Cluniac Order

Monks in south choir waiting silentlyMonks in north choir chantingThe order of Cluny is a Benedictine offshoot founded at a time when reformist ideas were gaining momentum within the Church. Widely regarded as the ultimate expression of the monastic ideal in the tenth and eleventh centuries, it became immensely popular, only to be superceded in the twelfth by newer orders such as the Cistercians. Though Cluny's spiritual authority has been undermined to some extent, the order still wields tremendous influence. Member houses, numbering in the hundreds, are spread over much of Europe. These communities' vast land holdings afford the order the status of a powerful temporal magnate. The Cluniac way of life emphasizes the celebration of Mass and Divine Office in the most elaborate manner possible. The order is known for its splendor, its lengthy and embellished liturgy, its richly decorated churches, and its great wealth.

The Cluniac order is Benedictine, in that its religious live according to the Rule of St. Benedict. To avoid confusion, however, the term "Benedictine" is used below only to describe those religious and houses that are not part of any order, including that of Cluny. Such a clear delineation between Cluniacs on the one hand and unaffiliated Benedictines on the other does not exist in reality. Indeed, Cluniacs are more akin to the black monks and nuns than are the religious of any other order, and they are often referred to by the same appellations.

Cluniac communities in England are not as numerous as their Benedictine counterparts, nor do they tend to be quite as populous. They range from Lewes Priory, home to perhaps sixty monks, to small monasteries holding ten or more religious, to cells staffed by only two or three brethren [1]. All English Cluniac houses larger than cells are known as priories, symbolizing their subordinance to Cluny [2]. Though the order has a reputation for wealth and splendor, the smaller member communities tend to be no better off than their Benedictine equivalents. Even the larger Cluniac priories in England, while certainly affluent, are not as prosperous as are the greatest houses of the black monks [3].


Cluniac history spans three centuries. Ever since its foundation, the order has had a profound effect upon the Church, both the secular clergy and monastics. Only in the last fifty years has its power and influence begun a gradual decline. An instrument of ecclesiastical reform for the first 200 years of its existence, within the last century Cluny has come to be seen by many as reactionary, its culture inflexible and its traditions antiquated and decadent.

Establishment and Growth

The oldest of the reformist orders, Cluny was established as a Benedictine monastery in the Burgundian region of France at the beginning of the tenth century. The community was no ordinary religious house, however. Its founder, Duke William of Aquitaine, granted Cluny perpetual freedom from military service and other temporal obligations, declaring his foundation to be dependent solely upon the papacy. This was a radical departure from the usual practice, as tenth century patrons always expected to interfere in the affairs of supported monastic communities. William's grant meant that the monks of Cluny were to be free from such meddling for all time. Furthermore, because the new foundation was beholden only to the pope, it was exempt from diocesan control as well [4].

The monks of the newly-founded house followed a more rigid interpretation of the Rule of St. Benedict than did many of their contemporaries. Western Europe had been subject to barbarian incursions for many years, and religious communities were forced to endure such trials alongside the laity. In many of the monasteries that survived these ordeals, discipline had suffered greviously. The papacy realized that Cluny's strict observance of the Rule, combined with its direct link with Rome and freedom from secular and episcopal interference, made it an ideal instrument of monastic revival. Within a few years of its founding, Cluny was tasked with reforming various religious houses, first in Rome itself, then in France, then elsewhere. Thanks in part to a succession of capable abbots, the house's efforts were immensely successful. Though at times Cluny's monks met with opposition from stubborn houses that did not wish to be reformed, Cluniac revitalization was actively sought by many religious communities as the reformist fervor swept through the regular clergy [5].

By the close of the tenth century, many older houses had been reformed to varying degrees along Cluniac lines, and the monastery had overseen the founding of a number of daughter priories as well. Cluny's position with regard to exemption from episcopal and secular control was confirmed and strengthened by successive authorities. The house's possessions had grown in step with its popularity and responsibilities, as eager benefactors showered it with gifts of land, privileges, and goods. All this transformed Cluny from an austere and humble house to a wealthy community, one possessing both temporal and spiritual power in abundance [6].

