The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
Little can be seen of the exterior of this edifice, except the north side, which is supported by several buttresses, and its antique appearance totally destroyed by a covering of compo. The interior, though small and confined, is neatly fitted up. The altar table, which is situated at the east end, is elevated on step; over it are plain gilt pannels, containing the
with the emblem of the Trinity in a glory and a circular pediment inscribed from the chapter of St. Matthew. A window, with a flat arch, and lancet-shaped divisions, nearly fills the space between the altar and ceiling. A plain pulpit and reading desk stand against the south wall, in which are windows, with bays each, containing the arms of Mr. Sutton.
massy Tuscan pillars divide the chapel into aisles. The key stones are Mr. Sutton's arms. The brackets and decorations of the arches are clumsy and inelegant.
At the west end is a small, plain organ, on a very rich gallery, if a crowd of unmeaning ornaments can make it so-helmets, armour, flags, drums, guns, masks, cherubim, coats of arms, heads, harps, guitars, and composite capitals without shafts, on a kind of termini. Such were the heterogeneous assemblages admired in the days of James the .
The entrance porch has a fine groined roof with bosses representing cherubims supporting shields, on which are sculptured the emblems of the Saviour's passion. In part is a date .
There is a strong plain gallery at the west end of the north aisle, and the ceiling is quite flat.
There are several monuments in this chapel; that of the founder is as injudiciously placed as it possibly can be; close in the northeast corner, between a window and the dark east wall. Not a ray of light falls on it; and when the spectator wishes to view it, he must risk his shins against the benches for the poor scholars immediately before it; while his eyes are dazzled by the window, to the utter confusion of his vision. It is a subject of regret, that so
|noble a tomb should be thus lost in darkness and obscurity. The effigy is in a black gown and ruff, with grey hair and beard, under a most superb composite canopy, with figures of Faith, Hope, &c. The bas relief above the cornice has great merit in the easy disposition of upwards of whole-length figures, seated and standing around a preacher. Over the whole are the arms of the deceased, surmounted by a small pedestal, on which is a statue of Charity. The tomb is described:--
Against the east wall of the north aisle is an elegant marble monument with a basso-relievo, nearly the- size of life, of a judge in his official robes sitting in an easy attitude, his right hand with a pen resting on a table. Beneath is the following inscription:--
In the founder's vault are deposited the remains of Edward Law, lord Ellenborough, son of Edmund Law, lord bishop of Carlisle, chief justice of the court of King's-bench, from , to , and a governor of the Charter-house. He died , in the year of his age, and in the grateful remembrance of the advantages he had derived through life from his education upon the foundation of the Charter-house, desired to be buried in this church.
Adjoining is an elegant tablet with a neat basso-relievo profile of the deceased. On the east side of the tablet are caryatidal figures of great elegance. It was sculptured by Flaxman. It is to the memory of the Rev. Matthew Raine, S. T. P. He died , aged .
On the south side of the altar is the monument of
He is represented by a bust in black robes, ruff, and pointed beard; a canopy over the head; and angels on the sides; and with the conceit of an infant seated on a skull, intimating that all ages are subject to mortality.
At the east end of the north aisle is the kneeling figure of Francis Beaumont, esq. in a gown and ruff, before a desk. Around it are numerous shields of arms, and beneath the following inscription:--
On the south wall of the chapel is a neat marble slab inscribed,
On the north side of the building without, is a door leading to a well staircase, that by giddy turns introduces us to the room now used to keep the archives of the hospital; the ceiling is beautifully ribbed; and the centre stone represents a large rose inclosing I. H. S. or This room is guarded from every accident by depredation, fire, or damps, and the records are placed in the greatest regularity and order. Access cannot be had to this place without the presence of the master, the registrar, and the receiver, neither of which can enter it without the others.
The other traces of the convent that may be ascertained with certainty, are the entrances to several cells on the south side of the play-ground; facing the present cloister a steep bank has been made against the wall, which hides all but the very tops of rather depressed arched doors under flat mouldings, with shields in the angles. I am told there were inscriptions to these cells, but they are totally obliterated. Houses have been erected against the outside of the wall; and consequently we are deprived of all knowledge of their depth and width.
