The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Mary at Hill.
On the west side of , is the church from whence it derives its name. The date of the foundation is equally uncertain with that of most of the churches in this city: the circumstances met with concerning it, are that here De Wrytel founded a charity in the church of , in the year , and that Richard de Hackney, presented Nigullus Dalleye to this living, in the year . Stow, on the authority of Fabian, who was living at the time, relates a singular occurrence, at the rebuilding of this church in . He says,
This church is a rectory, the advowson of which appears to have been always in lay hands; and in was purchased by the parishioners, in whom it has ever since remained: but since the parish of St. Andrew Hubbard has been united to it, the duke of Northumberland, who is patron of that parish, presents alternately with the parishioners of .
This church anciently appears to have had a cross aisle, and aisles to the body: the north aisle was begun ; finished ; the south aisle about , on the site of the abbot of Waltham's kitchen. In this church were altars. The high altar of , or Our Lady's, St Thomas's on the south side of the church, St. Edmund's, St.Katherine's, St. John the Baptist's, , in his chapel on the north side of the church, the south altar between the images of St. Thomas the Martyr and St. Nicholas. This, if not the same with St. Thomas's above mentioned, might be dedicated to Becket and St. Nicholas jointly. The chapels of St. Christopher and St. Ann had their altars.
The church of this parish was not destroyed by the fire of London, though greatly damaged by that calamity; it was repaired, and the whole of the inside, together with the east end, rebuilt by sir Christopher Wren; since then the west-end with the tower has been rebuilt with brick, and the residue of the exterior has been recently rebuilt, and completed. Until the last repairs the arches of large windows of the latest forms of the pointed style were to be seen in the alley, at the south side of the church. These have been replaced by a large palladian window, and a smaller with an arched head, and the old patched work concealed by stucco; the west front is in divisions, the center occupied by the tower, a clumsy fabric of brick work closely resembling that of St. Catherine Coleman, described at page , an unworthy appendage to any work of our great national architect; the basement has a doorway, above which are stories, containing windows with arched heads; the whole elevation finished with an embattled parapet ; there are also windows in the side divisions of the same form; the walls of this portion are formed of brick, and the angles rusticated with stone work; the return of this front is of a similar character. The north front is similar to the southern, already described. The east end, which is the work of sir Christopher Wren, is faced with Portland stone, and has a large Venetian window; the pillars and antae appertaining to which are of a composed order, between other windows with arched heads; above the central window is a pediment, in the tympanum of which is a semi-circular window made in the last repair, which is rendered necessary in consequence of the Venetian window having been walled up. The interior is very elegant. It has been however so much altered at the late repair that the work of sir Christopher Wren is almost lost. The general outline still displays the master-hand of that great architect.
The principal feature is a circular dome in the centre of an oblong square. architraves issuing from the respective walls of the church, where they rest upon pilasters, and crossing each other at an angle of degrees, are sustained at their juncture upon the same number of columns, the architraves are then broken between the columns, giving the church a cruciform shape; above the centre thus formed, are arches sustaining a hemispherical dome, the periphery being enriched with mouldings, and the soffit with sunk pannels; the centre is pierced with an eye, covered with an expanded flower; the capitals of the columns and pilasters are of a composed order, being an union of the Doric and Corinthian; the shafts are fluted, the pillars occupied to a portion of their height with reeds. The ceilings are partly arched, and partly horizontal; the former have a plain surface, the latter pannelled; the modern ornaments are in the Grecian style, the lotus and echinus are prevalent, the architect would have done better had he adhered to the ornaments of Roman examples. Upon the whole, the church has a striking resemblance to , , a sufficient proof that the outline is still the work of sir C. Wren.
At the west end are arched openings communicating with the lobbies, and a gallery containing an organ; at the west end of the south aisle is a large and handsome font of marble, of an octangular form, more modern than the period of the fire. The altar is composed of carved oak of the Corinthian order, and is decorated with fluted pillars, sustaining an entablature and attic, on the cornice of which are seen golden candlesticks and the royal arms, besides a great variety of carving; this screen is evidently of the period of the repairs succeeding the fire, the pulpit and other wood work is more modern. In the east, south, and north windows is some ornamental stained glass, added at the last repair, when this church was rendered of the neatest places of worship in the metropolis.
The expence of the reparation after the fire, and which was occupied in , was
The length of the church is feet, breadth feet, height to the ceiling of the roof feet, and to the centre of the cupola feet.
Among several monuments in this church are the following :-- At the east end a small marble tablet to the memory of the Rev. J. Brand, Sec. and F. S. A. years rector of this parish, died , aged . In the south aisle a large monument, ornamented with drapery and cherubim, the whole surmounted by an urn, to the memory of J. Davall and his family, .
There is a curious custom attached to this church; annually, on the Sunday after Midsummer-day, according to ancient custom, the fraternity of fellowship porters of the city of London, repair to this church in the morning, where, during the reading of the
Psalms, they reverently approach the altar and twos on the rails of which are placed basins, and into these they put their respective offerings. They are generally followed by the congregation, and the money offered is distributed among the aged, poor, and infirm members of that fraternity.
In Mr. Nichols' Illustrations of the Manners and Expences of Ancient Times, published in , are considerable extracts from the registers of this church; they relate to the plate, vestments, property, &c. of the parish for a number of years.
In the inventory of Church Goods, -, when Trenne and Halhed were churchwardens, appears the following account of
Item, awlter clothes of russet cloth of golde, of the gyfte of Mr. William Marowe, and William and Thomas his sonnes, by the helpe of Mr. John Smarte, grocer.
Item, a corporas caase of the same.
Item, the curtens of russet sarsynett, frenged with sylke.
Item, a sewte of rede satyn, frynged with golde, of the gyfte of the saide Mr. Will'm Marowe. and of John Smarte, grocer; conteyning coopes, chassubles, aulbes, amytts, stoles, fanons, and gyrdlls.
Item, a chaasyble of clothe of golde, that Mr. Cambrugge made with an albe, and amytts and albe, stole and fanon, and a gyrdyll of sylke made like a call, with a corpas caase of the same.
Item, an ault of wyte damaske, with the frontel paled with pple clothe of golde and white; and a awls cloth dyapre sewed to the same.
Item, curteynes of white sylke to the same.
Item, an awlt clothe, blewe velvent, powdred with flewrs of golde, and the frontell of the same sewte.
Item, a frontell for the schelffe standyng on the altar, of blue sarsenet, with brydds of golde, and blew curteyns of sylke, frenghed.
Item, a peyeralter cloths of grene bawdkyn above and benethe, with curteynes of grene sarsenet, frenget with sylke, blue, grene, yelow, and rede.
Item, a sewte of whyte clothys of golde, of the gyfte of John Yongeham, fishmonger, conteyning copes, cheasible, tonykles, gibes, amyts, stoles, fannones, and girdells.
Item, awter clothes of red cloth of golde and whyght panyd, and curtens of red sarsynet and whyght panyd, and fringed with silke.
|item, a corporas case, with the side of cloth of gold of tysew a gold, and the other side grene saten barrid with tap of gold, of the gyft of Eliz. Gooswell.|
Item, a sewteof reede clothe of lukis golde, containing a coope, with a cheasible, tonykles, aulbes, amyts, stoles, fanons, and gyrdills, of the gyfte of William Baker, peauterer.
Item, a rede vestment broudred with lyons of golde of reede eaten; that is to saye, a chesible and a tonykle to the same, with albis, amyts, stoles, fannones, and girdles, late amended, and a coope thereto of rede saten, poudrid with lyons.
Item, a blacke vestment of velvet, poudyrd with lambes, mones, and sterrs; the cheassible, the albe, the amys, the stole, the fanon, and girdill.
Item, a canopye of blue clothe of boudkyn, with herds of flour in golde.
Item, a canapye of rede sylke, with grene braunchys, and white fours poudryd with swanny of golde betweene the branches.
Item, a vestyment of the gyfte of Maist. Wyll'm Wylde, late p'son of this chirch.
Item, a chessyble of blue saten, fringed with silk, with an albe and amys, and a gyrdill.
Item, corporas cases of white and golde, and nedyl wyrke, and other cases of dyvers wyrke.
Item, copes for children ofdyvers sorts, and small stremers of the gyfte of Mr. Remyngton and Mr. Revett, and of square baner.
Item, a myter for a byshop at Seint Nicholas tyde, garnyshed with sylver and anelyed, and perle and counterfete stone.
Item, cheyres of iron for Rectes copes.
Item, a pyxt clothe for the high aulter of sipers frenged with golde, with knopprs of golde, and sylke of Spaneshe making, of the gyfte of Mr. doctor Hatclyff, p'son.
Item, a pyx clothe of sipers frenged with grene sylke and red, with knoppes silver and gylt with corners goyng, of Mres. Sucklyng's gyfte.
Item, crosse starvs clothes gyldyd with ymages of golde.
Item, a canape for the pyx of whyte baudekyn lyke these.
Item, a leeske of laton with a flakon.
Item, standards of laton.
Item, on the high aulter gret candylstyks, and small, and on Sent Stephen's alter candylstyks.
Item, crosse staves laten gyldyd.
Item, gylt feet for crossys, and oon copper gylt.
The principal streets in this ward are, part of , , , , and . The
|situation of this ward, near the river, the Custom-house, and several wharfs, gives it great advantages in trade, and occasions it to be well inhabited and in a continual hurry of business at the several quays and wharfs, the south side of . Of these, , from which the ward derives its name, is of most note; not so much for landing and loading of merchandize, as for being the only port for fish in London, and the greatest market for that article in England, and perhaps in the world. It is an extensive water gate, or port for small vessels, to which those laden with oranges, lemons, Spanish onions, and other commodities, resort, as well as the fishing boats. Here, also, is the port for the Gravesend boats to take in their fares; from whence they are obliged (under a penalty), to depart at the ringing of a bell, erected at the stairs for that purpose, which is rung for a quarter of an hour to give notice of the time of high water at London-bridge.|
Respecting the ancient customs of ,
Although Stow says these payments were not made before the reign of Edward III. yet it appears in Brompton's Chronicle, , which was anno , that tolls were then paid at .
About , we have the following:--
In , in the mayoralty of John Northampton, an act of parliament was passed laying open the trade to all foreigners at peace with the king; the same mayor compelled the dealers to
|acknowledge that their occupation was no craft, and therefore unworthy to be reckoned among the other mysteries.|
In the fishmongers company endeavouring to monopolize fish, parliament enacted that no person should hinder any fisherman foreign or domestic from disposing of their fish, on penalty of
An act of parliament was made ( and of William III.) to make a free market for the sale of fish; when it was enacted,
This act also settled the tolls to be paid by the fisher-boats; enacting,
And because the fishmongers caused the greater part of the fish to be bought at , and then divided the same by lot among themselves, in order to buy and sell at what rate they pleased, it was also enacted,
Afterwards, upon the engrossing of great quantities of fish by some persons, to the violation of this act, this order came forth, anno , sir Robert Bedingfield, lord mayor:--
Whereas in and by an act of parliament made in the and years of the reign of king William III., intituled An act to make a free market for sale of fish, it is enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons to buy or sell any sort of fish in the said market, without any disturbance or molestation whatsoever, and to sell the same again in any other market-place or places within the city of London, or elsewhere, by retail: but, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the said act, divers persons do frequently buy and engross to themselves great quantities of fish, in or at market, and sell the same again in the said market; which practice tends greatly to the enhancing the prices of fish, and is punishable by the statute made against regrators, in the and years of the reign of king Edward VI., chap. .
