A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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The church of ST. OLAVE (fn. 1) was granted by William de Warenne and Gundreda his wife to the priory of St. Pancras, Lewes. The gift was confirmed by William son of the donors between 1089 and 1138, (fn. 2) and by Ralph Archbishop of Canterbury in 1121. (fn. 3) Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester from 1205 to 1238, gave licence for the appropriation of the church by the convent for the use and refection of the guests. A saving clause guarded the maintenance of a vicar who was to be presented by the monks and instituted by the bishop. (fn. 4) In the reign of Henry III the master and brethren of the hospital of St. Thomas, Southwark, released to the priory all their right in the church, with reservation of a rent of 2 marks to be paid by the brethren of London Bridge if these obtained possession of St. Olave's. (fn. 5) A conveyance from the priory must have been in contemplation, but it did not take place. The annual value of the church was £6 in 1291. (fn. 6) In 1327 a papal mandate directed the Bishop of Winchester to relax sixty days of enjoined penance to all who contributed within three years to the repair of St. Olave's, injured by the tide which beat against the walls and had carried away bodies from the graveyard. (fn. 7) There is mention in 1330 of the wharf of the churchyard, (fn. 8) which may have been constructed during a process of embanking the river. In 1534–5 it appears that the church was no longer impropriate; the clear annual value of the rectory was £68 4s. 9d. and the priory received only an annual pension of £4. (fn. 9) The advowson was granted in fee in 1538 to Thomas Lord Cromwell. (fn. 10) A rent from the church was included in property given in 1541 to Anne of Cleves. (fn. 11) In 1543, after Cromwell's forfeiture, the presentation to the rectory was made by the Crown. (fn. 12) Such right was said in 1544 to belong to the king 'by the grant of Lady Anne of Cleves.' (fn. 13) The benefice has since been in the gift of the Crown. (fn. 14)
In 1617 the church was repaired and beautified at the cost of the parishioners. (fn. 15) There was conflict of opinions within it during the sitting of the Long Parliament. In 1641 the churchwardens petitioned the House of Lords against their illegal prosecution for removal of the altar rails. They stated that many hundreds of the parishioners had refused to come to the sacrament while the rails remained and that they had taken them quietly away and disposed of them for the benefit of the parish, after they had vainly sought to prevail upon the parson to prevent their tumultuous demolition. Another petition from the curate complained of the violent conduct of certain parishioners who, after five hundred persons had received the sacrament on their knees, insisted that he should administer it to them while they sat, and threatened if he refused to drag him about the church by the ears. (fn. 16) In 1697 the church was again repaired and a gallery was made to accommodate the boys of the parochial free school. In 1720 it had an organ and 'a very good parsonage house situate in the churchyard,' on which much cost had lately been bestowed. (fn. 17) It was stated in 1737 that part of the church had fallen down and the rest was ruinous. An Act of Parliament therefore enabled the levying of rates for its rebuilding. Burials in the church and chancel were forbidden at the same time. (fn. 18) The new church was completed in 1740. (fn. 19) It consists of a small chancel, a nave with aisles and a vestibule and north-western tower, constructed of Portland stone and designed in the classical style, closely approximating Wren's St. Dionis Backchurch. Internally the aisles are separated from the nave by Ionic columns and are fitted with galleries. The whole of the west bay of the church is cut off to form vestibules and staircases, and the tower stands in the northern part of this, at the north-west of the building. The church contains a wooden sword-rest dated 1674 and bearing the City arms and the Southwark mark.
In 1817 it was said that the tithes did not suffice to maintain the rector and that the rectory-house was out of repair and inconveniently situated. An Act of Parliament therefore ruled that certain trustees should pay to the rector £600 a year instead of tithes, and should provide him with another residence. (fn. 20) The church was damaged by a fire in 1843. (fn. 21)
In 1526 there were brotherhoods of Our Lady and of St. Clement and a sisterhood of St. Anne in St. Olave's Church. An aisle was dedicated to St. Anne. (fn. 22) Mr. G. R. Corner states that four aisles and chapels of the pre-Reformation church were dedicated to Our Lady, St. Clement, St. Anne and St. Barbara, respectively. The gild of the Name of Jesus is said by the same writer to have existed in the 15th century. (fn. 23) In 1533 the brethren and sisters were incorporated, and received power to elect annually four wardens and to acquire land to the value of £40. (fn. 24) In 1546 certain persons, who may have represented the gild, were enabled to enfeoff the rector and church of St. Olave of land opposite to the church and on the west side of the holding of the priory of Lewes. (fn. 25) A vestry or church-house of the parish was built on part of this site, and is frequently called Jesus House. The Jesus Brotherhood, in whom, under Mary, the old gild appears to have been revived, deliberated in 1557 on the amount they would contribute to the rebuilding of the churchhouse. Its disposition for the holding in it of the free school was ordered by the vestry in 1561; and the free grammar school of the parish occupied this site until it was demolished, in 1831, to allow the approach to new London Bridge. (fn. 26) Part of the land granted in 1546 became the Flemish burial-ground. (fn. 27) The property was surveyed in 1652 as a late possession of the Crown, in right of a lease granted by Elizabeth in 1558 The churchwardens claimed it as held by them for the use of the poor and for the little churchyard, and the survey was vacated by Parliament. (fn. 28)
The plate comprises four silver-gilt cups and paten of 1630, a silver-gilt paten, two flagons and almsbasin of 1688, a silver-gilt flagon of 1639, spoon strainer of 1697, and several pieces of modern plate.
The registers are in eleven books as follows: (1) to (3) baptisms and burials 1685 to 1778, marriages 1685 to 1753; (4) baptisms and burials 1779 to 1812; (5) to (8) marriages 1754 to 1778; (9) to (11) marriages 1779 to 1812.
The church of ST. GEORGE THE MARTYR was granted to the monks of Bermondsey by Thomas de Ardern and Thomas his son in 1122, and confirmed to them by Henry I. After the surrender of the monastery the advowson remained in the Crown. (fn. 29) In 1629 the church steeple and gallery were 'repaired, new pewed and beautified' and the south aisle enlarged by the parishioners and others. The present church was completed in 1736. (fn. 30) The vestry was select in 1756. (fn. 31) In 1816 an Act of Parliament allowed the purchase of land in New Alley, Shaw's Court, Bangor Court, Church Street, White Street and Wilmott's Buildings for the extension of the churchyard. (fn. 32) This has recently disappeared during a process of widening the roads. The income of the benefice was derived from a rate of which the collection caused so much trouble that in the time of Bishop Thorold the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and the civil vestry agreed that each should contribute £5,000 to the endowment of the living, and thus secure to the incumbent £300 a year, in place of the £480 which he had received from the rate. The Corporation of London and the Lord Chancellor, the patrons of St. Margaret Pattens, Rood Lane, consented to allot £300 a year out of the income of the latter benefice to the rectory of St. George, on condition that the Court of Common Council acquired the right of presenting the rector at one turn out of three. Accordingly the present incumbent was presented by the court in 1897, and the augmentation of the living was duly received in 1906, when the first vacancy in the rectory of St. Margaret Pattens occurred. (fn. 33)
The plate consists of a silver cup of 1559, another of 1640, the gift of Thomas Dudson, a silver paten, two flagons and an alms-basin of 1696, a paten of 1711, a paten of 1716, two silver plates of 1743, and one or two pieces of modern plate.
The registers are in fourteen books: (1) all entries 1602 to 1664, interrupted by (2) all entries 1653 to 1657; (3) and (4) the same 1665 to 1714, interrupted by (5) baptisms 1696 to 1722, burials 1696 to 1727, marriages 1696 to 1732; (6) baptisms 1733 to 1757, burials 1728 to 1757, marriages 1733 to 1753; (7) to (9) baptisms and burials 1758 to 1812, interrupted by (10) the same 1784 to 1800; (11) to (14) marriages 1764 to 1812.
In 1511 protection for one year was allowed to deputies of the gild of the Virgin Mary and of St. George in this church, who had been sent into various parts of the country to collect alms. (fn. 34) The treasurer of the royal chamber paid on St. George's Day in 1529 I mark for the king's grace to the fraternity of St. George in Southwark, (fn. 35) of which the wardens, in 1549, held a tenement in the borough called Ye Ramme. (fn. 36) At the time of the dissolution of gilds this brotherhood maintained one chantry priest in St. George's Church, and its property was of the yearly value of £6 2s. 8d. The Leathersellers of London supported at that date another chantry in the church, served by one chaplain, worth £7 6s. 8d. annually. (fn. 37)
The church of ST. MARGARET was granted to the priory of St. Mary Overy by Henry I, (fn. 38) and confirmed to that house by William, Bishop of Winchester from 1107 to 1129, by Henry II, and between 1501 and 1514 by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 39) There is no record of the appropriation of the church to the prior and convent, but in 1291 their spiritual possessions included the annual value of the rectory, which was 13 marks. (fn. 40) In 1536 an Act of Parliament was passed for the enlargement of the churchyard. (fn. 41) It was said in 1573–4 to be in the middle of the king's highway, and not to supply room for burials. (fn. 42) The priory at its dissolution was in yearly receipt of £42 4s. as the value of the rectory, out of which sum 9s. 8½d. was paid for procurations and synodals. (fn. 43) After the parish had been united to that of St. Mary Magdalene, the site of the church was sold by the Crown to John Pope in 1545, with the proviso that the justices might still hold in the building the sessions of gaol delivery, as the king had appointed. (fn. 44)
In 1449 licence was received by certain parishioners for the incorporation of a gild of the Assumption of Our Lady, of which the brothers and sisters should annually elect two or three wardens. (fn. 45) The commodities of the brotherhood were transferred in 1540 to the church of St. Saviour. (fn. 46)
Bishop Peter des Roches of Winchester built in the church of the priory of St. Mary Overy, between 1212 and 1239, a spacious chapel dedicated to the honour of ST. MARY MAGDALENE. The parish of that name was apparently formed soon afterwards out of the adjacent territory, and the chapel, which stood on the south side of the quire of the priory church, became its church, but was pulled down in 1822. In 1291 the prior and convent held the rectory of St. Mary Magdalene, which was worth 6 marks a year. (fn. 47) It probably was always impropriate to this house. When the parish was united to that of St. Margaret the church of St. Mary Magdalene formed part of St. Saviour's Church. The Act of union stipulated that the foundation of John Scragges, leatherseller, in the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene should be maintained. (fn. 48)
The Parliament of the thirty-first and thirty-second years of Henry VIII ruled that the parishes of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Margaret should be united and should enjoy the church of the dissolved monastery of St. Mary Overy, henceforth to be called ST. SAVIOUR'S CHURCH. The latter dedication was that of Bermondsey Abbey, and it did not entirely supersede the dedication in honour of St. Mary. The preamble to the Act states that the church of the monastery was very great and was costly of maintenance, and that inhabitants of both parishes already resorted to it, for St. Margaret's Church was prostrate and had been converted to another purpose. The parishioners were directed to elect four or six churchwardens. (fn. 49) These were in 1543 four in number; and they then received a lease of the rectory for twenty-one years. (fn. 50) Subsequent and similar leases were made to the churchwardens. (fn. 51) Between 1551 and 1553 the rectory was held by Bishop John Poynet, (fn. 52) probably as a partial compensation for his relinquishment to the Crown of the see of Winchester. The grant of the rectory to the churchwardens in 1589 stipulated that they should provide £60 a year for the stipend of two chaplains who should serve the church. (fn. 53)
In 1554 Stephen Gardiner, assisted by Bonner and Cuthbert Tunstall, consecrated in this church the new Bishops of Lincoln, Rochester, Chester, St. David's and Gloucester. (fn. 54) Gardiner's funeral was conducted here in the following year. (fn. 55) Robert Horne, Bishop of Winchester, appointed in 1566 a select vestry for the parish and prescribed certain rules, to which all the parishioners were alleged to have assented. As a consequence thirty of them acquired ability solely to elect the churchwardens at such times as they chose. These officers were accused in the first decade of the 17th century of granting leases of the property of the church for their own benefit, wasting the parochial funds in feasts and banquets, and involving the church in dangerous lawsuits. A Bill was introduced in the Commons to transfer the right of electing the churchwardens to the two preaching ministers and all parishioners who were taxed at £3, and the management of the property of the church to two of the churchwardens, whom the former body should appoint and should cause to enter into a bond and to render accounts. No extraordinary payments were to be made, no leases granted and no action in reference to the property taken, without the agreement of 'the major part of the multitude.' (fn. 56) These provisions did not become statutory. In 1605 a lease of the rectory for fifty years was granted to John Elphinstone, (fn. 57) a 'Scottishman' in the queen's service. The parish was subsequently sued by the grantee in the Exchequer Court upon surmise of an intention to oppose his right. In the ensuing years many entries were made in the vestry minutes as to the business between the parish and 'the Scottish gentleman.' In 1608 it was decided that in consequence of the late extraordinary payments every vestryman should 'spend his own money at a dinner this day.' (fn. 58) Finally, however, the parish, in the person of Philip Henslowe of the Rose Theatre and the Bear Garden and of three other 'ancients of the vestry,' bought the fee simple of the rectory. (fn. 59) The advowson appears to have passed with the rectory from 1545 to this date and afterwards. In the following reign the parish paid to the Crown £100 as the result of a Chancery suit in regard to an alleged undervaluing of the property they had acquired. (fn. 60) In 1641 certain persons had been imprisoned for pulling down the altar rails of the church. (fn. 61) A petition of the churchwardens to the Council in 1655–6 for power to assess the parishioners for the repair of the church was dismissed. (fn. 62) In 1670, however, the Act which constituted Christchurch parish declared that the revenue of the rectory, which did not exceed £100 a year, was inadequate to the maintenance of the building and the two ministers. It enacted, therefore, that all property in the parish should thenceforward be tithe free, and that the churchwardens and overseers might levy a yearly rate not exceeding £350. But of this each chaplain must receive £100 a year, the masters of the grammar schools must be paid and the church repaired. In 1816 this Act was amended by another which repealed the limitations of the total amount levied, and allowed a rate which should not exceed 1s. in the pound; £300 a year was assigned to either chaplain. (fn. 63) Burials in the churchyard of St. Saviour's and in Cross Bones burial-ground within the parish were forbidden in 1853. (fn. 64) In 1868 yet another statute ruled that, after the occurrence of the next vacancy, the church should be served by one chaplain and that a curate should be provided. (fn. 65) In 1883 the compulsory church-rate was abolished; the title of rector was granted to the incumbent, who was relieved from the burden of providing a curate; the bishop of the diocese became patron of the benefice; and the vestry, constituted under the Metropolitan Local Management Act, were directed to elect the five churchwardens known as the warden of the great account, the renter warden, the college warden, the bell warden and Newcomen's warden, while the rector appointed the rector's warden. (fn. 66) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the same year made grants towards the augmentation of the incumbent's stipend and the provision of a curate. (fn. 67) In 1897 the church was reopened after its restoration (see below) with a collegiate constitution. Its chapter was ordained to consist of the Bishop of Rochester as dean, the Bishop of Southwark as sub-dean, four canons who held respectively the offices of chancellor, precentor, missioner and lecturer or catechist, and five laymen, who were the treasurer, the assistant treasurer, the warden of the great account, the rector's warden and the chapter clerk. This was in preparation for the long-desired bishopric of South London, of which the church was to become the cathedral. In 1904 St. Saviour's became, by force of statute, the cathedral church of the diocese of Southwark. (fn. 68) The chapter consists of the dean, who is the bishop of the diocese, the sub-dean, six canons, who include the chancellor, the precentor and the canon missioner, four lay members and twenty-four honorary canons. The bishops suffragan of Kingston and Woolwich are members of chapter, the latter being sub-dean.
The church stands on the west side of the Borough, immediately to the south of London Bridge. Although there appears to have been a religious house on this site from a remote period, the first certain statement that can be made with regard to the present church is that in 1106 William Pont de l'Arche and William Dauncey refounded the priory for canons regular of the Augustinian order and that Bishop Giffard was associated with them, building the nave after 1107, when he returned from exile. Of this early work there are a few remnants, the north transept walls as high as the sill string of the triforium retaining a little early detail; a fragment of an apsidal chapel opening from this transept, which was discovered in 1847, and the round-headed north-east door of the north aisle are of the 12th century, while the north-west door of the same aisle and the wide recess to the west of it are of late 12th-century type. A heterogeneous collection of 12th-century fragments of detail lying in the west end of the nave and north aisle all belonged to the nave and aisles. They date apparently from all stages of the century, and some are exceedingly rich, but there is no possibility of conjecturing their exact original position.
In 1207 the church was almost wholly destroyed by fire. The north wall of the nave, north aisle, the lower part of the north transept and the lowest stage of the tower appear to have escaped total destruction, while the quire, south transept (if it had ever been built), upper part of the tower and the nave above the piers called for complete rebuilding. Bishop Peter des Roches of Winchester undertook the task, and it is probable that he used the old nave piers, casing them with Caen stone and remodelling them to the prevalent fashion. From the great size of the westernmost piers of the old nave, it seems likely that the Norman church had had, or had been intended to have, a western as well as a central tower, or a great narthex. On the completion of the nave and aisles, the quire, with its aisles, and south chapel (the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene) and retro-quire were built, and lastly the north transept was remodelled on the old shell, which remains standing to the present sill level. This work was still incomplete in 1273. In the mean time the remains of the Norman central tower were left standing, probably to the full height of the crossing arches, and the piers were made good as they were needed for the progress of the new work. At the end of the 13th century the east and west crossing arches of the new work were inserted, and during the first quarter of the 14th century the north and south arches were completed, the arcade above the crossing being added not long after. About this time the Lady chapel was added to the east of the retro-quire. The south transept was built concurrently with the north and south crossing arches. At the extreme end of the century a fire did some damage to the nave, and in the subsequent repairs larger windows were inserted, and it seems likely that the flying buttresses were removed. In the 15th century Cardinal Beaufort repaired the east and south sides of the south transept, inserting the plain continuously chamfered arcade between the vaulting shafts. In 1469 the alterations in the reign of Richard II had their natural result in the fall of the vault, which was replaced by an elaborate wooden roof of low pitch, with richly moulded timbers and carved bosses, by Prior Burton (1462–86). This roof bore no relation to the former vaulting supports and rested on carved stone corbels. At the same time the vault of the north transept was replaced by a similar roof, and possibly that of the south transept also, though no memory or trace of such a roof now remains.
