- (St.) Clare without Aldgate
- Of the Order of Nuns Minoresses.Founded by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, the King's brother, 22 Ed. I. 1294, for nuns of the Order of St. Clare, called Minoresses (Cal. Pat. R. Ed. I. 1292-1301, p. 86).They belonged to the second Order of St. Francis, and were an offshoot of the Urbanist branch of the Order (Tomlinson's Hist. of the Minories, p.11).The extent of the Abbey and precincts was about 5 acres, and occupied the site of what was afterwards the Parish of Holy Trinity Minories (ib. p. 3).After the dissolution of the monasteries, temp. H. VIII., the site of the monastery was granted to the Bishops of Bath, for their town house, and the Bishop leased it out 32 H. VIII., reserving to himself the use of a certain portion of the buildings, whenever he should require it (H. MSS. Com. 10th Rep. and App. 227).A portion of the Abbey buildings was still in existence in 1797, when fire broke out in the precincts, and destroyed the greater portion of these remains, but the foundations are still in existence under the houses on the south and east sides of Haydon Square.The Abbey has a peculiar interest, inasmuch as its memory was so long preserved in the privileges conceded to the inhabitants of the precinct of the Minories (which are described in the notice of the parish of Holy Trinity, Minories), and which had their origin in the exemption and privileges granted by the King and the Pope from time to time to the Abbey.It is to these exemptions that must be ascribed the lasting separation of the Abbey and its precincts from the ward of Portsoken and the jurisdiction of the City of London, as well as its temporary alienation from the parish of St. Botolph, Aldgate, and the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.Thus in 1295-6 Papal Bulls released the nuns from episcopal and secular control, taking them into the right and ownership of the Apostolic See, and further freed them from the payment of tenths, etc. (Tomlinson, p. 27).Royal Patents of 1294 and 1316 released them from common pleas and the payment of tallage (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Ed. I. 1292-1301, p. 86, and ib. Ed. II. 1313-17, p. 449), while in the 2 Henry IV. an Inspeximus charter confirmed all these privileges, with the following additional grant : "That the Abbess and sisters and their successors shall have this liberty, that no Justice, Mayor, sheriff, bailiff, coroner, Escheator, Sergeant, etc., or other officer, shall exercise or cause to be exercised any jurisdiction whatsoever by summons, distraint or arrest or any other jurisdiction within the close or precinct of the said Abbey except for treason and felony touching our crown" (Pat. R. H. IV. quoted by Tomlinson, p. 44).The bishop's authority was finally restored in 1730, and the parish was reunited to St. Botolph's Aldgate in 1899, but the separation from the ward of Portsoken continues to the present time.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.