Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and adorned with arches, formed in a piazza round a square court; and between each arch is a shield, mantling, and other fret-work. On the east side is the common hall, the ascent to which is by a grand staircase, and it is adorned with a staiely skreen and fine wainscot. On the skreen, between the two doors, hangs the picture, a three-quarter's length, of Henry Fitz-Alwine, a draper, and the first lord mayor of London; no doubt a fictitious likeness. At the north end of this room are the full length pictures of William III. in his stadtholder's under bis royal robes, and of George I. and George II. in their royal robes. At the north-west angle of this room a door opens into another spacious room, called the Court Room, richly wainscoted and furnished : at the east end of this room langs a picture of Mary queen of Scots, at full length, with her infant son, king James I. in her hand. This could not be drawn from the life, for Mary never saw her son after he was a year old. The picture has been engraved. From this court room another door, at the west end, opens into a long gallery, at the north end of which a folding sash door opens into a grand square room, called the Ladies Chamber, in which the time was that the company treated their wives and friends with a bal}. In the centre of this room hangs a large and beautiful chandelier, the gift of Sir Joseph Eyles, Knight. Here are besides portraits of Sir Joseph Sheldon, lord mayor, 1677, and of Sir Robert Clayton, lord mayor, 1680.

The latter of these chief magistrates was an excellent character; he was a considerable benefactor to Christ's Hospital, and to St. Thomas's Hospital, Southwark.* He is painted with a benevolent countenance, sitting in a chair.

The apartments allotted for the residence of the clerk are commodious and elegant, and underneath are offices for transacting business. These apartments fill up the front of this noble hall next the street. The front has been within few years newly coated, with a large arched gateway into the quadrangle, over which the armorial bearings of the company are very tastefully cut in stone; on each side are large

* See his character, Vol. II. page 30.

globe

globe lamps, the tops of which are ornamented with tiaras, allusive to the heraldic cognizance of the DRAPERS.

At the north-west angle of the quadrangle is a paved pas. sage to the gardens, over this passage, upon an arch built of brick and stone, and covered with a large back or cistern of water, is the Record Room, where the company keep their writings, books, and papers, and their plate, which, for quantity and workmanship, is said to exceed all the services of plate in other companies.

The gardens are pleasant and commodious, being open every day, except Sundays and rainy days, for the recreation of genteel citizens. The ground which they occupy is near a square; the middle is inclosed by iron rails, and laid out in grass beds, gravel walks, and borders of flowers, with a statue of Flora in the center. Without the rails are spacious walks, kept in good order, and agreeably shaded with rows of lime trees. At the south-west corner is a very handsome pavilion for the accommodation of company in hot weather. Near the north-east angle is a very neat commodious house for the use of the upper beadle of the company. The north side lies open to Carpenters' Hall; and at the south-east angle is a privy garden, inclosed with walls, on the south side of which, under the ladies chamber, is a private room, elegantly furnished, where the managers, or ruling part of the company, hold their secret committees, or previous meetings, before matters are brought before a general court of livery or assistants.

This hall received very considerable injury by a fire that happened in Throgmorton Street, on the 8th of May, 1772; and though the company had the good fortune to save most of their valuables, yet they lost a grand lanthorn at the bottom of the hall stairs that cost upwards of 2001. The damage, however, received by this accident has been since repaired, and the building restored to its former grandeur.

THE DRAPERS' COMPANY is the third of the twelve principal companies, and was incorporated by letters patent granted by Ilenry VI. in the

year

[ocr errors]

year 1439, by the title of “The Master, Wardens, Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin, of the Mystery' of Drapers of the City of London.” The corporation is governed by a master, four wardens, thirty assistants, and a livery. There have been upwards of one hundred and twenty lord mayors members of this respectable company. They support FREE SCHOOLS at Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire ; Stratford le Bow, Middlesex ; Worsborough, Yorkshire; Kirkham and Goosnargh, Lancashire; and at Greenwich. ALMSHOUSES at Sir John Milbourne's, near Tower Hill; Beech Lane; Mr. Lambard's, at Greenwich (he was a member of the company); Stratford le Bow ; Shoreditch; St. George's Fields; St. Mary Newington ; Mile End; and Bancroft's, near Stratford le Bow. HOSPITAL at Workingham, Berkshire. LECTURES at St. Michael, Cornhill; St. Margaret, Lothbury; and an ARABIC LECTURE at Cambridge. EXHIBITIONS for a scholar at Cambridge, and at Oxford. This company expends in charitable donations above 40001. annually.

