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Title: Mediæval London
Author: Benham, William, 1831-1910, Welch, Charles
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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Internet Archive.)



MEDIÆVAL LONDON



[Illustration: _London Bridge and the Tower._

_from a MS. of the Poems of Charles, Duke of Orleans. British Museum._]



  MEDIÆVAL LONDON


  _By_ WILLIAM BENHAM, D.D., F.S.A.
  _Rector of St. Edmund the King, Lombard Street,
  and Honorary Canon of Canterbury_,

  AND

  CHARLES WELCH, F.S.A.
  _Librarian to the Corporation of London_.


  LONDON
  SEELEY AND CO. LIMITED, GREAT RUSSELL STREET
  NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
  1901



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



  LONDON BRIDGE AND THE TOWER. From a Manuscript of the
    Poems of Charles, duke of Orleans. British Museum,
    16 F. ii.                                               _Frontispiece_

  A TOURNAMENT. From a Manuscript of the Romance of the
    Sire Jehan de Saintre. British Museum, Nero D. ix.             _P._ 10

  RICHARD II. RIDING OUT OF LONDON TO THE WAR IN IRELAND.
    From a Manuscript of Froissart's Chronicles. British
    Museum, Harl. 4380.                                            _P._ 18

  RICHARD II. DELIVERED BY BOLINBROKE TO THE CITIZENS OF
    LONDON. From a Manuscript of the Metrical History of
    Richard II. British Museum, Harl. 1319.                        _P._ 34

  THE FUNERAL OF RICHARD II. From a Manuscript of
    Froissart's Chronicles. British Museum, Harl. 4380.            _P._ 74

  THE PRINCIPAL PARTS OF A PEN DRAWING OF LONDON FROM
    WESTMINSTER TO GREENWICH, BY ANTONIE VAN DEN WYNGAERDE.
    Bodleian Library, Oxford.

    Of this Flemish artist very little is known. There exists a
    rescript of Philip II. addressed to Margaret of Parma, regent of
    the Low Countries, giving him permission to remove with his
    goods and to settle in Spain, from which it is supposed that he
    was in the King's service. The drawing was made, probably for
    Philip, before the fall of the spire of St. Paul's in 1561. It
    is unfinished, blank spaces being left for Whitehall, Bridewell,
    and some other buildings. There are also memoranda on the
    drawing which show that the artist intended to colour it, leaden
    roofs, for instance, being marked "blau." The Bodleian Library
    possesses forty-seven other drawings of his, two of which are
    here reproduced: one of Whitehall, intended no doubt to fill the
    blank space in the large view, and one of Greenwich Palace from
    the Observatory Hill, which is coloured in a simple manner. It
    is not improbable that Wyngaerde left England on the death of
    Queen Mary. A copy of the drawing of London, much altered and
    embellished, was made and engraved by N. Whittock in 1849.

        WESTMINSTER TO CHARING CROSS.

        THE STRAND.

        ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL.

        LONDON BRIDGE.

        BILLINGSGATE AND ST. MARY SPITAL.

        THE TOWER.

        GREENWICH PALACE, FROM THE THAMES.

        GREENWICH PALACE, FROM THE OBSERVATORY HILL.

        THE PALACE OF WHITEHALL.

  DRAWINGS BY JOHN WYKEHAM ARCHER. British Museum.

    John Wykeham Archer (_b._ 1808, _d._ 1864), a water-colour
    painter, engraver, and antiquary, was employed by another
    antiquary, Mr. W. Twopeny, more than half a century ago, to make
    twenty drawings yearly of London antiquities, a work which he
    carried on until his death. Many of the buildings which he drew
    have since been destroyed, or have undergone restoration. The
    whole collection was acquired for the British Museum, and fills
    seventeen portfolios. A very few of the drawings were etched by
    Archer for his book entitled _Vestiges of Old London_.

        ROMAN BATH IN THE STRAND. 1841.

        BASTION OF THE CITY WALL IN THE CHURCHYARD OF ST. GILES'S,
        CRIPPLEGATE. 1841.

        THE CRYPT OF GUILDHALL. 1842.

        THE CRYPT OF ST. MICHAEL'S, ALDGATE. 1841.

        THE CRYPT OF MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL.

        GARDEN HOUSE, CANONBURY, BUILT BY THE LAST PRIOR OF ST.
        BARTHOLOMEW'S, SMITHFIELD. 1841.

        AUSTIN FRIARS. 1842.

        A CELL IN THE LOLLARDS' TOWER, LAMBETH. 1841.

        ENTRANCE TO THE LOLLARDS' TOWER. 1841.

        THE GUARD ROOM, LAMBETH. 1841.

        THE CRYPT OF ST. STEPHEN'S, WESTMINSTER. 1842.

        GATEWAY OF THE BLOODY TOWER. 1847.

        MACHINERY FOR RAISING THE PORTCULLIS, TOWER OF LONDON. 1850.

        WARDERS' LODGINGS, TOWER OF LONDON. 1847.


_The coloured Illustrations are printed by Mr. Edmund Evans at the Racquet
Court Press._



MEDIÆVAL LONDON



CHAPTER I.

A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY.

    _What are the Historical Limits of "Mediæval London?"--Derivation of
    "London"--The Roman City--Outlying Districts--Decay of Ancient
    London--Renewal after the English Conquest was Complete--London
    Christianised--King Alfred's London--Its Gradual Rise to
    Supremacy--St. Paul's Cathedral--William the Conqueror's
    London--London in the days of the Plantagenets.--Foundation of
    Westminster Abbey--Rebuilt by Henry III.--St. Clement Danes--Watling
    Street--The Folkmote Ground--Cheapside and its Surroundings--The
    Pageants--The Arches Court--London Wall, the Gates and Towers--City
    Trees--The Religious Houses--Monasteries--Priories--Colleges--
    Hospitals--Episcopal Residences--London Outskirts--Notes of Remarkable
    Events under the Successive Dynasties--Aggas's Map of London, temp.
    Queen Elizabeth._


Mediæval London--it is a perfectly distinct and real subject, though it
might be difficult to give exact dates of beginning and end. Historical
periods glide in, and run their course, and fade away or take fresh shape.
Yet we may venture to approximate, and to say with some confidence that
Ancient London changed into Mediæval in the days of King Alfred, and
passed into Modern with the accession of the Stuarts. The Great Fire of
1666 made vast changes not only in the city itself, but in the
surroundings thereof, but modern London had begun nearly a century before
that.

London is not mentioned in Cæsar's account of Britain, but we know from
Tacitus that it existed and was a place of importance. In a lecture of
Dean Stanley delivered in Exeter Hall, entitled "The Study of Modern
History in London," he follows the etymology accepted in his time, and
interprets the name "The City of Ships." That derivation was disproved by
Dr. Guest, and the meaning now, so far as I know, universally held by
scholars is "The Fortress by the Lake." The "lake," so called, was the
river spread out in a wide marsh on the Surrey side, and the "fortress"
was a palisaded ground round the neighbourhood of the present Cannon
Street Station. When the Romans took possession in the first half of the
first century, they fortified it with a tower and a wall. Parts of the
Roman wall are still standing; most of it remained in the days of Mediæval
London. Substantial fragments of the later wall taken from around
Bishopsgate are preserved in the Guildhall Museum. They include portions
of handsome Roman buildings and sculptured ornaments. Evidently some,
having fallen into decay, were in the course of ages used by mediæval
Londoners for the repairs of their walls. And there are further remains of
elaborate furniture, and other proofs of high civilised life in London.
But the written history of the city during the Roman occupation is a
blank. It was certainly the largest port in the country, but of written
records there are none. Traditions there are of visits of Apostles and
other Christian missionaries, and one church in the city has a brass plate
stating that it stands on the site of the mother church of London, the
foundation of King Lucius. But this is a sheer myth, King Lucius and all.
That during those years of Roman dominion there were Christian
congregations we may feel confident, but there are no proofs. Beyond the
city were swamps and marshes on all sides. A dreary tract covered with
reeds and thorns, and formed into an island by a river which came down
from the hills and enclosed it by forking off into the Thames, is now
occupied by the fair City of Westminster. I myself can remember when a
large part of Belgravia still consisted of fields. A somewhat eccentric
Hertfordshire baronet, who seconded the Reform Bill of 1832, once brought
up a bag fox and a pack of hounds, and hunted him through those fields.
The swamp continued all the way to Fulham on the west, and over Finsbury
on the north. Beyond the marshes all round rose a region of thick,
well-nigh impenetrable forest.

The departure of the Romans was followed after a brief interval by the
English Conquest, and London decayed--we may even say fell into utter
desolation. For her greatness had been entirely commercial; she had had
large trade with the Continent, which was now broken to pieces. She had
received her food from ships which came both up and down the Thames, but
the poor Britons who were fighting for existence had no more to send her.
The rich traders and merchants had no longer any occupation, and left
their luxurious homes to find it elsewhere. And so the once flourishing
London became deserted.

But when the English Conquest was accomplished, and peace for a while
followed warfare, a population also reappeared in London, consisting of
traders who saw the great advantages of its situation. Prosperity began to
return. London became once more a city of merchants. It was again
flourishing when the heathen English were converted to Christianity by
Augustine, so much so that in 604 one of his companions, Mellitus, became
its first bishop, Sebert being then king. Sir Walter Besant sees in the
identity of the Cockney dialect ("lydy" for lady, &c.) with that of Essex,
a proof that the new population were chiefly from the East Saxons.

At first the Christianising of London seemed to be a failure. Mellitus
built a cathedral, but had to flee before the heathenism into which the
king's sons relapsed. The failure, however, was but temporary, and the
Church became altogether triumphant. The intense sense of nationality,
which has always characterised the English people, comes out in the names
given to the London churches. The greater number of them were dedicated to
English saints, and the names continue to this day. One of these
saints--Botolph--who had endeared himself immensely to the Londoners, went
forth to N.E. England and established a great mission there, and there he
died. The noble tower of Boston (== Botolph's town) preserves his memory
in Lincolnshire. But the Londoners, in love and veneration to his memory,
built churches bearing his name at all the four gates which led towards
his burial-place; three of them still remain, and the name of the fourth
survives in Botolph's Lane, by Billingsgate.

When King Alfred had delivered the country from the Danish invaders and
restored peace, he put forth his energies to strengthen London and enlarge
its prosperity. It had been growing almost uninterruptedly, while it had
been subject, now to one of the kingdoms of the Heptarchy, now to another.
Alfred made it really the chief city of his dominion. Winchester in some
respects was held to be the royal city, but London became in fact the
capital of England. It was the richest and the most influential city.
Under the Danes, on their second invasion, it retained its influence, and
added at least two churches with Danish names, Olaf and Magnus.

Mediæval London had thus begun, but still the recorded details of its
history for a while are scanty; and there are few remains of Saxon London
either. The first cathedral of Mellitus, probably of wood, was burned in
961; so was its successor in a great fire of 1084. There are here and
there a few Saxon churches remaining in England, such as Bradford-on-Avon
in Wilts, and Corhampton in Hants. It is not to be wondered at that there
is not one in London, though there were then many. Maurice, whom William
the Conqueror made Bishop of London, began a new cathedral in 1086, of
course in the usual Norman style, with round arches and heavy pillars,
such as may still be seen in the transepts of Winchester. But two hundred
years passed before it was completed, and as it was always the custom in
the Middle Ages to carry on building, or to make repairs and restorations,
in the style of architecture in vogue at the moment, St. Paul's became,
like nearly all our English cathedrals, a composite building, exhibiting
not only Norman, but Early English and Early Decorated. This cathedral was
enclosed by a wall in which were six gates. The names of two of these are
preserved in the names of "Paul's Chain" and "St. Paul's Alley."

London's importance became more and more fully established. She had
struggled successfully for her rights against the Danish King, Cnut.
London from the first stood high in favour with the Conqueror. It had not
resisted him, and he remembered that, and lost no opportunity of showing
his gratitude. The city had hitherto struggled between adversity and
prosperity, but the Norman brought her halcyon days, and from his time her
greatness was assured. In the Guildhall Charter-room is a manuscript
beautifully written, six inches by one inch, and this is what it
contains:--

    CHARTER OF WILLIAM I. TO THE CITY OF LONDON.

    "Will'm kyng gret Will'm bisceop and Gosfregð portirefan, and ealle þa
    burhwaru binnan Londone, Frencisce and Englisce freondlice. and ic
    kyde eow þat ic wylle þat get beon eallra þoera laga weorðe þe gyt
    wæran on Eadwerdes dæge kynges. and ic wylle þæt ælc cyld beo his
    fæder yrfnume. æfter his fæderdæge. and ic nelle geþolian þæt ænig man
    eow ænig wrang beode. God eow gehealde."

Of which document the following is the translation:--

"William the king greeteth William the bishop and Godfrey the portreeve,
and all the burgesses within London, French and English, friendly. And I
acquaint you, that I will that ye be all those laws worthy, that ye were
in King Edward's day. And I will that every child be his father's heir,
after his father's day. And I will not suffer that any man do you any
wrong. God preserve you."

It is a very intelligible piece of worldly wisdom to have to note, that he
followed this charter up by building "the White Tower," the chief feature
in our imposing fortress, the Tower of London. In the year 1100, his son,
Henry I., gave the city a fresh charter, distinctly enumerating the
privileges of the citizens, which had been hitherto merely prescriptive;
and he granted to the Corporation the perpetual Sheriff-wick of Middlesex.

But the greatest instance of the influence which London displayed, and
which she has ever since exerted on the national history, was the fact
that in the fierce contest for the crown, between Stephen of Blois and
Matilda, it was the citizens of London who decided the question in favour
of the former. By that time the population of the city had received a very
large foreign element. Not only Danes, but Normans and Gascons had been
welcomed with readiness and admitted to full citizenship. Of course the
Norman Conquest had done this. The rich merchants of Rouen and Caen were a
strong acquisition to London commerce. It was the Norman element which
turned the scale in the contest for the crown, and there were two causes
which operated on the Normans. Matilda had married Geoffry, count of
Anjou, and there was a traditional jealousy between the Normans and
Angevins. But further, the Londoners were now under the spell of a strong
religious movement to which I shall have presently to refer, and the
Angevin princes already bore, and continued to bear, the character of
blasphemers of God and His Church.

Mr. J. R. Green vividly points out how, on the vacancy of the throne, the
Londoners, in the absence of noble and bishop, now claimed for themselves
the right of election. "Undismayed by the want of the hereditary
counsellors of the Crown, their aldermen and crier-folk gathered together
the folk-mote, and these providing at their own will for the good of the
realm, unanimously agreed to choose a king. The very arguments of the
citizens are preserved to us as they stood massed doubtless in the usual
place for the folk-mote at the east end of Paul's, while the bell of the
commune rang out its iron summons from the detached campanile beside.
'Every kingdom,' urged alderman and prudhomme, 'was open to mishap, where
the presence of all rule and head of justice was lacking! It was no time
for waiting; delay was in fact impossible in the election of a king,
needed as he was at once to restore justice of the law.' But quick on
these considerations followed the bolder assertion of a constitutional
right of pre-election, possessed by London alone. '_Their_ right and
special privilege it was, that on their king's death his successor should
be provided by _them_;' and if any, then Stephen, brought as it were by
Providence into the midst of them, already on the spot. Bold as the claim
was, none contradicted it; the solemn deliberation ended in the choice of
Stephen, and amidst the applause of all, the aldermen appointed him king."

It will be convenient to pause at this point to look at the great change
which had taken place westwards. The stately Abbey of Westminster had
arisen on what was once a thorny waste. Originally founded by Sebert, the
first Christian King of the East Saxons, it had been rebuilt by King
Edward the Confessor in the Norman style, of which he was the real
introducer into England. It was consecrated only a week before his death,
January, 1066, and the ill-fated Harold was crowned in it immediately
after, as was William the Conqueror before the year had ended. From that
day to this Westminster Abbey has been the scene of the Coronation of all
the English monarchs. Later on, Edward the Confessor was canonised, and
his remains were removed from their original resting-place, and laid in a
stately shrine prepared by Henry II., who was present, along with his
Chancellor and Archbishop Becket, at the "translation." This was on the
13th of October, 1163. It was in consequence of the honour thus conferred
upon it that the Abbey was declared by the Pope exempt from the
jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, and subject only to the authority of
the Pope and the King of England. Its Abbot was "mitred," _i.e._, he was
privileged to wear the Episcopal habit, and to claim a seat on the
Episcopal bench in the House of Lords.

The thirteenth century saw a yet further honour for the Abbey. Henry III.,
who always held the memory of Edward the Confessor in "prodigious value"
(which he showed by naming his eldest son after him), resolved on
rebuilding the Abbey in the beautiful style which we commonly call "Early
English," though he had seen it in France, and at once became, not
unreasonably, enamoured of it. The present beautiful church is, in large
measure, his work, though later abbots continued it: the material
additions since have been the Lady Chapel, commonly known as Henry the
Seventh's, he being the founder, and the western towers, by Sir
Christopher Wren, at a date outside our limits. It is hard to realise,
until one has seen similar buildings on the Continent, that there was a
partition wall entirely dividing the choir, which belonged to the monks,
and the nave, to which the general congregation was admitted. This wall
was removed in the time of Henry VII.

The road between London and Westminster passed amidst detached houses and
farms. The monks of Westminster cultivated their produce in the Convent
Garden--the name lives on, though the "n" in the first word is gone. After
the peaceable settlement of the Danes, a portion of territory was set
apart for them to dwell in between London and Westminster. As they were
seafarers, they naturally took the sailor's saint for their patron, and
the church which they built for themselves is known to us as St. Clement
Danes.

But it is time to return to our City. We have seen that the Cathedral of
St. Paul's was now a noble building, worthy of the capital of the kingdom.
The Bishop lived on the north side of the Cathedral, his palace and
gardens extended back to Paternoster Row; the chapter house, and the
cloisters round it, lay on the south side of the nave; fragments of it may
be seen to this day. Adjoining the S.W. wall of the nave was the church of
St. Gregory-by-St. Paul. The parish still exists. In that church the body
of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, lay for some years before it was buried at
the town which bears his name. On the east side of the churchyard was a
large grass-grown space, just such a spot as we still see so constantly on
the borders of country towns and villages--the "village green," in fact.
Across it came the great Roman road, which started from London Stone,
passed along what we now call Newgate Street, and went away to Cheshire,
following, as we may say, the course of the N.W. Railway. This, after
Roman times, received the name of Watling Street, _i.e._, "Atheling
Street" (== High Street). It does not, indeed, so far as the city is
concerned, answer to the present Watling Street, for after leaving what we
call Budge Row, which was part of it, it went straight on over ground
which is now covered with the streets south of Cheapside. It became
necessary, later on, to change its course, owing to difficulties connected
with the enlargement of St. Paul's Churchyard, and the new Watling Street
is the substitute. But to return to the "Green" by St. Paul's. This, after
Norman times, was the site of the Folkmote, of which the present "Common
Council" are the elected representatives. The citizens met on this green
in the open air, seats being plentifully dispersed about, and here the
public business of the city was carried on. Nor must we omit mention of
"Paul's Cross," at the east corner of the north transept of the Cathedral,
the site of which was discovered by Mr. Penrose, and is now marked by an
inscription on the ground. At the east end of the green there was a short,
narrow street, passing through which you came (just where is the fine
plane-tree) into Cheapside. But it will tax the imagination of the reader
considerably to realise how different was this locality from that which
bears the same name to-day. "_Side_" means "place," or "part." Cheapside
means, therefore, "Market-place." It was as much the London market-place
as that of any provincial town of to-day. It was a large square, reaching
back as far as the present Honey Lane, and other streets in a straight
line with it, and with booth-decked streets branching away as far as the
Guildhall and Basing Hall.

Here, then, we have the two centre places of Old London: the Cathedral,
with its ecclesiastical surroundings (a large, populous, and important
district in itself), and the Chepe, into which, north and south, ran
streets, the names of which indicated the nature of the commerce carried
on there. Thus there was Bread Street, where the bakers congregated, and
to which were brought the supplies of corn landed from the river close by,
having been conveyed thither chiefly from the great cornfields which
covered the whole Isle of Thanet. The name of St. Mildred's Church in this
street is a relic of the respect paid to her as being the tutelary saint
of that bread-growing island. Ironmonger Lane, Wood Street, Milk Street,
and the Poultry tell their own story. Budge Row was so called because here
were sold robes of Budge, a kind of fur, for Aldermen and other public
officers. Milton talks of the "budge doctors." Friday Street, in close
contiguity with St. Paul's and some of the other great religious houses,
was so called because it was devoted to the sale of fish for fast-days,
&c. At a later time it became necessary to have an additional
market-square, and it was found in the _East Cheap_.

