Wren 300, a city full of people

Jacob Dequester of St Vedast

Jacob Dequester




St Vedast

Researched by Nicky Scowen

Jacob Dequester was born in Hertfordshire, the son of Mathew and Mary. His father, a ‘gentleman of Stevenage’ apprenticed him to the Vintner’s company.

Wool and wine were the two prominent trades of the Middle Ages. By the early 13th century the ‘Mistery of Vintners’ was an organised and powerful body, dominating the wine trade in London and the rest of the country. With its trade, social, charitable and educational interests, the Company continues to play an important role today.

Jacob married Sarah Lathwell in October 1690 in St James Duke’s Place, Aldgate.

Host of the Nag’s Head tavern, in Goldsmith’s Row at the corner of Friday Street, Jacob was master to several apprentices of his own. Originally Friday Street passed south through Bread Street Ward, beginning at the cross in Cheapside Street and ending at Old Fish Street. Now all that remains is a small lane that runs from Queen Victoria Street to Cannon Street.

Jacob and Sarah had 14 children including one set of twins. Baptisms for each are recorded in the registers of St Michael-le- Quern or St Vedast’s. Five of their children died before their sixth birthday. The children who reached adulthood were apprenticed to vintners, a goldsmith and a milliner.

Sarah died in May 1710 and was buried in the middle aisle of St Vedast’s. Jacob died in August 1734, and was laid to rest in the vault of St Vedast’s. He was survived by just four of his children.


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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