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advantages; and this continuing unabated through several reigns, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in Queen Anne's reign made a clean sweep of the whole institution. The hospital was dissolved by a decree dated July 1st, 1702, the buildings and property reverting to the Court of Exchequer for the use of the Crown. The yearly rental at that period was computed at £2,500.
It is curious to note the altered conditions of the once noble, and we must admit saintly, precincts of the old Savoy Palace and Hospital at the time of its dissolution. Dr. Killigrew, the last master, had, during his long incumbency, granted thirty leases of tenements and houses built within and around the walls of the Savoy. These were inhabited by tailors, printers, public-house keepers, sugar-makers, and other tradespeople—even a coalheaver is mentioned. It had also become a refuge for debtors and worse characters, pending the abolition of the privilege of sanctuary. A school which had been opened in 1686 by James II for Jesuits, was a source of wrath and annoyance to the Protestant neighbours, and was dissolved on the abdication of the King. The dormitory was used for sick and wounded soldiers and sailors, and shortly after a regiment was accommodated in barracks built at the south end of the chapel. After the dissolution of the hospital, we find that a German, a French, and a Greek chapel are mentioned as within the Savoy boundaries. The German or Dutch church, with large burial-ground attached, remained until our own day.
After the passing of the Marriage Act, the Savoy became known as a place where matrimony was made easy; and clandestine marriages were so frequent that in seven years, viz., 1752 to 1758 inclusive, eleven hundred weddings by licence were performed there, the fees of which brought plenty of cash to the Rev. John Wilkinson, of noted memory, then minister of the church. . The Government interfered, but Mr. Wilkinson could not take any gentle hints, but continued to derive great profits, only employing a deputy to perform the ceremonies. At lasť he surrendered himself to take his trial, feeling certain of an acquittal. He was tried on July 16th, 1756, but was convicted and condemned to fourteen years' transportation. However, he escaped his punishment by death, at Plymouth, on his way to America.
The chapel, which was the least architecturally notable portion of the buildings, was reserved for a more sudden and dramatic end. After surviving the vicissitudes of the previous centuries, a fire, on July 7th, 1864, destroyed the fittings, roof, and monuments, the lately-restored reredos, and the fine window above it. Only the bare walls remained; and though her Majesty the Queen, at her own expense, commanded the restoration to follow as nearly as possible the old plan and design, much that was interesting, architecturally and historically, could never be replaced. We miss the memories of the past, which were formerly brought before us in this unique spot, where it is said that Wickliffe preached before John of Gaunt; where Wolsey held a council, and where the Savoy Conference took place in 1661- which deserves some notice, as a futile attempt to reconcile the divergent opinions of Churchmen and Presbyterians. Such learned and notable divines as Archbishop Frewin of York, Bishops Cosin, Walton, Gauden and others, took part in the Commission on the side of the Church; while Reynolds, Calamy, Baxter, were some who appeared with a brief for the Presbyterians, to advise upon and review the Book of Common Prayer. Baxter drew up a reformed liturgy, which the Episcopalians would not look at. The fruitless effort at comprehension was followed in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity, and two thousand Presbyterian incumbents surrendered their livings.
We must observe that the chapel had changed its name on the demolition of the old church of St. Mary-le-Strand by the Protector, Somerset, when the then Master of the Savoy gave that parish permission to use it in lieu of their destroyed church, and it then acquired the name of St. Mary-le Savoy. On the 8th Nov., 1564, Edmund Grindale, Bishop of London, wrote a request which reads much like a command to Thomas Thurland, Master of the Savoy, requiring that the parishioners of St. Mary-leStrand should not use St. John the Baptist's Chapel of the Savoy, until it be “otherwise devised and procured
that they be by lawful order appointed to the Savoy, which must be done by composition from me as the Ordinary & from the R' hon ble Sir William Cecil patron of St Clements in which parish the Savoy is an hospital and by consent of you the Master of the Savoy and also by the consent of the parson of St. Clements.”
This letter was followed by an arrangement which made the chapel free to the parishioners of St. Mary-le
Strand, with leave to appoint their minister with approval of the Master.' The chapel probably owed its preservation from ruin to this arrangement.
The church was constituted a Chapel Royal in the reign of George III, 27th Nov. 1773, and the chapel was thereafter much improved, William Wilmot, the minister, being favoured by the King. The chapel was also greatly improved and restored at the expense of King George IV in the years from 1828 to 1830.
The parish ministers number many eminent men;