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no doubt that a religious house existed in ancient times somewhere in that nei hbourhood, it is not improbable that the operations of the labourers may bring to lig tother relics which may illustrate something more of its history. VVe hope that the present proprietor of the lands will take proper care to preserve any curiosities which may be found in the subsequent excavations."'
The Dominican or Black Friars. This convent was founded on or before the year 1292, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 21 Edward I. a meadow containing three roods and a half, situate in Derby, was granted to them by Andrew le J orene, as appears from the following note: “ Non est ad damnum si Rex concedat Magistro Andree le Jorene licentiam dandi Fratribus de Derby j pratum oontin' iij rodas et dimid' in Derby." In 12 Edward II. a patent was obtained for purchasing ten acres of land for the purpose of enlarging this priory. In 15 Edward III. nine cottages, eight acres of land, one meadow and one croft, situate in the parish of St. Werburgh, belonged to this house.
The friars preachers paid to the abbot of Darley annually xlvjs. viijd. The revenues of this house were estimated at the time of its suppression at £18. 16:. 2d. clear yearly income. Laurence Fickner, who was then prior, with five friars, surrendered this convent, January 3rd, 1539. In 154-3, the site was granted to John Hinde, and in the course of a few years passed in succession to the families of Sharpe, Statlxam, and Bainbrigge. William Bainbriggc, esq. was possessed of it in l562.—Speed's ma represents the site of this convent as detached from other buildings, at the skirts of t e town, surrounded by an enclosure. About the year 1730, the site was purchased by one of the Crompton family, at which time there was a building consisting of three dwellings about the middle part of the close behind Mr. Crompton's (now Mr. Mozley's) house. This building was supposed to have been part of the priory. It is conjectured that in the situation of Mr. M0zley's garden there was a place of Worship and burial ground. Certain it is that human bones have been found in the nei hbourhood of the house; and that when it was built the foundations were laid wit stones collected from the priory. The Rev. Mr. Cantrell, the minister of St. Alkmund's, writing in the month of August, 1760, says, “ The friary is lately taken down, and a new house and outward houses are now erected there by Mr. Crompton, who purchased the situation." The site of the friary belonged afterwards to the family of Dalton, then to the late Michael Henley, esq. and is now the property and residence of Henry Mozley, esq.
The habit of this order was a white robe, which hung to the feet; an apron of the same, a few inches shorter, 'rt round the waist; a black gown which descended to the bottom of the apron ; a ort black cloak with a hood; a fillet of hair surrounded
1the head, the crown being shorn and always naked, except the monk chose to put up lis hood.
V Derby Mercury.
St. Mary’: Chapel.-—The remains of this chapel ranks amongst the most ancient buildings now extant. It stands u on the verge of the river, formed a art of the old bridge, and was interwoven in suc 1 a manner with it, as to leave litt e doubt of its having been erected at the same time. There appears to have been a church in Derby dedicated to the Virgin Mary in very earl times, and we think it is not hazarding a very erroneous opinion to pronounce this the same church as was given to the abbey of Burton, by \Villiam the Conqueror.
In the reign of Charles II. the Presbyterians made use of this chapel, and about a century ago it was converted into small dwellings. The only remains now in existence are a door case and two window frames, which formed part of the habitation of the late Mr. Thomas Eaton, surgeon.
The following item from a paper in All Saints’ parish chest is given in the Rev. Robert Simpson's Histo of Derby:
“ Item as concerning t 1e tythe of certein lande in the saide towne of Derbie called the Church lande there, and the Chapell on the bridge there, the saide Arbitrators haveinge hearde the evidences and proofs on both p'ts fullye and at large, doe arbitrate, decree, and adiudge that the saide William Buckle by virtue of any letters patent or grant thereof to him or to any other p'son or p sons heretofore made, hath not any good or sufficient title unto the same or to anye p’tc or p’cell thereof, but that the said Baillies or Burgesses ought quietlie and peaceablie to have and enjoy the same to them and their successors, as they have held and enjoyed the same by the space of six or sevenscore yeares last past as by good and suflicient proofes and evi
dences hath been manifested and proved before the said Arbitrators. And therefore the said Arbitrators doe arbitrate, adiudge, &c."
“ The stranger, who wanders through Derby in quest of objects worthy of remark, will find some defects, and more beauties: but when he arrives at All Saints’, he arrives at the chief excellence——the pride of the place. It stands as a prince among subjects ; a giant among dwarfs. Viewed at any distance, or in any attitude, the associated ideas of taste, grandeur and beauty, fascinate the mind; the eye is captivated and continually turns to its object, but never tires. Some pride, more sense, and still more judgment must have combined in our forefathers in the construction of this noble tower: they wrought, and we enjoy the credit of their labour.
