The architecture of All Hallows

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English Heritage

Publication

Author

Lilian J. Redstone

Year published

1929

Pages

54-66

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'The architecture of All Hallows', Survey of London: volume 12: The parish of All Hallows Barking, part I: The Church of All Hallows (1929), pp. 54-66. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=100062 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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III.—ARCHITECTURE

(1) General Description

The Parish Church of All Hallows Barking stands on the north side of Great Tower Street. The walls are of ragstone and other rubble with dressings of limestone; the tower is of brick; the roofs are covered with slate and lead.

The church has a particular interest because it is one of the few London churches that escaped the Great Fire; but the cumulative effect of a series of drastic restorations has been very largely to obliterate the structural evidences of the development of the building.

Of the church given by Riculf to the monks of Rochester in the 12th century, or of any earlier building, there are no certain traces. Further research may, however, at a future date throw light upon architectural remains which have been recently revealed. The probable extent of Riculf's church covered the present Nave and the first two bays of the Chancel. Whether it had aisles it is impossible to say.

As far as one can judge, this Norman church was entirely rebuilt in the 13th century. The new church certainly had aisles, and the earliest parts of the present structure are the north and south arcades of the Nave which differ slightly in detail, but appear to date from about the middle of the 13th century or perhaps earlier, while the east wall is probably of early 14th-century date, and this is in all likelihood also the period of the framework of the much-restored east window which escaped the rebuilding in 1634–5, referred to later.

The next addition to the 13th-century structure may have been the extension of its north and south aisles as far as the first pier from the east end of the existing Chancel. This position is suggested by the comparative narrowness of the eastern arches of the Chancel.

The existence of the recently discovered Crypt, under the east end of the South Chapel (which is probably work of the middle of the 14th century) shows that the Chancel had at least a South Chapel, and there may have been a similar one on the north side, both of narrower breadth than the present Chapels. At the entrance to the Chancel traces have been discovered of a wall running north and south which perhaps indicates the site of the original Chancel arch.

About the middle of the 15th century the North (?) and South Chapels were rebuilt and widened and the present north and south arcades of the Chancel inserted; at the same time the eastern bays of the Nave arcades had their spans increased by the setting eastwards of their eastern responds which were rebuilt and incorporated with the western responds of the Chancel arcades. The date is substantiated by the will of John Cok, who died in 1440 and bequeathed a sum of money for "new building" provided that the work was started within two years. Money for reconstructing the church roof had been given in 1410. (fn. 1) The north and south aisles of the Nave are also of the 15th century, and they were almost certainly widened and extended westwards when the 13th-century aisles were removed.

Other work of the 15th or early 16th century includes the raising of the Clearstorey and the consequent heightening of the east wall. In 1547 (fn. 2) church plate was sold to the value of £77, and £37 was spent in repairing the church.

In 1634–5 the Nave arcades were remodelled, their appearance being altered by the fitting of new capitals to most of the columns and responds which were heightened about two feet. We have already been told how the work was done under Mr. Goodwin, the mathematician. It included the "making newe" of all the upper windows and several side windows, painting and gilding the Nave roof (which seems to have been a new one throughout) and the resetting of the glass in the great east window. All this was done with outside advice. Mr. Stone, the King's Surveyor, gave his help in return for his score at the Rose Tavern, and for a "roundlett of canarie wine" costing £1 8s. In the collection of the London County Council are two pencil sketches (Plate 19) by J. Carter, dated 1770. They show the old ceiling and the new one constructed at that date (see below).

In 1649–50 the church was injured by the terrible explosion near its south side (see p. 45). The tower was much shaken and nine years afterwards had to be taken down, a new tower at the west end of the nave being built in 1658–9. The position of the old steeple is rather uncertain. The map ascribed to Agas shows it at the end of the south aisle, so does Faithorne's view, drawn probably between 1643 and 1647, also Hollar's large view published at Antwerp in the latter year. Maskell on page 24 of his account says: "The site of the steeple was changed from the west end of the south aisle to the west end of the nave." Again, in a recent digging close to the present tower, no remains of medieval foundations came to light. On the other hand, the present clearstorey window at the south-west end of the nave, unless it be a later insertion, hardly leaves room for a south-west steeple, and the bird's-eye view of the Tower of London and its neighbourhood by Haiward and Gascoyne, 1597 (see illustration before text), shows the steeple at the end of the nave. (fn. 3)

In 1704–5 the south gallery was taken down and the organ gallery enlarged, pews over 4 ft. high being erected. The organ was again enlarged in 1720, when a choir organ was added. A Committee for Repairs was set up in 1769, and between that year and 1778 the roof of the Nave was lowered and slated, painted and gilded. The aisle roofs were slated and newceiled. The pews of the churchwardens and overseers were removed and the altar-piece was painted and coloured.

