Dr Charles James Blomfield (May 29, 1786 – August 5, 1857), was Bishop of London for 28 years during which time he oversaw the building of more than 200 new churches and a large increase in clergy to serve the rapidly-growing population of the capital. Blomfield was very gifted, he was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, the eldest son (and one of ten children) of Charles Blomfield, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Hester, the daughter of a Bury grocer. He was therefore unusual in becoming a Bishop of London not from an ecclesiastical, aristocratic or landowning background. He was offered a scholarship at Eton but following a short stay turned it down opting instead to attend a local grammar school at Bury St Edmunds. He matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1804 and entered the church, moving around various dioceses. In 1824 he was made Bishop of Chester where he carried through many much-needed reforms. Four years later he became the youngest ever Bishop of London, and began his mission to spread the church. His energies weren’t confined to church matters, as well as being an effective and respected speaker in the House of Lords, five of his 17 children were born at Fulham Palace. He also consecrated the Magnificent Seven – the seven much needed cemeteries dotted around London’s then-outskirts that became cathedrals to the Victorian dead. In 1856 he was permitted to resign his bishopric due to ill health, retaining Fulham Palace as his residence. He died the following year and was buried in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Fulham. This street was laid out over an estate that has belonged to the Bishops of London since the manor of Paddington was given to the See by Edward VI in the mid-16thCentury.
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