CHAPTER X - THE OUTER COURT
The Prior's Lodging
The position of the prior's lodgings or house (Camera prioris) at
St. Bartholomew's before the sixteenth century is, as already stated,
unknown. The usual position was to the west of the cloister adjoining
the church, as at Bridlington and St. Osyth's, (fn. 1) both Augustinian
houses. We have suggested that they were originally in that position
at St. Bartholomew's, though probably not until the nave was built
in the thirteenth century; before then the prior probably slept in
the dorter. In the sixteenth century, however, the prior's lodgings
were rebuilt by Prior Bolton in a range of buildings adjoining the east
end of the church and so forming, with the infirmary, the outer court
of the monastery (pl. LXVIII, p. 131). Stow refers to the rebuilding
when he says that Bolton 'repaired . . . the offices and lodging to the
said priory belonging and near adjoining'. (fn. 2)
The lower part of the walls of this range of buildings was uncovered
in 1912, when they were found to be of thin bricks with chalk and
rubble foundations. They extended from the church, where Bolton's
door still remains with his rebus in the spandrels, to the east end of
Middlesex Passage. The excavations of 1912 also uncovered the
foundations of walls running west nearly to the chapter-house; but
whether these were an extension of the prior's house, or some other
building is not known. A court was thus formed on the west side of
which were the south transept, the slype and the chapter-house, and
on the north the church with the sacristy and apsidal chapel. On
the church side, as was seen when describing the triforium, (fn. 3) Bolton
built a gallery at the triforium level (possibly of wood as at the
Leicester Hospital, Warwick), which extended west as far as the
sacristy and, together with the triforium, was in connexion with, if
it did not form part of, the prior's house. From the triforium he projected the window opening to the church, on which he also placed his
rebus. (fn. 4) From this window he and his household could see the celebration of mass without coming down to the church.
We have no reference to this house in the records in monastic
times. It remained standing, more or less altered, until it was destroyed by the fire of 1830. Rector Abbiss told J. H. Parker in 1863
that aged parishioners were able to testify to the remains of it. (fn. 5)
However, by inference it is evident (as will be seen in the next chapter), (fn. 6)
that the prior's lodging was connected with the infirmary by a way
passing over Middlesex Passage at the point where the latter is still
vaulted. Thereby the prior was enabled to pass through the infirmary,
dorter, and guest-house, and back through the church to his own
house without going out of doors (see plan, p. 77).
The exact survey of the house—made in the year 1616—shows
that it was then in the occupation of Mr. Arthur Jarvais, and it is
probable that the main rooms and arrangements were not very
different then from what they had been in monastic times, because
the time which elapsed between the suppression and their occupation
by Rich was too short to allow of any extensive alterations. From
this survey, detailed below, it is clear that in front of the prior's
house was a large courtyard, probably extending to the eastern end
of the present isolated block of houses in Little Bartholomew Close,
called Fenton's Buildings. These buildings are traditionally known
as the prior's stables, (fn. 7) but they are not shown in Ogilby's map, (fn. 8) and
we can find no authority for the tradition. The forecourt was enclosed
by a brick wall and either the court or the house (it is not quite clear
which) had 'a handsome entrance or gate covered with tyle'
(plan, p. 77).
The inner court may have been entered, as Ogilby's map seems to
suggest, by a way through the undercroft of the prior's house, which
would have been a direct way from the slype to the burying-ground
of the canons, which apparently came up to the east wall of the house,
as remains of three interments were found there in February 1914.
On the ground floor towards the northern end there was the large hall
(vaulted no doubt in the usual monastic manner), the prior's kitchen,
a large scullery, pantry, and other offices. On the first floor was a
large dining-room, with large windows, occupying the centre of the
building. There was a buttery and servants' hall at the southern
end, and sleeping-rooms at the northern end, together with access to
the gallery, the prior's chapel, and the triforium of the church.
After the suppression Sir Richard Rich gave up his residence at
the Austin Friars, as has been seen, (fn. 9) and took up his abode at St. Bartholomew's, and there is no doubt that it was the prior's house that
he occupied. For when on the 6th May after the suppression the king
made the life-grant to Prior Fuller, he included 'all buildings which
had belonged to the priory except "the chief messuage" of the priory
then in the tenure of Sir Richard Rich'. The monastic buildings
were called collectively—as has been seen—'The Capital Mansion
House', and there is evidence to show that 'the chief messuage'
was the prior's house. Thus, when the king made the grant to Rich
in 1544, he enumerated all the other monastic buildings of the priory
except the prior's house; presumably because Rich was already in
possession. And because he was in occupation of the building as his
town house, Rich did not include it in his grant to Queen Mary in
1555; and because he had not so granted it, it was not Queen Elizabeth's to regrant to Rich in the year 1560. Then again, when Rich
came to an agreement with the Corporation of the City to allow the
hospital to continue to enjoy the late priory's water supply from
Canonbury, the watercourse is described as having 'served continually
the house of the late priory . . . wherein the said Lord Ryche doth now
lye and inhabit at his coming to London'; and mention is also
made of the 'cesterne . . . situate in the kytchen of the said Lord
Ryche'. Again, in the year 1616, in Lord Holland's Rental, the forecourt of Sir Percival Hart's house in the Lady Chapel is described
as extending (fn. 10) 'from the house of the said Lord Rich unto the side
of the Cloth Faire', which can refer to no other house than the late
prior's lodging. The rental describes Sir Percival Hart's 'small
kitchen' as being 'on the west side of the courte taken out of the
great kitchen, into which cometh by a pype of leade, conduit water
the quantitie of so much as may passe therroughe a goose quill'. This
describes what must have been the back kitchen, or scullery of the
prior's great kitchen, taken out of the kitchen of Lord Rich wherein was
the conduit water cistern referred to in the Corporation's agreement.
By whom the prior's house was occupied after the death of Rich
in 1567 we have no record, but in 1612 his grandson, the third Baron
Rich, granted an eighteen years' lease of it to Arthur Jarvais, Esquire,
clerk of the pipe. The following particulars are given in Lord Henry
Holland's Rental of 1616 (fn. 11) (see plan, p. 77):
'Arthur Jarvais Esquire houldeth one parte of the Mansion
house of the Lord Rich situate in the close of Great St. Bartholomew's nere West Smithfield by lease from the Right Honble. Lord
Rich dated 16° Junii ao Ris Jacobi 10° (1612) for tearme of 18 yeres
from the feast of All Saints then last past yielding therefor yearly
on the first of May and first of November by even porcions in toto
(The year 1612 is that in which Robert Lord Rich settled the property
on his son Henry. It was the father, Robert, who granted this lease,
since Henry, created Baron Kensington in 1622 and Earl of
Holland in 1624, was never Lord Rich. (fn. 12) )
Then follows 'The particular'— (fn. 13)
'One faire hall opening to the east into a faire square court or
garden before the dore walled about with. bricke and a handsome
entrance or gate thereinto covered over with tyle, also one larder
and kitchen on the north side of the hall.'
On the conjectural plan (p. 77) the hall is shown in the southern
half of the building with windows and a door opening to the east
into a square court; we have shown the northern end of the hall
screened off and a porch before the door. Such a screened space or lobby
at the entrance end was not an uncommon arrangement and a porch
so placed would account for the lesser block of projecting foundations
discovered in 1912. This porch may have been the handsome entrance
covered with tile referred to, for the 'particular' can read that way;
and Strype, in 1720, whilst referring to the courtyard 'inclosed within
a wall' (fn. 14) makes no mention of a handsome entrance thereto. The
porch and lobby are placed on the plan where the passage through
the building to the inner court is indicated by Ogilby, and where,
until 1912, was the entrance to Cockerill's Buildings and Pope's
The larder and kitchen are shown on the north side of the passage,
and Sir Percival Hart's kitchen on the north again. Under these
offices were brick vaults, one springer of which still remains.
'One other court inward on the north side whereof is one fair
lodging room with another room also for lodging or other use within
the same on the lowe floure.'
This inner court was the space west of the prior's lodging shown
on the plan; the fair lodging room would have been the space between
the sacristy and the south chapel, the floor of which in 1912 was
found paved with large square red tiles some 2 ft. above the church
floor level. The other room 'within the same' on the lower floor it
is difficult to place elsewhere than in the south chapel, to which this
description exactly applies. This south chapel, however, was used
until the middle of the nineteenth century as a vestry room of the
church, and if Rich alienated it from the church and it was subsequently recovered, the fact is not recorded in any Vestry Minute Book
now extant (that is since 1662).
'And neare unto is one washhouse, one very faire large cellar
with a large room over the same wherein the office of the Pype was
lately kept.' (fn. 15)
The wash-house may have been under the stair to the gallery
(plan, p. 77). The large cellar with a large room over was in the
sacristy, the floor of which—being at the church floor level—would
have had to be raised but a few feet only above the level of the
ground outside to form a good cellar; and a large room over it,
approached by a few steps, would have made a good office for keeping
the Pipe Rolls.
'Out of the last mencioned room up a paire of stairs on the
north side are two pretty chambers one within another for lodging
or other use.'
The pair of stairs are shown on the plan, but the two pretty chambers
cannot be shown because they were in a mezzanine. The cellar and
rooms over, &c., have already been dealt with when describing the
sacristy. (fn. 16) Though occupied by Jarvais, together with the prior's
house, the sacristy was not so occupied by the prior nor by Rich,
because the latter granted the sacristy to Queen Mary.
'In the south-west corner of the said inner court are two larders
and a cellar for bear and a small convenient room for wood and
These offices, we assume, were on the floor of the chapter-house,
which had become a cellar by a floor being formed above the dorter
The surveyor then commences to describe the first floor of Jarvais'
'Out of the hall first mencioned there is a fair staircase wynding
up 24 steppes to the dyning room (under which is a comely neate
counting house or studie) with large lights, and on the southend
thereof a little room used for a butterie, one other little room for
servants to dyne in.'
The stair, it is assumed, was on the larger block of projecting
foundations found in 1912, and is so shown on the plan with the
counting-house under the south part of the stair. It is probable
that this staircase was enclosed by half timber work, for the thickness
of the walls indicated by the foundations is insufficient for brick
walls of any height. The other large block of foundations on the
west side of the hall was probably that of a large fireplace in the hall
(shown on the plan) and possibly repeated in the dining-room above.
On the south side of the latter are shown the buttery and servants'
'Thence descending a staire of some few stepps is a convenient
lodging chamber and above it two garretts to lodge servants.'
Hitherto the description has applied to the north of Middlesex
Passage, beyond which the prior's house probably did not extend. The
prior's house being built after the house of the farmerer on the south
side of the passage, the floors were on a different level so the prior
had to make a few steps down to connect the two buildings. This was
necessary to enable the prior to make a perambulation of all the
monastic buildings without going outside. Jarvais, however, and
probably Rich also, added these three little rooms of the farmery
to their own dwelling-house, leaving the rooms on the ground floor
of the farmery, as will be seen, in possession of the tenant of that
building (Sir Edward Barrett). The survey continues:
'Northwards from the dyning roome there is a faire lodging
chamber, with another little chamber for servants and a faire
closett and above them two chambers for servants.'
These are set out on the plan with the stairs leading up to the two
chambers for servants in the attics.
