Military Order of the Templars was founded, according to Tanner, about
the year A.D. 1118. They derived their name from the Temple of Jerusalem,
and the original purpose of their institute was to secure the roads to
Palestine, and protect the holy places. They must have come into England
early in the reign of King Stephen, as they had several foundations at
this time, the first being that in London which gave its name to the
present Temple. They became too rich and powerful; and having been accused
of great crimes, their Order was suppressed by Pope Clement V. in 1309: an
act which was confirmed in the Council of Vienne in 1312. The head of the
Order in England was styled the “Master of the Temple,” and was sometimes,
as such, summoned to Parliament.

Upon their manors and estates the Templars, like the Hospitallers,
frequently built churches and houses, in which some of the brethren lived.
These were subordinate to the London house and were in reality cells,
under the title of “Preceptories.” On the final suppression of the Order,
their lands and houses, to the number of eighteen, were handed over to the
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. One house, Ferriby, in Yorkshire, became
a priory of Austin Canons, and four other estates appear to have been
confiscated. In all there were some three-and-twenty preceptories
connected with the London Temple.


The friars differed from the monks in certain ways. The brethren by their
profession were bound, not to any locality or house, but to the province,
which usually consisted of the entire number of houses in a country. They
did not, consequently, form individual families in their various
establishments, like the monks in their monasteries. They also, at first,
professed the strictest poverty, not being allowed to possess even
corporate property like the monastic Orders. They were by their profession
mendicants, living on alms, and only holding the mere buildings in which
they dwelt.

i. _The Dominicans, or Black Friars_

The founder of these friars was a Spaniard named Dominic, a canon of the
diocese of Osma, in Old Castile, at the close of the twelfth century. They
were known as Dominicans, from their founder; “Preaching Friars,” from
their mission to convert heretics; in England, “Black Friars,” from the
colour of their cloak; and in France “Jacobins,” from having had their
first house in the Rue St. Jacques, at Paris. Their rule was founded on
that of St. Augustine, and it was verbally approved in the Council of
Lateran in A.D. 1215, and the following year formally by Honorius III.
Their founder, having been a secular canon of Osma in Spain, his friars at
first adopted the ordinary dress of canons; but about A.D. 1219 they took
a white tunic, scapular, and hood, over which, when in church or when they
went abroad, they wore a black _cappa_, or cloak, with a hood of the same
colour. They first came to England with Peter de Rupibus, bishop of
Winchester, in A.D. 1221, and their Order quickly spread. In the first
year of their arrival they obtained a foothold in the University of
Oxford, and at the time of the general suppression of the religious Orders
in the sixteenth century they had fifty-eight convents in the country.

[Illustration: KNIGHT TEMPLAR]

[Illustration: DOMINICAN FRIAR]

ii. _The Franciscan, or Grey Friars_

St. Francis the founder of the Grey Friars was contemporary with St.
Dominic, and was born at Assisi, in the province of Umbria in Italy, in
A.D. 1182. These friars were called Franciscans from their founder; “Grey
Friars” from the colour of their habit; and “Minorites” from their humble
desire to be considered the least of the Orders. Their rule was approved
by Innocent III. in A.D. 1210 and by the General Council of the Lateran in
A.D. 1215. Their dress was made of a coarse brown cloth with a long
pointed hood of the same material, and a short cloak. They girded
themselves with a knotted cord and went barefooted. The Franciscan Friars
first found their way to England in A.D. 1224, and at the general
destruction of Regular life in England in the sixteenth century they had
in all about sixty-six establishments. A reformation of the Order to
primitive observance was made in the fifteenth century and confirmed by
the Council of Constance in A.D. 1414. The branches of the Order which
adopted it became known as “Observants” or “Recollects.” This branch of
the Order was represented in England by several houses built for them by
King Henry VII., although they are supposed to have been brought into
England in the time of Edward IV.

The whole Order in England was divided into seven “Custodies” or
“Wardenships,” the houses being grouped round convenient centres such as
London, York, Cambridge, Bristol, Oxford, Newcastle, and Worcester.
Harpsfield says that the “Recollects” or “Observants” had six friaries, at
Canterbury, Greenwich, Richmond, Southampton, Newark, and Newcastle.

_The Minoresses, or Nuns of St. Clare_

The Minoresses were instituted by St. Clare, the sister of St. Francis of
Assisi, about A.D. 1212, as the branch of the Franciscan Order for
females. They followed the Rule of the Friars Minor and were thus called
“Minoresses,” or Nuns of St. Clare, after their foundress. They wore the
same dress as the Franciscan Friars, and imitated them in their poverty,
for which cause they were sometimes known as “Poor Clares.” They were
brought to England somewhere about A.D. 1293, and established in London,
without Aldgate, in the locality now known as the Minories. The Order had
two other houses, one at Denney, in Cambridgeshire, in which at the time
of the general dissolution there were some twenty-five nuns; and the other
at Brusyard in Suffolk, which was a much smaller establishment. The nuns
at Denney had previously been located at Waterbeche for about fifty years,
being removed to their new home by Mary, countess of Pembroke, in A.D.

iii. _Carmelites_

The Carmelite Friars were so called from the place of their origin. They
were also named “White Friars” from the colour of the cloak of their
habit, and Friars of the Blessed Virgin. These friars are first heard of
in the twelfth century, on being driven out of Palestine by the
persecution of the Saracens. Their Rule is chiefly founded on that of
St. Basil, and was confirmed by Pope Honorius III. in A.D. 1224, and
finally approved by Innocent IV. in 1250. They were brought into England
by John Vesey and Richard Grey, and established their first houses in the
north at Alnwick, and in the south at Ailesford in Kent. At the latter
place the first European Chapter of the Order was held in A.D. 1245. In
the sixteenth century there were about forty houses in England and Wales.

[Illustration: FRANCISCAN FRIAR]


iv. _Austin Friars, or Hermits_

The body of Austin Friars took its historical origin in the union of
several existing bodies of friars effected in A.D. 1265 by Pope Clement
IV. They were regarded as belonging to the ranks of the mendicant friars
and not to the monastic Order. They were very widely spread, and in Europe
in the sixteenth century they are said to have possessed three thousand
convents, in which were thirty thousand friars; besides three hundred
convents of nuns. In England at the time of the dissolution they had some
thirty-two friaries.


i. _Friars of the Sack, or De Penitentia_

These brethren of penance were called “Friars of the Sack” because their
dress was cut without other form than that of a simple bag or sack, and
made of coarse cloth, like sackcloth. Most authorities, however, represent
this as merely a familiar name, and say that their real title was that of
Friars, or Brethren of Penance. They took their origin apparently in
Italy, and came to England during the reign of Henry III., where, about
A.D. 1257, they opened a house in London. They had many settlements in
France, Spain, and Germany, but lost most of them after the Council of
Lyons in A.D. 1274, when Pope Gregory X. suppressed all begging friars
with the exception of the four mendicant Orders of Dominicans,
Franciscans, Austin Friars, and Carmelites. This did not, however, apply
universally, and in England the _Fratres de Sacco_ remained in existence
until the final suppression of the religious Orders in the sixteenth
century. The dress of these friars was apparently made of rough brown
cloth, and was not unlike that of the Franciscans; they had their feet
bare and wore wooden sandals. Their mode of life was very austere, and
they never ate meat and drank only water.

ii. _Pied Friars, or Fratres de Pica_

These religious were so called from the colours of their habit, which was
black and white, like a magpie. They had but one house in England, at
Norwich, and had only a brief existence, as the Pied Friars were obliged,
by the Council of Lyons, to join one or other of the four great mendicant
Orders. Their house, which, according to Blomfield, stood in the
north-east corner of the churchyard of St. Peter’s Church, was given to
the Hospital of Bek, at Billingford in Norfolk.

iii. _Friars of St. Mary de Areno_

These friars had likewise but one house, at Westminster, founded towards
the end of the reign of Henry III. They, too, were short-lived as a body,
falling under the law of suppression of the lesser mendicant Orders. They,
however, continued for a few years longer, as Tanner quotes a Close
Roll of 11 Edward II., to show that they were only dissolved in that year,
A.D. 1318.

[Illustration: CARMELITE FRIAR]

[Illustration: AUSTIN FRIAR]

iv. _Friars of Our Lady, or de Domina_

The Friars of Our Lady are said to have lived under the Rule of St.
Austin. They had a white habit, with a black cloak and hood. They were
instituted in the thirteenth century, and had a house at Cambridge, near
the castle. Before A.D. 1290 they were also settled at Norwich, where they
continued until the great Pestilence in 1349, of which they all died.

v. _Friars of the Holy Trinity, or Trinitarians_

These religious were founded by SS. John of Matha and Felix of Valois
about A.D. 1197 for the redemption of captives. They were called
“_Trinitarians_,” because by their rule all their churches were dedicated
to the Holy Trinity, or “_Maturines_,” from the fact that their original
foundation in Paris was near St. Mathurine’s Chapel. The Order was
confirmed by Pope Innocent III., who gave the religious white robes, with
a red and blue cross on their breasts, and a cloak with the same emblem on
the left side. Their revenues were to be divided into three parts; one for
their own support, one to relieve the poor, and the third to ransom
Christians who had been taken captive by the infidels. They were brought
to England in A.D. 1244, and were given the lands and privileges of the
Canons of the Holy Sepulchre on the extinction of that Order. According to
the _Monasticon_, they had, in all, eleven houses in this country; but
these establishments were small, the usual number of religious in each
being three friars and three lay brothers. The superior was named
“minister,” and included in his office the functions of superior and
procurator; and the houses were united into a congregation under a
_Minister major_, who held a general Chapter annually for the regulation
of defects and the discussion of common interests.

vi. _Crutched, or Crossed Friars_

The Crossed Friars are said by some to have taken their origin in the Low
Countries, by others to have come from Italy in very early times, having
been instituted or reformed by one Gerard, prior of St. Maria di Morella
at Bologna. In 1169 Pope Alexander III. took them under his protection and
gave them a fixed rule of life. These friars first came to England in the
year 1244. Matthew Paris, writing of that time, says that they appeared
before a synod held by the bishop of Rochester, each carrying a stick upon
which was a cross. They presented documents from the pope and asked to be
allowed to make foundations of their fraternity in England. Clement Reyner
puts their first establishment in this country at Reigate, in 1245, and
their second in London in 1249. This last is the better known, as it has
given the name of Crutched Friars to a locality in the city of London. The
friars had a third house at Oxford, and altogether there were six or seven
English friaries. Besides the cross upon their staves, from which they
originally took their name, the friars had a red cloth cross upon the
breasts of their habits.

vii. _The Bethlemite Friars_

The origin of these friars is uncertain, and they were apparently only
known in England, and so may perhaps be considered to have had their
beginning in this country. Matthew Paris says that in the year 1257 they
were given a house at Cambridge, in Trumpington Street. He describes their
dress as being very like that of the Dominicans, from which it was
distinguished only by having a red star, of five points with a round blue
centre, on the scapular. This badge recalled the meaning of their name,
representing as it did the star which led the Magi to Bethlehem.

[Illustration: FRIAR OF THE SACK]

[Illustration: TRINITARIAN]

viii. _The Bonshommes_

These friars were apparently of English origin. Some have thought that
they were the same as the “Friars of the Sack,” but this is by no means
clear. Polydore Vergil says that Edmund of Cornwall, the brother of Henry
III., on his return from Germany in A.D. 1257, built and endowed a fine
monastery at Ashridge. This he gave “to a new order of men, never before
known in England, called _Boni Homines_, the Bonshommes. They followed the
rule of St. Augustine, wearing a blue-coloured dress of a form similar to
that of the Augustinian hermits.” The only other house possessed by the
Bonshommes was at Edingdon.


An asterisk (*) prefixed to a religious house signifies that there are
considerable remains extant.

A dagger (†) prefixed signifies that there are sufficient remains to
interest an archæologist.

No attention is paid to mere mounds or grass-covered heaps.

For these marks as to remains the author is not responsible. They have
kindly been contributed by Rev. Dr. Cox and Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, who
desire it to be known that they do not in any way consider these marks
exhaustive; they merely represent those remains with which one or other,
or both, are personally acquainted.

The following abbreviations for the names of the religious Orders, etc.,
have been used in the list:--

  A.            = Austin Canons.

  A. (fs.)      = Austin Friars, or Hermits.

  A. (n.)       = Austin nuns.

  A.P.          = Alien priories.

  A. (sep.)     = Austin Canons of the Holy Sepulchre.

  A.H.          = Alien Hospitals.

  B.            = Benedictines, or Black monks.

  B. (fs.)      = Bethlemite Friars.

  B. (n.)       = Benedictine nuns.

  Bridg.        = Bridgettines.

  C.            = Cistercian monks.

  C. (n.)       = Cistercian nuns.

  Carm.         = Carmelite, or White Friars.

  Carth.        = Carthusians.

  Cl.           = Cluniac monks.

  Cl. (n.)      = Cluniac nuns.

  Cru.          = Crutched, or Crossed Friars.

  Dom.          = Dominican, or Black Friars.

  Dom. (n.)     = Dominican nuns.

  F.A.          = Friars de Areno.

  F.D.          = Friars de Domina, or of Our Lady.

  Franc.        = Franciscan, or Grey Friars.

  Franc. (n.)   = Franciscan nuns.

  G.            = Gilbertines (canons following the rule of St. Austin,
                    and nuns that of St. Benedict).

  H.            = Hospitals.

  H. (lep.)     = Leper Hospitals.

  H.-A. (fs.)   = Hospitals served by Austin Friars.

  H.-B. (fs.)   = Hospitals served by Bethlemite Friars.

  H.G.          = Hospitals served by Gilbertines.

  Hosp.         = Knights Hospitallers.

  M.            = Maturins, or Friars of the Holy Trinity.

  P.            = Premonstratensian Canons.

  P. (n.)       = Premonstratensian nuns.

  P.F.          = Pied Friars.

  S.            = Friars of the Sack, or De Penitentia.

  Temp.         = Knights Templars.

  A plus (+)    = Ancient religious houses.

      + (n.)    = Ancient religious house of women.

