London: volume 2
XXXIII.-The Charter House.
XXXIII.-The Charter House.
About the middle of the century a pestilence broke out in the heart of China, which, sweeping across the deserts of Cobi and the wilds of Tartary, found its way through the Levant, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, and at last England, destroying at every step a large proportion of the population, and in some parts sweeping it entirely away. It entered England by the western coast, and, according to Stow,
and as there were not sufficient labourers to till the soil,--
In London the state of things must have been frightful indeed, where the plague (which reached it in ) had to deal with a great population, packed as closely as possible in dirty, narrow, and ill-ventilated streets. The horrors of such a period have been made familiar to us by the genius of De Foe, in connection with a similar calamity, centuries later; we shall not, therefore, dwell upon them here. But we may notice that, among the numerous characteristic features of the pestilence of , was the appearance of a new species of fanaticism, which had its origin in Germany, and was brought hither by individuals of that country. These performed public penance;
| Stow,[n.114.1] |
The ordinary churchyards of the metropolis were soon filled, and it became necessary to choose out certain fields for a more wholesale kind of burial; of these the site of the present formed of the principal. The benefactor in this instance was Ralph , Bishop of London, who, having purchased the piece of land in question, then known as
enclosed it with a brick wall, consecrated it, and built a church;
The church and churchyard, we may add, lay between the north wall of the in , and . But the pestilence, still unsatiated, raged on; and this space being found insufficient, another individual stepped forward in the following year, and purchased about acres more of land that lay adjoining, called the Spittle Croft, afterwards the New Church Haw. It was consecrated, like the former piece, by the Bishop of London, and in it not less than persons were interred in that single year. The same benefactor caused a chapel to be built (about the centre of the present Square), where masses were offered up for the souls of those whom the plague had so suddenly cut off with all their imperfections on their head,
The individual to whom we have referred was Sir Walter Manny, of those warriors of the martial age of Edward III., who was truly
for in him was reflected its gracefulness, its bravery, its untainted and lofty sense of honour, and all the admirable qualities for which its admirers have given it credit, in their most consummate shape. Although a foreigner, his reputation is essentially English, and, whilst belonging to a class which general biography necessarily neglects, or briefly passes over, his life presents some unusually interesting passages. We shall not hesitate to dwell on these at some length, for the connection of Sir Walter Manny with the history of the is, as we shall perceive, peculiarly intimate, and a sketch of his life, therefore, can find no more appropriate place than in our pages.
He was born at the town of Manny, in Hainault, of which place he was lord, and came over to England in the train of Philippa of Hainault, on the marriage of that beautiful and estimable woman with Edward III. At the conclusion of the bridal ceremonies and feastings, most of the young Queen's countrymen returned to Brabant; among the few who remained with her
| excellent qualities appear to have quickly engaged the attention of the King, who soon found him other employment than carving for ladies, made him a knight with great pomp, and ordered splendid robes for him, as a banneret, out of the great wardrobe. In he was sent by Edward to France as ambassador, and the importance of the mission (Edward was now seeking occasion to lay claim to the French throne) reveals to us the position of the messenger. War broke out, and Sir Walter was made Admiral of the North, and whilst holding that post fought with his royal master the desperate naval engagement off Sluys, where, the ships being fastened together with grappling-irons and chains, the enemies fought hand to hand with their swords, pikes, and battle-axes, and the English obtained so complete a victory that none of the French king's ministers dared to break the news to him. |
at last said his fool to him.
asked the King;
replied the fool,
We shall not attempt to enumerate the many occasions in which Sir Walter Manny distinguished himself, but pass on to the more important. At the cessation of the temporary armistice concluded between the kings, the act of Edward was to send Sir Walter Manny with a body of troops across the seas to relieve the lady whom Froissart characterizes as having the courage of a man and the heart of a lion--the Countess de Montfort. Her husband, having failed in obtaining a formal sanction of his right to the Duchy of Brittany from Philip King of France, had transferred his vassalage to Edward, and in consequence been treacherously made prisoner by the former. Charles de Blois, Montfort's rival in the Duchy, endeavoured with the assistance of the French to obtain possession of the country, but he found it most gallantly defended by the Countess. Being shut up with an insufficiency of provisions in the castle of Hennebon, she was however reduced to such extremities, that the chief persons about her were on the eve of surrendering, when the English ships were seen in the distance. Sir Walter landed with the body of troops, and was received with enthusiastic gratitude by the fair and gallant Countess. She dressed up chambers in the castle with beautiful tapestry for him and his officers' use, and dined at table with them. On the following day
[n.116.1] The siege was soon raised, and then renewed a few months later; but Sir Walter, by a brilliant sortie, drove the enemy once more away in disgrace. In the mean time he had defeated the Lord Lewis of Spain at Quimperle, who had soldiers under his command, nearly every man of whom was cut to pieces, whilst Manny had not above half the number. Later in the war he accompanied the Earl of Derby into Gascony, where, whilst they were waiting in a wood, in the neighbourhood of the enemy, for the arrival of the Earl of Pembroke, Sir Walter Manny instigated his fellow-warriors to make an immediate attack, and which ended in the brilliant affair known by the name of the battle before Auberoche, where a English defeated French, and earls and viscounts were made prisoners, and so many barons, knights, and squires, that there was not a man at arms among the English that had not for his share or . In this expedition, whilst the English were lying before the castle of Reole, Sir Walter Manny fulfilled an act of parental duty in finding out and removing the remains of his father, who had been murdered, it is supposed by the relation of a man whom he had overthrown and fatally injured at a tournament. The wonderful battle of Cressy took place whilst Manny was absent, and deep no doubt was his mortification at the circumstance. He determined, however, immediately to join his King, and having obtained, in place of a ransom for an important prisoner, a safe-conduct from the Duke of Normandy to
set out for that place. On the way he was arrested, taken to Paris, and there thrown into the prison of the Chatelet; Philip being no doubt mightily pleased at the prize he had obtained. But his son, the Duke of Normandy, insisted on the due performance of the promise that had been given, and Sir Walter was released, with marks of unusual honour and many presents. The latter were only received on condition of Edward's approval, which was not given, accordingly they were returned. We now approach the most interesting incidents of Manny's career, his conduct during and after the siege of Calais. This was at the period in question a place of incredible strenfth, as we may judge from the long duration of the siege. Sir Walter had here a narrow escape. Whilst engaged day in a foraging party he was unhorsed, surrounded, and on the very eve of destruction, although performing, unhorsed and crippled in his movements as he was, prodigies of valour, when the Earl of Pembroke and others rescued him. The King of France endeavoured to relieve Calais; but, finding all the .approaches too strongly fortified, withdrew, and left the brave garrison to its fate; which,
| after a defence of months, having now not even any horses, dogs, or other unclean animals left to eat, hung out a flag of capitulation. Sir Walter Manny went, and the Governor earnestly begged him to make the best terms he could; but Edward, enraged at what he esteemed their obstinacy, which had cost him so much, refused all conditions whatever, and demanded the surrender of the place, and of its inhabitants, to do as he pleased with. The chivalrous character of Sir Walter never shone so brightly as now. He set the example of pleading for the unhappy inhabitants, and many other commanders followed it. |
said the King.
What followed,--the universal distress in the town, through the hopelessness of finding persons to go willingly to death for its salvation,--the noble devotion of St. Pierre and his associates,--are all too well known for us to repeat them here; they are transactions that have sunk deeply into the world's heart. When the were admitted to Edward's presence, they prostrated themselves before him, and besought mercy. All the barons, knights, and others who were there present shed tears of pity, but the King, says Froissart, eyed them very spitefully, for much did he hate the people of Calais; and then he commanded that their heads be struck off. Every Englishman entreated him to be more merciful, but he would not hear them. Then once more stepped forward Sir Walter Manny, and said,
Even this bold and energetic appeal failed to turn the stern King from his vindictive purpose; and it was left, not unfitly, to Sir Walter's beautiful mistress to avert from Edward's memory an infamy that would for ever have tarnished his fame. It was the year after these events that the plague broke out, and Sir Walter purchased the piece of ground we have mentioned. What trains of thought and feeling could have led such a man as Sir Walter Manny to feel an interest in the progress of of the most rigid of the religious orders, and to found an establishment in connection with it, is difficult to say; scarcely less so, we should add, is the choice of the lands before mentioned, with their countless thousands of skeletons, but that on reflection it appears not improbable that some of the good monks themselves, who were to form part of the community, objecting to the luxuries of pure air and an eligible site, chose the place in question. At all events, in connection with the then Bishop of London, Simon Sudbury, he, about , founded there a house of Carthusian monks,[n.117.1] a branch of the Benedictines, whose rule, with the addition of many new austerities, they followed. Their founder, Bruno, established the order at Chartreux, in the French district of Grenoble, about , whence the houses of the order were called Chartreux-houses, gradually corrupted, as in the present case, into Charter-houses. The Carthusians
| came into England about . Of the sort of life these men thought it a matter of religion to lead we may judge from their rules, which prohibited the eating of fesh, and of fish , and which in addition set apart day in each week for a fast on bread, water, and salt, which compelled them to sleep upon a piece of cork, with a single blanket to cover them, to rise at midnight to sing their matins, and which permitted none but the Prior and Proctor to go beyond the bounds of the monastery, and they only on the indispensable business of the house. Their habit was all white, with the exception of a cloak, which was black. The purchases of land for burials before mentioned were now given to the new establishment, and Sir Walter Manny bought an additional acres, lying contiguous, from the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem. Sir Walter's charter is still preserved in the evidence-room of the present establishment. Among the numerous classes for whom it directs prayers to be said are mentioned the souls of all those who had died by Sir Walter's hands. John Lustote was made the Prior, and the Priory itself received the appellation of the |
The monastery was no doubt a splendid place, in accordance with the munificence of the founder, and the general custom with regard to the Chartreux-houses; for the monks seemed to delight in the contrast which the house of God presented to their own mean and humble condition. If Sir Walter lived to see the completion of his pious work it was all that was permitted to him, for he died in ;
An alabaster tomb, like that of Sir John Beauchamp at , was by his own direction placed over his remains in the choir of the convent-chapel.
