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Saint Paul's Cathedral



St. Paul's Cathedral

Photochrom Co. Ltd. Photo.







Rector of Wetherden, Suffolk





The MSS. relating to St. Paul's are deficient in regard to the earlier periods, but become gradually more complete as time progresses. They have been published or quoted, probably, more extensively than those belonging to any other religious foundation in this country, unless it be such communities as St. Alban's, which have attracted the continued attention of the editors working under the Master of the Rolls. In consequence, although our knowledge, not only of the Romano-British period but of many succeeding centuries, is defective or altogether wanting, yet as time advances after the Norman Conquest the merely printed material at our disposal becomes gradually almost embarrassing. When we come to the present Cathedral, we know not only exactly when it was built, but to a great extent how and why.

In the Parentalia Wren's grandson, Stephen, partly in his own words, partly in those of his famous grandfather, lifting the curtain, discloses the personal history and inner self of the architect at his work.

Among the leading authorities are the following, giving the place of honour to the—

Parentalia or Memoirs. Completed by his [Sir Christopher's] son, Christopher. Now published by his grandson, Stephen Wren, Esq. (London, 1858).

The History of St. Paul's, by Sir William Dugdale (Ellis' edition, 1818).

Repertorium, by Richard Newcourt (London, 1708).

Radulfi de Diceto, Decani, Lundoniensis Opera Historica (vols. i. and ii., edited for the Master of the Rolls by the Bishop of Oxford).

[viii]I have to thank the Dean for permission to consult the Chapter copy of the Registrum Statutorum, edited for private circulation (1873) by that enthusiastic and accurate St. Paul's scholar, the late Dr. Sparrow-Simpson, one of the last of the Minor Canons on the old foundation, Librarian and Sub-dean. There is a supplement (1897).

Dr. Sparrow-Simpson also wrote or edited the following—

Documents Illustrating the History of St. Paul's Cathedral (Camden Society, 1880).

Chapters in the History of Old St. Paul's (1881).

Visitation of Churches (Camden Society, 1885).

Gleanings from Old St. Paul's (1889).

St. Paul's and Old City Life (1894).

His remaining work, the Catalogue of the Library, I have not consulted.

Annals of St. Paul's, by Dean Milman (1868).

The learned and talented historian did not live to see this his last work through the press. In consequence there are printer's errors as to dates, &c., which I have not thought it necessary to point out.

Domesday of St. Paul's, by Archdeacon Hale (Camden Society, 1858).

The Three Cathedrals dedicated to St. Paul, by William Longman (Longmans, 1873).

Amongst other sources of information are the lectures delivered in St. Paul's by Bishop Browne when a residentiary, and published by the S.P.C.K. The value of these to the students of early Church History is in an inverse ratio to their size. The origin of our secular colleges yet remains to be written; but I am again indebted to Mr. Arthur Francis Leach for the Introduction to the Visitations of Southwell (Camden Society, 1891), for valuable information on this subject.

In regard to the efforts to complete Wren's designs by mosaic decorations, I have carefully observed all that has been [ix]done, and have attentively followed much that has been said and written. In particular I have been interested by a statement that has gone the round of the press. Certain young ladies and gentlemen of the Slade School of Art and elsewhere are reported to have protested that even good and appropriate decoration would be contrary to the wishes of Sir Christopher Wren.

My thanks are due to the Dean for his courtesy and trouble in rendering me all the assistance I asked for; to the Bishop of Oxford (like the Bishop of Bristol, a former residentiary) for providing me with a list of authorities at the commencement of my task; to the librarians of All Souls' College, Oxford, and their committee, and particularly to Mr. George Holden, assistant librarian, for permission to use their invaluable collection of Wren's designs and drawings; to the Archdeacon of Middlesex for information concerning the inscriptions on the stalls; to Canon Milford, successor to Wren's father as Rector of Bishop-Knoyle, for communicating to me the irregularity about the registration of Wren's baptism, and for the loan of Mrs. Lucy Phillimore's Life and Times of Wren, a work out of print and not to be procured at the London Library; to Mr. Peter Cazalet for kind assistance in drawing one of the arches and also in describing the monuments; and if last, certainly not least, to the ever courteous officials of the Cathedral, who have rendered me every facility in my study of Wren's building.


Wetherden Rectory,
Haughley, Suffolk,
January 3, 1900.




I. Foundation and History to the Accession of Dean Colet (61-1505) 3
II. From the Accession of Dean Colet to the Great Fire (1505-1666) 19
III. Old St. Paul's. Exterior 36
  Interior 40
  Precincts 48
  Dimensions 54
IV. From the Fire to the Completion of New St. Paul's (1666-1710) 55
V. New St. Paul's. Exterior 77
  North and South Fronts 84
  East End 86
  West Front 86
  The Dome 89
  The Lantern 93
VI. New St. Paul's. Interior 94
  The Nave 95
  The Main Arcade 97
  The Triforium Belt 98
  The Clerestory 98
  The Vaulting 98
  The Nave Aisles 100
  The West Chapels 100
  The Geometrical Staircase 102
  The Dome—The Arcading 103
  The Whispering Gallery 104
  The Drum 104
  The Cupola 106
  The Pulpit 107
  The Mosaics 107
  The Transepts 111
  The Choir—The Stalls 112
  The Organ 114
  The Reredos 115
  The Apse 116
  The Mosaics 116
  The Reredos Arch 120
  The Monuments 121
  The Crypt 132
  The Galleries and Library 136
VII. Conclusion 138
  Appendix A. Bishops and Deans 143
  Appendix B. Comparative Size 147
  Dimensions 148



St. Paul's, from the South Side of the Thames Frontispiece
Arms of the See Title
South View of Old St. Paul's in 1658, after Hollar 2
Monument of John of Gaunt 12
The Shrine and Altar of St. Erkenwald 17
Dean Colet, from Holland's "Heroologia" 20
Tomb of Dean Colet, after Hollar 21
Inigo Jones' Portico, after Hollar 29
St. Paul's in Flames, after Hollar 33
The Nave of Old St. Paul's, after Hollar 41
The Choir of Old St. Paul's—looking East, after Hollar 43
St. Paul's Cross, from an old picture of 1620 49
The Chapter House and Cloister, after Hollar 51
Plan of Old St. Paul's in 1666, from Dugdale 53
Elevation and Section of Wren's rejected design, from his own drawings 57
Sir Christopher Wren, after a portrait by Kneller 60
Relative Position and Area of Old and New St. Paul's 64
Model of Wren's First Design 66
Interior of the Model, from a sketch by Rev. J.L. Petit 67
The "Warrant Design," from Wren's drawing 69
A Later Design, as reproduced in Dugdale's "St. Paul's" 71
The West Front of St. Paul's Cathedral, from a photograph 76
North-East View 85
Section of the Dome 90
The Lantern, from the Clock Tower 92
The Choir and Nave, from the East End 96
The Order of the Interior, drawn by Peter Cazalet 97
The Geometrical Staircase 101
Interior of the Dome, from an engraving by G. Coney 105
The South Choir Aisle 110
Bishop's Throne and Stalls on the South Side 111
The Choir, Altar, and Reredos 117
The Wellington Monument 123
Nelson's Monument 128
Monuments of Dr. Donne and Bishop Blomfield 131
Nelson's Tomb 133
Church of St. Faith in the Crypt 135
The Library 136
Plan of the Cathedral At end

South View of Old St. Paul's in 1658.

After the Etching by Hollar, in Dugdale's "History of St. Paul's Cathedral." ToList





Romano-British.—Tacitus, in his characteristically concise style, introduces London into authentic history during the apostolic era and the reign of Nero.[1] Suetonius Paulinus, governor of Britain, came in hot haste from Mona, suspending the slaughter of the Druid leaders in this their last fastness, to restore the Roman arms. For Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, outraged at the treatment of herself and her two daughters, had, like a second Deborah, raised a popular uprising against the foreign invaders. Colchester fallen, the ninth legion annihilated, nothing remained but to abandon the thriving mart of London itself for a time to the fury of the natives, before the Roman sway could be restored.

The ground rising both from the northern bank of the Thames, some three hundred yards distant, and from the eastern bank of the Fleet beck, forms an eminence. Here, to protect the riverside mart below, on or about the site of the present churchyard the Romans formed a camp; and looking down what is now Ludgate Hill, the soldiers could see the Fleet ebbing and flowing with each receding and advancing tide. Northwards the country afforded a hunting ground, and a temple to Diana Venatrix would naturally be erected. During the excavations for New St. Paul's, Roman urns were [4]found as well as British graves; and in 1830, a stone altar with an image of Diana was likewise found while digging for the foundations of Goldsmith's Hall in Foster Lane. On such incomplete evidence rests the accuracy of the story or tradition that a temple of Diana occupied part of the site of the present Cathedral.

Suetonius himself restored order in London; and in spite of insurrections, she progressed during the next three centuries to become a centre of such importance, Roman highways spreading in different directions, that the accurate and impartial Ammianus Marcellinus concedes to her (circa 380) the style and title of Augusta. And it was during these three centuries of progress that Christianity obtained a firm footing, but when and how we know not. The picturesque story, which deceived even Bede, how that Lucius, "king of the Britons," sent letters to Eleutherus, a holy man, Bishop of Rome, entreating Eleutherus to convert him and his, must now be put down as a pious forgery.[2] Tertullian (circa 208) says that the kingdom and name of Christ were then acknowledged even in those parts inaccessible to the Romans; and we are probably on the safe side in asserting that missions had been successfully introduced into London by the end of the second century. Neither are we in much doubt or difficulty as to whence they came. Gaul, visited by missionaries from Ephesus, in turn sent others on; and the Church in London, as throughout these Isles, in Romano-British times can be safely described as a daughter of Gaul, and a granddaughter of the Ephesus of St. Timothy. Beyond we know little, if anything at all, more than that a Bishop of London, known by the Latinised name of Restitutus, was one of three British prelates at the Council of Aries (314). And while there is no reason to suppose otherwise than that the bishops, of whom Restitutus could not have been anything like the first, had their principal church erected in the neighbourhood, at least, of St. Paul's churchyard and dedicated to that saint, neither site nor name can ever be authenticated. When the Roman troops retired, so thoroughly did the invading savages destroy all records, that our [5]knowledge of the British Church in London may be compared, not inaptly, to our knowledge of Thornhill's paintings in the concave sphere of the dome. We know that they exist; but even on a bright May day they are invisible from below.

Saxon, Angle, and Dane.—In the early years of the fifth century the Romans are stated to have finally abandoned this country. If certain lists are to be credited, Bishops of London of the original British series continued until the flight of Theorus in 586. These lists have now been rejected,[3] although as the taking of London by the East Saxons was not prior to the date above, there is reason in the suggestion that church and bishop were still in existence. In the pages of Bede, writing about a century later, we come across something more definite, which readers interested in St. Paul's may care to have.

"In the year of our Lord 604, Augustine, Archbishop of Britain, consecrated two bishops, viz., Mellitus and Justus; Mellitus to preach to the province of the East Saxons, who are divided from Kent by the river Thames, and border on the eastern sea. Their metropolis is the city of London, situated on the bank of the aforesaid river, and is the mart of many nations resorting to it by sea and land. At that time Sabert, nephew to Ethelbert [Augustine's King of Kent] by his sister Ricula, reigned over the nation, though under subjection to Ethelbert, who had command over all the nations of the English as far as the river Humber. But when this province [East Saxons] also received the word of truth by the preaching of Mellitus, King Ethelbert built the church of St. Paul in the city of London, where he and his successors should have their episcopal seat."[4]

Bede, in one sense most interesting, becomes in a second sense most irritating. We would give much to know how long an interval had elapsed since the last bishop, whether this rude East Saxon building was erected on the ruins of another or on a different site, whether the name St. Paul's was a continuation or no. Bede is silent, ignoring the distressed and defeated Britons as an inferior race.

[6]Ethelbert may have given the endowment of Tillingham in Essex. "And if any one should be tempted to take away this gift, let him be anathema and excommunicated from all Christian society." Whether the deed with these lines originated with him or with some unknown and later donor, it is certain that the language has been respected; for when the valuable estates were alienated, this particular donation was reserved for the fabric fund; and in consequence the Dean and Chapter are by far the oldest county family in Essex.[5]

Sabert and Ethelbert were gathered to their fathers; and both were succeeded by pagan sons. London and the East Saxon province or kingdom—let us say Middlesex and Essex, with perhaps Herts—seem to have been ruled by the three sons of Sabert in commission, who, disregarding whatever thin veneer of Christianity they had found it convenient to adopt during their father's lifetime, boldly apostatised, and the East Saxons readily followed. Entering St. Paul's, as the bishop was celebrating, the three scoffed and mocked, "We will not enter into that laver, because we do not know we stand in need of it; but eat of that bread we will." Giving the bishop the alternative of compliance or expulsion, he withdrew after an episcopate of twelve years and retired across the Channel. Returning in answer to the entreaties of Laurentius, "the Londoners would not receive Bishop Mellitus, choosing rather to be under their idolatrous high priests." Eventually he succeeded Laurentius at Canterbury. And for a second time London relapsed into paganism.

Thus the good fruits of the mission of Augustine were completely lost. An interval occurs, and then Sigebert the Good, on a visit to King Oswy of Northumbria, was converted by the reasoning of his host, and baptised by Bishop Finan of Lindisfarne. Finan had no connection with Rome, but belonged to that remarkable body who traced their origin to Ireland and Iona. Sigebert took south with him two brothers, English by race, recommended by Finan, of whom one was Cedd; a third brother was the more famous Chad. The work of re-planting was at once set about with the help of Sigebert's example and protection. Up and down the province [7]they went, and gained so many converts that Finan felt justified in consecrating Cedd bishop of the East Saxons. The new bishop now employed much of his time in training converts, natives of the province, for the priesthood, both at Ythancester, near Tillingham, and at Tilbury.[6] He acted as interpreter at the Whitby Conference, where he was won over to the continental method of reckoning Easter, and died shortly after of the plague (664). A later visitation of the pestilence is assigned as a cause of half of the diocese relapsing, while the other half, governed by Sebbe, remained faithful. King Wulfhere of Mercia—the then overlord—sent his own bishop Jaruman with a number of clergy, who effected a complete restoration. Mellitus, Cedd, Sabert, Sigebert, and Sebbe (said to have been buried at St. Paul's) now appear in the transept windows as founders of English Christianity.

Thus we find, after various vicissitudes and relapses, the Christian religion planted in the East Saxon province before the end of the seventh century. The succeeding centuries must be rapidly passed over. A staff of clergy was formed who came to be called canons; other endowments by degrees added; the services at St. Paul's maintained as a model for the diocese; parish churches and monasteries built. We must even pass over Bishop Erkenwald, the hero of so many stories, and whose shrine was the most popular in Old St. Paul's. In 962, just after Dunstan had left the bishopric for Canterbury, St. Paul's was burnt, and the same year rebuilt. Both before and after this London suffered from the ravages of the Danes.

The Primate Elfege, the victim of a drunken rabble, was buried at St. Paul's (1014), as was Ethelred the Unready (1017), and nearly fifty years later Edward the outlaw, the representative of the house of Cerdic and of Alfred.

William the Norman, bishop (1051-1075) in spite of the Confessor and his nominee the Sparrowhawk, occupied the see long enough to greet his countrymen on taking possession; and just before his death would be present at the great council held in his cathedral presided over by Lanfranc. Norman though he was, he was in touch with the citizens around his church, and earned their enduring gratitude and friendship by obtaining a fresh grant of their privileges, as he did for the cathedral. "I will," said the Conqueror, "the said church to [8]be free in all respects, as I trust my own soul to be at the Judgment Day."

The Normans.—Maurice, of course a Norman, had been only recently elected bishop in the room of Huge de Orivalle, when the tenth century church of Bishop Elfstan was destroyed in a fire that consumed the greater part of the City (1086 or 1087).

He set to work to build another on a larger scale and after the approved Anglo-Norman method. Fresh ground was procured, and houses pulled down for the enlargement of church and churchyard. "Barges," says Mr. J.R. Green, "came up the river with stone from Caen for the great arches that moved the popular wonder, while street and lane were being levelled to make space for the famous churchyard of St. Paul's." Maurice died before the work was anything like finished, but Richard de Belmeis, a most munificent prelate, devoted his episcopal revenues for the purpose.

An earthquake in the second year of Rufus, followed two years later by a destructive November storm, impeded the progress, but in spite of all drawbacks and hindrances, builders and workmen toiled on, Henry I. exempting the stone from toll. "Such is the stateliness of its beauty," said William of Malmesbury, "that it is worthy of being numbered amongst the most famous of buildings; such the extent of the crypt, of such capacity the upper structure, that it seems sufficient to contain a multitude of people." It was the variation of an inch or two in the regularity of the arching of Maurice's new nave that afterwards sorely vexed Wren.

We have now come to a time when Domesday gives us some interesting information. A commencement had been made of endowing separate stalls. Certain of the estates were parcelled out in this way, partly because they may have been safer from alienation, partly that the canons might be responsible, if necessary, for the services of religion in the manors and townships in which their endowments, technically known afterwards as corpses, were situated. In Domesday, St. Pancras, Rugmere (in St. Pancras), and Twyford, in Willesden, appear, and may fairly be set down as the three original prebends, although the term "prebend" does not yet appear, neither do the distinctive names of the stalls. To these three some would add Consumpta-per-Mare in the Essex Walton, so called [9]because the glebe was consumed by the encroachments of the sea. We will dismiss this obscure subject by anticipating a little, and stating that, what with parts of the old endowments and what with additions, by the end of the twelfth century the thirty prebends were complete. The names and inscriptions will be found in the account of the interior of the present Choir.

The two Caddingtons were a gift in Bedfordshire in the diocese of Lincoln; the remaining twenty-eight were in Middlesex and Essex. The corporate property of the Chapter by the same date must have reached 24,000 acres.[7]

The Conquest brought other changes in its train. Originally the bishop was head of the Chapter, and the canons his assistants. But, beginning not later than with Maurice, who held high office under the Crown, the bishops became more and more immersed in politics, and found no time to preside, while the Chapter would naturally raise no objection to greater independence. What our French neighbours now call a doyen, a senior from among the canons, took the bishop's vacant place, and became dean.

John de Appleby, so late as 1364, dean by virtue of papal proviso, was only allowed to summon the Chapter, and could not preside until he had obtained a prebend by exchange. A hundred and fifty years later Colet was a prebendary. I find no traces of archdeacons—London, Essex, Middlesex, or Colchester—prior to the Conquest, but these eyes of the bishop soon appear afterwards; and the Chanter becomes Precentor; the Sacrist, or keeper of the plate, vestments, and other valuables, becomes Treasurer; and the Master of the Schools, Chancellor. For the sake of convenience looking forward a little, these changes, begun in Norman times, were completed not long after.

The Plantagenets.—As in the tenth century and as in the eleventh, that evil demon Fire for a third time, "three days before the Christmas of 1136," partially destroyed, or at least [10]seriously injured, St. Paul's, during a conflagration which reached from London Bridge to beyond the Fleet. In rebuilding, the then method was to throw a coating of the more refined Romanesque of the day over the older work;[8] and this is how I explain an obscure passage in Pepys—"It is pretty here to see how the late church was but a case wrought over the old church; for you may see the very old pillars standing whole within the wall of this."[9] The old pillars of the nave were restored, and furnished with graceful engaged columns, and vaulting shafts rising from the ground. As the choir was afterwards superseded by another, we cannot tell what was done to it.

We have now come to a time when it is impossible even to catalogue the numerous stirring events which the cathedral witnessed. William Fitzosbert the Longbeard, for thundering forth at Paul's Cross—where the citizens' folk-mote was wont to be held—against tyranny and corruption in high quarters, suffered the extreme penalty. But people in a higher position were soon to do the same. When John and Innocent formed their strange alliance against the national liberties, it was at St. Paul's that Stephen Langton produced the Charter of Henry I. Here John publicly handed over his kingdom to the Pope, and received it back as a vassal. Here came the counterblast, when Louis, son of King Philip II. of France, received the kingdom from the assembled magnates. After the death of John and Innocent the papal claims were upheld; and at a council in 1232, at which the papal legate presided, he took for his text, "In the midst of the throne and round about the throne were four beasts."[10] The four beasts were not the four Evangelists, but four opposition prelates, including the two primates and the Bishop of London, Roger the Black. It was the great bell of St. Paul's which in the days of Simon de Montfort summoned the citizens to rise against their king.

Old St. Paul's completed.—Whilst the nave was constantly witnessing scenes like this, and whilst clergy and people were protesting against encroachments on their liberties [11]from abroad or at home, a new and more magnificent choir, and a new or restored north aisle to either transept were in course of construction, the ways and means being found with the help of indulgences issued by various bishops, Scotch and Irish included, over a lengthy period.[11] In 1240 the king and the Cardinal Legate Otho attended the consecration of so much of the new work as was then completed; and Bishop Roger was supported by the Primate, Edmund Rich, and other prelates.

East of the cathedral was St. Faith's, one of those parish churches in which cathedral cities are notoriously prolific—churches with parishes of the size of an average meadow, or less.[12] Whether it be owing to greater wealth, or to greater subdivision of property, or to enthusiasm kindled at a religious centre, nowhere do donors and benefactors appear to have been more numerous than in these ancient cities, like London, Norwich, and Exeter. St. Faith's was pulled down, and the rights of the parishioners made good by allotting to them the new crypt underneath the site of their old church. About this time also the vaulting was renewed throughout, and various adornments added from time to time. In 1312 the choir was paved with marble at a cost of fivepence per foot; and three years later the old and ruinous steeple was superseded by a new one of wood covered with lead, rising, according to the lowest estimate—that of Wren—to a height of 460 feet, without the cross. The cross had a "pomel well guilt" set on the top, and contained relics of different saints, put there by Bishop Gilbert de Selgrave with all due solemnity, accompanied by an indulgence, for protection. Thus was finished Old St. Paul's, the most magnificent church in England, meet to be the cathedral of the capital, which London had now become.

Monument of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

After Hollar.ToList

Wycliffe and Gaunt.—The Primate Sudbury and Bishop Courtenay tried John Wycliffe at the cathedral on a charge of heresy (February 13, 1377). This was in the days of rival popes at Rome and Avignon, and one or other or both had been described by the accused as "Antichrist, the proud, worldly priest of Rome, and the most cursed of clippers and [12]purse-kervers."[13] By an alliance almost as strange as that between John and Innocent, Wycliffe found himself supported by John of Gaunt, with whom was the Earl Marshal, Percy, [13]Earl of Northumberland. Wycliffe and the Duke of Lancaster had this much in common, they both wished to confine the clergy to their strictly clerical duties, the latter through jealousy, the former for higher reasons. An immense concourse filled the cathedral. Courtenay was popular with the citizens, Gaunt was not; and Percy was strongly suspected of a wish to abolish the mayoralty, and as Earl Marshal to appoint a captain of his own instead. During an angry altercation Gaunt whispered loudly to a neighbour, "Rather than I will take those words at his [Courtenay's] hands, I would pluck the bishop by the hair out of the church." In the tumult that followed this insult Gaunt and Percy with difficulty escaped; the former fled across the river to Kennington, and his palace at the Savoy was sacked. Yet, in spite of all this, Gaunt was the only royal prince after the Conquest buried at St. Paul's. His tomb under the arch on the north side of the high altar, enriched by a noble canopy to which his spear, shield, and insignia were attached, contained effigies of himself and of his second wife, Constance of Castile. He had also a chantry.

Bishop Robert de Braybroke.—On Courtenay's translation to Canterbury, Braybroke became bishop (1382-1404). A thoroughly practical reformer, he held out the threat of the greater excommunication because "in our Cathedral not only men but women also, not on common days alone but especially on Festivals, expose their wares as it were in a public market, and buy and sell without reverence for the holy place.... Others play at ball or other unseemly games, both within and without the church, breaking the beautiful and costly painted windows, to the amazement of the spectators." He also attempted to regulate residence. Owing to the increased value of the corporate or common property divided amongst the residentiaries or stagiarii, residence was no longer reckoned a burden, but sought after. To keep the number down to two the canons in residence would admit no fresh colleague unless he spent during his first year from six hundred to a thousand merks in feasting and other useless expenditure. Braybroke put a check to this abuse, and by the arbitration of the king the practice of Salisbury was taken as a model.[14] It was after [14]his death (October 15, 1414) that the Use of St. Paul in the religious services was superseded by the Use of Sarum.

The Petty or Minor Canons now received their charter of corporation immediately after the death of Anne of Bohemia, wife of Richard II. Apparently when Becket's representative ventured on his dangerous errand, deed of excommunication in hand, the canons' vicars or vicars choral sang the services. In Braybroke's time we find a body intermediate between the canons and their vicars. They were twelve in number, were required to have good voices, and to understand the art of singing, and by their charter were to pray for their royal benefactor, as well as for the repose of the souls of his wife and ancestors. The first ranked as Sub-dean, taking for many purposes the dean's place in his absence, and the two next were the Cardinals. The Sacrist, the Almoners, and the Divinity Lecturers endowed by Bishop Richard de Gravesend and Thomas White were appointed from among them. They enjoyed their own common hall, and elected their own warder and steward; and two years after incorporation, drawing up their own Statutes, provided that they were to be read in Hall every quarter, and that no one was to shuffle his feet during the reading.[15]

The vicars choral either now or later had dwindled down to six, and seem to have been only in minor orders. The Petty Canons had their own endowments; but if the canons had to pay their own vicars, we need not be surprised at this diminution.

The Wars of the Roses.—With this period St. Paul's is closely associated. At St. Paul's the Yorkist leaders pledged their allegiance to the unhappy Henry VI. on the Sacrament—only to break it. After Barnet the dead bodies of the king-maker and his brothers were exposed, and after Tewkesbury the murdered corpse of Henry received similar treatment. Most striking of all is the grim figure of Richard of Gloucester. He it was who caused Jane Shore to be put to open penance on the ground that she had bewitched him, she "going before the Cross on a Sunday with a taper in her hand," says Stow, [15]"out of all aray saue her kirtle only." Hastings, the successor of Edward in her affections, was implicated with her, and his offence read from Paul's Cross. At Paul's Cross, newly restored by the bishop, the younger Kempe, and while the boy king was a prisoner in the palace hard by, that worthless sycophant, Dr. Ralph Shaw, the preacher (May 19, 1483), took for his text, "The multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay any fast foundations" (Wisdom, iv. 3). His sermon went to prove to the citizens that Richard was the only, or at least the senior, legitimate member of the royal family. Richard was present to hear his own mother dishonoured; and the preacher, pointing dramatically to him, argued that, unlike his three elder brothers, he resembled the late Duke of York. But the people showed no sympathy, would not cry "Long live King Richard," and dispersed, fearing the worst for the poor lad immured in the bishop's palace.

The Clergy and Services.—We may now conveniently glance at these important subjects. The Bishop, who appointed all the dignitaries except the dean, was Visitor. At the great festivals he was usually present, and the bells were rung in his honour. How the Dean always, or nearly so, held another stall has been already stated; how he came to be presented by the Crown instead of elected by his brethren is uncertain; but the Chapter somehow practically lost their right of electing both bishop and dean, for either pope or king in effect appointed their diocesan. The dean was visitor of the homes of the clergy and of the chapter estates. To the four Archdeaconries of London, Essex, Middlesex, and Colchester was afterwards added the small one of St. Alban's on the dissolution of that important abbey, but without a stall in the choir.[16] The office of Precentor is explained by the name. The Treasurer was responsible for the very valuable treasures—jewels, vestments, relics, and the like—as distinct from the moneys. Lower in rank, but in reality of greater importance, came the Chancellor. He had jurisdiction over the old school of St. Paul's, and any others in the City with the exception of those of St. Mary-le-Bow and St. Martin's-le-Grand, and was secretary and keeper of the seals, receiving a pound of pepper for each deed sealed. The thirty Prebendaries (or [16]rather twenty-nine when the dean was one) could only hold one stall each at St. Paul's, but any number of benefices elsewhere like the higher dignitaries; and it is by no means certain that in the thirteenth century John Mansell did not hold three stalls at St. Paul's simultaneously among his innumerable benefices which together, according to Matthew Paris, amounted to 4,000 merks per annum.[17] Of the prebendaries a varying minority in residence, stagiaries (stagiarii, perhaps a corruption of the more classical stationarii),[18] not only divided amongst themselves the balance of the common fund, but were not above partaking of a share of the capitular bakehouse and brewhouse. The dean, the three higher dignitaries, and the prebendaries constituted the Chapter, in certain matters the non-residentiaries having no jurisdiction, and, as recorded in their Visitations, exercised a very great authority over their various manors. Below the Chapter came the twelve Petty Canons, officers peculiar to St. Paul's and Hereford;[19] and there were over fifty Chantry Priests when suppressed. Besides their appointed daily masses they would divide amongst them the annual masses called obits, which amounted to about a hundred, and were expected to assist the Petty Canons. They spent their extensive leisure after the proverbial manner of idle and ignorant men. The Vicars Choral had dwindled down to six by Colet's time, were no longer in priests' orders, and eventually became laymen pure and simple. Space would fail us to enumerate the remaining official and semi-official officers. Among the latter were the twelve scribes, who sat in the nave for the service of the illiterate public, and were sworn to do nothing detrimental to the interests of the Chapter.

The Apostle's mass was sung the first thing in the morning, in earlier days by a Vicar Choral, and subsequently by a Petty Canon; and next came the two masses named after the Virgin and the Chapter, the Cardinals taking the latter. The other [17]daily services were the usual Nocturns or Matins and the rest, ending with a combined evensong of Vespers and Compline. We do not know how the old Use of St. Paul's differed from that of Sarum. Besides the Conversion and Commemoration of St. Paul, the Deposition (April 30th) and the Translation (November 14th) of St. Erkenwald were red-letter days when, before the peal was sounded, the bells were rung two and two. On the eve of St. Nicholas (December 5th), patron saint of [18]children, the choristers elected their boy bishop and his clerks. On St. John the Evangelist's Day (December 27th) at evensong the newly elected boy bishop in pontifical vestments, with his boy clerks in copes, walked in procession, and after censing the altar of the Blessed Trinity returned and occupied dignitaries' stalls, and any evicted dignitary had to take the boy's place as thurifer or acolyte, the boy bishop giving the benediction. The next day (Holy Innocents) this youth preached and took the earlier part of the mass. These choir lads were trained to act mysteries and, later on, stage plays.[20]

The Shrine and Altar of St. Erkenwald

After Hollar.ToList

Each new Lord Mayor, accompanied by the Council, went in procession to St. Thomas Acon, and from thence to the cathedral. He paid his devotions at the tomb of Bishop William the Norman, in the nave, in gratitude for privileges obtained from the Conqueror, and then at the tomb of his predecessor, the Portreeve Gilbert Becket, father of Thomas, in a little chapel in the churchyard. On Whitsunday and the following Tuesday were great processions in which the Corporation joined, as they did on seven other festivals. At Whitsuntide, according to a sixteenth century account, a huge suspended censer was swung along the nave, and the descent of the Holy Spirit illustrated by the letting loose of a white pigeon. Those who are curious about the shrines, and particularly of St. Erkenwald's, the scene of so many reputed miracles of healing, and of the relics, which included a vase believed to contain some hair, milk, and a garment of the Virgin, are referred to Dugdale and other like works. Passing over Te Deums for victories like Agincourt and Obsequies for the dead—this latter a source of income to the officers—we will close this chapter with the wedding of Arthur, Prince of Wales, a lad of fifteen, to Catherine of Aragon, in November, 1501. The next spring Arthur died, and the king effected the betrothal of the widow of eighteen to his younger son Henry, aged eleven. Seven years later Henry VII. died, and lay in state at the cathedral.


[1] Tacitus, "Annals," xiv. 33.

[2] Bishop Browne ("The Christian Church in these Islands before the Coming of St. Augustine," 1897, pp. 59-62; S.P.C.K.) in a learned note disposes of this, as he does of the veteran claim of St. Peter's, Cornhill, to take rank as the elder sister of St. Paul's.

[3] The list in the south nave transept, compiled with the assistance of Bishops Stubbs and Browne, leaves this period doubtful and uncertain (vide Appendix A).

[4] "Eccles. Hist.," book ii., chap. iii.

[5] The grant is in Dugdale, p. 288; in Domesday it runs "tenet semper Paulus."

[6] Bishop Browne's "Conversion of the Heptarchy," p. 154 (S.P.C.K.).

[7] Dugdale, p. 299 et seq., quotes the Exchequer Domesday. Also, Hale's "Domesday of St. Paul's" and Leach's "Southwell" (the Introduction); Freeman's "Cathedral Church of Wells," p. 50 et seq.; and Newcourt's "Repertorium." Hereford is the only other cathedral in Domesday where canons held in this way. Southwell (now a cathedral, though the prebendaries are gone), Bedford, Twyneham, and Stafford were collegiate churches of a like kind.

[8] Freeman's "Wells," p. 69.

[9] "Diary," Sept. 16, 1666. So far as the pillars are concerned I know of no other time when this "casing" could have been done; and the architecture in Hollar's prints, as reproduced in Dugdale, agrees.

[10] Dean Milman says the text was from Ezekiel, i. 5; was it not from Revelation, iv. 6?

[11] "Documents Illustrative," p. 175.

[12] St. Faith's parish reaches westward to 62, St. Paul's Churchyard, north side.

[13] "Chapters in the History," p. 97.

[14] Perhaps the residentiaries were increased to eleven.

[15] "Gleanings," chap. i. It is disappointing to find that it was thought necessary to provide in the Statutes against gross immorality, and that a fine of 3s. 4d. was deemed a sufficient punishment for the first offence, to be doubled on repetition.

[16] Were they ever members of the chapter ex officio?

[17] If he had to read his share of the Psalter every day for each, his time for affairs of State must have been encroached upon.

[18] So says Dr. Sparrow-Simpson. In the Gallican Church the stage was the time of qualifying for residence. In modern French a stagiaire = a licentiate in law going through his stage.

[19] In former days. The Vicars Choral of other foundations are now called Minor Canons.

[20] "Chapters in the History," p. 53.




With the Florentine studies of John Colet, remarks J.R. Green, a purer Christianity awoke throughout Teutonic Europe. Born in 1466, a son of a distinguished citizen who was twice Lord Mayor, after seven years at Oxford he travelled with sufficient means to France and Italy, and whether at home or abroad studied in particular Greek. "The knowledge of Greek seems to have had one almost exclusive end for him,"[21] continues Green; "Greek was the key by which he could unlock the Gospels and the New Testament." Discarding the traditional mediævalisms, his faith rested simply on a vivid realisation of the Person of Christ; and whilst his active and lucid intellect exhibit him in many lights, everything else was subordinate to his faith. Returning to England, he lectured gratuitously at Oxford on St. Paul's Epistles, and formed a friendship with Erasmus. So Erasmus became the earnest pupil of an earnest master. Taking priests' orders, he was appointed Dean of St. Paul's and Prebendary of Mora (1505), and established a reputation as a preacher. In those days, and until Wolsey as legate gave the preference to Westminster, the two Houses held their sessions in the Chapter House and Nave of Old St. Paul's, as the opening ceremony still reminds us. Preaching at the opening in 1512, he startled Convocation by declaring, "All that is in the Church is either the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life." In vain his bishop, Richard Fitz-James, endeavoured to establish a charge of heresy: the Primate Warham and young Henry VIII. [20]both admired and supported the Dean; and the Dean continued to show his preference for the New Testament in the original Greek rather than for the prevalent nonsense of the mediæval schoolmen.

Dean Colet.

After the portrait in Holland's "Heroologia," 1620.[22] ToList

Where the consent of his Chapter was necessary, Colet's efforts at reform were obstructed. The profanation of the sacred building he could not stop: buying, selling, and promenading in the nave continued the order of the day. The Chapter would have nothing to do with his new statutes, but elsewhere he was more successful. The Chancellor's School was not in accordance with his views; and in spite of Bishop, Chancellor, and Chapter, out of his own means he built St. Paul's School, towards the east end of the churchyard, and endowed it; and leaving his colleagues out in the cold, left the management to the Mercers' Company. His theology was manifest in the image over the gate. It was neither Erkenwald nor Uncumber: it was not the Virgin or even St. Paul himself, but the Child Jesus with the simple and pregnant inscription, "Hear ye Him." The severity of his discipline, although a Pauline parent or pupil would now resent it, was adapted to those rough and hardy times, when people rose early and worked hard, and when corporal punishment was general and often, and irrespective of sex or age. William Lyly, an Oxford student who had studied in the East, was his first high master. As the original St. Paul's School became eventually absorbed in Colet's, this latter—now removed from its old [21]home to stately buildings on the Hammersmith Road, and possessing (1899), as a high master, a worthy successor of Lyly[23]—is in one sense a new foundation of Colet's, yet in [22]another is also a continuation of that venerable foundation under the charge of the Chancellor. Looked at in this latter aspect, it may assert an antiquity almost as great as St. Peter's, York, which claims—and not without reason—to be the senior boys' school in the country. Colet so looked forward to the different requirements of different ages that his statutes did not tie his school down to any cut and dried course of study; but let us hope place will always be found for the Greek Testament. What are we to think of the preacher who, while denouncing war, so pricked the conscience of Henry VIII. that the king sent to consult him? What of the Bible student who thought that the story of Creation was an allegory, and intended to teach the ignorant Israelites that the one God had created everybody and everything? What of the reformer who went beyond Erasmus in denouncing the profane excesses perpetrated in the name of religion at the shrine of Becket at Canterbury? Colet died of the "sweating sickness" at the early age of fifty-three, in 1519; and it is idle to speculate on his action had he lived until the breach with Rome. His monument in the south aisle of the choir perished in the Fire; and in the new Renaissance cathedral a second might well be erected to the memory of this great leader of the Renaissance in theology and learning, the greatest among many great occupants of the Dean's stall.

Tomb of John Colet, D.D.

After Hollar.ToList

Reformation Principles Opposed.—The still smouldering doctrines of Wycliffe were now fanned into a flame; and Wolsey endeavoured to extinguish them without having resort to the stake Tyndal's New Testament, translated into English in 1526 at Worms, must have been speedily smuggled across the Channel. On the Shrove Tuesday of 1527 Wolsey attended St. Paul's, accompanied by some six-and-thirty prelates, mitred abbots, and other high dignitaries. Barnes of Cambridge, formerly a friar, and five others, "Stillyard men," were brought from the Fleet prison in penitential array, Barnes carrying a heavy taper, the rest faggots. Testaments and other forbidden books were in baskets by a fire in the nave. On their knees the penitents recanted; while Barnes declared that he deserved to be burnt. Fisher again preached; and the six pardoned offenders were taken inside the rails and made to walk round the fire, after which the books were burnt—by no means a solitary literary conflagration.

[23]Reformation Principles Advanced.—In order to raise money, Henry declared that as the clergy had acquiesced in the authority of Wolsey as legate, and as such acquiescence was contrary to the Statute of Provisors, all these benefices were forfeit to the Crown, and a heavy subsidy must be paid as ransom. The clergy of the diocese of London, considering that the arch-offender against this Statute was Henry himself, and next to him the prelates and great mitred abbots, attended a meeting at the Chapter House, and were assisted by a number of their parishioners. John Stokesley, Bishop designate,[24] who presided, and who had to see the assessment made, could neither keep order nor gain his point: "We never meddled, let the bishops and abbots pay." Fifteen priests and four parishioners were imprisoned, and, of course, Henry gained his point.

Throughout 1534 the deanery was vacant. The Bishop was directed to see that the appointed preachers at Paul's Cross taught that the Pope had no spiritual authority of divine right. Here as elsewhere it is remarkable with what ease and unanimity the papal jurisdiction based on the Petrine claims was done away with. No dignitary—and Bonner that year became Prebendary of Chiswick—no priest of humbler rank connected with the cathedral, either resigned or got into trouble on this important doctrinal question; although the execution of those two earnest men, John Fisher and Thomas More, who opposed the divorce and the abrogation of the papal claims, was followed by a pronouncement of excommunication, deposition, and an interdict on the part of Paul III. Yet at St. Paul's, nineteen Anabaptists—a sect whom no one pitied—were sentenced to be burnt, and of these a man and a woman suffered at Smithfield, and the remainder in the provinces. The next year (1536) Hugh Latimer, as earnest and good a bishop as Fisher and his exact opposite, preaching before Convocation, denounced abuses in the spirit of an age which did not hesitate to call a spade a spade. "Lift up your heads, brethren, and look about with your eyes; spy what things are to be reformed in the Church of England."

But more dramatic and more effective than the sonorous ring of honest Hugh's eloquence, was the sermon at the [24]Cross (February 14, 1538) of Bishop John Hisley, Fisher's successor at Rochester, and formerly Prior of the Dominicans in London. His subject was an ingenious piece of mechanism, called the Rood of Grace, from Boxley in his diocese, a source of revenue from devotees. Now, this product of the mechanic's art does not seem to have had any resemblance to a Rood—i.e., a large cross or crucifix—but rather was shaped like a big doll; and Hisley demonstrated to his intelligent congregation of citizens how no inherent power, but a man standing inside, with the aid of wires, caused the rood to bow, and move its eyes and mouth.[25]

The exposure was followed next St. Bartholomew's eve by the removal of the Great Rood at the north door, and those of our Lady of Grace and of St. Uncumber. This last saint is supposed to be a foreign princess of early times, styled also in England St. Wilgeforte. A peck of oats was a favourite offering at her shrine in St. Paul's by those who wished for favours; and according to Sir Thomas More she owed her popular name because wives unhappy in their union so offered in the hope that she would uncumber (i.e., disencumber) them of their husbands. The disgrace of Thomas Cromwell put a temporary stop to actions of this nature; and we find Gardiner at the Cross denouncing both Rome and Luther. We further find Barnes, our quondam penitent, amongst those who replied from the same famous pulpit, and likening himself and Gardiner to two fighting cocks, only that the garden cock lacked good spurs. The result was that Barnes ended his chequered career at the stake, as did others.

Edward VI.—So long as Henry lived it was dangerous to uphold either the Petrine claims or the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and it was equally dangerous to oppose the doctrine of transubstantiation; but the Council of the child king would not have this latter doctrine, and was distinctly Protestant. The endowments of the chantries had been transferred to the Court of Augmentations in the autumn of 1545 (37 Henry VIII. c. 4) for the benefit of the king; but when at the beginning of 1547 Edward succeeded his father, St. Paul's [25]still enjoyed her own. Somerset and his Protestant council not only wanted the property, but objected to masses for the dead, and a renewing Act was quickly passed, Edward's name taking his father's place. So went chantries and obits into the royal coffers, the list in Dugdale, as returned to the Court, filling ten folio pages; while but little commiseration was felt for the hard lot of these illiterate chaplains deprived of their livelihood. And this was not all. Besides any remaining roods and crucifixes, altars were demolished, tombs wrecked, plate, jewels, vestments and frontals sold. Elaborate gold and silver embroidered work found its way to Spanish cathedrals, and up to a short time ago was reported to be still there.[26] Pardon Haugh Chapel was desecrated, and the bones carted away to Finsbury; the Chapter House cloisters went to build Somerset House. The dean, William May, was an advanced Protestant; but so was not his bishop, Bonner. Bonner preached at the Cross upholding transubstantiation, and was deprived and imprisoned. It is to the credit of his successor, Ridley, that he supported Bonner's mother and sister at Fulham; "Our mother Bonner"—he was unmarried—taking the head of his table. Yet Ridley was one of the judges at St. Paul's who sent the Anabaptist woman Joan Bucher to the stake for heresy. During the first year or two of this reign, complains Dean Milman, "Sunday after Sunday the Cathedral was thronged, not with decent and respectable citizens, but with a noisy rabble, many of them boys, to hear unseemly harangues on that solemn rite" [the Sacrament]. Ridley, after his translation (1550) restored comparative order, and remained bishop long enough to witness the introduction of the Second Prayer Book.

Mary Tudor.—When poor Edward came to his untimely end, Ridley sided with the faction of Jane, and preached at the Cross, declaring both Mary and Elizabeth illegitimate. For this he has been much censured; but so far as the two princesses went—of course this would not make Jane next of kin—he was but upholding the decisions of Ecclesiastical Courts. In spite of any weakness in her title—and we have seen how her mother had been married to Arthur at St. Paul's—Mary was proclaimed, the bells rung, the Lords went in procession to hear Te Deum chanted; Bonner went back, and Dean May was [26]replaced by John Feckenham. Yet Mary's party by no means had everything their own way. Gilbert Bourne, Prebendary of Wedland, who had retained his benefice throughout the late reign and was now Chaplain to the Queen, preaching at the Cross, was rudely interrupted with cries and throwing up of caps; and had it not been for two of his brother canons, John Rogers of St. Pancras and John Bradford of Cantlers, and others, who conducted him in safety to the adjacent schoolroom, matters might have gone ill with Mary's champion. Gardiner recanted his former heterodoxy concerning the papal supremacy in a sermon; and Pole appeared as Legate. Ridley, Rogers, and Bradford were amongst those who suffered at the stake, while May escaped.

Of course the old services were reintroduced; and we turn from grave to gay in a record of one of these revived functions. A doe was offered on the Conversion and a buck on the Commemoration of St. Paul, both in connection with some quaint old-world land tenure. Our records tell us that Bonner wore his mitre, and the Chapter their copes, with garlands of roses on their heads. The buck—it was the Commemoration—was brought to the high altar, and at some time and place not exactly defined but within the choir, was slain; and the head, severed and raised on a pole, was borne before the processional cross to the west door. Here a horn was blown, and other horns in different parts of the City answered.[27]

Elizabeth.—After the death of Mary, as the diocese of London had been the chief sufferer from the persecutions, and as the excitement in the City ran very high, the sermons at the Cross were for a time wisely discontinued. The Primate Pole, the last Romanist at Canterbury and the last Legate openly accredited to an English sovereign, and many of his suffragans likewise, died about the same time; and it was left for Bonner to preside over a thin Upper House.

What was to be done with the bishop? To allow him to continue in his high office was tantamount to a grave scandal to religion, and his person was not safe from the fury of the populace. He was replaced by Edmund Grindal, and spent the remaining ten years of his life chiefly in the security of the Marshalsea, without any undue vigour or harshness. Mary's [27]first dean, Feckenham, had been made abbot of the resuscitated regular foundation of Westminster, and his successor was quietly ejected in favour of the restored May, whilst a few of the other dignitaries lost their stalls. The Epistle and Gospel were first read in English, and eventually the Prayer Book was resumed; but the changes were made gradually; and, considering the provocation, no vindictive spirit was displayed.

In June, 1561, the beautiful spire was destroyed by fire caused by lightning or by a plumber's neglect, and the Chapter House seriously injured. We have no trustworthy plates prior to this fire, and the various estimates about the height of the spire and other matters are anything but infallible. Service was held at St. Gregory's, and the roof and other parts restored at a cost of £6,700, but the architecture was never the same afterwards. Of course the disappointed Romanists attributed the disaster to the Divine anger, and Bishop Pilkington, of Durham, preaching next Sunday at the Cross, to the still continued desecration.

It is difficult for us to understand why this desecration was allowed to go on. A pillory was indeed set up outside near the bishop's palace, and a man convicted of fighting nailed there by his ears, which were afterwards cut off; but this must have been an offence exceptionally outrageous. "What swearing is there," says Dekker, "what shouldering, what jostling, what jeering, what biting of thumbs to beget quarrels." At Bishop Bancroft's Visitation a verger complained that colliers with coal-sacks, butchers' men with meat, and others made the interior a short cut. Bishop Corbet, of Norwich, wrote:

"When I past Paules, and travelled in that Walke
Where all our Brittaine-sinners sweare and talke,
Ould Harry-ruffians, bankrupts, suthe-sayers,
And youth, whose cousenage is as ould as theirs."

The choir boys even during service time were on the alert for "spur money," a fine due for the wearing of spurs. "Paul's Walk" (the central aisle of the nave), said Bishop Earle, of Salisbury, "is the land's epitome.... It is the general mart of all famous lies." Shakespeare was thinking of his own time, as well as of the time of Henry IV. (2 Henry IV., act 1, scene 2) when he makes Falstaff engage Bardolph, out of place and standing at the servant-men's pillow to be [28]hired. John Evelyn called the cathedral a den of thieves. Before, we have mentioned that this abuse existed in mediæval times; the above authorities show that it still went on right up to the Fire. Doctrine might be purified, and rites reformed; Paul's Walk was neither purified nor reformed.

John Felton nailed the Bull of Pius V. excommunicating and deposing Elizabeth (Regnans in Excelsis) to the bishop's gate at night (May 15, 1570), and was hung on a gallows hard by. We pass on from this, and from Elizabeth's "tuning of the pulpit" and various other matters, to the Armada. By September some of the captured flags were displayed on high outside, and waved over the preacher at the Cross. The last Sunday in November was appointed for the State Thanksgiving, Aylmer being bishop and Nowell dean. The Queen was driven in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Bishop John Piers, of Salisbury, the Almoner, was the preacher. His sermon has not come down, but the Form of Prayer has—"Turning the destruction they intended against us upon their own head." At the conclusion, the Queen remained in the City to dine with the bishop.

After the death of the great Queen, the leading conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot[28] were executed outside the West Front. John King, Dean of Christ Church, styled by James "the king of preachers," was consecrated bishop in 1611; and the next year Bartholomew Leggatt was condemned as a heretic in the Consistory Court, and burnt at Smithfield; and a month later Edward Wightman suffered a like fate at Lichfield. But the Marian persecutions had made all good citizens sick of such sights, and henceforth, says Fuller, the king yielding to public opinion, "politically preferred that heretics, though condemned, should silently and privately waste themselves away in prison."

Inigo Jones.—A certain Master John Farley agitated in favour of the decaying and neglected fabric, and King James attended service in state to hear his favourite preacher, the bishop, plead for restoration from an appropriate text chosen by the king himself (March 26, 1620). After the service came a banquet at the bishop's palace, and after the banquet a meeting; and a Royal Commission was appointed before [29]the end of the year on which the Lord Mayor was the first person named. Amongst other commissioners was Inigo Jones, Surveyor of the Royal Works. He had studied in Italy and was an enthusiastic student of the Italian Renaissance. Unfortunately the public was anything but enthusiastic, and only a small sum was contributed, which went in the purchase of stone. Matters came to a complete standstill; and shortly prior to his assassination the elder Villiers is reported to have stolen part of the stone for a watergate for his new town house.

Inigo Jones' Portico.

After Hollar.ToList

The Commission died with the king, and Laud, becoming bishop, persuaded Charles to issue a new one. This time a handsome sum was collected, and work was commenced. As regards the exterior, the nave and west sides of the two transepts were cased throughout, and some repairs made to the east end.[29] The chief alteration in the interior was the [30]adornment and restoration of the choir screen, at the expense of Sir Paul Pindar, and with the laudable object of putting an end to desecration. Inigo Jones added a noble classical portico to the West End as a successor to Paul's Walk. We forgive the lack of harmony with the Norman nave, when we recall the truly religious motive.

But evil days for the cathedral were approaching. In the House of Commons (February 11, 1629), Oliver Cromwell, Member for Huntingdon town, made his maiden speech in a Grand Committee on Religion. He complained that Dr. Alablaster had preached flat Popery at Paul's Cross, and that the Doctor's bishop, Neile of Winchester, would not have it otherwise.[30] Alablaster was High Church, and the Third Parliament of Charles was not.

The Civil War.—The outbreak of the Civil War put an end to the Commission, and the moneys were confiscated.[31] The Long Parliament acquired the supremacy in the City, and from 1643 Inigo Jones ceased to act as surveyor, dying before the Restoration. The whole staff was expelled, and their revenues sequestrated; and Dr. Cornelius Burgess was appointed preacher, some of the more eastern bays of the choir being walled in by a brick partition as his chapel or conventicle. The chief fault to be found with Burgess is that he was out of place in a cathedral, otherwise there is much to be said in his favour. Even in those times, when religious fanaticism went mad, he behaved with discretion, and courageously headed the petition of London ministers against the execution of the king. Hugh Peters figures in the crypt, and other parts were assigned as meeting-houses. It is better to pass over as quickly as may be the behaviour of the soldiery and populace. "Paul's Cathedral," says Carlyle, "is now a Horseguard; horses stamp in the Canons' stalls there [but the choir was mainly reserved for Burgess and his sermons], and Paul's Cross itself, as smacking of Popery ... was swept altogether away, and its leaden roof melted into bullets, or [31]mixed with tin for culinary pewter."[32] Its very name, the Cross, was against it; and thus fell, never to be restored, the most famous pulpit in England, which through successive generations had been part and parcel of English history. Carlyle also tell us that Trooper Lockyer, of Whalley's Horse, "of excellent parts and much beloved," was shot in the churchyard for mutiny, "amid the tears of men and women."[33]

Monuments which had escaped earlier vandals were now defaced and destroyed; the scaffolding was seized; part of the roof on the south side fell in, and the lead was used for water-pipes. The new portico was hacked about and turned into stalls for wares, and, in a word, Inigo Jones' work more than undone. Other doings of the soldiery are unfit for publication.[34]

The Restoration.—Juxon was translated to Canterbury, and the munificent and much-abused Gilbert Sheldon received London, only in turn to succeed Juxon again three years later. At the beginning of the Civil War the deanery had become vacant, and Richard Steward designated for the vacancy. It was an empty appointment, and was afterwards changed for another of a like kind, and Matthew Nicolas became nominally dean. This preferment took actual effect from the summer of 1660, when Nicolas was installed dean and prebendary of Caddington Major, such of the other dignitaries as survived resuming their stalls, and vacancies were filled up. Another bay was added to the Burgess conventicle, and the cathedral services were resumed. But the sad condition of the fabric called for action, and in 1663 another Commission was appointed, and Christopher Wren appointed surveyor. Taking example from his uncle's cathedral at Ely, he suggested an enlargement of the area at the junction of the four members of the cross, and subscriptions were raised.

The Plague.—There is a gap in the subscription list after March, 1665: the pestilence was already at work. As the summer advanced its ravages were intensified; and the City, fortunate in escaping earlier attacks, suffered so severely that the pest-houses proved insufficient; and Harrison Ainsworth is responsible for a story which may probably be depended on in its main outlines. The Lord Mayor and City authorities, in [32]conjunction with the College of Physicians, obtained the consent of Dean Sancroft (the second from Nicolas) and his chapter for the conversion of the cathedral into a lazar-house; and a meeting was held in the Chapter House, at which the Primate Sheldon was present. Sheldon employed himself, co-operating with the Lord Mayor, in making provision for the victims. "Chapels and shrines," says Ainsworth, "formerly adorned with rich sculptures and costly ornaments, but stripped of them at times when they were looked upon as idolatrous and profane, were now occupied by nurses, chirurgeons and their attendants; while every niche and corner was filled with surgical instruments, phials, drugs, poultices, foul rags and linen."[35] After its chequered career, Old St. Paul's was destined to be used last of all as a hospital.

The Fire.—The house and Navy office of Samuel Pepys were in Seething Lane, Crutched Friars, near where Fenchurch Street Station now is. About three in the morning of Sunday, September 2, 1666, Samuel and his wife were called by their servant Jane, who told them of a fire visible in the south-west towards London Bridge. After looking out, not thinking it a great matter, the couple returned to bed; but getting up at seven Pepys heard a far worse account, and instead of attending morning service went to the Tower, and called on his neighbour Sir John Robinson, the Lieutenant. Robinson told him that the house of Faryner, baker to the king, in Pudding Lane had just caught fire, that Fish Street was in flames, and the church of St. Magnus destroyed. These were near the north end of London Bridge, as the Monument and St. Magnus both remind us.

The origin of the Fire Pepys learnt later (February 24, 1667). Faryner's people had occasion to light a candle at midnight; they went as usual into their bakehouse to light it, but as the fire had gone out, had to seek elsewhere. This striking a light in an unusual place by Faryner, his son and daughter, is asserted to have been, somehow and all unknown to them, the origin of the Fire. "Which is," says Pepys, "a strange thing, that so horrid an effect should have so mean and uncertain a beginning." About two in the morning, when the family were [33]upstairs and asleep again, the choking sensation of smoke woke them up, just in time to escape and tell the tale.

St. Paul's in Flames.