There may he pieces of walls incorporated into the present buildings, and I suspect that some parts near the kitchen are original: the basement of the west end of the school is evidently so. Sir Edward North, the duke of Norfolk, and probably others of its possessors soon after the dissolution, have used the ancient stone in every direction, and in such a manner as to deceive, did we not judge from the style of the windows, which are generally of Henry's, Edward's, and Elizabeth's time.
On passing through a door at the north end of the piazza, we arrive at the feet of an enormous stair-case, adorned with a vast variety of minute ornaments carved on every part capable of receiving carving. Those decorations, with pointed doors, and mullioned windows, shew it to be of the duke of Norfolk's time. These stairs lead on the right to the governors' present room, the master's apartments, and to those of Mr. Barbor, the receiver: and to the left, through a gallery, to the terrace over the cloister which has a
|handsome pavilion in the centre, that affords a most pleasing summer view of the trees and gardens on either side.
A door opens from the gallery to a library, presented, in some measure, by Daniel Wray, esq. deputy teller of the exchequer. This gentleman died in , at the advanced age of , and left his books to be disposed of by his widow; who knowing his attachment to the Charter-house, where he had received his education, made the governors an offer of them; which was thankfully accepted. This room was taken for their reception, from the ancient apartment originally used for the governors' meetings. Though very large, sides are nearly filled by this very good collection of many ancient editions of various learned works, enlivened by many of our valuable authors.
They are placed (I believe by Mrs. Wray's desire), under the care of the master, preacher, head school-master, and a librarian, whose salary is per ann. The original catalogue was written by T. Wing, who faithfully served the donor years as a servant, and was rewarded by him with a clerk's place in his majesty's receipt of exchequer.
An excellent portrait of Mr. Wray, (a Kit-cat copied by Powell, in , from a picture by Mr. Dance,) hangs over the chimney. It is extremely well painted, and represents a mild and benevolent set of features. Below is a bronze medallion of the same gentleman; a profile bust in a Roman mantle, inscribed,
on the reverse,
by G. Pozzo.
The old court-room adjoining, is of the very few now remaining in London whose decorations are of the time of queen Elizabeth. It is magnificent, though mutilated; and venerable, though the ceiling has been white-washed. That bane of antiquity and of all taste, has demolished the emblazoned armorial distinctions painted and gilded under the direction of the duke of Norfolk, to whose family they belonged. The ceiling is flat; and the crests and supporters, within circular and square pannels, are of stucco. The duke's motto,
is inscribed at the north end. The walls are hung with tapestry; the clue to the story of which Mr. Malcolm was not able to find. A siege is subject: but, though it is otherwise perfect, the colours have in many places faded, even to obliteration of the figures.
The chimney-piece is most lavishly adorned. The basement is formed by Tuscan pillars; in the intercolumniations are gilded shields, containing paintings of Mars and Minerva. Over the fireplace are Faith, Hope, and Charity, on pannels of gold. The next division is composed of Ionic pillars; between them arched pannels, with fanciful gilded ornaments. The pedestals contain paintings of the Annunciation and Last Supper: the figures in those are of gold upon a black ground, and extremely well done. The space between the pedestals is filled by a gold ground, on which
Mr. Sutton's arms and initials have been introduced. Scrolls and cupids fill the intervals. The great centre pannel is of gold; with an oval containing the arms of James the , and a carved cherubim beneath. I need not add that those were introduced by Mr. Sutton's executors.
pillars, half Gothic, half Grecian, support the ceiling at the upper end of the room, placed there since ; near them is a large projecting window of divisions, and others of further south. The only use now made of this apartment is for the anniversary dinner of the founder, on the .
Returning through the gallery is the anti-room of the governors, near the stair-case. This is pannelled; and the chimney-piece decorated with a very large bas relief, of Faith, Hope, and Charity, but rudely performed. highly polished ancient oaken tables, with enormous urns, and Ionic capitals, stand within it.
 For an engraving of the bust on this monument, see Nichol's History of Leicestershire, under the account of Cole Orton, vol.iii. p. 734.
 This room is at present occupied as a lumber room for old timber, stools, &c. and is in a wretched condition. The ceiling and tapestry is tolerably perfect; but it reflects great discredit on the governors, not to appropriate it to a better and more respectable purpose.