Imágenes de páginas

and the Puritan argument from the Scriptures by an appeal to the interpretation of the Scriptures by the Church writers of the early centuries.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Bishop Andrewes never forgot that he was a Barking man. He left in his will a good sum of money for the poor widows of the parish. The original manuscript of his private devotions, given by him to Archbishop Laud, has of recent years been brought to light and was exhibited in the Laud Exhibition of 1895, bearing the traces of his tears, and (as his biographer says) 'slubbered with his pious hands;' and in these devotions, every Saturday, as long as he lived, he duly prayed—his prayers were in Greek-ÚTèp tîs παροικίας των Παναγίων Βερκιγγ εν ή εβαπτίσθην ( for the parish of All-hallows Barking wherein I was baptized ').

The type of religion which Bishop Andrewes cherished was that which has generally prevailed in the parish where he first drank it in. For ten years he lived under the pastorate of that compliant Mr. Dawes of whom I have spoken. Of Dawes's successor little is known, but after him came the favourite chaplain of Archbishop Whitgift, Dr. Richard Wood, who bore the brunt of the conflict with the Puritan ‘Mar-prelate' faction, and was known by them for his pains as · Richard Never-be-good.' After him came Ravis, and then Tyghe; and then came what must have made something of a breach in the tradition. Archbishop Abbot appointed a relative of his own, who appears to have taken what would now be called a Low Church line. He was, nevertheless, an excellent and much loved parish priest; and it is interesting to note that he carried through an extensive restoration of the church which he barely lived to complete.



The 25th of December, 1634 [so run the Vestry Minutes] being the yearly solemn festival for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the parishioners, who for thirty-five weeks, wanting the use of their own church, sought their spiritual food at other neighbouring churches, this joyful day, with gladness of heart, met again to offer their prayers and praises to Almighty God in their own parish church of Allhallows Barking, London. Mr. Edward Abbott, that faithful minister of God's Word, and vicar of the said parish, then preached there his last sweet and swanlike sermon, taking for bis text the first verse of the CXXII. Psalm, • I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the House of the Lord.'

He was taken ill immediately after and was buried on the 6th of

Abbot's successor was born to see troublous days. His name was Edward Layfield, and he was sister's son to Archbishop Laud, who appointed him. The majority of the parishioners took kindly to the return, under bis guidance, to a more churchlike style. The Vestry · agreed that the Communion Table be set up to the upper end of the chancel, and that the Table should be raised one step according to order.' It ordered that a new font should be erected near the place

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

where the old one stood.' The cost at which this was done shows that it must have been done in handsome style. But there was a malcontent party in the parish. In 1639 they presented a petition to the Bishop and to Parliament complaining of the alterations. They did not get much encouragement from Bishop Juxon; and three years later, ignoring the Bishop, they petitioned Parliament for leave to appoint an evening lecturer of their own choosing, which was granted; and Parliament, adopting a Papal kind of supremacy,

ordered that Dr. Layfield, Mr. Nash, his curate, and the churchwardens do permit certain learned orthodox divines in orders '-this safeguard of being in orders was afterwards struck out--'to preach as the parishioners shall appoint,' under pain of suspension. Two months more, and another petition went up to Parliament, stating that Layfield-dreadful accusation !had put up the letters I.H.S. in the church, that he spent his time with the army as a chaplain, and that he had called the people who would not come up to the altar to receive their Communion, but expected it to be brought to them where they sat, by the name of toads. He was accused by others of preaching that the King's commands ought to be obeyed, even if what he commanded were a sin against God. Parliament declared Layfield ' a delinquent,' deprived him of his office, and declared him for ever incapable of holding any preferment in the Church. Dr. Layfield defied the illegal order, and continued to officiate, supported by the main body of the inhabitants. They assembled in vestry and sent up a counter petition to Parliament, certifying among other things :

