Infomotions, Inc.Its Medieval Remains / Woodhouse, Frederick W.



Author: Woodhouse, Frederick W.
Title: Its Medieval Remains
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): nave; coventry; chapel; chancel; church; aisle; tower; holy trinity; corpus christi; lady chapel; north aisle; south; north
Contributor(s): Evelyn-White, Hugh G. (Hugh Gerard), -1924 [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 29,537 words (really short) Grade range: 9-12 (high school) Readability score: 58 (average)
Identifier: etext11403
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Bell's Cathedrals: The Churches of Coventry, by
Frederic W.  Woodhouse

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org


Title: Bell's Cathedrals: The Churches of Coventry
       A Short History of the City and Its Medieval Remains

Author: Frederic W.  Woodhouse

Release Date: February 11, 2007 [EBook #11403]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BELL'S CATHEDRALS ***




Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Keith M. Eckrich, Jeannie
Howse and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net






       *       *       *       *       *

    +--------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Transcriber's Note:                                          |
    |                                                              |
    | Inconsistent hyphenation and archaic spelling in the         |
    | original document has been preserved.                        |
    |                                                              |
    +--------------------------------------------------------------+

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: COVENTRY, THE THREE SPIRES.]




THE CHURCHES OF COVENTRY

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE
CITY & ITS MEDIEVAL
REMAINS

BY
FREDERIC W. WOODHOUSE

WITH XL ILLUSTRATIONS


[Illustration: ARMS OF COVENTRY]


LONDON GEORGE BELL & SONS 1909




CHISWICK PRESS: CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
TOOK COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.





PREFACE


The principal authorities for the history of Coventry and its churches
have been Dugdale's "Antiquities of Warwickshire" and the "Illustrated
Papers and the History and Antiquities of the City of Coventry," by
Thomas Sharp, edited by W.G. Fretton (1871). Besides these the many
papers by Mr. Fretton in the Transactions of the Birmingham and
Midland Institute and other Societies, and the "History and
Antiquities of Coventry" by Benjamin Poole (1870) have been the main
sources of historical information. The Author is, however, responsible
for the architectural opinions and descriptions, which are mainly the
outcome of a lifelong acquaintance with the city and its buildings,
fortified by several weeks of study and investigation recently
undertaken.

He desires to acknowledge his deep obligations to the Vicars of the
several churches for leave to examine, measure and photograph the
buildings in their charge; to Mr. J. Oldrid Scott for the loan of
drawings of St. Michael's; to Mr. A. Brown, Librarian of the Coventry
Public Library for advice and help in making use of the store of
topographical material under his care; to Mr. Owen, Verger of St.
Michael's and Mr. Chapman, Verger of Holy Trinity, for help in various
directions, and to Mr. Wilfred Sims for his energy and care in taking
most of the photographs required for illustration.

The other illustrations are reproduced from drawings made by the
author.







CONTENTS


MONASTERY AND CITY                                              3

THE RUINS OF THE PRIORY AND CATHEDRAL CHURCH                   16

ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH:
  CHAPTER I. HISTORY OF THE CHURCH                             21
         II. THE EXTERIOR                                      29
        III. THE INTERIOR                                      41

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH:
  CHAPTER I. HISTORY OF THE CHURCH                             61
         II. THE EXTERIOR                                      65
        III. THE INTERIOR                                      69

ST. JOHN BAPTIST'S CHURCH                                      79

THE GREY FRIARS' CONVENT (CHRIST CHURCH)                       91

THE WHITE FRIARS                                               94

ST. MARY HALL                                                  96

THE CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY                                       99




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


COVENTRY, THE THREE SPIRES                         _Frontispiece_

ARMS OF THE TOWN                                     _Title-page_

VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BISHOP STREET                              2

COOK STREET GATE                                                7

SEAL OF THE PRIORY                                             15

WEST END OF THE PRIORY CHURCH                                  16

REMAINS OF THE NORTH-WEST TOWER IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY      17

ST. MICHAEL'S FROM THE NORTH                                   20

ST. MICHAEL'S FROM THE NORTH-WEST                              28

INTERIOR OF THE TOWER FROM BELOW                               31

THE WEST PORCH                                                 33

SOUTH PORCH FROM ST. MARY HALL                                 34

SOUTH-WEST DOORWAY                                             35

INTERIOR OF ST. MICHAEL'S FROM THE WEST                        40

TOWER ARCH                                                     42

BAY OF NAVE, NORTH SIDE                                        43

INTERIOR FROM THE SOUTH DOOR                                   45

THE CHOIR FROM ST. LAWRENCE'S CHAPEL                           46

POPPY HEAD, LADY CHAPEL                                        48

MISERERE, LADY CHAPEL                                          48

CHEST IN NORTH AISLE                                           50

THE NETHERMYL TOMB                                             51

THE SWILLINGTON TOMB                                           54

ALMS-BOX                                                       56

HOLY TRINITY FROM THE NORTH (ABOUT 1850)                       60

PLAN OF TRINITY CHURCH                                         66

INTERIOR OF HOLY TRINITY, FROM THE WEST                        68

NORTH SIDE OF NAVE--EASTERN BAYS                               71

PULPIT                                                         73

ARCHWAY BETWEEN THE NORTH PORCH AND ST. THOMAS'S CHAPEL        74

ALMS-BOX                                                       77

CHURCH OF ST. JOHN BAPTIST                                     80

PLAN                                                           85

INTERIOR                                                       87

CLEARSTORY WINDOWS                                             88

THE SPIRE OF CHRIST CHURCH                                     92

GREY FRIARS' CHURCH (PLAN OF CROSSING)                         93

ST. MARY HALL                                                  96

PLAN                                                           98

PLAN OF ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH                             _At End_




[Illustration: VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BISHOP STREET.]




CHURCHES OF COVENTRY

MONASTERY AND CITY


The opening words of Sir William Dugdale's account of Coventry assert
that it is a city "remarkable for antiquity, charters, rights and
privileges, and favours shown by monarchs." Though this handbook is
primarily concerned with a feature of the city he does not here
mention--its magnificent buildings--the history of these is bound up
with that of the city. The connection of its great parish churches
with the everyday life of the people, though commonly on a narrower
stage, is more intimate than is that of a cathedral or an abbey
church, but it is to be remembered that without its Monastery Coventry
might never have been more than a village or small market town.

We cannot expect the records of a parish church to be as full and
complete as those of a cathedral, always in touch through its bishops
with the political life of the country and enjoying the services of
numerous officials; or as those of a monastery, with its leisured
chroniclers ever patiently recording the annals of their house, the
doings of its abbots, the dealings of their house with mother church
and the outside world, and all its internal life and affairs. In the
case of Coventry, the unusual fulness of its city archives, the
accounts and records of its guilds and companies, and the close
connection of these with the church supplies us with a larger body of
information than is often at the disposal of the historian of a parish
church. As therefore, in narrating the story of a cathedral some
account of the Diocese and its Bishops has been given, so, before
describing the churches of Coventry, we shall give in outline the
history of the city which for 700 years gave its name to a bishop and
of the great monastery whose church was for 400 years his seat.

Though Dugdale says that it is remarkable for antiquity, Coventry as
a city has no early history comparable with that of such places as
York, Canterbury, Exeter, or Colchester, while its modern history is
mainly a record of fluctuating trade and the rise and decline of new
industries. But through all its Mediaeval period, from the eleventh
century down to the Reformation, with an expiring flicker of energy in
the seventeenth, there is no lack of life and colour, and its story
touches every side of the national life, political, religious, and
domestic. The only evidence of extreme antiquity produced by Dugdale
is the suffix of its name, for "_tre_ is British, and signifieth the
same that _villa_ in Latin doth;" while the first part may be derived
from the convent or from a supposed ancient name, Cune, for the
Sherborne brook.

The first date we have is 1016, when Canute invaded Mercia, burning
and laying waste its towns and settlements, including a house of nuns
at Coventry founded by the Virgin St. Osburg in 670, and ruled over by
her.[1]

But there is no sure starting-point until the foundation of the
monastery by Earl Leofric and the Countess Godiva, the church being
dedicated by Edsi, Archbishop of Canterbury, in honour of God, the
Virgin Mary, St. Peter, St. Osburg, and All Saints on 4th October,
1043. Leofwin, who was first abbot with twenty-four monks under his
rule, ten years after became Bishop of Lichfield. The original
endowment by Leofric, consisted of a half of Coventry[2] with fifteen
lordships in Warwickshire and nine in other counties, making it (says
Roger de Hoveden) the wealthiest monastery of the period. Besides this
the pious Godiva gave all the gold and silver which she had to make
crosses, images, and other adornments for the church and its services.
The well-known legend of her ride through Coventry first appears in
the pages of Matthew of Westminster in the early fourteenth century.
The Charter of Exemption from Tolls is not in existence, and the story
of Peeping Tom is the embroidery of the prurient age (1678), in which
the pageant was instituted. In a window of Trinity Church figures of
Leofric and Godiva were set up about the time of Richard II, the Earl
holding in his right hand a Charter with these words written thereon:

    I Luriche for the Love of thee
    Doe make Coventre Toll-free.

Abbot Leofwin was succeeded in 1053 by Leofric, nephew of the great
earl; and he by a second Leofwin, who died in 1095. The first Norman
bishop of Lichfield had, in compliance with the decision of a Synod
(1075) in London fixing bishops' seats in large towns, removed his to
St. John's, Chester. But his successor, Robert de Lymesey--whose greed
appears to have been notable in a greedy age--having the king's
permission to farm the monastic revenues until the appointment of a
new abbot, held it for seven years, and then, in 1102, removed his
stool to Coventry. Five of his successors were bishops of Coventry
only, then the style changed to Coventry and Lichfield, and so
remained till 1661, when (in consequence of the disloyalty of Coventry
and the sufferings of Lichfield in the royal cause) the order was
reversed!

In 1836 the archdeaconry of Coventry was annexed to Worcester and its
name disappeared from the title, and now it is probable that Coventry
will soon again give her name to a See without dividing the honour.
For the joint episcopal history the reader must be referred to the
handbook in this series on Lichfield Cathedral. In this place will
only be given that of the Monastery as such, and specially in
connection with its "appropriated" parish churches and the City in
which it stood. That history is not essentially different from that of
other monasteries. Though its connection with the See and the rival
claims and antagonisms of the respective Chapters produced a plentiful
crop of serious quarrels, its relations with the townsfolk were free
from such violent episodes as occurred at Bury St. Edmunds or St.
Albans. The Chapter of Lichfield consisted of secular priests (Lymesey
and his next successor were married men), while the Monastery, though
freed by pope and king from any episcopal or justiciary power and with
the right of electing its own abbot, was, like all monastic bodies,
always jealous of the encroachments of bishops, and regarded secular
priests as inferior in every respect. The opinion of the laity who saw
both sides may be gathered from Chaucer's picture of a "poore Persoun
of a toun." He knew well enough how the revenue, which should have
gone to the parish, its parson and its poor, went to fill the coffers
of rich abbeys, to build enormous churches and furnish them
sumptuously, to provide retinues of lazy knights for the train of
abbot or bishop, and to prosecute lawsuits in the papal courts.

But when bishop and abbot were one and the same, the monks still
claimed the right of election, and so for generations the history of
the diocese is a tale of strife and bickering, and how it was that
pope, king or archbishop did not perceive that it was a case of
hopeless incompatibility of temper, or, perceiving it, did not
dissolve the union or get it dissolved is difficult to see. Probably
the injury done to religion weighed but lightly against vested
interests and the power of the purse. The Monastery was, however, as
Dugdale says, "the chief occasion of all the succeeding wealth and
honour that accrued to Coventry"; for though the original Nunnery may
have been planted in an existing settlement, or have attracted one
about it, the greater wealth of the Abbey, its right to hold markets,
and all its own varied requirements would quickly increase and bring
prosperity to such a township, as it did at Bury St. Edmunds,
Burton-on-Trent and many another.

In the thirteenth century the priory was in financial straits, through
being fined by Henry III for disobedience. Later, however, he granted
further privileges to the monks, among them that of embodying the
merchants in a Gild. In 1340 Edward III granted this privilege to the
City. From an early period the manufacture of cloth and caps and
bonnets was the principal trade of Coventry, and though Leland says,
"the town rose by making of cloth and caps, which now decaying, the
glory of the City also decayeth," it was only destroyed by the French
wars of the seventeenth century. But in 1377, when only eighteen towns
in the kingdom had more than 3,000 inhabitants, and York, the second
city, had only 11,000, Coventry was fourth with 7,000. Just one
hundred years later 3,000 died here of the plague, one of many
visitations of that terrible scourge. At the Suppression it had risen
to 15,000, and soon after fell to 3,000, through loss of trade for
"want of such concourse of people that numerously resorted thither
before that fatal Dissolution."

But if the town grew apace so did the Monastery. Thus, when in 1244
Earl Hugh died childless his sisters divided his estates and Coventry
fell to Cecily, wife of Roger de Montalt. Six years later the
Monastery lent him a large sum to take him to the Holy Land, and
received from him the lordship of Coventry (excepting the Manor House
and Park of Cheylesmore) and the advowson of St. Michael's and its
dependent chapels, thus becoming the landlords of nearly the whole of
Coventry.

[Illustration: COOK STREET GATE.]

Civic powers grew with the growth of trade. Before 1218 a fair of
eight days had been granted to the Priory, and later another of six
days, to be held in the earl's half of the town about the Feast of
Holy Trinity. In 1285 a patent from the king is addressed to the
burgesses and true men to levy tolls for paving the town; one in 1328
for tolls for inclosing the city with walls and gates, while in 1344
the city was given a corporation, with mayor, bailiffs, a common seal,
and a prison. As the municipal importance and the dignity of the city
increased, the desire for their visible signs strengthened, and so, in
1355, work was begun on the walls, Newgate (on the London Road) being
the first gate to be built. Such undertakings proceeded slowly, and
nine years later the royal permission was obtained to levy a tax for
their construction, "the lands and goods of all ecclesiastical persons
excepted."

Twice afterwards we hear of licence being granted by Richard II to dig
stone in Cheylesmore Park, first for Grey Friars Gate, and later for
Spon Gate, "near his Chapel of Babelake." The walls so built were of
imposing extent and dimensions, being three yards in breadth, two and
a quarter miles in circumference, and having thirty-two towers and
twelve gates.[3] Nehemiah Wharton, a Parliamentary officer in 1642,
reports of the city that it is:

   Environed with a wall co-equal, if not exceedinge, that of
   London, for breadth and height; and with gates and battlements,
   magnificent churches and stately streets and abundant fountains
   of water; altogether a place very sweetly situate and where there
   is no stint of venison.

To return to the monastic history. We have seen how, in the
mid-thirteenth century the Monastery had become the landlord of the
city; shortly before this it had been so impoverished with ceaseless
quarrels with the King and the Lichfield Chapter, involving costly
appeals to Rome, that the Prior was reduced to asking the hospitality
of the monks of Derley for some of the brethren. A period of
prosperity followed and many benefactions flowed in, including the
gift of various churches by the king. It was after twenty-six years of
quarrelling that the Pope, in 1224, had appointed to the bishopric
Walter de Stavenby, an able and learned man. During his episcopacy the
friars made their appearance in England, and by him the Franciscans
were introduced at Lichfield, while at Coventry Ranulph, Earl of
Chester, gave them land in Cheylesmore on which to build their oratory
and house.

They were not generally welcomed by the monks. A Benedictine laments
their first appearance thus "Oh shame! oh worse than shame! oh
barbarous pestilence! the Minor Brethren are come into England!" and
at Bury they were obliged to build outside a mile radius from the
Abbey. The parish priests also soon found out that they were undersold
in the exercise of their spiritual offices and although no doubt many
badly needed awakening they were not, on that account, the more likely
to welcome the intruders.

Another innovation, affecting the fortunes of the parish priest, had
its beginning under the rule of Bishop Stavenby though its greatest
development occurred in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This
was the foundation of Chantries designed primarily for the maintenance
of a priest or priests to say mass daily or otherwise for the soul's
health of the founder, his family and forbears. The earliest we hear
of are one at Lincoln, and one at Hatherton in Coventry Archdeaconry
while the Bishop himself endowed one in Lichfield Cathedral. Many were
perpetual endowments (L5 per annum being the average stipend), others
were temporary, according to the means of those who paid for the
masses--for a term of years or for a fixed number of masses. Although
chantry priests were often required to give regular help in the church
services or taught such scholars as came to them or served outlying
chapelries, the system permitted a great number to live on occasional
engagements and was doubtless productive of abuses. Chaucer tells us
that his poor parson was not such an one as

    ... left his sheep encumbered in the mire,
    And ran unto London, unto Saint Poul's,
    To seeke him a chantery for souls.

The number of chantries in the different cathedrals varied very
greatly, Lichfield had eighty-seven, St. Paul's thirty-seven, York
only three. Monks' churches had few or none while in town churches
they were numerous, London having one hundred and eighty, York
forty-two, Coventry at least fifteen besides the twelve gild priests
of the chapel of Babelake. Most were founded in connection with an
existing altar, some had a special altar, at Winchester, Tewkesbury
and elsewhere they were enclosed in screens between the pillars of the
nave, or a special chapel was added to the church.

