Wandsworth’s only Grade I listed building

Peter Ackroyd deals, in Chapter Eight of his biography of the radical visionary William Blake, with Blake’s marriage to Catherine Boucher:

“In July of 1782 he moved to Battersea, and stayed with his relatives for the four weeks required to become a resident of the parish; he declared himself “Gentleman” in the Marriage Bond, which was then an unusual description for a working engraver. On 18 August 1782, they were married in the church of St Mary; Blake pressed his signature down very hard in the register, while his wife inscribed simply an “X”, which implies that she was either illiterate or unskilled at handwriting. She came from a poor family, and was one of many children; her father was a market gardener whose fortunes had declined, in a period when people were frequently and swiftly “ruin’d” or “destroyed”, “fallen to decay” or “forced to break”. So it was by no means a marriage of convenience. It must, after all, have been a marriage of love.”.

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