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Borough: Greenwich
St Alfege's Churchyard
All Saints' Churchyard 16k
St Alfege's Churchyard  
The name Greenwich comes from Anglo Saxon 'gren wic', a green landing place. The present church building is probably the third on this site, and is the place where Saint Alfege's was killed on 19 April 1012. Alfege was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1006, and in 1011 was kidnapped from Canterbury Cathedral by the Danes for refusing to pay 3,000 ransom money to them. He was imprisoned in Greenwich marshes and later murdered. The first church was built soon after his death, and rebuilt in the late 13th century.

During the Tudor period it was very important because it was so near the royal palace at Greenwich. Henry VIII was baptised in the church in 1491, and his sister Princess Mary was married to the Duke of Suffolk there in 1514. The vicar from 1444-1454 was John Morton, later Cardinal and Chancellor of England. Thomas Tallis, described as 'the father of English Church music' was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from 1540 to his death in 1585 and is likely to have played on the church organ which was installed in 1552. He is buried in the church, and is commemorated in a window. Although Greenwich was quite a big town in the 14th and 15th century, by the end of Elizabeth I's reign the area outside the Palace was becoming rundown..

A severe storm in November 1710 led to the collapse of the roof and the church was beyond repair; monuments in the church were broken. Queen Anne, the patron of the parish, was asked for a new church.. It was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and built in 1712-14. It was badly bombed on 19 March 1941. The church was restored in 1953 by Sir Albert Richardson, where possible using original materials saved from the debris. Gordon of Khartoum was baptised here in 1833, as was Edgar Wallace in 1875. The body of General James Wolfe, who died in action in Quebec on 13 September 1759, was brought back and buried in the family tomb.. Among those buried in the churchyard are Robert Ketewell and his wife. He was Clerk of Works for Queen Margaret of Anjou's royal palace of Placentia.

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