The monastic buildings: The outer court

The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.

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E A Webb, 'The monastic buildings: The outer court', The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2, (Oxford, 1921), pp. 159-180. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

E A Webb. "The monastic buildings: The outer court", in The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2, (Oxford, 1921) 159-180. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

Webb, E A. "The monastic buildings: The outer court", The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2, (Oxford, 1921). 159-180. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


The Prior's Lodging

The position of the prior's lodgings or house (Camera prioris) at St. Bartholomew's before the sixteenth century is, as already stated, unknown. The usual position was to the west of the cloister adjoining the church, as at Bridlington and St. Osyth's, (fn. 1) both Augustinian houses. We have suggested that they were originally in that position at St. Bartholomew's, though probably not until the nave was built in the thirteenth century; before then the prior probably slept in the dorter. In the sixteenth century, however, the prior's lodgings were rebuilt by Prior Bolton in a range of buildings adjoining the east end of the church and so forming, with the infirmary, the outer court of the monastery (pl. LXVIII, p. 131). Stow refers to the rebuilding when he says that Bolton 'repaired . . . the offices and lodging to the said priory belonging and near adjoining'. (fn. 2)

The lower part of the walls of this range of buildings was uncovered in 1912, when they were found to be of thin bricks with chalk and rubble foundations. They extended from the church, where Bolton's door still remains with his rebus in the spandrels, to the east end of Middlesex Passage. The excavations of 1912 also uncovered the foundations of walls running west nearly to the chapter-house; but whether these were an extension of the prior's house, or some other building is not known. A court was thus formed on the west side of which were the south transept, the slype and the chapter-house, and on the north the church with the sacristy and apsidal chapel. On the church side, as was seen when describing the triforium, (fn. 3) Bolton built a gallery at the triforium level (possibly of wood as at the Leicester Hospital, Warwick), which extended west as far as the sacristy and, together with the triforium, was in connexion with, if it did not form part of, the prior's house. From the triforium he projected the window opening to the church, on which he also placed his rebus. (fn. 4) From this window he and his household could see the celebration of mass without coming down to the church.

We have no reference to this house in the records in monastic times. It remained standing, more or less altered, until it was destroyed by the fire of 1830. Rector Abbiss told J. H. Parker in 1863 that aged parishioners were able to testify to the remains of it. (fn. 5) However, by inference it is evident (as will be seen in the next chapter), (fn. 6) that the prior's lodging was connected with the infirmary by a way passing over Middlesex Passage at the point where the latter is still vaulted. Thereby the prior was enabled to pass through the infirmary, dorter, and guest-house, and back through the church to his own house without going out of doors (see plan, p. 77).

The exact survey of the house—made in the year 1616—shows that it was then in the occupation of Mr. Arthur Jarvais, and it is probable that the main rooms and arrangements were not very different then from what they had been in monastic times, because the time which elapsed between the suppression and their occupation by Rich was too short to allow of any extensive alterations. From this survey, detailed below, it is clear that in front of the prior's house was a large courtyard, probably extending to the eastern end of the present isolated block of houses in Little Bartholomew Close, called Fenton's Buildings. These buildings are traditionally known as the prior's stables, (fn. 7) but they are not shown in Ogilby's map, (fn. 8) and we can find no authority for the tradition. The forecourt was enclosed by a brick wall and either the court or the house (it is not quite clear which) had 'a handsome entrance or gate covered with tyle' (plan, p. 77).

The inner court may have been entered, as Ogilby's map seems to suggest, by a way through the undercroft of the prior's house, which would have been a direct way from the slype to the burying-ground of the canons, which apparently came up to the east wall of the house, as remains of three interments were found there in February 1914. On the ground floor towards the northern end there was the large hall (vaulted no doubt in the usual monastic manner), the prior's kitchen, a large scullery, pantry, and other offices. On the first floor was a large dining-room, with large windows, occupying the centre of the building. There was a buttery and servants' hall at the southern end, and sleeping-rooms at the northern end, together with access to the gallery, the prior's chapel, and the triforium of the church.

After the suppression Sir Richard Rich gave up his residence at the Austin Friars, as has been seen, (fn. 9) and took up his abode at St. Bartholomew's, and there is no doubt that it was the prior's house that he occupied. For when on the 6th May after the suppression the king made the life-grant to Prior Fuller, he included 'all buildings which had belonged to the priory except "the chief messuage" of the priory then in the tenure of Sir Richard Rich'. The monastic buildings were called collectively—as has been seen—'The Capital Mansion House', and there is evidence to show that 'the chief messuage' was the prior's house. Thus, when the king made the grant to Rich in 1544, he enumerated all the other monastic buildings of the priory except the prior's house; presumably because Rich was already in possession. And because he was in occupation of the building as his town house, Rich did not include it in his grant to Queen Mary in 1555; and because he had not so granted it, it was not Queen Elizabeth's to regrant to Rich in the year 1560. Then again, when Rich came to an agreement with the Corporation of the City to allow the hospital to continue to enjoy the late priory's water supply from Canonbury, the watercourse is described as having 'served continually the house of the late priory . . . wherein the said Lord Ryche doth now lye and inhabit at his coming to London'; and mention is also made of the 'cesterne . . . situate in the kytchen of the said Lord Ryche'. Again, in the year 1616, in Lord Holland's Rental, the forecourt of Sir Percival Hart's house in the Lady Chapel is described as extending (fn. 10) 'from the house of the said Lord Rich unto the side of the Cloth Faire', which can refer to no other house than the late prior's lodging. The rental describes Sir Percival Hart's 'small kitchen' as being 'on the west side of the courte taken out of the great kitchen, into which cometh by a pype of leade, conduit water the quantitie of so much as may passe therroughe a goose quill'. This describes what must have been the back kitchen, or scullery of the prior's great kitchen, taken out of the kitchen of Lord Rich wherein was the conduit water cistern referred to in the Corporation's agreement.

