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Title: London Before the Conquest
Author: Lethaby, W. R. (William Richard), 1857-1931
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  "Now would I fain
  In wordys playn,
  Some honoure sayen,
  And bring to mynde
  Of that auncient cytie
  That so goodly is to se."


  _All rights reserved_

  "_Lundres est mult riche cite,
  Meliur n'ad en Cristienté
  Pur vaillance, ni melx assisé,
  Melx gaurnie, de grant prisee;
  Al pe del mur li curt Tamise
  Pur li vent la marchandise
  Des tutes les qui sunt
  U marcheans Crestiens vient._"
                        _Roman de Tristan._



  INTRODUCTION                                                     1

    ENGLISH COME TO LONDON--ALFRED'S LONDON                        6

    RIVERS AND FORDS                                              38

    ROADS AND THE BRIDGE                                          52

    THE WALLS, GATES, AND QUAYS                                   74

    PORTLANDS AND CNIHTENGILD                                    101

    THE WARDS AND PARISHES--THE PALACE                           126



    THE GOVERNMENT OF EARLY LONDON                               187

    LONDINIUM                                                    198

    LONDON                                                       212


  London and the Thames, from Speed's Map, 1610             _Frontispiece_


  FIG. 1.--Goddess of Hope. (Roman bronze found in London).
  Restored from Roach Smith's _Collectanea_. About
  two-thirds full size                                                   4

  FIG. 2.--Stone Weapons, from the Thames at Westminster. From
  the Roach Smith Collection                                             7

  FIG. 3.--Centre of Celtic Bronze Shield, from the Thames at
  Wandsworth. Now in the British Museum                                  8

  FIG. 4.--Celtic Bronze Swords                                          9

  FIG. 5.--Coin of Cunobeline. Enlarged                                 10

  FIG. 6.--Bronze Lamp, Roman, found in London                          11

  FIG. 7.--Coin of Claudius and another of Constantius, the
  latter inscribed London (P. LON). Enlarged. The first shows
  an equestrian statue over a triumphal arch lettered DE
  BRITANN; the second an altar to Peace, inscribed BEAT
  TRANQLITAS                                                            18

  FIG. 8.--Christian Monogram from Cakes of Pewter found at
  Battersea. Now in the British Museum. One, in addition to
  the [Greek: CHR], has the words SPES IN DEO; the other
  [Greek: A·Ô·]                                                         21

  FIG. 9.--Bronze Bracelet found in London; ornamented with a
  Cross. Now in the British Museum                                      23

  FIG. 10.--Head of a Pin found in London. Now in the British
  Museum. A little less than full size. The subject seems to
  represent Constantine's vision of the Cross                           24

  FIG. 11.--Enamelled Plate of Bronze, about half size of
  original, found in London. Now in the British Museum. From
  Roach Smith's collection                                              25

  FIG. 12.--Cross from Mosaic Pavement found in London. Now in
  the British Museum. It forms the centre of a geometrical
  pattern                                                               27

  FIG. 13.--Saxon Spear found in London, and now in the
  British Museum                                                        29

  FIG. 14.--Coin of Halfdan, with Monogram of London. From a
  unique example in the British Museum. It seems to have been
  coined on the taking of London by the Dane leader in 872              35

  FIG. 15.--Saxon Swordhilt, of pierced bronze. Now in the
  British Museum. Found in London                                       36

  FIG. 16.--Earliest printed view of London, from the _Cronycle
  of Englonde_, Pynson, 1510                                            39

  FIG. 17.--London and the Roman Roads: The Watling Street
  through Greenwich and Edgware; the Erming Street through
  Merton and Edmonton, called also the Stone Street south of
  London; the Here Street through Brentford and Stratford               53

  FIG. 18.--Roman Wall of London. Restored after the facts
  given by Roach Smith; the battlements and ditch added                 75

  FIG. 19.--Detail of Roman Wall of London. From a drawing of
  Roach Smith's                                                         77

  FIG. 20.--From the Common Seal. Reverse, enlarged, 1224. See
  also Fig. 23; it shows the city wall with battlements and
  turrets                                                               78

  FIG. 21.--Section of Roman Wall and Ditch. Restored from
  excavation near Aldersgate recorded in _Archæologia_                  80

  FIG. 22.--From Matthew Paris, 1236. From MS. in the British
  Museum, describing the route to Jerusalem. It gives the names
  of six gates, the spire of St. Paul's, etc., and refers to
  the legend of "Troie la Nuvela"                                       83

  FIG. 23.--The Common Seal of London, 1224. It shows St. Paul
  patron of the City, such as he was figured on the City
  banner, rising behind one of the gates; right and left the
  Tower and Baynard's Castle                                            85

  FIG. 24.--Fragment found in the South Wall, against the
  river. From Roach Smith's _Collectanea_. It looks late work,
  but is of marble                                                      91

  FIG. 25.--Fragment found in South Wall with the last                  93

  FIG. 26.--Danish Sword from the Thames at London. Recently
  shown in the New Gallery. The hilt was inlaid in precious
  metal. There are similar swords in the British Museum, called
  the Scandinavian type                                                112

  FIG. 27.--Plan showing the relation of the Central Wards and
  the principal Streets; also the extent of the extra-mural
  liberties. Notice especially how Bridge, Langbourne, and
  Bishopsgate Wards lie over the two great streets, and meet at
  the Fourways of the great Roman Roads. See Fig. 17                   127

  FIG. 28.--Saxon Brooch found in Cheapside. Of lead; nearly
  full size. In the British Museum                                     153

  FIG. 29.--Coin of Alfred, with Monogram of London. Enlarged.
  The name in the field is that of the moneyer. Compare
  monogram with Fig. 14, from which it seems to have been
  copied                                                               155

  FIG. 30.--Tomb of King Ethelred, 1017. In Old St. Paul's.
  From Hollar's drawing in Dugdale                                     162

  FIG. 31.--Ninth or Tenth Century Tombstone from St. Paul's
  Churchyard. Inscribed in runes. Now in the Guildhall Museum          164

  FIG. 32.--Saxon Tomb from St. Benet Fink. Restored from
  fragment in the British Museum; compared with one found at
  Cambridge, like the entire figure                                    166

  FIG. 33.--Head of Cross from St. John's, Walbrook. Now in the
  British Museum                                                       168

  FIG. 34.--Saxon Coffin-lid from Westminster Abbey, North
  Cemetery, now by entrance to Chapter-House. It had been added
  to a Roman sarcophagus                                               170

  FIG. 35.--Roman Pavement found in Threadneedle Street. Drawn
  _in situ_ by Fairholt, 1854. From the original in the
  author's collection                                                  199

  FIG. 36.--Roman Brick, inscribed London, about one-twelfth
  full size. From Roach Smith                                          203

  FIG. 37.--Inscriptions from Roman Brick. P·BRI·LON                   203

  FIG. 38.--Roman Tomb from outside of the East Walls. Restored
  from fragments found together, and now in the British Museum         205

  FIG. 39.--Inscription from Roman Tomb. Now in the British
  Museum                                                               206

  FIG. 40.--End of a Roman Tomb found in London. Now in the
  British Museum. From a drawing by W. Archer                          207

  FIG. 41.--Leaden Cist for funereal use, found in London, and
  now in the British Museum                                            207

  FIG. 42.--Plate of Figured Glass for Decoration, about
  two-thirds full size. Now in the British Museum. Found in
  London. Figure restored. From Roach Smith                            208

  FIG. 43.--Roman Inscription, from Clement Lane, E.C.; now
  lost. About two feet high                                            209


    A great burh, Lundunaborg, which is the greatest and most famous of
    all burhs in the northern lands.--_Ragnar Lodbrok Saga._

Of the hundreds of books concerning London, there is not one which treats
of its ancient topography as a whole. There are, it is true, a great
number of studies dealing in an accurate way with details, and most of the
general histories incidentally touch on questions of reconstruction. Of
these, the former are, of course, the more valuable from the topographical
point of view, yet even an exhaustive series of such would necessarily be
inadequate for representing to us the ancient city in a comprehensive way.

In an inquiry as to the ancient state of a city, a general survey, besides
bringing isolated details into due relation, may suggest new matter for
consideration in regard to them, and offer fresh points of proof. For
instance, the extra-mural roads were directed to the several gates, the
gates governed the internal streets, while these streets ran through
wards, and gave access to churches and other buildings.

The subject of London topography is such an enormous one, and the
involutions of unfounded conjecture are so manifold, that an approximation
to the facts can only be obtained by a critical resifting of the vast
extant stores of evidence. In the present small essay I have, of course,
not been able to do this in any exhaustive way; but I have for years been
interested in the decipherment of the great palimpsest of London, and, in
trying to realise for myself what the city was like a thousand years ago,
I have in some part reconsidered the evidences. The conclusions thus
reached cannot, I think, be without some general interest, although from
the very nature of my plan they are presented in the form of notes on
particular points, and discussions of opinions commonly held, with little
attempt at unity, and none at a pictorial treatment of the subject.

Of mistaken views still largely or nearly universally accepted which will
be traversed here, I may mention a few salient examples. For instance,
Stow's opinion that London Bridge before the twelfth century was far to
the east of the later bridge, and that the mural ditch was a mediæval
work; Stukeley's opinion that the old approach through Southwark pointed
on Dowgate, that Old Street was the great west-to-east Roman road, and
that Watling Street in the city carries on the name of a street which
formerly lay across its course, running from London Bridge to Newgate.
From more recent writers, I may cite Mr. J. E. Price's idea that the Cheap
was not at an early time a thoroughfare; Mr. J. R. Green's views,[1] as
given in his _Conquest of England_, that Saxon London "grew up on ground
from which the Roman city had practically disappeared"; that the Roman
north gate and the north-to-south street were considerably to the east of
the line of Bishopsgate and Gracechurch Street; and that the Tower of
London was built by the Conqueror on "open ground only recently won from
the foreshore of the river." The plan which accompanies these views is
equally visionary; a large quarter of the city east of St. Paul's is
lettered "The Cheap"; there is no Aldgate Street (now Leadenhall Street),
the Langbourne appears as a stream, and there is a curious selection of
churches, amongst which is St. Denis, for which we are referred to a note
in Thorpe's _Ancient Laws_, regarding a gift of London property to the
monastery of _St. Denis in Francia_. Mr. Loftie holds that Aldgate was
first opened in the time of Henry I., and that no mediæval gate exactly
occupied a Roman site; that the eastern road turned off outside
Bishopsgate; that Ludgate was still more recent than Aldgate, and that it
only opened on the Fleet river; that the Strand was not a route before
mediæval days; that there was a Roman citadel on the high ground from the
Walbrook to Mincing Lane, and that the Langbourne was a ditch to this
stronghold. In the last book on the subject, called _Mediæval London_, we
are again told of the oblique Roman Watling Street; Cheap is described as
"a great square"; and it is assumed that not only the Langbourne, but the
equally mythical Oldbourne, supplied the city with water.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--GODDESS OF HOPE


I have here only rapidly set down a few of the opinions which are still
current[2]--views which are repeated, embellished, and amplified to
distraction in more popular writings, and set out with much appearance of
exactitude in most misleading maps.

The whole question, indeed, of the early topography of London is
overloaded on a quite insufficient basis of fact, and quakes and gives way
under the least pressure of examination.



  Like as the Mother of the gods, they say,
  Old Cybele, aray'd with pompous pride,
  Wearing a diademe embattild wide
  With hundred turrets, like a turribant:
  With such an one was Thamis beautifide;
  That was to weet the famous _Troynovant_.
                                  _The Faerie Queen._

_Origins._--The earliest historic monument of London is its name. The name
Londinium first appears in Tacitus under the date of A.D. 61 as that of an
_oppidum_ "not dignified with the name of a colony, but celebrated for the
gathering of dealers and commodities."

Dr. Guest propounded the theory that the city was founded by Plautius, the
general of Claudius: "When in 43 he drew the lines round his camp, he
founded the present metropolis.... The name of London refers directly to
the marshes."[3] Dr. Guest is here apparently in agreement with Godfrey
Fausett's view that the name London represents Llyn-din, the Lake-fort.[4]
Many attempts have been made to explain the name, by Camden and others,
from other Welsh roots, but nothing is more uncertain than the origin of


The tradition given by Geoffrey of Monmouth was that London was called
Caer-Lud after a King Lud. Recent writers compare this name with Lydney,
on the Severn, where a temple has been found dedicated to Nodens (or Lud),
and say that London means Lud's-town,[6] thus coming round to
Geoffrey.[7] This Nodens, who was worshipped at Lydney "as god of the
sea," appears "in Welsh as Nudd and Lludd, better known in English as
Lud."[8] Another Celtic deity, Lug or Lleu, is said to have left his name
in a similar way to Lyons, Leyden, and Laon, "each originally a Lugdunum
or Lugo's Fort."[9]


[Illustration: FIG. 4.--CELTIC BRONZE SWORDS.]

All these derivations seem mere conjectures, but the last from Lud is at
least in harmony with tradition. Yet that very tradition may be founded on
an attempt to provide an origin for the name, according to the principles
which derived Gloucester from Claudius and Leicester from the Welsh

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--COIN OF CUNOBELIN (ENLARGED).]

It is difficult to see why under Dr. Guest's theory of Roman foundation,
which is accepted in Green's _Making of England_, London should have had a
Celtic name at all. Dr. Rhys says that the name was so ancient that the
Roman attempt to change it to Augusta failed. That it was a local
habitation before the Roman occupation seems to be almost proved by the
prehistoric and early objects found on the site, amongst which are four or
five inscribed coins of Cunobelin (Cymbeline) found in the city and
neighbourhood; and it seems unlikely that a mere camp in 43 would have
grown in 61 to the important place celebrated by Tacitus. Green says that
the chief argument against its antiquity is the fact that the great
Watling Street[11] passed wide of the city through Westminster, but surely
there might be settlements below the lowest convenient passage of the
river. The Watling Street, if earlier than the settlement, _did not in any
case_ cause the town to be built on its course, and, if later, it _did
not_ pass through the settlement. The argument, indeed, goes only to prove
that either the Watling Street or London could not be where they are. Or,
at most, it might be contended that the road was more likely to go to the
town than the town was to settle on the road, and as they are not
together, that the road may be earlier than the town; but of actual time
the argument can show nothing. Altogether, nothing can be got out of this
argument, and we are free to conclude that London is at least as old as
our era.


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Legend of London._--Geoffrey of Monmouth's history of the Britons,
written about 1130, contains a legend of the founding of London, which
tells how Brutus, migrating from Troy to this western island, formed the
design of building a city. On coming to the Thames he found on its bank a
site most suitable for his purpose, and building the city there, he called
it New Troy--_Troiam Novam_, "a name afterwards corrupted into
Trinovantum." Here King Belinus afterwards built a prodigious tower and a
haven for ships under it, which the citizens call after his
name--Billingsgate--to this day. Still later King Lud surrounded the city
with strong walls and towers, and called it Caer Lud; when he died his
body was buried by the gate which is called in the British tongue
Porthlud, and in the Saxon Ludesgata.

All this was received as firm history, until, with the critical reaction
against "mere legend," it was all cast aside as fiction and forgery. From
this extreme position there is again a reaction, and Geoffrey is allowed
to have founded on earlier writings, now in part lost, and to have
embodied genuine folk-stories and lays of British origin.[12]

The Britons like all peoples must have had a legend of their origin, and
this one falls in too well with the general type of such legends for it to
be anything else than true folk-lore. Indeed, the legend of the derivation
from Brutus, and of his Trojan antecedents, appears centuries before
Geoffrey in Nennius, and the steps of its evolution can be easily
retraced. The Britons required an eponimous founder for their race as much
as the Israelites required an Israel, or the Romans a Romulus. This
founder (a supposititious Brittus) was at some time equated with Brutus,
and Britain, like so many cities in Italy, was said to be founded by a
fugitive from Troy. From Cæsar we learn that a tribe of the Trinobantes
was found by him near the north bank of the Thames. This true name of a
tribe was in the legend made to yield a city, Trinovantum, and this step
had been made before Bede and Nennius, who say that Julius defeated the
Britons near a place called Trinovantum. This name in turn was explained
by Geoffrey as being "a corruption" of Troy-novant. Thus "New Troy" again
quite naturally connects "Brutus" (or Brittus) with "Old Troy," and the
whole scheme may date back to Romano-British days.

This is the natural genesis of the myth of the founding of London, and it
is evident on the face of it that it is not the clever work of a
romance-writer embroidering on Nennius, but genuine folk-lore or imperfect

In the twelfth century the story was accepted as gospel in London. The
(so-called) Laws of the Confessor provide that the Hustings Court should
sit every Monday, for London was founded after the pattern of Great Troy,
"and to the present day contains within itself the laws and ordinances,
dignities, liberties, and royal customs of ancient Great Troy."[13]
FitzStephen refers back to the same origins, and the same were adduced in
a dispute with the Abbot of Bury as to market privileges which the
Londoners claimed dated from the foundation of the city before Rome was
founded.[14] Perhaps there is no absolutely certain proof that the Troy
story was told in London before Geoffrey's time, but it seems likely,
judging from the number of detailed London allusions in Geoffrey's work,
that there was a British and Arthurian tradition current there before he
wrote. Of the latter, at least, one positive scrap of confirmation may be
offered. Amongst the names appended to a deed at St. Paul's dated 1103 is
that of Arturus, a canon. This carries back the use of the name Arthur to
the time of the Conquest, and we may be certain that where the name was
in use, there the story of the "noble King of the Britons" was told.[15]
There was a strong contingent of the Celts of Brittany in the Conqueror's
army, and to them the invasion must have seemed a re-conquest of Britain,
and stories of the time before the Saxons took the "crown of London" must
have been revived and spread abroad.

There is some slight possibility that when Geoffrey tells us that Belinus
made a wonderful structure at the quay called after him Billingsgate, he
was not merely playing on the name of "some Saxon Billings," as has been
said, for Belinus is recognised as the best known of the Celtic gods, and
the name has been found in many inscriptions.[16] Geoffrey again tells us
that Belinus constructed the great Roman roads in Britain, and we cannot
be asked to suppose that the Roman roads were said to be the work of
Belinus because the same Saxon Mr. Billings kept a posting-house.[17] The
weight of evidence seems to allow of the view that there really were some
remarkable Roman structures at the Tower and Billingsgate which tradition
pointed to as the work of the Celtic culture-god Belinus, or of a king who
bore his name. Some remnants of a building seem to have had the myth
attached to them in the Middle Ages. Harrison, giving a version of the
story, says of the Tower, "In times past I find this Belliny held his
abode there, and thereunto extended the site of his palace in such wise
that it extended over the Broken Wharf and came farther into the city, in
so much that it approached near to Billingsgate, and as it is thought,
some of the ruins of his house are yet extant, howbeit patched up and made
warehouses, in that tract of ground in our times" (Holinshed). Belinus
seems at times to have been confused with Cæsar, and so we get the Cæsar's
Tower of Shakespeare and other writers. Stow, writing of the same "ruins,"
says, "The common people affirm Julius Cæsar to be the builder thereof, as
also of the Tower itself."

Nennius uses the name Belinus for Cassibelaunus, which latter, indeed, is
evidently derived from the former; for he speaks of Belinus
(Cassibelaunus) fighting against Cæsar. A parallel passage in Geoffrey
gives Belinus the command of the army of Cassibelaunus, but in the account
of the battle which follows we have no word of Belinus, but "Nennius," a
brother of Cassibelaunus and Lud, takes his place and perishes from a blow
of Cæsar's sword, _Crocea Mors_. "Nennius" was then buried at the North
Gate of "Trinovantum" with the sword that had slain him.[18] All this is
too confused to work out in detail, but it almost looks like a repeated
echo of some legend which made Cassibelaunus fall in a _personal_
encounter with Cæsar. At bottom perhaps it may have been some inscription,
or coin, lettered Cuno-belin, which associated the name of Belinus with a
gate of London. Such coins have been found in London. We can only be
certain that at the beginning of the twelfth century the existing name of
the gate was explained by a Celtic word.


As to Geoffrey's other story, which put a brazen man on a brazen horse
over Ludgate, it would appear to be a variation on the story of the
brazen horse of Vergilius, but I think we may find the origin of its
localisation at Ludgate in the well-known coin of Claudius, which shows an
equestrian image above an arch of triumph lettered DE BRITANN. This coin
is one of those occasionally found in England, and we may suppose ancient
antiquaries reasoned thus about it: "It must represent a city gate in
Britain; the most important is the gate of London--Ludgate." Why was the
brazen horse put there? "For a terror to the Saxons" (so in Geoffrey). Who
put it there? "King Lud himself, or Cadwaladr, the last British king."
When did it disappear? "When the Saxons entered the city"--as in the
Prophecy of Merlin, "The brazen man upon a brazen horse shall for long
guard the gates of London.... After that shall the German Worm (dragon)
be crowned and the Brazen Prince be buried." It was supposed to have been
the palladium of Caer Lud, "and the sygte ther of the Saxons aferde."[19]

For me the old British Solar God lights up the squalor of Billingsgate.
The Sea God, Lud, and the brazen horse give me more pleasure than the
railway bridge at Ludgate. Cæsar's sword at Bishopsgate and the head of
Bran buried on Tower Hill are real city assets. London is rich in romantic
lore. In her cathedral Arthur was crowned and drew the sword from the
stone. Here Iseult attended the council called by King Mark. From the quay
Ursula and her virgins embarked; Launcelot swam his horse over the river
at Westminster, and from it Guinevere went a-maying. Possibly some day we
may be as wise as Henry the Third, and put up statues to Lud and his sons
at the gate which bears his name for a memorial of these things.

The British legend of the foundation of London has left one tangible
legacy to us even to this day in the Guildhall giants, Gog and Magog, who
represent the Gogmagog of Geoffrey, a giant of the primitive people
overcome by the Britons--the Magog of the Bible, who stands for the
Scythian race. Thus the Guildhall Magog really represents the Ivernian
race in Britain.

So much for the legend. My final opinion is that the story of Caer Lud
arose in an attempt to bring together the names of London, Ludgate, and
Lludd, a Welsh god, and this may have been Geoffrey's work. I cannot find
that the form Caer Lud was used in Welsh documents of an earlier date,
although in a recent history of Wales London is so called throughout. If a
single instance of "Caer Lud" could be adduced it would be different, but
till that is done all derivations from Ludd must go by the board. The
association of Belinus with London may in a similar way have been brought
about by false etymology.[20]

_The British Church in London._--It is not proposed to deal with the age
of Roman occupation here, but we may devote a few lines to the British
Church as a link between Roman and Saxon days. Before the imperial forces
were withdrawn from Britain the dwellers in the cities would have been
completely Romanised in manners and speech, and must have shared in some
degree in the general change of aspect towards Christianity.


The subject of British Christianity has lately been re-examined by Mr.
Haverfield[21] and by Dr. Zimmer, the great Celtic scholar. The legend
given by Bede as to the introduction of Christianity by a King Lucius is
thought to have arisen in Rome about the beginning of the seventh century.
It is, however, held that there must have been a gradual infiltration of
the Gospel during the third century at latest, and that in the next
century there was in Britain a fully organised Church in contact with, and
a lively member of, the Church in Gaul. At the beginning of the fifth
century there was an overwhelming majority of Christians, and Dr. Zimmer
shows good reasons for thinking that Ireland had already been evangelised
by the first great wave of monasticism before St. Patrick went there as
its first bishop in 432. Patrick himself was born in 386, some 70 or 80
miles from London along the Watling Street, at Bannaventa. His family had
been Christians for generations; his great-grandfather was a presbyter.

The story of St. Alban, the existence of whom there is little reason for
doubting, carries us back to the end of the third century. Dr. Zimmer
considers that the edict of Leo the Great (454) as to celebrating Easter
reached the Church in Britain and Ireland before it was cut off from
dependence on the Roman see. Latin must have continued in use in the
Church in such places as Exeter and Bodmin, and in Wales, Strathclyde, and
Ireland, from the time when it was current as a Romano-British speech.

According to Geoffrey there were three archbishoprics in Britain: London,
York, and the city of Legions (Caerleon), representing South and North
Britain and Cambria respectively. In the year 314 the names of three
British bishops are given as being present at the Council of Arles:
Eborius of York, Restitutus of London, and Adelfius, "de civitate colonia
Londinensium." Haddan and Stubbs accept the record; so also do Haverfield
and Zimmer, who substitute Lincoln for the last. Many British bishops
were also at the Council of 359. Guitelin, a bishop of London in the fifth
century, is mentioned by Nennius.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--BRONZE BRACELET.]

According to Geoffrey, again, the Archbishops Theon of London and Thadiock
of York fled from their charges about 586. Now a small scrap of evidence
has been recently brought to light as to the existence of these bishops by
Mr. Round, who shows that a church dedicated to a St. Thadiock remained at
Monmouth in the twelfth century. Again, Jocelyn of Furness (cited by
Stow), a writer of the twelfth century, gives a list of the British
Bishops of London, which Bishop Stubbs is inclined to accept.[22] From
Bede, moreover, we gather that Pope Gregory at first intended to establish
the southern archbishopric, not at Canterbury, but at London. Then finally
we have the curious claim made by St. Peter's, Cornhill, to be the first
church in the kingdom. This legend appears in Jocelyn of Furness. Bishop
Foliot at the same time made the former dignity or London the basis of a
claim against Canterbury.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--HEAD OF A PIN.]

It is often assumed that British London fell violently, and that the old
institutions were obliterated, but a comparison of evidence gathered from
the British legends with the Saxon Chronicle suggests that it is just
possible that the English may have entered the city on terms, as at
Exeter, where Briton and Saxon long dwelt side by side.

Of the time after the English invasion Bishop Stubbs writes: "There were
still Roman roads leading to the walls and towers of empty cities; camps,
villas, churches were become, before the days of Bede, mere haunted ruins.
It is not to be supposed that this desolation was uniform; in some of the
cities there were probably elements of continuous life: London, the mart
of the merchants; York, the capital of the North; and some others, have a
continuous political existence, although they wisely do not claim an
unbroken succession from the Roman municipality." Freeman held a similar
view: "London is one of the ties ... with Celtic and Roman Britain." Mr.
Coote believed that Roman institutions survived all changes, and Thomas
Wright says: "We have no reason for believing that this city, which was a
powerful commercial port, was taken and ravaged by the Saxon invaders; a
rich trading town, it appears to have experienced no check to its

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--ENAMELLED PLATE.]