“ A church in Derby, where the stone is not of a loose texture, will endure much more than a thousand years. As time has worn out one church and one steeple, we may fairljv) suppose this was erected early in the Saxon government, and is the oldest in erby, being the only one known to have been rebuilt, St. \Verburgh’s excepted ; nor is it to be much doubted, as this spot is the most inviting, that the Britons had a temple here." ( Hutton. )
The tower of All Saints’ is very justly the boast of Derby: It may be said, according to an observation of Mr. Hutton, not only to rank as “ a Prince among subjects" compared with the buildings in its immediate vicinity, but to maintain a very conspicuous place among similar buildings, taking the more extensive range of the kingdom. The tower of Boston church alone is of a greater height: this however was built one hundred and fifty or two hundred ears previous, and has an octagonal lanthorn or louvre at the top, to the summit o whicl from the ground, is said to be 300 feet. VVith the heights of those few other celebrated towers of parochial churches to which it alone can be compared, it bears the following proportion :
A similar parallel cannot, with equal propriety, be drawn with the heights of cathedral churches, as their construction is of a different nature; having as their highest part the central tower, which rises from the roof, and not, as in most of the instances above given, in one direct elevation from the ground. As it may, however, assist in giving a more correct idea of the relative altitude of All Saints’, we shall just name, that with the exception of those which have spires, the following alone are higher: Lincoln, 288 feet; Canterbury, 235 ; York, 234- ; Gloucester, 925 ,' Durham, 214-; Ely, 210; and VVorcester, 196: whilst Bath, which is 162 feet; \’Vells, 160 ; Pcterborough, 150 ; Vi/inchesber, 183 ; Exeter, 130 ; Carlisle, 1528 ; Chester, 127 ; and Bristol, 127, are lower.
But, prominent as it thus stands in its dimensions, it is to the beauty of the outline and proportion, to the purity of its style, and to the chasteness and elegance of its enrichments, that its chief claim for admiration rests, and which will ever cause it to be looked upon with pleasure, and continue to make it a most distinguished object. A
general description will serve to illustrate each of these particulars, and confirm its su rior claim to the attention of all lovers of gothic architecture.
Vith regard to its outline, the angle buttresses rising with a bold projection from the ground, form in their gradual ascent to the top, by means of slopes, gables, niches, &c. what is termed the logarithmic curve, in other words, the line or natural sweep made by the trunk of trees. These lose themselves in the four square turrets that rise above the roof, and which are crowned by pinnacles and crockets, and each by a gilt vane. The top of the tower is finished by open battlements with a small centre turret between each.
Its general proportion, compared with the churches before named, has a rather more solid appearance, being only about four and a half diameters in height, whilst some of those are four and three quarters, and five diameters.
The body of the tower is divided into three stories, of nearly equal heights, by two beautiful lines of octangular and circular tracery, with shields and small battlements above. The lower story on two sides is quite plain, and in the front it has the entrance door with a niche on each side, and a line of circular tracery and hields above, on which rests a window with four divisions. Each of the four sides of the second stor consists of beautiful tracery, having the general feature of a window, but a ve sma 1 part of which is pierced for light. The upper division forms the belfry, eac side of which has a window with three mullions in two heights, filled in with sound boarding, and having surrounding tracery similar to the story below. The battlements above, as well as the buttresses, are also richly pannelled with tracery. The whole is in a tolerable good state of preservation, except the doorway, the niches and enrichments of which are a good deal defaced; and it is to be feared, that unless they are speedily restored, sufiicient traces of what they were, will not remain to a future generation.
The style is a remarkably chaste specimen of what is generally termed, the Florid, or highly decorated Gothic, or, according to a designation preferred by others, the Gothic of the fifteenth century. The more particular date of its erection, is the latter end of the reign of Henry the Seventh, or the former part of Henry the Eighth, and hence it may be considered as one of the last specimens of this then matured species of architecture in the kingdom ; for after this period a complete stop was put to the erection of ecclesiastical edifices, the art of building in this style was lost, and the Italian mode was gradually introduced.
From an inscription of “ young men and maydens" which still remains on a fascia running round three sides of the tower, it is supposed by some that it was erected to that height by the contributions of young people of both sexes. Bly others this is supposed to be merely part of a quotation from the bible; and this atter opinion is most probably correct, as there are to be found partial scriptural inscriptions on other churches of about the same age.
The ancient body of the church was of Gothic architecture, and we regret that we have not been able to discover any description or print of a building that was probably in some measure adapted to this beautiful tower. In the old view of Derby , now in the possession of Mr. H arwood, of St. Peter's-street, the eastern gable of the church body partially appears. It is double, and each part seems to have contained a large gothic window differing from the other in its sty e of ornament and form. This indicates that one part of the body of the church was more ancient than the other. From such a document it would be presumptuous in us to pretend to surmise any dotail of the structure.
