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
The Cross at West Chepe.
The subject of crosses forms a class in the system of old English architecture of very high interest. The great variety and general beauty of their forms, their age, and a sort of traditional sanctity attached to them, unite to impress the mind of the beholder with sentiments of veneration not easily to be described. Considered as fragments of national costume, as memorials of the skill and piety of our forefathers, the man of taste must ever lament their destruction, and reprobate that excess of indiscriminating zeal in our reformers, which, in seeking the overthrow of superstition, too often waged war with the fine arts.
No building of this kind ever occasioned more noise than the of which we are now about to treat; this probably arose from its situation in the principal street of the metropolis. was, from the earliest times, the great theatre of exhibition of the splendour of our ancestors. Tilts, tournaments, and processions, rendered it continued scene of amusement. Chaucer hints at this in his "Coke's Tale,"—where describing an idle city apprentice, he says:
Its celebrated cross and conduits must have added grace to these festivities. Accordingly we hear of the former being frequently , and the latter running with while the houses and shops vied with each other in a display of sumptuous tapestry and plate. The annexed engraving, representing "the procession of Edward VI. to his coronation at ," exhibits a striking example of this sort of splendour: we extract from the pamphlet of the Antiquarian Society, accompanying the original plate, the following sketch:—
On the - the day fixed on for the coronation (says the order[c] ),
Our view represents , and a of the above procession at the time when the King had just arrived at the CROSS. The balconies and windows of all the houses on the left-hand side of the street are crowded with spectators, and decorated as described. Among the celebrated paintings copied in tapestry, is evidently from Raphael's famous picture of St. George on horseback; a print of which is engraved by Vosterman. The shops are set out with cups, vases, beakers, jars, and other elegant pieces of goldsmith's works.[d] The master of each house is standing at his shop door, and saluting the King as he passes.[e]
Of the forms of the earlier crosses, numerous specimens exist.[a] These, however, though comparatively more or less adorned, were mere rude essays to what followed. As science advanced, these monuments became an object of decoration, on which the skill and labour of the artist and sculptor were profusely lavished. Piles of solid masonry exquisitely wrought and adorned with statues, succeeded the simple pillar, placed in the churchyard, or on the road side; and gracing the most public situations, vied at length with the obelisks and columns of antiquity, while the crucifix itself was lost in the greatness of the building on which it was elevated. Of this description, rank in a very supereminent degree the crosses, or pious memorials erected by Edward I. to the memory of his Queen Eleanor, of which that in Cheap, which we now proceed to describe, was .
The original cross was erected in the year , and was of is described as having been but a few years before this period an open field;[b] it was consequently a fit spot for the site of such a monument. In after-ages, when the street by building on became narrowed, so large a structure must have been productive of much inconvenience, which would of itself have justified its demolition, had it not been objected to as superstitious by the fanaticism of the age. Stowe says, it was like the other crosses of Edward's foundation; and Mr. Pennant expressly tells us, that it had the statue of Queen Eleanor on the top, and in all respects resembled that at Northampton; but he appears to have no authority for such an assertion. There is little doubt but that it far excelled in beauty those which were subsequently erected.
In the year , this original cross was found to be decayed, and permission was solicited from the King to rebuild it with the addition of a conduit, or water-spout.[c] The latter reason must certainly have principally operated for pulling it down, for we can hardly suppose it much worse in a century and a half, when several of Edward's crosses still exist nearly perfect. John Hutherly, or Hatherley, then mayor of London, began by collecting large quantities of lead and other materials for the work; but it was not finished until the year , years afterwards.[d]
This cross, exhibited in the Plate, had been completely cleaned and new gilt on the accession of Edward VI. to the crown, and is drawn probably on that account with an attention to detail, observed in none of the other buildings, and which leaves no doubt of its being a faithful portrait.[e] It consists of stories, decorated with suitable figures, the lowermost flanked by columns supporting angels. Its summit, which rises nearly to the height of the loftiest houses, is crowned by the elegant crucifix and , which afterwards gave so much offence. The whole is in a much purer taste than the cross which succeeded it.
This beautiful architectural specimen stood the ornament of the street until the latter end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when the squeamish taste of the age began to find fault with it as a remnant of popish superstition, and its destruction was eagerly solicited. It was frequently presented as a common nuisance; but these complaints not being attended to, the petitioners began to redress themselves. An attack was made by some unknown persons, in the night of the , on the lower tier of images, being of the , and all of which were miserably mutilated: the Virgin "was robbed of her son, and her armes broken, by which shee staied him on her knees; her whole body also hailed by ropes, and left ready to fall."[f] The Queen offered a reward for the apprehension of the offenders, but they were not discovered. It probably deterred them, however, from fresh excesses, for we hear no further of the cross until . In that year the statue of the Virgin was fastened and repaired, and the next year "a new sonne, mishapen, (as borne out of time,) all naked, was laide in her armes, the other images remaining broken as before." That these repairs were made reluctantly, was sufficiently evident by the ridicule attempted to be attached to them. years afterwards further innovation was attempted to be made; a scaffold was employed to pull down the at the upper part of the cross, which it was pretended had decayed, and substitute a instead of the the Virgin, in consequence, was obliged to make way for the goddess Diana, "a woman," says Stowe, "(for the most part naked,) and water conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked breasts, but oftentimes dryed up."[g] Elizabeth disapproved of these attacks on the old religion; she thought that a plain crucifix, the mark of the faith of the country, ought not to be the occasion of any scandal, so directed to be placed on its summit and gilt. The city demurred, but afterwards complied. The Virgin was restored, the whole cross cleansed, and its top finished as required. The Virgin, however, was an abomination, of which they were determined to shew their abhorence; for nights afterwards she was worse used than ever, "by plucking off her crown, and almost her head, taking from her her naked child, stabbing her in the breast," &c.
