Tag Archives: St Katharine Cree

The execution of Archbishop William Laud (1645)

site-of-lauds-execution-tower-hill

On this day in 1645, Archbishop William Laud was executed on Tower Hill for high treason (see also December 18th posting).  After his execution, his headless body was temporarily buried in the church of All Hallows by the Tower before being moved to its final resting place in the chapel of St John’s College, Oxford (see also January 4th posting).

Laud had previously been made Bishop of London in 1628, and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, and become known for his “High Church” views, and his fierce opposition to and persecution of Puritans.

portrait-of-laud-church-of-st-katharine-cree

While Bishop of London, he had consecrated the newly-rebuilt church of St Katharine Cree in 1631 (see also September 30th posting).  He had also commissioned Inigo Jones to undertake restoration works on St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Katharine Cree

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

st-katharine-cree

The church of St Katharine Cree was originally built in the grounds of Holy Trinity Priory in  around 1280-1303, and rebuilt between  1500-4, in the Late Gothic style, and again between 1628-31, this time in the Renaissance  style.  It was undamaged by the Great Fire, although later requiring restoration  in 1878-79, and again, after being damaged in the Blitz, between 1956-62.

avenon-gate

The tower dates to 1500-4, the porch to 1628-31, and the gateway to the churchyard, on Mitre Street, by William Avenon, to 1631.

interior

The interior contains some Late Gothic elements, such as the east window, in the form of an elaborately stylised Katharine Wheel, and the intricately ribbed ceiling; and some Renaissance ones, such as the Corinthian columns in the nave.

throgmorton-memorial

It also contains monuments to Sir Nicholas Throkmorton (d. 1570) and Sir John Gayer (d. 1649), a marble font of around 1631, and a Father Smith  organ of 1686, once played by Handel and Purcell (as well as  some  memorial plaques and a reredos salvaged from St James Duke’s Place).

gayer-memorial

The church is the home of the “Lion Sermons”, given each year on or around  October 16th in remembrance of the aforementioned Merchant Adventurer of the Levant Company and former Mayor Sir John Gayer being spared by a lion in Syria on that day in 1643.

king-charles-saint-and-martyr

It has associations from that same Civil War period with the Royalist cause, and even contains a wooden statue of Charles I, depicted as a martyr and saint.

laud-portrait

Archbishop William Laud, who reconsecrated the church in 1631, was executed in 1645 for his support of  Charles, his High Church views, and his persecution of Puritans.

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).

City of London Buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1666

Of the 97 parish churches within the walls of the City of London at the time of the Great Fire of 1666, only 8 survived the fire,  and still survive, with at least some pre-fire structures standing above ground, namely, All Hallows Barking, All Hallows Staining, St Alphage, St Andrew Undershaft, St Ethelburga, St Helen, St Katharine Cree, and St Olave Hart Street (*).

tower-of-london

guildhall

Of the secular buildings, only the Tower of London and the Guildhall, and parts of the Merchant Taylors’ and Apothecaries’ Livery Company Halls, and of the “Olde Wine Shades” public house, still survive.

Most of the aforementioned buildings are visited on our “The Great Fire of London and its aftermath” themed special  walk.

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).

(*) A further 5 churches, namely All Hallows on the Wall, St James Duke’s Place, St Katherine Coleman, St Martin Outwich and St Peter-le-Poer, also survived  the fire but were either rebuilt or demolished afterwards.

And 84 were burnt down in the fire, of which 49 were rebuilt afterwards, and 35 were not.

St James Dukes Place

Another in the  occasional series on churches that survived the Great Fire of 1666 but were rebuilt or demolished subsequently …

Print of St James Dukes Place

Print of St James Dukes Place

St James Duke’s Place was originally built in 1622, on land that before the dissolution used to belong to Holy Trinity Priory.  It survived the Great Fire of 1666, but fell into disrepair and had to be rebuilt in 1727, only  to be demolished in 1874, when the parish was merged with St Katharine Cree.  Essentially nothing now remains of the church at its former site, other than the name, which lives on in that of St James’s Passage, and some parish boundary markers in Creechurch Lane and in St Katharine Cree churchyard in Mitre Street. Some memorial plaques salvaged from the church survive in St Katharine Cree.

