Begh (or Le Begue), Lambert
Begh (Or Le Begue), Lambert priest of the diocese of Liege, is often recognized as the founder of the Beguines (q.v.). He preached with zeal against the disorders of the clergy, especially against simony, which particularly irritated the ecclesiastical body. Ralph, bishop of Liege, who carried on this vice to a scandlalous extent, arrested Begh, and imprisoned him for a long time at the chateau of Rivogne; then conveyed him to Rome, in order to make it appear that he had been guilty of preaching without authority. Pope Alexander III, informed of these motives, received Begh honorably, and permitted him to return to his country, with all the necessary power to exercise freely the functions of his office. On his return from Rome, he assembled all the daughters and widows in order to form a religious order. These were called Beguines. They were first established at Neville, in Brabant, whence they spread into Flanders, Holland, and Germany. Begh died in 1177. According to others, this person was a French socalled heretic, who lived near the close of the 13th century. He is said to have taught that man in this life is capable of perfection;. by which he probably meant a state of entire Christian purity. He refused to worship the popish host, and, according to his enemies, opposed the practice of the popular acts of piety. His doctrines were condemned at the Council of Vienna in 1311. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.