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The London Wards - Cheap Ward in 1756

Cheap Ward in 1756 neatly engraved from a New Survey

Cheap Ward in 1756 neatly engraved from a New Survey

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Index of London wards in 1756 by William Maitland


With a Plan, neatly engraved from a New Survey

Its Name, Bounds and Extent. Modern State. The Alderman and Common Council Men. Remarkable Things. Parishes and Churches. The Guildhall. Guildhall Chapel. Mercers Hall and Chapel. Grocers Hall. Poultry Compter. Cornets Tower. Standard, Cross and Conduit in Cheapside.

This Ward takes its Name from the Saxon Word Chepe, a Market, kept in this Division of the City in those Days ; and though Posterity has altered the Way of spelling from Chepe to Cheap, we still retain the true Signification of the Word in the Word cheapen or to cheap, when we ask the Price of Goods or Wares at Market.
This Market was peculiarly known by the Name of West Cheap from its Situation, to distinguish it from the Market between Candlewicke street and Tower street, which from its Situation also was called East Cheap.

On the East this Ward is bounded by Broad street Ward and Wallbrook Ward ; on the South by Cordwainers Ward ; on the West by Queenhithe Ward and Cripplegate Ward ; and on the North by Coleman street Ward, Bassishaw Ward, and Cripplegate Ward.

This Ward extends from the Entrance into Scalding alley in the North East, to the middle Way between the paved Passage into Honey lane Market and Milk street, or about 54 Feet from the East Corner of Milk street, on the North West ; and from a few Yards East of Barge yard at the lower End of Bucklersbury, and the West Corner of the Mansion House, on the South East, to 33 Feet West of Bow lane on the South West ; including on the South Side of West Cheapo commonly called Cheapside, and the Poultry, Pancras lane on both Sides for 60 Feet, and then its North Side only to Queen street ; as much of Queen street, as to about 50 Feet South East of Pancras lane, but no further than George yard, which passeth into Bow lane on the South West. From whence with a slant Cut it turns to within 60 Feet of the North East End of Bow lane ; and crossing over still upon the Slant, ends near the Church in Cheapside, as noted above : And on the North Side it takes in the Parish Church of St. Mildred in the Poultry, Grocers alley, Hall and Gardens, about 136 Feet of the Old Jewry at the South End, Mercers chapel, Ironmonger lane ', King street, Guildhall, St. Laurence lane and Church, three Fourths of Honey lane Market, Cateaton street from St. Laurence's alley to within 25 Feet of Basinghall street on the North Side, and from about 96 Feet West of St. Laurence's Church to about 40 Feet beyond Ironmonger lane Eastward, and all Courts and Alleys within these Limits.

Cheapside is a very stately spacious Street, adorned with lofty Buildings, well inhabited by Goldsmiths, Linen Drapers, Haberdashers, and other great Dealers. The Street ( which is throughout of an equal Breadth,) begins Westward at Paternoster row by which the Conduit stood, and in a strait Line runs to the Poultry and from thence to the Royal Exchange in Cornhill. But the whole Street lying in several Wards, the Courts and Alleys are taken Notice of as they lie in their respective Wards. And as this Street is yet esteemed the principal High Street in the City, so it was formerly graced with a great Conduit, a Standard, and a stately Cross ; which last was pulled down in the Civil Wars. In the last Part, almost over against Mercers Chapel, stood a great Conduit ; but this Conduit standing almost in the Middle of the Street, being incommodious for Coaches and Carts, was thought fit by the Magistracy, after the great Fire, to be taken down, and not rebuilt.