From Family to Order

The loose association of Cluny and its dependent houses can be said to have evolved into the Cluniac order during the course of the eleventh century. It was the first truly centralized religious order to be formed, predating the Cistercians and others by perhaps a hundred years. Odilo, the fifth abbot, continued the work of reforming other monasteries, but he also encouraged the subjection of these monasteries to the abbot of Cluny. The order's gradual development was further encouraged in 1016 when Pope Benedict VIII decreed that the privileges of Cluny also extended to subordinate houses. In 1088, Pope Urban II, who had spent some of his youth as a monk of Cluny and had held the office of grand prior in the monastery, bestowed new rights upon the house. He not only confirmed the privileges previously granted by the papacy, but also forbade any papal legate who was not expressly instructed otherwise from interfering in Cluny's affairs [7].

The eleventh century saw the introduction of female religious into the order, and the spread of Cluny's influence into the British Isles. In 1056, the first Cluniac nunnery was founded at Marcigny. Other female convents joined thereafter, though Cluniac nuns have always been greatly outnumbered by their male counterparts [8]. By the later half of the century, the Normans were great admirers of the order, and following the Conquest they repeatedly petitioned the abbot of Cluny to provide monks for the foundation of a priory in their new territory. In 1077, the abbot finally consented, and sent a party to establish a monastery at Lewes. The foundation was the first of many in Britain [9].

In the first decades of the twelfth century, the order suffered under poor government. It was subsequently revitalized under the abbot Peter the Venerable, who brought wayward houses into line and returned to stricter discipline. Cluny reached new heights of power and influence during Peter's abbacy, as its brethren became bishops, legates, and cardinals throughout France and the Holy Roman Empire [10]. But by the time Peter died in 1156, the order's popularity with clergy and laity alike had been surpassed. To the zealous Church reformers of the twelfth century, Cluny was too opulent, and the suspicion of decadence hung over its religious. The newer and more austere orders such as the Cistercians took up the standard of the ecclesiastical reform movement, and the Cluniacs, once considered reformers, were now seen as part of the old guard. Ironically, Cluny's brilliant success as a reformist order contributed to its inevitable decline, as it became encumbered by a deluge of gifts from enthusiastic benefactors [11].

Influence in England

Despite the order's decline, Cluny's influence was pervasive in the British Isles throughout much of the twelfth century, having waned only in the last few years. This is primarily due to the efforts of those sons of the order who have taken up high positions in the English ecclesiastical hierarchy. Two Cluniacs in particular, Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester from 1129 to 1171, and Gilbert Foliot, bishop of Hereford from 1148 to 1163 and subsequently of London until 1187, did much to shape both the temporal and spiritual character of England. Others contributed as well; by the middle of the century, a number of Benedictine communities had been ruled at one time or another by abbots who were members of the order. The appointment of such men to positions of authority led to a diffusion of Cluniac ideas throughout the English Church. The effect was subtle, easily overlooked when compared with the obvious influence that the newer orders have had in the last hundred years. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied [12].

Unsurprisingly, a number of Cluniac priories are located within England. In the eight decades following the foundation of Lewes, numerous houses were established in the country. Currently there are approximately forty English communities. Of these, Lewes, Bermondsey, Thetford, Castle Acre, Wenlock, and Pontefract are the largest and most important. Only two, Arthington and Northampton, are nunneries. All of them are subject to Cluny [13].

Two twelfth century Benedictine foundations, Reading and Faversham, deserve mention because of their exceptional status as independent Cluniac abbeys within England. Each is infused with the culture of Cluny, yet the order has no power over either of them. They elect their own abbots and govern their affairs much as do autonomous Benedictine monasteries. Both houses enjoy ongoing relationships with Cluny and its dependents, having each been governed by abbots drawn from the order's ranks. Unlike other Cluniac monasteries in England, both are under royal patronage. Each has left its mark upon the Church. Reading in particular has provided its monks to Cluniac communities, and its sons have filled offices in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of France. Bound to the order by shared traits and customs but not by dependence, the two monasteries are in the strange position of having made significant contributions to Cluny's influence within the clergy while simultaneously maintaining their own autonomy [14].

