Members of the San Luigi Orders: Canon Charles Edmund Johnson

Canon Charles Edmund Johnson (1925-2012) was an Officier Compagnon of the Order of the Crown of Thorns, being admitted under Prince-Abbot Edmond I. He was Headmaster of Seaford College (pictured left) for forty-six years.

According to his obituary in the “Church Times”, Johnson attended Seaford College and then read History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was captain of the University hockey team and continued to play the game for many years thereafter as a member of the Hounslow and Ealing Hockey Club. He trained for the ministry of the Church of England at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and served his title at Woking. Whilst there, the governors of Seaford College invited him to be the school’s next headmaster, charged with re-establishing the school on a new site more suitable for expansion after the evacuation of the war years.

His tenure as Headmaster, which was to continue until 1990, won high praise. He was commended for his work as a fundraiser, as a countryman preserving the school’s estate, and for his pastoral gifts in “taking a personal interest in every boy and bringing out the best in him”. He made the Chapel the centre of school life, and through a traditional, direct and carefully-prepared approach to religious matters ensured that the fundamentals of the Christian faith would be well-understood.

At his death, aged nearly eighty-seven, he left a widow and four daughters.

We reproduce several letters from Canon Johnson from the San Luigi Archives below. The first letter was in response to the late Grand Prieure Mgr. Tull’s re-establishment of contact with the members of the San Luigi Orders after a period of relative inactivity in England. The second was in response to the announcement of a pilgrimage to Stanbrook Abbey in September 1962 for the purpose of the veneration of a relic of the Holy Thorn.