It was in the thirteenth century also (1267) that the monastery
obtained the grant of a Merchants' Gild; with all the privileges
thereto belonging, the earliest of those which contributed so much to
the renown of Coventry. These were Benefit Societies, insuring help to
the "Brethren and sistren" in old age, sickness or poverty, securing
to them the services of the church after death and in all cases
established on a strictly religious basis and placed under the
protection of a Saint, or of the Holy Trinity. The regulation and
protection of trade interests, generally aiming at monopoly and the
exclusion of outsiders, were later developments. But without doubt
they were public-spirited bodies according to their lights,
maintaining schools (as at Stratford-on-Avon) hospitals and
almshouses, and giving freely on all occasions of public importance.
By pageants too, they contributed to the happiness and amusement of
the people as well as by the presentation of Mysteries and Moralities,
to their instruction and edification. But in the eyes of the
Reformers, or of grasping courtiers, all this went for nothing when
weighed against the heinous offence of supporting chaplains to pray
for deceased members and so (6 Edward VI) they were suppressed along
with the chantries, and their property confiscated, "the very meanest
and most inexcusable of the plunderings which threw discredit on the
Reformation."

Here, the city bought back everything which had belonged to the
Trinity and Corpus Christi Gilds, with various almshouses and the
possessions of the majority of the Chantries; while previously at the
Dissolution it had bought the abbey-orchard, and mill, and the house
and church of the Grey Friars.

In 1340 Edward III granted Licence to the Coventry men to form a
Merchants' Gild with leave "to make chantries, bestow alms, do other
works of piety and constitute ordinances touching the same." This was
St. Mary's Gild. Two years later that of St. John Baptist was formed
and a year later that of St. Katherine, the three being united into
the Trinity Gild before 1359. Of the chapel (now St. John's church)
begun in 1344 by the St. John's Gild and the "fair and stately
structure for their feasts and meetings called St Mary Hall" built in
1394 by the united Gilds more will be said later (p. 81 and p. 97).
The end of the fourteenth century and the fifteenth brought to
Coventry a full share in the events and movements of the time. In 1396
the duel between Hereford and Norfolk was to have taken place on
Gosford Green (adjoining the city) and Richard II made the fatal
mistake of banishing both combatants. At the Priory in 1404 Henry IV
held his Parliament known, from the fact that no lawyers were summoned
to it, as the "Parliamentum Indoctorum." Setting itself in opposition
to ecclesiastics, it proposed to supply the King's needs by taxing
church-property. As in the matter of the city walls, the church
contrived to avoid bearing its share of the public burdens and the
chronicler ends thus: "Much ado there was; but to conclude, the worthy
Archbishop (viz. Tho. Arundell) standing stoutly for the good of the
Church, preserved it at that time from the storm impending." One
branch of his argument is noteworthy, that as the confiscation of the
alien priories had not enriched the King by half a mark (courtiers
having extorted or begged them out of his hands), so it would be were
he to confiscate the temporalities of the monasteries. Henry VIII had
reason to acknowledge the fulfilment of the prophecy.

Soon after this, in 1423, Coventry showed its sympathy for Lollardry
when John Grace an anchorite friar came out of his cell and preached
for five days in the "lyttell parke." He was opposed by the prior of
St. Mary's and by a Grey Friar who however were attacked and nearly
killed by the mob.

The royal visits which earned for Coventry the title which it still
bears as its motto 'Camera principis' were frequent in this century.
In 1436 we hear of Henry VI being there, and in 1450 he was the guest
of the monastery and after hearing mass at St. Michael's Church
presented to it for an altar-hanging the robe of gold tissue he was
wearing. The record in the Corporation Leet book is interesting enough
to quote:

   The King, then abydeng stille in the seide Priory, upon Mich'as
   even sent the clerke of his closet to the Churche of Sent Michel
   to make redy ther hys clossette, seying that the Kynge on Mich'as
   day wolde go on p'cession and also her ther hygh masse. The Meyre
   and his counsell, remembreng him in this mater, specially avysed
   hem to pray the Byshoppe of Wynchester to say hygh masse afore
   the Kynge. The Byshoppe so to do agreed withe alle hys herte;
   and, agayne the Kynges comeng to Sent Michel Churche, the Meyre
   and his Peres, cladde in skarlet gowns, wenton unto the Kynges
   Chambar durre, ther abydeng the Kynges comeng. The Meyre then and
   his peres, doeng to the Kyng due obeysaunse ... toke his mase and
   bere it afore the Kynge all his said bredurn goeng afore the
   Meyre til he com to Sent Michels and brought the Kynge to his
   closette. Then the seyde Byshoppe, in his pontificals arayde,
   with all the prestes and clerkes of the seyde Churche and of
   Bablake, withe copes apareld, wenton in p'cession abowte the
   churchyarde; the Kynge devowtely, with many odur lordes, followed
   the seyd p'cession bare-hedded, cladde in a gowne of gold tissu,
   furred with a furre of marturn sabull; the Meyre bereng the mase
   afore the Kynge as he didde afore, tille he com agayne to his
   closette. Att the whyche masse when the Kyng had offered and his
   lordes also, he sende the lorde Bemond, his chamburlen, to the
   Meyre, seying to him, "hit is the Kynges wille that ye and your
   bredurn com and offer;" and so they didde; and when masse was
   don, the Meyre and his peres brought on the Kynge to his chambur
   in lyke wyse as they fet hym, save only that the Meyre with his
   mase went afore the Kynge till he com withe in his chambur, his
   seyd bredurn abydeng atte the chambur durre till the Meyre cam
   ageyne. And at evensong tyme the same day, the Kyng, ... sende
   the seyde gowne and furre that he were when he went in p'cession,
   and gaf hit frely to God and to Sent Michell, insomuch that non
   of the that broughte the gowne wolde take no reward in no wyse.

In 1451 he made the city with the villages and hamlets within its
liberties into a county "distinct and altogether separate from the
county of Warwick for ever," and in 1453 the King and Queen again
visited the Priory. Perhaps out of gratitude for all this royal
favour, Coventry adhered to the Lancastrian cause and in 1459 was
chosen as the meeting place for the "Parliamentum Diabolicum," so
called from the number of attainders passed against the Yorkists. The
year 1467 however saw Edward IV and his Queen keeping their Christmas
here, while less than two years later her father and brother were
beheaded on Gosford Green (Aug. 1469).

After the king's landing at Holderness in 1471 the king-maker,
declining a contest, occupied the town for the Lancastrians, and
Edward passing on to London soon after turned and defeated the earl at
Barnet. After Tewkesbury Edward paid the city another visit, and in
return for its disloyalty seized its liberties and franchises, and
only restored them for a fine of 500 marks. Royal visits still
continued. Richard III came in 1483 to see the plays at the Feast of
Corpus Christi; in 1485 Henry VII stayed at the mayor's house after
his victory at Bosworth Field; and in 1487 kept St. George's Day at
the Monastery, when the Prior at the service cursed, by "bell, book,
and candle," all who should question the king's right to the throne.
The importance of the Gilds is shown by the king and queen being made
a brother and sister of the Trinity Gild; and the part that pageantry
played in the lives of all men is seen in the many occasions on which
kings and princes came hither to be entertained, not only with the
plays "acted by the Grey Friars" but those in which the "hard-handed
men" of, for instance, the Gild of the Sheremen and Tailors, "toil'd
their unbreathed memories" in setting forth such subjects as the Birth
of Christ and the Murder of the Innocents. But although Henry VIII
himself was received in 1511 with pageantry and stayed at the Priory,
royal favours and monastic hospitality availed neither men nor
buildings when the Dissolution came. On 15th January, 1539, Thomas
Camswell, the last Prior of St. Mary's, surrendered. "The Prior,"
reported Dr. London, the king's commissioner, "is a sad, honest priest
as his neighbours do report him, and is a Bachelor of Divinity. He
gave his house unto the king's grace willingly and so in like manner
did all his brethren." The Doctor asks for good pensions for the
dispossessed, not on the plea of justice but so that "others
perceiving that these men be liberally handled will with better will
not only surrender their houses, but also leave the same in the better
state to the King's use."

The yearly revenue had been certified in the valuation at _L731 19s.
5d._ Deducting a Fee-Ferme rent to the Crown, reserved by Roger de
Montalt, and other annual payments, the clear remainder was _L499 7s.
4d._ Bishop Rowland Lee, writing to "my singular good Lord Cromwell,"
implies that he had a promise from him to spare the church. "My good
Lord," he says, "help me and the City both in this and that the church
may stand, whereby I may keep my name, and the City have commodity and
ease to their desire, which shall follow if by your goodness it might
be brought to a collegiate church, as Lichfield, and so that fair City
shall have a perpetual comfort of the same, as knoweth the Holy
Trinity, who preserve your Lordship in honour to your heart's
comfort."

But his entreaties, and those of the mayor and corporation, were all
in vain, the church and monastic buildings were dismantled and
destroyed piecemeal, and like so many other magnificent structures
became a mere quarry for mean buildings and the mending of roads.

The site having been granted by Henry VIII to two gentlemen named
Combes and Stansfield, passed soon into the hands of John Hales, the
founder of the Free School, and in Elizabeth's reign was purchased by
the Corporation.

The changes in religious opinion of the successive sovereigns were
felt here by many poor victims. Seven persons were burnt in 1519 for
having in their possession the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments,
and the Creed in English, and for refusing to obey the Pope or his
agents, opinions and acts that would have been counted meritorious
twenty years later. In 1555 Queen Mary burnt three Protestants in the
old quarry in Little Park--Laurence Saunders, a well-known preacher,
Robert Glover, M.A., and Cornelius Bongey.

Ten years after this Queen Elizabeth's visit was the occasion of much
pageantry and performing of plays by the Tanners', Drapers', Smiths',
and Weavers' Companies, and in 1575 the men of Coventry gave their
play of "Hock Tuesday" before her at Kenilworth Castle. In 1566 Queen
Mary of Scots was in ward here, in the mayoress' parlour, and in 1569
at the Bull Inn.

Coming down to the opening of the Civil War we find that a few days
before the raising of his standard at Nottingham Charles summoned the
city to admit him with three hundred cavaliers, and received for
answer that it was quite ready to receive his Majesty with no more
than two hundred. Whereupon he retired in displeasure, and reappeared
some days later with the threat to lay the city in ruins if it should
persist in its disloyalty. The townsfolk being in no mind to receive a
garrison, the King planted cannon against Newgate and broke down the
gates but was met with a fierce musquetry fire from the walls,
followed up by a vigorous sally, in which the citizens did much
execution and took two cannon.

To prevent the like happening again, the walls were in 1662 breached
in many places and made incapable of defence. Just one hundred years
later New-gate was taken down, and others followed from time to time,
until now there are left only the remains of two of the lesser
ones--Cook Street Gate, a crumbling shell (p. 7), and the adjacent
Swanswell or Priory Gate, blocked up and used as a dwelling.

In 1771 was finally destroyed the famous Cross which had been built,
1541-3, by Sir William Hollis, once Lord Mayor of London, who came of
a Coventry family. It was described by Dugdale as "one of the chief
things wherein this City most glories, which for workmanship and
beauty is inferior to none in England." A few relics of it exist in
St. Mary Hall, a statue of Henry VI, and, in the oriel, two smaller
figures. So too does the very interesting contract for its building,
which shows how much was left to the craftsman's pride in his work and
how little he was trammelled by conditions, save that the work was to
be "finished in all points, as well in imagery work, pictures, and
finials, according to the due form and proportion of the Cross at
Abingdon."

Another building, which was destroyed in 1820, was the Pilgrims' Rest,
a fine timbered house of three storeys, "supposed," as the inscription
upon it records, "to have been the hostel or inn for the maintenance
and entertainment of the palmers and other visitors to the Priory."
Some pieces of carved work were patched together in the windows of the
inn built on its site and there remain.

The modern history of Coventry, consisting of the ordinary events and
vicissitudes of civic life and the changes and fluctuations in its
trades, apart from that of its parish churches which is elsewhere
given, does not come within the scope of this handbook.

[Illustration: SEAL OF THE PRIORY.]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: St. Osburg's name is not found in the Calendar. As at the
Dissolution the Cathedral possessed relics of St. Osborne, including
his head in copper and gilt, these saints may be identical.]

[Footnote 2: Earl Street and Bishop Street are still principal streets
in either half of the town.]

[Footnote 3: The walls of London were about three and a quarter miles
long (including the river front), with ten or eleven gates; those of
York three miles, of Chester hardly two.]


[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE WEST END OF THE PRIORY CHURCH.]




THE RUINS OF THE PRIORY AND CATHEDRAL CHURCH


The Priory buildings and grounds covered a large area to the North of
the two parish churches on the gentle slope descending to the little
river Sherbourne, Priory Row forming its southern boundary.

The church occupied the South-West portion of this site, extending
about 400 feet from the excavated west end to a point a little beyond
the narrow lane called Hill Top. The excavation shows that the church
stood on a sloping site, the floor level being some ten feet lower
than that of Trinity Church. It was cruciform, with two western towers
and a central one, and is believed to have had three spires similar to
those of Lichfield but probably earlier in point of date. On the
substructure of the North-West Tower now stands the house of the
_mistress_ of the Girls' Blue Coat School. The interior of the West
end to a height of 5 to 8 feet, with the responds of the nave arcades
and of the tower arches, is visible and in good condition. The
beginning of the turret stair in the South-West tower is exposed, but
the basement of the house unfortunately occupies the lower part of the
northern one. The exterior of this is however easily accessible from
an enclosure known as the Wood Yard, the much decayed spreading plinth
and a few feet of walling above it not having been destroyed. Above
this, grievous damage has been perpetrated by the casing and complete
obliteration of the mouldings and arcading which remained. The towers
were placed outside the line of the aisles as at Wells, the total
width of the West front, 145 feet, being nearly the same in both
cases. There are still indications of the position of the great west
door, but the height of the inner plinth shows that there was always a
descent of several steps into the church. At the south transept where
was "the Minster durra that openeth to the Trinite Churchyarde," the
descent must have been considerable. The remains show that the nave
dated from the first half of the thirteenth century, while fragments
of wall near the site of the transept with indications of lancet
window openings are probably a little earlier than the west end.

[Illustration: REMAINS OF THE N.W. TOWER (IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY).]

Whether the church of Leofric and Godiva, dedicated in 1043, had
survived wholly or in part until this time cannot be known, but,
judging from the history of most other great monastic churches and
from the known wealth of the monastery, it may almost be taken for
granted that the Norman bishops and priors rebuilt much if not all.
Some relics of Norman work have been found but the covering of the
site with roads, graves and houses precludes the systematic
exploration and survey which alone could solve this question and make
clear the outlines of the plan of the whole establishment.

The entrance to some wine-cellars in Priory Row gives access to the
old pavement level of part of the choir and transept. From the fact
that a brick vault forms the roof the cellars have often been looked
upon as the crypt of the church but this is erroneous; the vault is a
later insertion and if any crypt exists it lies below this level. To
the east of the cathedral was the Bishop's Palace, the gardens of it
extending over the detached burial ground of St. Michael's to the east
of Priory Street. The grandeur of this assemblage of buildings
grouping, with the spires of the churches behind and rising so
magnificently above the houses of the city can best be realized by
going to the top of Bishop Street whence may be obtained the finest
view of the two spires that remain (see p. 2).




ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH


[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S FROM THE NORTH.]




ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH


CHAPTER I

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH


The early history of St. Michael's Church is very obscure. The fact
that Domesday mentions no parish churches proves nothing. There can be
little doubt that one at least existed. Though we have an earlier
record of St. Michael's it is commonly held that Trinity is the elder
foundation.

Of St. Michael's the first notice we have is when Ranulph, Earl of
Chester, in the days of Stephen, about 1150, granted the "Chapel" of
St. Michael to Laurence, Prior, and the Convent of St. Mary, "being
satisfied by the testimony of divers persons, as well Clergy as Laity,
that it was their right." Fourteen dependent chapels in the
neighbourhood or within a few miles went with it and the number of
these dependencies is held to show that it was "a primitive Saxon
parish and of considerable importance." In 1192 Ranulph Blundeville,
grandson of the former Ranulph, gave tithe of his lands and rents in
Coventry and bound his officers under pain of a grievous curse to make
due payment.

In the early thirteenth century a dispute arose between Bishop
Geoffrey de Muschamp and the Priory as to the right of presentation,
the Bishop claiming on the ground of being Abbot as well as Bishop.
This was settled in 1241 by the Priory renouncing its claim in
consideration of receiving a share of the income but in 1248 an
exchange was effected, the Priory giving the advowsons of Ryton and
Bubbenhall[4] (not far from Coventry) for St. Michael and its chapels
and engaging to provide proper secular priests with competent support.
In 1260 the church was appropriated to the monastery together with
Holy Trinity and its chapels and although in the arrangement of 1248
twenty-four marks (L16) had been assigned to the vicarage, in 1291 we
find the priory receiving fifty marks and paying the vicar eight and a
half.

Since 1537 the patronage has with that of Trinity, been exercised by
the Crown.

The internal evidence of the date of the building is given in the
description of the fabric. Of external evidence in the shape of
records or deeds we have very little. Tradition says that there was
once a brass tablet in the church bearing the following lines:

    William and Adam built the Tower,
      Ann and Mary built the Spire;
    William and Adam built the Church,
      Ann and Mary built the Choir.

Now we know that William and Adam Botoner, who were each Mayor thrice
between 1358 and 1385, built the tower, spending upon it L100 a year
for twenty-two years, but what foundation there is for the other
statements cannot now be determined. The tower was in building from
1373 to 1394, and the choir is contemporary with it, the nave was in
building from 1432 to 1450, and the spire was begun in 1430. As
William was Mayor in 1358 it can hardly have been less than one
hundred years after his birth that both nave and spire were begun. It
is however, likely that other members of the family (if not he, by
bequest) contributed largely to the general building fund.

