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Title: Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Rochester - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See
Author: Palmer, G. H. (George Henry), 1871-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *       *       *       *       *



               EPISCOPAL SEE

           BY G. H. PALMER, B.A.





This series of monographs has been planned to supply visitors to the
great English Cathedrals with accurate and well illustrated guide books
at a popular price. The aim of each writer has been to produce a work
compiled with sufficient knowledge and scholarship to be of value to the
student of archæology and history, and yet not too technical in language
for the use of an ordinary visitor or tourist.

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case
would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general
sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful
are:--firstly, the great county histories, the value of which,
especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally
recognized; secondly, the numerous papers by experts which appear from
time to time in the transactions of the antiquarian and archæological
societies; thirdly, the important documents made accessible in the
series issued by the Master of the Rolls; fourthly, the well-known works
of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and, lastly, the very
excellent series of Handbooks to the Cathedrals, originated by the late
Mr. John Murray, to which the reader may in most cases be referred for
fuller detail, especially in reference to the histories of the
respective sees.

                                      GLEESON WHITE.
                                      EDWARD F. STRANGE.
                                          _Editors of the Series._


Within the limits of a short preface it is impossible to enumerate
all the sources of information, printed and in manuscript, to which
reference has been made in the writing of this little work on the
Cathedral church of the author's native city. He must especially mention
the extent to which he has consulted the works of the Rev. G. M. Livett,
Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, and Canon Scott Robertson among living
authorities, while in the "Collections" made by Mr. Brenchley Rye,
preserved in the British Museum (where Mr. Rye was once a keeper), notes
have been found of many matters that might otherwise have escaped

Most of the illustrations appear for the first time in this book. They
are reproduced, by kind permission, from pen-drawings by Messrs. H. P.
Clifford and R. J. Beale, and from photographs by Messrs. Horace Dan,
J. L. Allen, F. G. M. Beaumont, and Messrs. Carl Norman and Co., of
Tunbridge Wells.

Thanks are also due to the Very Rev. the Dean, the Rev. E. J. Nash, Mr.
George Payne, F.S.A., and Mr. S. S. Brister, for kindnesses and helpful
suggestions, as also to the head-verger, Mr. Miles, who, having been
connected with the fabric for more than half a century, has a personal
knowledge of its history during that time.

                                      G. H. P.
  _9th Jan., 1897._


CHAPTER I.--The History of the Cathedral                        3

CHAPTER II.--The Exterior                                      38
  Tower and Bells                                              39
  West Front                                                   43
  West Doorway                                                 46
  Nave and Main Transept                                       50
  Choir and Gundulf's Tower                                    52
  Monastic Buildings                                           55
  Bishop's Palace                                              57
  Enclosure and Gates                                          59

CHAPTER III.--The Interior                                     63
  Nave                                                         63
    Lady Chapel                                                70
    Main Transept                                              70
    Font, Pulpit, and Stalls                                   75
    Monuments and Slabs                                        76
    Stained Glass                                              78
  North Choir Aisle                                            81
  Organ                                                        81
  Choir Screen                                                 83
  Choir and Choir Transept                                     83
    Pavement                                                   88
    Stalls                                                     89
    Paintings                                              90, 92
    Bishop's Throne                                            91
    Pulpit and Lectern                                         93
    Altar and Sedilia                                          94
    Communion Plate                                            95
    Monuments                                                  96
    Stained Glass                                             105
    Chapter House Doorway                                     107
    Chapter House and Library                                 108
  South Choir Aisle                                           112
  Crypt                                                       115

CHAPTER IV.--The Diocese and Bishops                          117


The South Transept, from the south-east            _Frontispiece_

Arms of the See                                      _Title-page_

The West Doorway                                                2

North side of the Cathedral in the Seventeenth Century         14

North-west view, early Eighteenth Century                      26

North-west view, early Nineteenth Century                      31

The West end from the Castle Gardens                           36

North-east view, with ruins of Gundulf's Tower                 41

Capitals from the North side of the West door                  46

Capitals from the South side of the West door                  47

The new Chapter-Room and the ruins of the old                  56

The ruins of the Cloisters, East range                         57

A Doorway inserted in the old Roman Wall                       59

The Prior's Gate and old Grammar School, 1825                  60

Eastgate House, Rochester                                      62

Plan                                                           64

The Nave--looking West                                         67

Decorated Capital, South Arcade of Nave                        68

The Nave--looking East                                         69

One Bay of Norman work in the Nave (South Arcade)              70

The Nave, from the North Transept                              71

The South Transept                                             73

The Tomb of Bishop Hamo de Hythe                               82

The Choir Screen: Dean Scott Memorial                          84

The Choir--looking East                                        85

A Corbel in the Choir (by the Bishop's Throne)                 88

A Window of the Choir Clerestory                               89

Tracery of a Window near the Chapter-House door                90

A Corbel in the Choir (middle of North Wall)                   91

Bishop's Throne                                                92

The Wheel of Fortune, a fresco painting                        93

The Tomb of Bishop John de Sheppey                            101

The Tombs of Bishops G. de Glanvill and L. de St. Martin      104

Carved Coffin lid                                             105

The Chapter-House Doorway                                     109

The Tomb of Bishop John de Bradfield                          112

The Crypt, looking towards the North-east                     113

The Vane on the Guildhall                                     119

[Illustration: THE WEST DOORWAY




Long, eventful, and very interesting is the history of the cathedral, or
rather of the successive cathedrals, of the ancient city of Rochester.
It is many centuries since, in 597, St. Augustine and his fellow
missionaries landed on the coast of Thanet, almost on the very spot
where Hengist and his bands had disembarked nearly one hundred and fifty
years before. Hengist's descendant, Ethelbert, King of Kent, received
them in the open air on the chalk downs above Minster, and, though he
would not at once renounce the faith of his fathers, promised them
shelter and protection. His conversion occurred a year later, and after
that Christianity spread rapidly among his subjects. The royal city of
Canterbury continued to be the centre of St. Augustine's labours, but
only seven years passed, Bede tells us, ere he deemed it necessary to
found other sees at Rochester and at London. Rochester therefore claims
to be the second, or at most the third oldest of English bishoprics.

Justus, one of the band sent by St. Gregory to help the mission in 601,
was consecrated as its first bishop in 604. A church was built for him
by the king and dedicated to St. Andrew, the patron saint of the
monastery on the Cælian Hill in Rome, from which St. Augustine and his
companions had come. Bede relates that St. Paulinus was buried in it,
later, "in secretario beati apostoli Andreæ quod rex Edilbertus a
fundamentis in eadem Rhofi civitate construxit." Ethelbert endowed it
with Priestfield (a large tract of land lying towards Borstal) which
still belongs to it, and with other property; and Justus, though himself
a monk, placed it in the hands of secular priests.

All traces of this Saxon cathedral disappeared long ago, and its exact
site was forgotten and remained unknown until portions of its
foundations were discovered in 1889, during the underpinning,
preparatory to restoration, of the present west front.[1] Beneath this
front, but only for a little way within it, the older foundations
extended. They were of hard concrete, from 4 to 5 feet deep and wide,
and still carried fragments of the walls, about 2 feet 4 inches wide, of
tufa, sarsen, and Roman brick. These remains, on examination, proved to
have belonged to the east end of a building, which, in this direction,
terminated in an apse that occupied almost the entire width. The
southern junction of this apse was found first within the present
church; and later, in lowering a gas main under the road outside, the
north-east corner of the nave was discovered. The internal width of the
building was then ascertained to be about 28 feet 6 inches. The lines of
the north and south walls were followed by means of a probe across the
old burial ground westwards as far as the road, running from the High
Street to Boley Hill, and the foundations of the west wall lying along
its side. These researches revealed no signs of aisles, quasi-transepts,
or porch. If a western porch or apse ever existed, and has left any
remains, these remains must lie beneath the road, so that excavation
would be necessary to get at them. It has been conjectured that the
west, as well as the east end, terminated apsidally. There would then
have been placed, in the one apse, the high altar of St. Andrew, with
the tombs of St. Paulinus, the apostle of Northumbria, and of St.
Ythamar, the first Englishman to attain the episcopal dignity. Both of
these died as bishops of Rochester, and they were buried in its
cathedral in 644 and 655 respectively. The other apse, for this is
possibly the right meaning to assign to "porticus" in the following
quotation, would have contained the altar of St. Paul, and the tomb of
Bishop Tobias, who is recorded to have been buried "in porticu Sancti
Pauli apostoli, quam intra ecclesiam Sancti Andreæ sibi ipse in locum
sepulchri fecerat." The tracing of the foundations of a straight wall at
the west end proves nothing, I think, against the existence of this
"porticus," be it porch or apse, beyond. We know that it was a later
addition by Bishop Tobias himself, and it is not to be supposed that,
when he cut away part of the old wall to unite his work to the building,
he would have taken the trouble to dig beneath the surface and remove
the foundations too. It is to be hoped that at some time in the future
all the remains of the old Saxon church, under the burial ground and
under the road, will be uncovered, and its complete plan thus, beyond
all cavil, ascertained.

  [1] A full account by the Rev. G. M. Livett in Archæologia Cantiana,

Troublous times fell on the church very soon after its erection, and, as
Lambarde says: "No marvaile is it, if the glory of the place were not at
any time very great, since on the one side the abilitie of the Bishops
and the Chanons (inclined to advaunce it) was but meane, and on the
other side the calamitie of fire and sworde (bent to destroy it) was in
manner continuall." Even here in Kent a reaction against the new creed
followed the death of Ethelbert, and his successor Eadbald relapsed into
idolatry. Bishop Justus himself fled to Gaul in 617, and remained there
a year before he was recalled by the king, but there were sadder times
still to come. About the year 676, King Egbert having died, his brother
Lothair usurped the throne of Kent. In this usurpation he devastated the
country, without any respect for churches or religious houses, and
especially plundered Rochester, driving Bishop Putta from his see. Soon
afterwards, still within Lothair's reign, Ethelred of Mercia invaded
Kent, "spoiled the whole Shyre, and laid this Citie waste."

There was little time to repair the losses and damages suffered on these
occasions before the inroads of the Danes began. Rochester, lying at the
head of an estuary on the side of England towards the Viking-land, was,
of course, especially open to their attacks. In the year 840 they
ravaged Kent, and both Canterbury and Rochester "felt the effects of
their barbarity and hatred of the Christian religion." Again, in 884,
large numbers of them, under Hasting, invaded England, but our city and
cathedral were gloriously delivered out of their hands. "They," says
Lambarde, "in the daies of King Alfred came out of Fraunce, sailed up
the river of Medway to Rochester, and besieging the town, fortified over
against it in such sorte that it was greatly distressed and like to have
been yeelded, but that the King came speedily to the reskew and not
onely raised the siege and delivered his subjects, but obtained also an
honourable bootie of horses and captives that the besiegers had left
behind them." Then, for a time, apparently, the city and cathedral had
some repose, until, in 986, King Ethelred quarrelled with the bishop and
besieged the town. In anger at its resistance he plundered the property
of the church outside and had at last to be bought off. Much more
grievous were the injuries and losses of about twelve years later, when,
in 999, the Danes came again, drove away the inhabitants and plundered
their city.

"And all these harmes Rochester received before the time of King William
the Conqueror," in whose reign great changes for the better were to be

  [2] For Norman work, see the paper by Mr. W. H. St. John Hope in
  Archæologia, xlix., and Mr. Ashpitel's earlier essay in Jour. of the
  Brit. Archæol. Assoc., ix.

Siward, who had been bishop since 1058, retained the see, after the
Conquest, until his death in 1075. Sad indeed was the condition of the
cathedral then. It was itself "almost fallen to pieces from age," much
of its property had been lost, and there were only four canons left.
Even this small establishment was steeped in poverty; it is charged also
with lack of zeal. Arnost, a monk of Bec, succeeded Siward, but he died
within a year. A bishop had now to be chosen who would be competent to
cope with the poverty and deficiencies of the see, and to carry through
remedial measures. At last Lanfranc appointed Gundulf, of whose great
capacity he had personal knowledge. Want of money at first stood in the
way of reforms; but, with the archbishop's help, much of the alienated
property of the see was recovered, and the substitution of regular for
secular clergy was undertaken. In 1082 a priory was established with
twenty monks of the Order of St. Benedict, a number which grew to sixty
before Gundulf's death. It was necessary, now, that a new church should
be built, for the old one was not only, as has been said, very
dilapidated, but also, probably, too small for the new establishment.

One of Gundulf's first undertakings seems to have been the erection,
about 150 feet to the east of the Saxon cathedral, of the strong tower
bearing his name. Ruins of this are still to be seen on the north side
of the choir (see p. 52). It was about the year 1080 that he began his
church. The plan was cruciform, but not of the usual northern type. The
eastern arm was six bays long, and had aisles of the same length as the
presbytery; its four easternmost bays stood on an undercroft, of which a
portion still remains in the present crypt. The excavations there, in
1881, uncovering the old foundations, proved that the shape of this end
of the church used to be rectangular and not apsidal. It had been
concluded that its form was such, but on less positive grounds, thirty
years before. The whole arm was 76 feet long by 60 wide, and from its
end there was a small rectangular projection, constructed, probably, for
the relics of St. Paulinus, which Gundulf, or, according to another
account, Lanfranc, transported from the older church. In this
prolongation we seem to have a germ of those that gave us afterwards the
Lady Chapels of Lichfield, Westminster, Gloucester, and elsewhere. This
small excrescence, chapel it can scarcely be called, probably did not
rise very high, as room had to be left above it for the east window,
which, with the clerestory, was needed to light the presbytery. The
latter, like the choir of the present cathedral and like that of St.
Alban's, had its aisles divided from it by solid walls.

To the west of the six bays of the eastern arm crossed a transept,
remarkable for its narrowness. In the angle between it and the south
wall of the choir, rose, as an integral part of the building, a smaller
tower balancing the earlier great one of Gundulf, which had been allowed
to remain in an almost similar, but independent, position on the other
side. It has been conjectured that the lower portions of these two
towers formed the transepts of Gundulf's church. This would have greatly
reduced the length of its choir, while adding, to the same amount, to
that of its nave. Such a theory is, however, quite untenable now, as the
real lines of the transept have been traced. In 1872, when the south end
of the present transept was underpinned, parts of the foundations of its
predecessor's east and south walls were uncovered, and the footings of
the clasping pilaster buttress of its south-west angle exposed. These
showed that the transept occupied the position which we have assigned to
it, and that its entire length was 120 feet, while it was only 14 feet
wide. This width being so small, it is probable that the arcading of the
nave was continued right up to the choir arch. There was no tower over
the crossing. Of a south tower, as has been mentioned, the foundations
have been found, but the only signs of it now left above ground seem to
be some tufa quoins in the wall by the cloister door. Even if these
traces did not remain there would be ample documentary evidence to prove
that it had once existed.

The nave and its aisles were intended to be at least nine bays long. In
the underpinning of the side aisles in 1875-76, the bases of Gundulf's
buttresses were discovered, his foundations being easily distinguishable
from later ones, and the curious fact was then made manifest that he did
not finish the nave westwards. On the south side his work stops half a
bay from the present west front, and on the north it only extends three
bays to the west of the present transept. It is interesting to note that
it is just from this point that it was, in the seventeenth century,
found necessary to start the rebuilding of a portion of the north aisle
wall. Taking it for granted that the nave arcades were, after the old
English traditional manner, continued to the choir arch, we conclude
that Gundulf completed nine arches on the south and five on the north
side. The bishop probably finished the south aisle that he might build
the cloister and monastic buildings against it in their usual positions;
but did not deem the north so important, as it would be of no such
ulterior use. In the same way the choir was finished, while the nave,
or parochial portion, in which the monastic establishment had less
interest, was possibly left to the townsmen, and remained longer
incomplete. All that the monks most wanted,--enough of the nave to
secure the stability of the choir and transepts, and the south wall that
supported their cloister,--was built under Gundulf's direction. It has
been thought likely that the nave was completed by the parishioners
before the later Norman period. If so, the builders of that time seem to
have swept away all the townsmen's work, probably because of its ruder

Gundulf's arcades consisted, apparently, of two plain square-edged
orders; the plan of his piers is not known. We do not seem to have
any of his work, now, above the first string course in the nave. The
triforium, in its present form at any rate, is, like the casing of the
piers and the outer decorated order of the arches, of later Norman work.

The cathedral, or rather the part described above as Gundulf's work,
seems to have been erected by 1087, in which year William the Conqueror
bequeathed some money, robes, and ornaments to it. The monastic
portions were certainly finished before Lanfranc's death in 1089.

Lambarde, following perhaps the chronicler who said, "Ecclesiam Andreæ,
pæne vetustate dirutam, novam ex integro, ut hodie apparet, ædificavit,"
does not seem to suspect the incompleteness of Gundulf's work of which
he gives the following quaint account. He tells how he "re-edified the
great church at Rochester, erected the Priorie, and where as he founde
but half a dozen secular priests" (the older authority that we have
followed makes it still worse, only mentioning four) "in the Church at
his comming, he never ceased, till he had brought together at the least
three score Monkes into the place. Then removed he the dead bodies of
his predecessors, and with great solemnitie translated them into this
newe work: and there also Lanfranc was present with his purse, and of
his owne charge in-coffened in curious worke of cleane silver the body
of Paulinus, ... to the which shrine there was afterwarde (according to
the superstitious maner of those times) much concourse of people and
many oblations made. Besides this, they both joined in suite to the
King, and not onely obtained restitution of sundry the possessions
witholden from the church, but also procured, by his liberalitie and
example, newe donations of many other landes and privileges. To be
short, Gundulphus (overliving Lanfranc) never rested building and
begging, tricking and garnishing, till he had advaunced this his
creature, to the just wealth, beautie, and estimation of a right
Popish Priorie."

Subsequently the choir was re-arranged; and the nave partly rebuilt,
partly re-faced, added to, and finished with the west front, which, to a
great extent, still remains. This later Norman work was carried out from
east to west during the episcopates of Ernulf (1115-24) and John of
Canterbury (1125-37). The upper part of the west front and some of the
carving may not have been completed within even that period. What seems
certain is, that we are indebted to later Norman builders for the
re-casing of the piers of the nave arcade, the greater richness of their
capitals, the outer decorated order of the arches, the triforium with
its richly diapered tympana, and the west front. Assigning most of these
works to the time of Bishop John, as seems best, we can point to others
that testify to Ernulf's architectural skill. He is recorded to have
built the refectory, dormitory, and chapter house. Portions of these
still remain, and one feature, in the ornamentation of the chapter
house, especially marks it as his work. This is a peculiar lattice-like
diaper, which occurs elsewhere at Rochester,--in fragments that belonged
probably to a beginning by him of the renovation of the choir,--but has
only been noticed at one other place: by the entrance to the crypt at
Canterbury, where also it is due to him.

An indication of the completion of the church in this new form,--or
rather, it is safer to say, of the final destruction of its Saxon
predecessor,--is perhaps contained in an entry that has been found, that
"Bishop John translated the body of St. Ythamar, Bishop of Rochester."
It seems peculiar that this relic was not moved to the new church at the
same time as the remains of St. Paulinus. It may be that the earlier
Norman bishop and monks valued the greatest of St. Augustine's fellow
missionaries--a foreigner, like themselves, working here for the
church--more highly than his successor in the bishopric and fellow
saint, who belonged to the recently conquered and still despised
English, and whose great glory was that of being the first bishop of
their race.

The cathedral was apparently dedicated in 1130, by the Archbishop
William de Corbeuil assisted by thirteen bishops, but one authority
gives 1133 as the date. In "The history and antiquities of Rochester"[3]
we read: "The city was honoured with a royal visit in the year 1130,
when Henry I., the Archbishop of Canterbury, and many of the nobility
were present at the consecration of St. Andrew's Church, then just
finished: but their mirth was turned into sorrow, by their being
mournful spectators of a dreadful conflagration which broke out on the
7th of May, and, without any regard to the majesty of the king, grandeur
of the church, or solemnity of the occasion, laid the city in ashes and
much damaged the new church." The Chronicle says, as to the extent of
the damage done by this fire, "Civitas pene tota conflagravit."

  [3] Anonymous, but probably by the Rev. S. Denne and W. Shrubsole.
  Published in 1772; second edition, 1817.

The Rochester chronicler, Edmund de Hadenham, records two great fires
under the years 1138 and 1177; Gervase also mentions these, but gives
their dates as 1137 and 1179. The exact extent of the damage and
consequent repairs is not known in the case of either. It would seem
from Edmund de Hadenham's account of the earlier, that, in it, the
offices suffered most; and he speaks of their restoration under Bishop
Ascelin. We read that the monks had to find other quarters, for a time,
for many of their number whom it had rendered homeless. Gervase says of
the same fire, "combusta est Ecclesia S. Andreæ Roffensis et tota
civitas cum officinis Episcopi et monachorum," and of the later one that
in it the church, with the offices, was burnt and reduced to a cinder.

Lambarde, staunch Protestant as he was, saw in these fires a token of
God's disapproval of such monastic institutions. After telling of the
foundation by Gundulf, he continues, "but God (who moderating all things
by his divine providence, shewed himselfe alwaies a severe visitour of
these irreligious Synagogues) God (I say) set fire on this building
twise within the compasse of one hundreth yeeres after the erection of
the same." He then goes on to attribute the quarrels between Bishop
Gilbert de Glanvill and the monks, and the church's losses through
these, and its spoliation by King John's troops, to the same divine
judgment. His book contains a great amount of accurate information, but
often, as here, and in his account, quoted above, of Gundulf's really
good and useful work, shows the strong prejudices of the ordinary
English Protestant of his time.

In one or other of these two fires the eastern arm and transepts of
Gundulf's fabric, and Ernulf's conventual buildings, must have been much
injured if not reduced to ruins, and to the date of the second the outer
part of the north choir aisle possibly belongs. Probably about 1190,
Gilbert de Glanvill, who was Bishop of Rochester from 1185 to 1214,
built a new cloister and the lower part of the outer wall of the south
choir aisle as a portion of it. A great deal of work was done about that
time to the conventual buildings by different priors and monks. Many
records relating to it are gathered together in Mr. Ashpitel's paper.[4]
He evidently thought that the church was then neglected--though, as we
shall see, it does not seem to have been so--and apologizes for the
monks, pointing out that there must have been enough of the nave left
for services, and that, this being the case, it was natural for them, in
their almost complete homelessness, to think of their dormitories, etc.,
before anything else.

  [4] See footnote on p. 6.

The development, by means of great additions and alterations, of the
present eastern arm and its magnificent crypt from the earlier and
smaller Norman structures was probably taken in hand about 1190. The new
work seems to have been begun from the east and continued westwards. It
was at first perhaps roofed temporarily with wood, and only vaulted
later. It may have been far enough advanced to allow of William of
Perth's burial, directly after his death in 1201, in the north choir
transept (still called by his name), where his tomb and shrine were
afterwards so much resorted to. On the other hand, his body may have
been laid in the north choir aisle until the new transept was ready to
receive it. This was probably not the case however; it certainly was
not, if the conjecture be correct, that 1195 is the approximate date of
the removal of the eastern half of the Norman undercroft and of the
portion of the presbytery above it, and that a little work in the choir
aisles had been done even earlier. Other authorities, though, incline to
the opinion that the part of the Norman presbytery which projected into
the new work was not removed before it was almost completely inclosed.
This would put off its demolition till later.

The "whole choir" was, we read, rebuilt by William de Hoo, the sacrist,
with the offerings at St. William's tomb. The word "choir" must here, of
course, be used in its more restricted sense, meaning the choir proper,
as distinct from its transept and the presbytery. Even then to say
absolutely that he rebuilt it is to go too far, for the walls dividing
it from its aisles are still in the main of Norman construction, though
they have Early English facings and decorations, and additions of this
later period to their upper parts. The original intention of the
architect had apparently been to change into arcades these solid walls,
but, if so, he abandoned it. When the work on the choir walls was
finished, some re-modelling of its aisles was soon carried out,
buttresses being built within them to withstand the thrust of the new
vaulting of the central part. In William de Hoo's work at this time we
must include the arches across the western ends of the choir aisles,
with the one bay of the transept clerestory over the northern of them,
and possibly also the choir arch, with the piers that carry it. It
seems, however, that these piers were only finally freed from the Norman
nave arcade, and completed, as we now have them, to be the eastern pair
of supports to the central tower, by Richard de Eastgate about twenty
years later. It is recorded that the new work had been roofed and leaded
by the sacrist Radulfus de Ros and the prior Helias. The new choir was
first used in 1227, when the monks made their solemn entry into it, and
the works, that have been described above, must have been finished at
that date. Some fittings, probably originally inserted at this early
period, still remain, viz., the eastern side of the pulpitum and some
woodwork preserved in the present stalls. Richard de Wendover, Bishop
of Rochester, and Richard, Bishop of Bangor, dedicated the church, or
rather its new portions, but it was not until 1240 that the ceremony
took place.

We must now go back a few years in order to mention the great losses
that the cathedral sustained in 1215. In that year King John besieged
and captured Rochester Castle, stoutly held against him by William de
Albinet and other powerful barons. Then, Edmund de Hadenham tells us,
the church was so plundered that there was not a pyx left "in which
the body of the Lord might rest upon the altar." At such a time the
offerings at St. William's tomb, which have been alluded to above, were
especially needed and especially acceptable.

