Sadler Phillips.

Fulham palace, formerly called Fulham house, and Fulham manor : a short account of the old manor house of Fulham, written at the wish of the bishop on the occasion of His Lordship's visit to America and Canada, 1907 online

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Fulham Palace



11






THE LIBRARY

OF
THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES




7, X

H

< ^



Fulham Palace

formerly called Fulham House

and Fulham Manor



A Short Account of the old Manor House of Fulham,

written at the wish of the Bishop on

the Occasion of His Lordship's Visit

to America and Canada, 1907

By

Sadler Phillips

Vicar of St. Etheldreda's, Fulham, Chaplain to the

Bishop of Gibraltar, and Hon. Secretary of

the Ch. Hist. Society, London



London

Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., Ltd.
3 Paternoster Buildings



Preface

By the Bishop of London.

THIS little account of Fulham Palace,
its history, and its occupant?, has
been produced with great speed by my
good friend and neighbour, the Rev. Sadler
Phillips, Vicar of St. Etheldreda, Fulham
Palace Gates.

Although it is not meant to be the
careful and detailed work which I hope
some day he will bring out on the subject,
this short account bears witness of his
wide historical knowledge, and is written
in an interesting style, which will, I hope,
procure it many readers.

It is a very interesting thing to live
within a little span of thirty-five acres,
surrounded by a moat, which has been in
the continuous possession of the Diocese

785641



PREFACE

for more than twelve hundred years, and
which is full of so many memories, and
this little work manages to convey some
of this interest to others.

The special object of its immediate
publication is to have something to put
into the hands of my kind Canadian
and American hosts when I cross the
Atlantic, and shall have to answer
many questions about Fulham Palace and
the See of London. But I hope that it
will also be found useful to many in this
country who value the existence of places
connected with so many critical periods
of English history ; and I feel grateful to
the author for so quickly and effectually
carrying out my wishes.

A. F. LONDON.



Fulham Talace, London, S. W.
July 1907.



Contents



I'AGK

INTRODUCTORY I



THE HOME OF THE BISHOP OF LONDON . . 14



THE PALACE GARDEN . . 22



THE FOUNDER OF THE MANOR



3 1



THE BISHOP OF LONDON AND THE MISSION

FIELD ....... 43

THE MISSION FIELD CONTINUED . . . 6l

THE MISSION FIELD CONTINUED . . -67



Illustrations



PAGE

FULHAM PALACE FROM THE LAWN, SHOWING

THE BISHOP'S STUDY BY THE SUNDIAL AND

THE ANCIENT CORK TREE . . frontispiece

THE BISHOP'S AVENUE ..... 2

THE BISHOP'S WALK 3

THE ANCIENT GATEWAY AS SEEN FROM THE

PALACE DOOR ...... 5

FIREPLACE IN THE GREAT HALL ... 9

INTERIOR OF THE BISHOP'S PALACE AT FULHAM II

THE PORTEUS LIBRARY FROM THE WINDOW . l6

THE FITZJAMES GATE TO THE WALLED GARDENS 23

BISHOP COMPTON ...... 39

BISHOP JOHN ROBINSON . . . 4 1

BISHOP GIBSON 51

BISHOP SHERLOCK. 53

THE RIGHT REV. ARTHUR F. WINNINGTON-

INGRAM, D.D., BISHOP OF LONDON . . 83



Fulham Palace



CHAPTER I.

"* I % HE entrance from the modern Fulham
Palace Road, which was formerly known
as Hammersmith Road, is by way of THE
BISHOP'S WALK, or THE BISHOP'S AVENUE.
This was formerly an old country lane, with
ragged trees, some of great size and antiquity,
and it led to the Gates of the Palace and the
walk which is now known as the Embankment,
and thence to Putney Bridge.

This road was, until recently, closed with a
pair of iron gates, which were locked at ten, and
only opened for the Bishop's carriage. These
gates were taken away after the Bishop's park
was made public property.

