CONCLUDING SURVEY OF THE COUNTY OF LONDON.
The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments has now completed its report
on London—five volumes in all, of which three provide a general survey of the
Metropolis. One volume was devoted to Roman London. Though little to recall
the ancient Londinium remains—not more than thirteen survivals being visible
above ground—the volume, in effect, contains a complete review of the whole subject,
and will be an important basis of all future study of the Roman occupation of Britain.
Westminster Abbey was also the theme of a special volume. Seldom has the artistic
quality of the Abbey been so convincingly portrayed. Unhappily, the external
walls have been refaced; but within the building, the authenticity of the church
itself and its monuments is notable. In spite of mutilation or injury by neglect
the sequence of early tombs is remarkable for genuineness, and for the absence of
sophistication. The 13th-century tiled floor in the Chapter House is unequalled.
Rome itself has no Cosmatesque pavement less restored than that in the Confessor's
Chapel, and I doubt if Italy possesses a bronze tomb of the early 16th century comparable for dexterity and magnificence with Torrigiani's monument of Henry VII and
Elizabeth of York. Westminster Abbey is indeed a treasure unexcelled. My colleagues
felt more than justified in devoting a whole volume to this great group of buildings.
But we must admit that London as a whole is poor in world-famed monuments
of architecture. We have a few buildings of supreme importance, beginning with
the Abbey and St. Paul's. Somerset House, Greenwich and Chelsea Hospitals
have a particular interest to us. The façade of Whitehall Palace (though refaced
in the last century) is renowned. The Tower of London, besides great technical
interest, is closely associated with centuries of our history, and ranks as the most
important fortress in the world with a continuous military occupation. Of other
great London buildings, Waterloo Bridge, and the Palace of Westminster with its
astonishing ground-plan—apart, of course, from Westminster Hall—are too modern
to come into our province; while Hampton Court, the most picturesque of Royal
palaces, lies outside the metropolitan area.
So far as London is concerned the Commission has dealt with a much smaller
proportion of early buildings than were described, say, in the counties of Huntingdon
or Buckingham; but our guiding principles apply irrespective of style or period.
We look upon accuracy of description as all-important. Photographic illustrations
are prepared by the staff, and every effort is made to secure the most significant
views of buildings. Plans likewise are specially made by our staff. In the five
volumes under review 2,000 illustrations have been printed, including maps, plans,
and diagrams. But our rate of progress is slow. We published the first of our
five London volumes six years ago. Many years will elapse before our successors
present their final report, for with our meagre staff and slender purse we find it
difficult, if not impossible, to produce one volume a year. Some counties, such as
Essex, cannot be properly treated in less than four volumes. When the county
under report is situated at a considerable distance from our London headquarters,
the work proceeds more slowly. We are now engaged upon Herefordshire, which
will require two and a half years and two volumes, and will provide some curious
and unusual features.
The descriptive text is technical in character and much compressed. Our
professional experts are reluctant to display their individual tastes and predilections
—a reticence which I sometimes regret; but on the whole it is perhaps best to confine
comment of a general character to prefaces and introductions, for which we have
been fortunate in persuading scholars and historians of distinction to give considered
advice. Apart from such contributions by members of the permanent staff, I again
refer to the invaluable help of a special committee of experts who collaborated with
our staff throughout the very laborious compilation of the Roman volume. We
have constantly relied on the good offices of antiquaries, who have readily volunteered
Accordingly, in the following pages will be found a broad but very valuable
survey of various issues which have arisen during our investigations in London,
contributed by Mr. J. W. Bloe, O.B.E., F.S.A., on Building Materials; by Mrs.
Esdaile, on Sculpture; by Dr. M.R. James, on Glass; by the Rev. E. E. Dorling,
F.S.A., on Heraldry; by Mr. Mill Stephenson, F.S.A., on Brasses; and by Mr.
A. W. Clapham, O.B.E., F.S.A., on certain features which help to distinguish
the conclusion of the reign of Queen Anne (our limit of investigation) from the age
of the Georges who followed her.
These surveys, with the instances given by way of illustration, add a special
and fitting finish to the technical quality of the London volumes. At the same time
it should be remembered that London differs in one essential particular from the
other counties of England. In Bucks, Essex, or elsewhere, it is comparatively rare
that the individual monument has any intimate connection with a great historical
figure, and though a map of the English countryside has been described as a
palimpsest of English history, it has received only the impersonal impression of
succeeding ages, the footprints of a race, rather than the touch of individual men.
In London, on the other hand, almost every outstanding figure of our history has, at
one time or another, found a home, and almost every surviving ancient building
of any note is instinct with some notable personality or was the passive agent in some
familiar event. It is, perhaps, to be regretted that the bounds we have set to our
investigations and the limits which confine our published inventories, forbid us to
enter at all into this more intimate side of the monuments with which we deal.
In London, in particular, the bald list of memorials in almost any church, or the
architectural details of almost any house might have been inspired and illuminated
by those biographical details which lift the subject above the level of a mere
technical review. This, however, would have swollen our work, both in labour
of preparation and in bulk of matter, beyond all reasonable limit, and we have
reluctantly been obliged to confine ourselves strictly within the lines of our immediate
purpose and to leave the rich historical background to the imagination or investigation of our readers. As an example of these varied backgrounds an interlude by my
colleague, Mr. E. V. Lucas, recalls certain notabilities of byegone days—two "Warriors
Dead," who lived in a fine period of our native art, and whose exploits are dimly
traced in the Chronicles of Froissart—leaving behind them a record of pietism and
ferocity, and reviving memories which it is the business of the Commission to study.
This article will show the connection between the present occupation of historical
sites and their living associations with vanished buildings of earlier times. For in
the changes of user, as well as in the buildings themselves, we mark the alternations
of prosperity and decay, the developments of social habits and customs, and the
early styles of residence, worship and defence; while the study of old dwellings
and churches, of furniture and monuments, together with our own efforts to preserve
them for posterity may, perhaps, make some contribution towards solving problems
of our own day.
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.
Changes in the Whitefriars District.
There are practically no remains now to be seen of the Carmelite Priory of London,
which was founded in the 13th century, was dissolved under Henry VIII, and has
gradually been disappearing ever since, its stones were either removed or incorporated
in other buildings. The modern names of Whitefriars Street and Carmelite Street
help to preserve the fame of the old establishment and mark its site, while at No. 4,
Britton's Court, off Whitefriars Street, a 14th-century vault still exists, which is
believed to have been one of the substructures of the Prior's Lodging. I have tried
to see it, but could find no one at home.
The Priory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel extended from Fleet Street to the
Thames, covering the district now known as Whitefriars, although its more southern
territory—chiefly gardens—was acquired later. The original 13th-century
boundaries were probably Fleet Street on the north, Pleydell Court, Lombard Lane
and Temple Lane in the west, Whitefriars Street, previously known as Water Lane,
in the east, and George Yard and Magpie Alley in the south. The Great Friars'
Gate was probably at the top of Bouverie Street, the Little Friars' Gate at the top
of Pleydell Court. The church extended from Water Lane in the east to the precincts
of the Temple in the west, with the modern Bouverie Street cutting through the nave.
North of the church, between Bouverie Street and Lombard Lane, was the friars'
cemetery. Between Essex Street in the north and George Yard were the cloisters.
The East Gate was at the opening of Magpie Alley, off Whitefriars Street.
To-day the whole of the property owned by the old Carmelite Brotherhood is
given over to the newspaper industry. The offices of the News of the World and the
Star cover the site of the church and the cloisters. In place of aves and paternosters
one now hears the roar and rattle of printing machines, and where the old friars
may have patiently copied the works of the schoolmen the scribes of to-day cram, at
the top of their speed, the linotypes' insatiable maw.
But the Whitefriars district had an odd intermediate existence between
godliness and journalism. Although Thomas Cromwell had his secularising and
avaricious way with the priory in 1538, it retained its privilege of sanctuary, which,
as recently as the 17th century—until, in fact, 1697—was taken the fullest advantage
of by all the scamps in London. Alsatia, as this neighbourhood was familiarly
called, had its definite limits, which were respected by whatever officers of the law
then exerted themselves in apprehending criminals. There are many references to
Alsatia in the old plays and novels, but it will be sufficient here to refer to the
barber's shop of Benjamin Suddlechop on the south side of Fleet Street, with its
mysterious exits and entrances, as described in The Fortunes of Nigel.
The great name with which I wish to associate this region is not, however,
that of its founder in 1241, Sir Ralph Gray, or any of its holy men, or, when it
became Alsatia, with common malefactors or fleeing assassins, but with that of a
slayer of men and a despoiler of property on a very great scale—no less than the
feared and famous Sir Robert Knollys, who, after a lifetime spent in slaughter and
pillage in France and the Low Countries, with that most belligerent monarch,
Edward the Third, at his back, died quietly in his bed at Sculthorpe in Norfolk in
1407—aged no one knows what, but probably well over ninety—and was buried
in state in the church of this Priory of the Carmelites, to which he had been an
assiduous and liberal friend. His tomb has long since vanished beneath the palaces
of the Press, the new Punch office not least of them, standing as it does right over
the middle of the nave along which his funeral procession must have passed; but to one
walking in these busy narrow streets and evading destruction from swift cars bearing
tidings of the latest winners and losers, the career of Sir Robert Knollys is as worth
thinking upon as that, say, of Archibald Forbes, once war correspondent of one of
the most important papers whose offices are here—the Daily News—or George
Steevens, who fulfilled the same function for the Daily Mail, the journal whose
address is Carmelite House, both of whom would have been more than glad of the
opportunity to accompany the 14th-century freebooter on his raids.
Our principal authority for the exploits of Knollys, or Canolles, is the old
chronicler Jean Froissart, who was a coeval of our hero, for he was born in 1338
and died somewhere about 1410; but there are other records too, perhaps more
trustworthy. Of Knollys' youth we know nothing save that he was born in Cheshire
and, for such a desperado, was lucky in his birth, for it projected him into a country
which, in due course, when he was ready for it, would be ruled by a king after his
own heart, who through all his reign was to be embroiled with France and Scotland,
or both, so that there would never be any lack of fuel for this fire-eater to devour.
If it is true that Sir Robert Knollys had in Edward the Third the king he deserved,
it is equally true that Edward the Third had in Robert Knollys an ideal supporter,
ready for anything, unscrupulous, sagacious and bold. Whether or not he was
avaricious, I cannot say, but there is no doubt that much plunder and many grants
came into his possession, mostly French money, not a little of which found its way
to the Whitefriars Priory, for, apart from any of the ordinary mediæval warrior's
prudent desire to stand well with the Church and provide for a not too uncomfortable
hereafter, he was, says Fuller, notable for his charity.
Knollys' military career, which began in 1346, at the siege of La Roche d'Orient,
I have no space to follow closely; but his particular function, to which he brought
much thought and activity, was that of a harrying marauder, and he, with his
fellow Cheshire knight, Sir Hugh Calveley, was the founder of those "Free Companies" which in France, during Edward the Third's campaigns, did so much to
ruin the morale of the inhabitants by keeping them in a state of panic. Such was
the terror which the name of Knollys inspired that it is recorded that the wretched
peasants in the Loire valley, after his destruction of the surroundings of Orleans,
drowned themselves rather than be alive to meet him. After these raids he would
retire to his stronghold at Derval and prepare for new ones.
Of Sir Robert's friend and coadjutor and fellow Cheshire knight, Sir Hugh
Calveley, Fuller, in his Worthies, says: "Tradition makes him a man of teeth and
hands, who would feed as much as two, and fight as much as ten men. His quick
and strong appetite could digest anything but an injury; so that killing a man is
reported the cause of his quitting this County [Cheshire], making hence for London,
then for France." Of Sir Robert Knollys, calling him Knowles, Fuller says: "He
was afterwards a Commander in the French War under King Edward the Third,
where, in despite of their power, he drove the people before him like sheep, destroying
Towns, Castles, and Cities, in such manner and number, that, many years after,
the sharp points and gable ends of overthrown houses (cloven assunder with
instruments of war) were commonly called 'Knowles's Mitres.'"
One of Knollys' later feats, after the death of his first royal master, was his
share in the Wat Tyler insurrection in 1381. Living then in London, and being
naturally nervous for the safety of his "boodle," the old berserk quickly enrolled
another "Company" of a hundred men to protect it and the city. When the
King, the young Richard the Second, the son of Sir Robert's old titular commander,
the Black Prince, rode out to Smithfield to meet the rioters, Knollys rode too;
but what exactly happened we cannot be sure, for one authority, the Eulogium
Historiarum, says that Knollys pleaded with the King to spare the rebels' lives,
whereas Froissart says: "As soon as Sir Robert Knollys arrived at Smithfield his
advice was immediately to fall upon the insurgents and slay them, but the King
would not permit it"—the King, it must be remembered, being then only a boy of
fourteen. To me the speech seems to be entirely in character with the Sire of Derval.
Froissart emphasises it when he adds that Sir Robert "was very angry that the rebels
were not attacked at once and all slain." As it chanced, Wat Tyler was slain; and
all was well. Fuller's testimony runs thus: "Then I behold aged Sir Robert,
buckling on his armour, as old Priam at the taking of Troy, but with far better
success, as proving very victorious; and the Citizens of London infranchized him
a member thereof, in expression of their thankfulness."
Knollys' tomb at the Carmelites has vanished beneath the printing machines;
but a fragment of that of another of Edward the Third's strong men, Sir Walter
Manny, is still to be seen, in the chapel of the Charterhouse, one of the relics of the
Carthusian monastery which he himself founded in 1371. Manny, who was a
Hainaulter, came to England in the train of his countrywoman Philippa, Edward
the Third's Queen, and seems quickly to have assumed English nationality, was
a more considerable, if less terrible, personality than Knollys, for he was not only
a general, but an admiral, and was used by his monarch also as a diplomatist. Here,
again, Froissart is our principal authority, but since Froissart and Manny were
fellow-townsmen, both hailing from Valenciennes, and Manny was a generous friend
to the chronicler, the salt-cellar must, perhaps, be near at hand. Froissart, for
instance, gives Manny a leading part in the incident of the Burghers of Calais in 1345,
where other records say little of him. "Edward at first," he writes, "was unwilling
to accept anything but an unconditional surrender of all the inhabitants to his will.
At the remonstrance of Sir Walter Manny, however, he agreed to have placed at his
absolute disposal six only of the principal citizens, who were to come out to him
with their heads and feet bare, with ropes round their necks and the keys of the town
and castle in their hands"—as you may see them, in Rodin's bronze, in the Victoria
Tower gardens. The King, supported, we must suppose, by Sir Walter Manny,
would have had their heads struck off without delay; but, as every schoolboy knows,
Queen Philippa intervened, interceded and won.
Manny was among those left to guard the town, but treachery made it necessary
for the King again to come there in person, accompanied by the Black Prince. He
did not, however, take command; but "Sir Walter," he said, "I will that you be
chief in this enterprise and I and my son will fight under your banner." The enterprise was successful, not a little through the valiant use of his sword and battle-axe
by Edward himself fighting, incognito, "most nobly." That evening, at a banquet
at which the leaders of the defeated side were feasted and pardoned, the King
presented a chaplet of pearls to his own particular antagonist, Sir Eustace de
Ribeaumont, as the "best combatant" of the day.
Unlike Knollys, Manny, who was raised to the peerage, did not survive to take
a part in the reign of Richard the Second. In fact he died in 1372, and was buried
by his own Carthusian monks in the choir of the chapel that he had built for them.
Edward and the royal princes, with numerous bishops and barons, followed his bier;
while the King's fourth son, John of Gaunt, paid for five hundred masses to be said
for his soul. It is more than probable that Sir Robert Knollys was also among the
mourners. As for their royal master, he survived six years longer and was then
buried by the Benedictines in their abbey-church of St. Peter, at Westminster,
where his tomb may still be visited, in the Confessor's Chapel, with his sons in
statuettes of brass around it. One of these sons, the Black Prince, had died in the
year before, 1376, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral; another, John of Gaunt
(which was the English pronunciation of Ghent), was to live on until 1399, through
very troublous days, and become "time-honoured Lancaster." It was in London
that he also was buried, in old St. Paul's; but of his tomb, like that of his friend
Knollys, not a trace remains.
E. V. LUCAS.
Building Materials in Early and Mediæval London.
The question of building materials used in the middle ages is only of secondary
importance to that of craftsmanship, and while much has been written in deserved
praise of the handiwork of our forefathers, little emphasis has been laid on the study
of the materials in which their works were executed. Obviously the availability
of certain materials has always affected the results in architecture and other works.
Certain stones were better than others for free sculpture and carving, certain
marbles produced better colour effects, Grinling Gibbons' style of carving required
a special wood, and so on, and if these materials were not obtainable it must have
affected the result: although the great artist allows few of these difficulties to prevent him from excelling in his art it should be remembered that the greater part
of the mediæval remains of England, as elsewhere, are in the main the produce of
the ordinary craftsman, who had to do the best he could with the materials to hand,
and generally did it very well.
But for the abundance of oak forests near London its architectural history might
have been a very different one, for it was the timbered house that gave the Great
Fire of 1666 its opportunity to change the face of the City in a few years. Again, but
for the fact that Sir Christopher Wren was able to draw on a plentiful supply of
Portland Stone there would have been fewer surviving examples of his great genius.
So far as mediæval London is concerned the question of building materials
is chiefly one of the imports, for it had no indigenous building material within its
borders beyond the products of clay, viz. brick, tiles and terra cotta, and for this
reason mediæval London followed the general rule in that while its most important
buildings were built of stone, timber was employed for most of its domestic buildings
up till the time of the Great Fire of 1666. Stow mentions a decree of the time of
Richard I to the effect that buildings in the City should be of stone up to a certain
height, but this regulation appears to have been little regarded in his time.
Accessibility by sea was the paramount consideration for stones brought from
a distance; those of Caen in Normandy, Purbeck in Dorsetshire, and quarries in
Yorkshire and probably Lincolnshire, are well represented. This also applies to
the extensively used Portland Stone of the 17th and 18th centuries, although road
transport had improved by then.
After the Great Fire brick came into general use, and timber was restricted
to roofs and internal fittings in the City, although this was less the case in the wider
area of the administrative County covered by the London Inventories.
To treat in detail all the uses to which the various materials were put in London
would necessitate more space than can be spared in the present volume, including,
as they do, works in stone, marble, brick and tile, wood and metal. Probably the
most important of these is stone work and, therefore, a few remarks are added as to
the chief stones found in surviving buildings.
Stones.—Kentish Stone and Ragstone from the Lower Greensand beds near
Maidstone and elsewhere in Kent, is a hard, compact and comparatively heavy bluegrey rock. Without doubt it takes priority in any description of masonry in London,
for it was employed more than any other stone. The Roman wall was mainly built
of it, and throughout the middle ages this stone was almost universally used for
the bodies of the walls of churches and other important buildings, such as the Tower
of London, the Guildhall and the Halls of City Companies. The foundations of old
St. Paul's were found by Wren (Parentalia) to be of "Kentish rubble stone, artfully
work'd and consolidated with exceeding hard mortar in the Roman manner much
excelling what he found in the superstructure," and this was mentioned as a reason
for his belief that the foundations were those of the first church on the site destroyed
in the time of Diocletian, the said foundations having survived the destruction of
four churches up to his own time.
Kentish rag was also used in the foundations of Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster, Westminster Hall and other buildings. The Tower of London is mostly
of this stone, and it is to be found in the walls of mediæval churches such as All
Hallows by the Tower, St. Olave's, Hart Street, St. Andrew Undershaft, and others.
Rag is not a suitable stone for fine dressings, being expensive to work as compared
with the softer "freestones," and it is generally found in the form of rubble walling.
In the Roman wall and some of the churches the blocks were squared and laid in
regular courses—at least on the exposed faces—but it was most commonly employed
for random rubble and the filling-in behind fair faces of other masonry. There are
a few instances of dressed masonry of Kentish stone in window tracery as at St.
