Black Friars (Dominicans)

The Blackfriars, named for their customary black mantle and hood, were an order of mendicant friars founded by St. Dominic in France in 1216 (Dominican Order). Intent on spreading Catholicism, St. Dominic sent members of his order to England, where, no later than 1247, the order had bases in Oxford and London (Jarrett 2-3). In the wake of the Reformation, members of the order fled the country or remained in England and either drifted into poverty, or else entered the ranks of the secular clergy (Jarrett 169).