Index to Stow's original Survey of London written in 1598
Having treated of wards in London, on the north side of the Thames (in number twenty-five), I am now to cross over the said river into the borough of Southwark, which is also a ward of London without the walls, on the south side thereof, as is Portsoken on the east, and Farringdon extra on the west.
This borough being in the county of Surrey, consisteth of divers streets, ways, and winding lanes, all full of buildings, inhabited; and, first, to begin at the west part thereof, over against the west suburb of the city.
On the bank of the river Thames there is now a continual building of tenements, about half a mile in length to the bridge. Then from the bridge, straight towards the south, a continual street, called Long Southwark, built on both sides with divers lanes and alleys up to St. George’s church, and beyond it through Blackman street towards New town (or Newington); the liberties of which borough extend almost to the parish church of New town aforesaid, distant one mile from London Bridge, and also south-west a continual building almost to Lambeth, more than one mile from the said bridge.
Then from the bridge along by the Thames eastward is St. Olave’s street, having continual building on both the sides, with lanes and alleys, up to Battle bridge, to Horsedowne, and towards Rother hithe; also some good half mile in length from London Bridge.
So that I account the whole continual buildings on the bank of the said river, from the west towards the east, to be more than a large mile in length.
Then have ye, from the entering towards the said Horsedown, one other continual street called Bermondes high street, which stretcheth south, likewise furnished with buildings on both sides, almost half a mile in length, up to the late dissolved monastery of St. Saviour called Bermondsey. And from thence is one Long lane (so called of the length), turning west to St. George’s church afore named. Out of the which lane mentioned Long lane breaketh one other street towards the south and by east, and this is called Kentish street, for that is the way leading into that country: and so have you the bounds of this borough.
The antiquities most notable in this borough are these: First, for ecclesiastical, there was Bermondsey, an abbey of black monks, St. Mary Overies, a priory of canons regular, St. Thomas, a college or hospital for the poor, and the Loke, a lazar house in Kent street. Parish churches there have been six, whereof five do remain; viz., St. Mary Magdalen, in the priory of St. Mary Overy, now the same St. Mary Overy is the parish church for the said Mary Magdalen, and for St. Margaret on the hill, and is called St. Saviour.
St. Margaret on the hill being put down is now a court for justice; St. Thomas in the hospital serveth for a parish church as before; St. George a parish church as before it did; so doth St. Olave and St. Mary Magdalen, by the abbey of Bermondsey.
There be also these five prisons or gaols:
The Clinke on the Banke.
The Compter, in the late parish church of St. Margaret.
The Kinges Bench.
And the White Lion, all in Long Southwarke.
Houses most notable be these:
The Bishop of Winchester’s house.
The Bishop of Rochester’s house.
The Duke of Suffolk’s house, or Southwark place.
The Tabard, an hostery or inn.
The Abbot of Hyde, his house.
The Prior of Lewes, his house.
The Abbot of St. Augustine, his house.
The Bridge house.
The Abbot of Battaile, his house.
The Stewes on the bank of Thames.
And the Bear gardens there.
Now, to return to the west bank, there be two bear gardens, the old and new places, wherein be kept bears, bulls, and other beasts, to be baited; as also mastiffs in several kennels, nourished to bait them. These bears and other beasts are there baited in plots of ground, scaffolded about for the beholders to stand safe.
Next on this bank was sometime the Bordello, or Stewes, a place so called of certain stew-houses privileged there, for the repair of incontinent men to the like women; of the which privilege I have read thus:
In a parliament holden at Westminster, the 8th of Henry II., it was ordained by the commons, and confirmed by the king and lords, that divers constitutions for ever should be kept within that lordship or franchise, according to the old customs that had been there used time out of mind: amongst the which these following were some, viz.
“That no stew-holder or his wife should let or stay any single woman, to go and come freely at all times when they listed.
“No stew-holder to keep any woman to board, but she to board abroad at her pleasure.
“To take no more for the woman’s chamber in the week than fourteen pence.
“Not to keep open his doors upon the holidays.
“Not to keep any single woman in his house on the holidays, but the bailiff to see them voided out of the lordship.
“No single woman to be kept against her will that would leave her sin.
“No stew-holder to receive any woman of religion, or any man’s wife.
“No single woman to take money to lie with any man, but she lie with him all night till the morrow.
“No man to be drawn or enticed into any stew-house.
