Tag Archives: John Stow

St Andrew Undershaft

Another in the  series on City of London buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1666, and that still survive to this day …

st-andrew-undershaft-with-the-gherkin-in-the-background

door

The church of St Andrew Undershaft was originally  built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, in around 1520-32.  It was undamaged in the Great Fire, although the seventeenth-century stained-glass windows were destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992.

general-view-of-interior

stow-memorial-1695

The artist Hans Holbein was a parishioner here.  Among the many memorials inside is   one to the Merchant Taylor and amateur antiquarian John Stow (d. 1605), the author of “A Survay of London” (the famous last  words of which were “And so I end, wanting time to travel further in this work”).

changing-of-the-quill

Stow appears  with a quill-pen in his hand.  Every third year, on or around the anniversary of his death on April 5th, as part of a special service in his memory, he   is ceremonially presented  with a new quill (and his old one is given to the  winner of an essay competition for local children, with London as its subject).

The church   is visited on various of our walks.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, or by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com).

St Andrew Undershaft, John Stow and “The Changing of the Quill”

The church of St Andrew Undershaft was originally  built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, in around 1520-32.  It was undamaged both in the Great Fire of 1666 and in the Blitz of 1940-41, although the seventeenth-century stained-glass windows were destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992.  The artist Hans Holbein was a parishioner here.

Among the many memorials inside is one to the Merchant Taylor and amateur antiquarian John Stow (d. 1605), the author of “A Survay of London” (the famous last  words of which were “And so I end, wanting time to travel further in this work”).  Stow appears with a quill-pen in his hand.  Every third year, on or around the anniversary of his death on April 5th, as part of a special service in his memory, he is ceremonially presented  with a new quill (and his old one is given to the  winner of an essay competition for local children, with London as its subject).

The church  is visited, although not entered,  on our “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and Beyond” and  “London Wall” standard walks, and on our “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights” and “Lost City Highlights” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available via the “Our Guided Walks” section of the web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

Theft of the Queen’s Chamber-Pot (John Stow, 1564)

Another in the occasional series on contemporary events in the history of London, this one written by John Stow in 1564 …

“On the xxvi day of September in anno 1564, … ware arrayned at ye Guildhall of London iiii personas … for ye stelynge and receyvynge of ye queens lypott [chamber pot], combe, and lokynge glasse, with a bodkin of gold to brayd hir heare, and suche  othar small ware out of hir chambar in her progresse.  And on … ye xxviii day of September, ii of them …  were bothe hangyd before ye Cowrte gate … .”.

7 - Stow seems happy with his new quill

The church of St Andrew Undershaft, where Stow is buried, is visited on various of our “London Wall” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights”, “Tudor and Stuart London”, “Tudor and Stuart City Highlights”, “The Great Fire of London” and “Lost City Highlights” themed specials.

A list of some important trials held in the Guildhall

The Guildhall, where the arraignment took place, is visited on our “Tower to Temple” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights”, The Great Fire of London” and “Lost City Highlights” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

The Battle of Flodden Field, and the bizarre tale of the King’s Head

James IV

James IV

September 9th –  Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Flodden Field, one of the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, between the English and the Scots, which took place in 1513.

According to John Stow, in his “Survay of London written in the Year 1598(* see below for the relevant extract), sometime after the battle, the decapitated head of the defeated Scottish King, James IV, ended up being buried in  the church of St Michael, Wood Street, just off Cheapside.

The church was later  burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, rebuilt  by Christopher Wren between 1670-75, and modified  in 1887-88, only to be demolished in 1897. Nothing remains of it at its former site, now occupied by the “Red Herring” public house.

St Michael Wood Street (as rebuilt by Wren post-fire)

St Michael Wood Street (as rebuilt by Wren post-fire)

(*) The relevant part of the text reads more-or-less in full as follows:

“There is …  , … without any outward monument, the head of James, the fourth king of Scots of that name, slain at Flodden field, 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 of his head; and Lancelot Young, master glazier to her majesty [Elizabeth I], … 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 of that church to bury it amongst other bones … “.

The site of St Michael Wood Street  is visited on our “Lost Wren Churches of London” themed special.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

St Andrew Undershaft, John Stow and “The Changing of the Quill”

St Andrew Undershaft with the Gherkin in the background

St Andrew Undershaft with the Gherkin in the background

The church of St Andrew Undershaft was originally  built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, in around 1520-32.  It was undamaged both in the Great Fire of 1666 and in the Blitz of 1940-41, although the seventeenth-century stained-glass windows were destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992.  The artist Hans Holbein was a parishioner here.