Much of the history of a parish church is concerned with its internal
economy but even the records of this are not quite trivial for they
enlighten us on many points wherein we are rightly curious. We are,
for instance, constantly reminded, as Dr. Gasquet points out in
"Mediaeval Parish Life," that "religious life permeated society in the
Middle Ages, particularly in the fifteenth century, through the minor
confraternities" or gilds.

Thus the Drapers' Gild made itself responsible not only for the upkeep
of the Lady Chapel but also for the lights always burning on the
Rood-loft, every Master paying four pence for each "prentys" and every
"Jurneman" four pence. The cost of lights formed a serious item in
church expenditure, needing the rent of houses and lands for their
maintenance. Guy de Tyllbrooke, vicar in the late thirteenth century,
gave all his lands and buildings on the south side of the church to
maintain a light before the high altar, day and night, for ever, "and
all persons who shall convert this gift to any other use directly or
indirectly shall incur the malediction of Almighty God, the Blessed
Virgin, St. Michael and All Saints."

Royal visits to the church have been noticed in the history of the
priory and city, especially that in 1450 which was apparently intended
to mark the completion of the church. Reference has also been made to
the plays and pageants with which such visitors were entertained. The
site for the performance of the cycle of Corpus Christi plays was the
churchyard on the north of St. Michael's. Queen Margaret, whose visits
were so frequent that the city acquired the fanciful title of "the
Queen's Bower" came over from Kenilworth on the Eve of the Feast in
1456, "at which time she would not be met, but privily to see the play
there on the morrow and she saw then all the pageants played save
Doomsday, which might not be played for lack of day and she was lodged
at Richard Wood's the Grocer."

There is evident reference to the dedication of the church in the
pageant of the "Nine Orders of Angels" shown before Henry VIII and
Queen Catherine in 1510 (p. 47).

The history of the church since the Reformation has been not unlike
that of a vast number of others. Fanatic destruction, followed by
tasteless and incongruous innovations, and these again by
"restorations" sometimes as destructive, sometimes as tasteless, and
nearly always feeble; such is their common history. In 1569 even the
Register books were destroyed because they contained marks of popery,
while from 1576 onward a want of repair is plainly suggested by
frequent items of expenditure for catching the stares (starlings) in
the church, at one time for a net, at another for "a bowe and bolts
and lyme." In 1611 James I addressed a strongly worded letter to the
Mayor and Corporation and the Vicar requiring them to reform the
practice of receiving the Holy Sacrament standing or sitting instead
of kneeling, "As we our Self in our person do carefully perform it."
Whereupon the Bishop wrote that he "felt persuaded that there were not
above seven of any note who did not conform themselves" to the church
ordinances; while the Vicar said he "did not know of _half seven_ of
any note but do the like."

A Puritanical writer in 1635 thus mentions the changed position of
the Communion Table, which had formerly stood away from the east wall:
"The Communion Table was altered which cost a great deal of money; and
that which is worst of all, three stepps made to go to the Comm'n
Table altar fashion--God grant it continueth not long." Even the font,
given by John Cross, mayor, in 1394, had to give place in 1645 to
something less offensive to Puritan feeling, and in the same year the
brass eagle, given in 1359 by William Botoner, was "sold by order of
vestry for _5d._ the lb., _8l. 13s. 4d._" The rehanging of the bells
in 1674 led to the destruction of the beautiful groined vault within
the tower, and the year 1764 saw the completion of a series of
galleries all round the church. Throughout all this destruction and
desecration the citizens happily retained their pride in the great
steeple, and by constant attention and rebuildings contrived to
preserve it when negligence might have caused its ruin. The scrupulous
care given to such work is well shown by items in an account for
repairs, of date 1580:

  Payed to George Aster for poyntynge ye steple      L 7  2 8
  Payed for 3 quarter and a halfe of lyme                13 4
  Payed for egges                                         8 4
  Payed for glovers pecis, woode & tallowe, abowte
    the lyme                                              5 6
  Payed for a load sand                                     71/2
  Payed for 4 stryke of mawlte and gryndyng               7 81/2
  Payd for 6 gallons of worte more                        2 0
  Payd for gatherynge of slates & oyster shelles            31/4
  Payd to Cookson for the cradle and 3 other pullesses    5 8

The glovers' snippings were for making size, which, with the eggs,
malt and wort were used in place of water for tempering the mortar.
Lightning seriously damaged the spire in 1655 and 1694, in the former
case causing much injury to the nave roof by falling stone. In 1793
Wyatt, the architect responsible for so much destruction of Mediaeval
work in various cathedrals, advised that a timber framework to carry
the bells should be built up within the tower from the ground and that
the tower arch should be bricked up. All this has been changed since
1885, the bells now hang (but are not pealed) in the octagon, the
chimes and clock are in the chamber below, the arch is opened and the
groining restored.

All galleries had been taken down in 1849 and the present seats,
giving room for near 2,500 persons, introduced, while the incongruous
wall-arcading in the apse was soon after added. At the same period
many important sepulchral monuments, probably stigmatized as
"excrescences," were taken down and removed to other parts of the
church.

Five years after this the exterior of the aisle walls was recased with
the same friable sandstone. In 1860 the reredos was erected, the
subjects of the panels being the sacrifices of Abel, Noah,
Melchisedec, and Abraham, and the Last Supper. To the latest
restoration, which included entire recasing of tower and spire,
clearstories and chancel, the new sacristy at the south east, and
other work, Mr. George Woodcock, a Coventry citizen, gave L10,500, and
the sum of L39,500 was raised and expended, the re-opening taking
place on 22nd April, 1890.

In 1850 a dispute of considerable public interest with regard to the
levying of the church rate between the vicar and the wardens and
overseers was decided in the Court of Queen's Bench. An Act of
Parliament of 1780 had empowered the wardens to levy a rate in lieu of
tithe for the stipend of the vicar, to produce not less than L280 nor
more than L300. The wardens having ever since allowed their powers to
remain in abeyance, the vicar claimed the right to make the rate as
his predecessors had done. Lord Campbell and three other judges were
however unanimous in giving judgement against him.

The latest event in the history of the church is probably the most
important. It has now been constituted a pro-cathedral for the
proposed Diocese of Warwickshire, and a Capitular body has been
formed. The statutes were promulgated by the Bishop of Worcester on
the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 1908. The Chapter now
consists of twenty-four members:--the Bishop, the Vicar of St.
Michael's (Rev. Prof. J.H.B. Masterman), the Archdeacon of Coventry,
the Chancellor of the Diocese, ten priest canons and ten lay canons,
with provision for the admission of a future second archdeacon. There
are resemblances here to the constitution of the Southwark Chapter,
consisting of four clerical and four lay canons, but at Coventry some
of the lay canons are elective and for fixed periods. Doubtless the
immense increase of population in the county, especially in this part
(Birmingham is already a separate diocese), demands further oversight
and much strenuous church work, and doubtless, too, the same religious
enthusiasm which brought into existence the beautiful structures of
Coventry's golden age will be able to meet the demand and cope with
the new problems and aspirations of the present day. But the
archaeologist trembles to think what may be done should the attempt be
made to transform a building planned on the simplest parish-church
lines into the semblance of a cathedral. It cannot be successful, and
the original character of the church is but too likely to be
sacrificed in the attempt.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 4: These have ever since remained prebends of Lichfield.]




[Illustration ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH.]




CHAPTER II

THE EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH


The church is built on a site descending towards the east, so that the
chancel floor is more than twelve feet above the present street level.
The narrow street on the south, Bayley Lane, gives us a succession of
picturesque partial views but no general one, while on the north the
rather formal avenue dividing the churchyard obscures much of the
structure. On the whole, the most comprehensive prospect is to be had
from the north-east, at the lower end of Priory Row. But no general
point of view is needed, external or internal, to enable us to
understand the plan or arrangement, which is almost as simple in form
as a village church.

The typical English church plan consists of a nave with aisles, a long
unaisled chancel with square east end, porches or doors on north and
south, and a western tower, and this, save for its apsidal east end,
but amplified by accretions in the form of chapels belonging to the
many Gilds of the city, is the plan of St. Michael's.

In no part, however, do we find the chapels so set as to produce a
pseudo-cruciform plan.

Before the latest restoration the walls were entirely of the local red
sandstone, very similar in quality and appearance to that of which
Chester Cathedral was built, and the extent of its decay, especially
on the tower, was as grievous. Hardly a piece of external moulding or
carving preserved its original profile or form, and some of the tower
buttresses had lost so large a proportion of their substance not far
above ground that they appeared to hang to the walls rather than
support them. All save the aisles, which were refaced in the sixties,
have now been cased with Runcorn Stone nearly the same in colour and
much harder in texture.

The special glory of the church is its =steeple=. No doubt
intentionally its height of 300 feet is practically equal to the
length of the church. Only one other parish church, Louth in
Lincolnshire, has a steeple as high as this, and those of only two
English cathedrals, Salisbury and Norwich, exceed it.

There is, however, an essential difference to be noted in the position
of these spires, those of the cathedrals at the centre, the crowning
point in the composition, those of the parish churches at the west
end, springing sheer from the ground. While the former have a more
intimate relation to the building the latter have an almost
independent existence in keeping with the theory which regards them
more as symbols of municipal pride and power than as expressions of
spiritual aspiration.

But however mixed the motives for their erection, religious forms and
symbolism governed the design. Thus we have here three principal
divisions--tower, octagon, spire, and nine stories or stages in all,
six belonging to the tower and octagon, and three to the spire. Then
in its dimensions we find that the total height is 300 feet,[5] the
plan (exclusive of buttresses) is 30 feet square, while in its
proportions the number 30 is interwoven, so to speak, with a simple
arithmetical progression of heights in each story. Thus it is 30 feet
from the ground to the spring of the lowest five-light windows, 30
feet again to the spring of the single-light windows, 27 feet more to
the spring of the grouped windows above, and another 30 to the spring
of the belfry windows. Thence it is 15 feet to the cornice below the
battlements. The remainder is divided into a series of 20 feet
heights, two twenties from cornice to top of parapet of octagon, 20 in
each of the two decorated stages of the spire, 20 to centre of the
upper spire-lights, three twenties to the finial. If we look at the
stories as marked by the string-courses below the windows we find 50
feet given to the door and great window and then 20, 30, and 40 feet
stages, reaching to the top of the parapet. The reader will have
noticed the interposition of a 27 feet space among the thirties, and
the reason for this is worth explaining.

It is now known that the tower could not be built in line with the
centre of the proposed new nave because of the existence of a
filled-in pit or quarry at its north-west angle. But the builder was
rash enough to build the north-west buttresses beyond the edge of the
old excavation and resting on the looser material. The consequences
might have been foreseen. By the time the building had reached the
grouped windows the settlement or sinking was considerable and an
effort was made to remedy it, first by reducing the height of this
(the weakest story), by one yard and next by starting the courses
level once more. Five hundred years later and we find that whereas the
sinking is 71/2 inches near the ground level it is only 4 inches at the
windows, plainly showing that it had sunk 31/2 inches before the remedy
was applied and four inches since. The writer is informed by the
architect (Mr. J. Oldrid Scott) that all this angle was so full of
rents and cracks that (coupled with the decay of the stone, especially
in the buttresses) it was surprising that the whole had not fallen. A
curious disregard of what we look on as a natural sentiment is to be
noted in this connection, for the builders used a quantity of fine
sepulchral slabs from the churchyard as filling for the foundations.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE TOWER FROM BELOW.]

In magnificence of design the tower exceeds that of any other parish
church in England, the uppermost story being the richest in detail.
The variety of treatment and gradual increase in elaboration of the
upper stories is admirable, the larger expanses of wall in the lower
giving the necessary effect of stability to the whole. The =west door=
is very insignificant, and might perhaps, with advantage to the
composition, have been left out. It has the only four-centred arch in
the whole. On each side of the great windows are niches with
(restored) figures of saints and benefactors, twelve in all, including
Earl Leofric and his famous wife, the Botoners and several kings.
Sculpture appears again on the belfry stage. On the west and north
sides the niches are in three tiers of three on either hand of the
tall louvred windows, but on the south and east sides one tier is
absorbed by the stair turret. All these have been renewed, but the
remains of some of those which were taken down can now be seen in the
crypt, and the one which is best preserved, by a happy coincidence the
patron saint, is now placed within the church.

The octagon, which connects so finely the tower and spire, has four
two-light windows on the cardinal sides, the other sides having blank
panelling of similar design. Its parapet has square pinnacles,
intended to carry seated figures. From each of the great tower
pinnacles two ogee-shaped flying buttresses spring to the near angles
of the octagon. A recent writer criticizes these as too flimsy in
effect, but the fact that they are in pairs obviates this defect from
most points of view. The walls of the octagon are 21/2 feet thick at the
base, but, as the inner slope of the spire begins at the level of the
window transoms, the thickness at its parapet is more than 3 feet. The
greater weight in this part corrects any tendency in the spire to push
outwards the upright walls of the octagon; so well has it done this
that no artificial helps, such as iron stays or bands, have been
found necessary to add to its stability. Though so slender in
appearance, its stonework is thicker than that of many later spires,
for whereas Kettering is 14 inches thick for the first 10 feet and
only 6 inches above, while Louth decreases from 10 to 5, St. Michael's
diminishes from 17 to 11. The inclination from the upright of its
sides is very slight, less than that of most others; Chichester
having an angle of 71/2 deg., Kettering 6 deg., Louth 5 deg., St. Michael's 41/2 deg..

[Illustration: THE WEST PORCH.]

The decoration of the spire is admirably designed in relation to the
slenderness of the tower, and its own height above the eye. The first
stage is panelled so as not to present too great a contrast to the
octagon, and the next is also panelled and has narrow canopied slits
on alternate sides, with four thin buttress-like projections on each
face. These provide the slight entasis to the outline which is found
in so many spires, as it is in classic columns, and is designed to
correct the appearance of hollowness which would occur in so long a
straight line. The upper two-thirds of the spire has triple angle
rolls, and, just halfway in the total height, are eight canopied
panels of which four are pierced. The beauty of the steeple and its
pre-eminence among those belonging to parish churches (even if such a
reservation be necessary) sufficiently justifies the length of this
description.

[Illustration: SOUTH PORCH, FROM ST. MARY HALL.]

The oldest existing part of the church is the large =south porch=,
almost facing the entrance to St. Mary Hall. The date of this is not
later than 1300. Each jamb of the outside arch has four external and
two internal attached shafts; the pointed arch is deeply moulded,
while the arch rising from the fourth shaft is of round-headed trefoil
form. The ceiling is vaulted with diagonal and intermediate ribs, and
has the appearance of having been added rather later.

A doorway on its east side led to the Cappers' Chapel and there is a
chamber over the porch for centuries appropriated to the meetings of
the Cappers' Company. The present chapel and chamber are contemporary
with the nave.

[Illustration: SOUTH-WEST DOORWAY.]

The external wall of the Dyers' Chapel (now the Baptistery) is canted
so as not to block the Lane, St. Mary Hall having been already built.
Passing east, the road dips gradually and gives this end of the church
a more imposing elevation. After the Cappers' Chapel, there is only a
single aisle forming the Mercers' Chapel and extending as far as the
Presbytery. A door here, made in 1750, is opposite to the Drapers'
Hall. The apse is now encircled with a series of sacristies divided
into five chambers and spanned by flying buttresses. The first two
bays on the south were built at the last restoration the vestry then
removed not being part of the original design. Beneath them on the
ground level is the engine-room pertaining to the organ. Though
sometimes spoken of as an Ambulatory its position on a lower level,
its original want of connection with the south side and above all the
need for sacristies in so large a church dispose of the idea.

Some have thought that the apsidal Lady Chapel of Lichfield Cathedral
built about fifty years earlier suggested an apsidal termination in
the design of Coventry, but a certain difficulty in the way of the
designer may have led him to adopt this solution. The normal
Perpendicular east end had one large window, but owing to the great
width of this chancel the proportions of such a one would have been
nearly square, and the spring of the arch have been very low. A few
years later and the depressed four-centred arch might have been
adopted but, fortunately, its time was not yet.

The plans of the apses of Lichfield and Coventry differ in the angle
at which the sides are inclined to the chord of the apse, the former
having the usual angle of 45 deg., the latter one of more than 60 deg..
Externally this is not so pleasant as the more "commonplace" form, the
great dissimilarity of the several angles being unsatisfactory and the
third side too quickly lost to view, but within the church these
points are not noticed.

So little time elapsed between the building of the choir and nave that
we find no marked difference of style as we proceed westward along
either flank of the church. The =Lady Chapel=, known as the Drapers'
Chapel, from its use and maintenance by that Gild, occupies the three
bays of the North chancel aisle. From its elevation above the ground
it was often spoken of as the "Chapel on the Mount," Capella Beatae
Mariae de Monte. All the four windows are of seven lights, the three
northern having a somewhat unusual transom band of fourteen
quatrefoils, at the spring of the arch. The two windows of St.
Lawrence's Chapel have a transom across the lights and a band of seven
quatrefoils at the spring.

The buttresses of the Lady Chapel are rather richer in design than
those of St. Lawrence's Chapel. The lower level of its parapet
indicates some difference of date. The plan of this part of the church
presents problems which bear on those connected with the rest of the
church (p. 44). Beneath St. Lawrence's Chapel and extending under the
north aisle westward are two crypts, entrance to them being by two
doors from the churchyard, their position is shown on the general
plan. It will be seen that the western one is of two aisles, each of
three bays, while the eastern is only one bay in length. The entrance
to the western was at first in the middle bay but this was blocked
when the Girdlers' Chapel was built. That the eastern crypt was added
later, and the present Lady Chapel later still is shown by the
presence of windows in the east wall of both parts and other
indications. But while the history of the church shows that the
original Lady Chapel and crypt or charnel-house, were built soon after
1300, the present superstructures belong to a time about one hundred
years later. Now as the western crypt may be safely assigned to the
earlier date the Lady Chapel doubtless stood over it and flanked the
old chancel of the church, in its normal position in fact as the
existing one is now. But a point which remains to be explained is that
the walls of the crypt are parallel to the line of the new chancel and
not to the line of the old or new naves. It seems certain therefore
that the inclination of the new chancel is a simple perpetuation of
the old arrangement, and if not, the position of the crypt is hard to
account for.

