In 1406 Sir Henry (later Lord) Fitzhugh, trusted servant of King Henry IV, visited Vadstena, the Bridgettine monastery for men and women in Sweden. Vadstena was the mother-house of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour and had been founded by the controversial continental mystic St Bridget of Sweden, who had died in 1373 and had been canonized in 1391. Fitzhugh was so impressed by what he saw that he gave one of his manors near Cambridge as the future site for an English Bridgettine foundation. It was not until 1415 that Henry V, son of Henry IV, laid the foundation-stone of Syon Abbey at Twickenham in Middlesex and Fitzhugh's dream became a reality. But Fitzhugh's generous gesture is an indication of the degree of pious and aristocratic interest in the Swedish visionary and prophet in early fifteenth-century England.
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