Minutes of the Commissioners: 1723

Pages 97-107

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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317. [p. 191] 3 Jan. 1722/23

1. Signed books of Limehouse and Wapping churches and St Michael Cornhill, examined on 7 Dec. 1722.

2. Simmons' warrant signed.

318. [p. 192] 24 Jan. 1722/23

1. Solicitor to prepare abstract of intended bill for maintenance of the ministers.

2. Upon report from the Surveyors that Deptford and Strand churches are in a manner finished, those two are forthwith to be finished; Surveyors to give orders to the workmen to proceed thereon, and also on St Mary Woolnoth and Hanover Square churches.

3. On petition and memorials from minister and inhabitants of Spitalfields, those gentlemen were assured that Commissioners will order finishing their church as soon as it can be done.

James to submit an estimate for finishing that church, and particularly what will suffice if finishing the steeple be deferred.

319. [p. 194] 31 Jan. 1722/23

1. Solicitor submitted abstract of bill for maintenance of the ministers.

2. Deans of Canterbury, Worcester and Chichester, or any two, to wait on chancellor of the Exchequer with a copy of the bill and abstract, and pray his favour. Solicitor to prepare a fair copy and six copies of abstract.

3. Notice to be given in next summons for electing officers and settling their salaries.

4. James submitted estimates for finishing Hanover Square, Deptford, St Mary Woolnoth and Strand churches.

5. Memorial to Treasury for [blank] to be prepared.

320. [p. 195] 7 Feb. 1722/23

1. Agreed that same officers and salaries be continued for a year from 14 Jan.

2. Signed memorial to Treasury for £20,000.

3. The gentlemen desired to wait on the chancellor of the Exchequer with the bill, to acquaint him at the same time how moneys applied for are to be disposed of.

4. Talman's account for Queen's statue to be inquired after and submitted at next meeting.

321. [p. 196] 14 Feb. 1722/23

1. Considered bill for maintenance of the ministers; some amendments made. Solicitor to prepare fair copy and several copies of abstracts.

322. [p. 196a] 19 Feb. 1722/23

1. Fair copy of bill with amendments read, and further amendments made.

2. Deans of Canterbury and Chichester reported they had waited on the chancellor of the Exchequer. He had perused the abstract, and promised his assistance. They had acquainted him with Commissioners' intent to lay out money now applied for in finishing Deptford, Strand, St Mary Woolnoth and Hanover Square churches, whereon he promised that such loan shall be granted.

3. Deans of Canterbury, Chichester and Gloucester, or any two, to consult with Farrer about proper persons to bring in the bill, and take his advice whether abstracts should be printed for MPs.

323. [p. 197] 22 Feb. 1722/23

1. Dean of Gloucester reported that he and Deans of Canterbury and Chichester had consulted Farrer, who thought there was no necessity to deliver printed abstracts to MPs.

2. Solicitor to attend Solicitor-General forthwith with fair copy and abstracts, and wait on the chancellor of the Exchequer with another copy as soon as it can be finished.

3. Read memorial of inhabitants of St Mary le Strand; referred to next meeting.

324. [p. 197a] 7 Mar. 1722/23

1. Advertisement ordered for carpenters and plasterers to submit proposals for church near Hanover Square.

2. Surveyors to direct iron work of fence of Strand church to be painted forthwith.

3. Inhabitants of St Mary le Strand (Nicholson, Sparkes and others) heard on their memorial; further consideration adjourned.

325. [p. 198] 21 Mar 1722/23

1. John Meard to be employed as carpenter at church near Hanover Square, his proposal being the lowest.

2. Isaac Mansfield to be employed as plasterer there, his proposal being the lowest.

3. Preedy to paint rails and iron work around Strand church if he agrees to the Surveyors' terms, at not more than 10d. per yard.

4. Skeat reported receiving letter from Blackmore How Wardell for renting ground in Upper Wapping. Church yard site to be let to them for £4 p.a. for three years from Lady Day next, at six months' notice.

5. Read petition of workmen employed during 1718-20 who were paid in tallies and orders at four per cent, praying for interest between date of the order and the time they were issued.

