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

CHEAPE WARD

Next adjoining is Cheape ward, and taketh name of the market there kept, called West Cheping. This ward also beginneth in the east, on the course of Walbrooke in Buckles[232] bury, and runneth up on both the sides to the great conduit in Cheape. Also on the south side of Buckles bury, a lane turning up by St. Sithes church, and by St. Pancrates church, through Needler’s lane, on the north side thereof, and then through a piece of Sopar’s lane, on both sides up to Cheape, be all of Cheape ward.

Then to begin again in the east upon the said course of Walbrooke, is St. Mildred’s church in the Poultrie, on the north side, and over against the said church gate, on the south, to pass up all that high street called the Poultrie, to the great conduit in Cheape, and then Cheape itself, which beginneth by the east end of the said conduit, and stretcheth up to the north-east corner of Bow lane on the south side, and to the Standard on the north side; and thus far to the west is of Cheape ward.

On the south side of this high street is no lane turning south out of this ward, more than some portion of Sopar’s lane, whereof I have before written. But on the north side of this high street is Conyhope lane, about one quarter of Old Jury lane on the west side, and on the east side almost as much, to the sign of the Angel. Then is Ironmonger’s lane, all wholly on both sides, and from the north end thereof through Catton street, west to the north end of St. Lawrence lane, and some four houses west beyond the same on that side, and over against Ironmonger’s lane end on the north side of Catton street up by the Guildhall and St. Lawrence church in the Jurie, is altogether of Cheape ward. Then again in Cheape, more towards the west, is of St. Lawrence lane before named, which is all wholly of this ward. And last of all is Hony lane, and up to the Standard on the north side of Cheape. And so stand the bounds of Cheape ward.

Now for antiquities there. First is Buckles bury, so called of a manor and tenements pertaining to one Buckle, who there dwelt and kept his courts. This manor is supposed to be the great stone building, yet in part remaining on the south side of the street, which of late time hath been called the Old Barge, of such a sign hanged out near the gate thereof. This manor or great house hath of long time been divided and letten out into many tenements; and it hath been a common speech, that when Walbrooke did lie open, barges were rowed out of the Thames, or towed up so far, and therefore the place hath ever since been called the Old Barge.

Also on the north side of this street, directly over against the said Buckles bury, was one ancient and strong tower of stone,[233] the which tower King Edward III., in the 18th of his reign, by the name of the king’s house, called Cornette stoure in London, did appoint to be his Exchange of money there to be kept. In the 29th he granted it to Frydus Guynysane and Landus Bardoile, merchants of Luke, for twenty pounds the year. And in the 32nd he gave the same tower to his college or free chapel of St. Stephen at Westminster, by the name of Cernet’s Tower at Buckles bury in London. This tower of late years was taken down by one Buckle, a grocer, meaning in place thereof to have set up and built a goodly frame of timber; but the said Buckle greedily labouring to pull down the old tower, a part thereof fell upon him, which so sore 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.

This whole street called Buckles bury on both the sides throughout is possessed of grocers and apothecaries towards the west end thereof: on the south side breaketh out one other short lane, called in records Peneritch street; it reacheth but to St. Sythe’s lane, and St. Sythe’s church is the farthest part thereof, for by the west end of the said church beginneth Needlar’s lane, which reacheth to Sopar’s lane, as is aforesaid. This small parish church of St. Sith hath also an addition of Bennet shorne (or Shrog or Shorehog), for by all these names have I read it, but the most ancient is Shorne, wherefore it seemeth to take that name of one Benedict Shorne, sometime a citizen and stock-fishmonger of London, a new builder, repairer, or benefactor thereof, in the reign of Edward II., so that Shorne is but corruptly called Shrog, and more corruptly Shorehog.

There lie buried in this church, John Froysh, mercer, mayor 1394; John Rochford and Robert Rochford; John Hold, alderman: Henry Froweke, mercer, mayor 1435; Edward Warrington; John Morrice; John Huntley; Richard Lincoln, fellmonger, 1546; Sir Ralph Warren, mercer, mayor 1553; Sir John Lion, grocer, mayor 1554: these two last have monuments, the rest are all defaced. Edward Hall, gentleman of Greyes inn, common sergeant of this city, and then under-sheriff of the same; he wrote the large chronicles from Richard II. till the end of Henry VIII., and was buried in this church.

