Parish Clerks can claim to be among the pioneers of English Drama. They performed in the miracle and mystery plays and John Stowe records that they assembled each summer outside the Priory of St John of Jerusalem. They performed before Richard II and his court in 1390 and before Henry IV in 1409. It is possible that these performances took place annually until the beginning of the sixteenth century.

The tradition of performing in the mystery plays has recently been revived by the players of St Peter upon Cornhill and with members of the Company, have performed three masques in the City of London Festival. These took place in St Mary le Bow in 1972 and 1979 and again in 1990.

The Clerks' Well, near the Priory of St John of Jerusalem, lies in the basement of 14-16 Farringdon Lane, London EC1V 3AU. The well can easily be viewed from street level through a large window. Access to the wellhead, at the foot of a metal staircase within the building, can be arranged by contacting the nearby Islington Local History Centre, Finsbury Library, 245 St John Street, London EC1V 4NB (Tel: 020 7527 7966; Email:

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