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

WALBROOK WARD

Walbrook ward beginneth at the west end of Candlewick street ward. It runneth down Candlewick street west towards Budge row. It hath on the north side thereof St. Swithen’s lane, so called of St. Swithen, a parish church by London stone.[201] This lane is replenished on both the sides with fair built houses, and is wholly of Walbrook ward.

The said parish church of St. Swithen standeth at the south-west corner of this lane. License was procured to new build and increase the said church and steeple in the year 1420. Sir John Hend, draper, mayor, was an especial benefactor thereunto, as appeareth by his arms in the glass windows, even in the tops of them, which is in a field silver, a chief azure, a lion passant silver, a cheveron azure, three escalops silver: he lieth buried in the body of this church, with a fair stone laid on him, but the plates and inscriptions are defaced. Roger Depham, alderman, Thomas Aylesbourgh, William Neve, and Matilda Caxton, founded chantries, and were buried there; John Butler, draper, one of the sheriffs, 1420; Ralph Jecoline, mayor, a benefactor, buried in a fair tomb; William White, draper, one of the sheriffs, 1482, and other.

On the north side of this church and churchyard is one fair and large built house, sometime pertaining to the prior of Tortington in Sussex, since to the earls of Oxford, and now to Sir John Hart, alderman; which house hath a fair garden belonging thereunto, lying on the west side thereof. On the back side of two other fair houses in Walbrook, in the reign of Henry VII., Sir Richard Empson, knight, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, dwelt in the one of them, and Edmond Dudley, esquire, in the other; either of them had a door of intercourse into this garden, wherein they met and consulted of matters at their pleasures. In this Oxford place Sir Ambrose Nicholas kept his mayoralty, and since him the said Sir John Hart.

On the south side of this high street, near unto the channel, is pitched upright a great stone called London stone, fixed in the ground very deep, fastened with bars of iron, and otherwise so strongly set, that if carts do run against it through negligence, the wheels be broken, and the stone itself unshaken.

The cause why this stone was set there, the time when, or other memory hereof, is none, but that the same hath long continued there is manifest, namely, since (or rather before) the Conquest; for in the end of a fair written Gospel book given to Christ’s church in Canterburie, by Ethelstane, King of the West Saxons, I find noted of lands[185] or rents in London belonging to the said church, whereof one parcel is described to lie near unto London stone. Of later time we read, that in the year of Christ 1135, the 1st of King Stephen, a fire, which began[202] in the house of one Ailward, near unto London stone, consumed all east to Aldgate, in the which fire the priory of the Holy Trinitie was burnt, and west to St. Erkenwald’s shrine in Paule’s church. And these be the eldest notes that I read thereof.

Some have said this stone to be set as a mark in the middle of the city within the walls; but in truth it standeth far nearer unto the river of Thames than to the wall of the city; some others have said the same to be set for the tendering and making of payment by debtors to their creditors at their appointed days and times, till of later time payments were more usually made at the font in Pont’s church, and now most commonly at the Royal Exchange; some again have imagined the same to be set up by one John or Thomas Londonstone dwelling there against; but more likely it is, that such men have taken name of the stone than the stone of them, as did John at Noke, Thomas at Stile, William at Wall, or at Well, etc.

Down west from this parish church, and from London stone, have ye Walbrooke corner; from whence runneth up a street, north to the Stocks, called Walbrook, because it standeth on the east side of the same brook, by the bank thereof, and the whole ward taketh the name of that street. On the east side of this street, and at the north corner thereof, is the Stocks market, which had this beginning. About the year of Christ 1282, Henry Wales, mayor, caused divers houses in this city to be built towards the maintenance of London bridge, namely, one void place near unto the parish church called Woole church, on the north side thereof, where sometime (the way being very large and broad) had stood a pair of stocks for punishment of offenders; this building took name of these stocks, and was appointed by him to be a market place for fish and flesh in the midst of the city. Other houses he built in other places, as by the patent of Edward I. it doth appear, dated the 10th of his reign. After this, in the year 1322, the 17th of Edward II., a decree was made by Hamond Chickwell, mayor, that none should sell fish or flesh out of the markets appointed, to wit, Bridge street, East Cheape, Old Fish street, St. Nicholas’ shambles, and the said Stocks, upon pain to forfeit such fish or flesh as were sold, for the first time, and the second time to lose their freedom; which act was made by commandment of the king under his letters patent, dated at the Tower the 17th of his reign, and then was this stocks let to farm for £46 13s. 4d. by year. This Stocks market was again begun to be built in[203] the year 1410, in the 11th of Henry IV., and was finished in the year next following. In the year 1507, the same was rented £56 19s. 10d. And in the year 1543, John Cotes being mayor, there were in this Stocks market for fishmongers twenty-five boards or stalls, rented yearly to £34 13s. 4d., there were for butchers eighteen boards or stalls, rented at £41 16s. 4d., and there were also chambers above, sixteen, rented at £5 13s. 4d., in all £82 3s.

