Category Benedictine

17th October is the Feast Day of St. Etheldreda of Ely

In A.D, 597 St. Augustine, a great Roman missionary, came to Kent to try to convert the pagan Saxons to Christianity. He was well received and people all over the country became enthusiastic supporters of the new religion. Among these people was Anna, the King of East Anglia and one of his four daughters, Etheldreda, […]

Katharine of Aragon’s last letter to her husband, King Henry VIII

On Friday last, 27th January 2017, the people of Peterborough and beyond came to remember the death and buriel of King Henry 8th’s first wife Katharine of Aragon. I saw little of the actual service because a group of us in appropriate costume guided some 360 chidren from St John’s Church to the Cathedral, and […]

The daily routine of a Benedictine Monk

There was just one more piece I wanted to plug into the story of the Fenland monasteries – the daily life of the monks – but Hallowe’en got in the way!  It’s gone now so… the following represents a typical day in the life of the monks in a monastery such as that in Peterborough […]

The end of Fenland Monasticism

Henry VIII inherited considerable wealth but, unlike his frugal father, Henry spent, flaunted and gambled with his money. His celebration of the peace agreement between France and England at the Field of Cloth of Gold, near Calais in 1520 is a perfect example of this. Keen to impress the French king, Francis I, Henry shipped […]

What King William of the Normans did next

So – William had won; he was now King of England and changes would follow. The establishing of Benedictine monasticism as an agency of reform and a vehicle of ducal authority had been occurring in western Normandy at exactly the same time as in the north of England. Both areas had previously been immune to […]