The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.
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CHAPTER VI - OTHER CHAPELS, ALTARS AND IMAGES
St. Bartholomew's Chapel
After the Lady Chapel at the east end, the next in importance of the three external chapels of Rahere's church was the chapel of St. Bartholomew, at the north-east end. The round-headed arched entrance to it from the ambulatory is all that now remains above ground, the chapel itself having been entirely demolished.
The first record of it in the 'Book of the Foundation' has been already quoted; (fn. 1) it runs thus:
'When then in the beginning there was built in the aforesaid place an oratory of the blessed apostle, many and innumerable miracles were performed.'
The next is in the same book, (fn. 2) where it is related that
'A youth Osbern whose right hand clave to his left shoulder and his head lay immovably pressed down upon his hand . . . he, coming before the altar of the most blessed apostle Bartholomew, . . . the freedom of his limbs was obtained.'
The third reference is also from the 'Book of the Foundation' (fn. 3) and has been already quoted in full. It is where the deaf, dumb, blind and crippled girl was healed in a place described as 'far off in the left end of the church'. The fourth reference is from the same book (fn. 4) (for we assume that the image of the apostle referred to was the one which would have stood at the north end of the altar in St. Bartholomew's Chapel and not the one which stood at the cloister door). (fn. 5) It is the amusing account of a priest of Kent, who, on his way to the church with others to join in the celebration of the festival of St. Bartholomew (24th August), finding no inn for the night, determined with his friends to leave the horses to pasture whilst he himself kept watch and guard. But the good man fell asleep and his horse broke away without his being conscious of it. There then—
'Appeared to him a man having a shining countenance and lightly shaking the garment which he (the priest) wore said "arise; why art thou so long overcome by slumber?"'
He at once awoke, found that his horse had gone, heard it neigh in the distance, caught it, and on reaching St. Bartholomew's 'prostrated himself before the image of the apostle and gave thanks for the finding of his horse'.
There are various references in the wills to the image of St. Bartholomew; thus, Henry Bosele, in 1371, willed a mass before the image of St. Bartholomew; (fn. 6) and in 1485 Thomas Peerson left 8d. for a taper to St. Bartholomew. (fn. 7)
In 1409 we have confirmation of the chapel at that time also being on the north side in the will of Thomas de Stanlo, (fn. 8) who willed to be buried before the 'altar of St. Bartholomew where the apostilmasse is sung in the north part of the church'; and where he also wished a marble stone to be placed upon his tomb.
The chapel was rebuilt, and probably farther east, at the end of the fourteenth century, because Joan Lovetoft, in 1397, willed to be buried in the chapel of St. Bartholomew 'newly founded', to the repair and support of which she bequeathed 40s. and one linen cloth (nappa) and a napkin (manutergium). (fn. 9)
One John Newport, a wealthy man, (fn. 10) living here at that time, in his will desired to be buried in Roger Walden's Chapel.'
The Waldens, Newports, and Lovetofts were all well-to-do people and evidently intimately connected, because both Roger Walden and his brother John were the executors of John Newport and John Lovetoft was one of his feoffees.
It would appear that the old Bartholomew Chapel was taken down and rebuilt to give more space for Roger Walden's parish chapel, which was built at the same time, and this may have been done by the Lovetofts, as Joan Lovetoft willed to be buried there.
As to the position where the St. Bartholomew Chapel was 'refounded' there is no direct evidence, but it may have been (as already suggested (fn. 11) ) farther east on the same side of the church; the present window at the north-east end of the north ambulatory forming a large arched entrance. The appearance of the wall externally below the present window favours this view. It is true that no foundations of the walls of such a chapel were found when search was made in 1911, but that may be accounted for by the fact that that space was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a burial ground for the poor, which would have necessitated the removal of any foundations that might have been there. It is difficult to suggest any other position for the chapel, because it was still on the north side of the church in 1409, as shown by T. de Stanlo's will, mentioned above, which was made at least twelve years after the chapel was 'refounded'. But wherever it was placed, there must have been a space on the west side of it for St. Anne's Chapel, as will be seen presently. (fn. 12)
There are no post-suppression records of the chapel, from which we assume that it was demolished either by Henry VIII or in Elizabeth's reign, at the same time as the parish church (as mentioned by Stow). (fn. 13)
The original plan of the chapel is assumed to have been the same as that of the South Chapel, that is with two apses, for a portion of the foundations of the eastern apse was discovered when the new furnace room was made in 1913. The remains have been left exposed.
