Thoroton states1 that "There was in the church of St. Mary a Guild or Fraternity of six priests dedicated to the Holy Trinity and their house in the High Pavement is called Trinity House at this day. There was in the same church the Chantry of St. Mary, the Chantry of St. James, and Amyas Chantry who was a man of value in this Town about Edward the third's time." To these must be added the Samon chantry at the altar of St. Laurence, the chapel of St. John Baptist, the gild of St. Katherine, and the chapel of St. Luke. There was also at one time a gild, and possibly also a chapel of All Saints.

It may be noted here, that transepts were added to parish churches for the purpose of providing additional accommodation for chapels; they were invariably furnished with one or more altars, and in a great many instances were designed and built by private persons, for the use of the chantry chapels founded in them. This seems to have been the case in regard to the south transept of St. Mary's, which was built, or partially built, by John Samon, to contain his tomb and chantry. There is no doubt, that in this church there were two chapels in each transept, namely: the Trinity chapel and that of St. John Baptist in the north transept, and the chapels of our Lady and of St. Laurence in the south transept. The chapel of St. Katherine stood against the south-west pier of the tower, and in the body of the church. The positions of the altars of St. James and St. Luke will be discussed later.

St. Mary's Nottingham. Alabaster panel.
St. Mary's Nottingham. Alabaster panel.

It is remarkable, that there are no piscinae, aumbries, or image-brackets to indicate the positions formerly occupied by altars. There are, however, in the south transept the remains of the carving of an angel, which may have supported a corbel, on which stood the figure of the saint to whom the altar beneath was dedicated; and there are indications, that there was a similar carving in the corresponding position in the north transept. That an altar stood against the east wall of the north transept may also be inferred from the fact, that the lower portion of the first window from the north was until 1913, and the lower portion of the adjoining window on the south side still is, filled in with stone: the compartments, so constituted, and painted with figures of saints, would form a reredos, possibly for the altar of the great gild of the Trinity. No evidence is available, to shew that any of the other east windows in either transept were treated in a similar way. In the restoration of 1843, the remains of three sedilia and a piscina were found, and it is to be regretted that these were built up instead of being either restored, or what remained of them left in situ, to mark the former position of the high altar. There can however be no doubt, that the high altar was always against the eastern wall of the chancel, with the great east window behind it, forming a glorious reredos of stained glass. Also in 1846 the alabaster figure panel referred to in the Rev. A. D. Hill's paper was found. An illustration of it is here given.

The Trinity Chapel and Gild. This gild is stated in the certificates of chantries returned in 1548, under the Act of 1 Edward VI., to have been "founded by Thomas Thurlande to mayntayne ij prestes to sing masses for ever."2 Thomas Thurland, however, only further endowed the gild, it having been in existence as early, at any rate, as 1394-5, when it is mentioned in the Borough Records.3

The altar was situated in the north transept, as appears from the will of Robert Glade, who, in 1423, desired "to be buried in the parish church of St. Mary Not., before the chapel4 (coram capla) of the Holy Trinity on the North side (ex parte boreali) of the said church." He left £40 to a chaplain to celebrate in "the chapel of the Holy Trinity," and widow Joan Glade in 1443 gave £30 to a worthy chaplain to celebrate for six years, for the soul of Robert Glade, her soul, and the souls of all her benefactors, "at the altar of the Holy Trinity." She also left to the same altar, two vestments, a missal, and a chalice, which she directed should be in the keeping of her priest all the time he should celebrate for her, and afterwards be delivered to the common use of the priests celebrating there. It is interesting to find, that at a later date, 1473, John Tewar, one of such priests, left 3s. 4d. for the repair of these vestments. In the account5 of the taxation of lands, &c., towards the Aid of 1503-4, the property of this gild was valued at £16 19s. 4d., which shews that it was of considerably more importance than the gild of St. Katherine, the property of which was valued at the much smaller sum of £5 9s. 0d. It should be noticed, that the chantry certificate of 1548, only mentions one chaplain, William Raynes, who received the stipend of £6, and although there remained over to the "Chamberers" of the gild, after paying all the dues, the sum of £10 9s. 10½d., this sum would not be sufficient to provide for the salaries of more than two, or at the outside, three more chaplains. Thoroton's statement therefore, that there were six chaplains, though not at all unlikely, still lacks confirmation. The image of the Holy Trinity mentioned in the will of William Davy, in 1486, must have stood in this chapel. The earliest bequest to the gild is contained in the will of William Bradholme, 1440, and the latest in that of Elizabeth Gellesthrope, 1543.

