Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 2Wilkinson, Robert
Bridewell Chapel and Court Room.
In the year , the House of was burnt, and all the apartments belonging to it; likewise all the dwellinghouses in the precinct, which were about -thirds of the revenue of the house; but the governors, till the hospital could be rebuilt, made provision for the several arts-masters and their apprentices, in places remote from the city.
The Room, workhouses, dwellinghouses, within the said hospital, by the care and pains of the governors, were soon rebuilt in a more convenient manner. The reparations, rebuilding, and other incidental charges, occasioned by the fire, amounted to above . Beside the great loss that this house sustained by the fire in , its revenue was much impaired by other fires that happened at , where a great many tenements belonging to it were burnt; the in , and the other in .
The old chapel belonging to precinct was enlarged and beautified at the cost and charge of the governors and inhabitants of the precinct, in the year : Sir Thomas Middleton being then president, and Mr. Thomas Johnson treasurer of the hospital. The enlargement was by taking in a large room, which, before the date above named, joined upon the head of the chapel: this ground adding to the length of the chapel (at the full breadth going with it) full feet. The room thus taken in, trimmed, beautified, and consecrated, was made a handsome chapel; it being before a room empty, waste, rude, and unsightly, though then in the use deserving a fair commendation; for then the ground was a chapel for the prisoners of the house, into which, every Sabbath, through a backward passage, they were brought from their several lodgings to hear divine service and sermons.
Close by the pulpit hung the picture of Edward VI, with these lines under it:
Here also was Queen Elizabeth's monument, with the common verses,
This chapel being destroyed by the fire, in , it was re-edified, and finished in , in the manner hereafter described. It had a square roof, and galleries, at the north and west sides, supported by columns of the Tuscan order; at the west side were places for the hospital boys, and others for the prisoners. The walls brick; the wainscot and finishing very neat. The altar-piece consisted of pilasters, with their entablature and circular pediment of the Corinthian order; between which were the Commandments done in gold on black, and the Lord's Prayer and Creed in gold on blue, in gilt frames; and further enriched with gilt cherubim, leaves, fruit, &c. carved in relievo. The chancel was paved with black and white marble at the building, but now the whole floor of the chapel was paved in the same manner. The last part, with a handsome pair of iron gates, were the gift of Sir William Withers, of whom there is an excellent engraved portrait (with a fac-simile of his autograph) from an original picture, in the possession of Edmund Lodge, Esq. now Norroy Herald.
To this chapel and precinct belonged the following officers: The Rev. Mr. Gibbons, preacher chosen by the governors; the reader, the Rev. Mr. Jenkins; the chapel wardens, in the house, the other in the precinct; and constable living within the house, generally the porter thereof.
The Court Room has a chair for the president, and convenient seats for the governors. It is adorned with columns of the Composite order, a gallery, &c. but the most valuable embellishments are the several handsome tables, on which the names of the benefactors are depencilled in gold letters.
Over the door, at the entrance, is this inscription: "This Room, and Parlour, were repaired and beautified in the year . Sir Thomas Rawlinson, lord mayor, then president; Thomas Gardiner, Esq. treasurer."
And over the gates going into the chapel: "These Iron Gates, and the Marble Pavement, were the gift of the Right Worshipful Sir William Withers, Knt. and alderman, president of this hospital Anno Dom. ."
The management of the affairs in this hospital is by the governors, who are above , beside the lord mayor and court of aldermen; all of whom are likewise governors of the hospital of Bethlem. The officers are a president, a treasurer, a court clerk, a steward, a matron, a porter, and beadles, the youngest of whom is to give correction to the criminals.
was anciently a palace, and honoured with the residence of several of our monarchs, even as early as King John. It was formed partly out of the remains of an ancient castle, the western of the city, which stood near the river Fleet, close to the Thames. In , William I gave many of the choicest materials toward the rebuilding of , which had been destroyed by the fire. And Henry I gave as many of the stones, from the walls of the castle-yard, as served to enclose and form the gates and precinct of the church. Notwithstanding this, the dwelling remained, and became the residence of several of our monarchs. It remained neglected till Henry VIII resided here. To this palace that arbitrary prince convened all the abbots, and other heads of religious houses, English and foreign, and squeezed out of them a ; in those days an enormous sum:—from the Cistercians, who would not own his supremacy, not less than . He enlarged the palace, and furnished it in a most magnificent manner, for the reception of the Emperor Charles V, who visited England in .— After all the expense, the Emperor lodged in Black Friars, and his suite in the new palace; and from the palace a gallery of communication was erected over the ditch, and a passage cut through the city wall, into the Emperor's apartments.
Henry VIII appears to have been particularly attached to this place; and in the year , a Parliament being then holden in Black Friars, he created states of nobility there, viz.
Henry Fitzroy, a child (which he had by Elizabeth Blunt) to be Earl of Nottingham, Duke of Richmond and of Somerset, lieutenant-general from Trent northward, and warden of the East, Middle, and West Marches for anenst Scotland.
Henry Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, cousin-german to the King, to be Marquis of Excester.
Henry Brandon, a child of years old, son to the Earl of Suffolk, to be Earl of Lincoln.
Sir Thomas Manners, Lord Ross, to be Earl of Rutland.
