Skip to main content

Full text of "St. Alban's cathedral and abbey church, a guide"

See other formats

t. &lban'0 Catjjebral 



ocf/aT; - 


r ^ 





&lban'0 Catjjetiral 























Aisle, North, 4. 

South, 9. 

Altar Stone, 32. 
Ante Chapel, 37. 

Brasses, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 37. 
Bridal Garland, the, 35. 

Chantries, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, 31, 32. 

Abbat Ramryge, 15, 36. 

Abbat Wheathampstede, az. 
Chapter House, 2. 

Choir, n. 

Aisles of, 10, 13. 
Clock Tower, 3. 
Cloister, 2. 

Doors, 7, n, 36. 
Dormitories, 2. 

Font, 6. 

Frater or Refectory, a. 

Gateway, the, 3. 

Glass, ancient window, 6. 

Grammar School, 38. 

High Altar Screen, 1 8. 

Iron Grate, 32. 
Ironwork, ancient, 2. 

Lady Chapel, 30, 38. 
Livery Cupboards, 29. 

vi Contents, 

Nave, 4, 7. 

Paintings on ceiling, 12, 14, 15, 30, 31. 

mural, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 28, 30, 32, 35, 36. 

oil, of Last Supper, 36. 

Poor box, ancient, 31. 
Presbytery, 15. 

North aisle of, 36. 

South aisle of, 30. 

Retro-choir, 37. 
Rood beam, 14. 
screen, 6. 

St. Andrew's Chapel, z. 
Saints' Chapel, 32. 

North aisle of, 36. 

South aisle of, 31. 
Saxon Balluster shafts, 30. 

Seal, ancient bone, found, 34, 35. 
Shrine of St. Alban, 33. 

of St. Amphibalus, 37. 

Slype, 29. 

Stone Coffins, 11, 30. 

Tombs, 10, 28. 
Tower, 2, 14. 
Transept, North, 28. 
South, 29. 

Wallingford screen, 18. 
Watching Loft, 35. 
Waxhouse Gate, 2. 



REV. DR. NICHOLSON . ,. . 45 




|T is several years since a New Edition of the Guide 
to the Abbey Church compiled by the late Dr. 
Nicholson has been issued. In the meantime very 
extensive alterations have taken place in the build- 
ing, and much of the Guide has consequently be- 
come obsolete. Under these circumstances it has been thought 
desirable to re-write those portions of the work which comprised 
the guide to the architectural features of the Abbey, and this task 
I have entrusted to Mr. William Page, F.S.A. Mr. Page has now 
with great care accomplished this ; the historical extracts compiled 
by Dr. Nicholson being, with few unimportant corrections, just 
as Dr. Nicholson left them. 

It must not be forgotten that there still remains in the Abbey 
Church ?.n immense store of historical, archaeological and architec- 
tural information, which is of the utmost value to the student, 
and of great interest to the intelligent visitor, whom this Guide is 
specially designed to assist. The thorough structural repair which 
the building has undergone (chiefly, as is well known, at the cost 
of Lord Grimthorpe), will, it is to be hoped, preserve the Abbey 
Church, now the ecclesiastical centre of the Diocese of St. Albans, 

for centuries to come. 


Rector of St. Albat/s Cathedral and Abbey Church 
and Archdeacon of St. Albans. 

Sett, 1898. 


j]N re-writing the portion of Dr. Nicholson's work 
which formed the Guide to the Abbey Church, I 
have attempted to include all the information to be 
found in that valuable compilation which is applic- 
able to the church as it now is, at the same time I 
have added such additional material as I have been able to collect 
from personal observation and other sources. Had it not been 
necessary on account of the many alterations which have been 
made in the church, I should have felt considerable hesitation in 
re-writing a work emanating from such capable hands as those of 
the late Dr. Nicholson, and which had received revision from so 
eminent an authority as Sir John Evans, but as the former Guide 
had become largely out of date, at the suggestion of the Venerable 
Archdeacon Lawrance, I undertook the present compilation as a 
recreation and labour of love, and hope that it may prove useful to 
visitors and students of the Abbey Church. 

To the many who have assisted me, I must tender my sincere 
thanks, especially to Archdeacon Lawrance, for his kindly criticisms 
of the proof sheets ; to Lord Aldenham for his permission to make 
use of the valuable information published in his Guide to the High 
Altar Screen j to Lord Grimthorpe for his leave to reproduce the 
ground plan from his Guide to the Cathedral, which he desires 
me to state was made for him before the restoration of the Presby- 
tery and Lady Chapel was completed j to Mr. Everard Green, 
V.P.S.A., Rouge Dragon, for information regarding the heraldry; 
to Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, M.A., for many suggestions and much 

x Preface. 

assistance; to Mr. James Neale, F.S.A., of whose monumental 
work on the architecture of the Abbey I have made great use j to 
Mr. Mill Stephenson, B.A., F.S.A., for information about the 
monumental brasses ; to Miss Monica Gray for the sketches which 
she has kindly made ; to the proprietors of the " Middlesex and 
Hertfordshire Notes and Queries" for the use of the plate of one 
of the mural paintings in the nave drawn by Mr. T. G. Waller, 
F.S.A. ; and to Mr. Waller himself for various notes regarding 
the mural paintings and the painted ceiling in the choir j to Mr. 
E. M. Beloe, junior, for permission to reproduce a lithograph of 
the De la Mare brass ; to the officials of the Abbey, especially to 
Miss Davis, whose knowledge of the details of the church is un- 
surpassed, and also to Mr. Newell, the verger, both of whom have 
been most obliging in affording me all the assistance and informa- 
tion in their power. 

W. P. 


Sept. 1898. 



iHE best view of the whole of the exterior of the 
Cathedral can be obtained from the hill rising from 
the south side of the river Ver. Here its extreme 
length (550 ft.) is very conspicuous, St. Alban's 
being, with the exception of Winchester (which is 
externally 6 ft. longer), the longest church in 
England, the length of the Nave alone being 284 ft. 6 in. The 
very considerable restoration which the church has undergone, has 
necessarily taken away much of its venerable aspect, and from the 
distant view has left us, with the exception of the massive Norman 
Tower, little of its former picturesqueness. 

There are many ways of approaching the church, but it will 
perhaps be most convenient to commence our description of the 
exterior by starting at the N.W. corner, and walking eastward. 
At the W. End of the N. wall will be seen the foundations of the 
Early English N.W. tower which was commenced by Abbat John 
de Cella in 1197, but abandoned by his successor. These founda- 
tions were afterwards utilized as a sort of porch in the parish 
church of St. Andrew, in which the parishioners of the Abbey, or 
St. Andrew's parish, as it was called prior to 1553, held their 
services, the laity, before the Dissolution, having no rights in the 
Abbey Church. The chapel or church of St. Andrew was twice 
rebuilt, on the latter occasion in about 1454. It was of consider- 
able size, consisting of a Nave, opening by an arcade of four bays 
into the N. Aisle of the Abbey Church, a N. Aisle, a Chancel, and 
a Chapel at the N.E. corner. A small portion of the N. Aisle 
wall may be seen at the side of the footpath, and is 61 ft. 6 in. 
from the wall of the Abbey. The church extended from the line 



of the W. Front to the sixth buttress from the W. End, where the 
remains of the E.wall of the chancel may be seen. The Norman 
door, now built up, which led into the chancel of the chapel from 
the Abbey Church, will be noticed between the fourth and fifth 
buttresses. The wall here, from the fourth buttress to the W. 
End, was built by Lord Grimthorpe, and replaced a blank wall, 
without windows, which was erected about 1553, when the chapel 
and the arcade between it and the Abbey church were destroyed. 

A little further E., between the seventh and eighth buttresses, 
will be seen another Norman doorway, now built up, which 
formerly led out to the churchyard. The existing door into the 
present vestry, two bays E., is entirely new. The upper part of 
the N. front of the N. Transept was rebuilt by Lord Grimthorpe, 
largely of imitation Roman bricks, and the turrets at the corners 
replaced circular Norman turrets of brick. Notice should be 
taken of the beautiful Norman hinge on the Norman door in the 
N. front of this Transept. It was by this door that the pilgrims 
and others, visiting the church, entered, approaching the Abbey 
by a gateway, called Waxhouse Gate, at the top of the little road, 
now erroneously called the Cloisters, at which gate candles, to be 
burnt at the shrines and images in the church, were sold. On 
the N. side of the N. Transept will be seen the remains of the 
walls of the Sacristy, between which and the church was a slype, as 
at the S. side of the S. Transept. Preparations for flying buttresses 
to withstand the thrust of an intended stone vaulted ceiling may 
be seen in the E. part of the church. Passing round the church it 
will be found that the three middle modern lancet windows in the 
S. front of the S. Transept are higher outside than they are within. 
In the angle of the W. wall of this Transept and the Nave can be 
seen, over the door there, a doorway, now built up, which led to 
a chamber inside the church, supposed to have been used as a 
watching chamber. Along the wall of the Nave will be seen the 
remains of the Cloister (said by Dr. Nicholson to be 150 ft. square), 
the Decorated carvings of which must have been very beautiful 
when complete. The Cloister was glazed, and Abbat Wheathamp- 
stede re-glazed it with painted glass illustrating the history of the Old 
and New Testaments. Here the monks read and studied, and in 
one of the eastern bays are the remains of some supports, possibly 
for a shelf, upon which the books used by the monks were placed. 
Abbat Wheathampstede, we are told, provided additional books for 
the use of the monks in the Cloister. The conventual buildings 
lay to the S., clustering round the Cloister, the Chapter-house 
and Dormitories on the E., the Frater or Refectory on the S., 
and the Kitchens and Cellarers' quarters on the W. A good view 
of the massive Norman Tower, built of Roman bricks by Abbat 
Paul de Caen (1077-93), can ^ ere be obtained; it is one of the 

grandest towers of its kind in this country, and forms the most 
attractive feature in the exterior of the church. Some very beautiful 
effects of colouring can be obtained upon it at sunset, especially in 
the late summer and autumn evenings. There was added to it in 
the thirteenth century a lantern, possibly like the central lantern 
at Ely, and down to about the middle of the fourteenth century 
the curfew was rung from it, but when the Clock-tower in the 
High Street of the town was built early in the fifteenth century, 
the curfew was rung there, where it continued to be rung till the 
early part of the nineteenth century. There is now a ring of 
eight bells in the Abbey Tower, four of which were cast by Philip 
Wightman of London in 1699, anc ^ tne remainder are of a later 

The roof of the nave was built of its present high pitch by the 
Restoration Committee, and took the place of a flat roof erected 
by Abbat Wheathampstede in the fifteenth century. The altera- 
tion of the pitch of the roof evoked a heated controversy at the 
time. The W. Front, which was entirely rebuilt by Lord Grim- 
thorpe in 1879, replaced one composed of work of many dates, 
from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, the porches and lower 
parts were of Early English work, while above the central porch 
was a large Perpendicular west window by Abbat Wheathampstede. 
If the original design for the Early English W. front l by Abbat 
John de Cella, with its two flanking towers forty feet square, 
had been carried out, it would probably have been surpassed in 
grandeur by no other church, but like many another genius, as this 
Abbat must have been, he was devoid of business capacity and 
compelled to leave his work to be curtailed and completed by his 
successor, Abbat William de Trumpington. To the W. is the 
Great Gateway of the monastery, built by Abbat De la Mare 
(1349-96). It was formerly used for the prison of the liberty of 
St. Alban's, but since the Grammar School was moved from the 
Lady Chapel it has been, with the buildings adjoining, converted 
into the school house. 

1 The position of the Norman W. front is not definitely known. The compiler 
is inclined to place it three bays further E. than the existing front. The arches 
crossing the aisles were probably erected to stiffen the nave arcades when the 
late twelfth century alterations at the W. end were being carried out. As the 
Early English arcade was carried a bay further E. on the S. side, the arch 
crossing the S. aisle is in like manner a bay further E. than that in the N. aisle. 
See a paper by the compiler in "Archaeologia," vol. Ivi. 



[HE principal entrance to the Abbey Church is at 
the W. End, and the visitor is recommended to ex- 
amine the various parts of the building in the order 
here indicated. Upon entering by the middle porch, 
it may be noticed that in the spandrels are four 
stone medallions containing the symbols of the four 
evangelists, that on the N. side representing St. Matthew is a like- 
ness of Lord Grimthorpe, who has spent large sums upon the repair 
of the church. The length of the nave gives an imposing effect, 
especially in the summer when the curtain over the Rood Screen 
is drawn aside, and the variations in the styles of architecture make 
the church particularly valuable for the architectural student. 
Previous to the dissolution of the monastery the nave was used 
principally for processions, and at the installation of the abbats, we 
learn, they were met by the prior and convent at the W. door and 
conducted in procession to the Choir. The laity were admitted 
to this part of the church and at one time the services of a guild 
were held here. Turning to the N. it will be seen that very 
nearly the whole of the interior of the W. front is new, except the 
responds of the nave arches and a few of the old bases, capitals, etc., 
in the wall arcading. At the N. end is a holy water stoup, 
almost entirely renewed, which came from the N. side of the N. 

NORTH AISLE OF NAVE. At the W. end of the N. wall are 
slight remains of the bases of the jambs of the Early English 
western tower arch. The four Early English arches on the S. 
side of this aisle formed a part of the scheme of Abbat John de 
Cella (1195-1214), for beautifying and possibly extending the 
western part of the church (p. 3, n.). His scheme, however, was 
not fully carried out, and the work is almost wholly that of his 
successor, Abbat Wm. de Trumpington (1214-35). The base of 
the easternmost Early English pier shows the more elaborate 
mouldings of Abbat de Cella's work, and the two shafts on the 
N. W. side of the arch crossing the aisle, indicate his intention to 
have vaulted the aisle up to the Norman bays, which commence 
at the fourth pier. The Norman arcading is the work of Abbat 
Paul de Caen (1077-93), and is built of Roman bricks, plastered 
over. In the N. wall here will be seen a Norman doorway (now 
bricked up and used as a cupboard) which formerly led into the 
chancel of St. Andrew's chapel (p. i). The window over this 

door was given by Mr. H. J. Toulmin, J.P. of Pre, near St. 
Albans, in memory of his father. The first four windows in this 
aisle are entirely new (p. 2), the remainder have new tracery, 
but the internal work of Abbat Trumpington, who altered them 
from Norman to Early English, has been left. 

It would be well to examine from this aisle the ancient dis- 
temper paintings of the Crucifixion on the W. faces of the 
Norman nave piers, which were brought to light by Dr. Nichol- 
son in 1862. They are, with some other mural decoration in 
this church, the only examples extant of the once famous school 
of painting at St. Alban's Monastery. The painting 1 on the W. 
face of the fourth pier from the W. is the oldest, and probably 
dates back to the early part of the thirteenth or late twelfth 
century. Christ is represented crowned, and upon a cross raguly 
or tree cross, with the Blessed Virgin on one side and St. John 
on the other, holding a book. Beneath are the Virgin and Child, 
the former crowned and seated upon a throne, with a sceptre 
in her right hand, while above, on each side, issuing from clouds, 
is an angel censing. In the middle of the painting of the Virgin 
and Child is a bracket, upon which stood the image of St. Richard, 
Bishop of Chichester (1245-53). On the fifth pier from W. is 
a similar painting of the Crucifixion, probably belonging to the 
early part of the thirteenth century. The cross raguly is re- 
peated and the Blessed Virgin with clasped hands is on the S. 
side, while St. John is on the N. The background is a simple 
form of diaper. Below are the Virgin and Child beneath a 
cinque-foliated arch or canopy. On the W. face of the sixth pier 
is a painting of the fourteenth century, executed in simple outlines. 
An ordinary form of cross is adopted in the place of the cross 
raguly, the Virgin is on the S. side with her hands clasped and 
St. John on the N. resting his head upon his hand. Beneath, 
within a pointed arch which is divided into two compartments, is 
a representation of the Annunciation, the angel being on the N. 
side, and the Virgin on the S. On the seventh pier is another 
painting of the Crucifixion, which is of very rude execution of the 
thirteenth or fourteenth century, with, as Mr. C. E. Keyser 
thinks, traces of repainting. The only figure is that of Christ, 
the arms of the Cross being curiously cut off at an acute angle. 
Below we have the Annunciation, each figure standing beneath 
a pointed arch. On the eighth pier is a good example of a 
painting of the fourteenth century, the background of which is 
red. In the middle is the figure of Christ, much draped, and on 

1 These descriptions are principally taken from the account given by Mr. 
J. G. Waller, F.S.A. in the former editions of Dr. Nicholson's Guide, and 
Mr. C. E. Keyser's paper read before the St. Albans Architectural Society. 

Cfje a&fcep of 

either side of the Cross are figures of the Virgin and St, John. 1 
Underneath is a representation of the coronation of the Virgin, in 
which Christ is portrayed with a nimbus, seated upon a throne, 
and two fingers of His right hand extended in benediction, while 
in His left is the Book of the Gospels, which rests upon His knee. 
The Blessed Virgin wears a ducal crown and appears to be kneel- 
ing upon one knee. Above, on each side, are angels censing, the 
thuribles hanging down have been mistaken for gloves. On the 
ninth pier are the very slight remains of a large figure of Christ in 
His Glory, such as is seen in a chapel in Winchester Cathedral. 
It is too much effaced to be described, but there are indications 
of a scroll in which doubtless was written, Salus populi Ego sum. 

The eighth, ninth, and tenth windows contain the remains of 
some fifteenth century painted glass, for which the church was at 
one time renowned. In the upper part of the eighth window is 
an angel holding a shield, bearing the arms of St. Alban, with, on 
either side, the Agnus Dei and the Eagle, emblems of the two St. 
Johns, which were adopted by Abbat John de Wheathampstede. 
In the ninth window we again have an angel holding a shield, or, 
two bars gules (possibly the arms of Abbat de la Moote or Abbat 
Heyworth) and also the eagle of St. John. In the tenth window 
there is again the Agnus Del^ and below are four shields bearing the 
arms of Edward III. and his three sons, Edward the Black Prince, 
Lionel, Duke of Clarence, and John of Gaunt. In this window 
there will also be noticed a number of fifteenth century quarries. 

The font, which is now at the east end of the north aisle, re- 
placed one of marble in 1853, which latter has been given to the 
chapel of St. Andrew at the Workhouse. There was formerly a 
brass font in the church, supposed to have been brought with the 
lectern at St. Stephen's as spoil from Dunkeld, by Sir Richard Lee, 
but it was taken away during the Civil Wars. 

THE ROOD SCREEN, commonly but erroneously called ST. 
CUTHBERT'S SCREEN, was built by Abbat De la Mare about 
1350, and is said to have replaced a Norman Screen. This 
beautiful piece of work, which is of clunch, has been much 
mutilated and considerably restored j the canopies, with the excep- 
tion of the northernmost and that over the principal piscina, have 
been left as they were, but the two piscinae and the foliage over 
the altar are entirely new, as is also the extension of the screen 
northwards where it crosses the N. aisle, 8 now forming the W. 

1 This is probably the painting executed for Thomas Houghton, sacrist of 
the Abbey, circa 1400 (Harl. MSS. 3775). 

8 Dr. Nicholson and Mr. Ridgway Lloyd were of opinion that the screen at 
one time extended right across the church j but Lord Grimthorpe asserts that 
no indication of this could be found when his alterations were being carried 

wall of the vestry. The fine old oak doors, through which the 
processions passed, are good examples of Decorated work. 

There were three altars against this Screen, that on the N. being 
dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury, and St. Oswyn, King of 
Northumbria ; that in the middle to all Apostles, Confessors, and 
St. Benedict, and that on the S. to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 1 
These altars were moved from before the W. faces of the three 
E. piers of the S. aisle of the Nave. Above, a little to the east, 
was the Rood Beam, some remains of which are in the triforium 
arch over the screen. The carved oak Jacobean chairs and settle, 
within the altar rails, are worthy of notice ; the former were given 
by Dr. Nicholson, and the latter by Mr. Chappie, the able and 
careful clerk of the works during the earlier part of the time during 
which the church was being restored, who brought it from Derby- 
shire. The whole bay eastward of this screen is, up to the roof, 
almost in its original condition. In the triforium on the north 
side there has been pierced a cross pommee enlarged on the outside, 
the purpose of which is unknown. 

THE NAVE. Turning westward a good view of the architecture 
will be obtained. The five Decorated bays on the S. side, 
commenced by Abbat Hugh de Eversden in 1323, when the 
Norman arcading, previously there, fell down, and completed by 
Abbat Mentmore (1335-49), are considered some of the best 
proportioned and most beautiful of their kind existing. Four 
heads will be here observed, upon which the hood mouldings of the 
five ground story arches rest. The easternmost is the head of a 
bishop or abbat (probably Abbat Hugh de Eversden), next is that 
of a queen (Isabella of France), thirdly, a king (Edward II.), and 
the last is possibly Master Geoffrey, master mason and surveyor of 
the works of Abbat Hugh. In the spandrels are six shields, the 
easternmost for England, the next for Edward the Confessor, the 
third for England, the fourth for Mercia, the fifth for France 
ancient, and the sixth for England. Over this the triforium 
arches and details are in wonderful accord with the beautiful Early 
English work to the W. It will be noticed that all the hood 
mouldings in these bays rest upon well-executed carvings of heads, 
some of which, in the triforium and clerestory, are grotesque. 
The clerestory windows have been rebuilt by Lord Grimthorpe 
without regard to the work they replaced. The six bays on the 
N. side, which are severely plain, are, together with the other work 

1 Mr. Lloyd in his work on the altars, etc., in St. Alban's Abbey, places a 
fourth altar here, dedicated to the Holy Cross, but I do not think the passage 
upon which he bases his authority warrants this, and elsewhere it is said there 
were three altars under the Holy Rood and sets them out as above. There 
may have been an altar dedicated to the Holy Rood on top of the screen as at 

8 be af)&ep of 

of Abbat Paul de Caen (1077-93) ln *his church, most valuable 
examples of early pure Norman work. Two of the piers it will be 
seen have been cut, possibly, as Mr. Neale suggests, to resemble 
the Decorated piers on the opposite side, although some of the 
painting upon them would appear to be of an earlier date than the 
Decorated piers. A small opening here is a window to a staircase 
from the clerestory to the triforium. The ornamental paintings 
of the soffits of the Norman arches here and elsewhere will repay 
examination, as they form one of the most interesting series of 
Norman mural decoration in this country. To the Norman 
triforium, Perpendicular windows were added by Abbat Wheat- 
hampstede in the fifteenth century, when the aisle roof was flat, 
and in consequence of this roof being again heightened, the windows 
have become enclosed. 

The paintings on the S. faces of the Norman piers on the N. 
side should now be examined. First, some slight remains of paint- 
ing will be noticed on the S.W. side of the second pier from the 
screen, which are, however, too imperfect to allow of the subject 
being made out. The picture on the third pier from the screen 
shows on the W. side a man, possibly a pilgrim, dressed in a 
reddish gown with a satchel hanging at his right side, and a staff 
in his left hand ; indistinct outlines of two other figures may also 
be seen. Mr. C. E. Keyser suggested that the subject of this 
painting is the legend of St. Edward the Confessor relieving a 
pilgrim in disguise, who turns out to be St. John, but Mr. R. 
Lloyd considered it to be St. John giving the ring to the pilgrim. 
Below the picture is the Norman-French inscription, jP[r*Vz] 
$u\r lalmes de~\ Willelme [jadis?~\ bal e Johanne $a femme e \pur\ 
lalme Will. . . . "Pray for the souls of William, [formerly?] 
bailiff, and Joan his wife, and for the soul of William. . . ." This 
inscription appears to have no relation to the picture above it. 
On the fourth pier is a female figure in a bluish grey dress, short 
waisted, with sleeves rather loose at the elbows and tight at the 
wrists. Both arms are extended and the left hand holds a rosary. 
The letters S. CA. can be deciphered on either side of the head, 
and the figure is supposed to be St. Citha or Osyth, whose altar 
was in the N. Transept, and who is generally represented with a 
key and almost always with a rosary. These paintings are, it is 
suggested 'by Mr. J. G. Waller, probably of about the first half of 
the fourteenth century. 

On the S. side of the fifth pier from the screen, is a fourteenth 
century picture of St. Thomas a Becker., 1 Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, who was collated to his first living, Brantfield in Hertford- 

1 This was possibly painted by Robert de Trunch, a monk of the Abbey, 
who was keeper of the shrine in 1380. Cott. MSS., Nero, D. 7. 



shire, by the Abbat of St. Albans, and was the intimate friend of 
Abbat Simon of this Abbey. St. Thomas is represented wearing 
an alb, dalmatic, chasuble, maniple, gloves, and shoes ; in his left 
hand is a crosier, while his right is in the attitude of blessing. 
The words S.M. [Thojmas for, Sanctus Martyr Thomas^ have 
been deciphered on either side of the head. On the S. side of 
the sixth pier is another painting of the fourteenth century, being 
the figure of St. Christopher walking through the water and carrying 
our Lord, represented as an infant, on his shoulder. There was a 
legend that whosoever beheld the image of St. Christopher would 
meet with no harm for the rest of the day. 

Walking westward, it will be noticed that the Early English work 
extends one bay farther east on the S. side than it does on the N. 
(p. 3, n.). On the W. face of the pier, on the S. side, which forms the 
junction of the Decorated and Early English work, will be seen the 
remains of a fifteenth century painting, representing the Adoration 
of the Magi, of which the figures of the Virgin and Child can only 
now be made out. Below the painting was the altar of St. Mary 
at the Pillar, the space between this pier and the next westward 
being enclosed by an iron railing and gate so as to form a chapel 
for the use of the brothers and sisters of the fraternity or guild of 
St. Alban. The members of this guild, which was founded in the 
reign of Edward III., were to follow the shrine of St. Alban when 
it went out of the monastery. The guild was dissolved at the 
time of the insurrection of Wat Tyler. On the last pier but one 
on the N. side is an epitaph to the celebrated traveller, Sir John 
Mandeville, a native of the town, who died in 1372. The beautiful 
and delicate ornamentation of the Early English triforium should 
be examined, and the intention to vault the nave may here be seen 
by the insertion of some of the marble vaulting shafts and the 
abacus of the triforium level being cut away to allow the shafts to 
pass. The present ceiling, which is composed of plain oak panels, 
replaced a painted one of the fifteenth century, only the wall pieces 
of which, with the shields on the figure heads, now remain. 

The inscription along the gallery at the WEST END, copied 
from an older one, records the fact that the courts of law were 
held in the church during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Eliza- 
beth, on account of the plague in London. This occurred in 
1543-4, 1589, and 1593. Turning southwards there will be 
noticed at the W. end of the SOUTH AISLE the beautiful Early 
English arch which was intended to lead into the S.W. tower de- 
signed and commenced by Abbat John de Cella (1195-1214), but 
never completed by him, and abandoned by his successor. The 
height of Abbat de Cella's work can be seen by the position of the 
places to receive the detached Purbeck marble columns in this 
arch. If completed, this arch would have been a very fine work, 

io C&e a&bep of 

and would have evinced the artistic superiority of his design 
over that of his successor the more practical Abbat Trumpington. 
We here see the intended level of the Early English portion of 
the church. The three large windows next to the Tower arch, 
were inserted by Lord Grimthorpe, the wall at these three bays 
having been formerly blank on account of the forensic parlour (or 
place where the monks could see their lay friends) with the Abbat's 
Chapel over it, having adjoined the church on the S. side of this 
wall. The fourth window was the N. window of the Abbat's 
Chapel which was approached from the church by a passage and a 
flight of stairs in the thickness of the wall, starting from a door, 
leading into the Cloister, between the third and fourth piers from 
the Rood Screen. This passage has been converted into a muni- 
ment closet, and now has an iron door at its entrance. There was 
formerly a door in the S. wall at the second bay from the W. end 
through which the processions probably passed. Nearer to the 
screen. the windows, it will be noticed, do not come down to the 
lower sill, which is on account of the Cloister being on the outside 
of this wall. Two of these windows have modern stained glass, 
one erected in memory of the father of Archdeacon Lawrance, 
and the other in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Alchorne. The whole 
of the tracery of the windows in this aisle has been renewed, and 
the stone vaulting of the western part was rebuilt during the 
restoration of 1878, but the plastered vaulting eastward is of the 
same date as the Decorated bays. 

On arriving at the E. end of the S. aisle the visitor has to pass 
through the glass door in the oak screen to go to the E. part of the 
church. A charge of 6d. is made for each visitor, not an inhabitant 
of the town, the money derived from which charge, after the pay- 
ment of attendants, goes towards the General Restoration Fund. 
The middle portion of the part of the church on which we enter 
is usually called the Choir or Ante Choir but was for a short time 
known as the Baptistery on account of the font having been there. 

