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This essay examines documents from abbeys of Cistercian nuns in northern France. The documents reveal the presence of numerous women of power and authority as founders and patrons of those women's houses. Where some women were acting as widows or regents, others had access to sufficient funds for acts of patronage and foundation because they were heiresses. Here those named Matilda from the ecclesiastical province of Sens in northern France are underlined, showing the diversity of female wealth and power.

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