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THE ORDER OF THE 
HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM 

AND ITS 

GRAND PRIORY OF ENGLAND. 




Printed by W. H. & L. COLLINGRIDGE, 

148 & 149, Aldersgate Street, 

London, B.C. 



The Order 



OF THE 



HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN 
of Jerusalem 

AND ITS 
Grand Priory of England 



By 
H. W. FINCHAM 

Member of the Order of St. Joh 



With a Chapter on the Present Day Work of the Order by 
W. R. EDWARDS 

Secretary and Knight of Grace of the Order of St John 



LONDON : 
W. H. & L. COLLINGRIDGE, 148 & 149, ALDERSGATE STREET, E.G. 




DEDICATED WITH PERMISSION TO THE 

6rano priors of tbe roer of tbe Ibospital 
of St. Sobn of Jerusalem in En^lano 

WHICH IS TO-DAY MAINTAINING IN SUCH AN 
EFFICIENT MANNER THE PRINCIPLES AND PRESTIGE 
OF THE MOST ANCIENT ORDER OF CHIVALRY OF 
WHICH IT IS THE LEGITIMATE CONTINUATION. 



"Then in Palestine, 

By the wayside, in sober grandeur stood 
A Hospital that, night and day, received 
The pilgrims of the west, and, when 'twas asked, 
' Who are the noble founders ? ' every tongue 
At once replied, 'The merchants of Amalfi' ; 
That Hospital, when Godfrey scaled the walls, 
Sent forth its holy men in complete steel, 
And hence, the cowl relinquished for the helm. 
That chosen band, valiant, invincible, 
So long renowned as Champions of the Cross 
In Rhodes, in Malta." 

SAMUEL ROGERS Italy, Amalfi. 



PREFACE. 



' I A HE exhaustion of the edition of the "Guide to the Remains 
of the Ancient Priory," by the late Rector, the Rev. 
T. W. WOOD, and myself, and the demands of the many visitors for 
some account of the buildings, is the excuse for the present 
work. 

The completion of the work about the Church and Crypt 
contemplated when the "Guide" was issued, and the need to 
record the more recent discoveries, together with the desire for 
more extended notes on the history of the Order, make it 
necessary to write anew rather than re-issue the old "Guide." 

It is a great pleasure for me to undertake this task, for it is 
twenty-five years ago, on my appointment as Rector's Warden 
that, with borrowed pick and spade, I went down into the Crypt 
and cleared away the accumulated earth, nearly two feet deep, 
from the foot of one of the Transition responds and laid bare the 
charming details of its base, working with the light of a candle 
amid great cobwebs and the debris of old coffins. 

In those days, with the assistance of my muscular colleague, 
the late Mr. A. MILLWARD, we spent many hours, digging, pulling 
down brick partitions, and occasionally getting a few loads of 
rubbish carted away, until the time was ripe to start a fund for 
the complete cleaning and renovation under the able direction of 



the late Rector, the Rev. T. W. WOOD, with a small Committee 
of gentlemen, amongst whom Col. SIR HERBERT PERROTT, 
Bart., C.B., as Secretary of the Order, Col. R. HOLBECHE and the 
Rev. T. C. ELSDON were enthusiastic members, and much valuable 
assistance was rendered by Dr. EDWIN FRESHFIELD, F.S.A. The 
Order and the public responded generously, and the result to-day 
speaks for itself; the beautifully proportioned Nave and charming 
little Chapel, clean and well-lighted, are again devoted to their 
original purpose. The Rector, the Rev. T. C. ELSDON, has 
very generously decorated both Altars, and maintains a daily 
Communion in the Chapel of St. John Almoner. 

It is almost with a feeling of regret that one remembers the 
years that I acted as Honorary Clerk of the Works, under the 
direction of that able architect, the late JOHN OLDRID SCOTT, 
F.S.A., for to-day, with the exception of the proposed removal of 
some seventeenth century brickwork in the north-west chamber 
of the Crypt, one's work is ended. 

The removal of the tenement houses attached to the south 
wall of the Church, the repairing of the wall, and the restoration 
of the tracery of the windows followed the work in the Crypt; 
and although it was impossible to re-build the Chapel of the Lord 
Prior DOCWRA, and the Vestry which once stood on the south 
side, it is well to remember that the whole of the rubble stones 
used in patching the wall belonged to the original buildings, and 
were recovered from the debris of the more recent buildings 
which the London County Council cleared away. During this 
period many notes of great value were taken by Mr. E. W. HUDSON, 
F.R.I.B.A., and he has prepared an exhaustive account of the 
buildings, which it is hoped will eventually be published, possibly 
as a monograph of the London Survey Committee, which is 
issuing so many valuable works on Old London. 



While remembering my long connection with the old Priory, 
may I record here that WILLIAM DE FYNCHAM was Commander 
of Killena Preceptory, in Ireland, and in 1334 he built the Chapel 
of S. Antoninus in the Commandery House of Kilbarry, for which 
the Prior and Chapter granted him a room in the Commandery 
for life, together with commons and dress for himself and his 
servant ; in 1338 he was Preceptor of Kilmainham ; and that 
ADAM DE FYNCHAM, Attorney-General to Edward III., dated a 
deed of gift to his daughter, Alicia, at St. John at Clerkenwell, 
and that he therefore was probably one of those persons of whom 
Grand Prior PHILIP DE THAME complains to the Grand Master 
in 1338, that the King sends so many guests to the Priory to be 
entertained that their cost prevents him sending so large a 
remittance to Rhodes as he otherwise should. 

I have to thank EDWIN FRESHFIELD, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., 
Hon. Bailiff and Receiver-General of the Order, for kindly reading 
my manuscript. 

H. W. FINCHAM. 

St. John's Gate, 1915. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

in Palestine, Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta 1 

The Order in England ... 14 

The Present Day Work of the English Order ... 23 

The Buildings of the Priory at Clerkenwell 37 

St. John's Gate . . 46 

The Priory Church ... 55 

The Crypt of the Priory Church 66 

The Grand Priors of England 78 

The Rectors of the Priory Church 82 

Seals of the Grand Priory of England .. 83 

Bibliography 87 



LIST OF THE ILLUSTRATIONS. 



St. John's Gate from the South, after an Etching by W Monk, R.E. FACING 

Frontispiece TITLE 

FACING 
PLATE PAGE 
The Rector Gerard, from Vertot's "Knights of Malta," 1728 ... 1 xii 

Grand Master Raymond du Puy, from Vertot's " Knights of Malta," 

1728 ... ... 1 xii 

Alberto Arringhieri, a Knight of St. John, from Paintings by 

Pinturicchio, at Sienna Cathedral 2 1 

The City of Rhodes ia 1480, from D. Bouhours* " Histoire de 

Pierre d'Aubusson," 1739 3 8 

The Gates of the Hospital at Rhodes, now in the Gallery of the 

Crusades, Versailles Palace 3 8 

Porta Reale, Malta 4 9 

Nave of St. John's Church, Malta, from a Painting by G. Brocktorf, 

1825 4 9 

Grand Master Philip Villiers de 1'Isle Adam, from a Painting in 

the Palace, Malta 5 16 

Grand Master John de la Valette, from a Painting in the Palace, 

Malta ... 5 16 

Raising of the Siege of Malta, 8th September, 1565, from a 

Painting by Lariviere, in the Gallery of the Crusades, 

Versailles Palace 6 17 

The Church of St. John, Little Maplestead, Essex. Photograph 

by the Author 7 24 

Moor Hall, Harefield, Middlesex. Photograph by the Author ... 7 24 
Memorial to St. John Ambulance Brigade men who died in 

South Africa, 1899-1902. Photograph by the Author ... 8 25 
Dignitaries of the Order in Procession to the Priory Church. 

Photograph by Barrett's Photo Press Agency 9 32 

A Church Parade of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Photograph 

by Barrett's Photo Press Agency 9 32 

Silver Statuette for Competitions of the Canadian St. John 

Ambulance Association. Designed by Baron Rosencrantz 

and Presented by the Honble. Wallace Nesbitt, K.C., 1914... 10 33 

The Inter-Railway Challenge Shield 10 33 

The British Ophthalmic Hospital, Jerusalem 11 40 

The earliest known Picture of the Priory Buildings of the Hospital 

of St. John at Clerkenwell, from an Engraving by Wenceslaus 

Hollar, 1656 12 41 



LIST OF THE ILLUSTRATIONS continued. 

FACING 
PLATE PAGE 

The Council Chamber, St. John's Gate. Photograph by the Author 13 48 
The Chapter Hall, St. John's Gate. Photograph by the Author ... 14 49 
Elizabethan Chimney Piece in the Chancery, St. John's Gate. 

Photograph by the Author 14 49 

Interior of the Priory Church of St. John at Clerkenwell. Photograph 

by W. H. A. Fincham 15 56 

East Window of St. John's Church. Photograph by W. H. A. 

Fincham 16 57 

St. John's Church, Clerkenwell, South side. Photograph by the 

Author ... 17 64 

Nave of the Crypt, St. John's Church. Photograph by the Author 17 64 
East end of the Nave of Crypt, St. John's Church. Photograph 

by the Author 18 65 

The Crypt Chapel of St. John Almoner. Photograph by the Author 18 65 
Grand Prior Sir Thomas Docwra, from Selden's " Titles of Honor " 19 72 
Grand Prior Sir John Kendal, from a Portrait Medal in the British 

Museum 19 72 

Grand Prior Sir Richard Shelley, from a Portrait Medal in the 

St. John's Gate Collection 19 72 

Tomb of Grand Prior Sir William Weston in St. James' Church, 

Clerkenwell 20 73 

Tomb of Grand Prior Sir Thomas Tresham in Rushton Church, 

Northants 20 73 

Bulla and Seals 21 80 

Seals of the Priory and Priors 22 81 

Memorial to H.R.H. The Duke of Clarence and Avondale on the 

South front of St. John's Gate, from a Drawing by Mr. PAGE 

John Oldrid Scott, F.S.A _ 47 

Key to the Heraldic Decoration in the Chapter Hall, St. John's 

Gate, by the Author _ 53 

Plan of St. John's Crypt, by the Author 55 

Arms of Grand Prior Robert Botyll in stained glass in the Priory 

Church _ 58 

Banner of Grand Prior Docwra, from an Ancient Document in the 

College of Arms _ 59 

Fragment of Grand Prior Docwra's Tomb, from a Drawing by 

E. F. Fincham - 60 

Plan of the Priory Church, by the Author 66 

Twelfth Century Marble Capital ... - 69 

Masons' Marks in St. John's Crypt, by the Author - 71 

Monumental Effigy of the Spanish Knight, Vergara 75 

Plan of the Precincts of the Priory of St. John at Clerkenwell, by 

the Author... . _ 77 



PLATE 1, 




III, Ti mi I i """^ .,||j 







PLATE 2. 





ALBERTO ARRINGHIERI, A KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN. 

From Paintings by Pinturicchio, in Sienna Cathedral. 

[See page 3 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John 
of Jerusalem. 



THE Order of St. John of Jerusalem, frequently known as 
the Knights Hospitaller in contra-distinction to the other 
well-known Order of Chivalry, the Knights Templar was the 
first of all those Orders of Christian Knighthood founded as 
the outcome of the first Crusade by devout pilgrims for the 
recovery and protection of the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord, 
and, as Shakespeare said 

"Those Holy fields 

Over whose acres walked those blessed feet 
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd 
For our advantage on the bitter cross." 

But this Order, unlike all those others, has lived through the 
ages to the present time, and to-day, as a great organisation 
in England, is still engaged in carrying out its original intention 
of giving aid to the sick and wounded, both in times of peace 
and war. 

As early as the third century of our era, it became 
customary for pilgrims to journey to the Holy City of Jerusalem, 
and there some sort of hospital existed for their succour and 
protection. 

For centuries after the rise of Islam and its possession of the 
Holy Land, this Christian hospital in Jerusalem was treated 
with more or less toleration by the rulers of the city. 

About the year 1048 certain merchants of Amalfi, that 
charming little seaport to the south of Naples, who were 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

trading to Palestine, either founded a new hospital or, what 
is more probable, raised the old one to a more important 
position, and provided for its serving by a body of men who 
called themselves the Brothers of the Hospital of St. John 
of Jerusalem. 

The head of the Brotherhood, or Rector as he was called, 
was Brother Gerard, and when the great army of the first 
Crusade under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon, captured 
the city of Jerusalem, they found the hospital in full work, and 
many of the Crusaders must have received help from the 
Brethren. Many of the richer pilgrims joined its ranks, and 
others gave of their possessions in the various countries from 
which they had come, in order that their revenues should 
endow the hospital. 

The Brotherhood had now become so important that they 
formed themselves into an Order of military monks, undertaking 
as their special and distinctive charge the protection of pilgrims 
journeying to and from the Holy City. They not only founded 
hospitals, but they built and fortified many castles along the 
various routes which the pilgrims travelled. 

The forming of this Order of Knighthood was quickly 
imitated by the institution of other Orders, but on the military 
side only, and the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights, 
and many other knightly Orders arose, and have long since 
passed away. 

The Hospital of the Order in Jerusalem covered a very 
large area close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and a 
plan of the remains, made a few years ago, shows that it 
contained three churches and halls so large as to require three 
and four rows of columns to support the roofs. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Brother Gerard was succeeded by Raymond du Puy, who 
was the first to assume the title of Grand Master, and with 
the sanction of Pope Pascale II. he formulated the rules for 
the government of the Order. The white cross on a red 
ground was adopted as their banner, and a black robe with an 
eight-pointed cross on the left breast as their conventual dress. 
When fighting they wore over their armour a tunic or supra- 
vest of red, with a large plain white cross on the front similar 
in appearance to the banner. Both these costumes are shown 
in the two portraits of the Italian Knight Alberto Arringhieri 
at Sienna. The Sisters of the Order wore a red dress, over 
which was a black robe with the eight-pointed cross, but at 
the loss of the Island of Rhodes they abandoned the red dress 
for one of black as a sign of mourning. 

At the ceremonial ad-mission of a Knight to the Order he 
was told by the Grand Master that the four arms of the badge 
represented the Christian virtues, Prudence, Justice, Temperance 
and Fortitude ; and the points, the eight beatitudes which spring 
from those virtues ; and that its whiteness is the emblem of 
that purity of life required in those who fight for the defence 
of the Christian faith and live for the service of the poor and 
suffering. 

The Knights divided themselves into seven divisions, or 
Langues as they were called, named after the more important 
countries of Europe from which they had come, and where 
their possessions and revenues laid. They were Provence, 
Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon, England and Germany, and 
later Aragon was divided, making an eighth Langue of Castile. 
The more important properties in these countries were called 
Priories, and the smaller Bailiwicks and Commanderies. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

When in the year 1187 Saladin drove the Christians out 
of Jerusalem, he was so impressed with the work of the 
Hospitallers that, although they were the toughest of his 
enemies, he gave them a respite of twelve months to clear up 
the affairs of their hospital before they left. 

After a siege of twenty-three months, during which 100,000 
Crusaders lost their lives, the Christians captured the town of 
Acre, on the coast. Richard Coeur de Lion was one of the 
great leaders, and here came the Hospitallers and played such 
an important part in its defence that it became known as 
St Jean d'Acre. The hospital here was situate near the 
middle of the city, and was said to be even greater than the 
one they had been compelled to abandon in Jerusalem. 

In 1291 the last hold of the Christians in Palestine was 
lost to the Saracens, and the Order removed to Cyprus, where 
their chief home was the Castle of Kolossi, which was given to 
them by the Christian King of that island, and which is still 
in excellent condition. It is very similar in appearance to those 
Norman keeps so well known in various parts of our own land. 
The castle has recently been acquired by the English Order, 
not as an outpost of aggression, but as a memento of the time 
when the whole work of the Knights lay at the eastern end 
of the Mediterranean. To-day it is possible that it may be 
used for those convalescent soldiers in the care of the Order, 
who form part of that great British army which is fighting for 
the final extinction of the Turks in Europe. 

In 1310 they removed to the island of Rhodes, where 
they built a large and strongly fortified city, which they occupied 
as their headquarters for more than two centuries. They had 
a large war fleet, and became so powerful that the Turks, after 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

the capture of Constantinople, determined to suppress this nest 
of warlike Christians which had become a formidable bulwark 
between them and their proposed conquest of Western Europe. 
They attacked the island in 1480 with an enormous fleet and 
army, but the Knights, under Grand Master Peter d'Aubusson, 
victoriously sustained a siege which lasted many months, and 
which was one of the greatest in history. On the same day 
that the Turks were driven back in their final assault on 
Rhodes, the leader of their other great expedition effected a 
landing on the coast of Italy and marched against Otranto, on 
the Apulian shore, which he carried by storm on the nth 
of August, 1480, and thus became master of a strong city and 
harbour which secured an entrance for the Turkish armies into 
Italy. 

It is thus evident that the value of the stand then made 
by the Knights is difficult to over-estimate, as if, at this critical 
period, they had lost Rhodes, the command of the Mediterranean 
would have been in the hands of the Turks, with results 
which might have changed the whole history of Europe, and 
even of Christianity. 

For some time after the siege the Knights and Turks 
remained at peace, and it was during this period that the 
Turks gave to the Order that precious relic, the right hand 
of St. John the Baptist, which became their greatest treasure, 
and which, when Napoleon drove them from the island of 
Malta, they took with them to Russia, where it is still 
preserved in the private chapel of the Winter Palace at 
Petrograd. 

In the year 1522, when De 1'Isle Adam was Grand Master, 
the Turks under Suleiman I. again attacked the island, and 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

after a terrible siege and an heroic defence lasting six months, 
the Knights were compelled to surrender. By the terms 
of the capitulation Suleiman did honour to unsuccessful valour. 
The Knights were to be at liberty to quit the island with 
their arms and property within twelve days in their own 
galleys, and they were to be supplied with transports by the 
Turks if they required them. By Suleiman's request an 
interview took place between himself and the Grand Master 
before the Knights left the island. The Sultan addressed 
words of respectful consolation to the Christian veteran, and, 
turning to his attendant vizier, remarked, "It is not without 
regret that I force this brave man from his home in his old 
age." Such, indeed, was the esteem with which the valour of 
the Knights had inspired the Turks that they refrained from 
defacing their armorial bearings and inscriptions on the buildings, 
and even to the present time have treated the memory of 
their brave foemen with the same respect, so that the 
escutcheons of the Knights who fought for Rhodes still 
decorate the city. 

