Wren 300, a city full of people

Hannah Brace of St Bride

Hannah Brace



St Bride

Researched by Alessandra Brogioli

Hannah Brace was married to glazier John Brace and together they had four daughters and one son. One daughter, also named Hannah, was baptised on 6 January 1659 and died on 13 December 1659. Their son John also died in 1659 and both are buried at St Andrew Holborn. The other 3 daughters were all christened at St Andrew Holborn: Elizabeth on 3 June 1662; Anne on 10 May 1666; and Sarah on 19 November 1671.

A glazier's workshop with the tools used for making and glazing windows, engraving by R. Bénard after Bourgeois - Wellcome Collection

Hannah’s husband John died in 1674 after having written his will and testament in the May of that year. There is a thorough inventory of his belongings, leading us to believe that he was a wealthy man. The couple were most likely living in Holborn, where they also had a shop, but according to the inventory John also had leases for more than one property, one of which was in Bloomsbury. The records also show that he had numerous customers, including a countess of Southampton. After John’s death Hannah married Ralph Neale at Saint Michael Queenhithe on 7 September 1675.

Hannah Brace was paid £72 for completing some basic glazing work on the windows of St Bride’s Church but it is unclear whether she was a glazier herself or inherited John’s business. Hannah is not the only woman mentioned in the records of the reconstructed City churches following the Great Fire. There are several other names of women who worked as glaziers during that time period: Sarah Rainger, the wife of glazier Samuel Rainger, and Elizabeth Peowrie and her husband George Peowrie.


Local churches were the focal point of sixteenth-century City life. Weekly worship and all the milestones of parishioners’ lives took place here: christenings, marriages and funerals. Many churches were lost in the Great Fire.

Read the stories of four that either survived or succumbed to the flames, and how they reemerged from the ruins.

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