In this state the cross remained until the next year (), when a fresh repair, or rather rebuilding, being judged necessary, the city consulted both universities whether the should be erected again. Dr. Abbot (afterwards Archbishop), then Vice-chancellor of Oxford, was against it. The issue was, that the cross was rebuilt, and surmounted by a plain crucifix, but without the [a] Abbot's answer, backed by heads, was published in a pamphlet, now extremely scarce, called—
" Cross censured and condemned, by a Letter sent from the Vice-chancellor, and the learned Men of the famous University of Oxford, in answer to a Question propounded by the Citizens of London, concerning the old Crosse in the Year ; in which year it was beautified; as also a remarkable Passage to the same Purpose, in a Sermon preached to an eminent and very great Auditory in this City of London, by a very reverend, holy, and learned Divine, a while after the Crosse was last repaired, which was anno ;" Lond. , to.—Of this very curious pamphlet the following is the substance:
"Resolved on this question (being propounded by the citizens of London, ), viz. Quest. Whether the crosse in should stand or be demolished. Ans. By George Abbot, Vice-chancellour of Oxford for the yeere abovesaid, as follows:
"Concerning the question of setting up againe the crosse or other crucifix in , I am of opinion—, that the godly and discreet zeal of the worthy city is much to be commended, who, on just and apparent grounds, &c. have not rashly nor tumultuously proceeded therein, but are desirous to be informed by divines of the universities —what they may, and ought to doe; Secondly, howsoever it seeme , to contain nothing of much moment in it; yet now, since the expectation of the whole Realme, and church of England is, what will become thereof, it cannot be supposed of lesse consequence, then that either our Religion, which is established according unto the Canon of the Scripture, or else that Papistry should receive a wound and blow thereby."—Objections. " in these Crucifixes are resembled God the Father by an old man, the Holy Ghost by a dove, which are both of them unlawfull in true Divinity, Because God is a Spirit, and he himselfe forbids any similitude or shape of himself, when he gave the law—" "Being then that , and the retayning thereof, is unlawfull; yea, of the highest points of Popery, whereof many learned men of their side are ashamed, I hold it a matter questionless in a reformed church, that the crosse is in no sort to be set up again, as it was before with the dove."—"And in this point I being undoubtedly and irrefragably resolved, in that same burdensome office of a Christian Magistrate, which now under my Lord, I doe beare, did upon sound and mature advice this last summer, burn and consume with fire in the market-place of Oxford, amongst others, a picture, wherein was the image of God the Father over a crucifix ready to receive the soul of Christ." "The next considerable matter is for the Crucifix itself, what is to be judged of the image, and whether it may be retained at all. It is very likely it might be used historically, to put us in mind of Him that died for us, and inasmuch as sensible and visible things do much affect us, this memoriall might stir our devotion to remember Him by whose stripes we are healed. But, I think I may boldly say, if it had never began, the church had been freed of a great deal of superstition, which afterwards grewe to little lesse than Blasphemy. I remember in that college where I lived, a young man was taken, praying and beating his breast before a crucifix in a window, which caused the master and fellows to put it down, and set up other glasse; which example makes me nothing doubt, but that the cross in hath many in the twilight and morning early, which doe reverence before it. Besides whose act is famous, or rather infamous for it, and I am informed, that so much hath been signified by the neighbours, or inquest making presentments, concerning the circumstances of this cause. By all which I do conclude, that it is a monument of their superstition, &c. In which respect I hold it necessary that the Bishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of London be sought unto; who doubtless, upon the sober intention of the governors of that city will be pleased, religiously and gravely, according unto their manifold wisdome which God hath given unto them, to looke into the matter and give instructions what is fittest to be done.[b]
"Master Vice-chancellour adds, man hath not sought for this opportunity, but God hath rather put it upon the citie, inasmuch, as the Crucifix being worn out with time, was ready to fall, there was a necessity imposed for taking it down. My advice therefore, and judgement in the name of God, is, that the Crucifix should not be erected there but that upon this opportunitie, advantage should be taken to give superstition a further blow, which will be very joyous to all that are already sincerely affected; and if there be any who truly love the Gospel, and are not yet so fully persuaded in this point, they also will in mildnesse yield to reason; if the superior power shall be pleased to give countenance to this deed of the citie. But if it should be misliked of hollow-hearted papists, or maligned by professed Recusants, it must be expected and not wondered at. Now if it shall be demanded what should be set up instead of the other monument, I think best to be some or matter of mere beauty, and not any angell or such like whatsoever; for although, in truth, that deserveth no reprehension, yet by avoyding of that, the mouthes of the adversaries may be stopped, who would otherwise storme and say, that the Creator is taken downe, and such a creature is set up in the place where hee stood; and whereas it is said, that evermore it will be called the Crosse in ; yet it may be possible, that time way weare out the appellation, or if it doe not, the name shall hurt no more than the name of or doth."—GEORGE ABBOT, Vice-chancellor, anno .
