Brethren Archive

Smithfield and the Martyrs


Smithfield is famous for its centuries-old meat market, today the last surviving historical wholesale market in Central London.
The memorial to the martyrs on the wall of St. Bartholomew's hospital.
Next to this is the original Tudor gate hosue to the Norman Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great - the oldest surviving church in London.
Nearby are the buildings of what was once the Charterhouse school - John Wesley was schooled here.
"St John's Gate is one of the few tangible remains from Clerkenwell's monastic past; it was built in 1504 by Prior Thomas Docwra as the south entrance to the inner precinct of the Priory of the Knights of Saint John - the Knights Hospitallers."
St James church, Clerkenwell; inside is a memorial to the Smithfield martyrs.
Memorial inside St. James


Smithfield, which is just a five minute walk from St Paul's Cathedral, has been the site of somoe of England's darkest days. During the reign of Mary, and at infrequent times previous to this, faithful witnesses to Christ, lost their lives in the flames here.

"In the Middle Ages Smithfield was a broad grassy space known as Smooth Field, just outside the London Wall, on the eastern bank of the River Fleet. Due to its access to grazing and water, it was used as the City's main livestock market for nearly 1000 years."

"As a large open space close to the City, Smithfield was a favourite place for public gatherings. Along with Tyburn, Smithfield was for centuries the main site for the public execution of heretics and dissidents in London. The Scottish nobleman William Wallace was executed here in 1305. The market was used as a meeting place for the peasants in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and the revolt's leader, Wat Tyler was killed there after being stabbed by William Walworth, the Mayor of London, and a squire on 15 June 1381."

George Humberside-Watts said ...
A very interesting website, the Protestant Alliance holds a yearly commemoration service at the site in May. This year, 2015, God willing, it should be held on the 9th of May. It is not just a mere "commemoration" of the martyrs but also a Gospel open air. It would be very interesting to see many believers who are not ashamed of the Protestant heritage to be there. You can contact the Protestant Alliance on 01525 712348 for further details. You can also write to them Protestant Alliance, 77 Ampthill Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire MK45 1BD and by sending an A4 prepaid self addressed envelope with either a large first class or second class stamp you can get a sample copy of their magazines "The Reformer" and "The Young Reformer". They also visit churches with illustrated power point talks on different topics (ask for their 41 lectures list). These talks are very informative and well done. God bless you. George
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 : 10:13

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