St Gregory by St Paul's - The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks

St Gregory by St Paul's

• St Gregory's by St Paul's was a parish church in the Castle Baynard ward of the City of London. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and not rebuilt.

• The church stood in the south-west angle of St Paul's Cathedral, adjoining the Lollards' Tower, its northern wall touching the Cathedral as illustrated.

• It was in existence as by 1010, when Bishop Alwynn removed the remains of King Edmund the Martyr there from Bury St Edmunds to keep them safe from Danish raiders. • Between June and November 1571, services were transferred from St Paul's to St Gregory's while fire damage was being repaired in the cathedral.

• In a report dated 11 June 1631, Inigo Jones said "the church is in no way hurtful to the foundations or walls of St. Paul's, nor will it take away the beauty of the aspect when it shall be repaired. It abuts on the Lollards' Tower, which is joined on the other side by another tower, unto which the Bishop's hall adjoins. Conscious that neither of them is any hindrance to the beauty of the church." Within a few years, Jones had changed his mind. As part of his renovation of the cathedral he decided to remove St Gregory's. Demolition started, and Jones ordered the parishioners to take down the remainder, threatening "that if the parishioners would not take down the rest of it, then the galleries should be sawed down and with screws the materials thrown down into the street." This not proving effective he said "that if they did not take down the said church, they should be laid by the heels." The parishioners complained to the House of Commons, and the Commons passed their complaint on to the House of Lords, appending a declaration that the parishioners deserved redress, and that action should be taken against Jones for the destruction. The Lords decided against Jones and the church was rebuilt using stones intended for the rebuilding of St Paul's.

• In June 1658, a minister of the church, Dr John Hewitt, a royalist, was executed for high treason He was beheaded on Tower Hill by order of Cromwell's high court and buried in the church.

• Following the Great Fire the parish was united with that of St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street.


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