Henry III

The Dominicans

The order still exists and has done so since it was established in the early 1200s by the Spanish monk, St Dominic, on the back of his undertaking of a mission in the Languedoc, preaching against heresy. Pope Honorius III approved the order in 1217, and the first base in England was set up in 1221. Dubbed the Watchdogs of God, the order, also known as the blackfriars – so named due to the colour of their dress – were successful in their attempts to rid the Languedoc of the Cathars, thanks mainly to their hard approach. They were the official interrogators in the Inquisition, during which torture was promulgated. In England, every king from Henry III to Richard II had a Dominican as his confessor.