The modern body attached to this fine relict of gothic proportions is in the style of the Roman doric, and although it must be admitted to be an elegant and chaste design, it is lamentably incongruous with the tower. It was the design of the classical Gibbs, the architect of St. Martin's church, London, and the Radcliffe library, Oxford. It was built of beautiful freestone, the produce of the neighbourhood, in the years 1723, 1724, and 1725, and is 130 feet long b 83 feet wide. The present church was opened for public worship November 25t , 1725, when a sermon was preached by Dr. Hutchinson, at that time minister, from Psalm cxxii. 1. “ I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." The expenses of the erection of this fabric were principally defrayed by voluntary contributions, which were raised by the Doctor, who not onl subscribed £4-O. but being a man of genteel address, charged himself with raising t e whole money, and executing a masterly work without a shilling expense to his parish. It is said he was complete master of the art of begging. The people to whom he applied were not able to keep their money ; it passed from their pockets to his own as if by magic. \Vherever he could recollect a erson likely to contribute to this desirable wor , he made no scruple to visit him at is own expense. He took a journey to London to solicit the benefaction of Thomas Chambers, esq. ancestor of the Earl of Exeter, who gave him £100. If a stranger passed through Derby, the doctor's bow and his rhetoric were employed in the service of the church. His anxiety was urgent, and his powers so prevailing, that he seldom failed of success. ll/lien the waits fiddled at his door for a Christmas-box, instead of sending them away with a solitary shilling, he invited them in, treated them with a tankard of ale, and persuaded them out of a guinea. He procured five hundred and eighty-nine subscribers, who gave the sum of £3249. 11s. 6d. But it appears he could procure a man's name by his eloquence easier than his money ; for
fty-two of the subscribers never paid their sums, amounting to £137. 16.1. 6d. The remaining £3111. 15.1. bein defective, he procured a brief, which added £598. 5.1. 6d. more. Still, thou h assidui y was not wanting, money was ; he therefore sold six burying places in t e vault for ix guineas ,' and twelve of the principal seats in the church, by inch of candle, for £475. 18;. which were purchased as freeholds by the first inhabitants.
“ Pride influences our actions; nor will it bear contradiction. As the doctor raised the money, he justly expected to have the dis sal ; but the parishioners considered themselves neglected, and repeatedly thwarte his measures, till, provoked by reiterated insults, he threw up the management, and left them in a labyrinth of their own creating. The result was, a considerable expense upon themselves. Some things he intended, were never finished, and some never begun.”"
1735. " In this year the steeple of All Saints’ was within a few minutes of being consumed by fire. l‘his was occasioned by a plumber, who, going to close some leaks in the leaden roofs, made a fire on the top of the steeple, upon a hearth of loose bricks, which he carelessly left unextinguished. Some days elapsed before a smoke was observed issuing from the battlements, and it was some time before any one would venture upon the dangerous, but necessary business of exploring it. At last, however, this was done ,' the aspect was dreadful; the roof was melted, the sleepers burnt, and the main beam consumed to the ver edge of the wall which supported it."
The steeple contains a good set 0 ten bells and chimes. This church has, in all probability, been twice rebuilt since its original foundation. In ancient writings it is called All Hallows; a name which it still retains in the dialect of the common people.
The church of All Saints was formerly collegiate, and had seven, and at one time, eight prebendaries. It is generally sup the rebendaries of this church resided in the house still designated “ The College," an which is situate on the north side of the church. To this college formerly belonged two acres and a half of land, lying in Bridge-croft, in Derby ; all manner of tithes of corn, grain, hay, wool, lamb, and all other tithes whatever within the town and fields of Quomdon ; tithes of the same articles in Little Eaton ; one messuage, with lands, meadows and pastures appertain
' The Doctor having occasion to go to town, deputed the Rev. H. Cantrell, then viciir of St. Alkmunifs, to
the care olhis ll diities during his absence, but on the first and second Suiidaysol'the_Doctor‘n absence, Mr. Ba id, 1 en mayor, with a part of the bodyco rate, with their mace, Arc. attended divine service, and old: two other clergyman of the town, the Rev. 'illiarn Chamben, and the Rev. Joshua Winter, to take
possession of the pulpit and reading desk, and to perform the dutiqof the day. Mr. Cantrell, who was in attendance, remonstrated against their proceedings, and produced his authority for that purpose, not only by the Doctor’: own letter, but also a letter from his diocesan. Thole disputes grew warm, and Mr. Bagnold was accused of using improper laugulgeand behaviour in no sacred s phce, for which he was afterwards prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Court. Such, however, was the ingratilucle and ill treatment which the Doctor I'0cci\'ed from many of his parishioners, that he was at len h com lied to relinquish that church, the erection of which had cost him such unvaried exertions, and to e up h s reaidenm for the remainder of his life in London. MSS. Note: Q/‘ Derby.