For prevention whereof for the future, it is now ordered by this court, that no fishmonger, fishwoman, or other person or persons whatsoever, do or shall hereafter sell or expose to sale any fish or at market, which was then before bought in the same market; and that none but fishermen, their wives, apprentices, or servants, be permitted to stand, stay, or remain there, to sell, by retail, the fish by them taken and brought to the said market to be sold, so that the citizens may have fish at the hand for their own use, according to the true meaning of the law. And it is further ordered by this court, that the hours limited for beginning of the said fish market at shall hereafter be strictly observed; that is to say, from Lady-day to Michaelmas, at o'clock in the morning, and, from Michaelmas to Lady-day at o'clock in the morning; and that before those hours none do presume to buy or sell any sort of fish in the said market, (except herrings, sprats, mackerel, and shell fish,) on pain of being proceeded against as forestallers of the market. And the yeomen of the water-side are strictly enjoined and required to see this order duly and constantly observed; and also constantly to ring the bell at , precisely at the times aforesaid, for the beginning of the market there: and that without fail they cause all persons that shall buy or sell there, before the said hours and ringing of the said bell, or shall regrate fish, that is to say, buy fish, and sell the same again in the
|said market, to be apprehended, and brought before the right honourable the lord mayor of this city for the time being, or some justice of the peace, to be bound over to the sessions, there to answer the same. And it is further ordered, that no fish except herrings, sprats, mackarel, and shell-fish, be sold aboard any vessel or boat at ; which the said yeoman of the water-side, and the under water-bailiff, are likewise carefully to see observed, as they will answer the contrary at their perils.|
This place is now more frequented than in ancient time, when was made use of for the same purpose; this being more commodious.
Near is Botolph's wharf, called in the Conqueror's days Botolph's gate. This wharf was in the possession of the crown in Edward I.'s time, who granted it to Richard de Kingston in these words :--
The church of St. Botolph stood in , opposite to , which was named from it. It was a rectory, the advowson of which was anciently in lay hands; but, in , was chimed by the dean and chapter of , under a deed of gift from Odgarus, his sons, and the mother of Dionisia Bocumeter, who, with her husband John, also claimed it. The dean and chapter, however, prevailed, and it continued in their gift till the church was annexed to that of St. George; since which time the crown and the chapter present alternately.
Mr. Maitland was of opinion that this church was of Saxon foundation.
In Little , on the site of the Weigh-house, was the church of St. Andrew Hubbard, formerly called St. Andrew juxta . It was founded before ; in which year the earl of Pembroke presented Robert Clayton to the rectory in the room of Walter Palmer, deceased. On the death of the earl of Pembroke, without issue, the patronage devolved to the earls of Shrewsbury, in whose family it continued till , when John, earl of
Shrewsbury, was killed at the battle of Northampton, when it came to Edward IV., who, a few years after, restored it to the Shrewsbury family, wherein it probably continued till it came to the earls of Northumberland.
After the fire, the ground on which the church stood, with the church-yard in Little , between and Lovelane, and also the site of the parsonage-house, were sold to the city of London for public uses: some of the purchase-money was paid to the parish of , towards the repairs of that church, and the remainder was appropriated to making a provision for the rector and his successors, in lieu of the parsonage house. On part of the ground was erected the king's weigh-house, which before stood on . The original intent of this weigh-house was to prevent frauds in the weight of merchandize brought from beyond sea. It was under the government of a master and master porters, with labouring porters under them, who used to have carts and horses to fetch the merchants' goods to the beam, and to carry them back: but nothing has been done in this office for many years; as a compulsive power is wanting to oblige merchants to have their goods weighed.
This building is at present, and has been for many years, a celebrated chapel belonging to Protestant Dissenters.
 Malcolm's Lond. Rediv. vol. iv. p. 419.
 The amice (amictus) is the undermost garment worn by the priest; above this, is worn the albe, or surplice.
 A towel, or linen cloth, which the priest holds in his hands during the celebration of mass.
 A small cope.
 Gold brocade, the richest cloth.
 It appears by this, that the custom of electing boy-bishops, or Episcopi Puerorom, prevailed in this church.
 To hold the consecrated host.