SOUTH AISLE OF CHOIR. It will be noticed that we here return 
to the Norman work of Abbat Paul de Caen (1077-93), except the 
vaulting, which is the work of Lord Grimthorpe. On the S. wall is a 
mural tablet to John Thrale, late of London, who died on 1 5th May, 
1704, and was of the same family as the husband of Dr. Johnson's 
friend, Mrs. Thrale. Beyond this is the Early English recessed 
tomb of the hermits Roger and Sigar, the former of whom lived at 
a hermitage near Dunstable, in the vicinity of which he subsequently 
constructed a cell for a lady of good family from Huntingdonshire, 
named Christina, who joined with him in his devotional exercises. 
Roger afterwards became a monk of St. Albans and Christina was 
made the first prioress (1145) of the Benedictine cell of the Holy 
Trinity of Markyate, between St. Albans and Dunstable. Sigar 

aint aiban. 1 1 

was an austere hermit, who dwelt in the wood of Northaw, where 
he was so distracted by the songs of nightingales that by means of 
his prayers, we are told, these feathered songsters were never after 
heard in that neighbourhood. This tomb appears to have obtained 
a considerable reputation on account of the sanctity of the hermits 
buried within it and was visited by kings and nobles, many valuable 
offerings being made at it. Mr. Neale suggests that it was con- 
structed by Abbat Trumpington (1214-35) and intended for his own 
place of burial. Over the tomb is written, Vir Domini verusjacet hie 
heremita Rogerus^ et sub eo ciarus meritus heremita Sigarus. In the 
recess is preserved a stone coffin. Eastward of this tomb is a 
beautiful doorway of the Decorated period, which formerly led into 
the Cloister, it was built by Abbat de la Mare, about 1360, and is 
called the Abbat's Door. The oak door, which has some elaborate 
carving, is of a little later date. In the spandrels will be seen on 
one side the arms of England and France ancient, quarterly, and on 
the other the arms of the Abbey. 

It was probably under the second arch on the N. side that 
Abbat Simon (1167-83) built the painted aumbry in which were 
preserved the beautiful MSS. volumes of which this monastery had 
so rich and famous a store. 

CHOIR. This, with the space under the Tower and the Presbytery 
or Sanctuary eastward, up to the High Altar screen, formed the 
working church of the monks in which their principal services were 
performed. It was from here that the Sunday and other processions 
of the monks, which formed so important a consideration in the 
design of all monastic churches, started. The Sunday processions 
generally first visited the altars in the N. Transept, then went up 
the N. Aisle of the Presbytery into the Saints' Chapel to visit the 
shrine and altars there, thence back to the N. Aisle into the Ante 
Chapel, visiting the shrine of St. Amphibalus and all the altars 
in the E. part of the church, then down the S. aisle of the Saints' 
Chapel and Presbytery into the S. Transept, visiting the altars 
there ; then through the Abbat's Door, round the S. side of the 
Cloister, then probably through the forensic parlour and back into 
the church by a door, now built up, in the second bay on the S. 
side, then up the Nave, making the station there and forming into 
two lines to pass through the two doors in the Rood Screen, and 
so back into the Choir. 

The ancient stalls for the monks were arranged on the N. and 
S. sides up to the eastern tower arch, the Abbat's seat being at 
the E. end of the S. side. The stalls must have been of consider- 
able height, as may be seen from the places cut in the wall to receive 
them. The present western return stalls were designed by Mr. 
J. O. Scott, those on the S. side were erected as a memorial of 
Archdeacon Mildmay ; the archway was given by Bishop Claughton, 

12 c&e atjfcep of 

in memory of his son-in-law, Captain the Hon. Ronald G. E. 
Campbell, son of the second Earl of Cavvdor, who was killed in 
action in South Africa in 1879 5 anc ^ tne sta ^ s on tne N. side in 
memory of Archdeacon Ady and others. From the loft above, 
called the pulpitum^ were read the Epistle and Gospel on festivals, 
the reader facing east. Around the walls are painted passages from 
the Bible, and on the W. face of the second pier from the E. on 
the N. side are the remains of a painting of the Trinity. God 
the Father is seated holding up His right hand in the act of bene- 
diction, and supporting Christ, who is on a T cross, on His lap j 
the Holy Ghost is represented by a dove in the breast of the 
Father. 1 There was formerly a curious verse inscribed in this part 
of the church about the year 1403 : Christe, Dei splendor^ tibi 
supplies, destrue Glendor ! " O Christ, the Splendour of God, I 
beseech Thee destroy [Owen] Glendower ! " The monastery had 
a particular desire to see the end of the Welsh rebellion on account 
of holding Pembroke Priory as a cell. 

The windows in the triforium are darkened for the same reason 
as are those in the Nave. Between the clerestory windows are 
painted large figures, in dull red colour, of an unknown date but 
probably early. They were discovered by Mr. Chappie in 1875, 
three on the N. side and one on the S. Originally there must have 
been four on each side, and Mr. C. E. Keyser conjectures that those 
on the S. represented the four Evangelists, and those on the N., 
SS. Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, and Jerome, the four doctors of 
the Church. 

The fifteenth century painted ceiling here should be especially 
noticed. It was discovered during the restoration by Sir Gilbert 
Scott under some rough paintings of the seventeenth century, which 
latter, upon being carefully peeled off" at the instigation of Arch- 
deacon Lawrance and at the expense of the General Restoration 
Fund before alluded to, exposed to view the present beautiful series 
of heraldic shields. 2 The ceiling consists of sixty-six panels in eleven 
rows, and, excepting the two middle panels, which represent the 
Coronation of the Virgin, they alternately contain the Greek 
monogram I ^ C with wreaths of vine leaves, and an angel holding 
a shield of arms, having over his head a scroll bearing a passage from 
the Te Deum or an Antiphon. The whole series represent princi- 
pally the family connections of Edward III. The arms upon the 
shields are as follows, beginning at the N.E. corner : ist Row : St. 

1 This was probably painted for Abbat Thomas Ramryge (1492-1521), as 
he is represented in the Book of Benefactors of the Abbey with a picture of 
the Trinity apparently exactly similar in treatment to this. The inscription 
on his monumental slab also refers to the Trinity. 

* A full account of this ceiling by Mr. J. G. Waller, F.S. A., will be found 
in ** Archaeologia," vol. li., part 2, p. 427, from which this description is taken. 


Edmund, King of the East Angles; St. Alban; and St. Oswyn, King 
of Northumbria, represented probably on account of his connection 
withTynemouth Priory, a'cell of St. Alban's. 2nd Row: St. George; 
St. Edward the Confessor ; and St. Louis of France, by reason of 
the English claim to the French throne; the passage over this shield, 
Safoa noSj O beata Trinitas ! is evidently adopted on account of the 
fleur-de-lis being typical of the Trinity. 3rd Row : the Emperor 
of the Romans, possibly representing Charles IV., Emperor of 
Germany, father of Anne of Bohemia, Queen of Richard II. ; 
the King of Judaea, that is to say, Christ ; and the Emperor of 
Constantinople, a title claimed by the Courtenay family. 4th Row : 
the King of Spain, representing the alliances of John of Gaunt 
with Constance, daughter of Peter the Cruel ; the King of England, 
being the arms of Edward III. ; and the King of Portugal, repre- 
senting the marriage of Philippa, daughter of John of Gaunt, with 
John I. of Portugal. 5th Row : the King of Sweden, representing 
the marriage between Philippa, daughter of Henry IV. and Eric, 
King of Sweden, Norway and Denmark; the King of Cyprus ; and 
King of Man. The sixth row is supposed to be of a later date than 
the remaining panels and inserted to commemorate the coronation 
of Margaret of Anjou, in 1444. It contains the shield of Faith; 
the two panels of the coronation of the Virgin, and the shield of 
Salvation, with the instruments of the Passion, yth Row: the King 
of Arragon, representing Blanche, daughter of Henry IV., who 
became Queen of Arragon ; the King of Jerusalem, a title claimed 
by the House of Anjou ; and the King of Denmark, the same con- 
nection as the King of Sweden in the fifth row. 8th Row : the Duke 
of Brittany, representing Mary, fourth daughter of Edward III., 
and wife of John de Montfort, Duke of Brittany ; the King of 
Bohemia, a title claimed by the House of Anjou ; and Thomas^ 
Duke of Gloucester, son of Edward III. Qth Row: the King of 
Sicily and the King of Hungary, both these titles were claimed by 
the House of Anjou ; the King of France, being the arms of 
France ancient. loth Row : John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ; 
Edward the Black Prince ; Edmund of Langley, Duke of York ; 
three sons of Edward III. nth Row: the King of Norway, 
representing the same connection as the King of Sweden in the 
fifth row ; the King of Navarre, representing Joan, Queen of 
Henry IV., daughter of Charles II., King of Navarre ; and the 
King of Scotland, representing Joan, sister of Edward III., who 
married David, King of Scotland. 

THE NORTH AISLE OF THE CHOIR is now converted into the 
vestry, and here is the nucleus of a cathedral library, at present 
consisting of a few archaeological works on the church and several 
valuable theological books bequeathed by Bishop Claughton. The 
wooden screen and door at the E. end of the vestry, are made of 



a portion of the old panelling formerly around the Presbytery 

THE TOWER. In 1870 the two massive E. piers of the tower, 
the work of Paul de Caen (107 7-93), were found to be giving way, 
especially the pier on the N. side, causing a settlement in that 
direction. An examination of the foundations of the S.E. pier 
disclosed a hole extending for a considerable distance under it, 
possibly with the deliberate intention of undermining it, and cer- 
tainly with the result of seriously weakening the stability of the 
superstructure. After a period of great anxiety, by the skill and 
enthusiasm of Mr. John Chappie, clerk of the works, the down- 


ward progress was arrested, and the whole structure made good and 
secure. About half-way up the N. face of the S. E. pier projects 
a small piece of the end of the rood beam which formerly crossed 
the E. arch. Another portion of the beam, showing the carving 
and colouring, is now preserved in the Saints' Chapel. Like the 
transepts, the balluster shafts in the triforium possibly came from the 
earlier Saxon church. A little below the ceiling will be seen the 
arms of Edward I., Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, his brother, Eleanor 
of Castile, his wife, and Richard, Earl of Cornwall, his uncle. The 
painting of the ceiling is probably of the sixteenth century, and 
shows the arms of England, St. George, St. Alban, and Edward the 
Confessor, with the roses of York and Lancaster used conspicuously 
in the decoration. The pulpit near the N.E. pier was designed by 


Mr. J. O. Scott, and was presented to the church by the freemasons 
of England, who claim St. Alban as their patron. The Bishop's 
throne, of somewhat poor design, came from Rochester. 

THE PRESBYTERY was commenced in the latter part of the 
abbacy of John de Hertford (circa 1257) but was not completed till 
some time after his death. The gradual transition from the Early 
English to the Decorated style may be distinctly seen as the work 
proceeds upwards ; the clerestory windows, however, are by Lord 
Grimthorpe, who has not followed the lines of the old work. There 
was evidently an intention to vault this part of the church with 
stone, but probably for the sake of economy wood was adopted, which 
was painted. The present painting is of the time of Abbat 
Wheathampstede (fifteenth century) and consists of the Holy 
Lamb, the emblem of St. John the Baptist, and the Eagle of 
St. John the Evangelist, the cognizances of the same abbat. The 
shields of arms arranged at the springing of the wooden vaulting 
are those of the contributors to the repairs of the roof in 1681-3. 
Over the crown of the tower arch on the E. side will be seen three 
shields displaying the arms of the three saints whose shrines this 
abbey possessed, viz., the arms of St. Alban in the middle, supported 
by the Agnus Del and eagle, the cognizances of Abbat Wheathamp- 
stede, the arms of St. Oswyn, gules three crowns or, whose shrine 
was at Tynemouth Priory, a cell of St. Alban's, on the S. side, and 
the arms of St. Amphibalus, 1 ^/^ and or, four lions rampant, counter- 
changed, on the N. side. Under these is an inscription referring 
to Abbat John de Wheathampstede's use of the Agnus Dei and the 
eagle as his insignia. Th? plaster of the walls is painted to represent 
masonry and on the S. side there is a portion of a coloured frieze 
with a curious dog tooth ornament. All the arches were originally 
filled up like those at the W., but the two E. arches have been 
opened to receive the chantry chapels placed in them. The beauti- 
ful late thirteenth century tabernacle work over the doorway on 
the S. side was found in fragments and put together under Sir 
Gilbert Scott's supervision. Corresponding work was erected on 
the N. side, portions of the original of which have since been 
found differing slightly from what has been erected. 

the Presbytery, was erected about 1522, and is a fine example of 
late Perpendicular work. In the latter part of the seventeenth 
century some members of the family of Farrington, of Lancashire, 
who were resident in St. Albans, appropriated the chapel for their 

1 Hitherto these arms have puzzled all writers on the heraldry of the abbey. 
I am indebted to my friend Mr. Evcrard Green, V.P.S. A., Rouge Dragon, for 
calling my attention to an early sixteenth century MS. at the Heralds' College 
(L. 10 fol. 65), where these arms are stated to be those of St. Amphibalus. 


family vault, and the shields painted inside the chapel bear the arms 
of Farrington and Garrard. In the panels at the base on the S. 
side of the chapel is a series of shields, having as supporters two rams 
each with a collar inscribed with the letters RYGE, forming a rebus 
upon the Abbat's name. Beginning on the W. side the arms are: 
(i) those of St. Alban, azure, a saltire or, over which is a cap of 
maintenance. 1 Above this cap of maintenance are the arms of 
Abbat Ramryge, gules on a bend or, between a lion rampant and a 

__ \ 


ram argent, three double-beaded eagles vert, armed and legged gules? 
(2) The arms of Abbat Ramryge again, over which is a mitre. 

1 Mr. Everard Green holds the opinion that the Lords Spiritual claimed in 
Tudor times the right to use supporters j and the red cap of maintenance 
turned up ermine, encircled with a golden coronet, is as much as the Lords 
Temporal then used. He witnesses the use of supporters by Cardinals Wolsey 
and Pole, and by Ramryge, Abbat of St. Albans. On this abbat's tomb, and 
on the E. side of the E. tower arch, the cap of maintenance turned up ermine 
encircled with a golden coronet may yet be seen to ensign the shield with its 

* The blazoning of these arms is taken from Heralds' College MSS. (Vincent, 
*S3> P- 2 3)- The abbats of St. Alban's were fond of canting arms, Abbat 
Wheathampstede's were gules a chevron between nine ears of wheat, three, three, 
and three, and Abbat Catton's were gules a cat statant proper betnueen three 
annulets or, upon a chief of the last, on a pale azure between tiuo cinquefoils in a 
mitre or (Ibid.). 


i8 C6e abfce of 

(3) Three crowns for St. Oswyn. (4) A saltire for St. Alban. At 
the E. end are the arms of Wymondham Priory (an eagle display ed\ 
a cell of St. Alban's Abbey, and at the opposite end are the arms 
of Abbat Ramryge impaling those of St. Alban. At the top of 
the second line of panelling will be noticed some finely carved 
flowers, emblems, etc., which will well repay examination, those at 
the W. end of the S. side are the emblems of the Passion j and 
elsewhere will be seen a Tau cross, rams, apes, the bleeding heart, 
and conventional leaves and flowers. In the spandrels of the door- 
way are, on the W. side, the martyrdom of St. Alban, the Saint's 
head being shown severed from his body, and the executioner's eyes, 
according to the tradition, falling out, while on the E. spandrel is 
represented the scourging of St. Alban. The door itself is of a later 
date than the chapel and of inferior design, on it is painted Anno 
Dom. MDCLXICOIII Ego dixi in dimidio dierum meorum vadam 
ad portas inferi. This date probably refers to the first use of the 
chapel by the Farringtons. On the cornice above is another series 
of shields representing apparently the cells belonging to St. Alban's 
Abbey. Beginning at the W. end we have (i) the arms of St. 
Alban ; (2) a lion passant gardant In an orle of martlets for the family 
of Valoynes , x founders of Bynham Priory, Norfolk, a cell of St. 
Alban's ; (3) three crowns for St. Oswyn or Tynemouth Priory, a 
cell of St. Alban's ; (4) the arms of Henry VII. with the dragon and 
greyhound as supporters ; (5) the arms of St. Amphibalus, as before 
described j (6) an eagle displayed^ the arms of the family of Daubegny, 
founders of the cell of Wymondham in Norfolk; (7) three eagles 
displayed^ the arms of the family of Lymesi, founders of the cell of 
Hertford. At the top of the panelling above this cornice is an 
inscription in quaint letters forming part of the Sequence in the 
Salisbury Missal and the Antiphon of the Psalms for Whitsuntide. 
It begins at the S. E. corner of the chapel : Sancti Spiritus assit 
nobis gracla veni Sancte Spiritus reple Tuorum corda fidelium et Tui 
amoris In els Ignem accende. Amen. (See also p. 36.) 

The interior of the chapel is very ornate, the fan vaulting being 
light and pleasing, and of the same style as Henry VII.'s Chapel, 
Westminster. At the E. end are the arms of the three saints, St. 
Alban, St. Oswyn, and St. Amphibalus ; while at the W. are those 
of St. Alban and Abbat Ramryge, above which, at both ends, are 
niches for figures. On the ground is an incised slab representing 
Abbot Ramryge wearing a mitre, with the following inscription 
round the margin : Benedlcta sit Sancta Trinitas atque indivisa 
unitas \confitebimur ei~\ qula fecit nobiscum miserlcordlam suam. Amen. 


1 These arms are taken from Harl. MSS. No. 1392, fol. 161, the remainder 
are from Burke's " Armory." 

aifmn, 19 

the E. end of the Presbytery is considered one of the finest of its 
period in this country. It is built of clunch, and was completed in 
1484. The whole of the statues, which were richly coloured, were, 
with the exception of small portions of those of SS. Stephen and 
Erasmus, totally destroyed in the sixteenth century. The restora- 
tion (in the true sense of the word) of this beautiful screen has 
been undertaken by Lord Aldenham, who has renewed its former 
grandeur, and in doing so has entered into the spirit of the mediaeval 
builder by displaying a motive in selecting the figures to fill the 
niches, the motive being the history of the Christian Church in so 
far as it relates to England, or as Lord Aldenham expresses it, " the 
Passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and of the testimony 
of the faith in that Passion given in the lives and deeds of men." 
The accompanying key plan of the figures in the Screen will best 
guide the visitor in the identification of the saints represented, with 
their emblems, to most of whom altars existed in the church. 
Of the larger figures we have : (I.) St. Edmund, King of the East 
Saxons, who was slain by the Danes in 870, and buried at Bury 
St. Edmunds. He holds a sceptre in his right hand, and the 
arrow with which he was martyred in his left. (II.) Offa the 
Second, King of Mercia, founder of the Abbey in 793, is trampling 
under foot his earthly crown and carrying a model of the church. 
(III.) St. Edward the Confessor holds a sceptre in his right hand, 
and the ring which he gave the Abbat of Westminster in his left. 
The next four figures are angels : (VIII.) St. Hugh, Bishop of 
Lincoln, who died in 1200, carries a crosier and three lilies, and 
his tame swan, typical of solitude, is at his feet. (IX.) Pope 
Adrian IV. or Nicholas Breakspear, the only English pope (1154- 
59), was born at Abbot's Langley, and his father was a monk at 
St. Alban's Abbey. He wears the single crowned papal tiara, and 
holds the keys of St. Peter. (X.) Venerable Bede, a monk of the 
monastery of Jarrow (673-735), carries in his hand his famous 
" Ecclesiastical History." (XI.) St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindis- 
farne or Holy Island (685-87), has a crosier in his left hand, and 
his otter is at his feet. (XII.) St. Helen, mother of the Emperor 
Constantine the Great, said to have been a British princess, who, 
by tradition, found the Holy Cross when on a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem in 325, holds the Cross in her arms, and in her left 
hand the title I.N.R.I. This is perhaps one of the most striking 
figures on the screen. (XIII.) St. Benedict, who founded in the 
sixth century the monastic order to which this Abbey belonged, is 
represented with the broken chalice, referring to a legend in which 

1 An account of the High Altar Screen in the Cathedral Church of St. 
Albans (p. 12). The following description of the figures is mostly taken, by 
Lord Aldenham's kind consent, from his account of the screen. 

20 Cfce a&fcep of >aint aifmn. 

a cup of poison intended for him was upset and broken, and the 
raven carrying off the poisoned roll, which refers to another legend 
concerning him. XIV. and XV. are the figures of the Blessed 
Virgin and St. John, standing one on each side of the cross. In 
the middle of the screen is the crucifix with the scroll bearing the 
title I.N.R.I. (XVI.) St. Patrick of Ireland, who was born in 
Scotland about 372, holds in his left hand a crosier, and in his 
right a bunch of shamrocks. Snakes and toads, of which he is 
said to have rid Ireland, are about his feet. (XVII.) St. Ethel- 
dreda or St. Audrey, a daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia, 
who forsook her husband to fulfil her vow of sanctity, founded a 
monastery at Ely on the site of the Cathedral in 672. She has a 
crosier as an abbess, and her crown is laid by her side. (XVIII.) 
St. Germain, Bishop of Auxerre, is said to have attended a 
council at Verulam in 429 to refute the Pelagian heresy, a por- 
tion of the Roman wall still marks the traditional site of the saint's 
house. He holds a crosier, and at his feet is a wolf, in allusion 
to his having been a mighty hunter. (XIX.) St. Augustine of 
Canterbury, who arrived in England to preach the Gospel in 
596, is represented with a crosier and a book. (XX.) St. Alban 
holds a sword in his left hand, typical of his martyrdom, and a 
crucifix in his right. (XXI.) St. Amphibalus, the cleric who 
converted St. Alban. (XXII.) St. Erkenwald, brother of St. 
Etheldreda, and founder of Chertsey Abbey, was consecrated 
Bishop of London in 675. He holds a crosier in one hand, while 
in the other is an imaginary representation of his cathedral. 

The smaller figures represent : (i) St. Oswyn, King of Deira 
or Yorkshire, who holds a spear in allusion to his death. (2) St. 
Giles, the Abbat, with his tame hind, on whose milk he is said to 
have lived. (3) St. Ethelbert, King of the East Angles, killed by 
Quendrida, wife of Offa (793), has his battle-axe by his side and a 
dagger in his breast. (4) St. Leonard, whose great charge was 
the care of prisoners, holds fetters in his hands. (5) St. Edward, 
King of the West Saxons, is represented with the cup from which 
he was drinking when murdered in 979 by his stepmother, 
Elfrida, and the dagger with which the deed was committed. 

(6) St. Lawrence has the gridiron upon which he was burnt. 

(7) St. George, since 1222 the patron saint of England, is shown 
overcoming evil or the devil in the form of a dragon. (8) St. 
Benedict Biscop, the instructor of the Venerable Bede and founder 
of the monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow in the seventh 
century, carries a book in his right hand and his crosier in his left. 
(9) St. Cecilia, patroness of church music, has an organ. (10) St. 
Boniface, Apostle of Germany, holds his crosier and a branch of 
the oak at Fritzlar, sacred to the God Thor, and which he de- 
stroyed. (u) St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, with a lamb. (12) 

rt rf 

a &. -as 

f-< >\ ,*i <o 

sj "a 


tO~' .0 


. S 

9 H 


WD 'J-. Bl 

.5 g & 


. . 

~ B S > 

CO _ 

> > 


o 5 * *r 
O c o .w 

C R S 



z " S 






si 3 

go S .a 
S.tS a"S w 


(. J W *J . 
CO C/} . C/5 1-1 



S <^ 


. CX <" .2 C 2 -C C , 

a (3 i B Q*e i 

ISl*cJi - i 

i ,Pk > > u H W < <O i 

f K M ^ M 9f 4 V 


Hfieo eo 


w w "" 




a So 

co co rt co 

' O .> 

H^ so /\ ao * ^~* 








of >aint aitmn, 

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia and Confessor, noted for 
his charity and holiness, holds his crosier and the three golden, 
balls which he gave to a poor family. (17) St. Lucy, Virgin and 
Martyr, with a lamp and the palm branch of a martyr. (18) St. 
Wulfetan, Bishop of Worcester in 1062, carries his crosier in one 
hand and the model of his church in the other. (19) St. Ethel- 
burga, sister of St. Etheldreda, has the three nails usually given as 
her emblem. (20) St. Richard, Bishop of Chichester, holds his 
crosier and a chalice. (21) St. Katherine of Alexandria holds the 
palm of victory, the wheel upon which she was to have received 
martyrdom, and the sword by which she died. (22) St. David, 
Archbishop of Menevia or St. David's in Wales, who died in 544, 
holds a crosier, and has the dove which appeared upon his shoulder 
when he preached. (23) St. Frideswide, who founded in the 
eighth century the monastery at Oxford which bore her name, 
but now called Christ Church, is represented as an abbess with a 
crosier and a book. (24) St. Chad, Bishop of York, and later of 
Lichfield, in the seventh century, has a crosier and a book. (25) 
St. Osyth, a Mercian princess, who founded the monastery of 
Chich St. Osyth in Essex, in the seventh century, holds a book 
and two keys. There is a painting of her in the N. side of the 
nave. (26) St. Alphege, Bishop of Winchester and Canterbury, 
in the tenth century, holds his crosier and the stones which were 
the instruments of his martyrdom. (27) St. Margaret, Queen of 
Scotland in the eleventh century, niece of Edward the Confessor, 
and ancestress of our royal family, and (28) ./Elfric, Abbat of St. 
Albans, and in 995 Archbishop of Canterbury, an intimate friend 
of St. Dunstan and reformer of the monastery here, is represented 
with a crosier and his book " Thaera Halgena Throwunga," or the 
Sufferings of the Saints. In the centre of the screen a crucifix is 
now about to be inserted, and immediately over the altar table a 
representation of the Resurrection, by Mr. 
Alfred Gilbert, R. A. This screen very strongly 
resembles the high altar screen at Winchester 
Cathedral, and it is generally considered that 
they were the work of the same architect. 
The figures are in Mansfield Woodhouse 
stone, and were sculptured by Mr. Harry 
Hems, of Exeter ; the crosiers, sceptres, and 
swords are of hammered copper. 

CHAPEL, on the S. side of the High Altar 
ARMS OF ABBAT Screen, was probably erected about the time of 

WHEATHAMPSTEDE. ^ j^ Qf ^ Abbat m ^ The ^ 

dominant ornament is the Abbat's badge of three wheat ears, and over 
the spandrels of the arch are the words F'alles habundabunt y " The 


Size, in by 52 inches. 

C&e abbep of >aint ai&an. 25 

valleys shall be fruitful," which refer to the village of Wheathamp- 
stead, a few miles from St. Albans, the birthplace of the Abbat, and a 
spot noted for its seed corn. There are several shields of arms ; over 
the crown of the arch is that of the Abbey, and at the corners on 
either side are the arms of Abbat Wheathampstede. In the quatre- 
foils above will be seen, amongst other designs, an abbat's mitre with 
wheat ears springing from it, the arms of St. George, and a rose in 
a sun, the badge of Edward IV. Dugdale states that the Abbat's 
figure in pontificals lay upon a blue slab in the Chapel, in its place 
is now deposited, for the sake of protection, the brass of Abbat de la 
Mare (1349-1396) one of the finest ecclesiastical brasses in England. 
It is of Flemish workmanship, and is said to have been made under 
the direction of the Abbat himself some thirty years before his death. 
The Abbat wears the usual vestments of his office, with a mitre 
upon his head, his crossed hands have on them jewelled gloves, and 
on his feet are embroidered shoes. He is vested in alb, stole, tunic, 
dalmatic, chasuble, and maniple ; within his left arm is a pastoral 
staff" with the Agnus Del in the crook, the latter being turned out- 
wards. The background is filled with elaborate diaper work. 
Above the figure of the Abbat is a most beautiful canopy, having 
the First Person of the Holy Trinity in the centre, with saints 
swinging censers and others playing instruments on each side, be- 
yond these are St. Peter, on the left, and St. Paul, on the right. 
The canopy-shafts contain fourteen figures, seven on each side; 
those on the left, St. Alban with processional cross and sword, St. 
John the Evangelist with chalice and serpent, St. Andrew with 
saltire, St. Thomas the Apostle with spear, and the prophets Daniel, 
David, and Hosea ; the figures on the right are St. Oswyn, king 
and martyr, with crown and spear, St. James the Great with 
scallop-shell, St. Bartholomew with flaying knife, St. Philip with 
loaf, and the prophets Isaiah, Haggai, and Joel. At the four angles 
of the brass are the symbols of the four Evangelists, and at each side 
is a shield having on a bend three eagle* displayed^ the arms of the 
Abbat. Round the border of the design are these words: Hie 
jacet dominus Thomas quondam abbas bujus monasterii^ with a space 
which was never filled up, being left for the date of his death (Lloyd, 
" Altars," p. 29). On an oak board at the E. end of the Chantry 
are arranged the loose brasses which have become detached, or been 
found at different times, as follows: i. A civilian, circa 1465. 

2. Thomas Rutland, sub-prior (ob. 1521), with foot inscription, the 
slab with a portion of the marginal inscription is in the S. Transept. 

3. The lower portion of the figure of Abbat John de la Moote (ob. 
1400). It is a palimpsest brass, on the reverse being the lower part 
of a female figure, with a dog at her feet wearing a collar of bells, 
the slab and other portions of the brass are in the Presbytery. 4. 
A civilian, circa 1470. 5. A monk, possibly Reginald Bernewelt, 

26 Cjje 3&foep of 

1443. 6. Inscription to Maud Harryes, 1537, slab in N. Tran- 
sept. 7. Half effigy of a monk, circa 1470, slab in Choir. 8. 
Lower part of effigy of Bartholomew Halsey in armour, and 9, full 
figure of his wife Florens, 1465, slab with matrices for children anil 
inscription in Presbytery. 10. Inscription to Agnes Skelton, 1604. 

