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A Handbook to St Mary Redcliffe Church, J. Chilcott 1848

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MXRY REDCLIFFE CHURCH,

BRISTOL;

\VITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES,

AND A LIST OF THE CHAPLAINS AND VICARS, ETC,, FROM A. D., 1207, TO

THE PRESENT TIME.

TO WHICH 1s

SUBJOINED, THE

ORIGINAL APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC,

BY THE VICAR, CHURCHWARDENS, AND VESTRY, FOR THE RESTORATION OF THAT

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AAD THE FORMATION OF THE CLNYNGE SOCIETY.

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BRISTOL:

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J.

CHILCOTT.

MDGCCXLVIII.

'


STAY, curyous traveller, and pass not bye,

Until this fetivea pile astoundeb thine eye.

Whole rocks on rocks, with yron joynd surveie,

And okes with okes entremedc dispelled.d lie.

This mightie pile, that keeps the wyndes at baie,

Fyre-levyne, and the mokief storme defie,

That shootes aloofe into the reaulrnes of daie,

Shall be the record of the Buylder’s fame for aie.

Thou seest this maystrie of a human hand,

The pryde of Brystowe, and the westeme loude,

Yet is the Buylder's vertues much moe greete,

Greeter than can bie Rowlies pen be seande.

Thou seest the saynctes and kynges in stonen state,

That seemd with breath and human soule dispandes

As payrdeh to us enseem these men of state

Such is greete Canynges mynde when pay'rd to God elate.

Well maiest thou be astounde, but view it well,

Go not from hence before thou see thy fill,

And learn the Buylder’s vertues and his name ;

Of this tall spyre in every countie tell,

And with thy tale the lazingl rych men’s shame ;

Showe howe the glorious Canynge did excelle ;

How hee good man a friend for kinges became,

And gloryous paved at once the way to heaven and fame.

Rowms, by Cnxrrnmos.

I Felive, elegant. ' Mokie, gloomy

* Auounde, aatrmiah. l Dispande, expanded.

s Entremed, intermixed. '1 Payrde, compared. *

“ Disponed, diapered. i Lazing, inactive.

‘ Fyer-levyn, lightning.


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.*

“ The pride 0! Brinwc and the “'Onle‘rne Louder

PERHA'PS no church in the kingdom has greater claims

to the attention of the topographer and the historian,

than the church of St. Mary Redchfle. Its antiquity,

the beauty of its architecture, and the interesting cir

cumstances connected with its history, entitle it to

peculiar notice. It is also associated with the enterprises

of genius, for its name has been blended with the repu

tation of Rowley, of Canynge, and of Chatterton; and

it is therefore always visited with enthusiasm by the

lover of poetry, and the admirer of art; and when the

interesting fabric shall have mouldered into ruins, even

those will be trodden with veneration, as sacred to the

recollection of genius of the highest order.

* Both St. Mary Redclifi'e and St. Thomas’ churches were originally

chapels to Bedminster, and now, together with Abbots' Leigh, form but one

Vicarage. Mr. Britten, the architectural antiquarian, says, “ The ecclesias

fical history of Radcliffe may be considered peculiar, if not truly singular.

It constitutes part of the parish of Bedminster; it is in the diocese of Bristol,

and is a prebend to the Cathedral of Salisbury. This prebend comprehends

Redclifl'e, with the parishes of Bedminster, Abbots’ Leigh, and St. Thomas;

yet the parochial regulations are held distinct. The living of Bedminster is

both a rectory and a vicar-age; and as prebend, the incumbent is patron of

all the other living-s. He is nominated by the bishop of Salisbury. Previous

to the year 1247, Redclilfe and the Temple-fee were vested in the Knights

Templars."


6 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Redclifi'e Church has consequently been the subject

of no ordinary degree of interest. Its early history has

engaged the most assiduous attention, and employed the

deepest research of some of the most eminent antiqua

ries, historians, and topographers ; but, alas! the result

of their toil has ended in contradictory conclusions, in

creased no doubt by Chatterton’s inventions and forgeries.

Nor have the MS. memoranda found in different collec

tions, relating to the more recent stages of the inquiry,

been more successful? 1Vills of as early date as 1207,

1229, and 1230, which devise several grants of land for

the purpose of keeping the church of our lady of Red

clifle in repair; and several original indulgences, of the

dates of 1232, 1246, and 1248, granted by several bishops,

with relaxation of penance on certain conditions, viz.

that “ they would devoutly visit the church of the blessed

Mary Redclifle in Bristol, and there charitany contribute

towards the repairs of the same, and pray for the souls

of those there interred,” were found in Canynge's chest,

over the north porch of the present church of Redclifl'e,

which establishes the fact of the then existing church;

yet the earliest authority we have for dates as to the

foundation of it is contained in “ The Old Chronicles of

'° “ Radcliffe,” says Leland, (Itin., v01. vii., p. 86,) “ a little suburb, was

joined to the city by a stone bridge, so thick set with houses that it seemed

a street rather than a bridge. This part is enclosed within the walls, and

the inhabitants are free of the city.” He immediately adds, “ among the

fairest of churches is St. Mary de Redclifi'e, without the walls, with a grand

ascent of steps,” 5m. 8m.

Leland adds, that “ St. Sprite’s Chapell,” (synonymous with Lamyng'ton’s

Lady’s Chapel, according to Barrett,) “inRadclef churchyard, was one a

paroche, afore the building-e of Radclyfe new churche."

William Wyrcestre, who was a native of Bristol, and lived in the time of

Henry VI., calls St. Sprite’s “ an ancient chapel, near Redclefl'e Church.”


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 7

Bristol,” (now in the possession of the Chamber of

Bristol,) which state that a “ church was built to our lady

at Redclifl'e, by Sir Simon de Burton, in the year 1292.”

This church, however, seems not to have been com

pleted by him, nor to have obtained very large endow

ments, for a MS. (Hobson’s) says, “Simon de Burton,

mayor in 1294, had two years before began to build

Redclifl'e Church; but he lived not to finish it, which

afterwards William Canynge did, and gave lands to re

pair it for ever.”

It appears William Canynge, senior,“ mayor of Bristol,

completed the body of Redcliffe Church from the cross

aisle downwards, in 1376, and so the church was finished

as it now is; and as this was eighty-four years after the

dedication of Burton’s church, it may be considered to

be the finishing of what had been begun and partly ac

complished by its founder. It was customary at that

time for the builder of a church to begin at the east end,

or choir part, which, when finished, was consecrated,

and the remainder was gradually prosecuted, either by

the original projector, or by his immediate successors.

Barrett (p. 570) says, the church was probably not

finished before the year 1396, which is more than a

century after it was commenced by Burton. This con

clusion of Barrett arose, perhaps, from the difficulty of

making rapid progress in great undertakings at so early

an era, as well from the want of money and efficient

workmen, as from the many difficulties arising from the

elaborate and ornamental nature of the Gothic workman

"' He was member of parliament for Bristol in 1364, 1383, and 1384.—

311st History quristol, p. 151.


8 sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

ship employed in this church. But the principal reason

for believing that the building was not finished till the

above date is, that several wills, dated about the year

1380, state that money was left “for the fabric, and

towards repairing the church of Redcliffe ;” and among

others, the will of John Muleward contains a gift in

money “ ad opus Beam Marine dc Radcleve,” which Bar

rett justly regards as a proof that the work was going on

at that time.

In 1445-6 the lofty spire or steeple was struck by

lightning, and one hundred feet of it fell with such a

tremendous force on the body of the church, as nearly

to reduce it to a ruinous heap.

The following extracts, from ancient MS. accounts of

this awful visitation, are recorded by Barrett; one runs

thus 2—“ 1445, at St. Paul’s tide, was very tempestuous

weather, by which Redcliife steeple was owrthrown in a

thunder clap, doing great harm to the church by the fall

thereof; but by the good devotion of Mr. William

Canynge it was re-edified, to his everlasting praise.”

Another MS., though differing in the year, says, “In

1442,” (the year Mr. William Canynge was mayor,) “ this

William Canynge, wyth the helpe of others of the wor

shypfulle towns of Bristol, kept masons and workmenne

to edifie,repayre, cover, and glaze the church of Redcliffe,

which his grandfather had founded in the days of Ed

ward III.” A third MS.—“William Canynge“ re-edified

and enlarged the church of Redcliffe, almost destroyed

“ Here we have a second William Canynge, son of John and grandson of

William, for a founder, which will settle the doubts that have arisen about

his being the sole original founder of this church.


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 9

by lightning)“ in 1445, in so exquisite a manner, that he

has ever since passed for the founder thereof; and he

afterwards gave £500 to keep it in repair.” Barrett

says, “ the same plan was observed by him in rebuilding

and restoring it to its original beauty, after being thrown

down by lightning. The south aisle, where the mischief

fell heaviest, seems to have been rebuilt with a some

what more elevated arch, and in a lighter style than the

north; a difference also is seen between the windows of

the north and south aisles.”

Such is the brief, but imperfect, history of a structure,

which it is impossible to contemplate without a power

ful impression of the omnipotence of poetical genius.

Whether Chatterton, or a. priest in the reign of Edward

IV. was the author of Ella, and of several other similar

poems, the church of Redclifi'e itself, the monuments it

contains, and the scenery that surrounds it, owe much

of their attraction and interest to their association with

' Mr. Britton’s description of a thunder storm, which occurred whilst he

was busily and intently engaged in this church in 1812, is so graphic and

sublime, that we give place to the following extract :—“ A heavy cloud ap

peared to be suspended immediawa over the church, and discharged from

its swollen bosom an accumulation of water, hail, lightning, thunder, and

wind. In any situation such a storm must have been terrific; but situated

as I was, in the midst of this church, impressed with the recollection of the

destroyed spire; enveloped in gloom, and surrounded by knights in armour,

monkish efligies, and other images of deceased persons; the effect was truly

sublime and awful." . . . . . . “ The vivid lightning blazed through the long

aisles, and illuminated every object. It glanced on the clustered columns,

played round the brazen eagle, flashed on the supplicafing- statues: alternate

gloom and dazzling glare pervaded the church.”

On April 2, 1821, during a violent thunder storm, the electric fluid struck

the north end of the tower, shattered the beam that supported one of the bells

without injuring the bells. It then passed down the bell wire of the clock,

and escaped on the south side of the tower, rolling up the lead from the roof,

and dislodging near three owt. of the stone work.


10 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCIL

these writings. The tomb of Canynge might have re

mained the subject of solitary examination to the occa

sional visitor, had not his name been coupled with that

of the real or supposed author of these extraordinary

compositions; and though the architectural beauties of

the structure might have excited the partial and occa

sional admiration of the professional student, or the lover

of the arts, it is owing to the MSS. of Rowley, or to the

materials of their fabrication, that it has become the

object of interesting contemplation to the literary world,

and has awakened the inquiries and exercised the talents

of at Miller, a Bryant, a. Mathias, a Southey, a Britton,

and others.

The superstructure of the whole church displays dis

tinct and different eras of architecture. The crypt un

derneath the north transept, and the middle north porch,

are certainly the oldest portions; the arches of the former,

and the pilaster-columns, arches, and mouldings of the

latter, being in strict accordance with the buildings of

the thirteenth century.

Of a subsequent age and style are the tower and grand

northern porch, in both of which we recognise a later

style of architecture; while the tracery of the ceilings,

the niches, and numerous mouldings, are of much more

enriched and elaborate characters than the former speci

men. The parts were probably raised in the reign of

Edward 111., by William Canynge, senior.

In the finishing of the nave, choir, and transepts, we

must look for the works of WVilliam Canynge, Jun., the

rich merchant of Bristol, and dean of Westbury; but

here the style is not so strictly in unison with the era.


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Still, however, we must contemplate the greater part of

the church as the workmanship of his time. A more

decorated species of architectural design is shown in the

entrance door-way to the vestry, which was probably a

chantry erected by Sir Thomas Mede ; and also in his

monument in the eastern end of the north aisle, the

latter of which was probably raised about the year 1486.

William Wyrcestre has bestowed more than his usual

care and attention upon the examination of this singu

larly fine church; and his mensuration will be found to

be more generally correspondent with the modern.

The following very minute and mason-like account

was probably communicated by Norton, the master

mason, who is mentioned as having been consulted by

our author:

‘-‘ The tower of Redclyfl‘ contains a diameter of 23 by

24 feet. Its height is 120 feet, and with the spire, as it

now remains broken by a storm, is 200 feet high. The

diameter, at the top of the fracture, is 16 feet, and it has

eight panes or sides. Every stone at the beginning of

the spire is two feet thick; but at the top of the fracture

only four inches. The diameter of the ‘ garlonde’ [the

parapet round the summit,] where the cross is placed, is

eleven feet. Thickness of the walls at the foundation is

seven feet, and five at the top of the tower.”

“ The dimension or proportion most artificially wrought

in free mason work of the western porch of Redcliff

Church. Width seven feet, height nine feet. The

square in the dome. ‘ The west dore fretted yn the

hede with great gentise and smale, and fytted with en

tayle, with a double moolde, costly den and wrought.’ ”


12 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

“ These four proportions in both. A champ ashlar [a

water-table,] of ashlar-work; a cors, wyth an arch buttant

[a flying arch]; a botterasse. A body boterasse, [a but

tress against a wall], and a corner botterass.”

He likewise measured the interior, with Norton, the

master-mason.

“The whole length of the church of St. Mary Red

clive is 63 yards, exclusive of our Lady’s Chapel. The

breadth is 18 yards; total 231 feet. The said chapel 13

yards, one foot and a half, by 21 feet.

“ The length of the first gate or north porch is seven

yards, and the chapel continued from the gate of en

trance is six yards more.”

“ The height of the arched and fretted 'vault (voltae

frettae arehuatee,) of the nave and aisles, and likewise the

aisles of the transept from north to south, is 80 steps from

the ground, from information given me by the plumber,

on the 7th of September, 1480, each step containing

eight inches at least. The length of the transept 67

paces. The aisles are 26 paces. The chapel of the

north porch contains in circumference 44 yards, and is

ornamented with the statues of the kings, (cum ymagini

bus regum operatis subtilitur in opere de freestone.)”

“ Between each pillar and arch there is a space of 10

feet. The transept has eight arches: every window in

the ‘ ovyr-storye’ has five glazed divisions, and is 10 feet

wide; and those in each aisle have three. There were

six bells in the tower, the largest of which weighed

7024 lbs. avoirdupois, and the smallest 1300 lbs weight.

“The ‘sevaree’ [square space,] between every two

windows opposite of the nave is 22 ft. by 16.”


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 13

“In the church of Redclifi'e,” says Britten, “ the

architect has manifested both genius and science. Its

design has some traits of novelty, and its execution is

founded on geometrical principles. Though its orna

ments and some of the parts are similar in many other

churches, yet the whole is unique; and it may be justly

called a grand and truly interesting specimen of the

architecture of the age in which it was erected. Lofti

ness, lightness, and variety, are its marked characteristics.

Every part, both internally and externally, is charged

with ornaments ;-—is enriched with sculpture and archi

tectural embellishments.” ...... “ It may not inaptly be

compared to a graceful and elegant female, dressed in a

light and flowing drapery; as the latter adorns the for

mer.” Approaching it by Redclifl'e Street, the view is

singularly impressive and prepossessing. The richly

decorated tower, west front of the church, unique north

porch, and transept; with flying buttresses, pinnacles,

and perforated parapets,—--all unite to constitute a mass

of architecture which cannot fail to delight the artist,

and astonish the common observer.

The church is built on a red sandy rock or cliff, from

which it derives its name. There are three principal

entrances,—by a north, south, and west door; but the

north door was evidently used as the principal entrance

in the days of popery, being full of Gothic work, niches

for figures of saints and kings. Here was also a confes

sional, the poor’s charity box, and an “image of our

lady, decorated with a fine cloth, wyth frynge to cover

her.” Maude Easterfield, in 1491, gave this image a

most splendid ring. Upon digging a grave here, on the


14 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

30th January, 1750, two freestone sepulchres were dis

covered, containing the complete skeletons of two per

sons, with their bones lying in their natural order.

The entrance to the north porch is by a pair of hand

some iron gates, recently placed at the foot of a flight of

steps ascending to it from Phippen Street. Within this

porch are some pillars of stone, which, when struck, give

a peculiar tone; and hence they are named dumb organs.

The entrance to the south porch is highly adorned with

architectural dressings; a range of five niches, with

acutely pointed and crocketed pediments, is displayed

immediately over the central door-way ; and at the angles

are double graduated buttresses, with sculptured canopies

and pinnacles. We are sorry to add, however, that the

whole of this once beautiful and ornamental workmanship

is in a very mutilated condition, and rapidly approaching

to decay. The west entrance is seldom, if ever, opened

for divine service.

