MONUMENT TO THEOPHILUS GALE, SOUTH ENCLOSURE

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1396557
Date first listed:
21-Feb-2011
Statutory Address:
MONUMENT TO THEOPHILUS GALE, SOUTH ENCLOSURE, BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
MONUMENT TO THEOPHILUS GALE, SOUTH ENCLOSURE, BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Islington (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 32738 82236

Reasons for Designation

The monument to Theophilus Gale is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Possibly the earliest surviving headstone in Bunhill Fields, dating to c1679. * It commemorates Theophilus Gale, an important figure in the religious history of the period, with a legible inscription recording only rudimentary biographical details, a reflection of the importance Nonconformists attached to humility. * It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed monuments in the south enclosure.

Details



635-1/0/10272 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND 21-FEB-11 Monument to Theophilus Gale, South enc losure

GV II Headstone of Theophilus Gale, c1679

LOCATION: 532738.3, 182236

DESCRIPTION: The diminutive Portland headstone has a shaped top and an inscription on one side. This reads 'Theophilus / Gale MA / Born 1628 / Died 1678'.

HISTORY: Theophilus Gale (1628-1679) was an ejected minister and theologian, born in Devon, where his father was vicar and prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. He took his BA and MA at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where he was awarded a fellowship in 1650. At Oxford, Gale adopted the Independency and high Calvinism of Thomas Goodwin, then the president of Magdalen, and of Goodwin's close associate John Owen, vice-chancellor of Oxford (both likewise buried in Bunhill Fields). After the Restoration, having lost both his fellowship and his position as preacher at Winchester Cathedral, Gale worked as a tutor, first in a private household and later at the Dissenting academy he founded at Newington Green in what is now north London. His writings, published between 1669 and his death in 1679 (1668 according to the old calendar), comprise devotional tracts, biographical accounts of holy lives and contributions to contemporary theological debates. His True Idea of Jansenisme (1669) was probably the first English book on the subject, while his magnum opus, The Court of the Gentiles (published in four volumes between 1669 and 1678), attempts a systematic account of human knowledge and history that combines Calvinism with influences from Plato and other pre-Christian thinkers. Gale bequeathed much of his estate to various ejected ministers and to a trust for the education of needy Nonconformists preparing for the ministry, while almost 1000 of his books went to Harvard College.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902). A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915). Dewey D Wallace, jun., 'Gale, Theophilus (1628-1679)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/10296, accessed 19 Feb 2010]

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Theophilus Gale is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Possibly the earliest surviving headstone in Bunhill Fields, dating to c1679. * It commemorates Theophilus Gale, an important figure in the religious history of the period, with a legible inscription recording only rudimentary biographical details, a reflection of the importance Nonconformists attached to humility. * It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed monuments in the south enclosure.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
508641
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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