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ST. PAUL'S




TALES OF
ENGLISH MINSTERS



Ex Libris
C. K. OGDEN






OP



, EOS



c.



r




ST PAUL'S CATHDRAI_
FROM LUOOATE HILL.



TALES OF ENGLISH MINSTERS



S PAUL'S



ELIZABETH GRIERSON



AUTHOR OF

THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF EDINBURGH," "CHILDREN'S TALES
FROM SCOTTISH BALLADS," ETC.



WITH

TWO FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

IN COLOUR
AND FOUR IN BLACK AND WHITE



LONDON
ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK

1910




TALES OF

ENGLISH MINSTERS

SERIES

EACH CONTAINING TWO FULL-PAGE

ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR AND

FOUR IN BLACK AND WHITB



DURHAM
LINCOLN
ST. ALBANS



YORK

ELY

ST. PAUL'S



CANTERBURY

PUBLISHED BV
A. AND C. BLACK . SOHO SQUARE . LONDON



AGENTS

AMERICA . . . THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE. NEW YORK

AUBTBALASIA . OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

305 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

CANADA ... THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD.
ST. MARTIN'S HOUSE, 70 BOND STREET, TORONTO

UTDIA .... MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD.

MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY

309 Bow BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA



DA
687



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



IN COLOUR
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL FROM LUDGATE HILL Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

SIGNING MAGNA CHARTA - - - - 8



IN BLACK AND WHITE

PREACHING AT PAUL'S CROSS - - 17

SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN - - - -24

NELSON'S MONUMENT - - - 40

THE NAVE - - - - - - 48



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

* The Church of the Citizens.'

1

I AM sure that there is no one who goes to London
for the first time, no matter how hurried he may
be, who does not try to visit at least three places
the Tower, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's
Cathedral.

Of these three places, two are churches ; but
they are churches that are so connected with the
history of our nation that they almost seem to
stand at the heart of the Empire.

Their stories are linked together in a curious
way, and yet they are quite distinct. As someone
has said, * Westminster Abbey was ever the
Church of the King and Government ; St. Paul's
was the Church of the Citizens.'

When we come to study the history of
Cathedrals, we find the way in which they came to
be built is pretty much the same in most cases.

5



6 ENGLISH MINSTERS

A little church was raised to the glory of God, and
a monastery was founded beside it, which became
the home of a community of monks or nuns, ruled
over by an Abbot or Abbess ; and the church was
known as the Abbey Church.

Then by-and-by, sometimes not till quite late, as
at St. Albans, a * Bishop's Stool ' was placed there,
and the Abbey became a Cathedral.

But in the case of St. Paul's Cathedral it is quite
different. It was built for a Cathedral from the
first. Its builder, instead of adding a monastery
to it, as was usually done, built a monastery having
its own Abbey on a little Island which stood in
some marshy ground on the banks of the Thames,
about a mile away.

This Island was called * Thorney Island/ and the
Abbey Church was dedicated to St. Peter, but
soon it began to be spoken of as the 'West
Minster,' or Westminster Abbey, by which name
we know it to-day.

This was how it all came about. In the time of
the early Britons there were Christian churches
scattered up and down the land, and it is almost
certain, from stones that were dug up when the
foundations of the present Cathedral of St. Paul



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 7

were being laid, that in those far bygone days a
little church stood on the Hill of Ludgate, in the
centre of Roman London. But, as you know, the
Roman legions were recalled to Rome in A.D. 410
to help the soldiers there to drive back the vast
hoards of Goths and barbarians who were pouring
down from the north-west upon Italy ; and when
they were withdrawn from Britain, there were not
enough fighting-men left to protect her shores from
the next enemies who threatened her.

These were the Jutes, the Angles, and the
Saxons, fierce and heathen warriors who came from
Jutland and from Germany, and landed on our
coasts.

