Page images

On the south side of St. Thomas's Street, is situated the parish church of


[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE citizens of London having purchased the hospital of St. Thomas, to which this church was annexed, refounded the whole, of which the following is a memorial: “ Edward VI. of most famous memory, king of England, &c. of his Christian zeal and gracious bounty in the year of our Lord 1552, in the sixteenth year of his age, and seventh of his reign, was founder of this parish, and church and hospital; and Christchurch Hospital, and that of 'Bridewell, and was to them a most worthy and bountiful benefactor.”

The church was rebuilt in 1702, to defray the expence of which 3000l. was appropriated from the duty on coals; the rest was bestowed by Sir Robert Clayton, president, and the other governors of the hospital: it having been judged necessary, in consequence of the increase of buildings, to make the church parochial, and to erect a chapel within the hospital for the use of the patients. The living is therefore neither a rectory, vicarage, or donative; but a sort of impropriation, in the gift of the governors, who elect one out of two ministers presented by the parish.

The fabric is plain, constructed with brick, and en. lightened by a single series of large windows. The corners are strengthened and adorned with rustic, as are the corners of the tower, which is crowned with a blocking course of


attic, instead of a balustrade. The principal door has a cornice supported by scrolls, with a circular pediment. The interior has nothing peculiar to attract notice; but it is handsome, spacious, and neat.

ST. THOMAS's HOSPITAL. This was a very noble and extensive charity, founded for the reception of the necessitous sick and wounded.

The priory of St. Mary Overy being destroyed by fire in the year 1207, the canons erected at a small distance an occasional: edifice to answer a similar purpose, till their mo. nastery could be rebuilt; which being accomplished, Peter de Rupibus, bishop of Winchester, for the greater convenience of air and water, thought it necessary to have it pulled down in 1215, and re-erected in a place where the prior of Bermondsey had two years before built an almonry, or almshouse for the reception of indigent children, and necessitous proselvtes; and having dedicated the new structure to St. Thomas the Apostle, he endowed it with land to the value of 3431. per annum; from which time it was held of the abbot of Bermondsey, and an hospital has continued there ever since.

In 1428 one of the abbots granted the foundation lands to Nicholas Buckland, master of the hospital, and in that con. dition they remained till its dissolution, in the reign of Henry VIII.

In the year 1551 the lord mayor and citizens having purchased of king Edward VI. the manor of Southwark, with its appurtenances, for the sum of 6471. 2s, id. a part whereof being this hospital, the city immediately repaired and enlarged it at the expence of about 11001. and in November following received into it two hundred and sixty poor sick and helpless objects: the hospital still retained its antient name of St. Thomas; in 1553 the king incorporated a society of persons for its government, in common with the two other great charities, Bridewell and Christ's Hospital.

Though thiş hospital escaped the fire of London in 1666, yet it destroyed a great part of its possessions; and two others which happened a few years after in Southwark, contributed to increase the distress. By these accidents the hospital of St. Thomas was almost reduced to ruin. The building was old, and wanted great repairs, and the funds that should have supported it were exhausted. But in the year 1699, the governors, set on foot a voluntary subscription, which they opened by large donations from themselves and their friends, and the public followed the example, The building was begun upon a larger and more commodious plan, and erected at different times by the assistance of various benefactors, till it became entirely completed, and consists


1,1,1) in the whole of three quadrangles or square courts. i J.,

Next the street is a handsome pair of large iron gates, with a door of the same work on each side for the convę. nience of foot passengers. These are fastened on the sides to a stone, pier, on each of which is a statue representing one of the patients. These gates open into a very neat square court, encompassed on three sides with a colonade, surrounded with benches next the wall, for people to sit down, On the south, under an empty niche, is the following inscription : .. . - This building on the south side of this court, containing three wards, was erected at the charge of Thomas Frederick, of Lon. don, Esq. a worthy governor, and liberal benefactor to this hospital, Anno 1708.

Under the same kind of niche, on the opposite side, is tbis inscription: 6:""""" '..!

This building on the north side of this court, containing three wards, was erected at the charge of Thomas Guy, Esq citizen and stationer of London, a worthy governor, and bountiful bene. factor to this hospital, Anno 1707.

The centre of the principal front, which is on the west side, facing the street, is of stone. On the top is a clock under a small circular pediment, and beneath a niche with a statue of Edward VI, holding a sceptre in his right hand, and the charter in his left. A little lower, in niches on each side, is a man with a crutch, and a sick woman; and under Vol. IV. No. 97.

3 P


them, in other niches, a man with a wooden leg, and a wo man with her arm in a sling: over the niches are festoons, and between the last mentioned figures the king's arms ia relievo. Under which is the following inscription :

King Edward the Sixth, of pious memory, in the year of our Lord 1552, 'founded and endowed this hospital of St. Thomas the Apostle, together with the hospitals of Christ and Bridewell in London. . . . . . . " is '

Underneath is a spacious passage down several steps into the second court, which is by far the most elegant. It has colonades like the former, except at the front of the chapel, which is on the north side; and is adorned with lofty pilasters of the Corinthian order, placed on "high pedestals which rise from the ground, and on the top is a pediment; as there is also on the centre of the west and east sides. And the fronts of the wards, above the piazzas, are ornamented with handsome Yonic pilasters. Panas !

In the midst of this court' is a good brass statue of king Edward VI. by Mr. Scheemakers, and behind him is placed upon a kind of small pedestal bis crown taid upon a'cushion. This statue is surrounded with iron rails, and 'stands upon a lofty stone pedestal, úpon which is the following inscrip tion in capitals: ' Trein T .'n al . This statule i

Of king Edward the Sixth, . ali A most excellent prince,

Of exemplary piety and wisdom
ans , above his years; .-
The glory and ornament of his age,

and munificent founder

of this hospital,

Was erected at the expence ... i . of Charles Joyce, Esquire,

"nr 1 in the year'MDCCXXXVII. On the opposite face of the pedestal is the same inscripțion in Latin.

In the middle of the cast side of this court is a spacious passage into the next, the structure above being supported

[ocr errors]

by rows of columns. The buildings in the third court are older than the others, and are entirely surrounded with a co-. Ionade, above, which they are adorned with a kind of long slender lonic pilasters, with very small capitals, - įn the centre is a stone' statue of Sir Robert Clayton, dressed in his robes as lord mayor, surrounded with iron rails; upon : the west side of the pedestal is his arms in relievo, and on the south side the following inscription : To Sir Robert Clayton, knt. born in Northamptonshire, citizen and Lord Mayor of London, president of this hospital, and vice-president of the new work-house, and a bountiful benefactor to it; a just magistrate, and brave defender of the liberty and religion of his country. Who (besides many other instances of his charity to the poor) built the girls ward in Christ's Hospital, gave first towards the rebuilding of this house 600l, and lett by his last will 23001. to the poor of it. This statue was erected in his life-time by the governors, An. Dom. MDCCI. as a monument of their esteem of so much worth ; and to preserve his memory after death, was by them beautified An. Dom. MDCCXiv.

By this noble charity many hundred thousand of the poor have since its foundation received relief; and been cured of the various disorders to which human nature is subject; and though the estates at first belonging to this foundation were ruined, yet by the liberal munificence of the citizens since that time, the annual disbursements hare of late amounted to near 8000l. The house contains nineteen wards, and four hundred and seventy-four beds, which are constantly occupied; beside these they have a considerable number of out-patients.

The number of governors in this and the other city hospitals, are unlimited, and therefore uncertain. They chuse their own officers and servants, both men and women : these are, a president, a treasurer, an hospitaller or chapJain, four physicians, three surgeons, an apothecary, a clerk, a steward, a matron, a brewer and butcher, and other officers and servants. 3 P 2


« PreviousContinue »