Nearly over the south entrance door, on the inside, is a tablet, on

which is a. carved sword that belonged to Sir Robert Yeamans,

Bart, who was mayor of Bristol in 1669.

In the south-west angle of the church is a large stone coflin,

with a statue in demi-relief on the lid, and beneath it two words

in old characters, which Barrett reads, “51mm; iampugton."

This coflin was placed here in 1766, having been discovered

under the west window of St. Sprite’s chapel, which formerly

stood close to the church, and was demolished at that period.

Upon first opening the cofiin, the solid parts of the body retained

their natural position in a perfect manner; but on being touched,

they immediately crumbled to dust. John Lamyngton is men

tioned in Barrett’s list of vicars, as having been chaplain of this

church in 1393.


7 z: I'- '-l-_ q

ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Near this, recently discovered in lowering the walk round the

church, is

a massy stone coflin lid, and a fragment of one of

smaller dimensions, both narrowing gradually from the whole

width downwards, so as to fit the stone cofiins, of which they

formed the cover. The cross on the smaller is plain; the other

foliated, and round the verge is a partly-obliterated inscription,

in Roman letters. Part of another was also dug up; but there is

nothing uncommon or rare in the discovery of these sepulchral

memorials. Our shadows fall on many of these symbols of the

faith of our own and other times, traced in various forms upon

the slabbed pavement of the aisles; indeed, (from being the most

common species of monumental sculpture,) the variety of crosses,

both plain and ornamented, on coflin stones and slabs remaining

in every ecclesiastical edifice of any size and antiquity, are very

numerous, and of every age, from the twelfth t0 the sixteenth

century. They were not always denotations of the ecclesiastical

order, though it is probable they were more appropriated to the

clergy than to the civil classes of society; the most ancient, and

those of the thirteenth century, have the cofiin-shaped form, and

in general the cross more simply designed.

The ancient stone Font, which lay neglected in the north-east

aisle of the church, was removed in 1839, by order of Mr.

Churchwarden Ringer, to its original situation against a pillar—

in the son’rn-wnsr AIsLn,-on which is inscribed, “Except a

man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the

kingdom of heaven.” Near it, on a scroll, supported by an

angel, is another inscription, which time has nearly obliterated.

Against a pillar, to the right of the organ loft, and facing the

south door, is a mural monument, composed of a white marble

scroll, relieved by a grey slab. On the top is an open book;

on the leaves are inscribed, “ Psalm lxxiii. 25. Psalm cxxxix.

l7." and surmounted with a cross and olive branch. At the

base is a shield, bearing the arms and crest, with the motto,


16 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

" Nunquam nisi honorificentissime"--Never, unless most honour

ably. The inscription on the scroll is as follows :—

To the Memory of

SIR FRANCIS FREELING, BARONET,

who was born in this parish, August the 25th, 1764,

and who died at Bryanston Square, in the county of Middlesex,

on the 10th of July, 1836.

For more than half a century

his life was devoted to the public service,

in the

GENERAL POST OFFICE,

in which, for thirty-eight years, he discharged the arduous duties of

SECRETARY.

By unwearied industry

in the employment of great talents,

and by unblemished integrity, grounded upon

Christian principles,

he acquired and retained the favour of

three successive sovereigns,

and the approbation of the public.

He has left a name

which will be remembered with honour

in his birth place,

and which is cherished with afiection and veneration

by his children,

who have raised this monument.

Sir F. FREELING, Bart, was descended from humble parents, his father

being a confectioner, residing on Redelifl‘e Hill, opposite the western

end of the church. He was educated at a common day school, where

only reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught; and attained a

knowledge of the Latin language under the gratuitous tuition of the

Rev. Dr. Robins,* one of the canons of the Bristol Cathedral, whose

kindness he ever acknowledged by constant tokens of gratitude ;

justly attributing to that gentleman's benevolent assistance his qua

lification for the discharge of the duties of the important department

he afterwards filled at the General Post Office. He was apprenticed.

at the Bristol Post Oflice,where his talents and probity soon attracted

attention; and on the establishment of the new system of mail

* Master of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, attached to Redclifl'e

Church.


s'r. MARY REDCLIFFE cmmcn. l7

coaches by Mr. Palmer, in 1786, Mr. F. was strongly recommended

as his assistant, to carry his improvements into effect. Mr. F. was

accordingly introduced into the General Post Office in 1787, where

he filled the office of Surveyor, principal and resident Surveyor, joint

Secretary, (with the late Anthony Tod, Esq.) and sole Secretary for

nearly half a century.

His unwearied assiduity and unremitting attention to the duties of his

office procured for him the unbounded confidence and warm personal

friendship of every one of the noble individuals, without distinction

of party, who presided over the Post Office throughout his career.

He was much distinguished by his excellent master, George III., and

the title he enjoyed was bestowed on him unsolicited by George IV.,

from whom he received other flattering testimonials of approbation.

The patent of his baronetcy is dated March 11, 1828.

The visitor being now introduced to the nave of the

church, looking east, has his attention directed to the

whole-roof, which is artificially vaulted with stone, and

richly adorned with tracery: the wall between the large

arches and the upper tier of clerestory windows being

covered with panelling and pilasters. The pillars which

support the roof are very lofty, and inimitably wrought

into the most delicate mouldings. In length the whole

church, with the Lady Chapel,‘ is two hundred and

thirty-nine feet; and from north to south of the great

cross aisles is one hundred and seventeen feet:-—-the

height of the middle aisle is fifty-four, and of the north

and south aisles twenty-five feet.

The magical effect of the interior, its beautiful uni

formity, its harmonious combination of the various parts,

is well calculated to produce a high and solemn feeling

of mysterious awe upon the soul of the spectator; while

‘ There is a door-way leading to the Lady Chapel from the south-east aisle.

B


18 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

the clustered pillars, the mullioned windows, the panelled

walls, and, crowning and adorning the whole, the groined'

vaulted ceiling, profusely enriched with intertwining

moulded ribs, foliated tracery, and finely sculptured

bosses, at once attest the skill of the architect, and the

extraordinary capabilites of the Gothic order, when

unostentatious piety, with unsparing hand, devotes its

worldly treasures to aid its full development.

The east window and also the original altar screen,

were concealed by three large paintings by Hogarth,

which somewhat diminished the architectural vista, and

impaired the beauty of the original design. As will be

seen by the Appeal, the restoration of this portion of the

venerable fabric is amongst the contemplated improve

ments. The present generation are beginning to estimate

and appreciate the exalted beauties of the Gothic style ;

and the disposition evinced to remove the paintings,

marks a return to that purity of taste which so distin

guished ecclesiastical architecture at the era when this

building was completed. The subject of the painting

by Hogarth, represented in the centre, is The Ascension

of Christ, the other two represent The Three Marys at

the Sepulchre, and The High Priest and Servants Sealing

the Tomb. They were put up in the year 1766, and the

artist was paid for his labour 500 guineas, the whole

having cost, with the alterations, &c., £761 : 0 : 1. In

the work he was assisted by Simmons, who painted the

altar-piece of the Annunciation, in All Saints’ Church.

Immediately over the communion table is a picture re

presenting .lesus restoring Jarius’s Daughter to life, by

H. Tresham, R. A., and presented, in 1792, to the


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. l9

church by the painter’s uncle, Sir Clifton Wintringham,

Bart. Pending the alterations, and previously to their

final removal, the pictures have been advanced forty-six

feet, to allow of the necessary alterations progressing

behind, without interfering with the services of the

church.

Before walking up the nave, take a view of a most

beautiful Gothic Screen to the organ gallery, which was

previously an attempt at classic architecture, peculiarly

unfitted to this beautiful Gothic church. The alteration

was suggested by Mr. W. Ringer, whilst churchwarden

of the parish, in 1839; under whose superintendence

and good taste it was effected, at a cost of about £200,

the greatest part of which was raised by private sub

scription.

Proceeding up the middle aisle, in the centre of the

transept, near the pulpit, is a large brazen eagle, formerly

used as a reading desk; the gift of Mr. James Wathen,

of this parish, pin maker.

We will now inspect the transepts and north and south

aisles, ere we pass into the chancel and the Lady’s chapel.

Attached to a column in the south transept is a flat slab, with

a long inscription, which commemorates Sir William Penn,

father of the illustrious founder of Pennsylvania, and one of the ~

Society of Friends. He lies immediately beneath, and since the

tomb-stone closed over the cofiined clay, in the silence and still

ness of its last earthly home, his remains have been undisturbed

until recently, when another of the family was added to the mor

tality within. The column itself is adorned with banners and

with armour. These may be appropriate emblems on the grave

of the warrior; but here they appear to be misplaced; as they


20 six MARY rumours]; cnuncn.

seem to profane the temple, which is

the God of peace.

dedicated to the service of

Sir WILLIAM PENN, Knt., father of William Penn the Quaker, who

was the founder and legislator of Pennsylvania, is described in his

monument as being a native of Bristol; but Wood says (Ath. Ox.

1050) that he was born at Mynety, in Wiltshire, where his father

and grandfather were wealthy inhabitants. His early inclinations

led him to adopt a maritime life. He was made captain at twenty

one; rear admiral of Ireland, at twenty-three; vice admiral of

Ireland, at twenty-five; admiral to the Straits, at twenty-nine; vice

admiral of England, at thirty-one;

war, at thirty-two.

nd general in the first Dutch

Returning in 1655, he was chosen representativa:

in parliament for Weymouth; and in 1660, was made commissioner

of the admiralty and navy, governor of the port and town of Kinsale,

vice admiral of Munster, and a member of that provincial council.

In 1664, he was chosen great captain commander under the Duke of

York, and distinguished himself in an engagement against the Dutch

fleet; after which he took leave of the sea; but continued in his

other employments till 1669 ; when, in consequence of bodily infir

mities, (contracted through anxiety and fatigue of public afi'airs) he

withdrew, and with a gentle and even gale, in much peace, arrived

and anchored in his last and best port at Wanstead, in the county of

Essex, September 16th, 1670, in the forty-ninth year of his age. His

remains were removed to Bristol in the latter end of September,

where they lay in state in the Guildhall till October 3rd; from

whence they were conveyed to Redclifie Church, guarded on either

side of the way by the trained band.

In this transept was formerly the chauntry of Saint Catharine,

founded by William Canynges, in the year 1465, as appears

from a deed in Latin, dated 6th Edward IV. George Weare

Braikenridge, Esq., has in his possession a very curious docu

ment, being the rental of Canynges’ two chantries in this church,

dated the next ensuing year after his death, 1473. Besides these

chantries were altars dedicated to Saint Blaize, Saint Nicholas,

and Saint George, with their attendant priests, whose ofice was


s1". MARY REDCLIFFE cannon. 21

to ofi'er orisons for the dead and living by name. William

Canynges was buried at the altar of Saint Catharine, beneath

the centre window of the transept; the eli‘igies of himself, in his

magisterial robes, and his wife, dressed after the costume of the

times, recline upon an altar-tomb of stone, raised upon the spot,

surmounted by a large flat canopy.

'1 s i .11. V . . '.\ \

This was placed here by Canynges in 1466, when his wife died,

as a memorial of her and himself. Under the canopy, at the

back of the tomb, is the following inscription setting forth his

riches, and enumerating the names with the burdens of his

ships, concluding with an epitaph recording his virtues.

“WILLM CANNING, y‘ richest merchant of y- town of Bristow, after“

wards chosen 5 times Mayor of y' said towne, for the good of the Common

wealth of the same: he was in order of priesthood 7 years, and afterwards


8T. MARY REDCLIFPE CHURCH.

Dean of Westbury, and died the 7th Nov. 1474; which said William did

build, within the said town of Westbury, a college (with his canons,) and the

said William did maintain by space of 8 years, 800 handycraftsmen, besides

carpenters and masons, every day 100 men. Besides, King Edward the IVth

had of the said William, 3000 marks for his Peace to be had in 2470 tons of

shipping.

“These are the names of the shipping and their bnrthensz—The Mary

Canynges, 400 tons; The Mary and John, 900; The Katharine, 140; The

Little Nicholas, 140; The Katharine of Boston, 220; The Mary Radclifl‘,

600; The Galliot, 500; Mary Batt, 220; The Margaret, 200; A Ship in

Ireland, 100.

“ No age, no time, can wear out well-woon fame,

The stones themselves a statly work doth shew,

From senseless grave we ground may meus good name,

And noble minds by ventrous deeds we know.

A lanterns cleer setts forth a candele light,

A worthy act declares a worthy Wight;

The buildings rare, that here you may behold,

To shrine his bones deserves a tombe of gold.

The famous fabrickc which he here hath donne,

Shines in its sphere as glorious as the sonne;

What needs more words, the future world he sought,

And set the pomp and pride of this at nought.

Heaven was his aim, let heaven be still his station,

That leaves such work for others imitation.”

This was probably placed here, upon traditional authority,

after the dilapidations committed upon the edifice during the

civil wars. The verses are much in the style of Thomas

Churchyard, a very popular poet, and known composer of epi

taphs in the reign of Elizabeth.

There is also, at the southern extremity of the transept, an

other plain altar-tomb of peculiar interest, supporting the recum

bent figure of a priest in sacerdotal robes, with a large scrip, or

pocket, attached to the left side. An angel is placed at his

head, and a dog, with a large bone in his paws, at his feet.

There is no inscription upon it, to mark decidedly the person

to whose memory this monument has been erected. Mr. Cole

states it to be a third tomb of William Canynges; tradition,

however, assigns it to his purse-bearer or treasurer.

7, “MA


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 23

The adjoining altar-tomb, on which lies the effigy of a man

in priest’s robes, is commonly ascribed to William Canynges, as

Dean of Westbury. The head is shaven, and the countenance

is extraordinary for its expression, as of one who “did rigid vigils

keep," with strict penance and mortification; the nose is long

and aquiline, the cheek bones high, with very thin cheeks, and

the chin narrow and projecting. The hands are raised in the

act of devotion, telling to generation after generation, who come

and gaze, retire and pass away, of the Christian's faith and hope,

of that heaven to which while he prayed, he died.

There is, how

ever, no resemblance between this head and that on the other tomb,

while the extraordinary character of the countenance unques

tionably indicates it to have been a portrait. At the feet of this

effigy is the small, but remarkable, figure of an old man, appa

rently in great bodily agony, embodying a metaphysical idea of

putting 08' the old man, from his having abandoned his lay

character. This monument Canynges is said to have procured,

according to a practice then not unusual, to be placed in the

chapel of the College at Westbury, as a daily incitement to his

piety. An inscription in Latin, on a loose board, is sometimes

attached to this tomb. This inscription assigns the tomb to

Canynges, but as it is sometimes attached to the monument last

described, as well as to this, it cannot be considered of any

authority.

Dallaway says, that when the College at Westbury was

burned down by Prince Rupert, in

1643, this monument was

saved, and removed here. But this is incorrect; that it was

here previously to 1610 is evident from Holland’s Translation

of Camden's Britannia, printed in that year; which states that

in Redclifl'e Church Canynges had “ two faire monuments, upon

the one lieth his image portraied in an Alderman's robe; upon

the other his image likewise, in sacerdotal habit, for that in his

old age he took the orders of priesthood."


24 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Not far from the monument of Mr. Canynges is the following

inscription, in old characters, on a flat stone :—“ Hic jacet

Willims Coke . . . . . . . . Willims Canynges mercatore villaa

Bristoll . . . . . . . . propicietur Deus. Amen.” A large knife

and skimmer are engraved on this slime; by which it would

appear that he was Canynges’ cook. These however cannot be

taken as authority, being evidently the production of some un

practised hand of more recent date.

Not far from this is a flat stone, with a cross upon it, having a

rim of brass running round its edges, and these inscriptions :—

“Hic jaoet Johes Blecker, seu pandoxator, cujus fiie propicietur Deus.

Amen.”

“Hicjaeent Ricardus Coke et 'I‘ibota fix ejus, . . . . . . . —picietur. Deus."

John Blecker is supposed to have been one of Canynges'

servants. The term “ pandoxator" is translated brewer.

Aflixed to a column nearly opposite the tomb of Canynges and

his lady is a neat monument, with a long Latin inscription, to

the memory of Maria, the wife of William Barrett, F. S. A. and

author of “ The History and Antiquities of Bristol."

Mr. Baaas'r'r was a man of some learning, and of considerable research.

