This place takes its name from the saint to whom the church
is dedicated. It was called St. Pancras when the survey of
Doomsday was taken.
Situation, extent, and boundaries.
The church is situated to the north of London a little more than
a mile from Holborn-bars. The parish is of great extent. It is
bounded on the north by Islington, Hornsey, and Finchley: the
boundary towards Hornsey is in the hamlet of Highgate, one third
of which is in this parish; it joins to Finchley in Lord Mansfield's
woods. On the west it is bounded by Hampstead (including part of
Haverstock-hill and Chalk-farm) and Marybone; on the south by
St. Giles's in the Fields, St. George the Martyr, St. George-Bloomsbury, and St. Andrew's-Holborn (the parish of Pancras extending
to the foot of Gray's Inn Lane, and including part of a house in
Queen's Square); on the west it is bounded by St. James-Clerkenwell, the line of division being between the New River-head and
Bagnigge Wells. Tottenham-court Road (fn. 1) , and all the streets to the
west as far as Cleveland-street and Rathbone-place, are in the parish
Emperor Sigismund entertained at Kentish-town.
The principal hamlets are Kentish-town (anciently Kentistonne),
where William Bruges, Garter King at Arms in the reign of Henry V.
had a country-house at which he entertained the Emperor Sigismund (fn. 2) ; part of Highgate; Battle-bridge, Camden-town, and Sommers-town.
Quantity of land.
The parish of Pancras contains about 2700 acres of land, including
the site of buildings. The proportion of arable land is very small,
scarcely 50 acres. The soil is various, clay, gravel, and loam.
This parish pays the sum of 1400l. (within a small fraction) to
the land-tax, which is at the rate of about 3d. in the pound.
Dr. Stukeley's account of a Roman camp at the Brill.
At a place called the Brill in this parish were to be seen, a few
years ago, some remains of what is supposed to have been a Roman
camp (fn. 3) . A part of Sommers-town is now built upon the site. The celebrated and ingenious Dr. Stukeley, whose imagination in the pursuit
of a favourite hypothesis would sometimes enable him to see more than
other antiquaries, has written 16 pages in folio (fn. 4) upon this entrenchment, which he expressly affirms to have been the camp of Cæfar.
He supposes it to have extended 500 paces by 400, including a small
moated site to the south of the church, and another to the north (fn. 5) .
Quitting the language of conjecture, the doctor points out the disposition of the troops, and the station of each general's tent, with as
much confidence as if he had himself been in the camp. Here was
Cæfar's prætorium; here was stationed Mandubrace, King of London; here were the quarters of M. Crassus, the Quæstor; here was
Cominius; there the Gaulish princes, &c. &c. It is but justice to
Dr. Stukeley's memory to mention, that this account of Cæfar's
camp was not printed in his lifetime; as he withheld it from the
public, it is probable he was convinced that his imagination had
carried him too far on this subject. Dr. Stukeley remarks that the
vallum thrown up in the civil war was in the fields next the
Duke of Bedford's; he adds, that it was levelled after the Restoration, and that scarcely a trace of it was (when he wrote) visible, notwithstanding Cæfar's camp remained in so perfect a state after an
interval of 1800 years. I do not suppose that the entrenchment at
the Brill was thrown up by the Londoners in 1642 (since the name
denotes something more ancient (fn. 6) ); but it certainly appears by the
diurnals published at the time, that entrenchments and ramparts were
thrown up in the fields near Pancras church during the civil war. I
think it not improbable that the moated areas abovementioned near
the church were the sites of the vicarage and rectory-house; which,
in a survey of the parish of Pancras bearing date 1251 (fn. 7) , are described
as two area, one prope ecclesiam; the other ad aquilonem ecclesiæ. The
rectory-house at Newington-butts still exists in a moated state.
Prebendal manor of Kentish-town, or Cantelows.
In the survey of Doomsday two manors are described as being in
the parish of Pancras, besides that of Totehele. The canons of St.
Paul's, says that record, hold four hides at Pancras for a manor.
The land is of two carucates. The villans employ only one plough,
but might employ another. There is timber in the hedgerows; pasture for the cattle, and 20d. rents. Four villans hold this land
under the canons, and there are seven cottars. In the whole, valued at 40s. in King Edward's time at 60s. I suppose this to have
been the prebendal manor of Kentish-town, or Cantelows. The
name of Kaunteloe, or de Kaunteloe, occurs in some of the most
ancient court-rolls of the manor of Tottenhall (fn. 8) . The demesne lands
consist of about 210 acres, according to the survey taken by order of
parliament in 1649 (fn. 9) . The manor house was then sold to Richard
Hill, merchant of London, and the manor (which had been demised
to Philip King and George Duncomb for three lives, all then surviving) to Richard Utber, draper. After the Restoration, the lessees, or
their representatives, were reinstated in their property. About the
year 1670 the lease came into the possession of John Jeffreys, Esq.
father of Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys of Roehampton, Alderman of London (fn. 10) .
By the intermarriage of the late Earl Camden with Elizabeth, one of
the daughters and coheirs of Nicholas Jeffreys, Esq. grandson of Sir
John, it became vested in him in right of his wife, and is now the
property of the present Earl. This estate is held on lives subject to
a reserved rent of 20l. 1s. 5d. per annum, paid to the prebendary,
who keeps the manor in his own hands, and holds a court leet and
The present prebendary of Cantelows is Anthony Hamilton, D.D.
Archdeacon of Colchester, and a Vice-president of the Society of
Antiquaries, who was collated in 1771.
Manor of Pancras.
Walter, a canon of St. Paul's, held, when the survey of Doomsday was taken, one hide at Pancras. The land, says that record, is
of one carucate, and employs one plough. On this estate are 24
men, who pay a rent of 30s. per annum. In the year 1375, Joan,
widow of Robert Lord Ferrers, of Chartley, died seised of an estate,
called the manor of Pancras (fn. 11) (held under the dean and chapter of
St. Paul's, by a rent of 30s.) being the same, I suppose, which belonged to Walter the canon. Robert Lord Ferrers, of Groby, who
inherited his mother's lands, sold this estate to Sir Robert Knolles,
in 1378 (fn. 12) . In the year 1381, the reversion which belonged to the
crown, was granted after the death of Sir Robert and his wife
Custancia, to the prior and convent of the house of Carthusian
monks, built in honour of the holy salutation (fn. 13) . I have not
been able to find what became of this estate after the dissolution
of monasteries. Perhaps it is Lord Somers's estate at the Brill,
which is freehold, but the title deeds are not sufficiently ancient to
Prebendal manor of Tothele, Totenhall, or Totten-ham-court.
The manor of Totehele (now Tottenham court) contained five
hides, and is thus described in the record of Doomsday. The land
is of four carucates, but only seven parts in eight are cultivated.
There are four villans and four bordars, wood for 150 hogs, and
40s. arising from the herbage. In the whole valued at 4l., in King
Edward's time at 5 l. This manor was formerly kept by the prebendary of Totenhall in his own hands. In 1343, John de Carleton
held a court baron as lessee, and the prebendary the same year held
a view of frank-plege (fn. 14) . In the year 1560, the manor of Totenhall,
or Tottenham, was demised to Queen Elizabeth for 99 years, in the
name of Sir Robert Dudley (fn. 15) . In the year 1639, twenty years before the expiration of Queen Elizabeth's term, a lease was granted
to Charles the First, in the name of Sir Henry Vane, for three
lives (fn. 16) . In 1649, this manor, being seized as crown land, was sold
to Ralph Harrison, Esq. of London, for the sum of 3318l. 3s. IId. (fn. 17)
At the Restoration, it reverted to the crown; and in the year 1661,
two of the lives in King Charles's lease being surviving, it was
granted by Charles II. in payment of a debt to Sir Henry Wood,
for the term of 41 years, if the said survivors should live so long (fn. 18) .
The lease became the property of Isabella Countess of Arlington (fn. 19) ,
from whom it was inherited by her son Charles Duke of Grafton.
In the year 1768, the lease being then vested in the Hon. Charles
Fitzroy (now Lord Southampton), younger brother of the present
Duke of Grafton, an act of parliament passed, by which the feesimple of this manor vests in Lord Southampton and his heirs, subject to the payment of 300l. per annum, to the prebendary of Tottenham, in lieu of the ancient reserved rent of 46l. and all fines for
renewals. The demesne lands of this manor, according to the survey
of 1649, are about 240 acres.
Prebendaries of Totenhall.
Among the eminent men who have held this prebend may be
reckoned Ralph de Diceto, dean of St. Paul's, the English annalist;
Lawrence Booth, Archbishop of York; Alexander Nowell, dean of
St. Paul's, and John Overall, Bishop of Norwich (fn. 20) . The present
prebendary is the Rev. Thomas Willis, LL. B. collated in 1790, on
the death of the late Dr. Lort.
Prebend of Pancras.
The prebend of Pancras has for its corps an estate of about 70
acres in this parish. In very remote times, the rectory belonged to
it. The appropriated rectory of Chigwell in Essex, formerly the
endowment of a chantry founded by Bishop Kemp in St. Paul's cathedral, and annexed to the prebend of Pancras (fn. 21) , is still held under
the prebendary. The mansion-house belonging to this prebend was
leased in 1584, to George Benyon, Esq. for 21 years (fn. 22) . The prebendal estate was demised for the same term, to John King, Esq. in
1641, the reserved rent being 10l. (fn. 23) The present lessee is Henry
Newcome, Esq. of Devonshire-place.
Lancelot Andrews, Bishop of Winchester, and William Sherlock,
are among the prebendaries who have filled this stall (fn. 24) . The present
prebendary is the Rev. W. Paley, Archdeacon of Carlisle, well known
by his admired work on the principles of moral philosophy. He
was collated by the present Bishop of London in 1794.
Prebend of Rugmere.
The corps of the prebend of Rugmere was formerly in this parish.
The capital messuage of Ruggemere is mentioned in the survey of
Pancras, anno 1251 (fn. 25) . It is mentioned also by Norden (fn. 26) , as a seat
belonging to one of the prebendaries of St. Paul's. Its site is not
now known, nor any estate in Pancras held under this prebend, the
corps of which consists, as I am informed, only of the parsonage and
tithes of Throughley in Kent, of which Lord Sondes is the lessee (fn. 27) .
The present prebendary of Rugmere is the Rev. Drake Hollingbery,
M. A. Chancellor of Chichester, collated in 1780.
Cane-wood, or ken-wood.
Within this parish, in a singularly beautiful situation, is the Earl
of Mansfield's seat, called Cane-wood, or Ken-wood. I think it
not improbable that the wood near this mansion, and the neighbouring hamlet of Kentish-town, in old records written Kentesstonne,
are both called after the name or title of some very remote possessor.
One of the deans of St. Paul's was Reginald de Kentewode. Either
he or some of his ancestors, in all probability, derived their name
from living near a wood so called. The alteration from Kentwode
to Ken-wood is by no means unlikely to happen. The estate and
house at Ken-wood, in the year 1661, appear to have been the pro
perty of John Bill, Esq. who married Lady Pelham (relict, as I suppose, of Sir Thomas Pelham, and daughter of Sir Henry Vane).
I have not been able to procure any thing farther relating to its history, than that the late Earl of Mansfield (then Attorney General)
purchased it, in 1755, of the Earl of Bute, and that it had previously
been the property of the Duke of Argyle (fn. 29) .
The late venerable owner, the celebrity of whose character is such
as to need no farther mention here, made Ken-wood for many years
his principal summer residence.
Lord Mansfield's seat.
Remarkable busts and portraits.
The most remarkable room at Ken-wood is the library, a very
beautiful apartment (about 60 feet by 21), designed by Adam (fn. 30) , and
ornamented with paintings by Zucchi. In this room is a whole
length of the late Lord Mansfield by Martin, and a sine bust of him
by Nollekens. There is another bust of his Lordship, when young,
in the hall, one of Sir Isaac Newton, and the antique bust of Homer,
in white marble, which was bequeathed to Lord Mansfield by Pope.
The paintings in the hall are by Rebecca. In the breakfast parlour
is a bust of Pope, and a portrait of Sir Christopher Hatton; in the
other rooms are some portraits well deserving of notice, particularly
those of Pope, Garrick, the Duchess of Queensbery, and a good
head of Betterton, the celebrated tragedian, said to be by Pope, who
had been instructed in the art of painting, by his friend Jarvis. The
present noble owner is improving and enlarging the house very considerably. Saunders is employed as the architect.
The pleasure grounds, including the wood which gives name to the
place, contain about 40 acres. Their situation is naturally very beautiful, and the hand of art has been successfully employed in making
them still more picturesque. The cedars of Libanus, though young,
are very fine, and are shot up to a great height with their leaders
entire. One of them was planted by the late Lord Mansfield with
his own hands. The inclosed fields, adjoining to the pleasure
grounds, contain about 30 acres. Hornsey great woods, held by
Lord Mansfield under the Bishop of London, join this estate on the
north; they consist of about 100 acres, and have been lately added
to the inclosures.
Reservoirs of the Hampstead water-works.
The reservoirs belonging to the Hampstead water-works (fn. 28) are a
considerable ornament to Ken-wood.
"Pancras-church," says Norden, "standeth all alone, as utterly
forsaken, old and wether-beaten, which, for the antiquity there"of, it is thought not to yeeld to Paules in London. About this
church have bin many buildings now decayed, leaving poor
Pancras without companie or comfort, yet it is now and then
visited with Kentishtowne and Highgate, which are members
thereof; but they seldom come there, for they have chapels of
ease within themselves; but when there is a corpse to be interred,
they are forced to leave the same within this forsaken church or
church-yard, where (no doubt) it resteth as secure against the day
of resurrection, as if it laie in stately Paules (fn. 29) ." It is clear, that
the stealing of dead bodies was not then practised. Newcourt, whose
work was published in 1700, says, that houses had been built near
the church. It is still, however, one of the least populous parts of
The church is of Gothic architecture, built of stones and flints,
which are now covered with plaster. It is certainly not older than
the 14th century, perhaps in Norden's time it had the appearance of
great decay; the same building, nevertheless, repaired from time to
time, still remains; and having lately undergone a complete repair,
looks no longer "old and wether-beaten," and may exist perhaps
to be spoken of by some antiquary of a future century. Its disproportion to the population of the parish is very striking. It is a very
small structure, consisting only of a nave and chancel; at the west
end is a low tower, with a kind of dome (fn. 30) .
