Henry II of England
Henry II known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou and Nantes, Lord of Ireland. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would come to be called the Angevin Empire. Henry was the son of daughter of Henry I of England, he became involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England occupied by Stephen of Blois, was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I.
During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; this controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse. Henry and Eleanor had eight children -- five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king; as the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest.
France, Brittany and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183; the Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, Philip played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou, he was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems.
Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign. Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133, the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou; the French county of Anjou was formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers attempted for several centuries to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century and the county became autonomous.
Henry's mother was King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy, her first husband had been the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. After her father's death in 1135, Matilda hoped to claim the English throne, but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester; the war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, degenerated into stalemate. Henry spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s. Henry's childhood from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a noted grammarian of the day. In late 1142, Geoffrey decided t
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London from Sunday, 2 September to Thursday, 6 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall, it threatened but did not reach the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, most of the suburban slums. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral, most of the buildings of the City authorities, it is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants. The death toll is unknown but was traditionally thought to have been small, as only six verified deaths were recorded; this reasoning has been challenged on the grounds that the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded. A melted piece of pottery on display at the Museum of London found by archaeologists in Pudding Lane, where the fire started, shows that the temperature reached 1,250 °C; the Great Fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner on Pudding Lane shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2 September, spread west across the City of London.
The major firefighting technique of the time was to create firebreaks by means of demolition. By the time large-scale demolitions were ordered on Sunday night, the wind had fanned the bakery fire into a firestorm that defeated such measures; the fire pushed north on Monday into the heart of the City. Order in the streets broke down as rumours arose of suspicious foreigners setting fires; the fears of the homeless focused on the French and Dutch, England's enemies in the ongoing Second Anglo-Dutch War. On Tuesday, the fire spread over most of the City, destroying St Paul's Cathedral and leaping the River Fleet to threaten King Charles II's court at Whitehall. Coordinated firefighting efforts were mobilising; the social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were encouraged by Charles II, who feared a London rebellion amongst the dispossessed refugees. Despite several radical proposals, London was reconstructed on the same street plan used before the fire.
By the 1660s, London was by far the largest city in Britain, estimated at half a million inhabitants. However, due to the Great Plague of London during the last winter, its population was lower than before it. John Evelyn, contrasting London to the Baroque magnificence of Paris, called it a "wooden and inartificial congestion of Houses", expressed alarm about the fire hazards posed by the wood and the congestion. By "inartificial", Evelyn meant unplanned and makeshift, the result of organic growth and unregulated urban sprawl. London had been a Roman settlement for four centuries and had become progressively more crowded inside its defensive city wall, it had pushed outwards beyond the wall into squalid extramural slums such as Shoreditch and Southwark, had reached far enough to include the independent City of Westminster. By the late 17th century, the City proper—the area bounded by the City wall and the River Thames—was only a part of London, covering some 700 acres, home to about 80,000 people, or one sixth of London's inhabitants.
The City was surrounded by a ring of inner suburbs where most Londoners lived. The City was as now, the commercial heart of the capital, was the largest market and busiest port in England, dominated by the trading and manufacturing classes; the aristocracy shunned the City and lived either in the countryside beyond the slum suburbs, or in the exclusive Westminster district, the site of King Charles II's court at Whitehall. Wealthy people preferred to live at a convenient distance from the traffic-clogged, unhealthy City after it was hit by a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in the Plague Year of 1665; the relationship was tense between the City and the Crown. The City of London had been a stronghold of republicanism during the Civil War, the wealthy and economically dynamic capital still had the potential to be a threat to Charles II, as had been demonstrated by several republican uprisings in London in the early 1660s; the City magistrates were of the generation that had fought in the Civil War, could remember how Charles I's grab for absolute power had led to that national trauma.