All through the Plantagenet times, the "golden age of chivalry," the great
square of "the Chepe" was the scene of tournaments and martial pageants.
Adjoining the church of St. Mary-le-Bow was a scaffold projecting into the
street, which it was the privilege of Royalty and the courtiers to occupy
on such occasions. Once, in the reign of Edward III., a sad accident
occurred by the falling in of this scaffold, whereby some not only of the
occupants, but of the spectators in the street beneath, were killed. It is
said that the King, with true Plantagenet violence, ordered the head
carpenter to be hanged, and was turned from his purpose, as at Calais, by
the intercession of the Queen. It led to an alteration. The Royal gallery
was firmly fixed to the wall of the church, and so remained. Years later,
after the Great Fire, when Wren rebuilt the church, and surmounted it with
its present beautiful spire, there was a stipulation that there should be
a "Royal gallery." And there it is still, the passer-by can see it from
the street. I doubt whether Royalty in our time has ever mounted into it,
but it is an historical relic of the ancient pageants of Cheapside.[1] Nor
is this the only relic of the past in that church. In ancient times there
was a great chamber, resting on arches, in the tower, and the church was
called the Church of _Sancta Maria de Arcubus_; hence its present name of
"St. Mary-le-Bow." That chamber was the rightful possession of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, who held it as his court for the trial of
ecclesiastical causes brought before him as Metropolitan. Hence came the
title of "Court of _Arches_," the Spiritual Court of the Metropolitan.
Strangely altered as the office has become in the course of years, it
still exists; the judge of ecclesiastical cases is still known as "the
Dean of Arches." And when this St. Mary's Church was rebuilt after the
Fire of 1666, Wren placed its magnificent spire on an arched base--a
memorial of the ancient ecclesiastical dignity.

We are now in a position to look back, and take a comprehensive survey of
our great city in the Middle Ages.

_First._ We have the Tower on the east side, guarding the approach from
the sea, and the high and spacious wall surrounding the whole city.
Fitzstephen, a monk of Canterbury, gives an interesting picture of the
times of Henry II. He describes London as bounded on the land side by a
high and spacious wall, furnished with turrets and double gates. These
were Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Cripplegate, Aldersgate, Newgate, Ludgate, and
probably Bridgegate. But see Stow's comment (Ed. Thoms, 1842, page 11).
There was also a postern near the Tower. The latter he calls "the Tower
Palatine," and also names "two castles well fortified" in the west,
Baynard and Montfichet. The former stood at the western extremity of the
city wall on the site of the present Castle Baynard Wharf, and adjoining
Carron Wharf. The name survives also in the name of "Castle Baynard Ward."
It was built by Baynard, a follower of William the Conqueror, and though
it was burnt more than once, it was duly restored, and lasted till the
Great Fire. It became a Royal palace, and in it Edward IV. assumed the
title of King. Henry VIII. made it one of his residences. So did Edward
VI., on whose death Queen Mary was here proclaimed Queen. Montfichet Tower
was between the site of Ludgate Hill Station and Printing House Square. A
bastion of the London Wall still remains in the churchyard of St. Giles',
Cripplegate.

_Secondly._ The great market-place--the Cheap--with the principal streets
all leading into it, represents the commercial magnitude of the city. The
residences of the merchants and traders had, for the most part, each its
garden, large or small. It is a commonplace saying that there is not a
street in London from some part of which you cannot see a tree. This was
more true a few years ago than it is to-day. Thus, there was a beautiful
plane-tree in front of Grocers' Hall, in Princes Street, but exigencies of
building-space led to its destruction but lately. Cheapside still rejoices
in its fine tree at the corner of Wood Street, which has found a great
poet to write pleasantly about it. Down in secluded streets the London
saunterer comes on more of these trees, relics of old citizens' gardens
and resorts, as well as those in closed churchyards. The parish of St.
Martin Pomeroy preserves in its second name the memory of the ancient
orchard which once gladdened the Londoner's eyes.

[Illustration: A TOURNAMENT.

_From a MS. of the Romance of Sire Jehan de Saintre. British Museum, Nero
D. ix._]

Then, _thirdly_, there were the Religious Houses. Fitzstephen says that in
his day (_temp._ Henry II.) there were thirteen conventual churches and
126 parochial. Some were of pre-Norman times, like the Collegiate Church
of St. Martin's-le-Grand, founded by one Ingelric in 1056, and confirmed
by a charter of William the Conqueror in 1068. Though this stood in the
heart of the city it was independent of civic control; the Mayor and
Corporation often endeavoured in vain to exercise authority over it.
Criminals on their way to execution now and then managed to slip within
its boundaries, in which case they were safe in sanctuary. It was from
this church that the Curfew Bell for London tolled out each evening, a
signal for closing the city gates, as well as the taverns.

An event of vast importance in the religious life of this nation was the
great Cistercian movement in the beginning of the twelfth century. This is
not the place to tell the history of the origin of it, the mighty
endeavour to reform the decadent Benedictine order made by Robert of
Molesme, who settled himself in the hamlet of Citeaux (Cistercium), near
Dijon, and set up the first reformed monastery. The movement soon found
its way to England, the first Abbey being founded at Waverley, near
Farnham; and before long it had its devotees in London, the most
noteworthy of whom was Gilbert Becket, a wealthy trader in Cheapside. It
was the excitement of this which was upon the Londoners when, as we have
already had to note, they chose Stephen for king against the supposed
irreligion of the House of Anjou. Under the influence of this religious
revival a new impulse seemed to come upon the Church, which bound it
closer than it had ever been before in the affections of the people.
Gilbert Becket's son, Thomas, became known to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Theobald, for his intense religious earnestness, became his
right hand in administration, guided him unfalteringly through the
troubles which came out of the dreadful civil war between Stephen and
Matilda, and finally gave peace to distracted England. How the eager young
Londoner himself became Archbishop, and how he came for many a year to be
regarded as the very chief of English saints, we need not tell here. And
this new religious impulse told in the city to the extent of changing its
very aspect. The Cathedral which Bishop Maurice had begun seemed for a
while to be languishing. Now barges came up the river with stone from
Caen for the great arches which excited the popular wonder. Rahere, the
king's minstrel, raised his noble Priory of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield,
of which enough still remains to make it the finest Norman building in
London. Alfune, in 1090, built St. Giles's, Cripplegate. The dissolution
of the Cnichten Guild (a body of thirteen knights as old as King Edgar,
which continued to hold land on fanciful tenures down to 1115) was
followed by the bestowal of their property on the Priory of the Holy
Trinity in Aldgate, and out of this arises an interesting episode. The
first prior, Norman, built his cloister and church, and bought books and
vestments on so liberal a scale that there was nothing left to buy food.
The citizens, visiting the place on Sundays according to custom, saw that
the poor canons were famished with hunger. "Hic est pulcher apparatus, sed
panis unde veniet?" exclaimed somebody. "It is a fine show to be sure; but
where is the bread to come from?" The women present, Becket's mother among
them, vowed to send a loaf every Sunday, and soon there was enough and to
spare. Very pretty is the story of the early life of the future martyr,
how his mother, Rohese, used to weigh him on each birthday, and send
money, clothes, and provisions, according to his weight.

The Cistercian is the first of the great religious movements which have
wrought an enduring effect upon our national life. The Crusades, which
have also left their mark in London, made a second; and within the period
we are considering we have also to place the preaching of the Friars, the
Lollardism of Wyclif, and the Reformation. Later on, past mediæval times,
came the Puritan Rebellion, the preaching of the Wesleys, the Oxford Tract
Movement, and the work of F. D. Maurice and the "Broad Church."

But it will be well to set down in order the principal religious
establishments which grew up with the years. Here is a list of them as
they existed at the time of the Reformation:--

FRIARIES AND ABBEYS.--_The Black Friars_ (Dominicans) between Ludgate Hill
and the Thames, extending from St. Andrew's Hill to the Fleet River. Their
house was founded by Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, in 1221. It had a
church and precinct with four gates. In this church Archbishop Courtenay
was condemning the writings of Wyclif, when "a great earthquake shook the
city." Here Charles V. lodged when he was visiting Henry VIII. The latter
king held a Parliament here, but transferred it to the house of the Black
Monks of Westminster, hence it was called "the Black Parliament." At the
Dissolution the church was given to the parishioners (St. Anne's,
Blackfriars). The _Grey Friars_ (Franciscans) had a noble house on the
site of what is at this moment, though it will soon cease to be, Christ's
Hospital. Parts of the old buildings remained as late as 1820 (see
_Gentleman's Magazine_, May, 1820), indeed, there is a small portion even
now. The noble church of the _Augustinian_ (Austin) _Friars_ (founded in
1253) still exists off Broad Street, the nave being used by the Dutch
Protestant Church. The _White Friars_ (Carmelites) had their church east
of the Temple, founded 1241. It was pulled down at the Dissolution, and
houses were built on the site, but it still preserved the right of
sanctuary, and was consequently a haunt of thieves and fraudulent debtors.
The privilege was not abolished till 1697. The _Crutched_ (== crossed)
_Friars_, so called because they wore a cross on their backs, had their
church on the site of St. Olave's, Hart Street; the _Carthusians_, on that
of the Charterhouse; the _Cistercians'_ New Abbey was in East Smithfield;
and the Brethren _de Sacca_, or "Bonhommes," were a small community under
Augustinian rules in Old Jewry.

Then there were the PRIORIES, religious houses subject to greater abbeys
or religious bodies. That of St. John of Jerusalem, at Clerkenwell, was
founded in 1100 by Jordan Briset and his wife Muriel, and was endowed in
1324 with the revenues of the dissolved English Knights Templars. Its
ancient gateway remains, the only one left of all the old London monastic
houses. In the Wat Tyler rebellion (1381) the prior was beheaded in the
great courtyard, now St. John's Square. Of the Priory of Holy Trinity,
Aldgate, we have already spoken, as we have also of St. Bartholomew's,
Smithfield, the noble chancel of which priory is still one of the finest
buildings in London. Across the river the beautiful church of the
Augustinian Priory of _St. Mary Overy_ was built by Giffard, bishop of
Winchester, in 1106, at the expense of two Norman knights. At the
Dissolution, Henry VIII. gave it to the parishioners of Southwark for
their parish church, and the name was changed to that of St. Saviour. How
part of it tumbled down; how it was rebuilt in Brummagem Gothic; how this
also, happily, went to pieces, and has been replaced within the last few
years by a handsome restoration, we all know.

Of NUNNERIES, we note St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, the church of the Priory
of the Nuns of St. Helen, founded in 1212 by "William the son of William
the Goldsmith." The church formerly had a partition dividing the nuns'
portion from that of the parishioners. It was taken down at the
Dissolution, but plenty of remains of the old arrangement are still
evident in the church, which is in many features one of the most
interesting in London. Until the year 1799 the old Hall of the nunnery was
standing, having been bought by the Leathersellers' Company at the
Dissolution for their Hall. _Holywell_, Shoreditch, was so called from a
sweet well there, which was spoiled as the population came to increase in
that part. There was here a Benedictine Nunnery, dedicated to St. John
Baptist, founded in 1318 by Gravesend, bishop of London. In later days the
famous Curtain Theatre was built on the site, which again has given place
to St. James's Church, Curtain Road. Edmond, earl of Leicester, brother of
King Edward III., founded an Abbey of nuns of the Order of St. Clare,
commonly called the Minorites, in 1293, in a street between Aldgate and
the Tower. On the Dissolution, Henry VIII. gave the chapel to the people
for a parish church (Holy Trinity, Minories); the rest of the site was
built over. The Benedictine Nunnery of St. Mary, Clerkenwell, was
contiguous to the Hospital or Priory of St. John. The name Clerkenwell
(_Fons Clericorum_) was derived from a well, at which once a year the
Parish Clerks of London assembled and performed a religious play. It was
at the S.E. corner of Ray Street. A pump marked the site until less than
fifty years ago, when the water was found to be so polluted that it was
removed. When the "Black Nunnery" was dissolved, the site was given to the
Earl of Aylesbury, hence the present Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell.

Of COLLEGES, _i.e._, communities of religious men, were (1) _St.
Martin's-le-Grand_ (already mentioned); (2) _St. Thomas of Acon_ (alias
Acre), a military sanctuary founded by Agnes, the sister of St. Thomas
Becket, over her brother's birthplace. It was on the site of the present
Mercers' Hall, and was much regarded by the Corporation of London in the
Middle Ages. Richard Whittington, Mercer, thrice Lord Mayor (last time,
1419), founded the College of "Saint Esprit and Mary," in the Vintry Ward,
and the Almshouse for Mercers. The site still bears the name of College
Hill. Mercers' School was removed from hence to Barnard's Inn, Holborn, a
few years since. The College of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, was founded by
Sir William Walworth, who was buried within the church. This church was
removed to make room for the approach to new London Bridge, in 1831.

Of HOSPITALS, note _St. Giles's-in-the-Fields_ for Lepers, founded by
Matilda, queen of Henry I.; _St. James's Hospital_ "for leprous maidens,"
now St. James's Palace; _St. Mary of Rounceval_, a priory of the Abbey of
Roncevalles in Navarre. It stood on the site of Northumberland Avenue at
Charing Cross. _Elsing Spital_, by Cripplegate, was founded by Wm. Elsing
in 1329, for the sustentation of a hundred blind men. The site was
afterwards occupied by Sion College; but when that was moved to the Thames
Embankment the ground was built over. Sir John Pountney founded and
endowed a College in his own house in Candlewick Street, calling it
_Corpus Christi_, to maintain a master and twelve mission priests. Their
chapel was attached to the Church of St. Lawrence Pountney, which was
burnt in the Great Fire and not rebuilt. The _Papey_, a house for worn-out
priests, was in Bevis Marks. _St. Bartholomew the Less_ is now the Chapel
of St. Bartholomew's Hospital precinct. The _Lock Spital_ was for the
reception of lepers, the derivation being _loques_, rags. The old Hospital
of _St. Katharine's by the Tower_ was removed, in 1828, to make room for
St. Katharine's Docks, and set up anew by the Regent's Park.

_Episcopal Residences_ were those of the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York, at Lambeth and Whitehall respectively; of the Bishop of Durham
(Durham House, Strand); of those of Bath, Chester, Lichfield, Llandaff,
Worcester, Exeter, Carlisle, all in the Strand; of Hereford, on Fish
Street Hill. The Bishop of Ely dwelt in Ely Place, Holborn: the chapel
still exists, in the possession of the Roman Catholics. Readers of
Shakespeare will remember how the bishop grew strawberries in his garden.
The Bishop of Salisbury's house was in Salisbury Square; of St. David's,
near Bridewell; of Winchester and Rochester, in Southwark. Parts of
Winchester House still exist there.

As the Thames on the south side of the city did noble service as the
principal highway for its commerce and its corn supply, so the fields on
the north furnished large pasture-land for its cattle. Across these fields
a road led away to the village of Islington. In the Moor Fields were the
Artillery Butts, whither young London resorted to be trained in the use of
the bow. Readers may remember the description of them in the opening
portion of Lord Lytton's novel, _The Last of the Barons_. Within the walls
adjacent to this part the manufacturers of bows and arrows were settled.
Very strange and curious have been the various associations of the name
"Grub Street." Grobes were feathers for arrows, and originally Grub Street
was that in which arrows were finished. That manufacture died out, and the
street, being in a Puritan neighbourhood, in the days of Elizabeth became
the publishing place for violent attacks upon the bishops. "Martin
Marprelate," the well-known series of that class of publication, was
issued from this street. Then, by a natural transition, scurrilous
lampoons in general, and not merely theological, came to be called "Grub
Street tracts," because the phrase had become current; and the name stuck,
and was applied to literary rubbish of any kind, Pope having endorsed the
title in his satire. The name has, unfortunately, disappeared from the
street within the last decade. The authorities, because the name had
become obnoxious to fastidious ears, have changed it to Milton Street, the
poet having been borne down it from Bunhill Fields, where he died, to be
buried in St. Giles's Church.

Partly on the site of Liverpool Street Station, and partly across the road
as far as the Underground Railway, stood, in mediæval times, the "Hospital
of St. Mary of Bethlehem." From early times, certainly in 1402, this
religious foundation was devoted to the care of the insane, and at the
Dissolution it became one of the Royal Hospitals, with lunatics
exclusively for its inmates. It was the Great Fire of 1666 which
permanently changed all this neighbourhood. Up to that time the greater
part had been fields, but now the poor burned-out citizens came and
(literally) pitched their tents here, and stowed within them the goods
which they had been able to save. Here they carried on their business, and
gradually substituted rough houses for these tents; and thus, by the time
the City was rebuilt, a new suburb had arisen, and a well-inhabited
suburb from that time it remained. Bethlehem Hospital was removed to
London Wall in 1675-6, as the monastic buildings had decayed, and the
increasing number of patients required larger room. It found its present
home in St. George's Fields in 1812-15. And here we may note that
"Finsbury Fields," _i.e._, Finsbury Circus and the land round it, formed
the favourite summer lounge of the London citizens up to the beginning of
the eighteenth century. It was laid out in formal style, with paths and
bordering trees. Merchants and tradesmen came hither at eventide, as the
fashionable world of to-day goes to Hyde Park. Poets and pamphleteers met
publishers, and playwrights made appointments with managers. A large body
of spectators frequently gathered here to see a thief whipped at the
cart's tail.

And now we will simply name the most prominent events in the history of
the city during our period.

In Pre-Norman times, after Alfred had restored the lost prosperity of
London, his grandson Athelstan (925-940) established a royal palace and a
royal mint, and gave an impulse to the commerce of the city by promising
patents of gentility to every merchant who should make three voyages to
the Mediterranean in his own ship. His "redeless" grandson Ethelred
abandoned London to the Danes, and Cnut levied an impost of 11,000_l._
upon it, a proof of the great wealth which it had now acquired. It was a
seventh part of that of the whole kingdom.

NORMAN TIMES.--As already mentioned, London is not in Domesday book. It is
probable that there was a separate survey, the records of which are now
lost. Domesday incidentally mentions ten acres of land near Bishopsgate,
Norton Folgate, as belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, and a
vineyard in Holborn, the property of the Crown.

The founding of the many religious houses during this period we have
already mentioned. The building of the first stone bridge by Peter of
Colechurch, which also belongs to this period, finds its place in another
page.

We note the orders of Henry Fitzailwin, the first Mayor, for the
prevention of fires. All houses were to be of brick or stone, with party
walls of the same, and to be covered with slates or tiles. The building of
houses round the Walbrook, Oldbourne, and Langbourn had diminished the
supply of water, so they sought a fresh supply from Tyburn, and supplied a
conduit in Cheapside with water from thence, which they brought in leaden
pipes (A.D. 1255). The chronicles of Evesham say that in 1258, 20,000
persons died of hunger through a scarcity of corn, and ghastly stories are
told of another famine in 1270. But on the whole London increased and
prospered under Norman rule. In 1264 there was a massacre of the Jews on
some trivial pretext. They were expelled the kingdom in 1291.

PLANTAGENET TIMES.--The division of the city into wards dates from the
beginning of this period or earlier. In 1348 came the terrible Black
Death. "In London it was so outrageously cruel that every day at least
twenty, sometimes forty or sixty, or more, dead corpses were thrown
together into one pit, and the churchyard not sufficing for the dead, they
were fain to set apart certain fields for additional places of burial....
But especially, between Candlemas and Easter in 1349, there were buried
200 corpses per diem" (Barnes's _Hist. of Edward III._). It is chronicled
that more than 50,000 persons were buried, during this pestilence, within
the precincts of the Charterhouse alone. The trial of Wyclif in St. Paul's
was a memorable event, when John of Gaunt stood forth as his champion.

In 1380 came the Wat Tyler rebellion, and the death of the leader from the
dagger-stroke of Sir William Walworth. Hence the long-exploded but
hard-dying theory of the "dagger" in the City Arms. The charge in question
is the sword of St. Paul, London's patron saint, and it was borne on the
City shield before the deed of Walworth. Smithfield, where the event took
place, was then "a great plain field, without the gates," where on every
Friday was "a great market for horses, whither earls, barons, knights, and
citizens repair, to see and to purchase." Our quaint illustration depicts
King Richard II. going forth on his ill-fated expedition against Ireland.

LANCASTER AND YORK.--The first recorded illumination of the City was at
the Coronation of Henry IV. Ten years later, the Mayor, Sir Henry Barton,
ordered that the streets should be lit with lanterns every night.

Jack Cade's rebellion in 1450 seemed at first successful, so far as the
city was concerned. He took possession of it, and for a while
maintained order among his followers. But they broke out into outrages,
slew Lord-Treasurer Saye, and other persons of consequence, and the
citizens, with the assistance of the Governor of the Tower, rose up and
expelled him. Soon afterwards he was killed. As a rule the citizens
inclined to the House of York, and in consequence Edward IV, steadily
favoured the Londoners. The setting up of Caxton's printing-press in his
reign was a great epoch in the history of the world.

[Illustration: RICHARD II. RIDING OUT OF LONDON TO THE WAR IN IRELAND.

