Financial troubles continued. In 1456 the Irish members had not paid their provincial taxes to the English Province for seven years, until the threat of excommunication made them comply.
By 1476 Ireland practically became a province in its own right, (which was something the king would not have favoured), at which date a change was made so that the Prior General, and no longer the Provincial in England, selected and appointed the Vicar Provincial of the Irish houses.
The Prior General told the English Provincial not to "molest" any Irish house - except to seek the Provincial tax.
This step allowed the growth of a tradition of leadership in the Order in Ireland, which was well in place by the time of the destruction of the Order in England and the attack on it in Ireland by King Henry VIII about fifty years later.
The English Province
of the Order was destroyed by King Henry VIII, who suppressed the last remaining community in England of the Order of Saint Augustine on 10th March 1539.
The twenty-two Augustinian communities in Ireland also belonged to the English Province.
Although officially suppressed in 1539 - 1540, possibly as many as nine of them west of the River Shannon in Connaught beyond the effective reach of the forces of Henry VIII were able to continue.
They were then suppressed in the final years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Even so, all the houses in the civil provinces of Leinster and Munster, as well as the oldest foundations of the Order in Ireland at Dublin
, Dungarvan and Drogheda were suppressed.
The dispersed men of these communities most likely kept true to their religious calling.
(Continued on the next page.)
Photos (at right):
Picture 1: The Pre-Reformation Augustinian monastery church at Adare.
Picture 2: Part of former Augustinian cloister at Adare.
Picture 3: The property is now a parish of the (Protestant) Church of Ireland.
For further reading
The Low Lane Church: The Story of the Augustinians in Drogheda. By Patrick N. Duffner O.S.A., Augustinian Fathers, Drogheda, 1979.