The Autumn Social Event this year started with a private guided tour for about 30 AMD London members and their families and friends of the Charterhouse, which was founded in 1371 and since that time has served initially as a monastery, private mansion, boys school and finally an almshouse, which it remains to this day.
With the dissolution of the monasteries, the Charterhouse became a mansion for wealthy noblemen and a refuge for royalty. Elizabeth I met the Privy Council here in the days before her coronation in 1558 and James I used the Great Chamber to create 130 new Barons before he was crowned. But it was in 1611 that Thomas Sutton bought the Charterhouse and established the foundation that now bears his name.
Thomas Sutton’s will provided for up to 80 Brothers: "either decrepit or old captaynes either at sea or at land, maimed or disabled soldiers, merchants fallen on hard times, those ruined by shipwreck of other calamity" as well as Charterhouse school. James I retained his connection with the Charterhouse, becoming the first Royal Governor of Thomas Sutton’s foundation.
Wellington, Gladstone and Cromwell have all been Governors. The Charterhouse appears in the writings of Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. Indeed, Thackeray, Robert Baden-Powell and John Wesley attended school here. When the school moved to Godalming in 1872, the 45 or so Brothers remained at the Charterhouse which now occupies approximately 7 acres in Clerkenwell.
After the tour, it was a very short walk to the private dining room of a local restaurant (in fact the same restaurant we used for the Spring Dinner - they had looked after us so well, a return visit was a "must"!).
During the dinner, there was plenty of good food, wine, conversation and laughter and at the conclusion the District Grand Prefect said a few words of thanks to the organisers.
Make sure you have the date for the Spring Social Event - 9 April, 2019 - in your diary, and keep an eye on the website and Facebook for further details in due course!