Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for MARTIN (ST.)-IN-THE-FIELDS

MARTIN (ST.)-IN-THE-FIELDS, a parish and a district in Westminster, Middlesex. The parish forms a compact portion of the metropolis; lies around ClharingCross, 1¼ mile WSW of St. Paul's; adjoins the Thanmcs above and below the Charing-Cross railway bridge; comprises the wards of Suffolk-street, Charing-Cross-first, Charing-Cross-second, Speer-alley, Exchange, Stra nd, New-street, Bedfordbury, Long-acre, and Drury-lan e; includes also part of the quondam extra-parochial plwace called the Verge of the Palaces of St. James and Whitchall, and a detached lp ortion with burial-ground and alms houses in Pratt-street, Camden-Town; and contains Charing-Cross railway station, Charing-Cross branch of the head post office ‡ of London W.C., and numerous receiving post offices ‡ and postal pillar-boxes under London W.C. and ILondon S.W. Acres, 305; of which 22 are either in the Thames or within the area of the Thames embankment. Real property in 1860, exclusive of the Verge of the Palaces, £246,379; inc. of the entire Verge, £308,143. Pop. in 1 851,24,640: in 1861,22,689. 2 Houses, 2,240. The decrease of pop. arose partly from the demolition of houses for the making of new streets and the effecting of other improvements. Some chief features are Buckingham palace, St. James' palace, St. James' park, Trafalgar-square, Charing-Cross railway station, the National Gallery, several theatres, and numerous clubs, mansions, and public offices; but these, together with local historical events, eminent natives, and distinguished residents, will be fonnd noticed in the articles LONDON and WESTMINSTER. The parish, prior to 1535, was part of St. Margaret's; from that date till 1638-84, included St. Paul, Coventgarden, St. Anne-Soho, St. James, and St. George Hanover-square; is now cut ecclesiastically into the sections of St. Martin, St. Michael, and St. John-Broadcourt; and contains also the chapelries of Bedfordbury and St. Matthew-Spring-gardens. St. Michael was made a separate charge in 1848; and St. John-Broad-court, in 1855. Pop. in 1861, of St. M., 3,324; of St. J., 2,983. The living of St. Martin is a vicarage united with the chapelry of Bedfordbury, and St. Michael and St. John are vicarages, in the diocese of London. Value of StMartin, £1,258; * of St. Michael, £250; * of St. John, £150; of St. Matthew, not reported. Patron of St. Martin, the Bishop of London; of St. Michael and St. Matthew, the Vicar of St. Martin; of St. John, Sir Walter James. The original church of St. Martin was built in 1222, and stood literally "in the fields; ''had, till 1535, the statns o.f a chapel of ease to St. Margaret; served, about the year 1680, for a population of about 40,000; and was then surrounded by narrow alleys, popularly called the Bermudas or Carribee Islands, and densely inhabited by a lawlcss people, whom Richard Baxter described as "living like Americans, without hearing a sermon for many years." The present church was built in 1721-6, after designs by Gibbs, at a cost of £36,892; measures 140 feet in length, 40 in width, and 45 in height; has a noble Corinthian portico, 65 feet wide, modelled after that of the Pantheon at Rome; is surmounted by a well-proportioned but heavy steeple, restored in 1842 after having be en struck by lightning, and placed so awkwardly as to look as if it would crush the portico; and has an interior so constructed as not easily, or at all, to admit of any monument. Portraits of George I. and Gibbs are in the vestry; and the remains of the following persous were buried in the vaults, either of the old church or of the present, -Nell Gwynne, Secretary Coventry, Attorney-General Sir John Davies, the Hon. Robert Boyle, the miniature painter Hilliard, the painter Paul Vansomer, the painter and musician N. Laniere, the painter Dobson, the Greek scholar Stanley, Lord Mohun, the dramatist Farquhar, Jack Sheppard, the sculptor Roubiliac, "Athenian ''Stuart, anbd the great surgeon John Hunter; but the remains of Hunter were removed hence, in 1859, to Westminster-abbey. Bishop Z. Pearce was vicar. St. Michael's church stands in Burleigh-street, was built by Savage, and has an altarpiece in T. Miller's silica colours on stucco. St. Martin's northern schools were built in 1849-50, after designs by J. Wild; are 100 feet long; and have an open colonnade at top, and a play-ground. Archbishop Tenison's grammar school was founded in 1685; has, in connexion with it, a large subscription library and a newsroom; and has an endowed income of £113. Newman's schools have £273 from endowment; and Hemming's-Row schools have £172. The Charing-Cross hospital dates from 1831; was built, after designs by Bnrton, in 1841; and, at the census of 1861, had 102 inmates. The Ophthalmic hospital, in Chandos-street, was fonnded in 1816, by Sir W. Waller; and, at the census of 1861, had 18 inmates. St. George's barracks are within the parish; and, at the census of 1861, had 345 inmates. The district is conterminate with the parish, and is divided into the sub-districts of Charing-Cross and LongAcre. The Charing-Cross sub-district comprises the wards of Suffolk-street, Charing-Cross, Speer-alley, Exchange, and Strand, and the part of the Verge of the Palaces. Acres, 263. Pop. in 1851,12,587; in 1861, 11,071. Houses, 1,248. The Long-Acre sub-district comprises the rest of the parish. Acres, 42. Pop. in 1851,12,053; in 1861,11,618. Houses, 992. P oor rates of the district in 1863, £25,226. Marriages, in 1863,412; births, 612,-of which 38 were illegitimate; deaths, 601,-of which 199 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,5,042; births, 6,500; deaths, 6,055. The places of worship, in 1851, were 8 of the Church of England, with 4,881 sittings; 1 of the Church of Scotland, with 1,450 s.; 1 of United Presbyterians, with 600 s.; 2 of Independents, with 1,466 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 400 s.; 1 of Lntherans, with 300 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 550 s. The schools were 9 public day-schools, with 2,043 scholars; 22 private day-schools, with 541 s.; 5 Snnday schools, with 1,304 s.; and 2 evening schools for adnlts, with 104 s. The workhouse is in CharingCross sub-district; and, at the census of 1861, had 351 inmates.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a parish and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Middlesex AncC
Place: Charing Cross

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