THE FONT.—The Font has a history of great interest. A brass plate on an adjacent pillar records that "This font was demolished by the rebels, May 9th, 1646, and re-built by the charity of Nicholas Ridley, 1660." The lower parts of the stem belonged to the original font, while the upper part and bowl are the portions added by Master Eidley. As each sculptor worked in the style of his own time, we have the somewhat grotesque anomaly of the heads and shoulders of men of Charles II.'s reign, with love-locks, moustaches and "imperials" grafted on to the lower halves of mediaeval saints in flowing drapery! The inscription round the plinth is iu fanciful letters formed of grotesque animals and ribbon work, very uncommon for its period, and reads: "Carne rei nati, sunt hoc Deo fonte renati."—

" In the flesh guilty born, In this Font to God re-born."

The font cover was designed by E. P. Warren, and carved by Lawrence A. Turner, both of London, in 1891, and was paid for out of Brown's endowment, before mentioned.

Monuments in south transept.
Monuments in south transept.

MONUMENTS.—The church contains no recumbent effigies, rich though Nottinghamshire churches usually are in this class of monument. The altar tomb with a Purbeck marble slab at the east end of the chancel is to Eobert Brown, who was Receiver for Cardinal Wolsey, besides being Constable of the Castle, Sheriff of the County, Custus Eotulorum for Nottinghamshire, and the Parts of Kesteven, and a man of great wealth and influence. He died in 1532. His bequest it is which helps to up-keep and beautify the noble fane in which his body reposes.

In the north chancel aisle is a tablet with demi-effigy to John Jonson, "twice Maior of the loyall and unanimous Corporation of Newark," who died 1659. The quaint rhyming epitaph should be read. Two similar monuments are in the western angles of the choir, to Thomas Atkinson (1561) and Robert Ramsey (1639) respectively. All these three tablets have had their accumulated coats of colour-wash removed in recent years, and their original tinctures (traces of which were found beneath) restored; a most commendable work. Robert Ramsey is in a slashed doublet showing his cambric shirt beneath, in the fashion of the cavaliers of his time. Legend says he was killed by lightning, and the visitor should not fail to read his epitaph, a beautiful example of seventeenth century verse. In the south aisle of the chancel is a monument to Hercules Clay, who died in the year of his mayoralty, while the town was besieged in 1644. He left a well-known charity to the poor of the town, and money for a sermon still annually preached. The tablet has a long and punning epitaph in Latin.

BRASSES.—If deficient in effigies the church is redeemed monumentally by the interest of its brasses. The largest of these, the Fleming brass, is known throughout the country as one of the finest examples of its class. It is one of the four largest in England, two of the others being at King's Lynn, and the third at St. Alban's Abbey. These are of Flemish workmanship, and probably all by the same engraver. The Newark example measures 9 feet 4 inches by 5 feet 7 inches, and consists of sixteen separate plates of metal. It commemorates Alan Fleming, who died in 1361. Fleming is represented in the civilian costume of his time, the hands clasped in prayer and holding a scroll inscribed, "Misere mei Domine Deus meus"—(Pity me, O Lord my God!). The figure is beneath a triple canopy of tabernacle work, the background richly diapered and flanked by the columns supporting the canopy, each column having a series of canopied niches filled with minor figures, as is the manner with these Flemish brasses. The brass was formerly on the floor of the south transept, but is now fixed to the wall there, the better to preserve it.

For the same reason the Phyllypot brass (1557), also formerly in this transept, has been removed, but unfortunately has been taken to the west end of the north aisle, where it can be seen fixed to a tablet on the wall. The inscription belonging to it, however, remains in the transept, where it has been fastened on one of the floor slabs. It is in English and is a fine specimen of deeply-cut lettering.

Another brass, of an unknown person in the civilian costume of the first half of the sixteenth century, is on the floor of the north transept. It is a small brass in excellent condition, but has lost its original slab and inscription.

In the north chancel aisle are two large slabs shewing casements of brasses now lost, though the inscriptions remain. One to John Burton, vicar, who died in 1475, has been very large and ornate, with canopy, &c. The other, also a large one, appears to have been to Robert Whitecombe, merchant of the staple of Calais, who died in 1447.

LIBRARY.—In the room over the south porch is a library of books, bequeathed by Bishop White, of Peterborough, one of the seven bishops sent to the Tower by James II. in 1688. There are about 1,200 volumes, among them a Sarum Missal, printed by Pynson in 1520; but not many other rarities, several of the most valuable having disappeared since a catalogue of the library was published in 1854.

COLOURS.—The colours hanging over the south door were given by the ladies of the town to the first Newark Volunteers, at the time of the Napoleonic wars.

CHANCEL GATES.—The wrought iron chancel gates, &c., were fixed in 1887.

PICTURE.—The picture over the north door was painted by William Hilton, R.A., and presented to the church by him in memory of his father, a native of the town. It represents the Raising of Lazarus, and served as the altar-piece before the present reredos was built. A reproduction of this picture in stone forma one of the panels on the artist's tomb in Lincoln Cathedral.

BELLS.—The bells, ten in number, were re-cast by Taylor & Son, of Loughborough, in 1842.