Originally engraved by Hollar for the title of Dean (afterwards Archbishop) Sancroft's sermon on the Great Fire.ToList

There was a drought, and the flames spread on their mission of devastation, assisted by a breeze. St. Paul's and most of the hundred City churches were not likely to be used for worship that morning. "To see the churches all filling with goods by people who themselves should have been quietly there at the time." But service was held as usual at the Abbey; and just about sermon time, a newly elected king's scholar, Taswell, noticing a stir and commotion—he was standing by the pulpit steps—ascertained the cause. The news had spread that the City was in flames. Like most boys the prospect of something exciting coincided with his desire to escape a long sermon, so he hastened outside in time to see four boats on the river, the occupants of which had escaped in blankets. Let us hope that as he was not fully admitted, he escaped Busby's birch. All through the Sunday St. Paul's was safe—the distance from Pudding Lane was a little over half a mile—and even the east end of Lombard Street was intact. The parishioners of St. Gregory and St. Faith, lulled into a false sense of security, remained confident that even though the conflagration spread [34]westward, and the surrounding houses caught fire, the flames would not leap across the vacant space of churchyard; and the booksellers accordingly began to store their goods in St. Faith's as though the crypt were a fireproof safe.[36] So it might possibly have been, and in spite of sparks, had the distracted Lord Mayor been firm enough to prevent the storing of books in the churchyard, and had the cathedral roof been in good repair. The flames gradually encircled the churchyard; the goods there took fire, and the flames caught the end of a board placed on the roof to keep out the wet. The Nemesis of neglect!

Our young friend Taswell first saw the flame at eight o'clock on the Tuesday evening at Westminster. It broke out at the top of St. Paul's Church, almost scorched up by the violent heat of the air and lightning too, and before nine blazed so conspicuous "as to enable me to read very clearly a 16mo. edition of Terence, which I carried in my pocket."

Pepys corroborates as to the day "Paul's is burned and all Cheapside," writing of Tuesday, September 4th; and under the same date, Evelyn adds: "The stones of St. Paul's flew like grenades, the melting lead running down the streets in a stream, and the very pavements glowing with a fiery redness, so as no horse or man was able to tread on them, and the demolition had stopped all the passages, so that no help could be applied, the eastern wind still more impetuously driving the flames forward." By Wednesday night the central section of the City was so burnt out that Pepys walked through Cheapside and Newgate market. "It is a strange thing," he remarks, "to see how long the time did look since Sunday." "Sad sight," he adds next day, "to see how the river looks: no houses nor church near it." Friday, the 7th, early: "A miserable sight of Paul's Church with all the roofs fallen in, and the body of the quire fallen into St. Fayth's; Paul's School also, Ludgate and Fleet Street."

We will conclude this with some more extracts from the evidence of Pepys. On the next Sunday, when it is interesting to observe the drought came to an end, he attended service twice, probably at St. Olave's, Hart Street, Mark Lane, in the neighbourhood of Crutched Friars. In the morning "Our parson made a melancholy but good sermon; and [35]many and most in the church cried, specially the women. The church mighty full; but few of fashion, and most strangers. To church again, and there preached Dean Harding [Nicolas Hardy, of Rochester]; but methinks a bad, poor sermon, though proper for the time; nor eloquent in saying at this time that the City is reduced from a large folio to a decimo-tertio." The phrase "most strangers" is not surprising, as besides St. Paul's, some eighty-five parish churches were in ashes, including two without the walls but inside the Liberties. Our last extract is under date 12th November following, and illustrates how such remains as had hitherto escaped desecration were treated in the general disorder. Bishop Braybroke's efforts at reform have been already acknowledged: his tomb was behind the high altar towards the east. "In the Convocation House Yard [apparently the space within the Chapter House Cloisters] did there see the body of Robert Braybroke, Bishop of London, that died in 1404. He fell down in the tomb out of the great church into St. Fayth's this late fire, and is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a spongy dry leather or touchwood, all upon his bones. His head turned aside. A great man in his time, and Lord Chancellor. And now exposed to be handled and derided by some, though admired for its duration by others. Many flocking to see it."

Old St. Paul's, then, suffered the fate of its predecessors in the first week of September, 1666. By the Friday the conflagration had so far exhausted itself that Pepys was able to walk from Paul's Wharf to the churchyard. The City within the Walls was well-nigh burnt out, and of the eighty-three parish churches consumed only forty-eight were rebuilt; and these with the thirteen untouched left accommodation more than sufficient for the surrounding population. Our regret for the cathedral would have been greater, had this magnificent monument of mediæval genius—probably of its kind as fine as any in the world—been capable of a conservative restoration: it is to be feared that neglect, the destroyer, and the restorer had amongst them rendered this task well-nigh impossible.

So far as existing authorities guide us, it remains to describe the architecture.[37]


[21] "Short History," pp. 298, 299. Green says, "The awakening of a rational Christianity."

[22] See Dr. Lupton's "Life of Colet," 1887.

[23] When I was living in the parish of Kensington, St. Paul's School was, as I believe it still is, facile princeps.

[24] Assuming that the date of the meeting from Hall's Chronicle is correctly printed in Milman, November 7, 1530.

[25] "Chapters in the History," p. 169. Milman (p. 202) adds that the hearers pulled the doll to pieces. The dean is made to say "Ridley, now bishop of Rochester"; but Ridley was bishop 1547-1550, as Milman elsewhere implies (p. 211).

[26] Milman, p. 216.

[27] My authorities for this well-nigh incredible story are in "St. Paul's and Old City Life," p. 234.

[28] "Plot" I must continue to call it, with all due deference to certain modern apologists.

[29] Horace Walpole (quoted in Longman, p. 69) says that Inigo Jones renewed the sides with "very bad Gothic." Assuming the accuracy of the prints in Dugdale, it is difficult to see where the Gothic comes in.

[30] Carlyle's "Cromwell," vol i., chap. iv.

[31] There is some confusion as to receipts and expenditure. I take Dugdale to mean that under the Charles commission £101,000 was raised, and £35,000 spent; but it seems uncertain whether we are to include Sir Paul Pindar's liberality in this sum. Dean Milman estimates that only £17,000 was confiscated. The enormous cost of the army caused a chronic deficit.

[32] "Cromwell," vol ii., part v.: The Levellers.

[33] Ibid. Friday, April 27, 1649.

[34] "Gleanings," p. 283.

[35] "Old St. Paul's," chap. v. I have found no corroboration for this interesting incident related by Ainsworth in detail.

[36] Yet the vacant space was in many places very narrow, and the bishop's palace was actually connected with the south-east end of the cathedral.

[37] My quotations from Taswell and Evelyn are taken from Milman, chap. xv. I cannot explain Taswell's mention of lightning. Some assert that St. Paul's caught fire on the Monday.




The church was cruciform, with aisles to every arm; and we will give the external dimensions before the fire of 1561, which include the lofty spire and exclude the portico. The figures must in all cases be considered approximate.

The extreme length east and west is difficult to ascertain: authorities do not agree; neither do their different estimates with their scales. Mr. William Longman, upon the authority of Mr. E.B. Ferrey, estimates it at 596 feet, and his accompanying scale even more. If the accuracy of the comparative ground-plan in "St. Paul's and Old City Life" can be depended upon, we must put it at a little over 580 feet; but Mr. F.C. Penrose's invaluable excavations do not appear to have fixed the precise termination of the west front. Mr. Longman also gives a comparative ground-plan of the two cathedrals from a drawing of Wren's (see below, p. 64); and this, though on a small scale, is perhaps our safest guide, and we shall probably not be far wrong if we say 580 feet or a little over, and divide our length as follows: nave, 252 feet; across transept, 104 feet; choir, 224 feet. To this must be added the portico of 40 feet, making a total length of at least 620 feet. The old west end was some 70 feet nearer Ludgate Hill, and with the portico 110 feet nearer. Length of transepts, 293 feet, the two arms being equal; breadth of both nave and transepts, 104 feet, Dugdale's scale making them exactly 100 feet: breadth of choir a trifle less. Height of nave from ground to apex of roof, about 130 feet, and of choir, 143 feet. Height of central tower by Wren's estimate, the lowest, 260 feet, and of spire about 200 feet; [37]altogether according to Wren, 460 feet, and according to others still higher. Height of western towers with the spires I take the liberty of adding, unknown. I have calculated the area at about 81,000 to 82,000 square feet; and in this have excluded St. Gregory's (say 93 X 23 feet plus the apse) and the Chapter House, with the surrounding cloister; a square of 90 feet and more than half covered in. These two members were structurally part and parcel of the building.

Thus we see that Old St. Paul's was by far the largest cathedral church in England. Its area exceeded York and Durham: its length Winchester: the height of its graceful lead-covered spire exceeded Salisbury; and this, taking Wren's safe and low estimate, and not counting ball, cross and eagle weathercock of some thirty feet more. If we allow St. Gregory and the covered part of the Chapter House area, as we should, it equalled in area or slightly exceeded alike its successor and Cologne and Florence, and was surpassed only by the new St. Peter's, Milan, and Seville. "See the bigness," said Bishop Corbet of Norwich, "and your eye never yet beheld such a goodly object."

The difficulties which present themselves in any attempt to describe the architecture still continue to beset us; such earlier drawings as we have are contradictory and rude to a degree.[38] The Nave was Norman, rebuilt to a great extent after the fire of 1137. The aisles had the usual round-headed windows, with the unusual (for England) circular windows above. There were flat buttresses; but I must reject the flying-buttresses of some restorers. The clerestory windows are a puzzle. Everybody maintains they were Pointed, and, if so, they would have been inserted at the same time as the new roof; but there seems to be no trustworthy authority for this. In Finden's engravings after Hollar they are taken at a peculiar angle which is apt to mislead. Hollar and his engravers give two windows on the south side in the interior, i.e., of the nave and clerestory. Both seem alike; and Inigo Jones' patched-up north and south fronts represent them both as round, so that the balance of evidence appears to be in favour of round.[39]

Another difficulty is the question of the existence or [38]nonexistence of the western towers. Mr. William Longman and Mr. E.B. Ferrey give none in their south-west view, because "no drawings or plates are known to exist which would settle the question." But it is our misfortune that we have to reconstruct Old St. Paul's practically without the help of drawings, until we come to Inigo Jones' finished work. In Dugdale's ground-plan they cover almost exactly the same area as one of the severies of the neighbouring aisles, and are flush with the west front; in both respects resembling those of Wells and other cathedrals. Besides, they are constantly mentioned, and at various dates, as Mr. Longman duly acknowledges. The southern tower was the original Lollards' Tower from which the Lambeth tower has borrowed its name, and was utilised for a prison by the Bishops of London for ecclesiastical offences. It was both bell and clock tower, and abutted on to both the cathedral proper and St. Gregory's. So late as 1573, Peter Burchet of the Middle Temple, shortly afterwards executed for murdering his gaoler in the tower, was imprisoned here for heresy, and would then have been sentenced to death but for recanting.

The north-west tower was likewise used at times as a prison, and was connected with the bishop's palace. In the days of Bonner, an upper floor almost as high as the parapet of the nave contained a room eight feet by thirteen; and the two towers were connected by a passage in the thickness of the west wall. Hollar's views show us that Inigo Jones overlaid these towers with a new coating, and finished them off with turrets. The original towers were probably crowned with spires of wood and lead, and both projected some thirty feet from the aisles. The high roof of the nave[40] of the middle of the thirteenth century had an angle of about forty-five, and replaced an older one during the rebuilding of the choir. The Central Tower had double flying-buttresses with pinnacles springing from the clerestory; and, assuming that the west towers had also spires, the grouping must have been nearly perfect.

Yet another puzzle is the architecture of the Transepts. The north and south windows at the ends are sometimes [39]represented as of a late date, but not by Hollar. They were probably Norman in their three stages. In his report[41] Wren says, "The North and South Wings have Aisles only on the West side, the others being originally shut up for the 'Consistory.'" What he meant was that the two east aisles were shut off from the rest of the transepts. Their architecture (of the same dimensions as their western counterparts) was Geometrical as regards windows, buttresses, and pinnacles. The rest of the transepts resembled the nave; and this part of the south front was very much broken. The cloister and chapter house occupied almost the whole of the west side of the south transept, and four bays of the nave; St. Gregory's Church occupied four more bays at the west of the nave, leaving only three aisle windows of the nave on the south side.

Taking the Choir next, we will at once dismiss as untrustworthy the view taken in 1610 in Speed, as reproduced in "St. Paul's Cathedral and Old City Life." Here the windows are represented as Norman; but this is not the first time I have found Speed at fault. We have records of the consecration of the western part in 1240, and of the pulling down of St. Faith's and of the completion of the eastern part by the end of the century, or, counting certain additions, a little later. The western and earlier part extended to the fourth window, which is broader than the rest; and the mouldings were somewhat different in this part; but still the matter is not without difficulty. The engravings represent the whole of the tracery of the twelve windows on either side as Geometrical. We should have expected the four western windows to be lancets; and there is no explanation for the uniformity. The East End contained a great window some thirty-seven feet in height, of seven lights and trefoiled at the head; and above this the circular rose window, the four angles of the square stage filled in with an arrangement of smaller circles. There were eastern aisle windows on either side of the main window, and four crypt lights below.

When we add that the buttresses were crowned with pinnacles to strengthen them in their resistance to the flying-buttresses of the clerestory and to the aisle walls beneath, and that these pinnacles contained niches for statues and were [40]terminated with crockets and finials, so far as we can judge the exterior of the choir was in every respect a fitting completion of the exterior of Old St. Paul's.

We have already said sufficient of Inigo Jones, how he flagged [i.e. cased] the outside of the nave and transept, says Wren, "with new stone of larger size than before."[42] Owing to this, the plates are silent as to the window mouldings and other details. Let us pass on to the


The Nave was of eleven bays (not twelve), with triforium and clerestory, and aisles in addition. The outer coating only of the pillars was of good stone. Wren says, "They are only cased without, and that with small stones, not one greater than a Man's Burden, but within is nothing but a Core of small Rubbishstone, and much Mortar, which easily crushes and yields to the Weight." Even the outer casing, he adds, "is much torn with age, and the Neglect of the Roof."[43] Double engaged shafts reached to the clerestory, and supported the springers. The actual arcading sprang from these shorter engaged shafts, which had cushioned capitals; and the arcading of the triforium was similar. The mouldings of the arches of arcading and triforium look like the lozenge. The vaulting, too heavy for its supports, was quadripartite, with cross springers intervening, and the longitudinal rib unbroken. The Transepts were each of four bays, and in their details similar to the nave. Their north aisles were shut off by blank walls which displayed here and there the architecture of the rest; and each aisle of four bays was further divided into two equal parts of two bays each, making four compartments altogether. In one or other of these four the Consistory Court, according to Wren, was held. To the arcading of nave and transepts, Wren says that in later years four new and stronger piers were added in the common centre under the tower for the purpose of strengthening it. As these are not shown in Dugdale's plates, we can only conjecture their date to have been after the fire of 1445. By the plan they were far more massive than the others, and we can well understand Wren's complaint that they broke in upon the perspective.

[41] The Nave of Old St. Paul's.

After Hollar.ToList

The dates of the nave and transepts have already been suggested. After the fire of 1087, Bishop Maurice and his successor built everything afresh on a larger scale. The fire of 1136 did great damage, and restoration on a considerable scale was effected. Mr. E.A. Freeman, by a happy coincidence, touches on restorations at Wells of this time, and contrasts our two dates.[44] After the fire of 1136 the restoration would be in a style "somewhat less massive, somewhat more highly [42]enriched." I have already pointed out Freeman's statement that the custom towards the middle of the eleventh century was to throw a coating of the more refined Romanesque of the day over earlier Norman work, and this agrees with the statements both of Wren and Pepys.

We may, then, assume that while the former ground-plan and general outline remained the same, after 1136 the pillars were encased and more elaborate mouldings added. By another statement of the same authority[45] it would seem that "the vaulting shafts run up from the ground" belong to the second restoration, when the vaulting itself was completed, and the date of this is indicated in Bishop Basset's letter of 1255.

Hence the nave and transepts were restored after the transitional Norman style, and vaulting shafts added in the fully developed Early English style, while the window tracery and other details of the isolated north aisles of the transepts were Geometrical. The four piers supporting the central tower were of a later date; but surely there must have been others, though less massive, before, otherwise it is difficult to understand how the tower and spire were supported.

Dugdale gives only two monuments in the nave. Thomas Kemp, who died bishop, reposed under the penultimate arch in the north side, in a chapel enclosed by a screen and railings. The second was that of Sir John Beauchamp, who died in 1358, and whose monument was under the eastern arch on the south side. Somehow the populace entertained the idea that this latter was the burial place of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, uncle to Henry VI., who was murdered in 1447 and buried at St. Alban's. The adjacent part of the south aisle was called Duke Humphrey's Walk: and the tomb seems to have been a sanctuary. At dinner-time, needy people who lacked both the means to purchase a meal and friends to provide them with one, and who chanced to loiter about this sanctuary, were said to dine with Duke Humphrey, and the phrase was equivalent to having no dinner at all.

[43] The Choir, Looking East.

After Hollar.ToList


The Choir.—As our ancestors looked eastward from under the central tower, both aisles of the choir were completely hidden from view by the height of the blank wall. The choir screen in the centre was of less altitude, had four niches for statues on either side, and a fine Pointed doorway in the centre [45]of three orders of arches. The plates are of a date too late to show any rood. Entering through this door was the choir of twelve bays. Stephen Wren implies that the whole of this magnificent member was completed by 1240;[46] but much of the architecture belonged to a somewhat later date, and the prints are corroborated by numerous documents.[47] The extension eastward on the site of Old St. Faith's must have almost amounted to a rebuilding. Where did this extension begin, and where did the choir of 1240 end? Wren noticed that the intercolumnar spacing was less irregular to the east. Mr. Longman points out that the clustered pillars towards the west differed from the others, as did their capitals and the triforium arcading, while the fifth arch-space was greater than all the rest. Here we have the original east end.

Westward, the square fronts of the pillars were left bare; eastward they were covered with clustered shafts, and the springers which supported the vaulting were continued to the ground. Westward, moreover, the triforium arcading differed from that to the east, and was occasionally even left blank.

There remains, however, this peculiarity, that according to the prints the main aisle windows were uniform throughout, and with Geometrical tracery. The vaulting differed from the nave in this, that the diagonals, where they met the longitudinal rib, had bosses, and three single cross ribs alternated instead of one. The longitudinal rib was again unbroken throughout.

That part of the Choir devoted to public worship was limited to the first seven bays, of which the three to the east were on a higher level. The stalls of the dignitaries extended four bays, and shut out the aisles. On the north side the organ occupied the third bay, and on the south the bishop's cathedral throne, as now, was at the end. The Chapel of St. Mary, or Lady Chapel, was east of the presbytery at the extreme end, with St. George's to the north and St. Dunstan's south; and the whole of the space outside the presbytery—north, south, east—was taken up by some of those monuments which contributed so much to the beauty and interest of the interior, and they even encroached inside. Dugdale gives some seventy to eighty. [46]Between the altar and the Lady Chapel was St. Erkenwald's noted and richly decorated shrine, and the tombs of Bishop Braybroke and Dean Nowell. Hard by in the north aisle slept John of Gaunt under his magnificent canopy; and supporter of Wycliffe though he was, his tomb was rifled and defiled during the Commonwealth. Near at hand was the monument of Sebba, King of the East Saxons—a convert of Erkenwald, from whom he received the cowl. In the disgraceful chaos after the Fire, the body of Sebba, says Dugdale "was found curiously enbalmed in sweet odours and clothed in rich robes." Here also could be read the unflattering epitaph over the monument of Ethelred the Unready; and hard by the tomb of John of Gaunt, in December, 1641, the corpse of another Fleming by birth was interred. Sir Anthony Van Dyck had spent the last nine years of his life in England at the invitation of Charles, and this great pupil of Rubens was probably the last buried in the choir before the Civil War. The Lady Chapel contained a wooden tablet to Sir Philip Sidney, with the inscription:

"England, Netherlands, the Heavens and the Arts,
The Souldiers and the World, have made six parts
Of noble Sidney; for none will suppose
That a small heap of stones can Sidney enclose.
His body hath England, for she it bred;
Netherlands his blood, in her defence shed;
The Heavens have his soule, the Arts his fame,
All Souldiers the grief, the World his good name."

Another wooden tablet in the north aisle was to the memory of his father-in-law, the statesman Walsingham; and numerous other statesmen, nobles, divines, and lawyers were buried, or at least remembered. We can but regret that these are now things of the past, and gone, with the exception of the effigy of Dean Donne—as remarkable as the man himself—and a few mutilated remains. Even Colet's is gone.

Before descending to the Crypt we may remark that the Interior must have fully emphasised the sense of majestic beauty produced by the Exterior. The long perspective eastward from the West Door, flanked on either side by the arcading and terminating with a glimpse of the rose window [47]over the choir screen, as depicted in Dugdale, leaves nothing to be desired.

The Crypt or Shrouds.—The crypt was underneath the eight eastern bays of the choir, and was about 170 feet in length.[48] The entrance was from the churchyard on the north side, and the gloom was lit up by basement windows both at the sides and east end. An additional row of piers down the centre supported the choir pavement above; and the whole undercroft may best be described as of eight arches in length and four in breadth, the arches springing from engaged columns and the vaulting quadripartite.

The mouldings of the clustered columns were plain rounds and hollows, and everything throughout appears to have been uniform and of the same date. The four western bays, rather more than half, formed the parish church of St. Faith; the eastern part the Jesus Chapel, which, after the suppression of the Guild, was added to St. Faith's. These two parts were separated by a wooden screen, and over the door was an image of Jesus, and underneath the inscription:

"Jesus our God and Saviour
To us and ours be Gouernour."

These remarks about the Jesus Chapel, be it noted, date only from the reign of Henry VI., by whom the Guild was incorporated, and the members of which held high festival on the days of the Transfiguration and of the Name of Jesus.

At the south-west corner of St. Faith's, but outside, was the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, and near this were the three Chapels of St. Anne, St. Sebastian, and St. Radegund. Dugdale gives a list of sixteen of the more noted tombs. They include that of William Lyly, the first master of Colet's famous foundation. Had his bones not been disturbed by Wren's workmen, they could still have been found underneath the arcading due south-west from Dean Milman's tomb.[49] To Lyly's memory his son George, Prebendary of Cantlers, also placed a tablet in the nave above.

[48]Having mentioned our last chapel and altar, it may here be added that the records enumerate not less than twenty chapels and three dozen altars altogether. Besides the Guild of Jesus there were four others—All Souls', the Annunciation, St. Catherine's, and the Minstrels—and these do not seem to include the oldest of all, that founded by Ralph de Diceto in 1197, which met four times a year to celebrate the mass of the Holy Ghost. We now go on to the surrounding buildings.


St. Gregory's, in reality part of the cathedral with the Lollards' Tower common to both, is mentioned as a parish church in early documents. Pulled down and rebuilt, in the plates of Hollar it appears as an uninteresting building, hiding from view the four west bays of the south aisle of the nave. After the Fire the parish was united for ecclesiastical purposes to St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street, and both have since been by a further union annexed to St. Martin, Ludgate Hill. The Petty Canons were parsons or rectors—that is to say, the income of the benefice was devoted to their support, and so continued until their suppression as a corporation. The Bishop's Palace was to the north-west, and joined the tower. We know nothing of its architecture, and it is last mentioned in Inigo Jones' Report of 1631.

Pardon Church Haugh, or Pardonchirche Haw, on the north side and east of the palace, was not a church at all, and was situated probably in St. Gregory's parish. How the "Haw," or small enclosure, received its name is doubtful: there may have been some unrecorded connection with pardons or indulgences. Here Thomas à Becket's father, who was Portreeve, built his chapel, rebuilt by Dean Thomas Moore, whose executors added three chantries. The Haugh was environed by a cloister, and the tombs in this part traditionally exceeded, both in number and workmanship, those in the cathedral, but this is all we know about them. In the cloister was the picture of the Dance of Death. Death, represented by a skeleton, leading away all sorts and conditions of mankind, beginning with Pope and Emperor. The accompanying verse of Dean John Lydgate, monk of Bury (or his translation from the French), was as gruesome as the[49] picture. Somewhere here the Petty Canons had their common hall. Near the cloister, and on the east side, was Walter Sheryngton's Library; and adjacent to the north-west corner of the neighbouring transept, his chapel with its two chantries. East of the Haugh and about opposite the north point of the transept, was the Charnel, a chapel with a warden and three chantries. Underneath was a crypt or vault for the decent reception of any bones that might be disinterred, and hence the name.

St. Paul's Cross.

From an Engraving in Wilkinson's "Londina Illustrata," after the picture in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries, London. ToList

[50]We have now arrived at the north side of the transept, and inside the angle formed by chancel and transept stood Paul's Cross, in St. Faith's parish. It was an octagon of some thirty-seven feet, and stood about twelve feet from the old cathedral. Mr. Penrose excavated for the site, and found it just at the north-east angle of the present choir. The last structure—of wood on a stone foundation, and with an open roof—was the gift of Thomas Kemp; but a pulpit cover existed in 1241. Above the roof rose the cross from which the name was derived; and from 1595 the whole was surrounded by a low brick wall, at the gate of which a verger was stationed. Against the choir wall was a gallery of two tiers: in the upper was the projecting royal box or closet, below the Lord Mayor's; and the parishioners of St. Faith had a right to seats. In very bad weather an adjournment was made to the crypt; but our sturdy forefathers endured alike stress of weather, length of discourse, and undiluted frankness of speech, after a manner that altogether puts us, their degenerate descendants, to shame.

From a rude picture, painted in 1620 at the instance of Henry Farley, we can see the preacher for the day with a sand-glass at his right hand. King James, in his state box, has his Queen on his right, and his unhappy son on his left, with the Lord Mayor below. These are to the left of the preacher, who faces the transept. The congregation, partly composed of parishioners of St. Faith, is seated on forms; and the men wear their steeple-crowned hats. A dog-whipper is vigorously belabouring a poor animal with a cat-o'-nine-tails; but the cries of the victim do not in the least disturb either preacher or audience; and two led horses are behind the preacher. A well-dressed youth, a late arrival, bows and accosts a grave-looking citizen with "I pray, sir, what is the text?" and the citizen answers, "The 2nd of Chron. xxiv." A second citizen [51]is dropping a coin into a large money-box by the transept door. The subject of the sermon, judging from the text, was the much-needed restoration; and perchance the preacher was none other than the diocesan, James' "king of preachers."[50]

In 1633 the preaching was removed into the choir "for the repaire of the Church," though we cannot quite see in what way this could help the repairing. Those who shortly afterwards obtained control of the City could tolerate neither the name nor the actual cross, and were afraid of disturbances as well. The structure came down, and although it was said at the time only to make way for another "fairer and bigger," was never restored again. The endowments out of which the preachers were paid went to the Sunday morning preachers, and these latter are the legitimate successors of the old-time divines.

The Chapter House and Cloister.

After Hollar.ToList

The Clochier, or Bell Tower, with its lead-covered spire crowned with a statue of St. Paul, stood at the east end [52]of the churchyard. There must have been a tower here from a very early period if this was the bell that summoned the folk-mote. The Guild of Jesus owned the four bells of later times; and when that body was dissolved they reverted to the Crown, and were lost at dice to a Sir Miles Partridge, subsequently executed for sharing in the fortunes of the Protector Somerset. The cloister of the Chapter House, or Convocation House, shut off almost entirely the west wall of the south transept and four bays of the south wall of the nave. This was of the unusual arrangement of two stories, and formed a square of some ninety feet on the plan, with seven windows in either story. This was called the "Lesser Cloisters," apparently to distinguish it from the cloister of Pardon Church Haugh. In the centre of the square, and approached through a vestibule from the east, was the Chapter House, an octagon with a diameter of nearly forty feet, supported by massive buttresses. In Dugdale's engraving the lofty roof has gone; and the tracery of Chapter House and Cloisters alike are Perpendicular. It will be seen there were two places for the two Houses of Convocation, one near the west door of the nave, and this.

There was St. Peter's College, where the Petty Canons lived, Holmes College, and the Lancaster College. Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, executed for high treason against his cousin, Edward II., who was canonised by the people, though not by the Pope, had a tablet somewhere in the church at which miracles were believed to be wrought, and two offices to himself. But whether the Lancaster College referred to him or to John of Gaunt, or where it was situated, is uncertain.