They conquered the British, and rapidly forced
their way inland, ravaging and pillaging wherever
they went ; and in the confusion and misery that
followed, Christianity was completely swept away
for a time, to come again with St. Augustine and
St. Columba some two hundred years later. You
know too, perhaps, that when St. Augustine came
to Canterbury and began to preach the Gospel
there, the King of Kent, Ethelbert by name, soon
became a Christian. This King Ethelbert was a
very powerful monarch, and he was Overlord of



8 ENGLISH MINSTERS

the King of the East Saxons, who chanced to be
his nephew, and who lived in what we now call
Essex. Now, while St. Augustine preached to the
men of Kent, a friend of his, named Milletus,
preached to the East Saxons. And when at last
their King became a Christian, his uncle Ethel-
bert suggested that, as Kent had its Bishop of
Canterbury, with his Cathedral Church, it would
be a good thing for the Kingdom of the East
Saxons to have a Bishop of its own who would
have his Cathedral Church also.

So, as London was the Capital of the East Saxons,
he proposed to help King Siebert to build a church
there ; and Augustine, only too glad to find that
the Faith was spreading, said that Milletus should
be its first Bishop.

It was in this way that the first Cathedral of
St. Paul was built, and, as we have seen, Siebert
also founded the church and monastery of West-
minster.

Now, although their King had been baptized,
and had built two churches in their midst, the
people of London did not want to become Chris-
tians ; they were pagans, and were quite content to
worship Thor and Odin, the gods of the tribes of




NOE. LONDON



By permission oftlu artist.



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 9

the North. So for a long time the good Bishop
Milletus preached to them in vain ; and far away
in Rome, Pope Gregory, who had hoped that the
new Cathedral in London would become what we
call the ' Metropolitan Church ' of England tfeat is,
the church where the Archbishop has his throne
was sadly disappointed, and had to become accus-
tomed to the idea of Canterbury, which was a
far less important place than London, having that
honour.

Indeed, for a time it seemed as though, in spite
of Church and Bishops, the new religion would be
driven out. Ethelbert died, and so did his nephew
Siebert, and the Kings who succeeded them either
went back altogether to their pagan worship, or
tried, as an East Anglian King did, to worship
Thor and Odin and Christ all at the same time. I
will tell you just one story about those troubled
days, and it will show you what a terrible struggle
went on between Paganism and Christianity, and
how much we owe to these brave men, priests, and
Abbots, and Bishops, whose names are almost
unknown to us, on whom rested the responsibility
of maintaining the Faith in England, and of whom,
to their honour be it said, hardly one failed.



10 ENGLISH MINSTERS

One day Bishop Milletus was administering the
Holy Communion in his church to the little con-
gregation of Christians who still remained true to
what he had taught them. It is probable that the
altar stood then just where the high-altar in St.
Paul's stands to-day. Only the church would be
much smaller and plainer, and the door would be
locked to prevent unbelieving pagans entering and
disturbing the service by irreverent jeering and
laughter. Suddenly a loud knocking was heard,
then the crash of falling wood. The young King
and his friends had chanced to be passing, and, in
a moment of heedless excitement, had determined
to visit the Christian's church, and see what amuse-
ment they could get there. Angry at finding the
door locked against them, they had broken it down
without further delay. Up the aisle strode the
King, followed by his mocking companions, to
where the old Bishop was engaged in distributing
the consecrated Bread to the kneeling com-
municants. In those days white bread was a rarity,
most of it being dark-coloured and unwholesome ;
and this white bread that was used for the Holy
Communion was the whitest and purest of all ;
for, in order that it should be so, pious people, even



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 11

the clergy themselves, used to grind the meal
carefully with their own hands, and bake it into
loaves, and bring it to the church as their offering.

* Give me some of that white bread,' cried the
young King, stretching out his hand. * You gave it
to my father Siebert ; give it also to me.'

Perhaps he thought in his reckless insolence that
the Bishop would obey. But King Siebert had
been a baptized Christian, his son was a pagan
and an unbeliever ; so, King though he was, he
could not be allowed to join with the Christians in
their solemn Feast. And the brave old Bishop
told him so, knowing full well that the refusal
might cost him his life. The young King did not
put him to death, however, though he was very
angry perhaps he was ashamed to do so but it
cost him his Bishopric, for he was driven out of
the Kingdom, and had to leave to seeming ruin
all the work that was so dear to his heart.

