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A Day in Our Life - January

1 January 1555

In the reign of Queen Mary Tudor, Elizabeth Warren was arrested in a house in Bow Church churchyard for attending a Protestant service (in English). She was tried and in August was burned at the stake just to the east of the church.


10 January 1646

Mr Jones - "a Commonwealth interloper" - was installed as the nonconformist minister of the church following the abolition of the Church of England and the banning of the Book of Common Prayer by Cromwell. In 1652, celebrating Christmas was also banned (including, specifically, the eating of mince pies!) We are not too sure how long Mr Jones survived, but the Church of England, the Prayer Book and Christmas were all brought back when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 and Bow Church got back to normal!


20 January 1838

In 1661, Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that the weather was unusually warm and dry, but in 1838 the day was bitterly cold - well below freezing. It was during a long period of severe weather when the church organised door-to-door collections for the poor, and raised the enormous sum of £137 (over £10,600 in today's money!) to supply 700 local families with coals, potatoes and bread.


29 January 1829

The upper half of the old church tower - built about 1490 - collapsed during a tremendous storm. It was rebuilt a little later - with battlements and a gilded metal flag fixed on its roof. This work was destroyed 70 years ago in the bombing of May 10/11 1941. We still have the metal flag (see picture below) which was rescued from the ruins. The tower was finely restored by 1952.