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Index to Stow's original Survey of London written in 1598

ALDGATE WARD

The second ward within the wall, on the east part, is called Aldgate ward, as taking name of the same gate. The principal street of this ward beginneth at Aldgate, stretching west to sometime a fair well, where now a pump is placed; from thence the way being divided into twain, the first and principal street is called Aldgate street, runneth on the south side to Lime street corner, and half that street down on the left hand is also of that ward. In the mid way on that south side, betwixt Aldgate and Lime street, is Hart horn alley, a way that goeth through into Fenchurch street over against Northumberland house. Then have ye the Bricklayers’ hall, and another alley called Sprinckle[126] alley, now named Sugarloafe alley, of the like sign. Then is there a fair house, with divers tenements near adjoining, sometimes belonging to a late dissolved priory, since possessed by Mistress Cornewallies, widow, and her heirs, by gift of Henry VIII., in reward of fine puddings (as it was commonly said) by her made, wherewith she had presented him. Such was the princely liberality of those times. Of later time Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, knight, was lodged there. Then, somewhat more west is Belzettar’s lane, so called of the first builder and owner thereof, now corruptly called Billitar lane. Betwixt this Belzettar lane and Lime street was of later time a frame of three fair houses, set up in the year 1590, in place where before was a large garden plot, enclosed from the high street with a brick wall, which wall being taken down, and the ground dug deep for cellarage, there was found right under the said brick wall another wall of stone, with a gate arched of stone, and gates of timber to be closed in the midst towards the street; the timber of the gates was consumed, but the hinges of iron still remained on their staples on both the sides. Moreover, in that wall were square windows, with bars of iron on either side of the gate. This wall was under ground about two fathoms deep, as I then esteemed it, and seemeth to be the ruins of some houses burned in the reign of King Stephen, when the fire began in the house of one Alewarde, near London stone, and consumed east to Aldgate, whereby it appeareth how greatly the ground of this city hath been in that place raised.

On the north side this principal street stretcheth to the west corner of St. Andrewe’s church, and then the ward turneth towards the north by St. Marie street, on the east side to St. Augustine’s church in the wall, and so by Buries markes again, or about by the wall to Aldgate.

The second way from Aldgate, more towards the south, from the pump aforesaid, is called Fenchurch street, and is of Aldgate ward till ye come to Culver alley, on the west side of Ironmongers hall, where sometime was a lane which went out of Fenchurch street to the middest of Lime street, but this lane was stopped up for suspicion of thieves that lurked there by night. Again to Aldgate out of the principal street, even by the gate and wall of the city, runneth a lane south to Crowched Friers, and then Woodroffe lane to the Tower hill, and out of this lane west a street called Hart street, which of that ward stretched to Sydon lane by St. Olave’s church. One other lane more west from Aldgate goeth by Northumberland house[127] toward the Crossed Friers; then have ye on the same side the north end of Mart lane and Blanch Apleton, where that ward endeth.

Thus much for the bounds; now for monuments, or places most ancient and notable.

