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Beguines


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A member of a lay sisterhood in the Low Countries, formed in the 12th century and not bound by vows; members were allowed to leave their societies for marriage. They are still represented by small communities existing in the Netherlands, with an organization somewhat similar to some Anglican sisterhoods.

The name is said in a 12th-century chronicle to derive from the nickname of Lambert, a priest of Liège, nicknamed ‘le Bègue’ because he stammered.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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