A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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The church of ST. MARY, SOUTHAMPTON. There is no mention in Domesday of any church within the borough of 'Hantune.' But it does not follow that there was none. The church of St. John certainly existed, and there is some reference to the ecclesiastical position of the town under the account of the manor of South Stoneham. That manor belonged to the bishop and was appropriated for the clothing of the monks of St. Swithun, Winchester; but the manorial church was held by Richer, the clerk, with two other churches near Southampton dependent on it as the mother church. Adjoining the church was a hide of land, and Richer, further, in right of his benefice owned all the tithes of the town of Southampton and also of Kingsland. (fn. 1) Probably this manorial church was no other than St. Mary's, Southampton. (fn. 2) In favour of this view is the fact that the precentors or rectors of St. Mary's have possessed the rectory of South Stoneham and presented to its vicarage as early as we have any records on the matter. (fn. 3) St. Mary's, Southampton, has its valuable glebe about the church; it possessed all the tithes of the town, together with those of the whole district probably here described. It should be observed that the tithings of Eastleigh and Allington, which are now comprised within the parish of South Stoneham, are not included in that manor in the Domesday record, but are described separately, Allington moreover having a church. The bishop's manor therefore assigned for the clothing of the Winchester monks was probably Bitterne, which had always belonged to the bishops till it passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1869. The king's land of which Richer had the tithes was no doubt Portswood, which we know to have been royal property, and which was afterwards granted to the monks of St. Denys. (fn. 4) The site of the 'two other churches near Hantune' which belonged to the manorial church probably cannot be determined. The present church of St. Mary, South Stoneham, was not then in existence, and a church on its site could hardly have been called near Southampton. (fn. 5)
Passing from the eleventh to the twelfth century we find Henry II granting his 'chapels' of St. Michael, St. Cross (Holy Rood), St. Lawrence, and All Saints within the borough to the monks of St. Denys (fn. 6); but these chapels must have had relation to a mother church which was, no doubt, this manorial church without the walls.
In the time of Bishop Godfrey de Lucy (1189–1204) the clergy of 'Hampton' were in controversy with the canons of St. Denys; the settlement of which dispute was, by order of the bishop, postponed till the return from the school at Paris of Stephen of Reims, the superior of these clergy, who at once recognized the right of the canons, spoke of 'my clergy of Hampton,' (fn. 7) and was very probably the priest of the mother church with whom these clergy were living in a community.
A few years later an inquiry instituted (1225) by desire of Pope Honorius at the instance of Philip de Lucy, 'rector or warden (custos) of the church of Southampton,' who set forth that the town was within the limits of his parish, resulted in establishing the rights of St. Mary's against the prior and convent of St. Denys over the churches or chapels within the town, the chaplains being required to swear in the rural chapter at St. Mary's—Philip de Lucy happening to be rural dean, (fn. 8) as his successors frequently were—to preserve the honour of the church of St. Mary. (fn. 9) The parishes of the town were at this time in an inchoate state. There were certain understood limits and districts belonging to the several chapels, in common, however, with those of St. Andrew and Holy Trinity (fn. 10) without the walls, whose rights or districts never advanced to the further dignity. The churches are called 'parochial chapels,' i.e. chapels of ease, such chapels being created 'parochial' by the bishop, though dependent on the mother church, while enjoying certain privileges of their own. The chaplains of the town made no question of their relation to St. Mary's; the controversies past and to be renewed (fn. 11) were about the adjustment of rights and dues which had been acquired by or conceded to the chapels or others which it was endeavoured to obtain, and about the amount of canonical obedience due to the chief of the mother church.
As little is known of the origin of the religious community at St. Mary's as of its suppression. It may be, if there is anything in the tradition of Leland, that the community is to be traced from the time of Henry I before 1118. (fn. 12) It seems to have consisted of four priests, at all events latterly, besides clerks and the chanter, who, in the place referred to, is called the 'curate.' (fn. 13) The rector and clerks were acting as a community (see above) in 1225. In 1251 the title of chanter is found attached to the custos or rector. (fn. 14) In 1258 the warden, chaplains, and clerks are one party in a legal inquiry. (fn. 15) In 1278 the precentor, chaplains, and clerks of St. Mary's join in an exchange of land with the convent of St. Denys. (fn. 16) Similarly we find 'the warden and clerks,' 'the precentor or chanter or warden, chaplains and clerks,' and in 1460 'the precentor and fellows' (socii). (fn. 17) In 1526 the precentory or church of St. Mary in the deanery of Southampton was valued at £37 5s. 5d., while the 'chantry of St. Mary' stood at £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 18) In the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1536, Dr. Capon being precentor, the precentory was valued in oblations, tithes, &c., at £44 13s. 4d. less deductions to the amount of £7 8s. 1d., leaving a net of £37 5s. 3d., paying its tenth of £3 14s. 6½d. A little after this, when reporting in 1547 on the 'chantry houses' which stood on the site of, or close to, the present deanery, the commissioners of Edward VI stated that they could discover neither by whose devotion the 'chantry' had been founded, nor exactly what property belonged to it; they were only able to say that what were commonly called the 'chantry lands,' as well as the house which had always been known as the 'chantry house,' were let at the rate of £13 6s. 8d. per annum; but they note that neither Dr. Capon the rector nor his farmer appeared before them, so that their survey was less accurately made. (fn. 19) The inquiry must have been otherwise abortive, as according to a letter of September, 1529, to the customer of Southampton about the chantry lands the chantry had been dissolved many years. (fn. 20) This chantry may have been of different foundation from the old precentory, though always held by the parish priest, who was thus variously styled warden, precentor, chanter or rector.
Besides this chantry of unknown origin a chantry for the soul of Nicholas Beket, who died before 1287, and of Agnes his wife was settled here, the warden of St. Mary's from time to time being bound to find a fit chaplain. (fn. 21) In 1462 Johanna, widow of Nicholas Holmage or Holmehegg, mayor in 1454, devised certain properties to the mayor and corporation for the establishment of a chantry at St. Mary's for her husband, herself, her parents and ancestors. Her chanter's stipend was to be £6 13s. 4d.—he always received and paid for the town seal to his appointment—and on the day of her obit £1 6s. 8d. was to be distributed, namely to the mayor 3s. 4d., to the seneschal 2s., and the remainder to the priests, clerks, and poor of St. Mary's. She also provided for the support of the tenement devised for the purposes of her foundation. (fn. 22) The mind of Thomas Smale and Joana his wife was kept here yearly on 9 April; 5s. 6d. to the chanter, 4s. 6d. to the bedesmen. (fn. 23)
Of the fabrics, the earliest church must have been of Saxon origin; it was possibly represented in Leland's time (1546) by the chapel of St. Nicholas, 'a poor and small thing' which stood immediately to the east of the then existing church. (fn. 24) It was succeeded by the 'great church of Our Lady' of Leland's time, which may possibly be dated from the reign of Henry I. This church, which contained the memorials of many of Southampton's worthies, appears to have been destroyed by the town about 1549 or 1550, (fn. 25) to remove from French cruisers the direction (fn. 26) of a well-known and lofty spire, and in the latter year the stones and rubbish of the church were carted away to mend the roads. (fn. 27) The chancel, however, may have been preserved for its sacred purposes. Speed (1596) speaks (fn. 28) of a 'small unfinished chapel' as having replaced the great church; this probably refers to the building carried out in 1579, (fn. 29) which could hardly have been more than a restoration of the ruined chancel.
For many years the church remained in a miserable condition. (fn. 30) A 'fair house,' doubtless a predecessor of the present deanery, (fn. 31) seems to have been also constructed from the ruins. In 1650 the church was repaired in a niggardly fashion. (fn. 32) In 1711 a nave was fitted to the old chancel by Archdeacon Brideoake, and in 1723 he rebuilt the chancel. This church, substantially built, for the repairs of which Dr. Hoadly the next rector left a benefaction, (fn. 33) was transformed in 1833 under the pressure of a growing population, the result being the creation of the hideous fabric which the present generation cannot have forgotten. This gave place to the existing church in the style of the thirteenth century, consisting of chancel and nave continuous without arch, north chapel, aisles throughout, transepts and vestries, the first stone of which was laid by the Prince of Wales on 12 August, 1878, in memory of Bishop Wilberforce, whose son, the present archdeacon of Westminster, was then rector. The walls were already 20 ft. high, and the church was consecrated on 21 June, 1879, and finished (fn. 34) according to the designs of the architect, the late Mr. Street, with the exception of the tower and spire, in 1884.
