Survey of London Monograph 15, St Bride's Church, Fleet Street. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1944.
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Wren's building accounts and churchwardens' accounts charges in rebuilding the parochiall church of St Brides
Extracts from vestry minutes and churchwardens' accounts
1666. Nov. 10–Dec. 20. Payments to labourers for cleansing the Church, in all £17. 6s. 3d
1668. Various items for collecting lead and bell metal. Purchase of a bell and strengthening the porch on which it was hung.
1670. June 24 to July 13. Period covered by a bill of William Davies for melting lead that was pursuant to the Church beginning fund. Item for a day that Woolley waited on Dr Wren is. 0d.
1671. Paid in the Chamber of London towards building the Church to make it up to 500li with what was formerly in the office and Paid in to my account £100. 0s. 0d. Spent in an Entertainment Dinner of Doctor Wren, Mr Hook and others, who have the surveying & ordering & building of the Church £002. 17s. 0d
1671–2. January22. Spent at Mr Hodersall's giveing the Doctor a treate 6s. 6d.
1673–4. January2. Approved two first Warrants of Mr Marshall (Mason). To be assigned to him.
1675. May18. Thomas Kennard, William Gray and John Symes, the joiners, agreed with for the making of the Pews. 150li as first payment.
1675. June5. Agreed that Mr Grove the plaisterer doe finish all the plaistering worke...by the 24th of August next. Then he shall have 20li., otherwise none of it. It is agreed to send to the judgemt of Sr Christopher Wren for the prices of the joyner's worke, to be sett for doeing ye Pulpitt and Portalls and wainscot and other workes at the east end of the Church. The Vestrie agreed to give Benjamin Leach, bricklayer for the worke he hath already done in making ye Vault in ye Church 5li. a Rodd.
——June 29. Mr Gray, the joyner is voted to do the worke at the East end of the Church as the Pulpitt, Portalls etc. The making of the Galleryes is voted to go on with the rest of the worke.
——July15. That the Comtee for the Church affaires or some of them, doe repaire to Sr Christopher Wren to desire his advice concerning the Modell for the Galleryes... in order to the agreeing with workmen for doeing the said worke. Mr Wilson's patterne for ye iron worke for ye pewes was best liked and hee was agreed with to serve the Ware in the locks & keys, 2 plates, catches with Rivettes and Nayles at 4s. and the pew hinges at 4d. A key [for] every lock to bee made goe different that ye keys of one lock may not unlock another as neare as can be contrived and to make soe many keys to each pewes as the pewe will hould people.
——August13. It is thought fitt to suspend the making of the Galleryes....The proposals of Mr Marshall, mason, approved of and condescended unto and the Vestre doth agree to deposite 500li in the Chamber of London's hands to bee expended on the Fabrick of St Bride's and order for Mr Marshall when the Steeple [i.e. the tower] is raysed 15 foote higher. The Vestry hath ordered that 3 books to bee written of the names of the Inhabitants in every of ye Precincts and hath ordered the Comtee to goe from house to house likewise to take subscriptions of what persons wil be pleased to give or lend gratis. The way to the Vault that is now made to be speedily done in all things that is needful to the steppes, doore & pediment over.
1675. September 18. The North Gallery to be made first by Mr Lindsey, Mr Longland & Mr Avis.
——October21. The draughts for the North Gallery brought in by Mr Avis & Mr Longland drawne by direction of Sr Christopher Wren were produced. Mr Marshall the Mason did meete the Vestrie as he desired to treat about the paving of the passages, and hee proposed to do the worke by the common pavement att 7d a foote but to have it extraordinary well done for the most durable way it would be 12d. a foote. The carpenters to bring a model and rates for Churchyard Doors leading to the Church on the North Side.
——November11. Report on general draughts and prices given in for making North Gallery. Those that stood for it, John Longland and Joseph Avis, by most hands John Longland was chosen for the said work to do it according to the method and scantlings he delivered in and price etc. Approved Marshall's Estimate for Paving Passages to Church.
——November23. Whereas it was moved that Mr Dove the minister intended to come in to preach in the Church on Christmas Day next and desired Vestments might be provided & a Great Bible and Two Service books and a Font, it is left to the Churchwardens with the advice of the Minister and the rest of the Comtee for the Church or any 4 of them to provide accordingly and to Repaire to Sr Jeremiah Whichcott about the Pulpitt Cushion & Cloth and what hee will be pleased to bestowe as Ornament according to his promise and to agree upon the colour of the Velvett whether crimson or Purple.
