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Monument to Thomas Rosewell, South Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5235 / 51°31'24"N

Longitude: -0.0882 / 0°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 532728

OS Northings: 182243

OS Grid: TQ327822

Mapcode National: GBR S8.B1

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.FY7Y

Entry Name: Monument to Thomas Rosewell, South Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396556

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508640

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


635-1/0/10271 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Rosewell, South enc
losure

GV II
Headstone of Thomas Rosewell, renewed 1867

LOCATION: 532728.2, 182243.3

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of an upright stone slab with a shaped top and a small footstone at its base. The inscription reads: 'Thomas Rosewell / Nonconformist Minister / Rotherhithe / Died 1692 / Tried for High Treason under the infamous Jeffries / see state trials 1681.' A subsidiary inscription records the monument's renewal by a descendant of Rosewell in 1867.

HISTORY: Thomas Rosewell (1630-92) was a Presbyterian minister and writer, famous chiefly for his part in the infamous treason trials of the 1680s. Born near Bath, he was initially sent to London in 1645 to train as a silk-weaver, but encounters with leading Presbyterians led him to pursue a clerical education at the Dissenting academy at St Mary Axe and later at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he worked as a private tutor, and served as rector at Roade in Somerset and at Sutton Mandeville in Wiltshire. Rosewell's politics were firmly Royalist, but this fact did not spare him the persecution meted out to Dissenters in the years following the Restoration. He was ejected from his rectorship in 1662, forcing him to return to tutoring before finally securing a post as minister to the Presbyterian congregation in Rotherhithe in 1674. Allegations, almost certainly fabricated, that he had uttered seditious sentiments during a sermon in September 1684 led to his being arraigned for high treason, at a trial presided over by the notoriously ruthless Lord Chief Justice, George Jeffreys. He was initially found guilty and sentenced to death, but public outcry led to a royal pardon in January 1685.

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).
Jim Benedict, entry on Rosewell in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Thomas Rosewell is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a prominent late-C17 Dissenting minister, remembered for his infamous treason trial in 1684.
* 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


635-1/0/10271 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Rosewell, South enc
losure

GV II
Headstone of Thomas Rosewell, renewed 1867

LOCATION: 532728.2, 182243.3

MATERIALS: Portland stone

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of an upright stone slab with a shaped top and a small footstone at its base. The inscription reads: 'Thomas Rosewell / Nonconformist Minister / Rotherhithe / Died 1692 / Tried for High Treason under the infamous Jeffries / see state trials 1681.' A subsidiary inscription records the monument's renewal by a descendant of Rosewell in 1867.

HISTORY: Thomas Rosewell (1630-92) was a Presbyterian minister and writer, famous chiefly for his part in the infamous treason trials of the 1680s. Born near Bath, he was initially sent to London in 1645 to train as a silk-weaver, but encounters with leading Presbyterians led him to pursue a clerical education at the Dissenting academy at St Mary Axe and later at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he worked as a private tutor, and served as rector at Roade in Somerset and at Sutton Mandeville in Wiltshire. Rosewell's politics were firmly Royalist, but this fact did not spare him the persecution meted out to Dissenters in the years following the Restoration. He was ejected from his rectorship in 1662, forcing him to return to tutoring before finally securing a post as minister to the Presbyterian congregation in Rotherhithe in 1674. Allegations, almost certainly fabricated, that he had uttered seditious sentiments during a sermon in September 1684 led to his being arraigned for high treason, at a trial presided over by the notoriously ruthless Lord Chief Justice, George Jeffreys. He was initially found guilty and sentenced to death, but public outcry led to a royal pardon in January 1685.

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).
Jim Benedict, entry on Rosewell in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Thomas Rosewell is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a prominent late-C17 Dissenting minister, remembered for his infamous treason trial in 1684.
* 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 Thomas Rosewell is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a prominent late-C17 Dissenting minister, remembered for his infamous treason trial in 1684.
* 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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