Within the first half of the thirteenth century, but certainly several
years later than the entry into the choir, further great works were
begun by the monk and sacrist Richard de Eastgate. He probably commenced
by clearing away the two eastern arches of each of the nave arcades,
which, it will be remembered, are thought to have been continued right
up to the choir arch; and, then, having completed the piers at the ends
of the choir walls, laid the bases of the two others that with them
support the central tower. He next began the new north transept (_ala
borealis versus portam beati Willelmi_), and made it half as wide again
as its slender predecessor. Afterwards the north-west tower pier was
erected at the junction of the transept and the nave, and, finally,
there is a discussion as to whether the northern tower arch was built
now or not until later. We are told that all this work, begun by Richard
de Eastgate, was almost finished by Thomas de Mepeham, who became
sacrist in 1255. The laying out of the bases of the western pair of
piers to the central tower was formerly assigned to a much earlier date;
while the eastern piers were supposed to have been finally finished in
William de Hoo's time. This work would, however, scarcely have been done
before the new wider transept was undertaken, and it cannot have been
carried out before the eastern part of the Norman nave was cleared away.

Only a short time elapsed then before the building of the south transept
(_ala australis versus curiam_) by Richard de Waldene, monk and sacrist,
and next came the completion of the supports for the central tower, by
the construction of its south-west pier and the other arches. The
building of the eastern (the choir) arch, and the possible earlier date
of the northern one, have already been spoken of. The two bays of the
nave nearest the crossing, were also rebuilt in their present form, and
the stability of the arches that were to bear the central tower was thus
secured. The reconstruction of the whole nave seems to have been
intended by the architects of this time; but want of funds, probably,
stopped the work.


To leave purely architectural history for a while, we find the church
on which all this labour was so lovingly bestowed undergoing another
terrible experience in 1264. On Good Friday of that year it was
desecrated by the troops of Simon de Montfort, after their capture of
the city. In the old annalist's account we read (in Latin) how they
"entered the church of St. Andrew on the day on which the Lord hung on
the cross for sinners.... Armed knights on their horses, coursing around
the altars, dragged away with impious hands some who fled for refuge
thither, the gold and silver and other precious things being with
violence carried off thence. Many royal charters, too, and other
muniments, in the Prior's Chapel, and necessary to the church of
Rochester, were destroyed and torn up. The oratories, cloisters, chapter
house, infirmary and all the sacred buildings were turned into horses'
stables, and everywhere filled with the dung of animals and the
defilement of dead bodies."

There is a record of a later, more welcome visit from Earl Simon's
conqueror. In 1300 Edward I. made a progress in Kent, and we find the
following items in the wardrobe accounts for this, the twenty-eighth
year of his reign. On the 18th of February he offered seven shillings
at the shrine of St. William, and a like amount again on the next day.
He then went forward to Canterbury, and on his return from the
archiepiscopal city gave, on the 27th of the same month, seven shillings
each for the shrines of SS. Paulinus and Ythamar in the church of the

From March till October, 1314, we read that Isabel, the queen of
Robert Bruce, was a prisoner in Rochester Castle, permitted to walk at
convenient times, under safe custody, within its precincts and those of
the Priory of St. Andrew adjoining. This is, however, to some extent a
matter of controversy.

The fourteenth century saw the junction of the new and the Norman work
in the nave completed, and the design of rebuilding the whole western
arm finally abandoned. A beautiful capital at the joining on the south
side will call for especial mention later, and in the part of the
triforium just over it there is a piece of apparently later-Norman work,
which is, however, by builders of the "Decorated" period. They seem to
have found it best to reproduce here, as accurately as possible, what
they had just destroyed. That it is by them is shown by the stone used,
which is greensand and not the Caen stone of later-Norman workmen, and
by differences in working. The early-Norman architects had chiefly used
tufa, and these successive changes of material are of great help in
assigning their respective dates to various parts of the fabric.

About 1320 some alterations were made in the clerestory of the south
transept, while on its east side there was, apparently, a conversion of
two arches into one to form a large altar recess. This change seems to
be alluded to when in 1322 the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this
transept is spoken of as "de nova constructo." At this time there were
many disputes between the monks and the parishioners of St. Nicholas,
whose altar[5] stood from 1322, at any rate, till 1423, against the
rood-screen across the end of the nave beneath the western tower-arch.
In 1327, in which year Mr. Walcott tells of a riotous assault by the
townsfolk on the pretence of a right of entrance by day or night for the
ministration of the Viaticum, an oratory was built, by agreement between
the monks and the parishioners, "in angulo navis," for the Reserved
Sacrament, and the small door was inserted in the west front. To dread
of such attacks or fear of the crowds of strangers constantly passing
through the town, which stood on the main road to Canterbury and the
Continent, we must attribute the erection of the screens and strong
doors of this time, which shut off the choir from the rest of the
cathedral, and also the almost contemporaneous walling off of the priory
from the town. Among these screens is included the west side of the
pulpitum, which still contains its original central doorway, as well as
the screens in the choir aisles. To this same period also belongs,
apparently, the western cloister door.

  [5] For further information about this altar, see p. 68.

In 1343 the central tower was at last raised by Bishop Hamo de Hythe,
and capped by him with a wooden spire in which he placed four bells
named Dunstan, Paulinus, Ythamar, and Lanfranc. The south tower had
already been destroyed and with its demolition we approach the end of
the changes which have brought the south choir aisle to its present form
and which will be described in the chapter on the interior of the
church.[6] The completion of this aisle is assigned to W. de Axenham;
its wooden roof seems to belong to King Edward II.'s time. Decorated
tracery was inserted in the presbytery windows soon after the erection
of the tower, and Bishop Hamo is recorded to have reconstructed in
marble and alabaster the shrines of SS. Paulinus and Ythamar. Finally,
to this time, to about the middle of the fourteenth century, belongs the
beautiful doorway which leads to the present chapter room and library,
and is one of the chief glories of the church.

  [6] See p. 112.

In the painted decoration of the choir walls, with its alternate lions
and fleurs-de-lis,--which Sir Gilbert Scott partly saved and partly
renewed,--we have probably a contemporary allusion to and commemoration
of, the victories won by our countrymen in France in Edward III.'s
reign. Rochester lay on the main route to the Continent and is sure to
have seen much of the soldiers who passed to and fro. In 1360 there is a
record of the passage of John II. on his way back to his own land. He
had, it will be remembered, been defeated by the Black Prince at
Poictiers in 1356, and brought as a prisoner to England until
arrangements should be made for his ransom. It was on the 2nd of July
that he went through the town, and, ere he left it, made an offering of
sixty crowns at the Church of St. Andrew.

The oratory that was constructed in 1327, and other attempted
arrangements, did not settle the differences between the monks and the
parishioners of St. Nicholas. These were only finally ended by the
erection of a new church, for the use of the latter, in the cemetery
called the Green Church Haw, on the north side of the cathedral. The
people were still allowed to pass within the north side of the cathedral
in their processions, and the Perpendicular doorway which exists, walled
up, towards the west end of the north aisle wall, was inserted for their
passage. The right that the mayor and corporation of the city still
retain of entering the cathedral in their robes and with their maces,
etc., borne before them, by the great west door, seems to be a relic of
the old parochial use of the nave.

Later in the fifteenth century the clerestory and vaulting of the north
choir aisle were finished, and Perpendicular windows were inserted in
the nave aisles. Then, about 1470, the great west window was inserted,
and the nave clerestory, together with the northern pinnacle of the west
gable, rebuilt. It was in 1490, or thereabouts, apparently, that the
Perpendicular builders carried out their last important work: the
erection of the so-called Lady Chapel, in the corner between the south
transept and the nave. This seems to be really an extension of the Lady
Chapel in the south transept (where the altar to the Blessed Virgin
Mary has been already mentioned), to be a nave to this rather than a
chapel itself.

There is now nothing very important to record until we come to the time,
when, at the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII., regulars,
after more than four centuries and a half, ceased at last to form the
establishment of this cathedral. Two general visitations of religious
houses had been made in 1535 and 1537, but neither of the reports on
this establishment seems to be extant. If either could be found it would
very possibly prove unfavourable. Some injunctions by Bishop Wells, in
1439, nearly a century before, seem to show that he found deviations
from the rule of the order, and that he thought precautions against its
infraction necessary.

During its later days the priory does not seem to have been in a
flourishing state. In the twentieth year of King Henry VIII.'s reign,
the annual income of its estates was returned to the exchequer as only
_£_486 11_s._ 6_d._, and its financial condition, though it has not been
accurately ascertained, seems to have been bad. In 1498 there were only
twenty-four monks in the house, though the original establishment had
been sixty, and this great diminution in numbers was probably due to the
want of funds. Later, to the priory's acknowledgment of the Royal
Supremacy, dated June 10th, 1534, there were only twenty signatures

The 20th of March, 1540, is the date of the commission to the Archbishop
of Canterbury, George Lord Cobham, and others to accept the surrender of
the house and its possessions to the king. On the 8th of April following
the seal of the convent was affixed to the instrument of resignation, a
document which seems to us very ironical in its wording. It was sent in,
we read by them "with their unanimous assent and consent, deliberately
and of their own certain knowledge and mere motion, from certain just
and reasonable causes, especially moving their minds and consciences,
of their own free will." Some pensions were granted on the day of
surrender, the total number given among the dispersed monks being
thirteen. These seem very few, but possibly vacancies had been left
unfilled for some years in dread of such an event, and perhaps one or
two of the monks embraced the opportunity of release from their vows.
Others, we know, were given new appointments. Even the above small
number soon dwindled. In Cardinal Pole's list of 1556 we find only one
former member of this priory recorded as in receipt of an annuity, and
five as in receipt of pensions. The annuity was possibly a payment to
which the house was already liable at the time of the suppression, while
the pensions would be the "convenient charity" of the Crown.

When enforcing their surrender the king had said that the monks were to
go, that the endowment they had so long possessed "might be tornyd to
better use as heraffter shall folow, werby Gods word myght the better be
sett forthe, cyldren brought up in learning, clerks nuryshyd in the
universites," etc. We shall now see how he tried to secure this
improvement, and how, in some respects, at any rate, his scheme was
good. It was not hurried forth at once, the letters patent for the new
establishment not being issued till the 20th of June, 1542. It was then
incorporated under the title of "the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral
Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Rochester."[7] Provision
was made for a dean, six prebendaries, six minor canons, a deacon,
a sub-deacon, six lay clerks, a master of the choristers, eight
choristers, an upper and an under master of the grammar school, twenty
scholars, six poor men, a porter, who was also to be barber, a butler, a
chief cook, and an assistant. A yearly pension of £5 was to be paid also
to four scholars, of whom two were to be members of each University.

  [7] The original dedication was to St. Andrew.

The offices of deacon and sub-deacon were disused after the Reformation,
and the butler and cooks ceased to be appointed when there was no longer
a common table. Charles I. attached one of the prebends to the
archdeaconry of Rochester in 1637; a union which is still maintained.
Another was annexed by letters patent of 1713 to the provostship of
Oriel College, Oxford, and this connection was confirmed by Parliament
in the same year, though it has, of course, to lapse when, as has been
the case, the provost is a layman. On the whole, the establishment, thus
originally provided for, is maintained, but the full numbers are not
just now kept up throughout, owing to a great loss of income due to the
gradual decrease in value of landed property. With regard to the
educational provisions, it will, perhaps, be interesting just to mention
here, that it was chiefly owing to the late Rev. R. Whiston, long the
head master of the Rochester Grammar School, that this and similar
institutions were, about the middle of this century, made to conform
more to the spirit of their original foundations, by the making of
alterations, especially in the terms of scholarships, to meet the great
changes that have since occurred in money values.

In 1541 panelled book-desks were provided for the new canons and singing
men. Some of the panels belonging to them still remain, and are
incorporated in the present choir stalls.

For some years little of interest occurred directly concerning the
cathedral itself, though much happened of importance in the history of
the see and its bishops. In 1558, however, the body of Cardinal Pole lay
here for a night in state, and we are able to give an eye-witness's
account, written by Francis Thynne, afterwards Lancaster Herald, and
published in Holinshed's Chronicles in 1587. "Cardinal Poole died the
same daie wherein the Queene" (Mary) "died, the third hour of the
night.... His bodie was first conveyed from Lambeth to Rochester, where
it rested one night, being brought into the Church of Rochester at the
West doore, not opened manie yeres before. At what time myselfe, then a
yoong scholer" (he was born in 1545), "beheld the funeral pompe thereof,
which trulie was great and answerable both to his birth and calling,
with store of burning torches and mourning weedes. At what time, his
coffin, being brought into the church, was covered with a cloth of
blacke velvet, with a great crosse of white satten over all the length
and bredth of the same, in the middest of which crosse his Cardinal's
hat was placed. From Rochester he was conveied to Canterbury, where the
same bodie (being first before it came to Rochester inclosed in lead)
was, after three daies spent in his commendations set foorth in Latine
and English, committed to the earth in the Chapell of Thomas Becket."

In 1568 we have a curious story, said to be taken originally from
records in the Rochester Diocesan Registry of the discovery and
apprehension, at Rochester, of a Jesuit in disguise. A certain Thomas
Heth, purporting to be a poor minister, came and asked the dean to
recommend him for some preferment. The dean said that he would consider
his case after he had heard him preach before him in the cathedral. No
fault seems to have been found with the sermon, but in the pulpit
afterwards, the sexton, Richard Fisher, picked up a letter that had
been dropped, and carried it to the bishop, Dr. Gest. This was directed
to Th. Finne from Samuel Malta, a noted Jesuit at Madrid. Heth was
brought up and examined before the bishop; he acknowledged that he had
preached for six years in England, but said that he had left the hated
order. He was then remanded until the case had been reported to the
queen and her council. Incriminating papers were in the meantime found
among his belongings, and, at a later second examination, he confessed.
He was pilloried, branded, and mutilated after the cruel manner of those
days, beside the High Cross at Rochester, and was condemned to be
imprisoned for life. From this imprisonment he was released by an early

We are next able to mention a visit by Good Queen Bess. She came to
Rochester during her summer progress in Kent in 1573, and lodged, during
her first four days in the city, at the Crown Inn. On the last day of
her stay she was entertained by Mr. Richard Watts at his house, on Boley
Hill, which then, it is said, obtained its name of "Satis," she having
answered with this word his apologies for the poor accommodation that he
had been able to offer to so great a queen. On Sunday, the 19th of
September, she attended divine service, and heard a sermon at the

In 1591 there is recorded the destruction of a great part of the chancel
by fire, but the fabric itself does not seem to have been much damaged.
At any rate, in 1607 the dean and chapter were able to certify to
Archbishop Abbot, who was making a metropolitical visitation, that the
church, though requiring weekly repair from its antiquity, was, as a
whole, in reasonable condition. This statement was probably accurate, as
the return was not followed by any injunctions from the visitor.

During the preceding year, A.D. 1606, Christian IV. of Denmark,
brother-in-law of James I., had visited Rochester in company with the
latter King and Queen Anne, and their eldest son, Prince Henry. These
royal personages had separate lodgings during their stay, King James's
own being at the Bishop's house. It was on Saturday that they arrived,
and "the next day," we are told, "being Sunday, ... their Majesties came
to the Cathedrall Church of the Colledge, where they heard a most
learned sermon by a reverende grave and learned Doctor." This was Dr.
Parry, Dean of Chester, one of the most famous preachers at his time.
King Christian is said to have been much pleased with his discourse, and
to have given him afterwards a very rich ring. The royal travellers then
visited the shipping, and on the Monday "set forwarde towardes

In Archbishop Laud's annual report on the diocese to King Charles I., in
1633, it is said that the Bishop (Dr. John Bowle) complained "that the
cathedral suffered much for want of glass in the windows, and the
churchyard lay very indecently, and the gates down, because the dean and
chapter refused to be visited by him on pretence that the statutes were
not confirmed under the broad seal." Here the king wrote in the margin:
"This must be remedied one way or other, concerning which I expect a
particular account of you." There was probably a considerable likelihood
then of the imposition of a new set of statutes of the archbishop's
devising; the dean and chapter, however, managed to retain the old ones.
They submitted to a visit from the archbishop, as metropolitan, in the
following year, and in answer to one of his questions stated that the
cathedral was sufficiently repaired in all its parts, the only defects,
and these small, being in the glass of some of the windows. These
defects had been left for a little while, owing to the great charges
that they had incurred of late years. If they had been among the first
parts repaired they would probably have wanted mending again before the
other works were finished. This would have involved more expense. In
addition to their ordinary annual outlay on the fabric, they had
recently expended on it and on the "making of the organs" more than
£1,000. The archbishop evidently thought this report correct, for with
regard to the cathedral and its furniture he only found it necessary to
enjoin: that the windows should be repaired without delay in a decent
manner, and the bells together with the frames put in good order; that
there should be a new fair desk in the choir, and new church books
provided without delay; that the communion table should be placed at the
east end of the choir in a decent manner, and a fair rail put up to go
across the choir as in other cathedral churches. That they had not of
their own accord seen to what he considered such an important matter as
this last, is sure to have influenced him against them. In their answer
the dean and chapter said that all these things were either done, or
would be taken in hand as soon as possible, but pointed out that, if the
altar were removed quite to the end, the clergyman ministering at it
would be almost out of hearing of the congregation, and suggested
instead the erection of a screen behind it, in the more westerly
position, where it then was and again is, for it to stand against. This
suggestion seems not to have been accepted. They pointed out the
impossibility of carrying out his injunctions as to the "verie handsome
fence" for their churchyard. They had before told him of parochial
rights, and rights of way, in the cemetery, and promised that it should
be as decently kept as possible in the future, and that they would
report the mayor and citizens if they also did not do their best in the
matter. The maintenance of the establishment seems to have been
generally satisfactory, but there was some discussion as to requiring a
"pettie canon" and two lay clerks, who were "gent, of his Ma^ties
chappell," to provide substitutes when they were at court. The new desk
was taken in hand, but they said: "for our church bookes, we conceave
that noe church in England hath newer or fayerer," and went on to give
particulars. As to his enforcement of the wearing of "square cappes"
within the cathedral at times of service and sermons, they said that
this was the usual practice of the dean and canons in residence, and
that care would be taken that it should now be carried out by all.[8]

  [8] These answers are published in the Fourth Report of the Historical
  Manuscripts Commission.

In Lansdowne MS. no. 213, at the British Museum, there is included "A
relation of a short survey of the westerne counties of England, ...
observed in a seven weekes journey begun at Norwich and thence into the
West on Thursday, August 4th, 1635, ... by the same Lieutenant, that,
with the Captaine and Ancient (Ensign) of the military company in
Norwich, made a journey into the North the yeere before." It includes an
interesting, rather antithetical, account by this officer of Rochester
and its cathedral as they were just before the troublous times of the
Civil War. He says: "As I found this Citty little and sweet, so I found
her cheife and best structures correspondent to her smallnesse, which
was neat and hansome, and neither great nor sumptuous. And first I'le
begin with her cheife seat the Cathedrall, which was consecrated in Hen.
the I. time; and though the same be but small and plaine, yet it is
very lightsome and pleasant: her quire is neatly adorn'd with many small
pillars of marble; her organs though small yet are they rich and neat;
her quiristers though but few, yet orderly and decent." He then passes
on to the deanery, the episcopal palace, and the monuments in the
church. He names some of these last, and alludes to "diverse others also
of antiquity, so dismembred, defac'd and abused as I was forced to leave
them to some better discovery than I was able to render of them; as also
the venerable shrine of St. William." John Weever, whose "Ancient
funerall Monuments" was published in 1631, agrees with our Norwich
lieutenant as to the dilapidated state of the older monuments in the
church in his time. People are at times found, who thoughtlessly charge
the Roundheads with all such defacements as these, but the above
authorities clear them in many cases, though still leaving acts of
"vandalism" that they are responsible for.

In "A perfect diurnall of the severall passages in our late Journey into
Kent, from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3, 1642, by the appointment of both Houses
of Parliament" we have an official account of the doings of the
Parliamentary soldiers in this cathedral as elsewhere in the county. Of
the last day of their stay in the town on their outward journey, we
read: "On Wednesday, being Bartholomew Day, before we marched forth,
some of our souldiers (remembring their protestation which they tooke)
went to the Cathedrall about 9 or 10 of the clock, in the midst of their
superstitious worship, with their singing men and boys; they (owing them
no reverence) marched up to the place where the altar stood, and staying
awhile, thinking they would have eased their worship, and demanded a
reason of their posture, but seeing they did not, the souldiers could
not forbeare any longer to wait upon their pleasure, but went about the
worke they came for. First they removed the Table to its place
appointed, and then tooke the seate which it stood upon, being made of
deale board, having 2 or 3 steps to go up to the altar, and brake that
all to pieces; it seemed the altar was so holy that the ground was not
holy enough to stand upon. This being done they pluckt down the rails
and left them for the poore to kindle their fires; and so left the
organs to be pluckt down when we came back again, but it appeared before
we came back they tooke them downe themselves. When this work was
finished we then advanced towards Maidstone." At Canterbury it was far
worse. There, "on Saterday morning before we departed some of our
souldiers visited the great Cathedrall, and made havock of all their
Popish reliques.... When they had done their pleasure we all marched to
Dover." Their pleasure meant terrible injuries to this grand church.

The Cavaliers themselves agree that Rochester Cathedral suffered far
less mischief than many other sacred edifices, from the bigotry of their
opponents. The following passage, from a paper entitled "Mercurius
Rusticus," of 1647, is quoted in "The History and Antiquities of
Rochester." "In September, 1640" (apparently a mistake for
August--September, 1642) "the rebels coming to Rochester, brought the
same affections which they express'd at Canterbury; but in wisdom
thought it not safe to give them scope here, as there; for the
multitude, tho' mad enough yet were not so mad, nor stood so prepared to
approve such heathenish practices. By this means the monuments of the
dead, which elsewhere they brake up and violated, stood untouch'd;
escocheons and arms of the nobility and gentry remained undefaced; the
seats and stalls of the quire escaped breaking down; only those things
which were wont to stuff up parliamentary petitions, and were branded by
the leaders of the faction for popery and innovations; in these they
took liberty to let loose their wild zeal: they brake down the rails
about the Lord's table or altar; they seized upon the velvet of the holy
table; and, in contempt of those holy misteries which were celebrated on
the table, removed the table itself into a lower part of the church. To
conclude with this farther addition, as I am credibly informed, they so
far profaned this place as to make use of it in the quality of a
tippling place, as well as dug several saw-pits, and the city joiners
made frames for houses in it." Even the Royalist and Church party,
therefore, allow that comparatively little damage was done here. The
statement that the monuments "stood untouch'd" is especially interesting
and valuable as coming from them.

The name of one despoiler is on record. In the answer by the dean and
chapter to an enquiry by Bishop Warner, a certain John Wyld, a shoemaker
of Rochester, is mentioned as having taken down and sold iron and brass
work from some of the tombs. The Rev. S. Denne gives the following
additional information,--on the testimony of "Mr. William Head, senior
alderman of the city, a very antient worthy man, who died March 5,
1732,"--that the church was used as a stable by Fairfax's troops, who
turned their horses' heads into the stalls in the choir.


Great efforts were made directly after the Restoration to bring the
building into a decent state once more. On the 10th of April, 1661,
Samuel Pepys, then on a visit of inspection to Chatham as Secretary to
the Admiralty, tells, in his diary, how he went on to Rochester and
"there saw the Cathedrall, which is now fitting for use, and the organ
then a-tuning." The church must have been in a very bad state, for the
dean and chapter reported to the bishop, in 1662, that the repairs that
they had already executed had cost them £8,000, and that the defects
still remaining in the fabric would need a further expenditure of not
less than £5,000 to make them good. They said that they were unable to
raise this sum themselves, but they remitted a quarter of the arrears
due to them towards it. The under steward, Sir Henry Selby, gave up his
salary for as long as should be thought fit; and several donations are
recorded in the minute books, with the donors' names.

At this time Mr. Peter Stowell paved with freestone a great part of the
body of the church, from the west door to the choir steps, at a cost of
£100. This had been rendered necessary, probably, by the saw-pits
mentioned above. He also recovered at his own expense the iron frame for
the pulpit hour glass, and got back many books, records, etc., belonging
to the church that were in the custody of Mr. Duke, of Aylesford. Under
the Commonwealth, Stowell had for his loyalty suffered fine and
imprisonment. He was joint registrar to the bishops from 1629 until his
death in 1671, and was buried in the cathedral.

In 1664 the south aisle of the nave was re-cased, and in 1670 an
agreement was made with Robert Cable, to take down a length of 40 feet
of the north aisle wall and re-erect it from the ground.

During the reign of King Charles II. two remarkable funerals took place
in the cathedral. The earlier of these was that of Cossuma Albertus,
Prince of Transylvania, who, having been driven out by the Germans, came
to Charles II. for succour. He is said to have been kindly received and
given a sufficient maintenance. This prince was approaching Rochester on
the 15th of October, 1661, when his chariot stuck fast in the mire
within a mile of Strood, probably at Gad's Hill ("that woody and high
old robbing hill," as our Norwich officer called it). He resolved to
sleep in his coach, and was there killed, with his own hanger, and
plundered by his coachman, Isaac Jacob, alias Jacques, a Jew, and his
footman Casimirus Kausagi. The murderers were afterwards caught in
London, and executed, the footman having confessed. Cossuma's body was
found on the 19th. One arm was brought by a dog to its master, a doctor
of physic of Rochester, who was out for a walk near, and a search was
then instituted. Two contemporary accounts of his death and of his
funeral, which took place on Tuesday, the 22nd, have been found. From
one of these, in the "Mercurius Publicus" of October, 1661, the
following is taken: "His body being brought to the parish of Strood was
accompanied from thence to the west door of the Cathedral Church of
Rochester by the Prebendaries of the said church in their formalities,
with the gentry and commonalty of the said City and places adjacent,
with torches before them. Near the Cathedral they were met by the choir
who sung Te Deum before them; when Divine service was ended, the Choir
went before the body to the grave (which was made in the body of the
Church) singing Nunc dimittis. Thousands of people flockt to this
Cathedral, amongst whom many gave large commendations of the Dean and
Chapter, who bestowed so honourable an interment on a stranger at their
own proper cost and charges." The exact site of this grave cannot be
pointed out. An account of the other funeral is to be seen in the diary
of John Evelyn for 1672. We there read: "June 2, Trinity Sonday, I
pass'd at Rochester; and on the 5^th, there was buried in the
Cathedral Mons^r Rabinière, Reare Admiral of the French squadron, a
gallant person, who died of the wounds he received in the fight. This
ceremonie lay on me, which I perform'd with all the decency I could,
inviting the Mayor and Aldermen to come in their formalities; Sir Jonas
Atkins was there with his guards, and the Deane and Prebendaries; one of
his countrymen pronouncing a funeral oration at the brink of his grave,
which I caus'd to be dug in the quire." Such was the funeral of a brave
ally; the English and French were then fighting together against the
Dutch.[9] It is interesting to note here that the corner of his coffin,
in a position such as Evelyn describes, beneath the choir, was touched
when the tunnel was being made, in Sir G. Scott's time, to connect the
organ with its bellows in the crypt.