The city of Rhodes still possesses many of the old buildings 
of the Order, including the famous street of the Knights where 
each Langue had its official house or Auberge. The best 
preserved of these is the Auberge of France, which has 
recently been acquired by France, and restored as a monument 
of the valour of the French Knights of the Order. Unfortu- 
nately, the Auberge of the English Langue is only represented 
by some small ruins, or doubtless the English Order of to-day 
would have been proud to have followed the example of 
France. The great hospital of Rhodes is even now a most 
important building, covering a square space of more than half 
an acre ; around its central courtyard is a beautifully vaulted 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

cloister with fine rows of columns and carved corbels, where 
the convalescent found shade in the summer and shelter in the 
winter while taking the air. The main gates of the hospital, 
of richly carved cypress wood, were carried off by the French 
in 1836, and now adorn the Gallery of the Crusades in Versailles 
Palace. The remains of the fortifications are still sufficient to 
show that Rhodes of the Knights was one of the best fortified 
cities of Europe, and deserved its title of " The Bulwark of 
Christianity." 

It is interesting to note that to-day the White Cross banner 
of the Order again flies over the city of Rhodes in the form 
of the modern flag of Italy, the present owner of the island. 
The explanation of this is that the ancestor of the present 
Royal House of Italy, Amadeus V., Count of Savoy, gave 
heroic assistance to the Knights during a grand attack by the 
Turks in 1315, and was rewarded by a grant of the arms of 
the Order for his personal use, together with a collar in which 
the letters " F.E.R.T.," meaning " Fortitudo Ejus Rhodum 
Tenuit," were introduced. These arms now form the centre 
of the Italian flag, and appear also on that kingdom's 
silver coinage, on the rim of which are stamped the letters 
"F.E.R.T."* 

It is also highly probable that the national flags of 
Denmark and Switzerland are both derived from the White 
Cross banner of the Knights of St. John. 

Driven from Rhodes, De 1'Isle Adam was obliged to establish 
headquarters in a temporary manner elsewhere, and during this 

* This is very fully considered by Colonel A. C. Yate in his paper on the 
Order, published in the " Journal of the Royal United Service Institution," 
1900, Vol. XLIV., pp. 1124-1127. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

period he visited the various rulers of Western Europe to 
solicit help for the vain project of recovering the island. He 
came to England to interview Henry VIII., and was entertained 
in the Priory at Clerkenwell, where he stayed until, after a 
few days, Henry invited him to St. James's Palace for the 
remainder of his visit. Eventually the King gave him nineteen 
great cannon and 1,023 balls. In the year 1907 a gun was 
dredged up in the harbour of Famagusta, in the island of 
Cyprus, and there were seen cast upon it the royal arms of 
England and of De 1'Isle Adam quartered with those of the Order, 
and the number XII II., proving it to be part of King Henry's 
gift. The gun stands to-day on the terrace of the Government 
House, Nicosia, as a memento of England's assistance to the 
Knights. 

The Knights of St. John were now without headquarters, 
and for seven years they wandered from Candia to Messina 
and Civita Vecchia, the Grand Master putting aside the banner 
of the white cross and adopting another bearing the Blessed 
Virgin with her dead Son in her arms, and the motto, '* Afflictis 
spes mea rebus." 

At last De 1'Isle Adam prevailed upon the Emperor 
Charles V. to grant to them the island of Malta, and they sailed 
into its great harbour on October 26th, 1530. Their ship, the 
Santa Anna, commanded by the English Knight Sir William 
Weston, deserves mention as the first armour-plated vessel 
known. Built at Nice, of about 1,700 tons, she had six decks, 
and was entirely sheathed with lead bolted with brass, and 
although she received much cannonading, was never pierced 
below the bulwarks; her mainmast, so great that six men could 
not embrace it, carried three fighting tops mounted with small 
pieces of artillery, and on her decks were fifty large cannon 



PLATE 3. 







r; Z 




PLATE 4. 





The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

and many smaller pieces. She had a large chapel dedicated to 
her name, and an armoury for 500 men ; her crew numbered 
300, and she could carry ammunition and provisions for six 
months at sea, with handmills and ovens for fresh bread daily. 

On arrival at Malta they at once set to work to cultivate 
the ground, which they found but little more than barren rock, 
very different from fertile Rhodes, and to fortify the splendid 
harbour in the north of the island. In 1565 they were able to 
withstand a siege made by the Turks, who were defeated with 
a loss of 30,000 men, while the defenders lost 260 Knights 
and 8,000 soldiers. In this year, after having made peace with 
Hungary, Suleiman, still upon the throne of Turkey, in order 
to dominate the Mediterranean without dispute, resolved to 
attempt the conquest of Malta. On April nth, the Turkish 
Admiral set sail with 180 ships, and on May 2Oth, 20,000 
men landed on the island and opened fire upon the fortress 
of St. Elmo, at the head of the promontory on which Valletta 
now stands. 

After a month of murderous fighting St. Elmo fell. It was 
on the eve of the Festival of the Patron Saint when its gallant 
defenders, reduced to sixty men, and cut off from all help from 
the main body of the Knights, went down into the little chapel 
in the base of the fort and heard Mass for the last time. 
They then returned to the walls, some of the wounded even 
seated in chairs, and here for more than six hours they fought 
until the last was slain, and their infuriated victors strode to 
the attainment of their object. The Turkish general Mustapha 
had the bodies of the Knights nailed on to planks in the form 
of a cross and floated them up the harbour to the main fortress 
of St. Angelo. This was replied to by the Grand Master 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

having his principal Turkish prisoners beheaded and firing their 
heads from his cannon into the Turkish camp. 

The siege was continued by constant attacks on St. 
Angelo and the old city, the Bourgo, until both sides were in 
a state of exhaustion, when the Viceroy of Sicily, after many 
appeals for help from the Grand Master Jean de la Valette, 
sent a relief force of 1 1 ,000 men, and the Turks at once 
hastened to their ships and fled. 

This siege of Malta was one of the greatest in history, 
and was watched with the keenest anxiety by all the Princes 
of Europe. Even Queen Elizabeth issued prayers to be said in 
all the churches for the defenders of Christendom. They still 
sing a Requiem Mass in Malta for those who fell in the siege, 
and as the bells begin to toll the people may be heard to 
murmur, " It is the deliverance of the Knights." 

Although they frequently threatened, the Turks never 
again attacked the island. Scarcely had the last of the 
Turkish fleet sunk below the horizon before La Valette was 
preparing for the re-fortifying of the island, and he decided to 
build a new town on Mount Sceberras, to be called Valletta. 

The first stone was laid on March 28th, 1566, and the 
work went rapidly on, so that La Valette and succeeding 
Grand Masters erected a town surrounded by enormous 
fortifications, which are still the wonder and admiration of 
military engineers. These fortifications can only be described 
as stupendous, for some of the walls measure 153 feet sheer 
up from the bottom of the ditch to the crest of the parapet, 
and are the result of the devotion for centuries of the 
immense resources of the Order under the direction of the 
ablest military engineers of Europe. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

The city of Valletta is to-day practically the same as in 
the time of the Knights, and amongst its many fine buildings 
is the truly magnificent Church of St. John, built towards the 
end of the sixteenth century. It consists of a simple oblong 
187 feet in length, with a plain barrel vault 63 feet in height 
and of 50 feet span a greater span than the nave of St. Paul's 
Cathedral in London. There are six chapels on either side 
forming aisles. The decoration is of the most gorgeous and 
elaborate character, the arts of the carver, gilder, and painter 
being lavished upon the walls of the side chapels and the massive 
piers which divide them from the nave. The pavement 
entirely composed of an elaborate mosaic of coloured marbles, 
heraldic memorials of upwards of 400 Knights glowing with a 
thousand varied combinations of colour. The roof entirely 
covered with scenes in the life of the Patron Saint, from the 
brush of an Italian Knight, Mathias Preti. Some of these are 
most quaint, for in one we see Salome dancing before Herod, 
while a demon above is moving her limbs by means of 
strings attached to them after the manner of a marionette. 

The Grand Master's Palace, built by Grand Master La 
Cassiere, between 1572 and 1581, contains many fine rooms and 
a great armoury, which, in the eighteenth century, held in store 
sufficient arms for 25,000 men, while to-day it is occupied by 
a remarkable collection of arms and armour of great historical 
value, numbering nearly 6,000 pieces. 

The Hospital at Malta was a very large institution, and 
the great ward, a room more than 500 feet long, is still in use 
as a Military Hospital for the British troops. There are 
eleven other large halls or wards, together with a chapel, 
dispensaries, a library, and quarters for the officers. A large 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

linen store and laundry is close by, and a visitor in the time 
of Charles II. records in his diary, with admiration, how the 
bed-linen was changed once a fortnight. All the patients were 
served on silver, and the regulations of the Hospital for the 
year 1725 show that the silver plate consisted of 1,140 articles 
weighing 1,215 pounds. 

With the decline of the power of their ancient enemies 
the military efficiency of the Order began to decay, and 
although they maintained a large fleet of galleys and warships 
policing the Mediterranean against the corsairs and pirates of 
the African coast, they rapidly lost that soldierly vigilance 
which for centuries had been their great characteristic. As time 
went on they grew more and more idle, and although various 
Grand Masters passed laws attempting to restrain the growing 
luxury and licentiousness, the absence of real work, and the 
possession of great wealth, made this impossible with a large 
number of the members. 

Then came the great French Revolution, with its ambitious 
Commander, Napoleon Buonaparte, ravaging Europe. In June, 
1798, he arrived with the French fleet in the harbour of 
Valletta, and in a few days, after the poorest show of resistance, 
he was master of the island. The Grand Master, a German, 
Hompesch by name, was of very different metal to his 
predecessors, De 1'Isle Adam or La Valette ; and Buonaparte 
also had friends inside who pleaded the hopelessness of 
resistance. Buonaparte seized the wonderful treasures of the 
Church and Palace, and packed them on board his flagship 
L'Orient, which Nelson sunk a few months later at the battle 
of the Nile, and so much of the treasure of the Knights still 
lies at the bottom of Aboukir Bay. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Many of the Knights abandoned the profession and went 
home to their various countries, but a remnant, with the Grand 
Master, fled to Russia, under the protection of the Emperor, 
and thus ended the once glorious rule of the Knights of 
St. John in the Mediterranean. 




The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



The Order in England. 

IT was about the year 1130 that one Jordan de Briset* gave 
to the Knights of St. John ten acres of land in Clerkenwell 
juxta fontem clericorum and here they built their great Priory, 
their chief house in England. They rapidly acquired other 
properties, until, in the year 1338, a return made by the 
Grand Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de 
Villanova, shows that they owned more than ninety manors in 
England, including the property of the Templars which had 
been given to the Hospitallers at the dissolution of this kindred 
Order. They also possessed much property in Scotland and 
Ireland. 

In London, apart from Clerkenwell, they held much land 
in Hackney, Barnsbury, St. John's Wood, Lisson (Grove), 
Highbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields, some houses adjoining Great 
Turnstile, and the "Ship Inn" in the Strand, on the site of 
the present Royal Courts of Justice. The Manor of Hampton 
was theirs, and amongst many others there are still important 
remains of their buildings at Yeaveley, in Derbyshire ; Little 
Maplestead, in Essex ; Dinmore, in Herefordshire ; Sutton- 
at-Hone and Swingfield, in Kent ; Poling, in Sussex ; Eagle 
and Temple Bruef , in Lincolnshire ; Moor Hall, in Middlesex ; 
and Chibburn, in Northumberland The chief house in Scotland 
was Torphichen, where there are still considerable remains ; 
and in Ireland the chief house was Kilmainham. 

* His arms are given in the Register of the Order, Cotton MSS., Nero E. VI., 
as " two griffons volant." 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

The Commanderies of Swingfield. in Kent ; Hampton, in 
Middlesex ; Standon, in Herts ; and Gosford, in Oxon, were each 
at first houses for the Sisters of the Order, but in the year 
1 1 80, King Henry II. ordered their removal to the Commandery 
of Buckland, in Somerset, which remained the only house for 
the English Sisters until the dissolution of the Order in 
England. 

At the suppression of the Knights Templars by King 
Edward II., their property in England and Scotland, passed 
into the possession of the Knights of St. John. This included 
The Temple, London, or New Temple as it was called, their 
first house having been at the north end of Chancery Lane, 
and abandoned when they built their present house on the 
Strand. Shortly after its acquisition, the Hospitallers leased the 
Temple to the " Students of the Law," retaining the right to 
appoint the Master, which they held until the dissolution by 
Henry VIII. 

The head of the English Knights was called the Grand 
Prior, or Lord Prior, and held a very important position ; he 
was Chief Baron of England, taking precedence over all other 
lay barons in the House of Lords and frequently filling 
important State offices, such as Lord Admiral and Lord High 
Treasurer. 

As with the other larger possessions of the Order, 
Clerkenwell appears to have been governed by a Commander, 
the Grand Prior being under the Grand Master, the ruling 
head of the whole of the English Order. The name of only 
one of these officers has come down to us in a deed at the 
Record Office (Rot. litt. claus. 52 Henry III. memb. ii.), where 
King Henry III., on the i6th of January, 1268, authorises the 
Prior of England, who is leaving for Scotland, to transfer his 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

authority to Stephen Fulburn, Commander of Clerkenwell, 
until June 24, 1268. In 1270, this Stephen Fulburn was 
Treasurer of Clerkenwell, and later he was Bishop of Waterford, 
Archbishop of Tuam, and Lord Treasurer of Ireland under the 
Crown. 

The Priory was one of the chief houses of entertainment, 
and it was here that King Henry II., in 1185, summoned his 
Barons to a Council to consider the proposal of Heraclius, the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem, who had come to England to preach a 
new Crusade, that Henry should accompany him to Jerusalem. 
While on this visit Heraclius consecrated the Church of the 
Priory and also the Church of the Templars on the Strand. 
In 12 1 2, King John spent the month of March here, and on 
Easter Sunday at table knighted Alexander, the son and heir 
of the King of Scotland ; in 1265, Prince Edward and Eleanor 
of Castile were entertained by the Hospitallers; and in 1399, 
Henry, Duke of Lancaster, stayed here fifteen days before his 
coronation as Henry IV. 

In the third year of Henry IV., " the Emperour of 
Constantine came unto England, and he was lodged atte the 
hous of Saynt John in Smithfield"; and in 1411 the King was 
living in St. John's. In 1485, Richard III. held a meeting of 
the civic authorities in "the great hall of St. John's" to disavow 
the rumour of his proposal to marry Elizabeth of York. In 
"The Chronicles of London," 1501, " Vpon Saterday folowyng, 
about one of the Cloke, came the Ambassadours of Scotland in 
at Bisshoppesgate and so Rode through Cornhill and Chepe, 
and so conveied w l lordes and many wele apparayled gentilmen 
unto Saynt Johannes w 1 out Smithfield and there lodged w l in 
the place of the said lord of Saynt Johannes." 

16 



PLATE 5. 





PLATE 6. 




The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

There was a curious religious association between the 
Hospitallers in England and the Merchant Taylors' Company 
of the City of London, whose patron saint was also S. John 
Baptist, which was marked by an exchange of hospitality. On 
certain occasions they dined together. On the day of the 
Decollation of S. John, August 29th, the Merchant Taylors 
attended the Priory Church at Mass, when the Lord Prior 
officiated. In Henry Machyn's Diary we read : " On xxix day 
of August (1555), which was the day of Decolacyon of Saint John 
Baptyst, the Marchand tayllers kept masse at Saint Johnes, 
beyond Smithfeld, & my lord of Sant Johnes dyd offer at 
masse, and ser Hare Hubylthorne, ser Thomas Whytt, and 
master Harper althermen, and all the clothyng. And after the 
iiij wardens of the yeomanry, and all the compene of the 
tayllers, a id a pesse ; and the qwyre honge with cloth of 
arres, and after masse to the Tayllers' halle to dener." 

Very many Charters were granted to the Priors and 
Brethren, giving them the greatest privileges, arid freeing them 
and their men from the usual duties to the State. One of these, 
published in facsimile at St. John's Gate recently, amongst 
many other things, ordains " that the Brothers of the Hospital 
and all their men be free and exempt from all toll in every 
market and in all fairs, and in the passage of all bridges, ways 
and of all the seas, through all our realm and all our lands." 

The Wat Tyler rebellion was a sore time for the Order 
in England. The Lord Prior, Sir Richard Hales, was Treasurer 
of England ; him, the rebels captured, together with the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon of Sudbury, and beheaded 
them both upon Tower Hill. Froissart tells how "they went 
to the house of the Knight- Hospitallers of Rhodes, dedicated 

E 17 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

to St. John of Mount-Carmel, which they burnt, together with 
their church and hospital." The Prior's house at Highbury, 
" built like another Paradise," was also destroyed. Stowe says : 
"The rebels of Offer and of Kent, 1381, set fire on this house, 
causing it to burne by the space of seaven dayes together, 
not suffering any to quench it." 

Doubtless such a rich body as the Order of St. John 
rapidly restored their buildings, but as their important duties 
lay in the Mediterranean, the Priory of England must have 
been used mainly for its princely hospitality, for administering 
its great estates in the country, and for recruiting. 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century the prosperity 
of the Order in England appeared to be at its zenith. In 1502 
Henry VII. was elected Protector of the Knights of Rhodes, 
and was a frequent visitor to the Priory. " In a small upper 
room, next the garden in the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 
in England, without the bars of West Smithfield, Henry VII., 
in the first year of his reign, gave the Great Seal to John 
Morton, Bishop of Ely, and appointed him Chancellor, and he 
carried the Seal with him to his house, Ely Place, hard by." 