The turret stair, which led to the schoolmaster's house, has stood on the eastern part of the site since early in the seventeenth century, if not earlier. The present sacristy, or robing room, occupying the western part of the site, was erected in 1866. (fn. 14)
The South or St. Stephen's Chapel.
The last of Rahere's three external chapels is the South Chapel, which corresponds to St. Bartholomew's Chapel on the north side. As the altar of St. Stephen was on the south side of the quire, we incline to the view that that was the dedication of this south chapel. The only record we have of St. Stephen's altar is in the will of John Chishull, priest, made in his lodging within the Close in 1382. (fn. 15) He bequeathed his 'body to be buried in the conventual church of the true religious men of St. Bartholomew, before the altar of St. Stephen, situate on the south side of the quire there'. He bequeathed, among many other things, 'to the altar of St. Stephen £10 for the painting of two pictures to be dedicated there', of which one was to be above the altar and the other before it.
This chapel was standing in the middle of the nineteenth century and was used as the parish vestry room at that time. John Carter, in describing it in the year 1809, (fn. 16) refers to it as a complete specimen of simple Saxon (sic) architecture. Its original windows, he says, were stopped out, though visible externally; a sketch made by him in the year 1780, showing fifteenth-century cuspings, is now in the Gardner Collection. The south window, he says, had been destroyed and replaced by a modern one. Godwin described the chapel in 1838 as a small chamber of the same character as the aisles, (fn. 17) that is of the twelfth century.
In 1822 the vestry directed the churchwardens to carry out a proposed alteration of the entrance and the insertion of a double circular window therein. In 1830 a receipted bill in the belfry cupboard records that a new roof was made for the vestry, showing that the fire of that year reached thus far eastward (as indeed is shown in the wood engraving in Knight's London). (fn. 18)
The doom of the chapel was sealed when an agitation commenced for a better vestry room in the year 1826. It was then agreed (fn. 19) that it would be a great convenience to provide a vestry room with a fire, as there was much inconvenience and danger to health and comfort of persons waiting in the church whilst parish meetings were being held in the vestry. Ten years later, in 1836, a committee of the vestry recommended (fn. 20) that a room for vestry meetings be formed in a vacant space above the south aisle, and that, by way of saving expense to the parish, the then vestry room and east porch (then requiring considerable repairs) should be removed, the ground being made use of as an additional burial-ground. But the vestry, to their credit, on the motion of Mr. Pocock, did not adopt the report, and directed that the east porch be repaired instead. They, however, formed the new vestry room in the south transept (fn. 21) (as already mentioned (fn. 22) ). The old vestry chapel was still allowed to remain for another ten years; for in 1846 Mr. Cockerill was granted permission to remove a portion of its roof to complete some buildings he was then erecting on the south side of the church. (fn. 23)
The destruction of the chapel came three years later when, in the year 1849, the chapel then being unused, the rector, the Rev. John Abbiss, obtained a 90 years' building lease of the land adjoining the chapel on the east and west sides. He then proceeded to pull down the chapel, and on its site and that of the leasehold land adjoining, to build a school-house: the ground floor to serve as an infants' school, the first floor as a girls' school, with dwelling-rooms above for the schoolmistress. It was so used until 1888, when the new schools were built; after which time the ground floor was used as a vestry room and for other parochial purposes, and the two floors above as dwelling-rooms for church-workers.