From its foundation to the period preceding its dissolution the history of the monastery is a blank; and it would have been well for its unhappy inmates if the even but dull tenor of their lives had been unbroken in upon any further than by the event-itself sufficiently alarming--which was to throw them upon the wide world in their old age to seek new modes of existence, whilst in the highest degree unfitted for such tasks by their previous habits. But a different. fate awaited them. Of all the incidents of that mighty revolution there are none more painfully interesting than the struggles of this little band of devoted religionists. They stood foremost in the breach when Henry attacked the old religion in what they esteemed its most vital point, the Papal Supremacy: they positively refused to take the oaths required. The Prior, Houghton, and the Proctor, Middlemore, were immediately sent to the Tower; but, being there terrified into a temporary submission, submitted to what was required of them.
with the name of governors, were now appointed; who, on taking possession, assembled the officers, monks, and servants before them, and graciously assured all present that their most excellent Prince had, in his mercy and compassion, pardoned all their heresies and treasons committed to that day, and that they were at liberty to this emanation of pity under the great seal. They added that death would follow the commission of new offences. The keys of the convent were demanded from the
| Proctor and other officers, who were at the same time told that all receipts and payments would in future be the business of the governors only, who would be accountable to the King. The worst feature of this arrangement was the inquisitorial power given to the governors of examining each of the monks separately as to his own opinions or the opinions of his fellows, and of threatening him with punishment, or tempting him with promises of dispensation if he broke his vows and left the order, with a small stipend for a year or till he could find employment. It is more easy to imagine than to describe the wretchedness that such men must have caused among a little fraternity whose lives had been spent in peace and harmony. No knew whether the man in whom he had hitherto confided his most secret thoughts was not a spy upon him, communicating daily each unguarded or desperate word to the Triad of Governors. There were, however, high principles at work among these humble monks; the very austerity of their habits made them think little of the pains that mortal hands could inflict upon them; and most probably from these combined causes a courage truer, because less full of encouraging stimulants, than that which adorns the battle-field, sprang up among the peaceful cloisters. However mistaken in their views, their conduct must excite our admiration, their sufferings our pity. Although by this time the character of the sovereign was known to them, they appear to have deliberated, as though what appeared to them right, rather than what was politic, was the only matter they had to decide. The blood shed on the scaffold in the pursuance of Henry's determination to overbear all opposition to his purpose of being declared Supreme Head of the Church, was that of the Prior, Houghton, who had grown bolder, and we might add more worthy of the conscientious men he had governed. On the , he, Augustine Webster, Prior of the of Belval, Thomas Lawrence, Prior of the of Exham, who made common cause with him, and Richard Reynolds, a monk of Sion, and John Hailes, vicar of Thistleworth (Isleworth), both of whom had been originally members of the London , were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, their heads being afterwards set over the city gates, and of the quarters of Houghton's body over the gate of his own monastery. It was with this ghastly spectacle continually before their eyes that they had to maintain their fortitude against the assaults of friends and foes, each eager to move them from their position, though from very different motives. But being still immoveable, some more of their number were executed in the month following, when the atrocities of the law were carried out in all their sickening horrors. The wretched men were cut down whilst living, their bowels were then torn out, and lastly they were beheaded and dismembered, and the dissevered parts exposed as before in different places in the city. About this period several curious communications took place between the monks of Sion and those of the , in which the confessor-general of the former, Father Fewterer, who, having conformed himself, was naturally anxious to induce others to keep him in countenance, endeavoured to persuade the latter to submit. Among other arguments he states that he has |
He concludes with the exhortation-- Therefore die not for the cause; save yourselves and your
| house; live long, and live well, to the honour of God; wealthy by your prayers, and edifying by your life to the people. Subject yourselves to your noble Prince, get his gracious favour by your duty doing to his grace. |
In the beginning of August last past my lord of Canterbury
sent for monks here, Rochester and Rawlins; his lordship sent Rochester home again
but he keepeth Rawlins still with him, and I understand he hath changed his habit to secular priest's clothing, and eateth flesh. I know that some of them, and I think that divers most of them, would be glad to be licensed to do the same. ..... Master John Maidwell, commonly called the Scottish friar,
then I entreated Rochester and or of the monks to be contented to hear him preach sermon among them day that week, wherewith they were then contented, but on the next day, when they had spoken with the other brothers, they sent me word that I should not bring him among them; therefore, if I so did, they would not hear him, because they heard tell of him that he preached against the honouring of images and saints, and that he was a blasphemer of saints; and I said that I marvailled much of them, for there can be no greater heresy in any man (especially in a religious man) than to say that he cannot preach the word of God, neither will not hear it preached; and they say that they will read their doctors and go no farther; and I told them that such doctrines had made some of their company to be strong traitors, and traitorously to suffer death.