Near adjoining to this Street, on the North Side, facing Bow Church, is Honey lane Market ; Honey lane and other Buildings being, since the Fire of London, converted into this Market ; among which Buildings was the Parish Church of Alhallows Honey lane.
This Market is well served every Week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with Provisions. The Place taken up by this Market is spacious, being in Length, from East to West, 193 Feet , and from North to South, 97 Feet.
In the Middle is a large and square Market house, standing on Pillars, with Rooms over it, and a Bell Tower in the Midst. There are in the Market 135 standing Stalls for Butchers, with Racks, Blocks, and other Necessaries ; all covered over, to shelter them from the Injury of the Weather ; and also several Stalls for Fruiterers. The West End of the Market lieth open to Milk street.
There are two other Passages unto it, that is, one out of St. Laurence lane and King street, besides that which comes out of Cheapside ; which Passages are inhabited by Grocers, Fishmongers, Poulterers, Victuallers and Cheesemongers. On the North West Corner of this Market is Robin Hood being a Passage into Milk street. Trump alley, lieth against Bow Church, which, turning Eastward, falleth into St. Laurence lane : This Alley is indifferent in the middle Part, but the Entrances are but narrow.
The Old Jewry hath but a little Part in this Ward ; the rest is in Coleman street Ward.
On the South End and West Side of this Street stood the Parish Church of St. Mary Colechurch. In this Part of the Old Jewry is Dove court, being but ordinary, and is a Passage into Grocers alley.
Then on the South Side of Cheapside, and over against Mercers Chapel, is Bird in hand alley, which is but indifferent. Feathers court, which is also but ordinary. Golden leg court, or Leg court, over against St. Laurence lane, but narrow, and none of the best. Crown court, also opposite to St.
Laurence lane ; a very handsome open Place, with good houses, neatly kept, and well inhabited.
Bucklersbury, turning to the South East out of Cheapside, runs on the Back side of the Poultry up to Wallbrook; and is a Street very well built, and
inhabited by Merchants and Wholesale Dealers in Norwich Stuffs.
Barge yard, a handsome open Place, well inhabited by Merchants, &c.
Towards the West End of this Street, and on the South Side, is Pancras lane, which falleth in to Queen street. The North Side of which Lane is in this Ward, and the South in Cordwainers Ward. On this North Side of the Lane were two Parish Churches, viz. St. Pancras Soper lane, and St. Bennet Sherehog. That of St. Pancras was consumed in the Fire of London, and not rebuilt ; but the Parish was united to St. Mary Le Bow : And the Place where the Church stood, is inclosed for a Burial Place for the Parishioners. And over Part of it, upon Columns, stands a Cistern to receive Water, which formerly came to the great Conduit at the East End of Cheapside.

The Parish Church of St. Bennet Sherehog was seated also on the North Side of Pancras lane, and formerly called St. Sithe's Church. The Prior of St. Mary Overy was Patron of this Church : It was burnt down in the great Fire, and not rebuilt. But the small Parish is united unto St. Stephen Wallbrook ; and the Place where the Church stood is severed with a Brick Wall, for a Burying place for the Inhabitants.
New Queen street, so called, as being a new Street since the Fire of London, built in the Place of Soper lane, but much broader. Which said Street fronts New King street ; which was also made so spacious for the Grace of Guildhall, that fronteth both.
The Poultry, a very great Thoroughfare for Coaches, Carts, and Foot Passengers, being seated in the Heart of the City, and leading to and from the Royal Exchange ; and from thence to Fleet Street, the Strand, Westminster, and the Western Parts : And therefore well inhabited by great Tradesnen. It begins on the West, by the Old Jewry, where Cheapside ends, and reaches to the Mansion house by Cornhill. On the North Side is Scalding alley ; a large Place, containing two or three Alleys, and a square Court with good Buildings, and well inhabited, but the greatest Part is in Broad street Ward, where it is mentioned.

Grocers alley. This Alley is ordinary, and generally inhabited by Alehouse keepers, called Spunging houses , for that the Serjeants belonging to the Poiutry Compter bring their Prisoners to these houses, and there lock them up, until such Time as they do make an Agreement with their Creditors, and not be run into the Prison ; which sometimes is a great Conveniency, It was anciently called Coney Hope alley ; being the Market for Rabbits.
On the West Side of this Alley is a Passage in to the Old Jewry through Dove court ; and at the upper End of this Alley is Grocers hall.

More to the West is Old Jewry, and then Ironmonger lane. This Lane cometh out of Cateaton street, and falleth into Cheapside. Both these Lanes are well built, and inhabited by Wholesale Dealers. On the East Side of Ironmonger lane is Church alley, which hath an open Free stone Passage on the South Side of St. Olave's Church yard into the Old Jewry ; and on the West Side of this Lane is a Passage into New King street. In this Lane was the Parish Church of St. Martin's Ironmonger lane, which being burnt down in the Fire of London is not rebuilt, but the Parish is united to St. Olave's Jewry.

