Bell's Cathedrals: The Priory Church of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield
by George Worley
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Hic jacent Gualterus Mildmay, miles, et Maria uxor ejus. Ipse obiit ultimo die Maii 1589. Ipsa 16 die Martii 1576. Reliquierunt duos filios et tres filias. Fundavit Collegium Emanuelis Cantabrigiae. Moritur Cancellarius et Sub-Thesaurarius Scaccarii et Regiae Majestati a Consiliis.

(= Here lie Walter Mildmay, Knight, and Mary his wife. He died the last day of May, 1589. She the 16th day of March, 1576. They left two sons and three daughters. He founded Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He died Chancellor and Sub-Treasurer of the Exchequer, and a Member of Her Majesty's Council.)

There is a commendable absence of eulogy in the epitaph, and, instead of any direct quotation from scripture, the motto, Mors nobis lucrum is given, as an adaptation of Phil. i, 21. The tomb is surmounted by three classical urns and the escutcheon of the deceased, with the legend, Virtute non vi. Sir Walter was one of the Royal Commissioners appointed in 1586 for the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Fotheringhay Castle.

There are numerous other monuments in the church, and there were formerly many more than now remain, but those selected for description are the most important and the most interesting for their artistic merit.

The first rector of the parish, Sir John Deane, is commemorated in a modern brass (1893) let into the pavement of the ambulatory on the southern side of the chancel. It was inserted by the pupils of the Witton Grammar School, Northwich, founded by Sir John in the year 1557.

The Lady Chapel is a restoration of that built about the year 1410. At the Dissolution it passed into the hands of Sir Richard Rich, who converted it into a dwelling-house, and in more modern times it was occupied by a fringe manufacturer, as related in our historical sketch. The building was recovered by purchase in 1885, and the reconstruction begun, which was completed eleven years later. There are signs of an earlier chapel on the site, which was considerably altered, or entirely rebuilt, in the fourteenth century, as appeared from the architectural remains of that period discovered within the fifteenth-century fabric—itself in a frightful state of dilapidation—when the restoration was taken in hand.

Though every care has been taken to preserve the old work, with a strict adherence to the general design, the greater part of the chapel is necessarily new. It is separated from the ambulatory by an elegant screen of ironwork, surmounted by a crucifix of white metal, which has been blackened into uniformity with the rest of the screen so that it can hardly be distinguished in the dim light. This characteristic of the church is preserved in the chapel by the omission of an east window. In place of it the wall-space above the altar is laid out in an arcading of five niches, with canopies and pedestals arranged in parallel lines, providing for a double row of statues, not yet inserted. The lower part of the wall is curtained, with a small canopy over the altar, containing an oil painting of the Virgin and Child as an appropriate form of reredos. There are three rather large windows on each side, of which those on the south are entirely new, but the sills and jambs on the north show a retention of fifteenth-century work. This appears again in the walls on either side of the sanctuary, each of which contains an arcaded recess of three divisions (the central glazed), those on the south forming the sedilia. The sanctuary is paved with Roman tesserae and coloured marbles, in agreement with the pavement beneath the High Altar, but of a less elaborate pattern.[7]

The Crypt beneath the Lady Chapel has no internal connection with it, but is entered by an outside door in the south wall. Like the rest of the Priory buildings it has gone through many vicissitudes. Obviously built at the same time as the chapel, it is supposed to have been used originally as a receptacle for the bones exhumed from time to time in the neighbouring canons' cemetery. Passing into secular hands at the Dissolution, it was partly filled up with earth, and then used as a coal and wine cellar to the dwelling-house above, and eventually formed part of the manufactory before mentioned, the marks of which have been left here and there upon the walls. The little building is now equipped as a mortuary chapel, with an altar against the east wall, and an oblong space marked off on the floor before it, with the usual lateral candlesticks, for the reception of a corpse. As a general rule, however, the funeral services are held in the choir, where there are greater facilities. Though extremely simple, the architectural features are very interesting, the old work having been retained in the walls, piers, and windows, the vaulting alone being new. This merely consists of depressed arches, carried across from the north to the south wall, the intermediate spaces being overlaid with plaster.

At the eastern end, above the altar, one of the window recesses has the socket of an old iron hinge within it, and otherwise shows signs of having been formerly occupied by a door, which may possibly have been the original entrance. It is supposed that all the windows were left unglazed for the sake of ventilation, but plain glass is now inserted. The recesses are very deeply splayed in the thickness of the walls, and it will be noticed that the exterior openings are above the level of the roof, so as to admit the daylight obliquely, an ingenious contrivance to intensify the solemnities within, where an artificial light is almost a necessity. The plain bands of stone which constitute the vaulting are supported by shallow piers, or pilasters, built against the lateral walls, and all alike in their general structure and moulded bases; but there is a curious difference between those on the north and south, which has given rise to some antiquarian speculation. In one case (the north) the pilasters are carried down to the floor: in the other they rest upon a stone plinth or skirting a few inches above it.

