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Title: Chronicles of London Bridge
Author: Thompson, Richard
Language: English
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     WHO, AS



     OF THE


     ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15th, 1825;

     These Chronicles



The plan of narrative adopted in the ensuing pages, is recommended by
both the sanction and the example of very learned antiquity; since,
without referring to the numerous classical volumes, which have been
written upon the same principle, two of the most ancient and esteemed
works on English Jurisprudence have honoured it with their selection.
Of the accuracy of the historical events here recorded, the authorities
so explicitly cited are the most ample proofs; and, that they might be
the more generally interesting, whatever may have been their original
language, the whole are now given in English: so that an argument
should lose none of its effect from its too erudite obscurity, nor an
illustration any of its amusement by requiring to be translated.

The collection and arrangement of these materials have been a labour so
unexpectedly toilsome and extended, as, it is hoped, fully to excuse
every delay in the work’s appearance; and, but for the valuable aid
of those numerous friends who have so kindly assisted its progress,
it must have still been incomplete. Of these, the first and the most
fervent has been JOHN GARRATT, ESQ., who, by a singularly happy
coincidence, was at once the founder of the New London Bridge, as Lord
Mayor, and a native, and Alderman, of the Ward containing the Old one.
Of other benefactors to these sheets, the names of HENRY SMEDLEY,
WILLIAM UPCOTT, of the London Institution; and MR. WILLIAM KNIGHT, of
the New Bridge Works; will sufficiently evince the importance of their
communications; to whom, as well as to the many other friends, whose
kindnesses I am forbidden to enumerate, I thus offer my sincerest
acknowledgments. The Historians of the Metropolis have hitherto passed
over the subject of this work far too slightingly: it will be my most
ample praise to have endeavoured to supply that deficiency, by these


_June 15th, 1827._




     1. Historical Title-page, displaying a rich Gothic edifice,
     surrounded by the Effigies, Armorial Ensigns, &c. of the most
     eminent persons connected with the history of London Bridge. The
     two upper figures represent Richard, Archbishop of Canterbury,
     and Cardinal Hugo di Petraleone, who subscribed so liberally
     to its original foundation, (see page 61,) and the two lower
     ones, Kings John and Edward I., commemorative of the Bridge
     having been finished in the reign of the former, and of the
     several grants made to it by the latter. In the upper centre
     is suspended a banner, with the present Royal Arms of England,
     alluding to the foundation of the New London Bridge in the reign
     of George IV.; and beneath it, a representation in tapestry, of
     the triumphal entry of Henry V. across the ancient Bridge, in
     1415, after the victory of Agincourt, described on pages 220-229:
     at the sides of which are groups of banners, &c., commemorative
     of some of the principal persons engaged in the battle. Below,
     are the Armorial Ensigns of King Henry II., the Priory of St.
     Mary Overies, the ancient device of Southwark, and the Monograms
     of Peter of Colechurch, and Isenbert of Xainctes; the benefactors
     and Architects of the First Stone Bridge at London. Beneath these
     is a monumental effigy of Peter of Colechurch; under which appear
     the ancient and modern Arms of the City of London, see page 177;
     those of Robert Serle, Mercer, and Custos of London in 1214,
     the principal citizen to whom the finishing of the Bridge was
     entrusted, see page 73; those of Henry Walleis, Lord Mayor in
     1282, and an eminent benefactor to London Bridge, see pages 131,
     132; and in the centre, the shield of John Garratt, Esq., Alderman
     of the Ward of Bridge-Within, and Lord Mayor in 1824-25, who laid
     the First Stone of the New Edifice: see pages 635-660.--Designed
     and Drawn by W. Harvey, from ancient Historical authorities.
     Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     2. Antique Rosette Device on the Title-page, containing the
     Armorial Ensigns of England, the City of London, the Borough of
     Southwark, and the Priory of St. Mary Overies. Engraven by the
     late W. Hughes.

     3. Dedication Head-piece: An Ornamental Group, consisting of
     the Armorial Ensigns, &c. of the City of London, the Company of
     Goldsmiths, and the Right Worshipful John Garratt. Engraven by A.
     J. Mason.

     4. Page 1. Head-piece: Exterior view of the river-front of
     Fishmongers’ Hall, with the Shades’ Tavern below it. Drawn and
     Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     5. Initial Letter: View down Fish-Street-Hill, comprising the
     Monument, St. Magnus’ Church, and the Northern entrance to London
     Bridge. Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     6. Page 39. Ancient Monumental Effigy, from the Church of St.
     Mary Overies, Southwark; reported to represent John Audery, the
     Ferryman of the Thames, before the building of London Bridge.
     Copied from an Etching by Mr. J. T. Smith, Keeper of the Prints
     and Drawings in the British Museum. Drawn and Engraven by G. W.

     7. Page 57. Ancient Water-Quintain, as it was played at upon the
     River Thames, near London Bridge, in the 12th century: Copied from
     an Illuminated Manuscript in the Royal Library in the British
     Museum. Drawn by W. H. Brooke; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     8. Page 57. Ancient Boat-Tournament of the same period: copied
     from the same authority. Drawn and Engraven by the same.

     9. Page 74. Architectural Elevation of the Centre and Southwark
     end of the First Stone Bridge erected over the Thames at London,
     A. D. 1209. Drawn from Vertue’s Prints, and other authorities;
     Engraven by the late W. Hughes.

     10. Page 80. Ground-plan of London Bridge, as first built of Stone
     by Peter of Colechurch, A. D. 1209. Drawn from the measurements
     and surveys of Vertue and Hawksmoor; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     11. Page 84. Western Exterior of the Chapel of St. Thomas, on the
     centre pier of the First Stone London Bridge, A. D. 1209. Drawn
     from the same authorities, and Engraven by the late W. Hughes.

     12. Page 85. Interior View of the Upper Chapel contained in the
     above, looking Westward. Drawn from Vertue’s Prints, and Engraven
     by the late W. Hughes.

     13. Page 86. Interior View of the Crypt, or Lower Chapel,
     contained in the above, looking Eastward. Drawn from the same
     authorities by W. H. Brooke; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     14. Page 87. Southern Series of Windows in ditto. Drawn from the
     same authorities, and Engraven by the late W. Hughes.

     15. Page 302. Ancient Date of 1497, carved in stone, found on
     London Bridge in 1758, and supposed to commemorate a repair done
     in the former year. Engraven by G. W. Moore.

     16. Page 304. Eastern View of part of London Bridge, as it
     appeared in the reign of King Henry VII.; shewing the houses, &c.
     then erected upon it, and the whole depth of the Chapel of St.
     Thomas. Copied from an Illuminated Manuscript in the Royal Library
     in the British Museum; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     17. Page 308. Ancient Dates of 1509 and 1514, carved in stone, and
     found in 1758 with the former. Engraven by G. W. Moore.

     18. Page 336. Cage and Stocks on London Bridge, with the
     confinement of a Protestant Woman, in the reign of Queen Mary.
     Engraven by A. J. Mason.

     19. Page 339. Southern View of Traitors’ Gate at the Southwark
     end of London Bridge, with the heads erected on it in 1579. Drawn
     from the Venetian copy of Visscher’s View of London, and other
     authorities; Engraven by H. White.

     20. Page 343. Southern front of the old Southwark Gate and Tower,
     at the South end of London Bridge, as they appeared in 1647. Drawn
     from W. Hollar’s Long Antwerp View of London; Engraven by G. W.

     21. Page 344. Southern front and Western side of the Nonesuch
     House and Drawbridge erected on London Bridge, at the above
     period. Drawn from the same authority; Engraven by T. Mosses.

     22. Page 346. Western side of the Nonesuch House on London
     Bridge, as it appeared in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Copied
     from a Tracing of an Original Drawing on vellum, preserved in the
     Pepysian Library, in Magdalen College, Cambridge; Engraven by G.
     W. Bonner.

     23. Page 356. Ancient Corn Mills erected on the Western side
     of London Bridge, at Southwark. Drawn from the same authority;
     Engraven by H. White.

     24. Page 357. Ancient Water-Works and Water-Tower standing on the
     Western side of London Bridge, at the North end. Drawn from the
     same authority; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     25. Page 367. General View of the Western side of London Bridge,
     with all its ancient buildings, taken from the top of St. Mary
     Overies’ Church in Southwark, at the close of the Sixteenth
     Century. Drawn by W. H. Brooke; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     26. Page 384. Copy of a Brass Token, issued by John Welday,
     living on London Bridge in 1657. Drawn from the Originals in the
     Collection of the late Barry Roberts, Esq., in the British Museum;
     Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     27. Page 385. Other Tokens in Brass and Copper, issued by
     Tradesmen residing at London Bridge. Drawn from the Originals in
     the British Museum; Engraven by G. W. Moore.

     28. Page 387. Obverses of Two Medalets struck by P. Kempson, and
     P. Skidmore, of London Bridge, and Bridge-Gate. Drawn from the
     Originals, and Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     29. Page 397. Group of buildings at the Northern end of London
     Bridge, destroyed in the Fire of 1632-33. Drawn from the Venetian
     Copy of Visscher’s View of London; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     30. Page 403. Ground Plan of the Old Stone Bridge of London after
     the Fire of 1632-33, the extent of which is indicated by the
     dotted line attached to the seventh sterling from the left hand,
     or City end, where the Waterhouse was situate. Copied from an
     Original Drawing on Parchment, preserved in the Print Room of the
     British Museum; Engraven by G. W. Moore.

     31. Page 405. Northern end of London Bridge after the Fire of
     1632-33, shewing the Old Church of St. Magnus, and the temporary
     wooden passage erected on the sites of the houses, as it appeared
     in 1647. Drawn from the Long Antwerp View by Hollar; Engraven by
     G. W. Bonner.

     32. Page 407. View of the same part of London Bridge in the
     year 1665, before the Great Fire of London, shewing the last
     wooden passage and King’s Gate, afterwards burned. Copied from a
     contemporary etching by Hollar; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     33. Page 445. View of the Northern end of London Bridge, and part
     of the banks of the Thames as they appeared in ruins after the
     Great Fire of London in 1666. Copied from a contemporary view by
     W. Hollar; Engraven by H. White.

     34. Page 446. Ancient View of Fishmongers’ Hall from the river,
     before the Great Fire of London, A. D. 1666. Drawn from the Long
     Antwerp View, by W. Hollar; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     35. Page 462. View of the Northern end of London Bridge, with
     the Water Works and Tower, as they appeared in 1749. Copied from
     Buck’s View of London; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     36. Page 487. Southern side of Bridge Gate, as rebuilt in 1728.
     Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     37. Page 501. Eastern side of London Bridge before the taking down
     of the Houses in 1758. Drawn from Scott’s View, taken from St.
     Olave’s Stairs. Copied by W. H. Brooke; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     38. Page 516. Chapel of St. Thomas on London Bridge, with the
     adjoining houses, as they appeared at their taking down in 1758.
     Drawn from a contemporary Etching; Engraven by the late W. Hughes.

     39. Page 517. Southern front of the Nonesuch House on London
     Bridge, with the Draw-Bridge, as they appeared in their
     dilapidated state previously to their taking down in 1758. Drawn
     from a picture then painted by J. Scott; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     40. Page 518. Eastern View of the Southwark Gate and Tower on
     London Bridge, as they appeared previously to their taking down in
     1758. Drawn from the same authority; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     41. Page 521. Northern View of the Temporary Bridge adjoining
     London Bridge on fire during the night of April 11, 1758. Drawn by
     W. H. Brooke from an Engraving by Wale and Grignion, with other
     contemporary authorities; Engraven by H. White.

     42. Page 526. Western side of London Bridge, shewing the ruins of
     the Temporary Bridge, and the destruction occasioned by the fire
     of 1758. Drawn by W. H. Brooke, from the view by A. Walker and W.
     Herbert; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     43. Page 532. Part of the middle of London Bridge, shewing the
     wooden Centering upon which the Great Arch was turned, when the
     Chapel Pier was taken away, and the whole edifice repaired in the
     year 1759. From a Drawing by Mr. W. Knight; Engraven by G. W.

     44. Page 537. Section of the Northern Pier of the Great Arch of
     London Bridge, shewing its modern state, and the ancient method
     of constructing the Piers. From a Drawing by Mr. W. Knight, in
     August, 1821, when open for examining the foundation. Engraven by
     G. W. Bonner.

     45. Page 578. Elevation and Ground-plan of Old London Bridge,
     shewing the various forms, &c. of the Sterlings, the line of
     soundings taken along their points, a section of the bed of the
     River, and the different sizes of the several Locks; with Mr.
     Smeaton’s method of raising the ground under the great Arch, and
     the timbers laid down to strengthen it in 1793-94. Reduced from
     the large survey made by Mr. George Dance in July, 1799, and
     published with the Second Report on the Improvement of the Port of
     London. Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     46. Page 604. South-Eastern View of London Bridge, A. D. 1825.
     Drawn and Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     47. Page 612. Eastern View of the Sixth Arch of London Bridge,
     from the City end, usually called the Prince’s Lock, as it
     appeared in the great Frost of 1814; shewing the modern stone
     casing, with the original building beneath it. Copied by
     permission from a View taken on the spot and engraved by Mr. J. T.
     Smith. Drawn and Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     48. Page 628. Silver Effigy of Harpocrates, discovered in digging
     the foundations of the New London Bridge, and presented to the
     British Museum by Messrs. Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, November
     12, 1825. Drawn from the Original by W. Harvey; Engraven by J.

     48. Page 631. Architectural Elevation and Ground-plan of the
     New London Bridge, shewing its foundation-piles, and relative
     situation to the former edifice. From the original authorities.
     Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     50. Page 641. Entrance to the Coffer-Dam from London Bridge, as it
     appeared decorated for laying the First Stone of the New Bridge
     on Wednesday, June 15, 1825. Drawn on the spot; Engraven by G. W.

     51. Page 642. Western end of ditto. Drawn from the River; Engraven
     by G. W. Bonner.

     52. Page 643. General View of the Exterior of ditto. Drawn on the
     Southern side; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     53. Page 646. General View of the Interior of ditto, looking
     Southward; shewing the position of the First Stone, with the
     cavity beneath it for depositing the Coins, &c. From a Drawing
     made on the spot; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

     54. Page 651. Representation of the Silver-Gilt Trowel, presented
     to the Right Honourable John Garratt, for laying the First Stone
     of the New London Bridge. Drawn from the original; Engraven by G.
     W. Bonner.

     55. Page 662. Obverse of a Medal struck to commemorate the above
     ceremony, containing busts of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.
     Drawn by W. H. Brooke from the original Model, in the possession
     of Joseph York Hatton, Esq., executed by Peter Rouw and W. Wyon,
     Esquires, Modeller and Die-Sinker to His Majesty. Engraven by A.
     J. Mason.

     56. Page 664. Western side of the New London Bridge, looking down
     the River. Drawn by T. Letts; Engraven by G. W. Bonner.

“This is a Gentleman, every inch of him; a Virtuoso, a clean
Virtuoso:--a sad-coloured stand of claithes, and a wig like the curled
back of a mug-ewe. The very first question he speered was about
the auld Draw-Brig, that has been at the bottom of the water these
twal-score years. And how the Deevil suld he ken ony thing about the
auld Draw-Brig, unless he were a Virtuoso?”






So numerous are the alterations and modernisms in almost every street
of this huge metropolis, that I verily believe, the conservators of our
goodly city are trying the strength of a London Antiquary’s heart; and,
by their continual spoliations, endeavouring to ascertain whether it be
really made “of penetrable stuff.” For my own part, if they continue
thus improving, I must even give up the ghost; since, in a little time,
there will not be a spot left, where any feature of age will carry
back my remembrance to its ancient original. What with pullings-down,
and buildings-up; the turning of land into canals, and covering over
old water-ways with new paved streets; erecting pert plaister fronts
to some venerable old edifices, and utterly abolishing others from off
the face of the earth; London but too truly resembles the celebrated
keepsake-knife of the sailor, which, for its better preservation, had
been twice re-bladed, and was once treated with a new handle. One year
carried with it that grand fragment of our city’s wall, which so long
girdled-in Moorfields; while another bedevilled the ancient gate of St.
John’s Priory with Heraldry, which Belzebub himself could not blazon,
and left but one of the original hinges to its antique pier. Nay,
there are reports, too, that even Derby House, the fair old College of
Heralds,--where my youth was taught “the blasynge of Cote Armures,”
under two of the wisest officers that ever wore a tabard,--that even
_that_ unassuming quadrangle is to be forthwith levelled with the dust,
and thus for ever blotted from the map of London! Alas for the day!
Moorgate is not, and Aldgate is not! Aldersgate is but the shadow of
a name, and Newgate lives only as the title of a prison-house! In the
absence, then, of many an antique building which I yet remember, I have
little else to supply the vacuum in my heart, but to wander around the
ruins of those few which still exist:--to gaze on the rich transomed
bay-windows that even yet light the apartments of Sir Paul Pindar’s
now degraded dwelling; to look with regret upon the prostituted Halls
of Crosby House; or to roam over to the Bankside, and contemplate the
fast-perishing fragments of Winchester’s once proud Episcopal Palace.

It was but recently, in my return from visiting the spot last
mentioned, that I betook me to a Tavern where I was erst wont to
indulge in another old-fashioned luxury,--which has also been taken
away from me,--that of quaffing genuine wine, drawn reaming from the
butt in splendid silver jugs, in the merry old SHADES by LONDON BRIDGE.
I loved this custom, because it was one of the very few fragments of an
ancient Citizen’s conviviality, which have descended to us: a worthy
old friend and relative, many a long year since, first introduced me
to the goodly practice, and though I originally liked it merely for
_his_ sake, yet I very soon learned to admire it for its own. It was a
most lovely moonlight night, and I placed myself in one of the window
boxes, whence I could see the fastly-ebbing tide glittering with
silvery flashes; whilst the broad radiance of the planet, cast upon the
pale stone colour of the Bridge, strikingly contrasted with the gas
star-like sparks which shone from the lamps above it. “Alas!” murmured
I, “pass but another twenty years, and even thou, stately old London
Bridge!--even _thou_ shalt live only in memory, and the draughts which
are now made of thine image. In modern eyes, indeed, these may seem
of little value, but unto Antiquaries, even the rudest resemblance of
that which is not, is worth the gold of Ind; and Oh! that we possessed
some fair limning of thine early forms; or Oh! for some faithful old
Chronicler, who knew thee in all thine ancient pride and splendour, to
tell us the interesting story of thy foundation, thine adventures, and
thy fate!”

It was at this part of my reverie, that the Waiter at the Shades
touched my elbow to inform me, that a stout old gentleman, who called
himself MR. BARNABY POSTERN, had sent his compliments, and desired
the pleasure of my society in the drinking of a hot sack-posset. “My
services and thanks,” said I, “wait upon the ancient, I shall be
proud of his company: but for sack-posset, where, in the name of Dame
Woolley, that all-accomplished cook, hath he learned how to----? but he

My visitor, as he entered, did not appear any thing very remarkable;
he looked simply a shrewd, hale, short old gentleman, of stiff formal
manners, wrapped in a dark-coloured cloak, and bearing in his hand a
covered tankard, which he set upon the table betwixt us; after which,
making a very low bow, he took his seat opposite to me, and at once
opened the conversation.

“Your fame,” said he, “MR. GEOFFREY BARBICAN, as a London Antiquary,
is not unknown to me; and I have sometimes pleased myself with the
thought, that you must be even a distant relation of my own, since
tradition says, that the _Barbicans_ and the _Posterns_ originally
received their names from having been gate-keepers in various parts of
this fair city: but of that I will not positively speak. Howbeit, I am
right glad of this fellowship, because I have some communications and
reflections which I would fain make to you, touching the earlier days
of that Bridge, under which the tide is now so rapidly running.”

“My dear Mr. Postern,” said I, in rapture, “nothing could delight me
more than an Antiquary’s stories of that famous edifice; but moralising
I abominate, since I can do that for myself, even to admiration;
so, my good friend Mr. Barnaby, as much description, and as many
rich old sketches, as you please, but no reflections, my kinsman, no

“Well,” returned my visitor, “I will do my best to entertain you; but
you very well know, that we old fellows, who have seen generations
rise and decay, are apt to make prosing remarks:--However, we’ll
start fairly, and taste of my tankard before we set out: trust me,
it’s filled with that same beverage, which Sir John Falstaff used to
drink o’nights in East Cheap; for the recipé for brewing it was found,
written in a very ancient hand upon a piece of vellum, when the Boar’s
Head was pulled down many a long year ago. Drink, then, worthy Mr.
Barbican; drink, good Sir;--you’ll find it excellent beverage, and I’ll
pledge you in kind.”

Upon this invitation, I drank of my visitor’s tankard; and believe me,
reader, I never yet tasted any thing half so delicious; for it fully
equalled the eulogium which Shakspeare’s jovial knight pronounces upon
it in the Second part of “_King Henry the Fourth_,” Act iv. sc. iii.;
where the merry Cavalier of Eastcheap tells us, that “a good Sherris
sack hath a two-fold operation in it: it ascends me into the brain,
dries me there all the foolish, and dull, and crudy vapours which
environ it: makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble,
fiery, and delectable shapes; which, delivered o’er to the voice, (the
tongue,) which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property
of your excellent Sherris is,--the warming of the blood; which, before
cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge
of pusillanimity and cowardice: but the Sherris warms it, and makes
it course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illumineth the
face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little
kingdom, man, to arm; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty
spirits, muster me all to their Captain, the heart; who, great, and
puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour
comes of Sherris: so that skill in the weapon is nothing, without Sack:
for that sets it a-work: and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a
devil, till Sack commences it, and sets it in act and use.--If I had
a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them, should
be,--to forswear thin potations, and addict themselves to Sack!”

Truly, indeed, I felt all those effects in myself; whilst my visitor
appeared to be so inspired by it, that, as if all the valuable lore
relating to London Bridge had been locked up until this moment, he
opened to me such a treasure of information concerning it, that, I
verily believe, he left nothing connected with the subject untouched.
He quoted books and authors with a facility, to which I have known no
parallel; and, what is quite as extraordinary, the same magical philtre
enabled me as faithfully to retain them. Indeed, the posset and his
discourse seemed to enliven all my faculties in such a manner, that the
very scenes of which my companion spake, appeared to rise before my
eyes as he described them. When Mr. Postern had pledged me, therefore,
by drinking my health, in a very formal manner, he thus commenced his

“You very well know, my good Mr. Barbican, that Gulielmus Stephanides,
or, as the vulgar call him, William Fitz-Stephen, who was the friend
and secretary of Thomas à Becket, a native of London, and who died
about 1191, in his invaluable tract ‘_Descriptio Nobilissimæ Civitatis
Londoniæ_,’ folio 26, tells us that to the North of London, there
existed, in his days, the large remains of that immense forest which
once covered the very banks of this brave river. ‘_Proxime patet ingens
foresta_,’ &c. begins the passage; and pray observe that I quote from
the best edition with a commentary by that excellent Antiquary Dr.
Samuel Pegge, published in London, in the year 1772, in quarto. Ever,
Mr. Barbican, while you live, ever quote from the _editio optima_
of every author whom you cite; for, next to a knowledge of books
themselves, is an acquaintance with the best editions. But to return,
Sir; in those woody groves of yew, which the old citizens wisely
encouraged for the making of their bows, were then hunted the stag,
the buck, and the doe; and the great Northern road, which now echoes
the tuneful Kent bugle of mail-coach-guards, was then an extensive
wilderness, resounding with the shrill horns of the Saxon Chiefs,
as they waked up the deer from his lair of vert and brushwood. The
very paths, too, that now behold the herds of oxen and swine driven
town-ward to support London’s hungry thousands, then echoed with the
bellowing of savage bulls, and the harsh grunting of many a stout wild
boar. But, as you have observed, _I_ am to describe scenes, and _you_
are to moralise upon their changes, so we’ll hasten down again to the
water-side, only observing, that the site of the ancient British London
is yet certainly marked out to you, by the old rhyming stone in Pannier
Alley, by St. Paul’s, which saith:--


“Now, Julius Cæsar tells you in his Commentaries ‘_De Bello Gallico_,’
_lib._ v. _cap._ xxi. that ‘a British town was nothing more than a
thick wood, fortified with a ditch and rampart, to serve as a place of
retreat against the incursions of their enemies.’ Here, then, stood
our good old city, upon the best ’vantage ground of the Forest of
Middlesex; the small hive-shaped dwellings of the Britons, formed of
bark, or boughs, or reeds from the rushy sides of these broad waters,
being interspersed between the trees; whilst their little mountain
metropolis, the ‘_locum reperit egregiè naturâ, atque opere munitum_,’
a place which appeared extremely strong, both by art and nature,--as
the same matchless classic called those primitive defences,--was
guarded on the North by a dark wood, that might have daunted even
the Roman Cohorts; and to the South, where there was no wilderness,
morasses, covered with fat weeds, and divided by such streams as
the Wall-brook, the Shareburn, the Fleta, and others of less note,
stretched downward to the Thames. As Cæsar and his Legions marched
straight from the coast, worthy old Bagford was certainly in the right,
when, in a letter to his brother-antiquary Hearne, he said, that the
Roman invader came along the rich marshy ground now supporting Kent
Street,--in truth very unlike the road of a splendid conqueror,--and,
entering the Thames as the tide was just turning, his army made a wide
angle, and was driven on shore by the current close to yonder Cement
Wharf, at Dowgate Dock. This you find prefixed to Tom Hearne’s edition
of Leland’s ‘_Collectanea de Rebus Britannicis_,’ London, 1774, 8vo.,
volume i. pp. lviii. lix.: and many an honest man, since ‘the hook-nosed
fellow of Rome,’ before a bridge carried him over the waters dry-shod,
has tried the same route, in preference to going up to the Mill-ford,
in the Strand, or York-ford which lay still higher. In good time,
however, the Romans, to commemorate their own successful landing there,
built a _Trajectus_, or Ferry, to convey passengers to their famous
military road which led to Dover. But history is not wholly without the
mention of a Bridge over the Thames near London, even still earlier
than this period; for, when Dion Cassius is recording the invasion of
Britain by the Emperor Claudius I., A. D. 44, he says,--‘The Britons
having betaken themselves to the River Thames, where it discharges
itself into the Sea, easily passed over it, being perfectly acquainted
with its depths and shallows: while the Romans, pursuing them, were
thereby brought into great danger. The Gauls, however, again setting
sail, and _some of them having passed over by the Bridge, higher up the
River_, they set upon the Britons on all sides with great slaughter;
until, rashly pursuing those that escaped, many of them perished in
the bogs and marshes.’ This passage, which it must be owned, however,
is not very satisfactory, is to be found in the best edition of the
‘_Historiæ Romanæ_,’ by Fabricius and Reimar, Hamburgh, 1750-52, folio,
volume ii. page 958; in the 60th Book and 20th Section. The Greek
text begins, ‘Ἀναχωρησάντων δ’ ἐντεῦθεν τῶν Βρεττανῶν ἐπὶ τὸν Ταμέσαν
ποταμὸν,’ [Greek: Anachôrêsantôn d’ enteuthen tôn Brettanôn epi ton
Tamesan potamon] &c.; and the Latin--‘_Inde se Britanni ad fluvium
Tamesin_.’ I have only to remind you that Dion Cassius flourished about
A. D. 230. Before we finally quit Roman London, however, I must make
one more historical remark. The inscription on the monument which I
quoted from Pannier Alley, is dated August the 27th, 1688; and if even
at _that period_,--through all the mutations of the soil, and more than
sixteen centuries after the Roman Invasion,--the ground still retained
its original altitude, it yet further proves on how admirable a site
our ancient London was originally erected:--well worthy, indeed, to be
the metropolis of the world. This also is remarked by honest Bagford,
in his work already cited, where, at page lxxii., he says,--‘For many
of our ancient kings and nobility took delight in the situation of the
old Roman buildings, which were always very fine and pleasant, the
Romans being very circumspect in regard to their settlements, having
always an eye to some river, spring, wood, &c. for the convenience
of life, particularly an wholesome air. And this no doubt occasioned
the old Monks, Knights Templars, and, after them, the Knights of St.
John of Jerusalem, as also the Friars, to settle in most of the Roman
buildings, as well private as public, which thing, if duly considered,
will be found to be a main reason why we have so few remains of them.’

“As I have always considered that the Romans had no more to do
with Britain, than Joe the waiter here would have in a Conclave of
Cardinals, I will not trouble you with any sketch of the dress or
manners of the ferryman and his customers, during their government.
Indeed, as a native of London, I always lament over it as the time of
our captivity; and so I shall hasten on to the tenth century, when our
Runic Ancestors from Gothland were settled in Britain;--when courage
was the chiefest virtue, and the rudest hospitality----”

“Have pity upon me, my excellent Mr. Postern,” interrupted I, “for I
am naturally impatient at reflections; if you love me, then, give me
scenery without meditations, and history without a moral.”

“Truly, Sir,” said he, “I was oblivious, for I’d got upon a favourite
topic of mine, the worth of our Saxon fore-fathers; but we’ll cut them
off short by another draught of the sack-posset, and take up again
with the establishment of a ferry by one Master Audery, in the year
nine hundred and ninety----Ah! see now, my memory has left me for the
precise year, but nevertheless, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, my service to
you.” When he had passed me the tankard, after what I considered a very
reasonable draught, Mr. Postern thus continued.

“I hold it right, my friend, to mix these convivialia with our
antiquarian discussions, because I know that they are not only ancient,
but in a manner peculiar to this part of the water-side; for we find
Stephanides, _Stephanus ab Stephano_, as I may jocularly call him, whom
I before quoted, saying at folio 32, ‘_Præterea est in Londonia super
ripam fluminis_,’ &c. but we’ll give the quotation in plain English.
‘And moreover, on the banks of the river, besides the wine sold in
ships’--that is to say, foreign wines of Anjou, Auxere, and Gascoigne,
though even then we had some Saxon and Rhenish wines well worth the
drinking,--‘besides the wines sold in ships and vaults, there is a
public eating-house, or cook’s shop. Here, according to the season,
you may find victuals of all kinds, roasted, baked, fried, or boiled.
Fish, large and small, with coarse viands for the poorer sort, and more
delicate ones for the rich, such as venison, fowls, and small birds. In
case a friend should arrive at a Citizen’s house, much wearied with his
journey, and chuses not to wait, an-hungered as he is, for the buying
and cooking of meat,

     The water’s served, the bread’s in baskets brought,

     _Virg. Æn._ i. 705.

and recourse is immediately had to the bank above-mentioned, where
every thing desirable is instantly procured. No number so great, of
knights or strangers, can either enter the city at any hour of day or
night, or leave it, but all may be supplied with provisions, so that
those have no occasion to fast too long, nor these to depart the city
without their dinner. To this place, if they be so disposed, they
resort, and there they regale themselves, every man according to his
abilities. Those who have a mind to indulge, need not to hanker after
sturgeon, nor a guinea-fowl, nor a gelinote de bois,’--which some
call red-game, and others a godwit--‘for there are delicacies enough
to gratify their palates. It is a public eating-house, and is both
highly convenient and useful to the city, and is a clear proof of its

“Thus speaks Fitz-Stephen of the time of Henry II. between the years
1170 and 1182; and if you look but two centuries later, you shall find
that John Holland, Duke of Exeter, held his Inn here at Cold Harbour,
and gave to his half-brother, King Richard the Second, a sumptuous
dinner, in 1397. Then too, when this spot became the property of the
merry Henry Plantagenet, Prince of Wales, by the gift of Henry the
Fourth, the same King filled his cellars with ‘twenty casks and one
pipe of red wine of Gascoigne, free of duty.’ This you have on the
authority of John Stow, on the one part, in his ‘_Survey of London_,’
the best edition by John Strype, &c. London, 1754, folio, volume i.
page 523; and of Master Thomas Pennant, on the other, in his ‘_Account
of London_,’ 2nd edition, London, 1791, 4to, page 330.”

“Aye, Master Postern,” said I, “and that same Cold Harbour is not the
less dear to me, forasmuch as Stow noteth, in the very place which you
have just now cited, that Richard the Third gave the Messuage, and
all its appurtenances, to John Wrythe, Garter Principal King of Arms,
and the rest of the Royal Heralds and Pursuivants, in 1485.”--“True,
Mr. Geoffrey, true,” answered my visitor; “and you may remember that
here also, in these very Shades, did King Charles the merry, regale
incognito; and here, too, came Addison and his galaxy of wits to finish
a social evening. Then, but a little above to the North, was the famous
market of East Cheap; of which our own Stow speaks in his book before
cited, page 503, quoting the very rare ballad of ‘_London Lickpenny_,’
composed by Dan John Lydgate, of which a copy in the old chronicler’s
own hand writing, is yet extant in the Harleian Manuscripts, No. 542,
article 17, folio 102, of which stanza 12 says,--

    ‘Then I hied me into Estchepe;
    One cried ribes of befe, and many a pie,
    Pewtar potts they clatteryd on a heape,
    Ther was harpe, pipe, and sawtry,
    Ye by cokke, nay by cokke, some began to cry,
    Some sange of Jenken and Julian, to get themselves mede;
    Full fayne I wold hade of that mynstralsie
    But for lacke of money I cowld not spede!’