'Between these lodgings and the east wall from the dyning
room there is a reasonable large passage to a faire gallerie having
at the end of this passage or entry a paire of back stairs into the
kitchen and about the middle of them a roome for wood and
These also are shown on the plan with the back stairs to the kitchen,
except the room for wood and coals which was between the floors and
under the fair closet.
'At the west end of the gallery cometh up a paire of staires out
of the inner courte at the head whereof is a faire closet a faire
lodging chamber with a chimney beyond the same and beyond
that a staire ascending to two chambers with chimneys.'
The stair from the inner court is shown on the plan in the same
position as a stair is shown in Wilkinson's and other old plans, ascending to the Dissenters' Charity School. This stair was possibly like
that at Leicester Hospital (referred to above), (fn. 17) which is in an exactly
similar position and of about the same date. The fair closet is shown
at the head of the stair, and the fair lodging with a chimney is shown
westward of the gallery, also the stair ascending to the two chambers
with chimneys which were in the roof above the sacristy.
'From the foresaide gallery northward there are two chambers
called chappells with large windows opening into the church
over against the pulpit, one of which is used as a lodging room
without a chimney but thother having a chimney for use if need
require. All which is well worth per ann. £100 0. 0.'
This was a higher value than any other house in the survey.
The gallery has already been explained in the description of the
south triforium. (fn. 18) It occupied the same position and was of approximately the same dimensions as the first floor of Rector Abbiss' girls'
school, demolished in 1912. It extended southward to the same
depth as the south chapel, which it overhung. Of the two chapel
chambers, one with the chimney comprised the two eastern bays of
the south triforium, in one of which is Bolton's window, and was in
the eighteenth century occupied by the Dissenting Charity School.
The other chapel chamber occupied the two western bays in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and, until 1830, formed the
gallery of the old meeting-house as shown below.
This description of Arthur Jarvais' house has here been given at
length because of the light it throws on the arrangement of the prior's
lodging, and of the same house, adapted after the suppression with
but slight alteration, as the town house of the Lord Chancellor of
England, where, as such, Rich resigned the great seal in 1551. The
description bears a remarkable resemblance to that given by Bloxam
of the prior's lodgings at Bridlington and at Wenlock.
Jarvais' lease expired on November 1st, 1630; his wife Anne was
buried in the chancel of the church on the 30th December 1626.
He was succeeded immediately by Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex (pl. LXXVIII, p. 164), for there is an entry in the Parish Register on
the 27th December 1631, that the earl's daughter Susanna was baptized
in the church, and an entry in the churchwardens' accounts that on the
15th March 1631–1632 they 'recd. of the Lord of Middlesex in part of
his license for Lent 6/8d.' After 1635 the house is called in the ratebooks Middlesex House, and the fore-court and inner-court, Middlesex
Court. The passage through the dorter (fn. 19) and the three dwellinghouses in the Lady Chapel were, from 1789 to 1880, all known as
Middlesex Court, (fn. 20) and in a recent deed Cockerill's Buildings were
described by the same name.
That it was the prior's house that was occupied by the Earl of
Middlesex is proved by Nightingale, who wrote in 1815:
'In Middlesex Court, entering from 61 Bartholomew Close, is
a large old building known by the name of Middlesex House.' (fn. 21)
Lionel Cranfield was born in 1573, and was created Earl of Middlesex
in 1622. He was committed to the Tower for corrupt practices in
1624 but released the next year. Letters from him are preserved
dated from St. Bartholomew's in 1634 and 1639, and letters addressed
to him at his house in Great St. Bartholomew's in 1636 and 1640.
He died in 1645 and we may assume that he continued to dwell here
until that date. The property was in his wife's name, for, in a survey (fn. 22)
of the liberty of St. Bartholomew's in 1642, there is an entry 'the
countess of Middlesex her house . . . the old house £83/6/8d.' In the
year of his death there is an entry in the churchwardens' accounts
'received of the countess of Middlesex for the poor 13/-'. She died
in 1647. They were both buried at Westminster Abbey in St. Benedict's chapel, where they are commemorated by a large table tomb.
The earl was twice married. By his first wife Elizabeth, daughter
of Richard Shepherd, he had two daughters; one of whom married
Sir Henry Carey, (fn. 23) who succeeded his father as the second Earl of
Monmouth and lived apparently in the monastic infirmary of St. Bartholomew's. By his second wife Anne, daughter of James Brett, he
had three sons and two daughters. The eldest, James, succeeded to
the title and was married at the parish church in 1646 (fn. 24) to Lady Anne
Bourchier, daughter and co-heiress of Edward, Earl of Bath. He died
childless, so he was succeeded in 1651 by his brother Lionel, who was
the third and last earl, and married Rachel, the daughter of Francis,
Earl of Westmorland, and widow of Henry, Earl of Bath. Francis,
Earl of Westmorland, who died in 1628, had lived in the parish and
is commemorated there by the name of the houses known as Westmoreland Buildings. (fn. 25)
The third Earl of Middlesex continued to live in the parish.
Among the House of Lords MSS. (fn. 26) of the year 1675 there is 'a copy
certificate (but with no date) to the Lord Mayor from the Constables
and Churchwardens of St. Bartholomew the Great, of clergy or laity
who made any stay within this parish after the time limited by His
Majesty's proclamation'. The names given are 'Lionel, Earl of
Middlesex, Edward Lord Herbert, Sir Christopher Nevill, Lady Mary
Woolton, and two others'. The earl died 26th October 1674, and
he also was buried in Westminster Abbey. (fn. 27)
We find by the rate-books that the house, though subdivided into
several dwelling-houses (as Strype tells us), (fn. 28) continued to be inhabited
by Cranfields and there are numerous entries in the parish registers
concerning them. (fn. 29) There are also entries of Campfield, Camfield,
Canfield, and Carnfield, but we shall be justified in assuming that they
are of one and the same family, because in 1682 Jacob Canfield
appears in the rate-books as occupying the north part of Middlesex
House, and in 1693 his name is spelt Carnfield and in 1698 Camfield.