Weever speaks of a wondrous ancient monument in this church,
by tradition said to belong to the family of Gray, of Gray's Inn. If
it be that which now remains in the north wall of the chancel, I
should suppose it not to be much older than the year 1500. It is
of purbeck marble, and has an elliptical arch ornamented with quatrefoils. No inscription or arms remain. Weever mentions also the
tomb of Robert Eve, and Laurentia his sister, daughter of Francis,
son of Thomas Eve, clerk of the crown (fn. 31) . There is no date. The
family of Eve, or Ive, were of great antiquity in this parish. In
the year 1252, King Henry III. granted leave to Thomas Ive to
inclose a portion of the highway adjoining to his mansion at Kentessetonne (fn. 32) . Richard Ive, about the middle of the last century, had
the manor of Toppesfield in the parish of Hornsey, and died without male issue, leaving some daughters, coheirs.
Burial-place of Roman Catholics.
The church and church-yard of Pancras have been long noted (fn. 33) as
the burial-place of such Roman Catholics as die in London and its
vicinity. Many persons of that persuasion have been interred at
Paddington, but their numbers are small when compared with what
are to be found at Pancras, where almost every tomb exhibits a
cross, and the initials R. I. P. (Requiescat in pace), which initials,
or others analogous to them, are always used by the Catholics upon
their sepulchral monuments. I have heard it assigned by some of
that persuasion, as a reason for this preference to Pancras as a
burial-place, that before the late convulsions in that country, masses
were said in a church in the south of France, dedicated to the
same saint, for the souls of the deceased interred at St. Pancras in
Monument of Cooper, the painter.
On the north of the chancel at Pancras are the monuments of
John Offley (fn. 34) of London, merchant, 1667, and Thomas Doughty (fn. 35) ,
1694. On the east wall are those of Daniel Clarke, Esq. (fn. 36) who had
been master cook to Queen Elizabeth, 1626, and Richard Draper,
Esq. (fn. 37) serjeant at law, 1756. On the south wall are those of Samuel
Cooper, Esq. (fn. 38) 1672; Richard Fitzgerald, 1702; and Philadelphia,
wife of Thomas Wollaston, Esq. (fn. 39) of London. The date of the latter
is concealed. It is of the last century, a small monument of veined
marble; the effigies of the deceased is represented reclining on a bed
with an infant in her arms. Within the rails of the communiontable are the tombs of Richard Nicolls, Esq. of Kentishtown, 1612;
and Frances, wife of Thomas Nevill, Esq. of Holt in Leicestershire
(relict of Sir Charles Wintour, of Lidney in Gloucestershire), 1720.
In the chancel are the tombs also of William Talbot, Gent. 1660;
Captain Robert Harland, and Frances his wife (the dates concealed).
On the south wall of the nave is the monument of the Hon. Rowland
Belasyse (fn. 40) (uncle to the present Earl of Fauconberg), 1768; on the
north wall, a small brass plate to the memory of Mary, wife of John
Beresforde (fn. 41) , Gent. "ouster barester" of Gray's Inn, 1588; on the
floor, flat stones in memory of Frances, wife of Anthony Monson,
Esq. and daughter of Sir Philip Tirwhit, Bart. 1658; Isabel, wife of
Sir Valentine Brown, of Lincolnshire, Knt. 1680; Mary Frances,
wife of Henry Tasbourgh, Esq. 1706; Charles Somerset, Esq. 1724;
Margaret, relict of Sir Charles Anderton, Bart. 1720; Hon. Anne
Belasyse, 1731; Hon. Penelope Belasyse, 1750 (aunts of the present
Earl of Fauconberg); and Mary Clare, Lady Gerard, daughter and
heir of Henry Tasbourgh, and wife of Sir Thomas Gerard, Bart. of
Bryn in Lancashire, 1749.
Monuments in the churchyard.
Against the north wall, on the outside, is the monument of Mr. John
Horton, Gent. 1738; Catherine, his wife, 1748; Mr. Ignatius Cugnoni,
who married her grand-daughter; and others of the family of Horton.
Edward Walpole, a poetical writer.
Leoni, the architect.
Lady Henrietta Beard.
Van Bleek the portraitpainter.
Abraham Langford, the auctioneer.
Paxton, the musician.
Baron de Wenzel.
In the church-yard are the tombs of Robert Davies, Gent. son of
Robert Davies, Esq. of Guisancy in Flintshire, 1668; Dorothy, only
daughter of John Eyton, of Leewood in Flintshire, by Dorothy,
sister of Robert Davies, 1672; Abraham Woodhead (fn. 42) , 1678; Edward Boteler, Esq. 1681; Robert Pennant, second son of Piercy
Pennant, Esq. (fn. 43) of Byghtan in Flintshire, by Katherine, sister of
Robert Davies, 1689; Edward Betts, of the College of Physicians,
son of the famous John Betts (fn. 44) , 1695; Obadiah Walker (fn. 45) , 1699;
Catherine, widow of Thomas Brent, Esq. of Stoke in Gloucestershire,
1706; Gilbert Whitehall, Gent. 1709; Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Carlton, Esq. Knight-harbinger to Charles I. and Charles II.
(by his second wife Mary, daughter of Richard and Barbara Boyle),
1709; Terence Macmahon, Gent. 1710; Andrew Giffard, 1714;
Bonaventura Giffard, 1734; Thomas Dongan, Earl of Lymerick,
1715; Catherine, relict of Jonas Cudworth, and wife of Edward
Fenwick, Esq. of Northumberland, 1715; William Sulyard, Gent.
1715; Mary, daughter of Charles Townley, Esq. (by Ursula Ferriour, of Tysmore in Oxfordshire), 1716; Philippa, wife of Sir
Henry Bateman, Knt. 1718; Elizabeth, wife of John Beaumont,
Gent. 1721; Charlotte, wife of Nicholas Stapleton, Esq. 1721;
Mabel, his second wife, 1727; Mr. Martin Harrold, 1721; John
Walpole, Esq. of Gray's Inn, 1721; Edward Walpole, Esq. (fn. 46) of
Dunston in Lincolnshire, 1740; Thomas Shuttleworth, Gent. 1724;
George Erington, Esq. 1725; Thomas Gibson, Esq. of Northamptonshire, 1726; Dennis Molony, Esq. 1726; the Hon. Esme Howard,
son of Henry Earl of Arundel, 1728; Daniel Macnamara, Esq. 1730;
George Fuller, 1730; Adam White, Gent. 1730; Amy Constable,
daughter of Hugh Lord Clifford, and wife of Cuthbert Constable,
Esq. 1731; Sir John Butler, 1731; Richard Chapman, merchant,
1733; Mr. George Shadforth, 1734; Mr. Matthew King, 1734;
Peter Sexton, 1734; Sir James Tobin, Bart. (fn. 47) 1735; William Gower,
Esq. 1736; Captain William Drummond Pierpoint, 1737; Mary,
widow of Francis Moore, Esq. 1737; Mrs. Margaret Dixon, 1738;
Sir Joseph Richards, Bart. 1738; William Montague, merchant,
1740; Barbara, wife of Sir John Webb, Bart. daughter and heir of
John Lord Bellasyse, 1740; William Walton, 1740; Ralph Clayton,
Gent. 1742; the Right Hon. Elizabeth Countess of Castlehaven,
relict of James Earl of Castlehaven, and daughter of Henry Lord
Arundell, 1743; Elizabeth, widow of Charles Conquest, M. D. 1743;
Sir Thomas Mackworth, Bart. 1744; William Kirwood, surgeon,
1744; the Hon. Mary Browne, sister of Lord Viscount Montague,
1745; John Dutry Cornelisz, Esq. 1745; Charles Vere, Esq. 1746;
James Leoni, 1746 (fn. 48) ; Peter Christopher Balzlow, Esq. 1747; Igna
tius Conran, merchant, 1748; Anthony Cousien, 1749; Charles
Standford, M. D. 1750; James Allen, Gent. 1750; the Hon. Thomas
Arundell, Count of the most sacred Roman empire (uncle to Lord
Arundell of Wardour), 1752; Lady Henrietta, daughter of James
Earl of Waldegrave, wife, first of Edward Lord Herbert; secondly,
of John Beard (the celebrated vocal performer), ob. 1753, ætat. 36;
Margaret Daly, widow, daughter of Robert Walsh, Esq. and coheirefs
of Edmund Sheffield, the last Duke of Buckinghamshire, 1754;
Thomas William Selbye, Esq. of Northumberland, 1755; Thomas
Smyth, M. D. of Ireland, 1755; Mr. Thomas Berington, 1755;
Thomas Wollascott, Esq. 1756; Charles Button, Gent. 1758; Mrs.
