St Mildred Poultry

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Mildred Poultry (“25” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the twelfth century, the earliest record of it dating to 1175, and possibly even in the Saxon period, bearing in mind that Mildred, the daughter of one saint, the sister of two, and one herself, was born  in Mercia, in 694.  According to Stow, the church was “new builded … in the yeare 1457”. Thomas Tusser, the author of a book entitled “Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry“, was buried there in 1580, after having died in the nearby Poultry Compter, where he had been imprisoned for debt. His epitaph read, in part: “Here Thomas Tusser clad in earth doth lie,|That sometimes made the points of husbandry”.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and subsequently rebuilt by Wren in 1671-4.  It was demolished     in 1872, when the former parish was united with that of St Olave Jewry.

It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1860 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the  former site of the church. The weather-vane in the shape of a ship salvaged from the church survives, on top of St Olave Jewry. 

St Mildred Bread Street

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Mildred Bread Street (not shown  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the thirteenth century, and was recorded as “S. Mildreda in Bredstret” in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of 1291. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow recorded a number of unusually high number of early burials in the church, including those of “Lord Trenchant of St. Albans, knight, who was supposed to be either the new builder of this church, or best benefactor to the works thereof, about the year 1300”, “William Palmer, blader, a great benefactor also, 1356”, “John Shadworth, mayor, 1401, … [whose] … memorial is pulled down”, and “Stephen Bugg, gentleman: his arms be three water-bugs, 1413”. Notable later burials included those of “William Hurstwright, pewterer to the king, 1526”, “Christopher Turner, chirurgeon to King Henry VIII., 1539”, and “Ambrose Nicholas, salter, mayor 1575, … buried in John Shadworth’s vault”.

The church was severely damaged  in the Great Fire of 1666, although many of its treasures, including two silver Communion flagons presented by Sir Nicholas Crisp, an ardent supporter of Charles I, were able to be carried to safety – for a fee. It was subsequently rebuilt, using some of the surviving structure, by Wren in 1681-7.  Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin were married there in 1816.  The church was  substantially destroyed during an air raid, and subsequently demolished, in 1941. 

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It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the four lost during the Second World War.

Only a parish boundary marker  survives at its former site  (actually, on Cannon Street).  Some interior fittings   salvaged from the church still survive, in St Anne and St Agnes. 

St Michael Wood Street

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael Wood Street (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the twelfth century, the first record of it dating to the reign of Richard I (1189-99).   It was later recorded as “S. Michalis de Hoygenelan” in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of 1291. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow described the church as “a proper thing, and lately well repaired”. He also noted a number of important burials there, including, bizarrely, “without any outward monument, the head of James the fourth king of Scots of that name, slain at Flodden field [in 1513], and buried here by this occasion:  After the battle the body of the said king being found was enclosed in lead, and conveyed to the monastery of Shene in Surrey.  Since the which time, workmen there, for their foolish pleasure, hewed off his head; and Lancelot Young, master glazier to his majesty, seeing the same dried from all moisture, and yet the form remaining, with the hair of the head and beard red, brought it to London to his house in Wood Street, where for a time he kept it, but in the end caused the sexton to bury it among other bones”.

The church was badly damaged in the Great Fire of 1666, although the walls remained standing, and services were able to continue for a while under a makeshift roof.

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It was eventually rebuilt by Wren in 1670-5, and further modified in 1887-8, only to be demolished     in 1897, when the parish was merged with St Alban Wood Street. 

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It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1860 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

Essentially nothing now remains of the church on its former site, although salvaged paintings of Moses and Aaron  survive in St Anne and St Agnes.  

St Michael Paternoster Royal

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Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Street (reversed “3”  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built in around 1219, and subsequently rebuilt in 1409.  In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow described it as a “fair parish church … new built, … by Richard Whittington, mercer, four times mayor”, alongside “a college of St. Spirit and St. Mary … for a master, four fellows, masters of art, clerks, conducts, chorists &c., and an almshouse called God’s House, or hospital, for thirteen poor men”. He also noted that “[t]his Richard Whittington was in this church three times buried: first by his executors under a fair monument [in 1423]; then in the reign of Edward VI. [1547-53], the parson … , thinking some great riches … to be buried with him, caused his monument to be broken, his body to be spoiled of his leaden sheet, and again a second time to be buried; and in the reign of Queen Mary [1553-58] the parishioners were forced to take him up, to lap him in lead as afore, to bury him the third time, and to place his monument … over him again, which remaineth, and so he resteth”. Other noteworthy burials included those of “Sir Heere Tanke, or Hartancleux, knight of the garter, born in Alemayne, a noble warrior in Henry V. and Henry VI. days [1413-22 and 1422-71, respectively]”, and “Sir John Yong, grocer, mayor 1466”.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt again by Wren between 1686-94.  It was modified in the eighteenth century,  when the steeple was added, and again in the nineteenth, damaged  by bombing in 1944, and repaired in 1966-68.   

