Friday, 22 February 2019

In the Poets' Church

Today I dropped in on the ironically named St Giles in the Fields, Bloomsbury, which now stands surrounded not by fields but by hideous and very tall buildings, including Centre Point, not to mention roaring traffic and hordes of people dashing by. It's a rather fine, galleried and gilded mid-18th-century church, nicely restored in the mid-20th, and has a few monuments from the old church that preceded the present one. The best is that of Lady Frances Kniveton, with its white marble effigy (above), which dates from the 1660s and is probably by Edward Marshall or his son Joshua, both of whom were capable of good work. The figure of Lady Frances, lying in her rather sketchily realised shroud, is a little bland (and not in the same league as Nicholas Stone's Lady Berkeley at Cranford or Lady Bruce at Exton), but it has a certain quiet beauty.
  St Giles is known as the Poets' Church and has a surprising number of poetical associations. George Chapman, the translator of Homer and inspirer of Keats, has a memorial, erected by his friend Inigo Jones. John Milton brought his second daughter, Mary, to be baptised in the old church. In 1818, the atheist Shelley and his friend Byron had William and Clara (Shelley) and Clara Allegra (Byron) baptised in the new church. Edward Herbert, brother of the more famous George, is buried in the crypt. And Andrew Marvell, who lived nearby and is buried under the South aisle, has a memorial tablet inscribed with what must be one of the most fulsome epitaphs any English poet ever received. He was, according to this, 'a man so endowed by Nature, so improved by Education, Study, and Travel, so consummated by Experience, that, joining the peculiar graces of Wit and Learning, with a singular penetration and strength of judgment; and exercising all these in the whole course of his life, with an unutterable steadiness in the ways of Virtue, he became the ornament and example of his age, beloved by good men, feared by bad, admired by all, though imitated by few; and scarce paralleled by any...'  Phew – really?


  1. I thought of rick wakeman, but I guess he played at other church...

  2. Yes alas, that was St Giles Cripplegate...

  3. Dear Sir Nigess, I just made my own little trip to one of your churches, Goudhurst in Kent. I mention it to you in case you haven't been there because it not only seems to have one of those memorials you like so much, it also has the knight's helmet up there high on the wall. No good to anyone there, but so it goes. Fabulous thing is that they keep bang up to date there - you don't need to place candle and pray for someone, you just send in your request by email and they will do it for you. Guess I could be home in the 'glades and email a request for someone who had their leg taken off by a 'gator. Don't you think that's neat? Nice church too, even if it smells a bit musty.

  4. Actually, I think there's more than one monumental, but to be honest I got a bit fixated on the idea of a cream tea in the cute little village with its own duck pool and didn't look at the carvings too much. Next time! anyway, I bet they get into your book, and I will just order it on Amazin. Will you doing signings?

  5. Yes, nice place Goudhurst, and nice church, but the monuments aren't that special. Prayers by email – an interesting idea. Take the praying out of prayers... Back to the pre-Reformation.


  6. شركة كيان لنقل العفش بالرياض والمدينة المنورة وجدة ومكة والطائف والدمام تقديم لكم دليل كامل لشركات نقل العفش بالمملكة العربية السعودية
    نقل عفش شركة كيان
    دليل شركات نقل العفش
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف


  7. شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث