The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Martin Outwich Church. 1794.
This church is situated at the south east end of
|, in an angle made by its junction with . It is dedicated to St. Martin, bishop of Tours, in France, and is of great antiquity. It derives its additional name of Outwich from the family of Oteswich, who were either the founders or proprietors of this church. Stow names of them, who were buried here, viz. Martin, Nicholas, William, and John. In the year , John de Warren, earl of Surrey, presented John de Dalyngton to this living; but the earl dying without issue, and leaving his estates to the crown, the advowson was purchased in , by the above family, who, in the year of the reign of Henry IV., gave it with messuages, shops, and the appurtenances in the said parish, to the master and wardens of the taylors and linen armourers and to their successors, to be employed for the perpetual help and relief of the poor brethren and sisters of the said company : by virtue of which grant, the company of merchant-taylors have ever since enjoyed the right of patronage to this church.|
The old church, which was built in , was of the few that escaped the fire of London; but the ravages of time, assisted by the injuries it received from a fire in , in , had affected it so much, that it was taken down in , and the present structure erected, which is of the smallest ecclesiastical edifices in the metropolis. The exterior has no architectural character. The general features of the building are an oval inscribed within an oblong irregular figure approaching to a square. The north side of the church is a plain brick wall, finished with a stone coping, it originally had doorways and in the upper part a semicircular window, the latter with the westernmost doorway were stopped up at the recent repair in . The east front is compoed and rusticated, the face of the wall broken by a recessed arch, above which a semicircular window has been constructed in lieu of the walled up on the north side, the elevation is finished by a square plinth fronted by a dial and sustaining a circular turret and cupola, the prototype of which may be found in nearly every mews. The south and western sides of the edifice are built against; attached to the latter, at the extremity of the north side is an auxiliary entrance, which has only lately been brought into general use. Above the walls already described is an oval clerestory, compoed and rusticated and pierced with semicircular windows. The interior has been so much improved in the late reparation that it entirely owes its present
|neat, and oven elegant appearance, to the very tasteful decorations and embellishments it then received. The outline is an oval made into divisions by antae sustaining an entablature, the capitals are composed from the Ionic order, with cherubim having expanded wings between the volutes, the shafts are fluted and are coloured in imitation of Sienna marble, the caps white with gold enrichments. The ceiling is domed and partitioned by ribs, and in the centre is an oval containing a flower. The divisions at the western end are recessed, and contain galleries which occupy the spaces between the inner and external walls: the central gallery contains the organ erected in . The east end is similarly recessed, the centre contains the altar and the lateral divisions galleries, the fronts of these as well as the western ones are ballustraded. The altar has been completely remodelled and much improved in the late repair; the wall before that period was ornamented with a large fresco painting of our Lord's Ascension by Rigaud, which even in Mr. Malcolm's time had grown into a deformity in consequence of damp, this has been destroyed and the whole of the wall has been occupied by various panels composed of imitations of lapis lazuli, Sienna, verd antique, and other marbles, the tables of the law are inscribed on gilt pannels covered with a pediment, the creed and decalogue on pannels of porphyry at the sides of the former, the whole has a tasteful and elegant appearance, and is a very pleasing specimen of the skill displayed in the modern imitations of marbles, so tastefully introduced into many recently decorated churches, in the metropolis, after the example of . The altar is composed of stucco, in imitation of porphyry; it consists of a ledger sustained on an arch in the centre, and cariatidal angels, highly gilt at the corners. The recess is ceiled in an arch, enriched with square pannels; the head is occupied by a window filled with stained glass preserved from the old church, and now removed to the present situation from the north window, on its being walled up. There are, in all, coats, besides the arms of King Charles II., and those of the merchant taylors, and south sea companies. of them has beneath A. Dni. , being the arms of Naylor and Nevil. In the front of the altar rails are the pulpit and