Union of Benefices Act 1860

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The Union of Benefices Act 1860
Long title An Act to make better Provision for the Union of contiguous Benefices in Cities, Towns, and Boroughs
Citation 23 & 24 Vict c CXLII
Royal assent 28 August 1860
Other legislation
Repealed by Pastoral Measure 1968
Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1974
Status: Repealed

The Union of Benefices Act was a piece of legislation regarded as necessary[1] to reduce the number of parish churches in the City of London[2] as the residential population declined[3] in the second half of the 19th century.[4]

Churches affected were

Church Fate Year United with
All Hallows Bread Street Demolished 1876 St Mary-le-Bow
All-Hallows-the-Great Tower demolished first; then main body 1876/1894 St Michael Paternoster Royal
All Hallows Lombard Street Demolished 1938 St Edmund the King and Martyr
All Hallows Staining[5] Demolished 1870 St Olave Hart Street
Holy Trinity Gough Square Demolished 1906 St Bride, Fleet Street
Holy Trinity, Minories Closed[6](destroyed 1940[7]) 1899 St Botolph's Aldgate
St Alphage London Wall Demolished[8] 1924 St Mary Aldermanbury
St Antholin, Budge Row[9] Demolished[10] 1875 St Mary Aldermary
St Benet Gracechurch Demolished 1867 All Hallows Lombard Street
St Dionis Backchurch Demolished[11] 1878 All Hallows Lombard Street
St George Botolph Lane Demolished 1901-04[12] St Mary-at-Hill
St James Duke's Place Demolished 1874 St Katherine Cree
St Katherine Coleman Demolished 1926 St Olave Hart Street
St Martin Outwich Demolished 1874 St Helen's Bishopsgate
St Mary Somerset Demolished[13] 1872 St Nicholas Cole Abbey
St. Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street Caught fire,[14] subsequently pulled down 1887 St Martin Ludgate
St Matthew Friday Street Demolished 1885 St Vedast alias Foster
St Michael Bassishaw Demolished 1900 St Lawrence Jewry
St Michael Queenhithe Demolished[15] 1875 St James Garlickhythe
St Michael Wood Street Demolished 1895 St Alban, Wood Street
St Mildred, Poultry Demolished 1872 St Olave Jewry
St Olave Jewry Demolished 1888-91[16] St Margaret Lothbury
St Peter Le Poer Demolished 1907 St Michael, Cornhill

As churchyards were emptied for construction projects, such as the new railway stations, many remains were exhumed and re-interred in the City of London Cemetery.

This Act was amended by the Union of Benefices Act 1898 (61 & 62 Vict c 23).


  1. ^ Borer, M.I.C. The City of London – a history. New York, D. McKay Co, 1978 ISBN 0-09-461880-1
  2. ^ Huelin, G. Vanished Churches of the City of London, London Guildhall Library Publishing 1996 ISBN 0-900422-42-4
  3. ^ The 1860 United Benefices Act Wright, G.W. in "Notes and Queries" 1943 184(10):290-291
  4. ^ Reynolds, H. The Churches of the City of London. London, Bodley Head, 1922
  5. ^ The Tower, however remains "The City of London Churches" Betjeman, J. Andover, Pitkin, 1967 (rpnt 1992) ISBN 0-85372-565-9
  6. ^ The Times, Tuesday, 20 June 1899; pg. 8; Issue 35860; col A Ecclesiastical Intelligence Ancient church closes
  7. ^ "Local Administrative Units: Southern England" Youngs, F London: Royal Historical Society, 1979 ISBN 978-0-901050-67-0
  8. ^ Tower remains- Betjeman (Ibid)
  9. ^ Viewed by many as the most tragic loss of all "Notes on Old City Churches" Pearce, C.W. (Winthrop Rogers Ltd 1909)
  10. ^ To make way for the new Queen Victoria Street "A Dictionary of London" Harben, H.: London, Herbert Jenkins, 1918
  11. ^ Proceeds went to building of St Dionis, Parson's Green
  12. ^ A survey at the beginning of the century had identified it had not been used for worship in 10 years The Times, 23 June 1900; pg. 15; Issue 36176; col F Survey Of The Memorials Of London.
  13. ^ The Tower, however remains Betjeman (ibid)
  14. ^ 2 December 1886 Huelin (ibid)
  15. ^ Demolition details
  16. ^ Tower remains-Betjeman(Ibid)

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