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Wales & Scotland - 01

St Augustine : Coat of arma of Owen Glyndour, Welsh patriot.
Coat of arma of
Owen Glyndour,
Welsh patriot.
Wales and Scotland, as well as the early Augustinian presence in Ireland, happened under the auspices of the Augustinian Province of England. In the case of Wales and Scotland, the Augustinian houses were not too distant from the English border, and hence were in areas of English influence.

It is uncertain how “pro-English” were the locally-recruited Austin Friars in those houses; is it recorded, for example, that on 10th August 1333 King Edward III of England had the political power to order that all Scottish members of mendicant orders must be sent away from Berwick, just above the England-Scotland border.

In Wales, the only house (convento) of the Order of St Augustine (Austin Friars) was located at Newport (also called Trefdrath, or Ivefdrath) in the County of Pembroke and in the Diocese of Llandaff, across the bay from Bristol, England.

The house was founded not long before the year 1377 (and most probably after the year 1372) with the assistance of Hugh, the second Earl of Stafford.

The Austin Friars were the only mendicant order in the town, and locally were called Blackfriars because of the colour of the Augustinian habit. This fact has caused some historical confusion because the name Blackfriars usually reserved throughout Europe for more numerous members of the Dominican Order.

For example, in 1538 in the document of suppression written in London that granted the buildings and arable land of the Austin Friars to a local citizen of Newport, is mistakenly presumed that the confiscated Augustinian property had belong to the Dominican Order.

St Augustine :
In 1402 the Augustinian property was destroyed during the revolt of Owen Glyndour (or Owain Glyndwr, c.1354 – c.1416).

On 16th September 1400 Glyndour began an ultimately unsuccessful but long-running revolt against the English rule of King Henry IV in Wales.

The Austin Friars at Newport appear only rarely in historical records. The only extant record of a bequest happened in 1495, when Jasper Tudor, the Duke of Bedford, died on 20th December 1495. He gave two pounds to the Austin Friars in Bristol, and one pound to the Austin Friars across the bay ay Newport in Wales.

The property of the Austin Friars at Newport was suppressed by King Henry VIII on 10th September 1538, and was the tenth Austin Friars’ priory to be suppressed at that time.

(Continued on the next page.)

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