On the question of a Roman Church in Britain, however, Thomas Wright took
up a position of extreme scepticism, stating that there were no remains,
that historical references were forgeries, or flourishes of rhetoric, that
Gildas was a pretence, and that it was impossible to say how Christianity
reached Cornwall and Wales. The more recent position would be the opposite
of all this, and considerable material evidence can be produced, which has
been crowned within the last few years by the discovery of the foundations
of a Roman church at Silchester, which may be the cathedral of the city,
for there Geoffrey says Manganius was bishop in 519. The later Irish,
Cornish, and Welsh Churches are only parts of the common British
Christianity, which ultimately got shut up into the corners of the land by
the English invasion, but originally formed part of the one Church which
was an offshoot from the Church of Gaul, the original centre of which was
at Lyons. As Lyons derived from Rome, and London from Lyons, so the
Church in the western and northern provinces of England derived from
London, and the western provinces in turn handed on the faith to Ireland.
Even the Celtic rule as to Easter was the Roman use up to the middle of
the fifth century.


The monumental evidences, certain or doubtful, for the British Church
found in London are:--

(1) Eight small cakes of pewter found at Battersea, and stamped with the
[Greek: CHR] monogram. They are now in the British Museum. There are two
varieties of stamps; one has the letters [Greek: A.Ô.] added to the
monogram; in the other the words SPES IN DEO surround it. These most
interesting inscriptions are supposed to be of the fourth century (Fig.

(2) A chain bracelet of bronze with a simple cross attached, now in the
British Museum (Fig. 9).

(3) A disc forming the head of a pin, on it an imperial head and a cross;
probably Constantine's vision, as suggested by Roach Smith (Fig. 10).

(4) An enamelled plate on which two beasts appear drinking from a vase, as
so often found in early Christian art; probably, as suggested by Roach
Smith, of the fifth or sixth century (Fig. 11).

(5) An ornamental cross on a mosaic pavement (Fig. 12). The last three
have been figured by Roach Smith, and are also in the British Museum.

(6) A lead funeral cist found in Warwick Square with the [Maltese Cross X]
monogram, or possibly only a star form, now in the British Museum.

There is every probability that St. Germain of Auxerre, on his way to St.
Albans, preached to the British citizens of London against the heresy of
their countryman Pelagius about 429.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--SAXON SPEAR.]

_The English come to London._--It is generally held that London was walled
towards the end of the fourth century. Mr. Green suggests, indeed, that
it and the fortresses of the Saxon shore mentioned in the _Notitia_ were
fortified as a provision against the attacks of Picts and Saxons. The need
for such protection was soon made evident, for the only event chronicled
in regard to London during the early period of the English Conquest is
that in 457, after the battle of "Creganford," the Britons fled from Kent
to London. Then comes silence for a century and a half, until 604, when it
is told how Mellitus, a companion of St. Augustine, was sent to preach to
the East Saxons, whose king, Sebert, a nephew of Ethelbert, gave Mellitus
a bishop's stool in London. Although there is no definite statement as to
when the English entered the wonderful walled city that was to become
their capital, yet by following converging lines of evidence we may
determine the point of time with almost certain accuracy. We have for this
purpose (1) the chronicle of the conquests of the several branches of the
Angle and Saxon peoples; (2) the British accounts and legends; (3) the
traditional history, as given by such writers as Henry of Huntingdon and
William of Malmesbury, of the succession of kings in the "Heptarchy."

(1) Up to _c._ 500 we have the conquests of Kent, Sussex, and Wessex, the
first two confined to the present county limits, and the last with its
centre at Winchester, only reaching Sarum in 552, and striking north-east
to Aylesbury and Bedford in 571. According to Dr. Guest and Mr. Green, the
great fortress of London and its bridge up to this time barred the natural
approach of the invaders up the Thames valley. Another horde, who became
the East Saxons, had, in the meantime, effected a settlement in the county
yet called after them. These reached Verulam about 560, for Gildas (_c._
516 to 570) deplores the loss of that city, but says nothing of London. It
was by the Wessex advance of 571 that the frontier between itself and
Essex was defined; and as London, which is so near the boundary line,
belonged (at a later time at least) to the latter, we may suppose that it
had already before 571 been taken possession of by the East Saxons. Again,
the men of Kent, in 568, attempted to press on over Surrey, but were
beaten back by the men of Wessex. Mr. Green well suggests that this
attempted advance was an immediate consequence of the reduction of London,
which had hitherto held Kent back.

(2) The British legends given by Geoffrey of Monmouth refer to several
incidents in London during the sixth century, culminating in the flight of
Theon, its archbishop, in the second half of the century--Hovenden says in

(3) Bede says that London was the metropolis of the East Saxons. Henry of
Huntingdon tells us that Ella _founded_ Sussex; Wessex was _founded_ by
Cerdic in the year 519; and the kingdom of Essex--that is, of the East
Saxons--was _founded_ by Erchinwin, whose son Slede married the sister of
Ethelbert, king of Kent. This Slede's son was Sebert, the first king of
Essex converted to the Christian faith. Now we know that when Augustine's
mission came in 597 Ethelbert was still reigning in Kent, and his nephew
ruled in London when Mellitus brought the Gospel there in 604. If, then,
we put the "foundation" of the kingdom of Essex by Sebert's grandfather
some thirty or forty years before this time, we again reach the date of
the probable occupation of London, which we may put provisionally about

It was probably early in the sixth century that the Saxons began to get a
footing in what became Essex, as in 527, according to Huntingdon, large
bodies of men came from Germany and took possession of East Anglia,
various chiefs of whom "contended for the occupation of different
districts." We may suppose that Colchester first fell, then Verulam, and
that London was entered only after its complete isolation, and as the
culmination of the English Conquest of South Britain, just as was the case
in the Norman Conquest exactly five hundred years later. All Celtic
tradition looks back to London as the British capital. Dr. Rhys quotes a
story from the Welsh Laws to the effect that "the nation of the Kymry,
after losing the crown and sceptre of London and being driven out of
England, assembled to decide who should be chief king."[23] In the story
of Bran in the Mabinogion, which Celtic scholars say is untouched by any
influence so late as Geoffrey's, it is told that the seven men journeying
with the head of the Blessed Bran were told that Caswallawn the son of
Beli "has conquered the Island of the Mighty and is crowned king in

_Alfred's London._--In endeavouring to trace the topographical vestiges of
London, as far as any sufficiently clear indications will allow, it will
be found that we can easily carry back a great number of wards, streets,
and churches to the century which followed the Conquest. More patient
research allows of pushing still further a large number of "origins" to a
time anterior to the Conquest, but subsequent to the Roman evacuation of
the city. As the greatest of all London events in this space of time was
the resettlement of the city by Alfred, less than two centuries before
Duke William entered within its walls, and as London may readily be
supposed to have altered very little in that time, we may well take the
reign of the great king, who died exactly a thousand years ago, as the
centre of gravity of the whole period, and the pages which follow might
very well be called an account of London in the time of Alfred.

The strife with the Danes in the Thames valley raged from before the time
of Alfred's birth. Stow and others have supposed that London was wrecked
in 839, and lay waste until Alfred restored it; but it has been shown that
the first attack on the city must have been in 842.[24] In 851 a great
host of the pagans came with 350 ships to the mouth of the river Thames,
and sacked Canterbury "and also the city of London, which lies on the
confines of Essex and Middlesex, but the city belongs of right to
Essex."[25] Before this time London had become subject to the overlordship
of Mercia, and Behrtwulf the Mercian was killed in its defence.

There is a charter of Burgred, king of Mercia, relating to London, 857; in
872-74 the city was taken by Halfdan the Dane, and Burgred, king of
Mercia, was ejected from his kingdom. In the coin room of the British
Museum there is a remarkable coin which bears the legend ALFDENE
RX[Maltese Cross], and on the reverse the monogram of London which was
later used by Alfred on his coins (Fig. 14). The obverse bears the same
type as that used on the coins of Ceolwulf, whom Halfdan set up as his
creature in Mercia: it cannot be doubted that Halfdan's coin was struck as
a memorial of his wintering in London in 872-73, as described in the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. All now was confusion, "down and up, and up and
down, and dreadful," till at the peace of Wedmore, in 878, Alfred made a
division of the country with the Danish leader Guthrum, by a boundary
defined in the agreement as "upon the Thames along the Lea to its source,
then right to Bedford and upon the Ouse to Watling Street." London thus
fell to Alfred, who repaired it in 886 and made it again habitable, and
gave it into the hands of his son-in-law Ethered.[26] Ethered was
Ealdorman of Mercia, so London was still practically the Mercian capital,
and remained so till the death of Ethered. London all the time was the
chief city in the kingdom, but it then had to enter into competition with
Winchester, the local capital of the dominating kingdom.


In 893 there was a fresh attack by the Danes, but they were defeated
outside the city by the men of London, led by Ethered. In the account of
this raid from the south coast through Farnham and northwards across the
Thames, as given in Ethelweard's Chronicle, the Danes are said to have
been besieged on Thorney Isle (_Thornige Insula_), the site of the abbey
of Westminster. The Danes then passed eastward and took up positions at
Mersea, Shoebury, and probably Welbury, near the Lea, in all of which
places there are traces of earthworks.[27]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--SAXON SWORDHILT.]

Since the resettlement of London in 886 there has been no interruption of
the continuity of city life and customs, and it is very probable that
some of the institutions shaped by the great organiser, whom William
Morris called the one man of genius who has ever ruled in England, remain
to this day.



  And dream of London, small and white and clean,
  The clear Thames bordered by its gardens green.
                                  _The Earthly Paradise._

The city of London, when the Roman garrison was withdrawn from its walls,
occupied two hills on the north river-bank, between which ran the
Walbrook. The river, which still retains its British or pre-British name
of Thames,[28] spread, as may be seen from a geological map, over wide
tracts of morass, which at an early time began to be protected by
embankments, which are "no less than 50 feet above low water, and,
counting side creeks, 300 miles long."

The Chronicle of Bermondsey records of a flood in 1294-95:--"Then was made
the great breach at Retherhith; and it overflowed the plain of
Bermundeseye and the precinct of Tothill." The French Chronicle, written
some two generations afterwards, shows that this was still remembered as
"Le Breche." Edward I. at once issued a mandate that the banks from
Lambeth to Greenwich should be viewed and repaired. Stow, under
Westminster, says that in 1236 the river "overflowing the banks made the
Woolwich marshes all on a sea" and flowed into Westminster Hall; and again
in 1242 "drowned houses and fields by the space of six miles" on the
Lambeth side. In 1448 "the water brake in out of Thames beside Lymeost and
in another place."[29] Howel (1657) writes: "The Thames often inounds the
bankes about London, which makes the grounds afterwards more fertile."


The embankments seem to have been called walls. The names of Bermondsey
Wall and Wapping Wall still survive opposite one another; and "wall"
enters into the names of several places bordering on the river, as
Millwall and Blackwall, and St. Peter's on the Wall, at Bradwell, Essex,
where the north bank ends. At Lambeth Pennant noted that the name Narrow
Walls occurred. The general opinion is that these banks are either Roman
or pre-Roman work. Wren thought Roman.[30]

Before the locks were made on the river the tide ran up past Richmond to
near the inlet of the Mole.[31] London held the jurisdiction over the
river from Yanlet to Staines from the twelfth century at least. The limit
at either end is marked by a "London Stone."

FitzStephen calls the river "the great fish-bearing Thames." Howel in his
_Londinopolis_ says: "The Thames water useth to be as clear and pellucid
as any such great river in the world, except after a land flood, when 'tis
usual to take up haddocks with one's hand beneath the Bridge." Harrison
(1586) writes: "What should I speak of the fat and sweet salmons daily
taken in this stream, and that in such plenty after the time of smelt be
past, as no river in Europe is able to exceed it." Even in the last
century stray whales and porpoises used to find their way up on the tide.
The Saxon foredwellers must have had their fill of fish. Even the Thames
swans can be traced back to the fourteenth century in a document relating
to the Tower.[32] William Dunbar in 1501 wrote:--

  Above all ryvers thy Ryver hath renowne
  Whose beryall stremys, pleasant and preclare
  Under thy lusty wallys runneth down
  Where many a Swanne doth swymme with winges fare.

Stow's account of the smaller streams "serving the city" is the most
unfortunate in the classic survey, and entirely untrustworthy.

In the hollow some distance west of Ludgate was a tidal inlet; a part of
its bed has (in 1900) just been exposed in New Bridge Street; the name
Fleet, indeed, must express a tidal creek. Early in the twelfth century
the district beyond it is called _ultra Fletam_.[33] The inlet gave its
name to the bridge and street passing over it from Ludgate. Rishanger
calls the latter Fleet-Bridge Street. Henry II. gave to the Templars a
site for a mill _super Fletam Juxta Castelum Bainard_, and all the course
of the water of Fleet and a messuage _juxta pontem de Flete_. A messuage
on the Fleet was also given to them by Gervase of Cornhill, _Teintarius_,
and this record is interesting as giving us the calling of the great
Londoner treated of so fully by Mr. Round.[34] Gervase was one of the most
important personalities in twelfth-century London, and it is not commonly
realised that members of the crafts so early held power.

Into the Fleet, down the still well-marked valley by Farringdon Road, ran
a stream sometimes called the Fleet River; it is plotted on some of the
earlier maps, and its course has been traced in detail by Mr. Waller.[35]
In an agreement as to the land of the nunnery at Clerkenwell, made at the
end of the twelfth century, this stream is unmistakably called the
Hole-burn; its valley ran north and south by Clerkenwell, and the river
and gardens of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem are said to have been upon
it.[36] It gave its name to Holborn Bridge and to some extra-mural
cottages near by, on the road which passed over it. The modern name should
mean Hole-burn-Bridge Street, just as Fleet Street meant Fleet-Bridge
Street. Holeburn Street is found in 1249.[37] Cottages at "Holeburne,"
which had existed in the time of the Confessor, are mentioned in Domesday,
and we may conclude that the Holeburn and Fleet had these names not only
in King Edward's day, but in Alfred's. The upper part of the stream was
also called Turnmill brook; it was the mill stream of London.

Stow also gives the name of the River of Wells to this western stream just
described, saying: "That it was of old called of the Wells may be proved
thus: William the Conqueror in his charter to the College of St. Martin le
Grand hath these words, 'I do give and grant ... all the land and the Moor
without Cripplegate, on either side of the postern, that is to say, from
the north corner of the wall as the river of the Wells, there near
running, departeth the same moor from the wall, unto the running water
which entereth the city.'"[38] He goes on to say that the stream
(Hole-burn) was still called Wells in the time of Edward I., citing the
Parliament and Patent Rolls of 1307; but on referring to the calendars of
these documents I find that this name of Wells appears in neither. The
first speaks of "the water-course of Fleet running under the bridge of
Holburn," and the second of them calls it "the Fleet River from Holburn
Bridge to the Thames." Moreover, the Hole-burn was far away from the north
corner of the city wall by Cripplegate, and the land granted cannot have
extended all the way to the present Farringdon Road (the bed of the old
stream) and have included Smithfield. The land of "Crepelesgate," taken by
William Rufus and restored to St. Martin's by Henry I., is probably the
same, and to-day it may be represented by the parish of St. Giles. Surely
the whole construction of the passage requires that the north-west angle
of the walls should be the western limit of the land granted.

The Conqueror's Latin charter is given in Dugdale, and in the passage used
by Stow the stream is spoken of as _rivulus foncium_. Mr. Stevenson, in
publishing a Saxon version of the same charter 1068 A.D.,[39] shows that
_rivulus foncium_ was a translation of the O.E. _Wylrithe_, meaning a
small stream (_rithe_) issuing from a spring (_wyl_). This
"Well-brook"[40] must surely have been intended, not for the western
stream at all, but for the upper part of the "broke" running into the
"burh" directly afterwards mentioned in the charter, the present Walbrook.
Outside the walls the stream possibly ran in a west-to-east direction, and
so formed the north boundary of the property against the moor.

Mr. Stevenson appears not to have been of this view himself, as he speaks
of the Walbrook as "probably nameless" when the charter was written; but
he points out that it was called Walebroc in a charter of Wulfnoth
(1114-33)--"probably the Wulfnoth whose name is recorded in St. Mary
Woolnoth." This is a Ramsey charter (in Rolls series), and the terms are
most precise by which Wulfnoth of Walebroc, London, sold a piece of land
in Walebroc, "whence he was called Wulfnoth of Walebroc," with a house of
stone and a shop, for ten pounds of pence.[41]

St. John "super Walebroc" is mentioned about the same time in the St.
Paul's documents, and that Walbrook was then a proper name of some
antiquity seems to be conclusively proved by Geoffrey of Monmouth's legend
that it was called after Gallus by the Britons, "and in the Saxon
Gallembourne." Altogether it can hardly be doubted that the Wyl- of the
charter represents the modern Wal- in Walbrook.[42]

Within the walls the Walbrook ran right through the midst of the city from
north to south, and divided the eastern wards from the western. It
remained an open stream well into the Middle Ages; in 1286 an order was
given to cleanse it "from the Moor of London to the Thames." Its course is
well defined by three churches, St. John's, St. Stephen's (formerly on a
different site to the west, Stow), and St. Mildred's, all "super
Walbrook." St. Margaret Lothbury also stood above it on vaults. Its
relation to the present street is made clear in a document of 1291
regarding a tenement "between the course of the Walbrook towards the west,
and Walbrook Street towards the east."[43] The arch under which it entered
the city through the wall seems to have been discovered. Roach Smith
describes this opening thus: "Opposite Finsbury Circus, at a depth of 19
feet, a well-turned Roman arch was discovered, at the entrance of which on
the Finsbury side were iron bars placed apparently to restrain the sedge
and weeds from choking the passage."[44]

The bed of the brook has frequently been found in city excavations, and
its course has been laid down by Mr. T. E. Price.[45] It was of course
crossed by many bridges; in 1291 there was an inquiry held as to the
repair of one of them near the "tenement of Bokerelesbery."[46] This
stream was probably the first water supply of London, and it must have
been a most important factor in the division of the wards and the laying
out of the streets.

The Langbourne described by Stow is entirely mythical. As he named Holborn
from a merely supposititious "Old-burn" running east and west, so also his
Lang-burn has its only origin, as will be shown, in the corruption of a
name (see p. 132). Here I need only say that its supposed bed occupies
high ground, and no evidence of it has been found in excavations. Mr.
Price points out that Stow himself allowed that the name was the only sign
of it, and adds that the levels demonstrate that no such stream can ever
have flowed there; indeed, excavations have shown that its supposed course
was one of the most populous parts of the early city.[47]

Stow connects with it still another equally mythical stream, the
Share-burne, on the site of Sherborne Lane, but I find this called
Shitteborwe in 1272, and the last syllable must be "bury," not "burn."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Fords._--The best account of the Thames fords is given by Dr. Guest.[48]
Cæsar tells us that the river called Thames was passable on foot only in
one place, and this ford was defended against him by stakes. Bede says
that the remains of the stakes were to be seen there "to this very day."
Camden suggested that the site of this ford was Coway Stakes, near Walton;
King Alfred, however, in an addition he made to Orosius, says that Cæsar,
after defeating the "Bryttas in Cent-land," fought again "nigh the Temese
by the ford called Welinga-ford." Wallingford, where the Icknield Way
crossed the river, was certainly the chief ford below Oxford. Dr. Guest
showed that a place near Coway Stakes is called Halliford, and argued that
although a Roman army, that of Claudius, may have crossed at Wallingford,
Cæsar's passage of the river was at the stakes, and the two passages of
the river came to be confused in the tradition. The general argument is
too subtle to go into here, but it is less than convincing to make Bede's
account of a ford where stakes yet remained in the river apply to Cæsar
and the Coway Stakes, while Alfred's applied to Wallingford and the army
of Claudius, especially as we may suppose that a principal ford would be
fortified if a lesser one were. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,
Sweyn's army passed the river at Wallingford; here William the Conqueror
also crossed; and here too it seems likely that the English invaders also
first crossed.[49]

Another place nearer to London which is named from a ford is Brentford,
but Dr. Guest thought that the ford so named was over the Brent instead of
the Thames. He allows that the English army here twice crossed over the
Thames in 1016, as recorded in the Chronicle, but argues that there was
only a "shallow" in the Thames at this point, and that the _ford_ was
over the Brent. William of Malmesbury, however, seems to have anticipated
all this by saying very distinctly "the ford called Brentford" and the
"ford at Brentford" when speaking of the crossings of the Thames in 1016.
Gough in his edition of Camden says that the Thames was easily passed here
at low water.

Of a ford at Westminster, which from a mere unsubstantial hypothesis has
swollen into quite a big myth in the pages of Sir W. Besant, there is not
a scrap of evidence. There was, however, throughout the Middle Age a ferry
here, and the name still survives in Horseferry Road. The Roman bridge at
Staines (_Pontes_) may be the one, the existence of which is implied in
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 1013, and in 1009 we are told that the army
went over the river at Staines.[50] In the Middle Ages there was a bridge
between Staines and London on the river at Kingston, and Horsley thought
that Cæsar crossed by a ford here.



  Upon thy lusty brigge of pylers white
  Been merchauntis full royall to behold:
  Upon thy stretis goeth many a semely Knyght
  Arrayit in velvet gownes and cheynes of gold.
                                  WILLIAM DUNBAR.

_Roads._--The Roman roads of the Antonine Itinerary which affect London
are: Iter 2, the great road from Canterbury to London and St. Albans and
beyond (the Watling Street); Iter 5, London to Colchester, and from thence
to Lincoln; Iter 6, London to Lincoln, starting by the Watling Street;
Iter 7, from Chichester through Silchester and passing the river at
Staines (_Pontes_), through Brentford to London.[51]

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--LONDON AND THE ROMAN ROADS.]

In the (so-called) Laws of Edward the Confessor, a clause treats of the
King's peace on the four great roads, _Watlingestrete_, _Fosse_,
_Hekenildestrete_, and _Ermingestrete_, two of which are said to run
through the length of the realm and two across.[52] In the British legends
given by Geoffrey, the making of these roads is ascribed to Belinus, and
they are said to have been paved with stone and mortar; the four are
evidently the chief Roman roads in the island. The identification of the
Watling Street is certain, for Bede says that St. Albans was called
Watlingcester, and Saxon charters show that Hampstead and Paddington were
on it; it is the modern Edgware Road. Henry of Huntingdon tells us that
the Watling Street ran from the south-east to the north-west, and that
Erming Street ran from north to south. Higden, in the fourteenth century,
says that the Watling Street began at Dover and passed through Kent and
"over the Thames at London, west of Westminster," then to St. Albans,
Dunstable, Stratford, etc.[53] Camden says: "The Roman road commonly
called Watling Street leads straight to London over Hampstead Heath,
whence is a fine prospect of a beautiful city and cultivated country."

The best reasons that can be given for the position of the Watling Street
are that it was first formed before London became of much importance, that
it avoided the great Essex forest, and passed over the Thames at a point
convenient for a ferry on its way to and from Dover.

Such prehistoric traffic as there was, by a sort of commercial drainage,
gathering together in a stream directed on Dover, must have tended to pass
the river with the least possible deflection. Whether or not the great
Watling Street is entirely of Roman date, a ferry at Westminster may have
superseded the Brent-ford. The actual passage was probably from Tothill
Street to Stangate on the south side of the river: "Stangate" is still
used as the name of a Roman road in the North by Hadrian's Great Wall.
After the Palace of Westminster was built, the ferry must have been
diverted by the Horseferry Road, and Higden may refer to this position.

Clark suggests that "the Tothill" was a Saxon military mound, as such
mounds are sometimes called "toot-hills"; if so, it was a protection
overlooking the Watling Street, and may very well have been a mound
raised by Alfred in the Danish struggle.[54] "Le Tothull" is mentioned in
1250, when Henry III. granted the Abbey to hold a fair there. Hollar's
view shows a mound. The Tothill was common ground, and everything points
to its having been formerly a defensive work. The west gate of Westminster
was "towards Tothill" (1350), and Vincent Square now represents Tothill
Fields. The Lang ditch, which nearly surrounded Westminster, and which can
be traced back to the twelfth century, was probably a dyke of defence.

Stukeley, writing in 1722, when material evidence was not so hard to find,
says that the Watling Street crossed over another Roman road (now Oxford
Street), which passed by the back of Kensington into the great road to
Brentford and Staines, "a Roman road all the way." The Watling Street then
went across the end of Hyde Park, and by St. James's Park to the street
near Palace Yard called the Wool Staple, and crossed to Stangate on the
opposite side of the river. The southward continuation of the road then
passed over St. George's Fields to Deptford and Blackheath; "a small
portion of the ancient way pointing to (or from) Westminster Abbey is now
the common road: ... from the top of Shooters' Hill the direction of the
road is very plain both ways: ... beyond the hill it is very straight as
far as the ken reaches: on Blackheath is a tumulus."

From the Watling Street, on Blackheath, was obtained the first prospect of
London, where travellers during the Middle Age paused, as visitors to Rome
paused on their way only half a century agone. The mayor with all the
crafts of the city, in 1415, rode out thus far to meet Henry V. returning
from France.

  The King from Eltham sone he cam,
  Hys prisenors with hym dede brynge,
  And to the Blak-heth ful sone he cam.
  He saw London withoughte lesynge;
  Heil, ryall London, seyde our Kyng,
  Crist the Kepe evere from care.--LYDGATE.

In his letter to Wren Dr. Woodward says that in several places lying near
by in a line, particularly on this side of Shooters' Hill, where the
country is low, there remained a raised highway 40 feet wide and 4 feet
high. According to Allen's history a portion of the Roman way leading to
Stangate was found just north of Newington Church in 1824.

Stukeley thought that the west-to-east road, over the present Oxford
Street, originally passed to the north of London into Essex (by Old
Street), "because London was not then considerable, but in a little time
Holborn was struck out from it, entering the city at Newgate, and so to
London-Stone, the _Lapis Milliaris_, and hence the reason why the name of
Watling Street is still preserved in the city."

