A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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The origin of the borough of Guildford is somewhat obscure. There is little in the Domesday (fn. 1) account to suggest that it had attained the status of a borough at that time; but the fact of its containing 'seventy-five closes wherein dwelt one hundred and seventy-five homagers' is sufficient to show that it was already a place of considerable importance. The town also possessed the characteristic often found in mediaeval boroughs of including houses which, for purposes of jurisdiction and the like, formed part of manors outside the walls. (fn. 2) The word 'burgum' was not used by the Commissioners in their description of Guildford, although it is found in other parts of the Survey; and instead of being above the king's land, where the boroughs of the county were usually placed, (fn. 3) it merely forms the first item in that section. In the Burghal Hidage attributed to the 10th century a borough seems to be placed at Eashing, 'Mid-Eschingum' (compare Alfred's will, 'at Æscengum'), (fn. 4) and its importance may have passed to Guildford, unless this clearly tribal name be taken to have then covered the country as far as Guildford.
Before 1130, however, Guildford had asserted its right to the name of borough, for in that year the sheriff made account for 100s. 'de auxilio burgi de Geldeford.' (fn. 5) This sum continued fairly constant throughout the reign of Henry II, (fn. 6) rising in 1165 to 160s. odd, (fn. 7) and occasionally to 10 marks. (fn. 8) In the reign of John it was tallaged once for 30 marks, (fn. 9) and on another occasion for 35 marks. (fn. 10) It is a sign of the growth of the town that there were Jews here in 1187. (fn. 11)
The first recorded charter to Guildford occurs in 1257, when Henry III granted to the 'good men of Guildford' that they and their goods' should be free from arrest for debt' with certain conditions. (fn. 12) In the same year they also gained the privilege of having the county court always held in Guildford. (fn. 13) The probi homines of Guildford evidently already existed as a corporate body, for the charter to Kingston of 1256 grants to that town a gild merchant 'to be held as the Probi Homines of Guildford hold it.' (fn. 14) In 1340 Edward III inspected their charter (fn. 15) and made them further concessions; (fn. 16) they also obtained a second charter from him in 1346. (fn. 17)
The year 1367 marked a distinct epoch in the history of the town, for at that time the burgesses were granted the right of holding their town at fee farm. (fn. 18) In the year before they had petitioned for an inquiry into the profits received by John Brocas, who had formerly farmed the town as the king's deputy. (fn. 19) At the same time the king confirmed the gild merchant according to the ancient custom and according to the custom of Winchester. (fn. 20) Henry VI in 1423 inspected and confirmed the charters of his predecessors, including one of Richard II. (fn. 21) Probably the latter refers to Richard's renewal of the Guildford charters (fn. 22) which had been burnt at the time of Wat Tyler's rising. (fn. 23) A charter of incorporation was granted by Henry VII in 1488, the style being the 'mayor and good men of Guildford.' (fn. 24) The charters were confirmed at the same time; and they were again confirmed by Elizabeth in 1580, including one granted by Henry VIII and one by Edward VI. (fn. 25)
In 1603 the corporation petitioned the king to the effect that the late queen had agreed that the mayor, the late mayor for one year, and two others of the corporation, and a fifth person skilled in the law, should be justices for the borough, but died before her intention could be fulfilled. The petition was granted in consideration of the importance of the road through the town leading to Portsmouth and Chichester. (fn. 26) By another petition, in 1626, the mayor and burgesses requested a renewal of their charters, and also that the demolished Castle and the districts of Stoke-aboveBars and Stoke Lanes might be included in the borough. (fn. 27) Those districts were apparently the resort of bad characters, (fn. 28) who made use of separate justice to the prejudice of the king's town of Guildford. (fn. 29) In the next year Charles I confirmed the former charters and granted the extension of jurisdiction, (fn. 30) which, however, seems never to have taken effect. (fn. 31) In 1686 the mayor and good men of the town surrendered their former charters to James II, and received a new one, (fn. 32) which was annulled by the proclamation of 1688. From this date until the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835 the borough was governed under the charter of Charles I. (fn. 33)
The borough is now divided into six wards. The corporation, since 1904; has consisted of the mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors. The Earl of Onslow is high steward, and there is a recorder. The boundaries of the borough were enlarged in 1835, and again in 1904, on the latter occasion the aldermen were increased from four to six, and the councillors from twelve to eighteen.
A book containing the minutes of the gild meetings has fortunately been preserved; and the entries in it offer abundant proof touching the importance of this institution. The Close Rolls of 1324 (fn. 34) and 1352 (fn. 35) contain writs directing in one case the bailiffs and in the other the mayor and bailiffs to furnish the members of Parliament with their expenses. The payment in 1361 was voted at a meeting of the gild merchant. (fn. 36) Probably the absorption of civic functions by the gild tended to produce two courts, with separate meetings, but identical functions. (fn. 37) The regular meetings of the Gilda mercatoria were on the Mondays after Hilary and Michaelmas, respectively. The 'Great Law Day' or borough court was on Monday after Hoke Tide, but the former meetings are also called law days. The business was certainly of the same kind. Thus in 1537 the meeting of the gild enacted certain sanitary regulations (fn. 38) with regard to the kennels of the inhabitants, which may be compared to another entry made at the meeting of the law day in 1529: 'The mayor commandeth in the King's name that victuals brought into the market be good and lawful and wholesome. That no common poulterer buy any victuals in the market before eleven of the clock. That no baker buy any corn before eleven of the clock. That every man sell by lawful weights and measures, and that they be assized by the King's standard. That butchers bring the skins of their beasts and sheep to the market and shew the same openly during all the market. That the bakers bake good bread and according to assize. That the brewers make good and wholesome ale, and that they sell none till it be tasted by the ale-taster. That they sell a gallon of the best ale for 1½d., and of stale ale for 2d. That the tipplers sell by lawful measure and set out their ale signs. (fn. 39)
The social aspect of gild life seems to have been accorded somewhat undue prominence at Guildford. Members were elected on the Monday after Hilary to provide a bull for baiting on the Monday after St. Martin, subject to a penalty of 20s. each in default. (fn. 40) The expenditure for some of the feasts is given. In 1364 the brethren paid for bread 5d., ale 13s. 6d., meat 3s. 11d., wine 8d., spices 3s. 6d., wafers 3s., garlic 2d. (fn. 41)
In 1661 the corporation feasted Charles II, and presented him with a piece of plate at the cost of £140, of which £100 was borrowed. On the other hand the Puritan régime in corporations manifested itself in Guildford by the expulsion of Thomas Smalpece from the corporation for his 'contempt and disordered behaviour' (Court Monday after Michaelmas, 3 Jas. I). His offence, we learn from a letter at Loseley, was 'going about to set up' a maypole. The corporation was severe against foreigners trading in the town; in 1521 they were excluded altogether from the markets, except victuallers, graziers, and sellers of oats at the discretion of the mayor. At the same time clothiers were forbidden to send any wool to be spun into yarn within 8 miles of Guildford unless under a bond that it should be brought back to be woven in Guildford. The number of 'approved freemen' subsequently dwindled, and in 1654 was only 159, but others were admitted to trade in the markets on payment. The token coinage in Guildford is of the dates 1652 to 1669 and 1765 to 1797. The latter issue often has a wool-pack on it, though the wool trade of Guildford was long dead. (fn. 42)
There seems to be no definite mention of town officials before the 14th century. In 1368 the election is noted of a seneschal, two farthing men, a clerk, two butlers (pincernae), who superintended the arrangements for the feast, and two hall wardens. (fn. 43) The earlier charters (q.v.) are directed to the good men of the town. The style of incorporation in 1488 was the 'mayor and good men,' (fn. 44) but the name mayor had probably superseded that of seneschal long before. The government of the unreformed corporation was entrusted to a steward, mayor, recorder, two justices, bailiff, two coroners, town clerk, hall warden, two serjeants-at-mace, and a beadle. (fn. 45)
The property of the corporation in 1834 consisted of the old town hall with a dwelling-place attached, a new market house or court house with a small garden and stable, tolls and fines, sundry small quit-rents and other payments, with the appointment of the master of the grammar school. (fn. 46)
The borough was represented by two members in the Parliament of 1295. (fn. 49) There is no record of members for 1299, but with one or two other exceptions it was constantly represented by two members. In 1654 and 1656, in the reformed Parliaments elected under the Instrument of Government, Guildford had one member. The franchise till 1832 was in the freemen and the freeholders paying scot and lot, if resident. These did not number more than 150 in the 19th century. In 1867, by the Redistribution Act of that year, the number of its representatives was reduced to one. (fn. 50) By the Act of 1885 the borough became for the first time part of the county for electoral purposes.
A fair in Guildford was granted by Edward III in 1340 to be held during five days, beginning on the eve of Trinity. (fn. 51) Some seven years later the date was changed to Whitsuntide, owing to the fact that the men of Guildford did not derive so much profit as they ought, because so many neighbouring fairs were held at Trinity. (fn. 52) This fair is now held on 4 May, and is for cattle; another, also for cattle, is held on 22 November, both formerly in North Street, but now in the new market.
The markets (fn. 53) used to be held in the High Street, and the parts to be occupied by various dealers are clearly defined in the corporation orders of Elizabeth's time. Thence they were removed to North Street, except the corn market, which was held in a building in the High Street, built in 1818. (fn. 54) A new cattle market was built in 1896 off the Woodbridge Road. The cattle market is on Tuesdays, the vegetable market, in the same place, on Saturdays. The corn market, also held on Tuesdays, was removed to the same neighbourhood in 1902. One-third of the tolls of Guildford, according to the custom of English boroughs, was the right of the Earls of Surrey and continuously passed to them. (fn. 55) The other twothirds belonged first to the Crown and then to the borough, but many people, including the Bishop of Salisbury, (fn. 56) and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prior of Christchurch, (fn. 57) claimed to be free of them. In 1835 the mayor farmed the tolls of the town for the annual payment of £150. (fn. 58) They were declared to produce from £170 to £200. (fn. 59)
The manor of GUILDFORD was Crown property at the time of the Conquest (fn. 60) and throughout the Middle Ages. (fn. 61) It was assigned as dower to Eleanor mother of Edward I, (fn. 62) and also to his second wife Margaret. (fn. 63) The grant of the vill at fee farm to the 'probi homines' in 1369 evidently included the manor. The park was however reserved and is treated under Artington (q.v.).
The manor of POYLE in Guildford is said to have originated in a grant of land made by William the Conqueror to Robert Testard. (fn. 64) Robert Testard's heir was entrusted to the custody of Ralph de Broc by King Henry III. (fn. 65) Richard Testard was holding at the time of the Testa de Nevill. (fn. 66) A list of tenants holding land of him is given. In 1254 Thomas de la Puille held a serjeancy in Guildford by grant from Richard Testard (fn. 67); this had formerly been held by the service of looking after the washerwomen of the king's court, but at this date was held by annual rent of 25s., and was valued at 100s. (fn. 68) In 1299 Walter de la Poyle died seized of what was then definitely styled the manor of Poyle. (fn. 69) The inquisition taken at his death seems to justify the identification of this manor with the entire holding of the Testard family, for several of the families given here are represented in the earlier list of tenants. (fn. 70)
From this date the manor followed the descent of Poyle in Tongham for some years. In 1410 John de la Poyle conveyed the reversion after his death to Robert Warner, John Gaynesford, and others. (fn. 71) John de la Poyle died in 1423. (fn. 72) In 1437–8 Richard Wakeryng, clerk, conveyed Poyle in Guildford, &c. (not Tongham), to Robert Warner and his heirs, John Gaynesford and John his son. (fn. 73) Robert Warner died seised of it in 1439. There were then two cornmills and two fulling-mills under one roof in the manor, view of frankpledge and court baron. (fn. 74) John Gaynesford was heir of Robert Warner. The Gaynesford family held it till 1491, when Richard Battenor, clerk, acquired it by common recovery from John Gaynesford and Alice his wife. (fn. 75) The lands were then as before in Guildford, Stoke, Chiddingfold, and Slyfield, and the patronage of the hospital of St. Thomas at Guildford was included. Thereafter there is a long gap. In 1595 John Eversfield died in possession. (fn. 76) In 1624 the widow of his son Sir Thomas, and Sir Thomas her son, conveyed it to Harry Smith, and he in 1627 settled it on trustees for his well-known charitable foundation. (fn. 77)
In the time of Symmes (circa 1670) the court leet and court baron were still held. (fn. 78)
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel, central tower, north chapel and south chapel with apsidal ends flanking the tower and half the chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and north porch. (fn. 79)
The tower alone survives from the church of the 11th century, which probably consisted only of chancel and western tower. There is no trace of an early nave, but one may have existed. The north and south transepts were added about 1120. About twenty years later the chancel was rebuilt on a larger scale and, forty to fifty years later still, narrow aisles were added, and the nave was added or rebuilt if already existing, and the two chapels added, their width being governed by the earlier transepts.
