BOOK LONDON HOTELS

Join in

Send page to a friend

3474 views since 10th May 2011

Related links:

Events | Lore & Legend | Rather Interesting | Cultural Britain

Featured Destination

July 2018: Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast

Itís illumination time in Blackpool. Lancashire in October is not likely to be your choice for a sunshine break, but that is not why ...More
More Uk destinations

Changing of the Quill, London

Unlike the generally daily ceremony of Changing the Guard, the quaint ceremony sometimes called Changing the Quill only occurs every three years. The location is the church of St Andrewís Undershaft in Leadenhall Street, which was the regular place of worship of one of Londonís unsung cultural heroes, John Stow. It was also where he was buried in 1605.
Mr Stow is known as the father of London history; for he completed in 1598 a survey of the capital that provided those after him with a wealth of information. The alternative name for the event, which is held on or near April 5 (2014 is the next) is the John Stow Memorial Service .
His imposing stone tomb stands within the church, showing the great man at his writing desk, his hand poised above the page. That hand fittingly as it were accommodates a real quill pen, and every three years a ceremony is held during which the old pen is removed and a new one replaces it, the Lord Mayor usually performing the changeover. A speech by a noted historian precedes the action, the whole thing coordinated by the Merchant Taylorsí Company as John Stow was originally a tailor.
This being Britain there is necessarily some carrying of silver sticks and the slightly embarrassed wearing of gowns by members of the presentation party, and full Church of England formal dress for the clerics taking part.
In recent times the old quill has been used as a prize in an essay competition for children of the capital, which is both its venue and subject.

More British Folk Customs?

If you like this, Share it

Brit Quote:
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. - George Bernard Shaw
More Quotes

On this day:
Crusaders Capture Jerusalem - 1099, Execution of the Duke of Monmouth - 1685
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages