(St.) John the Evangelist

(St.) John the Evangelist
   On the east side of Friday Street at its junction with Watling Street, in Bread Street Ward (S. 352-3).
   Earliest mention found in records : "St. John the Evangelist and St. Wereburga," 1349 (Ct. H.W. I. 596).
   There are earlier references to the church under the name of St. Wereburga, as "St. Werburge," 30 H. III. (Cal. Charter Rolls, I. 290). In a later deed (p. 339) a messuage is described as in the corner of Friday Street opposite the door of the church of "St. Werburga." "St. Wereburga" in Frideistrate, 54 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2118). "Sanctae Wereburgae," 31 Ed. I. (Lib. Cust. I. 230).
   Other forms : "St. John the Evangelist and St. Ethelburga," Fridaistrete, 28 Ed. III. (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. 1354-8, p. 100). "St. John the Evangelist in Frydaystret," 1356 (Ct. H.W. I. 690). "St. John in Watlyngstrete," 1484-5 (ib. II. 587).
   Stow refers to it as St. John the Evangelist, but has a note in the margin "Sometime of St. Werbridge" (S. 352-3).
   An instance of a double dedication. The church was possibly originally dedicated to St. Wereburga and was rebuilt or restored in the 13th century, and dedicated also to St. John the Evangelist.
   Repaired and beautified 1626 and gallery built (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 205).
   Burnt in the Fire and not rebuilt. Parish united to All Hallows Bread Street (ib. 206).
   Churchyard shown in Rocque's map and preserved as a burying ground for the parishioners (ib.).
   A peculiar belonging to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
   A Rectory. Patron : Prior of Christchurch, Canterbury. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the Dean and Chapter (Newcourt, I.).
   The parish seems to have enjoyed the distinction of being free from infection during the Great Plague.
   St. Werburga, to whom the church was dedicated, was a Mercian princess, granddaughter of Penda the Mercian king. She was trained at Ely by her aunt, the Abbess Etheldreda, and eventually succeeded her as Abbess there. She lived in the 8th century.
   Numerous churches were dedicated to her throughout England.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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