Then, in the southern end of the same house, made no doubt into
a separate dwelling, we have Francis Camphield (assessed at 9 Hearths
in 1674), (fn. 30) and paying rates in 1682, who becomes Canfield in 1687,
Carnfield in 1693, and Camfield in 1698 and 1705. In 1709 and 1710
'Widow Camfield' occurs, and then the name appears no more.
The successor in the house was Elizabeth Bristow, but there are no
records concerning her.
We have shown thus fully how the old prior's house was occupied
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; we must now show the
position of the nonconformists' meeting-house, which was in the rear
portion of Middlesex House (see plan, p. 77).
In Cromwell's time Westminster Abbey was at first in the possession
of the Presbyterians. In the year 1654 they were succeeded by the
Independents, when John Rowe was the preacher. At the Restoration
in 1660 the Independents had to leave the Abbey, and Calamy says (fn. 31)
that after that Rowe preached often to his congregation in Bartholomew Close. Wilson, writing about this Bartholomew Close meetinghouse in 1810, says: (fn. 32)
'This meeting-house, which is still standing, is situated in
Middlesex Court, and was part of a large old building called
Middlesex House. In its present appearance it wears the evident
marks of great antiquity.
He thinks it probable that before this, during the Commonwealth, it
had been 'occupied by one of the numerous sects that abounded in
that period'. He continues:
'During the persecuting reign of Charles II, on account of the
obscurity of its situation, it was admirably adapted for purposes
of concealment. In several parts of the building there is every
appearance of private doors, supposed to have been made to
facilitate the escape of the worshippers.' (fn. 33)
In former times there was a window which opened from the
meeting-house into the adjoining church. It was situated directly
opposite to the pulpit, in the latter building; so that a person in
the gallery of the meeting-house could clearly discern the congregation in the church and watch the different parts of divine worship. (fn. 34)
. . . Underneath (the meeting-house) appear several vestiges of
an antique chapel, (fn. 35) though now used for no higher purpose than
'The meeting-house is a small inconvenient building and is
accessible by a flight of several steps. There are three galleries
of tolerable depth, and the roof is supported by large beams, after
the old manner. The whole building appears in rather a ruinous
condition, and evidently wears the marks of a venerable antiquity.'
It is evident that that part of the prior's house which ran south
from Bolton's door in the church is not here indicated because the
rate-books show that portion to have been occupied by the Cranfields.
Arthur Jarvais, however, as shown, in addition to occupying the
prior's house, had—as part of his premises—the dismantled sacristy,
and we assume that the Earl of Middlesex had the same and that it
was the sacristy with part of the south triforium which was referred
to in Wilson's description. It was certainly admirably adapted for
purposes of concealment, being in the secluded inner court of what
had been the prior's house. The private doors, to which Wilson
refers, were probably those which at one time had connected with the
other parts of Jarvais' house. Hardwick's plan shows three doors on
the ground floor in addition to the one into the south aisle of the church
and the large entrance in the west wall to the south transept.
There were many other dissenting places of worship similarly
placed in the city during the reign of Charles II; such as the Meetinghouse Yard in Silver Street, Sempringham House in Cow Lane, and
Salisbury Court in Fleet Street.
It has already been explained that the sacristy and western end
of the south triforium of the quire were probably adapted to form
part of Jarvais' house, and we now show by a plan (pl. LXXIX) and
section how they may have been subsequently altered to form the
meeting-house as described by Wilson. In the section, the triforium
is drawn to correspond exactly with that on the other side of the quire,
as it probably did before the fire of 1830, and the roof is shown over
the sacristy with a high ridge running east and west as indicated by
the remains shown in Knight's view taken after that fire. It was
probably this roof that Wilson described as 'supported by large beams,
after the old manner'.
It has been assumed that the wall between the two western bays
of the triforium was wholly or in part removed to provide an opening
into the sacristy building.
The cellar referred to by Wilson was doubtless the 'very faire
large cellar' described in Lord Holland's rental of Jarvais' house.
The floor of the meeting-house was the floor of the 'large room'
over the cellar described in the rental; and the two western bays of
the triforium, which, as has been seen, were probably one of the chapel
chambers in Jarvais' house, formed the gallery described by Wilson
as having had a window which opened into the church immediately
opposite the pulpit.
The other two galleries mentioned by Wilson were probably on
the east and west sides of the sacristy (or by three galleries it is possible
that he may have intended to describe stepped seats at three levels
in the triforium).
The floor of the meeting-house being over a cellar accounts for its
having been 'approached by a flight of several steps', and it is possible
that the 'pair of stairs on the north side' which were mentioned in
Lord Holland's rental were retained as a way to the galleries. The
window or windows from the triforium into the church had probably
been closed up in 1772, for at that date the corresponding windows
in the adjoining Dissenting School were closed by arrangement, and
skylights opened out in place of them. (fn. 36)
We have no record as to who was the Independent Minister here
after John Rowe, nor of the application for a licence for the building
as a place of public worship, nor for the minister as a teacher for the
congregation (under 'the declaration of indulgences' of 6th March
1672). But in 1681 the Rev. John Quick, the ejected minister of
Brixton, the famous author of Synodicon in Gallia Reformata, took the
meeting-house and remained here until his death in 1706. He was
succeeded by Thomas Freke, who in turn remained here until his
death in 1716.
