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gate; but on account of an aperture in the wall, through which it passed, and by various windings supplied the City with water, it received its name of Walbrook.
In an ancient Book of the Customs of London, it was recorded that the prior of the Holy Trinity within Aldgate “ ought to make over Walbrook, in the ward of Broad Street, against the stone wall of the city, viz. the same bridge that is next the church of All Saints at the Wall. Also, that the prior of the new hospital, St. Mary Spital, without Bishopsgate, ought to make the middle part of one other bridge, next to the said bridge towards the north ; and that, in the twenty-eighth year of Edward I, it was by inquisition found before the mayor of London, that the parish of St. Stephen upon Walbrook ought of right to scower the course of the said brook; and therefore the sheriffs were commanded to distrain the parishioners so to do."
This water was continued to Dowgate, also covered by the steep street called Dowgate Hill, at the upper end of which stood a castellated conduit for Thames water : between which and the river there was such a fall of water on the 4th of September, 1574, and the channel rose so high by a sudden fall of rain, that a lad of eighteen years old, falling into it, as he endeavoured to leap over, was car. ried away by the flood, and drowned.
The house belonging to the abbot of Tortington undoubtedly reached to this place; which is evident from lofty arches of excellent workmanship, in the cellars of a house, which has been denominated Walbrook House, the residence of the family of Pollexsen, eminent juridical characters; one of whom, Mr. Henry Pollexfen, was retained by the City to plead their cause against the iniquitous writ of Quo Warranto, issued by Charles II. And lower down the street must have been the houses of Empson and Dudley *,
Adjoining to this structure is the parish church of
* Page 503.
ST. STEPHEN, WALBROOK.
“ THIS church, so little noticed by us, is famous all bver Europe, and is justly reputed the master-piece of the celebrated Sir Christopher Wren. Perhaps Italy itself can produce no modern building that can vie with this in taste or proportion: there is not a beauty which the plan would admit of, that is not to be found here in its greatest perfection ; and foreigners very justly call our judgement in question for understanding its graces no better, and allowing it no higher a degree of fame *."
The first account we have of the church of St. Stephen is from Dagdale's Monasticon, where it is recorded that Eudo, steward of the household to Henry I. gave the church of St. Stephen super Walbrook, to his new founded monastery of St. John, Colchester; and the abbot and convent presented to the living till the year 1422. Sir Robert Chicheley, Grocer, who had been lord mayor in 1421, gave in the year 1428, to the parish, a plot of ground, containing two hundred and eight feet and a half in length, and sixty-six feet in breadth, for the purpose of erecting a new church, and forming a church-yard. This plot had
* Critical Review of Pub Buildings,
Drawn by Gyfford, 5 ngraved by Imrar a fring
For I'Hughsons Dwoription of Londen. Interior of SI STEPHEN'S Malbook
Publwhed by Ishalford , 12 Holborn Hill March 14.1807.
formerly belonged to Sir William Standon, who had also been twice lord mayor, but, with the adjacent houses, were purchased by Sir Robert, for the sum of two hundred marks.
Sir Robert Chichelev, in 1429, laid the first stone of the proposed fabric, on his own account, and a second in memory of Sir William Standon. He also gave the additional sum of 1001. and bore the charges of all the timber work, besides covering the new structure with lead, giving all the timber for roofing the side aisles, and defraying the expence of carriage. Thus, piously raised, the church was finished in 1439.
In the next year, by an inquisition, it was found that Sir Robert Whitingham, knight of the bath, had purchased the patronage of this church in 1432 from John Duke of Bedford, uncle of Henry VI. and gave it to Sir Richard Lee, lord mayor in 1460. Having continued in the family of Lee for some time, it was about the year 1502 given by Richard Lee, Esq. to the Grocer's Company, who still continue patrons of the living.
The church was amply repaired at the expence of 5101. and upwards, by the parish, during the years 1622_1632; but shared the common fate, in 1666, and was levelled, ex. cept the steeple and bells. It was again rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, and the parish of St. Bennet Sherehog united to it by act of parliament.
The walls and tower are stone; and the roof within over the middle aisle arched; in the centre of which is a spacious cupola, and a lantern; the roof over the rest of the church is flat, covered with lead, and supported by columns and pilasters of the Corinthian order; there are three aisles, and a cross aisle paved with stone; the ascent from the street is by fifteen steps.
The roof and cupola are adorned with an entablature and arches; ornainented by shields, palm branches and roses, of fret work, and pannels of crocket work. The walls are wainscoted ten feet high, having the Grocers arms within a handsome compartment of palm branches, &c, at the Vol. II. No. 49.