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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1856, Sunday, October 30, 1831

St. Dunstan's New Church,
Fleet Street

The new church now building in Fleet Street, partly at the expense of the parish of St Dunstan, and partly by a gratuity from the Corporation of London, is advancing rapidly to a state of completion. Early in the next month it is expected the building will be covered in, and it is said will vie with any other structure of it's design and grandeur of architecture. As soon as possible after the new church shall have been roofed in, the outer walls of the old church will be removed, and the street widened about twenty-five feet by the removal of the corner shop, which has for so many years been occupied as a silversmith's. Westward the houses will be removed as far as Messrs. Praed's and Co. the bankers, and thus the narrow part of Fleet street, so long looked upon as one of the great nuisances in the thoroughfares of the city, will be removed, and the road made as commodious as the destruction of Exeter 'Change has rendered the Strand. In taking down the old church, and building commodious vaults in the new one, the remains of many thousand individuals were unavoidably removed; they are to be deposited in the new vaults as soon as they are completed. Among the remains of mortality thus dealt with, some singular phenomenon presented themselves. The body of a man was found, without a coffin (which time had destroyed), to all appearance as perfect as it had recently been buried. One of the workmen took up the corpse and placed it against a wall, when it was discovered that the flesh at wholly disappeared, but the skin was quite perfect, forming a hard case, apparently as strong as leather, from which they may be presumed that some process of embalming had been resorted to, and successfully, as far as the skin was affected. Another body was also discovered, without a coffin, in a perfect state, but having the appearance and consistency of putty. On the workmen lifting up the body a quantity of quicksilver ran out of it, about two ounces of which were collected, and is now preserved. This, no doubt, had been injected into the blood vessels, either for some anatomical purpose, or in some process of embalming. It was originally intended by the parish authorities of St. Dunstan to carry their improvements much further, by widening Fetter Lane at its entrance as far as Clifford's Inn; but the funds were so low as to compel the abandonment of this much-to-be desired alteration.—Morning Herald.