The meeting-house first appears in the rate-books in the year
1705; from then, until 1711, it was referred to as 'Quick's meetinghouse'; in 1716 it is called 'Freak's meeting-house'. (It seems to
have been customary at this time to name the chapels after the names
of the preachers in the absence of a more suitable dedication!) The
last of the Presbyterian divines here was Dr. Caleb Fleming, who so
greatly reduced the congregation that when, in 1753, he succeeded
Dr. Foster at Pinner's Hall, it dissolved. Wilson says the congregation
was never large 'nor indeed would the size of the meeting-house
admit of it'.
After this there is a blank of about ten years until December 26th,
1763, when, says Wilson, (fn. 37) John Wesley (fn. 38) took the meeting for the
Methodists in the room of 'the Bull and Mouth'; but inasmuch as
Wesley himself says in his journal (fn. 39) under that date, as has been seen, (fn. 40)
that he 'began preaching in a large commodious place in Bartholomew
Close', and as no mention is made of 'the Bull and Mouth', which was
not in Bartholomew Close, and as he cannot have meant the 'small
inconvenient' old meeting-house, we are inclined to think from
subsequent events that the commodious place was, as already stated,
the chapter-house. (fn. 41)
John Wesley was succeeded by James Relly, (fn. 42) who founded a religious
sect known as Rellyanists (Wesley had termed him an Antinomian).
In 1766 he refused to pay parish rates, claiming exemption under the
Act of Toleration, (fn. 43) but Counsel's opinion was against him and, on
the expiration of the lease in 1769, he removed to Crosley Square.
In 1769 a Mr. Best, and in 1770 a Mr. Wilfrid Bell (neither of whom
is mentioned by Wilson), and from 1771 to 1784 a Mr. John Towers
were all rated for the meeting-house. Towers was an Independent
who, Wilson says, was ordained at the meeting-house in 1769, (fn. 44) and,
'that he might not be burthensome to his friends, he opened a dayschool in the vestry room of his meeting'. This must be the Dissenting
school next to the gallery of the meeting-house in the triforium of
the church, for the year Towers was rated—1771—coincides with the
date when the patron of the church granted a lease to the trustees
of a dissenting school in the triforium; though, as was seen when dealing with the south triforium, (fn. 45) it had been used for a school since the
year 1748. Towers removed, in 1784, to the Barbican.
We have no record for the years 1785 and 1786 in the rate-books,
but Wilson says (fn. 46) Towers' place was occupied for a short time by
John Cartwright, and that he 'was followed by Thomas Cannon who
preached here several years' and left in 1788, and later carried on the
employment of a schoolmaster. In the rate-books T. Cannon was rated
at £4 for the meeting-house, but against the entry is written 'on
a school': the Dissenting school was separately rated, as heretofore,
at £13; so it would appear that Cannon's proclivities were more in
favour of schooling than preaching, and that he used the meetinghouse as a school.
In the year 1790 the premises are reported as empty, after which
the meeting-house no longer appears on the rate-books. But Wilson
says Cannon was succeeded for a few years by William Holland, and
Holland for several years by Thomas Davies, and Davies in the year
1798 by William Braithwaite, who, says Malcolm, (fn. 47) writing in 1803
(the year Braithwaite left), 'preached in a place called Bartholomew
Chapel, set against the east end of the priory, not far from the quire;
a ragged old building, not worth a description; approached through
an alley on the right hand of which is the entrance to the Protestant
Dissenting Charity School'.
Braithwaite was succeeded by Madden, who preached apparently
in the old meeting-house 'for about a twelve month' when, says
Wilson, (fn. 48) 'he removed to a large room which is fitted up as a chapel
with an organ and prayer reader, and other requisites'. This large
room was undoubtedly the ancient chapter-house as shown in Wilkinson's plan published in 1821. (fn. 49) Madden was followed by Joseph
More, and More in 1806 by John Latchford, who was ordained on
January 30th of that year. He was still there when Nightingale
wrote in 1815. (fn. 50)
In 1830 the meeting-house came to an end, being entirely consumed
by the fire of that year, and with it the prior's house, Bolton's gallery,
and the Bartholomew Chapel in the chapter-house. (fn. 51) But, thank
God, the church was saved.
The site of the prior's house is now occupied by the large sixstoried warehouse erected by Messrs. Israel & Oppenheimer in 1912.
The Infirmary (infirmaria) commonly spoken of as 'the farmery'
of a monastery, was one of the extra-claustral buildings in the outer
court. Its position varied very considerably. Its use was for such
of the brethren as had become old or infirm, and for those who had
undergone the periodical bleeding (which with Augustinian canons
was every seven weeks); the latter stayed in the farmery by day but
returned to the dorter to sleep.
The more usual position of the infirmary was east of the dorter, where
we have placed it on the plan at the time of the suppression (p. 131);
it was approached by a passage leading usually from an extension of
the east walk of the cloister through the dorter undercroft, as at
Westminster and elsewhere. The infirmary consisted of a hall,
a chapel, and a kitchen. The simplest form was an oblong aisleless
hall similar in plan to a modern hospital pavilion, with a chapel
projecting eastward from the end or side according to the position of
the hall. If the hall was too wide for a single span it was furnished
with aisles and a stone arcade like a church, as at Canterbury, Ely,
Gloucester, and Peterborough; or else with wooden posts, as at
St. Mary's Hospital, Chichester.
