The Parish of St. Clements.113

The Parish of St. Clements.

The Parish Church of St. CLEMENT DANES.


Now to begin again at Temple Bar, over against it, in the high Street standeth a pair of Stocks, and then one large middle Row of Houses and small Tenements builded, partly opening to the South, partly towards the North, stretching to a Stone Cross, now headless, against the Strand. Amongst the which standeth the Parish Church of St. Clement Danes, so called, because Harold, a Danish King, and other Danes, were buried there, and in that Churchyard.

St. Clement Danes.

King Harold buried in Clement Danes.

This Harold, whom King Canutus had by a Concubine, reigned three Years, and was buried at Westminster, but afterward, Hardicanutus, the lawful Son of Canutus, in revenge of Displeasure done to his Mother, by expelling her out of the Realm, and the Murder of his Brother Alured, commanded the Body of Harold to be digged out of the Earth, and to be thrown into the Thames, where it was by a Fisherman taken up and buried in this Churchyard. But out of a fair ledger Book, sometime belonging to the Abbey of Chartsey, in the County of Surrey is noted, as in Francis Thinn, after this sort.

Liber Chartsey.

Francis Thinn.

In the Reign of King Ethelred, the Monastry of Chartsey was destroyed, ninety Monks of that House were slain by the Danes, whose Bodies were buried in a Place near to the old Monastry. William Malmesbury saith, They burnt the Church, together with the Monks and Abbot; but the Danes continuing in their Fury (throughout the whole Land) desirous at the length, to return home into Denmark, were (by the just Judgment of God) all slain at London, in a Place which is called the Church of the Danes.

William Malmesbury.

Danes slain at St. Clement Danes.

There is yet another reason given of this Denomination of the Church from the Danes. Namely, that when the Danes were utterly driven out of this Kingdom; and none left but a few, who were married to English Women; These were constrained to inhabit between the Isle of Thorne (that which is now called Westminster) and Caer Lud, now called Ludgate. And there they builded a Synagogue. The which being afterwards consecrated, was called Ecclesia Clementis DANORUM. This Account of the Name did the learned Antiquarian Fleetwood, sometime Recorder of London, give to the Lord Treasurer Burghley, who lived in this Parish.

Clement DANES, whence so called.

J. S.

Here, about this Church and in the Parts adjoining, were frequent Disturbances, by reason of the Unthrifts of the Inns of Chancery, who were so unruly a Nights, walking about to the Disturbance and Danger of such as passed along the Streets, that the Inhabitants were fain to keep Watches. In the Year 1582. the Recorder himself with six more of the honest Inhabitants stood by St. Clements Church, to see the Lanthorn hanged out; and to observe if he could meet with any of these outragious Dealers. About seven at Night they saw young Mr. Robert Cecil, the Lord Treasurer's Son (who was after the Secretary of State to the Queen) pass by the Church; and as he past, gave them a civil Salute. At which they said, Lo! you may see, how a Nobleman's Son can use himself, and how he putteth off his Cap to poor Men. Our Lord bless him. This Passage the Recorder wrote in a Letter to his Father, adding, "Your Lordship hath cause to thank God for so vertuous a Child.]"

Watches usually set here for Disturbances.

In this Parish was the Bishop of Bath and Wells his Place in former Times: so it is found in the Bishop of London's Register of Wills and Testaments. Hospitium Reverendissimi Domini Episcopi Bathon. & Wellen. in parochia Sancti Clementis Dacor.

Bishop of Bath and Wells Inn.

E. A.

John Fabian, of St. Clements Danes, Gent. by his Will, March 16. 1541. bequeaths to his Sister Martha four Nobles Yearly out of his Lands he purchased in Ovington in Essex, for her Life. Lady Marney to have all his Books of Meditation, and his Chronicles. Lady Sperte, his Sister. The Right Honourable the Earl of Souchampton, his Master. This Memorial I insert of Fabian, that ancient Citizen and Historian.]

John Fabian, St. Clemene Danes.

Regist. Law.

The Care of those that, by an annual Succession, have the Charge and Oversight of this Church, hath continually been such, as upon the least Defect or Failing, either in Strenth or Beauty, it hath instantly been imployed, both in Repairs and Adornment.

Repairs of this Church.


And first, we begin with that great costly Repair, in the Year of our Lord God, 1608. At which time, upon six and twenty Foot of the Churchyard in Length, and twenty Foot in Breadth (taking in at the East End of the Church) they built up a very fair Chancel. The Charge of this Building and Repairing, amounting to the Sum of 1000l. and upward.

In the Year of our Lord, 1616. there was laid out upon the Steeple, in repairing and inlarging of it, with some other needful Things in the Church, the Sum of 496l.

In the Year of our Lord God, 1631. some Parts of this Church were again repaired, and the whole Body covered with a fair and beautiful Roughcast, the Charge of it 40l.

In the Year 1632, and this present Year 1633, this Church was within, throughout richly and very worthily beautified. The charge of it 50l.

The Sum of all these Repairs, all being the sole cost of the Parishioners, 1586l.]

This Church of St. Clement Danes hath lately been new built, and so hath the Steeple also. There is an extraordinary fine Pulpit wrought with Carved Work. The Cieling is arched with Fret-Work. A good Organ.

New built.

J. S.

An Account of the sepulchral Monuments follow.]



A fair Monument in the Chancel, on the North side, at the upper end, with this Inscription:

Monuments of Persons here buried.


Georgii}{ More de-}{ Filiæ,
Roberti}{ Lothesley}{ Sorori,
Wilielmi}{ Equitum}{ Nepti,
Christopheri}{ Aurator.}{ Pronepti.

FÅ“minæ Lectissimæ, Dilectissimæque,
Conjugi Charissimæ, Castissimæque,
Matri Piissimæ, indulgentissimæque,
xv. Annis in conjugio transactis,
vii. post xii. partum (quorum vii.
superstant) dies,
Immani Febre correptæ
(Quod hoc saxum fari jussit,
Ipse præ dolore infans)
Maritus (miserrimum dictu) olim
Charæ Charus,
Cineribus cineres spondet suos,
Novo matrimonio (annuat Deus) hoc
loco sociandos,
Joannes Donne.
Sacræ Theologiæ Professor
Anno xxiii. ætat. suæ & sui Jesu
Aug. XV.

A fair Monument over against this, on the South side, with this Inscription.