It is generally supposed that these crypts were used as Mortuary
Chapels and the eastern one has in fact a piscina and aumbry, showing
that there was once an altar. But for some centuries they served as a
charnel-house, and are so called in a papal grant of Indulgences. In
1640 there is an entry in the church accounts of five shillings for
"cleansinge the charnel-house and laying the bones and sculles in
order."

They now contain fragments that have been removed or discovered in the
course of various restorations. A small Norman scalloped capital,
another of Early English workmanship and a voussoir showing the Norman
zig-zag or chevron are interesting relics of structures earlier than
anything now existing, while a number of the decayed statues from the
tower find here a dark and damp repose very different from the airy
outlook enjoyed by them for five centuries. It will be seen that they
are near life size and are executed in a gray sandstone which has
stood the weather much better than the red. The outer north aisle
containing the Girdlers' Chapel on the east and the Smiths' or St.
Andrew's Chapel on the west of the porch, is plainly of later date.
The windows have depressed, distinctly four-centred arches, and in
1730 their five lights had simply cusped heads, the mullions running
up to the architrave.

The =north porch= has only a slight projection. Above the four-centred
arch are two two-light canopied windows opening into the church. The
soffit of the doorway is panelled. On the west side where is now a
canopied niche was formerly an external pulpit reached from within by
the staircase which leads to the roof. It is shown in the 1730 view.
On the east side are two odd little flying buttresses, intended
apparently to repeat the inclined surface of the other side. The two
north aisles are fortunately not carried westward so far as the nave,
which projects a half bay beyond them and so prevents the otherwise
unrelieved flatness of this part. The most effective of the porches is
that on the west front, just north of the tower. It appears to have
been built after the nave was finished, and may have been added
expressly to provide a more dignified entrance to the church when
Henry VI came in state in 1451, for it faces directly up the nave. The
groining with cusped panels and numerous bosses has escaped
restoration. The five niches above the porch are statueless, and so
are those on the porch front. May they long continue so! The doors are
largely original and are finely panelled and carved.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 5: At the last restoration the height was reduced to 298
feet.]


[Illustration: INTERIOR OF ST. MICHAEL'S FROM THE WEST.]




CHAPTER III

THE INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH


From within the door by which the church is usually entered, that near
the south-west angle, we obtain an overpowering impression of the
special characteristic of the interior, its spaciousness, for it is
here more than 100 feet wide and the east window is nearly 240 feet
distant.

The =nave=, which is 37 feet 6 inches wide in the clear, is wider than
that of many cathedrals, and much exceeds that of most parish
churches, the widest (Worstead) given in Brandon's "Parish Churches"
being 29 feet. Boston alone exceeds it by about 3 feet. While the
ordinary aisle width ranges from 10 to 14 feet, the north aisle here
is 23 feet, the outer north and the south being each 17 feet. The
total internal length is 265 feet, exclusive of the sacristy; Boston,
the only larger one, being 284 feet, while very few exceed 200 feet,
and most are far smaller. The greatest internal width is 120 feet;
Manchester, a double-aisled collegiate church, is about the same, and
York Minster is 106 feet. Finally, the area is about 22,800 square
feet, probably greater than that of any other English parish church,
indeed, St. Nicholas, Yarmouth, is the only one which pretends to
rivalry in this respect. Size is, of course, only one element in the
impressiveness of a building, and may even be neutralized by the
treatment (as, for instance, in the Duomo of Florence and St. Peter's,
Rome, by increasing the size of its parts rather than multiplying
them), but these few comparisons will help the visitor to judge how
far this element colours his appreciation of the whole. As an
illustration of mediaeval methods of church building, it is interesting
to trace the growth of the structure with the help of the few
historical notices already given and the evidence of the building
itself. The subject is full of difficulties, and the writer does not
hope to solve them conclusively, but to put before the reader the main
points which have to be considered before forming a judgement.

[Illustration: TOWER ARCH.]

Both historic and structural evidence agree that there was an existing
smaller church when the tower was built in the last quarter of the
fourteenth century, that the choir and apse were either contemporary,
or begun a few years earlier, and that the nave was built between 1434
and 1450. The south porch and the west crypt (beneath the original
Lady Chapel) are almost contemporary (p. 34), belonging to the
beginning of the fourteenth century. Now the axis of the tower is
parallel to the axis and walls of the nave, while the centre line of
the choir is deflected towards the north about 7 deg.. Notwithstanding
this, however, owing to the tower not being central with the nave, the
axis of the choir, if prolonged, runs directly to the centre of the
tower arch, as may easily be seen by anyone who stands there and looks
along the ridge of the choir roof. (_See_ dotted line on Plan.)

[Illustration: BAY OF NAVE, NORTH SIDE.]

Next we see above the =tower arch= the mark of the old nave roof and
the old north wall of the nave. These show that the south wall stood
where the present one does, and the low-pitched fourteenth century
roof-line suggests incidentally this alternative: _either_ a
clearstory had been added to the nave before the building of the new
chancel or tower was in contemplation, _or_, when the huge tower was
built it was felt necessary to raise the nave roof so as to lessen the
disproportion. But, if we adopt the latter alternative we must accept
too the improbability that this expense should have been incurred when
the inadequacy of the old narrow nave of 151/2 feet compared with a
chancel of 33 feet must have been so obvious. This is one of the
difficult questions.

Then it is held by some that the axis of the old nave and chancel was
in line with that of the present choir; but the south porch, built
more than one hundred years before the new nave, is at right angles
with it which would hardly have been the case had the two naves not
been on the same lines.

Needless to say the old east end could scarcely have extended beyond
the present nave, so that the new chancel was probably built without
disturbing the old church. The position of the older Lady Chapel
supports this view, while its bearing towards the north, as already
pointed out, indicates that the deflection of the new chancel is
simply copied from the older one.

The position of the south porch proves also that the south aisle was
as wide as the present one, while the fact that it was wider than the
nave shows that it was almost certainly not designed at the same time.

The nave is of six bays and is 54 feet high at the centre, while each
arch is 20 feet wide in the clear. The piers are slender, but, owing
to the depth of the panelling above the arches and the large size of
the windows, the weight upon them is reduced to a minimum. Shafts
carried up from the ground support the roof brackets, and there are
intermediate ones over the centre of each arch. The clearstory windows
of four lights each are in pairs, and the mullions are carried down to
form panelling and finish on the backs of the arches, which recede in
two sloping faces and form a somewhat unusual feature in the treatment
of the wall surface. The detail of the piers and arches is rather
weak, even for Perpendicular work.

[Illustration: INTERIOR FROM THE SOUTH DOOR.]

The =chancel= is about 93 feet long, and in height and width is 4 or 5
feet less than the corresponding nave measurements. Its width further
diminishes by about 31/2 feet in the length of the three bays. The
omission of a chancel arch is a step towards the ideal simplicity of
the late Perpendicular churches (_e.g._, St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich),
running from east to west without break, but the large rood piers and
reduced width and height of chancel make the pause demanded in so
long a church. The step at this point is of oak, and is probably the
original sill of the rood screen. The large figures of SS. Peter and
Paul were placed on the piers in 1861. Of the three arches which open
on either hand the centre one is widest, having four-light windows,
instead of three-light, over it. The panelling beneath the clearstory
is richer than that in the nave. The five four-light windows of the
apse are lofty and divided by two transoms, but the design is somewhat
commonplace. The glass of the middle three is a memorial to Queen
Adelaide, dated 1853. The other two are filled with fragments of the
ancient stained glass of the church (p. 56).

[Illustration: THE CHOIR FROM ST. LAWRENCE'S CHAPEL.]

The roof is very similar to that of the nave. Both are of very low
pitch, with tie-beams supported by curved brackets. There are two
longitudinal beams (purlins) on each side, and each division of the
roof made by these main timbers is sub-divided by mouldings into
panels, all the intersections and angles being decorated by carved
bosses or paterae, with angels upon the tie-beams. Where the roofs of
nave and chancel join there is a cove to connect the two levels; and
on the tie-beam above this was found a Latin inscription, giving the
attributes and powers of the nine choirs of angels forming the
hierarchy of Heaven. Translated it is as follows:

  SERAPHIMS burn in love of God.
  CHERUBIMS possess all knowledge.
  THRONES, of them is judgement.
  DOMINIONS preside over angelic spirits.
  VIRTUES effect miracles.
  POWERS have rule over demons.
  PRINCIPALITIES protect good men.
  ARCHANGELS are set over states.
  ANGELS are the messengers of the Lord.

Bare and shorn as it is of its ancient magnificence, St. Michael's is
in its structure a monument of the importance and wealth of the Gilds.
Many of them built or maintained chapels and altars, adding largely to
the already spacious proportions given to the main structure by the
munificence of a few rich citizens. That in 1491 there were eleven
altars we know from the will of Thomas Bradmedow, directing that
eleven torches, price _2s. 4d._, be given every Good Friday, one to
every altar. Besides the High Altar there were those of Our Lady,
Jesus, Holy Trinity, St. John, St. Anne, St. Katherine, St. Thomas,
St. Andrew, St. Lawrence, All Saints.

The application to the =Lady Chapel= of the present name, the
"Drapers' Chapel," is probably subsequent to 1518, when John Haddon, a
draper, provided by will for the support of a priest, "to singe in the
Chapell of our Ladye in the Church of Saint Mychell." But long ere
this, by an instrument dated from St. John Lateran, A.D. 1300, eighth
year of Pope Boniface, Indulgences for forty days were granted for all
persons coming to confess before her altar in St. Michael's Church on
the Nativity, Conception, Annunciation and Assumption of the glorious
Virgin Mary. Also 700 Indulgences for 720 days were granted for
building "the Chapple and Charnell house of St. Michaell, Coventry."
The Drapers' Company was responsible for other things than the
priest's stipend as this extract from their Rules shows: "1534. Ev'y
mastur shall pay toward ye makyng clene of oure Lady Chapell in saynt
Mychell's churche and strawyng ye setus [seats] wt rusches in somer
and pease strawe in wyntur, everyone yerely _2d._"

[Illustration: POPPY HEAD, LADY CHAPEL.]

The piers at the chancel entrance contain the staircases leading to
the roofs and formerly to the rood loft. The screen on the west side
of the chapel was put together from fragments brought together from
various parts of the church. Against it, and on the south side, are
fifteen of the ancient stalls. Several admirable ends and elbows
remain, and some of the twelve ancient Misereres are of special
interest. Three represent scenes from the popular mediaeval allegory of
"the Dance of Death."

The centre groups are: (1) a death bed, (2) a kneeling man being
deprived of his shirt and a cripple waiting to receive it (?), and (3)
a very well-expressed burial scene. The side groups in each show Death
leading by the hand personages of various ranks, including a pope. Of
the others, Satan in chains, the General Resurrection, and a
delicately executed Tree of Jesse are the best.

[Illustration: A MISERERE, LADY CHAPEL.]

Several monuments formerly in this chapel are now elsewhere in the
church. A memorial to the Hon. F.W. Hood, killed in battle in 1814, is
by Chantrey. On the north wall is a brass plate bearing the following
inscription:

   Here lyeth Mr Thomas Bond, Draper, sometime Mayor of this Cittie
   and founder of the Hospitall of Bablake, who gave divers lands
   and tenements for the maintenance of ten poore men so long as the
   world shall endure and a woman to looke to them with many other
   good guifts; and died the XVIII day of March in the yeare of our
   Lord God MDVI.

The =Communion Table= is a fine example of early seventeenth century
work, and outside the screen is a very beautiful oak chest, believed
to date from the time of Henry VII. From the Lady Chapel we pass into
that of St. Laurence. Its two windows are filled with glass to the
memory of past mayors. The dates, 1860 and 1862, sufficiently suggest
their artistic merit. Several old monuments are upon the north wall,
one of 1648 with an extravagant inscription to Thomas Purefoy, a boy
of nine; another to Mrs. Bathona Frodsham, a daughter of the John
Hales who bought so much monastic property, and founded the Grammar
School. The tomb of his first wife, Frideswede, near which he was
buried, may be seen in the Dugdale view near the north porch.

The outer north aisle contained the Girdlers' Chapel. The arcade which
divides the aisles shows the consummation of the process which
converted columns into piers by the omission of capitals and bases and
the continuation of the mouldings from pier into arch.

The altar was below the eastern window, the piscina (restored) stands
on the south side.

The Company has been long extinct and no documents exist. We know,
however, that Haye's Chantry was founded by a Girdler in 1390, for a
Mass to be sung daily at All Saints' altar, and may therefore conclude
that it was in this chapel.

In the two western bays of the same aisle was St. Andrew's Chapel,
supported and probably founded by the Smiths' Company. The first
notice of its existence occurs in 1449, but as this part was not built
until 1500 it was perhaps originally in the adjoining aisle. The
window tracery is modern. The panelling within the internal arches and
between the windows should be noted. The floor near the wall is partly
paved with much worn ancient tiles.

Several large monuments have been brought hither from the Drapers'
Chapel. An altar tomb of black marble is to the memory of Sir Thomas
Berkeley, only son of Henry, Lord Berkeley, who died in 1611; another
of 1640, to William Stanley, Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company
of London and a benefactor of St. Bartholomew's Hospital and of his
native city, Coventry. While these are ponderous and unlovely that of
Julian Nethermyl, at the west end of the principal north aisle, is a
work of interest and much beauty. It is an altar tomb with a
sculptured panel on one end and one side, the other end and side
having been next to walls. It is of interest as an early example of
the Italian style then finding its way into England, and an example so
free from Gothic influence that there can be little doubt that a
foreign craftsman was employed upon it. On the centre of the long
panel is a mutilated crucifix, and a brief inscription with a shield
of arms beneath. On either hand kneel Julian Nethermyl and his wife,
with five sons behind him and five daughters behind her. A cherub at
each end pushes aside a curtain. The group of sons is well treated,
the variations in pose and dress show the hand of one who was
accustomed to study composition, and the result is very different from
the formal repetition of equal or lessening figures usual on mediaeval
brasses and Elizabethan tombs. The Latin inscription is partly
illegible, translated it runs:

   Here lies Julian Nethermyl, Draper, formerly Mayor of this City,
   who died the 11th day of the month of April in the year of our
   Lord 1539 and also Joan his wife, to whose souls God be
   propitious. Amen.

[Illustration: CHEST IN NORTH AISLE.]

A small brass on the wall to the memory of Mary Hinton, wife of a
vicar, who died in 1594, represents her kneeling at a faldstool, and
facing a row of four swaddled infants laid upon the floor.

Near by is the old Purbeck marble font, said to have been given by
John Cross, Mayor, in 1394.

As, however, the form, material, and shallow decoration are all quite
consistent with a thirteenth-century date there can be little doubt
that this one is the predecessor of that given by John Cross, which
was condemned and removed by the Puritans as superstitious. A small
brass, bearing a shield with four crosses, the ancient merchant mark,
is fixed upon it.

[Illustration: THE NETHERMYL TOMB.]

Beyond the west door is the north-east buttress of the tower,
strengthened by a mass of masonry, part of which formed part of the
old nave wall. The tower arch is high and very narrow, owing to the
narrowness of the old nave. The interior of the tower is very
effective, both from the height, which is almost 100 feet to the crown
of the vault, and the beautiful lighting of the upper stages. Each of
the large windows of the ground story is set in a recessed arch, and
between the two lantern stages is a range of panelling. The vertical
lines of the various stages are not continuous, a want of regularity,
which would probably not have occurred had it been built a century
later. Upon the floor of the tower are two small brasses, which mark
respectively the centre of the tower and the point below the apex of
the spire, showing that the spire has an inclination of 3 feet 6
inches towards the north-west. On the walls of the tower two very
large brasses record the names of the Vicars of the church since 1242,
and of the Bishops in whose Dioceses Coventry has been included from
the earliest times. Of the latter, four were Bishops of Mercia,
twenty-seven of Lichfield, six of Coventry, thirty-three of Coventry
and Lichfield, thirteen of Lichfield and Coventry, four of Worcester,
and two Bishops-Suffragan of Coventry.

The south aisle is 6 feet narrower than the north at the west end, but
its want of parallelism adds 7 feet to its width at its far eastern
end.

The south-west doorway has its original doors, though these have been
subjected to restoration. The first chapel on the south side belonged
to the Dyers' Company. When the principal trade of Coventry was the
manufacture of woollen and worsted stuffs and the production of a
special blue thread, so excellent that it gave rise to a proverbial
expression, "he is true Coventry Blue", the Dyers were an important
Company.[6] A chantry known as Tale's was probably attached to this
chapel, as the salary of the priest, _L5 6s. 8d._, was paid by the
Dyers' Company of London. An upper chamber for the priest existed as
late as 1607; the floor corbels still remain. A large marble monument
(removed hither from the chancel) has medallion portraits of two
ladies--Dame Mary Bridgeman and Mrs. Eliza Samwell. The former with
her husband, Sir Orlando (Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Charles
II), both died in 1701. The latter, dying in 1724, "ordered this
monument to be erected as a remembrance of their great and loving
friendship."

The Chapel is now the =Baptistery=. A large eighteenth-century marble
font was removed to the Lady Chapel and a new Gothic one put in its
place, so that there are now three in the church.

