St Matthew’s Day 2022
On 6 October 2022, Christ’s Hospital brought traffic to a standstill in the City of London for the annual St Matthew’s Day march, after a two-year break due to the pandemic.
What a sight it was! Four hundred pupils in Tudor uniform, led by the Band and accompanied by the City of London Police, marching through the City’s streets, much to the delight of City workers who happened to be passing by.
The day started with a special service at Holy Sepulchre church, attended by the Lord Mayor and the mayoral party. The Christ’s Hospital Chapel Choir and Brass Ensemble performed, and our Senior Grecian, Maddie, and Second Monitor, Luke, each read a lesson.
After the service, everyone poured out from the church into the sunshine, and the Band led senior pupils to march proudly from the church to Guildhall.
On arrival, they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor himself for the traditional presentation of largesse, where each pupil was presented with a coin fresh from the Royal Mint. The tradition of giving pupils largesse, which means a gift of money or act of kindness, dates back to when the School was located in London (from 1552 to 1902), at a site now occupied by Merrill Lynch Bank of America, not far from St Paul’s Cathedral.
St Matthew’s Day is one of the highlights in the CH calendar and celebrates almost five centuries of links with the City. CH was founded in 1552 in the City by King Edward VI and was established through the generosity of the Lord Mayor of the day and City benefactors. Historically, St Matthew’s Day was the day on which the Governors of CH were elected and a ceremony still takes place at the end of the church service when the Clerk presents the list of current Governors to the Lord Mayor. The documents are then placed for safe keeping in the archives of the City of London Corporation.