6 FEBRUARY 1948, Page 5

" The Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse Bill was read a

second time" said the daily papers on Tuesday, if indeed they said as much. You could hardly expect them to say more. Yet, as sometimes happens in measures of this kind, the Bill (which simply altered the arrangements for spiritual ministrations in the Hospital) opened up whole vistas of history to anyone who looked for them. The story began in 1349, the year of the Black Death, when a Sir Walter de Manny bought some six acres at Smithfield for the burial of the dead—fifty thousand of them—and subsequently got a Carthusian monastery established there. Henry VIII dissolved the monastery and beheaded the prior, after which the buildings passed from hand to hand till in 161r they were acquired by Thomas Sutton (who had given to the fleet which beat the Spanish Armada a vessel that bore his name) and devoted to a hospital for old men and a school for young boys. Colonel Newcome, as readers of Thackeray will

remember, was an inmate and it was there that he died with the familiar " Adsum " on his lips. So took shape the Charterhouse of today—or rather what Hitler left of it ; fortunately there is enough to carry on with. The boys went off to Godalming seventy years and more ago, and their late headmaster has gone off to Germany to organise education there in the desert that Hitlerism left. It is a far cry to that from the Black Death, but the connection is worth tracing. And the memory of Thomas Sutton is worth honouring.

Carthusians, I believe, do honour it still.

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