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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P76/JS1
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1561-1949
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 6.21 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Parish of St James, Clerkenwell | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

Saint Mary's Nunnery of Augustinian canonesses, founded in 1140, was dissolved in 1539 and the church converted to the parish church of Clerkenwell. In the 1780s the building was declared ruinous and demolished.

The present church was built 1788-92 by the architect James Carr, on the site of the choir of the mediaeval nunnery. It is regarded as one of the most respected Palladian architects of the period. It is built of stock brick and has a stone west tower. The steeple was rebuilt in 1849 by William Pettit Griffith and the Church was further restored 1883-84. In 1978 the church was redecorated and the organ restored to its 18th century design.

The church was described in 1906 as 'a very dingy-looking building of earth-brick with round-headed windows'. The former burial ground was opened as a public ground in 1897, while the crypt was converted into a hall in 1912.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Saint James Church, Clerkenwell, including registers of baptisms, marriages, burials and banns; financial accounts; minutes and papers of the church branch of the Church of England Temperance Society; vestry minutes and orders; churchwardens vouchers; papers regarding charity and relief work; bequests and donations to the church; preacher's books; and details of the reconstruction of the organ.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged in one series: P76/JS1-1: Parish records; within which P76/JS1/001-072 are parish registers and P76/JS1/072-193 are other parish documents.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in October 1954; with a further accession in 2004 (P76/JS1/193).

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also records of the church at references ACC/0449 and O/527.

Publication note:

For further information see: London's Churches (E and W. Young) LMA Library reference 59.1 YOU, History of Clerkenwell (Pinks) LMA Library reference 74.21 CLE, Clerkenwell and Saint Lukes (Mitton) LMA Library reference 74.2 MIT, and Clerkenwell and Finsbury Past (Tames) LMA Library reference 74.2 TAM.

The registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, 1551-1754, have been transcribed and published by the Harleian Society.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
March to April 2010.

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