The East Vestry was probably added about the end of the 17th century or later, when the fittings of the church were renewed. The earliest reference found to a Vestry is in the will of Thomas a Wode, who desired in 1468 to be buried in the churchyard of All Hallowe Berkyng of London in the "place where ye westiary is." (fn. 4)

A drastic modern restoration was that of 1814 when no less than £5313 was expended. A new peal of eight bells cost in all £653 12s., and the Nave roof was renewed in deal and plaster, but apparently on somewhat similar lines to the "new ceiling" sketched by Carter in 1770, the Vestry was altered and the walls of the church generally were lowered. The battlements shown by West and Toms (Frontispiece) had disappeared by 1803 (see Whichelo's Drawing, Plate No. 2). Other restorations took place in 1836.

In 1862–3 the widening of Tower Street caused the destruction of the Vicarage which Dr. Layfield had rebuilt at the south-west corner of the church. A south porch and south doorway were then removed, the latter resembling in style the present north doorway. An octagonal Turret leading up to the roof and perhaps to a room over the Porch was also cut off (see Plate No. 16), but inside the church the Turret doorway can still be seen. The south wall of the Churchyard was then set back by 10 feet and the wall on the north and that on the east in Barking Alley by four feet.

In 1883, soon after the Rev. A. J. Mason (now Canon Mason, D.D.) became Vicar, very important alterations were taken in hand under the direction of the late Mr. J. L. Pearson, architect, and continued during many years. A high-pitched roof was placed over the Nave, the aisles were reroofed, and the organ gallery altered. There was already a modern brick building over the Porch. This was removed, as well as two shops to the west of it, and at Canon Mason's expense the present important stone structure was added, extending on each side of the porch and having one storey above it. To judge from the preface to a pamphlet called Berkyinge-chirche All Hallows by the Tower (1927) the work of restoration was in progress from 1884 to 1895.

(2) Detailed Description

Chancel

The Chancel (39½ ft. by 24 ft.) has an east window of five lights and a traceried two-centred head in the style of the early 14th century. The internal splayed jambs are in part ancient, but the mullions and tracery are modern restorations possibly on the old lines.

The east wall dates from the same century, and in its south part contains a doorway (below the window) which is probably of late 17th- or early 18th-century date opening into the East Vestry.

In the side walls of the Chancel are mid-15th-century arcades of three bays, the easternmost bay on each side having a two-centred arch, the others being four-centred. While the easternmost arch on the north side is slightly lower than its fellow, that on the opposite wall is slightly higher, the string courses marking the base of the Clearstorey stepping downwards and upwards respectively above these arches. The cause of these breaks in the levels is not now evident.

The arches are symmetrically moulded, having on each face a central filleted roll, flanked by deep casements dividing it from the innermost and outermost orders, which consist of a hollow chamfer and an ogee mould. The responds and piers are composed of round shafts separated by hollows and enclosing a filleted roll which is continuous with those of the arches. The shafts have moulded capitals (changing in the bell from a round to a semi-octagonal plan) and moulded bases, with semi-octagonal sub-bases on plinths. The arches have moulded labels towards the Chancel which mitre at the top with the string course of the Clearstorey.

The Clearstorey is lighted on each side by three windows; the easternmost is of two and the others of three lights, all under four-centred heads with segmental pointed rear arches. Their design is probably contemporary with the Chancel, but they were renewed in the 17th century, with Mr. Goodwin, the mathematician, as architect; £400 was expended upon the work.

The North Chapel (or Chancel aisle), 19½ feet wide, has an east window of four lights under a segmental pointed head; the jambs and mullions are moulded, the former having a comparatively deep casement. In the second and third bays of the north wall are similar windows, but these are of three lights. All have external hood moulds. They were renewed probably in the 17th century and again to some extent later.