The Chapel of St. John Baptist.

The altar of this chapel, as we have seen from the wills of John Tannesley and his wife Alice, already referred to, was also situated in the north transept. The latter left £93 6s. 8d., viz.:—seven marks a year for a worthy chaplain to celebrate for twenty years in the "chapel of St. John Baptist." This chapel apparently had more than one dedication. It is called in the will of John Alestre, in 1422, the chapel of SS. John Baptist, John the Evangelist, and Anne, and in 1466 Thomas Whissenden bequeathed seven marks to a chaplain to celebrate for his soul "at the altar of St. John Evangelist," which no doubt refers to the same chapel. Where the altar stood in relation to that of the Trinity chapel is difficult to determine, and this is one of the problems in connexion with the north transept, which has to be left unsolved.

The Chantry and Chapel of our Lady.

Founded in 1325-6 by Robert Ingram, Mayor four times. Deering places this chapel6 in the south transept, and there is no reason to doubt the correctness of his statement; as this situation fits in with the known positions of the other chapels in the church. The altar stood against the east wall in the northern part of the transept.

Thomas Willoughby, the founder of the almshouses first on Malin Hill, and afterwards in Fisher Gate, was buried here in 1525 "nyghe unto his owne seate," and in 1481 Hugh Cooke desired to be buried before the "image of B. V. M. of Pity (de pietate)," which there can be very little doubt, stood in this chapel in the normal position on the north side of the altar. Brian Clapham, in 1504, was also buried before the image of St. Mary of Pity, and that this figure was in the Lady Chapel, seems to be implied by the fact that Robert Tolle, in 1512, made a bequest of 10s. for its repair, and also gave the reversion of one acre of land "to the Chantry of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary Nottm.

The Chantry of St. James.

Nothing is known of this chantry, and no corroboration of Thoroton's statement as to its existence has been found. The position of the altar is discussed in connection with the building outside the north door of the church.

The Chantry of St. Laurence, or Amyas Chantry.

This chantry was founded by William de Amyas, four times Mayor of Nottingham. Licence for its foundation was obtained in 1324; a further licence was granted in 1341, and the founder's charter was dated 27th April, 1339. The altar of St. Laurence was in the southern part of the south transept.

The Samon Chantry at the Altar of St. Laurence.

This chantry was founded by John Samon, who, in 1416, left 200 marks for two chaplains to celebrate for his soul, his parents, and benefactors, in "the chapel of St. Mary's Church on the south side," his son Richard Samon, in 1457, left a further sum of 100 marks to sustain the fees of the chaplain celebrating yearly for his soul "in the chapel of St. Laurence," and also an annual rent of 20s. out of his rents in Gotham, to keep his anniversary, and that of his parents and wives. These bequests, so far as is known, constituted the endowment of the chantry.

It may here be mentioned, that John Samon also gave a yearly rent of 6s. 8d., issuing out of a tenement in "Brydilsmith-gate," next to a lane leading to St. Peter's Church, to sustain a lamp burning in this chapel. The position of the altar of St. Laurence, at which the services of the chantry were celebrated, is mentioned above. The chantry was valued for the Aid of 1503-47 at £4 : 5s. : 7d., but it had ceased to exist at the time of the suppression of the chantries.

