Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/21

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xvii
PREFACE

dismantled. King Henry's letters patent of 1546 shew that the "partitions" or screens remained both in the church and chancel, the altars, pictures, images, and pulpit; the monuments and gravestones; the candlesticks, organs, and desks.[1]

We have seen how the convent had been originally established by the charity of the principal citizens, how its library had been added by the bounty of Whittington, and how the mayor and aldermen were recognised as the "founders." Like other "founders," or patrons of religious houses, at this crisis, they would naturally be inclined to urge those hereditary claims which were advanced, with more or less success, by various proprietors who occupied a similar position throughout the country; and many Londoners, though perplexed by the new doctrines, and intimidated by the arbitrary measures of the sovereign, would retain some desire for the preservation of this magnificent church. In the latter days of King Henry, when he exhibited signs of returning sympathy with the interests of religion, he was induced to make an important grant to the city, for the general relief of the poor, and for the maintenance of divine service in the quarter where the Franciscans had flourished. It consisted of the whole church of the late Friars Minors, and the whole site of their house, the buildings called the Fratrye, the Lybrarie, the Dortor, and the Chapiter House; the Great Cloyster, and the Littell Cloyster; including all the chambers and buildings which had been recently in the tenures of George

  1. From an entry in the parish books of Christ Church seen by Malcolm it appears that, when the property was transferred to the city, there were 600 ounces of plate in the sacristy valued at 150l., copes, vestments and other ornaments estimated at 200l., the bells 100l., the alters, chapels, stones, pews, iron, &c. 50l., the church itself, the lead, timber, and soil thereof, 300l.—total 800l.; and the lands belonging to it were valued at 50l. 16s. per ann.—Lond. Red. iii. 334.