     ORDER.    |                HOUSE.                    |    COUNTY.
               |  Abberbury (_see_ Alberbury).            |
               |  Abberforth, Tadcaster (_see_ Calcaria). |
  B.           |† Abbotsbury, abb.                        |Dorset.
  C.           |* Aberconway, abb.                        |Denbigh.
  B.           |* Abergavenny, pr.                        |Monmouth.
  B.           |† Abingdon, abb.                          |Berks.
               |    cell:--Edwardstow                     |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Abingdon, St. Helen’s                   |Berks.
               |            St. John’s.                   |
  A.P.         |  Acley, or Lyre Ocle (cell to St.        |
               |    Benoit sur Soire)                     |Hereford.
  A. (n.)      |  Aconbury                                |Hereford.
  P.           |* Agatha’s, St., abb.                     |Yorks.
  A.           |  Ailesham, pr.                           |Lincoln.
  C.           |  Albalanda (_see_ Whiteland)             |Carmarthen.
  A.           |  Alborn (united to Woodbridge, 1466)     |Suffolk.
  B.           |* Alban’s, St., abb.                      |Herts.
  B.           |    cells:--Belvoir                       |Lincoln.
  B.           |          * Binham                        |Norfolk.
  B.           |          † Hatfield Peverell             |Essex.
  B.           |            Hertford                      |Herts.
  B.           |            Pembroke                      |Pembroke.
  B.           |            Redburn                       |Herts.
  B.           |          * Tynemouth                     |Northumberland.
  B.           |            Wallingford                   |Berks.
  B.           |            Cocket Island (cell of        |
               |              Tynemouth)                  |Northumberland.
  H. (lep.)    |  Alban’s, St., St. Julian’s              |Herts.
  H. (lep.     |  Alban, St., St. Mary de Pratis          |Herts.
    women)     |                                          |
  A.P.         |  Alberbury, or Abberbury (cell of        |
               |    Grandmont in Limousin)                |Salop.
  B.           |† Alcester (_see_ Evesham).               |
  A.           |† Aldbury, pr.                            |Surrey.
               |  Aldeby (_see_ Norwich).                 |
  A.           |  Alensborne                              |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Alkmonton                               |Derby.
  A.P.         |  Allerton Malleverer (cell of            |
               |    Marmoutiers, Tours)                   |Yorks, W. R.
  Carm.        |  Allerton, North                         |Yorks, W. R.
  A. (fs.)     |  Allerton, North                         |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Allerton, North, St. James              |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |                   Maison Dieu.           |
  P.           |† Alnwick, abb.                           |Northumberland.
  Carm.        |  Alnwick (_see_ Holne)                   |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Alnwick, St. Leonard’s                  |Northumberland.
  G.           |† Alvingham                               |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |  Amesbury                                |Wilts.
  A.P.         |† Andover (cell of St. Florent at         |
               |    Samur in Anjou)                       |Hants.
  H.           |  Andover                                 |Hants.
  A.P.         |† Andwell (cell of Tyronne)               |Hants.
  A.           |† Anglesey, pr.                           |Cambridge.
  B. (n.)      |  Ankerwyke                               |Bucks.
  Carth.       |* Anne’s, St. (_see_ Coventry)            | Warwick.
  Hosp.        |  Anstey                                  |Wilts.
               |  Antony, St. (_see_ Plympton)            |
  Carm.        |  Appleby                                 |Westmoreland.
  H. (lep.)    |  Appleby                                 |Westmoreland.
               |  Appleton (_see_ Nunappleton).           |
  A.P.         |  Apuldercombe (cell to Montisburg,       |
               |    Normandy)                             |Hants., I. of W.
  B (n.)       |  Arden                                   |Yorks.
  H.           |  Armston                                 |Northants.
  B. (n.)      |  Armthwaite                              |Cumberland.
  Cl. (n.)     |  Arthington                              |Yorks.
  Dom.         |  Arundel                                 |Sussex.
  A.P.         |* Arundel (cell to Séez, afterwards       |
               |    a college)                            |Sussex.
  H.           |† Arundel                                 |Sussex.
  A.           |* Ashby Canons, pr.                       |Northants.
  A. (fs.)     |  Ashen (_see_ Clare).                    |
  Temp. &      |† Aslakeby                                |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |                                          |
  H.           |  Astley                                  |Warwick.
  A.P.         |  Astley (cell to Evreux)                 |Worcester.
  H.           |  Athelington                             |Dorset.
  B.           |† Athelney, abb.                          |Somerset.
  A.P.         |† Atherington (cell of Séez)              |Sussex.
  A. (fs.)     |  Atherstone                              |Warwick.
  A.P.         |† Avebury (cell to St. George de          |
               |    Bocherville, Norm.)                   |Wilts.
               |† Avecote (_see_ Malvern, Great)          |
               |  Axholme (_see_ Epworth).                |
  A.P.         |  Axmouth (cell to Montisburg,            |
               |    Norm.)                                |Devon.
  Franc.       |  Aylesbury                               |Bucks.
  +            |  Aylesbury                               |Bucks.
  H. (lep.)    |  Aylesbury, St. John                     |Bucks.
               |             St. Leonard                  |
  Carm.        |* Aylesford                               |Kent.
  H.           |  Aynho                                   |Northants.
               |                                          |
               |  Babington (_see_ Bebington).            |
               |  Babwell (_see_ Bury).                   |
  +            |  Bachaunis                               |Carmarthen.
  A.           |  Bactanesford (given to Finchale,        |
               |    1196)                                 |Durham.
  A.           |  Badlesmere                              |Kent.
  Temp. &      |* Badersley (South)                       |Hants.
    Hosp.      |                                          |
  H.           |  Bagby                                   |Yorks.
  H. (lep.)    |  Baldock                                 |Herts.
  Temp. &      |* Balsall                                 |Warwick.
  Hosp.        |                                          |
               |  Bamburgh (_see_ Nostell)                |
  Dom.         |  Bamburgh                                |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Bamburgh                                |Northumberland.
  H. (lep.)    |  Banbury                                 |Oxford.
  +            |  Bancornaburg, or Banchor                |Flint.
  Dom.         |  Bangor                                  |Carnarvon.
  +            |  Banwell                                 |Somerset.
  B.           |† Bardney, abb.                           |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Bardon (near Puckeridge)                |Herts.
  B.           |  Bardsey, abb.                           |Carnarvon.
  Cru.         |  Barham, or Bergham (in parish of Lynton)|Cambridge.
  B. (n.)      |† Barking                                 |Essex.
  P.           |† Barlings, abb.                          |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Barlinch, pr.                           |Somerset.
  H.           |  Barnard Castle                          |Durham.
  Cl.          |  Barnstaple, pr.                         |Devon.
  A (fs.)      |  Barnstaple                              |Devon.
  H.           |  Barnstaple                              |Devon.
  A.           |† Barnwell, pr.                           |Cambridge.
  Hosp.        |  Barrow                                  |Derbyshire.
               |  Barrow (_see_ Colchester).              |
  +            |  Barrowe, or at Barwe                    |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |  Barrow Gurney, or Mynchen Barwe         |Somerset.
  B.           |  Barton                                  |Hereford.
  C. (n.)      |  Basedale                                |Yorks.
               |  Basseleck, or Basil (_see_ Glastonbury).|
  H.           |* Basingstoke                             |Hants.
  C.           |* Basingwerk, abb.                        |Flint.
  B.           |* Bath Cathedral, pr.                     |Somerset.
               |    * cell:--Dunster.                     |
  H.           |  Bath, St. John Baptist’s                |Somerset.
               |        St. Mary Magdalene’s.             |
  Hosp.        |  Battisford                              |Suffolk.
  B.           |* Battle, abb.                            |Sussex.
  B.           |    * cell:--Brecknock                    |Brecon.
  H.           |  Bawtry                                  |Yorks.
  P.           |† Beauchief, abb.                         |Derby.
  C.           |* Beaulieu, abb.                          |Hants.
               |    cell:--Farendon                       |Hants.
               |  Beaulieu-Moddry, or Millbrook           |
  Carth.       |* Beauvale, or Gresley Park               |Notts.
  H. (lep.)    |  Bebington                               |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Bec                                     |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Beccles, St. Mary Magdalen’s            |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Beckford (cell to St. Barbe en          |
               |    Auge, Norm.)                          |Gloucester.
  Franc.       |  Becmachen, or Bermache                  |Isle of Man.
  +            |  Bectanesford (_see_ Bactenesford)       |Durham.
  Franc.       |† Bedford                                 |Beds.
  +            |  Bedford                                 |Beds.
  H.           |  Bedford, St. John’s                     |Beds.
               |           St. Leonard’s.                 |
  +            |  Bedingham, or Redingham                 |Sussex.
               |  Beeleigh (_see_ Bileigh).               |
               |  Bees, St. (_see_ York, St. Mary’s).     |
  A.           |† Beeston, pr.                            |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Begare, near Richmond (cell to          |
               |    St. Begare, Brit.)                    |Yorks.
  P.           |* Begham, or Bayham, abb.                 |Sussex.
               |  Belvoir (_see_ Alban’s, St.).           |
  B.           |† Benet’s of Hulme, St., abb.             |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Benington Longa (cell of Savigny)       |Lincoln.
               |  Bentley (_see_ Alkmonton).              |
  +            |  Bentley                                 |Middlesex.
  A.           |  Berden, pr.                             |Essex.
  +            |  Berkeley                                |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Berkeley, St. James’ and St. John’s     |Gloucester.
               |            Longbridge.                   |
  H.           |  Berkhamstede, St. John Baptist’s        |Herts.
  H. (lep.)    |       St. John the Evang.                |
  H.           |       St. Thomas the Martyr’s.           |
  H.           |       St. James’.                        |
  A.           |  Berleston                               |Devon.
  Cl.          |  Bermondsey, abb.                        |Surrey.
  B.           |    cell:--Derby, St. James’              |Derby.
  H.           |  Bermondsey, St. Saviour’s               |Surrey.
  H.           |             St. Thomas’.                 |
  H.           |  Berton                                  |Salop.
  M.           |  Berwick                                 |Northumberland.
  + (n.)       |  Berwick, South                          |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Berwick, Maison Dieu                    |Northumberland.
  H.           |           St. Mary Magdalen’s.           |
  A.           |  Bethgelert, pr.                         |Carnarvon.
  Franc.       |  Beverley                                |Yorks, E. R.
  Dom.         |† Beverley                                |Yorks, E. R.
  Hosp.        |  Beverley                                |Yorks, E. R.
  H.           |  Beverley, St. Giles                     |Yorks, E. R.
  H.           |            Trinity H.                    |
  H.           |            St. Nicholas.                 |
  A.           |  Bicknacre, or Woodham Ferrers           |Essex.
  H.           |  Bigging                                 |Herts.
  P.           |* Bileigh by Maldon, abb.                 |Essex.
  A.           |† Bilsington, pr.                         |Kent.
  C.           |* Bindon, abb.                            |Dorset.
               |* Binham (_see_ Alban’s, St.).            |
  B.           |* Birkenhead, pr.                         |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Birmingham                              |Warwick.
  A.P.         |  Birstall (cell to St. Martin de         |
               |    Alceio, Albemarle, France)            |Yorks, N. R.
  A.           |† Bisham, pr. (at first belonged to       |
               |    Temp.)                                |Berks.
               |  Bissemede (_see_ Bushmead).             |
  C.           |  Bittlesden, abb.                        |Bucks.
  +            |  Bitumæam, or ad Tunconsam               |Worcester.
  B. (n.)      |  Blackborough                            |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Blakenham (cell to Bec, Norm.)          |Suffolk.
  A.           |† Blackmore, pr.                          |Essex.
  P.           |  Blackwase, or Blackhouse (cell          |
               |    of Lavendon and of Bradsole)          |Kent.
  Carm.        |  Blakeney, or Sniterley                  |Norfolk.
  P.           |* Blanchland, abb.                        |Northumberland.
  +            |  Bleatham                                |Westmoreland.
  A.           |† Bliburgh, or Blythbury, pr.             |Suffolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Blithbury                               |Stafford.
  +            |  Blockley, or Bloccanlegh                |Worcester.
  B.           |† Blyth, or Brida, pr.                    |Notts.
  H. (lep.)    |  Blyth                                   |Notts.
  H.           |  Bocking, Maison Dieu                    |Essex.
  A.           |† Bodmin, pr.                             |Cornwall.
  Franc.       |† Bodmin                                  |Cornwall.
  H.           |† Bodmin, St. Laurence’s                  |Cornwall.
               |          St. Anthony’s.                  |
               |          St. George’s.                   |
  G.           |  Bollington, or Bullington               |Lincoln.
  A.           |* Bolton, pr.                             |Yorks.
  H. (lep.)    |  Bolton                                  |Northumberland.
  A.P.         |  Bonby (cell to Fromond, Norm.)          |Lincoln.
  C.           |  Bordesley, abb.                         |Worcester.
  +            |  Bosham                                  |Sussex.
  Dom.         |† Boston                                  |Lincoln.
  Franc.       |  Boston                                  |Lincoln.
  Carm.        |  Boston                                  |Lincoln.
  A. (fs.)     |  Boston                                  |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Boston                                  |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Boughton                                |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Boughton (_see_ Broughton)              |Essex.
  A.           |† Bourn, abb.                             |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Bourne, or Patricksbourne (cell         |
               |    to Beaulieu, Norm.)                   |Kent.
  H.           |  Bowes                                   |I. of Guernsey.
  B.           |* Boxgrave, pr.                           |Sussex.
  C.           |† Boxley, abb.                            |Kent.
  + (n.)       |  Boxwell                                 |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Boycodeswade, near Cokesford            |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Braceford                               |Yorks.
  Cru.         |  Brackley                                |Northants.
  H.           |  Brackley, St. John’s                    |Northants.
               |    St. Leonard’s.                        |
  H.           |  Bradebusk                               |Notts.
  A.           |* Bradenstoke, pr.                        |Wilts.
  B.           |  Bradewell, pr.                          |Bucks.
  +            |  Bradfield                               |Berks.
  H.           |  Bradford                                |Wilts.
  +            |  Bradford                                |Wilts.
  A.           |  Bradley, pr.                            |Leicester.
               |  Bradsole (_see_ St. Radegund’s)         |Kent.
  H.           |  Bramber                                 |Sussex.
  A.           |† Breamore, or Bromere, pr.               |Hants.
  Dom.         |  Brecknock                               |Brecon.
               |* Brecknock, or Brecon (_see_ Battle)     |
               |† Bredon (_see_ Nostell)                  |
  +            |  Bredon                                  |Worcester.
  A.           |† Breadsall, pr.                          |Derby.
  +            |  Brent, or East Brent                    |Somerset.
  Hosp.        |  Bretesford                              |Suffolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Bretford (removed to Kenilworth)        |Warwick.
  H.           |  Bretford                                |Warwick.
  B. (n.)      |  Brewood Black Ladies                    |Stafford.
  C. (n.)      |† Brewood White Ladies                    |Salop.
  H.           |  Breydeford                              |Yorks, E. R.
  Franc.       |  Bridgnorth                              |Salop.
  H.           |  Bridgnorth                              |Salop.
  Franc.       |  Bridgwater                              |Somerset.
  H.           |  Bridgwater, St. John’s                  |Somerset.
               |              St. Giles’.                 |
  A.           |* Bridlington, pr.                        |Yorks.
               |  Bridport                                |Dorset.
  H.           |  Bridport                                |Dorset.
  A.P.         |  Brimpsfield (cell to Fontenay, Norm.)   |Gloucester.
  Hosp.        |  Brimpton                                |Berks.
  A.           |* Brinkburne, pr.                         |Northumberland.
  A.P.         |  Brisett (cell to Nobiliac)              |Suffolk.
  A.           |* Bristol, Great St. Augustine’s, abb.    |Somerset.
  B. (n.)      |  Bristol, St. Mary Magdalen’s            |Somerset.
               |† Bristol, St. James’ (_see_ Tewkesbury)  |Somerset.
  Dom.         |* Bristol                                 |Somerset.
  Franc.       |  Bristol                                 |Somerset.
  Carm.        |  Bristol                                 |Somerset.
  A. (fs.)     |  Bristol                                 |Somerset.
  H.           |  Bristol, St. Bartholomew’s              |Somerset.
  H.           |           St. Catherine’s.               |
  H.           |           Gaunts, or Billeswyke H.       |
  H.           |           Trinity H.                     |
  H. (lep.)    |           St. Laurence’s.                |
  H.           |           Lyons, or Lewins.              |
  H. (lep.)    |           St. John’s.                    |
  H.           |           St. Margaret’s.                |
  H. (lep.)    |           St. Mary Magdalen’s.           |
  H.           |           St. Michael’s Hill.            |
  H.           |           Bartons.                       |
  H.           |           St. Sepulchre’s.               |
  H.           |           Temple Street.                 |
  H.           |           Temple Gate.                   |
  H.           |           Redcliff Hill.                 |
  +            |  Brixworth                               |Northants.
  P.           |  Brockley, or Brocle, West Greenwich     |
               |    (removed to Bayham)                   |Kent.
  P. (n.).     |  Brodholm                                |Notts.
  A.           |  Bromehill, pr.                          |Norfolk.
               |  Bromere (_see_ Breamore).               |
               |  Bromfield (_see_ Gloucester, St.        |
               |    Peter’s).                             |
  B. (n.).     |  Bromhall                                |Berks.
  A.           |  Bromhill                                |Norfolk.
  Cl.          |* Bromholm, pr.                           |Norfolk.
               |  Bromley (_see_ Stratford at Bow).       |
               |  Bromwich, West (_see_ Sandwell).        |
  A.           |  Brooke (_see_ Kenilworth)               |Rutland.
  H.           |  Brough                                  |Westmoreland.
  H.           |† Broughton, near Malton                  |Yorks.
  H.           |  Broughton-under-Blean                   |Kent.
  Hosp.        |† Bruerne, or Temple Bruer                |Lincoln.
  C.           |  Bruerne, or Brueria, abb.               |Oxford.
  +            |  Brunnesburg, or Bromburg                |Cheshire.
  Fran. (n.)   |  Brusyard                                |Suffolk.
  A.           |† Bruton, abb.                            |Somerset.
  H.           |  Bruton                                  |Somerset.
  A.           |† Buckenham, pr.                          |Norfolk.
  C.           |† Buckfast, abb.                          |Devon.
  H.           |  Buckingham                              |Bucks.
  C.           |† Buckland, abb.                          |Devon.
  A. (n.).     |  Buckland Minchin                        |Somerset.
  Hosp.        |  Buckland Minchin                        |Somerset.
  H.           |  Buckstead                               |Sussex.
  C.           |* Buildwas, abb.                          |Salop.
               |  Bullington (_see_ Bollington).          |
  B. (n.).     |† Bungay (Bonna Gaie)                     |Suffolk.
  M.           |  Burbach, or Eston, or Marlborough       |Wilts.
  A.           |  Burchester, pr.                         |Oxford.
  H.           |  Burchester                              |Oxford.
  H.           |  Burford                                 |Oxford.
  +            |  Burgh Castle                            |Suffolk.
  A.           |* Burnham                                 |
   (canonesses)|                                          |Bucks.
  Carm.        |† Burnham Norton                          |Norfolk.
               |  Burnham (_see_ St. Mary de Pré).        |
  A.           |* Burscough, pr.                          |Lancaster.
  Fran. (n.)   |  Burshyard                               |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Burton Lazars                           |Leicester.
  B.           |† Burton-on-Trent, or Modwenstow, abb.    |Stafford.
  A.P.         |  Burwell (cell to St. Maria, Silvæ       |
               |    Majoris, Bordeaux)                    |Lincoln.
  B.           |* Bury St. Edmunds, abb.                  |Suffolk.
