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


Next unto Bread street ward, on the south side thereof, is Queene Hithe ward, so called of a water gate, or harbour for boats, lighters, and barges; and was of old time for ships, at what time the timber bridge of London was drawn up, for the passage of them to the said hithe, as to a principal strand for landing and unlading against the midst and heart of the city.

This ward beginneth in the east, in Knightriders’ street, on the south side thereof, at the east end of the parish church called the Holy Trinity, and runneth west on the south side to[315] a lane called Lambert hill, which is the length of the ward in Knightriders’ street, out of the which street are divers lanes, running south to Thames street, and are of this ward: the first is Trinity lane, which runneth down by the west end of Trinity church; then is Spuren lane, or Spooner’s lane, now called Huggen lane; then Bread street hill; then St. Mary Mounthaunt, out of the which lane, on the east side thereof, is one other lane, turning east, through St. Nicholas Olave’s churchyard to Bread street hill. This lane is called Finimore lane, or Fivefoot lane, because it is but five feet in breadth at the west end; in the midst of this lane runneth down one other lane broader, south to Thames street, I think the same to be called Desbourne lane, for I read of such a lane to have been in the parish of Mary Summerset, in the 22nd year of Edward III., where there is said to lie between the tenement of Edward de Montacute, knight, on the east part, and the tenement some time pertaining to William Gladwine on the west, one plot of ground, containing in length towards Thames street, twenty-five feet, etc.

Last of all, have you Lambart-hill lane, so called of one Lambart, owner thereof; and this is the furthest west part of this ward.

On the north side coming down from Knightriders’ street, the east side of Lambart hill, is wholly of this ward; and the west side, from the north end of the Blackesmiths’ hall (which is about the midst of this lane) unto Thames street; then part of Thames street is also of this ward, to wit, from a cook’s house called the sign of King David, three houses west from the Old Swan brewhouse in the east, unto Huntington house, over against St. Peter’s church in the west, near unto Paul’s wharf; and on the land side, from a cook’s house called the Blue Boar, to the west end of St. Peter’s church, and up St. Peter’s hill, two houses north above the said church. And these be the bounds of this ward, in which are parish churches seven, halls of companies two, and other ornaments as shall be shewed.

First in Knightriders’ street, is the small parish church of the Holy Trinity, very old, and in danger of down falling: collections have been made for repairing thereof, but they will not stretch so far, and, therefore, it leaneth upon props or stilts. Monuments as followeth.

John Brian, alderman in the reign of Henry V., a great benefactor; John Chamber had a chantry there; Thomas Rishby, esquire, and Alice his wife, within the chancel; John Mirfin, auditor of the exchequer 1471; Sir Richard Fowler, of Ricks in[316] Oxfordshire, 1528; George Cope, second son to Sir John Cope of Copasashby in Northamptonshire, 1572.

Towards the west end of Knightriders’ street is the parish church of St. Nicolas Cold Abbey, a proper church, somewhat ancient, as appeareth by the ways raised thereabout, so that men are forced to descend into the body of the church: it hath been called of many Golden Abbey, of some, Gold Abbey, or Cold Bey, and so hath the most ancient writings,[256] as standing in a cold place, as Cold harbour, and such like. The steeple or tall tower of this church, with the south aisle, have been of a later building: to wit, the 1st of Richard II., when it was meant the whole old church should have been new built, as appeareth by the arching begun on the east side the steeple, under the which, in the stone work, the arms of one Buckland, esquire, and his wife, daughter to Beaupere, are cut in stone, and also are in the glass windows, whereby it appeareth he was the builder of the steeple, and repairer of the residue. The 26th of Edward III., An. Aubrey being mayor,[257] T. Frere, fishmonger, gave one piece of ground to the said parish church of St. Nicholas, containing eighty-six feet in length, and forty-three feet at one end, and thirty-four at the other, in breadth, for a cemetery or churchyard. The 20th of Richard II., Thomas Barnard Castle, clerke, John Sonderash, clerke, and John Nouncy, gave to the parson and churchwardens of the said church and their successors, one messuage and one shop, with the appurtenances, in Distaffe lane and Old Fish street, for the reparation of the body of the said church, the belfry or steeple, and ornaments.

