Summer Visitors!
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
We've had a wonderful summer of visitors so far at King's Chapel.  Cheryl created her own family reunion in the box pew of Senator Charles Sumner, who is an ancestor. She has his name tattooed on the sole of her foot!  In 2021, we hosted a fascinating virtual talk about Sumner by Park Ranger Meaghan Michel, in cooperation with the National Park Service. "Let Me Be All Yours": The Romantic Friendship of Charles Sumner & Samuel Gridley Howe" is available online. Boston's Harborfest celebration ran this year from June 30 through July 4, and we welcomed almost 5000 visit ..read more
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Preservation Month & "The Last Leaf"
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
​In April, for National Poetry Month, we had literary historian Rob Velella as our virtual guest speaker. This enjoyable talk on the “friendship poems” of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. focused on the literary and Harvard friends who inspired him. Dr. Holmes also wrote about King’s Chapel, where he was a member, on several occassions.  Another Holmes poem I find both charming and poignant has a secret chapel connection. “The Last Leaf” was, as Rob explained to us, written about Thomas Melvill, whose memorial stone is attached to the back wall of the King’s Chapel. Whether it was placed there ..read more
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Wigs: Who Wore Them and Why?
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
When visitors read the History Program’s informative signs in King’s Chapel, they see several portraits of its “bigwigs.” And some have very big wigs indeed, which is the origin of that expression! The history of gentlemen’s wigs from the mid-1600s to the early 1800s appears in the images along the chapel’s center aisle. Wig history is about wealth, elaborate high-fashion, a taste for artificiality in personal style, disease, taxes, and, in Boston, even Revolutionary feeling.  Long, curly locks were the ideal for European men in the 1600s. Sources agree this ideal was a problem for King ..read more
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Women's History Month at King's Chapel
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
Did you know that this church was once called "Queen's Chapell?" The handwritten text on the image above comes from our church records during the reign of Britain's Queen Anne, between 1702 and her death in 1714. This church's name originally reflected the English monarch and head of the Anglican Church, and the name changed based on the monarch's gender.  Join the History Program in returning to the notion of the church as "Queen's Chapel" through our March programming this Women's History Month. Despite the official powers yielded by Queen Mary II and Queen Anne, women at King's C ..read more
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A Valentine's Day Reflection: Exploring Love, Marriage, and Relationships Throughout King's Chapel's History
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
​by Lily Nunno, Historic Site Educator Introduction King’s Chapel is a space that encompasses many aspects of the history of Boston. This history includes the history of love and romance. As a church, King’s Chapel has been a site of marriages and of memorializing loved ones in stone. Depending on one's societal status, the city's residents, including various members of the King’s Chapel congregation, have experienced love and romance differently.  Around Valentine’s Day when we are thinking about our loved ones, we can explore a variety of questions related to love and relationships. Ho ..read more
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King's Chapel's World War I Memorial
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
Veterans Day, the anniversary of the November 11, 1918 Armistice that brought the First World War to an end, provides an opportunity to reflect on King’s Chapel and its community during World War I. ​ Within a month of the Armistice, King’s Chapel formed a Committee on the War Memorial, dedicated to erecting a permanent memorial honoring King’s Chapel members involved in the war. The memorial, as seen today, was the culmination of several years of discussion and planning – it was ultimately unveiled and dedicated on November 11, 1925. During those years, the committee revealed their own unders ..read more
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Memorial Day 2021: Captain Cabot Jackson Russel and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
by William Stilwell, Park Ranger at Boston African American National Historic Site Captain Cabot Jackson Russel's name (botton left) on the King's Chapel Civil War memorial This Memorial Day Weekend in Boston marks the unveiling of the restored Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial on Beacon St across from the State House. Originally dedicated on May 31, 1897, the St. Gaudens relief commemorates the Massachusetts 54th, the first all Black northern regiment in the Civil War, and their white commander, Col. Robert Gould Shaw. (While the Emancipation Proclamation al ..read more
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Here We Come A-Wassailing: The Rowdy History of a Holiday Punch
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
By Jennifer Roesch, History Program Assistant, with the assistance of Malcolm F. ​Purinton, PhD and History Program Director Faye Charpentier Colonial-era hops found in mid-coast Maine For many of us, the holiday season is a time of celebration, family, and feasting, even while we are in the midst of the global pandemic. While my fiancé and I weren’t able to celebrate Christmas with our families this year, we still curated a Christmas menu, sharing the moments of cooking and consuming with our friends on social media and family over FaceTime. During this time of COVID, we have been living ..read more
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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: a vegan public historian whips up a Figgy Pudding for today.
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
​By Faye Charpentier, History Program Director Food has been a method of connecting people and sharing culture across time and place. And related to that role food plays, taste and smell are some of the most powerful triggers of memory. It’s no wonder, then, that food plays an important role in the holiday traditions of so many people. This year, I tried making a traditional Christmas dessert that is new to me, but likely seen on the Christmas tables of King’s Chapel members in the 1700s: a Christmas pudding. As a homebaker and diehard fan of The Great British Baking Show, I have seen variat ..read more
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Christmas Services and Songs at King's Chapel: English Traditions to Today's Celebrations
King's Chapel History Blog
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9M ago
By Faye Charpentier, History Program Director Earlier this month, our “holiday history” focused on some of the cultural and secular aspects of Christmas traditions at churches like King’s Chapel. But Christmas, of course, is a religious holiday at its core. This week, as Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, our history content focuses on what Christmas services looked like in King’s Chapel’s history as well as what music was incorporated into it. ​ From its founding in 1686 through the American Revolution in the 1770s and 1780s, King’s Chapel was home to an Anglican ..read more
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