They would copy out books and manuscripts; often acted as teachers to boys from local families; baptised the local children; and occassionally farmed the land or tending sheep.The rules and regulations of the monastery were set by the prior and chapter, the head of the monastery and his chosen council.Such matters were discussed at special meetings within the splendidly decorated Chapter House.The monks were given job titles for their day to day activities: Scribes copied out maunscripts; Librarians cared for the books, the Sacrist looked after the monastery's church, the job of the Almoner was to feed and cloth his fellow monks and to look after the ill and poor who turned up at the gates, while the Hosteller cared for any guests that stayed within the monastery itself.From any point of view the destruction of the English monasteries by Henry VIII must be regarded as one of the great events of the sixteenth century.The King sought to abolish the entire monastic system in order to add to the royal coffers and to break down opposition to royal supremacy.In the 13th Century, orders of Friars were founded and they depended upon the charity of the people they ministered to.Although individual monks took a vow of poverty, monasteries were usually very wealthy because rich barons gave them land and endowments.
The next was Matins at 5am, then Prime at dawn, Tierce at 8am, Sext at noon, None at 1pm, Vespers at 4pm, and finally Compline at 6pm.
The Reformation saw the sudden end of monasticism in the Protestant countries of Europe.
The Rule of Saint Benedict (c.480 - 547) became the foundation stone of monasteries around the world.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries (which term includes abbeys and convents), covers the four years between Apr 1536 and Apr 1540.
In Apr 1536, there were over 800 monasteries, abbeys, nunneries and friaries that were home to over 10,000 monks, nuns, friars and canons. Much of the property was bought by or granted to landowners; monastery churches were sometimes converted to parish churches, while some buildings, such as Tintern Abbey, were left to ruin.