11. Inscription to William Stroder and Margaret, his wife, 1517. 

12. A shield of the de Grey arms belonging to the de Grey brass in 
the Presbytery. 

In the Presbytery were many graves, amongst them that of 
Robert Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, founder of Tyne- 
mouth Priory, who, after his attainder, is said to have died a 
monk of this Abbey in 1106. The position of his tomb is not 
known. At the foot of the altar steps, but within the altar rails, 
are the gravestones orfour successive abbats, the one nearest to 
Wheathampstede's chantry is that of Abbat Thomas de la Mare 
(1349-96), the brass belonging to which is placed in Wheathamp- 
stede's chantry for protection j the second is that of Abbat Hugh 
Eversden (1308-26); the third is that of Abbat Richard de 
Wallingford (i 326-35) ; and the fourth is that of Abbat Michael 
Mentmore (1335-49). The brasses of all the last three tombs 
have been lost, but their matrices have in most cases been left. 
At the W. end of Wheathampstede's chantry is a brass to the 
Rev. H. J. B. Nicholson, D.D., F.S.A., who died in 1866, for 
over thirty years rector of the Abbey parish, a most careful and 
learned student of the history of the church and a most loving 
custodian of its ancient fabric. Immediately below the step on the 
W. side of the altar rails is a line of monumental slabs, the one on 
the S. side shows the matrices of a curious T cross, with figures 
on either side, and a foot inscription ; on the second are the 
matrices of a figure with a scroll and a foot inscription with a rose 
below it ; the third is that of Sir Anthony de Grey, son and heir 
of Edmund, Earl of Kent, who died in 1480. The effigy of Sir 
Anthony appears in armour with a collar of suns and roses, the 
inscription and three of the shields are lost, one of the shields, 
which is now in Wheathampstede's chantry, was discovered in an 
old iron shop in the suburbs of London ; the fourth slab has on it 
the brass of Robert Beauner (ob. 1470), a monk of St. Alban's 
Abbey, who has in his hand a bleeding heart, and a scroll inscribed 
with the text, Cor mundum in me crea Deus (Ps. li. 10), "Make in 
me a clean heart, O God ! " The foot inscription states that he 
held various offices in the monastery for more than forty years j 
the fifth (circa 1450) shows the matrices of a cross, on the arms 
of which are the figures of the Blessed Virgin and St. John, and, 
below, the kneeling figure of a monk, a scroll issuing from the 
suppliant's mouth only remains, and bears the mutilated inscription, 
a verse from a hymn in the Salisbury Breviary : Safoa Redemptor 


plasma tuum nobile, Signatum sancto vultus tul lumlne^ Nee lacerari 
sinasfraude deemonum^ Propter quos mortis exsolvisti pretium. " Save, 
O Redeemer, Thine ennobled workmanship, marked with the 
sacred light of Thy countenance, Suffer not those for whom Thou 
hast paid the penalty of death to be destroyed through the deceit 
of devils." The sixth slab shows the remains of what must have 
been a very beautiful brass of Abbat John Stoke (ob. 1451), all 
that now exists of which are fragments of a triple canopy, the 
marginal inscription, and two scrolls ; the effigy of the abbat, and 
the figures of the Virgin and Child, St. Alban, and St. Amphibalus 
being lost. Beginning at the S. end of the next line of tombs, we 
have first the matrices only of a monk with scroll and foot inscrip- 
tion; secondly, the brassless slab of Abbat John de Marynes 
(1302-8) ; thirdly, the almost brassless remains of what is supposed 
to be Abbat John de la Moote's tomb (ob. 1400), the matrix exhibits 
the figure of an abbat wearing a mitre and holding a pastoral staff 
with the vexillum attached, the lower part of this figure is the 
palimpsest brass, now No. 3 on the board in Wheathampstede's 
chantry ; some portion still remains of the border inscription, 
taken from Job, xix. 25, and having between each word a strange 
device ; the evangelistic emblem of St. Luke still remains at one 
of the angles, as does also the following foot inscription : Hie 
quidam terra tegitur peccati solvens debitum^ Cut nomen non imponitur, 
in libra vitts sit conscriptum. " Here is one covered with earth, pay- 
ing the debt of sin, to whom a name is not given, may it be written 
in the Book of Life." The fourth is the slab with matrices of 
Bartholomew Halsey, his wife, children, foot inscription, and 
shield, the remaining brasses of which are Nos. 8 and 9 on the 
board in Wheathampstede's chantry. The fifth in this row is the 
defaced slab of Abbat John Berkhampstead (1291-1302), with a 
marginal inscription : Le Abbe yohan gist id, Deu de sa a/me eit 
merci^ vous ke par ici passes Pater e Ave pur lalme pries, e tous ke 
pur lalme priunt Deu, karaunte ans e karaunte jours de pardun 
averunt. " The Abbat John lieth here, May God have mercy on 
his soul ! ye who may pass by here say a Pater and an Ave for his 
soul, and all who pray God for his soul shall have forty years and 
forty days of pardon." The sixth is the slab of Richard Stondon, 
a priest, the inscription of which only remains. With the ex- 
ception of a small portion of a scroll over the head of a priest on a 
slab W. of that of Bartholomew Halsey, the remaining slabs are 
without their brasses, and whose bodies they cover is unknown. 

It was here, before the High Altar, that the body of Eleanor, 
Queen of Edward I., rested in 1291 when on its way to West- 
minster. The Eleanor Cross, which was erected in the High 
Street where a drinking fountain now stands, was taken down 
about 1700. 

28 C&e a&bep of 

THE NORTH TRANSEPT is of the period of Abbat Paul de Caen 
(1077-93). The public had access to this part of the church in 
the monastic times, and the services of the Guild of the Holy 
Trinity were held at the altar of the same dedication on the E. 
side. Pilgrims to the shrines of St. Alban and St. Amphibalus are 
said to have entered at the Norman doorway in the N. wall. 1 The 
N. front has been rebuilt by Lord Grimthorpe from the level of 
the gallery, and the very conspicuous rose window inserted. 
Below are two Norman windows, the splays of which are orna- 
mented with a vine pattern. The stained glass in them, representing 
the four Latin doctors, was erected in memory of Archdeacon 
Grant (ob. 1883) by his friends. 

Towards the N. end of this transept will be seen the monumental 
tomb of Thomas Legh Claughton, the first Bishop of St. Albans, 
who died in 1892. This monument was designed by Mr. J. 
Oldrid Scott, and Mr. Forsyth, of Hampstead, was the sculptor. 
The figure is in white marble, and the pedestal, which is of 
alabaster, is ornamented with marble inlays and armorial bearings. 

The two recesses in the E. wall originally led into two Norman 
apsidal chapels, which corresponded with those in the S. Transept. 
When these were destroyed, altars were placed in the recesses, 
that on the N. being dedicated to the Holy Trinity and that on 
the S. to St. Citha or St. Osyth. Within the recesses are some 
interesting ancient encaustic and embossed tiles, those in the N. 
recess, excepting the first row, are now, however, covered by the 
monumental tomb of Alfred Blomfield, Bishop of Colchester, 
suffragan of St. Albans, who died in 1 894. At the S. end of this 
wall will be noticed a painting, assigned to the fifteenth century, 
called the Incredulity of St. Thomas, which formed one of two 
paintings described as the History of the Resurrection. It repre- 
sents Christ standing and holding a cross staff with the vexillum or 
banner of the Resurrection in his left hand, and St. Thomas kneel- 
ing and thrusting his right hand into Christ's side. On a scroll 
issuing from the mouth of St. Thomas are the words Dominus meus 
et Dem meus ! " My Lord and my God ! " while on that issuing 
from our Lord's mouth are Beati qui non viderunt et crediderunt. 
" Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed." Beneath 
this picture was the altar of the Leaning Cross or the Holy Cross 
of Pity and St. Lawrence, at which were kept numerous relics. 

1 About the middle of the W. wall will be seen a small cross cut in a stone 
a little above the floor level; as it has been erroneously stated that this marks the 
traditional site of the martyrdom of St. Alban, it may be well to say that this 
cross was inserted in 1863 by Dr. Nicholson, rector of the Abbey, to mark the 
S. limit to which an organ, then being erected under the superintendence of his 
son, the Rev. H. D. Nicholson, might extend. This information is kindly 
supplied by the Rev. H. D. Nicholson to the compiler. 


The balluster shafts in the triforium are similar to those in the S. 
Transept, and like them are probably remnants of the Saxon church. 
There was formerly a flat painted ceiling here, probably of the 
sixteenth century, which was removed by Lord Grimthorpe ; the 
centre piece, representing the martyrdom of St. Alban, is now in the 
south aisle of Presbytery. 

The matrix of what must have been a fine canopied brass, with 
marginal inscription, will be noticed in a stone opposite the S. recess 
on the E. side which probably marks the tomb of William Stubbarde, 
a lay brother, who was celebrated as a stone carver in the time of 
Abbat de la Mare (1349-96). To the S. of this stone is another 
with the matrix of a half effigy of an ecclesiastic, with a foot inscrip- 
tion, probably that of Thomas Houghton who was sacrist at the 
close of the fourteenth century. 

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT is also the work of Abbat Paul de Caen 
(1077-93). On the W. side, close to the S. aisle of the choir, is 
a small grated window to a chamber, which it has been suggested 
was used for the purpose of watching. The chamber has now 
been filled up to strengthen the wall. The recess in the west wall, 
formerly an entrance from the Cloister, contains three ancient 
carved oak livery cupboards, which are filled with loaves of bread 
every Sunday for distribution to the poor, according to a charity 
founded by Robert Skelton in 1628. The cupboard on the S. side 
is the oldest, that on the N. is Elizabethan and that in the middle 
is of about the time of Charles I. 1 There was formerly at the S. 
end of the W. wall an ancient Norman doorway and door and on 
the latter was a very fine example of a Norman hinge which was 
rescued from destruction by Archdeacon Lawrance during the late 
restoration, and is now preserved at the South Kensington Museum. 
The whole of the S. front has been rebuilt from its foundations by 
Lord Grimthorpe, the Early English lancet windows are copied 
from the Five Sisters at York Minster (p. 2) and replaced a Per- 
pendicular window erected in 1832, which, in its turn, succeeded 
several of earlier dates. The shields of arms in the glass were 
originally inserted in 1832. Under the window is some Norman 
wall arcading, considerably restored, which came from the Slype, 
a passage from the Cloister to the Monks' Cemetery and Sumpter 
Yard, the entrance to which is by a late Norman doorway in the 
S. wall. This doorway is partially constructed with the stones of 
a very beautiful doorway formerly leading out of the W. end of the 
Slype into the Cloister, an inner ring has been added to it by Lord 
Grimthorpe to make the opening smaller. The Slype itself has been 
entirely rebuilt. In it will be found some more of the Norman wall 
arcading justreferred toandalargequantity of architectural fragments, 

1 See Half-Timbered Houses, etc.," by W. B. Sanders, p. 40. 

30 Cbe atJbep of 

promiscuously built into the wall, those in the S.E. corner 
come from the Chapter House, which was on the S. of the Slype, 
other fragments apparently formed a part of a reredos, a large 
portion of which is in the chapel of St. John the Evangelist. 
The two recesses in the E. wall formerly led into two Norman 
apsidal chapels, which were demolished in the early part of the 
fourteenth century to make room for a treasury or vestry. The 
chapel on the S. was dedicated to St. Stephen, and it was here that 
Abbat Gorham laid the shrine of St. Alban before King Stephen, 
pleading in the name of the holy martyr that the king would utterly 
destroy the remains of Kingsbury Castle, which was near to the 
entrance of the monastery and was a lurking-place for his enemies. 
The N. Chapel in the same wall was, before the destruction of the 
apsidal chapels, the Lady Chapel, but when the present Lady Chapel 
was built, the altar here was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. 
Within the chapel is a collection of architectural fragments which 
from time to time have come to light. 

At the N. end of the E. wall of this transept will be seen the 
remains of a mural painting of about the thirteenth century, or 
possibly earlier, representing a seraph descending from heaven with 
outstretched arms and wings, painted in red. The balluster shafts in 
the triforium with rings round them are probably Saxon, and being of 
different sizes were evidently taken from some other building, it is 
therefore supposed that they formed a part of the Saxon Abbey 
Church. It will be noticed that the wall plaster has been removed 
at various places in this transept to show the construction of the 
Norman arches and brickwork. 

Several stones with matrices for brasses will be found. Almost 
opposite the recess in the W. wall is the matrix of Prior Norton's 
brass (fourteenth century), while the matrix of the brass of Thomas 
Rutland (now on the board in Wheathampstede's chantry) and 
another of a priest are in a line with the aisle of the choir. At 
the entrance to the Chapel of St. Stephen is the matrix of the upper 
portion of an ecclesiastic with a scroll, which marks the tomb of 
John Gyldeford, prior of Belver (fifteenth century). 

SOUTH AISLE OF PRESBYTERY. At the entrance from the 
transept on the S. side is a Decorated holy water stoup, opposite 
to which is an aumbry in which the monks probably placed 
their books when coming from the Cloister to the services of the 
church. The Norman arch in the S. wall formerly led into the 
now demolished apsidal Lady Chapel, and above is a Norman 
window. In the next bay are the remains of two Norman windows, 
now built up, the plaster around which has been removed to show 
their construction. On the N. side of the aisle are two stone coffins, 
over these is a rude painting of the martyrdom of St. Alban, 
which formed the central panel in the ceiling of the N. Transept. 
On the same side is an ancient seventeenth century poor box, and 


above is a small figure of an old man of the same period, holding 
his hat in his hand, begging alms. The box and figure were for- 
merly against the wall at the E. end of the aisle, now pulled down. 
Over this figure is an epitaph to John Thomas, the first master 
of the grammar school. The first two bays of this aisle are 
Norman, the plaster vault being painted to represent masonry. The 
third bay, with the door on the S. side, is almost entirely new, as 
are also all the windows and the wall arcading. On the N. of 
the third bay will be seen the S. side of Abbat Wheathampstede's 
chantry, which is slightly different from that on the N. (p. 22). 
Most of the shields of arms are repeated, and the words Palles 
habundabunt again occur. Above is the inscription, Johannes, de 
loco frumentarJOj >uis jacet hie ? Pater ille "Johannes nomina magna 
Cut Wbethampstedio parvula villa dedit^ Triticeee in tumulo signant 
quodque nomen arista^Vitam res clara nan monumenta notant. "John 
of the corn-growing place. Who lies here ? That father John to 
whom the little village of Wheathampstead gave a great name. 
And which name the ears of wheat on his tomb signify. Noble 
deeds not monuments mark a life." 

period of the early part of the fourteenth century. On the N. 
side is the tomb of some unknown person, above which, on the wall, 
will be seen various monuments to the Maynard family, which was 
for a long time resident at St. Albans. Over the doorway into the 
Saints' Chapel are the arms of Abbat Wheathampstede, the oak door 
being of fourteenth century work ; on the floor opposite to it is a 
brass effigy of Ralph Rowlatt (ob. 1543), merchant of the Staple 
of Calais and ancestor of the celebrated Sarah Jennings, who be- 
came Duchess of Marlborough. Further E. may be seen the S. side 
of the tomb of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, son of Henry IV. 
and protector of the kingdom during the minority of Henry VI. 
It is difficult to conjecture who the figures in the canopied niches 
are intended to represent; they bear a very strong resemblance 
to the royal benefactors to the Abbey as painted in the fourteenth 
century MS. Book of Benefactors (Cott. MSS. Nero, D. 7), which 
lay on the High Altar, but it seems evident that the figures, which 
are not fixed, have at some time been taken out of their niches 
and not replaced in their right positions. 1 It seems probable that 
they are intended for the royal benefactors to the Abbey, most 
of whom would naturally be the duke's ancestors. 3 They are 

1 The lower figures have been examined by means of a ladder, and it appears 
that some of them do not fit the niches in which they are inserted. It is said they 
were taken down some years ago and casts made of a few of them, possibly they 
were not then returned to their right places. 

a Mr. Gough and others suggest that the figures are the kings of Mercia, 
but there are seventeen figures, and there were not seventeen kings of Mercia. 

32 C&e abbep of 

undoubtedly all kings, unfortunately their sceptres and swords have 
all been broken off. The third figure in the highest row may be 
Egfrith son of Offa, holding in his left hand his charter of con- 
firmation to the abbey, the fifth figure in the same row is probably 
Offa II. the founder of the abbey, holding the church in his hands ; 
the first in the second row resembles the painting of Edward II. 
in the Book of Benefactors, and the next, that of Edward I. (for 
a further description see under Saints' Chapel, below). In front 
of this tomb is an ancient grate, or iron screen, which is said to be 
the only trellis grille in England and earlier than any of its kind 
in France or Germany. It is of about the time of Edward I. 
(1272-1307) and of course considerably earlier than Duke 
Humphrey's tomb, and may have been used as a grate through 
which pilgrims and others viewed the shrine in the Saints' Chapel. 
Below the grate is an altar tomb, on the top of which is a Frosterley 
marble slab with five crosses (typical of the five wounds) cut in it, 
denoting that at one time the slab was used as an altar. In the S. 
wall, opposite to the door leading into the Saints' Chapel, are the 
remains of a perpendicular stone screen, which is said to have 
formed a part of Abbat Wallingford's Chantry Chapel. 

THE SAINTS' CHAPEL is of the same date and design as the 
Presbytery. The E. face of the High Altar Screen forms the W. 
side of this chapel, upon which will be seen the figures of the Virgin 
and Child in the middle, and St. Peter and St. John the Baptist on 
one side and St. Michael and St. Stephen on the other. Some old 
painted glass will be noticed in the E. window here. 

S. side, was probably erected during the lifetime of the Duke. He 
was the fourth and youngest son of Henry IV., a gentle and learned 
man, founder of the library at Oxford, now called the Bodleian 
Library, Protector of the kingdom during the minority of his 
nephew, Henry VI., and an intimate friend of Abbat Wheathamp- 
stede. He died in 1447, and the tomb of John Beauchamp (brother 
of Thomas, Earl of Warwick) in old St. Paul's, was for a long 
time supposed to contain his body. Necessitous people are said 
to have loitered about this tomb at dinner time, and herbs used 
to be strewn there, which gave rise to the expression of " dining 
with Duke Humphrey." The vault (access to which is obtained 
by the trap-door to the N. of the tomb) was discovered in Queen 
Anne's reign while making a grave here for Mr. John Gape. The 
duke's body was found in a leaden coffin full of pickle, in a good 
state of preservation. On the E. wall of the vault is a painting 
of the Crucifixion, now almost obliterated, a copy of which is in 
the Saints' Chapel. The monument is a good specimen of Per- 
pendicular work, the N. face of which has been very much more 
damaged than the S. The arms, the royal arms bordered argent, 


and their supporters, antelopes gorged and chained, on the cornice, 
have been very much mutilated, and the figures have been taken 
from all the niches above, on this side. The shields are sur- 
mounted by a helmet with elaborate mantling, and above the 
helmet either a cap of maintenance or a coronet. It will be noticed 
that the principal decoration is a small standing cup filled with 
what are probably intended for daisy flowers, a similar cup filled 
with what are apparently daisy leaves is given as a badge of 
Humphrey Duke of Gloucester in a MS. at 
the Heralds' College (L. 8, fol. 6d). This 
curious badge is round the coronets and on 
every part of the tomb. 

THE SHRINE OF ST. ALBAN, or, as it should 
more properly be called, the pedestal for the 
shrine, in the middle of the chapel, is of the 
Decorated period and of the early part of the 
fourteenth century. It is almost entirely of 
Purbeck marble, and consists of a basement 
2 ft. 6 in. in height and 8 ft. 7 in. in length 
by 3 ft. 2 in. in width, having on the sides 
and ends large quatrefoils, each foil being 

, /- ! i TM TIT / *i i n 

sub-treroiled. Ine W. quatreroil on the a. 
side has a lozenge-shaped opening passing through to the opposite 
side, while the E. quatrefoil on the same side has a similar open- 
ing, but going only half way through. These apertures, it is 
suggested, were intended for the insertion of diseased limbs or of 
cloths to be applied to such limbs, that the healing qualities of the 
Saint's relics might be tried upon them. Above the basement are 
four niches, on each side, and one at either end, three of which on 
the N. side have lost their canopies. The recesses are some of 
them painted blue and others red and ornamented with three lions 
for England, fleurs-de-lys for France, and with stars and dots in 
gilding. These niches are supposed to have held relics and offer- 
ings. The canopies over the niches and the work above them are 
very delicately carved. In each of the spandrels are figures, those 
at the corners being angels censing, while at the W. end is a 
representation of the martyrdom of St. Alban. On the S. side the 
W. figure is lost, the middle is that of King Offa, founder of the 
Abbey, holding a model of the church, and that on the E. is a 
king, probably St. Oswyn, king and martyr, on the E. side is a 
representation, probably of the Scourging of St. Alban, below 
which is probably another figure of King Offa, while on the N. 
side the only figure remaining is that of a bishop or abbat, and is 
probably intended for St. Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester. In the 
pediments are triangular carvings of foliage, and at the top is 
a richly carved cornice of leaves. Around the base are places for 





fourteen detached shafts, outside of these on each side were three 
other shafts, a portion of one of which, of twisted pattern, is on the 
S. side ; these latter shafts were probably intended for carrying 
tapers to burn at the shrine. What now remains of the shrine or 
pedestal was found in over 2,000 pieces built up into the walls, 
which filled up the three Eastern arches of this chapel, and in a 
built-up doorway in the south aisle of the Presbytery. These 
fragments were carefully put together with shellac in 1872. Upon 
this pedestal lay the por table feretrum^ or shrine proper, probably of 
metal or wood covered with plates of gold or silver, and enriched 
with jewels and enamels. From a description, 1 of the early part of 
the fifteenth century, it appears, as was usual, to have been in the 
shape of a church without transepts, or, perhaps, rather of a coped 
chest. It had a silver-gilt tower or turret, given by Abbat Thomas 
de la Mare (1349-96), on the lower part of which was a repre- 
sentation in silver-gilt of the Resurrection, with two angels and 
four knights guarding the sepulchre. Upon the shrine stood a 
silver-gilt eagle of wonderful workmanship, the gift of the same 
abbat. There were also two suns, presented by John Savage, a 
monk, the centres of which were of gold and having rays of silver- 
gilt, terminating with precious stones. With it were preserved 
numerous relics, such as a piece of the true cross, a fragment of 

the Holy Sepulchre, a por- 
tion of the column to which 
our Lord was bound when 
being scourged, a piece of 
the garment of the Virgin, 
a finger of St. Peter, and 
numerous other memorials 
of saints. This shrine was 
carried in procession by four 
of the monks (p. 9). There 
was probably a wooden 
canopy to cover the shrine 
which was raised and 
lowered by means of a rope 
running through a pulley. 
A mark in the ceiling to 
the W. of the boss over the 
shrine is said to indicate the 
position of the hook for the 

pulley. At the W. end of the pedestal for the shrine was the altar 
of St. Alban. 

Cottonian MSS., Claudius, E. 4, at the British Museum. 


In 1849, w ^ile relaying the pavement here, a bone seal of the 
early part of the twelfth century was found. It exhibits a very 
curious example of military equipment, and bears the legend 
Sigillum Ricardi de Vierle. The name Verli was not uncommon in 
the counties of Essex and Hertford, being derived probably from 
the parish of Virley in the former county. 

THE WATCHING LOFT, on the N. side, is of carved oak, and with 
the exception of a similar loft at Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, 
it is the only one now existing. In it a monk, designated custos 
feretri^ or keeper of the shrine, was posted, who kept constant 
watch upon the saint's relics. It is of the early Perpendicular 
period, and Mr. Neale gives the date of its erection as about 1420, 
but as it bears the white hart, the badge of Richard II., it is possibly 
a few years earlier. In the ground story are cupboards or lockers 
in which relics and sacred vestments were deposited, but which are 
now filled with Roman pottery, architectural fragments, and a 
portion of the black woollen garment and a hazel-wood staff of a 
monk, found in a stone coffin in the N. porch, and the framework 
of a bridal garland which formerly hung in the S. aisle of nave in 
memory of a bride who died either on her wedding day, or within 
a week thereof. In the W. door of the E. locker is a slit through 
which to drop money, and on the inside are the remains of a leather 
pouch to receive the money dropped through. At the E. end of the 
lockers is a staircase to the room in which the monks watched, the 
stairs of which are solid blocks of oak. On the central cornice is a 
series of carvings, now much mutilated, representing on the S. side 
angels playing various musical instruments, a hart, the badge of 
Richard II., the martyrdom of St. Alban, Time as a reaper, and the 
seasons. On the N. side the carvings are mostly supposed to represent 
the months :* January, a man and woman seated at a bench feasting; 
February, a man and woman warming themselves before a fire and 
a third figure blowing a pair of bellows j March, a shepherd seated 
blowing a double pipe and four sheep attending j April, a sheep 
with a lamb sucking ; May, a woman milking ; the rest of the 
months, except September, which is a huntsman with a horn and 
dogs, and November, a sow with a litter of pigs, it is difficult to 
make out. Besides the months, we also get on this side the 
martyrdom of St. Alban, men wrestling, etc. Upon the upper 
cornice were a number of shields only two of which now remain. 
There was a cresting along the top of the structure which is now 
entirely destroyed. 

At the N. end of the stone screen which fills up the three arches 
on the E. side to a height of eight feet is a painting of St. William 
of York with his arms (Lozengy argent and gules'] below. In the 

1 " Archaeologia," xliv. 165. 

36 C&e a&bep of 

N. bay stood the altar of St. Hugh and the Relics, in which are 
said to have been placed the relics of the Twelve Apostles, given 
to the church by St. Germain, and of many other saints. In the 
S. bay was the altar of St. Wulfstan or of the Salutation. Lord 
Grimthorpe has built into the middle of each of these bays some 
architectural fragments, several of them of his own design and placed 
there as an attempt to deceive the unwary antiquary. The piscina 
in the middle bay comes from another part of the church. 

ing W. on passing out of the N. door of the Saints' Chapel, there will 
be seen the N. face of Abbat Ramryge's Chantry. The design is 
the same as that on the S. face (p. 15) and at some places in better 
preservation. The arms in the panels at the base are those of this 
Abbey with the same supporters as previously described. The arms 
in the shields in the cornice above, beginning at the E. end are 
(i) St. Albans, a saltire ; (2) is probably Pembroke Priory, a cell of 
St. Alban's, the lion rampant is likely to be Welsh and the orle of 
daisies (his badge) referring to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the 
donor of the priory to St. Alban's; (3) the arms of Abbat de la Mare, 
three eagles displayed upon a bend; (4) the arms and supporters of 
Henry VII. ; (5 and 6) have not been identified, but they probably 
refer to Wallingford, Belver, or Hatfield Peverell Priories, cells of 
St. Alban's; (7) Redbourn Priory, a cell of St. Alban's, a bend 
between six mart lets. 1 

Over the door from the Presbytery is an oil painting of the 
Last Supper 2 said to be by Sir James Thornhill, which was pre- 
sented to the church by Captain Polehampton at the beginning of 
the eighteenth century, and hung for many years over the High 
Altar. Above the second arch from the N. transept will be seen 
a curious painting of King Offa which is probably of the fifteenth 
century. The large doors leaning against the N. wall came from 
the central porch of the old W. front, and are fine specimens of late 
fourteenth century work. Excepting the westernmost bay, which 
is Norman, this aisle was built in the time of Abbat John de Hertford 
(1235-60). The Early English wall arcading on the N. side is 
considered to be of beautiful proportions. The first window from 
the W. which has been renewed by Lord Grimthorpe, now takes 

1 Cott. MSS. Nero, D. 7, fol. 90. 

2 This has been said to be the famous picture that Dr. Welton commissioned 
W. Fellowes to paint for an altar-piece in his church at Whitechapel, in which 
Judas, who formed the most prominent figure, was a portrait of White Kennett, 
Dean and afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, a violent opposer of Sacheverel. 
A print of this picture exists at the Society of Antiquaries which has been 
carefully compared with the picture here, and although there are points of 
similarity, the whole arrangement of the figures, the background and foreground 
is different. 


the place of the entrance to the apsidal chapels formerly on the E. 
side of the N. transept. The flat arch in the wall arcading is 
supposed to be the site of Abbat John de Hertford's monumental 
tomb. On the ground opposite the entrance to the Saints' Chapel 
will be seen the brass of Thomas Fayreman (ob. 1411), and 
his wife. 

At the N. E. of this aisle are the remains of the pedestal of 
the SHRINE OF ST. AMPHIBALUS, which, like the more elaborate 
shrine of St. Alban, was found in pieces built up in the walls 
which filled up the arches at the E. end of the Saints' Chapel. It 
stood in the middle of the Ante-Chapel. It is composed of clunch 
stone; the basement measures 6 ft. by 3 ft. 10 in. The N. and 
the E. faces of it are missing. Above the basement is a series 
of arched niches over which is a cornice. On the N. and S. faces 
are the letters R. W. for Ralph Witechurch, Sacrist of the Abbey 
in the latter half of the fourteenth century, at whose cost the 
pedestal was built. 