By whom the prior's house was occupied after the death of Rich in 1567 we have no record, but in 1612 his grandson, the third Baron Rich, granted an eighteen years' lease of it to Arthur Jarvais, Esquire, clerk of the pipe. The following particulars are given in Lord Henry Holland's Rental of 1616 (fn. 11) (see plan, p. 77):
'Arthur Jarvais Esquire houldeth one parte of the Mansion house of the Lord Rich situate in the close of Great St. Bartholomew's nere West Smithfield by lease from the Right Honble. Lord Rich dated 16° Junii ao Ris Jacobi 10° (1612) for tearme of 18 yeres from the feast of All Saints then last past yielding therefor yearly on the first of May and first of November by even porcions in toto LXXli.'
(The year 1612 is that in which Robert Lord Rich settled the property on his son Henry. It was the father, Robert, who granted this lease, since Henry, created Baron Kensington in 1622 and Earl of Holland in 1624, was never Lord Rich. (fn. 12) )

Then follows 'The particular'— (fn. 13)
'One faire hall opening to the east into a faire square court or garden before the dore walled about with. bricke and a handsome entrance or gate thereinto covered over with tyle, also one larder and kitchen on the north side of the hall.'
On the conjectural plan (p. 77) the hall is shown in the southern half of the building with windows and a door opening to the east into a square court; we have shown the northern end of the hall screened off and a porch before the door. Such a screened space or lobby at the entrance end was not an uncommon arrangement and a porch so placed would account for the lesser block of projecting foundations discovered in 1912. This porch may have been the handsome entrance covered with tile referred to, for the 'particular' can read that way; and Strype, in 1720, whilst referring to the courtyard 'inclosed within a wall' (fn. 14) makes no mention of a handsome entrance thereto. The porch and lobby are placed on the plan where the passage through the building to the inner court is indicated by Ogilby, and where, until 1912, was the entrance to Cockerill's Buildings and Pope's Cottages.

The larder and kitchen are shown on the north side of the passage, and Sir Percival Hart's kitchen on the north again. Under these offices were brick vaults, one springer of which still remains.
'One other court inward on the north side whereof is one fair lodging room with another room also for lodging or other use within the same on the lowe floure.'

This inner court was the space west of the prior's lodging shown on the plan; the fair lodging room would have been the space between the sacristy and the south chapel, the floor of which in 1912 was found paved with large square red tiles some 2 ft. above the church floor level. The other room 'within the same' on the lower floor it is difficult to place elsewhere than in the south chapel, to which this description exactly applies. This south chapel, however, was used until the middle of the nineteenth century as a vestry room of the church, and if Rich alienated it from the church and it was subsequently recovered, the fact is not recorded in any Vestry Minute Book now extant (that is since 1662).
'And neare unto is one washhouse, one very faire large cellar with a large room over the same wherein the office of the Pype was lately kept.' (fn. 15)

The wash-house may have been under the stair to the gallery (plan, p. 77). The large cellar with a large room over was in the sacristy, the floor of which—being at the church floor level—would have had to be raised but a few feet only above the level of the ground outside to form a good cellar; and a large room over it, approached by a few steps, would have made a good office for keeping the Pipe Rolls.
'Out of the last mencioned room up a paire of stairs on the north side are two pretty chambers one within another for lodging or other use.'

The pair of stairs are shown on the plan, but the two pretty chambers cannot be shown because they were in a mezzanine. The cellar and rooms over, &c., have already been dealt with when describing the sacristy. (fn. 16) Though occupied by Jarvais, together with the prior's house, the sacristy was not so occupied by the prior nor by Rich, because the latter granted the sacristy to Queen Mary.
'In the south-west corner of the said inner court are two larders and a cellar for bear and a small convenient room for wood and coales.'

These offices, we assume, were on the floor of the chapter-house, which had become a cellar by a floor being formed above the dorter floor level.

The surveyor then commences to describe the first floor of Jarvais' house thus:
'Out of the hall first mencioned there is a fair staircase wynding up 24 steppes to the dyning room (under which is a comely neate counting house or studie) with large lights, and on the southend thereof a little room used for a butterie, one other little room for servants to dyne in.'

The stair, it is assumed, was on the larger block of projecting foundations found in 1912, and is so shown on the plan with the counting-house under the south part of the stair. It is probable that this staircase was enclosed by half timber work, for the thickness of the walls indicated by the foundations is insufficient for brick walls of any height. The other large block of foundations on the west side of the hall was probably that of a large fireplace in the hall (shown on the plan) and possibly repeated in the dining-room above. On the south side of the latter are shown the buttery and servants' dining-room.
'Thence descending a staire of some few stepps is a convenient lodging chamber and above it two garretts to lodge servants.'

Hitherto the description has applied to the north of Middlesex Passage, beyond which the prior's house probably did not extend. The prior's house being built after the house of the farmerer on the south side of the passage, the floors were on a different level so the prior had to make a few steps down to connect the two buildings. This was necessary to enable the prior to make a perambulation of all the monastic buildings without going outside. Jarvais, however, and probably Rich also, added these three little rooms of the farmery to their own dwelling-house, leaving the rooms on the ground floor of the farmery, as will be seen, in possession of the tenant of that building (Sir Edward Barrett). The survey continues:
'Northwards from the dyning roome there is a faire lodging chamber, with another little chamber for servants and a faire closett and above them two chambers for servants.'

These are set out on the plan with the stairs leading up to the two chambers for servants in the attics.
'Between these lodgings and the east wall from the dyning room there is a reasonable large passage to a faire gallerie having at the end of this passage or entry a paire of back stairs into the kitchen and about the middle of them a roome for wood and coales.'
These also are shown on the plan with the back stairs to the kitchen, except the room for wood and coals which was between the floors and under the fair closet.

'At the west end of the gallery cometh up a paire of staires out of the inner courte at the head whereof is a faire closet a faire lodging chamber with a chimney beyond the same and beyond that a staire ascending to two chambers with chimneys.'

The stair from the inner court is shown on the plan in the same position as a stair is shown in Wilkinson's and other old plans, ascending to the Dissenters' Charity School. This stair was possibly like that at Leicester Hospital (referred to above), (fn. 17) which is in an exactly similar position and of about the same date. The fair closet is shown at the head of the stair, and the fair lodging with a chimney is shown westward of the gallery, also the stair ascending to the two chambers with chimneys which were in the roof above the sacristy.
'From the foresaide gallery northward there are two chambers called chappells with large windows opening into the church over against the pulpit, one of which is used as a lodging room without a chimney but thother having a chimney for use if need require. All which is well worth per ann. £100 0. 0.'
This was a higher value than any other house in the survey.

