페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

At Balsham, the place from which she in 1611, to found his hospital at the latter writes in the above letter, Mrs. Sutton died place. in 1602, after a happy married life of twenty Like Edward Alleyn, his contemporary, years with “good Mr. Sutton."

the founder of Dulwich College, Sutton This lady seems to have been of as gene- wished to be the first master of his own rous a disposition as her husband; for in her hospital; but an attack of fever warned him lifetime it was said, “Mr. Sutton's house that his mortal end was approaching. On was an open hospital.” The loss of his wife the ist of November, 1611, he executed a made a great change in Thomas Sutton him- deed of gift of his estates to the governors, self

. “Being full of years, he grew quite sick in trust for the hospital; and in the Novemof the world by the loss of his most valuable ber following he signed his will—a curiosity jewel in it; and lessening his family, and in itself, from the number of its bequests to discharging a considerable number of ser- almost every one, rich and poor alike, whom vants, he retired from it and became frugal, he seems to have had any regard for in his that he might be the more magnificent to long lifetime. many."

As a quaint specimen of the wills of some The disposal of his enormous wealth after of these worthies of the good old times, a his decease was now his one great care. few brief extracts from the last testament of Shameful as it may seem, the disgraceful fact good Thomas Sutton may be interesting. remains that an intrigue was carried on by Sir | It opens as follows:John Harrington to induce King James to raise Sutton to the peerage, hoping that he

“In the name of God. Amen. might thus be bribed to leave his vast fortune

“The second day of November, in the to the Duke of York, afterwards Charles I. yeare of our Lord God one thousand sixe But honest Thomas Sutton was not to be hundred and eleven. I, Thomas Sutton, of so easily inveigled. He wrote a letter to the Camps Castell, in the county of Cambridge, Earl of Ellesmere, the Lord Chancellor of Esquire, being weake in body, and of good the day, and to Lord Treasurer Salisbury, perfect mind and memory, thanks be given denying his own connivance in any such

to Almighty God for the same, do make scheme, or consent to it in any way. One and declare this my last will and testament extract from this letter will suffice to put

in manner and forme following, that is to Sutton's independence of character in a high say: light.

?First and principally, I commend my "My mynde in my younger days hath

soule into the hands of Almighty God, ever been free from ambition; and now I trusting, through His mercy and by the pream going to my grave, to gape for such a

cious death and passion of my Saviour and thing were mere dotage in me. That this

Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to be saved, and to Knight hath often been tampering with me

inherit the kingdom of God for ever; and to that purpose, to enterteyne Honour and to

my body I will to be buried when and in make the noble Duke my heire, is true; to

what sort it shall seeme meet and convenient whom I made that answer as, had he either

to mine executor or executors, and superwitte or honestie—with reverence to your

visor or supervisors, of this my last will and Lordships be it spoken-he never would testament, with the least pomp and charge have engaged himself in this business so

that may be." egregiously to delude his Majesty and wrong Then follow his numerous bequests to

different private individuals, each arranged Thomas Sutton had intended to found in his lifetime the great charity to which he

as a separate item. As, for instance:had dedicated his wealth. In 1609, he ob- Item.-I give unto each of my servingtained an act in Parliament empowering him men to whom I give wages, with

my

cooke to erect a hospital at Hallingbury Bouchers, that shall be alive at my decease, thirteen Essex.

pound sixe shillings and eightpence over and But this was never carried; for soon after above their wages then due. wards he purchased Havard House — as Item.—I give to so many of my maidCharterhouse was then called of the Earl servants as I have in my house at the time of Suffolk, for thirteen thousand pounds, and of my decease, five markes a-peece over and obtained letters patent from King James, above their wages."

me.

The following item reads oddly in these Su'ton died a few days after he had made advanced days of parochial vestries and his will, on the 12th of December, at his boards of works:

house at Hackney, at the ripe old age of "Item.- I give towards the mending of

seventy-nine. the highwaies betweene Islington and New funeral was deferred, it being almost impos

Owing to the bad state of the roads, his ington, in the county of Middlesex, twentysixe poundes thirteene shillings and fower- its way even from Hackney to the Charter

sible at that time for any procession to make pence of lawful money of England, to bee imployed and bestowed by the good over therefore, deposited in Hackney Church,

house in mid-winter. His bowels were, sight of mine executor or executors, the

and his body was embalmed. cunstable of Newington and the churchwardens then for the time being, the same

The funeral took place on the 28th of

May in the ensuing year. highwaies to bee amended, made, and holpen within one yeare after my decease."