The Lord Prior, Sir Thomas Docwra, expended large sums 
in the rebuilding and beautifying of the Priory. Amongst other 
works he rebuilt the great Gate House, the tower of the 
Church, and inserted the large perpendicular windows in the 
choir. In the early days of the reign of Henry VIII. Docwra 
was in great favour with the King, sitting as Premier Baron 
of the Realm in his first Parliament, and being employed in 
various embassies and commissions. When the Grand Master 
Philip Villiers de 1'Isle Adam came to England, Henry visited 
him at the Priory, where he promised him the guns previously 

18 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

mentioned, and he entertained the Grand Master at St. James's 
Palace, where he presented him with a golden basin and an 
ewer set with precious stones. 

When Henry's quarrels with the Pope began, he tried to 
subvert the allegiance of the English Knights of the Order 
from their headquarters, and he tempted them to become his 
Knights, with the defence of Calais as their particular mission. 
At Docwra's death the King attempted to confer the vacant office 
on a favourite of his own, and exact a yearly tribute of ,4,000, 
but in all this he failed, and accepted Sir William Weston as 
the Order's nominee. 

After having dissolved the religious houses of England, 
Henry turned his attention to the Hospitallers, and in 1540, 
32 Henry VIII., it was enacted that "the Kinge's Majestie } 
his heirs and successors, shall have and enjoy all that 
Hospitall, Mansion-house, Churche, and all other houses, 
edificeons, buyldinges and gardienes of the same belonging, 
being nere unto the citie of London, in the Countie of Midd., 
called the house of St. John of Jerlm. in England." The 
members were forbidden to wear the dress of the Order, or 
to use any of its distinctive titles. The Grand Prior, Sir 
William Weston, was granted a pension of ,1,000 a year. 
Weever says: "It fortuned that on the 7th day of May, 1540, 
being Ascension Day, and the same day of the dissolution of 
his house, he was dissolved by death, which strooke him to 
the heart at the first time when he heard of the dissolution 
of his Order. Soul smitten with sorrow, gold, though a great 
cordial, being not able to cure a broken heart." 

The greater number of the Knights retired to Malta, and 
of those who remained several were executed, being charged 

19 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

with having denied the King's supremacy. Of these, Sir 
Adrian Fortescue, Sir Thomas Dingley and Sir Marmaduke 
Bowes, were beheaded on Tower Hill, and Sir David Gunston 
was hanged, drawn and quartered at St. Thomas Waterings, 
in Southwark. 

During the continuation of the reign of Henry, and the 
reign of Edward VI., the English Langue was maintained at 
Malta, but on the accession of Queen Mary the Knights were 
invited to return. Sir Thomas Tresham was appointed Grand 
Prior, and by Royal Letters Patent, dated April 2nd, 1557, the 
Bailiffs, Commanders and Knights were once more incorporated 
by and under the name and title of the " Prior and Co- 
brethren of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England," 
giving them, as a Corporation, a Common Seal, and ordaining 
for the Crown, its heirs and successors, that the Knights of 
the Order in England should for ever have and enjoy their 
name, style and dignity, with all their ancient privileges and 
prerogatives. This document, which has never been revoked, 
together with others restoring much of the old properties, still 
exists in the Public Library at Malta, and attested copies are 
in the library of the Order at St. John's Gate. * 

This revival lasted but a short time, for on the accession 
of Queen Elizabeth the Crown again seized the property of 
the Order, and the Knights once more fled to Malta. From 
this time the English Langue only existed at Malta. Here 
English members were admitted, and Grand Priors and other 
officers of the English Langue appointed down to the time of 
the capture of the Island by Napoleon. 

* For a list of the properties restored to the Order by Queen Mary, 
see Patent Roll 4-5 Philip and Mary (14). 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

The revival of the Order in England and its status to-day 
cannot be better described than by quoting from a speech made 
by Dr. Edwin Freshfield, Receiver-General of the Order, on 
St. John's Day, 1909, before the Annual General Assembly of 
the Order, meeting at St. John's Gate 

"On the dissolution of the Order in Malta, the Knights were scattered all 
over Europe, and a good many settled in France. 

" During the war between Greece and Turkey some twenty years later, which 
led to the liberation of Greece, there took place a massacre of the Christian 
inhabitants of the Island of Scio, which stirred Europe from the top to the 
bottom, and the French Knights resident in Paris determined to see if it was 
not possible to re-constitute the Order as a militant body to fight in aid of the 
Christians, and an extraordinary and elaborate design was formulated by them. 
It had for its object a mercantile branch in imitation of the mercantile Knights 
at Amalfi, and a militant branch for the purpose of aiding in the wars against 
the Turks. The document, a copy of which is in our archives, describes the 
whole of this proceeding, and invokes the aid of the English. It states that at 
that time, although the Chapter of the Order could not be summoned, there 
was in France the Venerable Ordinary Council of the Order, in which there 
were represented sufficient of the Langues to carry by a majority of the Chapter 
any determination that the Venerable Ordinary Council had arrived at had it 
been possible to summon a Chapter, and the Venerable Ordinary Council then 
re-established the English branch of the Order, prescribing that the members 
of the Order might be members of the Anglican Church. 

" Upon this various steps were taken by the English Knights to avail 
themselves of the Charter of Queen Mary, which was then considered not to 
have lapsed, and certain proceedings took place in the English Law Courts 
with a view to reviving the rights of the Order under the Charter of Queen Mary. 

" The Revolution in France, however, again dispersed the Knights, and the 
small fraction of that body that had taken up its headquarters in Rome declined 
to acknowledge the action of the Venerable Ordinary Council, and the Romans 
have never since accepted the English branch of the Order, but from the date 
of our re-foundation by the Venerable Ordinary Council, the Order in England 
continued its existence in England, but as far as the English law was concerned 
as a voluntary institution ; I should, however, think as far as the Order was 
concerned, representing at least as much, if not more, legal authority than that 
which has been claimed by the Roman Catholic Order then and since. 
However, as far as we English were concerned, the matter was set at rest 
altogether by the granting of the fresh Charter by Queen Victoria twenty-one 
years ago, giving the Order a status and a constitution founded upon the 
Charter granted by Queen Mary. 

"The Charter of Queen Mary was not in terms referred to, but all the 
material powers of the Charter were re-granted to the voluntary body which 
had been formed by the Knights. 

21 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

" The dispersion of the Order by the Emperor Napoleon had effectually 
broken the continuity of the old body, and as I said before, the legal constitution 
of our Order directly from the Venerable Ordinary Council is at least as regular 
as the constitution of the Roman Order can be. The Charter of Queen 
Victoria, as the Charter of Queen Mary had done, has revived the mediseval 
Corporation of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, 
which had been recognised as the English Order from the time of King 
Edward II. until the time of King Henry VIII. 

"The Charter gives us certain autonomous rights which it is not necessary 
to dilate on, and preserves to us the name which the Knights of the Order 
bore in the time of King Henry VIII., namely, Knights of the Order, in 
contradistinction to Knights of the Kingdom." 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



The Order To-day. 

By W. R. EDWARDS, Secretary of the Order. 

ON its re-incorporation in England the method of Government 
of the Order was framed, as far as possible, on the 
precedents of the old Order, which, however, had necessarily 
to be modified owing to the changes in religion and modern 
environment. 

The Sovereign of the Realm is the Sovereign Head and 
Patron, and no admission can be made to the Order except 
with his Majesty's sanction. The first and principal Knight 
is the Grand Prior, Field-Marshal H.R.H. The Duke of 
Connaught, who was elected by the Chapter- General from among 
the Knights of Justice on the Eve of St. John the Baptist, 
1910, and holds office for an unlimited period. Subject to the 
provisions of the Charter and Statutes he exercises the whole 
Government of the Order. The Sub- Prior holds position in 
the Order next to the Grand Prior and acts as his Deputy. 
Next in precedence is the Bailiff of Egle, and the other 
grades of the Order are Knights of Justice, Ladies of Justice, 
Chaplains, Knights of Grace, Ladies of Grace, Esquires, Serving 
Brothers and Sisters ; attached to the Order, but not as 
members, are Honorary Associates and Donats. 

The Sub- Priors of the Order since its incorporation have 
been H.R.H. The Duke of Clarence, appointed to that grade 
on St. John Baptist's Day, 1888. On his lamented death in 
1892 he was succeeded by H.R.H. The Duke of York, now 
His Majesty The King. On the death of Queen Victoria. 

2 3 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

His Royal Highness was promoted to the grade of Grand Prior 
and was succeeded as Sub- Prior by the Marquis of Linlithgow. 
After his death in 1906, the Viscount Knutsford was promoted 
to that grade and held office until his death in 1914, during 
which time he was most indefatigable in promoting in every 
possible way the best interests of the Order. 

It is interesting to note that the grade of Bailiff of Egle 
is held by Colonel Sir Herbert Perrott, who has been for 
upwards of forty years connected with the Order, principally as 
the Chief Secretary of its Ambulance Department ; also as 
Secretary, and more recently as Secretary- General of the 
Order itself. Sir Herbert was the third bearing the name of 
Perrott to be a Knight of Justice, as he followed his grand- 
father, Sir Edward Bindloss Lambert Perrott, and his father, 
Sir Edward George Lambert Perrott, to whose memory the 
first memorial tablet in the Council Chamber over the Gateway 
was placed, the inscription on which runs as follows : 

"To the honoured memory of the late Sir Edward George 
Lambert Perrott, Baronet, Honorary Bailiff of the Venerable 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem, who died on the 4th day of 
June, A.D. 1886, in the ;6th year of his age, and was buried 
in the Cemetery of Charlton in the County of Kent. 

"This Memorial was placed here by the Chapter of the 
Vlth or English Language of the Order of St. John of 
Jerusalem in recognition of the long and eminent services 
rendered by the late Sir Edward George Lambert Perrott, 
more especially in handing down the Accolade of the Order 
which he himself had received from Sir Joshua Colles 
Meredyth, Bart., upon whom it was conferred by the last 
Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch." 

24 



PLATE 7. 




[Photo: 11. JI'. Finch,, ,n. 

THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN, LITTLE MAPLESTEAD, ESSEX. 

|.V*r fiagc 5<> 




[Photo: If. U\ Fi,,cha,n. 

MOOR HALL, I-IAREFIELD, MIDDLESEX. 

[See page 1-f 



PLATE 8. 




The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Below the tablet is a sword with the following inscription : 
"Sir Edward G. L. Perrott, Bart., G.C.J.J., who had, A.D. 
1841, received the Accolade of Knighthood in the Sovereign 
Order of S. John of Jerusalem from Sir J. C. Meredyth, Bart., 
G.C.J.J., Knight of St. Louis M.M. of France, who had 
received that honour from Count Ferdinand v. Hompesch, 6Qth 
Grand Master of the Order ; conferred the Accolade with this 
Sword on Sir Edward Anthony Harley Lechmere, Bart., Lieut. - 
General Sir John St. George, K.C.B., Lieut. -Colonel Gould 
Weston and Charles John Burgess, Members of the Order, on the 
1 2th of December, 1872." 

The two together mark an important link in the continuity 
of the present-day Order in England with the old Order of Malta. 

The executive officers of the Order to-day are as follows : 

PRELATE. The Archbishop of York. 

CHANCELLOR. Colonel Sir Herbert Jekyll, K.C.M.G. 

SECRETARY- GENERAL. Vacant. 

RECEIVER-GENERAL. Edwin Freshfield, Esq., LL.D. 

DIRECTOR OF THE AMBULANCE DEPARTMENT. The Right 

Honourable The Earl of Plymouth, C.B. 
CHAIRMAN OF THE BRITISH OPHTHALMIC HOSPITAL, JERUSALEM. 

Colonel Sir Charles M. Watson, K.C.M.G., C.B. 
ALMONER. Sir Dyce Duckworth, Bt., M.D., LL.D. 
LIBRARIAN. Edmund Fraser, Esq. 
REGISTRAR. The Right Honourable The Earl of Ranfurly, 

G.C.M.G. 
GENEALOGIST AND DIRECTOR OF CEREMONIES. Sir Alfred S. 

Scott- Gatty, K.C.V.O. (Garter). 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

St. John Ambulance Association and St. John 
Ambulance Brigade. 

Probably the best known modern work of the Order is 
the development through its Ambulance Department of the 
St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade, the latter being 
more or less an offshoot of the former. The Red Cross 
movement which became active at the beginning of the latter 
half of last century was much stimulated by the Franco- 
Prussian War in 1870 and 1871, and many members of the 
Order enrolled themselves in the newly-formed British National 
Aid Society established for Red Cross work. Experience 
gained in the War made it clear that no Red Cross Society 
could efficiently carry out its work in time of war unless 
organised in time of peace and this experience fructified in 
1877 in the formation of the St. John Ambulance Association, 
with the object of disseminating instruction in ambulance work. 

It was found that the training necessary for a First Aid 
pupil differed essentially from that of the embryo doctor, 
owing to the principle aim of the former being to prevent an 
injury from becoming worse while the doctor's business is to 
effect a cure, and thus there was fixed a line of demarcation 
beyond which First Aid must not go. Moreover, while the 
doctor has usually at hand an ample supply of the most 
modern appliances, the First Aider has to act rapidly with 
whatever he can lay his hands upon and must therefore 
cultivate faculties of resourcefulness and observation. The 
student is, therefore, taught to look around and see what is 
available to effect his purpose, with the result that improvisation 
has from the very first been put in the forefront of the 
course of training, though to set a standard demonstrations are 
also given with prepared apparatus. 

26 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

The first Centre of the Association was formed at Woolwich 
in 1877, and was quickly followed by others in London and 
the provinces. In the following year the work was undertaken in 
the Collieries, specially in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and 
naturally the Police received special attention. The importance 
of the work on Railways was also recognised, and the first class 
for railway servants was held at Paddington in the same year. 

The first text-book was a Manual of First Aid by the late 
Surgeon-Major Peter Shepherd, which at once leapt into 
popularity. This book was superseded in 1901 by Cantlie's 
Manual, the English edition of which has been circulated to 
the extent of nearly one million five hundred thousand, and 
translations have been made into many languages and dialects. 
Other courses of instruction, each with its text book, are in 
Home Nursing, Home Hygiene and Sanitation. 

Amongst the apparatus used by the Association should be 
mentioned the Furley Stretcher, constructed on similar lines to 
that used by the Army, but of a lighter pattern, and wheel 
litters for conveying stretchers for fairly long distances. The 
original litter was imported from Berlin but this was a some- 
what clumsy affair and the present type is much simpler and 
lighter. The design of ambulances for both horse and motor 
has not escaped attention, whilst the tourniquet recently designed 
by the permanent staff has found favour in the Navy and 
Army, on many of the principal Railways, and, in fact, 
everywhere where it is known. 

The keynote of the appliances adopted by the Association is 
simplicity, so much so that the remark, " Any fool could have 
thought of that," is, when applied to an appliance, considered the 
highest form of praise. 

27 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

According to the latest returns the grand total of certificates 
issued in the various subjects taught by the Association approaches 
a million and a quarter, while approximately 200,000 medallions 
and 80,000 medallion labels have been awarded to those who have 
continued their studies. 

As a natural consequence of knowledge gained by them, 
First Aid students soon recognised the necessity of co-operation 
amongst themselves, and so formed a number of Ambulance Corps 
in different parts of the country. With these Corps as a nucleus 
the St. John Ambulance Brigade was formed in 1887 with the 
object of co-ordinating as a national institution the local efforts of 
the various Ambulance Corps. 

Its ranks are open to men who hold the First Aid certificate 
and to women who hold the First Aid and Home Nursing cer- 
tificates of the Association. Its Headquarters are at St. John's 
Gate, with Colonel Sir James Clark as Chief Commissioner, and 
for purposes of organisation Great Britain and Ireland are divided 
into eleven Districts, each with its Deputy Commissioner. It had 
so far grown by the beginning of the century that it was able 
to send 2,000 members on active service as Hospital orderlies 
attached to the R.A.M.C., in the South African and Chinese 
Wars. Some 60 or 70 of them lost their lives, and a monument 
to their memory in the Grand Priory Church of the Order, 
Clerkenwell, was unveiled in 1903, by his present Majesty, 
then Grand Prior of the Order. 

In June, 1912, as a special mark of their appreciation of the 
work of the Brigade, the King and Queen inspected in Windsor 
Great Park, 11,000 men and 3,000 Nursing Sisters, including 
many representatives from Overseas. 

At the time of writing the Brigade has furnished upwards 

28 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

of 17,000 men as Hospital Orderlies at the seat of the present 
war and is still straining its powers to the utmost to send as 
many more. Official reports and numerous private letters show 
the high esteem in which the services of these men are held. 

As an example of the state of preparedness of the 
Brigade, it will suffice to say that late on the Saturday night 
of August ist, 1914, when war seemed imminent, the Admiralty 
asked for Naval Sick Berth Orderlies and on Sunday morning 
over loo marched off fully equipped to take up their duties, 
and by Tuesday, 4,000 men were at their posts on board ship 
and in Naval and Military Hospitals. 

To illustrate the smartness of Brigade Orderlies, an 
Officer reported how a train of wounded arrived in Boulogne 
with 240 cases, of which 170 were on stretchers, and many 
of the others unable to walk. There was a squad of 40 
Brigade men from Newcastle in attendance, who a few 
days before had been working in coal-mines. These men 
removed the whole of the 240 cases from the train to the 
Hospital Ship, and in 40 minutes they were on their way to 
England. 

Approximately the strength of the Brigade at home is 
Men 25,000, women 8,000, total, 33,000. 

In the Colonies New Zealand led the way in the formation 
of Brigade units and the Dunedin Ambulance Corps was 
founded in 1892, followed by a Nursing Corps formed in 
1895. Until 1903 the Colonial Units were under the Chief 
Commissioner of the Brigade, but in that year they were 
placed under Colonel C. W. B. Bowdler, as Commissioner 
for Special Services, an appointment which he took up on 
relinquishing the arduous duties of Chief Commissioner of the 

29 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Brigade which he had held since June, 1898. According to the 
latest returns the strength of the Brigade Overseas is nearly 
5,000 members of all ranks distributed over Australia, Canada, 
India and Ceylon, Malta, Newfoundland, New Zealand, and 
South Africa. Major-General James C. Dalton is now Chief 
Commissioner for the Brigade Overseas. 

A feature in the educational work of the Association has 
been the institution of Competitions. The first organised by 
Headquarters were for the St. John Ambulance Brigade and 
for the Railways of England and Wales, both starting in 1897. 
The educational value of competitions is now fully recognised, 
largely owing to the plan adopted of so framing the tests as 
to make them a real criterion of the competitor's ability to act 
in emergency rather than a test of his theoretical knowledge. 

The Territorial Branch was formed in 1909 with Sir 
Richard Temple as Controller-in-Chief. Its object was to 
provide bodies of men and women known as Voluntary Aid 
Detachments to supplement the personnel of the Territorial 
Forces, a work in which it was joined by the St. John 
Ambulance Brigade, from the members of which large numbers 
of recruits joined the Detachments. On the outbreak of War, 
however, the services of those enrolled were utilised to augment 
the medical units of the regular forces, for whom a very large 
number of Hospitals and Convalescent Homes were formed and 
maintained. At the end of July, 1915, there were 198 men's 
detachments, with a total strength of 8,107, an d i4>57 2 women, 
comprised in 505 detachments ; of these 597 women were 
serving in Military Hospitals at home and abroad. 

One Thursday evening, a telephone call came through at 
7.30 asking for the supply of a probationary staff for a large 

3 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

new military hospital by 4 p.m. on Saturday. The proper 
officials were still working at the Gate. The many arrange- 
ments necessary were at once made, and the nurses turned up 
to time fully equipped and ready for the wounded who arrived 
on Sunday morning. 

British Ophthalmic Hospital. 

In February, 1881, a Committee was formed to consider the 
question of obtaining a site at Jerusalem for the establishment 
of a Hospice of the Order, with a Dispensary for Ophthalmic 
cases, and in April of the following year the Sultan of Turkey 
presented a site on the Bethany road, overlooking the Valley 
of Hinnom, with Mount Zion beyond, for this purpose an act 
of kindness which was largely due to the tact and perseverance 
of the late Sir Edmund Lechmere, who was of all members of 
the Order the most keenly interested in this Hospital scheme. 

In the month of November, 1882, Dr. J. C. Waddell left 
for Jerusalem with a suitable supply of medicaments. Soon 
after his arrival he secured temporary premises for the Hospice, 
as those on the site given by the Sultan were in course of 
erection, and on the 4th December he began his real work. 
Dr. Waddell was only able to continue the work he had begun 
with so much promise for a very short time, as in the following 
January he was attacked by a serious illness, and his health 
was so much affected that he was forced to return to England 
in the following May. 

He was succeeded by Mr. J. H. Ogilvie, who remained for 
upwards of three years, when he was relieved by Dr. W. E. Cant, 
to whose skill and labours, coupled with the almost incredible 
energy of Mrs. Cant, the Hospital owes more than can be 

3 1 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

conveyed by mere words. Dr. and Mrs. Cant continued their 
work for nearly twenty-three years and were succeeded in 
April, 1911, by Mr. W. Ward, who, unfortunately, died 
suddenly a short time afterwards. Dr. and Mrs. Cant promptly 
came to the rescue, and returning to Jerusalem carried on the 
work of the Hospital until the 9th October, when Mr. D. Heron 
relieved them of their duties and remained in charge of the 
Hospital until it was necessary to leave the country shortly 
after the outbreak of war in September, 1914, owing to the 
growing hostility evinced by the Turks. 

From a very small beginning the Hospital grew to a 
widely known Institution, and patients have been in the habit 
of making tremendous journeys on foot from the furthest parts 
of Syria and Persia to it. Bare statistics would give but a 
crude idea of the value of the Hospital and the esteem in 
which it is held, but the many personal anecdotes which reach 
St. John's Gate bring home to one the pathetic regard and even 
affection which the Asiatic peoples have for its Hospital. A 
Bedouin from the Sinai Peninsula had had his sight restored at 
the Hospital and spread its fame abroad. Three men afflicted in 
the same way as this Bedouin had been, heard of the success 
which had attended his visit and obtaining the good offices of 
a relative to act as their guide started off on the long and 
toilsome journey of fourteen days to reach the Hospital, 
where they had to be detained rather longer than usual, but 
were able eventually to return in full possession of their sight. 

A typical year's work shows the treatment of 1,262 in-patients, 
9,600 out-patients, involving consultations amounting to 32,000, 
while upwards of 2,500 operations were performed, 60 of which 
were sufficiently serious to call for the use of anaesthetics. 



PLATE 9. 




[/'.! fin-wisswn. Itari-etfs Photo- Press Agency. 

DIGNITARIES OF THE ORDER IX PROCESSION TO THE 

PRIORY CHURCH. [Sec pntfc J. 




[fly permission, Barrett's Photo Press Agency. 

A CHURCH PARADE OF THE ST. JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE. 

[See page 28 



PLATE 10. 





The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

War Work of the Order. 

The Order has organised a hut hospital of 520 beds at 
Etaples in France, known as the St. John Ambulance 
Brigade Hospital, which was opened in September, 1915, 
and has raised a fund of over ,75,000 for equipping and main- 
taining it. 

The Officer Commanding is Colonel Sir James R. A. Clark, 
the Chief Commissioner of the Brigade ; the Physician-in-Charge 
is Colonel C. J. Trimble, Deputy Commissioner of No. IV. 
District of the Brigade, and the Surgeon-in-Charge is 
Mr. S. Maynard Smith. In addition, the staff and personnel 
consists of: 

6 Surgeon- Physicians, 
10 Assistant Surgeon-Physicians, 

i Dentist, 

i Secretary with Clerical Staff, 

i Quartermaster, 

i Matron, 

i Assistant Matron, 
50 Trained Nurses, 

i Chef and 3 Assistants, 

1 Sergeant- Major, 
13 Sergeants, 

2 Chauffeurs, 
118 Orderlies, 

20 Probationary Nurses. 

The hospital is splendidly designed, constructed and 
equipped, and is greatly admired by all who havs seen it. 

The largest Hospital in England working under the 

G 33 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

auspices of the Order is one of 500 beds at Southport, and, in 
addition, many smaller Hospitals and Convalescent Homes are 
at work, having been started by St. John Voluntary Aid 
Detachments. 

At the commencement of the War, under the Presidency 
of the Queen, and Chairmanship of Adeline, Duchess of Bedford, 
a Ladies' Committee was formed, and applied their energies to 
the provision and despatch of trained nurses, hospitals, rest 
stations, convalescent homes, etc., while mention should be 
made of a warehouse started in the immediate neighbourhood 
of the Gate for the collection and despatch of articles of clothing 
and other comforts. 

Almost immediately after the outbreak of war the " Times " 
newspaper opened a fund for Red Cross work, in which both 
the Order and the British Red Cross Society participated. 
At the time of writing subscriptions have reached the sum of 
nearly ,2,250,000. Towards the end of October, an agreement 
was entered into between the two bodies for co-ordinating their 
work, and from that time instead of dividing the fund it was 
treated as joint and managed by a Committee composed of 
Members appointed by both bodies. Its headquarters in 
France are at Rouen, from which place its activities at the 
western seat of war are organised. Under its auspices 
fourteen Hospitals, with additional dressing stations and rest 
stations, twelve stores in various towns in France, nine convoys 
of motor ambulances, three hospital trains, and a large enquiry 
department for the wounded and missing at five separate towns 
are actively employed. 

It has also a commission in the near East, and at Malta, 
the old home of the Order, special steps have been taken to 

34 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

promote the comfort and general welfare of the sick and 
wounded. These steps take the form of meeting them on 
landing and handing them light refreshments and cigarettes, 
followed by small parcels of comforts when Hospital is reached ; 
subsequently a moderate but regular supply of smoking 
requisites is kept up. Amusement is afforded by the provision 
of concerts, literature, musical instruments, gramophones and 
games. A Committee of ladies of Malta, formed at the request 
of the Governor, has carried out most of the above work in 
complete harmony with the Joint Commission. An ample 
stock of Hospital material is kept and replenished as required 
from England, while an X-Ray apparatus has been installed 
and an ample supply of motors provided. In short, the best 
traditions of the Order are being acted up to by all concerned 
in the island. 

Indian Soldiers' Fund. 

A fund for helping the sick and wounded Indian soldiers 
has been originated by the Order, and is carried on 
under the Chairmanship of Sir John Prescott Hewett. The 
late Lord Roberts, up to the time of his death, displayed 
the greatest interest in its initial appeal to the public for 
subscriptions and in its subsequent operations. 

The activities of the fund are mainly directed towards 
the following objects, viz : 

The maintenance of the Lady Hardinge Hospital, with 500 
beds, in Brockenhurst Park. 

The supply of comforts to all the hospitals in Great Britain 
and France in which there are Indian wounded, and to the 
ships in which Indian wounded are conveyed. 

35 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

It also supplements the clothing and comforts furnished 
by the Government for the Indian troops at the front with 
articles which it does not fall within the responsibility of the 
State to provide, and repairing the immense wastage of the War. 

The hospital was opened on 2oth January, 1915, and up 
to the 1 5th June it had received 1,162 patients. 

Apart from the Lady Hardinge Hospital, the fund has 
supplied comforts to eight hospitals or convalescent homes in 
England, twenty in France, one in Alexandria, and nine 
hospital ships, and has altogether sent to them upwards of 
62,000 garments, besides large quantities of materials, in 
addition to plentiful supplies of sugar, sweets and fruit, millions 
of cigarettes and nearly a ton of tobacco. The list by no 
means stops here, but includes such articles as combs, soap, 
walking sticks, stationery, gramophones and games. 

In conclusion, it should be stated that the work of the 
Order is conducted without regard to race, class or creed, 
and all are freely invited to help in its work and participate 
in the benefits it affords. 

W. R. EDWARDS. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



The Buildings of the Priory of St. John 
at Clerkenwell. 

\ A 7ITH the exception of the crypt beneath the choir, and 
^ * the fragment of the round nave of the Church which 
still exists, nothing is known of the extent or appearance of 
the earlier buildings of the Priory. 

The oldest representation is that by Wenceslaus Hollar, 
engraved in 1656 for Dugdale's " Monasticon," and re-engraved in 
1809 for Wilkinson's "Londiniana." The original copper plate of 
this second state is now in the St. John's Gate collection. 

Fictitious representations of the Priory are numerous, the 
earliest of these appearing in Hone's ''Every-Day Book" for 
November 13th, and reproduced in Thornbury and Walford's 
"Old and New London." Hone gives the source of this picture 
as a Cottonian MS., Nero D. VIII., but on referring to this 
in the British Museum it will be found that the manuscript and 
picture relate to St. John's Monastery at Colchester. 

In the pictorial map of Newton's " London in the Olden 
Time,'' 1855, the Priory appears fully set out, but this is entirely 
imaginary ; the author states that the original gate was south 
of the present one, but there is no evidence of this. 
Mr. Henry Brewer published a fine drawing in '' The Builder," 
January ist, 1898, in which elaborate buildings appear on the 
site of the Priory, but without any attempt to use the evidence 
which had been collected. In Harrison's " History of London," 
1786, there is a picture of the burning of the Priory by 

37 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Wat Tyler, in which the buildings are just the artist's imagina- 
tion ; this has been reproduced in several other works, and 
sometimes the picture has been reversed. 

Hollar's print, so far as it goes, may in the light of recent 
discoveries be taken as fairly accurate, but it must be 
remembered that the drawing was made more than a hundred 
years after the dissolution of the Priory, and we know that by 
that time much had been destroyed. 

The best guide as to what buildings were existing at the 
time of the suppression is the recent discovery by Mr. A. W. 
Clapham, F.S.A., of a manuscript in the Record Office endorsed 
"The Survey of lead belongyg to Seyent Joens in Smythfeild"; 
this gives the dimensions and weights of the lead roofs of the 
church, with two chapels, the position of which is now 
unknown, and " my lord Dockerys chappell," and a vestry on 
the south side of the choir, traces of which still remain, the 
steeple of the Church and the Gate House. It tells of the 
"preistes dortor," 120 ft. long this was doubtless the knights' 
dormitory an armoury, 54 ft. long; the "greate chamber dore" 
and " greate Staire " 25 ft. by 20 ft.; the " Stilly tornes " or 
distillery, the " Complying house" 36 ft. long; the wardrobe 
15 ft. square; "my lorde's chamber," a "parlor" 28 ft. long; 
the " Kepers Chamber," a " Halle " 105 ft. long ; the " yomans 
dorter," the " Kechyn," and many other " chambers " of 
considerable proportions. Mr. Clapham's paper, which is of 
great value, will be found in the " St. Paul's Ecclesiological 
Society's Transactions," Vol. VII., part II., 1912. Unfortunately 
the position of these important buildings is still unknown, but 
many of them must have been contained in the range of 
buildings shown in two of Hollar's pictures, lying on the north 

38 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

side of the choir of the Church. Amongst other documents 
which describe the buildings is " A Request to Purchase," dated 
5 April, 37 Henry VIII., made by Lord Viscount Lisle, Lord 
Admiral of England. Here mention is made of the Gate House, 
of gardens, and one orchard with a " ffisshe poole in the same 
orchard lying upon the Easte and northe parte of the said 
mansyon." " Item, one house lately buyldid by John Mableston, 
clerke [he had been Sub- Prior], called the supprior's lodgying, 
and one garden, called the supprior's garden, w ch house and garden 
be grauntyd to the said John for terms of hys lyffe by acte of 
Parlyament w'oute anythyng therefore paying." " Itm, one other 
house adionyng to the said house called the scholehouse. 
Itm, two Courtes, whereof the one is called the great Courte, 
and the other the lyttle Courte, lying upon the southe parte of 
the said Mansion as they be enclosed. Itm, the garden 
called the Turcoplyer's garden, adionyng to the foresaid garden 
called the supprior's garden." The fish pond was found during 
excavations in 1903, north of the little churchyard in St. John 
Street, which agrees with the position described above ; in its 
thick black mud was found a large knife, shells of the fresh- 
water mussel, and some oak piles which probably supported a 
fishing stage ; these are preserved in the museum in the crypt 
of the Church. 

On the ist May, 38 Henry VIII., 1546, the King granted 
to John Viscount Lisle and Joan his wife, all the house, close 
and ambit of the Priory, and also the three gardens and 
orchard, and the pool in the orchard, together with the Church 
and burial-ground of the Priory, also the Sub- Prior's lodging, 
the Sub-Prior's garden, the school-house, the great court, the 
little court, the Turcoplyer's garden, the wood-yard, the 
slaughter-house, the plumber's house, the wood-house, the 

39 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

launder's house, the counting-house, the porter's garden, and the 
gate house. Also all conduits and waterpipes and springs 
lately belonging to the Priory. 

The water supply of the Priory came in leaden pipes from 
some large meadows at Barnsbury, belonging to the Order, 
known as Commandry Mantells, comprising a great part, if not 
all, of what is now called Pentonville ; they also supplied the 
water to the Carthusians, and in the ancient map of the water 
supply, still preserved at the Charterhouse, St. John's pipe 
appears in various places. The boundary wall of the precincts 
ran eastward from the Gate until it reached St. John Street, 
then northward almost as far as the corner of Aylesbury Street, 
where it turned west to Clerkenwell Green, the north postern 
opening in it at Jerusalem Passage. Behind Nos. i and 2, 
Clerkenwell Green, in 1903, I found about forty-three ft. of the 
wall standing, with a small doorway in it 3 ft. 9 in. wide ; the 
bottom of the wall was 5 ft. 3 in. below the present pavement 
levels, it was 2 ft. 6 in. thick, and the remains were 3 ft. high, 
From its most westerly point on Clerkenwell Green the wall 
turned south behind the houses on the east side of Red Lion 
Street until it met the wall running westward from the Gate. 

Beyond the precincts on the east side of St. John's Lane 
there stood the house of the Bailiff of Eagle, who was the third 
dignitary in the English Langue ; the site is now represented 
by Eagle Court. On the east side of St. John Street, where 
is now the Clerkenwell Road, the Priory had some land, a 
portion of which was the Pardon Churchyard, and Stowe says : 
" It served for burying such as desperately ended their lives, or 
were executed for Felonies, who were fetched thether usually in 
a closed cart, bayled over and covered with blacke, having a 
plaine white Crosse thwarting, and at the fore end a St. John's 

40 



PLATE 11. 




PLATE 12. 




C/3 

G 



c^ 
^/ w ~ 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Crosse without, and within a Bell ringing, whereby the cart 
might be heard when it passed ; and this was called the Frery 
cart which belonged to S. John's and had the priveledge of 
Sanctuarie." On the west side, on the banks of the River 
Fleet, where is now Turnmill Street, the Priory had two 
watermills and there was also a windmill. 

At the dissolution, the valuation of the Priory was 
,2,304 igs. i id., a sum only exceeded by Westminster and 
Glastonbury Abbeys. In the Cotton MSS., Appendix XXVIII., 
folio 52, is a paper endorsed " Touching St. John's," and 
headed " An abridgment touching the money, plate, stuff, store 
and payments at St. John's." " Plate, gilt 9,592^ oz., parcel 
gilt 1,903^- oz. Paid for servants' wages, their rewards, charge, 
about the funeral, and other ^281 145.; remainder in ready 
money ^"588 6s. 8d., besides ornaments of the Church 
remaining in the vestry, stuff delivered to the King, stuff 
remaining in St. John's charged to Sir Henry Knevett, stuff to 
be sold, wine, three carts and four cart horses." Could the 
funeral have been that of the Grand Prior Sir William Weston ? 

