The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Bartholomew the Less.
Within the precinct of the hospital, at the north-west angle, stands the parochial church of St. Bartholomew the Less, founded in , by the original founder of the hospital for a chapel to it; but, at the dissolution of the priory of St. Bartholomew the Great, this was converted into a parish church for the inhabitants of the precinct of the said hospital. It is a vicarage, in the patronage of the lord mayor, aldermen, and citizens of London ; and the
|building escaped the fire of London in . The nest end of the church abuts on the passage leading from to the hospital; the south side on a paved court in front of the vicarage house; the east end on a small burying ground, and the north side on the yards of the houses on the south side of . The entire church, except the west end, has been recently rebuilt in brick, and the whole edifice covered with compo.|
This church had been previously rebuilt by the younger Dance, who fearing his fame would not be sufficiently handed down to posterity by the
front of , appeared in this humble church as the inventor of a new order of architecture, which Mr. Malcolm calls the
the characteristics were wooden pillars, with the Prince of Wales' crest for capitals, so writes Mr. Malcolm, who however, in a note, seems to take away the honour of the invention from Dance, and give it to some other person.
The plan is a parallellogram reduced to a square by a portion at end being taken off, which is in part occupied by a square tower, and the residue by a vestibule. The outline of the body of the church is an irregular octagon inscribed in a square.
The west front has a doorway with a pointed arch, having enriched spandrils, and surmounted by a weather cornice which rests oil small half statues of angels holding shields, and above it is a modernized pointed window, made by a mullion into lights; this portion constitutes the portion of the tower; the story has no light, and the has a pointed arched window of light in every aspect, the elevation is finished with a parapet above this story; at the south western angle of the tower is a staircase turret which rises considerably above the parapet, and is finished with a cupola. In the portion of the western front of the church, which is northward of the tower, is a modern arched window. The south side of the church has windows; the arches are pointed, the has mullion and the other mullions, crossing each other in the Chinese style in the head of the arch, the and windows alone are glazed, the others are blank. the octagon is seen above the wall, where it forms a clerestory, having pointed arches glazed as windows in of the sides; the north side of the church is uniform with the south. The east end is occupied by an angular bow window, in the domestic stile of
Elizabeth's reign. The older portions are apparently about the period of the century; the modern works are in the poorest style of
The interior is approached by the doorway in the tower, the lower story of which forms a porch, the north and east walls being pierced with tasteful pointed arches resting on columns; the staircase is within the plan, and communicates with the interior by an open arch, and has in consequence a picturesque appearance; the remainder of the west end, which is northward of the tower, is parted by a screen from the church, and retains much of its original features. Against the north wall are curious pieces of sculpture removed from the exterior, the uppermost is a niche with a cinquefoil head, containing a statue of an angel holding a shield charged with semee of crosses botone, a cross moline, and beneath it, in another niche, is the arms of Edward the Confessor, impaled with the royal arms subsequent to Henry the 's reign, surmounted by the royal crown, and sustained by corbel busts; at each side of the window are cinquefoil niches, containing statues of angels holding shields, the bearings defaced; a portion of the plan eastward is occupied by a gallery in the centre, over a vestibule, to the right and left of which are free seats, constructed on an inclined plane ; the octagon portion is ornamented with clusters of columns copied from the old examples; beneath the tower, in the several angles, from the capitals spring principal ribs, which unite in the centre of the roof in a handsomely sculptured boss; other subordinate ribs cross the larger ones in diagonal directions, parcelling the whole into compartments, the ceiling being constructed in imitation of an ancient vaulted stone roof. The diagonal walls of the octagon are pierced with obtusely pointed arches, which let in the angles of the square portion of the plan, and creates in the whole a pleasing and harmonious design. The gallery at the west end is sustained on an obtusely pointed arch, sustaining a breast work in oak, and the organ case is mahogany, surmounted by acute pedimental canopies, enriched with angels holding shields of arms at their springing, and by crockets in composition on the raking cornices; the altar screen is mahogany; the pulpit and desk at the sides of the altar, are not very tastefully ornamented.
The interior, though far from faultless, is in a superior style to the outside, and possesses a degree of merit which helps at once to atone for the defects of the other portion. The font is an octagon basin enriched with quatrefoils on a pillar of the same form: it is formed in composition, and situated in the vestibule beneath the organ. The central portion of the eastern window is highly ornamented with modern painted glass; it consists of lights. In the upper are effigies of the saints Bartholomew and Lazarus in the centre; in the other lights are shields in quatrefoils; inscribed on ribbons below the arms, as follows: Henry viii
Quarterly. France and England. St. Barthom.
Mr. Henrie Andrewes, alderman, .
a stone feet inches long, by feet inches wide, with the small figure of a man and woman. He is in a gown with bag sleeves, and a standing cape and belt, and on his head a striped cap. His wife is habited in a long gown, fastened with a girdle just below her breasts, with similar sleeves reaching to her wrists, and a falling cape, and on her head a kind of veil head dress. Under her feet this inscription :--
Over their heads were shields, now gone. Against the south wall is a kneeling effigy in an arched niche of the period of James I. inscribed to the memory of Robert Balthrope, sergeant surgeon to queen Elizabeth, who died ... , . At the back of the pillar at the south angle of the altar is a brass plate recording the re-building of the church, as follows:
At the north angle the following:
On the north side of the church is the monument of Anne, wife of sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the celebrated library at Oxford, it is a plain black slab, with Corinthian pilasters supporting a pediment.
 Lond. Red. vol. i. page 303.
 We have unintentionally led our readers into an error on the subject of this gentleman's works, which we hasten to correct. Misled by most other works on London, we attributed the new front of Guildhall, and the church of Allhallows (vide page 197) to the builder of the Mansion House, who was the father of the architect of these latter buildings; the last mistake is the more difficult to apologize for, as we state that Allhallows church was his first building, this is strictly true with regard to the son, but not so as respects the elder Dance. If our readers then will insert the son of the, prior to the builder of the Mansion House in page 197 of this volume, the mistake will be corrected.
 Sepul. Mon. vol. ii. p. 122.