John Passmore Edwards


Sailors Palace



Sailors Palace , courtesy of eastlondon The British and Foreign Sailor's Society was founded in 1833, following the work of George Charles Smith, who began preaching to merchant seamen on the Thames in 1814, promoting the religious, intellectual, and social elevation of British and foreign seamen, both in home and foreign ports.
Funded by Passmore Edwards the Foundation stone was laid in 1901 by the Duke of Fyfe, Vice Patron of the Society and Lord Lieutenant of London.
The building is predominately of brick, with bands of Portland stone and arched windows at ground-floor level. The main entrance and turreted gatehouse, described as a very free Tudor adaptation, is the dominant feature of the building with a magnificent figurehead of Britannia, carved in Portland Stone above the doorway, holding a ship in each hand, behind which a cherub blowing wind into its sails. Around the arch of the door, below the figurehead, are names of the continents: AMERICA AFRICA OCEANIA AUSTRALIA ASIA EUROPE, whilst above her head are the names of the 4 winds, EURUS - NOTUS - BOREAS - ZEPHYRUS.
Above Britannia is a lead plaque insrcibed with the "Passmore Edwards Sailors Palace" and "British & Foreign Sailors Association".
A Room at Sailors Palace, Limehouse. © National Maritime Museum
The ornamental plaques are continued around the building in keeping with the Arts & Craft Movement.
.The building also housed the King Edward VII Nautical School, a school for marine officers, founded in 1902.
Niven & Wigglesworth
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Acknowledgement of contributions and  copyright
© Dean Evans 2004
February 26, 2005
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