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


The next is Aldersgate ward, taking name of that north gate of the city. This ward also consisteth of divers streets and lanes, lying as well within the gate and wall as without. And first to speak of that part within the gate, thus it is.

The east part thereof joineth unto the west part of Cripplegate ward in Engain lane, or Maiden lane. It beginneth on the north side of that lane, at Stayning lane end, and runneth up from the Haberdashers’ hall to St. Mary Staining church, and by the church, east, winding almost to Wood street; and west through Oate lane, and then by the south side of Bacon house in Noble street, back again by Lilipot lane, which is also of that ward, to Maiden lane, and so on that north side west to St. John Zacharies church, and to Foster lane.

Now on the south side of Engain or Maiden lane is the west[272] side of Guthuruns lane to Kery lane, and Kery lane itself (which is of this ward), and back again into Engain lane, by the north side of the Goldsmiths’ hall to Foster lane: and this is the east wing of this ward. Then is Foster lane almost wholly of this ward, beginneth in the south toward Cheap, on the east side by the north side of St. Foster’s church, and runneth down north-west by the west end of Engain lane, by Lilipot lane and Oate lane to Noble street, and through that by Shelly house (of old time so called, as belonging to the Shelleys); Sir Thomas Shelley, knight, was owner thereof in the 1st of Henry IV. It is now called Bacon house, because the same was new built by Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal. Down on that side, by Sergeant Fleetwood’s house, recorder of London, who also new built it, to St. Olave’s church in Silver street, which is by the north-west end of this Noble street.

Then again in Foster lane this ward beginneth on the west side thereof, over against the south-west corner of St. Foster’s church, and runneth down by St. Leonard’s church, by Pope lane end, and by St. Ann’s lane end, which lane is also of this ward, north to the stone wall by the wall of the city, over against Bacon house, which stone wall, and so down north to Cripplegate on that side, is of Faringdon ward.

Then have ye the main street of this ward, which is called St. Martin’s lane, including St. Martin, on the east side thereof, and so down on both the sides to Aldersgate. And these be the bounds of this ward within the wall and gate.

Without the gate the main street called Aldersgate street runneth up north on the east side to the west end of Howndes ditch, or Barbican street; a part of which street is also of this ward. And on the west side to Long lane, a part whereof is likewise of this ward. Beyond the which Aldersgate street is Goswell street up to the bars.

And on this west side of Aldersgate street, by St. Buttolph’s church is Briton street, which runneth west to a pump, and then north to the gate which entereth the churchyard, sometime pertaining to the priory of St. Bartholomew on the east side; and on the west side towards St. Bartholomew’s Spittle, to a pair of posts there fixed. And these be the bounds of this Aldersgate ward without.

The antiquities be these, first in Stayning lane, of old time so called, as may be supposed, of painter-stainers dwelling there.

On the east side thereof, adjoining to the Haberdashers’ hall, be ten alms houses, pertaining to the Haberdashers, wherein[273] be placed ten alms people of that company, every of them having eight pence the piece every Friday for ever, by the gift of Thomas Huntlow, haberdasher, one of the sheriffs in the year 1539. More, Sir George Baron gave them ten pounds by the year for ever.

Then is the small parish church of St. Mary, called Stayning, because it standeth at the north end of Stayning lane. In the which church, being but newly built, there remains no monument worth the noting.

Then is Engain lane, or Mayden lane, and at the north-west corner thereof the parish church of St. John Zachary; a fair church, with the monuments well preserved, of Thomas Lichfield, who founded a chantry there in the 14th of Edward II.; of Sir Nicholas Twiford, goldsmith, mayor 1388, and Dame Margery his wife, of whose goods the church was made and new built, with a tomb for them, and others of their race, 1390; Drugo Barentine, mayor 1398; he gave fair lands to the Goldsmiths; he dwelt right against the Goldsmiths’ hall; between the which hall and his dwelling house he built a gallery thwarting the street, whereby he might go from one to the other; he was buried in this church, and Christian his wife, 1427; John Adis, goldsmith, 1400, and Margaret his wife; John Francis, goldsmith, mayor 1400, and Elizabeth his wife, 1450; I. Sutton, goldsmith, one of the sheriffs 1413; Bartholomew Seman, goldbeater, master of the king’s mints within the Tower of London and the town of Calice, 1430;[228], John Hewet, esquire, 1500; William Breakespere, goldsmith, 1461; Christopher Eliot, goldsmith, 1505; Bartholomew Reade, goldsmith, mayor 1502, was buried in the Charterhouse, and gave to this, his parish church, one hundred pounds; his wife was buried here with a fair monument, her picture in habit of a widow; Thomas Keyton Lorimar, 1522; William Potken, esquire, 1537; John Cornish, with an epitaph, 1470; Robert Fenruther, goldsmith, one of the sheriffs in the year 1512.

On the east side of this Foster lane, at Engain lane end, is the Goldsmiths’ hall, a proper house, but not large; and, therefore, to say that Bartholomew Read, goldsmith, mayor in the year 1502, kept such a feast in this hall, as some have fabuled,[229] is far incredible, and altogether impossible, considering the smallness of the hall, and number of the guests, which, as they say, were more than a hundred persons of great estate. For the messes and dishes of meats to them served, the paled park in[274] the same hall furnished with fruitful trees, beasts of venery, and other circumstances of that pretended feast, well weighed, Westminster hall would hardly have sufficed; and, therefore, I will overpass it, and note somewhat of principal goldsmiths.

First I read, that Leofstane, goldsmith, was provost of this city in the reign of Henry I. Also, that Henry Fitz Alewin Fitz Leafstane, goldsmith, was mayor of London in the 1st of Richard I., and continued mayor twenty-four years. Also that Gregory Rocksly, chief say-master of all the king’s mints within England, (and therefore by my conjecture) a goldsmith, was mayor in the 3rd of Edward I., and continued mayor seven years together. Then, William Faringdon, goldsmith, alderman of Faringdon ward, one of the sheriffs 1281, the 9th of Edward I., who was a goldsmith, as appeareth in record, as shall be shown in Faringdon ward. Then Nicholas Faringdon his son, goldsmith, alderman of Faringdon ward, four times mayor in the reign of Edward II., etc. For the rest of latter time are more manifestly known, and therefore I leave them. The men of this mystery were incorporated or confirmed in the 16th of Richard II.

Then at the north end of Noble street is the parish church of St. Olave in Silver street, a small thing, and without any noteworthy monuments.

On the west side of Foster lane is the small parish church of St. Leonard’s, for them of St. Martin’s le Grand. A number of tenements being lately built in place of the great collegiate church of St. Martin, that parish is mightily increased. In this church remain these monuments. First, without the church is graven in stone on the east end, John Brokeitwell, an especial re-edifier, or new builder thereof. In the choir, graven in brass, Robert Purfet, grocer, 1507; Robert Trapis, goldsmith, 1526, with this epitaph:—

“When the bels be merily roong,
And the masse devoutly sung,
And the meat merily eaten,
Then shall Robert Trips, his wives
And children be forgotten.”

Then in Pope lane, so called of one Pope that was owner thereof, on the north side of the parish church of St. Anne in the Willows, so called, I know not upon what occasion, but some say of willows growing thereabouts; but now there is no such void place for willows to grow, more than the churchyard, wherein do grow some high ash trees.


This church, by casualty of fire in the year 1548, was burnt, so far as it was combustible, but since being newly repaired, there remain a few monuments of antiquity: of Thomas Beckhenton, clerk of the pipe, was buried there 1499; Raph Caldwell, gentleman, of Grays inn, 1527; John Lord Sheffelde; John Herenden, mercer, esquire, 1572, these verses on an old stone:—[230]

  Qu   an       Tris   di  c   vul    stra
os guis ti ro um nere uit
h san Chris mi T mu la

William Gregory, skinner, mayor of London in the year 1451, was there buried, and founded a chantry, but no monument of him remaineth.

