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Title: Bell's Cathedrals: The Church of St. Martin Canterbury - An Illustrated Account of its History and Fabric
Author: Routledge, C. F.
Language: English
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[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH (SOUTH SIDE).
  _Photochrom Co. Ltd., Photo._]



THE CHURCH OF ST. MARTIN CANTERBURY

AN ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORY AND FABRIC


BY THE REV. C. F. ROUTLEDGE, M.A., F.S.A.

HON. CANON OF CANTERBURY


[Illustration: Arms of the See]


LONDON GEORGE BELL & SONS 1898


  W. H. WHITE AND CO. LTD.
  RIVERSIDE PRESS, EDINBURGH



PREFACE


The associations connected with St. Martin's Church are manifold, and of
universal interest. During recent explorations so much fresh matter has
been brought to light that it has become almost necessary to re-write
the structural description of the building, and to re-consider the date
of its foundation. We have endeavoured to lay before our readers a plain
summary of the discoveries that have been made, and to elucidate them,
as far as possible, from the pages of history--for (in the words of a
sound antiquary) "It is every day more true that people _want_ history
in guide-books. The tourist is a much better informed person than he
used to be, and desires to be still more so."


                                                   Charles F. Routledge.

CANTERBURY, _May 1898_.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  CHAPTER I.--Introduction                                             3
    Early Christianity in Britain                                      6

  CHAPTER II.--History of the Church                                  14
    Roman Canterbury                                                  15
    The Saxon Invasion                                                21
    The Mission of St. Augustine                                      24
    Baptism of Ethelbert                                              31
    Bishops of St. Martin's                                           34

  CHAPTER III.--
    Description of the Church--Exterior                               41
      Dedication                                                      41
      Walls                                                           45
      Buttresses                                                      48
      Doorways                                                        51
    Description--Interior                                             62
      Font                                                            67
      West Wall of Nave                                               71
      Norman Piscina                                                  74
      Chancel                                                         76
      Chrismatory                                                     83

  APPENDIX A: List of Rectors                                         93
           B: Date of Church                                          94
           C: Eastern Apse, etc.                                      99



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                    PAGE

  St. Martin's Church (South Side)                        _Frontispiece_
  East End of Church (Cathedral in Distance)                           2
  West Front of Church (Exterior)                                     15
  Plan of Roman Canterbury                                            16
  Church in 1840 (Interior)                                           39
  Plan of Church                                                      42
  S.-E. Angle of Nave (Foundations)                                   49
  Stukely's Engraving of Church                                       50
  Foundations (under Panel)                                           51
  Mrs Parry's Sketch of S.-W. of Chancel                              53
  Wall above Adjunct                                                  55
  Saxon Doorway (Interior)                                            57
  Saxon Doorway (Exterior)                                            59
  Font                                                                65
  West Wall of Nave                                                   69
  Roman Window                                                        72
  Norman Piscina                                                      75
  Chancel (Photo)                                                     77
  Sedile                                                              79
  Queen Bertha's Tomb                                                 81
  Chrismatory (Shut)                                                  83
  Chrismatory (Open)                                                  85
  St. Martin's (from Old Print)                                       91
  Tracings of Apse--Appendix C                                        99


[Illustration: EAST END OF CHURCH (SHOWING CATHEDRAL IN  THE DISTANCE).
  _Photochrom Co. Ltd., Photo._]



ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


St. Martin's Church, both from its history and structure occupies a unique
position. It is at once the cradle of purely _English_ Christianity,
and also a witness of that earlier Christianity which existed in Britain
during the period of the Roman occupation. At the recent commemoration
of the thirteen-hundredth anniversary of the "coming of St. Augustine," a
solemn pilgrimage was made by the Archbishops and Bishops of the Anglican
communion to this venerable church as being the _one_ remaining building
that could certainly be associated with St. Augustine's preaching;
the _one_ spot that without doubt felt his personal presence, whatever
we may think of the more or less strong claims put forth on behalf of
Ebb's Fleet, Richborough Castle, the ruins of St. Pancras, or the site
of Canterbury Cathedral. In a prayer specially written for that occasion
occurs the following passage: "We give Thee, O God, hearty thanks that
by the preaching of Thy Blessed Servant Augustine, especially in this
Holy House in which we are gathered together in Thy Name, Thou didst
bring home the truth of the Gospel to our English forefathers, and didst
call them out of darkness into Thy marvellous Light."

At the same time, those who were somewhat jealous of the claims of
St. Augustine to be considered (as he often is by modern Roman Catholics)
"the introducer of Christianity into this island," could point to the
fact that, though the _ecclesia vetusta_ of Glastonbury had disappeared,
and its later abbey was in ruins, there was _here_ some portion at least
of an actual edifice stated by the Venerable Bede to have been "dedicated
to the honour of St. Martin, and built of old, while the Romans were
still occupying Britain,"--that is, at least 200 years before the advent
of the Italian Mission.

Beyond this authentic passage, the proofs of its pre-Augustinian origin
can be gathered only from the evidence of archaeological research, upon
which we shall enter hereafter: and we must to a great extent depend
upon this same evidence for its subsequent history after 597 A.D.,
though it undoubtedly gave the title of "Bishops of St. Martin's"
to some _chorepiscopi_ before the Norman Conquest. The interesting
detailed references to individual churches, usually gleaned from ancient
Archidiaconal Visitation Registers, are wanting in this case, because
the church is, and always has been, exempt from the jurisdiction of
the Archdeacon of Canterbury, and we can derive little or no information
from the archives at Lambeth, since the Archiepiscopal visitations were,
as a rule, merely diocesan and not parochial.

The church is situated on a gently-sloping hill, about a thousand yards
due east of the cathedral.

To one looking from the elevated terrace which bounds its churchyard,
the panorama is exceedingly picturesque and beautiful. In the distance
rises a range of low wooded hills that almost encircle Canterbury,
and the conspicuous building of Hales' Place, now the Jesuits' College;
while beneath is spread in a hollow the city itself, with its red-tiled
roofs interspersed with patches of green, the library and twin towers
of St. Augustine's Abbey, and above all the massive cathedral, with
"Becket's Crown" in the foreground, and the central "Bell Harry" tower
lifting out of the morning's mist its magnificent pinnacles and tracery.

The prospect to Dean Stanley's eye was "one of the most inspiriting that
could be found in the world," because of its religious associations, and
its reminder that great and lasting good could spring from the smallest
beginning. But even in its physical aspect, it is one that, in England
at least, can seldom be surpassed; and in olden times the view must have
been even more grand and extensive than it is at present, as the church
stood in almost solitary grandeur, a permanent brick and stone edifice,
above the wooden buildings nestling among thickets of ash--fit emblem
of the durability of Divine, as compared with the perishable nature of
human, institutions. It must even then have been somewhat of a marvel,
on account of the rare mode of its construction, for at that early
epoch churches were usually built of hewn oak, and the stone church of
St. Ninian's at Whithern is specially mentioned by Bede as having been
erected "in a manner unusual among the Britons."

The hill itself, on its northern and eastern sides, is honey-combed with
springs, from which down to a late period the city was supplied with
water. We can imagine it studded here and there with Roman villas, of
which some remains in the shape of tesselated pavements were discovered
two or three centuries ago--and crowned possibly by a small Roman
encampment; while the church, situated only a few yards off the road to
Richborough, would frequently have been seen and admired by soldiers on
their march from the sea coast to the great fortress of London, or to
the southern stations at Lympne and Dover.

Imagination would picture to itself the reverence felt for so sacred
and venerable a spot, yet the fact remains, that up to a recent date the
present church was regarded simply as a memorial of the past, a monument
erected on the site of the ancient edifice, and reproducing some of its
characteristic materials.

Mr Matthew W. Bloxam, for instance, in his preliminary observations to
the "Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture," after giving a
sketch of its history and ancient fame, declares that it was _rebuilt_
in the twelfth or thirteenth century, though to all appearance with the
materials of the original church. Even Dean Stanley, who cherished for
it a fond and enthusiastic love, assures us that, old as the present
church is, "it is of far later date than Bertha's Chapel"; while so close
an observer of archaeological facts as the late Mr Thomas Wright sweeps
away all question as to its traditional continuity by stating boldly that
"not a trace of Christianity is found among the innumerable religious
and sepulchral monuments of the Roman period in Britain!"

It has been pertinently observed, that "these are conclusions too hastily
arrived at; and antiquaries should ever remember that their facts of
to-day may receive fresh additions, illustrations, and corrections from
the discoveries of to-morrow,"--for since 1880 a series of explorations
arried out both above and below ground, and a minute investigation into
the character of the existing masonry, have made it more than probable
that parts of the original structure mentioned by Bede are still standing,
and that the present walls were not only consecrated by the preaching,
and actually touched by the hand, of St. Augustine, but may be traced
back to a considerably earlier period.

The church has survived its period of apparent disuse after the Roman
departure from Britain. It escaped the destructiveness of the Jutes,
and the devastation inflicted on Canterbury by the Danish invaders,
and has been preserved to us (as we hope to show hereafter) a venerable
and genuine relic of Romano-British Christianity. It suffered, indeed,
after the Norman Conquest, both from centuries of neglect and also from
so-called restoration--becoming at one time what Mr Ruskin would call
"an interesting ruin," at another time being plastered and modernised
till its ancient features were almost obliterated; but even when enemies
were attacking religion from without, and faith grew cold within, the
worship of Almighty God was carried on continuously under the shadow of
its sacred walls, and on its altar for more than thirteen centuries has
been offered the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist.

History is silent as to its builder--silent as to the exact date of its
foundation. In the simple words of Fuller, "The Light of the Word shone
here, but we know not who kindled it."

The mere fact of the existence of such a church involves of necessity the
further question as to its immediate origin, whether it be attributed to
Roman Christians, or to British converts working under the influence, if
not the direct superintendence, of their conquerors. And in discussing
this, we must perforce touch lightly the fringe of that well-worn,
yet ever-fascinating, inquiry respecting the "earliest introduction of
Christianity into Britain"--difficult as it is in ancient traditions
and allusions to dissociate fact from fiction, genuine documents from
forgeries, history from legend, so eager were the so-called writers of
ecclesiastical history to advance their theories, even at the expense
of truth.

We may indeed derive some assistance from the fact which we learn
from secular historians, that in Apostolic times there was frequent
communication between Rome and Britain. After the first conquest of
Britain, Roman governors were sent in almost uninterrupted succession,
and with them would come, of course, legions and cohorts, perhaps even
some of the Prætorian soldiers in whose company the apostle St. Paul
lived for a time during the reign of Nero. British chieftains were
taken prisoners to Rome, and their sons left there as hostages. Some
few Romans, too, such as Seneca, the brother of Gallio, held large
possessions in the island. People and places connected with Britain are
mentioned by the Roman poets Martial and Juvenal, and by the historian
Tacitus. With such constant intercourse as there must have been, stories
at least and reports of Christianity would have been brought over to the
island as early as the first century, and there were probably individual
Christians either among the numerous soldiers quartered here, or among
returned captives. We may be doubtful whether at so early an epoch, save
perhaps in a few exceptional cases, they formed themselves into regular
societies or congregations, and it is not likely that they erected for
themselves permanent places of worship. No such antiquity as this can be
claimed even for the remains of the Roman church found amid the ruins
of Silchester; and church building, as it is generally understood, did
not begin at Rome before the fourth century, and it would have taken a
few years to spread thence to Gaul, and from Gaul to Britain.

That Christianity did exist in Britain from early times, in a more or
less settled form, is no longer a matter of dispute. In the words of
Gildas, "Christ, the true Son, offered His rays (_i.e._ His precepts)
to this island, benumbed with icy coldness, and lying far distant from
the visible sun. I do not mean from the sun of the temporal firmament,
but from the Sun of the highest arch of heaven, existing before all
time." Relative to this fact there are a few statements of ancient writers
given at dates which are precisely known, during the third century and
subsequently: and these statements are familiar to all students, so
that they need not be recapitulated at any length. Tertullian (in 208),
Origen (in 239), Eusebius (about 320), allude in unmistakable terms to
the existence of British Christianity, however rhetorical the passages
may appear.

There is, too, the account of the martyrdom of _St. Alban_, recorded at
length in the pages of Bede, which cannot be treated as an idle legend.
It took place at Verulam during the persecution under Diocletian and
Maximian, somewhere about 303. Although the record does not rest on
contemporary evidence, the story was fully believed at Verulam itself as
far back as 429 A.D. (_i.e._ within a hundred and twenty-six years of the
traditional date) and is accepted by Constantius in the fifth, as well
as by Gildas and Venantius Fortunatus in the sixth, century--while the
difficulty of believing in the possibility of a persecution in Britain,
which was then under the kindly and tolerant rule of Constantius,
seems to us purely imaginary. It is hardly probable that Constantius
would have been able to restrain the persecuting zeal of subordinates,
in face of the superior authority of Maximian, who is said by Gibbon to
have "entertained the most implacable aversion to the name and religion
of the Christians." Dean Milman sees no reason for calling in question
the historic reality of the event, and suggests that the probable fact
of St. Alban being a Roman soldier may have been an additional reason
for his not having received the "doubtful protection" of Constantius.

But after this period we come to even surer ground--and from the beginning
of the fourth century we find a Christian church fully organised in
Britain. At the Council of Arles (in 314) three British bishops were
present, whose very names and dioceses are recorded--viz. Eborius of York,
Restitutus of London, and Adelphius of Caerleon-on-Usk or Lincoln. British
bishops took part in the Councils of Sardica (347) and Ariminium (359),
and probably also in the great Council of Nicæan (325). We have also
testimony to a regular organisation in the pages of St. Chrysostom,
Jerome, Theodoret, etc., ranging from the end of the fourth to the
beginning of the fifth century. The conversion of the Southern Picts by
Ninian, Bishop of Whithern--the visits of Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre,
and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, to Verulam and elsewhere--the missions of
Palladius and Patrick to Ireland--the pilgrimages of British Christians to
the Holy Land--and even the fact of the Pelagian heresy being propagated
by a Briton--all equally bear witness to the prevalence of Christianity
in these early centuries, so that Gildas may not be drawing entirely on
his imagination when he describes the Church as "spread over the nation,
organised, endowed, having sacred edifices and altars, the three orders
of the ministry and monastic institutions, embracing the people of all
ranks and classes, and having its own version of the Bible, and its own
ritual."

Now, in view of these facts, many writers have not unnaturally endeavoured
to trace the introduction of Christianity to some great man, or to some
special effort. It seemed so impossible that a complete organisation
should have sprung up without a definite founder--and claims have been
made on behalf of St. Peter, St. John, Simon Zelotes, and Aristobulus,
though without even a shadow of probability to recommend them. Something,
indeed, may be urged in favour of the pious belief that St. Paul made
his way to this island between his first and second imprisonment. St.
Clement of Rome says that he preached "to the extreme boundary of the
West"; St. Chrysostom, that from Illyricum "he went to the very ends
of the earth"; and Theodoret, that the Apostles, including St. Paul,
"brought to all men the laws of the Gospel, and persuaded not only the
Romans ... but also the Britons, to receive the laws of the Crucified,"
while the theory has received the support of Soames, Bishop Burgess,
Collier, and other ecclesiastical writers--even Bishop Lightfoot thinking
it "not improbable that the western journey of St. Paul included a visit
to Gaul," from which an extension of his journey to Britain would not
of course be impossible. It is true, too, that (as with the closing
years of St. Peter) there is an interval of time after St. Paul's first
imprisonment (variously estimated as from four to eight years) which
cannot be accounted for; and that the mere fact of silence as to St. Paul
having preached in this island need not be unduly pressed, because Britain
was at that time an obscure and unimportant province at the extremity of
the Roman empire. But the critical historian cannot accept what is, after
all, a mere conjecture, unsupported by long tradition or any positive
evidence--any more than he can lay stress upon what is only a curious
coincidence, between the mention by Martial of Claudia, a British lady in
Rome newly married to Pudens--and the salutation of "Claudia and Pudens"
in St. Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy, written from Rome. The theory
as to this identification, is based on a string of hypotheses, called
by Dean Farrar "an elaborate rope of sand." Similar remarks would also
apply to the legend that the father of Caractacus, King of the Silures,
called Bran the Blessed, was converted to Christianity when captive at
Rome (A.D. 51-58) and introduced the Gospel into his native country
on his return, though there is a tradition to that effect incorporated
into the Welsh Triads, which are probably none of them earlier than
the fourteenth century. Tacitus (Ann. xii. 35) only mention the "wife,
daughter and brothers" of Caractacus as having surrendered with him,
and he would scarcely have omitted the "father," if he had shared their
captivity.

There is, indeed, one story which we are very loath to surrender--viz.
the story that St. Joseph of Arimathea was sent, with twelve companions,
to Britain by the Apostle St. Philip (about 63 A.D.) settled in the Isle
of Avalon or Glastonbury, and founded there a monastery, striking his
staff into the earth, and making it burst, like Aaron's rod, into leaf,
and bloom with the blossom of the Holy Thorn. This legend, indeed, is not
actually recorded in writing before William of Malmesbury in the twelfth
century, but it may have rested on earlier local tradition. We know
that Glastonbury was a Christian sanctuary before the Saxons conquered
the district, and Bishop Browne (of Bristol) reminds us that Domesday
Book speaks of the "twelve _hides_ (the portions of land said to have
been granted to St. Joseph's companions) which never have been taxed,"
and that at the Council of Basle in 1431 the English Church claimed and
received precedence as founded by St. Joseph of Arimathea in Apostolic
times. The tradition, too, that the first British Christians erected
at Glastonbury a church made of twigs or wattlework (called afterwards
the _Vetusta Ecclesia_, and only destroyed by fire in 1184) has been
illustrated, if not confirmed, by recent discoveries at Glastonbury (among
the ruins of British houses burned with fire) of baked clay showing the
impress of wattlework. There is no known fact connected with the life
of St. Joseph of Arimathea that would negative the conclusion that he
might have been sent to Britain as a missionary.

Some difficulties would be solved if we could believe the tale about
Lucius, a British King, having requested Eleutherius, Bishop of Rome
from 171 to 185, to send someone to teach his people Christianity. This
legend is recorded by Bede, partly confirmed by Nennius, and accepted
by William of Malmesbury. And the name of Lucius has been variously
associated with Winchester, Gloucester, Llandaff, St. Peter's Cornhill,
St. Martin's Church, St. Mary's Church in Dover Castle, and even the
church on the site of Canterbury Cathedral. The story probably owed
its origin to a note in _Catalogus Pontificum Romanorum_, but it does
not occur in the earlier catalogue written about 353, and was added
to it nearly two hundred years later, with the object apparently of
connecting the primitive growth of Christianity in Britain with the See of
Rome. Though this ancient story cannot be considered as historical, it is
not altogether impossible that it had some foundation in an application
from a British prince to receive instruction in Christianity about the
end of the second century: and this would give point to the statement of
Tertullian (in 208) that "the kingdom and name of Christ were venerated
in districts of Britain not yet reached by the Romans."

There is much force in the conclusion arrived at by Bishop Browne, that,
"with Gaul so close at hand, its people so near of kin, its government
so identical with theirs, the Britons would learn Christianity from,
and through, Gaul," to whose church ours should occupy the position of
a younger sister. At the same time, this fact must be considered--viz.
that the earliest bishops mentioned as having attended the Council of
Aries are anterior in point of time to the dated bishops in a great
majority of the dioceses of Gaul adjacent to this island, so that we
should not too readily abandon the possible belief that there was an
independent church in Britain, though we know not _when_ or _by whom_
it was founded.

