The three best known groups were (and are; they still exist) the Greyfriars, the Franciscans. Although nowadays they dress in brown, back then it was evidently grey, with the knotted cord. The Blackfriars, the Dominican preachers, whose black cappa covered their otherwise all-white habit. And the Whitefriars, the Carmelites, who grew out of group of hermits in the Holy Land, whose white cappa covered their otherwise brown habit.
They were large in numbers and very prominent in English church life until the Reformation, when Henry closed down all their houses and pensioned them off. Those few who stood up to him died, usually gruesomely. They did not return to England until the 19th century, when the anti-Catholic laws were repealed.