I am first to begin with the late dissolved priory of the Holy Trinity, called Christ’s church, on the right hand within Aldgate. This priory was founded by Matilda, queen, wife to Henry I., in the same place where Siredus sometime began to erect a church in honour of the Cross and of St. Marie Magdalen, of which the Dean and Chapter of Waltham were wont to receive thirty shillings. The queen was to acquit her church thereof, and in exchange gave unto them a mill. King Henry confirmed her gift. This church was given to Norman, first canon regular in all England. The said queen also gave unto the same church, and those that served God therein, the plot of Aldgate, and the soke thereunto belonging, with all customs so free as she had held the same, and twenty-five pound blankes, which she had of the city of Excester, as appeareth by her deed, wherein she nameth the house Christ’s church, and reporteth Aldgate to be of her domains, which she granteth with two parts of the rent of the city of Excester. Norman took upon him to be prior of Christ’s church, in the year of Christ 1108, in the parishes of St. Mary Magdalen, St. Michael, St. Katherine, and the Blessed Trinity, which now was made but one parish of the Holy Trinity, and was in old time of the Holy Cross or Holy Rood parish. The priory was built on a piece of ground in the parish of St. Katherine towards Aldgate, which lieth in length betwixt the King’s street, by the which men go towards Aldgate, near to the chapel of St. Michael towards the north, and containeth in length eighty-three ells, half, quarter, and half-quarter of the king’s iron eln, and lieth in breadth, etc. The soke and ward of Aldgate was then bounded as I have before showed. The queen was a means also that the land and English Knighten Guild was given unto the prior Norman: the honourable man, Geffrey de Glinton, was a great helper therein, and obtained that the canons might enclose the way betwixt their church and the wall of the city, etc. This priory, in process of time, became a very fair and large church, rich in lands and ornaments, and passed all the priories in the city of London or shire of Middlesex; the prior whereof was an alderman of London, to wit, of Portsoken ward.

I read, that Eustacius, the eighth prior, about the year 1264,[128] because he would not deal with temporal matters, instituted Theobald Fitz Ivonis, alderman of Portsoken ward under him, and that William Rising, prior of Christ’s church, was sworn alderman of the said Portsoken ward in the 1st of Richard II. These priors have sitten and ridden amongst the aldermen of London, in livery like unto them, saving that his habit was in shape of a spiritual person, as I myself have seen in my childhood; at which time the prior kept a most bountiful house of meat and drink, both for rich and poor, as well within the house as at the gates, to all comers, according to their estates.

These were the monuments in this church:—Sir Robert Turke, and Dame Alice his wife; John Tirell, esquire; Simon Kempe, esquire; James Manthorpe, esquire; John Ascue, esquire; Thomas Fauset, of Scalset, esquire; John Kempe, gentleman; Robert Chirwide, esquire; Sir John Heningham, and Dame Isabel his wife; Dame Agnes, wife first to Sir William Bardolph, and then to Sir Thomas Mortimer; John Ashfield, esquire; Sir John Dedham, knight; Sir Ambrose Charcam; Joan, wife to Thomas Nuck, gentleman; John Husse, esquire; John Beringham, esquire; Thomas Goodwine, esquire; Ralph Walles, esquire; Dame Margaret, daughter to Sir Ralph Chevie, wife to Sir John Barkeley, to Sir Thomas Barnes, and to Sir W. Bursire; William Roofe; Simon Francis; John Breton, esquire; Helling, esquire; John Malwen and his wife; Anthonie Wels, son to John Wels; Nicholas de Avesey, and Margarie his wife; Anthonie, son to John Milles; Baldwine, son to King Stephen, and Mathilde, daughter to King Stephen, wife to the Earl of Meulan; Henry Fitzalwine, mayor of London, 1213; Geffrey Mandevile, 1215; and many other. But to conclude of this priory: King Henry VIII., minding to reward Sir Thomas Audley, speaker of the parliament against Cardinal Wolsey, as ye may read in Hall, sent for the prior, commending him for his hospitality, promised him preferment, as a man worthy of a far greater dignity, which promise surely he performed, and compounded with him, though in what sort I never heard, so that the prior surrendered all that priory, with the appurtenances, to the king, in the month of July, in the year 1531, the 23rd of the said king’s reign. The canons were sent to other houses of the same order, and the priory, with the appurtenances, King Henry gave to Sir Thomas Audley, newly knighted, and after made lord chancellor.

Sir Thomas Audley offered the great church of this priory, with a ring of nine bells well tuned (whereof four the greatest[129] were since sold to the parish of Stebunhith, and the five lesser to the parish of St. Stephen in Coleman street) to the parishioners of St. Katherine Christ church, in exchange for their small parish church, minding to have pulled it down, and to have built there towards the street; but the parishioners having doubts in their heads of after-claps, refused the offer. Then was the priory church and steeple proffered to whomsoever would take it down, and carry it from the ground, but no man would undertake the offer; whereupon Sir Thomas Audley was fain to be at more charges than could be made of the stones, timber, lead, iron, etc. For the workmen, with great labour, beginning at the top, loosed stone from stone, and threw them down, whereby the most part of them were broken, and few remained whole; and those were sold very cheap, for all the buildings then made about the city were of brick and timber. At that time any man in the city might have a cart-load of hard stone for paving brought to his door for six pence or seven pence, with the carriage. The said Thomas Lord Audley built and dwelt on this priory during his life, and died there in the year 1544; since the which time the said priory came by marriage of the Lord Audley’s daughter and heir unto Thomas, late Duke of Norfolk, and was then called the Duke’s place.

The parish church of St. Katherine standeth in the cemetery of the late dissolved priory of the Holy Trinity, and is therefore called St. Katherine Christ church. This church seemeth to be very old; since the building whereof the high street hath been so often raised by pavements, that now men are fain to descend into the said church by divers steps, seven in number. But the steeple, or bell-tower thereof, hath been lately built, to wit, about the year 1504; for Sir John Percivall, merchant-tailor, then deceasing, gave money towards the building thereof. There be the monuments of Sir Thomas Fleming, knight of Rowles, in Essex, and Margaret his wife, 1464; Roger Marshall, esquire; Jane Horne, wife to Roger Marshall; William Multon, alias Burdeaux, herald; John Goad, esquire, and Joan his wife; Beatrix, daughter to William Browne; Thomas Multon, esquire, son to Burdeaux, herald; John Chitcroft, esquire; John Wakefielde, esquire; William Criswicke; Anne and Sewch, daughters to Ralph Shirley, esquire; Sir John Rainsford, knight of Essex; Sir Nicholas Throkmorton, chief butler of England, one of the chamberlains of the exchequer, ambassador, etc., 1570, and other.

At the north-west corner of this ward, in the said high street,[130] standeth the fair and beautiful parish church of St. Andrew the Apostle; with an addition, to be known from other churches of that name, of the knape or undershaft; and so called St. Andrew Undershaft, because that of old time, every year on May-day in the morning, it was used, that an high or long shaft or May-pole, was set up there, in the midst of the street, before the south side of the said church; which shaft when it was set on end and fixed in the ground, was higher than the church steeple. Geffrey Chaucer, writing of a vain boaster, hath these words, meaning of the said shaft:

“Right well aloft, and high ye beare your heade,
The weather cocke, with flying, as ye would kill,
When ye be stuffed, bet of wine, then brede,
Then looke ye, when your wombe doth fill,
As ye would beare the great shaft of Cornehill,
Lord, so merrily crowdeth then your croke,
That all the streete may heare your body cloke.”

This shaft was not raised at any time since evil May-day (so called of an insurrection made by apprentices and other young persons against aliens in the year 1517); but the said shaft was laid along over the doors, and under the pentises of one row of houses and alley gate, called of the shaft Shaft alley (being of the possessions of Rochester bridge), in the ward of Lime street. It was there, I say, hung on iron hooks many years, till the third of King Edward VI., that one Sir Stephen, curate of St. Katherine Christ’s church, preaching at Paules cross, said there that this shaft was made an idol, by naming the church of St. Andrew with the addition of “under that shaft:” he persuaded therefore that the names of churches might be altered; also that the names of days in the week might be changed; the fish days to be kept any days except Friday and Saturday, and the Lent any time, save only betwixt Shrovetide and Easter. I have oft times seen this man, forsaking the pulpit of his said parish church, preach out of a high elm-tree[139] in the midst of the churchyard, and then entering the church, forsaking the altar, to have sung his high mass in English upon a tomb of the dead towards the north. I heard his sermon at Paules cross, and I saw the effect that followed; for in the afternoon of that present Sunday, the neighbours and tenants to the said bridge, over whose doors the said shaft had lain, after they had well dined, to make themselves strong, gathered more help, and with great labour raising the shaft from the[131] hooks, whereon it had rested two-and-thirty years, they sawed it in pieces, every man taking for his share so much as had lain over his door and stall, the length of his house; and they of the alley divided among them so much as had lain over their alley gate. Thus was this idol (as he[140] termed it) mangled, and after burned.

Soon after was there a commotion of the commons in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and other shires; by means whereof, straight orders being taken for the suppression of rumours, divers persons were apprehended and executed by martial law; amongst the which the bailiff of Romfort, in Essex, was one, a man very well beloved: he was early in the morning of Mary Magdalen’s day, then kept holiday, brought by the sheriffs of London and the knight-marshal to the well within Aldgate, there to be executed upon a gibbet set up that morning, where, being on the ladder, he had words to this effect: “Good people, I am come hither to die, but know not for what offence, except for words by me spoken yesternight to Sir Stephen, curate and preacher of this parish, which were these: He asked me, ‘What news in the country?’ I answered, ‘Heavy news.’ ‘Why?’ quoth he. ‘It is said,’ quoth I, ‘that many men be up in Essex, but, thanks be to God, all is in good quiet about us:’ and this was all, as God be my judge,” etc. Upon these words of the prisoner, Sir Stephen, to avoid reproach of the people, left the city, and was never heard of since amongst them to my knowledge. I heard the words of the prisoner, for he was executed upon the pavement of my door where I then kept house. Thus much by digression: now again to the parish church of St. Andrew Undershaft, for it still retaineth the name, which hath been new built by the parishioners there since the year 1520; every man putting to his helping hand, some with their purses, other with their bodies. Steven Gennings, merchant-tailor, sometime mayor of London, caused at his charges to be built[141] the whole north side of the great middle aisle, both of the body and choir, as appeareth by his arms over every pillar graven, and also the north isle, which he roofed with timber and sealed; also the whole south side of the church was glazed, and the pews in the south chapel made of his costs, as appeareth in every window, and upon the said pews. He deceased in the year 1524, and was buried in the Grey friars church. John Kerkbie, merchant-tailor, sometime one of the sheriffs, John Garlande, merchant-[132]tailor, and Nicholas Levison, mercer, executor to Garlande, were great benefactors to this work; which was finished to the glazing in the year 1529, and fully finished 1532. Buried in this church:[142] Philip Malpas, one of the sheriffs, 1439; Sir Robert Dennie, knight, and after him Thomas Dennie, his son, in the year 1421; Thomas Stokes, gentleman, grocer, 1496. In the new church: John Nichell, merchant-tailor, 1537; William Draper, esquire, 1537; Isabell and Margaret, his wives; Nicholas Levison, mercer, one of the sheriffs, 1534; John Gerrarde, woolman, merchant of the staple, 1456; Henry Man, doctor of divinity, bishop of Man, 1550; Stephen Kyrton, merchant-tailor, alderman, 1553; David Woodroffe, haberdasher, one of the sheriffs, 1554; Stephen Woodroffe, his son, gave one hundred pounds in money, for the which the poor of that parish receive two shillings in bread weekly for ever; Sir Thomas Offley, merchant-tailor, mayor, 1556; he bequeathed the one half of all his goods to charitable actions, but the parish received little benefit thereby; Thomas Starkey, skinner, one of the sheriffs, 1578; Hugh Offley, leatherseller, one of the sheriffs, 1588; William Hanbury, baker.

Now down St. Mary street, by the west end of the church towards the north, stand divers fair houses for merchants and other; namely, one fair great house, built by Sir William Pickering the father, possessed by Sir William his son, and since by Sir Edward Wootton of Kent. North from this place is the Fletchers’ hall, and so down to the corner of that street, over against London wall, and against eastwards to a fair house lately new built, partly by Master Robert Beale, one of the clerks of the council.