The south porch (1300) is the earliest part of the existing church.
The inner doors appear to be of the early sixteenth century, the
outer, though old, are of much later date and are not part of the
original scheme. On the wall on each side of the inner doors are
brasses of some interest. That on the right hand has a curious epitaph
which runs thus:

   Here lies the body of Captn Gervase Scrope, of the family of
   Scropes, of Bolton in the County of York, who departed this life
   the 26 of August, Anno Dni 1705, aged 66.

   An Epitaph, written by himself, in the agony and dolorous paines
   of the gout and dyed soon after.

    Here lyes an old toss'd Tennis Ball
    Was racketted, from spring to fall,
    With so much heat and so much hast,
    Time's arm for shame grew tyred at last.
    Four kings in camps he truly served.
    And from his loyalty ne'er swerved,
    Father ruin'd and son slighted,
    And from the Crown ne'er requited.
    Loss of estate, relations, blood,
    Was too well known, but did no good;
    With long Campaigns and paines oth' gout
    He cou'd no longer hold it out.
    Always a restless life he led,
    Never at quiet till quite dead.
    He marry'd in his later days,
    One who exceeds the common praise
    But wanting breath still to make known
    Her true affection and his own,
    Death kindly came, all wants supplied
    By giving rest--which life deny'd.

The other brass, of 1609, has a portrait of Ann Sewell in Jacobean
costume, kneeling, with an epitaph in which she is described as "a
worthy stirrer up of others to all holy virtues."

A doorway leads to a priest's chamber over the porch, sometimes
incorrectly spoken of as the Cappers' Chapel. It is still used for the
annual meeting of the Company, but is inaccessible to the public.

The next chapel eastwards is St. Thomas', belonging until 1629 to the
Cappers' and Feltmakers' Company. In 1531 they were associated in its
maintenance with the Woollen Cardmakers who had founded it in 1467 and
had after declined in importance. Leland, as we have seen records
also the decay of the Cappers' industry. A large eighteenth-century
monument conceals the original doorway from the porch. The eastern
part of the south aisle as far as the screen formed another chapel as
the dilapidated piscina in the south wall shows. The organ is now
placed in the first bay of the chancel aisle, the whole aisle having
once formed the Mercers' Chapel.

[Illustration: THE SWILLINGTON TOMB.]

Where the altar once stood are now steps descending to the sacristies.
On the right of the window is the statue of St. Michael brought hither
from the tower (p. 32). The finely carved corbel on which it stands
was discovered among rubbish in the recess below. Three altar tombs
now stand against the south wall. The eastern has the recumbent
effigies of Elizabeth Swillington and her two husbands. The
inscription (translated) runs: "Pray for the soul of Elizabeth
Swillington, widow, late the wife of Ralph Swillington, Attorney
General of our Lord King Henry VIII, Recorder of the city of Coventry,
formerly the wife of Thomas Essex Esq: which said Elizabeth died A.D.
15..." She died after 1543. The side and ends have arcaded panelling
containing shields of arms. At the west end is a realistic
representation of the Five Wounds. The effigy of Thomas Essex is in
armour, that of the Recorder in official robe and chain. The head of
each rests on a helmet, and the lady wears the "pedimental" headdress
of Tudor fashion. The arcading is purely Renaissance in detail though
the general treatment is mediaeval. The figures are in dignified
repose, wholly free from the later affectations of the Elizabethan
school yet evidently individual portraits. The second tomb dates from
1640. The top is far too heavy for the little Ionic pilasters below.

The third, traditionally called Wade's tomb, probably belongs to John
Wayd, a Mercer, who lived in Coventry in 1557, but no inscription
remains.

There are seven shields of arms on the side, nearly all defaced, a
motto "Ryen saunce travayle," and nine images in low relief which
present quaint studies of early sixteenth-century costume.

The matrices of brasses are still visible in several parts of the
church. Sir James Harrington, writing in the reign of James I, tells a
curious story of their loss:

   The pavement of Coventry church is almost all tombstones, and
   some very ancient, but there came in a zealous fellow with a
   counterfeit commission, that for avoiding superstition, hath not
   left one pennyworth nor penny breadth of brass upon all the
   tombs, of all the inscriptions, which had been many and costly.

The last monument that need be mentioned is upon the wall over "Wade's
tomb." Twenty-six verses of eulogy follow these opening lines:

   An Elegicall epitaph, made upon the death of that mirror of women
   Ann Newdigate; Lady Skeffington, wife of that true moaneing
   turtle Sir Richard Skeffington, Kt., and consecrated to her
   eternal memorie by the unfeigned lover of her vertues, Willm.
   Bulstrode, Knight. (She died in 1637, aged 29).

The present organ was built by Henry Willis and erected in 1887. It is
a four-manual and pedal instrument and has fifty-three stops.

The old organ on which Handel played more than once, stood on a raised
platform at the west end. It was the work of Thomas Swarbrick of
Warwick, a German by birth, in 1733. He also built those of Trinity
Church, St. Mary, Warwick, Lichfield, St. Saviour Southwark,
Stratford-on-Avon, and Amsterdam.

The best of the ancient glass now remaining has been collected into two
windows, one on either side of the apse. Much was brought from the
clearstory where six windows on the south and all save one on the north
side still have panels made up of a mosaic of fragments with portions
here and there of which the subject is intelligible. From what remains
in the tracery we may gather that there was a row of eight angel
figures filling the spaces immediately over the lights. Some of these
or similar ones, are now in the apse. They are represented as covered
with feathers and standing on wheels and each holds a scroll over the
head with inscriptions in very contracted Latin. A few less fragmentary
pieces may be found, _e.g._, in the north window, Judas giving the
traitor's kiss, in the north clearstory the arms of Trenton and
Stafford, mentioned and figured by Dugdale, in the south, the figure of
a man in a red gown kneeling with a scroll inscribed "deo gracias" and
over his head "groc(er) de london"--doubtless a donor. Of modern glass
there is a great amount but little worth mentioning save on account of
the persons commemorated. One window in the Lady Chapel is a memorial
of the Prince Consort and one in the Mercers' Chapel is of interest as
a deserved memorial to Thomas Sharp the Antiquary to whose labours all
later historians of the city are so deeply indebted. He died in 1841.

[Illustration: ALMS-BOX.]

The pulpit is of brass and wrought iron, the work of Frank Skidmore a
native of Coventry who made also the choir screen of Hereford
Cathedral and the metal work of the Albert Memorial at Kensington. It
was placed here in 1869. The bells, ten in number, now hang in the
octagon. They were cast in 1774 and weigh nearly seven tons. The first
peal was hung in 1429 and a clock existed in 1467. In 1496 an Order of
Leet ordained that "all manner of persons that will have the bells to
ring after the decease of any of their friends, shall pay for a peal
ringing with all the bells, _2s._ and with four bells, _16d._, and
three bells _4d._"

The six bells were cast into eight in 1674 and the present tenth has
the same inscription as the heaviest of the old peal:

    I am and have been call'd the common bell
    To ring, when fire breaks out, to tell.

The chimes, which existed as early as 1465, were restored in 1895,
after a silence of ten years, in memory of Lieut.-Col. Francis William
Newdigate. Electric lighting has been introduced throughout the
church.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 6: _See_ Fuller's "Worthies of England." In 1428 an Act of
Leet ordered that no person should dye any wool or cloth with "a
deceitful colour called Masters or Medleys brought into Coventry by a
Frenchman."]


[Illustration: HOLY TRINITY FROM THE NORTH.
_From a lithograph--about 1850_.]




HOLY TRINITY CHURCH


CHAPTER I

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH


Although the first mention of this church which the indefatigable
Dugdale could find was its appropriation to the priory in 1259-1260,
it is tolerably certain that its foundation was much earlier. As
before said, it is reputed to be older than St. Michael's and its
position close to the monastery suggests that it had been built, as
often happened, for the parishioners by the monks who disliked their
intrusion within the priory church. The appropriation at this time may
have been rather of the nature of a confirmation of the rights of the
priory than the institution of a new condition of things. As, in 1391,
the chancel had to be rebuilt being "ruinated and decayed" we may
conclude that it was probably older than the present north porch which
is certainly not later than 1259. It was at the same time lengthened
by twenty-four feet, the convent giving one hundred shillings per
annum for eight years and six trees, the parishioners finding all
other material and workmanship. The convent and parish also agreed to
support and keep it in repair at their joint charges.

From 1298, when Henry de Harenhale was appointed, the list of vicars
is complete, but in a cartulary of the priory mention is made of Ralph
de Sowe, vicar of Trinity, as giving a tenement in Well Street, for
the celebration of his anniversary.

There are but few landmarks in its history, and dates affecting the
structure can generally be assigned by internal evidence alone. The
nave arcades had already been rebuilt before the chancel was touched,
and a piece of work of the same period is to be seen in the five-light
Decorated window, in the Consistory Court which now opens into the
large chamber over the porch. We have no record of the building of the
clearstory and roof of the nave. The resemblances between this
clearstory, and that of St. John's chancel, raise the question of
priority. The fuller development at St. John's of the peculiar
treatment of the angles points to its being a little later but
probably both fall within the second and third quarters of the
fifteenth century.

For a church of this size the chapels, altars and chantries were very
numerous, there being probably fifteen altars in all. In 1522 the
establishment of clergy consisted of a vicar, eleven parochial priests
and two chantry priests. Dugdale enumerates six chantries so that it
is evident that here as often elsewhere some of the parochial priests
derived the whole or a part of their support from their performance of
the duties of chantry priests.

Many chantry priests on the other hand had other duties and took part
in other services than the daily mass for which the chantry was
founded.

So much that is of interest in the religious life of the period is
connected with the chantries that it is worth while recording some of
the scattered notices that have come down to us.

To begin with the Chapel of Our Lady, the earliest mention we have of
it is in 1364 while in 1392 the Corpus Christi Gild endowed a priest
there to sing mass for the good estate of Richard II, Anne his queen,
and the whole realm of England, to be called St. Mary's priest. The
indenture sets forth that "he is to be at Divine service on Sundays
and double Feasts in the chancel and at Matins, Hours, Masses,
Evensong, Compline and other offices used in the said church and also
daily at _Salve_ in our Lady's Chapel unless hindered by reasonable
cause." The records of the Dissolution of the Chantries show how much
town property must have been held by them, while from these and other
sources we learn the extent of their belongings in tenements,
messuages, rent charges and the like. Thus in 1454 Emot Dowte gave
several tenements to this altar and in 1492 Richard Clyff "late parson
of St. George in London," left a house in Well St. to the church "to
the intent that the mass of Our Lady may be observed the better." In
1558 (the year of Elizabeth's accession) William Hyndeman, alderman
and butcher, directs that his body be buried in the Lady Chapel "as
aldermen are wont to be buried, towards the charges whereof I give
twenty nobles to be levied of my quick cattle and if it be too little
then I will that Sybil my wife shall lay down _20s._ more." He also
orders an obit to be kept after the death of his wife "yearly for
ever;" a form of words that must surely have sounded unreal after the
changes of the last two reigns.

Perceye's chantry again, which Dugdale considered the oldest (though
he does not give the date) was endowed in 1350 with six messuages, one
shop, six acres of land and 40s. rent, all lying in Coventry, to which
in 1407 William Botoner and others, added a messuage and twenty-four
acres of land in the city for another priest.

Then the chantry of the Holy Cross (1357) founded for two priests to
sing daily a mass for the good estate before death and for the souls
after of the royal family, and for the founders and the members of the
Fraternity of the Holy Cross, was endowed with seven messuages,
fourteen shops and sixteen acres of land in the city.

Dugdale enumerates also four others, Cellet's, Corpus Christi,
Lodynton's and Allesley's, to which should probably be added Marler's,
assigned by him to St. Michael's. The first two are doubtless the same
foundation, for in 1329 land and tenements were granted to the priest
of Corpus Christi Chapel for the health of the soul of William Celet
and others.

It was almost certainly situated in the south transept, on the upper
level over the vaulted passage. The position of Lodynton's chantry
(1393) is not known; Allesley's, founded in the reign of Edward I, was
sung at St. Thomas's altar.

Richard Marler stipulates in his will that his priest is to have the
"stypend or wagis of nyne marks by yere so long as he shall be of good
and prestly conversacyon and demeanor, wt' a p'vyso that yf the seyde
prest be ffounde otherwyse, after monyc'on and reasonable warnyng to
hym geven, he to be removed."

Much of the later history of the church relates to the destruction of
its fittings and furniture or to restorations almost as grievous. In
1560 _2s. 6d._ was paid for taking down the carving about the high
altar, while the Mayor bought the panelling of the altar for _33s.
4d._, the vail for _5s._, the "thing that the sacrament was in over
the altar _1s._," the "peyre [pair of candlesticks?] that was upon the
altar _5d._" Perhaps he thought that all these things would be wanted
again ere long. In 1547 a quantity of costly vestments and banners had
been sold and we find in the accounts a number of such items as
these: "Sold the 6 day of Jennery 5 copps of red teyssew to Mr.
Roghers, now mayre (and 4 other persons) pryce of the sayd copps,
_10l._ To Bawden Desseld one cope of red velvet, _5l._ Mr. Schewyll a
grene velvet cope, _30s._"

But before Mary's death we have a lengthy inventory of copes,
vestments, albs, banners and the like, some of which may have come
back to the church from the buyers at the sale eleven years before.

The church must have looked like a builder's yard in 1643 when the
Committee and Council of War pulled down divers houses outside
Bishop's and Spon Gates and stacked the materials here, while the
changes of government are indicated by the payment in 1647 of _3s.
6d._ "to Hopes for defacing the King's Arms" and in 1660 of _6s._ to
"Hope for the King's Arms."

Five years after this the spire, which had caused much anxiety and
expense for many years, was blown down in a gale, falling across the
chancel and causing much destruction. All was restored and the spire
rebuilt in three years. Reference has been made to the existence of a
vaulted passage through the south transept. This was made necessary by
the position of an ancient building known as Jesus Hall which adjoined
the transept and thus blocked the way from "the Butchery" in this
direction. The Hall had probably been long used as the residence of
the priests attached to the church but nothing is known of its origin.
It was destroyed in 1742. Only in 1834, when the exterior of the
church was recased was the passage blocked and the floor of the upper
chapel removed.

The Register records the marriage of Sarah Kemble with William Siddons
on 25th November, 1773.




CHAPTER II

THE EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH


The church of Holy Trinity loses much, in popular estimation at least,
by its nearness to St. Michael's. It invites comparison of the most
obvious sort. It is not nearly so large and its spire is not so high,
these facts alone are sufficient to account for the popular view.
Fuller, in his "Worthies" says of the two churches, "How clearly would
they have shined if set at competent distance! Whereas now, such their
Vicinity, that the Archangel eclipseth the Trinity."

The plan is quite unlike that of its neighbour, being cruciform, with
a central tower, a short nave, and a chancel distinctly longer than
the nave. On the south both nave and chancel have a single aisle, the
transept projecting beyond it and there is a vestry at the east end.
On the north there is a similar aisle with a Lady Chapel at the east
corresponding to the Vestry, but a large porch and several chapels
fill up the spaces so that the transept does not in plan project.

Looking at the exterior as a whole it may be said that the more
moderate length (194 feet), the central spire, 230 feet high, and the
transepts unite in forming a more satisfactory composition than the
long body and immense western steeple of St. Michael's. There however,
the superiority ceases for the frequent "recasings" and restorations
have left hardly a stone of the exterior that has not been renewed
again and again, and the dates of these operations, 1786, 1826, 1843,
sufficiently suggest the degree of knowledge and feeling likely to be
manifested in the work.

Probably most of the structure was first built of the same friable red
sandstone as its greater neighbour. Much of the recasing has been
executed in a rather harder gray sandstone, but the tower and spire
are still red.

The tower above the roofs, is of two stages, the upper, or bell
chamber, and the lower or lantern opening into the church. Below this
are small windows with the lines of the old high-pitched roof visible
above the present transept roofs, but in the nave and chancel the
lines of the old roofs are now within the church, the clearstory
having since been added. Each face of the tower is divided, apart from
the narrow angle buttresses, into six vertical divisions separated by
thin projections of buttress form. On the south and west the stair
turret absorbs one of the outer divisions. Each division is curved in
plan in a curious way, which may be the perpetuation of a feature of
the original design, but was more probably introduced or modified by
the person who recased the tower in 1826. That there was sculpture we
know, for in 1709 ten shillings was paid for taking the images down
from the steeple. The smallness of the sum indicates that they were
few in number, and if they occupied similar positions to those on the
belfry stage of St. Michael's, and the structure was as decayed as was
the tower of that church it is probable that the cutting away of the
niches may have suggested the curving of the surfaces especially as
the tower would be thereby lightened. As it is we cannot be certain of
much else than that there were vertical divisions serving to emphasize
the impression of height and that the openings were in the same
positions as now.

[Illustration: PLAN OF TRINITY CHURCH]

The spire blown down in 1665 had been in the previous ninety years
five times repaired and repointed. We cannot now say whether the
original design was at all closely followed in the rebuilding, but its
present likeness to St. Michael's suggests doubts. The lowest stage
which takes the place of the octagon and may be an intentional
imitation of it, has almost upright sides with two-light windows on
the cardinal faces and panelled ones on the oblique sides, while the
remaining stages correspond in number and partly in design with those
of St. Michael's.

In 1855 it was considered that the bells endangered the safety of the
tower, and after recasting by Mears of London they were rehung in a
timber campanile in the north churchyard. Even now they cannot be
pealed.