THE ANTE-CHAPEL, OR RETRO CHOIR, is of the Transitional 
period from Early English to Decorated, and was built during the 
abbacies of Roger de Norton (126 0-90) and Johnde Berkhampstede 
(1291-1301). At the W. end was formerly a thoroughfare, passing 
through the church, which was closed in 1878, and this part of the 
church is now intended for use as a chapter house. This and the 
Lady Chapel were in a very dilapidated condition, and their restora- 
tion was at first taken in hand under the guidance of Sir Gilbert Scott 
and later by Lord Grimthorpe. The wall arcading has been nearly 
wholly renewed, that on the N. being mostly completed before Lord 
Grimthorpe's restorations were commenced, but the remainder, in- 
cluding the sedilia on the W. side are his work. The naturalistic 
carving was executed by Mr. John Baker, of Kennington Park 
Road, who has represented in his work the plants and trees of the 
neighbourhood, such as the passion flower, maple, ivy, primrose, 
vine, oak, blackberry, filbert, gooseberry, wild rose, thorn, fig, currant, 
sycamore, etc. The oak vaulting in the N. aisle was erected by 
Sir Gilbert Scott, that on the S. and the ceiling between are by 
Lord Grimthorpe. The shrine of St. Amphibalus occupied the 
centre of the Ante-Chapel, to the W. of which was an altar 
dedicated to the same Saint. Under the window in the E. wall, 
on the S. side, was the altar of St. Mary of the Four Tapers, to 
which probably belonged the aumbry in the same wall and the 
beautiful triple-arched piscina, a little to the W. Against the 
corresponding wall on the N. side was the altar of St. Michael, 
while on the W. side of the N. pillar was the altar of St. Edmund^ 
King and Martyr, and on the same side of the S. pillar the altar 
of St. Peter. Here was buried William Heyworth, Abbat of St. 
Albans (1401-20), and afterwards Bishop of Lichfield (1420-47). 

38 &e a&feep of 

In the middle of the S. aisle, in a line with the pillar, there was 
found in 1872 in a hole the lid of a small wooden box of oriental 
workmanship which probably contained the heart of Abbat Roger 
de Norton (1260-90). 

THE LADY CHAPEL was mainly built during the abbacy of 
Hugh de Eversden (1308-26), the best period of the Decorated 
style. Mass was daily said here, and orders were conferred in 
1430. After the dissolution of the monastery this chapel was 
converted, under a charter of Edward VI., into a grammar school, 
and consequently some of its delicate carvings were almost obliter- 
ated by the ready penknives of three centuries of scholars, although 
the greater part of the damage was committed when the school- 
room was panelled. Very extensive restorations had, therefore, to 
be taken in hand when the school was moved to the Abbey Gate- 
way and adjoining buildings. Like that in the Ante-chapel, the 
wall arcading has been renewed, the carvings being also by Mr. 
Baker, who has followed a similar scheme to that carried out in 
the Ante-chapel by representing more especially the flora of the 
district. Besides those already given, are the following flowers and 
foliage : the convolvulus, marsh mallow, polypodium fern, pear, 
orange, primula, buttercup, pansy, tomato, poppy, azalea, orchid, 
winter cherry, arum lily, etc. The windows have been cut through 
the middle, the inside being the old work and the outside new. 
On the jambs and monials are small canopied niches containing 
figures of saints, kings, bishops, and abbats, and at the edge of each 
splay is a border of ball flower ornament. The stained glass in all 
the windows is modern. The S.E. window was inserted at the 
cost of the twelve great Livery Companies of the City of London, 
and contains their arms. The glass in the middle window on the S. 
side was given in 1881, by Mrs. Eleanor Lucy Leigh, afterwards 
Madame de Falbe, of Luton Hoo, and that in the next window 
on the W. side was presented by the nephews and nieces of Lord 
Grimthorpe to commemorate his golden wedding day in 1895. 
The stone vaulting which was erected by Lord Grimthorpe, re- 
placed a wooden vault ; and the marble pavement was also laid 
down by him. 

Up the middle of the Lady Chapel were the tombs of Lord 
Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, grandson of John of Gaunt, 
Lord Henry Percy, second Earl of Northumberland, son of the 
renowned Hotspur, and Thomas, Lord Clifford, who were all 
killed fighting on the Lancastrian side at the first battle of St. 
Albans in 1455. Their bodies, we are told, were found lying in 
the streets of St. Albans, and were here buried by Abbat Wheat- 
ham pstede. Below the altar steps on the north side stood the 
tombs of Alphonse de Vere, son of Robert, fifth Earl of Oxford, 
whose son in 1331 became seventh Earl of Oxford, and next to 


him his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Foliot. What is now 
the vestry was the Chapel of the Transfiguration, consecrated in 

Chalice, with date-mark 1 527, taken from the Abbey 
Church by Sir Thomas Pope, one of the Visitors ap- 
pointed by the Crown, and by him given to Trinity 
College, Oxford, which he founded, and where it is 
still preserved. This drawing is taken, by kind permis- 
sion, from "The Decorative Arts of the Middle Ages," 
by Henry Shaw, F.S.A. 

4 o 



Kings of 


Began Ecclesiastical 


to reign 

Abbats of St. Albans. 

to rule Architecture. 

A. D. 
























Mtfric 2nd. 






Norman Line. 

William the 





Paul de Caen 


Will. Rufus 



Richard d'Aubeny or 
de Albini 



Henry I. 



Geoffrey de Gorham 





Ralph de Gobion 


1 8. 

Robert de Gorham 

1151 * 

Saxon Line 


Henry II. 
Richard I. 




Warren de Cambridge 

II8 3 

or mixed 
and Pointed. 


John de Cella, or of 


"95 J 



Henry III. 



William de Trumpington 
John de Hertford 

12I O Early Lan- 
"35 J ^ 

1 The year in which the Abbats before the Conquest began their respective 
Rules is omitted, because of the uncertainty of the dates up to that time. The 
same cause prevented the introduction of the names of the Kings. 

Kings of 


Began Ecclesiastical 


to reign 

Abbats of St. Albans. 

to rule Architecture. 



Edward I. 




Roger de Norton 

John de Berkhampsted 
John de Marinis 

1260 ] Early or 
} Geomet. 

1302 J 

Edward II. 



Hugh de Eversden 

1308 I 


Richard de Wallingford 

1326 Later 

Edward III. 

I32 7 

2 9 . 

Michael de Mentmore 

i j-jdicr 

1335 1 Decorated - 

Thomas de la Mare 

'349 J 

Richard II. 



John Moote 


Line of 


Henry IV. 



William Heyworth 


Henry V. 



John Wheathampsted 



Henry VI. 




John Stokes 


John Wheathampsted re- 



Line of Tor k. 

Edward IV. 



William Alban 



William Wallingford 

1476 J 

Edward V. 


Richard III. 

The Families 


Henry VII. 



Thomas Ramryge 


Henry VIII. 



Thomas Wolfey 



Robert Catton 

>. Tudor or 


Richard Boreman de Ste- 




and furrendered the 
next vear. 

42 Cfje abbep of 


I HE present town of St. Albans may be considered as 
owing its early origin to Ulsinus, or Ulsic, the 6th 
Abbat, circ. 948, who built the three churches of 
St. Peter, St. Michael, and St. Stephen, on the three 
principal roads leading from his Monastery. 

The new Church Yard of the Abbey parish, 
west of the Church, of a triangular shape, was until lately a plot of 
waste ground, called Rome Land, upon which George Tanker- 
ville, after being tried and condemned by Bishop Bonner, was 
burned alive, pursuant to his sentence, on the 26th August, 1556. 
(Fox's Book of Martyrs, p. 230.) 

Almost at the foot of the Abbey on the north is a tower called 
the Clock House. Matthew Paris records that in his day a tower 
was standing near the Monastery, bearing the name of King Ca- 
nute ; the only remains of the Royal Palace at Kingsbury, dis- 
mantled by Abbat ^Elfric II. (p. 10). But the present structure, 
even if it be on the same site, is of much more modern date ; and 
Clutterbuck states that there are Deeds preserved in the Archives 
of the Corporation, showing that it was built for a clock house 
between the years 1402 and 1427. 

In the area at its base, where a fountain is seen, stood the 
Cross erected by Edward I. in memory of his Queen Eleanor. 
(P. 66.) 

The parish church of St. Peter is seen at the entrance of the 
town on the north. A great number of the bodies of such as were 
slain in the two battles between the rival Houses of York and 
Lancaster, were buried in this church and churchyard. (Gough's 
Sep. Mon.) Chauncy, in his mention of the monumental records 
in this Church, notices the tomb of Sir Berlin Entwysel, slain in 
the first battle of St. Albans fighting for the King. " Here lyeth 
" Sir Berlin Entwysel, Kt. . . . died 28 May, 1455 ;" also the 
Epitaphs of Ralph Babthorpe and Ralph his son ; the father Squire, 
the son Dapifer to Henry VI. died 22 May, 1455 and the follow- 
ing: Hie jacet Edmundus Westby Arm. Justiciarius Pacis Com. 
Hertford et Hundredarius ac Balivus de Franchesia Sancti Albani et 
Margaretta uxor ejus qui Ed : obiit 18 Sept. 1475. Weever, who 
records this last monument as extant in his day, adds, on the 


authority of Stowe^ in his Annah, that Henry VI. was in this Ed- 
mund's House during the time of the first battle in the Town. The 
House, with its grounds adjoining the Churchyard of St. Peter's, is 
said to have been at that time the property of the above Edmund 

In the List of those admitted into the Fraternity of the Monas- 
tery (Cotton MS. Nero, D vii.) is inserted " Willielmus Westby, 
" Hundreder of this Monastery and Justice of the Peace. The 
" benefit of our Fraternity is granted to him and his wife Agnes on 
" his petition, Anno Domini 1487." 

These monuments disappeared when this Church was deprived 
of its Chancel and Transepts in the beginning of this century. 

Close by, on the left, is Bernard's Heath, where the second 
battle was fought. 

Hatfield House, the noble residence of the Marquis of Salisbury, 
lies in the distance on the right, and may be seen distinctly with 
the aid of the telescope. An Oak is still shown in the Park, under 
which the Princess Elizabeth was sitting when intelligence was 
brought to her of the death of Queen Mary. The House in times 
past belonged to the Bishops of Ely, whereupon it was named 
Bishops Hatfield. (Camden's Brit.) 

On the east side of the town, verging towards the south, and 
just at the back of the houses, extended Key Field, the Arena of 
the first conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster. 

On the distant hill is seen Porter's Lodge, the modern residence 
of the Lords of Weld Randolfes. 

The ancient Manor House stood at a short distance north of it, 
and is described by Chauncy as compassed with a moat, having a 
park adjoining to it. It was occupied for a time by Humphrey 
Duke of Gloucester (Graf ton' $ Chronicle and Newcome, p. 509 
et setf.) 

Further to the right, on the other side of the river, are seen the 
ruins of Sopwell Nunnery (p. 13). Camden (Britannia, published 
1586) and Stukeley (Itmerarium Curiosum^ in 1720) record the 
tradition that Henry VIII. was married to Anna Boleyn in this 
Nunnery. In the distribution of the property of the Monastery 
and its dependents this Religious House fell to the lot of Sir 
Richard Lee (pp. 6 and 86). Newcome states that he repaired 
and enlarged the structure with the materials of the dissolved Mo- 
nastery, and built the wall which enclosed the lands from the 
London Road. The house of Sopwell fell into decay in the reign 
of Charles II. Among the parts taken down were ten large cir- 
cular medallions of stone, representing some of the Roman Em- 
perors. These were purchased by the Lord of Salisbury Manor, 
in the parish of Shenley, and by him placed in the wall of his Hall, 
then building anew, and are now still remaining there. 

44 &6e a&bep of aint aiban. 

In a field near the town, and nearly in the line of sight joining 
these ruins and the Abbey, is the Ancient Well, from which the 
Nunnery obtained its name, indicated by a protecting arch of brick- 
work, and a tree planted near to it. 

The site of the Hospital of St. Julian (p. 57), assigned to Tho- 
mas Lee, the brother of Sir Richard, is marked by a farm house 
(which preserves the name) and a double line of fir trees to the left 
of St. Stephen's Church. 

The ancient Watling Street seems to have passed by St. Ste- 
phen's directly through the Roman city, a little southward of St. 
Mary's Chapel 1 and St. Michael's Church. Nevertheless, there is 
a road round about, without the south side of the walls, for those 
that had no occasion to go through the city (Stukeley's Itin. Cur. 
and Pennant's Chester to London). The line of road carries the eye 
on to the right, past the chief remains of the walls and foss of 
Verulam, in a fir plantation, to Gorhambury (see p. 59), the resi- 
dence of the Earl of Verulam, where a vestige is still to be seen of 
the mansion built in the time of Robert de Gorham, and the ruins 
of that in which Lord Bacon resided. He was buried in the 
church of St. Michael. 

The river bears the name of the Ver. It rises about nine miles 
off towards the west, flowing by Merkyate Cell and falling into 
the Colne four miles to the south-east 

Nearly at the completion of the circuit is a white house on a 
hill, called Oyster Hill. The name is possibly a corruption of 
Ostorius' Hill, indicating the place of encampment of the Pro- 
praetor in the time of the Emperor Claudius (Camden). 

1 St. Mary de Pratis. 


>ME mention of the Town of Verulam, out of 
whose gates the Martyr Alban passed to his death 
on the rising ground where the Abbey Church now 
stands, will properly accompany an account of the 
monastery founded in his honour. 

It is generally agreed that the name of the town 
was of British origin, and originated in that of the river Ver or Ver- 
lam 1 which flowed beneath its walls. It rises in the parish of Flam- 
stead which is probably a contraction of Verlamstead (Camden) 
and at one time formed a great pool at what is now the lower 
part of St. Albans ; which still preserves the memory of its origin 
in the name of Fishpool Street. 

The name of the town is given 
as Oi/foXawov by Ptolemy Vero- 
lamium in the Itinerary of Anto- 
ninus while it appears in the form 
of Verlamio on its coins. 

Bythe term town (Oppidum) as 
applied by the ancient inhabitants 
of our island, we are to understand 
a collection of rude huts and sta- 
bling or sheds protected by palli- 
sadoes and a ditch, and further 
assisted by the natural advantages 


of entangled woods and morasses 

to which the occupants retired to defend themselves against an 

invading enemy (Caesar and Strabo). 

1 Ver or Verlam, now called the Mure. Camden (Britannia, edit i*, 
1586.) Verlumus or Murus, now called Moore. Lambarde (Diet. Ang. : 
Top. and Hist. ; London, 1730). Ver; hence the name of the place Gwerllan. 
or the Temple on the Ver. Humphrey Llwyd (Commentariolum. London, 
1731.) Ver or Meure. Brayley (Beauties of England and Wales, 1808). 


be afefcep of 

After the Romans had brought the people under subjection they 
conferred upon this place the term of dignity Municipium. 

It is said to have been the residence or capital of Cassivellaunus, 
the Prince of the Cassii, from whom he derived his name. 1 The 
territory of these people subsequently became part of the early 
possessions of the monastery of St. Albans, under the name of 
Albaneston ; 8 the Normans changed it into Caisho, which has re- 
mained to the present time. 

On the second invasion of Britain by Caesar, B.C. 54, the forces 
of Cassivellaunus were defeated, and the Britons, it is supposed, 
retreated into Verulam. 

It is probable from the circumstance that the name of Verulam 
appears on coins which were struck within a short period of 
Caesar's landing that it was at that time a place of importance. 
Certainly it was the capital of Tasciovanus, the Father of Cunobe- 
line, some of whose coins, besides those bearing merely the name 
of the town upon them, have been found here. 8 

When Aulus Plautius first commanded in Britain (A. D. 42), 
Verulam had the pre-eminence of a Municipium conferred upon it; 
the native inhabitants enjoying the rights and privileges of office 

1 Ita dictus est quasi Cassiorum princeps. Id ni esset, cur hinc Cassivel- 
launum Dio vocat Suellan pro Vellan ? Camden. 

a In Domesday Book, land belonging to the monastery is said to be in 
Albaneston Hundred. 

* An account of Coins found upon and near the site of Ancient Verulam j 

by John Evans, F.R.S., F.S.A., Num. Chron. xx. 101. The author of the 

paper here cited closes his catalogue with the following remarks, exemplifying 

very forcibly the valuable service which such collections render to the historian 

of any age or country. " These coins convey to the mind more forcibly than 

"any historical evidence the reality of such a city having existed, of which so 

" few visible traces now remain, and give some idea of the extent of its popula- 

' tion. We may picture it, as we glance over the list of coins, first as the 

' capital of one of the chief tribes of the Britons, becoming a military colony 

' under Claudius, and burned to the ground by Boadicea soon after it had 

' attained the rank of a Municipium under Nero. We may see signs of its 

' restoration under Vespasian and Domitian, when Agricola had carried the 

' scene of the war with the Britons far away into the north, and of its peaceful 

'occupation during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus j while the 

"scarcity of the coins of Aurelius and Commodus points to the disturbed state 

" of Britain, which led to the arrival of Severus, whose presence is abundantly 

*' testified by his coins. We may then imagine a period of comparative inaction 

" till the days when Postumus, Victorinus and Tetricus successively held 

" dominion in Britain, and find evidence that Verulam was a town of impor- 

" tance under the British Emperors Carausius and Allectus. We may trace 

" the prosperity it enjoyed under the able rule of Constantine ; a prosperity! 

'* which lasted during the reign of his sons ; while the increasing barbarism 

" and approaching dissolution of the Roman power in Britain becomes evident 

" on the coins of their successors, and the series terminates with what can 

" hardly be termed a coinage, the evident result of sheer anarchy and bar- 

" barism." 

>aint aiimtu 47 

and government of law and property equally with the Romans 

The fidelity of the inhabitants of Verulam to the service and 
interests of the Romans brought upon them the anger of Boadicea, 1 
Queen of the Iceni, who, A.D. 61, avenged the bitter wrongs of 
herself and her people by the slaughter of many thousands 
Romans and Britons indiscriminately (Tacitus' Annals, 14, 33). 
Dion Cassius writes that 70,000 were hanged, crucified or cut in 
pieces without mercy. 

Suetonius Paulinus was at this time occupied in the conquest 
of Mona (the Isle of Anglesey). He came quickly upon the 
victors and retook the city, with great slaughter of the Britons. 

" In the meantime the true sun not that in the firmament, but 
" the Sun in the Highest Heavens first shed its bright beams upon 
" this island frozen by winter cold and long distance from the visible 
" sun, i.e., Christ sent his messengers to preach the Gospel." (Gildas.) 
The context shows that by the mean time the writer intended the 
interval between Plautius' government and the revolt of Boadicea. 

After Agricola had entirely subdued the island, A.D. 79, he 
prudently taught the people the arts of civilization ; and the 
Britons lived in much ease and quiet It is also matter of 
accepted history that the Christian faith continued to gain ground 
until the time when its maintainers throughout the empire suffered 
dreadful persecution under the edict of Diocletian, at Nicomedia, 
A. D. 303 ; which was carried out in Britain by Maximianus 
Herculius (whom he had associated with himself in the Empire) 
and Asclepiodotus 2 (Leland's Collectanea). "In the days of 
" Asclepiodotus was gret persecution of Cristen pepell by the tyrant 
" Diocletian. In this same time Saint Alban was martered." (The 
Saint Albans Chronicle, a MS. in the Archiepiscopal Library in 
Lambeth Palace.) 

Alban stands recorded in history as the proto-martyr of Britain. 
He had given shelter and hospitality to Amphibalus, 3 a Christian 
and Deacon of the Church ; receiving through intercourse with 
him an abundant return in his own conversion to the Faith. 

1 According to some MSS. Boadicia or Bonduca. 

9 Asclepiodotus commanded in Britain, under Constantius Chlorus, in the 
year 296, and recovered Britain to the Roman Emperors after ten years of 
revolt under Carausius and Allectus. He is mentioned by Eutropius, Bede, and 
Geoffrey of Monmouth. " It is probable that he is the Asclepiodotus 
" who wrote the life of Diocletian cited twice by Vopiscus in the life of 
" Aurelian." (Collier's Hist. Diet.) St. Alban the Briton suffered in the time 
of Asclepiodotus. (Acta Sanct.) 

3 The name is of Greek formation, and signifies a cloak or mantle. Fuller 
(Ch. Hist.) suggests that it may be a Greek translation of the name in his 
own language, he observes that " Samuel was marked by such a mantle. So 
" Robert Curthose had his surname from going in such a garment." 

48 C&e atfcep of 

When search was made for Amphibalus, Alban enabled him to 
escape, and thus brought upon himself the death from which he 
had for a time rescued his friend. Amphibalus was subsequently 
captured in Wales. The intention of his persecutors seems to 
have been that he also should suffer at Verulam ; but he was put 
to death about four miles short of the city, where the village of Red- 
bourn now stands, the church of which is dedicated to his memory. 1 

In an old Agonal or History of the passion of St. Alban, we are 
told that the citizens of Verulam caused an account of his suffer- 
ings to be recorded on a marble tablet, which they placed in their 
town wall, as a public opprobrium to him, and a terror to all 
Christians. But afterwards, when the blood of martyrs had over- 
come the cruelty of tyrants, the Christians built a church in his 
memory (Camden). 

Gildas, who wrote De Excidio Britanniae in 564 Bede the 
Historian in 731 the writer of an ancient MS. of the Monastery 
of Rochester, to which the date 794 is assigned (see Leland's Col- 
lectanea) and Matthew of Westminster under A. D. 313 concur in 
the fact that a Church was founded in honour of Alban on the 
spot where he suffered, within a very few years after the martyrdom. 

Alford cites Giraldus Cambrensis, who lived about A. D. 1300, 
as testifying that sacred edifices were erected in honour of St. 
Alban and other martyrs of whom he was writing, in the time of 
the Britons and before the Saxon invasion. 

Among them was the Church of St. Alban, Wood Street, 
London, founded by Offa, contiguous to his palace ; and the feel- 
ing has especially revived in our own times of dedicating churches 
to the memory of our martyr. 

" Verulam carried with it so great an opinion of religion, that 
" therein was holden a Synode or Council in the year of the 
" World's Redemption, 429 j when as the pelagian Heresie by 
" means of Agricola, sonne to the Bishop Severianus had budded 
" forth afresh into this Island, and polluted the British Churches 
** so as that, to averre and maintain the truth, they sent for Ger- 
'* manus, Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troies, out of 
" France ; who by refuting this heresie gained unto themselves a 
" reverend account among the Britons." (Camden's Britannia.) 

It is worthy of remark that Matthew of Westminster and other 
ancient English writers represent this mission as having arisen out 
of a request on the part of the British Church acceded to by a 
council of the ancient Gallicans, without any mention of papal 

Germanus, when about to return home on the successful termi- 

1 Several churches formerly bore his name chief of them was the first 
foundation of the noble cathedral of Winchester. 


nation of his mission, caused the tomb and coffin of Alban to be 
opened, and deposited therein certain relics of apostles and martyrs, 
(see pp. 50 and 56) receiving some similar memorial of our 
martyr which was taken out of the coffin, and presented to him in 
gratitude for the benefit he had conferred on Britain. 

Not long after the visit of Germanus, Verulam fell into the 
hands of the Saxons. But Uther Pendragon, after a very tedious 
siege, recovered it (Brompton). Upon his death it fell again into 
their hands, for Gildas plainly intimates that the Saxons, in his day 
(circ. A. D. 564) were in possession of the city. They are sup- 
posed to have destroyed the population and reduced the buildings 
to a mass of ruin. It is said that through the two succeeding 
centuries its name does not occur in history. But there are 
various events of later date which render the opinion probable 
that it was not wholly deserted until after the rise of the modern 
St. Albans. 

The Saxons, on gaining ascendency over the Britons, changed 
the name from Verulam to Werlamceaster, or Watlingceaster, or 
Waetlingaceaster, 1 according to the readings of different MSS. ; 
the name of the city being taken from that of the Roman road, 
Watling Street, which passed through it ; and is described by 
Florentius (circ. A.D. 1117), cited by Ingram in his edition of the 
Saxon Chronicle as Strata quamfilii Watli Regis ab orientali mare 
usque ad occidentals per Angliam straverunt. 

Sumner assigns another etymology and calls it mendicorum via 
the road of mendicants, from Weatla egenus. Dr. Guest 2 
observes that the Waetlings were the wild men who lived in the 
weald as contradistinguished from the husbandmen who cultivated 
the plain, and that the woodlands through which the Watling 
Street ran for some 30 or 40 miles after leaving London, were 
notorious during the middle ages for the banditti which infested 
them. Matthew Paris tells us that Leofstan, abbat of St. Albans 
in the nth century, cut down all the trees within a certain dis- 
tance of the highway to enable travellers the better to provide 
against the robbers that lay in wait for them. 

Stukeley (Itiner. Cur. Iter 5, in a paper dated 10 October, 
1722) writes, "Three years ago good part of the wall of Verulam 
" was standing . . . but ever since, out of wretched ignorance 
"... they have been pulling it up all round to the very 
" foundation to mend the ways . . . there are round holes quite 
*' through the wall, at about eight yards distance, in that corner 
" still left by St. German's Chapel." 

The place of martyrdom the hill on which the church now 
stands received from the Saxons the name of Holmehurst ; after- 

1 Cod. Diplom. No. 696. 2 Arch. Journ. xiv. 114. 





wards it was called Derswold 1 (Stow's Annals, London, 1631,) who 
puts the name of John Capgrave in the margin as his authority. 

Bede states in his History, that the original Church was existent 
in his day. " Ecclesia est mirandi operis, atque ejus martyrio 
" condigna, extructa." i. 7. 

About the year 793, Offa II. 2 King of the Mercians, having 
murdered Ethelbert King of the East Angles, and being desirous 
of re-establishing his character in the world and appeasing his 
troubled conscience, determined on founding a monastery in 
honour of Alban at the place of his martyrdom. William of 
Malmesbury says (lib. i. cap. 4) that the King was animated to 
this work by Charlemagne, with whom he held a friendly corre- 
spondence. He first made search for the Coffin, which had long 
1 ain hidden under the green sod (sub cespite diu absconditum, Matt. 
Par.) having been removed from the Church, that it might escape 
the desecrating hands of the Saxons, who subsequently reduced the 
sacred Structure almost to a ruin. (Roger of Wendover. ) 

The denier of Charlemagne, of which an engraving is here 
given, was lately found near the west entrance of the Abbey 
Church. A similar coin is described in Longperier's Monnaies 
Frangaises composant la Collection de M. y. Rousseau. The penny 

of Offa was iot found here, 
but is given f jr the purpose of 
illustration and comparison. It 
is taken from Hawkins' Silver 
Coins of England, No. 62. 

When the Coffin was found, 
it contained the remains of Al- 
ban, and also the Relics which 
had been added by Germanus. 
The King placed on the head a 
golden circlet, inscribed hoc est 
caput S'' Albani ; and having 
deposited the Remains in a Re- 
liquary , 3 adorned with gold and 
silver, and precious Stones, he 
conveyed them back in solemn 
procession to the little Church (Ecclesiola) which he had repaired 

1 Ders*voold. Sir Walter at Le was commissioned by the King (Ric. II.) to 
meet the townspeople of St. Albans in the Derfold wood. (Thos. Walsing- 
ham, Hist. Ang. see p. 33.) 

* Henry of Huntingdon, one of the earliest of our historians, Ralph de Diceto, 
and Brompton, apud Twysden, have each recorded the genealogy of Offa, vary- 
ing a little in the orthography of the names, and making him ifth in descent 
from Wodin, the God of War of the Teutons, worshipped under the name of 
Odin by the Scandinavians. 

8 See a representation of this Reliquary, p. 58. 


aiban, 51 

as an Asylum, until a more worthy Edifice should be built. (See 
Matthew Paris, Vit. Offae II. and the ancient Rochester MS. in 
Leland's Collectanea.) 

Offa journeyed to Rome to obtain consent of Pope Adrian to the 
building and endowing the Monastery. This was granted ; toge- 
ther with the Canonization of the Martyr, and especial privileges 
to the contemplated Establishment. 

Ina, King of the Weft Saxons, had originally appointed the levy 
of Peter pence, A. D. 727, for the maintenance of a Saxon College 
at Rome, and a penny was collected from each family holding lands 
producing thirty pence in the annual rent. Subsequently Offa 
obtained from the Pontiff that the pence collected throughout his 
dominions should be appropriated to the Abbey of St. Alban. 
(Hist. Aur. of John of Tynemouth in the Bodleian Lib. Ox- 
ford, cited in Harleian MS. 258, fo. 36. See also Annotatio 
de Romescot, sive de denario S. Petri solvendo. Saxonice. 
Nero, A i, fo. 5). 

This payment obtained the name of Peter Pence^ because it was 
paid upon the first of Auguft, dedicated to St. Peter ad vincula y 
being the day on which the King discovered the bones of the 
martyr. The Romanist writers, Polydore Vergil and Cardinal 
Baronius have misstated the fact ; and have represented it as a sort 
of submission to the Pope, and that Offa thereby made his kingdom, 
as it were, a fee of the Roman See. 

In the year 1113 the payment of this tax was withheld (p. 56) ; 
but in process of time it was claimed as a right, which clearly ap- 
pears in the Bull of Adrian, A. D. 1154, authorizing Henry II. to 
invade Ireland. (Rymer's Foedera, i. 15.) 

On the return of Offa from Rome, he forthwith carried his 
intention into effect, endowing the Monastery with the Royal Manor 
of Winslow, where he was residing, when a miraculous light from 
Heaven, while he was praying for information to enable him to com- 
plete his vow of founding a monastery, seemed to betoken God's 
favour and assistance. 

He placed the Monastery under the Rule of Saint Benedict 
the Order which had been introduced by Augustin in 596. The 
vow of the Order was, to live in the observance of the most rigid 
chastity, to have no possessions of their own, and to pay obedience 
to their superior or Abbat. They abstained from flesh except when 
sick, and their dress was a long black Tunic, or close gown un- 
girded, a white close waistcoat of woollen beneath, and a shirt of 
hair. A cowl covered the head, or hung back on the shoulders. 
The hair was shaven off the greater part of the crown, the feet and 
legs were covered with boots. 

