The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas

1827

Barber's Hall.

At what time the original structure was erected does not appear: but it was enlarged at different periods down to the time of Charles the . The theatre of anatomy was built by Inigo Jones in the years , and ; Walpole calls it

one

of his best works.

This theatre through being a detached building escaped conflagration; but all the other parts suffered in the great fire of .

It contained

four

degrees of cedar seats,

one

above another, in an elliptical form, adorned with the figures of the

seven

liberal sciences, the

twelve

signs of the zodiac, and the skeleton of an ostrich, put up by Dr. Hobbes,

1682

, with a bust of king Charles I.;

two

human skins on wooden frames, of a man and a woman, in imitation of Adam and Eve, put up in

1645

; a mummy's skull, given by Mr. Loveday,

1655

; the skeleton of Etherton, with copper joints, (he was executed) given by Mr. Knowles in

1693

; the figure of a man flayed, where all the muscles appear in due place and proportion, done after the life ; the skeletons of Camberry Bess and Country Tom, (as they there call them)

1638

; and

three

other skeletons of human bodies. The roof of this theatre was an elliptical cupola.

It was pulled down about the year , the company having no use for it, and houses were soon afterwards erected upon its site.

The present buildings were erected by subscription within a few years after the fire, and are of brick; the entrance and dwelling of the clerk, fronting the street, are separated from the other parts by a small paved court. The hall is a good room, but not large, paved with marble; the west end is semicircular, and remarkable from the singular circumstance of its forming the interior of of the towers, (or bulwarks as they are called in the minutes,) that defended the city wall.

At the east end is a screen of the Corinthian order, supporting a music gallery and clock; by an inscription on the front, it appears the hall was

beautified and repaired in

1812

.

On each side of the semicircular recess are portraits, of which is of Mr. Ephraim Skinner; and on the north side of the ball are full length paintings of human figures, shewing the disposition of the muscles, &c. In the west window are the royal arms, in stained glass.

The court room, which has a small octagonal cupolain the centre, built in , is an apartment affording much interest from the various pictures with which it is decorated. The principal of these is the celebrated piece by Holbein, of

Henry the

eighth

delivering the charter of the barber-surgeons, to the court of assistants and

company;

this fine picture, which is painted on pannel, and in a very excellent state of preservation, measures feet inches in length, and feet in width. Henry is represented in his royal robes, and crowned, seated on a chair of state, and holding in his left hand a sword, erect, resting upon his knee: on each side, are the principal members of the company, kneeling, with others behind, standing, and the king is in the act of presenting the charter with his right hand to Thomas Vicary, the then master. The names of of the chief members are upon their shoulders, and near the top of the picture, on the left, is this inscription:--

HENRIO OCTAVO OPT. MAX. REGI ANGLIAE

FRANCIAE ET HIBERNIAE, FIDEI DEFENS

0

RI AC ANGLICANAE HIBERNICAEQ.

ECCLESIAE PROXIME A CHRISTO SUPREMO

CAPITI, SOCIETAS CHIRUGOORUM,

COMMUNIBUS VOTIS HAEC CONSECRAT.

TRISTIOR ANGLORUM PESTIS VIOLAVERIT ORBEM,

INFESTANS ANIMOS, CORPORIBUSQUE SEDENS

HANC DEUS INSIGNEM CLADEM MISERATUS AB ALTO

TE MEDICI MUNUS JUSSIT OBIRE BONI

LUMEN EVANGELII FULVIS CIRCUMVOLAT ALIS

PHARMACON ADFECTIS MENTIBUS ILLUD ERIT:

CONSILIOQ, TUO CELEBRANT MONUMENTA GALENI,

ET SELERI MORBUS PELLITUR OMNIS OPE.

NOS IGITUR, SVPPLEX MEDICORUM TURBA TUORUM,

HANC TIBI SACRAMUS RELIGIONE DOMUM,

MUNERIS ET MEMORES QUO NOS, HENRICE, BEASTI

IMPERIO OPTAMUS MAXIMA QUAESQUE TUO.

All the members are in gowns trimmed with fur; the on the right of the king, represent the doctors Chamber, Butts, and Alsop; all of whom at the time of giving the charter, were past masters of the company. Dr. John Chamber was Henry's principal physician, and dean ot college, , where he built the curious cloister, a part of which still remains in the Speaker's house: he has on a close cap, and his hands are wrapped in the large sleeves of his gown. Dr. William Butts, who was also king's physician, and had been admitted into the college of physicians, as

vir gravis; eximia literarum cognitione, singulari judicio, summa experientia, et prudenti consilio Doctor,

is also in a cap, and has a gold chain over shoulder: his conduct, on the presumed degradation of archbishop Cranmer, has been finely pourtrayed by Shakespeare in his play of Henry the . Dr. J. Alsop is represented with lank hair, and uncovered. The names inscribed upon the persons on the king's left hand, are as follow: T. Vicary, J. Aylef, N. Symson, E. Harman, J. Monforde, J. Pen, N. Alcoke, R. Fereis, W. Tylly, and X. Samon. Vicary, who has a gold chain like Butts, was serjeant-surgeon to the sovereigns, Henry the , Edward the , queen Mary, and queen Elizabeth ; and is reputed to have been the author of the work on anatomy that ever was written in the English language. Sir John Ayliffe was

489

also an eminent surgeon, and had been sheriff of London in : according to the inscription on his monument in the church of St. Michael Bassishaw, he was

called to court,

by Henry the ,

who loved him dearly well;

and was afterwards knighted for his services by Edward the .

This picture is not only finely and forcibly coloured, but is also finished with such carefulness, and minuteness of pencilling, that even the subordinate parts, as the rings on the king's fingers, the ermine of his robes, &c. will bear a very close examination, and still appear true to nature. It is remarkable likewise from furnishing an example of a beginning alteration of costume, in respect to shirts; the wrists of Henry being encircled by small ruffles, and the necks of several of the members displaying a raised collar. An engraving from it was made in , at the expense of the company, (who have the plate still in their possession,) by B. Barron, whose reduced drawing in red chalk is also preserved in this apartment. The painting itself was borrowed by James the , (whose grandmother, Margaret, was Henry the 's sister,) and his letter on the occasion is yet preserved by the company: it asserts, that

the portrait of Henry was both like him, and well done.

On the same side of the room with this picture, are excellently painted whole lengths said to represent

a Spanish gentleman, and a lady, his sister,

but unknown whom; and a mezzotinto head of

John Patterson, esq.

formerly clerk to this company, and member of parliament, for Ludgershall, in Wiltshire. This gentleman was deputy for the ward of Farringdon Within: he projected various useful plans for the improvement of the city, and was the principal means of the streets being paved with Scotch granite, &c. in the regular way in which they now are. He presented his company with a very beautiful painting of a duchess of Richmond, said to be by sir Peter Lely; yet more probably by Vandyke. It is placed over the fire place. The duchess is represented sitting, with a lamb and olive branch; the drapery is very finely coloured.

The principal other pictures in this room, are Charles the , sitting, a -quarter length; Mr. Lisle, barber-surgeon to that monarch; sir John Frederick, who was sheriff in ; sir Charles Bernard, surgeon to queen Anne; Inigo Jones, a fine head by Vandyke; Edward Arris, esq. an alderman of London, and the celebrated sir Charles Scarborough, chief physician to sovereigns, Charles the , James the , and William the , and of the mathematicians of his time. The last portraits are in the same piece, and were ordered to be

set up, [that is painted] in the void table,

in . Dr. Scarborough was chosen anatomical reader in this hall, on the ; and shortly afterwards he commenced the delivery of his

490

highly-famed anatomical lectures. He is represented

dressed in the red gown, hood, and cap, of a doctor of physic, in the act of lecturing, with

one

hand on his breast, the other a little stretched out. On the left is another figure, [Mr. alderman Arris] dressed in the livery gown, holding up the arm of a dead subject,

The following curious order made at a court of assistants, on July the 13th, 1687, appears in the minute books. Itm. yt ys agreed that yf any bodie wch shall at anie tyme here after happen to be brought to or hall for the intent to be wrought uppon by thanathomistes of or companie, shall rewyve or come to lyfe agayne, as of late hath ben seene, the charges aboute the same bodie so revivinge, shal be borne, levied, and susteyned, by such pson, or psons. who shall so happen to bringe home the bodie. And further shall abide suche order or ffyne, as this howse shall award.

which is placed upon a table, and partly covered with a sheet; the sternum, or that part of the breast where the ribs meet, being naked, and laid bare, so that the pectoral muscles are seen.

Under the picture is the following inscription, which was composed by Dr. Thomas Arris, M. P. for St. Alban's, in , who was son to Mr. alderman Arris, the latter of whom bequeathed the sum of for founding the muscular lecture in this hall:

Haec tibi Scarburgi Arrisius queis spiritus intus corporis human Mobile versat opus. Ille Opitex rerum Tibi rerum arcana reclusit, et numen verbis jussit inesse tuis. Ille Dator rerum Tibi res indulsit opimas, atque animum indultas qui bene donet opes. Alter erit quisquis magna haec Exempla sequet, alterutri vestrum nemo secundus erit.

Nearly opposite to this hall are the alms-houses founded in the year , by sir Ambrose Nicholas, knt. lord mayor and salter, for widows of members of that company.

On the west side of is the Parish Clerks' Hall, now occupied as a flannel warehouse, except small rooms, which are used for the purposes of their business. In the ante room is an organ, purchased in .

In the court room is a portrait of

William Roper, esq. a worthy benefactor to this company of parish clerks.

Reflecta; et ornata A. D. 1788; Joanne Garth, praefecto, Ricardo Reily, Gulielmo Davis, custodibus

.

He is represented in a black furred gown, small ruff, and collegiate cap. Here also are portraits of Mr. J. Clarke, years clerk of St. Michael, , and Mr. R. Hust, the present father of the court. The last portrait is executed by Ward.

The east window is adorned with the arms of Charles II. in stained glass; and portraits, very correctly executed, of John Clarke, parish clerk of St. Bartholomew the less, master , aged , and Stephen Peckhurst, of , Fish-street, master, ; between which are pretty little squares, representing David playing on the harp, surrounded by a circle of winged infants; and St. Cecilia at the organ, accompanied by a group of angels performing on various instruments.

491

 

Over the chimney is a miserable picture of the flight from Egypt.

On the flat of the staircase was formerly a portrait of a member of the company, and a decayed painting of our Saviour raising Lazarus.

Nearly opposite is , so called from king Athelstan's or Adlestan's palace, which some authors conceive stood in this street.

On the north side of this street is

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Barron agreed to engrave the plate for 150 guineas; viz. 100 guineas in money, and 50 guineas n 100 prints.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward