« PreviousContinue »
men, who have been members of, and benefactors to, this Society. Titian's picture of John the Baptist, formerly over the chimney-piece, is now removed to the Common Room. The Chapel, which is adjoining to the Hall, is in all respects neat and commodious. It is divided from the Ante-chapel by a new and elegant screen, over which has been erected a very complete new Organ. It has now an elegance which results from several highly finished yet simple ornaments. The altar is of the Corinthian order, and very properly adapted. Over the communion-table is a fine piece of tapestry, representing our Saviour with the two Disciples at Emmaus, copied from a painting of Titian. The Dog snarling at the Catunder the table cannot be overlooked. Nor will the curious observer be at much loss, by the striking likenesses in the four figures, in discovering they are the then Pope, Kings of France and Spain, and Titian, in the characters of our Saviour, his Disciples, and Servant. On the north side of the choir, in a marble urn, inclosed in a silver vessel, is the heart of Dr. Richard Ravvlinson, with this singular inscription; " Ubi thesaurus, "ibi cor." In this Chapel cathedral service is performed twice a day, at eight and six. In the Post-Chapel, the roof of which is of carved stone and very elegant, are three monuments of deceased Presidents; viz. of Dr. Holmes, Dr. Derham, and the late President, Dr. Dennis.
Through a passage on the east side of the first quadrangle we enter the second; on the east and west sides whereof are handsome piazzas in the Grecian taste, each column consisting of one single blueish stone, dug from a part of the College-estate near Fifield in Berkshire. In the centre of each piazza is a magnificent gateway, consisting principally of two orders, 1. The Doric, which forms the gateway itself, agreeable to that of the piazzas. 2. The Ionic, which supports a semicircular pediment. Between four of these columns, viz. two on each side, in a niche, is a brass statue; that on the east, of King Charles I. and that on the west, of his Queen, cast by Fanelli of Florence. That neither of the Greek orders might be wanting, the third, viz. the Corinthian, is very artfully introduced in the construction of the niche. The whole is richly embellished, and is the design of that celebrated architect Inigo Jones. The Library includes the upper story of the south and east sides. The south side is well stored with printed books in all faculties, regularly disposed; the east with a most valuable collection of manuscripts; in which the bookcases adhering to the sides form a spacious gallery. Here are some valuable curiosities, viz* the picture of King Charles I. which has the whole Book of Psalms written in the lines of the face and on the hairs of the head; a very beautiful and singular picture of St. John, stained in a composition, called Scagliola, which has the appearance of polished marble; some curious Missals; a Chinese Dictionary; and on the east window, in elegant painted glass, are the arms of the Founder, the Company of Merchant-Taylors, and several other benefactors to the College. The fine brass eagle, which formerly stood in the Chapel, has lately been removed to this Library.
The Gardens are very extensive, and laid out with all those graces which arise from a succession of beauties, so disposed as to strike us gradually and unexpectedly. By removing a few embarrassing overgrown chesnut-trees, the aspect of this garden has been so changed, that few can at present vie with it; and the whole owes its present beauties to the taste of the members of the Society.
This College was founded by Sir Thomas White, Alderman and Merchant-Taylor of London; who afterwards, anno 1557, endowed it with several considerable manors, and at his death bequeathed the sum of 30001. to purchase lands to increase the revenues of it. He originally designed Merchant-Taylors'School in London as the only seminary for this College: but being of a more public spirit than to confine himself to any one place, he allowed two Fellowships to the city of Coventry, two to Bristol, two also to the town of Reading, and one to Tunbridge, together with six to the kin to the Founder.
The most considerable benefactors since have been Sir William Paddy, who founded and endowed the choir, and built that side of the new quadrangle, of which the Library is a part; Archbishop Laud, who at the expence of above 50001. (exclusive of 4001. for the statues of the King and Queen) added the other three sides; Archbishop Juxon, who gave 70001. to this College; Dr. Gibbons, who bequeathed the perpetual advowson of the living of Baynton in Yorkshire, and 10001. to buy books; Dr. Holmes, formerly President, with his Lady, who gave 150001. to augment the salaries of the Officers, and other uses; and Dr. Rawlinson, who bequeathed the reversion of an estate in fee-farm rents.
The present members are, a President, fifty Fellows, two Chaplains, an Organist, five Singing-men, six Choristers, and two Sextons: the number of Students of all sorts being usually about 80.
Visitor. The Bishop of Winchester.
Worcester College is pleasantly situated on an eminence, just above the river Isis and the meadows, at the extremity of the western suburb. At entering the College we have the Chapel and Hall on each side, both of which are 29 feet in breadth, and 50 in length. The Library, which is a magnificent Ionic edifice, on the west of the Chapel and Hall, is 100 feet in length, supported by a spacious cloister. It is furnished with a valuable collection of books, chiefly the library of Dr. Clarke, late Fellow of All Souls College; in which is Inigo Jones's Palladio, with his own manuscript notes in Italian. According to the plan proposed, this College is to consist of the chambers of the Fellows and Scholars on the north and south, and the Gardens, which are to lie on a descent to the river, on the west. The lodgings of the Provost are at the north-west angle of the new buildings on the north side, completed in 1759; and, besides rebuilding the south side in the same form, it is the design of the Society to open an avenue from the College to Magdalen Parish Church.
The College was founded anno 1714, by Sir Thomas Cookes, for a Provost, six Fellows, and six Scholars.
Dr. James Fynney, a Fellow of St. John's, farther endowed it with two Fellowships and