English Monastic Life – The Dominicans, or Black Friars

Dominican FriarArticle

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 Saint Jacques, at Paris. Their rule was founded on that of Saint 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.

MLA Citation

  • Dom Adrian Gasquet. “The Dominicans, or Black Friars”. English Monastic Life, 1904. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 November 2018. Web. 18 January 2022. <>