6. Treasurer to consult with Lowndes whether it would be proper for Board to direct interest to be paid to the workmen, or whether he must charge himself in his accounts therewith; and if so, then how interest is to be paid.

326. [p. 200] 28 Mar. 1723

1. Agent to prepare rental of pieces of ground let by Commissioners, to be entered into the minute book.

2. Designs of church in Lombard Street to be submitted at next meeting.

3. Agent to report on a proper site for a church, etc. in St Botolph Aldgate.

4. Read petition from Tufnell's executors about stone bought for church in St Olave Southwark; no objection to their taking back the stone.

327. [p. 201] 9 May 1723

1. Agent reported that he was inquiring after two sites in St Botolph's Aldgate.

2. Warrant signed for £315, counsel having approved Sir R. Grosvenor's title for ground for church yard for Hanover Square.

3. Petition of Geo. White, complaining of damage to coach house and stable near new church in Bloomsbury. Surveyors to report.

4. Objections reported to be made against the bill for a maintenance for the ministers to be considered at the next meeting.

5. Advertisement ordered for plumbers' and joiners' proposals for churches in Hanover Square and Lombard Street.

328. [p. 203] 16 May 1723

1. James reported on White's petition. Surveyors immediately to remove fence into the range of the fronts of the houses, to open a passage into White's stable.

2. Considered objections against the bill; referred to next meeting.

329. [p. 204] 24 May 1723

1. Philipps, Hiccocks, and Melmoth to view Aylesbury chapel, Clerkenwell, attended by Surveyors, and report whether it is capable of conversion to a parish church.

2. Fletcher, mason at church near Hanover Square, to attend next meeting.

3. On petition from inhabitants of St Margaret's Westminster for finishing church near the Horse Ferry, the gentlemen were called in. Resolved, that the church shall be forwarded as soon as consistent with engagements elsewhere.

4. Treasurer reported a [Treasury] minute: '8th April 1723. Deliver the Talleys and Orders to the Workmen with the Interest due thereupon.'

5. Surveyors presented abstract [given] of plumbers' proposals from Geo. Devall, H. Savage, J. Fincher & Js Slater, D. Arnot, Geo. Osmond, and Robt Evans, and reported that Fincher & Slater are the best plumbers, and David Arnott the most reasonable. Fincher & Slater to be employed at Hanover Square church, and Arnot at St Mary Woolnoth. Surveyors to report on joiners' proposals at next meeting.

330. [p. 207] 30 May 1723

1. Philipps and Hiccocks reported that Aylesbury chapel will conveniently hold about 1,000 (700 in pews and 300 in aisles). Approach avenues are very good. Surveyors delivered report and plans.

2. Surveyors reported on joiners' proposals. Appleby to do the work at Lombard Street and Meard that at Hanover Square church, these being cheapest.

3. Fletcher attended. Being acquainted that Board thought him very dilatory, he alleged want of stone because of contrary winds. But now he was so well supplied that he could make it ready for roof in about two months.

4. Read Michell's proposal for Aylesbury chapel; referred to another meeting.

331. [p. 209] 6 June 1723

1. Michell's proposals deferred to next meeting, James being out of town.

2. Surveyors and Secretary to submit petition of St Mary le Strand and plan of parish at next meeting.

332. [p. 210] 13 June 1723

1. Considered Surveyors' report on chapel in St John's Square, Clerkenwell, and two houses and ground at east of chapel; and heard Michell. Resolved to pay him £3,000 for chapel, houses and ground, including two long vaults under chapel and a right of passage all over the ground in west front of chapel, Michell making a good title, free from incumbrances; £50 to be abated in lieu of good title to and conveyance of vault in south-east corner of chapel. Solicitor to settle title and conveyances with counsel.

2. St Clement Danes and St Martin in the Fields to be acquainted that inhabitants of St Mary le Strand are petitioning for parts of those parishes to be added to theirs; to be considered at next meeting.

3. Surveyors submitted a model of the roof of Bloomsbury church which is in form of a cupola instead of a flat roof as at first intended. The said roof to be erected with a cupola in form of said model.

