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first abbot appointed. Hovenden mentions the appointment of Abbot Walter under 1177. Diceto, however, mentions the installation of Prior Ralph by the Bishop of London in 1177: a ceremony which would certainly not have taken place if an abbot had been appointed.
Pope Lucius III, by his Bull, confirmed to the monastery the exemption from all episcopal jurisdiction.
In 1188 Walter, abbot of Waltham, was one of the ambassadors sent by Hen. II to inquire into the dispute between the Archbishop of Canterbury and his prior and sub-prior; and in 1189 the King appointed him one of the arbitrators between the Archbishop (Baldwin) and the monks.” King Richard I confirmed Hen. Il's charter. In this charter of confirmation there is a clause that no man may hold office by inheritance, but by the decision of the abbot and canons he may be transferred to higher or other offices. 3
Walter de Gant died on the Vigil of the Ascension, A.D. 1201.
On Easter in the year 1253, Hen. III, in consideration of the sanctity and munificent hospitality displayed by the abbot and monks of Waltham, by charter granted and confirmed to them the free liberty, whenever that house should be vacant and deprived of a pastor through the resignation or decease of its abbot, to dispose at their own will of the goods of that house, and to have full power of disposing of the barony as well as the other possessions of the said house. This liberty they had obtained in times long passed, but for greater security the King now granted and confirmed it to them. He also granted to them two markets, and conferred other greater benefits on them. I
1 The visit of Hen. II to Waltham when Walter was made abbot is sometimes referred to the year 1182, and it is said that the king made his will on that occasion. Henry's will is dated 1182, and it is expressed in the will that it is inade at Waltham. Matthew Paris, in Chron. Mag., says Henry came to Waltham, and gave large sums of money to the expedition to the Holy Land and several monastic and other institutions, but does not mention his will “et sic in Normaniam transfretavit". Benedict, Diceto and Hovenden all agree that in 1182 the King kept his Christmas (old style, 6th January) at Winchester, and that he made his will “apud Waltham”. Diceto adds: “Episcopi Wintoniensis” (Bishop's Waltham in Hants., a few miles south of Winchester), and that he sailed to Bordeaux March 4. They then trace his movements in France and Flanders till his return to England, where he landed at Dover, 10th June 1184 ; and Benedict says he at once went to the Abbey of Waltham. He could not, therefore, have been at Waltham in Essex in the years 1182-3.
2 Gervase, vol. ii, p. 410. It was by the settlement of this dispute that the manor of Lambeth passed to the See of Canterbury,
3 Cott. MS. Tiberius, c. 9, fo. 586.
There is a letter from a Deputy Keeper of the Rolls, published in the 23rd vol. of the Arch. Institute's Journal, p. 294, referring to a mandate of the abbot of Waltham in 1286, calling on the dean to require the parishioners to repair the nave, which was then, as it has been since the Dissolution, used as the parish church.
And so the abbey remained until the Dissolution, the abbot ranking twentieth among the twenty-eight mitred abbots of England.?
Robert Fuller was the last abbot to whom the temporalities were restored, September 4th, 1526.
He was afterwards elected prior of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield, and held the priorate in commendam with his abbey. He surrendered the abbey to the King on the 23rd March, 31 Hen. VIII (1539), having previously endeavoured to avert the fate of the church by making the King a present of Copthall.
A few months after the surrender the King bestowed a lease of the site of the church, with many large and rich lands, upon Sir Anthony Denny, Knt., for thirty-one years; who, dying about 2 Edw. VI, Dame Joan, his widow, purchased the fee in reversion for three thousand odd pounds.
From the Dennys the site of the abbey passed by the marriage of a daughter to James Hay, Earl of Carlisle, and afterwards came into possession of the family of Sir William Wake, Bart.
The gross income in the 26th Hen. VIII amounted to £1,079 12s. ld., the clear revenue to £900 4s. 3d. Virtue engraved the seal and two counterseals of the abbey. An impression of the first on green wax is appended to a charter of the 23rd Hen. VIII in the Chapter House of Westminster. It has also been engraved in Ogbourne's History of Essex.
1 Matt. Paris, Eng. Hist., from 1235 to 1273. 2 Ogbourne's llist. of Essex, p. 180.
The inscription round the common seal was: * hoc. EST. SIGILL. ECCLESIE . SANCTE. CRUCIS DE WALTHAM.
The first counterseal, appendant to a deed of the year 1253, which is also engraved in Ogbourne's History, has two heads in the area, supposed to represent Tovi and Harold looking towards each other, circumscribed hoc CARTA FEDUS CUM TOVI FIRMAT HAROLDUS. The second counterseal was apparently an antique of the Roman times which had been dug up. 1
The deed of surrender of the abbey, with the seal appended, remains in the Augmentation Office, signed by the abbot, prior and sixteen canons.?
1 Dugd Monas. (new edit.), vol. vi, 598-60.
THE CHURCH OF HOLY CROSS,
BY C. LYNAM, ESQ.
Read September 26th, 1896.
the church of the Holy Cross, at what
flogging a dead horse”, but rather that of venturing to stride a very dangerous steed; for round this famous building there has, for many years past, raged fierce battles of dates and styles, and these particular subjects have for the most part engaged the keen wits of critics, not to the exclusion of but to the overshadowing of the great merits of the structure itself to a considerable extent. On this occasion it is proposed, first of all, to endeavour to realise in some degree what passed through the mind of the designer of this famous building as he conceived its plan, its sectional parts, and the veiwing of its walls, piers, and arches, as he intended them to be viewed by his compeers and by all who should hereafter use them for the sacred purposes they were intended to facilitate, or for the future generations which might see them. But little did the designer think of the doubts and difficulties which his work would entail upon the learned historian, the professional architect, and of some members of the British Archeological Association, all living at the end of the nineteenth century. He had in his mind only the permanence, grandeur, and utility of what he was about to erect.
In the churchyard, to the south of the church, there stands a fine elm-tree of enormous growth ; its trunk
measures no less than 21 ft. 8 ins. in circumference just below the start of the lowest branch ; its foliage now spreads to a diameter of 63 ft, and it is said at one time it was double this width across. Its roots must date back for many centuries, and it presents in its dimensions, form and beauty, a great work of natural growth. Cut through its grand trunk a few feet from the ground, and cast away all belonging to it save its wide-spread roots and the stump of its trunk, and a fair representation of what now remains of Waltham Abbey would present itself to view. What now stands as Waltham Abbey church is but a limb of the great conventual establishment which, in former years, covered the surrounding site. The head, the arms, the body are gone, and what is seen now is, as it were, but the lower extremity of a growth, rooted at a time of one of England's changeful gasps, revived under a new and foreign rule, nurtured by the powers of the highest in the land through succeeding centuries, but at last reduced to an appalling ruin ; nay, the very inward spirit which had sustained its long life is now wiped out, that part only which appertained to the Church at large is left to us.
This dismemberment of a great whole may well account for the disappointment which must happen to those who know anything of the history of Holy Cross Abbey, and see it for the first time. But even in the fragment which remains there is indeed material for the exercise of keen wit, reasoning on long experiences, and admiration for the art of true and genuine architectere. " Rude in its character”, is it said ? Well, if in its great masses, its broad spaces, and its simplicity of treatment, it may-in the taste of an age eight hundred years its youngerappear of a masculine type, a study of its details will, be assured, reveal science in its construction, delicacy of proportion, refinements of design and beauties of ornamentation, which the most cultured of the lovers of art must appreciate and admire.
Turning to the general subject more in detail, let us in the first place dwell upon what remains to us of the Abbey and its surroundings; and first of the latter.
For its situation, choice was made of the valley of the