The church tower has not yet been built to its full height, and there are at present no bells. The plate now in use is modern, the older plate being deposited elsewhere for safety.
The early registers of the church have unluckily been destroyed in the disastrous fires which have twice wrecked the chantry or rectory-house. The entries in the register book from 1650, the earliest date, to 1706 are incomplete, being made only from notes taken by the clerks and churchwardens.
The revenues of St. Mary's, which are considerable, and are derived from the rectory of South Stoneham, commuted in 1845 at £1,430, and from the valuable rectorial property of St. Mary's in the town and neighbourhood, have been on the whole very much employed to the advantage of the neighbourhood. Even as far back as the Long Parliament we find the tithes, which had been sequestrated from the lessee of the rectory (Lord Lambert) as a delinquent, committed by order of the Committee for Plundered Ministers to the mayor and aldermen, on their petition, for distribution among the ministers of the town, whose maintenance was very inadequate. (fn. 35) Accordingly we find £40 per annum appropriated to Jesus Chapel, belonging to St. Mary's, across the Itchen, and the remaining profits of the chantry, at that time about £250 per annum, distributed in equal portions among the ministers of Holy Rood, St. Michael's, St John's, St. Lawrence's, All Saints', and St. Mary's. And subsequently to this we find the 'chantry money' directed to the payment of the various ministrations of the town until the Restoration. But especially within the last half-century the emoluments have been employed for the endowment of the many new districts in St. Mary's and within the rectory of South Stoneham, under the arrangement of the successive bishops of the diocese and with the concurrence of the rectors. Among ancient bequests Agnes le Horder, January, 1348–9; (fn. 36) William of Wykeham by will 24 July, 1403, left £20 to the precentors and a pair of vestments and chalice to the church; (fn. 37) John Renawd (1422) to the fabric 20s. Dr. Hoadly's bequest (1763) has been mentioned. Mary Baker, widow, by will proved 21 March, 1872, made a bequest to the poor of St. Mary's and of Milbrook.
THE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY, North Front, Kingsland.
This church was erected in the pseudo eleventh-century style in 1829: and in view of assignment of district enlarged and consecrated in 1847. It has been improved of late years. The register commences in April, 1842. The benefice is a new vicarage in the patronage of the bishop. There is a good vicarage house. This parish has an interest in the Toomer bequest (see under Holy Rood).
ST. LUKE'S NEWTOWN (new vicarage).
District assigned in 1851. Ecclesiastical parish by Order of Council, 1853. Church erected 1852–3; enlarged 1860; chancel added and consecrated 1873; other improvements are being carried out. Register commences December, 1854. Patron, the bishop. There is a vicarage house.
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, Northam Road (new vicarage).
The church of this parish, a miserable erection of 1854 under the designation of Christ Church, has now given way to a handsome church under the above invocation in the style of the thirteenth century from the designs of Mr. Woodyer; consecrated in 1884. It consists of nave and aisles, apsidal chancel, south chapel, and vestries. District arranged in 1851, formed by Order of Council 1853. Patron, the bishop. There is a good vicarage house.
ST. JAMES, Bernard Street (new vicarage).
District arranged in 1851, formed by Order of Council 1853. Church in the style of the thirteenth century, built and consecrated in 1858, with accommodation for 830. It has been since much improved. Population 7,314. Register commences in 1858. Patron, the bishop.
ST. MATTHEWS, St. Mary's Road (new vicarage).
Parish formed in 1866. Church in style of thirteenth century, built in 1870, enlarged 1874. Accommodation 730. Population 800. Patron, the bishop. This parish has an interest in the Toomer bequest.
Parishes formed from South Stoneham within the town and county of the town are:—
CHRIST CHURCH, PORTSWOOD, in Highfield Road (new vicarage).
District formed in 1848. Church built in 1847. After many alterations, especially in 1878, the building presents the unusual appearance of a double nave flanked by an aisle on either side, the wide chancel with its aisles being fitted on to the two naves so that the easternmost pillar of the mid-nave arcade stands exactly in the middle at the entrance of the chancel. This bold plan was accepted and approved by the late Mr. Street. There is a large vicarage house. The bishop of Winchester is patron.
ST. DENYS, St. Denys Road, District Parish. Parish formed in 1867. Church of handsome character, 1868. Patron, the bishop.
To these must be added:—ST. BARNABAS, Lodge Road, Avenue. District formed in 1893 from the parishes of St. Luke, Newtown, and Christ Church, Portswood. Church consecrated 14 November, 1903. There is a parsonage house. Patron, the bishop.
HOLY ROOD or ST. CROSS.
The church of this parish stood originally in the middle of the High Street in front of its present position. Having fallen into decay in the early part of the fourteenth century, Thomas de Bynedon, a prominent burgess, fined with the crown (1318) for permission (fn. 38) to grant to the prior and convent of St. Denys a new site; and in 1320 the church was rebuilt where it now stands, the old site becoming in after times occupied by the Audit House. Soon after the church was opened a cause was moved between the precentor or rector of St. Mary's and the 'rector' or chaplain of St. Cross on the right of interment within and without the church. The claim of the precentor was entirely upheld (4 December, 1333), but the rector of St. Cross obtained permission for his own burial within the church and that of his successors, and certain other persons named. But the dues were to go to St. Mary's; all other sepulture being forbidden. (fn. 39)
The taxation of Pope Nicholas (1291) gives the revenue of the church as £4 6s. 8d. per annum, its tenth being 8s. 8d. (fn. 40) Soon after the rebuilding of the church the convent made an arrangement for the increase of the benefice, and in 1408 the church having become, with the church of St. Michael, appropriated (1405) to the convent, certain further arrangements were made between the priory and the perpetual new vicar (fn. 41) for the improvement of the vicarage; (fn. 42) and in 1474 the poverty of the cure was further considered (fn. 43) and payment from the convent advanced from £8 to £10. (fn. 44) By the valuation of 1535–6 the church was worth £15 10s. 0½d. or less procurations £12 1s. 9d. net, paying its tenth, £1 4s. 2¼d., to the king. In 1683 Bishop Morley made a benefaction of £20 per annum in augmentation of the benefice under certain conditions. In 1751 Mr. Richard Taunton left £21 per annum for a double daily service. The benefice received an augmentation of £20 per annum through Queen Anne's Bounty. In 1706 Queen's College, Oxford, the patrons of the living, provided, in conjunction with the corporation, a vicarage house in lieu of the ancient vicarage house (fn. 45) which had been alienated, and in later times annexed the stewardship of God's House to the benefice, which brought in £21 per annum, besides a good house (fn. 46) for the steward, but of late the vicars have been appointed as chaplains only. The living is now valued at about £220 per annum. There is no available vicarage house. The patronage was originally granted to the priory of St. Denys, who presented till the Dissolution. From 1548 to 1574 it was in the gift of John Capelyn, burgess, and afterwards of Anthony Lisle, esq. From 1611 to 1871 the patronage was with Queen's College, Oxford, who in the latter year gave it over to the bishop of Winchester in exchange for other livings. The bishop is now the patron.
Holy Rood has been considered the 'town' church, and episcopal and archidiaconal visitations have been usually held in it. It was here that Philip of Spain heard mass (20 July, 1554) on the day of his arrival in the port. A Thursday evening lecture was formerly held here, and in 1607 was filled by the town lecturer (Mr. Hitchcock) subject to the bishop's approval. Subsequently it was agreed (1615) that the incumbents of the town should hold the lecture here, and the parishes were put under contribution accordingly. (fn. 47) Documents of some interest exist concerning this lecture under the Commonwealth. (fn. 48) It was the practice of the town clergy to keep up a daily service at Holy Rood, and in September, 1661, (fn. 49) they were begged to revive that ancient and laudable custom; a practice broken through probably before 1752, since Taunton's bequest that year for the same purpose was confined to the vicar of Holy Rood, or on his failing in the duty the bequest was to go to St. Lawrence, and on failure there to return to Holy Rood, and so from one to the other for ever. In 1781 Holy Rood is described as the fashionable church of the town, with service twice a day. (fn. 50) The old custom of houseling cloth over the rails at the Holy Communion has been retained at this church.