Then in Needelars lane have ye the parish church of St. Pancrate, a proper small church, but divers rich parishioners therein, and hath had of old time many liberal benefactors, but of late such as (not regarding the order taken by her majesty), the least bell in their church being broken, have rather sold the[234] same[198] for half the value than put the parish to charge with new casting; late experience hath proved this to be true, besides the spoil of monuments there. In this church are buried Sir Aker; John Aker; John Barens, mercer, mayor 1370; John Beston and his wife; Robert Rayland; John Hamber; John Gage; John Rowley; John Lambe; John Hadley, grocer, mayor 1379; Richard Gardener, mercer, mayor 1478; John Stockton, mercer, mayor 1470; John Dane, mercer; John Parker; Robert Marshall, alderman, 1439; Robert Corcheforde; Robert Hatfielde; and Robert Hatfield; Nicholas Wilfilde, and Thomas his son; the monuments of all which be defaced and gone. There do remain of Robert Burley, 1360; Richard Wilson, 1525; Robert Packenton, mercer, slain with a gun shot at him in a morning,[199] as he was going to morrow mass from his house in Cheape to St. Thomas of Acars, in the year 1536; the murderer was never discovered, but by his own confession made when he came to the gallows at Banbury to be hanged for felony; T. Wardbury, haberdasher, 1545; James Huish, grocer, 1590; Ambrose Smith, etc. Then is a part of Soper’s lane turning up to Cheape.

By the assent of Stephen Abunden, mayor, the Pepperers in Soper’s lane were admitted to sell all such spices and other wares as grocers now use to sell, retaining the old name of pepperers in Soper’s lane, till at length, in the reign of Henry VI., the same Soper’s lane was inhabited by cordwainers and curriers, after that the pepperers or grocers had seated themselves in a more open street, to wit, in Buckles bury, where they yet remain. Thus much for the south wing of Cheape ward.

Now to begin again on the bank of the said Walbrooke, at the east end of the high street called the Poultrie, on the north side thereof, is the proper parish church of St. Mildred, which church was new built upon Walbrooke in the year 1457. John Saxton their parson gave thirty-two pounds towards the building of the new choir, which now standeth upon the course of Walbrooke. Lovell and Puery, and Richard Keston, have their arms in the east window as benefactors. The roofing of that church is garnished with the arms of Thomas Archehull, one of the churchwardens in the year 1455, who was there buried; Thomas Morsted, esquire, and chirurgeon to King Henry IV., V., and VI., one of the sheriff’s of London in the year 1436, gave[235] unto this church a parcel of ground, containing in length from the course of Walbrooke toward the west forty-five feet, and in breadth from the church toward the north thirty-five feet, being within the gate called Scalding wike, in the said parish, to make a churchyard wherein to bury their dead. Richard Shore, draper, one of the sheriffs 1505, gave fifteen pounds for making a porch to this church. Salomon Lanuare had a chantry there in the 14th of Edward II. Hugh Game had one other. Buried here, as appeareth by monuments, John Hildye, poulter, 1416; John Kendall, 1468; John Garland, 1476; Robert Bois, 1485, and Simon Lee, poulters, 1487; Thomas Lee of Essex, gentleman: William Hallingridge; Christopher Feliocke, 1494; Robert Draiton, skinner, 1484; John Christopherson, doctor of physic, 1524; William Turner, skinner, 1536; Blase White, grocer, 1558; Thomas Hobson, haberdasher, 1559; William Hobson, haberdasher, 1581; Thomas Tusser, 1580, with this epitaph:—

“Here Thomas Tusser, clad in earth, doth lie,
That sometime made the Poyntes of Husbandrie;
By him then learne thou maist, here learne we must,
When all is done we sleepe and turne to dust,
And yet through Christ to heaven we hope to go,
Who reades his bookes shall find his faith was so.”

On the north side of the churchyard remain two tombs of marble, but not known of whom, or otherwise than by tradition it is said, they were of Thomas Monshampe and William, brothers, about 1547, etc.

