The parish church of 1400 was, in its turn, replaced in 1740 with another small church on the same site at the top of Marylebone Hgh Street.

At that time Charles Wesley (1707-1788) lived and worked in Marylebone. Wearing a blue coat and a broad hat he rode a white pony, and was a familiar figure in the byways of Marylebone. While riding his pony he composed many of his most famous hymns: "Jesus, Lover of my Soul", "Soldiers of Christ Arise", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Love Divine all Loves Excelling".

Charles Wesley acquired his house in Marylebone as early as the latter part of 1770, but he moved the family there permanently only in the autumn of 1778. This brought his two sons, Charles Jr. and Samuel, into contact with some of the best musicians and most fashionable musical circles of the day. The Wesley brothers quickly gained a reputation for themselves, chiefly through the series of concerts given in the Wesley home, in which they were the chief performers; these began in 1779 and were repeated each year until 1785. For Samuel, these subscription concerts had a threefold significance: they gave him early, regular, first-hand experience of the public performance of music (he was only twelve years old when the first series of concerts began); through them, he was introduced to many influential members of London society (a number of the regular subscribers to the concerts were titled people); most significantly, certain of Samuel's contacts at these concerts had considerable influence over his subsequent religious outlook.

During his last illness Charles Wesley sent for the Rector of St Marylebone, The Revd John Harley (of the family after whom Harley Street is named), and said: "Sir, whatever the world may say of me, I have lived, and I die, a member of the Church of England. I pray you to bury me in your churchyard." He died on 29 March 1788 and his body was carried to St Marylebone Church by eight clergymen of the Church of England.

A memorial stone to him stands in the gardens in the High Street, close to where he was buried. One of his sons was later organist of our present church. The poet Lord Byron (1788-1824) was baptised there in 1788. Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805) worshipped there and his daughter Horatia was baptised in that church.

        Wesley_Memorial                 Old_Parish_Church   

                      Wesley Memorial                                    Old Parish Church of 1740 (1950s)


Memorial to Lt Gen Urban Vigors (pdf) 

Famous people associated with the church 

Middlesex Hospital 1745 - 2006



Old Middlesex Hospital seen from the south, 1830


Marylebone Village in 1740

 From a print of William Henry Prior



Marylebone Village

From what is now Wigmore Street in 1750

From a print of William Henry Prior






Marylebone Pleasure Gardens in 1780

From a print of John Greenaway


The Old Tyburn Manor House

Later a boarding school in about 1780

From a print of William Henry Prior




Go to top