He appears to have devoted the leisure of twenty years of his life to

the collecting of materials for his History of Bristol ; and every

facility seems to have been afl‘orded to his inquiries, both by public

bodies and by individuals. The mass of materials which he collected

appears immense, and highly valuable; but he was evidently incom

petent to the task of selecting, arranging, and discriminating the

wheat from the chaff; and hence the numerous fictions of Chattertou.

Many of the papers which Mr. Barrett had collected were left to Mr.

Gapper; those relating to Chatterton were disposed of to the Rev.

Mr. Kerric'k, of Cambridge, for Dr. Glynn, and Were afterwards

deposited in the British Museum. The late Sir John Smyth, of Long

Ashton, purchased some MSS. at the sale of Mr. Barrett’s effects.

The oldest date on the slabbed pavement in this transept, yet

nnobliterated by passing feet and the slow and silent decay of

many years, is 1596. Its tale has long been told, and is now


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE cannon. 25

left for another generation to replace, till those for whom the

stony vault was first prepared, shall have neither sign nor

evidence to mark their final home. Of the thousands past, that

here sleep in the damp vaults' dayless gloom—of the generations

which have vanished from the face of the earth, and in their

most desolate privilege of state, sought even in death distinction

from their fellow men—what have we left? their tombs are

nameless sepulchres,—remorseless years have obliterated their

inscriptions, and their crumbling dilapidated surface defies the

scrutiny of man, who would seek to pierce through the silent

mysteries of buried years.

In the east aisle of the south transept is a boss, on which are

the figures of a sow with young pigs; a very strange and unusual

device, to say the least of it; and it is difiicult to account for its

being there, except we attribute it to the licentiousness of the

workmen. In the centre of the transept is another boss, represent

ing our Saviour as bleeding on the cross.

Against the piers of this transept, are three hatchments with

the royal arms, and a fourth belonging to the Chetwode family,

with the motto, “ Corona me a Christus." Christ is my Crown.

The clerestory windows also, from the peculiar elegance of their

design, should not be overlooked, being surrounded by a band

of quatrefoiled lights, many on the east side containing some

beautifully stained glass.

The visitor will now cross to the north transept, where is the

Baptismal Font now in use. It is of white marble, beautifully

constructed, wrought, and polished: the floor on which it is

placed is elevated, paved also with marble, and enclosed with

mahogany rails. The font was purchased in 1755 for £171.

The beautiful gates of wrought iron, at the entrance of this

transept, will attract attention by the chasteness and beauty of

the design, in which is introduced the arms of the city, appro

priately emblazoned.

'


26 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Under the window in this transept is a Knight Templar,

carved in freestone, lying on a plain altar tomb, in a coat of mail,

with a shield on his left side, and a sword in his right hand,

probably designed for Robert de Berkeley, Lord of Bedminster

and Redclifl‘e, and a benefactor to this church.

Near this is a handsome mural monument, erected by sub

scription in 1835, with the following inscription on a marble

tablet 2——

Sacred \

To the Memory of

NATHANIEL BRIDGES, D. D.

Vicar of Willoughby' and Hatton,

and for 28 years

Iecturer of this Parish.

He died the 17th July, 1834,

aged 86 years.

In him were combined

Those estimable qualities

which

Render social intercourse delightful

and make public ministrations a blessing.

Gospel simplicity, deep uniform piety,

unremitting zeal

for the spiritual interest of the people,

and unbounded benevolence,

were his distinguishing characteristics.

Firmly attached

to the Establish Church of England,

he yet rose superior to party prejudices,

and loved all who loved his Master.

In him the church of Christ

has lost a faithful, laborious,

and successful minister.

Marble will moulder, monuments decay,

Time sweeps memorials from the earth away;

But lasting records are of BRIDGES given,

The date eternity, the archives heaven.

There living tablets, with his worth engraved,

Stand forth for ever in the souls he saved.

‘ Dr. Bridges was presented to the living of Willoughby in 1792, by

Magdalen College, Oxford, in which college he graduated M. A. in 1778;

B. D. in 1780; and D. D. in 1784. At Ilatton he succeeded, we believe, Dr.

Samuel Parr.


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 24 u

In one of the windows of the north transept are some

fragments of ancient stained glass, which appear coeval

with the church. On one piece six women in a boat are

represented, possibly alluding to a particular event con

nected with the church. There are also some diagrams,

arms, and letters,which probably mark certain benefactors

who contributed towards finishing the fabric. Figures

of the virgin and child, with crowns on their heads, are

comparatively perfect.

There were also in other windows, painted glass of

the arms of England, of Harrington, Hungerford,

Canynges, Cradock, Berkeley, Mede, Sturton, Dyrick,

Says, Graunt, Montague, Cheyney, Fulk, Fitzwarren,

Sir I. Inyn, Rivers, &c.

In the north-east angle of the transept are deposited the

remains of Mrs. FORTUNE LITTLE, widow of Mr. John Little,

of this parish. She died June 28, 1777 ; aged 57. To whose

memory the following beautiful lines are inscribed, on a neat

marble slab, from the pen of the celebrated Mrs. H. More.

0h ! could this verse her bright example spread,

And teach the living while it prais’d the dead ;

Then, reader ! should it speak her hope divine,

Not to record her faith, but strengthen thine ;

Then should her every virtue stand confess’d,

’Till every virtue kindled in thy breast.

But if thou slight the monitory strain,

And she has lived, to thee at least in vain,

Yet let her death an awful lesson give :

The dying Christian speaks to all that live.

Enough for her that here her ashes rest,

"l‘ill God’s own plaudit shall her worth attest.


28 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE onuacn.

In the north-west angle

of the north aisle, against a

pillar, there is placed what is

traditionally called a rib of

the noted Dun Cow, slain

by Guy, earl of Warwick;

but it is more likely to be

the rib of a whale, or of

some other monstrous fish.

The beauty of the lancet

arch above is particularly

noticeable—See Wood Cut_

Over the north porch is

a large hexagonal room,‘

known formerly as the Trea

sury House, in which were

kept all the archives belong

ing to the church; and in

which still remain the fragments of nine chests, of various

shapes and sizes, from which the manuscripts attributed

to Rowley are said to have been taken by Chatterton’s

father. The ascent to it is by a stone staircase, half way

up which is an apartment, inhabited perhaps originally

by the keeper of the porch. Externally and internally

this porch consists of two principal tiers or stories, each

dissimilar to the other, and each adorned with niches,

canopies, crockets, pediments, &c.

" This is the room in which Chatterton asserted that he found, in an old

chest, supposed to have been placed there by William Canynges soon after

the building was finished, those valuable MSS. of Rowley and others, Written

in the fifteenth century, which he transcribed and published.


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 29

One of these chests in particular was said to be called

Mr. Canynges’ cmji'ef and secured by six keys, two of

which were entrusted to the minister and procurator of

the church, two to the mayor, and one to each of the

churchwardens. In process of time the six keys appear

to have been lost; and about the year 1727, a notion

prevailed that some title-deeds, and other writings of

value, were contained in Mr. Canynges’ cofi‘er. In con

sequence of this opinion, an order of vestry was made

that the chest should be opened under the inspection of

an attorney, and that those writings which appeared of

consequence should be removed to the south porch of

the church. The locks were therefore forced, and not

only the principal chest, but the others, which were also

supposed to contain writings, were also broken open.

The deeds relating to the church were removed, and the

other manuscripts left exposed, as of no value. Con

siderable depredations were committed upon them by

different persons; but the most insatiate of the plunderers

was the father of Chatterton. His uncle, being sexton

of St. Mary Redcliife, gave him free access to the church.

He carried off, from time to time, parcels of the parch

ment, which were deposited in a cupboard in the school,

and employed for the covering of copy-books and other

purposes. At his death his widow carried the remainder

to her own habitation. For an account of the discovery

of their value, as related by Chatterton, we refer the

' When rents were received and kept in specie, it was usual for corporate

bodies to keep the writings and rents of estates left for particular purposes,

in chests appropriated to each particular benefactor, and called by the bene

factor’s name. Several old chests of this kind are still existing in the

University of Cambridge.


30 51‘. MARY anncmrrn CHURCH.

reader to Messrs. Southey and Cottle’s edition of ‘ The

Works of T. Chatterton.’

Passing into the north aisle, or St. Stephen’s chapel,

we observe the restoration of the east and adjoining

window has been completed; and that in a style of execu

tion fully equal to the former window, though the pro

duction of the most brilliant architectural era the annals

of our country can advance. We lack not the ability to

produce works equal to the proudest achievements of the

past, but we want the means, the spirit, the devotion,

the self-sacrificial zeal of an age when man’s labour was

not spared, and his treasures were poured forth in raising

magnificent fabrics in honour of the God he worshipped

and adored.

At the eastern end of the north aisle is a very handsome

monument, consisting of an altar-tomb, surmounted by a richly

ornamented canopy. Recumbent on the former are efiigies of

the deceased and his wife, with their heads resting on cushions,

and having two figures of angels supporting the pillow. The

plinth of the tomb, as well as the back and sides, is covered with

panelling and tracery. Immediately over the tomb are five

crocketed canopies, with pinnacles, &c., and the whole is sur

mounted with a richly-sculptured frieze and parapet. From

the imperfect inscription which still remains, it appears that this

monument is dedicated to the memory of THOMAS MEDE, who

was sheriff in 1452, and subsequently three times mayor of

Bristol. He had a country seat at Nayland, then called

Mede's Place, in the parish of Wraxall, and county of Somerset.

Attached to the former monument, and of the same style and

character, is another to the memory of PHILIP Mann, the

brother of Tnomas MEDE, whose monument has just been

described. There is no efiigy, but on a very singular brass, fixed


s'r. MARY REDCLIFFE cnuncn. 31

to the back of the tomb, is a man and two women, with the fol

lowing inscription on labels :—

In English thus :—

“ S" trinitas un’ d' miserere nobis,

Pater de ccelis deus miserere nobis."

“ Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us,

Oh God, Father of heaven, have mercy upon us.”

Philip Mede appears to have been several times mayor of Bristol,

and to have represented the city in two parliaments, held at

Coventry and Westminster, in the thirty-eighth year of the reign

of Henry the Sixth. His will is dated Jan. llth, 1471, and

directs his body to be buried at the altar of St. Stephen, in

Redclifi'e Church.

The Rev. THOMAS BROUGHTON was buried in the north aisle

of this church, in December, 1774. He was born in London,

July, 1704. Bishop Sherlock presented him with the living

and prehendship of Bedminster and Redclifi'e. He was one of

the original writers in the “Biographia Britannica," the author

of a musical drama, entitled, “ Hercules," and the complier of a

“Dictionary of all Religions." The following is the inscription

on a neat marble tablet :—

Sacred to the Memory of

The Rev. THOMAS BROUGHTON, D. D.

Rector of St. ANDREw’s, Human, and grandson of

Henry Broughton, Esq.

of Willisham, in the County qultfl‘olk ,

Prebendary of the CATHEDRAL CHURCH of Salisbury,

Rector of Stiping'ton, in the County of Herts,

And Vicar of Bedminster, with the chapelries of Mary Redcliffe,

St. Thomas and Abbot’s Leigh annexed.

He was born in the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, in the year 1703;

and married ANNE, the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Harris,

of this City, by whom he had six children.

He was a profound and elegant scholar,

and successfully applied his talents to the support of the

Protestant Establishment,

of which he was an able and faithful minister.

He died QIst December, in the year 1774,

aged Tl.


32 an MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

The floor of the chancel is laid with black and white

marble, and you approach the altar by steps of the same

material. The altar and chancel were repaired in 1757.

On the floor, to the south, is a large black marble stone,

with brass curiously laid in and engraved, with the figures of

a man and woman, with six sons underneath the man, and

eight daughters under the woman; on the stone are brass

shields, with monograms and arms, and the following inscrip

tion :—“ Hic jacent JOHES JAY quondam vicecomes istius

villas. et Johanna ux. eg. q. quidem Johes obiit—die—mens—

A0 D“ m,cccc,lxxx, quor, aiahs pprop, de Amé."

Which may be thus rendered :—“ Here lie John Jay, formerly

Sherifi' of that Town, and Johanna his wife, which said John

died on the day of the month of , in the year

of our Lord 1480; on the souls of whom may God have mercy.

Amen."

Joan JAY was sherifi‘ of Bristol, and a merchant of eminence.

wife was sister to William Wyrcestre, the historian.

His

Parallel to this on the north side, is a slab, in which is inserted

a brass, with an engraved representation of a man and woman,

and another in the form of a shield: there were three others, as

is evident from the blank places whence they were torn. The

memorial is of John Brook, one of the Judges of Assize in the

reign of Henry VIII., and runs thus :-—“Hic jacet corpus vene

rabilis viri Johis Brook, qnondam servientis ad legem illus trissimi

principis felicis memorize regis. Henrici octavi et justiciari

ejusdem regis ad assisas in partibus occidentalibus Anglias, et

capitalis seneschalli illius honorabilis domus et monasterii Beatae

Mariae de Glasconia in com. Somcet. qui quidem Johis obiit

25 die mens. Decembn's, Anno Dom. millesimo, quingantesimo

xxii., et juxta cam requiescit. Johanna uxor ejus una filiarum et

haeredum Ricardi Amerike, quorum animabus propitietur Deus.

Amen.”


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 33

In English :-—“ Here lies the body of that worthy gentleman,

JOHN BROOK, formerly Serjeant at Law to that most famous

Prince of happy memory, King Henry the Eighth, and Judge

of Assize to the said King, in the West of England, and chief

Seneschal of that honourable house and Monastery of the

Blessed Mary, of Glastonbury, in the County of Somerset;

which said John departed this life on the 25th day of the month

of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred

and twenty-two; and beside him rests Johanna his wife, one of

the daughters and heirs of Richard Amerike; on whose souls

may God have mercy. Amen."

The effect of the chancel, as now seen behind the

pictures, is very singular, and suggestive of many swell

ing thoughts. We look at the great east window, it is

unadorned with its wonted painted glass; we look at the

altar-screen beneath, on which the light of day again

falls, and behold the injuries and disgraces it has received.

There seem the faith of bygone centuries, breathing from

the friable stones, whose certain decay and dissolution, the

awakened intelligence and piety of the day would fain

arrest. There is a dreary mournfulness in the scene,which

fastens on the mind, and is in unison with the time-worn

mouldering fragments at our feet, and with our thoughts,

as we trace the destiny of our race, on the storied pave

ment, or on the graven brass, that still bears upon its

surface the names of those who obtained the world’s

regard, long ages back.

The design of the original altar-screen, to which we

will first direct the visitor’s attention, though sadly

mutilated, is sufliciently apparent for restoral ; it is

divided into seven arched compartments, of three lights,

0


34 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

with a screen in each spandril, making fourteen; on

some of which, are dimly discernible, the arms of some

of the principal benefactors of the church. The design

of the screen is seen to better advantage from St. Mary’s

Chapel, but on this side the yellow wash has been allowed

so to accumulate, as to render the shields perfectly bald.

At the east end of the church, partitioned by the altar

screen, is the chapel of the Virgin Mary; it would

appear, that a communication formerly existed from the

chancel to this chapel, by means of an archway in the

centre of the screen. The chapel has been much dis

figured by the introduction of doors, the closing of

windows, &c. On the sill of one of the windows, is a

clumsy figure of Queen Elizabeth, coarsely carved in

wood. When Saint John’s Chapel was taken down, in

1766, the Grammar School granted by this Queen, and

held in that building, was removed here.

In this Chapel is a large stone, with a brass plate inlaid in

the centre, bearing an engraved figure of the deceased in his

judge's robes. On a slip of brass round the margin is this

inscription:—“Hic jacet JOHANNES INYN MILES capitalis

justiciarius Domini regis ad placita caram ipso rege tenenda,

qui obiit 24 die Marcii, Anno Domini Milesimo c.c.c.c. xxxix.

cujus animae propitietur Deus. Amen."

In English 2—“ Here lies JOHN INYN MILES, Knight, Chief

Justice of the Common Pleas of our Lord the King; who died

on the 24th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1439; on

whose soul may God have mercy. Amen.”

There are no particulars known of this judge except what is above

mentioned. Barrett says he had a country seat at Bishopworth,

near Filwood; since then used as a farm house.


sr. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 35

Under the north end of the great cross aisle, is a large

room, at the east end of which was a fire-place. The

number of rooms in this building which bear indications

of having been inhabited, were probably assigned to

chantry priests, poor scholars, and other members of the

church. The will of Belinus Nansmoen, dated March

20th, 1416, provides for many poor scholars, and cho

risters, and for several chaplains, attached to the church,

which renders the supposition not improbable that the

apartment above alluded to was a common dining room,

there being formerly a communication to it out of the

north aisle of the church, where a door and stone stair

case are stopped up, by which there was a descent into

the room. It has long since been converted into a place

of burial, and is now known as the crypt.

Although the church had been liberally endowed, at

different times, with large estates for the support of the

fabric and the divine offices celebrated therein, yet so

dishonestly were its affairs administered during the

Commonwealth, and its revenues wasted, that it was

found impossible, at the Restoration, wholly to repair

the mischief which had been committed. Neither did

the structure itself escape the ravages of the over-righte

ous and senseless fanatics of those days; many of its

ornaments, and all the lofty pinnacles, which added so

much to its external beauty, were torn down, and have

not since been rebuilt. Within, brass plates were stolen

from the monuments, and their decorations mutilated

and destroyed; the organ was broken down, and the

bibles, prayer books, books of homilies, cushions, cas

socks, and all the moveable furniture of the church,


36 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

were accumulated together, and a bonfire made of the

heap, amidst the rejoicings and acclamatious of the popu

lace. After doing all the injury their excited minds

could conceive, they paraded the streets with streamers

torn from the surplices, using the organ pipes for trum

pets, as they marched triumphantly along.

In the year 1709, the church underwent repair by

means of a brief for £5,000; the chamber of the city

contributing £200. In 1762 the bells were re-cast, and

subsequent to that period two more bells have been added

to the number. In 1796 the church was again repaired,

and the pinnacles on the south side rebuilt. As lately

as April 2, 1821, during a tremendous storm at midnight,

the electric fluid struck the north end of the tower, and

entering the upper bell- loft window, forced out the stones

in different directions, and making a large aperture, so

shattered the beam which supported one of the bells, as

to render it useless. It then passed down the bell wire,

and escaped on the south side of the tower; rolling up

the lead from the roof, and dislodging nearly three hun

dred weight of stone. The pieces of wire which were

found, had all the appearance of having been subject to

an intense heat.

The following, being a list of stage furniture)“ neces~

sary for the exhibition of what was then termed a

" Walpole in his Miscellanies, dated 1778, says that Vertue, the engraver,

transcribed it from some old parchments in St. Mary Radcliffe twenty years

ago; and adds, “ That was the origin of Chatterton’s list of great painters,

and probably of his other inventions, Can it be supposed that Vertue should

have seen that old bill, and with his inquisitive and diligent turn not have

inquired whether there was nothing more 7"


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Mysterie, extracted from a book belonging to the church

of St. Mary Redclifl'e, and communicated to the Society

of Antiquaries, is not a little curious.—“ Memorandum:

That Master Canynge hath delivered, the 4th day of

July, in the year of our Lord 1470, to Mr. Nicholas

Bettes, Vicar of Radcliffe; Moses Courteryn, Philip

Bartholomew, and John Brown, procurators of Ratclifi'e,

heforesaid,—

A new sepulchre well guilt, and cover thereto, an image of

God Almighty rysing out of the same sepulchre, with all the

ordinance that longeth thereto; that is to say, a lath made of

tymbre and iron work that longeth thereto.

Item, thereto longeth heven made of timbre and stained

clothes.

Item. Helle, made of timbre and iron work, with devills,

the number thirteen.

Item. Four knyghtes, armed, keeping the sepulchre, wyth

their wepons in their hands, that is to say, two speers, two axes,

with two paves.

Item. Four pair of angels wings for four angels, made of

timbre, and well paynted.

Item. The fadre, the crown, and vysage, the ball wyth a

crosse upon it, well guilt with fyne gold.

Item. The Holy Ghost coming out of heven into the

sepulchre.

Item. Longing to the four angels four chevelers [heads of

hair or wigs]."


38 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Barrett gives the following as the list of chaplains,

vicars, &c. :—

1207 William—,chaplainofRedclifi'

Richard de Newbry, vicar

1276 John de Rung, clericus

1290 Jerrard de 'l‘yllett

1307 Robt. de Mershton, chaplain

1338 William de Jatton

1342 Ralph de Clive

1356 William of Wykeham, had the

prebend of Bedminster cum

Redclifi'

1374 John French

1381 William Draper

1389 Henry dc Nethenene

1391 Nicholas Grill

1393 John Lamynton, chaplain

Thomas Godefellow, do.

1399 John Bush, do.

1410 William Dudlesburg

1429 Joannes Phrcas or Freas

1434 John Bath

1438 William Peircy or Perry

1446 Nicholas Pittes

1460 William Sey

1464 Chetworth

1473 William Chock, younger bro

ther of Sir Richard Chock, of

Ashton

1496 Roger Saundey

1508 Edward Powell, D. D. V. See

Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. i. p. 46.

1534 Henry Williams, presented to

it by Cardinal Campeius, 2nd

Edwardthe Sixth. SeeWood,

vol. i. p. 681.

1550 Thomas Norton

1555 John Blackstone

1559 Arthur Saule

1579 Meredith Hamner

1585 Samuel Davis

1628 Thomas Palmer

1636 Giles Thornborough

1637 John Game

1639 William Noble.

1639 Matthew Hazard.

1660 Francis Horton

1670 Humphry Brent

1678 Richard Thompson

1685 William Manning

Ejeoted.

Intended.

1701 John Gibb. He built the vicar

age house on Redclifi'e Hill

1744 Thomas Broughton, the author

of the “ Dictionary of all Re

ligions,” folio, and many other

works

1778 Edmund Spry, A. M.

SUBSEQUENTLY TO BARRETT.

1806 Martin Richard Whish, the

present vicar

In the centre of the churchyard was an elegant cross,

noticed by William Wyrcestre, at which sermons were

formerly preached. Mr. Edgworth, Prebendary of Bristol

Cathedral, and- a zealous opponent of Latimer in this

city, in his preface to a volume of sermons, published in

his old age, alludes to his having preached “ sundry ser

mons at Redclifi' Cross, in the good and worshipful city

of Bristo .” The cross was removed in 1763. In 1704


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

a remarkable tree was growing in the western part of

the churchyard, the arms of which were supported by

six or seven props. At this time the fence of the church

yard was a thickset hedge, and the gate facing towards

Bedminster, a common field gate. It was not until 1753

that the steps and terrace west of the church were laid

in their present form.

This stately and beautiful Gothic structure, which from

its elevated situation, its Cathedral style of building,

rises to a noble height above the surrounding houses,

after having its northern side obscured for upwards of a

century, is now thrown open to public view, by the

removal of those houses which the indifference of a past

generation had permitted to be erected before it; and

presents a pile of building so magnificent, so picturesque

in every point of view, that it irresistibly arrests and

commands the attention of the passenger, who contem

plates with awe and admiration, its venerable and hoary

grandeur. But the centuries that have passed away,

have marked their course upon its blackened walls; and

although we now see new beauties to admire, we have

much also to deplore and to regret; the mutilated but

tresses, the gaping fissures, and the crumbling stones,

tell too sadly that decay has followed the footsteps of

time, and unless arrested, must hasten the venerable

fabric into ruin. Let us hope that all who feel a pride

and a glory in this ancient edifice, will press forward to

avert the stigma and disgrace of allowing so magnificent

a monument of the piety and liberality of our fathers to

crumble unheeded to the dust: let us not have to blush

in our advanced state of refinement, that we are unable

to preserve from destruction the noble legacy that has


40 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

been bequeathed unto this city, not for usldone, but for

after generations.

The city authorities, having removed the old houses,

enclosed the ground belonging to the church with iron

rails. They have also caused the dangerous hill to be

levelled, and built a new street (Phippen Street,) connect

ing Redclifl‘e with Thomas Street. Meanwhile the parish

authorities have not been idle; they issued a very spirited

appeal, drawn up by Messrs. Britton and Hosking, for

the complete restoration of the tower and church to

their pristine architectural elegance. To accomplish this

upwards of £40,000 will be necessary. This appeal

produced a subscription list of nearly £7,000, and the

Committee of Restoration proceeded in their undertaking

——by lowering the ground round the church to the depth

of from two to four feet; which being accomplished, the

ceremony, which was a very imposing one, of laying the

foundation stone of the restoration in the eastern part of

this venerable structure, took place on Tuesday, April

21, 1846. The inscription on the stone reads thus :—

THIS STONE

IN

RESTORATION

OF ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH,

was laid on the 21st day of April, A. D. 1846, by the

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL JOHN KERLE HABERFIELD, &quire,

THREE TIMES MAYOR or BRISTOL, ASSISTED BY THE

ANCIENT SOCIETY OF FREE MASONS,

The Right Worshipful HENRY SHUTE, Esq., Provincial Grand Master,

The Right Worshipful WILLIAM DONE BUSHELL, Esq., Deputy

Provincial Grand Master,

In the presence of the Clergy, Corporation, and Citizens of Bristol.

MARTIN RICHARD Wrsrr, A. M., Vicar.

Tnonns Pnoc'ron, Chairman of the Restoration Committee.

JOHN WARRY Junr.

JOHN HARE, ’ ’ } Churchwardens.

JOHN BRI'H‘ON, F. S. A.,

Gunner: Go'nwm, F. R. S.,i Mcmmm‘


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH. 41

The first contract has been for some time completed,

by which the whole extent of the faced-work of the walls

as originally seen is now exposed to view; a complete

system of drainage has been formed, and the ground ad

joining the church, on the south side, widely paved. The

oak roofs of the chancel and aisle have been renewed, and

new leaded on a layer of asphalted felt and oak boarding.

The east end, with its curious “ imbricated ” window, and

one severy of the chancel on each side of it, have been

restored stone by stone. This portion of the restoration,

however, shows more clearly the wretched condition of

the other parts of the building not yet touched; and

though the funds at the disposal of the Committee have

been expended, a Society, under the name of “ The

Canynges Society,” has been formed, with a view to

obtain annual subscriptions to assist them in their desir

able works of accomplishing the complete restoration of

the edifice; we therefore hope, that many who visit the

church, may be induced to leave their names as Members

with any one of the Committee, whose names are inserted

in a subsequent page.

In the address of “ 17w Canynges Society,” the Com

mittee say :—

“Let the venerated name of‘ Canynges' be the call that shall

excite in us the spirit which stimulated him, and if we cannot

individually effect what he did, we may each do something, and

united together we may accomplish much. The necessity for

the maintenance and restoration of St. Mary Redcliffe Church

is imminent and pressing, and can only be effected by earnest

and continuous co-operation. As a Canynges Sooz'ety, then, let

us each emulate the other in our endeavours to obtain the


42 ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

means whereby this magnificent struclure may be preserved alike

honourable to him who founded it, as to those who, when it was

passing away, again restored it to its pristine beauty."

The following extracts are from the rules of the above

Society, viz., that,—

“ The Canynges Society consists of a President, Treasurer,

Vice Presidents, and ordinary Members, who are subscribers of

not less than 21s. annually, or donors of not less than £20.

The Committee consist of the President, Vice Presidents, Trea

surer, the Vicar and Churrhwardens of St.

Mary Redclitl'e for

the time being, and 25 Members, with power to add to their

number. The President, Treasurer, and Members of Committee

are chosen at the Annual Meeting. The Vice Presidents consist

of those gentlemen who have filled the office of President and

who still continue their subscription to the Society.

“ That Ladies be invited to become Members of the Society,

and to interest themselves in its important object. That each

Member shall use his best endeavours to obtain subscriptions or

donations to the funds of the Society, and shall receive a Book

from the President to enter therein such amounts as he may

collect; all moneys to be paid over to the Treasurer at the earliest

convenience, and the Books returned to the President at least 14

days previous to the Annual Meeting.

“That the Annual Meeting shall be held on the third Tuesday

in June, or such other day as may be hereafter agreed upon by

the Committee, due notice being given by circular addressed to

each Member, and by advertisement in one or more of the

Bristol papers. That the Members shall attend Divine Service

at Redcliife Church on that day, and subsequently dine together,

when the Report of the Society’s proceedings, during the past

year, shall be read, the amount collected by each Member

announced, and the ofiicers for the ensuing year elected.

“ That at the first Meeting of the Committee, after the Annual


ST. MARY REDCLIFFE CHURCH.

Meeting, a portion of St. Mary Redclifl'e Church shall be selected

for restoration, under the advice of the Architect, and the amount

obtained under the past President shall be paid over to the credit

of the Restoration Committee, with the understanding that it

shall be applied to the part so pointed out.

“J. K. Haberfield, Esq. has kindly accepted the office of

President for the first year, W. H. Wyld, Esq., that of Treasurer,

and the following gentlemen have consented to act on the Com

mittee,—The Right Worshipful J. D. Pountney, Esq., Mayor

of Bristol, Rev. M. R. Whish, R. J.

P. King, James Gibbs,

Thomas Garrard, Wm. Poole King, Wm. H. Wyld, Thomas

Lucas, Matthew Perkins, Charles B. Hare, Wm. Powell, Richard

Gibbs and R. C. Beddoe, Churhwardens, Charles Clarke, J. H.

Wyld, Robert Phippen, Wm. Cooper. J. Lucas, W. H. Bayley,

J. Gardiner, J. Hare, Thomas Proctor, J. A. Symonds, M. D.,

Esqrs. And any Ladies or Gentlemen willing to become

Members of the Society, are requested to communicate, at an

early period,with the President or any Member of the Committee."

In conclusion, we advert with great pleasure to the

fact of the authorities of the parish having generously

and liberally made arrangements for the church being

thrown open to the public from Ten o’clock in the

morning till Five in the evening, without any fee to the

attendant. Thus enabling all those who appreciate this

noble specimen of architectural beauty, to visit and

admire it as long and as frequently as they please, and

at the same time setting a good example to others who

have the care of similiar buildings.


'

; BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

O?

CANYNGES AND CHATTERTON.

\VILLIAM CANYNGES, the subject of our present memoir, was

only five years old at the early death of his father; but the

fostering care of his mother's second husband amply supplied

that loss. His genius and education were directed by him to

mercantile pursuits; and he had experience of whatever might

insure to him the good fortune of his future life, in the opportu

nities of learning the modes of commerce, in one of the most

extensive and opulent establishments in Bristol subsisting at

that period. That he soon discovered most valuable talents in

such pursuits cannot be doubted. The effects in such regular

movements usually follow the cause; and there was an early

promise of his great success.

N0 document ascertains his progress before the years 1432,

when he was bailiff; 1438, sheriff; and 1441, when he was

elected mayor. All that can be advanced with certainty must

be from irrefragable docutnents, as far as he was concerned with

his fellow burgesses, as their municipal magistrate and their

representative in parliament.

The first-noticed honour he enjoyed five times; one less than

his grandfather had done. He was first returned to parliament

in 1451, and subsequently in 1455.

Highly as this distinction is now valued, it was then considered

as an onus, not only by the borough, but by the individual

elected, in those simple times. The representatives of Bristol

had daily wages, and an allowance given for their journeys.

Canynges having arrived at his fortieth year, there is satisfac

tory evidence that he had exceeded his contemporary merchants

in-influence and wealth. Chaucer, in his prologue to the Can

terbury Pilgrimage, had preconceived his exact portrait :—

" are hanrtbp man tuI incl his in“ besettz

as“ Matt an might that be has in Betta.


nmom or CANYNGES. 45

go atzhzfastlp not: be his gubernann,

was his bargains, anti tutti] his cbtbt'sauntz.‘

~470tsuttjz I): was a tnnttfjg man lm'tljallmL

After the lapse of four centuries, the private worth and public

services of this estimable man still command a place in our

grateful memories; while the researches of antiquaries have

penetrated through the dark shadow of the wings of time, and

gathered from documentary evidence much that is locally in

teresting, connected with his private history.

It appears that Canynges married early in life: but the sur

name of his wife is not known. She died about 1460, when the

monument with efligies was placed in Redclifi'e Church by her

husband, as a memorial of her and of himself. Their children

were William and John, both of whom deceased before their

father. No mention occurs of any daughter. \Villiam married

Isabel or Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Vowel, Esq. of

\Vells. She had a large jointure from her inherited property,

and from the settlement and bequest of her father-in-law, having

remarried John Depeden, Esq., of Bristol, by whom she left no

issue. By her first husband she had two sons, Thomas and

William, and one daughter, Agnes. Of Thomas we have dis

covered no farther than that he was of age in 1484, if not earlier,

when he sold “ Canynges' Place.” This alienation was disputed

in Chancery, by William Spencer, the executor, and the chantry

priests of Redcliffe, but confirmed. No mention is made of this

elder son in William Canynges’ will, and most probably because

he inherited the estate of his mother, at Wells. The other son

William, and the daughter Agnes, both died minors; a fact cer

tainly known by the lapse of the Bristol property, which had

been devised to them and their heirs into the hands of William

Spencer the mayor, the corporation, and the chantry priests of

.Redclide. John, the other son of W. Canynges, left a widow,

but no children. Both these widows were endowed in his

will.

Thus we may attribute to a probable and rational cause, the

resolution which he took of abandoning the cares of a busy

mercantile life, of which the chief consolation and support had

failed him, by the premature death of his two sons.

From his earliest youth he was deeply imbued with religious

' The word “ chevisaimce” means any contract for mop-pf].

t In modern English 2—“ This worthy man applied his ants beneficiall ,

so that no man could say that he was indebted to him, so honourany did e

conduct his mercantile affairs, in all his bargains and transactions of money.”


46 MEMOIR 01-"

feeling, and was a faithful and zealous follower of the Church of

Rome, which was then prevalent in this country. His friend

and confessor from his earliest days, was John Carpenter, born

at VVestbury-upon-Trym, and who eventually became bishop of

Worcester; and these impressions were fostered by him. He

it was who probably suggested the rebuilding of Redclifle

Church upon so grand a scale, for he was a known patron of

ecclesiastical architecture. He rebuilt the college of Westbury

upon-Trym. ,

In 1467 Canynges gave to repair the tenements, then dilapi

dated, which belonged to two chantries in Redclifie Church,

heretofore founded by Everard Le Fraunceys; and to found

another, to be called “\V. Canynges’ Priest,” the sum of £340,

by a deed in Mr. Cumberland’s collection; and not £500, as

misstated. In the next year he obtained from King Edward IV.

a patent to establish two priests, for a daily mass before the

altar of St. George, with a salary of nine marks, and a cham

ber for each. He had previously erected a building to receive

all these near the churchyard. \Vyrcestre speaks of this edifice

as having bay windows, probably on the plan of those built for

the vicars choral of Wells, by Bishop Beckington, about the

same time.

In I468, having completed his original intention, he resolved

to dedicate the remnant of his days to the service of God and

the church. He was ordained accolyte Sept. 19, 1467; deacon

and priest. April 16, [468; and was then appointed the first dean

of the Benedictine College of Westbury, then newly modelled

by his friend. In this retreat he passed the last six years of his

life.

Canynges’ will bears date November 12, 1473, at VVestbury,

and he died the next year, aged conjecturally seventy-four years.

His funeral was conducted to his place of sepulture in Redclifle

Church, accompanied by a large concourse of ecclesiastics, par

ticularly of the mendicant orders, within the town, to whom he

had bequeathed legacies of an amount very unusual in those

da s.

}In the house occupied by Mr. Jefi‘eries, Bookseller, Redclifl'e

Street, is a large room, traditionally known as “ Canynges'

Chapel ," now appropriated to the extensive business there carried

on. Its principal feature of interest remaining, is a wooden roof

of a high pitch, with curved bracing ribs, springing from corbel

heads of angels bearing shields, meeting under the middle of the

tie beam, and forming an obtuse arch, ornamented with foliations

of open carving, with the spandrels filled with pierced panel

t- ,m- l


CHATTERTON. 47

work or tracery, as was the character, at the period to which this

roof may be assigned, in the reign of Henry VI.

On the floor of the room behind, is an unusually perfect

specimen of what are frequently called encaustic tiles, with in

scriptions and shields of arms upon them. Few are found

belonging to a period earlier than the middle of the thirteenth

century; these appear, similar to the earliest tiles, to have the

pattern stamped in the red clay, and that pattern filled up with

white clay; differing from those of the vestry room in the Mayor's

Chapel, which are enamelled with patterns of several colours,

and are attributed to the latter part of the fifteenth century.

The use of paving tiles ceased at the Reformation.

The design of these is uniform, and deserve a more minute

description than the limits of this work will admit. Those who

feel interested in the study of these relics, can have an opportunity

of examining them more carefully, the pavement being left un

covered by Mr. J efferies for their inspection and gratification.

The pavement was only partially discovered twenty years since,

by accidentally removing the floor; since which Mr. Jefl'eries

has uncovered the whole.

THOMAS CHATTERTON was the posthumous son of Thomas

and Sarah Chatterton, and was born in a house on Redclifl'e

Hill, (immediately behind No. 50) November 20th, 1762. His

father was, in the early part of his life, a writing master in a

classical school; he afterwards became subchaunter of the cathe

dral of Bristol, which office he held, together with that of master

of Pyle Street School, till his death, which took place in August,

1752. His father was succeeded in the management of Pyle

Street School by Mr. Love, to whose care, at five years' old,

Chatterth was committed; but such was his apparent dulness

and want of capacity, that he was sent back to his mother with

the character of a stupid boy, and one who was absolutely inca

pable of receiving instruction.

He was admitted into Colston School in August, 1760; and

on the lst of July, 1767, he left it, and was bound apprentice to

Mr. J. Lambert, attorney, of Bristol, for seven years, to learn

the art of a scrivener.

In the beginning of October, 1768, the new bridge at Bristol

was finished; at that time there appeared in Farlcy’s Brislol

Journal an account of the ceremonies on opening the old

bridge, introduced by a letter to the printer, intimating that

“ The following description of the Friars first passing over the


48 MEMOIR or

old bridge was taken from an ancient manuscript," and signed

“ Dunhelmus Bristoliensis." The paper, if it be allowed to be a

fabrication of modern times, demonstrates strong powers of in

vention, and an uncommon knowledge of ancient customs. So

singular a memoir could not fail to excite curiosity, and many

persons became anxious to see the original. The printer, Mr.

Farley, could give no account of it, nor of the person who

brought the copy; but after much inquiry, it was discovered

that the manuscript was brought by a youth between fifteen and

sixteen years of age, of the name of Thomas Chatterton.

A circumstantial account of the discovery of these manuscripts,

found in a room over the north porch of St. Mary Redcliffe

Church, is preserved in Mr. Bryant’s Observations on Rowley's

Poems. Considerable depredations had, from time to time,

been committed upon them, by different persons; but the most

insatiate of these plunderers was the father of Chatterton. His

uncle, being sexton of St. Mary Radcliffe, gave him free access

to the church. He carried off, from time to time, parcels of the

parchments; and one time alone, with the assistance of his boys,

is known to have filled a large basket with them. Of the dis

covery of their value by the younger Chatterton, the account of

Mr. Smith, a very intimate acquaintance, which he gave to Dr.

Glynn, of Cambridge, is too interesting to be omitted. “ When

young Chatterton was first articled to Mr. Lambert, he used

frequently to come home to his mother by way of a short visit.

There, one day, his eye was caught by one of these parchments,

which had been converted into a thread-paper. He found not

only the writing to be very old, the characters very different

from common characters, but that the subject therein treated

was different from common subjects. Upon inquiry, he was led

to a full discovery of all the parchments which remained; the

bulk of them consisted of poetical and other compositions, by

Mr. Canynges, anda particular friend of his, Thomas Rowley,

whom Chatterton at first called a monk, and afterwards a secular

priest of the fifteenth century. Such, at least, appears to be the

account which Chatterton thought proper to give, and which he

wished to be believed."

Upon being infortned of the manner in which his father had

procured the parchments, he went himself to the place, and

picked up four more, which, if Mrs. Chatterton rightly remem

ers, Mr. Barrett had at that time in his possession.

The eventful history of the munitnent room, as associated with

the writings of the unfortunate Chatterton, has already been

given in the preceding pages of this book. The room forms


CHATTERTON. 49

an irregular octagon, admitting light through narrow unglazed

apertures, upon the broken and scattered fragments of the

famous Rowleian chests, that with the rubble and dust of

centuries cover the floor. In melancholy cadence the cannying

wind creeps through the unprotected openings, and spreads its

plaintive murmuring wail over the wreck of years. It is here

creative fancy pictures forth the sad image of the spirit of the

spot, the ardent boy, flushed and fed by hope, musing on the

brilliant deception he had conceived, whose daring attempt has

left his name unto the intellectual world as a marvel and a

mystery. Here in the full but fragile enjoyment of his brief

and illusory existence, be stored the treasure-house of his

memory with the thoughts that, teeming over his pages, have

enrolled his name amongst the great in the land of poetry and

song. Happy then, ere his first and joyous aspirations were

repressed, ere the warm and genial emotions of his heart

were checked, before time had dissipated his idle dreams, and

neglect, contempt, and distress, had fastened on his mind, and

hurried him onward to his untoward destiny. Then as the daily

chimes poured from the lofty tower their soul-subduing melody,

and recalled his thoughts that roamed far, far away, to a distant

age, with long hidden tales of romance, and chivalry, and antique

minstrelsy, to the ties of affection that formed a portion of his

better nature; to the domestic hearth, where his heart’s social,

kindliest feelings were enshrined ;—little did he then deem that

the hour would come, when in the utter desolation of his soul,

apart from all human sympathy, alone, in his deep interminable

pride, his disappointed ambition would render him reckless of

all worldly hopes, and unmindful of all heavenly commands.

Little did he deem that the native energy of his genius would

combat in vain the tide of difficulties which flowed against him;

that penury and want, the misery of human days, which made

his mortal life a wearying disease, would poison the springs of

his existence; that in the dearth of his crushed feelings, friend

less, hopeless, fearless, he would dare break the frail bonds of -

fleeting life, and rush unsummoned before the throne of the

Almighty!

Chatterton's attention, at Bristol, was not confined to Rowley;

his pen was exercised in a variety of pieces, chiefly satirical,

and several essays, both in prose and verse, which he sent

to the magazines. Dunhelmus Bristoliensis was the signa

ture he generally employed. In the course of the year 1769,

he was a considerable contributor to the Town and Country

Magazine.

D


5O

MEMOIR or

Among the efforts which he made to extricate himself from his

irksome situation, the most remarkable is his application to the

Hon. Horace \Valpole, in March, 1769; the ground of which

was an offer to furnish him with some accounts of a series of great

painters, who had flourished at Bristol, which Chatterton said

had been lately discovered, with some old poems, in that city.

Mr. Walpole answered Chatterton's letter, desiring further in

formation; and in reply was informed that “he (Chatterton)

was the son of a poor widow, who supported him with great

difficulty; that he was apprenticed to an attorney, but had a taste

for more elegant studies." Mr. Walpole, though convinced of

the author‘s intention to impose upon him, could not, as he

himself confesses, help admiring the spirit of poetry which ani

mated these compositions. The testimonies of his approbation,

however, were too cold to produce in Chatterton any thing but

lasting disgust.

Those who have sullied the youth of Chatterton with the im

putation of extraordinary irregularities, and have aserted that

“his profligacy was, at least, as conspicuous as his abilities,"

have, it is conceived, rather grounded these assertions on the

apparently profane and immoral tendency of some of his pro

ductions, than on personal knowledge of a correct review of his

conduct. During his residence in Bristol, we have the most

respectable evidence in favour of the regularity of his conduct,

namely, that of his master, Mr. Lambert. Of few young men

in his situation it can be said, that during a course of nearly

three years, he seldom encroached upon the strict limits which

were assigned him, with respect to his hours of liberty; that his

master could never accuse him of improper behaviour; and that

he had the utmost reason to be satisfied he never spent his hours

of leisure in any but respectable compan .

“Of Mrs. Angel, with whom he last resided, no inquiries

have afforded any satisfactory intelligence; but there can belittle

doubt that his death was preceded by extreme indigence. Mr.

Gross, an apothecary in Brook Street, informed Mr. Warton,

that while Chatterton lived in the neighbourhood, he frequently

called at the shop, and was repeatedly pressed by Mr. Cross to

dine or sup with him in vain. One evening, however, human

frailty so far prevailed over his dignity, as to tempt him to par

take of the regale of a barrel of oysters, when he was observed to

eat most voraciously. Mrs. Wolfe, a barber’s wife, within a. few

doors of the house where Mrs. Angel lived, has also afforded

ample testimony, both to his poverty and his pride. She says,

that Mrs. Angel told her, after his death, that on the 24th of


CHATTERTON. 51

August, as she knew he had not eaten any thing for two or three

days, she begged he would take some dinner with her; but he

was offended at her expressions, which seemed to hint he was in

want, and assured her he was not hungry. In these desperate

circumstances, his mind reverted to what (we learn from Mr.

Thistlewaite, and other quarters) he had accustomed himself to

regard as a last resource. ‘ Over his death, for the sake of the

world,’ says the author of Love and Madness, ‘ I would willingly

draw a veil. But this must not be. They who are in a condi

tion to patronise merit, and they who feel a consciousness of

merit which is not patronised, may form their own resolutions

from the catastrophe of his tale—those, to lose no opportunity of

befriending genius—~these, to seize every op ortunity of be

friending themselves, and, upon no account, to arbour the most

distant idea of quitting the world, however it may be unworthy

of them, lest despondency should at last deceive them into so

unpardonable a step.’ Chatterton, as ap ears by the Coroner’s

Inquest, swallowed arsenic in water, on e 24th August, 1770,

and died in consequence thereof the next day. He was buried

in a shell, in the burying ground of Shoe Lane workhouse.”


The COMPILER has inserted here a copy of the eloquent appeal,

issued by the Vestry of St. Mary Redcli e, in 1842, for

raising Subscriptions to restore their magnificent church;

he has much pleasure in giving it all the publicity in his

power, and most cordially wishes it every success.

Tn); VICAR, Cnnncnwannsns, and Vns'rrtv of the Parish of

St. Mary Redclifl'e, having resolved upon a public and extended

appeal on behalf of the venerable and once-splendid fabric en

trusted to their care, prepared and circulated, in July last, an

address briefly stating the circumstances which appeared to them

to justify such appeal. That address explained the preliminary

steps which the parish authorities had adopted, and especially

their selection of Mr. Bar'rron to advise respecting the decayed

state of their church, and the best mode of restoring it to its

pristine integrity and beauty, with their reasons for such selec

tion. The result of their communication with that gentleman

was his calling to his aid Mr. Hosxme, Professor of Architec

ture and of the arts of construction, at King’s College, London,

whom the vestry, at Mr. Bnrr'ron's request, have associated

with him in the commission.

These gentlemen having carefully and fully surveyed the

church, presented to the parish authorities luminous and detailed

reports, on all the matters referred to them, accompanied by

plans and drawings illustrative of their views. In the conclusion

of their preliminary address, the parish authorities stated that

the reports were thought too copious for printing on that occa~

sion; but that in a subsequent appeal, an analysis should be given,

to embrace their more leading and prominent parts, and illustrated

by copies of some of the drawings. It is in fulfilment of this

intention, and of the pledge contained in their former paper,

that the vicar, churchwardens, and vestry, now present this more

extended address, in the hope and belief that the public will

feel as well satisfied as the parish authorities in their preliminary

address stated themselves to be; that the able and eminent archi

tects alluded to, have, in their consideration of the matters

referred to them, “been governed by views not less honourable

to their reputation for taste and science, than for sound and


1N APPEAL TO RESTORE ST. MARY REDCLIFFE.

practical knowledge; and that could the views of those gentlemen

be carried out, our city would possess a parochial church, and

the west of England a national monument, of unequalled beauty,

and one to be visited and admired by multitudes of strangers of

our own and of foreign nations."

In their reports on the present state and contemplated repairs

and restoration of the church of St. Mary Redclifl‘e, Messrs.

Bruno»: and Hosxme commence by drawing the attention 01

the parish authorities to the injuries sustained by the fabric, from

the long-continued access of damp and moisture, both in the

superstructure and foundation walls,—produced, as to theformer,

by the insufiicient means for carrying ofi‘ the rain and snow,—

and, as to the latter, by the want of drainage; both which

deficiencies they principally ascribe to the original arrangement

for the discharge of water from the roofs, and want of drainage

round the fabric. To the former of these defects, they attribute,

in a great degree, the injury to, if not destruction of, the external

faces of the masons’ work upon the walls and buttresses. They

have, in much detail, set out the nature, extent, and causes of

the mischief; and, in a subsequent part of their report, have

suggested, with like detail, the extensive and efficient measures

recommended for remedying the evils alluded to, and for pre

venting their future recurrence.

They describe the Roqf Covering as, throughout, in a very

defective state, though heavy expence is annually incurred in

repairing it; and they suggest its entire re-arrangement and

re-construction, upon the principles described in their reports.

