Religious Houses in Medieval Leicestershire

Religious houses had a prominent place in the history of the church and in economic and social life. The principal benefactor chose the order when the community was established.

Benedictines

One Benedictine house was founded for women

Langley Priory annual income in 1535 was £29
Founded 1154 Dissolved 1536 Prioress and 6 nuns in 1536
By the eleventh century St Bernard of Clairvaux believed that Benedictine Monks (Black Monks) led insufficiently simple and austere lives. He founded a monastery at Citeau. Soon invitations came for this order to establish monasteries in the new style. Cistercians, wore white habits (White Monks)

Cistercians

Garendon Abbey annual income in 1535 £159
Founded 1133 Dissolved 1536 Abbot and 15 monks

Augustinian Canons

Their houses were Kirby Bellars Priory annual income in 1535 £142
Founded 1315 Dissolved 1536 10 Canons

Launde Priory annual income in 1535 £399
Founded 1119 Dissolved 1538 13 Canons

Leicester Abbey annual income in 1535 £951
Founded 1143 Dissolved 1538 20 Canons

Owston Abbey annual income in 1535 £161
Founded 1166 Dissolved 1536 Abbot and 11 Canons

Ulverscroft Priory annual income in 1535 £83
Founded 1134 Dissolved 1536 Prior 11 Canons

Premonstratensian Canons

Premonstratensian were Augustinian Canons renowned for their simple austerity. All their houses were supervised from Premonstre in France

Croxton Abbey annual income in 1535 £385
Founded 1160 Dissolved 1538 Abbot and 18 Canons

Augustinian Canonesses

Grace Dieu Priory annual income in 1535 £92
Founded 1239 Dissolved 1538 Prioress and 15 Nuns

Friaries

Friars were ordained priests with the duty to carry out missionary work among the population. Some chose to live in communities and following contemplative life. Although they enjoyed popularity with lay people many parish clergy regarded them as unnecessary interlopers.

 

Location

Order

Founded

Dissolved

Compliment

Income 1535

Langley Priory

Benedictines

1154

1536

Prioress and 6 nuns

£29

Garendon Abbey

Cistercians

1133

1536

Abbot and 15 monks

£159

Kirby Bellars Priory

Augustinian

1315

1536

10 Canons

£142

Launde Priory

Augustinian

1119

1538

13 Canons

 

£399

Leicester Abbey

Augustinian

1143

1538

20 Canons

£951

Owston Abbey

Augustinian

1166

1536

Abbot and 11 Canons

£161

Ulverscroft Priory

Augustinian

1134

1536

Prior 11 Canons

£83

Grace Dieu Priory

Augustinian

1239

1538

Prioress and 15 Nuns

£92

Croxton Abbey

Augustinian
Premonstratensian

1160

1538

Abbot and 18 Canons

 

£385

 

Friaries

Friars were ordained priests with the duty to carry out missionary work among the population. Some chose to live in communities and following contemplative life. Although they enjoyed popularity with lay people many parish clergy regarded them as unnecessary interlopers.

Location

Order

Founded

Dissolved

Leicester

Dominicans

1252

1538

Leicester

Franciscans

1130

1538

Leicester

Hermit Friars of St Augustine

1304

1539

Leicester

Friars of the Sack in England

1274

unknown

 

Knights Templars/ Knights Hospitalers

The Templars adopted the Augustinian rule but their duties were to protect and help pilgrims. The knights were soldiers who fought infidels on crusades or guarded pilgrims and sacred sites. Their financial support came from landed estates in many parts of western Christendom.

Rothley was founded during 13th century to administer some of the Order’s properties in the county. The Pope dissolved the Order of Templars and their property was transferred to the Knights Hospitalers of St. John in Jerusalem. Its income in 1535 was £87.

Dalby was founded as a Hospitaler Preceptory in 1154 and by the Dissolution in 1540 it oversaw Rothley. Its income in 1535 was £91.