St Martin in the Fields, Middlesex Genealogy
"St. Martin's in the Fields the church of, is situated on the northern side of the western extremity of the Strand, and derives its name from being dedicated to St. Martin an Hungarian Saint, who was distinguished for his ferocity against the Arians, and it's addition from its former situation in the fields.
"The original church on this site is of great antiquity, as there are authentic records of the dispute between the abbot of Westminster and the Bishop of London,concerning the exemption of this church from episcopal jurisdiction. At the time of the Reformation the church was in such bad condition that Henry VIII had built a small church at his own expense, which being found not sufficiently capacious, was much enlarged in 1607 at the expense of Prince Henry and some of the nobility. At length after many expensive repairs, that building was taken down in 1721, and the first stone laid shortly after. It was finished, consecrated and opened for divine service in 1726.
"King George I who laid the first stone, gave the workmen a hundred guineas; and when the church was nearly finished he presented the parish with £1500 pounds for an organ.
"This church is remarkably handsome edifice of the Florida Roman or Italian style of architecture,designed by James Gibbs. The interior is richly ornamented and has a splendid appearance.
"This parish is supposed to have been abstracted from that of St. Margaret, Westminster .The advowson is a vicarage in the county and archdeaconry of Middlesex, in the diocese of London, and in the patronage of the Bishop of London."
The following churches at some point, stood within the civil parish of St Martin-in-the-Field by act of Parliament:
St. John the Evangelist, Drury La. - 1855
St. Michael, Burleigh St. - 1848
St Martin le Grand, Westminster - pulled down in 1548
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.
The parish registers of St Martin-in-the-Fields have been indexed and the christening and marriages data are available online at FamilySearch.org. Also, Ancestry.co.uk will be posting digital images of these parish registers with an index for all events including the burials, in the very near future. Pallot's Marriage Index, and Boyd's Marriage Index both provide a considerable portion of the marriages of this celebrated and 'fashionable' Westminster parish. Boyd's Marriage Index is available online at FindMyPast.com and the (British) Origins Network. Pallot's Marriage Index, can be seen at Ancestry.co.uk.
Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, nonconformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.
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any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed.
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Middlesex Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
Poor Law Unions
Before the formation of Poor Law Unions the workhouse for the parish was established. Refer to http://www.londonlives.org/static/Workhouses.jsp#toc3 for history and free online searchable database 1680 - 1820 for the parish records
On 29th April, 1835, St Martin's became a Poor Law Parish under the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act. Its poor relief activities were then overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 24 in number.
In 1868, St Martin's parish was incorporated into the Strand Poor Law Union. The St Martin's workhouse was demolished in 1871 to make way for an extension to the National Gallery.
Records are held at :
- City of Westminster Archives Centre, 10 St Ann's Street, London SW1P 2DE. Extensive holdings include: Churchwardens' and overseers' minutes (1755-64,1772-1892, indexed 1774-84, 1856-63); List of churchwardens and overseers (1755-1856, indexed); Churchwardens' and overseers' accounts (1598-1844); Lists of the poor in churchwardens' accounts (1741-42,1758-61); Workhouse building minutes (1770-83); Workhouse sub-committee reports (1817-22); Workhouse admission and discharge registers (1725-29, 1741-1846); Workhouse admission registers (1818-33); Workhouse day books including admissions and discharges (1737-1826); Workhouse selling books [forfeits of food in return for day out] (1826-35); Workhouse building accounts (1770-1830); Workhouse accounts (1725-50); List of lunatics in workhouse day book (1744-8); Lists of nurses and children (1762-3,1768-9,1779-95); etc.
- London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. Holdings for St Martin-in-the-Fields workhouse: Admissions and discharges (1824-70); Births and deaths (1848-57); etc. Other holdings: Guardians' minute books (1836-68).
Maps and Gazetteers
Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.
Contributor: Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.
- James Elmes, M.R. I. A., Architect. In “A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Envirions,” (London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1831). Adapted.
- Dunn, P.B, Guide to Ancestral Research in London. (Salt Lake City, UT: 2010)