Between 1520 and 1528, in the episcopate of Bishop Fox, and possibly at his expense, the two upper stages of the tower were built, and the splendid altar-screen was built by him with two small doors through it to the retro-quire.
After the Dissolution the retro-quire was let as a bakehouse, and at one time had pigsties within its walls. The main part of the priory church having become the parish church, the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, hitherto the parish church, was thrown open to the south quire aisle by cutting arches through the south wall of the aisle. Before this time the chapel had only been accessible from the south transept. In 1578, however, some repairs were executed, and during the 17th century various internal fittings were added. The Lady chapel was redeemed from secular use in 1624, but in 1676 its eastern end was burnt down, in a fire which destroyed a great part of Southwark, and was badly rebuilt. In 1703 Bishop Fox's screen was defaced to make a flat surface for the fitting of a 'classical' wooden reredos. A large pulpit, galleries, &c., were fitted. A huge organ was also set up and 'the old monuments . . . all refreshed and new painted.' Other alterations and repairs, of the same character, were made between 1734 and 1764. The bells were recast and added to in 1735. In 1821 the quire was restored by Gwilt, and in the following year the Magdalene chapel was destroyed. In 1830 the transepts were restored by Wallace and Bishop Fox's reredos was restored, that of 1703 being removed, and in the same year the Lady chapel was pulled down. In 1831 the nave was unroofed, and after seven years of exposure to the weather was pulled down in 1838. In 1832 the retro-quire, then called the 'Lady chapel,' was restored by Gwilt. In 1839 the new nave was begun, a pseudo-Gothic structure, which was completed in little more than a year, and in 1889, after the transference of Southwark to the see of Rochester, was pulled down to make way for the present splendid nave, completed in 1897, by Sir Arthur Blomfield, on a design which is almost a reproduction of the 13th-century nave. At the same time the great window of the south transept was altered to its present form and sundry other windows were renewed or altered. The organ chamber was added in 1897, in which year the church was reopened.
The building now consists of a quire with aisles and retro-quire, north transept with an eastern chapel, and south transept with an eastern organ chamber, central tower, nave and aisles, and a range of modern vestries along the whole of the north side of the church from the transept westwards.
The quire is of five bays, with triforium and clearstory. It has a modern east window of three lancets in a rising arcade of five arches of 13th-century character, through whose shafted jambs the clearstory passage runs. This window replaces one erected by Bishop Fox (in 1520–8), which was of five plain lights in a four-centred head, and had over it a wide casement with trefoil-headed panels alternating with carved pelicans in the soffit. Below this window the whole of the east wall is occupied by Bishop Fox's screen, which is completely restored, and altered in many respects from its original design, by Wallace. It is about 30 ft. high, and contains three tiers of eleven niches each, the central one of each now being much larger than the rest. The original portions are of Caen and firestone, the restoration in Painswick stone. The cornice has a row of demi-angels, with a Tudor flower cresting above. The niches are canopied and have foliated bases within them. The cornice below the uppermost tier is a row of angels set close together. Above the lowest tier the cornice is interrupted, and four of the niches are much reduced in height by the introduction of two depressed ogee-headed doors leading to the retro-quire. The niches are gradually being filled with sculpture.
The few surviving fragments of the original sculptures include several humorous subjects, together with Bishop Fox's rebus—a man chasing a fox, and repetitions of his favourite symbol, the pelican 'in her piety.'
The sides of the quire, though original 13th-century work, are almost wholly restored. The piers on both sides are alternately octagonal and circular, and at the ends of the east wall of the quire are three-quarter circular columns, while against the crossing piers at the west are half-octagonal responds. The north side is richer in detail and a little earlier than the south, for while on both north and south triple-clustered attached shafts support the quire vault on the inner and the aisle vaults on the outer faces of the piers, the inner orders of the north arcade are supported on attached shafts but in the south arcade are tapered corbels. The capitals and bases are well but simply moulded throughout, the mouldings of the capitals on the south side being somewhat later in type than those on the north. The arches are richly moulded on both sides of the quire. The triforium, the passage of which runs continuously round the church except the east wall of the quire, where, however, it was only broken by Fox's screen, has in the quire an arcade of four bays in each main bay, except the easternmost on each side, where there are three, a small portion of blank wall occupying the easternmost space. The jambs of the arches next the vaulting shafts, which are banded by the triforium string, have on the north side a dog-tooth moulding, but are plain on the south. The shafts of the arcade, with moulded bells, capitals and bases on low square plinths, are set against plain jambs supporting shouldered cross arches. In the middle of each main bay is a doorway to the top of the vaulting over the aisle. Similar doorways still exist in the east wall, but are now blocked by Fox's screen, and only visible from the retro-quire vault. In each bay of the clearstory is a high central arch on shafts, set against jambs which are tied to the outer wall halfway up by transverse blocks of stone, rising into the head of the cell, and a very narrow arch on either side of it with low heads, of irregular shape owing to the lower level of the capitals of their outer jamb shafts. The central arches, which stand in front of the lancet windows, are of a pointed horse-shoe shape. Many of the bases in both triforium and clearstory have leaf spurs. The clearstory windows have external jamb shafts.
The capitals of the vaulting shafts, which are well moulded, have abaci formed by the continuation of the clearstory string. The vault, which is quadripartite, was mostly renewed in 1822. The ribs are well moulded, but the wall ribs die into the vault-shell before reaching the capital.
The aisles and retro-quire, which are all of one design, with very slight variations, are vaulted, each aisle being of five quadripartite bays, while the retroquire, which has three rows of clustered columns, lining with the north arcade, axis and south arcade respectively of the quire, is divided into twelve similar bays, a slight distortion occurring in the westernmost row of four bays, where the thickness of the east wall of the quire narrows the two central bays from east to west. The aisle vaults with their triple shafts are largely original, but the retro-quire vault from just above the springers dates from Gwilt's very faithful restoration. The triple shafts in the aisles are attached and of stone, but the retro-quire piers have four detached Purbeck marble shafts round a square pier. Almost all the windows in the aisles and retroquire are wholly renewed. The same applies to the 15th-century newel at the north-east angle, which was partially rebuilt in the 17th century, but restored to its original form by Gwilt.