Buried in this church, John Calfe, and William Cogeshall, 1426; Waltar Turke, fishmonger, mayor 1349; Richarde Esastone, fishmonger, 1330; Nicholas Wolberge, fishmonger, 1407; Thomas Paddington, fishmonger, 1485; Robert Hary, fishmonger, John Suring, 1490; Roger Darlington, fishmonger, 1557; Richard Lacty, parson, under a fair tomb on the north side the choir, 1491; Richard Bradbrudge, 1497;[317] William Clarke, 1501; James Picman, 1507; Richard Farneford, 1525; Thomas Nicholas, fishmonger, 1527; William Barde, fishmonger, 1528.

On the north side of this church, in the wall thereof, was of late built a convenient cistern of stone and lead, for receipt of Thames water, conveyed in pipes of lead to that place, for the ease and commodity of the fishmongers and other inhabitants in and about Old Fish street. Barnard Randolph, common serjeant of the city of London, did in his lifetime deliver to the company of Fishmongers the sum of nine hundred pounds, to be employed towards the conducting of the said Thames water, and cisterning the same, etc.; in the parishes of St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Nicholas Colde Abbey, near unto Fish street, seven hundred pounds; and other two hundred pounds to charitable deeds: he deceased 1583, and shortly after this conduit with the other was made and finished.

In Trinity lane, on the west side thereof, is the Painterstainers’ hall, for so of old time were they called, but now that workmanship of staining is departed out of use in England. Lower down in Trinity lane, on the east side thereof, was sometime a great messuage pertaining unto John, earl of Cornwall, in the 14th of Edward III. On Bread street hill, down to the Thames on both sides, be divers fair houses, inhabited by fishmongers, cheesemongers, and merchants of divers trades. On the west side whereof is the parish church of St. Nicholas Olive, a convenient church, having the monuments of W. Newport, fishmonger, one of the sheriffs 1375; Richard Willowes, parson, 1391; Richard Sturges, fishmonger, 1470; Thomas Lewen, ironmonger, one of the sheriffs 1537, who gave his messuage, with the appurtenances, wherein he dwelt, with fourteen tenements in the said parish of St. Nicholas, to be had after the decease of Agnes his wife, to the ironmongers, and they to give stipends appointed to almsmen, in five houses by them built in the churchyard of that parish, more to poor scholars in Oxford and Cambridge, etc. Blitheman, an excellent organist of the Queen’s chapel, lieth buried there with an epitaph, 1591, etc.

The next is Old Fishstreet hill, a lane so called, which also runneth down to Thames street. In this lane, on the east side thereof, is the one end of Finimore, or Five foot lane. On the west side of this Old Fishstreet hill is the Bishop of Hereford’s inn or lodging, an ancient house and large rooms, built of stone and timber, which sometime belonged to the Mounthauntes in Norfolk. Radulphus de Maydenstone, Bishop of Hereford,[318] about 1234, bought it of the Mounthauntes, and gave it to the Bishops of Hereford, his successors. Charles, both Bishop of Hereford and Chancellor of the Marches, about the year 1517, repaired it, since the which time the same is greatly ruinated, and is now divided into many small tenements; the hall and principal rooms, are a house to make sugar-loaves, etc.

Next adjoining is the parish church of St. Mary de Monte Alto, or Mounthaunt; this is a very small church, and at the first built to be a chapel for the said house of the Mounthaunts, and for tenements thereunto belonging. The Bishop of Hereford is patron thereof. Monuments in this church of John Glocester, alderman 1345, who gave Salt wharf for two chantries there; John Skip, Bishop of Hereford, 1539, sate twelve years, died at London in time of parliament, and was buried in this church. There was sometime a fair house in the said parish of St. Mary Mounthaunt, belonging to Robert Belkenape, one of the king’s justices, but the said Belkenape being banished this realm. King Richard II. in the twelfth of his reign, gave it to William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester.

On the east side of this Old Fishstreet hill, is one great house, now let out for rent, which house sometime was one of the halls, pertaining to the company of Fishmongers, at such time as they had six hallmotes or meeting places: namely, two in Bridge street, or New Fish street; two in Old Fish street, whereof this was one; and two in Stockfishmonger row, or Thames street, as appeareth by a record, the 22nd of Richard II.

Next westward is one other lane called Lambard hill, the east side whereof is wholly of this ward, and but half the west side, to wit, from the north end of the Blacksmiths’ hall.

Then in Thames street of this ward, and on the north side over against the Queen’s hith, is the parish church of St. Michaell, a convenient church, but all the monuments therein are defaced.

I find that Stephen Spilman, gentleman, of that family in Norfolk, sometime mercer, chamberlain of London, then one of the sheriffs, and alderman in the year 1404, deceasing without issue, gave his lands to his family the Spilmans, and his goods to the making or repairing of bridges and other like godly uses; and amongst others in this church he founded a chantry, and was buried in the choir.

Also Richard Marlowe, ironmonger, mayor 1409, gave twenty pounds to the poor of that ward, and ten marks to the church.

Richard Gray, ironmonger, one of the sheriffs 1515, gave forty pounds to that church, and was buried there. At the[319] west end of that church goeth up a lane, called Pyel lane. On the same north side, at the south end of St. Mary Mounthaunt lane, is the parish church of St. Mary Summerset, over against the Broken wharf; it is a proper church, but the monuments are all defaced. I think the same to be of old time called Summer’s hith, of some man’s name that was owner of the ground near adjoining, as Edred’s hithe was so called of Edred owner thereof, and thence called Queene hithe, as pertaining to the queen, etc.

Then is a small parish church of St. Peter, called parva, or little, near unto Powle’s wharf; in this church no monuments do remain. At the west end thereof, is a lane called St. Peter’s hill, but two houses up that lane on the east side is of this ward, and the rest is of Castle Baynarde ward.

On the south side of Thames street, beginning again in the east, among the cooks, the first in this ward, is the sign of David the King; then is Towne’s end lane, turning down to the Thames; then is Queene hithe, a large receptacle for ships, lighters, barges, and such other vessels.

Touching the antiquity and use of this gate and hithe, first, I find the same belongeth to one named Edred, and was then called Edred’s hithe, which since falling to the hands of King Stephen, it was by his charter confirmed to William De Ypre;[258] the farm thereof in fee and in heritage, William De Ypre gave unto the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity within Aldgate, as appeareth by this charter:—

“To Theobalde, by the grace of God, Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of England, and Legate Apostolike, to the Bishoppe of London, and to all faithful people, clarkes and layemen, William de Ypre sendeth greeting.

“Know ye me to have given and graunted to God, and to the church of the Holy Trinitie of London, to the prior and canons there serving God in perpetuall almes, Edred’s hith, with the appurtenances, with such devotion, that they shall send every yeare twentie pound unto the maintenance of the hospital of St. Katherens, which hospitall they have in their hands, and one hundred shillinges to the monkes of Bermondsey, and sixty shillinges to the brethren of the hospitall of St. Giles, and that which remayneth, the said prior and canons shall enjoy to themselves. Witnesses, Richard de Lucie, Raph Picot, etc.”

This Edred’s hithe, after the aforesaid grants, came again to the king’s hands, by what means I have not read, but it per[320]tained unto the queen, and, therefore, was called Ripa reginæ, the Queene’s bank, or Queen’s hithe, and great profit thereof was made to her use, as may appear by this which followeth.