333. [p. 212] 20 June 1723

No person attending on behalf of parishioners of St Mary le Strand, matter referred to next meeting.

334. [p. 213] 5 July 1723

1. No representatives of St Clement Danes and St Martin in the Fields appearing, to offer reasons why parts of their parishes should not be annexed to St Mary le Strand, resolved that Board will proceed to a determination at next meeting; notice to be given to ministers and churchwardens.

2. Signed warrant for payment of £315 to Sir R. Grosvenor, the Solicitor objecting to the form of the previous one.

3. Allowed Secretary's bill of incidents.

335. [p. 215] 12 July 1723

1. Received objections of parishioners of St Martin in the Fields to part of their parish being annexed to St Mary le Strand; and those of St Clement Danes desired another fortnight: allowed.

2. Solicitor to attend this day fortnight.

336. [p. 216] 26 July 1723

1. Solicitor reported that Ward, Commissioners' counsel, had approved Michell's title to chapel in St John Street [Aylesbury Chapel].

2. Churchwardens of Wapping petitioned for hastening the finishing of their church. Surveyors to submit with all convenient speed estimates for finishing the churches in Spitalfields, Westminster, Limehouse, Wapping and Bloomsbury.

3. Secretary to prepare warrants for paying the officers a year's salary to Midsummer last, a year's house rent to Mrs Leacroft, and a blank for impresting money to the Secretary to pay his incidental charges.

4. On considering petition of St Mary le Strand and hearing inhabitants of St Martin in the Fields and St Clement Danes, resolved that there be added to St Mary le Strand about 30 houses on south side of Exeter Street and about the same on north side of Whiteheart Yard, towards the east end, out of St Martin's; and out of St Clement Danes about 45 houses bounded on west by Burleigh Street and on south by the Strand, including Exeter 'Change.

337. [p. 218] 9 Aug. 1723

1. Secretary delivered a memorial setting forth the sums necessary to finish the churches at Spitalfields, Westminster, Limehouse, Wapping and Bloomsbury.

2. Signed warrants for salaries and an imprest of £50.

3. Mr Hammond delivered a representation on the part of Lord Northampton, and other parishioners of Clerkenwell, with objections to the agreement with Michell. Michell to have a copy of the representation, to remark on it by tomorrow night; the Secretary to deliver the same to Hammond for a reply to be laid before next meeting.

4. Lord Carpenter and some of St Martin's parish appeared, claiming that there was an error in the plan in that it did not show that Little Catherine Street and some adjoining courts are part of St Martin's. The parish to draw an exact plan as far as it borders on St Mary le Strand, and deliver a duplicate to the Secretary for the parishioners of St Mary le Strand to respond before the Board on the 16th.

338. [p. 220] 16 Aug. 1723

1. Signed memorial to Treasury for opening a loan of £25,000.

2. Some further progress made regarding Aylesbury chapel and the division [sic] of St Mary le Strand; further consideration adjourned.

339. [p. 221] 23 Aug. 1723

1. Treasurer having desired Mr Treker to deliver memorial for a loan to Treasury, Secretary to deliver memorial to Treker at Treasury Chamber.

2. Further considered: parish of St Mary le Strand. Finding that Little Catherine Street and some adjoining courts are in St Martin and that two houses belonging to St Paul Covent Garden are separated from the parish by a broad street and they adjoin those parts intended to be added to St Mary le Strand, resolved that the 30 houses on the north side of White Hart Yard shall not be taken into St Mary le Strand, but that the addition be: out of St Martin's, the line of about 30 houses on the south side of Exeter Street, and the houses in Little Catherine Street and adjoining courts, and houses according to a survey thereof taken by James; and out of St Clement Danes, the houses bounded on west by Burleigh Street and on south by the Strand, including Exeter 'Change, in all about 45; and out of St Paul Covent Garden, the two houses marked 'c' in the said plan. Surveyors to make plan of the new parish.

3. Having fully considered question of Aylesbury chapel, and the objections, resolved that it be converted to a parish church. Agreement with Michell to be completed, and a warrant prepared for the purchase money out of next moneys coming in not already appropriated, with four per cent interest after nine months from now if the money be not sooner paid.