Foundation, Patronage, and Benefaction

The fact that a new Cluniac house has not been brought into being in England for three decades is due to the order's lack of popularity with potential patrons, not any rule forbidding new foundations. A Cluniac community is not cheap to establish, since it requires much the same resources as do Benedictine monasteries. In the years during which the order was at the forefront of the ecclesiastical reform movement, this was not much of an impediment to new foundations, especially as there were no less expensive alternatives. With the coming of the more austere orders such as the Cistercians, however, this changed. Not only were the newer orders widely regarded as closer to the monastic ideal, they were also a more economical choice for a nobility increasingly reluctant to part with good land. The reasons for the decline in patronage of Cluniac houses are thus almost identical to those that have impacted Benedictine communities [15]. The effects are also similar, with one major exception: the lack of popularity of the order's nunneries versus unaffiliated female convents. While foundations of the latter have been common in the last century, the same cannot be said for their Cluniac counterparts. This may be due to the fact that, given the order's reputation for opulence, Cluniac nunneries are not seen as being particularly cost-effective. It may also be a result of the order's lack of interest in founding new houses for women religious.


The establishment of a new Cluniac monastery generally begins with a group of perhaps three or four religious migrating from the parent house to the new foundation. The fledgling community is entirely dependent upon its parent for all decisions of any significance. It undergoes periodic population increases as deemed appropriate, until eventually sufficient numbers of brethren or sisters are resident to allow the celebration of normal monastic services. Only then does the community make the transition in status from cell to monastery. From this point on, it is allowed a measure of self-government and may take on novices, but it is still supervised by the mother house. The terms of the relationship between parent and daughter vary between instances. For example, an agreement might be made that obligates the mother house to supply more brethren or sisters if the population of the daughter falls below a certain amount [16].

The Cluniac foundation process is thus heavily dependent upon the willingness and ability of the mother house to establish and nurture a daughter community. This dependency is indicative of the tight relationship that is meant to bind the Cluniac order together. It allows one house to shape the formation of another, passing on Cluniac traditions and rituals. This is intended to ensure that the various member houses share common traits particular to the Cluniac observance of the Rule, and thus to facilitate the maintenance of a sense of intercommunal identity. Unfortunately for the order, it also hampers the establishment and development of new houses, since a parent community must devote considerable effort to each foundation. In any case, the parent house's tight control of a newly established English priory may have little lasting effect upon the latter's willingness or ability to uphold Cluniac traditions. Once the daughter house attains independence, it is likely to be influenced as much by nearby Benedictine communities as by its parent monastery.

Rights of Patrons

Unlike the older Benedictine communities, Cluniac houses hold by frankalmoin tenure, not by military service. Furthermore, the election and appointment of a community's superior is meant to be the province of the parent house, a process that involves laypersons little if at all. Thus, the patron of a Cluniac priory is not considered the latter's liege lord and theoretically exercises little control over the sponsored community's government or its other affairs. In reality, however, many patrons wield considerable influence, official or otherwise, over their English monasteries, and in particular have some say in the elections of priors. Regardless, like all religious, Cluniac houses owe spiritual service. This includes prayers for the salvation of their patrons' and benefactors' souls and those of their families [17].

Reading and Faversham are special cases. Like the Cluniac priories, they hold their lands by frankalmoin tenure [18]. However, since each is independent of the order's hierarchy and under royal patronage, the king's wishes play a part in abbatial elections. In their dealings with their patron, therefore, the two houses are similar to Benedictine communities founded since the Conquest.

Confratres and Corrodians

As with autonomous Benedictine communities, Cluniac houses accept both confratres [19] and corrodians [20].

Sources of Income

In most respects, Cluniac houses utilize resources as do post-Conquest Benedictine foundations. Each community holds by frankalmoin tenure, and since it does not yield right of wardship to its patron when its abbacy or priorate is vacant, there is no division of community property between the superior and the other religious [21]. The order's houses exploit land, appropriated parish churches, and other sources of income common to monastic communities. For a few of the larger Cluniac priories, the latter includes the lordship of surrounding boroughs. Like some of the larger Benedictine monasteries, a few Cluniac priories have attracted sufficient numbers of lay workers to their vicinity to populate sizeable towns, and thus derive much income from the lordship of boroughs [22].

Each Cluniac community possessing one or more daughter priories collects an annual fee from each of the latter. The amount is not fixed by the order's customs, but is generally between a half mark and two marks. Payment is made by a daughter house's representatives when they journey to the parent community on the feast day of the saint to which the latter is dedicated. The yearly tax is more of a token than a burden to daughter priories, a symbol of the Cluniac hierarchy's feudal nature. For those monasteries that have spawned numerous daughters, however, the fee is not merely emblematic, as the cumulative income derived therefrom constitutes a substantial sum [23]. Owing to their special status, Reading and Faversham do not make such annual payments to their parent houses [24].

