Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/74

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self, and his brother Robert, his father and mother, the Kings of England and the Bishops of Worcester."[1]

In 1351 Ralph of Stratford built for his uncle's chantry priests a stone house in the churchyard that was known in Elizabethan times as the College of Stratford. Many others followed these men in beautifying the local church. In the time of Edward IV., the warden of the college "added a fair and beautiful choir, rebuilt from the ground at his own cost," which still exists.

Ralph Collingwood, the warden at the close of the fifteenth century, renewed the north porch of the nave. "The low, decorated clere-story was removed, the walls pulled down to the crowns of the arches, rude angels (by some 'prentice hand) were inserted to carry the philasters, and the walls were panelled with huge lantern windows, with a flattish roof." (Knowles.) He also improved the service by the introduction of a boy choir, placing them under the rigid supervision of the college priests.

The Stratford guild in the Middle Ages was known by the name of the Guild of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Virgin, and Saint John the

  1. Sidney Lee, Stratford on Avon. To this book I am indebted for many of the facts of history in the following sketch.