Collectanea Anglo-Premonstratensia: Documents Drawn from the Original Register of the Order, Now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Transcript of Another Register in the British Museum

Collectanea Anglo-Premonstratensia: Documents Drawn from the Original Register of the Order, Now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Transcript of Another Register in the British Museum

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Collectanea Anglo-Premonstratensia: Documents Drawn from the Original Register of the Order, Now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Transcript of Another Register in the British Museum

Collectanea Anglo-Premonstratensia: Documents Drawn from the Original Register of the Order, Now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Transcript of Another Register in the British Museum

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Excerpt

The collection of documents here printed for the Royal Historical Society almost necessitates, by way of introduction, some account of the Order of Prémontré, the history of which in England they do much to illustrate. It was founded in the early part of the twelfth century by St. Norbert, who was born in 1080 at Xanten, in the duchy of Cleves. His father was Count of Gennep, and his mother a cousin of the Emperor Henry IV. He was educated in the household of Frederick, archbishop of Cologne, and in his early years he seemed to possess an inclination to the ecclesiastical state. For this reason, whilst yet a youth, in accordance with an abuse of church patronage unfortunately too common in those days, he was presented with a canonry in his native city, and at the earliest possible age was ordained subdeacon. He was at this time called to the court of his kinsman the Emperor, Henry V., and for a period acted as his almoner. Being attracted by natural disposition to the gaieties of the world, he hesitated for some years to enter the higher grades of the sacred ministry, and it was not until his thirtieth year that he retired from court in order, in strict retirement in the abbey of Conon, to prepare for the sacred ministry. As the immediate result of his reflections he resigned his canonry and other ecclesiastical preferments and, in 1118, embraced a life of complete poverty, so that he might thereby the better devote his life to the work of . . .

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