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WRIGHT, Sir Nathan (1654-1721)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 O/151
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: WRIGHT, Sir Nathan (1654-1721)
Date(s): 1702
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Wright | Sir | Nathan | 1654-1721 | lawyer


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1293 Edmund, Earl of Lancaster and brother of King Edward I, constructed the Savoy Palace on land formerly belonging to the Count of Savoy. The palace was rebuilt at great expense by Henry, 1st Duke of Lancaster, between 1345 and 1370; after which it was said to be the finest house in England. In 1381 the palace was attacked during the Peasant's Revolt; the rioters started a bonfire of the Duke's possessions and mistakenly threw a box of gunpowder onto the flames, thus destroying much of the Great Hall.

In 1505 Henry VII ordered the palace to be rebuilt and used as a hospital for the poor. The hospital held 100 beds and included three chapels, a large precinct and outbuildings. It was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and a statue of him was positioned over the Strand gate. In 1570 complaints were made that Thomas Thurland, Master of the Hospital, used hospital money to maintain his relatives, rarely went to church, had sexual relations with hospital staff, and owed the hospital 2,500. The hospital never recovered from this mismanagement.

Houses in the hospital precinct were fashionable addresses for noblemen and highly ranked clergy. However, by the later 17th century these houses were occupied by businessmen, while the hospital was used for wounded servicemen, and barracks and a military prison were constructed. Some of the chapels and halls were converted for use by non-conformist religious groups such as French Protestants, Lutherans, Quakers and Calvinists. The hospital was formally dissolved in 1702.

Information from The London Encyclopaedia, eds. Weinreb and Hibbert (LMA Library Reference 67.2 WEI).

Sir Nathan Wright (1654-1721) was a lawyer, born in Leicestershire, son of a rector. He entered the Inner Temple in 1671 and was called to the bar in 1677. He was called to the bench in 1692 and became a serjeant-at-law in the same year. He began to represent high profile clients including the crown. In 1696 he was rewarded with a knighthood and made king's serjeant. He was named lord keeper in May 1700, although he accepted with reluctance. He sat on the privy council as an advisor to William III. Party politics led to his dismissal as lord keeper in 1705. Wright's wife died in the same month and he retired to his estates. He participated in some local law until 1721 when he died.

Information from: Robert J. Frankle, 'Wright, Sir Nathan (1654-1721)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.


Scope and content/abstract:

Volume containing "Articles of Enquiry at the Visitation of the Hospitall of the Savoy near the Strand in the County of Middlesex ... by the right Honourable Sir Nathan Wright, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England and as such visitor of all the Hospitalls of Royal foundation ..."

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

One volume.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Record deposited in October 1953.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For more records relating to the Savoy Hospital see BRA/846.

Publication note:

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:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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