It only remains in this chapter to mention a few of the traces of British
Christianity as supplied by monumental or other evidence well attested. We
may believe, with Bede, that over St. Alban's tomb at Verulam, "when the
peace of the Christian times returned, a church was built of wonderful
workmanship, and worthy of that martyr"; and three churches are spoken
of at Caerleon, two of which were dedicated to Julius and Aaron, said
to have been martyred in the Diocletian persecution; another at Bangor
Iscoed, near Chester; besides one at Candida Casa or Whithern, and the
Vetusta Ecclesia at Glastonbury, our own church of St. Martin, and the
foundations of that lately discovered in Roman Silchester. This is a
fair number, even if we pass over for the time any possible claims to
Roman origin on the part of Brixworth, Lyminge, Reculver, and St. Mary's
Church in Dover Castle, all of which are ascribed to the Saxon period
by Mr J. T. Micklethwaite in his interesting paper read at Canterbury
in 1896 before the meeting of the Royal Archæological Institute--though
we need not allow that his reasoning is in all cases indisputable.

We possess, too, some sepulchral monuments and inscriptions (not
at present very extensive, but probably greatly to be multiplied as
fresh excavations and explorations are made) at St. Mary le Wigfred,
Lincoln, Caerleon, and Barming, and the _Chi-Rho_ monogram (which
was first introduced as a Christian symbol by the Emperor Constantine
at the beginning of the fourth century) on various rings, stones, and
tesselated pavements, also crosses on pavements at Harpole and Harkstow,
and various Christian formulas such as "Vivas in Deo," "In pace," etc.

The dogmatism and incredulity of antiquaries may well be illustrated in
the case of Mr T. Wright ("The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon"). He
disbelieves in all traces of Christianity said to be found among
monuments of the Roman period; and his scepticism is thorough and
comprehensive--more extreme in our opinion than the credulity which he
denounces. He allows, indeed, the possibility of there having been some
individuals among recruits and merchants and settlers who had embraced
the truths of the Gospel, but with a qualification. He thinks the early
allusions made by Tertullian, Origen, Jerome, and others are "little
better than flourishes of rhetoric." The list of British bishops at
the Council of Aries seems to him "extremely suspicious, much like the
invention of a later period." He disbelieves the whole account of the
Diocletian persecution having extended to Britain, even partially or
locally. He doubts the authenticity of the work attributed to Gildas,
though his objections have been met and set at rest, for most people,
by such competent authorities as Dr Guest and others. But, as an instance
of what I cannot but designate as far-fetched scepticism, we may note his
explanation of the Christian monogram found on the pavement of a Roman
villa at Frampton. He does not question its genuineness, but explains
it by surmising that the beautiful villa had probably belonged to some
wealthy proprietor, who possessed a taste for literature and philosophy,
and with a tolerant spirit, which led him to surround himself with the
memorials of all systems, had adopted, among the rest, that which he
might learn from some of the imperial coins to be the emblem of
Christ--Jesus Christ standing, in his eyes, on the same footing as
Pythagoras or Socrates.

Surely we have here a warning against the dogmatism which is often
indulged in by archaeological experts, and it may be extended from
monuments and remains to legends and traditions, which are often of
great weight, even when they cannot be historically proved. It is not
unnatural that many people should have become impatient and wearied of
such purely negative criticism.



CHAPTER II

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH


Before coming to the more immediate history of St. Martin's Church,
we must say a few words about the Roman occupation of Canterbury, and
the events preceding the landing of St. Augustine.

The city is mentioned in the second "iter" of Antonine's Itinerary,
under its ancient name of Durovernum or Duroverno, a word supposed to
be compounded of _dour_, "water," and _vern_, which has been variously
interpreted to mean "temple," "marshes," or "alders."

Its position is described as fifty-two miles distant from London,
fourteen from Dover, sixteen from Lympne, and twelve from Richborough;
and the road from London to each of these last-named places divided
itself at this point into three, crossing the ford of the River Stour,
so that it would be a natural station for troops on the march.

The Egyptian geographer, Ptolemy, apparently writing about the middle of
the second century, gives Dur[)e]num as one of the three cities of the
Cantii; while in the fragmentary map known as the _Tabula Peutingerii_
(called so from Conrad Peutinger, in whose library it was found, and
supposed to have been compiled about the time of the Emperor Theodosius
the younger) it is put down as "Buroaverus," evidently a corruption
of copyists, with the conventional mark usually attached to a city or
fortress of considerable size.

Horsley, in his _Britannia Romana_, suggests that Canterbury was the
fortress taken by the seventh legion after Julius Cæsar's second landing;
but this is purely conjectural, and founded on the mistaken belief that
Cæsar landed at Richborough. Even though the fact is not directly
mentioned in the "Notitia Imperii" (enumerating the garrisons of the
Empire), it is far from impossible that at some period or other during
the first four centuries there were some Roman soldiers quartered
for a considerable time at Canterbury. If not wholly or partially
surrounded by walls (which is more than probable), the city was at
any rate defended by earthworks, and we have evidences of a fortified
position held by the Romans immediately above the Whitehall marshes,
north-west of the city; and of a stronghold or fort of masonry on the
so-called Scotland Hills overlooking the Reed Pond.


[Illustration: WEST FRONT OF ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH. (From an Old Print.)]


Whether much stress be laid on this or not, one fact is absolutely
certain, that the extensive Roman foundations discovered by Mr Pilbrow
while constructing the deep-drainage system of the city in 1868, the
number of Roman tesselated pavements, coins, and other relics found at
various periods, and the traces of Roman cemeteries, abundantly prove
that Durovernum developed at length into a large and populous place.

Among various discoveries may be enumerated Samian ware, coffins, conduit
pipes, rings, bottles, urns, Upchurch pottery, spoons, arrowheads,
and skeletons, as well as indications of a large iron foundry; and a long
list of gold ornaments includes portions of châtelaines, fibulæ, studs,
purses, combs; and (what is especially germane to this history) a purple
enamelled Roman brooch of circular shape, and a looped Roman intaglio,
found near St. Martin's Church. All these appear to show that the Roman
occupation of Canterbury was at once complete and continuous.

Of Roman secular buildings above ground there are indeed no remains,
and the ancient city must be traced some eight feet below the present
level. But in St. Margaret's and in Sun Street there are undoubted
evidences of Roman walls. It is not impossible that, when first occupied,
the town of Durovernum was very small, consisting of a citadel surrounded
by earth mounds, and that it gradually extended itself afterwards beyond
its original limits.

The elegance of some of the enamelled brooches and rings, together
with other discoveries, point to a considerable degree of luxury and
civilisation. One writer fancied that he detected the remains of raised
seats for spectators at a circus or amphitheatre in the so-called Martyr's
Field, near the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Station.

The exact dimensions and extent of the city are open to some doubt. Mr
T. Godfrey Faussett fixed the site of the four gates as follows:--(1)
_Worth Gate_, at the end of Castle Street; (2) _Riding Gate_, on the old
road to Dover; (3) _North Gate_, near the present south-west tower of the
Cathedral; and (4) a gate _at the Ford_, in Beer Cart Lane. Tracing the
walls that lie between them, he concluded that the shape of the Roman
town was an irregular oval, different from the usual square or rectangle,
but accounted for by the low swampy ground that surrounded it, and not
unlike the shape of Verulam and Anderida. The city's length, according
to his plan, must have been nearly exactly double its breadth--namely
800 yards by 400.


[Illustration: FROM A PLAN DRAWN BY T. GODFREY FAUSSETT.]


For actual existing buildings that may possibly have been connected with
the Roman occupation, we must have recourse to the _churches_, which
supply us with traces of early Christianity more rich and numerous than
that of any other town in England. These are to be found in St. Martin's,
St. Pancras, and a church on the site of the present Cathedral. Detailed
investigation of them would bring us to some controversial points, for
the discussion of which one must be thoroughly conversant with all the
recent discoveries and explorations that have been made. But we may,
at any rate, state the _documentary_ evidence.

With regard to _St. Martin's_ Church, we have already quoted the statement
made by the Venerable Bede.

The same historian also informs us that Augustine, "when the Episcopal
See was granted to him in the royal city, recovered therein, supported by
the king's assistance, a church which, he was informed, had been built
by the ancient work of Roman believers; and consecrated it in the name
of our Holy Saviour, God and Lord, Jesus Christ."

He does not mention _St. Pancras_, but we are indebted for an account
of it (evidently based on older traditions) to Thorn, a Benedictine
monk of St. Augustine's, in the fourteenth century. "There was not far
from the city towards the east, as it were midway between the Church
of St. Martin and the walls of the city, a temple or idol-house, where
King Ethelbert, according to the rites of his tribe, was wont to pray,
and with his nobles to sacrifice to his demons, and not to God--which
temple Augustine purged from the pollutions and filth of the Gentiles;
and having broken the image which was in it, changed it into a church,
and dedicated it in the name of the martyr St. Pancras; and this was
the first church dedicated by St. Augustine." St. Pancras, a Roman boy
of noble family, was martyred under Diocletian at the age of fourteen,
and was regarded as the patron saint of children. Dean Stanley reminds
us that the monastery of St. Andrew on the Coelian Hill, from which St.
Augustine came, was built on the very property which had belonged to the
family of St. Pancras, so that the name would have been quite familiar
to the Roman missionary.

Now, these are the written traditions with regard to the early churches
of Canterbury. How far, then, are they confirmed by actual discoveries?
A great deal of light has been thrown upon the point within the last few
years. In the course of explorations conducted in the Cathedral crypt
by Canon Scott Robertson, Dr Sheppard, and myself, there was found at
the base of the western wall some masonry of Kentish ragstone covered
by a smooth facing of hard plaster, manifestly older than the columns
of Prior Ernulf's vaulting shafts, and than Lanfranc's masonry in the
upper portion of the wall. We may, therefore, consider it as more than
probable that a portion of this wall (which was laid bare to the length
of twenty-seven feet) formed part of the original building granted to
St. Augustine by King Ethelbert.

The ruins of St. Pancras have also been carefully and minutely
investigated, and traces have been found there of both an undoubtedly
Roman, and a somewhat later, building. Though Mr J. T. Micklethwaite has
satisfied himself that the present foundations can only be assigned to
an Early Saxon period, asserting, indeed, that "we have evidence that
it was used by St. Augustine himself," his arguments can not yet be
accepted as conclusive, and much may be said on the other side.

We may observe an apparent difference in the shapes of these three
churches. Of _St. Martin's_ we shall speak at length hereafter, but we may
note that, besides the different width of the nave and chancel, there is
no sign of an apse at the west end, while indications of an eastern apse
are more or less conjectural. In the plan of the original _Cathedral_,
conjecturally drawn by Professor Willis from Edmer's description, and
which he supposes was the old Christian church preserved by St. Augustine,
the building was a plain parallelogram, with apses at both the east
and west ends. The choir was extended into the nave, enclosed by a high
breast-wall, and about the middle of the church (on the north and south)
were two towers, the tower on the south side containing an altar, and
also serving as a porch of entrance. This church was built, according to
Edmer, "Romanorum opere," and in imitation of the Church of St. Peter,
chief of the apostles, meaning the Vatican Basilica.

In _St. Pancras_ there is a tower, or square porch, at the west end, and
two transepts of the same size branching off from the centre of the nave,
while the foundations of the chancel walls start farther in than those of
the nave wall; and, at the distance of twelve or thirteen feet from the
point of junction, can be detected the commencement of an apse. In this
church we have discovered no doorways, except the one at the west end
through the tower, and the possible indications of one leading into the
southern transept, where we may yet see remains of an interesting altar
(size, 4 ft. 4 by 2 ft. 2), which, if not the identical one that St.
Augustine erected on the site occupied by the idol of Ethelbert, is at
any rate a very ancient memorial of it.

It is worthy of remark that these three churches are situated in almost
a direct line from east to west, and were all outside the Roman walls,
and apart from the Roman cemeteries. The orientation of all of them is
nearly perfect.

       *       *       *       *       *

In treating of the time between the departure of the Romans in 410 and
the mission of St. Augustine in 597, we must remember that _history_
is almost silent; only a meagre outline of facts is given us, and these
often of a very contradictory character. We must endeavour, however, to
give a brief sketch of this intervening period as far as it concerns
the south-eastern portion of our island, and of necessity, therefore,
includes the fortunes of Canterbury. To account for the comparatively easy
conquest of Britain in the middle of the fifth century, we are bidden to
remember that the Roman rule, which had at first been of a civilising
character, and had fostered commerce and the various arts, had in its
latter period degenerated into corruption. Town and country alike were
crushed by heavy taxation, aggravated by the arbitrary and ruinous
oppression of the tax-gatherers. The population, too, had gradually
declined as the estates of landed proprietors grew larger. Moreover,
the Roman government had disarmed and enervated the people, and, by
crushing all local independence, had crushed all local vigour, so that
men forgot how to fight for their country, and constant foreign invasions
found them without hope or energy for resistance.

Bishop Stubbs (in his "Constitutional History") remarks on the great
contrast between the effects of the Roman occupation in Gaul and
Britain. Gaul had so assimilated the cultivation of its masters, that it
became more Roman than Italy itself, possessing more flourishing cities
and a more active and enlightened church, as well as a Latin language
and literature; while Britain, though equally under Roman dominion, had
never become Roman. When the legions were removed, any union that may
have existed between the two populations absolutely ceased. The Britons
forgot the Latin tongue; they had become unaccustomed to the arts of war,
and had never learnt the arts of peace, while their clergy lost all
sympathy with the growth of religious thought. They could not utilise the
public works, or defend the cities of their masters, so that the country
became easy to be conquered just in proportion as it was Romanised.

After a continuance of internal dissensions, described by Gildas in
high-flown and rhetorical language, the native chiefs were once more
troubled by piratical attacks, and by their Irish enemies. It was
impossible to resist this combination by the forces of the province
itself, and so, imitating that fatal policy of matching barbarian
against barbarian, which led to the fall of the Roman Empire, the
Britons summoned to their aid a band of English or Jutish warriors,
to whom they promised food, clothing, pay, and grants of land. And this
application for help was not unnatural, as there was probably in many
of the towns a leaven of Teutonic settlers, especially along the "Saxon
shore," who had maintained a steady intercourse with their kinsmen that
remained behind, and some of whom may have been German war-veterans,
pensioned off by successive Roman emperors.

The statement by Mr Green that the "History of England begins in 449 with
the landing of Hengist and Horsa in the Isle of Thanet" is principally
applicable to the _Kingdom of Kent_, for the Jutes had been preceded
by Angles in the north, who seem to have been for some time in more
or less undisputed possession of the country between the mouth of the
Humber and the wall of Antoninus; and the eastern shores of the island
were to a great extent colonised by kindred tribes.

The leaders in this expedition naturally sent for reinforcements after
their first successes, and it is probable that their followers were at
the beginning contented with a settlement in the Isle of Thanet, where
they would be secure against any possible treachery from the Britons,
and would be near the sea, whence their compatriots would bring them aid
if necessary--yet they gradually advanced, and their subsequent exploits
culminated in the victory of Aylesford, six years after their landing,
and the alleged death of the warrior Horsa.

This victory, it is said, was followed in Kent by a dreadful and unsparing
massacre. The Jutes, merciless by habit, were provoked by the sullen
and treacherous attitude of their victims, and destroyed all the towns
which they captured. Some of the wealthier landowners of Kent fled in
panic over the sea, but many of the poorer folk took refuge in forests,
or escaped to Wales and Cornwall. Famine and pestilence devoured some,
others were ruthlessly slaughtered. There was no means of escape, even
by seeking shelter within the walls of their churches, since the rage of
the English burnt fiercest against the clergy. The priests were slain at
the altar, the churches burnt, and the peasants rushed from the flames,
only to be cut down by the sword.

The above is the generally accepted theory, but probably in many respects
it is an exaggerated account, such as is common in the traditions of
conquered nations, and should be accepted with very great hesitation.

A few years after the victory of Aylesford, Richborough, Lympne, and
Dover fell permanently into the hands of the invaders.

The Jutes, with whom Kent is more immediately concerned, were the
northernmost of the three tribes of the Germanic family. They lived in the
marshy forests and along the shores of the extreme peninsula of Denmark,
which retains the name of Jutland to the present day. We know little of
their early history, but it is probable that the Jutes, the Angles, and
the Saxons, although speaking the same language, worshipping the same
gods, and using the same laws, had no national or political unity--and
the separate expeditions, resulting in the final conquest of Britain,
were unconnected with one another, though almost continuous in point
of time. It is certain that the invaders to a large extent declined to
amalgamate with the people whom they had conquered; nor would they consent
to tolerate their existence side by side. A few may have lingered on in
servitude round the homesteads of their conquerors, but a large portion
of the survivors (as we have said) took refuge in Western Britain.

As to their _religion_, we know that England for nearly a century and
a half was almost entirely a heathen country, represented on a map as
a black patch between the Christians of Gaul and the Christian Celts of
our island. While the Goths, Vandals, Burgundians, and Franks in other
parts of the Roman empire soon became Christians, the English went on
worshipping their false gods, such as Woden, Thor, and others, who gave
their names to river, homestead, and boundary alike, and even to the
days of the week.

And yet their mythology was not so degraded but that it presented in
fragments the outlines of Christianity. This was recognised afterwards
by Pope Gregory's wise counsel to Augustine not to interfere needlessly
with the religious faith of his pagan converts, but allow them to worship
the old objects under new names; not to destroy the old temples, but
to consecrate them as Christian churches, the reason being that "for
hard and rough minds it is impossible to cut away abruptly all old
customs, because he who wishes to reach the highest place must ascend
by steps and not by jumps." Kemble (in his "Saxons in England") gives
an insight into the character of their religion, and accounts for the
ultimately rapid spread of Christianity among them by this process of
adaptation, and also because the moral demands of the new faith did not
seem to the Saxons more onerous than those to which they were previously
accustomed. Bede not unnaturally reproaches the Britons for refusing or
failing to convert their enemies to the true faith, whereas it had been
the habit elsewhere for the Christian priesthood to act as mediators
between barbarian invaders and the conquered.

_Canterbury_ seems to have been at once abandoned by the vanquished,
because it would have been utterly untenable owing to its position on
the main road between the sea-fortresses of Kent and the rest of the
kingdom; and it was probably at first unoccupied by the Jutes, so that
it remained for many long years uninhabited and desolate. We know that
the very name of Durovernum had become forgotten, while the fortresses
of the coast still retained their former names without any radical
change. This opinion is confirmed by the fact that, while numerous Saxon
cemeteries have been found in East Kent--such as at Ash, Kingston, Sarre,
etc.--none whatever have been discovered in the district immediately
round Canterbury, though the soil has been thoroughly and completely
turned over for the purposes of road and drain making, as well as for
pits of gravel, sand, and chalk. Moreover, not a single street of our
city is on the site of a Roman street, with the partial exception of
Watling Street and Beer Cart Lane.

Probably in the early days of the Jutish conquerors Richborough would
have been their headquarters, as being conveniently near the coast;
and it was not till they had pretty well settled themselves in the
country that they fixed on a new capital, to which they gave the name
of _Cantwarabyrig_, "the city of the men of Kent."

The curtain of Christian history is not again lifted over England till
the year 597, when, according to the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," "Gregory
the Pope sent into Britain very many monks, who gospelled God's Word to
the English folk." And, connected closely as the mission was with St.
Martin's Church, we must enter into it with some detail, though it is
an oft-told story, and is familiar even to those who have never visited
Canterbury, and know little else of ecclesiastical history.

