St Martin-le-Grand: collegiate church and den of iniquity

This paper investigates the evolving relationship between St Martin-le-Grand, a distinct liberty subject to the city of Westminster and the City of London. St Martin-le-Grand claimed exemption from the jurisdiction of the City up to 1548 but by the fifteenth century, the City had become more conscious of itself as a corporate body, and less accommodating of those who, within the City claimed, exemption. Concerns focussed on the abuse of the right of sanctuary within the precinct and on fraudulent goldsmith’s work produced in St Martin-le-Grand in the form of chains, brooches, rings, cups and spoons, made of inferior metal gilded or silvered and intended to be sold as the real article.