A still more important inventory of the plate belonging to 
the Priory at the dissolution is that of the " Maister and 
Treasurer of the King's Jewells." 

" Frome the late monastery of St. Johns in Smythfildes 
viz., in gilte plate, weing w' the stones, birralles, and glasses, 
DCCIIII XX i oz. dr and in white plate M^i'liiii oz. as by 
the saied booke apperethe, over and besides a gospell booke 
plated upon w l a crucifix, Mary and John of silver, and a texte 
of a gospel booke plated uppon w 4 silver Mary and John, the 
silver of whiche bookes are chardged in the saied title of 
my tors as in the same dothe appere." 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

In spite of the above quoted deed Lord Lisle does not 
seem to have come into possession of the Priory, for Stowe 
tells how " the Priory, church and house of St. John was 
preserved from spoil or down-pulling so long as Henry VIII. 
reigned, and was employed as a store house for the King's toils 
and tents for hunting, and for the wars, etc. But in the 3rd 
of King Edward VI., the church for the most part, to wit, the 
body and side aisles, with the great bell tower, a most curious 
piece of workmanship, graven, gilt, and enamelled, to the great 
beautifying of the city, and passing all others that I have seen, 
was undermined and blown up with gunpowder. The stone 
thereof was employed in building of the Lord Protector's house 
in the Strand." In pursuance of his father's will, Edward VI. 
granted the Priory to his sister Mary, and Mackyn, in his 
Diary, records how " the Lady Mary rode through London 
unto St. John's, her place, with fifty knights and gentlemen in 
velvet coats and chains of gold afore her, and after her iiij 
score gentlemen and ladies, every one having a peyre of bedes 
of black." 

In Elizabeth's time the Priory was used as the headquarters 
of the drama, Edmund Tylney, the Master of the Revels, 
living here and using the buildings, which, he writes : 
"consistethe of a Wardropp and other several Rooms for 
Artificers to work in, viz., Taylors, Imbrotherers, Properti- 
makers, Paynters, Wyredrawers, and Carpenters, togeather with 
a convenient place for ye Rehearsalls, and setting forth of 
Playes and other Shows for those Services." From here 
Tylney licensed not less than thirty of Shakespeare's plays, 
commencing with " Henry IV." and ending with " Antony and 
Cleopatra," so that there is little doubt but that Shakespeare 
was a frequent visitor to the Gate House. Tylney's accounts 

42 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

very frequently mention St. John's, such as the following: In 
!573 " For carriage of certeyne pece of the wagon and 
mownte from the Warderob to saint Jones ii s -". " For the 
cariadge of the partes of ye well conterfeit from the Bell in 
gracious strete to St. John's to be pformed for the play of 
Cutwell, X d -"; 1578, "for carryage of the Armoure from 
Greenewitch to St. Johnes to be guylded, 2 s -, and from St. 
John's to the Waterside, i6 d -". 

Later, the Priory came into the possession of Sir William 
Cecil, Lord Burleigh, and Fuller says, " his countess was very 
forward to repair the ruined choir." Dr. Joseph Hall preached 
at its solemn re-opening on St. Stephen's Day, 1623, taking 
for his text, Haggai ii. 9, "The glory of this latter house shall 
be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of Hosts." The 
house passed by marriage and descent to the Earl of Aylesbury, 
when the refitted choir was known as Aylesbury Chapel, and 
the Earl lived in the building on the north side, as shown in 
Hollar's print. At the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the Chapel had become a Presbyterian meeting-house, and 
Bishop Burnet, who lived just opposite, writes in his History 
that in the Sacheverell riots " there happened to be a 
meeting-house near me out of which they drew everything that 
was in it, and burned it before the door of the house." After 
this it became a private chapel for the use of the inhabitants 
of St. John's Square and the neighbourhood, and in 1716 it 
was advertised to be sold or let : " The remains of the once 
famous Abbey of Clerkenwell, called of late Aylesbury Chapel, 
with a gallery as fit as any for a school-room that will hold 
above two hundred scholars." 

In 1721 the Chapel was bought by a Mr. Simon Michel, 
who built the present west front, together with a new roof and 

43 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

galleries ; he also gave it a Rectory House in Red Lion Street, 
which he had built just previously. In 1723 he sold it to 
Queen Anne's Commissioners for building fifty new churches 
in London, for ,2,500. The Commissioners gave it its 
present parish, and on the 2/th of December, 1723, it was 
re-consecrated by the Bishop of London as the Parish Church 
of St. John, Clerkenwell. 

By this time most of the secular buildings of the Priory 
had disappeared, being replaced by modern houses with various 
owners, the site of the Priory's House on the north side of 
the choir being a distillery belonging to Mr. Israel Wilkes, 
and here was born his son, the famous John Wilkes, Lord 
Mayor of London. 

In 1731 the Gate House was inhabited by a printen 
Edward Cave, and here he printed and issued "The Gentleman's 
Magazine." Dr. Samuel Johnson was for a long time its chief 
writer, contributing amongst many other items the reports on 
the debates of the Houses of Parliament. Cave does not 
appear to have paid large salaries, for Johnson was so shabbily 
dressed that he took his meals behind a screen in a corner 
of Cave's dining-room when guests were present. At this 
period Johnson brought to the Gate a young friend with a 
taste for acting, and it was in the large room over the Arch 
that David Garrick gave his first performance, in Fielding's 
farce of " The Mad Doctor,'' founded upon Moliere's " Malade 
Imaginare," to Cave's workmen and friends. In 1781 "The 
Gentleman's Magazine" was removed to Fleet Street, and the 
Gate became the Parish Watch House ; and later it became an 
inn with the name of " The Old Jerusalem Tavern." 

In 1845 the building had become very ruinous, and the 
Metropolitan Building Authorities ordered its thorough repair 

44 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

or demolition. The matter was taken up by Mr. W. P. 
Griffith, an architect, resident in St. John's. He raised a public 
subscription, and eventually restored the building to a safe 
condition. In one of several appeals and subscription lists, 
dated 1847, is found the name, E. A. H. Lechmere, 53. od. 
On showing this list to the late Sir Edmund Lechmere, shortly 
before his death in 1894, he replied, "Yes; I was a boy at 
the Charterhouse and gave five shillings from my pocket 
money." In 1874 the freehold of the Gate House was for 
sale, and Sir Edmund Lechmere bought it and later transferred 
it to the Order. In the same year they were able to use the 
western tower, but it was not until 1887 that the expiration 
of leases allowed the Order to obtain full possession. 



45 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



St. John's Gate. 

THE great Gate House of the Priory, standing across 
St. John's Lane, is an important building, measuring 
64 ft. from east to west, and 36 ft. from north to south. It 
was built by Grand Prior Docwra in 1504, and consists of 
two towers 47 ft. in height, each containing four stories, and 
flanked by smaller towers, the two on the north or inner side 
containing the staircases. The towers are joined by a large 
room above the archway spanning the road, the principal 
entrance to the Priory ; the southern arch bears the rebate for 
the gates, and two of the hinge hooks are still in position. 
The archway is richly vaulted, with many ribs springing from 
a shaft in each of the four angles ; a central boss bears an 
Agnus Dei upon a book with clasps, and of four other bosses, 
two bear the Arms of the Order and two the Arms of 
Docwra. On the outer face above the arch there were originally 
five shields of arms, of which the central one was England, 
and one of the Order on either side ; of the two outer 
shields, one was Docwra, with the Order in chief, and the 
other Docwra, with the Order in chief impaling Greene, the 
Arms of Docwra's mother. These shields were very badly 
decayed, and in 1893 they were replaced by the present 
shields, and an inscription in memory of H.R.H. the Duke of 
Clarence and Avondale, who was Sub- Prior at the time of his 
death. On the north side there are three shields, the centre 
one being the Order, that on the left is Docwra, with the 
Order in chief, and the right-hand one Docwra, with the Order 
in chief impaling a cross moline. 

46 




47 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Below these shields may still be seen traces of the date 

1504. A small door in the west tower has shields in the 

spandrels, one of which is the Order and the other Docwra, 

with the Order in chief. The whole structure is of red brick 

encased with Kentish rag-stone. The staircases in each tower 

were originally spiral vices of stone to the first floor, and above 

that of wood. Of these only the western one remains. In 

1814 the stone steps were replaced by a dog-leg stair to the 

first floor, but this has since been replaced by oak steps similar 

to those above. In the east tower the original stair was 

replaced, in the seventeenth century, by a massive staircase 

with turned balusters and heavy newel posts, the inner walls 

being cut away to make room for it. The room in the east 

tower on the ground floor, originally the guard-room, with a 

door opening under the archway, is to-day the Library of the 

Order. The panelling is modern, but the ceiling is original 

with finely moulded oak ribs. The Library contains a fine 

collection of books and manuscripts relating to the history of 

the Order, a good collection of the coins* of the various Grand 

Masters of Malta, a steel breastplate from Rhodes of the period 

of the 1480 siege, a number of gold and enamel crosses worn 

by the Knights, two chasubles from Malta in silk damask, with 

the embroidered armorials of the Grand Masters Cottoner and 

*As the Order was a Sovereign Order, with its own country of Rhodes or 
Malta, it followed that it should provide a coinage for these islands, and, from its 
occupation of Rhodes in 1310 until the loss of Malta in 1798, almost every Grand 
Master struck coins of many values in gold, silver and copper. It is interesting 
to note that the gold and silver coins of the Order in Malta were still the common 
currency of the island so recently as 1886, when they were withdrawn and British 
money substituted. The copper money was withdrawn in 1827. Quite a number 
of books and articles have been written on the subject, of which the following are 
the most important : E. H. Furse, " Memoires Numismatiques de 1'Ordre 
Souverain de Saint Jean de Jerusalem," Paris, 1885 ; and Canon H. C. Schembri, 
"Coins and Medals of the Knights of Malta," London, 1902 ; 2nd edition, 1910. 

48 



PLATE 13. 




\riwtu: //. II'. I'inchuin. 

THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, ST. JOHN'S GATE. 

[See page 52 



PLATE 14. 




[Photo: H. If. Fincham. 

THE CHAPTER HALL, ST. JOHN'S GATE. 

[See page 51 




[Photo: H. W. Fincham. 

ELIZABETHAN CHIMNEY PIECE IN THE CHANCERY, 

ST. JOHN'S GATE. [See page 49 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Perellos; a baton in ivory and bronze of the Grand Falconer, 
who was an important official (as the tribute of the Knights to 
the Emperor Charles V. for the possession of Malta was a 
falcon per year) ; a fine silver-gilt chalice of Spanish workman- 
ship, said to have been brought to England by King Philip 
when he came to marry Queen Mary this was presented by 
Vere Countess of Galway, and is used on St. John's Day at 
the Holy Communion of the members of the Order in the 
Crypt Chapel ; a handsome silver rosewater dish, in very high 
repoussee, depicting a wounded Knight attended by an angel 
and armorini in its border appear the charges of the shield of 
Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena, 1722-1736, a lion rampant 
and a winged hand holding a sword this was brought from 
Malta and presented by the Librarian, Mr. Edmund Fraser, 
and there are many other interesting relics of the old Order. 

The next room of importance in the east tower is on 
the second floor, and is known as the Chancery ; here are a 
number of valuable water-colour drawings of Malta in the 
eighteenth century, and of the interior of the Church of the 
Knights in Valletta. The chimney-piece in this room is a 
somewhat important relic of old London architecture, and it 
has been illustrated in quite a large number of books on Old 
London. It stood originally in a ground floor room of an 
inn on the east side of St. John's Lane, known for centuries 
as the u Baptist's Head." This house was built for a residence 
by Sir Thomas Forster, a judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, who died here in 1612. The frieze of the chimney- 
piece is richly carved, and in the middle is the shield of arms 
bearing Forster impaling Radcliffe, the arms of the judge's 
wife, while on either end are the crests of the two families. 
When the old inn was demolished in 1895, the chimney-piece 

i 49 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

was brought here, and considering that for centuries it was in a 
taproom, frequented by all the cattle drovers to the adjacent 
market of Smithfield, it is wonderfully preserved, due doubtless 
to the many coats of paint it had received, which have now 
been successfully removed, revealing much delicate and artistic 
carving. 

A window on the Chancery landing contains portrait 
figures of Grand Priors Sir John Kendal and Sir Thomas 
Docwra, and Fina, the first English Prioress at Buckland 
Sororum. On the same level as the Chancery is the large 
room over the Arch, now called the Council Chamber. This 
fine room was probably the Guest Hall in the old days, and 
the scene of the meeting of Henry VIII. and the Grand 
Master de 1'Isle Adam. It is lit by two large three-light 
windows, containing some good modern glass filled with 
armorial bearings. The fine open timbered roof and lantern 
is modern, replacing a mean flat ceiling put in while the place 
was an inn. On the walls are many memorials to deceased 
members of the Order, and a fine portrait in oils of King 
Edward, by Harold Speed, and another of Queen Victoria, by 
Sidney Hall ; above the panelling are several paintings of the 
earlier Grand Masters. On the chimney-piece here, and also 
in the Chancery, are a number of the old pharmacy jars of 
majolica ware from the hospitals of Rhodes and Malta. 

In the west tower the most important room is that on the 
third floor the office of the Secretary- General. Here, amongst 
a number of interesting relics of the old Order, is a stone 
cannon ball fired at the siege of Rhodes. In the first floor of 
the west tower is an oak-framed doorway, which at one time 
led into a room in a wooden structure, shown in Hollar's view 

5 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

of the Gate, filling the space beneath the arch with a pair of 
gates and a small door below. All this was removed in 1771 
by the St. John's Commissioners of Paving. 

The immense growth of the work of the Order and its 
departments had, in 1903, outgrown the accommodation to be 
found in the Gate House, and a large building on the south 
side was erected from the designs of Mr. John Oldrid Scott, 
F.S.A. It is in entire keeping with the old building to which 
it is attached, faced with squared Kentish ragstone, with square- 
headed mullioned windows for the ground and first floors, and 
four large traceried windows to the hall on the second floor. 
The entrance gateway, sufficiently large to admit the ambulance 
carriages, has a four-centred Tudor arch with a square label 
moulding. The spandrels are filled with carved foliage 
surrounding the badge of the Order, and the arms of the 
Order appear above the arch. The ground floor is devoted to 
a large store for ambulance material, and the first floor to 
offices and lecture room or drill hall. 

The Chapter Hall is on the second floor, and covers the 
whole of the area of the new building. This fine room is 
lighted by four large windows on the side and one at the 
north end, each of three lights with tracery above. The walls 
are lined with oak panelling to the height of the window sills. 

The oak ceiling is complex ; around the walls it consists 
of groined vaulting with moulded ribs, each pendentive springing 
from a stone corbel carved to represent an angel bearing a 
shield, these shields bearing the arms of the various Langues of 
the Order. From the apex of the vaulting to the edge of the 
lantern the ceiling is flat, with diagonal ribs, and at the 
intersections are richly carved bosses. In the middle of the 

5 1 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

ceiling, and comprising about a third of its total area, is a 
lofty lantern, the glass of which contains the armorial bearings 
of the Sovereign and Nobles of England, who contributed to 
the re-fortifying of the English Tower of the Castle of Budrum 
in 1414, and still to be found carved upon its walls. Around 
the lower edge of the lantern is a deeply coved cornice 
containing thirty-two shields painted with the arms of Grand 
Priors of England. 

At the south end of the hall is a large chimney-piece of 
white stone upon a red marble plinth ; its deeply traceried frieze 
bears three shields of arms, of which the centre is Royal 
England, and, right and left, Grand Prior Edward Prince of 
Wales and Sub- Prior the Duke of Clarence, each shield bearing 
a Chief of the Order. 

The principal entrance is at the north end opening into 
the Chancery in the south-east tower of the old building ; it 
contains a fine pair of oak doors richly carved with tracery 
and linen pattern panels, the stone door head bearing the 
arms of the Earl of Lathom, General Sir John St. George, 
Sir Edmund A. H. Lechmere, and Col. Sir Herbert C. Perrott. 

The pictures which adorn the walls of the hall are of 
various worthies of the old Order, most of which were collected 
by the late Sir Victor Houlton, G.C.M.G., Chief Secretary to 
the Governor of Malta, and were the chief ornaments of his 
house in the Strada Mezzodi. Over the fireplace is a half-length 
of Grand Master Emmanuel Pinto, 1742, and above hangs 
Leopold, Emperor of Germany, 1660. On either side are the 
saintly Ubaldesca and 1'Abbe Vertot, the well-known historian 
of the Order; on the south wall are two full-lengths, one of 
Prince Poninski, Grand Prior of Poland, in a very elaborate 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

costume, wearing a stole embroidered with black eagles, while 
the companion portrait of Joseph Lemaire de Choisy has a still 
more elaborate stole with the emblems of the Passion. One of 
those on the east wall, given by Lord Amherst, is a fine 
painting of Pompeo de Perugino, Commander of the Fortress 
of the Carabusi in Candia, 1632 ; other portraits are of Grand 
Masters Raymond Perellos, 1697 1720, and Emmanuel de 
Rohan, 1775 1?97- A portrait of much merit presented by 
J. Home Stevenson, Unicorn Pursuivant, is of Antoine Joseph 
Delsallier d'Argenville, 1680 1765, who, besides being a 
Knight of St. John, wrote some important works on Natural 
History, and other subjects ; and there is a portrait of 
Sir Andrew Wyse, Grand Prior of England, 1593 1631, 
given by Vere, Viscountess Galway. A carved oak throne for 
the Grand Prior stands under the north window, and by its 
side there stands a beautiful silver processional crucifix of the 
early Italian Renaissance period, it is repoussee work with the 
eight-pointed Cross of the Order behind the figure of Our 
Lord, and at the foot is a shield bearing the lion rampant of 
the Lord Prior of England, Sir Robert Mallory, with a Chief 
of the Order ; it was bequeathed to the Order by Sir Edmund 
Lechmere, who found it on the Continent, and when it is 
carried aloft in the Church on the Festival of the Patron 
Saint, there is little doubt but that it is adorning the same 
occasions as it did before the Knights were driven out by 
Henry VIII. 