“Lydgate, you know, died in the year 1440, at the age of sixty. In the
present day, indeed, we have only the indications of this festivity
in the names of the ways leading down to, or not far from, the
river; as, Pudding Lane, Fish Street Hill, the Vine-tree, or Vintry,

“Hold! hold! my dear Mr. Barnaby,” interrupted I, “what on earth
has all this long muster-roll of gluttony to do with London Bridge?
You are, as it were, endeavouring to prove, that yonder is the moon
lighting the waters; for certes, it is a self-evident truth, that the
citizens of London have from time immemorial been mighty trencher-men;
nay, if I remember me rightly, your own favourite Stephanides says,
‘The only plagues of London are, immoderate drinking of idle fellows,
and often fires:’ so _that_ we’ll take for granted, and get on to the

“You are in the right,” answered Mr. Postern; “the passage begins
‘_Solæ pestes Londoniæ_,’ &c. at folio 42, and truly I wished but to
shew you how proper a place these Shades are to be convivial in; but
now we will but just touch upon the Saxon Ferry and Wooden Bridge, and
then come at once to the first stone one, founded by the excellent
Peter of Colechurch, in the year 1176. I would you could but have seen
the curious boat in which, for many years, Audery the Ship-wight, as
the Saxons called him, rowed his fare over those restless waters.
It was in form very much like a crescent laid upon its back, only
the sharp horns turned over into a kind of scroll; and when it was
launched, if the passengers did not trim the barque truly, there was
some little danger of its tilting over, for it was only the very centre
of the keel that touched the water. But our shipman had also another
wherry, for extra passengers, and that had the appearance of a blanket
gathered up at each end, whilst those within looked as if they were
about to be tossed in it. His oars were in the shape of shovels, or
an ace of spades stuck on the end of a yard measure; though one of
them rather seemed as if he were rowing with an arrow, having the barb
broken off, and the flight held downwards. It is nearly certain, that
at this period there was no barrier across the Thames; for you may
remember how the ‘_Saxon Chronicle_,’ sub anno 993, tells you that
the Dane Olaf, Anlaf, or Unlaf, ‘_mid thrym et hundnigentigon scipum
to Stane_,’--which is to say, that ‘he sailed with three hundred and
ninety ships to Staines, which he plundered without, and thence went to

“Before I leave speaking of this King Olaf, however, I wish you to
observe the paction which he made with the English King Ethelred, for
we shall find him hereafter closely connected with the history of
London Bridge. The same authority, and under the same year and page,
tells you that, after gaining the battle of Maldon, and the death of
Alderman Britnoth, peace was made with Anlaf, ‘and the King received
him at Episcopal hands, by the advice of Siric, Bishop of Canterbury,
and Elfeah of Winchester.’ On page 171, in the year 994, you also
find this peace more solemnly confirmed in the following passage.
‘Then sent the King after King Anlaf, Bishop Elfeah, and Alderman
Ethelwerd, and hostages being left with the ships, they led Anlaf with
great pomp to the King, at Andover. And King Ethelred received him at
Episcopal hands, and honoured him with royal presents. In return Anlaf
promised, as he also performed, that he never again would come in a
hostile manner to England.’ I quote, as usual, from the best edition of
this invaluable record by Professor Ingram, London, 1823, 4to. It is
generally believed, however, that the year following Anlaf’s invasion,
namely 994, there was built a low Wooden Bridge, which crossed the
Thames at St. Botolph’s Wharf yonder, where the French passage vessels
are now lying; and a rude thing enough it was, I’ll warrant; built
of thick rough-hewn timber planks, placed upon piles, with moveable
platforms to allow the Saxon vessels to pass through it Westward. A
Bridge of any kind is not so small a concern but what one might suppose
you could avoid running against it, and yet William of Malmesbury, the
Benedictine Monk, who lived in the reign of King Stephen, and died in
1142, says, that, in 994, King Sweyn of Denmark, the Invader, ran foul
of it with his Fleet. This you find mentioned in his book, ‘_De Gestis
Regum Anglorum_,’ the best edition, London, 1596, folio:--though, by
the way, the preferable one is called the Frankfurt reprint of 1601,
as it contains all the errata of the London text, and adds a good many
more of its own; for I am much of the mind of Bishop Nicolson, and
Sir Henry Spelman, who observe that the Germans committed abundance
of faults with the English words. In this record, which is contained
in Sir Henry Savile’s ‘_Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores Post Bedam_,’ of
the foregoing date and size, at folio 38^b, is the passage beginning
‘_Mox ad Australes regiones_,’ _&c._ of which this is the purport.

“‘Some time after, the Southern parts, with the inhabitants of
Oxford and Winchester, were brought to honour his’--that is to say
King Sweyn’s--‘laws: the Citizens of London alone, with their lawful
King’--Ethelred the Second--‘betook themselves within the walls, having
securely closed the gates. Against their ferocious assailants, the
Danes, they were supported by their virtue, and the hope of glory. The
Citizens rushed forward even to death for their liberty; for none could
think himself secure of the future if the King were deserted, in whose
life he committed his own: so that although the conflict was valiant on
both sides, yet the Citizens had the victory from the justness of their
cause; every one endeavouring to shew, throughout this great work,
how sweet he estimated those pains which he bore for him. The enemy
was partly overthrown; and part was destroyed in the River Thames,
over which, in their precipitation and fury, they never looked for the

“I know very well that the truth of this circumstance is much
questioned by Master Maitland, at page 43 of his ‘_History of London_,’
continued by the Rev. John Entick, London, 1772, folio, volume i.;
wherein he denies that any historian mentions a Bridge at London, in
the incursion of Anlaf or Sweyn; and asserts that the loss of the
army of the latter was occasioned ‘by his attempting to pass the
River, without enquiring after Ford, or Bridge.’ He affirms too, that
Stow mistakes the account given by William of Malmesbury; and that
the Monk himself distorts his original authority in saying that the
invaders had not a regard to the Bridge. Now, if, as the margin of
Maitland’s History states, the Saxon Chronicle were _that_ authority,
the Library-keeper of Malmesbury had no greater right to speak as
Maitland does, than he had for using those words which I have already
translated,--‘part were destroyed in the River Thames, over which, in
their precipitation and fury, they never looked for the Bridge:’ for
the words of the Saxon Chronicle, at page 170, are, in reality,--‘And
they closely besieged the City and would fain have set it on fire,
but they sustained more harm and evil than they ever supposed that
the Citizens could inflict on them. The Holy Mother of God’--for the
Invasion took place on her Nativity, September the 8th,--‘on that day
considered the Citizens, and ridded them of their enemies.’ Here then
is no word of a Bridge, nor, indeed, does any Historian record the
event as William of Malmesbury does. _Lambarde_--whom I shall quote
anon,--when he relates it, cites the ‘_Chronicle of Peterborough_,’ and
the ‘_Annals of Margan_,’ but neither of them have the word Bridge upon
their pages. He, most probably, took this circumstance from Marianus
Scotus, a Monk of Mentz, in Germany, who wrote an extensive History of
England and Europe ending in 1083, but, of this, only the German part
has been printed, although it was amazingly popular in manuscript.

“We have, however, an earlier description of London Bridge in a
state of warlike splendour, than is commonly imagined, or at least
referred to, by most Antiquaries; and that too from a source of
no inconsiderable authority: for the learned old Icelander Snorro
Sturlesonius, who wrote in the 13th century, and who was assassinated
in 1241, on page 90 of that rather rare work by the Rev. James
Johnstone, entitled ‘_Antiquitates Celto-Scandicæ_,’ Copenhagen, 1786,
quarto, gives the following very interesting particulars of the Battle
of Southwark, which took place in the year 1008, in the unhappy reign
of Ethelred II., surnamed the Unready.

“‘They’--that is the Danish forces--‘first came to shore at London,
where their ships were to remain, and the City was taken by the Danes.
Upon the other side of the River, is situate a great market called
Southwark,’--Sudurvirke in the original--‘which the Danes fortified
with many defences; framing, for instance, a high and broad ditch,
having a pile or rampart within it, formed of wood, stone, and turf,
with a large garrison placed there to strengthen it. This, the King
Ethelred,’--his name, you know, is Adalradr in the original,--‘attacked
and forcibly fought against; but by the resistance of the Danes it
proved but a vain endeavour. There was, at that time, a Bridge erected
over the River between the City and Southwark, so wide, that if two
carriages met they could pass each other. At the sides of the Bridge,
at those parts which looked upon the River, were erected Ramparts
and Castles that were defended on the top by penthouse-bulwarks and
sheltered turrets, covering to the breast those who were fighting in
them: the Bridge itself was also sustained by piles which were fixed
in the bed of the River. An attack therefore being made, the forces
occupying the Bridge fully defended it. King Ethelred being thereby
enraged, yet anxiously desirous of finding out some means by which he
might gain the Bridge, at once assembled the Chiefs of the army to a
conference on the best method of destroying it. Upon this, King Olaf
engaged,’--for you will remember he was an ally of Ethelred,--‘that
if the Chiefs of the army would support him with their forces, he
would make an attack upon it with his ships. It being ordained then in
council, that the army should be marched against the Bridge, each one
made himself ready for a simultaneous movement both of the ships and of
the land forces.’

“I must here entreat your patience, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, to follow
the old Norwegian through the consequent battle; for although he gives
us no more scenery of London Bridge, yet he furnishes us with a minute
account of its destruction, and of a conflict upon it, concerning
which all our own historians are, in general, remarkably silent. I say
too, with Falstaff, ‘play out the play;’ for I have yet much to say
on the behalf of that King Olaf, who, we shall find, is the patron
protector of yonder Church at the South-East corner of London Bridge,
since he died a Saint and a Martyr. Snorro Sturleson then, having
cleared the way for the forcing of London Bridge on the behalf of
King Ethelred, thus begins his account of the action, entitling it,
in the Scandinavian tongue, Orrosta, or the fight. ‘King Olaf, having
determined on the construction of an immense scaffold, to be formed of
wooden poles and osier twigs, set about pulling down the old houses in
the neighbourhood for the use of the materials. With these _Vinea_,
therefore,’--as such defences were anciently termed--‘he so enveloped
his ships, that the scaffolds extended beyond their sides; and they
were so well supported, as to afford not only a sufficient space for
engaging sword in hand, but also a base firm enough for the play of his
engines, in case they should be pressed upon from above. The Fleet, as
well as the forces, being now ready, they rowed towards the Bridge, the
tide being adverse; but no sooner had they reached it, than they were
violently assailed from above with a shower of missiles and stones,
of such immensity that their helmets and shields were shattered, and
the ships themselves very seriously injured. Many of them, therefore,
retired. But Olaf the King and his Norsemen having rowed their ships
close up to the Bridge, made them fast to the piles with ropes and
cables, with which they strained them, and the tide seconding their
united efforts, the piles gradually gave way, and were withdrawn from
under the Bridge. At this time, there was an immense pressure of stones
and other weapons, so that the piles being removed, the whole Bridge
brake down, and involved in it’s fall the ruin of many. Numbers,
however, were left to seek refuge by flight: some into the City, others
into Southwark. And now it was determined to attack Southwark: but the
Citizens seeing their River Thames occupied by the enemy’s navies, so
as to cut off all intercourse that way with their interior provinces,
were seized with fear, and having surrendered the City, received
Ethelred as King. In remembrance of this expedition thus sang Ottar

“And now, Sir, as this is, without any doubt, the first song which was
ever made about London Bridge, I shall give you the Norse Bard’s verses
in Macpherson’s Ossianic measure, as that into which they most readily
translate themselves; premising that the ensuing are of immeasurably
greater authenticity.

     ‘And thou hast overthrown their Bridges, Oh thou Storm of the
     Sons of Odin! skilful and foremost in the Battle! For thee was it
     happily reserved to possess the land of London’s winding City.
     Many were the shields which were grasped sword in hand to the
     mighty increase of the conflict; but by thee were the iron-banded
     coats of mail broken and destroyed.’

And ‘besides this,’ continues Snorro, ‘he also sang:’

     ‘Thou, thou hast come, Defender of the Earth, and hast restored
     into his Kingdom the exiled Ethelred. By thine aid is he
     advantaged, and made strong by thy valour and prowess: Bitterest
     was that Battle in which thou didst engage. Now, in the presence
     of thy kindred the adjacent lands are at rest, where Edmund, the
     relation of the country and the people, formerly governed.’

‘Besides this, these things are thus remembered by Sigvatus.’

     ‘That was truly the sixth fight which the mighty King fought with
     the men of England: wherein King Olaf,--the Chief himself a Son
     of Odin, valiantly attacked the Bridge at London. Bravely did the
     swords of the Völscs defend it, but through the trench which the
     Sea-Kings, the men of Vikes-land, guarded, they were enabled to
     come, and the plain of Southwark was full of his tents.’

“Such were the martial feats of King Olafus, upon the water; and now
let us turn to his more pious and peaceful actions upon the land,
that caused the men of Southwark to found to his honour yonder fane,
which still bears his name and consecrates his memory. And in so
doing, I pray you to observe that I am not wandering from the subject
before us; for that Church is one of the Southern boundaries of London
Bridge, and, as such, possesses some interest in its history. The
other, on the same side, is the Monastery of St. Mary Overies, of the
which I shall hereafter discourse; whilst the two Northern ones are
St. Magnus’ Church, and that abode of festivity which rises above us,
Fishmongers’ Hall, of which the story will be best noticed when we
shall have arrived at the time of the Great Fire. There are within
the City walls and Diocese of London, three Churches dedicated to
the Norwegian King and Martyr, St. Olaf; and in consequence, Richard
Newcourt, in his ‘_Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense_,’
which I shall hereafter notice, volume i. page 509, takes occasion to
speak somewhat of his history; collected, most probably, from Adam
of Bremen’s ‘_Historia Ecclesiarum Hamburgensis et Bremensis_.’ He
was the Son of Herald Grenscius, Prince of Westfold, in Norway, and
was celebrated for having expelled the Swedes from that country,
and recovering Gothland. It was after these exploits that he came
to England, and remained here as an ally of King Ethelred for three
years, expelling the Danes from the Cities, Towns, and Fortresses, and
ultimately returning home with great spoil. He was recalled to England
by Emma of Normandy, the surviving Queen of his friend, to assist her
against Knute; but as he found a paction concluded between that King
and the English, he soon withdrew, and was then created King of Norway
by the voice of the nation. To strengthen his throne, he married the
daughter of the King of Swedeland; but now his strict adherence to
the Christian faith, and his active zeal for the spread of it, caused
him to be molested by domestic wars, as well as by the Danes abroad:
though these he regarded not, since he piously and valiantly professed,
that he had rather lose his life and Kingdom than his faith in Christ.
Upon this, the men of Norway complained to Knute, King of Denmark,
and afterwards of England, charging Olaf with altering their laws and
customs, and entreating his assistance; but the Norwegian hero was
supported by a young soldier named Amandus, King of Swethland, who had
been bred up under Olaf, and taught to fight by him. He, at first,
overthrew the Dane in an engagement; but Knute, having bribed the
adverse fleet, procured three hundred of his ships to revolt, and then
attacking Olaf, forced him to retreat into his own country, where his
subjects received him as an enemy. He fled from the disloyal Pagans to
Jerislaus, King of Russia, who was his brother-in-law, and remained
with him till the better part of his subjects, in the commotions of
the Kingdom, calling him to resume his crown, he went at the head of
an army; when, whilst one party hailed his return with joy, the other,
urged by Knute, opposed him by force, and in a disloyal battle at
Stichstadt, to the North of Drontheim, says Newcourt, page 510, with
considerable pathos, they ‘murthered this holy friend of Christ, this
most innocent King, in Anno 1028,’ but he should have said 1030. His
feast is commemorated on the fourth of the Kalends of August, that is
to say on the 29th of July; for Grimkele, Bishop of Drontheim, his
capital City, a pious priest whom he had brought from England to assist
him in establishing Christianity in Norway, commanded that he should be
honoured as a Saint, with the title of Martyr. His body was buried in
Drontheim, and was not only found undecayed in 1098, but even in 1541,
when the Lutherans plundered his shrine of its gold and jewels; for it
was esteemed the greatest treasure in the North. Such was St. Olave,
to whose memory no less than four Churches in London are dedicated;
for, says Newcourt, he ‘had well deserved, and was well beloved of our
English Nation, as well for his friendship for assisting them against
the Danes, as for his holy and Christian life, by the erection of many
Churches which to his honourable memory they built and dedicated to
him.’ I notice only one of these, because it is contiguous to London
Bridge, which is called St. Olave, Southwark. It stands, as you very
well know, on the Northern side of Tooley Street; and although many
people would think St. Tooley to be somewhat of a questionable patron
for a Church, yet I would remind you that it was only the more usual
ancient English name of King Olave, as we are told on good authority,
by the Rev. Alban Butler in his ‘_Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and
other principal Saints_,’ London, 1812, 8vo. volume vii. where also,
on pages 378-380, you have many further particulars of the life of
this heroic Prince. You may also meet with him under a variety of
other names, as Anlaf, Unlaf, Olaf Haraldson, Olaus, and Olaf Helge,
or Olave the Holy. Of his Church in Southwark I will tell you nothing
as to its foundation, but remark only that its antiquity is proved by
William Thorn’s ‘_Chronicle of the Acts of the Abbots of St. Austin’s
Canterbury_;’ which is printed in Roger Twysden’s ‘_Historiæ Anglicanæ
Scriptores Decem_;’ London, 1652, folio. Thorn, you may remember, was a
Monk of St. Augustine’s, in 1380; and on column 1932 of the volume now
referred to, he gives the copy of a grant from John, Earl of Warren,
to Nicholas, the Abbot of St. Augustine’s, giving to his Monastery all
the estate which it held in ‘Southwark standing upon the River Thames,
between the Breggehouse and the Church of Saint Olave.’ By this we know
it to be ancient, for that grant was made in the year 1281. And now I
will say no more of St. Olave, but that a very full and interesting
memoir of him, and his miracles, is to be found in that gigantic work
entitled the ‘_Acta Sanctorum_,’ Antwerp, 1643-1786, 50 volumes, folio,
and yet incomplete, for the year descends to October only:--see the
seventh volume of July, pages 87-120.

“And now let me chaunt you his Requiem, by giving you, from the same
authority, a free translation of the concluding stanza of that Latin
Hymn to his memory, which Johannes Bosch tells us was inserted in the
Swedish Missal, and sung on his festival; it is in the same measure as
the original.

    ‘Martyr’d King! in triumph shining,
    Guardian Saint, whom bliss is ’shrining;
    To thy spirit’s sons inclining
    From a sinful world’s confining
      By thy might, Oh set them free!
    Carnal bonds are round them ’twining,
    Fiendish arts are undermining,
    All with deadly plagues are pining,
    But thy power and prayers combining,
      Safely shall we rise to thee!--AMEN.’

“One of the last notices of London Bridge which occurs in the days of
King Ethelred, and I place it here because it is without date, is in
his Laws, as they are given in the ‘_Chronicon_’ of John Brompton,
Abbot of Jorvaulx, in the City of York, who lived about the year 1328.
His work was printed in Twysden’s Scriptores, which I last quoted; and
at column 897, in the xxiii. Chapter of the Statutes there given, is
the following passage.

“‘_Concerning the Tolls given at Bylyngesgate._

‘If a small ship come up to Bilynggesgate, it shall give one halfpenny
of toll: if a greater one which hath sails, one penny: if a small ship,
or the hulk of a ship come thereto, and shall lie there, it shall give
four pence for the toll. For ships which are filled with wood, one log
of wood shall be given as toll. In a week of bread’--perhaps a festival
time, ‘toll shall be paid for three days; the Lord’s day, Tuesday, and
Thursday. Whoever shall come to the Bridge, in a boat in which there
are fish, he himself being a dealer, shall pay one halfpenny for toll;
and if it be a larger vessel, one penny.’

“Concerning Brompton’s translation of these laws, Bishop Nicolson, in
his ‘_English, Scotch, and Irish Historical Libraries_,’ London, 1736,
folio, page 65, says that they are pretty honestly done, and given at
large: but they may be seen with several variations and additions very
fairly written in the collections of Sir Simonds D’Ewes, preserved with
the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, No. 596. John Brompton,
however, at column 891 of his Chronicle, tells us one circumstance more
concerning London Bridge before the Invasion of Knute; for he says,
under the year 1013, ‘After this, many people were overthrown in the
Thames, at London, not caring to go by the Bridge;’ that is to say,
because it had been broken in the two recent battles as I have already
told you, and there were also erected several fortifications about the

“Perhaps it was the error of Sweyn in getting his Fleet foul of London
Bridge, which made Knute the Dane, his Son, go so laboriously to work
with the Thames, upon his Invasion in 1016; and I shall give you this
very wonderful story in the words of the Saxon Chronicle, page 197.
‘Then came the ships to Greenwich, and, within a short interval, to
London; where they sank a deep ditch on the South side, and dragged
their ships to the West side of the Bridge. Afterwards they trenched
the City without, so that no man could go in or out, and often fought
against it; but the Citizens bravely withstood them.’ There are some
who doubt this story, but honest William Maitland, who loved to get
to the bottom of every thing, as he went sounding about the river for
Cæsar’s Ford, also set himself to discover proofs of Knute’s Trench:
and you may remember that he tells us, in his work which I have already
cited, volume i. page 35, that this artificial water-course began at
the great wet-dock below Rotherhithe, and passing through the Kent
Road, continued in a crescent form to Vauxhall, and fell again into the
Thames at the lower end of Chelsea Reach. The proofs of this hypothesis
were great quantities of fascines of hazels, willows, and brushwood,
pointing northward, and fastened down by rows of stakes, which were
found at the digging of Rotherhithe Dock in 1694; as well as numbers of
large oaken planks and piles, also found in other parts.

“Florence of Worcester, who, you will recollect, wrote in 1101, and
died in 1119, in his ‘_Chronicon ex Chronicis_,’ best edition, London,
1592, small 4to. page 413; and the famous old Saxon Chronicle, page
237; also both mention the easy passage of the rapacious Earl Godwin,
as he passed Southwark in the year 1052. The tale is much the same in
each, but perhaps the latter is the best authority, and it runs thus.
‘And Godwin stationed himself continually before London, with his
Fleet, until he came to Southwark; where he abode some time, until the
flood came up. When he had arranged his whole expedition, then came the
flood, and they soon weighed anchor and steered through the Bridge by
the South side.’ This relation is also supported by Roger Hoveden, in
his Annals, Part I. in ‘_Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores post Bedam_,’ by
Sir H. Savile, folio 253^b, line 41.

“And now, worthy Mr. Barbican, before we enter upon the conjectures
and disputes relating to the real age and founders of the first
Wooden Bridge over the Thames at London, let me give you a toast,
closely connected with it, in this last living relique of old Sir John
Falstaff. You must know, my good Sir, that when the Church-Wardens
and vestry of St. Mary Overies, on the Bankside yonder, meet for
conviviality, one of their earliest potations is to the memory of their
Church’s Saint and the patroness who feeds them, under the familiar
name of ‘_Old Moll!_’ and therefore, as we are now about to speak of
them and their pious foundation most particularly, you will, I doubt
not, pledge me heartily to the Immortal Memory of Old Moll!”

“I very much question,” returned I, “if either the good foundress of
the Church, or she to whom it was dedicated,--if Mary the Saint, or
Mary the Sinner,--were ever addressed by so unceremonious an epithet in
their lives; but, however, as it’s a parochial custom, and your wish,
here’s Prosperity to St. Saviour’s Church, and the Immortal Memory of
Old Moll!” Mr. Postern having made a low bow of acknowledgment for my
compliance, thus continued.

“I have made it evident then, and, indeed, it is agreed to on all
sides, that there _was_ a Wooden Bridge over the Thames, at London,
at least as early as the year 1052; and Maitland, at page 44 of his
History, is inclined to believe that it was erected between the years
993 and 1016, at the public cost, to prevent the Danish incursions
up the River. John Stow, however, in volume i., page 57, of his
‘_Survey_,’ attributes the building of the first Wooden Bridge over
the Thames, at London, to the pious Brothers of St. Mary’s Monastery,
on the Bankside. He gives you this account on the authority of Master
Bartholomew Fowle, _alias_ Fowler, _alias_ Linsted, the last Prior of
St. Mary Overies; who, surrendering his Convent on the 14th of October,
1540,--in the 30th year of Henry VIII.,--had a pension assigned him of
£100 per Annum, which it is well known, that he enjoyed until 1553.
This honest gentleman you find spoken of in John Stevens’s ‘_Supplement
to Sir William Dugdale’s Monasticon Anglicanum_,’ London, 1723, folio,
volume ii., page 98; and from him old Stow states, that, ‘a Ferry being
kept in the place where now the Bridge is built, the Ferryman and his
wife deceasing, left the said Ferry to their only daughter, a maiden
named Mary; which, with the goods left her by her parents, as also
with the profits rising of the said Ferry, built a house of Sisters in
the place where now standeth the East part of St. Mary Overies Church,
above the choir, where she was buried. Unto the which house she gave
the oversight and profits of the Ferry. But afterwards, the said house
of Sisters being converted into a College of Priests, the Priests built
the Bridge of Timber, as all the other great Bridges of this land
were, and, from time to time, kept the same in good reparations. Till
at length, considering the great charges of repairing the same, there
was, by aid of the Citizens of London, and others, a Bridge built with
arches of stone, as shall be shewed.’

“The first who attacks this story is William Lambarde, the Perambulator
of Kent, in his ‘_Dictionarium Angliæ Topographicum et Historicum_,’
London, 1730, quarto, page 176; wherein he scruples not to call Prior
Fowler ‘an obscure man,’ whom he charges with telling this narrative,
‘without date of time, or warrant of writing,’ and then sums up his
remarks in these words. ‘As for the first buildinge, I leave it to
eche man’s libertye what to beleve of it; but as for the name Auderie,
I think Mr. Fowler mistoke it, for I finde bothe in the Recordes of
the Queene’s Courtes and otherwise, it signifieth over the water, as
Southrey, on the South side of the water: the ignorance whereof, might
easily dryve Fowler--a man belyke unlearned in the Saxon tongue,--to
some other invention.’

“Maitland and Entick, at page 44 of their History, are not much more
believing than Lambarde, the Lawyer; for they assert that the Convent
of Bermondsey, founded by Alwin Child, a Citizen of London, in the year
1082, was the first religious house on the South side of the River,
within the Bills of Mortality. The second, say they, speaking after
Sir William Dugdale in his ‘_Monasticon Anglicanum_,’ London, 1661,
folio, pages 84, 940, was the Priory of St. Mary Overies, founded by
William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, in the reign of King Henry I.
Now Bishop Tanner, in his ‘_Notitia Monastica_,’ best edition by James
Nasmith, Cambridge, 1787, folio, XX. Surrey,--for you know the book is
unpaged and arranged alphabetically under Counties, of which Pennant
heavily complains,--is inclined to think that Stow was in the right,
although he had not discovered any thing either in print or manuscript
to support his narrative. He is also willing to believe, that Bishop
Giffard did not do more for St. Mary Overies, than rebuild the body of
the Church: and, certainly, that he did not, in 1106, place Regular
Canons there, since he refers to Matthew of Westminster to prove that
they were then but newly come into England, and placed in that Church;
whilst Bishop Giffard was himself in exile until the year 1107. The
‘_Domesday Book_,’ also, the most veritable and invaluable record of
our land, thus hints at a Religious House in Southwark; which, as that
Survey was made about the year 1083, was, of course, long anterior to
the times of which I spake last. You will find the passage in Nichols’
edition of the register, London, 1783, folio, volume i. _Sudrie_, folio
32 a, column 1; and the words are as follow. ‘The same Bishop,’--that
is to say, Odo, Bishop of Baieux,--‘has in Southwark one Monastery, and
one Harbour. King Edward held it on the day he died.’--January the 5th,
1066--‘Whoever had the Church, held it of the King. From the profits
of the Harbour, where ships were moored, the King had two parts.’
‘Now,’ concludes the worthy Dr. Tanner, ‘if _Monasterium_ here denote
any thing more than an ordinary Church, it may be thought to mean this
Religious House, there being no pretence for any other in this Borough
to claim to be as old as the Confessor’s time, or, indeed, as the
making of the Domesday Book, A. D. 1083.’ _Vide_ Sign. U u 2; _Notes_
r, and s.

“Maitland, however, cannot be brought to believe in the foundation of
a Wooden Bridge by the Brethren of St. Mary; and on page 44 of his
work, already cited, he thus gives the reasons for his non-conformity.
‘As the Ferry,’ he commences, ‘is said to have been the chief support
of the Priory, ’twould have been ridiculous in the Prior and Canons,
to have sacrificed their principal dependence, to enrich themselves
by a wild chimera of increasing their revenues in the execution of a
project, which, probably, would have cost six times the sum of the
intrinsic value of their whole estate; and, when effected, would,
in all likelihood, not have brought in so great an annual sum as
the profits arising by the Ferry, seeing it may be presumed that
foot-passengers would have been exempt from Pontage.’ He next proceeds
to quote a deed of King Henry I., which I shall produce in its proper
order of time, exempting certain Abbey lands from being charged with
the work of London Bridge: which he considers as a sufficient proof
that the Priests of St. Mary did not preserve the erection in repair,
and therefore, says he, ‘as the latter part of this traditionary
account is a manifest falsehood, the former _is very likely_ to be
of the same stamp.’ He then sums up all by these bold words. ‘As it
appears that some religious foundations only were exempt from the
work of this Bridge, and they, too, by charter, _I think ’tis not to
be doubted_, but all civil bodies and incorporations were liable to
contribute to the repairs thereof. And, consequently, that Linsted
and his followers exceed the truth, by ascribing all the praise of so
public a benefaction to a small House of Religious; who, with greater
probability, only consented to the building of this Bridge, upon
sufficient considerations and allowances, to be made to them for the
loss of their Ferry, by which they had been always supported.’ Such
are the objections against the attributing the building of the First
Wooden Bridge to the Monks of Southwark; but we may remark, by the
way, that Stow was a laborious and inquisitive Antiquary, who saw and
inquired, as well as read for himself, and, in all probability, had
both seen and conversed with Prior Fowle; whilst Maitland and Entick
were often contented to write in their libraries from the works of
others, and speak of places with which they were but very slightly
acquainted. We may add too, that, as the Priests of St. Mary were
Regular Canons of St. Austin, by their rule they were not permitted
to be wealthy, but were to sell the whole of their property, give
to the poor, have all things in common, and never be unemployed. I
know very well, that in opposition to Stow’s account of Mary Audery’s
foundation, you may bring forward that assertion made in Stevens’s
‘_Supplement to Dugdale_,’ which I have already cited, volume ii. page
97; wherein she is called ‘a noble woman,’ and, consequently, could
not be the Ferryman’s daughter. But of this let me observe, that the
authority of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ given in the margin, is mis-quoted; for
although it is certain that the action itself was sufficiently noble,
yet the old Citizen never calls her other than ‘a Maiden named Mary.’
You may see the place to which Stevens refers, in Strype’s edition of
the ‘_Survey_,’ volume ii. page 10; and let me remark now, before I
quit the history of St. Mary Overies, as connected with that of London
Bridge, that there is yet extant there, a monumental effigy conveying
the strongest lesson of man’s mortality; it being the resemblance of
a body in that state, when corruption is beginning its great triumph.
Prating Vergers and Sextons commonly tell you, that the persons whom
these figures represent, endeavoured to fast the whole of Lent, in
imitation of the great Christian pattern, and that dying in the act,
they were reduced to such a cadaverous appearance at their decease.
There has, however, been a new legend invented for this sculpture,
as it is commonly reported to be that of AUDERY, THE FERRYMAN,


father of the foundress of St. Mary Overies. It was formerly placed on
the ground, under the North window of the Bishop’s Court, which, before
the present repairs, stood at the North East corner of the Chapel of
the Virgin Mary. Where it will be removed to hereafter, time only can
unfold, for, as yet, even the Churchwardens themselves know not.

“In speaking of this person’s tomb, I must not, however, omit to
notice, that there is a singularly curious, although, probably,
fabulous tract of 30 pages, of his life, the title of which I shall
give you at length. ‘_The True History of the Life and sudden Death of
old John Overs, the rich Ferry-Man of London, shewing, how he lost his
life, by his own covetousness. And of his daughter Mary, who caused the
Church of St. Mary Overs in Southwark to be built; and of the building
of London Bridge._’ There are two editions of this book, the first of
which was published in 12mo., in 1637, and a reprint of it in 8vo.,
which, though it be shorn of the wood-cuts that decorated the _Editio
Princeps_, is, perhaps, the most interesting to us, inasmuch as it
bears this curious imprint.--‘_London: Printed for T. Harris at the
Looking-Glass, on London Bridge: and sold by C. Corbet at Addison’s
Head, in Fleet-street, 1744. Price six pence_.’ You may see this work
in Sir W. Musgrave’s Biographical Tracts in the British Museum; its
first nine pages are occupied with a definition and exhortation against
covetousness, in the best Puritanic style of the seventeenth century;
and then, on page 10, the history opens thus:--‘Before there was any
Bridge at all built over the Thames, there was only a Ferry, to which
divers boats belonged, to transport all passengers betwixt Southwark
and Churchyard Alley, that being the high-road way betwixt Middlesex,
and Sussex, and London. This Ferry was rented of the City, by one John
Overs, which he enjoyed for many years together, to his great profit;
for it is to be imagined, that no small benefit could arise from the
ferrying over footmen, horsemen, all manner of cattle, all market folks
that came with provisions to the City, strangers and others.’

