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century. The tower was 152 feet 9 inches to the cap of the pinnacles ; as restored it'is 149 feet 1 inches. The organ, a very fine instrument, originally built by Renatus Harris in 1670, was repaired and enlarged by the elder Byfield about 1730. Subsequently improvements have been made, and new stops added by Hancock, and by Gray and Davison in the present century. The case is attributed to Grinling Gibbons. It is now entirely remodelled and placed in St. Stephen's Chapel. For many years past it has been the custom for the organist to give a recital after the Sunday evening service. The church is 150 feet long by 62 wide, and with St. Stephen's Chapel 81 feet.
A tablet is preserved in the church with a list of charitable donations and gifts, containing the following item :1605.-Mr. Robert Dowe gave for ringing the greatest bell in this
church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and
for which services the sexton is paid £1:6:8 . . .£50 0 This has now been appropriated by the Charity Commissioners.
It was the custom formerly for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, and ringing his bell to repeat the following verses :
All you that in the condemned hold do lie,
Past twelve o'clock !
Robert Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, the somme of £50, that after the several sessions of London, when the prisoners remain in the gaol as condemned men to death, expecting execution on the morning following : the clarke of the church should come in the night time, and likewise early in the morning to the window of the prison where they lye, and there ringing certain tolls with a hand-bell, appointed for the purpose, he doth afterwards (in most Christian manner) put them in mind of their present condition, and ensuing execution, desiring them to be prepared therefore as they ought to be. When they are in the cart, and brought before the wall of the church, there he standeth ready with the same bell, and after certain tolls, rehearseth an appointed prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for them. The Beadle also of Merchant Tailors' Hall hath an honest stipend allowed him to see that this is duly done. - Munday's Stow, ed. 1618, p. 25.
Hatton has printed (New View, p. 707) the “Exhortation" and “ Admonition” used on this occasion. The former he calls “The Words said in the Gateway of the Prison the night before Execution ;” the latter, “The Words said in St. Sepulchre's Churchyard as the prisoners are drawn by [to Tyburn] to be executed.” Dowe is buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate, where there is a portrait-monument to his memory. Another curious custom observed at this church was that of presenting a nosegay to every criminal on his way to Tyburn. One of the last given was presented from the steps of St. Sepulchre's to Sixteen-stringed Jack, alias John Rann, executed in 1774 for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. He wore it in his button-hole. The clock of St. Sepulchre's still regulates the execution of criminals in Newgate.
John Rogers, the Marian protomartyr, was vicar of this church. On April 11, 1600, William Dodington, a brother-in-law of Sir Francis Walsingham, and an officer in the Exchequer, threw himself from the tower and was killed. “If I do break my neck," said Bacon to Queen Elizabeth, “I shall do it in a manner as Mr. Dodington did it, which walked on the battlements of the church many days, and took a view and survey where he should fall.” 1
Saturday, April 12, 1600.-Dorrington, rich Dorrington, yesterday morning, went up to St. Sepulchre's steeple, and threw himself over the battlement, and broke his neck. There was found a paper sealed, with this superscription, “Lord save my soule, and I will praise thy name."--Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sydney, vol. ii. p. 187.
It was that William Dodington that wilfully brake his neck by casting himself down headlong from the battlements of St. Sepulchre's steeple, upon the sight of certain depositions touching a cause in controversy between him and one Brunker in Chancery.—Marginal Note to a letter from Dodington to Hatton, p. 362.
Eminent Persons buried in St. Sepulchre's. — Roger Ascham (d. December 30, 1568), author of Toxophilus (1545) and The Schoolmaster (1570); William Gravet, vicar of St. Sepulchre's, watched over him as he was dying. When Elizabeth was told of his death she said she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her old tutor. Captain John Smith, author of the General History of Virginia (fol. 1626), (d. 1631); his epitaph in doggrel verse is no longer legible : it is printed in Strype and elsewhere. Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, Faithorne's master, and Governor of Basing House for the King during the Civil War under Charles I. (d. 1667). Fleetwood, the Recorder of London, writes to inform Lord Burghley, July 1585, that when Awfield was executed at Tyburn for “sparcinge abrood certen lewd sedicious and traytorous bookes,” his body “ was brought to St. 'Pulchers to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpes to be layed in the earthe where theire parents, wyeffs, chyldren, kynred, maisters, and old neighbours did rest," and so “his carcase was retourned to the buryall grounde neere Tyborne.”? A century and a half later the parishioners, less scrupulous, permitted the body of Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, to be buried, 1733, in their churchyard. Thomas Lord Dacre was beheaded at the Tower and his body buried in this church.
