In 2006, I wrote the first comprehensive history of the fascinating Black Friars of Shrewsbury. The short book traced their arrival in the town in 1230, the establishment of the Dominican Friary and followed their trials and tribulations of the next three centuries.
Queen Eleanor who was a passionate supporter of the Dominicans, visited the friary in 1283 when her husband Edward I held the first session of the 'House of Commons' across the river at the Chapter House of Shrewsbury Abbey.
In 1299 and 1345, the Provincial Chapter of the Dominicans met at the Friary with the expenses paid for by the King.
In 1403, the famous Battle of Shrewsbury took place to the North of the town and many of the injured were brought back to the Friary to be cared for. Henry, Prince of Wales (later Henry V of Agincourt) had stayed at the friary on the eve of battle, prayed in the Church and made an offering of 6s and 8d. A number of the knights who later died were buried inside the precinct of the friary and their skeletons unearthed in 1801.
In 1460, just three months before his coronation as Edward IV, the Earl of March was a guest at the friary.
In 1473, Queen Elizabeth (Woodville) gave birth to a royal prince, Richard. He was later tragically murdered as one of the two Princes in the Tower of London.
However, in the Dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII gave the order in 1538 for the Dominican Friary of Shrewsbury to be raised to the ground. The silver cross and other precious artefacts from the Church disappeared but a valuable plate was carried all the way back to the King's Treasury.
Read more about the Black Friars of Shrewsbury in the short book available through Amazon.