The Minories
Community ID
Alternate Names
S. Mary and S. Francis without Aldgate, Grace of the Blessed Mary, Minoresses without Aldgate
Modern Location
Aldgate , London
Corporate Status
S. Mary and S. Francis
Date Founded
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Franciscan Minoresses
Foundation Information

The Minoresses was founded in 1293 by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, brother of Edward I.

First Members

The first member were most likely brought over from France by the Blanche of Navarre, wife of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.

Notable Members/Residents/Guests

Margaret de Badlesmere, Margaret Beauchamp wife of the earl of Warwick, Katherine wife of John de Ingham, Isabel daughter of Thomas de Woodstock duke of Gloucester, and Eleanor Lady Scrope. Notable guests include Henry earl of Lancaster in 1349 and Matilda Lady de Lisle in 1353. In 1385, Mary de Felton, presumed apostate nun was arrested by the King's man-at-arms and delivered to the abbess for her punishment.

Population Counts

There were 30-35 in 1515 when 27 nuns died of a pestilence. The abbess and 24 nuns were granted pensions. There were also 6 lay-sisters.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

The nuns enjoyed a number of privileges. In 1294 the king exmepted the nuns from summonses from the justices for common pleas and pleas of the forest, and also decreed the nuns exempt from paying fees on the consecrations of the church, altars, and sacred oil for sacraments. Even more importantly, the nuns were exempted from excommunication or interdiction by bishops or rectors and the nuns were to be freed from the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London. Finally, the nuns were exempted from paying tenths to the pope.


Isabella Queen of Edward II, Elizabeth de Burgh Lady Clare, Margaret countess of Norfolk, William Ferrers, lord of Groby, John of Gaunt, Joan Lady Clinton, and Henry VI.

Social Characteristics

Many of the inhabitants were women from wealthy and politically powerful families, including the daughters and widows of nobility.


In 1535 the net income of the community was valued at over 318 pounds.

Art & Artifacts

There was a seal used by abbess Dorothy Cumberford in 1526 which depicts the coronation of the Virgin, on the bottom left there is an abbess under a carved arch kneeling in prayer. Another seal attributed to the same abbess depicted a female saint holding a book in her left hand and pincers in her right. The legend reads: SIGILLVM ORD' MINORIS.

State Of Medieval Structure

After the dissolution of the monasteries the Minories became part of the Liberties of the Tower of London, which later became the site of the Minories Railway Station in 1840 and is presently the site of Tower Gateway DLR Station.

Miscellaneous Information

In 1515 27 of the nuns died of an infectious disease. Shortly after, the convent buildings were destroyed in a fire.

Conversi/ae and servants

There were 6 lay sisters.

Admin. Notes

MOFM --Franciscan Minoresses

WRL Project
Date Started
Date Finished