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of the choir, and that the wall of it might be continued to the east transept. Traces of such a wall appear by the steps into the undercroft, and in what is now the minor canons vestry.
In this transept against the south wall there is a stone chest' raised about a foot above the pavement; another of the same size was removed 1791. They had antique crosses upon them, and appeared to have been forced open. It is said that some persons, who, about the year 1645, defaced and pillaged the tombs in this church, found in one of these coffins a crucifix and a ring: they were probably the tombs of some of the priors. In this transept a doorcase richly ornamented is deserving attention. It is the entrance into the present chapter-house, which is also used for a library; but it was the grand door of communication between the church and the chapter-house of Ernulph in all solemn processions. The moulding of the arch of entrance into the north cloister is still to be seen.
The constructor is unknown, as is also the date, but it is judged by an eminent artist to have been executed about the middle of the fourteenth century. Age and wilfulness have much defaced this elegant piece of sculpture, and its beauties are also disguised by the white-wash with which it has been injudiciously covered. It is presumed that some of the portraits exhibited may be pointed out with a high degree of probability. The royal figures on each side, supported by bustos, like those on the sides of the great west door, may be reasonably thought to denote Henry I. and his queen Matilda ; the scroll in the king's right hand having a reference to his new grants, and to his acts of confirmation of former rights and privileges; and the church in his left, to his being present at the dedication of the cathedral. The queen is holding a book or scroll in her hand, but to what they particularly relate there is no clue. Gundulph having been the architect of the church, and founder of the priory, it will be readily admitted that the episcopal figure above the king was designed for him, though the symbols are so much mutilated, that an interpretation of them is scarcely
possible. Bishop Ernulph, who was a man of learning, will not be judged to be unaptly characterized by the book placed before the opposite figure. In the niche above the king and Gundulph, if the building is supposed to be a shrine, the figure might be intended for Lawrence de St. Martin, by whose interest with the pope William the Pil. grim was enrolled in the catalogue of saints. What he holds in his hand, and which partly covers the shrine, may be meant for a bull, or a label, in allusion to the papal bull of canonization. There is the resemblance of a tower in the opposite niche; and, if designed for one, it was no unsuitable symbol to annex to a portrait of bishop Hamo de Hethe, who raised the steeple in the centre of the church, and furnished it with bells. Still higher are four angels, two on each side, with labels in their hands, enwrapped in clouds. They appear singing praises to the small statue in the centre, surrounded with clouds, designed probably for the resurrection of Our Saviour.
The north-east transept was formerly separated from the choir by a screen of wood, with Gothic arches. Before the Reformation, devotees without number used to visit the chapel, because St. William, from whom it acquired its appellation, was enshrined in it. The tomb, which consists of a large stone coffin of Petworth marble, adjoins to the north wall, near a door that leads up to an apartment, over the east end, called the Treasury. This shrine containing within it a source of wealth to the monks, it may be presumed that it was by them richly ornamented. But, whatever decorations it may have had, it now makes a mean appearance. A palmer's staff upon the lid still serves to denote the class of the person here deposited; it was cased with metal, that is become rusty, and is continually peeling off. Hubert de Burg, justiciary of England in the reign of Henry III. gave the middle window at the shrine of St. William. The window here described, it is apprehended, is not either of the central windows now extant, but a window that was under them. The stone frame of it
may be seen in the wall without the church; and to the west of
the window is a niche in which`might be placed the statue of this imaginary saint. The monument to the west of this shrine is to the memory of Walter de Merton, founder of the college in Oxford which bears his name. He died October 27, 1277, being drowned by unwarily passing a river, the depth of which was unknown to him; and he is the earliest prelate of the see of Rochester whose place of burial in the cathedral can be ascertained by his tomb. The original monument was made at Limoges, in France, where the art of enamelling most flourished, and that was antiently a common ornament of sumptuous tombs. Fortyone pounds five shillings and sixpence was the expence of constructing it and of the carriage from Limoges to Rochester. This tomb was almost entirely destroyed at the Reformation, and a new and elegant monument erected in 1598 at the expence of the warden and fellows of Merton College. In 1662 it was repaired, and in 1772 cleaned and beautified, by the same learned body. From this prelate the chapel has acquired the appellation of Merton Chapel. The monument opposite is in memory of bishop Lowe, who died September 30, 1467. It is still in good preservation, and the oldest monument in the church with a legible inscription. This may probably be owing to the letters not having been engraven on a brass plate, but cut in high relief upon the stone, which is of Sussex marble. At the west end, within a shield held up by an angel, are the family arms of the bishop, impaled with the arms of the see of Rochester, which are, however, placed on the sinister side. The prelate's arms on a bend, three wolves heads erased, are thought to be an allusion to his name; louve being, in French, a she-wolf. At the east end of this chapel, on the north side, is a beautiful tomb, of white and' black marble and alabaster, in memory of bishop Warner, who died in 1666, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and was the last prelate of the see interred in this ca. thedral. Between Lowe and Warner, Hilsey was the only bishop interred; here. The time of his death is not quite certain, but supposed to be about the end of the year 1533.
It was bishop Warner's desire that his remains should be covered with a grave-stone, having on it no other inscription than " Hic jacet carlaver Johannis Warner, totos annos xxxix. Episcopi Roffensis, in spem resurrectionis.” In this instance, however, and in this only, his executors did not comply with his request; for, from the most respectful motives, they erected this monument with an epitaph too long to be here inserted. But the most honourable memorial entailed on the name of this prelate is his munificent endowment of Bromley college for the support of twenty widows of clergymen.
Behind the west wall of this chapel, there were apartments that have long been ruinous; nearly opposite to the door of communication chimneys are to be seen, and on the side of one of them is part of an oven. To the west of the e apartments are considerable remains of a tower, stiled, in a lease dated April 7, 15+5, the three-bell steeple; and through it was a passage teading up to the great tower, which is stiled, in the same lease, the six-bell steeple. It retains to this day appellation of Gundulph's Tower, from a traditional notion of its having been built by him. Between this tower and the north aisle of the choir were the wax-chandler's chambers; marks of the floors are discernible. The person to whom these apartments were demised by the lease just cited, was to pay to the dean and chapter the rent of a taper of one pound of wax to be of. fered on Good Friday to the sepulchre of our Lord. From this chapel is a descent into the north aisle, by several steps, which being much worn shew their antiquity, and are a proof of the great resort there formerly was to the shrine of St. William. Against the wall of the choir is an altar-tomb, placed under a light canopy arch; and within the archi, above the tomb, is a mutilated angel which holds a scroll. It has been assigned to bishop Haymo de Hethe, who died in 1352, and the stile of its architecture is of that age. It is the more likely that this prelate might himself fix upon this spot for the place of bis sepulture; because, from its being in the way to St. William's chapel, in which VOL. V. No. 110.
he founded a chantry, pilgrims as they passed might be reminded to offer a pater-noster and an ave-maria for his soul.
OTHER MONUMENTS, in the body of the cathedral, In the south part of the western transept, RICHARD WATTS, Esq. recorder and representative of Rochester in the second parliament of queen Elizabeth. He died in September, 1579. This monument was erected by the mayor and citizens, in 1736, and is remarkable for exhibiting a real bust of the deceased, executed during his life-time; and exhibits a bald head, short hair, and flowing beard.
In the south are two elegant monuments in memory of the late lord and lady HENNIKER. Inscriptions in memory of WILLIAM STREATON, Esq. nine times mayor of Rochester; died in 1609. Dr. AugustUS CÆSAR; died in 1683, Sir RICHARD HEAD, bart, died in 1689.
Rev. John DENNE, D.D. archdeacon and prebendary of Row chester, (compiler of the Registrum Roffense); died in 1767; and his son, the late rev. SAMUEL DENNE.
When the north transept of the nave was building, it was termed the new work towards St. William's gate. This gate was placed opposite the north door; through it was an entrance into the High Street, where there was a cross erected in honour of the saint. The gate near the north door of the church, over which is a room belonging to the house of the third prebendary, was formerly called the Sacristry Gate. It was so denominated from its leading to the apartments and garden of the sacrist, and it might also Icad to the prior's lodgings, as it does at present to the deanery.
The bishopric of Rochester is esteemed the poorest and least in circumference of all the dioceses in England; so that usually some other benefice is held in commerdam, to support the incumbent in his dignity as a spiritual peer of the realm ; this benefice has mostly been the deanery of Westminster,