Catherine Hall, 1758; Robert Allen, Esq. of Barbadoes, 1759; Brian
Philpot, merchant, 1759; Arabella, wife of Thomas Bedingfield,
Esq. 1762; Mr. Thomas Abbott, of Swaffham in Norfolk, attorney
at law, 1762; Sir Thomas Webb, Bart. 1763; Peter Van-Bleeck (fn. 49) ,
Esq. 1764; Michael Connell, M. D. 1764; Mr. John Hankin, 1764;
Mr. Anthony Fediere, 1764; Anne, relict of Ralph Widdrington,
Esq. 1764; Walter Quin, Esq. merchant of London, 1764; Thomas
Wadding, Esq. 1765; Thomas Basnett, Gent. 1765; Catherine Dignan, aged 90, 1765; Frances, relict of George Brownlowe Doughty,
Esq. (daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Titchbourne, Bart.), 1765;
James Doughty, Esq. 1778; Richard Cowley, Esq. 1766; Richard
Taaffe, Esq. 1769; Henry Wybarne, Esq. 1769; Frances, Countess
Dowager of Litchfield, 1769; Alexander Wood, Esq. 1769; John
Power of London, merchant, 1770; John Power of Cadiz, merchant,
1788; Thadæus Fitzpatrick, Esq. 1771; Robert Skerret, Esq. 1771;
Stephen Lynch, Esq. 1771; Mrs. Alice Dover, 1771; Mrs. Mary
Tyte, sister of William Dover, Esq. of Kingston in Jamaica, 1772;
Mrs. Anne Tyte, 1772; Mr. Henry Sidgier (on the same tomb),
1786; Mr. George Snowden, 1771; Nicholas Tuite, Esq. 1772;
Rev. Francis Blyth, 1772; Rev. William Bower, 1773; Basil Forcer,
Esq. 1774; Abraham Langford, Esq. 1774 (fn. 50) ; Henry Rackett, Esq.
1775; Robert Rackett, Esq. (fn. 51) 1779; Mr. James Underhill, 1775;
Edmund Duany, Esq. 1776; George Wilmot, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn,
1776; Mary, wife of Joseph Webb, Esq. 1776; Rev. James Nicholas,
1777; Rev. John Dunn, 1778; Jane, wife of Francis Risdon, Esq.
1778; Judith, widow of John Stockwell, Esq. 1778; Mrs. Anne
Cooper (fn. 52) , 1779; John Bradshaw, Esq. 1779; Thomas Parkinson,
Esq. 1779, &c.; Matthew O'Reilly, Esq. 1780; Manoel Roiz, of
Lima, Gent. 1780; Thomas Hirst, Esq. of Yorkshire, 1780; Isaac
Hitchcock, of Clifford's Inn (fn. 53) , 1781; Anthony Wright, Esq. 1782;
Lucy, his wife, daughter of Edmund Plowden, Esq. of Shropshire,
1786; Francis Wright, Esq. 1786; Patrick Larkan, merchant, 1782;
John Smyth, Esq. surgeon, 1782; John Newton, Esq. of Lincolnshire,
1783; Count Haslang (fn. 54) , 1783; Manoel Vieira, merchant, 1783;
Mrs. Elizabeth Pereira, 1783; Catherine, daughter of William Haggerston Constable, Esq. and Lady Winifred, 1783; Edward Harlee,
aged 91, 1784; Robert Bernard Grant (Principal of the Scotch College
at Douay (fn. 55) ), 1784; Laurence Cotter, Esq. 1784; William Woollett (fn. 56) ,
1785; John Garden, Esq. 1785; Philippa, Lady Fleetwood (fn. 57) , 1786;
John Prendergast, Esq. 1786; Mr. John Anthony Tagle, of Lima in
Peru, 1787; Anne, daughter of Francis Trapps, Esq. 1787; Mr. Stephen Paxton (fn. 58) , 1787; Rev. Geo. Kingsley, 1787; Victor Rependor,
Esq. 1788; Miss Anne Dias Santos, 1788; James Macnamara, Esq.
1788; Jane, relict of Theobald Bourke, Esq. 1788; Michael Bourke,
Esq. 1789; Mr. Robert Fleetwood (fn. 59) , 1789; Mary, daughter of John
Kirwan, 1788; Timothy Cuningham, Esq. F. S. A. (fn. 60) 1789; M. I. B.
Baron de Wenzel (fn. 61) , 1790; Thomas Langdale, Esq. (fn. 62) 1790; Wm. Howard, Esq. 1790; Miss Ruth Ellis, 1791; John Lawson, Esq. 1791;
Thomas Bodkin, merchant, 1792; Thomas Kiernan, Esq. of Gray's
Inn, 1792; Matthew Plunket, Esq. 1792; Christopher Mac Evoy, Esq.
of St. Croix, 1792; John Prou, Esq. 1793; Duncan Stewart, Esq. of
North Britain, 1793; Elizabeth Everett, relict of the Hon. William
Barnett, of Arcadia in Jamaica, 1793; his Excellency Count Philippo Nupumeceno Fontana (fn. 63) , 1793; Mary, daughter of Michael
Bothomley, Esq. 1794; and Mrs. Candace Margaret Bartholomew,
In the circuit walk, annexed to Stow's Survey, are recorded tombs
of the following persons (since removed, or become illegible): Tho
mas Plot, of Spershott in Buckinghamshire, 1677; Randolph Yearwood, vicar, 1684; Richard Finchamp, son of John Finchamp, of
Outwell in Norfolk, 1689; Susanna, wife of John Carlton (daughter
of Sir Hugh Ackland, of Killerton in Devonshire, and relict of Edward Hassall, Esq. equerry to Queen Catherine), 1696; and Mrs.
Mary Judd, 1699.
The church-yard was enlarged in the year 1793, by the addition
of a large piece of ground to the south east.
There was a chapel at Kentish-twon, as early as the reign of Queen
Elizabeth (fn. 63) . It stood on land which belonged, anno 1633, to the
family of Hewitt. In that year, the parish having received a sum of
money for renewing the lease of their church-lands, applied it to the
rebuilding and enlarging this chapel. Randall Yearwood, vicar of
Pancras, in a paper dated 1673, states, that the parish did not buy
the site, nor take a lease of it, but that they paid a noble per annum
to the Hewitts, to be permitted to have the use of the chapel (fn. 64) . The
present chapel, which stands about a quarter of a mile to the north
of the old building, and more in the centre of the hamlet, was erected,
partly by a brief, and partly by savings out of the church lands, in
the years 1783 and 1784 (fn. 65) . It is a neat brick structure. There is a
vault beneath, in which a few bodies have been interred, but there
are no monumental inscriptions in the chapel.
