Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey

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Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, an architectural accomplishment from the thirteenth century on, gives an illustrative display of British history. While daily worship still exists, it isn’t a cathedral or a parish church (Internet Westminster). The elaborate Lady Chapel, the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, as well as tombs and memorials for kings, queens, the famous and great, allow the Abbey to be considered a “Royal Peculiar”, which means that it falls under direct control of the British monarch (Internet Westminster). While every king or queen is significant, a small number have made an impact on the Abbey. Nobility of which include St. Edward the Confessor William the Conqueror Henry III, Richard II, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, George VI and Elizabeth II. With minimal amounts of historical documentation, it is difficult to determine whether a church survived prior to Westminster Abbey (Internet Chronology). While the Venerable Bede provides no records of a pre-existing church, folklore attributes the establishment to King Serbert of the East Saxons (Internet St. Edward). He is also recognized for founding St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (St. Edward). King Serbert built the Benedictine church in 616 AD, after a fisherman is said to have been on the Thames river when he witnessed a vision of St. Peter (Internet Saint Peter). St. Peter is given credit for allegedly consecrating the church himself (Internet St. Edward). One of the Twelve Apostles, the Gospel mentions that he was the first to profess his faith believing Jesus was the Son of God (Internet Chronology). Charters found in the Abbey support the existing folklore (Chronology). Records prove that King Offa made a grant for the monastery in 785 ‘to St. Peter and the needy people of God in Thorney in the terrible, awful place which is called “act Westmunster”’ (Chronology). The charter was also significant in first naming Westminster, setting it apart from its brother to the east, St. Paul’s Cathedral (Internet St. Edward). From Glastonbury to Westminster, St. Dunstan, Bishop of London, brought twelve monks to the Abbey around 960 AD (St. Edward). A charter granting land to the church in 961, by King Edgar, refers to a church existing in the area (Internet Chronology). However a place of worship originated there, it is Edward the Confessor who is credited with the establishment of Westminster Abbey.

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