3 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Per L&M Companion:

Contemporary of Pepys at Magdalene (B.A. 1652), Rector of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey 1662-1705.

Brother of John:

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Seems Rev. Thomas Meriton was out of work in 1667:

It is not known why the church is called Cole Abbey, but Stow attributes this potentially to its exposed site, i.e. 'Cold Bay'; another explanation is that it is corruption of 'Cold Harbor' or a shelter for travelers. The pre-Fire church was ancient, the main body predating the tower and south aisle which were built in 1377 by a benefactor named Buckland who restored the building, extending it over adjacent property. The church contained monuments from early C14th and by the C16th the church was below the surrounding ground-level, which had been raised in the interim.

Other works were carried out to Cole Abbey in 1628 and 1630.

Patronage of Cole Abbey had belonged to the Dean and Chapter of St. Martin-le-Grand until Henry VII granted it to the Abbot and Convent of Westminster.

Cole Abbey devolved to the Crown upon the Dissolution whereupon it was assigned to various families, including that of Colonel Francis Hacker, who commanded the guard that led King Charles to the scaffold and who was later executed after the Restoration, when the Crown once again took possession of the church.

Cole Abbey was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.

In 1677 a new and larger church by Wren was, according to Strype, the first to be completed after the Fire. At that time the parish joined with that of St. Nicholas Olave.

In 1874 further works were undertaken to St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, including an overthrow of the gateway to Queen Victoria Street with a statue of St. Nicholas, later moved to the Vestry. The corn-ship weathervane on the steeple was erected here when St. Michael Queenhithe was sold and demolished in 1875 …

For more, see
which includes a photo of the current Wren church

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pictures and more of the history of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey and the area around it:

Known generally as the West Fish Market, Ekwall notes that “another name-form [for Old Fish Street] is Westpiscaria”; ‘Piscaria’ or ‘Pisconaria’ meaning ‘the Fish-Market’ and the ‘West-’ affix being a “distinction from the fish-market on the London Bridge”.

Meanwhile, Carlin and Belcher suggest that Old Fish Street may have been called, in 1252, “the west fish market”.

The alley used to run from Distaff Lane, which is still there but was originally called Fish Street, down to what is today Upper Thames Street.

It may have originally been called Baggardses Lane but was certainly known as Fish Street Hill by Tudor times.

It gained the Old, as in Old Fish Street Hill, sometime in the 17th-18th-century, as it’s marked as such in Horwood's Map of 1799 which shows the remaining section of the alley.

It might be much the same today if it wasn’t for the Victorians driving a wide road through this part of London, cutting through the middle of Old Fish Street Hill with Queen Victoria Street. What was left was a tiny runt of the alley to the north, and a renamed passage to the south, Lambeth Hill, and that had its route changed after WW2 bombing flattened this part of London.

What’s there today is a short alley that passes between an old church and a modern office block.

The church that the alley runs past the back of is St Nicholas Cole Abbey, which despite its name is not an Abbey. It’s St Nicholas church, and the name “Cole Abbey” is derived from “coldharbour”, a medieval word for a traveler’s shelter or shelter from the cold.

The earliest reference to the church is in a letter of Pope Lucius II in 1144–5, and the church is named after St. Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of fishermen, which is apt as it sat next to that original fish market.

John Stow records that, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a lead and stone cistern, fed by the Thames, was set up against the north wall of the church “for the care and commodity of the Fishmongers in and about Old Fish Street”.

The church was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London, and again partially rebuilt when Victoria Street was built beside it to move the entrance and open up new windows to the south.

During the early years of steam trains on the Underground, a vent shaft next to the church so covered it in smoke that the church became known as “St Nicholas Cole Hole Abbey”.

The church was gutted on 10 May 1941 during the worst air raid of WW2, when 1,436 people were killed along with the destruction of large swathes of London. The church remained a ruin for over a decade, but was finally rebuilt and reconsecrated in May 1962.


Does anyone know if the fish market was still there in Pepys' time?

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.