The original planter of the Avenue, with
its great elms, is supposed to have been Bishop

1 B



FULHAM PALACE

Compton, and a few of the trees may be of his
planting ; but time and improvement have
altered it probably for the better.

The moat which surrounds the grounds is
very pretty when it is full of water and the




THE BISHOPS AVENUE.



sunshine streams through the overhanging
branches.

Looking across the Moat we can see the
BISHOP'S WARREN. It bears the old name
still, although the conies or rabbits have long
since disappeared. Within the last two cen-

2



FULHAM PALACE

turies people were prosecuted for poaching there.
Within one century the Moat is said to have
been well stocked with fish ; whilst within living
memory the kingfisher used to dart in the sun-
shine ; and even now, in the early morning, the




THE BISHOP S WALK.



song of wild birds in the Bishop's garden is worth
getting up to listen to.

Until ten years or so ago, the Palace was
flanked by market gardens, and these have now
given way to trim modern streets ; the Fulham
Palace Road, which was of old a muddy lane, has

3



FULHAM PALACE

now one of the finest wood pavements in London,
and is lighted by night with electric light.

The Moat, which is a mile in length, is
regulated by sluice-gates which were built by
Bishop King (see list of Bishops).

At the head of the Avenue, as it is now
called, is the Gothic Gateway leading into the
Bishop's Palace, and a short winding pathway,
with the paddock on the right, leads us to the
FITZJAMES ARCHWAY.

The stones under the archway are worn
smooth with the tramp of ages. Foxe tells us
that the builder of this noble block tried a man
after he was dead, and condemned him for
heresy ; it was to be deplored that this example
was not followed and all trials for heresy simi-
larly postponed.

This noble archway, which spans the drive,
is of very solid red brickwork, and looks very
well after three and a half centuries of wear.

In the walls of the archway there are two
doors. One door leads to what is known as the
armoury, and the other to the larder, which was
very likely the old apartments of the Guard.
It is possible, but not certain, that the celebrated
Bishop's ale was given away here. The heavy

4



FULHAM PALACE

two-leaved gates are bolted and barred, and
must have once made a very considerable means
of defence in case of need.

We have now reached the greater court or




THE ANCIENT ARCHWAY AS SEEN FROM THE PALACE DOOR.

quadrangle, with a fountain in the centre, on
the site of an old well, which was said to be
three hundred feet deep. The fountain . was
the work of Bishop Temple, and succeeded an
old-fashioned pump.

Three of the four sides of the court are

5



FULHAM PALACE

original work. The right side, which is but-
tressed, is modern, and bears the arms of the
rebuilder.

Standing here we experience a sense of rest,
and in a few minutes it dawns upon us that we
are outside the roar of the traffic of London.
Looking back we notice the wooded avenue
whereby we entered, and we seem to be out of
the modern world.

Over the doorway is a clock which is not
in its original position ; the clock bears the
arms of Bishop Juxon, with the date 1637.
There is a little bell-turret over the door, and
a pretty window in the old Muniment Room,
which is now disused, and the windows on all
sides are quaint leaded work.

The doorway has a groined roof, with the
coat of arms of Bishop Blomfield in the middle.
A door with half-glass lights stands across
the passage, and when it is opened we are
inside the ENTRANCE HALL of Bishop Fitz-
james' rebuilding. This is merely a section
of the Fitzjames Hall screened off by ancient
oak panelling ; on its walls are some fine
pictures, and over the doorway is the mitre and
crest of Bishop Terrick.

6



FULHAM PALACE

Immediately before us there is an outlet into
the gardens, on the right ; a flight of four steps
to the new buildings in the centre, and on the
left a passage-way leading to the servants' apart-
ments.

Proceeding down the central passage, we
pass the door of the Secretary's room, and on
the left is another passage leading to the Porteus
Library. On our right is the entrance to the
Chaplain's room, and on the left the principal
staircase.

The Drawing Room doorway and the Bi-
shop's Private Study are at the head of this
passage.