The Cloister, as next in importance to the church itself, and so characteristic of a monastic foundation as to give a name to the whole, was in all probability begun by Rahere, or at least some time in the twelfth century. This may be inferred from the Norman work found and preserved at the restoration—at present confined to three bays of the eastern side, at right angles to the south wall of the church. The cloister was originally continued parallel with this wall to the extremity of the nave, whence it extended in the usual quadrangular form, each side consisting of eight bays, enclosing the area known as the cloister-garth. That there was a reconstruction under Prior John Watford, early in the fifteenth century, is clear from the evidence already given, which is confirmed by the architectural remains within the restored fragment—all that was in existence, as a ruin, when the renovation was attempted.

The entrance is through a round-headed doorway in the south aisle—an interesting piece of Norman work—but the doors are probably those inserted during the fifteenth century reconstruction. It seems that they were taken out when the nave was destroyed, and fitted to the main entrance in the wall then built at the west end. Subsequently stored within the church among the lumber which might possibly come in useful, they were found exactly to fit the opening into the cloister, where they were re-hung in what seems to be their proper place. The first bay on the right, which formerly opened into the northern side of the quadrangle, is now occupied by a blank wall, with some fifteenth century work on each side, and the Tudor door-jambs within it, supposed to have been inserted by the Dominican Friars in their restoration of the following century. The second and third bays contain windows, with very fine modern tracery in the headings, and some old Perpendicular work retained at the sides. The wall on the left (eastern) side shows a similar intermixture of styles in its three unlighted bays. The elaborately vaulted roof is for the most part new, but a few of the old bosses, and some portions of the original vaulting-shafts recovered during the excavations, have been incorporated into it, without renovation of their surfaces, so that the ancient and modern can be easily distinguished. The new bosses are sculptured with shields bearing respectively the royal arms, the arms of the Diocese, the Priory, the late Rector (Sir Borradaile Savory), and the City of London. The Priory arms form the central point in the vaulting, surrounded by smaller bosses containing the emblems of the four Evangelists.

On a table at the end of the cloister there is a small collection of stones and encaustic tiles from the old building, and some more precious relics in a case. These include a few broken pieces of stained glass, the metal seal struck by Father Perrin for the Dominicans, a book of "Spiritual Exercises" by the same Prior, and a charred fragment of Rahere's coffin and sandal, which had been surreptitiously taken from his tomb.

Before leaving the church, the visitor is recommended to look through the scrap-book of old engravings in charge of the verger, showing the buildings in various phases of their history since the Dissolution. These interesting pictures were presented anonymously, but a note on the fly-leaf by Dr. Norman Moore, dated 23rd May, 1885, informs us that the donor was William Morrant Baker, F.R.C.S., Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Lecturer on Physiology, and Warden of its College. There is a tablet to his memory in the Church of St. Bartholomew-the-Less.

A special permit is required for an inspection of the church registers. They date from 1616, and show an average death-rate of ten in each month till the year 1665, when the Plague of London brought up the entries to about eighteen on each day.

The interior of the church presents an interesting perspective from almost any point. A good general view may be obtained from the north-east or south-west corner, and another from the organ-gallery, which is recommended as commanding features not well seen from below in the scanty light.


[1] This altar is an interesting piece of (Jacobean?) woodwork which has recently been uncovered. The low recess in which it stands seems better suited for a tomb, or recumbent effigy, while the more lofty recess against the eastern wall, originally supposed to have been open to the Walden Chantry, would hold the altar admirably, and give it the proper orientation.

[2] There are two large canvases of his on the staircase of the Hospital representing "The Pool of Bethesda" and "The Good Samaritan," besides four smaller paintings, one of which gives "Rahere's Dream," and another "The Building of the Priory."

[3] The manor of Canonbury, formerly included in the Priory estates, is said to have been presented to the community by Sir Ralph de Berners in the reign of Edward III. The Prior and canons built themselves a mansion there as a country residence, and there is no doubt that the place takes its name from their connection with it. According to Stow (Ed. Strype, vol. 1), the manor-house was rebuilt by Prior Bolton, whose rebus on the walls of the tower seemed to prove that it was either his work, or erected shortly after his time to his memory. The house is a plain brick structure with gable ends, and the tower (of the same material) covers a rather large square. The spacious rooms within it have some literary interest, as at one time occupied by Ephraim Chambers, the encyclopaedist (1680-1750), and by the more famous Oliver Goldsmith. The whole building, renovated within and without, is now held by a social club. For many years a fable was believed that a subterranean passage connected it with the Smithfield Priory.

