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


Langborne ward, so called of a long bourne of sweet water, which of old time breaking out into Fenchurch street, ran down the same street and Lombard street to the west end of St. Mary Woolnoth’s church, where turning south, and breaking into small shares, rills, or streams, it left the name of Share borne lane, or South borne lane (as I have read), because it ran south to the river of Thames. This ward beginneth at the west end of Aldgate ward in Fenne church street, by the Ironmongers’ hall, which is on the north side of that street, at a place called[180] Culver alley, where sometime was a lane, through the which men went into Lime street, but that being long since stopped up for suspicion of thieves that lurked there by night, as is shown in Lime street ward, there is now this said alley, a tennis-court, etc.

Fenne church street took that name of a fenny or moorish ground, so made by means of this borne which passed through it, and therefore until this day in the Guildhall of this city, that ward is called by the name of Langborne and Fennie about, and not otherwise; yet others be of opinion that it took that name of Fœnum, that is, hay sold there, as Grasse street took the name of grass, or herbs, there sold.

In the midst of this street standeth a small parish church called St. Gabriel Fen church, corruptly Fan church.

Helming Legget, esquire, by license of Edward III., in the 49th of his reign, gave one tenement, with a curtelage thereto belonging, and a garden, with an entry thereto leading, unto Sir John Hariot, parson of Fenchurch, and to his successors for ever; the house to be a parsonage-house, the garden to be a churchyard, or burying-place for the parish.

Then have ye Lombard street, so called of the Longobards, and other merchants, strangers of divers nations assembling there twice every day, of what original or continuance I have not read of record, more than that Edward II., in the 12th of his reign, confirmed a messuage, sometime belonging to Robert Turke, abutting on Lombard street toward the south, and toward Cornehill on the north, for the merchants of Florence, which proveth that street to have had the name of Lombard street before the reign of Edward II. The meeting of which merchants and others there continued until the 22nd of December, in the year 1568; on the which day the said merchants began to make their meetings at the burse, a place then new built for that purpose in the ward of Cornhill, and was since by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth, named the Royal Exchange.

On the north side of this ward is Lime street, one half whereof on both the sides is of this Langborne ward, and therein on the west side is the Pewterers’ hall, which company were admitted to be a brotherhood in the 13th of Edward IV.

At the south-west corner of Lime street standeth a fair parish church of St. Dionys called Backe church, lately new built in the reign of Henry VI. John Bugge, esquire, was a great benefactor to that work, as appeareth by his arms, three water budgets, and his crest, a Morian’s head, graven in the stone-work of the[181] choir, the upper end on the north side, where he was buried. Also John Darby, alderman, added thereunto a fair aisle, or chapel, on the south side, and was there buried about the year 1466. He gave (besides sundry ornaments) his dwelling-house and others unto the said church. The Lady Wich, widow to Hugh Wich, sometime mayor of London, was there buried, and gave lands for sermons, etc. John Master, gentleman, was by his children buried there 1444; Thomas Britaine; Henry Travers, of Maidstone, in Kent, merchant, 1501; John Bond, about 1504; Robert Paget, merchant-tailor, one of the sheriffs, 1536; Sir Thomas Curteis, pewterer, then fishmonger, mayor, 1557; Sir James Harvie, ironmonger, mayor, 1581; William Peterson, esquire; William Sherington; Sir Edward Osborne, clothworker, mayor, etc.

Then by the four corners (so called of Fenchurch street in the east, Bridge street on the south, Grasse street on the north, and Lombard street on the west), in Lombard street is one fair parish church called Allhallows Grasse church, in Lombard street; I do so read it in evidences of record, for that the grass market went down that way, when that street was far broader than now it is, being straitened by incroachments.

This church was lately new built. John Warner, armourer, and then grocer, sheriff 1494, built the south aisle; his son, Robert Warner, esquire, finished it in the year 1516. The pewterers were benefactors towards the north aisle, etc. The steeple, or bell tower, thereof was finished in the year 1544, about the 36th of Henry VIII. The fair stone porch of this church was brought from the late dissolved priory of St. John of Jerusalem by Smithfield, so was the frame for their bells, but the bells being bought, were never brought thither, by reason that one old Warner, draper, of that parish deceasing, his son Marke Warner would not perform what his father had begun, and appointed, so that fair steeple hath but one bell, as friars were wont to use. The monuments of this church be these. The said Warners, and John Walden, draper.

Next is a common hostelry for travellers, called the George, of such a sign. This is said to have pertained to the Earl Ferrers, and was his London lodging in Lombard street, and that in the year 1175, a brother of the said earl, being there privily slain in the night, was there thrown down into the dirty street, as I have afore shown in the chapter of night watches.

Next to this is the parish church of St. Edmond, the king and martyr, in Lombard street, by the south corner of Birchover[182] lane. This church is also called St. Edmond Grasse church, because the said grass market came down so low. The monuments in this church are these: Sir John Milborne, draper, mayor, deceased, 1535, buried there by Dame Joan and Dame Margaret his wives, under a tomb of touch; Humfrey Heyford, goldsmith, mayor 1477; Sir William Chester, draper, mayor 1560, with his wives, amongst his predecessors; Sir George Barne, mayor 1586; Matilde at Vine founded a chantry there, etc.

