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 1
Winchester Palace, Southwark.
Winchester Palace, Southwark.
The south view of the Palace of the Bishops of Winchester, near , , was all on that side remaining of this antient edifice previous to its final destruction by fire, .
This House or Palace was founded and built by , Bishop of , about the year , the of the , upon a plot of ground pertaining to the Prior of , as appears by a writ directed to the Barons of , in the year , the of the (the Bishop's see being void), for , due to the Monks of , for the Bishop of Winchester's lodging in This was a very fair house, well repaired, and had a large wharf and a landing-place, called the Bishop of Winchester's Stairs. The Bishop had also the lordship and manor of , which came to King Edward VI. upon Bishop deprivation; and anno , there was an exchange made between the Lord Marquis of Northampton and the King, whereby that Lord had the lordship and manor of , and the King had the chief or capital mesne of , belonging to the Duke of , attainted of treason. The said Marquis built the gallery at House. In Queen time it was restored to the see, and so it continued until its sale in .
In the year a great and dangerous quarrel happened between the Duke of , the Protector of England during the minority of VI. and the haughty Bishop of (Cardinal Beaufort), his uncle, and great uncle to the King, which had like to have involved the whole nation in blood.
The Protector having received intelligence of the Bishop's design to surprise the city of in the night of the Lord Mayor's day, when the citizens were engaged in banquetting and rejoicing in honour of their new magistrate, he sent for the Mayor, and strictly enjoined him, for the safety of the city, immediately to raise such a body of citizens, as were sufficient to baffle all the attempts that should be made against them. This information soon appeared to be well-grounded; for the next morning a great number of the Bishop's faction endeavoured to enter the city from , by the bridge; and, being denied admittance, were so highly enraged, that they assembled a great number of archers and men at arms, in order to force their way. The citizens immediately shut up their shops, and, arming with the greatest expedition, ran to the bridge to oppose the assailants, and would have sallied out upon their enemies, had they not been prevented by the prudent conduct of , the Mayor, and his brethren the Aldermen, which happily prevented the effusion of much blood. The Prince of Portugal, who happened at this time to be on his travels in , with the Archbishop of Canterbury, generously undertook to compose the difference between the Protector and Bishop, but their endeavours proving unsuccessful, the Duke of , Regent of France, and brother to the Protector, came over to accommodate the affair. The artful and ambitious Bishop made his story as plausible as possible, to gain the to his party, and never ceased persecuting the good Protector until his death, which happened in , not without shrewd suspicion of being poisoned by the Bishop, or his procurement. Winchester House had another inhabitant equally cruel and persecuting with Cardinal Beaufort, in the person of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester in the reigns of Henry VIII. Edward VI. and Queen Mary, who, though not outwardly so merciless as Bonnor, Bishop of London, was nothing behind him in persecuting to the flames all of the reformed religion he could not convert to his bigotted way of thinking. He was equally mean in adversity, as haughty and imperious in prosperity. On the accession of Edward VI. he was imprisoned in the , and afterwards committed to the Tower, though he subscribed to all the alterations in religion by Edward VI. by whom he was always regarded as a secret enemy to the Reformation, and was therefore deprived of his bishopric; but restored by Queen Mary, who made him Lord Chancellor and Prime Minister. He was distinguished for his extensive learning, insinuating address, and profound policy; the masterpiece of which was the treaty of marriage betwixt Philip and Mary, which was an effectual bar to the ambitious designs of the former, as there was no question but Philip intended, if possible, to make himself master of the kingdom by marrying Mary. When the Queen was supposed to be far advanced in her pregnancy, Philip applied to the parliament to be constituted regent during the minority of the child, and offered to give ample security to surrender the regency when he or she should be of age to govern. The motion was warmly debated in the House of Peers, and he was likely to carry his point, when the Lord Paget stood up, and said,
This laconic speech had its intended effect, and the debate was concluded in the negative.
Winchester House continued to be the residence of the Prelates of that see, during their attendance in parliament, until the breaking out of the civil wars (); when episcopacy was put down, and this Palace became for a time a prison for the royalists. , the Parliament Commissioners sold it to Thomas Walker, of Camberwell, for King Charles II. in , restored it to the see of Winchester. But on the desertion of this Palace, the Prelates of Winchester had another allotted to them at .
The Clink, or manor of , is still under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester; who, besides a court-leet, keeps a court of record on the , by his steward and bailiff, for pleas of debt, trespasses, &c. Much of Winchester House was standing in the early part of the year , tenanted by different families, or converted into warehouses. But on the evening of Sunday, , an alarming and destructive fire broke out on this spot, which spread devastation around. The beautiful Gothic hall, which had for many years been surrounded with mean buildings, on this occasion presented a most magnificent appearance; the columns of flame which ascended through the exquisitely carved stone-work circular window to the clouds, leaves all description of effect far behind. The Plate of the north-west view exhibits the ruins a few days after the conflagration; the spires of St. Mary Overies, which are seen in the distance, gave a surprising reflection on the scene the night of the accident, and added considerably to impress the mind of the spectator with the sublime appearance of the whole.