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Briggitines. Established c.1346 as a double order of men and women by St Bridget of Sweden (c.1303–73). They followed the Augustinian rule and constitutions drawn up by Bridget, including the ‘Rule of the Saviour’. There was only one English house, Twickenham, founded and richly endowed by Henry V in 1415 and transferred to Syon in 1431. This had a considerable reputation for contemplative devotion until its dissolution in 1539, after which it was briefly refounded by Queen Mary in 1557, before its nuns fled in 1559 to Flanders, whence, after many vicissitudes and travels, their successors returned to England in 1809.

Brian Golding

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