_From a MS. of Froissart's Chronicles. British Museum, Harl. 4380._]

TUDOR PERIOD.--Two Lord Mayors and six Aldermen died of the sweating
sickness in the first year of Henry the Seventh's reign. The citizens, as
we have already noted, had been accustomed to practise archery north of
the city. A regular field was enclosed for them in 1498 in Finsbury, which
was the origin of the present Artillery ground. The river Fleet was made
navigable as far as Holborn Bridge, and Houndsditch was arched over. Henry
VIII. built the royal palaces of St. James's and Bridewell. Stricter rules
were made for the preservation of order, nuisances were removed, and the
streets were widened and paved. The first Act for the pavement and
improvement of London describes the streets as "very foul and full of pits
and sloughs, very perilous and noyous, as well for all the King's subjects
on horseback as well as on foot and with carriages."

We should note the sumptuary law passed by the Mayor and Common Council in
1543 by which the Mayor was ordered to confine himself to seven dishes at
dinner or supper; the Aldermen and Sheriffs to six; and the Sword-bearer
to four.

In the reign of Edward VI. the hospitals of St. Thomas, St. Bartholomew,
and Christ were founded, and the palace of Bridewell was also converted
into a hospital. The borough of Southwark was constituted a ward of the
city.

Passing over the terrible martyr-fires of Smithfield in the days of Mary,
we come to the reign of Elizabeth, a very prosperous one as far as London
was concerned. The refugees from Alva's cruelties in the Netherlands found
a home in London, and did wonders for the improvement of its manufactures.
There were, as elsewhere, extravagances in the way of spectacles and
tournaments, and much opportunity was seized to flatter Gloriana, who was
nowise averse thereto. It was apparently looked upon as always the correct
thing, to flatter sovereigns. The Preface to the Authorised Version of
the Bible and Bacon's Dedication of his _Advancement of Learning_ will be
sufficient illustrations of this. Here is the inscription to a monument to
Queen Elizabeth, which was put up in the Church of All Hallows the Great
in Dowgate:--

  "Spain's rod, Rome's ruin, Netherlands' relief,
   Heaven's gem, Earth's joy, World's wonder, Nature's chief.
   Britain's blessing, England's splendour,
   Religion's nurse, and Faith's defender."

In the neighbouring Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, the same year,
was set up the following inscription. The contrast is refreshing:--

  "Here lieth, wrapt in clay,
   The body of William Ray.
     I have no more to say."

Soon after the accession of Elizabeth, Ralph Aggas published a very
curious plan and view of London, with the title _Civitas Londinensis_. It
reveals how much of field and garden there was then in the very heart of
the city. The most crowded part was from Newgate Street, Cheapside, and
Cornhill to the river. With the exception of Coleman Street, and a few
scattered buildings from Lothbury to Billingsgate and from Bishopsgate to
the Tower, all (N. and E.) was open or garden ground. Whitechapel was a
small village; Houndsditch, a single row of houses opposite the city
walls, opened behind into the fields; Spitalfields, from the back of the
church, lay entirely open; Goswell Street was known as the road to St.
Albans; St. Giles's was a small cluster of houses, known then, as indeed
it is still, as "St. Giles's in the Fields." Beyond, all was country, both
N. and W., Oxford Street having trees and hedges on both sides. As late as
1778 a German writer on London speaks of Tyburn, the place of execution,
as being "two miles from London." From Oxford Street round to Piccadilly
there was a road, called the Way from Reading, proceeding through Hedge
Lane and the Haymarket--which avenues were entirely destitute of
houses--to St. James's Hospital, afterwards the Palace; and a few small
buildings on the site of Carlton House were all that existed of the
present Pall Mall. Leicester Square was open fields; St. Martin's Lane had
only a few buildings above the church toward the Convent Garden, which
extended to Drury Lane. The Strand was a street with houses; those on the
South side had gardens right down to the river, and were the property of
nobles, as mentioned in another chapter; the present Treasury occupies-the
site of the Cockpit and Tilt Yard; opposite to it stood the Palace of
Whitehall, which since the days of Henry VIII. was occupying the former
residence of the Archbishop of York. From King Street, which has this year
disappeared, to the Abbey the buildings were close and connected, as also
from Whitehall to Palace Yard. The noblemen who lived in the Strand used
to proceed to the Court at Whitehall in their own barges from their River
'stairs,' and retained a number of watermen, whom their livery protected
from impressment. On the Surrey side there were but six or seven houses
between Lambeth Palace and the shore opposite Whitefriars. There a line of
houses with gardens began which was continued to the Bishop of
Winchester's Palace, where now is Barclay and Perkins's Brewery. Opposite
Queenhithe was a great circular building for bull and bear-baiting. It was
largely patronised, by Queen Elizabeth among others. Southwark extended
but a little way down High Street. London Bridge was crowded with
buildings. Along Tooley Street to Horsley Down there were many buildings.

Such was London towards the end of what we have defined as the Mediæval
period. But it was, thanks to the enterprise of the time, on the rapid
move. The citizens were able to send sixteen ships fully equipped, and
armed with 10,000 men, against the Spanish Armada. In 1594 the Thames
water was first raised for the supply of the city. In 1613 Sir Hugh
Myddleton completed the New River. In 1616 the paving of the streets with
flagstones was first introduced. Many years, however, were to elapse
before sanitary science could be called in for the public health. In 1603
the plague destroyed 30,578 lives.



CHAPTER II.

CIVIC RULE.

    _Guildhall--Its Porch and Crypt--Other Ancient Crypts--Royal
    Control--Civic Government--Punishment for Trade Offences--The City
    Prisons--The Mayoralty--"Ridings and Pageants"--The Marching
    Watch--The Common Council--Office of Sheriff--Historic Scenes at
    Guildhall--Guildhall Chapel and Library--The Livery Companies._


In the very centre of the old city, and only just removed from the noise
and bustle of its great thoroughfare, the Chepe, lay the Guildhall, the
seat of civic government. The name itself is eloquent of mediæval feeling,
when the citizens were all enrolled under their various guilds, each owing
strict obedience to the master and wardens of his guild seated at their
hall; and the guilds themselves, close upon one hundred in number, being
in their turn under the jurisdiction of the Mayor and Aldermen, sitting in
their Court at the Guildhall. These were not the times of social liberty;
the oppressive rule of the great feudal lords had been exchanged for the
close personal supervision of the ward, the guild, and the church.

The site of the old Guildhall corresponded with that of the present
structure, but the original entrance was from Aldermanbury. An enlargement
of the ancient building appears to have taken place in the year 1326,
during the Mayoralty of Richard le Breton, and further extensive repairs
were carried out in the years 1341-3.

The old hall, which Stow describes as "a little cottage," was replaced by
"a large and great house as now it standeth," in 1411. The building
occupied ten years, the funds being procured from gifts of the livery
guilds, fees, fines, and money payments in discharge of offences. The
porch and crypt have survived in much of their original beauty. The former
consists of two vaulted bays richly groined, with moulded principal and
secondary ribs, the intersections being adorned with sculptured bosses,
the two principal of which bear the arms of Edward the Confessor and Henry
VI.

The porch was known as the Guildhall Gate, and there was a lower gate
which was probably situated in a line with the Church of St. Lawrence
Jewry, in Gresham Street.

The crypt is one of the best of the few mediæval examples remaining in
London. It forms the eastern portion of the sub-structure of the hall, and
is 76 feet by 45-1/4, with an average height of 13 feet 7 inches. It is
divided into three equal portions by clustered columns of Purbeck marble,
from which spring the stone-ribbed groins of the vaulting. The bosses at
the intersections are all carved with devices of the usual mediæval
character, and include the arms assigned to the Confessor and those of the
See and City of London.

Of these crypts--a beautiful feature of ancient architecture in which
London formerly abounded--the great part have disappeared. There are those
of the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield; Bow Church,
Cheapside (used for burial purposes); Etheldreda's Chapel, Ely Place; the
Priory Church of St. John, Clerkenwell; Lambeth Palace; Merchant Taylors'
Hall; and St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster. Several fine examples have
been destroyed within quite recent times, including the crypt or Lower
Chapel of Old London Bridge, Gerard's Hall crypt in Basing Lane, and that
under the Manor of the Rose in Lawrence Pountney Hill, the two latter
buildings being fine examples of the houses of distinguished citizens. To
this tale of destruction must be added the crypts of Lamb's Chapel in
Monkwell Street, Leathersellers' Hall, St. Martin's-le-Grand, and St.
Michael, Aldgate.

The Guildhall was, in a very real sense, the centre of civic government.
In early times the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs were practically the
King's servants, and responsible to him at their personal peril for the
good and quiet government of the city. For this purpose an adequate
authority was conferred upon the civic magnates over the life and liberty
of each individual citizen. The city was divided into twenty-five wards,
over each of which an Alderman presided, who was responsible for its good
government to the Mayor. Severe was the punishment for an insult offered
to one of these dignitaries. In 1388, Richard Bole, a butcher, for
insulting William Wotton, alderman of Dowgate, was, by order of the Mayor,
imprisoned in Newgate, and ordered, as a penance, to carry a lighted
torch, with head uncovered and bare legs and feet, from his stall in St.
Nicholas' Shambles to the Chapel of the Guildhall. Rough-and-ready justice
was administered by the Mayor and his brethren, the Aldermen. In 1319,
William Spertyng, who was found guilty of exposing for sale at the
shambles two putrid carcases, was sentenced to be put in the pillory, and
to have the carcases burnt beneath him. A vintner named John Penrose,
convicted in 1364 of selling bad wine, was ordered to drink a draught of
the "same wine which he sold to the people," the remainder to be poured on
his head, and he to forswear the calling of a vintner in the City of
London for ever. For giving short weight, in 1377, two charcoal dealers
were set in the stocks on Cornhill, whilst six of their badly filled sacks
were burnt beside them. A baker, for selling bread of light weight, was
dragged through the city on a hurdle with the offending loaf hung about
his neck. An illustration of this punishment is given in an ancient book
belonging to the city records, known as the "Liber de assisa panis."
Another punishment which must have been sufficiently deterrent was that of
whipping at the cart's tail for petty larceny and other minor offences.

One of the most ancient prisons of the city was the Tun, in Cornhill, the
site of which is still marked by the Cornhill pump. The prison consisted
of a wooden cage, with a pillory and pair of stocks attached. Below it was
the conduit built by Henry Wallis, Mayor, in 1282.

The City Gates were also used for the confinement of prisoners, chiefly
Ludgate and Newgate; the former was devoted to prisoners for debt, and the
latter to those charged with criminal offences. The scanty accommodation
afforded by these structures caused grievous suffering to the unhappy
offenders, gaol-fever frequently breaking out, and raging not only amongst
the prisoners themselves, but also among the judges and other officials of
the neighbouring Courts of Justice.

Close by, on the east side of Farringdon Street, near Ludgate Circus of
to-day, was the Fleet Prison, which, like that of Ludgate, had a grate,
behind which the prisoners used to beg for relief from the passers by. Its
early history can be traced back to the period of the Conquest; it formed
part of the ancient possessions of the See of Canterbury, and was held in
conjunction with the Manor of Leveland, in Kent, and with the "King's
Houses" at Westminster. The wardenship or sergeancy was anciently held by
eminent personages, who also had custody of the King's Palace at
Westminster. This, with other city prisons, was burnt down by the
followers of Wat Tyler in Richard the Second's reign.

Besides the King's prisons were the Compters, or city prisons, two in
number--one belonging to each of the Sheriffs. They were used for the
confinement of debtors, for remands and committals for trial, and for the
custody of minor offenders.

The great prosperity of the City of London brought its citizens a large
measure of wealth and influence. They were thus enabled, by gifts and
loans to the various English sovereigns, who had constantly to contend
with financial difficulties, to secure for themselves franchises and
liberties far exceeding those of any other city or town. In several of
their early charters they are addressed by the King as his Barons of the
City of London. These privileges, or some of them, were frequently revoked
by the early kings for real or alleged offences on the part of the
citizens, but were always re-granted on the payment of a sufficient fine.

William the Conqueror's charter, as we have seen, is still preserved in
the Guildhall. King John granted the Londoners the right of electing their
Mayor, and in the following reign they were permitted to present their
newly elected Mayor for the King's approval to the Barons of the Exchequer
whenever the King was absent from Westminster. Previous to the election of
a new Mayor, a religious service, consisting of the Mass of the Holy
Ghost, was held in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, adjoining the
Guildhall. The ceremony of swearing in the new Mayor on the day before his
assumption of office still takes place annually at the Guildhall, and has
probably but little altered during the last four centuries. Besides
presiding over the Court of Aldermen and the Courts of Common Council,
Common Hall, and Husting, it was the duty of the Mayor, assisted by the
Recorder and Common Serjeant, to administer justice in the Mayor's Court,
as well as at the Newgate Sessions. He also attended St. Paul's Cathedral
in state on several occasions in the year, as well as minor religious
services at the Guildhall Chapel and elsewhere. The religious processions
on these occasions, and the secular pageantry which was still more
frequent, were ardently looked forward to by the citizens and their
apprentices as an excuse for a holiday. Chaucer, speaking of the city
apprentice of his day, says that--

  "When there any riding was in Chepe
   Out of the shoppe thider wold he lepe,
   And till that he had all the sight ysene
   And danced well, he would not come agen."

The great City Fairs were opened by the Mayor with much state, the
proceedings displaying a curious mixture of religious and secular
ceremonial. To open the Fair of Our Lady in Southwark, the Mayor and
Sheriffs rode to St. Magnus' Church, after dinner, at two o'clock in the
afternoon. They were attended by the Sword-bearer and other officials, and
were met by the Aldermen in their scarlet gowns. After evening prayer, the
whole of the company rode over the bridge in procession, and, after
passing through the fair, returned to the Bridge House, where a banquet
was provided for them. With equal solemnity, the well-known Fair of St.
Bartholomew in Smithfield was opened by the civic fathers. Here a Court of
Piepowder[2] was held for settling disputes without delay, this Court
being described by Blackstone as being the most expeditious court of
justice known to the law of England.

The chief pageant of the year was that prepared for the Mayor of London
upon his installation into office. The origin of these "ridings," as they
were termed, dates back to King John's charter of 1215, already mentioned,
which stipulated that, after his election by the citizens, the new Mayor
should be submitted to the King for approval.

From this originated the procession to Westminster, when the Mayor was
accompanied by the Aldermen and chief citizens on horseback, with
minstrels and other attendants. For nearly two centuries the procession
retained much of its original simplicity. The first recorded instance of a
pageant approaching the character of the spectacles of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries occurs in the year 1415. John Wells, Grocer, was
Mayor, and three _wells_ running with wine were exhibited at the conduit
in Cheapside, attended by three virgins to personate Mercy, Grace, and
Pity, who gave of the wine to all comers. These wells were surrounded
with trees laden with oranges, almonds, lemons, dates, &c., in allusion to
the Mayor's trade and Company.

The greatest of these spectacular efforts were reserved for Royal visits
to the City. On the return of Edward I. from his Scottish victory in 1298,
Stow tells us "every citizen, according to their severall trades, made
their several shew, but specially the fishmongers, which in a solempne
procession passed through the citie, having amongst other pageants and
shews foure sturgeons gilt, carried on foure horses; then foure salmons of
silver on foure horses, and after them sixe and fortie armed knights
riding on horses, made like sluces of the sea; and then one representing
St. Magnus (because it was on St. Magnus's day) with a thousand horsemen,"
&c. At the Coronation procession of Henry IV., in 1399, there were seven
fountains in Cheapside running with red and white wine. The King was
escorted by a large number of gentlemen with their servants in liveries
and hoods; and the City Companies attended, clothed in their proper
liveries, and bearing banners of their trade. When Henry V. arrived at
Dover from France in 1415, the Mayor, Aldermen, and "craftsmen" rode to
Blackheath to meet the King on his road to Eltham with his prisoners. They
were attended by three hundred of the chief citizens, uniformly clad, well
mounted, and wearing rich collars and chains of gold.

Another picturesque ceremony was the Marching Watch, on the Eve of St.
John the Baptist and St. Peter's Eve, which developed at a later period
into a costly and sumptuous pageant. Elaborate dresses were worn both by
the citizens who attended in the procession and by the men who carried
cressets and other lights. The Mayor's household, from small beginnings,
came eventually to consist of nearly forty officers under the control of
the four esquires, who were the Sword-bearer, the Common Hunt, the Common
Crier, and the Water Bailiff. To these must be added the Lord Mayor's
Jester or Fool; the name of one who held this office, Kit Largosse, has
come down to us.

The office of Common Hunt recalls the hunting privileges of the Mayor and
citizens. Under the charter of Henry I., dated 1101, the citizens received
a grant and confirmation of their "chaces" to hunt "as well and fully as
their ancestors had" in the forests of Middlesex and Surrey, and on the
Chiltern Hills. This much-valued right has long since been commuted by
the grant of venison warrants, under which the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, with
the Recorder and other officers, still receive deer from the Royal forests
to the total number of twelve bucks and twelve does annually.

The city sceptre is undoubtedly of Anglo-Saxon date, but the rest of the
civic insignia--city purse, mace, and swords of state--belong to Tudor or
later times. There are two city seals: one, the corporate seal, with an
ancient obverse of St. Paul, bearing a sword and banner surrounded by the
inscription, "Sigillum Baronum Londoniarum;" the reverse originally bore
the effigy of St. Thomas a Becket, for which, in 1530, the city arms were
substituted. The other seal, that of the mayoralty, was made in 1381 to
replace an older seal. It bears the images of St. Peter and St. Paul with
the arms of the city beneath, supported by two lions; the encircling
legend is, "Sigillum Officii Majoratus Civitatis Londini."

The Court of Common Council had an origin subsequent to that of the Court
of Mayor and Aldermen. In 1273, divers men whose names are recorded in the
city books were elected by the whole community to consult with the Mayor
and Aldermen on the affairs of the city. This method of election gave way,
in 1347, to the selection of representatives from each ward. Under a
precept of Edward III., in 1376, the representation of the commonalty was
transferred from the men of the wards to the men of the guilds, each of
the latter nominating from two to six of their number as members of the
Common Council. This lasted until 1383, when the right of election was
restored to the wards, and a proportionate number of representatives
assigned to each. Both the Lord Mayor and Aldermen formed then, as now,
constituent parts of the Court of Common Council.

The office of Sheriff of London dates back to a period before the Norman
Conquest, and its origin cannot be traced. King Henry I., soon after his
accession in 1100, granted to the citizens of London the revenues of the
county of Middlesex to farm, on their paying an annual rent of 300_l._,
and gave them liberty also to appoint from among themselves a sheriff to
receive the demesne dues. The Sheriff of Middlesex therefore represented
the whole body of citizens acting in their corporate capacity, the duties
of the office being performed by the two sheriffs jointly. The election
of sheriffs took place annually at Guildhall on Midsummer Day, the
liverymen of the various Companies being there assembled in Common Hall
for that purpose. In civic ceremonials the sheriffs ranked below the
aldermen, being, in fact, the Mayor's deputies as they are styled by John
Carpenter, Common Clerk in the time of Sir Richard Whittington. Each
sheriff had a Court, in which he sat as judge; and, besides other
obligations to the Sovereign and the Mayor, they were responsible for the
safe keeping of the prisoners in the city prisons, as well as for the
carrying out of sentence on those capitally condemned. They also had their
"ridings" when they attended to be sworn into office, and were accompanied
by the members of their guild with drummers and minstrels.

Before leaving the subject of the Corporation, we may pause for a moment
to recall some of the more striking scenes which have taken place at the
Guildhall. The fine building, when at length completed at the close of the
reign of Henry IV., was a beautiful and conspicuous object with its
high-pitched roof and two handsome louvres. Among the principal
contributors to this great work were the King himself, all the aldermen,
who between them glazed the windows, and Sir Richard Whittington, who, by
his executors, paved the hall with Purbeck stone. In January, 1308, Queen
Isabella, the wife of Edward II., wrote from Windsor to the Mayor,
Aldermen, and Commonalty of London to inform them of the birth of her son.
The whole of the week following was given up to solemn thanksgivings
mingled with festivities, the latter including a sumptuous repast at the
Guildhall, "which was excellently well tapestried and dressed out."
Another sumptuous entertainment took place in May, 1357, in honour of
Edward the Black Prince and his prisoner, John, king of France. One of the
last public acts of Sir Richard Whittington as Mayor was to entertain in
princely fashion Henry V. and his Queen at the Guildhall. This was one of
the earliest occasions of the use of the new building for such a purpose.
At this banquet Whittington is reported, with what truth it is impossible
now to determine, to have thrown into the fire bonds under which the King
was indebted to him to the extent of some 60,000_l._

Scenes of a sterner kind have cast their shadows over the memories which
surround this ancient hall. One of the earliest trials recorded to have
taken place beneath its roof arose out of a conflict between the
poulterers and fishmongers in the year 1340. The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs,
while endeavouring to suppress the riot, were assaulted; two of the
ringleaders, having been arrested, were brought for trial to the
Guildhall. They were at once condemned to death by Andrew Aubrey, the
Mayor, and were forthwith beheaded in Cheapside. The King, on being
informed of the matter, commended the Mayor for the action which he had so
promptly taken. Others who suffered in mediæval times, after condemnation
in Guildhall, were Master Roger and Master Thomas, who were tried for
treason and sorcery in 1441; Roger Bolingbroke, found guilty in the same
year of conspiracy against Henry VI.; and Lord Say, who was brought from
the Tower to Guildhall to be tried in July, 1450. Guildhall was the scene
of a momentous decision on June 24th, 1483, when the Duke of Buckingham,
who had been sent by the Protector Gloucester to win the citizens of
London over to his cause, drew from them a most unwilling consent to the
proclamation of his patron as King Richard III.

There were two important buildings within the precincts of Guildhall.
Adjoining the Guildhall Chapel, and placed under the charge of its College
of priests and chaplains, was a "fair Library" founded by Richard
Whittington, through his executors, and by the executors of William Bury,
in 1425. The building stood by itself, and was substantially built with an
upper and lower floor. It was known as the "common library at Guildhall,"
and John Carpenter, Common Clerk, one of Whittington's executors, left a
selection of his books at the discretion of his executors, to be chained
in the Library for the use of its visitors and students. The story of the
despoiling of this noble institution belongs to a later period, when the
Protector Somerset, not content with destroying churches and mansions to
build himself a Palace in the Strand, in the year 1550 borrowed all the
books from Whittington's Library at Guildhall and never returned them.
Blackwell Hall, another famous building, adjoined Guildhall Chapel to the
south, facing Guildhall Yard. The building was originally the property of
the Basings and the Cliffords, and passed subsequently to the Banquelles
or Blackwells, whence its name was derived. Reverting afterwards into the
hands of the Crown, it was sold in 1398 by Richard II. to the Mayor and
Corporation for 50_l._, and was then thrown open as a market-place for
the sale of all descriptions of woollen cloth. The appointment of keeper
of Blackwell Hall was in later times vested in the Drapers' Company.

The origin of the Livery Companies is wrapped in impenetrable obscurity.
The attempt to trace them back to Roman times, though put forth by some
writers of authority, is entirely wanting in evidence for its support; and
the want of continuity in the early history of this country between Roman
and later times forbids the acceptance of such a theory. Other writers
have found the origin of the Guilds in the Gilda Mercatoria or Guild
Merchant, but this view is equally without evidence, as in London no
traces of the existence of a Guild Merchant are to be found. The
derivation of the term "Guild" is from the Anglo-Saxon verb "gildan," to
pay, and the primary obligation of each member of a guild was to
contribute his fixed annual payment to the common fund of the brotherhood;
his other duties included attendance at the business and religious
meetings of the guild, and at the funerals of deceased brethren. Two, at
least, of the Guilds--the Saddlers and the Weavers--clearly date back to
the Anglo-Saxon period. At the west end of Chepe, and on its north side,
was a locality known as the Saddlery of West Chepe. In its midst,
adjoining Foster Lane, was Saddlers' Hall, and close by, to the west, were
the precincts of the ancient monastery of St. Martin-le-Grand. The two
institutions were on friendly terms, as is shown by a document in the
Chapter House, Westminster, undated, but ascribed to the latter half of
the twelfth century, which records the terms of a convention between the
Guild and the church, the substance of which is as follows:--In return for
the prayers of the Brethren of St. Martin for the souls of the members of
the Fraternity of Saddlers, both living and deceased, the Saddlers
covenant to make their offerings at St. Martin's shrine, and to pay all
other lawful demands. This deed, within one hundred years of the Conquest,
makes mention of _ancient_ statutes then existing between the two bodies;
there is consequently little doubt that the origin of the Guild of
Saddlers belongs to Anglo-Saxon times. The Guild of Weavers is at least of
equal antiquity. This powerful body paid the sum of 16_l._ into the King's
Exchequer in the year 1130 by the hand of Robert, son of Lefstan, who was
probably Alderman of their Guild, the head of a guild being known by the
title of Alderman in the earliest times.

It is not easy to decide whether the guilds were at first bodies of London
artificers who were subsequently associated for religious and social
purposes, or whether they had their origin on the social and religious
side, their connection with a particular trade being of subsequent date.
In either case the association between the guild and the craft must, from
the conditions of London society in the Middle Ages, have inevitably
arisen. The different trades were located in separate districts of the
city. Besides the Saddlers, there were the Goldsmiths of West Chepe, the
Mercers further east, the Poultry adjoining, the Pepperers of Soper Lane;
Cordwainer Street, where the shoemakers lived; Threadneedle Street, the
home of the tailors; Stocks Market for the fishmongers, the Shambles for
the butchers, Bread Street for the bakers, the Vintry for the wine-sellers
or vintners, and so on.

It seems most probable that in the first instance the association between
guild and craft was a local one, namely that of neighbours who met
together for purposes of good-fellowship and for association in religious
duties. This view is strengthened by the fact that all the older guilds
have a patron saint, on whose day their annual elections were held with
full civic and religious formalities, which survive in many of their
details to the present day. Thus, the Fraternities of the Mercers,
Drapers, Pewterers, and other Guilds were dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The Haberdashers possess a patron saint in St. Catherine; the Goldsmiths
in St. Dunstan, the famous artificer in metals and courageous Bishop of
London in Saxon times. The Vintners claim St. Martin for their patron, and
St. Cecilia is the patroness of the Musicians' Company. St. Anthony is the
patron of the Grocers' Company, St. Clement presides over the destinies of
the Founders, and the Barber-Surgeons are under the protection of two
saints, viz., St. Cosmo and St. Damian.

Henry II. amerced several of the guilds as "adulterine," that is, set up,
without the King's licence, among them being the Goldsmiths, Pepperers,
and Butchers. Henry III. granted charters to the Cappers and Parish
Clerks, and confirmed that of the Burrillers or Cloth Dressers; and Edward
I., his successor, incorporated the Fishmongers, and the Linen Armourers
or Merchant Taylors. In the following reign was laid the foundation of the
municipal functions and privileges of the guilds. Edward II., in his
charter to the Mayor and citizens, ordered that no person should be
admitted to the Freedom of the City unless he were a member of one of the
trades or mysteries.

Up to this period, the control of the various crafts and trades carried on
within the City had been directly in the hands of the Court of Mayor and
Aldermen, who summoned to their aid when necessary the leading men of any
particular trade, with whose concerns they were occupied for the time
being. Owing to the growing importance of the guilds and their recognition
by Royal incorporation, the City fathers gladly delegated to them the
settlement of minor trade matters and disputes, and permitted them to draw
up draft Ordinances for the regulation of their trade. These Ordinances
were then submitted to the legal officers of the city, and if found not to
conflict with the privileges of other crafts, the rights of the City
itself, and those of the citizens in general, they were duly sanctioned by
the Court of Aldermen.

The transformation of the Guilds or Fraternities into Crafts or Mysteries
was rapidly effected in the reign of Edward III. That monarch, recognising
that these societies had a powerful influence in extending the trade of
the kingdom, showed them especial favour. To many he granted Charters of
Incorporation, under which the head of the Company was styled the Master
or Warden, instead of the old title of Alderman; the privileges which they
had previously exercised by prescription being now confirmed by letters
patent. The King himself became a member of the Linen Armourers' Company,
and his example was followed by his successor, Richard II., and by large
numbers of the nobility, both of the clergy and laity. Among the other
Companies so honoured were the Mercers and Skinners, and, at a later date,
the Grocers and Fishmongers.

During this reign also a new grade or rank was established among the
members of each craft, namely that of Liverymen. They were distinguished
from the ordinary members or freemen by a distinctive dress or livery, and
by higher privileges, the chief of which was that the selection of members
of the governing body, or Court of Assistants, was made solely from the
liverymen. An interesting example of the "clothing" or livery in the
fifteenth century is depicted on the charter granted by Henry VI., in
1444, to the Leathersellers' Company. The dress is parti-coloured of red
and blue divided into equal halves after the peculiar fashion of the
period. It is furred at the bottom, at the sleeves and round the collar,
and closed at the waist by a light-coloured girdle. The figures have the
hair closely cropped, and wear scarlet pantaloons peaked at the toes.

An important Act passed in 1364 obliged all artificers and people of
mysteries to choose each his own mystery, and, having so chosen it, to use
no other. At the close of Edward the Third's reign, in 1376, a further
ordinance was made, as we have seen, by the City Commonalty, transferring
the right to elect all City dignitaries and officers, including members of
Parliament, from the ward representatives to the members of the Trade
Guilds. The right of electing members of the Common Council was soon
restored to the inhabitants of the wards, but the election of the Lord
Mayor, Sheriffs, Chamberlain, and other officers has continued in the
hands of the livery down to the present day, a privilege unique in the
history of the country.

From an early period certain of the chief Companies have been separated
from the remaining Guilds, and known as the Twelve Great Companies, the
rest of the Companies following after them in an acknowledged precedence.
The Twelve Companies were distinguished by their greater wealth, and the
Lord Mayor was obliged as a necessary qualification for office to be a
member of one of these Guilds.

The inner life of these ancient Guilds, which were in high prosperity
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, abounds in features of
quaint and picturesque interest. The chief event of annual importance in
the life of the Guild was the Election Day, with its religious services,
feasts, and ceremonies. A solemn dirge or requiem was held on the Eve of
the Festival for the repose of the souls of the deceased brethren and
sisters of the Fraternity. The procession was lighted by numerous wax
torches, garnished with "points" (_i.e._, bows) and streamers of ribbon. A
frugal repast followed, consisting of a kilderkin of ale, white buns,
cheese, and spiced bread. The important proceedings of the following day,
that of the festival itself, began with a solemn performance of grand mass
at one of the great monastic churches or at one of the larger parish
churches, the musical part of the service being rendered by the Company of
Parish Clerks. The brethren attended in their new liveries, and the
invited guests included Priors, Abbots, noblemen, and the Mayor and
Corporation, with the chief City officials. From the church they returned
in the same state to the Hall to dinner, but first the chief business of
the day, the election of the new Master and Wardens proceeded with all due
formality. The retiring Master and Wardens entered with garlands on their
heads, preceded by the beadle and by minstrels playing. Then the garlands
were taken off, and after a little show of trying whose heads among the
assistants the said garlands best fitted, it was found by a remarkable
coincidence that the persons previously chosen were the right wearers. The
oath of office was then administered; a loving cup was next brought in,
from which the old Master and Wardens drink to the new Master and Wardens,
who, being now fully installed in their offices, were duly acknowledged by
the fraternity.

[Illustration: RICHARD II. DELIVERED BY BOLINGBROKE TO THE CITIZENS OF
LONDON.

_From a MS. of the Metrical History of Richard II. by François de Marque._

_British Museum, Harl. 1319._]

We have been talking of Royal processions and their spectacular beauty.
Our illumination gives us one scene of a tragic character. On the 1st of
September, 1399, Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster, conveyed Richard II. as a
prisoner to London. He was taken to Westminster, and next day to the
Tower. On the 30th, in Westminster Hall (which he had rebuilt), the
unhappy King was declared deposed, amid uproarious shouts of joy, and
Bolingbroke immediately rose and claimed the vacant throne. His claim was
acknowledged, and the two Archbishops placed him in the royal seat. The
French inscription tells how "the commons and the mob" of London led away
their King to Westminster, while the Duke turned and entered by the
"maistre porte" of London--"washing his hands of him," adds the old
chronicler, "like Pilate."



CHAPTER III.

THE THAMES.

    _The "Silent Highway"--London Bridge--The Bridge Houses and their
    Signs--Waterworks--Ice Fairs--Swan-upping--Borough of Southwark--City
    Jurisdiction--Early Lords of Southwark--Winchester House--Our Lady
    Fair--Paris Garden Manor--Bull and Bear Baiting--Famous Inns--The
    Marshalsea and King's Bench Prisons--Tooley Street--Bridge House and
    the Bridge Masters--Sports on the Thames--Water Pageantry._


The facilities of transit afforded by the river highway led to the
extension of the City towards the East, where the necessities of commerce
converted its banks into a continuous succession of quays and wharves;
whilst on the West the social life of the Court and City filled the entire
frontage of the waterway between London and Westminster with the palaces
of the great. Here, on "the Silent Highway," all classes met. Kings and
queens in the royal pomp of their state-barges were rowed from the Tower
to the Palace of Westminster; nobles passed East or West from their river
mansions in their journeys to the City and the Court; the merchant brought
his goods to Queenhithe and the wharves; fish and other provisions were
landed at Billingsgate; watermen carried passengers to Greenwich, or up
stream to Hampton Court; and the City apprentices practised water-quintain
and other sports, in preparation for the grand Easter aquatic tournament
described by the old chronicler of Henry the Second's time, FitzStephen.

The great obstacle to the navigation of the river was the picturesque but
obstructive Old London Bridge. Its numerous narrow arches, whose piers
rested on huge sterlings, caused so great a fall in the stream that the
passage through was a feat which none but experienced boatmen could safely
attempt. John Mowbray, the second Duke of Norfolk, a companion of Henry V.
in his French wars, nearly perished here in 1428. Taking barge with his
retinue at St. Mary Overy, he prepared to pass through the bridge; but,
through unskilful steering, the barge struck against the piles, and was
overturned. Several of the party perished, but the Duke and two or three
other gentlemen saved themselves by leaping on to the piles, and were
drawn up with ropes to the bridge above.

The great fall of the rushing tide through the narrow arches is well shown
in the earliest known view of the bridge, which is given in the beautiful
illumination of the manuscript poems of Charles, duke of Orleans, who was
a prisoner in the Tower of London. The date of this interesting pictorial
record has been assigned to the year 1500.

The bridge consisted of a drawbridge and nineteen broad-pointed arches,
with massive piers varying in breadth from twenty-five to thirty-four
feet. Outside the piers were immense wooden sterlings, which were probably
added later to keep the foundations of the piers from being undermined. By
these obstructions the entire channel of the river was reduced from its
normal breadth of 900 feet to a total waterway of 194 feet, or less than
one-fourth of the whole.

Peter of Colechurch was the architect and builder of London Bridge,
replacing the older wooden bridge by a stone structure which was finished
in 1176. The weakness of the new building, however, soon showed itself. In
1280, less than eighty years after its completion, the bridge was so
decayed that men were afraid to pass over it, and a subsidy was granted
towards its restoration. A hundred years later its condition engaged the
attention of "a great collection or gathering of all archbishops, bishops,
and other persons." Notwithstanding the counsels of this distinguished
assembly, things went from bad to worse; and in a professional survey made
in 1425, one of the arches was found to be cracked, and the water-course
of the Thames was seen below. This was the reason of an Act made by the
Court of Aldermen, that no person should drive a cart or car shod with
iron over the bridge, upon pain of "punishment of his body and to pay
6_s._ 8_d._" In 1492, a reward of five shillings was given to John
Johnson, that the King's "great gonne should not pass over the bridge, but
rather by another way." "The other way" involved at this date a journey up
river to Kingston, where the first bridge was to be found.

For the greater part of its length, houses were built completely over the
bridge, leaving only three vacancies, one an open space called the Square,
not far from the city, and another at the Southwark end where the
drawbridge was. The thoroughfare passed through the centre of the bridge
beneath the houses, forming a kind of tunnel with shops on either side. As
there was no footway, it was the safest and most usual custom to follow a
carriage which might be passing across.

The practice of erecting houses on bridges frequently prevailed in early
times, the object doubtless being to secure property for the maintenance
of the bridge. In many instances, too, a chapel was added. A curious
instance of this custom was on the bridge at Droitwich, where the road
passed through the chapel, and separated the congregation from the
reading-desk and pulpit. Another famous bridge chapel was erected over the
river Calder at Wakefield.

London Bridge had a beautiful chapel dedicated to St. Thomas of Acon, and
consisting of two floors, the upper being on a level with the Bridge road,
and the lower only slightly above the level of the river, its apartment
occupying the interior of the chapel pier. Another notable building was
the Bridge Gate or Tower, situated at a distance of about one-third of the
length from the Southwark end, and forming the boundary limit between the
City and that borough. Adjoining it on the Surrey side was the drawbridge,
which could be lowered for the passage of vessels up the river, and for
defence of the City from the south in times of invasion. Another tower
stood almost at the entrance into Southwark, on the second pier. Here, in
1263, Simon de Montfort forced a passage into the city. In 1471 the
Kentish Mariners, under the bastard Falconbridge, burnt the gate, and some
fourteen houses on the bridge. Sir Thomas Wyatt, in 1554, was repulsed,
after a determined attack on the bridge and its defenders; not, however,
before he had attacked the Bishop of Winchester's palace at the bridge
foot, and cut to pieces all his books, "so that men might have gone up to
their knees in the leaves so torn out." Over this tower the traitors'
heads were fixed in the sixteenth century, having been removed from the
Gate Tower, north of the drawbridge. These gates were decorated with leafy
boughs and garlands of flowers on Midsummer Day. On the west wall, set up
in 1492, was a statue of the patron and supposed guardian of the bridge
and City, St. Thomas of Canterbury.

From a period which may perhaps be assigned to the earlier part of the
thirteenth century, enterprising City tradesmen had availed themselves of
the excellent business situation of the bridge thoroughfare. A grant of
the above-named period exists, made to the fraternity and proctors of the
bridge, of "one shop upon the bridge, between the shop of Andrew le Ferun
and the shop of the bridge." The shops with their various quaint signs
tempted the wayfarer with a great variety of enticing wares. The Bridge
Records of the fourteenth century refer to the trades of Cutter,
Pouchmaker, Glover, Goldsmith, and Bowyer. At a later date we meet with
the sign of the "Three Shepherds," "The Botell," "Floure-de-Lice,"
"Horshede," "Ravynshede," "Bell," "Bore," "Cheker," "Castell," "Bulle,"
"Whyte Horse," "Panyer," "Tonne," the "Nonnes," "Holy Lambe," the "Chales"
(chalice), "Catte," "Bore's Head," "Seint Savyoures," "Redde Rose," "Three
Cornysshe Chowys" (choughs), and many others.

The great rush of water, through the narrow arches of the old bridge,
which proved so dangerous to the navigation of the river, was turned to
useful account by the citizens as a motive power for water supply. Early
attempts were made in this direction in 1479-80, but the project did not
take practical form till 1582, when waterworks were erected under the
arches nearest to the City bank of the river, on a plan devised by an
ingenious Dutchman named Peter Morris.

London Bridge was the scene of a grand pageant of chivalry in 1390, when
two doughty champions representing England and Scotland, engaged in a
passage of arms or jousting in the presence of King Richard II. and his
courtiers. The Scottish champion was Sir David Lindsay, who was opposed on
behalf of England by Sir John Welles. The Scotsman was victorious, and it
is characteristic of the condition of society at that period, that a
safe-conduct was provided for Sir David Lindsay, both for his journey to
London and return to Scotland.

Old London Bridge, after existing considerably over 600 years, was finally
demolished in 1832, when the bones of its builder, Peter of Colechurch,
were found beneath the masonry in the foundation of the chapel. Before its
removal, the obstruction of its numerous arches and their ponderous
sterlings frequently caused the river to become ice-bound in winter. In
times of more than usual severity, the frost lasted for several weeks, and
fairs with amusements of all kinds were held upon the ice. The earliest of
these frosts on record is that in the year 1092, and they continued at
frequent intervals till so recent a period as 1814. Work being largely
brought to a stop at these times, all the Londoners disported themselves
on the ice, and several prints of the scenes, and chap-books and
broadsides printed upon the ice, have come down to us, but are very
scarce.

The swans which are met with in the upper reaches of the Thames, belong to
the Crown and two of the City Companies, namely the Vintners and the
Dyers. These Companies have by immemorial usage kept a "game of swans," as
it is called, on the Thames, a right which is strictly confined to the
Crown and those to whom the Crown may grant the privilege. Once a year an
expedition was made by the swan-herds of the Companies to mark the young
birds with each Company's distinguishing nicks; this was made the occasion
of a festive gathering of the members of the Company, and was known as
"Swan-upping." The importance which attached to this privilege in former
days is seen in the nomenclature of the district in Lower Thames Street,
closely adjoining London Bridge, where Old Swan Pier, Swan Lane, &c.,
remain to this day. At one time the Bridge House appears to have possessed
the privilege of keeping a "game of swans," but this has long since
lapsed, probably through non-usage.

From very early times down to the middle of the eighteenth century, the
London Bridge of Peter of Colechurch, and its little-known predecessors,
formed the only thoroughfare across the Thames within the limits of the
Metropolis. Quite naturally therefore, the Borough of Southwark, situated
at the southern approach to the bridge, early became a place of
importance. For many centuries it consisted almost solely of the main
thoroughfare leading to the foot of the bridge. This well-frequented route
was under strict order and government, whilst the localities behind the
highway on either side, and skirting the river's banks, were the resort
and hiding-place of lawless persons and offenders of every description. To
provide for the large number of travellers passing to and from London and
the southern counties, Southwark's main street was occupied almost
exclusively by inn-keepers.

Early in the fourteenth century the citizens of London petitioned the King
for jurisdiction over Southwark, which was a harbour for felons, thieves,
and other malefactors. They succeeded in 1327 in obtaining from Edward
III. a charter by which the King sold the vill or town of Southwark to the
citizens of London, retaining for himself the Lordship of the Manor and
the appointment of the bailiff. Some few years later the inhabitants
regained their former privileges, and kept possession of them till the
reign of Edward VI., when the Crown in 1550, by another charter, made a
second grant of Southwark to the City of London for a valuable
consideration.

