Old St. Paul's Cathedral eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 93 pages of information about Old St. Paul's Cathedral.

  Thre yeer the martir heeld ther resydence,
  Tyl Ayllewyn be revelacion
  Took off the Bysshop upon a day licence
  To leede Kyng Edmund ageyn to Bury town. 
  But by a maner symulacion
  The bysshop granteth, and under that gan werche
  Hym to translate into Powlys cherche;

  Upon a day took with hym clerkis thre,
  Entreth the cherche off seyn Gregory,
  In purpose fully, yiff it wolde be,
  To karye the martir fro thenys prevyly. 
  But whan the bysshop was therto most besy
  With the body to Poulis forto gon,
  Yt stood as fyx as a gret hill off ston.

  Multitude ther myhte noon avayle,
  Al be they dyde ther fforce and besy peyne;
  For but in ydel they spent ther travayle. 
  The peple lefte, the bysshop gan dysdeyne: 
  Drauht off corde nor off no myhty chayne
  Halp lyte or nouht—­this myracle is no fable—­
  For lik a mount it stood ylyche stable.

  Wherupon the bysshop gan mervaylle,
  Fully diffraudyd off his entencion. 
  And whan ther power and fforce gan to faylle,
  Ayllewyn kam neer with humble affeccion,
  Meekly knelyng sayde his orysoun: 
  The kyng requeryng lowly for Crystes sake
  His owyn contre he sholde not forsake.

  With this praier Ayllewyn aroos,
  Gan ley to hand:  fond no resistence,
  Took the chest wher the kyng lay cloos,
  Leffte hym up withoute violence. 
  The bysshop thanne with dreed and reverence
  Conveyed hym forth with processioun,
  Till he was passid the subarbis off the toun.

* * * * *

CHAPTER VII.

FROM THE ACCESSION OF THE STUARTS TILL THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CATHEDRAL.

Fresh signs of Decay and Neglect—­Visit of James I.—­Bishop Earle’s Account of Paul’s Walk—­Laud’s Letter to the Citizens —­Sir Paul Pindar’s Munificence—­The Rebellion—­Monuments of the Stuart Period: Carey, Donne, Stokesley, Ravis, King, Vandyke—­Attempts at Restoration: Inigo Jones, Wren—­The Great Fire: Accounts of Pepys and Evelyn, Eye-witnesses—­Sancroft’s desire to Restore the Old Cathedral found quite impossible—­Final Decision to Build a New One.

We saw how, in the reign of Elizabeth, a great calamity befell the cathedral in the falling of the spire, and through this the great injury to the roof, and further how the Queen, as well as the citizens, endeavoured to repair the damage.  The spire was not rebuilt, but the roof was renewed.  But fifty years later it was discovered that the work had been fraudulently done, and the church was falling to pieces.  James I. came with much ceremony, in consequence of the importunities which he received, to survey the cathedral,[1] and in consequence of what he saw he appointed a commission to consider what steps should be taken.  At the head of it was the Lord Mayor, and amongst the names is that of “Inigo Jones, Esquire, Surveyor to his Majesty’s Works.”  This remarkable man, though he was born in the parish of St. Bartholomew the Less, Smithfield, was educated in Italy, through the generosity of Herbert, third Earl of Pembroke.

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Old St. Paul's Cathedral from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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