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observe, with certain modifications, the rule of the Fathers if they lived in the Great Cloister, and that of the lay brothers if they dwelt amongst them and were occupied with the exterior work of the monastery. It is not surprising if these half-monks-if we may style them thus-were sometimes troublesome and even insubordinate. Such indeed was the case; and this was, we believe, the cause of their suppression. The fact that these oblates are no more renders them interesting from an antiquarian point of view, otherwise Brothers Thomas Seaman and John Alne,' clerical oblates of the London Charterhouse, could scarcely have deserved to be mentioned here; for we are omitting the names even of professed religious of whose lives nothing remarkable is recorded.

The last benefactor of our monastery during this period was John Russel, Bishop of Lincoln, who, by a deed dated the 10th of November, 1482, released to the Prior and convent an annual pension of forty shillings, issuing out of the churches of Great Stockton, Edlesburgh, and North Mimms, to be paid to the Charterhouse as long as he should remain Bishop of Lincoln. The deed states that the Bishop bestowed this alms in honour of his Carthusian predecessor, St. Hugh of Lincoln, and in consideration of the zeal for regular monastic discipline always shown by the monks of the London Charterhouse, 1 Obituary of Order, 1469 and 1473.



the faithful imitators of the Saint, and to obtain, through God's mercy, a part in their prayers, vigils, and other good works. This pious benefactor of the Charterhouse was the first perpetual Chancellor of Oxford University, and for some time Lord Chancellor of England. He occupied the see of Lincoln from 1480 until his death, which took place at Nettleham on the 30th of January, 1490.1

Prior Wolfingham died in 1487 or 1488, and was succeeded by Father Richard Roche, possibly the learned Rock of whom we have spoken already. Dugdale finds him in charge in 1491,2 and from other sources it appears that he retained the priorate until the end of the century, when the General Chapter accepted his resignation. He subsequently held the office of Vicar until his death, which is announced in the obituary of 1515.

Towards the close of Roche's priorate, the Charterhouse became the temporary abode of Blessed Thomas More, who remained there for four years, frequenting all the Offices and living almost like the monks. He never took monastic vows; and there is no proof that he was even an oblate, for in those days the rule which limits visits and retreats to ten days was not in force. After this long trial of monasticism, Thomas More decided that he was called to serve God in the busy scenes of daily life,

1 Godwin, De Præsulibus Angliæ, p. 299.
2 Dugdale's Monasticon (Ellis), vol. vi. p. 9.



and not in the peaceful solitude of a Carthusian cell. Whatever were his reasons for not embracing the religious state, it is certain that he did not "turn in disgust from the impurity of the cloister," as has been said by one who ought to have known better; for the observation of the Rule and the practice of every virtue must have been daily before his eyes during his long retreat in the London Charterhouse.

Excepting some details of minor importance, all that is recorded of the London Charterhouse during the fifteenth century has now been stated. In the story of the much more eventful period upon which we are about to enter, the historical works of Maurice Chauncy will often be our guides. The details of his life and work must not be mentioned in this chapter. It may nevertheless be well to observe in passing, that as an historian he is trustworthy. He was an eye-witness of most of what he records, and the remainder he had upon excellent authority. Moreover, his statements are frequently corroborated from sources quite unknown to the historian himself. In thus defending Chauncy's veracity as an historical writer, it is not intended to prove thereby the authenticity of the extraordinary occurrences and miracles which he records, and which have never been for

1 Seebohm's Oxford Reformers, p. 151.

2 The last edition of these works was published, in 1888, by the monks of St. Hugh's Charterhouse, in Sussex. The book is entitled, Historia aliquot Martyrum Anglorum, maxime octodecim Cartusianorum.



Father Chauncy

mally approved by the Church. believed them, and he had them upon good authority. We are free to accept or to reject, or, still better, to follow the safe middle course of regarding them with great respect, without passing judgment upon them. The omission of these events would partly spoil our narrative; to criticise them severely would be a deviation from Carthusian simplicity; while, on the other hand, it would be rash to insist upon their being received as authentic.




ABOUT the year 1470, a young Irishman named William Tynbygh made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There, Chauncy informs us, he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Saracens, who cast him into a dungeon to await the hour of his execution. With the prospect of being murdered in cold blood by the cruel enemies of the Christians, he betook himself to prayer. An ignominious death, far away from his native land, and deprived of the last consolations of religion, appeared to await him. But the day before the execution, William remembered a picture of St. Catharine that hung on the wall of his father's chapel in Ireland, and, with sighs and tears, he begged the Saint to deliver him by her intercession from the untimely end that was hourly approaching. At length he fell asleep, and on awaking he found himself no longer in the squalid dungeon of the Saracens, but prostrate before the picture of St. Catharine in his happy home in Ire

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