Olave's, Hart Street, and some loose fragments of the 15th century at St. John's,
Clerkenwell, but such cases are rare. Of the durability of Kentish rag there can
be no doubt to any one who examines the remains of masonry in London.
Reigate Stone.—This is the most common name for the calcareous sandstone
from the Upper Greensand beds of Surrey; it is also known under other names
such as Gatton, Godstone, Merstham, or Firestone (the last from its presumed fireresisting qualities), and is of a greenish-grey, fine-grained texture suitable for walling
material and for dressings. In London, Reigate stone was used mostly for dressings
and finer masonry as at Southwark Cathedral, Westminster Hall, Lambeth Palace
and many other buildings. At Westminster Abbey it was used in Edward the
Confessor's church and, side by side with Caen stone, in the later work.
Caen Stone is a pale cream fine-grained limestone from Normandy, introduced
into England shortly before the Conquest, and was subsequently a favourite
stone with masons and carvers. Wren said in his report on Westminster
Abbey that "the artists from Normandy loved to work in their own Caen Stone
which is more beautiful than durable." Probably the earliest building in which
Caen stone was used in London is the White Tower. It seems to have been used
for many other buildings, such as St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield and the crypt of
St. Mary-le-Bow Church (both 12th-century), the Houses of Parliament (14th-century),
and the vaulting of the Crypt at the Guildhall (15th-century). Stow mentions that
the City wall and gates were repaired in 1215 with "stone from Caen in Normandy."
Henry VII's Chapel was, as Wren said, "perform'd with tender Caen stone " (at
least in part) and as late as 1681, 601 tons were purchased for repairs to Westminster
Purbeck Marble and Stone is a hard, grey limestone composed of small freshwater
shells of mussels and snails and takes a high polish. It is quarried on the Isle of
Purbeck, near Swanage, Dorset. It was much used in the fabric of buildings in the
middle ages for columns and shafts, and can be seen in the 13th-century work at
Westminster Abbey, Southwark Cathedral, Temple Church and many other buildings. It appears to have varied in quality; some of the courses in the piers at
Westminster Abbey show considerable surface decay, while other courses are practically as good as when first placed in position. The pillars of the Guildhall Crypt
(15th-century) are remarkably well preserved. Purbeck marble is sometimes found
as paving, but was probably too expensive for general use in this way, though it
forms the groundwork for the elaborate inlaid pavements at Westminster Abbey.
It was much used also for funeral monuments and effigies. For more common use
in London, Purbeck Stone, a hard limestone of marine origin from the lower beds of
the same districts as the marble, was more usual.
Portland Stone, a white or cream-coloured shelly limestone from the oolite beds
of the Isle of Portland, Dorset, is the predominant stone in later mediæval and
modern masonry in London. The Isle of Portland was Crown property, and Inigo
Jones, Surveyor-General to James I, having noticed the valuable properties of its
stone, used it in 1619 for the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace and later
for St. Paul's Cathedral and other buildings. Sir Christopher Wren—also as
Surveyor-General for the Crown—brought it into almost universal use for the
rebuilding of the City. The weathering capacity of this stone has been proved by
age to surpass that of any other freestone in withstanding the ravages of time
and the London atmosphere.
There are several other stones which can be more or less identified, or which
have been mentioned in records concerning London; these were not used in
quantities comparable with those already mentioned.
Calcareous Tufa, a spongy limestone, probably from Kent, was used both in
the walling and dressings of the late 11th-century undercroft at Westminster Abbey.
Beer Stone, from the village of Beer on the south coast of Devonshire, is a very
compact white limestone, and a little harder than chalk. It has been quarried since
Norman times and therefore has, to some extent, been drawn upon for service in
London. It is suitable for fine carving, also for the ribs and webs of vaulting and
other internal work. It is said to have been used in St. Stephen's crypt at the
Houses of Parliament, in the cloisters at Westminster Abbey, and in St. Paul's
Cathedral, and is mentioned in the Westminster Abbey accounts for 1413 as having
been purchased with other stone for the rebuilding of the Nave.
Barnack Stone, the well-known shelly oolite quarried in Northamptonshire and
used extensively in the midland and eastern counties before the quarries were
exhausted in the 15th-century, is hardly to be seen in London, though it is used at
the Tower of London in the lower part of St. Thomas's Tower (the Traitor's Gate),
dating from about 1240. Yorkshire has also furnished some share in the masonry
of the Metropolis, from its celebrated magnesian limestone quarries in the Bawtry,
Doncaster and Pontefract districts, all fairly accessible to the Humber and the sea;
and Huddlestone Stone, a stone of yellowish tint from Huddlestone, N.E. of Pontefract
is said to have been used for Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster. Le Mar Stone
and Stapleton Stone occur in Richard II's work at Westminster Hall. Stapleton
was one of the stones purchased in 1413 for the completion of the Nave of
Westminster Abbey (vide Scott's Gleanings).
There appears to be no record of the use of stones from Lincolnshire, but it is
probable that further research would prove that some of the unidentified "freestones" to be found in London buildings are from the Lincolnshire oolite beds,
such as Ancaster, Weldon, Ketton, Casterton, etc. The Oxfordshire limestone
quarries were tapped by Sir Christopher Wren, including Taynton Stone, a coarsegrained brown limestone used for the interior of St. Paul's, and other stones from the
same beds at Burford and Headington. He probably applied the name Burford
to any or all of these stones, and in Parentalia it is written that this stone was
employed by him for the external repair of Westminster Abbey.
Totternhoe Stone and Clunch, from the lower chalk formations of Bedfordshire
and Hertfordshire, were restricted to vaulting in London; and chalk for the webs
of the vaults of Westminster Abbey is mentioned in the accounts of 1253: and as
walling, chalk was used in the crypt of All Hallows, Barking, Church. Knapped or
dressed flint-work occurs at the Dutch church at Austin Friars, dating from 1354;
and as rubble, flints are visible at St. Alphege London Wall, 1329, and in churches
at Lewisham and Streatham, of the 15th century.
J. W. BLOE.
Monumental Sculpture in London.
In the brief space at my disposal it is impossible to do more than indicate the
main course of English sculpture as shown by the principal examples illustrated in
the four relevant volumes of the Commission's London series. The works here
mentioned are only selections from a mass of available material in the text and plates
of the different volumes, and since, in considering the art of any period, the average,
not the exception, must be taken into account, the reader would do well to compare
what is here given with the far more numerous omissions. He will find reason to
rejoice in one more proof that England is not essentially inartistic; that she has always
shown that power of adapting foreign elements to her own use which is essential to
any permanent art; and that Nicholas Stone was not, as has been too commonly
asserted, the first great English sculptor.
The oldest monumental sculptures in London are those "dim effigies of early
abbots" in the S. cloister of Westminster Abbey (I. Pl. 202), the first dating
from 1121. Primitive yet impressive, the figures are still an essential portion of
the coffin lid; the effigy laid upon a separate base was not to appear till the next
The eight "Templars" in the Temple Church (IV. Pl. 182
–7) show a notable
advance on the abbots of Westminster; but even the best of them is crude compared
with the masterpieces of Henry III (1272, I. Front. Pls. 48, 49, 185) and Eleanor of
Castile (1290, I. Pl. 50–2, 186) or the astonishing canopied tombs of the Countess
Aveline (1273, I. Pl. 37, 185) and Edmund Crouchback (1296, I. Pl. 33, 35), though
the stately William de Valence, a wooden effigy, plated with bronze, inlaid with
Limoges enamel (I. Pl. 78–9), is more of the Templar type. The great Henry III is
of special interest not for the effigy alone, but for its base, the work of those
Romans from the studio of the Cosmati family whom Henry summoned to England
to execute the shrine and pavement in the chapel of the Confessor and employed
on the tomb of his own children (I. Pl. 5). The contrast between the work of
this family and such typically English decoration as that on the tomb of Sylvester,
Bishop of Carlisle (IV. Pl. 184), is as remarkable as the similarity in essentials of the
effigies of King and Bishop.
To what extent Henry III's love of art influenced the course of English sculpture
it is difficult to say; but the great increase of fine monuments all over England during
the next century must be due, in part at least, to his patronage of artists. The tomb
of Aymer de Valence (1324, I. Pl. 34, 186) completes the noble canopied series begun by
the monument of Countess Aveline; that of John of Eltham (1337, I. Pl. 73–6, 188),
one of the earliest great works executed in alabaster, and its neighbour the little tomb
of the children of Edward III (I. Pls. 74, 75), give the chapel of SS. Edmund and
Thomas the Martyr a rare distinction. With the effigy of Queen Philippa (1369, I.
Pl. 26, 58, 75, 187 and 199) by Hennequin of Liège, we come to a genuinely realistic
work, though the angel-figures by William Orchard on the base are unfortunately
gone. The bronze Edward III (I. Pl. 54–6, 187) is more conventional, but the
figures of his children on the base are fortunately in excellent condition, and the
combination of bronze and marble with an oak "tester" is unusual and interesting.
The tomb of Cardinal Langham (1376, I. Pl. 83) is one of the best ecclesiastical works
of the age and that of John de Oteswich from St. Martin Outwich, now in St. Helen's,
Bishopsgate (IV. Pl. 71), is among the noblest in England. The tomb of Richard II
and his Queen (I. Pl. 59, 187) brings us again into the safe region of documented
sculpture, the effigies being the work of the coppersmiths Nicholas Broker and
Godfrey Prest, the setting that of the masons Henry Yevele and Stephen Lote, all
four citizens of London.
The mutilated wooden trunk of Henry V, who long since lost his silver head and
accessories, is not a work of art to-day; but the portraits of the King in many of
the scenes from his life in the Chantry above his tomb (I. Pl. 131–9) make rich amends
for the loss. The effigy of Philippa, Duchess of York (I. Pl. 189), is a good example of
female costume of the Wars of the Roses; but the finest 15th-century works in
London are the tomb of John Holland, Duke of Exeter, and his wives at St.