This letter is in the hand of a merchant of good credit in this citie, thus subscribed:
Then follow some arguments from Scripture against Cross, as they were preached in . The preacher, whose name is not mentioned, in the midst of several arguments, drawn from Scripture, why idols, &c. should be done away with, adds, "You are in an especial manner, guilty of this lowd crying sin. Witnesse the Crosse in , that is lately beautified by you. I am troubled to thinke how expressly God hath been provoked, and wrath, I feare will be poured out upon you for this same golden Crosse. You have adorned the covering of your images: now all men know that the crosse is that which the Papists make an idoll of; and yet you have not stained the covering thereof, but have beautified and adorned it. So that as a blessing came on them that stained the covering of their images, so a curse will most certainly follow the beautifying of the covering of those images of that crosse. And seeing Papists will worship a crosse at , surely they will then worship it also in And you yourselves know also, what respect hath been shewed to this crosse, by popishly affected amongst us. Besides the beautifying of this crosse was a lavishing of your gold; and though you lavished it not on it, as an idoll, but as an ornament, yet it being an idoll, your gold was lavished on it as an idoll. O, this crosse, is of the jewells of the whore of , and it's left and kept here as a love token, and gives them hope day, that they shall enjoy it, and us againe." The printer of the pamphlet adds as a , "There is not such a superstitious monument in , France, no not in , nor in any part of the Christian worlde, as this Crosse is, as travellours report; and that we should gild it, and papists adore it on their knees (as many witnesses testifie), is abominable, wee doubt not but our worthies in the honourable Houses of Parliament, will take away the memory of it."
The new cross was, notwithstanding the above formidable protest, victorious over all opposition, and so continued for several years, as may be seen from the succeeding Plate, which exhibits that, the Little Conduit, and the south side of , as they appeared in the year .
This curious Plate displays the greater part of the north side of , as that of the procession of Edward the , does the south.[a] It contains some remarkable objects exclusive of the crosse and conduit, which have not been generally pointed out. The most interesting of these is the church of St. Peter-le-Chepe, destroyed in the great fire, and of which there is no other representation extant. This stood at the corner of , immediately opposite the cross. A little lower down, at the corner of , is a very large house, of a most antique appearance, having a castellated front with corbel towers, and no doubt, at time, the residence of some considerable person. On the right hand is the celebrated Nag's Head tavern,[b] which stood at the corner of . The other objects, peculiar to the occasion, are the various decorations in the fronts of the shops in honour of the illustrious stranger who is making her public entry.[c]
In comparing the representation of the cross in this print with the preceding in Plate II. a very material difference is perceptible. This is to be accounted for, not so much for its age, as from the various repairs it underwent in consequence of continued attacks, similar to those before noticed, and which gave it a most battered appearance. In the night of the , it was still further defaced, and became so much an object of contention as to occasion the publication of numerous pamphlets.[d] Some of the most curious of these we have, with much difficulty, procured, and shall detail the substance of, as nothing more admirably displays the temper of the times, independent of the information they yield as to the cross itself. The is called—
"A Dialogue between the Cross-in-Cheap, and , by Ryhen Pameach" (, Author of the compleat Gentleman), . to. with a wooden
This Dialogue is extremely contemptible, and a mere quibbling on words. As a specimen, take the following:
Cheap Cross, at the beginning of the Dialogue, says, she is so crossed that she fears her utter ruin and destruction is at hand. To which replies, "Sister of Westcheap, crosses are incident to us, and all our children." Cheap Cross then proceeds thus: "Happy are you, and long may you so continue."
. 'But what's the greatest cross that hath befallen you?"
CHEAP. "Nay, Sister, if my were fallen, I should live in a great deal more heart's-ease than I do."
CHARING. "I believe it is the upon your head, that hath brought you into this trouble, is it not?"
The next is styled,
"The doleful Lamentation of Cross; or, Old England sick of the Staggers. The dissenting and disagreeing in matters of opinion, together with the sundry sorts of sects now raving and reigning, being the maine causes of the disturbance and hinderance of the commonwealth." Cut of the Cross. . ( pages.)
P. . Speaking of the sectaries of the day, the author, in apology, says,
"These sects can endure no crosse but that on silver, and for it is the abomination of the city, and surplesses are smocks of the whore of Rome; and every thing, though never so laudable, and decent, and necessary, if contrary to their opinion, is by them accounted profane. They like none but sanctified, and shuttleheaded weavers, long-winded box-makers, and thorow-stitching cobblers, thumping felt-makers, jerkin coachmen, and round-headed button-makers, which spoyle Bibles, while they thumbe over the leaves with their greasie fingers, and sit by the fire scumming their porridge-pot, while their zeal seethes over in applications and interpretations of Scriptures, delivered to their as ignorant wives and handmaids, with the name and title of dear brethren, and especially beloved sisters."