The deplorable refacings have left few features of interest on the
outside. Were Gothic architecture still a living and not merely
imitative and academic art, one would welcome a complete renewal of
all outside work--not an imagined harking back to the work of the
fifteenth century but showing the lapse of the centuries from the
fifteenth to the twentieth as clearly as does the north porch the
change from the thirteenth to the fifteenth.


[Illustration: INTERIOR OF HOLY TRINITY, FROM THE WEST.]




CHAPTER III

THE INTERIOR


It is with a feeling of expectation followed by one of relief that we
pass within the church, for restoration has there rarely the same
excuse for its devastations as the action of wind and weather on the
exterior too generously gives it, and this church is no exception to
the general rule.

The clearing away of galleries, the provision of new seating and the
renewal of much window tracery have been the principal changes, the
greatest loss being the destruction of the Corpus Christi Chapel. The
nave is of moderate width and consists of only four bays, the eastern
arches being narrower and made to abut against the tower after the
manner of flying buttresses. The columns are clusters of four large
filleted shafts separated by small ones while the bases are high and
evidently meant to be seen above the benches. The caps are shallow and
very simple, while the shafts of each pier reappear as part of the
arch moulding.

The arcade as a whole is remarkably strong and dignified, it would
perhaps have gained by the addition of a bay in length. In the absence
of precise records it may be assigned to the second quarter of the
fourteenth century or a little later. Above the tower arch can still
be seen, beneath the painting and plaster, the marks of the older
steep roof. The nave of Stratford-on-Avon Church has points of
resemblance to this. There too we have a fourteenth-century arcade
(but much simpler) with a fifteenth-century panelled wall and
clearstory above, and the panelling comes down on to the backs of the
arches in a similar though somewhat simpler manner.

Owing to the inequality of the eastern arches there is, in the
position of the windows and roof principals a curious disregard of the
lines of the piers and the centres of arches. There are eight equal
bays in the roof and each corresponds to two two-light windows. It is
interesting to compare the design of this clearstory with that of St.
Michael's. It has more solidity to accord with the more vigorous
arcade though the treatment of the panelling is similar. The height
from the arch to the roof is much less in proportion, but the sills of
the windows are kept lower and the heads are square. The form of the
windows is perhaps determined in part by the desire for more space for
stained glass, but it is also the logical outcome of the space
afforded by the level lines of a wooden roof just as the use of the
pointed window follows from the use of pointed vaulting. The treatment
of the angles after the manner of the thirteenth century "shouldered"
lintel in order to take off the harshness of the rectangular form and
to give a better bearing for the lintels is noteworthy and should be
compared with the more developed forms at St. John's Church.

Above the tower arch is a painting of the Last Judgement, discovered
in 1831. It is now so much darkened that very little can be made out.
The following is a description of its appearance before 1860: In the
centre is the Saviour clothed in crimson and seated on a rainbow.
Below are the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist with the twelve
Apostles arranged on each hand. Two angels sound the summons to
Judgement, and on the right of our Saviour, steps lead to a portico
over which three angels look down on the scene and others welcome a
pope who has just passed St. Peter. On the Saviour's left are doomed
spirits being conveyed by devils in various ways and in ludicrous
attitudes to the place of torment, represented in the usual manner by
the gaping mouth of a monster, vomiting flames of fire. A large
painting of a crucifix, with a priest kneeling beside it and angels
flying above, was discovered at the same time on the north side of the
Chancel but was too much mutilated to be thought worthy of
preservation.

The =roofs= throughout are of low pitch, and almost all resemble one
another in design. Those of the nave, chancel, archdeacon's chapel (on
the west of the north porch) and transepts are divided by their
principal timbers into large panels, which are again subdivided by
mouldings upon the boarded ceiling. At all angles and intersections
there are carved leaves, and stars in relief adorn each panel. All
these roofs are painted in accordance, it is said, with existing
indications of the original colouring. The ground is blue, the
mouldings red and white, the stars and carving are gilt. The nave roof
spandrels, above the tie-beams, have large painted figures of angels,
supporting between them shields emblazoned with the instruments of
the Passion. These are also said to be reproductions, but it appears
likely that time had left much to the imagination of their restorer.

[Illustration: NORTH SIDE OF NAVE, EASTERN BAYS.]

Nevertheless, the whole effect of the roofs is harmonious, a result
apparently obtained by the use of a blue far removed from the
ultramarine tint too often employed.

Since the removal of the ringing floor, in 1855, the lantern stage of
the tower has been once more visible from the church. A wooden vaulted
ceiling was at the same time inserted where a stone one had originally
been built or intended.

The =chancel= is dark owing to the small clearstory windows, the low
outer north aisle, and the concealment of a south window by the organ.
At the first pier east of the tower came the rood-screen, and on the
south side (in the aisle) the door to it may be seen at a height above
the floor. Access must have been by steep steps against the wall, or
from the top of another screen across the aisle. The church accounts
of the year 1560 tell us what it cost to remove:

  Payd for taking down ye rode and Marie and John        _4s. 4d._
  Payd to ye carpenter for pullyng down ye rode lofft    _4s. 8d._

On the east side of the tower wall can be seen the line of the
original roof, showing the height before the rebuilding in 1391.
Although there is space for larger windows the aisle roof prevented
their sills being brought lower. The west arch of the south arcade has
been forced out of shape by the pressure of the tower piers and
arches; certainly the piers, which are little more than 4 feet square,
seem slender enough for the support of so lofty a steeple.

Attached to this south-east tower pier is the stone pulpit, one of the
two special glories of the church, the other being the brass eagle.
The pulpit is either contemporary with the pier or nearly so. There is
apparently some difference in the texture and colour of the stone, but
as it is probable that a finer-grained stone would be chosen for work
of this character, this need not imply a difference of date. It was,
however, probably added at the same time as the nave clearstory. The
authors of "English Church Furniture" assign it to 1470.[7] Before
1833 (when restored by Rickman) it had been hidden from sight by
wood-work and a clerk's desk at a lower level. The lower part is
boldly corbelled out and the junction of the octagon with the pier
shafts is well managed, but the upper open-panelled part is rather too
definitely cut off from the lower by the battlemented cornice. Very
few examples of this class of pulpit exist in England, and none equal
in importance.

The eagle =lectern= is a magnificent example of brass casting. It is
generally attributed to the late fifteenth century. This eagle
narrowly escaped being sold by the Puritans for old brass, as happened
to that of St. Michael's. It closely resembles one belonging to St.
Nicholas' Chapel, Lynn, save that the latter is not equal in
refinement of detail and proportion, and the bird is less vigorous in
pose and modelling. In 1560 there was "paid for skowring ye Egle and
candell styckes, _10d._," and "for mending of ye Egle's tayle, _16d._"

[Illustration: PULPIT.]

At least nine chapels and fifteen altars are known to have existed in
the church. The present choir vestry on the north side was the Lady
Chapel. A simple piscina on the south side, about a foot above the
present floor, shows that the old floor level was much lower.

The =north aisle= is lofty and has a clearstory of three windows over
the arcade. In the outer aisle was located Marler's, or the Mercers',
Chapel, founded in 1537, and beneath it is a crypt or charnel house,
now closed save for small ventilating openings.

[Illustration: ARCHWAY BETWEEN THE NORTH PORCH AND ST. THOMAS'S
CHAPEL.]

The black oak roof of low pitch has the panels of the western bay only
richly carved with vine leaves and grapes. Its date is, perhaps, as
late as the foundation of the chantry. The piscina is in the north
wall.

West of the north transept is =St. Thomas's Chapel=. Dugdale says that
Allesley's chantry was founded in the time of Edward I, at the altar
of St. Thomas the Martyr, "in a chapel near adjoining to the church
porch." The chapel is certainly older, for the beautiful double
doorway from the porch is not later than mid-thirteenth century. The
outer doorway of the porch was rebuilt in the fifteenth century. The
inner one, with a finely moulded arch with angle shafts and the vault
with simple diagonal ribs carried on shafts, is of the early
thirteenth century. It is to be regretted that this fine porch is not
better seen. Signs of the puzzling reconstructions that have occurred
in this part are visible in the aisle wall. Two lancet windows high up
are of the same date as the porch, and are blocked by the chamber
since constructed above St. Thomas's Chapel, and parts of other window
jambs are seen at different levels.

The Archdeacon's Chapel or consistory court, to the west of the porch,
is now one of the most interesting parts of the church.

It is divided from the north aisle by two lofty arches with an
octagonal column. The original dedication is not known, but in 1588 it
was already used as an Ecclesiastical Court, and the next year a
bishop's seat was made for use in it. In the south-west angle is a
tall, narrow recess, once closed by a door. Lockers of this
description were constructed for the safe keeping of the shaft of the
processional cross, and for the staves of banners. On the east side
the roof now cuts across the head of a window of reticulated tracery
of the early fourteenth century. Most of the monuments have been
brought hither from various parts of the church; only two or three are
of general interest. A late Perpendicular canopied tomb, rudely carved
and badly fitted together, stands against the north wall, but there is
nothing to show whom it commemorates. On the east wall is the monument
of Dr. Philemon Holland, with a long Latin epitaph. Fuller says of
him: "he was the translator general in his age, so that those books
alone of his turning into English will make a country gentleman a
competent library for historians." Born at Chelmsford in 1551 he
settled at Coventry in 1595, was usher and then master of St. John's
Free School for twenty-eight years, and died in 1636 in his
eighty-fifth year. During his usher-ship Dugdale was a pupil of the
school.

An engraved brass to John Whithead, who died in 1597, is interesting
for the sake of the costumes of himself and his two wives. Three stone
coffins have also been deposited here, and two sheets of lead from the
roof recording, in fine bold lettering, the repairs executed in 1660
and 1728. In the middle window on the north side are the only
remaining fragments of ancient glass. As late as 1779 there were
"portraits" of Earl Leofric and the Countess, and also, it is said, a
smaller figure of the lady in a yellow dress on a white horse. Part of
a small figure holding a spray of leaves and part of a galloping
horse are pointed out as the remains of this. To the writer the figure
appears to be clearly that of a man, and the horse and rider's leg not
to have belonged to it.

The modern stained glass is very unequal in character, and some is
very poor indeed. The windows at the west, especially one in memory of
Mr. Wm. Chater, a late organist, may be regarded as exceptions. There
are still, fortunately, many which are not filled with pious
memorials.

The =font= is the original pre-Reformation one of the fifteenth
century, which was removed by the Puritans in 1645 (though devoid of
sculpture) and brought back after the Restoration. It stands on three
steps, is panelled on bowl and stem, and rather brilliantly adorned
with gold and colour.

The south aisle was no doubt divided into two chapels, that on the
west belonging to the Barkers' or Tanners' Gild. A small piscina
against the south wall indicates the position of its altar. The wall
below the windows is recessed so as to form a seat the whole length of
the aisle.

The =south transept=, containing the Corpus Christi and Cellet's
chantries, has lost its original character completely. The piscina,
high up on the south wall, shows that the floor level was some 9 feet
above that of the church. The reason for this has been already
explained. The organ chamber is quite modern. The best authorities
place the chapel of the Butchers' Gild in the south aisle of the
chancel, but do not say to whom the eastern chapel in the nave aisle
belonged. It is known that there was a Jesus Chapel, and, in view of
the proximity of Jesus Hall, it is believed by some that this was its
position.

The present clergy vestry is a fine room, having an excellent dark oak
roof with heavy beams and well carved bosses at the intersections of
the timbers. The Royal Arms over the fireplace were painted there in
1632. Although usual, the placing of the king's arms in churches was
not compulsory until the Restoration; few earlier now remain, and this
placing of them in the vestry rather than the body of the church is
suggestive of a compromise between opposing factions. A portrait of
Walter Farquhar Hook, Vicar from 1828-37 and afterwards Dean of
Chichester is hung here.

It seems probable that this was a chapel, perhaps that of the Holy
Trinity, to whom an altar was dedicated.

The history, as traced in the church accounts, of the various organs
used in the church gives some idea of the fluctuations of opinion as
to the propriety of their use. In 1526 John Howe and John Climmowe,
citizens and organ makers of London, contracted to provide, for L30,
"a peir of Organs wt vij stopps, ov'r and besides the two Towers of
cases, of the pitche of doble Eff, and wt xxvij pleyn keyes, xix
musiks, xlvj cases of Tynn and xiiij cases of wood, wt two Starrs and
the image of the Trinite on the topp of the sayed orgayns." In 1570
the "payer of balowes" were sold, and in 1583 the pipes, "wayeng
eleven score and thirteen pounds, went for fourpence half-farthing the
pound." In 1632 a new one was obtained but its life was short, for in
1641 the Puritan party caused it to be sold "for the best advantage."

[Illustration: ALMS-BOX.]

Once more, in 1684, another was purchased from Mr. Robert Hay wood of
the City of Bath for L100; then, in 1732, Thomas Swarbrick of Warwick
built one for L600, for which a gallery was erected across the nave.

In 1855 this gave place to a new one by Foster and Andrews of Hull,
costing L800; and this was rebuilt by Messrs. Hill and Son in 1900.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 7: "English Church Furniture." (Antiquary series.) J.C. Cox
and A. Harvey.]


[Illustration: CHURCH OF ST. JOHN BAPTIST, FROM BOND'S HOSPITAL.]




ST. JOHN BAPTIST'S CHURCH

The church of St. John Baptist has a history quite different from that
of the other parish churches and is specially interesting as a
building belonging to a very limited class, namely, Collegiate
Churches owned by a Gild. Though Dugdale says that the "first and most
antient of the Gilds here was founded in the 14th Ed. III (1340)" it
is probable that, as in other places, religious gilds had for long
existed here and that the royal license or Charter of this date was
like that of Stratford-on-Avon in 1332, really a reconstitution or
confirmation of the Gild's rights, privileges and possessions.

This earliest one was known as the Merchant or St. Mary's Gild and its
first ordinances provided that "the brethren and sisteren of the gild
shall find as many chaplains as the means of the gild can well
afford." Then in 1342 that of St. John Baptist and in 1343 that of St.
Katharine was founded. The former at once founded a chantry of six
priests to sing mass daily in the churches of St. Michael and the
Trinity for "the souls of the King's progenitors and for the good
estate of the King, Queen Isabella his mother, Queen Philippa his
Consort and their children" and others, besides the members of the
Gild. In 1344 this Gild, desiring to have a building for its exclusive
use, received from Queen Isabella a small piece of land called
Babbelak on which to build a chapel in honour of God and St. John, two
priests being required to sing masses daily for the souls "of her dear
lord Edward," John, Earl of Cornwall and others. Did she seek to
satisfy her conscience thus for the woes she had brought upon her
_dear lord_? The site thus given measured 117 feet from north to south
and about 40 feet from east to west giving room for the chancel only
of the present church, this being dedicated in 1350. But in 1357
William Walsheman, valet to the Queen and now her sub-bailiff in
Coventry gave further land, added a new aisle and increased the number
of priests while the Black Prince in 1359 gave a small plot on which,
perhaps, the tower and transept now stand. Within the next ten years
Walsheman and Christiana his wife gave to the Gild certain tenements,
called the "Drapery," in the city to build a chapel in honour of the
Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. John, and St. Katharine "within the Chapel
of Bablake." William Wolfe, mayor in 1375, is mentioned as a "great
helper" in the work at the church, the original nave and aisles being
probably built at this time, and some reconstruction of the choir.
Records are wanting of the subsequent alterations which gave it its
present form. The north clearstory of the nave shows the original
design while that of the choir and the south side of the nave belong
to the fifteenth century as do the tower and the cruciform arrangement
of the building. Leland's "Itinerary" gives the following description:
"There is also a Collegiate Church at Bablake, hard within the West
Gate (Spon Gate) alias Bablake Gate, dedicated to St. John.... It is
of the foundation of the Burgesses and there is a great Privilege,
Gild or Fraternity. In this College is now a Master and eight
ministers and lately twelve ministers." Stowe adds that there were
twelve singing men and extant deeds mention "Babbelake Hall" in which
the warden and priests lived.

Many interesting entries of expenditure are to be found in the gild
accounts showing how the Eve of St. John (Midsummer Eve) and other
festivals were celebrated before the suppression of the gilds by
Edward VI. In 1541 we have the following (the spelling is somewhat
modernized):

   Expenses on Midsummer Even and on the day,--Item, 2 doz. & a half
   cakes, _2s. 6d._; spice cakes, _12d._; a cest' ale and 4 gals.
   _4s._; 2 gals, claret wine _16d._; 2 gals. malmsey, _2s. 8d._; 2
   gals. muskedell _2s. 8d._; to Mr. Mayor _3s. 4d._; the Mayor to
   offer, _8d._; to priests, clerks and children, _2s. 4d._; the
   waits, _6s. 8d._; to poor people _6s. 8d._; to the cross-bearers
   and torch-bearers, _8d._; the bellman, _4d._; the hire of pots,
   _4d._; boughs, rushes and sweeping, _8d._; a woman 2 days to
   cleanse the house, _4d._; half a hundred _3d._ nails, _11/2d._;
   half a pound of sugar, _41/2d._; to the crossbearer and torchbearer
   for St. George Day, Holy Rood Day, Shire Thursday and Whit
   Sunday, _12d._; to 2 children for the same days, _6d._ Summa
   (total) _38s. 2d._

That these anniversaries and wakes led to much unseemly revelling we
have evidence that cannot be gainsaid. The Trinity Gild decided in
1542

   that no obite, drynkyng or com'en assemblie, from henceforth
   shall be had or used at Babalake, except onelie on Trinitie even
   and on the day, which shall be used as it hath been in tymes
   past. And that also the P'sts of Babelack shall say _dirige_ on
   midsum' even and likewise masse of _requiem_ on the morrowe, as
   they have used to doo. And that the Meire shall not come down
   thether to _dirige_ ov(er) night for dyv's considerac'ons and
   other great busynes they used. And on the morowe thei to go
   thether to masse and brekefast, as thei have used to doo.