“The constables, bailiff, and others, every week to search every stew-house.
“No stew-holder to keep any woman that hath the perilous infirmity of burning, not to sell bread, ale, flesh, fish, wood, coal, or any victuals, etc.”
These and many more orders were to be observed upon great pain and punishment. I have also seen divers patents of confirmation, namely, one dated 1345, the 19th of Edward III. Also I find, that in the 4th of Richard II., these stew-houses belonging to William Walworth, then mayor of London, were farmed by Froes of Flanders, and spoiled by Walter Tyler, and other rebels of Kent: notwithstanding, I find that ordinances for the same place and houses were again confirmed in the reign of Henry VI., to be continued as before. Also, Robert Fabian writeth, that in the year 1506, the 21st of Henry VII., the said stew-houses in Southwarke were for a season inhibited, and the doors closed up, but it was not long (saith he) ere the houses there were set open again, so many as were permitted, for (as it was said) whereas before were eighteen houses, from thenceforth were appointed to be used but twelve only. These allowed stew-houses had signs on their fronts, towards the Thames, not hanged out, but painted on the walls, as a Boar’s head, the Cross keys, the Gun, the Castle, the Crane, the Cardinal’s hat, the Bell, the Swan, etc. I have heard of ancient men, of good credit, report, that these single women were forbidden the rites of the church, so long as they continued that sinful life, and were excluded from Christian burial, if they were not reconciled before their death. And therefore there was a plot of ground called the Single Woman’s churchyard, appointed for them far from the parish church.
In the year of Christ 1546, the 37th of Henry VIII., this row of stews in Southwarke was put down by the king’s commandment, which was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, no more to be privileged, and used as a common brothel, but the inhabitants of the same to keep good and honest rule as in other places of this realm, etc.
Then next is the Clinke, a gaol or prison for the trespassers in those parts; namely, in old time, for such as should brabble, frey, or break the peace on the said bank, or in the brothel houses, they were by the inhabitants thereabout apprehended and committed to this gaol, where they were straitly imprisoned.
Next is the bishop of Winchester’s house, or lodging, when he cometh to this city; which house was first built by William Gifford, bishop of Winchester, about the year 1107, the 7th of Henry I., upon a plot of ground pertaining to the prior of Bermondsey, as appeareth by a writ directed unto the barons of the Exchequer, in the year 1366, the 41st of Edward III. (the bishop’s see being void), for eight pounds, due to the monks of Bermondsey for the bishop of Winchester’s lodging in Southwark. This is a very fair house, well repaired, and hath a large wharf and landing-place, called the bishop of Winchester’s stairs.
Adjoining to this, on the south side the roof, is the bishop of Rochester’s inn or lodging, by whom first erected I do not now remember me to have read; but well I wot the same of long time hath not been frequented by any bishop, and lieth ruinous for any lack of reparations. The abbot of Maverley had a house there.
East from the bishop of Winchester’s house, directly over against it, standeth a fair church called St. Mary over the Rie, or Overie, that is over the water. This church, or some other in place thereof, was of old time, long before the Conquest, a house of sisters, founded by a maiden named Mary; unto the which house and sisters she left (as was left to her by her parents) the oversight and profits of a cross ferry, or traverse ferry over the Thames, there kept before that any bridge was built. This house of sisters was after by Swithen, a noble lady, converted into a college of priests, who in place of the ferry built a bridge of timber, and from time to time kept the same in good reparations, but lastly the same bridge was built of stone; and then in the year 1106 was this church again founded for canons regulars by William Pont de la Arche and William Dauncy, knights, Normans.
William Gifford, bishop of Winchester, was a good benefactor also, for he, as some have noted, built the body of that church in the year 1106, the 7th of Henry I.
The canons first entered the said church then; Algodus was the first prior.
King Henry I. by his charter gave them the church of St. Margaret in Southwarke.
King Stephen confirmed the gift of King Henry, and also gave the stone-house, which was William Pont de le Arche’s, by Downegate.
This priory was burnt about the year 1207, wherefore the canons did found a hospital near unto their priory, where they celebrated until the priory was repaired; which hospital was after, by consent of Peter de la Roch, bishop of Winchester, removed into the land of Anicius, archdeacon of Surrey, in the year 1228, a place where the water was more plentiful, and the air more wholesome, and was dedicated to St. Thomas.
This Peter de Rupibus, or de la Roch, founded a large chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, in the said church of St. Mary Overie; which chapel was after appointed to be the parish church for the inhabitants near adjoining.
This church was again newly built in the reign of Richard II. and King Henry IV.
John Gower, esquire, a famous poet, was then an especial benefactor to that work, and was there buried on the north side of the said church, in the chapel of St. John, where he founded a chantry: he lieth under a tomb of stone, with his image, also of stone, over him: the hair of his head, auburn, long to his shoulders, but curling up, and a small forked beard; on his head a chaplet, like a coronet of four roses; a habit of purple, damasked down to his feet; a collar of esses gold about his neck; under his head the likeness of three books, which he compiled. The first, named Speculum Meditantis, written in French; the second, Vox Clamantis, penned in Latin; the third, Confessio Amantis, written in English, and this last is printed. Vox Clamantis, with his Cronica Tripartita, and other, both in Latin and French, never printed, I have and do possess, but Speculum Meditantis I never saw, though heard thereof to be in Kent. Beside on the wall where he lieth, there was painted three virgins crowned; one of the which was named Charity, holding this device:
The second writing, Mercy, with this device:
The third writing, Pity, with this device:
His arms a field argent, on a cheveron azure, three leopards’ heads gold, their tongues gules; two angels supporters, on the crest a talbot: his epitaph,
The roof of the middle west aisle fell down in the year 1469. This priory was surrendered to Henry VIII., the 31st of his reign, the 27th of October, the year of Christ 1539, valued at £624 6s. 6d. by the year.
About Christmas next following, the church of the said priory was purchased of the king by the inhabitants of the borough, Doctor Stephen Gardner, bishop of Winchester, putting to his helping hand; they made thereof a parish church for the parish church of St. Mary Magdalen, on the south side of the said choir, and of St. Margaret on the hill, which were made one parish of St. Saviour.
There be monuments in this church,—of Robert Liliarde, or Hiliarde, esquire; Margaret, daughter to the Lady Audley, wife to Sir Thomas Audley; William Grevill, esquire, and Margaret his wife; one of the heirs of William Spershut, esquire; Dame Katherine, wife to John Stoke, alderman; Robert Merfin, esquire; William Undall, esquire; Lord Ospay Ferar; Sir George Brewes, knight; John Browne; Lady Brandon, wife to Sir Thomas Brandon; William, Lord Scales; William, Earl Warren; Dame Maude, wife to Sir John Peach; Lewknor; Dame Margaret Elrington, one of the heirs of Sir Thomas Elrington; John Bowden, esquire; Robert St. Magil; John Sandhurst; John Gower; John Duncell, merchant-tailor, 1516; John Sturton, esquire; Robert Rouse; Thomas Tong, first Norroy, and after Clarenceaux king of arms; William Wickham, translated from the see of Lincoln to the bishopric of Winchester in the month of March, 1595, deceased the 11th of June next following, and was buried here; Thomas Cure, esquire, saddler to King Edward VI., Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, deceased the 24th of May, 1598, etc.
Now passing through St. Mary Over’s close (in possession of the Lord Mountacute), and Pepper alley, into Long Southwark, on the right hand thereof the market-hill, where the leather is sold, there stood the late named parish church of St. Margaret, given to St. Mary Overies by Henry I., put down and joined with the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, and united to the late dissolved priory church of St. Mary Overy.
A part of this parish church of St. Margaret is now a court, wherein the assizes and sessions be kept, and the court of admiralty is also there kept. One other part of the same church is now a prison, called the Compter in Southwark, etc.
Farther up on that side, almost directly over against St. George’s church, was sometime a large and most sumptuous house, built by Charles Brandon, late Duke of Suffolk, in the reign of Henry VIII., which was called Suffolk house, but coming afterwards into the king’s hands, the same was called Southwarke place, and a mint of coinage was there kept for the king.
To this place came King Edward VI., in the second of his reign, from Hampton Court, and dined in it. He at that time made John Yorke, one of the sheriffs of London, knight, and then rode through the city to Westminster.
Queen Mary gave this house to Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of Yorke, and to his successors, for ever, to be their inn or lodging for their repair to London, in recompense of Yorke house near to Westminster, which King Henry her father had taken from Cardinal Wolsey, and from the see of Yorke.