This tract concludes with
"-, which was basely abused and wronged."
"I, , scituated in , upon Munday night, being the of , the signe being in the head and face, which made me the more suffer; and in the yeare and , when almost everie man is to seek a new religion; and being then high water at Bridge, as their braines and heads were full of malice and envy; I the foresaid was assaulted and battered in the King's highway, by many violent and insolent minded people, or rather ill-affected brethren; and whether they were in their height of zeale, or else overcome with passion, or new wine lately come from , I cannot be yet resolved; but this I am sure, and it may bee plainly seen by all that passe by me, that I was much abused and defaced, by a sort of people which I cannot terme better than a mad and giddy-headed multitude, who were gathered together from all parts, to wrong my antiquity, and antient renowned name, so much spoken of in forraine parts. Had I ever done these my brethren the least offence, I should be sorrie, and am still willing to submit and referre myself to the grave and most just senators now assembled. Love and charity, these my brethren had none at all; for what benefit or credite did it bring to them to come by night like theeves, to steale from me here a leg, there a head, here an arm, and there a nose; they did all goe away from me, the Crosse, without profit: they have not done me so much dishonour as they have done themselves, and the honourable city, whose civill government is a patterne to all nations. But I will tell you, my crosse brethren, you both at that time wanted wit and money; wit to govern your hot and over-boyling zeale, and crosse money to pay your land-lord's rent: that is a crosse to you, not I and so wanting such crosses as those, would bee revenged of mee, to satisfie your malitious crosse-humours; I am but your stocking-horse, and colour for your future malice, your rage will not cease though you should pull mee downe, and make me levill with the ground. And when so done, then you wil cry out that there be crosses in the goldsmiths' shops, which is plate and jewels, standing upon crosse shelves, those be the crosses you intend, tho your pretence be otherwaies: Next the mercer's shops whose satten and velvet lie acrosse, and whose counters are acrosse their shops. Then the next crosses which you will finde fault withall, will bee with those rich monied men, whose bags lye crosse in their chests; then with their wives, if they bee handsome, which you will make to be crosses too, in a short space I say, deare brethren, if you be suffered to pull downe all that are acrosse you will dare to pull a magistrate off his horse, because he rides acrosse his horseback, and pull his chain to pieces because it hangs acrosse his shoulders; and if a miller's horse come to market with a sack of corne acrosse his horseback, and if you say it is acrosse, you then violently wil run and pul it down and share it as you have done part of me the crosse. And at length then our churches will prove crosses to you, specially if they have bin builded in Popish times, and so in processe of time every thing will be a crosse to you that you either love or hate; But I will conclude with this caution, that as long as we have such cross people, crosse every way especially to majistrates and men of authority, and still go unpunished, we shall alwaies have such crosse doings, and so I poore , leave you to your crosse wives and your owne crosse opinions."
Immediately on the publication of the above there appeared,
"An Answer to the Lamentation of together with the Reasons why so many doe desire the Downfall of it, and all such Popish Reliques. Also the Downfall of Antichrist. By " to London. Printed for T. A. ( pages.)
This tract has the same good vignette as the preceding, viz. a poor representation of the cross, as given in our Plate.
"Forasmuch as some have undertaken to oppose (by word and deed) such as desired the abolishing of all images, more especially that of Crosse, shewing that it is an ornament to the city, and of antiquity, which reasons are of no great consequence; we desire to give you some reasons why wee desire the extirpation of it and all such like."
The author proceeds with a few arguments similar to those of Archbishop Abbot, in the Tract quoted, and adds,
"Besides being smoake to our own eyes, it is prejudicial to others. It wil be an occasion to keepe them from comming in to looke for Christ in an invisible way so long as they see him in a visible, it is credibly reported that some have been sent to worship that crosse. Therefore you that plead for it, your grounds cannot be good, it is a fitter ornament for or some such place, (I meane whilst the image and crosse remained on it) than for this city."—"Yet I do not say that it is so fit for every to pull them downe, but them in authority, as, thanks be to God, the Parliament have took it into consideration, and commanded that all in churches should down, and so now also the rest, for which happy Parliament let our prayers and praises be continued to God alwayes."[a]
"The aforesaid having suffered much by losse of his members from his body, your delayes of reliefe have prooved very prejudicial to his health: for being (as I suppose) put into a heat by that suddaine encounter, and then being exposed to the violence of the weather, and a cold piercing unto his bodie through the open pores, and not bleeding currantly, I feare it festers inwardly, whereby many radicall humours are congealed therein, that in respect of his age, his disease, (occasioned by their delayes, and obnoxions), will prove very desperately incurable, without medicine can bee procured to apply to him, and that is a parliamentarie playster, as a preservative of his life. You doe well to watch with him and pray to him, and comfort him as well as you can. Onely use such medicines as may preserve his present life: for as yet the obstructions cannot be removed: if you please you may give him a vomit, and applie a playster to his sores."
