Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


On Tuesday morning our visitors were taken to the Tower of London, in a visit organised by Sean Armstrong.  Again they arrived by river-boat, thankfully not to Traitor's Gate! We were greeted by the Governor of the Tower, Major General Keith Cima, who most graciously arranged for us, as we were Catholics, to enter his residence the Queen's House. Here we were able to visit the cell at the bottom of the Bell Tower where St Thomas More was held prisoner in dire conditions for the 15 month prior to his execution on Tower Hill. This part of the Tower is not normally open to visitors, so this was a great privilege. After a brief prayer in the cell, we then visited the tomb where the saint's body, but not his severed head, are buried in the crypt of the chapel. The Yeoman Gaoler showed us around and gave most interesting and informative talks.

We then, thanks greatly to the courtesy shown by the Tower authorities to our guests our Lords the Sick, jumped the queues for a private visit of the Crown Jewels, and those who could manage the stairs (including some Malades) were taken up to William the Conqueror's chapel of Saint John in the White Tower, where all kings until Charles II spent the night in vigil before their coronation. It is also the place where the Order of the Bath was founded.

After our long and fascinating morning's visit, we were treated most generously to a delicious lunch in the offices of Norman Rose in Southwark, courtesy of Simon Cox, the husband of one of our Dames, in a roof-top dining room with wonderful views across the City and Tower Bridge.  Our guests left us by bus to go to visit Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, with the boundless energy of youth!

We are very grateful to everyone who made this visit such a success, and also to our guests whose presence allowed several of us to take a morning of work to play at being tourists in our own city! Click pictures to enlarge.
Order of Malta Gun of 1607 on the lawn before the White Tower 
The Governor, Major General Cima, addressing our visitors
The Yeoman Gaoler addressing the party before the Queen's House
In St Thomas More's cell
The Saint's tomb (reliquary)
Group photograph before Tower Bridge
The Bridge opening!

Saint Thomas More, pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, pray for us.