[4] The new bronze railing to the sanctuary forms part of the memorial to the late Rector, the Rev. Sir Borradaile Savory, Bart. It is in the Renaissance style, and the words from the Gloria in Excelsis ("We praise Thee," etc.), in each of its four divisions, were selected by his successor, the present Rector, as suitable to the place, and expressing the governing principle of Sir Borradaile's life, as well as that of Rahere the Founder.

[5] The substructure in the chamber of the Pix, at Westminster, will be remembered among the surviving examples of this early kind of vaulting in England.

[6] Francis Anthony (1550-1623) lived in Bartholomew Close. He had obtained the M.A. degree at Cambridge, but none in medicine, and having practised for six months in London without a licence, he was summoned before the President and Censors of the College of Physicians to give an account of himself. Failing to satisfy his examiners, he was interdicted from practice, but ignored the prohibition, and suffered more than one imprisonment in consequence. The medicine "of purest gold" was a panacea, known as Aurum potabile, which was supposed to be made from the precious metal, and certainly put a great deal of it into the inventor's pocket, as a fashionable remedy for all kinds of diseases.

(See article in the "Dictionary of National Biography" for a sketch of his life.)

[7] A tablet, in the Renaissance style, has recently been affixed to the north wall in memory of Sir Borradaile Savory, Bart., the late Rector. It was unveiled and formally dedicated by the Bishop of Stepney, on Sunday, 10th May, 1908.

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Visitors to Rome will remember the Isola Tiberina, which lies in a curve of the river between the city and Trastevere, and is reached from the respective sides by the Ponte Quattro Capi and the Ponte San Bartolomeo. It was to the hospital on this island that Rahere was sent for medical treatment in his illness; and it is possible that the disposing cause of his vision, with its practical outcome, may be found in the circumstances of the place. The island had been dedicated to Aesculapius on the strength of an ancient Roman legend; and about the year 1000 the Emperor Otho III, erected a Christian church there—probably on the site of a temple to the god—which was named after St. Bartholomew, on the supposition that it contained the saint's relics.[1] Below the church there are the remains of the old travertine ramparts which gave the island the appearance of a ship on which the edifice was resting—a fanciful picture of the "Navis Ecclesiae" as reproduced in the twelfth century Priory seal. (Vide Fig. C, page 73) The combination of a hospital with a church, suggested by the island and the vision, was realized in Rahere's double foundation on his return to England. Until the time of the Dissolution the corporate body of the hospital, and the staff for attendance upon the patients, were identical, and consisted of a master, eight brethren, and four sisters, all living in obedience to the Augustinian rule. Unfortunately no record is preserved of the grant of the site, or of the deed of endowment; but a Charter granted by Henry I in 1133 is extant, conferring certain privileges on the church, prior, canons, and poor of the hospital. (Vide ante chap. i.) The annexation of the hospital to the priory was subsequently confirmed by a Charter of King John in the fifth year of his reign, which remained in force without material change till the separation effected under Henry VIII. The connection involved the presentation of each newly elected Master to the Prior of St. Bartholomew's, or, if he refused institution, to the Bishop of London; the assent of the prior and canons being, however, required before any one could become a member of the Hospital Society. The Act of 1539 superseded all previous legislation affecting the monastic foundations; the Priory and Hospital were separated; and the revenues of both transferred to the royal exchequer. But on the petition of Sir Richard Gresham, Lord Mayor of London, and father of Sir Thomas Gresham, the Hospital was refounded by royal charter—27th December, 1546, 38 Henry VIII—which restored the greater part of its former revenues, in consideration of

the miserable estate of the poore, aged, sick, low, and impotent people, as well men as women, lying and going about begging in the common streets of the said City of London and the suburbs of the same, to the great paine and sorrowe of the same poore, aged, sick, and impotent people, and to the great infection, hurt, and annoyance of His Grace's loving subjects, which of necessity must daily goe and pass by the same poore, sick, low, and impotent people, being infected with divers great and horrible sicknesses and diseases.

The Indenture goes on to convey to the mayor, commonalty, and citizens of London the buildings formerly belonging to the Grey Friars as well as

the late Hospital of St. Bartholomew, in West Smithfield, otherwise called the Hospital of Little St. Bartholomew, and the Church of the same, and all the manors, parsonages, messuages, lands, tithes, advowsons, and hereditaments, late part of the possession of the said Hospital

with certain specified exceptions which the charity had to lose, and no longer form part of its history. The immediate result was that the Church of the Grey Friars became the parish church of Christ Church, Newgate, and the chapel pertaining to the hospital (the survivor of four, three of which were alienated) the parish church of Little St. Bartholomew, now more familiarly known as St. Bartholomew-the-Less. Two priests were then attached to it, one called the vicar, who was granted a mansion and a stipend of L13 6s. 8d. per annum; the other, the hospitaller or visitor, whose stipend was fixed at L10. The accommodation of the hospital at that time was for one hundred poor men and women, lodging within it, under the superintendence of a single matron, with twelve women assistants. It is interesting to compare these figures with those of the present day, when the hospital contains as many as six hundred and seventy beds, with three hundred and fifty nurses on the staff, and every year relieves over one hundred and fifty thousand poor sick people, besides maintaining a convalescent home, with seventy beds, at Kettlewell, Swanley, Kent.[2]