  [9] A longer account of the funeral was published in the Gazette at the
  time. Its date is given as the 6th May in the Cathedral Registers, but
  this must be wrong.

The steeple, a little later, had much attention devoted to it. It was in
a dangerous way in 1679, and Mr. Guy, a celebrated architect, was asked
to report on it. He stated that it was very ruinous and ready to break
down into the church; that the plates were rotten, the girders quite
rotted through, and all the lead so thin that it could not be repaired;
that three corners also of the stonework were so rent and crooked that
they would need to be taken down. "He supposed that the making good of
the stone tower, the taking down of the old spire and putting up of a
new, and to sufficiently cover the same with lead would cost £1,000
over and besides the old lead and timber." His was a very alarming
statement, but he was not intrusted with the superintendence of this
extensive piece of work. The dean and chapter seem to have hoped that
the matter was not really quite so serious. A few months later they
consulted Henry Fry, a carpenter of Westminster, and he declared that
the mending of the lead and of one end of a beam at the lower end of the
east side of the spire would be sufficient to keep it from falling. He
was evidently skilful and honest, for with his, and some slight
subsequent repairs, the spire stood for another sixty-nine years. One
would think that he deserved more than the 30_s_. paid to him for
his visit and report.

A sum of £160 was, in 1688, spent on the repairing of the old organ and
on a new chair organ, a name often wrongly altered to 'choir organ.' In
1705 the nave was newly leaded, the names of Henry Turner, carpenter,
Thomas Barker, plumber, and John Gamball, bricklayer, being inscribed
with those of the bishop, dean, prebendaries, and verger on one of the
sheets. The altar-piece of Norway oak, "plain and neat," which retained
its place throughout the century, was probably constructed in 1707. A
sketch of its history, with notices of the various adornments that it
had at different times, will be given when the furniture of the choir
is described. In 1724 a return was made to Bishop Bradford that
three-quarters of the whole roof had been re-leaded within the previous
twenty years, and that the rest was believed to be in good order. There
was then no defect in the walls reported; the windows were said to be in
good repair and the pavement also. Until 1730 the bells were rung from a
loft or gallery over the steps to the choir, the approach being from
Gundulf's tower. This gallery was then removed, and the vaulting of the
crossing finished to match that of the south transept, which had been
repaired and decorated not long before according to a plan by Mr. James.
At the same time the order was given for the part of the organ screen
towards the nave to be wainscoted.

Very considerable repairs and alterations were made in the choir during
the years 1742-43, under the direction of Mr. Sloane. While they were in
progress, for the space of a year and a quarter, the dean and chapter
attended service at St. Nicholas Church. New stalls and pews were
erected and the partition walls wainscoted; a pavement was laid "with
Bremen and Portland stone beautifully disposed;" and an episcopal
throne was presented by Bishop Wilcocks and placed opposite the pulpit,
where the present throne now stands. Much white-washing was done at this
time, even the numerous Purbeck marble shafts being covered with it. In
1788, however, they are mentioned as polished once more and restored to
their original beauty. From shortly after the Restoration until about
the time of these alterations, the inclosure of the bishop's consistory
court had been situated near the west end of the south aisle of the
nave. It was now removed to the Lady Chapel, where it remained until
well on in the present century.

The steeple had, at last, to be rebuilt in 1749. Mr. Sloane's model of
its woodwork was for many years preserved in St. William's Chapel, and
has since been kept in the crypt, where it still remains, but in a very
dilapidated condition. In 1763 the northern of the towers flanking the
west front was considered to be in a dangerous state, and was taken
down, together with the upper part of the north aisle end beside it. It
was rebuilt soon afterwards. A bequest of £100, in 1765, by Dr. John
Newcome, dean of the cathedral and master of St. John's College,
Cambridge, towards the repair of the fabric, was probably intended to
help this work. The new tower was professedly a careful reproduction of
the old, but its incongruities have formed one of the reasons for the
recent thorough renovation, instead of mere repairing, of the west
front. It was only carried up to about half its former height, and was
there, with the aisle end, finished off with battlements. This was all
done before 1772, as an engraved view of the west front in that year
shows. The southern tower is in this view still unlowered, but it was
cut down, to match its fellow in height, soon afterwards.

For a long time previously the outer walls of the south choir aisle and
south choir transept had occasioned great anxiety. They were not
buttressed originally, like the similarly situated walls on the other
side of the church, probably because they had the cloister and other
conventual buildings to support and shelter them. Several attempts were
made, in particular, to render the transept secure. A first was by the
fixing of wooden ties, with large iron bolts, in the main timbers of the
roof; a second, in 1751, in pursuance of advice by Mr. Sloane, by the
raising of two great brick buttresses; and a third, about twenty years
later, by lightening the roof. These were useful for a time, but, as
the wall was still evidently declining, Mr. Mylne was consulted and, by
his direction, piles of bricks were erected in the undercroft, and other
methods were used to discharge the weight of the upper works. These
schemes were brutal and inartistic. Though they answered their purpose
for some years, they were afterwards found to be doing harm rather than


In his "History of Kent" (1782) Hasted gives expression to some very
gloomy views as to the state of the fabric. We there read: "The whole
bears venerable marks of its antiquity, but time has so far impaired the
strength of the materials with which it is built, that, in all
likelihood, the care and attention of the present chapter, towards the
support of it, will not be sufficient to prevent the fall of great part
of it, even in their time." Dr. Denne, however, thought the case, though
bad, not quite so hopeless as this, and his more sanguine opinion has
proved to be correct. Constant care, however, has had to be bestowed on
the place.

A fine new organ was constructed for the cathedral in 1791. During the
closing years of the eighteenth century or the earliest ones of the
nineteenth occurred the destruction of the upper portion of Gundulf's
tower, which was, before it suffered this injury, one of the most
curious and interesting pieces of architecture in England. Some
sketch-books of Mr. Essex, who was, in the closing years of last
century, employed on restorations in the cathedral, are preserved in the
Department of MSS. at the British Museum. They contain many notes on,
and sketches of, the building and details in it, but nothing of interest
for this history as they do not illustrate his work in the church.

Since the close of the Napoleonic wars the cathedral has passed through
four busy periods of restoration. The first of these lasted from the
beginning of 1825 until about 1830. Mr. L. N. Cottingham was in charge,
Messrs. Bayfere, Smirke, Savage, and Twopeny being also consulted at
various times. The roofs of the choir and its transept, though they had
been thoroughly repaired only fourteen years before, were soon found to
be quite unsafe and so eaten up with dry-rot, that it was necessary to
renew them. The part of the south wall between the main transept and the
chapter room was also dangerously out of the perpendicular. The great
masses of brick within and triangular buttresses without, the clumsy
attempts of the eighteenth-century architects to save it, had by their
subsidence even increased the mischief. Cottingham removed them and
built up the wall, which deviated twenty-two inches from the upright,
with a face of ashlar which constituted an invisible buttress. He also
found that the central tower consisted to a great extent of rubble, and
was incapable of supporting the spire. He almost entirely rebuilt it
from the roof, and left it in its present form, finished with corner
pinnacles but without a spire. All these serious works affecting the
safety of the fabric involved the setting aside, to a great extent,
of restoration in an ornamental sense. The east end was, however,
considerably improved by the removal of the huge altar screen that
concealed much of it. He opened out and renewed the lower range of
windows there, of which the central had been quite, and side ones
partially, blocked with brick, and lowered the altar and its pavement,
to show the bases of the chancel pillars. The ugly upper window he
merely restored, and left it for Sir G. Scott to erect in its stead the
more appropriate tier of lancets that now take its place. Cottingham
also renewed many other windows, including the great west one, those on
either side of the presbytery, and the Decorated one by the chapter
room. In the nave some red brick flooring had York pavement substituted
for it, and in the choir some Grecian panelling and a cornice along the
side walls were removed. The stalls also were repaired, and the paint
cleared off the seats in the choir. There are two other pieces of work
in connection with which Cottingham's name is often mentioned. One of
these was the restoration of the chapter house door, with parts of which
much fault has been found. The other was not so remarkable in itself as
for a great discovery that it led to. I refer to the removal, quite at
the beginning of 1825, of the mass of masonry that had long concealed
from view the famous monument of Bishop John de Sheppey, whose effigy
was made almost perfect by the careful re-fitting of some fragments that
were found. Unfortunately Cottingham had it re-coloured, though the fact
seems generally forgotten.

Various other faults in Cottingham's work have since been pointed out,
but at the time his restoration received much praise. On the 30th of
November, 1827, we find the dean and chapter voting him an honorarium of
£100, as a token of their appreciation of the ability and zeal that he
had shown.

The opening years of the fourth decade of the century form our next
period, during which Cottingham still had the direction of the works. He
now substituted the present rich and elaborate, but not altogether
praiseworthy roof of the main crossing, for the plainer one that he had
placed there earlier, when he rebuilt the tower. He restored the canopy
of Bishop John de Sheppey's monument, designed a new pulpit, and a new
bishop's throne for the choir, and later, in 1848, was responsible for a
new font in the nave. These will be described and their several fates
recorded later.

To Mr. Cottingham we also owe a repair of the ceilings of the choir and
nave, and a final cleaning from whitewash of the Purbeck marble shafts
throughout the building. He cleared the crypt out thoroughly, lowered
the ground there to the base of the columns, repaired the whole, and,
especially, renewed the shafts. The organ was enlarged by Hill in 1842,
at Canon Griffith's expense; and at that of his wife, in 1852, the Lady
Chapel was restored.

From the year 1871 till his death in 1877 the fabric was entrusted to
Sir G. Scott, and the work in it was all carried out from his designs
and under his immediate superintendence. At an early stage of his work
he put the clerestory of the nave in sound repair, and the western arm
of the church was then used for services while the restoration of the
choir was in progress. During the latter part of the time its aisle
walls were underpinned. To the western transepts and crossing Scott
devoted much attention, considering rightly that they formed one of the
most elegant parts of the structure. He largely repaired the masonry of
both the south and north transepts, underpinned the former's end,
inserted some new windows in the west wall of the latter, and gave it a
new doorway and massive oak door, in place of the ruinous entry that
before existed. He did away with the low eighteenth century roofs and
gables of both, restored the former gables, chiefly on the authority of
old prints, and erected roofs of the old high pitch once more. In the
south transept he made good, also, the interesting vaulting, with its
oak ribs, which were decayed and threatening to fall. The spaces between
them, which had been formerly boarded, he found filled only with lath
and plaster. To the organ screen he gave back its original plainness,
which made it rather an eyesore, as there was now no further screen in
front of it, on the other side of the transept, as there had been when
St. Nicholas' altar stood at the east end of the nave. For the organ a
new case was made after his design, which, without any removal of the
instrument or parts of it, preserves the vista of the choir. In making
a tunnel to connect the organ with its bellows in the crypt, many
interesting discoveries were made.

We now come to Sir G. Scott's work in the choir; it was very thorough.
He restored the gables to the east end, the north transept, and the
aisle of the latter, but had not funds to raise the roof to correspond.
At the same time he replaced where they had been lost the curious little
pinnacles that surmount the flanking turrets of the north choir transept
and of the east end. The ugly, upper east window he, after some
hesitation, decided to do away with, though it was in sound condition
after Cottingham's repairs. In its place was erected the present group
of lancets, which are certainly more appropriate, and have, with the
tier below, from which he removed some inserted decorated tracery, a
very pleasing effect. The high altar was removed from the east end to
its old position, some distance in front, with a free passage all
round. For this old situation conclusive evidence was found when the
floor of the presbytery was lowered to show the bases of the piers round
it. For the altar Scott himself designed its new reredos, and the
greater part of the eastern arm was floored by him with encaustic tiles,
though some would have preferred a pavement less showy and glittering in
effect. The designs of most of these tiles were taken from a few old
ones still to be seen in the choir transepts. Under his direction, too,
new stalls for the dean and prebendaries were erected under the organ,
and new stalls for the choir constructed. In these latter as much
earlier work as possible was preserved. On the wall above them he
restored a painting of which he found considerable portions still
remaining there. He also designed the new pulpit, which was put in a
different position to that of its predecessor, and the new throne. The
earlier pulpit, by Cottingham, was removed to the nave, and the old
throne went later to St. Albans. By far the greater part of the money
for the work of all these three periods was found by the dean and
chapter themselves, and for this they deserve great praise. The new
choir furniture was, however, provided for by Dr. Griffith,--who had
been formerly canon here,--and his wife, with a donation of £3,000.
Earlier instances of their liberality on the building's behalf have been
already given. The episcopal throne was the gift of Lord Dudley; and Dr.
Claughton, then bishop of the see, gave the brass lectern in the choir.

A little later the rather plain stalls in the nave were erected by
the Rev. A. Cazenove, an honorary canon, in memory of his father, who
died in 1880. After the death of the late Dean Scott, the great
lexicographer, it was decided to raise a memorial to him in his
cathedral. The memorial took the form of a decoration of the choir
screen with a series of statues under canopies. This was designed by
Mr. J. L. Pearson, and, though not faultless, is a great improvement on
the plain, flat wall left by Sir G. Scott.


Mr. Pearson has also been intrusted with the direction and
superintendence of the last great restoration, which has been devoted
chiefly to the famous west front. After its underpinning in 1888 a
thorough repair of it was undertaken. This was absolutely necessary,
for, in many places, the facing was leaving the core, and, in some,
pieces of it had already fallen. Many of the stones needed replacing;
in all such cases careful copies were substituted one by one. The great
west doorway was thoroughly restored, its shafts were given separate
bases once more, and new doors took the place of the old. The works, of
this period also, were carried as far as possible by the dean and
chapter, but on the 27th of October, 1892, an influential meeting was
held at the Mansion House to find funds for their continuance.
Subsequently the north flanking tower--in its then form, the work of the
eighteenth century--was demolished, and entirely rebuilt for the second
time, both it and its fellow being now raised again to their original
height. A comparison with the illustration given on p. 26 of the front
as it was in 1719, shows how careful and accurate the restoration has
been. The north aisle end was at the same time restored to its old form,
and the northern gable turret,--a curious specimen of fifteenth century
work, which many were sorry to see disappear,--replaced by a copy of its
fellow on the south.

After the death of Canon Burrows, in 1892, the new font, just within the
west door, was erected by subscription, as a memorial to him.

The last piece of work that we have to record is the inclosure of a
series of new vestries along the south side of the crypt. These have
been paid for "with American dollars," the proceeds of Dean Hole's
recent lecturing tour on the other side of the Atlantic.

The cathedral still has great and pressing needs. The most crying is,
perhaps, the fitting of roofs to Sir G. Scott's gables in the eastern
part, for their present isolated condition makes them unpleasantly
conspicuous. This the dean is anxious to see undertaken next. A spire
is also much wanted; the present tower, especially since it has been
dwarfed by the raising of the transept roofs, looks scarcely worthy of a
moderately important parish church, much less of a cathedral. However,
when it is found possible to undertake the change, it should be
remembered that Rochester is a small cathedral, and that the opposite
fault to the present insignificance must also be avoided. The new spire
must neither be too lofty nor too elaborate. Finally, as Sir Gilbert
Scott pointed out, the parapets of the nave and its aisles are unworthy
of the building, and a considerable amount of internal repair is
necessary. These matters will have to be seen to as soon as the
requisite funds can be found.



Rochester lies within a bend of the Medway and is bounded by that river
on the north and west. It is girt round by chalk hills, which, on the
two sides mentioned, look down on it from across the stream. Its houses
have now begun to climb the hills in greater numbers, but the space that
used to be enclosed by the old city walls lies very low, the only piece
of rising ground within their line being the mound on which the castle
stands. The cathedral church is one of the smallest in England, and
occupies a lowly position immediately beneath this mound and the mighty
keep that crowns it. It can claim attention therefore neither by
magnitude and grandeur nor by prominence of position. Its tower is,
however, next to the castle keep, the most conspicuous object in the
town, and this fact makes our regret the greater, that it is not more
worthy of its position.

The cathedral, though unable to bear comparison in the matter of size
with most others, and though by no means an imposing building, is a very
interesting structure and well worthy of all the study and care bestowed
upon it. It bears in itself many marks of its eventful history, and the
work of finding these and solving their significance is a most
attractive one. Many of its features, too, are important
architecturally. The crypt, the Norman work in the nave, the great west
doorway, and that leading to the chapter-room, all rank among the best
examples of their respective kinds in England.

An excellent bird's-eye view of the cathedral can be obtained from the
castle, either from the keep itself, or from a convenient opening in the
outer wall. On the church's own level good views can be obtained of
almost all the principal parts, though in some directions buildings
interfere. The famous west front can be well studied from the road
before it; and from a favourable position on the other side of the old
cemetery, a good north-west prospect can be obtained. Passengers along
the High Street are now, by the substitution of an iron railing for a
former wall, enabled to gaze on the north side of the choir and the
ruins of Gundulf's tower, across a stretch of turf that generally bears
visible testimony to Dean Hole's love of flowers. A general view of the
whole south side, together with the few remains of the monastic
buildings, can be obtained from the road through the precinct; and, of
the exterior of the building, the east end alone cannot be well seen
except from private ground. There are other, more distant, views, which
are both interesting and picturesque.

#The Central Tower# is the first feature to claim our attention now
that we are come to the description of the exterior and its parts. The
earliest tower over the crossing was raised, in 1343, by Bishop Hamo de
Hythe, who crowned it with a spire of wood, covered with lead, and
placed in it four bells, named Dunstan, Paulinus, Ythamar, and Lanfranc.
This spire and the masonry of the tower caused great anxiety at the end
of the seventeenth century, but with some not very considerable repairs
then, and some slight ones later, lasted until 1749. Its height was 156
feet, but the authorities for its form do not at all agree. It is given
a very uncommon shape in the north prospect by Daniel King, reproduced
on p. 14. This seems to be followed by many engravings which, however,
bring no additional testimony, for they do not correct great faults in
other parts of it, such as the insertion of a bay too many in the nave,
and the ignoring of a story in the transept ends. The north-west view
from Harris's "History of Kent" (1719) makes the spire octagonal, and it
appears of this form in many small sketches. Other engravings, as
another view in Harris's own book, show it square, but without the
peculiar treatment of the middle of each side, and with something
simpler and plainer than the pairs of dormer windows in the plate by
King. Some reasons may, however, be given for thinking the latter's
version of the spire correct, though his engraving is elsewhere so
inaccurate. Such are: (1) its abundant detail, perhaps too abundant, as
others do not support his dormer windows, for instance; (2) the fact
that Browne Willis, in his "Mitred Abbies," refers to this "draught"
(when used to illustrate Dugdale's "Monasticon"), in preference to
attempting a description himself; and (3) that the tiny view shown on
the portrait engraving of Dr. Thorpe that forms the frontispiece to his
"Registrum Roffense," agrees with it well when we take into
consideration the smallness of its scale. The tower was square, without
either battlements or corner pinnacles, and the spire rose directly from
it. On the west side, it will be noticed, the blind arcading under a
string course at the height of the ridges of the transept roofs,
terminated downwards on the lines of a pointed gable, and we may hence
conclude that the nave used to have a high-pitched roof before its
present flat one.

The spire raised in 1749 was octagonal, and rose directly from the
tower. It had neither parapet nor corner pinnacles to hide the
transition from the square to the octagon, nor splaying to make this
change less abrupt. Its form is shown in the 1816 view (p. 31), and Mr.
Sloane's model of its woodwork is still to be seen in the crypt, in a
very damaged state. A curious instance of the inaccuracy of some old
engravings occurs in two plates by Metcalf, and by Ryland after B.
Ralphe, which reproduce the same view of this cathedral, and are,
apparently, only variations of the same plate. They represent the tower
itself as octagonal, make it of excessive breadth, and give it three
windows in each face.

The new spire was demolished, after an existence of a little less than
eighty years, by Mr. Cottingham, who took down at the same time most of
the old tower, and raised the present rather plain one, which bears no
spire. Our illustrations render any description of the form of this
tower unnecessary. It did not meet with approval, even before it was
made more insignificant in appearance by Sir Gilbert Scott's heightening
of the transept roofs. An apologist for Mr. Cottingham says that he was
not altogether responsible for its faults, since he was compelled to
modify his design, through a strong conviction among the townspeople,
especially among the local builders, that he was overloading the
supporting piers. He obtained expert opinion that they were capable of
bearing twice the weight, but at last yielded, though he complained that
by his so doing his work was spoiled.


#The Bells# are hung in this tower. They are six in number, and their
sizes range from 34 to 52 inches. Mr. Stahlschmidt, from whose "Church
Bells of Kent" the following particulars are derived, regrets that he
could find nothing of the bell-history of the cathedral between 1343,
the date of Bishop Hamo's four, whose names have just been given, and
1635, the year in which the present third bell was, according to its
inscription, made by John Wilner. In 1683 Christopher Hodson, a London
founder, re-cast the fifth and tenor bells for £120. The contract, which
describes him as of St. Mary Cray, where he had probably a branch
establishment, still exists, and he seems to have done the work near by,
perhaps even within the precincts. The treble was re-cast by John Wood,
of Chancery Lane, in 1695, at a cost of £9, and the contract for this
work also is still preserved. In 1711 Richard Phelps, a well-known
founder, supplied an estimate for the re-casting of a cracked bell (the
fourth) weighing 15 cwt. He did not, apparently, obtain the commission,
for this particular bell is recorded to have been re-cast during the
next year by James Bagley, of Cripplegate, London, on behalf of his
father Matthew, who was then near the end of his career. After finishing
this work James, on his own and his father's behalf, warranted the bell
sound, and, further, that the second, which he agreed to turn, "the
striking sides being much worn," should be "as good as a new bell and
retain the same note." This, the second, bell is the only one that bears
no inscription; the fifth has, besides its inscription, the royal arms
on its waist. The treble was again re-cast by Pack and Chapman, of
London, in 1770, and in 1834 the tenor was re-made by Thomas Mears.
After all these re-castings, it would be interesting to know how much
old metal, from Bishop Hamo's or even older bells, the present peal
still contains. Mention will be made of some very early bells when
Gundulf's tower is described.

#The West Front# has recently been very carefully restored. Its great
central window, and the flat gable above, belong to the Perpendicular
period, but all the rest is either original Norman work, or as accurate
a reproduction of this as possible.

In design the façade surpasses those of many cathedrals. The aisle ends,
for instance, are not here, as in some cases, carried as screens to a
greater height than is structurally necessary. This is more correct and,
at the same time, allows the flanking towers to be more imposing and

The nave end, the main central portion of the front, contains the great
west door, to be described later, and over it the great window, inserted
during the second half of the fifteenth century. The dripstone of the
window terminates in two carved heads. On each side of the doorway is a
round-headed recess, and on the level of the door-arch, and interrupted
by it, runs a row of blind arcading, the shafts of which rise from
plinths, that project in carved heads from an elaborate string course.
The first complete bays of this arcade, on the north and south sides of
the door, contain niches, within which statues of two bishops, Gundulf
and John of Canterbury, were placed, in 1894, by the Freemasons of Kent.
These statues are not at all worthy of praise. The space between the
heads of the arcade and the decorated string course, crossing at the
level of the window sill, is filled with a diaper pattern. There are
three more blind arcades above, all interrupted by the window, before we
come to those that run round the gable turrets. The lowest has a band of
chevron moulding crossing the tops of its shafts, while carvings fill
the lunettes in its heads. Next come two rows of a double interlacing
fret, and then another string course, from which the second row of
arcading springs. This has semicircular heads, with zigzag ornament, and
a double series of intersecting arches above, like an arcade on Anselm's
Tower at Canterbury. The topmost arcade of the three rises over another
string course and is round-headed like the rest. Its arches do not,
however, like theirs, run on continuously but form two groups of two on
each side. The crenellated gable parapet rises from a string course with
five sculptured masks, and has plain shields on its battlements. Of the
gable turrets the northern has, in the last restoration, been made to
match the southern. Both are now octagonal, and have two arcaded
stories. Their tops are pyramidal, and ribs run down the edges from the
curious conical cap, which crowns the apex of each.

The aisle ends stand back somewhat. Each has a lofty, ornamented arch,
rising to the height of the sill of the central window, and containing,
recessed within its upper part, a semicircular headed window. We see,
higher up on each side, a single narrow light, and higher still an
arcaded lean-to. At the end of the north aisle is a pointed doorway,
inserted for the use of St. Nicholas' parishioners in 1327.

We will now conclude our account of the front in its present form, with
a description of its flanking towers. The northern is square for its
whole height, and has four rows, one above the other, of blind arcading.
The southern, with the same number of arcades, is also square in its
lower portion, but, for the two upper rows becomes octagonal, and
finally terminates in an octagonal pyramid. The spire of its fellow on
the north can scarcely be called octagonal; it is square, with the
angles only slightly cut down, and with slight splaying at its base. On
the summits of both are curious conical caps (like those described as
surmounting the gable turrets), from which ribs run down the angles. The
arcades are continued round the outer sides of the lower parts of the
towers, and right round when the roofs of the aisles are passed. The
heads of all the arches are as usual semicircular, and the second arcade
from the top is filled with a diaper of semicircles arranged in a
curious scale-like pattern.