Of all these various buildings which surrounded the cathedral and added to its interest, the curious, by going to the south side of the nave, may discern some traces of the old Lesser Cloisters and Chapter House. Everything else has gone so completely that it would be difficult to fix even the exact site.

[53] Plan of Old St. Paul's in 1666.





Length of Nave   252 feet
Length across Transept 104 feet
Length of Choir 224 feet
  580 feet
Length across Portico 40 feet
Total length 620 feet
Length of Transept 293 feet
Breadth of Nave 104 feet
Height of Central Tower 260 feet
Height Spire 200 feet
Total height 460* feet
Height of Nave roof 130 feet
Height Choir 143 feet
Area about 80,000 sq. ft.
* This is Wren's estimate; others are higher.


[38] Particularly so in the "Gleanings."

[39] I.e., assuming that Inigo Jones did not convert pointed into round.

[40] Bishop Fulk Basset sent out in 1255 letters hortatory for the contributions of the faithful. "Quod Ecclesia St. Pauli, in retroactis temporibus, tantis turbinibus fuit quassata, &c. ut totum ejus tectum, jam quasi in ruinam gravissimam declinare videtur" (Dugdale, p. 9).

[41] "Parentalia," p. 276.

[42] "Parentalia," p. 275.

[43] Ibid.

[44] "Wells," p. 69. His exact dates are shortly after 1088 and 1136.

[45] "Wells," p. 132.

[46] "Parentalia," p. 273.

[47] Particularly the 68 Indulgences between 1228-1316 cited in "Documents Illustrating," p. 174.

[48] This crypt, under the extension of the thirteenth century choir, cannot be that mentioned by William of Malmesbury. According to the plan in Dugdale, there was no crypt underneath the Norman cathedral.

[49] "Chapters on the History" (pp. 91-93) gives more details about the crypt. Dean Milman calls Lyly John; and Chambers' "Book of Days" buries him in the churchyard.

[50] "Chapters in the History," with plate, pp. 159, 222, etc.




Christopher Wren was the most distinguished member of a distinguished family. His father's elder brother, Matthew, was fellow and senior treasurer of Pembroke College, Cambridge, when James I. visited that university in 1611, and won the favour of his sovereign by the ability with which he acquitted himself in the "Philosophy Act." After serving as chaplain to Charles in the journey to Spain, he received, amongst other preferments, the Mastership of Pembroke and the Deaneries of Windsor and Wolverhampton, and then was made, in quick succession, Bishop of Hereford, Norwich, and Ely. We shall see that the Cathedral of Ely exercised an influence over his nephew in designing the Dome of St. Paul's. Matthew survived the Commonwealth after a lengthy imprisonment without trial, and returned to Ely after the Restoration. His younger brother Christopher was chaplain to Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, who preferred him to the Rectory of East Knoyle, Wilts.[51] Charles I. made him chaplain in ordinary; and when Matthew was preferred to Norwich, his brother succeeded him in his two deaneries. The Dean, like his brother, was a learned scholar, and to him posterity is indebted for the preservation of many valuable records at [56]Windsor during the troubled times. He married Mary, heiress of Robert Cox, of Founthill, in Wiltshire, and died in poverty and deprived of his benefices before the Restoration. The only surviving son of the marriage, Christopher, was born at East Knoyle, October 20, 1632. Like others who have eventually lived to an extreme old age, he was delicate during childhood, and, instead of being sent early to school, received his primary instruction privately. Like his father before him, he displayed great aptitude for mathematics, both pure and applied, and was fortunate enough to have a capable teacher in Dr. William Holder, the husband of a sister, in whose house his father took refuge and died after his ejection from Windsor. At the age of thirteen he was sent for a short period to Westminster, and about the same time invented a new astronomical instrument. The next year he was admitted as a gentleman commoner at Wadham College, Oxford. Both the Warden, Dr. John Wilkins, and the Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Dr. Seth Ward, observed his early promise, and gave him every encouragement in the pursuit of his favourite studies, and he continued to design ingenious instruments and models, Dr. Charles Scarborough, a surgeon of note, making use of his talents in preparing pasteboard models for his anatomical lectures.[52] His intellectual precocity can only be compared to that of John Stuart Mill, and with this difference, that whereas Mill was forced by his father like a plant under glass, Wren's studies were spontaneous and voluntary.

Graduating in 1650, he was elected three years later, after taking his Master's degree, to a Fellowship of All Souls, the next year began his friendship with John Evelyn, and he was subsequently chosen Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College[53] and Savilian Professor at Oxford. Isaac Newton in the "Principia" cites him as an authority on mathematics, and, had he never turned his attention to architecture, he would still have taken high rank in other ways. By 1663, as appears by a letter of Thomas Sprat, afterwards Bishop of Rochester, he was looked upon as the fittest man to restore the dilapidated St. Paul's, and was about the same time asked to go to Tangiers to direct the extensive fortifications and harbour projected there. He refused the offer of Tangiers on the plea of health, "and humbly prayed his Majesty to allow of his Excuse, and to command his duty in England." Although this post was to be accompanied by a reversionary grant of the Surveyor Generalship of the Royal Works, one may well ask the question, who, had he accepted it, would have rebuilt St. Paul's?[54]

[57] Elevation and Section of Wren's Rejected Design for St. Paul's.

From his drawings in All Souls' College, Oxford, as reproduced in facsimile in Blomfield's "Renaissance Architecture in England."ToList


[59]We now begin to find him devoting what Sprat most truly called "that great genius of yours" to architecture. He examined carefully the leading churches of England and of some parts of the Continent.[55] He went to Paris the year of the Plague, and it is characteristic of the taste of his time that no mediæval cathedral passed on the way is mentioned. At Paris, under the auspices of Mazarin, many architects and artists were assembled. "I hope I shall give you a very good Account of all the best Artists in France," he wrote to a friend. "My business now is to pry into Trades and Arts. I put myself into all shapes to humour them; 'tis a comedy to me, and tho' sometimes expenceful, I am loth yet to leave it." He mentions not only leading men like Colbert, but more than twenty architects, painters, and designers he met, and above all Bernini, the architect of the Louvre. "Bernini's designs of the Louvre I would have given my skin for; but the old reserved Italian gave me but a five Minutes View; it was five little designs on Paper, for which he had received as many thousand Pistoles: I had only time to copy it in my Fancy and Memory." In after years, when his enthusiasm [60]had been tempered by a more mature judgment, this eulogium would have been materially qualified. We may add here that he was in course of time knighted, and became President of the Royal Society.

Sir Christopher Wren.

From the engraving in Elmes' Memoirs of Sir C. Wren, after the portrait by Kneller at the Royal Society's rooms.ToList

Such was the man to whom not merely the king and his advisers, but public opinion, turned to repair the ravages of the Fire, and in particular to rebuild St. Paul's. It was the Surveyor General, Sir John Denham, who recommended Wren as his successor, and the death of Denham in March, 1668, gave this recommendation full effect. One of Wren's many [61]disappointments was that the opportunity was missed of laying out afresh the whole City from Temple Bar to Tower Hill, and from Moorfields to the river. His inventive genius projected broad streets, generally rectangular, with piazzas, each the meeting-point of eight thoroughfares, and quays and terraces along the river bank. He calculated that by obliterating the numerous churchyards and laying out healthier cemeteries in the suburbs, no owner would lose a square foot of ground, and that, although they would not find their property exactly on the same site, every building would be replaced, with the immense compensation of an excellent situation in the finest and healthiest city in the whole world. By this plan St. Paul's would have directly faced a long and broad street running west and passing through the present Law Courts, with St. Dunstan's Church in the centre beyond the Fleet, and the narrow Strand joining from the west at Temple Bar. At Ludgate, three hundred yards west of the cathedral, this avenue of a width of some thirty yards began to open out until, opposite the west front, it had increased to a breadth of a hundred yards, leaving ample room for a piazza. Here an acute bifurcation was formed, the northern street leading to the Exchange; the southern, a broader and a nobler Cannon Street, with St. Paul's between. This scheme, as laid before the King and Parliament, Wren declared to be thoroughly practicable. Certainly it would have prevented congestion of traffic unto this day, and given St. Paul's (although somewhat hemmed in on the east) a position unique amongst churches.[56] "The only and as it happened unsurmountable Difficulty remaining was the obstinate Averseness of great Part of the Citizens to alter their old Properties, and to secede from building their Houses again on the old Ground and Foundations"; and as rebuilding began almost as soon as the smoke of the Fire had ceased, and long before anything definite could be decided upon, a great opportunity was lost. The estimated three-quarters of a million of souls and the vehicles innumerable now crossing the boundaries every weekday are compelled, too often, to traverse choked and narrow streets, and not without danger to life and limb; while St. Paul's itself, cribbed, cabined, confined, becomes in [62]each successive generation more hemmed in as the surrounding emporiums and magazines grow taller and taller.

At first the idea was entertained of restoring the ruins, but this was finally abandoned by royal warrant to the Commissioners in 1668, and clearing and excavations began. The workmen with pickaxes stood on the top of the walls some eighty feet high, and others below cleared away the dislodged stones—a dangerous task in which lives were lost. Of the Central Tower some two hundred feet remained, and a more expeditious plan was adopted. A deal box, containing eighteen pounds of gunpowder, was exploded level with the foundations at the centre of the north-west pillar, and the adjacent arches were lifted some nine inches, while these ruins "suddenly jumping down, made a great Heap of Ruin in the Place without scattering." Wren estimated the whole weight lifted at three thousand tons, and the labour saved equal to that of a battalion of a thousand men. When the alarmed inhabitants of the neighbourhood heard and felt the concussion, they naturally took it for an earthquake. In the surveyor's absence a subordinate used too much powder in attempting a second mine, and neither burying it low enough nor building up the mouth, a stone was projected through an open window into a room where some women were sitting at work. Although no one was hit, the neighbours took alarm, and successfully agitated against all further blasting. Delay was caused, and finally a battering-ram some forty feet in length, worked by thirty men, completed the demolition. The stones and rubbish were cleared away, and used in different buildings and in repairing the streets. Afterwards some houses on the north side which encroached on the building, and may have been those that assisted the passage of the Fire, were levelled, and their site included in the churchyard.

When at length the ruins of Old St. Paul's had come down and the huge mass of wreckage been cleared away, working from the west the excavations for the new foundations were begun. The old cathedral had rested on a layer of loam, or "pot earth" or "brick earth," near the surface; and wells being sunk at various points to ascertain the depth of this, it was found that the loam, owing to the ground sloping towards the south, gradually diminished from a depth of six feet to [63]four. Sinking further, they found sand so loose as to run through the fingers; next, freshwater shells and more sand, and continuing through hard beach or gravel, they reached at last the London clay.[57] At one point of the north-east corner, where the loam had been dug out, Wren was compelled to rest the foundations on the clay; and it seems almost a pity that this was not universally adopted, at whatever additional cost of time and labour, in preference to the loam. The building had not long been completed ere the great weight of the dome caused some of the piers to sink from an inch to more than two inches, and Edward Strong the younger had to repair cracks and fissures.[58] Dean Milman tells us that in his time the City authorities once contemplated a sewer on the south side; but the surveyor, Mr. R. Cockerell, remembering that the sand and shells underneath the loam would be in danger of oozing out, went in great haste to him, and on their joint representation the project was abandoned.

The old cathedral was not due east and west, neither did it directly face Ludgate Hill. Owing to the lie of the land cleared away, both of these peculiarities were increased by the surveyor, and the axis of the New St. Paul's was swung some seven degrees further north than the Old. He thereby made the best of his somewhat cramped site, and avoided the foundations of the old walls. The excavations were not completed nor the site fully cleared and made ready until 1674.

[64] Relative Position and Area of the Ground-Plans of Old and New St. Paul's.

Reproduced from Longman's "Three Cathedrals of St. Paul's." ToList

It has been the lament of many that the Pointed arch had by the time of the Fire died out, and that the Renaissance style, borrowed from Italy, had taken the place in England of Gothic architecture. "About two hundred years ago," we are told in the "Parentalia," "when ingenious Men began to reform the Roman Language to the Purity which they assigned and fixed to the Time of Augustus and of that Century, the Architects also, ashamed of the modern Barbarity of Building, began to examine carefully the Ruins of Old Rome and Italy; to search into the Orders and Proportions, and to establish them by inviolable Rules: so to their Labour and Industry we owe in a great Degree the Restoration of Architecture." Here we have the Renaissance style defined. Wren would naturally have fallen in with the fashion of his own time; and the faults he found in his elaborate surveys at Old St. Paul's, Salisbury, and elsewhere confirmed him in his adherence. He found "a Discernment of no contemptible Art, Ingenuity and geometrical Skill in the Design and Execution of some few"; but this was more than counterbalanced by grave [65]faults: "An affectation of Height and Grandeur, tho' without Regularity and good Proportion, in most of them." They are loaded with too much carving and tracery, and in other ways offend his taste, but chiefly in the neglect of a due regard to stability. "There is scarce any Gothick Cathedral, that I have seen, at home or abroad, wherein I have not observed the Pillars to yield and bend inwards from the Weight of the Vault of the Aile.... For this Reason this Form of Churches has been rejected by modern Architects abroad who use the better and Roman Art of Architecture.... Almost all the Cathedrals of the Gothick Form are weak and defective in the Poise of the Vault of the Aile."[59] On the other hand, he reckoned the dome "a form of church-building unknown in England, but of wonderful Grace," and, moreover, the dome wasted a minimum of space, whilst a mediæval cathedral could accommodate only a small auditory in proportion to its large area, so that every one could both see and hear. Any place of worship was in his eyes badly or imperfectly constructed in which the preacher's voice could not travel so as to be distinctly heard. There is much to be said on both sides in regard to the comparative merits of Gothic and Renaissance; and instead of echoing complaints, it is surely better to be thankful we have one cathedral, situated in the greatest centre of population, in the latter style.[60]

Model of Wren's First Design

Reproduced from Longman's "Three Cathedrals," &c.
[The western cupola is an addition to the design shown on p. 57]ToList

In 1668 a small committee of eight, in addition to the Dean and Chapter, was appointed, and about the same time Wren set [66]seriously to work and soon after produced his first design (see p. 57). In addition to the reasons already mentioned, he had at first to take into consideration the all-important question of finance, for when he began there were only voluntary contributions to fall back upon; but in 1670 a share of the import duties on coal was granted, and soon constituted the greater part of the rebuilding fund. In 1673 an enlarged commission of over a hundred members was nominated by royal warrant, with the Lord Mayor at its head, who took precedence over the Primate and the Bishop; and Wren laid his first design before them, of which a model was made. This was a kind of Greek cross; the external order was the Corinthian, with Attic above. It bore a general resemblance to a rotunda, and was crowned with a dome taken from the Pantheon at Rome. This dome was of about the same diameter as the present, but less lofty, and was likewise supported by eight pillars. West of the rotunda part was the foot of the cross, and a secondary dome [67]was afterwards added. When Wren began to design this we have seen that amongst other considerations was that of finance[61]; but even had the coal dues been then granted, it is certain that he would have adhered to it, for it was always a great favourite. In designing it he took two facts into consideration: (1) that the outdoor sermons, formerly preached at the Cross, were for the future to be preached inside, and that a large auditorium would be required for this purpose (2) that religious processions inside were now discouraged, and that a nave and aisles were in consequence a useless waste of space and means.[62] Forgetting these two important [68]items, a vast amount of adverse criticism has been bestowed upon Wren's favourite. Its main drawback was the absence of a proper Sacrarium; and yet so obvious were its advantages, that when a cathedral was lately proposed for Liverpool, no less an authority on architecture than the late Canon Venables advocated its adoption.

Interior of the Model.

A sketch by the Rev J.L. Petit.ToList

The clergy and others wanted something with more resemblance to the old cathedrals; and first of all the surveyor tried to humour them by adding another secondary dome to the west. He next set to work making a great number of sketches, merely, as his grandson says, for "Discource sake"; and one of these was so much approved of that a model was again made. But the demand for a building with choir, nave, and aisles complete continued, and required to be satisfied; and at length one design met with the approval of the king; and on the 14th of May, 1675, Charles issued his warrant to the commissioners accordingly, stating that he approved of this particular design because it was "very artificial, proper, and useful," and could be built by parts, and that his commissioners were to begin at once with "the East-end or Quire."

Wren had already become disgusted with the impediments and delays caused by incompetent judges, and had determined to discontinue making his drawings and plans public.[63]

We shall never know all that took place during the building so as to be able to account for the deviations from this design. The king gave the surveyor permission to make alterations "rather ornamental than essential," and left the whole to his management, so that the royal commission was chiefly employed as treasurers. But even this scarcely explains the great alterations made. The drum and dome of the design, of comparatively modest dimensions, are crowned with a minaret-like spire. The west front has but one order of columns, and the towers are insignificant to a degree. These are amongst the features which were altered, and they were "essential" as distinct from "ornamental." We know that Wren developed as his experience was enlarged; and we know also that certain alterations were made contrary to his wish. [69]Beyond this we are lost in conjecture at the poverty of his design. Perhaps, despising the taste of the commissioners, he never seriously intended to adhere to it, anticipating he would be his own master.

The "Warrant" Design.

From a drawing in All Souls' College, Oxford. Reproduced from Blomfield's "Renaissance Architecture."ToList

[70]Quickly following on the royal warrant, the first stone was laid June 21, 1675, at the south east corner of the choir.[64] By 1685 the walls of the choir were finished, with the north and south porticoes, and the dome piers raised to a like height. When fixing the centre of his dome, Wren directed a labourer to place a stone as a mark. The man took a broken fragment of an old gravestone on which was inscribed the word Resurgam; and by many this was naturally taken as a favourable augury. In 1686 the old west end, hitherto left undisturbed in its ruins, was cleared away, and two years later the choir was ready for its roof; but shortly after, a fire at the west of the north choir aisle, in a room allotted to the organ-builder, caused a slight delay. Not until 1697 was the choir ready for divine service.

After long years of war, during which the country had suffered from the heavy burden of taxation, and her commerce had been impaired, the treaty of Ryswick was at length signed, sealed, and ratified; and Louis XIV. acknowledged William and Mary as the lawful sovereigns of these isles. The king returned from the Continent in November, 1697, and was received with the greatest enthusiasm. Stock almost rose, and gold almost fell, to par; and every prospect of a returning prosperity put the public, whatever their politics, in a good humour. A council at which William presided, resolved that the second day of December should be kept as a day of Thanksgiving; and the Chapter decided that the day of Thanksgiving should be the day for the consecration of the choir. William wished to attend himself; but it was represented that if he went in procession from Whitehall, the whole population would turn out, and the parish churches be empty; and he had to rest content with a service in his palace. At St. Paul's the civic representatives attended in full state, and Bishop Compton, Dean Sherlock, and the cathedral staff, occupied the new stalls of Grinling Gibbons. The temporary organ accompanied the chanting, and a special prayer incorporated into the Communion office ran: "We offer our devout praises and thanksgivings to Thee for this Thy mercy, humbly beseeching Thee to perfect and establish Thy good work. [71]Thou, O Lord, dwellest not in houses made with hands; heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; but though Thy throne is in heaven, earth is Thy footstool; vouchsafe, therefore, we beseech Thee, Thy gracious presence in this Thy house to hear our prayers, and accept our sacrifices [72]of praise and thanksgiving." Bishop Compton, who preached, took for his text, "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House of the Lord." His sermon has not come down to us, but no doubt he reminded the clergy and congregation that the day of Thanksgiving had been selected because it was the dedication of their metropolitan temple to the public worship of the religion of the Prince of Peace; that after a lapse of thirty years, and in spite of the hardship and distress engendered by plague, fire, and war, London was raising another building on the spot consecrated by centuries of prayer and praise; and that as the result of the treaty of peace, their national religion was assured, while the metropolis might continue to extend her commerce without fear of disaster and bankruptcy.[65]

A Later Design

From Sir C. Wren's drawings at All Souls' College.
[This is approximately the design finally adopted.]ToList

Early in 1699, although the nave was not completed, the north-west chapel was opened for daily morning service, at six in the summer, and seven in the winter. Queen Anne attended in state for the victories of Marlborough on land, and of Ormond and Rook at sea (Nov. 12, 1702). Two years later came Blenheim; and she went again in her state coach drawn by eight bays. From the west door to the choir, under the unfinished vaulting and dome, the way was lined by a detachment of Foot Guards; and as the long procession advanced, the hautboys played and the drums beat until the Queen and her husband had reached their throne in the centre of the choir towards the west, when, after a pause, service began. Dean Sherlock preached from the text, "Doubtless there is a God that judgeth the earth"; and the service, which began at one, lasted some three hours. On four other occasions Anne repeated these visits—thrice for victories, and once for the union of England and Scotland.[66]

Although the commissioners decided that the dome was to be covered with copper, lead was used instead, and the work steadily progressed until two years after the last royal visit, when the fabric was completed. Wren was now seventy-eight [73]years of age, and his son Christopher represented him when, in company with the master-mason, Edward Strong, and other free and accepted masons, the last stone was laid on the summit of the lantern, a great crowd looking on from below. Stephen was able to reflect with satisfaction that the cathedral had been begun and finished by his grandfather, and practically during the time of one bishop, for Henchman had died a few months after the laying of the first stone; and he contrasted this with St. Peter's at Rome, where, with an unlimited supply of marble and other costly building materials ready at hand, one hundred and fifty-three years had been required under nineteen popes from Julius II. to Innocent X., and under twelve architects from Bramante to Berninus. Stephen forgot, however, that St. Peter's is more than twice the size of St. Paul's, and that only the bare fabric of the latter was ready, and that it still wanted its mosaics and other adornments.

Under Wren as Surveyor-General we have already mentioned the master-mason Edward Strong and his son Edward. John Oliver was Assistant-Surveyor and Purveyor, with a salary of £100; Lawrence Spencer was Clerk of the Works and Pay-master at a like salary; Thomas Russell was Clerk of the Cheque at a salary of £50, and called over the roll of workmen at six in the morning, one in the afternoon, and six in the evening.[67] It has to be added that Wren and the royal commissioners did not agree; and that about the time of the consecration of the choir, an Act was passed with a clause suspending "a moiety of the Surveyor's Salary until the said Church should be finished, thereby the better to encourage him to finish the same with the utmost Diligence and Expedition." His salary of £200 was thus reduced temporarily to £100, and the arrears, in accordance with the terms of this Act, were not made good until the completion. And worse than this was the charge brought against him that he deliberately delayed the building so that his pittance of two hundred a year might be continued. The commissioners knew nothing of building, and, like many people of to-day, may have thought that the old cathedrals were finished in a few years. Fortunately, Wren was an enthusiast in his great work, and the happy possessor of an equable temperament that nothing could seriously disturb. [74]Otherwise this disgraceful treatment of so old a man might well have been fatal.

It is better to turn away from this as quickly as may be, and contemplate with a laudable pride the great achievement of our ancestors. The Plague, and still more the Fire, must have seriously impoverished the City; and in 1703 the great storm did immense damage. Of the five-and-thirty years the cathedral was in building, one half were years of war; and the public confidence and security were further disturbed by a revolution, by civil war in Ireland, and by plots and intrigues without number, following in the wake of a disputed succession. Yet the City raised, and almost without complaint, a sum enormous in those days, and which would, even in our own time, be reckoned as serious.

I have calculated the expense as follows. My figures lay no claim to infallibility—I doubt whether a chartered accountant could make a quite accurate balance-sheet—but they may be taken as fairly approximate:—

  £    s.   d.
Coal Dues 810,181   18    2
Subscriptions and Miscellaneous 68,341   14    1
Total £878,523   12    3
  £    s.   d.
Preliminary 10,909    7    8
Purchase of Houses 14,808    3  10
Cost as in "Parentalia" 736,752    2    3
Interest on Loans 83,744   18    9
Total £846,214   12    6
Balance in 1723 £32,308   19    9

My balance does not tally with Mr. Longman's. He tells us that the coal duty, which was on sea-borne coal, was 1s. 6d. per chaldron, whereof four-fifths went to St. Paul's. The age of Indulgences was over, and, unlike the cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the cost of building St. Paul's was chiefly defrayed by a public impost; and this cost may be estimated in round numbers at about three-quarters of a million for the actual building, with an additional hundred thousand for incidental expenses.


[51] This village, near Salisbury, is called East Knoyle, Knoyle Magna, and Bishop-Knoyle. The entry of baptism runs: "Christopher (2nd sic.) sonne of Christopher Wren Doctor in Divinitie and Rector now." The rector placed this entry, dated only "10th," before March, 1632/31 in a vacant place. Hence the statement that the surveyor was born in 1631, but both the rector and Christopher himself dated the birth October 20, 1632. My thanks are due to the Rev. Canon Milford, Rector of East Knoyle, for the above, and also to his copy of Miss Lucy Phillimore's "Life."

[52] "Parentalia," p. 227 and elsewhere, gives details of his extensive knowledge of anatomy in its various branches.

[53] His inaugural address at Gresham College, in Latin, when he was twenty-five (1657) fills eight folios in the "Parentalia," and is given in facsimile of his handwriting.

[54] The humorous letter of Sprat to Wren says: "I endeavoured to persuade him [the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford] that the drawing of Lines in Sir Harry Savill's School was not altogether of so great a Concernment for the Benefit of Christendom, as the rebuilding of St. Paul's or the fortifying of Tangier: (for I understood those were the great Works in which that extraordinary genius of yours was judg'd necessary to be employed)" ("Parentalia," p. 260).

[55] As it seems to have been ignored how carefully Wren studied cathedrals and other buildings, the following may be of interest: "These Surveys [of Salisbury with elaborate report for the Bishop, Seth Ward] and other occasional Inspections of the most noted cathedral Churches and Chapels in England and foreign Parts" ("Parentalia," p. 306). He never saw, we may assume, his three favourite buildings at Rome—the Pantheon, the Basilica of Maxentius, and St. Peter's.

[56] Ground-plan in "Parentalia," p. 268; and Blomfield's "Renaissance Architecture in England."

[57] Milman, p. 407, with geological diagram. The archæological remains disinterred have been already mentioned, pp. 3 and 4.

[58] Mr. Longman seems to think that the cathedral rests on the loam. The following shows that the strata are irregular, and that in some places the loam is very thin. Edward Strong the younger "also repaired all the blemishes and fractures in the several legs and arches of the dome, occasioned by the great weight of the said dome pressing upon the foundation; the earth under the same being of an unequal temper the loamy part thereof gave more way to the great weights than that which was of gravel; so that the south-west quarter of the dome, and the six smaller legs of the other quarters of the dome, having less superficies, sunk into the thinner part of the loamy ground, an inch in some places, in others two inches, and in other places something more; and the other quarters of the dome, being on the thicker part of the loamy ground and gravel, it did not give so much way to the great weights as the other did, which occasioned the fractures and blemishes in the several arches and legs of the dome." (Clutterbuck, "History of Hertfordshire," vol. i., pp. 167-168; quoted in Dugdale, note, p. 173) Clutterbuck has a great deal to say about the Strongs, father and son, and their family.

[59] "Parentalia," pp. 298, 304, et seq. Wren did not approve of, though he used, the term "Gothic." "The Goths were rather destroyers than builders; I think it [the Gothic] should with more reason be called the Saracen style" (Ibid., p. 297). "The Saracenick Architecture refined by the Christians" (Ibid., p. 306). Cf. Freeman, Fortnightly Review, October, 1872.

[60] Wren estimated that a preacher of average voice might be heard fifty feet in front, twenty behind, and thirty on either side, provided he did not drop his voice at the end of the sentence. He contended that the French preachers were heard further than the English, because they raised their voices at the end of the sentence, just where the words often required particular emphasis to express the meaning. The omission of this was a fault even of capable preachers, was "insufferable," and ought to be corrected at school. After two centuries his criticism still holds good ("Parentalia," p. 320). His remarks upon architecture ought to be reprinted from the "Parentalia," and made compulsory for every student and candidate.

[61] "Parentalia," pp. 281-282, shows how questions of finance entered into Wren's conception of his famous First Design.

[62] "Parentalia," p. 282.

[63] Wren's numerous designs and drawings are undated, and the "Parentalia" is anything but clear. In consequence there has been a certain amount of confusion as to the identity both of the First Design and of the approved Warrant Design.

