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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Maurice Chauncey, Prior of Sheen Angelorum

Sheen Angelorum was established following the destruction of the Charterhouse in London. "The Carthusians, along with all other subjects of the king, were required in the spring of 1534 to swear to the first Act of Succession, and thus to accept the annulment of Henry's first marriage by Cranmer and the legitimacy of Anne Boleyn's offspring. (fn. 78) Their sympathies had unquestionably lain with Queen Katherine, whose marriage they considered valid, and they had shown interest in Elizabeth Barton, although they were not so far committed with her as their brethren at Sheen. When the commissioners arrived on 4 May to tender the oath Houghton replied in the name of all that Carthusians did not meddle with the king's affairs; they asked only to be left in peace. He added that he could not see how a marriage of such long standing could be declared invalid. He was therefore conveyed to the Tower along with his procurator, Humphrey Middlemore. After deliberation there they agreed to take the oath, so far as was lawful, and were sent home, where they found the community still unwilling to swear. The commissioners, Bishop Roland Lee and Thomas Bedyll, were unsuccessful at their first visit, and at their second, on 29 May, they obtained the adhesion only of Houghton, Middlemore, and six others. Finally, Lee and Sir Thomas Kytson, one of the sheriffs of London, who brought a band of men-at-arms, were successful in extracting an oath from all. (fn. 79) So far as can be seen from Chauncy's narrative, the opposition of the monks was based on a disapproval of the Boleyn marriage rather than on a realization, such as influenced More and Fisher, that papal supremacy was at stake, for when in June 1534 commissioners endeavoured to extract an acceptance of the royal supremacy, at least nine of the community refused to take the oath, when such a refusal was not as yet criminal." Source

Three Carthusian martyrs

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