The South Chapel (20 feet wide) has an east window and three south windows similar to those of the North Chapel, but differing slightly in the internal mouldings of the jambs.

It is interesting to note that, whereas the windows in the north aisle have obtusely pointed heads, those on the south side are rounded. It is probable that the south aisle may have suffered rather badly in the great explosion of 1649, and that wholesale repair of the damage at that time accounts for the slight deviation in style.

Nave

The Nave (57 feet average by 24 feet) is undivided structurally from the Chancel. It has north and south arcades, the northern and longer arcade being of four bays, the southern of three, the difference being caused by the encroachment of the south-west building next the church. The arcades date from about 1230–40, and differ slightly in workmanship, that on the south having three chamfers, while there are only two on the north side, though both arcades are really of two orders. They retain their cylindrical columns, but there are indications that some of them may have been rebuilt later. The westernmost column and the west respond of the north arcade and the western respond of the south arcade (which seems to have been rebuilt in the 15th century) retain the original 13th-century bell capitals, but the other columns have had their original capitals removed and have been heightened some 2 feet and fitted with moulded capitals of early 17th-century date. These are raised above the original springing levels at the expense of the arches which lost their springing stones when this work was carried out. (fn. 5) The arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders. It is noticeable that the easternmost bay on either side is of wider span than the others. This was probably caused by the displacement of the 13thcentury responds when the 15th-century Chancel arcades were built, but may have had a practical reason in the accommodation of the rood-loft and screen. (fn. 6) The existing responds correspond with the circular columns of the arcade, but the stone courses continue through with those of the Chancel arcades and are rather deeper than the 13th-century coursing. When this alteration was carried out the moving of the responds eastwards necessitated a rebuilding of the arches. On the north side only the eastern half of the arch appears to have been reconstructed, thus throwing the apex out of centre and giving the whole arch a rather distorted appearance. But on the south side perhaps rather more than half the arch was rebuilt, making it almost a four-centred one, instead of two-centred, with the apex more or less central.

All the other arches appear to have been rebuilt either in the 15th or early in the 16th century (certainly before the early 17th-century changes), but a number of the original small voussoirs of the 13th century are incorporated in this work. The bases of the columns have been cut away.

The Clearstorey has on either side a 15th-century moulded string course above the arcade, and is lighted by four windows on each side, uniform with those of the Chancel. They are very much restored.

Aisles

The north and south aisles of the Nave are structurally continuous with the North and South Chapels, and their windows correspond in detail with those described above. The north aisle has a window in each of the first two bays, but not set centrally, and a doorway behind the panelling in the first bay, which doubtless gave access to the Rood. In the third bay is a 15th-century doorway which has a four-centred arch under a square head with a moulded label. The spandrels of the head are quatre-foiled and carved, the eastern with a lozenge-shaped flower, the western with a rose. In the fourth bay is a blocked window not visible internally, but with the exterior exposed inside the modern chamber which covers the bay. A window, similar to that in the east, occupies the west wall, which on plan is canted outwards from north to south so as to continue the line of the Tower, thus causing an irregular addition to the fourth bay in line with the north arcade. The wall here is carried on a segmental arch blocked by the north wall of the Tower, and the respond suggests the termination of the 13th-century Nave. The fourth bay and this extension are cut off from the aisle to form a Vestry to the north of the Tower, which has a modern doorway opening into the modern north-west addition. The south aisle has two windows similar to those of the South Chapel in the first two bays. The third or westernmost bay has been mutilated by cutting off the south-west corner when Tower Street was widened in 1862–3. It is built on the cant and contains the modern south entrance (referred to on page 56). In this bay, east of the entrance, is a smaller doorway of the 15th century of plain detail with a four-centred arch. This has been recently disclosed by the removal of the wall panelling, and at one time opened into the staircase which led to the roof or perhaps to an upper room above the South Porch which was removed about 1862–3. (fn. 7) The west wall has no windows.

Tower

The present Tower (9½ ft. by 11 ft.), built in 1659, is of brick and is of four stages, marked externally by brick bands, and is finished with a modern plain parapet. The Tower is not placed centrally with the Nave and lines with the canted west wall of the north aisle, its axis thus making a noticeable deviation to the north from that of the Nave; it is also considerably narrower than the Nave.