The hospital chapel, converted into a parish church after the Dissolution, had fallen into a very dilapidated state towards the end of the eighteenth century. In the year 1789 the restoration of the building was committed to Mr. George Dance, then architect and surveyor to the hospital. He made a considerable alteration in the interior by ruthlessly destroying the old work, for which he substituted an octagonal structure, within the rectangular plan, allowing the external walls to remain in their original form, with the square tower which still stands at the western end—the whole enveloped in a coating of cement. The internal erection was entirely in wood, ingeniously carved and coloured to resemble stone; but the false economy of it was soon manifested in dry-rot, which spread to such an alarming extent that a reconstruction became necessary. The rebuilding was taken in hand in 1823 by Mr. Thomas Hardwick, who had a much better knowledge of pointed architecture than his predecessor. He removed the whole of the timber, substituting stone and iron for it, and while adhering to Mr. Dance's general design, improved upon it by introducing fresh details of his own, more in harmony with the fabric in which it was enclosed. The church has since been restored, but the incongruity is still obvious enough, especially from the outside, where the octagon projects above the ancient walls, and the small pentagonal chancel beyond them at the eastern end.

The entrance is by a low Tudor doorway in the tower, which still bears traces of the original work. On the pavement of the vestibule there is an interesting brass, with the figures of William Markeby and his wife, and an inscription which now reads: "Hic jacent Will'mo Markeby de Londiniis gentlemo' qui obiit XI die Julii A. D'ni MCCCCXXXIX et Alicia uxor ei," the concluding words "quorum animabus propitietur Deus. Amen" having been erased.[3] There are two other ancient memorials in this part of the church which call for special notice, viz.: on the north wall, within the present vestry, a niche contains the figure of an angel bearing a shield of arms, beneath which another shield, surmounted by a crown, and upheld by two angels, displays the arms of Edward the Confessor impaled with those of England. And against the western wall there is a good example of a canopied altar-tomb, in the Tudor style, with a memorial tablet (1741) inserted in it, which is obviously much later than the tomb itself. This is said to have originally stood at the eastern end of the south wall, where it was discovered during the eighteenth century reconstruction, and then deprived of its ornamental projections, where the marks of the chisel are seen upon the surface.

At the eastern end of the north wall there is a tablet to the memory of the wife of Sir Thomas Bodley, whose name has been given to the famous library at Oxford. The curious old stone beneath it, which was discovered during the alterations, and then affixed to the wall, has the double interest of great antiquity and a puzzling inscription beginning, "Ecce sub hoc tumulo Guliemus conditur."

The exterior of the church, though spoilt by the composition laid over the walls, has still a certain interest as part of the original fabric, and still contains the arches of most of the old windows, viz., three on each side, one at the west end, another immediately over the doorway, and four in the uppermost storey of the tower. There were originally four windows on each side, but those in the easternmost bays have been removed, and the spaces filled up. Besides containing the memorials above mentioned, the vestibule has more architectural interest than any other part of the building in the surviving arches on the northern and eastern sides of the space beneath the tower. Here there is an aggregation of columns, with moulded bases and capitals, and banded in the centre, varied by the introduction of half-length shafts resting on sculptured corbels. The central area is nearly square, but has been formed into an octagon by an arcading, on a series of clustered columns, from each of which spring the moulded ribs of the ceiling. These ribs are of Bath stone, and after an elaborate intertwining, are brought together above in a central boss, from which hangs a large brass corona to light the church. The roof is of iron, the panels within the groining being overlaid with plaster. Above the main arcade there is a clerestory of dwarfed windows, filled with tinted glass in an ornamental framework, as are also the side windows, excepting those nearest the east. These display a selection of Scripture miracles. There are three painted windows over the altar, the central containing scenes from the life of Christ, those to the north and south representing the Old and New Testaments respectively. To the north of the recess forming the sanctuary there is an alabaster pulpit,[4] and on the south stands a small organ.

Services are held at eleven and five o'clock on Sundays, and the church is open every day for private devotion. It is provided with seats to accommodate about 200 people. The present vicar and hospitaller is the Rev. Herbert Skillicorn Close, M.A.


[1] St. Bartholomew was first interred at Albanopolis, in Greater Armenia, the scene of his passion, and his remains were afterwards translated successively to Daras, a city on the confines of Persia; to the island of Lipari; and to Beneventum. There is a tradition that his relics were eventually conveyed to Rome, but exactly where they were laid is uncertain.

[2] A full account of the hospital, brought down to 1837, is given in the Report of the Charity Commissioners on "Charities in England," issued in that year (vide No. 32, part vi), and since reprinted by Messrs. Wyman and Sons. Dr. Norman Moore is now engaged in writing a new history to the present time. The name of the first patient is recorded in the "Liber Fundationis" as "Adwyne of Dunwych."

[3] At the time of Stow's survey the church contained many brasses and monuments which have disappeared; but a tolerably complete account of them may be obtained by adding the descriptions supplied by Weever ("Funeral Monuments") and Gough ("Sepulchral Monuments," vol. ii) to those given by the old chronicler.

[4] There was formerly a chapel in the north-east corner.

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Fig. A. Twelfth century. Sulphur cast from fine impression, the edge chipped. About 3-1/8 x 2 in. when perfect.

Pointed oval: St. Bartholomew standing, with nimbus, lifting up the right hand in benediction, in the left hand a long cross.

... HOSPITALIS SANCTI ... HOLOME ... (3487. lxviii. 45.)

Fig. B. Twelfth century. Sulphur cast from imperfect impression. About 21/2 x 21/4 in. when perfect.

Oval: St. Bartholomew, with nimbus, lifting up the right hand in benediction, in the left hand a long cross. The saint is half length on the section of a church, with round-headed arches, and two circular side-towers.

[Symbol: Maltese Cross] SIGILL' CONVENTUS ECC ... HOLO ... I. DE. LVDON. (3488. lxviii. 22.)

Fig. C. A Counterseal. Twelfth century. Sulphur cast, 13/4 in. A church, with central tower, a cross at each gable end, and two tall round-headed arches in the wall, standing on a ship of antique shape, with curved prow and stern, each terminating in a bird's head, on the sea. In a field over the tower, the inscription: NAVIS ECCL'IE. On the left a wavy estoile of six points, on the right a crescent.


Fig. D. Later Seal. Thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Sulphur cast from imperfect impression. About 3 x 1-7/8 in.

Pointed oval: St. Bartholomew standing on a lion couchant guardant, in the right hand a knife, his emblem, in the left hand a book. Overhead, a trefoil canopy pinacled and crocketed. On each side in the field a tree on which is slung by the strap a shield of arms: England.

S'C ... E. HOSPITAL ... SANCTI : BARTH'I. LONDON'. (3490. lxviii. 46.)

Fig. E. A Counterseal. Thirteenth century. Sulphur cast from chipped impression. 1-1/4 x 7/8 in.

Pointed oval: the impression of an antique oval intaglio gem. An eagle displayed.

[Symbol: Maltese Cross] SI ... HOSPITAL'. S. BARTHOL'. (3491. lxviii. 47.)

Fig. F. Common Seal of the Prior and Convent. A.D. 1533. Bronze-green: fine, showing marks of the pins or studs employed to keep the two sides of the matrix in proper position, 2-1/8 in.

Obverse. St. Bartholomew, seated on a carved throne (somewhat resembling the throne on the obv. of the great seal of Edward I), in the right hand a book, in the left hand a knife. In the field, on the left a crescent, on the right an estoile, each between two groups of three small spots (the whole representing the heavens). Thirteenth century style of work.

[Symbol: Six-petals] SIGILLVM : COMMVNE : PRIOR' : ET : CŌVĒTV[S : SCI : BA]RTHOLOMEI : LONDON'. (3492 and Harl. Ch. 83 A. 43.)

Fig. G. Reverse of the same seal. A church, with central spire, a cross at each gable end, masoned walls imitating ashlar-work, and traceried windows, standing on a ship with a castle at each end, that on the left pointed, that on the right square, on the sea.

In the field at the sides, the inscription:


Beaded borders. ("Vetusta Monumenta," vol. ii, pl. xxxvi.)

Fig. H. Seal ad Causas. Fourteenth century. Sulphur cast from imperfect impression. 2-3/8 x 1-1/2 in.

Pointed oval: St. Bartholomew standing on a corbel, in the right hand a knife, in the left hand a long cross.

... ET CONV ... THOL'I LOND' AD CAVS ... (3495. lxviii. 26.)

Fig. I. Seal of the New Foundation for Preaching Friars, by Queen Mary. A.D. 1556-1558. 2-1/2 x 1-5/8 in.

Pointed oval: St. Bartholomew, standing, with nimbus, in the right hand a knife, in the left hand a book, under a dome-shaped baldachin or canopy in the style of the Renaissance, supported on two pilasters. In the exergue a floral ornament.


Inner border beaded.