  Franc.       |  Bury St. Edmunds                        |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Bury St. Edmunds--                      |Suffolk.
               |      God’s House, or St. John’s.         |
               |    † St. Nicholas’.                      |
               |      St. Peter’s.                        |
               |    † St. Saviour’s.                      |
               |      St. Stephen’s.                      |
  A.           |† Bushmead, pr.                           |Beds.
  A.P.         |  Bustal, or Burstal Garth (cell to       |
               |    St. Martin d’Aley, Albemarle, Norm.)  |Yorks.
  A.           |† Butley, pr. (Buteleia)                  |Suffolk.
  C.           |* Byland, abb.                            |Yorks.
  A.           |  Byrkley, pr., now Butlehouse            |
               |    (in the parish of Merlynch)           |Somerset.
               |                                          |
  +            |  Cadweli                                 |Carmarthen.
  +            |  Caerleon                                |Monmouth.
  +            |  Caistor, or Dormundescastre             |Northants.
  + (n.)       |  Calcaria, or Caelcacester               |Yorks.
               |  Caldey (_see_ Dogmael’s, St.)           |Pembroke.
  C.           |* Calder, abb.                            |Cumberland.
  A.           |  Caldwell, pr.                           |Beds.
  A.           |† Calke (cell to Repton)                  |Derby.
  H.           |  Calne, St. John’s                       |Wilts.
  A.           |  Calwich, pr.                            |Stafford.
  B.           |  Cambridge, Monks’ or Buckingham College |
               |    (now St. Mary Magdalen College)       |Cambridge.
  B. (n.)      |* Cambridge, St. Radegund’s (now          |
               |    Jesus College)                        |Cambridge.
  G.           |  Cambridge, St. Edmund’s                 |Cambridge.
  Dom.         |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  Franc.       |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  Carm.        |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  A. (fs.)     |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  S.           |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  B. (fs.)     |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  F.D.         |  Cambridge                               |Cambridge.
  H.           |  Cambridge, St. John Evangelist’s        |Cambridge.
  + (n.)       |  Camestrune, or Camesterne               |Dorset.
  A.P.         |  Cammeringham (cell to Prem.             |
               |    abb. of Blanchland, Norm.)            |Lincoln.
  A. (n.)      |  Campsey                                 |Suffolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Cannington                              |Somerset.
  A. (n.)      |  Canonleigh, or Mynchen Leigh            |Devon.
  B.           |* Canterbury, St. Augustine’s, abb.       |Kent.
  B.           |* Canterbury, Christ Church Cath. pr.     |Kent.
  B.           |    * cells:--Dover, St. Martin’s         |Kent.
  B.           |            † Oxford, Canterbury College  |Oxford.
  B. (n.)      |  Canterbury, St. Sepulchre’s             |Kent.
  A.           |† Canterbury, St. Gregory’s, pr.          |Kent.
  Dom.         |† Canterbury                              |Kent.
  Franc.       |† Canterbury                              |Kent.
  A. (fs.)     |† Canterbury                              |Kent.
  +            |  Canterbury, St. Mildred’s               |Kent.
  H.           |* Canterbury, St. John Baptist’s          |Kent.
  H.           |† Canterbury, Poor Priests                |Kent.
  H. (lep.)    |  Canterbury, St. Laurence’s              |Kent.
  H.           |  Canterbury, St. Margaret’s              |Kent.
  H.           |    * Eastbridge, St. Thomas Cant.        |Kent.
  H.           |                  St. Nicholas.           |
  H.           |                  St. Catherine.          |
  B.           |  Canwell, pr.                            |Stafford.
               |  Canyngton (_see_ Cannington).           |
  + (n.)       |  Carbroke (afterwards removed to         |
               |    Buckland)                             |Norfolk.
  Hosp.        |  Carbroke                                |Norfolk.
  Dom.         |  Cardiff                                 |Glamorgan.
  Franc.       |† Cardiff                                 |Glamorgan.
  Carm.        |† Cardiff                                 |Glamorgan.
               |  Cardigan (_see_ Chertsey).              |
               |  Carham-on-Tweed (_see_ Kirkham).        |
  A.P.         |† Carisbrooke (cell to Lira)              |I. of Wight.
  A.           |* Carlisle, Cath., pr.                    |Cumberland.
  Dom.         |  Carlisle                                |Cumberland.
  Franc.       |  Carlisle                                |Cumberland.
  H. (lep.)    |  Carlisle, St. Nicholas’                 |Cumberland.
  A.           |  Carmarthen, pr.                         |Carmarthen.
  Franc.       |  Carmarthen                              |Carmarthen.
  B. (n.)      |* Carrow                                  |Norfolk.
               |  Carswell (_see_ Montacute).             |
  A.           |* Cartmel, pr.                            |Lancaster.
  Cl.          |* Castleacre, pr.                         |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Castle Donington                        |Leicester.
  H.           |  Catchburne                              |Northumberland.
  B. (n.)      |† Catesby                                 |Northants.
  +            |  Cathall                                 |Herts.
  H.           |  Catterick                               |Yorks.
  G.           |† Cattley                                 |Lincoln.
  + (n.)       |  Catune                                  |Staffs.
  B.           |* Cerne, abb.                             |Dorset.
  A.           |† Chacomb, pr.                            |Northants.
  A.P.         |  Charlton, near Uphaven (cell to         |
               |    Prem., abb., L’Isle Dieu)             |Wilts.
  A.P.         |  Charlton-on-Otmoore (cell to S.         |
               |    Ebrulf in Utica, Norm.)               |Oxford.
  H. (lep.)    |  Chatham                                 |Kent.
  B. (n.)      |† Chatteris                               |Cambridge.
  +            |  Chauce, or Charite                      |Sussex.
  Dom.         |  Chelmsford                              |Essex.
  +            |  Cheltenham                              |Gloucester.
  B.           |† Chepstow                                |Monmouth.
  B.           |† Chertsey, abb.                          |Surrey.
  B.           |    cells:--Cardigan                      |Cardigan.
  B. (n.)      |  Cheshunt                                |Herts.
  B.           |* Chester, St. Werburgh’s, abb.           |Cheshire.
  B. (n.)      |  Chester, St. Mary’s                     |Cheshire.
  Dom.         |  Chester                                 |Cheshire.
  Franc.       |  Chester                                 |Cheshire.
  Carm.        |  Chester                                 |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Chester, St. John Baptist’s             |Cheshire.
  H.           |           St. Giles’.                    |
  H.           |           St. Michael’s.                 |
  H. (lep.)    |  Chesterfield                            |Derby.
  A.           |  Chetwode                                |Bucks.
  + (n.)       |  Chewstoke, or St. Cross                 |Somerset.
               |  Chich (_see_ St. Osyth’s).              |
  Dom.         |  Chichester                              |Sussex.
  Franc.       |  Chichester                              |Sussex.
  +            |  Chichester                              |Sussex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Chichester, St. James’                  |Sussex.
               |              St. Mary Magdalen’s         |
               |            * St. Mary’s                  |
  G.           |* Chicksand                               |Beds.
  + (n.)       |  Chille, or Chiltre                      |Herts.
  A.           |  Chipley (annexed to Clare)              |Suffolk.
  Hosp.        |  Chippenham                              |Cambridge.
  A.           |  Chirbury, pr.                           |Salop.
  +            |  Cholsey                                 |Berks.
  H. (lep.)    |  Chosell                                 |Norfolk.
               |  Chotes (_see_ Croxden).                 |
  A.           |* Christchurch, or Twyneham               |Hants.
  +            |  Churchill                               |Devon.
  A.           |† Cirencester, abb.                       |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Cirencester, St. Thomas’                |Gloucester.
               |               St. John the Evangelist.   |
               |               St. Laurence’s.            |
  A.P.         |  Clare (cell of St. Martin des Champs)   |Carmarthen.
  H.           |  Clare                                   |Carmarthen.
  A. (fs.)     |* Clare                                   |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Clare in the Castle (cell to Bec;       |
               |    removed to Stoke).                    |
  A.P.         |  Clatford (cell to Caux de Coleto, Norm.)|Wilts.
  G.           |† Clattercote, pr.                        |Oxford.
  C.           |* Cleeve, abb.                            |Somerset.
  B. (n.)      |  Clementhorpe                            |Yorks.
  A. (fs.)     |  Cleobury Mortimer (_see_ Woodhouse).    |
  B. (n.)      |  Clerkenwell                             |Middlesex.
  Hosp.        |  Clerkenwell (_see_ London).             |
  H.           |  Cleyhanger                              |Devon.
  Cl.          |  Clifford, pr.                           |Hereford.
  +            |  Clive, or Wenlesclive                   |Worcester.
  H.           |  Clothdale                               |Herts.
  B. (n.)      |  Codenham (cell of Keyston)              |Suffolk.
  C.           |† Coggeshall, abb.                        |Essex.
  A.P.         |  Coggs (cell to Fecamp, Norm.)           |Oxford.
  C. (n.)      |  Cokehill                                |Worcester.
  +            |  Cokerham                                |Lancaster.
  P.           |† Cokersande, abb.                        |Lancaster.
  A.           |† Cokesford, pr.                          |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Cokesford                               |Norfolk.
               |  Coket (_see_ Albans, St.).              |
  B.           |† Colchester, St. John’s, abb.            |Essex.
  B.           |    cell:--Barrow                         |Essex.
  A.           |* Colchester, St. Botulph’s, pr.          |Essex.
  Cru.         |  Colchester                              |Essex.
  Franc.       |  Colchester                              |Essex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Colchester, St. Mary Magdalen’s         |Essex.
  B.           |† Colne Earls, pr. (cell of Abingdon)     |Essex.
  C.           |† Combe, abb.                             |Warwick.
  Hosp.        |  Combe (Temple)                          |Somerset.
  C.           |† Combermere, abb.                        |Radnor.
  +            |  Congar’s Mon.                           |Glamorgan.
  A.           |  Conishead, pr.                          |Lancaster.
  +            |  Constantine                             |Cornwall.
  H.           |  Cookham                                 |Surrey.
  A. (n.)      |  Cornworthy                              |Devon.
  A.P.         |  Corsham (cell to Caen)                  |Wilts.
  H. (lep.)    |  Cotes, near Rockingham                  |Northants.
  +            |  Cottingham (transl. to Haltemprice)     |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Covenham (cell to Karilefus in diocese  |
               |    of Mains, afterwards to Kirksted)     |Lincoln.
  B.           |† Coventry, Cath., pr.                    |Warwick.
  Carth.       |* Coventry, St. Anne’s, near              |Warwick.
  Franc.       |† Coventry                                |Warwick.
  Carm.        |† Coventry                                |Warwick.
  H.           |* Coventry, Bablake                       |Warwick.
               |            Grey Friars’.                 |
               |            Sponnes.                      |
               |            St. John Baptist’s.           |
  P.           |* Coverham, abb.                          |Yorks.
               |  Cowick (_see_ Tavistock).               |
  A.P.         |  Cowicke, or Cuich, near Exeter          |
               |    (cell to Bec)                         |Devon.
  Hosp.        |  Cowley (Temple), or Sandford            |Oxford.
  A. (n.)      |  Crabhouse                               |Norfolk.
               |  Cranborne (_see_ Tewkesbury).           |
  +            |  Crawley                                 |Bucks.
  +            |  Crayke                                  |Yorks.
  H.           |  Crediton                                |Devon.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Cressing (Temple)                       |Essex.
  A.P.         |  Cresswell, or Careswell (cell to        |
               |    Grandmont, Norm.)                     |Hereford.
  A.           |* Creyk, abb.                             |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Creting, St. Olave (a cell to Grestein) |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Creting, St. Mary (a cell to Bernay)    |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Cricklade                               |Wilts.
  H.           |  Crowmersh                               |Oxford.
  C.           |* Croxden, abb.                           |Stafford.
  P.           |† Croxton, abb.                           |Leicester.
  P.           |           cell:--Hornby                  |Lancaster.
  H.           |  Croydon                                 |Surrey.
  B.           |* Croyland, or Crowland, abb.             |Lincoln.
  B.           |            cell:--Freston                |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Cumbermere (cell to Savigny)            |Cheshire.
  A.           |  Cumbwell, pr.                           |Kent.
  A.           |  Custhorpe (cell to Westacre)            |Norfolk.
  C.           |* Cwmhyre, abb.                           |Radnor.
               |  Cyrus, St. (_see_ Montacute).           |
               |                                          |
  +            |  Daeglesford, or Deilesford              |Gloucester.
  +            |  Dacor                                   |Cumberland.
  Hosp.        |  Dalby                                   |Leicester.
  P.           |* Dale, or Stanley Park, abb.             |Derby.
  A.           |† Darley, abb.                            |Derby.
  Dom. (n.)    |† Dartford                                |Kent.
  H.           |  Dartford, Trinity H.                    |Kent.
  H. (lep.)    |  Dartford, St. Mary Magdalen’s.|         |
  +            |  Dartmouth                               |Devon.
  Cl.          |† Daventry, pr.                           |Northants.
  B. (n.)      |* Davington                               |Kent.
               |  Deerhurst (_see_ Tewkesbury).           |
  B. (n.)      |  De la Pré, or de Pratis                 |Herts.
  Carm.        |† Denbigh                                 |Denbigh.
  Fran. (n.)   |* Denney                                  |Cambridge.
  H.           |  Denwall                                 |Cheshire.
  A.           |  Denys, St., Southampton                 |Hants.
               |  Deping (_see_ Thorney)                  |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Derby (_see_ Darley)                    |Derby.
  B. (n.)      |  Derby, King’s Mead                      |Derby.
               |  Derby, St. James’ (_see_ Bermondsey).   |Derby.
  Dom.         |  Derby                                   |Derby.
  H. (lep.)    |  Derby, Maison Dieu                      |Derby.
  H. (lep.)    |  Derby, St. Leonard’s                    |Derby.
  B.           |  Derent (cell to Rochester)              |Kent.
  +            |  Dereham, East                           |Norfolk.
  P.           |* Dereham, West                           |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Devizes                                 |Wilts.
  C.           |† Dieulacres, abb.                        |Stafford.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Dimsley (Temple)                        |Herts.
  Hosp.        |† Dingley                                 |Northants.
  Hosp.        |  Dinmore                                 |Hereford.
  A.P.         |  Docking (cell to Ivry, Norm.)           |Norfolk.
  +            |  Dodeling, or Dodelinch                  |Somerset.
  P.           |  Dodford (_see_ Halesowen)               |Worcester.
  A.           |  Dodnash, pr.                            |Suffolk.
  B.           |  Dogmael’s, St., abb.                    |Pembroke.
               |    cell:--Caldey.                        |
  Franc.       |  Doncaster                               |Yorks, W. R.
  Carm.        |  Doncaster                               |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Doncaster, St. James’                   |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Doncaster, St. Nicholas’                |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Donington                               |Leicester.
  M.           |  Donnington, near Newbury                |Berks.
  H.           |  Donnington, near Newbury                |Berks.
  A.           |* Dorchester, abb.                        |Oxford.
  Franc.       |  Dorchester                              |Dorset.
  H.           |  Dorchester, St. John Baptist’s          |Dorset.
  C.           |* Dore                                    |Hereford.
  C.(n.)       |  Douglas                                 |Isle of Man.
               |* Dover, St. Martin’s (_see_ Canterbury,  |
               |    Christ Church)                        |Kent.
  H.           |  Dover, St. Mary’s                       |Kent.
  H.(lep.)     |  Dover, St. Bartholomew’s                |Kent.
  A.           |  Drax, pr.                               |Yorks.
  A.(fs.)      |  Droitwich                               |Worcester.
  H.           |  Droitwich                               |Worcester.
               |* Dudley (_see_ Wenlock)                  |Stafford.
  C.           |† Dunkeswell, abb.                        |Devon.
  A.           |† Dunmow, pr.                             |Essex.
  C.           |  Dunscroft, in Hatfield (cell to         |
               |    Rievaulx)                             |Yorks.
  +            |  Dunscrofte                              |Yorks.
  A.           |* Dunstable, pr.                          |Beds.
  Dom.         |  Dunstable                               |Beds.
  H.           |  Dunstane, or Mere                       |Lincoln.
               |† Dunster (_see_ Bath)                    |Somerset.
  B.           |  Dunwich (cell to Eye)                   |Suffolk.
  Dom.         |† Dunwich                                 |Suffolk.
  Franc.       |  Dunwich                                 |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Dunwich, Maison Dieu                    |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |         † St. James’.                    |
  Hosp.        |  Dunwich                                 |Suffolk.
  P.           |† Dureford, abb.                          |Sussex.
  B.           |* Durham Cath., pr. Durham.               |
  B.           |    cells:--† Farne Island                |Northumberland.
  B.           |            * Finchale                    |Durham.
  B.           |            * Jarrow                      |Durham.
  B.           |            * Lindisfarne                 |Northumberland.
  B.           |              Lytham                      |Lancaster.
  B.           |              Oxford, Durham Coll.        |Oxford.
  B.           |            † Stamford, St. Leonard’s     |Lincoln.
  B.           |            * Monk Wearmouth              |Durham.
               |                                          |
               |  Eagle, or Ocle (_see_ Egle).            |
  P.           |* Easby (_see_ St. Agatha’s).             |
  B. (n.)      |* Easeburn                                |Sussex.
               |  East Dereham (_see_ Dereham).           |
  +            |  Eastry                                  |Kent.
  H.           |  Eaton                                   |Beds.
  +            |  Ebbchester                              |Durham.
  A.P.         |  Ecclesfield (cell to Fontanelle)        |Yorks, N. R.
  H.           |* Edingdon (Bonshommes)                   |Wilts.
  A.P.         |  Edith Weston (cell to Bocherville)      |Rutland.
  B.           |  Edwardstow (cell to Abingdon)           |Suffolk.
  Hosp.        |† Egle, or Eycle                          |Lincoln.
  P.           |* Egleston, abb.                          |Yorks.
  +            |  Elfleet, or Elflit, Southminster        |Kent.
  +            |  Ellenfordinmer                          |Wilts, or Berks.
  G.           |† Ellerton                                |Yorks.
  H.           |  Elleshaugh                              |Northumberland.
  A.P.         |  Ellingham (cell to Le Vicomte, in       |
               |    diocese of Coutances)                 |Hants.
  +            |  Elmet, or Leeds                         |Yorks.
  +            |  Elmham, North                           |Norfolk.
  C. (n.)      |† Elreton                                 |Yorks.
  B. (n.)      |† Elstow                                  |Beds.
  B.           |* Ely Cath., pr.                          |Cambridge.
  B.           |    cell:--Holycourt                      |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Ely, St. John’s                         |Cambridge.
               |       St. Mary Magdalen’s.               |
  +            |  Emmsay, or Emmesey                      |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Endeston, or Eynestawe (cell to         |
               |    St. Server, Norm.)                    |Somerset.
  Carth.       |  Epworth, or Axholme                     |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Erdbury, pr., or Ardbury                |Warwick.
  C (n.)       |  Esholt                                  |Yorks.
               |  Eskdale (_see_ Grosmont).               |
  M.           |  Eston, or Burback, or Marlborough       |Wilts.
  A.P.         |  Everdon (cell to Bernay, Norm.)         |Northants.
  B.           |* Evesham, abb.                           |Worcester.
  B.           |    cells:--Alcester                      |Warwick.
  B.           |            Penwortham                    |Lancaster.
  H.           |* Ewelme                                  |Oxford.
  B.           |* Ewenny, pr.                             |Glamorgan.
  B.           |  Exeter, St. Nicholas, pr.               |Devon.
  Dom.         |  Exeter                                  |Devon.
  Franc.       |  Exeter                                  |Devon.
  H.           |  Exeter, Bonvile’s                       |Devon.
               |          God’s House.                    |
               |          St. Mary Magdalen’s.            |
               |          St. John’s.                     |
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Eycle (_see_ Egle)                      |Lincoln.
  B.           |† Eye, pr.                                |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Eye                                     |Suffolk.
  B.           |  Eynesham, abb.                          |Oxford.
               |                                          |
  B. (n.)      |† Fairwell                                |Stafford.
