Monastic Officials

The following table lists various monastic officials and the duties assigned to them. Not all monasteries would have the same officials. Some monasteries might combine the duties of two or more officials into one position; others might have more officials, others fewer.

  • Abbot: Head of the monastery, if the monastery was an Abbey. A Priory would have no abbot.
  • Prior: Head of the monastery, if the monastery was a Priory. In an Abbey, the prior was second to the abbot.
  • Sub-Prior: Next in command, after the prior.
  • Third Prior: Next in command, after the prior and sub-prior.
  • Deans of Order: Saw that all the monks attended services and other dutes.
  • Precentor: In charge of church music and ceremonies.
  • Chancellor: In charge of the library and the secretarial office.
  • Sacrist: In charge of the fabric used in church ceremonies.
  • Sub-Sacrist: Assisted the sacrist, especially in providing everythingneeded for church services.
  • Bursar: In charge of all money and supplies.
  • Cellarer: In charge of supplies of meat and victuals.
  • Terrar: Land agent.
  • Hostillar: In charge of the guest house.
  • Refectorian: In charge of the refectory (dining hall).
  • Commoner: Supplied the monks "commons" (any extras to what was generally provided to all).
  • Master of the Infirmary: Looked after the sick or old monks.
  • Almoner: In charge of alms.



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