Графични страници
PDF файл


Church of St. John, Clerkenwell, in 1508.

ed themselves to the Inhabitants by the The History of the Parish of St. John, many rare and pretious commodities they Clerkenwell.

brought thither, that the Calif of Egypt On friday the twenty seventh Day of gave them a part of Jerusalem to live in, December in the year of our Lord Christ where they built a Cloister and transone thousand seven hundred twenty and planted thither from Italy an Abbot with thrce, and in the tenth Year of the Reign some Benedictine Monks, who entertainof George by the Grace of God, king of ed all Christian Pilgrims and travellers: Great Britain, &c. being St. John's Day, soon after a Cloister was erected for Wo this Church was consecrated and dedi- men, and these being too small, the Hoscated to the Service of Almighty God pital or Alms-House just mentioned was by the Right Reverend Father in God founded for the reception of both sick and Edmund (Gibson) by Divine Permission well, under the direction of an Overseer Lord Bishop of London, by the Name of maintained chiefly by Alms from Amalfi the Church of St. John Clerkenwell in and other parts of Italy : shortly after, the the County of Middlesex.

Church was built, and dedicated to St. This Church is what was the Choir of John Baptist; tradition informing, that the antient Church of the Knights Hose his Father Zachary had often travelled pitallers, or the Knights of St. John of that way, from whence those of this Jerusalem in England, which Order be- Foundation took the Name of Joannitæ, gan at Jerusalem about the Year of our and continued an Order of Hospitalers Lord Christ 1099, taking its rise and or Alms-men some few Years. name from an Hospital built for the re In the year 1099, when the Christian ception of Christian Strangers and Pile Princes, under the command of Godfrey grims, who came to perform their Devo- of Bologne, Duke of Lorrain besieged Je tion at the Place of our Lord's Sepulchre, rusalem, Gerard the then overseer, with and from a Church adjoining dedicated to the rest of the Hospitalers by a sudden St. John Baptist.

and unexpected Sally upon the rear of the In the 11th Century the Christians in Turks, contributed greatly to the over the Holy Land were very much harassed throw of the infidels, and the recovery of by the Turks, till some Merchants from the Holy-Land. Godfrey made public Amalfi in Italy visited the parts about acknowledgments of this signal piece of Syria and Egypt, and so far recommend. Service, and being created King of Jerusa

lem gave the Hospitalers large presents, The Hospital or Priory Church, and and put the defence of many Towns into House of St. John were preserved from their hands. From this time their Order Spoil and down-pulling so long as Henry commenced that of Knighthood, Gerard the 8th lived; but in the third Year of being their first Grand Master. The Order King Edward the 6th the Body and side was confirmed by Pope Honorius the se Isles with the great Bell tower, (a most cond, and by the then Patriarch of Jeru- curious piece of workmanship, graven, salem. The members of it were called gilt, and enamelled,) were pulled down; indifferently the Knights Hospitallers of but the Choir, (which remained,) was St. John of Jerusalem. It was their Vow closed up in the reign of Queen Mary, and Profession to exercise hospitality, to who restored the Order and incorporated resist the Barbarians that should offer any a Priory and several Brethren, and grantinjury to Pilgrims on the High Ways, and ed to them this Church, House, and many to maintain the Christian religion by Lauds; but the Order being again disforce of Arms in their Country. They solved by Queen Elizabeth, the Church soon greatly increased in Fame and Riches and Priory remained in the Crown till and spread into many nations: the ser the 9th day of May, in the 5h year of vices they did to Christian Princes pro- King James the first, when by Letters cured them every where great respect, Patent of that date the King granted the Wealth and Privileges, insomuch that same to Ralph Freeman and his heirs, tho’ at first they professed voluntary in free and common Soccage by the name poverty, they were afterwards at once in of the City or House of the late Hospital Possession of 19000 Manors in Christen- of St. John of Jerusalem in England, in dom.

the County of Middlesex, and all the This Order flourished with great pomp City, Circuit, and Precinct of the same and splendour in this Nation : their Prior House, having therein one great Mansion was reckoned the first Baron in England; House, one great Chapel, &c., containing their Establishment here was very early, by estimation 5 acres. From Freeman for about a Year after their first İnstitu- the said Church or Chapel, and part of tion at Jerusalem, viz. An. Dom. 1100, the great house and gardens, came in Jordan Briset Baron, and Muriel his wife, the 10th Year of King James the first Ld. founded a Priory in this place for the Wm. Cecil Lord Burghley, Son and Knights of this Order, and built a Church, Heir apparent of Thomas Earl of Exeter, which was dedicated to the Honour of by whose daughter the Lady Diana, it St. John Baptist, in the Year 1185, being passed in marriage in the 5th Year of then consecrated by Heraclius Patriarch King Charles the 1st to Thomas, Lord of Jerusalem. Both Church and House Bruce, afterwards Earl of Elgin, whose were burnt in 1381, by the Essex Re son Robert was created Earl of Ailesbels, but were afterwards rebuilt and con- bury, in which Family this Church or tinued in the possession of the Knights Chapel, (from thence called Ailesbury Hospitallers till the 32nd Year of Henry Chapel,) continued till the Year 1706, the 8th (which was years after the general and being then sold by them, was afterDissolution of Religious Houses in this wards, viz. in the Year 1721, purchased Kingdom,) when by a particular Act of by Mr. Simon Michell, with intent to acParliament the Priory was suppressed, commodate the Inhabitants of a and the House, Church, and all the Lands Street by him then partly built, called of the Knights Hospitallers were vested Red Lion Street, and the neighbouring in the Crown, with all Privileges, &c. inhabitants with a convenient place for thereto belonging, other than the right of Divine Worship. He afterwards Sanctuary, which Right is by this Act dis- larged the said Chapel, or what was charged, but with an express saving of used as such, being the middle Isle only the Privileges common to Churches and by restoring thereto the North isle, Church Yards applied and used to God's (which had been made part of a dwellservice. In this Act of Parliament the ing-house,) and also the South Isle, Hospital, House, Church, &c. are men- (the upper part of which had been contioned, not as a part of, or within the verted into a Library, and the lower part Parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, but as separated by a wall from what was left situate and being near to the City of Lon- to the Chapel,) and having likewise endon, in the County of Middlesex, and tirely new built the west front, and new so the same are mentioned in the grant roofed the whole, and furnished the Chafrom the Crown and subsequent writings. pel with convenient Galleries and Pews,



he proposed it thus rebuilt and beautified employed in building the lord protector's to the Commissioners appointed in pur- (Somerset) house in the Strand. The suance of Acts of Parliament for building great bell tower he calls “a most curious 50 New Churches in and about London, piece of workmanship, graven, gilt, and as proper to be by them converted into a inameled to the great beautifying of the Parochial Church for such an adjoining city, and passing all other that I have District, as they should think fit to ap- sceene.” He adds that the part of the point for a Parish to the same.

quire which remained, with some side This proposal being accepted and an chapels was closed up at the west end by agreement made by the Commissioners cardinal Pole, in the reign of queen Mary, with Mr. Simon Michell, he and Mr. and the other was repaired, and sir Tho. Hutton (his trustee) by bargain and sale mas Tresham Knight, made the lord enrolled in Chancery, bearing date the prior there with the restitution of some 29th day of August 1723, conveyed the lands. At the suppression, the priory Chapel, and the ground extending from was valued “to dispend in lands, 33851. the East end thereof to St. John's Street, 198. 8d. yearly; sir William Weston be(on the front part whereof next to St. ing then lord prior, died on the 7th of John's Street, stood 2 houses,) to the May, 1540." The king granted “ great said Commissioners, who by Deed bear. yeerely pensions” to the knights; and is ing date the 11th day of December 1723 the lord prior, during his life, 10001. bat and afterwards enrolled in Chancery, did, he never received a penny.” He died pursuant to their Power, granted by the of a broken heart on Ascension-day in the said Acts of Parliament, declare and ap- same year, the very day the house was point the Chapel to be from and for ever suppressed. An account of the exhumaafter the Enrollment of that Deed and the tion of his body on the 27th of April, consecration of the Chapel, a Parish 1788, on taking down the old church of Church by such Name as should be given St. James, Clerkenwell, with interesting thereto in the act of Consecration, and particulars respecting him, may, be seen by the same Deed the said Commission- in the “ Gentleman's Magazine” for that ers did pursuant to the said Acts of Par- year. Mr. Bartholomew of Red Lionliament set out and appoint a Parish for street, Clerkenwell, a lover, and as far as the said Church, and ascertained the he is permitted by the other inhabitants, Bonds and Limits of such new parish to a preserver of the antiquities of his pabe as followeth:

rish of St. John, is in possession of a porThe entry in the vestry-book, hitherto tion of prior Weston's cere-cloth. given verbatim, proceeds to set out the parish bounds in words, and a copy of the The only vestiges of the antiquity and act of consecration.

extent of this church are in Jerusalem.

court, which runs from St. John's-square It is interesting to go a little farther into St. John's-street, and is bounded on into the history of this ancient church. the left by houses or dwellings construct

While Henry VIII. reigned, “ the rebels ed within the remaining part of the south of Essex and Kent," 1381, set fire to wall : they are now, (in November, 1825,) the house, causing it to burn for the space undergoing reparation by new facing, of seven days together, and not suffering but portions of the old church buttresses any to quench it : afterwards the church, rsmain, though they are much mutilated. and houses thereto appertaining, were new and their shafts buried to the extent of built, and the church finished by Thomas many feet below the pavement. There Docwray, lord prior there about the year is not a single inscription or monument 1504, as appears by the inscription over of any age remaining. The only remarkthe gate-house, mentioned by Stow as re able stone in the churchyard is a memomaining in his time, and which still re- ritur of the late “Mrs. Sarah Newman of nains. The church was employed as a No. 63, Cow-cross-street, St. Sepulchre," „torehouse for the king's “toyles and tents who died a few years ago, and is rendered for hunting and for the wars,” &c. Stow,who “ remarkable" by an amplification of the says this, speaking of its destruction in ever-recurring epitaph, * Affliction sore" he third year of king Edward VI., adds, &c. She is made to saywhat the church for the most part, to wit, the body and side isles with the great bell

Pain was my portion,

Physic was my food, tower was undermined and blown up

Groans was my devotion, with gunpowder, and the stone thereof Drugs did me no good ;


Christ was my physician,

amounted to 21,7241., not so much from Knew what way was best, additional buiiding, as from increase in To ease me of my pain,

the value of property. He took my soul to rest.

St. John's-gale will be always remem

bered in connection with the “Gentleman's A murai inscription in the church, Magazine,” which was first printed there represents “ Simon Michell Esq. a mem

by Edmund Cave. ber of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn, descended from a family of that name in Somersetshire. He died August

Bay. Laurus poetica. 30, 1750, aged 74.” He was a barrister, Dedicated to St. Homobonus. and member of parliament for Boston. Red Lion-street, built by him, is the best class of houses erected in his time in November 14. Clerkenwell, which, among the “ lower orders,” is called “ Jack Adams's parish," St. Lawrence, Abp. of Dublin, A. D. for a reason that, if it can be authen

1180. St. Dubricius, A. D. 522. tically communicated, will be hereafter STAMFORD BULL RUNNING. inserted.

This annual custom in the county of The old gateway of St. John's priory Lincoln is fixed for the 13th of November; remains in the state wherein it is seen which, in 1825, being Sunday, it was postmonthly on the title-page of the “ Gentle- poned to the next day, Monday the 14th. man's Magazine.” The east turret and the

A correspondent's communication sels great rooms over the gateway, are used

forth ample and curious particulars of as a tavern called “The old St. John of the usage. Jerusalem," occupied and kept by Mr. William Flint, who formerly carried on

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. the business of a printer in the Old Bailey. Sir, The lower part of the west turret is the As your very respectable and highly watchhouse of St. John's parish. On entertaining publication, the Every-Day entering, the gateway from the south, Book, is a receptacle for local usages the fixed iron shaft of the top hinge, and customs, doubtless the Stamford whereon the ancient gate swung, is about bull-running, which takes place annually level with the elbow of a person of ordi- on the 13th of November, will be acceptnary stature: from this, the height to which able. It is conducted with a most dethe ground has been raised above the termined spirit, and unlike most other old level may be imagined. The gate- customs, seems to increase in notoriety way itself has been lately repaired at the yearly. parish expense, chiefly at the instance of

Butcher says,

“the bull-running is a Mr. Bartholomew, who took great pains sport of no pleasure, except to such as to ascertain and properly colour the arms take a pleasure in beastliness and misof Prior Docwray on the crown of the chief. It is performed just the day six arch, and the remaining ornaments, some weeks before Christmas. The butchers of which had been hidden in the watch- of the town at their own charge, against house. An ancient door in the watch- the time, purchase a wild bull; this bull house bricked up, and boarded over by over night is had into some stable or the wainscotting, retains an old carved barn belonging to the alderman; the next oak-facing at the top; through Mr. Bar- morning proclamation is made by the tholomew's persistance it was not des common bellman of the town, round about troyed, and he has caused a small flap the same, that each one shut up his shopwith hinges to be inserted in the wainscot doors and gates, and none, under pain for the purpose of disclosing this carving, of imprisonment, do any violence to from time to time, to curious inquirers. strangers; for the preventing whereof (the He is one of the few inhabitants of town being a great thoroughfare, and then Clerkenwell, who take an interest in being in term time, la guard is appointed for mairtaining the reputation of this suburb ihe passing of travellers through the same, for its former grandeur.