That the said petition was devised and delivered without any consent, knowledge, or approbation of ourselves. That we do not know the said Dr. Layfield guilty of any blame, but we account him worthy of much honour and esteem for his frequent preaching, his grave and loving conversation amongst us. did never hear him with any word savouring of envy, malice, or contention, but always such words as might well become his office and place amongst us. That the rail before the Communion Table in the chancel hath been there time out of mind, and those little wooden figures of angels which were lately sawn down, were placed at the corner of the said rail before Dr. Layfield was vicar. That the communicants have ever been accustomed to come to the rail, and there receive the Holy Sacrament kneeling; the minister never known to go forth of the rail and carry the blessed Sacrament into pews. That the gestures and behaviour of Dr. Layfield in time of the celebration and administration of the Holy Communion hath always seemed to us full of reverence, religion, gravity and devotion.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

That we

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The only reply of Parliament was to send sergeants to Allballows Barking, who burst into the church while divine service was going on, and arrested the vicar on the spot. He was dragged out of church, set upon horseback in full canonicals, with the Prayer-book tied round his neck in token of derision, and in this guise hounded through the streets of the city till he reached the prison for which he was destined. There everything he possessed was taken from him. He was passed on from gaol to gaol, and at last put on board a galley, with other clergymen, under the impression that they were going to be made slaves on a foreign plantation. The captain of the galley offered to release him on a payment of 1,5001. After a time he came down to 51., but even that was more than Layfield possessed, and at length he was turned ashore for nothing.

The intruded minister, meanwhile, Thomas Clendon, who was one of the thirty-five ‘Tryers' appointed by Parliament in 1654 to examine all ministers in England before they were appointed to livings, failed to make himself popular at Barking. Disputes between him and the parishioners were frequent. Complaints were made of the overlate beginning of service.' People would not come to church. The Vestry in 1655 records that there are several housekeepers, parishioners of this parish, that do not come to this church,' and resolves that their poor rate assessment sball be raised accordingly. When the Restoration came, the parish welcomed Dr. Layfield back with joy. He gave them leave once more to choose a lecturer to their liking, and they entertained him at a public dinner which cost 81. 98. 4d., which was a large sum in those days.

Great events had happened at Allhallows during Layfield's deprivation. On the 10th of January, 1645, his uncle, Archbishop Laud, laid down his life on the scaffold in what is now the garden of Trinity Square. Laud had naturally been interested in the parish of which he had made his nephew vicar, and it is on record that Laud had reintroduced at Allhallows the custom of mingling water with the Eucharistic wine, and that the custom was never afterwards droppedprobably not until near the beginning of this century. It was a fitting thing that Barking Church should be thrown open to receive the martyr's body, although the vicar was away in prison. We are not informed where it was placed between his death on the morning of the 10th and his burial next day. On the 11th it was laid by the Archbishop's servants in the vicar’s vault beneath the high altar.

And if [says Heylin] the bodies of us men be capable of any happiness in the grave, he had as great a share therein as he could desire; his body being accompanied to the earth with great multitudes of people, whom love or curiosity, or remorse of conscience, had drawn together purposely to perform that office, and decently interred in the church of Allhallows Barking, a church of his own patronage and jurisdiction.

Heylin's last word, by the way, is incorrect, for Barking has never been one of the Canterbury peculiars, like its neighbour, St. Dunstan's. The Prayer-book Service was no longer allowed by Parliament to be read, but an intrepid priest was found to read it over the Archbishop. His name was Fletcher. Eighteen years later he petitioned King Charles the Second for a living, partly on that ground; and Laud's cousin, Sir John Robinson, endorses the petition with the words,

* True it is, he buried that most reverend prelate, when many would not have undertaken it.'

Those who visit the church should see the register of the burial : * Died January 10th, buried 11th, William Laude, Archbishup of Canterbery, Beheaded'; and then followed something which has been erased so thoroughly that no letter can be made out, except, perhaps, the cross of a 't.' There can be little doubt that the erased words contained in some form the charge of treason ; for the first entry of that month in the same hand is ‘Jan. 1. John Hotham Esq. beheaded for betraying his trust to the State;' and the third is, * Jan. 2. Sir John Hotham, Knight, beheaded for betraying his trust to the Parliament.' The record for that month altogether is a striking and pathetic example of the impartial tread of death, beginning with these distinguished sufferers, and ending with, “A child laid at Mr. Thomas Crathorne's door.'

