chapter  5
Saint Peter Westcheap
Crossing the divide 1
WithGary G. Gibbs
Pages 25

This chapter presents a study that crosses the long Tudor century and demonstrates the basic social and cultural transformations of London’s parishes. Saint Peter Westcheap was a small parish located in one of the richer areas of the city where the wealth, privilege, status, and unity of its social elite influenced every aspect of life. The social model exhibited in the parish emphasizes the pre-eminence of the goldsmiths and the abundance of their patronage created a visible and long-term association with Saint Peter Westcheap. The goldsmiths established a glittering group that dominated parish culture, and the parish’s saints expressed the goldsmiths’ significance. By 1526, the parish possessed an image of Saint Roch, one expression of late medieval devotion. Economic scarcity would have been a constraint on the actions of a churchwarden, but that was less of an issue in this parish than in others.