It is no great marvel though many of these monks have heretofore offended God and the King by their foul errors, for I have found in the Prior and Proctor's cells or sundry printed books from beyond the sea, of as foul errors and heresies as may be, and not or books be new printed alone, but hundreds of them; wherefore, by your mastership's favour, it seemeth to be more necessary that these cells be better searched, for I can perceive few of them but they have great pleasure in reading of such erroneous doctrines, and little or none in reading of the New Testament, or in other good book.
I learn among these lay-brothers that heretofore when all victual was at a convenient price, and also when they were fewer persons in number than they now be, the Proctor hath accounted for a-year, their rent being but . Of which (the extra) cost in fare, buildings, and other, was then borne of the benevolence and charity of the city of London. And they (the monks), not regarding this dearth, neither the increase
|of their superfluous number, neither yet the decay of the said benevolence and charity, would have and hath that same fare continued that then was used, and would have plenty of bread and ale and fish given to strangers in the buttery and at the buttery-door, and as large distributions of bread and ale to all their servants and to vagabonds[n.121.1] at the gate as was then used; which cannot be. Wherefore, under the favour of your worship, it seemeth to be much necessary to diminish either the number or dainty fare, and also the superfluous gift of bread and ale.|
A month later Jasper Ffyloll, growing more impatient, proposed to turn out all the obstinate, and to compel the lay-brothers
| (who were as heretical as the monks, and annoyed the worthy governor by carrying messages to and from the confined brethren) and the steward to dine on flesh in the Refectory, and to admit such of the monks as wished it to partake. Fresh exhortations were tried with no better effect than before. |
William Marshall also distributed copies to as many monks, of a work entitled
which the latter consented to receive only on condition of being permitted or commanded to read them by the Prior. days after, of the books were returned unread; and, although John Rochester was prevailed on to keep the for or days, he then buried it,
says the malignant Ffyloll,
The catastrophe now indeed rapidly approached. In all, only of the brethren appear to have been seduced into conformity with the King's desires. of these, named Broke and Burgoyne, wrote to Father Fewterer, to inform him that his precepts had prevailed with them; and as to the rest of the convent they add,
A , Andrew Bord, wrote a letter of justification to his brethren, explaining that he had discovered his age to be at variance with the strict rules of the order, and that the confined air of his cell was injurious to his health. monks still remained; and all as steadfast to their faith as if they had seen their brethren conducted to the highest worldly dignities and honours, instead of to the grim scaffold; and the fate of these men is perhaps the most pitiable. They were kept in prison, a prey to the most horrible tyranny, neglect, filth, and despair, till they all with exception died off under the treatment, when it was boasted by Mr. Bedle that the traitors were despatched
and he adds,
The who survived was got rid of summarily by executing him some years later. From the same kindly and Christianlike letter, dated , we also find that a new Prior had been appointed, Trafford, whom he recommends as of the best of men, who had done everything to convince the monks, , that they ought to surrender the house, and rely upon the King's mercy and experienced grace. The convincer's own conviction, however, appears to have been not of a very unstable kind, for Bedle adds, significantly,
Trafford received for his obsequiousness the magnificent yearly pension of ; the value of the revenues that the King at the same time obtained possession of being, as we have seen, .
The history of the naturally divides itself into periods: that of the Monastery, which we have now concluded, that of the occupation of
| the place after the dissolution till its purchase by Sutton, and that of the establishment and state of the present magnificent institution. We proceed now with its history during the period. In the site was granted by Henry to John Brydges, yeoman of the King's |
and Thomas Hall, groom of the
and years afterwards to Sir Edward (afterwards Lord) North, an eminent lawyer and statesman, who rose from an humble origin to the rank he obtained. Hall and Brydges received an annuity of for surrendering all claims upon the Chartreuse. This is a curious piece of business, and was no doubt the result of some exquisite finessing on the part of Sir Edward North; for it appears that it was whispered to the monarch's ear that he had been imposed upon with regard to the property. He was immediately sent for by the enraged King, who expressed in the broadest manner the nature of his suspicions. Sir Edward, by his humble and most respectful manner, soon conciliated the King, and left the court with his head and the both safe. The great alteration in the aspect of the was now doubtless made to fit the old monastery for a noble residence. There it was that Elizabeth was brought within days after her accession, and stayed for some time; and again, in , after she had dismissed its owner from the Privy Council, she spent days at the . By the Lord North the estate was sold in for to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who made it his principal residence, and rebuilt a considerable portion of the place. The existing buildings of the therefore are mostly of his erection. The period of the Duke's occupation was to him a very eventful . He was then meditating a marriage with Mary Queen of Scots, and her restoration to her kingdom. The jealous Elizabeth, at an early stage of the business, obtained some inkling of his wishes, and more than once mentioned the matter to him. The Duke assured her no such project had originated with him, nor did he approve of it.