Katherine's Hospital, Regent's Park (II. Pl. 136–7), the Sir John Crosby at
St. Helen's, Bishopsgate (IV. Pl. 70–72), an uncanopied altar-tomb in the finest
decorated style, and the noble votive monument of Prior Rahere at St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield (IV. Pl. 70, 173). The canopied altar-tombs without effigies
are a feature of the period, and the change from Decorated to Perpendicular can be
studied in them as well as in the buildings of 1400–1500 (cf. I. Pl. 69, IV. 19).
This may be a fitting place to speak of the materials employed for monumental
sculpture, whether mediæval or of more modern date. Bronze, Sussex or Purbeck
marble, stone, alabaster and occasionally wood, all occur both for effigies and settings,
but the men employed on them worked in very different places. Stone and marble
of every kind were usually wrought at the quarries; London was a noted centre
of the wooden-effigy industry; bronze-work was usually cast near the place
of erection, and is always the finest and rarest of materials, because the most costly.
Colour was an integral part of all, gilt and enamel being used for metal work.
The 16th century saw an immense development of the alabaster industry as
applied to monumental figures of all kinds and of the London studio (or workshop
as the phrase went till the end of the 18th century). The London master sculptor
now imported his material in blocks, working it up in his own yard, and long
retaining for himself the making of the effigy; thus in all the immense output of
Nicholas Stone only three effigies are recorded as the work of his assistants. But as
time went on, English alabaster ceased to be used for the principal figures, and was
relegated to the setting, foreign marble being imported for the effigy in fashion when
Wotton and Ben Jonson, influenced by the now critical taste of the court, were
mocking at coloured sculpture as an English barbarism, fit only for city taste; and
by 1714 alabaster had almost ceased to be worked, though for two centuries it had
been incomparably the most important material used by English sculptors.
The altar-tombs of Sir Giles Daubeney (1507, I. Pl. 64, 188) and of Bishop
Ruthall (I. Pl. 203) are of the old tradition, though the latter dates from 1523; but the
coming of Torrigiani to England in response to the commands of Henry VII brought
a new element into English sculpture. Not only are the effigies of Henry, his
Queen and the Lady Margaret portraits of the first order (I. Pl. 121–4, 189–90, 200),
but their settings, combining Gothic and Renaissance detail, introduced a type of
ornament which was to influence English monumental sculpture for generations
to come. Torrigiani's experiments in terra-cotta, such as the fragments of his
altar of the Dead Christ (I. p. 45a) and the noble effigy of Dr. John Yong now in
the Museum of the Public Record Office (II. Pl. 168–9), were not destined to find
imitators; but his lovely medallion portrait of Sir Thomas Lovell (I. Pl. 28) is
the first of a long series of similar reliefs, and his royal tombs justify the saying
that the Renaissance in England started from a monument.
Henry desired in his will that a kneeling figure of himself should be erected on
the shrine of the Confessor, and such a figure was actually carved on one of the choir
stalls in his chapel (I. Pl. 127); thereafter the kneeling figure becomes one of the most
characteristic features of English monumental sculpture. It is not very common, it
is true, before the middle of the 16th century, nor does the old recumbent effigy
die out before the close of the 17th (cf. I. Pl. 97); but the social and political
changes of the period affected London particularly, and were unfavourable to the art.
Two of the most important designs for tombs which should have rivalled those of
Henry VII and his family—those of Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey—came to
nothing, though the sarcophagus designed by Benedetto da Maiano for the latter
now stands above the grave of Nelson in St. Paul's (IV. p. 50b); and one of the
cardinal features of the Reformation was a hatred of monumental sculpture as
Popish, idolatrous, and a breach of the second commandment. A proclamation
issued in the second year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth shows how far the mischief
had gone; and it happens that the most important monuments of the great nobles
and New Men of the early Tudor period must be sought for outside London. But
the reign of Mary left us two interesting works, the tombs of Chaucer (1556, I. Pl. 95)
—obviously by the hand of the author of the monument of Jane, Duchess of
Northumberland at Chelsea (II. Pl. 15)—and of Anne of Cleves (1558, I. Pl. 8, 25),
the latter of great interest as embodying the earliest use in England of the new
sculptured imagery of skull and crossbones combined with decorative detail of a more
normal order; it is said to be the work of Theodore Haveus of Cleves, who might well
have been called on to design the tomb of a Princess of his own country. A year
later the exquisite monument of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk (I. Pl. 27, 73, 77, 191)
combines an effigy in the traditional pose with the new and henceforward almost
universal luxuries of mattress and embroidered cushion and with Renaissance and
Vitruvian ornament upon the base; such classical columns and egg-and-tongue
moulding were destined to appear in such company for many years.
Among kneeling effigies those on the Alington (II. Pl. 171), Pecksall (I. Pl. 80),
Blount (V. Pl. 163) and Radcliffe tombs (IV. Pl. 21) are good and early instances, and
the style seems to have made a special appeal to the Southwark sculptors. The
Dutchman Gerard Johnson (fl. 1567–1600) and his sons were the heads of the largest
and most notable of these Southwark studios, and were responsible not for scores
of kneeling figures in London alone, but for such masterpieces in the traditional
recumbent pose as the Pickering tomb in St. Helen's, Bishopgsate (IV. Pl. 72–4), and
the Throckmorton tomb in St. Katherine Cree (IV. Pl. 20), the Lennox monument
with its kneeling figures of Lord Darnley and his brothers (I. Pl. 128)—successors
of the saints and angels on the base of mediæval monuments, the Burghley tomb
of 1589 (I. Pl. 194), the Anne, Duchess of Somerset (I. Pl. 191), and Frances, Countess
of Sussex (I. Pl. 193), to name only a few 16th-century examples. By the study
of the plates of effigies at the end of volume I, the reader will soon perceive the
greatness and the distinguishing marks of this noble school of alabaster sculpture.
The reign of James I saw the Southwark tradition carried on both in kneeling
and recumbent figures; it also saw the direct imitation of foreign models in the
great monument of Sir Francis Vere (I. Pl. 92), based on the tomb of Engelbert,
Count of Nassau, at Breda, and in Stone's seated figures of Sir George and Francis
Holles, echoes of the Medici Chapel at Florence. The seated figure is a logical
development of that new freedom of posture shown first in the kneeling figure, then
in the effigy recumbent on its elbow, also therefore conceived of as alive; the earliest
example of the former type is probably the Lady Elizabeth Russell in the Abbey
(1601, I. p. 43a), the finest the delightful effigies of Lady Legh (II. Pl. 60) and of John
Stow in St. Andrew Undershaft, one of the masterpieces of the later Johnson school
(IV. Pl. 55). To that school belong a large number of canopied tombs of a lofty
order, notably those of Sir John Spencer in Great St. Helen's (IV. Pl. 73, 75), Bishop
Andrewes at Southwark (V. Pls. 115, 123) and Lady Latimer at Hackney (V. Pl. 123).
Yet more impressive, because of a more massive order, are the great royal tombs of
Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots (I. Pls. 114, 115, 190, 193, 201), the joint work
of Maximilian Colt or Poutrain and the Cures of Southwark; to Colt, author also
of the tombs of the infant daughters of James I in the Chapel of the Innocents,
must be ascribed the splendid monument of Sir Francis Vere, whose scheme is used
for the documented Salisbury monument at Hatfield; and at Hatfield House is
decorative sculpture from his hand, which suggests that the most important of the
Charlton mantelpieces (V. Pl. 79), that with sculptured figures, is also his. The younger
Cure, like the younger Johnson, is known to have been associated with Nicholas
Stone, the great Sutton monument at the Charterhouse (II. Pl. 50–1) being
the joint work of Stone and Cure. Such cases make us chary of asserting the sole
rights of any sculptor to any given work; nor after 1620, at least, can style always
be taken as a criterion of authorship, since the note-books of Nicholas Stone prove
that one man may work in a variety of styles. Monuments so different as the
Lord Northampton at Greenwich (V. Pl. 89), the Villiers tomb (I. Pl. 195), the
Holles effigies already mentioned, the Newton at Charlton (V. Pl. 54), the shrouded
Donne from Old St. Paul's (IV. Pl. 110), the Edmund Spenser and Middlesex
monuments at Westminster (I. Pl. 197) and the delicious tablet to Simon Baskerville
(IV. Pl. 112) are frankly bewildering. On the whole, however, 17th-century sculpture
is more satisfactory than 16th in that it is more fully documented; it is pleasant
to know, for instance, that no less a man than Inigo Jones designed, and at his
own expense erected, the monument to George Chapman in St. Giles-in-the-Fields
(II. p. 43a).
Of the foreign sculptors domiciled in England during the century the most
important is Hubert le Sueur, author of the Charles I at Charing Cross (II. Pl. 195),
the tombs of the Duke of Buckingham (fn. 1) (I. Pl. 120, 128, 196) and Sir Thomas Richardson
(I. p. 57a), probably also of that of the Duke of Richmond and Lennox (I. Pl. 120)
in Westminster Abbey. To his shadowy contemporary Francesco Fanelli the
monuments of Sir Robert Aiton and Lord Cottington (I. Pl. 27, 65, 66) and the bust
of Charles I at Hammersmith (II. p. 37b) are traditionally and not improbably
ascribed, but to the authorship of two delicately beautiful tablets in low relief, the
Thomas Wood at Hackney (V. Pl. 95) and the Lady Crewe (I. Pl. 141) we have no
clue whatever. The monument to Sir Hugh Hammersley, the best of a long series
of monuments based on a scheme of drawn-back curtains framing the main figure,
is the work of Thomas Madden (1636, IV. Pl. 23).
The Colvile monument at Chelsea (1631, II. Pl. 60) and the similar Whitney
tomb in St. Giles', Cripplegate (1628, IV. Pl. 24), are among the relatively few London
examples of the shrouded figure rising to meet the Saviour, a type of monument
executed both by the Marshalls of Fleet Street and the brothers Christmas; the
most interesting recumbent shrouded effigy is that of Dr. Donne already noted; a
very late example (1670), probably by Joshua Marshall, is in St. Giles-in-the-Fields.
