I was just a Poor Boy…

Poor Boy at St Botolph's
Poor Boy at St Botolph’s

THESE two statues of a Poor School boy and girl stand outside St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate. They are modern replicas, although the boy’s pedestal retains the original date of 1821 – also noting these are the work of the famous Mrs Coade. Her Coade Stone recipe involved twice-fired pottery and was used for the Lion on Westminster Bridge as well as many other statues and architectural detailing of the time. She died in 1821, so these statues represent her work at its peak.
St. Botolph’s is one of four churches of that name that used to stand in the City London. He was the patron saint of travellers, hence the position of this church near one of the former city gates. The poet John Keats was baptised here in 1795.
The school was started in the early 18th century, around the same time the present church – the fourth on the site – was built. It expanded to 340 pupils in 1820 under Sir William Rawlins, whose tomb stands in front of the pair. He was Sheriff of London in 1801.
The originals of these two – which cost £15 each at the time – are inside St Botolph’s Hall, which is available for hire.

Poor Girl at St Botolph's
Poor Girl at St Botolph’s