 

St James Dukes Place plaque in St Katharine Cree

St James Dukes Place plaque in St Katharine Cree

St James Dukes Place parish boundary marker, St Katharine Cree churchyard

St James Dukes Place parish boundary marker, St Katharine Cree churchyard

Medieval London

Today I took Paul on the epic “Medieval London” special walk, through not only the City but also Spitalfields, Southwark, Smithfield, Clerkenwell, Holborn and Westminster.

As always, it was so good to see all the sites on one walk – even if it does make it a bit of a monster!

The Seven Surviving Medieval Churches in the City of London

All Surviving Medieval Churches in the City of London

The Surviving Medieval Churches

 

Top row, left to right: All Hallows Barking; All Hallows Staining; St Andrew Undershaft; St Ethelburga.

Bottom row, left to right: St Helen; St Katharine Cree; St Olave Hart Street.

The “Lion Sermon” and the Church of St Katharine Cree

Today (Thursday October 17th 2013) I attended the 371st annual “Lion Sermon” in the church of St Katharine Cree on  Leadenhall Street.    It was by Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty, and on the subject of, and I paraphrase,  “Freedom, and what it means in the metaphorical Lion’s Den of the modern world”.   Freedom, and the  Human Rights of Dignity, Equality and Fairness (“and the greatest of these is Equality”).  Admirable sentiments, especially resonant in a church that at the time of the Civil War in the 1640s stood for the supposed “divine” rights of the king over those of the commoner.
The sermons have been given in the church on  the nearest Thursday to 16th October every year since 1643, in remembrance of the Merchant Adventurer (of the Levant Company) and later Lord Mayor of London Sir John Gayer being spared by a lion in Syria on that day.
The church itself was originally built in the grounds of Holy Trinity Priory sometime before 1291 (being mentioned in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of Pope Nicholas IV), and possibly around 1280, and rebuilt between  1500-4, in the Late Gothic style, and again between 1628-31, this time in a style transitional between Late Gothic and Neo-ClassicalIt was undamaged by the Great Fire of 1666, although later required to be restored  in 1878-9, and again, after being damaged by bombing in the Blitz of the Second World War, in  1956-62.   The interior contains some Late Gothic elements, such as the east window, in the form of an elaborately stylised Katharine Wheel, and the intricately ribbed ceiling; and some Neo-Classical ones, such as the Corinthian columns in the nave.  It also contains monuments to Sir Nicholas Throkmorton (d. 1570) as well as to  Sir  John Gayer (d. 1649).  The church was  consecrated in 1631 by Archbishop Laud, who went on to be executed in 1645 for his close association with the then-king, Charles I, and for his persecution of Puritans. The Father Smith organ, once played by Purcell and Handel, dates to 1686.

Property Boundary Markers

I’ve had a number of questions about property boundary markers recently.
 
 
Most of those I’ve seen in and around the City of London have been parish boundary markers.  The most common types of these are brass plaques affixed to buildings, typically a little above head height – here are some examples:
 
St Katherine Cree
St Lawrence Jewry

St Mary Le Strand
St Stephen Coleman Street
St Clement Danes
 
(The anchor on the St Clement Danes plaque, the Katharine Wheel on the St Katharine Cree one, and the gridiron on the St Lawrence Jewry one, allude to the respective methods by which the nominate saints were martyred; the encircled cockerel on the St Stephen Coleman Street plaque, alludes  to the “La Cokke on the Hoop” brewery that stood on Coleman Street in the fifteenth century). 
 
 
 
At least one that I’m familiar with, though, is in the form of a carved inscription more or less at street level 
Christ Church (and St Sepulchre)
And another is reminiscent of a milestone.
St Clement Danes and St Dunstan in the West
 
 
Brass shields bearing coats-of-arms also mark the boundaries of the properties of the livery companies. 
Armorers’ and Brasiers’ Company
 
Readers interested in further information are referred to the following web-site: