Minutes of the Commissioners: 1720

Pages 79-88

The Commissions for Building Fifty New Churches: The Minute Books, 1711-27, A Calendar. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1986.

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239. [p. 85] 7 Jan. 1719/20

1. Meller reported that he had settled Solicitor's bill at £216. 5s. 4d.; warrant ordered to be prepared.

2. Solicitor reported he had taken counsel's opinion about Bow vestry; the deed for the purpose was executed.

3. New application to be made to Treasury for £46,000, which is ready to be advanced as soon as the loan is opened. Treasurer to desire Mr Charles Stanhope's favour.

4. Secretary to make out warrant for year's salary for officers to Christmas last.

5. Notice to be given in next summons for the annual election of officers at next meeting.

240. [p. 86] 14 Jan. 1719/20

1. Read report from Treasury signed by Lowndes; Secretary to enter it into the books; application pursuant to it signed.

2. Signed two warrants for salaries and Solicitor's bill.

3. Agreed that same salaries be continued to the officers for ensuing year.

4. J. T. Philipps to be continued Secretary for ensuing year; James to be one of Surveyors, the election of the other to be postponed to next meeting; Edwards to be continued as Solicitor, Skeat as Agent and Waters as Messenger.

241. [p. 88] 21 Jan. 1719/20

1. Repairs of St George's chapel having been done in an expensive manner, far exceeding the estimate, it is made a standing order that Surveyors shall not at any time execute a design without presenting a plan and estimate and obtaining Board's express direction.

2. Hawksmoor to be Surveyor for year ensuing.

3. Affairs of Mr Johnson to be referred to a committee of any three members, to meet an hour before Board on Sat. next.

4. Farrer submitted draft bill for providing a maintenance for ministers of the new churches, to be considered at next meeting.

242. [p. 89] 23 Jan. 1719/20

1. Commissioners agreed with report of committee on Johnson's security.

2. Draft bill read, discussed and referred to Hiccocks, Meller and Farrer.

243. [p. 90] 28 Jan 1719/20

1. Solicitor reported that Johnson would not comply with terms proposed for changing his security.

2. On Dr Bennet's application, Waugh and Waddington desired to review Mrs Futrel's ground, attended by Surveyors.

3. Draft of maintenance bill brought in today by Meller and Farrer to be put into Mr Yorke's hands by Solicitor.

4. Dean of Ely, Farrer and Meller desired to wait on Speaker with a copy of representation on providing a maintenance for the ministers.

244. [p. 91] 4 Feb. 1719/20

1. Dean of Ely reported that Speaker had promised to assist in promoting intended bill.

2. Simmons, joiner at Strand church, to attend next meeting.

3. Read Grantham's proposals for supplying bricks; he is to bring specimens to the next meeting.

245. [p. 92] 11 Feb. 1719/20

1. Solicitor to proceed with business of intended bill for maintenance, and report to next meeting what progress Yorke has made.

2. Surveyors to make estimate of joiner's work brought into Strand church and report to next meeting.

3. On report and plan of Mrs Futrel's ground from Waugh and the Surveyors, ordered estimate of planking and making good faulty part of the foundation.

4. Surveyors to report on Grantham's proposal at next meeting.

5. Warrant to be prepared for paying one year's rent to Christmas last.

246. [p. 94] 25 Feb. 1719/20

1. Read Surveyors' report on Futrel's ground.

2. Consideration deferred of petition and plan of parish from St Mary le Strand.

3. Signed warrant for paying year's rent.

247. [p. 95] 10 Mar. 1719/20

1. Resolved to accept Mrs Futrel's ground if the two Surveyors at next meeting adhere to their first estimate of charge of making good foundations.

2. Solicitor to search First Fruits Office in respect of St Mary le Strand.

3. Surveyors to view works on steeple of St Michael Cornhill and report on remedying grievances stated in inhabitants' petition.

4. Sir Gilbert Heathcote presented petition from parishioners of St Mary Woolnoth about scaffolding in Lombard Street. Surveyors to consider best way of removing scaffolding and proceed forthwith.