340. [p. 223] 13 Sep. 1723

1. Surveyors to submit account at next meeting of works most necessary to be put in hand immediately to fit churches for divine service (minute 2, 26 July last).

2. Solicitor to attend consecration of chapel in Ormond Street and present endowment to the bishop in the Commissioners' name.

3. Divine service to be performed in chapel purchased of Mr Michell in the same manner as at present, and Michell to take management thereof till further order.

Surveyors to report on a proper district for a parish to be allotted to the chapel, informing authorities of St James Clerkenwell.

4. Agent to inquire for parsonage house or site in St Mary le Strand.

5. Read petitions from inhabitants of Hanover Square complaining of Fletcher's dilatoriness in finishing church; and those of Limehouse complaining of Wingfield and Mahew, joiners, for not performing their contracts; referred to Surveyors.

6. Read petition of Stephen Hall for a consideration for looking after Spitalfields church; referred to Surveyors.

341. [p. 225] 27 Sep. 1723

1. Agent reported he had found neither house nor site in St Mary le Strand; to make further inquiry.

2. Solicitor reported he had yesterday presented the endowment for St George's chapel [Ormond Street] to the bishop.

3. James submitted plan of parish of St Mary le Strand as now established.

4. James submitted account of works necessary at churches mentioned in minute 2 of 26 July last.

5. Surveyors to direct the workmen at the several churches to go on without loss of time; contracts to be made with others, for works not already contracted for, as soon as may be.

342. [p. 226] 11 Oct. 1723

1. Read petition from East Greenwich for building a steeple and doing other works. They were told that the £25,000 to be raised by loan was not for building steeples but only to prepare for worship five of the churches already begun, but that Board was willing to receive representations about things they thought still wanting.

2. Read petition from St Mary le Strand. A font to be built in the church, and placing of some seats with regard to the situation of pulpit referred to Surveyors to report.

The Commissioners adhere to division of the parish already made.

3. Treasurer and Solicitor to prepare list of parish officers for St George the Martyr [Ormond Street], and refer it to Melmoth and Farrer.

343. [p. 227] 17 Oct. 1723

1. Solicitor submitted list of officers for St George the Martyr, formed with the assistance of Philipps and Farrer. William Chambers, Esq, of Ormond Street and Wm Proby, Esq, of Devonshire Street to be churchwardens; Valentine Hilder, Esq, of Glowster Street, captain of militia, and Rich. Brown-John of Ormond Street, coffee man, overseers; John Cox of Devonshire Street, corn chandler, and John Hurst of Eagle Street, undertaker, sidesmen; Rich. Barret of Glowster Street, grocer, and Thos Kirk of Devonshire Street, chandler, constables; John Saunders of Orange Street, silversmith, and Robt Pepper of Devonshire Street, pastrycook, headboroughs; Robt Beerford of Eagle Street, builder, and Hercules Brailsford of Orange Street, plumber, surveyors; Ed. Bates of Orange Street and Rich. Haberly of Devonshire Street, scavengers.

2. Advertisements ordered for joiner's works at Westminster and Limehouse, plumber's at Bloomsbury and painter's at Spitalfields churches.

3. Treasurer and Solicitor to prepare list of vestrymen for St George the Martyr and refer it to Philipps, Melmoth and Farrer.

344. [p. 229] 25 Oct. 1723

1. Read letter from Dean of Canterbury. Surveyors to direct workmen to cover in Deptford parsonage with all convenient speed, and parish to specify further works necessary for making church ready for worship.

2. On petition from East Greenwich: works specified on 1 May 1718, not yet done, amounting to £370, to be forthwith put in hand, and some joiner's work also.

3. Read petition from Stratford Bow. James forthwith to prepare plan for a minister's house not exceeding £800.

4. Read letter from John Wingfield, joiner, concerning contracts for Limehouse church. James to acquaint him that he must give security for performing his contract, and give in prices for works not contained in contract.

5. Authorities of St James's Clerkenwell to be notified that the Board will at its next meeting settle a district to be allotted to St John's chapel.

6. Wm Langley to be employed for joiner's work at Westminster, his price being lowest; Solicitor to prepare contract.

345. [p. 231] 1 Nov. 1723

1. James reported that Grove, carpenter at Deptford, being lately dead and his executors not being willing to finish the works, he ordered Meard to finish carpenter's works at church and parsonage.

2. Holding to be appointed partner with Wingfield for joiner's work at Limehouse, his former partner Mahew having left the kingdom.

3. Consideration of district for St John's chapel Clerkenwell deferred, Mr Hammond on the part of the parishioners of St James's requiring more time.

346. [p. 232] 8 Nov. 1723

1. Sir J. Philipps, Melmoth concurring (Farrer being out of town), delivered list of 50 persons proper to be of the vestry of St George the Martyr.

2. Vestry to consist of 30, with minister and churchwardens for the time being.

3. Every Commissioner present to have a copy of the list by Monday night, and bring paper rolled up, written with 30 names for the vestry.

4. Sam. Worrall to finish carpenter's work for Spitalfields church, vice Grove deceased, on basis of Grove's contract.

6. [sic] Agent submitted plan for site for parsonage house and church yard for church in the Strand, proposed by Mr Moses West for £1,000. James and Skeat to report.

7. Preedy to do painter's work at Spitalfields church.

8. Fincher complaining that he cannot perform his contract for plumber's work at church near Hanover Square because of the rise in price of lead, the Board allow increase or reduction in the contract price consistent with current price of lead at the time the work is done.

9. Osmond, plumber, to be employed to cover in Bloomsbury church, the Board agreeing to make increase or reduction in his price consistent with current price of lead when the work is done.

347. [p. 234] 15 Nov. 1723

1. The present churchwardens to be two of the 30 to compose standing vestry of St George the Martyr.

2. Elected 28 other vestrymen; approved by Bishop of London. Ordered that the said gentlemen be the vestry; Sir Robt Raymond (attorneygeneral), Sir P. Yorke (solicitor-general), Chas Downing, John Whetham, Wm Kinnaston, Jas Lightbone, Thos Huxley, Esquires, Capt John Long, all of Red Lion Square; Sir Harry Bateman, Sir Ed. Gould, Robt Thornhill and Walt. Plommer, Esquires, of Queen's Square; William Chambers, Thos Andrew, Thos Trenchfield, gent., Rich. Benion, baker, of Ormond Street; Wm Proby, Wm Higginson and Robt Pauncefoot, Esquires, of Devonshire Street; Andrew Broughton, Esq, Rich. Barets, Esq, grocer of Glocester Street, Hy Martin, Esq, of East Street, Thos Thayer, Esq, Graves Martin, Esq, of New Street, Thos Penny, apothecary of Red Lion Street, John Trower, baker of Lee Street, Ralph Prior, oilman, Ed. Bates, tallow chandler of Theobalds Row.

3. Solicitor to prepare instrument of appointment, to which Commissioners are to set their hands and seals, for next meeting.

4. James submitted memorial about division of St James Clerkenwell. Copy to be given to Michell, who is to bring his remarks by next meeting.

5. Treasurer to advance by imprest £15 to Hall for looking after Spitalfields church and repairing fences.

6. James submitted account of works necessary in and about Deptford church; several were agreed to and others rejected as noted in margin of the account.

7. Mrs Leacroft presented bill of fees for passing the accounts of her late husband; referred to next meeting. Secretary to consult the books and see what Board's practice has been.

348. [p. 236] 22 Nov. 1723

1. Signed warrant for paying £15 to Hall.

2. Michell brought in remarks on memorial delivered by James touching division of Clerkenwell.

3. Mrs Leacroft's final bill referred to Hiccocks and Melmoth.

4. Read petition from John Foltrop, Ezekiel Cook and Jas King praying that £129. 13s. 5d. due to John Grove, carpenter at Millbank church, may may be paid upon their producing a letter of attorney. Resolved that the money cannot be paid regularly and with safety.

5. Having considered manner of pewing the churches now in hand, unanimously resolved that in all churches now building or hereafter to be built the pews shall be single.