PLATE.—The church plate, though of many pieces and valuable, contains only one of the seventeenth century— a chalice of 1641, from which probably King Charles I. has communicated, during his various visits to the town. The rest of the early plate was melted down by the loyal burgesses at the time of the siege, to be minted into the well-known "siege pieces" to supply money for the royal cause. Of the present plate, two large tankard-shaped flagons, four tankards, an alms dish of 100 ounces, two chalices, and two patens were bought in 1705 by a bequest of £200 from Lady Frances Leake, and a massive pair of silver altar candlesticks were added in 1711. Several other pieces were given by various donors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the treasure, though still far short of what it must have been in pre-Reformation days, now reaches a total of some 750 ounces.

PARISH REGISTERS.—The registers begin in 1600, and are in good condition. The entries of all marriages from 1600 to 1837 have been transcribed, and printed in Phillimore's Marriage Register series (Notts, vols. IV. and XV.).

Boat, with figures on a buttress gable.
Boat, with figures on a buttress gable.

QUAINT FEATURES.—As in most old churches, there are several quaint conceits and grotesque devices. The annexed illustration of a boat, with figures, is carved on the southern buttress outside the east end of the Chancel. Inside the Church a fine specimen of the two-horned head-dress of the fifteenth century is shown on a woman's head on a corbel above the arch of the north chancel aisle. A hood-mould terminal at the west end of the north arcade of the chancel is a feathered angel, holding a lantern Supporting a bracket on the pillar at the east end of the north aisle of the nave, is the figure of King Saul in the act of falling upon his sword-blade. Built into the wall at the west end of the same aisle is a corbel consisting of three faces conjoined on one head. This grotesque and scarcely reverent representation of the Trinity was removed hither at the Restoration of 1854 from its place in the south transept, which was formerly the chapel of the Holy Trinity Guild.

Nave and screen before restoration.
Nave and screen before restoration.

RESTORATION.—The church was thoroughly restored in a most substantial manner in 1853-5, Sir Gilbert Scott being architect. The nave and transepts were encumbered with enormous galleries, and the floors were filled with box pews with sides, in some cases six feet high, so that all the beauty of the architecture was lost and hidden. These were all cleared away, and the existing massive oak benches substituted. The lovely chancel screen, which was covered with successive coats of paint, was cleaned and repaired, and the whole interior restored from ugliness to beauty. The contractor's tender was £4,000.

In taking a final look at this magnificent church, it may be well to draw the visitor's attention to the fact that it owes its grandeur and beauty, not to the munificence of some ambitious prelate or wealthy noble, nor to grants of lands or endowments from confiscating monarchs or plundering barons, as is so often now-a-days asserted by the Church's enemies, but to the constant benefactions of the townsmen themselves throughout twenty generations, from the issue of Archbishop Grenefield's licence in 1313. in which it is stated that the proposed re-building is to be done by the parishioners, down to the altar furniture and stained windows which are still being constantly added. After nearly six hundred years, we know from documentary evidences, from the episcopal registers, from the wills at York, from recorded history, and from dedicatory inscriptions, that the church and its beauty are the product of the continual gifts, bequests and labour of merchants, tradesmen, and private individuals of the middle classes. In some churches the circumstances may have been different, or the evidences may have been lost, but at Newark, with its unrivalled records, the case is provable up to the hilt.

THE CHANTRIES.—No better evidence can we have of the above fact than the large number of private chantries which were founded here in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. We have the names of sixteen separate altars which existed in this church, and we have records and allusions to at least twenty-one chantries, of which fourteen were still in existence at the time of their dissolution by Henry VIII., every one, remember, the private foundation of a different townsman. Their priests lived in common in the Chantry House, built for their accommodation in Appleton Gate by Dame Alice Fleming, widow of the merchant whose brass we have seen in the south transept, and the site of which is now occupied by the fine Queen Anne mansion known by the same name. To illustrate the unusual number of these foundations, the wealth that they bespeak, and the influence they had on the structure of the fabric, we cannot do better than conclude with the words of the Rev. J. F. Dimock:* "This number of chantries in a parish church, founded as they would be, and all were, by inhabitants of the place, strikes me as very remarkable. Compare similar churches in two or three other important towns. At the time of the compilation of the Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535), there was one chantry at St. Mary's, Nottingham, none in either of the other churches; at Mansfield† there was but one, and this, by the bye, founded by a Newark man; at Louth but one; at Coventry St. Michael's four, at Trinity church three; at Grantham, however, there were eight; while at Boston—a town in the middle ages of far more relative importance than at present—but twelve chantry priests are recorded. We might, I believe, search all England through, and should find few indeed, if any, parish churches which could boast such an array of chantries as Newark possessed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. And this appears to afford a convincing proof not only of the wealth, but of the piety and devotion of its citizens at that period . . . . But my main reason for mentioning these chantries is the relation which they bear to the fabric of the church. The number of priests daily officiating, the number of altars which were required, demanded a large space: a large number of chantries would, in fact, render a large church indispensable: and the same wealth and piety and zeal which led to these foundations, led also, as a matter of course, to the long-drawn aisles and spacious transepts, the almost cathedral-like proportions of the magnificent church, which no longer indeed resounds with requiems for the dead, but where the living, we will hope, still worship God no less earnestly . . . . than their fathers before them."

* "Documentary History of Newark Church." Arch. Soc. Reports, 1856.
† Mansfield Woodhouse.