Happy Birthday Sir Christopher Wren!
Architect, mathematician and astronomer Sir Christopher Wren was born #onthisday in 1632.
We have a number of manuscripts by or relating to Christopher Wren in the Manuscripts Collection at the British Library. Probably the most beautiful are two drawings which relate to the Monument to the Great Fire of London which are housed in a volume of drawings once belonging to Sir Hans Sloane.
There is a brilliant article by Matthew Walker about the design of the Monument and its attribution to Robert Hooke. Among Hooke’s drawings, some of which were signed by Wren, are two advisory drawings by Wren himself. One depicts a statue of Augusta and the other depicts an urn, both for the termination of the Monument .
Sir Christopher Wren, Advisory drawing of a statue of Augusta for the termination of the Monument, 1675. Sloane MS 5238 f. 69.
Sir Christopher Wren, Advisory drawing of an urn for the termination of the Monument, 1675. Sloane MS 5238 f. 77.
As well as these two beautiful drawings we also own the manuscript report by Wren on the Monument, the manuscript for Parentalia or Memoires of the Family of the Wrens, and the accounts and estimates for Marlborough House.
Curator, Modern Historical Manuscripts and Archives 1601-1850