There is another passage at the foot of the
Grand Staircase which leads to the Dining Room,
the Porteus Library, and out into the Gardens
and the Warren. Branching off from that there
is another staircase on the left-hand side, and
a door below the staircase leads to the old
Kitchen, the Servants' Hall, and the historic
Coal Cellar.

The Cedar Court lies immediately to our
left, and is now merely useful for purposes of
light. We must now retrace our steps, and,
entering the Great Hall, we notice this in-

7



FULHAM PALACE

scription over the mantelpiece, which tells its
story as follows :

1 This Hall and the adjoining Quadrangle was
erected by Bishop Fitzjames in the reign of
Henry VII. on the site of buildings of the old
Palace as ancient as the Conquest. It was used
as a Hall by Bishop Bonner and Bishop Ridley
during the struggles of the Reformation and re-
tained its original proportions till it was altered
by Bishop Sherlock in the reign of George II.
Bishop Howley in the reign of George IV.
changed it into a private unconsecrated chapel:
it is now restored to its original purpose on the
erection by Bishop Tait of a new chapel of more
suitable dimensions, A.D. 1866.'

Thomas Kemp's arms in the window remind
us of the most ancient of the surviving names
of the builders.

There is a legend that the. arms of Bishop
Savage were once to be found, but they have now
gone. The episcopal builders placed their crest
instead of their names on their work. So we
find here the crest of Bishop Fitzjames, called
by John Foxe 'a cruel persecutor' ; but when
we look at the old Gateway, and the beautiful
building of the old garden wall, we are disposed
to deal gently with Bishop Fitzjames. Another




KI REPLACE IN THE CRKAT HALL,



FULHAM PALACE

time-worn crest may belong to the same Bishop ;
it stands over what are known as ' Laud's apart-
ments.'

In the great hall, whose light streams through
painted glass, the oak panelling is the first thing
which attracts our notice.

On the oak panelling are hung some fine
pictures, including one of King Henry VlII.
Some of the panelling came from the old chapel
of the Bishop of London in Aldersgate Street,
and from the walls of Doctors' Commons.

Looking upwards, we notice a finely cor-
niced ceiling of wood in this well-proportioned
apartment.

There are three windows overlooking the
quadrangle. These were formerly filled with
very old glass, but they were re-arranged by
Wailes of Newcastle about half a century ago.

There are some pretty old rails on the top
of the screen, which guards the Hall from the
outer air, and they look suspiciously like a set
of old Communion rails.

Leaving the Hall we reach on the right of
the entrance, which is screened from the Great
Hall, the BISHOP'S VESTRY and a passage lead-
ing to the TAIT CHAPEL.

10




INTERIOR OK THE BISHOPS CHAI'Kl, AT FUI.HAM.



FULHAM PALACE

The ancient Chapel of Fulham Manor stood
in the north-east of the smaller or Cedar Court,
as near as can be ascertained on or near the site
of the Porteus Library. For a period the ancient
hall was used for the chapel, as explained on the
tablet, and we may conclude that this was done
on account of the decay and consequent removal
of the ancient chapel.

A long corridor leads to the new chapel, the
design of the late Mr. Butterfield, architect.
This chapel was the gift to the Palace of
Bishop Tait, and was opened on May ist, 1867.

It is plain and unpretending in appearance,
but strong and well built. Its floor is the ancient
marble which was originally laid in the Fitz-
james Hall. The walls are panelled with oak,
and the east window represents the Ascension
of our Lord. Two stained-glass windows
represent respectively St. John Baptist and St.
Stephen, St. Peter and St. Paul. The other
windows have figures representing the four
Evangelists. There is a mosaic reredos of foreign
work let in the wall, and in front of this there
is a carved altar-piece, which was the gift of
Bishop Creighton.

All the furniture of the chapel is very rich,
12



FULHAM PALACE

and yet it is not ostentatious. The two lights
are used on the altar, and a small cross : the
altar-piece is a Crucifixion.

There is a beautiful specimen of old silver-
smith's work in the chalice and patten used at
the Holy Communion here; it is dated 1651.
There is an organ at the west end, and a
throne for the Bishop, and his chaplains have
seats beside him. The chapel seats about
seventy persons, and is seated choir-wise.



