Skip to main content

St James's palace

St James's palace, though still nominally the headquarters of the British monarchy, since ambassadors are accredited to the court there, is not well known and has been much patched. Originally it was the leper hospital of St James's. Henry VIII purchased the property, still in the fields outside London, in 1532 and began building round four courtyards. The basic pattern is still red-brick Tudor. His daughter Mary liked the place and her heart and bowels were buried at the Chapel Royal. Prince Henry and his younger brother Prince Charles held court there and Charles II, when prince of Wales, escaped from custody there in 1648. During the Commonwealth, it was used as a barracks. At the Restoration, Charles began its renovation and the park, with its lake, was laid out. Nearby Pall Mall was the pitch for the fashionable croquet-like game which the royal princes brought back from their exile in France. The palace was greatly used during the next 100 years, since Greenwich had been given up and Whitehall was burned in 1698. The ‘warming-pan baby’, later to become the Old Pretender, was born there in June 1688, when the palace was the residence of James II's wife Mary of Modena. Queen Anne spent most of her time there and at Kensington palace, and the 2½-year-old Samuel Johnson was taken to St James's to be touched for the evil by the queen in 1712. George II and Caroline spent much time there and it was to St James's that Frederick, prince of Wales, hustled his wife, in labour, in 1737. Damaged in a fire in 1809, the palace was still much used by Victoria, who was married in 1840 in the Chapel Royal. But gradually Buckingham palace replaced it for most state occasions, and St James's is now given over to grace-and-favour residences and used only occasionally for grand receptions.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"St James's palace." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"St James's palace." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/st-jamess-palace

"St James's palace." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved November 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/st-jamess-palace

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.