——December 7. The Churchwardens, Mr Hothersall & Capt. Baggs desired to go to Sir Thomas Player & return thanks to him for his kindness to the Parish in remitting his interest on the 260li advanced by him. And the Churchwardens and Common Councillmen hath been with the Lord Mayor & Court of Aldermen to desire them to be pleased to come and hear a Sermon att the first opening of the Church for preaching now since it was rebuilt, and they have promised to be there on Sunday next come sennight being the 19th of December in the afternoone.
The Carpenters Mr Lindsey and Mr Longland, having done a great deal of the work in St Bride's Church and had received no money, the Vestry put it to the vote what to advance to either of them, 30li apiece in part payment. Mr Gray, joiner having had nothing as yet advanced to him for making the Pulpit, the Altarpiece and other works besides the Pews which works he estimates will come to about 300li desired the Vestry will order him some money. Voted 100li on account.
—— December28. A Skreene is ordered to be made before the Steeple and North doors to the Church passages and the casing of the Pillars and making Forms necessary for the Church and pinns for hats placed in the men's pews to be left to the Committee.
1675–6. January27. Vestry approved design of Gallery Pews. Mr Gray the joiner to have the work. The fronts of the galleries to be made of wainscot the pewe partitions and benches of deale. Ordered Mr Longland, carpenter do go on with the gallery.
1675–6. February4. A table of benefactors ordered to be set up in the Church. Mr Doogood, plasterer makes his suit to the Vestry to be plasterer.
——February11. Joshua [Marshal], mason ordered to be paid and the Ten Commandments to be painted in black on a gold ground upon the Tables set up at the East End of the Church. Mr Symes joiner has finished his part of the work.
——March22. The Committee to order the manner of making the front to the Gallery. Mr Symes' bill of joiner's work considered.
1677. September 7. Mr Gray, joiner, measurements for Vestry Screen, Screen under Steeple, East Portals and Doors, West Portals and Doors, casing upper part of 8 Pillars, casing 4 end Pillars, Screen and Door above in the Steeple, wainscott Panel in the middle of the Altarpiece, 4 Panels for Inscriptions, the Altarpiece, Pedestal and Panel under the Altarpiece. Measured Sept. 7. 1677 by Leo Sowersby.
1678. Mr William Emmett in full for Carving work for the Parish, 12li.
1681. August26. Mr Emmett for carved work in the Church, 15s. Other payments during this year include: Peter Smith, the smith his old and new bill, 10li.; Mr Longland his bill for Gallery and Cage, only he has to floor the Cage into the bargain, 80li.; Mr Fitch, Mason, stonework for coping the Church yard walls, 37li. 17s.
1681–2. January18. Voted and agreed that Mr William Rounthwaite shall do all the inside work within the South gallery, for the Pews, Seats of Wainscott according to the model and draught he now produced and the Vestry and Mr Rounthwaite will, if the Parishioners approve not of his bill, abide by the judgment of Sir Christopher Wren what he shall think fit he may desire for the work he shall do therein. Mr Robert Hiscock (Churchwarden) who deals in Ironwork is voted to serve in the locks, keys and hinges of the gallery Pews.
——March7. Churchwardens to employ a Plasterer for the plasterwork of the New Gallery and to let the Widow Rowe who is an inhabitant of the Parish with her assistants and servants to have the doing of the same.
1682. Last day of March. The Churchwarden did move the Vestry that the coping of the Churchyard Wall with stone was done and the Gallery was done and the workmen expected their money and desired that he might draw off 100li at present to pay the Workmen, the Bills to be referred to the Committee.
——May11. Paid the glaziers for 234 squares of glasse in the Church at seven farthings the square large and small, 001. 12. 08.
——June22. That a Vestry Roome be built on the South side of the Church and the way to it through the South door of the Chancell, 34 foot by 22 foot.
——July23. Celaring & digging the foundations of the Vestry, 001. 05. 08.
——August5. Richard Waite in New Street is chosen to be smith for the Smith's work belonging to the Vestry Room. John Cawson, painter chosen for the Painter's work.
—— September27. Spent when I & my Partner went to Sr Christopher Wrens with his clerke about getting an order for the Steeple, 000. 04. 6.
——October10. Spent in Coach Hire the Doctor and myself goeing to the Lord Mayors for his hand to an order for building the Steeple, 000. 02. 06. The work this year done upon the churchyard wall and gallery cost 430li. 17s. 8d.
1682–3. January 18. Paid Mr Emmett for carving the patterne of a cherubim's head to be made & cast in Brasses for the Branches, 000. 10. 00.