6. Read petition from Rev Mr Trebeck for providing a parsonage house for church near Hanover Square. Agent to inquire for house or site.

7. Solicitor submitted draft instrument for appointing vestry of St George the Martyr; approved, and to be engrossed to be signed at the next meeting.

8. Hammond appeared on behalf of inhabitants of St James Clerkenwell and desired a week to make his remarks on Michell's paper, and that he might have a copy of it; granted.

9. The work at Strand church mentioned in James's memorial to be finished forthwith.

10. Warrant to be prepared for paying workmen up to Lady Day 1723.

349. [p. 238] 28 Nov. 1723

1. Agent mentioned two houses proper for minister's house for church near Hanover Square.

2. Signed instrument appointing vestry of St George the Martyr.

3. Hiccocks and Melmoth reported they had examined Mrs Leacroft's final bill for £80. 13s., which was allowed.

4. Hammond delivered his remarks on Michell's paper. All the papers referred to Dr Waddington, Ellis and Melmoth to report on division of the parish at next meeting. James and Solicitor to attend.

5. James reported that font for Strand church was ready. Ordered all despatch in clearing church and setting up font. When this done, Bishop of London to be desired to consecrate the church.

6. Warrant to be prepared for paying £80. 13s. to Mrs Leacroft.

350. [p. 240] 6 Dec. 1723

1. Read report of Waddington, Ellis and Melmoth with some other papers about the intended district in Clerkenwell. Resolved that north boundary of new parish be made by a line passing from the west end of Mutton Lane over Clerkenwell Green through Aylesbury Street to St John's Street, thence returning south through the middle of St John's Street and passing through Sutton Street alias Swan Alley into Goswell Street and thence the limits as made by the ancient bounds of the parish on side next the Charterhouse ground and continued to south-west corner next Cow Cross. Solicitor, with James's assistance to prepare deed accordingly.

2. Signed warrant for paying £80. 13s. to Mrs Leacroft.

3. Read petition of executors of Ed. Tufnell and Joshua Fletcher who undertook to furnish stone for building church in St Olave's Southwark; referred to Surveyors.

4. Laying out of districts for churches now building and such chapels as may be converted into parish churches to be considered at next meeting, and what chapels are fit to be so converted.

5. Surveyors and Agent to view two houses in Grosvenor Street proposed for a minister's house for church near Hanover Square.

6. John Grove having assigned his contract for Westminster church to John Lock, Lock to proceed with remaining works on foot of Grove's contract.

351. [p. 242] 11 Dec. 1723

1. Executed deed dividing parish of St James Clerkenwell.

2. John Meard, carpenter, to carry on carpenter's work of Limehouse and Wapping churches on foot of [Jas] Grove's contract.

3. Simmons to attend next meeting to settle accounts for 1723.

4. Surveyors to give directions for a font for St John Clerkenwell; when ready, to report to Bishop of London so that he may consecrate. Solicitor to attend consecration of Clerkenwell and Strand churches to present the deeds in the Commissioners' name.

5. Solicitor and Surveyors to consider proper districts to be laid out for churches now building, with assistance of such inhabitants as they judge convenient, and then to draw a plan of each district to lay before the Board.

6. Dean and Chapter of Westminster to be asked whether they have any objection to converting chapel now called the new chapel in Westminster into a parish church.

7. Trustees of chapel in King Street Golden Square to be applied to, whether they have any objection to its being converted into a parish church.

8. Secretary to make separate copies of the foregoing minutes and wait on Bishop of Rochester (Dean of Westminster) and Dr Clarke, Rector of St James's, with them.

352. [p. 244] 19 Dec. 1723

1. Nicholson and other inhabitants of Strand parish delivered memorandum of works wanting in the church; several ordered to be done.

2. Simmons attended to settle accounts for 1722 [sic]; his bill allowed.

3. Examined and signed books of works for 1722.

4. Read petition from Arnot, plumber for church in Lombard Street, praying an allowance because of the increase in the price of lead. Allowed addition or abatement consistent with price of lead when work is done.