The monasteries raised an outcry when people were found eating flesh in Lent, and the bishop of Constance accused.
Pursuing a policy intended to reconcile the peasantry to Russian rule and to break the power of the Polish nobility, the Russian government promulgated, during the outbreak in 1864, a law by which those peasants who were holders of land on estates belonging to private persons, institutions (such as monasteries and the like), or the Crown were recognized as proprietors of the soil-the state paying compensation to the landlords in bonds, and the peasants having to pay a yearly annuity to the state until the debt thus contracted had been cleared off.
It has several large churches, and formerly possessed five monasteries and three nunneries, which have been closed and their edifices devoted to educational and other public purposes.
The small islands of Lim and Gdutz have also monasteries and churches.
The law of 1873 created a special charitable and religious fund of the city, while it left untouched 23 monasteries and 49 convents which had either the character of private institutions or were supported by foreign funds.
The proceeds of the sale of the suppressed convents and monasteries were partly converted into pensions for monks and nuns, and partly allotted to the municipal charity boards which had undertaken the educational and charitable functions formerly exercised by the religious orders.
In spite of the frequent pillage and destruction of monasteries by Northmen, Saracens, Arabs and other invaders; in spite of the existence of even widespread local abuses, St Benedict's institute went on progressing and consolidating; and on the whole it may be said that throughout the early middle ages the general run of Benedictine houses continued to perform with substantial fidelity the religious and social functions for which they were created.
But the people were still so averse to England that Beaton's was the more popular party: they carried Mary to Stirling: the treaty with Henry was ratified, indeed, but a quarrel was picked over the arrest by England of six Scottish ships; and Arran, who had just given orders for the sack of monasteries in Edinburgh, suddenly (3rd of September) fled to Beaton and was reconciled to the church, just after he had (28th of August) proclaimed Beaton an outlaw.
The monasteries had ceased to be even the nurseries of literature; their chronicles had run dry, and secular priests or laymen had taken up the pens that the monks had dropped.
The muniment rooms of the monasteries contain a marvellous series of documents, including chrysobulls of various emperors and princes, sigilla of the patriarchs, typica, irades and other documents, the study of which will throw an important light on the political and ecclesiastical history and social life of the 852 East from the middle of the 10th century.