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away by the crown; and the right of presentation reverted to the See of Canterbury, of which it is now a peculiar.

The present church of Croydon, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a very beautiful and stately gothic structure, far surpassing every other church in the whole county of Surrey. It has a lofty square tower of flint and stone, supported by well-proportioned buttresses at each angle; upon the top are four beautiful pinnacles with a vane upon each, This tower is perhaps the finest building of flint work in the kingdom. The church consists also of a nave, two aisles, and three chancels ; for space and convenience it stands unrivalled by any church in the district. The pews are neat and well distributed, there are galleries on three sides; and a Chandelier with this inscription:

"This Branch erected in the year 1717, John Bowles and Luke Bird, Churchwardens."

This church is also distinguished by one of the finest Organs in the kingdom, the exterior of which also corresponds very happily with the style of the architecture of the church. It was built by Avery, and erected in the year 1794, and is generally esteemed the most per

fect production of that exquisite artist. The effect of this instrument is wonderfully improved by the very judicious alterations and improvements which have lately taken place in the church, and which have restored the interior of that noble structure to its original elegance and grandeur.

The length of the nave is 76 feet, and that of the middle chancel 54 feet: the breadth of the church, with the aisles, is 74 feet. The nave is separated from the aisles by light clustered columns, and pointed arches, between which, are several grotesque heads and ornaments. The East end of the North aisle is called Heron's chapel, and dedicated to St. Mary; the East end of the South aisle is called the Bishop's chapel, and dedicated to St. Nicholas. The old Font is at the West end of the South aisle, and appears by its date and structure to be coeval with the church, it is an octogon with quarterfoils, in one of which is a lion's head in the centre; in two other adjoining ones are roses; the rest are concealed by pews.

In the middle chancel are twelve ancient wooden stalls of various workmanship. On the North side of it is a very neat vestry; and in the middle of the chancel, before the altar, stands a brass eagle, with expanded wings, on a neat pedestal of brass.

In the year 1639, on the 25th of December, a violent storm of wind blew down one of the pinnacles, which falling upon the leaden roof of the church, forced in a part of it twenty feet square, and did other considerable damage.

In 1735, some plumbers having been at work on the roof of the church, left their fire while they went to dinner; the roof was soon in a blaze, and the whole town were alarmed; but with the assistance of the great number of people assembled at the time, the flames were soon extinguished; the damage occasioned by this accident amounted, in those days, to more than one hundred pounds.

We are informed by Aubrey, "that in the rebellion, one Blease was hired for half-a-crown a-day, to break the glass windows of this church, which were formerly fine."

In 1744, much damage was done to the church by lightening.

In 1761, the church being much out of repair, an Act of Parliament was obtained for the purpose of raising the sum of £2500 by annuities*, at 9 per cent. in order to make

* A separate Rate was generally made for the payment of

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the necessary repairs; the Rate made was 8d. in the pound upon all houses, lands, and tenements in the parish, one half to be paid by the landlord, and the other by the tenant. Thus, in the course of the next year, the church was newly roofed, and in other respects thoroughly repaired.

In 1807 and 1808, the Steeple was repaired at the expense of nearly £1000; the buttresses and stone work being much decayed, were covered with Roman cement from top to bottom. Over the beautiful West entrance are inscribed the words

This Tower repaired in 1807 and 1808; William Brown and John Phillipson, Churchwardens.

At the same time about one rood of land belonging to the premises of the palace, was added to the church-yard *, at the cost of

this sum, but as the last annuitant died in 1814, this expense has now ceased.

* As to the original of burying places, many writers have observed that at the first erection of churches, no part of the adjacent ground was allotted for interment of the dead; especially in cities and populous towns, where, agreeably to the old Roman law of the Twelve Tables, the place of inhumation was without the walls, first indefinitively by the way side, then in some peculiar enclosure assigned to that use. Hence the Augustine Monastery was built within the walls of Can


nearly £800; and in the following year, it was consecrated as part of the burial ground by the most Reverend Charles, the present Archbishop of Canterbury.

At the East end of the middle chancel is this inscription; this chancel end was repaired and beautified by Alexander Caldcleugh, Esq. in the year 1808.

In 1813 and 1814, the North aisle and Heron's chapel were thoroughly repaired, and

terbury, as Ethelburt and Augustine in both their charters intimate, that it might be a dormitory to them and their successors, the Kings and Archbishops for ever. This practice of remoter burials continued to the age of Gregory the great, when the Monks and Priests beginning to offer for souls de'parted, procured leave, for their greater ease and profit, that a liberty of sepulture might be in churches, or in places adjoining to them. After this Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, brought over from Rome this practice into England, about the year 750, from which time they date the original of church-yards in this island. The practice of burying within the churches, did indeed (though more rarely) obtain before the use of church-yards, but was by authority restrained when church-yards were frequent and appropriated to that "use. However, at the first it was the nave, or body of the church, that was permitted to be a repository of the dead, and chiefly under arches by the side of the walls. Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, seems to have been the first who brought up the practice of vaults in chancels and under the very altars, when he had rebuilt the church of Canterbury in the year 1095.

Burn's Ecclesiastical Law.

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