Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Capuchin (Fr. capuche, a cowl), a reformed branch of the Franciscan order, founded in 1526 by Matthew de Baschi of Urbino in 1526. He attempted to restore the original strict rule of the order (as he conceived it) together with the original dress and cowl. The monks were to live by begging, and everything about them was to be poor and mean : even the chalices in their churches were to be of pewter. The founder himself withdrew from the order, and their third Vicar-General, Bernardino Ochino, married and became a Protestant, and eventually a Socinian and an advocate of free divorce. In consequence of this they came very near forcible suppression by the Pope. Abolished in France and Germany at the end of the last century, they revived, but were again suppressed in both countries in 1880. There are still several thousands, mainly in Austria and Switzerland. In England it has five monasteries; there are two in Wales, and three in Ireland.