5. Cannon and Ellis, accompanied by Hawksmoor (James being sick), to examine nature of ground near Hanover Square proposed for a new church, and report to next meeting. If a good account given, and convenient places for cemetery and minister's house can be had reasonably, Commissioners will build one of the fifty new churches on the site as soon as they are in a condition to go forward with it.

248. [p. 97] 11 Mar. 1719/20

1. Cannon, Ellis and Hawksmoor reported on proposed site near Hanover Square. Resolved that according to the resolution of yesterday (minute 5), one of the fifty new churches to be built there, if it can be given gratis.

2. Solicitor to write urgently to Mr Yorke for the papers that were put into his hands.

249. [p. 98] 17 Mar. 1719/20

1. Solicitor reported having received the papers from Yorke, who had not leisure to settle them and was on circuit; Solicitor to lay them before Mr Ward.

2. The two Surveyors to report to next meeting whether they adhere to the first estimate for making good the foundation of Futrel's ground.

3. Warrant to be prepared for Simmons, joiner at Strand church.

4. Read petition from St Michael Cornhill and proposal of Strong.

Resolved that the first money the Commissioners shall have to dispose of after the debt of £46,000 be discharged shall be applied to finishing tower.

5. Read letter from Mr Barlow concerning parsonage house and cemetery for church near Hanover Square.

250. [p. 99] 24 Mar. 1719/20

1. Solicitor reported that he had put the writings into Ward's hands.

2. Hawksmoor delivered report signed by himself and James adhering to first estimate for making good foundation for Futrel's ground, £600; if piling necessary, an additional £100-£150.

2 [sic]. Agreed to purchase Mrs Futrel's ground if she abide by her price of £350 (minute, 28 Mar. 1719). Solicitor to lay her title before counsel.

3. Dr Bennet's printed proposal read; to be considered at next meeting.

4. Dr Prat's petition adjourned to next meeting.

5. Lambeth petition referred to next meeting.

251. [p. 100] 31 Mar. 1720

1. Bennet's printed case referred to a committee (Dean of Canterbury, Waugh, Dean of the Arches, Ellis and any members), to meet next Thurs.

2. Nobody attending about Prat's petition, it was referred to next meeting.

3. Read petition from Lambeth. Skeat instructed to look for a more convenient site between South Lambeth and Fox Hall, and consult minister and churchwardens.

4. Read memorial from Gilham and letter from James, stating that no part of joiner's work at Deptford, amounting to upwards of £1,500, has yet been paid for. Agreed that Gilham have a proportionable payment out of £23,000 now advanced upon loan, though measurement of his work has not yet been formally returned.

5. Treasurer to lay balance of accounts before the next meeting.

Mr Gibbs to submit model of pulpit and reading desk for Strand church, which may be finished for less than £150.

6. Solicitor to meet Gen. Steuart's agent to have site near Hanover Square legally conveyed.

7. Hawksmoor's memorial deferred to next meeting.

8. Hawksmoor to view the ground Mrs Hastings complains of.

252. [p. 102] 7 Apr. 1720

1. Dean of Canterbury reported from the committee on Bennet's printed case that, there being no likelihood of the bill for the maintenance of ministers being brought into Parliament this session, they thought it unnecessary to consider such a clause as he desired; but will recommend other expedients to encourage his design.

2. Skeat to view ground near Harticock, between South Lambeth and Fox Hall, and report to next meeting.

3. All minutes relating to the Queen's statue and moneys disbursed on that account to be transcribed for next meeting.

4. Treasurer submitted balance of his account, with £6,768. 2s. 6¾d. in hand.

5. Treasurer and Surveyors to submit to next meeting the state of debts due to workmen, that just distribution may be made.

6. Hawksmoor read memorial by himself and James with account of works necessary for security of churches in hand; referred to next meeting.

7. On application of St Mary Woolnoth parish, Hawksmoor to endeavour to remove grievances by carrying up wall to full height on Lombard Street so that scaffolds may be removed, and to consider remedy in respect of vault and burials.

253. [p. 104] 28 Apr. 1720

1. Read all minutes respecting the Queen's statue.

2. Treasurer to inquire of Sir E. Gould to whom £460 paid to him by Treasurer, 18 Aug. 1715, was transmitted.

3. Secretary submitted two warrants for money to be paid by Treasurer to workmen: £8,626. 6s. 6d. for clearing accounts for 1717; and £14,359 by way of imprest.