All the governors named in the letters

patent met at Sutton's house at Hackney, Here is another item of a domestic na- where the body lay. After a handsome ture:

collation, the cortège set out-a splendid

sight even in its solemnity that fine morn“I give to Amy Popham, if it please God ing, in early summer, as it wound its slow she live to keepe house, three fether beds, length along the fresh green lanes of old and so many paire of Holland sheetes, with Hackney and Islington to the Charterhouse. the boulsters to them, and so many hangings of tapestry as furnish her to a bed-cham- Suffolk, Sir James Altham, Sir John Crooke,

"The Earl of Northampton, the Earl of ber. The rest of my householde stuffe I Sir Francis Popham, and many other knights will shalbe sold by myne executors for the

and gentlemen assembled there. The prospeedier payment of my leagacies, and per

cession was very solemn, under the direcformance of this my last will."

tion of Mr. Camden, Clarencieux King-atThe phraseology of Sutton's will is mani- Arms. An hundred old men, in black cloaks, festly based upon the orthodox legal form

preceeded the corps. Mr. Simon Baxterof that day; but one clause is worth quot

Mr. Sutton's only sister's eldest son—was ing in conclusion which might be oftener

chief mourner; and then followed the lords imitated in more modern testaments with and gentlemen, with their attendants, all in practical effect. The stout old testator mourning." says:

To return, in conclusion, to the eighty Item. — My will and full intent and decayed and desolate gentlemen who spend meaning is that if any person or persons their last days in comparative comfort under whosoever to whome I have in and by this the shadow of good Thomas Sutton's benemy last will and testament given and be- ficence. We will take a brief glance at the queathed any legacy or summe or summes system by which this ancient charity is ruled. of money, shall any waies gainsay, impugne, In the original letters patent, the qualificaor contradict or impeach this my last will tions to the Charterhouse were expressed in and testament, that then all and every one general terms. “The institution was entitled so impugning, contradicting, impeaching, or å hospital, house, or place of abiding for the gainesaying this my last will and testament, finding sustentation and relief of poor, aged, and every of their children and kinsfolk to needy, or impotent people.”

needy, or impotent people.” These terms whome I have in and by this my last will and were afterwards considered too general, testament given and bequeathed any legacy, and not sufficiently discriminative; and it shall have no part nor portion of any such was required that eligible candidates should guift, legacy, or bequest, but shall utterly be "such poor persons as can bring testiloose the same, and bee utterly barred mony to their good behaviour and soundthereof, as if no such legacy, gift, or be- ness in religion, and such as have been serquest had been given unto him, her, or vants to the King's Majesty, either decrepid them by this my last will and testament or old captains, either at sea or land; sol(any thing before in these presents men- diers, maimed or impotent; decayed mertioned or contained to the contrary in any chants; men fallen into decay through shipwise notwithstanding).”

wreck, casualty of fire, or such evil accident;

those that have been captives under the conviction—that it was a perfect Paradise. Turks,” &c.

The unfortunate deponent was known ever This description again was afterwards not after, among his less obsequious brethren, as considered sufficiently explicit; and, in 1627, “The Bird of Paradise.” it was ordered that candidates should not Returning to the principle of admission to be admitted unless they could show that they the Charterhouse, there is no doubt that were gentlemen by descent, and in poverty, sol much laxity is allowed on this point alone diers, &c.

by the governing body. “Decayed gentleBut this restriction was soon modified as men” is certainly a comprehensive phrase; being too limited; and it was settled that but hardly comprehensive enough, we think, the pensioners should be "old gentlemen,'

to include ex-butlers to archbishops, "genas the term is generally, though somewhat tlemen" who have filled the same responsible indefinitely, understood. Hence, the Car- office under members of the official staff of thusian brothers are supposed to be de- the Charterhouse; retired small tradesmen, cayed merchants, officers in the army or whom, malicious report whispers, have suffinavy, literary or professional men, trades- cient private means of their own to enable men, and others who have occupied stations them to be independent of all charity; or, of respectability in the world.

last but not least, recipients of Government Such were the modifications made from annuities. time to time as to the qualifications for ad- Again, according to the original charter, mission as a Carthusian brother. That the all the members of the society, from the original intentions of the founder were ob- master down to the youngest brother, were served in these modifications is more than to be bachelors—or, at least, widowers; and doubtful.

the only man connected with the institution The history of all great benefactions is in allowed to be a married man was the lodgethis respect pretty nearly the same. The keeper. According to the present order of older and wealthier a great charity grows, affairs, the leading officials of the Charterthe farther does the present government of house are all family men; the old restriction its affairs diverge from what the first founder as regards the “poor brethren” being still intended it should be. Taking the Charter- religiously kept in force; and this so much house, for instance, we imagine that if so that, not long ago, an old Carthusian, who Thomas Sutton could step forth from his was discovered to have entered meanwhile sculptured tomb, and mingle with the mo- into the bonds of connubial felicity, was sumdern poor brothers for a brief half-hour, he marily expelled from the brotherhood. But would hardly feel proud of the fashion in there is an old and homely adage that“kisswhich his wishes have been interpreted ing goes by favour;" and if the present brothrough later generations.

thers speak truly, there is more than one From the diary of a late brother of the married man among their number even now, Charterhouse, we have been able to arrive their better-halves, at a respectful distance, at some curious facts as to the internal go-keeping small shops for the mutual benefit. vernment of the institution within the last These, however, are, after all, only minor few years, which prove only too plainly that grievances. The great question which resome searching reform is needed here as mains to be asked is as to where the enorelsewhere.

mously accumulated funds of Thomas SutAs we shall probably advert more fully, ton's charity find their outlet. That the poor in a subsequent paper, to the many abuses brothers for whom they were intended reof this charity that exist, hidden away from ceive no additional benefit from the increase the knowledge even of Charity Commis- of wealth on the foundation—which time has sioners, a few preliminary notes on the sub- naturally added to—is a scandalous fact. ject must suffice for the present.

At the present moment, the annual reSpeaking of the Charity Commissioners re- venue of the Charterhouse cannot be less minds us, en passant, of an amusing result of than £30,000 or £40,000 a-year. Let us their last visit of inspection to the famous look for a moment at the real condition of old asylum. One of the brothers under ex- the eighty poor brothers themselves. amination, on being asked his general opi- As the funds increased from time to time, nion of the comforts of the place, responded these old gentlemen were supposed, accord---with perhaps more enthusiasm than inwarding to the original stipulations, to share in

the advancing prosperity. From the first al- you know,” in the year 1831. He is the son lowance of money per year, they have been of the late celebrated toastmaster, who distinpromoted from twenty to twenty-six, and guished himself as much by his “Silence, now to thirty-six pounds per annum. But gentlemen, if you please," and by his good out of this the poor brothers have largely to and genial qualities, as his son has since support themselves--as far, at all events, as done on the boards. all little comforts which men in the decline Mr. Toole received his education at the of life urgently need. They all dine to- City of London School, and was removed gether daily at three o'clock, and this is the thence at the usual age to become a clerk in only meal supplied by the terms of the a merchant's office. His taste for the drama charity. Bread and butter, to a certain ex- appears to have developed itself very early tent, coals, and candles, and each his own in life, for at this time he became a member quiet room; and the rest of his creature of the “ City Histrionic Club,” where he soon comforts in the way of breakfast, tea, and became very popular. The appearances of supper-the Carthusian brother must pro- the amateur actor were hailed with applause vide for himself.

at several metropolitan literary institutions, When we compare these facts with the where he performed in various characters. salaries of the high officials of the place, the His successes at Walworth, Aldersgate-street, contrast is shamefully glaring.

Hackney, Crosby Hall, and other places, At the time the hospital was founded, the caused Mr. Toole to lay down his pen master's salary, for instance, was fifty pounds and put on the buskin as a professional a-year, and each brother's five pounds—the actor. stipend of the master being tenfold larger His first appearance on the stage of a than that of the ordinary brothers. Now regular theatre was at Ipswich, on the occathe salary of the master is presumed—is pre- sion of a benefit, where—under an assumed sumed, we say, for no one knows what his in- name—he played the part of Silvester Dagcome really is—to be over £800 a year. gerwood. This assumption was completely

Yet, on the other hand, the medical officer successful. On his return to town, Mr. of the hospital, who is supposed to be in Toole played as an amateur at the Hayconstant readiness to attend to the probably market, for Mr. F. Webster's benefit, taking sudden wants, at all hours of the day and the character of Simmons in the “Spitalnight, of these solitary old men, is allowed fields Weaver." After this performance he only about twenty-five pounds a-year for gave up his commercial pursuits, and took the medicine which may be required. The to the stage for good, librarian, again, one of the brothers, receives His debût as a professional was made at five pounds a-year as his extra allowance for the Queen's Theatre, Dublin, on the 2nd of duties which demand his attention at least October, 1852—now nearly twenty years four or five hours a-day-about the same ago. Since that date Mr. Toole's career has amount as the gardener's extra fee for ring- been a series of successes. From Dublin,

where he was well received, Mr. Toole went The "grooms," as they are called, who to Edinburgh, and thence to Glasgow. wait upon the brothers, are so liberally re- In London, his first engagement was at the warded that they are obliged to find em- St. James's Theatre, then under the manageployment at chance moments elsewhere, as ment of Mrs. Seymour. Here he played in waiters at evening parties, and other more “My Friend the Major," “ Boots at the remunerative casual occupations.