Among the many memorials inside is one to the Merchant Taylor and amateur antiquarian John Stow (d. 1605), the author of “A Survay of London” (the famous last  words of which were “And so I end, wanting time to travel further in this work”).

Stow appears with a quill-pen in his hand.  Every third year, on or around the anniversary of his death on April 5th, as part of a special service in his memory, he is ceremonially presented  with a new quill (and his old one is given to the  winner of an essay competition for local children, with London as its subject).

The most recent service took place last year at noon on 2nd April 2014, presided over by the Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf.

The Changing of the Quill

The Changing of the Quill

Stow seems happy with his new quill

Stow seems happy with his new quill

Here are a few other pictures of the Church (you can click any image to see the full size photograph).

The church  is visited, although not entered,  on our “Aldgate, Bishopsgate and Beyond” and  “London Wall” standard walks, and on our “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights” and “Lost City Highlights” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available via the “Guided Walks” section of the web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

This blog posting forms part of my occasional series on all the City of London churches with surviving Medieval features. You can find the other blog postings in the series by clicking on the links below:

All Hallows by the Tower      All Hallows Staining     St Ethelburga

St Helen        St Katharine Cree    St Olave

St Michael Wood Street

Lost Wren ChurchesAnother in the  occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Michael Wood Street was originally built around 1170.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1670-5, and further modified, unsympathetically,  in 1887-8, only to be demolished in 1897, when the parish was merged with St Alban Wood Street.  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.

Sometime after the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, one of the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, between the Engish and the Scots, the decapitated head of he defeated Scottish King, James IV, came to be buried here.  According to Stow:

“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”.

Site of St Michael Wood Street

Site of St Michael Wood Street

The site of the church is visited on our “Lost Wren churches” themed special.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

The death of Henry VIII – and Whitehall Palace

Close-up of the Banqueting House ceiling by Rubens

Close-up of the Banqueting House ceiling by Rubens

January 28th –  On this day in 1547, Henry VIII “dyed at hys most princely howse at Westminster, comenly called Yorkeplace or Whytehall”  (Stow).

The house, or rather palace, was originally  built for the  Archbishops of York in the thirteenth century, circa 1240, when it was known as York Place.  It was acquired by Henry VIII from the then Archbishop of York, Cardinal Wolsey, in 1529 (see also Whitehall Palace posting here).  This was  not long after a fire had rendered parts of the nearby Old Palace of Westminster unusable, in 1512  (see also Westminster Hall posting).

The Banqueting House

The Banqueting House

 General view of the Banqueting House interior - from the entrance

General view of the Banqueting House interior – from the entrance

Under Henry,  the palace was  renamed Whitehall, and the populace was reminded “You must no more call it York Place: that is past; For since the Cardinal fell that title’s lost.  ‘Tis now the King’s, and called Whitehall” (Shakespeare,  “King Henry the Eighth”).

The palace was extended both by Henry and by James I.  It  was undamaged in the Great Fire of 1666, but substantially burnt down in another fire in 1698.  Essentially only the Banqueting House, designed by the Neo-Classical or Palladian architect Inigo Jones in 1622, and notable as the first Renaissance building in London, with a ceiling by Rubens, still stands (together with: “Henry VIII’s wine cellar” in the nearby Ministry of Defence building in Horse Guards’ Avenue; the site of his tilt-yard in Horse Guards’ Parade; part of his real tennis court in the Cabinet Office building at No. 70 Whitehall; and “Queen Mary’s Stairs”, built in 1691, on the Embankment).

General view of the Banqueting House interior - looking back towards the entrance

General view of the Banqueting House interior – looking back towards the entrance

Charles I was executed outside the Banqueting House in 1649 (see also here).  The Holbein Gate, built in 1532 and notable as the probable place of the clandestine marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in 1533, survived both fires (i.e., 1666 and 1698), but was demolished in 1759.

The site is visited on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart  London” and “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of the web-site. Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” page, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

(All photographs included in this blog taken by Bob Jones)

Close-up of the Banqueting House ceiling by Rubens

Close-up of the Banqueting House ceiling by Rubens