Who were the Nuns?

A Prosopographical study of the English Convents in exile 1600-1800

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Social Status

The social status of a nun has been assigned according to that of her father. Although it is likely that there were nuns whose social status was increased through their mother being of a higher rank there their father, there is insufficient data for this to be analysed and it is unlikely to have affected a statistically significant section of the dataset. Where the identity of a nun's father is not known, her social status has been assigned as 'other'.

The following social categories are defined:

  • peer
  • knights or baronet
  • esquire
  • other

The number of nuns in the dataset assigned to each category:


Distribution of nuns according to social status of father by convent

Select convent from list to view pie chart: