Commissioners for Building Fifty New Churches
The proceedings before the Commissioners for Building Fifty New Churches, &. relating to a new church in the parish of St.James Clerkenwel, extracted from their books, and papers, and copies of their minutes relating to a division of the said parish.
(No imprint, but London, for the Commissioners 1725).
Folio. 4pp (one folded sheet).
In 1711 the Commissioners for Building Fifty New Churches had resolved that one of the new churches to be built in London and its vicinity should be in the parish of St.James’s Clerkenwell, but they subsequently decided not to build a new church but to designate St.John’s Chapel, Clerkenwell, the surviving part of the mediaeval church of the Knights of St.John of Jerusalem, as the church for a new parish occupying the southern part of the existing parish of Clerkenwell. The division of the parish, ordered by the Commissioners in December 1723, proved controversial, and in April 1725 the Commissioners authorised their architects, John James and Nicholas Hawksmoor, to appear before a Committee of the House of Commons, “with all papers about division of St.James Clerkenwell, taking care they have with them a plan of the new parish of St.John”. As an additional precaution, the Commissioners ordered (6 April 1725) that “all minutes on St.John Clerkenwell to be printed and attested by Secretary”, and the present item is clearly one of the copies of the Commissioners’ minutes ordered to be printed on that occasion. The British Library holds a copy (SPR 357.b.7 (42)), but few copies can survive otherwise, and this appears to be the only printed document certainly produced for the Commissioners during their years of existence (although see the following item).