Percy, Fitzroy, and Bethel chapels.
Percy chapel, near Tottenham-court Road (fn. 66) (being private property), was built about the year 1769; Fitzroy chapel (fn. 67) , about the
year 1778; Bethel chapel (fn. 68) , at Sommer's town, about the year 1787.
St. James's chapel.
St. James's chapel, built in 1792, on the east side of the road
from Tottenham-court to Hampstead, and the adjoining cemetery,
are made by act of parliament to belong to the parish of St. James
Westminster, as are the cemeteries of St. Andrew Holbourn, St.
George the Martyr, and St. George Bloomsbury, to those respective
parishes, though locally situated in that of Pancras.
In Tottenham-court Road, within this parish, is a large chapel
belonging to the Methodists of Mr. Whitefield's persuasion. It was
built by subscription under the auspices of this celebrated man, who
was founder of the community. The first stone was laid on the 10th
of May 1756, and it was opened on the 7th of November following.
Mr. Whitefield preached upon the occasion to a very crowded auditory. Over the door are the arms of Whitefield (fn. 68) . Mrs. Whitefield
was buried in the chapel, where is a monument to her memory, and
that of her husband, who died in New England (fn. 69) . On the walls of
the chapel are monuments of the following persons: Elizabeth, wife
of John Griffiths, Esq. 1770; John Griffiths, Esq. 1788; John Green,
minister of the chapel, 1774; Mrs. Catherine Groves, 1781; Mrs.
Elizabeth Bacon, 1782; Christian, wife of William Morley, Esq. and
daughter of George Hart, Esq. of Newington, 1785; and Edward
Webster, Esq. (fn. 69) 1788. On the floor are the tombs of Mr. Mason
Jenkin, limner, 1758; Mr. Matthew Pearce, builder of the chapel,
1775; Rev. A. M. Toplady (fn. 70) , aged 38, 1778; Charles Smyth, Esq.
Captain in the second troop of Horse Guards, 1780; and Mercy,
wife of Dr. James Illingworth, 1785. In the cemetery adjoining are
the tombs of Mr. Bartholomew Goodson, who was struck dead with
a flash of lightning, Mar. 22, 1772, as he was attending divine service in the chapel; Mr. William Burrell, attorney at law, 1774;
William, son of Captain John Welsh, 1781; George Gauld, A. M.
of King's College, Aberdeen (surveyor of the coasts of Florida), 1782;
Mr. Benjamin Love, of Fulham, 1785; Major William Cawthorne,
1786; Sarah, wife of Captain Matthew Gage, 1786; Mrs. Susanna
Lewis, of Bourn in Gloucestershire, 1787; Rev. Richard Elliott (fn. 71) ,
1788; and Mr. Richard Smith, clerk of the chapel (of whom there
is an engraved portrait), 1790.
In the year 1758, 12 alms-houses for poor widows were built by
Mr. Whitefield near this chapel. It was proposed to allow them
2s. 6d. each weekly, out of the sacramental collections at the
chapel (fn. 72) .
Rectory of Pancras.
William de Belmeis, nephew of Richard de Belmeis, Bishop of
London, being possessed of the prebend of Pancras, within which
the church was situated, gave the tithes to the canons of St. Paul's (fn. 73) ,
which grant was confirmed by Bishop Gilbert (anno 1183) (fn. 74) , and
by Belmeis's successor in the prebend, John de St. Lawrence (fn. 75) . Soon
afterwards the dean and chapter granted the church of Pancras,
with all tithes, &c. to the hospital within their cathedral, founded
by Henry de Northampton, reserving to themselves an annual pension of one mark (fn. 76) . About the same time Ralph de Diceto, dean of
St. Paul's, gave to that church the tithes of his prebend of Totenhale
in this parish (fn. 77) , which grant was confirmed by Lucius Bishop of
London (fn. 78) . Various ancient leases of the rectory (for the most part
to canons of the church), are to be found among the Cartæ Antiquæ
at St. Paul's (fn. 79) . After the suppression of chantries, guilds, &c. the
rectory came again into the possession of the dean and chapter, and
has since been leased in the usual manner of church property, subject to a reserved rent of 13l. 6s. 8d.
Lessees of the rectory.
It appears by an old rent-book at St. Paul's, that Margaret Bust
was lessee of the rectory in 1630: in 1650, John Elborow, clerk,
was in possession of the lease as her heir (fn. 80) ; in 1694 Jacob Joyner (fn. 81)
was the lessee; in 1701 Mr. Brown, in 1704 Francis Collins.
Richard Draper, Esq. serjeant at law, was lessee at the time of his
death, in 1756. The lease is now vested in Mr. Swinnerton, of the
White Hart Inn, at Colebrook.
The rectory of Pancras was valued at 13 marks per annum, in
1327 (fn. 82) . It appears by a visitation of the church, anno 1251, that
the vicar had all the small tithes, a pension of 5l. per annum, out
of the great tithes, four acres of glebe, and a vicarage house near
the church (fn. 83) . The vicarage is rated in the King's books at 9l. per
annum; in 1650 it was valued at 28l.; an augmentation of 50l. per
annum was at that time voted by the committees (fn. 84) .
It has been usual to perform divine service at this church only on
the first Sunday in each month, at other times in Kentish-town
chapel to the same congregation. This arrangement was sufficiently
convenient before the great increase of buildings on the south side of
the parish. About the year 1787, the Rev. Mr. Mead having been
chosen preacher by consent of the vicar, service was performed at
Pancras every Sunday for some years, but it is now only monthly
The present vicar is Benjamin Mence, M. A. collated in 1749
by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, who are patrons and ordinaries.
The earliest date of the register of baptisms and marriages is 1660,
that of burials 1688. The registers are now kept with great regularity. That of baptisms has an index, which forms itself as the
names are entered, by means of a marginal alphabet at the beginning.
It is to be feared, that for several years past the registers, particularly
those of baptisms, are incomplete. The great increase of population
in the more distant parts of the parish, induced the vicar to permit
baptism to be performed in those districts. This circumstance,
though attended with convenience in other respects, caused many
omissions in the registers, and the average number of baptisms, of late
years, will be found very inadequate to what might be expected in
a parish supposed (by a calculation in which I think the number is
under-rated) to contain 4000 houses. The number of burials also is
extremely disproportionate to the population of the parish, but it is
probable that the parishioners of the distant hamlets have interred
their friends in more convenient cemeteries.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of baptisms.
||Average of burials.
|N.B. From 1668 there is a chasm till 1677.
Number of houses anno 1251.
Increase of buildings within the last 40 years.
It appears by a visitation of the church of Pancras, in the year
1251, that there were then 40 houses in the parish, including the
capital messuages of Tothale, Rugmere, Northbi, and Alkichesbri.
A very great increase of buildings has taken place in this parish
within the last 40 years, the proportion is calculated at 20 to one.
