Wren 300, a city full of people

Thomas Whiting of St Botolph Aldgate

Thomas Whiting




St Botolph Aldgate

Researched by Clifford Godfrey

Thomas Whiting and his family lived in a large house at Houndsditch, in the parish of St Botolph Aldgate. Thomas was a highly successful joiner who rose to become Master of the Joiners’ Company in 1677.

Thomas was employed on pageants for three of the annual Lord Mayor’s Shows, constructing sets and stages on major streets where allegorical figures would sing and recite poems and speeches.

Joiner or Cabinet maker (Schrijnwerker), Caspar Luyken, after Jan Luyken, 1694 - Rijksmuseum

His most prestigious commission in the City was probably in 1661 for his work on the four one hundred foot height triumphal arches built for King Charles II’s coronation procession. Following the Great Fire of London Thomas worked on three Wren Churches: St Edmund the King, St Mary-Le-Bow and St Olave Jewry. He also designed and rebuilt Brewers’ Hall.

Whiting is commemorated in St Botolph’s with an ornate plaque recording his 1676 gift of an organ which was later replaced by the current one. He died in 1679 and was buried in the church, with his donation of the organ recorded in the burial register.


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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