In 1867 the furnace of the church was placed beneath this infants' school-room floor within what remained of the bases of the walls of the ancient chapel. But in 1913 this undesirable state of things was altered: the furnace was moved outside the church on the north side, and, the freehold interest in the lease having been acquired and presented to the church by the patroness, Mrs. F. Abbiss Phillips (now Mrs. Bowen Buscarlet), the house was taken down and the remains of the chapel were uncovered. It was then first discovered that the plan of the chapel was one of two apses, one apse on the east side and one on the south. Upon the remains of the twelfthcentury walls was then built a new choir vestry, at the sole charge of Mr. G. Duckworth Atkin, a member of the Restoration Committee. The ancient walls vary from 2 ft. to 3 ft. in height on the east and south sides, to 7 ft. on the west side. The new walls of the vestry follow the inner face of the old walls, but, being only 1 ft. 10 in. in width, the old walls project beyond the new work some 1 ft. 4 in. to 1 ft. 8 in. The external door has been placed in the east wall at a point where the old wall had been removed to form a coal shoot. On the north wall of the chapel, at a height of 3 ft. 4 in. above the floor level, are the remains of an aumbry, 2 ft. 3 in. in width, the upper part of which is a restoration.
The Parish Chapel.
That there was a parish chapel here from the first there can be little, if any, doubt.
Henry VIII in his grant to Rich said (fn. 24) that the inhabitants of the Close had always had their own parish church and burial place within the church of the late monastery and annexed to the same church, and all sacraments and other divine services for the parishioners were administered by a curate at the cost of the prior and convent, as in other parish churches in the realm.
In the first instance at any rate it would seem that this parish church (or chapel) was in the north transept; the parish altar probably being in the apsidal east chapel of the transept. We assume that it was there that the assemblage of impotent folk took place on St. Bartholomew's Day 1148, as recorded in the 'Book of the Foundation'; (fn. 25) for the nave of the church was not built at that time and none of the side chapels would have been large enough for such a purpose. As such an assemblage could not have taken place before the high altar of the monastic quire, the north transept would seem to have been the only available place for such a gathering.
The north transept was not an unusual position for the parish chapel. At Romsey it formed (eventually) the chancel of an enlarged parish church, which was in the north aisle of the nave. At Tewkesbury the nave of the parish chapel was built against the north wall of the north transept and was entered from outside through the door in the west wall of the transept. At St. Bartholomew's it would have been entered in a similar way but directly from Smithfield by way of Cloth Fair.
Henry VIII in his grant to Rich (fn. 26) said that 'a certain chapel commonly called the parish chapel with a part of the church of the monastery had been taken away', and as at the suppression the walls of the north transept were entirely taken away it is not unreasonable to assume that the parish chapel and the north transept were one and the same place.
The Walden Chapel, as shown below, was, however, also called the parish chapel, from which we assume that it was an extension eastward in the fourteenth century of the parish chapel in the transept, similar to that at Holy Trinity Aldgate. (fn. 27) This probably involved the removal of the apsidal eastern chapel of the transept (as was the case in building the sacristy in the south transept), and placing the altar at the east end of the new chapel to form the high altar of the parish chapel. This high altar is referred to by John Agmondesham in his will in 1509; (fn. 28) and by Nicholas Mynne in 1528: (fn. 29) a lesser altar was probably placed elsewhere in the transept.
That the parish chapel, pulled down by Henry VIII, was distinct from the Walden Chapel is evident from Stow's record of a parish church or chapel that was not pulled down at the suppression. (fn. 30) He says:
'The church being pulled down to the quire, the quire was, by the king's order, annexed for the enlarging of the old parish church thereto adjoining, and so was used till the reign of Queen Mary, who gave the remnant of the priory church to the Friars preachers or Blackfriars and was so used as their conventual church until the first of our sovringe Lady Queen Elizabeth when those friars were put out and all the said church with the old parish church was wholly as it stood in the last year of Edward VI given by Parliament to remain for ever a parish church to the inhabitants within the Close called Great St. Bartholomew's. Since the which time that old parish church has been pulled down.'