Organization and Hierarchy

The Cluniac hierarchy is feudal in nature, with each daughter house dependent upon its parent as is a lay vassal upon an overlord [25]. Since the order falls under papal control, its member communities are exempt from episcopal visitation [26]. The abbot of Cluny and his representatives are responsible for disciplining and correcting wayward houses [27]. Internally, communities are organized along standard monastic lines, with a prior, a cellarer, a precentor, and other officers dictated by the Rule or added to the hierarchy in the last few centuries. Like the Benedictines, the Cluniacs employ the obedientiary system, in which a community's holdings are divided for the purposes of management and profit between a number of departments headed by officials known as obedientiaries. This system has led to numerous abuses, and has contributed to the feeling amongst the more zealous Church commentators that the Cluniacs, like the Benedictines, are in need of reform [28].

Intercommunal Government

The Cluniacs broke new ground when they formed a religious order in the eleventh century. Since there was no precedent for such an intercommunal organization within the world of the regular clergy, Cluny naturally modeled its new hierarchy upon the feudal system prevalent in the secular world. The sole and supreme authority is the abbot of Cluny. Unlike newer orders, the Cluniacs do not use a governing council such as the Cistercian general chapter, nor do they have a constitutional framework that defines the powers vested in various authorities. Each of the order's priories is bound to its parent house by ties that are more personal and individual than they are legal or consistent. Parent-child relationships vary widely between instances, there being no Cluniac legislation that enforces uniformity. Visitation of all member houses is undertaken by the abbot of Cluny at irregular intervals. Given the number and geographical dispersion of the subordinate communities, visitations are necessarily far too infrequent to allow for consistent and effective discipline [29].

Other aspects of the hierarchy invite problems similar to those that plague feudal lords. Daughter priories often struggle with their parent communities for independence, much as would a vassal who hopes to better his or her position and status. While the parent house is supposed to govern its dependents, if the latter choose to flaunt its authority and cannot be restrained, there is not much it can do beyond making the abbot of Cluny aware of its misbehaving children. As Cluny is located within the interior of France, this in and of itself may take weeks or months for English communities. Once the abbot is informed, he must determine the best course of action. Unfortunately, he has little time to weigh the merits of each side's claims and render judgement. Since no official body of assistants exists to whom the abbot may delegate such cases, the demands placed upon the head of the order are often beyond his capability to handle effectively. Even if the abbot returns a decision, enforcing it is problematic due to the distances involved. It is thus often extremely difficult for English parent houses to reign in disobedient offspring, and as a result, individual priories often exercise considerable autonomy [30].

Since Reading and Faversham are members of the Cluniac order only in spirit, they are not subject to the abbot of Cluny's will. However, they have maintained favorable relations with the order's member houses, and as a result their independence is not viewed by Cluny with hostility [31].

Head of the Community and Disciplinary Officials

Cluniac houses in England are exclusively priories, and thus their superiors are without exception priors or prioresses. The appointment of such a superior is solely the responsibility of the abbot of Cluny. Once appointed, the head of the house occupies the priorate until transferred elsewhere or in any case until the abbot appoints someone else. The patron of the house should have little say in the matter, and the diocesan is barred from interfering. In this, Cluniac priories are distinctly different from their Benedictine counterparts. The simplicity of the system allows member houses to avoid the lengthy and acrimonious electoral struggles that the autonomous Benedictine houses must often endure [32].

This does not mean that appointments are always without conflict. Whatever the Cluniac ideal, English houses are located at considerable distance from Cluny and generally enjoy a degree of unofficial independence. Indeed, with so many duties pressing upon him, the abbot of Cluny often has little or no knowledge of what is happening in distant member communities. Moreover, patrons often exercise significant authority over English Cluniac houses. Consequently, a priory that has lost its superior may ask the abbot to appoint a new one of its own or its patron's choosing, and depending upon the circumstances, the abbot may well agree to the request. The priory's chances of making a successful petition are often greater if it is relatively unimportant, since priorate of such a community is less attractive to ambitious Cluniacs close to the abbot [33].

