Called also Our Lady of Consolation, of Benedictine nuns; in Worcester, England. In 1625 in Cambrai, Flanders, nine English ladies, who included three descendants of St. Thomas more and kinswomen of other English martyrs, founded the abbey, which has remained under the jurisdiction of the English Black Monks. The teachings of D. A. baker, for nine years spiritual director of the community, were preserved thanks to the nuns' copyist work. Dispossessed by the French Revolution in 1793, the community spent 18 months in prison in Compiègne, where four of them died. The others were released in April 1795. They returned to England penniless and clad in the secular attire of their fellow prisoners, the Carmelite martyrs of compiÈgne. After various wanderings they settled in 1838 in Stanbrook, where by 1880 they had built a monastery and restored full monastic observance with papal enclosure. In 1911 three Brazilians trained and professed at Stanbrook, established the Benedictine Santa Maria in São Paulo, from which several daughterhouses have been founded in South America.
Bibliography: In a Great Tradition: Tribute to Dame Laurentia McLachlan by the Benedictines of Stanbrook (New York 1956). t. b. snow, comp., Obit Book of the English Benedictines from 1600 to 1912, ed. h. n. birt (Edinburgh 1913). c. heywood, "Records of the Abbey of Our Lady of Consolation at Cambrai, 1620–1793," ed. j. gillow, Publications of the Catholic Record Society 13 (Miscellanea 8; 1913) 1–85. Stanbrook Abbey: A Sketch of Its History 1625–1925, by a nun of the same abbey (London 1925).