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THE POOR BROTHERS OF THE
CHARTERHOUSE.

FROM the city pleasure ground of Smithfield
it is not a distance of many steps to
Charterhouse Square, a fortified position in
the heart of London, made secure by an
array of iron gates, and garrisoned by a well-
victualled beadle. Charterhouse Square is
nearly as quiet now, in the very core of the
noisy City of London, as it was five hundred
years ago, when it was a lonely field, bearing
the name of " No Man's Land." Ralph Stratford
bought it as a place of burial for the
victims of the pestilence of 1349. " In this
place of sepulture was buried in one year,"
says Camden " no less than sixty thousand
of the better sort of people." Thirteen acres
of adjoining ground, bought at about the same
time of " St. Bartholomew's Spittle," and
called the Spittle Croft, had also been enclosed
and consecrated. Upon this ground Ralph de
Northburgh, Bishop of London, founded a
monastery, devoted to the use of the
Carthusian monks, whose name of Chartreuse
time has corrupted into Charterhouse. It
was the third Carthusian monastery instituted
in this country. Such monasteries
being always named after some event in the
life of the Virgin, the title and address of
this one was —" The House of the Salutation
of the Mother of God, without the Bars of
West Smithfield, near London."

The monastery having been suppressed by
Henry the Eighth, in 1537, its site, with all
the buildings on it, was in the next place
bought by Thomas Sutton for the erection of
a proposed Free School Hospitable Foundation.
Thomas Sutton had enjoyed lucrative
situations under government, and had
acquired also very great wealth by a happy
speculation in coal mines near Newcastle.
He had next increased his wealth by fitting
vessels out for privateering service, and had
finally enlarged his borders as a money-lender
at usurious interest upon the largest scale.
This taste for money-getting being
accompanied with a great dread of money-spending,
Sutton's wealth became so serious as to inspire
him with the hope that he could fully make
amends with it to Heaven for any profane
things he might have done in getting it
together. He designed the foundation of a
vast establishment for the education in their
youth of promising boys found among the
poor, and for the support of decayed gentlemen
in their old age. For this purpose
Sutton bought the Charterhouse, intending to
erect and endow a noble edifice within its
walls, and this he obtained leave to do from
James the First in the year 1611. Six months
afterwards he died, almost an octogenarian.
He has been charged with avarice in
acquiring the money he bequeathed, and has
been pointed out as the original of Ben
Jonson's comedy of Volpone the Fox; but
this Gifford disproves.

Sutton being dead, high festival was held
over his body. Before the funeral procession
started from the house, there was taken by
the assembled mourners a slight refreshment
in the form of a hogshead of claret, sixteen
gallons of Canary wine, twelve gallons of
white wine, ten gallons of Rhenish, six gallons
of hippocras, six barrels of beer, with a little
diet bread and a few wafers. After the
funeral the mourners dined at Stationer's
Hall, where they ate forty stone of beef, forty-
eight capons, thirty-two geese, forty-eight
roasted chickens, thirty-two neats' tongues,
twenty-four marrowbones and a lamb, forty-
eight turkey poults, seventy-two field pigeons,
thirty-six quails, forty-eight ducklings, ten
turbots, twenty-four lobsters, three barrels of
pickled oysters, sixteen gammons of bacon,
with a great many things more that are to be
named before one comes to a great continent
of pastry, and a sea of wine. So the Usurer
was buried, and so before the earth had fairly
covered him, the wasting of his property
began.

The next business connected with Sutton's
great bequest was to resist the heir-at-law,
Simon Baxter, who, through the pleadings of
the Solicitor-General, no less a person than
Lord Baconthen Sir Francis, disputed the
validity of the will. It needed in the sequel
a bribe to his majesty often thousand pounds
to procure a decision against Baxter's claims.
The preparations for establishing the proposed
institution then proceeded; but, instead of
raising a new structure, the trustees repaired
and adapted the old monastic buildings,
making some additions; and having spent six
thousand pounds in patchwork, opened the
establishment to the captains and gentlemen

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