Some four houses west from this parish church of St. Mildred is a prison house pertaining to one of the sheriffs of London, and is called the Compter in the Poultrie. This hath been there kept and continued time out of mind, for I have not read of the original thereof. West from this compter was a proper chapel, called of Corpus Christi, and St. Mary, at Conyhope lane end, in the parish of St. Mildred, founded by one named Ion. Irunnes, a citizen of London, in the reign of Edward III., in which chapel was a guild or fraternity, that might dispend in lands better than twenty pounds by year: it was suppressed by Henry VIII., and purchased by one Thomas Hobson, haberdasher; he turned this chapel into a fair warehouse and shops towards the street, with lodgings over them.

Then is Conyhope lane, of old time so called of such a sign of three conies hanging over a poulterer’s stall at the lane’s end. Within this lane standeth the Grocers’ hall, which company being of old time called Pepperers, were first incorporated by[236] the name of Grocers in the year 1345, at which time they elected for custos, or guardian, of their fraternity, Richard Oswin and Laurence Haliwell, and twenty brethren were then taken in to be of their society. In the year 1411, the custos, or guardian, and the brethren of this company, purchased of the Lord Ro. Fitzwaters one plot of ground, with the building thereupon, in the said Conyhope lane, for three hundred and twenty marks, and then laid the foundation of their new common hall.

About the year 1429, the Grocers had license to purchase five hundred marks land, since the which time, near adjoining unto the Grocers’ hall, the said company had built seven proper houses for seven aged poor alms people. Thomas Knowles, grocer, mayor, gave his tenement in St. Anthonie’s churchyard to the Grocers, towards the relief of the poor brethren in that company. Also H. Keeble, grocer, mayor, gave to the seven alms people six pence the piece weekly forever; which pension is now increased by the masters, to some of them two shillings the piece weekly, and to some of them less, etc. Henry Adie, grocer, 1563, gave one thousand marks to the Grocers to purchase lands. And Sir John Pechie, knight banneret, free of that company, gave them five hundred pounds to certain uses; he built alms houses at Ludingstone in Kent, and was there buried.

West from this Conyhope lane is the Old Jurie, whereof some portion is of Cheape ward, as afore is showed: at the south end of this lane is the parish church of St. Mary Colechurch, named of one Cole that built it; this church is built upon a wall above ground, so that men are forced to go to ascend up thereunto by certain steps. I find no monuments of this church, more than that Henry IV. granted license to William Marshal and others, to found a brotherhood of St. Katherine therein, because Thomas Becket, and St. Edmond, the archbishop, were baptized there. More, I read of Bordhangly lane, to be in that parish. And thus much for the north side of the Poultrie. The south side of the said Poultrie, beginning on the bank of the said brook over against the parish church of St. Mildred, passing up to the great conduit, hath divers fair houses, which were sometimes inhabited by poulters, but now by grocers, haberdashers, and upholsters.

At the west end of this Poultrie, and also of Buckles bury, beginneth the large street of West Cheaping, a market place so called, which street stretcheth west till ye come to the little conduit by Paul’s gate, but not all of Chepe ward. In the east part of this street standeth the great conduit of sweet water,[237] conveyed by pipes of lead under ground from Paddington[200] for the service of this city, castellated with stone, and cisterned in lead, about the year 1285, and again new built and enlarged by Thomas Ilam, one of the sheriffs 1479.

About the midst of this street is the Standard in Cheape, of what antiquity the first foundation I have not read. But Henry VI. by his patent dated at Windsor the 21st of his reign, which patent was confirmed by parliament 1442, granted license to Thomas Knolles, John Chichle, and other, executors to John Wels, grocer, sometime mayor of London, with his goods to make new the highway which leadeth from the city of London towards the palace of Westminster, before and nigh the manor of Savoy, parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster, a way then very ruinous, and the pavement broken, to the hurt and mischief of the subjects, which old pavement then remaining in that way within the length of five hundred feet, and all the breadth of the same before and nigh the site of the manor aforesaid, they to break up, and with stone, gravel, and other stuff, one other good and sufficient way there to make for the commodity of the subjects.

And further, that the Standard in Cheape, where divers executions of the law before time had been performed, which Standard at the present was very ruinous with age, in which there was a conduit, should be taken down, and another competent standard of stone, together with a conduit in the same of new, strongly to be built, for the commodity and honour of the city, with the goods of the said testator, without interruption, etc.

Of executions at the Standard in Cheape, we read, that in the year 1293 three men had their right hands smitten off there, for rescuing of a prisoner arrested by an officer of the city. In the year 1326, the burgesses of London caused Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Excester, treasurer to Edward II., and other, to be beheaded at the standard in Cheape (but this was by Paul’s gate); in the year 1351, the 26th of Edward III., two fishmongers were beheaded at the standard in Cheape, but I read not of their offence; 1381, Wat Tyler beheaded Richard Lions and other there. In the year 1399, Henry IV. caused the blanch charters made by Richard II. to be burnt there. In the year 1450, Jack Cade, captain of the Kentish rebels, beheaded the Lord Say there. In the year 1461, John Davy had his hand stricken off[238] there, because he had stricken a man before the judges at Westminster, etc.

Then next is a great cross in West Cheape, which cross was there erected in the year 1290 by Edward I. upon occasion thus:—Queen Elianor his wife died at Hardeby (a town near unto the city of Lincoln), her body was brought from thence to Westminster; and the king, in memory of her, caused in every place where her body rested in the way, a stately cross of stone to be erected, with the queen’s image and arms upon it, as at Grantham, Woborne, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Dunstable, St. Albones, Waltham, West Cheape, and at Charing, from whence she was conveyed to Westminster, and there buried.

This cross in West Cheape being like to those other which remain to this day, and being by length of time decayed, John Hatherly, mayor of London, procured, in the year 1441, license of King Henry VI. to re-edify the same in more beautiful manner for the honour of the city, and had license also to take up two hundred fodder of lead for the building thereof of certain conduits, and a common garnery. This cross was then curiously wrought at the charges of divers citizens: John Fisher, mercer, gave six hundred marks toward it; the same was begun to be set up 1484, and finished 1486, the 2nd of Henry VII. It was new gilt over in the year 1522, against the coming of Charles V., emperor; in the year 1553, against the coronation of Queen Anne;[201] new burnished against the coronation of Edward VI.; and again new gilt 1554, against the coming in of King Philip; since the which time the said cross having been presented by divers juries (or inquests of wardmote) to stand in the high way to the let of carriages (as they alleged), but could not have it removed, it followed that in the year 1581, the 21st of June, in the night, the lowest images round about the said cross (being of Christ’s resurrection, of the Virgin Mary, King Edward the Confessor, and such like) were broken and defaced, proclamation was made, that who so would bewray the doers, should have forty crowns, but nothing came to light; the image of the Blessed Virgin, at that time robbed of her Son, and her arms broken, by which she stayed him on her knees; her whole body[239] also was haled with ropes, and left likely to fall, but in the year 1595 was again fastened and repaired; and in the year next following a new misshapen son, as born out of time, all naked, was laid in her arms, the other images remaining broke as afore. But on the east side of the same cross, the steps taken thence, under the image of Christ’s resurrection defaced, was then set up a curiously wrought tabernacle of grey marble, and in the same an image alabaster of Diana, and water conveyed from the Thames prilling from her naked breast for a time, but now decayed.

In the year 1599, the timber of the cross at the top being rotted within the lead, the arms thereof bending, were feared to have fallen to the harming of some people, and therefore the whole body of the cross was scaffolded about, and the top thereof taken down, meaning in place thereof to have set up a piramis; but some of her majesty’s honourable councillors directed their letters to Sir Nicholas Mosley, then mayor, by her highness’ express commandment concerning the cross, forthwith to be repaired, and placed again as it formerly stood, etc.; notwithstanding the said cross stood headless more than a year after: whereupon the said councillors, in greater number, meaning not any longer to permit the continuance of such a contempt, wrote to William Rider, then mayor, requiring him, by virtue of her highness’ said former direction and commandment, that without any further delay to accomplish the same her majesty’s most princely care therein, respecting especially the antiquity and continuance of that monument, an ancient ensign of Christianity, etc. Dated the 24th of December, 1600. After this a cross of timber was framed, set up, covered with lead, and gilded, the body of the cross downward cleansed of dust, the scaffold carried thence. About twelve nights following, the image of Our Lady was again defaced, by plucking off her crown, and almost her head, taking from her her naked child, and stabbing her in the breast, etc. Thus much for the cross in West Cheape.