The churchyard, till the middle of the 18th century, extended on the south side far into the street, and was bounded by a high wall, leaving no footway for passengers. In 1760 the wall was removed and a portion of the churchyard levelled. When the Holborn Viaduct 1 Cooper, Ath. Cant., vol. ii. p. 164.
? Ellis's Letters, vol. ï. p. 298.
was formed, 1871, a further portion was laid into the street, the bodies exhumed being reinterred in the City Cemetery at Ilford, where a monument was erected to their memory. Since then the churchyard has been levelled and planted as a flower-garden. In Johnson's Highwaymen (fol. 1736) is a characteristic view of St. Sepulchre's ; it is entitled “Jonathan Wild going to the place of Execution.”
Payne Fisher, “Paganus Piscator," 1616-1693, was buried in the churchyard.
Serjeants' Inn, CHANCERY LANE; Serjeants' Inn, FLEET STREET, houses of law originally set apart for the Honourable Society of Judges and Serjeants-at-Law. The serjeants always addressed one another as “brother.” One of Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims is a “serjeantof-law.” No person could be made a justice of the Queen's Bench or Common Pleas who was not “ of the degree of the coif”; a phrase taken from the peculiar cap which was the distinctive badge or emblem of the serjeant-at-law. When, as of late years was commonly the case, a justice was appointed who was not of the degree of the coif, before taking the oaths as judge he went through the ceremony of admission as a serjeant, and at the same time received a retainer from his own inn to plead as their serjeant.
First I was made a serjeant, and then my patent writ as Chief Justice was handed to me, and, having taken many strange oaths, my title to hang, draw, and quarter was complete. . . . Brougham tried to play me a dog's trick, by running away with my fee of ten guineas as a retainer to plead when become a serjeant for the Society of Lincoln's Inn. I made him disgorge. . . . I have dined twice at Serjeants' Inn, my admission to which cost me near £700. --Lord Campbell (Letter and Journal, November 1850), Life, vol. ii. pp. 274, 276.
Mr. Foss, following Dugdale, is of opinion that the Chancery Lane Inn was not an Inn for Serjeants before the 2d of Henry V. (1414-1415), and that it was earlier occupied by serjeants than the inn in Fleet Street. The Fleet Street Inn appears to have been a private dwelling in the reign of Henry VIII. It ceased to be occupied by the serjeants towards the end of the 18th century. The hall was purchased by the Amicable Assurance Society, and the rest of the inn rebuilt as private houses. The Fleet Street front of the building is now occupied by the Norwich Union Office. On one of the houses in the square behind (No. 9) is a stone with a coat of arms, S. I. and the date 1669 cut on it. No. 13, occupied by the Church of England Sunday School Institute, has a handsome elevation. The Chancery Lane Inn was retained till the dissolution of the Society in 1876. The premises, including the hall, a spacious and lofty dining-room, lighted by five painted glass windows,-chapel and robing rooms, were sold by auction, February 23, 1877, for £57,100, the proceeds being divided amongst the members, a transaction which gave rise to some comment at the time. The portraits, twenty-six in number, of eminent members of the inn, including Lord Chancellors King,
i Foss, Judges, vol. iv. p. 247.
Camden, Eldon, Truro, Lyndhurst, and Campbell ; Sir Edward Coke, Sir Matthew Hale, the Earl of Mansfield, Lord Denman and other distinguished judges, were presented by the Society to the National Portrait Gallery.
Lord Chief Justice Coke was living in Serjeants' Inn during the Overbury inquiries. Lord Chief Justice Hyde and Lord Keeper Guildford also lived here.
His Lordship by the means of his brother in law Mr. Robert Hyde, settled himself in the great brick house near Serjeants' Inn in Chancery Lane, which was formerly the Lord Chief Justice Hyde's ; and that he held till he had the Great Seal, and some time after. ... His house was to his mind, and having, with leave, a door into Serjeants' Inn Garden, he passed daily to his chambers, dedicated to business and study. ... But being scandalised at the poorness of the Hall Serjeants' Inn Hall), which was very small and withal ruinous, he never left till he brought his brethren to agree to the new building of it ; which he saw done, with as much elegance and capacity as the place would admit of, and thereby gained a decent avenue, with stone steps, to his chambers, as may be seen at this day.North's Life of Lord Keeper Guildford, pp. 164, 165.
