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- In place of this cross was placed a may-pole by a blacksmith, named John Clarges, whose daughter Anne had been so fortunate as to marry general George Monk, duke of Albemarle, in the reign of Charles II. During the trial of an action of trespass between William Sherwin, plaintiff, and Sir Walter Clarges, baronet, and others, defendants, at the bar of the King's Bench, Westminster, Nov, 15, 1700, the following singular circumstances occurred:
“ The plaintiff, as heir and representative of Thomas Monk, Esq. elder brother of George, duke of Albemarle, clained the manor of Sutton, in the county of York, and other lands in Newton, Eaton Bridge, and Shipton, as heir at law to the said duke, against the defendant, devisee un. der the will of Duke Christopher, his only child, who died in 1688, S. P. Upon this trial some very curious particulars came out respecting the family of Anne, wife of George, created duke of Albemarle. It appeared that she was daughter of John Clarges, a farrier, in the Savoy, and farrier to colonel Monk. In 1632, she was married in the church of St. Laurence Pountney to Thomas Ratford, son of Thomas Ratford, late a farrier, servant to prince Charles,
priests, was, by the consistory of princes secular, or judges sitting in the gae, absolved and discharged; and the reason of so public a situation being chosen was probably on two accounts : that their proceedings might be generally seen, and that none might go out of the common way to seek for justice.
The antient Romans had their first seats of justice within their temples, purposely to shew that justice was a divine thing: afterwards in curia et foro, the court and public market place.
The Saxons, imitating the old Germans, " distributed justice in each town and territory." For which purpose twelve of the most eminent men for their wisdom and worthiness, were made choice of from among others, to ride different circuits for the seeing of justice done, and good customs observed. And this regulation was most probably observed after they acquired the dominion of this country, as it was by no means possible that the people from all parts could repair to the king himself (the fountain of justice.) But at length the same necessity which taught men first to frame governments and establish laws, did further instruct their posterity as to the more easy and effectual administration of justice, Herbert's Inns of Court, p. 48. .
and resident in the Mews. She had a daughter, who was born in 1634, and died in 1638. Her husband and sbe “ lived at the Three Spanish Gipsies in the New Exchange, and sold wash-balls, powder, gloves, and such things, and she taught girls plain-work. About 1647, she, being a semp. stress to colonel Monk, used to carry him linen.” In 1648, her father and mother died. In 1649, she and her husband “ fell out, and parted.” But no certificate from any parish register appears reciting his burial. In 1652, she was married in the church of St. George, Southwark, to “ General George Monk;” and, in the following year, was delivered of a son, Christopher (afterward the second and last duke of Albemarle abovementioned), who “ was suckled by Honour Mills, who sold apples, herbs, oisters, &c." One of the plaintiff's witnesses swore, that, “ a little before the sickness, Thomas Ratford demanded and received of him the sum of twenty shillings; that his wife saw Rato ford again after the sickness, and a second time after the duke and dutchess of Albemarle were dead.” A woman swore, that she saw him on the “ day his wife (then called dutchess of Albemarle) was put into her coffin, which was after the death of the duke," her second husband, who died 3 Jan. 1669-70. And a third witness swore, that he saw Ratford about July 1600. In opposition to this evidence it was alledged, that “all along, during the lives of duke George and duke Christopher, this matter was never questioned”-that the latter was universally received as only son of the former-and that “ this matter had been thrice before tried at the bar of the King's Bench, and the defendant had had three verdicts.” A witness swore, that he owed Ratford five or six pounds, which he had never demanded. And a man, who had “married a cousin of the duke of Albemarle, had been told by his wife, that Ratford died five or sir years before the duke married.” Lord chief justice Holt told the jury, “ If you are certain that duke Christopher was born while Thomas Ratford was living, you must find for the plaintiff. If you believe he was born after Ratford was dead, or that nothing appears what be,
came of him after duke George married his wife, you must find for the defendant." A verdict was given for the defendant, who was only son to Sir Thomas Clarges, knight, brother to the illustrious dutchess in question, was created a baronet October 30, 1674, and was ancestor to the bas ronets of his name.” *
The maypole was one hundred feet high, but being decayed, it was obtained of the parish by Sir Isaac Newton, in 1717, and carried through the city to Wanstead, in Es. ses; and by licence of Sir Richard Child, lord Castlemain, reared in the park by the reverend Mr. Pound, rector of that parish, for the purpose of supporting the largest te. lescope at that period, in the world, given by mons. Huson, a French member of the Royal Society, as a present; the telescope was one hundred and twenty-five feet long. Before it was removed, this maypole, on public occasions, was adorned with streamers, flags, garlands of flowers, &c. On the spot now stands the parish church pf
ST. MARY LE STRAND.