More West is New King street, built since the Fire of London; a very spacious Street, garnished with very good Buildings, which are well inhabited by Norwich Factors, and Wholesale Dealers in Whale bone, and other Commodities.
It comes out of Cheapside, and falls into Cateaton street, right against Guildhall. On the West Side of this Street is an open Passage, or rather a short Street, which goes into St. Laurence lane, without a Name.

Still West, the next Lane is St. Laurence lane, so called from St. Laurence's Church, seated at the lower End fronting the Lane, and standing in Cateaton street. This Lane is well built, and inhabited by Wholesale Dealers. On the West Side is an open Passage, which leadeth to Honey Lane Market. On the same Side is the old Inn called Blossom's Inn : It hath the Sign of St. Laurence upon a Grid iron in a Border of Flowers and Blossoms. This Inn is very large, and much resorted to by Carriers, &c. and has a Back gate into Honey lane Market.

More Westward, and on the same Side, is Castle court, which is indifferent broad, with good houses. It has a Passage into Montdord's court, which leads into Milk street.
Cateaton street comes from the Corner of Milk street, and goes to Bassishaw street. It is a Street of good Trade, and well inhabited. On the North Side, somewhat East from St. Laurence lane, is Blackwell hall court, so called as adjoining to Blackwell hall, into which it hath an Entrance,

There are to watch at the several Stands in this Ward, every Night, one Constable and a Beadle, with twenty five Watchmen.

The Jurymen returned by the Wardmote Inquest are to serve in the several Courts in Guildhall in the Month of February.

This Ward hath an Alderman, who is at present Samuel Fludyer, Esq , and twelve Common Council Men, who are, J. Skinner, Esq , Deputy, Mr. Samuel Sedgwick, Mr. Robert Waite, Mr. Charles Worral, Mr. Philip Cooke, Mr. Thomas Wilkinson, Mr. Samuel Bridgman, Mr. Leonard Bead, Mr. Thomas Nash, Mr. Robert Liddal, Mr. Thomas Burfoot, and Mr. John Smith : Under whom are eleven Constables, nine Scavengers, twelve Men for the Wardmote Inquest, and a Beadle.
It is taxed to the Fifteenth at 72 l. 16 s. and in the Exchequer at 72 l. 1 1 s.

The most remarkable Things in this Ward are,
First, Seven Parishes, but only two Parish Churches. (1.) The Parish and Parish Church of St. Mildred in the Poultry. (2.) St. Mary's Cole church. (3.) St. Bennet's Sherehog. (4.) St. Pancras Soper lane. (5.) St. Martin's Ironmonger lane. (6.) Allhallows Honey lane. And, (7.) The Parish and Parish Church of St. Laurence Jewry. Of which more particularly in our Parochial History.

Secondly, The Guildhall of the City of London, situate at the North Extremity of King street, wherein the nine Courts of the City are kept, viz.
1. The Court of Common Council. 2. The Court of the Lord Mayor, and his Brethren the Aldermen. 3. The Court of Hustings. 4. The Court of Orphans. 5. The two Courts of the Sheriffs. 6. The Court of the Wardmote. 7, The Court of Hallmote. 8. The Court of Requests, commonly called the Court of Conscience. 9. The Chamberlain's Court for binding Apprentices, and making them free.

The Guildhall stood formerly in or near Aldermanbury, or Aldermens court, from which Situation of this Mall the Street is said to take its Denomination, and consequently the Hall must have been founded before the Year 1189, for then we find this Street to have had that Name, as will be mentioned in Cripplegate Ward. And it is not unlikely that Edward the Confessor, who began to
reign 1042, had a considerable Share in the first Foundation, his Arms being in several Places of this present Hall, which, Robert Fabian saith, was begun to be new built in the Year 1411, the 12th of Henry IV. by Thomas Knowles, then Mayor,
and by his Brethren the Aldermen. The same was made, of a little Cottage, a large and great house, as it now stands. Towards the Charge whereof, the Companies gave great Benevolences. also, Offences of Men were pardoned for Sums of Money, towards this Work : And extraordinary Fees were raised, Fines, Amerciaments, and other Things employed, during seven Years, and a Continuation thereof three Years more, all to be employed to this Building.