Within a month of the grant of this charter, namely on 12th May, 1550, the
Court of Aldermen appointed Sir John Ayloffe, Barber-Surgeon, as Alderman
of the ward of Bridge Without, by which term the Borough of Southwark was
designated for City municipal purposes.

An Act of Common Council was also passed in the following July, providing
for the election of an alderman by the inhabitants of the borough. This
ordinance was never acted upon, the appointment of Alderman of Bridge
Without remaining in the hands of the Court of Aldermen. The constitution
of the ward was never completed, no representatives were elected as Common
Councilmen, and the office of alderman for this ward consequently became a
sinecure. It has long been held by the senior member of the Court of
Aldermen, or the next in seniority who is willing to accept it; when a
vacancy occurs it is offered to the senior alderman, and on his refusal to
the next in seniority, and so on. The alderman who accepts it is called
the Father of the City, and thereupon vacates the aldermanship of his own
ward, for which a vacancy is duly declared. The curious spectacle is thus
seen of a ward presided over by an alderman, but being without a
constituency or any local representation.

The Corporation of London, having been Lord of the Manor of Southwark,
exercised their rights through the Recorder of London, whom they appointed
High Steward of Southwark. In that capacity he held Courts Leet as Steward
of the Corporation, charging the leet juries and appointing days for
receiving their reports as to nuisances. This slight jurisdiction of the
City over the ancient borough has now disappeared, consequent upon the
constitution of Southwark into a municipality by itself.

Now, having spoken of the City's jurisdiction, which, as we have seen, was
of a very light description, we must revert shortly to the earlier history
of the borough. The year 1347 found the larger part of Southwark still in
the possession of the powerful family of the Earls De Warren, whose
ancestor, William de Warren, was a great favourite of the Conqueror. This
young lord married William's daughter or stepdaughter, and received as her
dowry some 300 manors. Early in the reign of Edward III. the Earl's
Bailiff and the King's had a common box for the toll collected. The King's
Bailiff had the box, and the Earl's Bailiff the keys. At each division of
the toll the King received two-thirds and the Earl one-third of the amount
collected. In course of time the manors became vested in a larger number
of owners. This appears from the names of the manors, of which the
principal were the "Gildable Manor," or the Liberty of the Mayor, the
Manor of the Maze, the Liberty of my Lord of Barmesey (the Abbot of
Bermondsey), the Liberty of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Liberty of
Paris Garden, and the Suffolk Manor, which comprised the property of
Brandon, duke of Suffolk.

Winchester House, situated west of St. Mary Overy's Church, was built in
1107 by Bishop Giffard. It has had famous occupants besides the prelates:
such were Simon de Montfort and his wife; and James Stuart, king of
Scotland, who was married here to the niece of Cardinal Beaufort in 1424.
No less interesting was its history in later times, with which we have
here, however, no concern.

From the Bridge foot, looking south, extends the great highway called Long
Southwark. In this main street was held the market of the Borough, which
also occupied the Churchyard of St. Margaret, at the end of the great
thoroughfare. Close by, opposite St. George's Church, were the cage,
pillory, stocks, and whipping-post, for the correction of offenders
sentenced at the Court of Piepowder at Our Lady Fair. Behind Winchester
House was the ducking-stool for sousing scolds in the river.

Southwark Fair, or Our Lady Fair, was held at Michaelmas, under a charter
granted by Edward IV. in 1462. It occupied the main thoroughfare of the
Borough, and overflowed on either side into the courts and inn-yards,
invading even the bridge itself. In 1499, as we learn from the Bridge
House Records, 7_s._ 8_d._ was "leveid and gaderid of divers artificers
stonding and selling their wares and chefres on the said bridge in the
tyme of Oure Ladye Faire in Southwerke."

The Manor of Paris Garden took its name from Robert de Paris, who held the
manor in the reign of Richard II. That part of the Liberty of Paris Garden
bordering on the Thames was known as Bankside, and was the site of several
early theatres. Long before the legitimate drama made its appearance, bull
and bear-baiting flourished at Bankside. The bull-ring was the special
delight of the Southwark people, and boats by hundreds were always passing
to and fro, filled with sightseers from Westminster and the city.

Many of the Southwark inns had signs referring to this sport. Such were
"The Chained Bull," "The Bull and Chain," and "The Bull and Dog." At the
bridge foot, Southwark, was the famed tavern of "The Bear," and the token
of its proprietor was impressed with a bear passant, with a collar and
chain. Of the theatres which took the place of these exhibitions, and were
at first contemporaneous with them, the most famous was the Shakespearian
playhouse known as the Globe. It was built in 1593 for William Burbage. A
licence was granted by James I. permitting Shakespeare and others to act
here in 1603. The building was of wood, hexagonal in form, and was used by
Shakespeare as a summer theatre. Ben Jonson was also connected with it as
a partner, playwright, or actor. The building was destroyed by fire in
1613, but was rebuilt in the following year; its site is now covered by a
portion of Barclay and Perkins's brewery.

The Rose was probably the oldest theatre upon Bankside, excepting the
early circuses in Paris Garden already mentioned. These were leased in
James the First's reign by Edward Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College,
and Philip Henslow; the latter also held the Rose Theatre for several
years. The Swan was in high repute before 1598, but after 1620 both the
Rose and Swan were occasionally used by gladiators and fencers. The Hope,
used both for bear-baiting and as a playhouse, was situated near the Rose.
In 1614 Ben Jonson's _Bartholomew Fair_ was first acted here; at a later
date the building was used for prize-fighting; and in 1632 again for
bear-baiting. In 1648 all theatres were suppressed.

Southwark was famous for its inns. The Hostelers or Inn-holders of the
City of London formed themselves into a guild at an early date, and the
Company still flourishes, and has a quaint old hall in College Street,
Dowgate Hill. A curious petition was presented by its members in 1473; it
complained that "the members of the Fraternity, in being called hostellers
and not inn-holders, had no title by which to distinguish themselves from
their servants," and prayed that they might be recognised as the "misterie
of Innholders." More than 500 years later we find that the servant still
keeps the title of ostler, while the master has to be content with the
roundabout expression of hotel-keeper or proprietor.

Aubrey, the antiquary, writing in 1678, says:--"Before the Reformation
public inns were rare; travellers were entertained at religious houses if
occasion served." The word "inn," literally a dwelling or abiding-place,
was formerly used in a wide sense. The Inns of Court still retain the
name; but the town houses or resting-places of great personages, whose
business brought them to London, were often so called. Thus, there were in
Southwark the inns of the Bishop of Rochester and of the Abbot of
Waverley, south of Winchester House; those of the Abbot of Hyde and the
Abbot of Battle, and the hostelry of the Prior of Lewes. The inn of the
Cobhams was the Green Dragon in Foul Lane, and was still known in 1562 as
Cobham's Inn. But it is of the hostelry proper that we have now to speak.

Space will admit of little more than an enumeration of the most notable
hostelries. The Chequers Inn in Chequer Court, High Street, appears to
have taken its name from the arms of the De Warrens. The Boar's Head,
though not as famous as its namesake in Eastcheap, was the scene of a
performance of stage-plays in 1602, by the servants of the Earls of Oxford
and Worcester. The Tabard, so well known as the starting-place of
Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims, was on the east side of the High Street. It
was built probably in the fourteenth century, and continued until quite
modern times to possess an apartment which was known as the Pilgrims'
room. Other well-known inns were the George and the Falcon.

Among the many places of interest in the High Street were the famous
prisons of the Marshalsea and the King's Bench. The former was so called
"as pertaining to the Marshals of England." The Court of the Marshalsea
was held by the Steward and Marshal of the King's house. Both court and
prison can be traced as early as Edward the Third's reign, and they no
doubt existed at a much earlier period. The King's Bench Prison,
familiarly known as "The Bench," closely adjoined the Marshalsea, from
which it was separated by about twenty houses. To this prison, it is said,
Henry V. when Prince of Wales, was committed by Judge Gascoigne for
striking him when seated on the bench. Among its prisoners have been many
notable persons, especially in later times.

Tooley Street, skirting the river eastward from the bridge foot, derived
its name from a corruption of St. Olave's Street. St. Olaf, the Christian
King of Norway, came to the assistance of Ethelred II. against the Danes
in 1008, and destroyed London Bridge, which was then in their possession.
He pulled down the piles of the bridge by means of ropes attached to his
ships. This friendly act, together with his reputation as a Christian
sovereign, procured him the gratitude of the English nation. No less than
four churches in London were dedicated to this saint--those, namely, in
Tooley Street, Hart Street, Silver Street, and Old Jewry.

Closely adjoining St. Olave's Church was the Bridge House, the centre of
administration for the bridge and its repairs, and an institution hardly
second in importance to any in Southwark. Indeed, the Borough has no other
heraldic device than the curious "mark" of the Bridge House, which it has
adopted as its heraldic cognisance. The origin of the Bridge House Trust
extends back probably to the period of the early wooden bridge which
existed before the building of Peter of Colechurch's stone bridge in 1176.
London Bridge, being regarded, and with good reason, as a work of national
importance, attracted a long roll of wealthy benefactors. William Rufus
and his successors (probably, too, his Norman and Saxon predecessors) made
grants of tolls and taxes for its support. Other benefactors included
Richard, archbishop of Canterbury (Becket's successor) in 1174; Cardinal
Hugo di Petraleone, papal legate to this country in 1176; Henry
Fitzailwin, first Mayor of London; and numerous wealthy citizens and
ecclesiastics who, either in their lifetime or by their wills, left
valuable property to the Bridge House funds. This was administered in
early times by the Bridge Masters or Wardens, two in number, who were
appointed by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City.

This post was one much coveted in early times, and was bestowed upon men
of the highest position in the City. The Wardens' duties were honourable
and doubtless profitable, but they entailed great responsibilities. They
had in their ward and keeping all the goods of the bridge, whether lands,
rents, tenements, or commodities, and possessed large, if not absolute,
powers of dealing with the bridge property by sale or otherwise for the
profit of the Trust. On the other hand, their responsibility was strictly
personal, and unthrifty wardens were removed from office. This was the
case in 1351, when the wardens were removed after ten years' service for
showing a deficit of 21_l._ odd. The unfortunate wardens for the year
1440, Thomas Badby and Richard Lovelas, owed no less than 327_l._ 9_s._
10_d._, the loss having arisen from many of the houses on the bridge being
dilapidated and unlet. The wardens obtained the King's intercession on
their behalf, and the Court of Aldermen compromised the matter by
accepting 200 marks in full discharge of the debt.

The wardens kept great state at the Bridge House, which was necessarily an
establishment of considerable extent. Behind the Tooley Street frontage
the premises extended to the river, where was a wharf for landing stone,
timber, and all other necessaries for the repair of the bridge, the houses
upon it, and the large property belonging to the estate. Besides the
necessary offices, the Bridge House contained state apartments for
official meetings, and the sumptuous entertainments already mentioned. In
fact, the Bridge House in mediæval times largely resembled and took the
place of the Mansion House of modern days. The building itself must have
been pleasantly situated; it possessed extensive grounds, which were laid
out as a garden with ponds and a fountain. The wardens kept, as we have
seen, a "game" of swans, and, moreover, a pack of hounds.

Besides its great service to the citizens of London in establishing their
world-wide commerce, the Thames also largely contributed to the health
and recreation of the inhabitants of London. Fitzstephen, writing in the
twelfth century, thus describes the water sports in his day: "In the
Easter holidays they play at a game resembling a naval engagement. A
target is firmly fixed to the trunk of a tree, which is fixed in the
middle of the river, and in the prow of a boat, driven along by oars and
the current, stands a young man, who is to strike the target with his
lance. If, in hitting it, he break his lance and keep his position
unmoved, he gains his point and attains his desire; but, if his lance be
not shivered by the blow, he is tumbled into the river, and his boat
passes by, driven along by its own motion. Two boats, however, are placed
there, one on each side of the target, and in them a number of young men
to take up the striker when he first emerges from the stream, or when--

  'A second time he rises from the wave.'

"On the bridge, and in balconies on the banks of the river, stand the
spectators,

  '... well disposed to laugh.'"[3]

Other recreation was afforded by fishing, as the Thames abounded with fish
of all kinds, from the noble sturgeon and the salmon to the shoals of
smelts and whitebait.

The river presented a gay scene, being the great highway for all classes
of society, both for purposes of locomotion and for conveyance of goods.
The traffic between the court and city was naturally carried on by
wherries from London Bridge or Blackfriars to Westminster. The King and
Queen had their royal barges, so had the noblemen whose mansions lined the
south side of the Strand, each having stairs for approach from the river.
Gower gives a charming picture of his meeting his patron, King Richard
II., on the river, when the King summoned him to his barge and asked him
to write "some new thinge." The poet obeyed by presenting the King with
his "Confessio Amantis."

From time to time, gay pageants were seen on the Thames. The Sovereign
would proceed in state from the Palace at Greenwich to the Tower, or from
the Tower, Baynard's Castle, or other residence, to the Palace of
Westminster, and the City guilds accompanied their sheriffs or mayors on
their way to Westminster to take oath of office. The accounts of the
Grocers' Company for the year 1436 mention payments for the hire of barges
to attend the sheriffs' show; but John Stow, the historian of London,
describes the water procession as an innovation made by John Norman, mayor
in 1450. He writes: "This John Norman was the first mayor that was rowed
by water to Westminster to take his oath, for before that time they rode
on horseback. He caused a barge to be made at his own charge, and every
company had several barges, well decked and trimmed, to pass along with
him; for joy whereof, the watermen made a song in his praise, beginning,
'Row thy boat, Norman.'"

Of the more important buildings which formed conspicuous ornaments of the
river's banks we shall speak when describing the royal palaces.



CHAPTER IV.

RELIGIOUS LIFE.

    _Introduction of Christianity--Foundation of the See--The First
    Prelates: Mellitus, St. Erkenwald, St. Dunstan--Monastic
    Foundations--St. Paul's Cathedral: its Officials, Services,
    Shrines--Old St. Paul's Described--Paul's Cross and Spital
    Sermons--The Jewry--London Parish Churches--Lambeth Palace and
    Chapel--The Lollards' Tower._


On the summit of the hill which slopes on the south to the Thames, and
more steeply on the west to the rapid stream of the Fleet, has for many
centuries stood a church dedicated to the great Apostle of the Gentiles.
The ancient statute-book of St. Paul's Cathedral states that Lucius, king
of Greater Britain, in the year 185 was converted by the emissaries of the
Pope, who founded three metropolitical sees, the first of which was
London. This legendary foundation of the See of London has been associated
by some writers with the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and by others with
the Church of St. Peter on Cornhill. But King Lucius has long ago been
dismissed into the region of myth.

Whilst, however, it is unknown how London first received Christianity, the
date can be pretty closely fixed. "There can be no doubt," says Dean
Milman, "that conquered and half-civilised Britain gradually received,
during the second and third centuries, the faith of Christ. St. Helena,
the mother of Constantine, probably imbibed the first fervour of those
Christian feelings which wrought so powerfully in the Christianity of her
age, in her native Britain." The memory of St. Helena has, from a very
early period, been enshrined in London in the dedication of St. Helen's,
Bishopsgate, formerly the Church of the Nunnery of St. Helen, the site
having apparently been originally occupied by a Roman building. The parish
church in Bishopsgate was built before 1010, and close adjoining was the
Priory of the Nuns of St. Helen, founded about 1212.

In the year A.D. 314, more than a century before the departure of the
Romans, Restitutus, bishop of London, appears in the list of prelates who
were present at the Council of Arles; and we may take it for granted that
the Christian Church was duly organized at that time. But the advent of
the English was the absolute and complete destruction of it for the time
being. The English were entirely heathen.

The end of the sixth century saw the memorable mission of St. Augustine
and his band of Christian workers. Ethelbert, king of Kent, became his
first convert. In the year 604, as we learn from Ralph de Diceto, the
historian and Dean of St. Paul's, "Ethelbert, the King, built the Church
of St. Paul, London;" and St. Augustine himself consecrated Mellitus as
Bishop of the See. The Manor of Tillingham, one of those with which that
King enriched the Church, still remains in the possession of the Dean and
Chapter.

What was the form of this first Cathedral, and whether built of wood or
stone, we have no evidence to show. Maitland, in his History, says that
the first Cathedral was built in the Prætorian camp of the Romans, and
destroyed under Diocletian. He gives no authority for this statement, but
it has no inherent improbability, for there are several examples in
England of churches standing within ancient camps, _e.g._, the recently
discovered church at Silchester.

Mellitus, as we have already seen, was driven away by the relapse of the
East Saxon King into Paganism after Ethelbert's death. But the faith was
firmly implanted, and after a while burst forth in strength. Mellitus
returned to England in February, 619, not to his See of London, but to
succeed Laurence as Archbishop of Canterbury. He died five years
afterwards (24th April, 624), a day long observed with honour in the
Church of London, as may be seen in its ancient calendar.

Another of London's early prelates deserves special mention. Fourth in
succession, but towering above his predecessors, both in history and
legend, stands St. Erkenwald, who was consecrated in 675. He is said to
have been the son of Offa, king of East England, and, when a boy, to have
heard Mellitus preach in London. Before he became bishop, he had founded
two famous monasteries: one for himself, at Chertsey in Surrey; the other
for his sister Ethelburga, at Barking in Essex. Erkenwald held the See
from 675 to 693, and was afterwards canonised. Large crowds of pilgrims
flowed to his shrine in St. Paul's. The day of his death, April 30th, and
the day of his translation, November 14th, were long observed as festival
days in St. Paul's Cathedral.

At an early period the retirement of a hermit's life became familiar to
Englishmen, chiefly by reports from their countrymen who had travelled
abroad. One of the most famous of these religious recluses was Peter the
Hermit, the Preacher of the Crusades. Another class were known as
anchorites, and frequently lived in or near churches; sometimes over the
porch, or in other curious recesses. In the parish books of All Hallows,
London Wall, are many particulars of Simon the Anker or Anchorite, who
lived on the wall in or adjoining the church, and received much from the
alms of the faithful. It must be added, in justice to Simon, that he
proved a liberal benefactor to the Church of All Hallows.

The greatest man in England in the earlier half of the tenth century was
Dunstan, who was first a student and afterwards Abbot of Glastonbury
Abbey. His popularity during and after his life is shown by the numerous
churches named after him. There are two in the City; and the old church of
Stepney, which Dunstan rebuilt in A.D. 952 (just now, alas! laid waste by
fire), is still called by his name. Some of the great monastic houses were
flourishing during the late Saxon period, but the greater part grew up in
Norman times.

The ancient house of St. Martin-le-Grand was founded by Witraed about the
year 700, refounded in 1056 by Edward and Ingelric, and confirmed in its
privileges as a secular college by William the Conqueror. By the
Conqueror's charter, St. Martin's obtained its well-known right of
sanctuary, which arose through its exemption from ecclesiastical and civil
jurisdiction. Of the magnificent Priory of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, we
have previously spoken. Rahere, the first prior, finished the buildings in
1123, the work having occupied twenty years. Henry I., by a charter,
conferred great privileges on the priory and hospital, including the right
to hold Bartholomew Fair in Smithfield. The Norman Conquest brought the
establishment of many new monastic foundations, but the policy adopted in
founding them was to rob the parishes of their endowments. Instances of
this are everywhere to be found. Rufus gave the endowment of Chesterfield
parish church to Lincoln Cathedral. Rahere transferred to the Augustinian
Canons settled in his Priory of St. Bartholomew much revenue which
belonged to churches elsewhere. The Templars and the Hospitalers had each
an important settlement in London. The Templars first established
themselves in Holborn, at the end of Chancery Lane, in 1118, and removed
to Fleet Street, or the new Temple, in 1184. The Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem founded their magnificent abode in West Smithfield, interesting
remains of which are preserved in the beautiful crypt lately restored and
the well-known St. John's Gate.

Among the other early foundations in Fitzstephen's time were the hospital
and church of St. Katharine, by the Tower, built by Matilda, queen of
Stephen; St. Mary Overy's Priory, at the Southwark foot of London Bridge,
founded in 1106; and the great Priory of the Holy Trinity, without
Aldgate, whose prior was an Alderman of London. Among the lesser
foundations were the hospitals of St. Giles and St. Mary Spital, the
nunnery of Clerkenwell, and that of St. Helen, Bishopsgate. The hospital
of St. Thomas of Acon was founded by Agnes, sister of St. Thomas of
Canterbury, about twenty years after his martyrdom, the site being that of
the house occupied by the Becket family in Cheapside. At the Dissolution
the whole was granted to the Mercers, who established on the site their
hall and chapel. Besides the injury done to the parishes by the monastic
system, and the consequent impoverishment of the parochial clergy, another
grave evil attaching to these religious foundations was their exemption
from episcopal control. This was especially the case with all the
Cistercian houses. The Carthusians, an order of monks founded by St. Bruno
in the later part of the eleventh century, had a famous London house,
still known as the Charterhouse, established in 1349 by Sir Walter de
Manny. These various Orders had standing rivalry among themselves. The
Regulars, who retired from the world in complete monastic seclusion, were
bitterly jealous of the Seculars, who associated themselves with the
Cathedral and parochial clergy and mixed with the people. Much
misapprehension prevails on the subject of these religious Orders. There
was no "poverty" in Monasticism, whatever the vows. The hospitality for
which their friends praised them so much was often a condition of their
foundation charters, under which they were obliged to entertain their
founders when they travelled that way. A striking instance is seen in the
case of Bethlehem Hospital, which was founded solely for the purpose of
"entertaining the Bishop of Bethlehem if ever he should visit England"--a
transparent ruse for maintaining in luxury a master who did not even wear
a habit.