They were determined to thwart any similar tendencies in his son, when the Great Fire threatened the City, they refused the offers that Charles made of soldiers and other resources. In such an emergency, the idea of having the unpopular Royal troops ordered into the City was political dynamite. By the time that Charles took over command from the ineffectual Lord Mayor, the fire was out of control; the City was medieval in its street plan, an overcrowded warren of narrow, cobbled alleys. It had experienced several major fires before 1666, the most recent in 1632. Building with wood and roofing with thatch had been prohibited for centuries, but these cheap materials continued to be used; the only major stone-built area was the wealthy centre of the City, where the mansions of the merchants and brokers stood on spacious lots, surroun
Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was used for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century, its most prominent features included the use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, which allowed the weight of the roof to be counterbalanced by buttresses outside the building, giving greater height and more space for windows. Another important feature was the extensive use of stained glass, the rose window, to bring light and color to the interior. Another feature was the use of realistic statuary on the exterior over the portals, to illustrate biblical stories for the illiterate parishioners; these technologies had all existed in Romanesque architecture, but they were used in more innovative ways and more extensively in Gothic architecture to make buildings taller and stronger. The first notable example is considered to be the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, whose choir and facade were reconstructed with Gothic features.
The choir was completed in 1144. The style appeared in some civic architecture in northern Europe, notably in town halls and university buildings. A Gothic revival began in mid-18th-century England, spread through 19th century Europe and continued for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century. Gothic architecture was known during the period as opus francigenum, The term "Gothic architecture" originated in the 16th century, was very negative, suggesting barbaric. Giorgio Vasari used the term "barbarous German style" in his 1550 Lives of the Artists to describe what is now considered the Gothic style, in the introduction to the Lives he attributed various architectural features to "the Goths" whom he held responsible for destroying the ancient buildings after they conquered Rome, erecting new ones in this style; the Gothic style originated in the Ile-de-France region of northern France in the first half of the 12th century. A new dynasty of French Kings, the Capetians, had subdued the feudal lords, had become the most powerful rulers in France, with their capital in Paris.
They allied themselves with the bishops of the major cities of northern France, reduced the power of the feudal abbots and monasteries. Their rise coincided with an enormous growth of the population and prosperity of the cities of northern France; the Capetian Kings and their bishops wished to build new cathedrals as monuments of their power and religious faith. The church which served as the primary model for the style was the Abbey of St-Denis, which underwent reconstruction by the Abbot Suger, first in the choir and the facade, Suger was a close ally and biographer of the French King, Louis VII, a fervent Catholic and builder, the founder of the University of Paris. Suger remodeled the ambulatory of the Abbey, removed the enclosures that separated the chapels, replaced the existing structure with imposing pillars and rib vaults; this created higher and wider bays, into which he installed larger windows, which filled the end of the church with light. Soon afterwards he rebuilt the facade, adding three deep portals, each with a tympanum, an arch filled with sculpture illustrating biblical stories.
The new facade was flanked by two towers. He installed a small circular rose window over the central portal; this design became the prototype for a series of new French cathedrals. Sens Cathedral was the first Cathedral to be built in the new style. Other versions of the new style soon appeared in Noyon Cathedral; the Gothic style was adapted by some French monastic orders, notably the Cistercian order under Saint Bernard of Clairvaux It was used in an austere form without ornament at the new Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay and the church of Clairvaux Abbey, whose site is now occupied by a French prison. The new style was copied outside the Kingdom of France in the Duchy of Normandy. Early examples of Norman Gothic included Coutances Cathedral. Through the rule of the Angevin dynasty, the new style was introduced to England and spread from there to Low Countries, Spain, northern Italy and Sicily; the Gothic style did not replace the Romanesque everywhere in Europe. The Late Romanesque continued to flourish in the Holy Roman Empire under the Hohenstaufens and Rhineland.
From the end of the 12th century until the middle of the 13th century, the gothic style spread from the Île-de-France to appear in other cities of northern France. New structures in the style included Chartres Cathedral; the early type of rib vault used of Saint Denis and Notre Dame, with six parts, was modified to four parts, making it simpler and stronger. Amiens and Chartres were among the first to use the flying buttress. At Reims, the buttresses were given greater weight and strength by the addition of heavy stone pinnacles on top; these were decorated with statues of ange
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers. Lincoln's Inn is situated in Holborn, in the London Borough of Camden, just on the border with the City of London and the City of Westminster, across the road from London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Courts of Justice and King's College London's Maughan Library; the nearest tube station is Chancery Lane. Lincoln's Inn is the largest Inn, it is believed to be named after 3rd Earl of Lincoln. During the 12th and early 13th centuries, the law was taught in the City of London by the clergy. Two events happened which ended this form of legal education: firstly, a papal bull in 1218 that prohibited the clergy from teaching the common law, rather than canon law; the secular lawyers migrated to the hamlet of Holborn, near to the law courts at Westminster Hall and outside the City.