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Many  of the interior  fittings were salvaged from All Hallows the Great, including the statues of Moses and Aaron flanking the reredos, the carved figure of Charity on the lectern, and the brass chandelier.  

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The stained-glass window in the south-west of the nave depicts Dick Whittington and his cat, and the streets of London paved with gold.

St Michael le Querne

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael-le-Querne, also known as St Michael at Corn (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was probably originally built in the twelfth century, the first record of it dating to 1181. It was subsequently rebuilt in the fourteenth century, in the reign of Edward III, between 1327-77, and again in the fifteenth, in 1430 (and repaired in the seventeenth, in 1617). In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow referred to it as “St. Michael ad Bladum, or at the corn (corruptly at the querne), so called, because in place thereof was sometime a corn-market, stretching by west to the Shambles”. He also noted that “at the east end of the church stood a cross, called the old cross in West Cheap, which was taken down in the year 1390; since the which time … , in place of the old cross, is now a water-conduit placed … called the little conduit in West Cheap by Paul’s Gate”. John Leland, “The Father of English antiquaries”, was buried in the church in 1552.

The church was burned down   in the Great Fire of 1666 and never rebuilt, the former parish uniting with that of St Vedast-alias-Foster. The former parishioners continued to worship within the walls of the church of St Michael until St Vedast was rebuilt.

Essentially only a parish boundary marker  survives, on the wall of the Choir School in New Change.  

St Michael Queenhithe

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael  Queenhithe (“6”  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London), also known as St Michael Thames Street, was originally built in the twelfth century.  It was recorded as “S. Michalis ad Ripam” – meaning, “on the river” – in Pope NIcholas IV’s “Taxatio Eccesiastica” of 1291. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow described it as a “convenient church”. He also noted that “all the monuments therein are defaced”. These included that of “Stephen Spillman, gentleman, of that family in Norfolk, sometime mercer, chamberlain of London, then one of the sheriffs, and alderman in the year 1404, deceasing without issue”, who “amongst others … founded a chantry, and was buried in the choir”, and “Richard Gray, ironmonger, one of the sheriffs 1515”. In 1642, at the outbreak of the Civil War, the rector, John Hill, was ejected from his post for his support of the Royalist cause (London was a Parliamentarian city).

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and subsequently rebuilt by Wren in 1676-86, only to be demolished     in 1876, when the parish was merged with St James Garlickhythe. 

It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1860 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

Essentially nothing now remains of it  on its former site, although there  is a parish boundary marker in  Little Trinity Lane.  The salvaged font survives, in the church of St Michael in Camden Town, the choir stalls and pulpit in St James Garlickhythe, and the weather-vane in the shape of a ship on top of St Nicholas Cole Abbey. 

St Michael Crooked Lane

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael Crooked Lane, also known as St Michael Candlewick Street (reversed “K”  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the thirteenth century, the first written record of it being from around 1270, and subsequently substantially rebuilt and enlarged in the fourteenth, in part by the sometime mayors John Lofkin and William Walworth. It was one of thirteen churches in London in the Middle Ages known as “peculiars”. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow described it as a “fair church”, although “sometime but a small and homely thing”. He also recorded a number of important memorials in the church, including those of the aforementioned Lofkin and Walworth, which latter died in 1385. Lofkin’s tomb bore the inscription: “Worthy John Lovekin, Stock-Fishmonger|Of London, here is leyd,|Four times of this City Lord Maior hee|Was “|if Truth be seyd”. Walworth’s: “Here lieth entombed in a Chappell of his own foundation, Sir William Walworth, Knight, Lord Maior of London, whose manfull prowesse against the Arch-Rebel Wat Tyler and his conferederates [in the so-called “Peasants’ Revolt” if 1381] is much commended”.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren, or Hooke,  in 1684-98, only to be demolished     in 1831, to allow for widening of the approach to the rebuilt  London Bridge, when the former parish was united with that of St Magnus the Martyr. 

It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches.

Essentially nothing now remains of it  on its former site, although there  is a parish boundary marker on the tower of St Magnus the Martyr.  The so-called “Falstaff” Cup of 1590 was salvaged from St Michael’s, and still survives, in the Treasury of St Paul’s.  According to legend, this is the cup on which, in the “Boar’s Head” Tavern (where St Michael’s held its vestry meetings), Sir John Falstaff swore to wed Mistress Quickly.  The inscription on one of the graves in the churchyard  was immortalised  by the antiquarian John Weever in a book of 1631.  It reads, most  succinctly:  “Here lyeth, wrapt in clay|The body of William Wray|I have no more to say”. 