without hurt. None [to] have any iron The rental of St. John's parish in the upon their bull-clubs, or other staff which year 1782, was 12,6581, 'In 1825, it they pursue the bull withi which procla

mation made, and the gates all shut up,

“ there is nothing similar to it in his mathe bull is turned out of the alderman's jesty's dominions, nor I believe in the house, and then, hivie, skivy, tay-rag, dominions of any other potentate on the men, women, and children, of all sorts globe : no, it stands without a rival.” and sizes, with all the dogs in the town, “ If,” says Lowe," the doctrine of transpromiscuously running after him with migration be true, nothing can be more their bull-clubs, spattering dirt in each certain than that the soul of earl Warren other's faces, that one would think them animated the body of Mr. Robert Ridto be so many furies started out of hell lington, once a tanner, alderman, and for the punishment of Cerberus, as when mayor, of this corporation, who to perpeTheseus and Perillus conquered the place, tuate this gallant diversion as much as in as Ovid describes it

him lay, left half-a-crown to be paid an

nually to each of the five parishes of A ragged troop of boys and girls, Stamford,) for the trouble of stopping the Do pellow him with stones,

gates and avenues of the town, which is With clubs, with whips, and many nips, received on St. Thomas's-day. I thereThey part his skin from bones.'

fore hold it incumbent on me to record “ And (which is the greater shame) I have nobile fratrum go hand in hand to poste

this spirited bequest, and to let this par seen both Senatores majorum gentium et rity, for which legacy every bullard in matrone de euodem gradu, following this gratitude ought to drink on that day to bulling business.

the joint memory of both. Since this “I can say no more of it, but only to set forth the antiquity thereof, (as the of some who are strangers to the town, I

account may chance to fall into the bands tradition goes,) William, earl of Warren, would have such know that when this in the time of king John, standing upon gala-day falls either on a market-day or his castle-wall under the same, saw two

on a Sunday, that neither the market nor bulls fighting for one cow. A butcher of

even the sabbath is put off on its account; the town, the owner of one of the bulls, but, on the contrary, it is itself postponed with a great mastiff dog, accidentally till the morrow, which must be acknow. coming by set his dog upon his own ball, ledged to be an instance of great forbearwho forced the same bull up into the

ance !" town, which no sooner was come within

So much for the accounts of Butcher the same, but all the butcher's dogs, great and Lowe. I shall now proceed to state and small, followed

pursuit of the bull, the manner in which the sport is conwhich by this time made stark mad with ducted in the present day. the noise of the people, and the fierceness

The bull being duly procured, is shut of the dogs, ran over man, woman, and child, that stood in his way. This caused up the night previous to the appointed all the butchers and others in the town to and, long ere dawn of day, no peaceable

morn, in a place provided for the purpose, rise up as it were in a tumult, making person lying on his bed, can enjoy the such a hideous noise that the sound pleasing and renovating stupor which, if thereof came into the castle into the ears of earl Warren, who presently mounted the leaden key of Somnus would afford

unmolested by the cry of “ bull for ever," on horseback, and rid into the town to see

him. At eleven o'clock, Taurus is loosed the business; which then appearing (to from his prison-house generally into a his huinour) very delightful, he gave all the meadows in which the bulls were at

street stopped at each end, which he first found fighting, (which we now call dangerous juncture every post, pump, and

parades in majesty sublime. At this the castle meadows,) perpetually as a the like is in requisition, and those who common to the butchers of the town, to

are fortunate enough to get sheltered bekeep their cattle in till the time of slaugh- hind one sit in conscious security, ter, upon this condition, that upon the day on which this sport first began, the “ grinning with a ghastly smile" butchers of the town should from time to time yearly for ever, find a mad bull for at those who less fortunate than themthe continuance of that sport.”

selves must, for protection, have recourse Mr. Lowe speaks more favourably of to flight. The carts and waggons which the “bull-running" than Butcher. He form the stoppage at the ends of the calls it “ a good old custom," and says, street, are crowded with individuals, as

« ПредишнаНапред »