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ABBEY, abbatia, is a society of religious persons, having an abbot or abbess to preside over them. Formerly some of the most considerable abbots and priors in England had seats and votes in the house of lords. The prior of St. John's of Jerusalem, was styled the first baron of England, in respect to the lay barons, but he was the last of the spiritual barons.

References in classic literature ?
So the poor yeoman turned his feet away from the door of the nunnery, and left his master in the hands of the women.
Thrice he sounded it, but weakly and faintly, for his breath was fluttering through sickness and loss of strength; nevertheless, Little John heard it where he lay in the glade, and, with a heart all sick with dread, he came running and leaping toward the nunnery.
The early gray of the coming morn was just beginning to lighten the black sky toward the eastward when Little John and six more of the band came rapidly across the open toward the nunnery.
Thus died Robin Hood, at Kirklees Nunnery, in fair Yorkshire, with mercy in his heart toward those that had been his undoing; for thus he showed mercy for the erring and pity for the weak through all the time of his living
She was fond of giving alms to the poor, and was always dreaming of a nunnery, and once she burst into tears when she began talking to me about it.
If the same research was conducted in a nunnery or monastery they could have reached the same conclusions in seven days instead of 15 years.
Jack Nunnery, executive vice president of correspondent lending, told Mortgage Banking that the new correspondent lending platform was built on customized due-diligence technology that can review every loan that's purchased for manufacturing defects.
And keeping their tough texture intact, these 300 nuns from a Kathmandu- based nunnery -- which uses a mixture of martial arts and meditation to empower young women -- have refused to be evacuated from the Nepal capital and decided to help the earthquake victims in the ravaged Himalayan nation.
The Black Lady is said to be the spirit of a ninth-century nun called Editha, mother superior and founder of nearby Benedictine nunnery, Polesworth Abbey.
A NORTH Powys farm believed to be sited on a 14th century Cistercian nunnery has been put up for sale.
05pm, Film4 A singer (Whoopi Goldberg) witnesses a mob murder, and the cops stash her in a nunnery to protect her from the hitmen.
FOUNDED by Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1180 AD, the precise location of Llanllyr nunnery in the tranquil Aeron Valley in West Wales has remained a mystery - until now.