It is the prevalent opinion among Antiquaries as Dugdale and 
Whitaker that Ofra did not complete his original purpose of con- 

52 &e a&bep of 

structing a larger and nobler Church. " The Chapel noticed by 
" Bede, which had been built by the early Converts to Christianity, 
" appears to have been appropriated by Offa as the Church of his 
" new Monastery ; the officinal buildings in addition being com- 
" pleted by him within four or five years." (Dugdale's Monasti- 
con, vol. ii. p. 179.) 

And this is not irreconcileable with the account of these transac- 
tions as given by Mathew Paris. But there is some confusion in 
this part of his History. 

The King offered his Charter of Donation (a copy of which is 
given in the Auct. Addit. of Matt. Par.) upon the High Altar or 
the Church, A. D. 795 ; soon after which he retired to his palace 
at Offley, and there died. 

A confirmation of this Charter, given by ./Ethelred in 990 with 
several other grants by kings and other benefactors in Saxon times, 
will be found in the Codex Diplomaticus, published by John M. 
Kemble, London, 1839. 

Egfrid, his son and successor, rejected the solicitation of the first 
Abbat that the King's remains should rest in the sanctuary of his 
own foundation. 

By this time about twenty great Monasteries had been founded ; 
and about the same number of Episcopal Sees established. 

A List of the Abbats will be found in A Table of Comparative 
Chronology, p. 40. The following claim particular notice : 

WILLIGOD was related to the King ; and had been appointed by 
him the first Abbat. The refusal of Egfrid to permit his Father's 
body to rest in his own Monastery is supposed to have caused the pre- 
mature death of the Abbat, who survived the King only two months. 

EADRIC, the 2nd Abbat, was of the blood royal, and chosen 
from the body of the Monks, as charged by the Founder. 

VULSIG, the 3rd Abbat, was descended from the royal family. 

./EDFRID, was the 5th Abbat. In his time Ulpho the Prior 
built a chapel in honour of Germanus, on the spot where the rude 
dwelling which he had occupied (p. 48) lay in ruin. (Matt. Paris, 
Vit. Abb.) " It is sixty one years since they," (the ruins of this 
chapel of which Stukeley gave a view) " have been finally de- 
stroyed." (Hist, of Ver. and S. Alb. by F. L. Williams, 1821,) 

ULSINUS or ULSIC, the 6th Abbat, built the three adjacent 
Churches, dedicated respectively to St. Peter, St. Michael, and St. 
Stephen, and established a market. (Cott. Lib. Nero D 7.) The 
illuminator of the MS. has represented him holding a model of a 
Church in each hand. Before this time the town consisted only 
of a few houses built near the Monastery. He also built a small 
Chapel or Oratory to the honour of St. Mary Magdalen at a short 
distance from Germanus Chapel. 

was the 7th Abbat. He purchased of King Edgar the 


large and deep fishpool already mentioned, and drained the waters, 
and made it dry ground (Nero, D 7.) He translated into Saxon 
some of the Historical Books of the Old Testament, together with 
a fragment of Judith, printed at Oxford by Thwaites in 1698. New- 
come observes of him, that it is remarkable that in his Epistles 
and in one of his Sermons for Easter Day, his doctrine concern- 
ing the Eucharist is wholly such as was restored by the Re- 
formers. tc * Certainly,' he says, ' this Housel, [Host] which we 
" * do now hallow at God's Altar, is a remembrance of Christ's 
u ' Body, which He offered for us, and of His Blood, which He 
" ' shed for us. Once suffered Christ by Himself; yet His suffer- 
" 4 ing is daily renewed at the Mass, through mystery of the Holy 
" Housel.' ?1 

" And in his Epistle to Wulfstan, Bishop of Sherburn, are these 
" words, as may be seen in the original, still preserved in Exeter 
u Cathedral. * And yet that Living Bread is not so bodily ; not the 
" * self-same body that Christ suffered in ; nor is the holy Wine 
" 4 the Saviour's Blood, which was shed for us, in Bodily Reality, 
" ' but in Ghostly understanding.' " 

A very curious and ancient MS. of a Latin and Saxon Glossary 
by this Abbat, enlarged by JElfric Bata, his pupil, is preserved in 
the inner Library of St. John's Coll. Oxford. The work was 
printed at the end of Somner's Saxon Dictionary. 

He became Archbishop of Canterbury, according to Dugdale, 
in 995 ; and the same author, in the Appendix to the account of 
Abingdon Monastery, of which JElfric had been a monk, gives a 
copy of his Will in the original Saxon, which enumerates legacies 
to the Abbey of St. Albans. 

EALDRED the 8th Abbat and 

EADMER his successor collected materials for rebuilding the 
Church. The contemplation of a new Structure within the period 
of two centuries from Offa's death is strongly corroborative of the 
opinion, that a Church had not been built by him. Matthew Paris 
relates that in the time of this Abbat a volume was found in the 
ruins of Verulam, written in the language of the ancient Britons, 
being a History of the Life and Martyrdom of Saint Alban. This 
Treatise, translated into Latin, continued to be read in the Mo- 
nastery in the time of Matthew Faris. (See Claudius, E 4, fo. 34.) 

It has been suggested that the extensive removal of materials 
also brought to light many of the valuable gems enumerated in the 
inventories, (Nero D I and Claudius E 4.) One, at least, of these 
gems was an ancient cameo ; a drawing of which was made by 
Matt. Paris, and a description given of the virtues attributed to it. 
Engraved gems appear among the ornaments in the Treasury of 
St. Paul's Cathedral in London in the year 1295. (Dugd ale's 

54 C&e a&fcep of 

LEOFRIC, loth Abbat, son of the Earl of Kent, and surnamed 
Plumstane according to Willis, strenuously defended the possessions 
of the Church. He was in consequence raised to the Archbishop- 
rick of Canterbury, and resigned the Abbacy. With reference to 
this promotion, he is represented by the Illuminator of Cotton MS. 
Nero, D 7, as having laid down the pastoral staff of an Abbat and 
holding a crosier in his hand. 

J&LFRIC, i ith Abbat, second of the name, was half-brother of 
Leofric. He was at first Chancellor of King Ethelred, and when 
holding that office bought the royal palace of Kingsbury, with its 
ancient demesnes (regale municipium^ of which he obtained con- 
firmation, upon his election to the Abbacy, for the use of the 
monastery. He caused the palace to be levelled with the ground, 
excepting a small tower (parvum propugnaculum] near the Monas- 
tery, which the King (Canute) would not permit to be destroyed, 
that some vestige might remain of the royal residence together with 
the name, which still survives. 

The manor of Westwick was granted to the Monastery by K. 
Ethelred in the time of this Abbat, A. D. 990. 

While Chanter of the Monastery he composed a History of Saint 
Alban, and set it to music. It was in use in the Choir in the year 
1380. (Cotton MS. Nero, D 7.) 

LEOFSTAN, i2th Abbat, was Confessor to Ed ward the Confessor, 1 
who confirmed the grant of Abbots Langley to the Abbats of Saint 
Albans by Egelwine the black and Winifred his wife ; whence it 
has the adjunct of" Abbots " (see Codex Diplomat. No. 945). In 
the same page is the admission of Oswald and ./E'Seli'Sa into the 
fraternity by agreement with the Abbat and monks. He died in 

FREDERIC, 1 3th Abbat, was elected in the short reign of Harold. 
He was of the royal blood of the Saxons, and also next heir to 
Canute. (Willis's Mit. Pad. Abbeys.) 

He was a principal instrument in extorting an oath from William 
the Conqueror, which was administered by himself, that he would 
keep inviolate all the laws of the Realm, which his predecessors, 
and particularly King Edward, had established. But the Conqueror 
subsequently disregarded the engagement he had made, and the 
Abbat was forced to retire to Ely, where he died in great vexation 
of heart. (Cotton MS. Nero, D 7.) The Illuminator has repre- 
sented him on horseback, wearing a cloak and hat, and turning in 
his saddle to look upon a Church behind him, while he holds up 
his hand in benediction. 

Speed in his History of Great Britain records that Abbat 

1 In the illuminated MS. Cott. Lib. Nero, D 7, he is represented as receiv- 
ing the King's confessions. 

3Umn. 55 

Frederic conspired with two stout Earls, Edwin and Morcar, to 
set up Edgar Atheling their general once again. He describes 
somewhat at large the boldness of Frederic in presence of the 

PAUL of Caen, the 1/ Abbat, kinsman of Lanfranc, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, was appointed in 1077 to preside over this Monas- 
tery. He constructed the Church entirely anew of Stones and 
Tiles from the ancient City of Verulam, and of the Timber which 
he found collected and reserved by his predecessors. Eleven years 
were occupied in building. The present Tower and Transepts, 
and eastern part of the Nave, are the remains of this Structure. 

Petrus de Valons (Valoignes) a Norman Baron gave the cell of 
Bynham to the Monastery in the time of this Abbat. (Nero, 
D vii.) 

Robert Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, founded the magni- 
ficent Priory of Tynemouth and gave it to Abbat Paul and the 
monks of St. Albans. He had been detained prisoner in Windsor 
Castle by William Rufus and his successor, Henry 1., for many 
years, and subsequently became a monk of this Abbey. He died 
in 1 1 06, and over his grave Abbat Symeon afterward built a Chapel 
of St. Symeon ; so that the Body was enclosed, and lay near the 
Altar. Weever (Funeral Monuments) records the Epitaph en- 
graven on his Tomb. 

He obtained by exchange with the Abbat of Westminster what 
had been the Chapel of Offa's Palace 1 (now the Church of St. 
Albans, Wood Street, Cheapside). 

Returning from Tynemouth, he died on the way, and was mag- 
nificently buried in the Abbey. 

The Monastery remained in the hands of the King William 
Rufus four years. 

RICHARD DE ALBENEIO or d'Albeneio, Albini or D'Aubeney 
succeeded. There is a remarkable difference in the MSS. regarding 
his surname. Matthew Paris attaches no surname to the Abbats 
in his Vit. Abbat. He is called in the Hist, of Roger de Wen- 
dover, and in Harleian MS. 3775, Ricardus de Exaquio. In Cox's 
edition of Roger de Wendover the editor calls him Richard ot 
Lessay or Essay in Normandy. 

The Coffin of St. Cuthbert was opened in 1104. A memoir 
exists by an eye-witness, in all probability Simeon the Durham 
historian. It took place on the occasion of the body being trans- 
ferred from the old to the new Cathedral of Durham. Richard, 
Abbat of St. Albans, Radulphus, Abbat of Seez, in Normandy, and 
Alexander brother to the King of the Scots, had arrived to honour it 

1 It had also been the Royal Palace of Athelstan j and hence was derived 
the name of the adjacent Addle Street. 


&e abbep of 

with their presence. (Hist, and Antiq. of the Anglo-Saxon Church, 
by John Lingard, D.D., vol. ii. p. 79.) 

The Church was dedicated in his Abbacy, at the time of Christ- 
mas, on Innocents Day, A. D. 1115-16; King Henry the First and 
his Queen Matilda, with the principal Nobles and Prelates of the 
realm being present, from the 2yth of December to the 6th of 
January. (The Saxon Chronicle in the Bodl. Lib. Roger de 
Wendover Chronicle of John Wallingford and John deOxenead.) 
It is remarkable that there is no mention of this important solem- 
nity in the Codex, the St. Albans Chronicle, in the Lambeth 

Ralph De Diceto (apud Twysden) records the names of the Pre- 
lates present, viz. Geoffrey Archbishop of Rouen, Richard de Beau- 
meis Bishop of London, Robert Blohet of Lincoln, Roger of Salis- 
bury, 1 and Randal of Durham. The Bishop of Lincoln (being the 
Diocesan) took the chief part in the ceremonials. 

But the Chronicon of John Wallingford (Cotton Lib. Julius, 
D 7, of which Harl. MS. 688 is a copy) assigns this honour to the 
Archbishop of Rouen. See also Harl. MS. 5775-14, De Dedica- 
tione Eccles. Sci. Alb. 

This Abbat constructed a Feretry, in which he deposited the 
Relics of the twelve Apostles and Martyrs (Nero, D 7,) which St. 
Germanus had placed in the sepulchre of Saint Alban. He also 
built a Chapel to St. Cuthbert at St. Alban's Abbey, upon his 
return from the Priory of Tynemouth, in thanksgiving for a mira- 
culous cure obtained while assisting at the Translation of the Bones 
of that Confessor. 

A Council was held at St. Albans, A. D. 1113 ; and the Royal 
prohibition received against paying Romescot for the present. 

The priory of Wymondham was founded by William de Albeneio, 
Count of Arundel, cupbearer to Henry I., and conferred on the 
monastery of St. Alban during the Abbacy and by the procure- 
ment of this Abbat. 

The Cell of Beaulieu in Bedfordshire, and the Chapel of St. 
Macutus were given to the Abbey by Robert de Albeneio. And 
the Hist, of Benefactors to the monastery (Nero, D 7,) records 
many gifts of Religious Houses and Manors by members of the 
family of d' Albeneio. 

GEOFFREY DE GORHAM, i6th Abbat, was so called from the 
Castle of Gorram in Normandy, now called Gorron. The earliest 
notice of it in the English Records occurs in 1202, when King 
John issued a Writ for seizing the Castle of Gorham (Pat Rolls, 
3 John, M 9.) We observe here the variation in the spelling the 

1 The tomb of Roger Bishop of Salisbury, is still to be seen in the Cathedral. 


By a singular mistranslation of Ccenomania^ Newcome has 
erroneously stated that this family came from Caen, instead of from 
the Maine (Nichols's Collect. Top. et Geneal.) 

Pedigree of de Gorham of Westwick (Gorhambury), and of Sandford Great 
Hormede, Herts, taken from Nichols'' Collectanea. 


of St. Albans, 
1120-1146, came 
from the Maine. 

HENRY, God- 
father of 

IVE DE G. of 


ROBERT, Abbot 
of St. Albans, 

RALPH, circ.=p 
1140. Lord I 
of Sarret, 1 

HENRY, monk 
of St. Albans, 
ob. circ. 1216. 

ROBERT, monk 
of St. Albans, 
circ. 1161. 

of St. Albans, 
circ. 1161. 

He built an Hospital for Lepers, and dedicated it to St. Julian. 
Julian and Bardissa his wife lived in Egypt, and applied their pro- 
perty and their time to the relief of the poor and sick, fitting up 
their house suitably for their comfort. They suffered martyrdom 
in 313. Hence Julian is accounted the patron of Travellers, 
Wanderers and Lepers. The Statutes of the Hospital, appointed 
by Michael, the 2gth Abbat, exist in the Cottonian Library, in the 
British Museum (Nero, D i, fo. 24), and are printed in the Works 
of Matthew Paris, by Wats. 

Matthew Paris relates, that two women having entered on a re- 
cluse life in a hut which they had constructed near the river, the 
Abbat built a House for their better accommodation, placing 
therein thirteen sisters under the" Rule of Saint Benedict. And 
because the two first women used to dip their dry bread in the 
water of a neighbouring spring, the place was called Sopwell 

(P- 43)- 

But Clutterbuck (Hist, and Antiq. of the County of Hertford) 
shews that these women must have lived before the time of Abbat 
Geoffrey, inasmuch as he was a witness to a gift of land to this cell 
by Robert de Albeny, which Roger the Hermit had rebuilt in the 
time of Henry de Albeny, the father of Robert. 

The Customs and Rules of the Nuns of the Blessed Mary of Sopwell 
exist in MS. in the Cotton Library (Nero, D i, fo. 26), and are 
printed by Wats. 

This Abbat also founded Merkyate Cell in the parish of Cad- 
dington by the name of the Church of the Holy Trinity in the 
wood. It was consecrated by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln. See 
page 10. (Matt. Paris, V. Abb.) 


In his time a costly shrine or feretry was constructed of silver 
gilt, and ornamented with gems, in which the Relics of the Martyr 
were deposited with great solemnity, after they had been removed 
from the ancient tomb, in the presence of the Bishop of London, 
several Abbats and other Dignitaries. 

An illuminated MS. of the Histories of Offa I. and II. by Matt. 
Par., which was given to the Church by him, and is now in the 
Brit. Mus. (Nero, D i), represents under the following form the 

Reliquary, in which the Remains of St. Alban were conveyed from 
their place of concealment to the little Church which the King had 
repaired, that it might serve as a temporary asylum. 

As regards the Reliquary prepared by Offa, this form is, of 
course, altogether imaginary ; but as the bones of the Martyr were 
preserved in the Reliquary made by Abbat Geoffrey when the 
Illuminator of the manuscript executed his work, we may be 
allowed to suppose that he may have here transmitted to us some 
general resemblance of it. 

It is remarkable that although this Abbat is mentioned in the 
Cotton MS. Nero, D 7, as a benefactor to the Abbey, having 
given many books and vestments and much ornamental furniture ; 
no record is made therein of the Hospital of St. Julian or the 
Shrine of St. Albans. 

The grant of The Liberty of St. Albans was now first made to 


the Abbat by Henry I. It conferred the great civil power of hold- 
ing pleas, and taking cognizance of all lesser crimes, and offences, 
which had been punishable in the leets, the hundred, and the 
county courts. 

The original charter is at the Public Record Office, London, 
and bears date at Westminster the 3rd day of November, 2nd 
of Edward IV., and is signed by the King himself. There is a 
printed copy of it in Clutterbuck's History of Hertfordshire, vol. i. 
Appendix No. i. 

Of RALPH DE GOBION/ lyth Abbat, Matt. Par. records, as a cir- 
cumstance discreditable to him, that he caused a rich chasuble to 
be burned for the sake of the gold with which it was embroidered, 
and the shrine to be stripped of all the plates of gold in order to 
purchase the vill of Brentfield ;* he also sold the jewels, when he 
might have raised the sum required by the sale of gold and silver 
cups which were used at his table. The rent of the new purchase, 
he however adds, was appropriated by the Abbat in perpetuity to 
the restoration of the shrine and afterwards of the edifice ; and 
Walsingham, who also records the spoliation (see extracts from the 
life of the next Abbat), assigns a justifying and even a creditable 
reason for it, though he does not clear the memory of the Abbat 
from the imputation of having spared the plate used at his own 
table. He died A. D. 1151 ; after resigning in favour of 

ROBERT DE GORHAM, i8th Abbat, nephew of Geoffrey. He 
granted lands in the neighbourhood to one of his family and name, 
who settled there ; and the place obtained the appellation of Gor- 
hambury y i. e. the house and dwelling of Gorham. He built the 
Chapter House and the Locutory, now called the Abbat's Cloister. 
He repaired and adorned with gold and silver and precious stones 
the Feretry of the Martyr, which had been despoiled during the 
famine in the time of Abbat Ralph to supply the necessities of the 
poor. (Nero, D 7.) 

King Stephen was honourably entertained by this Abbat, who 
profited by the occasion to obtain permission to demolish all that 
remained of the royal palace of Kingsbury (p. 54), because certain 
of the royal servants, who gave much annoyance to the Abbat, oc- 
cupied a tower (propugnaculum vel municipiolum) towards the east, 
almost in the centre of the street, as a residence and refuge. 

He was engaged in a dispute with the Earl of Arundel concern- 
ing the Cell of Wymondham in Norfolk, which his father, William 
de Albini, had founded as subordinate to the Abbey. The contest 
after a long discussion ended in the Earl's acknowledgment of the 
rights of the Abbat. (Matt. Par. see pp. 12 and 17.) 

1 Gobion Higham in Bedfordshire. 

* Newcome suggests that the vill received the name subsequently as signify - 
ing that it was purchased with burnt or brent goods. 

Cije afebep of 

It was probably in his time that Nicholas, son to a servant in the 
Abbey, Robert Breakespeare of Abbots Langley, a village near St. 
Albans, applied for admission into the monastery. 

In the Catalogue of Benefactors and of those admitted into the 
fraternity of the monastery of St. Albans (Cotton MSS. Nero, 
D 7), record is made of John Ferrers and Agatha his wife, coheiress 
of Adrian Brekespere of Langley and also Bernard Brekespere, 
clerk, her uncle. There is a farm in this parish which still pre- 
serves the name of Breakspear ; and local tradition has always ac- 
counted it the place of the nativity of the only English Pope. 

Nicholas was refused admission by the Abbat on the ground of 
insufficiency of learning, upon which he went abroad to study in 
foreign schools ; and by means of great natural abilities combined 
with diligence, he acquired a high reputation for learning. Even- 
tually he was raised to the chair of St. Peter in 1155, under the 
name of Adrian IV. ; and is the only Englishman who has attained 
that high dignity. He was " the first that taught the Norwegians 
" the Christian faith ; and repressed the citizens of Rome aspiring 
" to their ancient freedom whose stirrup also, as he alighted from 
" his horse, Frederick, Emperor of the Romanes, held and whose 
" breath was stopped in the end, with a flie that flew into his 
" mouth." (Camden's Britan.) When the news of his advance- 
ment reached the monastery, the Abbat repaired to Rome, that he 
might obtain confirmation of the ancient privileges of this church. 
He was received kindly by the Pope, who granted all the favours 
he sought, together with some privileges allowed to no other Abbey 
in the kingdom. 

About the year 1161 Geoffrey and Robert de Gorham, monks 
of St. Albans, were sent by their Uncle the Abbat (see Genealogy, 
p. 57), with a present to Pope Adrian of two Candelabra, exqui- 
sitely wrought in silver and gold (Matt. Par.) ; and in the " Annales 
Eccles." of Baronius, is given a congratulatory letter from King 
Henry of England to the Pope on his accession. These annals 
recount particulars of the holding the stirrup of the Pope by the 
Emperor, and that the Pontiff then, for the first time, admitted this 
Sovereign to the Kiss of Peace. The death of this Pope by a fly 
is rejected by Baronius as false. Matthew Paris thinks that he 
was poisoned. 

From this time the Abbat and his successors assumed the mitre 
(he is the first depicted with a mitre in the illuminated MS. Nero, 
D 7) ; and twice in a year afterwards, he assembled his clergy ; 
forming a synod, and prescribing rules and laws for the convent 
and cells, habited in the mitre ; but leaving to the bishop, as before, 
all ordinations to the priesthood, consecrations of oil, dedica- 
tions of churches and altars, &c. 

He died October 20, 1166. The contest for power between 


the crosier and the sceptre was now in its zenith ; and Henry II. 
was determined to exercise what he believed to be his right ; and 
accordingly kept the Abbey vacant several months. During this 
interval the functions of the head were intrusted to the Prior, the 
Steward, and other brethren. At length the King appointed SYMON, 
or SYMEON, igth Abbat ; who completed the costly shrine, which 
had not attained the extent of Geoffrey's intentions for want of 
funds. Matthew Paris gives a detailed account of its structure. 
The Feretry of Abbat Geoffrey continued to be the depository of 
the bones of the Martyr, and was covered by that of Abbat Symon, 
which for that purpose was made of a great size. It was also 
raised to such a height as to be in view of the celebrant at the high 

The relics of Amphibalus (seep. 48) were discovered at Red- 
bourn in his time, and brought to the Abbey. He procured the de- 
dication by the Bishop of Durham of the chapel of St. Cuthbert, 
built by Richard de Albini. He caused a History of the Martyrdom 
of St. Alban and of Am- 
phibalus, written in the 
vernacular language about 
the year 590, to be trans- 
lated into Latin by William 
the Monk. (See Claudius, 
E 4, fo. 34.) This Abbat 
was sent by Archbishop 
Becket to Henry, the eldest 
son of King Henry II. to 
try to negotiate a reconci- 
liation between them. Matt. 
Par. has given an account of 
the conference bet ween the 
Archbishop and the Abbat. 
A translation of this inter- 
esting conversation will be 
found in Historical Me- 
morials of Canterbury, by 
Arthur P. Stanley, M.A., 
Canon of Cant. 1 856. The 
King had caused his son to 
be crowned during his own 
lifetime, and the Archbi- 
shop accordingly gives him 
the title of Rex Junior. 

In the illustrated MS. Cott. Lib. Nero, D 7, Adam the Cellarer 
is introduced between this Abbat and his successor, probably for 
the same cause that it is there recorded of him, that he was buried 




in the Chapter House among the Abbats on account of his great 
merits. No date is attached to his name. Another member of 
the monastery has the same distinction given to his memory. 


D 7, Cotton MSS. 1 



Nero, D 7, Wright, 136.' 

Alan Middleton, who was Collector of Rents of the obedientiaries 
of the monastery, and especially of those of the bursar. This is also 
without date. 

WARREN DE CAMBRIDGE, 20th Abbat, elected by the fraternity, 
founded the hospital of St. Mary de Pratis for the reception of 
leprous women, as the hospital of St. Julian had been built by 
Geoffrey de Gorham for men. This Hospital of St. Mary de 
Pratis was dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey ; and was one of the forty 
small endowments for which he procured a grant from the Pope in 
1526 for appropriating their revenues towards the founding his new 
College of Christ Church at Oxford. They all fell into the King's 
hands when Wolsey was attainted. The Rules of the Hospital, 
written in Norman French, exist in the Cotton Lib. MSS. Nero, 
D i. 

Among the institutes of this Abbat was a regulation relating to 
the mode of burial of the monks ; it being directed that they should 
no longer be interred in a mere grave, but placed in a coffin of 
stone. He caused a feretry splendidly adorned with gold and silver 
to be made, in which the relics of St. Amphibalus were deposited. 

1 For these blocks, taken from Wright's " Domestic Manners," the 
compiler is indebted to the kindness of Messrs. Chapman and Hall. 

aifmn, 63 

(Nero, D 7.) In his time Richard Coeur de Lion was taken pri- 
soner by Leopold, Duke of Austria, on his return from the Holy 
Land ; and this Abbat sent to the King two hundred marks of 
silver, in contribution towards his ransom ; or, as is recorded in 
Nero, D 7, King Richard had required the Chalices of England 
for his ransom, and our Abbat redeemed the sacred vessels by the pay- 
ment of 200 marks. The transaction is represented by the illuminator. 

JOHN DE CELLA, 2ist Abbat, so called from the cell of Wal- 
lingford over which he presided before he was chosen Abbat, is 
also named DE STUDHAM from the place of his birth. This Abbat 
began the transformation of the west front of the Church from the 
Norman to its present style of architecture ; but meeting with 
many impediments, he did not live to complete it. In his time 
the kingdom was under interdict from Pope Innocent III. j and 
there was a suspension of divine worship in this Monastery as else- 
where. 1 

WILLIAM DE TRUMPINGTON, 22nd Abbat, was elected on the 
day of St. Edmund K. and Martyr and solemnly and pontifically 
consecrated before the great altar in St. Alban's Church, by Eustace 
Bishop of Ely, on the day of St. Andrew the Apostle. (Roger de 

He continued and completed the change at the west end, which 
his predecessor had begun, and raised a lofty lantern on the tower. 
He was present at the Council of Lateran, 2 summoned by 
Innocent III. A. D. 1215 ; and he held a great consistory at St. 
Albans of Abbats, Priors, Archdeacons, and others. During his 
rule, when the contest arose between King John and his Barons, 
the King, setting forth to raise forces, came to this Abbey with a 
numerous train of adherents and soldiers. The church of Red- 
bourn was dedicated to the honour of the martyr Amphibalus and 
his companions ; and the Feretry, with the Reliques of the Martyr 
and his companions in the Abbey, were removed from the place 
where they were first deposited, viz. behind the High Altar near 

1 The following is a note by Browne Willis in his own copy of his Survey 
of Cath. Churches ; in which he had entered several corrections, additions and 
other notes in his own hand. 

" I suspect the true and real name of Abbat John de Cella was John de 
' Scelford ; for in a curious old original Court Roll on Vellum in my posses- 
' sion, formerly belonging to the manor of Krokesley, in Rickmersworth part 
' of the possessions of this Abbey at an Halimote, or Court Baron, held on 
' All Souls Day, 53 of Henry III., it is thus entered 1268 : ' Juratores dicunt 
' ' super Sacrm. suum, Terra quam Isabella Stut tenet, solebat reddere annuatim 
"tempe Dni. J. de Scelford, &c.' Possibly this Dominus, J. de Scelford, 
might be Cellarer to the Abbey." (Coles Add. MSS. 5828, p. 172 et 

3 MS. Nero, D i, fo. 74, of the Cotton Lib. is a copy of a form appointed 
by this Council for the Institution of an exempt Abbat in England. It was 
used on the occasion of the succession of the next Abbat, John de Hertford. 

64 &&e abfcep of 

the Feretry of St Alban, and solemnly transferred to the place en- 
closed in the middle of the church with an iron grating, and pro- 
vided with an altar suitably ornamented. (Mat. Par. Lives of the 

About this time also, Thomas, Bishop of Norwich, dedicated a 
cemetery for the Church of St. Alban, in which many persons had 
been buried during the interdict, which arose out of the same 
disastrous contests. 

In the time of this Abbat, in the year 1217, Matthew of Paris, 
the celebrated historian, took upon him the religious habit in this 
Abbey, as appears from a memorandum by himself in the MS. 
Nero, D I, fo. 165, in the Cottonian Library. 

JOHN DE HERTFORD, 23rd Abbat, had been Sacristan, and after- 
ward Prior of the cell at Hertford. 