Then in St. Martin’s lane was of old time a fair and large college of a dean and secular canons or priests, and was called St. Martin’s le Grand, founded by Ingelricus and Edwardus his brother, in the year of Christ 1056, and confirmed by William the Conqueror, as appeareth by his charter dated 1068. This college claimed great privileges of sanctuary and otherwise, as appeareth in a book, written by a notary of that house about the year 1442, the 19th of Henry VI., wherein, amongst other things, is set down and declared, that on the 1st of September, in the year aforesaid, a soldier, prisoner in Newgate, as he was led by an officer towards the Guildhall of London, there came out of Panyer alley five of his fellowship, and took him from the officer, brought him into sanctuary at the west door of St. Martin’s church, and took grithe of that place; but the same day Philip Malpas and Rob. Marshall, then sheriffs of London, with many other, entered the said church, and forcibly took out with them the said five men thither fled, led them fettered to the Compter, and from thence, chained by the necks, to Newgate; of which violent taking the dean and chapter in large manner complained to the king, and required him, as their patron, to defend their privileges, like as his predecessors had done, etc. All which complaint and suit the citizens by their counsel, Markam, sergeant at the law, John Carpenter, late common clerk of the city, and other, learnedly answered, offering to prove that the said place of St. Martin had no such immunity or liberty as was pretended; namely, Carpenter[276] offered to lose his livelihood, if that church had more immunity than the least church in London. Notwithstanding, after long debating of this controversy, by the king’s commandment, and assent of his council in the starred chamber, the chancellor and treasurer sent a writ unto the sheriffs of London, charging them to bring the said five persons with the cause of their taking and withholding afore the king in his Chancery, on the vigil of Allhallows. On which day the said sheriffs, with the recorder and counsel of the city, brought and delivered them accordingly, afore the said lords; whereas the chancellor, after he had declared the king’s commandment, sent them to St. Martin’s, there to abide freely, as in a place having franchises, whiles them liked, etc.

Thus much out of that book have I noted concerning the privilege of that place challenged in these days, since the which time, to wit, in the year 1457, the 36th of the said Henry VI., an ordinance was made by the king and his council concerning the said sanctuary men in St. Martin’s le Grand, whereof the articles are set down in the book of K., within the chamber of the Guildhall, in the lease 299.

This college was surrendered to King Edward VI., the 2nd of his reign, in the year of Christ 1548; and the same year the college church being pulled down, in the east part thereof a large wine tavern was built, and with all down to the west, and throughout the whole precinct of that college, many other houses were built and highly prized, letten to strangers born, and other such, as there claimed benefit of privileges granted to the canons serving God day and night (for so be the words in the charter of William the Conqueror), which may hardly be wrested to artificers, buyers and sellers, otherwise than is mentioned in the 21st of St. Matthew’s Gospel.

Lower down on the west side of St. Martin’s lane, in the parish of St. Anne, almost by Aldersgate, is one great house, commonly called Northumberland house; it belonged to H. Percy. King Henry IV., in the 7th of his reign, gave this house, with the tenements thereunto appertaining, to Queen Jane his wife, and then it was called her Wardrobe: it is now a printing house.

Without Aldersgate, on the east side of Aldersgate street, is the Cooks’ hall; which Cooks (or Pastelars) were admitted to be a company, and to have a master and wardens, in the 22nd of Edward IV. From thence along into Houndsditch, or Barbican street, be many fair houses. On the west side also be[277] the like fair buildings till ye come to Long lane, and so to Goswell street.

In Briton street, which took that name of the dukes of Brittany lodging there, is one proper parish church of St. Buttolph, in which church was sometime a brotherhood of St. Fabian and Sebastian, founded in the year 1377, the 51st of Edward III., and confirmed by Henry IV., in the 6th of his reign. Then Henry VI., in the 24th of his reign, to the honour of the Trinity, gave license to Dame Joan Astley, sometime his nurse, to R. Cawod and T. Smith, to found the same a fraternity, perpetually to have a master and two custoses, with brethren and sisters, etc. This brotherhood was endowed with lands more than thirty pounds by the year, and was suppressed by Edward VI. There lie buried, John de Bath, weaver, 1390; Philip at Vine, capper, 1396; Benet Gerard, brewer, 1403; Thomas Bilsington founded a chantry there, and gave to that church a house, called the Helmet upon Cornhill; John Bradmore, chirurgeon, Margaret and Katheren his wives, 1411; John Michaell, sergeant-at-arms, 1415; Allen Bret, carpenter, 1425; Robert Malton, 1426; John Trigilion, brewer, 1417; John Mason, brewer, 1431; Rob. Cawood, clerk of the pipe in the king’s exchequer, 1466; Ri. Emmessey; John Walpole; I. Hartshorne, esquire, servant to the king, 1400, and other of that family, great benefactors to that church; W. Marrow, grocer, mayor, and Katherine his wife, were buried there about 1468. The Lady Ann Packington, widow, late wife to Jo. Packinton, knight, chirographer of the court of the common pleas; she founded alms houses near unto the White Fryers’ church in Fleet street: the Clothworkers in London have oversight thereof.

And thus an end of this ward; which hath an alderman, his deputy, common councillors five, constables eight, scavengers nine, for the wardmote inquest fourteen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen in London seven pounds, and[231] in the exchequer six pounds nineteen shillings.