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.
Savoy (The), in the Strand, a house or palace on the river side (of which the chapel alone remains), built in 1245 by Peter, Earl of Savoy and Richmond, uncle unto Eleanor, wife to King Henry III. The Earl bestowed it on the fraternity of Montjoy (Fratres de Monte Jovis, or Priory de Cornuto by Havering at the Bower, in Essex), of whom it was bought by Queen Eleanor for Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, second son of King Henry III. (d. 1295). In 1293 a license to castellate was obtained.1 Henry Plantagenet, fourth Earl and first Duke of Lancaster, "repaired, or rather new built it," at a cost of 50,000 marks, and here John, King of France, was confined after the battle of Poictiers (1356). The King, not long after his release, died on a visit to this country in his ancient prison of the Savoy. Blanche Plantagenet, daughter and co-heir of Henry, first Duke of Lancaster, married John Plantagenet, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of King Edward III. (" Old John of Gaunt"); and while the Savoy was in his possession it was burnt and entirely destroyed by Wat Tyler and his followers (1381)....The Savoy lay long neglected after this, nor would it appear to have been rebuilt, or indeed employed for any particular purpose before 1505, when it was endowed by Henry VII. as a Hospital of St. John the Baptist, for the relief of 100 poor people....At the Restoration the meetings of the commissioners for the revision of the Liturgy took place in the Savoy (April 15-July 25, 1661); twelve bishops appearing for the Established Church, and Calamy, Baxter, Reynolds, and others for the Presbyterians. This was called "The Savoy Conference," and under that name is matter of English history. ...On Tuesday a person going into the Savoy to demand a debt due from a person who had taken sanctuary there, the inhabitants seized him, and after some consultation agreed, according to the usual custom, to dip him in tar and roll him in feathers, after which they carried him in a wheelbarrow into the Strand, and bound him fast to the Maypole, but several constables and others coming in, dispersed the rabble and rescued the person from their abuses.—The Postman for July 1696, No. 180....The last vestiges of the Savoy buildings were swept away in forming the approaches to Waterloo Bridge.---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
The chapel now has a website of its own if you are interested to know more, including about times for services and visits: royalchapelsavoy.org
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