Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/72

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HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

embraced the Catholic Faith. What were the immediate results to him of this event does not appear, but shortly after the revolution he retired to the Continent and took the Carthusian habit in the English monastery of that Order in Nieuport in Flanders. The austerities of the Carthusian Order were soon found to be too great for Mr. Nicholson s constitution, and he quitted the Order about the year 1692. He then returned to England and, after a short stay, embarked for Lisbon in the service of Queen Catharine the Consort of Charles II. After a residence of some years at the Portuguese Court, during which time he formed a close intimacy with the Superiors of the College, Mr. Nicholson employed a considerable portion of his property in the purchase of a country house, vineyard, and other lands, on a spot called Pera, distant about a mile and a half from the southern bank of the Tagus. In this retreat he spent several years, dividing his time between devotion, study, and agricultural pursuits. About the year 1720 he came to the resolution of making over the whole of his property to the College, on condition that his debts, which were considerable, should be paid, and that lodging, food, and an annual income of about twelve pounds should be allowed him for life.

On these conditions he proposed to bestow on the Establishment not only his landed property in Portugal, but the whole of what he held in the funds. Mr. Nicholson died, August 13, 1731, and splendid obsequies were performed for the repose of his soul in the church of the College. In the deed by which he made over his property, there are two clauses not unworthy of notice. One is, that if ever circumstances should render it necessary or expedient for the College to alienate the villa of Pera, the proceeds of the sale should be employed in the purchase of some other country residence: the other clause requires, that a portion of the income which might be derived from the property thus bestowed, should be spent in the education of two students from Mr. Nicholson s native County of Lancashire.

The estate, or as it is called in the Portuguese language