King Henry V in the 3rd Year of his Reign, which was about the Year 1415, granted the City free Passage for four Boats by Water, and as many Carts by Land, with Servants to each, to bring Lime, Rag stone and Free stone, for the Work of Guildhall ; as appears by these Letters Patents :

In this Ward are two Company's Halls: (1) On the north of Cheapside, almost in the Center between the Old Jewry and Ironmonger lane, is situate Mercers hall, more commonly known by the Name of Mercers chapel, which makes a Part of that magnificent Building. On this Spot in ancient Times was founded an Hospital dedicated to St. Thomas of Acars, or Aeons, for a Master and Brethren, Militia Hospitalis, &c. saith the Record of Edward III. the fourteenth Year ; by Thomas Fitz Theobald de Heiley, and Agnes his Wife, Sister to Thomas a Becket, in the Reign of Henry II. They gave to the Master and Brethren the Lands with the Appurtenances, that some Time were Gilbert a Becket's, Father of the said Thomas, in the which he was born ; there to make a Church. There was a Charnel, and a Chapel over it of St. Nicholas and St. Stephen.
The Life of Thomas a Becket (to whom this Thomas Hospital or Chapel was probably dedicated) is written by divers Authors, and diversly, according to their Affection.

In the Year 1536, on St. Peter's Night, King Henry VIII. and Queen Jane his Wife, stood in the Mercers Hall, then new built, and beheld the marching Watch of the City, mod bravely set out ; Sir John Allen, Mercer, one of the King's Council, being Mayor.

The Mercers Hall and Chapel were demolished by the great Fire, but new and magnificently built by the said Company. The Hall and great Parlour are finely wainscotted with right Oak, and adorned with Pilasters of the Ionick Order, the Ceiling with Fretwork, and the stately Piazzas are constituted by large Columns and Entablature of the Dorick Order. In the Hall are the King's Arms, those of the City, and others. The Front to Cheapside is very ornamental ; the Door cafe is enriched with the Figures of two Cupids, mantling their Arms, Festoons, &c. and above the Balcony it is adorned with two Pilasters, their Entablature, and Pediment of the Ionick Order; the Intercolumns are the Figures of Faith and Hope, and that of Charity in a Niche under the Cornice of the Pediment, with other Enrichments.

The Chapel is neatly wainscotted, and paved with black and white Marble. In the Ambulatory leading to it, againil the North Wall, is a Marble Tomb, with the Effigies, lying at full Length, of Richard Fiftiborne, Mercer, a worthy Benefactor, who died on the eighth of April, 1625.
On the North Side of the Poultry and at the farthest End of the Alley, formerly called Coney hope lane, now Grocers alley, is situate Grocers Hall, on a Spot of Ground purchased by the Grocers Company of Robert Lord Fitzwalters for the Sum of three hundred and twenty Marks, A. D. 1411.
The Building is well designed and executed for the Purposes of a Common Hall, lately, ornamental, and so capacious, that for many Years it served for the Uses of the Bank of England, which was kept in this Hall till there was an Office built on Purpose in Threadneedle street. The ancient Stone and Brick Building at the North West Corner of the Garden, inhabited by the Beadle of the Company, is very probably Part of the ancient City Mansion of the noble Family of Fitzwalters, and consequently the oldest Building within the City Walls.
Between the Site of Grocers Hall and the Compter. Poultry is one of the City Prisons, called the Poultry Compter, from its Situation and Use ; for this Prison belonging to one of the Sheriffs, and of great Antiquity, might possibly be named the Compter, because the Prisoners are obliged to account for the Cause of their Commitment before they are discharged ; and the Addition of Poultry is to distinguish it from another Compter in Wood street.

The Charge of these Prisons is committed to the Sheriffs, who always enter into their Office on the twenty eighth of September, which is the Eve of St. Michael the Archangel, and are accordingly sworn to the Charge of the said Office.

Bucklers, or more properly Bucklersbury, is so called from a Manor and Tenements appertaining to one Buckle, who there dwelt and kept his Courts. This Manor was supposed to be the great Stone Building, Part of which was remaining when Monday published his Edition of Stow in 1633, and was then called the Old Barge, from such a Sign hanging out near the Gate of it. To this Place it was commonly reported, that, when Wallbrook lay open, Barges were rowed or towed up out of the Thames.

