St James' Duke's Place, London Genealogy
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St James Duke Place, the church of, is situated in that part of Duke's Place called the square, and nearly opposite the Great Synagogue of the German Jews. Duke's Place is a district covered with lanes and alleys, on a site of part of the once splendid and wealthy priory of the Holy Trinity, founded in 1108, by Matilda, Queen of Henry I. Being the richest in England, it was the first that was siexed upon by Henry VIII, in 1531, at the period of the dissolution of the religious houses. The King gave it to Sir Thomas Audley, Speaker of the Parliament, and afterwards Lord High Chancellor, for his services in opposition to Cardinal Wolsey. Sir Thomas demolished the priory, and converted part of it into a large mansion for his own residence. The only daughter of Sir Thomas being married to the Duke of Norfolk, the estate descended to the Duke, and was from that time to the present known by the name of "the Duke's place". When the Duke was beheaded, the estate descended to his son Thomas Howard, Eart of Suffolk who sold it in the thrirty-fourth year of Wueen Elizabeth to the mayor, commonalty and citizens of london. The inhabitants of Duke's Place, wishing to have a parish church to themsevles, within their own precinct, applied to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who procured the King's warrant, and prevailed upon the Lord mator, aldermen, and common-council, to build them a church with thematerials of the conventual church, which then remained upon the premises. This was accordingly done, and the church was consecrated an dedicated to St James, in honour of the reigning King, james I, on the 2nd of january 1622. Although it is a precinct within itself, under a minister, two constables, two headboroughs and fifteen jurymen. Duke's Place is now principally inhabited by Jews, who settled therein in the time of Oliver Cromwell. The church having escaped the fire of 1666, still retains its original form, but the body was rebuilt in 1727. It is a perpetual curacy in the city and archdeaconry of London, and in the patronage of the Lord Mayor and commonalty of London...
[Adapted from: Topographical Dictionary of London by James Elmes; published 1831]