We have only come across four references to the infirmary of
St. Bartholomew's in the records, viz. in the year 1250 when, as we
are told by Matthew Paris, the subprior 'was carried groaning to the
infirmary' after the attack on him by Archbishop Boniface; (fn. 52) in
1382 when the episcopal register (fn. 53) states that the announcement of
the election of William Gedeney as prior was made to him in quâdam
capellâ dictâ capellâ infirmarie dicti prioratus; in 1433 when Bishop
Fitzhugh ordained (fn. 54) 'that the rent of the infirmary to wit 44/- be
paid each year and expended upon the infirm and ailing canons'
(what this rent of the infirmary means is not clear unless a portion of
the infirmary building or of the farmerer's house was let for economy's
sake); and, in 1532, on the occasion of the election of Prior Fuller,
when it is stated that 'the sacristan being ill and therefore unable to
vote he appointed a procurator in the infirmary situated within the
precincts of the priory'. (fn. 55) The infirmary is first among the monastic
buildings mentioned in the king's grant to Rich, (fn. 56) but it is not mentioned
in Rich's grant to Queen Mary nor in Queen Elizabeth's to Rich;
from which we should infer that it had already been converted into
The evidence for placing the infirmary where we have on the plan
(p. 131) on the east side of the dorter is: first, the existence of a passage
(now known as Middlesex Passage) which formerly passed through
the undercroft of the dorter, a not unusual position for an approach
to an infirmary; secondly, the discovery in 1910 of a wall (shown on
the plan) on the north side of the house No. 54 Bartholomew Close;
and thirdly, the discovery on the north side of this wall of other
foundations suggestive of an infirmary kitchen (also shown on the plan).
Archer, writing of the house No. 54 in 1851, says:
'The house of Mr. Vanderplank close by' (he lived at No. 54)
'was the monastery kitchen from which a subterranean passage
communicated with the church, persons having passed through it
to the knowledge of the proprietor. (fn. 57) In this house the remains of
late pointed arches are visible in walls of great thickness. It likewise contains two fine panelled rooms, one of which has a vaulted
roof and a carved mantelpiece.'
Knight, writing in 1842, (fn. 58) also refers to these two 'beautifully
wainscotted large rooms', but speaks of the room with a vaulted
ceiling as the upper one. The wall discovered in 1910 now exists
up to the ground level only. It stands a few feet from the north side
of the present house (No. 54) and nearly in a direct line with the
north side of Middlesex Passage. At its eastern end it returns at
a right angle and carries part of the east wall of the present house.
It is 2 ft. 9 in. thick, is built of rubble and chalk, has no set off, and
shows no sign of ever having been rebuilt. The ground westward of
this wall was excavated many years ago, and if any foundations were
discovered they were not recorded.
We conclude that this wall was the north wall of the infirmary
chapel, that it had windows, described by Archer as 'late pointed
arches' and that the wainscoted rooms had been inserted in the
chapel, which was a lofty vaulted building such as still remains,
though in ruins, at Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire. We consider
that the infirmary hall extended westward in line with the chapel
to the south-west end of the dorter, as shown on the plan.
The foundations discovered on the north side of the wall of No. 54
also consisted of rubble and chalk, but the presence of some sixteenthcentury bricks, fragments of an arch rib, and portions of a stone
mortar (now preserved in the south triforium of the church) point to
a rebuilding by Prior Bolton (see plan, p, 77).
We conclude that this was the site of the house of the master of
the farmery (infirmarius) and of the farmery kitchen. If this conclusion is correct then the prior's house would have been in direct
communication with the farmery by means of the way over Middlesex
Passage already referred to, where that passage is vaulted. Micklethwaite's plan of Westminster Abbey (fn. 59) shows the remains of such
a building on the north side of the infirmary chapel (St. Katherine's),
which may also have been the farmery kitchen. This position of
the farmery does not clash with Ogilby's map of 1677 (pl. LXXX a),
though no part of the building is shown there; on the other hand,
neither is Middlesex Passage shown, which was there long before Ogilby
made his map. He shows two garden plots which may have been the
vegetable garden of the farmery. Wilkinson's plan marks this kitchen
site as that 'of offices belonging to the monastery', westward of it,
the angle formed by the turn of Middlesex Passage, he marks as the
site of the mulberry gardens, and midway between the two, on the
southern side, is shown the woodhouse. All these would thus have
been within the farmery court, which, Malcolm states in 1803, was
entered by 'a gateway which was standing within the memory of
man leading to the wood-yard, kitchens, &c.'
After the suppression le Fermery is mentioned, as stated above,
in Henry VIII's grant to Rich, but it is not mentioned in Rich's grant
to Mary nor in Elizabeth's regrant to Rich, and there is no direct
record as to how these buildings were occupied; but in the rental
made for Sir Henry Rich there are two houses described that cannot
be located elsewhere than in the infirmary: one is a house occupied
by Sir Henry Cary for which he paid a rent of £7, but the house at
the time of the rental was valued at £40; the other was another of the
houses held by Lady Scudamore, but occupied by Sir Edward Barrett,
who paid a rent of £10 a year, but the house was valued at £31 a year.
As both these buildings are described as 'tenements part of the
mansion house of Lord Rich' they were certainly part of the monastic
buildings. Sir Henry Cary's house was valued at the same figure as Sir
Percival Hart's in the Lady Chapel, and we consider that it was the
infirmary. Sir Edward Barrett's house adjoined that of Arthur Jarvais
and also that of Sir Henry Cary, and we consider that it was the
house of the master of the farmery and the kitchen of the infirmary. (fn. 60)
Sir Edward Barrett's house is thus described: (plan p. 77)
'Lady Scudamore, widowe, holdeth one tenemt. of the mansion
house of the said Lord Riche in the occupacon of Sir Edward
Barrett Knight by lease to hould for 2 lives rent per ann. li x.'
