Similar to Ireland, the Augustinian presence in Wales and Scotland happened under the auspices of the Augustinian Province of England and Scotland. In the case of Wales and Scotland, the Augustinian houses were not too distant from the English border, and hence were in areas of English influence.
In Wales, the only house (convento) of the Order of St Augustine (Austin Friars) was located at Newport in Monmouthshire. Newport is a Welsh seaport in the Severn Estuary (see map). There is no evidence of any other medieval order of friars in Newport. Many Victorians have made mistakes about the location and religious orders, their having identified Dominicans, Carmelites and 'Friars Preachers'.
The site of the Augustinian Austin Friars at Newport was re-discovered during an excavation of March 2014. A Charter document of 1377 definitely established that the official Augustinian friary was in operation by that date, but the archaeology undertaken in 2014 indicates a much earlier date for the friary's origin.
The friars were seen by Humphrey de Bohun at Newport in 1252 and were probably Tuscan Bonite Friars (Friars of St John the Good – the Gianboniti), who participated in the Augustinian Grand Union of 1256. Friars could set up anywhere, probably in a small donated cottage built in a field outside the walls of the castle, with extensions added over the years by means of donations from a grateful congregation, the new building being sanctioned in 1377, donated by Hugh Stafford.In 1538 the document of suppression written in London granted the buildings and arable land of the Austin Friars of Newport to a local citizen, but by that year the Friary was probably already closed and unoccupied. The Friary rent was still being paid in 1517; one or more reasons for its closure after 1517 and before 1538 could have been the financial failure of the friary, the withdrawal of its friars to larger Augustinian communities to Oxford, France or Ireland or a consequence of the political conspiracy against the King Henry VIII that in 1521 had resulted in the execution for treason of one of the friars' benefactors, Edward Stafford, the third Duke of Buckingham.
Evelyn Nicholson-Jenkins, a scholar associated with the archaeological work of 2014 is in 2017 researching the history of this former Augustinian friary and its Stafford benefactors for a dissertation at Bristol University.
Newport past. Austin Friars.http://www.newportpast.com/early/friary/index.htmScotland
In Scotland the history of Austin Friars’ houses suffers from the existence of only very scant evidence. For example a document in Paris dated in 1260 refers to John of Gubbio O.S.A. as being vicar general of the Augustinian Order for France, England and a part of Scotland, which would mean than an Augustinian house either existed there or was being planned there at that time. Although the house in Berwick is mentioned in Augustinian records for the first time only in 1299, (when the Austin Friars there received royal alms for a community of six friars, and again in 1301), it could have existed in 1260.
In the thirteenth century, Berwick was an important religious centre, with establishments of the Augustinians, the Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans and the Sack Friars. Berwick, or Berwick-upon-Tweed, lies on a bluff of high ground on the north side of the estuary of the River Tweed, where it enters the North Sea. Located on the English-Scottish border, it had variously been occupied by both nations at different times. After previously being Scottish territory and a trading centre of early medieval Scotland, Berwick permanently became part of England in the fourteenth century. By June 1315 the number of Austin Friars at Berwick had increased to twelve. In 1329, when the town had been taken by the Scots, its king contributed £20 towards the erection of the new Augustinian church in Berwick. This monarch was King Robert I Bruce (“Robert the Bruce”) of Scotland. He was the King of Scots from 1306 to 1329, and led Scotland in an unsuccessful war of independence against England.
It is uncertain how “pro-English” were the locally-recruited Austin Friars in those houses; is it recorded, for example, that on 10 August 1333, after Berwick had been retaken by the English, King Edward III demanded that the Augustinian Prior Provincial of England remove from Berwick all friars of Scotch descent and replace them with trustworthy and capable men of English descent who by their good sermons would lead the people in fidelity to the English king. Any Scottish Augustinians had no other Augustinian priory in Scotland to which to go, and would either have had to move to the European Continent, accept an appointment in England or join athe diocesan clergy or another religious order in elsewhere in Scotland. In a distribution of alms in 1337 by Edward III the Austin Friars are not mentioned which leads to the conclusion that the Berwick friary was temporarily relinquished, if the entry of the clerk was not faulty. By 1341 it must have again been reopened because Fr William, the English Provincial, referred to himself by the unusual title of “Prior Provincial in the Kingdom of England and Scotland.”
