A block of reddish-gray sandstone 26 inches long, 16 wide, and 11 thick fixed under the seat of the Coronation Chair in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey. It was brought from Scotland by Edward I in 1297, where it had been used for centuries at the Abbey of Scone in the coronation of the Kings of Scotland. It was believed to be the stone on which Jacob slept at Bethel, and which he subsequently set up as a sacred pillar (see Gen. xxviii. 18). In T. Heywood's Royal King i. 1, the Prince says, "If I ever live to sit on Jacob's stone thy love shall with my crown be hereditary." [ed. note: The "Stone of Scone" as it is also known was stolen by Scots Nationals in 1950 but returned, broken, in 1951. It was repaired and reinstalled. On 3 July 1996 the British government announced that the "Stone of Destiny" would be returned to Scotland without affecting England's "ownership" of it. With much fanfare, the 458 pound grey sandstone block was returned to Scotland in that same year, the 700th anniversary of its being taken into England, and placed on display at Edinburgh castle.]


There were churches dedicated to St. J. in Lond. during our period, in Clerkenwell, N. of the Green (Map J2), originally the choir of a Benedictine nunnery founded about 1100. The present building dates from 1788; in Garlick-hithe (Map N6), built in 1606, destroyed in the Fire, and rebuilt by Wren; and in Duke's Place, Aldgate (Map R4–area only, site unmarked), built on the site of the conventual ch. of the Holy Trinity in 1622 and pulled down in 1874. In Reasons in a Hollow Tree, we are told of "an old man that died in the parish of St. J., near Duke's Pl., within Aldgate," whose funeral sermon was of commendable brevity: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; Here's the hole and in thou must." St. J. Clerkenwell had a lofty spire, which fell down in 1623 after having stood for 500 years. In Pasquil's Palinodia (1619), it is said of the Strand Maypole: "It No city, town, nor street can parallel, Nor can the lofty spire of Clerkenwell."


Was held annually in Westminster on St. J.'s Day, 25th July. In Deloney's Craft, it is said of the Green King of St. Martin's: "St. J. his day at last being come, he called up his wife betimes, and bad her make ready, if she would to the Fair," but he dragged her all the way to Bristol, where there was also a Fair on St. J.'s day. In Cowley's Cutter (a rewritten version of his Renaissance play, The Guardian )v. 1, Will says that the cook "looked like the ox that's roasted whole in St. J. 's Fair."


A royal palace in Lond., at the W. end of the Mall, facing St. J.'s Park. It was originally a hospital for lepers dedicated to St. J. It was taken possession of by Henry VIII in 1528 and turned into a Palace. The brick gate-house facing St. J. 's St. and part of the Chapel date from this time. It was improved and fitted up in 1620 for the Infanta of Spain, who was to have married Prince Charles. Here Q. Mary died and Charles II was born. Charles I walked from St. J.'s to Whitehall on the morning of his execution. Though it is no longer a royal residence, the official title of the English Court is "our Court of St. J.'s." The mustering of the Guards in the Colour Court at 11 every morning is still one of the minor sights of Lond. In Middleton's Tennis, the characters in the Induction are the palaces of Richmond, St. J: s, and Denmark House. St. J speaks of "my new gallery and tennis-court ": which Richmond depreciates as being built of brick. The reference is to the improvements made in 1619–20 for the Infanta. In St. Hilary's Tears (1642), we read: "If the Prince were but at St. J.'s, there would be something done." In T. Heywood's I.K.M. B. 343, the Q. says, "Dismiss our camp, and tread a royal march Toward St. J.'s."

(Map A5)

A park in Lond., of abt. 60 acres, lying opposite St. J. Palace, between The Mall and Birdcage Walk. Facing the W. end of it is Buckingham Palace; on the E. are the Horse Guards, the Admiralty, and the Treasury. It was formed and walled in by Henry VIII, and greatly improved by Charles II. In Jonson's Gipsies, one of them speaks of "The parks and chases And the finer walled places, As St. J., Greenwich, Theobalds." In Dekker's Babylon, p. 260, Paridel says of Titania (Elizabeth): "Not an arrow be shot at her until we take our aim in S. Iagoes Park." Paridel is William Parry, who was believed to have plotted the assassination of Elizabeth in 1584: S. Iago's Park is obviously St. J. Park. Deloney, in Newberie vi., tells how the clothiers presented their petition to Henry VIII, "His Majesty walking in St. James, his Park." In verses prefixed to Coryat's Crudities (1611), Peacham mentions amongst the Sights of Lond. "St. James his Ginney Hens, the Cassawarway moreover." These birds were kept in the aviary, which gave its name to Birdcage Walk. He goes on: "The Beaver i' the Park (strange beast as e'er any man saw)": these beavers were kept in the ornamental water of the Park.




A hall at the W. front of Westminster Abbey, leading S. to the Deanery. It was built by Abbot Littlington towards the end of the 14th cent., and was probably the Hall of the Deanery. Three inscriptions run round the fireplace: "O pray for the peace of J."; "Build thou the walls of J ," and "J. which is above is free." Hence the name. It is used as the Chapter House of the Abbey, and the Revision of the Bible in 1870 was made within its walls. Henry IV died there. In H4 B. iv. 5, 234, the K. is told that the room where he swooned is called J., and says, "Laud be to God! even there my life must end. It hath been prophesied to me many years I should not die but in J.; Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land; But bear me to that chamber; there I'll lie; In that J. shall Harry die."


In Whetstone's Promos B. 1, 4, Phallax, arranging for a City Pageant in the town of Julio, says, "On J. G. the 4 virtues I trove Appointed are to stand." In scene 6, one of the men, "apparelled like green men at the Mayor feast," says that they are waiting "In J. St. to keep a passage clear That the K. and his train may pass with ease." The whole scene is a Lond. one, and as the K. would come to the City from Westminster, Ludgate is probably meant by J. G., and Ludgate Hill or Cheapside by J. St. See ST. ANNE'S Cross.

(Map L3)
(area only; site unmarked)

Lond., running E. from Aldersgate St. to the junction of Red Cross St. and Gore St. [ed. note: sic, Sugden likely means Fore Street]. It has its name from its being the only place of interment allowed to be used by the Jews in Lond. for a considerable time. Stow describes it as full of "fair garden plots and summer-houses for pleasure"; and Howell, in 1657, says it was "a handsome new St., fairly built by the Company of Goldsmiths." Here John Milton lived from 1660 to 1664.


See for the London Jews' quarters under OLD JEWRY.




A bookseller's sign in Fleet St., Lond., opposite the Conduit. John Butler, assistant to Wynkyn de Worde, set up a printing office here. Here Thomas Colwell printed at this sign Phillips' Grissil, Darius (1565), and Gurton (1575). Wapull's Tarrieth was "Imprinted in Fleete-streate beneath the Conduite at the sign of Saynt J. E. by Hugh Jackson. 1576."

(Map J1–2)

Lond., running N. from W. Smithfield to Clerkenwell Rd., and continuing thence as St. J. Street Rd. to the Angel at Islington. It was the main road from the City for travellers to the north. At No. 16 is still to be found the Cross Keys Tavern, on the E. side of the St.; further on is Red Bull Yard, which marks the site of the Red Bull Playhouse, q.v. Hicks' Hall, the sessions house of the County of Middlesex, from which the milestones on the Gt. North Rd. were measured, was near the entrance of St. J. 's Lane: it was built in 1612 and pulled down in 1782; the site is marked by a mural tablet. The name of the street was derived from the neighbouring Priory of St. J. In Barry's Ram iv., Beard says, "I now will trudge to St. J.-st. to inform the Lady Sommerfield where thou art." Taylor, in Carrier's Cosmographie, says, "The carrier of Daintree doth lodge every Friday night at the Cross Keys in St. J.'s St." Webster, in Monuments, speaks of "the now demolished house" of the Knights of St. J. of Jerusalem" in St. J.'s St.


Sign of a tavern in Lond. in St. Martyn's Lane, Aldersgate. In Glapthorne's Wit v. 1, Busie says, "You shall with me to the St. J. H.; there is a cup of pure Canary."

(Map J2)

The Priory of St. John of Jerusalem in Clerkenwell, founded in 1100 by Jordan Briset for the Knights Hospitallers, and endowed with the revenues of the Knights Templars when that Order was dissolved in 1324. It stood on what is now St. J. Square, and St. J. Gate was the gate-house of the Priory. The Order was very wealthy, and its Prior was Primus Baro Angliae. It was suppressed in 1541, and the buildings passed to the Crown. They were bequeathed by Henry VIII to the Lady Mary, afterwards Q., but in the reign of Edward VI Somerset got hold of them and blew a large part up with gunpowder in order to use the stones for his new mansion in the Strand. The Gatehouse has now returned to its original owners, and is the head office of the St. John Ambulance Association. In Bale's Laws iv., Infidelity has a pardon in his sleeve "from St. J. Friary." In Straw iii., the Mayor says, "The rebels are defacing houses of hostelity, St. J. in Smithfield, the Savoy, and such like." The reference is to the preceptory of the Priory, which was burnt by the rabble of Wat Tyler and Jack Straw. The ch. of St. John Clerkenwell, in St. J. Square, occupies its site, and in the foundations are some of the stones of the original ch. It is not exactly in Smithfield, but a little way North. In Day's B. Beggar i., Cardinal Beaufort says, "Gloster, thou wrong'st me, withold'st St. Johnses; Look to 't ; for fear when I get entry I pull not down the Castle o'er thine ears." Gloster replies, "Cardinal; to spite thee I'll keep Elinor, And wed her in St. Johnses." Later the Cardinal threatens, "I'll rouse you and your minions Out of St. Johnses ere a week be spent." The reference appears to be to the Priory. The dist. round the Priory was called St. J. In Look About v., Skink, who is wanted by the police, complains, "There's a rogue in a red cap, he's run from St. J. after me." In Middleton's Mad World iii. 2, the Courtezan, supposed to be dying, sends her commendations "to all my good cousins in Clerkenwell and St. J." The neighbourhood had a bad reputation. In Randolph's Muses iv. 3, Plus brings before the magistrate "a gentlewoman of St. Joans, is charged with dishonesty."


(formerly GREAT ST. J. WOOD). A wood lying W. of Regent's Park, Lond., belonging to the Priors of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. On the suppression of the Priory in 1541 it fell into the possession of the Crown, and was used as a hunting ground. During the last 100 years it has become a populous residential suburb, specially affected by artists. In Jonson's Tub ii. 1, Hilts says, "My capt. and myself . . . at the corner of St. J. Wood, Some mile W. o' this town [i.e. Pancras] were set upon By a sort of country fellows that not only Beat us, but robbed us most sufficiently." In Jonson's Magnetic v. 5, Sir Moth tells of a poor squire that would walk in his sleep "to St. J Wood And Waltham Forest, scape by all the ponds And ditches in the way."


A bookseller's sign in Lond., showing J. with the head of Holofernes in her hand. Skelton's Elynour Rumming was "Printed at London by Richard Lant, for Henry Tab, dwelling in Paul's Churchyard at the sign of J." (n.d.).