(From an impression taken direct from the matrix in the Church. There is an example on red sealing-wax in the British Museum.—3496. XXV. 88; see also "Archaeologia," vol. XV, p. 400.)

Later Seal of the Hospital. A.D. 1695. Red, covered with paper before impression. 3 in. (3498, and Add. Ch. 1685.)

Fig. K. Obverse. St. Bartholomew, full-length, surrounded with radiance, lifting up the right hand in benediction, in the left hand a long cross.

[Symbol: Maltese Cross] COMM ... SIGILLV HOSPITAL' APOSTOLI.

Fig. L. Reverse. A shield of arms: City of London.

In the field, the inscriptions: 1[66]1 (?). INSIGNIA LONDO.

Background diapered with wavy branches of foliage.

... EST SMITHFIELD [Symbol: Fleur] ET [Symbol: Fleur] HOSPITALI ...

With the exception of the Marian seal (Fig. I), the illustrations come from the impressions in the British Museum, whose catalogue numbers are given in every case for convenient reference.



Rahere 1123-1144 Thomas 1144-1174 Roger about 1174 Richard 1202-1206 G. of Osney 1213 John 1226-1232 Gerard 1232-1241 Peter le Duc 1242-1255 Robert 1255-1261 Gilbert de Weledon 1261-1263 John Bacun 1265 Henry Hugh 1273-1295 John de Kensington 1295-1316 John de Pekenden 1316-1350 Edmund de Broughyng 1350-1355 John de Carleton 1355-1361 Thomas de Watford 1361-1382 William Gedeney 1382-1391 John Eyton, D.D., alias Repyngdon 1391-1404 John Watford 1404-1414 William Coventre 1414-1436 Reginald Colier 1436-1471 Richard Pulter 1471-1480 Robert Tollerton 1480-1484 William Guy 1484-1505 William Bolton 1505-1532 Robert Fuller, Abbot of Waltham 1532-1539

Priory suppressed, 31 Henry VIII 25th October, 1539 Priory revived, 2 and 3 Philip and Mary Easter, 1556


William Perrin, D.D. 1556-1558

Priory suppressed, I Elizabeth 13th July, 1559


John Deane {Parish Priest 1539-1544 {Rector 1544-1563 Ralph Watson 1565-1569 Robert Binks 1570-1579 James Stancliffe, M.A. 1581 John Pratt 1582-1587 David Dee, M.A. 1587-1605 Thomas Westfield, D.D., Bishop of Bristol 1605-1644 John Garrett, M.A. 1644-1655 Randolph Harrison, D.D. 1655-1663 Anthony Burgess, M.A. 1663-1709 John Poultney, M.A. 1709-1719 Thomas Spateman, M.A. 1719-1738 Richard Thomas Bateman 1738-1761 John Moore, M.A. 1761-1768 Owen Perrott Edwardes, M.A. 1768-1814 John Richard Roberts, B.D. 1814-1819 John Abbiss, M.A. 1819-1883 William Panckridge, M.A. 1884-1887 Sir Borradaile Savory, Bart., M.A. 1887-1906 William Fitzgerald Gambier Sandwith, M.A. 1907


Capt. F. A. Phillips.



"Certayne things appertaining to the Churche as followethe:—

Imprimis a comunion cloth of redd silke and goulde. Itm a comunion coppe (cup) of silver withe a cover. Itm a beriall cloth of red velvet and a pulpitte clothe of the same. Itm two grene velvet quishins (cushions). Itm a blewe velvet cope. Itm a blewe silke cope. Itm a white lynnen abe (albe) and a hedd clothe (amice) to the same. Itm a vestment of tawney velvet. Itm a vestment of redd rought velvet. Itm a vestment of grene silke with a crosse garde of red velvet. Itm a crosse banner of redd tafata gilted. Itm two stoles of redd velvet. Itm two white surplices. Itm two comunion table clothers. Itm two comunion towels. Itm one olde bible. Itm one great booke. Itm one olde sarvice booke for the minister."



The organ now at St. Bartholomew's, where it supersedes one purchased by subscription in 1731, was originally built by George England in 1760 for the Church of St. Stephen, Walbrook. Considerable work was there done upon it by Messrs. William Hill and Son in 1872, viz:

I. The pipes of Great and Choir stops were replanted, CC pipes over the GG grooves, and the compass altered to CC to G throughout.

II. The following alterations were made in the Great organ: Open Diapason (ii) extended from gamut G to CC. Mixture replaced by new pipes where required. New Trumpet inserted, and the old one transferred to Swell.

Choir. Dulciana (new) C (grooved). Keraulophon (new) C (grooved). Clarinet CC.

Swell. New soundboard (CC to G), swell-box and new action. New Bourdon, 16 feet. Cornet made into 12 and 15 feet. New mixture—four ranks. German Flute revoiced. Old Great organ Trumpet arranged to form Double Trumpet from tenor C. All stops, except German Flute and Double Trumpet, carried down to CC.

