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On this page you will find some information regarding the Trinitarians, also known as Friars of the Holy Trinity, or the Materines. Included is information from Abbot Gasquet's book English Monastic Life. Gasquet published the book through The Antiquaries Book series in 1904.  It is now out of print and not generally available.  There may be a number of factual errors in the text, or points on which historians or theologians do not agree.    Gasquet's text, notes & links>>

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The Friars

      The friars differed from the monks in certain ways.  The brethren by their profession were bound, not to any locality or house, but to the province, which usually consisted of the entire number of houses in a country.  They did not, consequently, form individual families in their various establishments, like the monks in their monasteries.  They also, at first, professed the strictest poverty, not being allowed to possess even corporate property like the monastic Orders.  They were by their profession mendicants, living on alms, and only holding the mere buildings in whey they dwelt. 

The Lesser Friars

Friars of the holy Trinity, or Trinitarians

            These religious were founded by SS. John of Matha and Felix of Valois about A.D. 1197 for the redemption of captives.  They were called “Trinitarians,” because by their rule all their churches were dedicated to the Holy Trinity, or “Maturines,” from the fact that their original foundation in Paris was near St. Mathurine’s Chapel.  The Order was confirmed by Pope Innocent III., who gave the religious white robes, with a red and blue cross on their breasts, and a cloak with the same emblem on the left side.  Their revenues were to be divided into three parts ; one for their own support, one to relieve the poor, and the third to ransom Christians who had been taken captive by the infidels.  They were brought to England in A.D. 1244, and were given the lands and privileges of the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre on the extinction of that order.  According to the Monasticon, they had, in all, eleven houses in this country ; but these establishments were small, the usual number of religious in each being three friars and three lay brothers.  The superior was named "minister," and included in his office the functions of superior and procurator ; and the houses were united into a congregation under a Minister major, who held a general Chapter annually for the regulation of defects and the discussion of common interests.

   English Monastic Life by F.A. Gasquet.  (pages 234 & 245-246.)

Trinitarian Houses in England
(Gasquet doesn't give and Trinitarian Houses in England, likely because the order was so short lived. For more English Religious Houses, see the index page):

Trinitarianhistory.org lists the names (and more, see link below) of the Trinitarian Houses in England, Scotland and Ireland as follows:

Easton Royal
And possibly
St. Bartholomew's in Durham
Berwick-upon- Tweed

Trinitarian Links:

Trinitarian History.  A wonderful and very informative site with links to the Trinitarian Rule in English, and a page listing the Trinitarian Houses in England Scotland and Ireland.


'Friaries: The Trinitarian friars of Knaresborough', A History of the County of York: Volume 3 (1974), pp. 296-300.  British History Online.

'Religious Houses: House of Trinitarian friars', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1: Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, The Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes to 1870, Private Education from Sixteenth Century (1969), pp. 191-93.   British History Online,

'Hospitals: Hospital of the Holy Sepulchre, Nottingham', A History of the County of Nottingham: Volume 2 (1910), p. 168.  British History Online.

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