The origin of the names Beguine and Beghard has been the subject of much controversy.
The earliest Flemish Beghard communities were associations mainly of artisans who earned ' In the year 1287 the council of Liege decreed that "all Beguinae desiring to enjoy the Beguine privileges shall enter a Beguinage, and we order that all who remain outside the Beguinage shall wear a dress to distinguish them from the Beguinae."
1397), a prominent member of the Beghard community, who travelled widely as a missionary and propagated the teachings of his sect.
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