Family history

There are several sources available to help identify ancestors who might have been Brothers, schoolboys or staff of the charity. The majority of available records date to the period after the charity was founded, from 1611 onwards.

Sutton’s Hospital Archives
The archive of the charity, founded in 1611 by Thomas Sutton, is deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives (deposit number ACC/1876/). The deposit mainly covers the period from 1611 to 1993. The holdings include Thomas Sutton’s personal papers, Pensioners’ and Scholars’ Records, Estate and Manorial Records, Deeds, and miscellaneous records associated with the institution.
The archive can be searched online and you can also request to view documents at LMA

A list of nominated Brothers for the period 1613 to 1858 is available here. You can use this document to find out basic information about a past Brother of the Charterhouse including date of admission, nominating Governor, career details and place of residence. Thank you to the University of the Third Age participants who created this resource during a research project hosted at the Charterhouse in 2016.

There are also some records related to the Charterhouse in the collection at the National Archive.

The Chapel’s Registers
Births, marriages and death of local residents, including Brothers, staff and their families were recorded in the Chapel’s registers. The registers were transcribed in 1892 and were published by the Harleian Society as The Registers and the Monumental inscriptions of Charterhouse Chapel edited by Francis Collins (London 1892).
The register covers:
* Marriages from 1671 – 1754 (+1837 and 1839); 1857 -1892
* Baptisms from 1695 – 1812; 1813 – 1892
* Burials from 1695 – 1812; 1813 – 1854 when the burial ground at the Charterhouse was closed.
The full text is available online here.

Following the closure of the Brother’s burial ground in 1854, most Brothers were then interred at Tower Hamlets Cemetery and from 1929 in the Brother’s burial ground at Little Hallingbury in Essex.

Officers and Governors
Lists of Governors, Masters and senior staff were often included in histories of the Charterhouse. See for example, the appendices in Gerald C. Davies Charterhouse in London: Monastery, Mansion, Hospital, School (London 1921).
Governors of Charterhouse
Masters of Charterhouse
The full text of Gerald Davies’ book is available online here.

Schoolboys and Schoolmasters
Charterhouse School at Godalming holds the records of the school including the Charterhouse Registers, a series of publications with biographical details of scholars (boys on the foundation) from 1614, and all pupils from 1769 to 1975. The archive also includes photographs and artefacts relating to Old Carthusians, as past schoolboys are referred. There are a few items related to the period before 1872 when the school moved from Charterhouse Square to Godalming.
See the Charterhouse School website for more details.
The Charterhouse School Archivist can be contacted at: or 01483 291604.

Before Sutton’s Hospital
The names of some of the Carthusian monks and lay brothers who lived in the precinct before 1538 can be found in:
* Hendriks, L, The London Charterhouse, its monks and its martyrs, Kegan Paul, Trench (1889)
* Hope, William St John, The History of the London Charterhouse from its foundation until the Suppression of the Monastery, SPCK (1925)
Other monasteries of interest include: St Hugh’s Charterhouse Parkminster, Hull Charterhouse, Mount Grace Priory and Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the Carthusian order from which the Charterhouse derives its name.

General Further Reading
* The London Charterhouse by Stephen Porter (Amberley Publishing, 2009)
* Survey of London: The Charterhouse by Philip Temple (Yale University Press, 2010)
* Revealing the Charterhouse edited by Cathy Ross (Giles, 2016)
* the Charterhouse: The Guidebook by Cathy Ross (Giles, 2016)
These books are available to purchase in the museum shop.