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Saint Gilbert of Sempringham

Saint Gilbert of Sempringham (born 1083) was the son of a Norman Knight. His father's domain was in the Lincolnshire Wolds in the villages of Sempringham and West Torrington. As a young man Gilbert studied in France, on his return to Lincolnshire he established a local school and later became household secretary to the Bishop of Lincoln who ordained him as a priest. When his father died Gilbert inherited the local domain and established a spiritual house under the Rule of St Benedict. The religious Gilbertine order grew over time to include houses and monasteries for both men and women which not only encompassed the religious vocations but also social concerns (the Gilbertines established both orphanages and leper-hospitals). The order was destroyed at the Reformation and never re-established. Gilbert died in 1189 aged 104, he was canonised around 1202 becoming Saint Gilbert of Sempringham, a shrine being placed in St Andrews Church at Sempringham.