Wren 300, a city full of people

Thomas Strong of St Vedast

Thomas Strong




St Vedast

Researched by Alessandra Brogioli

Thomas Strong inherited the family business in 1662 after the death of his father Valentine, a quarry owner from Taynton in Oxfordshire. By 1667 Thomas was already sending great quantities of stone to London and when, after the Great Fire, he moved to there at the age of thirty- five he took several masons with him.

Masons at work by Jan Gillisz. van Vliet, 1635 - Rijksmuseum

Thomas spent his first five years in London working on the rebuilding of private houses and livery companies ’halls. On 8 September 1670 he became a freeman of the Masons ’Company of London and paid a fee to become a freeman of the City of London by redemption. On 30 October 1671 he was clothed in the Company’s livery. Joining the Masons ’company allowed Thomas to bind his brother John as his apprentice on 2 January 1672.

He made his fortune thanks to several contracts, and was lead contractor at some of the Wren churches in London. On 21 June 1675 Thomas laid the foundation stone for St Paul’s Cathedral. He died unmarried and left everything to his brother Edward Strong Senior.


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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