“Overs, however, though he kept several servants, and apprentices, was
of so covetous a soul, that notwithstanding he possessed an estate
equal to that of the best Alderman in London, acquired by unceasing
labour, frugality, and usury, yet his habit and dwelling were both
strongly expressive of the most miserable poverty. He had, as we have
already seen, an only daughter, ‘of a beautiful aspect,’ says the
tract, ‘and a pious disposition; whom he had care to see well and
liberally educated, though at the cheapest rate; and yet so, that
when she grew ripe and mature for marriage, he would suffer no man
of what condition or quality soever, by his good will, to have any
sight of her, much less access unto her.’ A young gallant, however,
who seems to have thought more of being the Waterman’s heir than his
son-in-law, took the opportunity, whilst he was engaged at the Ferry,
to be admitted into her company; ‘the first interview,’ says the story,
‘pleased well; the second better; but the third concluded the match
between them.--In all this interim, the poor silly rich old Ferryman,
not dreaming of any such passages, but thinking all things to be as
secure by land as he knew they were by water,’ continued his former
wretched and penurious course of life. From the disgusting instances
which are given of this caitiff’s avarice, he would seem to have
been the very prototype and model of Elwes and Dancer; and, as the
title-page of the book sets forth, even his death was the effect of
his covetousness. To save the expense of one day’s food in his family,
he formed a scheme to feign himself dead for twenty-four hours; in
the vain expectation that his servants would, out of propriety, fast
until after his funeral. Having procured his daughter to consent to
this plan, even against her better nature, he was put into a sheet,
and stretched out in his chamber, having one taper burning at his
head, and another at his feet, according to the custom of the time.
When, however, his servants were informed of his decease, instead of
lamenting, they were overjoyed; and, having danced round the body, they
brake open his larder, and fell to banqueting. The Ferryman bore all
this as long, and as much like a dead man, as he was able; ‘but, when
he could endure it no longer,’ says the tract, ‘stirring and struggling
in his sheet, like a ghost, with a candle in each hand, he purposed to
rise up, and rate ‘em for their sauciness and boldness; when one of
them thinking that the Devil was about to rise in his likeness, being
in a great amaze, catched hold of the butt-end of a broken oar, which
was in the chamber, and, being a sturdy knave, thinking to kill the
Devil at the first blow, actually struck out his brains.’ It is added,
that the servant was acquitted, and the Ferryman made accessary and
cause of his own death. The estate of Overs then fell to his daughter,
and her lover hearing of it, hastened up from the country; but, in
riding post, his horse stumbled, and he brake his neck on the highway.
The young heiress was almost distracted at these events, and was
recalled to her faculties only by having to provide for her father’s
interment; for he was not permitted to have Christian burial, being
considered as an excommunicated man, on account of his extortions,
usury, and truly miserable life. The Friars of Bermondsey Abbey were,
however, prevailed upon, by money, their Abbot being then away, to
give a little earth to the remains of the wretched Ferryman. But upon
the Abbot’s return, observing a grave which had been but recently
covered in, and learning who lay there, he was not only angry with
his Monks for having done such an injury to the Church, for the sake
of gain, but he also had the body taken up again, laid on the back of
his own Ass, and, turning the animal out at the Abbey gates, desired
of God that he might carry him to some place where he best deserved
to be buried. The Ass proceeded with a gentle and solemn pace through
Kent Street, and along the highway, to the small pond once called St.
Thomas a Waterings, then the common place of execution, and shook
off the Ferryman’s body directly under the gibbet, where it was put
into the ground, without any kind of ceremony. Mary Overs, extremely
distressed by such a succession of sorrows, and desirous to be free
from the importunity of the numerous suitors for her hand and fortune,
resolved to retire into a cloister; which she shortly afterwards did,
having first provided for the foundation of that Church which still
commemorates her name.

“Such is the story related by this tract; and, if it were possible,
one might suppose, that the pious maiden, out of her filial love,
had placed that effigy in her fane, which I before mentioned to be
sculptured in memory of her father; since it would, by no means,
improperly represent the cadaverous features of the old Waterman. The
figure, itself, is of the third form of the classes of Sepulchral
Monuments, invented by Maurice Johnson, Esq.,--namely, tables with
effigies or sculptures,--and the last of the arrangement adopted by
Smart Lethullier, Esq., that is to say,--the representation of a
skeleton in a shroud, lying either under, or on, a table tomb. Richard
Gough, you know, in his ‘_Sepulchral Monuments_,’ London, 1786-96,
folio, volume i., part 1, Introduction, page cxi. where you will
find all these particulars, attributes most of these figures to the
fifteenth century, and Audery certainly died very long before the
time of William I. However this may be, as I am laying before you all
the illustrations of Bridge history, both authentic and traditional,
which are now to be found, I must not omit to add, that the supposed
effigy of Audery is six feet eight inches in length; and represents
his decayed body lying in its winding-sheet. His hair is turned up in
a roll above his head, though in the ‘_History of Southwark_,’ by M.
Concannen, Junior, and A. Morgan, Deptford, 1795, octavo, page 101,
_Note_, he is erroneously stated to have ‘a shorn crown,’ and is,
therefore, supposed to represent Linsted, the last Prior of St. Mary’s.

“Captain Francis Grose has inserted this figure, not very respectably
engraven, in his ‘_Antiquities of England and Wales_,’ London, 1773-87,
royal quarto, six volumes, in the Addenda attached to volume iv.,
plate iii.; and he observes, on page 36, that ‘it is a skeleton-like
figure, of which the usual story is told, that the person thereby
represented attempted to fast forty days, in imitation of Christ,’ as
he remarks on the preceding page, but died in the attempt, having first
reduced himself to that appearance. The best engraving of this effigy
was published in ‘_Mr. J. T. Smith’s Antiquities of London, and its
Environs_,’ London, 1791, quarto.

“Be this figure, however, who it may, the Waterman or the Priest, his
tomb has outlived both his name and his dust. Whether he only carried
passengers over the River Thames, or was occupied in teaching them how
to cross that last fatal River,--which John Bunyan quaintly tells you
hath _no_ Bridge,--‘after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well,’--

“Aye, and so shall I soon,” cried I, stretching myself, and
interrupting Mr. Postern; “let him rest in peace, my good Sir, and come
out of Church now; for, truly, it’s high time to close your Sermon, and
let us hear somewhat about a River which _hath_ a Bridge, that was once
the wonder of the world.”

“I thank you,” replied my narrator, “I thank you, Mr. Geoffrey
Barbican, for recalling me to the subject of our conversation; for this
is the very point at which I would proceed with my history. You know,
Sir,” continued he, in a much brisker tone, “I have already observed to
you, that the First Wooden Bridge was erected much farther to the East
than yonder stone bulwark; for when King William I. granted a Charter
to the foundation of St. Peter’s Abbey, at West-Minster, in the second
year of his reign, A. D. 1067, he confirmed to the Monks serving God in
that place, a Gate in London, then called Butolph’s Gate, with a Wharf
which stood at the head of London Bridge. This has ever been received
as a well-established fact; for Stow relates it in his ‘_Survey_,’
volume i., pages 22 and 58; and Mr. John Dart, in his ‘_History
and Antiquities of the Abbey Church of St. Peter, Westminster_,’
London, 1723, folio, volume i., page 20, supports it, in his List of
Benefactors to the Abbey, in the time of King Edward the Confessor.

“The record is also given at length, by Stow, in English; but you may
see it in the original Latin, in a curious Manuscript in the Cotton
Library, marked _Faustina_, A. iii., which is entitled, ‘_A Registry
of the Regal and Pontifical Charters, Privileges, Agreements, and
Covenants, of the Bishops and Abbots of the Church of the blessed
Peter of Westminster; many whereof are Saxon ones, written in the
Norman-Saxon characters._’ This volume is a little stout quarto,
written in a small fair Church text, on parchment; adorned with many
vermillion initial letters, and rubrics, or heads of chapters. The
Charter to which I have now referred you, chapter xliv., is the last
but one in the reign of King William I., folio 63, b, of the modern
pagination; and, put into English, is as follows:--

“‘Concerning the lands of Almodus, of St. Butolph’s Gate, and of the
Wharf at the head of London Bridge.

“‘William, King of England, to the Sheriffs and all Ministers, as,
also, to his faithful subjects of London, French and English, greeting:
Know ye, that I have granted unto God and to St. Peter of Westminster,
and to the Abbot Vitalis, the House which Almodus, of the Gate of St.
Botolph, gave to them when he was made a Monk; that is to say, his
Lord’s Court, with his Houses, and one Wharf which is at the head of
London Bridge, and others of his lands in the same City, like as King
Edward more fully and beneficially granted them: and I will and command
that they shall enjoy the same well, and quietly, and honourably,
with sake and soke, and shall hold all the customs and laws of the
aforesaid. And I defend them that none shall do them any injury.
Witness, Walkeline, Bishop of Winchester, and William, Bishop of
Durham, and R., Earl of Mell., and Hugh, Earl of Warwick.’

“And now let me remark that, by this we are informed that the City end
of the Bridge was not anciently the foot of it, which is asserted by
the evidence of Richard Newcourt, in his ‘_Ecclesiastical History of
the Diocess of London_,’ London, 1708-10, folio, volume i., page 396,
where he says, that ‘St. Magnus’ Church is sometimes called, in Latin,
the Church of St. Magnus the Martyr, in the City of London, near the
foot, or at the foot, of London Bridge.’

“This First Wooden Bridge, however, was not fated to stand long; for,
on the sixteenth of November, the feast of St. Edmund the Archbishop,
in the year 1091, ‘at the hour of six, a dreadful whirlwind from the
South-East, coming from Africa, blew upon the City, and overthrew
upwards of six hundred houses, several Churches, greatly damaged the
Tower, and tore away the roof and part of the wall of the Church of
St. Mary le Bow, in Cheapside. The roof was carried to a considerable
distance, and fell with such force, that several of the rafters, being
about twenty-eight feet in length, pierced upwards of twenty feet into
the ground, and remained in the same position as when they stood in the

“The best accounts of this terrible event are to be found in the
‘_Chronicle_’ of Florence of Worcester, page 457, which was literally
copied into the ‘_Annales_’ of Roger de Hoveden, Chaplain to King Henry
II., printed in the ‘_Scriptores post Bedam_,’ already cited, page
462;--in William of Malmesbury, page 125;--and in the ‘_Chronicle_’ of
John of Brompton, which I have also before quoted, page 987.

“During the same storm, too, the water in the Thames rushed along with
such rapidity, and increased so violently, that _London Bridge was
entirely swept away_; whilst the lands on each side were overflowed
for a considerable distance. I cannot help observing how slightly,
and erroneously, the ‘_Annals of Waverley_’ notice this most dreadful
devastation; for at page 137, of the best edition by Dr. Thomas Gale,
volume ii. of his ‘_Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores_ xv.’ Oxford, 1691,
folio, they merely state that ‘a vehement wind struck down London
the 6th of the kalends of November,’--that is to say, on the 27th of
October,--‘at the hour of six!’ I doubt not but the truth was, that the
good Monks of Waverley Abbey in Surrey felt nothing of this _ventus
vehemens_ themselves, and therefore gave a much more trivial record of
it, than if it had shaken but a single bell in the turrets of their own
_Cenobium_. The ‘_Annals of Waverley_,’ you know, were, down to about
1120, almost a translation from the ‘_Saxon Chronicle_,’ executed in
the twelfth century. The following year, 1092, the sixth of the reign
of William Rufus, was marked by a season fatal to bridges in general;
although there is no mention that our’s at London participated in the
destruction. This fact is related by William of Malmesbury, page 125,
and by Roger de Hoveden, page 464, in these words:--‘Also, in his
sixth year, there was such an excessive rain, and such high floods,
the rivers overflowing the low grounds that lay near them, as the like
was remembered by none. And afterward, in the winter, ensued a sudden
frost; whereby the great streams were congealed in such a manner that
they could draw two hundred horsemen and carriages over them; whilst at
their thawing, many bridges, both of wood and stone, were borne down,
and divers water mills were broken up and carried away!’

“Frequent destructions by fire seem, also, to have been a very general
fate of all our ancient buildings; for, in 1093, the wooden houses and
straw roofs of the London Citizens were again in flames, and a great
part of the City was thus destroyed.

“Too soon after this calamity, at a most inauspicious time for
commencing, or executing, expensive public works, in 1097, King William
Rufus imposed a heavy tax upon his subjects for the re-building of
London Bridge,--though _that_ might very well be defended,--the
erecting of the palace of West-Minster Hall, and the construction
of a wall round the Tower. The ‘_Saxon Chronicle_’ speaks of these
ill-advised undertakings in the blended tones of sorrow and of anger.
‘This was, in all things,’ says that faithful old history, at pages
316, 317, ‘a very heavy-timed year, and beyond measure laborious from
the badness of the weather, both when men attempted to till the land,
and, afterwards, to gather the fruits of their tilth; and from unjust
contributions they never rested. Many counties also, that were confined
to London by work, were grievously oppressed, on account of the wall
that was building about the Tower, and _the Bridge that was nearly all
afloat_, and the King’s Hall that they were building at West-Minster;
and many men perished thereby.’

“Our brave old River of Thames itself, however, is of the same
changeful nature as Luna, the mistress of his tides; for, if at one
time, he overflows his banks, blows up his Bridge, or drowns an
invading army, by the fury of his waves; at another season he contracts
his waters into their narrowest channel, or draws them back into his
urn, without leaving enough to float a wherry over his bed. Of this
I shall give you several instances, as we get lower down the stream
of time; and now only remark, in chronological order, that on the 6th
of the Ides of October, _videlicet_ the 10th, in the 15th Year of the
reign of Henry I. 1114, the River was so dried up, and there was such
want of water, that between the Tower of London and the Bridge, and
even under it, ‘a great number of men, women, and children,’--says
Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 58,--‘did wade over both on
horse and foot,’ the water coming up to their knees.

“The original account of this is to be found in the ‘_Annales_’
of Roger de Hoveden, page 473; from whom we derive the additional
information, that this defect of water commenced in the middle of the
night preceding, and lasted until the darkest part of the next. The
same historian, also, records, on the same page, that in the year 1115,
the winter was so severe, that all throughout England the Bridges were
broken by the ice.

“But although London Bridge was an edifice to which there was a
continual and heavy cost attached, yet its possessions were, even
anciently, very extensive; for you find that so early as in the
23d year of Henry I., A. D. 1122, Thomas de Ardern, and Thomas his
son, gave to the Monks of Bermondsey, and the Church of St. George
in Southwark, the tenth of his Lord’s corn lands in Horndon, and
the immense sum of Five Shillings per annum rent, out of the Lands
pertaining to London Bridge. Calculate this, my good Sir, at twenty
times its present value; for we know that in the Great Charter of
King John, Chapter II. a knight paid but five pounds to the King as a
Relief when he came to his estate; and _that_, Lord Coke tells you in
his _Second Institute_, even several years later, was the fourth part
of his annual income. Remember too, that sixpence by the week was then
a living stipend to an ordinary labourer; that the Black Book of the
Exchequer--which was written about the reign of Henry I.--ordains that
a tenant shall pay one shilling to the King, instead of providing bread
for one hundred soldiers for one meal; that the provender of twenty
horses for one night, also to be paid by a tenant, was commuted for
four pence; that in 1185, the tenants of Shireburn paid by custom two
pence, or four hens, which they would; and, lastly, recollect, that
in 1125,--called by Robert de Monte, the dearest year ever known,--a
horseload of wheat was sold but for six shillings: in ordinary times,
as in 1043, it was sixpence the quarter. Of all this you may see
most abundant and curious proof, in Bishop Fleetwood’s ‘_Chronicon
Preciosum_,’ London, 1745, 8vo. pages 55, 56; and therefore the gift of
Thomas de Ardern was munificent.

“I should observe that Stow obtained the knowledge of this donation
from the manuscript ‘_Annals of Bermondsey Priory_,’ which are now
preserved in the Harleian Library in the British Museum, No. 231,
very fairly written in a good legible black text upon vellum; having
vermillion rubrics of the King’s Reign, and the date of the year. It is
a rather small quarto volume, of 71 written leaves, delicately paged
by some later hand; and the passage occurs on the reverse of folio 11.
The Harleian Catalogue calls it, in Latin, ‘the Annals of the Abbey
of St. Saviour’s of Bermondesie, from the year of our Lord 1042, down
to the year of our Lord 1433; in which, beside the public affairs of
each reign,’--told in the words of other Chronicles--‘many things are
narrated which belong to the history of the same Abbey.’

“You have already seen that London Bridge was a public work, to which
all England furnished some labourers; but, as I mentioned some time
back, Maitland, in his ‘_History of London_,’ volume i. page 44,
notices a deed cited by Stow, exempting the lands of Battle Abbey, in
Sussex. This was granted by King Henry I. but is perhaps now lost, for
it remains wholly unnoticed by the learned Editors of the new edition
of Dugdale’s ‘_Monasticon_;’ and I must therefore give it you in the
very words of the old Antiquary himself, who says, page 58, that in
his time it remained with the seal very fair, in the custody of Joseph
Holland, Esq.;--it is as follows:--

“‘Henry, King of England, to Ralph, Bishop of Chichester, and all the
Officers of Sussex, sendeth greeting. Know ye, &c. I command by my
kingly authority, that the manor called Alceston, which my father gave
with other lands to the Abbey of Battle, be free and quiet from shires
and hundreds, and all other customs of earthly servitude, as my father
held the same, most freely and quietly; and namely, _from the work of
London Bridge_, and the work of the Castle at Pevensey: and this I
command upon my forfeiture. Witness, William Pont de l’Arche, at Berry.’

“The second year of the succeeding King, however, namely Stephen,
saw London Bridge in a state to require the exertions of all England
to raise it: for, in 1136, a fire broke out in the dwelling of one
Aileward, near London Stone, that consumed Eastward as far as Aldgate;
and to the Shrine of St. Erkenwald, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, to the
West. On the Southern side of London the Wooden Bridge over the Thames
was destroyed, but was soon after repaired, since Stephanides, whose
description of London was written between 1170 and 1182, speaks of
it as affording a convenient standing place to the spectators of the
Citizens’ Water Tournaments. I shall give you the whole passage,
because it describes a very curious sport of the twelfth century,
which was celebrated in the immediate vicinity of this very spot; and
the account is at page 76, beginning ‘_In feriis Paschalibus_;’ we’ll
content ourselves, however, with Dr. Pegge’s translation of it, which
runs thus.

“‘At Easter, the diversion is prosecuted on the water; a target is
strongly fastened to a trunk or mast, fixed in the middle of the
River, and a youngster standing upright in the stern of a boat, made
to move as fast as the oars and current can carry it, is to strike the
target with his lance; and if in hitting it he break his lance, and
keep his place in the boat, he gains his point, and triumphs; but if
it happen that the lance be not shivered by the force of the blow, he
is of course tumbled into the water, and away goes his vessel without
him. However, a couple of boats full of young men is placed, one on
each side of the target, so as to be ready to take up the unsuccessful
adventurer, the moment he emerges from the stream, and comes fairly to
the surface. The Bridge, and the balconies on the banks, are filled
with spectators, whose business it is to laugh.’

“Of this singular sport, Joseph Strutt copied in his ‘_Sports and
Pastimes of the People of England_,’ London, 1801, 4to. page 92, plate
x. a very curious illumination, contained in a volume of the Royal
Manuscripts in the British Museum,--2 B. vii.--which consists of a
history of the Old Testament, the Psalter, the Hymns of the Church, and
a Calendar; all richly painted in water-colours, and beautified with
gold,--‘yellow, glittering, precious gold,’--so highly embossed, as to
be ‘sensible to feeling as to sight.’

“That volume brings back old days to my recollection, whenever I behold
it; for, in the year 1553, it belonged to Queen Mary of England, and
is bound in a truly regal style for her; being in thick boards covered
with crimson velvet, richly embroidered with large flowers in coloured
silks and gold twist; besides being garnished with gilt brass bosses
and clasps, on the latter of which are engraven the Royal devices
and supporters. Another, and more pleasing proof of its having been
her’s,--inasmuch as it records a good action of a London Citizen
concerned with the affairs of this brave river,--is to be found in
a Latin note written in a beautiful black text hand, on the reverse
of the last leaf of the volume. ‘This Book,’ it states, ‘formerly a
gift, was afterwards carried away by a sailor; but that excellent and
honest person, Baldwin Smith, Receiver of the Customs of the Port of
London, hath restored and given it unto the most illustrious Mary,
Queen of England, France, and Ireland, in the month of October, in
the year of our Lord, 1553, in the first year of her reign.’ The text
of this volume is said to have been written, and the illuminations
executed, in the fourteenth century, though, from their style, I cannot
help thinking that the period is nearly an hundred years too late;
for beneath the pages of the Psalter is a series of most interesting
and excellent drawings, in pen-and-ink outlines, very slightly and
delicately tinted with colours, which was certainly a far more ancient
custom. However that may be, this series consists ‘_de omnibus rebus,
et quibusdam aliis_,’ for there are the representations of animals and
birds, field-sports, games, legends, martyrdoms, battles, and fables,
of an almost infinite variety; and in the course of them occur the
figures of a water-quintain, both as it is described by Fitzstephen,
and also of a more warlike character. The first of these was engraved
by Strutt in the work which I have before referred to, and gives a very


which the illuminator had, no doubt, personally witnessed in his own
time. The other, which has also been engraven in the same work, page
113, plate xv. shews two armed knights getting ‘grysly together,’ as
the ‘_Morte d’Arthur_’ calls it, in boats;


and you will find it under the 60th Psalm, ‘_Dominus repulisti nos_,’

“Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 301, mentions a very rude
imitation of this kind of jousting on the water at London; when he
says, ‘I have seen also in the summer season, upon the River of
Thames, some rowed in wherries, with staves in their hands, flat at
the fore-end, running one against another, and, for the most part,
one or both of them were overthrown and well ducked.’ In Queen Mary’s
Manuscript, under the psalm of ‘_Misericordiam et judicium cantabo_,’
is also a representation of two fiends hurling a Monk from a rude stone
Bridge; but as I rather think that did not occur at London, I mention
it no farther.

“But now, to return to our subject:--Stow relates the particulars of
the great fire of 1135-36, at page 58 of his ‘_Survey_,’ citing in
the margin the ‘_Annals of Bermondsey_,’ and the ‘_Book of Trinity
Priory_,’ as his authorities. The latter of these is, perhaps, now no
more; but in the former you may find the conflagration mentioned at
page 13 b, where it is said to have happened in the year 1135, and
to have extended to the Church of St. Clement Danes. It was probably
in the Register of Trinity Priory, that Stow found a notice that
London Bridge was not only repaired, but a new one erected of elm
timber, in 1163, by the most excellent Peter of Colechurch, Priest and
Chaplain; since I find it in none of the historians with whom I am
acquainted. It is, however, much better authenticated that the same
pious architect began his labours upon the first stone one in 1176;
for, in the ‘_Annals of Waverley_,’ at page 161, you find the following
entry.--‘1176. In this year, the Stone Bridge at London is begun by
Peter, the Chaplain of Colechurch.’ Here, therefore, ends the history
of the infancy of London Bridge: and a very chargeful infancy it was,
for, as old Stow says, ‘it was maintained partly by the proper lands
thereof, partly by the liberality of divers persons, and partly by
taxations in divers shires, as I have proved, for the space of 215
years,’--And now, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, your very good health.”

“Sir, my hearty thanks to you,” replied I, rubbing my eyes, “for
this Bridge Story is as dull as proving a Peerage, where there’s
no reliance, and much doubting:--but how’s this, Master Postern!”
continued I, looking into the tankard, “you have drank, and I have
drank, and yet the jug is as full as ever, and as hot as it was as

“You’re pleased to be facetious, good Sir,” answered my visitor, “for
truly I’m no Saint Richard to work such miracles; but, if you please,
we’ll now return to the Bridge again.

“We are here entering upon the golden age of London Bridge, for the new
stone building, by Peter of Colechurch, was such an ornament as the
Thames had never before witnessed; indeed, in my poor judgment, it very
far surpassed that erection, of which I shall hereafter have occasion
to speak; and perhaps, for its time, even that which now stretches
itself across the flood. The person to whom was entrusted the building
of the first stone Bridge at London, was, as I have already told you,
named Peter, a Priest and Chaplain of St. Mary Colechurch; an edifice,
which, until the Great Fire of London, stood on the North side of the
Poultry, at the South end of a turning denominated Conyhoop Lane, from
a Poulterer’s shop having the sign of three Conies hanging over it.
This Chapel, of which the skilful Peter was Curate, was dedicated to
the Blessed Virgin, and was famous as the place where St. Edmund and
St. Thomas à Beckett were presented at the baptismal Font; still it
must have been something very like having a church on a first floor,
for you may remember Stow says, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 552,
that it was ‘built upon a vault above ground, so that men are forced to
ascend into it by certain steps.’ Of the architectural knowledge of the
Curate thereof, I have already shewed you that the Citizens of London
had experienced some proofs, since he is said to have rebuilt their
last wooden Bridge: and John Leland the Antiquary--whom I shall anon
quote more particularly,--observes, in the notes to his famous ‘_Song
of the Swan_,’--a book of which I will also speak hereafter,--that
Radulphus de Diceto, Dean of London, who wrote about 1210, states
from his own knowledge, that he was a native of this City. The same
venerable Antiquary also tells us in his ‘_Itinerary_,’ edited by
Thomas Hearne, Oxford, 1768-69, octavo, volume vii. part I. marginal
folio 22, page 12,--that ‘a Mason beinge Master of the Bridge Howse,
buildyd _à fundamentis_ the Chapell on London Bridge, _à fundamentis
propriis impensis_;’ or, as we should now say, from bottom to top,
at his own costs and charges. The property of Peter of Colechurch,
however, would not stand Bridge-building by itself; and therefore the
present will be the most fitting place, to give you some account of the
other contributors to this great national work.

“Master Leland, in the same place which I last quoted, observes that
‘a Cardinale, and Archepisshope of Cantorbyri, gave 1000 Markes or
_li._ to the erectynge of London Bridge.’ Now, the Cardinal who is
here alluded to, was Hugo, Hugocio, or Huguzen di Petraleone, a Roman,
Cardinal Deacon of St. Angelo, whom Pope Alexander III. sent, in
1176, to France, Scotland, and England, as his Legate; which you may
find stated in Alphonso Ciaconio’s noble book entitled ‘_Vitæ et Res
Gestæ Pontificum Romanorum, et Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalium_,’
Rome, printed with the Vatican types, in 1630, folio, page 578, a work
of about 3000 pages in extent; of an enormous size, fairly bound in
embossed vellum, and adorned with a prodigious number of copper-plates
and wood-cut Armorial Ensigns; by the latter of which we are shewn,
that this foreign contributor to the building of London Bridge bore
for his arms, Quarterly, Argent and Gules, and over all, in the centre
point, a sieve of the first. Whilst the Cardinal resided in England,
he took some notice of the dispute which was then going on concerning
the Primacy, between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York: when at a
meeting held at Westminster, Roger de Ponte, the turbulent possessor of
the latter see, arrogantly took his seat at the Cardinal’s right hand.
Upon which the domestics of Richard, the mild and amiable Archbishop
of Canterbury, took him thence by force, and in the ensuing scuffle he
was beaten, and turned out of the assembly, with his episcopal robes
sadly rent. Now this Richard was a Benedictine Monk, and Prior of
the Monastery of St. Martin’s, Dover; who was elected to the See of
Canterbury on the death of Thomas à Beckett, in 1174. ‘He was a man,’
says Bishop Godwin, when writing his memoirs, ‘very liberal, gentle,
and passing wise;’ and, what gives him great honour in _my_ sight, he
was the very Prelate whom Leland mentions in the passage I quoted, as
subscribing so nobly to the foundation of London Bridge. And yet, ’tis
strange, that only in his ‘_Itinerary_,’ and in Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’
volume i. page 58, is this donation recorded; for even in the best and
most splendid edition of Bishop Godwin’s volume, ‘_De Præsulibus Angliæ
Commentarius_,’ by William Richardson, Canon of Lincoln, Cambridge,
1743, folio, page 79, the old Citizen is referred to at note _y_, as
his authority for the fact. I cannot omit now giving you the blazon of
this Prelate’s own arms, as they appear in that noble illuminated copy
of Archbishop Parker’s work, ‘_De Antiquitate et Privilegiis Ecclesiæ
Cantuariensis cum Archiepiscopis ejusdem 70_,’ Lambeth, 1572, folio,
page 123, which is estimated to be fully worth its weight in gold. This
truly valuable volume was presented by our late good King George the
Third to the British Museum, and formerly belonged to Queen Elizabeth.
The arms, however, were Azure, three Mullets in bend, between two
Cottises Argent; and whenever you turn to this volume, on which the
ancient Art of Illuminating shed its latest rays, I pray you fail not
carefully to inspect it: for you will find it a copy of that edition
printed at his own palace, by John Day; with many leaves impressed on
vellum, and the whole of the book carefully ruled with red-ink lines,
the initials coloured and gilded, and all the Armorial Ensigns, with
the Frontispiece, excellently well emblazoned. And I pray you also,
forget not well to note the binding; since a richer, or more fancifully
embroidered covering there are few tomes which can exhibit. The ground
of it is green velvet, intended to represent the _vert_ of a park, and
it is surrounded by a broad border of pales with a gate, worked in
brown silk and gold twist; whilst within are trees, flowers, shrubs,
tufts of grass, serpents, hinds, and does, all executed in richly
coloured silks, and gold and silver wire. At the back are the Queen’s
badges of red and white roses; the edges of the leaves are gilt, and
the volume was once secured by ribbons of crimson silk.

“Of this most splendid book I must, indeed, yet add another word,
that it may be estimated as it so well deserves. Dr. Ducarel, in
his account of that astonishing copy of it which is deposited in
the Archiepiscopal Palace at Lambeth, says, ‘It was first printed
at Lambeth by John Daye in 1572; and so small a number were then
published, that, except this complete copy, there is but one extant
in England, known to be so, which is preserved in the Public Library
of Cambridge, as I am informed.’ See his Letter of July the 15th,
1758, addressed to Archbishop Secker, which is inserted in the Rev.
H. J. Todd’s ‘_Catalogue of the Archiepiscopal Manuscripts in Lambeth
Palace_.’ London, 1812, folio, page 242, Art. 959.

“The life of Archbishop Richard, which this book contains, is nearly
the same as that related by Francis Godwin, Bishop of Landaff; and
before I leave speaking of this early and Reverend patron of London
Bridge, let me endeavour to clear his memory from something like
a stain which attaches to it. He received the Archbishop’s Pall,
immediately after the death of a man of unconquerable spirit and
insurmountable pride, for you will remember that he was successor to
Beckett: and, perhaps, it was the strong contrast afforded by his
yielding and quiet disposition, which has made some suppose that he did
nothing worthy of memory. I am, however, myself rather surprised at
the manner of his decease, when it is allowed by all his biographers,
that he was a man so charitable, of such benefit to the revenues of the
church, and was so liberal both to the poor, the nation, the King,
and even the Pontiff himself. The story of his death is related by
Gervase of Dover, by Henry Knyghton, the Canon of Leicester, and in the
Chronicle of William Thorne, the Monk of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury;
but I shall recite it to you from the old English edition of Francis
Godwin’s ‘_Catalogue of the Bishops of England, from the first planting
of the Christian Religion in this Island:_’ London, 1615, 4to. page
96. ‘The end of this man,’ says the Prelate, ‘is thus reported, how
that being a sleepe at his Mannor of Wrotham, there seemed to come vnto
him a certaine terrible personage’--Knyghton and Thorne say ‘the Lord
appeared unto his sight,’--‘demaunding of him, who he was; whereunto,
when for feare, the Archbishop answered nothing, Thou art he, quoth
the other, that hast destroyed the goods of the Church, and I will
destroy thee from off the earth: this having said, he vanished away. In
the morning betime, the Archbishop got him up, and taking his iourney
toward Rochester, related this fearfull vision vnto a friend of his by
the way. Hee had no sooner told the tale, but hee was taken suddenly
with a great cold and stifenesse in his limmes, so that they had much
adoo to get him so farre as Haling, a house belonging to the Bishop
of Rochester. There he tooke his bed, and being horribly tormented
with the cholike, and other greefes, vntill the next day, the night
following, the 16th of February, hee gaue vp the ghost, anno 1183.’

“Though such was his untimely end, yet his being so great a benefactor
to the original building of old London Bridge, ought to make his
name revered by every true-hearted Citizen of London; and, indeed,
Bridge-building has been thought by some to be an act of real piety,
witness those rude old verses printed in Leland’s ‘_Itinerary_,’ volume
vii. part I. Marginal folio 64 b, page 79, which were composed on the
erecting of the Bridge at Culham, in Oxfordshire, and hung up by Master
Richard Fannand, Ironmonger, of Abingdon, in the Hall of St. Helen’s

    ‘Off alle werkys in this worlde that ever were wrought,
      Holy Chirche is chefe, there children been chersid.
    For by baptim these barnes to blisse been ybrought,
      Thorough the grace of God, and fayre refresshed.
    Another blessid besines is Brigges to make,
      Where, that the pepul may not passe after greet showers;
    Dole it is to drawe a deed body out of a lake,
      That was fulled in a fount stoon, and a felow of oures.
    King Herry the fifte, in his fourthe yere,
      He hathe yfounde for his folke a Brige in Berke schyre,
    For cartis with carriages may goo and come clere,
      That many Wynters afore were mareed in the myre.
    And some oute of ther sadels flette to the grounde
      Went forthe in the water wist no man whare;
    Fyve wekys after or they were yfounde,
      Ther kyn and ther knowlech caught them uppe with care.’