said the artful Queen,
The Duke replied
Elizabeth had here met with her match in dissimulation; it would have been impossible to have said anything under the circumstances that could have better pleased or satisfied her. Not the less, however, did Norfolk pursue his schemes, which, on the discovery of a secret correspondence with Mary, brought him to the Tower in . There he remained for nearly months, when, the plague beginning to
he was allowed to remove to the , under the custody of Sir Henry Nevil. Here, tempted on the hand by the splendour of the match and the beauty of his promised bride, and rendered reckless on the other by Elizabeth's harsh usage, he renewed his correspondence with Mary; and (which, if true, is a much more serious stain upon his character) opened a correspondence with the King of Spain to land an army in England and overthrow Elizabeth in favour of the Scottish Queen. But this latter charge was never satisfactorily
|proved. His conviction for treason on the different charges adduced against him was brought about by the discovery of the key to the cipher of his letters under the roofing tiles of the . He was condemned, and executed on the of-, on ; though it was not until after warrants had been issued and recalled that the Queen could make up her mind to send to the block a nobleman so popular, who possessed so many estimable qualities, and who, besides being her kinsman, had enjoyed her close friendship for many years. It is so far to her credit that she did not entirely forget these circumstances; the Duke's estates, of course, as usual, reverted to the crown, but she subsequently restored them to his descendants. In the division of the property, the fell to the share of Lord Thomas Howard, who, for his father's sufferings in connection with Mary, was much caressed by that unfortunate Queen's son, James, a monarch of whom it may be said, both in condemnation and praise, that, if he did nothing for his unhappy mother whilst alive, he certainly exhibited his gratitude after her execution to those who had rendered her assistance. On his entry into London in he showed his great respect for the Duke of Norfolk by going direct to visit his son at the , and was conducted thither in a splendid procession from Stamford Hill through . Being magnificently entertained, he kept his court there days, during which upwards of gentlemen were knighted. Nor did his gratitude rest with these comparatively empty significations. He made his host Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chamberlain of his Household, Lord Treasurer of England, and Knight of the Garter. Here we conclude the period of our history.|
In looking at the respective characters of the individuals who play so important a part in the annals of the , cannot avoid being forcibly struck by the contrast between the chivalry of War and Bloodshed, and that of Peace and Benevolence. A truly noble-hearted and high-principled man was Sir Walter Manny; yet all his admirable qualities, and those of men like him, served but to shed a deceitful glare over the ruined towns and villages that tracked their path, or at best to alleviate the woes they themselves made. How different the chivalry of Thomas Sutton! Even whilst with steady far-sighted economy he went on heaping up the riches that were to gladden the hearts of hundreds through generation after generation,--instead of blood or tears, the sighs of breaking hearts, or the curses of despairing ones, he left behind him the natural blessings that follow in the train of united wealth, industry, and honour. He was, in every sense but the fighting , a perfect knight. It is true he thought to please God rather by helping to keep his creatures alive than by saying masses for them when dead; it is no less so that his devotion to the sex exhibited itself merely in his arrangements for giving them better husbands, sons, and parents; and, lastly, his
was only known by the somewhat vulgar characteristic that made his word as acceptable as his bond. Yet, as the sagacious discovery has been made, and, to a considerable extent of late years, generally admitted, that to educate and feed men is better than to cut them down or blow them up, we do not anticipate much objection to our remark that Thomas Sutton was alike an ornament to the knightly, philanthropic, and mercantile characters. But Sir Thomas was also a brave man,--we do not mean in a moral sense merely, that is evident: no great
| work was ever conducted through half the difficulties that attended the establishment of the hospital and school, without a great deal of that truest kind of courage,--but in the martial sense he achieved some reputation; for, on the breaking out of the northern rebellion in , he was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance in the North during life; and in he commanded in person of the batteries employed in the reduction of Edinburgh Castle. Prior to this period the events of his life may be summarily dismissed. He was born at Knaith, in the county of Lincoln, in , his father being steward of the courts belonging to the corporation of the city of Lincoln. He is supposed to have received his education at Eton and Cambridge, to have removed from Cambridge to , and there entered himself as a student, and then to have travelled abroad for some years, acquiring in the chief countries of the Continent an intimate acquaintance with their commercial policy and different languages: information that contributed greatly to his ultimate prosperity. He returned in , when he found himself joint heir with his mother to considerable property, left by the elder Sutton, who died in . He appears now to have been retained for some time about the