Early in the 13th century the passages between the chapels and the sanctuary may have been cut. The stair-turret between the chancel and the south chapel was probably built at the same time. About the same date the vaulting of the chancel was made, the unequal width of the east and west bays being governed by that of the side arches.
In the 14th century a large number of windows were inserted; and possibly at the same time the floor line of the church was altered from an east-towest slope to an easier slope, with flights of steps leading to the chapels and chancel.
The 15th-century alterations include some of the windows and the re-roofing of the church throughout. Modern restoration is responsible for the refacing of the whole church, except the tower and the east end, and the replacing of almost all the exterior stonework of the windows.
The chancel has a 15th-century east window of five cinquefoiled lights with tracery over, in a fourcentred head. Below the window on the interior is a scroll-moulded string. On the north and south are to be seen the eastern jambs and part of the heads of two early 12th-century lights, blocked by the building of the chapel apses. The openings of the skew passages from the chapels are between these and the east wall. That on the north has a pointed arch at the north end and is roughly rounded at the chancel end. The proximity of the vice narrows the southern skew passage, which is pointed throughout. The north chapel opens to the chancel by an arch with responds which have been flattened to receive a wooden screen. The capitals are scalloped, and the abaci grooved and chamfered. The pointed arch is of a simple square order with a grooved and chamfered label on each face. The corresponding arch on the south has square jambs with small engaged half-round shafts, having moulded bases and moulded bell capitals with grooved and hollow-chamfered abaci The arch is two-centred. A small round-headed squint from the western half of the south chapel pierces the west jamb and part of the shaft.
The chancel vault is of two bays, the eastern being about 2 ft. narrower than the western; the transverse arch is of a single order, with edge rolls springing from attached wall shafts which rise from the floor of the chancel. These are formed of three shafts, the middle one keeled, with moulded bases and plain bell capitals with moulded abaci. The main rib against the east wall is carried on pairs of shafts of a similar type with two shafts supported on pointed corbels. The ribs at the western end are also carried on corbels. The diagonals have a hollow chamfer between two rolls, the hollow in those of the western bay being filled with dog-tooth ornament. The chancel arch is pointed. The north and south tower arches are round, with chamfered labels on the sides toward the chapels. Each of these arches cuts into a double-splayed 11th-century window above, that on the north side being almost in the middle of the wall, and that on the south, east of the middle. On the outer face of either wall are four pilaster strips of flint masonry, the middle pair of each being interrupted by the archways. The western archway is contemporary with the arcades of the nave, and will be described with them.
The apse of the north chapel has three windows. That to the south is an original lancet; the middle one is of three lights, and the northern of two lights; both are of 14th-century date. The arch at the entrance of the apse is pointed, of a single order, with roll edges. The south jamb has been cut away, and the arch springs on that side from a plain corbel supporting a grooved and hollow-chamfered abacus similar to that of the north jamb, which runs to the ground.
The early 14th-century north window next to the apse is of three ogee lights, cinquefoiled and having quatrefoils over, in a square head. Opposite the east face of the tower the wall thickens from 2 ft. 8 in. to 3 ft. 2 in., giving evidence of the earlier transept. In this wall is a mid-14th-century window similar to that just described. The tracery is restored. Both these windows have wooden lintels. A half-round string-course runs round the apse below the windows, broken by the first three-light window and dropped below the other.
The apse of the south chapel, St. Mary's Chapel, is lighted by two lancet windows—restored outside— the east lancet is original, and the south shows a 13th-century heightening. The head of a third appears above the round-headed doorway to the vice in the angle of the apse with the chancel. The vaulting of this apse is of similar detail to the other, but the three bays are equal in size. On the south side of the apse is a small 14th-century piscina, now much damaged; it has an ogee trefoiled head, a projecting half-round basin, and an intermediate shelf; below the windows is a half-round string-course, continuing along the south wall to the west arch of the chapel.
The two south windows of the chapel are modernized outside, but were probably inserted in the 14th century. Each is of three trefoiled lights under a square head. Below the first window is a modern doorway.
The nave has an arcade of four bays on either side; the pillars are circular. The responds are half-round, as are also the jambs of the archway from the nave to the tower. All the capitals, including those to the tower arch—but excepting the middle one of the north arcade — are square, and carved with scallop ornament enriched in various manners, some having spirals at the angles and others nailhead or tooth ornament; the abaci are grooved and hollow chamfered. The middle capital on the north side has been mutilated by being cut back in order, it is said, to enable an occupant of the former west gallery in the north aisle to see the pulpit from his seat; it is now moulded and of round plan; the corners of the arches have been chamfered off also to find a seating. The arches are all pointed and of a single order with a small keeled edge roll towards the nave and a small hollow chamfer on the other side; the label on the east side of the tower arch is chamfered; that on the west side, and those on either side of each arcade, are grooved and hollow chamfered. Over the north jamb of the tower arch is a late 15th-century doorway to the rood-loft from the tower; it was evidently approached by a wood stair or ladder in the tower.
The west doorway, which is restored throughout, has jambs of two chamfered orders and a two-centred arch; the rear arch has a double-ogee mould, which is old. The window over is all modern excepting the inner stones of the jambs and arch; it is of five uncusped lights under a traceried head; the jambs are moulded inside and out with a wide hollow.
The archway from the north aisle to the chapel has semi-octagonal jambs with modern bases and moulded bell capitals; the detail of the north capital is earlier than that of the south capital; the arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders. In the gable above the arch is a lancet window (with its rear arch to the east) which formerly helped to light the chapel before the aisle was widened. The easternmost window of the aisle is a 14th-century insertion, but wholly restored outside; it has three trefoiled lights with quatrefoils above in a two-centred arch; below it is a square aumbry rebated all round. The second window is a wide lancet with widely splayed inner jambs; this also is restored outside. The north doorway is a fine one of the 13th century; the jambs are of three orders with Sussex marble shafts in the angles; the shafts have double roll bases and moulded bell capitals; the arch is moulded with a series of rolls and hollows; of the two principal rolls one is triple filleted and the other keeled, and the label is also moulded; in the jambs inside are two small sinkings for draw-bars. The wood porch protecting the doorway is modern. The third light in the north wall resembles the second. Below the windows is a round string-course, which is interrupted by the three-light window, but continues over the doorway. The west window is old inside and restored outside; it is of three trefoiled lights with tracery. Below it is a small plain square window, now all modernized, the use of which is said to have been to hold a light to guide travellers across the ford of the River Wey, from which it is little more than 200 yds. distant. It is not, however, opposite the ford. The archway between the south aisle and chapel differs from the corresponding arch on the other side; it has half-round jambs with modern bases and moulded capitals; the arch is of two chamfered orders. Over it is a lancet window which lighted the chapel. North of the arch in the east respond of the arcade is a small mutilated piscina with a square basin in a square recess; probably it dates from the 13th century and may have been set here when the 14th-century piscina in the south wall was inserted. The latter piscina is now much mutilated, but was originally a fine example; it is semi-hexagonal in plan and vaulted; it was formerly moulded and crocketed on the face, but this is now all cut away. The first south window, above this piscina, is modern outside like the rest in this wall, but has old inner quoins and moulded rear arch; it was probably a late 14th-century insertion of three trefoiled lights under a square head. The other three windows are wide lancets with old inner jambstones and splayed rear arches. Below the third window is a blocked doorway of which only the segmental rear arch and inner jambs are visible. An early 18th-century plan shows a porch outside it. The west window of the aisle is of four ogee trefoiled lights under a head filled with net tracery; the inside jambstones and arch are the only old ones remaining. Below, and to the south of this window outside, is a curious niche with a cinquefoiled head; its jambs are skewed to the north.
The whole of the exterior of the walling (excepting that of the tower and the east wall, which is of chalk) has been encased with flint, and all the buttresses are modern except one; the south wall has been strengthened by seven buttresses and the west by four; the north wall has a buttress at the west end and one rebutting the cross arch, both modernized; against the entrance to the chapel apse is a small original buttress in which is a stone carved with a panel having a feathered trefoiled head; probably it formed the back of a lamp niche and had a bracket.
The tower, built of rough flint, can be seen above the roofs on all four sides; the shallow 11th-century pilasters, two on the west face but four on each of the others, are all of rough flints; a few tiles have been mixed with the flint-work. The chamber immediately above the church is lighted only by a small modern window on the north side and is approached through the space above the chancel vaulting from the east vice. The bell-chamber is lighted by six windows; of the two in the north wall the east and lower has a trefoiled and square modern head and partly restored jambs, the west and higher is a lancet, modernized outside; on the east side is a large modern lancet, on the west side is an old lancet, and on the south a long narrow lancet and a trefoiled light. The former has an older half-round rear arch evidently belonging to a former and much wider window. At a line roughly about 5 ft. below the parapet string-course the walling is later and composed of flint and stone; the string is modern, as also is the embattled parapet.
Above the chancel vaulting is a gabled wood roof covered with tiles. The two chapels have opentimbered gabled roofs which appear to be old; the rafters lean over considerably to the west. The nave roof is also open-timbered with collar-beam trusses. The space below the tower has a modern flat wood ceiling. The aisle roofs are both gabled and opentimbered; they have moulded tie-beams with traceried spandrels to the struts below them. These trusses are supported on curiously carved stone corbels, all of late 15th-century date; one (in the north-east corner) shows a grotesque beast gnawing a bone. The corbel over the re-cut north capital is plain and apparently modern. All the roofs are tiled.
Forming a part of the organ-case, in the south chapel, are the remains of a late 15th-century screen, part of which formerly closed off the apse of the south chapel and formed the backing to an altar; there are eight bays, of which two have plain depressed three-centred arches and another a fourcentred arch with trefoiled spandrels; these three evidently formed doorways on either side of the altar and to the stair. The other five heads are cinquefoiled ogees and have plain tracery over. The posts between are double hollow-chamfered and have buttresses with moulded offsets; the cornice is also moulded.
