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
Interior of Salters' Hall Meeting House.
The Meeting-house in Salters' Hall Court, adjoining the Hall, and originally constituting a part of it, was a substantial brick building, fitted up soon after the Revolution, for a congregation of Protestant dissenters, who had been previously used to assemble for divine worship at Buckingham House, on . It was a large building, having galleries, and was esteemed as of the most celebrated places of worship among the Dissenters. From its centrical and retired situation, it had often been chosen as a suitable place for carrying on lectures, or for holding the meetings of Ministers, for the purpose of considering questions of importance, relative to the welfare of the dissenting interest in general.
Mr. Richard Mayo was the pastor of the church who assembled here; he continued till his death, , when he was succeeded by Mr. Nathaniel Taylor, at whose death, in , Mr. William Tong was chosen to fill the office, which he did with much acceptance and usefulness, till -. But Mr. John Newman, who had been assistant to Mr. Taylor, being very acceptable to the people, Mr. Tong proposed that he should be appointed co-pastor with him, which was accordingly done in ; and after Mr. Tong's death Mr. Newman continued sole pastor till , when he was called to his rest. Mr. John Barker was appointed to succeed him in the pastoral office, and the next year Mr. Francis Spilsbury was associated with him as co-pastor. Mr. Barker continued in office till the spring of , when severe bodily affliction compelled him to resign it; but Mr. Spilsbury remained sole pastor till his death, in , when Mr. Hugh Worthington and Mr. Robert Jacomb were ordained as co-pastors. Mr. Jacomb resigned his situation in , and Mr. Worthington continued sole pastor till his death in , when he was succeeded by Dr. W. B. Collyer, the present pastor.
In the Salters' Company, having come to a determination to rebuild their hall, gave notice to the managers of the church and congregation that they must quit the premises at Lady Day . It became necessary therefore to provide another place for them to assemble in, and at length some houses were purchased in , within a few yards of the place which they had so long occupied. These being taken down a handsome building was erected on the spot, which was opened for divine worship on Tuesday, ; the old Meetinghouse, together with the Hall, having just before been levelled with the ground.
The Lecture carried on here was a branch of the Merchants' lecture, established A. D. , at Pinners' Hall, in . In , differences having arisen among the lecturers, some of whom were Presbyterians and others Independents, the Presbyterians withdrew and carried on a lecture here, on the same day and at the same hour as they had been used to do at Pinners' Hall. This was continued by a succession of Presbyterian Ministers, till ; when, being but thinly attended, it was finally given up. The next lecture established here was on Lord's day evenings, and was begun in the reign of King William the . This was for a great many years extremely popular. The Minister who conducted it was the Rev. Robert Bragge, who, after some time, removed it to his own Meeting-house in . It was soon after recommenced at this place by the celebrated Mr. Thomas Bradbury, who delivered it to crowded audiences for more than years. In he resigned his lectureship and was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Baker, who was followed by several Presbyterian Ministers, some of considerable eminence, as Dr. Wm. Prior, Dr. Abm. Rees, Dr. Philip Furneaux, and Mr Hugh Worthington; it was continued by various ministers, of different denominations, till , when, being ill attended, it was given up. A lecture, on a Wednesday evening, was also carried on here for several years, and was discontinued in . In , a course of lectures were delivered here against the principal errors of the church of Rome, which were published in volumes octavo. But it was especially remarkable for being the place where the general body of Dissenting Ministers met in , to consider of the best means of opposing the spread of Arian sentiments, which had made considerable progress in the west of England; some were for subscribing a declaration as a test of Orthodoxy, others opposed it as an infringement of the rights of private judgment; the numbers were nearly equal on both sides; much ill-nature was displayed, and animosity excited, but no good was produced, though it gave occasion to their enemies to speak evil against them, and was very unfriendly to the interests of true religion.
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.