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


Candlewick street, or Candlewright street ward, beginneth at the east end of Great Eastcheape; it passeth west through Eastcheape to Candlewright street, and through the same, down to the north end of Suffolk lane on the south side, and down that lane by the west end of St. Laurence churchyard, which is the farthest west part of that ward. The street of Great Eastcheape is so called of the market there kept in the east part of the city, as Westcheape is a market so called of being in the west.

This Eastcheape is now a flesh market of butchers there dwelling on both sides of the street: it had sometime also cooks mixed amongst the butchers, and such other as sold victuals ready dressed of all sorts. For of old time, when friends did meet, and were disposed to be merry, they went not to dine and sup in taverns, but to the cooks, where they called for meat what they liked, which they always found ready dressed at a reasonable rate, as I have before showed.

In the year 1410, the 11th of Henry IV., upon the even of St. John Baptist, the king’s sons,[177] Thomas and John, being in Eastcheape at supper (or rather at breakfast, for it was after the watch was broken up, betwixt two and three of the clock after midnight), a great debate happened between their men and other of the court, which lasted one hour, till the mayor and sheriffs with other citizens, appeased the same; for the which afterwards the said mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs were[195] called to answer before the king, his sons, and divers lords, being highly moved against the city. At which time, William Gascoyne, chief justice, required the mayor and aldermen, for the citizens, to put them in the king’s grace; whereunto they answered, that they had not offended, but (according to the law) had done their best in stinting debate and maintaining of the peace; upon which answer the king remitted all his ire, and dismissed them. And to prove this Eastcheape to be a place replenished with cooks, it may appear by a song called London Lickepennie, made by Lidgate, a monk of Berrie, in the reign of Henry V., in the person of a countryman coming to London, and travelling through the same. In Westcheape (saith the song) he was called on to buy fine lawn, Paris thread, cotton umble, and other linen clothes, and such like (he speaketh of no silks),[178] in Cornhill, to buy old apparel[179] and household stuff, where he was forced to buy his own hood, which he had lost in Westminster hall: in Candlewright street drapers proffered him cheap cloth, in Eastcheape the cooks cried hot ribs of beef roasted, pies well baked, and other victuals: there was clattering of pewter-pots, harp, pipe, and sawtry, yea by cock, nay by cock, for greater oaths were spared: some sang of Jenken, and Julian, etc.; all which melody liked well the passenger, but he wanted money to abide by it, and therefore gat him into Gravesend barge, and home into Kent.

Candlewright (so called in old records of the Guildhall, of St. Marie Overies, and other), or Candlewick street, took that name (as may be supposed) either of chandlers, or makers of candles, both of wax and tallow; for candlewright is a maker of candles, or of wick, which is the cotton or yarn thereof; or otherwise wike,[180] which is the place where they used to work them, as Scalding wike by the Stocks market was called of the poulterers scalding and dressing their poultry there; and in divers countries, dairy houses, or cottages, wherein they make butter and[196] cheese, are usually called wicks. There dwelt also of old time divers weavers of woollen clothes, brought in by Edward III. For I read, that in the 44th of his reign, the weavers, brought out of Flanders, were appointed their meetings to be in the churchyard of St. Laurence Poultney, and the weavers of Brabant in the churchyard of St. Mary Sommerset. There were then in this city weavers of divers sorts; to wit, of drapery, or tapery, and napery. These weavers of Candlewright street being in short time worn out, their place is now possessed by rich drapers, sellers of woollen cloth, etc.

On the north side of this ward, at the west end of Eastcheape, have ye St. Clement’s lane; a part whereof on both sides is of Candlewick street ward, to wit, somewhat north beyond the parish church of St. Clement in Eastcheape. This is a small church, void of monuments, other than of Francis Barnam, alderman, who deceased 1575, and of Benedicke Barnam, his son, alderman also, 1598. William Chartney and William Overie founded a chantry there.

Next is St. Nicholas lane, for the most part on both sides of this ward, almost to St. Nicholas church. Then is Abchurch lane, which is on both the sides almost wholly of this ward, the parish church there (called of St. Marie Abchurch, Apechurch, or Upchurch, as I have read it), standeth somewhat near unto the south end thereof, on a rising ground: it is a fair church. Simon de Winchcomb founded a chantry there the 19th of Richard II.; John Littleton founded another, and Thomas Hondon another; and hath the monuments of J. Long, esquire, of Bedfordshire, 1442; William Wikenson, alderman, 1519; William Jawdrell, tailor, 1440; Sir James Hawes, mayor 1574; Sir John Branch, mayor 1580; John Miners; William Kettle, etc.