Also, on the North Side of this Street, directly over against the said Bucklersbury, was one ancient strong Tower of Stone ; which Tower King Edward III. in the eighteenth of his Reign, by the Name of the King's house, called Cornet's Tower, in London, did appoint to be his Exchange of Money, there to be kept. In the twenty ninth, he granted it to Frydus Guynifane and Landus Bardoile, Merchants of Luke, for twenty Pounds the Year. And in the thirty second of his Reign he gave it to his College or free Chapel of St. Stephen at Westminster, by the Name of his Tower, called Cornet's Tower, at Bucklersbury in London.

This Tower was taken down by one Buckle, a Grocer, meaning, in Place thereof, to have set up and built a Frame of Timber, but the said Buckle greedily labouring to pull down the old Tower, a Piece thereof fell upon him, which so bruised him, that his Life was thereby shortened ; and another, that married his Widow, set up the new prepared Frame of Timber, and finished the Work.

By the Assent of Stephen Abunden, Mayor, the Pepperers in Sopers lane were admitted to sell all such Spices and other Wares as Grocers use now to sell, retaining the old Name of Pepperers in Sopers lane; till at length, in the Reign of Henry VI. the said Sopers lane was inhabited by Cordwainers and Curriers : After that, the Pepperers or Grocers had seated themfelves in a more open Street, to wit, in Bucklersbury, where they remained for many Years.

Tallow Chandlers had their Shops also hereabouts, the Smell of whose Trade, it seems, was so nauseous in the chief Street of the City, that they were appointed to remove thence, and remain elsewhere in the City.
At the upper End of this Sopers lane, in Cheapside, was the common Place of Standing to see great Shews; as, when Kings and Queens, Princes, or foreign Ambassadors passed along towards Westminster, or from Westminster thro' London towards the Tower. Here was a Parcel of Land called The great Field in the Street, some Time in the Tenure of the Lady Catharine Dormer, Widow : This, under that Name, together with other Things, was fold to Sir Robert Cholmley, Knt. in the second of Edward VI.

At the East End of the High Street, which is the main Body of this Ward, over against the Parish Church of St. Mildred, on the South Side of the Poultry, up to the great Conduit, were divers houses, some Times inhabited by Poulterers, afterwards by Grocers, Haberdashers, and Upholsterers. At the West End of this Poultry, on the South Side, was the great Conduit, which
was the Beginning of West Cheap. This Conduit was the first sweet Water that was conveyed by Pipes of Lead under Ground to this Place in the City from Paddington. It was castellated with Stone, and cisterned with Lead ; which was begun in the Year 1285, Henry Walleis being then Mayor. This Conduit was again new built by Thomas Rame, one of the Sheriffs, in the Year 1479.

Beyond the Conduit, on the South Side of Cheap, in Stew's Time, were Houses, for the most Part possessed by Mercers, up to the North Corner of Cordwainers street, which, he says, was corruptly called Bow lane. these houses, in former Times, were but Sheds, or Shops, with Solars over them.

About the Midst of this Street, without Honey lane, was the Standard Cheap, which John Wells, Grocer, Mayor, 1430, caused to be made, with a small Cistern with fresh Water, having one Cock continually running, when the same was not turned nor locked. This was finished by his Executors, Thomas Knowles and John Chicheley, who purchased Licence of King Henry IV. to convey Water to make the Conduit.

Here in Cheapside, in Bow Parish, formerly, in the Time of King Henry VIII. and some Time after, lived a considerable Mercer, at the Sign of the Crown. His Name was John Hare, of an ancient Family in Suffolk, who left a fair Estate behind him to his Children, that were divers, besides his charitable Legacies. He died Anno 1564. To Richard Hare, his fourth Son, who, as it seems, continued his Father's Trade, he gave by his Will his said Dwelling house at the Crown, with all the Shops, Cellars, Yards, and Warehouses there unto belonging. He was also Owner of the Manor of Stow Bardolpb in the County of Norfolk, which he purchased of Queen Mary, and also the Parsonage thereof, and other Lands and Tenements there, which he purchased of Richard Cat lyn, Serjeant at Law; all which he gave by Will to his eldest Son and Heir Nicholas Hare. He was likewife Owner of a great Mansion Place, as it is called in his Will, with Gardens, Orchards, houses, Lands, and Tenements, in WhiteCross street, in the Parish of St. Giles Cripplegate ; an other Tenement in More lane, in the same Parish, with Garden, Tenter yards, and other Commodities and Profits thence arising, or occupied with the same.
And considerable charitable Legacies ...

And Last updated on: Friday, 15-Sep-2023 12:27:39 BST
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