(That is between 1559 and 1598.) Stow is very precise in this statement, for he corrected his 1598 edition by inserting in 1603 after the words 'old parish church has been pulled down' (marked by italics above) 'except the steeple of rotten timber ready to fall of itself. I have oft heard it reported that a new steeple should be built with the stone, lead and timber of the old parish church but no such thing was performed'. In 1603 Stow added 'the parish have lately repaired the old wooden steeple to serve their turn'. This the parishioners were enabled to do by a bequest made by Evan Meredith in his will in the year 1601 (fn. 31) of £30 'towards the makinge up of the steple' to be paied 'when the works aforesaid shalbe don and finished and not before'.
This parochial steeple is shown on Ralph Agas's map (pl. LVIb, p. 110) as on the north side of the church towards the east and much in the same position as the present turret stair to the old boys' school in the north triforium, but we incline to the opinion that it stood in the angle formed by the Walden Chapel and the transept. (It is suggested later that the present pre-Reformation peal of five bells was in this steeple. (fn. 32) )
The Walden Chapel.
Walden's Chapel, variously called the Chapel of All Saints, the Chapel of All Hallows, and the Parish Church, was founded towards the end of the fourteenth century by Roger Walden, sometime Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London, as already described. (fn. 33)
It is first mentioned in the will of the John Newport referred to above, dated 15th April 1396, (fn. 34) in which he desires to be buried 'within the chapel of his venerable lord Lord Roger Walden, treasurer of England, in the church of St. Bartholomew by Smythfeld'. It is next mentioned in Roger Walden's own will dated 31st December 1405, (fn. 35) in which he speaks of the 'certain new chapel' he had 'newly caused to be made'. We may therefore assume that it was built but little prior to the year 1396, with which date the architectural character of its remains in the north ambulatory agree.
That it was on the north side of the church; that it was dedicated in honour of All Saints; and that it was sometimes known by the synonymous dedication of All Hallows we also know from Wills. Thus, one John Walden, clerk (fn. 36) (not the brother of Roger Walden), in his will (27th December 1404) desired to be buried 'within the chapel founded by Lord Roger Walden on the north side of the church'. In 1417 Roger Walden's brother John desired to be buried 'in the new chapel of the church of St. Bartholomew lately built on the north part of the church', (fn. 37) and his widow Idonia, in a will dated 18th February 1420/1 (fn. 38) (enrolled in the Court of Husting and made in the name of Idonia Rote, she having married John Rote after the death of her first husband), desired 'to be buried in All Saints' Chapel in the church of St. Bartholomew near West Smythfeld'; and in a subsequent will dated 17th January 1424/5, (fn. 39) made in the name of Idonia Walden, she described the chapel as 'the new chapel of the church of St. Bartholomew which has lately been built on the north side of the said church where John Walden my late husband is buried'. (fn. 40) Reference has already been made to the will of Walter Shirington, the canon of St. Paul's who, in 1448, willed to be buried in Walden's chapel.
In 1509 'John Agmondesham, gentleman', willed 'to be buried within the priory' and bequeathed 'to the high altar of Allhallows within the priory towards an altar cloth to be bought for the same 20s.' (fn. 41) (His will was witnessed by 'Master William Bolton, prior'.) The following wills do not say whether the parish chapel referred to is Walden's parish chapel or the one destroyed by Henry VIII. In 1502 John Fitzherbert, Remembrancer to the king, willed 'to be buried in the parish chapel within the conventual church'. (fn. 42) In 1508 John Clerke, gentleman, willed, if he died at 'Seynt Barthilmewes', to be buried 'in the parish chapel afore seynt Ursula mine Avowerie' (i.e. patron saint), for which he bequeathed to the prior 20s.; and he desired that his 'grave be covered and made plain of marble, the same to have a remembrance of mine auctorities (actions) passed' (fn. 43) In 1513 Walter Martyn willed 'to be buried in the parish chapel', and bequeathed thereto 1s. for tithes forgotten and £10 to the repairs of the church. (fn. 44) In 1514 John Webbes willed to be buried 'within the church before the parish chapel ', (fn. 45) and in 1524 Elizabeth Westby bequeathed 'unto the maintaining of the vestments and ornaments of the parish chapel' 10s. (fn. 46)
Sometimes the parish chapel was called the parish church, as in 1528 when Nicholas Mynne gave to the high altar of the parish church 3s. 4d. for tithes forgotten. (fn. 47) And that the Walden Chapel was known as the parish church is indicated in the records of the Court of Augmentations, where there is a grant by the prior and convent to one Stephen Fyndeley of the offices of 'clerk of the church of the monastery and of parish clerk of the church or chapel of All Saints within the church of the monastery aforesaid'. (fn. 48) If Fyndeley was parish clerk of All Saints, then it follows that All Saints was the parish church.
