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Monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly, South Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5233 / 51°31'23"N

Longitude: -0.0882 / 0°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 532730

OS Northings: 182221

OS Grid: TQ327822

Mapcode National: GBR S8.B3

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.FZ73

Entry Name: Monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly, South Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396490

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508653

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Giles Cripplegate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/0/10283 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly, So
uth enclosure

GV II
Headstone of Manoah and Sarah Sibly, early C19

LOCATION: 532730.2, 182220.5

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of an upright slab with a shaped top and a small shaped footstone. It is inscribed on both sides. The inscription on the eastern face is partially eroded but originally read: 'Sacred to the memory of the Revd Manoah Sibly, who for 52 years faithfully, ably, and zealously preached the doctrines and truths of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, from her commencement in the year 1788, and rejoined his beloved conjugal partner in a glorious and beloved state of immortality on the 16th of December in the 84th year of his age'. The western face reads: 'Sacred to the memory of Mrs Sarah Sibly, conjugal partner of the Revd Manoah Sibly, minister of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, who [died] the 31st Oct 1829'.

HISTORY: Manoah Sibly or Sibley (1757-1840) was born into an artisan family in Bristol. He moved to London as a young man and worked as a bookseller and stenographer before taking up a post in the Bank of England, where he eventually rose to become head of the chancery office. In 1780 he married Sarah, née Lack; their marriage of forty-nine years was a notably happy one. An accomplished autodidact, self-taught in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, he developed a passionate interest in the esoteric arts, producing translations of two astrological works by Placidus de Titis and distributing copies of occult texts published by his brother, the Freemason and astrologer Ebenezer Sibly. In 1787 he became converted to the teachings of the Swedish mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg. Ordained as a Swedenborgian minister in 1790, he afterwards served at various London meeting houses before establishing his own chapel in Blackfriars in 1803.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields, vol. II (London, 1933).
Peter J Lineham, entry on Manoah Sibly in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a noted Swedenborgian minister and occultist, whose highly unorthodox convictions, openly advertised on his monument, bear witness to the heterogeneity of belief among those buried at Bunhill Fields.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the south enclosure.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Description


635-1/0/10283 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly, So
uth enclosure

GV II
Headstone of Manoah and Sarah Sibly, early C19

LOCATION: 532730.2, 182220.5

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of an upright slab with a shaped top and a small shaped footstone. It is inscribed on both sides. The inscription on the eastern face is partially eroded but originally read: 'Sacred to the memory of the Revd Manoah Sibly, who for 52 years faithfully, ably, and zealously preached the doctrines and truths of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, from her commencement in the year 1788, and rejoined his beloved conjugal partner in a glorious and beloved state of immortality on the 16th of December in the 84th year of his age'. The western face reads: 'Sacred to the memory of Mrs Sarah Sibly, conjugal partner of the Revd Manoah Sibly, minister of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, who [died] the 31st Oct 1829'.

HISTORY: Manoah Sibly or Sibley (1757-1840) was born into an artisan family in Bristol. He moved to London as a young man and worked as a bookseller and stenographer before taking up a post in the Bank of England, where he eventually rose to become head of the chancery office. In 1780 he married Sarah, née Lack; their marriage of forty-nine years was a notably happy one. An accomplished autodidact, self-taught in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, he developed a passionate interest in the esoteric arts, producing translations of two astrological works by Placidus de Titis and distributing copies of occult texts published by his brother, the Freemason and astrologer Ebenezer Sibly. In 1787 he became converted to the teachings of the Swedish mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg. Ordained as a Swedenborgian minister in 1790, he afterwards served at various London meeting houses before establishing his own chapel in Blackfriars in 1803.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields, vol. II (London, 1933).
Peter J Lineham, entry on Manoah Sibly in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a noted Swedenborgian minister and occultist, whose highly unorthodox convictions, openly advertised on his monument, bear witness to the heterogeneity of belief among those buried at Bunhill Fields.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the south enclosure.

Reasons for Listing

The monument to Manoah and Sarah Sibly is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a noted Swedenborgian minister and occultist, whose highly unorthodox convictions, openly advertised on his monument, bear witness to the heterogeneity of belief among those buried at Bunhill Fields.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the south enclosure.

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