(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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
With the Exception of Memorial Brasses and Monuments which
will be included in the Second Volume
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
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.
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.
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.
Of brass with moulded rails, symmetrically turned balusters and
rectangular standards, given by Ann Colleton, who died 1741.
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 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.
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.
The gallery at the west end has a modern front; it retains its old
staircase with turned balusters, square newel, moulded rail, and uncut
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
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.
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.
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.
Newly fixed on reredos; the Holy Trinity, SS. John the Baptist,
Zacharias, and Elizabeth. Now concealed by curtain hangings.
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.)
In the Chancel (south-east respond). It has a damaged cinquefoiled ogee head, Credence shelf, and part of a round basin—15th century.
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,
The Tankards are plain, the square paten unique.
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
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.)
In north wall under the third window, concealed by panelling but
with the east jambs still visible—probably 15th century.
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.
On east side of gallery facing Nave, Stuart arms of carved wood,
perhaps those mentioned on p. 44 as "remaining in the chancel."
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.
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.
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."
In bell-chamber, enriched wooden panel recording the erection of the
Tower in 1659.
(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:
ab Incarnatione A fatali 1666
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.