The first increase of much consequence was in the neighbourhood
of Tottenham-court Road. The streets near Percy chapel were built
about the year 1765 (fn. 82) . Those more to the north are of later date,
some of them very recent. The magnificent square, called Fitzroysquare, was begun in 1793, and is as yet unfinished. The hamlet
of Kentish-town has been increased more than one half within the
last 20 years. Sommers-town was begun about 1786; Camdentown, in 1791; a considerable number of houses have been built of
late near Battle-bridge.
Extracts from the Register.
"Sir Thomas Gardiner (fn. 83) and Mrs Jane Brookes, were married
May 28, 1661."
"Diana, daughter of John Bill, Esq. and Lady Pelham (fn. 84) , baptized
at Caen-wood, June 13, 1661."
"Sir Robert Shaftoe and Mrs Catherine Witherington, married
July 18, 1661."
"John Rowe, aged above 88, and Frances Oxley, married Aug. 20,
"Dame Mary Slingsby, widow, from St. James's, buried March 1,
1693–4." It is most probable that this was the actress whose
name occurs as Lady Slingsby in the Dramatis Personæof Dryden's
and Lee's plays, between the years 1681 and 1689. In 1680, she
appears as Mrs. Mary Lee. Her name was originally Aldridge (fn. 85) .
Who her husband was is not known. He certainly was not one of
the present Baronet's immediate ancestors; nor was he of Sir Robert
Slingsby's family, who was created a Baronet in 1660. Sir Arthur
Slingsby's of Bisrons in Kent, who was created a Baronet by King
Charles II. at Brussels in 1657, left a son, Charles, who succeeded to
the title in 1671. Perhaps he might be the husband of this lady.
Both his family and that of the Hertfordshire Baronet, Sir Robert,
have been long extinct. Lady Slingsby appears to have been an
actress of eminence, and to have played the principal characters in
"Obadiah Walker, clerk, buried Feb. 2, 1699." Obadiah Walker
was born at Wosperdale in Yorkshire, and received his education at University College in Oxford, of which he afterwards became master.
In the year 1687, by virtue of letters patent from King James, he
set up a press, for the avowed purpose of printing books against the
reformed religion. The patent specifies the names of the books
(many of which were written by his deceased friend Abraham Woodhead), and exempts him from any penalties to which he might be
subject by the statutes against Popery. The number of copies to be
published of each work, is limited to 20,000 within the year (fn. 84) . He
procured also other letters patent, by which he and some fellows of
his college were excused from attending the public service of the
church (fn. 85) . Under the sanction of this authority he opened a chapel
for mass within the walls of the college. Upon the arrival of William the Third, following the example of his Royal patron, he abdicated his headship, and went to London, where he passed the remainder of his days, and died in the month of January 1699, aged 86.
He translated a life of King Alfred, which he published, with plates
and notes; he was author also of a treatise on education; instructions
in the art of oratory and grammer; a description of Greenland, the
Northern Islands, Muscovy, and Russia; a life of Christ, and a Greek
and Roman history, illustrated by coins and medals, a work in good
esteem (fn. 86) . He was buried in the church-yard at Pancras, near the
grave of his friend Abraham Woodhead, where is a monument to
his memory, with this short inscription:
"Per bonam famam, et infamiam.
"Ob. Jan. 31. A. D. 1699. Æt. 86.
"The Right Hon. Mary Lady Dowager Abergavenny (fn. 87) , buried
Nov. 14, 1699."
"Gray James Grove and Penelope, daughter of Ld Jermyn, married June 8, 1700."
"John Ernest Grabe, D. D. buried Nov. 9, 1711." A learned
divine, born at Koninsberg in Prussia, in the year 1666. He received his education at the university of that place, where his father,
Martin Sylvester Grabe, was professor of divinity and history.
Having determined to quit the Lutheran religion on account of some
points of conscience, he hesitated for some time in his choice, and
at length determined to embrace that of the church of England; for
which purpose he came to this country in 1695, bringing with him
very strong recommendations to the King, who assigned him a
pension of 100l. per annum, to enable him to pursue his studies.
He soon afterwards entered into priest's orders in our church. His
edition of the Septuiaginst from the Alexandrian MS. is well known.
He published also Spicilegium S. S. Patrum, or the lesser works of
the Fathers and Heretics of the three first centuries; an edition of
Justin Martyr's first Apology; the works of Irenæus; Bishop Bull's
works; and a tract against Whiston's doctrine of the Apostolical
constitutions, written in English. Grabe resided much at Oxford,
both for the convenience of the Bodleian library, and for the society
of learned men which he found there. The university gave him the
degree of D. D. to which he was presented by Dr. Smalridge, who
made a speech upon the occasion, containing a very handsome and
just eulogium upon his merits. There is a monument to this eminent divine in Westminster Abbey (fn. 88) , which has occasioned it to be
said that he was buried there (fn. 89) . Dr. Smalridge published a life of
Dr. Grabe, and an account of his MSS. prefixed to a tract against
Whiston. Two others of his posthumous works were afterwards
printed; a Greek liturgy, and a treatise on the Eucharist.
"Dame Bridget Clifton, buried Nov. 11, 1711."
"Charles Calvert, Baron of Baltimore in Ireland, buried Feb. 26,
1720; the Lady Baltimore, July 26, 1731."
"Jeremiah Collier, clerk, buried April 29, 1726." This celebrated writer was son of a clergyman, and born at Stow Qui, in the
county of Cambridge, in the year 1650. He received his education
at Caius College. Having entered into holy orders, in the early
part of his life, he had the small living of Ampton in Suffolk. In
1685 he came to London, and was soon afterwards appointed lecturer at Gray's Inn. On the eve of the Revolution, though a
member of the church of England, he strenuously attached himself
to King James's interest, and wrote the first pamphlet which appeared
against the Prince of Orange. When that Prince was settled on the
throne of these kingdoms, Collier published several tracts, written
with much force and spirit against the government. His conduct
in other respects was at the same time so imprudent as to subject
him to very unpleasant consequences. He was twice imprisoned,
and upon refusing to comply with some legal forms, subjected himself to an outlawry, under which he continued to the day of his
death. After his second imprisonment, he seems wholly to have
directed his talents to more beneficial objects. He first published a
collection of essays upon various subjects, which were very favourably received. Soon afterwards he attacked the stage for its immorality. This engaged him in a controversy with some of the most
distinguished wits of the age. He came off victorious in the contest,
and was the means of checking the progress of that licentious style of
writing, which threatened to banish every friend to virtue and decorum from the theatres. Mr. Collier published also a translation of
Moreri's great dictionary, a translation of Marcus Antoninus, a collection of sermons, and an ecclesiastical history of Great Britain.
At Queen Anne's accession, he was earnestly solicited to conform to
the establishment, and was promised considerable preferment. It is
to the credit of his consistency that he refused, and shows at least,
that his former conduct, however erroneous, originated from motives
of conscience. In 1713, he was consecrated a Bishop by the nonjurors (fn. 99) . He died on the 26th of April 1726, and was buried at
Pancras. There is no memorial to him.
"My Lady Eleanor Fleming, buried Jan. 14, 1726–7."
"Sir Henry Bateman, buried Sep. 14, 1727."
"Edward Ward, buried June 27, 1731." A writer of low humour, generally known by the familiar appellation of Ned Ward.
He was a native of Oxfordshire, of humble extraction; for many
years he kept a coffeehouse in Moorfields, and afterwards, a punchhouse in Fulwood's rents, near Gray's Inn, where he died on the
20th of June 1731. His funeral was directed by a poetical will
written by himself in 1725. His most noted work is the London
Spy, being a description of the manners of the town at the beginning
of the present century. His poems, abounding with humour of the
lowest kind, are numerous; and he published one dramatic piece,
called the Humours of a Coffeehouse (fn. 91) .