The coming of the Friars brought to the City still more sumptuous
religious houses. The Dominicans, or Black Friars, were the first to
arrive in 1221, and were followed by the Franciscans, or Grey Friars, in
1224, and these communities soon spread themselves over all the land. The
Carmelites, or White Friars, came to England in 1240, and were established
in London between Fleet Street and the Thames in the following year. The
settlement of the Crouched, Crutched, or Crossed Friars was nearly a
century later. Their home was near Hart Street, leading to Tower Hill,
where they were settled in 1319 by Ralph Hosier and William Sabernes. The
house of the Augustine or Austin Friars was founded by Humphrey Bohun,
earl of Hereford and Essex, in 1253; and the nave of the church has
fortunately been preserved for use by the Dutch Protestant Church.

It is to the cathedral of a city that we should look for the mainspring of
its religious life, and it will be both useful and interesting to glance
at the inner life of St. Paul's, and the leading facts in its history.
Although the magnificent structure of the old cathedral perished in the
Great Fire, we have fortunately, through the labours of Sir William
Dugdale and others, and the extensive collection of early records
preserved in the cathedral library, copious material for obtaining a
fairly complete picture of Old St. Paul's. In the middle of the fifteenth
century the cathedral body consisted of the following officials: The
Bishop, the Dean, four Archdeacons, a Treasurer, Precentor, and
Chancellor. To these must be added a body of thirty greater canons, twelve
lesser canons, a considerable number of chaplains, and thirty vicars.

St. Paul's is one of the nine cathedrals of the old foundation; eight
belong to the new foundation, five were founded by Henry VIII., and the
remaining Sees in modern times. The churches of the old foundation were
churches of secular canons; those of the new foundation were monastic
houses--generally Benedictine--of which, therefore, the government had to
be reconstituted. The monastic houses were ruled by the Abbot, whilst in
the secular churches of the old foundation the Dean presided over the
Chapter.

At St. Paul's, then, the Bishop was the highest in authority, and was
received with great honour and ceremony on his visits to the cathedral. In
his gift were all the prebendal stalls, and his episcopal palace stood
close to the cathedral at its north-west corner.

The Dean was next in office to the Bishop; he was elected from and by the
body of the Chapter. In the Dean's absence, the Sub-Dean--always one of
the minor canons--fulfilled his duties in choir, and exercised his
authority over minor officials, but he did not occupy the Dean's stall.

Next in dignity to the Dean were the four Archdeacons of London, Essex,
Middlesex, and Colchester, the Archdeacon of St. Albans being added in the
reign of Henry VIII. The Treasurer had charge of all the goods of the
church, such as vestments, service-books, altar furniture, &c. He was
assisted by the Sacrist as his deputy, and under the Sacrist, by three
vergers.

The Precentor, with the assistance of his deputy, the Succentor, directed
the music of the cathedral. The Chancellor was the person from whom the
schoolmasters of the Metropolis received their licence to teach; among
many other duties, he composed the letters and deeds of the Chapter, and
had committed to him the punishment of clerks of the lower grade.

The Canons or Prebendaries were thirty in number, and, with the Bishop at
their head, constituted the Chapter. They elected both Bishop and Dean,
and each had an endowment attached to his stall. The names of the manors
forming these endowments still appear above the Prebendaries' stalls. One
of the stalls still bears the name of Consumpta per Mare; the estate was
in Walton-on-the-Naze, and the inundation which the name commemorates
seems to have occurred about the time of the Conquest.

It was the duty of each Canon, whether in church or absent, to recite
daily a portion of the psalter. The first words of the section to be
recited by each still stand, as they stood of old, over the stall of each
of the Prebendaries. As there are thirty Prebendaries, and a hundred and
fifty psalms, the portion which each was bound to repeat was about five
psalms. Dean Donne, who was Prebendary of Chiswick early in the
seventeenth century, wrote: "Every day God receives from us, however we
be divided from one another in place, the sacrifice of praise in the whole
Booke of Psalmes. And though we may be absent from this Quire, yet
wheresoever dispersed, we make up a Quire in this Service of saying over
all the Psalms every day."

Of these thirty Canons, a varying number residing on the spot, and taking
their part in the daily offices, were called Residentiaries. Besides a
constant attendance during all the canonical hours, each Residentiary was
expected to show large and costly hospitality, and this practice survived
in part so late as the year 1843. Some Canons preferred to live upon their
own estates, others held their stalls as one of many pluralities, for they
were sometimes bestowed upon bishops, dignitaries, foreigners, and even
upon children. Many of them being consequently non-resident, each Canon
had a substitute called his Vicar. The vicars took rank after the
chaplains, who in their turn were inferior to the minor canons. These
corresponded with the Vicars Choral of the present day.

The twelve Minor Canons, a body as old as the Cathedral itself, had a
Royal Charter of Incorporation as a College granted them by Richard II. in
1394. They possessed estates of their own, and had a common seal. One of
their number was elected by them as Custos or Warden, and two were called
Cardinals, Cardinales Chori, an office not found in any other church in
England. The chantry priests, a large body of men, were bound not only to
say mass at the special altars to which they were attached, but also to
attend in choir, and perform there such duties as were assigned to them.

Chaucer alludes to the eagerness with which some of the country clergy, to
the neglect of their own benefices, fought for chantries in St. Paul's. He
contrasts with them his model parish priest.

  "He sette not his benefice to hire,
   And let his sheep accombred in the mire
   And ran to London, unto S. Paules,
   To seken him a chanterie for soules,
   Or with a Brotherhede to be withhold;
   But dwelt at home, and kepte well his folde.
   So that the wolfe ne made it not miscarry.
   He was a shepherd, and no mercenary."

It is impossible to estimate the number of persons who lived within the
Cathedral Close, and were connected with its establishment. Besides the
minor officers such as the almoner, vergers, surveyor, scribes,
bookbinder, brewer, baker, &c., there were the chaplain and household of
the Bishop, the higher officials already enumerated, the choir-boys, the
bedesmen and poor, and a host of others.

The baker's task was no sinecure. It is calculated that the yearly issue
of bread amounted to no less than forty thousand loaves. The weight and
quality of the loaves, varying according to the rank of the persons
supplied, were matters of sufficient importance to be regulated by
statute.

With such an ample staff, we may naturally expect that the religious life
of the Cathedral exhibited a busy scene. Seven times a day the bells of
the Cathedral sounded for the canonical hours. Nocturns or Matins was a
service before day-break; Lauds, a service at day-break, quickly
following, or even joining Matins; Prime, a late morning service at six
o'clock; Tirce, at nine o'clock; Sexts, at noon; Nones, at three o'clock
in the afternoon; Vespers, an evening service; and Compline, a late
evening service, at bed-time. In 1263, it was ordered that Vespers and
Compline should be said together.

Besides a very ample supply of vestments, sacred vessels, relics, and
ornaments, old St. Paul's possessed a fine store of service-books. The
greatest treasures were probably the codices or manuscripts of the
Gospels. Of these no less than eleven are mentioned in the inventory of
the Visitation in 1295, some written in the very large letters of the
Saxon period. The ritual books included many fine examples of psalters,
antiphonals, books of homilies, missals, manuals, graduals, &c., all
beautifully, and even gorgeously bound. The scriptorium of the Cathedral
was an important department, and was ably governed. Here were prepared,
not only the service-books needed for the church, but the cathedral
statutes. The Pauline scribes wrote a bold, clear hand. The inks, both red
and black, retain their full lustre, as may be seen by the beautiful
examples remaining at the Cathedral Library.

Vestments, plate, and, unfortunately, books also have all disappeared. The
loss of the latter is irreparable. Like Sarum, York, and Hereford, St.
Paul's had a "Use" of its own, and of this Use, unfortunately, no example
is extant. In 1415, Bishop Clifford, with the consent of the Dean and
Chapter, decreed that the Divine Office in St. Paul's should henceforth be
conformable to that of the Church of Salisbury.

The feast days were numerous. Those of the first class included two feasts
of St. Erkenwald and the two feasts of St. Paul. On these days the bells
were rung two and two before the peal was sounded; on ordinary days they
were sounded singly. It will be seen that there was thus an unceasing
round of services, extending almost through day and night.

The ordinary daily services were supplemented still further by occasional
services. There were the pilgrims to the shrines of Erkenwald and
Mellitus; and a short form of prayer, with a hymn, which appears to have
been used on these occasions, was printed by the late Dr. Sparrow Simpson,
Sub-Dean. An extraordinary instance of this devotion occurred in 1322,
when Thomas, earl of Lancaster, grandson of Henry III., and cousin of
Edward II., who was then king, was taken captive after his defeat at the
battle of Boroughbridge. Six days afterwards he was tried, condemned, and
beheaded in his own Castle of Pomfret by a court of peers, with Edward
himself at their head. He was sentenced as a rebel taken in arms against
the King, and his whole life-record was that of an unscrupulous,
treacherous, and selfish man. Yet, owing perhaps to his kindness to the
poor and bountiful patronage of the clergy, his fame grew after his death.
Miracles were said to have been wrought at his tomb and at a tablet in St.
Paul's, erected to commemorate him.

The people prayed for his canonisation, and thronged to the Cathedral to
pay their devotion to this saint of their own making. Leaden brooches,
representing a knight holding a battle-axe, have been found in London, and
were probably tokens given to pilgrims who had visited the tablet. The
practice of distributing signs to pilgrims visiting the shrines of saints
was a very common one from early times down to the Reformation period.
These pilgrim signs, or signacula, were often worn by pilgrims in their
hats as a sign of distinction, and a certain flavour of holiness attached
to the wearer, who had braved what in those days were the real perils of
a long and painful journey on foot to accomplish his pious purpose.

A similar practice, as is well known, prevails in the Mohammedan world,
where a pilgrim to Mecca, the prophet's birthplace, receives the
honourable title of Hadji. The form of the signs varied greatly, and was
generally a representation of the saint or his emblem. Many were issued at
the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury, the Canterbury Bell being a
frequent device; St. James of Compostella was represented by an escallop
shell, and so on. The objects, which were small, and seldom much larger
than a brooch, have been found in large quantities along the banks of the
Thames, where the mud appears to have had a preserving influence upon the
bronze of which they are made. We can well imagine the joyous return of
Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims, each wearing a pilgrim's sign, when their
long journey was completed.

Another curious service at the Cathedral was the mock investiture of the
Boy Bishop on Holy Innocents' Day or Childermas, as it was formerly
called. On the Eve of St. Nicholas, the special patron of children
(December 6th is his festival), the children of the choir elected one of
their number to be the Boy Bishop. At St. Paul's he was arrayed in
pontifical vestments with a rich pastoral staff and a white embroidered
mitre. On St. John's Day, after evensong, the Boy Bishop, with his clerks,
officiated at a service; occupying the upper canons' stalls, whilst these
dignitaries themselves served in the boys' places as acolytes, thurifers,
and lower clerks.

The next day, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Boy Bishop preached a
sermon. Two of these sermons have been preserved, and printed by the
Camden Society. The foolish and profane rites were sanctioned by so
eminent a man as Dean Colet, and formed the subject of regulations drawn
up so early as 1263 for the performance of this function at St. Paul's.

A brief description of old St. Paul's, the finest in many respects of our
English cathedrals, must now be attempted. Crossing the unsavoury Fleet
and ascending Ludgate Hill, the Londoner passed first through Ludgate a
little west of St. Martin's Church, and reached the great western gate of
the Close spanning the street near the ends of Creed Lane and Ave Maria
Lane. The cathedral stood within a spacious walled enclosure. The wall
was built in 1109, and greatly strengthened in 1285, and extended from the
north-east corner of Ave Maria Lane, running eastward along Paternoster
Row to the north end of Old Change in Cheapside, thence southward to
Carter Lane, and on the north of Carter Lane to Creed Lane, back to the
great western gate.

Besides this principal entrance, the enclosure had five other gates or
posterns. Entering at the western gate, the little church of St. Gregory
is seen nestling close to the cathedral on its southern side. The church
seems insignificant, and helps to show us the vastness of the cathedral,
just as St. Margaret's Church brings out by contrast the magnificent
proportions of Westminster Abbey.

The western front was flanked by two towers, the northern of which was
closely attached to the Bishop's palace; the southern, commonly called the
Lollards' Tower, was used by the Bishop as a prison for heretics. The most
prominent feature was the spire, which rose from the centre of the roof to
a prodigious height, 493 feet in all. The Bishop's palace was at the
north-west end of the nave. Passing beyond it and its grounds, you arrived
at Pardon Church Haugh. This was a goodly cloister, wherein were buried
many persons of note, whose monuments surpassed those of the Cathedral
itself in number and curious workmanship. The chief feature of the
building was the striking series of paintings on the cloister walls,
representing the Dance of Death, and beneath them a metrical description
of the allegorical design, translated from the French by John Lydgate, a
monk of Bury St. Edmunds, and the author of the curious poem, "London
Lickpenny." Within the cloister was a chapel founded by Gilbert à Becket,
the father of the famous St. Thomas. Cloister, chapel, monuments, and
paintings were all swept away by the ruthless hand of the Protector
Somerset to find materials for his palace in the Strand.

North of the cathedral was the college of the minor canons, and east of it
Canon Alley. Between the two was Walter Sherrington's Chapel, and further
east, beyond Canon Alley, was the Charnel Chapel. This old building was
also pulled down by Somerset, and the bones removed from the crypt beneath
taken, in a thousand cart-loads, to Finsbury Fields. The soil required to
cover them raised the ground sufficiently for three windmills to stand on.
The windmills are seen in Aggas' map of London, and Windmill Street,
Finsbury, now marks the site, as the name "Bunhill Fields" perpetuates the
ghastly _Bone Hill_.

At the north-east angle of the choir was the famous Paul's Cross. In
passing the east end of the church might be seen the magnificent Rose
window, one of the very finest in all England. In the clochier or
bell-tower was the bell which summoned the citizens of London to the
Folkmote held close beside it. Turning westward along the south side of
the close, the traveller passed the Chapter House, with its high-pitched
roof, the house of the Chancellor, and Paul's Chain, with its many fair
tenements, and close adjoining Paul's brewhouse and Paul's bakehouse. To
the west lay the Deanery, an ancient house, given to the church by the
famous Dean and historian, Ralph de Diceto. At the west end, also, were
the houses of the canons, vicars, and many other officials.

The interior of the cathedral was no less beautiful. The immense length of
the building from east to west, through choir and nave, was very striking.
Some remains of the foundation of the old building may still be seen on
the south side of the present cathedral.

In the pre-Reformation services no place was found for preaching; when
provision was made for the delivery of sermons, it was by the appointment
of a special preacher--in later times known as lecturer--this being no
part of the duty of the regular clergy. As early as 1281, Richard de
Swinefield, archdeacon of London, and afterwards Bishop of Hereford, was
appointed preacher of the cathedral. A few years later, Bishop Richard de
Gravesend appointed a divinity lecturer, and Ralph de Baldock endowed the
office in the second year of Edward II.

The two great centres of preaching were Paul's Cross and the Spital; the
former was used also--and, perhaps, frequently--as a platform for exerting
political influence. Here Dr. Shaw, the brother of Sir John Shaw or Shaa,
Lord Mayor, harangued the multitude in support of Richard the Third's
claims to succeed to the Crown, whilst the Duke of Buckingham, Richard's
trusted adherent, appealed on the Protector's behalf to the chief citizens
assembled at Guildhall.

The Jews had a troubled time in London, as in other parts of the country,
being exposed to constant extortion by the Sovereign and his ministers.
Their principal quarter was in the neighbourhood of the present churches
of St. Olave and St. Lawrence Jewry. The thoroughfare of the Old Jewry
appears from Mr. Joseph Jacob's investigations to have been deserted by
them prior even to their expulsion from the realm by Edward I. in the year
1291.

Besides the magnificent churches forming part of the monastic
establishments, examples of which fortunately remain to us in the churches
of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, St. Saviour's, Southwark, and the Dutch
Church, Austin Friars, the parish churches of the old city were numerous
and important. From the inventories of their possessions prepared at the
Dissolution, and preserved among the records of the Augmentation Office,
it would seem that in the number of their chantries and the richness and
extent of their vestments and service books, some of the larger parish
churches could almost vie with the Cathedral itself. Although shorn of
their magnificence by the legislation of the Reformation period, and the
cruel devastation of the Great Fire, the few buildings which escaped the
latter catastrophe bear evidence of their former grandeur. The most
interesting of them are St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, with its fine monuments;
All Hallows, Barking; St. Olave, Hart Street; and St. Giles, Cripplegate.
The large number of the city churches is accounted for by the obligation
of each parishioner not only to regularly attend the services at his own
parish church, but to ensure the attendance also of his wife and
household, apprentices and journeymen. A corresponding obligation rested
upon the parish officers to provide a pew or other accommodation for each
parishioner in his own parish church. In the smaller parishes situated in
the heart of the city this was easy enough, but in border parishes like
those of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, and St. Giles, Cripplegate, it must
always have been a difficulty to provide for the large populations which
such parishes contained.

There is one very important building of which we have scarcely as yet made
mention, for it lies outside London City, the residence of the Archbishop
of Canterbury at Lambeth. We call it now "Lambeth Palace," but the title
is of recent date--not older, indeed, than the earlier part of the
nineteenth century. Up to that date its occupants dated their letters from
"Lambeth House" or "Lambeth Manor." In old times the title Palace was only
given to a bishop's residence within his own cathedral city. The Bishop
of London's Palace was in St. Paul's Churchyard; his residence at Fulham
was his "house."

Lambeth (== Loamhythe, _i.e._, "muddy bank") had been in Saxon days a
royal manor. Edward the Confessor's sister gave it to the See of
Rochester; it came back for a short time to the Crown after the Conquest,
but was restored to the Prior and Convent of Rochester by Rufus, and was
transferred to Canterbury under the following circumstances.

There had been continual rivalry between the Cathedral Church of
Canterbury and the Monastery of St. Augustine. The latter had asserted
high rights, and had more than once claimed that of electing the Primate.
More than one Archbishop, chafing at all this, determined to have a
Chapter of secular canons of his own, and so be independent of the Monks.
But the latter so steadfastly resisted this that it was not until 1197
that Archbishop Hubert Walter carried his point by exchanging the Manor of
Darenth which he held for that of Lambeth. Darenth was nearer Rochester,
and therefore more convenient for that See. Situated, as Lambeth was,
immediately opposite the Royal Palace of Westminster, the Archbishop
became at once the stay of the Court, and also a check upon any attempt at
tyranny--a position which was strongly recognised on more than one
occasion. This was really the establishment in fact, of what had been
little more than theory before, the Primacy of the Archbishop of
Canterbury.

Of the early buildings little is known. The oldest part now existing is
the crypt, but this is not older than the early part of the thirteenth
century. The present beautiful chapel was built over it by the roystering
young Archbishop Boniface, uncle of King Henry the Third's wife, Eleanor.
He had roused the wrath of the Londoners by forcing his way into St.
Paul's Cathedral and claiming all sorts of uncanonical authority over the
clergy there, winding up by beating the Prior of St. Bartholomew's
unmercifully with his fists. In the result he built the Chapel of Lambeth
as an amend, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful examples of
Early English architecture in England. Lambeth House has undergone a vast
number of changes. The great entrance gateway was built by Cardinal Morton
(1486), the two northern towers by Cranmer, and the long corridor by
Cardinal Pole. Later than the period with which we are concerned, Juxon
built the present library, and Archbishop Howley almost rebuilt the garden
front.

The so-called Lollards' tower is a misnomer. The building bearing that
name in Lollard days was at St. Paul's, though it is probable enough that
some of them were confined at Lambeth. But the deeply interesting
inscriptions which may be read on the Lambeth walls were mostly, if not
all, cut by prisoners confined here during the Puritan wars. There is one
strangely pathetic memorial, immediately opposite the door in the picture.
It consists of a number of holes pricked in the wainscot beside a window
looking north. Minute examination reveals that some poor creature occupied
his lonely hours by pricking out a rough plan of the Great Bear and the
surrounding constellations as he saw them from the window.



CHAPTER V.

THE FORTRESS, PALACES, AND MANSIONS.

