Bridge Ward without. S. Saviours. 10

Bridge Ward without. S. Saviours.

The Parishioners cannot transfer the Election to some, which by the express Law of a Statute is conferred to all; neither can the Authority be deputed to fewer, but all must be Actors, or the most part: And if the Parishioners might consent to transfer the Election, yet the same must be yearly, and bindeth the succeeding Parishioners no longer than they shall see that duly executed which they consented unto. And the Parishioners have as much Power now to dissolve the Election, and to reduce the same to the primitive Order, as the former Parishioners had to transfer the same. The Parishioners in former Times might be induced, for their Ease, and upon hope of succeeding good, to transfer the same to Thirty. But it is now found by Experience unprofitable and inconvenient.


It was established by Constitution of the Ordinary.

The Ordinary cannot alter the Election, because the Churchwardens are Incorporate by Statute, and are made a Civil Body, and not Ecclesiastical; and they are no longer capable of Lands and Possession, nor a Capacity in the Law to do any Act as a Corporation, if they continue not in such a Body, and so chosen as by the Act it was expressly intended and established. And if the Election were Ecclesiastical, yet the choice by a selected Number is contrary to the Ecclesiastical Canons.

2 Objection.


The Election hath continued Fifty Years peaceably, and no fault found therewith.

Things lawfully done cannot be made void to to all Intents. And this which was altogether void at the first, cannot be made good and strengthened by continuance of Time. The Election continued peaceably, because the Parishioners knew not by what Authority they exercised the same. There hath been fault found with it these forty Years, for so long, at the least, hath the Vestry been termed the Sharing House by some, of their own Report.

3 Objection.


The Government by Thirty is ancient. And it is meeter to tolerate some Wants in Magistrates than by supposing to amend them to overthrow Government and Authority; for Alterations and Changes are dangerous.

The government which the Thirty assume is derived from the Churchwardens, whose Office if not to be Governors and Masters of the Parish, but to be Guardians and Stewards of the Revenues of the Church. Their Authority extendeth not to any Government in the Parish; for that belongs to the Lord Maior and Justices. Therefore the Attributes of Masters and Governours of the Parish, are ambitious Titles and Appellations, which they have arrogated, to distinguish themselves from the equality of their Neighbours. The Antiquity they urge, doth consist in the election of Churchwardens, which is not so ancient by eighteen Years, as the election by the Parishioners (from whom they usurped it.) The Objection therefore proves them neither Magistrates nor Governours; if they were, yet Government and Laws may be abrogated (by those that have Authority) for apparent Benefit. And it hath been usual in all Commonwealths, to make new Laws and repeal the old, to amend the evil, and with dispensations to mitigate the severe. But if it be absolutely evil to change old Laws and Customs, then the Thirty are Offenders, that durst seize upon Authority, to violate and change a Statute Law, and fall from the first Integrity and Perfection thereof, to bring in Ordinances and Customs of their own Invention.

4 Objection.


There would be great Confusion, if the whole Parish should be Electors, as at the time of the Act was intended.

In all Ages and Countries where Civil Offices are elective, the common People and Handicraft- men (tho' they were never admitted to exercise any Publick Offices) yet they were never denied Voices in Elections of Civil Officers. The Examples in our own Land are infinite; for the Maiors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, and chief Officers throughout the whole Realm, are chosen by the Inhabitants and Commonalty assembled, except only in such Places where there is Power given by their Charters to make Laws to the contrary. The Knights of the Shire, and Burgesses for Parliament are chosen by the Freeholders, which in most Places consist of greater Multitudes.

5 Objection.


The Election by 3l. Subsidymen will be popular, and incite the ruder sort to extream liberty, to choose such Officers as are insufficient, and not able to discharge the same.

The Subsidymen consist not of above two hundred: It is not intended that all of them shall bear Offices, but have Voices in the election of Officers. And yet the meanest of them is as sufficient, as some of the Thirty Vestrymen: amongst whom the greatest part are never accountant and chief Churchwardens, as they are termed; for those are elected out of Ten or Twelve, the rest in substance are no other than Electors, and do serve only to furnish their Assemblies at their Elections and Banquets. The Popularity opposed against the Subsidymen is frivolous, being consider'd with that of the Two Houses of Parliament, the Convocation, Common-Councils, Leets, and other Assemblies in Cities, Boroughs, and Parishes in England: Yet if the Number be too great, it is at the pleasure of the Houses to contract them to 5l. And touching the Objection, That like will affect his Equal, and the worser sort will choose such Officers as themselves; The same may as well be obtruded against the Freeholders of England; the Subsidymen and Commonalty of every City, Town, and Parish; the one consisting of a great multitude of Countrymen, may choose the Insufficientest and weakest Men to be Knights of the Shires and Burgesses; the other composed of Artificers, Handicrafts, Labourers, and Tradesmen, may elect such Maiors, Bailiffs Sheriffs, and other Officers, as sort with their own Disposition.]

6 Objection.


St. SAVIOURS Church.


Upon this spacious and specious Church (for well it deserves those Epithets) we look backward twenty Years, or thereabouts. At which time it was in many Parts of it repaired, and within throughout richly and very worthily beautified.



About two or three Years after, that Gallery that is over that part of the Church that is called St. Peter's Chapel, and that that is over against it; as also that Gallery that crosses the middle Ile, over the entrance into the Chancel (much gracing the Church, and supplying a great necessity) were worthily contrived and erected.

St. Peter's Chapel.

In the Years of our Lord God 1621, and 1622, it was again in many Parts of it repaired; all the North side of it (at once) strengthned and beautified, with a substantial and very artificial Roughcast. The other side Plastered and Whited.

Among many rich and beautiful Things that have been added to this Church, at divers times, and to several Parts and Places, some of general Cost, and some of particular Bounties (for some reserved Causes omitted) we here only remember that extraordinary fair and curious Table of the Commandments, and the Screen at the West Door, set up in the Year of our Lord God, 1618.

But passing all these, somewhat now of that part of this Church above the Chancel, that in former Times was called, Our Lady's Chapel.

It is now called, The New Chapel; and indeed, tho' very old, it now may be call'd a new one, be-

Our Ladies Chapel.

The New Chapel.