Archbishop Heath sold the same house to a merchant, or to merchants, that pulled it down, sold the lead, stone, iron, etc.; and in place thereof built many small cottages of great rents, to the increasing of beggars in that borough. The archbishop bought Norwich house, or Suffolke place, near unto Charing cross, because it was near unto the court, and left it to his successors.
Now on the south side to return back again towards the bridge, over against this Suffolke place, is the parish church of St. George, sometime pertaining to the priory of Barmondsey, by the gift of Thomas Arderne and Thomas his son, in the year 1122. There lie buried in this church, William Kirton, esquire, and his wives, 1464.
Then is the White Lion, a gaol so called, for that the same was a common hosterie for the receipt of travellers by that sign. This house was first used as a gaol within these forty years last, since the which time the prisoners were once removed thence to a house in Newtowne, where they remained for a short time, and were returned back again to the foresaid White Lion, there to remain as in the appointed gaol for the county of Surrey.
Next is the gaol or prison of the King’s Bench, but of what antiquity the same is I know not. For I have read that the courts of the King’s Bench and Chancery have ofttimes been removed from London to other places, and so hath likewise the gaols that serve those courts; as in the year 1304, Edward I. commanded the courts of the King’s Bench and the Exchequer, which had remained seven years at Yorke, to be removed to their old places at London. And in the year 1387, the 11th of Richard II., Robert Tresilian, chief justice, came to the city of Coventrie, and there sate by the space of a month, as justice of the Kinge’s benches, and caused to be indited in that court, about the number of two thousand persons of that country, etc.
It seemeth, therefore, that for that time, the prison or gaol of that court was not far off. Also in the year 1392, the 16th of the same Richard, the Archbishop of York being Lord Chancellor, for good will that he bare to his city, caused the King’s Bench and Chancery to be removed from London to York, but ere long they were returned to London.
Then is the Marshalsey, another gaol or prison, so called, as pertaining to the marshals of England. Of what continuance kept in Southwark I have not learned; but like it is, that the same hath been removable, at the pleasure of the marshals: for I find that in the year 1376, the 50th of Edward III., Henry Percie (being marshal) kept his prisoners in the city of London, where having committed one John Prendergast, of Norwich, contrary to the liberties of the city of London, the citizens, by persuasion of the Lord Fitzwalter their standard-bearer, took armour and ran with great rage to the marshal’s inn, brake up the gates, brought out the prisoner, and conveyed him away, minding to have burnt the stocks in the midst of their city, but they first sought for Sir Henry Percy to have punished him, as I have noted in my Annales.
More about the feast of Easter next following, John, Duke of Lancaster, having caused all the whole navy of England to be gathered together at London: it chanced a certain esquire to kill one of the shipmen, which act the other shipmen taking in ill part, they brought their suit into the king’s court of the Marshalsey, which then as chanced (saith mine author) was kept in Southwark: but when they perceived that court to be so favourable to the murderer, and further that the king’s warrant was also gotten for his pardon, they in great fury ran to the house wherein the murderer was imprisoned, brake into it, and brought forth the prisoner with his gyves on his legs, they thrust a knife to his heart, and sticked him as if he had been a dog; after this they tied a rope to his gyves, and drew him to the gallows, where when they had hanged him, as though they had done a great act, they caused the trumpets to be sounded before them to their ships, and there in great triumph they spent the rest of the day.
Also the rebels of Kent, in the year 1381, brake down the houses of the Marshalsey and King’s Bench in Southwark, took from thence the prisoners, brake down the house of Sir John Immorth, then marshal of the Marshalsey and King’s Bench, etc. After this, in the year 1387, the 11th of Richard II., the morrow after Bartholomew day, the king kept a great council in the castle of Nottingham, and the Marshalsey of the king was then kept at Loughborrow by the space of five days or more. In the year 1443, Sir Walter Manny was marshal of the Marshalsey, the 22nd of Henry VI. William Brandon, esquire, was marshal in the 8th of Edward IV. In the year 1504 the prisoners of the Marshalsey, then in Southwark, brake out, and many of them being taken were executed, especially such as had been committed for felony or treason.
From thence towards London bridge, on the same side, be many fair inns, for recepit of travellers, by these signs, the Spurre, Christopher, Bull, Queene’s Head, Tabarde, George, Hart, Kinge’s Head, etc. Amongst the which, the most ancient is the Tabard, so called of the sign, which, as we now term it, is of a jacket, or sleeveless coat, whole before, open on both sides, with a square collar, winged at the shoulders; a stately garment of old time, commonly worn of noblemen and others, both at home and abroad in the wars, but then (to wit in the wars) their arms embroidered, or otherwise depict upon them, that every man by his coat of arms might be known from others: but now these tabards are only worn by the heralds, and be called their coats of arms in service; for the inn of the tabard, Geffrey Chaucer, esquire, the most famous poet of England, in commendation thereof, writeth thus:—
Within this inn was also the lodging of the abbot of Hide (by the city of Winchester), a fair house for him and his train, when he came to that city to parliament, etc.
And then Theeves lane, by St. Thomas’ hospital. The hospital of St. Thomas, first founded by Richard Prior of Bermondsey, in the Selerers ground against the wall of the monastery, in the year 1213, he named it the Almerie, or house of alms for converts and poor children; for the which ground the prior ordained that the almoner should pay ten shillings and four pence yearly to the Selerer at Michaelmas.
But Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, in the year 1215, founded the same again more fully for canons regular in place of the first hospital; he increased the rent thereof to three hundred and forty-four pounds in the year. Thus was this hospital holden of the prior and abbot of Bermondsey till the year 1428, at which time a composition was made between Thomas Thetford, abbot of Bermondsey, and Nicholas Buckland, master of the said hospital of St. Thomas, for all the lands and tenements which were holden of the said abbot and convent in Southwark, or elsewhere, for the old rent to be paid unto the said abbot.
There be monuments in this hospital church of Sir Robert Chamber, knight; William Fines, Lord Say; Richard Chaucer, John Gloucester, Adam Atwood, John Ward, Michael Cambridge, William West, John Golding, esquires; John Benham, George Kirkes, Thomas Kninton, Thomas Baker, gentlemen; Robert, son to Sir Thomas Fleming; Agnes, wife to Sir Walter Dennis, knight, daughter, and one of the heirs of Sir Robert Danvars; John Evarey, gentleman; etc.
This hospital was by the visitors, in the year 1538, valued at two hundred and sixty-six pounds seventeen shillings and six pence, and was surrendered to Henry VIII., in the 30th of his reign.
In the year 1552, the citizens of London having purchased the void suppressed hospital of St. Thomas in Southwark, in the month of July began the reparations thereof, for poor, impotent, lame, and diseased people, so that in the month of November next following, the sick and poor people were taken in. And in the year 1553, on the 10th of April, King Edward VI., in the 7th of his reign, gave to the mayor, commonalty, and citizens of London, to be a workhouse for the poor and idle persons of this city, his house of Bridewell, and seven hundred marks land of the Savoy rents, which hospital he had suppressed, with all the beds, bedding, and other furniture belonging to the same, towards the maintenance of the said workhouse of Bridewell, and of this hospital of St. Thomas in Southwark. This gift the king confirmed by his charter, dated the 26th of June next following, and willed it to be called the King’s hospital in Southwark.
The church of this hospital, which of old time served for the tenements near adjoining, and pertaining to the said hospital, remaineth as a parish church.
But now to come to St. Olave’s street. On the bank of the river of Thames, is the parish church of St. Olave, a fair and meet large church, but a far larger parish especially of aliens or strangers, and poor people; in which church there lieth entombed Sir John Burcettur, knight, 1466.
Over against this parish church, on the south side the street was sometime one great house built of stone, with arched gates, pertaining to the prior of Lewes in Sussex, and was his lodging when he came to London; it is now a common hosterie for travellers, and hath to sign the Walnut Tree.
Then east from the said parish church of St. Olave is a key. In the year 1330, by the license of Simon Swanlond, mayor of London, built by Isabel, widow to Hamond Goodchepe. And next thereunto was then a great house of stone and timber, belonging to the abbot of St. Augustine without the walls of Canterburie, which was an ancient piece of work, and seemeth to be one of the first built houses on that side the river over-against the city; it was called the abbot’s inn of St. Augustine in Southwark, and was sometime holden of the Earls of Warren and Surrey, as appeareth by a deed made 1281, which I have read, and may be Englished thus:—
“To all whom this present writing shall come, John Earl Warren sendeth greeting. Know ye, that we have altogether remised and quit-claimed for us and our heirs for ever, to Nicholas, abbot of St. Augustine’s of Canterburie, and the convent of the same, and their successors, suit to our court of Southwarke, which they owe unto us, for all that messuage and houses thereon built, and all their appurtenances, which they have of our fee in Southwarke, situate upon the Thames, between the Bridge house and the church of St. Olave. And the said messuage, with the buildings thereon built, and all their appurtenances, to them and their successors, we have granted in perpetual alms, to hold of us and our heirs for the same, saving the service due to any other persons, if any such be, then to us; and for this remit and grant the said abbot and convent have given unto us five shillings of rent yearly in Southwarke, and have received us and our heirs in all benefices which shall be in their church for ever.” This suit of court one William Graspeis was bound to do to the said earl for the said messuage, and heretofore to acquit in all things the church of St. Augustine against the said earl.
This house of late time belonged to Sir Anthony Sentlegar, then to Warham Sentlegar, etc., and is now called Sentlegar house, but divided into sundry tenements. Next is the Bridgehouse, so called as being a storehouse for stone, timber, or whatsoever pertaining to the building or repairing of London bridge.
This house seemeth to have taken beginning with the first founding of the bridge either of stone or timber; it is a large plot of ground, on the bank of the river Thames, containing divers large buildings for stowage of things necessary towards reparation of the said bridge.
There are also divers garners, for laying up of wheat, and other grainers for service of the city, as need requireth. Moreover, there be certain ovens built, in number ten, of which six be very large, the other four being but half so big. These were purposely made to bake out the bread corn of the said grainers, to the best advantage for relief of the poor citizens, when need should require. Sir John Throstone, knight, sometime an embroiderer, then a goldsmith, one of the sheriffs 1516, gave by his testament towards the making of these ovens, two hundred pounds, which thing was performed by his executors. Sir John Munday, goldsmith, then being mayor, there was of late, for the enlarging of the said Bridge house, taken in an old brewhouse, called Goldings, which was given to the city by George Monex, sometime mayor, and in place thereof, is now a fair brewhouse new built, for service of the city with beer.
Next was the abbot of Battailes inn, betwixt the Bridge house and Battaile bridge, likewise on the bank of the river of Thames; the walks and gardens thereunto appertaining, on the other side of the way before the gate of the said house, and was called the Maze; there is now an inn, called the Flower de Luce, for that the sign is three Flower de Luces. Much other buildings of small tenements are thereon builded, replenished with strangers and other, for the most part poor people.
Then is Battaile bridge, so called of Battaile abbey, for that it standeth on the ground, and over a water-course (flowing out of Thames) pertaining to that abbey, and was, therefore, both built and repaired by the abbots of that house, as being hard adjoining to the abbot’s lodging.
Beyond this bridge is Bermondsey street, turning south, in the south end whereof was sometime a priory or abbey of St. Saviour, called Bermond’s Eye in Southwark, founded by Alwin Childe, a citizen of London, in the year 1081.
Peter, Richard, Obstert, and Umbalde, monks de Charitate, came unto Bermondsey, in the year 1089, and Peter was made first prior there, by appointment of the prior of the house, called Charity in France, by which means this priory of Bermondsey (being a cell to that in France) was accounted a priory of Aliens.
In the year 1094 deceased Alwin Childe, founder of this house. Then William Rufus gave to the monks his manor of Bermondsey, with the appurtenances, and built for them there a new great church.
Robert Blewet, Bishop of Lincolne (King William’s chancellor), gave them the manor of Charlton, with the appurtenances. Also Geffrey Martell, by the grant of Geffrey Magnavile, gave them the land of Halingbury, and the tithe of Alferton, etc.
More, in the year 1122, Thomas of Arderne, and Thomas his son, gave to the monks of Bermond’s Eye the church of St. George in Southwark, etc.
In the year 1165, King Henry II. confirmed to them the hyde or territory of Southwark, and Laygham Wadden, with the land of Coleman, etc.
In the year 1371, the priors of Aliens, throughout England, being seized into the king’s hands, Richard Denton an Englishman was made prior of Bermondsey, to whom was committed the custody of the said priory, by the letters patents of King Edward III., saving to the king the advowsons of churches.
In the year 1380, the 4th of Richard II., this priory was made a denison (or free English) for the fine of two hundred marks paid to the king’s Hanaper in the Chancery. In the year 1399 John Attelborough, prior of Bermondsey, was made the first abbot of that house by Pope Boniface IX., at the suit of King Richard II.
