Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:
During the Civil Wars and the period of the interregnum, the Savoy was used as a military hospital for wounded soldiers. Presumably, at this early date after the Restoration, there are still military patients there.
Re Hospital: J. Evelyn 1st mentioned the Savoy on June 8 th 65"...That I might have at my disposal of the Savoy Hospital for the sick & Wounded ..."
and again on 17 aug 66 "...Din'd with L: Chancellor whom I entreated to visite the Hospital of the Savoy, & reduce it (after greate abuse had ben continued) to it's original institution, for the benefit of the poore, which he promised to do...."Later on the 23rd "...In the afternoone Visited the Savoy Hospital, where I staid to see miserably dismembred & wounded men dressed & gave some necessary orders ...."
The Savoy --
Readers of the Patrick O'Brian novels will recall that this was, legally, not part of London at all:
"Patrick O'Brian Answers Your Questions
"Q. I am curious as to the exact nature of 'the liberty of the Savoy,' as you refer to the London district where The Grapes, Stephen Maturin's London lodgings, is to be found. Is this district's freedom from process servers, debt collectors etc. a status that dated from ancient times? What is the exact nature of this status? Does it still exist?
"A. The Liberty of the Savoy came into being in 1245, when Henry III gave the area where the hotel and Simpson's now stands, together with many streets of suburban houses, to his wife's uncle, Peter, Earl of Savoy, who built a palace there; and somewhat later Queen Eleanor gave it to her son Edmond of Lancaster. It came down, by descent and marriage, to old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster, thus becoming part of his palatinate duchy
The Savoy Chapel
The Savoy Chapel, tucked away between The Strand and The Embankment, is still open for worship on Sunday mornings from October to July. It is now known as The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy and is the 'home' of the Royal Victorian Order.
The original chapel was burnt down during the Peasants' Revolt in the 14th Century. It was rebuilt during the 16th century; although much of the present building dates from the 19th century, parts of the outer walls date from 1502.
Just to confuse the matter of the Liberties of the Savoy even further: The Duchy of Lancaster has been part of the English Crown since 1461; today's Duke of Lancaster is Queen Elizabeth. This means that when Jack Aubrey was able to avoid arrest for debt by hiding out in the Liberties of Savoy-- because the King's Writ had no legal power in the Duchy of Lancaster--he was able to do so because one of George III's titles, Duke of Lancaster, possessed privileges that superceeded his powers as King.
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