desks, the former is square, and stands on a pedestal of the same form, ornamented with antae, the whole painted and varnished in imitation of polished oak. The improvements before detailed are not the only ones which took place at the recent reparation. As originally constructed, the pulpit and its appendages were situated at the west end of the church, and, in consequence, the congregation most indecorously turned their backs to the altar during divine service. All the seats have been reversed, and a new pulpit and desks constructed in a situation more appropriate than the former, though the size of the church does not allow them to be so placed as not to impede the view of the altar. The font is of marble, and stands in a pew beneath the north-western gallery.|
There are several monuments in the present building, which were preserved from the old church. The most splendid is an altar tomb, with recumbent effigies in alabaster, of John Oteswich and his lady, it was placed at the rebuilding of the church, in , in an obscure corner beneath the south-west gallery, where it still remains; the figures, however, are in fine preservation. The male effigy is dressed in a long gown, and has a sword at his left side, his countenance placid and features handsome, his head rests on a cushion supported by angels, the hands are conjoined in the attitude of prayer, and at his feet is a lion. The lady's hands are in the same supplicatory attitude, at her feet a dog: this monument is highly interesting, not only as a fine specimen of the workmanship, but as a record of the costume of a merchant of the century. Against the north wall is another ancient monument to the memory of Hugh Pemberton, merchant taylor and alderman, who died , and Katherine his wife. It consists of an altar tomb with an elaborate canopy, sustained upon pillars springing from the exterior angles of the ledger; the canopy is composed of arches with ogee canopies, in front and in flank, the spandrils filled in with pannelling, and the whole finished with a cornice, ornamented with strawberry leaves placed erect on the eaves; at the back were formerly several engraved effigies in brass, of which only remain kneeling children, and near them this inscription on a label: , and shields of arms, viz. the merchant taylors and Pemberton; this monument is well preserved, and displays a fine specimen of the workmanship of the early part of the century. A space has been cut out of the back of the tomb, for a locker, in which they formerly placed the valuables of the church. Within the communion rails is a brass to the memory of Nicholas Wotton, bachelor of law, rector of this church, who died . Above the inscription is his effigy engraved, in good preservation. Without the rails is a brass of similar form, and with an engraving to the memory of John Breux, rector, ob. . Against the south wall, and nearly opposite to Pemberton's monument, is a mural , with the following inscription :--
Here resteth the bodie of the worshipfvl Richard Staper, elected alderman of this cittye. ano . Hee was the greatest merchant in his tyme, the chiefest actor in discovere of the trades of Tvrkey and East India. A man homble in prosperity, payneful and ever ready in the affayres publicqve, and discreetly carefvl of his private; a liberal howsekeeper, bowntifvl to the poore, an vpright dealer in the world, and a devout aspirer after the world to come, mvch blest in his posterity, and happy in his and their allyavnces. Hee dyed the last jvne, ano domine, .
The deceased and his lady are kneeling opposite to each other, at altars, with a family of sons and daughters in the rear, the whole flanked by Corinthian columns; the canopy sustains a model of a ship of war; the whole is in very good preservation, except the original colours, the monument having been painted white when the church was rebuilt; a warm stone colour has been
|given to it in the last repair, and the model of the ship and the various enrichments gilt. The same hue has also been given to the monument of Pemberton. Upon the whole, the recent repair reflects the highest credit upon the parochial authorities; this, and other instances to be noticed in the course of the work, shew a laudable spirit of improvement prevails in the metropolis, which will day, it is to be hoped, render nugatory the often repeated censure upon churchwarden's repairs.|
 It is to be regretted that the colours of the dresses of the effigies upon ancient monuments should so frequently be effaced. Such representations of the costume of past ages ought to be preserved with scrupulous attention. A valuable memorial of the age of Elizabeth, at St. Helens, has been injured in a similar manner, and but for the officious interference of the indefatigable mountebank Malone, the monument of Shakespear at Stratford would have presented, at the present time, the very hues of the dress which the poet wore in his life-time.