Place:Clare Priory, Clare, Suffolk, England


NameClare Priory
Coordinates52.0751°N 0.5814°E
Located inClare, Suffolk, England

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Clare Priory is a modern English house of the Augustinian order, established 1248 near Clare Castle on the banks of the River Stour in Suffolk. It was one of the first English monastic houses suppressed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but the Irish Augustinian Friars purchased the house in 1953, with the help of the family who then owned it, and by doing this returned to their origins in England.

In England and Ireland of the 14th century the Augustinian order had had over 800 friars, but these priories had declined (for other reasons) to around 300 friars before the anti-clerical laws of the Reformation Parliament and the Act of Supremacy. The friars were dispersed from 1538 in the dissolution of monasteries during the English Reformation. The martyr St John Stone was one of the few British Augustinians to publicly defy the will of Henry VIII in this matter. The partial list of monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII of England alone includes 18 Augustinian houses such as Bath Abbey, Bourne Abbey, Newstead Abbey and Waltham Abbey, the last one dissolved under him, but not the last to be destroyed.

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