The gallery has already been explained in the description of the south triforium. (fn. 18) It occupied the same position and was of approximately the same dimensions as the first floor of Rector Abbiss' girls' school, demolished in 1912. It extended southward to the same depth as the south chapel, which it overhung. Of the two chapel chambers, one with the chimney comprised the two eastern bays of the south triforium, in one of which is Bolton's window, and was in the eighteenth century occupied by the Dissenting Charity School. The other chapel chamber occupied the two western bays in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and, until 1830, formed the gallery of the old meeting-house as shown below.

This description of Arthur Jarvais' house has here been given at length because of the light it throws on the arrangement of the prior's lodging, and of the same house, adapted after the suppression with but slight alteration, as the town house of the Lord Chancellor of England, where, as such, Rich resigned the great seal in 1551. The description bears a remarkable resemblance to that given by Bloxam of the prior's lodgings at Bridlington and at Wenlock.

Jarvais' lease expired on November 1st, 1630; his wife Anne was buried in the chancel of the church on the 30th December 1626.

He was succeeded immediately by Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex (pl. LXXVIII, p. 164), for there is an entry in the Parish Register on the 27th December 1631, that the earl's daughter Susanna was baptized in the church, and an entry in the churchwardens' accounts that on the 15th March 1631–1632 they 'recd. of the Lord of Middlesex in part of his license for Lent 6/8d.' After 1635 the house is called in the ratebooks Middlesex House, and the fore-court and inner-court, Middlesex Court. The passage through the dorter (fn. 19) and the three dwellinghouses in the Lady Chapel were, from 1789 to 1880, all known as Middlesex Court, (fn. 20) and in a recent deed Cockerill's Buildings were described by the same name.

That it was the prior's house that was occupied by the Earl of Middlesex is proved by Nightingale, who wrote in 1815:
'In Middlesex Court, entering from 61 Bartholomew Close, is a large old building known by the name of Middlesex House.' (fn. 21)

Lionel Cranfield was born in 1573, and was created Earl of Middlesex in 1622. He was committed to the Tower for corrupt practices in 1624 but released the next year. Letters from him are preserved dated from St. Bartholomew's in 1634 and 1639, and letters addressed to him at his house in Great St. Bartholomew's in 1636 and 1640. He died in 1645 and we may assume that he continued to dwell here until that date. The property was in his wife's name, for, in a survey (fn. 22) of the liberty of St. Bartholomew's in 1642, there is an entry 'the countess of Middlesex her house . . . the old house £83/6/8d.' In the year of his death there is an entry in the churchwardens' accounts 'received of the countess of Middlesex for the poor 13/-'. She died in 1647. They were both buried at Westminster Abbey in St. Benedict's chapel, where they are commemorated by a large table tomb.

The earl was twice married. By his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Shepherd, he had two daughters; one of whom married Sir Henry Carey, (fn. 23) who succeeded his father as the second Earl of Monmouth and lived apparently in the monastic infirmary of St. Bartholomew's. By his second wife Anne, daughter of James Brett, he had three sons and two daughters. The eldest, James, succeeded to the title and was married at the parish church in 1646 (fn. 24) to Lady Anne Bourchier, daughter and co-heiress of Edward, Earl of Bath. He died childless, so he was succeeded in 1651 by his brother Lionel, who was the third and last earl, and married Rachel, the daughter of Francis, Earl of Westmorland, and widow of Henry, Earl of Bath. Francis, Earl of Westmorland, who died in 1628, had lived in the parish and is commemorated there by the name of the houses known as Westmoreland Buildings. (fn. 25)

The third Earl of Middlesex continued to live in the parish. Among the House of Lords MSS. (fn. 26) of the year 1675 there is 'a copy certificate (but with no date) to the Lord Mayor from the Constables and Churchwardens of St. Bartholomew the Great, of clergy or laity who made any stay within this parish after the time limited by His Majesty's proclamation'. The names given are 'Lionel, Earl of Middlesex, Edward Lord Herbert, Sir Christopher Nevill, Lady Mary Woolton, and two others'. The earl died 26th October 1674, and he also was buried in Westminster Abbey. (fn. 27)

We find by the rate-books that the house, though subdivided into several dwelling-houses (as Strype tells us), (fn. 28) continued to be inhabited by Cranfields and there are numerous entries in the parish registers concerning them. (fn. 29) There are also entries of Campfield, Camfield, Canfield, and Carnfield, but we shall be justified in assuming that they are of one and the same family, because in 1682 Jacob Canfield appears in the rate-books as occupying the north part of Middlesex House, and in 1693 his name is spelt Carnfield and in 1698 Camfield. Then, in the southern end of the same house, made no doubt into a separate dwelling, we have Francis Camphield (assessed at 9 Hearths in 1674), (fn. 30) and paying rates in 1682, who becomes Canfield in 1687, Carnfield in 1693, and Camfield in 1698 and 1705. In 1709 and 1710 'Widow Camfield' occurs, and then the name appears no more. The successor in the house was Elizabeth Bristow, but there are no records concerning her.

The Meeting-House.

We have shown thus fully how the old prior's house was occupied in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; we must now show the position of the nonconformists' meeting-house, which was in the rear portion of Middlesex House (see plan, p. 77).

In Cromwell's time Westminster Abbey was at first in the possession of the Presbyterians. In the year 1654 they were succeeded by the Independents, when John Rowe was the preacher. At the Restoration in 1660 the Independents had to leave the Abbey, and Calamy says (fn. 31) that after that Rowe preached often to his congregation in Bartholomew Close. Wilson, writing about this Bartholomew Close meetinghouse in 1810, says: (fn. 32)
'This meeting-house, which is still standing, is situated in Middlesex Court, and was part of a large old building called Middlesex House. In its present appearance it wears the evident marks of great antiquity.