CHAPTER II.

THE HOME OF THE BISHOP OF LONDON.

THE LITTLE HALL. When we have seen
the Great Hall and the Tait Chapel, we go into
the Little Hall, where there is a doorway into
the Gardens, and just outside this door is the
old cork tree. Opposite there is another door-
way leading to the servants' apartments.

In this Little Hall are four steps which mark
the elevation of the newer part of the buildings,
and which were supposed to be above the water
mark in the days when the Palace was periodi-
cally overflowed by the Thames.

Proceeding along the corridor, we pass the
three doorways on the right : the first is the
Secretary's room, the second the Chaplain's room,
and the third is the private sitting-room and
study of the Bishop of London. Into this
apartment, where the work of the diocese is
done, we shall only glance, noticing that it has
a fine view of the lawn ; otherwise it is not
remarkable.

14



FULHAM PALACE

Opposite the Chaplain's doorway is one of
the staircases which leads to the principal bed-
rooms.

There are three large rooms on the east
front of the Palace: (i) DRAWING ROOM; (2)
THE DINING ROOM, and (3) THE PORTEUS
LIBRARY, and the smaller room for the Bishop's
study.

THE PORTEUS LIBRARY is the official library
of the Palace, and is handed down to posterity.
It contains about six thousand volumes of a
varied character, and some fine portraits of
former Bishops of London. The more recent
portraits are now hung in the Dining Room. A
manuscript catalogue of the Library was made
by Rev. F. H. Fisher, about 1870. This build-
ing stands upon the site of the ancient chapel.
About 1814-15, Bishop Howley made extensive
alterations which involved the removal of this
historic building.

Missionaries who were to go to America,
and the other Colonies, were (if laymen) or-
dained at Fulham Palace Chapel before they
were sent out, and the American youth, who
desired ordination, came here. One obstacle to
the coming of these candidates from America

'5 *



FULHAM PALACE

was the fear of small-pox, to which the
American-born sons of the emigrants were
particularly liable.

In the old chapel Mr. Seabury (afterwards
the first American Bishop) was ordained Deacon
and Priest for the Bishop of London, who was
too infirm to conduct the service, by the Bishop
of Lincoln.

The following old paper speaks for itself:

'CHARTERHOUSE, Oct. 23, 1753.
{ Mv LORD,

' The bearer, Mr. Samuel Seabury, is appointed
a missionary to the church of New Brunswick, in
New Jersey, if your lordship shall find him worthy,
and be pleased to admit him into the holy orders of
our church : and with him Mr. William Smith, recom-
mended to your lordship by the clergymen of New
York in New England, proposes to pay his duty to
your lordship.

' I am, my lord, with all respect,
Your most obedient servant,

PHILIP BEARCROFT.'

The paper is endorsed in the handwriting of
the Bishop, ' D. and D. both licensed ' (/. <?.
Deacons).

This part of the Palace may claim to be a
place of greatest interest to the American and

17 c



FULHAM PALACE

Canadian Churchman, and to be the site of the
foundation of the Episcopal Church of America.
The mouldering letters which were written to
the Bishops of old were on the most varied
topics, and they generally embodied some re-
quirements which the Bishop strove to supply.
The Missionaries were sent forth with the bless-
ing of the Bishop, and their letters bear testi-
mony to the gratitude with which his treatment
filled them. Their lot was hard enough. Eleven
weeks in a sailing vessel, dangers from pirates,
storms at sea, all these were the ordinary features
of their voyage. Then there was frost and cold,
the redskin, the wild forest and prairie when they
reached their destination.

After looking round ' the Porteus,' as it is
locally called, we go down some stone steps,
then we reach the coal cellar and the kitchen.

The Coal Cellar was notorious for being used
as a prison on occasion, in the Reformation
times.

The noble KITCHEN was the ancient Dining
Hall, and it has a pretty roof. It is supposed to
be the work of Bishop Sheldon, and some of the
heavy pieces of timber in it are worth inspec-
tion. The ancient coal shoot reminds us that



FULHAM PALACE

all the coal was brought to the Palace by the
river.