54 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



The Priory Church. 

THE Church of the Priory stood towards the north-east 
corner of the precincts, and of this the original choir 
still remains as the Priory Church of the Order, and the Parish 
of St. John, Clerkenwell. It must have been quite one of the 
earliest buildings undertaken by the Knights on receiving the 




Plan of the Priory Church. 

grant of the land from Jordan de Briset, although its dedication 
appears to have been delayed until Heraclius, Patriarch of 
Jerusalem, performed the ceremony on the VI. of the Ides 
of March, 1185. 

At first it consisted of a circular nave sixty-five feet in 
diameter, with an inner ring of columns to carry the roof. Of 

55 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

the round churches which still exist, that of St. John, Cambridge, 
would be the nearest in appearance, although our nave was 
much larger, even exceeding that of the Temple Church, 
London. Eastward there was a short and narrow choir of three 
bays, with an apsidal end, without aisles, similar to that at Little 
Maplestead, Essex ;* this stood between four and five feet above 
the floor of the nave, and was approached by a flight of steps. 
Beneath the choir was a crypt, eight feet below the nave, with 
steps down by the side of those which led into the choir. Shortly 
before the date of the consecration, the choir was lengthened 
by two bays, and aisles were added, this addition being carried 
out in the crypt as well as in the choir. The addition is well 
shown in the crypt by the alteration in style, and there is 
evidence that at least the addition to the choir was of the 
same style as the later work in the crypt, for, in the collection 
of worked stones preserved in the crypt, there are many of the 
triple clustered shafts and rib mouldings identical with those 
still standing, and which can only have come from the choir 
of the Church. 

At some later date possibly at the destruction by Wat Tyler 
the round nave disappeared, and was replaced by a rectangular 
nave of the more usual form. The foundations of the north wall 
of this still remain below ground in St. John's Square. It was 
about ninety feet long, as may be seen upon the plan of the 
precincts, where I have also shown what I believe to be a 
portion of the west wall which I discovered in 1911. At the 
north-west corner of this nave stood the great tower, which so 

* Little Maplestead Church, Essex, was the property of the Order, who 
built it in the twelfth century. It was re-built in the fourteenth century, and 
remains probably the only round nave ever built in so late a period. The 
advowson is again in the hands of the Order. 

56 



PLATE 15. 




2 ^ 
^ 



PLATE -16. 



*4 , 



'ir ' 

; HA 

i\ . 

. JL .J/JL ,f/.U ^ 

, i i ^ If 1 1 i 

II Si fill I 



EAST WINDOW OF 



_ /o.- ff. //. ./. Finchai. 

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

excited the admiration of the historian Stowe. No other 
description of this fine tower exists, nor did we know the date 
of its building, but Dr. C. Cotton, of Canterbury, a member 
of the Order, has recently called my attention to a document 
in the Cathedral Library at Canterbury, which throws some 
light upon it, and proves that it was one of the many 
improvements undertaken by the Lord Prior, Sir Thomas 
Docwra 

William Massett, Citizen and Grocer of the Parish of St. Sepulchre's 
without Newgate, in the City of London, bequeathed the 5th April, 1501, 
to the building of the steeple of St. John of Jerusalem in England, nigh 
West Smithfield, the sum of ^3 6s. 8d. 

Will proved at Canterbury, sede vacanfe, before the Prior and Convent 
of Christ Church, Canterbury. 

Cathedral Library MS. Regr. F. iO2a. 

Much of the foundations of this tower are still remaining 
below ground. 

There also appears to have been a west or south porch of 
some importance, and a ring of bells in the great tower, for 
Stowe, writing of the Church of Allhallows, Lombard Street, 
says : " The faire stone porch of this Church was brought from 
the late dissolved Priorie of S. John of Jerusalem, by Smithfielde, 
so was the frame for their belles, but the belles being bought 
were never brought thether." 

The Church, as it stands to-day, consists of the four bays 
of the choir, enclosed by the western wall, built by Grand 
Prior Sir Thomas Tresham on the return of the Knights in 
1557, when they found the nave destroyed and the choir open 
to the weather. A portion of the north wall was rebuilt in 
1834, but the east and south walls are, for a great portion of 
their height, of the twelfth century, the upper part being raised 
by Docwra to take his large Perpendicular windows. The walls 

K 57 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



are mostly of rubble, but on the south are ashlar backings to 
take detached vaulting shafts, and portions of these remain in 
the two eastern corners. The bases of the columns still exist 
between the pews, the western pair consisting of eight clustered 
shafts, the others being simple cylinders ; the capital of one of 
these can be seen built into the base of the external wall of 
the north-west angle. The responds on the east wall have very 
richly moulded bases showing seven clustered shafts. 

In the south-east window is a small 
stained glass shield of arms gules, a 
chevron or between three combs, with 
the Chief of the Order, gules, a cross 
argent. An inscription in Gothic letters 
surrounds the shield and reads, 
"Robertus Botyll, Pryor, Elect A.D. 
1439, Resign 1469.'' This is the sole 
survivor of what was probably a series 
of coats of arms which may have been 
in the windows of the Chapter House, 
or some other important hall of the 
Priory. 

The above is an example of the custom of the Knights to 
place upon their coats of arms, in chief, the arms of the Order, 
although, curiously enough, the only other example in ancient 
stained glass known in England of the arms of a Knight of the 
Order is a small shield of the same Robert Botyll with the 
arms of the Order impaled ; this i-s a small shield in a window 
of the Chapter House of Exeter Cathedral, and was probably 
painted when he was Preceptor of Trebyghen, in Cornwall, 
before he became Grand Prior of England. 




Arms of Prior Botyll 
in stained glass. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



In the second bay from the east of the south wall is a 
small arched doorway; this led into the vestry, mentioned in 
Mr. Clapham's discovery, which extended the length of the 
two eastern bays. The exterior of this wall is of considerable 
interest. For many years it had been entirely hidden by some 
mean tenements, which were removed by the London County 
Council in 1906, and a narrow strip of the site was acquired 
by the Church Authorities ; this made it possible to re-open 
the windows of the crypt and restore the large 
windows lighting the Church on this side. 
There are four buttresses on this wall, two of 
which are semi-octagonal and enriched on the 
upper chamfer stops with the badge of the Lord 
Prior Sir Thomas Docwra. They evidently 
adorned the interior of the Prior's Chapel and 
the Vestry ; in the joints of the masonry of these 
buttresses the remains of the lead flushing of the 
roofs of these buildings can still be seen. The 
second buttress from the east is an original 
one of the twelfth century, and has been 
protected by the cross wall which separated the Chapel from 
the Vestry. In the wall are the remains of two large four- 
centred arches in brickwork, showing that the Prior's Chapel 
opened into the choir by arches as wide as the bays, and 
when they were discovered there were still traces of the ashlar 
lining to be seen. These arches had been closed up by thin 
brick walls, and on their removal the space between was found 
filled with dry rubbish. In this was discovered fragments of 
carved stone, some of which bore the badge of Docwra a lion's 
jamb erased holding a plate charged with a pallet and are 
evidently fragments of the tomb of the Lord Prior ; and some 




Banner of 
Prior Docwra. 



59 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

fragments of stained glass, similar to the shield of Botyll, also 
bearing the badge of Docwra. Here was also found a large 
piece of carved oak, which is evidently one half of a barge-board 

from the gable of a fifteenth 
century building, probably from a 
secular part of the Priory ; all 
these remains are preserved in 
the museum in the crypt. At 
the east end of the wall there 
still remains one jamb of the east 
window of the Vestry. 

Of the fittings of the Church, 
the carved oak reredos is of 
1723, and its picture was added 
in 1889 by the then Rector, the 
Rev. W. Dawson. This is a 
copy of Raphael's " Madonna della 
casa d'alba" at the Hermitage 
Palace, Petrograd. The ritual choir and the benches of the 
Church, of mahogany and walnut, were also the gift of the 
Rev. W. Dawson in 1888 1890. The side Altar was the gift 
of the Order in 1913; the picture of St. John Baptist being 
the gift of Lord Mostyn. 

The table of this Altar is that which was placed in the 
Church in 1723, and is an interesting piece of furniture of 
about this period. 

The Pulpit, of oak, with inlaid panels of various coloured 
woods, is the upper part of the old three-decker which stood 
in the middle of the Church, and from which both John and 
Charles Wesley have preached. When the old Georgian pews 




Fragment of Prior Docwra' s Tomb, 
showing his Badge. 



60 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

were removed in 1889, a great organ stood in the west gallery ; 
it was said to have been the work of that famous organ builder, 
Renatus Harris, but it had not been used for many years and 
had fallen into a very ruinous state ; it was sold for a small 
sum to an amateur at Wymondham, Norfolk, who practically 
rebuilt it, but a year or two later it was entirely destroyed by 
fire. 

The Verge or Beadle's Staff- head of silver is the oldest 
in London ; originally of pear shape, a figure of St. John 
Baptist was added to it in 1828. The Verge itself bears the 
date of 1685, and an inscription upon it records that "This 
Stan and silver head was made at ye charge of ye inhabitants 
of ye east liberty of St. John of Jerusalem." 

A very richly embroidered cope was presented to the 
Church in 1907 by Major H. E. Baskerville Walton, a Knight 
of Grace of the Order; it was made by the "Sisters of 
Bethany " near by. The fabric is of cloth of gold damask, 
powdered with the badge of the Order, sprigs of St. John's 
Wort, and crowned "Js." The orphreys bear figures of St. 
John Baptist and St. John Almoner, and the hood is covered 
with a representation of the Holy Family. The present Rector, 
the Rev. T. C. Elsdon, has presented several other sets of 
fine vestments, and old Italian crosses and candlesticks for 
both altars, together with valuable altar books. 

The most important monument in the Church is that 
erected by King Edward VII., the Prince of Wales, and the 
Order, in memory of sixty-six members of the St. John 
Ambulance Brigade who died during the South African War. 
This monument was unveiled by the Grand Prior, H.R.H. George, 
Prince of Wales, on nth June, 1902, in the presence of a 

61 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

large number of the members of the Order and the relatives 
of the men whose names are inscribed upon it. On the east 
wall is a tablet in memory of Sir Edmund A. H. Lechmere, 
M.P., who died in 1894; he was Chancellor of the Order and 
for many years Patron of the Church, the living being later 
acquired by the Order. Just beneath this is a tablet in memory 
of the Rev. T. W. Wood, who was Rector for eighteen years, 
and died in 1910. 

The registers only date from 1723, the date of the 
formation of the parish, and contain little of interest ; the 
most noteworthy being the entry of the marriage of the late 
Duke of Cambridge, on the 8th January, 1847, to Miss 
Elizabeth Fairbrother, who lived in Baker Street, Pentonville. 
Some years ago the late Rector submitted this register to the 
inspection of King Edward VII.. at Buckingham Palace, at 
his request ; and the present Rector had the honour of 
showing it to Queen Mary when she visited the Gate House 
and Church, on August 27th, 1914. 

The glass in the east window was presented in 1914 by 
Mrs. Man Stuart, a Lady of Grace of the Order, in memory 
of her late husband, Col. J. A. Man Stuart^ C.B., C.M.G., a 
Knight of Justice of the Order, and it depicts the purpose for 
which the Order was founded the succour and protection of 
pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre. 

The subject at the bottom of the window is the Entomb- 
ment, with St. Joseph of Arimathaea and a Knight of St. John. 

Above, in the centre light, is St. John Baptist. 

To the left is Raymond du Puy, Grand Master of the 
Order, 1118 to 1160, who succeeded the Blessed Gerard, the 
founder. He was the first to assume the title of Grand 

62 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Master; he formed the Brethren of the Hospital into an Order 
of Military Knights, formulated the first Statutes and ordained 
the distinctive dress, which has come down to the present time. 

To the right is St. Ubaldesca, a Sister of the Order, 
canonised for her charitable deeds and renowned for her 
miracles. She died at Pisa in 1206. 

The two outer lights represent the Tree of Life " for the 
healing of the nations." Contained within the branches of the 
tree, the roots of which rise from the " pure river of the water 
of life,'' are medallions representing the eight beatitudes 
symbolised by the eight points of the Order's Cross. 

In the left hand light the top medallion represents the 
first beatitude, ""Blessed are the poor in spirit" Beati pauperes 
spiritu. Here is seen the Recording Angel with the forgiven 
penitent kneeling. 

Below is " Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be 
comforted" 1 ' Beati qui lugent. The Magdalene sees and 
recognises the Risen Lord. 

The third is " Blessed are the meek ''Beati mites. The 
Annunciation. 

The fourth is " Blessed are they which do hunger and 
thirst after righteousness"*' Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam. 
The last Communion of the Knights of the Order, on the 
morning of St. John's Day, 1565, in the little chapel beneath 
the fort of St. Elmo, then besieged by the Turks. Four hours 
later the Turks captured the fort and massacred its defenders. 

The top medallion in the right hand light represents 
"Blessed are the merciful" Beati miseri cordes St. John the 
Almoner, the early patron saint of the Order. 

63 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Below is " Bkssed are they which are persecuted for 
righteousness sake v Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur. The 
martyrdom of St. John Baptist. 

The next is "Blessed are the peacemakers^ Beati pacifici. 
The Turkish ruler Bajazet presenting to Grand Master 
D'Aubusson the Relic of the right hand of St. John Baptist. 
This incident took place in 1484 on the conclusion of a treaty 
of peace between the Order and the Turks. The hand of 
St. John was later preserved in the Conventual Church of 
Malta, and it is now at Petrograd. 

The eighth medallion represents "Blessed are the pure in 
heart" Beati mundo corde. Our Lord with the Blessed 
Virgin and St. Joseph. 

In the tracery of the upper part of the window the four 
central lights are St. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick and 
St. David. 

In the remaining lights are angels holding shields emblazoned 
with the Arms of the Order, and of some of the more notable 
English Priors and Knights: The present Grand Prior, the 
Duke of Connaught ; the late Sub-Prior, Viscount Knutsford; 
Colonel Man Stuart; Gamier de Naplouse (1185 to 1190), Prior 
when the Church was consecrated in 1185, and afterwards 
Grand Master of the Order; Joseph de Chauncy (Prior 1273 
to 1280), who built the Chapel of the Lord Prior in the Priory 
of Clerkenwell ; William de Henley (Prior 1281 to 1290), who 
built the cloisters of the Priory in 1283; Robert de Hales 
(Prior 1371 to 1381), who was beheaded by Wat Tyler's rebels; 
John Langstrother (Prior 1469 to 1471), who was beheaded by 
Edward IV. after the battle of Tewkesbury and was buried in 
this Church; Sir Thomas Docwra (Prior 1501 to 1527), who 

64 



PLATE 17. 




{Photo: H. }\". l-'incham. 

ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, CLERKEXWELL, SOUTH SIDE. \Sec p K c 




{Plwto: //. ;/'. l-'incham. 

NAVE OF THE CRYPT, ST. JOHN'S CHURCH. [See page 66 



PLATE 18. 




[Photo: H. Jf. Flncham. 

EAST END OF NAVE OF CRYPT, ST. JOHN'S CHURCH. [.SV<- page <>. 




[Photo: H. Jl\ Fincham. 

THE CRYPT CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN, ALMONER. [See page 67 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

rebuilt part of the Priory, including the large windows of the 
choir of the Church and the present Gate House he was 
buried in the Lord Prior Docwra's Chapel on the south side of 
the choir of this Church; Sir William Weston (1527 to 1540), 
who was Prior when Henry VIII. suppressed the Order; 
Sir Thomas Tresham (1557 to 1559), who became Prior on the 
restoration of the Priory in England during the reign of Queen 
Mary, and obtained from her the Charter restoring to the 
Order in England its ancient privileges. 

The design and execution of the window are the work of 
Mr. Archibald K. Nicholson. 

What appear to be the two side wings of the triptych 
altarpiece of the Priory Church are to be found hanging on 
the walls of the serving- room of Milton Abbas, Dorsetshire, 
the seat of Sir Everard Hambro, K.C.V.O. They are painted 
with representations of the Trinity, the Virgin in the Temple, 
the Presentation and St. John Baptist, and they bear a partially 
defaced inscription in which can be read, " Sir John Weston, 
Prior." They are probably English work painted in the Flemish 
style of the later half of the fifteenth century. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



The Crypt of the Priory Church. 

THE ancient Crypt beneath the choir is quite the earliest 
work of the Order at Clerkenwell, and is also the best 
preserved. It is entered by a lobby beneath the west entrance 
to the Church, and here can be seen two fragments of the 
interior wall of the original round nave, discovered when this 
entrance was made in 1900. 



. ' ~ 

. . .-. --.-, ^ ,,.,.... -.^ 




Plan of Crypt and Round Nave of the Priory Church. 

The accompanying plan fully explains its arrangement. 

The nave of the Crypt consisted originally of three bays of 
plain Norman character ; the main arches are quite plain and 
square, standing on projecting pilasters; the transverse arches 
are simply moulded, of a semi-circular form, and all the vaulting 
is of rubble. A stone bench surrounds the whole of this 
earlier work, and on either side in each bay is a small round- 

66 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

headed window, several of which still retain their original iron 
bars. All this work was covered with a thin layer of plaster 
which, on the arches and ribs, was cut away to chevron and 
scallop forms, and the exposed stone surface coloured in red 
and blue, traces of which still remain. 

The work of the extension is Transitional in character, 
and here the arches are pointed, moulded and supported by 
triple-clustered shafts with well-moulded caps and bases ; the 
groups of columns have a bowtel, or pointed in the middle with 
a round shaft on either side, and there are no traces of cut 
plaster or colour decoration in this later work. This work 
extends the nave of the Crypt two bays further to the east, 
making five bays in all, with a total length of 62 ft. 2 in. 