The Gild and Chapel of St. Katherine.

This gild was connected with the Tanner's Company; who had their Guild Hall in the Narrow Marsh ; it therefore seems probable, that it was founded by someone connected with such Company.

According to a deposition in Queen Elizabeth's time,8 there was at Nottingham, in St. Mary's Church "one little chapel called St. Catherine's chapel where there was a chantry priest maintained by the guild and brotherhood of St. Catherine, who did yearly sing mass there for the same Guild, and did also yearly fifteen days at Martinmass sing there solemn mass by note, beginning at four o'clock in the morning, and so continued until St. Catherine's Day, at which Day it was most solemnly kept of all. There did belong to that Guild divers lands and tenements, whereof the Wardens of the Tanners for the time being had the disposition, and did pay the Chantry or Stipendiary priest his yearly wages, which were about six pounds; and with the overplus, and with that which came in yearly by the brotherhood, the Wardens did pay all the charges of these masses and chapel and of St. Catherine's Day, and did make their accompte to to the Alderman of the Guild or company." A number of testamentary references to the gild have been found, the earliest of which, curiously enough, is contained in the will of Thomas Thurland (1473-4), who was one of the founders of the Trinity Guild.

In 1482, John Herdy bequeathed a pall of gold cloth to the "Gild of St. Katherine the Virgin," and Richard Clogh, in 1499, and Hugh Dalderberr als. Smyth, in 1507, were buried in or near this chapel. The will of Thomas Warner (1505) contains numerous items of interest, several of which relate to St. Katherine for whom he seems to have had a special devotion. These are as follows:—(1.) A gift of the proceeds of the sale of his tenement in "Holleston," after the death of his daughter, to the "Gild of St. Katherine." (2.) A bequest to the "altar of St. Katherine" of one vestment, viz.:—chasuble, alb, and belongings. (3.) A bequest of £40 for the salary of two or four chaplains celebrating at "St. Katherine's altar," or elsewhere in St. Mary's Church, for four or two years, and (4.) A bequest of 6s. 8d. to the light burning before the image of St. Katherine.

It appears from the deposition above mentioned, that St. Catherine's altar was near the steeple door, "at the pillar where the desks do now stand. And the Choir did sing above in the loft where the little organs did stand, and on St. Catherine's Day at nine of the clock, all the Corporation of the Tanners did make their offering."

As this altar was against a pillar, the image of St. Katherine probably stood above the altar, instead of in the more usual position on the north side.

The gild was no longer in existence when the chantry certificates were taken.

Chantry outside North Door.

The building which, until the alterations of 1890, was outside the north door of the church, usually called the chantry door, was undoubtedly at one time used as a chantry chapel. The view in Thoroton's Antiquities of Notts. (1677), shows that it had windows on the north and west sides, but no door, so that it cannot have been used as an entrance to the church. This is confirmed by Stretton, who refers to this building as "St. Mary's Bone House," and goes on to say that it was "not so old as the church tho it must have been built soon after it, the stile being exactly corresponding with that of the church, it was most probably a private chapel or oratory—the present outward door was originally a window." It is clear that this building was the one referred to by Stretton, as in another place he mentions "the King and Queen's head on the Springers of the arch entering into the Bone house." There is nothing to show what was the dedication of this chapel; but inasmuch as the chantry of St. James mentioned by Thoroton was evidently not of any great importance, there being no testamentary proof of its existence, the probable conclusion is that this building was the chapel of that chantry.

(1) Page 491. (2) Thoroton Soc. Trans. Vol. XVIII., 109. (3) Vol. 1, 264. (4) Not "chapter" as given in Torre MSS. (5) Borough Records iii., 435. (6) In the will of John Yattes, Alderman (1539) referred to "our ladie quere " (7) Borough Records Vol. iii., 436. (8) See Cornelius Brown's History of Newark, Vol. 1., 241,