Family of Mackworth.
"Thomas, son of Sir Thomas and Sarah Mackworth, baptized
May 15, 1732, buried Aug. 16; Jane, baptized July 13, 1734 (fn. 93) .
Sir Thomas Mackworth, buried Feb. 10, 1745; the Rt Hon. Lady
Anne Mackworth, Dec. 21, 1792."
"Bevil Higgons, buried March 6, 1735." Author of a book
against Bishop Burnet's History, and a tragedy called the Generous
Conqueror, or the Timely Discovery. He was a younger son of
Sir Thomas Higgons. Being devoted to the interest of James II.
he was one of those who accompanied that monarch in his exile (fn. 94) .
"Lady Mary Parsons, buried Ap. 26, 1735."
"Sir John Sidley (fn. 95) , buried May 3, 1737."
"Francis Annesley, Esq. (fn. 96) and Lady Sarah Fowler (fn. 97) , married
Sep. 3, 1737."
"Thomas (fn. 98) , son of Sir Robert and Diana Adams, baptized Feb. 17,
Family of Dillon.
"Ld Charles Dillon (fn. 99) , buried Oct. 27, 1741; Lady Dillon (fn. 100) ,
Nov. 23, 1751; the Honble Miss Anne Dillon, Ap. 19, 1763; the
Rt Hon. Viscount Dillon (fn. 101) , Sep. 25, 1787." Others of the family of Dillon have been interred here.
"Sir John Wittewrong (fn. 102) , buried Ap. 1, 1743."
"Lady Osbalson Sophia More (fn. 103) , buried Ap. 29, 1750."
"Lady Elizabeth Bishop (fn. 104) , buried Mar. 18, 1751."
"Lady Sarah Lad, buried Sep. 10, 1751."
Family of Arundell.
"Count of the holy Roman empire (fn. 107) , buried July 29, 1781."
"Sir Robert Burdett, Bart. and the Right Hon. Lady Caroline
"Honble Thomas Arundell (fn. 105) , buried Apr. 13, 1752; the Honble Anne Arundell (fn. 106) , Oct. 11, 1778; the Honble Thomas Arundell,
Harpur (fn. 108) , married July 17, 1753."
"Sir Henry Tempest, Bart. buried Nov. 15, 1753."
"Alice Lady Brian, buried Dec. 19, 1753."
"The Rt Hon. Barbara Barnewall (fn. 109) , buried Oct. 29, 1761."
"The Honble Mrs Cary, buried Ap. 6, 1762."
Ravenet, the engraver.
"Simon Francis Ravenet, buried April 6, 1764." An eminent
"Peter Pasqualino, buried Feb. 20, 1766." An eminent performer on the violoncello, and the first who brought that instrument
into fashion, about the year 1740 (fn. 110) .
"The Hon. Henry Francis Widdrington, buried Sep. 3, 1774."
P. H. T. de Vergy.
"Peter Henry Treyssac de Vergy, buried March 3, 1775." A
portrait in mezzotinto of this person was published in February
1775, with a short printed account of him, in which he is styled
advocate in the parliament of Bourdeaux, author of several literary performances in England, and famous for his concern in the
memorable quarrel between the Count de Guerchy, ambassador
extraordinary from the court of France, and the Chevalier D'Eon,
minister plenipotentiary from the same court to the court of Great
"Britain in 1763." There is a copy also of his last will, in which
he confesses his concern in a plot against D'Eon; and intimates that
he withdrew his assistance upon finding that it was intended to affect
the Chevalier's life. De Vergy died on the 1st of October 1774,
aged 42, and remained unburied till March, his executor waiting
for directions from his family. He had desired in his will that his
relations would remove his body to Bourdeaux. It appears by his
will that he published some pamphlets or papers against the Chevalier
D'Eon. He was author also of some novels in English, which are
said to have little other merit than that they are remarkably well
written for a foreigner.
"Maria Teresa, Duchess of Wharton (fn. 111) , buried Feb. 20, 1777."
"Anne Lady Webb (fn. 112) , buried Oct. 14, 1777."
"Baron Gustavus Adam Nolcken (fn. 113) and Mary Lemaistre, married
June 30, 1779."
"Hon. Anne Dormer, buried July 13, 1782."
"Dame Isabella Chalmers, buried April 16, 1784; Sir George
Chalmers, Nov. 15, 1791."
"Hon. Mary Teresa Eyre, buried April 2, 1785."
"John Count O Rourke, buried April 2, 1785." A well-known
character in the fashionable world, descended from the O Rourkes,
ancient sovereigns of O Rourkes county, now Leitrim, in Ireland.
He had been in the Imperial and French service, and wore the order
of St. Louis.
The Countess Potoka.
"Madam Charlotte Potoka, aged 82, buried Aug. 1, 1785."
A native of Poland. She died in the Fleet prison, where she had
been confined for debt.
"Count Ferdinand Lucchese, buried June 18, 1790." He died
at his house in Portman-square, having been Envoy from Naples
several years. His funeral was attended by the whole corps diplomatique.
"The Hon. Winifred Mary Drummond, buried Ap. 9, 1791."
"Alexander Cesar D'Anterroches, Bishop of Condom, Count de
Brisade, buried Jan. 31, 1793."
"The Neapolitan Ambasador (fn. 114) , buried June 3, 1793."
"Eleanor Bonner, from the work-house, aged 91, buried Ap. 26,
"Antoine Francois Comte de Gramont, son of Antoine Adrien
Charles, and grandson of Louis Antione Duc de Gramont, (leaving
behind him three children, Antoine Louis Raymond Genevieve,
and two daughters, Antoninette Cornelie Sainte Eugenie, and Antoinette Marie Jeanne de Gramont, by Dame Gabrielle Charlotte
Marie Eugenie de Boisgelin his wife,) buried Feb. 12, 1795,
Families connected with the peerage.
Children of the following persons connected with the peerage have
been baptized in this parish: Thomas Somers Cocks, Esq. (fn. 115) , and
Anne (1769); James Walker, Esq. and Lady Mary (fn. 116) (1771, &c.);
Lord William Campbell (fn. 117) , and Sarah (1774); Henry James Jessup,
and Lady Anna Maria (fn. 118) (1794).
Morant's benefaction for an obit.
John Morant gave four acres of land, valued in 1547 at 16s. per
annum, for an obit, at which the whole rent was to be given to the
poor in recreation (fn. 119) .
A benefactor, now unknown, gave a third part of the profits of
three acres of land, near the Fortress in the manor of Cantelows, to
the poor, which third, in 1696, produced 21. 10s. per annum (fn. 120) ,
now 14l. There are 23 acres of land belonging to the church,
given also by persons now unknown. These lands were leased for
a term of years by Sir Robert Payne and others, then fessees; and
it is stated in a survey, bearing date 1650 (fn. 121) , that when the lease
was expired, they would be worth four nobles per annum. In 1696
they were let at 361. 10s., now at about 1201 (fn. 122) .
William Heron, in 1580, gave the sum of 81. every third year,
to mend the highways in this parish.