But it was only seeming ruin. He had done his
work faithfully ; he had laid the foundations, as it
were ; and, as has ever happened in the history of
the Church, God saw to it that there were other
men ready to step in, and build upon these founda-
tions. Other Bishops were appointed Bishop Cedd



12 ENGLISH MINSTERS

and Bishop Erkenwald and in their days the
Christian Faith began to take root again, and
spread among the citizens of London, and they
improved and beautified their Cathedral until it
became famed for its riches and grandeur. Indeed,
Bishop Erkenwald was such a famous preacher,
and did so much for his church, that when he
died he was buried in a golden shrine which
people came to see, just as they visited the shrine
of St. Cuthbert at Durham, and St. Thomas
at Canterbury. As for stout old Bishop Milletus,
although he was driven into exile for a time, he
became in after-years Archbishop of Canterbury,
and his bones lie in the Cathedral there.

Now, it is a curious thing how often those old
churches that we are talking about were destroyed,
either wholly or in part, by fire. And if there was
one church that was fated to suffer more than
another in this way, it was St. Paul's. It was
partly burned down in A.D. 951. By that time the
Normans were in the country, and they set to
work at once to rebuild it. When it was finished,
it was a very splendid church indeed ; but once
more it suffered severely from a fire which broke
out in the City, and destroyed everything from



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 13

London Bridge to the Church of St. Clement
Danes, which stands in the Strand.

Let us see what this Cathedral of the Middle
Ages was like. It was the largest church in
England, and was shaped liked a cross, and,
instead of having a dome, as the present Cathedral
has, it had a great square tower in the centre, with
a wooden spire, four hundred and sixty feet high.
It stood in the middle of a churchyard, which
was surrounded by a high wall. We still talk
about ' St. Paul's Churchyard,' although it is long
years since anyone was buried there ; but if we
are in London, and take a bus along the crowded
Strand, and up Ludgate Hill, we shall arrive at
this old churchyard, and then we shall see the
' St. Paul's ' of to-day, and shall be better able
to picture to ourselves the ' St. Paul's ' of the
Middle Ages.

When we leave our bus, we find ourselves in an
open space bounded on all sides by busy streets
and fine shops. In the centre of this open space
stands an immense church, with a huge dome
rising from its centre, and on the top of the dome,
standing clearly out against the sky, so far up that
it can be seen from nearly all parts of London, is



14, ENGLISH MINSTERS

an immense gilded cross. In front of the church
there are two great flights of steps, which lead
down into a broad paved space, only separated
from the street by a row of low stone pillars, while
round at the sides lie pleasant gardens, with flagged
walks, where pigeons flutter about, and where, in
summer, hundreds of busy clerks, and shop-girls,
and message-boys, come and sit in their lunch-
hour, and get a breath of fresh air and a little
sunshine.

* But where is the old churchyard ?' you ask,
looking round in amazement. I will tell you.
These gardens, and the great space in front of the
church, stand to-day where St. Paul's Churchyard
stood long ago, only there is no longer a wall
round them, and although the name remains, the
gravestones have long since disappeared. Let us
try, however, to think that we are back in the
Middle Ages, and imagine ourselves standing
among the graves in the old churchyard. In front
would be the great church, bigger than that which
now rises before us, with its square tower and
wooden steeple. At the north-east corner of it we
should see a curious erection like a low, eight-sided
tower, with a stone cross on the top of it. That



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 15

was called * Paul's Cross,' and it was almost as
important a place as the Cathedral itself.

As I said at the beginning, St. Paul's Church
was the Church of the Citizens. The Monarchs
of the land might be crowned or buried at West-
minster, but it was to St. Paul's that the people
crowded when they wanted to meet together and
stand up for their rights. So there was a great
bell in the Cathedral belfry, like the bell in St.
Giles's Cathedral in Edinburgh, which was rung
whenever a question arose which concerned the
burghers of the city, and when its deep tones
were heard, the people ran out of their houses,
and thronged into the churchyard through the
six gates which pierced its encircling wall, and
crowded round Paul's Cross ; and the Aldermen,
ascending by steps to the top of the eight-sided
tower, stood under the Cross, and spoke to them.
Here royal proclamations were made, quarrels
were settled, grievances stated, and put to rights.
Here, also, sermons were preached in the open air
by famous preachers.

Indeed, I think that I may safely say that
* Paul's Cross ' was the centre of the public life of
London. It has long since been pulled down,



16 ENGLISH MINSTERS

however ; but if we go to the north-west corner of
the gardens, we can still see the place where it
stood, clearly marked on the pavement.