From an early period the western porch or cloister which existed here till the last rebuilding was used for town proclamations, and was called the 'proclamation-house,' (fn. 51) and accordingly was repaired by the corporation. At this church, too, the assembly bell for the town was rung in the early morning and the curfew at night. (fn. 52) In 1742 the churchwardens were ordered to remove the lock from a certain pew, and deliver it to the owner with the message that if he sent his cook-maid or other servant to sit there again, the parish would dispose of the pew to some other family.
In 1848 a faculty was obtained for pulling down and rebuilding the church. Fortunately the old tower was preserved, but the nave, aisles, and chancel were rebuilt (1849–50) strictly on the old plan, and partly on the original walls. The tower, which had been in danger of reconstruction in 1791, is of good proportions and crowned with a spire. It stands at the south-west angle. The interior of the church was much improved (1883) by the removal of the lateral galleries constructed at the rebuilding, and in 1901 the western gallery was removed. The fifteenth-century font has an octagonal panelled bowl and stem, with angels below the bowl, and the lectern, of the same date, represents an eagle on a globe supported by a tower; beneath the claws of the eagle a dragon raises its head to dart at her breast. The pedestal stands on a triangular base carried by three lions. The chancel contains some ancient stalls with the motto of Bishop Fox, 'Est Deo gratia,' in bold relief. The pulpit was given in 1900, and a memorial window to a late vicar (Whitlock) in 1903.
There are eight bells; the treble, second, fourth, and sixth by Lester of London, 1742; and the third, fifth, seventh, and eighth by Mears of London, 1843–7.
The plate comprises two chalices and patens of 1626, the gift of Ann wife of John Major, alderman, to 'Holirudes,' 1627, a plate of 1685, inscribed 'Christ is the living Bread which came downe from heaven,' two flagons of 1765, and an almsdish of the same date given by Robert Bradsell, vicar. There are also a pewter dish given 1662 by Henry Embris and two pewter plates without inscription.
The registers commence in 1653. Churchwardens' accounts are complete from 1699.
The following chantries were settled in this church:—For William Nycoll and Annys and Alice his wives, and for Richard Thomas and Thomas Payne, founded after 1452. As originally founded by William Nycoll it was worth £8 13s. 4d., the stipend of the priest being £6 13s. 4d., an obit £1 6s. 8d. and the remaining 13s. 4d. for repairs. (fn. 53) The anniversary was kept on 25 April. Subsequently the foundation was enlarged by his wife or wives for two stipendiaries receiving £6 and £6 13s. 4d. respectively; and the worth of the whole foundation was £15 13s. 4d. (fn. 54) Under 1553 we find pensions of £6 and £5 paid respectively to the stipendiaries at Holy Rood.
William Gunter, apparently after 1493, founded a chantry here worth £7 for the souls of his parents and himself. His priest was to receive £6, and £1 was reserved for repairs to tenements belonging to the chantry. (fn. 55)
John Renawd, burgess, in 1422 left 10 marks for a chaplain to celebrate here, and a penny in bread or silver to every poor man coming to his anniversary. (fn. 56)
The mind of John Mascal and Margery his wife was kept here on 10 November at the annual cost of £1 0s. 9d. (fn. 57)
John James, burgess, by his will (2 September, 1471) gave legacies to all the churches and to Alice his wife a life interest in certain properties on condition of her holding his anniversary here. On her death the property was to pass to the corporation with the same condition. (fn. 58) The mind of Margery Marsh was also kept here. The mayor and burgesses held land for the purpose of this and the preceding obit, worth £1 3s. 4d. (fn. 59)
THE FRENCH CHURCH.
Within the parish of Holy Rood in Winkle Street is the hospital of St. Julian or God's House, an ancient foundation which has been dealt with above. (fn. 60) The only remains of the ancient buildings are the chapel and the entrance gateway adjoining it on the west. These form the frontage to Winkle Street, and being of late twelfth-century date are part of the original buildings of the hospital. They have, however, lost nearly every ancient feature by 'restoration.' Till 1861 great part of the remaining buildings of the same date was standing. The tradition of the French congregation having been settled here in the time of Edward VI, though alleged in a law case of 1749, appears to be incapable of proof. (fn. 61) The earliest notice is probably to be derived from a petition to the corporation (fn. 62) in (May?) 1567 by a body of Walloons who had obtained permission from Queen Elizabeth to settle in the town; they beg that they may have a church assigned for their worship, that they may have leave to exercise their trade of whatever kind in the town, or at least 'such misteries and occupacions' as had not been practised in the country, with permission to employ in the same their own people, as unskilled labour would be prejudicial to their work, and so to the town. The petition, which contained other points, concluded with a request for the good offices of the corporation with the Queen's Council and the bishop of Winchester, out of the 'humanity' they bore 'towards the afflicted for the Gospel's sake,' and with an assurance that their settlement in the town would soon be found a public benefit.
The answer of the corporation was but half encouraging: they might exercise trades hitherto unknown, but workmen from their own countries could not be permitted; as for other trades, shoemakers and tailors, there were too many in the town already; for other points raised they must apply elsewhere. Accordingly they appealed to Bishop Horne, who recommended the case to Cecil on 30 June and again 19 September, 1567; after which the Council replied that 'twenty families of strangers might be permitted to settle in the town, with ten servants to each household, on condition that each took and instructed two English apprentices in their science for seven years and that after seven years for every two strangers they kept one Englishman. During seven years they should pay but half strangers' subsidies for wares made in Southampton, to be carried out only from the port; and were to have the same privileges as the strangers at Sandwich. (fn. 63)
We find this congregation of Walloon strangers settled in God's House chapel before December, 1567, at which period the register of the church commences; and as we learn from the register the same year was that of their admission into 'Hampton.' (fn. 64) The occupation of the chapel was, under authority, by permission of Queen's College, Oxford, to which body the entire hospital and so the chapel of the house belonged. The settlers appear mostly to have come from Lisle, Valenciennes, and other places in the Low Countries, from Normandy and the Channel Islands. Their early history is to be gathered from the register, but cannot be detailed here; (fn. 65) but various names of subsequent interest in town history begin to appear. The family of Saravia were settled among the early refugees. In the communicants' list of July, 1569, we find Christopher de Saravia and his wife, the father and mother of the celebrated Adrian de Saravia, who was master of the grammar school before February, 1576. (fn. 66) In an entry of June, 1571, Saravia is described as 'minister,' and it is possible he may have officiated as pastor of the congregation at this time. The discipline of the church was strict, and the records are full of interest. On 4 September, 1591, Queen Elizabeth visited Southampton with her whole court, remaining till the 7th about mid-day, when the strangers, having been afforded no opportunity before, placed themselves in her way outside the town, determined on an interview to thank her for the protection she had afforded them in that town for more than twenty-four years. (fn. 67) This again points to the period of their arrival. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (22 October, 1685) a considerable addition was made to the foreign community here; and not long after this it appears that the town council had applied for aid to the administrators of the foreign refugee fund to enable the settlement of a silk manufacture after the fashion of Tours and Lyons: help was promised (1694) on the corporation receiving (fn. 68) a sufficient number of families to carry on the silk trade, commencing with thirty looms as a beginning. The trade was settled in the town for some time and carried on in Winkle Street. (fn. 69)
Turning to ecclesiastical relations the congregation was put formally into communion with the Anglican church in March, 1712. We cannot follow the details and reasons of a political nature which had this result. No doubt the leanings of M. Cougot the minister, who must have been in Anglican orders, having been instituted by Bishop Mew so far back as 20 June, 1702, to the rectory of Millbrook, (fn. 70) must have had their influence; but the step was by no means approved by the French church in London, and together with other troubles (fn. 71) caused a division in the Southampton congregation, a secession which came to an end apparently in 1725.
By the terms of their conformity in 1712 they had been permitted to retain their consistory, the choice of their minister, and the distribution of their charities. And finally, after a short period of abeyance in appointment to the ministry the elders or trustees sought the advice of the Charity Commissioners in April, 1856, when new trustees were appointed and a scheme adopted by order of Chancery dated 7 July the same year. Under this the old provisions were as far as possible affirmed; the minister must be a priest in orders of the Church of England and be appointed by the trustees; and the proper direction of the funds was provided.
In 1864 the college, under their corporate seal, renewed permission for the use of the chapel by the French congregation, 'at such times as the said chapel may not be required for the use of the brothers and sisters of the Hospital of God's House.' The vicar of Holy Rood as chaplain of the hospital is always one of the trustees.
ST. LAWRENCE and ST. JOHN, UNITED PARISHES.
The church of St. John was granted by William Fitz Osbern, earl of Hereford, to the abbey of St. Mary of Lire, which he had founded in the diocese of Evreux; he also gave a rent-charge of £9 5s. together with a burgage in 'Hampton' to the same monastery. (fn. 72) This must have been soon after the Conquest, when he had probably himself received the grant from the king. He died in 1071.
The abbot and convent of Lire presented to the rectory till 1373, when we find the temporalities of the abbey in the king's hands on account of the war. The convent, however, presented again through the prior of Carisbrook, their proctor, in 1400; soon after which the patronage passed into the royal hands. (fn. 73) Neither St. John's nor St. Lawrence's occurs in the Taxation of 1291. In the Valor of 1536 the church of St. John appears worth altogether £5 6s. 8d., its tenth to the king being 10s. 8d. (fn. 74) In 1723 it stood in the king's book at £6 13s. 4d., but only gave the clear value of £2.
The benefices of St. Lawrence and St. John were held together in 1614, and have so continued from that date. A more complete union was attempted owing to the poverty of the town benefices in 1663, when the town council approached the bishop with a view to the union of the churches of St. Lawrence and St. John with Holy Rood, and that of All Saints with St. Michael's. (fn. 75) No action was, however, taken in the matter, though practically the benefices were frequently held together. But the church of St. John having fallen into ruinous condition and its poverty considered, it was proposed at the beginning of the following century to take advantage of the Act of 1665 (fn. 76) 'for uniting churches in cities and towns corporate' and obtain an ecclesiastical union of the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. John, their joint value not exceeding £12 per annum. Accordingly after action by the town council and the vestry the parishes were united under a faculty from Bishop Trelawney dated 3 September, 1708. (fn. 77) After this the church of St. John, which stood in French Street, was pulled down under the faculty, the parishioners being bound henceforth to support the church of St. Lawrence. The area of St. John's Church, in shape an irregular cross, measuring 90 ft. 10 in. from east to west, and 70 ft. at the transepts, then became appropriated as a burial ground for the united parishes, the walls being made up to the height of 8 ft. all round in September, 1721. (fn. 78) On 23 March, 1539, Abbot John Bradley was consecrated bishop suffragan of Shrewsbury in this church. In the angle formed by the transept and aisle wall on the south are buildings in St. John's Court belonging to the church and said to have been the ancient parsonage. Within the site of the church is a Tudor monument, quite defaced; there are also memorials of Richard Taunton, the benefactor of the town, who was buried here 7 April, 1752, and many others.
The church of St. Lawrence being granted by Henry II to the priory of St. Denys, the patronage of this church was exercised by the convent till its dissolution; after which the first presentation by the crown was exercised 26 April, 1543. The benefice continued in the royal patronage except for the intrusion of Nathaniel Robinson, a Presbyterian, about 1648, (fn. 79) and is now in the gift of the Lord Chancellor.
This church possesses churchwardens' accounts dating from 1567, a minute book, and some ancient deeds, fourteen in number, from which notices of the parish and of the fabric of the church may be obtained. (fn. 80) The registers are not extant before 1751; for a lengthened period before this the registrations were made in the books of Holy Rood, with which church the united parishes were held from 1660 to 1750.
There are two bells, the treble by Pack and Chapman of London, 1780, and the tenor by Thomas Mears, 1801.
The plate consists of an undated chalice and paten, with engraved ornament, two patens, also without a date from the hall-marks, but having the names of the churchwardens for 1844, a second chalice given in 1847 by certain parishioners, a paten given in 1629 by Anne Baker, and a modern flagon of Sheffield make. All the plate is inscribed as belonging to St. Lawrence's church, only the paten of 1629 being of an earlier date than the union of the two parishes.
The parish owns a house on the west side of the High Street, number 145; it formerly possessed one on the opposite side of the street, number 25, but this was alienated under the approval of the Charity Commissioners in 1862.
The old church was, as so commonly, disfigured by various tenements built against it. A couple of shops were attached to the west wall, one each side of the porch, which in 1572 were rented at 1s. each. In 1727 they were pulled down by order of vestry, the churchwardens being desired to fit up the front of the church in a decent manner. The vestry room was also leased out at least from 1586 to 1626. The ancient parsonage adjoined the church on the south side. This old rectory or priests' house became latterly inhabited by the parish clerk, and was, with the consent of the bishop, the patron, and rector, pulled down in 1837, when the church itself, which had become an incongruous and inconvenient mass of patching, was removed; the present church of white brick being erected on its site, and consecrated 31 March, 1842. A good broach spire was added to the tower in 1861.
The present rectory house is situated in St. Peter's parish. The rector possesses in right of his rectory a farm at Little Somborne. He also received the dividend of £100 three per cent. consols standing in the name of the corporation of Romsey, believed to have been given by Brigadier Windsor (fn. 81) for the administration of a monthly sacrament in St. Lawrence's Church.
The following obits were settled here: of Adam March (fn. 82) (bailiff in 1435) and Joane his wife yearly on the Sunday after St. Lawrence (10 August), probably worth 8s. per annum; of Robert Mylles, (fn. 83) who (probably early in the sixteenth century) bequeathed property for an annual obit which seems to have been worth 13s. 4d.
The church of this parish is architecturally the most interesting in the town. Its patronage was with the convent of St. Denys; (fn. 84) it is now in the gift of the crown. It was valued in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas (1291) at £4 6s. 8d., its tenth being 8s. 8d.; a pension settled here was worth £3 and paid its tenth of 6s. In 1405 the church was appropriated to the priory, when, as compelled by law, a provision was made for the vicar. (fn. 85) In the Valor Ecclesiasticus the vicarage appears worth £13 6s. or with deductions £12 11s. 8½d., paying a tenth of £1 5s. 2½d. In 1723 it stood in the king's books at £12 11s. 10½d., and was said to be worth £20 per annum. It is now worth about £133 per annum. The population is about 1,820.
This church suffered in the French invasion of October, 1338, when part of the south-western quarter of the town was burnt. The flames seized upon certain wooden buildings attached to the church, and the sacred edifice itself became a scene of terror, violence, and bloodshed. The church having thus become polluted was reconciled by the bishop of Sarum under a faculty from Bishop Orlton, dated 11 June, 1339. (fn. 86) In 1351, the church becoming similarly defiled, though under what circumstances does not appear, Bishop Edendon issued a faculty to the rector dated 27 November, empowering him to get any bishop of the province or the archbishop of Nazareth, suffragan of Canterbury, to perform the needful office. (fn. 87)
Among the earliest notices of this church in the town books, we find in 1456 (fn. 88) and subsequent years the parish clerk paid as a town official for keeping the clock and chimes in order. Later on (1575) the court leet presented the irregularity of the chimes, and in 1594 one of the town gunners, who attended to the callivers in the Audit House and had 'promised to alter the chymes into so good a note and tone as shalbe liked by all the towne, and into good harmonie,' was employed to do so. (fn. 89) Afterwards the office fell to the sexton, whose duties in the seventeenth century were to provide and dress the church with boughs, to wash the linen, scour the eagle, cleanse the plate, and, somewhat disastrously, to write the church books and registers. (fn. 90)
The controversies of the sixteenth century were not unrepresented at St. Michael's. In 1548 Thomas Hancock, (fn. 91) who for an inflammatory sermon at Salisbury had, with certain of his friends, been bound over for his good behaviour, came to Southampton with a letter from the duke of Somerset to the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Richard Lyster, begging the discharge of the bonds. While he was with Sir Richard the bells rang out for the sermon which it seems Hancock had been asked to preach. This, however, Sir Richard entirely forbade, and, after some altercation with Hancock, sent for the mayor and his brethren, before whom Hancock professed that he was as glad to hear the word of God as to preach it himself. Whereupon Mr. Griffith (fn. 92) preached, and to Hancock's delight 'challenged' Sir Richard, who was present, that he being chief justice of the law did suffer the images in the church, the idol hanging on a string over the altar, candlesticks and tapers on them upon the altar, and the people honouring the idol, contrary to the law, with much other good doctrine. (fn. 93)
The court leet book of 1576 shows that the vicars of St. Michael's and St. Lawrence' and the rector of All Saints' at least were slow to adopt recent changes. They were presented for habitually administering the sacrament 'with wafer or singing bread,' contrary to the statute and Book of Common Prayer, which 'for the avoiding and taking away of superstition,' the court urges, prescribed the finest 'white bread' that may be gotten, and 'such as is usually accustomed to be eaten at men's table.'