With the exception of the above, the lives of Cluniac superiors and disciplinary officials tend to be similar to their Benedictine counterparts. The larger a community, the more time the superior spends attending to the entertainment of guests, the visiting of patrons and benefactors, and the management of estates. The larger and wealthier houses are equal in status to Benedictine abbeys, and the heads of such monasteries live and work much as do abbots [34].


The novitiate in a Cluniac house has few outstanding features; postulants are expected to learn the customs of the community, perform menial tasks, and for the most part, keep themselves out of the way. They do not attend chapter with the professed. Instead, they must stay in the kitchen and silently watch the preparation of the community's food. After the professed have finished, the novices go to their own chapter where their faults are noted and corrected [35].


Like the majority of Benedictine monasteries, Cluniac houses make use of laypersons as servants exclusively. They do not employ lay brethren or sisters [36].

Becoming Religious, Profession, and Renunciation of Vows

The process of becoming a Cluniac monk or nun is similar in many ways to that of the Benedictines. The Cluniacs formerly received many child oblates. This practice is now rare, having been discredited by monastic reformers. Children are still taken as novices, but almost never as oblates. The novitiate is supposed to last at least a year, but it is often much shorter [37]. Religious are often of noble stock, and almost all of the order's monks are ordained as priests [38]. Cluniac profession is fundamentally different from Benedictine practice in one way, however. Theoretically, the religious are required to have a personal association with Cluny itself.

Originally, all of the order's monks were supposed to spend a few years at the abbey, in order that they be immersed in Cluniac customs. Such a requirement is meant to ensure that a strong sense of Cluniac culture be instilled in aspirants. In the past, it was a sensible practice. Nowadays, the vast size of the order has rendered this condition impractical. Fulfilling it would require that Cluny be capable of accomodating hundreds of novices at a time. Thus, the practice has been unofficially abandoned. Remnants of it still remain, however. Novices are to be received by a Cluniac priory only with the abbot of Cluny's consent, though such permission may be conveyed by a message. Furthermore, religious should make their profession in front of the abbot. This is to be done either at Cluny itself or while the abbot is touring member houses, though in the latter case the religious must visit Cluny and be professed again at some point in the future [39].

Observance even of these vestiges of the original custom has diminished over the last century, especially in priories located a great distance from Cluny. In English houses, novices are frequently inducted and then take their vows without the abbot's knowledge or sanction, and some religious who are to travel to Cluny to complete their profession wait years or even decades to do so. While a number of communities may operate in this manner due to their increasingly independent mindsets, practicality dictates that the abbot cannot know about every novitiate or personally witness every profession in such a large and geographically dispersed order. Still, the decay of these customs has contributed to the gradual erosion of the Cluniacs' sense of shared identity [40].

Structures and Layout of the Monastic Complex

Cluniac monastic precincts follow the same patterns as do those of the Benedictines. True to their reputation for splendor, the member houses' churches and other claustral buildings tend to be richly decorated if the communities can afford such extravagance, though no more so than equivalent Benedictine structures.

Life as a Religious

Almost since its inception, Cluny has stressed religious ceremony over study and manual labor. This emphasis has at times been so extreme that Cluniacs have been known to spend nearly all their waking hours celebrating Mass and the Divine Office [41]. While Cluny is still known for its long and embellished liturgy, the difference between the horaria of the order's English houses and those of Benedictine communities is not as pronounced as it once was. This is part of a general trend; the two orders are becoming less distinct as time passes [42].

The gradual convergence of the Cluniacs and the Benedictines is the result of a sort of cross-pollination of traditions and ideas, as well as the English Cluniac houses' relative autonomy with respect to the order. Cluny's influence upon the English Church, discussed previously, has altered the monastic culture of many Benedictine communities, encouraging the latter to extend and adorn their liturgical ceremonies at the expense of physical work. At the same time, the exchange of religious between Benedictine and Cluniac houses has led to the erosion of some Cluniac customs within the latter communities as conventional Benedictine practices are adopted. This has been further exacerbated, and perhaps made inevitable, by the distance between Cluny and its English daughters, and by the order's cumbersome methods of government. With little contact between the English priories and the seat of the order, the former have naturally absorbed elements of Benedictine culture, with the result that their Cluniac characteristics have been diluted.

