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Portuguese Embassy chapel christenings 1663-1844
The original registers are held at the Portuguese Embassy and were transcribed by Mr L A Muriel. They consist of eight calf bound volumes, the christenings covering the years 1663-1844. The buildings in which the christenings took place are as follows:
The Queen’s Chapel, St. James Palace. Christenings recorded in volume B took place initially at the Queen’s Chapel, St. James Palace. This Chapel was designed by Inigo Jones and built between 1623 and 1627, essentially for the use of Charles I’s Catholic wife, Queen Henrietta Maria.
Somerset House Chapel. Later christenings in volume B took place at Queen Henrietta Maria’s new chapel at Somerset House. Work started in 1632 and the first mass was sung in 1636. Catherine of Braganza, King Charles II’s Portuguese wife, gained possession in 1670 and held it until her death in 1705. This Chapel was used as an extra-parochial Anglican Chapel until it was closed and demolished in 1775.
The Portuguese Chapel. The Portuguese Chapel moved to Portugal Row, Lincolns Inn Fields from 1700 to 1708. It subsequently transferred to Great Queen Street from 1721-23 and from 1724 it was at 23-24 Golden Square, the chapel fronting onto Warwick Street. In 1747 the Portuguese Chapel moved to 74 South Audley Street which then continued in Embassy usage until 1829. This Chapel was demolished in 1831. The Registers were maintained by Rev. John Jones at the Bavarian Chapel until 1849. Since that date the Embassy has held them.