King Henry III. in the 9th of his reign, commanded the constables of the Tower of London to arrest the ships of the Cinque Ports on the river of Thames, and to compel them to bring their corne to no other place, but to the Queen’s hithe only. In the eleventh of his reign, he charged the said constable to distrain all fish offered to be sold in any place of this city, but at the Queene hithe. Moreover, in the 28th of the said king’s reign, an inquisition was made before William of Yorke, provost of Beverley, Henry of Bath, and Hierome of Caxton, justices itinerant, sitting in the Tower of London, touching the customs of Queen hithe, observed in the year last before the wars between the king and his father, and the barons of England, and of old customs of other times, and what customs had been changed, at what time the tax and payment of all things coming together, and between Woore path and Anedehithe,[259] were found and ceased, according to the old order, as well corn and fish as other things: all which customs were as well to be observed in the part of Downegate, as in Queen hithe, for the king’s use. When also it was found that the corn arriving between the gate of the Guildhall of the merchants of Cologne, and the soke of the Archbishop of Canterbury (for he had a house near unto the Blacke Fryers), was not to be measured by any other quarter, than by that of the Queene’s soke.

After this, the bailiff of the said hithe complained that, since the said recognition, fourteen foreign ships laden with fish, arrived at Belinge’s gate, which ships should have arrived at the same hithe; and, therefore, it was ordered, that if any foreign ship laden with fish, should in form aforesaid, arrive elsewhere than at this hithe, it should be at the king’s pleasure to amerce them at forty shillings. Notwithstanding, the ships of the citizens of London were at liberty to arrive where the owners would appoint them.

After this, the said Henry III. confirmed the grant of Richard Earl of Cornwall for the farm of the Queen hithe unto John Gisors, then mayor, and to the commonalty of London, and their successors for ever, as by this his charter appeareth:


“Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Guien, and Earl of Anjou, to all archbishops, etc. Be it known, that we have seen the covenant between our brother, Richard Earl of Cornwall, on the one part, and the mayor and commonalty on the other part, which was in this sort. In the 30th year of Henry, the son of King John,[260] upon the feast of the Translation of St. Edward, at Westminster, this covenant was made between the honourable Lord Richard Earl of Cornwall, and John Gisors, then mayor of London, and the commons thereof, concerning certain exactions and demands pertaining to the Queen hithe of London. The said earl granted for himself and his heirs, that the said mayor, and all mayors ensuing, and all the commons of the city, should have and hold the Queen hithe, with all the liberties, customs, and other appurtenances, repaying yearly to the said earl, his heirs and assigns, fifty pounds, at Clarkenwell, at two several terms; to wit, the Sunday after Easter twenty-five pounds, and at Michaelmas twenty-five pounds. And for more surety hereof the said earl hath set thereunto his seal, and left it with the mayor, and the mayor and commonalty have set to their seal, and left it with the earl. Wherefore we confirm and establish the said covenant for us, and for our heirs. Witnesses, Raph Fitz Nichol, Richard Gray, John and Wil. Brithem, Paulin Painter, Raph Wancia, John Cumbaud, and other, at Windsor, 26th of February, in the 31st of our reign.”

The charge of this Queen hithe was then committed to the sheriffs, and so hath continued ever since; the profits whereof are sore diminished, so that (as writeth Robert Fabian) it was worth in his time little above twenty marks, or fifteen pounds, one year with another. Now for customs of this Queen hithe.[261] In the year 1302, the 30th of Edward I., it was found by the oath of divers men, that bakers, brewers, and others, buying their corn at Queen hithe, should pay for measuring, portage, and carriage, for every quarter of corn whatsoever, from thence to West Cheap, to St. Anthonie’s church, to Horshew bridge, and to Woolsey street, in the parish of Allhallowes the Less, and such like distances, one halfpenny farthing; to Fleet bridge, to Newgate, Cripplegate, to Bircheovers lane, to Eastcheape, and Billingsgate, one penny. Also, that the measure (or the meter) ought to have eight chief master-porters, every master to have three porters under him, and every one of them to find one horse, and seven sacks; and he that so did not, to lose his office.[322] This hithe was then so frequented with vessels, bringing thither corn (besides fish, salt, fuel, and other merchandises), that all these men, to wit, the meter, and porters, thirty-seven in number, for all their charges of horses and sacks, and small stipend, lived well of their labours; but now[262] the bakers of London, and other citizens, travel into the countries, and buy their corn of the farmers, after the farmers’ price.

