English Monastic Life – The Minoresses, or Nuns of Saint Clare

Franciscan NunArticle

The Minoresses were instituted by Saint Clare, the sister of Saint Francis of Assisi, about A.D. 1212, as the branch of the Franciscan Order for females. They followed the Rule of the Friars Minor and were thus called “Minoresses,” or Nuns of Saint Clare, after their foundress. They wore the same dress as the Franciscan Friars, and imitated them in their poverty, for which cause they were sometimes known as “Poor Clares.” They were brought to England somewhere about A.D. 1293, and established in London, without Aldgate, in the locality now known as the Minories. The Order had two other houses, one at Denney, in Cambridgeshire, in which at the time of the general dissolution there were some twenty-five nuns; and the other at Brusyard in Suffolk, which was a much smaller establishment. The nuns at Denney had previously been located at Waterbeche for about fifty years, being removed to their new home by Mary, countess of Pembroke, in A.D. 1348.

MLA Citation

  • Dom Adrian Gasquet. “The Minoresses, or Nuns of Saint Clare”. English Monastic Life, 1904. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 November 2018. Web. 19 April 2021. <>