—— March 1. Spent waitinge on Sr Christopher Wrens Clerke, 000. 01. 0.
1683. April 4. George Harris, Bricklayer to be paid his Bill of 007. 02. 11.
—— May 11. Churchwardens to pay John Longland, Carpenter, 70li. in full of his Bill for his work in Roofing and Flooring the Vestry Room. Pay Edward Paybody, Bricklayer, 35li. in full of his Bill for Brickwork in building the Vestry Room. Mr Fowkes, the mason to be paid what the Churchwardens think fitting of his Bill for work done in the Church and Vestry.
——June 19. Spent goeing to Sir Christopher Wrens, 000. 03. 00.
1633–4. March 1. Spent goeing to Sr Christopher Wrens about the Steeple, 000. 03. 04. Paid to Mr Weaver for 3 brasse Branches, 011. 19. 00.
1691. October 21. Ordered that there should be a gallery built at the West End of the Church, the other galleries to be lowered if the Committee think fit and convenient.
——November 19. Ordered & voted that the Crosse gallery should first be built according to the Draught, & the other galleryes to be lowered afterwards according to the Modell of the said Crosse gallery. Mr Avis to do the carpenter's work and Mr Gray the joiner's work of the said gallery. Paid for fitting of 20 keys to lock for pews & for 30 new keys & for a lock for Dr Dove's pew, 001. 07. 00.
1691–2. January 14. For 2 Iron Pillers to support the gallery, 005. 03. 09. It is voted that the Churchwardens and others yt they shall think fitt to take along with them to go abt the parish for subscriptions for an organ.
1692. April 12. Paid about a view of the Steeple, 000. 03. 06.
——July 14. Workmen nominated to view Mr Gray's and Mr Avis' work, also Mr Emmet's for the gallery and the Portal. Avis to be agreed with about his Bill for work done in the gallery in order to pay it. Gray to bring a workman with him to meet a workman against him to adjust the value of his work. Also Mr Emmett to bring a Carver on his side on the like account.
——August 2. Mr Emmet to have 12li. 10s. in full discharge of his Bill for Carver's work.
——October 6. Pay Mr Gray his money between this and Xmas next.
1692–3. January 24. Concerning the proposal of 19 November 1691 for Lowering the Gallery according to the model of the Cross Gallery, the following workmen to bring an Estimate of the charge of altering the two Side Galleries, Wm Gray, Mr Matthew Williams, Mr Ezekiel Cooke and Mr Henry Palmer.
——January 30. Ordered to reduce the Fronts of the North and South Galleries to the same height as the Front of the New Gallery and to make three ranges of Pews in the South Gallery into two ranges only. Agreement with Matthew Williams, joiner of St Bride's Parish to finish the work of the Galleries for 27li in two months. Signed Matthew Williams.
1693. April 10. Mr Williams to have 35li. in full for his Bill.
1693–4. Feb. 10. To 60 foot of new paving at 8d a foot, 002. 00. 00. For taking up the old paving in the several Isles in ye Church & laying it levell being 486 foot at 2½d. p. foot, 005. 01. 03.
1694.—For carving 6 foliage pannells in both sides of the [? screen] in the Church, 006. 00. 00.
1694–5. January 8. Vestry have agreed with Mr Harris about the 'Eccho and Humane Voice Stopps in ye Organ' and for an annual charge of keeping the whole in good repair. Mr Harris to have 100li. for the Echo Stop; he presents to the Parish as a free gift the Human Voice Stop. Details of agreement with Harris.
1696. June 18. Spent with several gentlemen of the Parish and the Doctor in the Coffee house & Taverns twice, and waterage twyce going to wait on Sr Christopher Wren about the Steeple, 00. 19. 03.
1697. October 7. Paid to the workmen for covering the Steeple, 000. 01. 00.
1699–1700. March 22. Pd Mr Pettiver for whitening ye lower part of the Steeple and the Vestry, 025. 00. 00.
1701. September 19. There shall be a Committee chosen to settle with Mr Folks ye head workman that is about to build the Spire in order to prevent the Church being dampnified.
1702–3. March 1. The masons clearing the Belfry against the Ld Mayor come, 00. 05. 00.
1703. Sept. 1. At this Vestry the Churchwarden Mr Teesdale reported the near completion of the spire and suggested a gratuity to the workmen. It was decided that 50 guineas should be divided among them.
The subsequent entries regarding the peal of bells by Abraham Rudhall, founder, are omitted owing to their length.