Wednesday, September 25, 2019

St. Johns Church,Wapping

As a child, between the wars I lived round the corner from the Anglican church of St John of Wapping. Catholic children in those days were told not to go into Protestant churches for fear of eternal damnation.

As usual for children, this morphed into the belief that the devil lived there so that not only did we not go into the church we would cross over to the other side of the road in order not to pass by.

There was also a  churchyard there then with many gravestones but most have now been displaced and the area is a garden, the church itself being bombed during the war, with only the tower remaining.

St. John of Wapping was the parish church for a small area of Wapping which dated back to 1760 and it was in the churchyard here that Robert Hartup Jury, my wife's four times  great grandfather, was buried in 1824. He had been apprenticed as a Lighterman in Wapping in 1773 although born in Maker, Cornwall, married and raised nine children and lived in several addresses in Wapping some of which he owned. Robert also owned several barges at the time of his death as well as a share in a coastal brig.There were several other members of the Jury family buried in the churchyard but there are no signs of their resting places left now.

Needless to say, that as a young boy walking and playing nearby I had no means of knowing about the connection with the Jury family and this church which would occur later.

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