He thinks it probable that before this, during the Commonwealth, it had been 'occupied by one of the numerous sects that abounded in that period'. He continues:
'During the persecuting reign of Charles II, on account of the obscurity of its situation, it was admirably adapted for purposes of concealment. In several parts of the building there is every appearance of private doors, supposed to have been made to facilitate the escape of the worshippers.' (fn. 33)
In former times there was a window which opened from the meeting-house into the adjoining church. It was situated directly opposite to the pulpit, in the latter building; so that a person in the gallery of the meeting-house could clearly discern the congregation in the church and watch the different parts of divine worship. (fn. 34) . . . Underneath (the meeting-house) appear several vestiges of an antique chapel, (fn. 35) though now used for no higher purpose than a cellar.'
'The meeting-house is a small inconvenient building and is accessible by a flight of several steps. There are three galleries of tolerable depth, and the roof is supported by large beams, after the old manner. The whole building appears in rather a ruinous condition, and evidently wears the marks of a venerable antiquity.'

It is evident that that part of the prior's house which ran south from Bolton's door in the church is not here indicated because the rate-books show that portion to have been occupied by the Cranfields. Arthur Jarvais, however, as shown, in addition to occupying the prior's house, had—as part of his premises—the dismantled sacristy, and we assume that the Earl of Middlesex had the same and that it was the sacristy with part of the south triforium which was referred to in Wilson's description. It was certainly admirably adapted for purposes of concealment, being in the secluded inner court of what had been the prior's house. The private doors, to which Wilson refers, were probably those which at one time had connected with the other parts of Jarvais' house. Hardwick's plan shows three doors on the ground floor in addition to the one into the south aisle of the church and the large entrance in the west wall to the south transept.

There were many other dissenting places of worship similarly placed in the city during the reign of Charles II; such as the Meetinghouse Yard in Silver Street, Sempringham House in Cow Lane, and Salisbury Court in Fleet Street.

It has already been explained that the sacristy and western end of the south triforium of the quire were probably adapted to form part of Jarvais' house, and we now show by a plan (pl. LXXIX) and section how they may have been subsequently altered to form the meeting-house as described by Wilson. In the section, the triforium is drawn to correspond exactly with that on the other side of the quire, as it probably did before the fire of 1830, and the roof is shown over the sacristy with a high ridge running east and west as indicated by the remains shown in Knight's view taken after that fire. It was probably this roof that Wilson described as 'supported by large beams, after the old manner'.

It has been assumed that the wall between the two western bays of the triforium was wholly or in part removed to provide an opening into the sacristy building.

The cellar referred to by Wilson was doubtless the 'very faire large cellar' described in Lord Holland's rental of Jarvais' house. The floor of the meeting-house was the floor of the 'large room' over the cellar described in the rental; and the two western bays of the triforium, which, as has been seen, were probably one of the chapel chambers in Jarvais' house, formed the gallery described by Wilson as having had a window which opened into the church immediately opposite the pulpit.

The other two galleries mentioned by Wilson were probably on the east and west sides of the sacristy (or by three galleries it is possible that he may have intended to describe stepped seats at three levels in the triforium).

The floor of the meeting-house being over a cellar accounts for its having been 'approached by a flight of several steps', and it is possible that the 'pair of stairs on the north side' which were mentioned in Lord Holland's rental were retained as a way to the galleries. The window or windows from the triforium into the church had probably been closed up in 1772, for at that date the corresponding windows in the adjoining Dissenting School were closed by arrangement, and skylights opened out in place of them. (fn. 36)

We have no record as to who was the Independent Minister here after John Rowe, nor of the application for a licence for the building as a place of public worship, nor for the minister as a teacher for the congregation (under 'the declaration of indulgences' of 6th March 1672). But in 1681 the Rev. John Quick, the ejected minister of Brixton, the famous author of Synodicon in Gallia Reformata, took the meeting-house and remained here until his death in 1706. He was succeeded by Thomas Freke, who in turn remained here until his death in 1716.

The meeting-house first appears in the rate-books in the year 1705; from then, until 1711, it was referred to as 'Quick's meetinghouse'; in 1716 it is called 'Freak's meeting-house'. (It seems to have been customary at this time to name the chapels after the names of the preachers in the absence of a more suitable dedication!) The last of the Presbyterian divines here was Dr. Caleb Fleming, who so greatly reduced the congregation that when, in 1753, he succeeded Dr. Foster at Pinner's Hall, it dissolved. Wilson says the congregation was never large 'nor indeed would the size of the meeting-house admit of it'.

After this there is a blank of about ten years until December 26th, 1763, when, says Wilson, (fn. 37) John Wesley (fn. 38) took the meeting for the Methodists in the room of 'the Bull and Mouth'; but inasmuch as Wesley himself says in his journal (fn. 39) under that date, as has been seen, (fn. 40) that he 'began preaching in a large commodious place in Bartholomew Close', and as no mention is made of 'the Bull and Mouth', which was not in Bartholomew Close, and as he cannot have meant the 'small inconvenient' old meeting-house, we are inclined to think from subsequent events that the commodious place was, as already stated, the chapter-house. (fn. 41)

John Wesley was succeeded by James Relly, (fn. 42) who founded a religious sect known as Rellyanists (Wesley had termed him an Antinomian). In 1766 he refused to pay parish rates, claiming exemption under the Act of Toleration, (fn. 43) but Counsel's opinion was against him and, on the expiration of the lease in 1769, he removed to Crosley Square.

In 1769 a Mr. Best, and in 1770 a Mr. Wilfrid Bell (neither of whom is mentioned by Wilson), and from 1771 to 1784 a Mr. John Towers were all rated for the meeting-house. Towers was an Independent who, Wilson says, was ordained at the meeting-house in 1769, (fn. 44) and, 'that he might not be burthensome to his friends, he opened a dayschool in the vestry room of his meeting'. This must be the Dissenting school next to the gallery of the meeting-house in the triforium of the church, for the year Towers was rated—1771—coincides with the date when the patron of the church granted a lease to the trustees of a dissenting school in the triforium; though, as was seen when dealing with the south triforium, (fn. 45) it had been used for a school since the year 1748. Towers removed, in 1784, to the Barbican.

