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Maynard Colchester of St Vedast

Maynard Colchester




St Vedast

Researched by Nicky Scowen

Maynard Colchester was the eldest son of Sir Duncombe Colchester of Westbury Court and the Wilderness.

After Oxford Maynard was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1682 and was called to the bar seven years later, although it appears that he never practised. He was a governor of Bridewell prison, a Justice of the Peace and a Member of Parliament. He married Jane Clarke, daughter of Sir Edward Clarke, of St. Peter Cheap and Gutter Lane, at St Dunstan in the West in 1690. Sir Edward served as Lord Mayor of London in 1696.

Maynard and Jane had seven children, six baptised in St Vedast’s and one not far away, in St Mary le Bow. At least two children were born in their grandfather’s house in Gutter Lane. A wealthy man, Maynard indulged in a variety of projects, including the setting up of charity schools, the instruction and conversion of Quakers, and distributing relief to the poor. He was a founder-member of both the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Despite the family money and connections, only two of the Colchester children survived past their fifth birthday. The others were laid to rest in St Vedast’s.

Maynard died in his Gloucestershire constituency and was buried in Westbury on Severn. He left a substantial number of monetary bequests in his will, which also stated that he should be buried in St Vedast’s if he should die in London. Jane died in 1741 and was buried with her husband.


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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