               |  Faith, St. (_see_ Horsham).             |
               |  Farendon (_see_ Beaulieu).              |
  Cl.          |  Farleigh, or Farley                     |Wilts.
               |  Farne Island (_see_ Durham)             |Northumberland.
  B.           |† Faversham, abb.                         |Kent.
               |  Felixstow (_see_ Rochester)             |Suffolk.
  A.           |† Felley, pr.                             |Notts.
  A.           |  Ferreby (North), pr. (_ante_ Temp)      |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Field Dalling (cell to Savigny, Norm.)  |Norfolk.
               |* Finchale (_see_ Durham)                 |Durham.
  A.           |† Finneshed                               |Northants.
  A.           |  Fiscarton (cell to Thurgarton)          |Notts.
  Dom.         |  Fisherton (_see_ Salisbury)             |Wilts.
  +            |  Fladbury                                |Worcester.
  B. (n.)      |  Flamstead                               |Herts.
  A.           |  Flanesford                              |Hereford.
  C.           |* Flaxley, abb.                           |Gloucester.
  A.           |† Flitcham, pr.                           |Norfolk.
  A. (n.)      |  Flixton, South Elmham                   |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Flixton, or Carman’s Spital             |Yorks, E. R.
  A. (n.)      |  Folkestone (cell to Lonley)             |Kent.
  C.           |* Ford, abb.                              |Devon.
  G.           |† Fordham                                 |Cambridge.
  H.           |  Fordingbridge                           |Hants.
  C.           |  Fors de Caritate, Wensleydale           |
               |    (translated to Jervaulx)              |Yorks.
  B. (n.)      |  Fosse                                   |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Foulsnape                               |Yorks, W. R.
  C.           |* Fountains, abb.                         |Yorks.
  H.           |  Fountains                               |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Frampton (cell to St. Stephen’s, Caen)  |Dorset.
               |  Freston (_see_ Croyland)                |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Friermagna (_see_ Mayne)                |Dorset.
  A.           |† Frithelstoke, pr.                       |Devon.
  +            |  Frome                                   |Somerset.
  +            |  Fruelege                                |Hereford.
  C.           |* Furness, abb.                           |Lancaster.
  H.           |  Fyfield                                 |Berks.
               |                                          |
  +            |  Galmanho, near York                     |Yorks.
  +            |  Gare                                    |Northumberland.
  C.           |† Garendon, abb.                          |Leicester.
  +            |  Gateshead                               |Durham.
  H.           |  Gateshead, St. Edmund’s                 |Durham.
               |             Trinity H.                   |
  A.           |* Germans, St., pr.                       |Cornwall.
  H.           |  Gild Martyn                             |Cornwall.
  + (n.)       |  Gilling                                 |York.
  A.           |* Gisburn, pr.                            |York.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Gislingham                              |Suffolk.
  B.           |* Glastonbury, abb.                       |Somerset.
               |    cells:--Green Ore on Mendip           |
  B.           |            Basselech, or Basil           |Monmouth.
  H.           |* Glastonbury                             |Somerset.
  H.           |  Glenford Brigg                          |Lincoln.
  A.           |† Gloucester, St. Oswald’s                |Gloucester.
  B.           |* Gloucester, St. Peter’s abb.            |Gloucester.
  B.           |    cells:--* Bromfield                   |Salop.
               |            * Ewenny                      |Glamorgan.
  B.           |              Hereford, St. Guthlac’s     |Hereford.
  B.           |            * Stanley, St. Leonard’s      |Gloucester.
  Dom.         |* Gloucester                              |Gloucester.
  Franc.       |* Gloucester                              |Gloucester.
  Carm.        |* Gloucester                              |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Gloucester, St. Bartholomew’s           |Gloucester.
               |              St. Mary Magdalen’s.        |
  H.           |              St. James’.                 |
  H. (lep.)    |              St. Margaret’s.             |
  Hosp.        |  Godesfield                              |Hants.
  B. (n.)      |† Godstow                                 |Oxford.
  A.P.         |  Goldcliff (cell to Bec)                 |Monmouth.
  A. (n.)      |† Goring                                  |Oxford.
  A. (fs.)     |  Gorleston                               |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Gorleston                               |Suffolk.
  Hosp.        |  Gosford (Kidlington)                    |Oxford.
  C. (n.)      |  Goykwell, or Gowkeswell                 |Lincoln.
  A. (n.)      |† Grace Dieu, Belton                      |Leicester.
  C.           |  Grace Dieu, abb.                        |Monmouth.
  A.           |  Grafton Regis (Hermitage)               |Northants.
  Franc.       |  Grantham                                |Lincoln.
  Temp.        |  Grantham                                |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Great Hobbesse, or Hautbois             |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Greatham                                |Durham.
  Cru.         |  Great Waltham                           |Essex.
  C. (n.)      |  Greenfield                              |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Greenham                                |Berks.
  +            |  Greenore, on Mendip                     |Somerset.
  Franc.       |  Greenwich                               |Kent.
  A.           |† Gresley, pr.                            |Derby.
  B. (n.)      |  Grimsby                                 |Lincoln.
  Franc.       |  Grimsby                                 |Lincoln.
  A. (fs.)     |  Grimsby                                 |Lincoln.
  B.           |† Grosmont, pr. (originally A.P.,         |
               |    cell to Grandmont, Norm.)             |Yorks, N. R.
  A.P.         |  Grovebury, or De la Grove, in parish of |
               |    Leighton (cell to Fontevrault)        |Beds.
  Dom.         |  Guildford (_see_ Langley)               |Surrey.
  Cru.         |  Guildford                               |Surrey.
  +            |  Guignes, or Gyones                      |Northumberland.
               |                                          |
  + (n.)       |  Hackness (cell to Whitby)               |Yorks.
  +            |  Hadleigh                                |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Hagham, or Hayham (cell to St.          |
               |    Sever, Coutances)                     |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Haghe, or Howghe on the Mount (cell of  |
               |    St. Maria de Voto, Cherbourg)         |Lincoln.
  A.           |* Haghmond, abb.                          |Salop.
  P.           |  Hagneby, abb.                           |Lincoln.
  P.           |* Hales Owen, abb.                        |Worcester.
  P.           |    cell:--Dodford                        |Worcester.
  B. (n.)      |  Haliwell, or Holywell, London           |Middlesex.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Halston                                 |Salop.
  A.           |  Haltemprice, pr.                        |Yorks.
  A.           |  Halywell on Watling St. (cell of        |
               |    Roucester)                            |Worcester.
  A.P.         |† Hamble (C), (cell to Tyronne, France)   |Hants.
  +            |  Hambury                                 |Worcester.
  + (n.)       |  Hamme                                   |Berks.
  C. (n.)      |  Hampole                                 |Yorks.
  Hosp.        |  Hampton                                 |Middlesex.
  +            |  Handbury                                |Stafford.
  B. (n.)      |  Handale                                 |Yorks.
  +            |  Hanslope, or Gare                       |Bucks.
  H. (lep.)    |* Harbledown                              |Kent.
  A.           |* Hardham, pr.                            |Sussex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Hardwick                                |Norfolk.
  A.           |† Hartland, abb.                          |Devon.
  Franc.       |  Hartlepool                              |Durham.
  + (n.)       |  Hartlepool                              |Durham.
  A.P.         |  Harmondsworth (cell to Rouen)           |Middlesex.
  A. (n.)      |  Harwood                                 |Beds.
  A.           |  Haselburg                               |Somerset.
  C.           |  Haselden in Rodmarton (removed          |
               |    to Kingswood)                         |Gloucester.
  A.           |† Hastings, pr.                           |Sussex.
  B.           |† Hatfield Regis, Broadoak, pr.           |Essex.
  B.           |† Hatfield Peverel (_see_ Albans, St.)    |
  A.           |† Haverfordwest, pr.                      |Pembroke.
  Dom.         |  Haverfordwest                           |Pembroke.
  G.           |† Haverholme                              |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Hawstone                                |Salop.
  C.           |* Hayles, abb.                            |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Hayling (cell to Jumièges, Norm.)       |Hants.
  Cl.          |  Heacham, or Hitcham (cell of Lewes)     |Norfolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Hedingham Castle                        |Essex.
  H. (lep).    |  Hedon, or Newton, St. Sepulchre’s       |Yorks, E. R.
  A.           |  Helagh Park, pr.                        |Yorks.
  Cl.          |  Helen’s, St.                            |Isle of Wight.
  H.           |  Helston                                 |Cornwall.
  A.           |  Hempton, pr.                            |Norfolk.
  H.           |† Henley                                  |Warwick.
               |  Henton (_see_ Hinton).                  |
  B. (n.)      |  Henwood                                 |Warwick.
               |  Hepp (_see_ Shap).                      |
  +            |  Hereford                                |Hereford.
  Dom.         |† Hereford                                |Hereford.
  Franc.       |  Hereford                                |Hereford.
  H.           |  Hereford, St. Anthony’s                 |Hereford.
               |            St. Ethelbert’s.              |
               |            St. Giles’.                   |
               |            St. Giles’ (lep.).            |
               |            St. John’s.                   |
               |            St. Thomas’.                  |
  H.           |  Heringby                                |Norfolk.
  A.           |  Heringfleet, pr.                        |Suffolk.
  A.           |† Heringham, pr.                          |Sussex.
               |  Hertford (_see_ Alban’s, St.).          |
  H. (lep.)    |  Herting                                 |Sussex.
               |  Hertland (_see_ Hartland).              |
               |  Hether (_see_ Hither).                  |
  Carth.       |  Hethorp, Locus Dei (removed to Hinton)  |Gloucester.
  C. (n.)      |† Hevening, or Heyninges                  |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Heveringland (cell to Wymondham)        |Norfolk.
  A.           |* Hexham, pr.                             |Northumberland.
  A.           |    cell:--Ovingham                       |Northumberland.
  H. (lep.)    |  Hexham, St. Giles’                      |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Hexham, The Spittle                     |Northumberland.
               |  Heyninges (_see_ Hevening).             |
  H.           |  Heytesbury                              |Wilts.
  A.           |† Hickling, pr.                           |Norfolk.
  H.           |† Higham Ferrers                          |Northants.
  +            |  Hilbre Island, near Birkenhead,         |
               |    or Hilbury                            |Cheshire.
  B. (n.)      |  Hinchinbrook                            |Hunts.
  A.P.         |  Hinckley (cell of Leyr)                 |Leicester.
  Carth.       |* Hinton (Locus Dei)                      |Somerset.
  G.           |  Hitchin, or Newbigging                  |Herts.
  Carm.        |† Hitchin                                 |Herts.
  +            |  Hithe                                   |Kent.
  H. (lep.)    |  Hithe                                   |Kent.
  H.           |  Hithe, St. Andrew’s.                    |
  Hosp.        |  Hither, or Hether                       |Leicester.
  H.           |  Hockliffe, or Hoccliffe                 |Beds.
  H. (lep.)    |  Hoddesdon                               |Herts.
  Hosp.        |  Hogshaw                                 |Bucks.
  H.           |  Holbeche                                |Lincoln.
  B.           |  Holland, pr.                            |Lancaster.
  G.           |  Holland Brigge                          |Lincoln.
  C.           |* Holm Cultram, abb.                      |Cumberland.
               |  Holme (_see_ Montacute).                |
  +            |  Holmes, near Portbury                   |Somerset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Honiton                                 |Devon.
  A.P.         |  Hooe (cell to Bec)                      |Sussex.
  C.           |  Horewell (cell to Stonelegh)            |Warwick.
  Cl.          |  Horkesley Parva, pr.                    |Essex.
               |  Hornby (_see_ Croxton).                 |
  A.H.         |  Hornchurch, or Havering (cell to        |
               |    M. de Monte Jovis, Savoy)             |Essex.
  H.           |† Horning                                 |Norfolk.
  +            |  Horningsea                              |Cambridge.
  B.           |† Horsham, St. Faith, pr.                 |Norfolk.
  + B. (n.)    |  Horsley                                 |Surrey.
  A.P.         |  Horsley, or Horkesley (cell to          |
               |    Troarn, Norm.)                        |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Horsted (cell to nuns of Caen)          |Norfolk.
               |  Horton (_see_ Sherborne).|              |
  Cl.          |  Horton, Monks (cell to Lewes)           |
               |    (_see_ Monks Horton)                  |Kent.
  M.           |  Hounslow                                |Middlesex.
               |  Hoxne (_see_ Norwich Cath., pr.).       |
  Carth.       |  Hull (Kingston-on-)                     |Yorks, E. R.
  Dom.         |  Hull                                    |Yorks, E. R.
  Carm.        |  Hull                                    |Yorks, E. R.
  A. (fs.)     |  Hull                                    |Yorks, E. R.
  H.           |  Hull, God’s House                       |Yorks.
               |        Griggs.                           |
               |        Mariner’s.                        |
               |        Pole’s.                           |
               |        Selby’s.                          |
               |  Hulme (_see_ Benet’s, St., of).         |
  Carm.        |* Hulne (Alnwick)                         |Northumberland.
  C.           |† Hulton, abb.                            |Stafford.
  B.           |  Humberston, or Hunston, abb.            |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Hungerford                              |Berks.
               |  Hunston (_see_ Humberston).             |
  A.           |  Huntingdon, pr.                         |Huntingdon.
  A. (fs.)     |  Huntingdon                              |Huntingdon.
  H. (lep.)    |  Huntingdon, St. Margaret’s              |Huntingdon.
  H.           |  Huntingdon, St. John Baptist’s          |Huntingdon.
               |  Hurley (_see_ Westminster).             |
  B.           |† Hyde, or Newminster, Winchester, abb.   |Hants.
               |  Hyrst in Axholme (_see_ Nostell).       |
               |                                          |
  +            |  Icanhoc                                 |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Ickham                                  |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |  Icklington                              |Cambridge.
  B.           |  Ilbre Island (cell to Chester)          |Cheshire.
  Dom.         |  Ilchester                               |Somerset.
  H.           |  Ilchester                               |Somerset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Ilford                                  |Essex.
  +            |  Indio                                   |Devon.
  A.P.         |  Ipplepen (cell to Fulgers, Brit.)       |Devon.
  A.           |† Ipswich, Holy Trinity, pr.              |Suffolk.
  A.           |† Ipswich, St. Peter’s, pr.               |Suffolk.
  Dom.         |† Ipswich                                 |Suffolk.
  Franc.       |† Ipswich                                 |Suffolk.
  Carm.        |† Ipswich                                 |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Ipswich, St. Mary Magdalen’s            |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Ipswich, St. James’                     |Suffolk.
  P. (n.)      |  Irford                                  |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |† Isleham (cell to abb. of St. Jacutus,   |
               |    near Dol, Brit.)                      |Cambridge.
  +            |  Ithancaester                            |Essex.
               |  Ives, St. (_see_ Ramsey).               |
  B. (n.)      |  Ivinghoe                                |Bucks.
  A.           |  Ivychurch, pr.                          |Wilts.
  A.           |  Ixworth, pr.                            |Suffolk.
               |                                          |
               |† Jarrow (_see_ Durham).                  |
  +            |  Jerring                                 |Sussex.
  C.           |* Jervaulx, or Jorvaulx, abb.             |Yorks.
  H.           |  Jesmont                                 |Northumberland.
               |                                          |
  C. (n.)      |  Keldholme, Kirkby Moorside              |Yorks.
  +            |  Kempsey                                 |Worcester.
  A.           |† Kenilworth, abb.                        |Warwick.
               |    cell:--Brooke                         |Rutland.
  B.           |  Kersey                                  |Suffolk.
               |  Kershall (_see_ Lenton).                |
  A.           |† Keynsham, abb.                          |Somerset.
  +            |  Kidderminster, or Sture.                |Worcester.
               |  Kidwelly (_see_ Sherborne).             |
  B. (n.)      |  Kilburn                                 |Middlesex.
  Cru.         |  Kildale                                 |Yorks, N. R.
  H.           |  Killingwoldgrove                        |Yorks, E. R.
  B.           |† Kilpeck (cell to Gloucester)            |Hereford.
  B. (n.)      |* Kington                                 |Wilts.
  Dom.         |* King’s Langley                          |Herts.
               |  Kingsthorpe (_see_ Northampton,         |
               |    St. David’s).                         |
  H.           |  Kingston                                |Surrey.
  C.           |† Kingswood, abb.                         |Wilts.
  H. (lep.)    |  Kirby in Kendale                        |Westmoreland.
  A.           |  Kirby Beller, pr.                       |Leicester.
  A.P.         |  Kirkby Monks                            |Warwick.
  A.           |* Kirkham, pr.                            |Yorks.
  C. (n.)      |† Kirkles                                 |Yorks.
  C.           |* Kirkstall, abb.                         |Yorks.
  C.           |† Kirksted, abb.                          |Lincoln.
  M.           |† Knaresborough                           |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Knightsbridge                           |Middlesex.
  B.           |  Kydwelly, Cadwell (cell to Sherborne)   |Carmarthen.
  A.           |  Kyme, pr.                               |Middlesex.
               |† Kyme, South, pr.                        |Lincoln.
  C.           |† Kymmer, abb.                            |Merioneth.
  B. (?)       |  Kynemark, St.                           |Monmouth.
               |                                          |
  A. (n.)      |* Lacock, abb.                            |Wilts.
  A.           |  Lacton, pr.                             |Essex.
  B. (n.)      |  Lambley-on-Tyne                         |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Lambourn                                |Berks.
  B.           |  Lammona (cell to Glastonbury)           |Cornwall.
  Dom.         |  Lancaster                               |Lancaster.
  Franc.       |  Lancaster                               |Lancaster.
  A.P.         |  Lancaster (cell to St. Martin of Séez)  |Lancaster.
  H.           |  Lancaster                               |Lancaster.
  A.           |* Lanercost, pr.                          |Cumberland.
  P.           |* Langdon, abb.                           |Kent.
  H. (lep.)    |  Langeport                               |Somerset.
  B. (n.)      |  Langley                                 |Leicester.
  P.           |† Langley, abb.                           |Norfolk.
  Dom.         |* Langley, King’s (_see_ King’s Langley)  |Herts.
  Dom.         |  Langley (_see_ Guildford)               |Surrey.
  H.           |  Langriph                                |Lancaster.
  +            |  Langton Maltravers (_see_               |
               |    Wicheswood)                           |Dorset.
  H.           |  Langwade                                |Norfolk.
  A.           |† Lantony, New, pr.                       |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Laple, or Lappele (cell to St.          |
               |    Remigius, Rheims)                     |Stafford.
  B.           |* Lastingham (cell to Whitby)             |Yorks.
  A.           |  Latton                                  |Essex.
  A.           |† Launceston, pr.                         |Cornwall.
  +            |  Launceston                              |Cornwall.
  H. (lep.)    |  Launceston                              |Cornwall.
  A.           |  Launde, or Landa, abb.                  |Leicester.
  P.           |  Lavenden, abb.                          |Bucks.
  A.P.         |  Lavenestre (cell of B. nuns for         |
               |    Almanesche, Norm.)                    |Sussex.
  H.           |  Lawardyn                                |Pembroke.
  A.P.         |  Leasingham (cell of Bec)                |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Lechlade                                |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Ledbury                                 |Hereford.
  A.           |  Leedes, pr.                             |Kent.
  +            |  Leeds (_see_ Elmet)                     |Yorks.
  A.           |† Lees, or Leighs                         |Essex.
  A.           |  Lees, St. Michael (cell of Roucester)   |Stafford.
  C. (n.)      |† Legbourne                               |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Leicester, St. Mary de Pré, abb.        |Leicester.
  Dom.         |  Leicester                               |Leicester.
  Franc.       |  Leicester                               |Leicester.
  A. (fs.)     |  Leicester                               |Leicester.
