Educated at Reading school and at Winchester college, Henry Vansittart joined the society of the Franciscans, or the "Hellfire club," at Medmenham, his elder brothers, Arthur and Robert, being also members of this fraternity.
FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1181 or 1182-1226), founder of the Franciscans, was born in 1181 or 1182 at Assisi, one of the independent municipal towns of Umbria.
The character and development of the order are traced in the article Franciscans; here the story of Francis's own life and the portrayal of his personality will be attempted.
The circumstances under which, at an extraordinary general chapter convoked by him shortly after his return, he resigned the office of ministergeneral (September 1220) are explained in the article Franciscans: here, as illustrating the spirit of the man, it is in place to cite the words in which his abdication was couched: "Lord, I give Thee back this family which Thou didst entrust to me.
The official life of St Francis is St Bonaventura's Legenda, published in a convenient form by the Franciscans of Quaracchi (1898); Goetz's estimate of it (op. cit.) is much more favourable than Sabatier's.