At the coronation of Henry III. the mitred Abbats being placed 
next to the Bishops, John of Saint Albans was the first of them. 
For as St. Alban was the first martyr of England, so this Abbat 
possessed the first place in rank and dignity (Lambeth Libr. Cod. 
589, p. 30), until deprived of the same by the Abbat of West- 
minster. (Harleian MS. No. 3775-12, p. 5.) And yet this 
priority seems to have been subsequently recovered ; for in the list 
of signatures attached to The Articles of Faith drawn up by Con- 
vocation, 28 Henry VIII. in 1536, that of Robert Catton, Abbat 
of Saint Albans (p. 40), stands first of the Abbats ; and next to 
him, that of William Benson, or Boston, Abbat of Westminster. 
The original MS. of these Articles exists in the Cotton MSS. Cleo- 
patra, 5. 

In 1239 the Legate Otho excommunicated the Emperor with 
great solemnity in this Abbey. 

In the year 1247 two Friars Minors, sent by the Pope with 
authority to collect money in England, demanded of the Abbat of St. 
Albans, 400 marks to be paid to them for the Pope's use. Being 
refused, they demanded it the second time in the same year. (Hist, 
of England, by Robert Brady.) 

About the same time a pestilence raged in the town, and nine or 
ten corpses were interred daily in the Churchyard of St. Peter's. 

The King Henry III. made eight visits to the monastery 
during the rule of this Abbat, and presented many costly vest- 
ments. (Matt. Par.) 

Matt. Paris records an earthquake in 1250 which greatly affected 
St. Albans, and the neighbourhood which is called Ciltria. 1 

In the year 1256 Letters were sent from the Pope to the Abbat 
of St. Alban and his Monastery, that within fifteen days of Easter 

1 Ciltria Ager sive regiuncula non procul a Sancto Albano quae in antiqua 
Saxonum notitia Anglice Criteria. 

Saint aiban. 

they should pay to the Collectors (Usurarii) of the Pope 500 marks 
to which they were bound. If they should not pay, the Monastery 
would be forthwith suspended from divine offices, and the Abbat 
excommunicated by name (Chronica Joh. de Oxenedes). 

In the same year (1256) Matt. Paris records (Hist. Major) that 
the Church of St. Alban was placed under interdict, assigning as 
the reason the vexatious exactions of the Papal Collectors (Proter- 
vientibus Papalibus exactoribus). 

At this time it was found necessary to repair or rebuild the east 
end of the Church ; and in 1259 Matthew Paris died. Codex 643 
in the Lambeth Lib. contains many papal Bulls ; at page 7 is a 
Bull of Alex. IV. who held the papacy from 1244 to 1261, ex- 
empting the Monastery of St. Albans and all its cells, enumerated 
in order, from Episcopal authority. 

The seal of this Abbat is attached to a charter in the British 
Museum conveying a grant for the support of a Mass in the 
Church of St. Mary, Hertford, A.D. 1258. 

The Lives of the Abbats, by Matthew Paris, end with John of 
Hertford. We are chiefly indebted to Thomas Walsingham for 
those that follow, to Abbat De la Mare inclusive. (Cotton MSS. 
Claudius, 4.) 

66 C&e a&fcep of 

ROGER DE NORTON (near Baldock in Hertfordshire) succeeded. 
In Prinn's Col. torn. 3, p. 1302, apud Browne Willis, Mitred 
Abbeys, Ralph Banburgh occurs Abbat of St. Albans, A.D. 1280. 
This is not noticed in Dug. Mon. Ang. 

There is a copy of the confirmation of Roger de Norton to the 
Abbacyof St. Albans by Pope Urban, in Rymer'sFoedera, A.D. 1263. 

It is stated by modern writers that in his time St. Albans was 
put in a fortified state, and all its avenues strongly barricadoed to 
prevent the ravages occasioned by the baronial wars. 

In the year 1291 the last of this Abbat's rule Edward I. 
King of tngland held his court at St. Albans, and soon after 
hastened to Scotland. 

JOHN OF BERKHAMSTED, 25th Abbat, was installed on 
Saint Alban's day, 1291. In his time the body of Eleanor, 
Queen of Edward I. rested at St. Albans, in progress from Herde- 
by, 1 near Lincoln, where she died, to Westminster } and shortly 
after a commemorative cross was erected in the High Street. It 
was destroyed a little before the year 1 702, as appears by the fol- 
lowing entry in a book belonging to the Corporation cited by Clut- 
terbuck : *' 3 Feb. 1702. Ordered that a Market House 2 be built 
"and set up where the Old Cross lately stood." Waltham Cross, 
erected on the same occasion, having fallen into decay, was restored 
a few years ago. 

In the Vetusta Monumenta, vol. iii. 1796, there is an interesting 
description and plates of the Eleanor crosses then existent. 

An attempt being made to force the clergy to pay an eleventh 
part as well as a tenth in support of the war, a Royal letter was 
issued to the collectors protecting the Clergy from the additional 
tax. The document ends thus : " Teste meipso apud Sanctum 
Albanum anno nost. reg. xxiiii. (Edw. I., A.D. 1295.) Another 
Royal letter in support of the war was written at St. Albans, A. D. 

This Abbat was chiefly engaged during his Abbacy in disputes 
and compromises with the King respecting the claims and privi- 
leges of the Church. Eventually he obtained from the Sovereign 
a confirmation of all grants made by his predecessors. 

This was in A.D. 1302, the year of the Abbat's death; who was 
buried in front of the high altar, in presence of the Abbats of 
Westminster and Woburn. (Thos. of Walsingham, Claud. E 4.) 

1 There can be no doubt that this place is, as Mr. Gough states, a little 
village called Hardby, on the Lincolnshire side of the Trent, but in the County 
of Nottingham, five miles West of Lincoln, which by this event, and this event 
only, has been brought into notice. (Archaeologia, vol. xxix. p. 167,) 

* This was pfobably the octagonal covering supported by wooden pillars, 
which was removed in the year 1810. 

aitan. 67 

JOHN DE MARINIS, 26th Abbat Cellarer 1 from the gth to the 
I5th of Edw. I. (Coles Add. MSS. 5828,9. 172), had officiated as 
Prior for the last fourteen years. In his time when King Edward II. 
visited the Abbey this Abbat " caused the tomb and feretry of St. 
44 Alban to be removed from the place where it stood, and the 
* 4 marble tomb, which we now see, to be constructed, at a cost of 
" 820 marks." (Nero, D 7. A MS. compiled by Thomas Wal- 
singham in 1380.) It may be considered as a temporary removal, 
caused by the repairs which were then in progress in the eastern 
part of the Church ; or it may have arisen out of the discovery of 
the ancient tomb of St. Alban in 1257. See p. 61. 

He was buried in the Abbey by Richard de Hertford, the Abbat 
of Holy Cross, Waltham. 

HUGH DE EVERSDEN, so called from a village in the county of 
Cambridge, was the 27th Abbat. He had been Cellarer for five 
years before his election (Coles Add. MSS. 5828). In his time 
some pillars of the south aisle of the Church gave way, the roof 
fell, and great part of the south wall over the cloister was thrown 
down. The Abbat commenced the work of restoration, and ex- 
pended a large sum of money upon it. (Nero, D 7.) The same 
MS. also records the names of many who contributed to the 
rebuilding of the Cloisters. 

This Abbat also finished the Lady Chapel, and its antechapel, 
where the shrine of Amphibalus was placed. They had been com- 
menced long before, as appears from the arcade lately laid open by 
Mr. Scott, which is of the same date with that in the aisles of the 
Saints' Chapel and Retro-choir. 

Here it may be well to insert an entry which is without date, in 
the Catalogue of Benefactors, &c., to the Monastery of St. Albans 
from the time of the Conquest, preserved in the Cottonian MSS. 
Nero D 7. " Magister Reginaldus de Sancto Albano, afFectus penes 
41 eundem Martirem specialiter et istud Monasterium, construxit 
" Capellam gloriose Virginis in orientali parte ecclesize ; ubi co- 
44 tidie Missa per notam, in honorem ejusdem Virginis, celebratur." 

Walsingham gives a lengthened account of a second visit to the 
Monastery by King Edward II. j and of his proceeding from St. 
Albans to Ely, to settle a question regarding the relics of Saint 

During the rule of this Abbat Nov. 16, 1320 Reginald 
d'Asserio was consecrated to the See of Winton by the Bishops of 
London, Ely, and Rochester in St. Albans Abbey. (Hist. Winton. 
Ang. Sac. vol. i. p. 316.) 

1 A list of Cellarers of this Abbey is preserved in the Coles Add. MSS. 5818, 
fo. 188 ; among them J. de Scelford (probably John de Cella), John de 
Marynis, H. Eversden, Wm. Heyworth, Abbats, and Robert Blakeney, the 
last who acted in that capacity, and was also Chaplain to Abbat Ramryge. 

68 Cfce a&&ep of 

The same circumstance is thus recorded by another Annalist. 
In the year 1320, the See of Winchester being vacant, the Pope 
reserved to himself the collation to that dignity. But the monks of 
Winchester, notwithstanding the reservation, elected a member of 
their own monastery by unanimous consent. The Pope hearing of 
this election annulled it, and conferred the See on Rigaudo (vel 
Rigando. Reginaldum autem appellant alii, Annals of Edward II., 
by John de Trokelowe. Claud. D 6, 8, published by Hearne, 
Oxford, 1729 ; who considers Trokelowe to have been a monk of 
St. Albans), who having obtained permission of the King, after 
much opposition, was consecrated, with leave of the Abbat and 
monastery, by the hands of the Bishops of London, Ely, and 
Rochester at the High Altar, Saint Albans. (Annales Edward 
II., by John de Trokelowe, a monk of St. Albans j Claud. 
wi. 9.) 

Godwin (De Praesulibus Angliae) records that William de 
Greenfield, Archbishop of York, who died Dec. 13, 1315, left all 
his books to the Library of St. Albans Abbey. 

Hugh was twice besieged in his Abbey by the townsmen on 
questions of rights and privileges. They desired to be answerable 
to the King rather than to an inferior lord, and attempted to break 
off their allegiance to the Abbat; alleging in their petition to 
Edward II. that they held their town of him in capite ; and had 
been accustomed in the times of Edward I. and his ancestors, to 

five their attendance in Parliament by two burgesses ; but that the 
heriff had refused to summon the said burgesses. This matter 
resulted in an agreement, which was confirmed by King Edward III. 
in the first year of his reign ; and the Abbat was obliged to submit 
to the King's writ, commanding the Abbat to place all the liberties, 
privileges, &c. on the same establishment as recorded in Domesday 
Book. A copy of this agreement is given by Clutterbuck, vol. i. 
Appendix No. iii. 

RICHARD DE WALLINGFORD, 28th Abbat, obtained from the 
townspeople the surrender of all the privileges wrested from 
Hugh de Eversden, with all their charters and records of what- 
ever kind. (Walsingham's Hist. Ang. Claud. E 4.) 

This is confirmed by the fact that an official memorandum, at 
foot of the agreement above mentioned, dated a few years later, 
records that a deputation of the townspeople on their own peti- 
tion, surrendered this charter renounced all the privileges set 
forth and prayed that it might be cancelled. It will be found in 
the Report of the Committee of the House of Peers upon the dig- 
nity of a Peer of the Realm, 1826. It is also given in Clutter- 
buck's Appendix. 

Sir Henry Chauncey (Hist, of Hertfordshire), also writes that 
from the 5th of Edward III. he did not find that this borough sent 

>aint aifmn, 69 

any more burgesses to Parliament ; and supposes that the Abbat 
prevailed on the King to discharge them from this service. 

This Abbat was son of a blacksmith and learned in geometry 
and astronomy. He constructed an astronomical clock with great 
skill, and at great cost. Leland (De Script. Brit.), librarian to 
King Henry VIII. speaks of the clock as going in his time, and 
noting the fixed stars, the course of the sun and moon, with the 
ebb and flow of the tide. In the illuminated MS. Nero, D 7, 
Cott. Lib. the effigy of the Abbat points to his clock. He invented 
also an astronomical instrument, to which he gave the name 
Albyon ; and copies of a treatise written by the Abbat, explanatory 
of its use, are in the Harl. MS. No. 80; the Bodleian Lib. Laud. 
F 55 ; and the Lib. of Corp. Christ. Coll. Oxon, MSS. 144. This 
last collection contains also a treatise, bearing date 1326, on another 
instrument invented by this Abbat. 

On St. Andrew's Eve, 1334, the 8th year of his rule, a violent 
storm of thunder and lightning set the cloister on fire above the 
Abbat's chamber, between the chapter-house and the dormitory. 
It was soon extinguished, but the Abbat never recovered from the 
shock. He was buried on the Monday following by John, Abbat 
of Waltham. (Harl. MS. apud Gough Sep. Mon.) 

MICHAEL DE MENTMORE, S. T. B., 2gth Abbat, deriving his 
name from a village in the vale of Aylesbury, carried on to com- 
pletion the repairs of the south Aisle, begun by Hugh de Eversden; 
and added three altars, with the vaulting of the same aisle. He 
also repaired the Cloister from the Abbat's door to the door of the 
Church, and caused an eagle of silver gilt to be placed on the crest 
of the feretry of the martyr. (Nero, D 7.) The same MS. men- 
tions the gift of two suns, to be similarly appropriated. New rules 
and ordinances for the Monastery, the Hospital of St. Julian, and 
the nuns of Sopwell, were framed by him. 

The fifth son of Edward III., born at King's Langley, was after- 
wards baptized in the royal palace by Abbat Mentmore, receiving 
the name of Edmund, June 5th, 1341. (Hist. Ang. by Thos. Wal- 
singham.) He was the ancestor of the House of York. 

Philippa the Queen went over to St. Albans Abbey to be 
churched, and her offering was a cloth of gold. 

This Prince was buried in the Conventual Church at King's 
Langley ; and when that building was destroyed, the monument was 
removed to the village Church, where it is still to be seen. 

The Abbat died a victim to the dreadful pestilence which was 
then tracking its course with destruction over the greater part of the 
globe. The Prior, sub-Prior and many inmates of the monastery 
died at the same period of the same virulent disease. He was 
buried at foot of the High Altar, and his epitaph is recorded by 
Weever. (Fun. Mon.) 

70 Cbe atifcep of 

THOMAS DE LA MARE or MERE or MORE, 3oth Abbat, was 
the son of Sir John de la Mare and Joanna, daughter of Sir John 
de la Harpsfield. His brother John took the vow at this Abbey, 
and his sister Dionysia became a sister and nun at the Hospital of 
St Pre. He was probably a near relation of Sir Peter de la Mare, 
said to be the first Speaker of the House of Commons. (South's 

See Confirmation by Bull of Pope Clement VI. A. D. 1349, an. 
23 Edward III. of the election of Abbat Thomas on the death of 
Abbat Michael, dated at Avignon, viii. ides of July, the 8th year 
of the Pontificate. (Rymer's Foedera, vol. v. p. 662.) 

He had been Prior of the cell of Tynemouth, in Northumber- 
land ; and in that situation entertained the Scottish Earl Douglas, 
after the latter had been made prisoner at the battle of Neville's 
Cross. A few days before, Douglas had sent a message bidding 
him prepare a breakfast for him and his men for two days, intend- 
ing thereby to frighten him. 

He was in high favour with Edward III., who constituted him 
President of the General Chapter of Benedictines throughout Eng- 
land ; and when Edward the Black Prince won the battle of 
Poictiers in 1356, and had taken the French King John prisoner, 
the captive monarch was for a time resident in the Monastery of 
St. Albans in custody of the Abbat. (Monast Ang. Dugdale.) 
He was treated by De la Mare with great consideration and respect ; 
and on an occasion which offered itself to the King, after he had 
returned to his dominions upon payment of the appointed ransom, 
he released three men of the town of St Albans, made prisoners 
in France, directing them on their return home to thank the Abbat 
for their freedom. (Newcome.) 

In 1350, the ist year of the rule of this Abbat, the following 
precept was issued at Westminster : 

"The King (Edward III.) to all and singular the Sheriffs, 
" Mayors, Bailiffs, Officers and his other lieges, as well 
" within liberties as without, to whom, &c., greeting. 

" Know ye that we have appointed our beloved Hugh de St. 
" Albans, master of the painters assigned for the works to be exe- 
ct cuted in our Chapel at our Palace at Westminster, to take and 
" choose as many painters and other workmen as may be required 
" for performing those works, in any places where it may seem ex- 
" pedient either within liberties or without, in the counties of 
" Kent, Middlesex, Essex, Surrey and Sussex; and to cause those 
u workmen to come to our Palace aforesaid, there to remain in 
" our service at our wages as long as may be necessary. And 
" therefore we command you to be counselling and assisting this 
" Hugh in doing and completing what has been stated, as often 

>atnt aiftan. 

" and in such manner as the said Hugh may require." (Rymer's 
Foedera, vol. v. p. 670. London, 1708.) 

The works of ornamental painting and glazing of St. Stephen's 
Chapel were carried on for some years in succession after the date 
of the above precept j and the rolls of account relating to them 
contain several entries regarding the working of the said Hugh, 
anc 1 his designs for the painters working under his direction. 

The Abbat having ruled the monastery for several years con- 
ceived the intention of resigning the Abbacy, and made known his 
secret wish to his guest the King of France, who applauded his 
resolution and promised to write with his own hand to the King to 
obtain permission. The Abbat's letter of supplication to the Pope 
being afterwards communicated to the King at Calais, that Prince 
forbade any further steps being taken ; declaring that such a man 
as Thomas de la Mare could not be spared. (Mon. Ang.) 

It is remarkable that the compiler has not been able to trace the 
authorities from which Newcome and Dugdale have drawn the 
residence of the King of France in this Abbey, and the circum- 
stances arising out of it. It is certain that the King resided some 
time at Hertford Castle. 

King Edward III. issued a licence to the Abbat and Convent, dated 
Wodestoke, 1 7th of June, in 
theyear of hisreign3i,(A.D. 
1357) empowering them to 
fortify the monastery with a 
stonewall crenellated. 1 

In theyear 1381, the 4th 
of Richard II., the insurgents 
under Wat Tyler and Jack 
Straw, threatened destruc- 
tion to the Abbey, and ex- 
torted charters from the 
Abbat, which are to be found 
in Dugdale, taken from 
Claud., 4, fo. 312. 

This may be accounted a 
suitable place for introducing 
from the illuminations of 
Cotton MSS. Nero, D 7, the 
representation of Walter de 
Hamuntesham (Amersham), attacked and seriously wounded by 
the rabble of St. Albans while standing up for the Rights and 
Liberties of the Church. Like most of the records of the Worthies 
preserved in that MS. it is without date ; his name no where else 

1 Stevens' Continuation, i. p. 161. 

72 &e a&fcep of 

occurs in the history of the Abbey ; but the circumstance here 
represented seems to point to this period of time. 

After the insurrection the King came in person to St. Albans 
with his Chief Justice : by whom fifteen or eighteen of the leading 
rioters were condemned to death. The King resided in the Abbey 
on this occasion during eight days, and obliged all the Commons 
of the county to attend him in the great Court of the Abbey, and 
there to make oath to do suit and service to the Abbat and Con- 
vent in the customary manner. Many particulars of the insurrec- 
tion and the visit of the King are recorded by Walsingham. 

In the Cotton Lib. Nero, D 7, is a list of Monks living in the 
monastery in the year 1380 when it was compiled. The following 
names occur : Dompnus THOS. DE LA MARE, Abbas ; Dompnus 
MOOT, Prior ; ADAM DE REDBURN, who in his day laboured dili- 
gently in the writing, noting and binding of books ; WILLIELMUS 
DE WYLUM, who wrote this book ; ROBERTUS DE TRENCH, Guar- 
dian of the Feretry ; THOMAS DE WALSINGHAM, Precentor, who 
compiled this book ; JOHANNES DE HETHWITHE, Archdeacon ; 

The great gate with its chambers, prisons and vaults (until 
lately prison for the Liberty of St. Albans) was rebuilt under this 
Abbat's rule. He also paved the west floor, and expended 
4000 on the fabric, and 1167 on the services of the Church. 
(Cotton MS. Nero, D 7.) 

In an ancient and fair copy of the Sanctilogium Britannize of 
Johannes Tinmuthensis, a monk of St. Albans, and preserved in 
the Cotton Library, is the following note of Thomas de la Mere : 
" Hunc Librum dedit Dominus Thomas de la Mere, Abbas 
" Monasterii Sancti Albani Anglorum Protomartyris, Deo et 
" Ecclesiae beati Amphibali de Redburn ; ut fratres ibidem in cursu 
" existentes per ejus lecturam poterint ccelestibus instrui, et per 
" Sanctorum exempla virtutibus insigniri." (Bishop Nicolson's 
Historical Library, London, 1714.) 

This is the MS. Tiberius, E i, the remains of a folio volume 
now preserved in a glass case ; having been burnt to a crust when 
a fire made sad ravage in the Collection in the year 1731 j the 
house in Little Dean's Yard, where it was then deposited, being 
burned to the ground. It formerly consisted of three hundred and 
forty-one leaves, and contained one hundred and fifty-seven articles, 
enumerated in Smith's Catalogue, being all lives of British Saints ; 
said to have been collected by John of Tynemouth in the year 

Capgrave's Legenda Nova Angliae, printed by Wynkyn de 
Worde in 1516, appears to be merely an abbreviated transcript of 
Tynemouth's Sanctilogium, changing the order in which the 

>aint aitmn. 73 

Lives there occur into an alphabetical series. (Introd. to Mon. 
Hist. Brit.) 

This Abbat died I5th September, 1396 (Lambeth MS. 585), 
having governed the Abbey forty-seven years ; a duration much ex- 
ceeding that of any other rule before or after him. He lies buried at 
foot of the high altar, and a plate of his brass is given by Clutter- 

JOHN DE LA MOOTE, 3 ist Abbat, was born at Syndlosham, in 
Berkshire. He had been appointed to various offices in the Mon- 
astery, and when holding that of Cellarer was put into the pillory 
in Luton Market, by Philip de Limbury (an ancient demesne and 
manor near the town), in hatred to the Abbat and utter contempt 
of religion. (Thomas Walsingham, Hist. Ang.) 

An English Chronicle, printed by the Camden Soc., London, 
1855, under the year 1397 (2nd of Moote), at p. 156 of Notes, 
cites the Chronique de la Traison et Mort de Richart Deux Roi 
d'Engleterre, a MS. in the Imperial Library at Paris, as recording a 
conspiracy to dethrone Richard,which began at the dinner table of 
the Abbat of St. Albans, godfather to Gloucester, 1 in the early part 
of July, when Gloucester and the Prior of Westminster were din- 
ing with the Abbat. This was shortly after followed by a larger 
meeting at Arundel, when the Duke of Gloucester, the Earl of 
Derby, the Earl Marshal, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Abbat 
of St. Albans, and the Prior of Westminster were present ; and on 
the following day the perpetual imprisonment of the King was 
agreed upon. 

The following is extracted from another Chronicle printed by 
the same society in 1856: " Richard II., A. D. 1397. On the 
" morrow Ser Richard erl of Warwick was brought into the 
" Parlem 1 into the said hale, and hadde the same jugement as the 
" erl of Arundel hadde ; and as his counsel bade him, he con- 
" fessed & saide that all he hadde do he dede be the counsel and 
" stirying of the duke of Gloucestre and of the erl of Arundelle; 
" trustying also in the holynes and wisdoum of the Abbot of Saint 
" Albonez and of the Recluse of Westminster." 

In the 3rd year of this Abbat's Rule the body of John Duke of 
Lancaster rested at this monastery on the way to London for in- 
terment ; Henry Beaufort, the son of the deceased by Catherine 
Swinford, then Bishop of Lincoln, being admitted under certain 
restrictions, to perform the exequies in person (Newcome, p. 
279) ; and in September of the same year King Richard and 
Henry, now Duke of Lancaster, lodged at St. Albans on their way 
to London. The day after arriving the King was had from West- 
minster to the Tower. 

1 Thomas of Woodstock, one of the younger sons of Edward III. 

74 Cjje a&fcep of 

The two Houses forthwith met in Westminster, and the resig- 
nation of the King was read. Upon which the Bishop of Car- 
lisle rose from his seat and stoutly defended the cause of the King ; 
affirming that there was none among them worthy or meet to give 
judgment upon so noble a prince. Then the Duke of Lancaster 
commanded that they should lay hands on the Bishop and carry 
him to prison to St. Albans. He was placed in confinement in 
the Abbey, and brought before Parliament as a prisoner on the 
28th of October. To gratify the pontift the new king signed his 
pardon and eventually preferred him to the Rectory of Todenham. 
(Holinshed and Lingard.) 

Shortly after the body of the King was brought, unattended by 
any of the nobility, to the Church of the Friars, at King's Langley, 
for interment ; the Bishop of Chester with the Abbats of St. 
Albans and of Waltham performed the funeral obsequies. Fourteen 
years after, on the accession of Henry V., the body was transferred 
to Westminster. 

The contest sustained by this Abbat against the Abbat of West- 
minster for priority of seat in Parliament is given in full byNewcome. 

Harleian MS. 602, is a book of memoranda which seem to 
have been brought together by his order. 

He died on St. Martin's day (nth Nov.), 1401, and was 
buried in the Abbey. But from an entry in the Patent Rolls 
(pat. 3 Hen. IV., p. i) his death appears not to have been 
announced to the king before Nov. 14, 1402. 

On the 1 5th of December of the same year consent was given 
by the king for the election of a successor (Fun. Monuments, 561). 

WILLIAM HEYWORTH, 32nd Abbat, succeeded in 1400 or 1401. 

In the year 1413 Henry V. came to the throne, and the King 
in council determined to fetch the bones of King Richard II. 
from Langley to London, and to bury them at Westminster Abbey 
and " there was don a dirige ryally, and on the morwe the masse 
" was solempny songon" (Chronicle of London, Harleian MS. 
565, and Cott. MS. Julius B i.) 

The Abbat resigned in 1420 on being promoted to the See of 
Lichfield by Papal Bull, dated November 20, 1419. He was con- 
secrated in the chapel of the Bishop of London at Fulham, on 
Sunday, December i, in that year ; and died 1446 or 1447 and was 
buried in St. Albans Abbey. (Antiq. of the Cath. of Lichfield, by 
Thos. Abingdon, London, 1717.) 

The Register Book of St. Albans Abbey a MS. in the Li- 
brary of C. C. C. Camb. contains an interesting detail of the 
election of William Heyworth, at which John of Wheathamp- 
sted assisted ; as he had before done when John Moot was ap- 
pointed. The names are given of each of the society who voted, 
and of those in favour of whom the suffrages were given. John of 

Sttmn. 75 

Wheathampsted, Prior of Tynemouth, by appointment of the 
Scrutators, declared the number of votes : those for William Hey- 
worth being 40 in number, and for Wheathampsted himself, 4 ; 
and then he pronounced Heyworth to be duly elected. Wheat- 
hampsted had voted for him, and so also had John Stoke, Prior of 
Bynham, the successor of Wheathampsted. 

There is much diversity of dates assigned to the several occur- 
rences above referred to (see Coles Add. MSS. 5828 Fasti 
Eccles. Ang. by John Le Neve, and Cough's Sep. Mon.) 

A Bulla or Papal seal was found in 1852 below the surface of the 
earth near the Chapel of the Virgin and close to several human 
skeletons lying side by side. It bears the traces of having been 
appended to a document by means of a slip of parchment. The 
heads of St. Peter and St. Paul are, as usual, on the one side and the 
name of John 23 on the other. This pope occupied the papal 
chair during the rule of Abbat Heyworth ; but nothing occurs 
during the existent history of his abbacy to which the issuing of a 
papal ordinance would attach. It has been suggested that this may 
have been the property of one of the persons who lay buried near j 
and that it was attached to a certificate of his having made a pil- 
grimage to Rome, or to some similar credential. 

JOHN OF WHEATHAMPSTED, S.T.P., 33rd Abbat, was the son 
of Hugo and Margaret Bostock, and surnamed from the place of 
his birth. Mr. Boutell in his Monumental Brasses and Slabs, p. 
1 08, records the memorial of his parents in the church at Wheat- 
hampsted, and gives the Latin inscription at the foot of the two 
figures. By comparing it with a known composition of this Abbat 
in a MS. copy of Valerius Maximus, presented by him to the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, he shows the great probability that the inscription 
was composed by the Abbat. He goes on to remark that, as the 
shield above the head of the lady is charged with the bearings of 
Heyworth, arg. 3 bats, with wings extended, sa. as exhibited on an 
adjacent brass, to the memory of John and Eliz. Heyworth, which 
John died 20 December, 1520 ; and as the predecessor of Wheat- 
hampsted in the abbacy was a William Heyworth, possibly this 
Abbat may have been nephew (sister's son) to his predecessor. 

A third inscription, beneath the effigies, of a man and woman 
in marble with their two sons and one daughter, records the burial 
of lohn Heyworth, of Mackeyre end Esqvier & loane his wife 
.... The said lohn Heyworth Deceased the XXV th daye of 
December ann Dni 1558. 

This evidence to the maiden name of the Abbat's mother 
seems to be conclusive ; and it may also be inferred with some 
probability, that the family were in hereditary possession of the 
estate of Mackeyrend, or Makaryend. But The pedigree of John 
Bostock, Abbot of St Albans (Harleian MSS. 139, fo. 97), 

76 C&e a&fcep of 

records that " his father was Hugh Bostok, or Bostock, of Wheat- 
*'hampsted, in the county of Hertford, and his mother Margaret, 
11 daughter of Thomas Makery, Lord of Makeyrend, in the same 
county." So that this document, while it confirms the monumental 
records, as to the Christian name of the Abbat's mother, and the place 
of residence of her family, is at issue with them as to the surname. 
The evidence existent in the church will probably be accounted the 
more worthy of acceptation. 

