Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Carthusians, a, monastic order founded in 1086 by St. Bruno (q.v.) and six companions in the solitary La Chartreuse, near Grenoble in France, from which they derive their distinctive name. They had no fixed rules until the time of the fifth Prior - Guigo - who issued the Consuetudines Cartusiae in 1134. In 1176 they received papal approbation, and in 1180 they were introduced into England, our present Charterhouse taking its name from them. They were of great wealth and importance, given to hospitality and for the most part educated. The order is a very strict one, silence, solitude, vegetarian diet, and rigid fasts being some of their chief features. It has been erroneously put down as a branch of the Benedictines, owing to a similarity in the ritual used by the two orders. It consists of two classes - fathers and brothers. It is especially a contemplative order, and it is said to be from this cause that they have produced few saints. Italy, France, and Switzerland were the countries chiefly occupied by them, and since the expulsion of some monastic orders from France, they have founded some monasteries in England. There is a female branch whose rules are less austere. The most famous Italian monastery (now suppressed) of the order is near Pavia. [Certosa.] The renowned liqueur is made by lay brothers, for the benefit of the order. A characteristic of the order is that each "cell" is a small house of four rooms, with a garden, all the cells opening into one corridor.