'The perticuler. One tenement wth. an entrance thereinto
through the Dorter or vault under part of the Lo. Abergavenie's
house' (i.e. through Middlesex Passage) 'having one little greene
courte before the dore impaled with boordes, one little hall, one
kitchen, a larder and scullery beyond the same, one dyning roome
over the hall and one lodging and pallet chamber on the southside
thereof over the kitchen. Upon the second flour over the dyning
roome and lodgings before menconed are four small lodgings for
servants. On the north side of the hall below there is a faire cellar
and buttery under part of Mr. Jarvais his buildings. On the south
side (of) the entrance thorough the vault there is a room belonging
to this tenement half the bredth of the vault and equal to the
two roomes in the tenure of Woodham the currier. All which is
worth per ann. £31. (fn. 61) Margaret Sherwood is the tennant' (apparently of the room in the undercroft).
As the house described had a cellar and buttery under part of the
late prior's house, and as the hall was to the south of the cellar and
buttery, and, by inference, the kitchen, larder, and scullery were
to the south of the hall, this building must have run north and south
and have connected with the south end of Jarvais' house, that is
at Middlesex Passage where it is vaulted. It is over this vault that we
assumed, in describing Jarvais' house, that the stairs to the garrets
and the steps down to a room beyond called 'a convenient lodging
chamber' came. It seems reasonable, therefore, to conclude that the
ground floor under this room was the space occupied by the 'faire
cellar and buttery under part of Mr. Jarvais his buildings', described
as part of Barrett's house. If such were the case the rest of Barrett's
house would have extended southwards covering the foundations of
the infirmary kitchen, which foundations themselves when discovered
had low brick vaults superimposed upon them, pointing to a subsequent building above. The south wall of Barrett's house (the base
of which still exists) would have abutted against the wall which we
assume to have been that of the infirmary chapel. The building of
the farmerer's house, not being so lofty as that of the prior's house,
would explain the steps down to the 'convenient lodging chamber'
mentioned in the particulars of Jarvais' house.
The hall here described as 'little' would have been so only in
comparison with the halls in Jarvais' and Sir Percival Hart's houses.
The 'little greene courte impaled with boordes' would have been
part of the garden ground west of the house and previously the
kitchen garden of the farmery.
Sir Henry Cary's house is thus described in the rental:
'Sir Henry Cary Knight houldeth one tenement part of the said
mansion house by virtue of a lease granted to Nicholas Saint Cleere
bearing date 20th November 1602 for 20 years from Michael then
past, yielding therefor per ann. li. vii.'
'The perticuler. One tenement within one small triangular
court between the last menconed tenement and the Lo. Abergavenie's
joyning to both of them, contayning one hall, one kitchen, one
laundry room, a lodging parler, a room for trunckes, one pantry,
one buttery, all on the ground floor. At the stairehead is a narrow
entry leading to a faire dyning roome out of which entry openeth
a dore into a lodging chamber with a pallet chamber within the
same. At the other side of the stairehead westward there is one
reasonable faire chamber and two lesser chambers with a room for
billets and coals. In the storey above them is one for servants, the
other for persons of better qualitie and a studdy. All which is
worth per ann. li. 40 0. 0.'
If the position assigned to Sir Edward Barrett's house is correct,
then Cary's house must have extended from Barrett's house to Lord
Abergavenny's in the position we have assigned to the infirmary
(plan, p. 77) in order to comply with the 'perticuler'.
The fact of there having been ground, first and second floors shows
that, if this was a house converted from the infirmary building, that
building was, as already pointed out, a lofty one with a roof probably
higher than that of the Lady Chapel.
The 'lodging parler' on the ground floor mentioned in the
'particular' would, if our assumption is correct, have been in the
lower part of the infirmary chapel, and the 'faire dyning roome',
in the upper part of the chapel, would have been the vaulted room
mentioned by Archer. The attics did not extend over the vault of
The 'small triangular court' referred to in the 'particuler' may
have been that at the north-western end of the infirmary, as shown
on the plan, which now forms part of the warehouse 60 Bartholomew
The Garner or Granary.
The only record we have of the granary (granarium) of the monastery
is in the 'particulars for grant' made by the Augmentation Office
in 1544 before the sale to Rich. (fn. 62) It is there referred to (translated)
as 'a certain granary building (domus granaria) called a garner situate
within the great green of the market'. 'The great green of the
market' was the eastern part of the Fair ground which extended
along the entire length of the northern boundary of the monastery in
Long Lane. It is well shown in Agas' map (pl. LVI b, p. 110), where is
also shown in the north-east corner of the green a building which there
can be but little doubt represents the garner. It is a barn-shaped
building running north and south with gable ends. It has a door in
its southern end and is covered with a ridge roof. It was not included
in Rich's grant to Mary nor in Elizabeth's to Rich.
The brew-house (bracinum) is not mentioned in the records with
the other monastic buildings or offices, but Henry VIII granted a
lease, in the year 1543, of a brewery in Long Lane called 'the Cock',
which was at that time, as mentioned in the lease, within the parish
and had been part of the possessions of the monastery. The terms
of the lease were as follows: (fn. 63)
'This indenture made between the most excellent prince and
lord Lord Henry the eighth by the Grace of God (&c.) of the one
part and Richard Watts of the other part witnesseth that the said
Lord the king by advice of the Council of the Court of Augmentations of the revenues of his crown has delivered granted and to
farm demised to the aforesaid Richard Watts one tenement with
its appurtenances called the Cock situated at the northern end of
the lane called Long Lane in the parish of St. Bartholomew without
Aldrishgate London and all those four tenements adjoining the
same tenement and all the utensils of our lord the king being within
the aforesaid tenement, to wit, one vessel of lead called a brewing
vessel in which six quarters of malt can be baked, another vessel
called a mash tun, two old vessels called the yielding tuns and
twenty old vessels called the kemnels, one horse mill with two mill
stones and one wheel called a cog wheel and one hopper together
with other things necessary in respect of the said mill which premises
now are or lately were in the tenure and occupation of James
Paynter, brewer, and are parcels of the possessions of the late
monastery of Saint Bartholomew London, to have and to hold
(&c.) . . . Dated at Westminster the tenth day of April in the 34th
year of the reign of the said lord the King' (1543).