St Michael Cornhill

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Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael Cornhill (“27”  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the Norman period, the earliest written reference to it dating to 1133, and possibly as long ago as the Saxon period. It was subsequently rebuilt, in the Gothic style, probably in the fourteenth century, and the tower was rebuilt in the fifteenth, and furnished with six bells, one of which came to be nick-named “Rus”, after William Rus, an alderman and a great benefactor of the church. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow, who was a parishioner of the church, described it as “fair and beautiful, … but of late years, since the surrender … to Edward VI., greatly blemished”. He also recorded a number of important burials in the interior, including those of “Robert Drope, mayor [in 1474]”, and “Robert Fabian, alderman, that wrote … a Chronicle of England … [published in 1516, after his death]”, whose monument was missing. During the Civil War in the middle of the seventeenth century, the Rector, William Brough, was “sequestered” for his Royalist views.

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The church burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and was rebuilt by Wren’s office  between 1669-72, probably incorporating  parts of the Medieval Gothic building that were still standing after the fire. It was then rebuilt again, in the Gothic style,  by Hawksmoor in 1715-24, modified by Sir George Gilbert Scott, in the Victorian Gothic style, in 1857-60, and repaired after having been  damaged  by an IRA bomb in 1993.  Some pre-Great Fire memorials survive in the interior, including those to John Vernon (d. 1615) and William Cowper (d. 1664).  The octagonal font dates to 1672, and the Renatus Harris organ to 1684. 

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St Michael Bassishaw

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Michael Bassishaw (“22” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as 1141. It was referred to in Pope NIcholas IV’s “Taxatio Eccelasiastica” of 1291 as “S Michalis de Basingshawe“, from its proximity to Basing’s Hall, the great house of the prominent Basing family (it is recorded that, in 1246, Henry III confirmed the advowson to one Adam de Basing). In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow describes it as “a proper church lately re-edified or new built”, at the expense of John Barton, mercer, and Agnes his wife, “great benefactors, as appeareth by his mark placed throughout the … church”. John Barton died in 1460, and was buried in the choir of the church, with this epitaph: “John Barton lyeth vnder here.|Sometimes of London, citizen and mercere,|And Ienet his wife, with their progenie,|Beene turned to earth, as ye may see.|Friends free what so ye bee,|Pray for vs we you pray,|As you see vs in this degree.|So shall you be another day”. A number of other notable memorials were also noted by Stow, including those of “James Yarford, mercer, mayor, deceased 1526, buried … with his lady in a special chapel by him built on the north side of the choir”, and “John Gresham, mercer, mayor, deceased 1554”. In the “Plague Year” of 1665, the Rector, Francis Hall, a Chaplain to Charles II, fled London for the country, and only returned to claim his dues when the tithe was inaugurated in 1670, much to the disgust of the parishioners. His replacement, a priest named Philips, died of the plague in September 1665, together with his wife and three children.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and subsequently rebuilt by Wren in 1676-9. It eventually fell into disrepair, and was  declared an unsafe structure in 1892, and demolished     in 1900, when the parish was merged with St Lawrence Jewry. 

It is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1880 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

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A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the  former site of the church.   The weather-vane salvaged from the church still survives, atop St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe. 

St Mary Magdalene Old Fish Street

Another in the series on historic churches in the City of London …

By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of  the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to  Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113. 

St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street (“13”  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the late twelfth century, the oldest written record of it being from 1181, in which year “Ralph de Diceto, Dean, was in possession, but a certain ‘Richard’, a perpertual vicar, had the cure”. It was recorded as “S. Mary Magdalene in Piscaria” in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of 1291 (and as “S. Marie Magdalene in veteri piscaria” in Henry VIII’s “Valor Ecclesiasticus” of 1534). John Carpenter was rector of the church in 1436-8. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, John Stow described it as “a small church, having but few monuments”. John Evelyn noted in his diary that on Easter Day 1653, “a Scotchman” preached on the Gospel, and conducted an illicit communion.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and subsequently rebuilt by Wren in 1683-7. It was substantially destroyed by another fire in 1886, and demolished in 1893, when the parish was merged with St Martin Ludgate. 

It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1880 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

Essentially nothing now remains of it  at its former site.   The salvaged font survives in All Hallows-on-the-Wall. Some salvaged interior fittings survive in St Martin Ludgate, including a plaque of 1586 honouring a benefactor, Thomas Berrie, and bearing the following inscription: “How small soever the gifte shall be,|Thanke God for him who gives it thee.|xii penie loves to xii poor foulkes|Geve everie sabothe day for aye”.