Page images

(With a View of the old Church.)

THIS quiet and retired Watering-Place has acquired many warm friends, who consider it unrivalled by any on the Southern Coast for the conveniences of bathing, and the salubrity and free circulation of fine air. The principal houses stand on a terrace placed about 200 yards from the sea, a distance which is increased to half a mile at low water. In front of the houses is a common of about 100 acres, on which sheep only are permitted to feed; and children can therefore enjoy their pastimes thereon with perfect safety. An abundance of mushrooms may be gathered in this common at the proper season. At its termination next the beach, is an esplanade about half a mile in length; in the centre of which is a building containing hot and cold baths. On the retiring of the sea, the sands are of the finest kind, firm and dry, and may be passed with horses and carriages so far as Worthing. They even occasionally form a race-course; at which subscription cups are given, and one is presented by the Earl of Surrey, who has a large house at the eastern extremity of the Terrace. His seat at Michelgrove is about eight miles distant, and his ancestral castle of Arundel about sour. At no great distance the river Arun empties itself into the sea, defended at its mouth by a small pier of about 80 yards in length. There is a dock-yard for building vessels of several hundred tons burthen ; and the trade of the port consists chiefly in timber and coals. At the neighbouring ferry a large barge or raft is employed, worked by a windlass; it has carried over two coaches with four horses each, and is capable of conveying 350 soldiers if necessary. The Portsmouth and Chichester Canal joins the Arun about half a mile above the town of Littlehampton; which itself is situated about half a mile from the sea. The mildness of the climate is shown by the myrtles, which grow in the open air against the houses. The old Church, of which an engraving is annexed (see the Plate), being small and incommodious for a large population, was removed in 1825. In the chancel was an open arcade, intended to receive a tomb, and ascribed by Mr. Dallaway (in his Rape of Arundel) to the fourteenth century, as is the great east window, which, together with a circular doorway, and the font, were preserved by the exertions of the late Mr. Cartwright, and have been retained in the new structure. The latter is not remarkable for any skill or elegance of design. Its body is nearly 100 feet long; and it has two small entrances in the centre of each side, somewhat resembling transepts. The tower rises very slightly above the roof; it has only one bell, but also contains a clock with three faces. The interior is neat, with a small organ. The whole cost only 2600l. In the church-yard was interred the late Rev. Edmund Cartwright, M.A. F.S.A. the author of the History of the Rape of Bramber, and Vicar of the adjoining parish of Lyminster. The benefice was formerly vested in the College of Arundel, which did not appoint a perpetual Vicar, but only a clericus conductitius, or curate remotive. In the reign of Elizabeth it was one of several impropriations exchanged by the Crown for manors with the Bishop of Chichester, and the tythes have been ever since demised by lease from the Bishops. No Vicar was presented from the reign of Elizabeth until 1802; the duty being performed, as of old, by a nominee of the impropriator. A moderate income has at length been raised for the minister from Queen Anne's Bounty, private benefactions, and a charge upon the pews of the new church. The present Vicar is the Rev. Anthony Plimley Kelley, M.A. instituted in 1824.


Report to the Court of Common Council from the Committee appointed in relation to Churches and Benefices within the City of London.

THE unparalleled project for a wholesale demolition of the Churches in the City of London, having been signally defeated, it may be thought unnecessa that we should recur to the subject; but, since the spirit of destruction, i. foiled for the present of its assumed powers, is still in existence, we are induced to place upon record, from the unwilling testimony of the Committee itself. some account of the extraordinary course of proceedings adopted by the promoters of the scheme.

This Report, which was received and confirmed by the Court of Common Council on the 13th of February last, commences with certifying, that Mr. R. L. Jones had, previously to the reference to the Committee, two interviews with the Bishop of London, who promised to consider the subject; that his Lordship, by his Secretary, wrote to Mr. Jones, on the 15th October 1833, stating that, until a formal proposition was submitted to him, he was not prepared to say more than that it might possibly be expedient to extend the application of a principle which had theretofore been acted upon in more than one instance— for consolidating certain parishes where joint population was of small amount. and that he would give his best consideration to any definite plan calculated to promote the residence and increase the efficiency of the Clergy.

It may be remarked that the Bishop of London here expressly guards himself from further proceedings, until some definite plan was submitted to him ; and now we shall see what the heads of that plan were, as referred to in the Report. The following is an abridgment of them in one column, with some

remarks by way of comment in the other.

HEADs of PRopositions submitted to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop
of London.
1. That the Parish Churches in the
City being more numerous than required
for the population, the number should be
reduced, in order that the charge of main-
taining and repairing may be decreased,—
proper Rectory houses provided in the
parishes to be united, eventually augment-
ing the value of the Livings, and securing
the residence of Incumbents; and the
public streets widened and improved.

2. That Commissioners be appointed to carry the Act into execution. One moiety by the Corporation, and the other by the Ordinary.

3. Power to take down the parish churches of [not naming them, although a sweeping number of thirteen are named at the end of the Report, as the first to be taken down] or such as may be agreed upon between the Ordinary and the Commissioners.