During the Puritan time St. Michael's continued to be held by the vicar, John Toms, M.A., who was instituted 4 October, 1628, and was buried as minister of the parish on 2 July, 1652. (fn. 94) On his death Giles Say, a Presbyterian, seems to have been intruded, who not being a member of the Church of England, much less in episcopal orders, and unwilling to receive ordination, was ejected in 1662. (fn. 95)
The registers commence with 8 April, 1552. In the first year the burial of Sir Richard Lyster (see above), who had a 'very fair' (fn. 96) house in the parish, is recorded on 17 March, 1552–3.
Against 1560 a royal visit is recorded. The queen came from Netley Castle to Southampton on 13 August and left for Winchester on the sixteenth of that month.
In September, 1603, King James and his queen had sought the town as the healthiest refuge from the plague; the books of St. Michael's, however, under 1604 record an abnormal number of burials, very many being notified as from plague.
Under 1791 (16 November), the vicar notes the total destruction by fire of Bugle or Bull Hall, formerly the residence of the earls of Southampton, a building of great interest and quadrangular in form, with an extensive front along Bugle Street, and bounded on the north by West Gate. The hall was adorned with wainscoting and stained glass.
The churchwardens' accounts, commencing in 1686, contain an account of houses which formerly belonged to the parish, some of which still do so. The earliest document relating to these is a lease of 1575.
The church consists of a shallow chancel, a central tower with stone spire and a nave, with north and south aisles, running the whole length of the church from east to west, the general plan being a rectangle measuring 113 ft. by 66 ft. The earliest part of the building is the tower, which is probably not later than the year 1100. The church to which it belonged was cruciform, but from the evidence of the masonry it would seem that the rest of the building must at first have been of a temporary character, as there are no traces of bonding at the angles of the tower, as far as they are exposed. But, as the south-east angle of the chancel proves, the construction of a permanent building must have been undertaken after no great interval, probably before 1120, and the presumption of the existence of an earlier chancel is strengthened by the fact that the internal width of the present chancel is within a few inches equal to the external width of the tower; that is to say, it would seem to have been built round an earlier chancel of the same width as the tower, the normal plan in a cruciform church. The building of the transepts and nave must have followed, perhaps without a break, on that of the chancel, and the dimensions of the twelfthcentury church, which was probably complete about 1140, can be laid down from the existing remains in the north and south walls of the transepts and the west wall of the nave. The nave had aisles in the twelfth century, (fn. 97) and the building as a whole was of considerable size, its greatest length and breadth being those of the present building, though its area was less, and from what is left of its old masonry it seems to have been faced throughout with wrought stone. The first alteration to its plan seems to have been made in the second half of the thirteenth century, when chapels were added on both sides of the chancel, probably of the same dimensions as those now existing, and opening to the chancel by the arches which still remain. The east walls of the transepts must have been either pierced with arches or completely taken down at this period. At the same time a large east window was inserted in the chancel, the rear arch and inner jambs of which are still in place.
Towards the end of the fourteenth century the eastern two-thirds of the north aisle were built, of the same projection as the north transept, the west wall of the transept being pulled down. At the same time the three-light windows in both transept-ends were inserted.
The south aisle, though now much altered, seems to belong to the fifteenth century, and the eastern chapels were probably remodelled at the same time, the tracery of the three east windows of the church being originally of this date. The upper story of the tower seems to have been rebuilt and a stone spire added in the fifteenth century; the spire again was rebuilt in 1745 and heightened in 1877; at the latter date the present belfry windows were also added. In the early part of the sixteenth century a chantry chapel was added on the south side of the south chapel. It is now destroyed, but the arch by which it opened to the south chapel remains.
Disastrous structural alterations to the church took place in 1828, when the nave arcades were destroyed and replaced by the present flimsy pillars and arches; the aisle walls were also raised and the north aisle lengthened westward. The three-light windows in the south aisle belong to this time.
These extensive alterations were not destined to last. With the coming of a new vicar in 1870 it was found that serious repairs were needed, and it was determined again to restore the church. In 1872 roof and fabric were made firm, the pewing and the galleries were turned out, and the walls cleaned down. The church was re-seated with open oak benches, the font removed from the tower to the west end, the chancel renovated, and quire seats placed under the arches of the tower. The mayor's or north chancel was fitted up as a morning chapel; the canopied tomb of Sir Richard Lyster (fn. 98) was removed from an inconvenient position between this and the central chancel to the west end of the north aisle, where at least the recumbent effigy lies in the usual direction, which it did not before. The walls throughout the church are still in their rugged state, so that every change in the history of the fabric may be detected. Mediaeval architects never intended their surfaces to be left in this condition, but in the present instance it can hardly be regretted.
The chancel is 22 ft. 6 in. by 21 ft. long, and has a five-light east window with late thirteenth-century rear arch and fifteenth-century tracery. Its walls are in substance of early twelfth-century date, and the external south-east angle retains its wide jointed ashlar masonry, with an engaged shaft, and a billet moulded string. The north and south walls were heightened, probably when the arches to the chapels were added, towards the end of the thirteenth century. At the east end of the south wall is a piscina, and in the north wall a locker.
The north chapel has a four-light east window with renewed fifteenth-century tracery, and a three-light window of the same date in the north wall towards the west, its west jamb being on the line of the destroyed north-east angle of the twelfth-century north transept. This chapel is known as the mayor's or corporation chapel, the mayors of Southampton having formerly been sworn here. At the east end of its south wall is a piscina. Of the north transept only part of the masonry of the north wall remains, refaced externally, but within the church the straight joint where the north aisle abuts against it is visible. The three-light window in this wall is of good detail of the end of the fourteenth century, being set to the west of the centre line of the transept, perhaps on account of the small doorway to the east of it, which falls just within the lines of the transept, and though now of the fifteenth century with a four-centred arch under a square head, probably takes the place of an older doorway. It is now blocked up, and cannot be seen on the inside. A thirteenth-century piscina in the south-east angle of the transept is evidence of an altar here.
The south chapel has a four-light east window with modern tracery like that in the north, and in its south wall is the blocked arch 15 ft. wide, which opened to the sixteenth-century chapel formerly standing at the south-east angle of the church, but destroyed in the last century. The south chapel is now used as a vestry, and inclosed by screens made of fifteenth-century woodwork brought from other parts of the church. The south transept is filled by the organ, and inclosed by a wooden screen on the west. The wooden stair to the upper stages of the tower occupies its north-east angle. The south wall is in part original, and contains a three-light window like that in the north transept. The tower is 15 ft. 6 in. square within the walls, which are 4 ft. thick, and opens to the chancel, transepts, and nave, with semi-circular arches of a single square order, irregularly planned; none of the arches being in the centre of their respective sides, or exactly opposite to each other. It is built of wide-jointed ashlar, and is of the plainest description on the ground stage, the only projecting feature, a soffit string at the springing of the arches, having been cut away. The second stage is plain externally, except that on the west; facing the nave is a blank arcade of three round-headed arches, whose sills are carved with early looking diaper patterns. It is possible that this arcade may have been designed to contain the rood between our Lady and St. John—if so it is an interesting early instance. The interior of the stage, now hidden from below by the floor of the ringing chamber, has triple blank arcades on each face, and was probably meant to be seen from below, though as it never had any windows, and was masked on all sides by the roofs of chancel, nave, and transepts, traces of which are still clearly to be seen, it would have been very dark, unless top-lighted from the third stage.