The south chapel, three bays in length, is of the same 
Transitional character, and is lighted by a small lancet window 
in each bay of the south wall and a three-light window in the 
east end. The bases of the piers are worthy of study, as some 
are placed square with the wall, and others at an angle, and 
one of them has a trefoil foot-ornament carved on it. 

On the western wall the broken basin and drain of a piscina 
remain, and by the side of the east window is a stone corbel 
for a statue or a light. 

This chapel is now used as a Communion Chapel for the 
Order of St. John, and memorial tablets to deceased members 
are upon the walls. A valuable needlework altar frontal of 
Italian work, about 1530, was presented by Vere, Viscountess 
Galway. 

The two chambers on the north side are simpler in 
construction, as there are no piers, and the roof is a plain barrel 
vault without ribs. They are entered by a doorway from the 

67 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

north transept, and a modern opening, which replaces a small 
lancet window, connects the two chambers. The western 
chamber has in its walls two aumbrys, rebated for doors, but 
there are no indications, such as iron rings or staples, that 
any have been fitted. The remains of the short lancet 
window on the east wall of this chamber, with an aumbry 
on either side, point to the presence of an altar here originally. 
In the middle of the north wall are the remains of a stone door- 
frame which must have led up into the Prior's House, all which 
suggests that this chamber was the Chapel of the Lord Prior 
until Docwra built his larger one on the north side of the 
choir. 

At the west end is a small door leading into the nave of 
the Crypt, evidently replacing the original window in that 
position ; this door was probably the entrance to the Crypt after 
the rectangular nave of the Church was built. 

In the two north chambers is a small museum of collected 
fragments of masonry and other objects of interest. In the glass 
cases may be seen small portions of carved stone, rich in detail, 
and still retaining colour and gilding slight indications of the 
grandeur of the original Church together with the fragments 
of Lord Prior Docwra's tomb. Here are also a number of 
mediaeval tiles, a number of pewter alms-dishes, dated 1816, and 
an interesting baptismal bowl, made of lignum vitae wood, lined 
with sheet iron, and with a silver-gilt rim, upon which is inscribed 
"St. John, Clerkenwell. Deo et Sacris. 'He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved.' " 

A large number of the fragments of stonework consists of 
triple-clustered shafts, and rib mouldings of the same section 
as the Transitional portion of the Crypt, several fine Norman 

68 




The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

caps and corbels, and Early English 

grotesques. An interesting object is a fine 

twelfth-century capital of white marble, 

which, from its material and character, is 

clearly of eastern European workmanship; 

so that it is possibly a portion of a ready- 12th Century 

worked donation from the chief home of 

the Order to the Church which was then building in Clerkenwell. 

This collection of worked stones of the old Priory is 
frequently being added to, for, as the present houses within 
the precincts are rapidly being replaced by modern factories 
and warehouses, almost every old wall that is pulled down 
yields additional fragments which had been built into its 
foundations after the destruction of the Priory buildings. 

A careful examination of every stone has revealed a large 
number of " mason's marks" the sign manual of each workman 
engaged in cutting the stones lightly scratched with a pointed 
tool. The decay of the surface has naturally effaced many of 
these marks, but enough remain to show us that at least 
twenty masons worked on the Norman fabric and seventeen 
on the Transitional extension. 

The Norman marks vary in size from three to seven 
inches in their longest dimension, and frequently cover the 
whole of the available surface of the stone. In the later portion 
of the building the marks are smaller and neater, frequently 
not exceeding an inch in length, and the largest I have found 
is less than four inches over all. 

In the two groups of marks reproduced, the numerals within 
brackets record the quantity of each mark that has been found. 

69 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Nos. I. to XX. were found in the three Norman bays of the nave, 
on the shallow buttress of the original external wall showing in 
the north-west chamber, and on the remains of the internal 
surface of the wall of the round nave. Nos. XXI. to XXXIII. 
are on the Transitional work in the Crypt; Nos. XXXIV. and 
XXXV. were found on the south-east buttress, which had been 
inside the vestry that stood there ; and Nos. XXXVI. and 
XXXVII. are on the Transitional buttress in the middle of 
the south wall of the choir. No. XXXVIII. is on a portion 
of a fourteenth century window mullion preserved in the Crypt ; 
and a similar mark to No. XXIV. is on another fragment of 
a mullion of the fifteenth century. 

There is little doubt that the east end of the nave of the 
Crypt originally had a window, but all trace of this has 
disappeared, and for many years a large irregular hole was 
the only entrance. This is now walled up and covered 
with an oak screen. The painted shields upon it and on 
the walls are the arms of the Grand Priors of England, 
which gave me much pleasure to paint some years ago ; 
the blazons are the result of the researches of the Rev. 
W. K. R. Bedford, the author of " The Blazon of Episcopacy," 
and myself. 

The Chapel of St. John Almoner, it will be remarked, is 
shorter than the nave of the Crypt, leaving behind its western 
wall a space of solid earth. This is the only portion of the 
floor of the choir of the Church where it would be possible for 
burials in the choir to have taken place. A few years ago an 
excavation was made here for the purpose of examining the 
walls, and three mediaeval interments were found in this earth ; 
one of the skeletons was minus its skull. It is on record that 
Grand Prior John Langstrother was taken prisoner and beheaded, 

70 



(SO) 





Ugl 



vo. 

H <*) 






,15; 




t . 





D 



MASON MARKS IN NORMAN PORTION OF CRYPT. 








H Wfdct 

MASON MARKS IN TRANSITIONAL PORTION OF CRYPT. 



[See pages 69 and 70 



7 1 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

after the battle of Tewkesbury, by Edward IV., A.D. 1471, and 
that he was buried in the Church of St. John, Clerkenwell. It 
is therefore quite possible these were the remains of Grand 
Prior Langstrother, and that King Edward had placed his head 
amongst those of the traitors on London Bridge, or some 
similar building, which was usually adorned in this manner 
during the middle ages. 

After 1723, it became the custom, as in most London 
churches, to bury the parishioners in the vaults of the Church, 
and in this way a large number were placed in the ancient 
Crypt. At the burial service they were lowered through a trap 
door in the floor of the little vestry behind the Church, and 
thence carried through the hole in the east wall of the Crypt, 
and piled up in stacks on the floor. This continued until the 
closing of the London burial grounds in 1853. About 1860 
they were removed into the two chambers on the north side 
and walled up, where they remained until 1894, when an 
Order in Council was made for their removal, and, to the 
number of about 325 bodies, they were re-interred at the 
cemetery of the London Necropolis Company, Brookwood, 
Surrey. 

One of the bodies removed was that of Fanny Kemp, 
popularly known as " Scratching Fanny," and from whose 
alleged extraordinary doings, whilst the body was in the Crypt, 
arose the fame of the Cock Lane ghost. The funeral took 
place in 1762 from Cock Lane, Smithfield, and soon after, it 
was said, unearthly manifestations began to exhibit themselves 
by way of knockings and scratchings a girl of twelve being 
a kind of medium. A rapping communication was pretended 
to be carried on with the unseen world, which the child's 
father professed to interpret. So great was the fame of this 

72 



PLATE 19. 





' 




PLATE 20. 



SIR WILLIAM WESTON KN T 

DIED 7" OF MAY IS4OANO WAS VMTO ON TMC NODTH SVC Of THE CMANCCL OF THE CHURCH OF S= JAMES CLEKKENWLU. 




TOMB OF GRAND PRIOR SIR WILLIAM WESTON IN ST. JAMES' CHURCH, 

CLERKENWELL. [See page 81 




TOMB OF GRAND PRIOR SIR THOMAS TRESHAM IN RUSHTON 

CHURCH, NORTHANTS. [See page 81 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

imposture that Royalty, the nobility, members of the- House of 
Commons, and a vast number of City merchants assembled 
night after night to hear the extraordinary sounds and listen 
to their supposed interpretation. 

At length the Lord Mayor took the matter in hand, and 
determined to sift the claims of those who affirmed that the 
noises were supernatural. After some negotiation it was 
decided that the child who acted as the medium should be 
taken to St. John's Rectory, in Red Lion Street, then, and 
now, the official residence of the Rector. The child was 
undressed, examined, and put to bed by a lady upon whom 
dependence could be placed, and during the night she was 
closely watched by a party of clergymen, doctors, magistrates, 
and ladies. 

At midnight a visit was paid to the coffin in the Crypt 
by three gentlemen, who went from the house to which the 
girl had been taken. The Rector (Mr. Aldrich) and the 
celebrated Dr. Johnson, said to have been a firm believer in 
ghosts, were two of the party. The spirit had promised 
beforehand to manifest itself that night in the Crypt by 
knocking upon the coffin ; but, though solemnly required to 
perform its promise, not a sound was heard, neither was there 
any manifestation in the room where the girl had been placed 
in bed. The investigation lasted till between two and three 
o'clock in the morning, when the whole of those assembled 
gave their opinion " that the child has some art of making or 
counterfeiting particular noises, and that there is no agency of 
any higher cause." 

The child afterwards confessed that she had been taught 
to produce these noises by scratching and rapping on some 

M 73 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

article or instrument concealed beneath her clothes. Her 
father, with two or three of his confederates, was tried and 
convicted of conspiracy. The punishment inflicted was a heavy 
fine, and the principal mover in the fraud was also sentenced 
to be placed three times in the pillory at the end of Cock 
Lane, and then to be imprisoned for two years. 

Some writers have stated that when the Crypt was 
cleared the remains of Fanny Kemp were found, and showed, 
by their preservation, the symptoms of arsenical poisoning, but 
the truth is that no coffin bearing the name of Kemp was 
found, and if her remains were amongst those removed, the 
coffin plate had previously disappeared. 

Many visitors from the United States are interested in 
a tombstone standing in the little churchyard, which was 
once part of the Priory garden. It marks the grave of the 
family of John Wilkes Booth, 1836, and is connected with the 
ancestors of the murderer of President Lincoln. 

The removal of the human remains from the Crypt made 
it possible to undertake the restoration of the ancient building. 
An enormous amount of accumulated earth and debris was 
removed, and the walls and vaulting cleaned; new tile flooring 
was laid, the correct level being fixed by two of the original 
tiles which still remain undisturbed against the north-east pier 
of the nave. During this clearance traces of the altar dais 
were found, about six inches in height, the length and width 
being marked by a black band in the new paving. 

The present Rector has erected a new altar at the east 
end, and to-day the ancient Crypt, the earliest building of the 
Order in England, is again restored to its original appearance 
and purpose. 

74 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

An interesting object recently placed 
in the Crypt is the monumental recumbent 
effigy of a Spanish Knight of the Order, 
of the Langue of Castile, named Vergara, 
of about the middle of the sixteenth century, 
carved in hard white alabaster ; it is a work 
of great artistic merit. The Knight, dressed 
in full plate armour, bears the eight-pointed 
cross upon his breastplate, and also on the 
left shoulder of his large robe ; his head 
rests upon a cushion, and a little page 
kneels at his feet, which rest upon a lion. 

This effigy came from a chapel in the 
old Cathedral of Valladolid, which was 
demolished at the end of the sixteenth 
century. It was presented in 1914 by 
Sir Guy F. Laking, M.V.O., a member 
of the Order, and the well-known Keeper 
of the London Museum. 

The accompanying plan of the precincts and buildings of 
the Priory is based upon the Ordnance Survey Map of a 
scale of five feet to one mile. 

Those walls shown in solid black either exist, or I have 
seen and measured them during the last twenty-five years. 
Those shown cross-hatched are from the notes of the late 
W. P. Griffiths, made between 1860 1870, which I possess; the 
open lines are obvious deductions from the above. From this 
it will be seen that the west end of the rectangular nave of 
the Church was in a direct line between the Gate House and 
the north postern, this north postern was a covered arched 




Monumental Effigy of 

the Spanish Knight 

Vergara. 



75 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

building, which was removed in 1780. A plan exists in the 
minutes of the St. John's Commissioners of Paving, where it 
was " agreed to the Commissioners that the passage above- 
mentioned at the North End of St. John's Square sh d be 
left open from the ground to the sky." Towards the west 
end of the Square, opposite the Church, it will be seen that the 
first of the projecting houses is blocked in with black ; this 
represents a cellar vaulted with a four-centred arch in squared 
chalk carried on thick rubble walls. Many of the flooring 
joists in this and the adjoining house are of oak, with 
mouldings upon them, probably portions of screen work from 
the Church. 

There are no traces of the cloisters remaining, but they 
must have lain to the south of the Church, and old 
inhabitants have told me that when the Clerkenwell Road 
was making they saw many stone walls removed, and that 
large quantities of arch stones and columns were thrown into 
the foundations of Penny Bank Buildings, which stand at 
the south-east corner of Clerkenwell Road and St. John's 
Square. 

Almost every excavation within the precincts reveals 
worked stones, and in some cases walls in situ; and it is to 
be hoped further excavations, if carefully watched, will yet 
reveal sufficient evidence to fix the position of many of the 
buildings which we know, from Mr. Clapham's discovery, 
existed within the precincts of the Grand Priory of the 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem at Clerkenwell. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 




PLAN OF THE PRECINCTS OF THE PRIORY OF ST. JOHN 
AT CLERKENWELL. 

Based upon the Ordnance Survey Map with the sanction of the Controller 
of H.M. Stationery Office. 

[See page 75. 



77 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



A List of the Grand Priors of England. 

THE recent researches of M. J. Delaville le Roulx, 
Mr. Robert Gladstone, and others, have resulted in 
considerable alterations in the previously published lists of the 
Lord Priors of England, and this list is as accurate as present 
knowledge can make it. The armorial bearings of each Prior 
are given where possible, and to each blazon must be added 
"a Chief of the Order" gules, a cross argent, which was 
borne on the heraldic shields of all the Knights. The Order in 
England to-day only authorises its members of the highest 
grade, i.e., Knights of Justice, to add the Chief of the Order 
to their Coats of Arms. 

Walter. 1143, 1152, 1162. 

Richard de Turk. 1165, 1170. 

Arms : Sable, a tower or within a bordure vair. 

Ralph de Dive, or Dynham. 1178, 1181. 

Arms: Gules, three fusils in fesse, and a bordure ermine. 

Gamier de Naplouse. 1185-1190. In 1185 he signed the deed (Harley, 
Ch. 43, I. 38) transferring the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester, from the 
Hospitallers to the Bishop of Winchester. In 1190 he went on Crusade 
with King Richard I., and in the same year became Grand Master of 
the Order. He died in 1192. 
Arms : Sable, a cross potent argent. 

Alan. 1190, 1195. Was consecrated Bishop of Bangor, 1195. 

Gilbert de Vere. 1195. 

Arms : Quarterly gules and or, in the first quarter a mullet argent. 

Robert Fitz-Richard. 1197. 
William de Villiers. 1199, 1202. 
Robert the Treasurer. 1204-1214. 

78 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Henry d'Arundel. 1215-1216. 

Arms : Sable, six swallows argent. 

Hugh Danet. 1216-1221. 

Arms : Sable, guttee d'eau. 

Robert de Dive, or Dynham. 1223-1234. 

Arms : Gules, three fusils in fesse, and a bordure ermine. 

Theodoric de Nussa. 1235-1247. 

Arms '. A boar's head erased, collared and crowned with a ducal coronet. 

Robert de Mauneby. 1249-1250. 

Arms : A dexter hand and vested arm, issuing from the sinister and 
wearing a maunch. 

Elias de Smetheton. 1253-1256. 
Robert de Mauneby (again). 1257-1262. 
Roger de Vere. 1265-1272. 

Arms : Quarterly gules and or, in the first quarter a mullet argent. 

Joseph de Chauncy. 1273-1280. He built the Chapel of the Lord Prior, 
vide Porter. 
Arms : Gules, three eagles displayed argent. 

William de Henley. 1281-1290. He built the cloisters of the house at 
Clerkenwell, vide Porter. 
Arms : Azure, five lions rampant argent, two, two and one, and a canton. 

Peter de Hakeham. 1290-1297. 

William de Tothale. 1297-1315. 

Arms : A fesse. 

Richard de Paveley. 1315-1321. 

Arms -. Azure, a cross patonce or. 

Thomas 1' Archer. 1321-1329. 

Arms : Azure, three arrows with points in base or. 

Leonard de Tybertis. 1329-1330. 

Philip de Thame. 1330-1358. He made the Report to the Grand Master, 
Elyan de Villanova, of the English properties, printed by the Camden 
Society, 1855. 
Arms : Azure, three bars argent. 

John de Paveley. 1358-1371. 

Arms -.Azure, a cross patonce or. 

79 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Robert de Hales. 1371-1381. Admiral of the King's Western Fleet, 1376 ; 
Lord High Treasurer of England, 1381. He was beheaded, together with 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, by Wat Tyler's rebels, on Tower Hill. 
Arms : Gules, three arrows or, feathered and headed argent, paleways 
points in base. 

John de Redington. 1381-1399. Admiral of the King's Western Fleet, 1385. 
Arms : Per chevron gules and azure, in chief two demi-lions rampant 
argent, in base a mullet or. 

Walter Grendon. 1400-1416. 

Arms : Argent, two chevrons gules. 

William Hulles. 1417-1433. 

Arms : Argent, three piles sable. 

Robert Mallory. 1433-1440. He dedicated a chapel to SS. Katherine, 
Margaret and Ursula at St. John's, Clerkenwell, i2th July, 1433. 
Arms : Or, a lion rampant gules. 

Robert Botyll. 1440-1468. His shield of arms in stained glass is in an east 
window of the Priory Church (see p. 58) and in the Chapter House of 
Exeter Cathedral. 
Arms : Gules, a chevron or, between three combs argent. 

John Langstrother. 1469-1471. He was Lord High Treasurer, 1470. At 
the battle of Tewkesbury he was taken prisoner and beheaded by order of 
Edward IV., and was buried in the Priory Church, Clerkenwell. 
Arms : - Argent, a chevron gules between three escallops sable. 

William Tornay. 1471-1476. 

Arms : Or, a lion rampant sable within a bordure gules. 

Robert Multon. (Doubtful) 

Arms : Argent, three bars gules. 

John Weston. 1476-1489. 

Arms : Ermine, on a chief azure five bezants. 

John Kendal. 1489-1501. The first medal struck in memory of an 
Englishman (see plate 19), bears his portrait and the inscription, "Jo Kendal 
Rhodi Turcopellerius, Tempore obsidionis Turcorum MCCCCLXXX." 
See Diet. Nat. Bio. 
Arms : Argent, fretty gules, on a chief azure, three escallops of the first. 

Thomas Dpcwra. 1501-1527. (See plate 19.) He largely rebuilt the Priory, 
including the present Gate House, 1504, and the Perpendicular windows 
in the choir of the Priory Church. At the Field of the Cloth of Gold he 
was appointed " to ride with the King of England at the embracing of the 
two kings." See Diet. Nat. Bio. 

Arms : Sable, a chevron engrailed argent, between three plates, each 
charged with a pallet gules. 

80 



PLATE 21. 





ROGER DE MOLI: 

.SVv AV /. 




Seals of Indulg 




Seal of Prior WALTER. 

Circa A.D. 1140. 
.Swr AV. 6. 




Seal of Priors RALPH HE DYNHAM, 

Circa A.O. 1180, 

and GARNIEK DE NAPLOL'SE. 

A.I). 1185. SeeNos.&&>9. 



BULLA AND SEALS. 



PLATE 22. 





Seal of Prior HUGH DANET. 

A. IX 1216. See No. 11. 




Seal of 

Prior THEODORIC DE NUSSA. 

A.D. 1235-1247. 

See No. 12. 




Seal of The Priory. 
15th Cent. See No. 2. 





Seal of 

Prior ROBERT DE MAUXEBV. 

A.D. 1257-1262. 

See No. 14. 




Seal of Prior WILLIAM DE TOTHALE. 

A.D. 1297-1315. See No. 17. 

SEALS OF THE PRIORY AND PRIORS. 



Seal of Prior JOHN KENDAL. 

A.D. 1489-1501. See No. 20. 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

William Weston. 1527-1540. (See plate 20.) He was Prior when Henry VIII. 
dissolved the Order in England, May yth, 1540. He was granted a pension 
of ;i,ooo a year, but Fuller says he died the same day of a broken heart. 
He was buried in the choir of the Church of the previously dissolved 
Nunnery of St. Mary, on Clerkenwell Green, and a magnificent tomb was 
erected over his grave. This tomb was destroyed when the choir was 
rebuilt as the Parish Church of St. James, but an emaciated figure 
belonging to it was preserved and placed on an altar tomb by Lieut.-Col. 
Gould Hunter Weston, in 1882. He fought at the second siege of 
Rhodes, 1522, where he had a finger shot away, and he commanded the 
Great Carrack in which the Knights arrived at Malta. See Diet. Nat. Bio. 
Arms : Ermine on a chief azure five bezants. 

Thomas Tresham. 1557-1559. (See plate 20.) He received the Royal 
Charter of Philip and Mary reviving the Order in England. He was 
buried in the Church of St. Peter, Rushton ; and when that church was 
demolished, the tomb with the alabaster effigy was removed to the Church 
of All Saints, Rushton, where it still remains. See Diet. Nat. Bio. 
Arms : Sable, six trefoils slipped or, between two Haunches argent. 

The following held office in Malta as Grand Priors of 
England, owing to the suppression of the Order in England by 
Queen Elizabeth 

Richard Shelley. 1566-1590. There is a fine portrait medal of him in the 
British Museum and the St. John's Gate collection (see plate 19). See 
Diet. Nat. Bio. 
Arms : Sable, a fesse engrailed between three whelk shells or. 

Francois Astorg de Segreville. 1591-1593. 

Andrew Wyse. 1593-1631. There is a portrait in oils of him in the 
St. John's Gate collection. 
Arms : Sable, three chevronels ermine. 

Giovanni Battista Nari. 1631. 

Alessandro Zambeccari. 1639. 

Geronimo Alliata. 1648. 

Stefano Maria Lomellino. 1654. 

Henry Fitz-James (natural son of King James II. of England). 1687-1701. 

Giulio Bovio. 1701-1706. 

Francesco Maria Ferretti. 1706. 

Nicolo Giraldin. 1726. 

81 N 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Peter Fitz-James. 

Buenaventura Fitz-James. 1734-1755. 
Giovanni Battista Altieri. 1755. 
Girolamo Laparelli. 1806. 

The Order revived in England. 

The Rev. Sir Robert Peat, Bart., D.D. 1831-1837. He took the 
oath, " De fideli administratione," before the Lord Chief Justice of 
England on the 24th February, 1834. 

The Honourable Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart. 1838-1847. 
Lieut.-Col. Sir Charles Montolieu Lamb, Bart. 1847-1860. 
Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Dundas Young Arbuthnot. 1860-1861. 
Sir William Drogo, Duke of Manchester, K.P. 1861-1888. 
H.R.H. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. 1888-1901. 
H.R.H. George, Prince of Wales. 1901-1910. 

Field-Marshal H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, 

K.G., K.T., K.P., P.C., &c. 1910. 

Rectors of the Priory Church. 



Adam Batty ... 
Stephen Aldrich 


1723-1738 
1738-1769 


Roger Parry 
E. H. Whittaker 
Richard Harrison 
Richard Lendon 


1770-1778 
1778-1788 
1788-1793 
1793-1812 


John Evans 


1812-1813 


W. E. L. Faulkener 
Hugh Hughes 
William Dawson ... 


1814-1840 
1841-1870 
1870-1892 


Thomas W. Wood (also Chaplain of the 
Order) 

Thomas Charles Elsdon (also Chaplain 
of the Order) 


1893-1910 
1910 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 
Seals of the Grand Priory of England.* 

HPHE Seals of the Order generally, and of the Grand 
Masters, do not come within the scope of the present 
article, but we have reproduced the leaden bulla of Grand Master 
Roger de Molin as it appears on the interesting deed of the 
Order conveying the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester, to the 
Bishop in 1185. ij in. diameter. Harley, Ch. 43, I. 38. 
(See plate 21.) 

No. i. Obverse. The Master kneeling in adoration to the right before a 
patriarchal cross rising from a globe or spherical knob at the 
foot. In the centre of the field the sacred letters A w. 

-|- ROGERIVS CVSTOS. 

Reverse. The Holy Sepulchre, our Lord lying with head to the right 
on a bed, under canopy with central dome, and a smaller 
dome at each side. In the middle a hanging lamp ; on the 
left a swinging censor ; at the head and foot of the bed a 
cross on a long foot. 

* HOSPITALIS RVSALEM. 

No. 2. Seal of the Priory. Pointed oval 3X1! in., i 4 th century. St. 
John Baptist standing under a Gothic canopy pointing with his 
right hand to a lamb supported on his left arm (see plate 22). 

S' AD CAUSAS HOSPITALIS S. JO. JERL'N IN ANGLIA. 
A cast which belonged to the late Sir E. A. H. Lechmere, with no indication of 

its origin. 

Seals of Indulgence. 

No. 3. Seal of John Seyville and William Hullis of the Order as 
Procurators of the Indulgence for the rebuilding of the Castle of 
St. Peter at Budrum (Halicarnassus), A.D. 1414 (Cotton, Ch. iv. 31). 
Red on a mass of brown wax, appended by a cord of black, white and 
red thread, zfx i| in. 

Pointed oval, a castle elaborately designed, with outer wall of masonry, 
circular keep embattled, and on it an Agnus Dei reguardant ; in the 
topmost tower a niche in which is a bell. 

^4 SIGILLU INDULGENCIE HOSPITALIS CASTRI- PETRI. 

*For Seals of the Order generally see several articles in " Melanges sur 1'Ordre de S. Jean de 
Jerusalem." J. Delaville le Roulx, Paris, 1910 ; and " Catalogue of Seals in British Museum," 
Vol. I., 1887. 

83 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



No. 4. 15th Cent. Pointed oval, a shield of arms of the Order, over the 
shield an Agnus Dei, with nimbus, and a long cross and banner, edge 
of the field ornamented with foliage (see plate 21). 

S' INDULGENCIE : H[OSPIT]ALIS : IHERU + SALEM. 

About if X i in. (British Museum, Ixvii. 92.) 

No. 5. 15th Cent. Pointed oval, an Agnus Dei, with nimbus, on an eslrade, 
at the foot of a large patriarchal cross. In the field on each side a 
flowering branch (see plate 21). 

Legend defaced . . . ULCE 

About 2 X if in. (British Museum, Ixvii. 91, and Library of Dean and 
Chapter, Christ Church, Canterbury. BB L2i8, 1254.) 



Seals of the Grand Priors of England. 

No. 6. Walter. Red, about 2 in. diameter. (Harley, Ch. 83. C. 40.) The 
Prior kneeling in adoration to the right, before a patriarchal cross. 
In the field on the right the sacred letters: wi. (See plate 21.) 

>| S'WALTERI PRIORIS SPITA lERL'M IN ANGLIA 

No. 7. Richard de Turk. Red, 2 by if in. (Additional Ch. 21,643.) 

Obverse. Pointed oval, the Prior kneeling in adoration to the right, 
before an altar, on which is a patriarchal cross. 

SIGILLVM RICARDI PITALIS 

Reverse. A small oval counterseal, i by in. Impression of an antique 
oval intaglio gem. A bust, to the right. 

fc CAPVT TVVM [CHRJISTE. 

No. 8. Ralph de Dive or Dynham. Red, about 2 in. in diameter. (Harley, 
Ch. 44. H. 53.) The Prior kneeling to the left, before a patriarchal 
cross upon a dome-shaped pedestal (see plate 21). In the field at 
the sides of the cross the inscription in three lines : 

[S]AL VE 

[CR]VX SCA 

[A]RBOR DIGNA 

The letters OR in " ARBOR " and NA in " DIGNA " are conjoined. 
^ SIG LIA 

84 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 



No. 9- Gamier de Naplouse. A.D. 1185. Red, about 2 in. in diameter. 
(Harley, Ch. 43. I. 38.) From the same matrix as that of Ralph 
de Dive. (See plate 21.) 

SAL VE 
CRUX SCA 
[ARJBOR DIGNA 
SIGILL' : PRIORIS : FRATRVM : HOSPITAL' ANGLIA 

The letters ATR in "FRATRVM" are a monogram. 

No. io. Alan. 1190. Pale mottled green. (Additional Ch. 7208.) 
Obverse. As that of Ralph de Dive. 

Reverse. A small round counterseal, with mark of the handle, \\ in. 
in diameter. The head of St. John the Baptist. 

^ S'GARN' PRIORIS HOSP IER ANGL'. 

No. ii. Hugh Danet Of de AlnetO. A.D. 1216. Dark mottled green, 
i J in. diameter. Harley, Ch. 83. A. 33. (See plate 22.) 

Obverse. The head of St. John Baptist, finely modelled, within a 
cordon of pellets, forming with the inner border of the 
seal a jewelled nimbus. In the field on the left an 
estoile, on the right a crescent. 

.... PRIORIS .... PIAL' (sic) : IERL' : IN ANGL' : 

An impression of this seal is attached to a lease of property at Bristol, 
in the Library of the Order at St. John's Gate. 

Reverse. An oval counterseal, if by i| in. St. John Baptist, half- 
length, on water, with a nimbus ; in the right hand an 
Angus Dei on a plaque, in the left hand a palm branch. 
Fine execution, probably from a gold or silver matrix. 

^ S'FRATRIS HVGONIS DE ALNETO. 

No. 12. Theodoric de Nussa. Mottled green, i in. diameter. Sloane, 
Ch. xxxii. 25. (See plate 22.) 

Obverse. As Hugh Danet. No. n. 

fr S'PRIORIS ANGL'. 

Reverse. A small round counterseal, i in. diameter. A boar's head, 
couped at the neck, gorged with a collar, and ducally 
crowned. 

^ S' : F : T : DE : NVSSA : PRIORIS : ANGL'E. 
Beaded borders. 

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The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Another Seal. 

No. 13. A.D. 1237. Mottled-green, if in. diameter. (Additional Ch. 15,521.) 
Obverse. The head of St. John Baptist, less finely designed than in 
the previous seal and somewhat larger. The legend 
reversed. 

*fr S'PRIORIS HOS IERL' IN ANGL'. 

Reverse. A small round counterseal, | in. diameter. The charges 
broken off, on a ground replenished with pellets 

No. 14. Robert de Mauneby. Sulphur cast, i in. diameter. British 
Museum, Ixvii. 93. Cf. Nichols, Collect. Topogr., vol. ii., pg. 328 
(see plate 22). 

A shield of arms : a dexter hand and vested arm, issuing from the 
sinister and wearing a maunch, Manby. Between three flowering sprigs. 

-|- S' ' FRIS ROBERTI DE MANNEBY. 

No. 15. Roger de Vere. A.D. 1272. Bronze green. (Harley, 01.44. E.22.) 
A shield of arms : diapre, three sixfoils, Ver, or Vere. Legend wanting. 

No. 16. William de Henley. 

Obverse. Head of St. John Baptist. As No. 13. 

Reverse. A shield of arms : five lions rampart, two, two, one, and a 

canton. 

S'FRATRIS ELMI. DE HAVNLE. 

Illustrated in "Journal of Architectural Soc. of Chester," I. 172. 

No. 17. William de Tothale. A.D. 1300. About i in. diameter. 
Bodleian Ch. Yorkshire 303*. (See plate 22.) A shield of arms, a fesse. 

-|- S' FRIS WILL"! DE TOTHALE. 

No. 1 8. Thomas T Archer. Head of St. John Baptist. As No. 13. 

Illustrated in "Journal of Archaeological Association," XV. 154, and in Eyton's 
"Shropshire," VI. 62. 

No. 19. Philip de Thame. A.D. 1340. (Additional Ch. 26,605.) Dark 
green, i| in. diameter. 

Obverse. As No. 13. 

^ S' PRIORIS HOSPIAL' N AN 

Reverse. A small oval secretum or privy seal, i by fin. Impression 
of an oval intaglio gem ; a bust to the left, draped and 
bearded, wearing a flat cap, set in a border or cordon 
of cinquefoils. 

I SECRETVM PHILIPPI DE THAME. 
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The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

No. 20. John Keildal. Sulphur cast, if in. diameter. British Museum, 
Ixvii. 94 (see plate 22). A shield of arms : per pale, dexter, a bend 
chequy, Kendal ; on a chief the Cross of the Order ; sinister, fretty, 
on a chief three escallops, on an upper chief, as in the dexter, the 
Cross of the Order. Crest, on a helmet and mantling, a plume of 
feathers. 

S' ARMORU IOHIS KENDALE PRIORIS SANCTI IOHIS 
IHERUSAL' 

Bibliography. 

The Bibliography of the Order is a very large one, and 
in 1884 a " Bibliographie Methodique de 1'Ordre souv. de 
St. Jean de Jerusalem," by Ferdinand de Hellwald, was privately 
issued by the Italian branch of the Order. This is a large 
royal octavo volume ot 324 pages, with an index to the names 
of more than 800 authors. 

The following brief list of English works on the Order 
will be found useful to those who wish to go more deeply into 
the subject 

Beatrice, H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battcnberg. 

" Adventures of Count George Albert of Erbach, Knight of the Order 
of St. John." London, 1890. 

Beatson, G. F., M.D. 

"The Knights Hospitallers in Scotland, and their Priory at 
Torphichen." Glasgow, 1903. 

Bedford, Rev. W. K. R. 

"Malta and the Knights Hospitallers." London, 1894. 
"Regulations of the Old Hospital of the Knights of St. John at 
Valetta." London, 1882. 

Bedford, W. K. R., and Holbeche, Richard. 

" The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem." London, 1902. 

Boisgelin, Louis de. "Ancient and Modern Malta." London, 1804. 

Caoursin, G. 

"The Dylectable Newesse and Tithynges of the Gloryous Victorye 
of the Rhodyans agaynst the Turkes," translated from the Latin of 
G. Caoursin by Johan Kaye. Reprint of 1490 edition of Wynkyn 
de Worde. London, 1870. 

87 



The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem 

Clapham, Alfred W. 

" St. John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell." Transactions of the St. Paul's 
Ecclesiological Society. London, 1912. 

Currey, Commander E. H. 

"Sea Wolves of the Mediterranean." London, 1910. 

De Belabre, Baron. "Rhodes of the Knights." Oxford, 1908. 
Drane (Miss). "The Knights of St. John." London, 1878. 
Griffith, W. Petit. 

" An Architectural Notice of St. John's Priory, Clerkenwell." London, 
1868. Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological 
Society. Vol. iii., pt. 9. 

Laking, Guy Francis, M.V.O., F.S.A. 

"A Catalogue of the Armour and Arms in the Armoury of the 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, now in the Palace, Valetta, Malta." 
London, 1903. 

Larking, Rev. Lambert B., and Kemble, John. 

" Knights Hospitallers in England, being the Report of Prior Philip de 
Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova, for A.D. 1338." 
London, 1857. Camden Society. 

Pinks, William J. " History of Clerkenwell." London, 1865. 

Porter, Major Whitworth. 

"A History of the Knights of Malta, or the Order of the Hospital of 
St. John of Jerusalem." London, 1858, and three subsequent editions. 
This is quite the best modern history of the Order. 

Prescott, William H. 

" History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain." Various 
editions. 

Simmons, Blanche Lintorn. 

" Description of the Governor's Palaces in Malta of Valetta, St. Antonio 
and Verdala, and Catalogue of the Pictures." Malta, 1895. 

Tomlins, Thomas Edlyne. "Perambulation of Islington." London, 1858. 
Torr, Cecil. "Rhodes in Modern Times." Cambridge, 1887. 

Vertot, Mons. L'Abbe de. 

"History of the Knights of Malta." London, 1728, and several 
subsequent editions. 

Woodhouse, F. C. 

" The Military Religious Orders of the Middle Ages." London, 1879. 

88