On the vault of the apse of the north chapel are a series of I2th-century paintings. The upper portion of the series contains a version of the favourite mediaeval subject, the 'Doom' or 'Last Judgement.' In the centre is a 'Majesty' or figure of Christ seated in judgement within a vesica-shaped aureole; on the right hand of Christ is St. Michael with outstretched wings, holding the balance, one scale of which a winged demon is endeavouring to depress, while a figure between the two scales, representing the soul whose merits and offences are being weighed, turns towards St. Michael for help. On the left stands an angel who has driven out the condemned souls, which are being carried off by a demon to the fires of hell, seen below. The great interest of this series, however, lies in its lower portion, which consists of six round medallions. (fn. 80) These may be divided into two sets, three to the right of the 'Majesty' (the north) and three to the left (the south). The three on the right relate to the history of St. John the Evangelist, in whose honour this chapel was probably dedicated. (fn. 81) Reading from the centre outwards, the first of these shows a man of hideous aspect with a pitchfork holding the saint down in a large tub, evidently the vessel of boiling oil into which he was cast by command of Domitian. Only the head and shoulders of the saint are visible, and his joined hands pointing towards a seated figure of Christ, who extends His right hand in benediction. On the knees of the seated Christ, resting his head against His shoulders, is the sleeping figure of St. John as 'the disciple who leaned upon Jesus' breast' at the Last Supper. (fn. 82) The second medallion of this series shows St. John at Ephesus. In the centre the apostle is shown raising to his lips the cup of poison, which he drank unharmed, while in front of him are the bodies of two men who died from the effects of the same poison and were afterwards raised to life by the apostle's cloak being cast upon them. On the left of the picture is a seated, cross-legged figure holding a staff of office, either the proconsul or the priest of Diana, both of whom were concerned in the trial and converted as a result of the miracle. On the right of the picture is a figure seated on a chair before a lectern on which is a book in which he is writing, holding in his left hand the knife used by the scribes for erasing purposes; this is evidently St. John as evangelist. The third medallion, again, contains two subjects. On the right the apostle extends his hands in benediction over three rods and a number of stones. Mr. Waller identified this as part of the miracle of St. John and 'Crato the philosopher.' In this legend certain young men having been persuaded by St. John to sell their jewels and other possessions and give the price to the poor, repented having so done; the apostle then took certain rods and stones and converted them into gold and gems of miraculous purity, bidding the young men choose between these and heavenly riches. The remaining portion of the medallion is taken up with another miracle. The saint is shown standing beside a square altar, upon which is a cup or chalice; his right hand is extended in benediction over a figure lying in front of the altar with joined hands; over the saint is the Hand of God, in benediction, issuing from clouds. This, Mr. Waller suggests, represents the raising of Drusiana, a lady of Ephesus, who, ardently desiring to see St. John, died just before his arrival in the city and was by him restored to life.
Of the second or left-hand series of medallions, the middle one shows a king with crown and sceptre, seated cross-legged upon a throne, pronouncing sentence upon a bearded prisoner, who is led by a rope round his neck by a hideous gaoler; on the right a still more hideous executioner is shown striking off the same prisoner's head. This is no doubt, as Mr. Waller suggests, St. John the Baptist and King Herod. In the next medallion Christ is seen standing with right hand stretched in benediction over a font, from which issue the head, shoulders, and joined hands of a man with a pronouncedly Jewish nose; on the right the same man is shown committing a parchment with two seals to the flames (shown as alternate wavy streaks of red and white). (fn. 83) This shows, no doubt, the conversion of a usurer. In the last medallion we again see Christ standing; at His feet kneels an adoring figure, over whose head are two demons of unintentionally humorous aspect; behind these is a figure with its hands tied behind its back, being pulled forward by two more demons by a rope round its neck; a man with a sword, evidently in charge of the bound figure, appears to be accusing his prisoner to Christ, whose left hand is raised in admonition. The most probable explanation seems to be that the prisoner is the 'woman taken in adultery,' while the kneeling figure may possibly be Mary Magdalene, ' out of whom He had cast seven devils.'
The explanation of the whole series seems to be that, instead of the usual representation of the blessed souls of the righteous on the right hand of the 'Majesty' and the tormented souls of the wicked on the left hand, the artist portrayed on the right three scenes from the life of St. John, the patron of the chapel, as typical of good works, and on the left three scenes relating to the vices of Anger, Usury or Greed, and Lust.
The church contains no ancient monuments, but standing in the nave is a stone slab on which are the small brass figures of a man and woman in early 16th-century dress; this is said to have been dug up in the roadway east of the church, and no doubt had been previously removed therefrom. The man has long hair and wears a long cloak with fur collar and loose sleeves, and from his belt is suspended a purse; the lady has a tight bodice, loose skirt, long belt, and long head-dress. The only other stone of note is a slab lying in the south chapel, near the organ, to one Zelotes Parson, son of Nicholas Parson, who died in 1673 aged ninety-four years and two months.
The communion plate comprises a silver flagon and a large paten, both of 1829, a small chalice and stand paten of 1881, and a small thin circular concave plate without a date-letter, but stamped with the head of George III. There are also four pewter plates.
The registers begin in 1540; the second book contains baptisms, marriages, and burials arranged in columns from 1653 to 1699. On loose sheets at the end is a list of those not baptized; the third contains baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1689 to 1753, and the baptisms and burials to 1812; the fourth has marriages from 1754 to 1812.
The churchyard falls from east to west and surrounds the building, but lies chiefly to the north and south, at the east and west being mere passage-ways. An iron fence now divides it from Quarry Street along its east boundary, and from the other surrounding south and west roads; entrance gates are at the south-east corner and to the north-east. The churchyard formerly extended farther east, Quarry Street being a mere bridle-way till 1755, when the roadway was widened. In 1825, the road being still very narrow, the east end of the chancel was taken down and rebuilt 12 ft. shorter with the original stones. Before this an old plan shows windows on the north and south of the chancel close to the east end. The church rate was doubled for the year, and there was a voluntary subscription besides.
The original church of HOLY TRINITY, to judge from imperfect pictures and a plan of Guildford, had a square-ended chancel and apsidal side chapels like St. Mary's, and a tower with a spire on the south side. The south side chapel was called the Lady chapel, and its vaulting survived the fall of the tower. The old church fell down in 1740 owing to the arches under the tower having been taken away to improve its acoustic properties when the church was repaired in the previous year. The present building, which was erected on the old site (i.e. on the extreme edge of the ancient town) in 1749–63, consists of an apsidal chancel with north and south chapels and a wide aisleless nave with a tower and porches at the west end and a south-west vestry. It is partly modelled upon St. Katherine Coleman, Fenchurch Street. In 1869 the galleries were removed, and the windows altered from two rows to one. The church was enlarged by the addition of the chancel and chapels in 1888. What is now the vestry was formerly a chapel which belonged to Sir Richard Weston (who received a grant of Sutton Place in 1521) and his descendants. It has restored walls of flint and stone set in a chequer pattern, and its two south windows have late 15th-century moulded jambs, four-centred heads and labels. The last of Sir Richard Weston's family who was buried in the chapel was Mrs. Melior Mary Weston, who died in 1782.
The tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet and contains a ring of eight bells, seven being cast by Lester and Pack in 1769, and the eighth, cast in 1748, was recast by Pack and Chapman in 1779. Mr. Peter Flutter, Mayor of Guildford, paid for recasting the bells, one of which bears the inscription 'Peter Flutter gave me.' There is an hexagonal oak pulpit with sounding-board and inlaid soffits.
The chancel and apse walls are covered with paintings, and are separated from the chapels by arcades with Corinthian columns. The north chapel, known as the 'Queen's Chapel,' contains memorials connected with the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. A feature of the nave is the very wide span of the roof. The timbers are hidden by a panelled plaster ceiling, but the extremely ingenious way in which the roof is hung from the rafters can be seen by going above the ceiling.
The fragments in the porch under the tower include 12th-century scalloped capitals and mouldings of 13th and 14th-century dates. There is also a part of a stone coffin lid, on which is carved a foliate cross, probably of 14th-century date.
The church contains a number of monuments which belonged to the old building. The most important is a large Renaissance tomb, in the southeast chapel, to George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was born in 1562 and died in 1633. It is of grey, white, and black marble. The sides have plain marble panels, and the end is carved with a grating, inside which are represented skulls and human bones. On the top of the base is a recumbent effigy of the archbishop in cap, rochet, &c., and holding a book in his right hand. From projecting pedestals around the base rise six classic columns which support a large canopy having scrollwork gables on each side. In the end gable is an inscription. Round the canopy are shields bearing Canterbury and others impaling Gules a cheveron or between three pears or a molet for difference. The back of the tomb stands against the east wall and is divided into three panels, the centre one containing an inscription; the north one a figure of the sun over which are the words 'Hinc lumen' and the south one another female figure holding a chalice, over which is 'Hinc gratia.' The tomb was erected by Sir Maurice Abbot, Lord Mayor of London, the brother of the archbishop, in 1640, and was placed in the Lady chapel of the old church, the roof of which withstood the fall of the tower in 1740. It was removed into Abbot's Hospital during the rebuilding, and was again removed to its present place, east of the place where the archbishop is buried, in 1888.
On the north side of the porch under the tower is another large monument to Sir Robert Parkhurst, a Guildford man, sometime Lord Mayor of London, who died in 1637, and to Lady Parkhurst his wife, who died two years later, and to the wife of his son who put up the monument. The third figure is now missing. The front of the base is divided into three panels, the centre one containing an inscription recording the erection of the monument by his son, Sir Robert Parkhurst, who died in 1651, and its decoration by Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Robert, in 1681. The other two panels contain brass shields which clearly do not belong to it. On the top of the base is the reclining figure of a man in plate armour, over which he wears a cloak and ruff and his chain of office. Near his feet is the headless figure of a kneeling woman. The back of the tomb is flanked by classic columns and contains the original inscription, 1636–8. Above it is a stone shield with mantled helm and crest. The arms are almost defaced. This tomb stood in the north side of the chancel of the old church, and after the ruin was piled with other fragments under the western gallery.
On the opposite side of the porch is another box tomb which has no inscription, but it is almost certainly that of Anne, Lady Weston, afterwards Lady Knyvett, who died in 1582, and gave directions that she should be buried near her first father-in-law, Sir Richard Weston, in Trinity Church. The tomb is said to have been once in the Weston chantry. The front of the base is carved to represent human bones behind two grates. On the top is a painted recumbent figure of a woman in an ornamented furtrimmed dress and a ruff. But in this case too the base may not belong to the figure, as the monuments were all confused during the ruin and rebuilding.
On the north wall of the nave is a small brass with the following black-letter inscription: 'An° M1 V° | LVII | Lett no man wonder | thoghe here lyt under | the servant of God I truste | Baldwin Smythe by name | of London in good fame | departyd in his best lust | the XIIIth daye of Julye | on whose soule god have m[er]y | and send hym life Eternall | amongst god[es] true Elect | to have his prospect | in the place celestyall |.'
On the south wall of the nave is a brass to Maurice Abbot and Alice his wife, parents of the archbishop. She died on 15 September 1606 and he died ten days later. Above they are both represented in outline together with their six sons, all kneeling. Near this is a large marble monument to James Smythe, who married Elizabeth the eldest daughter of Sir Robert Parkhurst of Pyrford. He died in 1711 and his wife in 1705.
In 1486 a chantry called Norbrigge's and Kyngeston's Chantry was endowed in the Lady chapel. From the inscription to Henry Norbrigge, formerly Mayor of Guildford, who died in 1512, it appears that he was the chief founder. He was buried in the Lady chapel. Another chantry was founded for the term of twenty years by Sir Richard Weston of Sutton Place in 1540.
The iron screen across the entrance of the southeast chapel was erected in memory of Canon Valpy, formerly rector, who died in 1909. The colours of the 'Queen's' Royal West Surrey Regiment are laid up in the north-east chapel. In 1910 the northwest porch was converted into a baptistery, and an alabaster font has been erected in it. The iron railings between the church and the street, dated 1712, are a fine piece of Wealden ironwork.
The communion plate includes a cup and paten, both made at Norwich about 1570, but having no hall mark. Round the cup is engraved 'HALE WASSEN,' the old name of a village near St. Neots, Hunts. It was sent from there to London to be melted up into a new cup, but the silversmith kept the old one intact and made the new one of entirely fresh metal. After passing through various hands the old one was bought for use at Guildford. The next oldest piece of plate is a silver alms-basin of 1675; there is also a silver-gilt paten of 1691; a cup and cover paten of 1730; a silver-gilt flagon of 1757; a cup of 1873; and two silver-gilt cups and patens of 1888. Besides these there are six pewter plates.