  S.           |  Leicester                               |Leicester.
  H.           |  Leicester, St. John’s                   |Leicester.
  H.           |  Leicester, St. Ursula’s                 |Leicester.
  H. (lep.)    |  Leicester, St. Leonard’s                |Leicester.
  P.           |* Leiston, abb.                           |Suffolk.
  Cl.          |† Lenton, pr.                             |Notts.
  Cl.          |    cell:--Kershall                       |Lancaster.
  Carm.        |  Lenton                                  |Notts.
  H.           |  Lenton, St. Antony’s                    |Notts.
               |* Leominster (_see_ Reading)              |
  B. (n.)      |  Leominster, or Nonne-minster            |Sussex.
  A.           |† Lesnes, abb.                            |Kent.
  A.P.         |  Lessingham (cell to Okeburn)            |Norfolk.
  A.           |  Letheringham, pr.                       |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Leverington                             |Cambridge.
  Cl.          |* Lewes, pr.                              |Sussex.
  Cl.          |    cell:--Stanesgate                     |Essex.
  Franc.       |  Lewes                                   |Sussex.
  H.           |  Lewes, St. James’                       |Sussex.
  H.           |         St. Nicholas’                    |Sussex.
  A.P.         |  Lewesham (cell to St. Peter’s, Ghent)   |Kent.
  Franc.       |† Lichfield                               |Stafford.
  H.           |  Lichfield, St. John’s                   |Stafford.
               |             Bacon Street H.              |
               |             Poor Woman’s H.              |
  B. (n.)      |† Lillechurch, Higham                     |Kent.
  A.           |* Lilleshall, abb.                        |Salop.
  A.P.         |  Limber Magna (cell to Aulnay,           |
               |    or Aveney, Norm)                      |Lincoln.
  G.           |  Lincoln, St. Catherine’s                |Lincoln.
               |† Lincoln, St. Magdalen’s (_see_ York,    |
               |    St. Mary’s).                          |
  Dom.         |  Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  Franc.       |† Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  Carm.        |  Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  A. (fs.)     |  Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  S.           |  Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  +            |  Lincoln                                 |Lincoln.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lincoln, Holy Innocents’                |Lincoln.
  H.           |† Lincoln, St. Giles’                     |Lincoln.
  H.           |† Lincoln, St. Mary’s                     |Lincoln.
  H.G.         |  Lincoln, Holy Sepulchre                 |Lincoln.
               |* Lindisfarne (_see_ Durham).             |
  B. (n.)      |  Ling                                    |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Linton (cell to Jacutus, St., Dol,      |
               |    Brit.)                                |Cambridge.
  H. (lep.)    |  Liskard, or Minhelled                   |Cornwall.
  B.(n.)       |  Littlemore                              |Oxford.
  C. (n.).     |  Llanclere                               |Glamorgan.
  A.P.         |  Llangennith (cell to Evreux, Norm.)     |Glamorgan.
  A.P.         |  Llangkywan, near Gresmond               |
               |    (cell to abb. of Leyr, Norm.)         |Monmouth.
  C. (n.)      |  Llanleir                                |Cardigan.
  C. (n.)      |  Llanlurgan                              |Montgomery.
  C.           |† Llantarnam, or Caerleon, abb.           |Monmouth.
  A.           |* Llantony, Old, pr.                      |Monmouth.
  Franc.       |† Llanvaise, near Beaumaris               |Anglesea.
  A.P.         |  Lodres (cell to Montisburg, Norm.)      |Dorset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Locko[9]                                |Derby.
  A.           |* London, St. Bartholomew’s, pr.          |Middlesex.
  A.           |  London, Holy Trinity, Aldgate, pr.      |Middlesex.
  C.           |  London, St. Mary Graces, abb.           |Middlesex.
  B. (n.)      |* London, St. Helen’s                     |Middlesex.
  Fran. (n.)   |  London,[10] the Minories                |Middlesex.
  Hosp.        |* London, Clerkenwell                     |Middlesex.
  Carth.       |* London                                  |Middlesex.
  Dom.         |  London                                  |Middlesex.
  Franc.       |  London                                  |Middlesex.
  Carm.        |† London                                  |Middlesex.
  A. (fs.)     |† London                                  |Middlesex.
  Fran. (n.)   |  London                                  |Middlesex.
  Cru.         |  London                                  |Middlesex.
  S.           |  London                                  |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, St. Mary’s, Spital, or New      |
               |    H. of our Lady, Bishopsgate           |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, Elsing Spital, near Cripplegate |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, Charing Cross                   |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, Denton’s, near the Tower        |Middlesex.
  H.           |† London, Domus Conversorum               |
               |    (now Chapel of the Rolls)             |Middlesex.
  H. (lep.)    |  London, St. Giles’                      |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, St. Giles’, without Cripplegate |Middlesex.
  H. (lep.)    |  London, Highgate                        |Middlesex.
  H.B. (fs.)   |  London, St. Mary Bethlehem              |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, St. Katherine’s, near the Tower |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, The Papey                       |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, St. Paul’s                      |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, Syon, or Brentford              |Middlesex.
  H.           |† London, St. Thomas of Acres             |Middlesex.
  H.           |  London, Whitington                      |Middlesex.
  A.P.         |  Long Bennington (cell to Savigny, Norm.)|Lincoln.
  H. (lep.)    |  Long Blandford                          |Dorset.
  A.           |  Longleat                                |Wilts.
  H.           |  Long Stow                               |Cambridge.
  H.           |  Lorwing                                 |Gloucester.
  Carm.        |  Losenham, in Newenden                   |Kent.
  Hosp.        |  Louth, or Maltby                        |Lincoln.
  C.           |* Louth Park, abb.                        |Lincoln.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lowcrosse                               |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Ludgarswell                             |Bucks.
  Carm.        |  Ludlow                                  |Salop.
  H.           |  Ludlow, St. John Baptist’s              |Salop.
  B.           |† Luffield (cell of Westminster)          |Northants.
  H.           |  Lutterworth                             |Leicester.
  A. (n.)      |  Lymbrook                                |Hereford.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lyme (?)                                |Dorset.
  B.           |  Lyminge                                 |Kent.
  B.           |  Lynge                                   |Norfolk.
               |  Lynn (_see_ Norwich Cath., pr.)         |
  Dom.         |† Lynn                                    |Norfolk.
  Franc.       |† Lynn                                    |Norfolk.
  Carm.        |* Lynn                                    |Norfolk.
  A. (fs.)     |† Lynn                                    |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Lynn, St. John’s                        |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Lynn, St. Mary Magdalen’s               |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lynn, West Lynn                         |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lynn, Cowgate                           |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lynn, Setchhithe                        |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Lynn, Mawdely                           |Norfolk.
               |  Lytham (_see_ Durham Cath., pr.).       |
               |                                          |
  +            |  Magnusfield, or Mangotsfield            |Gloucester.
  A.           |  Maiden Bradley, pr.                     |Wilts.
  Franc.       |  Maidstone                               |Kent.
  G.           |  Maimond, or Marmund                     |Cambridge.
  Carm.        |  Maldon                                  |Essex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Maldon, Little                          |Essex.
  B. (n.)      |* Malling, abb.                           |Kent.
  B.           |* Malmesbury, abb.                        |Wilts.
  B.           |    cell:--Pilton                         |Devon.
               |  Malpas (_see_ Montacute).               |
  A.           |  Malsingham (cell to Westacre)           |Yorks.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Maltby, or Louth (_see_ Temple Maltby)  |Lincoln.
  G.           |* Malton, Old                             |Yorks.
  B.           |* Malvern, Great, pr.                     |Worcester.
               |    † cell:--Avecote                      |Warwick.
               |* Malvern, Little (_see_ Worcester        |
               |    Cath., pr.).                          |
  +            |  Mangotsfield (_see_ Magnusfield)        |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Manton (cell to Cluny)                  |Rutland.
  H.           |  Manton                                  |Rutland.
  Hosp.        |* Maplestead                              |Essex.
  C.           |* Margam, abb.                            |Glamorgan.
  C. (n.)      |† Marham                                  |Norfolk.
  A.           |† Markby, pr.                             |Lincoln.
  G.           |† Marlborough                             |Wilts.
  Carm.        |  Marlborough                             |Wilts.
  H.           |  Marlborough, St. John’s                 |Wilts.
  H.           |  Marlborough, St. Thomas of Canterbury   |Wilts.
  B. (n.)      |† Marlow, Little, Mynchen                 |Bucks.
  G.           |  Marmond                                 |Cambridge.
  B. (n.)      |† Marrick                                 |Yorks.
               |  Marsh, St. Mary de (_see_ Plympton).    |
  B.           |  Marsh (cell to York)                    |Nottingham.
  +            |  Marshfield                              |Gloucester.
  A.           |  Marton, pr.                             |Yorks.
               |  Massingham (_see_ Westacre).            |
  G.           |† Mattersey                               |Notts.
  A.           |* Maxstoke, pr.                           |Warwick.
  Hosp.        |  Mayne, or Friar Magna                   |Dorset.
  C.           |† Meaux, or Melsa, abb.                   |Yorks.
  A.           |  Medmenham, abb.                         |Bucks.
  Hosp.        |  Melchburne                              |Beds.
  Dom.         |  Melcombe, or Milton, near Weymouth      |Dorset.
  Cl.          |† Mendham                                 |Suffolk.
  Carth.       |  Mendip (cell to Witham)                 |Somerset.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Mere (_see_ Temple Mere)                |Lincoln.
  C.           |† Merevale, abb.                          |Warwick.
  B. (n.)      |  Merkyate, or De Bosco                   |Beds.
  A.P.         |  Mersea (cell to St. Ouen, Rouen)        |Essex.
  A.           |† Merton, pr.                             |Surrey.
  H.           |  Merton                                  |Wilts.
  B.           |  Michael, St. (cell to Malmesbury)       |Devon.
  A.P.         |† Michael’s Mount, St. (cell to           |
               |    Mont S. Michel)                       |Cornwall.
  A.           |† Michelham, pr.                          |Sussex.
               |  Middlesborough (_see_ Whitby).          |
  H.           |  Middleham                               |Yorks.
  B.           |* Milton, or Middleton, abb.              |Dorset.
  H.           |  Milton, near Gravesend                  |Kent.
  +            |  Milton                                  |Oxford.
  A.P.         |† Minster Lovell (cell to Ivry de Ibreio) |Oxford.
  A.P.         |  Minting (cell to Leyr, France)          |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Mirdial                                 |Herts.
  A.           |† Missenden, abb.                         |Bucks.
  H.           |  Mitton, near Kingston-upon-Hull         |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Modbury (cell to St. Pierre sur Dives)  |Devon.
  M.           |  Modenden                                |Kent.
               |  Modney (_see_ Ramsey).                  |
  B. (n.)      |  Molesby, or Marton                      |Yorks.
               |  Molycourt (_see_ Ely).                  |
  Cl.          |* Monk Bretton, pr.                       |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Monken Lane, Lena, or Monkland          |
               |    (cell to Conches and Wotton Wawen)    |Hereford.
  B.           |  Monketon (cell to Séez and then         |
               |    to St. Alban’s)                       |Pembroke.
  Cl.          |† Monks Horton, pr.                       |Kent.
  A.P.         |  Monks Kirby (cell to Angier)            |Warwick.
  A.P.         |† Monks Tofte, or Tofte, near Beccles     |
               |    (cell of Preaux (de Pratellis), Norm.)|Norfolk.
  B.           |  Monks Risborough (cell to Canterbury)   |Bucks.
  A.P.         |  Monkton Winterbourne (cell to Cluny)    |Dorset.
  B.           |† Monmouth, pr.                           |Monmouth.
  H.           |  Monmouth, Holy Trinity                  |Monmouth.
  H.           |  Monmouth, St. John’s                    |Monmouth.
  Cl.          |† Montacute, pr.                          |Somerset.
  Cl.          |    cells:--Carswell                      |Devon.
  Cl.          |            Cyrus, St.                    |Cornwall.
  Cl.          |            Holme                         |Dorset.
  Cl.          |            Malpas                        |Monmouth.
               |  Morfield, or Morville (_see_            |
               |    Shrewsbury).                          |
  +            |  Morelynch, or Poledon Hill              |Somerset.
  H.           |  Morpeth                                 |Northumberland.
  A.           |* Motisfont, pr.                          |Hants.
  Carth.       |* Mountgrace                              |Yorks, N. R.
  A.           |† Mountjoy, or Heveringland, pr.          |Norfolk.
  Hosp.        |  Mount St. John                          |Yorks.
  A.P.         |† Mount St. Michael (_see_ Michael)       |Cornwall.
  B.           |* Muchelney, abb.                         |Somerset.
  A.P.         |  Muckleford                              |Dorset.
               |  Mulebrok, or Millbrook (_see_ Beaulieu).|
  A.P.         |  Munkland                                |Hereford.
  M.           |  Muttlinden                              |Kent.
               |                                          |
  H.           |  Nantwich, St. Laurence’s                |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Nantwich, St. Nicholas’                 |Cheshire.
  C.           |* Neath, abb.                             |Glamorgan.
  B.           |  Neots, St., or Eynesbury, pr.           |Hunts.
  B.(n.)       |  Neseham                                 |Northumberland.
  C.           |* Netley, Letley, or Edwardstow, abb.     |Hants.
  P.           |  Neubo, abb.                             |Lincoln.
  Franc.       |† Newark                                  |Notts.
  A. (fs.)     |  Newark                                  |Notts.
  H.           |  Newark, St. Leonard’s                   |Notts.
  H.           |  Newark, The Spital                      |Notts.
               |  Newbigging (_see_ Hitchin).             |
  A.           |† Newburgh, pr.                           |Yorks.
  H.           |  Newbury                                 |Berks.
  B. (n.)      |  Newcastle-on-Tyne, or Monkchester       |Northumberland.
  Dom.         |  Newcastle-on-Tyne                       |Northumberland.
  Franc.       |  Newcastle-on-Tyne                       |Northumberland.
  Carm.        |† Newcastle-on-Tyne                       |Northumberland.
  A. (fs.)     |  Newcastle-on-Tyne                       |Northumberland.
  S.           |  Newcastle-on-Tyne                       |Northumberland.
  H.           |  Newcastle-on-Tyne--                     |Northumberland.
               |         St. Mary the Virgin.             |
               |         St. Mary Magdalen’s.             |
               |         Maison Dieu.                     |
               |         Brigham’s.                       |
               |         St. Catherine’s, or Thorneton’s. |
  Dom.         |  Newcastle-under-Lyme                    |Stafford.
  C.           |  Newenham by Axminster                   |Devon.
  +            |  Newent, or Newenton (cell of Corneilles)|Gloucester.
  P.           |  Newhouse, abb.                          |Lincoln.
  + (n.)       |  Newington                               |Kent.
  A.P.         |  Newington Longueville (cell to          |
               |    Longueville, Norm.)                   |Bucks.
  H.           |  Newington, Our Lady and St. Catherine’s |Surrey.
  Hosp.        |  Newland                                 |Yorks.
  C.           |† Newminster                              |Northumberland.
  A.           |  Newnham                                 |Beds.
  C.           |  Newnham                                 |Devon.
  A. (fs.)     |  Newport                                 |Monmouth.
               |  Newport (_see_ Tickford).               |
  H.           |  Newport, or Birchanger H.               |Essex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Newport, near Launceston                |Cornwall.
  H.           |  Newport Pagnell, St. John’s             |Bucks.
               |                   St. Margaret’s.        |
               |                   New Hospital.          |
               |  New Rumney (_see_ Rumney).              |
  Temp.        |  Newsom Temple                           |Yorks.
  A.           |  Newstead (by Stamford), pr.             |Lincoln.
  G.           |† Newstead (in Lindsey)                   |Lincoln.
  A.           |* Newstead, in Sherwood, pr.              |Notts.
  H.           |  Newton, St. Mary Magdalen’s             |Yorks, E. R.
  A.           |  Nocton, pr.                             |Lincoln.
  H.           |  North Allerton, St. James’              |Yorks.
               |                  Maison Dieu             |Yorks.
  Cl.          |  Northampton, St. Andrew’s, pr.          |Northants.
  Cl. (n.)     |† Northampton, De la Pré                  |Northants.
  A.           |† Northampton, St. James’, pr.            |Northants.
  Dom.         |† Northampton                             |Northants.
  Franc.       |  Northampton                             |Northants.
  Carm.        |  Northampton                             |Northants.
  A. (fs.)     |  Northampton                             |Northants.
  H.           |† Northampton, St. David’s, or Holy       |
               |                   Trinity                |Northants.
  H.           |             † St. John Baptist’s.        |
  H. (lep.)    |               St. Leonard’s.             |
  H.           |               St. Thomas’.               |
  A.P.         |  Northile, or Ile (cell of Marmoutier)   |Beds.
  A.           |  Norton, pr.                             |Cheshire.
  H.           |  Norton                                  |Yorks.
  A.           |  Norton, or Cold                         |Oxford.
  B.           |* Norwich Cath., pr.                      |Norfolk.
               |    cells:--Aldeby                        |Norfolk.
               |            Hoxne                         |Suffolk.
               |          * Lynn                          |Norfolk.
               |            Norwich, St. Leonard’s        |Norfolk.
               |            Yarmouth                      |Norfolk.
  Dom.         |* Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  Franc.       |  Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  Carm.        |  Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  A. (fs.)     |  Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  P.F.         |  Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  S.           |  Norwich                                 |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Norwich, St. Paul’s                     |Norfolk.
  H.           |           St. Giles’.                    |
  H.           |           God’s House.                   |
  H.           |           Hyldebronds Spittle.           |
  H. (lep.)    |           St. Mary Magdalen’s.           |
  H.           |           St. Saviour’s.                 |
  H. (lep.)    |           Without St. Austin’s gate.     |
  H. (lep.)    |           Without Fibriggate, or         |
               |             Magdalen gate.               |
  H. (lep.)    |           Without Nedham, or             |
               |             St. Stephen’s gate.          |
  H. (lep.)    |  Norwich, Without Westwyk, or St. Benet’s|
               |             gate.                        |
  A.           |† Nostell, pr.                            |Yorks.
  A.           |    cells:--Bamburgh                      |Northumberland.
  A.           |          † Bredon                        |Leicester.
  A.           |            Hyrst, in Axholme             |Lincoln.
  A.           |            Tockwith                      |Yorks.
  A.           |            Widkirk                       |Yorks.
  Franc.       |  Nottingham                              |Notts.
  Carm.        |  Nottingham                              |Notts.
  H.           |  Nottingham, St. John’s                  |Notts.
               |              St. Leonard’s.              |
               |              Plumtree’s.                 |
  C. (n.)      |  Nunappleton                             |Yorks.
  B. (n.)      |  Nunburnholme                            |Yorks.
  C. (n.)      |  Nuncoton                                |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |† Nuneaton                                |Warwick.
  B. (n.)      |  Nunkeling, or Chilling                  |Yorks.
  B. (n.)      |† Nunmonkton                              |Yorks.
               |  Nun Ormesby (_see_ Ormesby).            |
               |  Nunthorpe (_see_ Basedale).             |
  A.           |* Nutley, abb.                            |Bucks.
  +            |  Nyot                                    |Cornwall.
               |                                          |
  + H.         |  Oceleir                                 |Beds.
  A.P.         |  Ocle Livers’, or Lyre Ocle (cell        |
               |    to Lyre, Norm.)                       |Hereford.
  A.P.         |  Ogebourn (cell to Bec)                  |Wilts.
  H.           |  Okeham                                  |Rutland.
  B.           |  Olave’s, St.                            |Suffolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Oldbury (cell of Pollesworth)           |Warwick.
  A.           |† Olveston, abb.                          |Leicester.
  A.           |  Orford                                  |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Orford, St. Leonard’s                   |Suffolk.
  G.           |  Ormesby, or Nun Ormesby                 |Lincoln.
