Imágenes de páginas

into a garden, to the great embellishment and conveniency of the house." At the request of the town authorities a handsome stone gateway was erected at the entrance to the new garden, and over the arch was the inscription-" Cartusia Jesu de Bethleem Shene. 1735- There being several generous benefactors during Father Lee's priorate, he was also able to buy a great bell for the Charterhouse; and, with the leave of the Bishop, he blessed it. The bell was christened "Bruno." Bruno." On the 20th of April, 1740, Prior Charles Lee went to his reward. He was deeply regretted by his monks, and also by the townsfolk of Nieuport.

Sheen Anglorum was next governed by Dom Thomas Yate, who was, at the time of his election, nominal Coadjutor of the Charterhouse of Diest,' though he resided in that of Brussels. He was, however, a professed monk of Sheen Anglorum. After a priorate of three years, during which nothing is recorded, he died on the 8th of April, 1743, and was succeeded by Dom Gilbert Jump.

From a list of the Vicars of the monastery, it appears that Dom Jump held that office twice before he became Prior. He had also been Procurator. After performing the duties of the priorate for some time, he resigned, and was succeeded by

1 The Charterhouse of Mount Saint John-Baptist, near Diest, Belgium, was founded in 1328, and flourished until the French Revolution, when it was suppressed.



Dom James Long, the writer of the Notitia Cartusianorum Anglorum. Anglorum. Dom Gilbert Jump now became Coadjutor, and he held this office until his death, which is announced in the obituary of 1774. As to Father Long, his death is inscribed in the obituary of 1759, where he is called " formerly Prior of Sheen Anglorum, Coadjutor of the Charterhouse of Brussels." He had also been Vicar and Procurator at Nieuport, where the number of the monks was dwindling down to so small a number for want of vocations, that every one who was capable seems to have had his turn in almost every office.

Dom Bruno Fleming was the successor to James Long in the priorate of Nieuport. He and his Procurator, Dom Aloysius Blevin, both died in December, 1761. A monk named Joseph Dennet, and a lay brother named Whitefield, died in the same month; the community being thus reduced to only five choir monks and one lay brother.

For two years and a half after the death of Father Fleming, in December, 1761, it does not appear from our records whether there was a Prior of Sheen Anglorum. On the 8th of June, 1764, Dom Augustine William Mann, then only twentynine years of age, became Prior. became Prior. He joined the Order in 1758, and was ordained priest in 1760. Having held the office of Prior until 1777, he was succeeded by Father Francis (Joseph) Williams, whose history belongs to the next chapter.




THREE bundles of papers, kindly presented to St. Hugh's Charterhouse by Mr. C. M. Berington, of Little Malvern Court, and some private letters, of which he has allowed copies to be taken, will enable us to say more about Father Williams than about most of his predecessors in the priorate of Sheen Anglorum.

Joseph Williams was born on the 5th of September, 1729.' His parents were Thomas Williams, of Trellynia, near Holywell, and Elizabeth his wife, whose maiden name was Mornington. Joseph had a brother named Thomas, who married Elizabeth Berington, of Little Malvern. He had another brother who was a Jesuit Father, and a sister who became a Poor Clare at Rouen.

At the age of twenty-nine Joseph joined the

1 From a certificate by Bishop Thomas Talbot, Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District of England, 1778-1795.



Carthusians at Nieuport, and changed his name to Francis. On the 13th of October, 1759, the octave day of our Father St. Bruno, he made his profession of vows. On the 21st of December, in the same year, he received the clerical tonsure and minor orders from Maximilian Anthony Vandernoot, Bishop of Ghent. On the following day he was ordained Sub-deacon by the same Bishop. On the 22nd of March, 1760, he was promoted to the diaconate by his own diocesan, William, Bishop of Ypres; and in the following September he was ordained priest by Bishop Caimo, of Bruges.1

The next promotion of Dom Francis was to the office of Vicar, which he had probably ceased to hold previously to his appointment to the priorate; for the letter from Father Stephen Biclet, the General,2 makes no allusion to his being already a Superior. "Receive willingly," says the General, "as your Father, him whom you have hitherto looked upon as a brother, so that the former bond of mutual love may be strengthened. We exhort him, moreover, to endeavour by word and example to aid his brethren rather than to domineer over them; and thus, being found a faithful administrator, may he merit to receive in due season the reward of the true followers of the Chief Pastor. On the back

1 From a bundle indorsed by Father Williams, "My ordination Papers."

2 Dom Stephen was General of the Order from 1758 to 1778.

of this letter are the words: "I was installed the

4th of September, 1777."

The community under Prior Williams was very small. It appears to have consisted of the Fathers Ignatius Norris, Joseph (Charles) Brooke, John Baptist (George) Lee, Francis Shipp (?), and Bruno (James) Finch, all of whom were professed of the house. It seems probable that there were also two or three monks of other Charterhouses. As to the lay brothers, for a long time past there had been no Conversi, and it appears that James Orford and Thomas Carfoot were the only two Donati. Thus, when the persecution in England was well-nigh over, and the exiled Carthusians might soon have returned home, they were in danger of becoming extinct for want of vocations. The suppression of their Charterhouse at Nieuport, and the confiscation of its temporal possessions, were enough to work the final ruin of the little community.

On the 17th of March, 1783, the Emperor Joseph II. issued an edict for the suppression of a large number of religious houses within his dominions. Sheen Anglorum was one of several Charterhouses which were thus confiscated. The imperial Commissioners received orders to inform the religious that they were free to choose their future habitation and mode of life, though a pension would be paid them only under certain conditions. Those who wished to enter a monastery of their

« AnteriorContinuar »