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Being close to the royal palace of King's Sheen, now Richmond,' this monastery became the wealthiest of all the English Charterhouses. It was also the largest. The Great Cloister contained forty cells. It is noted also for having been the temporary abode of several persons of distinction; amongst others, Cardinal Pole, who, when a youth, spent two years there in study and retirement.

The mention of one more monastery completes the list of the establishments of our Order in the British Isles, the Charterhouse of the Vale of Virtues, near Perth. Like Sheen, it was a royal foundation, and it was built in a manner worthy of its founder, King James I. of Scotland, "rearing its grey head over the ancient town, among the rich pastures of the valley of the Tay, and beside that noblest of Scottish streams." 2 The monastery was founded in 1429; and on the 20th of February, 1437, the royal founder was murdered within its precincts, and was buried in the choir.

In 1559 John Knox so excited the people of Perth, that, after having partly destroyed the cathedral, they demolished the Charterhouse.


1 Henry VII. changed the name of King's Sheen into Richmond.

2 Mackenzie Walcott's Scoti. Monasticon, quoting Norton.

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THE site of the London Charterhouse, just under the city walls, seems, at first sight, very ill chosen ; and in order to account for it we must go back to the dreadful events of the years 1348-49, when the Black Death carried hundreds of thousands to an untimely grave. In August, 1348, this terrible plague made its appearance in England. Beginning its ravages in Dorsetshire, it took its deadly course. through Devonshire, Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire, and in November it reached London. The city was badly drained; the streets were narrow, and both fresh air and sunshine were almost excluded by the projecting upper stories of the houses. Hence it was a suitable field for the Black Death. So great, indeed, was the mortality that there remained scarcely enough living to bury the dead. All the churchyards were quickly filled up, and thousands of bodies were thrown into common graves in the open fields outside the town.

Ralph Stratford, Bishop of London, wishing to put a stop to these burials in unconsecrated ground, purchased a piece of land just outside the city wall at West Smithfield, and, having enclosed it, he consecrated it for the interment of the victims of the plague. He built a mortuary chapel, and called the place Pardon Churchyard and Chapel.1

The number of deaths still increasing, it was found necessary to enlarge the burial-ground, and Sir Walter de Manny bought thirteen acres and one rod of land adjoining the piece already consecrated by Bishop Stratford. This property, called the Spital Croft, because it belonged to the brethren of St. Bartholomew's Spital, was consecrated as an addition to Pardon Churchyard. The cemetery was subsequently known as New Church Hawe, though the Bishop's portion seems to have retained its former name of Pardon Churchyard. Ere the Black Death had finished its ravages, upwards of fifty thousand bodies had been buried on this spot. Later on, it was used for the interment of poor people and of those executed for felony.

1 Steven's Continuation of the Monasticon, quoting Stow. Stow, in his Survey of London, mentions a stone cross in the cemetery bearing the following inscription:

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"An. Dom. M.CCC.XL.IX.

Regnante magnâ Pestilentiâ consecratum fuit hoc Cometerium, in quo et infra septa præsentis Monasterii sepulta fuerunt. mortuorum corpora plusquam quinquaginta millia; præter alia multa ab hinc usque ad præsens; quorum animabus propitietur Deus.




Sir Walter de Manny was not content with providing a resting-place for the bodies of the departed ; he was also mindful of the welfare of their souls. He therefore built a chapel in his portion of the churchyard, and endowed it for the celebration of Masses for the repose of the thousands who were buried there.

This land was destined, twenty-three

years later, to become the site of the London Charterhouse. This was owing, in a great measure, to the charity of Bishop Stratford's successor, Michael de Northburgh,' though Sir Walter de Manny has always been considered the chief founder of the monastery. A word about Sir Walter may not be uninteresting.

"The name of Sir Walter Manny," writes Beltz," associated with all that is bright and pleasing in the knightly character, revives with talismanic power the feats of prowess, combats of generosity, examples of self-devotion and loyalty of heart, exhibited by the preux chevaliers of his time, and for which none more than that hero was pre-eminently distinguished." His character and some of the particulars of his eventful life have been recorded by his contemporary Froissart. We may run rapidly through the most striking incidents.

Sir Walter was born at Valenciennes.


1 Godwin calls him Northbrook (De Præsulibus Angliæ, ed. 1743, p. 185).

2 Memorials of the Order of the Garter.


father, who was a knight of Hainault, had the misfortune to inflict a mortal wound upon a young Gascon of noble family, while fighting in a tournament at Cambray. He was thrown into prison; but after some time he was set at liberty, on condition that he would make a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella. On his homeward journey he was murdered by some of the Gascon's relatives, near the town of La Réole, and was buried in a little chapel close by. Many years later, Sir Walter offered a reward of a hundred crowns to the discoverer of his father's tomb. An old man happened to remember where the knight's body had been laid, and he conducted Sir Walter to the spot. A Latin inscription corroborated the old man's statement, and he received the reward. Sir Walter disinterred his father's remains and removed them to Valenciennes, where they found a more honourable sepulchre in the choir of the Franciscan church.

In 1327 Walter de Manny was one of the retinue of Philippa of Hainault on her journey to London. Thus he gained admission into the English court, where he soon attracted the attention of Edward III., who allowed him to accompany him in the French and Scottish expeditions. He always distinguished himself amongst the foremost of the English knights. In 1331 the king knighted him, and in the following year he was made governor of Merioneth and Hardleigh Castle. In 1337 we find him fighting under

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