They have also ascertained and have very accurately described,

an original defect existing in the great Tower, evinced in a bulg

ing outwards of the external faces of that part of the structure,

and produced by an inequality of strength and resisting power

between the finely-wrought and closely-jointed masonry of the

faces, and the rubble backing which constitutes the main bulk of

the walls; and they state that, with the exception of the tower

and the flank wall and buttresses of the south aisle of the chancel,

all the walls and foundations, throughout, appear to be perfectly

sound and but little injured. They attribute the settlement out

wards of the flank wall, first noticed, to the want of proper

drainage before alluded to, and to the too near approach of graves

t0 the foundations of the wall in question, which are not, in

that part of the fabric, more than four or five feet in depth;

and they state that, by an attempt formerly made to prevent

the flank from going further, or to hold it up, mischief has been

occasioned to the pillars which stand between it and the chancel,


54 AN APPEAL FOR THE

and, through those pillars, to the clerestory resting upon them.

They express their opinion that the chancel is in an insecure

state therefrom, and point out in very strong and clear terms

the mischief and danger to be apprehended, unless immediate

attention be given thereto; and they enter, at considerable detail,

into the comparative inefficiency of the repairs which have been

from time to time effected.

Recurring to the Tower, they state, that the solid structure

of this beautiful work is generally sound and trustworthy, though

its exterior surface has almost wholly perished ; and that from

the dilapidated state of the whole exterior, and especially of the

enrichments previously noticed by them, the tower is unsafe

to approach; and they therefore recommend means for excluding

persons from passing within reach of the danger to be appre

ended, from the constant liability of fragments of stone, of no

mean size, to become detached, and to fall in every direction.

They represent the masons' work of the Spire as generally

sound, though the surface of the stone upon the exterior is

rapidly disintegrating from the causes described in the report.

In proceeding to advise as to the solid and substantial repair

of the fabric, in its more important parts, and the restoration

of the ornamental parts, Messrs. BRITTOR and Hosxme state

that so intimate a connection exists between the parts of such a

building as that under consideration, as to render what may

apppar to be merely ornamental in most cases essential to the

sta ility of the structure,—-that they feel themselves compelled

to report on these two heads together; and they furnish very

able and sufficient grounds for their determination; but dividing

the subject into two parts, viz. :—

First, the Tower and S ire; and second, the Church with

the Lady Chapel, the Porc es, and other accessories.

With respect to the first, it would be injustice to the architects

to give in any other language than their own, the suggestions

they have offered, viz. :—

“ The Tower and Spire—This singularly beautiful composi

tion is altogether distinct in style and date from the church,

which has been added to it, and deserves, as it requires, to

be considered, not as a merely provincial edifice, and far less as

a simple parish steeple, but as a national monument, and in the

first rank of the many noble structures of the kind in existence

in this country. In magnitude it is exceeded by few; in destined

altitude, the larger cathedrals alone would excel it; and in

chaste simplicity of design, combined with elaborately beautiful,

but subdued and appropriate, decoration, Redclifl'e Tower is sur


RESTORATION on ST. MARY REDCLIFFE. 55

passed by none; whilst it is re-eininent in its position, on a lofty

bank of the Avon, within t e commercial capital of the west of

England. We have already intimated that the solid structure

of the tower is sound and trustworthy, and that it is capable of

being easily made to bear all that it was ever intended to carry.

............It would appear, however, that when the church was

built, the idea of completing the spire was abandoned, as the

south-western buttresses of the tower were reduced in projection,

and otherwise altered to compose with the west from of the

church,——and the south-eastern angle was altered, throughout,

to extend the nave of the church uninterruptedly to its western

front. The tact and skill with which the outer, or south-western

angle of the tower was altered, and the fine taste with which

the turret pier, in front of the church, which composes with the

reduced buttress of the tower, is arranged, to connect the parts of

the composition, are most admirable; but not so the arrangement

at the other angle, where a low, heavy arch, and an unmeaning

blank, upon a heavier pier, obtrude themselves immediately within

the church door; contrasting, most disadvantageoust too, with

the composition of the arches of the aisle, and with the clerestory

on the other side of the entrance.

“ It may be remarked here, that, at the time Redclifl'e church

was built, the taste which produced the original design of the

magnificent superstructure to the tower no longer existed: spires

were not built to Gloucester cathedral nor to Bath Abbey church,

in the 15th century,—-as they had been at Salisbury, Norwich,

and Litchfield, in the 13th and 14th centuries: comparatively

small spires, on lofty towers, as at Louth and Newcastle,—or

lanterns, as at Boston,—indicate the prevailing taste, in that

respect, when this church was built, and the abutments of the

spire of the original design were altered or removed. In this

manner, the incomplete or demolished spire was left, and the

original composition was shom of its fair proportions.

“ In compliance with the instructions to us, to advise as to such

alterations in the restoration of the ornamental parts of the

fabric, both external and internal, as may seem necessary for

reinstating it to its ancient and pristine beauty, we urge, most

strongly, the necessity of restoring, at the same time, the perished

surfaces of the tower, and its immediate accessories,—adapting

it to receive the completed spire,-—and carrying on, to comple

tion, that beautiful feature of a masterwork of architectural

composition, which, in its truncated state, is but an unpicturesque

deformity. Thus the original design may be both restored and

completed, and Bristol possess a noble national monument, that


56 AN APPEAL FOR THE

will add to the beauty of her locality and to her pre-eminence

amongst English cities.

“ In restoring the tower, as contradistinguished from the super

imposed spire, it will, of course, be proper that the work should

be set upright on all its faces; and, in doing this, it will become

necessary to take out and reinstate the whole of the ashlaring

of the surfaces, even when it might otherwise remain, though

that, indeed, is of very small extent. Moreover, all the stones

upon which the enrichments occur, must, of necessity, be drawn,

wherever the enriched surfaces are defective; and these require

ments together would involve the reinstatement of all the external

surfaces of the tower. Paring old work, and pinning in patches

of new stone, where there is not any left to pare, we consider

altogether out of the question,—as paring would reduce the

original proportions of the design,—and pinning-in, among the

pared faces, pieces, in the place of stones altogether ruined, would

not produce a restoration of the fabric to its ancient and pristine

beauty. The absolutely necessary restoration of the faces of the

tower, with its buttresses,-turrets, pinnacles, niches, canopies,

pediments, windows, and their enrichments, parapets, cornices,

and corbels, will give the means of doing all that is necessary,

with a trifling exception, to fit the tower to receive the spire of

its full dimensions. This exception involves an alteration within

the church; but we shall be able to shew, that what is required

there, can be made, not only consistent with, but most desirable

for, the services of the interior.

“ The existing portion of the spire is, fortunately, quite enough

to give the means of developing the original design, whilst it

affords demonstrative evidence that a complete spire was con

templated by the original designer of the structure. If lines

be drawn from points within the footings of the buttresses of the

tower, through the base of the spire, on the summit of the

tower, they will follow the sides of the spire, as far as it now

exists, and meet at such a height as similar compositions of equal

date would justify by analogy. We have drawn such lines, or

rather we have set up the present compartment as it exists,

and find that its thrust is within the abutments afl'orded by

the buttresses, and that the sub-structure generally has the

strength necessary to carry the super-structure resulting from

carrying it up to the height indicated; which height results

from a continuation of the same lines upwards, and is further

jtlistified by the best existing examples of works of the same

c ass.

“ The decorations of the spire, as it exists, are of singular


RESTORATION OF ST. MARY REDCLIFFE.

beauty and propriety; the ribs are exquisitely moulded; and the

characteristic enrichment of the vertical and pointed moulding:

of the tower below, is carried with great good taste and beautiful

efl'ect, up into the spire : so that nothing has to be imagined in

that respect; and we may say with confidence, that the design,

as we present it, of the tower with the restored spire, is a true

presentment of the original intention of the first designer. We

may have omitted to state hitherto, however, what is most

satisfactory to know, that in the midst of the dilapidation and

disintegration which pervade the work, nothing in the moulded

forms or other enrich-ments, and nothing in the form: and

proportions generally, is entirely lost,- but specimen: remain,

from which restorations may be made with certain truth.

" It will be remarked, that the basement of the tower, in the

drawing of the elevation of the west front, shews a greater depth

of faced work than appears at present. This we consider it

desirable to restore, to prevent the structure from losing any

part of its apparent elevation, in raising the level of Redcliflb

Street before the north-west entrance to the enclosure; and we

have suggested, in the drawings, a re-arrangement of the stgps

of approach to the church, in accordance with this view. e

propose to alter the windows of the tower, from their present

forms and proportions, to others, more in character with the

design of the superstructure.”

For the reasons detailed in the report, Messrs. Bar'r'ron and

HOSKING recommend that attention should be first directed to

the restoration of the tower and spire; and that the former

should, under the circumstances, not be deferred any longer, if

it be desired to preserve this beautiful monument from utter

destruction.

Speaking of “ the Church, with the Lady Chapel, the Porches,

and other accessories,"——after the recommendations, before alluded

to, as to what are termed the hydraulic arrangements and the ro

posed reconstruction of the roofs,-—Messrs. Burma and os

KING suggest a new gateway at the north-west corner of the

church enclosure, and other arrangements consequent upon the

recent alterations under the Bristol Improvement Act, and for

giving more efl'ect thereby to the beautiful edifice under con

sideration; and, after their valuable suggestions for the substantial

repair of the fabric, in the south flank of the chancel and the

transept, they refer to their drawings, as shewing with sufficient

clearness the restorations they propose of the various parts of

the exterior of the building; which restorations, they state, are

mostly from existing authority within the building itself, and


58 n: APPEAL FOR me

where no specimen exists of the original parts, the restorations

are stated to be made, to the best of their judgment, from analogy.

Repeating their difliculty of separating the substantial from the

ornamental parts, they go on to shew that many portions com

monly considered merely ornamental, are either absolutely neces

sary, or highly useful, to the substantial structure; and after

naming several instances of this sort, they add :—

“ We do not contemplate, however, and cannot imagine that

the necessary and useful reparations are re aired to be made

in merely shaped blocks of stone, without (the mouldings and

other decorations a propriate to them; and, for ourselves, had

rather see the church a picturesque ruin, than be instrumental

in restoring it to strength without its native beauty. \Ve propose,

therefore. the restoration of all the decorations that ever existed

upon the surfaces of the work, and” that with new materials,

and not by paring and patching the old."

They add, however, that in some few cases, the heads of the

windows, with the tracery in them, may, perhaps, be preserved.

The architects propose to remove the modern attachment to

the south porch, also the lobby to the lady chapel, and likewise

the sheds and other unsightly objects about the church and of

the doorway and steps at the south-east side of the north porch;

they further suggest certain provisions and restorations conse

quent on such removals.

fls to the Interior of the Church.——The suggestions of Messrs.

BRITTON and Hosxmo refer to matters of which they describe

the restoration for the most part as easy. But the most important

restoration of the interior is that at the east end, involving the

removal of Hogarth's pictures, and other inappropriate attach

ments, and the reinstatement of the east and clerestory windows;

and they hope to find that reparations only will he wanted to the

screen, between the chancel and the lady chapel. The latter

will want certain alterations, including a new floor.

In the restoration of the spire will be involved some alterations,

pointed out by them, at the west end of the church, including

a new arrangement for the organ; and they ex ress their hope,

that as the whole of the lead and glass must e removed from

the windows for the restoration of the mullions and tracery, it

may, in the principal ones at least, be reinstated with stained

glass of an appropriate character.

They also propose, in detail, numerous and important altera

tions in the re-arrangement of the pews and seats, by which

with an increased seat accommodation, and better command from

the pulpit, reading desk, and altar, a more perfect view of the


RESTORATION or s'r. MARY REDCLIFFE. 59

building may be obtained; whilst all the beautiful pillars shall

be in every case insulated, that the eye may range over their

lofty and symmetrical forms and proportions from the base to

the summit.

The reports of Messrs. BRITTON and Hosxnso, with their

accompanying drawings, though (for want of more time and

labour than t ey have yet been able to bestow,) not made with

the fulness of detail required for actual operations, are, never

theless, the result of admeasurements and of careful delineation

of the most important parts; and their observations arise fiom

close examination of the work in general and in detail, upon

personal survey and attentive study and consideration of what

they have observed; and their estimates subjoined are the result

of such survey and consideration, and also upon comparison with

the cost of other large works of analogous extent and character.

The Tower and Spire.-—The complete reinstatement and

restoration of the tower with its pinnacles, and all its decorations,

in the manner, and with the stone they contemplate adopting,

will cost about £8,200.

The re-construction and completion of the ire, according

to the data afforded by the existing portion thereofihnd according

to the drawing of the west front restored, and making the requi

site additions to the buttresses of the tower, and including the

scaffolding and machinery necessary, will cost about £3,600.

The Church, with the Lady Chapel, the Porches, and other

accessories:—

lst.——The hydraulic arrangements, including new roofs to

the church and lady chapel, the re-arrangement of the north

west approaches, with the earthwork, drains, &c., as recommended

in their general report, after giving credit for old materials, will

cost £1,850.

2nd.-—The substantial repair and reinstatement of the interiors,

and the repair, reinstatement, and perfect restoration of the whole

of the exteriors of the church, lady chapel, and orches, including

the re-working of the whole of the external ecorations in the

stone alluded to, together with the alterations and presumed

improvements recommended in the general report, it is estimated

will cost nearly £21,400.

3rd.—The re-arrangement and refitting of the interior of the

church, as pro osed by Messrs. Barr'rou and Hosxmo, will

cost £2,600. he whole presenting a total outlay of £37,650,

which, with a due estimate for contingencies, in works so exten

sive and of such comparatively novel character, cannot, in the

judgment of the arish authorities, be safely calculated at a sum

much less than 40,000.


60 AN APPEAL FOR THE

It is, however, stated by the architects, that the expence

under the second head may admit of reduction, by their finding,

on further examination, portions of the work capable of remain

ing, or of being re-worked and re-applied in places less exposed

to the weather; and it is their opinion, that the part of the

work contemplated in this section may, after precautions are

taken to secure it, generally be distributed over any reasonable

number of years.

In allusion to the large sum required for effecting the object in

all its proposed details, the parish authorities can but repeat,

in the language of their preliminary address, that such an amount

is only to be raised by the liberal co-operation of those, whom

providence has blessed with the ability and the desire to aid in

such objects as that for which this appeal is intended; and

upon those of our own locality who have been so favoured by

Providence, they repeat their confidence, that an appeal will

not be made in vain for the restoration of a fabric, which, if not

wholly the work of a Bristol merchant, is to be ascribed princi

pally to one of that class. Their confidence is strengthened by

the able and energetic support they have received from many

and influential quarters, and especially from our local press, by

one of whose editors it has been well and eloquently said, that,

“the question for the public—for the church-going public in

" particular—to answer, is,——shall decay he suffered to proceed

“ until restoration shall have become impossible 7’ The amount

“required (£40,000) for the complete repair of the fabric is

“ certainly great, but when we recollect the large sums which

“ have been raised for the restoration of Hereford Cathedral, and

“ of York Minster, we cannot doubt that the nobility, gentry,

" and wealthy commoners of Gloucestershire, Somersetshire,

“and the neighbouring counties, will evince equal liberality in

“ worthin upholding—

“ ‘ The pride of Bristowe and the western land.’

“ Nor must the afliuent merchants of Bristol forget, that to a

“ Bristol merchant the existence of St. Mary Redclifl‘e is princi

“pally owing, and that, as they occupy the position, so ought

“ they to emulate the spirit, of a Canynges. But, indeed, it is to

“ be supposed that every Bristol man, without distinction of party

“ or sect, will feel, on this occasion, a laudable pride in con

“ tributing, according to his means, towards the preservation of

“ an edifice which, for centuries, has formed the chief ornament

“ of his native city.


RESTORATION OF ST. MARY REDCLIFFE. 61

“ To the rich dissenter, who conscientiously objects to church

“ rates, we would remark that no compulsory rate is about to be

“ attempted, but that the sum required is to be raised by voluntary

“ contribution, for the laudable purpose of preserving from decay

" and ruin one of the finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture

to be found in England; and, we would also remind him, that

“ he may prove, by his gift, that it is principle, and not interest,

“which actuates his resistance to enforced rates. But not to

“ Bristol, or the immediate neighbourhood, nor even to the sur

“ rounding counties, will be confined the exertions necessary to

“ preserve from ruin this magnificent gothic structure. The

“interest felt will be of a far more expansive character. The

" clergy generally, the nobility, the gentry, the scholar, the

“ antiquarian, the lover and admirer of the past, the man of

“ poetical temperament, who recognises in architectural beauty

" poetry in one of her grandest forms,—all will come forward in

“ order to contribute, in proportion to their revenues, to the pre

“ servation of St. Mary Redcliti'e."