The Bishop's Palace also stood within the wall,
and two little churches, one of which was founded
by Gilbert a Becket, father of Thomas of Canter-
bury, who was a silk-mercer in Cheapside ; while
the other was a parish church the Church of
St. Faith which was pulled down in after-years,
and the people who went to Service there were
allowed to worship in the crypt of the Cathedral
instead.

It would only weary you to attempt to describe
the interior of the old church. It would be very
like the other Cathedrals of that time, which were
all more richly adorned before the Reformation
than they are now. All the accounts which we
read of it show us that it was very magnificent,
with rich carvings, and stained glass, and no less
than seventy side-chapels and chantries, each with
its own altar, and, richer than all others, the great
Shrine of St. Erkenwald, with its ornaments and
jewels.

I think that it will be much more interesting to
talk of some of the scenes that took place there in



+*&&&&<&.




PREACHING AT ST. PAUL'S CROSS.



ST. PAUI/S CATHEDRAL 17

these far-off days. Let us go back, for instance,
almost eight hundred years, to the day when the
news arrived in London that the King of England,
Henry I., lay dead in France. He and his brother,
William Rufus, were, as you know, sons of the
great Norman Conqueror, and during their reigns
the country had been well governed and prosperous.
But when Henry died, no one quite knew what to
do next. For the rightful heir to the throne was
Henry's daughter Maud, who had married a
French Count of Anjou, who, as you remember,
was the first of his race to be called ' Plantagenet,'
because he was in the habit, as he rode along, of
plucking a piece of broom (Planta genista) and
sticking it in the front of his cap. Now, the
English people did not love this Geoffry of Anjou,
who was a greedy and selfish man, and they had
no wish to have him for their King, as they
would certainly have to do if his wife became
Queen. So their thoughts turned to Maud's
cousin, Count Stephen of Blois, who, although his
father was a Frenchman, had an English mother,
and who had been brought up in England at his
uncle's Court. Most people wished to have him as
their King ; but no one dare suggest it until the

3



18 ENGLISH MINSTERS

citizens of London took matters into their own
hands.

* The country needed a Monarch,' they said,
'and if the Barons would not take the responsi-
bility of electing one, they would.' And without
more ado the Portreve (or Lord Mayor) and
Aldermen caused the great bell of St. Paul's to be
rung, summoning the burghers to a * Folk-mote ' or
council ; and when they had all gathered round the
Cross in the churchyard, the matter was discussed,
and it was agreed that it would be better for
England that Stephen should be King rather than
that Maud should be Queen ; and straightway the
city gates were thrown open to the Count, and the
citizens swore allegiance to him, and he was
crowned King of England.

Perhaps, after all, it would have been better if
the citizens had chosen Maud, for, as history
shows, Stephen did not turn out to be a very
good King.

Another great decision that was made at a
public meeting at St. Paul's was the framing of
Magna Charta that great Charter which secured,
for all time to come, justice and liberty to English
freemen.



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 19

In these old days, especially after the Normans
came into the country, Kings were apt to think
that might was right, and that they could do what
they chose with their subjects. If a man displeased
the King, or if he wanted to seize his land, he could
simply throw him into prison and keep him there,
sometimes until he died, without giving him even
a trial. Then, too, if the Monarch wanted money,
he simply forced the people to give it to him, and
no one had any security that what was his to-day
might not be the King's to-morrow.

When Henry I. came to the throne, he wanted
to please the people, because he had an elder
brother living, who had gone to the Crusades, and
he was afraid that unless he gained the affection of
his subjects before his brother came back, they
might choose the latter to be King instead of him.
So he granted them a Charter, promising not to seize
any of their property, nor to tax them unduly, nor
to touch any of the lands belonging to the Church-.
He did not keep those promises very well, how-
ever, and his successors, Stephen, and Henry, and
Richard, and John, did not keep them at all ; and
by the middle of King John's reign the country
was in a very bad state indeed. No heed was



ENGLISH MINSTERS

given to the advice or wishes of the great nobles,
who ought to have had a voice in the government
of the country, while the common people were so
oppressed and down-trodden that they were ready
to rise in rebellion. And they would have done so
if it had not been for the wisdom and prudence of
two great men Stephen Langton, Archbishop of
Canterbury, and William Marshal, eldest son of
the Earl of Pembroke. Stephen Langton was a
foreigner, whom the Pope had sent to Canterbury,
but he was a good man, a real ' Father in God ' to
his people, and he believed that he was set over
them to look after their bodies as well as their
souls. When he found out how down-trodden
the poor folk of England were, he made up his
mind that such a state of things should not
continue. So he began to inquire into the laws,
and he found out about this old Charter, which had
been granted by Henry I., but which had never
been kept, and had long since been forgotten.
The wise Archbishop did not say anything, but he
quietly set to work to find a copy of this Charter.
After some trouble he discovered one, hidden
away among the papers of an old monastery. He
then summoned all the chief people in the country



ST. PAUKS CATHEDRAL 21

to meet him at St. Paul's Cathedral. That was
one of the most memorable assemblies in English
history. All the powerful Nobles and Barons, all
the stately Bishops and Priors, all the sober Alder-
men of the great city, met together and listened
with deep interest while the Archbishop read aloud
to them the promises which had been made by
Henry L, and recorded on the parchment which
he held in his hand ; and then pointed out to them
that these promises had never been kept, and that
the people of England had a right to demand that
they should be kept. He finished his speech by
calling upon his listeners to band themselves
together, and never rest satisfied till they had
obtained redress from the grievous wrongs which
had pressed upon them, and upon their poorer
brethren.

The Archbishop's words were not in vain.
Nobles and Barons crowded round him, and,
laying their hands upon their swords, took a solemn
oath that they would insist upon the principles of
Henry's Charter being maintained, and would do
their best to protect the liberties of the people.

This was just before Christmas-time, and when
the King came to hold his Christmas Court in



22 ENGLISH MINSTERS

London, these same Nobles, armed to the teeth,
and accompanied by the Churchmen and the
principal citizens, appeared before him, and
demanded that he should listen to their requests,
and make proper laws to guard their liberties.

King John was frightened, but he did not
want to give in ; so, like the weak man that he
was, he did not return a direct answer, but said
that he would think over the matter, and meet them
again at Easter. He thought that in this way he
could put them off, and never give them an answer
at all. But the people were determined, and
formed themselves into an army, which they called
the ' Army of God, and of Holy Church,' and all
the clergy, and all the citizens of London and
Exeter and Lincoln, supported them, and the King
was obliged to yield.

So it came about that one June day a great
assembly of people met on the banks of the Thames
near Windsor. On one side was encamped the
King, with a handful of followers, and on the
other the great army of Barons, and nobles, and
citizens had pitched their tents on a piece of
marshy land known by the name of Runnymede.
In the middle of the river was a small island, and



ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL 23

on this island a few men chosen by the King, and a
few men chosen by the Nobles, met to discuss
matters ; at least, they pretended to discuss matters,
for everyone knew what the end would be. The
King was powerless to resist the wishes of the great
concourse of people gathered across the river, and
before nightfall ' Magna Charta,' the * Great
Charter,' had been drawn up and signed.

I cannot tell you all the good things that were
secured to Englishmen by this great deed, but
there was one thing which, above all others, it
gained for them and gained for us as well Justice.
It is one of our proudest boasts that, by English
law, no man, be he ever so poor or degraded, is
condemned unheard ; that every man is counted
innocent till, by a fair trial, he is proved to be
guilty. And the very foundation of our freedom
rests on some words that were written that day on
that old parchment : * We will sell to no man, we will
not delay nor deny to any man, justice or right'

But if the great bell of St. Paul's could call the
citizens to fight for their liberty as Englishmen
against the oppression of the King, it could also
summon them to fight for their liberty as Church-
men against the oppression of the Pope. We must



24 ENGLISH MINSTERS

always remember that when first Christianity was
brought to England, in the time of the Romans, and
the ancient British Church was formed, it did not
owe allegiance to the Bishops of Rome as it did in
later days. It was only after it had been swept
away by the invasion of the Angles and Saxons,
and then brought back again to the South of
England by St. Augustine, who came direct from
Pope Gregory of Rome, that the belief arose that
it was right that the Church of England should be
ruled by the Pope.

Up in the North, on the other hand, in Scotland
and in Northumbria, where Christianity had been
brought by St. Columba and his followers, who,
as you remember, came from Ireland, it was a
very much longer time before the Church would


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