4. Upon giving notice, the Church to be taken down, the materials sold, and the produce vested in the Commissioners, for the purposes of the Act.

5. As soon as the Church shall be taken down, the site thereof, and of the Burial ground, to rest in fee simple in the Com


1. Where the duty is efficiently performed, there are not more Churches than would be required by even the decreased population of the city of London. Many Churches are maintained and repaired at small expense to the Parishioners; and although additional rectory houses might be provided, and the value of livings augmented by union, yet there are many serious objections against the further union of parishes without the consent of the Parishioners, and above all, Churches should not be destroyed, and the remains of the dead desecrated, for the mere purpose of widening streets.

2. This proposition shews completely the aim of its proposers, and would give them a power which the Archbishop and Bishop by their letter of the 7th of January, at once refuse to sanction.

3. This extraordinary power is also refused to be sanctioned by the before named Prelates, and four of the parishes in the list immediately remonstrated against the design.

4. No comment is necessary on the arbitrary nature of this proposition. The Parishioners are not once mentioned as having a claim to be consulted.

5. Again the Commissioners are to exercise unlimited authority, both over the Church and Burial ground, and parts of

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

them, however hallowed and proper to be preserved, are to be torn up and thrown without ceremony into the public streets. 6. These are the proposed tender mercies of the Commissioners in outraging the feelings of relatives and friends, and the public at large. The bodies to be removed to the Church-yard, and then perhaps would follow the insult of erecting buildings upon them ; or, if the friends require the remains of the deceased to be removed, they are not to employ their own Undertaker, if he happens to be the Parish Clerk. 7. Here the Monuments would becompulsorily removed; then why are the parties (the relations or friends of the deceased, who have already paid the expence of erecting them) to be at the cost of removal 2 This is another instance of the utter violation of every kindly feeling with which the whole project of taking down Churches is entertained. 8. And this although the Parishioners may protest against the same. 9. This may be deemed a bait to render the obnoxious measure palatable; be it remembered that in the case of St. Michael, Crooked-lane, the measure was compulsory. 10, 11. This seems to be held out as an inducement by reversionary benefit to secure the consent of existing Incumbents on the score of pounds, shillings, and pence. 12. Whether this would be acceptable to patrons, may be doubted; many of them may prefer frequent presentations to smaller livings, rather than less frequent ones to larger livings. 13. This cannot in justice be refused to be conceded in the event of the taking down of a Church where such endowments exist, but no thanks to the propositionists. 14. Even this proposal does not obviate the serious objections, or form a sufficient excuse for pulling down a Parish Church.

15. This seems to be the most reckless proposal of the whole, after the primary one of destroying a sacred edifice unless in a case of imperative necessity. In the first place, what is called “an old Church” is generally one built since the Fire of London; and many such there are, even of those attempted to be destroyed, which are some of the admired works of Sir Christopher Wren.

What also becomes of the mockery of transferring the bodies of the deceased from the Church to the Church-yard, (Prop. 6.) if it is then to be built upon? After the Fire of 1666, the vacant Churchyards were preserved, carefully inclosed;


widen or improve the streets; with liberty to build within ten feet of any ancient light abutting upon such ground.

16. Power to purchase any Glebe or other property adjoining, required for the improvements.

with a gravelled walk, turf, and one or two
green trees; but now, as if a breathing
place was too great a luxury in this dense
city, the sites of both Church and yard,
with their sacred contents, are to be de-
voted to building leases or the transit of
16. If these modern (miscalled) impro-
vers take the Church, it is of much less
moment to take the Glebe–but they seem

