- The Beghards were male counterparts of Beguines. Also known as Brethren of Penance, the Beghards appeared in Brussels in about 1274. They took no religious vows and observed no fixed rule until 1359, when they became Franciscan Tertiaries. Mostly of humble origin, they were often single, elderly men in poor health who sought spiritual upliftment through communal prayer. Unlike the Beguines, they held no private property; rather, they lived a cloistered life within a single dwelling. Beghards earned their living by weaving cloth and, until 1474, entry was limited to members of the weavers' guild. Their residence was located in the city's weavers' district in the current rue des Alexiens.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.
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