1-S.X. APRIL 29, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 325 seventeenth-century carving of a vine with instituted, and from that time the services bunches of grapes, indicating that this had were conducted at St. Mary's only. The been a vintner's. north aisle of St. Peter's had become so ALECK ABRAHAMS. ruinous that had it not soon afterwards been demolished it would have fallen down MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS IN > CHURCHES, CHAI BURIAL-GROUNDS. ST. PETER DE MERTON. re six churches in Bedford con- taining burial-grounds, viz., of its own accord. The parapet of the old Bedford bridge BEDFORD CHURCHES, CHAPELS was rebuilt with part of the materials from AND BURIAL-GROUNDS. I this church. It is said to have been de- molished in 1545, but this date, I think, cannot be correct, as the Lincoln Diocesan | Registry Book records that " Adam Martin | was inst on 15 Julv 1561 to St. Peter de (the parish church), gt. Peter de Merton Dunst ale b the B i shop ;> and it is sta ted !*' n^l! V ' y y i to be vacant through resignation. From bt.Outnbert s. .*."_* this it appears the church was standing Previous to the mid-sixteenth century 16 rg ggj itg demolition is said to hav | there were two churches in this town dedi- ^ lace N fewer than five lates cated in the name of St Peter. The other had oc ^ ied the gee of Lincom sili ^ John St. Peter was called St. Peter de Dunstaple, Toncy i flnf P s Hpaf i 1 in 1*4.7 ^ 7 TipTirv and it stood on the south side of theriver, S^t Jot Taylor, John Wl^ThSSS quite near, and opposite to, St. Mary's ; Watgon a ' nd Nic j las Bullingham in that T 6 ? reS Q Pen A ^ ound n ,. w , calle( J short space of time. St. Mary s Square. A few particulars of ; . _ this building and its associations are worth i Several years ago in laying down some recording gas-pipes part of the foundations of the Before 1400 it was a separate parish, but old church were laid open ; they extended was afterwards annexed to St. Mary's, the i arther mto the r ad than the present two churches being only a few yards apart. ! [ oot pavement. The churchyard must The services were conducted in each church I have extended over a Considerable portion on alternate weeks and the books and of occupied by houses, as is ornaments removed from one church to the i P^ oved b y ^ e quantity of human bones other every Saturday. This weekly re . thrown up whenever digging operations take moval and the expense of maintaining two P lace a few feet below the surface of the buildings in repair continually occasioned ground- contention amongst the parishioners. John , We turn now to St. Peter de Merton. Maigott was the incumbent at this time ; This church has been known as St. Peter he was inducted by the Bishop of Lincoln Merton, St. Peter in Campis, St. Peter (John Longland) in January , 1538, but, ! M'teyn, St. Peter's Martyn, St. Peter Martin owing to the unpleasant circumstances which and St. Peter's. arose, he was induced to resign the living in From the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries 1544, after he had held it nearly seven years, the title St. Peter de Merton was continu- However anxious the parishioners were to ously in use, as is clearly shown by the re- get rid of him, after his departure they began very quickly to regret his loss and made application to the Bishop of Lincoln cords of Newnham Priory and by the docu- ments of the " Church Estate." St. Peter's in the Fields occurs in 1334 ; while on the that he would use his influence to induce chalice of 1684 and in all registers from him to return, and they describe their late 1572 to 1857 the title is St. Peter Martin minister as a godly and charitable man. or its variations. After this it becomes The Bishop held a consultation with Maigott i simply St. Peter, and only quite recently and he consented to return,. but his Lordship has the earlier name " de Merton " been told the parishioners that to avoid all restored. Though St. Peter's was ' the future disagreements, as they were all of one j dedication, the historical association of parish, they should be content with one i " Merton " makes it very desirable to re- church ; he also expressed a desire that tain this title. The name came from Merton they should take down St. Peter's and with j Priory in Surrey, founded about 1092 and the materials beautify and enlarge St. | demolished in 1904. The Prior and Convent Mary's. i of this place were patrons of this living On April 17, 1545, Maigott was again ! till the dissolution of the monasteries.
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