Chelsea Hospital Chapel

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England Gotoarrow.png Middlesex, England Genealogy Gotoarrow.png Middlesex Parishes Gotoarrow.png Chelsea Hospital Chapel

History[edit | edit source]

Work on the Chapel started in 1681 and was completed in 1687. It is a rare example of Wren's pure ecclesiastical work, being carried out without site constraints. It was designed to accommodate about 500 people, all the staff and pensioners, and rises 42' high.

The wainscoting and pews (originally for staff and Horse Guards) are by Sir Charles Hopson, the leading joiner of his day and deputy Clerk of Works at the Royal Hospital from 1691 to 1698. The choir stalls are modern additions. Backs have been fitted to the benches, and the three-decker pulpit has been dismantled to make the existing pulpit and reading-desk, otherwise the original plan is maintained. The plasterwork was carried out by Henry Margetts. The carving is by William Emmett, Master Carver before Grinling Gibbons and William Morgan. The organ case is the work of Renatus Harris, but his organ has been replaced by a modern instrument.

The old registers of baptisms, marriages and burials are now held at the Public Records Office. Burial services were discontinued in 1854, and weddings which were uncommon after 1753 were banned from 1815 to 1919.

The Chapel was consecrated in August 1691...[1]

The Royal Chelsea Hospital is about one mile and a half from Grosvenor Place, Hyde Park Corner, going by Sloane Street, and nearly one mile and a quarter from Buckingham Palace, by Pimlico.[2]

The Royal Hospital Chapel is a peculiar and is exempt from Episcopal jurisdiction in the diocese and the dean and chapter of St Paul's

Resources[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Online Chelsea Hospital Chapel Register Images and Indexes
Ancestry baptisms, marriages, and burials[3]
Ancestry[4] Ancestry[5] Ancestry[6]
Indexes 1691-1765 findmypast[7]

Military Records[edit | edit source] has now put online the second tranche of Chelsea Pensioners' records, series WO 97. The online service now covers 1873-1900.

Date range Approx no. of records Approx no. of images When available
WO97 1873-1882 97,515 540,423 Now
WO97 1883-1900 312,909 2,218,606 Now
WO97 1855-1872 65,000 400,000 By June 2010
WO97 1760-1854 184,000 1.2 million By July 2010
WO97 1901-1913 303,000 2.1 million By August 2010
WO96 1806-1915 500,000 3.5 million By Sept 2011

References[edit | edit source]

  1. From the Chelsea Hospital Chapel website.
  2. James Elmes, A Topographical Dictionary of London (London, 1831). Adapted. Digital version at Google Books.
  3. London, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812, courtesy: Ancestry (£). Described as . Marriages from 1754 to 1812 are not included in this database. Partially indexed.
  4. London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, courtesy: Ancestry (£). Described as . Partially indexed.
  5. London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, courtesy: Ancestry (£). Described as . Partially indexed.
  6. London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980, courtesy: Ancestry (£). Described as . Partially indexed.
  7. "Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,", accessed 12 June 2011; Percival Boyd, A List of Parishes in Boyd's Marriage Index (London: Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd., 1994). FHL Book 942 K22L 1994