Then at the west end of West Cheape street, was sometime a cross of stone, called the Old Cross. Raph Higden, in his Policronicon, saith, that Waltar Stapleton, Bishop of Excester, treasurer to Edward II., was by the burgesses of London beheaded at this cross called the Standard, without the north door of St. Paul’s church; and so is it noted in other writers that then lived. This old cross stood and remained at the east end of the parish church called St. Michael in the corner by Paule’s[240] gate, near to the north end of the old Exchange, till the year 1390, the 13th of Richard II., in place of which old cross then taken down, the said church of St. Michael was enlarged, and also a fair water conduit built about the 9th of Henry VI.

In the reign of Edward III. divers joustings were made in this street, betwixt Sopar’s lane and the great cross, namely, one in the year 1331, the 21st of September, as I find noted by divers writers of that time. In the middle of the city of London (say they), in a street called Cheape, the stone pavement being covered with sand, that the horses might not slide when they strongly set their feet to the ground, the king held a tournament three days together, with the nobility, valiant men of the realm, and other some strange knights. And to the end the beholders might with the better ease see the same, there was a wooden scaffold erected across the street, like unto a tower, wherein Queen Philippa, and many other ladies, richly attired, and assembled from all parts of the realm, did stand to behold the jousts; but the higher frame, in which the ladies were placed, brake in sunder, whereby they were with some shame forced to fall down, by reason whereof the knights, and such as were underneath, were grievously hurt; wherefore the queen took great care to save the carpenters from punishment, and through her prayers (which she made upon her knees) pacified the king and council, and thereby purchased great love of the people. After which time the king caused a shed to be strongly made of stone, for himself, the queen, and other estates to stand on, and there to behold the joustings, and other shows, at their pleasure, by the church of St. Mary Bow, as is showed in Cordwainer street ward. Thus much for the high street of Cheape.

Now let us return to the south side of Cheape ward. From the great conduit west be many fair and large houses, for the most part possessed of mercers up to the corner of Cordwainer street, corruptly called Bow lane, which houses in former times were but sheds or shops, with solers[202] over them, as of late one[241] of them remained at Sopar’s lane end, wherein a woman sold seeds, roots, and herbs; but those sheds or shops, by encroachments on the high street, are now largely built on both sides outward, and also upward, some three, four, or five stories high.

Now of the north side of Cheape street and ward, beginning at the great conduit, and by St. Mary Cole church, where we left. Next thereunto westward is the Mercers’ chapel, sometime an hospital, intituled of St. Thomas of Acon, or Acars, for a master and brethren, “Militia hospitalis,” etc., saith the record of Edward III., the 14th year; it was founded by Thomas Fitzthebald de Heili, and Agnes his wife, sister to Thomas Becket, in the reign of Henry II.; they gave to the master and brethren the lands, with the appurtenances that sometimes were Gilbart Becket’s, father to 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. This hospital was valued to dispend £277 3s. 4d., surrendered the 30th of Henry VIII.: the 21st of October, and was since purchased by the Mercers, by means of Sir Richard Gresham, and was again set open on the eve of St. Michael, 1541, the 33rd of Henry VIII.: it is now called the Mercers’ chapel; therein is kept a free grammar school, as of old time had been accustomed, commanded by parliament.[203] Here be many monuments remaining, but more have been defaced:—James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and Dame Joan his countess, 1428; John Norton, esquire; Stephen Cavendish, draper, mayor 1362; Thomas Cavendish; William Cavendish; Thomas Ganon, called Pike, one of the sheriffs 1410; Hungate, of Yorkshire; Ambrose Cresacre; John Chester, draper; John Trusbut, mercer, 1437; Tho. Norland, sheriff 1483; Sir Edmond Sha, goldsmith, mayor 1482; Sir Thomas Hill, mayor 1485; Thomas Ilam, sheriff 1479;[204] Lancelot Laken, esquire; Raph Tilney, sheriff 1488; Garth, esquire; John Rich; Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond, 1515; Sir W. Butler, grocer, mayor 1515; W. Browne, mercer, mayor 1513; John Loke, 1519;[205] Sir T. Baldry, mercer, mayor 1523; Sir W. Locke, mercer, sheriff 1548; Sir John Allen, mercer, mayor 1525, deceased 1544; Sir Thomas Leigh, mercer,[242] mayor 1558; Sir Richard Malory, mercer, mayor 1564; Humf. Baskervile, mercer, sheriff 1561; Sir G. Bond, mayor 1587; etc.