In the year 1417, Thomas Thetford, abbot of Bermondsey, held a plea in chancery against the king, for the manors of Preston, Bermondsey, and Stone, in the county of Somerset, in the which suit the abbot prevailed and recovered against the king.
In the year 1539 this abbey was valued to dispend by the year four hundred and seventy-four pounds fourteen shillings and four pence halfpenny, and was surrendered to Henry VIII., the 31st of his reign; the abbey church was then pulled down by Sir Thomas Pope, knight, and in place thereof a goodly house built of stone and timber, now pertaining to the earls of Sussex.
There are buried in that church, Leoftane, provost, shrive or domesman of London, 1115; Sir William Bowes, knight, and Dame Elizabeth his wife; Sir Thomas Pikeworth, knight; Dame Anne Audley; George, son to John Lord Audley; John Winkefield, esquire; Sir Nicholas Blonket, knight; Dame Bridget, wife to William Trussell; Holgrave, baron of the exchequer; etc.
Next unto this abbey church standeth a proper church of St. Mary Magdalen, built by the priors of Bermondsey, serving for resort of the inhabitants (tenants to the prior or abbots near adjoining) there to have their Divine service: this church remaineth, and serveth as afore, and is called a parish church.
Then in Kent street is a lazar house for leprous people, called the Loke in Southwark; the foundation whereof I find not. Now, having touched divers principal parts of this borough, I am to speak somewhat of its government, and so to end.
This borough, upon petition made by the citizens of London to Edward I., in the 1st year of his reign, was, for divers causes, by parliament granted to them for ever, yielding into the exchequer the fee-firm of ten pounds by the year; which grant was confirmed by Edward III., who, in the 3rd of his reign gave them license to take a toll towards the charge of paving the said borough with stone. Henry IV. confirmed the grant of his predecessors, so did Edward IV., etc.
But in the year 1550, King Edward VI., for the sum of six hundred and forty-seven pounds two shillings and one penny, paid into his court of augmentations and revenues of his crown, granted to the mayor and commonalty all his lands and tenements in Southwark, except, and reserved, the capital messuage, two mansions, called Southwark place, late the Duke of Suffolk’s, and all the gardens and lands to the same appertaining, the park, and the messuage called the Antilope. Moreover, he gave them the lordship and manor of Southwark, with all members and rights thereof, late pertaining to the monastery of Bermondsey. And all messuages, places, buildings, rents, courts, waifs and strays, to the same appertaining, in the county of Surrey, except as is before excepted. He also granted unto them his manor and borough of Southwark, with all the members, rights, and appurtenances, late of the possession of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his see in Southwark. Moreover, for the sum of five hundred marks, he granted to the said mayor and commonalty, and their successors, in and through the borough and town of Southwark, and in all the parishes of St. Saviour, St. Olave, and St. George, and the parish of St. Thomas Hospital, now called the King’s hospital, and elsewhere, in the said town and borough of Southwark, and Kentish street, Bermondsey street, in the parish of Newington, all waifs and strays, treasure trove, all felons’ goods, etc., within the parishes and precinct aforesaid, etc.: the return of writs, processes, and warrants, etc.: together with a fair in the whole town for three days, to wit, the 7th, 8th, and 9th of September, yearly, with a court of pye powders. A view of franke pledge, with attachments, arrests, etc. Also to arrest all felons, and other malefactors, within their precinct, and send them to ward, and to Newgate. Provided that nothing in that grant should be prejudicial to the stewards and marshal of the king’s house. The same premises to be holden of the manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, by fealty in free forage. Dated at Westminster, the 23rd of April, in the 4th of his reign. All which was also confirmed by parliament, etc. And the same year, in the Whitsun week, in a court of aldermen, kept at the Guildhall of London, Sir John Aylophe, knight, was sworn the first alderman of Bridge ward without, and made up the number of twenty-six aldermen of London.
This borough at a subsidy to the king yieldeth about one thousand marks, or eight hundred pounds, which is more than any one city in England payeth, except the city of London. And also the muster of men in this borough doth likewise in number surpass all other cities, except London. And thus much for the borough of Southwark, one of the twenty-six wards of London, which hath an alderman, deputies three, and a bailiff, common-council none, constables sixteen, scavengers six, wardmote inquest twenty. And is taxed to the fifteen at seventeen pounds seventeen shillings and eight pence.