Gregory had been appointed at an early age "Praetor of the City" by
the Emperor Justin II., and had afterwards been sent by Benedict I. and
Pelagius II. to Constantinople, where he resided for many years as the
representative of the Bishop of Rome. He returned to Rome in 585, and
it was near this date that the event occurred which we are now about
to narrate. He was at that time about forty-five years old, a monk in
the great monastery of St. Andrew on the Coelian Hill, which he had
himself founded; and we may believe that he was remarkable, then as
afterwards, for his comprehensive policy, his grasp of great issues,
and his minute and careful attention to details in secular as well as
religious matters. The vast slave trade prevalent in Europe was to him
a special cause of sorrow; and for the purpose of trying to check the
evil, to redeem the captives, or to mitigate their sufferings, he was
wont to resort to the market-place in Rome whenever a new cargo of slaves
arrived from distant countries.

One day, on his visit to the Forum of Trajan, he observed some
(traditionally, _three_) boys with fair complexions, comely faces, and
bright flowing hair, exposed for sale. When he saw them, he asked from
what region or country they had been brought, and on being told "from
the island of Britain, whose inhabitants were of similar appearance,"
inquired whether these islanders were Christians, or still involved in
pagan errors. The answer was, "They are pagans." Then he heaved deep
sighs from the bottom of his heart and said: "Alas! that men of such
bright countenance should be subject to the author of darkness, and that
such grace of outward form should hide minds void of grace within." Being
told further, in answer to his question, that they were called _Angles_,
"Rightly so called," said he, "for they have the faces of _Angels_,
and are meet to be fellow-heirs with the angels in heaven. But what
is the name of the province from which they were brought?" "_Deira_"
(the land between the Tees and the Humber), said the merchant. "Right
again," was the reply, "from wrath (_de ira_) shall they be rescued,
and called to the mercy of Christ." Lastly, on hearing that the king of
that province was named Ælla, he exclaimed: "Alleluia! the praise of
God the Creator shall be sung in those parts."

Gregory went from the Forum to the Pope (probably Pelagius), and asked
him to send to the English nation some minister of the word, by whom the
island might be converted to Christ, saying that he himself was prepared
to undertake this work with the assistance of the Lord. But though the
Pope gave his consent, so great was the love of the Roman people for him,
that he was obliged to start from the monastery in the strictest secrecy,
accompanied by a few of his comrades. When his departure became known, the
people were much excited, and, dividing themselves into three companies,
assailed the Pope as he went to church, crying with a _terrible voice_
"What hast thou done? Thou hast offended St. Peter, thou hast destroyed
Rome, since thou hast sent Gregory away." The Pope, greatly alarmed,
despatched messengers with all possible speed to recall Gregory to
Rome. He had already advanced three days along the great northern road
when the messengers arrived, and led him back to the city.

Gregory afterwards become abbot of the monastery, and, much against
his will, was elected Pope on the death of Pelagius, and consecrated on
September 3, 590.

But he never forgot his project for the conversion of England, and in
595 wrote to Candidus, a priest in Gaul, directing him to use part of
the Papal patrimony to purchase English youths of the age of seventeen
or eighteen years, to be educated in monasteries, no doubt with the
intention of sending them afterwards as missionaries to their countrymen.

It was not, however, till the following year that he was able to fulfil
the desire of his heart, when he selected as the head of a mission to
England Augustine, Prior of St. Andrew's Monastery, and charged him
with letters to Vigilius, Bishop of Arles, to the Kings Theodoric and
Theodebert, and to their grandmother, Queen Brunehaut or Brunichild.
In the course of their journey, however, this missionary band was so
terrified by the rumours they heard that they became faint-hearted
on the road, and despatched Augustine to Rome to beg that they might
be recalled. But Gregory would have no withdrawal, and sent him back
again with letters of encouragement to his colleagues. So they went on,
crossed the sea from Boulogne, and, either in the autumn of 596 or the
early spring of 597, landed in England, somewhere in the Isle of Thanet.

The King of Kent at this time was _Ethelbert_, who was the most powerful
King in England (reckoned by some as the third Bretwalda), and had
established his supremacy over the Saxons of Middlesex and Essex,
as well as over the English of East Anglia as far north as the Wash:
and had driven back the West Saxons when, after an interval of civil
feuds, they began again their advance along the Thames, and marched
upon London. Ethelbert began to reign in 561. He was believed to be
great-grandson of Eric, son of Hengist, a "son of the ash-tree." He had
previously, when quite young, been engaged in an encounter with Ceawlin,
King of Wessex, and been defeated at Wimbledon. But Ceawlin himself
was worsted in 591 by his nephew Cedric at Woodnesbury, in Wiltshire;
and Ethelbert had now asserted his supremacy.

Unlike most English kings then, and for a long time afterwards, he had
married a foreign wife, Bercta, or _Bertha_, daughter of Charibert,
one of the kings of the Franks in Gaul, reigning in Paris. Bertha was
a Christian, and, as Ethelbert was a heathen, it had been expressly
stipulated, either by her father, or by her uncle and guardian Chilperic,
King of Soissons, that she should enjoy the free exercise of her religion,
and keep her faith inviolate.

Bertha is one of the most interesting and romantic characters in English
history--our first Christian Queen--possessing apparently much the
same influence over Ethelbert as Clotilda had done over Bertha's great
ancestor, Clovis, and (though not able to convert him yet) without doubt
disposing him favourably towards the new religion. It is variously
conjectured that she was born about 555 or 561. We do not know much of
her early life, but St. Gregory of Tours, in his contemporary pages,
informs us that King Charibert took to wife, Ingoberga, by whom he had
a daughter, who afterwards "married a husband in Kent." Charibert was
not a man of good character, and being annoyed with his wife Ingoberga,
he forsook her, and married Merofledis, the daughter of a certain poor
woolmaker in the queen's service. The unfortunate queen was thereupon
obliged to fly, and, taking up her abode at Tours, devoted herself to
a life of religious seclusion, bringing up her daughter Bertha under
the direction of Bishop Gregory, and preparing her thus for the part she
afterwards filled in the conversion of England. We may mention here that
King Charibert, after the death of Merofledis, proceeded to marry her
sister, for which outrage he was solemnly excommunicated by St. Germanus;
and, refusing to leave her, "perished, stricken by the just judgment of
God." Ingoberga died at the age of seventy, in the year 589.

Bertha was accompanied to England by her chaplain, Liudhard, who was
sent with her to preserve her faith. Of Liudhard we know very little
that is certain. His name is variously spelt Leotard, Liudhard, or
even Liupard. By some he was supposed to be Bishop of Senlis, but his
name does not occur in the list of bishops of that see, though it is
inserted with a mark of interrogation in Gow's _Series Episcoporum_.
By others he has been entitled Bishop of Soissons, though without any
documentary authority. We may probably accept the notion that he was one
of the "wandering bishops" who were very numerous at a later period in
Gaul. Gocelin calls him the "faithful guardian of the queen." It seems
strange that he, who could speak a language akin to that of the English,
did not convert some of them previously to the coming of Augustine,
who only spoke Latin, and was obliged to converse with them at first
through the medium of an interpreter.

However that may be, he was undoubtedly the "harbinger" of Augustine, and
had probably endeavoured to stir up his brother prelates of Gaul on behalf
of the English, since Pope Gregory, writing at this time to Theodoric
and Theodebert, severely condemns the supineness of the Gallic Church, in
neglecting to provide for the religious wants of their neighbours, whose
"earnest longing for the grace of life had reached his ears."

We may mention here that a coin was found some years ago in the
churchyard of St. Martin's, with the inscription, "Lyupardus Eps"--and
the Rev. Daniel Haigh (in his notes on the Runic monuments of Kent)
says that he has no doubt that this coin belongs to Liudhard, who is
called Liphardus in Floras' addition to Bede's _Martyro-logia_.

Queen Bertha and her chaplain used to worship in the little church of
St. Martin, going there daily from Ethelbert's palace, near the site of
the present cathedral, through the postern gate of the precincts opposite
St. Augustine's gateway. To this circumstance, though by a somewhat
fanciful etymology, is attributed its name of _Queningate_. Owing to
long disuse, it is probable that the church had fallen into a state of
partial decay, but it was again restored and made suitable for Christian
worship--though the Queen, with her chaplain and attendant maidens,
may only have used a portion of the ancient building.

But we must now return to Augustine. "On the east of Kent," says Bede,
"is the large Isle of Thanet, containing, according to the English
way of reckoning, six hundred families, divided from the mainland by
the river Wantsum," which at that time was a channel nearly a mile in
width, running from Richborough to Reculver, though it has since become
a narrow ditch. Here was a small place called Ebbsfleet, still the name
of a farmhouse, rising out of Minster Marsh, but, owing to the retreat
of the sea, now situated among green fields. There is little to catch
the eye in Ebbsfleet itself, which is a mere spit of higher ground,
distinguished by its clump of trees, but must then have been a headland,
running out into the sea. "Taken as a whole," says Mr Green, "the scene
has a wild beauty of its own. To the right, the white curve of Ramsgate
Cliffs looks down on the crescent of Pegwell Bay. Far away to the left,
across grey marshlands, where smoke-wreaths mark the sites of Richborough
and Sandwich, rises the dim cliff-line of Deal." It is unnecessary to
enter into the controversy whether Augustine first set foot on English
ground here or at Stonar, or beneath the walls of the Roman fortress of
Richborough, as apparently stated by Thorn. The whole question is fully
discussed in an appendix to the "Mission of St. Augustine," carefully
compiled by Canon Mason.

The missionaries had no sooner landed than one or two of their body
proceeded to Canterbury, where they duly acquainted King Ethelbert with
the fact and object of their arrival. The king gave the messengers a
favourable hearing, but bade them remain where they were, saying that
he himself would visit them--making, however, this curious stipulation,
that they should not hold their first interview under a roof, lest they
should practise on him spells and incantations--"though they came,"
adds Bede, "furnished with Divine and not with magic power."

After some days, the king came to the island, where the interview took
place, possibly under a large oak tree close to Cottington Farm, where a
Sandbach Cross has been erected by the late Earl Granville as a memorial
of the event--and it was at this place that the commemoration of the
"Coming of St. Augustine" was held in 1897, by the bishops of both
the Anglican and Roman communions. Other traditions name the centre of
the island, or the walls of Richborough--but, where-ever it was, the
missionaries, on hearing of the king's arrival with his attendant thanes,
came to meet him, chanting litanies, with a tall silver cross before
them, and a figure of the Saviour painted on an upright board. Besides
Augustine himself, who was of great stature, head and shoulders taller
than anyone else, were Laurence, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury,
Peter, who became first Abbot of St. Augustine, and nearly forty others.

When the procession stopped, and the chant ceased, Ethelbert courteously
bade the missionaries be seated. Then Augustine, through the medium of a
Frankish interpreter, having preached to the king the Words of Life and
the mercies of the Saviour, was answered by the king in the well known
passage:--"Fair indeed are your words and promises, but as they are
new to us and of uncertain import, I cannot assent to them so far as to
forsake that which I have so long held in common with the whole English
nation. But because you have come as strangers from afar into my kingdom,
and are desirous to impart to us those things which you believe to be
true and most beneficial, we will not do you any harm, but rather receive
you in kindly hospitality, and take care to supply you with necessary
sustenance. Nor do we forbid you to preach, and win over as many as you
can to the faith of your religion."

The king was as good as his word. Before his return to Canterbury, he
gave orders that a suitable abode should be prepared for the missionaries
near the "Stable Gate," which stood not far from the present church of
St. Alphege.

From the Isle of Thanet, Augustine and his companions crossed the ferry
to Richborough. Thence they proceeded for about twelve miles almost
due west to Canterbury, passing by Ash and Wingham, and then between
the villages of Wickham and Ickham, till they came to St. Martin's
Hill. There they would catch sight of the little church of St. Martin,
which (as they well knew) had been consecrated afresh to the worship
of Jesus Christ, and of the city below with its wooden houses dotted
about among the ash-groves. As soon as they beheld the city, they walked
in procession down the hill, bearing aloft the silver cross and the
painted board--and as they passed St. Martin's Church, the choristers,
whom Augustine had brought from Gregory's school on the Coelian Hill,
chanted one of Gregory's own litanies, "We beseech Thee, O Lord, in all
Thy mercy, let Thy wrath and anger be turned away from this city and
from Thy holy house, for we have sinned. Alleluia!"

We can well imagine that the heathen inhabitants of Canterbury must have
been struck with astonishment at the unwonted sight, as well as at the
swarthy complexions and strange dress of the Roman missionaries. And we
may believe that Queen Bertha came forth to meet the band with a feeling
of intense joy. Whether Bishop Liudhard was still alive or not, we have
no evidence to determine.

Bede tells us that they began at once to imitate the course of life
practised in the primitive church, with frequent prayer, watching, and
fasting, preaching the word of life to as many as they could, receiving
only necessary food from those whom they taught, living themselves
conformably to their teaching, being always prepared to suffer, even to
die, for the truth which they preached. In St. Martin's Church they met,
sang, prayed, celebrated mass, preached, and baptised. And soon the first
fruits of their mission began to appear in the conversion and baptism of
Ethelbert.

Ethelbert was baptised, according to an early tradition, on the Feast
of Pentecost (June 2nd) in the year 597--but where? Of one thing there
can be little doubt, that we should certainly expect him to have been
baptised in St. Martin's Church. It was here that his queen had worshipped
for so many years. It was here that Augustine is distinctly stated by
Bede to have baptised--and so it was here (we may conclude with little
hesitation) that the baptism of Ethelbert took place--even though we can
find no direct statement to that effect earlier than that of John Bromton,
writing at the end of the twelfth century, who says that "_there_ (_i.e._
in St. Martin's) the king was baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity
and the faith of the Church."

The rumours of the king's conversion had probably brought a vast
multitude of strangers to the city, not only from other parts of Kent,
but also from distant quarters. We cannot doubt that, as in the case
of the baptism of Clovis, the ceremony was performed with much pomp,
to impress the minds of the heathen Saxons. "On that occasion the Church
was hung with embroidered tapestry and white curtains: odours of incense
like airs of paradise were diffused around, and the building blazed with
countless lights."

While Ethelbert remained at the entrance, Queen Bertha, with her
attendants, repaired to her customary place of devotion. A portion of
the service was performed at the altar, and then Augustine descended to
the font, chanting a litany, and preceded by two acolytes with lighted
tapers. Then followed prayers for the benediction of the font and the
consecration of the water, over which Augustine makes the sign of the
Cross three times. Then (according to one variation of the ancient
Gallican rite) the two tapers are plunged into the font, and Augustine
breathes into it (_insufflat_) three times, and the Chrism is poured
into the font in the form of a Cross, while the water is parted with his
hand. Ethelbert at this point is interrogated in the following simple
form:--"Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty? Dost thou too
believe in Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, our Lord, who was born
and suffered! and Dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Church,
the remission of sins, and the Resurrection of the flesh?" To each of
which questions the king answers, "_I believe_."

Here follows the actual _baptism_, after which Ethelbert is signed on
the forehead with Chrism in the form of a Cross. Augustine returns to
his seat, and another litany is chanted. Had Augustine been at that time
a bishop, he would now have administered to the king the Sacrament of
Confirmation, but he was not consecrated bishop of the English till a
few months afterwards.

It has indeed been objected that the ceremony could not have taken place
in St. Martin's Church, because at that time baptism was administered by
immersion. This was indeed the general rule, and such expressions as being
"let down into the water," "stepping forth from the bath," "coming up
from the font," and so on, occur in the writings of Tertullian, Jerome,
the Gelasian and Leontine Sacramentaries; and octagonal or circular
baptisteries are found in ancient churches, sometimes as much as twenty
feet in diameter and five feet deep, erected for this purpose.

On the other hand, this practice was by no means universal, and even
as early as the second century _affusion_ was frequently used, with or
without immersion. A picture of our Lord's baptism in the baptistery
of St. John's at Ravenna (about 450) represents Jesus as standing in
the water, and the Baptist pouring water over him from a shell. There
is a similar representation in the church of St. Maria in Cosmedin
(about 550), and one of earlier date in a fresco from the cemetery of
St. Callixtus. On two sarcophagi, mentioned by Ciampinus, representations
of a like character are engraved, supposed to be the Baptism of Agilulfus
and Theodolinda (about 590), and of Arrichius, second Duke of Beneventum
(591). In the latter case a man somewhat advanced in years, kneels to
receive baptism, which is administered by _affusion_ only. Both of
these are assigned to the same decade as that of King Ethelbert. We
may conclude, therefore, that both forms of administering the rite
were practised from early times, and it is by no means impossible
that Ethelbert was baptised by _affusion_. It was probably not from
the existing font, even though in the seal of N. de Battail, Abbot of
St. Augustine's (1224-1252) and in the common seal of St. Augustine's
Abbey, the king is represented as standing in a font, resembling in many
respects the present one--while the baptism of Rollo, the first Christian
Duke of Normandy, is illustrated in an early MS. of the twelfth-century
Chronicle of Beuvit de St. More, with Rollo standing (or sitting) naked
in a similar tub-like font.

_St. Martin's_, "a small and mean church," as it is unkindly called by
Stukely, after the death of Augustine, Ethelbert, and Bertha, relapses
into comparative obscurity, and its history is gathered chiefly from
the testimony of architecture. We may, however, mention, as connected
with the immediately succeeding period, that there were dug up in the
churchyard (besides the Roman ornaments already described) a Saxon or
Frankish circular ornament set with garnets, and other things which
were of too costly a description to have belonged to any but persons of
distinction, with whom they had probably been interred--also three gold
looped Merovingian coins, fully described by Mr Roach Smith.

The first historical post-Augustinian record that we find in connection
with the church is the well-known charter of 867 (from the Cottonian
MSS. Augustus II. 95) granted, when the Kentish Wittenagemot was held
at Canterbury, by King Ethelred, and entitled "Grant of a _sedes_
in the place which is called St. Martin's Church, and of a small
enclosure pertaining to the same _sedes_ by King Ethelred to his
faithful friend Wighelm, priest," endorsed in a contemporary hand,
"An sett æt sc'e Martine." In this document Ethelred, King of the West
Saxons and Kentishmen, gives and concedes to Wighelm a _sedes_ and _tun_
or enclosure pertaining thereto, of which the boundaries are named, but
the Latin is very provincial and obscure. The grant is given to Wighelm
for his life, and after his death to his heirs, and the king in strong
language lays injunction on his successors "by the faith of St. Martin,
confessor of Christ," not to presume to infringe the grant.

Now this charter is one of the most remarkable in the whole series
of Anglo-Saxon documents, and confessedly one of the most difficult
to comprehend, especially as to the word _sedes_, which is variously
interpreted to refer to the episcopal character of St. Martin's, or
to some official appointment in the church, or to a shop, dwelling,
or stall for market purposes, in the parish. Whatever be the meaning
of many difficult expressions, the charter is important as giving
what is probably a complete list of the Canterbury clergy, all of whom
attested it.


  _Archbishop_     Ceolnoth.
  _Abbot_          Biarnhelm.
  _Archdeacons_    Sigefred, Bearnoth, Herefreth.
  _Priests_        Nothheard, Biarnfreth, &c. &c. &c.


It is also attested by King Ethelred, Duke Eastmund, Abbot Ealhheard,
and many others, and is confirmed "in Jesus Christ with the sign of the
Holy Cross" in the year 867.

We can hardly doubt that the church suffered some injury at the hands
of the Danes, by whom Canterbury was wasted in 851 and again in 1009,
though the most serious devastation took place in 1011, when, in the
reign of Ethelred the Second, the Danes laid siege to, and captured,
the city. On that occasion Archbishop Elphege was seized, bound, and
dragged to the Cathedral to see it in flames. He was then carried off,
and eventually murdered at Greenwich.

Not very long after this period we discover mention of the suffragan
"Bishops of St. Martin's," who were evidently _Chorepiscopi_, an ancient
order of bishops, dating from the third century, who overlooked the
country district committed to them, ordaining readers, exorcists and
subdeacons, but not (as a rule) deacons and priests, except by express
permission of the diocesan bishop. It has been wrongly supposed, without
any evidence or tradition, that the bishops of St. Martin's belonged to
the great church at Dover, or the Oratory of St. Martin at Romney.

It is said by Battely that the succession of these bishops lasted
for the space of nearly four hundred years; but of this there is no
proof, and the idea may have sprung from the charter which we have
discussed above, while the actual tradition is first mentioned in the
"Black Book of the Archdeacons of Canterbury" (probably compiled in
the fourteenth or fifteenth century), wherein it is said that "In the
time of St. Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, to the time of
Archbishop Lanfranc of blessed memory, there was no archdeacon in the
city and diocese of Canterbury. But from the time of Archbishop Theodore,
who was sixth from St. Augustine, to the time of the aforesaid Lanfranc,
there was in the church of St. Martin's, a suburb of Canterbury, a bishop
ordained by Theodore, under the authority of Pope Vitalian, who in all
the city and diocese of Canterbury undertook duties in the place of the
archbishop, conferring holy orders, consecrating churches, and confirming
children during his absence." Archbishop Parker speaks of the Bishop of
St. Martin's as performing in all things the office of a bishop in the
absence of the archbishop, who, for the most part, attended the king's
court. "The bishop, himself being a monk, received under obedience the
monks of Christ Church, and celebrated in the Metropolitical Church the
solemn offices of Divine worship, which being finished he returned to
his own place. He and the Prior of Christ Church sat together in synods,
both habited alike."

The names of only two bishops are preserved to us--that of _Eadsi_
or _Eadsige_ (1032-38), subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury, who,
soon after he had received the pall from the Pope, was afflicted with
a loathsome disease which incapacitated him for a time; though he
afterwards recovered and administered the see until his death on the
fourth day before the Kalends of November in 1050. The other Bishop was
_Godwin_, appointed in 1052 by Archbishop Robert of Jumiéges, who died,
according to the Saxon Chronicle, in 1061. The Bishop of St. Martin's
was practically merged into the Archdeacon of Canterbury in the time
of Lanfranc, who refused to ordain another bishop, saying that "there
ought not to be two bishops in one city."

After the Conquest, St. Martin's was partially restored by the Normans,
and the interior of the church underwent considerable alteration in the
thirteenth century.

The list of the rectors is given in an appendix. They were not persons
of any distinction, but from time to time we glean a few interesting
details concerning them.

Thus, for instance, in 1321, a dispute arose between _Robert de Henney_,
rector of St. Martin's, and Randolph de Waltham, master of the Free
Grammar School of the city of Canterbury, about the rights and privileges
of their respective schools. A Special Commission was appointed by the
Archbishop, including the chaplain of St. Sepulchre's, the vicar of St.
Paul's, the rector of St. Mary de Castro, rector of St. Peter's, and
others. The point of dispute was whether in the St. Martin's School
(within the church fence or boundary) there should be more than thirteen
_grammar_ scholars. The rector was limited to this number for fear of
infringing on the privilege of the City Grammar School, though he was
entitled to take as many scholars in reading and singing as he pleased.
In fact, however, the rector took as many grammar boys as he could get,
it being necessary only that when his school was visited by the city
schoolmaster or his deputy, the surplus should conceal themselves for
the time being. An injunction, however, was granted in the Archbishop's
Court to restrain the rector from taking more than his bare thirteen.

This is an extremely interesting record, because it shows that there
were two flourishing public schools in Canterbury, probably the most
ancient Grammar Schools in England, early in the fourteenth century;
and that the pupils _paid_ for their teaching, and learnt other subjects
besides grammar.

Thorn, the monk of St. Augustine's, tells us also an amusing story of
how _John de Bourne_, rector of St. Martin's, aided in the escape of
one Peter de Dene from St. Augustine's Monastery by placing ladders
against the monastery walls. They then rode on horseback together to
Bishopsbourne, but Peter was at length recaptured.

In the fourteenth century we find no less than three rectors who were
instituted to St. Martin's by the Prior of Christ Church during a vacancy
in the see of Canterbury.

We have already mentioned the difficulty of obtaining information
concerning the church in the Middle Ages, owing to its being exempt
from the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon of Canterbury, and therefore
not included in the Archidiaconal Registers, while the Archbishop's
Visitations of the diocese were not, as a rule, parochial. By a lucky
chance, however, we find some entries in Archbishop Warham's Visitation
in 1511, one of which is to the effect that the churchwardens had not
furnished accounts for five years, though they had received various monies
for keeping graves in order. They were ordered to furnish accounts before
the Feast of Purification, under pain of excommunication, &c.

There are many details of interest to be found in the pre-Reformation
wills of parishioners, which are preserved in the "Consistory Court." In
them we find bequests to the Light of the Holy Cross, the Light of the
Blessed Mary, the Light of St. Martin, the Light of St. Christopher,
the Light of St. Erasmus, for daily masses before the image of St.
Nicholas, to the High Altar, for the purchase of a new Cross, for various
ornaments, for paving,--together with tenements, real estate, legacies
for the benefit of the poor, and sundry curious personal gifts which
wonderfully illustrate the habits and customs of the period. And from
an inventory of Parish Church goods in Kent, made in 1552, we find the
following entry relating to St. Martin's under the head of "19th July vi.,
Edward vi.":--

Bartylemewe Barham gent. and Stevyn Goodhewe, churchwardens.

_Ffirst_, one chalys with the paten of sylver.

_Item_, one vestment of blewe velvett with a cope to the same.

_Item_, one vestment of whyte braunchyd damaske with a cope to the same.

_Item_, one other olde vestment with a cope to the same.

_Item_, two table clothes.

_Item_, one long towell, one short towell.

_Item_, ij corporas with their clothes.

_Item_, one velvet cushon and one saten cushon.

_Item_, ij chysts, iiij surplysys.

_Item_, iij bells and one waggerell bell in the steple. Whereof left in
the churche for the mynystracion of dyvyne service: The chalys with the
paten of sylver, one cope of blewe velvett, one cope of whyte braunchyd
damaske, ij albes, ij table clothes, one long towell, and one short
towell, iiij surplysys, the bells in the steple.

For any further particulars concerning the Church after the Reformation
we may refer to the meagre account given by William Somner, and the
additions made to his history by Nicholas Battely, who states that
"St. Martin's claims the priority in the catalogue of Canterbury parish
churches upon several titles of antiquity and dignity." He says that he
cannot pretend that the present fabric is the same building which was
erected in or near the days of King Lucius, or which was repaired and
fitted up for Queen Bertha. "But yet it has at this day the appearance
of ancientness, not from the wrinkles and ruins of old age, but from the
materials (_i.e._ Roman bricks) used in the repairing or re-edifying of
it." He then goes on to make the erroneous statement that "in the porch
of this church were buried Queen Bertha, and Liudhard, Bishop of Senlis,
and (Thorn saith) King Ethelbert." About ninety years after the time of
Battely we come to a description of the church in the pages of Hasted,
who, without assigning any reason, ventures on the suggestion that
"the _Chancel_ was the whole of the original building of this church
or oratory, and was probably built about the year 200: that is, about
the middle space of time when the Christians, both Britons and Romans,
lived in this island free from all persecutions." Hasted's history is,
as a rule, extremely valuable, not only from the style of his writing,
but from his extraordinary general accuracy, and the minuteness of his
original researches: and we are often at a loss to imagine from what
source he could have derived so much information, which at that period
was not so accessible as at present.

_Gostling_, a minor canon of the cathedral, writes also at the end of
the last century ("Walks in and about Canterbury"), but he adds nothing
fresh except that "if the church was larger and more magnificent (as Mr
Battely seems to believe) this might tempt the Danish invaders to make a
ruin of that, but they had no provocation here!" and he calls it elsewhere
"an obscure chapel."

It is probable that the church was much neglected during the last, and
the first forty years of the present, century. Its existence was almost
forgotten by the public at large. From an historical edifice it sank into
the insignificance of a small parish church in a small village. It was the
_site_ of great events, but only a site: and its condition is faithfully
described in some verses beneath an old print now hanging in the vestry.


  "A humble church recalls the scenes of yore
  To present memory, yet humbled more
  By lapse of years, by lack of reverent care,
  And ill-advised expedients for repair.
  Oh! would this age its taste and bounty blend,
  The faults of bygone ages to amend!
  And lib'rally adorn this lowly pile
  Where sleeps the first Queen Christian of our isle."


[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH (in 1840).
  (From a Water-colour Drawing.)]



CHAPTER III

DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH


We come now to a description of the church, which consists of a
rectangular _Nave_, 38 ft. long by 25 ft. wide; a _Chancel_ (in its
present form) 40 ft. by 14 ft.; a tower built in the fourteenth century,
and a modern organ chamber and vestry.

The chancel originally was not as large as it is now, and probably
extended only 18 or 20 ft. from the present chancel arch. An external
buttress on the south side marks its termination, beyond which it has
been conjectured that there was an Eastern apse, as sketched in the
annexed plan.

The first question that naturally suggests itself is with regard to the
=Dedication=. Battely, followed by Hasted, was of opinion that the church
was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and afterwards
re-dedicated to St. Martin by Bishop Liudhard. For this statement there
is apparently no authority, yet we must remember that the earliest
dedications of churches were either to the Saviour, the Blessed Virgin,
or one of the twelve Apostles. That the Italian Mission followed generally
this ancient practice is shown in their dedication of the cathedrals
of Canterbury, Rochester, London, and York to Christ, St. Andrew,
St. Paul, and St. Peter respectively--of St. Augustine's Abbey church
to St. Peter and St. Paul, of another church in the same abbey to the
"Holy Mother of God," and also of the early Saxon church in Lyminge to
St. Mary; but it is unnecessary to multiply further instances, the very
rare exceptions to the rule (such as St. Pancras) applying principally
to churches which contained the relics of martyrs. This exception
would not embrace St. Martin's--and Battely's statement, therefore,
from whatever source he derived it, is not intrinsically impossible. We
can say nothing more positive in its favour--but assuming it to be true,
and that the original dedication was forgotten, nothing would be more
natural than that the re-dedication of the church should be to the saintly
Bishop of Tours, made either by Germanus in 429, or Bishop Liudhard,
or even Augustine himself. It is marvellous how widespread was the
influence of St. Martin's name. Nearly 4000 churches are dedicated to
him in France alone, and the largest number of these (in a comparison
of dioceses) is in the part of France nearest to English shores.


[Illustration: PLAN OF ST. MARTIN'S, CANTERBURY, by G. M. Livett.
  _Dimensions:_ Nave, 38 by 25 ft.; Chancel, 40 by 14 ft.]


But, supposing we take literally the words of Bede, that the church
"dedicated to the honour of St. Martin, was built of old, while the
Romans still occupied Britain," we are met by this apparent difficulty.
If (as is maintained) the church was built in the fourth century, how came
it to be dedicated to St. Martin, who died about 397? Some colourable
support to the possibility of this can be derived from the fact that
the first stone church built in Scotland (at Whithern) by St. Ninian was
certainly dedicated to the same saint. There are indeed, in that case,
some special reasons, because St. Ninian, a personal friend of St. Martin,
called on him at Tours, and received from him workmen accustomed to the
Roman method of building, with whom he returned home. As the church was
in course of erection, the news of St. Martin's death reached him, and
the church was in consequence dedicated in 398 to his memory. There need
be no difficulty on the doubtfulness of such an early _Canonization_. The
first formal act of canonization by a Pope did not take place till the
ninth or tenth century. Before this, it was done in a somewhat irregular
manner by the bishop of the diocese, who recited the names of the departed
martyrs, or holy men, in the _Canon_ of the mass, not for invocation,
but in memory of those who had finished their course, and for an example
to others. It has been asserted that St. Martin was the first person to be
honoured as a confessor, that is, that he was the first who was treated as
a saint without being a martyr. In the antiphon to the Magnificat on his
festival we have, "sanctissima anima, quam etsi gladius persecutoris non
abstulit, palman tamen martyrii non amisit." Though there were _other_
St. Martins, such as the Bishop of Vienne, a Bishop of Tongres at the
end of the third century, and a Bishop of Trêves, yet there can be
little doubt that the one alluded to by Bede was the Bishop of Tours,
whose fame had completely overshadowed the rest.

Now there is one suggestion that deserves a passing notice, and that
is, the possibility of St. Martin himself having been the founder of
the church; even in a closer sense than by merely sending masons from
his monastery, as he did to St. Ninian. In the constant interchange of
communication between Britain and Gaul, not only for commercial but for
military purposes, it may have happened that Christians had migrated,
or been transferred, from Tours to Kent--and for the benefit of Christian
soldiers, St. Martin, once a soldier himself, may have urged the erection
of a church. It is unnatural to suppose that St. Martin, who travelled
over a great part of Gaul, did not in some way associate himself with
Britons, with whom he would have been brought into contact. We know this,
at any rate, that during the latter year of his episcopate he exercised
great influence over the Emperor Maximus and his Empress--and Maximus
had resided for several years in Britain, was proclaimed emperor there
in 383, had thence invaded Gaul with a fleet and army, which were
long afterwards remembered as the "emigration of a considerable part
of the British nation," and finally settled at Trêves, where he was
more than once visited by St. Martin. Some of these British emigrants
or soldiers would very naturally have returned to their native country
and brought Christianity with them. There is no conclusive reason why
St. Martin himself, either prompted thereto by Maximus, or yielding to
the entreaties of Britons whom he met at Trêves or elsewhere in Gaul,
should not have visited Canterbury in person, and there founded the
church. It is remarked by Haddan and Stubbs that "it was a peculiarity
of British Christians that churches were not dedicated to any saint
already dead, after the fashion then beginning to be common, but were
called by the name of their living founder." Or the original dedication
made by St. Martin (acting either directly or indirectly) may have
fallen into popular disuse, and been supplanted by his own name, as
was the case with the church of St. Gregory on the Coelian Hill, which
St. Gregory had dedicated to St. Andrew, but which soon after came to
be called after himself, though he was not buried there. And attention
may be directed to instances of a similar kind at Rome, where the names
of founders lingered on in churches like the Basilica Constantiniana,
Basilica Liberiana, and St. Lorenzo in Damaso. We may also note the fact,
that a chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, originally dedicated to St. Peter
and St. Paul, soon acquired the name of its founder, St. Anselm, and even
the great Cathedral itself, the "Church of Christ," was popularly known
in the Middle Ages as the Church of St. Thomas. These latter instances
are not indeed exactly parallel, because the relics of the name-saints
were actually buried in these places, but they may be quoted as showing
how readily the original dedication may have been subsequently changed;
and it would not be difficult to give additional examples.

Before proceeding to a minute description of the principal objects of
interest outside the church, we may say a few words about the =walls=,
which, however, have been so patched and repaired in successive ages, that
they have lost all signs of uniformity. The thickness of the walls is,
on an average, about 2 ft., and this dimension is noticeable, because
we meet with it over and over again in Roman villas. The materials,
too, are similar, and resemble what have been found in villas--a mass
of rather rough walling, partly of brick, partly of stone, evidently
intended to be plastered on both sides, and, to a great extent, built
with hard "sea-shore" mortar. This mortar is composed of pebbles, small
shells, etc., and is of such remarkable solidity and strength that,
although the walls of the church are thin and lofty, they have sustained
without any injury, and with comparatively low buttresses, the thrust
of a high-pitched Gothic roof. It was not uncommon for churches to be
erected on the site of, and using part of the structure of, Roman secular
buildings, or temples. And we give for what it is worth the opinion of
Mr Roach Smith, an experienced antiquary, who gave special attention
to Roman work, and who states in a letter written on January 6, 1883:
"There are many examples of churches being built upon the remains of
Roman buildings, no doubt often _temples_, and not unfrequently of a
small size. Some instances are very remarkable, as that of Britford, near
Salisbury, at old Verulam, etc. I have ever had a belief that St. Martin's
Church is founded upon, or built upon, or built into, a Roman temple."

The walls of the church form an interesting study, not only for their
venerable aspect, but also for their irregularity. The brick courses
in the =Nave= are pretty general throughout, sometimes at 9 inches apart,
sometimes as much as 20 inches, or even more. A great deal of old plaster
is found externally in the middle of the south wall of the _nave_,
and there are masses of Roman bricks congregated at the east and west
ends of the same wall (the angles of the walls in public buildings
being often composed entirely of bricks); and we find also, in parts,
large blocks of grey stone, as well as pieces of travertine, tertiary
sandstone, Kentish rag, red sandstone, Purbeck marble, chalk, and many
other geological specimens. Here and there, interspersed with Roman
bricks, are patches of "chequy" masonry, the stones being placed at wide
intervals, notably on the south-east corner, and on the north side.

The masonry of the early =chancel= is, however, entirely different, being
composed of Roman bricks laid evenly upon one another with narrow joints,
averaging four bricks to a foot. In many instances the arrises of these
bricks are sharp and true, showing no sign of having been taken from
any other building; in other cases they are more fragmentary, but we
can have no hesitation in saying that the walling of the early chancel
is well-built, satisfactory to a professional eye.

We have then these two distinct modes of building (1) Roman bricks laid
evenly and closely upon one another, (2) stone-work with courses of
Roman brick at various intervals. And we shall have to consider hereafter
whether these are genuine Roman walls, or are merely composed of Roman
materials used up for the second time, as at St. Albans and elsewhere.

We learn from competent authorities that there were five or six kinds of
Roman wall-building--(_a_) The _quadrangular_, with masses of square or
oblong stones laid alternately lengthwise and cross-wise, not cemented
by mortar, but bound together by leaden clamps, such as is found in the
so-called wall of Romulus on the Palatine; (_b_) _polygonal_ masonry,
where the stones are irregular, and with small stone splinters wedged into
the joints where necessary; (_c_) _concrete_--rude, without ornamentation,
which has at a distance the appearance of being panelled, since beams of
timber are let in to strengthen it, or sometimes thin layers of brick
to prevent settlement in the concrete from the shrinking of the lime
when it cools and dries; (_d_) _opus reticulatum_, which consists of
stone net-work of diamond-shaped blocks, as in the "Muro Torto" at Rome;
(_e_) _opus lateritium_, the ordinary construction of bricks laid evenly
upon one another (_f_) _mixture_--_i.e._ stones bonded together with
courses of bricks, sometimes at regular, often at irregular, intervals.
Mr Parker, in his "Archæology of Rome," referring to the _mixture_
(_i.e._ the style of the building used in the nave) which is so constant
in Roman wall-work, in England and Northern Europe generally, says that
in itself it is no evidence of date as to the period of Roman work,
since other things must be taken into account: but that it is found in
the circus of Maxentius, and many other places. It is usually attributed
to the beginning of the fourth century, but it occurs also at Pompeii,
in parts of the substructure of the walls of Aurelian, in tombs of the
second century at Ostia, and in some of the foundations of Hadrian's
villa near Tivoli.

With regard to the comparative antiquity of the nave and chancel, no
positive judgment has yet been arrived at. Hasted, indeed, ventured on
the opinion that the latter was the more ancient, but he also believed
that the chancel was built about the year 200 A.D., and had not the
benefit of the recent explorations, so that his opinion is, in itself,
of little value. But it has been adopted on scientific and architectural
grounds by the Rev. G. M. Livett (who has paid careful attention to
the architecture and masonry of the church) and by other distinguished
antiquaries. Their arguments are very forcible, and there is much reason
for believing that the theory will hereafter find general acceptance,
although at present further investigation is necessary before it can be
pronounced as incontrovertible.

We know indeed that some of the earliest Roman buildings were
constructed of Roman bricks or tiles laid evenly upon one another
(the _opus lateritium_), but the tiles of the first two centuries were
remarkably thin, as contrasted with later specimens. They vary, at
different periods, in length from 15 inches to 2 feet, and in thickness
from ¾ inch to 3 inches. Unfortunately little credence is now given
to the ingenious rough-and-ready rule, formulated by Mr Parker, that
where (including mortar) there are ten bricks to one foot, the wall is
of the _first_ century, as in the arches of Nero; where eight bricks,
of the _second_ century, as in the villa of Hadrian; where six bricks,
of the _third_ century, as in Aurelian's wall; where four bricks, of
the _fourth_ century. We may lament the non-acceptance of this rule,
for, were it true, we might confidently assign the early wall of the
chancel (containing four bricks to a foot) to the _fourth_ century,
which is the exact date that is claimed for it!

With regard to the =foundations=, those in the chancel are of flint-stones
and mortar, with a footing of a single course of Roman bricks, while in
the nave we find a mixture of sandy mortar and crushed flint, topped with
courses of Kentish rag-stone, and one or sometimes two courses of brick.

Closely connected with the walls are the =buttresses=. Of flat pilaster
buttresses there are at the present moment (_a_) one on the south side
of the chancel; (_b_) two at the south-east corner of the nave, at right
angles to each other; (_c_) one at the north-west corner of the nave, the
corresponding buttress at this place having been cut away. In addition
to these, there is an evidently later one on the north-east of the nave,
and a semi-circular buttress in the middle of the south wall. They have
all been repaired very frequently, especially at the top, and it is
difficult to determine which stones are original, and which have been
inserted afterwards. The sole remaining buttress in the chancel has
been mutilated in a painful manner. Not so many years ago, before the
modern quoins of Caen stone were added, it was largely composed of Roman
bricks similar to the walling. The other flat buttresses on the south
side project 6 inches from the wall, and, as we see them at present,
consist of blocks of rough-hewn Caen stone to the height of 4 ft. 6 in.,
and, above that, of Roman brick, considerably patched.

In themselves flat pilaster buttresses furnish no evidence as to date,
since they are found alike in Roman, Saxon, and Norman buildings. It is
contended by Mr Livett that the buttresses in the nave are Norman, or
(at any rate) insertions of a later date than the adjacent wall--but only
those at the south-east angle have been explored, where the foundations
seem to be of a whiter, harder mortar than those of the wall, containing
large stones, but no small angular flints. It is too early as yet to
pronounce any positive opinion on the point.


[Illustration: 2 S.-E. angle of nave, looking East (Buttress.)]


Special attention has often been called to the semi-circular buttress,
because this shape is uncommon, though something like it is found at
St. Peter's, Northampton, at the Church of St. Remi at Rheims, and
elsewhere. The outstanding portion of it measures almost exactly three
feet in circumference. It cannot have been made (as some have supposed)
to contain a staircase, because there seems no reason whatever for a
staircase at this particular place, the rood-loft being several feet
eastwards. Others have conjectured that the old church might have ended
somewhere near this point, and that then the buttress would have had
something to do with the support of the western front, or have been
a staircase up to the old belfry. But there is no foundation for this
surmise, which is disproved by the fact that the external plaster extends
on each side of the buttress, and the character of the south wall is
absolutely unbroken. This external plaster, indeed, is probably not
Roman, though it is composed to some extent of pounded brick. The buttress
bears little or no resemblance to the lofty semi-circular projection
occasionally found in Saxon towers. Its object must be left in a state
of obscurity, and it may perhaps have been a mere freak of the builder.


[Illustration: Erudito viro et Amicissimo Johi Hardy de Nottingham.
  _Tabulam hanc vevet W. Stukley_
  Date 1722.]


At a distance of 10 ft. 6 in. from this circular buttress we come to a
_nearly circular panel_, immediately behind the Norman piscina, which
has always been a puzzle to antiquaries. The dimensions of it, as now
seen, are roughly 4 ft. by 3 ft. 8 in. It is sunk 6 in. into the wall,
is unevenly splayed, and in parts plastered. In Stukely's engraving
of the church (1722 A.D.) it is represented as a round-headed doorway,
but there are no voussoirs or arch stones. The result of excavations
beneath the surface are doubtful. Generally speaking, there are courses
of two Roman bricks running along this part of the nave wall, below which
are Kentish rag stones, and a foundation of concrete. Singularly enough,
the _top_ row of Roman bricks (just below the opening) has been interrupted
for a space of 3 ft. 8 in., and it looks at first sight as if the _lower_
row were the sill of a doorway, from which a slight suspicion of a rough
vertical joint goes upwards for a little distance. But against this theory
we must state that the _one-brick_ course does not extend the whole width
of the panel. The immediate back of the Norman piscina was discovered
on investigation, not to be of stone, as we might have expected, but of
coarse thin plaster, and it is not impossible that this back was taken
out sometime in the Early English period, and that the opening thus made
was used as a hagioscope. No plausible theory has been advanced as to
the use of this _panel_. It was once suggested that it was a niche for a
churchyard-light, which would shine on the south side of the church. This,
sometimes consisting of a covered lamp, would be used to light at night
the mortuary convoys that came from afar, and could not always arrive
in the daytime. It was also a sort of homage rendered to the memory of
the dead, a signal recalling to passers-by the presence of the departed,
and inviting prayers for them. But this is entirely a fanciful idea.


[Illustration: 1. Section of foundation of nave-wall (under panel)]


The =doorways= are the next feature of interest. With them St. Martin's is
extremely well supplied, as (counting both ancient and modern ones)
there are no less than six, though they were doubtless not all used at
the same period. It would seem as if the architects of one age found a
positive pleasure in blocking up and replacing doorways of preceding
ages! At the south-west corner of the nave, immediately outside the
font, is an Early English doorway or porch, seven feet wide, probably
built in the thirteenth century, and now closed up with blocks of chalk,
in the middle of which is inserted part of a two-light window. This may
have been substituted for the usual Saxon "south-door." On the north
side of the nave there are also traces of an Early English porch, which
was only taken down during the present century within the memory of
persons still living. The peculiarity of this porch is that it was added
on to what we believe to be an older Norman doorway, which will be spoken
of when we describe the interior of the church.

Proceeding to the south side of the chancel and its adjacent portion of
the east wall of the nave, we come upon three curious openings. Two of
them are square-headed, (1) The one at the south-east corner of the nave
is 6 ft. high, and splayed externally, being 2 ft. 8 in. wide inside,
and 3 ft. wide outside the church. It has a lintel and threshold of
Roman brick, and has been blocked up with masses of chalk and rubble.
The plaster on the splays is still _in situ_, and was considered, at
a meeting of the British Archæological Society, to be "most probably
Roman." But it has been clearly demonstrated that it is a later insertion
in the wall. Its position at the east angle of the nave is very peculiar,
and its use has not yet been ascertained. At the beginning of the extensive
explorations that have been lately carried out, when it was believed by
some antiquaries that there was a _Western apse_ similar to that in the
Christian church at Silchester, and that the arch (described hereafter)
was the opening into this apse, this south-eastern doorway was supposed
to have been one of the entrances either to the church, or the _Narthex_
(vestibule), there being some indications of a corresponding doorway in the
north-eastern angle of the nave. This theory appears to be now generally
abandoned, but it is quite possible that it may be revived when further
excavations are made beneath the tower. (2) The other opening at the
south-west of the chancel, 6 ft. high and 3 ft. 4 in. wide externally,
has jambs of Roman bricks, with a lintel and sill formed of massive
blocks of green sandstone, much worn by weather. Internally it seems
4 ft. 7 in. at the top, but this may be accounted for by the fact that
in later times it was partially blocked up by a stone sarcophagus, and
other material: and on one side of the upper portion of the doorway, and
extending beyond it towards the west, there was opened a low side-window,
the western splayed jamb of which is still remaining, with the original
plaster. This may perhaps have been a "Lepers' window" commanding a view
of the altar of St. Mary, occupying the site of the present pulpit. This
square-headed doorway is certainly contemporaneous with the surrounding
wall. When it was first exposed, we found in it the skeleton of a sparrow!


[Illustration: S.-W. EXTERIOR OF CHANCEL.
  (From a water-colour by Mrs M. Parry.)]


[Illustration: St. Martin's, Cant.--Adjunct.
  Section of foundations & portion of wall, with face of chancel wall
  above shewing signs of the bonding.]


Near these square-headed doorways there were discovered underground
the remains of two walls, running at right angles to the chancel, and
forming two sides of an _adjunct_ or side chapel, the southern side of
which has been destroyed in the process of digging graves. These walls
are 4 ft. 9 in. apart, and are each of them 26 in. wide, built entirely
of Roman bricks. The western wall runs eight inches beneath the eastern
angle-wall of the nave. Between the walls there is still existing part of
a flooring of _opus signinum_. There can be no doubt that this _adjunct_
is of the same workmanship, and the same date, as the early brick wall
of the chancel. The foundations of both are precisely similar, and are
constructively bonded together--the walls rest upon a footing-course
of one brick, which forms the top of a shallow foundation of flints and
stones. The brick-footing is continued along the chancel wall under the
sill of the square-headed doorway, and is irregular in its projection.
A careful examination of the existing face of the chancel wall above the
remains (which was made by Mr Livett), shows that the eastern wall of the
_adjunct_ above ground, now destroyed, was originally bonded into the
chancel wall. Every alternate course shows a broken brick, and every
intermediate course the clean edge of a brick. This bonding cannot be
traced above a line on a level with the lower edge of the lintel of the
square-headed doorway of the chancel.

What the purpose of this _adjunct_ was, we cannot positively determine.
It was suggested by the late Archbishop of Canterbury (who took the
warmest interest in the church, and also keenly watched the progress of
the excavations) that it was used as a place for baking the holy bread
employed at the celebration of the Mass. It is more probable, however,
notwithstanding its diminutive size, that it was a side-chapel with
its altar.

At a distance of 4 ft. 2 in. eastwards of the square-headed doorway is
a _semi-circular_ one. It is 6 ft. high and 2 ft. 1 in. wide. The arch
is mostly formed of converging blocks of Kentish rag, generally about
one inch apart, though somewhat closer at the crown. The span at the
springing is an inch or two wider than the span of the jambs. The imposts
are formed of two Roman tiles, the upper one overhanging the lower,
and the lower overhanging the jamb. The doorway is lined throughout with
plaster. The jambs _internally_ are of Roman bricks with occasional pieces
of Kentish rag. _Externally_, they are almost entirely of Roman bricks,
though under the west impost, 3 ft. 10 in. above the sill, there has been
inserted a fragment of freestone about 2-½ inches high, brought from
elsewhere. On this are parts of an inscription, which has been supposed
by many people to date from the ninth or tenth century, though this date
cannot be accepted as proved. The letters HONORE.. STÆ.. ET OMN[=I][=V]
S[=C][=O]R[=V] are still decipherable, and the whole may perhaps be read
as "To the honour of Saint (Mary?) and All Saints." This may have been
the dedication-stone of a church, or not impossibly the dedication-stone
of an altar, as an order was issued in the ninth century by a Saxon
archbishop, that a stone should be placed at the corner of each altar,
specifying the name of the saint or saints to whom it was dedicated.
A parallel to this has been found in the discovery of a stone from the
Saxon Church of Deerhurst, the fragmentary inscription on which has been
conjecturally read as "In honore Sanctæ Trinitatis hoc altare dedicatum
est."


[Illustration: SAXON DOORWAY IN CHANCEL (INTERIOR).
  (From a Drawing by Mrs M. Parry.)]


[Illustration: SAXON DOORWAY (EXTERIOR).
  (From a Photograph by the Author.)]


This round-headed doorway has been hitherto supposed to be of the same
date as the wall, but closer investigation has clearly proved that it
is a later insertion, probably made in the Saxon period, possibly as
early as St. Augustine. While in the surrounding wall there are _four_
Roman bricks to the foot, there are in the jambs of the doorway _six_
bricks to the foot; and at the time of the insertion, nearly one foot
of the surrounding wall was broken away, as will be noticed by any
experienced observer.

At 4 ft. 8 in. eastward of this doorway, we come to the chancel-buttress
which has been already described. A hole has been pierced in the wall
immediately east of the buttress, and a clean face of Roman brick has been
traced for 26 inches, in continuation of the east face of the buttress,
running therefore at right angles to the outer wall, thus clearly
showing that there was no buttress on the east side of the angle of the
original wall.

The whole controversy as to the existence of an Eastern apse is so
interesting and important, but at the same time so technical for the
ordinary reader, that we have placed, in Appendix C, a contribution which
Mr Livett has kindly sent to us, with the hope that it may be extensively
read and pondered by all those, whether antiquaries or otherwise, who
desire to weigh every point connected with the architecture and plan of
the church.

While still examining the exterior of the church, we may notice on the
east wall of the present chancel a nearly square insertion, measuring
14-½ by 13-½ inches. The matrix seems to represent traces of a brass,
with a kneeling female figure, carrying a child in her arms, with an
inscription underneath; and it may have been connected with a tomb
in that portion of the churchyard. It is of the fifteenth century,
but there is no evidence of its origin, though it has probably been
in its present position for a considerable period. The date of 1662,
and many subsequent dates and initials, have been cut into the stone,
showing the continuous existence of that pernicious class of tourists
who make a point of leaving their mark in places of interest!

Passing down the north side of the church, we may observe on the
chancel wall a piece of masonry, composed of Roman bricks, which is a
good imitation of Roman work; next the modern vestry which has no merit
except that of utility, and the traces of the Early English porch, which
has been described above--and then, rounding the north-west angle, we
come to a curious Norman squint or hagioscope, partially hidden by the
tower. The opening, sunk some three or four inches in the outer wall,
is of an oblong character. The sides are formed of worked chalk and
Kentish rag, with traces of a hinge and receptacle for a bolt, while the
lintel is composed of a piece of oak greatly decayed by age. The squint is
partially splayed on both sides, rather more on the right side than the
left, extends 18 inches into the interior of the church, and commanded
apparently a view of the high altar. Whether it was a lychnoscope,
or leper's window, or used by penitents standing under cover of a porch,
there are no grounds for determining. The actual opening does not measure
more than 12 inches by 8, and was lined originally with Norman plaster. On
the inside, where it is 15 inches across, it was till recently concealed
by the woodwork of a pew, but this has happily been removed. The masonry
inside is of a rugged character, and was evidently disturbed when the
interior of the church was covered by thick coats of plaster. Among
the fillings-up of the squint, we found three curious circular stones,
each with an ornamental _volute_ at the end. They are of oolite, and
probably formed parts of a scroll at the top of a Roman (heathen) altar,
and one of the fragments had small pieces of salmon-coloured mortar
adhering to it. We may refer to an opening in the church of St. Mary,
in Dover Castle, as being in a somewhat similar position, but there it
is generally supposed to be a lychnoscope for the use of soldiers in the
guard-room, so that they might watch the light burning at the altar on
the south-east of the nave, which was specially reserved for them.

There is a great difference of opinion as to the proper name of these
openings, two of which are certainly, and another possibly, found in
St. Martin's Church. We are told that the squint is not to be confounded
with low side-windows or lychnoscopes, originally unglazed. Squints,
as a rule, may be defined as inside the church, and the others outside,
primarily for the purpose of enabling persons in the aisles to see
the elevation of the Host at the high altar, though they are sometimes
found connected with a side-chapel, a parvise, or a tower-chamber. Their
usual height is about 4 ft. from the ground, extending upwards from 2
to 10 ft. Narrow at first, they were gradually enlarged and broadened,
as at St. Clement's and St. Peter's churches in Sandwich. Sometimes when
near a side-altar they were utilised as a credence, or had a _piscina_
sunk in them (_cf._ Crawley Church in Hampshire)--and it is not impossible
that the only real squint or hagioscope in St. Martin's Church was through
the back of the existing piscina. The other openings, as I have said,
might have been used as lepers' windows, or for penitents.

The tower was added in the fourteenth century. It is somewhat squat, and
crowned with a pyramidal top. It measures 16 ft. by 13 ft. 3 in. in length
and width, with two large buttresses on the west side, each projecting
4 ft. 3 in. It is built principally of flint with a slight intermixture
of thin mediæval tiles, and has three louvre windows, one of which,
with the peculiar "long and short" features of Saxon stone work, may
have been transferred there from some other portion of the church. The
building of this tower has probably destroyed some interesting feature,
that stood at the west end of the original church. This may have been
a western apse (so common in early basilicas) or perhaps a baptistery,
or a chamber with an arch on each of its four sides. Whatever it be,
is at present a matter of conjecture, but further explorations may solve
the mystery; and wise men will forbear to dogmatise, when their positive
theories may at any moment be overthrown.

=Description of the interior.=--The gradual ascent to St. Martin's Church
from the lych-gate is somewhat remarkable. After turning a sharp corner
in the churchyard path, you walk up nine steps to the Western Door, and
from this door there is an ascent of eleven steps to the altar. This much
resembles what is so noticeable a feature in Canterbury Cathedral. On the
south wall of the tower-porch there is inserted a monumental stone, about
which there has been a good deal of discussion. It has been described
as a piece of a Roman coffin, but this is clearly a mistake. Both the
character of the inscription, and the chamfering of the upper part,
not unlike the tomb of Stephen Langton in St. Michael's Chapel in the
Cathedral, show that it may be attributed to the thirteenth century.
The letters are fragmentary, and slightly indistinct. We can, however,
make out [dagger] [iota] [reverse solidus], and on the other side
[reverse epsilon] ARISCVS. It has been suggested that this word may
have been "Mariscus," and then the stone might possibly have been the
boundary-stone of a marsh; but I think there can be no doubt that it is
an ordinary sepulchral slab.

Till two years ago, the first feeling of visitors to the church was one of
profound disappointment. They had been informed that St. Martin's was the
oldest church in England; but the proofs of antiquity were not obvious at
a casual glance, and the Early English chancel arch presented itself most
obtrusively to the view, the walls of the nave, too, being covered with
a thick layer of modern-looking yellowish plaster. It is rather amusing,
sometimes, to hear the comments and to observe the behaviour of casual
visitors. Many of them are from the United States of America, where
the church is placed on the "list of sights" to be seen during their
European tour. A few of the more unintelligent put their heads inside
the building for two or three minutes, say to one another "this is an
interesting old church," and then walk away with a proud consciousness
that they have _done_ St. Martin's. The present writer remembers lionising
a party of Americans, and completely failing to engross their attention by
any historical or antiquarian description. At last, in despair, he asked
them to write their names in the visitors' book kept in the vestry, where
it so happened that the last names written were those of the Duchess of
Edinburgh and her children. Then their interest was at once aroused, and
they went away in a state of perfect happiness because their autographs
were inscribed in the same page as those of Royalty! At another time the
writer was preaching a sermon, on the festival of St. Martin, bishop
and confessor. He was surprised to notice an allusion to his sermon
in one of the leading London newspapers on the following day, with a
general tone of satisfaction that Protestant England still entertained
such devotion and reverence for the great _Martin Luther_, to whom (in
the correspondent's imagination) the church was dedicated! Happily such
ignorance is scarcely now possible, and the stripping of the plaster
from the nave, and also from the lower portion of the chancel, reveals
at once the antiquity of the church, so that the attention of every one
of the 10,000 tourists who annually visit it is arrested (whether they
will or no) by the rough uncoated walls.