Before this hospital, towards the street, was built a fair and beautiful chapel, arched over with stone, and thereupon the Mercers’ hall, a most curious piece of work; Sir John Allen, mercer, being founder of that chapel, was there buried; but since his tomb is removed thence into the body of the hospital church, and his chapel, divided into shops, is letten out for rent.

These Mercers were enabled to be a company, and to purchase lands to the value of twenty pounds the year, the 17th of Richard II.; they had three messuages and shops in the parish of St. Martin Oteswitch, in the ward of Bishopsgate, for the sustentation of the poor, and a chantry of the 22nd of Richard II. Henry IV., in the 12th of his reign, confirmed to Stephen Spilman, W. Marchford, and John Whatile, mercers, by the name of one new seldam, shed, or building, with shops, cellars, and edifices whatsoever appertaining called Crownsild, situate in the Mercery in West Cheape, in the parish of St. Mary de Arcubus in London, etc., to be holden in burgage, as all the city of London is, and which were worth by year in all issues, according to the true value of them, £7 13s. 4d., as found by inquisition before T. Knolles, mayor, and escheator in the said city. Henry VI., in the 3rd of his reign, at the request of John Coventrie, John Carpenter, and William Grove, granted to the Mercers to have a chaplain and a brotherhood, for relief of such of their company as came to decay by misfortune on the sea. In the year 1536, on St. Peter’s night, King Henry VIII. and Queen Jane his wife, stood in this Mercers’ hall, then new built, and beheld the marching watch of this city most bravely set out, Sir John Allen, mercer, one of the king’s council, being mayor.

Next beyond the Mercers’ chapel, and their hall, is Ironmonger lane, so called of ironmongers dwelling there, whereof I read, in the reign of Edward I., etc. In this lane is the small parish church of St. Martin called Pomary, upon what occasion I certainly know not. It is supposed to be of apples growing where houses are now lately built; for myself have seen large void places there. Monuments in that church none to be accounted of.

Farther west is St. Laurence lane, so called of St. Laurence church, which standeth directly over against the north end thereof. Antiquities in this lane I find none other, than that among many fair houses, there is one large inn for receipt of[243] travellers called Blossoms inn, but corruptly Bosoms inn, and hath to sign St. Laurence the Deacon, in a border of blossoms or flowers.

Then near to the Standard in Cheape is Honey lane, so called, not of sweetness thereof, being very narrow, and somewhat dark, but rather of often washing and sweeping, to keep it clean. In this lane is the small parish church called Alhallows in Honey lane; there be no monuments in this church worth the noting. I find that John Norman, draper, mayor 1453, was buried there; he gave to the Drapers his tenements on the north side the said church, they to allow for the beam light and lamp, 13s. 4d. yearly from this lane to the Standard. And thus much for Cheape ward in the high street of Cheape, for it stretcheth no farther.

Now for the north wing of Cheape ward have ye Catte street, corruptly called Catteten street, which beginneth at the north end of Ironmonger lane, and runneth to the west end of St. Lawrence church, as is afore showed.

On the north side of the street is the Guildhall, wherein the courts for the city be kept, namely, 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 court of the sheriff; 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 apprentices, and making them free. This Guildhall, saith Robert Fabian, was begun to be built new in the year 1411, the 12th of Henry IV., by Thomas Knoles, then mayor, and his brethren the aldermen: the same was made, of a little cottage, a large and great house, as now it standeth; towards the charges whereof the companies gave large benevolences; also offences of men were pardoned for sums of money towards this work, extraordinary fees were raised, fines, amercements, and other things employed during seven years, with a continuation thereof three years more, all to be employed to this building.

