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
of is situated about a mile on the east side of Kensington Church, in the great road that leads from London towards the western parts of England, and was until late years partly in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, and partly in that of St. Margaret ; but is now solely appertaining to that of .
There was remaining so recently as when Newcourt was making collections for his Repertorium (anno ), a lazar-house or hospital, which was held under the church of , and destitute of endowment, though the patients were usually between and in number, and received no other aid towards their support and cure than what resulted from the voluntary contributions of the public, in a way similar to those of some of our present hospitals and public dispensaries. When, or by whom, this lazar-house was erected, and established for that purpose, is not known; but that it was of very ancient origin is certain; for in the year , the inhabitants of petitioned Dr. William Laud, then Bishop of London, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, to have leave to rebuild the Chapel belonging to this house, at their own cost and charges, the same being grown very old and ruinous, and ready to fall; and the inhabitants of the said village or hamlet being in the habit of resorting there as their general place of worship.[*]
[*] The only accounts extant of the way in which money was raised, either for the above purpose or future repairs, is contained in the fragments of the few remaining books concerning and yet remaining within the present building, viz.: Monnies gathered by the inhabitants of Knightsbridge for and towards the Reparation of the Chappell called Trinitie Chappell, belonginge to the Hospitall, Spittle, or Lazar-house, at Knightsbridge. The Lady Stonehouse — — — 00 10 0 Mr. Hall — — — — 00 05 0 Mr. Pato — — — — 00 02 0 Mr. Callaway — — — — 00 02 0 Mr. White — — — — 00 02 6 Mr. Harris — — — — 00 02 0 Mr. Boll — — — — 00 01 6 Mr. Lewis — — — — 00 01 0 Goodman Paldin — — — — 00 01 0 Mr. Hirtman — — — — 00 01 0 --------- Sum to-to 02 08 0 --------- No date to the above. More collected the 29th day of June at the Chappell doore, at the request of Mr. Anthony Dod, Minister of Paddington 1 01 1 1 8 0 ---------- 2 9 1 ---------- No date to this collection. More collected the 01st day of April, at the Chappell doore, at the request of Mr. Lee, Minister, now present, of Trinitie Chappell, of Knightsbridge, the some of fifty and eight shillings two pence — — — 2 18 2 --------- CHRISTOPHER LEE. THOMAS TURNER. RICHARD HALLWAY. Monye laid out for and toward ye reparation of the saide Chappell as followeth: October 17, 1655. To the plumber for a gutter of lead, 18th of April, 1656 — — — — — — 01 10 3 To Edward Rowles — — — — — — — — — 00 08 3 To Robert Darwinn, for mendinge the great window next the pulpit — — — — — 00 12 0 1656. To John Fitzwalter and his labourers — — — — — — — — 00 06 0 ffor lathes, nails, and lime, and sand — — — — — — — — 00 06 0 ffor three hundred of tiles — — — — — — — — — 00 09 0 To Rowles his man for mendinge the Chappell doore and bell — — — — — — 00 02 0 24th October, 1657. To Thomas Austin and his labourers — — — — — — — — 01 04 8 To Darwinne for mending the north windows — — — — — — — 00 08 0 July, 1659. Received of the Lady Langton (for her entrance into her yere) towards the repayringe of the Chappell the somme of 2 — 02 00 0 Received of Mr. Hall, the same month — — — — — — — — 00 02 6 The 9th of June, 1659. Received of John Glassington, Governour of the Hospital of Knightsbridge, the somme of 10s.—which was collected from a breefe for and towards the losses by fire in the parish of Brides, London, I say received by me, JOHN GRAY. Witness, ANTHONY DOD. Then The 27th day of ffebr., 1658. Then received of Mr. Glassington, Governour of the Hospital of Knightsbridge, for the use of the Bayliffe and Burgesses of East Thetford, in the county of Nottingham, the somme of ten shillings, which was gathered for the rebuilding of the church of East Thetford aforesaid. THO. MASON. On which petition, the Bishop (with the approbation of the then Vicar and Churchwardens of St. Martin's) granted them his licence so to do, dated July 7, that year, therein to frequent divine service and sermons; which divine offices were to be performed by a sufficient Minister, lawfully licensed from time to time, by himself or successors, Bishops of London, or their Chancellors for the time being; provided that the said inhabitants, or their families, did once every quarter of a year repair to their respective parish-churches to perform their devotions; and every Easter receive the Holy Communion there, and pay all rights, duties, and profits, to their respective Ministers to which they did belong; and ordered that this licence should continue in force during the pleasure of the Bishops of London. About five years after (the said Chapel being built and consecrated to the use of the said Hospital, having no maintenance but what they received by alms, and were not able to maintain a Curate, or to repair the said Chapel, or to relieve themselves) it was with the assent of the Master of the said Hospital, and Curate of the said Chapel, and about seven more of the principal inhabitants of Knightsbridge, on the 3d of October, 1634, ordered by Dr. Duck, then Chancellor of London, that they, or the major part of them, should place such persons in the several seats of the same, as should most conduce to the maintenance of the said Curate, the repair of the said Chapel, and the relief of the poor of the said Hospital; that they should keep a register-book for their accounts, which were to be adjusted at the end of every six months, saving and reserving to the said Churches of St. Martin and St. Margaret, and to the respective incumbents of the same, all the rights, profits, and emoluments to them belonging. At what period the Church of Westminster ceased to exercise the dispensing power of presentation to this religious and charitable establishment, is not recorded by any writer on ecclesiastical affairs that we have met with; but certain it is, that right, as well as the fee-simple of the whole estate, has passed into private hands. Perhaps, being originally but a lazar, or beggar establishment, it was deemed unworthy the notice and attention of the dignified Deans, &c., of the Church of St. Peter's. Knightsbridge Chapel, the ground on which it stands, the adjoining houses, and those opposite, became by purchase the freehold property of Dixon Gamble, Esq., father of the late Reverend John Gamble, M.A., who for some time did duty here, and was much followed and admired as a preacher: the property descends to his eldest son, a child about seven years of age, who is intended to be brought up to the church, and to become the future pastor of this now opulent and fashionable hamlet to the metropolis. In the meanwhile, his friends and guardians have granted a lease of twenty-one years to the Rev. Mr. J. Harris, who after performing duty here for a few years, has underlet the remainder of his term to the Rev. Mr. Foyster, who at present officiates, and is very much admired, and followed as an excellent preacher and man. Marriages and baptisms were formerly solemnized here, but ceased in 1753, upon the passing of the celebrated Marriage Act, 26 Geo. II. sect. 33. Registers of both are still preserved here, and consist of ten books of various sizes, some smaller than a Common Prayer Book, bearing date from the year 1658 to 1752The earliest register of a marriage preserved in this Chapel, is in May, 1658, when James Emmott wedded to Anne Pitman; and the latest entry to be found in the last book kept for that purpose, is dated December 2, 1752, when John Fry, the younger, of Bromley, in the county of Middlesex, wedded Elizabeth Eveleigh, of the same place, spinster. The only register of persons being married here from a distant county, is William Guidott, of Preston Candover, in Hampshire, widower, Esq., who on November 30, 1739, wedded Mrs. Patience Soper, of the same place, spinster. The blank leaves remaining in the book where the entry is made of December 2, 1752, evidently prove it to have been the latest marriage solemnized at this place. The money raised by the briefs at Knightsbridge Chapel, and paid to the respective receivers by John Glassington, clearly proves the Hospital to be at that period in use as a charitable institution, he being, in both, designated Governor of the Hospital.: these books may be seen at any time by applying to the person who has the care of the Chapel, Miss Barr, daughter of the late clerk, who had filled that situation upwards of thirty years. Knightsbridge Chapel, though small, is capable of containing a numerous congregation, and is generally fully attended; the body of the Chapel is very neatly fitted up with pews, which, with the side ones, contain seats for nearly 200 persons. The gallery surrounds the whole of the interior, except the part of the window over the communion-table. There is a very excellent, though small, organ placed in the gallery fronting this window, and a handsome Buzaglo stove in the right side aisle to keep a due temperature of warmth. The gallery is capable of containing as many persons as the body of the Chapel; and the quarterly subscription for seats to this, and to the seats beneath, is one guinea and a half per annum. Adjoining the Chapel is a charity-school, instituted in 1783. This establishment is supported by voluntary contributions, and at present contains thirty-six boys and eighteen girls. The children are admitted from seven to ten years old, and educated until they arrive at the age of twelve. The boys are taught reading, writing, and the elementary parts of arithmetic, and are instructed in the principles of the Church of England. The girls, in addition to the above articles of instruction, are taught plain work. It appears that this part of the western road was dreary, and destitute of sufficient buildings to protect the traveller, in the sixteenth century, as the following remark occurs in some MS. additions to Norden's Speculum Brittaniæ: Kingesbridge, commonly called Stone Bridge, is near Hyde Park Corner, where I wish no good man to walk too late, unless he can make his partie good. A bridge still remains over the shallow stream which crosses the high road in the vicinity of the Chapel; and this is probably the spot to which Norden alludes.—(Vide MS. Additions in Mr. Nichols's Norden.)>