Sir Henry Clifford, to be Earl of Cumberland.
Sir Robert Ratcliff, to be Viscount Fitzwater.
Sir Thomas Boloine, treasurer of the King's household, to be Viscount Rochford.
In the year , Cardinal Campeius was brought to the King's presence, being then at , to which palace he had called all his nobility, judges, counsellors, &c. and here, the , in his great chamber, he made unto them an oration touching his marriage with Queen Katherine. And in , the same King Henry and Queen Katherine resided here, while the question of their marriage was argued at Black Friars.
The palace fell afterwards into decay, and was begged by the pious Bishop Ridley, from Edward VI, to be converted to some charitable purpose. The way in which it became a was thus: "In the year , the of Edward VI, the , Sir George Barne, being maior of this city, was sent for to the court at , and there at that time, the King gave unto him, for the communalty and citizens to be a workhouse for the poor and idle persons of the city, his house of , and of land, late of the possessions of the house of the Savoy; and all the bedding and other furniture of the said workhouse of , and the hospital of St. Thomas in ."
This gift King Edward confirmed by his charter, dated the , next following. And in the year , in the month of February, Sir William Gerard, maior, and the aldermen, entered , and took possession thereof, according to the gift of the said King. The same was also confirmed by Queen Mary.
Concerning the forwarding of this good work of , and bringing it to a desired perfection, this act of Common Council was made the last of February, in the and years of Philip and Mary.
"Forasmuch as King Edward VI had given his house of unto the city, partly for the setting of idle and lewd people to work, and partly for the lodging and harbouring of the poor, sick, weak and sore people of this city; and of poor wayfaring people repairing to the same; and had for this last purpose, given the bedding and furniture of the Savoy to that purpose; therefore, in consideration that very great charges would be required to the fitting up of the said house, and the buying of tools and bedding, the money was ordered to be gotten up among the rich people of the Companies of London, &c."
And as the city had appointed Grey Friars, now called Christ Hospital, for the education of poor children, and St. Bartholomew, and St. Thomas in , for the maimed and diseased; Edward formed the governors of these charitable foundations into a corporation, allowed them a proper authority for the exercise of their offices, and constituted himself the founder and patron.
In the following reigns granaries, and storehouses for coal, were erected at the expense of the city within this hospital, and the poor were employed in grinding corn with hand-mills, which were greatly improved in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
For the encouragement of manufactures, a number of handicraft tradesmen of several professions are allowed habitations in this hospital, for the purpose of taking apprentices, at the appointment of the governors, to train up to their respective occupations. These tradesmen are termed arts-masters of , and their apprentices were well known, until within the last years, by the name of boys: prior to that time, they uniformly wore a very awkward dress, consisting of blue cloth jackets, without any shirts, clumsy trowsers of the same thick stuff, and white hats; but now they are apparelled as other tradesmen's apprentices, having neither a particular colour or fashion, to distinguish them from other persons. These youths having faithfully served their apprenticeship, are not only made free of the city, but have given them toward business for themselves. Prior to the vast increase of insurance offices against fire, and the multiplied numbers of engines and firemen, the boys were particularly active and expert in their assistance on those calamitous occasions, and were generally the to check the ravages of that destructive element.
To this hospital, abandoned women, pickpockets, vagrants, and incorrigible servants, are committed by the lord mayor and aldermen; as are also disobedient apprentices, by the chamberlain of the city; where they are obliged to beat hemp, and if the nature of their offences require it, undergo the correction of whipping.
On the completion of , the front of Hospital, then greatly decayed, was taken down, and handsomely rebuilt, several feet backwarder; to give the street a straight direction from to the Bridge; by which means the front court is much contracted from its former size.
Not a vestige remains of those parts of the ancient building, represented in the N.W. view of the Chapel, and part of the great staircase, as given in the Plate; every stone and brick, including the projecting tower, having been taken down, to make way for the modern improvements, which have since taken place. The distant view is that of . The Plate will be seen by a reference to the volume of this work.
The present new Chapel is a substantial brick edifice, very neatly fitted up with pews; it has handsome windows, over the communion table, and looking toward the large court-yard of the hospital; there are no other ornaments or embellishments than the King's arms placed on the wall opposite the centre of the middle window, and an excellent organ in a very handsome and spacious gallery fronting the altar.
The chapel doors are screened with iron gates, the same as have been before mentioned, the gift of Sir William Withers. In a small apartment to the right of the entrance is placed a neat marble font, upon a pedestal; and the opposite chamber on the left is used as the vestry-room.
The handicraft tradesmen, and their apprentices, are almost wholly done away with; and the once royal palace of is now in use solely as a city prison and penitentiary for the lewd and dissolute of both sexes, and as a probationary place to reform and reclaim them from vice, by means of occupation and instruction.
The accompanying Plate is a view of that part of the quadrangle of the court of this hospital, comprising the male prison, part of the female prison, and the great hall containing Holbein's painting of the presentation of the charter.
The officers of this foundation () are:
Title page of Vol. 2 reads: Theatrum illustrata. Graphic and historic memorials of ancient playhouses, modern theatres and other places of public amusement in the cities and suburbs of London & Westminster with scenic and incidental illustrations from the time of Shakspear to the present period.