These disputes, which were the prelude to its destruction, were followed by the entire demolition of the cross itself, years afterwards, viz. on d, . Robert Harlow was entrusted by the Parliament with this important commission, who went on the service with true zeal, attended by a troop of horse, and companies of foot, and executed his orders most effectually. The exploit is noticed in the following quaint terms, on the accompanying print:
"On the d of , the cross in was pulled down. A troop of horse and companies of foot waited to guard it; and at the fall of the top cross, drums beat, trumpets blew, and multitudes of caps were thrown into the air, and a great shout of people with joy. The d of May, the Almanack saith, was the Invention of the Cross. And the same day at night was the burnt[b] in the place where it stood, with ringing of bells and a great acclamation; "
"The of the same month, the Book of Sports" (a collection of ordinances which certainly militated against
|the decent observance of the Sabbath) "was burnt by the hangman, in the place where the cross stood, and at the Exchange."|
The same events are similarly described in another tract of the day.[a]
", and all other Crosses, in and about London, utterly demolished and pulled downe, and that abominable and blasphemous Booke of tolerating Sports and Pastimes on the Lord's Dayes, voted to be burnt, and shortly after accordingly burnt, together with many Crucifixes and Popish Trinkets and Trumperies, in the very same Place were stood, and at the "
The following was published on the very morning the cross was pulled down. Its great scarcity has induced us to give it verbatim. It is entitled
"The Downfall of Dagon, or the taking downe of Cheapside-Crosse, this d of , wherein is contained these Principalls following: . Cheapside-Crosse sick at the Heart; dly, his Death and Funeral; dly, his Will, Legacies, Inventory and Epitaph; thly, the Reason why it was taken downe, and the Authority for it; thly, the Benefit and Profit that is made of the Materialls of it, and the severall Summes of Money which is offered for it, likewise, the Satisfaction it will give to thousands of People; thly, Notes worthy of the Reader's Observation that the Crosse should just happen to bee taken down on that Day when Crosses were invented and set up." to. [b] Printed , for Thomas Wilson.
"It is an easier task to reckon up all the species and several kinds of nature, then to describe all the sects, divisions and opinions in religion that are now in and about this kingdom and city of London; so that whereas there is but truth, and way guiding thereunto; the people of our land cannot agree about this way: but errours and scisme being multiplied manifold, they can all finde out those waies to a haire; so that the times remaine still as corrupt in manners as ever any age heretofore ever did. But I will leave all particular vices which are too common and frequent amongst us in these our dayes, and come to the subject in hand, namely, the complaint of Cheapside-Crosse, which it makes in its own defence before it suffers its decay or ruine, hearing that it must be pulled down. "And now to see the misery of a high fortune, I that was so stout and glorious, and did not looke for a fall, am now become the hateful idoll of the city: I cannot speake much, being of , but I will give you a brief expression of my antiquity; King was the that built me, and many more crosses in severall townes at the death of good Queen , and in . I was repaired in beautifull manner; then sixe was given to my new erecting, and I have beene so often guelded () at many times that I am sorry to thinke that all my glory should now be laid in the dust; but I am not the greatest that have fallen; but now it is no time for me to bable out my griefes, Time with all his houres and yeares shall lament me and my violent undoing.
"But give me leave in my anger to expresse my mind. 'T is some body was my enemy, and I cannot tell who it was; but I can gesse well, down I must, and go even flat with the earth, and then I am sure that they will not remember me. I was glorious in many Kings' reigns and esteemed well in Queene Elizabeth's dayes, beautified at King his coming into England, and againe at King his coming to the crowne. And I am now accounted for a Papist, all my antiquity is lost from time to time, which if I should mention would weary you with the relation. I am esteemed and held not fit to have my abiding in the citie, I am called by the name of the the Brownists spit at me, and throw stones at mee, as they come along the streete, the Famalists hide their eyes with their fingers, the Anabaptists wish me to be knockt in pieces, as I am like to be this day; the sisters of the fraternity will not come near me, but go about by , and come in againe by Soaper Lane to buy their provisions of the market-folkes. Oh these and the like occasions have grieved and tormented my whole fabricke, I guesse the cause, that I am now to be ruinated and quite pulled down. It is the that stands upon my head that is a moate in my eyes. Nay, they doe not onely say that I am an idoll, but that I am a supporter of idols because divers images are placed about me, but I feel myselfe now sicke, nay sick at heart, and I groane under the burthen of my own fabricke, for I hear and am certainly told Oh I feele the pangs of death come upon me, I shall never see the end of the merry month of May, my breath is at a period, my life is gone, for I feel myselfe a dying downwards, my head being the part that doth loose the sense, my tongue rattles in my throat." And just as the crosse had so said, he presently dyed; whereupon his executors hearing of it, came in; and would have him embalmed; and they strook off his head, and so by degrees descended to other parts of the body and left him like a sceleton or an anatomy of his body or corpes With that his executors looking about, found his will which he had got, being written in this manner.
"'In , I desire to be taken downe in a decent round manner, and that no spoile be made of my fabricke; 'for some parts of mee be worth mony.