  A.           |† Osney, abb.                             |Oxford.
  H.           |  Ospring, Maison Dieu                    |Kent.
  +            |  Oswestry                                |Salop.
  A.           |† Osyth, St., or Chich, abb.              |Essex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Otford                                  |Kent.
  P.           |  Otteham in Hailsham (transl. to Bayham) |Sussex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Otteley                                 |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Otterton, or Otterington (cell to       |
               |    Mt. St. Michael, Norm.)               |Devon.
  +            |  Oundle                                  |Northants.
               |  Ovingham (_see_ Hexham).                |
  G.           |  Ovingham, or Overton                    |Yorks.
  +            |  Oxenford                                |Surrey.
  A.           |* Oxford, or Frideswide’s, pr.            |Oxford.
  B.           |† Oxford, Canterbury College (part        |
               |    of Christ Church)                     |Oxford.
  B.           |† Oxford, Durham College (now Trinity)    |Oxford.
  B.           |† Oxford, Gloucester Hall (now Worcester) |Oxford.
  A.           |  Oxford, St. Mary’s College              |Oxford.
  C.           |  Oxford, St. Bernard’s College           |Oxford.
  Dom.         |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  Franc.       |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  Carm.        |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  A. (fs.)     |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  Cru.         |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  S.           |  Oxford                                  |Oxford.
  +            |  Oxford, St. Aldate’s                    |Oxford.
  H.           |  Oxford, St. Bartholomew’s               |Oxford.
               |  Oxford, St. John’s                      |Oxford.
               |  Oxney (_see_ Peterborough).             |
               |  Oxney (_see_ Barlings).                 |
               |                                          |
  +            |  Padstow                                 |Cornwall.
  A.P.         |  Panfield (cell to Caen)                 |Essex.
               |  Parndon, Great (_see_ Bileigh).         |
  A.P.         |  Patricksbourne, or Bourne (cell         |
               |    to Beaulieu, Norm.)                   |Kent.
  +            |  Peakirk                                 |Northants.
  +            |  Peartan                                 |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Peckham, Little, or West                |Kent.
               |  Pembroke (_see_ Alban’s, St.).          |
  B. (?)       |  Penmon, pr.                             |Anglesey.
  +            |  Penrhys                                 |Glamorgan.
  A. (fs.)     |  Penrith                                 |Cumberland.
  A.           |† Pentney, pr.                            |Norfolk.
  A.           |    † cell:--Wormgay                      |Norfolk.
               |  Penwortham (_see_ Evesham).             |
  B.           |* Pershore, abb.                          |Worcester.
  B.           |* Peterborough, abb.                      |Northants.
  B.           |    cell:--Oxney                          |Northants.
  H.           |  Peterborough, St. Leonard’s             |Northants.
  H.           |* Peterborough, St. Thomas’               |Northants.
  A.           |  Peterstone                              |Norfolk.
  +            |  Petrockstow, or Padstow                 |Devon.
  H.           |  Pevensey, St. John Baptist’s            |Sussex.
  +            |  Peykirk                                 |Northants.
  H.           |  Pickering                               |Yorks.
  B.           |  Pille, pr.                              |Pembroke.
               |  Pilton (_see_ Malmesbury).              |
  H. (lep.)    |  Pilton                                  |Devon.
  B. (n.)      |† Pinley                                  |Warwick.
  C.           |† Pipewell, abb.                          |Northants.
  H.           |  Pleydone                                |Sussex.
  Franc.       |  Plymouth                                |Devon.
  Carm.        |  Plymouth                                |Devon.
  H. (lep.)    |  Plymouth                                |Devon.
  A.P.         |† Plympton, pr.                           |Devon.
  A.           |    cells:--St. Anthony in Roseland       |Cornwall.
  A.           |            St. Mary de Marsh             |Devon.
  H. (lep.)    |  Plympton                                |Devon.
               |  Poling (_see_ Arundel).                 |
  B. (n.)      |† Pollesworth                             |Warwick.
  B. (n.)      |  Polslo, or Polleshoo                    |Devon.
  A.P.         |  Ponington (cell of Bec)                 |Dorset.
  Cl.          |  Pontefract                              |Yorks, W. R.
  Dom.         |  Pontefract                              |Yorks, W. R.
  Franc.       |  Pontefract                              |Yorks, W. R.
  Carm.        |† Pontefract                              |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Pontefract, St. Mary’s                  |Yorks, W. R.
               |              St. Mary Magdalen’s.        |
               |              St. Nicholas’.              |
               |              Knowles’.                   |
  +            |  Poole                                   |Dorset.
  Hosp.        |  Pooling                                 |Sussex.
  A.           |† Porchester, pr.                         |Hants.
  H.           |† Portsmouth, God’s House                 |Hants.
  A.           |  Poughley, pr.                           |Berks.
  A.P.         |  Povington (cell to Bec)                 |Dorset.
  B. (n.)      |  Pré, St. Mary de la (St. Alban’s)       |Herts.
  Cl.          |  Prene, or Preone (cell of Wenlock)      |Salop.
  Franc.       |  Preston                                 |Lancaster.
  H.           |  Preston                                 |Lancaster.
  Cl.          |  Preston Capes (translated to Daventry)  |Northampton.
  Cl.          |† Prittlewell, or Pipwell, pr.            |Essex.
  H.           |  Puckeshall                              |Kent.
  G.           |  Pulton                                  |Wilts.
               |  Pulton (_see_ Deulacres).               |
               |  Pyling (_see_ Cockersand).              |
  A.P.         |  Pylle, or Pulle (cell to St. Martin     |
               |    of Tours)                             |Pembroke.
  A.           |  Pynham, pr.                             |Sussex.
               |                                          |
  C.           |* Quarre, abb. (Isle of Wight)            |Hants.
  Hosp.        |  Queinington                             |Gloucester.
               |                                          |
  H. (lep.)    |  Racheness in Southacre                  |Norfolk.
  P.           |* Radegund’s, St.                         |Kent.
               |  Radford (_see_ Worksop).                |
  C.           |  Radmore in Cannock Chase                |
               |    (trans. to Stonleigh)                 |Stafford.
  B.           |† Ramsey, abb.                            |Hunts.
  B.           |    cells:--Ives, St.                     |Hunts.
  B.           |            Modney                        |Norfolk.
  A.           |  Ratlincope (cell of Wigmore)            |Salop.
  A.           |  Raunton                                 |Staffs.
  A.P.         |† Ravendale (P), (cell to Prem.           |
               |    abb. of Beauport, Brit.)              |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Ravenston, pr.                          |Bucks.
  B.           |* Reading, abb.                           |Berks.
  B.           |    * cell:--Leominster                   |Hereford.
  Franc.       |† Reading                                 |Berks.
  H.           |* Reading, St. Laurence’s                 |Berks.
  H. (lep.)    |  Reading, St. Mary Magdalene             |Berks.
  +            |  Readingham                              |Sussex.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Rebston                                 |Yorks, W. R.
  +            |  Reculver                                |Kent.
  +            |  Redbridge, or Redford                   |Hants.
               |  Redburn (_see_ Alban’s, St.).           |
  B. (n.).     |† Redlingfield                            |Suffolk.
  C.           |  Regill (cell of Flenley)                |Somerset.
  B. (n.)      |  Remsted                                 |Sussex.
  A.           |* Repton, or Repingdon, pr.               |Derby.
  A.           |    cell:--Calk                           |Derby.
  C.           |† Revesby, or Rewesby, abb.               |Lincoln.
  C.           |  Rewley, abb.                            |Oxford.
  A.           |  Reigate, pr.                            |Surrey.
  Dom.         |  Rhuddlan                                |Flint.
  H.           |  Rhuddlan                                |Flint.
  Hosp.        |  Ribstone                                |Yorks.
               |† Richmond, St. Martin’s (_see_ York,     |
               |    St. Mary’s).                          |
  Franc.       |† Richmond                                |Yorks, N. R.
  Franc.       |  Richmond                                |Surrey.
  +            |  Richmond                                |Yorks.
  H.           |  Richmond, St. Nicholas’                 |Yorks.
  C.           |* Rievaulx, or Rievalle, abb.             |Yorks.
  H. (lep.)    |* Ripon, St. Mary Magdalen’s              |Yorks.
  H.           |         St. John Baptist’s.              |
               |       † St. Anne’s.                      |
               |         St. John’s.                      |
  A.P.         |  Riselipp, or Ruislip (cell to Bee)      |Middlesex.
  C.           |* Robertsbridge, abb.                     |Sussex.
  C.           |* Roche, or De Rupe in Maltby, abb.       |Yorks.
  B.           |* Rochester Cath., pr.                    |Kent.
               |    cell:--Felixstowe                     |Suffolk.
  H.           |† Rochester, St. Bartholomew’s, Eastgate  |Kent.
  Hosp.        |  Rockley (Temple)                        |Wilts.
  B.           |  Romberg (cell of Hulme)                 |Suffolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Romenale, or Rumney                     |Kent.
  B. (n.)      |* Romsey                                  |Hants.
  A.           |† Ronton, pr.                             |Stafford.
  B. (n.)      |† Rosedale                                |Yorks.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Rotheley                                |Leicester.
  A.P.         |  Rotherfield (cell to St. Denis, France) |Sussex.
  A. (n.)      |† Rothwell                                |Northants.
  A.           |  Roucester, abb.                         |Stafford.
  A.           |  Routon, or Mundene (cell to Haughmond)  |Stafford.
  A.H.         |  Rouncevall, St. Mary, near Charing      |
               |    Cross (cell to Rouncevall, Navarre)   |Middlesex.
  A.           |  Royston, pr.                            |Herts.
  H.           |  Royston, St. Nicholas’                  |Herts.
  H.           |  Royston, St. John and St. James’        |Herts.
  C.           |† Rufford, abb.                           |Notts.
               |  Rumburgh (_see_ York, St. Mary).        |
  A.P.         |  Rumney, New (cell to Pountney)          |Kent.
               |  Runcorn (_see_ Norton).                 |
  C.           |  Rushen                                  |Isle of Man.
  B.(n.)       |† Rusper                                  |Sussex.
  Carm.        |  Ruthin                                  |Denbigh.
  A. (fs.).    |† Rye                                     |Sussex.
  H.           |  Rye                                     |Sussex.
               |                                          |
  Temp.        |  Saddlescombe                            |Sussex.
  +            |  St. Benet’s                             |Cornwall.
  A.P.         |  St. Clears (cell to St. Martin de       |
               |    Campis, Paris)                        |Carmarthen.
  A.P.         |  St. Cross (C), (cell to Tyronne).       |I. of Wight.
  A.           |  St. Davy, or Dewe                       |Northampton.
  A.P.         |† St. Helen’s (cell to Cluny)             |I. of Wight.
  +            |  St. Keynemark                           |Monmouth.
  +            |  St. Martin’s, nunnery                   |Cornwall.
  +            |  St. Mawe’s (?) St. Matthew’s            |Cornwall.
  A.P.         |† St. Michael’s Mount (cell of St.        |
               |    Michael’s, Norm.)                     |Cornwall.
  B.           |  Saintoft                                |Lincoln.
  Franc.       |  Salisbury                               |Wilts.
  Dom.         |  Salisbury, Fisherton                    |Wilts.
  H.           |  Salisbury, Trinity H.                   |Wilts.
               |           † Harnham.                     |
               |             St. John’s.                  |
  +            |  Saltash                                 |Cornwall.
  C.           |* Salley, or Sawley, abb.                 |Yorks.
  B.           |  Samford (cell to Durham)                |Durham.
  Hosp.        |  Sandford (_see_ Cowley)                 |Oxford.
  A.           |  Sandford, or Newbury                    |Berks.
  H.           |  Sandon                                  |Surrey.
  B.           |† Sandwell, pr.                           |Stafford.
  Carm.        |  Sandwich                                |Kent.
  +            |  Sandwich                                |Kent.
  H.           |* Sandwich, St. Bartholomew’s             |Kent.
  H.           |  Sandwich, St. Thomas’                   |Kent.
  +            |  Sapalanda                               |Hants.
  A.           |  Sarra Isle, or Scarthe (cell of         |
               |    Gisburne)                             |Yorks.
  +            |  Sawbridgworth                           |Herts.
  C.           |  Sawtre, abb.                            |Hunts.
  Dom.         |  Scarborough                             |Yorks, N. R.
  Franc.       |  Scarborough                             |Yorks, N. R.
  A. (fs.)     |  Scarborough                             |Yorks, N. R.
  H.           |† Scarborough, St. Thomas’                |Yorks, N. R.
  H.           |  Scarborough, St. Nicholas’              |Yorks, N. R.
  B.           |  Scilly (cell of Tavistock)              |Cornwall.
  H.           |  Seaford                                 |Sussex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Sedeberbrook (_see_ South Weald)        |Essex.
  A.           |† Selborne, pr.                           |Hants.
  B.           |* Selby, abb.                             |Yorks.
  B.           |    cell:--Snaith                         |Yorks.
  A.P.         |  Sele, or Beeding (cell of St.           |
               |    Florent, Samur)                       |Sussex.
  Carth.       |  Selwood (_see_ Witham)                  |Somerset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Selwood                                 |Somerset.
  G.           |  Sempringham                             |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |  Seton                                   |Cumberland.
  H.           |  Sevenoaks, St. John Baptist’s           |Kent.
  C. (n.)      |† Sewardesley                             |Northants.
  B. (n.)      |† Shaftesbury                             |Dorset.
  H.           |  Shaftesbury                             |Dorset.
  P.           |* Shapp, or Hepp, abb.                    |Westmoreland.
  +            |  Shapwick                                |Dorset.
  A.           |  Shelford, pr.                           |Notts.
  Carth.       |† Shene                                   |Surrey.
  Hosp.        |  Shengay                                 |Cambridge.
  B. (n.)      |* Sheppey (Minster in)                    |Kent.
  B.           |* Sherborne, abb.                         |Dorset.
  B.           |    cells:--Horton                        |Dorset.
  B.           |            Kidwelly                      |Carmarthen.
  H.           |  Sherborne                               |Dorset.
  H.           |* Sherborne, St. John’s                   |Dorset.
  A. P.        |* Sherborne, West, or Monks (cell         |
               |    to St. Vigor’s, Cerisy)               |Hants.
  H. (lep.)    |  Sherburn                                |Durham.
  H.           |  Sherburn, St. Mary Magdalen’s           |Yorks.
  A.           |  Sherringham (cell of Nutley)            |Norfolk.
  Carm.        |† Shoreham, New                           |Sussex.
  H.           |  Shoreham                                |Sussex.
  G.           |† Shouldham                               |Norfolk.
  B.           |* Shrewsbury, abb.                        |Salop.
  B.           |    cell:--Morfield                       |Salop.
  Dom.         |  Shrewsbury                              |Salop.
  Franc.       |† Shrewsbury                              |Salop.
  A. (fs.)     |  Shrewsbury                              |Salop.
  H.           |  Shrewsbury, St. Mary’s                  |Salop.
               |              St. Giles’.                 |
               |              St. John Baptist’s.         |
  A.           |† Shulbrede, pr.                          |Sussex.
  C.           |* Sibton, abb.                            |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Sidmouth (cell to Mont St. Michel,      |
               |    Norm.)                                |Devon.
  C. (n.)      |  Sinningthwaite, or Senningthwaite       |Yorks.
               |  Sion (_see_ Syon).                      |
  G.           |  Sixhill                                 |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Skirbeke                                |Lincoln.
  A.           |  Skokirk, or Stowkirk (cell of Nostel)   |Yorks.
  Hosp.        |  Slanden                                 |Herts.
  Hosp.        |  Slebach                                 |Pembroke.
  Cl.          |  Slevesholme, or Methwold (cell of       |
               |    Castleacre)                           |Norfolk.
               |  Snaith (_see_ Selby).                   |
  B. (?)       |  Snape                                   |Suffolk.
  A.           |  Snede, or Snet (translated to Chirbury) |Salop.
  B.           |  Snetteshall, pr.                        |Bucks.
               |  Snitterly, Blakeney                     |Norfolk.
  +            |  Soham                                   |Cambridge.
  A.P.         |  Sompting                                |Sussex.
  +            |  Sompting                                |Sussex.
  B. (n.).     |  Sopwell                                 |Herts.
  B. (n.).     |  Sopwikes                                |Essex.
  A.           |† Southampton, St. Dennys, pr.            |Hants.
  Franc.       |  Southampton                             |Hants.
  H.           |† Southampton, God’s House                |Hants.
  H. (lep.)    |  Southampton, St. Mary Magdalen’s        |Hants.
  A.           |† Southwark, St. Mary Overy, pr.          |Surrey.
  H.           |  Southwark, St. Thomas’                  |Surrey.
  H.           |  South Weald, or Sedberbrook             |Essex.
  H.           |  Southwell, St. Mary Magdalen’s          |Notts.
  A.           |† Southwick (_see_ Porchester)            |Hants.
  B.           |† Spalding, abb.                          |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Spettesbury (cell to Preaux, Norm.)     |Dorset.
  A.           |  Spinney                                 |Cambridge.
  H.           |  Spittle on the Peak                     |Derby.
  H.           |  Spittle on the Street                   |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |† Sporle (cell to Saumur)                 |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Sprotsburgh                             |Yorks.
  A.           |† Stafford, St. Thomas’, pr.              |Stafford.
  Franc.       |  Stafford                                |Stafford.
  A. (fs.)     |  Stafford                                |Stafford.
  H.           |  Stafford, St. John’s                    |Stafford.
  H.           |  Stafford, St. Leonard’s                 |Stafford.
  B. (n.)      |  Stainfold, or Staynesfield              |Lincoln.
               |† Stamford, St. Leonard’s (_see_ Durham). |
  B. (n.)      |  Stamford, St. Michael’s                 |Northants.
  Dom.         |  Stamford                                |Northants.
  Franc.       |  Stamford                                |Northants.
  Carm.        |† Stamford                                |Northants.
  A. (fs.)     |  Stamford                                |Northants.
  H.           |  Stamford, St. John Baptist’s and        |
               |              St. Thomas’                 |Northants.
  H.           |            St. Giles’                    |Northants.
  H.           |            St. Sepulchre (Pilgrim House) |Northants.
  B.           |  Standon (cell of Stoke)                 |Herts.
  B.           |  Stane, or Stave                         |Lincoln.
               |  Stanesgate (_see_ Lewes)                |Essex.
  B. (n.).     |  Stanfield                               |Lincoln.
  H. (lep.)    |  Stanford                                |Lincoln.
               |  Stanlaw (_see_ Whalley).                |
  C.           |  Stanlegh, or Stanley, abb.              |Wilts.
               |* Stanley, St. Leonard’s (_see_           |
               |    Gloucester, St. Peter’s).             |
               |  Stanley in Arden (_see_ Stoneleigh).    |
               |  Stanley Park (_see_ Dale).              |
  A.           |* Stavordale, pr.                         |Somerset.
  A.           |  Stepholm                                |Somerset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Steresbergh, or Sturbridge, near        |
               |    Cambridge                             |Cambridge.
  A.P.         |  Steventon, near Abingdon (cell to Bec)  |Berks.
  A.P.         |† Steyning (cell to Fecamp)               |Sussex.
  C. (n.)      |† Stixwold                                |Lincoln.
  B. (n.)      |  Stodley                                 |Oxford.
  A.P.         |† Stoke Courcy (cell to L’Onley, or       |
               |    Lolley)                               |Somerset.
  +            |  Stoke-next-Nayland                      |Suffolk.
  A.P.         |  Stoke by Clare (cell to Bec)            |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Stoke by Newark                         |Notts.
  B.           |  Stoke Courcy, or Stogursey (cell        |
               |    of Lonlay)                            |Somerset.
  H.           |  Stokefaston                             |Leicester.
  A.           |  Stoke Kirk (cell of Nostell)            |Yorks.
  A.           |† Stone, pr.                              |Stafford.
  C.           |† Stoneleigh, or Stanley in Arden, abb.   |Warwick.
  A.           |  Stonely, pr.                            |Hunts.
  H.           |  Stony Stratford                         |Bucks.
  B. (n.)      |  Stoure                                  |Dorset.
  +            |  Stourminster                            |Dorset.
  Cl.          |  Stow (cell of Castleacre)               |Norfolk.
  C.           |* Strata Florida (Stratflour), abb.       |Cardigan.
  C.           |  Strata Marcella (Strat Margel), abb.    |Montgomery.
  B. (n.)      |  Stratford at Bow, Bromley               |Middlesex.
  C.           |† Stratford Langthorn, West Ham, abb.     |Essex.
  A.P.         |  Strathfieldsaye (cell to Vallemont,     |
               |    Norm.)                                |Hants.
  A.P.         |  Stratton, St. Margaret’s                |Wilts.
