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Encyclopedia > Leicester Abbey

Leicester Abbey, the Abbey of Saint Mary de Pratis ("St Mary of the Meadows"), standing about a mile (2 km) north of the city of Leicester in the riverside meadows of the navigable Soar, was built under the patronage of Robert le Bossu, Earl of Leicester. It was founded as a community of Augustinian Canons, the canons regular of the Order of Saint Augustine. Canons regular follow a similar, but perhaps less rigid rule than monks, following a rule set down by Saint Augustine in a letter to a convent in his diocese. Leicester city centre, looking towards the Clock Tower Leicester (pronounced ) is the largest city and unitary authority in the English East Midlands region of the UK. The city is the traditional county town of Leicestershire. ... Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1104 – 5 April 1168), also known as Robert Le Bossu (meaning Robert the Uneven in French), was an English nobleman of French ancestry. ... The Earl of Leicester was created in the 12th century as a title in the Peerage of England (title now extinct), and is currently a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1837. ... The Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo (died AD 430), are several Roman Catholic monastic orders and congregations of both men and women living according to a guide to religious life known as the Rule of Saint Augustine. ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ...

The abbey was one of the largest and most influential land owners in Leicestershire, thanks to contributions by important patrons such as the Earl of Winchester, Simon de Montfort, Alan la Zouche, Ernard de Bosco and, finally, the Crown. The abbey certainly held more manors than any lay lord. Leicestershire (IPA: , abbreviated Leics) is a landlocked county in central England. ... The title of Earl of Winchester was created several times in the Peerage of England in the Middle Ages. ... Two notable men bore the name of Simon de Montfort or Simon de Montford in the middle ages: Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester (1160 - 1218), a French nobleman, achieved prominence in the Fourth Crusade and in the Albigensian Crusade. ...

Cardinal Wolsey

The abbey is perhaps most famous for its connection to Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England, who was for a time the most powerful man in England, second only to the King. In spiritual terms, his power even surpassed that of the Archbishop of Canterbury (the Primate of England). Wolsey, at one part, was a candidate for the papacy on the death of Leo X, when Adrian VI was elected. Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, (circa March 1471-1475 – November 28 or November 29, 1530), born Thomas Wolsey in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, was a powerful English statesman and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Arms of the Archbishop of York The Archbishop of York, Primate of England, is the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, and is the junior of the two archbishops of the Church of England, after the Archbishop of Canterbury. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and prior to the Union the Chancellor of England and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom, and its predecessor states. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... The house where Adrian VI was born Adrian VI (also known as Hadrian VI or Adriano VI), born Adrian dEdel (March 2, 1459 - September 14, 1523), pope from 1522 to 1523, was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and studied under the Brethren of the Common Life either at Zwolle...

And yet, he fell out of the King’s favour in 1529 and was forced to return to his Archdiocese of York. A year later he was accused of high treason and ordered to return to London. On the way, he stopped at Leicester Abbey. As he arrived, he told the abbot, "I am come to leave my bones among you.” The archbishop died that night November 26 1530. He was buried within the walls of the Abbey church, and today a monument stands on his supposed resting place. From the disgrace of Wolsey, the path to schism from Rome was short, and the inevitable fall of the Abbey of St Mary de Pratis of Leicester. Events April 22 - Treaty of Saragossa divides the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal, stipulating that the dividing line should lie 297. ... {{main|Treason}} High treason, broadly defined, is an action which is grossly disloyal to ones country or sovereign. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... November 26 is the 330th day (331st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

The clothes manufacturers Wolsey is based nearby in Leicester and the company is named in honour of Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey is one of the oldest textile companies in the world, having been established in 1755. ...


The canons regular in fact supported the Oath of Supremacy of the King, and the abbey would have become the cathedral of Leicester. However, it had problems of its own, far from the reaches of spiritual politics. The Abbey was in debt. The canons owed £411 10 s 0 d (£411.50). The last abbot, John Bourchen, surrendered the abbey to Thomas Cromwell, Wolsey’s old secretary. He set up what was believed to be a scheme to save the Abbey (despite his firm belief in the dissolution of the monasteries)—the sale of the abbey’s land and possessions. The scheme (unsurprisingly) failed. The canons disbanded, and the land was granted to the Marquess of Northampton, who later sold it to the Earl of Huntingdon, who built a house in the grounds of the abbey, using the Abbey's stone. The Abbey's main gatehouse, which gave access to the cloister that flanked the abbey church, some boundary walls and later farm buildings have survived. The Oath of Supremacy, imposed by the Act of Supremacy 1559, provided for any person taking public or church office in England to swear allegiance to the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. ... The title of Marquess of Northampton was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1812 for the Earl of Northampton. ... Earl of Huntingdon is a title which has been created several times in the Peerage of England. ...

In 1613, William Cavendish, the first Earl of Devonshire, acquired the property, and it became known as Cavendish House. It was used as the headquarters of Charles I before the Battle of Naseby. After the loss at Naseby, what Royal troops remained plundered the house and fired it. The Dukes of Devonshire are members of the aristocratic Cavendish family in the United Kingdom. ... Combatants Parliamentarians Royalists Commanders Sir Thomas Fairfax King Charles I Prince Rupert of the Rhine Strength 6000 horse 7000 foot 4100 horse 3300 foot Casualties 1,000 total casualties [1] approximately 1,000 killed, 5,000 captured [1] The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English...

The excavated foundations of Leicester Abbey, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and of ruined Cavendish House now stand in the Victorian landscape of Abbey Park, Leicester, laid out in 1877, where the grounds and 52 acres (210,000 m²) of the adjacent park, with its Chinese garden and model railway form the premier parklands of the city of Leicester. A Scheduled Ancient Monument is defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the National Heritage Act 1983 of the United Kingdom government. ... Abbey Park is a public park in Leicester, England, through which the River Soar flows. ... Leicester city centre, looking towards the Clock Tower Leicester (pronounced ) is the largest city and unitary authority in the English East Midlands region of the UK. The city is the traditional county town of Leicestershire. ... Leicester city centre, looking towards the Clock Tower Leicester (pronounced ) is the largest city and unitary authority in the English East Midlands region of the UK. The city is the traditional county town of Leicestershire. ...

External links

  • Leicester City Council: Abbey history
  • Leicester City Council: Abbey Park
  • Thomas Williams and Semper Eadem : History
  • University of Leicester: "Leicester Abbey revisited": recent archaeology

  Results from FactBites:
LAHS - Occasional Publications - Leicester Abbey (260 words)
Leicester Abbey was founded in 1138 wand became one of the most important Augustinian monasteries in medieval England.
This is the first volume on Leicester Abbey for more than 50 years, produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society.
Abbot Sadyngton of Leicester Abbey and onychomancy: an episode of clerical divination in the fifteenth century
A Brief History of Leicester, Leicestershire, England (2219 words)
It struck in 1564, 1579, 1583 and 1593.
Leicester soon recovered from the effects of the civil war and by 1670 it probably had a population of about 5,000.
Leicester was described in a magazine in 1909: ‘it is difficult to think of Leicester as a town of considerable industrial importance.
  More results at FactBites »



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