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
JAMES (ST.), CHURCH OF
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 R4area 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."
JAMES (SAINT) FAIR
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."
JAMES (SAINT) PALACE
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 161920 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."
JAMES'S (ST.) PARK
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.
See GERARD'S HALL.
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."
JESUS GATE and STREET
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.
(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.
See JOHN'S (ST.), PRIORY OF.
JOHN (ST.) EVANGELIST
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."
JOHN (ST.) STREET
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.
JOHN'S (ST.) HEAD
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
JOHN'S (ST.), PRIORY OF
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
JOHN'S (ST.) WOOD
(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.).