“By this then, you see there is much virtue in your Bridge-builder.
The names of all the Benefactors to London Bridge, indeed, were fairly
painted on a tablet, and hung up in St. Thomas’s Chapel, which stood
upon the middle of it; and, doubtless, the donation of King Henry II.
would be found there recorded, if that grateful testimonial were yet
in existence. The King’s gift, however, is supposed to have been, in
fact, the gift of the people, being the produce of a tax upon wool;
and hence arose that absurd tradition, which the commonalty invented
to make a wonder of the matter, that ‘London Bridge was built upon
woolpacks,’ I am, indeed, inclined to think that the measure was not
very popular; for the people of England seldom failed to complain
of any additional duty placed upon that commodity; and of this you
find some reliques in Lord Coke’s Commentary on the 30th Chapter of
the ‘_Magna Charta_’ of King Henry III., contained in his ‘_Second
Institute_,’ pages 58, 59. He is there speaking, you know, of the
taking away of evil tolls and customs, and he observes, that some have
supposed that there was a tribute due to the King by the Common Law,
upon all wools, wool-fells,--that is, the undressed sheep skins,--and
leather, to be taken as well of the English as of strangers, known by
the name of _Antiqua Custuma_. This amounted to half a mark, or 6_s._
8_d._ for every sack of wool of 26 stone weight; and a whole mark upon
every last of leather. But even this his Lordship also endeavours to
prove a recent custom, by a Patent Roll from the Exchequer, of the 3rd
of Edward I., A. D. 1274, which states, that the Prelates, Chiefs,
and the whole Common Council of the kingdom, had consented to grant
this new custom of wool to him, and to his heirs. Now, even the words
‘_novam consuetudinem_’ may signify only a revival of the ancient tax,
for some specific cause; as it might have lain dormant since the days
of building London Bridge; thus having reference to a new occasion, and
not to the date. But shortly previous to the final confirmation of the
Great and Forest Charters, however, in the 25th of Edward I., 1296, the
King set a new toll of forty shillings upon every sack of wool, without
the consent of his Parliament; which the Commonalty felt to be a very
heavy imposition. Against this they petitioned, and in the aforesaid
‘_Confirmationes Chartarum_,’ Chapter vii. it was provided that such
things should be abolished, and not taken, but by common consent and
good will; excepting the customs before granted. There appears to me,
however, even a still nearer connection between the Duties raised
for the building of London Bridge, and the xxiii. Chapter of the
‘_Magna Charta_’ of King John, for you there find that ‘No City, nor
Freeman, shall be distrained to make Bridges or water-banks, but such
as have of old been accustomed to do so:’ from which it is evident,
that the taxation was general, and that this instrument was to make
it particular; though, according to Lord Coke’s exposition, there was
nothing gained by it: for, in his ‘_Second Institute_,’ folio 29, he
says, that in the reigns of Richard I. and John, fictitious exactions
were made in the names of Bridges, Bulwarks, and the like, but that
neither the erection, nor the paying for them, was abolished by this
act, since they could not be erected but by the King himself, or by an
Act of Parliament.--But Mr. Barbican!--You doze, worthy Sir!”

“Why truly, Mr. Postern,” said I, rubbing my eyes, “Tax-gathering is
always dull work; and I verily thought we’d lost sight of the Bridge
in the paying for it. You’re as minute with all your authorities, as a
Flemish painter that marks every hair on a cat’s back, and I can turn
over your old dull authors in my own dusty book-room.”

“I must acknowledge,” said my visitor, “that such details are rather
dry; but you very well know, my good friend, as Father Le Long said,
‘Truth is so delightful, that we should consider no labour too
great to obtain it:’ and, indeed, I wished to bring before you some
circumstances which lie widely scattered, although they, nevertheless,
most excellently illustrate the story, and I would do all honour to the
memory of the worthy Peter of Colechurch.”

“Really, Sir,” answered I, “if his blessing be worth having, it ought
to rest upon your head; for had you been Peter of Colechurch himself,
ten times over, you could scarcely have taken more pains with your
history: and so,--here’s your health, and his, Mr. Barnaby.”

“My best thanks to you, my honoured friend,” replied Mr. Postern,
“and I’ll shortly repay your attention by a piece of a more brilliant
description; for having once got the Bridge built, and paid for, we’ll
take a look at the picturesque old edifice itself, and at some of the
many gorgeous sights and interesting scenes which took place upon it:
indeed it shall go hard but what I’ll find you amusement. The building,
then, which the never-to-be-forgotten Peter of Colechurch began, took
as long to complete as Solomon’s Temple, for thirty and three years
were employed in erecting it. Ere that period, however, the charitable
Priest who designed it, the learned Architect and wise builder who
watched its progress, went the way of all flesh; as we shall find
hereafter, in 1205, and not, as Maitland erroneously says, in the third
of King John, A. D. 1201, though he also supposes that he might then
be worn out by age or fatigue, since in the Patent Rolls of the Tower
of London, of that year, M. 2, No. 9, is the following Letter Missive
of the King to the Mayor and Citizens of London, recommending a new
Architect. For other references you may consult Maitland’s History,
page 45; Thomas Hearne’s edition of the ‘_Liber Niger Scaccarii_,’
London, 1771, octavo, volume i. page *470, where it is printed in the
original Latin; and the ‘_Calendarium Rotulorum Patentium in Turri
Londinensi, Printed by Command_,’ London, 1802, folio, page 1, column
1. The Letter is as follows:--

“‘John, by the Grace of God, King of England, &c. to his faithful and
beloved the Mayor and Citizens of London, greeting. Considering how
the Lord in a short time hath wrought in regard to the Bridges of
Xainctes and Rochelle, by the great care and pains of our faithful,
learned, and worthy Clerk, Isenbert, Master of the Schools of Xainctes:
We therefore, by the advice of our Reverend Father in Christ, Hubert,
(Walter) Archbishop of Canterbury, and that of others, have desired,
directed, and enjoined him to use his best endeavour in building your
Bridge, for your benefit, and that of the public: For we trust in the
Lord, that this Bridge, so requisite for you, and all who shall pass
the same, will, through his industry, and the divine blessing, soon
be finished. Wherefore, without prejudice to our right, or that of
the City of London, we will and grant, that the rents and profits of
the several houses which the said Master of the Schools shall cause
to be erected upon the Bridge aforesaid, be for ever appropriated to
repair, maintain, and uphold the same. And seeing that the requisite
work of the Bridge cannot be accomplished without your aid, and that
of others, we charge, and exhort you, kindly to receive and honour the
above-named Isenbert, and those employed by him, who will perform every
thing to your advantage and credit, according to his directions, you
affording him your joint advice and assistance in the premises. For
whatever good office or honour you shall do to him, you ought to esteem
the same as done to us. But, should any injury be offered to the said
Isenbert, or to the persons employed by him, which we do not believe
there will, see that the same be redressed so soon as it comes to your
knowledge. Witness myself, at Molinel,’--in the Province of Bourbon, in
France,--‘the eighteenth day of April.’ ‘A Letter,’ adds Hearne, on
page *471, ‘of the same form, was written to all the King’s faithful
subjects constituting the realm of England;’ and the instrument itself
is also to be found at length in the original Latin, in Sir Symonds
D’Ewes’ extracts from the Records, Harleian MSS. in the British Museum,
No. 86, page 1 a.

“It is, however, by no means clear, notwithstanding this Royal Writ,
that Isenbert was employed by the Citizens to complete the building
of London Bridge; indeed, the Rev. John Entick, in his edition of
Maitland’s ‘_History of London_,’ volume i. page 45, imagines quite
otherwise, because he found that King John, in the seventh year of his
reign, 1205, three years, as _he_ says, before the Bridge was finished,
granted the custody of it to one Friar West, taking it from the Lord
Mayor, and obliging the City to apply certain void places within its
walls to be built on for its support. Strype also quotes the former
instrument as being yet preserved in the ‘_Rotuli Clausi_,’ or Close
Rolls, in the Tower, 7 John, c. 19, for you know it was a private
instrument, and therefore sealed up, and directed to the persons whom
it specially concerned.

“But now let us see how far this supposition is founded in truth.
In the first place, the reference to the Close Rolls is erroneous,
for the writ is to be found on the 15th Membrane, there being no
such article as c. 19; and, in the next place, there was no such
person as Friar West, for the title of Friar was not in use until the
fourteenth century, and the person referred to was called _Wasce_,
though the name of West has been copied and re-copied, and the error
thus perpetuated _ad infinitum_. The actual words of the writ are, in
English, as follow.

“‘The King to Geoffrey Fitz Peter, &c.’--Chief Justice of England.--‘We
will that Brother Wasce, our Almoner, and some other lawful man of
London, provided by you and the Mayor of London, be Attorney for the
custody of London Bridge. And, therefore, we command you that they give
the whole to these men, like as Peter, the Chaplain of Colechurch,
possessed the same from them. Witness for the same, the Prior of
Stoke, at Marlebridge, the 15th day of September.’ Notwithstanding
this instrument, we hear no more of Frater Wasce, nor of Isenbert of
Xainctes, but are told by Stow, page 58, without his referring to
any other authority, that ‘this work, to wit the Arches, Chapel, and
Stone Bridge over the Thames at London, having been thirty-three years
in building, was, in the year 1209, finished by the worthy Merchants
of London, Serle Mercer, William Almaine, and Benedict Botewrite,
principal masters of that work.’

“This new Bridge consisted, then, of a stone platform, erected somewhat
westward of the former, 926 feet long, and 40 in width, standing about
60 feet above the level of the water; and containing a Drawbridge, and
19 broad pointed arches, with massive piers varying from 25 to 34 feet
in solidity, raised upon strong elm piles, covered by thick planks,
bolted together. Such was the FIRST STONE LONDON BRIDGE, commenced by


“Deeply as I venerate the memory of the great builder of that Bridge,
which continued for so many centuries the wonder of Europe, yet I
must not omit to notice to you, that many persons have grievously
condemned his labours; the principal objections to which are summed up
in the ‘_Londinium Redivivum_,’ of Mr. James Peller Malcolm, London,
1802-1807, 4to. volume ii. page 386, where he thus heavily censures
that erection. ‘Whatever were the pretensions of Peter of Colechurch to
eminence as an Ecclesiastical Architect, I think any person who views
Vertue’s print of London Bridge, as it stood in 1209, will allow that
he was a very bad Civil Engineer. He seems to have delighted in the
number of his piers, which amounted to nineteen; and he was so ignorant
of the true principles by which he should have been governed, that the
centre was swelled into a Chapel, reducing the adjoining arches to half
the diameter of the remainder. Indeed, it is wonderful that those piers
maintained their situation, when we reflect how the torrent now rushes
through, hurling heavy laden barges along as if they were feathers on
the stream, when every practicable remedy to enlarge them has been

“An Architect of nearly an hundred years since, however, has considered
these objections with somewhat more of mathematical proof; and what
is better, even whilst he admits their full force, he still venerates
the memory, and dares to applaud the public spirit, of the blessed
Peter of Colechurch. You will readily guess that I allude to Master
Nicholas Hawksmoor’s ‘_Short Historical Account of London Bridge,
with a proposition for a New Stone Bridge at Westminster_,’ a quarto
pamphlet of 47 pages, and 5 folding Copper-plates, originally published
in the year 1736, for two shillings. The Author observes, at page 9,
that the whole breadth of the River from North to South is nearly 900
feet, and that in his time there were eighteen solid piers of different
dimensions, varying from 34 to 25 feet in thickness. According to
this disposition, he argues, ‘the greatest water way is when the tide
is _above_ the sterlings, which is 450 feet, and, considering the
impediments, it is not half the width of the River for the water to
pass; but when the tide is fallen _below_ the sterlings, the water-way
is reduced to 194 feet,--which is during the greatest part of the
flux and reflux of the tide,--and the river of 900 feet broad, is
forced through a channel of 194 feet, which is not a quarter of the
whole.’ We can at last, however, hardly judge of the Bridge of Peter of
Colechurch with any degree of fairness, for that great benefactor of
London died before he completed his _Pontificate_, as I may jocularly
call it; and the author whom I last quoted, very candidly observes of
him, that he, perhaps, ‘did not intend to add those immense Sterlings
that have so much obstructed the River’s passage betwixt the Stone
piers,’ and which, after all, are the great cause of the evil: for,
says the same person, at page 13, when answering the common objection
to altering London Bridge, on account of the expense attending it, ‘I
have heard some masters of Hoys and Lighters say, that a Tonnage would
willingly be paid for such a conveniency and security of their goods
and vessels; and, as I have heard, an offer _was_ made to pay Tonnage,
if the Drawbridge had been opened, when the City last repaired it,
to avoid the losses they suffered frequently by the Sterlings.’ ‘It
is very probable,’ continues the same authority, ‘that the Sterlings
were made afterwards, to keep the foundation of the piers from being
undermined;--or, perhaps, these Sterlings might be increased after
some damages that befell the piers, by the great quantity of ice
which might be stopt by the narrowness of the arches; and those that
intended to make the legs more secure, used such means as rendered them
the less so, by the violent rapidity which they gave to the River so
restrained,’ In addition to this, he also attempts an apology even for
that very part of Peter’s Bridge, which has been the most condemned;
having, perhaps, designed, says Mr. Hawksmoor, ‘by the narrowness of
his arches, to restrain the ebbing of the tide, the better to preserve
the navigation of the River above the Bridge, though it would not
have any great effect if the Sterlings were taken away,’ considering
‘that if the River had its free course, it would ebb away so fast,
that there would be scarce any navigation above the Bridge, a little
time after high-water.’ This pamphlet also contains a defence of the
Great Pier, which so violently excited the censure of Malcolm, who
thought a Church on a Bridge was thrown away; for at page 12, he states
that it might be intended ‘firstly to be a steadying of the whole
machine, instead of making an angle, as it is in the famous Bridge at
Prague, and in some of the Bridges in France; so that this fortress
was placed in the middle of the Bridge, to stem the violence of the
floods, ice, and all other accidents that might be forced against it.
Secondly,--that if by any accident of the ice or flood, or undermining
any of the legs,’--he means the piers, but Hawksmoor frequently uses
this very ungraceful epithet,--‘some of the arches might fall, as five
did, Anno 1282, yet, by the help of this great buttress,--though this
damage was done on one side,--the arches on the other side stood firm,
so that there was less expense, and greater encouragement to make the
repair. The third reason was, that he had an opportunity to shew his
piety, having a situation for erecting a Chapel, which was done, and
his body deposited in it.’

“At the great repair of London Bridge, which took place between 1757
and 1770, several additional arguments were brought forward against
the original edifice; of which Mr. Robert Mylne, in his Answers to
the Select Committee of the House of Commons, for improving the Port
of London, dated May the 15th, and October the 30th, 1801, printed in
the Fourth Report of that Committee, states the following particulars.
‘The houses,’ says he, ‘being then taken down, and the sides of the
Bridge being dismantled, the internal masses of its great bulk were
found little better than rubbish, and of bad mason-work, &c. without
active exertion, or even inert resistance. The original Piles, under
the original stone-work of a very narrow Bridge, between the two modern
sides and extreme parts, by cutting into the sides of the piers, and by
one old being opened up, and totally removed, have been found composed
of Sapling Oak and some Elm, carelessly worked, neither round nor
square, but much decayed.’

“And now, worthy Mr. Barbican, having told you some of the objections
to, and apologies for, the Bridge of the venerable Peter of Colechurch,
before we ascend to the parapet, to examine the buildings which stood
upon it, let me observe to you, that there are engraved Ground-plans
of this Bridge, in George Vertue’s prints, which I shall mention more
particularly hereafter, and also in Hawksmoor’s tract from which I have
so largely quoted.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Here let me for a moment interrupt the narrative of Mr. Postern, by
stating that on the next page the Reader has a reduced copy of the
interesting plan last mentioned, to which are subjoined Hawksmoor’s own
measurements, and some additional particulars, also taken from Vertue;
on the accuracy of every part of which, we have the best authority for
placing the most complete reliance.





                                                Feet. Inches.
     Breadth of First Arch                        10    --
     ---------------- Pier                        30    --
     --------  Second Arch                        15    --
     ---------------- Pier                        18    --
     Length of Second Pier                        47     6
     Breadth of Third Arch                        25    --
     ---------------- Pier                        17    --
     Length of Third Pier                         41     6
     Breadth of Fourth Arch                       21    --
     ----------------  Pier                       18    --
     Length of Fourth Pier                        47     6
     Breadth of Fifth Arch                        27    --
     ---------------- Pier                        21    --
     Length of Fifth Pier                         47     6
     Breadth of Sixth Arch                        29     6
     ---------------- Pier                        21    --
     Length of Sixth Pier                         54    --
     Breadth of Seventh Arch                      29     6
     ------------------ Pier                      21    --
     Length of Seventh Pier                       54    --
     Breadth of Eighth Arch                       26    --
     ----------------  Pier                       21    --
     Length of Eighth Pier                        54    --
     Breadth of Ninth Arch                        32     9
     ---------------- Pier                        21    --
     Length of Ninth Pier                         54    --
     Breadth of Tenth Arch                        25     6
     ---------- Centre Pier                       36    --
     Length of Centre Pier                        95    --
     Extreme Length of ditto                     125    --

     VERTUE _makes the extreme length of this Pier but 115 feet only._

                                                Feet. Inches.
     Breadth of Chapel on the Centre Pier         20    --
     Length of ditto                              60    --
     Exterior height from the Water        about 110    --
     Breadth of Eleventh Arch                     16    --
     ------------------  Pier                     21    --
     Length of Eleventh Pier                      37    --
     Breadth of Twelfth Arch                      24     6
     ------------------ Pier                      21    --
     Length of Twelfth Pier                       38    --
     Breadth of Thirteenth Arch                   25     8
     --------------------  Pier                   27    --
     Length of Thirteenth Pier                    50    --
     Breadth of Drawbridge, or Fourteenth Arch    29     4

     VERTUE _makes this space 30 feet broad._

                                                Feet. Inches.
     Breadth of Fourteenth Pier                   17    --
     Length of Fourteenth Pier                    26    --
     Breadth of Fifteenth Arch                    22    10
     -------------------- Pier                    26    --
     Length of Fifteenth Pier                     47     7
     Breadth of Sixteenth Arch                    21    10
     -------------------- Pier                    15    --
     Length of Sixteenth Pier                     46    --
     Breadth of Seventeenth Arch                  29     4
     ---------------------- Pier                  25    --
     Length of Seventeenth Pier                   46    --
     Breadth of Eighteenth Arch                   24    --
     --------------------  Pier                   17    --
     Length of Eighteenth Pier                    46    --
     Breadth of Nineteenth Arch                   27    --
     --------------------  Pier                   17    --
     Length of Nineteenth Pier, North Side        49    --
     Breadth of Twentieth Arch                    15    --

The Piers and Arches were both measured from the squares of the latter,
the triangular ends being left un-noticed, excepting in the instance
of the Great Pier. The length of the whole Bridge was 926 feet; its
height, 60; and the breadth of the Street over it, 40 feet.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Let us now then, my good Sir,” continued Mr. Postern, “ascend to
the Platform or Street of the old London Bridge, erected by Peter of
Colechurch, and look at the buildings which stood upon it; the most
celebrated of which was the famous Chapel dedicated to St. Thomas à
Becket, the Martyr of Canterbury, whence it was familiarly called
St. Thomas of the Bridge. This was erected upon the Tenth, or Great
Pier, which measured 35 feet in breadth, and 115 from point to point;
whilst the edifice itself was 60 feet in length, by 20 feet broad, and
stood over the parapet on the Eastern side of the Bridge, leaving a
pathway on the West, about a quarter of the breadth of the Pier, in
front of the Chapel. The face of the building itself was forty feet in
height, having a plain gable, surmounted by a cross of about six feet
more; whilst four buttresses, crowned by crocketted spires, divided
the Western end into three parts. The wide centre contained a rich
pointed-arch window, of one mullion, with a quatrefoil in the top;
and the two sides were occupied by the entrances to the Chapel from
the Bridge-Street, each being ascended by three steps. Such was the
general appearance of the WEST FRONT OF THE CHAPEL ON LONDON BRIDGE.


“The interior of this edifice consisted of two stories, both
consecrated to sacred purposes, and greatly resembling each other
in their appearance. The Upper Chapel was lofty, being supported by
fourteen groups of elegant clustered columns, and lighted by eight
pointed-arch windows divided by stone mullions into a double range
of arches, surmounted by a lozenge. Beneath each of the windows were
three arched recesses, separated by small pillars; and the roof itself
was also originally formed of lofty pointed arches; though, when this
magnificent fane was transformed into a warehouse, a wooden ceiling,
with stout beams crossing each other in squares, was erected, which
cut off the arches where they sprang from the pillars, and divided into


The Eastern extremity of this building formed a semi-hexagon, having
a smaller window in each of its divisions, with richly carved arches
under them, corresponding with the series already mentioned on the
side: and the architectural lightness and elegance of the whole,
meriting the highest encomium. Beneath this principal edifice, was
a short descending passage, having, on the left hand, a stone basin
cut in a recess in the wall, for containing Holy Water, and leading,
through the solid masonry of the Pier, into the LOWER CHAPEL OF ST.
THOMAS, which was constructed in the Bridge itself.


“This CRYPT was entered both from the upper apartment and the street,
as well as by a flight of stone stairs winding round a pillar, which
led into it from the nearest Pier: whilst in the front of this latter
entrance, the Sterling formed a platform at low water, which thus
rendered it accessible from the River. The Lower Chapel, which--even
decorated as _that_ was, in my estimation, very far exceeded the upper
one in architectural beauty,--was about 20 feet in height, and its
roof supported by clustered columns, similar to those I have already
described; from each of which sprang seven ribs, the centre, and the
two adjoining it in every division, being bound by fillets with roses
on the intersections; whilst the great horizontal ribs had clusters
of regal and ecclesiastical masks, producing an effect little to be
expected in such a structure, in such a situation; though I may trust
to your correct taste, my good Mr. Barbican, for duly appreciating it.


which looked on to the water, similar in character to, though much
smaller than, those above: whilst the floor was beautifully paved with
black and white marble; for in this place did the pious Architect
propose to rest his bones. His monument, remarkable only for its
plainness, was formed, according to Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ page 46,
under the Chapel staircase, in the middle of the building; and it
measured seven feet and an half, by four in breadth. There was, indeed,
neither brass plate, nor inscription, nor carving found about the
sepulchre, when Mr. Yaldwin, the inhabitant of the Chapel in 1737,
then a dwelling, and warehouse, discovered the remains of a body in
repairing the staircase; though, from the ‘_Annals of Waverley_,’ page
168, we know that the reliques of Peter were certainly entombed in this
place. ‘In 1205,’--runs the passage,--‘died Peter the Chaplain of
Colechurch, who began the Stone Bridge at London, and he is sepultured
in the Chapel upon the Bridge.’ By this entry then, we are assured
that he lay there; and as for an epitaph, was not the whole edifice an
everlasting catafalco to his memory, which should speak for all times?
How finely, indeed, might we apply to him that inscription, which the
son of Sir Christopher Wren composed for his father’s burial-place in
St. Paul’s,--‘He lived, not for himself, but for the public! Reader, if
you seek his monument, look around you!’

“And now, before we enter upon an examination of the bed of the Thames
at London Bridge, and consider whether the River were turned, as
Stow thinks, to admit of its erection, let me cite you some ancient
authorities concerning St. Thomas’s Chapel. The first of these shall
be the ‘_Itinerary of Symon Fitz Simeon, and Hugo the Illuminator_,’
both of whom were Irish Monks, of the Order of Friars Minors, who
visited London on their pilgrimage to Palestine, in 1322. ‘This flux
and reflux,’--say they, at pages 4, 5,--‘continues to the sea from
the famous River named Thames, upon the which is a Bridge, filled
with inhabitants and wealth; and in the midst of them is a Church
dedicated to the blessed Thomas, Archbishop and Martyr, which is well
served continually.’ About the year 1418, also, William Botoner, a
Monk of Worcester, of the Parish of St. James in Bristol, who then
travelled from that City to St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, in his
‘_Itinerarium_,’ pages 301, 302, thus spake of London Bridge and the
Chapel. ‘The length of the Chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, upon
London Bridge, is about twenty yards; having an under Chancel in the
vault, with a choir, but the length of the nave of the said Chapel
contains fourteen yards. The width of the middle steps is one yard. The
length of the Bridge on the South, from the posts to the first gate
newly founded by Henry the Cardinal, unto the two posts erected near
the Church of St. Magnus, consists of five hundred of my steps. _Item_:
there are five great windows on one side,’--of the Chapel,--‘each of
which contains three panes:’ or rather divisions. Of these Itineraries
I will observe nothing farther, than that they were published from the
original Manuscripts in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by James
Nasmith, the Editor of Tanner’s ‘_Notitia Monastica_;’ in 1778, octavo;
under the title of ‘_Itineraria Symonis Simeonis, et Willielmi de

“Of this Chapel, and also of the first Stone Bridge, there are two
large folio engravings, taken and published, by George Vertue, in
1744-48, which, after his decease, were, with many of his other plates
of Antiquities, presented by his widow to the Antiquarian Society in
1775. The first engraving measures 18-1/4 inches by 20 inches and 3/8,
and contains ‘A View of the West Front of the Chappel of St. Thomas,
on London Bridge; also the Inside View from West to East of the said
Chappel, as it was first built An°. 1209:’--and also ‘London Bridge as
it was first built, An°. 1209:’--a Ground plan, and some measurements
of the same, and a short Historical account of the structure, drawn
up by Sir Joseph Ayloffe, Bart. Vice-President of the Society of
Antiquaries. The publication line states, that it was ‘drawn, engrav’d,
and publish’d by G. Vertue, in Brownlow-Street, Drury-Lane, 1748.’ A
second edition was printed by the Society, in 1777.

“The other plate contains ‘The Inside Perspective View of the Under
Chappel of St. Thomas within London Bridge, from the West to the East
end,’ and beneath it: the ‘Inside South View of the Under Chappel from
East to West, representing the manner and form of this rare piece
of Ancient Architecture, thus drawn and transmitted to posterity,
by G. V., Antiquary, 1744. Published and sold by G. Vertue, in
Brownlow-Street, Drury-Lane, 1747’ This plate, which measures 18-1/4
inches by 20, contains a few additional historical notes, by Sir Joseph
Ayloffe; and a reduced copy of the lower View was engraved in the
23d volume of the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ for October, 1753, page
520. I must observe, also, that, in the large interior View on that
plate of Vertue last-mentioned, there are introduced the portraits of
the learned Samuel Gale, and the eccentric Dr. Ducarel. The former,
by whose patronage and assistance Vertue produced these prints, is
standing on the left hand, holding a plan of the Chapel, and listening
to an outlandish-looking man, designed for Peter of Colechurch;
whilst the latter Antiquary is employed in measuring. You find this
information given from Gale’s own lips, in that monument of labour,
the ‘_Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century_,’ by John Nichols,
volume iv. London, 1812, 8vo. page 552, and volume vi. part I. page
402. I shall close this notice of these most ancient views of London
Bridge, by observing to you, that there is a view and a ground-plan
of it, with measurements, engraved by Toms, on the second plate in
Hawksmoor’s work, already cited.

“Let me remark to you, however, Mr. Barbican, as touching the Chapel
which I have thus described to you, that the custom of erecting
Religious Houses on Bridges, is certainly of great antiquity. A notable
instance of this kind 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 is also to be
found erected over the River Calder, at Wakefield, in the West Riding
of Yorkshire; of which, a folding view, by W. Lodge, is inserted in
the ‘_Ducatus Leodiensis_’ of Ralph Thoresby, London, 1715, folio,
sometimes placed at page 164. This beautiful fane, you know, was built
by King Edward IV. in memory of his father, Richard, Duke of York,
who was killed in the battle fought near Wakefield, on December the
31st, 1460. The Bridge Chapel, however, though extremely rich in its
architecture, was not so singular as our’s at London, since it was
not built _in_ the pier, and descending even to the water’s edge,
but _upon_ the pier, and the platform of the Bridge itself. Somewhat
like our shrine of St. Thomas, however, as it belonged to the poor
of the town, it was, about 1779, converted into a dwelling-house,
and let at a small annual rent to a retail dealer in old clothes! as
that industrious Antiquary, Richard Gough, tells us, in his ‘_British
Topography_,’ London, 1780, 4to. volume ii. page 437, note, r. ‘To
what base uses may we not return, Horatio!’ The edifice which had
been erected for Monks to chaunt forth their _Requiescats_ in solemn
procession; the shrine which had been endowed for the sweet repose of a
warrior’s soul; the--”

“I’ll tell you what, Mr. Barnaby Postern,” said I, starting up,
“you’ll contribute to _my_ sweet repose, unless you leave wandering in
Yorkshire, and return again to London Bridge: what have we to do with a
bead-roll of all the Bridge Chapels that are scattered through England?
I desire to know but of one; for, by its having existed, we are sure
that there might have been some sort of custom for their erection; and,
as old Chaucer saith,

    ‘Experience, though none auctoritye
    Were in this world, is quite enough for me.’”

“True, Sir, true,” said the mild old Antiquary; “you have once more
brought me back to my starting-post; for I own that I am too apt, when
discoursing upon one subject, to branch out into others which seem to
illustrate, or are in any degree connected with it. You will, however,
I dare say, allow me to remark, that Plutarch denies the derivation of
the word Pontifex from the old Roman custom of sacrificing on Bridges,
which might, nevertheless, be the origin of Chapels being built upon
them. He mentions this in his Life of Numa Pompilius, in his ‘_Vitæ
Parallelæ_,’ best edition, by Augustine Bryan, and M. du Soul, London,
1729-24, 4to. volume i. page 142. The Greek passage begins, ‘Νουμᾷ
δὲ και τὴν των αρχιερεων [Greek: Nouma de kai tên tôn archiereôn],’
&c., and the Latin, ‘_Jam etiam sacerdotum_;’ but I shall give you the
excellent modern English version of Dr. Langhorne, in his very popular
translation of the old Classic, from the edition of Mr. Archdeacon
Wrangham, London, 1813, 8vo. volume i. pages 181, 182: ‘To Numa,’ says
the passage, ‘is attributed the institution of that high order of
priests, called _Pontifices_; over which, he is said to have presided
himself. Some say, they were called _Pontifices_, as employed in the
service of those powerful gods that govern the world; for _potens_, in
the Roman language, signifies powerful. Others, that they were ordered
by their law-giver to perform such offices as were in their power,
and standing excused when there was some great impediment. But most
writers assign a ridiculous reason for the term, as if they were called
_Pontifices_, from their offering sacrifices upon the Bridge, which
the Latins call _Pontem_; such kinds of ceremonies, it seems, being
looked upon as the most sacred, and of the highest antiquity. These
Priests, too, are said to have been commissioned to keep the Bridges in
repair, as one of the most indispensable parts of their sacred office.’
Plutarchus, the author of this, you remember, died about A. D. 140;
and the period of which he wrote, was about 630 years before the birth
of Christ. That giant of learning, also, John Jacob Hoffmann, denies
that the word _Pontifex_ had any thing to do with a Bridge; as you may
see discussed at considerable length, in his ‘_Lexicon Universale_,’
Leyden, 1698, folio, volume iii. page 836, column 2, where he says, it
is compounded of _posse_ and _facere_, that is to say, such persons as
are _able to do_ the thing, or sacrifice: but as the article is equally
long, erudite, and curious, I refer you to the original.

“And now we come to speak of Stow’s singular hypothesis, that the River
Thames was turned in its current, during the erection of the first
Stone Bridge at London. He states this in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i.
page 58, where he also says, that the course of the stream was carried
through ‘a trench cast for that purpose; beginning, as it is supposed,
East about Rotherhithe, and ending in the West about Patricksey, now
termed Battersey.’ Strype, the last, and, perhaps, the best Editor of
our old Metropolitan Historian, on the page above cited, seems inclined
to support this idea; for he says, ‘It is much controverted whether
the River Thames was turned, when the Bridge over it was built, and
whether the River was more subject to overflow its banks anciently than
at present; and from all that hath been seen and written upon the
turning of the River, it seems very evident to me, that it _was_ turned
while the Bridge was building, and that it is more subject to overflow
its banks now, than it was formerly; for the channel of the River must
have been deeper than it is now, or the Palace of Westminster would
never have been built where the Hall and the rest of its remains are
now situated. Is it to be supposed that any Prince would have built
a Palace, where the lower rooms were liable to be overflowed at a
spring-tide, as we see the Hall has been several times of late years,
and the lawyers brought out on porters’ backs? The reason whereof is,
that the sands have raised the channel, and, consequently, the tides
must rise higher in proportion, than they did formerly; and unless some
care is taken to cleanse the River, the buildings on the same level
with the floor of Westminster-Hall, will not be habitable much longer,
as the sand and ouse are still daily increasing, and choking up the
bed of the River.’ Nicholas Hawksmoor, also, on page 8 of his work,
which I have already quoted, says, that ‘many skilful persons have
thought that the River Thames was not turned, but that the flowing of
the tides was then different, and that the water did not rise so high
at the Bridge; for the Thames might heretofore overflow the marshes
near the sea, and have a greater spreading; which being now restrained
by the bank, called the wall of the Thames, into narrower limits,
and the water which comes from the sea into the mouth of the Thames
during the flood, not being received by the marshes, must come up into
the country, and so swell the tide higher at London than it usually
did. The celebrated Sir Christopher Wren was of opinion, that when
the foundation of London Bridge was laid, the course of the River was
_not_ turned, but that every pier was set upon piles of wood, which
were drove as far as might be under low-water mark, on which were laid
planks of timber, and upon them the foundation of the stone piers: the
heads of the said piles have been seen at a very low ebb, and may be so
still when some of the chalk or stone is removed to mend the Sterlings.’

“Maitland, and his Editor Entick, are also both opposed to the idea
that the River was turned during the erection of London Bridge, as
they evince on page 46 of their ‘_History_;’ where they ground their
objections to it on the following arguments. Firstly, it is supposed
that the vestiges of Knute’s Canal--which, as we have seen, took the
same course as Stow supposes the River to have taken,--might have
deceived him; a reason also adopted by Hawksmoor, in the place I last
cited. Secondly, the charge of such an immense work is next objected
to; as the cost of the ground intended for the trench, the embankment
of it, and the damming off the River itself, must have amounted to
at least treble the sum which would otherwise have been required to
erect the Bridge. The total silence of those Historians who mention
the construction of London Bridge, upon the subject of so great a work
as the turning of the River, is next insisted upon: and, finally, the
length of time which the building occupied,--thirty-three years,--is
adduced as alone sufficient to overthrow the whole hypothesis. ‘For,’
adds the author, ‘had the people concerned in erecting it, had dry
ground to have built upon, it might have been finished in a tenth
part of the time, and in a much more durable manner.’ Maitland then
proceeds to state, that, in 1730, he surveyed the Bridge, in company
with Mr. Bartholomew Sparruck, the Water-Carpenter of the same; and
that he observed in many places,--where the stones were washed from
the sterlings,--the mighty frames of piles whereon the stone piers or
pillars were founded; the exterior parts of which, consisted of huge
piles driven as closely together as art could effect. ‘On the tops of
these,’ he continues, ‘are laid long planks, or beams of timber, of
the thickness of ten inches, strongly bolted; whereon is placed the
base of the stone pier, nine feet above the bed of the River, and three
below the sterlings; and on the outside of this wooden foundation,--and
for its preservation,--are drove the piles called the sterlings.’ He
then goes on to observe, that Mr. Sparruck informed him, that he and
the Bridge-Mason had frequently taken out of the lowermost layers of
stones in the piers, several of the original stones, which were laid in
pitch instead of mortar; and that from this circumstance they imagined,
that all the outside stones of the piers, as high as the sterlings,
were originally bedded in the same material, to prevent the water from
damaging the work. This labour was, he thinks, continued at every ebb
tide, until the piers were raised above high-water mark; and hence
he argues, that if the Thames had been turned, there would not have
been any occasion for the use of pitch, and that Plaster of Paris was
not then in use in this country. These are the principal heads of the
dispute concerning the turning of the River: to which I only add my own
settled conviction, that _the course of the Thames was not altered_.”

“But pray, my worthy friend,” said I, as he concluded, “what other
buildings stood upon the Bridge built by Peter of Colechurch, besides
the Chapel of St. Thomas?”

“That is a point,” replied he, “upon which Antiquaries are very far
from being decided: for whilst some assert, with Sir Joseph Ayloffe in
his account of the Bridge attached to Vertue’s prints, that, at first,
there were no houses upon it, and that it was only plainly coped with
stone until 1395,--late in the reign of Richard II.,--others argue that
it was built upon to some extent two centuries before, and, indeed,
there is proof of this being the case in the reign of King Edward I.,
as I shall shew you anon. Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 22,
says that the Bridge Gate, which was erected at the Southwark end,
was one of the four first and principal gates of the City, and stood
there long before the Conquest, when there was only a Bridge of timber,
being the seventh and last mentioned by Fitz-Stephen. Maitland, at page
30 of his first volume, when he comes to speak of the same erection,
denies not only the truth, but even the probability of Stow’s
assertions; and, indeed, Stephanides himself says only at page 24, ‘On
the West,’--that is of London,--‘are two Castles well fortified; and
the City wall is both high and thick with seven double gates, and many
towers on the North side, placed at proper distances. London once had
its walls and towers in like manner on the South, but that vast River,
the Thames, which abounds with fish, enjoys the benefit of tides, and
washes the City on this side, hath, in a long tract of time, totally
subverted and carried away the walls in this part.’ The Latin of this
passage commences at ‘_Ab Occidente duo Castella munitissima_,’ &c.
Maitland then goes on to argue, that Fitz-Stephen could have no regard
to a gate on the South, there being no wall remaining; ‘whereas,’ says
he, ‘on the contrary, it is manifest that his seven gates were in the
continued wall on the land side.’

“It is probable, however, that, at a very early period after its
erection, towers were reared upon London Bridge, for there was one
standing at each end; but of these I shall speak more largely under
future years: remarking only, that it is by no means impossible for a
Watch-tower and gate to have stood upon the Bridge, even from its very
first erection, seeing that it was, as it were, a new key to the City.
A sort of Barbican, Mr. Geoffrey, such as you derive your name from;
for you remember the essential importance which such buildings were
of, and how Bagford speaks of them in his Letter to Hearne, which I
have already quoted, page lxii. ‘Here,’ says he, ‘they kept Cohorts
of Souldiers in continual service’--for your Barbican Tower was of
Roman invention,--‘to watch in the night; that if any sudden fire
should happen, they might be in a readiness to extinguish it, as also
to give notice if an enemy were gathering or marching towards the City
to surprise them. In short, it was a Watch-tower by day; and at night,
they lighted some combustible material on the top thereof, to give
directions to the weary traveller repairing to the City, either with
provision or on some other occasion.’

“But to pass from probabilities to certainties, let us now, having got
the Bridge fairly built of stone, consider the many events and changes
which it hath experienced, from its infancy in the thirteenth Century,
to its old age in the nineteenth: and so, my excellent auditor, Here
begin the Books of the Chronicles of London Bridge.

“That sorrowful exclamation, ‘No sooner born than dead!’ may well, at
the period at which we are now arrived, be uttered over this scarcely
completed edifice; for in the night of the 10th of July, 1212, within
four years after its being finished, a dreadful conflagration took
place upon it. Stow, at page 60 of his ‘_Survey_,’ cites the Book
of Dunmow, William de Packington, and William of Coventry, as his
authorities for that excellent account of it which I shall presently
repeat to you. Let me, however, first observe, that Packington was
Secretary and Treasurer to Edward the Black Prince, in Gascoigne,
about 1380. For _William_ of Coventry, I conceive that we should read
_Walter_ of Coventry; because the former, who wrote about 1360, is
celebrated in page 148 of Bishop Nicolson’s ‘_Historical Libraries_,’
already cited, as the Author of a work ‘concerning the coming of the
Carmelites into England.’ Walter, on the contrary, at page 61, is
mentioned as having compiled three books of Chronicles, about the year
1217, which yet remain in Manuscript in Bennet College, Cambridge.
The ‘_Chronicle of Dunmow_,’ which is the other authority quoted by
Stow, is now to be found only in a small quarto volume in the Harleian
Library of Manuscripts, No. 530, article ii. page 2 a. It consists of
a miscellaneous collection of notes, in the hand writings of Stow,
Camden, and perhaps Sir Henry Savile; transcribed upon old, stained,
and worn-out, paper. The notice of this great fire is very brief, and,
with the heading of the extracts, runs thus: ‘_Collectanea ex Chronico
de Dunmowe_.’--‘1213. London was burned and the Brydge also, and many
peryshed by violence of the fyre.’ Stow’s own account, however, is the
most interesting extant, and is as follows. ‘The Borough of Southwark,’
says he, ‘upon the South side of the River of Thames, as also the
Church of our Lady of the Canons there,’--that is to say the Church
of St. Mary Overies, which changed its name upon being re-founded, in
1106, for Canons Regular, by William de Pont de l’Arche, and William
D’Auncy, Norman knights,--these ‘being on fire, and an exceeding great
multitude of people passing the Bridge, either to extinguish and quench
it, or else to gaze and behold it; suddenly the North part, by blowing
of the South wind was also set on fire; and the people which were even
now passing the Bridge, perceiving the same, would have returned, but
were stopped by the fire: and it came to pass, that as they stayed or
protracted the time, the other end of the Bridge also, namely, the
South end was fired; so that the people, thronging themselves between
the two fires, did nothing else but expect present death. Then there
came to aid them many ships and vessels, into which the multitude so
unadvisedly rushed, that the ships being thereby drowned, they all
perished. It was said, that through the fire and shipwreck, there were
destroyed above three thousand persons, whose bodies were found in part
or half burned, besides those that were wholly burned to ashes, and
could not be found.’

“Such is Stow’s account of this melancholy event, which is best
confirmed by the ‘_Annals of Waverley_,’ page 173; but they state
also, that under this year, ‘1212, London, about the Bridge, was great
part burned, together with the Priory of Southwark.’ Now, if we might
credit the ‘_Historiæ Angliæ_’ of that wily, but elegant Italian,
Polydore Vergil, we might be sure, that even at this period, London
Bridge was built upon: ‘_Ipso illo anno_,’ says he, at page 276 of
his book, setting out, however, with an erroneous date, ‘In that same
year’--1211,--‘all the buildings that were erected upon London Bridge,
were, even upon both sides, destroyed by fire: the which is esteemed
a place of wonder.’ Polydore Vergil, you know, was an Historian of
the reign of King Henry VIII. so we shall refer to him hereafter;
and his work, now cited, was written at that Monarch’s request, so
late as about the year 1521. It is esteemed chiefly for its elegant
diction; and the best edition of it is considered to be that printed at
Leyden, in 1651, octavo; though the foregoing reference is to the last
impression of the Basil folio, A. D. 1570.

“There does not appear, however, to have been any very effectual or
speedy order taken for the restoration of London Bridge; for in the
‘_Rotuli Clausi_,’ or the Close Rolls, of the 15th Year of King John,
1213, Membrane the 3rd, is the following entry. ‘It is commanded to
the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, that the halfpence which are now
taken of foreign Merchants, shall be given to the work of London
Bridge. Witness Myself at the Tower of London, on the 18th day of
December, in the 15th year of our reign.’--You will find the Latin of
this printed in the second impression of Thomas Hearne’s edition of
the ‘_Liber Niger Scaccarii_,’ London, 1771, 8vo. volume i. page *471;
and the original record may be seen in the Tower of London, written
in so small, delicate, and abbreviated a character, that it hardly
makes two lines on the narrow parchment roll. And now that we are
speaking of the repairs of London Bridge, I should observe, that they
are closely connected with the history of the Bridge-House and Yard
in Tooley Street, Southwark; since Stow tells you in his ‘_Survey_,’
volume ii. page 24, that they were so called and appointed, as being ‘a
storehouse for stone, timber, or whatsoever pertaineth to the buildings
or repairing of London Bridge.’ He adds too, that this House ‘seemeth
to have taken beginning with the first foundation of the Bridge either
of stone or timber;’ and that it is ‘a large plot of ground on the
bank of the River Thames, containing divers large buildings for the
stowage’ of materials for the repairs of London Bridge. Of events which
particularly concern this place, I shall, however, speak more fully in
their proper order of time.

“In the year 1235, you will recollect that Isabel, third daughter
of King John, by his third Queen, Isabella of Angoulême, was sent
with great splendour into Germany, to marry the Emperor Frederick
II. She was attended by William Brewer, Bishop of Exeter, and a
Privy Councillor to King Henry III., and also by the Archbishop of
Cologne, the Imperial proxy, who had pronounced her Empress. Upon
this occasion, according to the customs of the ancient Norman Law and
the Feudal System, the King received an aid to furnish her dowry,
of two marks out of every Knight’s Fee;--that is to say, as it is
usually accepted, £1. 6_s._ 8_d._ from every person who possessed an
estate of £20. per annum, which was granted by the Common Council
of the kingdom. This rather uncommon aid, you find certified in
Thomas Madox’s ‘_History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the
Kings of England_,’ London, 1711, folio, page 412; and in the
voluminous collections of that eminent Antiquary, now preserved with
Sir Hans Sloane’s Manuscripts in the British Museum, No. 4563, page
181 b, is the following very curious document, which connects this
circumstance with the history of London Bridge. ‘To be remembered
concerning the payments of Purprestures’--fines for enclosing and
damaging of Land--‘and of Escheats’--accidental returns of estates to
their principal owners,--‘It is commanded to the Sheriffs, that they
get all the arrears of all the above rents, and the issues of all
Purprestures and Escheats; _excepting the rents of London Bridge_, and
the remainder of the amerciaments belonging to the Circuit of W. of
York,’--most probably Walter Grey, then Archbishop of York, and Lord
Chancellor,--‘as well in the County of Middlesex as at the Tower, and
all the deficiencies (of the aid) for marrying the King’s sister, and
for the passing over this sea into Gascony.’ In the Exchequer Rolls of
the 32nd of Henry III., A. D. 1247, 12 a.

“Towards the latter end of the year 1248, King Henry vainly endeavoured
to collect from his Barons, a sum sufficient to enable him to recover
certain provinces in France; upon which, he offered a portion of his
plate and jewels for sale to the Citizens of London, by whom they were
bought. The King, displeased at finding they readily procured money
for such a purpose, and yet pleaded poverty whenever he solicited a
supply, resolved upon retaliation; and, to that end, kept his Christmas
in the City, forced the inhabitants to present him with divers costly
New Year’s gifts, and established a Market at Westminster, to last for
fifteen days, beginning on the 13th of October, during which time all
other fairs were suspended, and, in London itself, all commerce was
prohibited. I think too, that we may trace the effects of Henry’s anger
yet farther; for, in the Patent Roll of the 34th year of his reign,
1249, Membrane the 5th, is the following writ.

“‘Of taking the City of London into the hands of our Lord the King. The
King, &c. to his faithful W. de Haverhull, his Treasurer; Peter Blund,
Constable of the Tower of London; and Ernald Gerandin, his Chamberlain:
Greeting. We command that without delay, you take into your hands our
City of London, with the County of Middlesex, and London Bridge in
like manner: so that the issues of the same be answered for to us at
our Exchequer at our pleasure. And all the aforesaid shall be in safe
custody, until the receipt of another mandate from us. In testimony of
which thing, etcætera, Witness the King at Merton, on the 20th day of
May.’ The original of this is of course in the Tower.

“In the same National depository of invaluable records, Mr.
Geoffrey, there is, in the Patent Rolls of the 37th of Henry
III.--1252,--Membrane the 4th, an entry entitled ‘A Protection for
the Brethren of London Bridge, concerning the charitable gifts
collected for the reparation of the said Bridge.’ This, like the
foregoing instrument, has not, as I can remember, ever been printed;
and, translated into English, it is as follows. ‘The King to the
Archbishops, &c. Greeting. Know ye that we engage for the protection
and defence of our Brethren of London Bridge, and their men, lands,
goods, rents, and all their possessions. And therefore we command,
that they, the Brethren, and their men, lands, goods, rents, and all
possessions, in their hands, ye should hold protected and defended.
Nor shall any bring upon them, or permit to be brought upon them, any
injury, molestation, damage, or grievance. And if it be that any thing
hath been forfeited by them, amendment shall be made without delay.
And we also desire of you, that when the aforesaid Brethren, or their
Messengers, shall come to you for your alms for their support, or for
that of the aforesaid Bridge, ye shall courteously receive them, and
cause them to be so received in all your Churches, Towns, and Courts;
and that ye will bestow upon them of your goods according to your
charity and the sight of our precept, the alms which they desire. So
that in reward thereof ye may be worthy of all the blessings of mercy,
and our special thanks shall be due unto you. In testimony of which
thing, &c. Witness the King at Portsmouth, the fifteenth day of July.’

“Really,” said I to Mr. Postern, as he concluded the last Charter,
“your memory, Mr. Barnaby, is little less than miraculous! Why, it must
be like a chain cable, to hold together the contents of all these musty
Patent Rolls, with their endless repetitions. I myself am called by my
intimates, ‘_Memory Barbican_,’ and I can recollect events and stories
indifferently well; but _you!_ you remind me of the Wandering Jew, who
has lived eighteen hundred years, and never forgot any thing in his

“Ah! my good Sir,” answered the Historian of London Bridge, “if my
memory were equal to your praise of it, it were, indeed, worth boasting
of; but in my broken narrative I can shew you but here and there an
isolated fact, whilst to the greater part of the story, we are obliged
to say with _Master Shallow_, ‘Barren! Barren! Beggars all! Beggars

“Take a draught out of the fragment of Master Shallow’s fat friend
here,” returned I, pointing to the Sack Tankard, “and set out afresh,
my old kinsman; but pray let us have the spur on the other leg
now, and give us a little History to lighten our Law; with which
request,--Here’s my service to you!” Mr. Postern bowed as I drank, and
after having followed my example, thus continued.

“You must doubtless remember, my good Sir, that during those unhappy
Baronial wars which lasted nearly the whole of the extended reign of
Henry III. it was supposed that Queen Eleanor of Provence opposed the
Sovereign’s agreeing to the Barons’ demands; and that in revenge for
this, how very uncivilly the Citizens treated her at London Bridge.
Matthew of Westminster tells the story under the year 1263, in his
‘_Flores Historiarum_.’ London, 1570, folio, Part ii. page 315; and
he, as you will recollect, was a Benedictine Monk of Westminster,
who flourished, as Bishop Nicholson supposes in his ‘_Historical
Libraries_,’ page 66, about the year 1307, when his history ends. The
event to which I allude was, that as the Queen was going by water
to Windsor, just as her barge was preparing to shoot the Bridge,
the populace intercepted her progress, attacked her with vehement
exclamations and reproaches, and endeavoured to sink her vessel, and
deprive her of life by casting heavy stones and mud into her boat. Upon
this, she was compelled to return to the Tower, where the King had
garrisoned himself, as the City had declared for the Barons, whence
she was removed to the Bishop of London’s Palace, at St. Paul’s. It
was in the latter end of the same year, that Simon de Montfort, the
sturdy Earl of Leicester, and the Baronial leader, marched his forces
through the County of Surrey towards London, in the hope that his
friends, Thomas Fitz-Richard, then Lord Mayor, Thomas de Pynlesdon,
Matthew Bukerel, and Michael Tony, with whom was connected an immense
multitude of the common rabble, would open the Bridge Gates to him.
When the King, however, became acquainted with the Earl’s design, he
left the Tower, and encamped with his troops about Southwark, to oppose
his passage. As the Earl of Leicester relied more upon the assistance
of the Citizens, than on the valour of his own soldiers, he vigorously
attacked the King’s troops, expecting that the Londoners would favour
his entrance. Henry, however, had still several adherents in the City;
and, indeed, Thomas Wikes, in his ‘_Chronicon_,’ page 58, as it is
printed in volume ii. of Gale’s ‘_Scriptores_,’ already cited, tells
us that the Baronial party in London was composed of the meanest and
most worthless, whom the wisest and eldest endeavoured to controul.
During the fight, therefore, some of the Royalists, and especially one
John Gisors, a Norman, perceiving that the City was in motion to assist
De Montfort, locked up the Bridge Gates, and threw the keys into the
Thames. So prompt an action had nearly proved fatal to the Earl of
Leicester, who had approached the Bridge with only a few soldiers, lest
his designs should be discovered; but at length the Gates were broken
open, the Citizens rushed out in multitudes to his rescue; King Henry
was obliged to retreat, and De Montfort entered the City. By this event
we are informed that there certainly _did_ exist a Bridge Gate in the
year 1264; and the historians by whom the fact is related, are Matthew
of Westminster, whose ‘_Flowers of Histories_’ I have already quoted,
of which book, see page 317; and the ‘_Chronicon_’ of Thomas Wikes, a
Canon Regular of Osney, near Oxford, which concludes with the year 1304.

“It would seem almost certain that, at this period, the keeping of
London Bridge, with all its emoluments, was in the possession of
the Brethren of St. Thomas of the Bridge; and the idea is somewhat
supported by the Protection to which I referred you but a short time
since. There is, however, in the Patent Rolls preserved in the Tower
of London, of the 50th of Henry III.--1265,--Membrane the 43rd, the
following instrument.

“‘For the Hospital of St. Catherine, concerning the Custody of London
Bridge, with all the rents thereof for the space of five years.

‘The King to the Brethren and Chaplains ministring in the Chapel of
St. Thomas upon London Bridge, the other inhabitants upon the same
Bridge; and to all others to whom these letters shall come, Greeting:
Know ye, that we commit unto the Master and Brethren of the Hospital
of Saint Catherine near to our Tower of London, the Custody of the
aforesaid Bridge with all its appurtenances, as well the rents and
tenements thereof, as of others which belong to the aforesaid Bridge,
within and without the City: to have and to hold by the said Master and
Brethren for the space of five years. Yet so that out of the aforesaid
rents, tenements, and other goods of the aforesaid Bridge, the repair
and support of the Bridge is to be looked for, and to be done, from
henceforth from that place as it shall be able, and as it hath been
accustomed. And therefore we command you, that to the said Master and
Brethren, as well as to the keepers of the aforesaid Bridge, all things
belonging to that custody be applied, permitted, and paid, until the
term aforesaid. Witness the King at Westminster, on the sixteenth day
of November.’ The Latin of this writ you find printed in Hearne’s
‘_Liber Niger_,’ which I have before quoted, volume i. page *471; and
it affords us certain proof of the early existence of dwellings on
London Bridge.

“I will but remark in passing onwards, that Madox, in his ‘_History
of the Exchequer_,’ already cited, page 534, quotes a Roll to shew
that in the 52nd year of King Henry III.--1267,--Walter Harvey, and
William de Durham, Bailiffs of the City of London, accounted to the
Crown for the sum of £7. 0_s._ 2-1/2_d._ being the amount of the
Custom of Fish brought to London Bridge Street, and other Customs also
taken there. The term for which the Hospital of St. Catherine was to
enjoy the custody of London Bridge, wanted, however, more than a whole
twelvemonth of its completion, when a new Patent was issued by Henry
III. in 1269, the 54th year of his reign, granting it to his Queen
Eleanor of Provence. It is entitled, ‘The King gives to Eleanor, Queen
of England, the custody of London Bridge, with the liberties;’ and you
will find it the third article on the 4th Membrane, in the Patent Roll
for the above year: the Latin is printed by Hearne in the place which I
last cited, page *472, and the writ in English is as follows:”

“‘The King to all etcætera, Greeting. Seeing that some time since we
would have granted to our most dear Consort Eleanor, Queen of England,
the Custody of our Bridge at London, with the liberties and all other
things belonging to that Bridge, to have for a certain term: We,
therefore, do grant to the same Queen, out of our abundant grace and
will, the custody of the Bridge aforesaid, with the liberties and
all other things belonging to that Bridge, to be considered from the
Feast of All Saints,’--1st of November--‘about to arrive; and from the
same Feast of All Saints, until the full end of the six years next
approaching, and following. In testimony of which thing, etcætera,
Witness the King, at Woodstock, on the 10th day of September.’”

“And pray, Mr. Barnaby Postern,” said I, in a drowsy kind of voice, for
I was almost tired at sitting so long silent, “did the Queen enjoy the
whole of her term, or was the custody of London Bridge again otherwise
disposed of?”

“You bring me, worthy Mr. Geoffrey,” answered he, “by your very
seasonable question, to speak of a matter in which the Citizens of
London obtained a great triumph on behalf of their Bridge. It is
somewhat singular, that Stow, at page 60 of his ‘_Survey_,’ volume
i. has very hastily, and, in my poor mind, very imperfectly, related
this matter; whilst Maitland, on page 48 of his ‘_History_,’ volume i.
has told it still less circumstantially. I shall therefore, my good
friend, take the freedom to put the proceedings between the Queen and
the Citizens in somewhat more particular a form, illustrating them by
the very records from whence we derive our information; for to these
let me say, that neither of the authors whom I have mentioned give you
any reference. Previously to commencing, however, I must entreat you
to bear with me, Mr. Barbican, if my proofs cited from the ancient
Rolls of the Kingdom be dull and formal; and to remember that they are
often the only _fragmenta_ we possess of past events. Tracing of local
history is like endeavouring to follow the course of a dried-up river:
a rude channel here and there presents itself; some mouldering ruin,
once the abutment of an ancient Bridge, or----”

“Mr. Postern,” said I, taking up the Tankard, and interrupting him,
“once more, here’s your health, and I wish you safe out of your
wilderness: keep to one thing at a time, man, leave your dried-up
river, and ‘turn again Barnaby,’ to the dispute between Queen Eleanor
of Provence, and the Citizens of London, concerning yonder Bridge.”

“In good time,” continued my visitor, “you have brought me back again.
And now, I would first request you to remember, that King Henry III.
died at London, on the 16th of November, 1272; Prince Edward his son
then being in the Crusade in Palestine; whence, however, he returned to
England in July, or August, 1274. Now, almost the whole of the reign of
Henry III. had been disturbed by the truculent Barons contending with
him for the final settlement of Magna Charta; and these Civil Wars had
very naturally produced numerous abuses with respect to the Estates of
England, such as the Nobility assuming almost regal rights, imposing
heavy tolls, and the officers of the Crown using divers exactions
under colour of the law. Such was the state of English affairs at the
return of King Edward I., and it was one of the first acts of his
reign--as the ‘_Annals of Waverley_’ tell us on page 235,--to enquire
into the state of the revenues, privileges, and lands of the Crown;
as well as to examine into the conduct of the sheriffs and officers,
who had at once defrauded the Sovereign and oppressed his subjects.
For this purpose, as the next circuit of the Justices Itinerant was
not expected for six years then to come,--as they generally travelled
it but once in seven,--the King issued his Letters Patent under the
Great Seal, dated from the Tower of London, on the 11th of October,
1274, appointing Commissioners for each County in England, to make
this important inquisition. They were instructed to summon Juries
to enquire on oath the answers to thirty-five Articles, examining
into the King’s rights, royalties, and prerogatives, and into the
extent of all frauds and abuses; the most full and ample instructions
being given them for their conduct. The returns and answers to these
enquiries constitute that interesting body of Records denominated the
‘_Hundred Rolls_,’ which are preserved in the Wakefield Tower, in the
Tower of London: though, before we make any references to these, let
me remark, that you will find their history, nature, and extent, fully
described in the ‘_Reports from the Select Committee, appointed to
enquire into the State of the Public Records_,’ 1801, folio, pages 54,
57-62; and ‘_Rotuli Hundredorum Tempore Henrici III. et Edwardi I.
in Turri Londinensi, et in Curiâ receptæ Scaccarii Westmonasteriensi,
asservati_.’ London, 1812-18, 2 volumes, folio. The original Patent
Commissions, and Articles of Enquiry, are also still preserved in the
Patent Rolls in the Tower, of the 2nd of Edward I., Membrane the 5th:
by which we are informed, that Bartholomew de Bryaunton, and James de
Saint Victoire, were appointed Inquisitors for the Counties of Kent,
Surrey, Sussex, and Middlesex, and for the City of London: and that
their enquiries for the latter place commenced in the 3rd year of King
Edward I., 1274-75. On the first Membrane of the Roll for London it
is stated, that twelve Jurors of Basinghall, or as it is often called
Bassishaw Ward, gave the following evidence concerning London Bridge,
for the original Latin of which see the ‘_Rotuli Hundredorum_,’ which I
have already quoted, volume i. page 403, column 1.

“‘When they enquired concerning the Rents of the Citizens and
Burgesses, &c.--They said that the custody of London Bridge, which is
wont to belong only to the City, is alienated by the Lady Queen, Mother
of Edward our King; and the Keepers of the said Bridge appointed by
the same Lady Queen, expend but little in the amending and sustaining
of the said Bridge. Whence danger may easily arise, very much to the
damage of the King and of the City.’ This is the second Inquisition
quoted by Stow, on page 60. On the third Membrane of this same Roll,
containing the inquisition made in the Ward of William de Hadestok,
or Tower Ward, the Jurors said that ‘the Lady Queen Eleanor, Mother
of our Lord the King, is now possessed of the Bridge of London, who
keeps it badly, and that it was belonging to the City of London:’ and
also that the custody had been alienated ‘from the Battle of Evesham,’
August the 4th, 1265, as I have already shewn you, until the time of
the inquisition. See page 405, column 1, of the ‘_Hundred Rolls_’
before cited.

“The Jurors of the Ward of Fori, or Fore-street, page 406, column 2 of
the same book, and Membrane 4 of the original Roll, ‘said that London
Bridge had been for a long time in the hands of the City and Citizens
of London, and that such had been always accustomed by general consent,
to be made keepers of the common Bridge of our Lord the King, and of
his City, and of all passers over it; and now,’ they continued, ‘the
aforesaid Bridge is in the hands of the Lady the Queen, and they know
not by what warrant. They said also, that the same Bridge is greatly
and perilously decayed through defect of keeping, which is to the great
peril of our Lord the King and his City, and all passing over it.’ The
evidence of the Jurors of the Ward of Walter le Poter, was to the same
effect: and you will find it on Membrane 5 of the Roll, and on page
408, column 2, of the printed copy. A similar reply was also returned
from the Ward of Peter Aunger, see Membrane 6, and page 410, column 1:
from Coleman Street Ward, Membrane 7, page 412, column 1: and from the
Ward of John de Blakethorne, Membrane 9, page 414, column 2; where,
however, it is added, that ‘the Bridge of London, which was formerly
in the custody of the whole Commonalty to be repaired and re-edified,
is now under that of Brother Stephen de Foleborn for the Queen Mother.’

“The verdict of the twelve Jurors of the Ward of John Horn, also
testifies the Queen’s possession of London Bridge, see Membrane 11,
and page 416, column 2: but from Queenhithe Ward, or that of Simon
de Hadestok, Membrane 13, and page 419, column 1, we learn that the
Jurors ‘said that the Lord King Henry took the Bridge of London into
his own hands, presently after the Battle of Evesham, and delivered
it into the hands of the Lady the Queen, Mother of the Lord the King,
who hath it now; and that to the great detriment of the Bridge, and
the prejudice of all the people; it is also now nearly in a falling
state, through defect of support.’ On Membrane 14, and page 420, column
1, the Jurors of the Ward of John de Northampton,--which is, by the
way, the first Inquisition, so vaguely referred to by Stow, at page
60 of his ‘_Survey_,’--depose to the same effect; as do those of the
Ward of Thomas de Basing, Membrane 15, and page 421, column 1; the
latter adding only, that when the Bridge was held by the City, it was
delivered to two honest Citizens to keep, saving the rents of their
custody. The only information we gain from the Jurors of the Ward of
Dowgate, Membrane 16, and page 422, column 2, is, that Brother Stephen,
Bishop of Waterford, was custodier for Queen Eleanor, whilst their
evidence on the Bridge dilapidations is quite as full as that of the
other Wards.

“Such were the chief answers to the inquisitions concerning London
Bridge, in the reign of King Edward I.; I say the chief, for there
are yet several others, which, for the most part, are but abridged
repetitions of those already cited. Indeed, they are recorded upon a
different Roll, which is kept in the Chapter House, at West-Minster;
and you may see their contents in the printed copies of the ‘_Hundred
Rolls_’ to which I have so often referred you, volume i. pages 425-432.”

“Well, Master Postern,” said I, when my narrator came to this breathing
place, “and how did King Edward and his Commissioners act upon this
evidence against Queen Eleanor of Provence? Were they not of the mind
of _Dogberry_ as it regarded the answers of the Citizens; ‘’Fore God!
they are both in a tale,’ seeing that nearly all of them swore alike?”

“I cannot, now,” answered Mr. Postern, “call to mind any historical
proof that the custody of London Bridge was immediately restored to
the Mayor and Citizens, though Maitland states, at page 48 of his
‘_History_,’ but without quoting any authority, that the Citizens
did not cease to prosecute their suit by _Quo Warranto_, until they
regained their ancient rights and privileges. Now the fact is, it is
by no means certain that there was any such suit ever commenced as
it concerned the Bridge; for the inquisition was first commanded by
the King, and the Citizens had only to answer concerning the ancient
possession and present state of their property, part of which they
stated had been alienated by the King to the Queen Mother, adding also,
‘_et nesciunt quo Warranto_,’ they knew not by what warrant, or right.
This, probably, was the phrase which led Maitland astray; added to
which, he cites at page 104 the _Quo Warranto_ Bag of the 3rd year of
Edward I. No. 4, in the Exchequer, containing the complaints of the
Citizens concerning levies unjustly made.

“It was, however, not the City of London only that presented and
complained of alterations in the Bridge customs; for in Messrs. Manning
and Bray’s ‘_History and Antiquities of Surrey_,’ London, 1804-14,
folio, volume iii. page 548, there is the following entry. ‘At an
Assize at Guildford, in Surrey, in the Octave of St. Michael,’--that is
to say within the eight days succeeding the 29th of September,--‘in the
7th of Edward I. 1278--79, before John de Reygate and other Justices
Itinerant. There came twelve for the Burgesses of Southwark. They
present that a certain part of London Bridge, about the great gate of
the Bridge, with the houses and buildings standing on that part, used
to belong to the Burgh of the King, of Southwark, where the King used
to have of rents of Assize,’--namely, fixed rents which could never be
increased,--‘yearly 11_s._ 4_d._; and of the customs of things there
sold, 16_s._ and one halfpenny, till fourteen years ago, in the time
of King Henry III., when the Mayor and City of London appropriated it
to the City:--the King to be consulted. Also they present that the
Keeper of London Bridge holds a messuage which formerly belonged to
Reginald de Colemille, who then held the same in Chief,’ immediately
from the King, ‘by the rent of one penny farthing: and that Milo le
Mareschall holds in Chief of the King two messuages which were formerly
the property of Godefride de Marberer, and Henry le Mareschall,
and pays yearly two pence halfpenny.’ The ‘_Assize Pleadings_,’ or
Rolls, containing these particulars, were written in consequence of
inquisitions into the damages and alienations of the King’s property,
during the reign of King Henry III., as I have already remarked with
regard to the Hundred Rolls: the original pleadings are preserved in
the Tower of London, and in the Court of the Receipt of the Exchequer,
in the Chapter House at Westminster. Such were the ancient rents of the
houses on London Bridge; to which I may add, that a Fruiterer’s Shop,
two yards and a half and one thumb in length, and three yards and two
thumbs in depth, was let on a lease from the Bridge-master, at a rental
of twelve pence.