As with the other Inns of Court, the precise date of founding of Lincoln's Inn is unknown. The Inn can claim the oldest records – its "black books" documenting the minutes of the governing Council go back to 1422, the earliest entries show that the Inn was at that point an organised and disciplined body; the third Earl of Lincoln had encouraged lawyers to move to Holborn, they moved to Thavie's Inn, one of the Inns of Chancery expanding into Furnival's Inn as well. It is felt that Lincoln's Inn became a formally organised Inn of Court soon after the Earl's death in 1310. At some point before 1422, the greater part of "Lincoln's Inn", as they had become known, after the Earl, moved to the estate of Ralph Neville, the Bishop of Chichester, near Chancery Lane, they retained Thavie's and Furnival's Inn, using them as "training houses" for young lawyers, purchased the properties in 1550 and 1547 respectively. In 1537, the land Lincoln's Inn sat on was sold by Bishop Richard Sampson to a Bencher named William Suliard, his son sold the land to Lincoln's Inn in 1580.
The Inn became formally organised as a place of legal education thanks to a decree in 1464, which required a Reader to give lectures to the law students there. During the 15th century, the Inn was not a prosperous one, the Benchers John Fortescue, are credited with fixing this situation. Lincoln's Inn had no constitution or fundamental form of governance, legislation was divided into two types. A third method used was to have individual Fellows promise to fulfill a certain duty; the increase of the size of the Inn led to a loss of its democratic nature, first in 1494 when it was decided that only Benchers and Governors should have a voice in calling people to the Bar and, by the end of the sixteenth century, Benchers were entirely in control. Admissions were recorded in the black books and divided into two categories: Clerks who were admitted to Clerks' Commons. All entrants swore the same oath regardless of category, some Fellows were permitted to dine in Clerks' Commons as it cost less, making it difficult for academics to sometimes distinguish between the two – Walker, the editor of the Black Books, maintains that the two categories were one and the same.
During the 15th century, the Fellows began to be called Masters, the gap between Masters and Clerks grew, with an order in 1505 that no Master was to be found in Clerks' Commons unless studying a point of law there. By 1466, the Fellows were divided into Benchers, those "at the Bar", those "not at the Bar". By 1502, the extra barram Fellows were being referred to as "inner barristers", in contrast to the "utter" or "outer" barristers. In Lord Mansfield's time, there was no formal legal education, the only requirement for a person to be called to the Bar was for him to have eaten five dinners a term at Lincoln's Inn, to have read the first sentence of a paper prepared for him by the steward. A Bencher, Benchsitter or Master of the Bench is a member of the Council, the governing body of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn; the term referred to one who sat on the benches in the main hall of the Inn, which were used for dining and during moots, the term had no significance. In Lincoln's Inn, the idea of a Bencher was believed to have begun far earlier than elsewhere.
William Holdsworth and the editor of the Black Books both concluded that Benchers were, from the earliest times, the governors of the Inn, unlike other Inns who started with Readers. A. W. B. Simpson, writing at a date, decided based on the Black Books that the Benchers were not the original governing body, that the Inn was instead ruled by Governors, sometimes called Rulers, who led the Inn; the Governors were elected to serve a year-long term, with between four and six sitting at any one time. The first record of Benchers comes from 1478, when John Glynne was expelled from the Society for using "presumptious and unsuitable words" in front
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, a person must belong to one of these Inns. Located at the intersection of High Holborn and Gray's Inn Road in Central London, the Inn is both a professional body and a provider of office accommodation for many barristers, it is ruled by a governing council called "Pension", made up of the Masters of the Bench, led by the Treasurer, elected to serve a one-year term. The Inn is known for its gardens, or Walks, which have existed since at least 1597. Gray's Inn does not claim a specific foundation date. Law clerks and their apprentices have been established on the present site since at least 1370, with records dating from 1381. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Inn grew with great prestige, reaching its pinnacle during the reign of Elizabeth I; the Inn was home to many important barristers and politicians, most notably Francis Bacon, counted Elizabeth herself as a patron.