Quite one of the institutions of old London,
now entirely forgotten, was the Bishop of Lon-
don's Barge. A clumsy boat it would seem to
have been, something like a gondola in shape,
but large and rude, with room for eight or ten
men to man the sweeps. It had a cabin with
plenty of room, and curtained windows, and at
the back waved the flag of England. The Bishop
of London travelled up and down the river,
sometimes daily, in his barge, when the roads
were too bad, or too dangerous for ordinary
travelling, and landed at the Bishop's Steps when
the day's work was over.

Having traced the principal rooms, we must
retrace our steps inside the house to notice one
or two objects of interest omitted for the sake of
clearness.

On the left of the gateway there is a little
room, called the GUARD ROOM. Whether this
was its original use or not seems doubtful. It
has a fine fireplace, with some good carving and
a motto, ' Vigilando et orando (' By watching
and praying ').

Opposite this little room is another which
'9



FULHAM PALACE

was more probably the old Guard Chamber, with
a set of apartments. Beyond this we reach the
LAUNDRY and the LAUDIAN APARTMENTS.

On the river front of the Palace there is an
ancient doorway, which leads to the practical part
of the Palace of the ancient days. Here was
the Brewery and the Bakery, for inside the house
all provision had to be made for winter.

We are apt to overlook the great difficulty
there was, in not very remote days, in getting
provisions transported in winter, when the river
might be frozen and the road to London im-
passable : bread and beer were produced at home.
The Bishops' doles of these commodities were
of high repute, but the advent of modern times
has left both the Brewery and the Bakery of
Fulham merely a memory.

The little staircase leads us to what are called
the LAUDIAN APARTMENTS. They are narrow
oak wainscotted rooms, with a coat of arms in
one of them bearing the crest of William Laud,
and it is pleasing to recollect that when his
anxious life was over, Laud had such a kindly
remembrance of Fulham that he left 5 in his
will for Fulham's poor folk.

On our way to the Laudian Apartments
20



FULHAM PALACE

(from the main entrance) we pass a little stair-
case leading to the only remaining tower. For-
merly there were three, or it may be more ; but
they have all disappeared except this one over
the door. It carries a little bell fleche, which
calls the Palace to Prayer and meals.

We have now seen something of the results
of the work of episcopal builders, whose en-
deavours and work remain ; they include the
work of Bishops Fitzjames, Fletcher, Juxon,
Sherlock, Compton, Henchman, Gibson, Terrick,
Porteus, Howley, Randolph, Blomfield, Tait,
Jackson, and Temple. But we must take it for
granted that much work in the building and
constant repair required by such an old house
can never be actually all discovered, let alone
named.

The workers are gone, their works remain.
Bishop Fitzjames was practically the rebuilder
of the Palace in his time.



21



CHAPTER III.

THE PALACE GARDENS.

IT has been said that a garden is one of the
first signs of civilisation, and a thing unknown
amongst wild men. In this respect Fulham will
stand high, for its gardens are old, rich, and
varied. Seen from the river, or from the bridge
over it, Fulham Palace is buried in rich verdure
and surrounded by its gardens.

As the great thinker said, ' When ages do
grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build
stately sooner than to garden finely, as if gar-
dening were the greater perfection.'

The people of London had large and beau-
tiful gardens in ancient times. But after the
Wars of the Roses the gardens were neglected,
and ceased to be more than pleasure grounds or
kitchen gardens until the time of Queen Eliza-
beth. Gardens begin to be extensively culti-
vated about the middle of the sixteenth century,
and we find Bishop Grindal claiming the honour

22




THE l-'ITZJAMES GATE TO THE WALLED GARDENS



FULHAM PALACE

of being the first great designer of the Palace
Gardens.

THE GARDENS.