The third stage contains the bells, and is of later date than the other two, having perhaps been rebuilt in the fifteenth century, but it is now much altered by later patchings, the single-light windows in each face being inserted in 1877, and the tall stone spire which covers it rebuilt and altered as before noted.
The nave arcades are of four bays, wretched thin pseudo-Gothic of 1828, with a flat-pitched roof of the same date, and no clearstory, but the west wall is in part that of the twelfth-century church, and contains a fifteenth-century west doorway, and over it a modern five-light tracery window of fifteenth-century style.
The north aisle has a blocked fifteenth-century north doorway, with a recess for a holy water stone inside the church to the east, and two late fourteenth-century two-light north windows with sharply pointed arched heads. The west end of the aisle, with the three-light window in the west wall, dates from 1828, but the three-light window at the west end of the north wall may be the old west window of the aisle re-set.
The south aisle contains towards the east a blocked doorway with a four-centred arch under a square head, of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, but its two south and one west window are modern, probably of 1828. Both aisle walls were at that time heightened and the present roofs put on.
Beyond the woodwork in the south chapel the church has no ancient fittings except the lectern and the font. The former is of brass of the fifteenth century, with an eagle on a globe carried on a circular shaft with moulded capital, annulet, and base; the feet are three lions. The font belongs to the type of which the finest example is in Winchester Cathedral. It is of black marble, with a bowl 3 ft. 4 in. square at the top, carried on a thick central shaft, and four of less diameter, set close against the central shaft, but having separate bases. It is described and illustrated at pp. 245–6 of volume two of this history.
In the south chapel, now the vestry, is a press with an inscription, dated 1646, formerly in the north chapel, also a chest of the same period, and another of 1741. At the west end of the north aisle is a desk with four chained books; two volumes of Foxe's Book of Martyrs and two of Annotations on the books of the Old and New Testaments printed by John Leggatt, 1651.
There is no ancient glass.
On the east jamb of the north window in the north chapel is a merchant's mark, and near this window an early gravestone of a bishop or abbot (fn. 99) in mass vestments holding a crozier, probably of the twelfth century, the lower part being broken away; there is also a thirteenth-century coffin-lid with a floriated cross. The only noteworthy monument is that of Sir Richard Lyster, already mentioned, being the mutilated remnant of a canopied altar tomb with effigy, erected in 1567. He died in 1553.
There are eight bells: the first and second by Warner, 1878; the third of 1693, and the fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth of 1664, are by unknown makers, while the sixth, by William Tosier of Salisbury, is of 1733.
The plate comprises a rare and interesting Edwardian covered chalice of 1551, a modern jewelled chalice and paten, two rather ugly chalices, given c. 1830 by Rear-Admiral John Stiles, a large paten of 1733, given by Sir William Heathcote, and an oval almsdish of 1791. There is also a very beautiful silver-gilt tazza of 1567, chased and embossed, with the story of Isaac and Rebecca in the bottom of the bowl. The outside of the bowl has an engraved border of strapwork, in which are introduced two foxes, a rabbit, a grasshopper, a lizard, and a snake. Below are six embossed scutcheons with bunches of fruit and flowers. The stem has a knot of vase-like form enriched with embossed ornament of the same character as that on the bowl, with a gadrooned base standing on a circular drum. The foot has a frieze of sea monsters. The cup is fully described and illustrated in the Arch. Journ. lix, 326.
The vicar seems at first to have been indifferently lodged. Under 1469 and subsequent years we find him paying rent for the house constructed over St. Michael's prison which was close by. (fn. 100) In 1497, with the bishop's consent to the arrangement, he leased a house in Fish Street, in the immediate neighbourhood, from the patrons, the prior and convent of St. Denys. (fn. 101) In and before 1686 there was a parsonage house in St. Michael's Square, which was rebuilt for the second or third time in 1853, but in 1879 a more suitable vicarage was obtained, 9, Portland Terrace, on which is a charge of £5 per annum to All Saints' parish.
Opposite the west end of the church is the timberframed Tudor house already noticed, (fn. 102) and nearly adjacent are the extensive lodging-houses built by the corporation for the accommodation of the workingclasses in lieu of dingy courts and houses removed.
The following 'mynds' were settled here: of William Maylmeslle (fn. 103) (the name afterwards appears as Maunsell), mayor in 1378, and Margaret his wife, kept each 2 September, worth about £1 11s. 8d.: and of Robert Florans, (fn. 104) or Floryse, bailiff in 1436, and Ellen his wife, kept yearly 22 February.
There was also a small foundation (fn. 105) worth 4s. 2d. for two obits, by Thomas Crikelwood and Robert Floryse (or Florans): also to maintain two obits, a foundation by William Mawnsell (fn. 106) and Robert Flores worth £1. Also there had been a foundation worth £1 a year in 1273 for one mass each day at the altar of St. Theobald for Alice, daughter of Walter Fleming, and wife of Robert Bonhayt. (fn. 107)
The church of this parish was originally in the patronage of the convent of St. Denys; it is now in the gift of the bishop.
It is not mentioned in the Taxation of 1291 but a settled pension there of £1 6s. 8d. yielded its tenth of 2s. 3d. In 1428 its annual value was stated at 6 marks. In the Valor of 1536 the benefice was worth £9 10s., which, after deduction for the pension and other matters, gave a yearly value of £8 1s. 0½d., paying its tenth of 16s. 2¼d. In 1723 it stood in the king's books at £8 1s. 10½d. and was of the clear annual value of £18. It is now worth about £350 per annum with a residence. Notices of the church are scanty. In April, 1461, we find payment (fn. 108) for guarding a man who had taken sanctuary there; but no details are given. On 17 March, 1463–4, an ordination was held here, the rector at that time being William Westcarre, bishop of Sidon, suffragan of Winchester.
The ejectment of Mr. Nathaniel Robinson from the benefice in 1662 claims some notice. He was in the town in 1643; and in January, 1646–7, was objected to by the corporation as not being 'an ordained minister.' (fn. 109) In October, 1648, we find he had been intruded into St. Lawrence's, and was moved, apparently a year after, to All Saints'. After the ejection of Mr. Robinson in 1662 his history became bound up with that of the Congregation Above Bar. (fn. 110)
The old church consisted of chancel and nave with north aisle, at the west end of which was an included tower of good form in three stages. There were originally five bells, but from a curious notice (fn. 111) of September, 1682, we learn that three of these had been stolen by night. The fabric having become ruinous and the accommodation being insufficient, the church was rebuilt on an enlarged scale under certain authorities (fn. 112) in 1792, and consecrated on 12 November, 1795.
The new building, a vast parallelogram with catacombs underneath, was from designs of John Reveley, and occupied the whole available space. It is in two stages throughout, having galleries on three sides within. It has a pedimented front of over 66 ft. in the High Street with three entrances into a vestibule, and adorned in the upper stage with five empty niches. The north side is built against houses, the south pierced with sixteen windows, in two ranks, the lower to give light under the gallery. The sanctuary is recessed, and a rather handsome cupola of stone is constructed over the arch which covers the altar. The building is otherwise of stuccoed brick. The chief feature is the roof, which is framed together without any support of columns over a width of 61 ft., and is adorned with sunken panels. This church was more admired formerly than now. Much money has, however, been spent on it in recent years and it has been greatly improved.
The rectory house was in East Street in the early part of the fifteenth century. (fn. 113) This property was sold in 1858, and the present rectory house in Anglesea Place provided.
There is one bell of 1828, by Warner of London.
The earliest register book commences 29 September, 1653. It records several marriages by the mayor and others, marriage at this time being regarded simply as a civil contract. Births, however, are entered from May, 1650.
