London Westminster & Middlesex Family History Society

St James Piccadilly-part of the Ancient Parish of St Martin in the Fields

Berwick Street, Golden Square, Great Marlborough Street, Jermyn Street and Pall Mall are places in the parish of St James Piccadilly, which is also known as St James Westminster. St James’s Palace is within this area but is extra-parochial, with its own administration.

St James Piccadilly was a parish in the Liberty of Westminster, created in 1685 from the Ancient Parish of St Martin in the Fields. The City and Liberty of Westminster was succeeded as an administrative body by the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster in 1900 and then by the London Borough of Westminster in 1965.

Surrounding it are the parishes of St George Hanover Square, St Anne Soho, St Martin in the Fields and St Marylebone.

The Society has produced a Parish Guide to St James Piccadilly.

 

St James, Piccadilly, also St James Westminster

The church was consecrated in 1684 following local people’s petitioning to become a separate parish from St Martin in the Fields. It was big enough to seat 2,000 people. The steeple was added later but had to be taken down in 1687 after cracks appeared, and it was not finally re-erected until 1699. The church was renovated in 1937 only for it to be badly damaged by a bomb during World War II but it was reconstructed in 1953. Records of the parish of Saint James Piccadilly include: baptisms (1685-1963); marriages (1685-1986), burials (1685-1853) and are at Westminster City Archives.

 

St James Piccadilly

 

St James Piccadilly

 

St James Piccadilly reredos

 

St John the Baptist, Great Marlborough Street

This separate parish was formed to serve an area extending up to Oxford Street. It was using temporary accommodation from 1865 until its church was consecrated in 1885. It was closed in 1937 when the parish was amalgamated with St Thomas, Regent Street, and the church was demolished. Records include baptisms (1871-1937) and marriages (1886-1936) and are at Westminster City Archives.

St Luke, Berwick Street

A Huguenot Church, known as La Patente, was established in Berwick Street in 1689. In 1694 it moved to Little Chapel Street and in 1707 the vestry of St James proposed fitting it up to be a chapel of ease to the parish. A new church was built on the same spot and was consecrated in 1839, a parish being assigned in 1841. In 1935 the parish merged with St Anne Soho and the church was demolished in 1936.

Records include baptisms (1845-1935) and marriages (1853-1934) and are at Westminster City Archives.

St Peter, Great Windmill Street

This church was consecrated in 1861. In 1953 the parish was united with the combined parishes of St Anne Soho and St Thomas Regent Street and St Peter’s was closed in 1954 and demolished. Records include baptisms (1851-1951) and marriages (1865-1953) and are at Westminster City Archives.

St Philip, Regent Street

This chapel was built on the lower end of Regent Street, south of Piccadilly Circus, in 1820. It was demolished in 1904. Records include baptisms (1861-1903) and are at Westminster City Archives.

St Thomas, Regent Street

This church was erected as a proprietary tabernacle by Dr Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury, in King Street (now Kingly Street), off Regent Street in 1702. In 1869 it became a district church in the parish of St James and was dedicated to St Thomas. The district of St Peter, Great Windmill Street was joined to St Thomas in 1937. In 1954 St Thomas was joined to St Anne Soho. Records include baptisms (1854-1954) and marriages (1870-1991) and are at Westminster City Archives.