The 1st year of Henry VI., John Coventrie and John Carpenter, executors to Richard Whitington, gave towards the paving of this great hall twenty pounds, and the next year fifteen pounds more, to the said pavement, with hard stone of Purbeck; they also glazed some windows thereof, and of the mayor’s court; on every which windows the arms of Richard Whitington are placed. The foundation of the mayor’s court was laid in the 3rd year of the reign of Henry VI., and of the porch on the south side of the mayor’s court, in the 4th of the[244] said king. Then was built the mayor’s chamber, and the council chamber, with other rooms above the stairs; last of all a stately porch entering the great hall was erected, the front thereof towards the south being beautified with images of stone, such as is showed by these verses following, made about some thirty years since by William Elderton, at that time an attorney in the sheriffs’ courts there:—

“Though most of the images be pulled down,
And none be thought remayne in towne,
I am sure there be in London yet,
Seven images in such and in such a place;
And few or none I think will hit,
Yet every day they show their face,
And thousands see them every year,
But few I thinke can tell me where,
Where Jesu Christ aloft doth stand:
Law and Learning on eyther hand,
Discipline in the Devil’s necke,
And hard by her are three direct,
There Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance stand,
Where find ye the like in all this land?”

Divers aldermen glazed the great hall and other courts, as appeareth by their arms in each window. William Hariot, draper, mayor 1481, gave forty pounds to the making of two loovers in the said Guildhall, and towards the glazing thereof. The kitchens and other houses of office adjoining to this Guildhall, were built of later time, to wit, about the year 1501, by procurement of Sir John Sha, goldsmith, mayor (who was the first that kept his feast there); towards the charges of which work the mayor had of the fellowships of the city, by their own agreement, certain sums of money, as of the Mercers forty pounds, the Grocers twenty pounds, the Drapers thirty pounds, and so of the other fellowships through the city, as they were of power. Also widows and other well-disposed persons gave certain sums of money, as the Lady Hill ten pounds, the Lady Austrie ten pounds, and so of many other, till the work was finished, since the which time the mayor’s feasts have been yearly kept there, which before time had been kept in the Tailors’ hall, and in the Grocers’ hall. Nicholas Alwyn, grocer, mayor 1499, deceased 1505, gave by his testament for a hanging of tapestry, to serve for principal days in the Guildhall, £73 6s. 8d. How this gift was performed I have not heard, for executors of our time having no conscience (I speak of my own knowledge) prove more testaments than they perform.

Now for the chapel or college of our Lady Mary Magdalen, and of All Saints, by the Guildhall, called London college, I[245] read that the same was built about the year 1299, and that Peter Fanelore, Adam Frauncis, and Henry Frowike, citizens, gave one messuage, with the appurtenances, in the parish of St. Fawstar, to William Brampton, custos of the chantry, by them founded in the said chapel with four chaplains, and one other house in the parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate, in the 27th of Edward III., was given to them. Moreover, I find that Richard II., in the 20th of his reign, granted to Stephen Spilman, mercer, license to give one messuage, three shops, and one garden, with the appurtenances, being in the parish of St. Andrew Hubbard, to the custos and chaplains of the said chapel, and to their successors, for their better relief and maintenance for ever.

King Henry VI., in the 8th of his reign, gave license to John Barnard, custos, and the chaplains, to build of new the said chapel or college of Guildhall: and the same Henry VI., in the 27th of his reign, granted to the parish clerks in London a guild of St. Nicholas, for two chaplains by them to be kept in the said chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, near unto the Guildhall, and to keep seven alms people. Henry Barton, skinner, mayor, founded a chaplaincy there; Roger Depham, mercer, and Sir William Langford, knight, had also chaplaincies there. This chapel or college had a custos, seven chaplains, three clerks, and four choristers.

