Solesmes and an English Benedictine

I have mentioned the Graduale Triplex before. It is one of many books of chant produced by the community at Solesmes. Charles Cole posts photographs of the place where these books were produced, and presumably still are: Atelier de Paléographie Musicale.

Judith Champ in William Bernard Ullathorne : A different Kind of Monk (Gracewing 2006) – about the monk of Downside who was an early missionary in Australia and later the first Archbishop of Birmingham – writes about Ullathorne's visit to Rome after leaving Australia to give an account of the Church there. Downside (like Ampleforth) is part of the English Benedictine Congregation or EBC which traces its origins back to English monasticism before the Reformation. The English monasteries on the continent were founded by refugees from English monasteries closed down by the reformers. When they were closed in their turn during the French Revolution ("closed" does not do justice to the violence involved in both cases) the monks came back to England bearing a tradition not unlike liturgical tradition itself.

On the way to Rome Ullathorne met Prosper Guéranger – the founder of Solesmes.
Dom Guéranger went to Rome, in 1837, to ask the Vatican for official recognition of Solesmes as a benedictine community. Rome not only granted Dom Guéranger's request, but on its own initiative raised Solesmes from the status of priory to that of an abbey making it the head of a new Benedictine Congregation de France, successor to the Congregations of St. Maurus and St. Vanne as well as the more venerable and ancient family of monasteries belonging to Cluny. On July 26, Dom Guéranger made his solemn profession in the presence of the abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
"Dom Guéranger's Restoration" 
Champ remarks that Ullathorne still remembered the meeting with affection and pride, many years later, in a letter to the Abbess of Stanbrook.
I was the first professed monk, he told me, he had ever seen. I therefore claim some interest in the monks and nuns of Solesmes, who are his children, and I shall be obliged if you will tell the abbess and community that I claim an interest in them and their prayers, as I also claim some right to thank them for their tender and sisterly care of the Abbess of Stanbrook.
Quoted in Judith Champ, William Bernard Ullathorne : A different Kind of Monk (Gracewing 2006), chapter 2, p. 63. 
The first professed monk the founder of Solesmes had ever seen. Remember that next time you hear some trad make a crack about "Every Bodily Comfort" or a sniffy remark about the vernacular in English monasteries.