The Worshipful Company of Paviors considers itself very privileged to have its home in the grounds of the Charterhouse, just outside the boundary of the City of London. On Wednesday 27 February, over 60 consorts of Paviors and of Masters of other livery companies gathered at the Charterhouse for a tour and luncheon.
The reason for the Charterhouse’s location just outside the City’s boundary is that it sits adjacent to a burial site for victims of the Black Death in the fourteenth century. In 1371, a Carthusian priory was established on the site by Sir Walter de Mauny, one of Edward III’s senior advisers. The Carthusian priors were brought in from France to pray for the souls of all those who had been buried on the site. In 1535, the priory was dissolved, as the monks refused to conform to Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy, and some were executed at Tyburn. A grand Tudor mansion was built from the monastic ruins; then, in 1611, the wealthy Thomas Sutton acquired the property. Sutton was said to be the wealthiest commoner in England at the time. He used much of his wealth to endow Sutton’s Hospital, a charitable foundation based at the Charterhouse to educate 40 boys and care for 40 elderly men, known as ‘The Brothers’. John Wesley was a pupil at Charterhouse as was William Makepeace Thackeray. Charterhouse School moved to Godalming Surrey in 1872, but Brothers still live there and are cared for in the original building.
The Pavior consorts and other guests enjoyed coffee on their arrival and then divided into two groups to be led on a tour of the premises by Brothers Brian and Stephen. The tour visited the crypt, the Master’s Courtyard and the Chapel. The visitors were impressed by the knowledge of their guides, which resulted in a most informative and enjoyable tour.
Following the tours, guests enjoyed a glass of Prosecco. Lunch was then partaken upstairs in the Banqueting Room, during which there was wine-tasting organized by the vintners Jackson Nugent. Guests were able to sample two white and red wines, plus a dessert wine, all of which were described by a knowledgeable sommelier. The excellent three-course meal included a scallop starter and a main course of breast of guinea fowl. Guests commented on the extremely good service for the meal. Diners were then entertained by guest speaker Fiona Adler, a former Non-Aldermanic Sheriff of the City of London and last year’s Wingman to Sheriff and Pavior Tim Hailes. A vote of thanks was moved by Dorian Grier, a former Mistress Pavior.
The day was organized by current Mistress Pavior, Glesni James, with the assistance of the Pavior’s Clerk. It proved to be a most interesting and enjoyable occasion.