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within. The floor of the building being raised ten or twelve feet above the level of the ground in Ely Place, the access to the Chapel is by a flight of stone steps, leading to two small doors, for which the wall has been pierced. These steps and doors have been added since the year 1772; the entrance having formerly been from the west, and south-west. The only approach is now from the east, in Ely Place.

The Chapel is in the form of a parallelogram, in length ninety-one feet, and breadth thirty-nine. It contains room for about five hundred and fifty persons. Upwards of half of the sittings are free.

. Partly, however, in consequence of its position, thrown back, as it is, amidst a row of houses, beyond which is no thoroughfare, this building is less known and appreciated in the neighbourhood than it ought to be; especially when the large population of the district in which it is situated is taken into account.

The galleries on the north and south sides are supported by plain columns of wood. These, with the ceiling and cornices, which were added at the latter part of the last century, might be styled neat in a more modern building, but certainly do not harmonize with the five narrow and elegant windows on each side, and the florid and grotesque ornaments between them, nor with the ancient aspect of the place in general. One window on each side has been


On the south side, as lately as seventy years since, the Bishop of Ely, like his predecessors, sat enthroned in the chapel, as in a cathedral.

Subsequently to that period, this interesting structure has evidently lost some of its ornamental parts. Very shortly after its alienation from the see of Ely, in 1772, of which we shall have to speak presently, the chapel was dismantled of a fine altar-piece and pulpit These have been replaced by others of a plainer description.

After surveying the interior of the building, the visitor will

filled up

observe a good door-way at the south-west, which appears to be of about the beginning or middle of the fourteenth century. Viewing it from the outside, though rather at a disadvantage, owing to the narrowness of the space, he will also notice, at the angle on his left hand, a rude and massive fragment of wall, evidently a portion of the old building; and, adjoining it, the octagonal turret of the Chapel, crowned with a conical top or cap. In the year 1772, when Grose described Ely Chapel, in his Antiquities, there was a similar turret or buttress at each corner. On the south side were formerly the Cloisters ; these, with the quadrangle which they inclosed, covered a space about three times as large as the site of the Chapel itself. On the north side of the building, a view of which is presented in the engraving at the beginning of this work, there are now stables; but anciently, there was a field, planted with large and handsome trees, and surrounded by a wall.

The low, arched gateway, seen in this print, to the north-west, about which a quantity of earth and rubbish has accumulated, making the ground higher than formerly, leads into a dark souterrain, or crypt, which, stretching under the whole extent of the Chapel, is stated by Malcolm, in his Account of London, to have been formerly used as a burial-place for inhabitants dying within the precinct, when Ely Place was occupied by the bishop and his establishment. This is by no means improbable, though there appear no certain grounds for the assertion. We have ample proof of Christenings and Marriages having been solemnized in the Chapel, the original registers of which are in existence. It appears, also, that in early times, three chaplains were appointed, on certain conditions, to pray within the chapel, for the soul of Bishop William de Luda, who died in 1297, and for the souls of the Bishops of Ely for ever. Considering this, and the great extent of the premises, together with the then distinctive character of the place, as a Liberty, invested with peculiar privileges and immunities, it is most likely that the persons immediately connected with it, and dying there, would be buried within it.

The crypt has six windows on the north, answering to as many niches on the south side; but several of the windows are now stopped up. The chief entrance to it is from Ely Place, by an arched doorway under the east window. There is also an entrance, noticed above, at the north-west, from the mews at the end of Ely Place. Within the crypt eight enormous chestnut posts, with powerful girders, running from east to west, support the floor of the Chapel; and though upon these, as well as other parts of the fabric, time has produced a visible effect, there is a massiveness and solidity about the whole edifice which afford a promise of its lasting entire for many years to come.

The earliest date which can be assigned to Ely Place, in connexion with Ely, is that of John de Kirkeby, (appointed bishop in 1286,) who left, by will, to his successors in the See, a messuage and nine cottages in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, which messuage became thenceforth the capital mansion of the bishop of Ely. The following curious documents, copied from the original in the Tower of London, clearly indicate the nature and extent of the original bequest.

Close Roll, 18 Edw. I. m. 6. Pro Executoribus

Quia Rex intellexit quod bonæ memoriæ Johannes Testamenti

nuper Eliensis Episcopus defunctus domos suas quas Eliensis Episcopi. habuit in Parochia Sancti Andreæ juxta Holeburn in suburbio et infra libertatem civitatis Londoniæ, in ultima voluntate sua legavit Deo et Ecclesiæ Sanctæ Etheldredæ de Ely et successoribus suis Episcopis ejusdem loci, Ita quod ipsi debita in quibus idem defunctus tenebatur Gregorio de Rokesle civi Regis, Londoniæ pro domibus, illis acquietarent; mandatum est Radulpho de Sandwico Custodi civitatis prædictæ, quod domos


prædictas cum pertinentiis quæ sunt in manu Regis et in custodia Regis ratione mortis prædicti Episcopi, executoribus testamenti ejusdem Episcopi sine dilatione liberet ad executionem testamenti prædicti inde faciendam. Teste Rege apud Westmonasterium decimo octavo die Julii.

For the Executors of the Will of the Bishop of Ely. Whereas the King hath understood that John, late Bishop of Ely, deceased, of pious memory, hath in his last will bequeathed his houses which he had in the parish of St. Andrew, near Holborn, in the suburbs, and within the liberty of the city of London, to God and the Church of St. Etheldreda of Ely, and his successors, bishops of the same place, so that they should pay the debts which the same deceased owed for those houses to Gregory de Rokesly, the King's citizen of London ; Ralph de Sandwich, warden of the said city, is commanded, that, without delay, he deliver the aforesaid houses with appurtenances, which are in the King's hand and custody, by reason of the death of the aforesaid bishop, to the executors of the will of the same bishop, thereof to make execution of the said will.

Witness, the King at Westminster, on the 18th day of July.

Inquis. 31 Edw. I., No. 167. Inquisitio capta coram Simone de Parys et Hugone Pourte Vicecomitibus Londoniæ, die Dominica proxima post festum Sancti Matthiæ Apostoli, anno regni Regis Edwardi tricesimo primo, per sacramentum Thomæ de Newenham, Thomæ Le Clerck, Roberti Le Marescal, Willielmi ate Gate, Galfridi de Chelchethe, Gerardi Le Barber, Willielmi Le Coteler, Adæ de Droyton, Petri de Wymbourn, Galfridi de Berthone, Adæ Bray, et Rogeri Fleg, si sit ad damnum vel præjudicium domini Regis vel alicujus alterius, si dominus Rex concedat Venerabili Patri Roberto Elyensi Episcopo, quod ipse unum mesuagium, novem cotagia cum pertinentiis in vico de Holebourn in suburbio Londoniæ, quæ fuerunt bonæ memoriæ Johannis de Kirkeby, nuper Episcopi ejusdem loci, et quæ idem Johannes in testamento suo in ultima voluntate sua legavit Ecclesiæ Sanctæ Etheldredæ Elyensi et successoribus suis episcopis loci prædicti secundum consuetudinem civitatis Londoniæ habenda imperpetuum, habere possit et tenere sibi et ecclesiæ suæ prædictæ ac successoribus suis episcopis ejusdem loci imperpetuum, juxta voluntatem testatoris prædicti, necne. Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod non est ad damnum nec præjudicium domini Regis nec alicujus alterius, si dominus Rex concedat præfato Venerabili Patri domino Roberto Elyensi Episcopo, sibi, Ecclesiæ suæ Sanctæ Etheldredæ et successoribus suis, prædictum mesuagium novem cotagia cum pertinentiis in vico de Holebourn in suburbio Londoniæ habere et tenere imperpetuum. Dicunt etiam quod prædictum mesuagium, novem cotagia cum pertinentiis valent libere per annum, dum tamen dicta colagia sint locata, salvis servitiis capitalium Dominorum et sustentatione dicti mesuagii et cotagiorum, in omnibus exitibus, sexaginta duodecim solidos et undecim denarios. Dicunt etiam quod prædictum mesuagium et novem cotagia cum pertinentiis tenentur de Decano et Capitulo Sancti Pauli Londoniæ, reddendo inde eis per annum viginti et sex solidos, quatuor denarios, Item hospitali Sancti Bartholomei de Smethefeld sex solidos per annum, Item domino Waltero Cristemasse Capellano Hospitalis Sancti Egidii tresdecim solidos, Item Ecclesiæ Sancti Andreæ de Holebourne quatuor solidos et duos denarios per annum, et ad sustentationem unius lampadæ dictæ Ecclesiæ Sancti Andreæ de Holebourne quindecim denarios per annum. Dicunt etiam quod una placea terræ ubi magna porta exitus dicti tenementi versus vicum regium stat, tenetur in una sokna cuidam Præbendæ Ecclesiæ Sancti Pauli Londoniæ. In cujus rei testimonium huic Inquisitioni juratores prædicti sigilla sua apposuerunt. Data Londoniæ die et supradictis.


Inquisition taken before Simon de Parys and Hugh Pourte, Sheriffs of London, on Sunday next after the Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle, in the thirty-first year of the reign of King Edward, by the oath of Thomas Newenham, Thomas the Clerk, Robert the Marescal, William at the Gate, Geoffrey Chelchethe, Gerard the Barber, William the Cutler, Adam Droyton, Peter Wymborn, Geoffrey Berthone, Adam Bray, and Roger Fleg, whether it be or not to the loss or prejudice of the Lord the King, or of the King grant to the venerable father, Robert, Bishop of Ely, that he may have, and hold to himself, his church, and his successors, bishops of the same place, for ever, according to the will of the testator, one messuage and nine cottages with appurtenances, in the street of Holborn, in the suburbs of London,

any other

person, if

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