“We well know, Mr. Barbican, that in the olden time, Bridges were
applied to many purposes which now seem altogether foreign to such
edifices. The celebrated Du Cange, you will recollect, in his
‘_Glossarium ad Scriptores Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis_,’ Paris,
1733-36, folio, volume ii. page 67, tells us, that Philip the Fair,
King of France, ordained in 1304, that the public Exchange, or
Bankers’ Money Table for Paris, should be held upon the Great Bridge
there, between the Church of St. Leufred and the Great Arch, as it
was anciently accustomed to be. You may remember, also, that Bridges
were once considered as Funeral Monuments, for Olaus Wormius, in his
‘_Monumentum Danicorum_,’ Hafnia, 1643, folio, page 523, when speaking
of the Island of Foesoe, observes, that there was erected a Bridge
at the costs of two or three persons, as well to preserve their own
names to posterity, as to commemorate that of Jotheimnt who converted
them to Christianity. He adds also, that the word _Bru_, which is
unquestionably the most ancient etymon of the term Bridge, signifies
that coronal of stone with which the large burial-places, or _tumuli_,
in fields, were encircled. With what great propriety then, did the
blessed Peter of Colechurch confide his fame to, and rest his most
excellent bones, in London Bridge!

“Such, then, being the purposes to which Bridges were once
appropriated, we are not to wonder that a Market formerly existed
upon that of London; although the circumstance is marked only by the
order for its removal, which we find mentioned by Maitland in his
‘_History_,’ volume i. page 104, in the following terms. ‘In the fifth
year of this King’s reign,’ that is to say Edward I. 1276,--‘it was
ordained, that there should not be kept a Market on London Bridge,
nor in any other place, except those appointed for that purpose: also
that no person should go out of the City to Southwark to buy cattle,
or any wares which might be bought in the City, under the penalty of
the forfeiture of the thing bought. This is the first Ordinance of
the Common Council we find on record, concerning the regulation and
appointment of Markets in this City.’ The margin of Maitland’s work
states that he derived this information from the book entitled ‘_Liber
Albus_,’ preserved in the Record Chamber of the City of London, folio,
130 a. Now this same White Book, which I imagine to have been so called
from its having once had a cover of cream-coloured calf, was a most
curious and elaborate work, compiled, as it is supposed by Strype, by
one J. Carpenter, who was Town Clerk in the reign of Henry V., and a
great benefactor to the City. It is dated November 5th, 1419, in the
Mayoralty of Master Richard Whyttington, and the 7th year of the Reign
of Henry V. and ‘it contains laudable customs not written, wont to be
observed in the City, and other notable things worthy of remembrance
here and there scatteringly, not in any order written.’ Some of these
memoranda, as the Latin Prologue to the volume sets forth, are short
indexes to the contents of other City Books, Rolls, and Charters,
which are cited by their names, or marks; and in the 4th Book, folio
70 a, there is a reference to another record marked A, page cxxx.,
concerning the market on London Bridge, which was probably the occasion
of Maitland’s marginal note, as the ‘_Liber Albus Transcriptum_,’
itself, has not in any part of it a page numbered 130. The volume then,
in which this very ancient order of the Common Council is really
contained, is a small folio of a moderate thickness, cased in boards,
covered with white leather, having a coating of rough calf over it.
The outside is garnished with bosses and clasps, now black with age;
and in the centre, a metal border holds down a piece of parchment, on
which is written in Latin the title of the volume, in a clear black
letter, guarded by a plate of horn: informing us that it was begun in
the 4th year of the reign of Edward I. 1275, and finished in his 22nd
year, 1293. The leaves are of parchment, with the contents written in
a small Court-hand in Latin; and on folio 130 a, is this entry. ‘Also
that no Market place shall be kept upon London Bridge, nor in any other
place excepting the appointed stations.’ On the preceding folio, namely
129 b, there is also this farther order concerning the Bridge: ‘Item,
that no regraters,’--that is to say those who both bought and sold in
the same market or fair,--‘shall come from below London Bridge, for
the buying and preparing of bread in the City; because the Bakers of
Southwark are not permitted by the statutes of our City, to come from
without the City.’ Before I quit these venerable records of London,
I must observe to you that they contain an almost infinite number of
very curious memoranda concerning London Bridge, which would occupy no
trivial time, either to collect or relate; since in the same ‘_Liber
Albus_’ are numerous references to such particulars, see ‘for a taste
now,’ as _Touchstone_ saith, the articles entitled ‘Of the Customs
of the Bridge, Part I. folio xii. a;’--‘of the Fees’--of Fish,--‘of
the Bridge Bailiff, folio xii. b;’--‘concerning the keeping, rent, and
course, of the water under the wall,’--Wall-brook;--‘of the cleansing
of Fleet-ditch, and of the Bridge of London, and the roads about
London,’ book iv. page 16 a; ‘That the Quays and house of St. Botolph
be built and repaired by the keepers of the Bridge, volume E. folio
cxxv.;’ and ‘Writ for the keepers of the Bridge against the Parson
of Wolchurchaw, concerning the stalls on the same. Volume G. folio
clviii.’ Such are a few of the very many historical notices relating to
London Bridge, preserved in the Civic Records; ‘Books,’ says Strype,
in the interesting Preface to his first edition of Stow’s Survey,
London, 1720, never afterwards reprinted,--‘Books, that contain such a
treasure, as, notwithstanding what Mr. Stow, as well as others, have
extracted thence, and published, many other things in vast variety
still remain there unprinted,’ and, we may almost add, unknown. Alas!
my good Sir, can we wonder at the paucity of historical narrative, when
we reflect how often its very sources are undiscovered? Too many of our
topographers, ‘content to dwell in decencies for ever!’ flatter each
other, and copy each other’s errors; but how seldom do we see one, who,
diving deeply into the broad stream of Antiquarian lore, brings up----”

“Mr. Postern,” said I, with some warmth, “this is actually intolerable;
there is really nothing but what serves you for a Jack o’lanthorn to
go astray by. Whether it be a book, or a bit of musty morality, which
has nothing at all to do with the matter, away go you over hedges and
ditches, and through a thousand thickets and sloughs, rather than keep
the straight road; and dragging me along with you, over the boots in
mire. I think, on the whole, indeed, that my estate is gracious that
you have not _all_ the Bridge Records at command, for then should I be
overwhelmed, and _you_ be ten times more wearisome. Come back then, my
good Sir; do pray come back again, and finish the reign of Edward I.,
as it was connected with the history of London Bridge.”

“I own,” answered Mr. Postern, in his usual undisturbed manner, “that
your patience is somewhat tried by these details; but ever remember,
Mr. Barbican, I pray you, that our ancient Charters, with all their
barbarisms and tautology, our old Latin Chronicles, with all their
monkish fables and rudeness, our brief Patent Rolls, with all their
dryness and seeming want of interest,--ever remember that these are
the sure foundations on which all History is built. Simple truth was,
in general, the only aim of the first Chroniclers, to which later ages
have added grace of style, vividness of description, and interest of
narrative, to adorn their antique fidelity and plainness.

“But to proceed.--We are not made acquainted, Sir, with any particulars
of the repairs which followed these inquisitions concerning London
Bridge; but in the 9th year of King Edward I.--1280,--there was the
following Patent issued for its support: the original of which is
preserved with the other Patent Rolls in the Wakefield Tower, in the
Tower of London, 9th Edward I. Membrane 25-27; a copy of the Latin
is printed in Hearne’s ‘_Liber Niger_,’ which I have already quoted,
volume i. page *472; and English translations are to be found in Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 59; and Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume i.
page 47. The words of the Patent were these.

“‘Concerning the Relief and Reparation of the Bridge of London.

‘The King to all his Bailiffs, and his faithful subjects, to whom,
&c.--these presents shall come,--Greeting. It hath been lately
represented unto us, and it grieves us to see, that the Bridge of
London is in so ruinous a condition; to the repair of which unless
some speedy remedy be put, not only the sudden fall of the Bridge,
_but also the destruction of innumerable people dwelling upon it, may
suddenly be feared_.’--I pray you to take notice of this expression,
my good Sir, because it is an undeniable proof of the very early
occupation of the platform of London Bridge by residences.--‘And that
the work,’ continues the Patent, ‘which may now be helped by some
before it fall, may, for want of a supply, come to the expense of a
damage not to be repaired; Wherefore we, who are bound to take care of,
and, by all gentle means, to provide for both the public and private
good, and with affection specially to embrace those whom we perceive
to be in want of our assistance, and to receive them under our Royal
protection; We command and require you, that when the keepers of the
said costly work of the Bridge aforesaid, or their messengers, who are
under our especial protection and license, shall come to you to collect
everywhere throughout our realm aids for the said work from pious
devotion, you do admit them friendly through the contemplation of God,
in respect of Charity, and for evidence of devotion in this behalf: not
bringing on them, nor permitting to be brought upon them, injuries,
molestations, damage, impediment, or grievance: and if any damage be
done them, that ye make them amends without delay. And when ye shall
be required by the aforesaid keepers, or their messengers, to help in
the reparation of the aforesaid Bridge, ye will cheerfully contribute
somewhat of your goods thereto, according to your abilities. And let
each of you endeavour to outrun the other in such memorable works of
Charity, for which ye must have merit with God, and shall gain thanks
of us. In testimony of which thing, Witness the King, at Walsingham, on
the eighth day of January.

“‘And it is also commanded to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors,
Rectors, and to all other Ministers of the Holy Mother Church, to whom
these presents shall come, that when they, the keepers of the costly
work of the Bridge aforesaid, or their messengers, who are under our
especial protection and license, shall come to you to gather supplies
for the said work, everywhere throughout your Dioceses, Rectories,
or other jurisdictions whatsoever, from the pious and devout, you
do admit them from the contemplation of God, the regard of Charity,
and for evidence of devotion in this matter. Admitting them to excite
the people by their pious persuasions, and charitably to invoke the
assistance of their alms for the repair of the Bridge aforesaid. Not
bringing upon them,’--and so forth to the end, as before.

“And, because, says Stow, when he has finished this instrument,
‘because these voluntary alms and charitable benevolences were not like
to bring in the whole charge of the business, therefore the next year,
_viz._ the 10th of Edward I., Anno 1281, the same King issued out other
Letters Patents for taking Customs of all commodities for the same in
London, and that for a certain term of years.’ These grants are also
in the Tower, and the first occurs in the Patent Roll of the 10th of
Edward I. Membrane the 18th; for you must remember that the earliest
articles are the highest in number on the Roll, which counts from
bottom to top, though the printed Calendar, or Index, reverses this
order. The Latin text of King Edward’s Patent is in Hearne, as before,
page *474, and the translation of it is as follows.

“‘Concerning the Reparation of London Bridge.

‘The King to his Mayor of London, Greeting: Because of the sudden ruin
of the Bridge of London, we command you to associate with you two or
three of the more discreet and worthier Citizens of the City aforesaid,
to take, until our Parliament after Easter next approaching, in supply
of the reparation of the Bridge aforesaid, the Customs hereafter
written; namely, of every man crossing the water of Thames, or going
over the aforesaid Bridge of London upon either side, one Farthing;
both unto Southwark, and from Southwark unto London, by reason of the
deficiency of repair of the Bridge aforesaid: Of every Horseman so
crossing the same, one penny; and for every pack carried on a horse,
so crossing over the same, one halfpenny. But we command, in the
mean time, that not any thing be taken on the same on this occasion,
excepting for the supply of the repairs of the Bridge aforesaid. In
testimony of which, &c. Witness the King, at Cirencester, the Fourth
day of February.’

“Before the appearance of the new Patent confirming the foregoing,
there was, however, issued that grant to which I have already shewn
you that Maitland has a reference; and which is to be found recorded
on the Roll of the same year as the preceding, Membrane the 11th. Stow
also refers to it; and Hearne, on page *475, prints it in the original
Latin; in English it ran thus.

“‘That the Mayor and Commonalty of London have power to rent three
waste portions of land in divers places in London for the support of
London Bridge.--The King to all to whom these presents shall come.
Whereas by the testimony of our beloved and faithful Ralph de Hengham,
and William de Brumpton, and of others worthy of credit, we have been
informed, that it is not to our damage, nor to the hurt of our City of
London, if we grant unto our beloved Henry le Waleys, the Mayor, and
the Commonalty of the same City, that those vacant places adjoining the
wall of the Church of Wolchurch, on the Northern side of the Parish of
Wolchurch; and that the other waste places adjoining the wall of the
Churchyard of the Church of St. Paul, on the Eastern side, between the
Gate of St. Augustine, and the Street of West-Cheap: of which places
one half lieth in the Parish of St. Augustine, and the other half in
the Parish of St. Michael, at the Corn-Market; and that the other empty
places adjoining the wall of the aforesaid Burial-place of the Church
of St. Paul, on the Northern side, between the great gate of the said
Burial-place, over against the aforesaid Church of St. Michael; also
the other gate in the same wall towards the West, over against the
narrow way of Ivy lane, that they may build thereon, and rent them
for the support of the Bridge at London. We grant for us, and for our
heirs, to the aforesaid Henry, and the Commonalty, that the places
aforesaid may be built upon and rented for the benefit of them, and
of the same City, as they shall see greater cause to expedite them:
and they, the said buildings and rents, are to be held of them and of
their heirs for ever, for the support of the aforesaid Bridge, without
occasion or impediment, of us and of our heirs, our Justices and our
Bailiffs whomsoever. In testimony of which thing, Witness the King, at
Hartlebury, the 24th day of May.’

“And now I am to remind you, Mr. Barbican, that the Parish Church of
St. Mary Woolchurch stood, until after the Fire of London, on that
spot of ground once occupied by the Stock’s Market, and now by the
Mansion-House; and a part of those waste places, which adjoined to St.
Paul’s Church Yard, was situate on the Eastern side of that street
which we at present term Old ’Change, because of the Royal Exchange for
the receipt of coined bullion, which was once kept there. The Street of
West-Cheap, mentioned in the foregoing grant, was our modern Cheapside;
and St. Austin’s Gate stood on the Northern side of Watling-street,
forming the South-East end of Old ’Change. Stow tells us, in volume
i. of his ‘_Survey_,’ page 637, that in consequence of the preceding
license of Edward I. Henry Walleis built one row of houses on the
Eastern side of Old ’Change, the profits of which belonged to London
Bridge. The other portion of those vacant pieces of ground lay in the
Parish of St. Michael _ad Bladum_, as the Latin original hath it, which
is to say St. Michael at the Corn, or, corruptly speaking, St. Michael
Quern, because there was formerly a Corn-Market on the site of it; and
its famous Church, which was never rebuilt after the fire, stood, as
Stow tells you, page 684, where Newgate Street and Pater Noster Row,
‘like two rivulets joining into one, fall into Cheapside.’ These vacant
spaces, therefore, that were given to London Bridge were in Pater
Noster Row; the houses in which, says Stow, page 664, ‘from the first
North gate of St. Paul’s Church Yard, unto the next gate, were first
built without the wall of the Church Yard, by Henry Walleis, Mayor,
in the Year 1282. The rents of those houses go to the maintenance of
London Bridge.’ This estate, as the deed informs us, lay over against,
or to the South of, the _Venella_, that is to say the narrow Street or
Way, which, even in 1281, was called Ivy Lane.

“This year was, indeed, prolific in Royal Grants, for the benefit of
London Bridge; for, in support of that gift of Customs to be taken upon
it, which I have already recited, King Edward also issued the following
instrument which stands on the Patent Rolls of the 10th of his reign,
Membrane the 9th: You will find a copy of the Latin in Hearne, page
*476; and translations of it are in Stow, volume i. page 59, and in
Maitland, volume i. page 47.

“‘Concerning the Customs taken for the Repair of London Bridge.

‘The King to his Mayor of London. When lately, by reason of the sudden
ruin of London Bridge, we commanded you, that associating with you
two or three of the more discreet and loyal Citizens of the aforesaid
City, ye should take, until our Parliament after Easter next past, in
supply of the reparation of the Bridge aforesaid, a certain Custom,
as in those Letters Patents which we have caused to be made from that
time to you, is more fully contained. We, being willing that the taking
of the said Customs be continued longer, command you, that from the
Feast of St. Margaret the Virgin, next coming,’--namely, the 20th of
July,--‘unto the end of the Three Years next following completed, ye
take the underwritten Custom of the aforesaid Bridge. That is to say,
of every man on foot, bringing merchandise or other saleable goods, and
crossing the Bridge aforesaid, and betaking himself to other parts, one
Farthing: of every Horseman, crossing that Bridge, and betaking himself
to other parts with merchandise or other saleable things, as aforesaid,
one Penny: of every Pack carried on a horse, and passing over that
Bridge, one Halfpenny. Nor will we, in the mean time, that any thing be
there taken on this occasion, but for the supply of the reparation of
the said Bridge. But the aforesaid term of Three Years being completed,
let the above-mentioned Custom cease and become void. In testimony of
which thing, &c. for the aforesaid term of Three Years, this may last.
Witness the King, at Chester, the Sixth day of July.’

“It is, however, worthy of remark, Mr. Geoffrey, before I pass
downwards to another Year, that both Stow, at page 60, and Maitland,
page 47, speak of this as the first Grant of Customs to London Bridge,
and allude to that which I before rehearsed, as the second; when the
months in which they were issued, are no less distant than February and
July, independent of the direct reference which this latter deed has
to the commencement and terms of the former. The mistake has probably
arisen from the peculiarity of numbering the skins on the Patent Roll,
counting from the lowest end of it, which I have already mentioned to
you, since the first instrument is on the eighteenth Membrane, and the
latter on the ninth.

“My next notice of London Bridge is of a nature far less happy than
are these Patents for its support, for the Christmas of 1281 proved
a most fatal season to it; since Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ edited
by Edmund Howes, London, 1631, folio, page 201, tells us, though
without mentioning his authority, that ‘from this Christmas till the
Purification of Our Lady, there was such a frost and snow, as no man
living could remember the like; where-through, five arches of London
Bridge, and all Rochester Bridge, were borne downe, and carried away
with the streame; and the like hapned to many bridges in England. And
not long after, men passed over the Thames betweene Westminster and
Lambeth, and likewise over the River of Medway betweene Stroude and
Rochester, dry-shod. Fishes in ponds, and birds in woods, died for want
of food.’ It would appear as if this devastation had not been very
quickly repaired, for, when added to the former ruinous state of the
Bridge, the complete demolition of more than a fourth part of it, made
it not only a very lamentable, but almost hopeless undertaking. Then,
too, the very recent repetitions of grants for its repair and support,
rendered the same course nearly impracticable, though old Stow tells
us, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 61, that ‘in the year 1289,
the Bridge was so sore decayed for want of reparations, that men were
afraid to pass thereon; and a subsidy was granted towards the amendment
thereof. Sir John Britain being Custos of London, Anno 1289, a great
collection, or gathering, was made of all Archbishops, Bishops, and
other ecclesiastical persons, for the reparations of London Bridge.’
Of the writs for such collections I have, perhaps, already given you
sufficient specimens.

“Several years now passed, unmarked in our Bridge Annals but by the
renewal of those various tolls, of which, but a short time since,
I related to you the particulars; which circumstances not only too
fatally prove into how lamentable a state of decay our venerated
edifice had then fallen; but what is infinitely worse, those repeated
Royal grants and tolls as plainly indicate the dearth of that public
spirit, which had erst lived in the glorious Peter of Colechurch.
I will but observe then, that Stow, at page 60 of his ‘_Survey_,’
and Maitland, who probably merely copied him, at page 47 of his
‘_History_,’ both record the fact, that in the 27th and 30th Years of
King Edward I., namely in 1298 and 1301, the same tolls and customs
were continued for the repair of London Bridge. You will find the
former of these grants entered on the Patent Roll for the proper year,
in the Tower, under the title of ‘_Pontage for London_,’ Membrane 29;
but as the instrument is of some considerable length, I shall prefer
giving you a similar shorter one hereafter, being the last Pontage
Patent issued by that King.

“And now, Mr. Barbican, we come to speak of a new matter connected
with London Bridge, and a singularly curious one it is, inasmuch as
it shews the great antiquity and power of the Bridge Master; but for
the better illustration of it, have patience with me, I pray you,
for a few moments, whilst I recall to your memory a point of legal
history to which it is collaterally related. In the times of our Saxon
ancestors, you may recollect one superior Court of Judicature, called
the _Wittenagemote_, or General Council of Wise Men, was sufficient
for the whole Kingdom. When William I., however, came to be Sovereign,
he contrived to separate from it the Ecclesiastical and Judicial
authority, by establishing a new and permanent Court in his own Palace,
called in history by the various names of _Curia Regis_, the King’s
Court, and _Aula Regia_, or _Aula Regis_, the King’s Hall. This was
divided into several different departments, the principal of which
were composed of the King’s great Officers of State, who were resident
in his Palace. Thus, the Lord Marshal generally presided in affairs
relating to honour and arms, and the military and national laws;
the Lord Chancellor kept the King’s Seal, and had cognizance of all
instruments to which it was attached; the Lord Treasurer was the chief
authority in all matters concerning the Revenue; and certain persons
well acquainted with the Laws, called the King’s Justices, assisted by
the Greater Barons of Parliament, formed a Court of Appeal in difficult
cases, over which presided the Chief Justiciary of all England. For a
considerable time this universal Court was bound to follow the King’s
household in all its progresses and expeditions, to the great delay of
equity, and the extreme trouble of the people; so that in the articles
of petition, which preceded the ‘_Magna Charta_’ of King John, Section
8, it was solicited that Common Pleas, or causes, should no longer
follow the King’s Court, but be held in some certain and permanent
place. This article was one to which John consented more readily than
to any other in his Great Charter, as the power of the Chief Justiciary
being already very considerable, he readily confirmed it by Chapter
xvii. of his grant. This officer’s place, however, was even then but
little altered, as he remained in Westminster Hall, where the _Curia
Regis_ had originally sat; and in the same building a Court of Common
Pleas was established, for the determination of all causes concerning
land, and injuries between subject and subject. The other departments
of the _Aula Regia_, naturally beginning to decline, soon after this
separation, King Edward I. then new modelled the whole judicial polity
of England, by dividing it into other Courts.

“Now, Sir, my intention in bringing to your memory these historical
memoranda, is, to remind you that abstracts of written proceedings of
these Courts, sometimes called the _Placita Rolls_, or Rolls of Pleas,
are yet preserved, recorded in Law Latin in a current Court-Hand full
of contractions, some being in the Tower of London, and others in
the Chapter House at Westminster. These Rolls contain pleadings as
well made in the ancient _Curia Regis_, as in the Courts subsequently
erected; though, those of the reigns of the First and Second Edwards
are chiefly of pleas in the King’s Bench, which is the last fragment
of the King’s Hall, because it _may_ be removed with the Sovereign’s
person, wherever he goes; and, although he be not actually present,
yet he is still supposed to be so, since the style of the court is yet
‘_coram ipso Rege_,’ before the King himself. Now, a collection of
abstracts from the Placita Rolls of the various Courts, having been
made, and the contents being thus of a very miscellaneous character as
to their original time and place, it has been printed by order of the
Commissioners of Records under the title of ‘_Placitorum Abbreviatio_,’
or Abstracts of the Pleadings preserved in the Chapter House at
Westminster, London, 1811, folio.

“In this volume then, on page 316, column 2, we find it stated, that
during Easter Term, in the sixth of the reign of King Edward II.,--that
is to say 1312,--there were pleadings before the King, at Westminster,
concerning the property of the Master of London Bridge, in certain
Mills on the River Lee in Essex; but as these pleadings refer to an
Inquisition originally made in the time of Edward I., the present will
be the most proper period to describe and translate them. Stow mentions
the circumstance, when speaking of the office of Bridge-Master, in his
‘_Survey_,’ volume ii. page 25, in the following terms. ‘The Keeper of
the Bridge House had, in ancient times, an interest in certain Mills
upon the River Lee, near Stratford; and the Master of St. Thomas of
Acres,’--now Mercers’ Chapel, in Cheapside,--‘had a title to other
mills there. For, as it appears by an old Inquisition, taken in the
time of King Edward the First, there was a _Calcetum_--_i. e._ a chalk
causeway--on the North, near Stratford, which was made by Queen Maud,
through which there were three trenches made for three courses of water
to run, for the use of several mills, partly belonging to the Master
of St. Thomas, and partly to the Bridge Master: over which were three
wooden bridges made by the said Masters. This is manifest by an extract
out of an ancient Inquisition taken at Stratford at Bow, before Roger
Brabanzon and others, in Anno xxxii^o.’--we shall presently find that
this ought to have been xxxi^o.--‘_Regis Edwardi filii Regis Henrici_,
&c.--the purport of which is, that there were three mills made upon
this chalk causeway Northward; one a Fuller’s Mill, and the site of
another mill belonging to the Master of St. Thomas of Acre: and two
other Mills, called Sayen’s Mill, and Spileman’s Mill; the one a Water
Mill, and the other a Fuller’s Mill, both held by the Keeper of London
Bridge. From which mills came three courses of water in three trenches,
made cross the chalk causeway by the said Master and Keeper. Beyond
which trenches were made three wooden bridges in that said causeway by
the said Master and Keeper, which greatly wanted repair.’ Now, Sir, I
have already shewn you that in Easter Term, in 1312, these pleadings of
1302-3 were renewed against the Bridge Keeper, and the Master of St.
Thomas of Acres, by John de Norton, the King’s Attorney General, who
charged them to repair the Bridges, according to the said presentment.
The pleadings of 1312 are recorded on Roll 95; and as the form in which
they are written is full of curious historical matter, I shall give you
a translation of the instrument at length.

“‘Middlesex and Essex. Our Lord Edward, the King’s Father, in the 31st
year of his reign,’--namely, 1302, in which you see, this record,
on authority we cannot doubt, differs from Stow,--‘commanded Roger
de Brabanzon, William de Beresford, Roger de Hegham, and Stephen de
Gravesend, that they should enquire who ought to repair the Bridges
and Chalk Causeway in the King’s Street between Stratford atte Bowe,
and Hamme Stratford; and concerning the deficiencies of support, and
repairs of the same, which, from that Inquisition taken by a jury,
namely, by twelve for the County of Essex, and by twelve others for
the County of Middlesex,’ standeth thus:--‘They said that the Ferry
over the water of Luye, or Lee, at Stratford atte Bowe, was anciently
accustomed to be in that place called Oldeforde, which is one league
distant from the place of both Bridges and the Causeway, that now are
near together; at which Ferry, many crossing over from various places
have been plunged in the water and in danger. And when, afterwards,
such great danger came to be made known to the Lady Matilda, then Queen
of England, Consort of our Lord Henry the First, King of England, she,
moved by her piety, commanded it to be examined how both the Bridges
and the Causeway could be made better, and more convenient, for the
utility and easement of the country, and the passengers over them. The
which was done by the said Queen, who also caused two Bridges to be
built; namely, the Bridge over the water of Lee at the upper end of the
town of Stratford atte Bowe,’--which you remember Stow says, in his
‘_Survey_,’ volume i. page 58, in the margin, and elsewhere, was ‘the
first arched Bridge in England, and gave name to the Town, for that
it was shaped like a Bow:’--‘and another Bridge over another trench
of the same water towards Essex, which is called Channelesbrigge.
And also one Chalk Causeway between the said Bridges, so that all
passengers going over it, may well and securely cross the same. And,
forasmuch as the said Queen desired, that the reparation and support
of the aforesaid Bridges and Chalk Causeway should from that time
be imposed, so, out of her charity, she bought those lands, rents,
meadows, and one water-mill, which is called Wiggemulne, and assigned
and commanded them to be for the repair and support of the Bridges,
and the Chalk Causeway aforesaid. And because she believed that their
repair and support would be better done by religious men, if they were
thenceforward laid upon them, than by secular persons, lest that such
secular persons themselves, or their heirs, should, in the course of
years, be wanting, to preserve them: nor was there then any Religious
House near to the aforesaid Bridges and Chalk Causeway, but the Abbey
of Berkinggs, the Abbey of Stratford not yet being founded; so that the
aforesaid lands, rents, meadows, and mill, with their appurtenances,
were then given to the Abbess of Berkinggs and her house: so that she
and her successors, &c. should for ever sustain and repair the said
Bridges. But afterwards, Gilbert de Mauntfichet founded the Abbey of
Stratford, &c.’--that is to say about 1135,--‘And a certain Abbot
of the same house bought the lands, &c. from the aforesaid Abbess,
because they were near his Abbey, and lying, in situation, commodiously
for his house, that is to say, however, undertaking, for himself and
his successors, &c. the repair of the Bridges, and Chalk Causeway
aforesaid, for the Abbess herself, &c. and farther giving to the same
four marks of silver,’--£2. 3_s._ 4_d._--‘by the Year, &c. And so they
were found, by the same Inquisition,’--cited at the beginning of this
instrument,--‘to be decayed, and who ought to repair the said Bridges
and Chalk Causeway? Upon which Inquisition, our Lord the King caused
his writ to issue, &c.; and upon this precept it is shewn that the
Abbot aforesaid, the Master of the House of the Blessed Thomas of Acre,
and the Keeper of London Bridge, made their appearance to answer why
the Bridges were not repaired, &c. When the Jurors came, therefore,
between the King and the Abbots, they said that the said Abbot was
not held to repair, excepting the Bridge called Channelesbrigge, and
that none of his predecessors have, at any time, repaired the said
Bridges and Chalk Causeway, and that not any of the lands or tenements
held by him have been accustomed to make reparations, or support
them:--therefore the Abbot was dismissed without a day. But another of
the Jurors has found that it is the said Abbess who ought to repair
the Bridges. And at length,’--that is to say in 1315,--‘an agreement
was made between the said Abbot and Abbess, in the presence of the
Earl of Hereford and Essex, and Chancellor of England; also Chief
Justice, Chief Baron, and Escheater of our Lord the King on this side
Trent, and it was enrolled that the said Abbot obliges himself, and
his successors, to repair for ever: for which the said Abbess gives to
the said Abbot two hundred pounds, yet saving to her the annual four
marks.’ See the Pleadings before the King at Westminster, in Easter
Term, 6 Edward II., Roll 95.

“After this very long, though curious document, I have nothing farther
to observe on the connection of the Bridge Master of London, and his
Mill and Bridge on the River Lee, than that, although he at first
traversed, as the Lawyers say, or denied his right to repair them, yet,
in 1315, the original claim was confirmed against his denial, as is
asserted by Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume ii. page 25.”

“Methinks, Mr. Barnaby Postern,” said I, “that before you entirely
quit the connection of the Lee River and London Bridge, it would not be
irrelevant to speak somewhat of that _Cantiuncula_, that little song,
or, as I may properly call it, that _Lallus_, for it is truly a nurse’s
song, in which they are both united.”

“You say well, Sir,” answered my visitor; “and seeing that I have
already spoken somewhat at length, ‘shall I,’ as Izaak Walton says,
‘have nothing from you, that seem to have both a good memory, and a
cheerful spirit?’ Come, then, my honoured kinsman, do you relate what
hath been written and collected concerning that same _Cantiuncula_; nor
deem that any fragmenta, touching the history of London Bridge, can be
uninteresting; wherefore, doubt not but your narrative will be to me
like that which Adam made to Raphael:--

    ‘Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
    Nor tongue ineloquent.--
    But thy relation now; for I attend,
    Pleased with thy words no less than thou with mine.’”

“After the deep reading and extensive knowledge,” returned I, “which
you, Mr. Postern, have displayed in your discourse, it is unfortunate
for me to have to speak upon a subject, where I am no less perplexed
by the paucity of materials, than by my own ignorance of many which
may be in existence. For you must know, my fellow-antiquary, that
searching out the origin and history of a ballad, is like endeavouring
to ascertain the source and flight of December’s snow; since it often
comes we know not whence, is looked upon and noticed for awhile, is
corrupted, or melts away, we know not how, and thus dies unrecorded,
excepting in the oral tradition or memory of some village crones, who
yet discourse of it. However, Sir, to proceed methodically, I will
first give you the words of this very popular song; then the customs
and history connected with it; and, lastly, the musical notation to
which it is most commonly sung.

“One of the most elegant copies of this ballad you will find in the
late Joseph Ritson’s rare and curious volume, entitled, ‘_Gammer
Gurton’s Garland: or the Nursery Parnassus. A choice collection of
pretty Songs, and Verses, for the amusement of all little good children
who can neither read nor run._’ London, 1810. 8vo. Part i., page 4;
where it is called ‘The celebrated song of London Bridge is broken
down;’ and is as follows:

    ‘LONDON BRIDGE is broken down,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    London Bridge is broken down,
      With a gay lady.