Then come you to the Papey, a proper house, wherein sometime was kept a fraternity or brotherhood of St. Charity and St. John Evangelist, called the Papey, for poor impotent priests (for in some language priests are called papes), founded in the year 1430 by William Oliver, William Barnabie, and John Stafford, chaplains or chantry priests in London, for a master, two wardens, etc., chaplains, chantry priests, conducts, and other brethren and sisters, that should be admitted into the church of St. Augustine Papey in the wall. The brethren of this house becoming lame, or otherwise into great poverty, were here relieved, as to have chambers, with certain allowance of bread, drink, and coal, and one old man and his wife to see[133] them served and to keep the house clean. This brotherhood, among others, was suppressed in the reign of Edward VI.; since the which time in this house hath been lodged Master Moris of Essex; Sir Francis Walsingham, principal secretary to her majesty; Master Barret of Essex, etc.

Then next is one great house, large of rooms, fair courts, and garden-plots; sometimes pertaining to the Bassets, since that to the abbots of Bury in Suffolk, and therefore called Buries markes, corruptly Bevis markes, and since the dissolution of the abbey of Bury, to Thomas Henage the father, and to Sir Thomas his son. Then next unto it is the before-spoken priory of the Holy Trinity; to wit, the west and north part thereof, which stretcheth up to Aldgate, where we first began.

Now in the second way from Aldgate, more toward the south from the well or pump aforesaid, lieth Fenne church street; on the right hand whereof, somewhat west from the south end of Belzetter’s lane is the Ironmongers’ hall; which company was incorporated in the 3rd of Edward IV. Richard Fleming was their first master; Nicholas Marshall and Richard Cox were custos, or wardens. And on the left hand, or south side, even by the gate and wall of the city, runneth down a lane to the Tower hill; the south part whereof is called Woodroffe lane, and out of this lane toward the west a street called Hart street. In this street, at the south-east corner thereof, sometime stood one house of Crouched (or crossed) friars, founded by Ralph Hosiar and William Sabernes about the year 1298. Stephen, the tenth prior of the Holy Trinity, in London granted there tenements for 13s. 8d. by the year unto the said Ralph Hosiar and William Sabernes, who afterwards became friars of St. Crosse; Adam was the first prior of that house. These friars founded their house in place of certain tenements purchased of Richard Wimbush, the twelfth prior of the Holy Trinity, in the year 1319, which was confirmed by Edward III. the 17th of his reign, valued at £52 13s. 4d., surrendered the twelfth of November, the 30th of Henry VIII. In this house was buried Master John Tirres; Nicholas, the son of William Kyriell, esquire; Sir Thomas Mellington, baron of Wemesse, and Dame Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of William Botelar, baron of Wome; Robert Mellington, esquire, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter to Ferreis of Ousley; Henry Lovell, son to William Lord Lovell; Dame Isabel, wife to William Edwarde, mayor of London, 1471; William Narborough, and Dame Elizabeth his wife; William Narborough, and Dame Beatrix his wife; William[134] Brosked, esquire; William Bowes; Lionel Mollington, esquire, son of Robert Mollington; Nicholas Couderow, and Elizabeth his wife; Sir John Stratford, knight; Sir Thomas Asseldy, knight, clerk of the crown, sub-marshal of England, and justice of the shire of Middlesex; John Rest, grocer, mayor of London, 1516; Sir John Skevington, knight, merchant-tailor, sheriff, 1520; Sir John Milborne, draper, mayor in the year 1520, was buried there, but removed since to St. Edmondes in Lombard street; Sir Rice Grifith, beheaded on the Tower hill, 1531.

In place of this church is now a carpenters’ yard, a tennis court, and such like; the friars’ hall was made a glass-house, or house wherein was made glass of divers sorts to drink in; which house in the year 1575, on the 4th of September, burst out into a terrible fire, where being practised all means possible to quench, notwithstanding as the same house in a small time before had consumed a great quantity of wood by making of glasses, now itself having within it about forty thousand billets of wood, was all consumed to the stone walls, which nevertheless greatly hindered the fire from spreading any further.