    _Abbey of St. Peter--Westminster Palace--St. Stephen's
    Chapel--Geoffrey Chaucer--Westminster Hall, its Feasts and other
    Solemnities--Baynard's Castle and the Fitz-Walters--The City's
    Banner-bearer--Whitehall--Strand Mansions of the Nobility: Essex
    House, Arundel House, the Savoy, Durham House--Crosby Place,
    Bishopsgate--The Tower of London._


The two most famous of London royal residences, the Tower of London and
the Palace of Westminster, were situated respectively at the extreme west
and east of the Middlesex bank of the River Thames, and there lay between
them, mostly at the water-side, many another stately building honoured by
royal residence.

Although there is no direct evidence, there seems every probability that
the foundation of the Abbey preceded that of the Palace of Westminster.
The earliest documentary evidence is a charter of Edgar, which details the
boundaries of the ancient Parish of St. Margaret, the great manor with
which that King endowed the Abbey. The date assigned to this document by
Kemble is 971.

From Domesday Book we learn that Westminster comprised sixteen hides and a
half, which apparently represent about eleven hundred acres, but this
estimate is unreliable on account of the difficulty of determining exactly
the modern value of a hide of land. The manor of the Abbot of Westminster
in the eleventh and twelfth centuries extended eastwards almost to the
River Fleet, and included a large part of the present Ward of Farringdon
Without.

Edward the Confessor resided at Westminster during the greater part of his
reign, and built a monastic church, on the spot where now stands
Westminster Abbey. It is quite possible that he also laid the foundations
of the royal palace of Westminster.

Of the Confessor's church, an interesting relic remains in the Pyx Chapel
and the adjoining structures against the east cloister and the south
transept. The building was cruciform, with a high central tower. The good
king lived until the date of its consecration, but was too ill to attend
the ceremony, for which he had made elaborate preparations. Queen Editha
presided in the place of her husband, who died almost immediately
afterwards, and was buried in the church.

Henry III. rebuilt the church on a grander scale, removing the older
structure from time to time during the progress of the new work. This
great undertaking was begun in 1246, when the east end, the tower, and the
transept were pulled down, to reappear in all the lightness, beauty, and
variety of the pointed style, forming a striking contrast to the massive
and simple impressiveness of the Anglo-Norman edifice. Twenty-five years
earlier, in 1221, Henry, then a mere boy, had laid the first stone of the
Lady Chapel, and was known as its founder. His devoted interest to the
Abbey Church continued throughout his reign. Funds in profusion were
provided by the king, or through his instrumentality, both for the
building itself and for the costly ornaments to be employed in its
services.

Relics were procured to be enshrined at the Abbey, and thus attract the
veneration and gifts of the faithful. Many were the donations from Henry's
own royal purse, but most valuable of all was the privilege granted by the
king in 1248, permitting the Abbot to hold a fair at Tothill, with
privileges of an extraordinary character, all other fairs being ordered to
be closed, as well as the shops of London itself, during the days of its
continuance. Altogether, by various methods, a sum of nearly £30,000 was
raised within the short period of fifteen years, and applied to the
rebuilding of the Abbey. By the close of Henry the Third's long reign the
new building had made substantial progress, and consisted of the
Confessor's Chapel, the four chapels in the choir ambulatory, a large
portion of the choir itself, the transepts, and probably the
chapter-house. The work proceeded slowly, but steadily, for rather more
than two centuries, and ended with the completion of Henry the Seventh's
Chapel, the central tower never having risen upon its foundations.

The Palace of Westminster, like its sister building, the Abbey, was
remodelled by Henry III. in accordance with the architecture of his time.
It was this monarch most probably who converted the apartment known as St.
Edward's Chamber into the better-known Painted Chamber, by embellishing it
with the masterly wall-paintings from which it took its name. In this room
was signed the warrant for the execution of Charles I. Another portion of
the ancient palace was the old House of Lords, so nearly destroyed by
Fawkes and his fellow-conspirators. The later House of Lords also formed
part of the old building, and had in the course of its history various
names. First it was known, probably, as the Hall, before Rufus had erected
the grand structure now known by that name, and in consequence of which
erection it was designated the Little Hall. In Richard the Second's time,
Little Hall had changed to Whitehall; and, again, under Henry VII., to the
Court of Requests, when it was also known, according to Stow, as "the Poor
Man's Court, because there he could have right without paying any money."

Attached to the ancient Palace of Westminster was the beautiful Chapel of
St. Stephen, built by the Norman monarch of that name, and rebuilt by
Edward I. It was destroyed by fire in 1298, and was again rebuilt during
the reigns of Edward II. and Edward III., and completed in 1363 in the
glorious beauty of the architecture of that period. All that now remains
is the crypt or lower chapel, but the building in its original state
consisted of the chapel, with vestibule, crypt, cloister, and a small
oratory with chantry above. The walls were adorned with sculptures and
highly artistic paintings, illustrating scenes from Scripture narratives.
The endowments of the collegiate establishment, as settled by Edward III.,
were of a like sumptuous character. The yearly revenues amounted at the
Dissolution to nearly £1100, which provided for the maintenance of a dean,
twelve secular canons, twelve vicars, four clerks, and six choristers,
besides minor officials.

Between the years 1389 and 1391 the office of Clerk of the Works at the
Palace of Westminster was held by Geoffrey Chaucer, who also had charge of
the works at the Tower and at the mews near Charing Cross. Rather more
than eighty years later Westminster received the new distinction of being
the home of William Caxton, the father of English printing.

Yet another building of great historic interest, happily still preserved,
is the stately and venerable Westminster Hall. Built originally by William
Rufus as a royal banqueting-hall, it has served this purpose at the
coronations of our English sovereigns down to the reign of George IV. Here
occurred one of the strangest and most picturesque events in our national
history. Henry II., with the assent of a general assembly of his subjects,
caused his son Henry to be crowned in his own lifetime. The feast in the
great hall presented a striking scene. The old king himself waited on his
son at the table as server, bringing up the boar's head with trumpets
before it in the accustomed manner. His son, however, predeceased him.

Henry III. was specially distinguished for his royal hospitality. On St.
Edward's Day (January 5th), 1241-2, he feasted, we are told, an
innumerable multitude, among whom were the citizens of London. The latter
would seem to have been somewhat unwilling guests, as they were subjected
by royal edict to a penalty of one hundred shillings if they stayed away.
On another occasion, the marriage of his brother, Richard, earl of
Cornwall, Henry ordered thirty thousand dishes to be prepared for the
banquet. A more pleasing feature of this monarch's hospitality was his
generous entertainment of the poor, who crowded the Hall and its
apartments year after year on the day of St. Edward, his patron saint. The
great size and imposing appearance of Westminster Hall naturally led to
its use for public assemblies of an extraordinary character. Here the
Parliament frequently met before the division into two houses, and the
Lords continued to assemble in it for some time after. Here Edward III.
received his august prisoner, John, King of France, whom the Black Prince
had escorted in a triumphal procession through London.

Edward's grandson and successor, Richard II., rebuilt the Hall, and
covered it with its wonderful roof. The Hall, as we have said, was the
scene of the unfortunate Richard's deposition, and the successful claim of
his rival, Henry of Lancaster, to succeed him on the throne. In later
years Westminster Hall has been the scene of a memorable series of state
trials, which occupy so large a part of its traditions.

Besides the Palace of Westminster and the fortress abode of the Tower of
London, there were within the City of London other places which were
frequently used as royal residences. One of the most celebrated of these
was Castle Baynard, which was built by Baynard, a follower of the
Conqueror. Reverting to the Crown in 1111 by forfeiture, it was granted to
Robert Fitz-Richard, son of Gilbert, Earl of Clare. In 1198 the castle
came by hereditary succession into the hands of Robert Fitz-Walter, who
took a conspicuous part in the Barons' Wars in the time of King John. At a
later time Castle Baynard was held by its lords, the Fitz-Walters, subject
to a military service due to the City of London.

The Lord of Baynard's Castle was the Chatelain and Banner-bearer of the
City, and as such a later Robert Fitz-Walter on 12th March, 1303,
acknowledged his service for his Castle Baynard before Sir Robert Blunt,
Lord Mayor of London. The City, in return, granted important rights and
privileges to their great vassal, Fitz-Walter. These comprised, as we
learn from Stow, a limited jurisdiction within his hereditary soke of
Castle Baynard, and a high military command in time of war. The old
chronicler gives a picturesque description of the formal greeting offered
to their leader by the assembled citizens. The scene forms the subject of
one of the modern tapestries decorating the saloon of the Mansion House.

"The said Robert ought to come, he being the twentieth man of arms on
horseback, unto the great west door of St. Paul, with his banner displayed
before him of his arms. And when he is come to the said door, mounted and
apparelled as before is said, the Mayor with his Aldermen and Sheriffs,
armed in their arms, shall come out of the said Church of St. Paul unto
the said door, with a banner in his hand, all on foot; which banner shall
be gules, the image of St. Paul, gold; the face, hands, feet, and sword of
silver. And as soon as the said Robert shall see the Mayor, Aldermen, and
Sheriffs come on foot out of the church, armed with such a banner, he
shall alight from his horse and salute the Mayor, and say to him, 'Sir
Mayor, I am come to do my service, which I owe the City.' And the Mayor
and Aldermen shall answer, 'We give to you, as to our Banneret of Fee in
this city, the banner of this city to bear and govern to the honour and
profit of this city, to your power.' And the said Robert, and his heirs,
shall receive the banner in his hands, and go on foot out of the gate,
with the banner in his hands; and the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs shall
follow to the door, and shall bring an horse to the said Robert, worth
twenty pounds, which horse shall be saddled with a saddle of the arms of
the said Robert, and shall be covered with sindals of the said arms. Also
they shall present to him twenty pounds sterling, and deliver it to the
chamberlain of the said Robert, for his expenses that day." The Banneret
then sets forth and desires the Mayor to cause a marshal, "one of the
city," to be chosen for the host, and the citizens to assemble and all go
under the banner of St. Paul. If they should go out of the city, then
Fitz-Walter was to choose two out of every ward, the most sage persons, to
look to the keeping of the city. Lastly, for every siege which the host of
London should lay against town or castle, the said Robert shall have one
hundred shillings and no more. Baynard's Castle passed from the hands of
the Fitz-Walters and came into the possession of the celebrated "Duke
Humphrey," on whose attainder it was seized by the Crown, and, as we have
already said, became one of the royal places of abode within the city.

Close by Baynard's Castle to the west, and at the mouth of the river
Fleet, stood the palace of Bridewell, still more famous as a royal
residence, of which we have already written.

Old Whitehall, with its Tennis Yard and Cock Pit, belongs, in its royal
splendour, to later times, although it existed, under another name, from
an early period. It was originally built by Hubert de Burgh, the great
justiciary of the reign of Henry III. From him it passed, through an
intermediate grant, into the possession of Walter de Grey, archbishop of
York, who purchased it in 1248. It then became, and long continued, the
London house of the See of York, and was known as York House. Wolsey was
its last archiepiscopal owner, and had to surrender it to his imperious
master, Henry VIII., by whom, and his royal successors, it was occupied as
a palace until its destruction by fire in 1698.

The mansions of the nobility which lined the south side of the Strand,
with their river gates and stairs, have an interest almost equal to that
of the royal mansions already mentioned. On a site extending west from
Fleet Street to the present Essex Street anciently stood a building known
as the Outer Temple, which, with the Inner and Middle Temples, formed the
abode of the Knights Templars. This mansion passed, during the reign of
Edward III., into the hands of the Bishops of Exeter, who made it their
London residence under the name of Exeter House. It afterwards became
known as Paget Place and Leicester House, from the names of two subsequent
owners--Sir William (afterwards Lord) Paget, and Queen Elizabeth's
favourite, the Earl of Leicester. The unfortunate Earl of Essex became in
turn the owner of the property, which was then known as Essex House. Here
he assembled his followers on Sunday, the 8th of February, 1600-1, and
marched at their head into the City, hoping to rouse the Londoners to the
support of his cause. He signally failed, and with difficulty escaped by
boat to Essex House. Here he was besieged by the royal forces, to whom he
surrendered with his friend, the Earl of Southampton, and paid the supreme
penalty a little more than a fortnight afterwards.

Another stately river mansion was Arundel House, at first known as Bath's
Inn, or Hampton Place, the London seat of the See of Bath and Wells. It
was next called Seymour Place, from another owner, Lord Thomas Seymour,
uncle of Edward VI. On Seymour's attainder and execution, the property
reverted to the Crown, and was sold, with other messuages for the moderate
sum of 41_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._, to the Earl of Arundel, who gave it his own
name. This nobleman was the famous collector of the Arundel marbles, and
his house was the common resort of the most famous artists of his day,
among them being Inigo Jones, Vandyck, and Wenceslaus Hollar. Here, too,
the Royal Society found a temporary home after the destruction of Gresham
College in the Great Fire. Soon after, Arundel House, said to have been
one of the finest and most commodious of London's mansions, was pulled
down, its site being now occupied by Arundel, Norfolk, Surrey, and Howard
Streets.

Further west we come again to a building of historic fame, which took a
large part in the activities of mediæval London. This was the palace of
the Savoy, built in 1245 on the spot which still bears its name, now
occupied by Wellington Street at the approach to Waterloo Bridge. Peter de
Savoy, its founder, was the brother of Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury,
and uncle to Eleanor, the queen of Henry III. On coming to England, he was
created Earl of Savoy and Richmond, and was knighted in Westminster
Abbey. The house came afterwards into the possession of the Earls of
Lancaster, by one of whom it was enlarged on a magnificent scale in 1325,
at a cost of 52,000 marks. John of Gaunt became by marriage the owner of
the Savoy, and in 1356 it was used as the prison-house of John, the
captive King of France. Here he lived for four years, and hither, on
failing to fulfil the conditions of the treaty which secured to him his
liberty, he chivalrously returned. On the 9th of April, 1364, he died in
the Savoy, and his remains were honourably conveyed to France for burial.
The great Duke of Lancaster and his Palace at the Savoy were in much
danger from a rising of the citizens of London under their
standard-bearer, Lord Fitz-Walter, in a quarrel arising out of the
citation of Wickliffe before the Bishop of London. The danger became more
real in 1381, the year of Wat Tyler's insurrection. On the 12th of June
the Kentish rebels had complete mastery in London, one body marching off
to attack Lambeth Palace, whilst another assembled at the Savoy. Here they
set fire to the building, breaking up the gold and silver plate, while, to
complete the work of destruction, some barrels of gunpowder, which the
rioters supposed to have been filled with treasure, were thrown into the
fire, blowing up the Hall and surrounding houses. For a century and a
quarter the Savoy lay waste, and when it arose from its ruins it was
endowed as a hospital by King Henry VII. Much interest attaches to the
latter fortunes of the Savoy and its famous Chapel, but the story lies
outside our present purpose.

Many noble mansions built in later times shared the beautiful Thames
frontage with the older houses, which are the proper subject of our
notice. Beyond the Savoy to the east lay Worcester, Rutland, and Cecil
Houses, and then we come to Durham House, one of the oldest and most
interesting in this street of palaces. It stood on the site afterwards
occupied in part by the Adelphi theatre, and was originally founded by
Anthony de Beck, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Bishop of Durham, in the reign
of Edward I. Bishop Hatfield is said by Stow to have rebuilt it. Here the
challengers in the famous joustings at Westminster, in 1540, entertained
at dinner not only the King and Queen, with the Court, but also the whole
House of Commons and the Mayor and Aldermen of London, with their wives.
In the following reign the Royal Mint was established in Durham House.
Here, too, the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey lived, under the roof of her
ambitious uncle, the Duke of Northumberland, and set out in great state
from its portals on her ill-fated mission to be acclaimed Queen at the
Tower.

We will now again turn our steps citywards to the great highway of
Bishopsgate, where, closely adjoining the church of St. Helen, still
stands the venerable mansion known as Crosby Place. Sir John Crosby, the
owner and reputed builder of the mansion, was an Alderman and Sheriff of
London in Edward the Fourth's reign, and served the city in Parliament in
1461; he was also Mayor of the Staple of Calais. Attaching himself to the
fortunes of Edward IV., he was knighted by the King on his approach to
London in 1471. Four years later Crosby died, and his magnificent abode
soon became a favourite royal residence. Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
whilst Protector, made this his home and the centre of his plots to secure
the Crown for himself. In the story as told by Shakespeare, the usurper
bids the Lady Anne--

    "presently repair to Crosby House;
  Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
  At Chertsey monastery this noble King,
  And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
  I will with all expedient duty see you."

There is little doubt that we owe the preservation of the Great Hall and
so much of the rest of this fine building to the notoriety which it has
gained from the allusion in the above passage. In later times the Hall was
used for the acccommodation of foreign ambassadors; many a mayoralty feast
was held within its walls, the most famous recorded one being that given
by Sir Bartholomew Read, goldsmith, in 1502, when the guests were most
numerous and "of great estate," and the provision made for their
entertainment was on a scale of unparalleled magnificence.

Far away below bridge on the right bank of the Thames lay another Royal
Palace, that of Greenwich. The Manor of Greenwich belonged to the Crown at
an early period. In 1300 Edward I. and the Prince his son made offering
"at each of the holy crosses of the Virgin Mary at Greenwich." The estate
passed for a time out of Royal hands, but Humphrey, duke of Gloucester,
enclosed a park of 200 acres, built a tower known as Greenwich Castle, and
the more famous Palace of Placentia, which on his death in 1447 reverted
to the Crown, the Palace becoming the favourite abode of the early Tudor
sovereigns.

It now remains to speak of that grand national monument which, for varied
interest, exceeds all its sister buildings in the ancient city--the Tower
of London. Stow has well described the various uses which from time to
time it has served:--"A citadel to defend or command the city; a royal
palace for assemblies or treaties; a prison of State for the most
dangerous offenders; the only place of coinage for all England; the
armoury for warlike provision; the treasury of the ornaments and jewels of
the Crown; and general conserver of the most ancient records of the King's
Courts of Justice at Westminster." The Great or White Tower was built at
the command of William the Conqueror by Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester,
about the year 1078. Much injury was done to the new work by a storm in
1092, and the fortifications were repaired and extended by William Rufus,
who, for this purpose and for the erection of Westminster Hall, cruelly
oppressed his subjects with taxes. The building of the subsidiary forts
and defences appears to have continued during the reigns of Henry I. and
most of his successors to the time of Edward I.

The custody of the Tower was committed by the Conqueror to a Constable or
Governor, whose office was at first hereditary. In or about the year 1140
it was held by Geoffrey, grandson of Geoffrey de Mandeville, who was
created Earl of Essex by King Stephen. Soon afterwards he took the side of
the Empress Maud, and being besieged by the citizens, sustained the attack
for a long time, and in a sally took the Bishop of London prisoner at
Fulham. The Tower seems to have been regarded in those days as
impregnable, and Geoffrey retained his possession of it until 1143, when
he was taken prisoner by stratagem, and compelled to surrender it. The
possession of the Tower fortress was always regarded by the English
monarchs as of the highest importance, as it enabled them to overawe the
citizens, and also furnished a safe retreat for the sovereign's own
person. Longchamp, bishop of Ely, was left by Richard Coeur de Lion as
chief guardian of the kingdom and in charge of the Tower during the King's
absence in Palestine. John, by his influence with the citizens, prevailed
on them to desert the cause of his royal brother and Longchamp, and the
latter, after handing to John the keys of the Tower, escaped, disguised as
a woman, to France. During the insurrection of Wat Tyler, the mob, through
some unaccountable negligence or treachery on the part of the guard, got
within the Tower and overran its apartments, insulting the Princess of
Wales, the mother of Richard II., and dragging forth from their refuge in
the chapel Simon, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor, and Sir Robert
Hales, treasurer, both of whom they immediately beheaded. The importance
attached to the safe keeping of the Tower appeared in a striking manner at
a much later period, when, in 1641, Charles I. roused the whole city and
both Houses almost to a frenzy by appointing and persisting in maintaining
Colonel Lunsford as Lieutenant of the Tower. The appointment was
universally regarded as dangerous and unfit, and the King was at last
compelled to recall it. It may be mentioned, as a fact not generally
known, that the Lord Mayor receives every three months a list, under the
sovereign's sign-manual, of the daily pass-word to the Tower.