Structure of the Horarium

The daily horarium kept by Cluny itself is outstanding in that it devotes a greater proportion of time to religious ceremony than does that of any other monastery. Indeed, the lengthening of the existing hours of the Divine Office, combined with the observance of additional Masses and other rites, requires that Cluny's religious sometimes spend almost their entire day at altar and choir. Ideally, this emphasis upon liturgical celebration at the expense of study and labor is to prevail in the other Cluniac houses. In general, however, the further a community is from Cluny and the smaller its population, the less likely it is to follow such a demanding horarium. This holds true for English member houses. The latter follow schedules similar to those of Benedictine monasteries, though liturgical duties are usually drawn out in the larger priories [43].

Worship and Ritual

Aside from the aforementioned liturgical embellishments, Cluniac observance of religious ceremony is similar to that of the Benedictines. The order's houses celebrate two or three communal Masses, sing the canonical hours, and engage in private prayer. Almost all brethren are ordained, and thus most monks say private Masses as well. Feast days are occasions for ceremonial splendor surpassing that even of many Benedictine communities, a state of affairs that does not go unnoticed by critics. Of course, such spectacles are not a characteristic of the majority of English Cluniac priories, since most are too small and impoverished to financially or logistically support such magnificence [44].

Study and Writing

While Cluniac religious are known for their liturgy, they are less famous for their learning. Traditionally, the order has neglected intellectual pursuits in favor of religious ceremony. The paucity of hours available for scholarship has been somewhat mitigated by the gradual acceptance of Benedictine customs in English Cluniac houses. This has been offset, however, by the increasing demands of the obedientiary system upon the time of would-be scholars, as it requires the services of many scribes to maintain written records. It is therefore not surprising that most English Cluniac libraries are not particularly large, though it should be noted that Cluny itself boasts an impressive collection. Additionally, with the rise of the universities, religious houses are being eclipsed as centers of learning, and Cluniac priories are no exception [45].

Whatever their numbers, the books possessed by the Cluniacs are often diverse in their subject matter, since the order places few restrictions upon the keeping or copying of different sorts of works in member houses. Books may be bibles, hagiographies, or historical chronicles, or may address more intellectual or secular subjects such as theology, canon law, and literature [46]. Furthermore, the volumes may themselves be works of art, inscribed using expensive inks, adorned with rich illustrations, and bound with gem-studded covers inlaid with precious metals [47]. While the labor of copyists is perhaps not accorded the respect in Cluniac houses that it is in Benedictine communities, it is still encouraged. For example, scribes may, with the permission of their prior or prioress, be excused from services in order to pursue their work [48].

Manual Labor

Ideally, Cluniac religious perform almost no manual labor, such tasks being delegated to lay servants. As with all monastic orders, however, the smaller and poorer houses cannot afford to retain enough servants to make this possible, and thus their religious must take on the burden of physical work [49].

Food and Drink

The meals gracing the tables of Cluniac houses resemble those served in Benedictine communities in terms of their ingredients, their quality, their quantity, and the customs governing their consumption. Cluny itself is known to allow its monks larger portions than they would receive as inmates of other monasteries. While critics cite this as an example of Cluniac gluttony, defenders of the order counter that such servings are required to fortify the brethren for their long hours of liturgical observance [50]. Regardless, it is debatable whether there is any real difference between the amount of food consumed by the English Cluniacs and the Benedictines.


Cluniac religious dress as do Benedictines. Clothing consists of a cassock with a scapular over it, and a cloak when outdoors. Nuns wear veils as well. All vestments are usually black, thus the appellations "black monks" and "black nuns" [51]. Cluniac clothing is sometimes thought to be of higher quality than that of the Benedictines, but in reality there is little if any difference between the attire of the two orders in England.

Conversation and Silence

Cluniac tradition places considerable emphasis upon the value of silence. Religious are to avoid conversation of any sort within the church, refectory, dormitory, and cloister. When communication is absolutely necessary, the use of hand signals is encouraged. The Cluniac dedication to silence was noteworthy in past centuries [52]. But as with so many other aspects of the order's customs, the gradual convergence of Benedictine and Cluniac culture in England has ensured that there is little difference between the conversational practices of the two orders.


1. David Knowles and R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971), 96-98, 270.

2. David Knowles, The Monastic Order in England, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), 406.

3. Knowles, Monastic Order, 151-153.

4. Bernard Hamilton, Religion in the Medieval West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 30; and Joan Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny 910-1157 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), 6-7.