4. Surveyors to put in hand works mentioned in their memorial, laying an estimate of each before next meeting.

5. Their memorial to be entered after the Minutes.

6. Skeat to let ground in Bermondsey and that in Shadwell bought of Hastings, reserving power of resumption, and restraining tenants from planting or digging within 5 ft of the walls.

7. Solicitor to examine Johnson's agreement in respect of his claim of enjoying the profits of the ground until a church is built on it.

8. Skeat to see that fence to Bermondsey ground be made good and the charge paid out of the rent.

9. Skeat to require satisfaction for a tree cut down in the ground by Grantham.

10. Peter Christian to be allowed to make drain into sewer of Strand church at his own cost in manner Surveyors think proper and under such conditions as those near St Paul's are allowed to make drains into the common sewer.

[p. 105] The Surveyors' Memorial

Several works are necessary in the new churches, without which they will suffer damage:

'1. The porch at Deptford Church is finished all except the lead, for want of which the rain rots the timber and boards, and destroys the stone work, the porch also wants paving with rough Purbeck, and the gate to the church ground ought to be finished.

We beg that the plumber may have orders to lay lead upon the said porch, to hinder the damage.

2. The new house at Deptford built for the minster is in extreme want of the roof and tiling, the walls are up and finished.

3. The new church in Spittlefields has all its walls up to their proper heights, and the two side ails covered with lead but in the middle of the church, although the walls are up and the timbers of the roof prepared, yet the carpenter has not bin able to compleat the said roof for want of money, having a great debt, at this church and in other parishes, due to him, of above £2,000.

We humbly pray that the carpenter have such encouragement by way of imprest as may enable him to lay on this roof and an order may be given to the plumber to prepare his lead to cover it.

4. It will be advisable also to turn the vaults of this church, and then the fabrick will be secured from damage of weather and other accidents.

5. If the out walls of St Mary Woolnoth in Lombard Street could be finished, which want not more than seven or eight feet height, the scaffolds might after that be entirely struck and taken away.

We desire some expedient may be found to enable the mason to carry up the said walls; otherwise we must take away the scaffolds to quiet the inhabitants.

6. We desire leave to mention to this Board that the porches of St Michael's Cornhill adjoining to the north and south sides of the tower, and some parts of the church on the east side of the tower, have been damaged by taking down the old steeple, and erecting the new one. The south porch is also much abused and injured by a wild building raised upon it by the parish for a tenement and by making shops for trade, in the very porch. We doubt not but the estimate of £6,000 which was formerly made by Sir Christopher Wren and now lately given by Parliament for finishing this tower, was always intended to include the charge of removing these nuisances, and making good the above mentioned damages, for they are evidently part of the work of that building, and valuation of the £6,000 above mentioned, which would be of great beauty and security both to the tower and church, and of more service to the public than the laying out all the money on a tower surrounded with encroachments.

7. We humbly move that the ground brought for sites of the churches of Limehouse, Wapping, Spittlefields and Westminster may be walled in with brick, to prevent the harm continually done by the mob to the buildings and works.

8. The porches of the new church in Westminster want covering very much, the rest of the church being all covered in, and the earth brought by the scavengers should be so disposed next the walls of the church, that the rains may not run in the foundations.

9. We desire to secure all the fabricks of such churches as are covered by fixing up the doors, windows, bars and glass, to hinder idle people and boys from getting in, and finding ways to get upon the roofs of such churches as they are finished, where they are doing continual mischief. It is also highly necessary that the said fabricks should be put into the custody of some careful person in the neighbourhood of each of them.

10. We humbly desire the above mentioned works may be performed with all convenient expedition, being of immediate service to preserve that is done, and that the Board will keep some money in their hands to imprest such sums to the workmen, as may enable them to perform the particulars above laid, all which is humbly submitted . . .'

254. [p. 108] 5 May 1720

1. Treasurer reported that he had viewed Sir Ed. Gould's books without finding the receipt of any such sum (minute 2, 28 Apr. 1720). To discourse late Treasurer and others and report to next meeting.