"', I pray my executors to be civill, and that they have a care that no hurt be done at my demolishing.
"', The gold which I am gilded withall I appoint to be fled (flayed) and taken off by those persons which 'will give most mony for me.
"', I give to the red-coate souldiers all the lead which is about me to make bullets if occasion be; if not I 'give it to the company of plummers to make cesternes and pumps with, or else jacke weights.
"', I give my iron-worke to those people which make good swords at Hounslow,
"', I give my body and stones to those masons and workemen that cannot tell how to frame the like 'againe, to keep by them for a patterne for in time there will bee more crosses in London than ever there was 'yet, &c.
"', I give my ground whereon I stood to be a free market-place, hoping that no more people will goe round as they have used to do about me; but will be content to speake well of me hereafter, because I suffer so roundly and so patiently for my errours.
"This crosse in was erected as I have said by the , in commemoration of his Queene whose name was Secondly, it was then builded for an ornament to the city, being placed in the chiefest place or streete of the said city, and therefore was thought and held at that time for a glorious fabricke, and would continue there for antiquity sake, rather than to give an occasion of offence to any. It hath now stood near upon or yeares, still repaired and beautified, but never suffered martyrdom till now; it hath beene several times adorned and decored () in all ages; and was ever held a graceful fabricke to London, til of late yeares; untill indeed many superstitious and foolish people publickly adored it and worshipped it as they have gone by it; which offence is the main cause of its pulling downe and defacing."
"Because it is in its own structure a monument of idolatry, and may better suite well with an idolatrous place as and such like places, then for this ciuill citie, wherein so much preaching and teaching of God's word is used. Again, that many people by nature desire a visible God; also that it occasions a many from comming to looke for Christ in an invisible way, so long as they can see him visible. Besides, divers ignorant people who have been misled and misinformed in the Protestant religion, have by such like images been seduced and made believe that praying to severall saints, desiring them and instigating them, that they would solicite and speake to our Saviour in their behalfe, that our Saviour would make intercession to his Father for the mitigation, and for the forgiveness of their sins; this opinion of their's is very vaine, idle and ridiculous; and a great sin committed against God himself; robbing and taking away his honour due unto him; and giving it to creatures; as to the saints and angells, in worshipping pictures, crucifixes, and such like traditions and inventions of men; so this crosse hath been a great meanes to cause superstition and idolatry from time to time in worshipping and adoring it, as many people have done as they passe by it; for divers people both men and women hath been seen by severall honest, ancient, and good inhabitants dwelling neare the place, that sundry sorts of people have by o'clock in the morning come barefoot to the crosse, andhave kneeled downe, and said something to themselves, crossed their forehead and their breast, and so risen and making obeysance, went away, which punishment was enjoyned upon them as a penance for some sins they had committed: Likewise that hundreds of people have been publickly seen, and in the midst of the day, to bend their bodies to it, and put off their hats, and crosse themselves: not only as they have gone on foot by it, but divers that have rid on horseback, and in coaches have put out their heads and pulled off their hats and done reverence to it; this hath bin done for these many yeares together, and it hath been offensive to many good Christians to behold such idolatrous worship given to a crosse, and to images, and pictures, insomuch that it hath been often complained on by divers godly ministers, not only in their publicke sermons, but also in their printed books; shewing the unlawfulnesse of it; therefore seeing no redresse or helpe for the suppression of it; the common counsell of London did petition to the Honourable Houses of Parliament for reliefe in this case, which was soon granted, and had a warrant to take it downe, by all the faire meanes they could devise, calling to their ayd the trained bands of the city for their defence, because no uproare might arise thereby, and that no bloud might be spilt; because divers people had given out they would rather lose their lives than it should down: down it must, and it is so ordered to be taken downe that the materials may be made usefull other ways, and that they should be sold for a valuable consideration, the materials being most , and some report that divers of the crownes and sceptres are besides the rich that it is guilded with, which, as it is reported, may be filed and taken off, and yield a good value; so that divers which have offered, some some But they that bid must offer a for it; and so this it is a taking down with a great deal of judgement and discretion, and foure companies of the trained bands of the city to guarde and defend those that are about the worke, and to keepe others from domineering, and so I leave it to bee made levell with the ground this day of . "
[c] See it in Lelandi Collect. i. v. iv. p. 310, printed from a MS. formerly belonging to Will. Le Neve, Norroy King at Arms.
[d] The houses shewn are "Goldsmith's Row"—built by Thomas Wood, goldsmith and sheriff, in 1491, on the site of a set of sheds and stalls, before called the "Mercery," as being inhabited by mercers. Stowe calls them "a most beautiful frame of faire houses and shops, consisting of tenne faire dwelling houses and fourteen shops, all in one frame, uniformly builded foure stories high, beautified towards the street with the goldsmith armes and likeness of woodmen, in memorie of his name, riding on monstrous beasts all richly painted and gilt."—Maitland informs us, that the city then abounded in riches and splendour:"It was beautiful," says he, "to behold the glorious appearance of goldsmiths' shops in the south row of Cheapside, which in a course reached from the Old Change to Bucklersbury, exclusive of four shops only of other trades in all that space." Vol. i. p. 301.