The parish authorities, whilst they feel that they cannot, with

propriety, divest themselves of the responsibility of carrying out,

so far as they shall be enabled to do, the repair and restoration

contemplated, feel sensibly that the public, from whom the means

of accomplishment is so largely to be drawn, are entitled to every

reasonable security for the due appropriation of the sums con

tributed: and it is therefore the desire of the parish authorities,

at an early period after any considerable subscription shall have

been obtained, to convene a. meeting of the subscribers, by the

majority of whom, subscribing not less than £10 each, six con

tributors of not less than £50 each shall be chosen, who, with

the members of the vestry for the time being, shall form a

committee for carrying out such repair and restoration, and for

controlling the moneys received, and the expenditure thereof.

The parish authorities, in aid of the object intended, propose

to anticipate, as far as they possibly can be advised to do, the

revenues of the estates vested in them for the repair and support

of the church, and by means of which, that object has been

hitherto (however inadequately) accomplished without the parish

having been ever burdened by a church rate, and from this

source they will apply the sum of £2,000, to be paid, as they

propose the individual contributions shall be paid, by five equal

and successive yearly instalments, to meet the expenditure as it

will probably annually progress.

In conclusion, the vicar, churchwardens, and vestry, of St.

Mary Redclifl'e, venture to quote and apply to their church, the


62 AN APPEAL, ETC.

language used by the learned and Very Reverend the Dean of

Hereford, in reference to his own cathedral, which at the present

moment is in a dangerous state; but which is likely to be pre

served and renovated by the united efforts of the benevolent

friends of the church and of archaeology. “ Restoration is the

grand object to be achieved, not mending and patching." *

* * * * * “I earnestly intreat that restoration may

be regarded as the one thing sought,—sound and legitimate

restoration, for which there is sufficient authority.”* ‘

To the preceding appeal the parish authorities append the

following remarks and suggestions by their senior architect, who,

as an antiquary and author, has laboured nearly half a century

to elucidate and illustrate the ecclesiastical architecture of Great

Britain.

M. R. WHISH, Vrcaa.

THOS. PROCTOR, Cmcnwaanass.

JOHN FARLER,

‘ “ A Statement of the condition, 810., of the Cathedral Church of Here

ford, by the Very Rev. John Mereweather, Dean," &c. &c. 8v0. 1842.

a“ Since the Report from Messrs. Britton and Hosking,

dated October, 1842, was issued, professional engagements in

London induced Mr. Hosking to resign the duties of Architect

to the reparation of this church; and Mr. George Godwin, F. R. S.,

F. S. A., was appointed in his place. Subsequently to ‘Mr.

Hosking’s retirement, Mr. Britton also, from advanced age,

thought well to resign, and the restoration has proceeded and

will continue to proceed under the able and zealous guidance

of Mr. Godwin alone.


REMARKS AND SUGGESTIONS BY MR. BRI'I'I‘ON.

As stated in the preceding address, I was applied to by the parochial ofii'

cers of Redclifl'e Church for advice respecting its repairs and restoration, in

conse uence of having published, about thirty years ago, a history of that

truly utiful and interesting edifice. To justify that application, as well

as my own opinions and advice, and at the same time to secure the confidence

and iberal co-operation of the public, in the restoration of a church which

has been re-eminent for originality and beauty, and is susceptible of being

again e as sound in masonry, and exquisite in architectural enrichment,

as when left by Gan es’ architect: I trust it may not be deemed irrelevant,

orlpseless, to make a ew remarks on matters immediately belonging to the

so 'ect.

en I wrote the history alluded to, I had a comparatively limited ac

quaintance with the ancient ecclesiastical edifices of the country; and the

series of drawings, by Mr. Wild, were not so strictly architectural as they

ought to have been. Hence the volume is not so full and in

its architech information as I could wish, or as I could make it now, nor

are the engraved illustrations equal to those I subsequentl produced, in the

“ Cathedral Antiquities.” Since that time I have criti y examined, de

scribed, and illustrated most of the magnificent and elaborate cathedrals of

the country; several of the finest churc es; and have likewise inves '

the histories and characteristics ofmany of the most distinguished buil '

of Europe. Thus ualified, I felt competent to afi‘ord some useful advice to

the ves of Redcflfi‘e parish when they applied to me. Redclifi'e Church

has now orne the rude blasts and tempests of some centuries; has sustained

much dilapidation by the elements; and suffered also various and serious

injuries by the neglect of some persons, and by the injudicious alterations

and repairs of others. Hence it had become the imperious duty of its present

guardians, to make a bold and powerful etfort, not merely to check the rapid

Elog'ress of destruction, but to aim at a complete and efficient restoration.

at this may be accomplished is, I trust, clearly and satisfactorily explained

by the detailed reports presented to the vestry.

Advanced in age, and therefore incompetent to traverse scafi'oldings,

ascend lofty stairs, and examine roofs of buildings, I found it impossible to

undertake the execution of the practical duties r uired, and must have

declined the honour and atification of being pro essionolly em loyed in

the proposed restoration ad not the parochial oflicers readily owed me

to nominate my friend, liir. Hosxnvo, to co-operate with me in surve 'ng

and reportinv on the church, and undertaking the constructive duties 0 the

architect. With this assistance,—with a most zealous and united body of

gentlemen in the vestry,—with a subject calculated to awaken and reuse to

energy the most laudable ambition, I shall cheerfully and ardently devote

the remainder of my life, and all my experience, to prove that the genuine

restoration of such a church as Redcliii‘e, will be at once highly honourable

to its oflicers, to the parishioners, to the citizens of Bristol, and to all persons

concerned in the work; whilst it will be a las ' monument of the consum

mate skill and taste of its original architect, an tend to put to shame many

of the bald and flimsy buildings of modern date.

To those persons who are not acquainted with Redclifi'e Church, it may be

both interesting and useful to give a short account of its peculiarities, beau

ties, and historic annals. As a parochial Christian temple it is acknowledged


64 MR. BRITTON’S

to rank, if not the first, at least in the first class, amongst the many fine

sacred edifices of our country. As compared with the cathedral and con

ventual churches of En land, it surpasses most in symmetry of design,—-in

harmony and unity of c er,—in rich and elaborate adornments,—in the

picturesque composition of exterior forms and pam,—and in the fascinating

combination of clustered pillars, mullioned windows, panelled walls, an

in-ribbed ceilings of the interior. I know of no building, to compare with

it in all these features, in Great Britain; and I feel assured, that there is

none superior in graceful dashing and beauty of detail in all civilized Europe.

Excepting the cathedral of S ' bury, which is nearly of one age and design

throughout, the other cathedrals, and indeed most of the large parish and

oonventual churches, consist of heterogeneous parts, of varied and discorth

dates and styles.

The accompanying views of Redclifi‘e Church, though on a small scale,

cannot fail to impress every eye that can see, and every mind that can ap‘

preciate the beauties and merits of architectural dos~ , that the churn ,

now fast approaching ruin, was once, as it may again made, a splendid

edifice; a temple eminently adapted for the soothing and sublime devotions

of Christian worshi , and also calculated to impress eve spectator with

wonder, delight, an admiration. Forciny and appositely as it been said.

in the quaint language of ancient lore :—

" Stay, curious traveller, and pass not bye

Until this relive [elegant] pile astound thine eye,—

Thou seen this mayslrie of a human hande,

The pride of Brisiowe and the westerns lande.—

Well maies! then he astounde, but view it well;

Go not from hence, before thou see thy fill,

And learn the builder's vertues and his name;

Or this tall rpm in every countrye lelle,

And will: thy tale the lazing rych man shame;

Shows how the Glorious Canynges (lid excelle;

How he, good man, a friend to lryngel became,

And glorious paved at once, the way to heaven and fame."

These singular and trul poetical lines, by an uneducated boy, embrace

points .adnnrallly appli'ca le to.our pre‘sent tune and pprpose.. ‘

Although essential and substantial repairs and restoration be the main

object in the contemplated works, these will be applied to the interior even

more than to the exterior of the bail ' ; for if the latter may be regarded

as the shell, the former is the kernel; ' the last he the case, the first is the

jewel intended to be preserved. Indeed, as the inside of Redclifi'e Church

was in its ori ' and finished state an architectural design of pre-eminent

richness and u ,—as it was destined by its founder and architect to sur

pass all its neighbours in originality of com 'tion and elaborate finish, so

was it adapted to satisfy the wants and wis es of those for whose devotions

it was intended: the resent architects, emulous to follow such example,

ropose to render it yand completely adapted for the rites, as well as the

bits, of its protestant occupants. In (10' this they consider it material

to provide accommodation for the many, ra er than merel to please the

few; they think the clergyman and his congregation should in such close

communion, that the former may be seen, as well as heard by the latter. If

the numerous shafled pillars tend to interfere with this communion in some

11 60., the few sittings, so placed as to be out of view of the minister; will

on y be rsorted to on emergencies. flu designing and disposing the altar,

the number desk, ofand seats, the the pulpit, most the scrupurlous oven, attention and the will out, be aspaid wellby as the thearchitects

required

to the ancient of the Anglican church, and they confidently anticipate

many striking an beautiful scenes and efl‘ects when the whole is completed,

p the subordinate appendages being made to correspond and harmonise with


.

/_

VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST, WITH THE SPIRE, AS PROPOSED TO BE REfiTORED

pv‘uu—v

a- __,-_-_ e_

0'

_.—-_

~-v

_—

-

,-


.

. _

_ , ~ut 0 ~— P— -

M.'__~"\—’?-'~w‘p~ Mfufi_—~—m-w: - ~ 3:---zfl—QQJ

‘_.-\ "'_' ., ,'2_

' " M

"hem-f”

_J.P.LHCNP§ON:' * '“" ‘

~_~ 0 ‘ 7"“‘-—-I-'“. ~‘- , -Q‘fl _ -


VIEW OF THE NAVE, Bic, LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST, RES'I'ORED.

lll" Ifun

ii

/'

l

| l

a

~‘"‘.l"‘_lllai.'vt§ti ii i

Divested ol' pews, seats, and other furniture of a

details of the interior otthis truly beautiful edifice.

testant church, the above print shews the architectural character and

f not equal in sculptured decoration to the gorgeous chapel: of Henry VIL,

Iondon, and Kin s Coll Cambridge, it will bear comparison with those justly famed buildings, and will he found to surpass

PM! of th: ‘eath rals an other large churches of our own and of foreig: countries in this respect- Although in miniature, this

‘1 J Ind i

' in wood

‘ the finaly ItiersOver or pillars, this tncened with thewall

arches to the aisles, and the

panelled walls above them in the‘situation til' the triforium of the] oath

is a series of cluutory

windows of dimensions. and 0! fine forms and pro rtions, wi mnllious and tracery. These, itis reasonably‘inkrred, were

originally till with stained glass, “casting a dim. 1e igious light" over the whole scene. (ionnectin , and apparently tyinns

t ther, the twn side walls, is a groin-vaulted ceiling, profusely adorned with intertwining moulded n s, foliated tracery

ric ly sculptured bosses spreading over the whole. In t eview presented by the engraving, the eye ran through I bepiztiful

vista full of the most charming architectural eti'ects. lt requires but little stretch of fancy to imagine t e exquisite and indeed

sublime appearance of the whole, were the windows tilled with pictured glass, and the ribs, bosses, and capitals of the vaulted

ceilings, and of the shalted pillars, with gold and colours " richly ight."


'

REMARKS AND SUGGESTIONS. 65

the architectural disposition and character of the church. A learned and

travelled cle an, who has devoted some years to the study of the church

architecture 0 the middle ages, writes to me thus; “ The harmam‘ous eii‘ect

of Redclifi'e Church must at one time have been quite unrivalled. I am not

aware of any cathedral or parish church, either in England or abroad, that

contains an e ual amount of rich and uniform vaulting. The bosses, more

particularl , th in quality and quantity, s ass all that I have met with

elsewhere. He then laments the effects of ogarth’s ictures, with their

vulgar draperies, and the filling in of the east window an of the altar-screen

beneath; and re robates the barbarous and lo pews, which cut up and

destroy much of e architectural beauty of the c urch.

Fortunately for the cause of architecture and of good taste, we are living

in times when the enlightened higher orders of the clergy apipreciate the

beauties of the ancient churches in which they ofiiciate; and w on not only

deans and archdeacons, but many churchwardens, consider it to be a plea

sure as well as a duty to render willin aid in upholding and preserving,

whilst they really adorn, the sacred ' ces committed to their care. Hence

the contrast between this and a former age is striking, and, at the same time,

truly gratifying to all admirers of ancient architecture.

SEPULCHRAL AND CBNOTAPHIAL MONUMENTS IN CHURCHES.—NO one,

until very latel , has uestioned the propriety of placing public memorials

within the walls of C ' tiau churches; as funeral ceremonies and local

associations jointly conspired to int to those buildings as fitting and appro

priate places for such testimonialls' ; but we know that these sacred spots, and

onorary privileges, have been most wofully misused, and even disgraced,

on too man occasions. There is scarcely a. cathedral, or other fine church

in Englan , whose symmetry, beauty, and even stability have not been

greatly injured/b the introduction of all sorts 0f fantastical, and even ugly

compositions, c ed monuments; whilst the same have been as lamenta ly

misplaced. The Abbey-church of Westminster, and that of Bath, are noto

rious examples; the former presenting the appearance of a warehouse, or

lumber lack of gallery, art; whilst of all thesorts, latter sizes, was, forms, till very and lately, colours, equally of soulIdisfigured tured art and

injured. Recently, however, the guardians of Ba church, advised by their

skilful architect, have tastefully renovated the building, and arranged its

numerous tablets, &c., with some regard to system and propriety. In

general, we find church monuments inserted in, and weakening the solid

and essential walls; out into, and 'nst slender and elegant pillars; placed

in windows, to the destruction of e aborate mullions and storied lazing; or

otherwise disposed, without the least feeling ofrespect to the sacre character

of thpflpllace, or to its architectural beauty and historical interest. Hence the

gene 'ty of such works have been rendered more offensive than pleasing

and impressive; and instead of conferring compliment and reflecting honour

both on the dead and the living, have impeached the taste and judgment of

* My respected friend, I. H. Markland, has lately agitated this subject in a pam—

phlel on “English Churches and Sepulchral Memorials ;" and “the Quarterly

Review” (Sept. 1842,) has taken up the cause, to show the impropriety, the nudevo

tional tendency, of occu%ing the walls and areas of churches with “sepulchral me

morials" of any kind. hilst it most justly reprobales all the vulgar and tasteless

slabs, sculpture, and inscriptions, that have too long defaced the architectural beauties

of Christian temples, i! also more strongly and earnestly censures the practice of

interring bodies within their walls. This subject is entitled to the deliberate and

candid investigation of the scholar, critic, and philosopher; for, too much enslaved

and blinded by old habits and established customs, the general mind is unqualified to

come to sound and impartial conclusions. We are in a state of transilicu,——enquiry

and research have opened the long-closed door: of mystery and prejudice, and truth

and light will inevitably burst forth and illuminate the mental hemisphere. My own

pursuits have impelled me to read and think much on the subject, and l have long

meditated on a novel and nearly matured plan, to preserve, display, and give full

efficiency to monumental memorials.

E


66 MR. narrron’s

the latter, and rendered that ridiculous which might to have been admonitory

and sublime. It is time this evil, this vulgar practice, were remedied; and

the present is a most favourable opportunity to set a laudable example. In

preserving the tombs already belonging totlle church, it is proposed to class

and arrange them with some attention to simplicity and symmetry, and to

adopt suc regulations for the future as may ensure a continuance of the

system. In explaining this subject to the worthy descendants of a time

honoured individual, whose mortal remains repose within this splendid

Christian mausoleum, they immediately commissioned the architects to make

such a design as would be at once appropriate to the deceased, and to the

buildi , towards the complete restoration of which they profi'ered also

cheerffily to contribute.

To accommodate and afford eve degree of comfort to even larger congre—

tious than have generally assent led within the walls of this church, we

lave made such arrangement of the seats, as shall bring all persons more

fully and freely within sight and hearin of the minister; and have also

taken especial care to display the comp etc height and design of all the

raceful clustered pillars of the edifice. Many other material, and it is

lieved important, improvements of the interior are pointed out in the

reports to the vestry; and in the progress of the works, it will be not only

our duty, but our most anxious Wish and study, to render the whole building

as perfect, as it is original and uni ue ; and then, whilst its exterior and

interior architecture may secure the miration of the critical antique , the

imangemcnt and fittings of the latter shall be in harmony with the bui ding,

and fully adapted to all the comforts and accommodation of a large protestant

congregation.

