Index to Stow's original Survey of London written in 1598
Bridge ward within, so called of London bridge, which bridge is a principal part of that ward, and beginneth at the stulpes on the south end by Southwark, runneth along the bridge, and north up Bridge street, commonly called (of the fish market) New Fish street, from Fish street hill, up Grasse street, to the north corner of Grasse church; all the bridge is replenished on both the sides with large, fair, and beautiful buildings, inhabitants for the most part rich merchants, and other wealthy citizens, mercers, and haberdashers.
In New Fish street be fishmongers and fair taverns on Fish street hill and Grasse street, men of divers trades, grocers and haberdashers.
In Grasse street have ye one fair conduit of sweet water castellated with crest and vent, made by the appointment of Thomas Hill, mayor, 1484, who gave by his testament one hundred marks towards the conveyance of water to this place. It was begun by his executors in the year 1491, and finished of his goods whatsoever it cost.
On the east side of this bridge ward have ye the fair parish church of St. Magnus; in the which church have been buried many men of good worship, whose monuments are now for the most part utterly defaced. I find John Blund, mayor, 1307; Henry Yeuele, freemason to Edward III., Richard II., and Henry IV., who deceased 1400; his monument yet remaineth; William Brampton; John Michell, mayor, 1436; John French, baker, yeoman of the crown to Henry VII., 1510; Robert Clarke, fishmonger, 1521; Richard Turke, one of the sheriffs, 1549; William Steede, alderman; Richard Morgan, knight, chief justice of the common pleas, 1556; Mauritius Griffeth, Bishop of Rochester, 1559; Robert Blanch, girdler, 1567; Robert Belgrave, girdler; William Brame, John Couper, fishmonger, alderman, who was put by his turn of mayoralty 1584; Sir William Garrard, haberdasher, mayor 1555; a grave, wise, and discreet citizen, equal with the best and inferior to none of our time, deceased 1571 in the parish of St. Christopher, but was buried in this church of St. Magnus as in the parish where he was born; a fair monument is there raised on him; Robert Harding, salter, one of the sheriffs, 1568; Simon Low, merchant-tailor, esquire, etc.
Then is the parish church of St. Margaret on Fish street hill, a proper church, but monuments it hath none: a footway passeth by the south side of this church from Fish street hill unto Rother lane.
Up higher on this hill is the parish church of St. Leonard, Milke church, so termed of one William Melker, an especial builder thereof, but commonly called St. Leonard’s in East Cheape, because it standeth at East Cheape corner. Monuments there be of the Doggets, namely, Walter Dogget, vintner, one of the sheriffs, 1380; John Dogget, vintner, and Alice his wife, about 1456; this John Dogget gave lands to that church; William Dogget, etc.
This church, and from thence into Little East Cheape to the east end of the said church, is of the Bridge ward.
Then higher in Grasse street is the parish church of St. Bennet, called Grasse church, of the herb-market there kept: this church also is of the Bridge ward, and the farthest north end thereof. Some monuments remain there undefaced, as of John Harding, salter, 1576; John Sturgeon, haberdasher, chamberlain of London; Philip Cushen, Florentine, a famous merchant, 1600.
The customs of Grass church market, in the reign of Edward III., as I have read in a book of customs, were these: Every foreign cart laden with corn or malt, coming thither to be sold, was to pay one halfpenny, every foreign cart bringing cheese two-pence, every cart of corn and cheese together (if the cheese be more worth than the corn) two-pence, and if the corn be more worth than the cheese, it was to pay a halfpenny; of two horses laden with corn or malt the bailiff had one farthing; the cart of the franchise of the Temple and of St. Martin le Grand paid a farthing; the cart of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem paid nothing for their proper goods, and if the corn were brought by merchants to sell again, the load paid a halfpenny, etc.
On the west side of this ward, at the north end of London bridge, is a part of Thames street, which is also of this ward, to wit, so much as of old time was called Stocke Fishmonger row, of the stock fishmongers dwelling there, down west to a watergate, of old time called Ebgate, since Ebgate lane, and now the Old Swan, which is a common stair on the Thames, but the passage is very narrow by means of encroachments. On the south side of Thames street, about the midway betwixt the bridge foot and Ebgate lane, standeth the Fishmongers’ hall, and divers other fair houses for merchants.
These fishmongers were sometimes of two several companies, to wit, Stock-fishmongers and Salt-fishmongers, of whose antiquity I read, that by the name of fishmongers of London, they were, for forestalling, etc., contrary to the laws and constitutions of the city, fined to the king at five hundred marks, the 18th of King Edward I. More, that the said fishmongers, hearing of the great victory obtained by the same king against the Scots, in the 26th of his reign, made a triumphant and solemn show through the city, with divers pageants, and more than one thousand horsemen, etc., as in the chapter of sports and pastimes. These two companies of stock-fishmongers and salt-fishmongers of old time had their several halls; to wit, in Thames street twain, in New Fish street twain, and in Old Fish street twain: in each place one for either company, in all six several halls, the company was so great, as I have read, and can prove by records. These fishmongers having been jolly citizens, and six mayors of their company in the space of twenty-four years; to wit, Walter Turke, 1350; John Lofkin, 1359; John Wroth, 1361; John Pechie, 1362; Simon Morden, 1369; and William Walworth, 1374. It followed that in the year 1382, through the counsel of John Northampton, draper, then being mayor, William Essex, John More, mercer, and Richard Northburie, the said fishmongers were greatly troubled, hindered of their liberties, and almost destroyed by congregations made against them, so that in a parliament at London the controversy depending between the mayor and aldermen of London, and the fishmongers there, Nicholas Exton, speaker for the fishmongers, prayeth the king to receive him and his company into his protection, for fear of corporal hurt: whereupon it was commanded, either part to keep the peace, on pain of losing all they had; hereupon, a fishmonger, starting up, replied that the complaint brought against them by the movers, etc., was but matter of malice, for that the fishmongers, in the reign of Edward III., being chief officers of the city, had for their misdemeanors then done, committed the chief exhibitors of those petitions to prison. In this parliament the fishmongers, by the king’s charter patents, were restored to their liberties; notwithstanding in the year next following, to wit, 1383, John Cavendish, fishmonger, craveth the peace against the chancellor of England, which was granted, and he put in sureties the Earls of Stafford and Salisburie. Cavendish challengeth the chancellor for taking of a bribe of ten pounds for favour of his case, which the chancellor by oath upon the sacrament avoideth. In further trial it was found that the chancellor’s man, without his master’s privity, had taken it; whereupon Cavendish was adjudged to prison, and to pay the chancellor one thousand marks for slandering him.
After this, many of the nobles assembled at Reading to suppress the seditious stirs of the said John Northampton, or Combarton, late mayor, that had attempted great and heinous enterprises, of the which he was convicted; and when he stood mute, nor would utter one word, it was decreed that he should be committed to perpetual prison, his goods confiscate to the king’s use, and that he should not come within one hundred miles of London during his life. He was therefore sent to the castle of Tintegall in the confines of Cornewall, and in the mean space the king’s servants spoiled his goods. John More, Richard Northbery, and other, were likewise there convicted, and condemned to perpetual prison, and their goods confiscate, for certain congregations by them made against the fishmongers in the city of London, as is aforesaid; but they obtained and had the king’s pardon, in the 14th of his reign, as appeareth of record; and thus were all these troubles quieted. Those stock-fishmongers and salt-fishmongers were united in the year 1536, the 28th of Henry VIII.; their hall to be but one, in the house given unto them by Sir John Cornwall, Lord Fanhope, and of Ampthull, in the parish of St. Michael in Crooked lane, in the reign of Henry VI. Thus much have I thought good to note of the fishmongers, men ignorant of their antiquities, not able to show a reason why or when they were joined in amity with the goldsmiths, do give part of their arms, etc. Neither, to say aught of Sir William Walworth, the glory of their company, more than that he slew Jack Straw, which is a mere fable, for the said Straw was after overthrowing of the rebels, taken, and by judgment of the mayor beheaded; whose confession at the gallows is extant in my Annals, where also is set down the most valiant and praiseworthy act of William Walworth against the principal rebel Waltar Tighlar. As in reproof of Walworth’s monument in St. Michael’s church, I have declared, and wished to be reformed there, as in other places.
On that south side of Thames street have ye Drinkwater wharf and Fish wharf, in the parish of St. Magnus. On the north side of Thames street is St. Martin’s lane; a part of which lane is also of this ward, to wit, on the one side to a well of water, and on the other side as far up as against the said well. Then is St. Michael’s lane, part whereof is also of this ward up to a well there, etc. Then at the upper end of New Fish street is a lane turning towards St. Michael’s lane, and is called Crooked lane, of the crooked windings thereof.
Above this lane’s end, upon Fish street hill, is one great house, for the most part built of stone, which pertained sometime to Edward the Black Prince, son to Edward III., who was in his lifetime lodged there. It is now altered to a common hostelry, having the Black Bell for a sign.
Above this house, at the top of Fish street hill, is a turning into Great Eastcheape, and so to the corner of Lombard street, over against the north-west corner of Grasse church; and these be the whole bounds of this Bridge ward within: the which hath an alderman and his deputy, for the common council sixteen, constables fifteen, scavengers six, for the wardmote inquest sixteen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen in London at forty-seven pounds.