St. Bartholomew the Less


St. Bartholomew the Less was located in West Smithfield, on the south east side of the open field. Prockter and Taylor identify it with the church marked 32 on the map (Prockter 47). It was built and still stands inside the grounds the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (colloquially known as Bart’s).


Before the Dissolution, the church was the chapel of Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital, located on the precinct of the hospital. In 1521, Richard Arnold’s Chronicle called it The chapell wythin Bartholomew Spitell (qtd. in Harben). The function and name of the chapel was changed by royal order in 1547, at which point the chapel became the church of St. Bartholomew the Little (qtd. in Harben). Little was a disambiguator that distinguished the new parish church from the nearby St. Bartholomew the Great.

Literary Significance

Literary figures buried in this church include John Lyly (1553–1606), author of Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580), whose eponymous hero gave rise to a fashion for Euphuism. Lyly’s eight surviving plays for the boy companies of the 1580s and 1590s include Gallathea (1592). Also buried here is Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), who founded the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and famously excluded plays from his collection.

Post-Fire History

Being outside the city walls, the church was not damaged in the Great Fire. It is one of the few churches in London where one can still view medieval bells in a late medieval bell tower. To visit St. Bartholomew the Less today, enter the grounds of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital through the main entrance (the Henry VIII gate) in West Smithfield.


Cite this page

MLA citation

Jenstad, Janelle. St. Bartholomew the Less The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Jenstad, Janelle. St. Bartholomew the Less The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Jenstad, J. 2022. St. Bartholomew the Less In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Jenstad, Janelle
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - St. Bartholomew the Less
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#JENS1"><surname>Jenstad</surname>, <forename>Janelle</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">St. Bartholomew the Less</title> <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>

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