WE have before mentioned that the old church whick bore this name, was situated on the south side of the Strand, and that it was destroyed without any compensa. * Gent. Mag. 1793. p. 886..
tion to the parishioners, and that they were obliged to joiti themselves to the congregations of the adjoining districts. This they were compelled to do till the year 1723. The act for erecting fifty new churches having passed some years before, one was appointed for this parish, the first stone of which was laid by Gibbs, on the 25th of February, 1714. The fabric was finished in three years and a half, though it was not consecrated till the 1st of January, 1723, when, instead of its antient name, it was called St. Mary le Strand."
This is a very superb, though not a very extensive edi. fice; massy, without the appearance of being heavy, and formed to stand for ages. At the entrance on the west end is an ascent by a flight of steps cut in the sweep of a circle. These lead to a circular portico of lonic columns covered with a dome, which is crowned with an elegant vase. The columns are continued along the body of the church, with pilasters of the same order at the corners, and in the intercolumniations are niches handsomely ornamented. Over the dome is a pediment supported by Corinthian columns, which are also continued round the body of the stracture, over those of the Ionic order beneath ; between which are the windows placed over the niches. These columns are supported on pedestals, and have pilasters be. hind with arches sprung from them, and the windows have angular and circular pediments alternately. A landsome balustrade is carried round the top, and its summit is adorned with vases. The steeple is light though solid, and ornamented with composite columns and capitals:
The church is a rectory in the gift of the bishop of Worcester.
At the digging the foundation for the present church, the virgin earth was discovered at the depth of nineteen feet; whereby it appears that the ground in this neighbourhood originally was not much higher than the Thames; therefore this village was truly denominated the Strand, from its situation on the bank of the river.
Mr. Greyun says, that this fabric “is an expensive, rich design, without the least appearance of grandeur, which is
occasioned by its being divided into too many parts; building may be made in parts very elegant and very rich, and yet very inelegant in the whole, which is the case of this church; the division of the building into two orders has destroyed its grandeur; the steeple is a confused jumble of rich parts pile! 0:e upon another, without any regard to the shape of the whole, and has this additional fault, that it appears to stand upon the roof of the church.”*
Ralph, in his Critical Review of Public Buildings t, is still more severe. “ The New Church in the Strand," he observes, “is one of the strongest instances in the world, that it is not expence and decoration that are alone productive of harmony and taste: the architect of this pile appears to have set down with a resolution of making it as fine as possible, and, with this view, has crowded every inch of space about it with ornament: nay, he has even carried this humour so far, that it appears nothing but a cluster of ornaments, without the proper vacuity to relieve the eye, and give a necessary contrast to the whole: he ought to have remembered that something should first appear as a plan or model to be adorned, and the decorations should be only subordinate to that design; the embellishments ought never to eclipse the outline, but heighten and improve it. To this we may safely add, that the dividing 80 small a fabric into two lines or stories, utterly ruined its simplicity, and broke the whole into too many parts. The steeple is liable to as many objections as the church; it is abundantly too high; and in the profile, loses all kind of proportion, both with regard to itself, and the structure it belongs to. In short, this church will always please the ignorant, for the same reasons that it is sure to displease the judge."
Mr. Malton observes that this church “ has certainly a pleasing and picturesque appearance; and is of opinion that it has been more censured than it merits. The principal faults are, the frequent interruptions of the entablature in
# London and Westminster Improved, p. 46. + Page 37 Vol. IV. No. 84.