Swan,” “Honours before Titles"-in all of And thus, in a multitude of other ways which his rendering of the characters he equally suggestive, are the rich funds of this took was perfectly satisfactory to audiences grand old hospital misappropriated.

and critics.

A re-engagement took him to Edinburgh, MR. J. L. TOOLE.

after which he appeared at the Lyceum, and

made a success of the character of FanfarTHIS "HIS week our cartoon is a portrait of ronade, in “Belphegor."

the eminent comedian, Mr. John Lau- After a provincial tour, Mr. Toole comrence Toole. He is a native of the city of menced an engagement at the Adelphi, and London, and was born, as he sometimes played with the greatest success in "Ici on jokingly says, "of poor but dishonest parents, Parle Français," "Willow Copse," "Birth

ing the bell.

place of Podgers,” “Good for Nothing," renders the character of the inquisitive gen'Bengal Tiger," and other pieces.

tleman in a quiet and unobtrusive way, At the Adelphi, great successes were made quite original in itself. In Mr. Toole's in the adaptation of "The Haunted Man" by hands, Paul's curiosity is a disease. He his performance of Mr. Tetterby, and of a does not know of his peculiarity, and his “I frightened servant in a miserable piece by hope I don't intrude," and "I just dropped Boucicault, called “The Phantom.” The in,” fall not as gag phrases, but as the nacharacter saved the piece. After leaving tural remarks of a man who feels the importthe Adelphi Theatre, Mr. Toole became a ance of his business must make his commember of Mr. W.H. Liston's company at the pany desirable, or at all events tolerable. New Queen's, and contributed largely to the Although, perhaps, the character is not success of that undertaking by the production naturally so well suited to Mr. Toole as of several important original dramas, among many others of his well-known parts, he has which perhaps the most notable was that completely made Paul his own. It is a of Mr. Byron's “Dearer than Life,” in which part in which the actor mellows with time. the actor's representation of Michael Garner Mr. Toole has played it many times, and again presented him to the public as the his representation of the prying gossip is legitimate successor of the late Mr. Robson. now admirable. It is one of the most The popularity of this drama has been very finished and perfect of his efforts: from the great, and it still continues to be a great beginning to the end of the piece he seems attraction not only through Mr. Toole's never to miss a single point. provincial engagements, but also when put forward in London, as it still occasionally is. Another successful production was that of

THE ALBATROSS. the play of “Not Guilty," in which Mr.

“ Is it he?" quoth one, “is this the man, Toole had a prominent character. Nor

By Him who died on the Cross, should we forget a most admirable perform

With his cruel bow he laid him low

The harmless albatross"ance of his in the charming little drama called “The Poor Nobleman," which greatly SIN

INGS Samuel Taylor Coleridge in that contributed to the success of the piece. sweet, quaint lesson of humanity, "The Space will not allow of our following Mr. Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and ever Toole through those many original pieces since-even to modern minds—a peculiar in which the public have endorsed his interest has attached to the albatross. qualities as an actor; but we must mention But long before Coleridge sang of this with a special word of praise the perform- strange bird, in his fittingly strange poem, ance of Dick Dolland, in “Uncle Dick's the albatross had been a subject of discusDarling.;" and of John Lockwood, in the sion among the curious in these matters. later drama called “Wait and Hope," pro- The zoologists have chosen to call the duced a season or two back at the Gaiety. albatross Avis Diomedea. The origin of the

Mr. Toole is almost unrivalled in his title is romantic, if not altogether reliable. line at present. In comedy and farce, in When the great Diomedes, of Homeric cehumour and pathos, his acting is excellebrity, returned from the Trojan War, he lent. He is always.amusing, often affecting. found that Ægiale, the lawful partner of his There are no parts that show him to greater bosom, hardly welcomed back her long advantage than such characters as Caleb absent spouse with the faithful affection Plummer in “Dot,” or Harry Coke in “Off which he expected. With admirable disthe Line.” Of this impersonation, Mr. Toole cretion the heart-broken Diomedes retired makes one of those perfect pictures of every for the rest of his life to that part of Italy day life of the lower class in which he has which had been called Magna Græcia; and so often proved himself a consummate artist. there, at a ripe old age, he died. His death But in low comedy and broad farce it was so mourned by his companions, that, would be difficult to find an actor of equal in the inconsolability of their grief, they merit. He has identified himself of late were changed into seabirds something with the character of Paul Pry, in the late resembling swans. These birds took flight Mr. Poole's celebrated play of that name. into some neighbouring islands of the As Paul Pry he keeps his audience in a Adriatic, and became remarkable for the roar whenev

he is on the stage; but he | tameness with which they approached the

« 이전계속 »