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Monument to Thomas Bradbury, West Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5235 / 51°31'24"N

Longitude: -0.0896 / 0°5'22"W

OS Eastings: 532630

OS Northings: 182240

OS Grid: TQ326822

Mapcode National: GBR S8.01

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.DYGY

Entry Name: Monument to Thomas Bradbury, West Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396543

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508578

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


635-1/0/10237 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Bradbury, West encl
osure

GV II
Chest tomb of Thomas Bradbury, 1759

LOCATION: 532629.5, 182239.9

MATERIALS: Portland stone with sandstone plinth.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a stone chest with a moulded lid and base, resting upon a low sandstone plinth. It has fluted and gadrooned corner balusters and fielded inscription panels. The principal inscription extols Bradbury's virtues and records the details of his career, ending with an exhortation to the reader: 'Remember, also, that as surely as night succeeds the longest day, so surely will death conclude the longest life. Work, therefore, while it is day.' An inscription on one of the end panels records the burial of his wife Mary.

HISTORY: Thomas Bradbury (c.1676-1759) was an Independent minister and a prominent figure in the religious controversies of the early C18. Born near Wakefield in Yorkshire, he was educated at Leeds free school and Timothy Jollie's academy at Attercliffe, before becoming minister at Beverley in 1697. In 1703 he moved to London, and in 1707 became minister at the meeting house in Fetter Lane. He became noted for his controversial and highly political sermons, in support of religious liberty and the Hanoverian succession; in 1714 he claimed to be the first person to proclaim the accession of King George I after news of Queen Anne's death was secretly conveyed to him whilst preaching. Within the Dissenting community too he was known as a controversialist, especially for his pugnacious defence of orthodox views of the Trinity during and after the so-called 'Salters' Hall dispute' of 1719. His publications, mainly collections of sermons and lectures, include The Power of Christ (1724), The Mystery of Godliness (1726) and A Confession of Faith (1729).

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 (London, 1915).
John Handby, entry on Bradbury in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Thomas Bradbury is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a handsome and well-preserved mid-C18 chest tomb.
* It commemorates a leading Independent clergyman and religious controversialist.
* 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 west enclosure.

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

Description


635-1/0/10237 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Bradbury, West encl
osure

GV II
Chest tomb of Thomas Bradbury, 1759

LOCATION: 532629.5, 182239.9

MATERIALS: Portland stone with sandstone plinth.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a stone chest with a moulded lid and base, resting upon a low sandstone plinth. It has fluted and gadrooned corner balusters and fielded inscription panels. The principal inscription extols Bradbury's virtues and records the details of his career, ending with an exhortation to the reader: 'Remember, also, that as surely as night succeeds the longest day, so surely will death conclude the longest life. Work, therefore, while it is day.' An inscription on one of the end panels records the burial of his wife Mary.

HISTORY: Thomas Bradbury (c.1676-1759) was an Independent minister and a prominent figure in the religious controversies of the early C18. Born near Wakefield in Yorkshire, he was educated at Leeds free school and Timothy Jollie's academy at Attercliffe, before becoming minister at Beverley in 1697. In 1703 he moved to London, and in 1707 became minister at the meeting house in Fetter Lane. He became noted for his controversial and highly political sermons, in support of religious liberty and the Hanoverian succession; in 1714 he claimed to be the first person to proclaim the accession of King George I after news of Queen Anne's death was secretly conveyed to him whilst preaching. Within the Dissenting community too he was known as a controversialist, especially for his pugnacious defence of orthodox views of the Trinity during and after the so-called 'Salters' Hall dispute' of 1719. His publications, mainly collections of sermons and lectures, include The Power of Christ (1724), The Mystery of Godliness (1726) and A Confession of Faith (1729).

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 (London, 1915).
John Handby, entry on Bradbury in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Thomas Bradbury is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a handsome and well-preserved mid-C18 chest tomb.
* It commemorates a leading Independent clergyman and religious controversialist.
* 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 west enclosure.

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