In order to recruit the funds of the monastery, this Abbat 
restored an old practice of admitting into the fraternity (Had. MS. 
3775, fo. 8) many gentlemen and ladies of high rank. It is re- 
corded in Cotton MS. Nero, D 7, that Humphrey, Duke of 
Gloucester, and Jaqueline, Duchess of Holland and Haynault, his 
wife, were admitted in 1423, and in a subsequent page is 
enrolled the admission, in full chapter, of Eleanor, wife of Hum- 
phrey, Duke of Gloucester, vu Kald. of July, 1431. This admis- 
sion into the brotherhood imposed no monastic severities, nor gave 
any new civil privileges ; but it was a token of esteem and honour 
of religion : and those admitted were allowed to vote in chapter. 

We read in the same MS. that he erected in the Church, over 
against the shrine, a certain small Chapel quandam Capellulam. 

He directed that a copy be made of the postilla (comments) 
of De Lyra on the whole Bible, to which the historian annexes the 
prayer, God grant that this may have a happy result for our people. 

In the 1 8th year of his government, he procured Royal grants 
of land in various adjacent manors ; and in order to secure himself 
from the accusation of any irregularity, he procured a pardon to be 
granted him, which from the many heinous offences it includes, 
seems rather to give a picture of the enormities habitually com- 
mitted in those days than of the personal irregularities of the Abbat. 
It will be found in Cott. MS. Claud. D I, fo. 147, and runs thus, 
Henricus Dei gratia, &c. . . . perdonavimus eidem Abbati 
u . . . pro omnimodis prodicionibus murdris raptibus mulie- 
*' rum rebellionibus insurrectionibus feloniis conspirationibus 
" . . per ipsum perpetratis." 

Wheathampsted, induced probably by the decline of his friend 
the Duke of Gloucester, and by foresight of evils coming upon the 
nation, after ruling twenty years, resigned in the presence of a 
certain clerk, Matthew Bepset, and other officers of the monastery, 1 

1 There is in the Bodl. Lib. a MS. on relrum, folio, in fine preservation, 
entitled, Secunda pars Valerii Maximi per dominum De Burgo elucidata. 
The first page is illuminated, and on the last is written, Hunc libru ad usum 
scolarm studiencium Oxonie assignavit vener : pat dns Johes Whethrnstede olim 
Abbas Monast. Sci. Alb. From this it would appear that the work was given 
by him after his resignation of the Abbey, and before his re-election. 


and was succeeded by John Stoke, 34th Abbar, in 1440. In this 
same year the Duchess of Gloucester, Alianor Cobham, was 
imprisoned in the Tower for witchcraft, and there is a detailed 
account of her doing penance through the streets of London on 
several successive days in a Chronicle of London, from 1080 to 
1483. (Harl. MS. 565, and Cotton MS. Julius B i.) 

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, who died at Bury, Feb. 28, 
1447, was buried in this Abbey (p. 32) ; and we learn from Nero 
D 7 that this Abbat was the builder of his monument. A schedule 
of the charges for making the tomb, and for perpetual masses, &c., 
is preserved in Claudius A 8. 

Historians differ as to the time of this Abbat's death j some 
assigning it to the year 1451, probably influenced by the resump- 
tion of the rule by Wheathampsted in that year others account- 
ing him to have vacated at that time, and died in 1462. 

John of Wheathampsted was re-elected 1451, and in the Hist, de 
Rebus Gestisykc., is printed the process of the re-election, from 
the MS. Chronicon of Wheathampsted, in the Herald's College. 
The transactions of this Abbot under his second rule, are chiefly 
taken from this MS. 

About the time of his re-election he gave to this church a pair of 
organs, on which and their erection he expended fifty pounds. No 
organ in any monastery of England was comparable to this instru- 
ment for size, and tone, and workmanship. (Chronicon above- 

At this time the contentions began between the Houses of York 
and Lancaster ; and the first blow was struck at St. Albans, 23 
May, 1 1455. The battle was fought in Key Field, south-east of 
the town. The Lancastrians were defeated, and the King, 
Henry VI., having been discovered in the house of a tanner, was 
made prisoner and conducted by the Duke of York to the 
shrine of the Saint, and the next day to London. (Walsingham's 
Hist. Ang.) 

An account of this battle will be found in the Archaeologia, 
vol. xx. 519, by John Bayley, Esq., F.S.A., of H.M. Record 
Office. It is copied from a MS. in a coeval hand, found in the 
Tower among a large quantity of private letters, and accounts of 
Sir William Stone, Knight, who, from his correspondence, appears 
at this time to have been much about the Court ; and was also a 
steward of the Abbat of St. Alban. On comparing the writing 
with some of the other papers, it seems to be in the hand of Sir 
William himself. 

Particular circumstances connected with this battle will also 

1 Historians differ as to the day of the month, but The Grafton Chronicle and 
the best authorities agree on the 33rd. 

78 Cfie ab&ep of 

be found in the Paston Correspondence, vol. i. pp. 80, 100, 104, 
118, and vol iii. pp. 220, 250. 

In 1459 King Henry VI. passed his Easter at the Abbey; 
ordering his best robe to be delivered to the prior on his departure. 
Dugdale gives a long extract from an interesting account of this 
visit, recorded in theChronicon of Wheathampsted, in the Library 
of the Herald's College, see p. 95. 

On Shrove Tuesday, the ijth of February, 1461, the second 
battle of St. Albans was fought, when Queen Margaret compelled 
the Earl of Warwick to retreat with considerable loss ; and the 
person of the King fell again into the hands of his own party. The 
battle was fought on Bernard Heath, north of the town. No one 
of distinction is recorded to have been slain but Sir John Grey of 
Groby, the husband of Elizabeth Woodville, afterwards Queen of 
Edward IV. He, in the company of other twelve, had been made 
Knight, in the town of Colney, on the preceding day. (See Graf- 
ton's Chronicle and Stow's Annals, also remarks on the monu- 
mental brass of Sir Anthony de Grey. 

The King and Queen and the Prince of Wales went to the 
Abbey the day after the battle ; and the Abbat and Monks led them 
to the Altar to return thanks. (Stow's Annals.) 

Early in the following month the Earl of March was proclaimed 
King by the title of Edward IV. 

According to Hallam (Middle Ages, vol. ii. p. 488 note) the 
Abbey of St. Alban was stripped by the Queen and her army 
after the second battle fought at that place ; which changed 
Wheathampsted the Abbatand Historiographer from a violent Lan- 
castrian into a Yorkist. 

Edward IV. (late the Duke of York), granted to this Abbat 
power to hold Pleas of all Felonies, in as ample a manner as was 
usually assigned by Commission to the Judges of Assize. There 
was given a full power of life and death, and the cognizance of 
all the most capital offences. Even treason was cognizable in this 
court. These powers remained in force until 24 Henry VIII. and 
then the authority sunk down to its former and ancient level, as 
when the liberty was first granted to Geoffrey of Gorham, in the 
time of Henry I. (See a Copy of this Charter in Clutterbuck's 
History of Hertfordshire, vol. i. Appendix, No. I.) 

He caused the old Chapel dedicated to St. Andrew, which stood 
on the north side of the west door of the Church, to be demolished. 
(Claud., D I, fo. 157, Acta Joh. de Wheathampsted, per Job. 
Ammundesham Mon. St. Alb.) 

In order that there might be a decorous and fitting place of 
prayer to God, who dwells in the hearts of his faithful people, he 
erected at his own cost the Chapel which we see near the north 
side of the Church of St. Albans, about to be solemnly consc- 


crated to the honour of St Andrew the Apostle. (Nero, D 7, 
fo. 42.) 

Putting these two records together, we may perhaps pronounce 
that they both refer to the ruins of an extra-mural Chapel, laid 
open by Mr. Gilbert Scott, at the western end of the north aisle 
of the nave ; the inference being further strengthened by the differ- 
ent dates of the fragments found. 

In the year 1462 he presented a petition to the new sovereign 
Edward IV. on the impoverished state of the Abbey. The King 
granted a new Charter of Privileges, by which the civil power of 
the Abbats was greatly augmented, and a kind of palatine jurisdic- 
tion vested in them ; in many respects similar to those lately en- 
joyed by the Sees of Durham and Ely. 

If we admit with Hearne (Preface to Wheathampsted's Chron- 
icle) that none could by the Canon be ordained priest before they 
were twenty-five at soonest, and Wheathampsted was ordained in 
1382, he must have lived to above a hundred. And this is corro- 
borated by the circumstance, that when he accepted the government 
of the Abbey a second time he speaks of himself as old and infirm. 

Bale (Illust. Script Maj. Bryt. Basil 1557,) has given a list of 
the works written by this Abbat ; and it has been copied by Thos. 
Hearne in his Duo Rerum Script. Vet. 

WILLIAM ALBAN, 35th Abbat, was elected and confirmed by 
the King, probably in 1463 or 1464. 

In the Bodleian Library there is a Register of the Acts of Wil- 
liam Alban, Abbat of the Monastery of St. Alban. It is a miscel- 
laneous collection, and not confined to the rule of this Abbat. 

WILLIAM OF WALLINGFORD, 36th Abbat, had been Prior and 
Archdeacon. He erected the screen over the High Altar, which 
had been designed by Wheathampsted. In Nero, D 7, it is re- 
corded that this Abbat constructed a Chantry Chapel for the place 
of his own burial, at a cost of 100 sterling, situated in the south 
part of the Church, near the High Altar ; but there is much 
doubt in the present day as to the spot where it stood. The pre- 
vailing opinion is, that it occupied the space in the aisle between 
the Chantry of Wheathampsted and the door of the Saints' Chapel, 
where there is now an altar-tomb without an inscription. But 
some are inclined to consider, that the remains of it are seen in the 
extra-mural structure by the south door mentioned in pp. 48 
and 54. 

The art of printing had been brought into England by Caxton, 
and the earliest historical work printed in England issued from his 
press in 1480. It is entitled " The Chronicles of England ;" and 
ivas apparently derived from the Cotton MS. Galba 8. The edi- 
cionof the Chronicle, which was printed at St. Albans in 1483, is 
erroneously called the " Fructus Temporum." The last named 

80 Cfje a&fcep of 

work was compiled by a Schoolmaster of St. Albans from Caxton's 
Chronicle, with the addition of brief excerpta from Holy Scripture. 
(Mon. Hist. Br. General Introduction.) 

There is a copy of the " Chronicles of England " with thefrute 
of times in the Collection of the Earl Spencer and another in the 
Royal Library Brit. Mus., having the arms of the Abbey at the 
end ; and, on a fly leaf at the beginning, in writing, " Peter 
" Thompson Bought at Mrs. Bacon's sale. I. West. Given 
" me by my worthy colleague in Parliament for the Borough of 
" St. Alban, the above Sir Peter Thompson." 

The prologue begins " Insomuch that it is necessary," &c. 

Sir Henry Chauncy assigns the name of Insomuch to the Printer; 
and apparently, as has been remarked, from some unaccountable 
misapprehension of the first three words of the prologue. 

The earliest book printed at St. Albans was " Rhetorica Nova 
" Fratris Laurencii Gulielmi de Saona, 1480." There is a copy 
of it preserved in the Library of the Earl Spencer, another in the 
University Library at Cambridge, and a third in the Royal Lib. 
Br. Mus. The last ends thus, " Compllatum autem fuit hoc opus 

" in Alma Univershate Cantabrigie Impressum 

"fuit hoc present opus Rhetorice facultatis apud villa Sancti Albani y 
" A. D. 1480." 

The first treatise on hunting which ever issued from the press 
was " The Boke of Saint Alban," written by Dame Juliana 
Barnes (otherwise Berners) the Prioress of Sopwell, and printed 
in the Monastery in 1486. There is a copy in the Collection of 
the Earl Spencer and another in the University Lib. Cambridge. 

It may be added that, in the Library of King Edward's 
Grammar School, in the Lady Chapel of the Abbey, there is a 
copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's translation of Boethius de Consolatione, 
printed by Caxton. 

A very beautiful MS. in the Library of Lambeth Palace is thus 
described in the printed Index : 

" 6. Codices MSS. in folio, Sec. 15. The Sr, Albans Chronicle 
" as it is called, enriched with miniature paintings of the most ex- 
" quisite beauty, and finely preserved. It begins, c Here begynne 
<c ' the cronicles of kynges of Englond sith the tyme that it was 
" ' first inhabit ; and of their actes as by dyers auctores is declared 
" * and testifyed.' 

" See the account of this work as printed in 1497 by Wynkyn 
" de Worde. (Ames* Typograph. Antiq. edit. Herbert, vol. i. 

" ? I33-) 

" In the colophon to Wynkyn de Worde's publication, the 

41 work is said to have been compiled and also emprynted by one 
" sometime scole mayster of Saint Albans. 

" Pits and Bayle speak of a schoolmaster or reader of history in 

Saint Slftan. 81 

** the Monastery of St. Alban, who had collected materials for a 
" history of England, but died before he had completed the same." 

This Abbat was very prudent in the management of the affairs 
of the Abbey, and resolute in the defence of its rights. Some 
claims against him by Archbishop Bourchier, upon appeal to the 
Court of Rome, were decided in the Abbat's favour. (New- 

His labours for the advantage of the Monastery in the several 
offices of Prior, Archdeacon and Abbat, are enumerated in MS. 
Nero, D 7. 

All chroniclers seem to be agreed that he died in 1484, though 
his successor was not appointed until 1492. 

But during this interval two remarkable documents were issued 
which seem to have dropped out of general history. 

They are given in the Appendix to the Monast. Anglic, but the 
matter they refer to is not embodied in the text j nor has the com- 
piler met with it in any other history. 

1. A Bull of Innocent VIII. for the reformation of exempt 
monasteries and other religious houses, dated Rome, A. D. 1489, 
in the 6th year of his Pontificate. 

It opens with the declaration that it has come to the ear of the 
Pontiff that some monasteries in England have greatly deviated from 
rectitude. He therefore urges on the Archbishop that he visit 
every superior monastery in his province within a certain range, 
and effect a reformation both of Chapters and individual members 
of those establishments, and bringing them back to conformity with 
the rules and ordinances of the several Orders to which they be- 
long ; and giving to the Archbishop full authority to displace, ex- 
communicate and interdict resorting also, if necessary, to the se- 
cular arm for carrying his judgments into effect. 

2. A monition from the Archbishop reciting the Bull which had 
been addressed to him as Legate. He states that instances had 
come to his own knowledge of simony, usury, dilapidations, lavish 
expenditure, and even great violation of good morals. He there- 
fore admonishes the Abbat and brotherhood living within the walls, 
and also the prioresses of Pre and Sopwell, and others in the 
Priories and Cells subjected to the Abbat, that within sixty days 
after the delivery of these presents, and affixing copies of them to 
the doors of the Conventual Church, all things be reduced to order. 
If reformation be not effected within the time allowed, then after 
thirty days the Archbishop would visit in person or by commis- 
sioners appointed by him. 

Acta ha;c omnia Lamehith (Lambeth), Westminster, A. D. 1490, 
mensis vero lulii die quinta. 

THOMAS RAMRYGE was 37th Abbat ; whose name was origi- 
nally Ramrugge, from a place so named near Kimpton. Though 

82 &e a&fcep of 

his predecessor died in 1484, he was not appointed (as before men- 
tioned) until 1492. 

Newcome conjectures that this circumstance may be attributed 
to the King's displeasure on finding that Catesby, the great senes- 
chal of the Abbey, was among the traitors at Bosworth. 

There is an interesting picture in the Collection of MSS. in the 
British Museum (Cole, vol. xxx. fo. 14) headed, " The Parliament 
" holden at Westminster the fourth of february the third yeare of 
" our Soveraigne Lord Kinge Henry the 8th, A. D. 1512," during 
the Rule of Abbat Ramryge, in which the figure and dress of each 
ecclesiastic dignitary walking in the procession is depicted. Each 
has his coat of arms over his head. It commences with Abbats 
walking in pairs according to the rank of their abbeys the lesser 
houses preceding. The first pair are the Abbat of Tewkesbury 
and the Prior of Coventry. This is the only Prior in the proces- 
sion ; and the shield over him is blank, though with a line of im- 
palement Many have not their family arms, the sinister being 
left blank. The Abbats of St. Albans and Westminster are the 
last pair. The arms of both are given ; but there is no figure under 
those of Westminster ; from which we may infer that he was ab- 
sent All the Abbats, with two exceptions, have exactly the same 
dress, consisting of a plain cassock and cap, with an ample robe of 
purple having folds behind as a hood ; none of the Abbats wear 
mitres. The Bishops wear the same simple caps as the Abbats, 
only the Archbishops who close the procession wear the mitre. 
The arms of Ramryge are gu. on a bend or, three eagles displayed 
gu. in chief a lion rampant^ and in base a ram rampant gardant ar. 

Not the least history of this Abbat's rule has been transmitted 
to us. But we learn from Willis (Mitred Abbeys, vol i. p. 25), 
that he wrote a book, " De Gestis Abb m . Mon m . et benefact m . 
" St. Alb. Monast." 1 And the Landsdown MS. 160, contains the 
following minute of the Court of Star Chamber, 20 Henry VII. 
1505, " of the Abbot of S. Albones 80 lib. for the discharge of a 
" fine of 100 lib. for the escape of one Js. Banester cSvict of felony." 

This entire want of information, Newcome remarks, can be ac- 
counted for on no other supposition, than that the first plunderers 
after the surrender of the Seal on the Dissolution of the Abbey, 
seized all the Writings and Registers, as being evidences of, the 
Estates and Properties belonging to the House. 

This Abbat is portrayed in prayer to the Holy Trinity, in Cotton 
MS. Nero, D 7 ; and there is an engraving of the portrait in the 

1 The work is quoted by Weever (Funeral Monuments), who saw it in MS. 
in the Library of the British Museum, Cotton Collection, Otho B 4.1, since 
burnt. The precise title of the MS. as given in Smith's Catalogue is " Gesta 
" paucula Ah. Joan. Whethampsted de tempore illo quo praefuit primo in 
Officio Pastorali." 


Royal and Ecclesiast. Antiq. of England, by Jos. Strutt, London, 
1773. The time of his death is very uncertain. 

THOMAS WOLSEY Archbishop of York, and a Cardinal suc- 
ceeded as 38th Abbat. He was invested with the Temporalities 
on the 7th of December, 1521, and held the Abbey in commen- 
dam, 1 granted at Rome the following year. 

This latter process was such a violation of the Canon Law, and 
such an invasion of the rule and government in which Abbeys had 
been held, that it seemed to portend some fatal blow to the 
monastic institutions (Newcome). The two instruments will be 
found in Rymer's Foedera. 8 

There is an interesting letter from Richard Pace 3 to Wolsey, 
dated Windsor, the 1 3th day of November, detailing the interview 
between Henry VIII. and a deputation of the Monks of St. Albans at 
Windsor Castle upon the death of their Abbat, petitioning for licence 
to choose a new Abbat. The original will be found, Cotton MSS. 
Vitellius, B 4, fo. 197 and it has been published in the Collec- 
tion of Original Letters by Sir Henry Ellis, London, 1846. 

Mr. Ames (Typographical Antiq.) remarks that there was no 
printing at St. Alban's during the Abbacy of Cardinal Wolsey ; 
and that probably he put a stop to printing here, having previously 
shewn his disapprobation of it in a convocation held in St. Paul's 
Chapter House ; telling the clergy that if they did not in time 
suppress printing, it would be fatal to the Church. 

There is no record remaining, that he even came down to take 
possession ; nor of any act done by him with reference to this 
Monastery during his commendamship, which lasted till his down- 
fall, except the gift of plate to the Monastery (of which a note is 
preserved in the Cotton Lib. Titus, B I, fo. 80), and the follow- 
ing presentation in right of his abbacy. " I find William Wake- 
" field inducted into the vicarage of St. Peter's in the town of 
" Saint Albans, by virtue of the letters of Thomas, Lord Cardinal 
" and Archbishop of York, and Abbat of Saint Albans.'' (Cole, 
MS. Brit. Mus.) 

1 Commendam is a benefice or ecclesiastical living, which, being void, is com- 
mitted (commendatur) to the charge and care of some sufficient clerk, to be 
supplied until it may be conveniently provided of a pastor (Godwin's Reperto- 
rium, 230). The law respecting commendam has been abolished by 6 and 7 
Gul. IV.c. 77. 

1 Pro Cardinal! Eborum de Restitutione Temporalium S. Alb. teste Rege 
apud Westmonasterium septimo die Decembris, A.D. 1521, and the other, pro 
Cardinal! Eborum, Monast. S. Alb. commenda, per Adrianum papam sextum. 
Dat. Romae A. Incarn. 1522 Sexto Id. Novembris. 

3 Pace was a learned priest and considerable statesman. He was sent for to 
the court of Henry VIII., who appointed him secretary of state, and employed 
him in several important negotiations. On the death of Leo X., Cardinal 
Wolsey sent him to Rome for the expiess purpose ot endeavouring to obtain 
for him the Papal chair. 

84 Cbe atifcep of 

ROBERT CATTON, 3gth Abbat i.e., Robert Bronde of Catton, 
was elected to save appearances, but really appointed by the King, 
being promoted from the Priorate of Norwich. (Whartons 
Anglia Sacra^ vol. i. p. 420.) The Royal Agents and Ministers 
lived as guests in the monastery, and held rule over all. However, 
the letter from Petre, one of the Commissioners (Cleopatra, E 4, 
fo. 43 copied in the Mon. Ang. and Newcome, p. 439 and 
published by the Camden Society), shows the Abbat to have been 
a difficult subject to manage. 

His signature stands first of the Abbats, having seats in the 
Upper House of Convocation, who signed the Articles agreed upon 
in 28 Henry VIII., A.D. 1536, which were afterwards confirmed 
by the king, and published in his name and by his authority. 

The original exists in the Cottonian Lib. Cleop. E 5. 

In his time the art of printing was again revived at St. Albans, 
and was practised in the precincts of the Abbey by John Hertforde. 
A work in English Verse was printed in 1534, entitled, "The 
u glorious lyfe and passion of Seint Albon, prothomartyr of Eng- 
" lande, and also the lyfe and passion of Saint Amphabel, which 
" converted Saint Albon to the fayth of Christe." 

The Colophon ends " Whose lyves were translated out of 
" french and latin into Englyshe by John Lydgate monk of Bury ; 
" and now lately put in print at request of Robert Catton Abbat of 
" the exempt monasterie of Saynt Albon, the xxvi yere of our 
" souveraigne lorde Kyng Henry the eyght, and in the yere of our 
" Lord God MDXXXIIII." 

It appears from the Act of Restitution to his successor of the 
temporals on approval of the election by the King, that this Abbat 
was deprived and superseded in his lifetime. The clause runs thus : 
" post privationem legitimam Roberti Catton ultimi Abbatis ejus- 
" dem loci vacantis" (Rymer's Fcedera, torn. 14, p. 587, A.D. 
1538, 29 H 8). 

RICHARD BOREMAN, S.T.B., alias Stevynnache, 1 the 4Oth and 
last Abbat, was chosen by the Royal interest, and put in to execute 
the instructions of the King and parliament with a better grace. 

He surrendered the Abbey on the 5th of December, 1539, and 
delivered the Conventual Seal to the Visitors appointed by the 
Crown. 8 The seal, which is of ivory, is now in the British 

1 In Hertfordshire. 

* The general form in which most of the surrenders were written was pre- 
faced by the declaration that " the Abbot and Brethren upon full deliberation, 
"certain knowledge of their own proper motion for certain just and 
" reasonable causes especially moving them in their souls and conscience, did 
" freely and of their own accord give and grant their House to the King." 
(Rymer's Foedera, torn. 14, p. 604.) 

The number of monasteries suppressed first and last in England, accord- 

%aint aitmn. 

Museum. Thomas Walsingham, in his Hist Angl., recording 

the attaching the Seal of the Monastery to an agreement between 

the Monastery and the 

Town of St. Albans, in 

the time of Richard II., 

speaks of the Seal as being 

of very high antiquity. 

It is remarkable that it 

should bear the inscription, 

Anglorum, P.M., as the 

date of the martyrdom 

was much more remote 

than the arrival of the 

Angles in Britain (see page 


The Archaeological Jour- 
nal, 1854, p. 261, exhibits 
a seal of Peter Bishop of 
Beauvais, A.D. 1123, very 
similar to this. 

A Copy of the Surren- 
der from the Original in 
the Augmentation Office, 
signed by the Abbat ("Ri- 
cardus Stevynnache") the 
Prior, and 37 Monks will 
be found in Dugdale ; and also a list of all the Lands, Manors, 
Rectories, &c.,of the Monastery, and the respective values of them 
at the time of the Dissolution. 

The King assigned to Boreman a yearly pension of 266 1 35. $d. ; 
and various allowances to Monks of the Abbey. The Abbat and 
twenty of these Monks were surviving on the accession of Queen 
Mary, A. D. 1553. (Willis' Hist, of Mit. Parl. Abbeys.) Clutter- 
buck, in the Appendix to vol. i. of his History, gives from the 
Original Roll a List of Pensions and Annuities granted after the 
Dissolution of Religious Houses in the county of Hertford, in the 
reign of Queen Mary. 

The possessions of the Monastery were very quickly dispersed 
among the interested Courtiers, who had favoured the King's 
views. Several volumes of MSS. in the Laudian, and one in the 
Rawlinson Collection of the Bodleian Library, belonged to the 
Monastery of Saint Alban. One in the library of Exeter Col- 
lege, bears at foot a note that it is the gift of John Wheat- 
hampsted, the Prior to the Monastery of St. Alban ; and he has 

ing to Camden, was 643, together with 90 colleges, 1374 chantries and free 
chapels, and no hospitals. 

86 Cbe aftbep of 

written at foot his usual anathema against those who shall purloin 
or injure it. 

Leland (Collect, edit. London, 1770, torn. iv. p. 163) gives a 
list of works which he had seen in the Abbey Library : it is copied 
in the Monast. Anglic, edit. London, 1819-30. 

Stevens (additional volume to Dugdale's Monasticon Angli- 
canum, London, 1722) writes, " The Great Abbey of Saint Al- 
" bans, in Hertfordshire if the old lands were united together is 
" worth at this day, in all rents, profits and revenues, about two 
" hundred thousand pounds a year, according to the improved rents 
"of this day." 

The Monastic Buildings, with all the ground lying round the 
Abbey Church excepting the Church of St. Andrew, which stood 
on the north side, were granted to Sir Richard Lee in February, 
1540 j and he had scarcely gained possession when he began demo- 
lishing the whole. 

In the ancient Kalendars and Inventories of the Treasury of his 
Majesty's Exchequer, printed under the direction of the Commis- 
sioners on the Public Records of the Kingdom is, under 3 and 4 
Philip and Mary, an Indenture testifying the delivery made by the 
Solicitor-General to the Lord Treasurer, of deeds relating to lands 
conveyed to the Queen. 

These documents are ist, A deed bearing date 25th Nov., 
a Ed. VI .5 to , wherein Sir Richard Lee, Knight, bargained and sold 
to the said Boureman, and to his heirs, the site of the late dissolved 
Monastery of St. Albans, &c. 2nd, A release from the same deed. 
3rd, A letter of Attorney made by the said Boureman to James 
Oledale to take possession in the premises. 4th, A deed from Richard 
Boureman to the Queen's Majesty, her heirs and successors bear- 
ing date 2Qth Dec., 3rd and 4th years of the said King and Queen. 

" Queen Mary, having an intention of restoring this Abbey, 
" designed Abbat Boreman to preside over the new convent, 
" which she had established here, if her death had not prevented it 
" I judge this favor to him might have been in consideration of 
" his having been instrumental in preserving his church by purchas- 
" ing it after the dissolution ; and thereby putting a stop to the 
" demolishing it ; which the sacrilegious proprietors might have 
" soon yielded to, for lucre of the materials." (Willis' Mit. Par. 
" Abbeys.) 

The Abbey Church continued in the Crown until the I2th 
May, 1553, when the Town obtained its Charter, (a transcript of 
which from the Original in the Archives of the Borough will be 
found in the Appendix to Clutterbuck's History) from Edward VI. 
empowering the Mayor and Burgesses to erect a Grammar School 
in the Church of St. Alban ; and thus the Lady Chapel, with the 
Ante-chapel or Eastern Aisle, became detached from the great 


body of the Church, which, by the same Deed, was granted to the 
Mayor and Burgesses for 4OO/. to be the parish Church of the 
Borough for the inhabitants of the late parish of St. Andrew ; and 
all the Messuages, Lands, &c., within the late parish of St. 
Andrew to be reputed part and parcel of the newly-constituted 
parish of St. Alban, George Wetherall being appointed the Rector. 1 
The following is the succession of Rectors, with the Dates of 
their respective Institutions : 

George Wetherall 12 May, 1553. 

f William East 

f James Dugdal, M.A 26 Feb. 1556. 

Edward Edgworth, M.A 5 March, 1578. 

Roger Williams, S.T.B 7 March, 1582. 

Jjohn Brown 

tEdward Carter 2O Feb. 1662. 

fjohn Cole, M.A 16 Dec. 1687. 

tjohn Cole 9 Sept. 1713. 

Benjamin Preedy, B.A 13 Sept 1754. 

Joseph Spooner 23 Jan. 1779. 