[64] Some say by the Bishop Humphrey Henchman, who died in the October following; some by the surveyor, and others by the master-mason, Strong. There seems to have been no religious service or great ceremony.

[65] Macaulay, followed by others, speaks merely of the "opening"; the prayer I have quoted from Dugdale shows that the opening was a consecration service. I am unaware that the rest of the cathedral has ever been consecrated; and if not, it resembles Lincoln and many another mediæval church (Freeman's "Wells," p. 77).

[66] June 27, 1706; December 31, 1706; May 1, 1707 (for the Union); August 19, 1708.

[67] Harleian MS. 4941, quoted in Dugdale, p. 140, note. This was at the beginning.



[76] St. Paul's Cathedral, from the West.






"It would be difficult to find two works of Art designed more essentially on the same principle than Milton's 'Paradise Lost' and Wren's St. Paul's Cathedral. The Bible narrative transposed into the forms of a Greek epic, required the genius of a Milton to make it tolerable; but the splendour of even his powers does not make us less regret that he had not poured forth the poetry with which his heart was swelling in some form that would have freed him from the trammels which the pedantry of his age imposed upon him. What the Iliad and the Æneid were to Milton, the Pantheon and the Temple of Peace were to Wren. It was necessary he should try to conceal his Christian Church in the guise of a Roman Temple. Still the idea of the Christian cathedral is always present, and reappears in every form, but so, too, does that of the Heathen temple—two conflicting elements in contact—neither subduing the other, but making their discord so apparent as to destroy to a very considerable extent the beauty either would possess if separate."[68]

[78]I give this quotation at length, not because I by any means agree with one half of the fault-finding, but because it helps to explain the architecture. St. Paul's is often called "Classical," or "Roman," or "Italian"; it is not one of these three: it is English Renaissance. It was, too, a distinctly happy thought of Fergusson to suggest that the Cathedral takes a like place in English architecture to that which the immortal "Paradise Lost" does in English literature. The ground-plan suggests the Gothic; the pilasters and entablature the Greek and Roman; the round arch is found in both Roman and Romanesque, and that commanding feature, the Dome, is the common property of many styles and many ages. The general plan resembles the long or Latin Cross, with transepts of greater breadth than length; and the uniformity is broken by an apse at the east, and the two chapels at the west end.

The best views are, perhaps, the two oblique ones approaching from Ludgate Hill and from Cannon Street. The upward view from the churchyard on the south side by the angle of nave and transept gives the proportions of the lower stages of the dome effectively; and those who care to make the weary ascent of one of the Crystal Palace towers, will be rewarded by the aspect of the dome emerging above the pall of surrounding smoke, and appearing to preside like a watchful and protecting deity over the destinies of the city at its feet.

The dimensions are as follows, in feet:—Length, 513, which may thus be divided: nave and portico, 223; breadth of transept, 122; length of choir, 168. Length of transepts, 248 feet. Breadth of nave, 123; of transept and choir a trifle less; of west front with chapels, 179. Height, to summit of balustrade, 108; to apex of roof, 120; to stone gallery, 182; to base of sphere, 220; to upper gallery at the summit of the dome, 281; to the summit of the cross, 363 feet.

The material is from the quarries of Portland, chosen because of its durability in regard to both weather and smoke, the facilities for transport, and the size of the blocks. Had Roche Abbey stone from South Yorkshire been more easily obtainable, these quarries might have been used as well. The size of the blocks contributes an important feature to the architecture, where so much depends upon the breadth of four feet; and even the procuring of this, as time went on, and the stonecutters had to work at a greater distance from the sea, became [79]a matter of delay and difficulty, and the masons might have to wait months for their blocks.

The combination of the stability with such lightness and gracefulness as were procurable, can in a measure be estimated by the comparative area taken up by the walls, pillars, and other points of support. This area amounts to seventeen per cent., and compares favourably with St. Peter's at Rome, which is more than half as much again, as well as with St. Sophia and the Duomo at Florence. On the other hand many of our Gothic cathedrals require only ten per cent.[69] Wren would have said that they lack stability, and that he had calculated accurately on the minimum of massiveness requisite for security; and besides this, they have no heavy dome to be poised. Throughout there are two stages or stories. The lower has the Corinthian Order, which was always Wren's favourite, as he held that it was at once more graceful and bore a greater weight of entablature than the earlier Doric and Ionic. Wren's first design of a Greek Cross followed St. Peter's in consisting of one main order plus an attic.[70] While Bramante at St. Peter's found stones of nine feet in diameter in the quarries of Tivoli, Wren, after making inquiries all over, could not procure sufficient stone for his columns and pilasters of a greater diameter than four feet, and he would not depart, at least to any degree, from what he held to be the correct Corinthian height of nine diameters. Had a sufficient quantity of larger blocks been obtainable, we should have had the Corinthian order plus the attic, instead of the two regular orders of Corinthian and Composite.[71] And this, it seems, was [80]his reason for departing in this respect from the First Design; as also partially from the Approved Design. The pilasters are grouped in pairs throughout, not only for stability, but also for sufficient space for the circular-headed windows ornamented with festoons. Above the entablature rises the second stage or story, or order. Here the coupled pilasters have that slight difference in base and more particularly in capital which constitutes the Composite order. The capitals have the larger scrolls or volutes of the Ionic above the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian proper. In reality the difference is, here, but slight; and the best authorities maintain that there is less difference between the Corinthian and the Composite than between different examples of the Corinthian itself. The reason for the dressed niches, with pediments instead of windows, like those in the lower stage, will come later on. A main architrave and cornice run round the entire building like an unbroken string course, and above this, excepting at the different fronts, a balustrade, to which a history is attached.

A new commission had been nominated after the death of Queen Anne[72] (which by the way included Sir Isaac Newton), and this commission insisted upon a balustrade unless the surveyor "do in writing under his hand set forth that it is contrary to the principles of architecture, and give his opinion in a fortnight's time." Wren answered, "Persons of little skill did expect, I believe, something they had been used to in Gothic structures, and ladies think nothing well without an edging." He urged that he had already terminated the building, and that his design of pairs of pedestals in continuation of the pilasters would better resist the wind. As in other matters, he had to give way; and the difference in the effect cannot be [81]judged from mere illustrations.[73] The four angles, where the transepts join, are filled up with the huge supporting bastion-like piers of the dome; and internally are left, so to speak, hollow; that at the south-west being utilised as a staircase, and the others on the ground floor as vestries.

No roof is visible from below. The actual roof of oak and lead was so flattened as to be invisible in accordance with the ideas of the architect. "No Roofs almost but Spherick raised to be visible." "The Ancients affected Flatness." "No Roofs can have Dignity enough to appear above a Cornice, but the Circular."[74]

We now come to that peculiarity upon which so much adverse criticism has been bestowed. The usual observer will wonder why there are niches instead of windows in the upper stage, as light is so much needed. On entering the interior he will notice that the height of the aisles does not correspond with the exterior; and on ascending to the Stone Gallery will ascertain that this upper stage of the exterior is not part of the actual wall of the church, which stands back some thirty feet. It is, in fact, a screen or curtain wall; the lower stage alone is the wall of the aisles, and the disfiguring square openings with which the pedestals below the niches are pierced, give light to the passages and galleries between the aisles and the roof. Externally one is supposed to see the wall of the cathedral; in reality one sees the lower story forming the wall, and an upper story in continuation made to look as though the church were immediately behind, but in reality quite disengaged from it. The following is an able specimen of the adverse criticisms that have been directed against this curtain: "It is a mere empty show with nothing behind it, and when once this is known it is impossible to forget it, or to have the same feeling towards the building which a spectator might have, despite its defects of detail, who believed its external mass to represent its interior arrangements."[75] Yet an attentive [82]study of the "Parentalia" enables us to plead a great deal in mitigation. The spectator will notice that there are no substantial buttresses; and the reason is the simple one that Wren held them to be disfigurements. "The Romans always concealed their Butments."[76] "Oblique Positions are Discord to the Eye unless answered in Pairs, as in the Sides of an equicrural Triangle.... Gothick Buttresses are all ill-favoured, and were avoided by the Ancients."[77] Such were the opinions of Wren; but how was he to procure stability? The answer is, by the curtain wall. By its dead weight pressing on the walls of the aisles it renders them stable and immobile, free from all danger of thrust, while it conceals the buttresses which render secure the clerestory stage of the building proper. To paraphrase his own words: "I do not add buttresses, but I build up the wall so high as by the addition of this extra weight, I establish it as firmly as if I had added buttresses."[78] Thus this wall performs a double function: it is a substitute for buttresses in respect to the aisle walls, and a screen for the actual buttresses of the clerestory stage.

Such is the purpose of the upper story. An ingenious critic who did not seem to know this vindicates it on the plea that "uninterrupted altitude of the bulk in the same plane, is absolutely necessary to the substructure of the mighty dome."[79] No doubt the size of the dome requires a proportionate rise in the lower elevations; but the fact remains that the exterior and interior do not correspond. A greater authority than this critic has thus defined good architecture: "The essence of good architecture of any kind is that its constructive system should be put boldly forward, that its decorative system should be such as in no way conceals or masks the construction, but makes the constructive features themselves ornamental."[80] And at his uncle's cathedral of Ely, Wren might have borrowed and worked out an idea which would have silenced all accusation of fraud and deceit. There, in the central part of the choir on the south side, the roof was removed and placed lower down centuries ago, the better to light up certain shrines below. [83]This roof was never restored to its original position; and the upper stage of the wall is pierced with empty windows through which flying-buttresses can now be seen. The effect, though altogether unusual, is far from displeasing; and the spectator who remembers that Wren was perfectly familiar with this building, is led to wonder why he did not by piercing the niches, imitate Ely at St. Paul's.

The Windows, round-headed and without tracery, contrast unfavourably with the Lancet and Decorated. Wren recognised the value of tracery, as is evident from his remarks on Salisbury Cathedral, although he objected to the Perpendicular mullions and transoms.[81] Yet it is difficult to see how he could have devised anything more elaborate or graceful to harmonise. The carving above and below, in the conventional festoons of the day, is almost universally voted as respectable and nothing more. Mr. Ruskin is very severe on these festoons, on the ground that they are tied heavily into a long bunch thickest in the middle, and pinned up by both ends against a dead wall, and contends that the architecture has no business with rich ornament in any place. Yet he admits that the sculpture is as careful and rich as may be; and let any one study, for instance, the window immediately east of the south portico, and particularly below, where the details can be better observed. In spite of a heavy top-coat of smoke, the combination of cherubs, birds, grapes, and foliage is as graceful and artistic as possible; and the work beneath the east end and north transept windows will also well repay careful study. These details are apt to be neglected, possibly because they seem dwarfed by the immense proportions of the building.[82]

[84]The North and South Chapels, as we hear on probably trustworthy authority, were added at the instance of James, Duke of York, who looked forward to the day when the Roman Catholic services would be substituted for the Anglican. Although Stephen is silent as to his grandfather's intentions, there is evidence given by Mr. Longman and Miss Lucy Phillimore to show that Wren tried his best to finish the building without them. Whether seen from the north-east or south-west they interfere with the perspective, and the independence of the lowest stage of the West Towers is completely lost; and curiously enough in this last respect the South-West or Consistory Chapel does very much what St. Gregory's did to the Lollards' Tower in Old St. Paul's.

We now turn to the different parts and members.

North and South Fronts.—These are similar, each part corresponding to each, excepting a slight difference in the steps of the porticoes caused by the ground on the south side sloping towards the Thames; and this uniformity or symmetry is invariably carried out in the different parts wherever feasible. Take the three main windows of the choir aisles on either side, and compare them with the three of the nave aisles on either side between the transepts and the chapels. The windows themselves and their pilasters exactly agree, as do their distances.

Where the uniformity of the fronts is broken by the projecting transepts and chapels, it is broken after one manner, so that when you have seen the north side you have seen the south, excepting for the above-mentioned difference caused by the slope.

The North and South Fronts are approached by flights of steps of black marble. The steps on the north side are twelve in number, and are reached from the whole semi-circle; on the south side they are twenty-five in number, and are reached from the ends, the front having a low wall. Here, the flanking urns on either side afford another instance of the disregard of Wren's wishes. The difference in the number of the steps is caused by the slope towards the Thames, and is interesting as affording an instance of a difference between the two fronts. The Corinthian pillars, of the full diameter of four feet, cleverly support the semi-circular entablature above, which is part of the general entablature continued all round. These porticoes have [85]semi-dome shaped roofs, and are flanked on either side by the windows of the transept aisles. The central windows above the porticoes are slightly larger than the others, and have niches on either side. Above these are triangular pediments, and above these again, and in alignment along the balustrade, are statues of ten of the Apostles—five to each front. The sculpture on the northern pediment depicts the royal arms, with angels bearing palm branches for supporters, and on the southern is a Phœnix with the motto "Resurgam."

North-East View of St. Paul's.


By universal consent these façades are admirable in the justness of their proportions, and the harmonious way in which they blend both with the west front and the entire [86]building. Caius Gabriel Cibber received six pounds for modelling and a hundred pounds for carving the Phœnix.

The East End.—The Apse was intended for the reception of the altar. It has three windows in either stage. Underneath the lower central window is a crown, with cypher of William and Mary, surrounded by the garter. This device was intended to show in whose reign the choir was built. It was probably correct when put up; but poor Mary died before the completion. The apse is of the breadth of the centre, and on either side are the windows of the aisles, while the central one in the basement belongs to the Crypt Chapel. There is nothing very striking or remarkable in this part, the details being similar to the rest of the church. Very different is the case with our next feature of interest.

The West Front.—The best view is that from the direct front; but by looking from the north or south-west the conjunction of the chapels comes in sight, and the spectator can judge for himself whether or no, so far as the exterior is concerned, they are any improvement. A few additional dimensions are necessary. The summits of the towers are 222 feet high; the statue of St. Paul above the apex of the pediment is 135 feet. I have already given prominence to the cause of the defeat of Wren's original conception of one main order and an attic, namely, that he could not get blocks of stone of a sufficient size. The Approved Design, so far as the colonnade is concerned, seems to have been borrowed from the portico of Inigo Jones. The dimensions of the blocks had been discovered, yet there was only one order of columns, with a second story of three windows, and supported by Inigo Jones' harp-shaped buttresses; the only buttresses that Wren even wished to have visible. Now, the old portico was not cleared away until 1686; and the west front was built after Wren's taste and judgment had been given time to ripen. In consequence we have a complete revolution, so far as the Approved Design is concerned, and something infinitely more noble and dignified; and we may congratulate ourselves that his blocks of stone were no larger, so that he produced two orders of columns. At St. Peter's, where marble of 9 feet (8-1/4 only according to more recent accounts) was used, the pillars have a shaft of 74 feet, not including capital or base, and the highest statue is 175 feet from the base, as compared with the [87]135 feet of St. Paul's.[83] Yet Wren, by resorting to two orders of columns, has so increased his apparent height, that those who have compared the two, assert that the west front of St. Paul's appears to be as high as St. Peter's.

In the lower order the columns are twelve in number, fluted and in pairs. Claude Perrault had recently adopted this method of coupling in the eastern façade of the Louvre, as is duly acknowledged in the "Parentalia." According to Stephen Wren, it "is not according to the usual Mode of the Ancients in their ordinary Temples, which for the generality were small; but was followed in their Coloss or greater Works; for instance, in the Portico of the Temple of Peace, the most magnificent in old Rome, the Columns were very properly and necessarily doubled to make wider openings." Italian buildings are likewise cited. The columns project slightly in advance of the Front; and as the central part with the great doorway is recessed some twenty feet, a depth of shadow is produced in the Pronaos.

As the great doorway for "Solemnities" requires a wider opening in front than the two side ones in daily use, the two central pairs are placed Eustylei.e., with a supposed space between of two and a half diameters—while the rest are placed Pycnostyle—one and a half diameters.[84] In the second story, owing to the towers above, the outside couples are displaced by pilasters; and the eight remaining columns support the architrave and cornice, and the great triangular pediment above of seventy-four feet in breadth and eighteen in height. On this is represented in bas-relief the Conversion of St. Paul. Saul of Tarsus still seated on his horse, which is crouching on the ground, looks up at the rays of light; and the alarmed escort are trying to control their frightened steeds. In the distance is Damascus. The sculpture is the work of Francis Bird, and he was paid for it the handsome sum of £650. The statue on the apex is that of the patronal saint; the two near him are those of St. Peter and St. James, while the four more remote are those of the Evangelists, with their emblems taken from Rev. iv. 7.

[88]The Towers, with their Italian details, complete the Façade. They consist of five stages besides the domes, of which the two lower correspond with the rest of the front. The third is pierced with circular openings, which in the southern are filled up with the faces of the clock. The fourth is transitional between the square and the octagon; from each angle of the square below spring two pairs of Corinthian columns, half-concealing, half-revealing the supports of the small domes. The fifth is an octagon, with two orders of open arches in each face, and an exterior arcading, urn-shaped pedestals being freely adopted as in the stage below. The domes, the pine of which was modelled by Francis Bird, is designed with curves of contrary flexure for the purpose of adding to the height. Mr. Longman likens these towers to Alpine aiguilles, and points out how picturesquely they form outposts to the great mass of the dome.

Both towers are used as campaniles. The north contains the "five minutes" bell, and the new peal, numbering twelve. The southern contains the three bells on which the clock is struck; and the largest of these, weighing 5 tons 4 cwt., is the passing bell on great occasions. On June 3, 1882, the citizens heard for the first time their new Great Paul. This monster, weighing nearly seventeen tons, came from the foundry of Messrs. Taylor, at Loughborough, and its progress by road was duly chronicled like that of some great personage. It was placed in the south tower, and is reckoned amongst the largest bells in the world. Part of the magnificent railings, cast without the use of coal, at Lamberhurst on the Kent and Sussex border, have been removed, and, after suffering shipwreck, now enclose a monument at Toronto. We can but regret that some second home was not found in London for such a specimen of an extinct industry: but the throwing open of the area, so that justice might be done to the view of the cathedral, is in strict accordance with Wren's views. So is the present arrangement of the steps. In the landing the red marble is from Laconia, in Southern Greece, the dark grey from Porto Venere, near La Spezia, in Italy, and the granite from Shap, in Westmoreland.

Posterity may be thankful that Wren was allowed a free hand in departing from the Accepted Design, and in carrying out his more fully developed conceptions. The well worked [89]out designs of the different parts and details, and the combination of these into one harmonious whole with the dome for a background, leave nothing to be desired.[85]

Before leaving, the visitor may stand by Queen Anne's statue and reflect that near that very spot was erected the scaffold on which suffered Sir Everard Digby, Robert Wynter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates, for their share in the Gunpowder Plot. Digby was said to have been the handsomest man of his day. He died "penitent and sorrowful for his vile treason," as did all save Grant.

The Dome.—To the end, Wren's wish seems to have been to have made the external height no greater than was required by the formation of the internal cupola. "The old Church having had before a very lofty Spire of Timber and Lead, the World expected that the new Work should not in this Respect fall short of the old (tho' that was but a Spit and this a Mountain). He was therefore obliged to comply with the Humour of the Age, (though not with ancient Example, as neither did Bramante) and to raise another Structure over the first Cupola." Stephen might have said two other structures. Not only did Wren wish the interior height to be somewhat less, so as to make it more perfect for the purpose of an auditorium, but he thought any greater exterior height unnecessary, and would have finished off the exterior elevation in some other way.

As matters eventuated, he raised the internal sphere so that the disproportion with the external might be reduced. The whole dome has three shells. (a) The majestic exterior visible to the eye, an outward roof of wood covered with lead and ribbed for the sake of ornament. (b) The intermediate brick cone which supports the lantern and its accessories of 700 tons weight. This springs from the level of the stone gallery, and rises in straight lines which converge at the circular opening beneath the lantern. This, although seen neither from the outside or from within, constitutes the most solid and substantial part. Between this and the outside visible shell is an ingenious network of beams supporting the latter, and at the base of this network a strengthening of which the account had better be given in Stephen's own words: "Altho' [90]the Dome wants not Butment, yet for greater Caution, it is hooped with Iron in this Manner; a Chanel is cut in the Bandage of Portland-Stone, in which is laid a double Chain of Iron strongly linked together at every ten Feet, and the whole [91]Chanel filled up with Lead."[86] (c) The interior dome, also of brick. The height of this third and smallest shell reaches only to the level of the curved lines of the fluted patterns of the exterior shell, a difference of from fifty to sixty feet.

Section of the Dome.


Since the outside cupola does not bear the heavy weight of the lantern it has been denounced as a sham, but this is an exaggeration. It is evident, as we look at it, that it is incapable of bearing any such weight. Much more practical is the objection of Gwilt that the elaborate framework of beams supporting this outside cover is certain to decay in course of time. A third objection is that of deception—the exterior and interior are presumed to be one and the same. This is not correct. Neither roof nor steeple is assumed to have such correspondence, and Wren might surely be allowed a like liberty with his dome. As Mr. Wightwick very properly says, it will be time enough to find fault when the roofs of churches are the same outside as within.

The Romans are credited with first applying the Dome to larger buildings. It travelled eastward to Constantinople, and was in use in Italy during mediæval times. The word "Dome" is derived from the Duomo of Florence, where Brunelleschi covered in the octagon with his famous cupola in the earlier part of the fifteenth century.[87] But Wren's particular study was the Pantheon, which we have no evidence whatever that he saw; and, indeed, he erected his dome without having ever seen, so far as we know, anything like it.

The Lantern, from the Clock Tower.

Photo. S.B. Bolas & Co.


A few words will suffice for the main features. The first stage of the superstructure is the Stylobate, of 25 feet in height and some 140 to 145 feet in diameter. The next, the Peristyle or Colonnade which lights up the interior. It has thirty-two Composite columns of a height of 38 feet, including the pedestals. Every fourth intercolumnation is filled up with an ornamental niche (if the term be allowable for a recess of the size) to hide the supports behind. This alternation, while it agreeably affects the play of light and shade, yet allows a partial glimpse of the supports. Why could not Wren have [92]done as much with his curtain wall? Above the peristyle comes the Stone Gallery with its balustrade—a great attraction for visitors—just about half-way up to the summit of the cross. Here the diameter decreases by the breadth of the gallery to 108 feet, and the Tholobate[88] rises. It has pilasters, with lights between, in the upper parts. Above is the outer dome proper—the spherical part—with a further contraction to 102 feet. Wren had the advantage of St. Peter's to profit by, and abstained from inserting the "luthern" lights of the larger edifice. The absence of these and the ribbing of the lead coating was, in his opinion, "less Gothic." The lights, again, could not easily have been reached for repairs; and if left unrepaired would have been the means of causing injury to the supporting timbers underneath. The effect, no doubt, is better, and the lighting above and below sufficient for the stairs leading to the lantern.

[93]The Lantern.—The Golden Gallery is almost exactly a hundred feet above the Stone Gallery. The Lantern is an elegant and graceful piece of design and workmanship, and consists of three square stages, each of them with lights and with recesses (or chamfered, so to speak) at the angles. The second has Corinthian columns, which must be fifteen feet in height, and a plain entablature, and some more urn-shaped pedestals. The third is completed with a miniature dome, and has upper and lower lights in each face. Standing immediately underneath, or by Nelson's tomb in the Crypt, these lights produce a striking and almost unique effect. The present gilt ball and cross, which crown the edifice, replaced the originals of Francis Bird, being put up by Cockerell—the then Clerk to the Works—in 1821. The extreme height is from 363 to 365 feet, and in 1848 the Ordnance Survey placed a "crow's nest" against the cross for the purpose of observations from the highest attainable point.

Miss Lucy Phillimore has published a paper of Wren's in which the Surveyor remarks that for the architect it is necessary "in a conspicuous Work to preserve His Undertaking from general censure, and so for him to accommodate his Designs to the Geist of the Age he lives in, though it appear to him less rational." As regards the height of the dome, we are the gainers because he was compelled to do this. It is not, indeed, the whole of St. Paul's or its only important feature; for St. Paul's is not a Byzantine church in which the dome is practically not a part, but the whole. It is the most magnificent member of a magnificent building, and with its graceful equipoise and conscious evidence of stability stands alone and in a class by itself amongst the cathedral superstructures of the land.


[68] Fergusson's "History on the Modern Styles of Architecture," p. 243. The Pantheon at Rome as restored A.D. 202 was, or rather is, a rotunda with a portico. The rotunda, according to Fergusson ("Handbook," p. 311), is about 125 feet in internal diameter, and an external elevation of about 150 feet. The Basilica of Maxentius, or Temple of Peace, may have been finished in the reign of Constantine (Maxentius, A.D. 311-312; Constantine the Great, 325-337). The ruins show an oblong of 265 feet by 195 feet in internal measurement, including aisles. The whole length is divided into only three bays ("Handbook," p. 319). Fergusson should have added St. Peter's at Rome, which exercised such an influence over Wren. This immense building has, in the exterior, only one Order and an Attic. All three have the round arch.

[69] Fergusson, "Modern Architecture," p. 390.

[70] An Attic is a small story above the cornice, or principal elevation of a building. [The same would read better by substituting "story" for "elevation".] An Attic order is an inferior order of architecture, used over the principal order of a building. It never has columns, but, sometimes, small pilasters. (Longman, note, p. 164.) Very common in Roman and Italian, but unknown in Greek.

[71] "At St. Paul's the Surveyor was cautious not to exceed Columns of four Feet, which had been tried by Inigo Jones in his Portico; the Quarries of the Isle of Portland would just afford for that proportion, but not readily for the Artificers were forced sometimes to stay some Months for one necessary Stone to be raised for their Purpose, and the farther the Quarry-men pierced into the Rock, the Quarry produced less Stone than near the Sea. All the most eminent Masons were of Opinion, that Stones of the largest Scantlings were there to be found, or nowhere. An Enquiry was made after all the good Stone that England afforded. Next to Portland, Rock-abbey Stone, and some others in Yorkshire seemed the best and most durable; but large Stone for the Paul's Works was not easily to be had even there. For these Reasons the Surveyor concluded upon Portland-stone, and also to use two Orders, and by that Means to keep the just Proportions of his Cornices; otherwise he must have fallen short of the Height of the Fabrick.... At the Vatican Church [St. Peter's], Bramante was ambitious to exceed the ancient Greek and Roman Temples ... and although by Necessity he failed in the due Proportions of the proper Members of his Cornice, because the Tivoli stone would not hold out for the Purpose; yet (as far as we can find) he succeeded in the Diameter of his Columns, viz., nine Feet."—Parentalia, p. 288.

[72] The Royal Commissions expired with the sovereign.

[73] Mr. Longman gives the two together, p. 143.

[74] Tracts in "Parentalia," pp. 352-353. Stephen Wren (p. 269) explains how his grandfather departed from the conventional arrangement of architrave, frieze, and cornice in his entablatures, omitting one or other of these whenever he thought good. Here, above the pilasters and windows of the lower order he seems to have merged the three, and in the corresponding part of the upper order to have omitted anything like a frieze.

[75] Builder, January 2, 1892.

[76] "Parentalia," p. 298.

[77] Ibid., p. 352.

[78] Ibid., p. 301, with diagram, showing how a wall does the same as buttresses.

[79] Mr. Wightwick, quoted in Longman, p. 188.

[80] E.A. Freeman, Fortnightly Review, October, 1872, p. 380.

[81] Yet he preferred the Early English windows of Salisbury to any later.

[82] "Who among the crowds that gaze upon the building ever pause to admire the flowerwork of St. Paul's?... It is no part of it. It is an ugly excrescence. We always conceive the building without it, and should be happier if our conception were not disturbed by its presence. It makes the rest of the architecture look poverty-stricken, instead of sublime; and yet it is never enjoyed itself" ("Seven Lamps," iv. 13). All I can say is I have enjoyed studying it. Mr. Edward Bell also sends me the following: "We have a familiar instance in the flower-work of St. Paul's, which is probably, in the abstract, as perfect flower sculpture as could be produced at the time; and which is just as rational an ornament of the building as so many valuable Van Huysums, framed and glazed, and hung up over each window" ("Stones of Venice," I., xxi. 3). In my humble opinion this criticism is overdrawn; and, after all, Mr. Ruskin commends the sculpture.

[83] Dugdale, p. 191; but some authorities give double that of St. Paul's.

[84] Fortunately for effect the technical distances are slightly exceeded. The "Parentalia" says "alternately," but the central is wider than the remaining four, which are similar.

[85] The objection that the exterior of the West Front does not correspond with the interior is not accurate. The west end inside contains (a) the lower stage, with the great arch and doorway, and (b) the upper, with the window.

[86] "Parentalia," p. 292.

[87] A curious instance of how words change their meaning, (a) A building—domus; (b) the most important building; (c) the most important and striking feature of the building. As everybody now speaks of the "Dome" of St. Paul's, I have adopted the word instead of "Cupola."

[88] "Tholobate" means what its derivation implies, "the base of a cupola." Why should this part be called the attic? How can an attic, properly speaking, have a gigantic hemisphere above it?




The measurements show a marked diminution from the exterior—viz., 460 feet in length, a little under a hundred feet in breadth without reckoning the recesses underneath the windows, and 240 feet across the transepts.

In the Surveyor's favourite the Dome was almost everything; the four short arms being so constructed as to afford picturesque and varied vistas. Probably the acoustic properties would have been superior, and for the ordinary purposes of congregational worship there would have been less unused space. Hence it need take no one by surprise that some, although they recognise the superiority of the present exterior, give the preference to the originally designed interior. The short arms were expanded into choir, transepts, and nave; the elaborate vestibule has gone, but the west chapels have appeared. Finally, the curved lines at the angles of the arms, designed to aid the interior vistas, have given way to the orthodox right angles. It is impossible to say how far Wren would have altered his opinions had he ever seen the present building filled from door to door, as it now occasionally is.[89]

Disappointed at the rejection of his pet scheme, Wren turned his attention to the Basilica of Constantine, with its three aisles of three arches apiece. "This Temple of Peace being an Example of a Three Aisle Fabric is certainly the best and most authentic pattern of a cathedral Church, which must have three Aisles according to Custom, and be vaulted."[90] Piers were used in [95]this building, the columns being merely ornamental; but the interior of St. Paul's is in many respects essentially different from its Roman model. In the Temple of Peace three arches cover the enormous length of over 250 feet, and seriously diminish the apparent size; in St. Paul's their span is less than half of this. Indeed, in this respect Wren adopted a via media between the Roman and the Anglo-Norman and Pointed. Old St. Paul's, for instance, contained twice as many arches in the same length as its successor, and Rochester still more. This use of larger arches renders the perspective less effective, as any one can see by comparing the views of Old and New St. Paul's. A second alteration from the Temple of Peace to be mentioned is the massiveness of the piers. Wren's regard for stability caused him to make his vast square supports of a solidity exceeding those of Mainz and Speier. From the Romans the Surveyor adopted the round arch, with its borrowed Grecian architecture partly cut away; and this, next to the dome, is the most striking feature of the interior.

Before proceeding to the different members, the symmetry and correspondence of parts and details require to be mentioned. They strike the eye everywhere. Those who claim that in this respect Exeter is the most perfect cathedral, not only in England but throughout the world, must limit their comparison to the older buildings. Here, when we have described the details of the architecture of the nave, we have little or nothing that requires to be said of the architecture of the choir and transepts. The dome, of course, has features peculiar to itself.


As we pass under the western portico we notice the bas-reliefs of Francis Bird above the doors, and on either side of the main door. They are respectable and nothing more. Over the central door St. Paul is preaching at Berea. The original pavement of Purbeck, Welsh, and Torbay marble remains throughout the building, excepting where the new reredos has necessitated certain alterations. The length to the dome area is a little over 200 feet, the width as above, and the height of the central vaulting 89 feet.

The main west doorway has the round arch resting upon coupled pilasters, the keystone is adorned with the head and [96]arms of a winged figure. On either side are likewise coupled pilasters of the largest size. The doors of the small rooms or closets on either side reveal the enormous size of the end piers projecting from the west wall. Above the entablature of the main arch is a gallery, and the window has lately been filled in with designs in Munich glass in memory of Mr. Thomas Brown, of the firm of Longmans and Co. The subjects are appropriately taken from the life of St. Paul—the Conversion, and the subsequent visit of Ananias at Damascus. The kneeling figures below are those of Mr. Brown and his wife.

The Choir and Nave, from the East End.


The general ground-plan is of five compartments. Four are formed by the arcading, and the fifth by the great transverse archway connecting the nave and dome. The western bay or severy has a greater extension east and west than the three to the east, and corresponds to the adjacent chapels. It is square in the plan, and the others oblong; an important difference, as we shall see when we come to the Vaulting.

[97]There are throughout in reality three stages in the elevation—The Main Arcade, Triforium Belt, or "Attic," and Clerestory. The pedantic objection to the use of this simple and familiar terminology and system of classification seems to have arisen from the idea that St. Paul's must be treated as though it were a purely Classical building. Upon their fronts the piers have great Corinthian pilasters. These are continued above the capitals, and the great transverse arches of the vaulting spring from the continuations on a level with the top of the triforium. These great pilasters form the divisions east and west into severies.

The Order of the Interior.

Drawn by Peter Cazalet.ToList

The Main Arcade.—The sides of the piers (east and west) have smaller pilasters, coupled and with narrow panels between, and above these is a plain entablature from which the broad arches rise. This method of making the arches spring from an entablature instead of letting them rest naturally upon the capitals, was an idea borrowed from the Romans, who in turn borrowed it from the Greeks. With the Greeks the entablature was useful, as they had no round arch; and the Romans, just as they borrowed Greek forms and Greek metres for their native Italian literature, in a like spirit borrowed their entablature. It is not necessary, and Freeman calls it a mere stilt.[91] The earliest instance we know of its disuse is in the colonnade of the great hall of Diocletian's palace at Spalatro. The greater space of the west severy is diminished by the introduction of detached columns, so that the arches may all be of a like span. These columns, coupled and placed in front of the lesser pilasters, are of white veined marble, and exceedingly graceful. As the arches more immediately rest upon them than upon the pilasters, the Roman use of the entablature as a stilt can be here more clearly seen. I may add that in the church of St. Apollinare Nuovo, at Ravenna, the pillars have [98]only blocks above their capitals, instead of the old entablature reaching from column to column; and this church, built about 500 A.D., accordingly represents the Transition stage between the Roman proper and the Romanesque.

Turning next from underneath the arches, and taking our stand in the central aisle, we are in a position to notice the details of the main entablature above the arches. The keystones are ornamented with heads and other pieces of sculpture. As Wren employed so few arches they rise to a great height, and of the different members of the entablature which rests upon the Corinthian capitals of the greater pilasters, part had to be cut away. The crowns of the arches take a great piece out of the architrave, and their keystones reach well within the plain and narrow frieze. Only the cornice of the first stage remains intact, and this runs round the four limbs of the church like a string course in any Romanesque or Gothic building.

The Triforium Belt.—This used to be called the "Attic," in imitation of the Classical nomenclature; but surely this term is incorrect, since there is a clerestory above, and the vaulting springs from it as well. On the other hand, "Triforium" pure and simple implies arcading, and the above term is adopted from Fergusson as less open to exception.[92] In continuation of the greater pilasters are abutment piers, from the summits of which spring the great arches spanning the nave, the window arches of the clerestory, and the pendentives which connect these with the vaulting. The blank fronts between the piers are relieved by panels, but otherwise destitute of adornment. Openings connect the nave with the galleries behind.

The Clerestory.—This stage again calls for little or no comment. The windows, hidden from the exterior by the curtain wall, are slightly rounded. Above and on either side are sections of spheres, ornamented with festoons. These are the ends of elliptic cylinders in connection with the vaulting.

The Vaulting.—The great arches overhead divide the vault as the greater pilasters and their continuations do the walls. Between these arches are the small saucer-shaped domes, 26 feet in diameter. The reason for these and their accessories, the pendentives, may best be understood from [99]Wren's own words. He says that his method of vaulting is the most geometrical, and "is composed of Hemispheres, and their Sections only; and whereas a Sphere may be cut all Manner of Ways, and that still into Circles ... I have for just Reasons followed this way in the Vaulting of the Church of St. Paul's.... It is the lightest Manner, and requires less Butment than the Cross-vaulting, as well that it is of an agreeable View.... Vaulting by Parts of Hemispheres I have therefore followed in the Vaultings of St. Paul's, and with good reason preferred it above any other way used by Architects."[93] The saucer-shaped domes are sections of spheres, as are both the pendentives and the sides of the clerestory windows. He set to work something in this way. After satisfying himself that he had hit on a better plan than the plain cylindrical or the cross-vaulting of the Romans, or the other forms of intersecting vaults, he seems to have taken a hemisphere as a plan to work upon, and fixed his imaginary centre about the level of the top of the triforium. In the great square western severy of the nave this was easier, but the other severies are oblong. Here he stretched his sections out, so as to include the clerestory windows and their much-needed light. The usual way of expressing this is to say that the vault is intersected across by an elliptic cylinder. The wreaths, garlands, and festoons, and the various conventional patterns with which the edges and surfaces of the various parts of the vaulting is adorned cannot be estimated from the pavement. We may add here that the pendentives were purposely constructed of "sound Brick invested with Stucco of Cockle-shell lime," and not of Portland stone, for further ornament if required.[94] So are the circular sections.

The nave is connected with the dome by the space between the great piers or walls of more than 30 feet in length. These piers are also broader at their ends than those which support the arcading, the latter covering a square of about 10 feet. The greater massiveness is owing to their assistance being required in supporting the dome. They have large pilasters [100]at the angles, and their coffered wagon vaulting, adorned with geometrical patterns, is very striking.

The Nave Aisles.—We will first point out an unnoticed feature in the great piers at either end. Their inner faces as seen from the aisles have recesses or niches for the reception of monuments, and other recesses are generally found in the wall opposite. At the west of the aisles there are eight of these altogether, just behind the coupled columns. They are repeated in all the great piers leading to the dome, but although of sufficient height to permit of the introduction of life-sized effigies, still remain unoccupied. The coupled columns are repeated at the entrances to the chapels. At both ends the perspective is narrowed; at the west by the chapels, at the east by the breadth of the great piers. The windows stand in recesses which are segments of circles. Their sides are made to represent piers with concave surfaces. These latter carry an entablature from which spring the round window arches. Festoons run below the actual windows, the concave side piers have panels, and the round arches above diamond-shaped patterns. There are only three windows on either side—the chapels taking the place of a fourth—and the depth of their recesses points out the thickness of the walls. Between each recess are Composite pilasters in couples, with others opposite against the piers. These correspond with the lesser pilasters of the arcading, and from them spring transverse arches, as in the great central aisle. The vaulting, owing to the severies being nearly square, is regular; in other respects similar to that already described. The height is much less than that of the greater aisle, reaching only to the first stage of the latter.

The West Chapels.—They may best be described as squares of 26 feet, with apses or tribunes at either end which increase the length to 55 feet. They suffer sadly from want of light, the one window in each being altogether insufficient; but Wren had to do what he could. He panelled them with oak, and made them of the same height as the aisles, with vaulting of his favourite kind, drawn out to meet the windows.

The North Chapel is called the Morning Chapel, from its original use for morning prayer on weekdays. The mosaic above the altar is in imitation of a fresco by Raphael. That [101]at the west end, by Salviati, is in memory of William Hale Hale, a voluminous writer and editor of the "Domesday of St. Paul's," who was a Residentiary, Archdeacon of London and Master of the Charterhouse. He died in 1870. The stained-glass window is in memory of the metaphysician, Henry Longueville Mansell, Dean of the Cathedral, who died suddenly, after a rule of three years, in 1871. It is by Hardman, and represents the Risen Christ and St. Thomas.

The Geometrical Staircase.


[102]The South Chapel is called the Consistory Chapel, because the Consistory Court has been held here excepting during the time that it sheltered the Wellington monument. The reliefs in white marble at the ends—the east by Calder Marshall, and the west by Woodington—have to do with this monument. Certainly the most appropriate of the six subjects is that on the west wall which illustrates the Baptist admonishing the soldiers. "Do violence to no man ... and be content with your wages." Wellington earned his name of the Iron Duke for the firmness and sternness with which he punished pillaging and outrage.[95] The stained-glass window by Mr. Kempe has been lately put in to the memory of James Augustus Hessey, Archdeacon of Middlesex (1875-93), whose Bampton Lectures, "Sunday," still remain for theologians the standard treatise upon the Day of Rest. The Font of veined Carrara marble, another work of Bird, rather resembles the round basins resting on stands of the ancient Greek baths than any of our usual models. As St. Paul's is one of those cathedrals with no parish annexed, only those connected with it have any claim for baptisms.

The Geometrical Staircase.—This is in the South Tower, and leads from the Crypt to the Library. It is circular, of a diameter of twenty-five feet, and so constructed that eighteen steps, each nearly six feet broad at the outside, lead from the outside entrance to the interior. The ironwork is worthy of the choir.

The three remaining limbs differ only on the plan; in the other features of their architecture they are essentially similar to the nave. While the Pointed architecture suggests upward lines, and the Greek entablature horizontal lines, the round arch suggests a neutral position between the two. The great span of the arches and the general largeness of the different parts diminish the apparent size. The uniformity in the details produces that symmetry which is a peculiarity of the Renaissance.



The Dome rises from its foundation in the Crypt of a square of 190 feet, and of this the solid parts are more than equal to the vacant spaces, and are of a thickness of 20 feet.[96]

Coming to the level of the church, these solid parts are represented by twelve supports. The chief of them are the bastion-like piers at the angles of the transepts. They are hollow at the pavement level; and the south-west is used as a staircase, the north-west as the Lord's Mayor's vestry, the north-east the Minor Canons', and the south-east the Dean's. It gives some idea of their massiveness to reflect that these rooms inside them are nearly twenty feet across. The eight other supports are the huge wall-like piers, thirty-five feet by ten, at the entrances from the four limbs.

The Arcading.—When Wren planned his dome interior he had the difficulty caused by the four limbs and their side aisles to overcome. It was easy enough for the architect of such a church as St. Geneviève (or the Pantheon) at Paris to construct one, as he had neither this complicated arcading nor so heavy a superincumbent mass to consider.

Wren's path, then, was beset with difficulties, and he must have turned to his uncle's cathedral at Ely for enlightenment. In the earlier years of the fourteenth century the central tower at Ely collapsed: and the Sacrist, Alan de Walsingham, who acted as architect, seeing that the breadth of his nave, choir, and transepts happened to agree, took for his base this common breadth, and cutting off the angles, obtained a spacious octagon. The four sides terminating the main aisles are longer than the four alternate sides at the angles of the side aisles; but at Ely this presents no difficulty, owing to the use of the pointed arch. As you stand in the centre of the octagon under the lantern you see eight spacious arches of two different widths, all springing from the same level and rising to the same height of eighty-five feet, the terminal arch of the Norman nave pointed like its opposite neighbour of the choir. Amongst Gothic churches the interior of Ely reigns unique and supreme, certainly in England, if not in Europe.[97] Wren was familiar with [104]this cathedral, and even designed some restorations for it; and he adopted the eight arches in preference to any possible scheme of four great arches of sixty feet: but the use of the round arch, as distinct from the pointed, deprived him of Sacrist Alan's liberty, who without incongruity made his intermediate arches of the shorter sides, springing from the same level, rise to the same height as the others. Wren was compelled to make use of some expedient to reconcile his two different spaces between piers of forty feet and twenty-six feet, and accordingly arched these four smaller intermediate spaces as follows. A smaller arch, rising from the architrave of the great pier, spans each shorter side of the octagon, and has a ceiling or quarter dome in the background, coming down to the terminal arches of the side aisles. A blank wall space above is relieved by a section of an ornamental arch of larger span, resting on the centre of the cornice; and above this a third arch, rising from the level of the triforium cornice, rests more upon the outer side of the great supporting pier, and thereby obtains the required equal span of forty feet, and equal height of eighty-nine feet from the ground. This also has a quarter dome; and the platform beneath on a level with the clerestory is railed.

The reduction of the octagon to the circle is facilitated by giving the spandrels between the arches the necessary concave surface; and this stage is finished off with a cantilever cornice, the work (at least in part) of one Jonathan Maine. The eight great keystones of the arches by Caius Gabriel Cibber are seven feet by five, and eighteen inches in relief.

The Whispering Gallery is almost exactly a hundred feet from the pavement, and curiously enough about the same distance across. We are still, be it understood, below the level of the apex of the exterior roof, and the Cross is quite two hundred and sixty feet above us. The gallery projects so that the lectern steps and the pulpit are underneath. The attendant whispering across the whole area can be distinctly heard, an acoustic property seemingly caused by the nearness of the concave hemisphere above.

Interior of the Dome.

From an engraving by G. Coney in Sir H. Ellis' edition of Dugdale's St. Paul's. ToList

The Drum.—The actual bend inwards now begins, but for this part only in straight lines.[98] First comes the plain band or [105]Podium, panelled and of a height of twenty feet. On this stand thirty-two composite pilasters, in reality, as well as in appearance, out of the horizontal. Three out of each four [106]intervening spaces are pierced with square-headed windows; and from them such light as the dome possesses, streams down through the windows of the exterior colonnade. The alternate fourth recesses, apparently nothing more than ornamental niches, conceal the supports which bear the weight above. In the recent scheme of decoration they have been filled with statues of Early Fathers—the four eastern, SS. Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, and Athanasius; and the four western, SS. Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Gregory. If the light allows, the Podium, at present bare, is a suitable place for mosaics.

The Cupola.—So, for want of a better name, we will call the topmost section or inner roof of brick, two bricks thick. Here the straight lines bearing inwards give way to the sphere; and here, too, the three separate coverings, which constitute the dome, begin. The circular opening below the lantern coincides with the lower edge of the fluting of the exterior shell, and is about two hundred and fifteen feet from the pavement.[99]

These upper regions, hidden in an almost perpetual gloom, were decorated in monochrome by Sir James Thornhill; but his work has failed to resist the chemical action of the surcharged atmosphere. Yet a word or two about it may interest. Concentric circles surround the opening; and the remaining surface is ingeniously divided into eight compartments by designs of piers and round arches; the piers coinciding with the eight recesses below. In these compartments are scenes from the life of the patronal saint: (1) The Conversion, (2) Elymas, (3) Cripple at Lystra, (4) Jailer at Philippi, (5) Mars Hill, (6) Burning Books at Ephesus, (7) Before Agrippa, (8) Shipwreck. We have all of us heard from the days of our boyhood or girlhood the story of the painter, on a platform at a great height, who stepped back to get a better view of his work. As he did so, an assistant, standing by, brush in hand, observed with alarm that the slightest further backward step would entail his falling headlong and being dashed to pieces. He deliberately daubed the painting; and the artist, stepping [107]instinctively forward to prevent this, saved his life. The painter is said to be Thornhill: the scene, the giddy height under the dome.

The interior height of two diameters will always be a disputed question. Stephen Wren[100] seemed to think that his grandfather hit the happy medium of a diameter and a half; but this only reaches to the windows and Early Fathers. He probably gives us the Surveyor's intention. Afterwards, when Wren was compelled to raise the height of the exterior, he increased the interior. St. Sophia and the Invalides are both less than two diameters, and give the idea of greater area. While it is difficult to see what æsthetic advantage is gained by a roof and upper regions immersed in perpetual gloom, the acoustic properties and the light might both have been improved by a more modest elevation. Yet the advocates of a smaller ratio injure their case by writing about "a great disproportioned hole in the 'roof.'"

The Pulpit was one of the additions suggested in Dean Milman's time, when the dome area was used for service. It is a memorial to Captain Robert Fitzgerald, designed by Mr. Penrose; and the marbles come from various places. It stands on columns, of which the gray are from Plymouth, the "dark purplish" from Anglesea, and the red from Cork. In the panels and elsewhere the green is from Tenos, and the yellow chiefly from Siena, with a little of the ancient Giallo Antico from Rome.[101] Alike in the design, and in the combination of these different marbles, the pulpit is a fitting and judicious adornment. The Lectern takes the familiar form of an eagle, and is of bronze. This fine piece of work was finished in 1720 by Jacob Sutton, at a cost of £241 15s.

The Mosaics.—Stephen Wren tells us that his grandfather intended his great building to be adorned with mosaic work, and that one of his numerous disappointments was his inability, thanks to the ignorant opposition of the Commission, to carry out this intention. The categorical statement of the grandson is corroborated by (a) the text of various Acts of Parliaments, (b) other Renaissance Churches and notably St. Peter's, (c) the use of material softer than Portland stone for [108]various surfaces.[102] Bishop Newton, who was Dean a hundred and twenty years ago, roundly accused the authorities of filching the decoration funds for William's wars. Queen Anne's wars would have sounded more probable. It was not until our own day that in this respect, as in others, the Surveyor's ideas have been carried out.

The eight spandrels of soft and suitable stone have designs of the four Greater Prophets, and the four Evangelists, executed by Dr. Salviati of Venice. For the designs of St. Matthew and St. John the authorities were fortunate enough to secure the services of that wonderful Academician, Mr. G.F. Watts. He thoroughly understood and overcame the difficulty of the great distance of the spectator on the pavement below. These designs are in every way worthy of the painter of the Rider on the White Horse, and its fellows. The other Evangelists were designed by Mr. Brittan, and the Prophets by Mr. A. Stevens. The smoke should never be allowed to mar the colouring, and so injure the good effect, of this part of the scheme of decoration.

Subsequently the authorities and their committee turned to Mr. (now Sir William) Richmond, R.A., whose veneration for St. Paul's dates from childhood. His interest in mosaic work caused him to study carefully the principles of design which obtained in Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor, during the best times of the Byzantine Empire.[103] Sir William has adopted the old plan of glass tesseræ or cubes, and of four shapes—the cube, double cube, equilateral triangle, and a longer form with sharp points. They are of eight to ten tones of colour, and are put into position on the spot, being joined together by a mastic cement which resembles that used by Andrea Tafi in restoring the mosaics in the Baptistery at Florence. This cement in time becomes quite hard. The cubes with their complex facets are not joined close together, but separated by one-sixteenth to one-fourth of an inch, the better to reflect the light, so as to give a rich and soft texture. They are made at Messrs. [109]Powell's workshops. Sir William has done a great deal more than design. He has, so far as this country is concerned, caused us to acquire a new art, while he has restored an old one. The workmen, who are all natives, have been trained by him. Accustomed only to the smooth, pictorial mosaics of thin plates of glass put together in the workshop, he had to teach the Messrs. Powell and their staff both how to make the glass cubes, and how to put each one separately into its place in the cement on the wall or roof. As our cathedrals are sermons in stone, so these adornments are intended to be illustrated sermons in glass. Beginning with the Creation, and including those, Pagans as well as Israelites, who prepared the way and led up to the Fulness of the Time, we are here taught the leading features of that progressive truth which has been revealed.

The difficulty in dealing with the lofty blank spaces of the dome will be not to go too high up, and not to come too far down. At the time of revising these lines (August, 1899) the decoration of this part of the cathedral has advanced no further than the quarter domes of those alternate arches which tested so severely the genius of the Surveyor. In the four, taken as a whole, the general subject illustrated will be St. Paul's Gospel of the Resurrection from the early verses of 1 Corinthians, XV.

North-East, the Crucifixion. Christ stands on the Tree of Life, branches on either side and the cross behind. The water of life issues from below the tree, making a silver flood; these silver tones, the result of many experiments, when flashing, expand and give more light than gold. The holy women are on either side, and Adam and Eve kneeling in the two corners. The world is represented as a harvest-field. The inscription below runs, "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." South-East, the Resurrection. The Risen Christ is standing at the entrance of the open sepulchre, and is supported on either side by an angel in blue and white. He wears a long mantle of white, shaded to red, probably to prevent the white rays spreading too much. On either side in the corners are placed the sleeping soldiers: and above is a canopy of clouds, lifting on the horizon. A scroll-work, which looks like pomegranates, takes the place of the silver flood of the companion across the choir arch. [110]Inscription, "Behold! I am alive for evermore." South-West the Entombment. A winged angel, sitting, holds the reclining Body. On the right, standing figures of women, and on the left two angels. Continuing round are two other figures on either side; and these, as I am instructed, are symbolical of our four nationalities. Trees and foliage are above the figures. This section is still incomplete, and the text wanting; but the scroll-work looks like leaves and acorns. Years hence, when the dome as a whole is finished, we shall be in a position to judge. So far everything is rich and promises well.[104]

The South Choir Aisle

Photo. S.B. Bolas & Co.




These short limbs consist of only one arch beyond the great dome piers. There is no arch at the ends like that by the west door. Instead, the wall space shows four single pilasters with their entablature supporting the gallery. The gilded copy of the well-known inscription on Wren's tomb is over the north doorway. The great windows, the gift of the late Duke of Westminster, and designed by Sir William Richmond, illustrate early Church history. The North represents twelve primary bishops who introduced, or restored after lapse, [112]Christianity, after the coming of the English, and include Augustine, Mellitus, Cedd, Birinus, Theodore of Tarsus (the originator of the parochial system), and Erkenwald. The South represents twelve kings who co-operated and supported the prelates, including Ethelbert, Cynegils, Coinwalch, Sabert, Sigebert, and Sebbe. In the south transept aisles the Thanksgiving service in 1872 for the recovery of the Prince of Wales is commemorated by a window, the subject being the Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain, and a tablet performs the like service.

Bishop's Throne and Stalls on the South Side.



The plan consists of the great piers and chancel arch, three arches, other great piers which support the triumphal or reredos arch and are pierced for doorways, and finally the apse. The side aisles do not extend beyond the reredos arch. The main aisle, formerly isolated from the dome by the organ and organ-screen, is now separated only by a low railing, and the space underneath the chancel arch has been included. By uniting choir and dome for the purposes of congregational worship the intention of the architect has been carried into effect. The ironwork of the gates, both at the west end of the aisles and in the doorways of the reredos arch, is part of Tijou's work, restored and replaced as occasion arose.

The Stalls.—They all now face uniformly on opposite sides. They are the work of Grinling Gibbons, and originally cost over £1,300. The best plan is to see them both from the choir and the aisles, as their general conception and details are alike creditable to the wood-workers of their day. The canopies have galleries above; and those in the centre on either side, as also over the throne at the end of the south side, have turrets. But it is not only their artistic merits. More than anything else they carry us back to the days of Old St. Paul's, since they reproduce the seats of the dignitaries for ages past. Numbering thirty-one on either side, the Latin inscriptions over fifteen on either side call for notice. These are the headings of the Psalter divided into thirty parts.

In the days of Bishop Maurice and Dean Ulstan, according to Newcourt, a division was first made, so that each prebendary should say the Psalter through in a month, while the whole [113]Psalter should be said each day. Under Ralph de Baldock, in succession Archdeacon of Middlesex, Dean, and finally Bishop (1276-1313), the present and more equal division was made.[105] The Archdeaconries of Essex and Colchester are now in the Diocese of St. Alban's, and the Archdeaconry of St. Alban's, consisting of a few parishes in Herts and Bucks, created after the dissolution of the abbey, though for a time in the diocese, never had a stall. The stalls and seats have been added to from the designs of Mr. Penrose. For the sake of convenience I have numbered the thirty-one stalls on either side: the other numbers, in brackets, to the right, represent the traditional positions in Old St. Paul's. Each dignitary's stall has the name inscribed. Neither from the position of the stalls, nor from the order of the allotment of the Psalter is it possible to discover any priority. Perhaps both were arranged according to the then seniority of the canons.

