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A Brief Calendar of Events in St James


    1571 277 Dutch and Flemish Protestants arrive in Dover to settle  
    1621 650 refugees from France arrive with 2 ministers, also with the view to settling in the area  
    1652 In the days of the Commonwealth, St. James's seems to have been converted into a temporary prison. A local blacksmith was paid for "Ironwork about James his church when Dutch seamen were there secured"  
    1666 On 1st August the Plague claimed its first victim; altogether nearly 900 persons eventually perished  
    1736 John Trevanion, M.P., opened a school for 50 boys in the Pier District of the Town; it remained open until 1818  
    1790 St. James's Parish Poor House opened in Woolcomber Street; previously there was a joint Almshouse in Queen Street for able bodied persons who wanted work from the parishes of St. James and St. Mary's  
    1797 The opening of the new road up Castle Hill  
    1810 - 1814 St. James was without an organ and a choir, so the Rector, Rev. W. Tournay, and the Rev. R. Chomley, purchased musical instruments and provided accompaniment to the services. Later these instruments were sold and the money given to the organ fund.  
    1836 On Sunday morning, 15th May, all the churches in Dover shut down during a total eclipse of the sun  
    1837 On 25th October it was reported that a stag was caught by a hunt when it was cornered in St. James's churchyard  
    1838 During the year the lowest recorded temperature in Dover of 21 Fahrenheit was experienced  
    1848 On 20th October a severe earth tremor was felt in Dover  
    1849 On 11th June the National Sunday School was opened in St. James Street.  The site was given by Miss Winthrop and the architect was Lewis Stride.  The opening was conducted by the Rector, Rev. Thomas Morris.  
    1851 The last Court of Lodemanage met on 21st October, at which the Duke of Wellington presided  
    1854 On 8th June, Old St. James's churchyard was closed  
    1855 On 29th January the first burial took place in the new cemetery at Copt Hill  
    1856 A large oak framework which turned out to be Roman was found in St. James Street whilst workmen were digging a 6 metre deep hole in connection with No. 2 gas works.  It probably formed part of a pier or jetty at the entrance to the Roman Harbour  
    1858 On 11th February, a Voluntary effort was substituted for the Church Rate in St. James  
      In November, a Vestry meeting was held to discuss the possibility of rebuilding Old St. James's Church  
    1859 In June, a gift of 400 was given towards the rebuilding on the condition that the new building was on another site.  Tinker Close was mentioned as a possible site as the owner, Capt. Taswell, was willing to sell at 600  
      In July, Baroness Sternberry bequeathed 3,000 to the building fund  
    1860 On 20th August the Foundation Stone was laid for New St James's Church  
    1862 Maison Dieu Road, previously known as Charlton Back Lane, was transformed from a 3 metre wide muddy cart track into a decent roadway, and building plots along its length were offered for sale.  
      On 20th August, New St James was completed  
    1864 French Protestants were permitted to use Old St. James's Church under the leadership of their pastor, M. Biguet  
    1868 St. Paul's Catholic Church was completed in Maison Dieu Road; the designer was Edward Welby Pugin  
    1870 Miss Fector gave 1,000 for restoring Old St. James  
    1888 In November a 10-day church mission was held in St. James's Parish  
    1897 On Ascension Sunday, the Hallelujah Chorus was performed celebrating the installation of the new organ in Old St. James  
    1900 In September, the Sunday School Superintendant, Mr. Austin, retired after 33 years of service  
    1902 On 20th February, the New Parish Hall in St. James Street was formally opened.  It was built on plots nos. 19-21  
    1906 On 16th February, a fire damaged Old St. James's Church, when a coke stove under the floor in the chancel set fire to the floor and choir stalls.  The estimated damage was 50  
    1908 External renovation of 350 was undertaken on the new church.  The east end of the chancel required attention.  The inside had not been properly cleaned since 1886 when 100 was spent on the whole building  
    1910 In September, the Foundation Stone was laid for the St. James Gymnasium in Russell Place  
    1914 St. James were winners of the Diocese of Canterbury Band of Hope Championships  
    1920 Mr. Potter retired after 42 years as a Church Beadle  
    1931 Repairs to the Old St James's Church tower amounted to approximately 500  
    1939 A Vestry meeting was told that the Old Church would no longer be an obligation on their funds as other arrangements had been made to preserve the building  
    1944 On 27th September, shelling ceased in Dover  
    1948 Statements made by the Dover Borough Council that St. James's Old Church should be kept as a "tidy ruin"  
    1952 Church Commissionary Court said that the new Church was too severely damaged to be repaired and was to be demolished  
    1953 The Parish of St. James ceased to exist and became part of the New Parish of St. Mary the Virgin  
    1971 The Swimming Pool site excavated  
    1973 The Sports Centre site excavated and Churchyard cleared  
    1976 On 10th January, the Sports Complex officially opened