There can be no doubt that Stukeley's account of the Roman roads is
generally true, but the theory of the great road by Old Street seems
unlikely, although the latter is quite certainly a Roman way, and was
called Ealde Street in the twelfth century.[55] The Roman road has been
found 11 feet below the surface, together with Roman coins.[56] There
cannot be a doubt that, in late Roman days at least, the great
west-to-east road passed through the city and by the Mile End Road through
Stratford and the other places named from "street" to Chelmsford and
Colchester. Besides the great Roman roads there were of course many local
ways. The High Street from Aldersgate to Islington, also mentioned in the
twelfth century,[57] is probably, like the gate through which it passed,
Roman too. Stow's hypothesis that Old Street branched away from the top of
Aldersgate Street seems best to meet the case. Stukeley's suggestion about
the naming of "Watling Street" in the city, which has been so embroidered
upon by recent writers, seems, as we shall show (p. 150), to be a mistake.

It is asserted in a fourteenth-century document quoted by Lysons that the
great east road passed the Lea by Old Ford before Matilda built Bow
Bridge; but this has no weight in excluding the road by Aldgate against
the evidence of the great road itself. The name Stratford is mentioned as
Strachford in a charter of the Conqueror.[58] In the life of St. Erkenwald
given in the Golden Legend, it is said that his body was brought to London
from Barking through Stratford after a miraculous passage of the Lea.
There _may_ have been a road by Old Street and Old Ford, but there _must_
have been a road by Holborn and Whitechapel through Newgate and

The branch from the great Watling Street to the city, by Tyburn and St.
Andrew's Holborn, is described in a charter giving in Saxon the boundaries
of Westminster, dated 951, but not original. This charter, even if forged,
can hardly be later than the era of the Conquest, when the coterminous
manor of Eya was given to the Abbey by Geoffrey de Mandeville; and the
names found in it must then have been of immemorial antiquity. Mr.
Stevenson, in a recent criticism of the document, accepts it as genuine
and proposes the date 971.[60] It reads: "First up from the Thames along
Merfleet to Pollenstock, so to Bulinga Fen, and along the old ditch to
Cuforde. From Cuforde along the Tyburn to the _Here Straet_, and by it to
the Stock of St. Andrew's Church, then in London Fen south to Midstream of
Thames, and by land and strand to the Merfleet." _Here Street_ is the
usual Saxon name for a Roman road, but it will be convenient to use it in
this case as a proper name.

The stream of Tyburn crossed Oxford Street just west of Stratford Place,
and ran through the Green Park, and so to the west of Westminster. Cufford
I find again, _temp._ Edward I., as in, or near, the _Campis de Eya_--now
Hyde Park and St. James's.[61] This Cowford was probably where Piccadilly
"dip" crosses the Tyburn valley. A bridge is shown here in Faithorne's
map. The Here Street or military road is of course Oxford Street and
Holborn, and London-Fen is the Fleet valley.[62]

The manor of Tyburn appears in Domesday. There can be no doubt as to the
identification of the Here Street, for a document of 1222 gives as the
boundaries of St. Margaret's, Westminster, the water of Tyburn running to
the Thames and the _Strata Regia_ extending to London past the garden of
St. Giles [in-the-Fields], and Roman remains have been found in Holborn.
The Here Street has been traced between Silchester and Staines through
Egham, and on this side of Staines, not far from Ashford, it has been
found.[63] An under road to Kensington, etc., by Knightsbridge must also
have been ancient. Knightsbridge is named in a twelfth-century charter,
and it seems to be the same as the Kingsbridge in a charter of the

From the fact that the Antonine Itinerary gives two routes to
Lincoln,--one round to the west by the Watling Street, and one to the east
by Colchester,--it seems probable that the direct Erming Street was made
in the later Roman era.

The best critical account of the four Roman ways is in _Origines Celticæ_
and the _Archæological Journal_ for 1857, in which Dr. Guest, working from
charters, verifies their position. He considers that the portion of the
Erming Street between London and Huntingdon was not a Roman paved road,
although "it must have existed in the days of Edgar, and perhaps as early
as the times of Offa." "Tracks of an ancient causey may still be found
alongside the turnpike road which leads from London to Royston," beyond
which the road passes straight on over the fens to a place called
Ermingford in Domesday and Earmingaford in a charter of Edgar. To the
south of London he lays down a "Stone Street" from Chichester through
Bignor (Roman villa) and Dorking. In vol. ix. of _Archæologia_, Bray, the
co-author of the _History of Surrey_, traces this "Roman road through
Sussex and Surrey to London." "That there was a great road from Arundel
which ran north and north-east to London is very certain, considerable
remains of it being now (1788) visible in many places." Another road from
the south seems to have passed through Croydon and Streatham, which in a
charter of the Confessor is called Stratham.[65] Near Ockley the former
was called "Stone Street Causeway," and Camden speaks of it as "the old
military road of the Romans called Stone Street." It was "some 30 feet
broad and some 4 or 5 feet thick of stones." Considerable vestiges of this
Roman road may even now be traced on the Ordnance Survey; approaching
London it evidently passed through Epsom, Ewell, Merton, Tooting, and
Clapham. Here then we have a great road from Chichester through Surrey
over London Bridge and by Stamford Hill to Lincoln--the Erming Street. It
seems impossible that such a work could have been undertaken in the time
of the "Heptarchy," and it must be a Roman road made subsequently to the
Antonine Itinerary.

When London Bridge was built, or when a regular ferry over the Thames was
established on this line, a new connection with the Canterbury Road
(Watling Street) was evidently called for, and this link was provided by
Kent Street (now Great Dover Street). Bagford, in his letter to Hearne,
says that the Roman approach and military way led along Kent Street on the
left-hand side, "and pointed directly to Dowgate by the Bishop of
Winchester's stairs, which to this day is called Stone Street." I cannot,
however, accept the inference as to the name Stone Street in this place,
as it ran directly through what was Winchester Palace, where, as old views
show, there cannot have been a street in the Middle Ages. The highway from
the bridge going southwards really ran straight through the borough (Burh
or South-work), and deflected on to Kent Street at St. George's Church,
which stood here early in the twelfth century (see Southwark, below, p.

The English invaders came up the Watling Street and were unsuccessfully
met at Crayford. At Ockley on the Stone Street there was a great battle
with the Danes. William the Conqueror, after the battle of Hastings, took
Dover and Canterbury and came to London by the Watling Street; then
burning Southwark, but not venturing to assault the walled city, he moved
down the Stone Street and across to Farnham and Wallingford, and then
north-east, by the Icknield Way, and so commanded the northern Watling
Street and Erming Street and cut off retreat. A recent study of his route
made from Domesday Book makes him pass through Camberwell, Merton,
Guildford, and Farnham. Then crossing the river by both Wallingford and
Streatley, he approached London by Little Berkhamstead, Enfield, and

A final consideration of the roads in relation to the city shows two great
routes: (1) from west to east, through Staines to Colchester; and (2) from
south to north, from Chichester to Lincoln. These roads, entering the city
by Holborn and the bridge, and issuing by Aldgate and Bishopsgate, were
throughout the Middle Ages the great market streets, and their
intersection at Leadenhall formed the "Carfax" of London.

The best elucidation of the names of the roads we have been concerned with
is given by Dr. Guest. One is the street of the Ermings or Fenmen, who
gave their name to places on its course. The Icknield Way, which he gives
good reasons for thinking was a British road, led to the district of the
Iceni (compare Dr. Rhys, _Celtic Folklore_, p. 676). The Watling Street he
supposes to be the Irishmen's road, from Welsh
_Gwythel_--_Goidel_--Irishman. These derivations seem to be a little over
symmetrical. Other roads than that through St. Albans were called Watling
Street, which almost seems to be a generic term, just as in Wales the
Roman ways are called Sarn Helen. In the story of Maxen Wledig (Maximus
Emperor) we are told that the Empress Helen made the roads. It is probably
a similar legend where Florence says that old tradition had it that London
was walled by Helen. Florence says that the Watling Street was called so
from the sons of King Weatla: Can this be a corruption of Wledig, or can
the reference be to the British prince Guithlin, who seems to have been in
power about the time of the coming of the Saxons?[67]

Horsley and others have thought that these roads were laid down for the
most part immediately after the Roman conquest by Claudius, and there can
hardly be a doubt of their early existence when we consider the great
works of Agricola as far off as the Roman Wall.[68] Moreover, one or two
milestones which have been found bear the name of Hadrian. The antiquity
of our place-names, roads, and bridges is well brought out in a
seventh-century charter to Chertsey Abbey. The land boundary, beginning at
the mouth of the Wey, passed by Weybridge, then by the mill-stream to the
old Here Street and along it to Woburn Bridge, etc. This Here Street is
doubtless the present road on the south bank of the Thames; it probably
led from Southwark, through Clapham--called Cloppaham in the ninth
century--by Wandsworth, where was a church in the tenth century, and by
Kingston, the royal town and crowning place of the later Saxon kings.[69]

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Bridge._--We hear of the existence of the bridge about seventy years
after Alfred's time in connection with the punishment of a woman who was
to be taken and "a-drownded at Lundene-brigce."[70] In a poem on Holy Olaf
the King of Norway, by a contemporary, he is said to have broken down
London Bridge in an attack on the Danes in the interest of Ethelred about
1014.[71] It is curious that the English Chronicles do not speak of this,
and it is difficult to fit in, but in any case the story is almost

An extended but later account of the incident is given in the
_Heimskringla_: "Now first they made for London and went up the Thames
with the host of the ships, but the Danes held the city. On the other side
of the river there is a great Cheaping-town called Southwark (Sudurvirke);
there the Danes had great arrayal; they had dug great dykes, on the inner
side whereof they had built a wall of turf and stone.... A bridge was
there across the river betwixt the city and Southwark, so broad that
waggons might be driven past each other thereover. On the bridge were made
strongholds, both castles and bulwarks, looking down stream, so high that
they reached a man above his waist; but under the bridge were pales stuck
into the bottom of the river. And when an onset was made the host stood on
the bridge all along it and warded it. King Ethelred was mickle mind-sick
how he was to win the bridge." King Olaf made wooden shelters over his
boats, "and the host of the Northmen rowed right up under the bridge and
lashed cables round the pales which upheld the bridge, and they fell to
their oars and rowed down stream as hard as they might, ... and the pales
having broken from under it, the bridge broke down by reason thereof; ...
and after this they made an onset on Southwark and won it. And when the
townsfolk [of London] saw that the river Thames was won, so that they
might not hinder ships from faring up into the land, they were afeared,
and gave up the town and took King Ethelred in. So says Ottar the Swart:--

  O battle-bold, the cunning
  Of Yggs storm! Yet thou brakest
  Down London Bridge: it happed thee
  To win the land of snakes there."

This verse is sometimes translated so as to read "London Bridge is broken
down" in the first line, like the well-known children's song; but there
have been many breakings down since the time of Olaf, and it is
unnecessary to force such a remote origin for the ditty. As to the bridge
itself, the account just given as to its being of wood agrees with the
fact that no piers seem to have been preserved when it was rebuilt in the
twelfth century. That it should have been fortified agrees with
contemporary events, for Charles the Bald had built a fortified bridge at
Paris to stop the pirates going up the river.

The bridge, as we have seen, was required by the Roman roads, and must
have been of Roman origin. Roach Smith, indeed, even considered that it
might have been the bridge by which Claudius is said to have crossed the
river, and points out that the Itinerary shows that bridges were not
uncommon in Britain.[72] "This presumptive evidence" [as to London Bridge
being of early Roman origin] "is supported by recent discoveries.
Throughout the entire line of the old bridge, the bed of the river was
found to contain ancient wooden piles; and when these piles, subsequently
to the erection of the new bridge (about 1835), were pulled up to deepen
the channel of the river, _many thousands_ of Roman coins, with abundance
of Roman tiles and pottery, were discovered; and immediately beneath some
of the central piles, brass medallions of Aurelius, Faustina, and
Commodus. All these remains are indicative of a bridge. The enormous
quantity of Roman coins may be accounted for by the well-known practice of
the Romans to use them to perpetuate the memory of their conquests and
public works. They may have been deposited either upon the building or
repair of the bridge. The great rarity of the medallions is corroborative
of this opinion." Many bronzes and other works of art were also found.[73]

I incline to the view that the bridge may with greatest probability be
assigned to the century when the Romans were consolidating their work in
Britain, from the arrival of Agricola in A.D. 78. Within this period falls
the date of the earliest medals found and the great building age of
Hadrian, who reared the "Roman Wall." It is tempting to suggest that the
fine head of Hadrian, in 1863 found in the Thames, may have formed a part
of a statue placed on the bridge to commemorate his visit. Bronze has
always been too valuable a material for the head to have been wilfully
cast away. Moreover, we have evidences of two bridges by the Roman Wall
which were the work of Hadrian. That at Newcastle, called after him, Pons
Ælii, had a history curiously parallel with London Bridge, for it gave way
to a mediæval bridge in 1248, which was destroyed in the flood of 1771.
During the rebuilding parts of the Roman structure were found. Near
Hexham, where the line of the wall crosses the North Tyne, there are still
vestiges of a bridge which seems to have lasted down to 1771; it has three
piers of masonry, having angular cut-waters up-stream. The spans were 35
feet, the piers about 16 feet transversely; the roadway was about 20 feet
wide; at the ends, standing over the masonry abutments, were towers
through which the roadway passed. "The platform of this bridge was
undoubtedly of timber. Several of the stones which lie on the ground have
grooves in them for admitting the spars. No arch-stones have been

Old London Bridge crossed the river just east of the existing bridge. Stow
thought that the original bridge was still farther east, because St.
Botolph's Port is mentioned in connection with the bridge in a charter of
the Conqueror. Notwithstanding that this conjecture was disproved so fully
when the old bridge was destroyed, the theory still appears in standard
books and on maps which profess to represent Old London.



    On board his bark he goes straight to London, beneath the bridge; his
    merchandise he there shows, his cloths of silk smoothes and opens
    out.--_Roman de Tristan._

_Walls._--The walls and gates of London are frequently mentioned
incidentally by the chroniclers of the Saxon period. In the charter given
by William the Conqueror to St. Martin's le Grand, the city guarded by
them is called the Burh, and the defences themselves are called
Burhwealles. Their complete circuit can be accurately traced from existing
remnants, old plans and records. Some years ago a fragment of the east
wall of Roman date was found, which still exists a few yards east of the
south-east angle of the Keep of the Tower, at a point which must be very
near to the original junction with the south or river wall, which probably
ran in the line of the present south wall of the inner ward of the Tower.
The city wall passed north by Aldgate to the N.E. angle; then on the
north by Bishopsgate and Cripplegate to the N.W. angle, and, after making
an inset by Aldersgate, it formed another N.W. angle; thence it passed
straight south by Ludgate to the river. It was only at the end of the
thirteenth century that the south-west angle of the city was extended to
take in Blackfriars. Ample evidence of Roman workmanship has been found
for the whole extent of the north and east sides, but until recently some
have doubted whether any remains of Roman date had been found on the west;
a portion, however, was discovered between Warwick Square and Old Bailey
some twenty years ago, and in 1900 other portions were found at Newgate
Prison. Still earlier in 1843, as Roach Smith pointed out in _Collectanea
Antiqua_ (vol. i.), a portion of the city wall was found near
Apothecaries' Hall in Playhouse Yard. It was 10 feet thick, and the stones
were bedded in mortar mixed with powdered brick. In the walls of some part
of the old Blackfriars buildings found in 1900, I noticed that a
considerable quantity of the small cubical Roman stones had been re-used
in the Friary after the destruction of the south portion of the western
wall of the city. Roach Smith pointed out that the steep fall in the
ground just south of the _Times_ office and St. Andrew's Church showed
that the river wall passed along here. There is no doubt that Alfred's
London included the whole of the Roman city with the exception of the
Blackfriars extension.

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--ROMAN WALL OF LONDON.]


The city wall seems to have been uniformly built throughout its circuit of
small stones, 6 or 7 inches square on the face, bonded about every sixth
course with two or three courses of large flat tiles nearly 18 inches by
12 inches, and 1-1/2 inches thick. The core was rough rubble; it was
about 8 to 10 feet thick and probably 20 to 25 feet high. FitzStephen
(_c._ 1180) describes it as "the high and great wall of the city having
seven double gates and towered to the north at intervals; it was walled
and towered in like manner on the south, but the Thames has thrown down
those walls." There is evidence for a square Roman wall-tower having
existed in Houndsditch, and for others, semicircular in form. It would
always have had, as we know it had at a later time, a walk all round, a
parapet, and battlements. A part of the late wall which still shows the
walk and battlements is yet in London Wall. The turrets (of the later wall
at least) were higher than the wall.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--FROM THE COMMON SEAL. REVERSE, ENLARGED, 1224.]

According to Stow, the ditch of the city wall was begun in 1211, and the
same writer, speaking of the Walbrook entering the city, as mentioned in
the Conqueror's charter, adds "before there was any ditch." This is a
mistake, for notices of Houndsditch appear before 1211, and the name is
used in the _Liber Trinitatis_ in a way that infers its existence before
1125. A few years ago an excavation at Aldersgate exposed a complete
section of the ditch outside the wall. It was 14 feet deep, 35 feet wide
at bottom, and 75 feet wide at the top of the sloping sides. The top of
the inner slope was 10 feet from the wall. This is drawn and described in
vol. lii. of _Archæologia_, and a comparison subsequently made with the
ditch at Silchester showed that, like it, it was certainly of Roman work.
In each there was found a raised foundation in the bed of the ditch for a
trestle bridge crossing from the gate (Fig. 21).

After the ruins of the fire (of five or six years ago) at Cripplegate were
cleared away, it was evident that the basements of the houses in the
street running north and south outside the west end of St. Giles's
churchyard, by the angle bastion of the wall which still stands there,
were built in the old ditch. A length of embanked stream which fed the
ditch ran by the east of Finsbury Circus.[75] It is shown in the so-called
Aggas plan.


Many considerations suggest the likelihood that the first Roman walled
city was smaller in extent than it became at a later time. Roach Smith
thought that this earlier city was confined to the east side of the
Walbrook, the approach from London Bridge forming its centre. The great
wall, according to him, was "probably a work of the later days of the
Romano-British period." With this view J. R. Green agrees, and argues that
the wall was built in haste under Theodosius, when the attacks of Picts
and Saxons made walls necessary for the security of British towns.[76]
Henry of Huntingdon, writing early in the twelfth century, tells us that
"tradition says that Helen, the illustrious daughter of Britain,
surrounded London with the wall which is still standing."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Gates._--Opposite the entrance to the city by the bridge was the _North
Gate_, called Bishopsgate. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cæsar's
sword "Yellow Death" was buried here with a Briton who had been slain by
it. This legend is at least enough to show that the gate was ancient at
the beginning of the twelfth century. Bishopsgate is mentioned in
Domesday: "The canons of St. Paul's have _ad portam episcopi_ ten cottages
as in the time of King Edward." Outside the gate the Erming Street
stretched away to the north over the moor.

The _East Gate_--Aldgate (generally written Algate or Alegate)--is
mentioned in the foundation charters of Holy Trinity Priory in 1108. Stow
says he found it named in a charter given by King Edgar to the Cnihten
Gild, but it seems that he founded this on a later legend which professed
to recite the terms of such a charter. However, the Saxon Chronicle,
giving an account of the dispute between the Confessor and Godwine in
1052, says that some of the Earl's party _gewendon ut æt Æst geate_ and
got them to Eldulfsness (Walton-on-the-Naze). Mr. W. H. Stevenson, in an
interesting note on personal names associated with town gates, cites an
eleventh-century life of St. Edmund, in which it is called Ealsegate, and
suggests that it may be named from one Ealh; the East Gate of Gloucester
was called Ailesgate from Æthel.[77] A survey of Holy Trinity precinct
made about 1592, and now at Hatfield, gives the plan of the gate as it
then existed (possibly in part Roman), and a length of the city wall with
its semicircular bastions.[78] Outside this gate the great Roman road
reached away to Chelmsford and Colchester.

The principal _West Gate_ is clearly Newgate, as standing opposite the
East Gate and at the end of Cheap. Fabyan calls it West Gate. In the Pipe
Roll for 1188 it is called Newgate, and it was then already a prison.
Earlier in the twelfth century it seems to have been called Chamberlain's
Gate,[79] and this name is probably explained by an entry in Domesday,
where it is noted that two cottagers at Holeburn were dependent on the
sheriff of Middlesex in the time of the Confessor, and that William the
_Chamberlain_ rendered six shillings for his vineyard [there] to the
King's sheriff. That is, the Chamberlain held property outside Newgate in
1086, and the name Chamberlain's Gate probably goes back as far. An
eleventh-century text of a charter dated 889[80] describes a property,
"Ceolmundingehaga, not far from Westgetum." Possibly Coleman Street is
named after the same citizen, who may be none other than the Ealdorman of
Kent who died in 897. Outside this gate the Roman road ran west, as we
have seen, to the Tyburn, beyond which it crossed the Watling Street.

[Illustration: FIG. 22.--FROM MATTHEW PARIS, 1236.]

_Ludgate_ must have been reputed to be very ancient when Geoffrey of
Monmouth wrote, early in the twelfth century. He speaks of it as "the gate
which to this day is called in the British tongue Porth-Lud and in the
Saxon Ludesgata." On it had been "a brazen man," said to be Cadwaladr. Dr.
Rhys thinks that Geoffrey was here using ancient tradition. There is no
conclusive reason why the gate should not have preserved a British name
and a Roman statue, and at least the legend has a legend's worth. The next
earliest mention I find of it is in the St. Paul's documents, about the
middle of the twelfth century.[81] Ludgate Street without the gate is
spoken of not long after. A reference cited by Fabyan, however, probably
takes us back to the days of the Conquest (see below, p. 112). The Strand,
leading from Westminster past St. Clement Danes to Ludgate, must be an
ancient street: it may indeed represent the earliest of all paths to
London from the passage of the river by the great Watling Street. St.
Clement's Church, as we shall see, is pre-Conquest; Sir H. Ellis, in his
introduction to Domesday, says a charter by the Conqueror refers to St.
Clement Danes "in the Strand," but the actual words are not cited (vol.
ii. p. 143). A street outside the western walls--"Aldwych"--is frequently
mentioned from the twelfth century; it is represented by Wych Street and
by Drury Lane; it turned north-west from the Strand and joined the great
western highway at St. Giles, where a hospital came to be built in the
Middle Ages. Lambard says Ludgate meant, in Saxon, a postern, and this
meaning is found in the A.S. dictionaries. Mr. W. H. Stevenson has lately
again suggested that this gate is called from a Ludd or Ludda, like
Billingsgate from Billing, but on all the evidence we must conclude that
the Saxon word for postern must hold the field, especially as the opposite
gate in the east wall was called the Postern up to Stow's time.

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--THE COMMON SEAL OF LONDON, 1224.]

_Ealdredesgate_ and _Cripelegate_ are both named about the year 1000 in
Ethelred's Laws (Thorpe). The first is evidently called after one Ealdred.
As we have seen above, in p. 79, an excavation outside Aldersgate exposed
a section of the old Roman ditch, and gave evidence of a trestle bridge
which crossed it from the ancient gate, which consequently must itself
have been Roman.[82] Stow says that Cripplesgate is mentioned in a life of
St. Edmund, which tells that the Saint's body was brought through this
gate about 1010; but see Aldgate above. It is named the postern of
Cripplesgata in the Conqueror's charter to St. Martin's. In a slightly
later charter it is called Porta Contractorum (Stow).[83] These six, with
the South or Bridge Gate, make up the seven historic gates of London, and
the conclusion cannot be resisted that they all date back at least to the
time when Alfred repaired the walls of the city, and most, if not all of
them, to Roman days. Roach Smith held that the principal gates were then
Ludgate, Aldgate, and Bishopsgate. Referring to the finding of inscribed
stones near to Ludgate, he says that they doubtless belonged to a cemetery
which stood outside the gate. Hatton says that some Roman coins were found
at Aldgate on its destruction in 1606. Price says that no evidence of the
ancient wall having crossed Bishopsgate Street was found when a deep sewer
was carried along the street, and hence we may infer a Roman opening in
the wall at this point. Direct evidence has been found of Aldersgate, as
just said, and Newgate is implied by the evidence of the Roman road found
by Wren at St. Mary le Bow. FitzStephen says the city gates were double,
and a rough drawing of the city in the MS. Matthew of Paris represents
each gate as having two arches (Fig. 22). Stow also says that Aldgate was
double. The Roman gates at Chesters and other important posts on Hadrian's
Wall have coupled openings between towers containing guard chambers; the
great West Gate at Silchester was similar,[84] and we may take this gate
as a type for Roman London.

We may thus form a very clear idea of what London must have looked like
when the Norman Conqueror came and viewed the city walls from the other
side of the river, as described by Guy of Amiens.

