built; which estates were sold to Francis Maude, of Wakefield, esquire, and John Lee, of the same place,
gentleman, subject to the payment of the said sum of £1000; whereupon a subscription was entered into, and
very liberal donations made by the inhabitants of the said parish and others towards the erecting of such intended
At the time when the act referred to was obtained, it was confidently expected that the income arising from
pew-rents and other sources would yield so ample a provision to the minister of St. John's Church, as to prove
equivalent to that of the vicarage. The large expenditure, however, upon the church and parsonage not only
laid these sanguine expectations prostrate, but exhibited a very opposite result. Hence the petition referred to,
the object of which was to participate in the bounty of an individual who had reared his own imperishable
monument in Oxford;* and who has conferred honour upon the town of which he was a native. I may here
remark, that the prayer of the petition was liberally responded to by Dr. Radcliffe's trustees; and that to it the
incumbent of St. John's (who has no pew-rents) is indebted for a large proportion of his scanty revenues.
In speaking of the interior of the church, very few words may suffice. Though it cannot lay claim to any
great architectural beauty, still, upon the whole, it may be described as rather a tasteful edifice, the Corinthian
pillars and intervening arches, which support the ceiling, being extremely light and elegant. The massy
mahogany pulpit and reading-desk also, erected at a cost of £300, are generally much admired for the novelty
displayed in their construction, and the convenience of their arrangements. These stand in the middle aisle, and
command a full view of the whole congregation.
Within the eastern semicircular recess, appropriated to the communion-table, there are three paintings.
The centre composition represents the Crucifixion; the one to the left, the Agony in the Garden; and that to
the right, the Resurrection. The Crucifixion is decidedly the best picture, though they are all the works of the
same artist. In the window immediately above is exhibited a variety of small Scripture subjects in painted
glass, so grouped together as to form a cross. To the left, within a recess, is a whole-length figure, as large as
life, in good imitation of sculpture, having in one hand a rod, in the other the tables of stone. On the
opposite side, within a similar compartment, is another figure of equal dimensions, holding in one hand a book,
the other pointing toward heaven. These, I apprehend, are intended to represent Moses and one of the apostles,
and thereby to symbolise the two covenants, the Law and the Gospel.
Upon the walls are fixed many handsome sepulchral tablets, commemorative of those who sleep in the
vaulted cemetery beneath. There is, however, one wanting to the memory of a gentleman whose namef is
inseparably associated with St. John's, and to whose intelligence and enterprise the inhabitants of Wakefield are
indebted for a suburb such as few provincial towns can boast the possession of. To erect a suitable memorial
has long been in contemplation, but I believe it has been delayed through unavoidable circumstances.
The ground upon which the church stands is elevated, and commands, in a westerly direction, a varied and
extensive prospect. The view to which this description refers is taken from a field a little to the north-west of
St. John's; and the lights, as they are disposed in the drawing, maybe seen about 11 a.m., on any bright
* The RadclifFe Library. t John Lee, Esq,