John Payler Nicholson, M.A. ... 28 Nov. 1796. 

Henry Small 4 July, 1817. 

Henry J. B. Nicholson, M.A. ... 13 Feb. 1835. 

Sir John Caesar Hawkins, Bart. M.A. 18 Oct. 1866. 

t Walter John Lawrance, M.A. . . . 30 Oct. 1868. 

" Information of Abuses in the Suppression of Monasteries to 
Queen Elizabeth," Harl. MSS. No. 6879, is to be found also in 
the Harleian Miscellanies, London, 1813, vol. x. p. 279; and the 
document is there headed by some remarks on the subject, chiefly 
taken from Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope. The following 

1 Under the operation of the Municipal Corporation Act in 1835 the Ad- 
vowson was sold by the Corporation and purchased by Dr. Nicholson, who has 
bequeathed it to the Bishop of the diocese. 

f Marked thus were also Archdeacons of St. Albans. It seems impossible 
to ascertain at what time the first appointment of an Archdeacon as an Officei 
under the Abbat took place. We learn, however, from Mat. Par. that in 
1119 there was an Archdeacon named Radulphus; and from Nero, D 7, fo. 31, 
in 1380, Johannes de Hethwithe; and, in Collect. Top. and Geneal. vol. vii. 
Art. 25, a list of the Archdeacons of St. Albans is given from 1415 to 1539, 
copied from the Registers now in the archives in the Abbey Church. Thos. 
Kyngesbury received a formal appointment of Archdeacon and Commissary 
from Abbut Robert Catton; but in 1536 the words "authoritate regia"are 
added to his Title. 

J The Commissioners appointed by the Parliament to enquire into the state 
of the Ecclesiastical Benefices in the year 1650 (the year after the murder of 

the King), foundr by their Inquest that " this Rectory was 

sequestered from one John Brown ; and that Mr. Job Tookey, an able and 
godly minister, officiated the Cure." Lambeth Lib. MSS. 902-93*. 

atJbep of 

are extracts : " Many of the abuses of civil society are attended 
u with some advantages. In the beginnings of reformation the loss 
" of these advantages is always felt very sensibly, while the benefit 
44 resulting from the change is the slow effect of time, and not im- 
41 mediately perceived or enjoyed. The accuracy of this observa- 
44 tion is fully exemplified by an attentive examination of the cir- 
" cumstances attending the dissolution of Monasteries ; than which, 
" in the words of the same author (Warton), scarce any Institutions 
" can be imagined less favourable for the interests of mankind. 
44 And yet their suppression was immediately attended with many 
" and very serious evils. This great event was the cause of a 
" temporary but lamentable decline of literature, an extinction of 
44 hospitality, an increase of domestic hardships by the oppression 
" of poor tenants, and a variety of other grievances, which occa- 

44 sioned loud complaints at the time But it must 

" be recollected, that the greater part of these evils were not ne- 
" cessary attendants of reformation, but produced by the corrupt 
44 and injudicious manner in which reformations was effected. 

" It may be truly said however mortifying the 

41 observation that the actors in this great scene were in defiance 
41 of the express prohibition of that BOOK which we possess through 
44 their means * doing evil that good may come.' " 

A patent passed the great seal in the I5th year of James I. 
(1617), which is to be found in Rymer, " Licentia specialis con- 
44 cessa Mariae Middlemore ad inquirendum de treasure trove 
44 infra di versa Monasteria. Witness ourself at Westminster, 
44 2Qth day of April, 1617." The purport being to allow to Mary 
Middlemore, one of the maydes of honour to our dearest consort 
Queen Anne of Denmark and her deputies, power and authority 
to enter into the Abbeys of St. Albans, Glastonbury, Saint Ed- 
mondsbury and Ramsay ; and into all lands, houses and places 
within a mile belonging to such Abbeys, there to dig and search 
after treasure supposed to be hidden in such places. 

Bede complains of the spoliation of Monasteries in his day by 
Rulers, Kings, and Bishops. (Opera, vol. viii. p. 1071.) 


la this Plan the Anglo-Norman portions of the Church are distinguished 
by a darker shade from those of later date. 



A. Nave. 

B. Ante-choir, or baptistery. 

C. Central tower. 

D. Retro-choir. 

E. South-floor. 

F. South-aisle of the Saint's chapel. 

G. An Altar stone. 

H. The Saints' chapel. 

I. Sepulchral chapel and vault of 
Humphrey, duke of Glouces- 

J. Site of the Saint's shrine. 

K. Watch-gallery. 

L. Balustrade, with votive inscrip- 

M. Arches leading eastward, closed 
subsequently to the dissolution 

N. North door. 

0. North aisle of the Saint's chapel. 
P. North aisle of Retro-choir. 

Q. Back of a bbat Ramryge'schantry . 

it. Early pointed arcade. 

S. North transept, supposed lite of 

the martyrdom. 
T. Tower-stairs; early arch, an 

U. North aisle of ante-choir, or 


V. North aisle of nave. 
W. North-western porch, now 

closed externally. 
X. Central-western porch, shewing 

original level of floor, and 

basement mouldings. 
Y. Sooth-western porch, now closed 


Z. Sou! h aisle of nave. 
a. Recess in main wall, originally 

open to the cloisters. 
2 6. South aisle of ante-choir, or bap. 


o c. Sepulchral heptafoil arch, a pis- 
cina within, 
rf. St. Cuthbert'* screen, with posi 

lion of two af*rs. 

e. Abbat's entrance. 

f. Recess in main wall. 

g. South transept. 

A. Chapel of St. Mary. 

t. Chapel of St. Simeon. 

;'. Passage between the Church and 

the Chapter House. 
k. Stairs to triforia. 

1. Arch to Chapel of abbat Delaware. 
m. Entrance from the cloisters. 

n. South Aisle of retro-choir. 

0. Chantry, or sepulchral chapel of 

abbat Wheathainpsted, now 
containing brass of abbat De- 

p. Screen between retro-choir and 
shrine of St. Alban. 

9. Chantry, or sepulchral chapel of 
abbat Ramryge. 

r. Ancient doorway and structure. 

1. Now a public thoroughfare, but 

formerly forming, with 
t. the ambulatory, an ante-chapel 

to lady-chapel. 
x. Turret with stairs. 
j>. Lady-chapel, now a school-room. 
w. Veitry, 

jr. Modern partition-wall. 
1. Excavation, shewing basement 

and original floor. 
2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Early pointed 

compartments of nave. 
0, 10, 11, 12, 13. 14. Decorated ..r 

middle pointed compartment* 

of nave. 
IS, 10, 17, 18, 19,20,21. Anglo-Nor. 

man compartment* of nave. 

22. Remains of cloisters. 

23. Window* between Church and 

destroyed chapel. These win- 
dows bad been built np in the 
main wall, but have recently 
beer iiscovered. 

90 C&e 3bbep of 



Cottonian Library In the British Museum. 

JULIUS, A X 2. Saxon Martyrology of about the nth cen- 
tury. Wanley says that this Codex agrees entirely with that 
of C. C. C., Cambridge, the various readings excepted. 

Julius, D 3, fo. i. Register of Deeds relating to the lands 

and pnedials of the Monastery of St. Alban, together with the Gifts 
and Confirmation of them. It appears that several names of streets 
and lanes in the Town were existent in that day, while others have 
been changed. Dugdale considers this MS. to have been written in the 
time of Richard II., A. D. 1377 to 99. 

Claudius, A 8, fo. 195. A Schedule of the Charges of the Monastery of 
St. Albans for making the Tomb of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, 
and for perpetual Masses, &c. (Printed in the History and Antiquities 
of the County of Hertford, by Clutterbuck. London, 1815.) 

Claudius, D I, fo. I. Letters of John Whethampsted, Abbat of the 
Monastery of St. Albans. 

Claudius, D I, fo. 33. Acts of the same John, through each year of his 
Rule, by John of Agmundesham, a Monk of St. Albans, and contem- 
porary with the Abbat. This MS. contains the Annals of the First 
Rule of Wheathampsted, and the first page is illuminated in a manner 
very similar to that of the MS. of the Chronicon in the Herald's Office, 
which records the Transactions of the second Rule. 

Claudius D I, fo. 169. Rentale domus sive hospitalis S. Juliani juxta S. 
Albanum; renovatum anno 22 Henrici VI. fo. 170. Rentale de 
terris and tenementis de novo acquisitis per Th. Ramryge Abbatem 
Monasterii S. Albani renovatum eodem anno. 

Claudius, E 4, fo. 34. The Martyrdom of St. Alban, Protomartyr of 
England ; and also of Amphibalus, and his companions. Also con- 
cerning the Discovery of the Grave of Saint Alban by Offa. It is 
said that this is a Translation into Latin, in 1 1 70, by William, a monk 
of St. Albans, at the desire of Abbat Symon, of a history in the ancient 
British language, by an unknown author, and written about the year 
590, according to the conjectures of Leland and Bale, grounded on the 
author describing himself a Catechumen, about to go to Rome to obtain 
baptism, and prophesying the approaching conversion of England. 
There is a Copy of this Treatise in Faustina, B 4, and in the Lib. 
of Magdalen Coll. and Jesus Coll. Oxford. It is printed 5n extenso, 

g)aint aiban, 91 

in the Acta Sanctorum, under date of June 22, and an Epitome of this 

MS. will be found in the work of Matt. Florilegus, under the year 303, 

the Legenda Albani et Amphib. of Capgrave, and Hist. Eccles. of 

Nicolaus Harpsfield, lib. i. capp. 8. and 10. 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 47. The Lives and Martyrdoms of St. Alban and 

Amphibalus, in Latin Verse by Ralph de Dunstable. (This is a ren- 

dering in verse of the M.S. above mentioned, fo. 34), andis the same 

as Julius, D 3, 125, Des: Cat. 

Claudius, E 4, fo. 84. Hist, of Offa, 1st and 2nd, auctore M. Par. 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 98. Acts of the Abbats of the Monastery of St. Alban, 

from Willegod to Thomas de la Mare : by Matthew Paris and Thomas 

of Walsingham. (Matt. Par. was a monk of St. Albans, who wrote in 

the reign of Henry III. Thomas of Walsingham lived in the reigns of 

Henry IV. and V. See Preface of Wats to the Lives of the two Offas ; 

and of twenty-three Abbats of St. Albans, in his edition of the Works 

of Matt. Par. London, 1640.) 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 241. Constitutions of Abbat Thomas, set forth in a 

General Chapter, held on the Feast of St. Michael, A. D. 1351, and sub- 

Claudius, E 4, fo. 307. Proceedings against the Rebellious Tenantry of 

the Monastery, in the time of Richard II. by Matthew Paris and 

Thomas Walsingham. (See p. 27.) 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 334. A Treatise on the Nobility, Life, and Martyrdom 

of SS. Alban and Amphibalus, extracted from a certain book written in 

the French language, and translated into Latin. 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 337. Goods and Chattels of the Abbat and Monastery 

of St. Alban. 
Ckudius, E 4, fo. 349. Of the Relics deposited in the Monastery, and the 

Indulgences granted to the visiting them. The Monast. Anglic., edit. 

London, 1819-30, gives the list in full of the Relics, some of which are 

very marvellous. 
Claudius, E 4, fo. 359. The manner of proceeding in the Election, Con- 

firmation and Installation of an Abbat. See Monast. Anglic. 
Claudius, E 8, fo. 10. De denario S. Petri qui Romescot dicitur et de 

Claudius, E 4, fo. 213. Surrender of privileges by the Abbat and Monas- 

tery to the rebellious Townspeople. 
Nero, A I. Remarks on the payment of Romescot or Peter Pence (/* 

Nero, C 6. The First part of the Granarium of John of Wheathampsted, 
concerning Histories and the Writers of them. The other part is in 
Tiberius, D 5, now almost destroyed by fire. It is a kind of Theolo- 
gical Common-place Book. Dugdale. 

Nero, D I, fol. I. (The Catalogue describes this Book as very valuable, 
and to be treated with the greatest care.) History of Offa I. and II. by 
Matthew Par. At the beginning is written in red letters, a Memorandum, 
of which the following is a translation: "Brother Matthew gave this 
Book to God and the Church of St. Alban ; whoever shall take it away 
or injure it, let him be Anathema." This can hardly be regarded as 

92 C&e a&fcep of 

written by himself, for a prayer is immediately subjoined, that the soul 
of the said Matthew and the souls of the faithful departed may rest in 
peace. Edited by Wats. London, 1640. 

Nero, D I , fo. 27. Of the finding and translation of the body of Saint 
Alban, and of King Offa, the founder of the Church of St. Alban. 

Nero, D I, fo. 30. Lives of the first twenty-three Abbats, by the above 
Matthew Par. An illuminated Portrait precedes the Life of each Abbat. 
Edited by Wats. 

Nero, D i, fo. 145. A List of Gifts of Rings precious stones set in 
gold. (A coloured Drawing is given of each, followed by a description 
and the name of the donor.) 

Nero, D I, fo. 148. Ancient and Primitive Records of the Church of 
Saint Alban. (Wats Addit. p. 237.) 

Nero, D I, fo. 165. An Obituary Table of the Monks of St. Alban, 
from A. D. 1216 to 1252. (At the year 1217, is written in red letters, 
in Latin, a Memorandum, of which the following is a translation : " In 
this year I, Brother Matt. Paris, took upon me the Religious Habit, on 
St. Agnes' day. I have written these accounts that the names of the 
Brothers might live for ever.") We infer then that we have here the 
Autograph of the Author. 

Nero, D i, fo. 173. The Rule according to which the Nuns and Sisters 
of our Lady des Pres, near St. Albans, ought to live. Printed in 
Wats' Matt. Par. Vitae Abbatum, p. 97. 

Nero, D i, fo. 187. Statutes of the Hospital of St. Julian, appointed by 
Michael, Abbat of St. Alban. (Edited by Wats.) 

Nero, D I, fo. 192. Charter of the Foundation of St. Julians. 

Nero, D I, fo. 193. Customs and Rules of the Nuns of the Blessed 
Mary, of Sopwell, used from the earliest times, and renewed by Michael, 
Abbat of St. Alban. (Edited by Wats.) 

Nero, D I, fo. 193 b. Articles to be observed by the professed Brethren 
of the Hospital of Saint Julian. 

Nero, D 7. Catalogue of Benefactors, and of all who have been admitted 
into full Fraternity of the Monastery of St. Alban, to the year 1463, 
with Compendious Histories of the same, and Portraits. The greater 
part of this MS. was compiled by Thomas Walsingham, in 1380, fee 
fols. 82, 83. The last entry in black letter is in 1475. The writer 
of it was William de Wylum. But there are some subsequent entries 
in a later and a running hand. It will be found copied in the Appen- 
dix to Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire ; and he remarks that the Portraits 
executed by Alan Strayler, Illuminator of the Abbey, appear to have 
furnished Mr. Strutt (Regal, and Eccles. Antiquities, p. 39), with many 
subjects of the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of this Kingdom. This M.S. 
was presented to Sir Robert Cotton by the great Lord Bacon, in 1623. 
It formerly belonged to Queen Mary. Thos. Hearne, in his work en- 
titled, Duo Rerun Anglicarum Serif torts Veteres, Oxon. 1732, gives a 
portio:. of Nero, D 7, beginning at folio 27, and headed De Gestis 
Jobannis Wbetbampsted, 

Vitellius, B 4, fo. 95. Richard Pace to Card. Wolsey about the death of 
the Abbat of S. Albans, and a licence for the election of a successor. 


Titus, B I, fo. 80. A note of Plate given by Cardinal Wolsey to the 
Monastery of Saint Alban. There is another account of Plate given 
by the Cardinal to the Abbey of S. Albans from a MS. in the hands of 
Rev. Mr. Price, keeper of the Bodl. Lib., Oxford. Printed in Col- 
lectanea Curiosa, Oxford, 1781. 

Otho.-Gesta Paucula Ab. Joan. Wheathampsted relating to his first rule ; 
burnt to a crust: existent in Weever's time, and quoted by him. 

Cleopatra, E 4, fo. 43. Thomas Legh and William Petre to J. Crom- 
well, giving an account of their Visitation of St. Albans, and their argu- 
ments to bring the monks to surrender. St. Albans, Dec. 10, 1538. 
(This letter is given in full by Newcome, p. 439, and in Mon. Ang.) 

Faustina, B 4, fo. I. History of the Martyrdom of St. Alban, &c. 
Same as Claudius, E 4, fo. 34. 

Faustina, B 9, fo. 75 144. English Chronicle, by G. Ryshanger, a 
monk of S. Albans, from A.D. 1259, deficient 54 years to 1360, and 
then continuous to the deposition of Richard II. and the accession of 
Henry IV. 

Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum. 

No. 28. An Indenture, quadripartite, made between King Henry VII. 
(zoth Nov. in the 2Oth year of his reign) the Abbat and Convent of 
Westminster, the Abbat (Ramryge) and Convent of St. Albans and the 
Mayor and Commonalty of London, concerning the holding a solemn 
anniversary in the Church of St. Albans for ever, and praying for the 
King, the Royal Family, and the Realm. 

No. 139. The pedigree of John Bostock, Abbat of St. Albans. 

No. 247. See No. 6217 below. 

No. 602. A Book of Memoranda, compiled apparently by order of John 
de la Moote, then Prior of the Monastery, afterwards Abbat (p. 29), 
about the 4Oth year of Edw. III. The first leaf of the MS. is headed, 
Liber Memorandorum Dom. Joh. Moot Prioris Coquinarii Refectorarii 
Infirmarii et Eleemosynarii hujus Monast., and ends with Thomas, as 
apparently the person who wrote the inscription. Just below this, 
Thomas Prior Abbas Monasterii is written in small characters. 
There is a copy in the Lib. of Jesus Coll. Oxford. 

No. 604, fo. 67. Sir Richard Riche to Cromwell, announcing his inten- 
tion of suppressing Binham Abbey. 

No. 3775, fo. 8. Names of those who have joined the fraternity of St. 

No. 3775, fb. 10. A very infamous Petition (supplicatio pessima) of John 
Sharpe to Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, Protector of the Kingdom, 
tending to the subversion of the Church. 

No. 3775 fo. 12. In what way the Abbat of Westminster first usurped 
the precedency in Parliament over the Abbat of Saint Albans. 1 

1 Dugdale thinks that this paper was drawn up by Abbat Wheathampsted 

94 C&e at&ep of 

No. 3775> fo. 14. Of the Dedication of the Church of St. Alban. 

No. 3775 fo. 16. Monuments of the Church of St. Alban, dated 1429. 
Newcome gives long extracts from this MS. p. 3 1 2 et seqq. ; and Weever, 
in his Ancient Fun. Mon. (London, 1631) has occupied twenty-six pages 
with ancient Inscriptions in this Abbey. 

No. 6217. An Historical Relation of certain Passages, about the end of 
King Edw. III. and of his death. There is little doubt that it is a 
translation from a Latin original, and the writer seems to speak some- 
times as if he lived near the times of which he writes. He is considered 
to have been a monk of St. Albans. One of the chapters records a 
legacy bequeathed to the Monastery by the Countess of Pembroke, and 
another describes the acts of a new Brotherhood which had established 
themselves in the town. These incidents, as well as the burning of a 
brewhouse belonging to the Abbey, and afterwards of some houses in the 
town, are by the chronicler recorded amongst events of the highest pos- 
sible interest. It commences abruptly with the words, "the nighte 
followynge," &c., and the portion of history which should precede it 
has been found in the same handwriting in No. 247 of the Harleian 
MSS. The foregoing remarks are extracted from a Letter on this MS. 
by Thos. Amyot, Esq., F.R.S., Treas. S. A., and printed in the Archaeo- 
logia 1829, vol. 22, No. 1 6. 

No. 6853, fo. 86. Extracts from the Register of the Monastery of Saint 

Lansdmune MSS. in the British Museum. 

No. 260. Some Interesting Papers concerning the Abbey of St. Albans. 

No. 375. Register Book of the Almoner of the Abbey of St. Albans, on 
Vellum, in 410. containing 195 folios. It was compiled for the use ot 
the Eleemosynary or Almoner of the Abbey of St. Albans, and contains 
an account of everything belonging to the same Office, from the latter 

part of the reign of Edward III. to i6th Richard II as 

also of Lands, Tythes, &c., belonging to the Abbey of St. Albans. This 
MS. formerly belonged to Bishop Kennett, and afterwards came into the 
possession of James West, Esq., of St. Albans. Dugdale gives a sum- 
mary of its contents. 

Arundel MSS. in the British Museum. 

No. 34. A Register of various Lands and Tenements by John Whethamp- 
stede and Thomas Ramryge, Abbats of the exempt Monastery of St. 
Alban. This was once the property of the Royal Society of London, 
whose stamp it bears on the first page, which also states it to have been 
the gift of the Duke of Norfolk. For a full account of the contents of 
this Register, see Dugdale's Monast., vol. ii. p. 210. 


Cole MSS. in the British Museum. 

No. 5828, fo. 153. An Analysis of the Register of the Monastery of St. 
Albans, in the Library of C.C.C., Camb. 

No. 5828, fo. 1 88. List of the Cellarers of the Abbey of St. Alban. 

No. 5843, fo. 153. Historia aurea, &c., in Benet. Coll. Lib. This 
curious old MS. is in the MS. Lib. of C.C.C., Camb. The former 
part seems to be an old Eng. Chronicle, the latter a leiger book of the 
Abbey of St. Albans. At the top of the first page is written, in a differ- 
ent hand from the Chronicle, this Title, Supplementum Historic auree 
J. de Timouth ex Ccenobio S. Albani. 

Manuscripts in the Library of Lambeth Palace. 

No. 6. Codex membrs. folio. The St. Albans' Chronicle, see p. 42/7. 
No. 585, p. 67. Extracts from a certain Register of the Monastery of St. 

Alban, and Hist, of the Abbats, from 1396 to 1400. 
No. 585, p. 387. Extracts from a Register of the Monast. of St. Albans, 

compiled by Fr. Will. Wyntershulle, A 1382. 
No. 585, p. 437. Catalogue of the Abbats of the Monast. of S. A. to 

1510. The Catalogue ends with Thos. Ramryge. 
No. 589, p. 30. Historical Collections concerning the Parliamentary 

Abbats of England, who had the Right of sitting in the Upper House of 

Parliament, arranged each in their proper order and succession. 
No. 590, p. 37. Extracts from the Register of Thos. Ramryge, Abbat of 

St. Alban. 
No. 643, p. 7. Bull of Pope Alex. IV. exempting the Monastery of 

S. A. and all its Cells, which are enumerated in order, from Episc. 


The Library of the Herald's Office. 

Norfolk Press. No. 3. Chronicon of John of Wheathamstede, Abbat of 
S. Alb., during his second Rule (see Claude D I, fo. 33). On the first 
leaf is written Blakeney Robertas CapeHanus Domini Thome Ramryge 
Abbatis. In the margin, in a later hand, William Howarde, 1589. 
Thos. Hearne has printed the greater part of this Chronicon in the 2nd 
vol. of "Duo Rerum Anglic. Script. Vet." An enumeration of its con- 
tents will be found in the Monast. Anglic, and the parts indicated which 
have been published by Hearne. 

The Bodleian Library ^ Oxford. 

Register of Presentations to the Churches belonging to St. Albans 

Abbey, from 1458 to 1488. Rawlinson MSS. 
Albanus S. Martyr. His History in prose and verse. 410. 

96 Cjje a&bep of 

Register of Willm. Albon, Abbat of the Monastery of St. Albon. It 
contains Records of various kinds, and among them a List of all the 
members of the Monastery. Also an abbreviation of the Hist. Aurea of 
John of Tynemouth. 

A Copy of all the Verses, by Abbat Wheathampsted, in the new windows 
of the Cloister and the Library, and Verses On the First Battle of St. 
Albans, in the time of Henry VI. Laudian MSS. 697. They are to 
be found in Dugdale's Monasticon. 

A Graduate, or Book of Chants with Rubrics, pointing out the days on 
which they are to be used. On a leaf near the end is written, in 
ancient hand, Lib. Mon. Sci. Alban. Anglor. Protomart. Laud. MSS. 


Historia Aurea Johannis Anglici (sive Tynemutensis) MS. V. 44, Jur. Lib. 
20, cap. 72. Extracts from this MS. will be found in Harl. MSS. 
No. 258, fo. 36. 

The Library of Magdalen College^ Oxford. 

A MS., considered to have been written about the 1 2th century, and the 
same as Claudius, E 4, fo. 34. 

Trinity College^ Oxford. 

A MS. No. 38. Lives of SS. Alban and Amphibalus, translated out of 
French and Latin by John Lydgate, Monk of Bury, at the request and 
prayer of John Wheathampsted, in the year of our Lord 1439, and the 
igth of his abbacy. Printed at St. Albans in 1534. There is a copy 
of this work in the Brit. Mus. Gen. Cat. 1076, e. 2 ; and Newcombe 
has given an extract from the Arundel MS. 34, recording the payment, 
by Abbat Wheathampsted, as a present to a certain Monk of Bury, for 
translating the Life of St. Alban into the vulgar tongue, 3/. 6s. 8d. 

No. 57. A Book of Festivals in English Verse, containing Lives of many 
Saints: that of St. Alban, at fo. 55-6. One of the poems in this volume 
bears date 1375. 

Jesus College, Oxford. 

MS. 77, i. Containing the lives of St. Alban and Amphibalus. It is the 
same as Cotton Lib. Claudius, E 4, fo. 34. 

2. Extracts from the Register of St. Albans, in which are contained 
many documents relative to the Abbey of St. Alban's, the Cell of Tyne- 
mouth and others ; the Foundation of the Hospital of St. Julian for 
poor Lepers, by Abbat Geoffrey, &c. At folio 68 is a Memorandum 
that John Episcopus Artfarthensis 1 held an Ordination at the High Altar 
in the season of Advent, at the desire of John of Hertford, the Abbat of 
St. Albans. 

1 Ardfert, a small decayed village in Ireland. Soon after the Restoration, 
in 1663, it was annexed to the See of Limerick, and has so continued. 


3. A Book of Memoranda of John Moote, Prior-almoner, &c. of this 
Monastery. He became 3151 Abbat. Also Harl. MS. 602. 

4. Book of the Acts of John of Wheathampsted during the years of 
the second Rule of that Abbat. These are extracts from the Earl of 
Arundel's library. See The Lib. of the Herald's Office. 

The knowledge of the existence of these College MSS. was obtained 
by consulting Catalogus Codicum MSS. qui in Col leg. Aulisq. Oxon. 
hodie asservantur. Confecit Henricus, O. Coxe, A.M. Oxon, 1852. 

The University Library^ Cambridge. 

Dd. x. 22. Secunda pars Historic Aureae ad A.D. 1342. 

Ee. iii. 44. Notes taken out of two Registers of the Abbey of St. Albans, 
temp. Eliz. 

Ee. iv. 20. A Cartulary of the Abbey of St. Albans made by William 
Wyntershulle, the Abbat's Chaplain in the year 1382. 

The original Register abounds in curious and important information 
relating to the Monastery of St. Alban, and the places where its posses- 
sions lay. There are also various little articles in the old French, such 
as lists of colours and herbs, and a brief tract on heraldry. 

The Library of Corpus Cbristi College^ Cambridge. 

A compendium of the Benefactors of the Monastery of St. Alban ; together 
with the Lives of the Abbats, Thomas de la More and John Moote, and 
the election of William Hey worth. This Treatise is a supplement to the 
Hist. Aurea. of John of Tynemouth, and Harl. MSS. No. 258, contains 
Extracts from this work, which are stated to have been taken from a 
complete MS. in the Bodleian Lib. Oxford. Large Extracts are to be 
found from this Compendium, and copies of Illuminations, in vol. 42 of 
Cole's MSS. Brit. Mus. where it is entitled, Registrum Monast. Sci. 
Albani. It is very similar in its contents to Cott. MS. Nero, D 7. 
Cole closes his Analysis of Contents thus : " In this book are an hundred 
" things of great curiosity, relating to the private acts of a few of the 
" Abbats." In Col. C. C. C. Jan. ao, 1770. 

Caius College. 

Foundation of the Monastery of S. Alban by the glorious King Offa, and a 
Catalogue of Abbats. There is a general Analysis of this MS. by Ames 
in his Typogr. Diet. vol. i. p. 117, et scqq. London, 1785. 

The List of Manuscripts may be much extended by consulting the 
Catalogues of the British Museum Leland, De Reb. Hist. Collectanea, 
6 vols. 8vo. London, 1774; and Tanner's Notitia Monastica, fol. Camb. 


C6e a&foep of %>mnt aifran. 

The printed Histories from which this Compilation has been chiefly 
formed, are 

Acta Sanctorum, Johan. Bollandus, Antwerp, 1643. 
Works of Matthew Paris, in the original Latin, edited by Wats. fol. 

London, 1640 (composed entirely of MSS. mentioned in the preceding 

Monasticon Anglicanum (Dugdale), last edition, 8 vols. folio. London, 

1817 to 1830. 
History of the Ancient and Royal Foundation, called the Abbey of St. 

Alban (Newcome). 410. London, 1795. 
Some Account of the Abbey Church of St. Alban (Carter). London, 

History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford (Clutterbuck). 3 vols. 

folio. 1815. 
History of the Architecture of the Abbey Church of St. Albans (J. C. and 

C A. Buckler). 8vo. London, 1847 / 


BX 2596 .825 P36 1898 


Page, William, 

St. Alban's cathedral 

and abbey church, a 
ASL-5721 (awsk)