CHARTERHOUSE SCHOOL

An historical Account of Thomas Sutton Esq; and of his Foundation in Charter-House …

London: Printed by E. Owen, and sold by F. Gyles … W. Hinchliffe … J. and P. Knapton … J. Stagg … and S. Birt … 1737.

8vo., pp. xvi, 275, [1], with engraved portrait frontispiece, folding view of Charterhouse, and a folding engraving of Sutton’s tomb; occasional light foxing, else a very good, crisp copy in contemporary sprinkled calf, rebacked.

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First edition. Thomas Sutton (1532-1611) was an Elizabethan civil servant who made an enormous fortune from leases of land rich in coal in Durham. In 1611 he bought Howard House for £13,000 from the Earl of Suffolk; the building acquired its more familiar name, ‘Charterhouse’, after the order of monks who inhabited the original institution, a Carthusian monastery. Sutton quickly set about establishing a free school for forty boys and a hospital for poverty-stricken gentlemen. By the time of his death, he had organised a Master and a group of governors for the foundation, to which he bequeathed the majority of his fortune. Charterhouse finally opened its doors in 1614. The school moved to its present site in Godalming in 1872.

The annual founder’s day ceremonies at Charterhouse included a ‘Latin Oration in the Hall by one of the Scholars, in Praise of this our most munificent Benefactor’. Here a former pupil has written, ‘Spoken by me Bernard Port in the year of our Lord 1793’ (p. 161).

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