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THE CLOTHWORKER'S COMPANY is one of the twelve principal in the City, and was incorporated, first by letters patent of Edward IV. in 1492, by the name of “ The Fraternity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Sheermen of London;" secondly, by Queen Elizabeth, who changed their first appellation, to that of “ The Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of Freemen of the Art and Mystery of Clothworkers of the City of London ; which title was confirmed by Charles I.
This company has a master, four wardens, thirty assistants, and a livery; and supports the following charities: A free school at Sutton Vallence, in Kent; another in the Isle of Man.
Almshouses, at Sutton Vallence, and Islington.
Anniversary sermons and lectures, eighteen, in various parts of England.
Exhibitions for poor scholars: nine in the two universities
Besides thirty-seven benefactors at different periods, at 1001. each, for the use of the poor. The whole expenditure of this company for charitable purposes is estimated at 14001. per annum.
In Fen Court is the churchyard of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch; the church was destroyed by the Great Fire ; and not having been rebuilt, the parish was annexed to that of St. Margaret Pattens, Rood Lane.
On the west side of Lime Street is
PEWTERER'S HALL. This hall was given to the company by Mr. William Small
. wood, master, in the second year of the reign of Henry VII
. This gentleman, by will, bequeathed also a garden and nine tenements to the brotherhood; and a commemorative picture of him still hangs in the Court Room.
A carving over the door represents a crown over a red rose, T. G. a ship on a globe, and the sun rising, inscribed: “ Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos?” If God be for us, who can be against us?
There is also a dial, with a spider and fly crawling on it; inscribed, “ Sic Vita !” So is life; and the company's arms under a small pediment.
This company was incorporated by letters patent, granted to them by Edward IV. in 1474.
In 1534, the wardens of the Pewterer's Company, or their deputies, were empowered, by act of parliament, to have inspection of pewter in all parts of the kingdom, in order to prevent the sale of base pewter; and the importation of pewter vessels from abroad. As a further encouragement, all Englishmen are by that act strictly enjoined not to repair to any foreign country to teach the art or mystery of Pewterers, on pain of disfranchisement: and for the more effectually preventing the art being carried abroad, no pewterer is to take the son of an alien as an apprentice. This corporation has a master, two wardens, twenty-eight assistants, and livery.
ST. DIONISIUS, VULGARLY CALLED ST. DIONIS, BACK
CHURCH, FENCHURCH STREET.
THIS church owes its name to St. Dionis, Dennis, or Dionysius, an Athenian Areopagite, or judge, who being converted on the preaching of St, Paul at Athens, was bap
tized by him, and consecrated the first bishop of Athens by St. Paul. With respect to his going as a missionary to Gaul, and founding an episcopal see at Paris, where he is said to have suffered martyrdom, and to carry his head, after it was cut off, two miles, we do not think it worth while to hazard any opinion ; refering to the authorities of Doctors Cave, Du Pin, and others, who have treated the whole as a fable; but proceed to add, that this saint, after a most resolute and eminent confession of faith, and after having undergone several severe torments, gave his last great testimony, by laying down his life at Athens, under the reign of the emperor Domitian. The building is denominated Back Church, on account of its situation behind a row of houses.
With respect to its history, we have no other authentic document, than that it was in the patronage of the prior and convent of Christ Church, Canterbury, in 1288; and, that being decayed, it was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VI. The former structure was demolished by the fire in 1666, and the present church finished in 1674; the steeple was erected within ten years afterwards.
The building mostly partakes of the Ionic order, and is strongly built of stone and brick; the walls within are handsomely wainscoted and the floor paved. Four Composite pillars, with elegant carved work, under an entablature and circular pediment compose the altar. The organ is a large, undecorated instrument, in a recess. The church is small, but well lighted by arched windows; and the steeple is very lofty, and contains ten small bells, with chimes. The dimensions of the fabric are, length sixty-six feet, breadth fifty-nine, altitude thirty-four, and the tower and turret ninety feet.
Among the benefactors for rebuilding the church, there are many names worthy of notice, and are therefore subjoined:
Sir Thomas Cullum, baronet, gave the marble foot pace and steps for the communion table.
Sir Arthur Ingram, the communion table and rails.
Sir Robert Geffery, a velvet carpet for the communion table, with silk and gold fringe, a common prayer book, and pulpit cushion of the same, the latter with silk and gold tassels.
Dame Elizabeth Clark, for her late husband, Dr. Hardy, dean of Rochester, formerly rector, 501. and for herself, 301.
Thomas Sturges, Esq. the gallery at the west end.
Mr. Philip Jackson, the altar piece, and his wife a da. mask table cloth and napkin for the communion table.
A friend of Mr. Jackson's, a silver chalice, paten, and spoon.
Mr. Peter Hoet, a silver bason and chalice for the communion, and 251.
Dr. Castillion, a bible and two common prayer books. Mr. Daniel Rawlinson, a brass branch of sixteen sockets. Mr. Church gave 101. and Mr. Williams, 251.
Sir Robert Geffery, besides his othor donations, 4001. to maintain reading prayers for ever; also 501.
There were buried in the old church, according to Stow,
Among the modern monuments are those of Sir Arthur Ingram, a respectable Spanish merchant, and his family.
Another to the memory of the Rawlinson family, of whom Sir Thomas Rawlinson, an eminent city magistrate; and Dr. Richard Rawlinson, were distinguished members.
The latter was an eminent collector and antiquary, and died in 1756. His library after his death produced 116 +1. by a sale which lasted fifty days. He was buried in the chapel of St. John's college, Oxford, of which college he was a member and benefactor. He also founded a Saxon lectureship in that university.
Other monuments are erected to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Craven, D’Oyley Michel, Esq. William Martin, EsqThomas Hankey, Esq. Edward Tyson, M. D. 1708. VOL. II. No. 42.
of his Age.
On the north side of the chancel is a very spacious and beautiful white and veined polished marble monument, adorned with the sword and mace, and cap of maintenance in Basso Relievo at the lower end of the monument; also with cherubims, urns, festoons, deaths heads, and between two cherubims weeping. His arms, and the following inscription appearing within a curious mantling, carved round and gilt with gold, in imitation of fringe.
In the Chancel is interred the Body of Sir Robert Geffery, Knight and Alderman, sometime since Lord Mayor of this City of London, President of the Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlehem; a most excellent Magistrate, and of exemplary Charity, Virtue and Good. ness; who departed this Life the 26th of February 1703, in the 91st
year And also the Body of Dame Percilla his Wife, Daughter of Luke Cropley, Esq; who deceased the 26th of October 1676, in the 43d year of her Age.
Over the monument are Sir Robert's ensigns of honour, helmet, sword, gauntlets, and banners, with his armorial bearings.
The living is one of the thirteen peculiars belonging to Canterbury, in the same manner as we have before mentioned under St. Dunstan in the East, and the dean and chapter of that cathedral present to the rectory.
Among the rectors was that most amiable and charitable prelate Dr. WARNER, bishop of Rochester, founder of Bromley college.
Fenchurch STREET took its name from the fenny ground, occasioned by the Lang-bourne; and for this reason the ward is denominated Langbourn, and Fenny about. Before the fire the little church of St. Gabriel stood in the middle of the street; but not being rebuilt, a portion of ground in Fen-court is reserved for a burial ground; and thus Fenchurch Street was made wide and convenient. Here formerly stood Denmark House, in which the Russian ambassador was entertained with great magnificence in the reign of queen Mary I.