One lancet in the north aisle retains its original internal jamb shafts. In the accompanying plan, however, they are all indicated in their original dates, as all were scrupulously reproduced in their old form and detail by Gwilt. On the north side are four lancets of the original form and two windows of three lights of 14th-century insertion. The western of the two is of the full width of the bay, and the 13th-century buttress is cut back slightly to clear it externally. In the first and third bays of the south side are renewed lancets, and in the second and fourth (the latter between two deep 13th-century buttresses) are three-light 14th-century windows, that in the fourth bay infringing upon a buttress in the same way as the window just mentioned in the corresponding bay of the north side. Westward of this fourth bay on the south the wall had no openings, and against its south side stood the 14th-century parish church. Openings were made in the 16th century, but blocked on the destruction of the church in 1822. These bays are now occupied by a modern south door, and by two arches made in 1897 when the organ chamber was built.
Each bay of the east wall of the retro-quire contains three lancets in an arcade formed by their heads and shafted jambs, the latter enriched with dogtooth. The third from the north is entirely modern, filling the space formerly entering the Lady chapel, and the remainder are wholly renewed. In the north bay is a modern piscina, copied from one of the 13th century, of which traces remained here.
Two bays of fine 14th-century blind tracery fill the heads of the wall arcade of the retro-quire at the back of the quire east wall. Below are the doorways through Fox's screen, with segmental rear arches panelled in the soffit.
The present crossing piers are undoubtedly those of the 12th-century tower, modified in the 13th and 14th centuries, and, as it were, flayed of all their original surface in the process. The crossing arches were all of the same width, approximately that of the present north and south arches, but the eastern and western openings were widened by cutting away the 12th-century jambs to a flat surface and inserting arches whose orders die into this surface, except the innermost, which rest on long moulded corbels with head stops, the eastern pair being somewhat earlier than the western. The orders are square with edge-rolls—a 12th-century type—with a roll between hollows introduced on the inner faces, and a hood mould of 13th-century type. Probably a good many stones of the old arches were recut and used in the rebuilding.
The jambs of the north and south arches, though all their detail is of the 14th century, are substantially the 12th-century jambs recut in situ. On the north side the jambs have five thick shafts rising from a solid plinth some 10 ft. high, and with hollow chamfered angles between them. These shafts are probably 12th-century square pilasters with edge-rolls, recut. The plinth may be a 14th-century casing to form the abutment of a stone screen shutting off the transept. The arches themselves are wholly of 14th-century work, though the mouldings are approximated to those of the east and west arches. The southern arch is identical with the northern, save for the omission of the high plinth, the shafts descending to separate octagonal plinths at the pavement level.
Above the crossing is an arcade communicating with the roofs of the quire and nave, and reached by the newel in the north-east pier, which also leads to the triforium, and, by way of the quire aisle vault, to the clearstory by a newel at the north-east angle of the quire. This arcade is of late 14th-century date, and has four arches in each face, the centre ones coupled. The detail is slovenly.
The north transept walls are of the 12th century to the sill level. On the north side it opens by two round 12th-century arches, so masked by the 13th-century wall arcade as to appear segmental. Within the east bay of the wall arcade on the north wall is a short length of 12th-century moulding, and below it to the east a large square 13th-century aumbry with a blind trefoiled head rebated for a door and retaining hinge marks and bolt holes. In the west bay a small 12th-century window is visible externally. On the east and west walls between the bays of the wall arcade, which, with its Purbeck marble shafts and capitals and well-moulded acute arches, runs round the three walls of the transept, rise the Purbeck marble shafts of the 13th-century vault, which is now represented by a sham vault of wood and plaster. The arcade is continued southward to the crossing piers, to form the openings to the quire and nave aisles. In the latter case the 12th-century wall of the transept projects well into the archway, and retains its original abacus moulding with a small hatchet pattern and the spring of a 12th-century half-arch.
The arch to the quire aisle is differently distorted, for, while the northern half of it is normal, the southern half is cramped against the crossing pier, and with its mouldings breaks down the face of the pier perpendicularly to the capital from about half its height; within it is an unbroken arch resting on corbels. The southern shafts of both these arches to the aisles are not of marble but are cut in the angle of the crossing piers, and approximate so closely to the type of the shafts of the north and south tower arches as to indicate that the work at this point was continuous from the 13th to the 14th century.
The triforium of the north transept has three windows on the east and west sides. Those next to the crossing are plain lancets, their lower portions filled with coped blockings containing pointed doors to the tops of the aisle vaults. The top of this blocking slopes at the pitch angle of the aisle roofs. The remaining four windows are of two lights of the 13th century but wholly restored. The four-light north window dates from 1898. There is no clearstory.
The chapel on the east side of the transept (the Harvard chapel) is almost wholly modernized, (fn. 69) but the curve of an apse on the outside of its north wall indicates it as one of the earliest parts of the church. The northern of the two round arches mentioned above contains many original stones in its head and jambs, roughly axe-tooled, and the capitals have an incised leaf ornament. In the north-east angle of the chapel are fragments of a 12th-century shafted jamb, indicating the early abolition of the apsidal termination, and built on to the apse wall outside are a shafted jamb and part of an arch of what appears to have been the 12th-century cloister. The rest of the chapel is wholly refaced. On the south side a 15th-century wooden doorway with its original door leads to the north quire aisle.
The south transept was built concurrently with the completion of the crossing arches. Its triple vaulting shafts are of stone, and exactly resemble those of the north and south tower arches. On the east side the north bay contains an opening to the modern organ chamber. The next bay is filled by a plain, continuously-chamfered arch of the 15th century, and a similar arcade of two arches fills the south wall. These arches are the work of Cardinal Beaufort, who 'rebuilt' (i.e. repaired or completed) the transept, and whose arms, with a cardinal's hat, are carved on a block of stone let into the middle vaulting shaft on the east side. There is a large modern doorway in the south bay of the east wall. The triforium windows, of a good early 14th-century type, are of three lights, with geometrical tracery and shafted jambs and mullions. The south window dates from the most recent restoration. Externally it descends below the interior sill level, the lower portions of the lights being blind. The modern vault is of wood and plaster.
On the nave side of the western crossing piers are the 13th-century attached shafts of the east bays of the old nave arcades, and of the western faces of the arches to the transepts. That to the north transept is, owing to the projection of the transept west wall, much narrower than on the transept side. In the south-east angle of the south aisle is an original vaulting shaft of 13th-century date.
The ancient remains in the nave and aisles are few and scattered. In the north aisle at the extreme east end the return of the wall from the south-west angle of the transept is of the 12th century, and includes the external shafted jambs of a fine 12th-century doorway, the 'Prior's door,' which has several times been blocked and again uncovered. The head is now gone, but was in existence at the beginning of the last century. Enough remains to show that there was an incised zigzag on the innermost continuous orders, and that the remaining three orders, supported by banded shafts with foliated capitals and moulded bases, were decorated with a cheveron between two varieties of foliated mouldings, separated by roll fillets. The sill of this door is now about 18 in. below the level of the nave floor. In the transept wall, just to the east of the door, is a square 12th-century holy water stone of unusually large dimensions, in a round-headed niche.
At the west end of the nave is the 'Canon's door,' with a simply incised segmental head and plain jambs, and west of it a segmental-headed niche with shafted jambs, both of the late 12th century and much restored. The whole of the lower courses of the west wall of the nave and aisles is of the 13th century, and portions of the attached responds of the nave arcade are also old. The arcading on this wall, with deeply-moulded arches supported on Purbeck marble shafts, for which are substituted once in every three arches a peculiar heavily moulded corbel, is a reproduction of an original feature; three bays of original arcading of the same pattern survive in the south wall of the south aisle west of the south doorway. The fine west doorway of the 15th century formerly existing in the old nave has not been reproduced.
The nave is built on the original 13th-century foundations. It is of seven bays, with massive columns alternately circular and octagonal, and indeed closely resembles the quire in all the details of its three stages. The vault has heavy Bath stone ribs, and the shell is striped in chalk and green firestone. The triforium passage is not run through the jambs, but is continuously accessible from over the aisle vaults by a door in the back wall of each bay.
The monuments are numerous, but not of great interest. In the retro-quire is a broken 14th-century floor slab incised with the inscription 'Alein Ferthing gis[t- ici Dieu de son a]lme eit merci +' in Lombardic letters. This slab was brought here from the site of St. Margaret's Church in 1833. Alan Ferthing was six times member of Parliament for Southwark, and probably died of the Black Death in 1349.
Against the west wall of the retro-quire is the altartomb of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, 1626, with a coloured effigy. This tomb was moved hither from the Lady chapel when the latter was destroyed, and originally had a canopy, which was destroyed in the fire of 1676. In a 15th-century canopied tomb recess in the north quire aisle is a 13th-century wooden recumbent effigy of a knight in mail with a long surcoat. His legs are crossed, and he is represented in the act of sheathing his sword. The face and other portions of the figure are restored, and it is covered with yellow paint. It appears to have been originally coloured after nature. Its original position and the person whom it commemorated are unknown, but it is conjectured to have been a member of the Warenne family.
Next to this tomb recess is another exactly like it. Both the recesses are coloured. To the west of these is the coloured monument of John Trehearne, servant to Queen Elizabeth and 'gentleman Portar' to James I, with half-length figures of himself and his wife in an architectural setting, with the arms of Trehearne behind and an inscription between them. On the plinth below are the figures of his six children.
In the east bay of the north arcade of the quire is the canopied 'table' tomb of Richard Humble, 1616, and his two wives, with their kneeling figures beneath the arched canopy, and figures of his children in relief on the side panels, the whole painted in imitation of marble.
In the north transept are several elaborate 18th-century monuments, notably that in the west bay of the north wall, of 'Dr.' Lionel Lockyer, 1672, whose epitaph commemorates the virtues both of himself and his patent pills, radiis solis extractae, and the elaborate monument on the west wall to William Austin, 1633, his wife, 1623, and his mother, Lady Clarke, 1626.
The most important monument, historically, in the church is that of John Gower, the poet, and a benefactor to the church, which is now restored to its original position in the second bay of the north aisle of the nave, the site of the chantry chapel of St. John the Baptist founded by him. It is of the early 15th century, with a canopied recess containing the effigy of the poet, his head resting on his three works, the Speculum Meditantis, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis. The feet rest on a lion. He wears a chaplet of four roses, a collar of SS, and a jewel of a hart lodged, the badge of Richard II. The canopy, of three cusped ogee heads with crockets and finials, is carved with groining, resting at the back of the recess on cherubs' heads. On the wall of the recess at the foot are the arms and crest of Gower. The front of the tomb and the spandrels between the ogees have trefoil-headed panelling. At the back of the recess were originally three figures of Charity, Mercy and Pity, with inscribed scrolls. These have disappeared. The monument is much painted, and has a modern painted inscription along the sunk upper edge of the plinth. Another modern inscription, painted on a portion of a 17th-century slate tomb-slab, superseded the figures at the back of the recess, and now after temporary disuse is about to be restored to this position.
There are now twelve bells, all of 1735, recast by Samuel Knight from the metal of the 15th-century peal of eight, with the addition of 64 cwt. The two largest bells have been somewhat reduced in weight since 1735. The 15th-century bells in 1424 numbered seven, and were named St. Nicholas, Vincent, St. Lawrence, Anna Maria, Stephen, Maria and Augustine. A bell was added in that year and the peal renamed, Christ, St. John the Evangelist, All Saints, Gabriel, St. Lawrence, Augustine, Mary and St. Trinity.
The plate includes two silver cups of 1690, two reproductions of the same of 1719, given by Samuel Wight, a silver paten of 1689, and two of 1804, a silver flagon and two alms-basins of 1719, and a spoon strainer of 1716, also some modern plate belonging to the collegiate foundation.