We have no record for the years 1785 and 1786 in the rate-books, but Wilson says (fn. 46) Towers' place was occupied for a short time by John Cartwright, and that he 'was followed by Thomas Cannon who preached here several years' and left in 1788, and later carried on the employment of a schoolmaster. In the rate-books T. Cannon was rated at £4 for the meeting-house, but against the entry is written 'on a school': the Dissenting school was separately rated, as heretofore, at £13; so it would appear that Cannon's proclivities were more in favour of schooling than preaching, and that he used the meetinghouse as a school.

In the year 1790 the premises are reported as empty, after which the meeting-house no longer appears on the rate-books. But Wilson says Cannon was succeeded for a few years by William Holland, and Holland for several years by Thomas Davies, and Davies in the year 1798 by William Braithwaite, who, says Malcolm, (fn. 47) writing in 1803 (the year Braithwaite left), 'preached in a place called Bartholomew Chapel, set against the east end of the priory, not far from the quire; a ragged old building, not worth a description; approached through an alley on the right hand of which is the entrance to the Protestant Dissenting Charity School'.

Braithwaite was succeeded by Madden, who preached apparently in the old meeting-house 'for about a twelve month' when, says Wilson, (fn. 48) 'he removed to a large room which is fitted up as a chapel with an organ and prayer reader, and other requisites'. This large room was undoubtedly the ancient chapter-house as shown in Wilkinson's plan published in 1821. (fn. 49) Madden was followed by Joseph More, and More in 1806 by John Latchford, who was ordained on January 30th of that year. He was still there when Nightingale wrote in 1815. (fn. 50)

In 1830 the meeting-house came to an end, being entirely consumed by the fire of that year, and with it the prior's house, Bolton's gallery, and the Bartholomew Chapel in the chapter-house. (fn. 51) But, thank God, the church was saved.

The site of the prior's house is now occupied by the large sixstoried warehouse erected by Messrs. Israel & Oppenheimer in 1912.

The Infirmary.

The Infirmary (infirmaria) commonly spoken of as 'the farmery' of a monastery, was one of the extra-claustral buildings in the outer court. Its position varied very considerably. Its use was for such of the brethren as had become old or infirm, and for those who had undergone the periodical bleeding (which with Augustinian canons was every seven weeks); the latter stayed in the farmery by day but returned to the dorter to sleep.

The more usual position of the infirmary was east of the dorter, where we have placed it on the plan at the time of the suppression (p. 131); it was approached by a passage leading usually from an extension of the east walk of the cloister through the dorter undercroft, as at Westminster and elsewhere. The infirmary consisted of a hall, a chapel, and a kitchen. The simplest form was an oblong aisleless hall similar in plan to a modern hospital pavilion, with a chapel projecting eastward from the end or side according to the position of the hall. If the hall was too wide for a single span it was furnished with aisles and a stone arcade like a church, as at Canterbury, Ely, Gloucester, and Peterborough; or else with wooden posts, as at St. Mary's Hospital, Chichester.

We have only come across four references to the infirmary of St. Bartholomew's in the records, viz. in the year 1250 when, as we are told by Matthew Paris, the subprior 'was carried groaning to the infirmary' after the attack on him by Archbishop Boniface; (fn. 52) in 1382 when the episcopal register (fn. 53) states that the announcement of the election of William Gedeney as prior was made to him in quâdam capellâ dictâ capellâ infirmarie dicti prioratus; in 1433 when Bishop Fitzhugh ordained (fn. 54) 'that the rent of the infirmary to wit 44/- be paid each year and expended upon the infirm and ailing canons' (what this rent of the infirmary means is not clear unless a portion of the infirmary building or of the farmerer's house was let for economy's sake); and, in 1532, on the occasion of the election of Prior Fuller, when it is stated that 'the sacristan being ill and therefore unable to vote he appointed a procurator in the infirmary situated within the precincts of the priory'. (fn. 55) The infirmary is first among the monastic buildings mentioned in the king's grant to Rich, (fn. 56) but it is not mentioned in Rich's grant to Queen Mary nor in Queen Elizabeth's to Rich; from which we should infer that it had already been converted into a dwelling-house.

The evidence for placing the infirmary where we have on the plan (p. 131) on the east side of the dorter is: first, the existence of a passage (now known as Middlesex Passage) which formerly passed through the undercroft of the dorter, a not unusual position for an approach to an infirmary; secondly, the discovery in 1910 of a wall (shown on the plan) on the north side of the house No. 54 Bartholomew Close; and thirdly, the discovery on the north side of this wall of other foundations suggestive of an infirmary kitchen (also shown on the plan).
Archer, writing of the house No. 54 in 1851, says:
'The house of Mr. Vanderplank close by' (he lived at No. 54) 'was the monastery kitchen from which a subterranean passage communicated with the church, persons having passed through it to the knowledge of the proprietor. (fn. 57) In this house the remains of late pointed arches are visible in walls of great thickness. It likewise contains two fine panelled rooms, one of which has a vaulted roof and a carved mantelpiece.'

Knight, writing in 1842, (fn. 58) also refers to these two 'beautifully wainscotted large rooms', but speaks of the room with a vaulted ceiling as the upper one. The wall discovered in 1910 now exists up to the ground level only. It stands a few feet from the north side of the present house (No. 54) and nearly in a direct line with the north side of Middlesex Passage. At its eastern end it returns at a right angle and carries part of the east wall of the present house. It is 2 ft. 9 in. thick, is built of rubble and chalk, has no set off, and shows no sign of ever having been rebuilt. The ground westward of this wall was excavated many years ago, and if any foundations were discovered they were not recorded.

We conclude that this wall was the north wall of the infirmary chapel, that it had windows, described by Archer as 'late pointed arches' and that the wainscoted rooms had been inserted in the chapel, which was a lofty vaulted building such as still remains, though in ruins, at Haughmond Abbey, Shropshire. We consider that the infirmary hall extended westward in line with the chapel to the south-west end of the dorter, as shown on the plan.

The foundations discovered on the north side of the wall of No. 54 also consisted of rubble and chalk, but the presence of some sixteenthcentury bricks, fragments of an arch rib, and portions of a stone mortar (now preserved in the south triforium of the church) point to a rebuilding by Prior Bolton (see plan, p, 77).