This manifest improvement has been carried out with the kind consent and
cordial assistance of the Rev. L. J. White-Thomson, the present rector.

It is very difficult now to realise what the church must have looked like
in the earliest times. Even its shape then has been a fierce subject of
dispute. Whether the chancel was added to the nave, or the nave to the
chancel, or whether there was only the present chancel extended for a
considerable distance westward, we may perhaps assume, in the light of
very recent investigation, that there was an original chancel arch built
of Roman bricks, not unlike the arch in St. Mary's Church at Dover
Castle--and in the small, possibly apsidal, chancel the high altar would
have stood, about 18 to 20 feet eastward of the arch.

At a later period there was a _Rood-beam_ mentioned in the "Cross Light
on the Rood-loft," and alluded to in the burial of John Hougham "before
the High Cross in the Nave." The holes made for the insertion of this
Rood-beam may still be seen in the north-east and south-east angles
of the nave, about 6 ft. distant from the joints of the chancel arch,
and 10 ft. above the ground. It at one time occurred to us as possible
that the "High Cross in the Nave" might have had a parallel in the
great stone cross found in front of the central arch between the nave
and chancel at Reculver. "One of the fairest and most stately Crosses
(says Leland) I ever saw--nine feet, as I guess, in height. It standeth
like a fair column."

In mediæval times, we learn from the wills of parishioners that there
were in the church images of St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Christopher,
St. Nicholas and St. Erasmus; and each of them had a light burning before
it. How these images were distributed we have no evidence to determine,
but (perhaps) they were arranged in the following manner:--Image of
St. Martin at the east end, of St. Mary and St. Nicholas in the nave
on each side of the chancel arch, and the images of St. Christopher and
St. Erasmus at the west end of the church.

The high altar, according to custom, was evidently dedicated to
St. Martin, the altar on the north-east side of the nave to the Blessed
Virgin, and that on the south-east side to St. Nicholas. We read that
William Harry left money for a waxlight burning before the image of
St. Nicholas, "where the priest was to sing the testator's daily mass";
and there was a "Brotherhood of St. Nicholas," at whose cost fifteen
masses were to be said for the soul of Thomas Fayrhand (A.D. 1505).

Some astonishment may be caused, at first sight, by the mention of
_St. Erasmus_, but we learn from other sources that he was a popular
saint in England. Some glass, for instance, in the church of St. Botolph,
Lullingstone, represents a legend of his martyrdom, his prostrate body
lying beneath a windlass, by the winding of which the saint is being
disembowelled. He is reported to have suffered death in the Diocletian
persecution at Formiæ, where Gregory the Great testifies that his
body was still remaining, though it was afterwards translated to Cajeta.
Under the appellation of St. Elmo, he is still invoked by Mediterranean
sailors.


[Illustration: THE FONT.
  _Photochrom Co. Ltd., Photo._]


Though by no means the earliest feature in point of date, yet the =Font=
is the most conspicuous object to one entering the church. It stands now
at the south-west corner, but, until fifty years ago, it stood in the
middle of the nave. We know its exact position because Stephen Fokys or
Falkes (1506) directed that he should be buried "before the font," and
his gravestone, with a small brass inserted, is still remaining. This
brass bears the following inscription:--"Pray for the souls of Stevyn
Falkes and Alys his wife: the which deceased the 10th day of May the
year of our Lord 1506. On whose souls Jesu have mercy."

The _Font_ is circular or tub-shaped, 2 ft. 5 in. high, excluding the
base on which it stands: or 3 ft. 1 in. with the base, which looks
like an old Norman mill-stone, and was probably added when the font
was moved to its present position. On examining the inside of the font
a few years ago, for the purpose of inserting a small leaden pipe to
carry away the baptismal water, we found that this base-stone had a
square opening in the centre, and bore Norman toolmarks, which it would
probably not have done had it not been originally exposed to external
view. The diameter of the inner basin of the font is 1 ft. 10 in.,
that of the outside 2 ft. 6-½ in., the circumference round the outside
being 8 ft. 2 in. It consists of a rim and three tiers. The three tiers
are made up of some twenty-two distinct stones, rounded externally, and
fitted in their place. The _lower_ tier is embellished with a continuous
pattern of scroll-work: the _second_ with groups of circles intertwining
one another (what Hasted calls a hieroglyphical true-lover's knot),
with the exception of one stone, which has six comparatively plain
circles carved upon it: the _third_ tier is of a different character,
exhibiting arches intersecting each other. At the top is a _rim_, the
ornamentation of which corresponds with that of the two lower tiers,
except one part in which there is a kind of dog-tooth work, like stars
cut in half. It has been suggested that the upper portion of this rim
was cut away for the purpose of forming a ledge on which a tall cover
might firmly rest. There are still remains of the staple by which the
cover was secured, and the font may have been locked up in the time of
Cromwell, to prevent its desecration.

The font was for a long time covered with a thick coat of whitewash.
It is lined with lead, extending downwards to a depth of 14 inches, and
the space between the lead and the bottom of the font is now filled up
with rough blocks of Caen stone and rubbish. It has probably been taken
to pieces and moved more than once. An attempt was made, by drawing
tracings of the several stones separately, to reorganise it (on paper)
in a consistent and continuous pattern, but, unfortunately, there are
two or three stones that will not fit in with the rest.

Now, as to the =date of the Font=, there is great diversity of opinion.
The character of the carving naturally suggests that it is of the later
Norman period, and is similar to that found in St. Clement's Church,
Sandwich, in the cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral, and elsewhere. But
this is by no means conclusive; for, if the font was an historical or
unusually ancient one, some pious person might have been inclined to do
honour to it by decoration. It may be pointed out that this decoration
is not _carving_ at all, but has been done with a small chisel of not
more than a quarter of an inch, and by no able hand. Instances have been
adduced of "smartening up" of a similar character.

It is certain that the composition of the font is most unusual. The
Norman fonts were, as a rule, scooped out of a single stone, as we
see, _e.g._ at Lincoln Cathedral, Sapcote, Green's Norton, Belton,
Aswarly, Darenth, and several other places. Moreover, if (which is
somewhat uncertain) St. Martin's font is of Caen stone, which the
Normans possessed abundantly, and which is easily worked, it appears
improbable that they would have built it up in such a rude manner of
twenty-two separate stones Is there any other existing font composed
in the same manner? It was said that there is, or was, at Lewknor and
at Woburn. But the vicar of Lewknor, examining his font at our request,
writes that, so far as he can see, it is made of _one_ stone: while the
church at Woburn has been rebuilt during the last thirty years, and no
one knows what has become of the original font. A general statement that
we have no Saxon fonts existing is valueless, and incapable of proof;
and we are more inclined to agree with Mr F. A. Paley ("Introduction to
Illustrations of Baptismal Fonts") that "we cannot doubt that a
considerable number of fonts now exist in England, wherein the Saxon
infant received the waters of baptism."


[Illustration: INTERIOR OF ST. MARTIN'S (SHOWING WEST WALL OF NAVE).
  _Noakes, Canterbury, Photo._]


The most ancient form of fonts was octagonal, or tub-shaped, built like
a tower, as described by St. Paulinus of Nola. Some Norman fonts are
round; more often, perhaps, they are of square form, sometimes profusely
decorated with grotesque imagery, and supported by a central massive
circular stem. If we take away the sketchy chiselling, for which we have
suggested a possible reason, no one would consider the St. Martin's font
to be of Norman workmanship. Moreover, the sides of the font internally
are extremely rough, and it is unlike the Normans to bestow so little
in the way of finish.

We may conclude (as I have said) with some confidence that Ethelbert was
baptised in St. Martin's Church. No traces have been discovered there of a
baptistery--nor, indeed, of any in England before that erected (about 750)
by Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, to the east of the Cathedral. But
this does not militate against the theory that he was baptised by
_affusion_, even though not from the present font notwithstanding
traditional evidence to this effect in the seals before alluded to.

Reverence and probability alike protest against the idea, entertained
by one or two distinguished antiquaries, that the font is nothing but
the circular erection once surrounding the top of a well, or _puteus_,
as depicted by Eadwin (1130-1174) in his plan of the herbarium of the
cathedral.


[Illustration: Window openings in West wall of St. Martin's, Cant.
  (By G. M. Livett.)]


Next to the font, we must direct attention to the "=West Wall of the
Nave.=" Rugged and uneven as it now appears, there is still method in
its building. Its general character is that of roughly-hewn Kentish
rag-stones (with occasional blocks of chalk) bonded together by Roman
bricks, arranged in sometimes a single, sometimes a double or even triple,
course. Here and there a single course of stones lies between the courses
of bricks, which are then 9 ins. apart. In other portions of the wall
five or six courses of stone intervene between the courses of bricks,
so that the courses of stones and bricks do not alternate regularly.
The original face of the wall is much obscured by sundry patchings and
repairs, and (on the north side) by the erection of a monumental tablet,
lately removed to the tower-porch. In the centre, over the present
doorway, is an _arch_ or opening, now filled up with courses of Roman
bricks and rubble of chalk or flint. The arch reaches to a height of 17
or 18 ft. above the floor level, a few inches of the crown having been
cut away, and is on an average 7 ft. 2 in. wide. Whether it reached
originally down to the ground, or was merely an opening of the nature
of a window, cannot be positively settled, as the fillings-up have not
yet been removed. On either side of the arch, at a distance of 2 ft.,
are two _windows_ (the upper 18 ins. of which, as they now appear, are
an extension made in Saxon or Norman times). The original windows (below
this extension) have their jambs of chalk-blocks filled in with _white_
mortar, while the arches are turned in Roman bricks and rough voussoirs
of Kentish rag-stone, with interstices of bright _pink_ mortar. These
windows are certainly built _more Romano_, and no sufficient evidence
has yet been brought forward to upset the opinion strongly held by many
archæologists--that they are _Roman_. The variation of the mortar used
in their construction from _white_ mortar in the jambs to _pink_ mortar
in the voussoirs of the arch is a very noticeable feature, and can be
exactly paralleled in the Roman Pharos at Dover. It is certainly _prima
facie_, a strong evidence of Roman workmanship. The windows are 2 ft. 8
in. wide, and would have measured 4 ft. from sill to crown. Their jambs
are splayed at an angle that would allow about 12 ins. for the actual
opening on the outer face of the wall. Their sills are respectively 9
ft. 9 in. and 10 ft. above the ground level, and the lower portion of
the south window is filled up with thin mediæval tiles, such as we find
here and there in the fourteenth-century tower, during the building of
which the _extended_ windows were undoubtedly blocked up. These _extended_
windows have no voussoirs, but were cut out of the original walling, and
simply plastered. Near them are portions of pink plaster still adhering
to the wall.

Excavations have been made below the northern portion of this western wall
in hopes of finding some of the original flooring of the church, but could
not be further prosecuted because vaults, and even detached skeletons,
were met with at a distance of only one foot below the existing pews.

The style of the north and south walls of the nave is much the same as
that of the western wall; and behind the wood-work are considerable pieces
of pink plaster, remarkable both for its hardness and texture. About this
plaster we must say a few words, as it is, in our opinion, an important
piece of evidence. It is composed of carbonate of lime imperfectly
burned, of silicious sand, and pounded Roman brick, in almost equal
proportions. It is true that some examples of this plaster have been
occasionally found in Saxon, Norman, and even Early English buildings, but
they are feeble imitations, distinguishable by the greater preponderance
of sand, neither so bright nor crisp in section, more soft and pliable,
and of a dullish colour. Two pieces of plaster were put side by side,
one from St. Martin's and another from a Roman villa at Wingham, and to
an experienced eye the texture was identical, except that the latter
was rather thinner. And on our sending to such an undoubted expert as
Mr J. T. Irvine (who had previously expressed much scepticism as to the
Roman claims of St. Martin's, though he candidly confessed that he had
not seen our recent explorations) a specimen of this plaster, he wrote
in reply that, "both as regards texture of tile and lime mixture, and the
colour produced thereby in section, it certainly seem to accord with that
of _good Roman date_."

About the middle of the north wall of the nave is a doorway, 4 ft. 2
in. wide, with jambs of Caen stones of irregular size, some of them
showing marks of axe-tooling. The date of this doorway is uncertain. The
head is destroyed and the rubble filling-up irregular, but the general
appearance seems to favour the theory that it is Norman. On the east
side of the doorway is a =stoup= for Holy Water, certainly of great
antiquity. The shape is not regular, but it may be described roughly as
measuring 20 by 17 inches.

At the south-east corner is the celebrated Norman =piscina=, said to be one
of the earliest and most beautiful in England. The size of the actual
opening is 13 by 7-½ inches with additional 4 inches to the top of
the tympanum. Its jambs are of Caen stone, with the usual tool-marks. In
it are three curious holes, two above and one below, penetrating about
2 inches into the stone. What these holes were intended for has been
a great puzzle, but perhaps short poles were inserted in them which
supported an ornamental canopy. It is not impossible that the piscina
was originally placed somewhere nearer the east wall of the nave.


[Illustration: NORMAN PISCINA.
  (From a Photograph by Miss M. Bruce.)]


On the removal of the flooring beneath the piscina there was found a hole
measuring 2 ft. by 1 ft. 8 in. and 5 ins. deep with a bottom of rough
concrete, and 3 feet away were some =foundations of a wall= running
parallel to the south wall. These foundations, chiefly consisting of flint,
are about 18 ins. wide and 15 in. deep, though in parts rather fragmentary,
and they were at first supposed to be connected with the parclose of the
Altar of St. Nicholas, which formerly stood there. But Mr Livett opens
out another possibility. He writes to us as follows:--"The portion of
the east wall of the Nave, into which the south respond of the Chancel
Arch is bonded, is similar in character and material to the brick walling
of the western part of the _Chancel_, with which therefore, rather than
with the _Nave_, it must be identified in date and construction. The
same may be said of the corresponding bit of wall on the north side,
which, however, has been more interfered with by the bondings of later
work. In the face of the bit of wall on the south side, though rough
and plastered with hard cement, may be detected the broken bonders
of a wall that formerly ran westwards from it, and exactly in a line
with the south wall of the Chancel. The vertical line of the junction
of the southern face of the destroyed wall with the bit of wall under
examination can be traced clearly. It has all the proper signs of bonding,
precisely similar in treatment to the signs of bonding seen on the face
of the south wall of the Chancel immediately above the foundations of
the Adjunct. The foundations discovered under the flooring of the Nave
are in a position to have carried this destroyed wall. Though they
are fragmentary, their material and depth correspond exactly with the
foundations of the Chancel wall below the brick footings thereof. I
drew Mr W. H. St. John Hope's attention to the signs of bonding which
I have described, and from recent correspondence with him I infer that
he accepts the evidence as sufficient to prove the former existence of
a destroyed wall. The recovery of this wall running in the direction
described, and contemporaneous in date with the western part of the
Chancel, is an important factor in the consideration of the relative
dates of the existing Chancel and Nave."

Before quitting the nave, the beautiful open roof of which deserves
admiration, we must say a few words about a door or window opening from
the west wall into the tower. This is of the Decorated period, and was
perhaps connected with a tower-chamber (used in many old churches, both
as a sleeping-room, and for a study); or the watchers, who guarded
the church, would be able to see from thence the shrines with their
relics and jewels, or it may have been to enable the sacristan to know
the exact moment for ringing the Sanctus bell at the elevation of the
Host, so that the sick in their chambers, the labourers in the fields,
and the faithful in the church might join in a common act of adoration.

Let us now proceed to the =chancel=. The whole of the modern stalls were
temporarily removed with a view of facilitating further investigations
underground; but here, as in the nave, the excavations were almost
entirely put a stop to by the existence of vaults and graves, extending
right up to the walls on either side.


[Illustration: CHANCEL OF ST. MARTIN'S (SHOWING SEDILE, SAXON DOORWAY,
  etc.).
  _Noakes, Canterbury, Photo._]


Owing to various circumstances, it has not been considered advisable,
for the present, to strip the plaster from the chancel walls above
the height of seven or eight feet, or east of the altar rails. Enough,
however, has been done to show clearly that the present chancel may be
assigned to two, and probably to three, distinct periods. For a distance
of twenty feet eastward on each side of the chancel arch, the walls
are built of Roman bricks laid evenly upon one another, _four bricks_
(as I have before said), with their interstices of mortar, occupying
_one foot_. This portion of the church shows very careful workmanship.
It has been attributed by some to the time, and even the personal
supervision, of St. Augustine himself, but we think that with greater
probability it may be considered as _Roman_ building.


[Illustration: SEDILE.
  (From a Photograph by Miss M. Blore.)]


We have already described the square-headed doorway, but may add that
(during the present spring) the lepers' window has been traced inwards
to a depth of 1 ft. 8 in. from the exterior of the wall. From this
_square-headed_ doorway the _semi-circular_ one (commented on in our
description of the exterior of the church) is 4 ft. 2 in. distant. Beyond
this the early brick wall extends eastward for 6 ft. 9 in. till we
reach a break in it, which was clearly the termination of the original
chancel. For the last two feet the work is somewhat irregular, and from
this circumstance, and from some evidence discovered at this spot on
the outside, it has been conjectured that here we have the beginning of
a Roman apse (_cf._ Appendix C). Eastward of this break, the walling
is of different workmanship, showing with the mortar-joints six bricks
to a foot, and after 3 ft. 5 in. we come to a =Sedile=, which was blocked
up with mediæval brickwork, and opened out a short time ago. It had
apparently a slightly pointed arch, of which about five inches have been
cut away. The springing line is about 2 ft. 9-½ in. above the seat;
the radii are about 3 ft. 9 in., their centres being on the springing
line. This would fix its measurements as follows:--Span, 5 ft.; depth,
about 1 ft. 3 in.; height from seat to springing line, 2 ft. 9-½; in.;
and from seat to apex, about 6 ft. 4 in. A difficulty has arisen as to the
date of the sedile from the fact that the top of it has been cut away by
the insertion of a lancet window, appearing at first sight to belong to
the Early English period, so that the sedile would seem as if it must
be of an earlier date than the window. But Mr Livett, though believing
it not impossible that the sedile and lancet window were built at the
same time, and the sill of the window altered afterwards, thinks it more
probable that the sedile and its adjoining brickwork were built late
in the twelfth century, and the lancet window inserted subsequently,
perhaps in the fourteenth century. The position of the sedile would
seem to point out that the high altar stood, in Early English times,
immediately east of the step whereon the present altar rails are placed.

The east wall of the church was partially pulled down and rebuilt about
fifty years ago, to which period we owe the pseudo-Norman work of the
reredos. The lancet windows were filled at that time with an ill-drawn
representation of the Crucifixion in the centre, and on each side with
the Ten Commandments, which were slowly fading away.