As a palace, the Tower can boast of an almost continuous use by the
English sovereigns for five hundred years, ending with the accession of
Charles II. Stephen is the first King who is recorded to have held his
Court within the Tower. This was in 1140, when his affairs were not in a
prosperous state, and the security of the Tower offered him a great
temptation. John was also a frequent resident here, and on his death
Prince Lewis, the Dauphin of France, made his abode at the Tower previous
to renouncing all claim to the throne of England. Henry III., during his
minority, constantly kept his Court here, celebrating the religious
festivals with great pomp. These were held in the chapel in the White
Tower, perhaps the most perfect Norman building existing in England; a
chaplain, who received a yearly salary of fifty shillings, conducting
daily service. The three Edwards who succeeded Henry on the throne, seldom
resided in their London fortress, but its dungeons were filled with their
foreign prisoners of highest rank. Richard II. visited the Tower to
prepare for his coronation procession. On the preceding day he was
welcomed in great state and with brilliant pageantry by the Mayor,
Aldermen, and citizens, and this city reception became from this time an
established custom. Froissart gives a brilliant description of the
grand tournament held in London by Richard in 1390, when the King
entertained in the Tower a large number of distinguished foreign guests.
It witnessed a very different scene nine years later, also chronicled by
Froissart, when Richard abdicated the throne in favour of Bolingbroke. In
the following year his body was brought from Pontefract to London, and
carried on a bier from the Tower to Cheapside, where it lay for two hours,
while 20,000 people, says Froissart, came to gaze upon his face. It was
then carried to King's Langley, and interred in the church of the
Dominican Friars; but was removed by Henry V. to the tomb which Richard
had prepared for himself in Westminster Abbey. Neither Henry IV. nor Henry
V. lived much in the Tower, but Charles, duke of Orleans, and his brother
John, count of Angoulême, who were taken prisoners at Agincourt, suffered
many years' imprisonment here. Among the Harleian manuscripts is a copy of
the poems of the Duke, which contains the beautiful illumination, already
mentioned, representing the Tower and London Bridge, with the intervening
buildings, at the time of the Duke's captivity. It is reproduced in our
frontispiece.

[Illustration: THE FUNERAL OF RICHARD II.

_From a MS. of Froissart's Chronicles. British Museum, Harl. 4380._]

With the reign of Henry VI. begins the series of royal tragedies connected
with the Tower. As king and prisoner alternately, the unfortunate monarch
spent here most of his life, until after the battles of Barnet and
Tewkesbury in 1471, which finally crushed his cause, he entered the Tower
once more, where, a few weeks later, he was found dead, not without grave
suspicion of foul play on the part of the Duke of Gloucester, the brother
of his successor, Edward IV. Gloucester's brotherly regard, whether real
or assumed, ceased with the King's death, and he found no words too black
in which to paint the character of the late monarch, and so pave the way
for his own accession to the throne. No obstacle was allowed to interfere
with his ambition, and the murder of the two young princes is the saddest
and most closely associated of all the historical events which give the
walls of the old fortress an almost sacred character. From this cruel
crime the Bloody Tower takes its name.

In the records of its later years the Tower kept up its tradition of
violence and bloodshed; the little church of St. Peter ad Vincula close by
bears sad witness to the dangers besetting the path which those must tread
who seek for high estate.



CHAPTER VI.

THE PASSING OF MEDIÆVAL LONDON.

    _Changes in Human Thought in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth
    Centuries--Drawbacks to Civilisation, Worldliness and Neglect of
    Religion--Reflection of this in London Life--St. Paul's in
    Neglect--The Struggle for Better Things--Hope for the Future--The
    Great Fire._


A few words seem called for before we leave the middle age of the great
City. The world may be said to have entered on a new life in the wonderful
movements of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The downfall of the
ancient city of Constantinople, which had driven the scholars of the East
westwards, especially into Italy, led to the great revival of learning in
Western Europe. The splendid works of Architecture, and of Painting and
Poetry, all trace their origin in part to this source. The discovery of
the Mariner's Compass had led on to that of a New World in the West, and
of the passage round Africa to the East. The new learning had produced the
revolt against traditional authority in theology. All this was wonderfully
influencing English, and therefore London, life. And so we have exploits
of rich citizens over the seas. We have the establishment of places of
education, in London pre-eminently Christ's Hospital, and the good works
of Sir Thomas Gresham.

But there were unpleasing features as well. The revolt from mediævalism in
religion led to very much wanton destruction in churches and religious
houses. The destruction of beautiful works of religious art has often been
all put down to the days of Cromwell, but this is not fair. There was a
vast amount of vandalism by "hot Gospellers" in the days of Elizabeth.
Thus Laud complains that he found the beautiful stained-glass windows in
Lambeth Chapel all broken and "patched like a beggar's coat." One may just
note here that his restorations of them were broken again in his day, and
were restored by Archbishop Tait. And even more evil was wrought
apparently by neglect and worldliness; the casting off Papal authority was
too often accompanied by casting off all religious restraints.

This is all seen too clearly in the records that are left to us of St.
Paul's Cathedral. Grievous neglect befell it in the latter part of the
sixteenth century. It is doubtful whether lightning or the carelessness of
a workman set the lofty spire on fire in 1561, but it fell in and did much
damage to the roof. This was to a certain extent repaired, but the glory
seemed to have departed. Inigo Jones built a new west portico in Italian
style, as that part had become dilapidated. Charles I. was endeavouring to
restore it when the Civil Wars broke out. At the Restoration, things had,
of course, become far worse, but while new plans of restoration were being
discussed came the Great Fire, which for awhile settled matters. During
the reigns of Elizabeth and James the Cathedral was a place of exchange
and of public parade, merchants met to arrange bargains and dandies to
show themselves. "The noise," said Bishop Earle, "is like that of bees; a
strange humming or buzz mixed of walking tongues and feet; it is a kind of
still roar or loud whisper. All inventions are emptied here, and not a few
pockets. The principal inhabitants and possessors are stale knights and
captains out of service." This agrees with what Falstaff tells us; he
"bought Bardolf in Paul's." And Ben Jonson speaks of Captain Bobadil as "a
Paul's man."

As the light of history falls on all this, it becomes clear to fair judges
that whilst there was widespread ungodliness and worldliness, there were
good and earnest men belonging to the two religious parties, who were
striving after Reformation. The Puritan divines in the early times of the
Stuarts were learned and most devout. Their commentaries on the Bible are
well worth study. So are the men on the other side: Andrewes, Hooker,
Jeremy Taylor, for example. The collision came, the Puritan triumph and
failure, the godless reaction. The history of London during all this time
again exhibits beautiful examples of men who saw opposite sides of the
same good shield, and strove for the love of God to make the world better.
The hand of God was visible, as J. R. Green once put it, shaping the
course of the middle age, and we believe and are assured that there is
still a nobler future for the City which we love, under the same Fatherly
and Almighty hand.

The epitaph of the noble mediæval city which we have endeavoured to
describe is engraved on the north side of the Monument on Fish Street
Hill:--"In the year of Christ 1666, the second day of September, eastward
from hence at the distance of two hundred and two feet (the height of this
column), about midnight, a most terrible fire broke out, which, driven on
by a high wind, not only wasted the adjacent parts, but also places very
remote, with incredible noise and fury. It consumed eighty-nine churches,
the City gates, Guildhall, many public structures, hospitals, schools,
libraries, a vast number of stately edifices, thirteen thousand two
hundred dwelling-houses, four hundred streets. Of the six and twenty wards
it utterly destroyed fifteen, and left eight others shattered and
half-burnt. The ruins of the City were four hundred and thirty-six acres,
from the Tower by the Thames side to the Temple Church, and from the
north-east along the City wall to Holborn Bridge. To the estates and
fortunes of the citizens it was merciless, but to their lives very
favourable, that it might in all things resemble the last conflagration of
the world. The destruction was sudden, for in a small space of time the
City was seen most flourishing, and reduced to nothing. Three days after,
when this fatal fire had baffled all human counsels and endeavours in the
opinion of all, it stopped as it were by a command from Heaven, and was on
every side extinguished."



INDEX


  Aggas' Map of London, 20, 59

  Aldermanbury, 22

  Aldermen, 5, 23, 37, 41

  Aldersgate, 10

  Aldgate, 10

  Alfred, King, 1, 3

  Alfune, 12

  Alleyn, Edward, 43

  Anchorites, 51

  Angevins, The, 5

  Arches, Court of, 9

  Arms, City, 18

  Arundel House, 70

  Athelstan, 17

  Aubrey, 44

  Augustinians, The, 13, 53

  Ayloffe, Sir John, 41


  Bankside, 43

  Bartholomew Fair, 26, 51

  Basing Hall, 8

  Baynard's Castle, 10, 47, 68

  Beaufort, Cardinal, 42

  Beck, Anthony de, 71

  Becket, Gilbert, 59

  Becket, Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, 6, 11, 52

  Bethlehem Hospital, 16, 53

  Bishops of London--
    Mellitus, 3, 50;
    Maurice, 4, 11;
    Restitutus, 50;
    Erkenwald, 50;
    Clifford, 57

  Bishopsgate, 10, 72

  Black Death, The, 18

  Black Friars, The, _see_ Dominicans

  Blackfriars, 47

  Black Prince, The, 29, 67

  Blackwell Hall, 30, 31

  Boniface, Archbishop, 62

  Borough, The, _see_ Southwark

  Boy Bishop, The, 58

  Bread Street, 8

  Bridewell, 19, 69

  Bridge House, The, 43, 45

  Bridge Without, Ward of, 41

  Budge Row, 8

  Bull-baiting, 43

  Bunhill Fields, 16, 60

  Burbage, William, 43

  Burgh, Hubert de, 13, 69


  Cade, Jack, 18

  Carmelites, The, 13, 53

  Carpenter, John, 29, 30

  Carthusians, 13, 53

  Caxton, 19, 66

  Charles I., 74, 77

  Charter of William I., 4

  Charterhouse, The, 52

  Chaucer, 26, 55, 66

  Cheapside, 8

  Christ's Hospital, 19, 76

  Churches--
    All Hallows the Great, 20;
    All Hallows, London Wall, 51;
    All Hallows, Barking, 61;
    Austin Friars, 53, 61;
    St. Bartholomew the Great, 13, 23, 61;
    St. Bartholomew the Less, 15;
    St. Botolph, 61;
    St. Clement Danes, 7;
    St. Dunstan, Stepney, 51;
    St. George, 42;
    St. Giles, Cripplegate, 10, 61;
    St. Gregory, 7;
    St. Helen, Bishopsgate, 49, 61;
    Holy Trinity, Aldgate, 13;
    St. Katharine, 52;
    St. Lawrence, Jewry, 23, 61;
    St. Magnus, 26;
    St. Martin's-le-Grand, 11;
    St. Martin Pomeroy, 10;
    St. Mary Overy (St. Saviour's), 13, 42, 61;
    St. Mary-le-Bow, 8, 9, 23;
    St. Michael, Crooked Lane, 15, 20;
    St. Mildred, 8;
    St. Olave, Hart Street, 13, 61;
    St. Olave, Jewry, 61;
    St. Peter, Cornhill, 49;
    St. Peter ad Vincula, 75;
    St. Thomas of Acon, 38

  Cistercians, The, 11, 13, 52

  Civic rule, 22

  Cnichten Guild, 12

  Common Council, The, 19, 28, 41

  Companies, The Livery--22, 27, 31-35;
    Barber Surgeons, 32;
    Butchers, 32;
    Cappers, 32;
    Cloth Dressers, 32;
    Drapers, 31, 32;
    Dyers, 40;
    Fishmongers, 32;
    Grocers, 32, 48;
    Goldsmiths, 32;
    Haberdashers, 32;
    Hostellers, 44;
    Linen Armourers (Merchant Taylors), 33;
    Leathersellers, 14, 34;
    Mercers, 14, 33, 52;
    Musicians, 32;
    Parish Clerks, 14, 32, 35;
    Pepperers, 32;
    Pewterers, 32;
    Saddlers, 31;
    Skinners, 33;
    Vintners, 32, 40;
    Weavers, 31

  Corporation of London, 2, 41

  Courts Leet, 41

  Courtenay, Archbishop, 12

  Cripplegate, 10

  Crosby, Sir John, 72

  Crusades, The, 12

  Crutched Friars, The, 13, 53

  Crypts, Ancient, 23

  Curfew, The, 11


  Danes, The, 3, 5, 17

  Dominicans, The, 12, 53

  Donne, dean of St. Paul's, 54

  Dunstan, 51

  Durham House, 71


  East Cheap, 9

  Editha, Queen, 61

  Edward the Confessor, 6, 64

  Edward I., 27, 61, 66, 72

  Edward II., 33, 57

  Edward III., 9, 33, 34, 45, 66, 67

  Edward IV., 10, 19, 43

  Edward VI., 10, 19, 41

  Elizabeth, Queen, 19

  Epidemics--
    The Black Death, 18;
    The Sweating Sickness, 19;
    The Plague in 1603, 21

  Episcopal Residences, 15

  Essex, Earl of, 70

  Ethelbert, 50

  Ethelred, 17

  Etymology of London, 1

  Exeter, Earl of, 70


  Fairs, 26

  Finsbury Fields, 17, 19, 59

  Fire of London, The, 1, 53, 78

  Fitzailwin, Henry, 17, 45

  Fitzstephen, 11, 46, 52

  Fitz-Walter, Robert, 68, 71

  Fleet Prison, The, 24

  Fleet River, The, 19, 58

  Folkmote, The, 5, 8, 60

  Franciscans, The, 13, 53

  Friday Street, 9

  Froissart, 75


  Gates, The City, 10, 24

  Giffard, bishop of Winchester, 13, 42

  Globe Theatre, The, 43

  Gower, 47

  Greenwich, 47, 72

  Gresham College, 70

  Gresham, Sir Thomas, 76

  Grey, Lady Jane, 72

  Grey Friars, The, _see_ Franciscans.

  Grub Street, 16

  Guildhall, The, 8, 22

  Guilds, _see_ Companies

  Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, 73


  Henry I., 5, 27

  Henry II., 6, 32, 67

  Henry III., 6, 32, 65, 67, 74

  Henry IV., 18, 27, 29, 35, 75

  Henry V., 27, 29, 45

  Henry VI., 34, 75

  Henry VII., 7, 66, 71

  Henry VIII., 19, 53

  Holborn, 19

  Holy Trinity, Priory of the, 12, 13

  Hospitalers, 52

  Hospitals, 15, 19, 52

  Houndsditch, 19, 20

  Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, 69, 73


  Ingelric, 11, 51

  Inns, 43, 44

  Insignia, Civic, 28

  Isabella, Queen, 29


  James I., 43

  Jews, The, 18, 60

  John, King, 25, 73

  John of Gaunt, 71

  Jones, Inigo, 77

  Jonson, Ben, 43, 77


  King's Bench, Prison of the, 45


  Lambeth, 61-63, 76

  Lancaster, Thomas, earl of, 57

  Lindsay, Sir David, 39

  Liverymen, 33

  Lollards, 12, 63

  London Bridge, 21, 36-40

  London, Etymology of the name, 1;
    Growth of the City, 1-9

  London Stone, 7

  London Wall, 17

  Longchamp, bishop of Ely, 73

  Lucius, King, Myth of, 2, 49

  Ludgate, 10, 58

  Lydgate, John, 59


  Mandeville, Geoffrey de, 73

  Manny, Sir Walter, 52

  Marching Watch, The, 27

  Marshalsea Prison, The, 45

  Mary, Queen, 1

  Matilda, 5

  Mayor, Office of, 23, 24;
    Election of, 25, 34;
    Duties of, 25;
    Household, 27;
    Hunting Privileges, 27

  Mayors, Lord--
    Sir Henry Barton, 18;
    Richard le Breton, 22;
    Whittington, 14, 29, 30;
    Henry Wallis, 24;
    John Wells, 26;
    Andrew Aubrey, 30;
    Fitzailwin, 45;
    John Norman, 48

  Mellitus, Bishop, 3, 50

  Mercers' School, 15

  Monasticism, 11-15, 51-53

  Montfort, Simon de, 38, 42

  Moor Fields, 16

  Mowbray, John, duke of Norfolk, 36


  Newgate, 10

  Newgate Street, 7

  Normans, The, 5, 17


  Old Jewry, 61

  Orleans, Charles, duke of, 37, 75


  Pageants, 9, 26, 27, 39

  Paris Garden, 42, 43

  Paul's Chain, 4, 60

  Paul's Cross, 8, 60

  Peter of Colechurch, 17, 37, 39

  Piepowder, Court of, 26, 42

  Plantagenets, The, 18

  Prisons, 24, 25, 47

  Punishments for Trade Offences, 22, 24


  Rahere, 12, 51

  Religious Houses, 11-15, 51-53

  Religious Life, 49-63

  Richard I., 73

  Richard II., 18, 30, 33, 35, 39, 47, 55, 66, 67, 74

  Richard III., 30, 60, 72, 75

  Roman City, The, 1, 2


  St. Augustine, 50

  St. Bartholomew's Priory, 12, 13, 51

  St. Botolph, 3

  St. Helena, 49

  St. Helen's Nunnery, 14, 50

  St. John of Jerusalem, Priory of, 13, 23, 52

  St. Mary Overy, Priory of, 13, 52

  St. Olaf, 45

  St. Paul's Cathedral, 4, 7, 49, 53-60

  St. Thomas's Hospital, 19

  Savoy, The, 70

  Sebert, King, 3, 6

  Seymour, Lord Thomas, 70

  Shakespeare, 43

  Shaw, Dr., 60

  Sheriffs, The, 23, 28

  Signs, Tradesmen's, 39

  Smithfield, 18

  Somerset, The Protector, 30, 59

  Southwark, 13, 19, 40-45

  Southwark Fair, 42

  Stephen, King, 5, 73, 74

  Stow, John, 10, 22, 48, 66, 71, 73

  Strand, The, 21, 30

  Suffolk, Duke of, 42

  Swans on the Thames, 40


  Templars, The, 52

  Temple, The, 69

  Thames, The, 36, 47, 64

  Theatres, 43

  Tooley Street, 21, 45

  Tournaments, 9, 19, 39, 71, 75

  Tower of London, 5, 37, 64, 73-75

  Trades, 27, 32, 39

  Trees, City, 10

  Tyler, Wat, 18, 71, 74


  Walter, Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, 62

  Walworth, Sir William, 18

  Warren, William de, 42

  Watling Street, 7

  Welles, Sir John, 39

  Westminster, 2, 7

  Westminster Abbey, 6, 64

  Westminster Hall, 66, 67

  Westminster Palace, 65-67

  White Friars, The, _see_ Carmelites

  Whitehall, 21, 66, 69

  White Tower, The, 5, 73

  Whittington, Sir Richard, 14, 29, 30

  William I., 4, 6, 11

  William II., 45, 51, 66, 73

  Winchester House, 42

  Wolsey, Cardinal, 69

  Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 38

  Wyclif, 12, 18


  LONDON:
  STRANGEWAYS AND SONS, PRINTERS
  TOWER STREET, CAMBRIDGE CIRCUS, W.C.



[Illustration: WESTMINSTER. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde. Bodleian Library, Oxford._]


[Illustration: THE STRAND. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: LONDON BRIDGE. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: BILLINGSGATE. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: THE TOWER OF LONDON. _From the Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: THE PALACE AT GREENWICH. _From the Drawing by Antonie van
den Wyngaerde._]


[Illustration: THE PALACE OF GREENWICH, FROM THE OBSERVATORY HILL, WITH
THE SPIRE OF ST. PAUL'S IN THE DISTANCE.

_From a Drawing by Antonie van den Wyngaerde. Bodleian Library, Oxford._]


[Illustration: ROMAN BATH IN THE STRAND, DISCOVERED IN 1841. _From a
Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841.

_British Museum._]


[Illustration: BASTION OF THE CITY WALL, IN THE CHURCHYARD OF ST. GILES'S,
CRIPPLEGATE.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: THE CRYPT OF GUILDHALL. _From a Drawing by J. Wykeham
Archer_, 1842. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: CRYPT OF ST. MICHAEL'S, ALDGATE, DESTROYED IN 1870.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: CRYPT UNDER MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL, DESTROYED IN 1855.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer. British Museum._]


[Illustration: GARDEN HOUSE, CANONBURY, BUILT BY WILLIAM BOLTON, LAST
PRIOR OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S, SMITHFIELD.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: AUSTIN FRIARS. _From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1842.
_British Museum._]


[Illustration: A CELL IN THE LOLLARDS' TOWER, LAMBETH.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE LOLLARDS' TOWER, LAMBETH.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: THE GUARD ROOM, LAMBETH PALACE. _From a Drawing by J.
Wykeham Archer_, 1841. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: CRYPT OF ST. STEPHEN'S, WESTMINSTER.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1842. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: THE PALACE OF WHITEHALL. _From a Drawing by Antonie van den
Wyngaerde. Bodleian Library, Oxford._]


[Illustration: GATEWAY OF THE BLOODY TOWER. _From a Drawing by J. Wykeham
Archer_, 1847. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: MACHINERY FOR RAISING THE PORTCULLIS, TOWER OF LONDON.

_From a Drawing by J. Wykeham Archer_, 1850. _British Museum._]


[Illustration: WARDERS' LODGINGS, TOWER OF LONDON. _From a Drawing by J.
Wykeham Archer_, 1847. _British Museum._]



FOOTNOTES:

[1] One of the "properties" still remains in Ironmongers' Hall, an ostrich
on which a black boy was seated in a seventeenth-century Mayoralty
pageant. The beautiful drawings of Anthony Munday's "Chrysanaleia," a
pageant prepared for Sir John Leman's Mayoralty procession in 1616, are
preserved at Fishmongers' Hall.

[2] "_Piepoudre_, so called from the dusty feet of the suitors; or,
according to Sir Edward Coke, because justice is there done as speedily as
dust can fall from the foot."--_Blackstone's Comment._, vol. iii., chap.
2.

[3] This extract from Fitzstephen is from the translation in Thoms'
edition of Stow, 1842.





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