The Mendicant Orders, popularly known as the ‘friars’,
emerged in the thirteenth century. They were above all committed
to poverty. This meant communal as well as individual poverty,
and the mendicants relied on begging for their daily needs. Unlike
the monks, they were not bound by vows of stability and the friars
generally moved around the towns, preaching and caring for the
sick. They also played a prominent role in the universities.
Mendicant Orders included the Franciscans [Grey Friars/Friars
Minor] and Dominicans [Black Friars/Friars Preachers], as well
as the Carmelites [White Friars] and the Augustinian Friars.
The first friars arrived in England in 1224, and generated considerable
interest and support. This meant that the established monastic
orders had new competition for patronage and recruits; in some
cases this led to hostility and rivalry.