We conclude that this was the site of the house of the master of the farmery (infirmarius) and of the farmery kitchen. If this conclusion is correct then the prior's house would have been in direct communication with the farmery by means of the way over Middlesex Passage already referred to, where that passage is vaulted. Micklethwaite's plan of Westminster Abbey (fn. 59) shows the remains of such a building on the north side of the infirmary chapel (St. Katherine's), which may also have been the farmery kitchen. This position of the farmery does not clash with Ogilby's map of 1677 (pl. LXXX a), though no part of the building is shown there; on the other hand, neither is Middlesex Passage shown, which was there long before Ogilby made his map. He shows two garden plots which may have been the vegetable garden of the farmery. Wilkinson's plan marks this kitchen site as that 'of offices belonging to the monastery', westward of it, the angle formed by the turn of Middlesex Passage, he marks as the site of the mulberry gardens, and midway between the two, on the southern side, is shown the woodhouse. All these would thus have been within the farmery court, which, Malcolm states in 1803, was entered by 'a gateway which was standing within the memory of man leading to the wood-yard, kitchens, &c.'

After the suppression le Fermery is mentioned, as stated above, in Henry VIII's grant to Rich, but it is not mentioned in Rich's grant to Mary nor in Elizabeth's regrant to Rich, and there is no direct record as to how these buildings were occupied; but in the rental made for Sir Henry Rich there are two houses described that cannot be located elsewhere than in the infirmary: one is a house occupied by Sir Henry Cary for which he paid a rent of £7, but the house at the time of the rental was valued at £40; the other was another of the houses held by Lady Scudamore, but occupied by Sir Edward Barrett, who paid a rent of £10 a year, but the house was valued at £31 a year.

As both these buildings are described as 'tenements part of the mansion house of Lord Rich' they were certainly part of the monastic buildings. Sir Henry Cary's house was valued at the same figure as Sir Percival Hart's in the Lady Chapel, and we consider that it was the infirmary. Sir Edward Barrett's house adjoined that of Arthur Jarvais and also that of Sir Henry Cary, and we consider that it was the house of the master of the farmery and the kitchen of the infirmary. (fn. 60) Sir Edward Barrett's house is thus described: (plan p. 77)
'Lady Scudamore, widowe, holdeth one tenemt. of the mansion house of the said Lord Riche in the occupacon of Sir Edward Barrett Knight by lease to hould for 2 lives rent per ann. li x.'
'The perticuler. One tenement wth. an entrance thereinto through the Dorter or vault under part of the Lo. Abergavenie's house' (i.e. through Middlesex Passage) 'having one little greene courte before the dore impaled with boordes, one little hall, one kitchen, a larder and scullery beyond the same, one dyning roome over the hall and one lodging and pallet chamber on the southside thereof over the kitchen. Upon the second flour over the dyning roome and lodgings before menconed are four small lodgings for servants. On the north side of the hall below there is a faire cellar and buttery under part of Mr. Jarvais his buildings. On the south side (of) the entrance thorough the vault there is a room belonging to this tenement half the bredth of the vault and equal to the two roomes in the tenure of Woodham the currier. All which is worth per ann. £31. (fn. 61) Margaret Sherwood is the tennant' (apparently of the room in the undercroft).

As the house described had a cellar and buttery under part of the late prior's house, and as the hall was to the south of the cellar and buttery, and, by inference, the kitchen, larder, and scullery were to the south of the hall, this building must have run north and south and have connected with the south end of Jarvais' house, that is at Middlesex Passage where it is vaulted. It is over this vault that we assumed, in describing Jarvais' house, that the stairs to the garrets and the steps down to a room beyond called 'a convenient lodging chamber' came. It seems reasonable, therefore, to conclude that the ground floor under this room was the space occupied by the 'faire cellar and buttery under part of Mr. Jarvais his buildings', described as part of Barrett's house. If such were the case the rest of Barrett's house would have extended southwards covering the foundations of the infirmary kitchen, which foundations themselves when discovered had low brick vaults superimposed upon them, pointing to a subsequent building above. The south wall of Barrett's house (the base of which still exists) would have abutted against the wall which we assume to have been that of the infirmary chapel. The building of the farmerer's house, not being so lofty as that of the prior's house, would explain the steps down to the 'convenient lodging chamber' mentioned in the particulars of Jarvais' house.

The hall here described as 'little' would have been so only in comparison with the halls in Jarvais' and Sir Percival Hart's houses. The 'little greene courte impaled with boordes' would have been part of the garden ground west of the house and previously the kitchen garden of the farmery.

Sir Henry Cary's house is thus described in the rental:
'Sir Henry Cary Knight houldeth one tenement part of the said mansion house by virtue of a lease granted to Nicholas Saint Cleere bearing date 20th November 1602 for 20 years from Michael then past, yielding therefor per ann. li. vii.'
'The perticuler. One tenement within one small triangular court between the last menconed tenement and the Lo. Abergavenie's joyning to both of them, contayning one hall, one kitchen, one laundry room, a lodging parler, a room for trunckes, one pantry, one buttery, all on the ground floor. At the stairehead is a narrow entry leading to a faire dyning roome out of which entry openeth a dore into a lodging chamber with a pallet chamber within the same. At the other side of the stairehead westward there is one reasonable faire chamber and two lesser chambers with a room for billets and coals. In the storey above them is one for servants, the other for persons of better qualitie and a studdy. All which is worth per ann. li. 40 0. 0.'

If the position assigned to Sir Edward Barrett's house is correct, then Cary's house must have extended from Barrett's house to Lord Abergavenny's in the position we have assigned to the infirmary (plan, p. 77) in order to comply with the 'perticuler'.

The fact of there having been ground, first and second floors shows that, if this was a house converted from the infirmary building, that building was, as already pointed out, a lofty one with a roof probably higher than that of the Lady Chapel.

The 'lodging parler' on the ground floor mentioned in the 'particular' would, if our assumption is correct, have been in the lower part of the infirmary chapel, and the 'faire dyning roome', in the upper part of the chapel, would have been the vaulted room mentioned by Archer. The attics did not extend over the vault of the chapel.

The 'small triangular court' referred to in the 'particuler' may have been that at the north-western end of the infirmary, as shown on the plan, which now forms part of the warehouse 60 Bartholomew Close.

The Garner or Granary.