Pedal. Bourdon, new, 16 feet. Open Diapason, 16 feet (compass arranged CCC to F thirty notes). Trombone, new, 16 feet.

Couplers. New, Swell to Great, Great to Pedal, Swell to Pedal, Choir to Pedal, Swell to Choir. New keyboards. New Pedal keyboard. New Drawstop knobs. New additional bellows. Five new Composition Pedals (three to Great organ, and two to Swell organ).

Specification of the instrument after the above-mentioned work was done.


Open Diapason (i) 8 feet Open Diapason (ii) 8 " Stopped Diapason 8 " Principal 4 " Twelfth 2-2/3 " Fifteenth 2 " Nason Flute 4 " Furniture. Sesquialtra. Trumpet 8 " Clarion 8 "


Bourdon 16 feet Open Diapason 8 " German Flute 8 " Stopped Diapason 8 " Principal 4 " Twelfth 2-2/3 " Fifteenth 2 " Double Trumpet (C) 16 " Trumpet 8 " Oboe 8 " Clarion 4 "


Dulciana 8 feet Keraulophon (C grooved) 8 " Stopped Diapason 8 " Principal 4 " Flute 4 " Fifteenth 2 " French Horn tenor F# 8 " Vox Humana 8 " Clarinet 8 "


Open Diapason 16 feet Bourdon 16 " Trombone 16 "


Swell to Great. Swell to Choir. Swell to Pedal. Great to Pedal. Choir to Pedal.

Three Composition Pedals to Great. Two Composition Pedals to Swell.

In 1886 the organ was purchased from St. Stephen's, Walbrook, for St. Bartholomew-the-Great, where a new case was made for it, the original being retained at St. Stephen's, for the sake of the carving, attributed to the famous Grinling Gibbons. Several alterations were then made in the instrument to adapt it to its new position, and at the present time the specification is as follows:


Open Diapason (i) 8 feet Open Diapason (ii) 8 " Stopped Diapason 8 " Principal 4 " Wald-Flute 4 " Twelfth 2-2/3 " Fifteenth 2 " Mixture (4 ranks). Furniture (3 ranks). Trumpet 8 " Clarion 4 "


Dulciana 8 feet Keraulophon 8 " Hohl Flute 8 " Gamba 8 " Suabe Flute 4 " Fifteenth 2 " French Horn 8 " Clarinet 8 " Vox Humana 8 "


Bourdon 16 feet Open Diapason 8 " German Flute 8 " Stopped Diapason 8 " Vox Angelica 8 " Principal 4 " Fifteenth 2 " Mixture (4 ranks). Double Trumpet 16 " Trumpet 8 " Oboe 8 " Clarion 4 "


Open Diapason 16 feet Bourdon 16 " Trombone 16 "


Swell to Great. Swell to Choir. Great to Pedal. Choir to Pedal. Swell to Pedal.

Five Combination Pedals.

* * * * *


Ambulatory, 50. Anthony, Francis, 52, and note.

Bartholomew Fair, 7, and note. Bells, 28. Belmeis, Bishop Richard de. 5. Black Friars, Dominican Order of, 13, and note.

Canonbury House, 43 (note). Canons Regular of St. Augustine, 6, and note. Choir, 40. Clerestory, 44. Cloister, 58. Crypt, 57.

Dimensions of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, 84. —— of St. Bartholomew-the-Less, 71.

Early English columns, 33. —— gateway, 26. Exterior of the Church, 25, et seq.

Font, 39.

Grindal, Bishop Edmund, 16.

History of the Foundation, 3, et seq. Hogarth, William, 39. "Horseshoe" arches, 40. Hospital, 63, et seq.

Lady Chapel, 10, 55.

Monasteries in London at the Dissolution, 13. Monuments: Anthony, 52. Chamberlayne, 48. Freshwater, 40. Mildmay, 54. Savory, 57 (note). Smalpace, 49.

Nave, surviving bay of, 33.

Oriel Window (Prior Bolton's), 10, 43. Organ, Specifications of, 80-82. —— Screen, 33.

Porches: West, 26. North, 28. South, 39. Priors, list of, 77-78. Priory Buildings, conjectural plan of, 14. —— Desecration of, 17-20. Pulpit, 48.

Rahere: Early life, 3. Conversion, 4. Vision and vow, 4. Realized in the Smithfield Foundation, 5. Charter of privileges granted, 6. Death, 8. Tomb, 45.

Rectors, list of, 78. Restoration of the Church, 20-22. Rich, Sir Richard, 12, 16.

St. Bartholomew-the-Less and the Hospital, 64, et seq. Savory, Sir Borradaile, Memorials to, 27, 48, 57 (notes). Seals of the Convent and Hospital, 73-77. Services at the Church, 30. Smithfield, 5. Stone Screen (ancient), 38. Surrender of the Priory to Henry VIII, 10.