  +            |  Strenshall                              |Stafford.
  H.           |  Strode, near Rochester                  |Kent.
  B. (n.)      |  Studley                                 |Oxford.
  A.           |† Studley, pr.                            |Warwick.
  Dom.         |  Sudbury                                 |Middlesex.
  B.           |† Sudbury (_see_ Westminster)             |Suffolk.
  H.           |  Sudbury                                 |Suffolk.
  P.           |† Sulby, or Welford, abb.                 |Northants.
  Hosp.        |  Sutton-at-Hone                          |Kent.
  H.           |  Sutton-at-Hone                          |Kent.
  H.           |  Sutton                                  |Yorks.
  B. (n.)      |† Swaffham                                |Cambridge.
  P.           |  Swainby (trans. to Coverham)            |Yorks.
  H.           |  Swansea                                 |Glamorgan.
  A.P.         |  Swavesey (cell to Angers)               |Cambridge.
  C. (n.)      |† Swine, or Swinhey                       |Yorks.
  C.           |† Swineshed, abb.                         |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Swinestre                               |Kent.
  Hosp.        |  Swinford                                |Leicester.
  Temp. & Hosp.|† Swinfield                               |Kent.
  Bridg.       |  Syon                                    |Middlesex.
               |                                          |
  A.P.         |  Takeley (cell to St. Valery, Picardy)   |Essex.
  A.P.         |  Talcarn (cell to Angers)                |Cornwall.
  P.           |† Talley, or Tallagh, abb.                |Carmarthen.
  H.           |  Tamworth                                |Stafford.
  B. (n.)      |  Tamworth (trans. to Polesworth)         |Stafford.
  A.           |  Tandridge, pr.                          |Surrey.
  H. (lep.)    |  Tanington, St. James’                   |Kent.
  C. (n.)      |  Tarrent, or Kaines                      |Dorset.
  H.           |  Tarent Rushton                          |Dorset.
  H.           |  Tarvin                                  |Cheshire.
  A.           |  Taunton, pr.                            |Somerset.
  Carm.        |  Taunton                                 |Somerset.
  H. (lep.)    |  Taunton                                 |Somerset.
  B.           |† Tavistock, abb.                         |Devon.
  B.           |    cell:--Cowick                         |Devon.
  A. (fs.)     |  Tavistock                               |Devon.
  H. (lep.)    |  Tavistock                               |Devon.
  Temp. & Hosp.|* Temple Bruer (_see_ Bruerne)            |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Templecombe (_see_ Combe)               |Somerset.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Covele                           |Oxford.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Dynesley                         |Herts.
  Temp. & Hosp.|† Temple Egle                             |Lincoln.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Hirst                            |Yorks, W. R.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Maltby                           |Lincoln.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Mere                             |Lincoln.
  Temp. & Hosp.|† Temple Newsam                           |Yorks, W. R.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Rockley                          |Wilts.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Standon                          |Herts.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Witham                           |Lincoln.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Temple Wilcketone                       |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Tenby, St. Mary Magdalen’s              |Pembroke.
  H.           |  Tenby, St. John Baptist’s               |Pembroke.
  +            |  Terring                                 |Sussex.
  +            |  Tetbury, or Telton                      |Gloucester.
  B.           |* Tewkesbury, abb.                        |Gloucester.
  B.           |    cells:--Bristol, St. James’           |Gloucester.
  B.           |            Cranborne                     |Dorset.
  B.           |          * Deerhurst                     |Gloucester.
  H. (lep.)    |  Tewkesbury                              |Gloucester.
  C.           |  Thame, abb.                             |Oxford.
  H.           |  Thame                                   |Oxford.
  +            |  Thanet Minster                          |Kent.
  M.           |† Thelesford                              |Warwick.
  Dom.         |  Thetford                                |Norfolk.
  A. (fs.)     |  Thetford                                |Norfolk.
  Cl.          |* Thetford, pr.                           |Norfolk.
  A. (sep.)    |† Thetford, pr.                           |Norfolk.
  Cl.          |* Thetford                                |Norfolk.
  B. (n.)      |† Thetford                                |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Thetford                                |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Thetford, God’s House                   |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |            St. John’s.                   |
  H.           |            St. Mary and St. Julian’s.    |
  H.           |            St. Mary Magdalen’s.          |
  H. (lep.)    |            St. Margaret’s.               |
  B. (n.)      |  Thickhed                                |Yorks.
  +            |  Thirling                                |Cambridge.
  A.           |† Thoby, pr.                              |Essex.
  B.           |* Thorney, abb.                           |Cambridge.
  B.           |    cell:--Deping                         |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Thorney                                 |Cambridge.
  A.           |  Thornham, or Thornholm, pr.             |Lincoln.
  A.           |* Thornton, abb.                          |Lincoln.
  H. (lep.)    |  Thrapston                               |Northants.
  A.           |† Thremhall, or Trenchale, pr.            |Essex.
  A.P.         |  Throwley (cell to St. Omers in Artois)  |Kent.
  A.           |† Thurgarton, pr.                         |Notts.
  A.H.         |  Thurlow, Great (cell to Hautpays,       |
               |    or De Alto Passu)                     |Norfolk.
  M.           |  Thusfield, or Thuffield                 |Oxford.
  A.P.         |  Thwaites                                |Bucks.
               |  Tickford (_see_ York, Holy Trinity).    |
  A. (fs.)     |  Tickhill                                |Yorks, W. R.
  H.           |  Tickhill                                |Yorks, W. R.
  +            |  Tillaburg, or West Tilbury              |Essex.
  C.           |† Tiltey, abb.                            |Essex.
  H.           |  Tilton                                  |Leicester.
  C.           |* Tintern, abb.                           |Monmouth.
  A.           |  Tiptree, pr.                            |Essex.
  +            |  Tisbury                                 |Wilts.
  P.           |* Titchfield, abb.                        |Hants.
  A.P.         |  Titley (cell to Tyronne)                |Hereford.
               |  Tockwith (_see_ Nostell).               |
  H.           |  Toddington                              |Beds.
               |  Toftes, Monks (_see_ Monks Tofte).      |
  A.P.         |  Tolcarme (cell to Angers)               |Cornwall.
  A.P.         |  Tooting, or Tooting Back (cell to Bec)  |Surrey.
  A.           |  Torkesey, pr.                           |Lincoln.
  P.           |* Torre, abb.                             |Devon.
  +            |  Torre, Glastonbury                      |Somerset.
  A.           |  Tortington, pr.                         |Sussex.
  B.           |  Totnes, pr.                             |Devon.
  M.           |  Totnes, Little                          |Devon.
  H. (lep.)    |  Towcester                               |Northants.
  Hosp.        |  Trebigh, or Turbigh                     |Cornwall.
  A.P.         |  Tregony (cell to de Valle, Norm.)       |Cornwall.
  A.           |† Trentham, pr.                           |Stafford.
               |  Trew (_see_ Letheringham).              |
  A.P.         |  Trewleigh (cell of St. Omer)            |Kent.
  Dom.         |  Truro                                   |Cornwall.
  A.           |  Tunbridge, pr.                          |Kent.
  A.P.         |  Tunstall                                |Devon.
  G. (n.)      |  Tunstall, near Redburn                  |Devon.
  P.           |† Tupholm, abb.                           |Lincoln.
               |  Turbigh (_see_ Trebigh).                |
  B.           |† Tutbury, pr.                            |Stafford.
  H.           |  Twedemouth                              |Northumberland.
  A.           |* Twyneham, or Christ Church, pr.         |Hants.
  A.P.         |  Tykeford (cell to Marmoutiers, Tours)   |Bucks.
  B.           |* Tynemouth (_see_ St. Alban’s)           |Northumberland.
               |  Tytley (_see_ Titley).                  |
  B.           |  Tywardreath, pr.                        |Cornwall.
               |                                          |
  A.           |* Ulverscroft, pr.                        |Leicester.
  A.P.         |  Uphaven (cell to Fontenelle)            |Wilts.
               |  Urford (_see_ Irford).                  |
  B. (n.)      |  Usk                                     |Monmouth.
               |                                          |
  C.           |† Vale Royal, abb.                        |Cheshire.
  C.           |* Valle Crucis, or De Valle Dei, abb.     |Denbigh.
  C.           |  Vaudey, abb.                            |Lincoln.
  +            |  Vagnaleck, or Pegnalech                 |Northumberland.
               |                                          |
  A.           |† Waburn, or Weybourn, pr.                |Norfolk.
  B.           |  Walden, abb.                            |Essex.
               |  Wallingford (_see_ Alban’s, St.).       |
  H.           |  Wallingford                             |Berks.
  B. (n.)      |  Wallingwells, or St. Mary de Parco      |Notts.
  A.           |* Walsingham, pr.                         |Norfolk.
  A. (fs.)     |* Walsingham                              |Norfolk.
  H. (lep.)    |  Walsingham                              |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Walsoken                                |Norfolk.
  M.           |  Walknoll, near Newcastle                |Northumberland.
  A.           |* Waltham, Holy Cross, abb.               |Essex.
               |  Walton (_see_ Felix Stowe).             |
  Cl.          |  Wangford, pr.                           |Suffolk.
  C.           |† Wardon de Sartis, abb.                  |Beds.
  Franc.       |  Ware                                    |Herts.
  A.P.         |  Ware (cell to Utica, Norm.)             |Herts.
  A.P.         |  Wareham (cell to Lyra)                  |Dorset.
  +            |  Wareham                                 |Dorset.
  A.P.         |  Warham, St. Mary’s (cell to Mustrelle,  |
               |    Amiens)                               |Norfolk.
  B.           |  Warmington, or Warrington (cell of York)|Northumberland.
  A.P.         |  Warmington (cell to Preaux, or          |
               |    de Pratellis)                         |Warwick.
  A. (fs.)     |  Warrington                              |Lancashire.
  A.           |† Warter, or Watre, pr.                   |Yorks.
  A. (sep.)    |  Warwick, pr.                            |Warwick.
  Dom.         |  Warwick                                 |Warwick.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Warwick                                 |Warwick.
  +            |  Warwick                                 |Warwick.
  H.           |  Warwick, St. John Baptist’s             |Warwick.
  H. (lep.)    |           St. Michael’s.                 |
  H.           |           St. Thomas’.                   |
  Fran. (n.)   |  Waterbeach                              |Cambridge.
  G.           |† Watton                                  |Yorks.
  C.           |* Waverley, abb.                          |Surrey.
               |  Wearmouth, or Weremouth (_see_ Durham). |
  +            |  Weedon                                  |Northants.
  A.P.         |  Weedon Beck (cell to Bec)               |Northants.
  A.P.         |  Weedon Pinkney (cell to St. Lucian,     |
               |    near Beauvais, France)                |Northants.
  P.           |† Welbeck, abb.                           |Notts.
               |  Welhouse (_see_ Wellow).                |
  H.           |  Welle                                   |Yorks.
  A.P.         |† Welles, or Well Hall, in Geyton         |
               |    (cell to St. Stephen’s, Caen)         |Norfolk.
  G.           |  Welles                                  |Lincoln.
  H.           |  Wells, St. John’s                       |Somerset.
  A.           |† Wellow, abb.                            |Lincoln.
  +            |  Wendesclive, or Clive                   |Gloucester.
  P.           |† Wendling, abb.                          |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Wenge (cell to Angers)                  |Bucks.
  A.P.         |  Wenghall, or Wenhall (_see_ Crabhouse)  |
               |    (cell to Séez, Norm.)                 |Lincoln.
  Cl.          |* Wenlock, pr.                            |Salop.
  Cl.          |    cell:--Dudley                         |Stafford.
  H.           |  Wenlock                                 |Salop.
  M.           |  Werland, near Totnes                    |Devon.
  A.           |* Westacre, pr.                           |Norfolk.
  P.           |† West Dereham, abb.                      |Norfolk.
  B.           |* Westminster, abb.                       |Middlesex.
  B.           |    cells:--Hurley                        |Berks.
  B.           |            Sudbury                       |Suffolk.
  F.A.         |  Westminster                             |Middlesex.
  H. (lep.)    |  Westminster, St. James’                 |Middlesex.
  H.           |  Westminster, Savoy                      |Middlesex.
  H.           |  West Somerton                           |Norfolk.
  B. (n.)      |  Westwood (originally A.P. for six nuns  |
               |    of Fontevrault)                       |Worcester.
  A.           |  Westwood                                |Kent.
               |† Wetheral (_see_ York, St. Mary’s)       |Cumberland.
  A.           |† Weybridge, pr.                          |Norfolk.
               |  Weymouth (_see_ Melcombe).              |
  C.           |* Whalley, or Locus Benedictus, abb.      |Lancaster.
  C.           |    cell:--Stanlaw                        |Cheshire.
  +            |  Whersted                                |Suffolk.
  B. (n.)      |† Wherwell                                |Hants.
  C. (n.)      |  Whiston                                 |Worcester.
  B.           |* Whitby, abb.                            |Yorks.
  B.           |    cell:--Middlesborough                 |Yorks.
  H.           |  Whitby, St. John Baptist’s              |Yorks.
  H.           |  Whitchurch                              |Salop.
  C.           |* Whitland, or Blanchland, abb.           |Carmarthen.
  H.           |  Whittlesford Bridge                     |Cambridge.
  +            |  Wicheswood in Langton Maltravers        |Dorset.
  B.(n.)       |† Wickes                                  |Essex.
  C.(n.)       |  Wickham                                 |Yorks.
  B.           |  Wickham Skeyth                          |Suffolk.
               |  Wickton (translated to Studley)         |Worcester.
               |  Widkirk (_see_ Nostell).                |
  A.           |  Wigmore, abb.                           |Hereford.
  H.           |  Wigton                                  |Cumberland.
  B. (n.)      |  Wilberfoss                              |Yorks.
  Temp. & Hosp.|  Wilburgham, Great (Wilbraham)           |Cambridge.
  Hosp.        |  Wilhelme                                |Lincoln.
  Hosp.        |  Wilketon                                |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Willesford (cell to Bec)                |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |† Wilmington (cell to Grestein)           |Sussex.
  Hosp.        |  Willoughton                             |Lincoln.
  B.(n.)       |  Wilton, or Ellandune                    |Wilts.
  Dom.         |  Wilton                                  |Wilts.
  H.           |  Wilton, St. Giles’                      |Wilts.
               |          St. John’s.                     |
               |          St. Mary Magdalen’s.            |
  H.           |  Winburn, or Wimborne                    |Dorset.
  B.           |† Winchcombe, or Winchelcombe, abb.       |Gloucester.
  H.           |  Winchcombe                              |Gloucester.
  Dom.         |  Winchelsea                              |Sussex.
  Franc.       |* Winchelsea                              |Sussex.
  B.           |* Winchester, St. Swithun’s Cath., pr.    |Hants.
  B.           |  Winchester, Newminster (_see_ Hyde)     |Hants.
  B.(n.)       |  Winchester, St. Mary’s, abb.            |Hants.
  Dom.         |  Winchester                              |Hants.
  Franc.       |  Winchester                              |Hants.
  Carm.        |  Winchester                              |Hants.
  A.(fs.)      |  Winchester                              |Hants.
  H.           |* Winchester, St. Cross                   |Hants.
  H.           |            † St. John’s.                 |
  H.           |              St. Mary Magdalen’s.        |
  H.           |  Windeham, St. Edmund’s                  |Sussex.
  A.P.         |  Winewale (cell of Mountsrol)            |Norfolk.
               |  Winterbourne (_see_ Monkton).           |
  C.(n.)       |† Wintney                                 |Hants.
  A.P.         |† Winwaloe (cell of Mountsrol)            |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Wirham (cell of Mountsrol)              |Norfolk.
  A.           |  Wirksop, or Radford                     |Notts.
  A.           |  Wirmegay (cell of Pentney)              |Norfolk.
  +            |  Wirral-on-the-Hill                      |Somerset.
  H.           |  Wisbech, St. John Baptist’s             |Cambridge.
  +            |  Wittering                               |Northants.
  Carth.       |† Witham, or Selwood                      |Somerset.
  Temp.&       |  Witham, or South Witham (_see_          |
  Hosp.        |    Temple Witham)                        |Lincoln.
  A.P.         |  Witherness (?) Withernsea (cell         |
               |    to Albemarle)                         |Yorks, E. R.
  +            |  Withington                              |Worcester.
  B.(n.)       |  Wix                                     |Essex.
  C.           |† Woburn, abb.                            |Beds.
  +            |  Wockings                                |Northants.
  A.           |  Wolinchmere, pr.                        |Sussex.
  A.P.         |† Wolston (cell to St. Pierre sur         |
               |    Dives)                                |Warwick.
  H.           |  Wolverhampton                           |Stafford.
  A.           |  Wombridge, pr.                          |Salop.
  A.           |  Woodbridge, pr.                         |Suffolk.
  A.(fs.)      |  Woodhouse, near Cleobury Mortimer       |Salop.
  +            |  Woodchester                             |Gloucester.
  A.           |* Woodspring, or Worspring, pr.           |Somerset.
  H.           |  Woodstock, St. Mary the Virgin          |
               |    and St. Mary Magdalen                 |Oxford.
  B.           |* Worcester, Cath., pr.                   |Worcester.
               |    cell:--Little Malvern                 |Worcester.
  Dom.         |  Worcester                               |Worcester.
  Franc.       |  Worcester                               |Worcester.
  M.           |  Worcester                               |Worcester.
  S.           |  Worcester                               |Worcester.
  H.           |  Worcester, St. Oswald’s                 |Worcester.
  H.           |* Worcester, St. Wulstan’s                |Worcester.
  A.           |* Worksop, pr.                            |Notts.
  A.           |  Wormley, or Wormesley, pr.              |Hereford.
               |† Wormgay (_see_ Pentney).                |
  Cru.         |  Wotton-under-Edge                       |Gloucester.
  A.P.         |  Wotton Wawen (cell to Conches, Norm.)   |Warwick.
  H.           |  Wotton Basset                           |Wilts.
  H.           |  Wrauby                                  |Lincoln.
  A.H.         |  Writtle (cell to H. of Holy Spirit,     |
               |    Rome)                                 |Essex.
  A.           |  Wrongley, or Wrongay (cell of Pentney)  |Norfolk.
  B.(n.)       |† Wroxall                                 |Warwick.
  A.           |† Wroxton, pr.                            |Oxford.
  +            |  Wudrandun                               |Worcester.
  H.           |  Wybumbury                               |Cheshire.
  H.(lep.)     |  Wycomb, St. Margaret and St. Giles’     |Bucks.
  H.           |* Wycomb, St. John Baptist’s              |Bucks.
  C.(n.)       |† Wykeham                                 |Yorks.
  H.           |  Wykes, or Wyken                         |Cambridge.
  B.           |* Wymondham, abb.                         |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Wymondham                               |Norfolk.
  A.           |  Wymondley Parva, pr.                    |Herts.
  B.(n.)       |  Wyrthorp                                |Northants.
  A.P.         |  Wytchingham (cell of Longueville)       |Norfolk.
  A.P.         |  Wytherness (cell of Albemarle)          |Yorks.
               |                                          |
  Dom.         |  Yarm, or Yarum                          |Yorks, N. R.
  H.           |  Yarm                                    |Yorks, N. R.
  Dom.         |† Yarmouth                                |Norfolk.
  Franc.       |  Yarmouth                                |Norfolk.
  Carm.        |  Yarmouth                                |Norfolk.
  H.           |  Yarmouth, St. Mary’s                    |Norfolk.
  H.(lep.)     |  Yarmouth                                |Norfolk.
  H.(lep.)     |  Yarmouth                                |Norfolk.
  A.(fs.)      |  Yarmouth, Little (_see_ Gorleston)      |Suffolk.
  B.(n.)       |  Yedingham, or de Parvo Marisco          |Yorks.
  Hosp.        |† Yeveley, or Stede                       |Derby.
  +            |  Yodby (?)                               |Devon.
  B.           |* York, St. Mary’s, abb.                  |Yorks.
  B.           |    * cells:--St. Bees                    |Cumberland.
  B.           |            † Lincoln, St. Mary Magdalen’s|Lincoln.
  B.           |            † Richmond, St. Martin’s      |Yorks.
  B.           |              Rumburgh                    |Suffolk.
  B.           |            † Wetheral                    |Cumberland.
  B.           |† York, Holy Trinity, pr.                 |Yorks.
  B.           |    cell:--Tickford                       |Bucks.
  G.           |  York, St. Andrew’s                      |Yorks.
  Dom.         |  York                                    |Yorks.
  Franc.       |  York                                    |Yorks.
  Carm.        |  York                                    |Yorks.
  A.(fs.)      |  York                                    |Yorks.
  Cru.         |  York                                    |Yorks.
  +            |  York (cell to Whitby)                   |Yorks.
  H.           |  York, St. Anthony’s                     |Yorks.
  H.           |† York, St. Peter’s, alias St. Leonard’s  |Yorks.