On the south side of this ward, beginning again at the east, is St. Michael’s lane, which lane is almost wholly of this ward, on both sides down towards Thames street, to a well or pump there. On the east side of this lane is Crooked lane aforesaid, by St. Michael’s church, towards New Fish street. One the most ancient house in this lane is called the Leaden porch, and belonged sometime to Sir John Merston. knight, the 1st of Edward IV. It is now called the Swan in Crooked lane, possessed of strangers, and selling of Rhenish wine. The parish church of this St. Michael’s was sometime but a small and homely thing, standing upon part of that ground wherein now standeth the parsonage-house; and the ground there about was a filthy plot, by reason[197] of the butchers in Eastcheape, who made the same their laystall. William de Burgo gave two messuages to that church in Candlewick street, 1317. John Lofkin, stock-fishmonger, four times mayor, built in the same ground this fair church of St. Michael, and was buried there in the choir, under a fair tomb, with the images of him and his wife, in alabaster. The said church hath been since increased with a new choir, and side chapels by Sir William Walworth, stock-fishmonger, mayor, sometime servant to the said John Lofkin: also the tomb of Lofkin was removed, and a flat stone of grey marble garnished with plates of copper laid on him, as it yet remaineth in the body of the church. This William Walworth is reported to have slain Jack Straw,[181] but Jack Straw being afterward taken, was first adjudged by the said mayor, and then executed by the loss of his head in Smithfield.

True it is that this William Walworth, being a man wise, learned, and of an incomparable manhood,[182] arrested Wat Tyler, a presumptuous rebel, upon whom no man durst lay hand, whereby he delivered the king and kingdom from most wicked tyranny of traitors. The mayor arrested him on the head with a sound blow, whereupon Wat Tyler, furiously struck the mayor with his dagger, but hurt him not, by reason he was well armed. The mayor, having received his stroke, drew his basiliard, and grievously wounded Wat in the neck, and withal gave him a great blow on the head; in the which conflict, an esquire of the king’s house, called John Cavendish, drew his sword, and wounded Wat twice or thrice even to the death; and Wat, spurring his horse, cried to the commons to revenge him: the horse bare him about eighty feet from the place, and there he fell down half dead; and by and by they which attended on the king environed him about, so as he was not seen of his company: many of them thrust him in divers places of his body, and drew him into the hospital of St. Bartholomew, from whence again the mayor caused him to be drawn into Smithfield, and there to be beheaded. In reward of this service (the people being dispersed) the king commanded the mayor to put a bascinet on his head; and the mayor requesting why he should do so, the king answered, he being much bound unto him, would make him knight: the mayor answered, that he was[198] neither worthy nor able to take such estate upon him, for he was but a merchant, and had to live by his merchandise only; notwithstanding, the king bade him to put on his bascinet, and then with a sword in both his hands he strongly stroke him on the neck, as the manner was then; and the same day he made three other citizens knights for his sake in the same place; to wit, John Philpot, Nicholas Brember, and Robert Launde, alderman. The king gave to the mayor one hundred pounds land by year, and to each of the other forty pounds land yearly, to them and their heirs for ever.

After this, in the same year, the said Sir William Walworth, founded in the said parish church of St. Michael a college of a master and nine priests, or chaplains, and deceased 1385, was there buried in the north chapel by the choir; but his monument being amongst other by bad people defaced in the reign of Edward VI., and again since renewed by the fishmongers, for lack of knowledge of what before had been written in his epitaph, they followed a fabulous book, and wrote Jack Straw instead of Wat Tilar, a great error meet to be reformed there and elsewhere; and therefore have I the more at large discoursed of this matter.

It hath also been, and is now grown to a common opinion, that in reward of this service done by the said William Walworth against the rebel, King Richard added to the arms of this city (which was argent, a plain cross gules) a sword or dagger (for so they term it), whereof I have read no such record, but to the contrary. I find that in the 4th year of Richard II.,[183] in a full assembly made in the upper chamber of the Guildhall, summoned by this William Walworth, then mayor, as well of aldermen as of the common council, in every ward, for certain affairs concerning the king, it was there by common consent agreed and ordained, that the old seal of the office of the mayoralty of the city being very small, old, unapt, and uncomely for the honour of the city, should be broken, and one other new should be had, which the said mayor commanded to be made artificially, and honourable for the exercise of the said office thereafter, in place of the other; in which new seal, besides the images of Peter and Paul, which of old were rudely engraven, there should be under the feet of the said images a shield of the arms of the said city, perfectly graved,[184] with two lions sup[199]porting the same, with two sergeants of arms; another part, one, and two tabernacles, in which above should stand two angels; between whom, above the said images of Peter and Paul, shall be set the glorious Virgin. This being done, the old seal of the office was delivered to Richard Odiham, chamberlain, who brake it, and in place thereof was delivered the new seal to the said mayor, to use in his office of mayoralty, as occasion should require. This new seal seemeth to be made before William Walworth was knighted, for he is not here entitled Sir, as afterwards he was; and certain it is that the same new seal then made is now in use, and none other in that office of the mayoralty; which may suffice to answer the former fable, without showing of any evidence sealed with the old seal, which was the cross and sword of St. Paul, and not the dagger of William Walworth.

Now of other monuments in that church. Simon Mordon, mayor 1368, was buried there; John Olney, mayor 1446; Robert March, stock-fishmonger, gave two pieces of ground to be a churchyard; John Radwell, stock-fishmonger, buried 1415; George Gowre, esquire, son to Edward Gowre, stock-fishmonger, esquire, 1470; Alexander Purpoynt, stock-fishmonger, 1373; Andrew Burel, gentleman of Gray’s-inn, 1487; John Shrow, stock-fishmonger, 1487, with this epitaph:

“Farewell, my friends, the tide abideth no man,
I am departed hence, and so shall ye.
But in this passage the best song that I can,
Is requiem æternam, now Jesus grant it me,
When I have ended all mine adversitie,
Grant me in Paradise to have a mansion,
That sheddest thy blood for my redemption.”

John Finkell, one of the sheriffs 1487, was knighted, and gave forty pounds to this church, the one half for his monument. John Pattesley, mayor 1441; Thomas Ewen, grocer, bare half the charges in building of the steeple, and was buried 1501; William Combes, gentleman, of Stoke, by Guilford in Surrey, 1502; Sir John Brudge, mayor 1530, gave fifty pounds for a house called the College in Crooked lane; he lieth buried in St. Nicholas Hacon. Waltar Faireford; Robert Barre; Alexander Heyban; John Motte; John Gramstone; John Brampton; John Wood, stock-fishmonger, 1531; Sir Henry Amcots, mayor 1548, etc. Hard by this St. Michael’s church, on the south side thereof, in the year 1560, on the fifth of July, through the shooting of a gun, which brake in the house of one Adrian Arten, a Dutchman, and set fire on a firkin and barrel of gunpowder,[200] four houses were blown up, and divers other sore shattered; eleven men and women were slain, and sixteen so hurt and bruised, that they hardly escaped with life.

West from this St. Michael’s lane is St. Martin Orgar lane, by Candlewick street, which lane is on both sides down to a well, replenished with fair and large houses for merchants, and it is of this ward; one of which houses was sometime called Beachamp’s inn, as pertaining unto them of that family. Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, commonly for his time was lodged there.

The parish church of St. Martin Orgar is a small thing. William Crowmer, mayor, built a proper chapel on the south side thereof, and was buried there 1533; John Mathew, mayor 1490; Sir William Huet, mayor 1559, with his lady and daughter, wife to Sir Edward Osburne; Ralph Tabinham, alderman; Alice, wife to Thomas Winslow; Thorudon; Benedicke Reding; Thomas Harding; James Smith; Richard Gainford, esquire; John Bold, etc.

Then is there one other lane called St. Laurence, of the parish church there. This lane, down to the south side of the churchyard, is of Candlewick street ward. The parish church of St. Laurence was increased with a chapel of Jesus by Thomas Cole, for a master and chaplain; the which chapel and parish church was made a college of Jesus and of Corpus Christi, for a master and seven chaplains, by John Poultney, mayor, and was confirmed by Edward III., the 20th of his reign: of him was this church called St. Laurence Poultney, in Candlewick street; which college was valued at £79 17s. 11d., and was surrendered in the reign of Edward VI. Robert Ratcliffe, Earl of Essex, and Henry Ratcliffe, Earl of Sussex, was buried there; Alderman Beswicke was buried there; John Oliffe, alderman, Robert Browne, and others. Thus much for this ward, and the antiquities thereof. It hath now an alderman, his deputy, common councillors eight, constables eight, scavengers six, wardmote inquest men twelve, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen at sixteen pounds.