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Monument to Daniel Williams, East Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5238 / 51°31'25"N

Longitude: -0.0879 / 0°5'16"W

OS Eastings: 532749

OS Northings: 182273

OS Grid: TQ327822

Mapcode National: GBR S7.DY

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.FYDR

Entry Name: Monument to Daniel Williams, East Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396519

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508552

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


635-1/0/10216 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Daniel Williams, East encl
osure

GV II
Chest tomb of Daniel Williams, probably early C18, with late C19 embellishments.

LOCATION: 532748.7, 182272.2

MATERIALS: Portland stone with darker grey stone for pilasters, inscription panels and top slab; leaded lettering.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a rectangular stone chest with a moulded lid and base, set upon a broad stone plinth which retains traces of its former wrought-iron railings. The ends of the chest have two fluted pilasters in a dark grey stone framing a raised and fielded panel with multiple mouldings. The long sides have coupled pilasters framing an oval panel, also in grey stone, with a carved drapery surround. The inscriptions are picked out in gold; that on the southern panel names Williams as the founder of the Red Cross Street library, while the northern inscription commemorates Thomas Morgan LLD (1752-1821), librarian at the same institution. The lid bears a lengthy Latin text in honour of Williams, with raised lead lettering.

HISTORY: Daniel Williams (1643?-1716) was a Presbyterian minister and the semi-official leader of London's Dissenting community in the late C17 and early C18. Born near Wrexham around 1643, by the age of 19 he had already embraced Nonconformity and acquired a reputation as a preacher. His early ministerial career was spent in Ireland, but sectarian unrest forced a move to London in 1687. In 1689 he was elected minister to the Presbyterian congregation at Hand Alley, Bishopsgate. Despite vigorous and occasionally rancorous engagement in contemporary theological debates, his political ability and influence made him a valuable spokesman for the whole body of Dissenters, and upon the accession of Queen Anne in 1702 he delivered an address to the Crown on behalf of England's three main Nonconformist denominations. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1709. On his death in 1716 he left a large fortune to endow a number of educational charities, including the well-known theological library, now at Gordon Square, that still bears his name.

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: A W Light, Bunhill Fields (1915).
Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields burial ground, with some of the principal inscriptions, etc. (1902)
David L Wykes, entry on Williams in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).
Website of Dr Williams' Library: www.dwlib.co.uk/dwtrust/williams.html (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Daniel Williams is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a highly influential figure in late-C17 and early-C18 Dissent, a leading theologian and churchman and the founder of a library that remains among the most important of its kind.
* It is a well-preserved chest tomb, illustrating the C19 practice of embellishing the tombs of notable figures.
* 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 north-east enclosure.

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

Description


635-1/0/10216 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Daniel Williams, East encl
osure

GV II
Chest tomb of Daniel Williams, probably early C18, with late C19 embellishments.

LOCATION: 532748.7, 182272.2

MATERIALS: Portland stone with darker grey stone for pilasters, inscription panels and top slab; leaded lettering.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a rectangular stone chest with a moulded lid and base, set upon a broad stone plinth which retains traces of its former wrought-iron railings. The ends of the chest have two fluted pilasters in a dark grey stone framing a raised and fielded panel with multiple mouldings. The long sides have coupled pilasters framing an oval panel, also in grey stone, with a carved drapery surround. The inscriptions are picked out in gold; that on the southern panel names Williams as the founder of the Red Cross Street library, while the northern inscription commemorates Thomas Morgan LLD (1752-1821), librarian at the same institution. The lid bears a lengthy Latin text in honour of Williams, with raised lead lettering.

HISTORY: Daniel Williams (1643?-1716) was a Presbyterian minister and the semi-official leader of London's Dissenting community in the late C17 and early C18. Born near Wrexham around 1643, by the age of 19 he had already embraced Nonconformity and acquired a reputation as a preacher. His early ministerial career was spent in Ireland, but sectarian unrest forced a move to London in 1687. In 1689 he was elected minister to the Presbyterian congregation at Hand Alley, Bishopsgate. Despite vigorous and occasionally rancorous engagement in contemporary theological debates, his political ability and influence made him a valuable spokesman for the whole body of Dissenters, and upon the accession of Queen Anne in 1702 he delivered an address to the Crown on behalf of England's three main Nonconformist denominations. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1709. On his death in 1716 he left a large fortune to endow a number of educational charities, including the well-known theological library, now at Gordon Square, that still bears his name.

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: A W Light, Bunhill Fields (1915).
Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields burial ground, with some of the principal inscriptions, etc. (1902)
David L Wykes, entry on Williams in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).
Website of Dr Williams' Library: www.dwlib.co.uk/dwtrust/williams.html (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Daniel Williams is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a highly influential figure in late-C17 and early-C18 Dissent, a leading theologian and churchman and the founder of a library that remains among the most important of its kind.
* It is a well-preserved chest tomb, illustrating the C19 practice of embellishing the tombs of notable figures.
* 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 north-east enclosure.

Reasons for Listing

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