These gardens are the most beautiful result
of the out-of-door work of the past. Here
there are extensive walks and a lawn with that
soft, springy turf, which only comes from ages of
growth and cultivation. When the weather has
been dry for a long time marks are to be observed
where the outlines of old foundations lie buried
under the ground. If it would not destroy the
beauty of this ancient garden, a great deal might
be discovered by excavating : and as far as we
can hear it has never been done.

The garden may be divided into the great
lawn, the meadow land, the orchard, the walled
garden of Bishop Fitzjames, the kitchen garden,
and the embankment.

It has been said that Bishop Grindal sent
Queen Elizabeth grapes before they were ripe,
but this is a mistake. The Bishop explains why
they were late because it was a late season
and sends the following letter from Fulham,
2oth Sept. 1569, which proves that it was not
the unripeness of the fruit, but the danger of

24



FULHAM PALACE

sending when it was thought there might be
plague in the Manor :

' I hear some fault is found with me abroad for the
sending my servant lately to the court with Grapes
seeing one died in my house of the plague as they say.
The truth is one died in my house on the igth of this
month who had lain but three days : but he had gone
abroad languishing about twenty days before that, being
troubled with a flux ; and thinking to bear it out took
cold and so ended his life. But I thank GOD there
is none sick in my house. Neither would I so far have
overseen myself as to have sent to her majesty if I had
not been more assured that my man's sickness was not
the plague. And if I suspected any such thing now I
would not keep my household together as I do. Thus
much I thought good to signify unto you. GOD keep
you. Yours in CHRIST, EDM. LONDON.'

In the MANOR GARDENS, in 1793, there
were the following trees remaining : 'Acer ne-
gundo, or ash-leaved maple, planted 1688, girth
6 ft. 4 in., computed height 45 ft. (this has dis-
appeared) : Cypressus sempervivens, upright cy-
press, girth 2 ft. 3 in., computed height 30 ft.;
this has also gone : Juniperus virginiana, Vir-
ginian red cedar, 2 ft. 5 in., height 20 ft. (gone):
Juglans nigra, black walnut tree, in 1793, n ft.
2 in.; 70 ft. on Jan. 18, 1 86 1, girth 15 ft. 5 in.,

2 5



J
FULHAM PALACE

and girth in 1865 at three feet high, 1 5 ft. 8^ in.
Pinus pinaster, cluster pine, 10 ft., height 80 ft.;
died and was taken down in 1862 : Quercus
alba* white oak, girth 7 ft. 1 1 in., height 70 ft.
(decaying in 1865): Quercus tuber, cork tree,
10 ft. 10 in., 45 ft. high : Acer rubrum, scarlet-
flowered maple, 4 ft. 3 in., 40 ft. high : Quercus
ilex* evergreen oak, 8 ft., 50 ft. high, girth in
1865, 10 ft. 9 in.; Gleditschiatriacanthos t ihre&-
thorned acacia, on the lawn, 8 ft. 3 in.; another
near the porter's lodge, 8 ft. 1 1 in.

Near the porter's lodge is a row of limes of
great age, one of which measured 13 ft. in girth ;
but this monster has perished. This row of
limes was probably planted by Bishop Compton,
following a custom introduced from Holland.

From an old MS. note of Aug. 9, 1865, we
learn, ' Of the trees of Bishop Compton's plant-
ing the following still remain, the girth of which
have been taken this day measured at three feet
from the ground : Quercus tuber, the cork tree,
girth at three feet high . . . . : Pseudo acacia
(?the locust tree), girth 8 ft. 6 in. : Juglans
nigra, black walnut of America, or hickory,

* These fell in the great gales of 1877 (MS. note in
Fulham Palace ' FAULKNER ').

26



FULHAM PALACE

girth 15 ft. 5 in.; large part blown down Oct. 14,
1 88 1 : Quercus ilex, 10 ft. 9 in. : tulip tree,


1 3 4

Online LibrarySadler PhillipsFulham palace, formerly called Fulham house, and Fulham manor : a short account of the old manor house of Fulham, written at the wish of the bishop on the occasion of His Lordship's visit to America and Canada, 1907 → online text (page 1 of 4)