[e] The persons in the procession are,—first and principal the King, "richly apparelled," says the account, with a gown of cloth of silver, all over embroidered with damask gold, with a girdle of white velvet, wrought with Venice silver, garnished with precious stones, as rubies and diamonds, with true lover's knots of pearls; a doublet of white velvet embroidered with Venice silver garnished with the like precious stones and pearles, and a pair of buskins with white velvet. On his horse was a caparison of crimson satin, embroidered with pearls and damask gold. A little before the King, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector," and at some distance from him, "The sword, born by the Constable of England for that time, viz. the Marquis of Dorset." On the Marquis's right hand, the Earl of Warwick, Lord Great Chamberlain of England. And on the left hand, the Earl of Arundel, Lord Chamberlain, supplying the room as Earl Marshal, in lieu of the Lord Protector." Behind the King is "Sir Anthony Brown, master of the horse, after whom is a goodly courser of honour, very richly trapped." And with the King, "His Highness' footmen in their rich coats, going about His Grace, on either side of the canopy; the canopy being born by knights, with certain assistants to them.
[a] "The first cross, and altar within this realm, was set up in the north parts in Havenfield, upon occasion of Oswald, King of Northumberland, fighting against Cadwalla; where he, in the same place, set up the sign of the Crosse, kneeling and praying there for victory." Fox's Martyrs, vol. i. p. 171, 2d ed. Polychron. lib. 5. cap. 12. an. 635.
[b] Called in the year 1246, Crown field, from an hostelrie, or inn, with the sign of the crown at the east end. It afterwards received the name of West-Cheeping, from chepe, a market, as being originally the great street of splendid shops.
[c] The original grant, copied by Strype from Pat. 21 Hen. IV. p. 2. m. 14. amply explains the nature of the intended improvements. Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. Sciatis quod cum dilecti nobis Johannes Hatherle, maior & cives London. pro communi utilitatis & defenciæ tocius ejusd. Civitat. [causa] amp; ad universale proficium, necnon ad omnium Ligeorum nostrorum ibidem confluentium complacenciam, locis ibidem quamplurimis, prout decet, diversos aque recentis conductus cum Standardis ceterisq; machinis & pipis plumbeis, que ultra tria milliaria sub & supra terram decurrerunt & decurrunt construere & erigere; ac quandam communem Garnariam de novo fabricare, & quandam Crucem spectabilem in West-chepe dict. civitatis pro quadam augea eisdem conductibus tanquam mater deservitur. Que sine summa plumbis notabili, ac operariis eisd. operibus necessariis exequi non valet, construere & erigere proponant. Nos utilitatem, decenciam & commodum predict. intime considerantes, de gra. nostra spiali. concessimus, & licenciam dedimus, &c. The common granary spoken of was that built at Leadenhall. This cross expressed to serve pro quadam Augea tanquam mater, seems to have been for an increase and supply of water, as the mother aqueduct, to the rest of the conduits, as though there were pipes laid from hence to the rest.
[d] The expense of its erection was defrayed by various citizens: John Fisher, mercer, contributed 600 marks towards it.
[e] It was new gilt all over in 1522, against the coming of the Emperor Charles V. It was again burnished as above, and also in 1553, against the coronation of Queen Mary; and gilt in 1554, against the coming in of King Philip. There is no doubt but that much of this second cross was composed of timber, covered with lead, from the frequent regildings it underwent; and the last cross which succeeded it, seems to have been built with the same materials.
[f] Survaie of London, p. 552, ed. 1598.—Stowe must mistake in describing the Virgin and child, as forming a part of the lower tier of images, as the plate evidently places them in a niche on the second story. This also accounts for the figures being "hailed by ropes," in order to pull them down, as being, otherwise, out of reach. Edward the Confessor is plainly on the lower tier, being in the niche immediately beneath the Virgin.
[g] Stowe's Survaie, p. 252, ed. 1598.
[a] To prevent the new cross from sharing the fate of its predecessor, it was surrounded by a strong iron-railing, and was decorated in a style which could scarcely give offence, even to the most scrupulous. It consists of four stories, as the former structure did of three. All the objectionable and superstitions images, as they were termed, are superseded by the grave representations of Apostles, Kings, and Prelates. The crucifix, only, is retained. As an architectural specimen, however, it is very defective, being erected in a style, half Grecian, half Gothic, and it evidently falls short of the pure simplicity of the cross which preceded it.—[The annexed Plate shews this third, or last cross, in a state of perfection to be found in no other representation of it, the drawing having been made soon after it was finished.]
[b] "Divers learned ministers then living, do report, Though the judgment of both Universities was consulted with about the Cross, and both desired it might be taken downe, yet they could not prevaile with B. Bancroft, but he would have it re-edified, only with much adoe they overswayed the bishop to leave off the picture of Christ on the Crosse, that was set on the top of it. Take notice of the zeale of the prelate in this business." Marginal Note.
[a] The original is in "Le Serre's Entrée Royalle de la Reyne Mere du Roy," fol. 1639—a book of very great scarcity and price. This print itself is worth from three to four guineas.
[b] This tavern was the pretended scene of the consecration of the first Protestant archbishop, Parker, in the reign of Elizabeth. See the whole story refuted in Strype's Life of that prelate, pages 55, 56 and 57.
[c] Every mark of respect and attention was shewn by the citizens on this joyous occasion. Bands of music, discharges of artillery, and ringing of bells, every where announced the happy event. This appears from the following entry in the ward-book of Cornhill: "Paid the ringers at the coming in of the Queene's mother, by order of Mr. Alderman, 00 06 00." The particulars respecting this splendid procession will be best understood by an extract from the tract to which the original print belongs. "The Lord Mayor of London, having received the King's orders, before his departure from London, to make the preparatives for this entry, acquitted himself at the time very worthily. He caused immediately to be erected on one side in the great street of London, for above a league in leugth, benches with backs and enriched with balusters three feet high, all covered over equally with blue cloth, and commanded all the companies or fraternities of the different trades, in all amounting to fifty, to appear in the citizen's gowns, with trimmings of marten skin, sitting on the benches the day of the entry, and every company to have its banner with their arms, in order that they might be distinguished one from the other, when all assembled; which was executed. "Six thousand soldiers,The trained Bands. chosen and belonging to the City, separated in divers companies, every one having their proper officers, all being gentlemen, were destined to form a haye or line on the other side of the street, all armed richly, some with musquets and others with pikes. And although the shops, the balconies and the windows, were to be filled anew with a great number of ladies, there were orders to hang tapestry on the houses nevertheless, according to the discretion of the owners, being well assured that all parties would endeavour to shew their zeal by their magnificence; insomuch that though this great street contained in its length many other streets, the different merchants of the one and the other ornamented it so richly, and every one according to their own invention, that nothing more sumptuous nor more superb could be seen. This place was dressed up with woven tapestry, that with Flemish or embroidery; one with Chinese, and another with Indian tapestry; the scareity of which made it inestimable. The street of the drapers was hung on both sides with scarlet, which was worthy to be remarked; and the other streets of the suburbs of the city, and of the same extent, were differently ornamented." Our object being merely to shew the cross, and other public buildings, we have not given the whole of this procession, which, with a continuation of private houses occupies a much greater length in the original print. A part of the King's coach is seen, with himself and the Queen-mother seated therein. The account describes it as being "covered with crimson velvet, embroidered with gold both within and without, and drawn by six horses of great price." "A litter with the same covering, and embroidered with gold, carried by two mules, superbly harnessed," follows the royal carriage. "The coaches of the maids of honour, of the women of the chamber, the gentlemen domestics and pensioners, as also those of the officers of His Majesty, came afterwards with an infinite number of others."
[d] "The resolution of those Contemners that will no Crosses." 1641. "Articles of high Treason exhibited against Cheapside Cross, with the last Will and Testament of the said Cross." By R. Overton. Lond. 1642. "The Chimney Sweeper's Sad Complaint and humble Petition to the City of London for crecting a new Cross." 1663.
[a] Then succeeds the following poor attempt at versification. "An Answer to the Lamentation of CHEAPSIDE CROSSE. Old Jaspar Crosse of late was wrong'd,As I did heare one say,A base affront to him was ginUpon the King's highway. For which his friends doe much lament,They writ a dolefull theame,It grieves them much they cannot findWho did this hurt to him. They blame the Brownists and such like,That did him so abuse,But sure I think they cannot tell,However they may muse. Yet some they free, which I mistrust,To be his mortall foes,Their names I need not now relate,You know them by their cloathes. But chiefely by their linen sleeves,Which thing doth make me muse,That they should goe in tyre so likeTo that did Gregory use. But you may know them by their works,As well as by their cloathes:If eares they lack you may conclude,The Bishops were his foes. But Jasper's griefe is for his nose,His leg and eke his arme.As for his eares, he says nothing.He thinks they bode no harme. But one thing grieves his lovers well,Which thing I must not keep;The deed was done as they suppose,When he was fast asleep. For had he been awake, 't is sureHis strength was not so small,That he should suffer such abuse,And not for helpe to call. A coward sure he must not be,That is for your disgrace:Who are his friends and take his partAgainst his enemies face. But pray call back the person thatDid act this tragedie,No blood he shed in all he did,There is no cause to flie. Old Charing-Crosse has lost his head.And so 't may be your feare,That Jasper's noddle would be goneBut for the watchman's care. His case is bad; but to conclude,If Jasper for me send,When he assaulted is againeNo help to him I'll lend. Because of that which here I add,To aggravate your feares,Such lamentation was not heardWhen good men left their cares.
[b] Superstition always distorts its object. The figures on the cross, which appear to have been mere harmless representations of eminent persons, are here called leaden popes. This statement acquaints us with one fact, however, viz. that the decorations of the cross were of lead. Vide the next tract.
[a] "True Information on the Cause of our present Troubles, &c" 4to. 1648.
[b] All the cuts in the preceding tracts are mere wretched representations of the cross as given in our plate from the fine drawing in the Pepysian Library, and were therefore thought unworthy of repetition in this work. They seem to be all printed from the same block
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.