There are five books of registers; the first contains baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1558 to 1693; the second contains the same from 1693 to 1783, but the marriages stop at 1739. The marriages between the years 1739 and 1754 and from 1758 to 1763 were entered in the St. Mary's register owing to the rebuilding of this church; the third book contains marriages from 1754 to 1812; the fourth has baptisms from 1784 to 1794 and burials from 1784 to 1795; and the fifth continues the baptisms from 1794 to 1812 and burials from 1795 to 1812.
The church of ST. NICHOLAS is a large building comprising a chancel with an apsidal end, a tower, north organ chamber, south chapel or extension of the south aisle, vestry, nave, north and south aisles, south-west porch, and a private chapel (called the Loseley chapel) to the south of the chancel aisle and west of the vestry. Excepting the Loseley chapel, the church was rebuilt in 1870–2. (fn. 84) The original building was on a lower level, and was often damaged by floods. It had been much repaired, but was entirely rebuilt in 1836–7 in churchwardens' Gothic. This church was higher than the original, but was still liable to floods. The present is raised still more. The Loseley chapel, which is of the 15th century, is closed off from the church by a glazed stone screen, and its floor level (doubtless that of the earlier church) is much below the floor level of the present church. There are two prints hanging in the vestry portraying the two former churches. The earlier, dated 1834, is a north-west view showing two gabled ends, probably of two aisles with a west tower of three stages between them. The second print shows the church after the first rebuilding, with chancel, nave, and aisles and a west tower; this building was however rendered unsafe by floods from the river and was replaced by the present church in 1872.
In the churchyard is a 13th-century capital of a pillar, much perished, from the first church. The Loseley chapel has a modernized south window under a traceried head of 15th-century style and a west doorway with a four-centred arch in a square head. It contains many monuments of the More and More-Molyneux family. In the south wall is an altar tomb to Arnold Brocas which has been removed from the north wall of the former chancel. On it lies the effigy of a priest, with feet to the west, in a red cope, or possibly the gown of a bachelor of laws, above his other vestments, which appear to consist of an alb, rochet, and stole. A part only of the original brass inscription remains along the top edge of the base, and reads:—'Hic jacet Arnald(us) Brocas baculari' ut[ri]usq[ue] iuris canonic' lincol[n..] & wel[n..]; & q[uondam] Rector isti' loci qui obiit vigiliā (assũpcōis be Marie Anno Domini Millesimo ccc nonagesimo quinto)': the words in brackets are a modern restoration, in paint, of the text. The front of the base has five bays with quatrefoil panelling, each inclosing a shield; the first or easternmost is charged with a leopard rampant, for Brocas, with the difference of a border engrailed; the second is Brocas quartering Roches, with a label over all for difference; the third, in a border a lion; the fourth as the first; and the fifth the undifferenced coat of Brocas. The recess over the tomb has panelled sides and a vaulted soffit divided into three bays by cinquefoiled arches terminating in the two middle ones with carved bosses; in the two inner angles the vaulting springs from shafts with moulded capitals and the two intermediate main ribs from carved corbels, one representing an angel's head with hair bound by a circlet, from which rises a small cross in front, and the other a bearded man's head also with a circlet, enriched by small flowers; at the intersections of the vaulting ribs are carved bosses, some as flowers and others as lions' faces with protruding tongues; the cornice, partly restored, is moulded and enriched with square flowers.
Against the east wall is the large altar tomb of alabaster to Sir William More, kt., son and heir of Sir Christopher More, who died at Loseley in 1600, and Dame Margaret his wife, the daughter of Ralph Daniel, who left issue George More, &c. It is divided into bays by pilasters containing marble panels. On it lie the alabaster effigies of Sir William and Lady Margaret; the former in full-plate armour. The lady wears a tight bodice and full farthingale, and both are very well preserved. The inscription is on a black marble panel in the back above the figures. At the sides are brackets on which are seated cherubs; on either side of the middle panel are dark coloured marble shafts with gilded Corinthian capitals, and over the cornice above are three shields with coats of arms; the middle one is quarterly 1 and 4, Azure a cross argent with five martlets sable thereon, for More; 2 and 3, Argent a cheveron between three cockatrices gules, for Mudge; the north shield has More impaling Dingley, Argent a fesse with a molet between two roundels sable in the chief, the south shield has More and Mudge quartered impaling a coat of seven quarters.
Extensions or wings were thrown out on either side for other members of the family; the north wing forms a monument to Sir George More and his wife Anne, but the inscription in the panel behind is to the lady only; she was one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir Adryan Poynings, kt., second brother to Thomas last Lord Poynings (who died without issue) and of Mary wife to Sir Adryan, daughter and sole heir to Sir Owen West, kt., brother and heir to Thomas, Lord De La Warr; she died in 1590 leaving issue Robert More and others. On the base are the kneeling figures face to face of Sir George and Lady Anne. The south wing has the kneeling figures of two ladies, the first of whom is described in the inscription as Elizabeth daughter of Sir William More; she was married three times, first to Richard Polsted of Albury, secondly to Sir John Woolley, one of the secretaries for the Latin tongue to Queen Elizabeth, and thirdly to Thomas, Lord Ellesmere, Lord Chancellor of England. She had no issue by the first and third husbands, by the second she had Sir Francis Woolley, kt. The second lady is Anne daughter of Sir William More, married to Sir George Manwaring of Ightfield, Shropshire, and had issue Sir Arthur, Sir Henry, and Sir Thomas, kts., and George Manwaring and two daughters. Over these four last-mentioned figures are their respective coats of arms.
