|St. Leonard's, Shoreditch|
18th century print of St. Leonard's
|Location||London Borough of Hackney|
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Architect(s)||George Dance the Elder|
St. Leonard's, Shoreditch is the ancient parish church of Shoreditch, often known simply as Shoreditch Church. It is located at the intersection of Shoreditch High Street with Hackney Road, within the London Borough of Hackney in East London. The current building dates from about 1740. The church is mentioned in the line "When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch" from the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemonsand is noted as being the resting place of many actors from the Tudor period.
The original church is possibly Saxon in origin, though the first historical reference to it occurs in the 12th century.
The church was situated near The Theatre, England's first purpose-built playhouse, built in Shoreditch in 1576, and the nearly contemporary Curtain Theatre (built in 1577).Several members of the theatrical profession from the Elizabethan period are buried in the church, including:
These, with others of their profession from the period, are commemorated by a large classical memorial erected by the London Shakespeare League in 1913, inside the church, which serves as a reminder of Shoreditch's Shakespearian heritage.
The Shoreditch Vestry levied a special poor rate in 1774 for the purpose of setting up a workhouse for the parish of St. Leonard's, which highlights the level of poverty in the area.
Following a partial collapse of the tower in 1716, the medieval church was rebuilt in Palladian style by George Dance the Elder during 1736–40,with a soaring steeple 192 feet tall—an imitation of Christopher Wren's magnificent steeple on St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside —and a giant four-columned, pedimented Tuscan portico. Inside the church, the entablature is supported by giant Doric columns. Dance was also architect of the Mansion House. Many original 18th-century fixtures and fittings remain, including the font, the pulpit, the communion table, clock, organ case, bread cupboards and commandment boards. It was lit with gaslight in 1817, the first in London.
The parish stocks and whipping post stand in the porch of the church, and the Shoreditch parish pump is in the churchyard.
Whilst the church has had bells for many centuries, as evidenced by its inclusion in the Oranges and Lemons nursery rhyme, the current ring of 12 bells (plus a "sharp second" to allow a lighter ring of eight bells using 1, sharp second and 3–8 to ring a true octave), hung for change ringing, dates from 1994 when the bells were cast by John Taylor & Co, bellfounders of Loughborough.
The bells in the coat of arms of the London Borough of Hackney represent the bells of this church.
The organ was built by Richard Bridge in 1756, and retains all the original wooden pipes. It is one of the few surviving examples of a tracker organ without pedals.[ citation needed ] It is currently in need of restoration.
The church is equipped with a modern electric organ that is used regularly for church services, worship, concerts, and recording. It was the organ used in the Serafina Steer album The Moths Are Real , produced by Jarvis Cocker.
2010 saw the church being used in the BBC TV comedy series Rev. , as a fictional church named St. Saviour's.
In 2011 the church featured in series two of Luther.
James Parkinson (1755–1824), after whom Parkinson's disease is named, and who lived at Hoxton Square nearby, is commemorated with a stone tablet inside the church; his grave is in the churchyard.
William Lewin, an Elizabethan churchman, tutor, and member of parliament, was buried in the church in 1598.
John George Appold, FRS (1800–65), a pioneer of the centrifugal pump, is commemorated with a stone tablet inside the church.
The Rev. Samuel Annesley (1620–96), the prominent nonconformist minister and father of Susanna Wesley (thus grandfather of John and Charles Wesley), is buried in an unmarked plot in the churchyard.
Thomas Fairchild (1667–1724), a pioneer gardener and the author of The City Gardener, endowed an annual Whitsun sermon at the church on either The Wonderful World of God in the Creation or On the Certainty of the Resurrection of the Dead proved by Certain Change of the Animal and Vegetable Parts of the Creation. These sermons became locally known as "The Vegetable Sermon", and continued into the 1990s.
The Tudor diplomat Thomas Legh is also buried here.
Katherine Stafford, wife of Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland, buried here.
Johannes Banfi Hunyades, Hungarian alchemist and metallurgist, attended the church and two of his children, Johannes (1621–1696) and Elizabeth (1620–1710), have monumental graves in the crypt of the church.
Hoxton is an area in the London Borough of Hackney, England. Together with the rest of Shoreditch, it is often described as part of the East End, the historic core of wider East London. It was historically in the county of Middlesex until 1889. It lies immediately north of the City of London financial district, and was once part of the Ancient Parish and subsequent Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, prior to its incorporation into the London Borough of Hackney.
Shoreditch is a district in the East End of London, which is divided between the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. It has been known as an entertainment quarter since the 16th century, and today hosts a number of pubs, nightclubs and bars; while to the east of Shoreditch High Street and north of Brick Lane are primarily residential.
Richard Burbage was an English stage actor, widely considered to have been one of the most famous actors of the Globe Theatre and of his time. In addition to being a stage actor, he was also a theatre owner, entrepreneur, and painter. He was the younger brother of Cuthbert Burbage. They were both actors in drama. Burbage was a business associate and friend to William Shakespeare.
The Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1899 and 1965, when it was merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington and the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney to form the London Borough of Hackney.
St Mary-le-Bow is a historic church rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren in the City of London on the main east–west thoroughfare, Cheapside. According to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells.
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The Curtain Theatre was an Elizabethan playhouse located in Hewett Street, Shoreditch, just outside the City of London. It opened in 1577, and continued staging plays until 1624.
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Shoreditch was an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex. It was both a civil parish, used for administrative purposes, and an ecclesiastical parish of the Church of England. The parish church is St Leonard's, Shoreditch, often simply called "Shoreditch Church".
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St Mary Magdalene, Richmond, in the Anglican Diocese of Southwark, is a Grade II* listed parish church on Paradise Road, Richmond, London. The church was built in the early 16th century but has been greatly altered so that, apart from the tower, the visible parts of the church date from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
The coat of arms of the London Borough of Hackney is the official heraldic arms of the London Borough of Hackney. The coat of arms were granted on 25 July 1969.
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