Dugdale quotes from an old MS. an interesting passage bearing on this
question:

   "And ye shall understond and know how the Evyns were furst found
   in old tyme. In the beginning of holi Chirche, it was so that the
   pepull cam to the Chirche with candellys brennyng and wold _Wake_
   and come with light toward nyght to the Chirch to their
   devocions; and afterwards they fell to lecherie and songs,
   daunces, harping, piping and also to glotony and sinne and so
   turned the holinesse to cursaydnesse; wherefore holi faders
   ordeined the pepull to leve that _waking_ and to fast the Evyn.
   But it is called _Vigilia_, that is _Waking_ in English and it is
   called the Evyn, for at Evyn they were wont to come to Chirche."

In 1362 Queen Isabella helped to procure from the bishop a licence for
one Robert de Worthin, priest, to become an anchorite and to inhabit a
hermitage attached to the north aisle of the chancel. Traces of the
foundations of this have been found on the site of the modern vestry.

When the college was suppressed in 1548 the King granted to the mayor,
bailiffs and corporation, on their petition, the church and its
appurtenances in Free Burgage for ever on payment of _1d._, per annum
and gave them "all the rents, revenues and profits of the said
church."

But these gifts were not sufficient to support the church and its
services, so that the latter were irregular and repairs were
neglected. In 1608 Mayor Hancox procured the delivery of a Saturday
lecture "for the better fitting of the people for the Sabbath." In
1641 Simon Norton, alderman, left property to his son Thomas, on
trust, the condition being that if at any time St. John's should
become a parish church, he or his heirs should pay _L13 6s. 8d._ to
the minister out of rents of lands in Coundon, and also the tithes of
lands in Clifton.

Prisoners from the Scottish army being quartered on the city in 1647,
many were confined in this church and wrought much damage and
desecration. From this time services were only occasionally held,
until 1734, when an Act of Parliament was obtained making it a Parish
Church, appointing a district to it and enabling the Master and Usher
of the Free Grammar School to be Rector and Lecturer of the church.
The mayor, bailiffs, and commonalty were made patrons, but in 1835,
these arrangements having failed to work satisfactorily, the patronage
was transferred to trustees who acted as managers of the school and in
1864 the lectureship was abolished, the rectory was severed from the
office of Head Master and the Trustees of the school were charged with
a payment of L200 per annum towards the stipend of the Rector. In 1874
the advowson was sold to a private person. A great deal of
restoration, justifiable and otherwise, has taken place, the decay of
the local sandstone having made large repairs necessary. In 1861 much
renewal of the external stone work was carried out. Unfortunately
shortsighted ideas of economy led to the use of the same poor stone
and much has recently had to be done over again, this time with the
harder Runcorn stone used also at St. Michael's. The interior was
restored in 1875, galleries erected in 1735 and 1838, and high pews
were removed, the floor, which had been raised three feet, lowered,
the lantern stage of the tower opened up by removing a ringing floor
and a light iron gallery above the tower arches provided for the
ringers. The original groined ceiling has thus been made visible from
below.


THE EXTERIOR

Although small in area compared with the other churches, both exterior
and interior give an impression of size and dignity which does not
belong to many much larger buildings. In the exterior this is no doubt
due to the pseudo-cruciform arrangement, the bold central tower and
the height of the main roof, which would have appeared even greater
had the roadways not been so much raised.

The =tower= is in two stages, a lofty lantern story having two
transomed two-light windows on each face and a shorter upper one
having smaller windows without transoms and a battlemented parapet.
Large skeleton clock-dials disfigure the windows of this story. Narrow
buttress strips on either side and between the windows run through and
serve to connect the stories. The north-east angle has an octagonal
stair turret carried up above the parapet. The other angles have
narrow buttresses running up to circular bartizans boldly corbelled
out from the battlements. This is an extremely unusual feature in
ecclesiastical architecture but is common on fortified structures. Of
the City gates, Gosford Gate had machicolated ones but not Spon Gate
adjacent to the church.

[Illustration: ST. JOHN BAPTIST.]

The spacing of the windows and buttresses of the south aisle and the
position of the large transept window show how the later changes were
effected. The three windows and the buttresses with niches and
canopies almost certainly belong to the part built by Walsheman after
1357. The two in the chancel aisle are recent insertions. The doorway
at the south-west corner occupies the position where indications
showed that an original door had existed. There is also a small
priest's doorway of which the jambs are ancient. The clearstory was
restored in 1861 "from sufficiently clear indications" in the remains
of the original windows. The whole of this part is worthy of careful
study and should be compared with the corresponding parts of Trinity
Church. Everywhere we see signs of individual thought and design
mainly directed to softening the rigidity of the horizontal lines of
the square-headed and transomed "Perpendicular" windows. The method of
cusping the drop-arch and the varied treatment of these in nave,
choir and transepts are noteworthy while the little quatrefoil at the
intersection of mullion and transom is a really happy innovation. The
flying buttress over the south aisle restores a feature of the old
building which had disappeared. Of the variously panelled and
battlemented parapets, of nave, chancel and aisles a view of 1864
gives no visible hint. As the report of Sir (then Mr.) G.G. Scott in
1856 specifies as desirable the "renewing all the parapets according
to the portions of the original which remain," we can only hope (but
with no sense of certainty) that these parts are faithfully
reproduced.

The limited site on which the chancel was built (only 40 feet deep)
caused the builders to omit any buttresses or other projections at the
east end. The east window was renewed in 1861 but the proportions are
not good and it is said that one light was suppressed although the old
sill remained intact.

The west end has a large six-light window with two transoms. It was
restored in 1841 and is said to be a precise reproduction of the
original design. On the gable above it is a large niched pinnacle
which appears to be an "unauthorized" addition.

While the north aisle is later than the south, the clearstory, as has
been said is earlier, being of late Decorated date with large
three-light windows of reticulated tracery. The north transept is more
consistent in style than the south. The large four-light window is
peculiar in design. It has one transom and the tracery is brought down
much below the spring of the arch. The centre mullion is very solid,
coming forward almost to the wall face both inside and out and running
up to the apex of the arch. The clearstory windows in both transepts
are similar in general design to those of the south clearstory of the
nave but with variations suggesting a rather later date. A very
effective view of the north side can be had from the quadrangle of
Bond's Hospital, though here too it loses on account of the depressed
site in which it lies.


THE INTERIOR

The interior is not less impressive for its size than the exterior,
Sir G.G. Scott even saying that he knew of no interior more beautiful
than St. John's.

[Illustration: INTERIOR, ST. JOHN BAPTIST.]

[Illustration: CLEARSTORY WINDOWS.]

All at least will agree that there is something about it striking and
dignified which is obviously not concerned with mere size, is largely
independent of elaboration of detail and may therefore be safely
attributed to its satisfactory proportions and broad effects of light
and shade. Its plan is quite simple consisting of a nave and choir
with north and south aisles, a transept not projecting beyond the
aisles at either end and a central tower. Yet, although it is more or
less oblong as a whole, there is hardly a right angle or two parallel
walls throughout the church. In most cases these discrepancies are not
apparent, nor do they appear likely to have been intended to produce a
studied effect. Thus a diminution in width towards the east (as at
Manchester) may be expected to add to the apparent length, but here
the south aisles of both nave and chancel expand instead of
contracting. By standing within either transept and looking up at the
roof the want of parallelism of the walls and other irregularities are
plainly seen. The nave has only three bays, the arches being rather
lofty and the arch mouldings of the characteristic shallowness of the
period. The south-west pier had to be rebuilt on account of settlement
and there are signs of it in the south-east arch next the tower. The
name Bablake is said to have been derived from a pond or conduit near
by and the site may have been swampy, thus affecting the foundations.
The district is even now liable to flooding from the Sherborne (or
Shireburn) stream and as late as January 1900 the waters rose over
five feet within the church as a brass plate at the west end
testifies.

The graceful treatment of the windows of the nave and choir
clearstories is shown in the illustration. Comparing these with the
clearstory of Trinity nave (p. 71) questions of priority arise. If not
designed by the same mind the influence of one on the other is easily
seen. On the whole the greater rigidity of treatment and the anxiety
to increase the area of glass in the Trinity windows suggest that the
date is rather later and that the designs did not spring from the same
brain. The roof is very simple, the curved brackets springing from the
shafts which run down to the arches below. The wall is deeply recessed
beneath the windows. The north windows, however, are continued down in
plain panels, but this only makes more apparent the fact that they are
not placed centrally over the arches.

The north aisle has a doorway and two north windows. The windows are
of good Perpendicular design, and the mullions are continued down the
wall below, forming panels. The lowered sill and recess probably
formed a convenient retable to an altar against the wall. The west
window preserves some fragments of glass dated 1532. There is an
obliterated inscription and small etched figures--among them an
acolyte carrying a cross, one of those whose services are mentioned in
the accounts after this wise: "to the crosebeirer and torchebeirer,
for Seynt George day, hollieroode day, shire thuresday and Whit
Sunday, _12d._; to 2 childern for the same dayes _6d._"

The south aisle of the nave, including the lower part of the transept,
is doubtless the aisle erected for the Gild by William Walsheman in
1357. The two windows are not central with the nave arches, and the
third is not in the centre of the transept. Their tracery is somewhat
peculiar in design and refined in detail, and has the transitional
character one would expect from its date. There are signs on the face
of each western tower pier of the altars which once stood there,
probably those of the Trinity and St. Katharine, which are known to
have existed.

The eastern piers of the tower are later than the western, and very
unlike them in plan. A bold and ingenious treatment of the vaulting
shaft of the tower groining is used on these piers; on the western
ones the shafts stop upon the ends of the hood moulding.

The choir is now closed by a screen carrying a large rood carved in
oak. Like St. Michael's, but to a smaller extent, the axis of the
choir inclines to the north. Whether symbolic, or only a part of what
may be described as the studied irregularity of the whole building it
is hard to say. The column on each side of the choir is later than the
east respond and also later than the west tower pier, but corresponds
with the east tower pier. The deep panelling beneath the windows must
have been carried out when the clearstories were constructed in the
fifteenth century.

The south aisle of the choir, the original chapel of the patron saint,
is now fitted up and used as a morning chapel. The piscina still
remains in the south wall, and there is a trace of the old altar
visible on the wall.

The east end of the north aisle is now the organ chamber, and was
originally the Lady Chapel. The base of the altar still exists, and so
does the piscina in the south wall.

In connection with these or other altars we hear of a payment of
_22d._, in 1474, for painting a cloth for the image of St. John
Baptist, and in 1462 sums of _40s._ and _7s._ were paid to a sculptor
of Burton-on-Trent for an alabaster statue of the Virgin and a base
for it.

At the foot of the south-west tower-pier are some decayed but
interesting ancient tiles. The new ones have been copied from them.

The vicissitudes in the church's fortunes have left little for us to
see that is not part and parcel of the structure.

That there were "orgaynes" as early as 1461 we know from entries in
the city records giving the cost at different times of wire, glue,
nails, thread, etc., for the reparation of them, while a payment of
_2d._ for "a string" suggests that they were a combination of wind and
string stops, similar to the 1733 organ of St. Michael's as built by
Thomas Swarbrick. In 1519 the Prior bought the "metell of ye old
orgayns in bablake" for _9s. 10d._, but doubtless the new one
disappeared in the troublous times that followed. A new one has
recently been set up.

The pulpit is of stone and quite new, and the font, erected in 1843,
is a copy of that of St. Edward's, Cambridge.

There are five bells, the inscriptions on them being as follows:

  1st. Henrycus Bagley. M.C. Fecit 1676.
  2nd. Pack & Chapman. London 1778. Richard Eaton, Church-warden.
  3rd. Henric Dodenhale, Fecit. M.C.E.I.C.R.I.
  4th. (Illegible.) Probably of the end of fifteenth century.
  5th. I ring at six to let men know
       When to and from their work to go.

Neglect and decay it has been seen had provided only too plausible
excuses for restoration. In 1858 the church had a narrow escape from a
worse fate, for it was proposed to extend it in some direction, and
the architect suggested the lengthening of the north transept and the
addition of a new north aisle. Probably lack of funds alone prevented
the carrying out of a proposal which would have completely spoilt the
proportions of this beautiful interior.




THE GREY FRIARS' CONVENT

CHRIST CHURCH


The third of the "three tall spires," albeit nothing else remains of
the church to which it belonged, deserves that some notice should be
given of it and of the men who reared it.

In 1234, eleven years after their first coming into England, the
Franciscan Friars are heard of at Coventry, Ranulph, Earl of Chester,
having granted them land for their oratory, and the Sheriff of
Warwickshire, on behalf of the King, giving them shingles from the
woods of Kenilworth wherewith to cover it. In 1359 the Black Prince,
then owner of the Manor and Park of Cheylesmore, just outside the
walls of the city and adjacent to their convent, granted them so much
stone from his quarry there, "as they should have occasion to use
about their buildings and walls," and probably at this time the
church, of which Christ Church spire is a remnant, was built.

At the same time he gave them "liberty to have a postern into the
Park to carry out any of their convent that should be diseased."

The house was surrendered to the King in 1539, the warden and ten
brethren being compelled to sign a humiliating document, in which they
professed to "profoundly consider that the perfection of Christian
living doth not consist in dumb ceremonies, wearing of a grey coat,
disguising ourself after strange fashions, ducking, nodding and
becking, in girding our selves with a girdle full of knots and other
like Papisticall ceremonies."

[Illustration: THE SPIRE OF CHRIST CHURCH.]

It is certain at least that they had no accumulated wealth. Whatever
they had received had been distributed for the advantage of the Church
or the poor. At their suppression they had neither lands, tenements,
nor other possessions, save their church and house and the land these
stood on. The site was granted to the city and the buildings thrown
down, only the spire with its supporting walls and arches being
allowed to stand until 1829, when it was incorporated with the new
nave of Christ Church from the designs of Rickman, to whom we are
indebted for the first comprehensive and systematic account of English
Mediaeval architecture. The work shows how imperfectly in those days
even a genuine admirer of Mediaeval Art understood its spirit.
Unfortunately the tower and spire were recased with new stone, and the
original character of the work largely disappeared. The total height
is 204 feet, exclusive of the vane. The plan of the old church was
interesting, especially in the arrangement of the crossing. The short
transepts had little real relation to choir or nave, which were almost
completely separated from one another, the nave being intended for the
use of the public.

The narrowing of the tower from east to west, and the insertion of
secondary north and south arches to carry the slender octagonal tower
is unusual and ingenious. The whole length was 250 feet, and the
transepts were 96 feet from north to south. The nave and choir
differed little in length.

[Illustration: GREY FRIARS' CHURCH (CROSSING).]

The connection of the Franciscans with the production of the
Mysteries, or sacred plays, should not pass unnoticed. Dugdale, who
had spoken with eye witnesses, thus alludes to the subject:

   Before the suppression of the Monasteries this City was very
   famous for the Pageants that were played therein upon Corpus
   Christi-day; which occasioning very great confluence of people
   thither from far and near, was of no small benefit thereto; which
   Pageants being acted with mighty State and Reverence by the
   Friars of this House, had Theatres for the several scenes, very
   large and high, placed upon wheels and drawn to all the eminent
   parts of the City for the better advantage of spectators; and
   contained the story of the Old and New Testament, composed in the
   old English Rithme, as appeareth by an ancient MS. intituled,
   _Ludus Corporis Christi_, or _Ludus Coventriae_.

Along with a number that were performed by the city companies they are
still to be seen in the British Museum. We know that the Friars
presented them as late as 1492, when Henry VII was present with his
Queen to see the plays "acted by the Grey Friars."

No remains exist of the domestic buildings of the Friary. The
well-known Ford's Hospital hard by is often called Grey Friars'
Hospital, but this arises merely from the situation. It was founded in
1529 by Mr. William Ford of Coventry, Merchant of the Staple, for five
men and one woman, but is now inhabited by women only. It is an
exceptionally beautiful example of Tudor timber construction in
perfect condition.




THE WHITE FRIARS


The Carmelite or White Friars were, says Dugdale, fixed in Coventry in
1343 by Sir John Poultney who had been four times Lord Mayor of
London. Although their buildings were ornate and extensive, their
revenue apart from oblations amounted to only _L3 6s. 8d._ per annum
and the whole came to less than L8. At the Dissolution the house and
its revenues came eventually to John Hales, Clerk of the Hanaper to
Henry VIII. Having amassed a great estate in monastery and chantry
lands, Hales founded the Free School in Coventry, the Church of the
White Friars being at first used for the purpose. Later, he made of
the Friary a dwelling and removed the school to St. John's Hospital,
granted to him by the king in 1545. Part of the church of the Hospital
still exists at the foot of Bishop Street, but the school has been
removed to new buildings in the Warwick Road.

Of the buildings of the White Friars there are considerable remains
incorporated with the Union Workhouse at the top of Much Park Street.
The east walk of the cloister, 150 feet in length, has a fine groined
roof of the fifteenth century. A range of vaulted apartments runs
alongside the cloister on the east side, divided midway by the
vestibule to the Chapter House now destroyed. The upper story above
the cloister and the range of rooms was, we may assume, the friars'
Dormitory. A huge fireplace and a bay window are part of John Hales'
reconstruction. The gateway to the south-west corner of the cloister
remains, and the outer gate of the precincts may still be seen in Much
Park Street.


[Illustration: ST. MARY HALL.]




