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However that may be, his simplicity or his wisdom was successful; for the king laughingly addressed the court thus: "Well!" said he, "this Robert is cited to appear before me as his judge, and ere the cause has been heard, he asks me to become his advocate and his patron! What are we to think of this? How will the court decide the case?" All pronounced in favour of the good priest; and the king promised that the site should be purchased, and that he would take a special interest in the foundation.

The story contains no statement which is in contradiction with known facts; for although the site of the Coventry Charterhouse was not exclusively the property of peasants, a portion of it may have been so. Or, again, it is probable that the peasants were only tenants. That the king took a lively interest in the foundation at Coventry, that this Charterhouse was dedicated to the queen's patron Saint Anne, and that Robert Palmer was the originator (primus motor1) are indisputable facts, and they seem to tell in favour of Father Broeyres' manuscript.

On hearing that the king would interest himself in the establishment of the projected monastery, Robert Palmer took a wiser and a surer step towards the fulfilment of his vocation. This new step was to present himself as a postulant at the London 1 Dugdale's Monasticon (Ellis), vol. vi. p. 16.


Charterhouse, where, after due preparation, he received from Prior Luscote the habit of the Order. One year later he pronounced his vows, and very soon he was made Procurator. It is said that Father Luscote gave him this office for the express purpose of allowing him more freedom to see about his foundation at Coventry. Nor had the zealous Procurator to wait long, for in the autumn of 1381, William, Lord Zouche of Haryngworth, having taken the matter in hand, Parliament sanctioned the foundation. Thereupon Prior Luscote, in virtue of the special powers granted him by the General Chapter, sent John Netherby, Robert Palmer himself, and one Edmund Dalling-all three professed of London -to Coventry, where they were joined by seven monks from the Charterhouse of Beauvale. Thus was fulfilled Robert Palmer's double vocation to become a Carthusian and to found a Charterhouse. He was subsequently elected Prior, and, having edified all who knew him by his virtues, he died in a good old age.

In the year 1393 Sir William de Beauchamp, knight, became a benefactor of the Charterhouse of London by presenting to the Prior and convent three acres of land in the parish of St. Sepulchre, outside the Bars at West Smithfield.1

This brings us to the end of John Luscote's priorate.


He appears to have resigned his office

Smythe's Historical Account, Appendix xi.



shortly before his death, which took place on the 15th of June, 1398,' and was announced in the obituary of the General Chapter held in the following spring at the Charterhouse of Seitz, in Austria." At Seitz, and not at the Grande Chartreuse; for during the "Great Schism," when the nations of Europe were divided in their obedience, some adhering to Pope Urban VI., and others unhappily to the antiPope of Avignon, the religious orders, following their respective countries, were divided also. During this wretched separation the Charterhouse of Seitz served as mother house for the Provinces of Italy, Germany, and England, which were true to the real Pope.

The pacification of the Order took place in 1410; and in 1412 John Luscote's name was inscribed again in the obituary, with the observation that, the exact date of his death being unknown to the Chapter, another entry would be made at a future meeting. And in the report of the Chapter in 1415 we find this third insertion of our first Prior's decease, showing what care was taken lest so estimable a monk should, by reason of the schism, be deprived of any part of the monachatus per totum ordinem to which his services and his virtues had

1 The Monasticon says that John Luscote "occurs again 1415." This blunder arose, it seems, from the careless reading of a document in which it is said, "Joanni Luscote tunc priori," and lower down, "Joanni Maplestede nunc priori."

2 Founded in 1160, and suppressed by Joseph II. in 1782.

entitled him. The monachatus consists of a certain number of Masses and psalters, with other Offices, to be said by the choir monks, and a number of devout prayers to be said by the lay brothers.



A SHORT time before the death of John Luscote, Father John Obredon became Prior of the London Charterhouse. Very slight record remains of Prior Obredon, but it tells enough to persuade us that he was an excellent Superior. Like David of old, "he fed his flock in the innocence of his heart, and conducted them by the skilfulness of his hands;" governing the community by the force of good example. He was, moreover, a learned man, and is supposed to have left some writings, which have disappeared. Another manuscript in our archives informs us that he held the office of Prior during about twelve years, and then, worn out by hard work, he tendered his resignation. This was apparently in 1412, for in that year the General Chapter empowered the Provincial Visitor, Prior of the Witham Charterhouse, to relieve him from the priorate, should such a step be found

1 Our principal sources of information, where no special reference is given, are the archives of the Order for the Priors, and Madox' Formulare Anglicanum for the benefactors.

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