St Bride's: News - Wren Talk: Jeremy Melvin discusses Nicholas Barbon, the man who transformed London

Updated 08/09/20: St Bride's Church is open for general visiting and prayer. There is a weekly 11am Sunday Choral Eucharist and recitals resume from 11th September. Choral services and lunchtime recitals also remain available online. NB: Face coverings in places of worship are a legal requirement. Further Information →

St Bride's: News

Wren Talk: Jeremy Melvin discusses Nicholas Barbon, the man who transformed London

Wren Talk: Jeremy Melvin discusses Nicholas Barbon, the man who transformed London

Wren Talk: Jeremy Melvin discusses Nicholas Barbon, the man who transformed London on Thursday 29th October, 7pm

'It was not worth his while to deal little; that a bricklayer could do' an admiring contemporary wrote of Wren's contemporary Nicholas Barbon. This assessment contains the key to how Barbon transformed London: he turned property development from an extension of construction (bricklaying) into fully fledged speculation - where it has been ever since.

Barbon invented the concept of risk management through founding the first fire insurance company. His tracts, such as 'An Apology for the Builder' and 'Of Trade', argued the benefits of continuous economic growth backed by expansion of credit. This led Karl Marx, with grudging approval, to make 'Old Barbon' the first economic authority he cited in Das Kapital.

This year's Wren Talk will be given by architectural writer and historian Jeremy Melvin. Formerly consultant curator to the Royal Academy architecture programme, he is Programme Curator for World Architecture Festival and a visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

The Talk and Q&A session will be chaired by Paul Finch, editorial director of the Architectural Review and Architects' Journal.

A limited number of tickets are available to attend the event in person, which will also be streamed live on YouTube.

St Bride's has earned Visit England's 'We're Good To Go' kite mark so visitors can rest assured their visit will be Covid safe.

Please register for the event and select either the "watch online" or "attend in person" registration option.

This event is free, but we hope you might consider making a suggested donation of £10 towards the upkeep and maintenance of this historic building. You can do so at JustGiving. Alternatively, in the UK, text 10STBRIDES or 20STBRIDES to 70470 to donate £10 or £20.

We are most grateful to the Wren Insurance Assocation for their generous sponsorship of this event.

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