- Laurentia McLachlan
Dame Laurentia McLachlan was born Margaret McLachlan in 1866 in
Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland. In 1884 she joined the Benedictine Abbey at Stanbrook Abbey.
In 1931 she was elected
Abbessof Stanbrook. Dame Laurentia as she became known also served the wider Benedictinecommunity as a member of the commission, set up that same year, with an aim to modernise the various constitutions that governed the conditions of monastic life for women in England.
She was a pioneer in the restoration of the
Gregorianchant in England and aleading authority on music and medieval manuscripts. In 1934 her work was recognised by Pius XIwho bestowed upon her the "Bene Merenti" medal for her contribution to Church music.
She died in 1953 having spent seventy of her 87 years within the strictly enclosed
Dame Laurentia McLachlan was one of five figures chosen to represent one thousand years of 'the inspired Christian life' in
Worcester Cathedral's Window of the Millennium.
A stage play based on a book by Hugh Whitemore, "
The Best of Friends", provides a window on the friendships of Dame Laurentia McLachlan, OSB with Sir Sydney Cockerelland George Bernard Shawthrough adaptations from their letters and writings. In a 2006 production at the Hampstead Theatre, Patricia Routledgeplayed the part of Dame Laurentia.
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