Of the building itself nothing now remains except the three arched openings in the north ambulatory already described. (fn. 49) Of the dimensions of the chapel, we can only assume that it extended eastward from the transept the length of those three arched openings and possibly another bay, if St. Anne's Chapel, now to be referred to, was on the site of the north apsidal chapel.
St. Anne's Chapel.
Of St. Anne's Chapel but little is known. In the year 1504 one Edward Hungerford, Esquire, in his will, after directing that his body should be buried in his chapel of St. Anne, where his wife Anne was buried, went on to say, 'I bequeth to the said prior and convent my psalter booke glosed, my book of vi parts of the bibill, and my booke Speculum exemplare, the said books to be teyd wt cheynes on a yron bolt betwene the doore of Saynt Bartilmew chapell and the Est side of my said chapell'. (fn. 50)
We assume that, as Edward Hungerford referred to the chapel as his chapel, he was the founder and that it was built not very long before 1504.
If, as we suppose, St. Bartholomew's Chapel had been rebuilt more than a hundred years before this date to the outside of bay ten, then the St. Anne's Chapel here referred to was probably between the rebuilt St. Bartholomew Chapel and the east end of Walden's Chapel and outside bay eleven, and was entered through the original arched entrance to St. Bartholomew's Chapel still standing. There would then have been ample space on the north wall of bay ten to the east of the entrance, and west of that to the St. Bartholomew Chapel, for the books bequeathed to have been chained.
There are now, however, no traces whatever of the chapel.
St. Katherine's Chapel.
Of this chapel the only records are that Roger de Barneburgh, canon of All Saints, Derby, in the year 1375, willed 'to be buried in the chapel of St. Katherine in the nave of the church, at the south end of the altar of the same chapel'; (fn. 51) and that in 1393 John Wrighte, janitor of the priory, bequeathed 'to the service of the altar of St. Katherine, a chalice of silver and golded below weighing thirty shillings of English money'. (fn. 52)
The Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
The Holy Trinity altar was usually placed against the west wall of the pulpitum, but there is no record of the position of this chapel at St. Bartholomew's. Richard Gray, in 1432, willed to be buried 'afor ye trinite autre in chirche of Seynt Bartylmew'. (fn. 53) Sir William Coventry, the prior, was executor to the will. In 1458 Alice Bysshop, alias Derby, who willed to be buried between the high altar and the quire, directed her executors to buy four tapers, not to exceed 3 lb. each, to remain in the church after her burial; one taper in the chapel of the Holy Trinity for service at the time of mass; another in the chapel of the Blessed Mary; another before St. Bartholomew, and the fourth apparently before the tomb of an ancestor. They were to be held by four poor persons, and she wished immediately after her death to have a thousand masses said for the souls of herself and for those of her father and mother. (fn. 54) Thomas Peerson, as we shall see, in 1485 also bequeathed a taper in the worship of the Holy Trinity.
St. John the Evangelist's Chapel.
To the chapel of St. John the Evangelist there are several references. In the year 1426 Katherine Lancaster, who dwelt in the Close, in a long will bequeathed one out of six torches 'for the altar of St. John'. (fn. 55) In 1474 John Durem, late a baron of the Exchequer, willed to be buried in the church 'before the chapel of St. John the Evangelist, founded in the aforesaid church'. (fn. 56) In the year 1477 his widow, Elizabeth Durem, willed to be buried before the same chapel beside her husband. (fn. 57) In 1485 Peerson (as above) bequeathed a taper in the worship of St. John the Evangelist, (fn. 58) and in 1514 John Alexander desired to be buried in the church 'before the altar of St. John the Evangelist'. (fn. 59) Its position in the church is not recorded.
