St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street

Church in/near City of London, existing until 1666

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Church · City of London · EC2V ·
November
18
2017

St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, was a parish church in the City of London, England. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and not rebuilt.


The church stood on the east side of Milk Street, north of its end in Cheapside, in Cripplegate Ward Within (parts of the parish were also in Bread Street Ward).

John Stow, in his Survey of 1603, described Milk Street as having many fair houses for wealthy merchants and others. He attributed the origin of street’s name to it being a place where milk was sold.

The earliest mention of the church was in 1162 as "St. Mary Magdalene in foro Londoniarum." It is also recorded as "St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street" in a document dating from between 1203 and 1215. One notable clergyman who served the church was Francis Fletcher, who was briefly Rector of the parish, resigning in July 1576 to join Drake in his three-year circumnavigation of the world.

Stow, writing in 1603, notes that St. Mary Magdalene’s was a small church and that it had recently been repaired. He lists a number of important Londoners who had been buried in the church, including Sir William Cantilo, knight and Mercer (died 1462) and several Lord Mayors of London: John Olney (Mayor in 1446, died 1475), Sir John Browne (mayor in 1480; d. 1497), Sir William Browne (Mayor in 1513, died during his term of office), Sir Thomas Exmewe (Mayor in 1517, d. 1528), and Thomas Skinner (Mayor in 1596). He notes that "Henry Cantlow, Mercer, merchant of the Staple," built a chapel in the church and was buried there in 1495. Hughes confirms that the church records contain the names of many important City dignitaries.

Also buried at the church was the eminent physician Dr Thomas Moundeford (1550–1630). A longtime resident of Milk Street, Moundeford was six times President of the Royal College of Physicians and personal physician to Arbella Stuart. His wife Mary Moundeford (nee Hill) died aged 94 in 1656 and was also buried in St Mary’s. She was godmother to Rachel Speght, who dedicated her poem Mortalities Memorandum to her.

The parish was a Presbyterian stronghold in the years leading up to the Civil War. Its incumbent, Thomas Case, was the first London clergyman to host Morning Exercises - special services to cater for prayers for friends and relations in the Parliamentarian army of the Earl of Essex. However, along with most of the Presbyterians, Case objected to the execution of King Charles and was deprived of his position in 1650.

The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and not rebuilt, Instead the parish was united to that of St Lawrence Jewry, and the site, together with that of the adjoining church of All Hallows Honey Lane and several houses, was acquired by the City, cleared, and laid out as a market-place, called Honey Lane Market. The market closed in 1835 and the Corporation of London built the first City of London School there.


Main source: Wikipedia
Further citations and sources


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City of London

The City of London constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond its borders.

As the City's boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of Greater London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It holds city status in its own right and is also a separate ceremonial county.

It is widely referred to as 'The City' (often written on maps as City and differentiated from the phrase 'the city of London') or 'the Square Mile' as it is 1.12 square miles in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's financial services industry, which continues a notable history of being largely based in the City.

The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City's boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London.

The City is a major business and financial centre, ranking as the world's leading centre of global finance. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses.

The City had a resident population of about 7000 in 2011 but over 300,000 people commute to it and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City - especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple - fall within the City of London boundary.
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