Generally, as we have said, except for the great Perpendicular window
and the gable above it, the front shows the design of the later Norman
builders. The window that they constructed in it was possibly
wheel-shaped, but we have no representation of the cathedral previous to
its supplanting. The parts of the front that show their old form now
have not, however, all continuously retained it. At the time of the
erection of the Perpendicular clerestory to the nave, the northern gable
turret was rebuilt in the curiously plain, octagonal, flat-topped form,
which the oldest engravings of the front illustrate. It has only quite
recently been altered again to the earlier shape of its fellow on the
south; and is the only feature in which there is any conspicuous
difference between the front as now seen and as shown in our early
eighteenth century view. An earlier, seventeenth-century view exists, in
which, if it were not so inaccurate, the front would have the same
appearance. In this, however, as in his north prospect, Daniel King
shows his great liability to err. We can point to the insertion of one
tier of arcading too many in the central portion of the front, and to
the omission of the windows at the ends of the aisles, as well as of the
small door.

Our next view of the front dates from 1816, and shows the form in which
it was left by the great changes of 1763 and the succeeding years, when
the northern flanking tower, having been found to be in a dangerous
state, was quite taken down. Its rebuilding (up to only half its former
height) and that of the upper part of the adjoining north aisle end, was
completed before 1772 at any rate, and was professedly as accurate a
reproduction as possible of the older work. It was finished off with
battlements. A comparison makes manifest other changes besides that in
the height. The first arcade was at a lower level; in the aisle end the
narrow light disappeared; and the old lean-to was replaced by a blind
arcade of three arches, the central higher than the others. A little
later the south-western tower was correspondingly lowered, but no
further changes were made in it, and soon afterwards a precinct gateway
that used to stand against it was cleared away.


The front then remained untouched until 1888, when underpinning was
undertaken preparatory to a thorough restoration. After much of the
older work had been carefully repaired--in some places renewed stone by
stone--an attempt was made to undo all the work of the eighteenth
century architects. All that they had erected was taken down and
rebuilt, and all that they had demolished, as accurately as possible
replaced. The work was carried out under the direction of Mr. J. L.
Pearson, and for the skill and care shown in it, he has deserved, and
receives, much praise. It is regretted however by many that he did not
preserve the north gable turret as he found it, since it was so curious
a specimen of fifteenth century restoration. One may hope too that smoke
and weather will soon tone down the new masonry so that it may be in
less glaring contrast with the old.


#The great West Doorway#, like the rest of the original work remaining
in the front, dates from later Norman times,--the first half of the twelfth
century. It is formed by five receding arches, and every stone of each
of these is carved with varying ornamental designs. Between the second
and third of them runs a line of cable moulding, an ornament which
occurs also inside the door. Each arch has its own shaft, and the groups
of five on each side are elaborately banded. The shafts have richly
sculptured capitals, and in those on the south side, as well as in the
tympanum, the signs of the Evangelists appear. The shafts second from
the door on either side are carved with statues, two of the oldest in
England. These are much mutilated, but they were thought worthy of great
praise by Flaxman. That on the spectator's left is said to represent
King Henry I., and the other his wife, the "good Queen Maud." This
attribution is probably correct, as these sovereigns were both great
benefactors to the cathedral, and were living when the front was being
built. The figure of the queen has suffered the more; it is recorded to
have been especially ill-used by the Parliamentarians in the days of the
great Civil War. The tympanum contains a figure of Our Lord, seated in
Glory, within an aureole supported by two angels. His right hand is
raised in benediction, and his left hand holds a book. Outside the
aureole are the symbols of the four Evangelists: the Angel of St.
Matthew and the Eagle of St. John one on each side above the Winged Lion
of St. Mark and the Ox of St. Luke similarly placed below. A straight
band of masonry crosses beneath the lunette, and has carved on it twelve
figures, now much mutilated, but supposed to have represented the twelve
Apostles. All the sculptured work of the portal has suffered greatly
from age and exposure and from the hand of man. In the recent
restoration the coping has been renewed, the shafts have been given
separate bases once more, and many of the most worn stones have been
replaced by new ones carved in facsimile. Mr. Clifford's beautiful
drawing of the doorway (facing p. 3) is especially valuable as he was
able to take exact measurements of all its parts while the repairers'
scaffolding was still standing. The doors that he pictures have since
been replaced by a more elaborate pair with richly scrolled hinges and
strengthening bands of iron.

This entrance is one of the best known features of the cathedral, so
it will be interesting to quote the words of a few great authorities
concerning it. Fergusson, speaking of the cathedral in his "Illustrated
Handbook of Architecture," says: "Its western doorway, which remains
intact, is a fair specimen of the rich mode of decoration so prevalent
in that age. It must be considered rather as a continental than as an
English example. Had it been executed by native artists we should not
entirely miss the billet moulding which was so favourite a mode of
decoration with all the nations of the north." Kugler, the great art
historian, also thinks it continental in style, and compares it with the
architecture of the south-west of France. We even find it spoken of, on
account of the richness of its ornamentation, as Saracenic in character.
The late Prof. Freeman, in his "History of Architecture," is liberal
with his praise, and probably all Roffensians, at any rate, will agree
with him, when, in speaking of Norman doors with tympana, he says: "the
superb western portal at Rochester Cathedral is by far the finest
example of this kind, if not the finest of all Norman doorways."

The doorway is structurally interesting, as we have therein exemplified
a curious mode of forming a straight head over an aperture. The arches
of course bear all the weight of the super-structure, but the straight
band of masonry on which the figures of the Apostles are carved has to
support both itself and the stonework of the tympanum. The method by
which it is enabled to do this is as follows: the stones, the joints
being vertical, are locked into one another by semicircular ridges
fitting into corresponding indentations. Mr. Smirke, writing on aperture
heads in "Archæologia," vol. xxvii., said that he thought these
excrescences, or in masons' language, "joggles," insufficient for
security, and suggested that perhaps inside, out of sight, the joints
radiate like those of a skeme arch. He also commented on the
irregularity of the stones used here and throughout the whole front.
Another fact worthy of remark is that the semicircular arches of the
doorway are struck from slightly different centres.

The Mayor and Corporation of Rochester still have the right of entry in
their robes and with their insignia of office by the great west door. We
find the privilege of having their insignia borne in the cathedral on
record as early as 1448 in indentures between Bishop Lowe on the one
part, and the bailiff and townspeople of Rochester on the other. The
titles "mayor" and "citizens" were only granted later by Edward IV., in
a charter dated December 14th, 1461. In the indentures it was agreed,
among other matters, that the bailiff and his successors might cause to
be carried, before him and them by their sergeants, their mace or
maces--and the sword likewise if the king should ever give them one--not
only to and in the parish church, but also in the cathedral and
cemetery, especially on festival days, and processions, and solemn
sermons, and at the reception and installation of bishops, and at all
other fit times. On the other side they were to make no execution or
arrest within the precinct of the monastery and the palace of the
bishop, except the same should be specially required of the bishop or
prior whenever the same was made. Similar rights were granted to the
dignitaries of other cities about this time. For instance, in 1447 they
were conceded at Exeter, and at Worcester in 1462. A sword did not
become a part of the Rochester insignia until quite recently, after the
castle had been acquired as the property of the city. One, given by
Alderman J. R. Foord in 1871, is now worn by the mayor as its constable.
Besides the sword the insignia include a great mace, two sergeant's
maces, a silver oar (in token of admiralty jurisdiction over the
Medway), two constable's, and eight borsholder's staves, besides the
mayor's chain and badge.

Pepys, speaking of the visit to the cathedral of himself and some
friends in 1661, tells, in his diary, that they went "then away thence,
observing the great doors of the church, as they say, covered with the
skins of Danes." He is so accurate an observer that this must be taken
as conclusive evidence that there was such a tradition in his time, and
some ground for it, though no other record of anything of the kind is to
be found. However, even if it were likely, which many people will deny,
that the skins of Danes were ever nailed to church doors at Rochester,
it certainly is not that they would have been transferred by Normans
from the Saxon cathedral to their new one, or that, if so transferred,
they would have survived the fires and other dangers through which this
afterwards passed. There are traditions of the existence of human skin
on doors at Worcester Cathedral, where it is said to have belonged to a
robber who stole the sanctus bell from the high altar, and at Hadstock
and Copford, East Anglian churches. In these latter cases the Danes are
again mentioned. In 1848 all these doors had been removed from their
original positions (the old north doors of Worcester being still
preserved in the crypt) but Mr. Way succeeded in obtaining fragments of
the parchment-like substance from each for microscopic examination. They
were declared to be, in each case, human in their origin, and to have
belonged probably to fair-haired persons. These cases show flaying not
to have been unknown in England, even, to judge by the Worcester case,
after the Norman Conquest, and confirm the passages in records that seem
to refer to its existence.

#The Nave# has nothing else remarkable in its exterior. The perpendicular
windows in the north aisle wall, part of which was rebuilt in 1670, are
two-lighted, with irregular quatrefoils in their heads. Those of the
southern aisle, which was re-cased in 1664, are single-light, and only
three in number,--in the second, third, and fourth bays from the west.

The insertion of Perpendicular windows in the aisles took place about
the middle of the fifteenth century. The plainness of the south side,
where the Lady Chapel does not hide it, is perhaps explained by the fact
that it used to be hidden by the Cathedral Almonry. The westernmost bay
of each aisle is plain, and the next on the north side contains the now
walled-up Perpendicular doorway, inserted, when their new church was
built, for the entry, in their solemn processions, of the parishioners
of St. Nicholas, who passed out again by the west door. It is contained
within a rectangular framework, and has quatrefoils in the spandrels.

In the corner between the south aisle and the transept is the
Perpendicular #Lady Chapel#, three bays long from east to west, and two in
width towards the south. Its windows are three-lighted. They terminate
in the obtuse arches of their time and have their heads filled with
tracery. At about half its height each is divided by a transom or
horizontal mullion, beneath which the lights have cusped heads. The
chapel was originally vaulted, so is well buttressed, which the aisle
walls are not. The north aisle wall has its bays marked by flat
pilaster-like buttresses, and the southern has still less support, for
the similar buttresses rise only to the original level of the ground,
which is now cut away for a few feet along the side of the church.

#The North Transept# is in the Early English style. Flat buttresses with
offsets halve the sides and flank the end. The high gable, with three
circular windows and flanking pinnacles, is the work of Sir G. Scott,
who rebuilt it, in place of the low, commonplace one that had replaced
it about seventy years before. He also raised the roof to its original
pitch. The occurrence of blind arches between the windows here is to be
noticed, making continuous arcades of which the heads are carried by
single shafts. The windows in the northern bay of the west wall were all
inserted by Scott, who found only dilapidated blind arcades there, and
the doorway in its present form is also by him, he having found the old
entry very ruinous. The east side used to be almost entirely hidden by
Gundulf's tower, and is still slightly concealed. It has therefore no
windows except in the clerestory, and some bays even of this have none.

#The South Transept# is of rather later date than its fellow, and belongs
to the Early Decorated period. Its very interesting gable was lowered,
with the roof, at the same time as that of the north transept, but has
fortunately, like it, been replaced by Sir G. Scott. The chief authority
for the restoration seems to have been an engraving in the 1788 edition
of the "Custumale Roffense." The gable stands back a little and has its
base hidden by a parapet rising above a decorated string course. Beneath
a sculptured bust, near the apex, is a chequer-work cross, and lower
still a band of chequer-work bearing three shields of arms, the dark
squares in each case being formed by flints. The central shield contains
the arms of the see, that on the left three crowns, and that on the
right a cross with martlets. The transept is well buttressed, and the
gable is flanked by pinnacles, beneath which curious gargoyles project.
The five graduated windows of the upper range have double shafts on each
side, and the connected dripstone over the lower range ends in carved
heads. The clerestory of the west wall looking out over the aisle and
Lady Chapel roofs is similar to that on the east side and the quatrefoil
heads of the two-light windows help to mark the entry into the Decorated
period. The little room in the angle between the transept and the choir
aisle is used as a vestry and will have to be mentioned again.

#The North Side of the Choir# can, as has been said, be well seen from the
High Street. To one or two points in it attention may well be drawn. In
the window heads, the dog-tooth moulding, the characteristic ornament of
the Early English style, constantly occurs, and the openings often have
side shafts. In the lower tier of the presbytery windows Decorated
tracery has been inserted; elsewhere we have Early English work, or,
frequently, a modern copy of it. The lowest row of windows lights the
crypt. The gable at the end of the north choir transept, that above the
east wall of its aisle and that at the east end of the church, are all
by Sir G. Scott; they still require roofs of corresponding pitch, a need
both great and conspicuous. The gables replaced by these present ones
were flat and late in period. The east end and the transept end are both
flanked by towers, with double gables crowned by curious little
pinnacles, copied by Scott from one still remaining. The east gable has
three graduated windows, that to the transept aisle a quatrefoil within
a dog-toothed circle. The present form of the east end is altogether due
to Sir G. Scott; and to it and its history we shall devote more
attention in describing the interior of the church. This part of the
fabric is well buttressed.

Of #Gundulf's Tower#, on the north side of the choir, between the main and
choir transepts, only ruins now remain, but these are older than any
other part of the church's buildings still in existence above ground.
The tower was certainly Gundulf's work and built before his church. The
construction of the latter rendered useless two out of the four long
narrow windows that had been inserted in the tower, one in each side, on
the ground floor, and they were therefore blocked up. The tower, though
rather dilapidated, was still almost complete at nearly the end of the
last century. A view in Grose's "Antiquities," vol. iii., shows it as it
was in 1781. At that time it still rose as high as the parts of the
church beside it, and traces are to be seen in the print of the flying
bridge that formerly connected it with the Early English turret at the
north-west corner of the choir transept. There is now, however, only a
mere shell of the lower part left. The walls were 6 feet thick,
inclosing a space 24 feet square. In the "History and Antiquities of
Rochester" (1772), we are told that there were at that time traces of
one floor at a height of 20 feet, and of another 25 feet above that. The
walls then rose 20 feet more, giving a total height of 65 feet. During
the Early English period the north-east angle, which stands quite clear
of the church, was strengthened by massive buttresses, and a story,
apparently of wood, was added on projecting arches resembling
machicolations. This wooden story probably formed the bell chamber; the
machicolation-like supports still existed in 1781.

There has been much discussion as to the original purpose of the tower.
Some leading antiquaries of the eighteenth, and of the early part of
this century, thought that the bridge entrance at the top was at first
the only one and that the structure with its massive walls formed the
cathedral treasury. It must be remembered, however, that the early
English turret to which the bridge was thrown was not in existence until
much later. The lower part still remaining is so dilapidated, with all
its ashlar facing gone, that it seems impossible to fix the position of
the original entrance. At the present day there are two entrances, one
through a large opening in the north wall, the other through a doorway
in the south-west corner formed by knocking out the back of an old

It seems very likely that the tower was primarily intended to be a
defensive work. Whatever its original purpose, however, it is certain
that it was used for bells at a very early date. In or before 1154, for
he died in that year, Prior Reginald "made two bells and placed them in
the greater tower. One which was broken was applied to the making of
another bell." In support of the view that the tower was a defensive
work the suggestion has been made that the metal thus re-used may have
belonged to the original alarm bell. Two other bells came to the
cathedral in the twelfth century, and were probably placed here at once
as they are mentioned in the "Custumale Roffense," written about 1300,
as then hanging in the "greater tower," a name by which this is
distinguished from the long destroyed south one. Gundulf's Tower is
certainly, therefore, an early example of a detached campanile, and, if
built as such, was probably the first in this country.

As has been before mentioned, its reduction to a mere ruin is of quite
recent date. The author of the 1772 edition of the "History and
Antiquities of Rochester," thinking it a bell tower, wrote in that
work: "May the present reverend and learned gentlemen (the Dean and
Chapter), and their successors, experience the necessity of finishing
this venerable tower and applying it to the uses for which, it has been
conjectured, it was originally intended." In the second edition, of
1817, stands: "So far, we regret to say, is this ardent wish from having
been realized, that a part of this ancient tower has lately been taken
down to supply materials for the repairs of the church." Denunciations
follow of the action of the dean and chapter in thus demolishing one of
the most curious and interesting pieces of architecture remaining in

The space between the tower and the church seems to have been floored
and occupied by the wax-chandler's chamber and the sacristan's rooms.
The remains of an oven and chimney, conjectured to have been used for
the baking of altar-breads, have also been described.

#The South Side of the Choir# presents no very remarkable features. A
brief history of the efforts to save it during the latter part of last
century, and in 1825 and the following years, has been given in our
opening chapter. The wall of the choir aisle is supported by a flying
buttress as well as by the small room in the corner between it and the
south main transept. In the wall are three lancet windows, the
easternmost with dog-tooth ornament, and a fine doorway, which used to
open into the western range of the cloisters. The ends of the outer
mouldings of the doorway arch, which also have the dog-tooth, bend round
and upwards in an unusual way that is worthy of notice. All that can be
seen of the transept end is by Cottingham. He gave it a new ashlar
facing, which, as the wall was considerably out of the perpendicular,
constituted an invisible buttress. His destruction of the old brick
buttresses was a great improvement. The same architect found no gable,
and built the present rather flat one containing a circle ornamented
with zigzag mouldings. In the south wall of the transept aisle is a
Decorated window with beautiful tracery. This window was of course an
insertion. Remains of recesses on each side of it, like those still in
the transept end, made this evident until 1825, when they were hidden
beneath the smooth modern surface. The southern wall of the presbytery
is almost entirely concealed by the eighteenth century chapter room,
with its plain, square-headed, sashed windows. The clerestory, however,
which is like that on the north side, appears over the red-tiled roof of
that modern structure. In the basement on this side some windows have
quite recently been inserted, to light the new vestries in the crypt,
and a door opens into the cellar beneath the chapter room.

#The Monastic Buildings and Cloisters# originally stood in the usual
position on the south side of the nave, and were apparently of wood, but
these first structures having soon perished, their successors were
erected in an uncommon position, said to be unique in this country, on
the same side of the choir. At Lincoln, also, the cloister is indeed
beside the the choir, but to the north of it. The earliest monastic
buildings at Rochester were of Gundulf's time; the next, in the new
situation, were the work of Ernulf, who built the chapter house,
dormitory, and refectory. Of these fine specimens of later Norman
architecture, ruins still exist. The chapter house and dormitory formed
the east side of the cloisters. Of the western wall of the chapter house
three arches remain, with a recess, having zigzag mouldings continued
down to its base, and not merely round the head, on each side of the
central arch, between it and the others. The chapter house was an oblong
room, as some remains of it within the deanery prove, and must have been
fine and of ample size. It was raised above the ground level, and the
space beneath, into which the three lower archways (now walled up)
opened, was looked upon as an honourable place of burial; it was entered
by the middle arch, the side shafts of which have fine and elaborate
capitals, while the arch itself is richly sculptured and has elaborate
zigzag and other mouldings. The panels round it are said to contain
representations of the twelve signs of the zodiac, but all the carved
work here (general in Caen stone) is so worn and decayed that it is
impossible, in most cases, to feel sure of what was intended. The
damaged state of all the carved work is possibly to some extent a result
of the great fires of the twelfth century. Ernulf's diaper occurs in the
spandrels on either side of this central arch; and each of the outer
arches has zigzag and billet mouldings and, within them, a row of a
diaper pattern. Passing on to the south the next arch also has zigzag
and circular mouldings, while its lunette is occupied by a relief, now
so worn that the subject is scarcely discernible. It represents
Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. The father holds his son with his
outstretched left hand, and is about to slay him, when God's hand
appears in the clouds above. Behind Isaac is seen the ram that was
afterwards to be offered in his stead, and in the opposite corner,
behind Abraham, there seem to be traces of two small figures, probably
the two servants who had been left at a distance to await the
patriarch's return. This interpretation is confirmed by three words of
an inscription, which still remain round the inner part of the arch
(_Aries per cornua_). Beneath the lunette runs a fine band of foliated
ornament, including birds. The capitals are rich, and an angel and a
bird appear in those on the south side. Continuing southwards the still
remaining lower portion of the dormitory west wall has a blind arcade
with double intersecting heads, semicircular like all the other arches
here, but interrupted once or twice by an uncut arch.


On the south side of the cloisters was the refectory; the lower part of
its massive north wall still remains, and in it a fine doorway, with a
groined lavatory and towel recess, the work of Prior Helias about 1215.
The great thickness of the wall is, as will be explained shortly,
probably due to the fact that it was originally a part of the old
fortifications of the city on this side. The cellarer's and other
storerooms were, apparently, on the west side, and there seems to have
been a smaller guesten-hall to the south-east. Some corbels that helped
to support the cloister roofs are still to be seen, projecting from the
south wall of the church, and from Ernulf's buildings. The doorway
opening from the church into the western range has been already
described. Of this range itself nothing remains, but at its southern end
there is yet to be seen, half buried, a late Perpendicular porch. This
stands beside the road between the north main transept and the Prior's
Gate, and opens towards the episcopal precinct.


Of the old #Episcopal Palace#, famous for having been the home, during his
later years, of Cardinal Fisher, a considerable part still exists to the
south-west of the cathedral, between it and Boley Hill. The palace was
perhaps originally erected by Gundulf himself. It is said to have been
rebuilt, after a fire, by Bishop Gilbert de Glanvill (1185-1215), though
he may have found it sufficient to repair the shell then left, using
Caen stone for the purpose. Another definite notice of the palace is
found when we see Bishop Lowe, in 1459, dating an instrument from his
"new palace at Rochester." Here, again, it is probably a re-modelling
and not a complete reconstruction that is referred to, but the
re-modelling was certainly thorough, for many fifteenth century features
are to be seen in the part that is left.

The main framework of the whole rectangular structure probably dates
from Gundulf's or, at the latest, from Bishop Ralph's time; the simple
plan and the walls, 3 feet in thickness, being such as might be expected
in early Norman work. The building, which has a total length of 70
feet, is of stone, with a tiled roof, and now forms dwelling-houses. It
has a massive buttress in the centre of the southern face, and the
outlines of old windows can be traced in various parts. The western
gable end, which can be seen from Boley Hill, is also interesting and
worthy of attention. The cellars and vaulted passages extend even beyond
the building to the eastward, and are very massive in their
construction. Fragments of wrought masonry that probably once belonged
to the chapel have been dug up; they were mostly portions of capitals,
with beautiful foliated ornaments, or of column shafts.

Cardinal Fisher was the last Bishop of Rochester to reside here. He
received a visit from Erasmus in 1516, and this great scholar gave a
very bad account of the residence and its situation. Fisher himself
complained of its dilapidated state and of the rats that infested it.
Cardinal Wolsey stayed at the house with the bishop on the 4th of July,
1527, and wrote to the king on the next day: "I was right loveingly and
kindely by him entertained." After his cook's attempt, in 1531, to
poison him and his family at his London house, on Lambeth Marsh, Fisher
stayed continuously at Rochester, until, in 1534, he was peremptorily
summoned to the capital--never to return. The palace was continued to
the bishops by the charter constituting the new establishment, but they
neither inhabited it nor, in fact, lived much at Rochester at all. On
the spot where its old prison used to stand within the palace precincts,
the diocesan Register Office was erected in 1760.

The building at present known as the palace, in St. Margaret's Street,
has often been thought to be the old mansion with all these historical
associations; it did not, however, become the property of the bishops
until after 1674. In that year it was bequeathed by Francis Head, Esq.,
to his wife, with the arrangement that, after her death, "in case the
Church of England does continue so governed by Bishops of the true
Protestant faith," it should be settled on the Lord Bishop of Rochester
and his successors for the maintenance of hospitality near the cathedral
church, and as an invitation to him to preach once a year each at the
churches of St. Margaret and St. Nicholas in his cathedral city. This
building has been little used by the bishops, and has generally been
leased by them, like other residences of theirs, of which mention will
be made in the chapter on the see and its history. The small episcopal
revenue has usually only allowed of the maintenance of a single palace,
though more may have been desired and even necessary.


#The Enclosure and Gates# of the cathedral and priory have an interesting
history. The church was so close to the south wall of the city, which
bounded its domains on that side, that we find the line of the
fortifications moved time after time to allow of the growth of its
dependencies. Three acres of land, as appears from a deed of quit-claim
executed by Gundulf, had been acquired by the monks, about 1090, on the
south side of the town, and fenced round by a wall, which was probably
of slight construction, as no traces of it have been found. The first
extension of the city walls, which at the Conquest still followed the
old Roman lines, was made, also in Early Norman times, near the south
gate, so as to enclose the episcopal precinct, within which the palace
was then built. A little later Ernulf had to make more changes to obtain
room for his new monastic buildings. For this purpose he too overstepped
the old wall and used it apparently to form the northern side of his
southern range which lay just beyond. This would explain the massiveness
of the north wall of the refectory, which is 7 or 8 feet thick, while
the other walls are only 2½ or 3 feet. In this old wall is the fine
transitional doorway here pictured, with round arches, but with the
well-known dog-tooth moulding. Its inner trefoil arch is of a form very
uncommon in this country, but more usual on the Continent. Having gone
beyond the old wall, Ernulf had to raise a new one; this ran from the
south-east corner of the city to the corresponding corner of the
bishop's precinct. He probably then erected a predecessor to the present
Prior's Gate, for we find a gate of this name mentioned on the site,
before the one now to be seen was erected.

[Illustration: THE PRIOR'S GATE IN 1825

Ernulf's wall continued to be the boundary of the city until 1344, when
there was again an extension to the south. To this time our present
Prior's Gate probably belongs. The new wall, of which the demolition
must have been complete in 1725, when Minor Canon Row was built on its
line, was about 5½ feet thick, about 16 feet high, and crenellated.
Its foundations have to a great extent been traced. Later--it is not
certain at exactly what date--still more of the monastic property was
enclosed by yet another wall, of which the course is to some extent

In 1344 we find measures taken for the first time to isolate the priory
from the city. The erection of screens and doors guarding the approaches
to the monastic part of the cathedral has been recorded, and we now read
of the raising of a strong wall to the north of the church along the
side of the High Street. This was possibly due to ill-feeling between
the monks and the parishioners of St. Nicholas, possibly to dread of the
bands of travellers, soldiers, and pilgrims passing through the town on
their way to Canterbury or the Continent. It is to be observed, however,
that other ecclesiastical precincts were similarly protected about this
time. The close at Lincoln was walled round in Edward II.'s reign, as
evil-doers resorted thither and made attendances at night services
dangerous, and to the same period is assigned a like protection of the
close at Salisbury. Edward I.'s patents authorizing these walls of 1344
are both printed in the "Registrum Roffense."

#Gates to the Enclosure.# The Prior's Gate, to the south of the main
transept, has already been mentioned as dating from the middle of the
fourteenth century. Our illustration shows it as it appeared in 1825;
when it formed a portion of the Grammar School, of which more is to be
seen in the building to the right. The upper story was afterwards used
as the school-room of the chorister boys, but a new building has
recently been erected for them. Entrance to the cemetery and to the west
door of the cathedral was formerly, and can still be, obtained through
the rather later College Gate, which stands beside the High Street,
opposite the end of Pump Lane. This has also been known as Chertsey's or
Cemetery Gate, and has been identified as the Jasper's Gateway of Edwin
Drood. Earlier than either of the two just mentioned was St. William's
Gate, which stood on the site of the Post Office, to the north of the
main transept, to which it led from the High Street. It has now quite
gone. Its constant use rendered a fourth, the Deanery Gate, necessary to
keep private the priory grounds. This gate still existing, was formerly
called Sextry or Sacristy Gate, and dates from Edward III.'s reign,
being probably later than Prior's Gate though earlier than College
Gate. Yet another gate was built at the southern end of the west front,
because College Gate was always open to the parishioners of St.
Nicholas. This porter's gate was in existence during the last century,
but now both it and the cathedral almonry that used to stand near by
have disappeared. The only other gate within the precincts, that at the
south-west angle of the cloisters, has been already mentioned. College
Gate and Deanery Gate now have upper stories of wood, which form parts
of dwelling-houses.




  [10] The numbers in [] in this section refer to the plan.

The cathedral church of Rochester is, as has been already said, a very
small one, and we must not expect to find in it the grandeur and
impressiveness that great size often confers. As a whole, too, it is not
remarkable for beauty, though special parts may claim to possess this
attribute. Its chief claim to attention is its excellence as an example
of the gradual additions and successive alterations made to and in old
buildings during the long periods of their existence. In different parts
of the fabric specimens can be seen of almost all the noteworthy
variations of style that appeared in English ecclesiastical architecture
from the Early Norman to the Perpendicular period. Some opinion as to
the merits or demerits of various restoring architects during the last
three centuries may also be formed in it, for a very considerable amount
of their work remains in evidence. Many features of the building are
indeed remarkable in other respects, but we are probably correct in
saying that, as a whole, it is, to students of architecture, chiefly
historically interesting.

#The Ground Plan# is of the double cross form, frequent in buildings of
this class. The nave and choir both have aisles, but those of the choir
are walled off from it. The main transept is aisleless, but the north
and south choir transepts have each an aisle, or small chapel, on the
eastern side. Beneath the whole eastern part of the church extends the
magnificent crypt. The total length of the building is 305½ feet, of
which 147½ feet belong to the eastern arm. The main transept is 120
feet long, the choir transept 88 feet.


#The Nave.#--After passing beneath the great west doorway, through its new
richly-hinged doors, we descend by a flight of four steps into the
nave. On the inner side of the doorway arch are found a fine cable
moulding, occurring also on its outside, and the billet moulding, of
which the omission is so noticeable there. In the blind arcades that
decorate the nave end inside, we see, besides plain mouldings, specimens
of both the zigzag and the billet. The two upper arcades are so abruptly
cut by the great Perpendicular window as to make most conspicuous the
fact that this is a later insertion.

Of the aisle ends the northern contains the early fourteenth century
doorway, inserted for the use of the parishioners of St. Nicholas'
altar, while the lower part of the southern has a blind arcade of three
arches like those at the same level on either side of the great west
door. Each aisle end has also a round-headed Norman window, with a plain
circular moulding, and of the two small lights above, the northern
belongs to the recent restoration. In the south-west corner of the nave
is a beautiful little Norman doorway, which, opening into the tower
flanking the front on that side, has a fine embattled moulding round its
arch. The shafts of this small door, of the great west door, and of the
aisle end windows, all have scalloped caps, and other caps of this form
are seen in the arcades.

We will now, leaving the inside of the front, direct our attention to
the nave arcades. Rochester and Peterborough possess probably the best
examples of the Norman nave in this country, and the former is
interesting, also, as possibly giving us some idea of the appearance of
this part of the Norman church at Canterbury. The connection between the
archiepiscopal cathedral and this its eldest daughter was always close,
and the resemblances that can be pointed out in them are still numerous.
Mr. Parker, by the way, was so struck by the similarities in later,
Early English, work, as to suggest that the Rochester William de Hoo may
have been the William the Englishman, the younger William, of

It has been noticed that the architecture is plainer here than in
contemporary examples in France, but lighter, probably because intended
to have a wooden roof. From the west wall the Norman work extends as far
as the sixth bay of the nave arcades, the seventh and eighth bays being,
with part of the sixth, the work of Early Decorated builders. The half
piers at the west wall and the Norman piers facing each other in the
nave arcades form pairs, but each pair differs from the rest. The pier
capitals are flat, with scalloped ornaments. The semi-cylindrical shafts
starting from them are now stopped by the plain string course that
divides this from the next story. If they were continued further they
would only emphasize the irregular placing of the Perpendicular
clerestory windows, but they probably rose originally to bear the main
timbers of the roof. The arches of the lowest story are semicircular, of
course, and are in two orders. Both orders were, it is believed, plain
throughout, in early Norman times, and they still continue to be so on
the aisle side of the south arcade. The inner order is still plain
everywhere, but the outer has zigzag and other mouldings. In each bay of
the triforium, the tympanum is filled with an elaborate diaper around a
central ornament. This decoration varies in every bay, and is thought to
be a later insertion. It is noteworthy that the triforium arcades open
into the aisles as well as into the nave, an unusual arrangement, which
seems, however, here to be part of the design of the twelfth century.
This opinion is supported by the existence of the narrow gallery, now
blocked up, in the thickness of the wall. The early Norman triforium
arcades seem to have been removed by the architects of the following
period, and replaced in the present form. The aisles were perhaps
originally vaulted; the flat pilasters of their outer walls might then
have been built as vaulting shafts. If such was the case, the vaulting
must have been found too heavy for the walls, and a wooden roof have
been therefore adopted in its stead. The easternmost bay of the
triforium, on each side, is apparently later Norman like the rest, but
is really the work of masons of the Decorated period. It had been
demolished in connection with the rebuilding of the nave, in progress at
that time but abandoned when only two bays were finished. It was then
found that the best way to make the junction of the styles good would be
to restore the old work as accurately as possible. This was well done,
but differences of material and in methods of working save us from being

The two bays of Early Decorated work, just alluded to, complete the nave
eastwards. The transition from the round-arched to the pointed style is
made still more conspicuous by an increase in the height of the arcades,
which involved the discontinuance of the triforium; and the banded
shafts of dark Purbeck marble clustered round the later piers also
emphasize the change. The two piers at the junctions of the styles do
not pair, but we cannot regret the difference on the south side, as we
owe thereto the beautiful foliated capital here illustrated (p. 68).

The clerestory of the nave is divided from the stories below by an
enriched string course. It is of the same style throughout and dates
from the Perpendicular period. The predilection of the architects of
that time to substitute work of their own for that of their predecessors
in clerestories and great west windows of ecclesiastical buildings, has
been noticed by many writers. At Rochester they could not in either case
resist temptation. Their clerestory contains plain and uninteresting
three-light windows, which are, moreover, unsymmetrically placed with
regard to the arches beneath them. The roof is apparently of the same
date; it is flat and of wood, carried by corbels carved and painted to
represent angels bearing shields.


The two tower piers at the end of the nave, where the latter joins the
main transept, have their Purbeck marble shafts stopped at some height
from the ground. The most likely explanation of this is, that there used
to be here a solid stone screen [1], or rood loft, against which the
parish altar of St. Nicholas stood before 1423. On the west side of the
northern of the two rises a mass of masonry, so high as to partly block
the arch. It is built, to a great extent, at any rate, of old materials,
for on both sides of it are to be seen stones with fragments of plaited
Norman diapers. The purpose of this masonry has been the subject of much
discussion. It was at one time generally believed to have been raised,
as a buttress, to aid the pier in supporting the weight of the tower,
but this notion has since been ridiculed. The tower, we are reminded,
was not raised until 1343; the stability of its piers had been secured
before this date by the two new bays of the nave, and additional support
can not have been needed. Others suppose that the masonry belonged to
the stone screen spoken of above. A fine walled up arch on the north
side adds to rather than lessens our difficulties. It has good
mouldings,--springing from the capitals of two Purbeck marble shafts, of
which the eastern has unfortunately been broken away,--and the dripstone
terminates in a head, so mutilated that the face is quite lost. This
archway seems too wide to have been the entrance to the stairs leading
to the rood loft, a use which has been suggested for it. The occurrence
of the above-mentioned fragments of diapers on the wall within the arch,
as well as on the other side of the mass, may perhaps justify us in
concluding that these two surfaces are both of the same date, and that
the archway was walled up originally.


It seems possible that we have, after all, a buttress to deal with here.
It is known that the north transept and the north-west tower pier were
raised before the adjoining parts to the south and west, but many have
supposed that the north tower-arch was not thrown across until later. If
it was built at the earlier time, a temporary support to the pier
against its thrust may have been judged expedient, until the new work at
the end of the nave should be completed. The mass that we are discussing
seems to have been hurriedly raised with old materials at hand, and,
from the carelessness which allowed fragments of old ornament to appear
here and there on the surface, not to have been intended to be
permanent. It was not until 1320, or later, apparently, that the design
of rebuilding the nave was finally abandoned, and a junction of the new
and the Norman work made. It seems, therefore, no great thing to suppose
that the originally temporary support lingered on until 1327, to be then
retained in connection with the oratory made, _in angulo navis_, for the
Reserved Sacrament, for the parishioners of St. Nicholas. I have never
seen or heard of any record as to which corner is the _angulum_ referred
to. It is known, however, that provision for the reservation of the
Blessed Sacrament was often made to the north of the altar, and that we
find Sacrament Houses in this position in churches that possess them.


#The Aisle Walls# have the bays marked by flat pilasters, to be traced
back perhaps to Early Norman vaulting shafts. Springings of the Early
Decorated vaulting, that once covered the two eastern bays, are still to
be seen, but the aisles are now roofed with wood throughout. String
courses are continued beneath the windows, which latter have been
described and commented on in our chapter on the exterior of the church.


The so-called #Lady Chapel# was really built as a nave to the Lady Chapel
proper in the south transept. On the east side a single broad arch opens
into the transept, and in the wall above are to be seen traces of the
outer mouldings of the two arches (like those on the north side) that
this single wide one replaced. A tablet on the south wall records that
the chapel was restored, in 1852, by M. E. G., _i.e._, the wife of Canon
Griffith. It is now used for morning prayers by the Grammar School, and
for some sparsely-attended services. From 1742 until well into the
present century the Bishop's consistory court sat here, after having
been held formerly at the western end of the south aisle of the nave.
The chapel seems to have been vaulted, and we have, perhaps, to regret
here the loss of a fine fan-traceried roof.


#The South Transept# is of the Early Decorated period, and rather later
than its fellow. In the east wall, opposite the wide arch leading into
the so-called Lady Chapel, two bays were, about 1320, included under one
arch to form a larger recess for the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The king and queen corbel heads of this arch were once painted, and the
colours are said to have been still tolerably fresh in 1840. The
clerestory windows on each side are two-lighted, with quatrefoil heads.
They have a gallery running before them, but the screens to this vary.
On the east side the screen before each window has a broad pointed arch
of the width of the window, flanked by a pair of narrow ones; on the
west it copies the window. The occurrence of the dog-tooth moulding
should be noticed. The transept end has an upper range of five
single-light pointed windows, graduated in height towards the centre,
divided by narrow blind arches, and having a screen arcade of five
arches in front, one arch before each light. The whole arrangement of
the end is shown in our illustration. Figures in fresco could, in 1840,
in spite of coats of whitewash, still be traced on the lower part of the

The roof of the transept is almost entirely of wood, though in the form
of a quadripartite stone vault with longitudinal and transverse ridge
pieces. The springings of the ribs are indeed of stone but otherwise the
ceiling is of wood throughout. Sir G. Scott found the whole greatly in
need of repair,--the ribs rotten and decayed, and the spaces between
them filled principally with plaster,--and thoroughly restored it.

This part of the church, and all the rest to the east of the nave, is
enriched with shafts of the famous dark marble from the quarries of the
Isle of Purbeck. The vaulting shafts of this material are generally
carried to the ground, but over the head of the wide outer arches in the
east and west walls here, they rise from finely carved console heads.

At the southern end of the great altar recess in the east wall, a small
pointed doorway opens into the little room [2], so noticeable outside,
in the angle between the transept and the south choir aisle. This room,
like so many other parts of the building, has had considerable
vicissitudes. Here are said to have been kept at one time the valuables
belonging to the altars in this part of the church. Then, at the end of
the eighteenth and during the earlier part of this century, the room is
mentioned and marked on plans as the coal hole. It is now more
honourably used again, as the vestry of the masters and king's scholars
of the Grammar School, who have to attend the cathedral services on
Sundays and Saints' Days.

#The Crossing# is noticeable for the finely clustered shafts--the tower
piers. The clearance hence, in 1730, of a ringers gallery has been
already mentioned. In 1825 Mr. Cottingham found the space vaulted. His
changes in the tower included a replacing of the vault with a flat
wooden ceiling, of which the main beams ran from east to west. This he
changed again in 1840 for the present more elaborate, but not altogether
satisfactory ceiling, with its great cross beams and pendant bosses. An
admiring contemporary account tells us that the largest of these bosses,
though looking so small from below, are 3 feet 3 inches in diameter,
while the beam mouldings are 5 feet 3 inches in girth, and the wall
mouldings 5 feet 7½ inches. The ceiling is coloured, but for neither
colouring nor ornament does it deserve praise.


#The North Transept# was erected about 1235, in the Early English period
and style. The screens to the gallery before the clerestory lancets have
a main arch in each bay, with dog-tooth moulding, divided into three by
Purbeck marble shafts placed the width of the window apart. In each bay
without a window there is a row of blind arcading, which, like the
mouldings of the arches by which the gallery passes through the wall
piers, springs from carved corbel heads. In the transept end the screens
before the three lancets of the clerestory are of the usual form, but
are adapted to their graduated heights, and there are small additional
arches, one at each side.

The arch opening into the north aisle shows a curious device for
preserving a different level on each of its sides. On the transept side
we see the mouldings of an arch like, and on the same level as, its
neighbours to the north. The western half of the whole thickness of the
wall is, however, continued lower, exhibiting a plain surface to the
east, but terminating on the aisle side, at the height of the eastern
arches of the nave, in mouldings that we should have expected to find
higher up. This lower level was necessary on account of the vaulting at
this end of the aisle, of which traces still remain, but the whole
arrangement was clumsy, and we cannot be surprised at not finding it
repeated on the other side of the church.

The next bay has on the triforium level a curious windowless recess, the
mouldings of whose arch spring from two shafts on each side. There is
another very similar recess opposite, but with only single side shafts.

The two northern bays of the east wall are occupied by a wide and deep
recess [3], the arched ceiling of which rises to within 3 or 4 feet of
the clerestory level. The outside shafts, and those from which the
central ribs of the ceiling used to spring, have all gone, though their
caps remain. Within this great recess there is, on the spectator's
right, a small one, with side shafts, containing a piscina. On the left,
in the church's north wall, is a window, which rises to only half the
height of the pointed arch, with side shafts, within which it is
inclosed. It was at one time the general belief that this recess used to
be the site of the parochial altar of St. Nicholas, which may possibly
have stood here during the short time between the completion of the
north transept and that of the new work at the east end of the nave, for
a document published in the "Registrum Roffense" tells us that, after a
dispute about a removal, the position before the pulpitum was assigned
to it in 1322. Arrangements were then made to avoid any mutual
disturbance of the services of the monks and the parishioners, and the
new church for the latter was already talked of. The writer of the
"History and Antiquities of Rochester,"[11] quotes a will that suggests
a possibility that an altar of Jesu stood on this spot.

  [11] See note on p. 10.

The transept end and its west wall have windows of the same form at the
triforium level, and there is a similar resemblance in the blind arcades
below, except for the doorway restored by Sir G. Scott, and surmounted
by an obtuse arch. The arch to the east of this doorway was cleared of
masonry in 1840. A large figure, in distemper, of St. Christopher
bearing the Infant Christ was then uncovered, but only to fall away as
the air was admitted to it. Miss Stevens, daughter of the dean, made as
complete a copy of it as possible, as stone by stone was carefully
removed to disclose only a small piece at a time, and her drawing, with
a note by Mr. Spence, is preserved in the British Museum.

The vaulting of this transept is rather remarkable. It is octopartite in
plan, developed from the sexpartite form by the addition of a
longitudinal ridge-rib which divides its larger cells. The fine bosses
in both transepts merit attention, and so do the corbel-heads to the
intermediate vaulting shafts in this one.

#The Font# [4] standing in the centre of the nave, only a short distance
from the west door was erected in memory of the late Canon Burrows, who
held a stall here from 1881 until his death in 1892. Executed for the
subscribers, in Hopton Wood stone, by Mr. T. Earp, it is round in form,
supported by a central column, of quatrefoil section, and four shafts
placed corner-wise, rising from a double plinth, on which, facing the
door, is the brass inscription tablet. Round the bowl are four groups in
relief, facing the cardinal points, with eight single figures inserted
in pairs between them. The subject of the west group is "Suffer little
children to come unto me;" then passing round to our left we see, in
order, figures of Noah and Moses, the Baptism of the Gentile (typified
by the Ethiopian), figures of St. Bartholomew and St. Mary Magdalene,
the Baptism of our Lord, figures of St. Barnabas and St. Cornelius, the
Baptism of the Jew (typified by St. Paul), and finally, figures of St.
Lydia and St. Winfred.

The old font, now removed to Deptford parish church, used to stand
beneath the second arch, from the west, of the south nave arcade. Made
in 1848, this was first used in 1850. In form, it was square and
enriched, and borne by a circular column and four corner shafts. A still
earlier font is to be seen in an engraving made by John Coney during the
second decade of the present century. This stood under the eastern side
of the third arch of the same nave arcade, was octagonal in form, with
panelled sides, and had a substantial railing round it.

#The Pulpit# [5] in the nave is more elaborate in form and decoration than
that now in the choir. It was designed for the choir by Mr. Cottingham,
in 1840, and stood there, opposite the bishop's throne, until it was
removed to its present position by Sir Gilbert Scott. #The Stalls# are
modern and very plain. A tablet on them tells us that they were erected
in memory of Mr. Philip Cazenove, who died in 1880, by his son Arthur,
an honorary canon. #The Lectern# is of carved wood, of the well-known form
in which the book is borne by an eagle's out-spread wings.

#Monuments.#--The nave and main transept possess none that are very old or
very remarkable, but the following seem to deserve mention. Against the
south wall, in the fourth bay from the west, is the monument of John,
Lord Henniker [6], who died in 1803. Over the sarcophagus in relief
Honour is crowning Benevolence, while a medallion of the deceased, with
a coronet and an unfolded patent of peerage, and his coat of arms are
seen against the base. This monument was erected by J. Bacon, jun., in
1806, and is signed with his name.

The next bay to the east contains no window, but is occupied by the
monument to Lady Henniker [7], who died in 1792, before her husband was
ennobled. This monument is, to a great extent, constructed of "Coad's
artificial stone," and rises beneath "a neat Gothic arch" of that
material. It shows, on a base of gray marble, a sarcophagus of white
marble between two figures of Time and Eternity. In this case the
sarcophagus is detached and not in relief, and the figures also stand

On the wall at the end of the south transept, under the central window,
is a monument to Richard Watts, Esq. [8], erected in his memory by the
mayor and citizens in 1736. A coloured bust, with long gray beard,
stands forth curiously above the inscription. This bust was given, to be
placed here, by Joseph Brooke, Esq., whose family had acquired
possession of Watts's house by purchase. There has been much discussion
as to its material, which seems, however, to be not terra-cotta or some
other composition, but firestone. Watts sat as member for Rochester in
Queen Elizabeth's second Parliament, and we have already told how he had
the honour of entertaining her 1573, at his house, "Satis." He is famous
for the provisions that he made in his will for the relief of the poor
of Rochester, Watts's Almshouses on the Maidstone road being one of the
sights of the town; but he is perhaps best known of all for his
foundation of the "House of the 6 poor travellers." Poor wayfarers, to
this number nightly, "not being Rogues or Proctors," are here provided
with supper, bed and breakfast, and presented besides with 4_d._ each
when they leave. Wonderful tales of wicked lawyers have at times been
current in explanation of this coupling of Proctors with Rogues, but the
true explanation is that Proctor is used in a quite obsolete sense here.
It has the same meaning, probably, as in the following passage from
Harrison's "Description of Britain," 1577: "Among Roges and idle persons
we finde to be comprised all Proctors that go up and down with
counterfeit licences, cosiners, and such as go about the countrey using
unlawful games," etc. It was used also of mendicant lepers, the
"Proctors to some spittal house," and of men who carried dispensations
about the country. Watts's will was proved on the 20th of September,

Just beneath the Watts monument is a brass tablet in memory of the
writer who has made the House of the six poor travellers so well known
throughout the English-speaking world. This tablet was placed here by
the executors of Charles Dickens "to connect his memory with the scenes
in which his earliest and latest years were passed, and with the
associations of Rochester Cathedral and its neighbourhood which extended
over all his life."

The same transept contains on its east wall a monument, with a medallion
bust, to another charitable Roffensian, Sir Richard Head, an alderman of
the city after the Restoration, and one of its members of Parliament in
1667. He was again member in 1678-79, and before this had been made a
baronet. It was at his house that King James II. stayed, at Rochester,
after his flight from London. Sir Richard died on the 18th of September,
1689, at the age of eighty, arranging by his will that the profits of
some cottages and land at Higham should be distributed, to the amount of
two shillings a week, in bread, to the poor at St. Nicholas Church. The
overplus was at the end of the year to be divided among four of the most
ancient men, and four of the most ancient women of the parish. The
charity still remains, but its scheme has been to some extent modified
by the Charity Commissioners.

In the same transept, near the entrance to the south choir aisle, stands
a bust of Dr. Franklin, who died in 1833. This monument is by S. Joseph,
and near it on the south wall is a tablet, with a medallion bust, in
memory of Joseph Maas, the great tenor singer, whose name is not yet
forgotten in the musical world.

The recess on the east side of the north transept contains a mural
tablet in memory of Dr. Augustine Caesar, who died in 1683. This is
chiefly remarkable for its pompous Latin inscription, which tells how he
came, saw, and conquered diseases invincible to others, and calls on
fevers and all human ills to exult now that their great foe has passed
away in a happy death, and is as a Caesar, enrolled among the gods. From
other sources we learn how he obtained his degree of M.D. from Oxford,
in 1660, after a petition in which he explained that it was to escape
oaths contrary to his loyalty, that he had forborne to take it during
"the late troubles."

#The Pavement# of this part of the church is of plain stone. In the floor
are still to be seen many #Memorial slabs#, but more have been either
covered up or lost. In the centre of the south transept there still
remains the matrix of what was once a splendid brass, representing a
bishop, in his episcopal robes and with his crozier, beneath a rich
canopy with a shield of arms on either side of his head. In the great
recess in the north transept there is placed against the wall,
lozenge-wise, the matrix of a brass of several figures. We are told, by
Mr. Spence, of the existence, as recently as 1840, of three matrices in
the south aisle, six in the nave, one in the north aisle, nine in the
north transept, besides a tenth on the wall, and five in the south
transept. Of the six in the nave, one near the steps at the west end had
evidently held a fine episcopal brass, and another very ancient, had
once contained the figure of a knight. There was also here a slab with a
hollow, said to have been a socket for an axe, but evidently due to a
wearing of the stone, a piece of Sussex marble. The death of Cardinal
Fisher was said to have been commemorated by this. The specimen in the
north aisle was very elaborate, intended for the figure of a bishop, in
whose dress it was noticeable that both peaks of the mitre were intended
to be shown. The matrix that Mr. Spence especially described in the
south transept is evidently the one that still remains there. Besides
all these matrices or sockets of brasses he mentions a slab to the north
of the steps leading to the choir which he thought to be, probably, a
coffin-lid reversed.

#The Stained Glass# in the western part of the church is all modern. In it
we see specimens of the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell, whose later
windows are certainly finer than their earlier ones. Even with their
best before us we cannot, however, help wishing for old work. We hope to
see soon all the clerestory and aisle windows bright with colour. They
will then be more beautiful in themselves, and they will also moderate
the glaring light which detracts much from the effect of the nave.

The great west window is, below the springing of its arch, separated
into eight lights, which are divided into two tiers by a transom or
horizontal mullion. Beginning from the left or south side we have, in
the eight spaces of the lower tier, Abraham, blessed by Melchisedec
after his victory over the five kings; Moses and the overthrow of the
Egyptians in the Red Sea; Joshua commanding the sun to stand still;
Gideon, overthrowing the Midianites; Jephthah's victorious return;
Samson carrying off the gates of Gaza; David slaying the lion; and
finally Nehemiah at the building of the walls of Jerusalem. In the upper
eight spaces are single figures of the heroes celebrated in these
scenes. In the next row, of twelve complete spaces, the lowest in the
head of the window are the figures of other heroes. These are, in order,
from the left, Caleb, Othniel, Deborah, Barak, Samuel, Jonathan,
Beraiah, Jehosophat, Hezekiah, Josiah, Matthias, and Judas Maccabeus.
Next above come ten military saints: SS. Maurice, David, Edmund, Alban,
George, Andrew, Louis, Martin, Patrick and Gereon. There are besides in
the head of the window devices of the corps of Royal Engineers; the
badges of the grenade and crown; the national emblems of the rose,
thistle, shamrock and leek; emblematic subjects, such as the Helmet of
Salvation and the Breastplate of Righteousness; and armed angels. The
arrangement of the window is well seen in our view of the nave looking
west. It is in memory of the officers and men of the Royal Engineers who
fell in the South African and Afghan campaigns. Their names are recorded
in crudely coloured mosaic tablets in the upper of the two arcades

The window at the end of the north aisle is in memory of Lieut. T. Rue
Henn, R.E., killed at Maiwand in 1880. It contains three medallions, of
scenes from the life of Jonathan:[12] his victorious onslaught on the
Philistines, made when attended only by his armour-bearer; his bestowal
of his robes and arms on David; and his death, slain by the Philistines
in the battle of Mount Gilboa.

  [12] Sam. xiv. 4-14; xviii. 1-4; xxxi. 2.

The corresponding window at the end of the south aisle is in memory of
Col. A. W. Durnford, R.E., who fell at Isandlwhana in 1879. This has
three similar medallions illustrating great deeds of Judas
Maccabeus:[13] his taking of the spoils of the "great host out of
Samaria," with the sword of Apolonius their general; his exhortation of
the small part of his army that had not fled to die manfully; and
finally his death in this his last battle.

  [13] 1 Macc. iii. 12; ix. 10; ix. 18.

The only window with stained glass in the aisle walls is the first from
the west on the south side, in memory of Lieut. R. da Costa Porta, who
died in the Egyptian expedition of 1882. It has two scenes: Peter
walking on the water, and Christ stilling the tempest.

The windows in the north transept end are filled with stained glass in
memory of Archdeacon King. In the lower tier of three, we see, beginning
from the left, a figure of St. Philip, the deacon, with a representation
below of the laying on of hands (Acts, vi. 6); the Lord Jesus, with
three angels on either side, and underneath a scene with six figures,
including a saint in chains before a judge; St. Stephen, the
proto-martyr, with the scene of his death beneath. Some money remained
after the completion of these windows, so the upper range was also
filled. In it are figures of the three archangels: St. Raphael, St.
Michael slaying the dragon, and St. Gabriel.

The upper range of five windows in the south transept end commemorates
the officers of the corps of Royal Engineers, who died in the Peninsular
and Waterloo campaigns. Their names are recorded in the mosaic tablets
in the lowest arcade at the west end of the nave. The subjects, from the
left, are St. Maurice, St. Nicholas, St. George, St. James and St.
Adrian. The three central of these windows have small scenes beneath the
figures. The lower windows, given by the same corps, are in memory of
General Gordon and others of its members who died in the Egyptian
campaign. The three windows are each two-lighted, and each light
contains a single figure. There are represented in them, in order, St.
Florian, St. Gereon, St. Martin, St. Alban, St. Denis, and St.
Longinus. The Royal Engineers, it will be seen, have appropriately
chosen Old Testament heroes, and military saints for representation in
all their glass.

#The North Choir Aisle# and the southern are both walled off from the
choir itself. One of the screens that used to divide the monastic from
the parochial part of the church halves the four bays of the north
aisle, the door in it being approached by a flight of eight wooden
steps, which cover those of stone so worn by the passage of the pilgrims
who in old times thronged to St. William's shrine. The westernmost door
in the north wall formerly gave access to Gundulf's tower, the
easternmost now leads to the belfry.

#Monuments.#--Coming from the north transept we see, to the right, the
tomb ascribed to Bishop Hamo de Hythe, who died in 1352. It is certainly
in the style of that time. The elaborate ornamentation of the arch under
the canopy is worthy of attention. At the back, beneath the canopy, is
the demi-figure of an angel, holding a shield, but the high, panelled
tomb has lost its effigy, if it ever bore one. The monument has suffered
much, but still bears many traces of colour. Just opposite it is a mural
monument commemorative of William Streaton, who died in 1609, after
having been no less than nine times mayor of the city.

In the plain stone pavement there are crowded together, to the west of
the steps, as many as eleven matrices of brasses.

#The Organ#, on the screen beneath the choir arch, owes its present form
to Sir G. Scott, who divided it, placing half at either end of the
screen, and thus preserved the vista of the choir, when he designed the
new case.

In early times we read of the gift of an organ by Bishop Gilbert de
Glanvill and that, during the terrible visitation of Simon de Montfort's
troops, the "organs were raised in the voice of weeping." Such casual
references are all that we find before the seventeenth century. In 1634,
however, Archbishop Laud is informed of a recent great expenditure on
the "making of the organs." This new purchase narrowly escaped rough
usage at the hands of the Roundhead soldiery in 1642, for the troops, in
their journey into Kent, left "the organs to be pluckt downe" on their
return, but found them, then, already removed, of course with more
gentle handling than they themselves would have used. The instrument
was soon set up again after the Restoration, and Pepys, on April 10th,
1661, heard "the organs then a-tuning." In 1688, £160 was spent on its
renovation and on a new "chair organ," a smaller, portable form. In 1791
a fine new organ was constructed by Greene, which stood over the middle
of the screen and its case, with pinnacles, etc., "in the Gothic style"
was designed by the Rev. -- Ollive. This instrument was
added to by Hill towards the middle of the present century at Canon
Griffith's expense. The choir arch, above, continued draped until
Scott's time, though many complained of the tawdriness of this
decoration, which hid also from the nave the vaulting of the choir.


#The Organ Screen#, at the head of the flight of ten steps by which the
higher level of the choir is reached, has had its face towards the nave
decorated recently, in memory of the late Dean Scott, joint compiler of
the famous lexicon. The four figures on each side of the original
fourteenth century doorway, represent, in order from the left, St.
Andrew, King Ethelbert, St. Justus, St. Paulinus, Bishop Gundulf, the
sacrist William de Hoo, Bishop Walter de Merton, and Cardinal John
Fisher. The whole was designed by Mr. John Pearson, R.A., and the
statues were executed, in Weldon stone, by Mr. Hitch. The work is
careful, but it is amusing to notice that in the model held by Gundulf,
and presumably intended for his own church, there appears the great
Perpendicular window, now so prominent in the west front.

Sir Gilbert Scott had, with archæological correctness, left this side of
the screen bare. It was kept so originally on account of the position
before it of the other screen, the one against which St. Nicholas' altar
stood. Earlier attempts than the present one have, however, been made to
ornament it. In 1730 an order was given for the face towards the nave to
be wainscoted, and in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for October, 1798, we
read a criticism of some work then just carried out. We are told of
pointed arches and tracery merely punched out, of crockets and finials
barely hinted without any fine forms or beautiful relief, and of the
lack of any "deep-shadowed infinity of mouldings."

#The Choir# is entered through the iron gates in the central doorway of
the screen. The height of its floor above that of the nave is due to the
splendid crypt on which it stands. It is all, excepting one or two
features which we must point out later, in the Early English style, and
was finished early in the thirteenth century.

Very noticeable to everyone coming into this part of the church is the
great, some think excessive, use made of the famous dark marble from the
quarries of Purbeck, in the vaulting and other shafts, in their bands,
and in the string-courses that divide the stories. These, though now so
dull, will admit of a high polish, but, unfortunately, do not retain it
long. A small specimen in the south choir transept shows how beautiful
the polished stone is. Polishing would probably also relieve them of
their present rather heavy effect. The shafts generally spring from the
ground, from bases of the coarser Petworth or Bethersden marble, and
some of them have caps of hard stone. Above the choir stalls the main
groups of vaulting shafts rise from finely carved brackets, of which two
are here illustrated (pp. 88, 91), and the intermediate single ones from
carved corbel heads, all of the same fine material as the shafts
themselves. Some of these ornaments were, when uncovered in 1840, "very
skilfully restored in mastic by Mr. Hamerton, a sculptor in the employ
of Mr. Cottingham."


The vaulting is worthy of attention and is generally sexpartite in plan,
although the simpler quadripartite form occurs in places. An inequality
in the division of the side cells of the transept vaulting, due to the
difference in width of the bays, has a rather curious effect. The ribs
of the vaulting, throughout the eastern arm, are painted with simple
lines of colour, with a rather pleasing effect.


The gallery before the single light clerestory windows gave once an
open passage all round, but it is now blocked at the end of the south
transept. In front of each window it has a triple screen of which the
general form is shown in our illustration of a window of the choir
proper and in our view of the east end. It is owing to the existence
over the transept aisles of two rooms, known as the Treasury and the
Indulgence Chamber, that no clerestory windows are to be seen there, but
only blind arcading and blank wall. In the inner, wider bays of the
transepts we notice that the usual triple screens are extended by two
additional arches of the lower height towards the centre of the church.

The clerestory gallery is, on each side of the choir proper, quite in
the thickness of the wall. The core of the latter is Norman, but its
facing, including the blind arcade at the triforium level, belongs to
the Early English period.

On either side of the presbytery the clerestory gallery springs from
wall-piers with clustered Purbeck shafts. The tracery of the windows,
thus ornamented here, is later than the windows themselves, and is an
insertion of the Decorated period. So is also that of the windows on the
east side, and at the end, of the south transept aisle. The latter is
unique in this cathedral, and we have thought it worthy of illustration.
Remains of clustered columns, to be seen in the east wall of the north
transept aisle, remind us of the numerous changes that so many parts of
the fabric have undergone.

The east end has only taken its present form since Sir G. Scott's work,
between 1870 and 1875. In 1825 Cottingham removed a huge altar screen
thence, and opened and renewed the lower range of windows, of which the
central had been quite, and the other two partly, blocked with
brickwork. He, however, still left the communion table against the wall,
and, instead of doing away with the great upper window then existing,
only repaired it. This great window, occupying the whole space from the
gallery to the vaulting, was divided into nine lights, of which the
inner seven were cut by a transom or horizontal mullion. Photographs of
three drawings by Mr. Gunning, made in 1842, are preserved in the
chapter room, and show this east end, and the two sides of the organ
screen, as they were before Scott's alterations.

The north transept end is very like the east end in its general design,
but has, low down, the two windows lighting the Merton tomb, and the
tiny one over the same bishop's Elizabethan effigy. The south transept
end is again much the same, but has the spaces between the wall-piers
and under its outer windows filled in with masonry, in which are the
openings to two passages, now blocked, which led respectively up to the
Indulgence Chamber and down to the crypt.

There are three other doorways, the uses of which we must also mention.
One at the north-west corner of the north transept leads to the
staircase in the angle turret there; another, on the other side of the
transept, is the way to the Treasury, to the clerestory gallery, and, by
the gallery, to the Indulgence Chamber. The third is the splendid
chapter-house doorway in the south transept aisle. To this one a special
section will presently be devoted.

We have spoken more than once of the Treasury and the Indulgence
Chamber. The latter is little used now, if at all, possibly because of
the rather adventurous approach to it; but in the former the cathedral
plate is still kept.

[Illustration: CORBEL IN CHOIR (H. P. CLIFFORD DEL.).]

In the #Paving# of the choir there is a considerable variety. Up the choir
proper we see slabs of variously coloured stones arranged in a not very
elaborate pattern, part of the north transept and the whole of its aisle
are also paved with stones of different colours "beautifully disposed,"
and there is a similar but simpler flooring behind the altar. To nearly
all the rest of the eastern arm was given by Sir G. Scott a glittering
floor of encaustic tiles; but much of the pavement of the south transept
and its aisle is still of plain stone. The tiles have mostly old
designs, taken from some mediæval examples still to be seen in the south
choir transept and under an arch on the east side of the northern. To
the east of the crossing is the matrix of a fine brass, of a bishop in
full robes with mitre and crosier, with two shields of arms on each side
of the figure. Farther on, between the altar and its rails, the tiling
is very elaborate and, in a ring of it there, the signs of the zodiac
appear. At the top of the dark marble altar steps there are tiles again.
Those in front have representations of the seven virtues, and two
others, with angels, are to be seen on each side.


#The Stalls# of the dean and canons stand against the organ screen and
face towards the east. They were designed, in the Gothic style, by Sir
G. Scott, and have no canopies on account of the painted decoration
above. The choir stalls also owe their present form to Scott, but he
incorporated in them as much old work as possible. The seats against the
wall on each side (the misericords) are all new, but not so are the
trefoil-headed arcade and the massive oak beam which bear the standards
supporting their book-rests. This arcade still has some of its original
colouring, and belongs probably to the original furniture of the choir
at the time of its completion, early in the thirteenth century. Many
sections of the heavy beam above are also old, perhaps of the same age.
The backs of the front row of seats, bearing the book-rests to the
middle row, are chiefly constructed of old Tudor panelling, which once
belonged to the book-desks made for the new establishment in 1541.
Tracing the history of the furniture from this time, we find Archbishop
Laud, in 1634, ordering a new fair desk to be provided without delay.
After the Civil War considerable repairs were no doubt needed, but it is
not until 1742-43 that we find any great works undertaken. Wainscoting
and pews were then erected, and we read of a furnishing of choir seats,
and of stalls for the dean and prebendaries under the organ. Only slight
alterations were made in these by Mr. Cottingham, but they were, in
1840, cleared of paint under his direction, and "beautifully grained as
panel oak." Finally, in 1870-75, they were done away with by Scott,
whose new stalls were, together with other interior fittings of the
choir, paid for with a sum of £3,000 generously given by Dr. and Mrs.
Griffith, to whom the cathedral was already greatly indebted.


The old pews mentioned above rose in tiers, high and plain, on either
side of the central alley, and the wainscoting behind them shut off the
transepts, turning them into separate chapels. They and it were only
removed in 1867.

#Decorative Mural Painting.#--On removing the panelling at the back of the
old choir stalls, Sir Gilbert Scott found that the whole length of the
walls had once been painted. The old stalls were fortunately so high
that they had saved not only the lower border, which, with its ribbon
pattern and yellow six-petalled roses, is the same on each wall, but
nearly a complete row of the main design as well. Scott retained this,
and repeated it over the rest of the space, up to the top border, of
which traces remained just under the first string-course. This upper
border varies slightly on the different sides. The shields in it,
formerly blank, are now occupied with the coats-of-arms of bishops of
the see.

The pattern that covers the space between the borders is certainly
heraldic. The lions in the red quatrefoils, and the fleurs-de-lis in the
alternate blue spaces, correspond in every possible way--in form,
colour, and ground--with those of the royal arms of England and of
France. Dating, as they almost certainly do, from the fourteenth
century, they remind us of the attempts of Edward III. and his brave son
to unite both realms under his sway. The idea of the design may have
come from Canterbury, where an earlier border, of similar materials,
alluded perhaps to Edward II.'s marriage with Isabella of France. After
making this suggestion, Canon Scott Robertson[14] records a mention of
the use, at much the same time, of a similarly constituted pattern on
some altar-cloths at Westminster Abbey.

  [14] "Archæologia Cantiana," x. 70.

[Illustration: CORBEL IN CHOIR (H. P. CLIFFORD DEL.).]

The painting is continued on oak panelling across the organ screen. A
piece of the original panelling, with a fragment of an earlier rather
tartan-like pattern also, is now hung, under glass, on a pier opposite
the chapter-house door.

#The Bishop's Throne#, on the south side, just to the west of the
crossing, is of carved oak, in the Gothic style, and has a rich canopy.
It was designed by Scott, and was a present to the cathedral from Lord
Dudley, a brother-in-law of Bishop Claughton. Of two of its predecessors
some particulars can be given. In 1743 Bishop Wilcocks gave a throne,
classical in style, with a flat pedimental canopy supported by massive
columns. The place of this was taken in 1840 by a new work of
Cottingham's, which was still more quickly supplanted by the present
throne. Cottingham's did not, however, long remain unused; it was taken
to St. Albans in 1877 for the enthronement of Dr. Claughton as the first
bishop of that new see.


On the north wall, directly opposite the bishop's throne, there still
remains a portion, about 5 ft. 10 in. high and 2 ft. 2 in. wide, of an
old fresco painting of that favourite mediæval subject, #The Wheel of
Fortune#. This was uncovered when the older pulpit was taken down to make
room for Mr. Cottingham's in 1840. At that time, we are told, the
background had a diaper of small flowers, and there was the outline of a
shield above, in which, however, no charges could be traced. Fortune,
pictured as a queen, is robed in yellow, and regulates the movement of
her wheel, of the same colour, with her right hand. It is interesting to
trace the changes in the dress of the other figures. At her feet a man,
plainly clad in a dark red gown, with green stockings and black shoes,
is trying to gain a position on the wheel. Above this poor struggling
one we see one who has risen halfway to the summit, and whose attire is
correspondingly richer. His gown is a little lighter in colour, and has
a hood to match; his sleeves are yellow, his stockings green, and his
shoes ornamented. At the top is proudly and comfortably seated the
present favourite, richly arrayed in a full robe of red turned up with
white, with furs round his neck, a white belt and green hose. He looks
towards the missing half of the picture, where others were no doubt
represented as falling or fallen from the high place that he now holds,
and his countenance seems to express mingled satisfaction and


This fresco dates probably from as far back as the thirteenth century.
Attempts have been made to attach a more particular interpretation to
it, to make it represent the rapid rise of Gundulf, for instance; but it
seems correct to give it a general signification, to look on it as
typical of the uncertainty and changeableness of earthly things.

#The Pulpit#, of plain wood, designed by Sir G. Scott, stands at the
north-east corner of the crossing. Its predecessor, by Cottingham, used
to be directly in front of the bishop's throne, and is now in the nave.
#The Lectern#, of brass, and in the well-known eagle form, is a gift from
Bishop Claughton, and the stand to it was presented by Dean Scott.

#The Altar# stands, it will be noticed, some distance in front of the east
end, and there is a free passage all round. This position was proved to
be archæologically correct when Sir G. Scott lowered the floor of this
part of the church. The reredos, one of the fittings provided by Dr. and
Mrs. Griffith, and designed by Scott, projects beyond the altar-table on
each side in a way that is unusual and not altogether pleasing. It is of
Caen stone, and contains a representation of the Last Supper in rather
high relief, within a three-gabled canopy. The dark marble columns
supporting the central gable are beautifully veined.

The altar seems to have kept its old position until 1634, when Laud,
greatly shocked, gave orders to "place the communion-table at the end of
the choir in a decent manner, and make a fair rail to go across the
aisle as in other cathedral churches." The dean and chapter protested
slightly, pointing out that, if placed quite at the end it would be
almost out of hearing of the congregation, and suggested as an
alternative the erection of a screen behind it where it then stood. In
1642 some soldiers of the Parliament visited the cathedral, moved the
altar, broke up the steps on which it was raised, and tore down its
rails, leaving the wood as firing for the poor. Repairs must have been
needed here, therefore, when the Restoration came. Later, by a chapter
act of the 2nd June, 1707, the clerk was empowered to sign an agreement
with a Mr. Coppinger for a new altar-piece, which seems to have been
still in existence in 1788, and to be the one then described as of
Norway oak, plain and neat, by the Rev. S. Denne. A resolution had been
passed a little before, on the 6th December, 1706, that "the piece of
rich silk and silver brocade given by the Bishop of Rochester should be
put up." If applied to the new altar-piece this did not last long, for
in 1752 a large piece of rich velvet, in a frame elegantly carved and
gilt, was purchased with £50 given by Archbishop Herring, a former dean,
to take the place of the central panel of plain wainscot. This was
itself removed in 1788, when a picture by Sir Benjamin West, P.R.A.,
"The Angels appearing to the Shepherds," was inserted in its stead. This
picture was presented anonymously, but the name of the donor, J.
Wilcocks, Esq., a son of the bishop, transpired after his death. When
Mr. Cottingham removed the old "Corinthian" altar-piece, West's work
was, in 1826, lent to St. Mary's church, Chatham, on the condition that
it should be returned when no longer needed. Archdeacon Laws was then
rector. A later rector, Canon Jelf, was, in 1886, able to announce to
his vestry that the dean and chapter waived all their rights, so the
picture is still to be seen hanging over the vestry door. It cannot be
called a great work, and we can scarcely wonder that it was thought by
many unworthy of its high place in the cathedral.

The three great panels of #Mosaic# occupying the lower part of the east
end, behind the altar, are a memorial to Mrs. Scott, the wife of the
late dean. When the whitewash was scraped off, after the removal of the
altar-piece in 1825, this wall was found to have been enriched with
elaborate decorative paintings "of birds and beasts, fleurs-de-lis,
lilies, crescents, stars, scroll foliage, fleury crosses, lace work
borders, etc., arranged in most beautiful order and finely contrasted in
colours, which consist of the brightest crimsons, purples, azures,
greens, etc."

The fine #Piscina# in the easternmost bay on the north side, just behind
the altar, deserves notice. Its recess has a richly cusped arch, and in
the wall below is a curious cupboard, intended probably for the
sacramental vessels.

#The Sedilia# stand on the other side, in the third bay from the east. The
stalls are of stone, three in number, and in date late Perpendicular.
The arms on their canopies are those of the see of Rochester, of the
Priory of St. Andrew, Rochester, and of that of Christ Church,
Canterbury. Within the sedilia, at one time often mis-named
"confessionals," painted figures of bishops were formerly visible, even
within the present century. The brass book-rest at the foot of the
polished marble steps in front was given in Dean Scott's memory by his
sons and daughters. Opposite, on the other side of the chancel, stands a
richly carved episcopal chair upholstered with blue velvet.

#The Communion Plate# is still kept in an old iron-bound chest in the
"Treasury," over the north choir transept aisle.

The chief service, consisting of two cups with covers, two flagons, an
alms-dish and two patens with covers, was made for James, Duke of Lenox
and Richmond, in London in 1653-54. Sir Joseph Williamson, a later
resident at Cobham Hall bequeathed it to the cathedral by his will of
1701. The whole service was gilt, and the bequest included also a pair
of magnificent pricket candlesticks, each nearly 20 inches high, with
rich stems and massive scrolled bases. It is described by Canon Scott
Robertson in "Archæologia Cantiana," vol. xvi., and illustrated in vol.

Two other gilt cups and two patens, made at London in 1662-63, were
given to the cathedral by Dr. R. Cooke, who had, the inscriptions tell
us, become a prebendary in 1660. Each cup has engraved on it a copy of
the common seal of the dean and chapter, with Dr. Cooke's arms above.
The button bases of the patens bear the donor's crest.

The oldest and most interesting pieces at Rochester are, however, two
alms-basins or patens (perhaps originally ciboria), made at London in
1530-31. The insides of the bowls, except the nearly vertical rims, are
embossed with a honeycomb pattern, and beneath each hexagon here, there
is a plain circle outside. The knops are ornamented with flowers and
half-flowers, and the stems beneath have each a frilled collar and a
pattern in repoussé of overlapping scales or leaves. The foot, under a
cable moulding, is beaten into an egg-and-tongue pattern. One has on its
rim, in Lombardic capitals, the inscription, _Benedicamus Patrem et
Filium cum Sancto Spiritu_, and the other, the same except for the
curious contraction, _Sper._, for the last word. There is also a cover
of silver gilt, which was made at London in 1532-33. Its button handle
has four supports, moulded like cords, and it is itself decorated in

One solitary survivor of the old monastic plate remains, and some
mention of it seems appropriate here. We allude to the famous #Rochester
mazer#, made in 1532, and given to the refectory _per fratrem Robertum
Pecham_. This is now in the possession of Sir A. W. Franks, by whom it
was acquired at the sale of the Fontaine collection at Narford Hall. It
is illustrated in "Archæologia," xxiii., 393, and described by Mr. St.
John Hope in the same publication, vol. 1., 168.

#Monuments, etc.#--When the great bishop, Walter de Merton, died, in 1772,
a sumptuous monument was erected over his remains at the end of the
north choir transept. His executors' accounts give us particulars as to
the cost. The chief feature was the enamel work by Jean de Limoges, who
was paid £40 5_s._ 6_d._ for executing it, bringing it over and setting
it up. The balance between this sum and the total amount of £67 14_s._
6_d._ was paid for the rich, vaulted canopy and other masonry, the two
stained glass windows and the iron railing.

This tomb suffered much at the time of the Reformation, and the Merton
College authorities undertook its repair, during Sir Henry Savile's
wardenship, in 1598. It was then opened, and the body of the bishop, who
had been buried in his robes, with his pastoral staff and chalice,
disclosed. The staff on being touched fell to pieces but the chalice was
removed to the college to be treasured there. The original enamelled
work seems to have been injured beyond repair, so was replaced by the
alabaster effigy now in the next bay. This effigy is remarkable for the
anachronisms it shows. The bishop wears the rochet, the episcopal dress
of the Reformed church instead of his proper robes, and the plain crook
beside him bears no resemblance to the rich crosiers of the thirteenth
century. The ruff round his neck and his broad-toed shoes are also
plainly out-of-date. The mantle of estate refers of course to his rank
as Chancellor, as did also the bag or purse that used to hang on the
wall above. The inscriptions were on the front of the tomb, whence came
also the death's head panels to be seen with the effigy now.

