Commission for Building Fifty New Churches

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The Commission for Building Fifty New Churches (in London and the surroundings) was an organisation set up by Act of Parliament in England in 1711,[1] the New Churches in London and Westminster Act 1710, with the purpose of building fifty new churches for the rapidly growing conurbation of London. It did not achieve its target, but did build a number of churches, which would become known as the Queen Anne Churches.

Churches built[edit]

Most of the churches were designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, with John James, Thomas Archer and James Gibbs also participating.

The Commission partly funded rebuilding of five churches: St George Gravesend, St George the Martyr Southwark, St Giles in the Fields, St Mary Magdalen Woolwich and St Michael, Cornhill. It bought and altered St George the Martyr Holborn and bought St John Clerkenwell.


The Commission was funded by a duty on coal coming into London.[2] This tax was originally levied in 1670 to pay for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral and City churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London. When the Commission was set up the duty was assigned to it. In 1718 the duty became part of general government revenues but was still used to fund the Commissioners' work.


  1. ^ "New Churches in London and Westminster Act 1710 (9 Anne cap 17)". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Nail, Martin. "Government duty". City posts: the coal duties of the City of London and their boundary marks. Retrieved 28 September 2012.

External links[edit]

  • M.H. Port, ed. (1986). "List of churches built". The Commissions for building fifty new churches: The minute books, 1711-27, a calendar. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  • "The Queen Anne Churches (MS 2690-2750)". Lambeth Palace Library Manuscripts. Lambeth Palace Library. Retrieved 30 January 2012.