Wren 300, a city full of people

Henry Blowes Senior of St Martin Ludgate

Henry Blowes Senior

(d. circa 1708)



St Martin Ludgate

Researched by Simon Wartnaby

Henry Blowes was carpenter for three of the Wren City Churches between 1672 and 1686. He carried out some roofing works at St Martin within Ludgate in 1679, but most of the carpentry work there was completed by Matthew Banckes and Robert Day.

Carpenter - Timmerman, Jan Luyken, 1694 - Rijksmuseum

Carpenter (Timmerman), Jan Luyken, 1694 - Rijksmuseum

He did some work at six Ducksfoot Lane, St Lawrence Pountney, for the City merchant Robert De Luna (1624-88). The house was leased in 1671 to William Clarke, a house painter from Southwark who was still there in 1694. Robert De Luna was a member of the vestry and a church warden, and although the church was not replaced after 1666, a vestry room was built.

Both Henry and Robert had country houses at Theobalds near Cheshunt. Robert De Luna was living there by 1673 and died there in 1688. In his will he bequeathed £400 to the French church for the poor French Protestants who had fled to London and £100 to the daughter of his late ‘dear friend Thomas Wadsworth’, a non-conformist minister. Henry Blowes was living at Theobalds by 1664 and in his will of 1706 mentions two properties ‘Brick House ’and ‘Stevenses house ’leased from Christopher, late Duke of Albermarle. He had also advertised houses for sale at Theobalds in the London Gazette in 1690.


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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