The ground-stage has, in the east wall, a round-headed archway opening into the Nave, and in the west wall a round-headed doorway above which is a small oval window, both included internally under one square head. Externally the doorway has plain raised imposts and key block, and the window is set in a simple rectangular architrave.

The circular staircase of timber is set in a semicircular sinking in the south-west angle of the Tower walls, the inner semicircle being protected only by an open wood framing. The second stage has in the west wall a round-headed window with a wooden frame and two pointed and transomed lights. The third stage has a similar west window. The bellchamber has in each face a round-headed louvred opening with wooden frame and two transomed lights. Set on the centre of the Tower is a square timber lantern or cupola covered with lead and having two round-headed lights on each face. The lantern has a moulded cornice and a square dome with a ball and weather-vane at the top.

Crypt

The Crypt, under the east half of the South Chapel, was opened out in 1927, and is now fitted up as a Chapel. It is probably of mid-14th-century date. It has a semicircular barrel vault, divided into five narrow bays by chamfered ribs of stone, the in-filling being of chalk, which is also the material of the side walls (north and south). In the east wall is an 18th- or 19thcentury doorway, the north jamb of which is of brick and the south jamb a rebated one of older stone—possibly the remains of an earlier doorway in situ. It opens into a small brick lobby from which a stairway rises to the level of the churchyard outside.

In the south wall, in the second bay from the east, is an original window of roughly chamfered stones with its rear arch groined back to the main vault. In the next bay westward are the sill and lower jamb stones of another single light, but inside the crypt the groined rear-vault has been filled in with chalk, flush with the main vault.

In the west wall, at its north end, is an original doorway, the dressings of which have been removed or have perished, now restored in chalk. From this doorway is an original straight stairway with much-perished steps which led up to the interior of the church, west of the Crypt. It is now closed over with old paving.

At the south end of the west wall is a 17th- or 18th-century opening into a small lobby of brick with a round vault also of brick, and south of the Crypt is a long narrow chamber forming a 17th-century burial vault of brick. This has a deep niche at its east end.

From the west end of the last chamber are modern steps leading up into the south aisle.

Vestry

The Vestry at the east end of the Chancel was built probably late in the 17th or early in the 18th century, but it has been completely altered and the walls rendered in cement. It has three modern windows in the east and a modern doorway in the south wall.

Recent Excavations

Excavations, made under the Nave and Tower of the church in 1928, revealed certain interesting features. Under the east end of the Nave a number of very fragmentary rubble foundations were encountered, which were too formless to give any sure indication of their former significance. Under the gallery at the west end, was found a square pier of mixed rubble set in the middle of a square enclosure of brick, leaving a space about two feet wide around the pier. The materials of the pier indicated that it was not older than the 17th century and may well have been much later Its position suggests the base for a Font, but the depth of the foundation (15 feet below the present floor-level) and the presence of the surrounding enclosure would seem to negative this explanation. Under the tower and extending into the Nave was found a considerable extent of Roman pavement consisting of plain red tesseræ, apparently all belonging to one apartment but cut across by the foundation of the east wall of the Tower and (so far) with no trace of an edge or enclosing wall of the same date on any side.

(3) Fittings

With the Exception of Memorial Brasses and Monuments which will be included in the Second Volume

Alms box.

In brass—from Christ's Hospital. On a fluted tapering brass pedestal with moulded cap and base. The sides of the box are enriched with roundels and leaves in relief. The top has two slots and an upright division between them with semi-circular top. On the upper portion of both sides of this division a shield, with the arms of Christ's Hospital and beneath it an inscription. On the one side—
It is better to give than to receive

on the other—
Let your light so shine before Men that they may see your good Works and Glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

The top of the box is inscribed—
The Gift of a Governour Sept 21st 1787

Chairs.

Two. In Chancel, of oak with richly carved backs having an upholstered centre panel, enriched frame, and turned posts with carved heads and finials. The legs are turned and have scalloped feet with a shaped and carved stretcher—late 17th century.

Cistern.

On the north side of the Tower, of lead with panelled and enriched sides, bearing a lion's head and two shields with initials ABH. The date, 1705, is placed above the panels.

Clock.

On the west face of the Tower, a carved and enriched wooden clockcase with scrolls and pediment, having a curved bracket under the supporting beam—late 17th century.

Communion rails.

Of brass with moulded rails, symmetrically turned balusters and rectangular standards, given by Ann Colleton, who died 1741.