Next unto this Stocks is the parish church of St. Mary Wool church, so called of a beam placed in the churchyard, which was thereof called Wool church haw, of the tronage, or weighing of wool there used; and to verify this, I find amongst the customs of London, written in French in the reign of Edward II., a chapter intituled Les Customes de Wolchurch Haw, wherein is set down what was there to be paid for every parcel of wool weighed. This tronage or weighing of wool, till the 6th of Richard II., was there continued; John Churchman then built the Customhouse upon Wool key, to serve for the said tronage, as is before showed in Tower street ward. This church is reasonable fair and large, and was lately new built by license granted in the 20th of Henry VI., with condition to be built fifteen foot from the Stocks market, for sparing of light to the same Stocks. The parson of this church is to have four marks the year for tithe of the said Stocks, paid him by the masters of the Bridge house, by special decree made the 2nd of Henry VII. John Winyar, grocer, mayor 1504, was a great helper to the building of this church, and was there buried 1505; he gave unto it by his testament two large basons of silver, and twenty pounds in money. Also Richard Shore, draper, one of the sheriffs 1505, was a great benefactor in his life, and by his testament gave twenty pounds to make a porch at the west end thereof, and was there buried; Richard Hatfield of Steplemorden in Cambridgeshire, lieth entombed there, 1467; Edward Deoly, esquire, 1467. John Handford, grocer, made the font of that church, very curiously wrought, painted, and gilded, and was there buried; John Archer, fishmonger, 1487; Anne Cawode founded a chantry there, etc.

From the Stocks’ market and this parish church east up into Lombard street, some four or five houses on a side, and also on the south side of Wool church, have ye Bearbinder lane, a part whereof is of this Walbrooke ward; then lower down in the street called Walbrooke, is one other fair church of St. Stephen, lately built on the east side thereof, for the old church stood on the[204] west side, in place where now standeth the parsonage house, and therefore so much nearer the brook, even on the bank. Robert Chichley, mayor in the year 1428, the 6th of Henry VI., gave to this parish of St. Stephen one plot of ground, containing two hundred and eight feet and a half in length, and sixty-six feet in breadth, thereupon to build their new church, and for their churchyard; and in the 7th of Henry VI. the said Robert, one of the founders, laid the first stone for himself, the second for William Stoddon, mayor, with whose goods the ground that the church standeth on, and the housing, with the ground of the churchyard, was bought by the said Chichley for two hundred marks from the Grocers, which had been letten before for six-and-twenty marks the year; Robert Whittingham, draper, laid the third stone, Henry Barton then mayor, etc. The said Chichley gave more, one hundred pounds to the said work, and bare the charges of all the timber work on the procession way, and laid the lead upon it of his own cost; he also gave all the timber for the roofing of the two side aisles, and paid for the carriage thereof. This church was finished in the year 1439; the breadth thereof is sixty-seven feet, and length one hundred and twenty-five feet, the churchyard ninety feet in length, and thirty-seven in breadth and more. Robert Whittingham (made Knight of the Bath), in the year 1432, purchased the patronage of this church from John Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI., and Edward IV., in the 2nd of his reign, gave it to Richard Lee, then mayor. There be monuments in this church of Thomas Southwell, first parson of this new church, who lieth in the choir; John Dunstable, master of astronomy and music, in the year 1453; Sir Richard Lee, mayor, who gave the said parsonage to the Grocers; Rowland Hill, mayor 1549; Sir Thomas Pope, first treasurer of the augmentations, with his wife Dame Margaret; Sir John Cootes, mayor 1542; Sir John Yorke, knight, merchant-tailor, 1549; Edward Jackman, sheriff 1564; Richard Achley, grocer; Dr. Owyn, physician to King Henry VIII.; John Kirby, grocer, 1578; and others.

Lower down from this parish church be divers fair houses, namely, one wherein of late Sir Richard Baker, a knight of Kent, was lodged, and wherein dwelt Master Thomas Gore, a merchant famous for hospitality. On the west side of this Walbrooke street, over against the Stocks’ market, is a part of the high street called the Poultrie, on the south side west till over against St. Mildrede’s church, and the Skalding wike is of this ward. Then down again Walbrooke street some small distance, is[205] Buckles bury, a street so called of Buckle, that sometime was owner thereof, part of which street on both sides, three or four houses, to the course of the brook, is of this ward, and so down Walbrooke street to the south corner; from thence west down Budge row some small distance, to an alley, and through that alley south by the west end of St. John’s church upon Walbrooke, by the south side and east end of the same again to Walbrooke corner.

This parish church is called St. John upon Walbrooke, because the west end thereof is on the very bank of Walbrooke, by Horseshew bridge, in Horseshew bridge street. This church was also lately new built; for about the year 1412, license was granted by the mayor and commonalty to the parson and parish, for enlarging thereof, with a piece of ground on the north part of the choir, twenty-one feet in length, seventeen feet and three inches in breadth, and on the south side of the choir one foot of the common soil. There be no monuments in this church of any account, only I have learned, William Cobarton, skinner, who gave lands to that church, was there buried 1410, and John Stone, tailor, one of the sheriffs 1464, was likewise buried there.

On the south side of Walbrooke ward, from Candlewicke street, in the mid way betwixt London stone and Walbrooke corner, is a little lane with a turnpike in the midst thereof, and in the same a proper parish church, called St. Mary Bothaw, or Boatehaw by the Erber; this church being near unto the Downegate on the river of Thames, hath the addition of Boathaw or Boat haw, of near adjoining to a haw or yard, wherein of old time boats were made, and landed from Downegate to be mended, as may be supposed, for other reason I find none why it should be so called. Within this church, and the small cloister adjoining, divers noblemen and persons of worship have been buried, as appeareth by arms in the windows, the defaced tombs, and print of plates torn up and carried away: there remain only of John West, esquire, buried in the year 1408; Thomas Huytley, esquire, 1539, but his monument is defaced since; Lancelot Bathurst, etc.

The Erbar is an ancient place so called, but not of Walbrooke ward, and therefore out of that lane to Walbrooke corner, and then down till over against the south corner of St. John’s church upon Walbrooke. And this is all that I can say of Walbrooke ward. It hath an alderman, and his deputy, common councillors eleven, constables nine, scavengers[206] six, for the wardmote inquest thirteen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen in London to £33 5s.[186]