John Miller, in 1583, gave a rent-charge of I l. 6s. 8d. on lands
at Pancras, to poor impotent people. Sir Edward Stanhope, LL.D.
anno 1603, gave the sum of 20l. to the poor. William platt, Esq.
in 1637, gave 10l. per annum to the poor of Highgate, and 4l.
to the poor of Kentife-town.
Thomas Charles, in 1617, gave a rent of I l. 4s. to buy bread
for the poor. Thomas Cleeve, in 1634, gave (for the same purpose) the sum of 50l., with which was purchased a rent-charge of
21. 16s. He gave the like sum to parishioners of Pancras living
in Highgate, to be distributed in Highgate chapel.
Large temporary benefaction.
The late John Craven, Esq. of Gray's Inn, left the sum of 20001.
to be distributed among 100 poor housekeepers of this parish, who
had been rated in the poor's books. The distribution was made on
the 14th of March 1786.
A charity-school, for "instructing, clothing, qualisying for useful servants, and putting out to service the female children of the
industrious poor of this parish," was instituted by subscription in
the year 1776, at first in a rented house, and with only six children.
The next year they were increased to 24, and afterwards, for a time,
reduced to 18; but the subscription having been since enlarged, a
school-house was built in the year 1790, on a piece of ground given
by Lord Southampton, and 30 children are now wholly maintained,
clothed, and educated. A benefaction of 200l. has been given to
this charity by Mrs. Culling (fn. 123) .
Handel's performance of the Messiah there.
The Foundling-hospital, which stands within this parish (at the
end of Lamb's Conduit-street), was instituted in the year 1739. The
building was not inhabited till the year 1745, and it was not completed till some years afterwards. It is intended for the maintenance
and education of foundlings, and other poor children, who are admitted in their infancy, and remain in the hospital till the age of fourteen, when they are apprenticed either to trade of service. Some
time ago a large sum was voted annually by parliament for the use of
this institution, when all children that offered were admitted, and
brought up either here or in hospitals established in various parts of
the kingdom for that purpose. For several years past it has depended solely upon its own funds (the interest of benefactions and
annual subscription), which are sufficient for the maintenance and
education of 450 children, but there are not at present so many in
the hospital (fn. 124) . None are admitted now without a recommendation.
Among the principal benefactors may be reckoned G. F. Handel,
who for several years performed his oratorio of the Messiah at the
chapel, which is extremely well calculated for the purpose. When
that great master presided there at his own Oratorio, it was generally
crowded; and as he engaged most of the performers to contributed
their assistance gratis, the profits to the charity were very considerable, and in some instances approached nearly to 1000l. After
Handel's death, Smith continued these perfomances; but not with
equal success; and they became at length so little productive, that
they were discontinued. There are some valuable pictures in the
hospital, particularly the original of Hogarth's march to Finchley;
Moses presented to Pharaoh's daughter, by the same artist; Ishmael
and Hagar, by Highmore; a sea-piece, by Brooking; a sketch of
the Charter-house, by Gainsborough, being one of his earliest productions; and several portraits of benefactors and other persons connected with the hospital. Among these are Captain Coram, a very
active promoter of the institution; Dr. Mead; the Earls of Dartmouth and Macclesfield, &c. Over the altar in the chapel is the
wife men's offering, by Cazali; in the windows are the arms of
benefactors in stained glass (fn. 123) . The low buildings which occupy the
fides of the area before the hospital, are the schools. The King is
patron of this institution, the Duke of Portland president.
Small-pox Hospital, and Hospital for Inoculation.
The hospital for inoculation, generally called the Small-pox hospital, was removed from another site about the year 1765, to a field
near Battlebridge-turnpike, where it now stands. The hospital for
the reception of patients with the natural small-pox was removed to
its present situation, contiguous to the other building, in 1793.
These excellent institutions were established in the year 1746, from
which time to the first of January 1795, 19,004 patients with the
natural small-pox have been received, and 29,260 have been inoculated (fn. 124) . The King is patron: the names of the president and
other persons belonging to the establishment, are printed annually in
the Court Calendar.
Within this parish also, near Gray's Inn lane, is the Welsh charityschool, built about the year 1771. The institution is of a much
earlier period. About the year 1718, some gentlemen of the principality of Wales began a subscription for the purpose of instructing,
clothing, maintaining, and apprenticing poor boys, born of Welsh
parents in or near London, having no parochial settlement at the
place of their birth. At first a small number were educated in a
room near Hatton-garden. In the year 1737, a school-house was
erected on Clerkenwell-green. In 1769, the society enlarged their
plan, and extended it to the education and maintenance of girls. The
patronage afforded to the charity by the Prince of Wales encouraged
them to build the present school-house at the end of Gray's Inn lane.
The whole expence of the building and furniture, purchasing the
ground, &c. amounted to 3695l. At present there are about 50
boys in the school, and 20 girls, who are wholly maintained, clothed,
and educated. From the first establishment to the year 1793, 493
boys were put out apprentices, 112 went out to service, and 120
into the navy. From the time that the plan has been extended to
the education of girls to the year 1794, sixteen were put out apprentices, and 34 went out to service (fn. 125) . The collections at the anniversary meeting of ancient Britons on the first of March, go in aid
of this charity. Several benefactions have been left to it, among
which should be particularly noticed the sum of 1951l. 16s. being
the residue of his fortune (after the payment of other legacies) bequeathed as a grateful remembrance by Mr. Edward Williams, who
had received his education from this charity. It should be mentioned
also, that Mr. Pennant intended the profits of his great work on
British Zoology for the benefit of this school, but the great expences
attendant on the undertaking frustrated his benevolent design. He
afterwards gave to the school the sum of 100l. which he received
from Mr. White for the octavo edition of the work.
St. Chad's well.
The noted place of public entertainment, called Bagnigge-wells
(much resorted to by the lower sort of tradesmen), is situated in this
parish, in the valley between the New-river head and the Foundling
hospital. It was first opened about the year 1767, in consequence
of the discovery of two springs of mineral water. A treatise upon
these waters, bearing the above date, was published by John Bevis,
M. D. One of the springs is chalybeate, the other cathartic. Near
the church-yard, in a house now occupied by Mr. Reading, is a
spring, formerly called Pancras-wells; the water of which was in
much esteem some years ago. Dr. Russel, in his treatise on mineral
waters, speaks of this spring as impregnated with calcareous nitre,
considerably diuretic, and somewhat cathartic (fn. 126) . Near Battlebridge
is a spring, called St. Chad's-well, of nearly the same quality, which
is still in use.
Veterinary College, and Infirmary for Horses.
At Camden-town, in this parish, is a large building, called the
Veterinary College, consisting of an infirmary for horses, and an
academy for studying the diseases of cattle, particularly of that useful
animal the horse. Proposals for such an institution were first published in the newspapers in the year 1784. This college was established in 1791. The theatre is completed, and an infirmary capable of containing 50 horses; but it is intended to enlarge it so as
to contain 300. There is a house for the Professor, who reads lectures on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 11 to 12, on
the structure, œconomy, and diseases of the horse, and other domestic animals. Seven pupils have already passed their examination
before the medical committee (which consists of some of the most
eminent physicians and surgeons in London), and are settled in various parts of the kingdom. Seventeen are now attending. The
subscription to the infirmary is 20 guineas for life, or two guineas
per annum, either of which entitles the subscriber to send any number of horses, if there is room for them in the infirmary; otherwife they have advice gratis, and medicines at a cheap rate from
the college (fn. 127) . Application is now making to parliament for incorporating the Veterinary college.