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Monument to John Owen, South Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5234 / 51°31'24"N

Longitude: -0.0882 / 0°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 532733

OS Northings: 182225

OS Grid: TQ327822

Mapcode National: GBR S8.B3

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.FZ82

Entry Name: Monument to John Owen, South Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396550

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508636

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Parish: Non Civil Parish

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


635-1/0/10267 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to John Owen, South enclosure

GV II
Chest tomb of John Owen, renewed late C18 or early C19.

LOCATION: 532732.7, 182225.4

MATERIALS: Portland stone with Pennant stone top and brick plinth.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a simple stone chest with a moulded top, set upon a low brick plinth. On the south face is inscribed 'John Owen D.D.', and on the short west end 'The family vault of Samuel Walker M.A.' (The identity of the latter is unknown.)

HISTORY: John Owen (1616-83) was among the leading Puritan theologians and churchmen of the mid-C17. Born the son of an Oxfordshire clergyman and educated at Queen's College, Oxford, he initially served as a private chaplain before his Parliamentarian sympathies led him to part company with his Royalist employer in 1642. He was repeatedly invited to preach before Parliament during and after the Civil War, and also served as a chaplain to Parliamentary troops during the siege of Colchester and the Irish expedition. With Cromwell's support he became dean of Christ Church, Oxford in 1651, and vice-chancellor of the university the following year. Initially drawn to Presbyterianism, he later aligned himself with the Independent faction, becoming its acknowledged leader by the late 1650s and publishing a number of influential attacks upon the Arminians, Socinians and other rival groups. He played in a prominent role during the last years of the Protectorate: in early 1657 he drafted the petition that helped persuade Cromwell to reject Parliament's offer of the Crown, and in 1659 he was among those striving to negotiate a settlement between the factions loyal to Richard Cromwell and George Monck. These attempts failed, and in 1660 Owen was stripped of his post at Christ Church and forced to retire to the country. Influential friends protected him during the Restoration, however, and by the end of the decade he was once again able to plead the Dissenting cause: he advised the King on the drafting of the 1672 Declaration of Indulgence, and in 1677 he was influential in securing John Bunyan's release from prison and the subsequent publication of The Pilgrim's Progress. His major late works included a four-volume study of the Epistle to the Hebrews and a five-volume work on the Holy Spirit.

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).
Richard L Greaves, entry on Owen in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to John Owen is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates one of the leading religious figures of the mid-C17, important both for his contribution to Puritan theology and for his role in the ecclesiastical and political conflicts of the period.
* 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


635-1/0/10267 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to John Owen, South enclosure

GV II
Chest tomb of John Owen, renewed late C18 or early C19.

LOCATION: 532732.7, 182225.4

MATERIALS: Portland stone with Pennant stone top and brick plinth.

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a simple stone chest with a moulded top, set upon a low brick plinth. On the south face is inscribed 'John Owen D.D.', and on the short west end 'The family vault of Samuel Walker M.A.' (The identity of the latter is unknown.)

HISTORY: John Owen (1616-83) was among the leading Puritan theologians and churchmen of the mid-C17. Born the son of an Oxfordshire clergyman and educated at Queen's College, Oxford, he initially served as a private chaplain before his Parliamentarian sympathies led him to part company with his Royalist employer in 1642. He was repeatedly invited to preach before Parliament during and after the Civil War, and also served as a chaplain to Parliamentary troops during the siege of Colchester and the Irish expedition. With Cromwell's support he became dean of Christ Church, Oxford in 1651, and vice-chancellor of the university the following year. Initially drawn to Presbyterianism, he later aligned himself with the Independent faction, becoming its acknowledged leader by the late 1650s and publishing a number of influential attacks upon the Arminians, Socinians and other rival groups. He played in a prominent role during the last years of the Protectorate: in early 1657 he drafted the petition that helped persuade Cromwell to reject Parliament's offer of the Crown, and in 1659 he was among those striving to negotiate a settlement between the factions loyal to Richard Cromwell and George Monck. These attempts failed, and in 1660 Owen was stripped of his post at Christ Church and forced to retire to the country. Influential friends protected him during the Restoration, however, and by the end of the decade he was once again able to plead the Dissenting cause: he advised the King on the drafting of the 1672 Declaration of Indulgence, and in 1677 he was influential in securing John Bunyan's release from prison and the subsequent publication of The Pilgrim's Progress. His major late works included a four-volume study of the Epistle to the Hebrews and a five-volume work on the Holy Spirit.

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).
Richard L Greaves, entry on Owen in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to John Owen is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates one of the leading religious figures of the mid-C17, important both for his contribution to Puritan theology and for his role in the ecclesiastical and political conflicts of the period.
* 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 John Owen is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates one of the leading religious figures of the mid-C17, important both for his contribution to Puritan theology and for his role in the ecclesiastical and political conflicts of the period.
* 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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