North Side.
30 and 31. [Not assigned.]  
27-29. Minor Canons.  
26. Archdeacon of Middlesex (19)
25. Chiswick (18) Nonne Deo subjecta.
24. Caddington Major (17) Omnes gentes plaudite.
23. Newington (16) Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus.
22. Neasden (15) Domine ne in furore.
21. Brondesbury (14) Beatus vir, qui timet Dominum.
20. (Not assigned.)  
19. Lord Mayor, with Mace-Bearer below.  
18. (Not assigned.)  
17. Consumpta per Mare (13) Confitemini Domino [107-111].
16. Willesden (12) Noli aemulari.
15. Islington (11) In convertendo Dominus.
14. Ealdland (10) Deus stetit in synagoga.
13. Hoxton   (9) Defer in salutare anima.
12. Wedland   (8) Exandi, Domine, justitiam.
11. Reculverland   (7) Beati quorum remissio.
10. St. Pancras   (6) Voce mea.
  9. Caddington Minor   (5) Miserere mei Deus.
  8. Tottenhall (Tottenham)   (4) Beatus vir qui non abiit.
  7. (Not assigned.)  
  6 and 5. Minor Canons.  
[114]  4. Chancellor.   (3)
  3. Precentor.   (2)
  2. Residentiary.  
  1. Archdeacon of London.   (1)
South Side.
The Bishop's Throne or official Cathedra.
30 and 31. (Not assigned.)  
27-29. Minor Canons.  
26. Archdeacon of Colchester, now a Minor Canon (19)
25. Ealdstreet (18) Dominus regnavit, exultet terra.
24. Rugmere (17) Ad Dominum cum tribularer.
23. Brownswood (16) Deus judicium tuum.
22. Wenlocksbarn (15) Quemadmodum desiderat.
21. Sneating (14) Dominus Deus meus, respice.
20. (Not assigned.)  
19. The Bishop.  
18. (Not assigned.)  
17. Oxgate (13) Domine exandi [102-106].
16. Mapesbury (12) Memento Domine David.
15. Twyford (11) Deus misercatur mei.
14. Cantlers (Kentish Town) (10) Dominus illuminatio mea.
13. Mora   (9) Confitebor tibi in toto corde.
12. Portpool   (8) Quid gloriaris in malitia.
11. Harleston in Willesden   (7) Fundamenta ejus, &c.
10. Holborn   (6) Salvum me fac Domine, &c.
  9. Chamberlainewood   (5) Bonum est confiteri, &c.
  8. Finsbury or Halliwell   (4) Benedictus Dominus Deu, &c.
  7. (Not assigned.)  
  5 and 6. Minor Canons.  
  4. Treasurer   (3)
  3. Residentiary  
  2. Archdeacon of Essex, now a Residentiary   (2)
  1. The Dean   (1)

Dr. Sparrow-Simpson assigned the psalms to Consumpta and Oxgate as I have put them in brackets.[106]

The Organ.—In Old St. Paul's the organ was considered to have but two peers, Canterbury and York; and the present instrument is worthy of its predecessor. Grinling Gibbons executed the older part of the case, with its foliage, figures, and imitations of the architecture. Bernard Schmidt, a German, was the builder; and in 1802 "a most [115]industrious Swede and his partner" took it to pieces, cleaned it, and improved the tone of many of the notes. When the choir was opened out, at the suggestion of Dr. Sparrow-Simpson the instrument was enlarged by Mr. Willis, divided between the two sides, and placed above the stalls at the west end, the old carved work being chiefly on the north side. Whether Jeremiah Clark (1695-1707) lived long enough to preside is uncertain; but if not, Richard Brind (1707-1718) was the first to play the present instrument. Neither Sir John Stainer nor Sir George Martin need any mention. The organist is seated on the north side, and communicates by electricity.

The Reredos.—Advantage has been taken of the space between the great eastern piers to bring forward the altar and crown it with a lofty reredos. Would Wren have approved of the breaking of the vista by shutting out the windows of the apse? As he himself designed an unexecuted Baldachino "of rich marble columns writhed" somewhat after the style of his favourite St. Peter's,[107] and as this was not so high, and was to stand against the east wall, the answer to this question is doubtful. The impression left is that for the present altar-piece he would have designed his east front somewhat differently. Be this as it may, upon this magnificent specimen of modern art it is waste of time to lavish praise, and the names of the designers, Messrs. Bodley and Garner, will always be associated with it. The symbolism is expressed in the frieze above the Crucifixion, "Sic Deus dilexit mundum" ("God so loved the world"). The lower part is pierced with doors on either side: and "Via Electionis" ("A chosen vessel") over the north door refers to St. Paul, and "Pasce oves meos" ("Feed my sheep") over the other to St. Peter; and here the crossed swords are the arms of the diocese. The section above has the Entombment in the centre, and the Nativity and Resurrection on either side. A Crucifixion occupies the central position. The framework is of Roman design, with pilasters and a round arch; and remembering Wren's conception, it is interesting that the columns of Brescia marble, supporting the entablature above, are twisted. This is flanked with a colonnade; the figure on the north being the Angel Gabriel, and to the south the Virgin. Above the pediment is a canopy [116]with the Virgin and Child, and St. Peter and St. Paul to the north and south; and above all, and nearly seventy feet from the ground, the Risen Christ completes this most reverent design.

The altar cross is adorned with precious stones and lapis lazuli; and the massive copper candlesticks are imitations of those, four in number, sold during the Protectorate, and now, with the arms of England, in Ghent Cathedral.

The Apse.—Although the side aisles require no particular mention, unless it be of certain relics from Jerusalem in the south aisle, the iron gates leading to the reredos are well worthy of attention. When the choir was opened out, the ironwork was brought here; but there was not sufficient. Recourse was had in vain to modern coal-smelted metal: it split, and proved useless for the finer work. Searching the records, it was discovered that Tijou used only charcoal-smelted iron; and a supply was procured from Norway. Comment is needless. The vaulting comes down to the upper tier of windows. The windows in the lower tier, by Mr. C.E. Kempe, in harmony with the mosaics, have for their general subject the Last Judgment.

Isolated by the great Reredos behind from the rest of the church, the apse now forms a separate chapel, and is called the Jesus Chapel. Why borrow the name from the east end of the crypt below? The Liddon Chapel would be a suitable name. Here, against the south wall is his monument; and the altar-piece, in its marble framework, forms part of his memorial. It is a copy of a painting by Giovanni Battista da Conegliano, otherwise Cima. The original, now in the National Gallery, was painted for the Fraternity of the Battuti at Portogruaro. The subject is the incredulity of St. Thomas.

The Choir, Altar and Reredos.


The Mosaics.—Excepting, perhaps, certain minor alterations which time and experience may suggest, the decoration and adornment of the Choir may now be reckoned as finished. The scheme was begun from the east, and continued westward; but there is no good reason for altering our plan, and we will continue to work from the west eastward. Of the five divisions of the main aisle, the chancel arch may be dismissed; the subject being a continuation of the western bay. There remain, then, the three bays, the reredos arch, and the apse; and we will take these in their order. The [117]spandrels of the arcading treat of the Fall and Redemption; the triforium belt has the same subject as the "inverted saucers" of the vaulting; the clerestory windows on the north, Creation awaiting, or anticipating, or in any sense preparing the way for the Kingdom of Christ,—on the south, those who prepared places of worship; the pendentives, Angels, and inscriptions from the Psalms and Isaiah; the vaulting, the Story of Creation, continued in the triforium belt. Thus it will be seen that the arrangement of the interior, with its three stages, is fully recognised. Underneath the clerestory windows [118]the inscriptions are from the Advent antiphons to the Magnificat; and these selections have most carefully omitted anything savouring of the invocation of saints. Below the angels with their outstretched arms in the pendentives the western sides of the great transverse arches have inscriptions from the Benedicite, and on their eastern from Romans i. 20. All of these texts or inscriptions are in Latin. The glass in the clerestory windows has been put in to give the best effect to the mosaics. A tabular statement will best present a general idea of Sir William Richmond's system taken as a whole.

Western Bay (with Chancel Arch).
Roof Creation of Beasts, with the inscription, "Producat terra animam viventem" (Gen. i. 24). The four heraldic shields on the borders have the arms of the four London Companies who are donors to the decorations. N.: Merchant Taylors. S.: Mercers. E.: Fishmongers. W.: Goldsmiths. Date, 1895.
Pendentives: Angels, with inscriptions above from Psalm civ.
  N. S.
Clerestory W.: Job.
E.: Abraham at his tent door at Mamre.
The Three Heavenly Visitors and Sarah.
W.: Jacob's Ladder.
E.: Moses receiving the Tables of the Law and the "Pattern of the Tabernacle" (Exodus xxv. 9).
Inscription beneath window "O Adonai, qui Moysi apparuisti, veni ad redimendum nos." "O Adonai, et dux, et dominus Israel, veni ad redimendum nos."
Triforium continued in chancel arch Adam, with arm round lion: a lioness licking his feet. Eve, with tigers, birds of paradise, and other animals.
Spandrels Creation of Firmament. Two Angels in red, as the ministers of Creation. In centre, bright sun with inscription, "Fiat lux, et facta est lux." Expulsion from Paradise. Adam and Eve walking sorrowfully in the direction of the Dome, which represents the outer world. Paradise has a rampart.
Centre Bay
Roof Creation of Fish. Sea monsters spouting out water, fish swimming, and blue water. Inscription, "Creavit Deus cete grandia" (Gen. i. 21).
This is the gift of the Fishmongers' Company.
Pendentives: Angels, with inscriptions from Psalm cxlviii.
[119]  N. S.
Clerestory W.: Cyrus (who figures in Isaiah xliv. as a predestined Temple-builder) points over his shoulder to returning Jewish captives.
E.: Alexander (who indirectly prepared for the First Advent by spreading the Greek language and opening out the Far East) leaning on his sword, with Greeks bearing olives.

E.: Bezaleel and Aholiab, artificers of the Tabernacle (Exodus xxxvi. I).
Inscription beneath "O Rex gentium desideratus earum, veni, salva hominem." "O Emmanuel, Rex et Legifer, veni ad salvandum nos."
Triforium Sea Leviathans and Fish. Sea Leviathans and Fish.
Spandrels The Annunciation. W.: Gabriel. E.: The Virgin at the door of her house. Nazareth in background. The Holy Dove between. The Temptation. Adam, with warning angel above. The nude figure of Eve, with Satan, as a fallen angel, pointing to the forbidden fruit.
East Bay
Roof Creation of Birds. First of these circular sections of spheres to be taken in hand. Details more minute than the two others. Yet the effect, even at so great a height, is not wholly lost, as a play of colour and a certain sense of mystery, are afforded. It is better to overdo than to underdo detail. Many of the birds are outlined with silver. The leaves have veins of silver, and the edges are touched with gold. As with the two others, a successful attempt is made to increase the real elevation, which is only three feet at the apex. Inscription: "Et volatile sub firmamento" (Gen. i. 20). Date, 1892.
Pendentives: Angels, with inscriptions above from Isaiah ix.
  N. S.
Clerestory W., Persian, and E., Delphic Sibyl. A somewhat far-fetched design borrowed from mediæval art. Angels from above delivering their message. Architectural background, Persian and Doric respectively. W.: Solomon as a young man. E.: David as an old man with an air of melancholy, thinking of the Temple of which he may only get ready the materials and plans. Meditating about his preparations under a tree; court of palace in the background.
Inscription underneath "O Sapientia, veniad docendum nos. O, Oriens Splendor, veni et illumina nos." "O Radix Jesse, veni ad liberandum nos. O Clavis David, veni et educe vinctum."
Triforium Peacocks of the bird creation. Peacocks.
  N. S.
Spandrels Two mail-clad Angels of the Crucifixion, one with the spear and the other with the nails. Blue background in centre, "Gloria in excelsis." First put into position. Work done on slabs in studio, and slabs fixed with bronze nails in lead sockets. Two Angels of the Passion, one with the pillar at which Christ was scourged; the other with the cup of suffering. Much later than the opposite, and the cubes put into position one by one.

The great transverse arches are inscribed on their western sides from the Benedicite: "Omnes volucres cœli." "Omnia quæ moventur in aquis." "Omnes bestiæ et pecora." "Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino." Looking from the east, the other faces have the Latin of Romans i. 20: "Invisibilia ejus a creatura mundi." "Per ea quæ facta, sunt intellecta." "Conspiciuntur." "Sempiterna ejus virtus et divinitas."

The Reredos Arch.—In the triforium stage over the entrances has Melchizedek on the north and Noah on the south. The High Priest, in a long robe, blesses Abraham, in armour and with sword at side. Eight figures of servants are behind; and so minute is the treatment that the loaves of bread in the basket are depicted. The original design of this is at South Kensington. Noah, with a rainbow offering as he came out of the Ark, faces; and both are suggested by the neighbouring altar. Above, the subject is the Sea giving up its Dead, and the words "Alleluia," "Sanctus."

The work in the Apse is difficult to describe. Above all, in the crown of the vault, is a sun with golden rays. The chief figure is Christ seated in judgment. The expression is of mingled firmness and pity; and the crown has thorns bursting into flower. The upper robe, fastened round the breast by a jewelled buckle, has red lining; and the long robe beneath is white. To the right are two angels with the Book of Life; and behind, two more holding crowns and inviting to come. On the left, two more hold the scroll of the rejected, and the angel of wrath, supported by weeping figures, [121]holds out both hands to repudiate. The pilasters by the windows have representations of Hope, Fortitude, Charity, Truth, Chastity, and Justice.

But we have already exceeded our limit in describing this effort to carry out Wren's conception on a large and well-organised scale. Nothing approaching to it has ever been attempted in this country before; it is "a new art acquired, a new craft learnt." Had not the artist been constantly on the spot to see that his own thoughts were reproduced, the work must have suffered. Sir William Richmond may safely leave posterity to thank him. We notice with satisfaction that before his labours on the choir were quite finished, the Royal Academy co-opted him a full Academician, and the Crown bestowed a Knight Commandership of the Bath.[108]


For the sake of simplicity these are taken together. Not till some eighty years after the completion of the building was any monument placed in it: another instance of how the intentions of the architect were ignored. In 1795, John Bacon, R.A. (1740-1799), finished the Howard and Johnson statues, and that of Sir William Jones four years later. The Reynolds statue, by John Flaxman, R.A. (1755-1826), was added about the same time; and these four memorials occupy what Milman calls the four posts of honour in front of the great supports. Then came the wars not only with France, but in all parts of the world; and while some of these heroes by land and sea to whom monuments were erected are immortal, others are now so forgotten that even the date of their birth is difficult to obtain. Yet their general claim is that they were killed in the service of their country; and no one need grudge them this honour. I cannot but think that a certain amount of indiscriminate amateur criticism has been expended on the earlier works. Johnson is represented partially draped in a toga; and there is a sequence [122]of nude or semi-nude Victories and Fames with or without wings. The taste of to-day has changed, and but few people approve of the typical design of the reign of George III. Yet it is necessary to state that besides four by Flaxman, six bear the imprints of the genius of Sir Francis Chantrey, R.A. (1782-1831), not to mention five by E.H. Bailey, R.A. (1788-1847), and six by Rossi. Not only were Flaxman and Chantrey artists and not mere masons, but examples of both Bacon and Bailey are among the very few sculptures in the National Gallery. The asterisk affixed to the number indicates that the remains slumber in the Crypt.

North Aisle of Nave.

1. Officers and men of the Cavalry and 57th and 77th Foot (now 1st and 2nd battalions of the Middlesex Regiment) who died or were killed in the Crimea, with old colours of Middlesex Regiment carried in the Crimea. (Marochetti.)

*2. Wellington (1769-1852). Sarcophagus of white marble with ornaments in bronze. The recumbent effigy in bronze rests upon this. The canopy supported by Corinthian columns of white marble, which are carved with foliated diaper pattern. The bronze groups represent Valour, with Cowardice at her feet, and Truth plucking out the tongue of Falsehood. The canopy arch supports a great pediment intended for an equestrian statue, and the faces have the Duke's arms and the Garter. The chief battles are inscribed at the base. (Alfred Stevens.)

3. Gordon (Major-Gen. Chas. Geo., C.B., 1833-1885). Admirers of this Christian hero constantly bring fresh flowers, which the attendants remove when withered. Gordon's head was exhibited by the Mahdi, and his trunk thrown into the Nile at Khartoum. A recumbent figure on a sarcophagus, the features beautifully chiselled. One of two by that great sculptor, Sir Joshua Edgar Boehm, R.A. (1834-1890).

4. Mural tablet to the officers and men of the Royal Fusiliers (7th Foot) who perished in Afghan Campaign, 1879-1880.

5. Stewart (Major-Gen. Sir Herbert, K.C.B., 1844-1885). Killed in the abortive attempt to relieve Gordon. A mural tablet behind Gordon's monument. (Boehm.)

6. Torrens (Major-Gen. Sir A. Wellesley). Died in the Crimea. (Marochetti.)

[123] The Wellington Monument.


[124]7. Mural tablets in brass on either side of the Melbourne monument to the crew of H.M.S. Captain. Constructed in the early days of ironclads, this vessel foundered in 1870 through a mistaken calculation about the metacentre, with the designer, Captain Cooper Coles, and a son of the First Lord on board.

8. Melbourne (William Lamb, Viscount, 1779-1848), with his brother Frederick, a diplomatist (d. 1853). Prime Minister at the accession of Queen Victoria. Black marble representation of "the gate of death," with angels of white marble. The complete darkness with nothing beyond is more appropriate to the Premier's religious views as stated in the Greville Memoirs, than to the inscription from the Collect for Easter Eve. (Marochetti.)

South Aisle of Nave.

9. Officers of Coldstream Guards killed at Inkerman, with old colours of regiment above. Vesey Dawson, Granville Elliott, Lionel Mackinnon, Murray Cowell, Henry M. Bouverie, Frederick Ramsden, Edward Disbrowe, C. Hubert Greville, with inscription, "Brothers in arms, in glory and in death, they were buried in one grave." (Marochetti.)

10. Burgiss (Captain Richard Rundle, R.N., 1755-1797). Killed at Camperdown in command of the Ardent. Almost undraped, and out of proportion about the shoulders and bust, as is also the figure of Victory giving him the sword. Group in lower part of sarcophagus difficult to interpret. (J. Banks, R.A.)

11. Middleton (T.F., d. 1822). First Bishop of Calcutta. (Lough.)

12. Lyons (Captain, R.N., d. 1855). (Noble.)

13. Westcott (Captain Geo. Blagdon, R.N., 1743-1798). Killed in command of the Majestic at the Nile. Expression of the face too young. The bas-relief has the Sphynx, the Nile, and the Orient blown up. (Banks.)

14. Loch (Captain, R.N., d. 1853). (Marochetti.)

North Transept.

15. Faulknor (Captain Robert, R.N., 1763-1795). He was called the "Undaunted" by Jervis; killed off Dominica in [125]command of the Blanche, and while lashing his bowsprit to the Pique, a French frigate of superior size. Falling into the arms of Neptune, with Victory about to crown him. (C. Rossi, R.A.)

16. Mackenzie (Major-Gen. J.R.), Langwerth (Brig.-Gen. E.). Both killed at Talavera, July 28, 1809. Above Faulknor's. Two sons of England bear trophies. The figure of Victory not remarkable for good proportions. (C. Manning.)

*17. Reynolds (Sir Joshua, P.R.A., 1723-1792). Draped in the robes of a Doctor of Laws; in right hand the Discourses to the Royal Academy; beneath the left hand is a medallion of his master, Michael Angelo. A pity that Bacon and others did not follow a like natural style of design. The special preachers are advised to preach at him, so that their voices may travel across the dome. (Flaxman.)

*18. Cockerell (Chas. Robert, d. 1863). An accomplished successor of Wren as surveyor. (F.P. Cockerell.)

19. Hoghton (Major-Gen. Dan., d. 1811). Killed at Albuera. A tabular monument; the embroidery on the uniform, the line of bayonets, and the colours excellent. (Chantrey.)

20. Elphinstone (Hon. Mountstuart, d. 1859). Lieut. Gov. of Bombay, and thrice refused the Governor-Generalship. (Noble.)

21. Myers (Lieut.-Col. Sir Wm., 1784-1811). Killed at Albuera. A bust supported by Hercules for Valour and Minerva for Wisdom. Inscription, extract from a letter from Wellington. (J. Kendrick.)

22. Malcolm (Admiral Sir Pulteney, d. 1838.) (Bailey.)

23. St. Vincent (Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, Earl of, 1735-1832). Defeated the Spanish Fleet off Cape St. Vincent, Feb. 14, 1797. A colossal statue, with Victory and the Muse of History. (Bailey.)

24. Rodney (Admiral Geo. Brydges, Baron, K.B., 1718-1790). Defeated French Fleet off Martinique under De Grasse, April 12, 1782. Accidentally disregarding the code of Fighting Instructions, he adopted the manœuvre of "breaking the line" instead of the old "line a-head," and later admirals followed. Marble, in uniform and the Bath. Fame, a winged female figure with only the lower limbs [126]draped, instructs the Muse of History. Parliament voted £6,000 for this monument, which is very good. (Rossi.)

*25. Picton (Sir Thomas, d. 1815). After a chequered career, in which he figured at the Old Bailey, killed at Waterloo, "gloriously leading his division," said Wellington, "to a charge of bayonets." (S. Gahagan.)

26. Napier (Gen. Sir William F.P., 1785-1860). Soldier and man of letters. Son of Lady Sarah Lennox, whom George III. wished to marry, and brother to Charles James (No. 29). Commanded 43rd in Peninsula, and wrote the History of the War, still a standard authority, and other works. (Bailey.)

27. Hay (Major-Gen. Andrew, d. 1814). Killed at Bayonne. Falling into the arms of Valour; soldier mourning and a file of troops in the background, all in correct uniform. (H. Hopper.)

28. Gore and Skerrett. Two Major-Generals killed at Bergen-op-Zoom, March 10, 1814. Chantrey is betrayed into a pseudo-classical style, most elegant of its kind and beautifully executed, by the designer Tallemache. Fame, without wings and undraped to the waist, consoles Britannia, at whose feet reposes the British Lion. (Designed by Tallemache, executed by Chantrey.)

29. Napier (Gen. Sir Chas. James, 1782-1853). Brother to William (No. 26) and conqueror of Scinde. (G. Adams.)

30. Ponsonby (Major-Gen. Hon. Sir William, d. 1815). Killed in command of the Union Brigade of Cavalry (Royals, Scots Greys, Inniskillings) at Waterloo. There is good reason for Theed representing him undraped, as his body was stripped by some of those camp followers mentioned by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables. The horse falling, as represented, was the cause of his death. "I have to add the expression of my grief," wrote Wellington, "for the fate of an officer who had already rendered very brilliant and important services, and was an ornament to his profession." (Designed by William Theed, R.A., and, after his death, executed by Bailey.)

31. Riou and Mosse (Captain Edward Riou, 1762-1801, and Captain James Robert Mosse, 1746-1801). The "gallant good Riou," of Campbell's song, fell in command of the Amazon, and Mosse of the Monarch, at Copenhagen. Victory and Fame hold medallions. (Rossi.)

[127]32. Napier (Admiral Sir Chas., 1786-1860). Second in command at bombardment of Acre, and commanded English part of the allied fleet in the Baltic, 1854. A tablet. (G. Adams.)

33. Le Marchant (Major-Gen. John Gaspard, d. 1812). Killed at Salamanca. To the left is Spain placing the trophies in the tomb; to the right Britannia instructing a cadet. (Designed by C.H. Smith and executed by Rossi.)

34. Hallam (Henry, 1777-1859). Historian, and father of the "Arthur" of "In Memoriam." (Theed.)

35. Johnson (Samuel, 1709-1784). More fault has been found with this design than with any other. Instead of partially draping the colossal statue of the great man of letters in a toga, Bacon might have adopted the more correct taste of Flaxman with Reynolds (No. 17) and represented him in his Oxford D.C.L. robes. This criticism does not apply to the execution. (Bacon.)

36. Bowes (Major-Gen., d. 1812). Indiscriminate fault-finders may well study this piece of work with fifteen figures. Bowes, storming a wall at Salamanca, falls back into the arms of his men. (Chantrey.)

37. Duncan (Admiral Adam Viscount Duncan, 1731-1804). Defeated the Dutch Fleet off Camperdown October 11, 1797. A simple statue, with a seaman and wife and child on the pedestal. (R. Westmacott.)

38. Dundas (Major-Gen. Thomas, 1750-1794). The inscription sets forth that Parliament voted this monument with especial reference to services in the West Indies. Britannia, attended by Sensibility and the Genius of Britain, crowns the bust with a laurel wreath. (John Bacon, jun.)

39. Crauford and Mackinnon. Above No. 38. Two Major Generals who fell at Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812. The partially draped figure with musket and target is that of a Highland soldier, mourning; the other is the stereotyped Victory placing a wreath. (J. Bacon, jun.)

South Transept.

*40. Nelson (Vice-Admiral Horatio Viscount Nelson, K.B., and Duke of Bronte in the Neapolitan peerage, &c., [128]1758-1805). Completed about 1818, and placed just east of where the dean's stall now is (then outside the choir rails); placed in present position 1870. The actual statue in uniform and with left hand resting on anchor and cable is 7 feet 8 inches in height, and the whole monument about 18 feet. Flaxman thus described his design:—"Britannia is directing the young seamen's attention to their great example, Lord Nelson. On the die of the pedestal which supports the hero's statue are figures in basso-relievo, representing the Frozen Ocean, the German Ocean, the Nile, and the Mediterranean. On the cornice and in the frieze of laurel wreaths are the words, Copenhagen, Nile, Trafalgar. The British Lion sits on the plinth, guarding the pedestal." The life-like expression of the face was probably taken from the portrait by Leonardo Guzzardi, in the possession of the family. The cloak conceals the empty sleeve, and the right eye is wanting. (Flaxman.)

Nelson's Monument.


41. Hardinge (Captain Geo. N., R.N., 1779-1808). Above Nelson. Killed in command of the San Fiorenzo when it captured the much larger Piémontaise after a three days running fight, March 3, 1808, off Ceylon. The somewhat indifferently modelled male figure represents an East Indian Chief with the British colours. (C. Manning.)

42. Brock (Major-Gen. Sir Isaac, d. 1812). Killed at Queenstown, Upper Canada. (Westmacott.)

43. Babington (William, d. 1833). One of the few medical men. (Behnes.)

[129]44. Hoste (Captain Sir William, R.N., d. 1831). Statue with simple epitaph. (Campbell.)

45. Jones (Sir William). A great Orientalist. One of the original Four, and of similar design to the Johnson across the dome. The open book on the smaller pedestal has a picture of Noah's Ark. On the larger pedestal, Study and Genius unveil Oriental knowledge. (Bacon.)

46. Lyons (Vice-Admiral Edmund Lord Lyons, 1790-1858). Commanded the Fleet before Sevastapool; also Minister at Athens. (Noble.)

47. Abercromby (Sir Ralph, 1736-1801). Defeated the French under Menou at Alexandria, mortally wounded, and died on board ship. He is falling from his horse, and a Highland soldier supports him. Large sphinxes on plinth. (Westmacott.)

48. Moore (Sir John, 1761-1809). Killed at Corunna, and Soult erected a humble monument over his grave. A Spanish soldier (why not in uniform?) and Victory are laying him in his grave. A child—the Genius of Spain—holds a trophy, the arms of Spain behind. Gracefully modelled and well executed. (J. Bacon, jun.)

48A. Tablet commemorating Queen's visit, 1872, for Prince of Wales' recovery.

49. Cooper (Sir Astley Paston, 1768-1841). A skilful operator before the days of chloroform. (Bailey.)

50. Gillespie (Major-General Robert Rollo, d. 1814). Mortally wounded in attempting to storm the fort of Nalapanee, in Nepaul.

51. Pakenham and Gibbs. The former commanded and the latter was a General under him of the force defeated by Jackson at N. Orleans, 1815. Treaty of peace had been already signed at Ghent. In full uniform. (Westmacott.)

*52. Turner, Joseph M.W., R.A. (1775-1851). The greatest of English landscape painters, if not of every school. (Macdowell.)

*53. Collingwood (Vice-Admiral Cuthbert, Lord, 1750-1810). In command at Trafalgar after Nelson's death. Died in command of the Mediterranean Fleet, and the corpse is represented arriving home: supporters Fame and the Thames; alto-relievo on the ship's side illustrates the progress of navigation. A fine group. (Westmacott.)

[130]54. Howe (Admiral of the Fleet, Richard, Earl Howe, K.G., 1726-1799). Defeated the French off Ushant, June 1, 1794. Colossal figure in the correct uniform with garter, collar, and ribbon (over right shoulder, should have been left). Boat cloak over left shoulder, and telescope in right hand. The female figure with the pen is History. (Flaxman.)

55. Jones (Major-Gen. Sir John, Bart., K.C.B., R.E., 1797-1843). (Behnes.)

56. Ross (Major-Gen. Robert, d. 1814). Over entrance to crypt. Defeated a superior force at Washington, and under orders from home destroyed the public buildings; defeated and killed at Baltimore. Undraped male figure is Valour. (J. Kendrick.)

