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CHAPTER V.

THE HUGUENOTS AT SHEEN ANGLORUM-EXPULSION OF THE MONKS -WANDERINGS-AT LOUVAIN-LAST JOURNEY AND DEATH

OF DOM MAURICE CHAUNCY.

THE daily round of prayer and praise, of study and work, went on as usual at Sheen Anglorum until early in 1578, when the peace of our little colony was disturbed by the arrival of a detachment of the army of the Prince of Orange. Father Chauncy's account of the new troubles which now befell him and his community appears to be lost. We are indebted to Prior Long' for the preservation of the account written by Dom John Suertis, who was Sacristan of the Charterhouse when these troubles commenced. It has already been observed that one of the duties of the Sacristan is to recite in Church, before the Blessed Sacrament, those portions of the Office which the other monks say in their cells. This accounts for Dom Suertis being alone in the Church when his story begins.

"I was," he says, "saying the Prime of the Day

1 Notitia Cart., Appendix viii.

[at six o'clock in the morning], and suddenly [there] came in a well elderly man, nothing like a soldier, nor anything in his hand, a black hat on his head, a fustian white doublet, and a pair of white stockings and said never a word, but took off his hat when he was within the choir door, and went right up before me to the high altar, looking here and there, and went directly to the Deacon's table, where I had got five chalices for the altars. He took them all in his arms and went unto the priest's chair, took off the cushion, opened the coffer under the cushion, put in all the chalices, and covered all over with the cushion again. [He] went out on the other side of the choir, looking on me, and as he went out put to the choir door. Then, straight the soldiers rapped at the gates and cried, 'Ouvre la porte! ouvre la porte!' They came in two and two with their swords in their hands and their pieces charged, and went round about the choir, but took nothing besides a purificating cloth for the chalice. They went forth of the Church, opened my cell door and went in, and sat round and about my cell. I, coming into my cell, asked them what they would have. They said apples, and so sat and drank. So I went to Father Prior's cell door and told him what they would have. He brought forth a great salmon pasty, and I gave it them. They went into the court, and divided it amongst them. Then, they seeing Father Prior themselves, three of them came

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DRINKING WITH THE PRIOR.

299

to him and promised him to bring twelve of the honestest men amongst them for to keep his from all harm; the rest, they said, were all naught. So they did. Yet the rest would not consent before they had drunk with the Prior. Then all the companies came in, and drank first one barrel of beer, then another, so that they left not one drop in the house. When all was gone, two went into the beer brewer's and fetched in a fresh barrel for themselves. permitted us only to say private Masses. They had the Refectory, we the Church. They remained with us in this manner about six weeks, and were all very well treated.

They

"Father Prior asked me what became of the chalices; so I told him of the old man, and I desired he would reward him for his good will, thinking he had been a soldier. But when Father Maurice had desired of the captains that this man might be brought unto him, both they and all the soldiers protested that there was no such man amongst them all that was clothed with a white doublet and white stockings, for all the soldiers had buff coats.

"Notwithstanding the good and fair usage they had, they all conspired with their captains to have killed us all.' And the same day that they had given their soldiers the watchword - there was

1 These men or some of their comrades had cruelly murdered twelve religious of the Charterhouse of Ruremond a few years before. See Dom Arnold Havens' Historica relatio duodecim Martyrum Cartusianorum.

nothing but crying sa! sa! sa! that night-at five of the clock after Evensong, the Spaniards came to fight beside Bruges. So they all marched forth of Bruges to fight them. But so they fought that the Spaniards left not one man of them alive. After which victory, the magistrates were so grieved, that they sent word to Father Prior to be gone within twenty days; else he and all the house should be burned without mercy. This was cold news unto us all. Father Prior went and prostrated himself before them all, but he could get no mercy. So he sold all things at random, and paid all debts. And on St. George's Day,' the first waggons went with Father Vicar [Dom Roger Thompson] and half the convent ; and the last day,' Father Prior with the other part of the convent.

"For the packing up of all the stuff, the magistrates of Bruges sent their packer, and one of their sixteen men to see the packing of everything-for they feared that we should carry bullets and shot unto the enemies-and on every pack was set the Prince of Orange's Great Seal. This favour they showed.3

1 The 23rd of April, 1578. Father Long, who had a copy of Chauncy's narration, tells us that the dates do not always agree with Suertis. For this first departure Chauncy gives the 19th of April.

2 Probably he means the last of the twenty days allowed by the authorities of Bruges.

3 It seems uncertain whether they really meant it for a favour,

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"When we were at our gates to take our waggon God knows how many weeping eyes both of rich and poor there were, and even the best of all the city. We came that night to a poor place of a house where the waggoners were wont to roost. But for beds, all the way we took great patience, and were in great danger of the enemies. The next night we came unto Lille, where we found all our brethren in good health. When we should go to supper, came all the heretics of the whole city, and had almost rifled our packs. Our host stood very stoutly in our defence for life and death. When they saw the Prince of Orange's seal on everything, they were appeased; but we rose early in the morning, by good counsel, and so escaped the danger they proposed.

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1

The next day, at night, we came to Douay. They did let us in at the gates; but none dared to receive us to lodging. So we sat in our waggons two or three hours in the streets; and at the last, two poor sisters bid us come into the house and we should be welcome. It chanced Doctor Hely came and supped with us. And when we were in the midst of supper, the captain with the soldiers came, and would see our passport. So it was read, and

or simply to prevent anything else being taken. The sequel shows how useful it proved to the fugitive monks.

1i.e. those who had left Bruges some days before with the Father Vicar.

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