person of the Duke of Norfolk, both of them subsequent possessors of the ,--a curious coincidence, unless, what is very probable, his connection with the Duke led to a similar connection with the Duke's son, the Earl of Suffolk, from whom he afterwards purchased the . By the recommendation of the Duke of Norfolk he became secretary to the Earl of Warwick, through whose influence he obtained the appointment we have before mentioned. The great source of Sir Thomas's wealth was the lease that he obtained of the manors of Gateshead and Wickham, near Newcastle, wherein several fine veins of coal were discovered, and worked so advantageously, that in a few years profit, it is said, was made. In he married Elizabeth, widow of John Dudley, of Stoke ; a lady who, if we may judge from a passage in of her letters to him that has been preserved, was happily suited to him. The passage is as follows : |
Their town residence at this period was an ancient stone mansion at , formerly possessed by his patrons, the Norfolk family. About or soon after his marriage he commenced his mercantile pursuits, and rapidly achieved an immense fortune. There is an interesting tradition attached to the , of an important connection between Sutton and the delaying of the Spanish Armada, which was unable to sail at the time arranged, owing to the return by the Bank of Genoa of certain bills of the Spanish king's. This affair was managed by an Englishman; and Sir Thomas Gresham has had the honour of it, but certainly without any just claim, as he had been dead some years prior to the event. There is every probability therefore that the is right in attributing the affair to the influence of Sutton, unquestionably the richest merchant of his day. And he had to pay dearly for the reputation he thus obtained, for his friends and acquaintances seem to have turned their intimacy to the best account. Piles of unpaid bonds yet exist among his papers which had their origin in this manner, as well as a variety of letters from
| persons who, as Malcolm justly observes, seem |
Here is a specimen of the sort of missives Sir Thomas Sutton was accustomed to receive when he did not choose to lend his money. It is an extract from a letter written by Anne Lawrence:--
This bashful maid and humble-minded gentlewoman then proceeds to favour the wicked Sir Thomas with a number of quotations from Scripture, amusing, like the rest of her letter, from the consummate impudence of their application. Towards the conclusion of her epistle a couple of parables are introduced, of which we transcribe the last:--
(the rich Spencer)
&c. This to the man of whom Fuller says,
--or to the man who was accustomed in dear years of grain to buy large quantities, and then retail it again at lower prices to the poor! A letter of a different kind will be read with interest, were it only for the fact stated in it:--
The result is not known; but who can doubt but that such a letter to such a man would be as successful as the writer could have dared to hope? Among other applications mentioned by Malcolm, prays for assistance in his marriage, a to prevent her brother's dead body from being arrested for debt, a offers to shed his blood in return, and a , a shipwrecked man, solicits relief between scraps of Latin. Among the borrowers we may mention her gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth for . The gratitude of those Sir Thomas had obliged found some peculiar modes of development. The Earl of Essex, who was a frequent suitor, sometimes for as little as , ordered his park-keeper to send him during his lifetime a buck in summer and a doe in winter; whilst a poor gardener turned poet for the occasion, and sent him the following lines:--
In , all that large class of persons who took such a kindly interest in Sir Thomas's affairs, and who, above all, were greatly troubled as to the disposal of his money, had their anxieties allayed by the news that he was about to establish a magnificent charitable institution. On the of that month he purchased the from the Earl of Suffolk and his relatives, for ; but his kind friends had not done with him even then. No sooner had he taken possession of the place but the Lady Berkeley solicited permission for herself and servants to reside there during the summer months, as she found her house in too close and unhealthy for the season! Sir Thomas, after great delays and much anxiety, had obtained, in , an act of Parliament for the erection of his hospital and school at Hallingbury Bouchers, Essex, which place he had chosen. On the alteration of the site, fresh delay took place, and he had to encounter considerable opposition; and at last he was obliged to pay for the king's charter of incorporation; the Earl of Suffolk's promised influence being considered in fixing the amount of the purchase-money. He had intended to have made himself the governor of the institution; but the infirmities of age were now fast increasing upon him; so he named the Rev. John Hutton, vicar of Littlebury, in Essex, to the office. A slow fever about the same time seizing him, he made haste to arrange the affairs of the hospital on a safe and prosperous foundation. On the he conveyed all the estates specified in the
| letters patent, which not only included the itself, but also upwards of manors and lordships, with many other valuable estates, in the counties of Essex, Lincoln, Wilts, Cambridge, and Middlesex, to the governors, in trust for the Hospital. Well might Fuller call this gift |
On. the day following he completed his will, in which, among other items, was of to the Queen,
This of course was written before , for in that year Mrs. Sutton died. Sir Thomas himself died at Hackney, on the , aged years. His body was embalmed; and Newcomb, in his