The fact that the Austin Friars still had only one house in Scotland a century later is evident from the papal bull, In hiis que animarum of 21st September 1360, by which Pope Innocent V1 granted to the Augustinians permission to establish of two new houses each in the kingdoms of Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, “where the Order has but one house.” In this bull, the name of the single house already in Scotland was not given. It is, however, mentioned as ‘Berwae' in the Registers of the Prior General, Bartholomew Venetus O.S.A., in 1387. The material recovery of the Priory of the Austin Friars at Berwick must have been sound, because in 1406 it loaned the Abbot of Lindisfarne (the Holy Island), Northumberland, 26 shillings and 8 pence. This is the last reference to this Austin Friars house in historical records. In 1503, James IV, the King of Scotland twice granted the amount of seven pounds for the building of an Augustinian house at Linlithgow, in County West Lothian, Scotland, thirty-two kilometres west of Edinburgh, but it is uncertain whether or not an Augustinian house was established there.
Indication of a second “uncertain foundation” followed three years later, when King James IV (King of Scotland, 1473 – 1513) successfully petitioned Pope Julius II in 1506 to suppress a Cistercian nunnery at Manuel, West Lothian, Scotland, so that Augustinian Observantine Friars could settle there. It is uncertain whether an Augustinian house was or was not established there, for records indicate that there were still four nuns resident there as late as 1552. Two further attempts at Augustinian foundations were promoted, and again without the historical outcome being known. In 1511 James IV, King of Scotland, requested Pope Julius II to convert the hospital of St Lawrence in Haddington, in the Diocese of St. Andrew's, into a convent of Observantine Friars Hermits of the Order of St. Augustine, with the assent already having been given by the present occupant. On 13 October 1511 a bull was issued by Pope Julius II that suppressed the inn of St Lawrence near the town of Adindain, in the Diocese of St. Andrews, and permitted there the erection of a house of Friars Hermits of the Order of St. Augustine. Did these two steps result in one or two new Augustinian houses in Scotland – or no new houses!?
At some time during the beginning of the sixteenth century an Augustinian Vicariate of Scotland came into existence, meaning that there would have been more than one Augustinian house there at that time. On 2 March 1535 the Prior General directed the Vicar Provincial, priors and officials of the Augustinian houses in Scotland to promote the indulgence being offered by Pope Paul II in relation to raising funds for the completion of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Either there were, in fact, more than one Augustinian foundation in Scotland, or else the records of the Prior General were either in serious confusion or in downright error. The Austin Friars were re-established in England by the Irish Province of the Order during the nineteenth century. This began in 1864 when Cardinal Wiseman gave the Irish Augustinians an area of Shoreditch in the East End of London for a new parish. Thus the Parish of St Monica's, Hoxton Square began. Augustinian parishes were later established in Hythe, Kent (1891) and at Hammersmith in London (1903).
In 1948 the Order returned to Scotland to administer the Dundee parish of Saints Peter and Paul, and in July 1951 Austin Friars School was opened in Carlisle, on the English side of the border with Scotland, with a parish attached. Daily Augustinian presence at the school ended in 2005. In September 1977 when the English Province was sufficiently re-established after an absence of 458 years, Clare Priory again became the venue of an English Provincial Chapter.
The Augustinians have not ventured back into Wales since the suppression there at Newport in by Henry VIII in 1538, but at present administers one parish in Scotland. It is St Joseph's Parish at Broomhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland. The Parish began at Easter 1950, and the present church was built in 1953. The Augustinians have been there since 1995.
Link St Joseph’s Parish at Broomhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland. Administered by the Augustinians since 1995. http://www.stjosephsbroomhouse.org.uk
The English Austin Friars 1249 – 1538 by Francis Roth O.S.A. (Augustinian Historical Institute, New York: 1966).
The English Austin Friars 1249 – 1538 Volume II: Sources by Francis Roth O.S.A. (Augustinian Historical Institute, New York: 1961). This book contains over 1,100 references in ecclesiastical and public records to the Austin Friars in England during medieval times. Its 572 meticulously-footnoted pages has made the Austin Friars one of the easiest religious orders in medieval England on which to write.