The body of the great prelate was removed in the year 1663 to his own college at Oxford, where it now lies on the south side of the chapel altar. But it formed the centre of quite a cultus at Allhallows. As the tombs of the kings clustered round Edward the Confessor at Westminster, so devout men sought to be laid near the martyred Laud. The gallant Colonel Eusebius Andrewes-possibly a relative of the famous Barking family—who had been entrapped by 'a pack of setters,' as he calls them, and was beheaded as a Royalist in 1650,was the first recorded to have obtained this favour. A poet in the Vestry books of the parish describes the inviolable sanctity of Laud's burying place :

Where he's untainted too, free from distrust
Of a vile mixture with rebellious dust;
To make that sure, brave Andrewes begged it meet
To rott att's Coffin, and to rise att's feet.

The faithful steward who superintended Laud's burial came in 1651 to be buried in the same church as his master, though at a respectful distance. Near the bottom of the north aisle lies his epitaph on a brass plate: 'Here lyeth the body of George Snayth Esq., sometime Auditor to William Laud, late Archbishop of Canterbury.' Thinking no doubt of Laud's comfortablest saying' upon the scaffold, he adds, Mors mihi lucrum. Many years later, in 1695, the gentle and moderate Nonjuror, John Kettlewell, begged that he might be laid on the spot where Laud had lain, and there he now lies. Bishop Ken, who calls Kettlewell as saint-like a man as ever I knew,' himself read the burial service over him; and although as a Nonjuror he was not in open Communion at the time with the Established Church, Dr. Gaskarth, the vicar, invited him to read the evening service afterwards, which he did. The name of the Archbishop was held in such reverence at Barking that it came to be used in Baptism, and Vol. XLIII-No. 255

3 L

the registers mention several persons whose Christian name was Laud.

The most exciting part of the story is now over. But the name of the vicar who succeeded Layfield is not to be passed over in silence, for it was a name very famous in the history of the Nonjurors. This was the erudite George Hickes, presented to the living by Archbishop Sancroft. His knowledge of the Teutonic dialects of the North was unrivalled, and his acquaintance with early Christian history and literature, if less scarce, was little less extensive. His devotions an adaptation of services to the seven canonical hours of prayer—is a work of great beauty and tenderness. He had resigned Allhallows before the Revolution which placed William and Mary on the throne, upon taking a benefice nearer to his Deanery of Worcester, and he died a poor Nonjuring Bishop.

His successor, a fine old Cumberland statesman,' Dr. Gaskarth, though he too was presented by Sancroft, and had, like Hickes before him, been chaplain to the famous Duke of Lauderdale, had no scruple about taking the oath to William and Mary, and continued for fortysix years one of the leading clergy of London, taking a foremost place among the founders of the Propagation of the Gospel and the Christian Knowledge Societies, and all such movements. He is the only vicar whose portrait is kept at Barking, a comely, kindly face. His tomb was unavoidably disturbed during recent repairs ; and the writer of this paper saw his venerated remains, and solemnly buried them afresh in the same place where they lay before.

Of Dr. Geekie, who came next, not much is known. Dr. Stinton, who followed, was the trusted friend of Archbishop Secker, and the editor of his works. When Dr. Stinton died, the Archbishopric of Canterbury was vacant, and the Crown appointed a young Fellow of All Souls, who had been tutor to one of the Royal Princes. This gentleman held the living for nine-and-sixty years, and only came near the place twice a year to take his tithe. His successor, Dr. Thomas, with thirty-one years' incumbency, completed the hundred years; a most kind and generous pastor, who, as the next incumbent was often assured, was constant in visiting his poor parishioners, and never went away without leaving half a crown behind him.

Upon Dr. Thomas's death in 1883, Archbishop Benson was determined to make Allhallows serve a more than parochial purpose. The large endowment has now for fourteen years, under two successive incumbents, been utilised for the support of a body of clergymen who are not needed by the parish itself, but devote themselves, after all parochial claims are abundantly satisfied, to Mission work on behalf of the Church at large.

A. J. Masox.

« AnteriorContinuar »