St. Edmund's Chapel.
To the chapel of St. Edmund the only reference we have is in the year 1499, in the will of Sir John Longe of London, priest, where he desired to be buried 'without the chapel door of St. Edmund', and also directed that a mass be said by the canons during three years for the souls of himself and others 'at the altar within the chapel of St. Edmund aforesaid'. (fn. 60) We have no record of its position in the church.
The Prior's Chapel.
'The chapel of the lord prior' next to which Thomas Felmysham, in the year 1451, desired to be buried (fn. 61) 'if it pleased the prior' may or may not have been a separate chapel.
There may have been other chapels, though not mentioned in the wills.
The High Altar.
The high altar, we assume, was placed on the cord of the apse at the time of the foundation of the church. As there were then seven bays in the apse it would have been one bay farther west than it is at present. When, early in the fifteenth century, the east end was remodelled the altar was probably placed one bay eastward against the straight east wall and raised on several steps above the presbytery, which itself was raised (fn. 62) some 2 ft. 3 in. from the twelfth-century floor level. At this time there stood, as stated in the will of William Thirwall, quoted below, an image of the Blessed Virgin on the south side of the altar. After the suppression, the altar still stood raised on steps above the presbytery until 1556, or later, when the Blackfriars were in possession, because in that year one John Garatt willed to be buried 'between the steps going up to the high altar and the chancel'. (fn. 63) About the year 1776 the floor of the church was levelled up to that of the presbytery, thus reducing the elevated appearance of the altar. When the altar steps were removed we have no record, though certainly it was before the nineteenth century. In 1864, when the floor of the church was lowered again, the level of the presbytery was lowered too. In 1886 a new altar was presented to the church (fn. 64) raised on three steps and again placed on the cord of the apse, which consists now of five bays only.
The high altar is frequently referred to in the wills: there are four references to it whilst it stood in its first position, thus:
In 1382 John Chishull, priest, bequeathed to the high altar £10 which Dom John Randish, a canon of the church, owed him for a loan. (fn. 65) In 1387 John Royston willed to be buried before the high altar and bequeathed to Dom John Rankedych (probably the same as Randish above) £20 to be expended about the high altar. (fn. 66) In 1393 John Wrighte willed to be buried before the high altar and bequeathed 12 marks for making a vestment for the celebration of masses for the soul of himself and others; and 26s. 8d. for making a dorsal for the high altar, the money to be given to the same Dom John Rankdich for doing the work. (fn. 67) And in 1397 Joan Lovetoft bequeathed 40s. to the high altar, and an altar cloth and a towel. (fn. 68)
After the rebuilding of the east end references to the high altar become more frequent, thus: In 1426 Katherine Lancaster willed to be buried before the high altar under the stone where her husband (Richard Brigge called Lancaster) was buried, and she bequeathed 20s. to be spent in the decoration of the same. (fn. 69) In 1432 William Thirwall, esquire, wished to be buried in the church before the image of the Mother of God by the high altar on the south side. (fn. 70) In 1434 Thomas Russell bequeathed to the high altar and to the fabric of the church 20s. (fn. 71) In 1448 Walter Shirington bequeathed to the high altar 7s. for each of three days when his obit was kept. (fn. 72) In 1450 Stephen Grove bequeathed 20 pence for its decoration. (fn. 73) In 1458 Alice Bysshop, alias Derby, willed to be buried between the high altar and the quire. (fn. 74)
After this date till the suppression the bequests to the altar were all for 'tithes and oblations negligently forgotten or withheld', thus:
In 1473 there was bequeathed by John Durem for such 3s. 4d. (fn. 75) In 1514 by John Alexander 5s (fn. 76) In 1515 by John Webbes 10s. (fn. 77) In 1521 by Bartholomew Westby the large sum of £6 13s. 4d.; (fn. 78) and by Hugh Grannger 10s., and after mass the priest was to say de profundis at his grave and then to cast holy water upon it. (fn. 79) In 1522 Robert Blagge, one of the barons of the Exchequer, bequeathed for tithes 'not fully and truly paid and for the furnishing of eight images to be new painted' 8 marks. (fn. 80)
In January 1538/9, the year of the suppression, Richard Bellamy bequeathed 3s. 4d. for tithes negligently forgotten: he was 'a brother of the chapter seall' with the canons. (fn. 81) Among the witnesses to this will were John Deane, then the parish priest and afterwards the first rector, Dr. Bartlett, the king's physician, and others.