Communion table.

Of oak with moulded and carved upper and lower rails, supported at each end by a centre post flanked by carved scrolls above and two carved eagles on pedestals, with additional brackets on the cross rail and stretcher— circa 1685. There was an earlier table presented in 1613, at which date the furniture of the church underwent complete renewal.

Doors.

Doors and lobbies to north and south entrances. The panelled north door and those to the inner lobby are now glazed and the latter have fanlights over; the inner doorways are flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters with an entablature; the sides of the lobbies are panelled—1705.

In the doorway leading to the stairway in the turret, removed about 1862–3, is a door with feathered battens and two plain strap hinges— probably 16th century.

Easter Sepulchre.

The altar tombs in the North and South Chancel Chapels are of a form which was often in use as an Easter Sepulchre, although not necessarily built for that purpose. These will be described under Monuments in the second volume, but it may be mentioned that the one to the south of the Chancel has remains of a brass representing the Resurrection.

Font and cover.

The font is a moulded bowl, of dark grey marble, with balustershaped stem and square moulded base. In 1645 it is recorded "the then font was moved from the church and replaced by a decent basin." The cover is an exceptionally fine piece of carving. Its baseboard is circular, and there appears to have been at one time an inscription on the rim containing the words" . . . Kingdom of God"; above it the cover is formed of a pyramid of oak, crowned by a dove; around this are grouped freely carved festoons of fruit and flowers, the ends divided and spreading over the baseboard; between the festoons are three finely modelled amorini. The wrought-iron bracket is of scroll and leaf work and supports the cover by means of a pulley and counterweight, the latter being moulded and chased with a floral pattern—circa 1705, or perhaps late 17th century.

Gallery.

The gallery at the west end has a modern front; it retains its old staircase with turned balusters, square newel, moulded rail, and uncut moulded string.

Glass.

In the north wall, a panel in the second window. In the south wall, panels in second and easternmost windows, and fragments in fourth and fifth windows.

A full description is given on page 65.

Hat or cloak pegs.

The decorative iron frame with hat or cloak pegs on either side of it, affixed to the pillar of the north arcade at the back of the pulpit, was perhaps in the pew of some rich citizen.

Images.

Two of oak, a gift in 1929. The one of St. James is about 4 feet high and probably medieval. The other is smaller and said to be St. Hubert, but might be St. Roche.

Organ-case.

The original case remains and the pipes are contained in three towers, the centre one being square in plan, and the side ones circular. They are carried on a moulded shelf which follows the shape, and beneath those at the side are moulded corbels supported by cherub heads. The upper part of each tower has an elaborate entablature with enriched frieze and sections of pierced work clasp the ends of the pipes. The spaces between the towers have two tiers of smaller pipes, the lower being so arranged as to permit of fine panels of pierced scrollwork. The upper ones finish with a cornice ramped up to the centre tower and support two seated figures of angels with trumpets. There is a band of carving beneath the overhanging case, and the work below is composed of plain modern panelling which was erected at the reconstruction by Harrison and Harrison of Durham, in 1909. Maskell records it was originally erected by Renatus Harris at a total cost of £306 8s. 10d., of which Harris received £220—date 1675–7.

Painting.

Newly fixed on reredos; the Holy Trinity, SS. John the Baptist, Zacharias, and Elizabeth. Now concealed by curtain hangings.

Panelling.

There is panelled wainscoting all round the church with moulded capping, also unset panelling of which the partitions at the west end of the north aisle are formed—circa 1705. Part of the moulded capping on the north wall under the third window is of stone. (See also Screens, etc.)

Piscina.

In the Chancel (south-east respond). It has a damaged cinquefoiled ogee head, Credence shelf, and part of a round basin—15th century.

Plate.

The Plate (silver) includes a flagon of 1627, representing a gift of 1626, inscribed "The Gift of Mrs. Margery Couell, A.D. 1626"; a flagon of 1633, given in 1634, inscribed "Edmundus Forster 1634"; a cup and cover paten of 1631, given in the same year, inscribed "Ex dono Thomae Crathorne 24 Decembris 1631"; a cup and cover paten, marked 1633 and dated 1634, inscribed "All Hallows, Barking, Anno Domini 1634"; a small cup marked 1684, dated 1685, inscribed "All Saints Berkin London 1685"; a square paten of 1633; a dish of 1633, dated the same year, inscribed "All Hallows, Barking 1633," and a spoon, probably of late 16th-century date, of which the end, possibly a seal, has been cut off.