says that persons attended the funeral, and that the procession from Dr. Law's house in , where the corpse had been rested, to (where he was temporarily interred during the completion of the chapel of the hospital), lasted hours. A splendid feast was subsequently given by his executors at Stationers' Hall, which cost In , the remains were removed to the spot where they now finally repose, and buried in a vault beneath a magnificent tomb; the work of
|Nicholas Stone and others, and designed by Stone in conjunction with Bernard Jansen, a Dutch architect. The former was the most eminent sculptor of James's reign, and had no unimportant share in the building of the|
|beautiful Banqueting House at .[n.129.1] Although Sir Thomas had taken every precaution to ensure the appropriation of his estates to the purposes he had pointed out (he had witnesses for instance to the principal document), yet scarcely was he in his grave before Simon Baxter, his nephew and heir-at-law, who had been chief mourner at the funeral, laid claim to all the property settled upon the Hospital, and attempted to gain possession of the , but was foiled by the vigilance of the porter. He was equally unsuccessful in the courts of law: from the Privy Council, to whom Baxter had presented a petition, the case was referred to the King's Bench and Chancery courts, and lastly to Court, where it was argued before the judges, and a final verdict given in favour of the Hospital. Doubtless this was a just verdict, but, to show how difficult it was to obtain justice even at the period in question, we may observe that the result was in some covert way connected with a gift of from the governors to King James, under the assigned reason of appropriating it towards the repairs of . The Governors held their meeting on the , when the necessary arrangements for the commencement of the practical purposes of the institution were devised. Of these governors there are in number including the master, and they exercise the entire direction; they form a body corporate. Vacancies are filled up by the other governors. They present to the hospital and school in rotation. The principal officers are the Master, Preacher, Master of the School, Registrar (who is also the Receiver and Steward of the Courts), Reader (who is also the Librarian), Writing Master, Resident Medical Officer,|
| Organist, Manciple or House Steward, and Surveyor. The pensioners are in number, the scholars . No can be admitted to the former class under the age of years unless maimed in war, and only those who have been housekeepers are eligible. They are amply dieted, they have each a separate apartment with proper attendance, and are allowed about a year for clothes, &c. Boys are admitted into the school between the ages of and years, receive an excellent education, as the numerous excellent scholars it has sent forth may testify, and when properly qualified are sent to the University, where exhibitions of the value of per annum are provided. In other cases an apprentice fee is given; instance is curious: Henry Siddons was apprenticed by the to his uncle Mr. J. P. Kemble, |
The principal buildings of the existing are the Hall, the Chapel, the School-room in the centre of the extensive play-ground, the Evidence-room, the Old and the New Governors' rooms, the Old Court-room, and the numerous buildings required for the accommodation of the pensioners and boys, which are disposed round quadrangles or courts of varying size. Of these, the School-room requires no particular notice, and the Evidence-room we could not obtain admittance to, all the valuable documents of the establishment being there preserved. Passing through the outer gate in Square, the pediment of which is supported by lions with scrolls, the Duke of Norfolk's badge, we have on the right the view seen at the head of this paper, and before us the way to the quadrangles before mentioned where the pensioners and the boys are lodged. Beyond the inner gateway shown in our engraving, to which we have referred, is the great Hall, on the opposite side of a court, and near it, to the right, the Chapel. The Hall is connected with the old Refectory, which is still used for a similar purpose, though with somewhat more genial fare, by the pensioners, and with the cloisters, where the poor Carthusians were confined during the short period preceding their torture and death. It is supposed to have been built during the reign of Henry VIII., no doubt by Sir Edward North, and to have been afterwards fitted up by the Duke of Norfolk as a banqueting-room. The centre of the ceiling is a lofty semicircular vaulted roof, the sides are flat and supported by massy oaken brackets or timbers. A gallery runs along side, and across the northern end, where it is supported on caryatides resting on a handsome screen. In the oriel windows are some pieces of stained glass with various arms. The chimney-piece in the centre is curious-above it are Sutton's arms, very gay with paint and gilding, and flanked on each side by a mounted piece of cannon, an allusion most probably to Sutton's office and services at the siege of Edinburgh, of which perhaps the afterwards peaceful citizen was not a little proud. From the hall we pass into a kind of vestibule, with a very wide and most elaborately decorated staircase leading up to the Governors' rooms on the right, and a passage in front, lined on the pavement with tombstones, which leads to the chapel. This is of irregular shape and very heterogeneous composition. The entrance is of the miserable style of James's reign, whilst the porch, projecting into the chapel, to which it opens, has a very fine vaulted and groined roof, nearly if not quite coeval
|with the foundation of the monastery. The intersections of the groins are carved to represent an angel, and instruments of penance now happily unknown. Above this, forming the basement of the chapel turret, is a part of the old tower of the Carthusian Chapel, still supported in the exterior by a strong buttress. Sutton's monument is in a very dark corner, nearly facing us, but at once strikes attention by the colours and the gilded spikes of the railings in front.[n.131.1] Near his monument is a tablet to the memory of Dr. John Pepusch, the celebrated musician, who was organist here. The organ gallery is a most elaborate affair, being almost entirely covered with helmets, armour, flags, drums, gulls, masks, cherubims, coats of arms, heads, harps, guitars, and composite capitals without shafts, on a kind of termini. We need scarcely add that we owe this brilliant design also to the geniuses of the reign of the British Solomon. |
[n.131.2] The master's house includes a handsome suite of apartments, among which is the Governors' room, so called from its being used as their place of meeting. Here are portraits of Charles II.; Archbishop Sheldon; William Earl of Craven (the lover of the Empress Palatine) in complete armour, a romantic-looking portrait of a romantic-minded man; George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, as perfect an opposite in appearance as in character to the last; Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury; the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth; Lord Shaftesbury (the author of ); Dr. Burnet; and Sutton himself, a venerable-looking man. The portrait of the author of the
is a very fine , by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Burnet was Master of the , and distinguished himself whilst in office by his successful resistance to James II., when the latter strove to intrude a Roman Catholic into the establishment. The old Court Room is perhaps the most interesting part of the , and has just been entirely restored to its pristine magnificence. A single glance at this beautiful room is enough to recall the memory of the time when the stately Virgin Queen trod its floor, attended by her magnificent throng of courtiers, warriors, and statesmen ;--for, visitor though she was, she had not the slightest notion of abating jot of her regal dignity under any circumstances. The ceiling is very rich with its gilded pendants and fine stucco-work and painting. Its walls are hung with tapestry, which is however very much faded. The most interesting feature of the room is the lofty architectural chimney-piece, with paintings in different-shaped panels, of which the called Faith, Hope, and Charity are positively extraordinary works of art. They are designed in a very pure style, and correctly drawn. Who was their author it is impossible to say; but they are worthy of Holbein, and not unlike his style. In this room the anniversary of the foundation has long been accustomed to be held, on the , when, among other
| old ditties proper to the occasion, is sung terminating with the pertinent, if not very poetical, verses-
From the beef and mutton the transition is easy to the kitchen, with its enormous chimneys; which is as genuine a piece of the old monastery as the I. H. S. on the walls of the little court behind, or as the announcement that still greets the eye in the same place, and delights every lover of Chaucer by the use of a word they had never again expected to see familiarised among us, except in his pages,--
[n.117.1] His original idea was of forming a college for a warden, dean, and twelve secular priests,
[n.121.1] The word vagabond is here applied to travellers, who frequently found accommodation at religious houses. It is certainly, as Malcolm has noticed, a most amiable trait in the Carthusians, and one that only a Jasper Ffyloll could have helped sympathising with, that, whilst their establishment was threatened with utter ruin, and their very lives in danger, they should still be anxious for the performance of the duties of hospitality.
[n.129.1] The bill sent in on the completion of the work is a curious, and we think not uninteresting, document. We therefore here transcribe it: bel £s.d. For the enriching within the arch600 For the two captains1000 For the four capitals1000 For his (Sutton's) picture and his crest at his feet1000 For the two boys, Labour and Rest600 For the two pilasters, carved three sides a-piece,600 For the three pictures, Faith, Hope, and Charity1500 For the arms600 For the two capitals300 For the story over the cornice (a preacher addressing a numerous congregation)1000 For enriching under the cornice300 For the two Death's heads and one Cherubim's head500 For roses and other flowers, and enriching600 For painting and gilding20000 For carrying the work, and setting with cramps of iron, lime, and bricks1000 For working of the masonry in alabaster5000 For working the six columns1500 For sawing the hard stone1000 For working and polishing five rance pilasters1000 For working and polishing the lover of rance800 For working, rubbing, and polishing all the tables, both of rance and touch1000 For sixty feet of rance, at 10s. a foot3000 For eighty feet of touch4000 For nine loads of alabaster, at 6l. a load with the carrying5400 For working and polishing the ledger1000 For thirty feet of pace, at 2s. 6d. a foot3150 366150
[n.131.1] We need add but little to the description contained in the sculptor's bill before transcribed. The monument is twenty-five feet high and thirteen broad. The effigy is painted in imitation of life, with grey hair and beard, and in a black furred gown.
[n.131.2] Malcolm's Londonium Redivivum, vol. i.