to talk of their spoliation with as much ease and freedom as if the sacred ground was a piece of mere waste land, or was unworthy of respect and regard in a Christian country. 17. No–Messieurs Corporators, this will not do; the reflective part of the community will spurn your money, and leave you to ruminate upon the ill success of your ill-digested, inconsiderate, and wanton scheme, praying that, as you grow older, you may grow wiser and better. Let us now return to the Report.—The Committee of the Corporation state, that they agreed to the Heads of a Plan (it is presumed those which have been just enumerated, and, if so, it is no wonder that they were speedily repudiated by the Archbishop and Bishop), and transmitted them to the Prelates, and a Deputation waited upon their Lordships on the 19th of Nov. last, to conter thereon, when it is stated that both the Prelates appeared fully to concur in the principle of the reduction of the number of Parish Churches; the Archbishop wishing that some plan could be adopted for rebuilding the Churches in populous districts in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis, and the Bishop stating that Stipends for the Incumbents might be procured. It is evident, however, from this ex-parte statement, that some misconception of the sentiments of the Prelates must have occurred, inasmuch as those stated are at variance with their Lordships' letter of the 7th of January, stating that “they entertain strong objections to the demolishing of buildings which have been dedicated to the service of God.” - The Archbishop and Bishop are then represented as requesting further information, particularly an estimate of the value of the Churches proposed to be taken down ; the list of the Churches being discussed and left for future consideration. It is clear therefore, that up to this time the Prelates had not committed themselves to the Heads of Propositions submitted to them; but required rther information and a definite plan. o the 3rd of December last, M. R. L. Jones wrote to the Bishop of London, that, as near as he could calculate the sites of Churches proposed to be taken down might be estimated at about 2000l. each. He then proceeds—“ but I take the liberty of observing, that, according to the Vlew which the Committee and self (Ego et Rer meus) have taken of the subject, this is not to be considered in any respect a sacrifice of the property of the Church;, which will receive, if required, in lieu of it, Parsonage houses, intrinsically worth more money, exclusive of the other and numerous advantages resulting from a. change which will ensure to the inhabitants of so many parishes resident Ministers, and eventually stipends sufficient, &c.” and after alluding to the benefit to the cause of religion from his proposed plan, he adds, “that the Corporation offering themselves as joint Trustees for the accomplishment of such a measure, seek no advantage to themselves,” (what made him think of this ?) “it being a part of their proposition that such surplus as may arise, be applied to any other ecclesias: tical objects that may be determined upon by your Lordship or the Legislature. All this would not do : it must have been obvious that a Christian Prelate could not be induced to sacrifice and barter away a Church for 2000l. for building houses upon its site, even with the temptation of a Parsonage house. As to the cause of religion, much depends, under Divine Providence, upon the Clergy themselves. As to the Corporation being joint Trustees seeking no advantage to themselves, the Prelates do not seem inclined to trust them ; and as to surplus 4

17. The Corporation to pay the expence of the Act.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of produce from the sale of the site of a Church, being applied to other eccle-
siastical objects beyond those mentioned, it is absolute delusion. But observe
how much the main object, that of the mere widening of streets, is placed less
prominently before the view of the Prelates, than those of an ecclesiastical
nature which were considered to have greater effect upon the minds of those
excellent dignitaries.
The result therefore came like a thunder-bolt upon Mr. R. L. Jones and his
coadjutors. We find that on the 7th of January last (shortly after the indig-
nation of the Inhabitants and Parishioners of London, had extensively been
evinced against the plan), the Archbishop and Bishop communicate their senti-
ments to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor in the following letter.

“Lambeth, January 7th, 1834. .

“The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London beg leave to inform the Lord Mayor that, having maturely considered the proposal on which they had the honour of conferring with his Lordship and the Deputation from the Committee of the Corporation of London at Lambeth, and having looked at the subject in every point of view, they could not feel themselves justified in consenting to a plan, which would entrust individuals, however respectable, with the power of taking down an indefinite number of Churches. They entertain strong objections to the demolishing of buildings which have been dedicated to the service of God; and from representations which they have received (and in particular from the Parish of Allhallows the Great) they are led to believe that they share this feeling in common with many highly respectable inhabitants of the city of London; at the same time they assure his Lordship, that should any plan be brought forward for widening and beautifying the streets of the city, with reasonable expectation of its being carried into immediate effect, they would not refuse to consider proposals in respect to any particular Church which might stand in the way of any great and necessary improvements, and which might be removed without inconvenience to the Parishioners, and with their consent.”

The Deputation then endeavour to explain by letter, and a second conference in order to shake the determination of the Prelates—they urge that the widening and beautifying the streets (which their Lordships had justly considered to be the main object) was subordinate to the other objects of increasing the incomes of the Clergy, providing suitable residences without additional charge upon the Parishioners, relieving small parishes from maintaining and repairing Churches which from the diminished number of actual inhabitants are no longer necessary, reminding the Prelates that in the years 1816 and 1819 the Clergy of the City applied to Parliament for an increase of income, and that the want of suitable residences was constantly urged as an objection to residence—that it was not proposed to take any “indefinite” number of Churches, but only such as might be selected by the Legislature, and that it was a matter of indifference to whom the power might be entrusted provided the objects were obtained.

Could any powers of eloquence or persuasion be more aptly exerted to shake the resolution of the Prelates ? The Deputation, therefore, went no doubt foll of hope to the Archbishop on the 21st of January, stating that “after the sentiments expressed by the Archbishop and Bishop at the former conference, the letter which the Lord Mayor had received had occasioned considerable regret,” but not adding that it had been received with nearly universal joy throughout the City. The Archbishop stated that he had certainly considered the improvement of the public streets was the principal object, but that he was now undeceived; that his Grace wished it to be understood, that in not “intrusting the power to individuals, however respectable,of takingdown an indefinitenumber of Churches,” both himself and the Bishop of London were included, and that by “an indefinite number of Churches,” an unlimited number was not meant, but that the particular Churches to be taken down were not then defined; that his Grace thought that in all cases the feelings of the Parishioners ought to be consulted; and that, although he could not sanction a general plan unless the Churches should be built in some other place, he would at any time be ready to consider a proposal for the removal of any Church which it was intended immediately to remove for the purpose of any public improvement,

Gent. MAa. Vol. J. 5 G

« PreviousContinue »