The only record we have of the granary (granarium) of the monastery is in the 'particulars for grant' made by the Augmentation Office in 1544 before the sale to Rich. (fn. 62) It is there referred to (translated) as 'a certain granary building (domus granaria) called a garner situate within the great green of the market'. 'The great green of the market' was the eastern part of the Fair ground which extended along the entire length of the northern boundary of the monastery in Long Lane. It is well shown in Agas' map (pl. LVI b, p. 110), where is also shown in the north-east corner of the green a building which there can be but little doubt represents the garner. It is a barn-shaped building running north and south with gable ends. It has a door in its southern end and is covered with a ridge roof. It was not included in Rich's grant to Mary nor in Elizabeth's to Rich.

The Brew-House.

The brew-house (bracinum) is not mentioned in the records with the other monastic buildings or offices, but Henry VIII granted a lease, in the year 1543, of a brewery in Long Lane called 'the Cock', which was at that time, as mentioned in the lease, within the parish and had been part of the possessions of the monastery. The terms of the lease were as follows: (fn. 63)
'This indenture made between the most excellent prince and lord Lord Henry the eighth by the Grace of God (&c.) of the one part and Richard Watts of the other part witnesseth that the said Lord the king by advice of the Council of the Court of Augmentations of the revenues of his crown has delivered granted and to farm demised to the aforesaid Richard Watts one tenement with its appurtenances called the Cock situated at the northern end of the lane called Long Lane in the parish of St. Bartholomew without Aldrishgate London and all those four tenements adjoining the same tenement and all the utensils of our lord the king being within the aforesaid tenement, to wit, one vessel of lead called a brewing vessel in which six quarters of malt can be baked, another vessel called a mash tun, two old vessels called the yielding tuns and twenty old vessels called the kemnels, one horse mill with two mill stones and one wheel called a cog wheel and one hopper together with other things necessary in respect of the said mill which premises now are or lately were in the tenure and occupation of James Paynter, brewer, and are parcels of the possessions of the late monastery of Saint Bartholomew London, to have and to hold (&c.) . . . Dated at Westminster the tenth day of April in the 34th year of the reign of the said lord the King' (1543).

Although this brew-house was in the parish of St. Bartholomew it is not mentioned in the grant to Rich. This would be because it was leased direct by the king before the particulars for sale to Rich were drawn up, and because there was no rent reserved for Rich to purchase, as was the case in the house and garden in the close granted by the king to Sir John Williams and Sir Edward North in 1543. Long Lane has no north end, but we learn from the agreement with the corporation (fn. 64) that 'the Cock', belonging to the priory, stood at the corner of Long Lane and Aldersgate Street where the Manchester Hotel now stands.

It is a fair inference that the brew-house here described was the monastic brew-house which the prior and convent had let to James Paynter, the brewer, who probably brewed the beer for the convent and sold it to them, which is what was apparently being done in 1445 when there was the dispute about the heavy bill for beer already referred to. (fn. 65)

The Bake-House.

The bake-house (pistrina) usually adjoined the brew-house. It may have been one or more of the four tenements referred to by the king as adjoining the Cock brew-house. It is not referred to in any way in the records.

Agas's map (p. 110) shows in outline a long building at the northeast end of Long Lane, east of the garner, which may represent the brew-house and bake-house, though it was not within the parish bounds described by the king in 1544, nor is it now in the parish.

The Woodhouse.

The woodhouse was in the garden of the farmery, where the site of it is shown in Wilkinson's plan (p. 111); otherwise it does not occur in the records.

The Stables.

There were two sets of stables; one for the prior required for his riding horses, and one for the convent probably for the horses employed in carting provisions and such-like uses for the monastery. The former are thus referred to in the 'particulars for grant' (fn. 66) —'a certain stable called "le Priours Stable" situate within the precinct of the said close'. The exact position is not known but, as already stated, (fn. 67) tradition places them where Fenton's Buildings now stand, in what was the fore-court of the prior's house. The other stables were between the entrance to Cloth Fair and the corner of Long Lane: they are thus referred to in the king's grant to Rich (fn. 68) in the year 1544 (plan, p. 131):
'We grant unto the aforesaid Richard Riche Knight all those our five messuages and tenements and two stables with all their appurtenances now or late in the separate tenures of John Cheseweeke (this was the launder), Joan Davy widow, Thomas Hyley, Mathew White, Robert Chidsey (fn. 69) Esquire and Richard Silvester together situate and being in West Smythfeild aforesaid in a place "le Range" between the lane called Longlane on the north side and the western gates of the markets of Saint Bartholomew on the south side and abutting on the fair of Smythfeld towards the west and on vacant land of the fair of St. Bartholomew within the said close towards the east, which messuages tenements and stables belonged and appertained to the said late monastery or priory of St. Bartholomew and were parcel of the possessions thereof.'

The stables were entered from within the monastery, not on the Smithfield front, which latter in the Bounds of the Close (fn. 70) is described merely as 'outer sides and walls of houses and tenements' and thus took the place of the monastic wall.

Cheseweeke or Cheswyke occupied the house next to le Cheyne (i. e. the corner one at the entrance to Cloth Fair), Robert Chideley held one of the stables at 13s. 4d., and John Bodeley, 'smyth,' held one at 5s. and William Bodeley, 'smyth,' had two at 60s. (fn. 71) John Cheswyke was granted a 21 years' lease of his house by the king in the year 1542. (fn. 72) It is therein described as a 'tenement near the "Cheyn" in Smythfeld, in St. Sepulchre's parish, (fn. 73) late owner St. Bartholomew's'. And in 1545 (fn. 74) the 'stable in tenure of William Bodeley, farrier, in St. Sepulchre's parish, on the south side of the western end of Longlane, towards West Smythfelde', was sold by the king, with other monastic property, to William Beryff of Colchester, cloth worker, and John Mutton.

It is noteworthy that these few houses, which for some unknown reason were in St. Sepulchre's parish (as shown later on), (fn. 75) were not included in the grant to Rich but sold separately elsewhere.

The Laundry.