Tower (ancient central) and arches, 35. —— (17th century western), 27. Transepts: North, 35. South, 38. Triforium, 43.

Vestments, Inventory of, 79.

West Front, 26.

* * * * *



CHOIR: Length 105 feet 2 inches Breadth 27 " 8 "

AMBULATORY: Breadth 12 " 10 "

NAVE (surviving bay): From east to west 8 " 3 "

NORTH TRANSEPT: From east to west 27 " 8 " From north to south 19 " 3 "

SOUTH TRANSEPT: From east to west 27 " 4 " From north to south 21 " 6 "

LADY CHAPEL: Length 60 " 6 " Breadth 23 " 7 "

CLOISTER (three bays restored): Length 38 " 8 " Breadth 13 " 2 "


* * * * *


Profusely Illustrated. Cloth, crown 8vo, #1s. 6d.# net each.


ENGLISH CATHEDRALS. An Itinerary and Description. Compiled by J. G. GILCHRIST, A.M., M.D. Revised and edited with an Introduction on Cathedral Architecture by Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A., F.R.A.S. BANGOR. By P. B. IRONSIDE-BAX. BRISTOL. By H. J. L. J. MASSE, M.A. CANTERBURY. By HARTLEY WITHERS. 4th Edition. CARLISLE. By C. K. ELEY. CHESTER. By CHARLES HIATT. 2nd Edition, revised. CHICHESTER. By H. C. CORLETTE, A.R.I.B.A. 2nd Edition. DURHAM. By J. E. BYGATE, A.R.C.A. 2nd Edition. ELY. By Rev. W. D. SWEETING, M.A. 2nd Edition. EXETER. By PERCY ADDLESHAW, B.A. 2nd Edition. GLOUCESTER. By H. J. L. J. MASSE, M.A. 2nd Edition. HEREFORD. By A. HUGH FISHER, A.R.E. 2nd Edition, revised. LICHFIELD. By A. B. CLIFTON. 2nd Edition, revised. LINCOLN. By A. F. KENDRICK, B.A. 3rd Edition, revised. LLANDAFF. By E. C. MORGAN-WILLMOTT. MANCHESTER. By the Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A., F.R.A.S. NORWICH. By C. H. B. QUENNELL. 2nd Edition. OXFORD. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER, M.A. 2nd Edition, revised. PETERBOROUGH. By Rev. W. D. SWEETING, M.A. 2nd Edition. RIPON. By CECIL HALLET, B.A. ROCHESTER. By G. H. PALMER, B.A. 2nd Edition. ST. ALBANS. By Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A. ST. ASAPH. By P. B. IRONSIDE-BAX. ST. DAVID'S. By PHILIP ROBSON, A.R.I.B.A. ST. PATRICK'S, DUBLIN. By the Very Rev. Dean BERNARD. 2nd Edition. ST. PAUL'S. By Rev. ARTHUR DIMOCK, M.A. 2nd Edition. SALISBURY. By GLEESON WHITE. 2nd Edition, revised. SOUTHWARK, ST. SAVIOUR'S. By GEORGE WORLEY. SOUTHWELL. By Rev. ARTHUR DIMOCK, M.A. 2nd Edition. WELLS. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER, M.A. 2nd Edition, revised. WINCHESTER. By P. W. SERGEANT. 3rd Edition, revised. WORCESTER. By EDWARD F. STRANGE. YORK. By A. GLUTTON BROCK. 3rd Edition.

Others to follow.

* * * * *

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Bell's Handbooks to Continental Churches.

Profusely Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth, #2s. 6d.# net each.

CHARTRES: The Cathedral and Other Churches. By H. J. L. J. MASSE, M.A. ROUEN: The Cathedral and Other Churches. By the Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A. AMIENS. By the Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A., F.R.A.S. PARIS (NOTRE-DAME). By CHARLES HIATT. MONT ST. MICHEL. By H. J. L. J. MASSE, M.A. BAYEUX. By the Rev. R. S. MYLNE, M.A.

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Transcriber's Notes:

1. Words and phrases which were italicized in the original have been surrounded by underscores ('_') in this version. Words or phrases which were bolded have been surrounded by pound signs ('#').

2. Obvious printer's errors have been corrected without note.

3. Inconsistencies in hyphenation or the spelling of proper names, and dialect or obsolete word spelling, has been maintained as in the original.

4. Special characters and symbols have been represented as follows:

Single characters with line above: x, where x is the character. Solid Maltese cross: [Symbol : Maltese Cross] Line drawing of a six-petaled flower: [Symbol : 6-Petal] Line drawing of a fleur-de-lis: [Symbol: Fleur]


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