Although this brew-house was in the parish of St. Bartholomew it is
not mentioned in the grant to Rich. This would be because it was
leased direct by the king before the particulars for sale to Rich were
drawn up, and because there was no rent reserved for Rich to purchase, as was the case in the house and garden in the close granted
by the king to Sir John Williams and Sir Edward North in 1543.
Long Lane has no north end, but we learn from the agreement with
the corporation (fn. 64) that 'the Cock', belonging to the priory, stood at
the corner of Long Lane and Aldersgate Street where the Manchester
Hotel now stands.
It is a fair inference that the brew-house here described was the
monastic brew-house which the prior and convent had let to James
Paynter, the brewer, who probably brewed the beer for the convent and
sold it to them, which is what was apparently being done in 1445 when
there was the dispute about the heavy bill for beer already referred to. (fn. 65)
The bake-house (pistrina) usually adjoined the brew-house. It
may have been one or more of the four tenements referred to by the
king as adjoining the Cock brew-house. It is not referred to in any
way in the records.
Agas's map (p. 110) shows in outline a long building at the northeast end of Long Lane, east of the garner, which may represent the
brew-house and bake-house, though it was not within the parish
bounds described by the king in 1544, nor is it now in the parish.
The woodhouse was in the garden of the farmery, where the site
of it is shown in Wilkinson's plan (p. 111); otherwise it does not
occur in the records.
There were two sets of stables; one for the prior required for his
riding horses, and one for the convent probably for the horses employed
in carting provisions and such-like uses for the monastery. The
former are thus referred to in the 'particulars for grant' (fn. 66) —'a certain
stable called "le Priours Stable" situate within the precinct of the
said close'. The exact position is not known but, as already stated, (fn. 67)
tradition places them where Fenton's Buildings now stand, in what
was the fore-court of the prior's house. The other stables were between
the entrance to Cloth Fair and the corner of Long Lane: they are thus
referred to in the king's grant to Rich (fn. 68) in the year 1544 (plan, p. 131):
'We grant unto the aforesaid Richard Riche Knight all those
our five messuages and tenements and two stables with all their
appurtenances now or late in the separate tenures of John Cheseweeke (this was the launder), Joan Davy widow, Thomas Hyley,
Mathew White, Robert Chidsey (fn. 69) Esquire and Richard Silvester
together situate and being in West Smythfeild aforesaid in a place
"le Range" between the lane called Longlane on the north side
and the western gates of the markets of Saint Bartholomew on the
south side and abutting on the fair of Smythfeld towards the west
and on vacant land of the fair of St. Bartholomew within the said
close towards the east, which messuages tenements and stables
belonged and appertained to the said late monastery or priory
of St. Bartholomew and were parcel of the possessions thereof.'
The stables were entered from within the monastery, not on the
Smithfield front, which latter in the Bounds of the Close (fn. 70) is described
merely as 'outer sides and walls of houses and tenements' and thus
took the place of the monastic wall.
Cheseweeke or Cheswyke occupied the house next to le Cheyne
(i. e. the corner one at the entrance to Cloth Fair), Robert Chideley
held one of the stables at 13s. 4d., and John Bodeley, 'smyth,' held
one at 5s. and William Bodeley, 'smyth,' had two at 60s. (fn. 71) John
Cheswyke was granted a 21 years' lease of his house by the king
in the year 1542. (fn. 72) It is therein described as a 'tenement near the
"Cheyn" in Smythfeld, in St. Sepulchre's parish, (fn. 73) late owner
St. Bartholomew's'. And in 1545 (fn. 74) the 'stable in tenure of William
Bodeley, farrier, in St. Sepulchre's parish, on the south side of the
western end of Longlane, towards West Smythfelde', was sold by
the king, with other monastic property, to William Beryff of
Colchester, cloth worker, and John Mutton.
It is noteworthy that these few houses, which for some unknown
reason were in St. Sepulchre's parish (as shown later on), (fn. 75) were not
included in the grant to Rich but sold separately elsewhere.
We have only met with one record of the laundry of the monastery.
It occurs in 1539, the same year as the suppression, when Prior
Fuller, probably to secure a permanent pension for the holders
of the post, appointed by a long formal charter, (fn. 76) John Cheswyke of
London, yeoman, and Alice his wife to the office of launder or washer
of all the linen clothes of the church and convent during their lives.
They were to be responsible for any clothes lost or stolen and to
receive £10 a year with a house, rent and repairs free, also a gallon
of ale and one 'caste' of bread every Friday; they on their side
giving a bond of £20. On the 20th October 1541, John went to the
Court of Augmentations with the deed which was allowed to be
bona fide, and it was decreed that the man and his wife be allowed
in full recompense 40s. a year and all arrears of 40s. from the time of
the dissolution of the monastery.
John Cheswycke, as shown, occupied the house in Cloth Fair next
to the west gate: apparently his laundry was there also and the
western end of the fair ground was used as a laundry green (other
than at fair time). In Sir Henry Rich's rental of 1616 a square court
of eleven houses and a number of tenements in the occupation of
'Thomas Rogers, Builder' are described as being in a place called
'Launders Green'. The former can be identified as having been
in the space between the Sun Court and New Court, which space,
in the poor rate book for 1636, was called Launders Green Square
and the latter occupied the land between New Court and Barley
Mow Passage, which in the Trustees' Minute Book of July 12th, 1769,
was called 'Launders Green or Barley Mow Passage'. Launders
Green must not be confused with Lady's Green, which is described
later on. (fn. 77) Both greens are referred to in a book of accounts of the
profits of the fair made in 1629. (fn. 78)