Thanks to the efforts of prominent members such as William Cecil and Gilbert Gerard, Gray's Inn became the largest of the four by number, with over 200 barristers recorded as members. During this period, the Inn became noted for the masques and revels that it threw, William Shakespeare is believed to have first performed The Comedy of Errors there; the Inn continued to prosper during the reign of James I and the beginning of that of Charles I, when over 100 students per year were recorded as joining. The outbreak of the First English Civil War in 1642 during the reign of Charles I disrupted the systems of legal education and governance at the Inns of Court, shutting down all calls to the Bar and new admissions, Gray's Inn never recovered. Fortunes continued to decline after the English Restoration, which saw the end of the traditional method of legal education. Although now more prosperous, Gray's Inn is today the smallest of the Inns of Court. Gray's Inn and the other three Inns of Court remain the only bodies allowed to call a barrister to the Bar, allowing him or her to practise in England and Wales.
Although the Inn was a disciplinary and teaching body, these functions are now shared between the four Inns, with the Bar Standards Board acting as a disciplinary body and the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust providing education. The Inn remains a collegiate self-governing, unincorporated association of its members, providing within its precincts library, dining and office accommodation, along with a chapel. Members of the Bar from other Inns may use these facilities to some extent. During the 12th and early 13th centuries, the law was taught in the City of London by the clergy. Two events happened which ended the Church's role in legal education: firstly, a papal bull that prohibited the clergy from teaching the common law, rather than canon law; the common law began to be practiced and taught by laymen instead of clerics, these lawyers migrated to the hamlet of Holborn, just outside the City and near to the law courts at Westminster Hall. The early records of all four Inns of Court have been lost, it is not known when each was founded.
The records of Gray's Inn itself are lost until 1569, the precise date of founding cannot therefore be verified. Lincoln's Inn has the earliest surviving records. Gray's Inn dates from at least 1370, takes its name from Baron Grey of Wilton, as the Inn was Wilton's family townhouse within the Manor of Portpoole. A lease was taken for various parts of the inn by practising lawyers as both residential and working accommodation, their apprentices were housed with them. From this the tradition of dining in "commons" by using the inn's main hall, followed as the most convenient arrangement for the members. Outside records from 1437 show that Gray's Inn was occupied by socii, or members of a society, at that date. In 1456 Reginald de Gray, the owner of the Manor itself, sold the land to a group including Thomas Bryan. A few months the other members signed deeds of release, granting the property to Thomas Bryan. Bryan acted as either a feoffee or an owner representing the governing body of the Inn but in 1493 he transferred the ownership by charter to a group including Sir Robert Brudenell and Thomas Wodeward, reverting the ownership of the Inn back to the Gray family.
In 1506 the Inn was sold by the Gray family to Hugh Denys and a group of his feoffees including Roger Lupton. This was not a purchase on behalf of the society and after a five-year delay, it was transferred under the will of Denys in 1516 to the Carthusian House of Jesus of Bethlehem, which remained the Society's landlord until 1539, when the Second Act of Dissolution led to the Dissolution of the Monasteries and passed ownership of the Inn to the Crown. During the reign of Elizabeth I, Gray's Inn rose in prominence, that period is considered the "golden age" of the Inn, with Elizabeth serving as the Patron Lady; this can be traced to the actions of Nicholas Bacon, William Cecil and Gilbert Gerard, all prominent members of the Inn and confidantes of Elizabeth. Cecil and Bacon in particular took pains to find the most promising young men and get them to join the Inn. In 1574 it was the largest of all the
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso; the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.
The Templars were tied to the Crusades. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, King Philip IV of France – in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip; the abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation and legacy through the ages. After Europeans in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was secure under Christian control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits and marauding highwaymen preyed upon pilgrims, who were slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa through to the interior of the Holy Land.
In 1119, the French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims. King Baldwin and Patriarch Warmund agreed to the request at the Council of Nablus in January 1120, the king granted the Templars a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Temple Mount in the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Temple Mount had a mystique because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomon's Temple, from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or "Templar" knights; the order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse; the impoverished status of the Templars did not last long. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure, the French abbot responsible for the founding of the Cistercian Order of monks and a nephew of André de Montbard, one of the founding knights.
Bernard put his weight behind them and wrote persuasively on their behalf in the letter'In Praise of the New Knighthood', in 1129, at the Council of Troyes, he led a group of leading churchmen to approve and endorse the order on behalf of the church. With this formal blessing, the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. Another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent II's papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the order from obedience to local laws; this ruling meant that the Templars could pass through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, were exempt from all authority except that of the pope. With its clear mission and ample resources, the order grew rapidly. Templars were the advance shock troops in key battles of the Crusades, as the armoured knights on their warhorses would set out to charge at the enemy, ahead of the main army bodies, in an attempt to break opposition lines.