The assertions and contradictions in recent books, and maps founded on
them,[85] are difficult to follow. According to Mr. Loftie, the north road
from Bishopsgate "joined the road to Colchester and Lincoln afterwards
called Erming Street" (Erming Street to Colchester); "We find both Watling
and the Erming Streets going off at a tangent when they have passed out"
(on plan both shown perfectly straight);[86] "Aldgate--properly
Algate--was opened about the beginning of Henry's [I.] reign"; "Aldgate
has nothing to do with 'Old' or Eald, for the simple reason that the
eastern road ran not from Aldgate but from Bishopsgate, and not to
Stratford but to Old Ford"; "Whitechapel Road--the Vicenal Way ...
answered to the street of tombs without the gate at Pompeii" (in the plan
a road going east from Bishopsgate is named Vicenal Way). It is impossible
to say what such roads were, or where they went, or how the author knew.
In the other plans mentioned above, London Bridge is shown near
Billingsgate, with the north and south street _east_ of St. Magnus and the
north gate much to the east of Bishopsgate. Watling Street is shown on a
diagonal line from Bridge end to Newgate, and Leadenhall Street and
Aldgate are omitted.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Quays._--FitzStephen, as we have seen, says that London "was walled and
towered" to the south against the river. And there cannot be a doubt that
the citizens were protected in this way, when we read that they shut
themselves within their walls against the Danes, for land walls alone
would little have availed against the water-borne hordes. Stow, Wren, and
other authorities have accepted these river walls, and indeed analogy with
other water-side towns calls for them. It is evident on referring to a map
that Thames Street, Upper and Lower (above Bridge and below), must follow
the course of this wall, and that the street was outside the wall, forming
a "strand" giving access to the quays, as does the way along the Golden
Horn at Constantinople. When in 1863 Thames Street was excavated, the
Roman level appeared at 20 to 25 feet below the modern surface; the whole
was found to have been piled and cross-timbered right across the street;
this "doubtless formed the old water line and embankment fronting the
south portion of Roman London." The piling turned up the course of the
Walbrook towards Cannon Street.[87] Similar embankments were found when
the approach to new London Bridge was made, and still further east; it is
said as many as five lines were found when the present Custom House was
built. Roach Smith describes the foundations of a part of the river wall
which was found extending from Lambeth Hill to Queenhythe, and again by
Queen Street, along the north side of the street.[88] And we have seen
that the south-east and south-west angles of the wall were just on this
line. Several quay basins were formed along the river shore outside the
wall. The most famous of these was Billingsgate, which in the traditions
of Geoffrey of Monmouth took its name from Belinus, the British Apollo. In
the Laws of Ethelred (979-1015)[89] there is an item "concerning the Tolls
given at Bilingesgate." It is probably the Lundentuneshythe named in a
charter of 749[90] and the Roman Wharf of London.


The next most important quay is Queenhythe, otherwise, as Stow says,
"called Edredshithe because it at first belonged to one called Edred."
This is confirmed by the name of the Church of St. Michael "Ædredeshuda"
found about 1148 in the St. Paul's documents; about 1220 it appears as St.
Michael's de Hutha Regina in the same. The queen who gave her name to this
quay was Matilda, wife of Stephen; in the Cotton Charters (xvi. 35) is a
grant from her of the hospital by the Tower and rents from Edredshythe to
Holy Trinity Aldgate. In the Close Rolls of 21 Henry III. (1237) are two
entries in regard to the Necessary House formerly built by Matilda, late
Queen, at Queenhythe for the common use of the city; it was to be made as
long as the quay of Alan Balun, so that it might have a free course of
water. Dugdale cites a grant (_temp._ Henry II.) of a rent-charge on Ripa
Reginæ called "Aldershithe" [?] to St. Giles. In 1247 the wharf was
granted to the city at a farm of £50 a year.[91] From a charter of King
Alfred himself, dated 899, we find that the Edred who gave his name to
this wharf was none other than Ethered, Alfred's son-in-law and his
lieutenant in London (died 912).[92] In a second version of the charter
given in Birch's collection it is called Rethereshythe, but the
Peterborough Chronicle again names it correctly and gives the further
interesting fact that Harold held land near this quay: "_Comes Harold
dedit terram in London juxta monaster. S. Pauli juxta Portum qui vocatur
Etheredishithe_".[93] In a survey of the quays and approaches given in the
_Liber Custumarum_ a Retheresgate appears, and in a will of 1279
Retheresgate and the lane of St. Margaret near it are mentioned. The lane
was later Rethers Lane and then Pudding Lane. I cannot explain the
confusion as to the two sites and names. Edredshythe was walled, and the
public way leading to it is mentioned. It is of great interest that its
actual basin yet remains to us. If the city were not given over to all the
horrors of "riches," we might hope to see a statue of the great king
erected at this quay. It is of romantic interest that we can associate
with this site the names of the husband of Alfred's daughter Ethelfleda,
Lady of Mercia and of London, and Harold, last of the English.


_Botolph's Wharf._--According to Stow, the Conqueror confirmed to
Westminster Abbey "the gift which Almundus of the port of St. Botolph
gave ... with the house and one wharf which is at the head of London
Bridge ... as King Edward granted."

_Dowgate._--In a charter of 1150-51 which Henry II. as Duke of the Normans
gave to the citizens of Rouen, he grants that the men of Rouen who are
free of the Merchants' Gild shall be quit of all dues save for wine and
craspisce. "And the citizens of Rouen shall have at London the port of
Douuegate as they have had from the time of King Edward." After warning
other ships off the wharf, they were free to cut them adrift.[94] "Here
then we have evidence that even before the Conquest the citizens of Rouen
had a haven at the mouth of the Walbrook."[95] A chapter in the Laws of
Æthelred names the traders who were free to come to the Port of London,
and amongst these appear men of Flanders, France, and the Emperor's men.
The men of Rouen, then, as in 1150, brought wine and craspisce (dried
sturgeon or whale). From the fact that the Walbrook issued here, Dowgate
has been derived from the Celtic _Dwr_, water; this would be a very
interesting fact, if there were any certainty in it.

_Steelyard and the Vintry Wharf._--In the privileges of the Emperor's men
just mentioned we seem to have, as Dr. Sharpe suggests,[96] the beginnings
of the Gilda Teutonicorum, the great mediæval Hanse by Baynard's Castle
called at a late time the Steelyard. In the time of Henry II. the House of
the Cologne Merchants in London is mentioned, and Richard I., when passing
through Cologne, remitted the rent-charge on their Gildhall.[97] This
privilege was confirmed by John in 1213.[98]

We can probably trace the port of "the Flanders men" of Æthelred's laws in
a charter granted by the Conqueror to the Abbey of St. Peter's, Ghent, in
1081, granting Lewisham, Woolwich, etc.: and within London, the land which
King Edward [the Confessor] gave, namely, a portion of Waremanni-Acra with
the wharf belonging to it, with its market rights, stalls, shops, and
dues, and that all merchants who have landed in the Soke of St. Peter [of
Ghent in London] shall return and enjoy his protection. This charter is
witnessed amongst others by Deorman, Leofstan, and Alward _grossus_ of
London.[99] In a later confirmation of 1103-09 the ground is called
Wermanacre, and this name must be preserved in St. Martin's "de
Beremanescherche" (date 1257);[100] for Stow says St. Martin in the Vintry
was sometimes called "St. Martin de Beremund Church." Kemble gives a copy
of the original charter of the Confessor, granting to St. Peter of Ghent
the above-named places, also within London the land which _anglice_ is
called Wermanecher, with the wharf and all rights and customs. Mr. Round
shows from other documents that the Confessor visited St. Peter's, Ghent,
in 1016, and then promised to restore to the monks their possessions in
England, and that Lewisham, etc., had first been given to the monastery as
early as 918. The gift was confirmed by Edgar, with its "churches, land,
and crops," at the prayer of Dunstan, who ruled St. Peter's for some time
when exiled from England.

_Fish hythe_, in the western part of London, is named in the Saxon charter
718 of Kemble's collection. Riley, in his introduction to the _Liber
Custumarum_, which contains a valuable mediæval survey of the wharves,
puts Fish hythe near the bottom of Bread Street. _Ebbegate_, which is
mentioned in twelfth-century documents, is, Riley says, the same as Swan

There must, even in Alfred's time, have been some sort of customs house,
for there were quay dues, and a charter of 857 speaks of the place in
London where the weighing and measuring of the port was done.[102]

We thus have a picture of a busy river front, the shore, backed by the
city walls and gates, indented with a series of docks crowded with
shipping. Says FitzStephen, "To this city from every nation under heaven
merchants delight to bring their trade by sea. The Arabian sends gold, ...
Gaul her wines." And Robert of Gloucester, characterising the fame of
several towns, says, "London for ships most." Camden likens the docks to a
floating forest.

The principal trade of the port seems to have been in slaves. A law of
_c._ 685 relates to the buying of chattels in London-wic, and the traffic
is frequently mentioned. Fifty years after the Conquest it was unsafe to
go near the ships in Bristol harbour for fear of being kidnapped, as was
young Tristram in the story. Gildas, looking back to the commerce of the
Roman period, likened the noble rivers Thames and Severn to two arms by
which foreign luxuries were of old brought in. In our period a multitude
of craft must have filled these basins and lined the river bank--dromonds
from the Mediterranean, "long ships and round ships" from the north, and
slavers from Rouen and Dublin, with many a splendid war "dragon" like Olaf
Tryggvison's--"Foreward on it was a dragon's head, but afterwards a crook
fashioned in the end as the tail of a dragon; but either side of the neck
and all the stem were overlaid with gold. That ship the King called the
Worm, because when the sail was aloft then should that be as the wings of
the dragon." The ships of Cnut's English fleet were "wondrously big; he
himself had that dragon which was so mickle that it told up sixty benches,
and on it were heads gold bedight, but the sails were banded of blue and
red and green."[103] There were also pilgrim ships, for we hear that Offa
"purchased a piece of land in Flanders in order to build a house where the
English pilgrims on landing might find refreshment."[104] According to the
legend St. Ursula and her virgins embarked at London.

Of Alfred we are told that he built ships to fight the Danish _ashes_,
"full twice as large as they, some with sixty oars, some with more." Only
last year (1900) a clinker-built boat, thought to be Danish, was found on
the Lea, 50 feet long and 9 feet beam. It must have been a wonderful sight
when the English fleet assembled at London, as in 992, or when a great
host of Northmen sailed up on the tide.

  Think that below bridge the green lapping waves
  Smite some few keels that bear Levantine staves,
  Cut from the yew wood on the burnt-up Hill,
  And pointed jars that Greek hands toiled to fill,
  And treasured scanty spice from some far sea,
  Florence gold-cloth, and Ypres napery,
  And cloth of Bruges, and hogsheads of Guienne.



  Their dyke the Vikings warded,
  But some deal of the war-host
  Held booths in level Southwark.
          OLAF THE HOLY in the _Heimskringla_.

_The Citadel._--The Saxon Chronicle under the year 886 reads: "In this
year _gesette_ Alfred _Lundenburh_ and gave the _burh_ to Æthered the
ealdorman to hold." This is usually understood to mean that Alfred
restored the city wall, but Mr. John Earle in a note on the passage argues
that the _burh_ was a citadel. He points out that Æthelweard's Latin
paraphrase reads, "_dux Æthered ... custodiendi arcem_"; he says further
that _gesette_ meant "founded," "peopled," and concluding that the passage
means that Alfred established a military colony with an endowment of land,
he suggests that we have here an account of the military occupation of
Tower Hill.[105] I cannot think that the suggestion as to the limited
meaning of _burh_ is made out;[106] but the endowment of a garrison as
suggested would give a perfect point of departure for the "English Cnihten
gild," an association to which a part of the portlands adjoining the east
wall was granted, Stow says, by King Edgar. Moreover, the resumption by
Alfred of London from the Danes would not only make such a body of
soldiers especially necessary, but give good reason for their being called
"English"; besides, it is known that Alfred did set up town garrisons. Mr.
Coote has already suggested that the relinquishment in 1125 by the members
of the gild of the lands which they held seems to have been in consequence
of the Conqueror's garrison at his new Tower having taken over their
duties. A traditional connection between the city guard and the Portsoken
seems to be suggested also by the account in the _Liber Custumarum_ of how
the city host was wont to assemble at the west end of St. Paul's, and then
march to Aldgate, where the banner of St. Paul was presented to them. The
council of this force, moreover, was held in Holy Trinity, which in 1125
took over the endowment of the gild.[107]

Since writing the above I find that Mr. Oman has also argued that the
Cnihten gilds of London and some other places were the military
associations which Alfred and his immediate successors placed in their
burhs. "That the system started with Alfred, rather than his son, seems to
follow from two passages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where, under the
year 894, we hear of "the King's thegns who were at home in the
fortresses," and again of "the fyrd being half in the field and half at
home, besides those men that held the burhs."[108]

It is likely enough that a great city like London would have had a
citadel, and Tower Hill, situated at the angle of the wall by the river,
seems itself to proclaim that from Roman days it has been a site of
military importance. It has been doubted whether Roman buildings actually
occupied the site, but some excavations in 1898-99 laid bare some remnants
about three yards away from the south-west angle of the keep, together
with a portion of a hypocaust.[109] Again, in the British Museum there is
an ingot of silver found in the eighteenth century on the site of the
Tower, and inscribed


A similar inscribed ingot was found not long since in the _castrum_ at
Richborough, and this goes to raise the old theory of a treasury at the
Tower again.

The account given by William of Poitiers seems to show that the Conqueror
took over and added to an existing stronghold (see Freeman), and Geoffrey
of Monmouth, writing within the lifetime of those who were living at the
Conquest, and when the Norman Tower was barely finished, attributes the
"prodigiously big tower" by Billingsgate to Belinus. Elidure, a descendant
of Belinus, he tells us, was shut up in the Tower at Trinovantum
(London). All tradition is in favour of its having been a stronghold
before the Conquest, and Henry of Huntingdon, _c._ 1130, says that
Eadric's head after his execution by Cnut was placed on the highest
battlement of the Tower of London. Again, there is no tradition of the
Conqueror having taken land from the city for the foundation of his Tower.
"Who built the Tower of London?" asks Dr. Maitland. "Let us read what the
chronicler says of the year 1097: 'Also many shires which belonged to
London for work were sorely harassed by the wall that they wrought around
the Tower, and by the bridge, which had been nearly washed away, and by
the work of the King's Hall that was wrought at Westminster.' There were
shires or districts which from of old owed work of this kind to

According to the Welsh story, Bran the Blessed, King of Britain, "exalted
from the crown of London," when wounded in battle commanded that his
followers should cut off his head. "'And take you my head,' said he, 'unto
the White Mount in London and bury it there with the face towards France.'
And they buried the head in the White Mount. It was the third ill-fated
disclosure when it was disinterred, as no invasion from across the sea
came to this island while the head was in concealment." The White Hill is
always explained to mean the Tower of London.[111]

In the story of Bran we get the constantly recurring idea of a palladium.
It seems to be referred to again in Merlin's prophecy, "Till the buried
kings be exposed to view in London." Some object like the statue of Pallas
in Troy, and the shield of Numa in Rome, was, as it were, the soul of a
city. In Geoffrey of Monmouth a brazen horse on Ludgate figures as the
protecting talisman; London Stone may have had some such mystical meaning
attached to it by the Saxons (see p. 181), and the Shrine of Erkenwald in
St. Paul's was the sacred heart of the city in the Middle Age. That the
idea of a palladium was known in Britain is proved by the case of the
sacred stone of Scone--the Coronation Stone. A similar story is told of
the tomb of Iver in the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok. William the Conqueror had
to break it down before he got the victory at Hastings.

_Southwark or the Borough._--The Burgal Hidage, a document which has
recently been critically examined,[112] containing "a list of ancient
fortresses," which dates from "the days of Edward the Elder at the
latest," gives us the earliest reference to Southwark. "It sets forth, so
we believe, certain arrangements made early in the tenth century for the
defence of Wessex against the Danish inroads. It names divers strongholds,
and shows how in the great age of burh-building they had wide provinces
which were appurtenant to them."

Amongst the burhs named comes Sutheringa-geweorc, in a position which is
satisfied by Southwark.[113] Dr. Maitland concludes generally that the
boroughs had their origin in such royal burhs founded for national
defence. "The borough belongs to the genus villa (_tun_), but it was in
its inception royal." The South-work was evidently a _tête-du-pont_, and
became a royal borough. By means of special privileges such burhs, like
the bastides of Edward I., attracted a heterogeneous population of
traders, and Southwark became the great "cheaping town" of the
_Heimskringla_, and "the Borough" _par excellence_ to this day. In the
Pipe Roll of 1130 it stands with Guildford as the second borough in
Surrey, and it returned members to Parliament from the first. It must have
been protected by a ditch, and remains of this, or of Cnuts dyke, might
have given rise to the tradition recorded by Stow that the course of the
Thames had been altered when the bridge was built by a trench cast from
Rotherhithe to Battersea. The older Maitland seems to have gathered some
evidence of its palisaded bank.[114] Even in the time of the Confessor the
"burghers" are spoken of. Some coins of Ethelred II. bear the mint mark of
Southwark: this also is a sign of being a royal burh. The whole of Surrey
seems to have been under contribution for the maintenance of Southwark and
Eashing [bridge?]. The churches of Southwark are of considerable
antiquity. The parish church of St. Olave is mentioned 1096, and St.
George's and St. Margaret-on-the-Hill can be traced back to about 1100.
Margaret Hill is the continuation of Borough High Street to St. George's
Church; the name may mark a military mound.

In Domesday it appears that Southwark had been subject to the Confessor
and Godwine.[115] The men of Southwark testified that in King Edward's
time no one took toll on the Strand or in the Water Street save the king.
Godwine had a house here, and he must have held the burh. In the dispute
of 1051-52 between the Confessor and Godwine, the earl carried his forces
up the river to Southwark, the burghers of which followed his cause and
supported him by land. The king's navy and land force faced him from the
north. The Londoners sympathised with the earl, but officially it was a
case of Southwark against the city.[116]

It would probably be possible even now to lay down the course of the
"walls" (of earth, like Wareham and Wallingford) by comparing the boundary
of the old manor or "town" with street lines and names and other
evidence.[117] Godwine's holding seems to have coincided with the
gildable manor which extended along the river from St. Mary Overie's dock
to Haywharf in the east, and southward nearly to St. Margaret Hill. Two
other adjoining manors were included in the parliamentary area. Even the
site of the great earl's manor house can, with some probability, be
pointed to.[118] Excavations have shown that before Saxon days there was a
considerable Roman settlement on the site of Southwark, and that the
present High Street lies over the Roman approach to London. Roach Smith
says that substantial remains of Roman houses have been found,
particularly on both sides of the High Street up to the vicinity of St.
George's Church, in which district the wall paintings and other evidence
indicated villas of a superior kind. Nearer the river, where the ground
had been subject to inundation, the houses were built upon piles.

In 1016 Cnut, to turn the flank of the bridge, dug a "mickle dyke" on the
south, and dragged his ships to the west side of the bridge. Sir W. Besant
has shown that quite a little dyke a few yards long would go round the
bridge end and take a Danish ship, but he has not considered the
preliminary forcing of the South-work which would have been necessary. As
to the probable course of the dyke, see Allen's _History of London_, vol.
i., and Faithorn's map, 1658, which shows a considerable stream flowing
into St. Saviour's dock. It was required more for the investment of the
stronghold than for the ships (which, as at Constantinople, could have
been dragged over land), as shown by the complete passage: "They dug a
great ditch on the south side, and dragged their ships to the west side of
the bridge, and then afterwards ditched the city around, so that no one
could go either in or out."

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Danes and their Quarter._--London Bridge was not only a roadway over
the river: it was a fortification linking the walled city to the
South-work and barring progress up the river. The _Knytlinga Saga_ refers
to this when it says: "King Cnut went with all his host to Tempsa (the
Thames). In the river was built a large castle, so that a ship-host might
not go up the river."

It was natural that a suburb should spring up under the shelter of the
bridge along the Strand, which is probably a Roman way.


In Fabyan's Chronicle is the following curious passage referring to the
reign of Ethelred: "In the third year [982] a great part of the city was
wasted by fire. But you shall understand that the city of London had most
building from Ludgate towards Westminster, and little or none where the
heart of the city is now, except in divers places was housing, but without
order, so that many cities in England passed London in building, as I have
known by an old book sometime at Guildhall named Domysdaye." From another
passage quoted below (p. 189) it would appear that this book was about the
age of the great Domesday (1087).

FitzStephen also tells us that the Palace of Westminster was joined to the
city by a _populous suburb_. In early thirteenth-century documents the
Strand is sometimes called _Vico Dacorum_. The church still called St.
Clement Danes certainly, as we shall see, dates from before the Conquest,
and in some special way was the church of the Danes. The early existence
of this western suburb would explain satisfactorily the name of
Westminster, and possibly its origin. We first hear of the Abbey,
independently of its own documents, towards the end of the tenth century,
when in 997 Elfwic signs a charter as abbot of Westminster.[119] It is
probable that Cnut was the first to choose Westminster for a royal
residence, and Harold I. was buried here. All these facts go to show that
the Strand in Cnut's day had become the Danish quarter. And London itself
had become so Danish that Malmesbury says Harold I. was elected by the
Danes and the citizens of London, who from long intercourse with these
barbarians had almost entirely adopted their customs.

An account in the _Jomsvikinga Saga_, however inaccurate in detail,
contains some interesting allusions to the Danes in London.

We are told that Sweyn made warfare in the land of King Ethelred and drove
him out of the land; he put "_Thingamannalid_" in two places. The one in
"Lundunaborg" was ruled by Eilif Thorgilsson, who had sixty ships in the
"Temps," the other was north in Slesvik. The Thingamen made a law that no
one should stay away a whole night. They gathered at the Bura church every
night when a large bell was rung, but without weapons. He who had command
in the town [London] was Eadric Streona. Ulfkel Snilling ruled over the
northern part of England [East Anglia]. The power of the Thingamen was
great. There was a fair there [in London] twice in every twelvemonth, one
about midsummer, and the other about midwinter. The English thought it
would be the easiest to slay the Thingamen while Cnut was young (he was
ten winters old) and Sweyn dead. About Yule waggons went into the town to
the market, and they were all tented over by the treacherous advice of
Ulfkel Snilling and Ethelred's sons. Thord, a man of the Thingamannalid,
went out of the town to the house of his mistress, who asked him to stay,
because the death was planned of all the Thingamen by English men
concealed in the waggons, when the Danes should go unarmed to the church.
Thord went into the town and told it to Eilif. They heard the bell
ringing, and when they came to the churchyard there was a great crowd, who
attacked them. Eilif escaped with three ships and went to Denmark. Some
time after, Edmund was made king. After three winters Cnut, Thorkel, and
Eric went with eight hundred ships to England. Thorkel had thirty ships,
and slew Ulfkel Snilling, and married Ulfhild his wife, daughter of King
Ethelred. With Ulfkel was slain every man on sixty ships, and Cnut took

The massacre of the Danes at the "Bura church" must be the same event as
is noticed by Stow in his account of St. Clement Danes, and also by
Matthew of Westminster under the year 1012. Stow seems to suggest that it
was in consequence of an attack on Chertsey Abbey. Messrs. Napier and
Stevenson, in a recent reference to this story in their _Crawford
Charters_, are "inclined to think that this account of the fate of the
Jomsborg Thingamenn is based on real events." They have found Eilif and
Thordr signing charters for Cnut. The fight with Ulfkel was at Ringmere,
near Thetford.

The fact of Cnut's drawing his ships above the bridge, as described in the
English Chronicles, when taken together with the above, would seem to
suggest as a possibility that the intention was to reach an English fleet
lying there. The Thingamannalid appears to have manned a fleet of
occupation; it seems to have been none other than the original of the
company of the Lithsmen of London mentioned in the English Chronicles, and
about which such various opinions have been held.[120]

Even the details of the fairs, the covered waggons, and the church-bell
have some historical value. It seems probable that the Danish occupation
of this quarter outside the walls of the city may date from the
arrangement made between Guthrum and Alfred.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Portlands and Cnihten Gild._--London was surrounded by a wide zone of
common land, the boundary of which in its late and probably lessened
extent was defined by bars on the several roads, such as Temple Bar,
Holborn Bar, Spital Bar, Red Cross Bar, and the bars without Aldersgate
and Aldgate. These bars can be traced back to the twelfth century.[121]
In 1181-88 the land or the canons of St. Paul's without the bar beyond
Bishopsgate is mentioned.[122]

The "bars" seem to have been posts; those at the limit of Bridge Ward
against Southwark were called "stulpes" (by Stow) or "stoples" (in 1372,
Riley's _Memorials_). In the Hundred Roll of Edward I. we hear of a
citizen who had put "stapellos" in front of his house.[123] From these
analogies I had come to the conclusion that Staples Inn was the inn at
Holborn Bars, or Staples, and I find that this suggestion has already been
made because "staple" is Saxon for "post."[124] The land out to the bars
is called suburbs by FitzStephen, and later, franchises or liberties. I
cannot but think that the whole of this land was at times included under
the designation Portsoken, which more particularly is given to that part
outside the east wall of the city; thus the charter of Henry II. grants
liberties "within the city and Portsoken thereof"; and the 1212 Assize of
Building regulated buildings _infra Civitatem et Portsokna_. The wider
liberties of the city seem to be without guarantee unless Portsoken had
this extended meaning.[125]

In any case the suburbs may represent a zone of common pasture and
tillage.[126] A consideration of its boundaries, however, suggests that
its present form must have been governed by the growth of extra-mural
population; this is also shown by the way in which extensions of boundary
overlie the main roads. The Portsoken Ward must formerly have been part of
this _pomærium_ of the city, and it occupied most of the eastern side. Mr.
Coote, in the authoritative article on the subject, calls it the city
manor. The Cnihten Gild, which held it until 1125, possessed a charter of
Edward the Confessor confirming to them the customs which they had in
King Edgar's day.[127]

On the north side of the city the common land was called the Moor, and we
have seen how a part of this "Moor" outside Cripplegate was granted to St.
Martin le Grand, the rest remaining a common playground as described by
FitzStephen. A mandate of Henry III. of 1268 in the Close Rolls, however,
commands the mayor and commonality "not to disturb Walter de Merton in
possession of a Moor on the north side of the wall of London which the
King gave to St. Paul's in consequence of the late disturbances."[128] It
was fen land; FitzStephen tells how the citizens skated here, and bone
skates of pre-Conquest date have been found in Moorfields. It is possible
that all the common land surrounding the city was called the Fen or Moor,
as a boundary on the west side against the land of Westminster was said at
an early time to be in London Fen (see p. 60).[129] The 12-1/2 acres of
land, mentioned in Domesday under the name of Noman's-land, and as having
been held by the Confessor, was probably some of the city land. In the
fourteenth century Charterhouse was built on ground called
Noman's-land--probably the same.

A part of Portsoken where fairs used to be held in the time of Henry III.
was called East Smithfield; at the north-west angle of the city was
another Smoothfield where the cattle fairs were held. As says FitzStephen:
"Outside one of the gates immediately in the suburb is a field smooth in
fact as in name. Every Friday, unless it be a feast, noble horses are here
shown for sale. In another part of the field are implements of husbandry,
swine, cows, great oxen, and woolly sheep.[130] On the north side there
are pastures and pleasant meadow land, through which flow streams turning
the wheels of mills. The tilled lands of the city are not barren soil, but
fat plains producing luxuriant crops. There are also sweet springs of
water which ripple over bright stones; amongst which there are Holy Well
[Hoxton], Clerkenwell, and St. Clement's; they are frequented by many when
they go out for fresh air on summer evenings."