ST. MARY HALL


The Gilds were so important a part of the religious and social life of
the city that it is imperative that some notice of their hall, which
stands in suggestive proximity to the churches, should be given. St.
Mary Hall, opposite the south side of St. Michael's is one of the most
complete and beautiful examples of a fifteenth-century town dwelling
now remaining in England. It originally belonged to the Gilds of Holy
Trinity and Our Lady to which were united at a later time those of St.
Katharine and St. John Baptist, the oldest to be founded. By the fine
groined gateway we enter the courtyard, on the south side of which is
the kitchen, probably the hall of an older structure of the first half
of the fourteenth century, the present hall and its undercroft on the
west side having been built between 1394 and 1414. On the east side is
the entrance to the staircase leading to a gallery from which the hall
is entered. At this end is the Minstrels' Gallery and beneath it are
three doorways, the centre one leading to the kitchens below, that on
the right to the old Council Chamber, that on the left to a smaller
room known as the Princes' Chamber. From the Council Chamber is
reached the stone-groined Treasury, now used for the safe keeping of
muniments and records. It forms the first floor of a low tower.

The hall, 70 feet by 30 feet, is of five bays, with the usual dais and
oriel window at the far end from the entrance.

[Illustration: ST. MARY HALL.]

The nine-light window over the dais has its original glass, made, it
is believed, by the John Thornton of Coventry who is known as the
maker of the east window of York Minster. The upper part has numerous
coats of arms of kings, cities, and princes, while the nine lights are
filled with "portraitures of several kings in their surcotes," William
I, Richard I, Henry III, IV, V, VI, King Arthur, the Emperor
Constantine, and another unnamed. The windows on either side of the
hall have suffered grievously. Those on the west (left) were deprived
of their heraldry and portraits in 1785. In those on the east new
glass with poor imitations of the ancient series of figures and
coats-of-arms was placed in 1824. At the same time the wainscotting
painted in 1580 with inscriptions and heraldry was cleared away and
replaced with cement. The inscriptions were copied with care, but "the
ornamentation was followed without any very fastidious copying of the
uncouth ancient style"![8] The timber roof is of low pitch, with
traceried spandrels above the tie-beams. Angels playing on a variety
of instruments are placed at the centre of each tie-beam and there is
much good carving of foliage and animals at the intersections of the
timbers. The most famous adornment of the hall is the tapestry behind
the dais. The following views as to its origin and subject are those
of George Scharf the antiquary. It is of Flemish design but probably
of English manufacture, is woven, not embroidered, and was made in the
early sixteenth century for the place it occupies, its compartments
corresponding with those of the window. It is in six compartments in
two rows. The upper central has a figure of Justice, an insertion
probably in the place of Christ, angels with the instruments of the
Passion being on either side. The lower central represents the
Assumption of the Virgin in presence of the apostles. The upper left
in order from the centre has eleven saints, SS. John Baptist, Matthias
(?), Paul, Adrian, Peter, George, Andrew, No. 8(?), Bartholomew,
Simon, Thaddeus. The corresponding female saints on the right are SS.
Katherine, Barbara, Dorothy, Mary Magdalen, No. 5 (?), Margaret,
Agnes, Gertrude of Nivelle, Anne, Apollonia.

The lower left has a king kneeling at a prie-dieu on which is his
crown and an open book. A cardinal kneels behind him but there is no
other ecclesiastic among the seventeen courtiers standing behind. In
the opposite compartment is a queen kneeling with a number of ladies,
among whom are two in monastic dress. Although the work belongs to the
reign of Henry VII, the king and queen are almost certainly Henry VI
and Margaret of Anjou.

On the walls are portraits of later sovereigns from William III to
George IV, that of George III being by Lawrence. The Mayoress' Parlour
opening from the dais has been drastically restored. It contains
portraits of Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, James I, and Charles I, and
four benefactors to the city, John Hales, founder of the Free School,
Sir Thomas White, Thomas Jesson and Christopher Davenport.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 8: "Coventry: its History and Antiquities," B. Poole, 1870.]




THE CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY


Little remains of this monastery which stood on the south side and not
far from the city. The Order settled in Coventry in 1381 only ten
years after the foundation of the London Charter-house. At the
Dissolution the Prior and brethren, ten in all, did not emulate the
heroism of the London monks and were fortunate enough to obtain
pensions instead of martyrdom. Some trifling remains exist
incorporated in a modern mansion, and a wall of the garden shows the
position of doors which led to the isolated cells of the monks. The
Botoners had given freely to the building of the church and cloisters
of which Richard II laid the first stone in 1385 and afterwards
largely endowed "on condition that they should find and maintain
within the precinct of their house, twelve poor scholars from seven
years old till they accomplished the age of seventeen years, there to
pray for the good estate of him the said King and of his Consort,
during this life, and for the health of their souls after death."




INDEX


Abbots of Coventry, 4.

Alms-boxes, 56, 77.

Apse, 36.


Bells, 56, 91.

Benefactors of Coventry, 99.

Botoner, William and Adam, 22.


Carthusian Monastery, 99.

Chantries, Foundation of, 9.

Christ Church, 91.

City, History of, 1-15.

Cross, 15.


Dissolution of Monasteries, 13.

Duel, Hereford and Norfolk, 11.


Evens or Wakes, 83.


Fonts, 51, 76.

Ford's Hospital, 94.

Friars, Coming of, 8.


Grey Friars Convent (Christ Church):
  History, 94.
  Plan of Crossing, 93.
  Suppression, 92.

Gilds, 6, 10.

Glass, Ancient, 56, 75, 89.

Godiva and Leofric, 4, 75.


Hales, John, 14, 94.

Hermitage. 83.

Hospital, Ford's, 94.

Hospital, St. John's, 94.


Lollards, 11.


Martyrs, 14.

Midsummer Eve, 82.

Misereres, 48.

Monastery, History, 1-15.

Monastery Ruins, 16-18.


Orders of Angels, 47.

Organ, 55, 77, 90.


Pageants and Plays, 13, 14, 93.

Parliamentum Indoctorum, 11.

Parliamentum Diabolicum, 12.

Persecution, 14.

Pilgrims' Rest or Guest House, 15.

Priory, Ruins, 16-18.


Royal visits:
  Henry VI, 11, 12.
  Margaret, 23.
  Edward IV, 12.
  Richard III, 13.
  Henry VII, 13.
  Henry VIII, 13.
  Elizabeth, 14.
  Mary Queen of Scots, 14.
  Charles I, 14.


St. John Baptist Church:
  History, 81.
  Exterior, 84.
  Interior, 86.
  Bells, 91.
  Clearstory windows, 85.
  Collegiate foundation, 81.
  Glass, ancient, 89.
  Organ, 90.

St. Mary Hall:
  Glass, ancient, 97.
  Plan, 98.
  Portraits, 99.
  Tapestry, 98.

St. Michael's Church:
  History, 21-26.
  Exterior, 29.
  Interior, 41.
  Apse, 36.
  Bells, 56.
  Brasses, 51, 55.
  Chapels:
    Cappers', 53.
    Drapers' or Lady, 36, 47.
    Dyers', 52.
    Mercers, 54.
  Chapter, Constitution of, 25.
  Chest, 50.
  Crypt, 36.
  Font, 51.
  Glass, ancient, 56.
  Old church, position of, 42.
  Organ, 55.
  Porch, south, 34.
  Proportions of Steeple, 30.
  Pulpit, 56.
  Spire, 32.
  Tombs:
    Berkeley, 49.
    Bond, 49.
    Nethermyl, 50.
    Skeffington, 55.
    Swillington, 54.
    Wade's, 55.


Trinity Church:
  History, 61.
  Exterior, 65.
  Interior, 69.
  Chapels:
    Archdeacon's, 75.
    Butchers', 76.
    Corpus Christi, 76.
    Marler's, 73.
    St. Thomas's, 74.
  Clearstory, 69.
  Font, 76.
  Glass, ancient, 75.
  Lectern, Eagle, 73.
  Organ, 77.
  Plan, 66.
  Pulpit, 72.
  Spire, 66.
  Tombs:
    Philemon Holland, 75.
    Whithead (Brass), 75.


White Friars' Convent, 94.


[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH]



[Illustration]

  CHISWICK PRESS: CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
  TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.




Bell's Cathedral Series

  ILLUSTRATED MONOGRAPHS ON THE GREAT
  ENGLISH CATHEDRALS AND
  CHURCHES

_Crown 8vo. Profusely Illustrated, in specially designed cloth
binding, 1s. 6d. net each._


This series of monographs upon our great English Cathedral Churches
has been framed to give students of Architecture handy reference
volumes, and the visitor trustworthy guide-books, at once cheaper and
more fully illustrated than any previous works of similar character.

Each volume contains not only a complete history of the see and of the
Cathedral fabric, but a critical and descriptive survey of the
building in all its detail; sufficiently accurate from the
archaeological point of view to furnish a trustworthy record of the
building in its past and present condition, and not too technical in
its language for the occasional use of the casual visitor. Brief
biographical accounts of the bishops and other notable men connected
with the Diocese are also included.

The volumes are fully illustrated from modern photographs and
drawings, and contain also reproductions from old, and in some cases
rare, prints, for the purpose of tracing the gradual growth and
development of the existing buildings.




Bell's Cathedral Series

_Profusely Illustrated. Cloth, crown 8vo, 1s. 6d. net each._


NOW READY

  ENGLISH CATHEDRALS. An Itinerary and Description. Compiled by J.
    G. GILCHRIST, A.M., M.D. Revised and edited with an
    Introduction on Cathedral Architecture by Rev. T. PERKINS,
    M.A., F.R.A.S.

  BANGOR. By P.B. IRONSIDE-BAX.

  BRISTOL. By H.J.L.J. MASSE, M.A.

  CANTERBURY. By HARTLEY WITHERS. 4th Edition.

  CARLISLE. By C.K. ELEY.

  CHESTER. By CHARLES HIATT. 2nd Edition, revised.

  CHICHESTER. By H.C. CORLETTE, A.R.I.B.A. 2nd Edition.

  DURHAM. By J.E. BYGATE, A.R.C.A. 2nd Edition.

  ELY. By Rev. W.D. SWEETING, M.A. 2nd Edition.

  EXETER. By PERCY ADDLESHAW, B.A. 2nd Edition.

  GLOUCESTER. By H.J.L.J. MASSE, M.A. 2nd Edition.

  HEREFORD. By A. HUGH FISHER, A.R.E. 2nd Edition, revised.

  LICHFIELD. By A.B. CLIFTON. 2nd Edition, revised.

  LINCOLN. By A.F. KENDRICK, B.A. 3rd Edition, revised.

  LLANDAFF. By E.C. MORGAN-WILLMOTT.

  MANCHESTER. By the Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A., F.R.A.S.

  NORWICH. By C.H.B. QUENNELL. 2nd Edition.

  OXFORD. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER, M.A. 2nd Edition, revised.

  PETERBOROUGH. By Rev. W.D. SWEETING, M.A. 2nd Edition.

  RIPON. By CECIL HALLET, B.A.

  ROCHESTER. By G.H. PALMER, B.A. 2nd Edition.

  ST. ALBANS. By Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A.

  ST. ASAPH. By P.B. IRONSIDE-BAX.

  ST. DAVID'S. By PHILIP ROBSON, A.R.I.B.A.

  ST. PATRICK'S, DUBLIN. By the Very Rev. Dean BERNARD. 2nd Edition.

  ST. PAUL'S. By Rev. ARTHUR DIMOCK, M.A. 2nd Edition.

  SALISBURY. By GLEESON WHITE, 2nd Edition, revised.

  SOUTHWARK, ST. SAVIOUR'S. By GEORGE WORLEY.

  SOUTHWELL. By Rev. ARTHUR DIMOCK, M.A. 2nd Edition.

  WELLS. By Rev. PERCY DEARMER, M.A. 2nd Edition, revised.

  WINCHESTER. By P.W. SERGEANT. 3rd Edition, revised.

  WORCESTER. By EDWARD F. STRANGE.

  YORK. By A. CLUTTON BROCK. 3rd Edition.

_Others to follow_.




Bell's Cathedral Series

UNIFORM VOLUMES

_Profusely Illustrated. Cloth, crown 8vo, 1s. 6d. net._

  BATH ABBEY, MALMESBURY ABBEY, AND BRADFORD-ON-AVON CHURCH. By
    Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A.

  BEVERLEY MINSTER. By CHARLES HIATT. 47 Illustrations.

  ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH, CANTERBURY. By Rev. CANON ROUTLEDGE, M.A.,
    F.S.A. 24 Illustrations.

  THE CHURCHES OF COVENTRY. By FREDERIC W. WOODHOUSE.

  ROMSEY ABBEY. By Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A.

  STRATFORD-ON-AVON. By HAROLD BAKER.

  THE TEMPLE CHURCH. By GEORGE WORLEY.

  ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S, SMITHFIELD. By GEORGE WORLEY.

  TEWKESBURY ABBEY AND DEERHURST PRIORY. By H.J.L.J. MASSE, M.A. 44
    Illustrations.

  WESTMINSTER ABBEY. By CHARLES HIATT.

  WIMBORNE MINSTER AND CHRISTCHURCH PRIORY. By Rev. T. PERKINS,
    M.A., F.R.A.S. 65 Illustrations.

  MALVERN PRIORY. By the REV. ANTHONY C. DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *


Bell's Handbooks to Continental Churches

_Profusely Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d. net each._

  CHARTRES: The Cathedral and Other Churches. By H.J.L.J. MASSE,
    M.A.

  ROUEN: The Cathedral and Other Churches. By the Rev. T. PERKINS,
    M.A.

  AMIENS. By the Rev. T. PERKINS, M.A., F.R.A.S.

  PARIS (NOTRE-DAME). By CHARLES HIATT.

  MONT ST. MICHEL. By H.J.L.J. MASSE, M.A.

  BAYEUX. By the Rev. R.S. MYLNE, M.A.




Opinions of the Press.

"For the purpose at which they aim they are admirably done, and there
are few visitants to any of our noble shrines who will not enjoy their
visit the better for being furnished with one of these delightful
books, which can be slipped into the pocket and carried with ease, and
is yet distinct and legible.... A volume such as that on Canterbury is
exactly what we want, and on our next visit we hope to have it with
us. It is thoroughly helpful, and the views of the fair city and its
noble cathedral are beautiful. Both volumes, moreover, will serve more
than a temporary purpose, and are trustworthy as well as
delightful."--_Notes and Queries_.

"We have so frequently in these columns urged the want of cheap,
well-illustrated, and well-written handbooks to our cathedrals, to
take the place of the out-of-date publications of local booksellers,
that we are glad to hear that they have been taken in hand by Messrs.
George Bell & Sons."--_James's Gazette_.

"The volumes are handy in size, moderate in price, well illustrated,
and written in a scholarly spirit. The history of cathedral and city
is intelligently set forth and accompanied by a descriptive survey of
the building in all its detail. The illustrations are copious and well
selected, and the series bids fair to become an indispensable
companion to the cathedral tourist in England."--_Times_.

"They are nicely produced in good type, on good paper, and contain
numerous illustrations, are well written, and very cheap. We should
imagine architects and students of architecture will be sure to buy
the series as they appear, for they contain in brief much valuable
information."--_British Architect_.

"Each of them contains exactly that amount of information which the
intelligent visitor, who is not a specialist, will wish to have. The
disposition of the various parts is judiciously proportioned, and the
style is very read-able. The illustrations supply a further important
feature; they are both numerous and good. A series which cannot fail
to be welcomed by all who are interested in the ecclesiastical
buildings of England."--_Glasgow Herald_.

"Those who, either for purposes of professional study or for a
cultured recreation, find it expedient to 'do' the English cathedrals
will welcome the beginning of Bell's 'Cathedral Series.' This set of
books is an attempt to consult, more closely, and in greater detail
than the usual guide-books do, the needs of visitors to the cathedral
towns. The series cannot but prove markedly successful. In each book a
business-like description is given of the fabric of the church to
which the volume relates, and an interesting history of the relative
diocese. The books are plentifully illustrated, and are thus made
attractive as well as instructive. They cannot but prove welcome to
all classes of readers interested either in English Church history or
in ecclesiastical architecture."--_Scotsman_.

"They have nothing in common with the almost invariably wretched local
guides save portability, and their only competitors in the quality and
quantity of their contents are very expensive and mostly rare works,
each of a size that suggests a packing-case rather than a coat-pocket.
The 'Cathedral Series' are important compilations concerning history,
architecture, and biography, and quite popular enough for such as take
any sincere interest in their subjects."--_Sketch_.


LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS YORK HOUSE, PORTUGAL STREET, W.C.

       *       *       *       *       *






End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Bell's Cathedrals: The Churches of
Coventry, by Frederic W.  Woodhouse

*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BELL'S CATHEDRALS ***

***** This file should be named 11403.txt or 11403.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
        http://www.gutenberg.org/1/1/4/0/11403/

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Keith M. Eckrich, Jeannie
Howse and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
redistribution.



*** START: FULL LICENSE ***

THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK

To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
http://gutenberg.org/license).


Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
States.

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.9.

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.org),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
that

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.

1.F.

1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

1.F.2.  LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees.  YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3.  YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGE.

1.F.3.  LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.


Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.


Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org.  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director
     gbnewby@pglaf.org


Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate


Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.


Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.


Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

     http://www.gutenberg.org

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

Colophon

This file was acquired from Project Gutenberg, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts (http://infomotions.com/alex/) by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is etext11403, and it should be available from the following URL:

http://infomotions.com/etexts/id/etext11403



Infomotions, Inc.

Infomotions Man says, "Give back to the 'Net."