Eastward of Drapers' Hall is

AUSTIN FRIARS.

This site, now covered by streets and houses, was formerly an eminent religious house, founded by Plumfrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, in the year 1252, during the reign of Henry III.; and afterwards re-edified in the year 1351 by his descendant, Humfrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, lord of Brecknock, and constable of England, who was buried in the choir of the church in 1361, during the reign of Edward III. , This was the chief residence of the Augustine friars in England. These friars came from Italy in 1252. The order was originally formed of several eremite congregations, which were dispersed under various names, and united by pope Alexander IV. Ther conformed themselves to the monastic rule of St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, in Africa, under one principal or general governor of the fraternity, who established various regulations, and ordered that one habit should dis4

tinguish

tinguish the whole classes under his superintendance; this habit consisted of a long gown, with broad sleeves, a fine cloth hood, all of black, . under which were white garments; these were girt about the waist by a leathern girdle, with an iyory or bone fastening. This order of Begging Friars was confirmed by several Popes, and so increased, that in a short space of time it had under its control no less than two thousand convents of men and three hundred of women; and they were of such consequence in England, on account of being good disputants upon controversial points, that they are even still recollected at Oxford ; one of the acts for obtaining a mastership being called keeping the Augustines,

Their prosperity was their destruction; for one of their provincials and others of the fraternity having laboured by sermons and libels to destroy the eligibility of the progeny of Edward IV. to ascend the throne, and to establish the traiterous claims of Richard III. about the year 1485, they lost the confidence and veneration of the public, which was in a very few years followed by the dissolution of this and all other monastic orders by. Henry VIII. to whom it was surrendered, and valued at the small sum of 571. i.!!

In the successful cruises made by the English in 1545, about three hundred French ships were taken; Henry converted the conventual churches into warehouses for the several cargoes. The Augustine Friars and Black Friars he filled with herrings and other fish, and the Grey Friars church was filled with wine.*

The site and precincts were afterwards severally disposed of. Part of the spoil was granted to Sir Thomas Wrottesley, 32 Henry VIII. a second portion was given to William Lord St. John, in the next year; another portion was given in 38 Henry VIII. to Sir Richard Rich; and a fourth, by way of exchange, during the same year to Lawrence Hereward and others. The east end of the church, containing the choir, cross aisles, and the remaining parts of this religious house, was granted in the fourth year of the reign of Ed.

* Holinshed. Vol. III. No. 51.

с

ward

ward VI. to the above lord St. John, who had been created earl of Wiltshire, and to his heirs, in soccage.

This earl, afterwards lord treasurer and marquis of Winchester, was descended from a younger branch of the house of Pawlet, of Hinton St. George, in the county of Somerset; and having been improvident in his youth, came to court unprovided with any other property than his wit, s which," says Lloyd, “ he trafficked so wisely, and prospered so well, that he got, spent, and left more than any subject since the Conquest. Indeed, he lived in the time of the Dissolution of Abbies, which was the harvest of estates; and it argued idleness if any courtier had his barns empty. He was servant to Henry VII. and for thirty years together treasurer to king Henry VIII. Edward VI. queen Mary and queen Elizabeth: the latter in some sort owed their crowns to his counsel, his policy being the principal defeater of duke Dudley's design to disinherit them.”* By being “ the ozier and not the oak,” he served four sovereigns of England in mutable times, and lived in the greatest splendor; having arrived at the vast age of ninety-seven, and been a patriarch to one hundred and three persons, he died in 1572, and by bis lady, daughter of Sir William Capel lord mayor of London, was the founder of the noble house of Pawlet.

The above marquis erected on the site of the monastery, a noble mansion which he denominated WINCHESTER PLACE. The west end of the conventual church was in 1551 granted to John a Lasco,t for the use of the Germans and other fu

State Worthies. + JOHN Å LASCo was uncle to the king of Poland, and some time a bishop of the church of Rome; having been driven from his country for his change of religious opinions, he settled at Embden in East Friesland. , He was there chosen preacher to a congregation of Protestants, who, under the terror of persecution, 'Aed with their pastor into Enghand, where they were incorporated by charter of Edward VI. and had also a

grant of the church of Austin Friars. These Protestants differed in some modes of worship from the established church. John a Lasco was ordered to quit the kingdom, upon the accession of Mary I. He purchased Erasmus's valuable library of him, when he lay on his deathbed. This divine died in Poland, in 1560. Fox, vol. III. p. 40. 5

gitive

« AnteriorContinuar »