King Edward II., in the 1st of his reign, gave to Margaret, wife to Piers de Gavestone, forty-three pounds twelve shillings and nine pence halfpenny farthing, out of the rent of London, to be received of the Queen’s hithe. Certain impositions were set upon ships and other vessels coming thither, as upon corn, salt, and other things, toward the charge of cleansing Roome-land there, the 41st of Edward III.

The 3rd of Edward IV., the market at Queen hithe being hindered by the slackness of drawing up London bridge, it was ordained, that all manner of vessels, ships, or boats, great or small, resorting to the city with victual, should be sold by retail; and that if there came but one vessel at a time, were it salt, wheat, rye, or other corn, from beyond the seas, or other grains, garlic, onions, herrings, sprats, eels, whiting, plaice, cods, mackarel, etc., then that one vessel should come to Queen hithe, and there to make sale; but if two vessels come, the one should come to Queen hithe, the other to Billingsgate; if three, two of them should come to Queen hithe, the third to Billingsgate, etc., always the more to Queen hithe; if the vessel being great, coming with salt from the Bay, and could not come to these keys, then the same to be conveyed by lighters, as before is meant.

One large house for stowage of corn craned out of lighters and barges, is there lately built; Sir John Lion, grocer, mayor 1554, by his testament, gave a hundred pounds towards it; but since increased and made larger at the charges of the city, in the year 1565.

Against this Queen’s hithe, on the river Thames, of late years, was placed a corn mill, upon or betwixt two barges or lighters, and there ground corn, as water mills in other places, to the wonder of many that had not seen the like; but this lasted not long without decay, such as caused the same barges and mill to be removed, taken asunder, and soon forgotten. I read of the like to have been in former time, as thus:—In the year 1525, the 16th of Henry VIII., Sir William Bayly being mayor, John[323] Cooke of Glocester, mercer, gave to the mayor and commonalty of London, and theirs for ever, one great barge, in the which two corn mills were made and placed, which barge and mills were set in and upon the stream of the river of Thames, within the jurisdiction and liberty of the said city of London.

And also he gave to the city all such timber, boards, stones, iron, etc., provided for making, mending, and repairing of the said barge and mills, in reward whereof the mayor gave him fifty pounds presently, and fifty pounds yearly during his life; and if the said Cooke deceased before Johan his wife, then she to have forty marks the year during her life.

Next adjoining to this Queen hithe, on the west side thereof, is Salt wharf, named of salt taken up, measured, and sold there. The next is Stew lane, of a stew or hothouse there kept. After that is Timber hithe, or Timber street, so called of timber or boards there taken up and wharfed; it is in the parish of St. Mary Somershithe, as I read in the 56th of Henry III., and in the 9th of Edward II. Then is Brookes wharf, and Broken wharf, a water gate or key, so called of being broken and fallen down into the Thames. By this Broken wharf remaineth one large old building of stone, with arched gates, which messuage, as I find, in the reign of Henry III., the 43rd year, pertaining unto Hugh de Bygot; and in the 11th of Edward III., to Thomas Brotherton, the king’s brother, Earl of Norfolk, Marshal of England; in the 11th of Henry VI. to John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, etc.

Within the gate of this house (now belonging to the city of London) is lately, to wit, in the years 1594 and 1595, built one large house of great height, called an engine, made by Bevis Bulmar, gentleman, for the conveying and forcing of Thames water to serve in the middle and west parts of the city. The ancient great hall of this messuage is yet standing, and pertaining to a great brewhouse for beer. West from this is Trigge lane, going down to Thames. Next is called Bosse lane, of a bosse of water, like unto that of Billingsgate, there placed by the executors of Richard Whittington. Then is one great messuage, sometime belonging to the abbots of Chertsey in Surrey, and was their inn, wherein they were lodged when they repaired to the city; it is now called Sandie house, by what reason I have not heard: I think the Lord Sands have been lodged there.

And this is an end of this Queen hithe ward; which hath an alderman and his deputy, common council six, constables nine,[324] scavengers eight, wardmote inquest thirteen, and a beadle. It is taxed to the fifteen in London twenty pounds, and in the Exchequer at nineteen pounds sixteen shillings and two pence.