In 1545, that is after the suppression, Robert Adams bequeathed 3s. 4d. (fn. 82) for the same object. In the same year Robert Burgoyne likewise bequeathed 13s. 4d. and also gave for the service of the altar 'one cope and one vestment with the apparel'. (fn. 83) In 1548 Dorothy Paver bequeathed 1s. 8d. for tithes; (fn. 84) and lastly the John Garatt, citizen and salter, mentioned above, (fn. 85) gave 1s. and directed his executors to find yearly two tapers of wax weighing 2 lb. each, and when his dirige and mass of requiem were done the tapers were to be given to the friars to burn on the high altar before the sacrament. (fn. 86) (The Blackfriars were not in possession until 1556.)
The Altar of the Holy Cross or Jesus Altar.
The altar of the Holy Cross is mentioned, as already seen, in the will of Alice, widow of John Mores (Morys or Moore), where she willed to be buried 'before the altar of the Cross' (coram altare crucis). Now the position of the altar of the Cross seems to have been invariably below the great Cross, that is on the west side of the rood screen between the two doorways which are always found in that screen. The usual dedication of this altar is 'the Jesus Altar'. At St. Bartholomew's there is no actual record of this altar being so called, but we know that there was an image of Jesus Christ in the nave because (fn. 87) Richard Bellamy willed 'to be buried in the body of the church . . . between the font set there and the holy image of our Lord Jesus Christ', and it is reasonable to assume that that image stood by the altar of the Cross, which was in the nave; and therefore that that altar had the usual dedication, and that the Altare Crucis was also called the Jesus Altar. Where there was not a separate parish chapel, as there was at St. Bartholomew's, this altar was used by the parishioners as the parochial altar.
The Altar of St. Michael.
This altar is mentioned in the will of Katherine Lancaster in 1426, wherein she directs that a wax torch be given after her death 'to her usual altar of Michael'; (fn. 88) and Thomas Peerson bequeathed a taper priced 8d. to St. Michael, which no doubt was to burn before an image of that saint which would have stood beside the altar of St. Michael.
The Altar of St. Hippolytus or St. Ippolite.
We find this altar only once referred to. In the Bodleian Rental of 1307 it is recorded that 'The Sacristan has the offerings which come during the year to the altar of Ippolitus which are worth £4 a year'. We have no record of the position of this altar, but it may have been in the sacristy, where the foundations of an altar still exist.
The dedication to St. Hippolytus is uncommon in England, though it is the dedication of the church of Ippollitts, near Hitchin, from which the place derives its name. The saint was the soldier in charge of St. Lawrence, and he himself suffered martyrdom by being tied to the tails of wild horses—hence his name. His relics were transferred from Rome to St. Denis in France, where he was a more popular saint than here.
The only records of the images in the church before the suppression are contained in the wills. Agnes Tredehey in the year 1409 desired to be buried in the church 'beneath the image of the blessed Mary Magdalene which is on the wall on the north side of the church'. (fn. 89)
Thomas Peerson, in the year 1485, who desired to be buried in the church 'before St. Christopher at the longe stall', bequeathed as follows—'to St. Christopher light 12d. also for a taper to St. Barthilmewe 8d. and another to St. Anthony price 8d. Another to the Trinity price 12d. and in our Lady's Chapel another 12d.; and another to St. Katherine of 8d. and 2 tapers in the worship of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Thomas the martyr, price 16d.; St. John the Evangelist a taper price 8d. and St. Peter and St. Paul two tapers of 16d. and St. Michael another of 8d. and another in the worship of all Saints 2s.' (fn. 90)
An image of St. Ursula in the Parish Chapel has already been referred to. (fn. 91)