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St Giles in the Fields, Middlesex

Historical Description

Giles, St, -in-the-Fields, a parish in Middlesex, 1½ mile WNW of St Paul's. It includes Bedford Square, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Gower Street, Great Queen Street, and part of New Oxford Street, but in general consists-of crowded thoroughfares, and is one of the poorer parts of the metropolis. Acreage, 244; population, 39,782. A lepers' hospital was founded here in 1101 by Queen Matilda, formed the nucleus of the parish, and was given to the Dudleys. The parish church was rebuilt on the site of the hospital chapel in 1730-34, after designs by Flitcroft, at a cost of £10,000; has a steeple 165 feet high, and a lich gate, with a sculpture from the previous chapel, and contains an effigy of Duchess Dudley, and the remains of Andrew Marvel, R. L'Estrange, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Chapman the translator of Homer, and Pendrell who aided the escape of Charles II. The tomb of the latter has a quaint epitaph, describing him as " unparalleled Pendrell." Lincoln's Inn Fields has on its north side the Soane Museum, on its south side the Royal College of Surgeons, occupies 13¼ acres, around the spot where Lord Rufcsell and Algernon Sydney were beheaded in 1683, and was begun to be formed by Inigo Jones in 1615, and enclosed with rail in 1735. The Soane Museum was founded by Sir John Soane in his own house in 1812, occupies upwards of twenty-four rooms, comprises Belzoni's Egyptian sarcophagus, a library, and a large collection of marbles, gems, pictures, and curiosities, and was left by the founder to the public in 1833. The Royal College of Surgeons was built in 1835, after designs by Sir Charles Barry, at a cost of £40,000, and includes a museum containing upwards of 25,000 specimens, and originating in the purchase by parliament of the Hunterian collection for £15,000. Lady Fanshawe, Lord Somers, Lord Kenyon, Lord Ersldne, the Duke of Newcastle, and Spencer Perceval lived at Lincoln's Inn Fields; Lord Herbert of Cher-bury, Liord Chancellor Finch, Sir T. Fairfax, Kneller, and Strange lived in Great Queen Street; Ronquillo, the Spanish-ambassador in the time of James II., lived in Wild Street; Serjeant Maynard and Wilmot Lord Eochester lived in Portugal Row; Benjamin Franklin lived in Duke Street; and Brunei, while inventing his block machinery, lived in Bedford Street. M. Foulkes, the antiquary, and Jortin, the theological writer, were natives. See also LONDON".

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.