The sculpture of the Interregnum is scanty and not very interesting (I. p. 38b;
II. Pl. 151 (13) (33)); but the Restoration saw a notable increase in the dramatic
character of monumental sculpture. London is not the best place in which to study
it, but the splendid Mordaunt monument at Fulham (II. Pl. 61) shows John Bushnell
at his best, and the Abbey includes his more modest monuments to Cowley and Sir
Palmes Fairborne, the later unhappily stripped of its very interesting reliefs (pp. 51a,
58a). The only illustrated work of C. G. Cibber is the relief on the Monument
(IV. Pl. 81). Edward Pierce is represented by minor decorations on the Monument
and by the interesting bust of Thomas Evans (1687, IV. Pl. 46) as well as by the
curious wooden effigy of Sir William Walworth at Fishmongers' Hall, one of the
several interesting wooden statues in the City (cf. IV. Pl. 46); Grinling Gibbons by
much of the finest decorative woodwork in existence (IV. passim; cf. II. Index for
other references) and by a number of monuments very far from equalling their beauty.
Recent research has proved that the dreadful Sir Cloudesley Shovell is his (I. Pl. 101),
and Westminster can also show his Mary Beaufoy and his much mutilated Duchess
of Somerset (I. Pl. 91) (fn. 2) ; Fulham has his Clarke monument (II. Pl. 62) and
St. Laurence Jewry his Archbishop Tillotson (IV. Pl. 24). Francis Bird, freed at
last from the burden of Sir Cloudesley Shovell, stands out as the author of the dignified
Busby of 1697 (I. Pl. 97), the fine mural monument of George, Earl of Huntingdon
in St. James's, Piccadilly, (fn. 3) the delicate tablet to Jane Wren in the Crypt of St. Paul's
(IV. Pl. 112), and of the fine decorative sculpture of that cathedral, Apostles and
pediment alike showing the influence of the sculptor's early studies in Bernini's
Rome (IV. Pl. 95).
The taste of any age can be gauged by the quality of its minor work, and the
minor work of English sculptors was the production of infinite numbers of mural
tablets for the use of patrons unable or unwilling to afford the expense of more
pretentious monuments. A study of the series at Battersea (II. Pl. 10–11) and in the
Temple (IV. Pl. 189) or in our city churches (IV. Pl. 26–7) will give us a wholesome
respect for the craftsmen who used their native stone and marble for the production
of modest memorials costing trivial sums, but usually perfect in taste and always
distinguished by the fine lettering whose secret was lost to English craftsmen with
the commercialising of monumental art at the close of the eighteenth century. It
is because many of the mural War Memorials of recent years have been based upon
such works that they show so marked an advance upon the South African memorials
The Stanton family excelled at such memorials, and as their work covers
most of the 17th and over a third of the 18th century, they may be briefly
noticed here, though their best work is in the provinces. To Thomas Stanton
(1610–74) may be assigned the Stanley monument at Chelsea (II. p. 10a); to William
(1639–1705) the dismembered Atkins monument at Clapham (II. Pl. 144) and the
signed tablet in the Temple to Edmund Gybbon (IV. p. 142b) as well as several in
St. Margaret's, Westminster (not illustrated); to Edward (1681–1740?) the stately
Tyson bust in All Hallows', Lombard Street. To another and much obscurer
Englishman of the early 18th century, Thomas Stainer, belong the Walker tablet at
Stratford Bow (V. Pl. 103), the Ardmagh monument at Charlton (V. Pl. 54) and the
Blisse at Southwark (V. Pl. 118); the first allied to his one signed work, (fn. 4) by the Eye
of Providence among strangely treated clouds, the second and third by the type of
face and the acanthus pedestals, all three by the lettering and unusual type of
curtain tablet. It is only by following out such seemingly trivial details that we
can hope to disentangle the work of our forgotten sculptors, and set the study of
post-mediæval portrait sculpture on a level with that of its more familiar predecessors.
K. A. ESDAILE.
Brasses in London.
Except for the fine series in Westminster Abbey and in a lesser degree those
in the city churches of All Hallows Barking and St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street, the
districts covered by the survey are not rich in this class of memorial. The Abbey
series includes the remains of two curious and unique late 13th-century marginal
inscriptions surrounding crosses set in glass mosaic. The episcopal figures include
John Waltham, bishop of Salisbury, 1395, now much worn and damaged; Robert
Waldeby, archbishop of York, 1397, a fine figure under a single canopy; and John
Estney, abbot of Westminster, 1498, under a triple canopy: all are in full vestments.
The finest example in the series is that of Eleanor de Bohun, wife of Thomas of
Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. This lady died in 1399, and is represented as a
widow under a fine triple canopy enriched with heraldry and with a chamfer
inscription in French. Armed figures are represented by Sir John Harpeden, 1438,
the last of the five husbands of Lady Joan Cobham, the richest heiress of her day;
of Sir Thomas Vaughan, 1483; Sir Humphrey Stanley, 1505, and Sir Humphrey
Bourchier, 1471, whose figure, except for the helmet and crest under the head, is lost,
but the slab still retains the inscription, shields and badges. Of the brass to Sir
Thomas Parry alias Vaughan, master of the Court of Wards and Liveries, 1560,
only the four shields remain, all are palimpsest, and three give the greater portion
of the figure and the complete inscription to Robert Elsmer, who was rector of Watton,
Herts, and died in 1512. Of later ecclesiastics William Bill, dean and chief almoner
to Queen Elizabeth, is shown in gown and cloak, and there are inscriptions to Thomas
Bilson, Bishop of Winchester, 1616, and to Henry Ferne, Bishop of Chester for five
weeks in 1661.
At All Hallows Barking is an early inscription in French encircling a shield to
William Tong, 1389, who represented the city in the parliaments of 1377 and 1388;
a well engraved brass to John Bacon, citizen and woolman, 1437, standing on a
woolpack, and accompanied by his wife Joan, with scrolls encircling a heart. In
the back of a high tomb are the kneeling figures of John Croke, skinner and alderman,
1479, in his robes, and his wife Margaret in widow's dress. John Rushe, 1498, is in
the usual civil dress of the period with a small couchant dog between his feet, an
unusual feature at this date. Christopher Rawson, mercer, 1518, and his two wives
are quite ordinary figures, but are of interest because Rawson gives full instructions in
his will for the brass and bequeaths forty shillings for the cost. On the floor of the nave
is a Flemish plate to Andrew Evengar, citizen and salter, who died in 1533, and his
wife Ellen; in the upper part of the plate is a figure of our Lady of Pity, and the plate
itself is set in a large stone incised round the margin with curious texts now almost
illegible. The brass to William Thynne, 1546, a master of the household of
Henry VIII, and his wife Anne Bond, is entirely palimpsest, being made up from
pieces of earlier figures and inscriptions, all of English workmanship. This brass
was completely restored and relaid in 1861. William Thynne edited in 1532 the
first complete edition of Chaucer's works with the exception of the "Ploughman's
Tale." William Armar, clothworker, a royal servant for over fifty years, 1560, is
represented kneeling in armour with his wife and children. This plate was cleaned
by the Clothworkers' Company in 1843, but is now much corroded again. The latest
figure is that of Roger James, brewer, 1591, with the arms of his company.
In addition there are various inscriptions, shields and fragments, making a total of
eighteen in all.
The number of brasses in the church of St. Helen was augmented by the addition
of four from the destroyed church of St. Martin Outwich. Belonging to St. Helen's are
an inscription in French to Robert Cotesbroke, 1393; and figures of Thomas Williams,
1465, in civil dress, and his wife Margaret; John Leventhorpe, 1510, an usher to Henry
VII, in armour, and Robert Rochester, serjeant of the pantry to Henry VIII, 1514, also
in armour with an SS collar; an unknown lady in heraldic mantle, c. 1535, and a
late inscription to Elizabeth Robinson, 1600. From St. Martin Outwich came the
figures of Nicholas Wotton, rector, 1482, and another unknown rector, c. 1500; the
tomb and fragments of the brass to Hugh Pemberton, citizen and merchant-taylor,
1500, and a late inscription to Thomas Wight, 1633. Other city churches containing
brasses are Holy Trinity, Minories (now disused), where is a much worn figure to
Constance Lucy, 1596; St. Andrew Undershaft, to Nicholas Leveson and wife, 1539;
and Simon Burton and wife, 1593; St. Bartholomew-the-Less, to William Markeby
and wife, 1439; St. Dunstan-in-the-West, to Henry Dacre and wife, 1530;
St. Katherine, Regent's Park, to William Cutting and wife, 1579; St. Martin,
Ludgate Hill, to Thomas Bery, 1586; St. Olave, Hart Street, to Sir Richard Haddon
(effigy lost), 1516, and his two wives, and John Orgone and wife, 1584, with merchant
mark on a woolpack; all are in civil dress. In the outer districts figures of ladies
wearing heraldic dresses occur at Chelsea to Lady Jane Guildford, "Late Duchess of
Northumberland," 1555, and at Lambeth to Lady Katherine Howard, 1535. At
St. James, Clerkenwell, is the greater portion of a figure of John Bell, Bishop of
Worcester, 1556, in episcopal vestments, and at Hackney a good figure of Christopher
Urswick, dean of Windsor and rector of Hackney, 1521, in doctor's cap and cope,
and a curious small plate showing Hugh Johnson, vicar, 1619, preaching from a pulpit.
The earliest armed figure noted is that, at Wandsworth, of Nicholas Maudyt serjeant-at-arms to Henry V, 1420, in complete plate-armour with mace hanging at his side.