District parishes separated from All Saints':—
The church of this parish was the first projected of the new churches in the town, and the corporation was prepared (March, 1824), to subscribe 100 guineas; it was, however, carried out as a proprietary chapel in 1828. A conventional district was arranged in April, 1860, and the parish formed 3 February, 1863; subsequently to which, on 18 October, 1863, the church was consecrated. Originally a brick and stucco building in the Gothic of the period, in 1862 it was completely transformed by the addition of a chancel and by many great alterations; and since that date has been further improved.
There is a vicarage house situated in Carlton Crescent.
The baptismal register dates from 1860; that for marriages from 1863. The benefice is in the gift of the bishop.
This parish was formed 4 February, 1861, from which time the registers date. The church of St. Peter, Commercial Road, in the adapted early twelfth-century style, was finished in 1845. The church is well placed and has been improved of recent years. The living is in the gift of the rector of All Saints'.
Churches which have been brought into the borough-county by the addition of 1895.
ST. NICHOLAS'S, MILLBROOK.
This, the old parish church of Millbrook, will be found noticed with the present parish church under 'Millbrook.' (fn. 114)
ST. MARK'S, Archer Road.
Taken from Shirley and formed into a parish in 1892; its church erected and consecrated 1891.
St. Joseph (Roman Catholic), Bugle Street, originally built in 1830, chancel by Pugin in 1847; the church was completed in 1850–1. In 1888 the nave was rebuilt. There are residence and schools attached.
St. Edmund, with convent, a fine building in the Avenue, erected in the style of the fourteenth century, and opened 20 November, 1889. The church consists of nave, aisles, chancel, Lady chapel, and vestries.
Above Bar Congregational Church, formerly called Above Bar Chapel, represents the oldest Nonconformist body in the town. It had its origin soon after the passing of the Act of Uniformity of 1662, and was due to the labours of the Reverend Nathaniel Robinson, (fn. 115) a Presbyterian, formerly intruded into the rectory of All Saints. The society met first in private houses as occasion offered; but after the statutory relief to Protestant Dissenters a congregation was organized, Mr. Robinson being pastor, on 3 August, 1688; Mr. Robert Thorner, the founder of the Thorner Almshouses, being one of the elders, and Isaac Watts, the father of Dr. Watts, one of the deacons. (fn. 116) The first meeting-house was in front of the site of the present chapel, and was built or adapted for worship by Mr. Thorner, who eventually (31 May, 1690) bequeathed the remainder of his lease to the use of the congregation. The freehold, together with adjacent ground, was purchased in 1719, but the chapel becoming inadequate, a more commodious building was erected in 1727. This, after various changes, was removed in 1819 to make way for a much larger fabric in the rear of the old site, the first stone of which was laid on 1 April, 1819, and on 20 April, 1820, as a finished structure was devoted to God. This chapel has now been entirely reconstructed at a cost of nearly £6,000; a memorial stone having been laid on 23 April, and the re-opening service held on 6 November, 1889. The building stands well back from the street, and presents a handsome front of modern design.
Albion Congregational Chapel.
This congregation was originally formed from Above Bar Chapel in 1844. The present spacious chapel, adorned with a classical pediment, was erected in 1848, and has lately been restored.
The Avenue Congregational Church, erected in 1898.
Kingsfield Chapel, West Marlands, formed from Albion Chapel in 1853. The present building was erected in 1861.
Belvedere Independent Congregation, formed in 1847, moved into this chapel in 1854.
Baptist Chapel, East Street.
Notice occurs of a Baptist congregation in Southampton in 1689 and 1703, but the history of the present church dates from about 1750. After changes, both of building and site, the existing chapel was opened in 1818.
The congregation (Baptist) was formed in 1840, chapel erected 1840–4.
An offshoot from Portland Chapel; building erected in 1865.
The Particular and Calvinistic Baptists have also meeting places, as have also the Bible Christians.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church of England.
Congregation organized in 1849, church erected in 1853.
The Society of Friends have their meeting-house in Ordnance Road, erected in 1882. They have possessed their burial-place in the Avenue since 1680.
The Jews' Synagogue is in Albion Place.
Wesleyan Chapel, East Street.
A congregation is believed to have been formed in the town by John Wesley in August, 1787. The present handsome chapel was built in 1850.
There is a chapel in Bevois town; an Independent Wesleyan, Kingsland; Primitive Methodist in South Front.
Irvingite Catholic and Apostolic Church in Southampton Street; congregation formed in 1834.
The Church of Christ, undenominational, Above Bar, built in 1880.
Church of the Saviour (Unitarian). A congregation first met in St. Michael's Square in 1846. Subsequently after various changes the present church was built at the corner of Belle Vue Road, and opened in March, 1860.
The Audit House, High Street.
Of the public buildings the following may be noticed:—
After Holy Rood Church had been removed farther back in the early part of the fourteenth century, an audit house was erected in its place. It was in two stages, as usual, the lower being available for market or shop accommodation. Notices of this building occur in 1457, (fn. 117) and it is mentioned by Leland. This building, after much patching from time to time, was finally removed, and the present Audit House built (1771–3) farther down the street (on the site of a house and garden), with a wide Doric façade of Portland stone in two stages. Improvements and additions have been made according to requirements, but a new pile of municipal buildings has been long talked of. Here are the council chamber and other rooms and offices of the borough; the valuable municipal archives and official regalia, &c. are kept here.
The Hartley University College. (fn. 118)
A handsome structure of Grecian character in three stories, built and founded from the remains of the bequest of Henry Robinson Hartley, who died in 1850. Established by order of Chancery in 1859, the first stone was laid in 1860, and the opening ceremony performed in 1862, both by Lord Palmerston. The building shows a façade to the High Street of about 74 ft. with triple entrance, flanked by caryatides, opening into a spacious hall. Here are a museum, library, lecture theatre, class rooms, and every appliance for its manifold purposes as a university college.
Ordnance Survey Office, near the entrance to the Avenue. This is the head quarters of the Ordnance Survey. Established here in 1841, on the site, and partly in buildings occupied by a branch of the Royal Military Asylum, finally removed to Chelsea in 1840. In 1855 an extensive new wing was added, and in 1873 the old main buildings were removed, and the whole remodelled. The office now presents an extensive pile of fine modern buildings occupying a site of some two acres.
The Grammar School. (fn. 119)
Removed from its position in Bugle Street, on the site of the ancient West Hall. (fn. 120) The first stone of the present building in the West Marlands was laid 2 September, 1895, and it was opened 9 September, 1896. It is a handsome and commodious edifice of modern architecture, erected at a cost of between £12,000 and £13,000 from designs of Mr. Gutteridge.
The Free Public Library.
Established in 1889 is a fine building erected on the site of an old residential property, well situated for its purpose in the main street from Above Bar, at the corner of Bedford Place. It is managed by a committee of the town council.
Originally these were in part provided for under the ancient Gild Ordinances (fn. 121) after the manner of the times; regulations belonging in some part possibly to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Later on the alms of the town were settled on a plan and lists kept of the weekly recipients of charity. (fn. 122) Following upon this the charities bore the impress of the various statutes made in reference to the poor. (fn. 123)
The first almshouse was founded by the mayor, Richard Butler, in 1564; the first workhouse in 1630 under the will of John Major, a former mayor.
Of the modern medical charities, a Dispensary was started in 1809, the corporation subscribing £5 5s. annually. The Royal South Hants Infirmary was established in 1838, and has been considerably improved and enlarged, being the chief hospital for this part of the county of Hants. There are also various dispensaries, smaller hospitals, and nursing institutions which endeavour to keep pace with the population.
Among special benefactions are the following:—
Lawrence Sendy, burgess, gave (about 1564) £20 in trust to the corporation to pay the interest to the almshouse occupants. William Sendy (1533) gave £100 to the corporation for certain objects now obsolete, in lieu of which £10 per annum is given to the Grammar School.
Sir Thomas White (1566) made Southampton one of twenty-four towns to receive a benefaction in rotation. This, amounting to £97 10s., was last paid in 1902, and transferred from the Grammar School to the Taunton School fund. (fn. 124)
William Wallop (1616), £100: interest in loans to young men.