5. Hamilton, Religion, 30; and Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 10.

6. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 17-18.

7. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 17-18, 23, 34; and Knowles, Monastic Order, 145-146, 158.

8. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 29-30.

9. Knowles, Monastic Order, 151-152.

10. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 37-42; and Knowles, Monastic Order, 286.

11. Franz Neiske, "Catalogus abbatum Cluniacensium," The Charters of the Monastery of Cluny, eds. Maria Hillebrandt et al., 1997, 28 Oct. 2001 <>; and Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 43-44.

12. Knowles, Monastic Order, 174, 280-281, 284-285, 296-298.

13. Knowles and Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, 96-98, 270; Knowles, Monastic Order, 153.

14. Knowles, Monastic Order, 281-282, 284-285; and J. C. Almond, "Reading Abbey," The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. Kevin Knight, 1999, 28 Oct. 2001 <>.

15. Brian Golding, "Monasticism and the Benedictine Order," Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, ed. Paul E. Szarmach, et al.(New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998), 522.

16. Knowles, Monastic Order, 154-155.

17. Knowles, Monastic Order, 148, 156-157, 406; and G. Cyprian Alston, "Congregation of Cluny," Catholic Encyclopedia.

18. Knowles, Monastic Order, 406, 609. As I have found no mention of this issue concerning Faversham, my statement with regard to this monastery is conjecture based upon the fact that post-Conquest Benedictine houses hold land by frankalmoin tenure, not by knight service.

19. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 47.

20. Janet Burton, Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain 1000-1300 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 179-180. Note that Burton does not specifically state that Cluniacs accepted corrodians, but rather that the latter were common in "many abbeys and priories." My definitive statement here is therefore conjectural.

21. Knowles, Monastic Order, 406.

22. For example, Lenton Priory in Nottinghamshire is endowed with the town of Lenton, and has the right to hold an annual fair and take the profits arising therefrom; see William Page, ed. The Victoria History of the County of Nottingham, volume 2 (Folkestone, Kent: University of London Institute of Historical Research, 1970), 91-92.

23. Knowles, Monastic Order, 148, 157.

24. Almond, "Reading Abbey;" and Knowles, Monastic Order, 284.

25. Knowles, Monastic Order, 158.

26. Hamilton, Religion, 30.

27. Knowles, Monastic Order, 147-148.

28. Knowles, Monastic Order, 32.

29. Knowles, Monastic Order, 147-148, 155, 157, 213; and Lowrie J. Daly, Benedictine Monasticism: Its Formation and Development Through the 12th Century (New York: Sheed and Ward, Inc., 1965), 155-156.

30. Knowles, Monastic Order, 155-158, 213.

31. Knowles, Monastic Order, 281-282, 284.

32. Alston, "Congregation of Cluny."

33. Knowles, Monastic Order, 156-157.

34. Knowles, Monastic Order, 407-410.

35. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 49.

36. Burton, Monastic and Religious Orders, 178.

37. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 47; and Knowles, Monastic Order, 212, 419, 421-423.

38. Hamilton, Religion, 29.

39. Alston, "Congregation of Cluny;" and Knowles, Monastic Order, 147.

40. Knowles, Monastic Order, 147.

41. Hamilton, Religion, 30; and Daly, Benedictine Monasticism, 156-158.

42. Knowles, Monastic Order, 174.

43. Daly, Benedictine Monasticism, 157-158; and Knowles, Monastic Order, 158, 174.

44. Knowles, Monastic Order, 174, 539, 542-543; and Hamilton, Religion, 29.

45. Knowles, Monastic Order, 149, 519-520; Alston, "Congregation of Cluny;" and Burton, Monastic and Religious Orders, 201.

46. Knowles, Monastic Order, 525-526.

47. Knowles, Monastic Order, 522.

48. James Westfall Thompson, The Medieval Library (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939), 605.

49. Knowles, Monastic Order, 467; and Daly, Benedictine Monasticism, 156-157.

50. Knowles, Monastic Order, 150.

51. G. Cyprian Alston, "Benedictine Order," Catholic Encyclopedia; and Elkins, Holy Women, 3-4.

52. Daly, Benedictine Monasticism, 156-157; and Ernest A. Savage, Old English Libraries: The Making, Collection, and Use of Books During the Middle Ages (London: Methuen, 1911), 82.

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