The monument to Sir Christopher is a much smaller one, affixed to the east wall north of the large tomb; it is a black marble tablet in a stone setting of Renaissance design with a shield of arms over a large swag of fruit and flowers. He was one of the king's remembrancers of the Exchequer and was twice married; first to Margaret daughter and heir of William Mudge, by whom he had issue Sir William and five other sons and seven daughters; the second wife was Constance the daughter of Richard Sackville and widow of William Heneage; he died in 1549, but the monument is of much later date, c. 1660. On the south wall is a monument, which is an almost exact replica of the last, to Sir Robert More, one of the Honourable Band of Pensioners to King James and King Charles, son and heir of Sir George More, kt. He married Frances (daughter of Sampson Lennard and his wife Margaret, Baroness Dacre daughter of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, and sister and heir of Gregory Fiennes, last of that name), by whom he had issue Sir Poynings and others; he died at Loseley in 1625; over the monument is a shield of forty-five quarters. A third similar monument is that on the west wall to Sir Poynings More, created baronet in 1642; he married Elizabeth daughter of William Fytche of Woodham Walter (Essex) and had issue Sir William and other children; he died at Loseley in 1649, and Elizabeth in 1666. There are other monuments to later members and descendants of the family. Mr. William MoreMolyneux was the last to be buried there in 1907. It is now closed for interments. The chapel has a modern plaster panelled and vaulted ceiling with corbel heads on the walls to the main ribs; these are also of plaster and are repetitions of the heads of a king and a lady. In the window are twelve modern shields of arms of the More family.
There was an ancient monumental brass in the former church, but it has now disappeared excepting a scroll in two pieces with the inscription 'Mater Dei memento mei.' The original is mentioned in Aubrey's History of Surrey (1719) as the figure of a priest in vestments with a scroll issuing from his mouth and the inscription below:—'Hic jacet Dñs Thomas Calcott presbyter parochialis istius ecclesiae qui obiit xx die Mensis Julii anno domini mcccclxxxxvii cujus anime propicietur deus Amen.'
In the porch among other monuments is a mural brass inscription to Caleb the son of Philip Lovejoy, who died in 1676 aged seventy-four; the epitaph in verse was composed by himself. He left a house in Southwark for the benefit of the parish.
The communion plate comprises a silver cup of 1601, standing paten of 1791, a large flagon of 1749, two plates of 1835, and a silver spoon probably of Norwegian make; there is also an electro-plated cup, probably of the 18th century. Besides these there are two cups, two patens, and an alms-basin, all of silver-gilt, dating from 1872.
The registers begin in 1562; the first book contains baptisms, marriages, and burials from that year to 1681; the second has all three, arranged in columns, from 1682 to 1736; the third, the same from 1737, the marriages finishing in 1754, and the others in 1812; the fourth continues the marriages from 1754 to 1812. The register contains the baptism of Archbishop Abbot in 1562, and of a son of Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, born at Loseley, 5 November 1636, who is not mentioned in any peerage.
The advowsons of Holy Trinity and St. Mary are commonly stated to have been granted by William Testard to the Prior and convent of Merton in the 13th century. (fn. 85) This, however, is apparently not correct. In the episcopate of Richard of Ilchester, 1173–88, it appears that Merton had rights, confirmed to them then by the bishop, of payments from the rector of the church of Guildford (St. Mary's), and from the rector of the church of the Holy Trinity at Guildford, on institution and at other times, and that Merton had received these payments in past times. (fn. 86) It certainly raises the presumption that the convent already possessed the advowson in the 12th century.
Bishop Morley planned the union of the benefices of Holy Trinity and St. Mary, the incomes being small, and left £1,000 in his will of 1684 for the object of increasing their value. This was supplemented by £200 from Sir Richard Onslow, and the union was completed by Act of Parliament in 1699, and became effective in 1715, when Holy Trinity became vacant and the rector of St. Mary's was instituted to both churches.
Most of the parish of St. Nicholas on the west side of the Wey was always in Godalming Hundred; but part of it, including the church, was in the borough of Guildford from time immemorial. The advowson of the church, however, belonged to the church of Salisbury, probably from the date when the church or bishop, for the two are not clearly separated, acquired Godalming (q.v.) under Henry I. (fn. 89) On 1 February 1324 Edward II, who refused to acknowledge John Stratford, newly-appointed Bishop of Winchester by Papal provision, and ignoring Raymond de la Goth, Dean of Salisbury, also a Papal nominee, whose admission as dean was stoutly resisted at Salisbury, tried to present by Letters Patent; but his nominee was never instituted, and on the following 4 May 1324 the dean's nominee, Bernard Brocas, a fellow-Gascon, was instituted. The advowson remained with the church of Salisbury, by which it was usually leased, till about 1847, when it was transferred to the bishop of the diocese together with Godalming. The Bishop of Winchester first presented in 1856.
The Poyle Charity, founded by Henry Smith in 1627, is administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 1880, and is chiefly devoted to small pensions for persons over fifty-five. (See manor of Poyle.)
In 1579 Thomas Baker founded the Blue Coat School for teaching poor boys till they were apprenticed or passed on to the Grammar School. It is now amalgamated with Archbishop Abbot's foundation (q.v.).
In 1674 John Howe left £400, the interest of which was to be cast lots for by two poor servingmaids who had lived for two years with credit in the same family. The competitors are nominated by the mayor and magistrates.
In 1702 John Parsons gave the annual produce of £600 for the setting up in business of a young man who has served seven years' apprenticeship in Guildford, or failing such a young man, a young woman who has lived three years in one situation (not at an inn). If the magistrates fail to appoint to this charity, the charity lapses from Guildford to Chichester.
John Howe, by will 1674, gave a house for the use of the poor, directing that two poor men and their wives should inhabit it. The churchwardens' books in the tower of St. Mary's have references to this house, but it has apparently been sold and the price misapplied.
Caleb Lovejoy in 1676 left a house in Southwark for the education of children, apprenticing boys, and for almshouses, for a sermon also at St. Nicholas's yearly in commemoration of himself. The funds were insufficient for more than the schooling of twenty boys till the 19th century, when land was acquired in Bury Street and almshouses for four women built in 1840. By a curious coincidence the almshouses are nearly on the site of Lovejoy's father's house which was next the old rectory, the latter being removed from here to the Portsmouth Road (when the church was rebuilt in 1836–7). The evidence for this is an agreement copied out in the registers, concluding a violent quarrel between Lovejoy and the rector upon their respective garden boundaries.