Good Shepherd's Mission Hall, Back Alley

Pages 29-30

Survey of London: Volume 1, Bromley-By-Bow. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1900.

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General description.

There is a large achievement of arms, consisting of a shield bearing the royal arms, with garter, supporters, mottoes, helm with crest, and scroll work background, fixed high up on the south wall in the mission church. It is a fine piece of work about 8 feet high and 7 feet wide, carved in high relief, and very boldly treated, with the spaces of background completely cut away, and is carved in soft wood and coloured.

In the centre is the shield of elliptical shape bearing the arms of Charles II.—Quarterly: 1st and 4th grand quarters, France modern and England quarterly; 2nd grand quarter, Scotland; 3rd grand quarter, Ireland. The garter encircles this and bears the motto—HONI · SOIT · QVI · MAL · Y · PENSE. Above the shield is the royal helm placed affronté, which bears as a crest a small lion statant crowned with tail curled up over its back. Below along the bottom of the achievement is a flat band, raised in the centre, bearing the motto—DIEV · ET · MON · DROIT. At the sides are the supporters, on the dexter a lion rampant guardant, imperially crowned; on the sinister a unicorn armed, unguled, and crined, gorged with a coronet, and chain affixed. The background is foliage and scroll work, treated in the same bold manner as the other parts. The original colouring is now all lost, the whole surface being thickly covered with paint and varnish to make it look like oak; the shield and bands bearing the mottoes were repainted about four years ago, but the colouring is not quite correct.

These arms were obtained in 1660, upon the Restoration of Charles II., it would appear in accordance with the order of the Council that the Royal Arms should be set up in all churches throughout the kingdom (vide Bloxam's Goth. Arch., page 456). The following is the entry in the churchwardens' accounts for that year, given by Dunstan—

£ s. d.
Pd to Mr. Cartwright for carving ye King's Armes in ye Church 06 00 00
Pd to the panter, Mr. Wright of Limehouse, for gilding the King's Armes in ye Church 03 00 00

They were set up on the west wall of the old parish church, near the belfry, but were removed in 1818, owing to the erection of the children's gallery, and placed against the south wall opposite the church door (see page 3). In 1833 they were placed in the boys' school in Priory-street, and there remained until the closing of the school, through the falling in of the lease, September, 1889. Owing to the unusually large size of the Royal Arms (7 feet by 8 feet), the vicar of the parish, the Rev. G. A. M. How, found the greatest difficulty in securing a suitable home for their re-erection, and at last even caused them to be advertised for sale in the newspapers. Mr. W. G. Clutterbuck, headmaster of the national schools, pleaded for their retention in the parish, and for want of a better site suggested the south wall of the Good Shepherd's Mission Hall, where they are now fixed.

Bibliographical references.

M. H. Bloxam, Gothic Architecture (8vo, London, 1859), pages 456, 457.
J. Dunstan, History of Bromley, page 83.

In the Committee's MS. collection is—

(1) Photograph of the arms.