Fresh injuries, suffered during the Civil War period, were made good by
the college in 1662, and a tablet recording this, and balanced by the
bishop's arms, was placed at the back of the tomb where the windows had
been blocked up. There were fresh renovations in 1701, and in 1770, when
all the whitewash was cleaned off. The College also made an annual
payment for care of the tomb.

The monument received its present form in 1849, when the Elizabethan
effigy and details, and the old railing, were removed to the next bay,
where they are still to be seen. The skeleton was then once more
uncovered showing the bishop to have been a fine tall man, and a trace
of the former opening of the tomb was found in a misplacement of the
bones of the right arm, which had probably been disturbed when the
chalice was removed. Fragments of wood and cloth, presumably remains of
his staff and robes, were still to be seen. The two windows under the
canopy were reopened and filled with stained glass, and on the tomb was
placed a stone slab, "engraved according to the style of the thirteenth
century," with an ornamented cross having foliations on each side. "A
new ornamental railing," coloured and gilt, and of a tawdry character
was placed in front of all. The canopy, with its crockets and pinnacles,
and the quatrefoils of carved foliage in its gables are worthy of

The tomb in the easternmost bay of the transept end is reputed to be
that of St. William of Perth, the great Rochester saint. This transept
formed his chapel, and his shrine is believed to have stood on a slab
marked with six crosses, that lay in the centre of the floor until the
present elaborate pavement was put down. Lambarde gives the following
account of the saint, saying that he derives it from the "Nova Legenda"
itself. "He was by birth, a Scot, of Perthe (now commonly called Saint
Johns Town), by trade of life a Baker of bread and thereby got his
living: in charity so aboundant, that he gave to the poore the tenth
loafe of his workmanship: in zeale so fervent, that in vow he promised,
and in deede attempted, to visit the holy land (as they called it) and
the places where Christ was conversant on earth: in which journey, as he
passed through Kent, hee made Rochester his way: where after that he had
rested two or three daies he departed toward Canterbury. But ere he had
gone farre from the Citie, his servant that waited on him, led him (of
purpose) out of the high way, and spoiled him both of his money and
life. This done, the servant escaped, and the Maister (bicause he died
in so holy a purpose of minde) was by the Monkes conveied to Saint
Andrewes, (and) laide in the quire." In Baring-Gould's "Lives of the
Saints" (under May 23rd) we read that the murderer was a foundling, who
had been brought up out of charity by him whom he slew. The pilgrim's
death occurred in 1201, and soon "he moalded miracles plentifully" at
his tomb, so plentifully that with the offerings consequently there
made, the choir of the cathedral was completed, ready for the solemn
entry in 1227. His fame continued to grow so much, that in 1266 Bishop
Lawrence de St. Martin went to Rome and procured his canonization, and
he did not pass out of repute until Protestant times. The high coffin
tomb, of dark marble, has on its lid a foliated cross in relief, and on
its front four circular medallions with crosses of four sculptured
leaves. The arch of the recess, springing from corbels of elaborately
carved foliage, retains traces of colouring, and the wall within is
painted with green foliated scroll-work on a dark red ground.

Under the northern arch on the east side of the transept is the curious
sarcophagus tomb of Bishop Lowe, who died in 1467. This stood, until the
time when the transept was thrown open, against the centre of the
wainscot that separated the chapel of St. William from the choir. The
arms on the shield at the end of the front are those of the bishop, and
they occur again, borne by an angel carved in relief, on the right end,
impaling there the coat of the see on the sinister side.

We pass now to the railed-off transept aisle, known as St. John the
Baptist's Chapel, or as the Warner Chapel from the three seventeenth
century monuments that it contains. These are all in the "Palladian"
style in vogue at that time, and constructed chiefly of touch (black
marble) and white marble. They are in memory of Bishop John Warner (d.
1666), of his nephew Archdeacon John Lee Warner (d. 1679), and of the
latter's eldest son, Lee Warner, Esq. (d. 1698). The bishop's monument
is signed by the sculptor, Jos. Marshall, of London.

In the same chapel, in a recess beside Bishop Warner's monument, is an
old and weather-worn statue traditionally said to represent the great
architect-bishop Gundulf. This was brought hither by Mr. Pearson, when
he rebuilt the north-west tower, in the lower arcade of which it had
been carefully replaced in the changes of about 1770. The mitre is
almost lost, the face has suffered greatly, and the hands, feet and
parts of the crosier are quite gone. The chasuble hangs in curious,
close, U-like folds and the crosier staff passes diagonally across the
body. From an etching published in the "Journal of the British
Archæological Association," in 1853, when the sculpture was, of course,
less worn than now, there seems to be under the chasuble a dalmatic, and
then under the dalmatic an alb over which the ends of the stole appear.

Under the arch between the aisle and the choir, is the most remarkable
of all the monuments in the church, the tomb of Bishop John de Sheppey.
Its very existence had long been forgotten, when Mr. Cottingham, in
1825, removed the chalk and masonry, with which it had for many years
been covered and concealed. Whether this covering was to save it from
the Roundhead soldiery or from earlier iconoclastic reformers is not
known. Alluding to the bishop, Bishop Weever wrote, in 1631, "his
portraiture is in the wall over his place of buriall." We have here an
evident reference to this effigy, and I think that Weever probably used
"in" in its most literal sense, implying that "the portraiture" was
already walled up in this time, though it has been taken to express
merely the position within an arch of the choir wall. If the effigy had
been long hidden the mere tradition of its existence might have died out
during the troubled period between 1640 and 1660, but if it had been
open to view in the earlier of these years it is not likely that all
recollection of it would have passed so quickly away. We must remember
too that this monument is more perfect than most others in the
cathedral; and that they suffered, as we have already told, the greatest
damage in early Protestant times. It seems, therefore, only reasonable
to suppose that this most gorgeous of all had been already hidden and
protected. So universal was destruction then and earlier, that in the
second year of her reign Queen Elizabeth found it necessary to issue a
stringent proclamation "against breakinge or defacing of monuments of
Antiquitie, being set up in Churches or other publique places for memory
and not for superstition."

The bishop's effigy lies, where it was found, on a high tomb with
panelled sides, each having seven recesses separated by tiny buttresses.
The canopy, ogee-shaped above, and with a plain elliptical arch below,
was much mutilated, but seems to have been crocketed and terminated by a
finial. It owes its present form to Mr. Cottingham, who restored it in


The effigy itself has been much praised, and deservedly. The sculpture,
in stone, is excellent, and the colours have a fine effect. It is
surprising to see how general is the belief that this is "probably the
most perfect specimen of ancient colouring now existing in England," and
how even great authorities refer to "its very perfect original
colouring;" for in the "Gentleman's Magazine" (September, 1825) we can
read how the monument was treated just after its discovery. A Mr.
Harris, in Mr. Cottingham's employ, made two drawings of the effigy, one
showing it as it was, the other as the architect thought it had been.
The restoration of the colours, according to the second drawing, was
then resolved on and carried out, and, as a result, "the dalmatic,
instead of being a pink, is now a dull scarlet, with a _green lining_,
and the shoes are painted _yellow_." Matters are still worse when we see
Mr. Harris complaining (in a letter now at the British Museum) that the
renovation according to his drawing was done "by an unskilful hand,
consequently the remains of the beautiful colouring were destroyed,
which was much regretted by the dean, Dr. Stevens, at the time." The
sculpture seems fortunately not to have been tampered with; some
fragments luckily discovered were fitted in their places, but no further
restoration was attempted. These fragments were the top of the mitre,
most of the fingers, the feet, and the head of one of the little dogs
lying thereby.

The bishop's face, naturally coloured like the rest of the effigy, is
rather mutilated, but seems to have been close shaven. Under his
outermost robe, the chasuble, comes the dalmatic, through the side
openings of which the rich green of the tunic appears. The colour of the
latter robe used, however, to be scarcely visible. The ends of the stole
do not appear, but, under all, the alb hangs down to the feet. The
apparel of the alb, the amice round his neck, and the maniple of his
left arm are shown as richly embroidered with gold. The bishop wears
jewelled gloves, and on the fourth finger of his left hand the episcopal
ring, of gold set with a ruby. His head, with the precious mitre, rests
on two cushions, and finally against his left shoulder lies the splendid
crosier, of which, unfortunately, the crook is gone.

On the side towards the choir, of the slab on which he rests, we read
appear on the other side, except that ISTIUS takes the place of HUIUS, a
change which implies some independence in the chapel.

The railing before the tomb perhaps belonged to it originally. Along the
upper band should be noticed the curious pounced pattern, and its three
massive lily spikes cannot but attract attention. It was the occurrence
of the letters I S, the bishop's initials, just under the central spike,
that led to the railing being brought hither from another part of the

A rare set of six lithographs, published by Mr. Cottingham, to which the
text seems never to have been printed, shows us the monument as it was
when found. Its present appearance can be judged, without a visit to
Rochester, from the cast at the Crystal Palace, a fine set of drawings
by Mr. Lambert at the South Kensington Museum, or the engravings
published in an article by Mr. Kempe in the "Archæologia," vol. xxv. The
author of this paper, which was read to the Society of Antiquaries only
seven years after the restoration, seems to have been unaware of any
thing of this sort having been attempted.

In the rubbish over the effigy some remarkable fragments of polychrome
sculpture were found. These are still preserved in the crypt.

Passing along the north side of the church, we see in the third bay from
the east end, the curious shrine-like monument of dark marble, ascribed
to Bishop Gilbert de Glanvill, who died in 1214. A very similar monument
at Canterbury was once the subject of much discussion, but has lately
been opened and proved to be the tomb of the renowned Archbishop Hubert
Walter. He and Gilbert were contemporaries and friends, so the
ascription of the Rochester example to the latter is very probably

In the next bay is a coffin-shaped tomb of dark marble, with the
recumbent effigy of a bishop, whose features are much mutilated, and
whose hands and feet are gone. This tomb is assigned, it seems rightly,
to Bishop Lawrence de St. Martin (d. 1274). The canopy over the head of
the effigy is a fine and rich example of architectural work of the Early
Decorated style.

Behind the altar is a great slab, which once bore the effigies, in
brass, of a lady and of a knight in armour. When the slab had to be
removed, during the erection of the new reredos, a leaden coffin was
found, and a female body closely wrapped in lead. The knight here buried
was Sir William Arundel, K.G., governor of the city and castle of
Rochester, whose will, dated 1st August, 1400, gave directions for his
"body to be buried in the Priory at Rochester, at the back of the high
altar." His lady, afterwards, in her will of the 6th September, 1401,
arranged for her dead body to be laid "in the Priory of St. Andrews in
Rochester, under the tomb where my husband and me are pictured." Sir
Richard Arundel, a brother of Sir William, and the next constable of the
castle, was possibly also buried in this church when he died in 1412. In
his will of the 8th July, 1417, he had expressed the wish that his grave
should be made in the Lady Chapel.

On the south side of the chancel, in the easternmost bay, is a plain,
dark-coloured marble coffin, without any inscription or ornament. This
is ascribed to Bishop Gundulf, who died in 1107, but as it is
rectangular and not of the old coffin form, Mr. Bloxam thinks that it
cannot be placed earlier than the fifteenth century. Gundulf's remains
may, however, have been moved when the great eastward extension was
made, and have been subsequently placed here. This would justify the
tradition that the monument has contained his bones.


In the next bay to the west we have a dark marble monument, very like
that of Bishop Lawrence de St. Martin, and possibly even by the same
artist. Its canopy is, however, simpler. This tomb seems to be correctly
attributed to Bishop Inglethorp, who died in 1291.

Passing the sedilia we come to a peculiar, probably thirteenth century,
coffin, which still contained a skeleton when it was found in the crypt
under the north choir transept during the clearance of some rubbish in
1833. The lid rises in _dos d'âne_ form, and along the ridge run two
leafed rods, in relief, which bend outwards in scrolls, at the centre,
just before they meet (see p. 105).

We now turn, finally, to notice another interesting stone coffin in the
middle of the south choir transept end. This, also probably of the
thirteenth century, has on its lid a cross in relief, the stem of which,
with three pairs of curious drooping leaves, rises from a graduated
base. This is probably one of two coffins, to which the Rev. S. Denne
alludes as having existed in this part of the church. This, or the
other, had been, he says, broken open by the Parliamentarians, and a
chalice and crucifix removed therefrom.

[Illustration: CARVED COFFIN LID.]

#Stained Glass in the Choir.#--The six windows of the east end were given,
in 1873, by ladies and gentlemen of the neighbourhood. They celebrate
the successive dedications of the church to St. Andrew, and to Christ
and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The middle window of the upper range
contains a representation of Our Lord in Glory, that of the lower tier
the scene of his Ascension. On the right hand is a figure of the Blessed
Virgin above a picture of the Nativity, while on the other side a figure
of St. Andrew, and the Call of that Apostle and St. Peter, are to be

The four upper windows on the south side of the presbytery contain
single figures of the four Evangelists, and commemorate, in order, Dean
Stevens, T. H. Day, Esq., Mrs. Day and Mrs. Thorold. In the
corresponding windows on the other side are pictured four writers of
Epistles, St. Paul, St. James, St. Jude, and St. Peter.

It has been arranged that the four lower, three-lighted windows on the
south side shall contain the twelve Apostles, one figure in each light.
In the second from the east end we see (in memory of Alfred Smith, Esq.)
St. John, St. Bartholomew, and St. Philip; and in the fourth (which
commemorates Miss Nicholson), St. Jude, St. Simon, and St. Matthias
appear. The others are still unfilled. The similar windows opposite
illustrate scriptural allusions to Christ as the Good Shepherd. They
are in memory of Dr. T. Robinson, Mrs. Griffith, General Travers, R.M.,
and Dr., once Canon Griffith; and show the Shepherd tending his sheep
(St. John, x. 14-16); the Shepherd smitten and the sheep scattered
(Zech., xiii. 7, St. Matt., xxvi. 31); the Crucifixion, where the
Shepherd gives his life for the sheep (St. John, x. ii); and lastly, the
Son of Man dividing the good from the evil, as a Shepherd divides the
sheep from the goats (St. Matt., xxv. 31-46).

In St. John the Baptist's Chapel there is a single stained window, with
our Lord's Ascension, in memory of Lieut. F. N. Hassard, R.E. Passing to
the north transept we find the outer upper windows filled only with
plain glass, while the middle one has a figure of St. Gregory, inserted
in memory of Captain W. Walton Robinson, R.E., who died at Aden in 1887.
The windows of the lower range contain figures of St. Gundulf, St.
Paulinus, and Walter de Merton, and commemorate respectively Canon S.
Dewe (d. 1885), Dr. G. Murray, Bishop of Sodor and Man and afterwards of
Rochester (d. 1860), and Mrs. Maxwell Hyslop (d. 1888). Each of these
four windows of the transept end contains a small scene beneath the
single figure. The tiny light over Walter de Merton's Elizabethan effigy
was glazed, after the recovery of Mr. Thomas Aveling from a serious
illness, by his family, and illustrates the miracle of the healing of
the nobleman's son.

All the glass described above is the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell.
The two plainer windows to the Merton tomb are by J. Miller.

Of the two windows in the south choir transept aisle, the first, by
Gibbs, and given by the officers of the Royal Engineers in memory of
their comrade, General Ballard, represents the Raising of Lazarus. The
other, with Our Lord's Resurrection was given by the Rev. T. T.
Griffith, precentor, in memory of Thos. Griffith, Esq., and was executed
by Hardman.

The windows of the south choir transept are also by Clayton and Bell.
Those of the upper tier commemorate Major S. Anderson, C.M.G., Capt. W.
J. Gill, R.E., and Capt. J. Dundas, V.C., and their respective subjects
are: Moses during the fight against Amalek (Exod., xvii. 11, 12), Joshua
and the Captain of the Lord's Host (Josh., v. 13-15), and David
advancing to do battle with Goliath (I. Sam., xvii. 48-49). Those of the
lower range,--in memory of Major R. Hume, C.B., Capt. R. Nichols
Buckle, R.E., and Capt. C. W. Innes, represent the centurion's appeal to
Christ for his servant's healing (St. Luke, vii. 9), the Crucifixion,
with the centurion at the foot of the Cross (St. Mark, xv. 39), and the
appearance of the angel to another centurion, Cornelius, with the
legend: "What is it, Lord (Acts, x. 4)."

The famous #Chapter House Doorway#, one of the finest pieces of English
Decorated in existence, dates from the middle of the fourteenth century,
probably from the episcopate of Hamo de Hythe.

The full-length figures, one on each side of the door, symbolizing the
Church and the Synagogue, were both headless when Mr. Cottingham
restored the doorway, between 1825 and 1830. Much fault has been found
with him for turning the first, which is thought to have been like the
other a female figure, into a mitred, bearded bishop holding a cross in
his right hand and the model of a church in his left. The blindfolded
"Synagogue," by her broken staff, and the tables of the law held
reversed in her right hand, typifies the overthrow of the Mosaic
dispensation. Above are figures, two on each side, seated at book desks
under canopies. These are supposed to be the four great Doctors of the
Church: Saints Augustine, Gregory, Jerome, and Ambrose. Quite at the
head of the arch, under a lofty pyramidal canopy, we see a tiny nude
figure which represents probably a pure soul just released from
Purgatory. If this is so, it would account for the flames from which the
angels, on each side, bearing scrolls, seem to be rising. It has been
suggested likewise that the distorted heads, which alternate with
squares of foliage in the wider inside moulding of the doorway typify
the sufferings of the soul in its passage. The outside moulding is also
interesting, being a wide hollow in the bottom of which circular holes
are cut at intervals. Through these can be seen the broad stem from
which spring the leaves that ornament the intervening spaces. The arch
head is ogee-shaped outside, with large external, and smaller, but not
less rich, internal crockets. The square back to it, and the spaces
beneath the corbels, on which the Church and Synagogue figures stand,
are filled with noteworthy diapers. The first is divided diagonally into
sunken squares, each containing a flower; and the others have lion masks
in quatrefoils, with five petalled roses in the alternate spaces.

The present door dates from Cottingham's time. He had found the archway
partially blocked, so that an ordinary square-headed door might be
inserted, a most barbarous arrangement. In the passage within is a
portrait of Bishop Sprat, and in the #Chapter Room# itself one of King
James I. and a view in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

The #Cathedral Library#, also contained in the Chapter Room, is a small,
rather general collection, which, though increased from time to time by
the dean and chapter, had no regular provision made for its increase
until "an excellent regulation was made (some years before 1772) ...
that every new dean and prebendary should give a certain sum of money,
or books to that value, in lieu of those entertainments that were
formerly made on their admission." This arrangement dates from the
deanship of Dean Prat, who is recorded to have given a large book-case,
which had once belonged to H.R.H. the Duke of York.

In the library there are several valuable bibles, including a copy of
the famous first polyglot, known as the Complutensian, which was printed
in six volumes at Alcala in Spain between 1502 and 1517, but was not
published until 1522, owing probably to the death of its great promoter,
Cardinal Ximenes. The Greek New Testament seems to have been first
printed herein, though the edition of Erasmus (1516) forestalled it in
publication. Brian Walton's Polyglot, published, also in six volumes, at
London in 1657, is likewise on the shelves. Of rare English bibles the
cathedral possesses a copy of Miles Coverdale's first complete edition
in English (of 1535), of the rare and valuable Great Bible (Cranmer's)
printed under Cromwell's patronage and published in 1539, and one of the
first edition of Parker's or the Bishop's Bible, which dates from 1565.
There is no early Book of Common Prayer, but a Missal (Salisbury use) of
1534 has been noticed.


To turn now to manuscripts, disregarding the other classes of printed
books, the cathedral possesses a great treasure in the #Textus Roffensis#,
which is said to be the work of Bishop Ernulf and dates from early in
the twelfth century. It contains old English codes of law, beginning
with Ethelbert's, much ecclesiastical and historical information,
records of privileges of the cathedral, and some interesting forms of
excommunication, oaths, etc. In 1633 the dean (Dr. Balcanqual) and
chapter had to obtain a bill in chancery to enforce its restitution by a
Dr. Leonard who had got it into his possession. During the Civil Wars it
was in the charge of Sir Roger Twysden and was used by Dugdale for his
great work. The book was at London in 1712 for Dr. Harriss, a prebendary
of the cathedral, to use for his "History of Kent" (published in 1719).
It was taken thither and back by water, and on the return journey fell
into the Thames. It was, fortunately, recovered, not much damaged, but
was re-bound afterwards. Lambarde, as well as later historians, used it.
Parts were printed by Wharton in his "Anglia Sacra" (1691) and by
Willems in his "Leges Anglo-Saxonicæ" (1721). Hearne edited most of it,
from a transcript by Sir Edward Dering, in 1720.

The #Custumale Roffense# (per fratrem J. de Westerham), another famous
manuscript, dates from about 1300, its author, then a monk, became prior
later, in Bishop Hamo's time. In this book is much information about
manors and the priory's income from them, and it contains many
interesting particulars of ancient tenures and rents, some details about
the Rome-scot, notes as to the duties of various servants, etc. A
printed edition of it, by Thorpe, appeared in 1788.

Two other manuscripts, relics of the old monastic library, have been
found on the shelves, but the rest are scattered. This library must have
been a rich one, for in a list, of as early as 1202, discovered by Mr.
Rye in the Royal MSS. at the British Museum, there are as many as 241
works enumerated, mostly theological. Leland probably carried off many
of them, since, out of eighty-six manuscripts in the British Museum,
indexed there as having once belonged to the Rochester Monastery, no
less than eighty-three are in the old Royal Collection. They are on
vellum, partly illuminated, and many contain terrible anathemas against
any who should deface or steal them. Two others have been found among
Archbishop Parker's MSS. at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and one
in Archbishop Laud's bequest to the Bodleian. The famous #Gundulf Bible#
has an interesting history. All traces of it are lost between the time
of the Suppression and 1734, when it was sold from the possession of a
clergyman, Herman Van de Wall, at Amsterdam. Later, in the 1788 edition
of the Custumale, we read that it had been again sold, not many years
before, at Louvain, for 2,000 florins. It came back to England
afterwards and, at the sale of the Rev. Theodore Williams in April,
1827, passed into the famous collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps for

Leaving the library we pass to the #South Choir Aisle#. This is twice as
wide as that on the north side, and has acquired its present form by a
curious series of changes. It was originally of the same width, and the
south tower stood in the angle between it and the south transept. After
the great twelfth century fires, a wall was carried eastwards from the
middle of the tower to form the north side of the cloisters, which were
then being repaired. A little later, possibly at the time when the south
choir transept was built, the original aisle wall was removed and the
whole space between the choir proper and the new cloister included in
the aisle. The tower was not yet removed, in fact its demolition did not
occur until about one hundred years later, towards the end of the
thirteenth century. The present wooden roof was then erected, instead of
a fine vaulting springing from a central pillar, which seems to have
been originally intended.


The flights of twelve and ten steps, which together take up the whole
width of the aisle, lead respectively, up to the eastern part of the
church and down to the crypt. The wooden enclosure over the crypt
entrance is used as a vestry. Two doors open into the south choir
transept, one from the vestry and one directly from the aisle itself.


The massive buttress supporting the choir wall, at the head of the steps
to the undercroft, is divided into stages by a flat niche or panel with
side-shafts of Purbeck marble. This was found, in 1840, to contain a
mural painting of the Crucifixion, with the Blessed Virgin and St. John
at the foot of the cross. The principal face below had a gigantic
representation of the Madonna and Child, more than 12 feet in height. At
about the same time the elegant little doorway at the west end of the
aisle was found. It could not be reopened, but its mouldings were
uncovered. It is of the Early English period and has a dripstone ending
in a bishop's and a female head.

In this aisle, on its north side, is the tomb thought to be that of
Bishop John de Bradfield, who is stated by Edmund de Hadenham to have
been buried on the south side of the church, "juxta ostium excubitorum,"
_i.e._, by the watchers' door. It has a very battered figure of a bishop
in low relief.

The #Crypt#, or undercroft, is approached by the flight of steps in the
south choir aisle, but its original entrance seems to have been on the
other side of the church. Just inside the doorway, with its peculiar
flatly-pointed head under a pointed arch, there is, to the right, a
small square cell which may have been used as a place of confinement.

The crypt is one of the finest in England, and the later, main portion
of it is the last great work of the kind carried out in this country.
The two western severies, consisting of the old Norman work, are now
shut off to contain the organ bellows and their machinery, and the whole
southernmost aisle has been partitioned off into a series of new
vestries, erected with the proceeds of Dean Hole's recent lecturing tour
in America. The whole width is divided into seven aisles, three under
the choir proper and two under each transept. Each seems to have had an
altar at its east end; several piscinas still remain. The main walls
above are carried by heavy masses of masonry, which rather break the
vistas, while other masses help the usual columns to bear the steps on
which the altar stands.

In the early Norman work extending for two bays from the west we see
circular shafts, with rough, convex, cushion capitals, and the lower
corners chamfered. The plain rubble cross-vaults here have no ribs but
the groins are pinched down to make them more prominent. The rest of the
crypt is Early English, with circular and octagonal columns both
occurring and having quadripartite vaulting. The clever way in which
the architects overcame the difficulty caused by differences of span is
worthy of attention. On the vaults, traces of painting, of floral
diapers, etc., can still be seen, and in "The New British Traveller"
(1819) we have a description of a subject medallion then to be seen
beneath St. William's Chapel. "In a circle is a representation of a
vessel sailing, with a large fish in the water in front, and on one side
the upper part of a monk, with his hands uplifted as in prayer,"
apparently an illustration of the story of Jonah.

