Wren 300, a city full of people

Robert Streater of St Bride

Robert Streater




St Bride

Researched by Alessandra Brogioli

Artist (Schild), Jan Luyken, 1694, Rijksmuseum

Robert Streater (sometimes Streeter) was an English landscape and portrait artist, an architectural painter, and engraver. He held the court position of Serjeant Painter to King Charles II and decorated the ceiling of Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.

Robert was born in 1621 and baptised on 16 December at St Giles Cripplegate. His father was a painter named Robert Streater, who married Susan Sualewell in 1609 at St Giles Cripplegate.

Robert married a woman named Ruth in 1648, and they had three sons: Robert, Thomas and Charles. Robert junior became a painter himself, most likely succeeding his father as Serjeant Painter. Charles was baptised at St Martin in the Fields in 1652.

Robert senior was a favourite of Charles II. Charles II dispatched a special surgeon from Paris to perform Robert’s surgery when he was suffering from stones in his later years. However, Robert died not long after the operation in 1679 and was buried at St Martin in the Field. He bequeathed all his prints, sketches, and plasters to his son Robert, and mentioned a dwelling in Long Acre in his will, where he was probably living.

According to records, Robert Streater senior worked for Christopher Wren on thirteen City Churches. Little of his work remains except for the Sheldonian ceiling and Moses and Aaron panels at St Michael Cornhill.


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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