Joseph Leycester Lyne was born in 1837, and lived for seventy one years, a stormy and enthusiastic life. His story is concerned with the religious extremes in the nineteenth century, the figure of Father Ignatius O.S.B. combining evangelistic fervour with the monastic aspirations which had been reborn around the time of Newman and Pusey. His attempts to set up and develop his monasteries were well intended, but upset by a totally unreal attitude to the necessary management of financial affairs, and a failure to note that many of his would-be monks were such not from a religious calling, but simply because in some cases they were broke, jobless and homeless, and in other cases they appear to have been people with mental problems who thought the new life might help them sort themselves out. He is remembered for his foundations in Norwich, and above all at Capel-y-Ffin near Abergavenny, Wales, where his Renaissance-style monastery can still be seen in its beautiful surroundings, though its church is in a ruined state.
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