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bly long before the completion of the buildings.
for the eternal welfare of those who had fallen
From the time of its foundation till the extinction of their order, the Carthusians continued to be respected for their peaceful and exemplary lives ; living entirely secluded from the vanities and temptations of the busy world around them, practising self-denial, and dispensing alms to the poor. Their virtues, however, availed them nothing against the grasping avarice of Henry the Eighth ; and accordingly, at the dissolution of the religious houses, they received a visit from the King's
commissioners, by whom they were formally required to withdraw their spiritual allegiance from the Pope, and to acknowledge the King's supremacy in the Church. In case of their submission, the prospect of honours and rewards were liberally held out to them; while, in case of obduracy, they were threatened with the gibbet and the rack.
These devoted men, however, steadfastly refused to sacrifice their principles to their interests, on which the prior Houghton, and the proctor Middlemore, were dragged to the Tower; three persons being, in the mean time, appointed to reside in the monastery, and to have the custody of the unoffending monks. On the 5th of May 1535, the venerable prior was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn; one of his quarters being actually placed over the gate of his own monastery, a ghastly spectacle to its surviving inmates, and a terrible forewarning of the fate which awaited them. Undismayed, however, by this terrible example, they continued to turn a deaf ear alike to the threats and the promises of the King's inquisitors. Enraged at their obstinacy, their enemies took the preliminary step of immuring them within the walls of the cloisters; from whence, about a month after the death of their leader, many of them were dragged forth to the gibbet. Their bodies having been cut down while they were still alive, their bowels were taken out, and their heads and quarters affixed to different parts of the city. Six monks only of the whole number, either terrified into submission, or convinced by the arguments of
the inquisitors, recanted their errors and took the oath of supremacy. There now remained only ten of the unfortunate Carthusians, and their fate was even more pitiable than that of their deceased brethren. Such was the miserable state to which they were reduced by hunger, filth, and close confinement, that nine of them actually wasted away and died in their miserable cells. The remaining one, the last of the simple-minded and devoted Carthusians, was led forth, a few years later, to the gibbet.
After the dissolution of the monasteries the Charter House was granted by Henry the Eighth, in 1542, for their joint lives, to John Brydges and Thomas Hall, the former Yeoman, and the latter Groom, of the King's nets and tents. Henry subsequently conferred it upon Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor, who sold it, in 1545, to the eminent statesman and lawyer, Sir Edward North, afterwards Lord North, who metamorphosed the old monastery into a magnificent mansion. He subsequently disposed of it to the turbulent and ambitious John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, on whose attainder and execution, in August 1553, it was again conferred on Lord North by the Crown.
In 1565 the Charter House was purchased of Roger the second Lord North, by Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, whose romantic attachment to Mary Queen of Scots led him to the block. It was the favourite resort of this unfortunate nobleman; at one time the scene of his revels ; at another, of his desperate intrigues ; and, lastly, of It may
his imprisonment. The greater part of the edifice was rebuilt by this nobleman as it now stands. In the great hall may be still seen his heraldic bearings with the date, 1571, the year previous to his execution; while the pediment of the outer gate in Charter House Square is still supported by two lions with scrolls, his armorial badge. be mentioned, that the principal evidence against the ill-fated Duke was the discovery, under the roofing-tiles of the Charter House, of the key to the cypher of his letters. His guilt having been thus substantiated ;-notwithstanding his many virtues, his great popularity, and their long friendship, Queen Elizabeth, either with real or feigned reluctance, signed the warrant for his execution; and, on the 2nd of June 1572, he perished in the prime of life on Tower Hill.
The Howards were the kinsfolks of Queen Elizabeth, and consequently she was induced to divide among them the property of the late Duke, which had been forfeited by his attainder ; the Charter House falling to the share of his second son, Lord Thomas Howard, afterwards Earl of Suffolk. This nobleman was residing here in 1603, when James the First ascended the throne; and as it was the policy of the Scottish monarch to make amends for the want of feeling which he had displayed towards his ill-fated mother in her life time, by heaping favours on those who had suffered in her cause, he selected Lord Thomas Howard to be his host previous to his solemn entry into London, and
under his roof he passed the four days which preceded that event. Hither he was conducted by a magnificent procession, which met him at Stamford Hill, and here he was splendidly entertained by his obsequious host. Here, too, it was that he shewed his affection for his new subjects by dubbing no fewer than eighty knights; and here, at his departure, he displayed his gratitude to his host by creating him Earl of Suffolk, and appointing him to the high honours of Lord Treasurer of England, Lord Chamberlain of his household, and a Knight of the Garter.
Within a very short time, how many revolutions of fortune had passed over this interesting ground! Scarcely seventy years had elapsed since its walls had been peopled by the ill-fated Carthusians, who had performed here their daily routine of quiet duties, unsuspicious of the mighty revolution which was threatening their Church, and of their own impending fate. Within a few years every trace of them had passed away, as if their Order had never been in existence; their peaceful monastery had been transformed into a princely mansion; silken pages lounged in the cloisters which had witnessed their frightful sufferings; and in the refectory, where they had partaken of their simple repasts, sat the haughty Elizabeth surrounded by all the magnificent paraphernalia of a court. Again a change took place. The old monastery passed from the possession of the courtly lawyer, Lord North, into the hands of the princely Norfolk, and became the