A Beadle's Staff, pear-shaped, of silver, inscribed "All Hallows, Barking, 1800."

The Tankards are plain, the square paten unique.

Pulpit.

Of oak, hexagonal, handsomely carved. It possesses a moulded entablature and base, each face consisting of two panels divided into two parts, the lower with a draped swag and the upper with an elaborate tablet inset having a roundheaded panel in the centre beneath a carved and scrolled pediment. At each angle are two carved and enriched terminal pilasters. The whole is supported upon an ogee stem, with moulded ribs springing from the moulded capping of the post—early 17th century. The staircase has a moulded handrail of scrolled and foliated ironwork of great beauty—circa 1705.

Above the Pulpit is an equally fine hexagonal sounding-board, placed there twenty-five years after the erection of the pulpit. It has a panelled soffit on which is a wreath of bay leaves. The enriched entablature has cherub head pendants at the angles and a panelled tablet with painted inscription "Xpm pdcam crucifixum (fn. 8) " on the middle of each face, the frieze being carved with fruit, etc. It is supported by a panelled back with pierced arabesque scrolls and cherub heads. The pulpit dates from 1613, and the sounding-board was bought in 1638. (See Vestry minutes.)

Recess.

In north wall under the third window, concealed by panelling but with the east jambs still visible—probably 15th century.

Reredos.

Of three main bays, divided and flanked by fluted Corinthian columns, supporting a continuous enriched entablature, which breaks forward above the columns and was once surmounted by four draped urns. The middle bay has, at the base, a panel of carved scrolled foliage; the side bays have each a round-headed panel with paintings of Moses and Aaron respectively, and below each is carved a cherub's head and swags, on a console panel. Flanking the reredos are further enriched panels inscribed with the Lord's Prayer and Creed, framed in carved swags and festoons and finished with segmental pediments; below each is a panelled door, one leading into the Vestry, but the other being a sham—the whole dates from 1686.

Royal Arms.

On east side of gallery facing Nave, Stuart arms of carved wood, perhaps those mentioned on p. 44 as "remaining in the chancel."

Screens.

Now in various positions in the Sanctuary. These panelled screens have a fine series of carved and pierced frieze panels, beneath a carved and moulded capping; at one end there are panelled projections formed like buttresses, each finished with pierced and carved scrolls. These screens date from about 1705 and originally stood across the Nave from which they separated the eastern half bay.

Around the font a part panelled enclosure with gates and front rails having turned balusters—circa 1705.

Seating.

The pews generally are early 18th century and panelled, but cut down and altered. The churchwardens' enclosed pews at the west end of the Nave have pierced and carved frieze panels in front, and a fine series of solid carved panels at the back, four of which contain medallions with figures in low relief of the Evangelists. In the south pew are two seats with carved armrests. Elsewhere in the church are a number of settles and forms, 32 in all, of varying lengths, some with and the others without backs. Two are curved in plan and they all are of late 17th or early 18th century.

Sword-rests.


Eyles

Eyles

Three, now on a screen containing old carved panels on the north side of the Chancel, behind the choir seats, of scrolled and foliated ironwork. Erected respectively in honour of Sir John Eyles, Bart., Lord Mayor, 1727, with arms of the Haberdashers' Company; of Slingsby Bethell, M.P. for London and Lord Mayor in 1755, with arms of the Salters' Company; and of Sir Thomas Chitty, Lord Mayor, 1760, with arms of the Fishmongers' Company. It is recorded in the Vestry minutes 23 October, 1755, that "it be left to the churchwardens to alter the Corporation Pew in the church for the reception of Slingsby Bethell, Esq., Lord Mayor elect, in the same manner as it was done in the Mayoralty of Sir John Eyles and to provide a handsome sword-iron with proper arms and decorations."

Miscellanea.


Bethell

Bethell

In bell-chamber, enriched wooden panel recording the erection of the Tower in 1659.


