- Mary Berry
The Order of Friars Preachers, or Dominicans, also known in England as Blackfriars from the colour of their cloaks, was founded by St Dominic in the first decade of the 13th century. The founder’s original purpose was to form a group of itinerant preachers to combat the heresy of the Albigenses in the south of France. From a loosely associated handful of men was to grow one of the foremost centrally organized orders of the modern world. Approved by Foulques of Toulouse, then by Innocent III, and confirmed by Honorius III, the new Order of Preachers adopted the Rule of St Augustine together with a set of Constitutions proper to itself. Recognized at first as an order of canons regular, the Dominicans later became one of the first Mendicant Orders. As an international preaching body they laid claim to extensive privileges, including exemption from episcopal jurisdiction.
From Southern France the order spread rapidly across Europe. By ...