It has been properly pointed out by Dr. Maitland and by Mr. Gomme that
"the tilled lands of the city" is no mere rhetorical phrase,[131] but it
referred to "the arable fields of the town of London." In the Saxon
Chronicle we gain a sight of the citizens reaping their lands: "Then that
same year [895] the Danish men who sat down in Mersey [island] towed their
ships up the Thames, and thence up the Lea. This year [896] the aforesaid
host wrought themselves a stronghold on the Lea, twenty miles above
London. And in summer a great body of the townsmen, and other folk beside,
went forth even unto this stronghold. And there were they put to flight,
and there were slain some four of the king's thanes. And after, throughout
harvest, did the king camp hard by the town [London] while the folk were
reaping, that the Danes might not rob them of their crop. Then one day the
king rode along the stream, and saw where it might be shut in, so that
never might they bring out their ships. And thus was it done. And they
wrought them two strongholds on the two sides of the stream. When this
work was done and the camps pitched thereby, then saw the host that they
might not bring out their ships. Then forsook they their ships, and fled
away across the land until they came unto Coatbridge on Severn, and there
wrought they a stronghold. And the men of London took all those ships, and
such as they might not bring away of them they brake up, and such as were
staelwyrthe them brought they to London."

The suburbs must be the residue of the original clearing in the forest;
FitzStephen says the forest was close by London and formed a covert for
boars and wild cattle, and as late as the thirteenth century there were
wild cattle at Osterley.[132] Scattered about the forest were village
settlements, the nearest about the city mentioned in Domesday being
Stepney, Hoxton, Islington, Hampstead, St. Pancras, Kensington, Chelsea.
The bishop of the East Saxons already, in Alfred's day, had his house at

The citizens had their hunting rights confirmed by Henry I. "as fully as
their ancestors have had, in Chiltre, Middlesex, and Surrey." Middlesex
was peculiarly attached to London, and, in its modern form at least, must
represent the portion of the old East Saxon kingdom cut off by Alfred's
treaty with Guthrum.[134] The East Saxon kingdom, Malmesbury says,
comprised the modern Essex, Middlesex, and half Hertfordshire. The Saxon
Chronicle under 912 says: "This year died Æthered, and King Edward
[Alfred's son] took possession of London and Oxford and of all the lands
which owed obedience thereto."[135] A charter professedly dated as early
as 704 names Twickenham in the province of Middlesex, but nothing is known
to history of a Middle Saxon kingdom or people. Bede says London was a
city of the East Saxons, and the London bishopric is coextensive with the
East Saxon kingdom, including Middlesex. If we had to find a theory for an
earlier origin of Middlesex, it might be suggested that when in 571 the
West Saxons and East Saxons formed their common frontiers, London with
some dependent land was constituted a middle region accessible to both.
This might account for the peculiar circumstances whereby London passed
successively under the suzerainty of one state after another. Middlesex
was in fact the "country of London," as it is called by Capgrave.

Besides the suburban land, there remained much common and open land in the
city itself through the Middle Ages.[136] Stocks Market, for instance,
"the middle of the city," as Stow says, was made in 1282 on "an open space
where, the way being very large and broad, had stood a pair of stocks."
This looks like the "village green" of London. In the original grant in
the _Liber Custumarum_ the vacant land is described as north of
Woolchurch, where the king's beam stood and the wool market was held.

At the east end, near the precinct of the Tower, some ground bore the name
of Romeland, whatever that may mean:[137] at the west of the city was St.
Paul's Churchyard, with the areas where the folkmote met, and where the
city host assembled in arms.

It was not till the centuries following the Conquest that the ground just
within the walls seems to have been appropriated; at least large sections
remained to be occupied by the monasteries of Holy Trinity, St. Helen's,
Austin Friars, and Greyfriars. The orchards and gardens of citizens are
frequently mentioned. A deed of 1316 refers to a grant of land called
Andovrefield and a house called Stonehouse by the Walbrook.[138] London
in Saxon times indeed was a walled county, and up to the sixteenth century
retained much of its character as a "garden city."

The Cnihtengild, which till 1125 held the Portsoken, has been incidentally
dealt with in the course of this chapter (pp. 102 and 118). Of the many
problems connected with the history of London, hardly one has been more
discussed than the status of this "mysterious institution." Mr. Loftie
thought he had proved that the aldermen formed its members, and that it
was the governing gild of London. Mr. Round, however, has adversely
criticised this conclusion. It is certain that there were Cnihtengilds in
other places, as Winchester and Exeter. As all such places appear to have
been county strongholds or burhs, and as we have seen it is probable that
the Cnihts of London had the duty of defending the city, and further, as
at Cambridge the members of a gild of Thegns were called Cnihts, I
conclude the members of the London gild were originally the Thegns who
garrisoned Londonburh.[139]



    So Hawk fared west to England to see King Athelstane, and found the
    king in London, and thereat was there a bidding and a feast full
    worthy. So they went into the hall thirty men in company, and Hawk
    went before the king and greeted him, and the king bade him welcome.

    _Saga of Harold Hairfair._

_Wards and Parishes._--The earliest lists of wards which give the present
traditional names have been printed by Dr. Sharpe in his _Calendar of
London Wills_ and his _Letter Book A_. These are of about the years 1320,
1293, and 1285. Another of 1303 is in Palgrave's _Treasury_. A patent of
1299 speaks of the mayor and twenty-four aldermen. Before this time most
of the wards were called by the names of the aldermen holding them, as
said in the _Liber Albus_. There is a list of this kind, in which only a
few of the traditional names appear, in the Hundred Rolls of 1275. This
last is particularly interesting, however, as giving the names of the
city magnates of the great time just after the war of the city with the
king, when Thomas FitzThomas, the mayor, was imprisoned--some have said
never to appear again; but I find in the Close Rolls for 1269-70 (53 Henry
III.) that in that year "Thomas son of Thomas, late Mayor of London,"
entered into recognisances for a debt of £500 to Edward the king's son,
finding sureties for the same and for his fealty to the king and his


Another list of aldermen in 1214 is printed in Madox's _Exchequer_,
together with a reference to one of 1211, which carries back the complete
list of twenty-four to within twenty years of the institution of the

An account of the property of St. Paul's made in the first half of the
twelfth century, and printed in facsimile in Price's _History of the
Guildhall_, incidentally contains a list of about twenty wards, mostly
under the names of their aldermen. Of these "_Warda Fori_" and the wards
of Aldgate, Brocesgange (Walbrook), and of the Bishop may be cited as
especially interesting; Aldresmanesberi is also mentioned. This document
is not dated, but Mr. Round has shown it to have been written about 1130.
Hugo, son of Wlgar, and Osbert, Aldermen, occur in another deed of 1115,
and Thurstan, Alderman, in 1111. Mr. Loftie has attempted to identify some
of the wards. The Ward of Herbert, in which was the land of William
Pontearch, may perhaps be Dowgate, for a charter of Stephen gave to S. M.
de Sudwerc the stone house of William de Pontearch, situated by the sheds
of Douegate (Dugdale). What is probably a still earlier group of aldermen
is given in a Ramsay document of 1114-30, which is addressed to Hugo de
Bochland, Roger, Leofstan, Ordgar, and all the other barons (_i.e._
aldermen) of London. Another document of the same age is witnessed by
Levenoth, "Alderman." A careful comparison of these lists, together with
other sources,[140] might yield some new facts. From a cursory comparison
it seems to be evident that too much has been made of the case of the
Farndons and Farringdon Ward as evidence for hereditary _ownership_ in the
aldermanries. Most of the family names change from list to list, but a few
persist: in 1240 there is a Jacob Bland, in 1275-85 and 1293 a Rudulphus
Blond, but this may be the case in any office. On the other hand, two of
the same family name are found more than once holding different wards at
the same time, and in other cases similar names are found in different
wards in different lists; thus in 1285 there are two Ashys, two Rokesleys,
two Boxes, and two Hadstocks: a Frowick in 1285 held Cripplegate, and in
1320 a Frowick held Langbourne. The ward that can most easily be traced is
Cheap; in 1211-14 it was held by William son of Benedict, in 1275 by Peter
of Edmonton, in 1285 by Stephen Ashy, and in 1320 by Simon Paris. This is
hardly hereditary succession. But what I am concerned with is not the
tenure but the topographical origin of the wards. Many different theories
as to the origin of the wards have been put forward. Mr. Loftie, writing
of the beginning of the thirteenth century, says: "The wards, as we shall
notice more distinctly further on" (the distinctness is difficult to
find), "were in the hands originally of the landowners, and an alderman
was still very much in the position of a lord of the manor. His office was
at first always, and still usually, hereditary." After the reign of Henry
III. the aldermen no longer owned their wards. The constitution had
undergone a complete change, "and the offices became purely elective."

Mr. Price thought that the wards were divisions dating from Roman days.
Norton believed that the wards were to the city what the hundreds were to
the shire, and this view, shared by Bishop Stubbs, seems to be confirmed,
as will be shown by an independent line of reasoning.

The wards can be traced back to within fifty years after the Conquest, and
that they were even then of immemorial antiquity is shown by FitzStephen's
legend that, like Rome, London was founded by the Trojans, and
consequently had the same laws, and like it was divided into wards. In
Cambridge there were ten wards in 1086.

A study of the ward boundaries in connection with the Walbrook, the
"Carrefour," and the main streets yields most interesting results. Stow
tells us that a great division between the western and eastern wards was
made by the Walbrook, which ran from the north wall to St. Margaret's
Lothbury, then under Grocers' Hall, and St. Mildred's Church, west of the
Stocks Market, through Bucklersbury, then by the west of St. John's
Walbrook and the Chandlers' Hall, and by Elbow Lane to the Thames. On
laying down the course of this stream from all obtainable data, it is
found that it was an unbroken boundary between the thirteen eastern and
eleven western wards.

Again, the four principal cross streets form so many backbones to a series
of wards; and this in such a marked way as to show on a good map quite
certainly at a glance, that these wards were formed by aggregations of
dwellings upon either side of the roads which passed through them, exactly
as a high-road threads a village.

Bridge Ward is a narrow strip containing the Bridge Street up to the cross
of Lombard Street. Bishopsgate Ward, beginning at this same crossways,
goes all the way to Bishopsgate, the ward street passing through its

Lombard Street and Fenchurch Street furnish the midrib to Langbourne
Ward[141] in just as obvious a way. Stow thought that Langbourne Ward was
called from a stream, but this has been shown to be untenable for physical
reasons (see p. 48); and the plan of the wards shows instantly that here
was no water-course, like the Walbrook, _dividing_ wards, but a street
passing through the _midst_ of a ward. While deriving this _ward's_ name
from a brook, Stow says that Lombard _Street_ was so called of the
Longobard merchants about 1300. I find that the _street_ was called
Langbourne Strate at the end of the thirteenth century;[142] and in a
charter of Matilda to Holy Trinity, 1108-18, appears the Church of St.
Edmund in _Longboard Strete_. The first mention I can find of the ward is
also of the twelfth century; this is a demise by "Geoffrey, Alderman of
the Ward of Langebord," of land in Lime Street.[143] It is evident from
this that the name of the street and the ward was originally one and the
same--Langbard, Longbord, or Longford, as it occasionally appears. The
street was written "Lumbard Strete" in 1319.[144]

The St. Paul's documents show that important Lombards were resident in
London early in the twelfth century, and they probably gave their name to
the ward and street; two of these were Meinbod and his son Picot the
Lombard. In Paris there is a Lombard Street, and other cities have the
name. And the word is written Langeberde in old English.

Cornhill Ward, Cheap Ward, and the old Newgate Ward are just as clearly
three wards strung on the street which respectively threads them in
passing to the west gate, and properly takes the name of each ward in
passing through it.

Lime Street and Aldgate Wards lie over Leadenhall (the old Aldgate)
Street; from the look of it we might suppose that Lime Street Ward was
formerly part of Aldgate Ward, as the _division_ line is here formed by
the street which gives its name to the ward. The backbone of Tower Ward is
Great Tower Street, which passes into Billingsgate Street as East Cheap,
and on westward as Candlewick Street. Coleman Street threads the ward of
the same name, which is possibly derived from the Coleman named on p. 83,
and Cripplegate and Aldersgate Wards are formed on the ancient streets
which went to those gates.

This examination of the forms of the wards in relation to the ancient
streets which they overlie is enough to prove irresistibly that the main
streets of the city existed before the wards, and that these wards
originated not as "private property," but as units of population
inhabiting the houses along those streets, like so many villages or
townships. These streets, in turn, however long and unbroken, evidently
bore different names according to the wards they passed through.

The study of the wards might be carried further in one direction by means
of a map on which the boundaries of the parishes, as well as of the wards,
were carefully laid down. Although upwards of a hundred parishes can
hardly date back so early as the institution of wards, it is possible that
certain large parishes may have had an origin identical with the
wards,[145] and most of them probably date from before the Conquest. It
would be interesting also to compare the boundaries of the suburban
parishes with the limits of the suburbs proper as defined by the bars.

It is generally accepted that a parallel holds between the organisation of
the city and the shire, the ward and the hundred. "Hundreds and Tithings
were part of the primitive Germanic constitution." Dr. Stubbs has shown
that in Domesday several towns figure as hundreds, and the wards of the
city of Canterbury were called hundreds. Thus too, I suppose, it arose
that the reports of the wards of London were inserted in the Hundred

The wards in London most probably represented the groups of citizens
belonging to several gilds; they may indeed be identical with the Peace
gilds of Athelstane's enactment, according to which the population were to
be enrolled by tens and hundreds in associations for the preservation of
peace and the suppression of theft.[146] In accordance with this idea of
accounting for every man, we find that even in the thirteenth century no
one was to stay in the city for more than two nights "unless he finds two
sureties and so puts himself in frankpledge." The aldermen were
responsible for their wards,[147] and every hosteller was likewise
responsible for his guest.[148] Dr. Maitland suggests that the Aldermen
were the military captains of the burgmen. It is certain that the defence
of the town gates was assigned to the men of the several wards.

The wards, then, were in the main organisations for the executive
government, the ordering and policing of the city. "The ward-mote is so
called as being the meeting together of all the inhabitants of a ward in
presence of its head, the alderman, or else his deputy, for the correction
of defaults, the removal of nuisances, and the promotion of the well-being
of each ward."[149] This function, indeed, is explained by the very name
"ward," and the "frankpledge" was a survival of primitive adoption into
the tribe. Some recognition of this is made by Holinshed, who says the
city is divided into twenty-six wards or "tribes." It even seems possible
that the wards may at first have been formed by symmetrical numerical
units such as, say, a hundred freemen; or the space within the walls may
have been divided up into twenty or twenty-four parts in such a way as to
allow for density of population. Excavations in the city have shown that
the population clustered most thickly along the river and in the great
streets, and the wards are much more congested and regular in the central
part by the bridge than nearer the walls: the old churches also seem to
gravitate towards the same nucleus.

_Wards without._--A good illustration of the formation of the interior
wards may be found in the growth of those without the walls. Bishopsgate
Without, and Aldersgate Without, were evidently formed by clusters of
dwellings springing up on either side of the roads outside the gates.
Cottages outside Bishopsgate and at Holborn are mentioned even in
Domesday, and Fleet Street appears to have been populous even earlier. The
external wards extend to the boundary of the city liberties, or common
land, and the roads passing through them had specific street-names as far
as the several "Bars." Holborn Street, as it is sometimes called, which
passed over the Hole-burn, should properly end with the city liberty, as
does Fleet Street.

Along with the wards were a number of sokes--areas in which persons or
corporations held certain privileges. The first sokes mentioned are that
of the Cnihten Gild (pre-Conquest), and that of St. Peter of Ghent (in
1081, see p. 97). The charter of Henry I. grants that "no guest tarrying
in any soc shall pay custom to any other than him to whom the soc
belongs." They appear to have been heritable, and free to some extent from
civic jurisdiction: in the reign of Edward I. there were still upwards of
twenty in existence in London.[150] "Bury" seems to have been applied to
a manor or property surrounded by a wall or fence; "in London," says Mr.
W. H. Stevenson, "it means a large house." Bucklersbury and Bloomsbury
were the properties--post-Conquest--of one Blemund, and of the family of
Bockerel. A Saxon will makes a bequest to Paul's byrig.[151] The
termination "haw," present still in Bassishaw, is also common. A charter
of the Confessor giving Stæninghaga in London to Westminster is printed by
Kemble; Dr. Maitland in _Domesday and Beyond_ has shown that this was
occupied by the men of Staines, and that Staining Lane probably preserves
its memory even unto this day. There were forty-eight burgesses of London
who counted with Staines in 1086. He suggests that we have here a trace of
a system by which the shires garrisoned the burhs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Palace._--There are but few references to a palace. Florence, writing
of 1017, says that Cnut "being in London" ordered Edric to be "slain in
the palace" and his body to be thrown from the walls--"into the Thames,"
says Malmesbury. Richard of Cirencester, who wrote in the middle of the
fourteenth century, but whose testimony is of the more value as he was a
monk at Westminster, says that Cnut was keeping his Christmas "in the
castle which is now called Baynard's," and after the death of Edric took
boat for Westminster. There is every reason to think that the ruler's
house in London, as in Constantinople, Venice, Aachen, and Paris, would
have adjoined the cathedral, as Baynard's Castle did. That Baynard's
Castle should have been the old royal palace would seem to agree very well
with its subsequent history; it would also explain the existence of this
stronghold held under the king within the city walls, while none of the
chroniclers speak of its site being taken from the city, and it would
explain why early in the twelfth century Henry I. should give a part of
the site to St. Paul's; for, if it had been built after the Conquest, it
would hardly have been curtailed so early.[152]

Henry of Huntingdon says that William Baynard was deprived of his estate
in 1110. It was then, I suppose, that it passed to the Clares. The
Fitzwalters, who held it after Baynard, belonged to the great family of
the Clares.[153] Baynard's Castle was probably dismantled under John when
the king quarrelled with Fitzwalter. In 1275 a patent was granted R.
Fitzwalter to alienate Castle Baynard near the city walls, with stone
wall, void areas, ditches, and even the tower of Fish Street Hill. Taking
this and the St. Paul's document together, the precinct seems to have
included the ground between the boundary of St. Paul's (along Carter Lane)
and the river and from the city wall to Old Fish Street. It must have been
an important castle, not a mere tower.

Henry II. is made by Fantosme to ask how "mes baruns de Lundres ma cité"
fared in the troubles of that time, and is told that Gilbert de Munfichet
had strengthened his "castle," and that the Clares were leagued with him.
This Montfichet's Castle is mentioned by FitzStephen, and Stow says that
it was close to Castle Baynard towards the west, and on the river; but a
document given by Dugdale speaks of Munfichet Castle with its ditch as
close to Ludgate (ii. 384).[154]

Tradition has also assigned the site of a Saxon palace close to the east
end of St. Alban's, Wood Street. It was said that King Athelstane had his
house here, which, having a door into Adel Street, "gave name to this
street, which in ancient evidences is written King Adel Street."[155] Stow
just refers to the story, but says any evidence had been destroyed, and he
was evidently disgusted at a then recent "improvement." Some accounts of
23 Henry VIII., given in the _Calendar of St. Paul's Documents_, refer to
the "clensying of certyn old ruinouse houses in Aldermanbury, sometime the
palace of Saincte Æthelbert Kyng ... and making of five new tenements." It
is curious that there is an Adle Hill, also in Castle Baynard Ward. The
records of St. Alban's show that Abbot Paul (from 1077) obtained by
exchange with the Abbot of Westminster what was said had been the chapel
of Offa's palace near the church of St. Alban's, Wood Street. This
evidently refers to the same site abutting on St. Alban's, Wood
Street.[156] It has been said that Gutter Lane is named from the residence
of Guthrum. I find it called Godron Lane in early documents, and the
tradition may possibly be true (see p. 154).

Tower Royal was a royal residence after the Conquest; Stow says Stephen
lodged there.[157] Froissart, writing of the Wat Tyler's rebellion, tells
how the king's mother fled to "the Royal called the Queen's Wardrobe."

We get in the _Heimskringla_ a fair picture of what the king's haga or
garth would have been in the history of King Olaf the Holy. "King Olaf let
house a king's garth at Nidoyce. There was done a big court hall with a
door at either end, but the high seat of the king was in the midmost of
the hall. Up from him sat his court-bishop, and next to him again other
clerks of his; but down from the king sat his counsellors. In the other
high seat strait over against him sat his marshal, and then the guests. By
litten fires should ale be drunk. He had about him sixty body-guards and
thirty guests. Withall he had thirty house carles to work all needful
service in the garth. In the garth also was a mickle hall wherein slept
the body-guard, and there was withal a mickle chamber where the king held
his court chambers." Of Olaf the Quiet we are told: "That was the ancient
wont in Norway that the king's high seat was midst of the long daïs, and
ale was borne over the fire. But King Olaf was the first let do his high
seat on the high daïs athwart the hall.... He let stand before his board
trencher-swains. He had also candle-swains, who held up candles before his
board. Out away from the trapeza was the marshal's stool."



    They answered and said that there were many more churches there [in
    London] than they might wot to what man they were hallowed.


_Streets._--As has been said, a large number, probably most, of the
streets of London as they existed before the fire can be traced in records
back to the thirteenth century. It is evident that the extra-mural
approaches and the gates necessitated the existence of some of these at a
still earlier time; the sites of ancient churches and the formation of the
wards to which the streets serve as midribs, as above said, account for
others. That some are of Roman date positive evidence has been found. On
reviewing this cumulative evidence it seems possible that the main streets
given in Stow's _Survey_ represent ways in the Roman city. A succession
of fires slowly raising the surface with layers of debris, gradual
encroachments, and the obliteration of open spaces, have modified the old
lines in some cases considerably, but still it is certain, I believe, that
the general "squareness" and more or less symmetrical alignment of the
Roman city can be traced in the existing streets. A line from the bridge
to the north gate must always have formed a great main street, and
standing at the bottom of Bridge Street (Fish Street Hill) we may still
gain some idea of what the entrance to the city by the Roman bridge was
like. Mr. Price says of Gracechurch Street: "Recent investigations have
shown ... that no structural remains of the Roman period can have occurred
throughout its course; on either side of the street, debris of buildings
with fragments of tessellated pavements have been seen, but nothing has
existed along the actual line of road."[158] Roach Smith also testifies
that no wall has been found crossing Gracechurch Street, "a fact that
would support the opinion of its occupying the route of one of the Roman
roads."[159] The idea of J. R. Green, that the north and south street was
considerably to the east of the present line, was probably founded on
Stow's mistaken view that the bridge was of old far to the east.

Again, for the two great longitudinal ways through the city we have
evidence. In forming the entrance into the city from New London Bridge a
section was made of the ground north of Thames Street, and three ancient
lines of embankment were found, by which ground was by degrees regained
from the Thames. One of these was formed of squared oaks. As the
excavation came to Eastcheap it crossed a raised bank of gravel 6 feet
deep and 18 wide, the crest of which was 5 feet under the present surface;
it ran in the direction of London Stone. On reaching the north-east corner
of Eastcheap the foundations of a Roman building were found, and here,
having reached the line of Gracechurch Street, the discoveries ended.[160]
Roach Smith speaks of walls having been found in Eastcheap and Little
Eastcheap, but Cannon Street, like Gracechurch Street, was free from them.

It has been conjectured that Cheapside was not a street, that it was a
muddy marsh, an open space for market booths, and that a stream ran from
it into Walbrook, etc.[161] Two deeds, however, given in Dugdale under
Barnstaple, record the gift of a new house and land in "_Foro_" or "_Magno
Vico Londoniæ quam habuit Odone Bajocensi_" by William Gifford, Bishop of
Winchester, to S. Martin Paris, 1110-15, and this reference to the
property of Odo of Bayeux carries Cheapside right back to Conquest days.
It is not unlikely, indeed, that the east end of the "Great Street" was
the site of the Roman Forum or part of it. The "Forum" of Canterbury is
mentioned in 762.[162] Although the word Forum doubtless stands only for
the Saxon market-place, it was the proper place of assembly. According to
the _Acta Stephani_ the Empress Maud was acclaimed Lady of England in the
Forum of Winchester. There is no doubt Cheap was the Saxon High Street and
the official meeting-place of the citizens from the earliest days of the
English settlement. Early in the twelfth century Thomas à Becket was born
in his father's house in Cheap, on a site we can still identify, and
Eudo, Dapifer to the Conqueror, also appears to have had a stone house in
West Cheap, by Newchurch.

When Wren rebuilt St. Mary le Bow, in excavating for the foundation of the
campanile, when he had sunk about 18 feet, he came to a Roman causeway of
rough stone, close and well rammed, with Roman brick and rubbish for a
foundation, all firmly cemented. This causeway was 4 feet thick, and
underneath was the natural clay. He built the tower "upon the very Roman
causeway." He was of the opinion that this highway ran along the north
boundary of the Roman city, the breadth of which was from this "causeway"
to the Thames, and "the principal middle street or Prætorian way" being
Watling Street; north of the "causeway" the ground was a morass, so that
he had to pile for building the new east front to St. Lawrence by the
Guildhall.[163] Too much has been made of this morass, for remains of
Roman buildings have been found on this very ground north of Cheap 17 feet
below the surface,[164] and St. Lawrence itself had been a church from
Norman times at least. Other Roman buildings have been found in Wood

It is impossible to go behind Wren's testimony as to the Roman way through
Cheap. It has been claimed, however, that some foundations discovered by
him on the site of St. Paul's showed that Watling Street ran obliquely
from London Stone to Newgate. It was not, as we see, the opinion of Wren
himself, and it must fall. The exact words in _Parentalia_ cited for the
discovery of an oblique street are themselves enough to abolish the theory
built on them. They are as follows: "Upon demolishing the ruins [of St.
Paul's] and searching the foundations of the Quire, the Surveyor [Wren]
discovered nine wells in a row, which no doubt had anciently belonged to a
street of houses that lay aslope from the High Street [Watling Street] to
the Roman causeway [Cheapside], and this street, which was taken away to
make room for the new Quire [of 1256] came so near to the old [Norman]
Presbyterium that the church could not extend farther that way at first"
(p. 272). There is nothing in this about "a Watling Street running from
Newgate to London Stone." What is described is a way across the churchyard
from the west end of the High or Atheling Street issuing by Canon Row or
Ivy Lane. There is no evidence at all, then, for a diagonal Watling Street
which Stukeley suggested, and more recent writers have accepted as quite
proven. On the other hand, we have Wren's great authority for thinking
that Watling Street was in its present direction the "High Street" of the
ancient city. In calling it this he must have followed Leland, who says
that it was formerly called Ætheling Street, and it is so named in
thirteenth-century documents.[166] In 1212 I find _ad viam que vocatur_
Athelingestrate. The name is one of a class of which Athelney
(Athelingey--Noble's Island) is an instance. Addle Hill, which Stow calls
Adle Street, seems to be allied to Atheling. In 1334 I find "Athele
Street in Castle Baynard Ward."[167] The earliest instance of "Watling" I
can find is at least a century later. I am speaking, of course, of the
city street; for the great Watling Street we have evidence which goes up
to the eighth century (see p. 54).

There cannot be a doubt that the Roman street system was carried on by the
Saxons; at Rochester as early as the seventh century Southgate Street and
Eastgate Street are named in a charter. A charter of Alfred's time (889)
mentions a court and ancient stone edifice in London, called by the
citizens Hwætmundes Stone, between the _public street_ and the wall of the
city. A property in London between Tiddberti Street and Savin Street (?
Seething Lane) is mentioned as a gift of Ethelbald's.[168] The Watmund's
Stone named above may have been a house. A curious piece of topographical
embroidery has been wrought round about it, for no less an authority than
Mr. John Earle accepted the suggestion that the name might be equivalent
to Corn-basket, and that the monument now in Panyer Alley may represent
the ancient "stone edifice"! Mr. Round, in relation to this, has pointed
out that Watmund was merely a commonly used man's name. Mr. Loftie,
however, boldly says that Alfred's corn market stood to the west of Cheap,
"where there was a weighing stone for wheat."[169]


The crossing of the great streets at Leadenhall Market was called the
"Carfukes of Leadenhall" in 1357.[170] This four-ways was probably marked
by a market cross like the Carfax at Oxford. At Exeter there was a
Carfax,[171] and there was also one at Paris.[172] It is thus that
Leadenhall Market sprang up at the main crossing of the city. At this
centre the continuous routes change their names after the model of the
usual north-, south-, east-, and west-gate streets of other towns: (1)
Bishopsgate Street; (2) Gracechurch Street and Bridge Street; (3) Aldgate
Street (now Leadenhall); (4) Cornhill, Cheap, and Newgate Street. The
secondary crossing at Lombard Street, Stow calls the "Four ways." At the
meeting of Cheap, Cornhill, and Lombard Street was the Stocks Market,
which Stow says was the centre of the city; here stood the stocks and
pillory. The names Cheap, and Cornhill or "Up-Cornhill," can be traced
back to about 1100. Several other streets are named in documents of the
twelfth century, as Milk Street and Broad Street (1181), Fridaie Street,
Mukenwelle or Muchwella (Monkwell) Street, Candelwrich (Cannon) Street,
Godrun Lane, East Cheap, The Jewry, Alsies (Ivy) Lane, Vico Piscaro
(1130), Lombard Street, and Lime Street. This early occurrence of Godrun's
Lane goes to confirm the tradition that it was named from the Danish
leader: there is still a Guthrum's Gate at York. Alsie was the name of the
Portreeve to whom the Confessor addressed a charter: it is interesting
that Ivy Lane (it is Dr. Sharpe's identification) may commemorate his name
to this day. Each principal street was a "King's Street" or _Via Regia_,
as in the laws of Ethelred. The laws of Athelstane provide that "all
marketing be within the port (town) and witnessed by the Portreve or other
unlying man." That is in "open market."


From the moment when we first hear of it London has been a famous port and
market. Tacitus speaks of it as "celebrated for the resort of merchants
with their stores." "London," says Beda, speaking of the opening of the
seventh century, "was a mart town of many nations which repaired hither by
sea and land."

In Athelstane's appointment of moneyers to the realm London was assigned
eight, this being two more than any other place. The coins of Alfred
struck in the city form a large series. The monogram of London which
fills the reverse of some of them is a quite perfect design,[173] and it
deserves to be better known and largely used (Fig. 29).

As to the relation of Saxon and Roman London a few words may be said. Wren
held that the Roman Forum was at London Stone, while Stukeley suggested
the Stock's Market on the site of the present Exchange. Excavations at
Chesters and Silchester have shown that the forum in each case occupied a
large "insula" right in the centre of the city, and this would agree best
with Stukeley's site.[174] It is possible that it may have extended along
by the east bank of the Walbrook as far as Cannon Street. The assumption
of old writers, that Roman London would be symmetrically planned, with
streets crossing at right angles, is not necessarily true. The streets of
mediæval London in their main lines were not more irregularly laid out
than the streets of Pompeii. The recently excavated city of Silchester is
more regular, but this city was probably laid out once for all, whereas
London was just as probably the result of gradual growth. In many
respects, however, Silchester affords a close parallel to London.

In the _Conquest of England_ Mr. Green stated the view that Saxon London
"grew up on ground from which the Roman city had practically disappeared."
He inferred this "from the change in the main line of communication" from
Newgate to the bridge. According to Mr. Loftie's last word, given in the
Memorial volume of 1899, the London recovered by Alfred was a ruined wall
enclosing nothing. The bridge stood much farther down stream than now. To
protect it the king built a tower at the south-east corner of the walls.
The Roman streets did not exist or were useless. He (why he?) made a road
diagonally from the bridge to Westgate. The old Bishopsgate was to the
east of the present one, and opened on the road to Essex, etc. My view of
Alfred's London is that the Roman city to a large degree continued to
exist, and the streets were still maintained, by the new population. Here
a Roman mansion with its mosaic floors would still be inhabited. There a
portico would be patched with gathered bricks and covered with shingles,
while by its side stood a house of wattle and daub. Here was a Roman
basilican church, while in another place would be found one of timber and
thatch. When a church is distinguished by being called a stone church
(like St. Magnus), it is evident that others were less substantial. Garden
and tillage filled up wide interspaces. In the Assise of Buildings of 1212
it is said that "in ancient times the greater part of the city was built
of wood, and the houses were covered with straw and stubble and the like."
Daubers and mudwallers were much in request right through the Middle

Roach Smith, who had an expert's knowledge of all the data in regard to
Roman London, held that the approach was along High Street, Southwark,
that the bridge was on the site of that destroyed about 1830, that
Bishopsgate represented one of the chief gates, Aldgate and Ludgate being
others, and that the crossing of East Cheap with Gracechurch Street was
probably the centre of an earlier and smaller city. Quantities of Roman
bricks, he says, have been found re-used in the walls of early houses and
churches, and obviously taken from Roman buildings which occupied their
sites. It is probable indeed that some Roman buildings were still in use
in the Middle Age--for instance, the so-called Chamber of Diana near St.
Paul's, and "Belliney's Palace" at Billingsgate.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Craft Gilds and Schools._--As far back as we have any body of record to
go upon we find that important men in the city were craftsmen--goldsmiths,
weavers, dyers, tailors, cobblers, tanners. They held offices and owned
land, and the only other class at once large numerically and important in
position seems to have been the clergy. Early in the twelfth century the
St. Paul's documents twice at least make use of the style "mercator," and
still earlier in Anglo-Saxon laws we have Ceipman.

There is every probability that the craft gilds date from before the
Conquest. In the twelfth century head masons, carpenters, and other
craftsmen are called "masters," and this title of university rank was
always, I believe, formally conferred by an organised gild. Even at this
time the members of crafts were grouped together, as witness Candlewright
Street, Milk Street, and the Shambles. We hear of a weaver's gild in
1130.[176] Even before the Conquest, probably, craftsmen wrought and sold
their ordinary wares in the traditional open-fronted shops known as well
in the East as in mediæval Europe.

FitzStephen says there were three principal schools in London when he
wrote (in the twelfth century). St. Paul's School, almost certainly, was
already established at the Conquest, and the schools of _S. Marie Archa_
and _S. Martini Magni_ are mentioned in a mandate about 1135 (_Commune of
London_, p. 117).

       *       *       *       *       *

_Churches._--So many churches can now be traced back to the twelfth
century that there cannot be a doubt that FitzStephen was accurate in
saying that at that time there were in London and the suburbs thirteen
larger conventual churches, besides lesser parish churches one hundred and
twenty-six. In other words, practically all the parish churches in London
and its liberties had been founded by the end of the twelfth century; and
there is every reason for supposing that many, if not most, of these
churches were even then ancient.

_St. Paul's._--The cathedral we know from Bede was founded early in the
seventh century by Mellitus, sent from Rome in 601 and consecrated Bishop
of London by St. Augustine in 604.

The fourth bishop in succession to the "Mellifluous Mellitus" was
Erkenwald, "Light of London," _Christi lampas Aurea_ (675-693). It is said
that he was son of Offa, the East Saxon king, who remained "paynim," but
Erkenwald "changed his earthly heritage for to have his heritage in
heaven; ... and whatsomever he taught in word he fulfilled in deed." He
founded the monasteries of Barking and Chertsey. While he was bishop he
used to preach about the city from a cart, and once, when a wheel fell
off, the cart went forward without falling, "which was against reason and
a fair miracle." He died at Barking, and the monks claimed his body, but
"a chapter of Paul's and the people" said it should be brought to London.
As they carried him to his own church there was a flood, but the waters of
the Yla (Lea) were divided and a dry path given to the people of London,
"and so they came to Stratford and set down the bier in a fair mede full
of flowers, and anon after the weather began to wax fair and the people
were full of joy." And, after, they laid and buried the body in St.
Paul's, to the which he hath been a special protection against fire, nd
time was when he was seen in the church with a banner fighting a fire
which threatened to burn the whole city, and so saved and kept his
church.[177] The shrine of Erkenwald remained from this time till the
Reformation the palladium of the city.


In Saxon charters the church is styled "St. Paules mynstre on Lundene,"
and the full invocation appears to have been _Beati Pauli Apostoli Gentium
Doctoris_, which in itself probably explains the choice of it for a
mission church. Like the church which Augustine built at Canterbury, it
would have been "planned in imitation of the Great Basilica of Blessed
Peter." Such a basilica of considerable size is still to be seen at
Brixworth, Northamptonshire. It would have had a narthex, a nave with
"porticoes" or aisles, and beyond the great arch a presbytery and apse. In
front would have been an atrium.[178]

Under 961 the Saxon Chronicle says: "And St. Paul's minster was burnt and
in the same year again founded." King Ethelred was buried in St. Paul's in
1016, and his tomb, a fine stone chest, stood here till the great fire of
London. There is no reason why the tomb illustrated by Dugdale should not
be the original one of 1016 (Fig. 30). Next to it was the similar tomb of
Sebba, king of the East Saxons, who was buried at the end of the seventh
century. The only material memorial of the Saxon minster now existing is a
tombstone inscribed in runes, "Kina let this stone be set to Tuki." It was
found in 1852 in the south churchyard, 20 feet below the surface, in an
upright position, forming the headstone of a grave composed of stone
slabs. The bottom portion was irregular and untooled; this, which showed
that it was a headstone, was cut off to make it a tidy antiquity, but it
is otherwise carefully preserved in the Guildhall Museum, and bears a
sculpture of a fine knotted dragon.


Wren, who was a critical observer of the evidence which came to light when
preparing the ground for the new church, gave but little credit to the
story that a temple of Diana once stood on the site. "But that the north
side of this ground had been very anciently a great burying-place was
manifest, for in digging the foundations of St. Paul's he found under the
graves of later ages, in a row below them, the burial-places of Saxon
times--some in graves lined with chalk stones, some in coffins of whole
stones. Below these were British graves. In the same row but deeper were
Roman urns--this was 18 feet deep or more." Wren thought that the
Prætorian camp had been here in Roman days.[179]

_St. Peter's-upon-Cornhill_ claims to be the oldest church in London, and
to have been the stool or a Romano-British archbishop. The pretension
seems to have been recognised by St. Paul's in the Middle Ages, and Bishop
Stubbs was inclined to accept the archbishopric as having existed in
London. As the interval in Church continuity cannot have been long, it is
most likely that Mellitus reconsecrated some Roman temples or some of the
old churches, as Augustine is known to have done at Canterbury. In
Gregory's letter of directions to Mellitus he says that the temples of
idols ought not to be pulled down, but be consecrated and converted from
the worship of devils. The Church of St. Peter must have been very
ancient, as the legend in regard to it appears in Jocelyn of Furness, a
writer of the twelfth century. Bishop Ælfric, who died in 1038, gave in
his will a "hage into Sce Pætre binnon Lunden."[180] A beautifully written
Saxon charter in the British Museum, calendared as probably of the date
1038, records the gift of a messuage in London to St. Peter's Church.[181]
This church, seated at the Carfax of the city, has at the same time the
most important of dedications, and took precedence, Riley tells us, over
the others.


_St. Michael, Ludgate_, is referred to by Geoffrey of Monmouth in
connection with Cadwaladr: "They also built a church under it (Ludgate) in
honour of St. Martin, in which divine ceremonies are celebrated for him"
(Cadwaladr). It must be of early foundation when such a story could be
told only some fifty years after the Conquest.

_St. Mary Aldermary_ was so called, says Stow, because it was the oldest
church dedicated to the Virgin. It is sometimes called Elde Maria Church,
and certainly dates from before the Conquest, for in 1067 the Conqueror
confirmed the possession of the Church of _St. Mary called Newchurch_ to
Westminster, and it is evident that the title Aldermary is a comparison
with this New Mary. The latter as _Mary le Bow_ is mentioned by William of
Malmesbury as having suffered an accident in 1091. _St. Mary_, Friday
Street, is mentioned in 1105; _St. Margaret_, Lothbury, in 1104.

Other pre-Conquest city churches confirmed to Westminster in the same
charter of 1067 are _St. Magnus_, described as the "stone church _S. Magni
Medietus_," _St. Clement_ [East Cheap], and _St. Lawrence_ [Pounteney].

_St. Gregory._--In 1010 the body of St. Edmund was brought to "the Church
of St. Gregory the Pope, which is situated by the Basilica of the Apostle
Paul."[182] This dedication in the name of the Pope who sent Augustine and
Mellitus from Rome is probably very ancient, and _St. Augustine's_ near by
on the east side of the churchyard may be as ancient. _St. Alban_, Wood
Street, was said to have been a chapel of King Offa's, and is mentioned
about 1077-1093 as belonging to St. Alban's Abbey.[183] The old
topographers say that there was something specially ancient in the
structure of this church, and Newcourt thought its origin was at least as
old as the time of Athelstane.


_All Hallows [Barking]_ is said to have been given by Riculphus and
Brichtwen, his wife, to Rochester before it passed into the hands of the
Barking Nuns.[184] _All Hallows_, Lombard Street, was given to Canterbury
in 1053 by Brithmer, a citizen (Newcourt). Earl Goodwin and his wife gave
to Malmesbury the Church of _St. Nicholas [Acon]_ and all their houses
in 1084 (Dugdale).

_St. Martin's Vintry._--This church Newcourt puts at least as early as the
Conqueror's time, and its name of Bereman-Church confirms this (see p.

_St. Martin [le Grand]._--Kempe thought that this religious house was
first founded long before the Conquest, and that it was only refounded
just before by Ingelram. The canons of the house are mentioned amongst the
tenants in chief in Domesday.[185]

_St. Helen's_, Bishopsgate, and _St. Alphage_ were thought by Newcourt to
have existed as early as the Conqueror's time, and there is ample evidence
that the former was a parish church before it was attached to a house of
nuns late in the twelfth century. It is mentioned in the St. Paul's
documents in 1148. _St. Michael_, Cornhill, is said to have been founded
before 1055. _St. Stephen_, Walbrook, was given to St. John's, Colchester,
_c._ 1100.[186]

_St. Botolph_, Billingsgate, Stow thought, was at least as old as the
Confessor's time, as the wharf by it was even then called St. Botolph's.
In a part of the cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, in the Lansdowne MSS.
(No. 448), _St. Augustine on the Wall_, _St. Edmund_ in "Longboard"
Street, _Ecclesia de Fanchurch_ (which it is said had belonged to the Soc
of the Cnihten Gild), _St. Lawrence in Judaismo_, _All Hallows on the
Wall_, _St. Botolph extra Aldgate_, and _St. Michael, Cheapside_, are
mentioned at the beginning of the twelfth century.[187]


Of material evidence little has survived. On the destruction of _St. Benet
Fink_ about fifty years ago a fragment of a Saxon grave-stone was found,
which is now in the Guildhall Museum (Fig. 32). In Roach Smith's
_Catalogue of London Antiquities_, No. 571, is the head of a Saxon cross
("of the tenth or eleventh century") which was found in the old
burial-ground of St. John-upon-Walbrook. I am able to identify this with
the cross-head in the Saxon Room at the British Museum from a sketch of
Roach Smith's, which I have, which bears the same number 571 (see the
diagram, Fig. 33). It has been said that Roman foundations have been found
under some of the churches.[188]

Several of the churches outside the walls can be traced back so far as to
make it probable that they were founded before the Conquest.

The Assise of 1189(?), speaking of a fire in the first year of Stephen
(1136), says it burnt from London Bridge to _S. Clementis Danorum_; in a
charter of Henry II. this church is called _S. Clementis quæ dicitur
Dacorum_ (Dugdale, under "Temple"). It was still earlier the subject of a
charter of the Conqueror's (see p. 85). According to M. of Westminster the
body of Harold I., buried at Westminster, was dug up in 1040 and thrown
into the Thames, "but it was found and buried by the Danish people in the
cemetery of the Danes"--"at S. Clement's," says R. Diceto, the London
historian who wrote in the twelfth century. This is probably the cemetery
of the Danes who were killed in London in Ethelred's reign. M. of
Westminster (under 1012) says many of the Danes fled to a certain church
in the city, where they were all murdered. Stow says they were slain in a
place called the Church of the Danes.

_St. Mary le Strand._--Here Becket held his first cure. His biographer
FitzStephen calls it _S. Mariæ Littororiam_. _St. Andrew's_, Holborn, is
mentioned in the somewhat doubtful charter dated 951 (see p. 60). _St.
Bridget_, Fleet Street, was also of early foundation (Stow). _St.
Sepulchre's_ is mentioned in the twelfth century.[189] Of the monasteries
in the neighbourhood, _Barking_ was founded in the seventh century,
_Westminster_ not later than the tenth, and _Bermondsey_, the fine new
church of which is mentioned in Domesday, was probably only refounded by
Alwyn Childe. A "monasterium" in Southwark mentioned in Domesday may be
_St. Olave_, which is spoken of as early as 1096.[190]

All the manors round about London probably had churches before the
Conquest, although the only one we can be certain of is that of St.
Pancras, as the place is called by that name in Domesday. Stepney Church
is said to have been rebuilt by Dunstan. It still contains a small
sculpture of the Crucifixion, which is probably eleventh-century work.
What these little churches were like we may know from the illustrations of
the Saxon church at Kingston which was destroyed at the beginning of this
century, and the log church at Greenstead, Essex, which still stands.

A story in the _Heimskringla_ shows how London was early celebrated for
its number of churches and London Bridge for its crowds.[191] A French
cripple dreamt that an angel appeared to him and said, "Fare thou to
Olaf's church, the one that is in London." Thereafter he awoke and fared
to seek Olaf's church, and at last he came to London Bridge and there
asked the folk of the city to tell him where was Olaf's church. But they
answered and said that there were many more churches there than they might
wot to what man they were hallowed. But a little thereafter came a man to
him who asked whither he was bound, and the cripple told him, and sithence
said that man, "We twain shall fare both to the church of Olaf, for I know
the way thither." Therewith they fared over the Bridge, and went along the
street which led to Olaf's church. But when they came to the lich-gate
then strode that one over the threshold of the gate, but the cripple
rolled in over it and straightway rose up a whole man. But when he looked
around him his fellow-farer was vanished.



  It is so sure a Stone that that is upon sette,
  For though some have it thrette
  With menases grym and greette
  Yet hurt had it none.

The Guildhall is frequently spoken of in the thirteenth century; for
instance, the Assise of Buildings of 1212 was given from "Gilde Hall." Mr.
Price, its historian, shows that at this time it must have stood near the
west end of the present hall. This agrees with Stow, who says that it "of
old time" stood on the east side of Aldermansbury, and adds that the
latter was so named from the "court there kept in their bury or court hall
now called the Guildhall." Guildhall Yard was in 1294, as now, to the east
of St. Laurence.[192] Giraldus Cambrensis tells us under 1191 how a
multitude of the citizens met in Aula Publica, which takes its name from
the custom of drinking there. This burgmote at the Guildhall in 1191 was
probably the greatest event in London's history, resulting in the removal
of Longchamp and the establishment of the mayor and commune.[193]
"Aldermanesbury" may be traced back to early in the twelfth century, and
the name carries the Guildhall with it. Mr. Round points out that the
_Terra Gialle_ mentioned in the St. Paul's document, _c._ 1130, refers to
the Guildhall,[194] and when further we find that a _Gildhalla burgensium_
at Dover appears in Domesday we can hardly doubt that the foundation of
the London hall dates from the time of the Frith Gilds. In the laws of
Athelstane it was ordained by the "bishops and reeves of London" that the
people should be numbered in _hyndens_ (tens), and that "every month the
hynden men and those who directed the tithings should gather together for
bytt filling, ... and let those twelve men have their refection together
and deal the remains for the love of God."[195]

The principle, says Dr. Sharpe, of each man being responsible for the
behaviour of his neighbour, which Alfred established, was carried a step
further in London under Athelstane in the formation of Peace Gilds, the
members of which were to meet once a month at an ale-drinking in their
Gildhall.[196] Similar "Gild ale-drinkings" are spoken of in the
_Heimskringla_, and we are there told in regard to the establishment of a
"Great Gild," that before it there were "turn-about drinkings." All this
goes together perfectly with what Giraldus says of the Guildhall of London
being named from the fellowship drinkings there. He who drank to any one,
Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us, said, "Wacht heil"; and he that pledged him
answered, "Drinc heil."

       *       *       *       *       *

_London Stone._--The first mayor of London (from 1191) was, as the
Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs tells us, Henry FitzEylwin of
Londene-stone. An old marginal note in the _Liber Trinitatis_ says that
"Leovistan was the father of Alwin the father of Henry the Mayor, whose
first charter is in the priory of Tortingtone."[197] The association of
London Stone with city history probably rests in great part on the fact of
the mayor's residence having been near to it. Thomas Stopleton traces, in
an introduction to the _Liber de Antiquis Legibus_,[198] the property and
descendants of FitzAlwin. The town house of the mayor was just to the
north of St. Swithin's Church, which was attached to the property. It was
bequeathed to Tortington Priory by Robert Aquillon, son of the first
mayor's grand-daughter. In Dr. Sharpe's _Calendar of Wills_ it appears
that Sir Robert Aguylun left his "mansione" in St. Swithin's parish,
together with the patronage of the church, to Tortington Priory in 1285.
At the Dissolution it was granted to the Earl of Oxford. Stow says that
Tortington Inn, Oxford Place, by London Stone, was on the north side of
St. Swithin's Church and churchyard, with a fair garden to the west
running down to Walbrook. It was "a fair and large builded house sometime
pertaining to the prior of Tortington, since to the earls of Oxford, and
now to Sir John Hart, Alderman." Munday adds, "_now_ to Master Humphrey
Smith, Alderman." At this point I visited Oxford Place and St. Swithin's
Lane, and it seemed evident that the Salters' Hall stood on the site of
Tortington Inn. Further, on turning to Herbert's _History of the
Companies_, I found that the Salters' Company purchased of Captain George
Smith in 1641 the town inn of the priors of Tortington by the description
of "the great house called London Stone, or Oxford House." The chain of
evidence for the site of FitzAlwin's house thus seems complete.

The mysterious monument, London Stone, now represented by a small rude
fragment preserved a few yards away from its original site, has probably
borne its present name for a millenium, and its mere name shows it to have
had some institutional importance.

    _London. Candlewick Street. Enter Jack Cade and the rest, and strikes
    his staff on London Stone._

    _Cade._ Now is Mortimer lord of this city and here sitting upon London
    Stone I charge, ... and now henceforward it shall be treason for any
    that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.--_King Henry VI._

Shakespeare here accurately follows Holinshed's Chronicle as to the events
of 1450. About 1430 the Stone is mentioned by Harding, who tells us that
it marked the eastern boundary of London as built by King Lud, whose
palace was at Ludgate. About 1400-30 Lydgate, in the _London Lickpenny_,
wrote: "Then forth I went by London Stone, throughout all the Canwick

The _Liber Trinitatis_ says that a great fire in the time of Ralf the
prior of Holy Trinity, 1148-67, burnt from the house of Ailwardin nigh
London Stone to Aldgate and St. Paul's. Of the Stone itself Stow says:
"The same has long continued there, namely since (or rather before) the
Conquest, for in the end of a Gospel book given to Christ Church in
Canterbury by Athelstane I find noted of lands in London belonging to the
said church one parcel described to lie near unto London Stone."[200]

Holinshed says that the Kentish captain came from the White Hart in
Southwark and "strooke his sword on London Stone, saying, Now is Mortimer
lord of this city." Mr. Coote has claimed that this must be an ancient
ceremonial, at the same time advancing the impossible (after Wren's
acceptance of it as Roman) theory that the stone was a part of the house
of the first mayor.[201] But I have come over to this view so far as to
think it possible that its civic importance originated in its association
with the house of the first mayor. According to Stow, "some have said this
stone to be set as a mark in the middle of the city--some others have said
the same to be set for the making of payment by debtors to their
creditors, till of later times payments were more usually made at the font
in Paul's Church and now most commonly at the Royal Exchange." Mr. Gomme,
citing Brandon, says that London Stone entered into municipal procedure,
as when the defendant in the Lord Mayor's Court had to be summoned from
that spot, and when proclamations and other important business of like
nature were transacted there; and comparing Cade's action with customs
elsewhere, he seems to suggest that it was the centre for the assembly of
the Saxon folkmotes. But the proximity of the mayor's house, in which
courts might have been held, gives reason enough for its being made use of
as a place of proclamation.

The legend given by Harding is that "Lud, king of Britain, builded from
London Stone to Ludgate and called that part Ludstowne." Here we get a
clue to its name London Stone, and the idea accounts for its having been
to some extent the palladium of the city, of which it seems to have been
regarded as the sacred and immovable foundation stone. Stow says, "On the
south side of the 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 lines from Fabyan which head this chapter refer to this
same idea of stability, and evidently imply that the stone was looked on
as a talisman. Strype says that before the fire of London it was worn down
to a stump. But it is "now" handsomely cased with stone "to shelter and
defend the old venerable one, yet so as it might be seen." An architect,
writing to the _Gentleman's Magazine_ in 1798, says: "It has often been
called the symbol of the great city's quiet state, from its being always
believed to be fixed to its everlasting seat." This idea of a stone of
foundation has many parallels.

It was evidently a monolith, and from what Shakespeare says of Cade
sitting on it, it would seem in his time not to have been more than 3 or
4 feet high above ground. Wren's son says "London Stone, as is generally
supposed, was a pillar in the manner of the Milliarium Aureum at Rome,
from whence the account of their miles began, but the Surveyor [Sir
Christopher] was of opinion, _by reason of the large foundation_, it was
rather some more considerable monument in the Forum, for in the adjoining
ground on the south side, upon digging for cellars after the great fire,
were discovered some pavements and other extensive remains of Roman
workmanship and buildings."[202] Wren was an expert observer with a
perfect knowledge of the Roman level in the city, and Dr. Woodward says he
had made a special observation of the Roman remains in the city and
promised an account of them. His evidence must be held sufficient to prove
that the stone was of Roman origin, but was no recognisable part of a
building such as a column. It was Camden who first suggested that it was a
"miliary like that in the Forum of Rome," being at the "centre in the
longest diameter of the city." Grant Allen thought it was an early Celtic
monument preserved by the Romans. As to Mr. Coote's view that it might
have been part of FitzAlwin's house, which seems to be adopted also by Mr.
Round, it has also to be pointed out that the house was certainly to the
north of the street, while the Stone was on the south, and St. Swithin's
Church intervened.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Town Bell and Folkmote._--An institution which must have dated from the
time of the English occupation was the great assembly of all freemen in
Folkmote, the final court which survives to-day in form at the election of
a sovereign, when the Commons, who should have free access, are asked for
their assent. Stephen was elected at the ordinary Folkmote of London, and
the charter of Henry I. recognises the assembly as an existing
institution. The place of assembly within historical times was the market
of St. Paul's (_Forum Sancto Paulo_), at the east of the cathedral against
Cheap, marked by St. Paul's Cross.

The Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs tells how Henry III. in 1257
ordered the sheriffs to convene the Folkmote "at St. Paul's Cross, to make
inquiry of the commons" as to certain customs, when the populace answered
"with loud shouts of Nay, nay, nay." The position held by St. Paul's
Cross in civic customs in later times is thus accounted for. It was no
mere adjunct to the cathedral, but the rostrum of London, the Market Cross
at the end of Cheap. Just by it rose the city belfry (_Berefridam_), which
contained the great town bell. Such a Beffroi is an acknowledged mark of
communal liberties, and we can understand the traditional feeling which
was stirred when under Edward VI. it was destroyed. Even at this day it is
the Lord Mayor who orders the Great Bell of St. Paul's to be rung on such
an occasion as the death of the late Queen. Probably the "mote-bell"
summoned the citizens in Saxon times, as we know it did in the thirteenth
century. Dugdale says the first mention he found of the bell tower was
_temp._ Henry I., when the schoolmaster of St. Paul's was granted a house
"at the corner of the Turret (id est the Clochier); but I suppose it was a
thing of much greater antiquity, for upon a writ issued 15 Edward I., it
was certified that the citizens of ancient time held the Folkmote there
and rang the bell to summon the people." The _Gesta Stephani_ records how
the citizens assembled at the ringing of the city bells and expelled the
Empress Matilda.

The _Heimskringla_ tells of Olaf the Quiet, the contemporary of Edward the
Confessor, that "in his days the cheaping steads of Norway hove up
much.... King Olaf let set up the Great Gild at Nidoyce and many others in
the cheaping towns, but formerly there were turn-about drinkings. Then was
Town-boon[203] the great bell of the turn-about drinkings in Nidoyce. The
Drinking Brothers let build there Margaret's stone church." One day Olaf
was merry in the Great Gild, then spake his men, "It is joy to us, lord,
that thou art so merry." He answered, "Your freedom is my glee."

We need a town bell in London. We might set it up to Alfred's memory.



    The kynges chambre of custom men this calle.--LYDGATE.

_The Kings Peace._--When Alfred took over London it must have been in the
main a decayed Roman city. In giving the great burh into the hands of the
Mercian Ealdorman, Ethered, he was but restoring its capital to Mercia,
but he must also, and mainly, have had in view the need for providing
means of defence to the frontier fortress of the March country. Even so,
alongside of a supreme military rule a more domestic organisation of a
customary nature must have been carried on or reintroduced. It is probable
that this, following the shire model, was constituted with hundreds or
wards; the people met in wardmote and folkmote, and the king was
represented by a Sheriff or Portreeve. London, however, was and remained
pre-eminently a royal burh, and must have shared in all the
characteristics of the burhs, drawing on certain shires for upholding its
defences, having a Witan, coining money, having special privileges as to
residence, gilds, and markets, and being subject to the King's Peace. As
to the contributions for defence, Dr. Maitland, as we have seen on p. 105,
says, "There were shires or districts which from of old owed work of this
kind to Londonbury."[204] Regarding the King's Peace, it was provided by
the laws that every crime committed, in a street which ran right through
the city and likewise without the walls for a distance of over a league,
was a crime against the king. In London the man who was guilty had to pay
the king's burh-bryce of five pounds. The burh was to be sacred from
private quarrels--"the King's house-peace prevails in the streets."[205]
Some such fact as this is probably the origin of that almost mythical
phrase applied to the city by Lydgate and earlier writers--"the king's
chamber of London." It is to this aspect as the great model burh that the
Saxon laws of London printed by Thorpe refer.

There must have been a Burh Witan meeting periodically. A Crediton charter
of 1018 was made known to the Witans of Exeter, Barnstaple, Lidford, and
Totness, _i.e._ the Devonshire burhs. The Witan was thus a court of record
or witness. Probably the Hustings court is a form of the same assembly.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Portreeves._--Fabyan says that at the coming of William the Conqueror and
before, the rulers of the city were named Portgreves. "These of old time,
with the laws and customs then used within the city, were registered in a
book called Domysday in Saxon tongue then used, but of later days when the
said laws and customs altered and changed and for consideration that the
said book was of small hand and sore defaced and hard to be read or
understood, it was the less set by, so that it was embezzled or lost, so
that the remembrance of such rulers as were before the days of Richard the
First (_i.e._ the institution of the mayoralty) were lost and forgotten."

The office of Portreeve probably goes back nearly to the first settlement
of the English. Bishop Stubbs, speaking generally of town organisation,
says, "The presiding magistrate was the gerefa." The king's wic-gerefa in
Lundonwic is mentioned in the Saxon Laws of _c._ 685 (Thorpe).[206] The
charter of the Conqueror ran, "I, King William, greet William the Bishop
and Gosfregth the Portreeve," and two of the Confessor's charters were
addressed to bishop and portreeve. In the _Judicia Civitatis Londoniæ_ of
Athelstane a reference is found to "the bishops and gereves that to London
borough belong." Norton says that these Laws show that in Athelstane's
time the bishops and reeves were the chief magistrates of London, and they
likewise presided at county courts with a jurisdiction precisely similar.
This conjunction of the spiritual and temporal powers probably explains
why it is that St. Paul's has always been linked in such a special way to
the Guildhall. At St. Paul's was kept the city banner, grants of money
from city funds are made for its repair, and the mayor is a trustee of the
church. This dual control seems to bear the mark of Alfred's thought. The
Portreeve certainly represented the king, and was responsible for the farm
of the city. In the _Blickling Homilies_ Agrippa is called Nero's
Burhgerefa. It would seem as if the bishop represented the collective
citizens. Mr. Round has recently shown that the Portreeve disappeared in
the Sheriff or Vicecomes of London and Middlesex. The Waltham Chronicle
says that the Conqueror placed Geoffrey de Mandeville in the shoes of
Esegar the Staller, and Mr. Round conjectures that this Geoffrey is the
actual "Gosfregth Portirefan" to whom the Conqueror's charter was
addressed. He also points out how the Sheriff had the custody of the
Tower; and in this we may find a further suggestion as to the probability
of a connection between the Portsoken of the Cnihten Gild, the Portreeve,
and the pre-Conquest citadel. Mr. Round seems not to have known that his
suppositions were all taken for granted by Stow, who calls the Portreeve
of the Conqueror's charter Godfrey, and then writes, "In the reign of the
said Conqueror, Godfrey de Magnaville was Portgrave (or Sheriff); ...
these Portgraves (after the Conquest) are also called Vicecounties or
Sheriffs." Mr. Round shows that the Sheriff, and by inference the
Portreeve, represented London and Middlesex taken together. "The city of
London was never severed from the rest of the shire. As far back as we can
trace them they are one and indivisible."[207] The author just quoted
accounts for this distinction between London and other county towns by the
relative importance of London; but I cannot think, as before suggested,
that Middlesex was not specially dependant on London, and probably
Ethered's authority as commandant of the great burh extended over
Middlesex. The acquisition of the farm of the county by the city may be an
echo of this.

Stow gave a list of the Portreeves from the time of the Conquest. In the
additional matter printed by Hearne in his edition of William of Newbury
is given, from a register of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, what must be another
copy of Stow's authority for the early sheriffs for which he cited a book
"sometime belonging to St. Albans." Both may come from the old book called
"_Domysday_," by Fabyan. In the list given by Hearne the names are much
less corrupt than in Stow's list; and as it ends with the year 1222 it
must have been an early document. The Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs
gives still another list from the first year of Richard onward, and so
far as they overlap, the three can be compared.[208]

According to Hearne's list the principal governor of the citizens of
London in the days of the Confessor was Wulfgar, called _Portshyreve_. In
the reign of William Rufus, Geoffrey de Magnaville was _vicecomes_ and R.
del Parc _præpositus_. In the time of Henry I. came Hugo de Boch'
[Bochland], v., and Leofstan, p. Albericus de Ver, v., and Robertus de
Berquereola, p., followed.

In the reign of Stephen we have the names of Gilbertus Beket, v., and
Andreas Buchuint, p. Under Henry II. Petrus filius Walteri was vicecomes,
then Johannes filius Nigelli, then Ernulfus Buchel, then Willelmus filius
Isabellæ, the last of whom was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Aldgate.

Richard I. was crowned September 1189. In his days first began to be two
vicecomites at the same time, who were usually chosen 21st September. In
his first year they were Henricus Cornhill and Ricardus filius Reneri.

The Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs begins with these same two names
of what it calls the "first sheriffs of London, in the first year of the
reign of King Richard." It, however, places this in 1188; then follow
other pairs of names as in Stow, but all a year earlier, till 1206, when
Serlo le Mercer and Henry de Saint Auban are interpolated, probably by
mistake, unless they merely occupied the position for the portion of a

From the Pipe Rolls and St. Paul's documents many more facts as to the
sheriffs can be gathered, and Mr. Round's article on the "Early
Administration of London," in his _Geoffrey de Mandeville_, must be taken
as the starting-point for any complete inquiry.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The first Mayor._--The institution of the mayoralty is put in the year
1188 by the Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs. In Hearne's list, under
1208, is entered Henry son of Alwin son of Leofstan, first of the mayors
of London, who were chosen St. Edward's day (13th October).

Stow agrees with the chronicle, and puts the institution of the mayoralty
in the first year of Richard I.; but under 1208 we find an echo of the
version as printed by Hearne, for Stow makes King John, in this year,
grant the citizens a patent "to chuse to themselves a mayor." Be the
explanation of this what it may, contemporary documents show that
Fitzalwin was already known as mayor in 1193; he probably took up the
office in 1191.

Stow tells us that the first mayor was Henry Fitzalwin Fitzleofstan of
London Stone, and there is ample confirmation that his father was called
Alwin. That his grandfather was Leofstan, Stow must have learnt from the
list of sheriffs as in the copy printed by Hearne.

There is some confusion between many Leofstans and Alwins, one of whom
signs as moneyer the coins of Henry II. about 1160--ALWIN ON LUND. Mr.
Round has shown that in 1165 a Henry Fitzailwin Fitzleofstan with Alan his
brother were landholders, apparently in Essex.[209] Stow says that
Leofstan was a goldsmith; but here he may be confusing another Leofstan,
as this fact does not seem to have been given in the list of sheriffs.
Munday contradicted Stow as to Mayor Henry's grave being at Holy Trinity,
and says he was buried at St. Mary Bothaw, and not as "avowed by Mr.
Stow." Stow's authority, however, must have been this same list of
sheriffs, for that notes that "he was buried at the entrance to the
chapter of the Church of Holy Trinity, under a marble slab." Mr. Round has
done much to clear up the history of our first mayor in the _Dictionary of
National Biography_, the _Archæological Journal_, and his _Commune of
London_; but every detail is valuable of the head of the City Republic of
whom the citizens said, "Come what will, in London we will never have
another king except our mayor, Henry Fitailwin of London Stone."[210]
Henry was mayor for nearly twenty years, and was followed in 1212 by Roger
Fitz Alan--can he have been Henry's nephew?

       *       *       *       *       *

_Hustings._--This court is mentioned in the charter of Henry I., and in a
passage in the so-called Laws of the Confessor the Hustings Court is said
to have been founded of old in imitation of and to continue the royal
customs of Great Troy. FitzStephen also repeats the legend that the laws
of the city were derived from the Trojans, and the passage from the Laws
of the Confessor was copied into the _Liber Albus_. It was suggested
nearly three centuries since by Munday, that "Troy weight" is the ancient
standard weight of London, and carries on the legend of Brutus to this
day; but this is not borne out by the facts, although it is frequently
reasserted, as in Brewer's _Phrase and Fable_. Munday says, "The weight
used for gold and silver called Troy weight was in the time of the Saxons
called 'the Hustings weight of London,' and kept there in the Hustings. So
an ancient record in the Book of Ramsey (sect. 32, 127): 'I Æthelgiva
Countess, etc., bequeath two silver cups of twelve marks of the Hustings
weight of London.'"[211] This is interesting as an early notice of the
Hustings Court, which is thought by some to have originated under the
Danish rule; but the word "Thing" occurs in one of the earliest English
laws. It was a Court of Record; the best account of it is given by Dr.
Sharpe in his _Calendar of Wills_.

The Court of Hustings was not, it appears, necessarily associated with the
Guildhall. A Ramsey Charter of 1114-30 speaks of a purchase of a house
being completed "in the presence of the whole Court of Hustings of London
in the house of Alfwine, son of Leofstan."[212]



    "London was built on the first spot going up the river where any
    considerable tract of dry land touches the stream. It is a tract of
    good gravel, well supplied with water, not liable to flooding, and not
    commanded by neighbouring higher ground."--LORD AVEBURY, _Scenery of

From the standing-ground of what is known of London in the Middle Ages, I
have endeavoured to reach back towards Londinium Augusta. To set out
adequately all the data that we have for reconstructing the Roman city
would require a treatise from a specialist. I can only venture here a
rapid glance in conclusion at the more salient features of the ancient
town. Much in recent years has been written as to a still earlier London
than that included within the circuit of Roman walls which held what is
now known as the City. It is at once evident that the early city must have
had a nucleus and a greater density in one part than in others; and
every evidence goes to show that this earliest centre was situated on the
east side of the Walbrook at the head of London Bridge. We have the facts
of the position of the Bridge itself, and the suitability of the site; the
evidence that important buildings were densely packed in this district,
while outside of it they were more and more scattered; and also that no
graves have been found within this area. Mr. Roach Smith thought that
certain remnants of thick walls found near Cannon Street in the south and
Cornhill in the north were probably parts of earlier city walls. He says:
"Here and there during excavations, walls of great thickness, which may be
referred to walls of circumvallation, were intersected. The extraordinary
sub-structures which were cut through in Bush Lane and Scott's Yard
indicate a south-east boundary wall with a flanking tower. In Cornhill
another thick wall which seemed to point towards the Bank of England was
met with." Then, in a passage already referred to above, he concludes that
old London Bridge pointed to the axis of this earlier Londinium, the
centre or carfax of which was at the intersection of Gracechurch Street
and East-Cheap. He was inclined to place the earlier north wall along the
course of Cornhill and Leadenhall Street, the east wall in the direction
of Billiter Street and Mark Lane, the south in the line of Thames streets,
and the west on the eastern bank of the Walbrook--an irregular square with
four gates, corresponding with Bridge Gate, Bishop's Gate, Ludgate, and


Possibly Wren had found some remnant of such an earlier north wall, for he
put the northward extent of the city along Cheapside and in line with
Cornhill. This earlier north wall seems to have been again found about
1897, in which year Mr. Williamson sent the following passage to the
Middlesex and Herts _Notes and Queries_:--"Very close to St.
Peter's-upon-Cornhill, _Roman_ walls of immense thickness have been
discovered, proceeding in a westerly direction from Leadenhall Market
under the Woolpack Tavern in Gracechurch Street along St. Peter's Alley, a
few feet on the south side of the churchyard of St. Peter's, continuing
under the banking-house of Messrs. Prescott, Dimsdale, & Co. (50
Cornhill), _supposed_ to continue under the roadway of Cornhill, and
appearing again in the foundations of the new building now being erected
on the _north_ side of Cornhill (No. 70) for the Union Bank of Australia.
For what purpose, is it conjectured, were these walls at Leadenhall and
Cornhill built?" By the aid of this valuable observation, I think that the
concluding question may be safely answered by the theory of earlier walls.

Mr. Loftie has brought forward a suggestion, or rather stated a
conclusion, that there was in the earlier days a walled castrum, like
Richborough, at the head of London Bridge, reaching northwards to the
"Langbourne." It is not usual to seat such a post on a steep hill-side, it
would be curious to pass all the Bridge traffic through it, and, finally,
I have not found a vestige of foundation for its existence--it is a
castrum in the air.[214]

It may be held for certain that when Tacitus, writing of the insurrection
of A.D. 62, spoke of London as a wealthy and important place, no walls
existed, for of the still more important Camalodunum he tells us that it
had no defences, and the garrison could only fortify themselves in the
temple. "The Roman generals," he says, "neglecting the useful, embellished
the province, but took no care for its defence."

However, it is reasonable to suppose that the chief centres would have
been protected a little later under the very thorough policy of Agricola,
if these shortcomings were so noticed when Tacitus wrote; and it is the
opinion of Mr. Haverfield, our best authority on things Roman, that the
walls of the sister city of Silchester, now so well known to us, go back
to this time.

I cannot think that the greater wall of London dates back to the first
century, but it has never been proved to be later.



Fragments of sculpture, themselves not very early, have been found in
portions of the wall, yet the Camomile Street bastion and other similar
places might be additions and repairs; and some late fragments from the
south wall found by Roach Smith seem to have come from its foundation
(Figs. 24 and 25).

If it is difficult to offer any convincing argument as to the age of the
wall of London, it is possible to get a general idea of the walled city
and its neighbourhood with some vividness and accuracy. We have the great
tidal river, the background of forest, and the nearer fen-lands, which
seem to have almost insulated the site. There is the great white
posting-road from Canterbury and Dover, and, more remotely, from Rome,
Lyons, Chalons, Auxerre, Troyes, Rheims, Amiens, Boulogne, striking
straight from point to point. On its course are villas, like one just
discovered in Greenwich Park. The road dips towards the river, and passes
over the drained and banked marshes to the Surrey suburb. There is a
gate-tower at the end of the Bridge, then comes the long and narrow
passage over the strong, swift river to the grey walls of Londinium. Along
the river-front are several wharves formed of timbering, to the left is
the creek of the little river which ran under the west walls, and, still
further west, some water-side villas.[215] Entering the city the street
ascends steeply towards the north gate; others, parallel to its course,
lead to two other gates in the north wall, and two chief routes traverse
the city longitudinally from west gate to east gate, and from west postern
to east postern. A bridge[216] over the Walbrook gives good reason why the
street lines in the eastern half of the city converge toward this point.
The area extending from the north-gate street to the bank of the Walbrook
is covered with the principal buildings closely packed together.[217]
Beyond this central mass of buildings stand isolated villas in gardens and
orchards. In the open belt of ground outside the walls, and along the
roads, west, north, and east, are cemeteries, the graves marked with
sarcophagi and sculptured headstones, some of imported marble. A theatre
somewhat similar to those at Dorchester, Cirencester, and Silchester is
situated without the west gate, being excavated in the steep bank of the
rivulet between it and the city wall.[218]



Within the walls the city is adorned by more than one bronze statue. The
sculptured ornaments of the public buildings are somewhat rude and
ponderous, but the dwellings are furnished with numerous imported works of
art, such as bronze statuettes, bowls of red Samian ware, and very
beautiful coloured glass vessels of the _millefiore_ kind. The rooms have
their walls painted in bright colours with birds, flowers, and figures,
and imitations of porphyry and verde antique, while a few are cased with
thin slabs of marble. The pavements are patterned mosaic, and raised
above hot air chambers; lead pipes supply water, the windows are glazed,
and the roofs without are covered with red pantiles. So far there seem to
be authentic data for such a picture. It would be vain to attempt in many
instances to assign the fragments found in excavations to particular
buildings. Roach Smith, however, was of opinion that a large fragment
sculptured with the three seated goddesses, the _Deae Matres_, found in
Hart Street, Crutched Friars, and now in the Guildhall, "stood on the
outside of a temple dedicated to these popular divinities."


[Illustration: FIG. 41.--LEADEN CIST.]


[Illustration: FIG. 43.--ROMAN INSCRIPTION.]

    The illustration of a tomb is made up from fragments in the British
    Museum found in the east wall (Figs. 38 and 39).

A large stone, about two feet high, found fifty years ago below Clement's
Lane, Lombard Street, bearing "a few letters of the sounding words
PROVINCIA BRITANNIAE," was thought by the same authority to have stood
above a civil basilica. This most important inscription was lodged at the
Guildhall, but has disappeared. I have Roach Smith's original sketch of
it, and a letter asking Fairholt to go and draw it more carefully. But in
his _Roman London_ he complains that it could not be found. Fortunately,
there is a second careful drawing of the stone in the Archer Collection at
the British Museum, and from this my figure is made.[219]

Following the model of Silchester, it is quite probable that a Christian
church stood in a main street on such a site as the present St. Peter's
upon Cornhill. The Forum, as has been said, probably lay north of London
Stone, which may have been the golden milestone of London. Wren thought
that the Prætorium occupied the ground between the two west gates; but the
Tower site seems even more probable.

Bagford refers to the discovery of some Roman water-pipes in Creed Lane
after the fire, which were "carried round a bath that was built in a round
form with niches at an equal distance for seats."

It has been noticed that the masonry of the walls of the Roman houses
seems to have finished not far above ground as if in preparation for
timbering; other indications of this have been found, and a rough
scratching of a house on a tile shows timber construction. This has
recently been confirmed by the discovery at Silchester of houses which had
timbered framing covered with clay daubing over wattle work, the outside
surface being ornamented with zigzag patterns like mediæval pargeting, all
of brick-red colour.

Before the Roman forces were drawn back to the heart of the empire, London
seems to have grown into the position of British Metropolis. Its position
in regard to the arterial roads when the itinerary was compiled, shows how
it tended to take precedence over the more military centres. Moreover,
while the mint marks of one or two British cities appear on coins earlier
than the mark of London, in Constantinian days London is the only British
city where money seems to have been coined.[220] In the last days of the
occupation the city had acquired the name of Augusta. We cannot doubt that
the Roman soldiers drawn away to protect their lines of communication
marched Romeward with the intention of returning again to the city by the
Thames when the barbarian Germans and Goths had been thrust back into
their woods and plains; yet the day of Rome was done, and their retreat
was itself an incident in the advance of a new age.



