English Monastic Life – The Premonstratensian Canons

Premonstratensian CanonArticle

This branch of the Canons Regular was established by Saint Norbert in A.D. 1119 at a place called Prémontré, a lonely and desolate valley near Laon in France. Their founder gave them the Rule of Saint Augustine, and they became known either as Premonstratensians, from their first foundation, or Norbertines, from their founder. The habit of these canons was white, with a white rochet and even a white cap, and for this reason they were frequently known as White Canons. Besides following the ordinary Augustinian Rule, these Canons made Prémontré into a “mother-house,” and the abbot of Prémontré was abbot-general of the entire Order: having the right to visit, either by himself or deputy, every house of the congregation; to summon every superior to the yearly General Chapter; and to impose a tax for the use of the Order upon all the houses. This, so far as England is concerned, lasted in theory until A.D. 1512, when all the English houses were placed under the abbot of Welbeck. Previously they had been for more than thirty years supervised on behalf of the abbot of Prémontré, by Bishop Redman, who also continued to hold the office of abbot of Shap. In England, just before the dissolution, there were some thirty-four houses of the Order.

MLA Citation

  • Dom Adrian Gasquet. “The Premonstratensian Canons”. English Monastic Life, 1904. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 November 2018. Web. 17 April 2021. <>