57. Howard (John, 1726-1790). Although a Quaker, the first admitted. Died at Kherson from the plague he was investigating. In toga, and the face expressing benevolence. "Plan for improvement of prisons" and "hospitals" on papers in left hand; "regulations" on another at his feet. Trampling on chains and fetters, and the bas-relief on the pedestal represents him relieving prisoners. Inscription by his neighbour—Samuel Whitehead, of Bedford. Liddon's last sermon from the adjacent pulpit, April 27, 1890, on the occasion of the Centenary, referred to him. (Bacon.)

58. Cadogan (Colonel Henry, d. 1813). Historical design. Mortally wounded at Vittoria, he orders his men to place him where he can see his regiment engaged in a successful bayonet charge. (Chantrey.)

59. Lawrence (Major-Gen. Sir Henry Montgomery, K.C.B., 1806-1857). One of two famous brothers. Predicted the Mutiny fourteen years before it broke out, and died in the defence of Lucknow. (Lough.)

60. Heathfield (Gen. Geo. Eliott, Baron, d. 1790). Defender of Gibraltar, 1779-1783, against the united fleets and armies of France and Spain.

61. Cornwallis (Gen. Chas., Marquis, K.G., 1739-1805). American visitors, associating him only with the surrender of Yorktown, may wonder at this monument. It is fully merited, not so much for the defeat of Tippoo Sahib and conquest of Mysore, as for continuing the policy of Clive and sternly preventing the natives of India from being ground down by the greed and cruelty of English residents. Twice Viceroy of [131]India, and died there in harness. Napoleon met him during the negotiations at Amiens, and styled him "un bien brave homme." A pyramidal group. In Garter mantle with insignia (ribbon again over wrong shoulder). The male figure represents the river Bagareth (sic) and holds an emblem of the Ganges. The female figure standing by is our Eastern Empire. Perhaps the best of this sculptor. (Rossi.)

Choir South Aisle.

Monuments of Dr. John Donne and Bishop Blomfield.

Photo S.B. Bolas & Co.


Four are recumbent figures of bishops and dignitaries, and call for no comment beyond the success in giving a life-like expression to the features.

*62. Milman (Henry Hart, 1791-1868). Dean for nineteen years. Pastor, poet, historian, and divine. (Williamson.)

*63. Donne (John, 1572-1631). A versatile and somewhat eccentric dean, 1621-1631. The only monument at all intact that escaped the Fire. Upright in shroud, and on classical urn. In old church in like position, but on opposite side. Sat for his portrait in his shroud.

64. Blomfield (Chas. Jas., 1786-1857). Bishop, 1828-1856. (Geo. Richmond.)

65. Jackson (John, 1810-1885). Bishop, 1868-1885. (Thos. Woolner.)

66. Heber (Reginald, 1783-1826). Second Bishop of [132]Calcutta; died at Trichinopoly. Thackeray's "Good divine, charming poet, beloved parish priest." Milman's "Early friend, by the foot of whose statue I pass so often, not without emotion, to our services.... None was ever marked so strongly for a missionary bishop in the fabled and romantic East." A kneeling figure, and the best in this aisle. Formerly under the east window, but now facing the sanctuary. (Chantrey.)

*67. Liddon (Henry Parry, 1829-1890). South side of the Apse. We fitly close this catalogue with this famous preacher, with the possible exception of Henry Melvill the greatest connected with the cathedral in modern time. Residentiary for twenty years, and Chancellor. (Bodley and Garner.)

Amongst the great sculptors, John Gibson is not represented by any work. Amongst the great men, Wren, his epitaph notwithstanding, might well have a monument with a list of his buildings on the pedestal. Marlborough should have one opposite to Wellington; and Colet, surely, might be again remembered, and with him Dean Church.


The entrance to the staircase is in the ambulatory on the north side of the south transept. This basement story, for the whole length and breadth of the building, of which more than one half is taken up by piers and pillars, dimly lighted in aisles and transepts from above, though it strikes the spectator most impressively, has an aspect weird and sombre to a degree. We feel we are in the company of the dead. The pavement of the dome area is supported by eight larger and four smaller piers, forming externally a square and internally an octagon; and within the octagon eight columns describe a circle of sufficient diameter for Nelson's tomb. The central aisles throughout are likewise supported by double rows of square pillars. At the west end of the choir the piers underneath the chancel arch are exceptionally massive, and east of them the introduction of two extra rows of pillars together with an irregularity in the vaulting indicates, not only where choir screen and organ were placed, but also that Wren never wanted them there to isolate the chancel.

[133] Nelson's Tomb.


The parish of St. Faith in 1878 consented to the removal of the high railings which marked off their part, and tiles now record the south and west boundaries. This reminds us that the crypt has been a burial place for ages past. Many completely unknown lie around us, and sleep in the company of more than one great maker of history; but we are concerned only with the few, and with certain monuments of others buried elsewhere. At the west is placed Wellington's funeral car, made of captured guns, and with his chief victories inscribed in gold, and the candelabra used for the lying in state. Near, and further east, are buried Cruikshank, Lord Mayor Nottage (who died during his mayoralty in 1886), Bartle Frere and his wife (Lady Frere died 1899, and is the last interred at the time of writing this), and Lord Napier of Magdala. In the very centre the corpse of Nelson, enclosed in wood from a mast of the Orient, reposes within the circle of columns in a plain tomb, and underneath a magnificent black and [134]white sarcophagus of the sixteenth century. Let us pause to reflect that this fine work of art, on which Benedetto da Rovanza and his masons spent much labour, was intended by Wolsey for his own monument, but was confiscated with the rest of his goods. To this day no one knows the exact spot where the Abbot of Leicester and his monks buried the great Tudor statesman; and nearly three centuries later the marble covered the coffin of the great admiral. On the top a viscount's coronet takes the place of the disgraced and broken-hearted cardinal's hat. Nelson's nephew, Lord Merton of Trafalgar, lies in a vault underneath, and at the sides are Collingwood and the Earl of Northesk, two companions in arms. A grating here, underneath the centre of the dome, allows the light from the lantern to be dimly seen. Further east and near the south side were placed in April, 1883, the remains of the ill-fated Professor Palmer and his two companions, Captain Gill and Lieutenant Charrington, who were killed by Arabs while on a Government mission in the Desert of Sinai. Underneath the chancel arch is the sepulchre of Wellington, of Cornish porphyry, plain and unadorned. As with the monument, so here, no attempt is made to enumerate those titles, commands, orders and posts and offices of honour, proclaimed by Garter King at Arms, after Dean Milman had committed his body to the ground. The simple inscription, "Arthur, Duke of Wellington," upon the severely simple tomb, depicts, not incorrectly, the life and character of the Iron Duke. A neighbouring tomb is that of Picton. Some little distance to the east, and in the end recess of the south choir aisle is the grave of Wren. The plain black marble slab, which tells who lies below, is only raised some sixteen inches; and on the wall of the recess is the original of the famous inscription, "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice." Other members of the family are close at hand in what we may call Wren's corner. His daughter Jane, his daughter-in-law Maria with her parents Philip and Constantia Masard, and tablets commemorate Dame Jane his wife, a daughter of Sir Thomas Coghill, and her great granddaughter who, living to the age of ninety-three, well-nigh connects his time with ours. One of the deans—Newton, Bishop of Bristol, whose monument was not allowed above, slumbers near the great architect; as in Painters' Corner do [135]Reynolds, West, Lawrence, Leighton (whose fine gravestone contrasts so oddly with Wren's), and Millais, all Presidents of the Royal Academy, with James Barry, Opie, Dance, Fuseli, Turner, Landseer, and Boehm. Near here are Mylne and Cockerell, successors of Wren: Milman lies directly under the altar, and Liddon underneath his monument.

Church of St. Faith in the Crypt.

Photo. S.B. Bolas & Co.


The monuments include two removed from the choir to make room for the organ. John Cooke, killed in command of the Bellerophon (Westmacott), and George Duff, killed in command of the Mars (Bacon), both at Trafalgar. Tablets, busts, or brasses, are in honour of Lord Mayo, the Canadian statesman Macdonald, the Australian statesman Dally, the Press correspondents who fell in the Soudan, the soldiers who fell in the Transvaal, Goss, the organist and composer, and Bishop Piers Claughton, a residentiary. At the east end, where service is held on a weekday morning at eight, are a [136]few fragments of the old monuments—Nicholas Bacon (in armour and legs missing), Christopher Hatton, John Wolley, and others. Some slight carvings of the old buildings are also left.


The Library.

Photo. S.B. Bolas & Co.


Above the aisles are long and spacious galleries, and after mounting the staircase to the south-west of the dome, we pass through one of these—that over the south aisle—to the Library over the South-West Chapel. A gallery is supported by brackets carved by Jonathan Maine, and the flooring is of 2,300 pieces of oak, inlaid and without pegs or nails. There is a portrait of Bishop Compton, who may be considered the founder; and later donations and bequests include those of Bishop Sumner of Winchester, Archdeacon Hale, and notably Dr. Sparrow-Simpson. Altogether many thousands of MSS. [137]and books. A beautiful "Avicenna Canon Medicinæ," a psalter supposed to have been used in the old Latin services, and another bought by Dr. Simpson at a second-hand book-stall, are of the fourteenth century. A subscription book for the rebuilding contains the following: "I will give one thousand pounds a yeare whitehall 20 March 1677/8 Charles R." These subscriptions never found their way into the fund; and forgetful how readily the Merry Monarch's money might have been intercepted en route, it has been assumed that he never parted with it. In the same book James also promises "two hundred pounds a yeare to begin from Midsommer day last past." The printed books include Tyndale's Pentateuch and his New Testament; and the Sumner and Hale bequests include large numbers of curious tracts and pamphlets. Richard Jennings' model of the centre of the west front is preserved. In the eighteenth century St. Paul's was a favourite place for weddings, and the registers, with many interesting names, are being edited for the Harleian Society. The Trophy Room above the North-West Chapel contains Wren's model, which was restored when Sydney Smith was a Canon.

We are quite content to follow Fergusson, and let the architectural value of New St. Paul's stand or fall with the literary value of "Paradise Lost." Just as Addison says of the latter: "In poetry as in architecture, not only the whole, but the principal members and every part of them should be great"; "there is an unquestionable magnificence in every part"; "a work which does an honour to the English nation": just as Macaulay corroborates by eulogising it as "that extraordinary production which the general suffrage of critics has placed in the highest class of human compositions"—even so we may end here, and describe this unique and marvellous conception of a man who was not a trained architect, who was never known to have travelled further than Paris and who was incessantly hampered and hindered, as a conception, not indeed architecturally faultless, but for all that and leaving out the much greater St. Peter's, as the finest church of the Renaissance style and epoch, more stable and better adapted for public worship than any earlier cathedral in England. To the Renaissance, the genius of Milton contributed an epic in blank verse, the genius of Wren a second in stone.


[89] Ground-plan of Interior of First Design in Fergusson's "Modern Architecture," p. 260; and in Longman, p. 110, where the scale, though not given, is 1-1/2 inches to the 100 feet.

[90] "Parentalia," p. 290. The Temple of Peace is now known as the Basilica of Constantine or Maxentius.

[91] Fortnightly Review, October, 1872.

[92] "Handbook," p. 495.

[93] Tract II. in "Parentalia," p. 357. His mathematical demonstrations with their diagrams, wherein he works out the centre of gravity, are too technical for insertion. The Tract is incomplete.

[94] "Parentalia," p. 291.

[95] The two others on the west wall represent Melchisedek blessing Abraham, and David as a man of war praising God. On the eastern wall the central piece illustrates the texts, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other"; "Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the name of the Lord." At the sides the words of Job, "Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel"; and of the Centurion, "I also am a man set under authority, having under myself soldiers."

[96] Gwilt's "Edifices of London," vol. i., p. 33, quoted by Longman, p. 178.

[97] Nevertheless it is not correct to say that the massive pillars of the octagon leave the vista along the side aisles unimpaired. I have satisfied myself that there is an interruption similar to St. Paul's.

[98] See the half-section, half elevation, in Fergusson, p. 271, or section p. 90 above.

[99] So far as I can calculate. St. Peter's, according to Fergusson, is 333 feet high internally, and the diameter 130 feet, giving a ratio of five to two: St. Paul's gives a ratio of two to one. Stephen Wren gives the ratios differently in the "Parentalia."

[100] "Parentalia," p. 291.

[101] "St. Paul's and Old City Life," p. 279.

[102] I think it needless to repeat the evidence I gave in extenso in the Times, May 22, 1899. But see the "Parentalia," p. 292, note (a), and Mr. William Longman's remarks.

[103] I presume that this gave rise to the idea that this particular kind of mosaic is only suited for churches of the Byzantine style of architecture, like St. Sophia. Yet these old mosaics are found in churches which are not of this style, although situated at one time in the Eastern Empire.

[104] My sister, Mrs. Curry, saw these mosaics on August 30, 1899, and helped me to bring the account up to date.

[105] I am indebted to Ralph's successor, Archdeacon Thornton, for this information. These "Psalmi Ascripti" are found in the Consuetudines of Ralph de Baldock. I am ignorant of Newcourt's sources of information.

[106] Registrum Statutorum, Appendix i.

[107] Longman, p. 112.

[108] Further information may be found in The Journal of the Society of Arts, June 21, 1895 (Sir W. Richmond); Magazine of Art, Nov., 1897 (Alfred Lys Baldry); Sunday Magazine, Jan. and Feb., 1898 (Canon Newbolt, who mentions "A Small Lecture on Mosaic," by Sir W. Richmond, given at the "Arts and Crafts").



CONCLUSION (1710-1897)

Wren's great friend and supporter on the Commission, John Evelyn, was long since dead; and in 1718, thanks to an intrigue, the Surveyor was dismissed in favour of an incompetent successor, chiefly famous for figuring in the Dunciad. Fortunately, says his grandson, "He was happily endued with such an Evenness of Temper, a steady Tranquillity of Mind, and Christian Fortitude, that no injurious Incidents or Inquietudes of human life, could ever ruffle or discompose." He continued for a time superintending at the Abbey, but soon took a house from the Crown at Hampton, where he could look upon another of his innumerable designs, and from time to time came up to see his cathedral, and, as the story goes, was wont to sit under the dome. Thanks to the regularity and temperance of his habits, for he profited by his medical studies, and his happy disposition, he lived five years longer, occupying his leisure with a variety of mathematical and scientific studies, and above all "in the Consolation of the Holy Scriptures: cheerful in Solitude, and as well pleased to die in the Shade as in the Light." A visit to London brought on a cold he failed to shake off. He was accustomed to take a nap after dinner; and on February 25, 1723, his servant, thinking he had slept long enough, entered the room. The good old man had passed quietly to his well-earned rest. His wife had long pre-deceased him. Steele declared that Wren was absolutely incapable of trumpeting his own fame, "which has as fatal an effect upon men's reputations as poverty; for as it was said—'the poor man saved the city, and the poor man's labour was forgot'; so here we find the modest man built the city, and [139]the modest man's skill was unknown."[109] But Wren did not build only for the Commission who dismissed him, but for posterity; and posterity more impartial will yet pronounce that he belongs to the great men of two centuries ago, and accord him a place beside Marlborough and Addison and Newton.

About this time Parliament vested the fabric in three trustees—the Primate, the Bishop, and the Lord Mayor. With them rests the appointment of the surveyor, the examination and audit of his accounts, and in general the charge and maintenance of the cathedral.[110] This trust is unique, and has its origin in the large sums provided from taxation, whereas the other cathedrals were raised by voluntary offerings. The eighteenth century does not call for more than a passing notice. Wren's intentions continued to be delayed or frustrated in at least four important respects. The high railings shut out any complete view of the exterior: the dome area, isolated from the choir by the organ, was not used for the very purpose it was designed: the interior lacked mosaics: no monuments to the great dead filled the recesses ready for them. Reynolds headed a body of artists anxious to execute a scheme of adornment not in accordance with the architect's views, and was defeated by Bishop Terrick on grounds other than æsthetic. George III. gave thanks in 1789 for his recovery, and again eight years later for naval victories. On this latter occasion Nelson attended as one of the representatives of the Fleet; and as his one remaining eye rested on the Howard monument, did he think that the time was near at hand when he would be brought there, and when another monument would be erected to himself? For at last the cathedral was being put to its intended use; and the first memorial was accorded to a self-sacrificing philanthropist, who was not even a member of the Anglican communion. Another eight years, and amidst all that was high and distinguished, under the very centre of the dome, Dean Pretyman-Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, committed to the ground the maimed body of the greatest of our sea captains. "As a youth," says Dean Milman, "I was present, and remember the solemn effect of the sinking of the coffin. I heard, or fancied that I heard, the low wail of the sailors who bore and encircled the remains of their [140]admiral."[111] During the short peace before the return from Elba Wellington carried the sword of state before the Regent at the Thanksgiving service (July 9, 1814), and Dean Milman was called upon to officiate at the funeral of Wellington (November 18, 1852), which the Prince Consort attended, when the length of the procession may be estimated from Henry Greville's statement that it took one and three-quarter hours to pass Devonshire House.

The earlier Parliaments returned by the first Reform Bill brought about sweeping and ill-considered changes, both diocesan and capitular. Essex and the small archdeaconry of St. Alban's were separated from the diocese, and instead of being formed into a new one, were annexed to Rochester.[112] The capitular changes were chiefly the work of one sweeping Act which applied to the Chapters as a body (3 and 4 Vict. c. 113). The obligation of residence was removed from the prebends; four new resident canonries were created, and the revenues of the prebends alienated. By this scheme the greater part of the authority was entrusted to the dean and the residentiaries, and the thirty prebends became almost honorary, excepting that the old fees had still to be paid on installation. Thirty benefices—sinecures most of them in the modern sense and of large and increasing value—had become an anomaly and out of date; but were residents, officially non-resident for three-fourths of the year, the happiest method of reform? What Sydney Smith, one of the last of the old resident prebendaries, thought of these changes may be read in his life. A more competent authority on matters capitular than Sydney Smith, and like him in other respects an admirer of the first Victorian ministry, roundly declared, "The three months system is a mockery and worse";[113] and as a matter of fact the residentiaries prefer to discharge their duties by a more regular attendance. The patronage of three of these coveted stalls was reserved to the Crown; the fourth was left to the Bishop; but although the Archdeaconry of London was annexed to this fourth, one-third of the revenue was deducted for the remaining [141]Archdeaconry of Middlesex. Since then the income of this fourth stall has been raised to the level of the others, and the prebendal stall of Cantlers re-endowed, the occupant being the diocesan inspector in religious knowledge. The one satisfactory feature in these changes is that the alienated revenues, estimated at £150,000, have been put to a good and practical use. By yet another change the mediæval college of the petty canons has been dissolved, and the minor canons reduced from twelve to six.

The best vindication of the new order of things is to look at results. It was left to Dean Milman and his Chapter, originally at the suggestion of Bishop Tait, to endeavour to carry out Wren's designs and Wren's ideas. The high exterior railings are gone: the organ removed to its proper position and the organ screen taken away, so that dome and choir are connected for congregational purposes: the system of decoration by mosaics well advanced. The absolute necessity of using the dome was emphasised, not only by the Sunday evening services, but by the appointment of Henry Parry Liddon to a resident's stall. Competent judges have asserted that Henry Melvill, though not the greater thinker, was the greater preacher of the two; but Melvill was almost past his best on his appointment in 1856, and he is rather associated with the choir than the dome. Be this as it may, Wren would have been gratified indeed to have seen the favourite offspring of his genius filled from arch to arch, and to have listened to the clear and melodious high-pitched voice of the great preacher, always articulate, and with an articulation after Wren's own heart that did not drop the last words of the sentences. Wren would have been further gratified to have seen his dome used, in addition to weekday services, three times each Sunday, as he would have been to have worked under those successive Deans—Milman, Mansel, Church, Gregory—who, in conjunction with their Chapters, have loyally endeavoured to put the cathedral to the use he wished from the day he first began to design his short Greek cross; and finally, he would have been gratified at Gounod's statement that the services are rendered to the finest music in the world, and to have seen the free facilities offered to the public for studying his architecture, and would have contrasted the orderly behaviour of the visitors from every quarter of the globe with the old-time swashbucklers and rowdies of [142]Paul's Walk; and any objection to the lengthening westward would have been removed, had he lived to have seen his great cathedral filled from door to door with a congregation of from ten to twelve thousand at the special musical services.

This all too short summary must close by recording that the Queen attended the Thanksgiving service in February, 1872 for the recovery of the Prince of Wales; and on Queen Victoria's Day, Tuesday, June 22, 1897, again proceeded in state from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's, where a Thanksgiving service was held at the West Front on occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, her Majesty returning by way of London and Westminster Bridges.


[109] Tatler, No. 52.

[110] Milman, p. 449.

[111] The account in Dugdale (p. 455) from the London Gazette of January 18, 1806, fills more than eight folio pages of small print.

[112] A small part of the Surrey side was also in the diocese.

[113] Freeman's "Wells," p. 95.




* Archbishop of Canterbury.      § Archbishop of York.


         *   *   *   * 772. Sighaeh 898. Wulfsize
314. Restitutus 774. Eadbert 926. Theodred
         *   *   *   * 789. Eadgar 953. Byrrthelm
604. Mellitus* 791. Coenwalh 959. Dunstan*d
         *   *   *   * 794. Eadbald 961. Aelstan
654. Cedd 794. Heathobert 996. Wulfstan
666. Wine 802. Osmund 1004. Aelihun
675. Erkenwald or Ercourvald 811. Aethilnoth 1014. Aelfwig
693. Waldhere 824. Coelberht 1035. Aelfward
706. Ingwald 860. Deorwulf 1044. Robert
745. Eggwulf 860. Swithwulf 1051. William the Norman
  898. Heahstan  


  Bishops. Deans.
1075 Hugh de Orivalle  
1085 Maurice  
?     Ulstan
1108 Richard de Belmeis Primus  
1111   William
1128 Gilbert the Universal  
1138   Ralph de Langford
1141 Robert de Sigillo  
1152 Richard de Belmeis Secundus Hugo de Marny
1163 Gilbert Foliot  
1181   Ralph de Diceto
1189 Richard de Ely or Fitzneal  
1198 William de S. Maria  [144]
1210   Alardus de Burnham
1216   Gervase de Hobrogg
1218   Robert de Watford
1221 Eustace de Fauconberge  
1228   Martin de Pateshull
1229 Roger Niger  
1231   Galfry de Lucy
1241   William de S. Maria
1242 Fulk Basset  
1244   Henry de Cornhill
1254   William de Salerne
1256   Richard de Barton
?     Peter de Newport
?     Richard Talbot
1259 Henry de Wingham  
1263 Henry de Sandwich Galfry de Feringes
1268   John de Chishul
1274 John de Chishul Hervey de Borham
1276   Thomas de Inglethorp
1280 Richard de Gravesend  
1283   Roger de la Leye
1285   William de Montford
1294   Ralph de Baldock
1306 Ralph de Baldock Raymond de la Goth
1307   Arnold de Cantilupe
1313 Gilbert de Segrave John de Sandale
1314   Richard de Newport
1317 Richard de Newport Vitalis Gasco
1319 Stephen de Gravesend  
1323   John de Everden
1336   Gilbert de Bruera
1338 Richard de Bentworth  
1340 Ralph de Stratford  
1353   Richard de Kilmyngton
1354 Michael de Northburg  
1362 Simon de Sudbury* Walter de Alderbury
1363   Thomas Trilleck
1364   John de Appleby
1375 William Courtenay*  
1381 Robert Braybrooke  
1389   Thomas de Evere
1400   Thomas Stow
1405 Roger Walden  
1406 Nicholas Bubbewich Thomas Moor
1407 Richard Clifford  
1421   Reginald Kentwoode[145]
1422 John Kempe*§  
1426 William Grey  
1431 Robert Fitz-Hugh  
1436 Robert Gilbert  
1441   Thomas Lisieux
1450 Thomas Kempe  
1456   Laurence Booth§
1457   William Say
1468   Roger Radclyff
1471   Thomas Wynterbourne
1479   William Worseley
1489 Richard Hill  
1496 Thomas Savage§  
1499   Robert Sherbon
1501 William Wareham*  
1504 William Barnes  
1505   John Colet
1506 Richard Fitz-James  
1505-32   Richard Pace
1522 Cuthbert Tunstall  
1530 John Stokesley  
1536   Richard Sampson
1539 Edmund Bonner  
1540   John Incent
1545   William May
1550 Nicholas Ridley  
1553 Edmund Bonner  
1554   John Howman de Feckenham
1556   Henry Cole
1559 Edmund Grindal*§ William May
1560   Alexander Nowell
1570 Edwin Sandys§  
1577 John Aylmer  
1595 Richard Fletcher  
1597 Richard Bancroft*  
1602   John Overall
1604 Richard Vaughan  
1607 Thomas Ravis  
1610 George Abbot*  
1611 John King  
1614   Valentine Carey
1621 George Monteigne§ John Donne
1628 William Laud*  
1631-41   Thomas Winniff
1633 William Juxon*  
1660 Gilbert Sheldon* Matthew Nicolas[146]
1661   John Barwick
1663 Humfrey Henchman  
1664   William Sancroft*
1675 Henry Compton  
1677   Edward Stillingfleet
1689   John Tillotson*
1691   William Sherlock
1707   Henry Godolphin
1714 John Robinson  
1723 Edmund Gibson  
1726   Francis Hare
1740   Joseph Butler
1748 Thomas Sherlock  
1750   Thomas Secker*
1758   John Hume
1761 Thomas Hayter  
1762 Richard Osbaldeston  
1764 Richard Terrick  
1766   Frederick Cornwallis*
1768   Thomas Newton
1777 Robert Lowth  
1782   Thomas Thurlow
1787 Beilby Porteous George Pretyman-Tomline
1809 John Randolph  
1813 William Howley*  
1820   William Van Mildert
1826   Charles Richard Sumner
1827   Edward Coplestone
1828 Chas. Jas. Blomfield  
1849   Henry Hart Milman
1856 Archibald Campbell Tait*  
1868   Henry Longueville Mansel
1869 John Jackson  
1871   Richard William Church
1885 Frederick Temple*  
1891   Robert Gregory
1896 Mandell Creighton  

As regards the earlier periods, some of the dates are only approximate, and certain names are inserted and others omitted with hesitation.





  Square Feet   Square Feet
S. Peter's, Rome 227,000 St. Isaac's 68,845
Milan 108,277 Chartres 68,261
Seville 100,000(?) Rheims 67,475
Florence 84,802 Lincoln 66,900
St. Paul's 84,311 Winchester 64,200
Cologne 81,464 Paris, Notre Dame 64,108
York 72,860 Westminster 61,729
Amiens 71,208 Canterbury 56,280
Antwerp 70,000(?)    

The Basilica of Constantine was 68,000 square feet.

St. Paul's is not so long as Winchester, Ely, York, and Canterbury.

Old St. Paul's was a trifle less in area than its successor, but counting St. Gregory's and the Chapter House, my estimate from Dugdale's plan is that it exceeded it. In length it exceeded every church the dimensions of which I have been able to ascertain, with the solitary exception of the 680 feet of St. Peter's.




Nave with Portico 223 feet.
Dome area 122 feet.
Choir 168 feet.
Total length 513 feet.
Length of Transepts 248 feet.
Breadth of Nave 123 feet.
Breadth of West Front with Chapels 179 feet.
Summit of balustrade 108 feet.
Statue of St. Paul, west front 135 feet.
Base of hemisphere 220 feet.
Golden Gallery 281 feet.
Cross (top) 363 feet.
Western Towers 222 feet.


Length, 460 feet, of which the Nave is a little over 200.
Breadth (excluding recesses underneath the windows), about 100 feet.
Length of Transepts, 240 feet.
Height of Central Vaulting, 89 feet.
Height of Whispering Gallery about 100 feet, and same diameter.
Opening at apex of Dome, about 215 feet.
Area, 59,700 square feet.


Ground Plan of St. Paul's Cathedral

GROUND PLAN of ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL showing the position of the Monuments.ToList

Typographical error corrected in text:

Page 86:  colonade replaced with colonnade 


Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

Click on the images to see a larger version.


English Medieval Cathedrals

1. Gloucester Cathedral

2. Ripon Cathedral

3. Rochester Cathedral

4. Saint Paul's Cathedral

5. Southwark Cathedral


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