In the crypt are preserved many interesting fragments, including the
pieces of polychrome sculpture found with Bishop John de Sheppey's
monument. The most important is a statue of Moses, who bears his name on
the tablet of stone that he holds.



According to a curious legend,[15] widely circulated in the Middle Ages,
the men of Rochester did not accord a patient hearing to St. Augustine
when he first came thither to preach the Gospel. They, instead, used him
rudely, and in mockery threw at him and hung on his dress a lot of
fish-tails. In anger the saint prayed to God to avenge him on his
persecutors and "the Lord smote them _in posteriora_ to their
everlasting ignominy, so that not only on their own but on their
successors' persons similar tails grew ever after." A way of escape was,
however, according to the fourteenth century prose version of the
"Brut," soon provided, for "whenne the kyng herde and wiste of this
vengeance that was falle thurghe saynt Austines powere he lette make one
howse in honour of God ... at the brugges end," children born in which
would not be afflicted with the dreaded appendage. Other versions of the
story give Dorchester as the place where the saint was thus ill-used and
his assailants were thus punished, but both Kent and Dorset have been
zealous to repudiate any concern with it, and Lambarde in his
"Perambulation" has written an indignant diatribe in defence of the
former county.

  [15] This account of it is chiefly taken from a paper by G. Neilson,
  first published in "Transactions of the Glasgow Archæological Society,"

Later, in the legends concerning St. Thomas à Becket, another form of
the same fable appears. The men of Strood are said to have docked the
tail of his horse and to have been punished in the same way as St.
Augustine's persecutors. In the story Rochester sometimes appears
instead of Strood, and this is our excuse for alluding to the variation
here. It seems to be due to a confusion of the old story with a new
fact, as we have a contemporary statement that St. Thomas, on the
Christmas Day before his death, excommunicated a certain Robert de
Broc, because the latter had, to insult and shame him, cut off the tail
of a mare in his service.

In the Middle Ages the matter was of national concern, for the disgrace
said to have befallen the inhabitants of one or other of the small towns
mentioned became "a scandal to their unoffending country." When the
story spread, as it did, nearly all over Europe, foreigners did not
particularize, but offensively alluded to all Englishmen as _caudati_,
or tailed. Such allusions often occur in narratives of the Crusades, and
the French and Scotch were especially keen to hurl the epithet at their
hereditary foes. Even in the sixteenth century John Bale says, "that an
Englyshman now can not travayle in an other land by waye of merchandyce
or any other honest occupyenge, but yt ys most contumelyouslye throwne
in his tethe that all Englishmen have tayles." The name "Kentish
Longtails" seems to have been early current, and in Drayton's
"Polyolbion" we find "Longtails and Liberty" given almost as a motto for
the county.

We are not told whether it was due to this miracle of the "tails," but
it is certain that the conversion of the townspeople of Rochester must
have been rapid, for we know that a see was founded here as early as
604. The diocese placed under its bishop's care was a small one,
including no more than the western part of the ancient kingdom of Kent,
the dividing line being roughly the course of the Medway, or, more
precisely, that of its tributary, the Teise. The whole diocese formed
only a single archdeaconry, which was divided into four deaneries, and
of this small number one was subject, as a peculiar, to the jurisdiction
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "who holdeth his prerogative
wheresoever his lands do lye."

Not only "hath the See at Rochester well holden her owne: for during the
whole succession of ... Bishops, which in right line have followed
Justus, she hath continually mainteined her Chaire at this one place,
whereas in most partes of the Realme besides, the Sees of the Bishops
have suffred sundry translations," but it was long also before the
ancient limits of the diocese were changed. In 1845 it was enlarged so
as to include Essex and Hertfordshire, and was then divided into the
four archdeaconries of Rochester, Colchester, Essex and St. Alban's. The
old palace at Bromley, which had been since Cardinal Fisher's time the
chief home of the bishops, was at the same time quitted for Danbury in
Essex. In 1863 the archdeaconries of Rochester and St. Albans were
joined into one, and in 1867 the total number of archdeaconries was
reduced to two: Rochester and St. Albans forming one, and Essex the
other. The extent and composition of the diocese was again entirely
changed in 1877, when the new diocese of St. Albans was formed. Since
that time the diocese of Rochester has included West Kent and part of
Surrey, and has comprised three archdeaconries: Rochester, Kingston, and
Southwark. In 1877 Danbury Palace had to be given up and Selsdon in
Surrey became for a time the episcopal home. Quite recently a new palace
has been completed at Kennington, in the most populous and needy part of
the diocese.


In mediæval times the bishops of Rochester had a town house at
Southwark. This was afterwards changed for the one at Lambeth Marsh,
where the attempt to poison Bishop Fisher occurred. They had also other
country homes at Halling and Trottescliffe. Our space will not, however,
allow us to deal at length with these palaces outside the cathedral

The poverty of the Church at the time of the Conquest has been already
mentioned, and even later we find that the episcopal revenue continued
to be very small. One diocese only, we are told, paid a lower
"Rome-scot," and only two English bishoprics appear as inferior in
value in the King's books. Some old sources of episcopal and monastic
income seem to us curious. The bulk was, of course, derived from manors
or estates, but we find also that the bishop was entitled to a share of
the whales killed on the shores of his diocese and that the monks of the
priory of St. Andrew owned oyster fisheries. Out of the estates assigned
to them the monks had to make an annual contribution, in kind, called
the Xenium, to the bishop's income, and this, due on St. Andrew's Day,
was on several occasions a subject of dispute. In Henry VIII.'s time we
find the bishopric valued at £358 4_s._ 9½_d._, and later, in 1595,
it is stated that the clear annual profits did not exceed £220. To
supplement this paltry revenue the bishops often held other appointments
_in commendam_. During the latter part of the seventeenth century and
the greater part of the eighteenth, the deanery of Westminster was, in
this way, almost continuously attached to the bishopric of Rochester.
Such pluralities are, of course, no longer allowed, the estates of this,
as of other sees, being administered by the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, through whom the bishop receives the regular and more
adequate income that he now enjoys. Poor though the see has been, we
find many distinguished men among those who have held it. A great number
of such passed on soon to richer bishoprics, and some even attained the
archiepiscopal dignity, but one or two of the greatest consistently
refused to be thus advanced.

For the sake of convenient reference, we now give a list of the bishops,
in chronological order.

#St. Justus#, sent to reinforce the English mission in 601, became the
first bishop in 604; fled to Gaul in 617, on the great relapse into
idolatry after Ethelbert's death; summoned back after a year by the new
king Eadbald; succeeded Mellitus as Archbishop of Canterbury in 624;
died in 627.

#Romanus#, consecrated in 624; drowned while on a mission to Rome
(_absorptus fluctibus Italici Maris_) probably in 627, but certainly
before November, 630.

#St. Paulinus# came over with Justus; ordained Bishop of York, in 625, to
accompany Ethelburga, princess of Kent, when she went to marry Edwin of
Northumbria; baptised Edwin himself in April, 627, and earned well his
title of the Apostle of Northumbria; preached also, we are told, in
Lancashire, in Cumbria, on the Trent, and at Lincoln; fled with the
widowed queen on Edwin's overthrow in 633, as he owed attendance to her;
gladly received in Kent and persuaded to accept the see of Rochester,
where, probably, he received the pallium sent him in 634; died in 644;
buried in the _secretarium_ of the church, whence his remains were
afterwards transferred to the Norman cathedral.

#St. Ythamar#, the first bishop who was an Englishman by birth; died in
655; like Paulinus, buried in the church, and much revered, though the
Normans seem to have been less eager to translate his remains.

#Damian# succeeded in 656, died in 664.

#Putta# succeeded five years later in 669; translated to Hereford in 676;
died in 688.

#Cuichelm# resigned the see, through poverty, after only two years.

#Gebmund#, appointed in 678, died in 693.

#Tobias#, appointed in 693; famous for his great learning, which included
a knowledge of both Greek and Latin; died in 726; buried in the
_Porticus_ of St. Paul, which he had himself built on to the cathedral.

Then came #Alduulf#, 726--d. 739 or 741; #Duina#, 741-747; #Earduulf#, 747 (or
757)-765; #Diora#, 778--d. 781; #Wermund#, 788-802; #Beornmod#, 803 (or
811)-814; #Tathnoth#, 841 (or 844)-   ; #Godwin I.#; #Cutherwulf#,
868-   ; #Swithulf#, 880-   ; #Ruhric#; #Cheolmund#; #Chinefurth#;
#Burrhic#; #Alfstan# (#Athelstan#), 955-   ; #Godwin II.# (#Godric#) and
#Godwin III.#, c. 995--c. 1012. This is as complete a list as can be given
until we come to Bishop Siward.

#Siward# was appointed in 1058; under him the establishment reached the
greatest extreme of poverty, but, though it is suspected that the
services of the church were also neglected, he was allowed to retain the
see after the Conquest until his death in 1075.

#Ernost#, a monk, appointed by Lanfranc in 1076, died in the same year.

#Gundulf#, consecrated in 1077; came over with Lanfranc; also a great
friend of Anselm; a skilful architect, rebuilt much of the cathedral,
built the White Tower in London, St. Leonard's Tower and the nunnery at
Malling, part of Dartford Church, and a tower at Rochester earlier than
the present keep; substituted Benedictines for the old secular
establishment of the cathedral; famous for piety and holiness, and in
favour with the Conqueror and the two sons who succeeded him; died in
1108, aged 84; buried by Anselm in the cathedral, where a plain tomb is
still called by his name.

#Ralph d'Escures#, an abbot of Sées who had been forced to flee by Robert
of Bellême; a friend of Gundulf; some architectural work at Rochester
carried out under his sway; Archbishop of Canterbury in 1114; died in

#Ernulf# came next in 1115; had been successively Prior of Canterbury and
Abbot of Peterborough; built at both those places as well as at
Rochester; famous for saintliness, and a great authority on canon law;
perhaps best known generally by Sterne's comments in "Tristram Shandy"
on the terrible excommunication curse contained in his "Textus
Roffensis"; died in 1124.

#John#, formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury; Bishop of Rochester in 1125;
cathedral consecrated in his time; died in 1137.

#John#, formerly Abbot of Sées; appointed in 1137; died in 1142.

#Ascelin#, succeeded in 1142; active bishop, even visited Rome for the
monks of his cathedral; died in 1148.

#Walter#, chosen in 1148; the first bishop elected by the monks of the
Priory of St. Andrew, the right being granted them by his brother
Archbishop Theobald; formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury; died in 1182.

#Gualeran#, appointed in 1182; formerly Archdeacon of Bayeux; died in

#Gilbert de Glanvill#, consecrated in 1185; employed earlier by Becket on
a mission to the Pope; quarrelled with his monks and helped Archbishops
Baldwin and Hubert Walter (a friend of his own) against those of
Canterbury; died 1214, before the Interdict was removed; buried at
Rochester, where a tomb is shown as his.

#Benedict de Sansetun#, succeeded in 1215; saw cathedral plundered, and
great works in new choir; died in 1226.

#Henry Sandford#; new choir entered in his first year, 1227; in a sermon
at Sittingbourne said that the release from Purgatory, in one day, of
Richard I., Stephen Langton, and a chaplain of the latter, had been
revealed to him; died in 1235.

#Richard de Wendover#, not consecrated till 1238; monks had to appeal to
Rome, against the archbishop's claims, to get their election of him
confirmed; died in 1250.

#Lawrence de Saint Martin#, succeeded in 1251; appealed to Pope against a
robbery of his see by Archbishop Boniface; at Rome for the canonization
of St. William in 1256; died in 1274; his tomb (in the choir) has been

#Walter de Merton#, appointed in 1274; before this, chancellor (1261-63;
1272-74) and justiciar; founded his college at Maldon, and afterwards
transferred it to Oxford; drowned in the Medway in 1277; buried in the
cathedral (north choir transept).

#John de Bradfield#, a monk at Rochester; became bishop in 1277; died in
1283; buried in the cathedral (south choir aisle).

#Thomas Inglethorp#, appointed in 1283; formerly Dean of St. Paul's and
Archdeacon of Middlesex; died in 1291; buried in the cathedral

#Thomas de Wouldham#, Prior of Rochester, became bishop in 1292; died in

#Hamo de Hythe#, appointed in 1319 after a delay caused by Pope's wish to
nominate John de Puteoli; did much for church and renewed the shrines of
St. Paulinus and St. Ythamar; died in 1352; tomb in the cathedral (north
choir aisle).

#John de Sheppey#, succeeded in 1352; treasurer of England, 1326-58; died
in 1360; buried on the north side of the choir.

#William of Whittlesea#, Bishop of Rochester, 1362; of Worcester, 1364;
Archbishop of Canterbury, 1368; died in 1374.

#Thomas Trilleck#, succeeded in 1364; formerly Dean of St. Paul's; died in

#Thomas Brinton#, appointed in 1373 by the Pope, who rejected the monk's
nominee, their prior, John Hertley; a Benedictine of Norwich; had been
penitentiary to the Roman see; died in 1389.

#William de Bottisham#, transferred from Llandaff in 1389, the Pope
rejecting John Barnet; died in 1400.

#John de Bottisham#, succeeded in 1400; died in 1404; this repetition of
the same surname has caused some confusion.

#Richard Young#, translated from Bangor in 1404; seems not to have taken
full possession of see till 1407; died in 1418.

#John Kemp#, at earlier dates Keeper of Privy Seal and Chancellor of
Normandy; Bishop of Rochester, 1419; of Chichester, 1421; of London,
1421; Archbishop of York, 1426; of Canterbury, 1452; Cardinal, 1439;
prominent member of Beaufort party; Chancellor of England; served on
several important political missions; died in 1454.

#John Langdon#, appointed in 1434; a royal councillor; author of an
Anglorum Chronicon; died at Basle in 1434.

#Thomas Brown#, succeeded in 1435; in 1436, while still at Basle,
translated by the Pope to Norwich; died in 1445.

#William Wells#, Abbot of York, succeeded in 1437; died before 26 February

#John Lowe#, translated from St. Asaph in 1444; English Provincial of the
Order of St. Augustine; died in 1467; buried in north choir transept.

#Thomas Rotheram# (or #Scott#), appointed in 1468; translated to Lincoln,
1472; Archbishop of York, 1480; died in 1500; had been Chaplain to
Edward IV., Keeper of the Privy Seal, and, in 1474, Lord Chancellor.

#John Alcock# succeeded in 1472; Privy Councillor, 1470-71; Lord
Chancellor, 1474; first Lord President of Wales, 1476; tutor to Edward
V., removed by Gloucester; under Henry VII., baptized Prince Arthur;
comptroller of the royal works, and again Lord Chancellor; a great
architect, works at Ely and Cambridge; translated to Worcester in 1476,
to Ely in 1486; "devoted to learning and piety"; died in 1500.

#John Russell#, succeeded in 1476; translated to Lincoln, 1480; died in

#Edmund Audley#, Canon of York; Bishop of Rochester, 1480; of Hereford,
1492; of Salisbury, 1502; died in 1524; a legatee and executor of Henry

#Thomas Savage#, Canon of York, Dean of the King's Chapel at Westminster;
Bishop of Rochester, 1492, of London, 1496; Archbishop of York, 1501;
died in 1507.

#Richard FitzJames# succeeded in 1496; translated to Chichester in 1503
and to London in 1506; died in 1522; a famous warden of Merton; Royal
Almoner in 1495; did not favour Colet's efforts at reform.

#John Fisher#, having risen to the Chancellorship of Cambridge University
in 1504, was then made, for his "grete and singular virtue," Bishop of
Rochester; he and his patron, Lady Margaret, were great benefactors to
Cambridge; a friend of Erasmus; opposed Henry VIII.'s divorce and the
royal supremacy; made a cardinal just before he bravely and resignedly
met his death in 1535.

#John Hilsey# came then in 1535; formerly Prior of the Dominicans in
London; one of Cromwell's commissioners, compiled at his orders a
service book in English; exposed the miraculous rood of Boxley at St.
Paul's Cross; died in 1538.

#Richard Heath#, succeeded in 1539; had been Almoner to Henry VIII.;
translated to Worcester, 1543; deprived for a time, but restored on
Queen Mary's accession; Archbishop of York, 1555; Chancellor; held both
the last appointments under Elizabeth, whose accession he proclaimed,
but had to resign when the Act of Supremacy was enforced.

#Henry Holbeach#, succeeded in 1543; translated to Lincoln in 1546;
previously suffragan Bishop of Bristol, and Prior (later Dean) of

#Nicholas Ridley#, succeeded in 1547; translated to London when Bonner was
removed in 1550; a famous Protestant, learned and pious; the story of
his martyrdom with Latimer at Oxford, in 1555, is well known.

#John Poynet#, succeeded in 1550; translated to Winchester, 1551; left
England when Mary became Queen; died at Strasburg in 1556.

#John Scory#, appointed in 1551; a great preacher; translated to
Chichester in 1552; bishop of Hereford in 1559, when able to return from
Friesland; died in 1585.

#Maurice Griffith#, appointed after an interval of about two years;
educated by the Dominicans at Oxford; formerly Archdeacon of Rochester;
one or two Protestants were burnt during his episcopacy; died in 1558.

#Edmund Gheast#, consecrated in 1559 and made Almoner to the Queen;
transferred to Salisbury, 1571; died in 1578.

#Edmund Freake#, succeeded in 1571; previously Dean of Rochester, and of
Salisbury; Queen's Almoner in 1572; translated to Norwich in 1575, to
Worcester in 1584; scandal at Norwich, his wife "will looke on him as
the Divell lookes over Lincoln;" troubles with Puritans; died in

#John Piers#, succeeded in 1576; Bishop of Salisbury, 1577; Archbishop of
York, 1589; Lord High Almoner, 1576; employed and consulted by the
Queen; died in 1594.

#John Yonge#, became bishop in 1578; thought avaricious, but the annual
revenue of his see shown not to exceed £220; died in 1605.

#William Barlow#, succeeded in 1605; wrote other works besides his
account, denounced as partial by the Puritans, of the famous Hampton
Court Conference; translated to Lincoln, 1608; died in 1613.

#Richard Neile#, succeeded in 1608; introduced Laud to the King's notice;
Bishop of Lichfield, 1610, of Durham, 1617 and of Winchester, 1627;
Archbishop of York, 1631; privy councillor; employed in famous Essex
divorce case; sat in the courts of High Commission and of the Star
Chamber; died in 1640.

#John Buckeridge#, formerly a canon at Rochester; confirmed as bishop in
1611; formerly a royal chaplain; took part in Essex case; active in
religious discussions; translated to Ely, 1628; died in 1631.

#Walter Curle#, appointed in 1628; translated to Bath and Wells in 1629,
to Winchester in 1632; deprived by Parliamentarians and apparently in
great straits before he died, c. 1650.

#John Bowle#, appointed in 1629; apparently in ill-health, and
consequently neglectful, for three years before his death in 1637.

#John Warner#, succeeded in 1638; seems to have been the last to struggle
for his order's place in Parliament; deprived of revenues, but allowed
to stay at Bromley under the Commonwealth; one of the nine bishops who
lived till the Restoration; employed in the Savoy Conference; wealthy;
benefactor to the cathedral and to Magdalen and Balliol Colleges,
Oxford; founded college for clergymen's widows at Bromley; died in 1666;
the last bishop buried in the cathedral.

#John Dolben#, made bishop in 1666; had served at Marston Moor and been
wounded at York; retained his deanery of Westminster _in commendam_;
translated to York in 1683; died in 1686.

#Francis Turner#, succeeded in 1683; translated to Ely in 1684; one of the
seven bishops who petitioned against the Declaration of Indulgence,
though he had been James II.'s chaplain; had to give up his see on
account of his belief in James' divine right; died in 1700.

#Thomas Sprat#, Dean of Westminster, became Bishop of Rochester in 1685;
of such literary ability as to have a place in Johnson's "Lives of the
Poets;" wrote a poem on the death of Cromwell, a history of the Royal
Society, a life of Cowley, etc.; in no great favour with William's
government; implicated in the fabricated Flower-pot Plot, the papers
concerning which were said to have been found in a flower-pot at
Bromley; seems to have been somewhat of a time-server; died in 1713.

#Francis Atterbury#, born in 1662; took orders after the Revolution;
became a Royal Chaplain, but still lived usually at Oxford; took part in
the great controversy between Boyle and Bentley, on the Epistles of
Phalaris; successively Archdeacon of Totnes, Dean of Carlisle, Dean of
Christ Church, Oxford, and finally in 1713 Bishop of Rochester; in 1710
composed the speech for Sacheverell's defence before the House of Lords;
a Tory, but, though he had tried to procure the proclamation of James
III., he assisted at George I.'s coronation; deprived, for Jacobitism,
of his see and banished in 1723; retired to Brussels and then for his
health's sake to Paris; served James almost as a prime minister; in 1728
he left this service owing to bad treatment, but re-entered it before
his death, after nine years of exile, in 1731-2.

#Samuel Bradford#, refused the see of St. David's in 1710; accepted that
of Carlisle in 1718; translated to Rochester in 1723; in 1725 first dean
of the revised Order of the Bath; his "Discourse concerning Baptismal
and Spiritual Regeneration" (1709) had great popularity; died in 1731 at
the Deanery, Westminster; buried in the Abbey.

#Joseph Wilcocks#, translated in 1731, from Gloucester, which see he had
held since 1721; the new west front of Westminster Abbey finished in his
time; he refused the Archbishopric of York before his death in 1756.

#Zachary Pearce#, succeeded in 1756; previously Dean of Winchester in
1739, and Bishop of Bangor in 1747; in 1768 he resigned the Deanery of
Westminster, which he had held with his bishopric, but was not allowed
to resign the see; died in 1774. While a fellow of Trin. Coll., Camb.,
he edited Longinus' works and Cicero's "De Oratore" and "De Officiis."

#John Thomas# was then bishop from 1774 until his death in 1793.

#Samuel Horsley#, born in 1733; a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1767, and
one of its secretaries in 1773; Archdeacon of St. Alban's in 1782;
resigned his membership of the Royal Society on account of the dispute,
in 1783-4, with Sir Joseph Banks about its management; in 1785 he
completed his edition of Newton's works; Prebendary of Gloucester, in
1787; Bishop of St. David's in 1788; translated to Rochester, with the
deanery Westminster, in 1793, and thence to St. Asaph in 1802; died in
1806, showing his carelessness in money matters by letting a life policy
for £5,000 lapse two days before his death; had engaged much in
controversy with Priestley.

The Bishops of Rochester during this century have been #Thomas Dampier#,
from 1802 to 1808, when he was translated to Ely; #Walter King#, from 1809
to 1827; #Hugh Percy#, appointed in 1827 but translated in the same year
to Carlisle; #George Murray#, from 1827 to 1860; #Joseph Cotton Wigram#,
from 1860 to 1867; #Thomas Legh Claughton#, from 1867 until his transfer
to the new see of St. Alban's in 1877; #Anthony Wilson Thorold#, from 1877
until his translation to Winchester in 1891; #Dr. Randall Thomas
Davidson#, who succeeded Dr. Thorold at Rochester, and again, on his
death, at Winchester in 1895, and #Dr. Edward Stuart Talbot#, appointed in
1895, and still governing the diocese. These have all been worthy of
their distinguished position and of their predecessors in the see.


       *       *       *       *       *

Bell's Cathedral Series.


_In specially designed cloth cover, crown 8vo, 1s. 6d. each._

Now Ready:

In Preparation:
EXETER.            LINCOLN.          ST. ALBANS.
OXFORD.            NORWICH.          ST. PAUL'S.
DURHAM.            WORCESTER.        WELLS.
RIPON.             GLOUCESTER.       BRISTOL.
ELY.               LICHFIELD.        YORK.

#First 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 and Sons."--_St. James's Gazette._

"Visitors to the cathedral cities of England must often have felt the
need of some work dealing with the history and antiquities of the city
itself, and the architecture and associations of the cathedral, more
portable than the elaborate monographs which have been devoted to some
of them, more scholarly and satisfying than the average local
guide-book, and more copious than the section devoted to them in the
general guide-book of the county or district. Such a legitimate need the
'Cathedral Series' now being issued by Messrs. George Bell and Sons
under the editorship of Mr. Gleeson White and Mr. E. F. Strange seems
well calculated to supply. The volumes, two of which relating to
Canterbury and Salisbury have already been issued, 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

"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._

"Half the charm of this little book on Canterbury springs from the
writer's recognition of the historical association of so majestic a
building with the fortunes, destinies, and habits of the English
people.... One admirable feature of the book is its artistic
illustrations. They are both lavish and satisfactory--even when regarded
with critical eyes."--_Speaker._

"Every aspect of Salisbury is passed in swift, picturesque survey in
this charming little volume, and the illustrations in this case also
heighten perceptibly the romantic appeal of an unconventional but
scholarly guide-book."--_Speaker._

"There is likely to be a large demand for these attractive

"Bell's 'Cathedral Series,' so admirably edited by Mr. Gleeson White, is
more than a description of the various English cathedrals. It will be a
valuable historical record, and a work of much service also to the
architect. We have received the small volumes devoted to Salisbury and
Canterbury. The illustrations are well selected, and in many cases not
mere bald architectural drawings but reproductions of exquisite stone
fancies, touched in their treatment by fancy and guided by

"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 readable. The illustrations supply a further important
feature; they are both numerous and good. Taken altogether, therefore,
the two 'Guides' very worthily inaugurate 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,
edited generally by Mr. Gleeson White, 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. To judge it by its first two
volumes, those on Canterbury and Salisbury, 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._

"A set of little books which may be described as very useful, very
pretty, and very cheap ... and alike in the letterpress, the
illustrations, and the remarkably choice binding, they are ideal
guides."--_Liverpool Daily Post._

"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._


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Rochester - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See" ***

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