Sister Cynalot (715 – 756) – yet another of the Dregs of History

In the time of King Ethelheard of Wessex, a single-minded nun had a revolutionary idea about how to spread happiness to the population. In 735 AD the deeply religious Cynalot founded the Sisters of Indiscrete Nights, commonly referred to as the Sisters of SIN, with her assistant Sexburg. This was the singularly most unsuccessful order of nuns that has ever been founded.

It was not based on the traditional vows of chastity as Sister Cynalot, who became Mother Superior of the Indiscrete Nights, believed that God had created human beings not to live a life of misery, but one that was full of sociability and joy.

Sister Cynalot was the prime mover of the new order and she devised the design of the first convent, situated outside Tidworth in what is now Wiltshire. A major feature of the convent, in addition to a small chapel and living quarters, was an alehouse. Every second evening they served beer, mead and any alcoholic drink that they could lay their hands on. Cynalot led the table dancing and many of the other indiscrete activities that followed.

The order very quickly had to become nomadic after the local women of Tidworth objected strongly to the type of spiritual guidance that was being given to their men folk. Spreading the good word was one thing, but spreading certain other things was unacceptable.

The order never had more than a dozen members, and after only three years of travelling through the West Country, it collapsed. The sisters gradually became pregnant, renounced their vows of indiscretion and settled down to rural family life. The last known location of the Sisters of Indiscrete Nights was outside Shepton Mallet.

The only remaining written evidence of their existence is a short poem by Cynalot. It has proven to be the first ever limerick, predating Edward Lear’s work by a thousand years or more. It is thought it was written about the leader of the Tidworth village shortly before his wife castrated him.

Pillar of Society

There once was a pillar of society
Who lived all his life with great piety
But one drunk night with a nun
When he sinned and had fun
Put a stop to all thoughts of sobriety



This is an extract from The Complete Dregs of History At this site

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon). Real name Peter Tapsell...just started off writing under a pseudonym and kept going.

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