In bringing this topographical essay to a conclusion, it may be desirable
to note a few observations on the materials we possess for making a map of
early London, the reconstruction of which, with considerable fulness and
accuracy, is possible. We have in the Survey of Leeke, made directly after
the great fire, and engraved on two sheets by Vertue from a parchment
original, now in the MS. room of the British Museum (5415. E.I.), an
admirable starting-point. Even the widths of the streets are figured on
this plan, and the forms of St. Paul's and the other old churches are
given with fair precision. It is entitled "An Exact Survey of the Streets,
Lanes, and Churches, comprehended within the Ruins of the City of London;
first described in six platts in December, Anno Domini, 1666. By John
Leeke.... And here reduced into one entire platt by John Leeke." This
parchment was engraved by Hollar to a smaller scale, with the unburnt
portions of the city added in isometrical projection. On this plan the
ward boundaries are carefully laid down. As to the ground-plan of the
portions left uninjured by the fire, we can supplement Leeke's Survey by
the plan Wren made for reconstructing the city, now at Oxford, which
shows the streets and churches of the uninjured areas; and from Ogilvie's
large map, made only a few years later, details, such as the block-plans
of the churches in the unburnt part, can be filled in with greater
accuracy. From Faithorne's map, 1658, some additional facts, especially as
to Southwark and the suburbs, can be obtained, as it is of large
extent.[221] Putting all these together, we have an exact map of London as
it existed at the moment of the fire. Afterwards a few modifications were
made in the streets, but the plan of old London remained practically
unchanged till Southwark Bridge was built and Queen Street made to lead to

We can now check our plan and add to the names of the streets from Stow's
perambulation of every street and alley, and his account of ward
boundaries and parishes. Further than this, however, we have in the
remarkably clear plot of the city given in Braun and Hogenburghe's
_Civitates Orbis Terrarum_ (1572), a survey of the city as it existed
about 1570. It is often said that this view _must_ date back to 1561 at
least, as St. Paul's spire, which was burnt in that year, is shown in it.
But as it was known to be the intention to rebuild this famous spire at
once, it seems probable that a view even in the interim would not leave it
out. It is not quite certain who drew this admirable map. In the preface
to a copy of the book which I have examined, George Braun of Cologne,
January 1, 1575, speaks of the admirable industry of the painter
Hogenburghe, and the living portraitures he had so carefully painted, so
that the cities may be seen at a glance more easily than in reality. On
comparing the prospects of other cities, it looks almost certain that
London was drawn by the same hand which drew Paris, Brussels, etc.
Hofnagle, who it is thought may have made this prospect, is known to have
been in England in or before 1571. It is to be remarked in this connection
that the plan of London is not numbered with the rest of the plates; it is
marked A, and put in at the beginning of the series as if it came to hand

This valuable map, whoever it may have been drawn by, and whatever may be
its exact date, is delineated according to a method which is still made
use of at times--the buildings, trees, and other details being figured in
perspective. This has resulted in giving the whole such a pictorial
character, that the correctly planned basis is not at first apparent. I
have not seen it pointed out that it is properly a map and not a view, and
this method of projection may be what Braun refers to in the preface cited
above. About this same time William Smith, the herald, made some drawings
of cities; and on one of Bristol, which is drawn according to the same
method as the London map we are now considering, he writes:--"Bristow,
measured and laid in Platforme by me, W. Smith, at my being in Bristow the
30 and 31 July Ano Dni 1568" (Sloane MSS. 2596). Pictorial views of cities
had been known for centuries; this "laying in platform" is, however, new.
We may suppose that Smith, the Rouge Dragon, was not the first to make use
of this method in his Survey of Bristol, and that there must even at this
time have existed such a plan of London; it may also be pointed out that
Smith's MS. _view_ of London, which may, however, have been made later
than the one of Bristol, is plainly founded on Braun's plan, or on some
original used in common. Bagford speaks of having seen a single sheet on
copper, from Temple Bar to St. Katharine's and the Bank-side Southwark,
which seemed to him the best of old London and perhaps the most ancient.

It is necessary to notice the large woodcut prospect usually called Aggas'
plan, if only to criticise this ascription, which is accepted in the
_Dictionary of National Biography_. It is plain on comparing it with
Braun's plan that one of them is copied from the other, or a common
original source, and this relation is made more certain when we notice
that the large woodcut, which I shall call the Anonymous plan, has been
cut down at the margins, and that it must originally have included
Westminster and St. Katharine's exactly like Braun's. As the Anonymous
woodcut plan is far inferior in workmanship to the other, and as it was
still being printed from in the seventeenth century, there seems to be
some likelihood that it is the copy, and yet, as we shall see, a "Large
Mappe" existed before 1580. Although so little is known in regard to the
Anonymous plan, there seems to be sufficient evidence to negative the idea
propounded by Vertue that it was the work of Aggas. This idea he gained
because a view of Oxford, drawn by Aggas in 1578, and published in 1588,
speaks of his having had a desire to publish a plan of London, but (in 30
Queen Elizabeth, 1588) "meantime the measure, form, and sight I bring of
ancient Oxford." A trained surveyor like Aggas would hardly have brought
out an enlarged copy of Braun's map twenty years after the original. It is
probable indeed, considering the spelling of the names, that Bagford's
observation on the Anonymous plan, that it seemed to have been "done in
Holland," is true. Mr. Thomas Dodd, in a MS. letter in the Crace
Collection, points out a passage in Hakluyt where it is advised that the
Pit and Jackman Expedition of 1580 should take with them the map of
England and the "large Mappe of London." Mr. Dodd goes on to point out
that Hakluyt also refers to Clement Adams as an engraver on wood, and he
might have been the author of such a large map, which may be the Anonymous
woodcut plan. Mr. Overall, in his inconclusive preface to the reproduction
of the Anonymous plan, shows that Giles Godhed had submitted "the Carde of
London," in 1562, to the Stationers' Company. We might conclude that this
was a large plan on the same projection as Braun and Hogenburghe's plan,
but this is uncertain, as just at this time there was published an
engraved view of St. Paul's and the neighbourhood, of which there is a
unique copy at the Society of Antiquaries. The most beautiful plan known
to me, executed after the manner of Braun's cities, is a large plan of
Bruges, signed by Marcus Gerard, pictor, 1562. Altogether I am inclined to
think that there was such a plan of London existing before Braun's, and
that the Anonymous plan is a coarse copy of one of those made in Holland
for popular sale some time before 1580. Braun's plan, in any case, carries
us back on firm ground to the end of the mediæval period, and by its aid
we can check over our former results for an accurate plan of mediæval

Beyond this point we have an overwhelming mass of documentary evidence, by
which the names of the streets, churches, and other landmarks, can be
carried backwards by references in deeds, wills, patents, close-rolls, and
Parliament-rolls, etc. etc. I have little doubt that almost every street
and lane in London which existed in Stow's day could be carried back by
this means to the thirteenth century, and a good many can be shown to have
borne the same names in the century after the Conquest.

Then we have the complete list of city churches in the time of Edward I.
given in the _Liber Custumarum_. The parish boundaries probably remain
much as at that time, and the wards in their present form go back as far.
It may be noted that a study of the boundaries shows that the parishes are
in the main subdivisions of wards, and not that wards are aggregations of
parishes. Such general documentary evidence can be further supplemented by
the data which we have in regard to particular buildings which are still
in part existing, or of which we have plans and other evidence.

We can accurately reinstate the City wall with its bastions and gates, the
Bridge and the Tower of London. We have ample particulars as to the
Cathedral and precinct of St. Paul's, with the line of the Close wall, the
position of its gates, and the site of the Campanile in the north-east
corner. The boundaries of the Conventual Establishments can be plotted,
and the buildings within them can, in many cases, be laid down in detail.
The plan of the Guildhall buildings may be reconstructed, and Hollar and
Leeke's map gives the position of the Halls of the several Companies. An
attempt has been made in the body of this work to sift out what can be
learned of a still more remote London.


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.


[1] Mr. Green, from the long sections dealing with London in _The Making
of England_ and _The Conquest of England_, must be reckoned among the
specialists on London. I shall often have to criticise Mr. Loftie's
conclusions, but I do so merely because those are the views in possession
at the present time. His books have the distinction of having revived an
interest in London topography.

[2] _E.g._ Mr. Loftie's most recent book, _London Afternoons_.

[3] _Origines Celticæ._

[4] Loftie, vol. i. ch. ii.

[5] Hearne actually says it is Long-town.

[6] Canon Isaac Taylor, _Dict. of Place-Names_.

[7] _Social England_, vol. i.

[8] Rhys, _Celtic Britain_.

[9] Ramsay, vol. i. p. 32.

[10] See Ludgate below.

[11] Now represented by Edgware Road.

[12] See _Dict. Nat. Biog._, and De la Moyne Borderie.

[13] Thorpe's _Ancient Laws_.

[14] Joceline de Brakelonde, p. 56, cited by Wright.

[15] _Cal. St. Paul's MSS._, Ninth Report Historic MSS. Com., p. 65.

[16] Rhys, _Celtic Britain_; Elton's _Origins_.

[17] Thomas Wright says the Billings, a Saxon people, settled at
Billingsgate, and Mr. W. H. Stevenson derives the name from Billing, a
Saxon name.

[18] There is probably some fact at the bottom of this story: perhaps the
sword of St. Paul was carved on the Bishop's Gate. According to Geoffrey,
the older Belinus had been placed in a golden urn on Billingsgate.

[19] Robert of Gloucester.

[20] See the story of Lludd in the Mabinogion.

[21] _English Hist. Rev._ vol. ii.

[22] _Episcopal Succession._

[23] _Celtic Britain_, p. 124.

[24] C. F. Keary, _Vikings_.

[25] Asser.

[26] Asser.

[27] See Ramsay, _Foundations of England_, vol. i. p. 126.

[28] Compare Tame, Tamar, Teme, Tean, Teign. See _Surrey Collections_,
vol. v.

[29] _Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles_, Camden Society.

[30] See Green, _Making of England_, vol. i. p. 105; _Surrey Collections_,
vol. iii.; and _Athenæum_, 1901, No. 3838.

[31] _Polyolbion._

[32] Bailey.

[33] _Calendar of St. Paul's MSS._

[34] Dugdale's _Monasticon_, art. "Temple"; and Round's _Geoffrey de

[35] _Transactions of London and Middlesex Archæological Society_, vol.

[36] Hardy and Page, _London and Middlesex Fines_, vol. i. p. 3; see also

[37] _London and Middlesex Fines._

[38] Kempe translates the same passage, "From the north angle of the City
wall, where a rivulet of Springs near thereto flowing marks it out (_i.e._
the moor) from the wall as far as the running water which entereth the
City" (_Sanctuary of St. Martin_).

[39] _Eng. Hist. Rev._, 1896.

[40] A.S. dictionaries give _Wylle-burn_ = Wellbrook.

[41] Other cases of churches called by personal names are St. Benet Fink,
St. Martin Orgar, St. Martin Outwich, etc.

[42] St. Stephen's Walbrook is mentioned in a charter of _c._ 1100. See
"Churches," below.

[43] Dr. Sharpe, _Letter Book A_.

[44] _Archæological Journal_, vol. i. p. 111.

[45] _Roman Antiquities on Site of Safe Deposit_, and _Roman Pavement in
Bucklersbury_; see also _Archæological Review_, vol. iv.

[46] _Letter Book A._

[47] Price, _Safe Deposit_, p. 30.

[48] _Origines Celticæ_, vol. ii.

[49] Sir J. H. Ramsay.

[50] Maitland sounded the river, and thought that there had been a ford at
Chelsea; and the large number of Celtic and Roman antiquities found from
time to time at Battersea and Wandsworth incline me to the view that there
was a passage here.

[51] Horsley's account of the Roman roads is still the best general
authority; but see the _Antiquary_ for 1901-2. The subject is being
carefully re-examined in the new Victorian County Histories.

[52] Thorpe.

[53] The last, like all names compounded of "street," is a significant
name wherever found.

[54] Clark, _Military Architecture_, vol. i. p. 31.

[55] Hardy and Page, _Fines_; and see Stow.

[56] _London and Middlesex Archæological Society Trans._, vol. iii. p.

[57] _London and Middlesex Fines._

[58] Ackerman's _Westminster_, vol. i. p. 74.

[59] For Old Ford see _London and Middlesex Archæological Society Trans._,
vol. iii. p. 206.

[60] _Crawford Charters._

[61] Bentley's _Cartulary of Westminster Abbey_, p. 4.

[62] See _Archæologia_, vol. xxvi., and, on the Tyburn, the _London and
Middlesex Archæological Society Trans._, vol. vi.

[63] _Surrey Collections_, vol. i.

[64] See Faulkner's _Chelsea_.

[65] Kemble, No. 872. See also Arnold's _Streatham_.

[66] _Eng. Hist. Rev._ 1898.

[67] See Rhys, _Celtic Britain_. The compiler of the pseudo-itinerary of
R. of Cirencester writes Guethlin Street.

[68] It has been argued that if the Britons had chariots they must also
have had roads; and it is generally held that the Icknield and other
"Ridgeways" are of British origin. Mr. Boyd Dawkins has recently shown,
from objects found in a camp with which the Pilgrim Way from Canterbury is
associated, that this ridge-road is early Celtic at latest. It seems
reasonable to suggest that it joined the Icknield Way, and that they
formed an early road-system crossing the river at Wallingford.

[69] A paved way, thought to be the Watling Street, has just been found in
Edgware Road. It was 20 feet wide, 3.6 below surface, and pitched with
"boulders." A fragment was also found in Oxford Street.

[70] Kemble, _Codex Dip._ 591.

[71] Powell and Vigfusson's _Corpus_.

[72] I do not share this view as to Claudius and the bridge. Sir J. H.
Ramsay even suggests that it may have been the work of Cunobeline.

[73] Roach Smith, _Archæological Journal_, vol. i. p. 112.

[74] Bruce, _Handbook to the Roman Wall_.

[75] See Price's _Bucklersbury_.

[76] _Making of England_, pp. 21, 105.

[77] Hermann, _De Mirac. S. Edmund_, p. 43; see _Eng. Hist. Rev._ vol.
xii. p. 49.

[78] _Home Counties Mag._ vol. i.

[79] Leland.

[80] Earle, _Land Charters_; and _Codex Dip._ No. 280.

[81] _Cal._ p. 25.

[82] _Archæologia_, lii.

[83] In the A.S. dictionaries _Crepel_ stands for an underground passage:
there is said to be a Cripplegate on the Wansdyke.

[84] _Archæologia_, lii.

[85] Loftie's _London_, and _London_ in "Historic Towns" series; maps in
Green's _Short History_, and in Miss Norgate's _Angevin Kings_.

[86] It seems necessary to notice these points in such excellent books, as
they are repeated in Sir W. Besant's _London_, p. 19, and more recent
works, as if they were settled. Mr. Loftie, in a still later book, _London
City_ (1891), writes: "We know that Aldgate was opened about sixty years
before FitzStephen's time. Aldersgate must have been made soon after the
Conquest, and Cripplegate, with its covered way to the Barbican, cannot
have been much later." In "Historic Towns" volume he says: "The
foundations of the North Gate were lately found in Camomile Street. The
massive masonry of the West Gate was also lately uncovered in Giltspur
Street." In his _London Afternoons_ Ludgate appears as probably the latest
of the gates. All this is conjecture and, as I have shown, contrary to the

[87] _London and Middlesex Archæological Society Trans._ vol. iii.

[88] _Illustrations of Roman London._

[89] Thorpe's _Ancient Laws_.

[90] Earle, _Land Charter_.

[91] W. de G. Birch, _London Charters_.

[92] Kemble, _Codex Dip._ No. 1074.

[93] Leland, _Coll._ vol. i.

[94] J. H. Round, _Calendar of French Documents_.

[95] J. H. Round, _Feudal England_, p. 320.

[96] _London and the Kingdom._

[97] Pauli, _Pictures of Old London_.

[98] Price, _Hist. Guildhall_. In a deed, _temp._ Henry III., the Gildhall
of the Cologne Merchants is said to be near Hay Wharf, for which see Stow.

[99] J. H. Round, _Calendar of French Documents_. See also _Soc de
Waremanshaker_ and St. Peter Ghent in Dugdale, vol. ii. p. 384.

[100] _Calendar of St. Paul's Documents._

[101] Dugdale, vol. vi. p. 623.

[102] _Codex Dip._ ii. p. 3.

[103] _Heimskringla._

[104] C. F. Keary, _Vikings_, p. 125.

[105] J. Earle, _Saxon Chronicles_.

[106] It is true it has been shown by Mr. Round that about two centuries
later than this time _Arx_ was a technical word for a military tower, and
it is used by FitzStephen for the Tower of London itself: on the other
hand, passages cited in _Domesday and Beyond_, p. 187, show that earlier
it was convertible with _castrum_ or _burh_, and it is beginning to be
believed that _burh_ means a _castrum_ rather than a mound. Grants of
property run, "within Burh and without Burh, on Street and off Street."
Alfred himself writes of "Romeburh" and "Babylonburh."

[107] It is usually said that the members of the gild entered Holy Trinity
Monastery, but this Mr. Round has shown is a misconception.

[108] Alfred Memorial volume.

[109] _Journal British Archæological Association_, 1900.

[110] _Domesday and Beyond_, p. 192.

[111] "I have been in White Hill in the Court of Cynvelyn" (Taliessin).
According to a Triad it was Arthur who disinterred the head of Bran,
disdaining to be so protected.

[112] Dr. Maitland, _Domesday and Beyond_.

[113] The Anglo-Saxon chronicler under 878 tells how Alfred made a
_geweorc_ at Athelney.

[114] As to the Danes holding the burh with London, see above, p. 68. I
find London "and the Boro" mentioned together early in the thirteenth

[115] See G. R. Corner, _Archæologia_, vol. xxv.

[116] Saxon Chronicle.

[117] On the boundary of Paris Gardens was an embankment called the Old
Broad Wall.

[118] See "House of Lewes Priory," _Archæologia_, vol. xxxviii.

[119] So well informed a guide as Baedeker says the Abbey was so named
with reference to Eastminster by the Tower, which was only founded in the
fourteenth century.

[120] See Sir J. H. Ramsay, vol. i. p. 422.

[121] See, for example, Hardy and Page, _London and Middlesex Fines_, p.
3. This volume also shows that Norton Folgate was formerly called Norton
Folyot from a well-known family.

[122] _Calendar of St. Paul's Documents_, p. 25.

[123] A sixteenth-century London document has "stoop or post."

[124] _Athenæum_, 8th July 1899.

[125] Compare "portmeadows" and lands belonging to citizens elsewhere. At
Colchester in 1086 there was a strip eight perches wide surrounding the
town wall. As late as 1833 the borough of Bedford _included_ "a broad belt
of land." For a full account of the commonable fields of Cambridge and a
discussion of the subject generally, see Maitland's _Township and
Borough_. The London boundary was called the Line of Separation.

[126] The common pasturage of Westminster is mentioned in a charter.

[127] _London and Middlesex Archæological Society Trans._, vol. v. See
also for these documents Dr. Sharpe's _Letter Book C_.

[128] See also Stow's account of the alienation of common lands. Mile-End,
according to Froissart, was "a fair plain place where the people of the
city did sport them in summer."

[129] Fenchurch also seems to have been connected with this land, or at
least the eastern suburb.

[130] The Friday fair of horses still lasted when Froissart wrote his
account of Wat Tyler.

[131] _Township and Borough and Village Community._

[132] Hudson Turner.

[133] _Making of England._

[134] See Green's _Conquest of England_.

[135] In the summary of reigns at the end of Florence's Chronicle he
speaks more than once of "London and the adjacent country" as going

[136] See L. Gomme, _Village Community_, p. 212.

[137] Munday. Loftie says there was another Romeland at Dowgate.

[138] _Calendar of Ancient Deeds._

[139] See J. H. Round, _Commune of London_, p. 99.

[140] Riley, Sharpe, Loftie's two books, _French Chronicle of London_,

[141] Or Langbourne and Fenny-about, as the east and west halves of this
ward seem to have been sometimes called.

[142] Sharpe's _Calendar of Wills_, vol. i.

[143] _Calendar of Ancient Deeds_, vol. iii.

[144] _Riley's Memorials._

[145] The _Liber Trinitatis_ states that the precinct of Holy Trinity
Aldgate was "of old" (pre-Conquest) one parish of Holy Rood. Two adjoining
parishes are mentioned in a twelfth century charter (_Commune of Lond._ p.
253)--St. Laurence de Judaismo and St. Marie de Aldermanebury.

[146] _Judicia civitatis Londoniæ._

[147] _Liber Albus_, p. 80.

[148] A document of about 1120-30 at St. Paul's gives us the name of
"Salidus, Bedellus Warde."

[149] _Liber Albus_, p. 32.

[150] _Archæological Journal_, vol. iv. p. 278.

[151] Kemble, _Codex Dip._ 685.

[152] See Dugdale, who is wrong, however, in saying it was called a
"Palatine tower." Stow applies this grant to Bridewell by mistake.

[153] See the genealogy as given by Mr. Round. It is interesting to find
that the arms of Fitzwalter, the banner-bearer of London, a fess between
two cheverons, is but a difference from the three cheverons of Clare.

[154] The arms of the Munfichets were similar to the arms of Clare, with
the difference only of a label of five points. From this fact we may
suppose that the families were allied. Munfichet Castle afterwards fell
into the hands of the Fitzwalters.

[155] Howell's _Londinopolis_, 1657.

[156] Dr. H. J. Nicholson, _History of the Abbey of St. Albans_, Newcourt,
and Maitland's _London_, vol. ii. p. 1051.

[157] Dr. Sharpe considers that the Royal was the name of a street near
Dowgate, so called from La Reole, near Bordeaux.

[158] T. E. Price, _Safe Deposit_, p. 29.

[159] _Archæol._ xxix.

[160] J. Kempe, _Archæologia_, vol. xxiv.

[161] A large open Cheap is put in various parts by different writers. Mr.
Joseph Jacobs, in an interesting inquiry as to the Jewry, makes the ground
south of the Guildhall an open market.

[162] _Codex Dip._ i. p. 133. The Wilton Domesday gives a _Magnus Vicus_
at Winchester.

[163] _Parentalia._

[164] _London and Middlesex Transactions_, vol. ii.

[165] See J. E. Price, _Safe Deposit_. Price claims that the crypt found
by Wren at Bow Church and described as Roman by him is not the now
existing crypt. But the text and index of _Parentalia_ plainly prove that
the present church was built _on_ it, and therefore it was the existing
Norman structure.

Price says that remains of a bridge were found in Bucklersbury, and that a
Roman road, possibly a continuation of that by Bow Church, passed here.

[166] Hudson Turner's _Domestic Archr._, vol. i. App.; _Calendar of St.
Paul's Documents_, Sharpe's _Calendar of Wills_, _Calendar of Ancient
Deeds_, etc. In the last it is called Aphelingestrate in 1232.

[167] Dr. Sharpe's _Calendar of Wills_.

[168] Sharon Turner, _History of the Anglo-Saxons_.

[169] Alfred Memorial volume, 1899.

[170] Riley's _Memorials_.

[171] Issac.

[172] Godefroi's _Dictionary_.

[173] It is designed on the pattern of the famous monogram of Justinian,
having for basis the letter N.

[174] Still more recent finds at St. Albans seem to show that here also
the forum was an important building in the centre of the city.

[175] See account of Saxon Winchester in Hudson Turner's _Domestic
Archr._, vol. i., and of _Canterbury before the Conquest_, by Geoff.

[176] Winton Domesday mentions Fishmongers' Street, Tanner Street, and
Gold Street.

[177] _The Golden Legend._

[178] Right through the Middle Ages the close of St. Paul's is called
_Atrium S. Pauli_.

[179] _Parentalia._

[180] Thorpes' _Analecta_.

[181] _Cotton Charters_, 11 Aug. 85.

[182] Richard of Cirencester, also Stow.

[183] See W. Maitland's _London_, and Green's _Conquest of England_.

[184] _London and Middlesex Archæological Society's Trans._ vol. ii.

[185] Sir H. Ellis, _Introduction to Domesday_.

[186] See _Eng. Hist. Rev._ vol. xvi.

[187] For the last see Round, _Geoffrey de Mandeville_.

[188] For many other churches mentioned in the twelfth century see
_Calendar of St. Paul's Documents, Historical MSS. Reports_, which I have
not drawn upon in this place. Several other churches may be presumed to be
ancient from their dedication, such as St. Pancras (destroyed at the great
fire). Green (_Conquest of England_) attributes St. Augustine, St.
Gregory, St. Benet, and St. Faith, to Bishop Erkenwald.

[189] For Strand churches see Sanders in _Archæologia_, vol. xxvi. Gibbs
found work which he thought was Roman under St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.
For an early foundation at Smithfield see Malcolm.

[190] Dugdale, under Bermondsey.

[191] The "Pedlar of Swaffham" and some Welsh stories refer to the bridge
in the same way. See Rhys, _Celtic Folklore_.

[192] _Hist. MSS. Report of St. Paul's Documents_, p. 49.

[193] See T. H. Round, _Commune of London_.

[194] _Geoffrey de Mandeville_, p. 436.

[195] Thorpe, pp. 97-103.

[196] _London and the Kingdom._ In Winton Domesday is written _Chenictes
tenebat la chenictehalla ubi potabant gildam suam_.

[197] Does this mean the lost charter constituting the mayor?

[198] _Camden Society._

[199] Lick up the penny--Howell writes, "Some call London a Lickpenny, as
Paris is called a Pick-purse, because of feastings and other occasions of

[200] Book now disappeared. See for this and Stone generally, Price's
_Roman Pavement in Bucklersbury_. It is not necessary that the note should
be as old as the book.

[201] _London and Middlesex Archæological Society_, vol. v.

[202] _Parentalia._

[203] This must be just the meaning of Berefridam--Burhfrid--Town-peace.

[204] _Domesday and Beyond_, p. 192.

[205] _Ibid._ p. 184.

[206] Lincoln also had a gerefa in the seventh century (Bede, ii. 6).

[207] _Geoffrey de Mandeville._

[208] Maitland's _London_ speaks of a list amongst the British Museum MSS.

[209] See Round in _Dict. Nat. Biog._ and _Commune of London_.

[210] F. Palgrave, _Rotuli Curiæ Regis_, vol. i. p. 12.

[211] Skeat says the weight was called from Troyes, but gives no
conclusive reasons. See also _Notes and Queries_, 1871. Cripp's _English
Plate_ seems to prove this point.

[212] In Rolls Series.

[213] _Illus. Rom. Lond._ and valuable article, _Archæol._ xxix.

[214] There may have been a tower on the Bush Lane site: I am speaking of
a large walled castrum.

[215] Like the one which has left us its bath in Essex Street, Strand. The
1681 Catalogue of objects in the Museum of the Royal Society describes a
mosaic pavement found in Holborn near St. Andrew's.

[216] At Bucklersbury, described by Price.

[217] As many discoveries of walls and pavements have shown; as, for
instance, at the south end of Bishopsgate Street, in Threadneedle Street,
Lombard Street, at the Bank, the Royal Exchange, Bucklersbury, Cannon
Street, and the north side of Thames Street.

[218] Roach Smith in _London and Middlesex Archæological Trans._ vol i.

[219] I may say here that the drawing of the Roman pavement (Fig. 35) was
originally made for Roach Smith by Fairholt.

[220] The mark P. LON. is first found on a coin of Diocletian.

[221] Other plans by A. Ryther, Norden, and Porter are small, and of
little use except for giving the extent of suburban building at the moment
of the execution of each.


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Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version these
letters have been replaced with transliterations.

The Maltese Cross used in the original text is noted in this version as
[Maltese Cross].

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