[Illustration: Houses of the Black Monks (Benedictines and Cluniacs)]

[Illustration: Houses of the Cistercians (White Monks)]

[Illustration: The Carthusians and four orders of Friars at the time of
the suppression]

[Illustration: Houses of Regular Canons Black (Austin) and White

[Illustration: Nunneries.]


  Abbot, mode of election of, 44;
    confirmation of election of, 47;
    installation of, 47;
    duties of, 40, 42;
    position of, as regarded his community, 48;
    position of, in choir, 49;
    his seat in cloister, 18

  Abingdon, river tolls at, 81

  Ablutions, morning, 118

  ‘Accusations,’ at Chapter, 124

  Aidan, St., Celtic apostle of North of England, 12

  Ailesford Convent, 241

  Aldgate, Christ Church _or_ Holy Trinity, 225

  Alexander III. and the Crutched Friars, 246

  Alien priories, 41, 218

  Almoner, duties and qualifications of the, 90;
    presided over the monastic school, 93;
    superintended daily Maundy, 92;
    had to prepare Mortuary Rolls, 93

  Altar, High, one of the most important parts of the church, 15;
    in charge of sacrist, 66;
    linen, care of, 67

  Altars, side, 16

  Andrew’s, St., on Cœlian Hill, Benedictine Monastery at, 217

  Anthony, St., founder of Eastern monachism, 3;
    details of his system of monachism, 3, 4

  Antiphoner, duties of, 110

  Archivist, 64

  _Armarius_, 61

  _Ascetae_, 2

  Ashridge, Convent of Bonshommes at, 249

  Aske, Robert, and schools for girls, and nunneries, 163

  _Asperges_, 132

  _Aspersorium_, 132

  Aubrey, John, recollections of, 154;
    account of nuns, 177

  _Auditorium_, 32

  Augustine, St., mission of, 214

  Augustinian Canons, 225;
    in Ireland, 226

  Augustinians in Ireland, 226

  Aumbries for towels, 19

  Austin Friars, 241

  Barnstaple Priory, 218

  Basil, St., his Rule, 7, 8

  Baths, arrangement for, 103

  Beaumont, Lord and Lady, 162

  Bec, Abbey of, 186

  Bedtime, hours of, 153

  Bellringers, duties of, 208

  Benedict, St., birth of, 7;
    Patriarch of Western Monks, 7, 213;
    and the _Opus Dei_, 13;
    his Rule, 8;
    the spirit of his Rule, 8

  Benedictines, account of, 213;
    English, united into Congregations, 191

  Benefactors, prayed for in Chapter, 127

  Bermondsey Abbey, 218

  Berno, abbot of Gigny, 217

  Bethlemite Friars, 246

  Bishop, relations with regular houses, 180;
    and monastic elections, 182;
    sometimes invited to appoint superiors, 184;
    visited alien priories, 185;
    blessing of abbots, 185;
    appointed coadjutors to incapable superiors, 188;
    privilege accorded to newly elected, 188

  Black Canons, 226

  Blood-letting, process of, 88

  Bodmin Priory, 188

  Bonshommes, The, 249

  _Book of Nurture_, 166, 167

  Books, repair of, 62

  Boots, night, 101, 112

  Bread for Holy Eucharist, preparation of, 67

  Breakfast, 120

  Breviator, 64, 93;
    duties of, 210

  Brewing, 76

  Brief, or Mortuary Roll, 64

  Brief-bearers, duties of, 210

  Bruno, St., and Carthusians, 221

  Brusyard Convent, 238

  Buckland, abbot of, 187

  Butler, Dom, _Introduction_ to “Lausiac History of Palladius,” 3 _seqq._

  _Caldaria_, 24

  Camerarius, duties of, 100

  Candle-making, 68;
    candle-making at Grace Dieu, 173

  Candles, allowance of, to monks, 69

  _Canonici_, 222

  Canons, Augustinian, 225;
    Black, 226;
    Gilbertine, 229;
    Premonstratensian, 226;
    Regular, 222;
    White, 226

  Canterbury, situation of church at, 13

  Cantor, duties of, 58

  _Capitulum_, or Little Chapter, 123

  _Caritas_, 79, 138

  Carmelites, account of, 238

  Carrels, in cloister, 20

  Carriers, duties of, 209

  Carrow, visitations of, 178

  Carthusians, description of, 221

  Cassian, _Conferences_, 7;
    follower of Egyptian monachism, 6

  Caterer, duties of, 202

  Cathedral Priories, 40

  Cellarer, duties of, 72

  Cemetery, in charge of sacrist, 68

  Chamberlain, duties of, 100;
    assistant, 101

  Chapter, daily, 121;
    business conducted in, 126;
    faults, 124;
    process of, 123;
    benefactors prayed for in, 127;
    Chapter Mass, 120;
    sealing of charters in, 125

  Chapters, General, 190

  ‘Charlet,’ 205

  Charters, sealed in Chapter, 125

  Chester, situation of church at, 13

  Choir, position of, 15;
    one of most important parts of church, 15;
    entrance to from cloister, 15

  Chrodegand, bishop of Metz, 222, 225

  Church, British, Celtic in origin, 11;
    situation of in English monasteries, 13;
    care of monks for impropriated, 194

  _Circas_, 56

  _Circatores claustri_, 56

  Cirencester Abbey, 226

  Cistercians, 218

  Citeaux, and the English houses, 221;
    General Chapters at, 190

  Clement IV. and the Austin Friars, 241

  Clement V. suppresses Templars, 233

  Clerkenwell, headquarters of Hospitallers, 230

  Clothing of monks, 100

  Cluniacs, system of government, 217

  Cluny, General Chapters at, 190

  Coadjutors, appointed to help incapable superiors, 188

  Collation, or Reading, 152

  _Collectarium_, 117

  Collectors, diocesan, often religious superiors, 189

  Columba, St., 10;
    Rule of, 214

  Columbanus, St., Rule of, 11

  _Commanderies_, 230

  Common life, definition of, 5

  Communion of junior monks, 119

  Community, honour shown to, 37

  Compline, 153

  _Conferences_ of Cassian, 7

  _Congé d’élire_, 44, 183

  Convent seal, custodian of, 64

  Convocation dues, paid by religious houses, 189

  Cook, work of, 25;
    duties of monastery, 205;
    abbot’s, 202;
    cook for fish, 207;
    duties of guest-hall, 206;
    infirmary, 204, 207;
    ‘pittance,’ 206

  Co-operation, foreshadowed under monastic tenure, 199, 200

  Council of Lyons and Pied Friars, 242

  Cowick Priory, 186

  Cox, Rev. Dr., 155

  Cressets, 69

  Crossed Friars, 246

  Cruets, cleansing of, 67

  Crutched Friars, 246

  _Custodes Ordinis_, 122

  “Custodies,” Franciscan, 237

  _Custumaria_ of Glastonbury, 196

  Cuthbert, St., shrine of, 16

  Decorum at table, rules for, 142

  Denney Convent, 238

  Deposition of superiors, 191

  _Discarius_, duties of, 211

  Discipline, in Chapter, 124

  ‘Disport,’ 23

  Dinner, 136;
    reading at, 138, 141;
    serving at, 139;
    feeding of the poor at, 141;
    dead monk’s portion and place at, 141

  Dominic, St., 234

  Dominicans, or Black Friars, 234;
    at Oxford, 237

  Door-keepers, duties of, 210

  Durham, hour of Vespers at, 149;
    _Halmote Rolls_, 196, 199;
    _The Rites of_, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 31, 32, 34;
    grace-cup of, 24

  Edingdon, Convent of Bonshommes at, 249

  Education of girls, 162

  Election, of superiors, process of, 183;
    formal documents needed in an, 46;
    by acclamation, 44;
    _per compromissum_, 44;
    _per viam scrutinii_, 44

  _Emptor_, 80

  England, early monachism in, 9

  Essenes, their practices, 1

  Euphemia, abbess of Wherwell, 155

  Exemptions of monasteries from episcopal control, 180, 181

  _Exennia_, 77

  Feet-washing, or _Mandatum_, 84;
    arrangements for weekly, 103

  Felix of Valois, St., founder of Trinitarians, 245

  Ferriby Priory, 233

  Fish-cook, 206

  Franciscan Friars, 237

  _Frater-house_, 21

  Fraternity, grant of, in Chapter, 126

  _Fratry_, 21

  Friars, the, 234;
    Bethlemite, 246;
    Black, 234;
    Crossed, or Crutched, 246;
    Grey, 237;
    of the Holy Trinity, or Trinitarians, 245;
    of Our Lady, or _de Domina_, 245;
    of St. Mary de Areno, 242;
    Pied, or _de Pica_, 242;
    Preaching, 234;
    of the Sack, 241;
    White, 238

  ‘Frumenty,’ 205

  Gardener, duties of, 209

  General Chapters, 190

  _Generale_, 151

  Gilbert, St., of Sempringham, 229

  Gilbertine Canons, 229

  Glastonbury, subject to episcopal jurisdiction, 181;
    tenants of, 196;
    tenure of land by tenants of, 196;
    tenants of, at Christmas, 198

  Goldstone, Thos., prior of Canterbury, 35

  Gospel at Matins, ceremonies connected with, 114

  Grace, at meals: before, 138;
    after, 143

  Grace-cup of Durham, 24

  Grace-Dieu, nuns of in 1539, 159;
    list of nuns of in 1414, 163;
    candle-making at, 173;
    chaplain of, 164;
    clothing of nuns and retainers of, 169, 170;
    commissariat at, 165, 166;
    confessors of, 164;
    repairs at, 172;
    retainers of, 168;
    salting at, 174;
    visitors at, 163;
    wages and work at, 170

  Gradual Psalms, recitation of, 112

  _Granatorius_, duties of, 76

  Grandisson, bishop of Exeter, 186;
    relations with Tavistock Abbey, 187

  Gregory the Great, St., and Benedictine Rule, 214

  Gregory X. suppresses many minor Orders of Friars, 242

  Grey Friars, 237

  Guests, St. Benedict’s directions about, 98;
    reception of, 97;
    care of guest-house, 96;
    guest-master, duties and qualifications of, 95

  _Gyrovagi_, 8

  _Halmote Rolls_ of Durham, 196, 199

  Hampshire, Victoria History of, 155

  Harding, St. Stephen, 218

  Hebdomadarian, duties of, 109;
    at Matins, 113

  Henry V. and the Carthusians, 222

  _Herbarium_, 29

  Herbert, prior of Bury, 53

  Hinton Charterhouse, 222

  Honoratus, founder of Lerins, 7

  Honorius III. confirms Carmelite Rule, 241;
    and the Dominicans, 234

  Hospitality, duration of, 32

  Hospitallers, Knights, 230

  Hostellary, or Hostry, 30

  Hunte, Thos., and his daughters, 162

  Impropriation of churches, 193;
    consent of Holy See required for, 193

  Individualism, characteristic of Eastern monachism, 5

  Infirmarian, duties and qualification of, 85

  Infirmary, cook for, 207;
    rules to be observed in, 86

  Innocent III. and the Franciscans, 237;
    confirms Order of Trinitarians, 245

  Innocent IV. approves Carmelite Rule, 241

  Iona, type of Celtic monachism, 12

  Ireland, Augustinians in, 226

  ‘Jacobins,’ 234

  Jerome, St., translates Rule of St. Pachomius, 7

  Jessop, Dr., and Episcopal Visitations, 178

  Jocelin of Brakelond, 53

  Juniors, Communion of, 119

  ‘Jussel,’ 205

  Katherine, Dame, nun of Carrow, 178

  Kington St. Michael, nuns of St. Mary’s at, 177

  ‘Kirkset,’ 197

  Kitchen, position of, 23;
    furniture of, 24

  Kitchener, duties and qualifications of, 79;
    character of, 82;
    to be careful about keys, 83

  Labour, manual, 148

  Ladye Mass, 120

  Langesper, Wm., and the Carthusians, 222

  Larderer, 82;
    duties and qualifications of, 203

  Lauds, time of, 116;
    ceremonies connected with, 116

  Laundresses, 101, 212

  Lavatory, position of, 19;
    in charge of refectorian, 78

  ‘Laveroc,’ 197

  Lazarus of Jerusalem, Order of, 230

  Lectern, position of, 15

  Lenton Priory, an exempt house, 181

  Lerins, Monastery of, 6

  Lessons, reading of, at Matins, 114

  ‘Letborry,’ 205

  Lewes Priory, 218;
    exempt house, 181

  Librarian, 61

  Lighting arrangements of a monastery, 68

  Lindisfarne, 12

  _Lisca_, 67

  Lisle, Ambrose Phillipps de, 158

  _Locutorium_, 32

  ‘Loft,’ 23

  Lyons, Council of, and Pied Friars, 242

  _Majestas_, 22, 27, 123, 138

  _Mandatum_, or feet-washing, 84

  Manual labour, 148

  Margaret, Dame, nun of Carrow, 178

  Marten, Dame Anne, nun of Carrow, 178

  Martin of Tours, St., founder of monachism in Gaul, 6

  Martyrology, reading of, 122

  Mary, St., de Areno, Friars of, 242

  Mass, Ladye, 120;
    Morning, or Chapter, 120;
    High or Conventual, 131;
    ceremonies at High, 135

  Masses, private, 118

  _Master of Works_, 70

  Matha, St. John of, founder of Trinitarians, 245

  Matins, 111;
    order of, 112

  _Matricularius_, 70

  Maturines, or Trinitarians, 245

  Maud, abbess of Wherwell, 155

  Maud, Queen, 225

  Maundy, daily, superintended by almoner, 92

  _Mensa Major_, 22

  Mentmore, Michael de, abbot of St. Alban’s, 35

  Midelton, Dame Katherine, sub-cellarer of Grace-Dieu, 158 _seqq._

  Military Orders, 230

  _Minister Major_, title of, 246

  Minoresses, 238

  Minorites, 237

  ‘Misericord,’ 23

  _Missa familiaris_, 118

  Mixtum, or breakfast, 120

    Celtic, in England, 9;
    similar to that of Egypt, 9;
    peculiarity of, 10;
    idea of Eastern, 3;
    Individualism, characteristic of Eastern, 5

  Monasteries, dependent, 41

    its rulers, 37;
    blessing of, with holy water, 133;
    parts of:
      I., Church, 13;
      II., Cloisters, 17;
      III., Refectory, 21;
      IV., Kitchen, 24;
      V., Chapter-house, 27;
      VI., Dormitory, 27;
      VII., Infirmary, 28;
      VIII., Guesthouse, 30;
      IX., Parlour or Locutorium, 32;
      X., Almonry, 33;
      XI., Common-room or Calefactory, 33;
      XII., Library, 34

  Monastic life, origin of, 1

  _Monasticon_, Dugdale’s, 245

  Monte Cassino, Benedictines at, 213;
    destroyed by Lombards, 214

  ‘Mortrews,’ 205

  Mortuary Roll, 64;
    preparation of, duty of almoner, 93

  Mount St. Bernard’s Abbey, 158

  Music, instructor of, 61

  _Mustardarius_, duties of, 208

  Nicke, Bishop, visitation of in 1514, 178

  Norwich, _Episcopal Visitations of the Diocese of_ (edited by Dr.
        Jessop), 178;
    Pied Friars at, 242

  Novice-master, duties and qualifications of, 105;
    his seat in the Cloister, 18

  Novices, 21;
    reception of, 106;
    training of, 106;
    profession of, 108

  Nunnaminster, girls’ school at, 177

  Nuns, account of, 154 _seqq._;
    account of by John Aubrey, 154, 177

  Obedientiaries, 58

  ‘Observants,’ 237

  Officials, weekly, 109

  _Opus Dei_, 13

  Orders, Military, 230

  ‘Oriel,’ 23

  _O Sapientia_, 34

  Oxford, Dominicans at, 237

  Pachomius, St., founder of a monastery, 3;
    details of his system of monachism, 4, 5

  _Palladius, Lausiac History of_, 3

  Paris, Matthew, 246, 249

  Parliament, abbots and priors in, 195;
    monastic, 128

  Penance, Brethren of, 241;
    use of Sacrament of, 118

  _Penitentia_, Friars _de_, 241

  Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, 221

  Petronilla, Dame, cellarer of Grace-Dieu, 158 _seqq._

  Pied Friars, 242

  Pilgrimage of Grace, and the Convents, 163

  Pittance, 151;
    pittance-cook, 206

  Pocket-money for monks, 105

  Poor Clares, 238

  Pork, as food, 160

  Porter of monastery, 19

  Precentor, duties of, 58;
    librarian, 61;
    archivist, 64;
    one of custodians of Convent Seal, 64;
    instructor of music, 61

  Preceptories, 230, 233

  Premonstratensian Canons, 226

  Prémontré, Abbey of, 226;
    General Chapters at, 190

  Prime, time of, 117

  Prior, Claustral, appointment and duties, 52, 54;
    qualifications of, 53;
    his seat in Cloisters, 18

  _Pro-aula_, 30

  Procession, Sunday, 133

  Procurations, contributed to, by religious houses, 189

  Provincial Synods, regular clergy represented at, 190

  Pudding-house, 211;
    pudding-wives, duties of, 75, 211

  _Rasura_, 104

  Reader in refectory, duties of, 110

  Reading, Lenten, 62;
    books for, during meals, 63;
    preparation for public, 63

  ‘Recollects,’ 237

  Recreation, 144-146

  Rectory and Vicarage, distinction between, 194

  Redman, Richard, bishop and abbot, 226

  Refectorian, duties of, 77;
    had charge of lavatory, 78;
    sampled cheeses, 79

  Refectory, position of, 19, 21

  Reigate Convent, 246

  _Rentalia_ of Glastonbury, 196

  Repairs, arrangements for, 101

  Repose after dinner, 147

  _Rere-dortor_, 28

  _Revestiarius_, 70;
    duties of, 71

  Reyner, Clement, 246

  _Rites of Durham, The_, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 31, 32, 34

  Robert, St., of Molesmes, 218

  Rods for discipline, to be found by almoner, 93

  Rubricators, 63

  Rupibus, Peter de, bishop of Winchester, 234

  Sack, Friars of the, 241

  Sacrist, duties of, 66;
    qualifications of, 70;
    looked after cemetery, 68;
    looked after lighting, 68

  Salter, duties of, 208

  Salting winter provisions, 174

  Sampson, abbot of Bury, 53

  Sarabites, 8

  School, monastic, 93

  _Scot-ales_, 198

  Scribes, 63

  _Scylla_, 22

  Seal, custodian of Convent, 64

  ‘Second Table,’ 144

  Secretary, duties of, 70, 71

  Sellying, Wm., prior of Canterbury, 35

  Sepulchre, Canons of the Holy, 245

  ‘Sergeant’s hill,’ 208

  Sergius, St., Abbey of, 186

  Servants, paid, 201;
    under the cellarer, 73

  Servers, weekly duties of, in kitchen, 83;
    in the refectory, 110;
    in the church, 208

  Shap Abbey, 229

  Shaving, arrangements for, 103;
    process of, a religious act, 104

  Shene Charterhouse, 222

  Somerset Record Society, 196

  ‘Spane,’ 23

  Stalls, choir, position of, 15

  _Statio_, 121

  Stoics, their teaching, 1

  Stonesgate Priory, 218

  Subiaco, foundation of St. Benedict at, 213

  Sub-cellarer, duties and qualifications of, 75

  Sub-prior, appointment and duties of, 55

  Succentor, duties of, 59, 65

  Superiors, position of, in choir, 16

  Supper, 150

  Surtees Society, 196

  Symbolism in church-building, 14

  Synods, Provincial, regular clergy represented at, 190

  _Tabula_, signal for talking, 128;
    _sonatila_, 128

  _Tabulae_, 63

  ‘Table, Second,’ 144

  Tailoring, 102

  Tanning, instance of, 169

  Tavistock Abbey, Bishop Grandisson and, 187

  Templars, Knights, 233

  Temple, London, 233;
    Master of the, 233

  Tenants, monastic, 196

  Thetford, visitation of, in 1514, 178

  Tierce, when said, 121

  Towels, aumbries for, 19;
    provision of, 103;
    to be often changed, 78

  Treasurer, 70;
    duties of, 72

  Trinitarians, 245

  Turnbroach, 204;
    duties of, 211

  Tywardreath Priory, 186

  University training for monks, 192

  Uprising, time for, 111

  Valet, abbot’s, 203

  Verdon, Lady Rohesia de, 158

  Vergil, Polydore, 249

  Vespers, 149

  Vicarage and Rectory, distinction between, 194

  Visitations, injunctions and monitions at, 188

  Vitelers, 82

  Waltham Cross Abbey, 226

  ‘Wardenships,’ Franciscan, 237

  Washing, in the morning, 118

  Watchen, abbot of Abingdon, 81

  Water, Holy, blessing of, 132;
    sprinkled, before monks retired to bed, 153

  Waterbeche Convent, 238

  Welbeck Abbey, 226

  Wessington, prior of Durham, 35

  Whethamstede, Abbot, 35

  Wherwell, nunnery of, 155

  White Canons, 226;
    White Friars, 238

  ‘White Ladies’ of Grace-Dieu, 162

  William, Earl of Warren, 218

  Work, daily, 147;
    workrooms, 36

  York, St. Mary’s Abbey, subject to episcopal jurisdiction, 181




[1] _Texts and Studies, Cambridge_, vol. vi., No. 1, p. 233.

[2] _Ibid._

[3] _Ibid._, p. 234.

[4] _Ibid._, p. 235.

[5] _Ibid._, p. 236.

[6] _Ibid._, p. 247.

[7] _Ibid._, p. 256.

[8] _The Celtic Church of Wales_, J. J. Willis Bund, p. 166.

[9] A preceptory of Knights of St. Lazarus, temp. Edw. III.

[10] For London, see also Clerkenwell and Haliwell.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "English Monastic Life" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.