William Lynch's gift (now £210 stock), accounts of which begin 1641, for similar loans.
John Steptoe, alderman (1667): certain property in trust for loans for 'young beginners' and for other purposes. This and the two preceding charities are dealt with under scheme of 1862.
John Cornish, alderman (1611), £100: gowns annually to poor persons.
George Gollop or Gallop (1650), £200: cloth gowns annually 'of some sad colour.'
Catherine Reynolds (1615), £50. In lieu of annual shilling doles £4 per annum is now paid to the Grammar School.
Bridget Parkinson (1635), £20. In lieu of doles the interest is now paid to the Grammar School.
Alexander Rosse (fn. 125) (1653), £100: partly to the Grammar School, partly otherwise: the whole interest is now paid to the Grammar School.
Mrs. Delamotte, 30s. annually to fifteen widows: now paid to the Grammar School; also 30s. annually to the vicar of Holy Rood.
Mr. Bradsell, 24s. annually to the vicar of Holy Rood.
Mr. Jacomin, £50: the interest to 100 poor people: now given to the Grammar School.
Nathaniel Mill, (1638), £42 per annum, from the residue of which, land tax deducted (£38 2s. 6d), payments are made to the Grammar and Taunton's Schools, and for other purposes.
Peter Seale, alderman (1654), £100: for apprenticing poor children: now paid to Taunton's School.
Peter Seale, jun. £5 annually for apprenticing: now paid to Taunton's School.
Mrs. Avis Knowles (1634), £50: for apprenticing two town-born children: now paid to Taunton's School.
Richard Taunton (1752), the founder of Taunton's School: benefaction of £21 per annum to the vicar of Holy Rood under conditions: benefaction for decayed aldermen, &c.
Richard Searle (1738), interest of £30 for charitable purposes.
Mr. Alderman Knight (1762), benefaction (fn. 126) now carried to charity fund.
William Freeman (1780), £100: for doles in casual sickness: now carried to charity fund.
Silena Fifield (1769): the income of this charity (£44 4s.) is spent on the poor of the six ancient parishes of the borough.
Richard Vernon Sadleir (1810), £350: for certain Easter gifts.
George Pemerton (1632), £150 for distributing £9 annually as his gift.
Paul Mercer (1661), interest of £100 to the French and English poor.
Sarah Spinks, the dividends on £270 3s. 2d. annually in clothing to the poor of St. Michael's.
Sloane Gibbons (1826), the dividends of £692 13s. 4d. to the pensioners of God's House, £3 being carried to the charity fund.
Elizabeth Bird (1820), £6 6s. per annum to each of six aged women.
Charles D'Aussey (1781), annuities of £10 each to persons who have lived with credit and are fallen into decay.
Charles Hilgrove Hammond (recorder 1800–30), annuities as last. D'Aussey's and Hammond's gifts now provide thirteen persons with annuities of £10 each.
Robert Thorner (fn. 127) (1690).
Thorner's Almshouses, Anglesea Place, were built in 1787 under his will from accumulations, and have since been largely increased. Additional almshouses have also been added in Polygon Road, the total number of widows accommodated being about fifty-nine, who each receive 5s. per week. The trustees also spend £25 per annum in apprentice fees and gifts to boys of the town.
Charities belonging to the church of Holy Rood:—
Katherine Wulfris by her will (30 December, 1665) gave the yearly rent of an orchard worth 40s. per annum, with all improvements which should be made on it, to the churchwardens of Holy Rood for the clothing and placing out of one poor maid. The property has much increased in value and charity extended. It is now worth some £700 per annum and is administered under a scheme of Charity Commissioners of 14 April, 1899. (fn. 128) The Wulfris Charity property is in Brunswick Place.
John Bishop, a baker, by will (18 November 1796) proved in 1800, left a benefaction for decayed tradesmen, especially bakers, which is worked according to a scheme.
Sarah Purbeck, by will dated 17 May, 1821, and proved 9 August same year, gave the interest of £1,000 3 per cent. to pay £5 per annum to the poor of Broughton, Wiltshire, and on the death of certain annuitants £5 per annum to four annuitants from either of the parishes of All Saints, St. Lawrence, Holy Rood, St. John, and St. Michael, Southampton; the remaining £5 per annum for expenses and casual charity. This charity, now represented by £883 6s. 8d., is held by 'The official Trustee of Charitable Funds,' and is applied in accordance with the will. (fn. 129)
Mary Trim, 10s. annually to the churchwardens of Holy Rood for the repair of her father's tomb (Cornelius Trim, died 14 March, 1823) in St. Mary's churchyard.
Ann Lance Hill, widow of the Rev. Hugh Hill, D.D., vicar of Holy Rood, by will proved 21 October, 1848, left£500 consols, from the interest of which to keep in repair a tomb in St. Mary's churchyard, as also a tablet in Holy Rood Church, and after these purposes the remainder to the poor.
Edward Cushen by will proved 10 April, 1837, left a benefaction for the distribution of bread in eight-gallon loaves each 8 December in the parishes of Holy Rood and St. Michael.
Miss R. Toomer by will dated 1885, and proved the same year, bequeathed the residue of her estate to the following four churches in Southampton, viz. Holy Rood, All Saints, Trinity, St. Matthew (and to the rectory of Southam, Warwickshire), in equal proportions. After litigation in Chancery a scheme was finally settled, before December, 1888, by which the capital in each case, about £1,000, was invested in the name of the rector, or vicar, and churchwardens, the income to be applied to the maintenance of the fabric and providing for the services.
The parish has also an interest in Mills', Gibbon's, Bradsall's, and Delamotte's gift, also in the charities of Henry Smith, of Silver Street, London. For Taunton's bequest see above, and under town charities.
Charities belonging to the French church in the parish of Holy Rood:—
Paul Mercier (6 June, 1661), a share in the interest of £100 placed with the corporation for the French and English poor.
Philibert d'Hervart, baron d'Huningen (1721), £12 per annum to the minister and £2 10s. to poor.
M. de Belleau (1738), £150 sterling to the church; a legacy never realized owing to the insolvency of the person with whom it had been placed.
David Roque (1742), the interest of £150 for the minister.
François Fradin (1746), the interest of £50 for the minister.
Madame Anne Castanier (1746), the interest of £100 for the minister.
Isaac Gignoux (1754), the interest of £150 for the French poor.
Jacques Dulamon (1761), the interest of £150 stock to the French church here and French hospital in London.
Charities belonging to the parish of All Saints:—
Mrs. Alice Palmer bequeathed (5 September, 1709) an annuity of £5 on her orchard in the parish called Moxins for the use of the poor. The site of this orchard is now occupied by St. Michael's vicarage, which is charged with the above annuity.
The Hon. Andrews Windsor conveyed to the corporation (fn. 130) (1 May, 1749) certain property at Breamore for the benefit of the rector of All Saints, on the performance of certain conditions; but nothing is now known of the gift.
In 1893 Miss Dumaresq of Cumberland Place bequeathed £1,000 to the vicar and churchwardens to pay the annual interest to ten spinsters of the Church of England of at least the age of fifty years. Distribution is made in December.
This parish has part in certain town charities.
Of the newspapers of the town The Hampshire Chronicle, or Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth Mercury, which appeared in August, 1772, was the first newspaper wholly produced in Hampshire, printed and published by J. Linden, High Street. It migrated to Winchester in June, 1778, where it is now known as The Hampshire Chronicle.
In September of the same year (1778) a second Hampshire Chronicle was started at Southampton by D. Linden and Co., but was removed to Portsmouth in January, 1780.
In April, 1822, the Southampton Luminary and County Chronicle, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Winchester and Lymington Gazette appeared only to disappear in the following year, and be succeeded (28 July, 1823) by the Southampton Herald and Isle of Wight Gazette, being known after two changes of name as The Hampshire Advertiser. It is still issued under the old name by the proprietors of The Hampshire Independent, who purchased it a few years ago. The first number of The Hampshire Independent appeared on 28 March, 1835. It has a daily issue called The Southern Echo, both papers being published at 45, Above Bar, Southampton. There are also The Southampton Times and The Observer.