In Celebration of the Charterhouse

In 1885 the House of Lords passed a bill authorising the disposal of all but the ancient buildings of the Old Charterhouse. It was introduced by Sir Richard Webster, an Old Carthusian, politician and judge, whose chief motif for doing so was to address the fact that “the Governors of the Charterhouse find themselves unable to carry on the hospital upon its present basis without incurring an annual pecuniary loss”.

The bill, which would have resulted in the Brothers being pensioned and dismissed, was eventually defeated by the House of Commons, owing primarily to a campaign led by Mr Leonard Courtney and Mr James Bryce.

The following poem, published in Punch Magazine in 1886, celebrates the rejection of the bill.