The registers are in twenty-two books: (1) to (6) baptisms 1570 to 1720, burials 1570 to 1722, marriages 1570 to 1724; (7) to (10) baptisms 1721 to 1812; (11) to (13) burials 1723 to 1812; (14) to (22) marriages 1725 to 1812.
The small parish of ST. THOMAS APOSTLE was formed out of the precinct and possessions of the hospital of St. Thomas of Canterbury which once were in St. Olave's parish. (fn. 70) A tablet in the church ascribed its foundation to Edward VI in 1552, (fn. 71) and absence of references to the parish in all but one of the earlier records supports this statement. In the charter to the City of 1550 there is, however, a mention of the parish 'late called St. Thomas's Hospital and now called the King's Hospital.' (fn. 72) It is probable that the district served by the hospital church had come to be regarded as extra-parochial. In 1624 the inhabitants of the precinct and site of the hospital claimed that for 400 years no tithes had been paid from the land on which their houses stood. (fn. 73) In 1552 Edward VI sold to the Mayor, commonalty and citizens of London the house and site of the late hospital, its church, belfry and churchyard, all the houses, buildings and land in its precinct, and the rectory called the parsonage of St. Thomas, with tithes, oblations and profits. Out of the revenue of the premises the grantees must maintain two ministers who should celebrate divine services and administer the sacrament to the poor, the officers and the servants of the hospital, and to the parishioners of St. Thomas. (fn. 74) This grant apparently created the parish, the invocation of the church being changed from St. Thomas the Martyr to St. Thomas the Apostle. A sum of £2,479 10s. 10d. was spent by the City of London in repairing and rebuilding the hospital and church up to 1553. (fn. 75) In 1633 the steeple was repaired and 'enriched with a very fair turret.' (fn. 76) The church was rebuilt in 1702 at an expense of £3,000 provided by the coal duty. It is a rectangular building of red brick with rusticated stone angles, standing on two parallel brick vaults. The church is lit by a range of four round-headed windows in the south wall and a similar range with square heads above the gallery. Beneath the latter runs the colonnaded cloister of the hospital. The tower at the south-west corner is four stages high and contains one bell.
There are twelve books of registers: (1) to (5) baptisms and burials 1614 to 1688, 1691 to 1730, marriages 1614 to 1653, 1658 to 1670, 1664 to 1687, 1691 to 1730; (6) and (7) baptisms 1731 to 1812; (8) and (9) burials 1731 to 1812; (10) to (12) marriages 1731 to 1812.
In 1862 the St. Thomas' Hospital Act ruled that of the two beneficiaries one should be chaplain of the hospital and the other should be minister of the parish and reside within a quarter of a mile of the church. The parish had in 1898 a population which did not exceed 500, and therefore it was united to that of St. Saviour. The church was conveyed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and became the chapter-house of St. Saviour's after that church had acquired a collegiate constitution. (fn. 77) The Corporation of London, as governors of the hospital, were released from all obligations with regard to the benefice, and the advowson of the united parishes was vested in the patrons of St. Saviour's. (fn. 78)
In 1627 John Marshall bequeathed to certain trustees £700 out of the revenues of his property for the erection of a new church in the parish of St. Saviour and a house to be a dwelling for its minister. In 1644 the parishioners in a petition to the House of Lords urged that, although their church was very large and was fitted with galleries and pews, it was so built that all for whom there was space could not hear with profit, and, therefore, many resorted elsewhere. (fn. 79) Finally in 1670 an Act of Parliament made Paris Garden the parish of CHRISTCHURCH. William Angel had in the same year conveyed to the trustees a convenient site for the church and churchyard on which £700 and more had been expended. The grantees were empowered to raise further £400 on John Marshall's estate for the completion of the church and the payment of £100 to the impropriators of St. Saviour's. The patronage was vested in the trustees, and the eventual income of the minister was fixed at £60 a year. (fn. 80) The church was mainly completed in 1671. (fn. 81)
In 1694 an Act of Parliament enabled the parishioners to levy rates for the maintenance of their minister, and empowered the trustees to build (fn. 82) a steeple and furnish it with bells. The marshy ground on which the church was situated rendered the foundations so insecure that the building, which was slightly made of brick, speedily deteriorated. In 1721 it was stated to be in 'a very decaying condition,' 'the churchyard, by reason of the great increase of the inhabitants, had become incapable to receive their dead,' and 'the graves both within and without the church were filled with water as soon as dug.' (fn. 83) An Act of Parliament was obtained in 1738 which empowered the trustees to expend a sum of money in their possession on the demolition of the church, its rebuilding, and the inclosure of an additional piece of ground for the churchyard. (fn. 84) The present church was built between this date and 1741, and has lately undergone restoration. (fn. 85) In its original state it was roofed in one span with flat plaster ceiling, and consisted of a plain oblong building, with galleries on three sides, without a projecting chancel. The interior, which was completely remodelled a few years ago, is now divided into nave and aisle by arcades of five bays, the piers of which are composed of red sandstone shafts with pedestals, bases and capitals of white freestone. The arches are of brick and stone disposed alternately. The original pulpit, considerably lowered, still remains, and a portion of the gallery has been left at the west end. The floor of the chancel, an entirely new addition to the original building, is raised two steps above the nave, from which it is divided by a stone balustrade with wrought-iron gates. The style of the restoration is Italian Romanesque. Externally the walls of the nave and of the tower at the west end are those of the original structure. The materials are brick with stone quoins and stone dressings to the window openings, of which there are two ranges of six on either side. The tower rises in three stages from the ground, and is surmounted by a leaded octagonal lantern and cupola, the base of which contains the clock.
The plate is modern and consists of two silver chalices, one of which has a jewelled base, a silver-gilt paten and a red glass flagon, mounted with silver, all bearing the date mark of 1881. There is also a small private communion set and there are two modern brass alms-dishes.
The registers previous to 1813 are in thirteen separate volumes. The baptisms are in three: (i) 1671 to 1751; (ii) 1752 to 1789; (iii) 1790 to 1812. The burials are also in three: (i) 1671 to 1751; (ii) 1752 to 1795; (iii) 1796 to 1812. The marriages are in seven: (i) 1671 to 1753; (ii) 1754 to 1761; (iii) 1762 to 1770; (iv) 1771 to 1780; (v) 1781 to 1791; (vi) 1792 to 1806; (vii) 1807 to 1812.
In 1756 the vestry was general. (fn. 86) Burials in the churchyard were forbidden in 1853. (fn. 87) In 1883 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners made a grant towards the provision of a parsonage-house, and augmented the stipend of the incumbent, conditionally on his employment of a curate. (fn. 88)
In the beginning of the 18th century the buildings and population of the parish of St. Olave had so increased that the commissioners for erecting fifty new churches within the district of the bills of mortality bought a site on Horsleydown for a church and a graveyard. In 1732 the new church of ST. JOHN, Horsleydown, had been completed. In 1733 it was consecrated, and in the same year an Act of Parliament created the parish. A sum of £3,500 was granted for the purchase of property to provide the maintenance of the rector. The parishioners whose tenements were of the yearly value of £10 were appointed to be rated, and to constitute, with the rector, the vestry. The patronage was vested in the Crown. The benefits of St. Olave's school were continued to persons who now belonged to the parish of St. John. (fn. 89)
The church consists of an apsidal sanctuary with a nave and aisles formed by the columns supporting galleries. Externally the church is built of Portland stone, and is of the plainest design. The west elevation has a broken pediment, from the middle of which rises a square tower surmounted by a small balustraded temple.
The bells are ten in number, nine by Chapman & Mears, 1783, the tenth by William Mears, 1784. Nos. 8 and 9 were the gift of Sir Richard Hotham, kt., and Nathaniel Polhill, members for the borough, and the tenth was the gift of Thomas Hoggarth.
In 1824 it was stated that, whereas in 1786 a large part of the parish consisted of vacant ground, many small houses of trifling value had since been built, of which the sites, owing to the increased value of land, were rated as being worth £10 a year, and that the occupiers of these claimed the privileges of vestrymen. A select vestry was therefore created by Act of Parliament, to consist of thirty persons rated at not less than £16 a year, who should be elected by all who paid £10 or more annually in rates. (fn. 90) Burials in the churchyard and vaults were forbidden in 1853. (fn. 91)
The district chapelry of ST. PETER was formed from St. Saviour's in 1840, and the church, erected then, consists of a chancel, vestry, aisleless nave and west tower. The materials are white brick with cement dressings, and the roofs are covered with slates. The patrons are the Hyndman trustees.
The church of the district chapelry of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, formed out of the parish of St. George in 1843, is built in the pointed Gothic style. It consists of a chancel, a north organ chamber and corresponding south chapel, a nave, north and south transepts, north and south aisles, a west entrance porch, a north-west vestry and a west bell-cote containing one bell. The patronage of this church is vested in the rector of St. George's.
The chapel of ST. JUDE was built in 1806 by the Philanthropic Society in connexion with their school for criminal boys and the children of convicts. A district was assigned to it out of the parish of St. George in 1850. The building consists of a continuous chancel and nave in four bays, north and south aisles, a north organ chamber and vestry, a south porch and a small bell turret at the south-east corner of the chancel. It is built in a free Gothic style, and is externally faced with red brickwork with stone dressings, while inside the building is treated in red and yellow brickwork, though the piers to the nave arcades are stone. The living is in the gift of trustees.
The district chapelry of ST. STEPHEN was formed from St. George's parish in 1853. The church is a curiously planned cruciform structure set with the sanctuary to the north-east. It consists of a central space forming the nave, with four moderate arched recesses forming the chancel, transepts and western part of the nave, the three last containing galleries. The advowson of St. Stephen's is vested in trustees.
The church of the district chapelry of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, which originated in the Kent Street Mission, is a small stone building in 13th-century style, consisting of a continuous nave and chancel in five bays, a north aisle, a north vestry and west bell gable containing one bell. This chapelry was formed in 1867 out of the parish of St. George, and the patronage is vested in the rector of the mother church.
The church of ST. ALPHEGE is a red brick building at the north-east corner at the crossing of Lancaster Street with King John Street. The chapelry was formed out of St. George's parish in 1872. The church, which is in the 'pointed' style, is entered from both the south and west. Above the apex of the west gable is a small bell turret. The patronage is vested in trustees.
The district of ALL HALLOWS was formed out of Christchurch and St. Saviour's in 1875, the patrons being the trustees of Keble College. The church consists of a chancel built circa 1878 and a nave, north and south aisles and north-east Lady chapel built circa 1893. The general style of the building is of the 13th century, and the material red brick with stone dressings, plastered inside. There is a bell-cote situated above the chancel arch.
There are at present in Southwark a considerable number of places of worship other than those of the Established Church. The Roman Catholic cathedral of St. George is in St. George's Road. It occupies a site in the Lambeth Road bounded on three sides by streets. The principal entrance is at the south-west end through a partly built tower. The nave has lofty arcades of eight bays a side, but no clearstory. The aisle walls contain large traceried windows, and are divided into bays externally by carved and gabled buttresses. The building is of stock brick with stone dressings in a florid 14th-century style. The church of the Most Precious Blood is in Worcester Street, Southwark Street, and that of Our Lady of La Salette and St. Joseph is in Melior Street.
The Baptists have chapels in Borough Road and Maze Pond. Surrey Chapel in Blackfriars Road belongs to the Primitive Methodists and the Blackfriars Mission and Stamford Street Chapel to the Unitarians. The Peculiar People have chapels in Camden Row, London Road, and in Lancaster Street, Borough Road. There is a Welsh Congregational church in Southwark Bridge Road. The Pilgrim Fathers' Memorial Church in the New Kent Road, near the corner of Tabard Street, has a traditional origin in a congregation of Protestant Separatists who met in 1592 'in the house of Roger Rippon in Southwark.' It claims with more likelihood descent from a congregation which existed in 1616, and from which some of the Pilgrim Fathers emigrated. In 1641 some of this same congregation, from Deadman's Place, were cited before the House of Lords. (fn. 92) The Independent congregation which received a licence in Winchester Yard in 1672 may be the same. In Globe Alley there was a large meeting of Presbyterians in 1669 and in 1676, to which Richard Baxter ministered. (fn. 93)