St Paul’s Cross

The outdoor pulpit known as St Paul’s Cross, painted by John Gipkyn (fl 1594–1629) in 1616. 

Today I discovered this lovely painting of St Paul’s Cross, a site of much historical importance.

Public sermons and announcements were delivered to Londoners from St Paul’s Cross, the first in 1236, when a member of the king’s counsel announced Henry III’s wish to govern London well and punish those who interfered with its citizens. In 1422, Richard Walker, a chaplain of Worcester, appeared at the Cross to to plead guilty to charges of sorcery. Sermons which helped establish the English Reformation were delivered from here, and several riots began on this spot. Londoners were told of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in a sermon delivered at St Paul’s Cross on November 10th by William Barlow. In 1643 the Cross was destroyed by the Puritans during the first English Civil War, and it was rebuilt, minus the pulpit, in 1910.

St Paul’s Cross today
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  • March 11, 2012 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea why the Puritans removed the Cross. Perhaps because it represented a symbol of monarchy?

  • March 10, 2012 - 1:00 am | Permalink

    Don’t know the name John Gipkyn but he was terrific.

    Sometimes I think the visual arts (paintings, architecture, sculpture, furniture etc) tell us as much about a particular place and a particular time as the written chronicles do. In any case, chronicles have been known to lie, or spin a situation.

    By the way, why did the Puritans not like this Cross?

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