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Today in Graeme Park History – The Marriage of Sir William and Lady Ann

October 6 marks the anniversary of the marriage of Sir William Keith to Ann Newbury Diggs which occurred in 1704 at The Collegiate Church of St. Katharine by the Tower – a medieval church next to the Tower of London. While the church was demolished in 1825, it was rebuilt from 1826-28 as St. Katharine’s in Regeant’s Park.  After WWII St. Katharine’s needed more space to accommodate their mission of helping the poor, so they sold the Regent’s Park building to the Danish Church and moved to Limehouse to the site of a church which had been blitzed during the War, where they became The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine. With each move the choir stalls, several statues, and the pulpit, all of which witnessed the Keith’s union, moved with them.

Original St. Katharine by the Tower where Sir William and Lady Ann were married on October 6, 1704

The Church record book recorded their union as follows: 6 October 1704 William Keith bachelor aged about 25 years of St. Andrew’s Holborn, gentleman married to Ann Newbury of St. Martin’s in the Fields, widow. (unknown abbreviations) 

Keith Marriage Record 2
Record book from St. Katharine by the Tower showing the entry for the Keiths on the lower left page

Keith, having been born in 1669, was actually 34-35 and Ann was 28-29. She was widowed from her first husband, Robert Diggs with whom she had a daughter, Ann, who would later marry Dr. Graeme. St. Andrew Holborn (31 on the map below) and St. Martin in the Fields were parishes to the western side of London, and St. Katharine by the Tower (22 on the below map) was to the eastern side of London — why they chose to marry there rather than in one of their home parishes is anybody’s guess.