Another late 15th-century figure is at Camberwell, but has been reused for Edward
Scott in 1538, and a third at Putney to John Welbeck, 1478. Of the 16th-century there
are six examples, a kneeling figure at Camberwell to John Scott, a Baron of the Exchequer, 1532, who is accompanied by his wife; a standing figure at Lambeth to
Thomas Clere, 1545, who was mortally wounded at Montreuil in France whilst saving
the life of the Earl of Surrey; another at Hackney to John Lymsey, 1545, but again an
appropriated figure of c. 1510; two at Islington, Robert Fowler, 1540, and Henry
Savill, 1546; and two kneeling figures, one at Hackney to Arthur Dericote, 1562,
together with his four wives, and one at Lee, St. Margaret, to Nicholas Ansley, serjeant
of the cellar to Queen Elizabeth, 1593. One of the 17th century is at Chelsea to Sir
Arthur Gorges, 1625, and his wife. The figures of civilians and ladies, either singly
or together, are all of late type, mostly of the 16th century and call for no special
notice. At Fulham is a Flemish lozenge-shaped plate with the shrouded half-effigy
of Margaret wife of Gerard Hornebolt the painter; at Kilburn is the head of a nun,
15th-century, said to have been dug up on the site of the priory, and at Lee a small
figure of Elizabeth Couhill, 1513, with long flowing hair.
Palimpsest or reused brasses occur at Westminster Abbey and at All Hallows
Barking as already noticed. Both the brasses at Islington are entirely palimpsest.
The earlier or Fowler brass has on its reverse rich canopy work with a censing angel,
of foreign workmanship, possibly French, whilst the later or Saville brass is entirely
made up of pieces of English workmanship, no fewer than five earlier brasses having
been used to build up this memorial. Amongst the pieces is a fine figure of an early
priest in cope, another ecclesiastic apparently wearing the mantle and device of some
brotherhood, a complete inscription and other fragments. Two of the Camberwell
brasses are also palimpsest, in one case a late 15th-century armed figure has been
made to do duty for one Edward Scott who died in 1538, whilst his inscription is
simply an older inscription turned over and reused; in the other case portions of
a large Flemish brass of early 16th-century work have been reused in 1582 to make
an inscription and shield for Margaret Dove. Flemish fragments reused also occur
at Hackney, where two of the Lymsey shields show portions of a figure of St. John
Baptist with canopy work, etc., and at Lee, St. Margaret, where on the reverse of
the inscription to Isabel Anesley, 1582, is a fine symbol of St. Mark from a border
inscription. At Putney the remaining portion of the inscription to John and Agnes
Welbeck, 1478, has on its reverse a complete inscription to John and Isabel Thorpe,
the parents of William Thorpe who appears to have been master of the college of
St. Laurence Pountney from 1433 to 1437.
Heraldry in London.
A town such as London, where most of what meets the eye is of post-mediæval
date, is hardly the place where a lover of heraldry will expect to find many examples
of that ancient art wherein he delights. Even in the abbey church of Westminster,
rich as it is beyond compare in monumental heraldry, that which faces him on every
hand is apt to confuse by the lavishness of its display. There, more perhaps than
in any other church on these islands, the student needs a trained eye and a sure taste
to enable him to discriminate among the profusion that surrounds him.
In his search then for what is finest he will do well to begin by looking for what
is oldest. And he will find it in those carved and painted escutcheons of 13th-century
kings and nobles set in the spandrels of the aisle arcades, which are part of the fabric
of the church. To the modern eye those shields may appear to be merely angular
and ugly, harsh and rude in spirit, grotesque and clumsy in design. And so indeed
they are. But it is precisely those qualities which make them full of lessons for the
amateur of mediæval art. For those shields are in a very real sense emblematic of
the soul of the time that produced them, when men, stirred by a new aspiration for
beauty, were striving eagerly to accomplish great work, and were accomplishing it,
not indeed perfectly, but as well as they could. So the rough crudity of this early
heraldry expresses effort to do something virile and strong; in the vividness of its
colour, still here and there faintly visible, is shown a sense of its fitness as decoration;
its rugged vigour is the very foil that is needed to emphasise the dainty grace of the
architectural work in which it is set.
Next in date and importance to this "levy of shields" is the group of monuments
on the north side of the presbytery, of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, of Aveline his
countess, and the slightly later tomb of Aymer of Valence. In these canopied
memorials we see again that passion for colour which we have remarked in the earlier
work in the nave. But in the course of half a century or so the skill of the designers
has advanced beyond measure. Even better than their predecessors they know the
worth of heraldry as a means of identification and commemoration; they are
conscious of an ability to draw it more gracefully; and they cover every part of those
monuments with carven and painted armory, doing it with so sure a decorative
sensibility that what in less capable hands would be a mere riot of colour and gilding
becomes a thing as choice and radiant as a jewel. Even to-day so much of the
original painting remains that you can well believe this sumptuous group of late
13th and early 14th-century work to have been unsurpassed for splendour in Europe.
Pass now to the chapel of St. Benedict, where on the altar-tomb just inside the
screen lies the latten and enamel effigy of William of Valence. This is work of the
very end of the 13th century. Here the craftsman is employing a material which
enables him to execute work of even more delicate quality and brilliancy of colouring.
We recognise that, if enamel is luring him dangerously to excess of ornament, the
ornament which he produces is the result of most careful thought, of felicitous
arrangement and of prodigious technical skill. The shield of Valence and the
diapering on cushion and surcoat and on the metal plate under the effigy are of great
instructive value, both as masterly pieces of design and as evidence of what a noble
vehicle for adornment heraldry can be.
Not far off in the Confessor's chapel is the tomb of Eleanor of Castile, with its
lovely figure of the queen recumbent on a plate diapered with little lions and castles
from her father's arms. The shields of England for her husband, and of Castile and
Leon and of Ponthieu for her father and mother, carved in the trefoiled arches on
the sides and ends of the altar-tomb of the queen, are valuable examples of the heraldic
work of Edward I's time. They are the work of an artist of a cast of mind different
from that of him who executed the Valence monument. Not to this man's liking
is a hundred-fold repetition of the heraldry of the person to whom he does honour.
He appreciates the value and the beauty of restraint. He concentrates his ornament
on the shields with a rigid determination to make them tell their tale concisely and
plainly. But it is to be observed that his art, capable as it is, has not yet attained to
that superexcellence of draughtsmanship which is seen in the shield of Eleanor's
grandson who lies in the chapel of St. Edmund and St. Thomas. There, working (and
one of the first to work) in alabaster, a material in which effects can be obtained more
easily than in stone, or even in enamel, the maker of John of Eltham's tomb focuses his
ornament on the surcoat (originally, of course, painted) and the great carved shield of
the dead earl. To do them well—and no one has ever done better heraldic work than
this wonderful shield—is, he feels, enough. His perfect taste tells him that no more
ornament than this is needed. He is all for broad effects, for bold design, for
perfection of craftsmanship, and working with these ideals he creates a monument of
superlatively fine quality. The shield of the Lord John can hardly be matched in
this or any other country, so faultless is the drawing, so subtle the balance of field
and charges, so consummate the skill of the carver. This superb specimen of English
heraldic art is of high importance, too, as an early example of heraldic differencing.
The tomb of Edward III and that of his grandson Richard II in the Confessor's
chapel show metal work of the 14th century which calls for detailed examination,
and is worthy of praise as high as that which we give to John of Eltham's shield. The
large enamelled shields of Old France quartered with England on the substructure
of Edward's monument, and the four smaller scutcheons on the tomb itself, sole
survivors of the arms of the king's many children, are of most accomplished draughtsmanship and will repay the closest study. The inclusion in the series of the red
cross shield is of great interest, because it is significant of that devotion for St. George
which King Edward did so much to foster. On the neighbouring monument of
Richard II the delicately pounced emblems—the broom sprig, the sunburst, the
couched hart for the king, the ostrich, the lion and the eagle for Anne of Bohemia—
are brilliant examples of heraldic drawing. They are noteworthy, too, as the
earliest examples of royal badges to be found at Westminster. On the altar-tomb
of Philippa of Hainault, which belongs to this group of 14th-century memorials,
five shields-of-arms carved in stone survive which are as fine in their way as the
metal shields on her husband's monument.
For armory of the 15th century we must go to the chantry chapel of Henry V,
where crowned achievements of the king's arms and scores of representations of
Henry's badges form a principal part of the carved stonework with which this chantry,
remarkable alike for its position and the wealth of its imagery, is lavishly adorned.
As soon as we see it a sure instinct warns us that there is something wrong in this
opulence of heraldic ornamentation. We may view it with sympathy as an expression
of national enthusiasm for the memory of a popular hero, but we are not blind to the
fact that it shows a slackening of taste, a love of adornment for its own sake, and
the vainglory of a prosperous and triumphant age. But purist though he be, the
lover of finely executed heraldic design cannot but admire those spirited carvings of
the king's arms supported by angels (possibly in compliment to his French queen,
Henry's "fair flower de luce"), of the mantled and crested helms and of King
Henry's badges—the cresset aflame, the chained antelope, and the swan of Bohun—
all sculptured with astonishing vigour and variety of attitude.
A notable monument of very original design and of slightly later date is that
of Lewis Robessart, Lord Bourchier, which forms part of the screen of the chapel of
St. Paul. This man, a Fleming by origin, was a standard-bearer of Henry V and
a knight of the garter. He married Elizabeth suo jure baroness Bourchier, and was
summoned to parliament in her barony. His tomb is adorned on the sides with
gartered shields of his arms, at the ends with great carved stone banners—a suggestion, it may be, of his office—held up by falcons and lions, and on the canopy with
much painted armory of (presumably) his paternal ancestors, and carved and
painted water-budgets and Catherine wheels referring to the barony of Bourchier.
Strangely enough the better known knot of his wife's family does not appear. It is
shown, however, many times repeated with the elbow cop, another badge of the house,
on the brass of Humphrey Bourchier in the chapel of St. Edmund and St. Thomas.
When, still following our chronological course, we come to Henry VII's chapel
we are dazzled by the pomp and ostentation of Tudor heraldry. In the resplendent
bronze gates are leopards of England and lilies of France, the crowned rose and
portcullis of the Tudors and the falcon and fetterlock of York repeated so often
that the excellence of the casting and chasing scarcely atones, we feel, for tedious
monotony of design. Similarly the screen that surrounds the tomb of Henry and his
queen has on every part of it a multitude of Tudor devices—roses, portcullises,
dragons, greyhounds—in such extravagant profusion as to be positively wearisome.
Seeing them we know that the great days of heraldry are swiftly passing away; that
the antique charm of its simplicity has evaporated; that its intention to
commemorate has degenerated into mere commonplace display.
And we turn from all this overpowering magnificence—for the craftsmanship
"Master Torisanny's" and his colleagues is undeniably magnificent—to other and
more admirable specimens of heraldic art with an ever-growing wonder at the
informality and the playfulness, the narrative gift and the serene sense of proportion
which are characteristics of the best mediæval armory. See, for instance, how on
the Fascet tomb in St. John's chapel the artist has not hesitated to give a relatively
huge chief to the shield of the convent because he wants to make much of the mitre
and crozier that are in it. See how in the Islip chapel he has revelled in the fun
of inventing one rebus after another for the abbot who is buried there. Look at
the shield of Nicholas Litlington on a vaulting boss in the entry to the cloister, and
muse on the possibility that these arms may hint at some mystery attaching to his
parentage. Consider the grand simplicity of the armorial tiles that you meet
with in the chapter house and elsewhere—here, with what you have already
seen, are subjects in plenty for study; here is material which arouses profound
admiration for that of which our forefathers were capable, in one, and not the least
delightful, of the arts.
The reader who has steeped himself in the heraldry of those early times will
find little to charm him in Stuart and Georgian armory. He will soon learn to detest
its feebleness of drawing and its smug slickness, its pomposity and poverty of
imagination. Study of the older work will have taught him that the best that can
be said for the modern is that it is of more interest to the genealogist than to the
artist. And if at the end of his survey he has to admit that this treasure house
of art, with all its riches, can show nothing comparable with the glass of York or the
cloister roofs of Canterbury, with the stall-plates at Windsor or the painted ceilings
at St. Albans and Winchester, he will acknowledge that London may well be proud
of her own wealth of heraldry, though there be some things of grace and beauty which
she herself does not possess. For, after all, he will have found that there still remains
in London some heraldry of the great days of the art which is "worthy of a wise
But this somewhat cursory survey of the ancient heraldry of the abbey church
does not exhaust all that is worthy of note in the London area. Just across the
road Westminster Hall provides instructive examples of the æsthetic power and
versatility of the heralds of Richard II's day. The string-course running round the
interior of the building below the windows is enriched throughout the whole length
of the east and west walls with boldly carved helms, each crested with the king's
leopard and set between a pair of ostrich feathers, alternating with no less than
eighty-three couched and chained harts, all varying in posture and sculptured with
astonishing vigour. Projecting into the hall at the ends of the hammer beams of
the famous roof are great figures of angels holding shields of Old France quartered
with England, which are magnificent specimens of the heraldic art of that luxurious
age. Splendid as these noble shields still are, even when bereft of all their colouring,
it needs but little imagination to picture them as they were when the roof was newly
raised, all a glory of gules and azure and gleaming gold.
In another part of the palace of Westminster, on the ceiling bosses of
St. Stephen's cloister, is to be found much interesting heraldry of Tudor times—
crowned shields of Henry VIII's arms, gartered shields of Edward III, sacred heraldry
such as shields of the Five Wounds and instruments of the Passion, Edward the
Confessor's mythical arms, a spirited carving of the sickles and sheaves of Hungerford
within a garter, and the arms and hat of Thomas Wolsey.
Another example of a cardinal's hat and shield-of-arms, which is of even greater
interest because it is earlier than this, is to be seen in Southwark cathedral church,
where, on a pillar in the south transept, is a big carved shield of the arms of Henry
Beaufort, resplendent still with colour and gilding. Above it is the hat of the
cardinal of Winchester with pendent cords and tassels treated in a way which shows
that the convention of fifteen tassels a side for a cardinal had not become stereotyped
in the fifteenth century. It will be noticed that the cardinal's arms are without the
cadency mark with which (as we know from his privy seal) he differenced his arms
The Inns of Court show less heraldry than might be expected. The most
important architectural display (though it is of Tudor date and has been renewed)
is over the gateway of Lincoln's Inn, where are three panels showing the lion of Lacy,
the crowned and gartered arms of Henry VIII, and a shield within a garter of Sir
Thomas Lovel. This group is dated 1518. And the old armorial glass in the halls
of Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn and the Temple is worthy of note (though practically
all of it is of post-mediæval date) both for its commemorative and its decorative
But in the Temple Church are three examples of early heraldic carving which
will well repay careful study. The oldest of them is the shield on the well-known
effigy in the nave which an obstinately persistent but erroneous tradition regards
as a memorial of Geoffrey de Mandeville, that wicked earl of Essex who died
excommunicate in 1144. This remarkable diapered shield, charged with three
dancetty bars and strengthened with a finely designed escarbuncle, can never have
belonged to a Mandeville. Whom the effigy represents it is hard to say. The
soundest opinion seems to be that it is the monument of an unknown knight of
King Henry III's time.
We are on little surer ground with the monument of a personage who bears on
his shield a lion most vigorously carved in low relief. This beautifully executed
charge has led most commentators to ascribe this effigy to William Marshall the
younger, Earl of Pembroke (d. 1231), who did indeed bear a red lion on his parted
shield of gold and green. But many men in the thirteenth century bore lions; there
is here nothing to show that the field was parted; and it is on record that this earl
of Pembroke was buried in Ireland. Why, then, should there be a memorial of him
in the Temple Church? Furthermore the style of the work is of a later period.
Not till we come to the third of the Temple knights showing arms carved upon
his shield can we speak a little more definitely. That bare-headed warrior with long
and curled locks, his mailed hands joined in prayer and with three exquisitely
designed water bougets on his broad shield, is beyond doubt a Roos of Hamlake of
Edward I's time, but which of that famous north-country house it is can only be
conjectured. The monument, says Hatton in his New View of London (1708),
"was brought from York by Mr. Sergeant Belwood, recorder of that city, about the
year 1682." Since then it has lain in the Temple Church. It is in many ways the
most attractive thing there, but its association with the Temple is entirely fortuitous.
These notes, it is hoped, will have shown that even in the London of the 20th
century much noteworthy armory of the middle ages still survives. He who studies
it faithfully will have done something to purify his own taste. He will learn much
about the mentality of those who achieved these fine things; and at the least he cannot
but gain a lively respect for the artistic capacity of his forefathers.
E. E. DORLING.
The painted glass which is described in these volumes is neither considerable
in quantity, nor, with rare exceptions, at all early in date. Considering the visitations
that London has undergone, first from Puritan zeal and then from the Fire, this is
not surprising. We know very little of what we have lost: it is certain that the
City churches must have been rich in votive windows of the 15th century, but even
in the pre-Fire churches practically nothing is left. Nor are we well informed as to
how much St. Paul's, or the Abbey, possessed in the way of painted windows. We
do know that Henry VIIth's Chapel had a series of scriptural types and anti-types,
which, in some sort, served as a model for those at King's College, Cambridge: a half-figure of a prophet is all that remains. We also know that, over the water, Lambeth
Palace chapel had a similar and contemporary series, put in by Abp. Morton, restored
by Abp. Laud, destroyed by the Puritans, and again restored by the light of records
in the 19th century. A window of five lights, probably the E. window, in the church
of the Franciscan Observants at Greenwich contained thirty figures of kings and
saints, but this, with the building itself, has long disappeared. There must also have
been a vast quantity of heraldic glass in the halls of the Companies and, of course,
in the great houses of the nobles. Glass of this kind was less offensive to the reforming spirits than that in the churches, and in fact more of it has survived. This
branch of the art was the only one which never quite went out of demand, and by
its help glass-painters eked out a precarious livelihood till the days of the Gothic
The glass which actually remains can be classified into
English: (a) mediæval: ecclesiastical and secular.
(b) post-mediæval: ecclesiastical and secular.
Foreign: (a) made to English order.
The only important pieces of English mediæval glass are at Westminster Abbey:
seven panels of the 13th century are in the Jerusalem Chamber, all of New Testament subjects except one, which implies the existence of a window of the life of St.
Nicholas. Three of the clearstory windows in the east of the apse have figures of
saints very much made-up—and the two western towers have two similar made-up
figures. That is really all. A little 14th-century glass found not long ago built up
in Chelsea parish church, and a few 15th-century fragments—e.g. in St. Helen's,
Bishopsgate, are hardly worth dwelling on. Of heraldic glass, perhaps the largest
amount of pre-reformation material (cir. 1530) is at St. Andrew Undershaft.
English post-mediæval glass is more abundant. In fact, London offers a good
field for the study of it. There are whole windows at Battersea parish church, at
St. Andrew Undershaft, at St. Luke's, Charlton, at St. Leonard, Shoreditch: important pieces also at Stoke Newington. And the heraldic glass is very copious. Two
fine examples from Staple Inn and St. Ethelburga's, Bishopsgate form the frontispieces to Vols. II and IV (West London and the City). The Inns of Court, particularly the Middle Temple, are rich in this. There is an appreciable amount (brought
from Deptford) at Trinity Hospital, Mile End Road. A good specimen of the portrait on glass is at the Parish Clerks' Hall.
Of foreign glass made to English order the leading example is the east window
of St. Margaret's, Westminster, which, though it has undergone many removals and
much restoration, is still a splendid work. The glass made, in part at least, by
Bernard van Ling for Lincoln's Inn Chapel, consisting of a series of prophets and
apostles, with much heraldry, was badly damaged by an air-raid in 1915, but is
still notable, and it is satisfactory to recall how much its restoration was aided by
the photographs taken of it by the staff of the Commission before the havoc wrought
by the German bomb. Similar sets of figures, intact, are in the chapels of Lincoln
and Wadham Colleges at Oxford.
The imported glass includes one really magnificent example, the Jesse window
from Mechlin at St. George's, Hanover-square. There is some, less good, from
Rouen at St. John's, Westminster: both these are of the 16th century. Later is
the east window at Trinity Hospital, Greenwich, which is Flemish. There are some
figures at Morden College, and some panels in St. John's Chapel in the Tower.
In nearly all this glass, both English and foreign, there is a preponderance of
enamel over pot-metal, i.e. of colouring painted on the glass, over colour that is
in the substance of the glass. The extensive use of enamel, dating from the middle
of the 16th century, is now held to have been a consequence of the destruction,
by the French, of the glass-making centres in Lorraine, which were the principal
purveyors of pot-metal glass.
M. R. JAMES.
Architecture and Decoration in London from Charles II to
In the concluding volume of the Commission's Inventory of the county of
Essex, the opportunity was taken to place on record the general principles underlying
the dating of the various buildings, both ecclesiastical and secular, included in the
survey. An attempt was further made to draw some general conclusions applicable
to the county as a whole, which might serve as a contribution to the wider study of
English architecture and building-construction.
An inquiry, on similar lines, applied to the county of London, could not
be expected to yield results of equal value, for not only is the area concerned of very
restricted dimensions, but the conditions of life in the capital tended throughout
mediæval and modern times towards a certain cosmopolitanism, which interrupted
or diverted, to a greater or less extent, the normal course of social development and
occasionally resulted in expressions which are in no true sense a reflection of national
sentiment. As examples of this, one may recall the French elements in Westminster
Abbey, the Cosmatesque work in the same building, examples of the pure Italian
renaissance such as the Young tomb in the Rolls chapel, and the decoration
of Henry VII's tomb at Westminster, and the pure Palladian building in Whitehall.
On the other hand, the status of the capital would naturally lead to the erection
in London, or its neighbourhood of a series of buildings of the first rank and expressive
of the national style in its purest and most advanced form. Thus Westminster
Abbey, in some aspects, is a supreme monument of English achievement, the Tower
of London, the Temple Church, Westminster Hall, Henry VII's Chapel, the Middle
Temple Hall, Wren's cathedral and other churches and Greenwich Hospital are each
in their way the most notable examples of mediæval, Tudor, Elizabeth and Stuart
buildings that survive in the country.
All these buildings, however, are well known and have been intensively studied;
they are, furthermore, exactly dated and even the most meticulous survey can only
expect to record some hitherto unnoticed detail or add some sidelight on their
The minor ecclesiastical and domestic architecture of the capital has also
received perhaps more than its full measure of attention. The mediæval churches,
the lesser works of Wren, the larger and smaller houses of London, have all been the
subject of numerous works and innumerable fugitive papers, and it would appear
that only in one direction can anything useful be added to the literature of the
subject, and this addition can only be in the nature of a collation of already known,
but somewhat scattered, facts.
The vast majority of the scheduled examples of domestic architecture in London
date from the close of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century, and an equally
large number of houses was built in the succeeding or early Georgian period. It
is here that the problem has frequently arisen as to which side of the terminal year of
the Commission's reference—1714—a given example is to be placed, for while there
was a very definite change in style which corresponded sufficiently closely to the
passing of the Stuart and the advent of the Hanoverian dynasty, it is obvious that
the transition cannot be tied down to a single year. In view of this difficulty, an
account of the evolution of the various minor features, on which the Commission's
judgment has been based, may not be without value and may serve as a rough guide
to others for the dating of the smaller domestic architecture of this period.
It must, however, always be borne in mind that the precise application of the
following particulars is only possible in the immediate neighbourhood of the capital,
and that, while the sequence of development is generally maintained throughout the
country, the further the distance from London the later in date does the
whole sequence become. Thus in a town like Shrewsbury, houses of Queen Anne
type were being built as late as 1730, while in the north of England there are instances
of early 18th-century dated houses and cottages which are hardly distinguishable
from buildings of the Jacobean period.
In London houses the most noticeable detail of late 17th or early 18th-century
buildings is the wooden eaves-cornice, which is in constant and almost universal use
from the Restoration to, approximately, the death of Queen Anne. The cornice is
commonly of deep projection with heavy modillions, and the roof in most examples
is brought out to the face of the top member to provide a drip for rain-water. In
the first of these particulars it is readily distinguishable from the eaves-cornices not
uncommonly used late in the 18th century, which are of meagre projection and
are generally dentilled. In the large majority of cases in London the original eaves
cornice has given place to a later brick parapet (to accord with the Act of 1707)
which is often, materially, indistinguishable from the earlier brickwork below it.
The latest dated examples of the eaves-cornice in London itself would appear to
be Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, 1704, and Cheyne Row, Chelsea, 1708. The
wooden eaves-cornice was prohibited by Act of Parliament in 1707, but this applied
only to London and Westminster and the area within the bills of mortality, and the
practice lingered on in suburban parishes.
The windows of the period are equally, if not so noticeably, indicative of date.
The windows of the early and middle parts of the 17th century were fitted with solid
frames, and divided by a single mullion and transom. After the Great Fire (1666)
this form was generally abandoned, except to light the staircase, and its place taken
by box-frames with double-hung sashes, set flush with the external face of the wall.
A good example of the two forms used side by side, the earlier form to light the
staircase and the later form to light the chambers, is to be seen in King's Bench
Walk, Temple. The double-hung sash has, of course, subsisted to our own day, but
the box-frames were set back from the face of the wall in obedience to an ordinance
of 1708 to protect them from the weather, an ordinance which was not, however,
generally obeyed till some twenty years later. The form of the window-openings
is also of interest; the square head, often with the flat arch of rubbed brick, is
almost universal for the fronts of houses down to the close of Queen Anne's reign.
This was evidently considered the correct architectural form, but frequently in the
same house the segmental-arched head appears in the less conspicuous positions,
such as the basement and the back of the house, as a concession to economy or more
logical construction. At the beginning of the Georgian period the fashion changed,
and from thence onwards window heads both at the front and back of the house are
commonly, though not invariably, segmental.
Among other external features, supplying some evidence of date, the type of brickwork-bond used is of some value. The change from the use of English bond to that
of Flemish bond would appear to coincide fairly closely in London with the Great
Fire. Thus the W. tower of All Hallows Barking, built in 1658–9, is in English
bond, while the brickwork at the Skinners', Brewers' and Stationers' Halls, all built
about 1670, is in Flemish bond. The transition, between the two forms, is perhaps
represented by the mixed bond at St. Mary le Bow (begun 1670) and of the Horse
Armoury at the Tower, though the latter building is not exactly dated.
The form of the doorways and door-heads is not equally well defined. In the
more sophisticated examples they form an architectural composition which varied
with the whim of the individual architect and, within certain limits, cannot be
exactly dated. One form of hood, commonly called the shell or lunette hood, is,
however, more characteristic and was a favourite feature of domestic architecture
of the reign of Queen Anne. It consists of a semi-domical hood with the open side
outwards, the soffit being decorated with a large shell or other ornament. An early
and undeveloped form may be seen at the Manor House, Eltham, assigned to c. 1695,
where it is combined somewhat awkwardly with a flat hood.
The chief internal features of a house of this period to which attention must be
called are—(a) the staircase, (b) panelling, (c) the fireplace, and (d) foliage and other
decoration of the ceilings and overmantels.
(a) During the second half of the 17th century the form and decoration of the
staircase seems to have undergone little alteration; its features are the fairly heavy
turned or twisted baluster, moulded raking strings enclosing the ends of the stairs and
square newels with or without terminal decorations. Under Queen Anne, a new form of
string, called the cut string, was introduced; it is notched for each stair the tread of
which is run out beyond the face of the string and a carved or shaped bracket applied
under the projecting end. The earliest cut strings encountered in London are perhaps
those in Queen Anne's Gate (probably begun 1704) and Roehampton House (1710–12),
but it is obviously impossible to be quite certain that the date of the staircase is
the same as that of the building of the house. The straight or close string survived, in
isolated examples, to a much later period, and indeed the cut string was not commonly
used for subsidiary or service staircases until well into the Georgian period. The
introduction of the cut string was accompanied by an attenuation and multiplication
of the baluster. Staircases of the 17th century seldom have more than one baluster
to each stair; under Queen Anne, two was a common number, while in the Georgian
period three balusters to each stair became common. Coinciding also with the close
of Queen Anne's reign came the general adoption of the newel in the form of a classical
column and the termination of the handrail in a spiral curve, at the foot of the stairs.
(b) The panelling of the late Stuart period is of fairly uniform character, the
old Jacobean wainscot in small almost square panels, giving place, after the
Restoration, to a diametrically opposite treatment, in which the wall surface is
divided by the dado-rail into two unequal parts with a single range of tall panels
above, and a smaller range below the moulding. This panelling is, generally, either
plain, ovolo-moulded or with bold projecting mouldings, called bolection-mouldings.
The same treatment is observable in the doors, which, in this period, commonly have
two large panels only. In place of the elaborate overmantels of the preceding
age the space above the fireplace is generally occupied only by a large raised panel
often filled with a painting. The last years of Queen Anne and the beginning of the
Georgian period are marked by a reduction in the size of the panels, particularly in
the doors, which are generally of six panels, and the common abandonment of the
(c) The most typical form of fireplace in the late Stuart period is that possessing
a plain boldly moulded surround, of wood, stone or marble, to the opening. These
continue throughout the period, but in the reign of Queen Anne partly gave place to
a flat surround, generally of marble, with a head shaped in simple curves and with
plain panels marked out by sunken grooves. This type is largely confined to the
reign of the last Stuart sovereign, and was superseded in the Georgian period by the
elaborate wood or marble surrounds with columns, entablatures, carved heads and
(d) The general style of carved or modelled decoration for overmantels and
ceilings underwent a marked change about the same time. The school of wood
carvers and plaster modellers, which had such ample opportunities for development
after the Great Fire of 1666, produced a full-bodied type of decoration which was
massed architecturally in its outlines, all tendency to straggle being sternly repressed.
This restraint was largely abandoned with the coming of the Georgian period, the
carving becomes thin and somewhat meagre, providing a natural transition between
the robust work of the earlier age and the imported styles of Louis XV and Pompeii
which held the field during the latter part of the 18th century.
A consideration of the foregoing notes will confirm the wisdom of the decision
to fix the terminal date of the Commission's inquiries at the death of Queen Anne.
No other date would have been more than a purely arbitrary limit, whereas the year
1714 forms a definite and convenient central point for the very real change which
was then operating both in architecture and the decorative arts.
A. W. CLAPHAM.