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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Saturday 11th

11 February 1865

Monday 13th

13 February 1865
12 February 1865
Sunday 12th

The east wind invariably brings cold, dry weather, which to me is rather wholesome, though not comfortable to the feelings. To the City where I found after a little groping the Church of St Mary at Hill. The interior struck me with a most agreeable surprise as one of Sir Christopher’s best. In many respects it closely resembles St Stephens, Wallbrook. It is nearly square, with the ceiling supported by four columns, between which are graceful arches, and in the centre a circle formed by a dime, with light from the apex. The Columns have capitals not precisely of the established orders, but not inelegant, and the bases are out of sight. Only one gallery over the door. Much heavy carving in dark wood under the organ and around the pulpit and sounding board. There is a very heavy altar piece. The pews and panels of oak. On reference to the account of this church in Brayley, I find it described it as perfectly plain which is certainly not at present. Probably the ornamental work in the ceiling and cupola, as well as the wood work has been done of late. If so, it has only brought the beauty of Wren’s plan into full relief. The window not so numerous as usual, but this made up in size. The principal ones have been lately set with stained glass. On the whole I set this as among the very finest interiors in London, and as a model for worship difficult to surpass. Among other merits it was abundantly warmed. The effect of lightness arising form the absence of galleries impresses me more and more. Here is this fine Church, with its entrance made from the street through a narrow and dirty alley, and its worst exterior brought out upon the street in obedience to the rule of placing the altar to the east. The attendance small, and the services much as usual. After luncheon I had a visit from Mr Bentson—and then walked to the Westminster Palace Hotel to see General Barlow and Mr Bacon—but they were not at home. In the evening I read a little of Mr Mill who seems to me less and less philosophical as I proceed. Englishmen have no great gift at generalization. Mr Alward came in for an hour. He informed me that he was engaged to be married, whence I was the more surprised that he had accepted the present appointment.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA65d043