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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
St Marylebone Church
This is where Browning and Barratt secretly married.
Location: Marylebone Road, NW1 5LT
Description: This is the 4th church to serve this parish. The first, circa 1200, dedicated to St John the Evangelist, was the parish church of Tyburn and stood in the vicinity of Marble Arch before it was demolished in 1400.
A new church was built nearer to the village of Marylebone on the site of the memorial garden at the north end of Marylebone High Street. This church was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, by the bourne; the Ty bourne being a stream running from what is now Regent's Park down to the Thames. Thus the area became known after the name of the church.
The great Elizabethan philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was married there in 1606. The interior of the church was accurately portrayed by the artist Hogarth (1697-1764) in the marriage scene from his famous series The Rake's Progress (1735).
A new, small church was built on the same site in 1740, followed by a larger one in 1740 and then another in 1813 as the local populated exploded in the industrial revolution.
Charles Dickens had his son baptised here, while in 1846 Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett were secretly married here after exchanging 574 love letters. Today there is a Browning room although a lot of the original furniture has been lost.
The church was also used in location filming for the 1957 movie recounting their story, The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
Tagged in this Tour: Charles Dickens' London