We have only met with one record of the laundry of the monastery. It occurs in 1539, the same year as the suppression, when Prior Fuller, probably to secure a permanent pension for the holders of the post, appointed by a long formal charter, (fn. 76) John Cheswyke of London, yeoman, and Alice his wife to the office of launder or washer of all the linen clothes of the church and convent during their lives. They were to be responsible for any clothes lost or stolen and to receive £10 a year with a house, rent and repairs free, also a gallon of ale and one 'caste' of bread every Friday; they on their side giving a bond of £20. On the 20th October 1541, John went to the Court of Augmentations with the deed which was allowed to be bona fide, and it was decreed that the man and his wife be allowed in full recompense 40s. a year and all arrears of 40s. from the time of the dissolution of the monastery.

John Cheswycke, as shown, occupied the house in Cloth Fair next to the west gate: apparently his laundry was there also and the western end of the fair ground was used as a laundry green (other than at fair time). In Sir Henry Rich's rental of 1616 a square court of eleven houses and a number of tenements in the occupation of 'Thomas Rogers, Builder' are described as being in a place called 'Launders Green'. The former can be identified as having been in the space between the Sun Court and New Court, which space, in the poor rate book for 1636, was called Launders Green Square and the latter occupied the land between New Court and Barley Mow Passage, which in the Trustees' Minute Book of July 12th, 1769, was called 'Launders Green or Barley Mow Passage'. Launders Green must not be confused with Lady's Green, which is described later on. (fn. 77) Both greens are referred to in a book of accounts of the profits of the fair made in 1629. (fn. 78)


  • 1. M. E. C. Walcott, Invent. St. Osyth's.
  • 2. J. Stow, Survey, p. 141.
  • 3. Above, p. 34.
  • 4. Described above, p. 33.
  • 5. J. H. Parker, Lecture (1863), p. 5.
  • 6. Below, p. 173.
  • 7. J. H. Parker, Lecture (1863), p. 5. Also below, p. 178.
  • 8. See below, p. 162.
  • 9. Vol. I, p. 263.
  • 10. See above, p. 77.
  • 11. Rent. and Surv., R. O. 11/39.
  • 12. See p. 293 below.
  • 13. N.B.—These descriptions can easily be followed if the reader will keep before him the plans from p. 77.
  • 14. Strype, Stow Survey, Bk. III, 284.
  • 15. Jarvais was Clerk of the Pipe 1603–1624.
  • 16. See above, p. 59.
  • 17. Above, p. 34.
  • 18. See above, p. 34.
  • 19. V. M. Bk. iii, 448.
  • 20. Parish Safe, Deeds, Nos. 39, 54.
  • 21. B. and B., Beaut. E. and W., x, pt. 3, 434.
  • 22. Rentals and Surveys, R.O., 1/23.
  • 23. See later, p. 269.
  • 24. Parish Reg. i, 112.
  • 25. See later, p. 211.
  • 26. Hist. MSS. Com., vii, 256.
  • 27. The Complete Peerage.
  • 28. Strype, Stow Survey, Bk. III, 284 b.
  • 29. William Cranfield, married 1650. Sarah Cranfield, baptized 1663, buried 1667. Thomas and Mary Cranfield, buried 1665. Richard Campfield, baptized 1638, buried 1639. Ann Camfield, baptized 1662. Sarah Camfield, baptized 1663. Patience Canfield, baptized 1661. Philadelphia Canfield, buried 1664.
  • 30. Hearth Tax, Lay Sub. R. 252/23, 26 Car. II.
  • 31. Calamy, Non-Con. Memorials, 1802, i, 180.
  • 32. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 369.
  • 33. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 370.
  • 34. Ib., p. 371.
  • 35. See also above, p. 60.
  • 36. See later, p. 353.
  • 37. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 385.
  • 38. In 1739 and 1747 had preached in the church.
  • 39. Wesley, Journal, iii, 152.
  • 40. The 'Bull and Mouth', originally a Quaker meeting-house, was west of St. Martin's le Grand and at this time occupied by the Sandemonian Society. Wilson, iii, 365.
  • 41. See above, p. 148.
  • 42. Wilson, Diss. Chs. i, 360.
  • 43. V. M. Bk. iii, 397.
  • 44. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 224.
  • 45. Above, p. 35.
  • 46. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 386.
  • 47. Malcolm, Lond. Red. i, 289.
  • 48. Wilson, Diss. Chs. iii, 387.
  • 49. Wilkinson's plan, p. 97.
  • 50. Beauties E. and W. x, pt. 3, p. 437.
  • 51. See above, pp. 36, 53, 60, and below, p. 377.
  • 52. See Vol. I, p. 123.
  • 53. Reg. Lond., Braybrook, 264.
  • 54. See Vol. I, p. 205, and App. I, p. 493.
  • 55. Reg. Lond., Stokesley, 65.
  • 56. See Vol. I, p. 268.
  • 57. As Archer had not been in it himself this statement is of no importance.
  • 58. Knight, London, ii, 54.
  • 59. Archaeolog. Journal, xxxiii, 15 (1876).
  • 60. Mr. F. H. Greenaway pointed out this.
  • 61. Sir Edward Barrett was assessed in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1623 at £50 (20 James I, 147/505).
  • 62. Aug. Off. Partic. for Grants, R.O., No. 927.
  • 63. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. 215, f. 81 b.
  • 64. See Vol. I, p. 305.
  • 65. Ib., p. 215.
  • 66. Aug. Off. Parties. for Grants, No. 927.
  • 67. Above, p. 160.
  • 68. Orig., R. (36 Hen. VIII), p. 4. Rots., 147, 148 (1544).
  • 69. Alias Chideley.
  • 70. Aug. Off. Parties. for Grants, No. 927.
  • 71. Rentals and Surveys, R. O., portfolio 27, No. 18 (30 Hen. VIII), described as in St. Sepulchre's parish.
  • 72. Cal. State Pap. xvii, p. 694. Aug. Bks. Leases, 33 Hen. VIII (1541–2).
  • 73. See below, p. 202.
  • 74. Cal. State Pap., ib. xx, pt. i, No. 1335 (18), Grants in July 1545.
  • 75. Later, p. 202.
  • 76. Aug. Off. Misc. Bk., No. 93, f. 184 d. Sealed by prior and convent and J. Chesewick, Feb. 28, 1539.
  • 77. See p. 239.
  • 78. See later, p. 311.