Austin Friars

Austin Friars (or Eremites). Volaterranus and Alvarez place the Augustinians after the Dominican and Franciscan orders; but Adrian of Ghent and Polvdore Yergil give them the first rank. Their earliest appearance as hermits has been referred to a very early date; but, according to the most trustworthy authors, they were founded by William, duke of Aquitaine and earl of Poitou, about the year 1150, and were known as Williamnites. Alexander IV gathered their scattered communities into a single order under a prior- general, and removed them into cities and towns. In 1254' they settled in England at London, where the nave of their church remains; and at Woodhouse, in Wales in 1255, they left the wilds for towns. They wore a black robe and girdle, and observed the so-called rule of St. Augustine, which was adopted by all the other mendicant orders. They were famous in disputation, and the "keeping of Austins" formed a material part of the act of taking an M.A. degree at Oxford.

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