Meeting in the crypt of Old St Paul's in the decades before the Reformation, the Jesus Guild, an expression of "cutting-edge" orthodox devotion, not only attracted members from the top ranks of London society but also derived support from men and women of all degrees across the whole country. As well as shedding welcome light on aspects of the devotional life shared by some of London's most influential citizens, its records illustrate many facets of the City's economy, of its citizens' inter-personal relationships and can, indeed, assist in determining linguistic developments at a critical juncture.
This volume reproduces for the first time all the extant records surviving for the Guild in the early sixteenth century, giving pride of place to the twenty consecutive years of its surviving accounts. Alongside the records for the guild, the volume presents the 1552 inventory of goods in St Faith's church and the expenses incurred by that parish when it moved into the space previously occupied by the Guild. These records reveal the influences of the religious changes of the 1550s on the crypt chapel and some of the Guild's possessions. The documents are edited with accompanying notes and glossary, complemented by an introduction that places them in a broad context and by biographies of the Guild wardens identified in the text.