Monuments there have been sundry, as appeareth by the tombs of marble yet remaining, seven in number, but all defaced. The uppermost in the choir, on the south side thereof, above the revestry door, was the tomb of John Wells, grocer, mayor 1451. The likeness of Wells are graven on the tomb on the revestry door, and other places on that side the choir. Also in the glass window over this tomb, and in the east window, is the likeness of Wells, with hands elevated out of the same Wells, holding scrolls, wherein is written “Mercy!”—the writing in the east window being broken, yet remaineth Wells. I found his arms also in the south glass window; all which do show that the east end and south side the choir of this chapel, and the revestry, were by him both built and glazed. On the north side the choir the tomb of Thomas Knesworth, fishmonger, mayor 1505, who deceased 1515, was defaced, and within these forty-four years again renewed by the Fishmongers. Two other tombs lower there are; the one of a draper, the other of a haberdasher, their names not known. Richard Stomine is written in the window by the haberdasher. Under flat stones do lie[246] divers custos of the chapel, chaplains and officers to the chamber. Amongst others, John Clipstone, priest, sometime custos of the library of the Guildhall, 1457; another of Edmond Alison, priest, one of the custos of the library, 1510, etc. Sir John Langley, goldsmith, mayor 1576, lieth buried in the vault, under the tomb of John Wells before-named. This chapel, or college, valued to dispend £15 8s. 9d. by the year, was surrendered amongst other: the chapel remaineth to the mayor and commonalty, wherein they have service weekly, as also at the election of the mayor, and at the mayor’s feast, etc.

Adjoining to this chapel, on the south side, was sometime a fair and large library, furnished with books, pertaining to the Guildhall and college. These books, as it is said, were in the reign of Edward VI. sent for by Edward, Duke of Somerset, lord protector, with promise to be restored: men laded from thence three carries with them, but they were never returned. This library was built by the executors of Richard Whittington, and by William Burie: the arms of Whittington are placed on the one side in the stone work, and two letters, to wit, W. and B., for William Bury, on the other side: it is now lofted through, and made a storehouse for clothes.

South-west from this Guildhall is the fair parish church of St. Laurence, called in the Jury, because of old time[206] many Jews inhabited thereabout. This church is fair and large, and hath some monuments, as shall be shown. I myself, more than seventy years since,[207] have seen in this church the shank-bone of a man (as it is taken), and also a tooth,[208] of a very great bigness, hanged up for show in chains of iron, upon a pillar of stone; the tooth (being about the bigness of a man’s fist) is long since conveyed from thence: the thigh, or shank-bone, of twenty-five inches in length by the rule, remaineth yet fastened to a post of timber, and is not so much to be noted for the length as for the thickness, hardness, and strength thereof; for when it was hanged on the stone pillar it fretted with moving the said[247] pillar, and was not itself fretted, nor, as seemeth, is not yet lightened by remaining dry; but where or when this bone was first found or discovered I have not heard, and therefore, rejecting the fables of some late writers, I overpass them. Walter Blundell had a chantry there, the 14th of Edward II. There lie buried in this church—Elizabeth, wife to John Fortescue; Katherine Stoketon; John Stratton; Philip Albert; John Fleming; Philip Agmondesham; William Skywith; John Norlong; John Baker; Thomas Alleyne; William Barton, mercer, 1410; William Melrith, mercer, one of the sheriffs, 1425; Simon Bartlet, mercer, 1428; Walter Chartsey, draper, one of the sheriffs 1430; Richard Rich, esquire, of London, the father, and Richard Rich, his son, mercer, one of the sheriffs 1442, deceased 1469, with this epitaph:

“Respice quod opus est præsentis temporis æuum,
Omne quod est, nihil est præter amare Deum.”

This Richard was father to John, buried in St. Thomas Acars, which John was father to Thomas, father to Richard Lord Ritch, etc.; John Pickering, honourable for service of his prince and for the English merchants beyond the seas, who deceased 1448; Godfrey Bollen, mercer, mayor 1457; Thomas Bollen, his son, esquire, of Norfolk, 1471; John Atkenson, gentleman; Dame Mary St. Maure; John Waltham; Roger Bonifant; John Chayhee; John Abbot; Geffrey Filding, mayor 1452, and Angell his wife; Simon Benington, draper, and Joan his wife; John Marshal, mercer, mayor 1493; William Purchat, mayor 1498; Thomas Burgoyne, gentleman, mercer, 1517; the wife of a master of defence, servant to the Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Countess of Chester;[209] Sir Richard Gresham, mayor 1537; Sir Michell Dormer, mayor 1541; Robert Charsey, one of the sheriffs 1548; Sir William Row, ironmonger, mayor 1593; Samuel Thornhill, 1397. Thus much for Cheape ward, which hath an alderman, his deputy, common councillors eleven, constables eleven, scavengers nine, for the wardmote inquest twelve, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen at £72 16s., and in the Exchequer at £52 11s.[210]