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THE END OF THE LEAGUE.
The accompanying sketch is from an old print of the time of queen Bess. The ground plan herewith is not that of the old factory, though doubtless the old walls and foundations were used as much as possible and the old plan more or less adhered to, as the resources at the command of the Hansa after the Great Fire were very limited indeed. The ground plan is dated 1667. Another I have seen of 1797 shows some very important changes. The clearly-marked site of the factory is now shrouded by the lower end of Cannon street station, but the homogeneous character of the Steelyard block under the projecting station still retains its old form, extent, and general features. Bounded on the north by Upper Thames street, with a frontage of something like 200 feet, on the south by the river Thames, and on the west and east by Cosen's and All Hallows' lanes respectively, with an average depth towards the quays from Thames street of about 400 feet.
After the closing of the Steelyard in 1598, it was acknowledged by the king in council on the 8th April, 1663, to be still the property of the Hanse towns. Sir John Evelyn had been desirous of securing the site for a new exchange, but this could not be arranged. The Great Fire on Sunday morning, the 2nd September, 1666, laid the Steelyard in ashes.
Boston and Lynn were both early factories, the former, under its old name of Hoyland, was first established. Henry II. issued letters of protection for the Easterlings here, and Leland refers to the station in his Itinerary. This factory was closed in 1550. Lynn Episcopi, after the Reformation, Lynn Regis, was the other important factory. King John endowed it with extensive privileges. Among the public archives is an immense amount of correspondence regarding the Hansa's 'title' to the freehold of these stations.
With Elizabeth, the Hansa monopoly in England, and indeed practically the League itself came to an end, and but for the possession of the freeholds of the Steelyards of London, Boston, and Lynn, we should have heard very little more of the Hansa in England, after her reign. The possession of these places, however, gave rise to continued negotiations and correspondence, and the Steelyard was rebuilt after the Great Fire in 1666, with the German traders pretty much on the footing of other merchants.
Pennant, in his work on London (1790), referring to the Steelyard, says :- Next to the waterside are two eagles, with imperial crowns round their necks, placed on two columns.'
In 1853 the Steelyard was sold by the citizens of Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck for building purposes for £72,500, and the site is now nearly equally divided between the premises of a large wholesale wine merchant and a gigantic colonial meat refrigerating company.
Quicquid excessit modum
OLD CHURCH PLATE IN NORTHUMBERLAND AND DURHAM.
XV.-OLD CHURCH PLATE IN THE COUNTIES OF
NORTHUMBERLAND AND DURHAM.
[Read on the 27th April, 1892.] FOLLOWING the example of the Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological Society, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne has collected a very complete body of statistics relating to the ancient church plate of the wide district in which it is interested. If the former enquiry embraces the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, or in other words, the diocese of Carlisle, the latter comprises the present dioceses of Durham and Newcastle, being the counties of Northumberland and Durham and part of Cumberland, and in fact completes it for the northernmost portion of England. The interesting details which have been obtained in the course of this enquiry are necessarily scattered throughout many numbers of the Proceedings of the Society, and it is very desirable to present the result to the members in a more compact form. It is the object of the present paper to accomplish this, to draw attention to the objects of special interest which have been brought to light in either county, to mark their place in the history of old English church plate, and to compare the returns generally with those which have been collected in other parts of the country. Until recently it would have been impossible to get together any such record at all. There were but little means at the disposal even of the antiquary for dating specimens, except for the inscriptions which some might bear; and so little was known about what might or might not be expected to be found that it would have been difficult to turn the search to any good archaeological account.
Things are now, however, different in both these respects; old plate and its marks are more intelligible ; specimens, whether inscribed or not, can be, in most cases, easily dated by their fashion and their hall marks; and since the appearance of Chancellor Ferguson's most interesting account of the church plate of the diocese of Carlisle, so many
· Proc. Soc. Antiq. Newc, vol. ii—v.
other similar searches have been taken in hand, and some of them carried to completion, that we are able to compare their results with increasing interest.
It is unnecessary to go into any details as to English plate making and the science of hall marks here. Suffice it to say that the references on this subject which occur throughout the details are to the third edition of Old English Plate, a work which may be further consulted if necessary on such points. These references have, however, a special local colour in the present case, owing to the existence of an active guild of goldsmiths in Newcastle, joined as they were with workmen of kindred crafts in that always busy centre of industry. An unusual amount of the church plate in the northern counties proves, as might be expected, to be of Newcastle manufacture ; and it is interesting to find that it illustrates the work of the Newcastle silversmiths throughout the whole of their working history, from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards. It is needless to say that the records of the craft extend back much further than that, certainly reaching to the early part of the sixteenth century, and indeed for purely archaeological purposes, even to the middle of the thirteenth. But the existing specimens of Newcastle work cover the period, speaking in general terms, from the Restoration to the present century.
It is now well-known how few specimens of pre-Reformation plate remain to illustrate the history of Gothic art as regards church vessels. Much that was beautiful was melted down to satisfy the Puritanical outburst which signalized the short reign of king Edward VI., and whatever escaped this, fell under the ban of the renewed crusade against all that was held to savour of popery which marked the early years of his sister, queen Elizabeth. No doubt there was a short respite during the few intervening years of queen Mary, but details as to this disastrous period are not needed for our present sketch. Suffice
to say that one single chalice—that at Old Hutton-remains in the diocese of Carlisle, whilst some thirty only remain, so far as is yet known, in all England. It is possible that one or two may still be discovered in unsuspected places, but the enquiry has now gone so far that many more are not to be expected.
No chalice remains of pre-Reformation type in either Northumberland or Durham, but we are more fortunate as regards patens