Inside the altar rails is an =aumbry=, 15 by 14 inches, with a wooden door
of "linen pattern," dating probably from the time of Henry VII. The recess
inside the door extends to a depth of 18 inches, and is still in use.

On the north side of the chancel is an arch surmounting a tomb, the
oolite slab of which measures 6 ft. 6 in. long by 2 ft. wide at the top,
and 1 ft. 6 in. wide at the foot. This tomb is apparently ancient. On the
slab is an incision that probably contained a cross. At the back of the
recess, in the wall, is an elegant Latin inscription, composed by Bishop
Claughton (of St. Albans) and placed on a brass there by Canon Chesshyre,
a former rector, to this effect: "If by chance anywhere near here lie
the remains of Bertha, wife of King Ethelbert, let them rest in peace
till the last coming of the Lord Jesus."


[Illustration: (SO-CALLED) QUEEN BERTHA'S TOMB.]


The arch above the tomb is a poor imitation of a Norman one, and stands
under a curious round-headed opening in the wall, which may mark the
position of a Norman window.

This tomb was always shown as "Queen Bertha's," and is still often
called so even in the present day, owing to the statement that the queen
was buried "in porticu Sancti Martini"; but this, of course, refers to
the apse or transept of St. Martin's Chapel in the monastery church of
St. Augustine, where Bertha was laid on the south side of the altar.

The tomb was opened on January 12th, 1883, and beneath the covering
slab of oolite was discovered a coffin of stone, hollowed out into the
shape of the body, and having a small semi-circular opening (about 9
inches in diameter) for the head of the corpse. This latter opening had
been bricked off from the rest of the tomb, and was thus formed into a
receptacle for fragments of bones and other human remains, the rest of
the coffin being filled up with flints, bricks, and rubbish. The bones
were pronounced by a surgeon who was present to be probably those of an
elderly man, aged about seventy years, and of small proportions. This was
an apparent confirmation of a theory previously broached--viz. that the
tomb possibly contained the remains of the restorer of the church in
the thirteenth century. But alas for hasty conclusions! We have since
ascertained that the tomb had been opened before 1844, and, so far as
one can trust to oral tradition, it was then empty, except for a little
human dust. Our informant also told us that there was a small cross,
made of grass, which crumbled away when exposed to the air, but he was
evidently confusing this with the cross made of two twigs that was found
at the opening of Henry IV.'s tomb in the Cathedral.

Where, then, did the bones come from? There is an arch of an Edwardian
monument in the vestry, but no coffin underneath; and our conjecture is
that, when the present vestry (a kind of recess) was thrown out from the
church, the tomb, which stood in the way, was moved back to its outer
wall, and the bones were transferred to the so-called tomb of Queen
Bertha. It is possible that the coffin-lid found in the square-headed
Roman doorway was also taken from the same source.

So far as we can ascertain, no authentic records were kept at the time
of the restoration of the church in 1844-45, which was done without a
faculty. There is no doubt that its condition then was very dilapidated,
and that we owe almost its actual preservation to the munificent
liberality of Mr Daniel Finch and the careful judgment of its rector,
Canon Chesshyre; but we must necessarily regret the absence of full
particulars, and the opportunities that were then lost of exploring
thoroughly the walls, floors, and general antiquities of the church.


[Illustration: CHRISMATORY (SHUT).
  (From a Photograph by Mrs W. A. Lochée.)]


On the top of the wall-plate was found a very interesting =chrismatory=,
lately in the possession of Mrs Chesshyre of Barton Court, but now placed
in a vestry-drawer used as a museum for curiosities connected with the
church. It cannot lay claim to the same renown as the =ampulla= said to
have been used at the baptism of Clovis, when legend relates that the
clerk who bore the chrism was prevented by the crowd from reaching his
proper station, and, as the moment of unction arrived, St. Remi raised
his eyes to heaven and prayed, "when lo! suddenly a dove, white as snow,
flew towards him, bearing down in his beak an ampulla filled with chrism
from above."

Not even the most enthusiastic devotee of St. Martin's could claim this
chrismatory as having been used at the baptism of Ethelbert, for it is
clearly of the date of the fourteenth century.

At a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries on December 16th, 1880, it
was thus described:--"It is a brass box 6 inches long, 2 inches broad,
and 2 inches high. The lid is high-pitched, with slanting gable-ends
nearly equilateral, and surmounted by a vertical crest or ridge pierced
with quatrefoils. The extreme height of the lid is 2-3/8 inches; that
of the vertical crest is 7/8 inch. The lid is attached behind by two
hinges, each ½ inch broad, and of which the raised plates are riveted
to the back and lid of the box. The lid is fastened, not locked, by a
hasp attached by a plate, and dropping on to a moveable catch on the
face of the box. The upper and lower edges of the box, and its ridge,
are mounted with mouldings attached by rivets. On opening the lid we found
three oil-pots, all of them in fragments, and to none of them are the lids
still remaining. At the bottom of the pots, however, are traces of some
fibrous material. The pots, unlike the box itself, are of pewter." The
necessity of keeping the three oils--(1) the holy chrism, (2) the oil
for the sick, (3) the oil for catechumens--in distinct compartments is
insisted upon by Archbishop Ælfric: "Ye ought to have three flasks ready
for the three oils, for we dare not put them together in one oil vessel,
because each of them is hallowed apart for a particular service."

The oil was contained in tow or cotton wool on a metal prong, and so
moistened either the thumb of the priest or the person of the sick.

On the wall pierced through by the new vestry arch some remains were
discovered of an old fresco, which represents the Crucifixion of our Lord,
with St. John and the Blessed Virgin standing before the Cross. From
the character of the painting (which was copied at the time), we are
inclined to assign it to the fourteenth century.

At the same part of the church, while an opening was made ten years
ago for the organ pipes, we came across some solid oak beams running
horizontally. They are extremely hard, though worm-eaten on the surface:
and resting as they were on the top of the wall (which consisted of eight
feet of Roman brick and six feet of apparently rough Saxon work), at the
height of fourteen feet from the ground, they may have formed portions
of a Saxon roof.


[Illustration: CHRISMATORY (OPEN) SHOWING THE THREE OIL-POTS.]


The floor of the chancel is in part occupied by sepulchral slabs; one
to Sir John Finch (whose monument is described below), which has the
following inscription:--"Here is committed to the Earth, that it may
return to Earth, whatever was mortal of John Finch, Baron Fordwich, of
the ancient and noble family of Eastwell, whom it pleased, in preference
to any epitaph, to have this inscribed on his sepulchral stone, 'Here
lies the most humble servant of the best of Kings.'"

Another is that of Sir Henry Palmer of Howletts, father of thirteen
children, obiit December 10th, 1659. A third of Maria, wife of Edward
Keddell, of the Society of New Inn, London, obiit 1659, ætat: twenty.
The descendants of this Keddell are now flourishing in America. The
latter stone was removed when the new tile pavement was laid down, and
placed in the immediately adjacent wall. It is described in a record of
the last century as having been at that time in the _Nave_.

There are also two brasses, side by side, in a state of perfect
preservation. The one to the south is in memory of Michael Fraunces,
with a Latin inscription: "Here rest beneath this marble the bodies of
Michael Fraunces, gentleman, and of Jane his wife, daughter of William
Quilter, Esquire. The wife died on the 4th, the husband on the 10th,
of January 1587. Their souls are in the enjoyment of heaven." The brass
on the north side contains an effigy, and the following words written
underneath: "Here lyeth Thomas Stoughton, late of Ashe, in the countie
of Kent, gentleman, who _depted_ this life the xii^{th} of June 1591."
Between and around these brasses is a tesselated pavement, not unlike
a Roman pattern. A great part of it is modern, but some portion was
pronounced by Mr Minton's chief workman to be very old, and it is not
impossible that a few of the tiles may date from a pre-Norman period.


[Illustration: Fig. 1. Fig. 2.]


There is also, just at the entrance to the Sacrarium, a small cross let
into the floor, which is apparently the one described by Hasted, who
speaks of it as a "Cross of white marble, which has been much noticed by
the curious as of great antiquity. It is about nine inches long and six
wide." He gives a representation of it, which, however, is inaccurate,
for he represents it as of this shape, as fig. 1, whereas in reality it
is as fig. 2, and its dimensions are 18 inches by 6-½ inches. We can
only account for this variation by supposing that the upper part of the
cross had been in his time sunk into the ground, and partially covered
by the pavement.

The largest, and perhaps the principal, monument on the walls is a
cumbrous one on the south of the Sacrarium, to John Finch, Baron Fordwich,
who is described as Advocate-General and Chancellor of Queen Henrietta
Maria, Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Privy Councillor, and
Keeper of the Great Seal. He is remarkable in history as having been
the Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Charles I., who was
held down in his chair by Hobbes and others, in order that the protest
against the infraction of the Petition of Right might be passed.

"Full of offices, full of days, he migrated hence to the Ancient of Days,"
aged 77, on November 20, 1660.

Beneath the monument there used to stand an altar-tomb enclosed with
iron rails, and on a tablet near some Latin verses, composed by Charles
Fotherby in the time of Charles II., "to a very noble and distinguished
man."

The other monuments in the church are not of any general interest. Several
of those mentioned by Hasted have already disappeared, including one to
Giles Talbot, rector, in 1524.

The =Bells= are three in number. One of them has no inscription, the second
bears simply the date 1641, and on the third, in old English characters,
is the legend "Sancta Caterina, ora pro nobis."

Little need be said about the modern restorations and additions. The
panelling of solid foreign oak, including the pews, was inserted by Mr
Daniel Finch in 1844. A new pulpit and stone credence-table have also been
added: the floor of the chancel has been re-tiled; the former vestry has
been turned into an organ-chamber, and, where the organ once stood, a new
vestry has been made. In it are placed old engravings of the church and a
copy of the fresco which has already been described. In the drawer-museum
there are kept, besides the chrismatory, some Saxon beads, fac-similes
of the Merovingian coins, portions of the Roman (heathen) altar, and
some pieces of pink plaster. The altar, altar cross, candlesticks, etc.,
are new, as well as a large majority of the stained glass windows, in
which the leading idea has been, as far as possible, to perpetuate events
or persons connected with early Christian history. The three lights
of the east window represent St. Augustine (1) landing at Ebb's Fleet,
(2) entering Canterbury down St. Martin's Hill, and (3) baptising King
Ethelbert; also (4) Queen Bertha attending Christian worship. In other
windows of the chancel are pictures of the death of St. Martin, and the
closing scene in the life of the Venerable Bede; while in the vestry are
two single figures, erroneously supposed to be those of Pope Gregory
and Bishop Lindhard, which were purchased some fifty years ago in
Wardour Street.

On the south side of the =Nave= is a window representing various
scenes in the Life of St. Martin--_e.g._ his entrance into the army,
his consecration as bishop, his healing a leper, etc.--while in the
baptistery is the well-known incident in the Forum at Rome, "Non Angli
sed Angeli." In a memorial window on the north side, near the pulpit,
are four female figures--Queen Bertha, her daughter St. Ethelburga,
St. Dorothea, and St. Margaret of Antioch; and in the north-west a picture
of St. Martin dividing his cloak, probably copied from Vandyke. This
latter window, as well as one in the tower, was painted in 1851 by a
Miss Harriet Ludlow Clarke, who died at Cannes in 1866, and was a lady
of some taste and distinction.

The =Churchyard=, practically the only one now in use in Canterbury, though
St. Gregory's and St. Dunstan's churchyards are open for occasional
interments, has come to be regarded as the "Campo Santo" of the city. In
modern times the ground has been opened to receive the remains of many
distinguished priests and laymen, among whom we may mention Dean Alford,
Dean Payne-Smith, Bishop Parry and Canon Robertson (the ecclesiastical
historian). Not very far from the lych-gate is a curious floriated cross,
the legend on which seems to have puzzled many writers on the history
of the church, though it bears distinctly on the front "Hew Whyte," and
on the back "and Alys his wife." It is very probable that this is not
a memorial cross, but a finial gable cross removed from the east of the
chancel roof, and originally placed there in 1484 by Hew Whyte, who was
a benefactor to the church. The cross has had many adventures. It was
taken from the churchyard during the last century, and about thirty years
ago was reposing as an ornament in the garden of a Canterbury citizen,
but was brought back in 1876, and mounted on a pedestal.

In the _Valor Ecclesiasticus_, compiled in the twenty-sixth year of King
Henry VIII., the value of the living for "tithes predyall and personal,
oblations, and other spiritual yearly profits" is estimated at £9,
and the yearly tenths at 18s., which, in the first year of Edward VI.,
were reduced to £6, 5s. and 12s. 2d. respectively. Hasted remarks that
in 1588 it was valued at £20, and there were 71 communicants. In 1640
it was valued at £40, with 70 communicants. And it appears by the
Survey of the King's Commissioners in the second year of the reign of
Edward VI. that there were _obit_ lands given and bequeathed by divers
persons, that one yearly _obit_ should be kept in this church for ever:
the yearly value of which lands was 23s. 4d., of which the distribution
to the poor was 12d., and outgoings 21d., leaving 20s. 7d. clear. Among
the =charities= bequeathed we find

(1) _Stephen Falkes_ (1506) ordered that the yearly rents and profits
coming off the little messuage, with its appurtenances, in which
Gregory Bradley then dwelt, should wholly remain to the churchwardens
of St. Martin's for ever, for the reparation of the church.

(2) _Sir Henry Palmer_, Knt., of Bekesbourne (probably the father of
the Sir Henry Palmer now interred in the chancel), by his will in 1611
gave 10s., to be yearly paid out of his Manor of Well Court, to the
minister and churchwardens of the parish towards the relief of the poor
of St. Martin's.

Both these charities have disappeared, but there are still in existence
(3) the bequest of _Dame Mabella Finch_ of £100, to be paid into the
hands of Mr Bingham, and three such other of the ablest inhabitants
of the parish of St. Martin, to be by them and the churchwardens and
overseers of it, and their successors for ever, employed for the use
and benefit of the then and hereafter poor of this parish. (An annuity
of £10 bequeathed at the same time to the rector, and his successors,
has disappeared.)

(4) _James William Bain_ left (in 1861) the sum of £100 Consols, the
proceeds to be expended for the repair of his tomb from time to time,
and any residue for the benefit of the poor of the parish.

The population of the parish at the last census was 211, and the nett
annual value of the benefice is estimated at £220.

The =Registers= date only from 1662, the preceding Registers having been
lost. No entries whatever are found in them except the bare enumeration
of births, marriages, and deaths.

The church was originally exempt, and is still exempt (as we have stated
before), from the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon of Canterbury. The
patronage of the living continued solely in the hands of the Archbishop
of Canterbury till the church was united, in 1681, with the neighbouring
church of St. Paul, by the mutual consent of the Archbishop and the
Chapter of Canterbury, the patrons of the latter. For nearly two hundred
years after this time the patronage was vested in the Archbishop,
and Dean and chapter, alternately, until a few years ago, when it was
transferred back to the Archbishop alone.

Hasted gives a full account of the manor of Caldicot, lying within the
_Borough of St. Martin_, which was part of the possessions of the see
of Canterbury, and is thus described in Domesday Book: "The archbishop
himself holds the Ville, which is called St. Martins: it belongs to
Estursete, and lies in that hundred; it was taxed at one suling and one
half ... In demesne there are two carucates and thirty-six borderers.
To this land there belong seven burgesses in Canterbury, paying eight
shillings and fourpence: there are five mills of twenty shillings, and a
small wood." Canon Scott Robertson contended, in an able article on the
"Saxon Ville of St. Martin," that, as this is contained in the survey
of Aldington, the said ville was a limb of the manor of Aldington, and
is therefore connected with the oratory of St. Martin at Romney. But
he was clearly mistaken--the ville is distinctly said to "pertain to
Estursete, and to lie in that hundred," which is now named Westgate,
in Canterbury. When Lanfranc divided the estates of the archbishop from
those of the newly-formed chapter, the different estates were variously
grouped together under the larger manors, and sometimes shifted from
one to another, for the convenience (no doubt) of their management. The
manor was appropriated afterwards to the use of the archbishop's table,
till Archbishop Reynolds gave it, at the earnest desire of the monks,
"to the Prior and Convent, inasmuch as it was a convenient place for
them to retire to, and recreate themselves, when they were wearied out
and tired, it being at no great distance from their Monastery."

In the time of Edward I. a question arose whether the _Borough of
St. Martin's_ was within the Liberties of the city, and the jury found
"that in future it should be subject and answerable with the rest of
the Citizens in all those matters which belong to the Crown: that all
residents and dwellers in the borough ought to come four times a year to
the hundred of Burgate, at the summons of the bailiffs of the city. And
in like manner that they ought to come to the Portmote of the City,
as often as the citizens should cause a common meeting to be summoned
by the blowing of the horn."


[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S.
  (From an Old Print.)]


"And so we leave _St. Martin's_. Only we wish that for the venerable
antiquity of the Church and some time Episcopal estate of the
place--things that have much dignified both--it may always flourish in
the maintenance of its due rights and respects." With these words of an
old writer, we may conclude our description of the church. In an =Appendix=
we have summed up a few remarks on the controversy that has been raging
for the last few years as to the exact origin of the building. Those
who argue against its Roman date bid us be content with the assurance
that it is undoubtedly the oldest church in England, and tell us that,
when St. Augustine knew it, it was small, but quite large enough for
the small body of Christians who came over here with Queen Bertha,
that it was probably built for her and them, though it may have been
on the site of a British church. This gives us a continuous record of
1300 years and more. But we are _not_ content! for we believe that it is
the oldest existing church in _Europe_. Older than the churches of St.
Maria Maggiore and St. Pudenziana in Rome; than St. Croce, St. Francisco,
St. Vitale, St. Apollinare in Classe and St. Apollinare Nuovo at
Ravenna. Such churches as St. John Lateran, St. Paolo fuori le Mura
and St. Clemente cannot enter into the comparison, for they have been
almost entirely rebuilt--and in France and Germany nothing has survived
down to our own time, except a few fragments of the many large churches
constructed during the Roman occupation. We all desire that _truth_ should
prevail; but that truth must be established by intimate acquaintance with
every detail of the building and a knowledge of the latest explorations,
and not depend on facts accepted from hearsay, or a desire to establish
any preconceived theory.

Whatever be the decision ultimately arrived at, none can doubt that
_St. Martin's_ is one of our grandest historical monuments. Small as it
is, it may yet vie with the magnificent cathedral of Christ Church in the
glorious associations that have clustered round its hallowed walls, and
in point of antiquity surpasses it by several centuries. It has witnessed
the progress of the English nation from barbarism to civilisation. The
ever-widening stream that has continued to flow from that tiny spring
cannot fail to impress the earnest Christian with a lesson of trust in
the mysterious ways of Providence. It has preserved its light burning
almost continuously from the time of the small band of British Christians,
of the worship of pious Queen Bertha and the great St. Augustine, down
to that solemn commemoration of 1897, when within its sacred walls were
gathered the representatives of the English Church which has spread into
all quarters of the civilised and uncivilised world.



APPENDIX A


  LIST OF RECTORS.                     PROBABLE DATE OF INSTITUTION

  John de Charleton                    1314
  Robert de Henney                     1316
  John de Bourn                        1330
  William de Castro                    1333
  John de Byngham                      1349
  Richard de Camsale                   1349
  Robert Hayward                       1381
  Thomas Bolter                        1392
  John Vag                             1392
  Robert Hubbyn                        1408
  John Lovelych                        1419
  Thomas Wotten                        1428
  William Welton                       1434
  Robert Hunt                          No Date
  John Bernard                         1448
  John Skye                            1456
  John Browne                          1466
  Giles Talbot                         1509
  William Heynys                       1524
  John Hichecocke                      1539
  Thomas Nicholls                      1547
  John Smyth                           1552
  David Robson                         1560
  Adam More                            1576
  Eustace Ffrensham                    1578
  John Mugge                           1578
  John Stubbs                          1587
  Richard Genvey                       1591
  Matthew Warner                       1611
  Rolando Vaughan                      1637
  William Osborne                      1661
  William Osborne (jun.)               1665
  Owen Evans                           1681
  Thomas Lamprey                       1743
  John Airson                          1761
  Thomas Freeman                       1788
  Thomas Antony Mutlow                 1808
  J. E. N. Molesworth                  1829
  J. Stratton                          1839
  W. J. Chesshyre                      1842
  Thomas Hirst                         1859
  A. B. Strettell                      1874
  Leslie E. Goodwin                    1882
  Leonard J. White-Thomson             1894


=Thomas Bolter= exchanged with =John Vag=, who was incumbent of the chantry
in the hospital of St. Thomas at Eastbridge, in the city of Canterbury.

=John Skye= exchanged with =John Bernard=. He had formerly been rector of
Dibdin, Hants.

=John Browne=, a chaplain, became rector on the resignation of John Skye.

=William Heynys= signed the Renunciation of the Papal Supremacy in 1534-5.

=Eustace Ffrensham= became insane.



APPENDIX B

DATE OF THE CHURCH


The revelation of fresh features of interest in the church by the recent
explorations has attracted wide attention, and revived the controversy as
to the probable date of the building. The whole subject was discussed in
the spring of 1896 at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries in London,
after an able paper read by Mr W. H. St. John Hope. The question was
also brought prominently forward at the Canterbury meeting of the Royal
Archæological Institute in July 1896. What the newspapers called "The
Battle of St. Martin's" raged with unabated vigour during the week,
and, although many opinions were expressed with that _positiveness_
which is said to mark the true antiquary (a positiveness not always
founded on personal knowledge), yet by some well-known experts no pains
were spared, and no special and professional attainments were wanting,
to determine the issue on a scientific basis. It may be true to the
experience of human nature, but yet it seems a feeble conclusion, if we
confess that after all this apparently exhaustive debate, the controversy
on the main point is as much alive as ever.

Premising that by "the Chancel" is meant the original chancel extending
20 feet eastward from the nave, we may state the following four as the
only theories that now hold the field:--

(1) A Roman date for the chancel, and a later Roman date for the nave.

(2) A Roman date for the nave, and a later Roman date for the chancel.

(3) A Roman date for the chancel, and a Saxon date for the nave.

(4) An early Saxon date for the chancel, and a later Saxon date for
the nave.

Many of the architectural details bearing on the subject are so minute,
and so highly technical, that they are not suitable to the character
of this Appendix. We propose, therefore, to confine ourselves chiefly
to broad general features, and to narrow the controversy, in the first
place, to the question whether there still exists in the church any
_Roman_ workmanship, or whether even the most ancient part of it must be
assigned to the _Saxon_ period. It is difficult to avoid recapitulation
of many points alluded to in the handbook, but we may summarise the
principal arguments in favour of the _Roman_ date of portions of the
church as follows: (1) =History.=--It is distinctly mentioned by Bede
that there was (in 597) a church dedicated to St. Martin, built while
the Romans still occupied Britain. Now this is direct testimony, to
which great weight must be assigned, when we consider the character and
authority of the writer. He was born in 673--_i.e._ only seventy-six years
after the mission of Augustine, and sixty-nine years after his death,
and wrote his "Ecclesiastical History" in the first part of the eighth
century, taking the greatest possible pains to make it worthy of his
subject. His information with regard to the history of Christianity
in Kent was derived from Albinus, Abbot of St. Augustine's, who was
himself a pupil of Theodore (Archbishop of Canterbury in 668) the great
consolidator of the English Church. We are told that Albinus referred
to the records in his keeping, and sent Nothelm, a priest of London,
to search the Archives at Rome, where were preserved many valuable
letters of Gregory the Great and subsequent Popes. Considering, then,
the extreme carefulness of Bede, and the sources from which he derived
his materials, we cannot imagine any evidence (short of first-hand) more
trustworthy and valuable. That he should have written as he did, making a
positive statement that the Church was built during the Roman occupancy
of Britain, while all the time it owed its foundation to Queen Bertha
or Augustine, is perfectly incredible. The theory as to its foundation
by Queen Bertha has nothing whatever to justify it; and were the idea,
that it was founded by Augustine, true, would it not in Bede's time have
been an easily ascertained fact, capable probably of documentary proof,
especially among those who were inmates of Augustine's own monastery,
and would have claimed St. Martin's Church as a precious inheritance--the
legacy of their founder? No one impugns the general accuracy of Bede's
narrative, and the value of such historical evidence cannot be too
strongly insisted upon, for it is infinitely more weighty than any
_a priori_ arguments or negative criticism.

Let us then assume that there was a Roman church in existence
on St. Martin's Hill when Augustine came to Canterbury. Is there any
evidence to strengthen this assumption in the present building? And,
first, as regards the Nave. We have already alluded to what we consider
the valuable evidence supplied by the style and texture of the _pink_
plaster, also the variation of the mortar in the construction of the
west windows from _white_ mortar in the joints to _pink_ mortar in the
voussoirs of the arch, as well as the Roman-like character of the windows
themselves. The objection that "Roman windows were never splayed" may
be met (_a_) by the general statement that the introduction of light
by means of a splay is so natural that the idea could not have escaped
a Roman builder, especially in countries where there was less light than
in Italy. Isidore of Seville, a contemporary of Gregory the Great, living
in the midst of Roman work, must be describing what were the distinctive
features of windows around him when he says "Fenestræ sunt quibus pars
exterior angusta, et interior diffusa est"; and (_b_) Mr Roach Smith,
in his "_Collectanea Antiqua_" gives several illustrations of Roman
splayed windows at Aries, Vienne, etc., and we are informed that there
is one at South Shields, mentioned by Mr Robert Blair, F.S.A.

The character of the walls in the nave of St. Martin's seems to us to
agree pretty closely with the technical description of Roman masonry in
this country as "chiefly constructed of stone or flint, according to
the part of the country in which one or the other material prevailed,
embedded in mortar, and bonded at certain intervals throughout with
regular courses or layers of large flat bricks or tiles, which, from the
inequality of thickness and size, do not appear to have been shaped in
any regular mould."

The _Nave_ then has strong claims to Roman origin, without any reference
to the _Chancel_. Mr Livett, however, claims that, whatever be the
date of the nave, the brickwork of the original _Chancel_ is certainly
earlier, and contends that "the oldest portion of the existing building
comprises (1) the side walls of the chancel, extending for 20 feet;
(2) the foundations of the destroyed Adjunct that once stood on the south
side of the chancel; (3) a portion of the east wall of the nave on either
side of the chancel-arch, and (4) certain foundations under the floor of
the nave, supposed to be a continuation of the chancel side-walls." It
is possible that he is rather too sanguine in concluding that a general
agreement has been reached on these points. But, assuming (for the sake
of argument) that the chancel is the earlier, then, if we can establish
a reasonable probability of a Roman date for the nave, _cadit quæstio_,
so far as the "pro-Saxon" controversialists are concerned. On the other
hand, even though it be proved that the _Nave_ is post-Roman, yet still
the _Chancel_ may be Roman, since it is in their opinion of confessedly
greater antiquity.

Is there anything in the _Chancel_ to militate against its Roman
origin? It is built in _opus lateritium_, bricks laid evenly upon one
another, an ordinary style of Roman masonry; for instances of which we
may refer to remains found at the Roman villas at Wingham and Darenth,
at the Studfall Roman castrum at Lympne, the blocked sluice-gate in the
Silchester city wall, and countless other places. Allusion has been
already made to Mr Micklethwaite's paper on "Saxon Church Building,"
in which, perhaps somewhat too confidently, he assigns to the Saxon
periods the churches of Reculver, Brixworth, St. Pancras, etc. etc. It
is a remarkable fact that the plan of St. Martin's Church (either with
or without its reputed eastern apse) does not in many essential points
agree with the plan of a single one of the churches therein described.
And yet, if we accept the date of St. Martin's as post-Roman, it must
have been built within less than a hundred years of most of them. He lays
special stress on the apparent identity of character between the work
at _St. Pancras_ and in the _Chancel of St. Martin's_, saying that the
"date of one must be very near to that of the other," and as he does
not believe that St. Pancras can be Roman, therefore the same may be
predicated of St. Martin's. But he makes many assumptions to prove this,
taking imaginary sketches and theories for ascertained facts. Even so,
the shape of the supposed apse is different in the two, and there is
no north porch at St. Martin's as there is at St. Pancras, and if it
can be established (as seems likely from recent discoveries) that there
was an original chancel-arch at St. Martin's west of the side-chapel,
the dissimilarity is even more apparent.

It is outside our purpose to discuss the date of St. Pancras, though many
authorities maintain the possibility of its Roman origin. But, granting
(for the moment) that St. Pancras' Church was built or restored by
Augustine (and this is the latest date assigned to it), the identity in
plan and character of the two churches is disputable. Of course, taking
St. Martin's as it now exists, there is no similarity whatever, either in
regard to the masonry of the nave, or the general outline. There is more
similarity (with the exception of the points above mentioned) between
St. Pancras and the assumed shape of St. Martin's chancel. But here,
too, are points of difference. The walls of _St. Pancras_ are only
_1 ft. 10 in._ in thickness; they are constructed almost entirely of broken
bricks, roughly cut to a triangular shape and fitted together in the core,
the interstices being filled up with small bits of brick. The walls of
St. Martin's chancel are _2 ft. 2 in._ thick, and contain a much larger
proportion of whole bricks, about 12 inches wide, laid side by side in
each course, the interval between them being filled up with mortar and
small stones. We may mention also the difference in the treatment of
the division between nave and chancel. In the churches of St. Pancras,
Reculver, Brixworth, Peterborough, Lympne, and Rochester there was a
triple chancel-arch. In St. Martin's the space is too narrow to admit
of any such arrangement. If we carry back the original building of
St. Pancras to Roman times (and we must remember that King Ethelbert is
said by Bede to have allowed the Italian Missionaries to build and repair
_churches_ in all places) we do away with the difficulty as "to the temple
of the heathen god being built after the fashion of a Christian church."

We may pass over, as unworthy of serious discussion, the argument that
St. Martin's cannot be a Roman church, because no existing Roman churches
have yet been discovered in this country! and that it is not Roman because
its ground-plan does not tally with the ground-plan of the Roman Church
at Silchester. In the first place, we do not know what the original
ground-plan of St. Martin's was, and it has not yet been definitely
settled whether it may not have possessed side-aisles. And secondly,
to contend that it cannot be Roman because it is unlike the church at
Silchester would be to limit the capabilities of Roman builders to one
monotonous design, perpetually and exactly reproduced for a century or
more, which would be contrary both to reason and experience.

There is, however, one objection remaining which must be faced, because
it is put forward with all the professional knowledge of a skilful
architect. The nave of the church is described as "being built of old
stuff used anyway just as it came to hand, and tells of a time when there
were ruins near, at which the builders were free to help themselves--a
state of things unlikely in Roman Kent, but likely enough after, the
wars which accompanied the English occupation." This seems a forcible
argument, but it is not altogether borne out by facts, neither is it
a fair description. That a great part of St. Martin's Nave is patchy
and rudely built no one can deny; but let us consider what periods of
destructiveness and neglect it would have passed through, supposing it
to have been built in Roman times. Durovernum (Canterbury) was abandoned
by the Britons flying before the Jutish invasion, and was at first left
unoccupied by the conquerors themselves. Its site lay for many a year
uninhabited and desolate; its very name was forgotten, and the church
would naturally have fallen into a state of partial ruin. Restored at
the coming of Queen Bertha, probably ravaged by the Danes, repaired and
enlarged to a great extent in the Early English period, gradually falling
once more into decay, in what condition should we expect its walls to
be? Even within the last thirty years some interesting features have
been destroyed, and the walls have been carelessly patched. When we
consider all this, are we surprised if parts of it look like old stuff
used anyway? But (as we have stated) this is not a correct description
of the lower portion of the walls, especially where they have been
comparatively preserved behind the woodwork of the present pews. And
even if the description "old stuff," etc., be applicable to portions
of the nave walling, the same description would equally apply to the
undoubted Roman work in the Pharos at Dover.

Is there not, too, such a thing as a period of decadence in any
style? Just as there is good and bad Saxon work, good and bad Norman work,
so must there have been good and bad Roman work. We are told in an account
of the Roman excavations at Silchester that "examination showed that the
rubble masonry of the whole western range (of the basilica) was of a _very
poor character_." "The stones (in a part of the Roman wall of London) form
a mere skin, between the tile bonding courses, to the thick _irregular_
rubble core." In the same wall, above the bonding course of three rows
of tiles at the ancient ground-level, "the body of the wall is composed
throughout its height of masses of ragstone, with now and then a fragment
of chalk, bedded _very roughly_ in mortar which has been pitched in,
not run in, sometimes with so little care as to leave occasional empty
spaces amongst the stones." It seems useless to multiply quotations for
the purpose of establishing an obvious fact--viz. that granting a general
_idea_ and method pervading a building (as, we believe, there is clearly
in St. Martin's nave), it is quite possible that at a time of decadence,
and in the hands of inferior (perhaps British) workmen, this idea should
be somewhat roughly carried out. This would be eminently the case if
we attribute the erection of the nave towards the close of the fourth
century--not so very long before the Roman evacuation of Britain.

Since writing the above, we have been informed by Mr Micklethwaite
that he places the nave of St. Martin's as dating from the seventh
century--but he gives no reason for doing so, except that he thinks
the form of the western windows and some other things about the work
indicate that period--and he acknowledges that there is nothing to fix
the date closer. We have, however, at some length, pointed out reasons
that seem to us to militate against his theory, and they need not be
re-stated. Though his opinion is deservedly weighty, he has not been
able to be present at any of the excavations.



APPENDIX C

EASTERN APSE, ETC.


Mr Livett has addressed to us the following communication with reference
to the probability of there having been an eastern apse in the church,
and has furnished the subjoined sketches to illustrate his remarks:--


[Illustration: Tracings of Apse (Livett's three sketches)]


"No doubt exists in my mind that in the western half of the chancel we
have the oldest part of the existing church of St. Martin's, and I am
inclined to think that it is part of the first church built upon the
site. We must recognise, however, the possibility that the foundations
of a still earlier church remain undiscovered, either under the present
nave or elsewhere in the churchyard.

"The form of the _ground-plan_ of the _early-brick_ building (a term we
have agreed to use in reference to the masonry at the western half of
the existing chancel) has not been positively determined. Its eastern
termination was destroyed in the extension of the building in the late
twelfth or early thirteenth century, and its western end disappeared at
a far earlier date.

"The probability that this early-brick building terminated eastward in
an apse is established by a careful consideration of the existing remains
of the south-east angle of that building, marked at the present time by a
narrow pilaster-buttress facing south, near the middle of the south wall
of the chancel. This buttress has been modernised, with its Caen-stone
quoins: but its foundations, lately exposed, prove that it accurately
represents, in dimension and position, an original early-brick buttress.
The sketches (given above) illustrate the features which indicate an
apsidal termination of the original building. _No. 1_ is a plan of part
of the existing south wall of the chancel. It shows the buttress, and,
immediately east of it, the junction of the twelfth-century wall with
the early-brick wall. To complete the description of existing features,
it may be added that the inner face of the wall (above some apparent
foundations there underneath the floor of the chancel) is rough--an
evident sign that early-brick masonry attached to this face was removed
when the extension of the chancel was made. Towards the east there are
no signs to indicate where the destroyed masonry stopped; but towards
the west there are, in the arrangement of the bricks, marks of a vertical
bonding-line, exactly corresponding in position with the western face of
the buttress on the outside. In that place, then, the destroyed masonry
originally rose with a clear face looking west. How far that masonry
ran towards the north there is nothing to show. It is a significant
fact--proved by the hole lately made through the twelfth-century wall,
at its junction with the earlier work--that the end of the early-brick
wall is in plane with the eastern face of the external buttress, and
that no buttress ever existed on the eastern face of the angle.

"All these features are consistent with the supposition that the
early-brick building terminated eastwards in an apse, and consistent
with that supposition only. Had the east end been square, the natural
treatment would have been as shown in _Sketch No. 2_--there would
remain indications of a buttress on the eastern side of the angle,
the vertical bonding-joint would be seen farther west, to allow for an
end wall of the same thickness (2 ft. 2 in.) as the side-wall--and the
existing buttress, instead of being narrow, would probably be of the
same breadth as the walls.

"_Sketch No. 3_ shows the natural treatment of an apsidal termination. It
explains the absence of a buttress on the eastern face of the angle, such
buttress being unnecessary in the case of an apse: and it explains the
use of the existing narrow buttress on the southern face, as serving to
counter-act the thrust of the facing-arch of the apse. No argument can
be drawn from the patch of foundations found under the floor near the
wall--and they do not at present run across the chancel; but probably
they did so run originally, whether the end were square or apsidal,
and have been removed in the centre, to make room for burials.

"The position and arrangement of the west end of the early-brick building
cannot at present be determined. That there was a cross-wall along
the line of the present chancel-arch is certain. This is sufficiently
proved by unmistakable signs of a vertical bonding-joint on the face
of the north wall of the chancel, 2-½ inches from the east face of the
northern joint of the chancel-arch. This joint allows for a cross-wall
of exactly the normal thickness of the early-brick walling. Moreover,
you tell me that you have seen bricks in such a position under the
floor in this corner as to suggest a cross-wall. All signs of the
corresponding vertical bonding-joint on the opposite side of the chancel
have been removed in the patching of alterations which need not here be
discussed ... I omitted to say that the evidence of the cross-wall is
further strengthened by the remains of an external buttress embedded in
the east wall of the nave on the south side. Similar evidence on the
north side has been destroyed by the insertion of the small doorway
leading from the nave into the modern vestry.

"With regard to the original arrangement of this part of the early-brick
building, I am unable to make any conjecture that would satisfactorily
explain all these features. The cross-wall may possibly have been the
west wall of a small church: in which case the signs of building to the
west of it must be connected with a porch or _atrium_. I think it more
likely, however, that the cross-wall was the original division between the
chancel and a destroyed nave, and contained a single chancel-arch. The
original line of division between chancel and nave has, in most cases,
though not invariably, been preserved throughout all enlargements of our
churches. It may simply be said that there was a cross-wall as described:
the evidence for it is final.

"The _adjunct_, the foundations of which were recently exposed, on the
south side is important in this consideration: but I have not referred
to it, partly because it has been fully dealt with elsewhere, and partly
because (as I have said) I have no satisfactory suggestion for the entire
restoration of the ground-plan; nor do I venture to suggest dates either
for the early-brick building or for the nave. I am convinced that the
nave is of later date than the early-brick work" (of the chancel).

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Note: On page 56 of the original, in the description of a
Saxon doorway, the author reproduces an inscription using the letters
I, V, C, and O with overbars, or macrons. These have been transcribed
here using the conventions [=I], [=V], [=C], and [=O]. On page 62, again
while reproducing an inscription, the author used graphic symbols which
have been recorded here as [dagger], [iota], and [reverse epsilon].





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