One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, where some 500 Templar knights helped several thousand infantry to defeat Saladin's army of more than 26,000 soldiers. Although the primary mission of the order was militaristic few members were combatants; the others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure. The Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman, interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accumulating wealth in this manner throughout Christendom and the Outremer, the order in 1150 began generating letters of credit for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land: pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value.
This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking and may have been the first formal system to support the use of cheques. Based on this mi
Sir Christopher Wren PRS FRS was an English anatomist, astronomer and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most acclaimed English architects in history. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710; the principal creative responsibility for a number of the churches is now more attributed to others in his office Nicholas Hawksmoor. Other notable buildings by Wren include the Royal Naval College and the south front of Hampton Court Palace; the Wren Building, the main building at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, is attributed to Wren. Educated in Latin and Aristotelian physics at the University of Oxford, Wren was a founder of the Royal Society, his scientific work was regarded by Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal. Wren was born in East Knoyle in Wiltshire, the only surviving son of Christopher Wren the Elder and Mary Cox, the only child of the Wiltshire squire Robert Cox from Fonthill Bishop.
Christopher Sr. was at that time the rector of East Knoyle and Dean of Windsor. It was, their son Christopher was born in 1632 two years another daughter named Elizabeth was born. Mary must have died shortly after the birth of Elizabeth, although there does not appear to be any surviving record of the date. Through Mary Cox, the family became well off financially for, as the only heir, she had inherited her father's estate; as a child Wren "seem'd consumptive." Although a sickly child, he would survive into robust old age. He was first taught at home by his father. After his father's royal appointment as Dean of Windsor in March 1635, his family spent part of each year there, but little is known about Wren's life at Windsor, he spent his first eight years at East Knoyle and was educated by the Rev. William Shepherd, a local clergyman. Little is known of Wren's schooling thereafter, during dangerous times when his father's Royal associations would have required the family to keep a low profile from the ruling Parliamentary authorities.
It was a tough time in his life, but one which would go on to have a significant impact upon his works. The story that he was at Westminster School between 1641 and 1646 is substantiated only by Parentalia, the biography compiled by his son, a fourth Christopher, which places him there "for some short time" before going up to Oxford; some of Wren's youthful exercises preserved or recorded showed that he received a thorough grounding in Latin and learned to draw. According to Parentalia, he was "initiated" in the principles of mathematics by Dr William Holder, who married Wren's elder sister Susan in 1643, his drawing was put to academic use in providing many of the anatomical drawings for the anatomy textbook of the brain, Cerebri Anatome, published by Thomas Willis, which coined the term "neurology." During this time period, Wren manifested an interest in the design and construction of mechanical instruments. It was through Holder that Wren met Sir Charles Scarburgh whom Wren assisted in his anatomical studies.
On 25 June 1650, Wren entered Wadham College, where he studied Latin and the works of Aristotle. It is anachronistic to imagine. However, Wren became associated with John Wilkins, the Warden of Wadham; the Wilkins circle was a group whose activities led to the formation of the Royal Society, comprising a number of distinguished mathematicians, creative workers and experimental philosophers. This connection influenced Wren's studies of science and mathematics at Oxford, he graduated B. A. in 1651, two years received M. A. Receiving his M. A. in 1653, Wren was elected a fellow of All Souls' College in the same year and began an active period of research and experiment in Oxford. His days as a fellow of All Souls ended when Wren was appointed Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London in 1657, he was provided with a set of rooms and a stipend and was required to give weekly lectures in both Latin and English to all who wished to attend. Wren took up this new work with enthusiasm, he continued to meet the men with.
They attended. It was from these meetings that the Royal Society, England's premier scientific body, was to develop, he undoubtedly played a major role in the early life of. In fact, the report on one of these meetings reads: Memorandum November 28, 1660; these persons following according to the usual custom of most of them, met together at Gresham College to hear Mr Wren's lecture, viz. The Lord Brouncker, Mr Boyle, Mr Bruce, Sir Robert Moray, Sir Paule Neile, Dr Wilkins, Dr Goddard, Dr Petty, Mr Ball, Mr Rooke, Mr Wren, Mr Hill, and after the lecture was ended they did according to the usual manner, withdraw for mutual converse. In 1662, they proposed a society "for the promotion of Physico-Mathe