Serle Street, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS to CAREY STREET, was so called from a Mr. Henry Serle, who died intestate (circ. 1690), much in debt, and his lands heavily mortgaged. He acquired his property in this neighbourhood partly by purchase from the sons and from the executors of Sir John Birkenhead, the writer of Mercurius Aulicus, during the Civil War under Charles I., who died in 1679, seized in fee of two-thirds of Fickett's Field. The second edition of Barnabce Itinerarium, or Barnaby's Journal (the first edition with a printer's name and date upon it), was printed in 1716, for “S. Illidge, under Searle's Gate, Lincoln's Inn New Square." Sir James Mackintosh removed from Portland Place to 14 Serle Street, after Michaelmas Term, 1795. In an invitation to Canning he calls it his "black-letter neighbourhood.” His wife died here, April 8, 1797. There is a monument to her in St. Clement's Danes with an inscription by Dr. Parr. Parr tells Landor, April 1801, that his daughter “Catherine is at Mackintosh's, 14 Serle Street.” 2
Serle's Coffee-house, LINCOLN'S Inn. (See Serle Street.]
I do not know that I meet in any of my walks objects which move both my spleen and laughter so effectually as those young fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, Serle's, and all other Coffee-houses adjacent to the law, who rise early for no other purpose but to publish their laziness. The Spectator, No. 49. Mr. Dyce has printed a letter from Akenside, the poet, addressed “To Mr. Dyson, at Serle's Coffee House, Lincoln's Inn;" this was Jeremiah Dyson, the poet's friend and patron.
Serle's Court, Lincoln's Inn. This was the old name for New Square, and was so called from the Henry Serle noticed under Serle Street. The arms of Serle with those of the inn are over the gateway next Carey Street. 1 Autob. of Sir John Bramston, P. 359.
2 Parr's Life and Corr., vol. i. p. 160.
July 29, 1714.-With the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge at their new apartments at Lincoln's Inn (No. 6 in Serle's Court). After the business was over I looked at the curious and noble models of many churches proposed to be built ; this pleasant room being that where the Commissioners meet upon that account in the forenoons (as the Bishop of London, Mr. Nelson, etc., did this day) and the Society in the afternoon. — Thoresby's Diary.
Lord Eldon (when Sir John Scott and Solicitor-General) in the summer of 1791 took “a set of chambers at No. 11 Serle's Court, commonly called The New Square, Lincoln's Inn, under a lease to him, dated September 1 in that year." ✓ Sermon Lane, St. Paul's, or SERMON LANE, DOCTORS' COMMONS, from Carter Lane to Knightrider Street.
Corruptly called Sermon Lane for Sheremoniers' Lane, for I find it by that name recorded in the 14th of Edward I., and in that lane a place to be called the Blacke loft (of melting silver) with four shops adjoining. It may therefore be well supposed that lane to take name of Sheremonyars, such as cut and rounded the plates to be coined or stamped into sterling pence; for the place of coining was the Old Exchange, near unto the said Sheremoniars Lane. -Slow, p. 138.
Serpentine River, 50 acres of water, partly in Hyde Park and partly in Kensington Gardens, formed 1730-1733, by Caroline, Queen of George II., who threw several ponds into one, and carried a stream into it which had its rise near Westend, in the parish of Hampstead. This small tributary stream, for many years the Bayswater sewer, was cut off (except the storm water) from the Serpentine in 1834, and the loss of water was supplied from the Thames by the Chelsea Waterworks Company. After quitting the park at Albert Gate by a waterfall made in 1820, the Serpentine is now absorbed in the main drainage system of London.
The earliest reference to the Hyde Park ponds occurs perhaps in the Works Accounts for 1628-1629, when a payment is entered " for making a new sluice and mending other sluices at the Pond Heads in Hyde Park.” In the evidence before the coroner, on the subject of the fatal duel between the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun, in 1712, it is stated that the duke got out of his coach “on the road that goes to Kensington, over against Price's lodge, and walked over the grass and between the two ponds." Twenty years later the lodge was removed.
The old Lodge in Hyde Park, together with part of the grove, is to be taken down in order to compleat the Serpentine River.— The Daily Post, April 20, 1733.
The stone bridge separating Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park was built by J. and G. Rennie in 1826, of Bramley Fall stone, at a cost of £45,469, besides £3100 for the approaches. On the north side is the neat semi-classic edifice erected in 1834 and enlarged in 1337 by John B. Bunning, architect, as the receiving-house of the Royal Humane Society. Near it the Boat-house, where boats are let for hire. The Serpentine is the most resorted to of all the London waters for bathing and skating. It is estimated that nearly 1,000,000 persons bathe in the Serpentine during the year. Many lives are endangered of both