2. Surveyors submitted estimate of the particulars mentioned in their memorial. To discourse the several workmen concerned, and report at next meeting whether they are content to proceed on such encouragement as the Board can at present give.

3. Some of the Commissioners being obliged to attend House of Commons, the Board broke up without considering remaining minutes of last meeting.

Ordered that the messenger add to his summons a request that Commissioners will assist early at the next meeting.

255. [p. 109] 12 May 1720

1. Treasurer reported that he had made inquiries at Mr Auditor Foley's office in the Exchequer: no part of the £460 [for the Queen's statue] had been remitted, but all had been paid into the Exchequer in the final balance of the account, forming part of that given in to the Commissioners on 7 Apr. last.

2. Treasurer to state balance of money in his hands monthly.

3. Appointed committee to consider the Dean of Rochester's petition, to meet this day week, to report to the next meeting (Deans of Canterbury and Ely, Waugh, Waddington, and Ellis; three a quorum).

4. Skeat reported on letting of Bermonsdey and Shadwell sites (minute 6,28 Apr. 1720); Solicitor to make lease accordingly, at tenant's expense.

5. Grantham agrees to pay for the tree cut down at Surveyors' valuation.

6. Tenant will make good the poling and deduct from his rent price set by Surveyors.

7. Solicitor reported that he had examined Johnson's agreement, and found no foundation for his claim (minute 7, 28 Apr. 1720).

8. Agreed that £166. 13s. 5d. be paid to Thos Frenchfield, Esq, as prayed by minister and trustees of St George's chapel [Ormond Street], in part of £1,200 to be paid to the trustees to convert chapel into a parish church. Secretary to prepare warrant.

9. Secretary to prepare warrant for Treasurer to pay the workmen concerned five shillings in the pound, in part of account for 1718.

10. Dunn and Townsend promised to finish north and west walls of St Mary Woolnoth without delay; they would go forward in a week's time.

11. Secretary's bill of incidentals to be examined at next meeting.

256. [p. 111] 19 May 1720

1. Committee delivered report on Dean of Rochester's petition concerning his being minister of St Mary le Savoy alias le Strand; to be entered after the Minutes.

2. Warrant signed for payment of £166. 13s. 5d. to Frenchfield.

3. Solicitor's bill for law charges, 30 Oct. 1718-28 May 1720, £109. 8s. 7d., referred to Hiccocks and Meller, or either, to examine and settle.

4. Solicitor to prepare assignments to Commissioners of leasehold interests in site of St George's chapel, etc. [Ormond Street], on execution whereof the Commissioners are to pay £1,500 consideration.

5. Advertisement ordered for lime-burners' proposals for lime.

6. [Report of committee on Dean of Rochester's petition] Because of the partition of St Mary le Strand parish, Acts of 10th Anne do not apply. But Dr Prat was licensed to the cure of souls of the parishioners of St Mary le Savoy alias le Strand in 1697 and has since been regarded as the sole lawful minister.

257. [p. 113] 25 May 1720

[1.] Read proposals for lime from Jas Brown, John Mackereth, and John Brown.

2. Surveyors to prepare form of contract with John Brown, lime-burner, of St Bride's.

3. Signed the book of works of St George's chapel [Ormond Street], being complete.

4. Surveyors to estimate charge of fencing site in Old Street; Skeat to consult Wilson about preventing soil being laid there in future.

5. Hawksmoor reported that ground in Cripplegate [Old Street] purchased of Ironmongers' Company is large enough for erecting a tabernacle without obstructing building a church on another part of it when Board is enabled to do so.

258. [p. 115] 22 June 1720

1. Skeat to give an account of all houses and grounds purchased by this Commission on which no public building is erecting, the uses they are now put to, and what advantage may be made of them until churches are built thereon.

2. All moneys received by Agent for rent to be paid to the Treasurer on account.

3. Secretary to prepare warrant for paying officers' salaries to midsummer.

4. Advertisement ordered for proposals from diggers, bricklayers and masons for building church near Hanover Square, to be received in two weeks' time.

5. Surveyors and Agent to survey two houses belonging to Dr Yeats, and plot of Sir R. Grosvenor's in Hanover Square, and report to next meeting whether either house is fit for a minister's house, and at what price, and whether ground is proper for a churchyard, and at what price, and, if necessary, for a house also.