In our report to the vestry, we have suggested the eligibility of commenc—

ing restoration with the tower and spire; in completing which, two objects

and ends will be attained, and rendered pable to all persons, viz., the true

pro rtions, architectural beauties, an admirable design of the former,

wlu t the sublime and graceful effect of the latter, will be seen both near

and far 011'; and thus completed, they will jointly demonstrate what can be

done with good materials and skilfu workmen, in renovating this decayed

garb of antiquity, and giving to it a quality and power of endurance for many

successive ages.

HISTORICAL N0’I‘lCES.—-The church ofRedclifi'e is not cnlypopularly called

Canynges’ work, but the topographers of the cityulso ascribe it to a rson of

this name. Hence much error, and much confusion, have prevail . There

were several persons named Canynges, two of whom appear to have been rich

merchants, ma ore, and liberal benefactors to the r and to the religious

fraternities of ristol. Barrett, Seyer, Evans, D away, and other unti—

quarics, have failed to indentify the works and deeds of the senior and junior

members ofthat family ; although the lastreverend gentleman has endeavoured

to do so, and has certainly given a better and more discriminating account of

the varieties of architecture in this church than any other writer: but he is

occasionally very obscure and confused, not only in his “ Essa on Can 3,"

but pro-eminently so in his “ Discourses upon Architecture in England. ' It

cannot fail to rplex any person to discover what he means by the ‘ Oratories

in Redclifl'e hurch were built to receive perpetual Chantries :" (p. 20.)

Scyer and Evans have not made out the true history of the edifice, nor was

mv former assay at all successful. It would require more s ace than can be

afforded on this occasion, to unravel the entangled thread which these authors

have 5 un. I must confine myself to the mere consideration of the dates and

ol2 the building, as intimated by those members or parts which are of

dissimilar styles.

There are four palpable varieties of Christian architecture in Redclifi'e

Church, manifesting as many architects, and as man different times when

they were respectively designed and erected. The mner north rch, or

vestibule,—the tower and spire,—the outer north poroh,—the bog; of the


\

REMARKS AND soconsrrons. 67

church, with the lady chapel, and the south porch,-—we feel assured were

built successively; and it 1s generally admitted, that an older church was

removed to give lace to the present nave and chancel, with their aisles, and

the transept. The oldest of these members, i. e. the vestibule, is of a date

between A. D. 1200 and 1230. “ In 1207, Lord Robert de Berkeley granted

to Redclifi'e Church, at the request of William, the cha lain, his fountain of

water from Huge Well, for the friars of St. John the aptist in Redolifi'e.”

Lands were conferred on the same church, about that time, plainly showing

that there was one then in the 'ile The tower and spire we may safely

refer to the reign of Edward , as cor-res nding with known specimens of

that age. According to the chronicles of ristol, Simon de Burton, who was

mayor, in 1293, “ began to build the church of St. Mary de Redclitie, when

John Lamyngton was cha ninz" (Evans‘s Chronological Outline.) Seyer,

in his “ Memoirs of Bristol, ’ (vol. II. p. 77) from MS. calendar, more cautious

and particular, says, “ It was about the year 1293 or 1294, that Simon de

Bourton, a person of wealth and consequence, who was mayor of Bristol in

that car, and bore the same oflice six times, built the church of St. Mary

Redc ifi'e, where the eastern end now is.” Here we find it positively stated

by one writer, that the church was built, and by another that it was begun

at the above date. To us it is quite clear that no part of the resent chum

is so early as 1294. That the eater portion of it is to be ascri ed to lVilliam

Gang/ages, Jam, may be safe y inferred by the testimony of written docu

ments, and the architectural features of the building. He was a religious, a

Wealthy, and a charitable merchant; and after amassing large riches, marr -

ing, and having two children, and becoming a widower, in 1460 or 1466, re

retired from business and the civil and civic pursuits of life, to become priest

of the religious house at Westbury-upon-Trym, founded by his confessor and

early friend, John Ca nter, Bishop of Worcester. To this association, to

the influence of the (>3.th hierarchy, and to the general fashion of the age,

we may refer the size and style of the church, whose restoration we strenu

ously advocate. That other persons contributed towards the same building

there can scarcely be a doubt; indeed the armorial bearings and devices on

many of the bosses of the ceiling, lainly shew that the Staii'ords, Berkeleys,

Beairchamps, Montacutes, and. o ers, aided in this sacred and propitiatory

wor .

A critical history of the whole edifice, with biographical accounts of the

founders and contributors, would constitute an interesting, and indeed an

important literary memoir; for whilst it would unfold and elucidate the local

manners, customs, pursuits, and habits, of a large and influential class of

provincial society, it would also tend to exemplify the political, moral, and

philoso hical state of the country, at different epochs. In the volume I

former y published on Redclifi‘e C urch, these matters are barely alluded to;

for my sources of information were then limited; but from the vast mass of

historical documents since brought to lirrht and rendered accessible, and also

from the discoveries of antiquaries, emf the investigations of authors, there

are at the present time abundance of materials for such an essa as I have

suggested: on this occasion I can only allude to the subject, an express a

be e that it may be undertaken and achieved by a. competent writer.

t may not be irrelevant to say that, at the 1present time, many and great

renovations and improvements are making in anglish and foreign cathedral

and other churches; particularly in those of Canterbury and York, of Colo e

and of Antwerp, also at Stafford, Stratford-‘upon-Avon, the round churc es

at Cambridge, and the Temple, London. The latter, now completed, is the

most clip-ant and also the most interesting edifice of its class, and in appro

priate ornment, in Europe. Though small and plain in des'gn, as compared

with that of Redclifl'e, more money has lately been expende on the one in

London than is required to make that of Bristol a perfect renovation. So

also on the anterior only of Her the Seventh‘s Chapel, more than £42,000

were paid for its renewal, after t e year 1809.


68 MR. Ban'roiv’s REMARKS AND SUGGESTIONS.

Loon. PATRIMXSM is a virtue which has essentially promoted the im

provement and importance of almost every old city and town in Great Britain.

An Englishman’s native place and home is naturall dear to him, and when

the pleasures and cares of life have accompanied ' to ripe old age and

fortune has crowned his career, he meditates on the reminiscences of2 that

home, and of the relations and friends with which it has been associated.

Hence originated most of the noble foundations and exem lary charities

which belong to Bristol, and to many other ‘ lish towns an cities :—hence

the names of Colston, Cabot, Penn, Carr, itson, the Whites, the Fitz

hardin , the Thames, and the Canynges, of the olden times,—a.nd those of

Seyer, uthey, h‘reeling, Chatterton, and many others of the present,—-are

intimately associated with this place by deeds of munificent benevolence, or

by works of merit. To some 0 these men, not only is Bristol indebted for

much of its fame and greatness, but thousands and tens of thousands of its

natives have derived many and important benefits from their ood deeds and'

their p0 ular influence. Their names and memories shoul , therefore, be

constantly brought under public notice, not merely to do them just honours,

but to reuse others to follow their praiseworthy example. Portraits of some

of them are reserved in the Council House, and those of others should be

procured an duly exhibited in that or in other public places. Their Immu

menta should also be guarded with real 'ous care; and were such testimonies

as the following repeated, of all public nefactors, it would still further pro

mote the cause of local triotism :-—“ A Pious Meditation, b John Whitson,

Alderman of the City 0 Bristol, with some Account of the uthor, by G. S.

Catcott, and the Rev. John Eden, 8vo., 1829, with a Portrait and View of his

Monument."—“Go thou and do likewise ;" or, as inscribed on the sim ly

beautiful monument raised to commemorate “ William Canynges, who ed

ye 7th of July, 1474 :—

" No age nor time can wear out well-woon fame,

The stone! themselves a natlie worke doth show,

From senseless grave we ground may men! good name,

And noble minds by ventrous deeds we know.

A Lanterns clear sols forth a candcl light,

A worthy act declares a worthy Wight.

The buildings rare that here you may behold

To shrine his bones, deserves a tombe of gold:

The famous {shriek that he here hath donne,

Shines in its sphere as glorious as the wane.

What needs more words, the future worlds he soughte,

And set ye pomp and pride of this at nonghle:

Heaven was his alme, let heaven be still his station,

That leaves such works for others imitation."

With these apposite and pertinent lines, and with the sincere belief that

there are many benevolent hearts as much alive to perform deeds of charity

and goodness now, as the time-honoured Cnnynges' heart was in a former

age, and which may prom t the livin to imitate the glorious works of the

dead, I conclude an apps , which I ear is very inadequate to the subject,

as it is to the feelings and wishes of

J. BRI'I'I‘ON,

Oc'roass 3|, lsn.

Burton Street, London.


69

ORIGINAL ADDRESS,

\

ISSUED IN JULY, 1w, AND REFERRED TO IN THE COMMENCE

MENT OF THE FOREGOING APPEAL.

Tm: Vicar, Churchwardens, and Vestry of St. Mary Redclifl'e,

having resolved 11 on a public and extended appeal on behalf

of the venerable abric entrusted to their care, are induced to

h0pe that they will be justified in this course by the circumstances

connected with its present condition.

They have been long and painfully aware, that all the pecu

niary resources at their command applicable to the sustentation

of their church, though applied with the utmost care and

vigilance, have been scarcely adequate to the repair of the con

tinual breaches and decays in the lead and stone work, where

immediate danger had been apprehended; and they have long

felt it vain and useless, with such inadequate means, to con

template any thing like general or extensive repair, even of the

more solid and substantial parts of the church, however impressed

with the well-grounded conviction, that time and weather were

silently, but surely, carrying on the work of destruction. Still

less could the parish authorities dare to think of the restoration

of their church to its architectural pristine beauty. Circumstances

have now arisen, which, though not foreseen, are of such peculiar

importance and character as to require them to make a great

efl'ort on behalf of a church so venerable, so beautiful, and so

renowned as that of St. Mary Redclifle, described by Queen

Elizabeth, in her charter, as “ one of the most famous, abso

lute, fairest, and goodliestlparish churches within the realm of

England," and deemed by the ablest judges to be inferior in

magnitude only to the noble cathedrals of Wells and Gloucester,

whilst it is susceptible of being made truly the pride of Bristol

and the surrounding counties.

The circumstances alluded to were the recent general and

deep interest excited in the study of ancient Christian architec

ture, and, with a view of promoting that study, the establishment

of societies in the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,

in London and in Bristol; but above all, the very recent Act of

Parliament for improving the latter city, by the salutary opera

tions of which, the entire north front of the church, in all its


70 ORIGINAL annaass.

beautiful and interesting details, has, for the first time for many

centuries, been laid open to public view: but while the eye of

taste has been gratified with this beautiful exhibition, the feelings

have been pained to observe that it is but beauty in decay, thus

more forcibly a peeling to the parish authorities to make the

effort to which t ey have alluded.

The vicar, churchwardens, and vestry, thus called on, gave

their best consideration to the subject, and the result was, their

determination to obtain from some gentleman of the highest

reputation for science and practical knowledge in such subjects,

a detailed survey and report on the state and condition of their

church, directed to the following heads :—

First,--The solid and substantial repair of the fabric, in all

the more important parts of its walls, pillars, arches, buttresses,

and roofs.

Secondly—The restoration of its ornamental parts both ex

ternal and internal, or of such portions thereof as with reference

to the next head, it might be deemed proper to retain.

Thirdly,-—Snch alterations (principally internal) as might

seem necessary for restoring the fabric to its ancient and pristine

beauty.

In the selection of the gentleman in question, their attention

was naturally drawn to Mr. BRITTON, who had thirty years ago,

considered their church as worthy of his deep study and of the

able efforts of his mind, in a separate publication of considerable

extent, equally celebrated for its literary character and its accu

rate and beautiful illustrations; and it is no small gratification to

them to find this gentleman, after the lapse of so long a period,

still able and anxious to devote his best efforts towards the

accomplishment of the objects they had in view, bringing to the

task the more matured knowledge which had been since afforded

him, during the thirty years in question, from his investiga

tion and ably written accounts of many of our cathedrals and

other churches, and from his extensive reading and study, by

which he was enabled to prepare and give repeated lectures

on the architectural antiquities of Europe, and in the completion

of these works and lectures, has been impelled or induced criti

cally to examine most of the ecclesiastical edifices of our own

country. And it was, they repeat, with heartfelt gratification,

that the parish authorities found Mr BRITTON, with all his

matured knowledge and increased reputation, willing to resume

the subject of Redclifl'e church, and to apply his talents and

knowledge towards its restoration.

The result of this communication with Mr. Barr'ron, was his


ORIGINAL ADDRESS.

calling to his aid the talent. of that eminent architect and civil

engineer, Mr. \VILLIAM HOSKING, Professor of Architecture,

&c., King's College, London; and after a minute and attentive

examination of the church in general and in its details, upon

personal survey and close study and consideration, these gentle

men have now presented to the vicar, churchwardens, and vestry,

luminous and detailed reports on all the matters referred to

them, accompanied by plans and drawings illustrative of their

views; and, so far as these documents have been yet considered,

the parish authorities feel satisfied, that the gentlemen alluded

to have been governed by views not less honourable to their

reputation for taste and science, than for sound and practical

knowledge, and that could the views of those gentlemen be carried

out, our city would possess a parochial church, and the west of

England a national monument, of unequalled beauty, and one

to be visited and admired by multitudes of strangers of our own

and foreign nations: but to effect this object, an expenditure ap

proaching very nearly to the sum of forty thousand pounds must

be encountered, and such an amount can only be raised by the

liberal contributions of those throughout our country, whom

providence has blessed with the ability and the desire to aid in

such objects as that for which this appeal is intended; and, upon

those of our own locality, who have been so favoured by Provi~

deuce, it is confidently felt an appeal will not be made in vain

for the restoration of a fabric, which,—if not wholly the work

of a Bristol merchant or merchants,—is certainly to be ascribed

principally to one of that class. ~

The reports alluded to are of too great extent to be introduced

in this appeal, but it is intended to embody in a subsequent and

early address, such an analysis thereof as shall embrace their

more leading and prominent parts, illustrated by copies of the

drawings; but the vicar, churchwardens, and vestry, knowing

the deep and anxious interest which the subject has excited in

the city, were unwilling to delay some communication of the

progress they had made, and in the mean time the drawings

alluded to are left at the vestry-room in the church for inspec

tion.

M. R. WHISH, VICAR.

THOS.PROCTOR, C

JOHN FARLER, } nuacnwaansus.

BRISTOL, July 26, 1842.

J. Chilcott, Printer, Clare Street, Bristol.


“- —~M--Ma.-;Mm- -'


ltecmlly Published by J. Chilcott, Bristol.

CHILCOTT’S DESCRIPTIVE HISTORY OF BRISTOL; or,

Guide to Bristol, Clifton, 8'. the Hotwells; containing a Description

of the Origin, Boundary, Extension, Public Buildings, the Domestic

History, Habitations, and Manners, of ANCIENT Buls'rOL ; also a

Description of the Public Companies, principal Institutions, Natural

Beauties, and Topographical Curiosities of Monmm BRISTOL, Clifton,

and the Hotwells; with Topographical Notices of the Seats, Villages,

\Vatering Places, and other objects of Interest in the Neighbourhood;

illustrated with Maps, Copper Plates, \Vood Cuts, &c. &c. _, Agent

Pocket Volume, boards, 40. 6d.

a

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A NEW MAP OF BRISTOL, CLIFTON, & THE HOTWELLS;

containing References to the Churches, Chapels, Schools, Almshouses,

principal Hotels, and Public Buildings of the City and its Vicinity,

ls. 6d.; or neatly done up on counts, in a case for the pocket, 28.

STRANGERS' GUIDE TO BRISTOL, cur'roN, THE

HOTWELLS; with a Description of the many \Valks'and Ride: in

the Neighbourhood. With Map, Is. 6d. stitched.

CHILCOTT'S NEW GUIDEWON 8; THE HOT WELLS;

with Topographical Notices be e ' ages, \Vatering Places,

and other objects of Interest in the Neigh

Map, 'il'ood Engravings, &c. 28.

hood; illustrated with

A NEW MAP OF CLIFTON, corrected to 1848, a Sheet, 1.9.; or

neatly done up on cloth, in a case for the pocket, 18" 6d.

TINTERN AND ITS VICINITY, by IV. H. Thomas, M. R. C. 8.;

illutraterl with numerous Wood Engravings and Diagrams. sncon'n

EDITION, greatly improved, 2s. 6d.

CHILCOTP’S CLEVEDON NEW GUIDE“, with Historical Notices

of Clevedon Court, Walton Church and Castle, &c. ; also a Descrip

tion of Coleridge’s Cottage, and of the mad} pleasant Walks and

Rides to objects of interest in the Neighboifrh‘ood, A new EDITION,

illustrated with Engravings, l'lmo. stitched, Is. 611.

4;, .


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