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
This structure is situated on the east side, and near the principal avenue of . Stow and Speed both assert that its foundation was about the year , and that it was dedicated to and All Saints. It was distinguished by Stow as
But Newport, in his Repertorium, I. p. , disputes the authority of both these historians.
It was endowed with tenements and their appurtenances; of them in the parish of St. Foster, and the other in that of St. Giles, Cripplegate; out of the rents of which the priests to have apiece yearly, and the custos . The mayor and chamberlain for the time being were ordained supervisors after the death of the founders, and the survivor of them; and the overplus of the rents was to be kept in a chest with locks and keys in the Chamber of ; key to be kept by the founders or survivor of them while living, and after their death by the mayor and chamberlain; another by the custos of the said College; and the by the chaplains. This overplus of rent was from time to time to be laid out in repairs of the College; and some other annual charges ordained by the said founders to be laid out about celebrating the said Roger Frowick's anniversary, which was to be performed in the parish church of , , where he lay buried. The lord mayor was to have , and the chamberlain half a mark, yearly, for supervising the premises.
In the year of the reign of Richard II. the King granted his license to Stephen Spilman, mercer, to bestow messuage, shops, and a garden, with the appurtenances, to the custos and chaplains of this Chapel or College, for their better maintenance, for ever.
Thus it continued till Henry VI. when that monarch, in the year of his reign, at the petition of the mayor, aldermen, and commons of London, granted his license for pulling down the said chapel, being old and ruinous, and the new-building and enlarging the same, by taking down a certain messuage on the south side of it, wherein John Barnar the custos, and the other chaplains did dwell, and adding the ground thereto; in compensation whereof the mayor and commonalty were, by virtue of the same king's license, to assign over to the said custos and chaplains for ever other messuage on the north side of , for the habitation.
The same king in the year of his reign, granted to the parish clerks in London
In Sir Henry Barton, skinner, mayor, founded a chaplaincy here; Sir Roger Depham, mercer; and Sir William Langford, had also chaplains here.
This Chapel or College had ultimately a custos, chaplains, clerks, and choristers. The mayor and chamberlain were patrons, and the bishop of London ordinary of the chapel.
The deed of dotation or foundation of the College under this name is entered in fol. & seq. of Bishop Bonner's Register, in the custody of the Registrar of the Consistory Court of the Lord Bishop of London, and is to the following effect, viz.
That Adam Fraunces and Henry de Frowyk, citizens of London, by their deed-poll under their seals, dated at London, on the morrow of the Annunciation of the blessed Mary, A.D. , and the year of the reign of King Edward the , to the honour of God, the blessed Mary his Mother, Mary Magdalen, and All Saints, founded in the Chapel of the most blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God, near , London, perpetual College (which they caused to be solemnly dedicated by Michael, Bishop of London), to consist of chaplains, of whom should be warden; and they also granted for the perpetual support of the chantries as follows, viz. to warden of the chantry a chaplain, and to the other chaplains and their successors, chaplains to celebrate divine services therein for the good state of the founders whilst living, and their souls after death; also for the soul of Peter Fanlore, who intended to found the chantry there, but died before the carrying his intention into effect, and for the souls of certain other persons therein named, tenements, with all their appurtenances; whereof, with shops, were situate in London, in the parish of St. Vedast, in the ward of Farringdon Within (the buttals and boundaries of which tenements are set out in the deed): and the other of the said tenements was situate in the parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate, London, opposite the same gate (the buttals of which said tenements are also set out): to hold the said tenements with their appurtenances to the aforesaid warden, chaplain, and the other chaplains, and for the time being, celebrating divine services in the chantries,
The course of the services, and the order of performing them, are then laid down; and the deed proceeds to state,
Then follow regulations as to the keeping the accompts of the rents and repairs of the tenements, which should be inspected by the founders in their lifetime; and, after their deaths, by the of London, or of London, if there should be no mayor, and the of the for the time being. Further regulations are laid down for other small sums, to be paid to the said priests, and the clerk, for extraordinary services and other works of piety. That in the case of the death, cession, or other vacancy of warden of the said Coliege, the founders in their lifetime, and the survivor of them, should present another fit warden to the , or (the see being vacant) to the Dean and Chapter of , within days after the vacancy; and that, after the death of the survivor of the founders, all the priests of the said Chantry then surviving, might demand from the mayor, or warden, of London (there being no mayor), license to elect fit priest, out of themselves, to be warden of the said College, to be confirmed by the Bishop or his Vicar, or (in case of vacancy of the see) by the Dean and Chapter of ; and the said mayor, or warden, of London, within days after such license demanded, should grant it; otherwise, after the lapse of such days after the demand, and the same not granted, the said chaplains might freely proceed to the election of a future warden, to be confirmed as aforesaid. The mode of the new warden's qualification, &c. is then set out, and also the manner of filling up the vacancies of the priests of the Chantries, together with the form of inquiring into, and punishing, the crimes of the warden and priests, if they should be impeached of any.
Also the founders ordain that the books, vestments, chalices, and the other necessary and sufficient ornaments for the said Chantries, if any should be wanting, should be bought and found out of the rents of the tenemeuts, at the will of the founders; and after the death of the survivor, at the will of the of That the mayor, for surveying the premises, after the death of the survivor of the founders, should receive yearly ; and the chamberlain (), half a mark yearly, at terms of the year by equal portions.
This deed was ratified and confirmed by Simon Bishop of London, on the morrow of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, A.D. .
In page of the same Register, it appears that this Chapel was enlarged on the petition of the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the city of London, by charter of King Henry VI. dated at Canterbury, the , in the year of his reign; and by which charter the warden and chaplains of the Chapel were made a corporation.
The entry of this patent is thus subscribed:
It remained under this government until it was surrendered at the general dissolution of monasteries, when the Chapel was appropriated to the use of the lord mayor and aldermen, and there used to be prayers and sermons every court day, as well as upon public occasions, till about years since, when the building was converted to a Court of Requests.
This Chapel suffered from the great fire in ; the upper part was burut, but the walls escaped; so that the upper windows, which were originally built in the Gothic style, were rebuilt of the Tuscan order.
When used for divine worship, the walls were hung with tapestry; and at the west end was a gallery, which was peculiarly appropriated for the lord mayor and his attendants. The aldermen were accommodated with seats of oak, on each side of the Chapel, and there was also a handsome pulpit and reading-desk. Under the gallery were carved the arms of England, below which, on a projection, were carved the arms of the city of London. The altar-piece was very handsome.
The whole dimensions of the Chapel were, the nave and chancel feet in length, breadth feet, and height feet.
There were also some sepulchral remains as follow:
. Catherine, the wife of William Lightfoot, of the attornies of the lord mayor's court. Thus inscribed:
. To the memory of William Lightfoot, with this inscription:
Hic jacet corpus Gu. Lightfoot, gen. quondam unius quatuor attorn. in curia dom. majoris infra hanc civitatem, et nuper registrarii hospitii Tho. Sutton, ar. qui ob. die . Aetat suæ . Resurgam.
. Here lyeth interred the body of Wiliam Fluellin, Esq. late alderman of this city, who departed this life the , being the year of his age.
. Weaver, in his Funeral Monuments, records the following epitaph to the memory of a former custos:
In the front of the Chapel, facing Yard, still remain, in a very mutilated state, niches, ornamented with columns and entablature, &c. of the Composite order, supported by a demi-lion, griffin, terms, &c. The niches are filled with the figures of Edward the , Queen Elizabeth, and Charles the .