259. [p. 116] 6 July 1720

1. Agent submitted account of houses and grounds (minute 1, 22 June 1720); to perfect it for next meeting.

2. Signed warrants for officers' salaries (£560) and half-year's rent (£37. 10s.)

3. Surveyors and Agent to view Mrs Hastings's ground in Shadwell and remove fence if it stands on her ground.

260. [p. 117] 20 July 1720

1. Signed application to Treasury for £23,000.

261. [p. 118] 28 July 1720

1. Read letter from Treasurer about application to Treasury; another application drawn up and signed.

3. In consideration for gift of site for church near Hanover Square by General Steuart, a pew in the south gallery, 8 ft × 10 ft, to be given to him.

262. [p. 119] 15 Sep. 1720

1. Warrants to be prepared for Solicitor's and Secretary's bills (£103. 5s. and £65. 11s. 6d. respectively), formerly examined and settled.

2. Application of 20 July for £23,000 returned by the Treasury, desiring the Commissioners to sign another application for £28,000, including £5,000 for Greenwich Hospital and Westminster Abbey. Being informed that Treasury have signed warrant for taking in £28,000 in loans on coals, signed such application dated 20 July, the other being cancelled.

263. [p. 121] 27 Oct. 1720

1. Signed two warrants for Solicitor (£103. 0s. 3d.) and Secretary (£50).

2. Surveyors to prepare for next meeting a design and estimate for church to be built near Hanover Square.

3. Advertisement ordered for proposals from diggers and bricklayers for church near Hanover Square.

4. Watchman to be appointed to take care of covering of Limehouse church.

5. A gateway into the ground purchased of Mr Hastings to be made up with a brick pier and plain gates.

6. Read petition from the workmen. Surveyors and Treasurer to apportion the sums to be paid them by next meeting.

264. [p. 123] 3 Nov. 1720

1. James and the Treasurer apportioned sums to be paid to the workmen. Warrants signed accordingly.

2. Low Wapping site bought of Bastwick Johnson, Esq.

3. Messenger to give Solicitor notice to attend next meeting with all papers relating to Futrel's estate.

4. Solicitor to prosecute Geo. Luck, John Luck and Thos Griffin for laying rubbish on the ground bought from the Ironmongers' Company in Cripplegate parish.

5. James submitted design and estimate for church to be built near Hanover Square; consideration postponed.

265. [p. 125] 10 Nov. 1720

1. Messenger in summons for next meeting to desire the Commissioners to meet at 10 o'clock next Wednesday [16 Nov.] 'upon an Extraordinary occasion'.

266. [p. 126] 16 Nov. 1720

1. General Steuart to be desired to direct Gibbs to attend next meeting with design he has prepared for new church near Hanover Square.

2. Solicitor and Agent to meet Surveyors at Mrs Futrel's ground for ascertaining boundaries and descriptions to be inserted into the conveyance.

267. [p. 127] 23 Nov. 1720

1. Dr Bennet to be desired to attend next meeting.

2. Advertisement for diggers and bricklayers proposals for church near Hanover Square against next meeting.

3. Gibbs submitted his design for a new church; consideration deferred.

268. [p. 128] 7 Dec. 1720

1. Diggers and bricklayers submitted their proposals; referred to Surveyors, to report to next meeting.

2. Read petition of Walwin Parker and James Smith for leave to build a shed on ground bought of the Ironmongers' Company for a minister's house in Cripplegate. Solicitor to contract with them for 20s. p.a., on a month's notice.

3. James to contract the expensive parts of his design for new church near Hanover Square so that it do not exceed £10,000.

269. [p. 129] 14 Dec. 1720

1. Approved James's plan for new church near Hanover Square.

2. Deans of Worcester and the Arches to inform General Steuart of Board's decision, and James to accompany them with his plan.

270. [p. 130] 22 Dec. 1720

1. The Deans of Worcester and the Arches reported they had informed General Steuart of Board's resolution.

2. Surveyors to ensure that work at the Strand church is to be finished with expedition; and to give notice for workmen to attend next meeting to agree for works not yet contracted.