From this church down Lombard street, by Birchover’s lane (the one half of which lane is of this ward), and so down, be divers fair houses, namely, one with a very fair fore front towards the street, built by Sir Martin Bowes, goldsmith, since mayor of London, and then one other, sometime belonging to William de la Pole, knight banneret, and yet the king’s merchant,[168] in the 14th of Edward III., and after him to Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, in the 14th of Richard II., and was his merchant’s house, and so down towards the Stocks market, lacking but some three houses thereof.

The south side of this ward beginneth in the east, at the chain to be drawn athwart Mart lane up into Fenchurch street, and so west by the north end of Minchen lane to St. Margaret Patten’s street, or Roode lane, and down that street to the midway towards St. Margaret’s church; then by Philpot lane (so called of Sir John Philpot that dwelt there, and was owner thereof), and down that lane some six or eight houses on each side, is all of this ward.

Then by Grasse church corner into Lombard street to St. Clement’s lane, and down the same to St. Clement’s church; then down St. Nicholas lane, and down the same to St. Nicholas church, and the same church is of this ward. Then to Abchurch church lane, and down some small portion thereof; then down Sherborne lane, a part thereof, and a part of Bearebinder lane, be of this ward; and then down Lombard street to the sign of the Angel, almost to the corner over against the Stocks market.

On the south side of this ward, somewhat within Mart lane, have you the parish church of Allhallows, commonly called Stane church (as may be supposed), for a difference from other churches of that name in this city, which of old time were built of timber, and since were built of stone. In this church have[183] been divers fair monuments of the dead, namely, of John Costin, girdler, a great benefactor: he deceased 1244. His name remaineth painted in the church roof; if it had been set in brass, it would have been fetched down.[169] He gave out of certain tenements to the poor of that parish a hundred quarters of charcoals yearly for ever. Sir Robert Test, knight of the holy sepulchre, and Dame Joan his wife, about 1486; Robert Stone; Sir John Steward, and Dame Alice his wife;[170] John Bostocke, esquire; Christopher Holt, Sir Richard Tate, knight, ambassador to King Henry VIII. buried there 1554. His monument remaineth yet; the rest being all pulled down, and swept out of the church, the churchwardens were forced to make a large account; 12s. that year for brooms, besides the carriage away of stone and brass of their own charge. And here I am to note, that being informed of the Writhsleys to be buried there, I have since found them and other to be buried at St. Giles without Cripplegate, where I mind to leave them.

By this church sometime passed a lane, called Cradock’s lane, from Mart lane, winding by the north side of the said church into Fenchurch street, the which lane being straitened by incroachments, is now called Church alley.

Then is the parish church of St. Nicholas Acon, or Hacon (for so have I read it in records), in Lombard street. Sir John Bridges, draper, mayor, 1520, newly repaired this church, and embattled it, and was there buried. Francis Boyer, grocer,[184] one of the sheriffs, was buried there 1580, with other of the Boyers: so was Julian, wife to John Lambart, alderman.[171]

Then is there in the high street a proper parish church of St. Mary Woolnoth, of the Nativity, the reason of which name I have not yet learnt. This church is lately new built. Sir Hugh Brice, goldsmith, mayor in the first year of Henry VII., keeper of the king’s exchange at London, and one of the governors of the king’s mint in the Tower of London, under William Lord Hastings, the 5th of Edward IV., deceased 1496. He built in this church a chapel called the Charnell, as also part of the body of the church and of the steeple, and gave money toward the finishing thereof, besides the stone which he had prepared: he was buried in the body of the church. Guy Brice, or Boys, was buried there. Dame Joan, wife to Sir William Peach;[172] Thomas Nocket, draper, 1396: he founded a chantry there. Simon Eyre, 1459: he gave the tavern called the Cardinal’s Hat, in Lombard street, with a tenement annexed on the east part of the tavern, and a mansion behind the east tenement, together with an alley from Lombard street to Cornhill, with the appurtenances, all which were by him new built, toward a brotherhood of our Lady in St. Mary Woolnoth’s church. John Moager, pewterer, and Emme his wife, in St. John’s chapel; Sir John Percivall, merchant-tailor, mayor, about 1504; Thomas Roch, and Andrew Michael, vintners, and Joan their wife; William Hilton, merchant-tailor, and tailor to King Henry VIII., was buried there 1519, under the chapel of St. George, which chapel was built by George Lufken, sometime tailor to the prince; Robert Amades, goldsmith, master of the king’s jewels; Sir Martin Bowes, mayor, buried about 1569: he gave lands for the discharge of that Langborn ward, of all fifteens to be granted to the king by parliament; George Hasken, Sir Thomas Ramsey, late mayor, etc. Thus have ye seven parishes in this ward, one hall of a company, divers fair houses for merchants, and other monuments none. It hath an alderman, his deputy, common councillors eight, constables fifteen, scavengers nine, men of the wardmote inquest seventeen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen, [173] in the exchequer, at £20 9s. 8d.