Chitty

Chitty

(4) Ancient Painted Glass (fn. 9)

There is very little ancient painted glass to-day in the churches of the City of London, and such of it as there is is mainly heraldic glass of the 17th century. As to the medieval glass which filled the windows of the ancient churches, religious fanaticism of the 16th and 17th centuries, neglect of the 18th and early 19th centuries and the Great Fire of 1666 together disposed of most of it. Modern restorers and collectors have done the rest. Here and there a few fragments of early glass remain, such as those in a west window of St. Katherine Cree Church.

The Church of All Hallows Barking is no exception to this state of things; all the painted glass there, which can be called ancient, is heraldic glass of the 17th century. It seems likely that it is assignable to the year 1666, although only two panels bear that date, and that it was intended as a memorial of the devastating fire of that year. Beginning with the South Aisle, the first window from the east contains a late heater-shaped shield bearing a red cross (pot-metal) in a silver field. The field has a floral diaper and there is no sign of there having been a red sword in the first quarter; it is probable that either the sword originally there has decayed or that the quarter containing it has been broken and lost, and a modern restoration without the sword has been inserted in its place; there can be little doubt that this shield was intended to bear the arms of the City of London and was originally the central part of a full Achievement-of-arms, crested and mantled helm and supporters.

In the second window from the east is an oblong panel, painted in enamel colours, containing a late heater-shaped shield, much broken and repaired with lead, bearing azure on a bend cotised argent 3 martlets gules, on the helm, mantled gules, doubled argent, the crest, a talbot's head proper issuing from a coronet or. The blue-enamel field of the shield has almost entirely perished and the mantling is very fragmentary, having disappeared from the sides of the shield and white glass inserted in its place. Below the shield, on a yellow stain label, is the date 1666: the label is set in a blue enamel ground much decayed, with yellow scroll work and border.

In Papworth's Ordinary these arms are assigned to Edwards of London, and also to the name of Southhouse.

An oblong panel is in the fourth window from the east. Viewed from the floor level, it gives the general impression of white and yellow and green: when closely examined, it is found to be made up of fragments. In the centre is a shield with a modern white-glass field, though there is a minute piece of blue glass in the dexter side of it: in this field is a yellow cheveron, separately leaded. The shield is set in fragmentary scrollwork and leafage— a pomegranate below the shield, a shell above it, and a piece of modern dark blue glass between the shell and the shield. It is impossible to say whether the shield is meant for a partial restoration of an actual coat-of-arms or is merely a putting-together of fragments in heraldic form.

In the fifth window from the east is a very fragmentary piece which was formerly in the third window. In consists of a piece of modern white glass cut into the shape of a very debased pattern of shield and set in fragments, among them several small pieces of yellow glass bearing Renaissance scrollwork, probably from a lost heraldic design.

The North Aisle contains only one piece of old painted glass—in the second window from the east. It consists of a panel, similar in size and style to that in the corresponding window in the South Aisle, and shows a shield bearing argent on a bend azure 3 square buckles or; on the helm, mantled gules doubled argent, the crest, on a wreath argent and azure a hand couped at the wrist rising from clouds proper holding an estoile or. At foot of the panel is a yellow label, set in yellow and coloured scrolled border, with the inscription:
Glassed
ab Incarnatione A fatali 1666
conflagrations Londini

On the bottom line of the yellow border of this panel are scratched the following names, W. Warde April 3, John Fishe Arble (April) 9 1789.

There are scratchings similar to these on the panel in the second window from the east in the South Aisle—Henry White, George Jend . . . and G. Price . . . church in . . . window. These scratchings tell of the time when the windows were accessible to scribblers by reason of galleries in the aisles.

As Papworth assigns the arms in this panel to the name of Starling, they are, no doubt, meant to refer to Sir Samuel Starling (or Sterlinge) who was Lord Mayor in 1669, and, according to Beaven's Aldermen of London, was knighted in 1667, was Alderman of Vintry Ward in 1661 and belonged to the Companies of Brewers and Drapers. Sir Samuel died in 1674.

Footnotes

1 See Historical Description, p. 10.
2 Ibid., p. 36.
3 Leake's plan, engraved by Hollar, 1667, shows what is evidently intended to be the new tower, but standing at the west end of the south aisle.
4 Comm. Lond., 36 Wilde.
5 See Goodwin's Work in 1634–5. See pp. 42, 55.
6 See Historical Notes, p. 37.
7 There is a similar turret at St. Andrew Undershaft leading on to the roof.
8 "Christum praedicam crucifixum."
9 Communicated by F. Sydney Eden.