Adjoining unto this friars’ church, by the east end thereof in Woodroffe lane towards the Tower hill, are certain proper alms houses, fourteen in number, built of brick and timber, founded by Sir John Milborne, draper, sometime mayor, 1521, wherein he placed thirteen aged poor men and their wives, if they have wives: these have their dwellings rent free, and 2s. 4d. the piece, the first day of every month, for ever. One also is to have his house over the gate, and 4s. every month: more, he appointed every Sunday for ever, thirteen penny loaves of white bread, to be given in the parish church of St. Edmonde in Lombard street, to thirteen poor people of that parish; and the like thirteen loaves to be given in the parish church of St. Michael upon Cornhill, and in either parish every year one load of chare coal, of thirty sacks in the load; and this gift to be continued for ever: for performance whereof, by the master and wardens of the drapers in London, he assured unto them and their successors twenty-three messuages and tenements, and eighteen garden-plots, in the parish of St. Olave in Hart street; with proviso, that if they perform not those points[143] above-mentioned, the said tenements and gardens to remain to the mayor and commonalty of the city of London.

Next to these alms houses is the Lord Lumley’s house, built[135] in the time of King Henry VIII. by Sir Thomas Wiat the father, upon one plot of ground of late pertaining to the foresaid Crossed friars, where part of their house stood: and this is the farthest part of Aldgate ward towards the south, and joineth to the Tower hill. The other side of that line, over against the Lord Lumley’s house, on the wall side of the city, is now for the most part (or altogether) built even to Aldgate.

Then have you on the south side of Fenchurch street, over against the well or pump, amongst other fair and large built houses, one that sometime belonged to the prior of Monte Joves, or Monastery Cornute, a cell to Monte Joves beyond the seas, in Essex: it was the prior’s inn, when he repaired to this city. Then a lane that leadeth down by Northumberland house towards the Crossed friars, as is afore showed.

This Northumberland house, in the parish of St. Katherine Colman, belonged to Henry Percie, Earl of Northumberland, in the 33rd of Henry VI., but of late being left by the earls, the gardens thereof were made into bowling alleys, and other parts into dicing houses, common to all comers for their money, there to bowle and hazard; but now of late so many bowling alleys, and other houses for unlawful gaming, hath been raised in other parts of the city and suburbs, that this their ancient and only patron of misrule, is left and forsaken of her gamesters, and therefore turned into a number of great rents, small cottages, for strangers and others.

At the east end of this lane, in the way from Aldgate toward the Crossed friars, of old time were certain tenements called the poor Jurie, of Jews dwelling there.

Next unto this Northumberland house is the parish church of St. Katherine, called Coleman; which addition of Coleman was taken of a great haw-yard, or garden, of old time called Coleman haw, in the parish of the Trinity, now called Christ’s church, and in the parish of St. Katherine and All Saints called Coleman church.

Then have you Blanch Apleton; whereof I read, in the 13th of Edward I., that a lane behind the said Blanch Apleton was granted by the king to be inclosed and shut up. This Blanch Apleton was a manor belonging to Sir Thomas Roos of Hamelake, knight, the 7th of Richard II., standing at the north-east corner of Mart lane, so called of a privilege sometime enjoined to keep a mart there, long since discontinued, and therefore forgotten, so as nothing remaineth for memory but the name of Mart lane, and that corruptly termed Marke lane. I read that,[136] in the third of Edward IV., all basket-makers, wire-drawers, and other foreigners, were permitted to have shops in this manor of Blanch Apleton, and not elsewhere, within this city or suburbs thereof; and this also being the farthest west part of this ward on that south side, I leave it, with three parish churches, St Katherine Christ church, St. Andrew Undershaft, and St. Katherine Colemans; and three halls of companies, the Bricklayers’ hall, the Fletchers’ hall, and the Ironmongers’ hall. It hath an alderman, his deputy, common councillors six, constables six, scavengers nine, wardmote men for inquest eighteen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen in London at five pounds.[144]