    How shall we build it up again,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    How shall we build it up again?
      With a gay lady.

    Silver and gold will be stolen away,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Silver and gold will be stolen away,
      With a gay lady.

    Build it up with iron and steel,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Build it up with iron and steel,
      With a gay lady.

    Iron and steel will bend and bow,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Iron and steel will bend and bow,
      With a gay lady.

    Build it up with wood and clay,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Build it up with wood and clay,
      With a gay lady.

    Wood and clay will wash away,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Wood and clay will wash away,
      With a gay lady.

    Build it up with stone so strong,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lee;
    Huzza! ’twill last for ages long,
      With a gay lady.’

“In that treasury of singular fragments, the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’
for September, 1823, volume xciii., page 232, there is another copy
of this ballad, with some variations, inserted in a Letter, signed M.
Green, in which there are the following stanzas, wanting in Ritson’s,
and coming in immediately after the third verse, ‘Silver and gold will
be stolen away;’ though it must be observed, that the propositions for
building the Bridge with iron and steel, and wood and stone, have, in
this copy also, already been made and objected to.

    ‘Then we must set a man to watch,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Then we must set a man to watch,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Suppose the man should fall asleep,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Suppose the man should fall asleep,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Then we must put a pipe in his mouth,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Then we must put a pipe in his mouth,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Then we must set a dog to watch,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Then we must set a dog to watch,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Suppose the dog should run away,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Suppose the dog should run away,
      With a gay La-dee.

    Then we must chain him to a post,
      Dance o’er my Lady Lea;
    Then we must chain him to a post,
      With a gay La-dee.’

“I pray you, do not fail to observe in these verses, how singularly and
happily the burthen of the song often falls in with the subject of the
new line: though I am half inclined to think, that the whole ballad
has been formed by many fresh additions, in a long series of years, and
is, perhaps, almost interminable when received in all its different
versions. Mr. Green, in his letter which I last quoted, remarks that,
the stanzas I have repeated to you are ‘the introductory lines of an
old ballad, which, more than seventy years previous, he had heard
plaintively warbled by a lady, who was born in the reign of Charles the
Second, and who lived till nearly that of George the Second.’ Another
Correspondent to the same Magazine, whose contribution, signed D, is
inserted in the same volume, December, page 507, observes, that the
ballad concerning London Bridge formed, in his remembrance, part of a
Christmas Carol, and commenced thus:

    ‘Dame, get up and bake your pies,
      On Christmas day in the morning:’

‘The requisition,’ he continues, ‘goes on to the Dame to prepare for
the feast, and her answer is

    ‘London Bridge is broken down,
      On Christmas day in the morning.’

‘The inference always was, that until the Bridge was rebuilt, some
stop would be put to the Dame’s Christmas operations; but why the
falling of a part of London Bridge should form part of a Christmas
Carol at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I am at a loss to know.’ This connection
has, doubtless, long since been gathered into the ‘wallet which Time
carries at his back, wherein he puts alms for oblivion;’ though we may
remark, that the history and features of the old Bridge of that famous
town had a very close resemblance to that of London; as you may find
upon reading the Rev. John Brand’s ‘_History and Antiquities of the
Town and County of the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne_.’ London, 1789.
4to. volume i., pages 31-53. The chief points of resemblance between
these two Bridges, were, that both were founded in the hidden years of
remote antiquity; that in each instance wooden Bridges preceded the
stone ones; that to each was attached a Chapel dedicated to St. Thomas;
that continual dilapidations and Patents for repair characterised
each; that both formed a street of houses, having towers, gates, and
drawbridges; and, finally, that in 1771, a violent flood reduced the
Bridge of Tyne to the same hapless state as erst marked that of London,
when ruinated by the terrible fire of 1757. Such, Mr. Postern, are the
words, and such are the very few historical notices that I am able to
give you, of a song, of which there is, perhaps, not a single dweller
in the Bills of Mortality, who has not heard somewhat; and yet not one
of whom can tell you more concerning it, than that they have heard
it sung ‘many years ago,’ as the gossiping phrase is. If one might
hazard a conjecture concerning it, I should refer its composition to
some very ancient date, when London Bridge lying in ruins, the office
of Bridge Master was vacant; and his power over the River Lee--for it
is doubtless that River which is celebrated in the chorus to this
song,--was for a while at an end. But this, although the words and
melody of the verses be extremely simple, is all uncertain; and thus,
my good Sir, do general traditions float down the stream of Time,
without any fixed date; for none regard them as of value enough to
record, whilst they are yet known in all their primitive truth. Oh! how
many an interesting portion of History has been thus lost! How many

“I am glad,” interrupted my visitor at this part of my apostrophe, “to
find that I am not the _only_ Antiquary who is apt to be led away from
narrative to rhetoric; and who is sometimes induced to declaim when he
set out to describe. But you were speaking of the melody to this song,
Mr. Barbican; now I would fain hear it, if it live in your memory.”

“Give me a draught of sack,” said I, taking up the tankard, “and you
shall hear it, as well as my feeble voice, now ‘turning again to
childish treble,’ Mr. Postern, hath the skill to chaunt it. But look
for nothing fine, Mr. Barnaby: here are none of Von Weber’s notes; and,
indeed, I know of nothing which so well characterises it, as that fine
description of a popular ballad in _Twelfth Night_:--

    ‘Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
    The Spinsters, and the Knitters in the sun,
    And the free maids that weave their thread with bones,
    Do use to chaunt it----’”

“Come, my good Sir,” replied Mr. Postern, “no more words on’t, but
sing, I pray you.”

“Then listen,” answered I, clearing my throat to reach the treble C,
with which the melody commences; “but you must sing a part of it, as it
stands in this paper, Master Barnaby, for it begins with the chorus;
and so here follows the ancient Music to the Song and Dance of London
Bridge is broken down.”

[Music: _Chorus._

    Lon-don Bridge is bro-ken down: Dance o’er my La-dy Lea!

    Lon-don Bridge is bro-ken down, With a gay La-dee.


    How shall we build it up a-gain? Dance o’er my La-dy Lea!

    How shall we build it up a-gain? With a gay La-dee.]

“A choice piece of simple melody, indeed,” said Mr. Postern, as I
finished the last strain of the solo, “and, certainly, from its extreme
plainness, not unlikely to be of some considerable antiquity; but you
called it also a dance, Mr. Barbican; pray was it ever adapted to the
feet, as well as to the tongue?”

“You shall hear, Sir,” returned I, “for I learn from a Manuscript
communication, from a Mr. J. Evans, of Bristol, which has been
most kindly placed in my hands by the venerable proprietor of the
‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ and which enclosed the notes of the tune
we have now concluded; that ‘about forty years ago, one moonlight
night, in a street in Bristol, his attention was attracted by a dance
and chorus of boys and girls, to which the words of this ballad gave
measure. The breaking down of the Bridge was announced as the dancers
moved round in a circle, hand in hand; and the question, ‘How shall
we build it up again?’ was chaunted by the leader, whilst the rest
stood still.’ The same correspondent also farther observes, that it is
possible some musical critics may trace in these notes sundry fragments
that have sailed down the stream of Time, beginning with ‘_Nancy
Dawson_,’ and ‘_A frog he would a wooing go_;’ though the Lament of
London Bridge is certainly far, very far, anterior to the latter. I
cannot, however, imagine, that the air of our ballad has more than a
very distant consanguinity with either; for the melody of Nancy Dawson
is generally supposed not to be more than sixty years old, about
which time its heroine flourished; and the metre of that worthless
song is perfectly different, each verse having eight lines instead of
four. Now, when Isaac Bickerstaff produced his Opera of ‘_Love in a
Village_,’ he composed his 14th air, in the last Scene of the first
Act, to that very tune; for there the Housemaid commences the Finale,
and thus it runs:

    ‘I pray ye, gentles, list to me,
    I’m young, and strong, and clean, you see,
    I’ll not turn tail to any she,
      For work, that’s in the county:
    Of all your house the charge I’ll take,
    I wash, I scrub, I brew, I bake,
    And more can do than here I’ll speak,
      Depending on your bounty.’

“Thus, you observe, my good Sir, that the verse has no resemblance at
all; and the only similitude of the music lies in a very few notes
in the second and third bars of the first and fourth lines. The
Adventures of the Frog who went a courting is certainly much more like
the ballad of London Bridge; but, in addition to its variations in the
latter part, it is quite a modern composition, and, therefore, cannot
illustrate the antiquity of that other song, of which it is itself
merely a musical parody.”

“My hearty thanks are due to you, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican,” began Mr.
Postern, as I concluded; “I have to thank you very heartily for the
agreeable manner in which you have contrived to carry on the history of
London Bridge, whilst I have breathed from continuing my duller detail:
and now, let me observe, that having brought you down to the 31st year
of the reign of Edward I., 1302, I shall give you a translation of what
was, perhaps, his last and fullest Charter to London Bridge, in the
form of a Patent of Pontage, or Bridge Tax, granted in 1305, the 34th
year of his sovereignty; which is curious, inasmuch as it enumerates
so many of the articles of commerce in that day. The original is, of
course, in the Tower, in the Patent Rolls for that year, membrane 25,
entitled ‘Pontage for London;’ and the Latin you may see in Hearne’s
‘_Liber Niger_,’ already cited, volume i., page *478: the English, no
very easy matter to discover, is as follows.

“‘The King to his beloved the Mayor and Sheriffs, and to his other
Citizens of London,--Greeting. Know ye, that in aid of repairing
and sustaining the Bridge of London, we grant that from the day of
making these presents, until the complete end of the three years
next following, the underwritten customs shall, for that purpose, be
taken of saleable goods over the Bridge aforesaid, and of those which
cross under the same, that is to say:--of every _poise_, or weight of
cheese,’--namely, 256 pounds,--‘fat of tallow, and butter for sale,
one penny. Of every poise of lead, for sale, one farthing. Of every
hundred of wax for sale, two pence. Of every hundred of almonds and
rice for sale, one penny. Of every hundred of barley corn for sale, one
penny. Of every hundred of pepper and ginger, cotewell and cinnamon,
Brazil-wood, frankincense, quicksilver, vermillion and verdigrease for
sale, two pence. Of every hundred of cinior, alum, sugar, liquorice,
syro-montanian aniseed, pion, and orpiment for sale, one penny. Of
every hundred of sulphur, orchel, ink, resin, copperas, and calamine
stone for sale, one farthing. Of every great frail of figs and raisins
for sale, one halfpenny; and of every smaller frail, one farthing.
Of every pound of dates, musk nuts, mace, the drug cubebs, saffron,
and cotton for sale, one farthing. Of every store butt of ginger for
sale, one penny. Of every hundred weight of copper, brass, and tin,
for sale, one halfpenny. Of every hundred weight of glass for sale,
one farthing. Of every thousand of the best _Gris_, or grey squirrel
skins dressed,’--the famous Vaire fur you remember,--‘for sale, twelve
pence. Of every thousand of red skins dressed, for sale, six pence.
Of every thousand bark-skins for sale, four pence. Of every hundred
of rabbits for sale, one halfpenny. For every _timbria_’--an ancient
Norman law phrase, signifying a certain number of precious skins,--‘of
wolves’ skins for sale, one halfpenny. For every _timbria_ of coats
for sale, one halfpenny. For every twelfth gennet-skin for sale, one
halfpenny. For every hundredth sheep-skin of wool for sale, one penny.
Of every hundredth lamb-skin and goat-skin for sale, one halfpenny.
Of every twelfth _alicum_,’--a kind of vest with sleeves,--‘for sale,
one penny. Of every twelfth _Basane_,’--this old Norman word, you
know, meant either a purse, or shoe, or any thing made of tanned
leather,--‘for sale, one halfpenny. Of every quarter of woad,’--the
famous blue dye,--‘for sale, one halfpenny. Of every _dole_,’--a Saxon
word signifying a part or portion,--‘of honey for sale, six pence. Of
every dole of wine, six pence. Of every dole of corn, crossing over
the Bridge, the same going into countries beyond the sea, one penny.
Of every bowl of salt for sale, one penny. Of every mill-stone for
grinding, for sale, two-pence. Of every twelfth hand-mill for sale,
one penny. Of every smith’s mill for sale,’--perhaps a forge or a
grindstone,--‘one farthing. Of every dole of ashes and of fish for
sale, one halfpenny. Of every hundredth board of oak, coming from
parts beyond the seas for sale, one halfpenny. Of every hundred of
fir boards, coming from parts beyond the seas for sale, two pence. Of
every twenty sheafs of wooden staves and arrow heads, for sale, one
halfpenny. Of a quarter of a hundred of pountandemir for sale, one
penny. For all horses laden with serge, stuff, grey cloth and dyed
cloth for sale, one penny. Of every hundred ells of linen cloth, coming
from parts beyond the seas, for sale, one penny. Of every twelfth
poplorum,’--mantle or carpet,--‘for sale, one halfpenny. Of every silk
or gold cloth, for sale, one halfpenny. Of all satins and cloths worked
with gold, two pence. Of every twelfth piece of fustian for sale, one
penny. Of every piece of sendal,’--thin Cyprus silk,--‘embroidered,
for sale, one farthing; and of every other two sendals for sale, one
farthing. Of every pound of woven cloth coming from parts beyond the
seas, six pence. Of every hundred pounds weight of _Bateria_,’--beaten
work of metal,--‘namely, of basins, platters, drinking pots, and cups,
for sale, one penny. Of all Flanders cloth bound, and embroidered,
for sale, two pence. Of every _Estanford_,’--a species of cloth made
at Stanfort,--‘for sale, from the same parts, one penny. Of every
twelfth pair of nether-stocks, for sale, coming from the same parts,
one halfpenny. Of every hood for sale, one penny. Of every piece
of Borrell,’--coarse cloth,--‘coming from Normandy, or elsewhere,
one halfpenny. Of every twelfth Monk’s cloth, black or white, one
penny. Of every trussell cloth,’--perhaps a horse-cloth--‘for sale,
the same coming from parts beyond the seas, eighteen pence. Of all
English dyed cloth and russet for sale, excepting scarlet, crossing
the Bridge for the selling of the same, two pence. Of all scarlets for
sale, six pence. Of all thin, or summer cloth, for sale, coming from
Stamford or Northampton, or from other places in England, crossing
the same, one penny. Of every twelfth _chalonum_,’--which is to say,
a carpet or hangings,--‘set for sale, one penny. Of every pound of
other merchandise for sale, crossing the same, and not expressed
above, four pence. Of every ship-load of sea-coal for sale, six pence.
Of every ship-load of turf for sale, two pence. Of every scitata of
underwood for sale, two pence. Of every small boat-load of underwood
for sale, one penny. Of every scitata of hay for sale, two pence. Of
every quarter of corn for sale crossing the same, one farthing. For
two quarters of white corn, barley, mixed corn, pease, and beans, for
sale, one farthing. For a quarter of a _seme_,’--a horse load, or eight
bushels--‘of oats for sale, one penny. For two quarters of groats, and
brewers’ grains for sale, one farthing. For every horse for sale, of
the price of forty shillings and more, one penny. For every horse for
sale, of a price less than forty shillings, one halfpenny. For every ox
and cow for sale, one halfpenny. For six swine for sale, one halfpenny.
For ten sheep for sale, one halfpenny. For five bacon hogs for sale,
one halfpenny; and for ten pervis for sale, one halfpenny. Of every
small boat which works in London for hire, and crosses by the same,
one penny. Of every cart freighted with fish for sale, crossing the
same, one penny. For the hull of every great ship freighted with goods
for sale, excepting these present, crossing by the same, two pence.
For the hull of every smaller ship freighted with the same goods,
excepting these present, one penny. For every little boat loaden, one
halfpenny. For every twelfth salted salmon for sale, one penny. For
twenty-five milnell for sale, one halfpenny. For one hundred salted
haddocks for sale, one halfpenny. For one hundred salted mackerel for
sale, one farthing. For every thousand of salted herrings for sale,
one farthing. For every twelfth salted lamprey for sale, one penny. Of
every thousand salted eels for sale, one halfpenny. Of every hundred
pounds of large fish for sale, one penny. Of every hundred pieces of
sturgeon for sale, two pence. For every hundred of stockfish, one
farthing. For every horse-load of onions for sale, one farthing. For
every horse-load of garlick for sale, one farthing. And of every kind
of merchandise not here mentioned, of the price of twenty shillings,
one penny. And, therefore, we command you, that the said customs be
taken, until the aforesaid term of three years be completed; but at
that term, the aforesaid customs shall cease, and be altogether taken
away. In which, &c. for their lasting the term aforesaid, Witness the
King, at Winchester, the seventh day of May. By writ of Privy Seal.’

“Such, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, is a tolerably exact translation of
this long and very curious Patent of Pontage for London Bridge; but a
perfect rendering of it into English is a matter attended with more
than usual difficulty; since it is composed of so many barbarous
Anglo-Norman nouns, with Latin terminations attached to them; of quaint
legal phrases, of which Fortescue and Rastall must be the interpreters;
and of numerous articles of which both the names and the nature are
to us almost utterly unintelligible. However, Sir, I here give it you
to the best of my poor skill; and in doing so, let me add to it the
apologetical words of your namesake and fellow citizen, the amiable
old Chaucer;--‘Now pray I to them all that hearken this treatise, or
rede, that if there be any thing that liketh them, that thereof they
thank Him, of whom proceedeth all wit and goodness. And if there be any
thing that displease them, I pray them also that they arrette it to the
default of mine unknonnyng, and not to my will, that would fain have
said better if I had knowing.’”

“Doubtless, Mr. Postern,” answered I, “my civilities are at the least
due to you, for the labour you bestow upon me; but yet I must be so
plain as to tell you, that your Pontage Patent reminded me mightily of
a Table of Tolls at a Turnpike-Gate, whereon we read ‘For every horse,
mare, gelding, or mule, laden or unladen, not drawing, two pence,’ So
again, and again, I say, let me have stories, man! I want stories!
‘for,’ as Oliver Goldsmith said of old to the Ghost of _Dame Quickly_,
‘if you have nothing but tedious remarks to communicate, seek some
other hearer, I am determined to hearken only to stories.’”

“Be of a sweet temper, however you may be disappointed, Mr. Geoffrey,”
replied the old Gentleman; “if I possessed the wit either of honest
Oliver, or the Ghost of Mistress Quickly, you should, indeed, be
entertained; but, seeing that we lack humour, we must make it up in
the real, though somewhat dull, formula of past days. This time, I
have, however, a romantic scene for you _in petto_, and even now we
have arrived at a point of the history of London Bridge, which, when
skilfully managed, with a little fiction, has drawn tears from many an
eye, and awakened an interest in many a heart: I mean the capture and
death of the brave and unfortunate Sir William Wallace.

        ‘Joy, joy in London now!
    He goes, the rebel Wallace goes to death;
    At length the traitor meets a traitor’s doom.
        Joy, joy in London now!’

“It was after the return of the fourth expedition of King Edward I.
into Scotland, about the beginning of August, 1305, that London Bridge
was defaced, by the placing upon it the trophies of his vengeance.
Matthew of Westminster, in his ‘_Flowers of Histories_,’ which I
have already cited to you, tells the sorrowful story of Sir William
Wallace’s execution, in his Second Book, page 451; beginning at
‘_Hic vir Belial_,’--for he treats the Scottish hero with but little
reverence,--and in plain English thus runs the narrative. ‘This man
of Belial, after innumerable crimes, was at last taken by the King’s
officers, and, by his command, was brought up to be judged by himself,
attended by the Nobles of the kingdom of England, on the Vigil of St.
Bartholomew’s day,’--the 23rd of August,--‘where he was condemned to a
most cruel, yet most worthy death. Firstly, he was drawn at the tail of
a horse through the fields of London, to a very lofty gibbet, erected
for him, upon which he was hung with a halter; afterwards, he was taken
down half dead, embowelled, and his intestines burned by fire; lastly,
his head was cut off, and set upon a pole on London Bridge, whilst the
trunk was cut into four quarters. His body, thus divided, was sent into
four parts of Scotland. Behold! such was the unpitied end of this man,
whom want of pity brought to such a death!’

“The head of the gallant but ill-fated Wallace was not, however, the
only ghastly spectacle upon London Bridge; for the Catalogue of the
Harleian Manuscripts, under the Number 2253, has the following notice
at article 25:--‘_A long Ballad against the Scots, many of whom are
here mentioned by name, as also many of the English, besides the King
and Prince. But, particularly of William Walleys, taken at the Battle
of Dunbar, A. D. 1305, and of Simon Frisell,--or Fraser,--taken at
the Battle of Kyrkenclyf, A. D. 1306, both of whom were punished as
traitors to our King Edward I. and their heads set among others of
their countrymen upon London Bridge._’ The passage which immediately
concerns our purpose, you will find at folio 61 a, and, in its own rude
dialect, thus it runs:--

    “‘With feters and with gyues ichot he wos to drowe,
    Ffrom the tour of Londone that monie myght knowe,
    Jn a curtel of burel aselkethe wyse
      Thurh Cheepe;
    And a gerland on hys heued of the newe guyse:
    Monimon of Enge_lond_--for to se Sy_mond_
      Thideward con lepe.
    Tho he com to galewes, furst he wos an honge,
    Al qc. beheued, thah him thohte longe;
    Seththe he was yopened, is boweles ybrend,
    The heued to londone brugge wos send
      To shonde;
    So ich ever mote _the_--sum while wende he
      Ther lutel to stonde.
    He rideth thourth the site as J tell may,
    With gomen and with solas that wos here play,
    To londone brugge hee nome the way;
    Moni was the wyues chil’ that ther on loketh a day,
      And seide alas!
    That he was i_bore_--and so villiche for_lore_
      So feir mon as he wos!
    Now stont the heued above the tubrugge,
    Fast bi Waleis soth for to sugge.’

“Now, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, as these barbarous rhymes are but just
intelligible, even to an Antiquary, by a very careful reading and
consideration, you will, I dare say, excuse me, if I give you a
paraphrase of them in modern prose; which would be expressed somewhat
in this manner.--With fetters and with leg-irons I wot that he was
drawn from the Tower of London that many might know it; dressed in
a short coat of coarse cloth, through Cheapside, having on his head
a garland of the last fashion; and many Englishmen, to see Simon
Frisel, began to run thither. Then was he brought to the gibbet, and
first being hung, he was also beheaded, which he thought it long ere
he endured it. After, he was opened, and his bowels burned; but his
head was sent to London Bridge, to affright beholders: so ever might I
thrive, as that once he little thought to stand there. He rides through
the City, as I may well tell you, with game and gladness around him,
which was the rejoicing of his enemies, and he took the way to London
Bridge. Many were the wives’ children that looked upon him, and said,
Alas, that he was born! and so vilely forsaken, so terrible a man as
he was! Now the head stands above the Town bridge, close to that of
Wallace, truly to say.

“Such is this ballad account of the matter; and, in quitting my notice
of the manuscript that contains it, I have but to say that, it is
written on old discoloured parchment, in a square gothic text, the ink
of which is turned brown by time, with many contractions, and much
vile spelling; and that its other contents are all exceedingly curious
and valuable; and, as the ‘_Harleian Catalogue_,’ volume i., at page
585, tells us, they are ‘partly in old French, partly in Latin, and
partly in English, partly in verse, and partly in prose.’ You will
find, however, the whole of this long Poem printed in the late Joseph
Ritson’s interesting volume, entitled, ‘_Ancient Songs from the time
of King Henry the Third to the Revolution_,’ London, 1790, 8vo., pages
5-18. Maitland himself also relates the fate of Sir William Wallace, at
page 109 of his ‘_History_,’ verifying his narrative by references to
several of the Cloisteral Historians; nor does there, I believe, exist
any earlier notice of the Tower on London Bridge having been used for
the terrific purpose of exhibiting the heads of such as were executed
for High Treason, which procured for it the name of Traitors’ Gate. You
will remember I have already proved that edifices were standing upon
London Bridge at a very early period; and, were it required, here is an
additional proof of it, not to be disputed. Stow, when he is speaking
of the Towers upon the Bridge, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., pages 61
and 64, gives us not a word concerning their age, so of that I must
treat hereafter, when we come down to the years in which they were
repaired, or rebuilt; and I will, therefore, here remark only, that the
heads were at this time erected on a Tower at the North end, and that
they were not removed to the Southern extremity, where they so long
remained, until about the year 1579.

“I am for _your_ sake, my good friend, truly sorry that my next notice
of London Bridge must be another Patent Roll, of the 14th year of King
Edward II.,--1320,--Part the First, Membrane the 19th; but, it shews,
at any rate, the state of the edifice in that year: and you will find
it referred to in Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 60; in Maitland’s
‘_History_,’ volume i., page 47; in the original Latin in Hearne’s
‘_Liber Niger_,’ volume i., page *477; and in English it ran as follows.

“‘Concerning the subsidies of the Messengers for the work of the Bridge
of London, complaining to be admitted.

“‘The King to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Rectors, and
all other Ministers of the Holy Mother Church, to whom these presents
shall come,--Greeting. Seeing that, even now, so many evils,--not
only in the loss of goods, but that innumerable bodies of men are
in peril through the ruin of the Bridge at London,--are likely soon
to come to pass, if that they should not be taken away: we, being
willing to provide against this kind of dangers, and to take care of
the public and private interests, do desire you, when the keepers of
the costly work of the Bridge aforesaid, or their messengers, whom
we undertake specially to protect and defend, shall come to collect
every where throughout your Dioceses, Rectories, or any other of your
jurisdictions, aids for the said work from the pious and the devout,
you do, in friendship, admit them, from the contemplation of God,
the regard of charity, and for evidence of devotion in this matter:
admitting them to excite the people by their pious persuasions, and
charitably to invoke the assistance of their alms for the reparation
of the Bridge aforesaid. Not bringing upon them, nor permitting to be
brought upon them, any injuries, molestations, damage, impediment, or
grievance. And if any thing shall have been forfeited by them, amends
shall be made without delay. In testimonial of which, &c. Witness the
King, at Langele, the Thirteenth day of August.’

“A much more curious instrument than this, however, is recorded on
the Patent Rolls of the 17th Year of Edward II.,--1323,--Part the
Second, Membrane 9; inasmuch as it particularises several parts of
the Bridge property in the ancient Stocks Market, of which we should
now be without the knowledge, if it had not been for the careful
enumeration of them which is here contained. You will see, that this
confirmatory instrument has particular reference to one which I have
already rehearsed to you, and that it is of that kind, commonly called
an _Inspeximus_, from the Latin word used in their commencement,
meaning, ‘we have seen,’ because the words of the original Charter are
there repeated. This Patent is entitled ‘For the Keepers of the Bridge
of London;’ the original Latin may be seen on page *482 of Hearne’s
‘_Liber Niger_,’ volume i.; and the English of it runs in the following

“‘The King to all to whom, &c. Greeting. We have seen a Charter
belonging to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of
London, written in these words.--‘To all the faithful in Christ to
whom these present letters shall come, Hamo de Chiggewell, Mayor, the
Aldermen, and the whole Commonalty of the City of London, Greeting:’
Know ye that as the Lord Edward, formerly King of England, of famous
memory, father of our Lord the King that now is, in the tenth year
of his reign, granted for himself and his heirs, to Henry le Waleys,
then Mayor, and the Commonalty of the City aforesaid, that those
places contiguous to the wall of the burial-place of the Church of
Wolchurch, on the North part of the Parish of the same Church, should
be built upon and rented for the support of the Bridge of London,
according as they should see to be expedient for their commodity, and
that of this great City; and that the said places, so built upon and
rented, should be held by themselves, and their heirs, for the support
of the Bridge aforesaid, for ever, even as in the aforesaid letters
is fully contained. And the before-mentioned Henry, the Mayor, and
the Commonalty of the City aforesaid, for the common profit of their
City, have built and constructed that house upon the places aforesaid,
and have called it the Stokkes, and they have ordained the same for
the Butchers and Fishmongers selling therein, as in a place situated
nearly in the midst of the City; and the rents from the stalls are
assigned for the increasing and support of the aforesaid Bridge.
For the Stalls of the Butchers, and of the Fishmongers, may not be
permitted, excepting, namely, in the broad way of Bridge Street, of
East Cheap, and in the way of Old Fish Street, and the Butcher Row
on the West, in the Parish of St. Nicholas; even as it was anciently
accustomed to be, according to the ordinance and disposal of the
aforesaid Henry, and the then Common Council of the City aforesaid,
as in this part we have seen fully to be preserved: at which time the
Butchers and Fishmongers sold their flesh and fish in the same, and
in none other of the contiguous places and neighbourhoods, excepting
the streets before mentioned, and the rents of the said stalls were
carried to the keepers of the said Bridge, who, for a time, returned
them in aid of the support of the said Bridge. But we, the aforesaid
Mayor and Aldermen, lately receiving the complaint of John Sterre and
Roger Atte-Wynne, Keepers of the Bridge aforesaid, that the Butchers
and Fishmongers of the City aforesaid, who ought to stand to sell their
flesh and fish in the place aforesaid, have accustomed themselves to
diminish the rents of the aforesaid, contriving another stall for
selling their flesh and fish, at the top of King Street, and in other
contiguous places and neighbourhoods without the house aforesaid,
that such persons for stalls existing within the house aforesaid, pay
nothing, against the ordinance in this article formerly provided; and
by their own authority they have prepared, and have sold their flesh
and fish; by which the rents aforesaid, on which, in great part, the
maintenance of the aforesaid Bridge exists, will be immensely reduced.
Upon which the said keepers supplicate us for their remedy, to be by
us applied. And we having considered this, whether that such kinds
of sales may any longer be tolerated in the Bridge aforesaid, and in
the aforesaid City, as, to all crossing by that Bridge, peril and
damage may manifestly happen: and also this, that our Lord the King,
by his writ, hath given it in command, that those things which in the
premises are least according to custom, and against the aforesaid
ordinance, should be attempted to be corrected and amended, and in
their original state rebuilt,--we should build. And being willing to
provide against such kinds of damages and perils, and to be obedient
in all things to the commands of our Lord aforesaid, we have caused
to be called before us the Butchers and Fishmongers aforesaid, and
also those that have sold their flesh and fish in other contiguous
places and neighbourhoods, without the house aforesaid, against the
aforesaid ordinance; and in the discourse which we have held, there
was nothing which they have said in this matter, nor have known to be
said, by which the said ordinance ought to be invalidated, but they
have petitioned that the ordinance and agreement formerly made in this
article, might be observed. We therefore looked at the ordinance for
this kind of sales, and the ancient customs, and saw the agreement of
the aforesaid Henry le Waleys, then Mayor, concerning this kind of
sales, made and ordained by the consent of the whole Commonalty; and
by our general consent, and that of the whole Commonalty aforesaid,
we have agreed, and granted, that the aforesaid ancient ordinances and
agreements concerning this kind of sales, be, for the future, firmly
and permanently established: so that if any shall have offended, or
have spoken against the aforesaid ancient ordinances and customs, they
shall, firstly, lose the thing exposed for sale; and, secondly, they
shall lose the liberty of the aforesaid City, according to the laws
and customs of the same City, as hath been anciently accustomed to be
done. And because it is useful that we revolve excellent things which
are departed, and ancient things lying obscured to lead into light,
that by the same the memory of perishable matters may be recalled to
sense, and offenders themselves be made to abstain from evil actions
on account of their perpetual memory, for the strengthening of these
presents we have caused to be attached to them the Common Seal of our
City aforesaid, under the custody of the aforesaid keepers, and of the
succeeding keepers, who, for the time, have been, and are for ever to
be preserved. Given in Guildhall, London, before the Mayor, Aldermen,
and Commonalty aforesaid, on Saturday next after the Feast of Saint
Valentine,’--February the 14th,--‘in the seventeenth Year of the reign
of King Edward the son of King Edward.--We have also granted and
confirmed the ordinances, agreements, contracts, and grants aforesaid,
and all other things contained in the aforesaid writing, having
established and acknowledged them for us and our heirs, so much as in
us lies, as the aforesaid writing may fairly witness. In testimony of
which, &c. Witness the King, at the Tower of London, the 16th day of
June. For a fine of ten marks:’--that is to say the sum of £6. 13_s._

“Before entering upon the tumultuous reign of Richard II. I must
observe to you, Mr. Barbican, that in the Patent Roll for the 42nd of
Edward III.--1368,--Membrane 21, there is a sort of memorandum of a
transfer of a piece of ground from the Friars Minors for the support of
London Bridge, the title of which is couched in the following terms:
‘The Guardians of the Friars Minors of London remit for ever to the
Mayor, &c. of London, one portion of land on the Southern side of the
Church within Newgate, in London, for the support of the Bridge at
London, they giving for the same, to the Abbot of Westminster, the sum
of four shillings, the which is contained in divers covenants: the King
hath confirmed it.’

“Well!” said I to Mr. Postern, on his conclusion of these Patents,
“this succession of your dull and never-ending Charters would weary
the patience of the most phlegmatic Dutch Lawyer that ever studied at
Leyden. Come there any more of them, my honest friend? or may we yet
look out for land, after so long tossing in the wide sea of the Tower

“Tranquillise your perturbed feelings, my good Sir,” replied Mr.
Barnaby, “for we are now drawing very rapidly towards that time,
when we can give only mere facts, and descriptive scenes of history,
unsupported by any of those curious and unquestionable proofs which
these evidences furnish. Not but that there are, doubtless, yet many
scores of most interesting papers and Charters concerning this Bridge,
preserved in the Close Rolls, the ‘_Rotuli Chartarum_,’ the Patent
Rolls, and the vast body of the Records of this kingdom: but life is
too short, and the search would be too long, to discover them all;
though I would, for your sake, that I knew them better, and could
delight your ears with their recital.”

“God forbid! Mr. Postern,” ejaculated I, “that you should bestow
all your tediousness upon me! for truly, from that which you have
recited, I have some conception of what the whole must be; and I would
rather entreat you now to pass on to some of those same ‘facts, and
descriptive scenes of history,’ which you seem to undervalue so much,
because they do not drag a wearisome Patent Roll after them. Therefore
once more, Master Barnaby, I say, give me a tale.”

“Well,” returned he, “as we have now arrived at rather an eventful
period, perhaps you will begin to be more gratified; and here let me
remark that the gate of London Bridge being so advantageous, as well
as so immediate, an entrance into the very heart of the City, was
too often the favourite passage by which the rebels of ancient days
marched into the bowels of our hapless land. I have already given you
one instance of this, in speaking of the Baronial Wars of the days of
King Henry III.; and now, when we have arrived at the Year 1381, the
5th of Richard II., we find another melancholy instance of it in the
insurrection of Wat Tyler. Stow notices this but very slightly in his
‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 61; though in his ‘_Annals_,’ to which he
there refers, page 283, he gives a much more full account of their
proceedings on London Bridge, taken chiefly from the ‘_Chronicle_’ of
Thomas Walsingham, a native of Norfolk, and a Monk of St. Albans Abbey,
who lived in the time of Henry VI., and died in 1440; his history
commencing at the end of the reign of King Henry III. His principal
work, entitled ‘_Chronica Thomæ Walsingham, quondam Monachi Sancti
Albani_,’ will be found in William Camden’s ‘_Anglica, Normannica,
Hibernica, Cambrica, a Veteribus Scripta_,’ Frankfurt, 1603, Folio;
where, on page 249 you will find his account of it; but, however, we’ll
take the English one of old Stow, from the page which I have already

“‘On which day,’ says he, meaning Thursday, the Feast of Corpus
Christi,--or June the 13th,--‘also in the morning, the Commons of Kent
brake downe the stew-houses neare to London Bridge, at that time in
the hands of the frowes of Flanders, who had farmed them of the Mayor
of London. After which, they went to London Bridge, in hope to have
entred the Citty; but the Maior,’--the famous Sir William Walworth, you
remember,--‘comming thither before, fortified the place, caused the
Bridge to be drawne vp, and fastened a great chaine of yron a crosse,
to restraine their entry. Then the Commons of Surrey, who were risen
with other, cried to the Wardens of the Bridge to let it downe, whereby
they mought passe, or else they would destroy them all, whereby they
were constrained for feare to let it down, and give them entry, at
which time the religious present,’--perhaps he means the Brethren of
the Bridge,--‘were earnest in procession and prayer for peace.’

As this fragment of History brought to my recollection a point of
Heraldical enquiry, which I had long considered, I here interrupted my
visitor, in the following words.

“I cannot, Mr. Barnaby Postern, turn from the days of that most
notorious rebel, Wat Tyler, without briefly noticing the dispute
concerning the Armorial Ensigns of our goodly City, which claim to have
had an honourable augmentation arising from the gallantry of the Lord
Mayor of that period. If rhyme might pass for reason and argument,
we should then be assured of the origin of the City’s Dagger, from
the evidence afforded by those verses, which are inscribed beneath
Walworth’s effigy in the Fishmongers’ Hall, above us; and which run--

     ‘Brave Walworth, Knight, Lord Mayor, yet slew
       Rebellious Tyler in his alarmes;
     The King therefore did give in lieu
       The dagger to the City’s Arms.

     In the fourth Year of Richard II., Anno Domini, 1381.’

“This, however, can stand for nothing, and the arguments for, and
against, the popular reason for the introduction of the weapon, are
best learned from the ancient English Chronicles and Historians of
London. The principal Authors who assert that King Richard added
the Dagger to commemorate the loyal valour of Walworth, are Richard
Grafton, in his ‘_Chronicle at large, and meere History of the Affayres
of Englande, and Kinges of the same_,’ London, 1569, folio, page 340;
in the Margin: Raphael Holinshed, in his ‘_Chronicles of England,
Scotland, and Ireland_,’ London, 1586, volume ii., page 436: John
Speed, in his ‘_Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine_,’ London,
1611, folio, volume ii., page 596; and Sir Richard Baker, in his
‘_Chronicle of the Kings of England_,’ London, 1733, folio, page 140.

“Such are the assertors of this very common legend; and the evidence
against it, is given, firstly by old Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume
i., page 506, at that part of it where he is treating of Walworth’s
Monument, in the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane. He there states,
you know, that, in the fourth Year of King Richard II.,--1380,--it was
determined, in a Court of the Aldermen and Common Council of the City,
that the old seal of the Mayoralty of London should be destroyed, and
a new one, engraven with greater skill, then be provided. The device
upon the new seal consisted of the effigies of the Saints Peter and
Paul, with the Blessed Virgin above them, supported between two Angels,
under as many tabernacles. Beneath the feet of the Saints were the
Armorial Ensigns of the City, supported by two Lions, and two Serjeants
at Arms. Now, Stow’s deductions from this fact are, firstly, that as
the Mayor is not called by any title of Knighthood in this Seal, it
was made before he received that dignity, and, therefore, before his
gallant action in Smithfield, or, the augmentation could have been made
to the City Arms. Secondly, he argues, that the Arms were the same in
the old seal as in the new, and that, consequently, the weapon was
not the dagger of Walworth, but the sword of St. Paul; for when the
turbulent Robert Fitz-Walter was Banner-bearer to the City of London,
his standard was red, charged with the image of St. Paul in gold,
holding a sword, which, together with the head, hands, and feet of the
effigy, was silver. These particulars you will also find in Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 65; and such is the attempt of this worthy
historian to prove the weapon to have been the sword of St. Paul’s
Martyrdom, at _Aquæ Salviæ_, on the 29th of June, A. D. 66. Now, since
that holy Martyr is oftentimes called, by the more ancient writers,
‘the titularie patron of London,’ and since her chiefest metropolitan
fane was, so early as 610, dedicated to his ever-fragrant memory, there
is nothing impossible, or even unlikely, in all this: and that it
should have been so, certainly arises from the circumstance that ‘Paul
preached in the Islande of Britaine, which cannot be doubted; seeing
both Sophronius, Patriarche of Jerusalem, and Theodoret, an ancient
Doctor of the Chvrche, doe affirme and approve the same, saying that
Fishers, Publicans, and the Tent-maker,’--St. Paul, see Acts xviii.
3,--‘which brought the evangelical light unto all nations, revealed the
same unto the Britaines.’

“The only authority adduced by Stow for the support of his novel
hypothesis concerning the Dagger of London, is a Manuscript preserved
in the City Chamber, and called ‘_Liber Dunthorne_,’ from William
Dunthorne, the name of its author. It is, in form, a large folio
volume, written in a very fair, small, black law text, on vellum;
and its contents are ancient Civic Laws, commencing with the series
of the City Charters, in the first of which, granted by William I.,
the initial W contains an illumination of the effigy of St. Paul, as
already described. I will add only, that this venerable register is
bound in wood, covered with rough calf leather, and garnished with
brass bosses and clasps, now black with age; whilst on the cover, under
a plate of horn, surrounded by a metal frame, is a piece of parchment
bearing the name ‘_Dvnthorne_.’

“Notwithstanding, however, that the effigy of the most glorious Apostle
St. Paul might be advanced into the banner of London, I think it still
probable that the ancient Civic Armorial Ensigns were a White Shield
bearing a Red Cross, having the first quarter either uncharged, or
charged, as a distinction from the multitudes of places and persons
which adopted the same insignia. For you may observe, that the Cross
was anciently and commonly used by all Christians as their badge;
some Heralds deriving its introduction from the Emperor Constantine
the Great, and others from so holy a person as Joseph, the Son of
Joseph of Arimathea; who, being the first preacher of Christianity
in Britain, when dying, drew with his own blood a red cross on a
white banner, and promised victory to its followers, whilst they
continued in the Christian faith. There is also much mystical meaning
in this plain, yet noble ensign; for ‘the white shielde,’ says a very
ancient and interesting author, ‘betokeneth purenes of life, and the
crosse, the bludd that Christ shed for us, his especialle people of
Englande.’--‘King Arthur,’ too, says John Bossewell, in his very rare
and curious ‘_Workes of Armorie_,’ London, 1597, small 4to., Part 2.,
page 22 a, ‘that mightie Conquerour and worthie, had so great affection
and loue to this signe, that he left his Armes which he bare before,
and assumpted, or tooke to his Armes, as proper to his desire, a
Crosse siluer, in a field vert; and on the first quarter thereof, was
figured an Image of our Lady, with her Sonne in her armes. And bearing
that signe, he did many marueiles in Armes, as in his books of Acts
and valiant Conquests are remembred. Thus,’ adds he, ‘in olde time it
may be perceiued what Princes thought of the Crosse.’ Now, without
believing this origin to its utmost extent, we may nevertheless learn
thereby, of how great antiquity is the bearing of that most honourable
Ordinary; ‘whose godly observation,’ says John Guillim, in his
‘_Display of Heraldry_,’ best edition, by James Coats, London, 1724,
folio, page 51, ‘was in great use in the primitive Church; though, in
later times, it hath been dishonourably entertained by two kinds of
fantastics; the one, who so superstitiously doat on it that they adore
it like their God; the other, who so unchristianly detest it, that they
slander the most godly and ancient use thereof in our first initiating
unto Christ, as if it were some devilish idol. But the true soldiers of
such a captain, need not to be ashamed to bear his ensign.’

“There is also yet another historical reason given why the Red Cross of
St. George should be so often adopted in England; for it is related,
that when Robert, Duke of Normandy, the son of our King William I.,
was prosecuting his victories against the Turks, and laying siege to
the famous City of Antioch, A. D. 1098, it was almost relieved by a
considerable army of Saracens. In this difficulty there appeared the
beatific vision of St. Demetrius, St. Mercurius, and St. George, coming
down from the mountains of Syria; the latter being clothed entirely
in white, and bearing a Red Cross on his banner, and, at the head of
an innumerable reinforcement; which miraculous interference not only
reanimated the Christians, but also caused the infidels to fly, and the
Crusaders to possess themselves of the City. This legend is related
by Matthew Paris, a Monk of St. Albans, in the 13th century, in his
‘_Historia Major_,’ Paris, 1644, folio, page 29: and it consequently
made St. George to become exceedingly famous at that time; and to be
esteemed a patron, not of the English only, but of Christianity itself.

“So much, Mr. Barnaby, for the use of the Cross in our City Arms; and
as to the distinction borne in the first quarter, there are some who
hold the belief that the Roman letter L once occupied the place of the
sword. This story appears to have originated with a Mr. William Smith,
a Merchant of London, who was created Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms,
on October the 22nd, 1597. As he had travelled much on the Continent,
and ‘was honest, of a quiet conversation, and well-languaged,’ the
Officers of the Heralds’ College solicited to have him joined to their
society; and it was from the reminiscences of his former travels,
that he was enabled to state the following particulars concerning the
original distinction attached to the City Arms, wherein he opposes
the hypothesis of Stow. ‘The Auncient Armes of the Cittie of London,
as they stand in (the uppermost North Window of) our Lady Church at
Andwerp, in which Church windowes stand the effigies of King Edward the
Third, and all his children; with most of the Armes of the Corporate
Townes of England at that tyme; and this standeth first, and hath an
ould Roman L in the first quarter, which John Stowe tooke in an ould
seale which he had seene, for a sword, afferminge thereby that it
was the Sworde of St. Paule, patron of the saide Cittie: whereby he
constantly affermed that they had aunciently soe borne it, and that
it was no reward giuen by King Richard the Second, as our Chronicles
reporte, for the seruice done in Smythfieeld against Watt Tyler y^e
Rebell, by William Wallworth, Maior of London, whoe slewe the sayd
Tyler with his dagger; in memory whereof, say they, the dagger was
added to the Cittie’s Armes.’ This passage you will find in two ancient
Manuscript copies of Heraldical Collections for London, in the Harleian
Library, No. 1464, page 1; and No. 1349, page 2 b; attended by sketches
of the ancient and modern bearings, drawn in pen and ink, technically
called _Tricks of Arms_. This same story, told in the very same words,
with two rude sketches of the Arms in the margin, is also to be found
in one of Philpott’s Manuscripts, in the Library at the Heralds’
College, marked P b. No. 22, page 10 a; where it is written on paper,
in an ancient running hand about the year 1602; and, what is extremely
singular, there does not appear to be any other entry of the City Arms
in the books of that Office.

“Notwithstanding, however, as Strype tells us, in his most interesting
‘_Life of John Stow_,’ prefixed to his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page
15, that the worthy old Citizen, and Master Rouge Dragon, were well
acquainted, and communicated their labours to each other, yet he says
also, that Stow would not be persuaded concerning the Dutch blazon of
the London Arms, but affirmed them to have been always the same. I
have but two other proofs to bring forward concerning these bearings;
and then I will no longer trespass upon your long-tried patience, but
return back with all speed to our _memorabilia_ of London Bridge.

“The first of these is, that in Mr. J. B. Nichols’s ‘_Brief Account
of the Guildhall of the City of London_,’ London, 1819, octavo, we
are told, at page 34, that in the Eastern Crypt of that building, the
groinings of the roof meet in bosses carved with Armorial Ensigns; some
being those of King Edward the Confessor, and others those of the City
of London. ‘It is worthy of remark,’ adds the Author of this volume,
in the same place, ‘that the Arms of London represented in the bosses
on the side aisles _have_ the dagger, while all those in the centre
aisle are _without_ it.’ I will make no other commentary upon this,
than, that part of the crypt is said to have been built antecedent
to the reign of King Richard II., or, probably, formed part of the
ancient Guildhall, erected, as some suppose, in 1189; the present
building being commenced, as Stow tells us in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume
i., page 558, in 1411, during the reign of Henry IV. The last evidence
which I have to cite on this subject, is a small, but rare tract in
the British Museum, entitled ‘_The Citie’s Advocate in this Case, or
Question of Honour and Armes; whether Apprenticeship extinguisheth
Gentry?_’ London, 1629, 4to. The Author of this volume is supposed to
have been that John Philipot, or Philpott, whom I before mentioned, who
was created Somerset Herald, on July the 8th, 1624, and who died on
the 25th of November, 1645. He engraves both the banner of St. Paul,
supported by an effigy of Robert Fitz-Walter, and the Arms as they
are now borne, for the Ensigns of London; and states that they were
‘a copy of that which an old imperfect larger volume at the Office of
Armes containeth.’ He cites this record in proof of Stow’s veracity
in explaining the weapon to signify the Sword of St. Paul; and adds
that his effigy as ‘titularie patron of London, aduanced itself into
the standard, and upon the shield were those well-known armories of
the crosse and weapon.’ It is, perhaps, almost unworthy of mention,
that Edward Hatton, in his ‘_New View of London_,’ London, 1708, 8vo.,
volume i., in the inscription to the frontispiece representing the
City Arms, blazons them ‘Argent, a Cross Gules: on y^e 1st quarter a
sword (by some falsly called y^t of St. Paul, by others y^e dagger of
Sr. Wm. Walworth; but I take it to represent y^t of Justice) of y^e
2nd:’ this idea, however, is without the slightest support either in
reason, history, research, or heraldry. Such is the chief evidence now
extant concerning our Civic Ensigns, which you will find very fully and
wittily considered, by a learned and facetious gentleman, an intimate
of mine, in a paper signed R. S., printed in a periodical of much
merit, entitled the ‘_New European Magazine_,’ volume iv., May, 1824,
pages 397-401.

“Mr. Barnaby Postern,” said I, as I concluded this discourse on our
Civic Heraldry, “I have spoken somewhat at length on this subject,
partly on account of its great interest, and partly because you ever
and anon remind me of the sentiment uttered by that talkative knave,
_Gratiano_, in the ‘_Merchant of Venice_;’ who says,--

    ‘Well! keep me company but two years more,
    Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue!’

But, as we have now gotten through our wanderings for the present, let
me recall to your mind that our Bridge history was brought down to the
period when----”

“To the time,” interrupted the Antiquary, “when the prompt courage and
prudence of the youthful Richard, after the death of the rebel Tyler,
the valour of the famous Henry Spencer, Bishop of Norwich, and the
united efforts of the King’s Armies and Councils, had succeeded in
putting an end to one of the most extensive and dangerous insurrections
ever known in England. During these turbulent times at home, the
King’s Ambassadors abroad had been vainly endeavouring to negociate
a marriage between their Sovereign, and a daughter of the Duke of
Milan. On the failure of which negociation, he demanded the hand of
Anne of Luxemburg, daughter of the Emperor Charles IV., and sister to
Wenceslaus, Emperor and King of Bohemia; with whom, on May the 2nd,
1381, his marriage was formally concluded at Nuremburg. I mention
this only to remind you, to whom the Pageants were presented which I
shall very speedily have to notice. Before, however, that we arrive
at any events so entertaining as these, I must mention some other
circumstances, and repeat to you another extract from a Patent Roll
concerning the appointment of a Gate-Keeper to London Bridge, recorded
in the eighth Year of King Richard II., A. D. 1385., Membrane the 22nd.
It is addressed, ‘For Walter Fesecock,’ and in English runs in the
following terms; the original Latin being printed in Hearne’s ‘_Liber
Niger_,’ volume i., page *486.

“‘The King to all to whom these presents shall come,--Greeting. Know
ye, that of our special grace, and for the good service of our beloved
Walter Fesecock, one of our Bargemen, we grant to the same Walter, for
as much as in us lieth, the Officer of Gate-keeper of the Bridge of
our City of London; he being near to us, and paying to us a price not
exceeding thirteen shillings and four pence by the year: that is to
say, he is to have the said office, with the profits belonging thereto,
for the term of his life; in the manner that John Chese, deceased,
had the office aforesaid, by the grant of our most dear Lord and
grandfather deceased. In testimony of which thing, Witness the King, at
Westminster, on the eighth day of April. By Writ of Privy Seal.’

“I am next, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, to speak of a famous action on
London Bridge, which most authors who have written the history of that
edifice, place five or six, and some even eight, years later, than
it really happened; which I cannot imagine to have arisen from any
other cause, than that of their carelessly following each other, or
else copying Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’ page 61, without turning to the
original ancient Author, whom he cites in the margin of his ‘_Annals_,’
pages 312-313, as his authority for the fact. This memorable exhibition
was a solemn Justing between an English and a Scottish Knight, as a
display of the valour of their different countries; which was held on
St. George’s day, the 23d of April, 1390; and not, as Stow has most
unaccountably stated, in the works which I have quoted, either in 1395
or 1396. The authorities with which I shall support my argument, are
ancient, and some of them even contemporary; but we will first relate
the plain story from the elegant Latin of Hector Boethius, a Scottish
Historian, who was born at Dundee in 1470: the best edition of whose
‘_Scotorum Historiæ_’ is that printed at Paris in folio, 1575; where,
on page 335 b, the passage commencing ‘_Durante inter Anglos Scotosque
pace publica_,’ is, in English, to the following effect.

“‘During the general peace between the Scots and the English, many of
the English, who were of Knightly rank, and who excelled in military
arts and prowess, frequented Scotland, and there also came many Scots
into England; producing, on both parts, many honourable tournaments,
to which mutual challenges were published. Of these feats, the most
worthy of memory was accounted that victory on London Bridge, by David
Lindesay, Earl of Crawfurd. An Englishman, the Lord Wells, was then the
Ambassador of King Richard, in Scotland, and was attending at a solemn
banquet, where many persons, both Scots and English, were discoursing
upon courage and arms. ‘Away with this strife of words,’ said the
Englishman; ‘whoever would experience the valour of the English, let
his name be declared, and also a time and place be appointed, wherever
ye list, for a single passage of arms, and I am ready. I call on thee,’
said he to David, ‘who hast spent many words against me, and thou
shalt have to just with me rather than all the rest.’ ‘Yea, truly,’
said David, ‘and I will do it blithely, if thou canst bring the King
to consent to it.’ The King agreeing, the Englishman made choice of
the place, and, because it should be in another country, he selected
London Bridge: David named the time, the holy St. George’s day, because
he was the chief patron of soldiers. Thereupon the Lord Wells returned
to London, and David provided himself with arms, as well as he might.
As the day was approaching, he made a journey with thirty-two persons
in his train, immediately to London,’--this, however, is an error, for
there were but twenty-nine in all, as I shall presently shew,--‘coming
to King Richard, who received them with great honour.’

“Of the actual time when Sir David Lindsay came to England to engage
in this passage of arms, we have the most authentic proof, in the
original writs granted for his safe conduct, which are yet extant in
that interesting body of Scots’ Records, entitled ‘_Rotuli Scotiæ_,’
or the Rolls of Scotland. These invaluable historical documents
contain,--says the Rev. Thomas Hartwell Horne, in his excellent notices
of them attached to the printed copies, published by the Commissioners
of the Public Records, London, 1819, folio, volume ii., page 7,--‘an
important collection of Records, illustrative of the Political
Transactions between England and Scotland.’ They commence with the
nineteenth year of King Edward I.--A. D. 1290,--and terminate with
the eighth year of King Henry VIII.--1516. With the exception of two
Rolls of 1339 and 1360, the 13th and 34th of Edward III., which are
in the Chapter House at Westminster, all the remainder are deposited
in the Wakefield Tower, in the Tower of London. The character in
which they are written, of course, varies according to the different
reigns, but it is, in general, a small and clear current Court-hand,
with a moderate proportion of contractions; and their contents are
composed of Treaties, Ransoms, Attainders, Grants, Licenses, and Passes
of Safe Conduct for persons during war, some of which I am about to
mention to you, as being proof of the Justing on London Bridge, in
1390. In the Second Volume then of the printed ‘_Rotuli Scotiæ_,’ page
103, Column 1; or on Membrane 3 of the original Roll of the 13th of
Richard II.,--1389-90 you will find the first of these instruments, a
translation of which runs thus.

“‘Safe conduct for David de Lyndesey, Knight, for the duel to be fought
with John de Welles.

‘The King to all and singular, our Sheriffs, Mayors, Bailiffs,
Ministers, and faithful subjects, within and without our liberties, to
whom these present letters shall come, Greeting. Know ye, that because
our beloved and faithful John de Welles,--for the perfecting of a
certain Passage of Arms within our Kingdom of England, against David de
Lyndeseye, of Scotland, Knight, as he appears to have been calumniated
by the said David,--he is petitioner to us for the security of the
said David, with his followers and servants coming into our Kingdom
aforesaid, for the cause aforesaid, and graciously to provide for their
remaining here, and returning again to their own country. We therefore,
inclined at the supplication and urgent request of our liegemen who
are at this time assisting to us, do undertake for the coming of the
said David, _with twenty and nine persons of his company and retinue,
in armour, David himself being in the said number_, and twelve other
Knights, with their Esquires, Varlets, and Pages also accounted, and
with thirty horses, into our kingdom aforesaid, for the completing of
the aforesaid Passage of Arms with the said John, from the sixth day of
May next approaching; for the coming of the same, and for their cause
of remaining, and for their going out and returning to their own parts:
nevertheless upon condition, that if any of the aforesaid who may be
outlaws to us or our kingdom, shall present themselves in our Kingdom
aforesaid, under the colour and protection of the company of David,
they shall not enter nor remain in our safe and secure conduct. We
will also, that the said David be sufficiently armed for himself: with
trusses’--most probably couches, or beds--‘for himself, and also during
the completing of the Passage of Arms aforesaid, to carry, conduct, and
have such with him, to be used for him upon any attack. And therefore
we command you, and all of you whatsoever, that the said David, with
his men, arms, and horses aforesaid, with all their harness coming
into our Kingdom aforesaid, in the manner and for the cause aforesaid,
is, in remaining here, and in returning to his own country, to be
in friendship, protection, and defence; not bringing upon them, nor
permitting to be brought upon them, any injury, molestation, damage, or
grievance. In testimony of which, this shall last from the first day
of April next to come, for the two months then immediately following;
to be accounted from the first day of the same. Witness the King, at
Westminster, the twenty-second day of January. By Letter of Privy Seal.’

“And now, Sir, let us suppose the parapet of London Bridge decorated
with rich hangings of tapestry and cloth of gold, such as we know it
was customary to adorn those edifices with on occasions of rejoicing
and triumph. The lists for a Justing, you remember, were sixty paces in
length, by forty in breadth, but as the whole width of the Bridge was
but forty feet, this rule, though made by Thomas, Duke of Gloucester,
Uncle to Richard II., the King in whose reign we now are, must have
been dispensed with; for, estimating the pace at two feet and an
half, the measurement amounts to 150 feet by 100. The ground within
the lists was to be paved with large stones, hard, level, and firm;
and the entrances, which were commonly erected East and West, were
to be fenced with bars, seven feet, or more, in height, that a horse
might not be able to leap over them. At either end of the lists were
erected the tents of the tilters, having their shields suspended over
the entrances; which it was also customary to hang up at the windows of
the houses where they lodged, at once to denote their residence, and
to declare their Knightly intentions. We find, however, in that very
curious and sumptuous work by Dr. Samuel Rush Meyrick, entitled ‘_A
Critical Enquiry into Ancient Armour_,’ London, 1824, folio, volume
ii., page 59, _Note_, that he supposes that the lists for this Justing
upon London Bridge, were without the centre paling between the Knights,
called, in France, the double Lists, because, he imagines, one of the
champions was overthrown by the concussion of their steeds.

“We will, however, now return to the account of this Justing given
by Boethius; ‘When the day of battle was come,’ continues he, ‘both
parties being armed, were most honourably conducted to the Bridge,
which was filled in all parts with noble spectators, with whom Richard
was seated in an eminent place; though a great concourse of the common
people also was collected, excited by the novelty of the event, and
the fame of the champions. The signal being given, tearing their
barbed horses with their spurs, they rushed hastily together with a
mighty force, and with square-ground spears, to the conflict. Neither
party was moved by the vehement impulse and breaking of the spears;
so that the common people affected to cry out that David was bound to
the saddle of his horse, contrary to the law of arms, because he sat
unmoved, amidst the splintering of the lances on his helmet and visage.
When Earl David heard this, he presently leaped off his charger, and
then as quickly vaulted again upon his back without any assistance;
and, taking a second hasty course, the spears were a second time
shivered by the shock, through their burning desire to conquer. And
now a third time were these valorous enemies stretched out and running
together: but then the English Knight was cast down breathless to the
earth, with great sounds of mourning from his countrymen that he was
killed. Earl David, when victory appeared, hastened to leap suddenly to
the ground; for he had fought without anger, and but for glory, that he
might shew himself to be the strongest of the champions, and casting
himself upon Lord Wells, tenderly embraced him until he revived, and
the surgeon came to attend him. Nor, after this, did he omit one day
to visit him in the gentlest manner during his sickness, even like the
most courteous companion. He remained in England three months by the
King’s desire, and there was not one person of nobility who was not
well-affected towards him.’

“This extended residence of Sir David Lindsay in England, is also
proved by a renewal of his safe conduct, which was granted him in the
following terms; the original instrument being recorded on Membrane 3
of the Roll for the Year already mentioned; and a copy is inserted on
page 104, column 1, of the printed edition of the ‘_Rotuli Scotiæ_.’

“‘Renewal of the Safe Conduct of David de Lyndeseye, Knight.

‘The King to all and singular the Sheriffs, Mayors, Bailiffs, Officers,
and our faithful subjects within and without our liberties, to whom
these present letters shall come, Greeting. Know ye, that David de
Lyndeseye of Scotland, Knight, hath lately come, by authority of our
safe conduct into our Kingdom, for the perfecting of some certain
passages of arms within the same, with nine and twenty persons in his
company and retinue, David himself being of their number; and because
he yet appears in our said Kingdom, and purposes for a short space of
time to remain and continue within our Kingdom, some certain impediment
and affairs of great importance touching his own person being in the
mean while to be concluded: We, at the immediate request of David
himself, to whom we are at this time graciously inclined, do undertake
for the remaining of the said David, with the aforesaid twenty and nine
persons of his society and retinue, David himself being accounted of
their number, with their horses and harness, for the matter aforesaid;
and afterwards for their returning into their own parts under our safe
and secure conduct. Nevertheless, upon condition that if any traitors
to us or our Kingdom, or any outlaws from the same, present them in
our Kingdom under pretence and protection of David’s company, they
shall not enter nor remain therein. We will also, however, that the
said David be sufficiently armed, with trusses for his own person, for
the perfecting of the aforesaid passage of arms, to carry, conduct,
and have with him, to be used for him upon any attack whatsoever. And
therefore we will and command you, and all of you, that the said David,
with his men, arms, and horses aforesaid, with all their harness,
in our Kingdom, in the manner and for the cause aforesaid, is, in
remaining, and afterwards in returning to his own countries, to be in
friendship, protection, and defence,’ &c. as before. ‘In testimony
of which, these presents shall last for the two months immediately
following. Witness the King at Westminster, on the thirteenth day of
May. By the King himself.’

“That I may the better complete the narrative of this Knight’s
residence in England, I will yet give you the translations of two writs
more, recorded on the Second Membrane of the same Roll, and printed
upon the same page as the last, Column 2.

“‘Another Renewal of the same Safe Conduct.

‘The King by his Letters Patents, which shall last from the first day
of June next to come, for the two months then immediately ensuing, to
be accounted from the first day of the same, undertakes for his safe
and secure conduct, and for the King’s special protection and defence
to David Lyndesey, of Scotland, Knight, coming into the King’s realm of
England, with twenty and nine persons of his company and retinue, David
himself being accounted in their number, to be confirmed in Towns by
virtue of the license of the Mayors, Bailiffs, and Keepers of the same,
on his entering and returning towards the countries of Scotland, with
his familiar people, their horses, harness, and all goods whatsoever.
Witness the King, at Westminster, on the twenty-fifth day of May. By
Bill of Privy Seal.’

“We have lastly, in the following warrant, an authentic notice of his
departure for Scotland.

“‘Safe Conduct for the Scottish Ship for the carriage of the Armour of
David Lyndesey.

‘The King by his Letters Patents, which shall last from the first day
of June next to come, for the two months then immediately ensuing,
to be accounted from the first day of the same, engages for his safe
and secure conduct, and for his special protection and defence to
a certain vessel of Scotland, called Seinte Marie, Ship of Dundee,
whereof William Snelle is Master, with twelve Mariners crossing the
seas for trading, the said Master and Mariners not carrying with them
any property or goods whatsoever, nor any illicit goods, or prohibited
merchandise, out of the Kingdom of the King aforesaid, excepting only
one complete Armour of War for the body of David Lyndesey of Scotland,
Knight. Witness the King, at Westminster, the twenty-fifth day of May.
By Letter of Privy Seal.’

“Such, then, are the particulars of this memorable event, as related
by Boethius, and supported by proofs from the most undoubted records,
which fix it in the Year 1390; illustrated also by the addition of
some curious particulars from Stow’s translation of the passage given
in his ‘_Annals_,’ which I have already cited; though it is far beyond
my ability to give you either the elegance or strength of expression,
which the original author has infused into his narrative. Now, for
the time when this Justing took place, let me observe that Boethius
does not mention any year; Stow has called it 1395 and 1396; Raphael
Holinshed, who professed to have translated the Scottish Historian
in the Second part of his ‘_Chronicles of England, Scotland, and
Ireland_,’ London, 1585-86, volume i., page 252, makes it 1398; and
James Howell, whose account of London Bridge is a verbatim reprint of
Stow’s, in his ‘_Londinopolis_,’ London, 1657, folio, page 22, sets it
down as 1381. So far, then, all are at variance: but these are only
the later and English Authors; whilst, on the other hand, we have the
following positive assurance of John de Fordun, a Scottish Priest,
who is said in 1377 to have dedicated his History of Scotland to the
Cardinal Walter Wardlaw, Bishop of Glasgow; the best edition of whose
work, ‘_Johannis de Fordun Scotichronicon_,’ with the Continuation
of Walter Bower, Abbot of St. Columb’s Isle, in 1424, is that of
Walter Goodall, Edinburgh, 1759, folio; where, in volume ii., book
xv., chapter iv., page 422, is the passage to which I have alluded.
‘In the same year, and on the 21st of the month,’--it commences, these
being 1390, and April,--‘the Lord David Lindesay is made first Earl
of Crawfurd, a valiant Knight, and in all warlike virtues most highly
commended; who, with other proofs of them, had a glorious triumph
over the Lord Wells of England, in his days a most famous soldier, at
London, in the presence of King Richard II., in the year 1390, in a
warlike pastime with spears: of which proof of military prowess, the
fame hath hitherto been widely celebrated throughout England.’

“The next authority which I shall adduce is that of Andrew of Wyntoun,
a Scottish Chronicler, who was Canon Regular of St. Andrews, and Prior
of the Monastery of St. Serf in Loch-leven; and who died about the year
1420. The best edition of his labours is that beautiful one, entitled
‘_The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, be Androw of Wyntown, Priowr
of Sanct Serfis Ynche_,’--that is Isle,--‘_in Loch levyn. Now first
published with Notes and a Glossary, by David Macpherson_,’ London,
1815, 8vo., 2 volumes. In the Second Volume of this work then, at page
353, the commencement of Chapter xi. reads thus,--

    ‘Qwhen Schyr David the Lyndyssay rade
    Til Lundyn, and thare Tourné made.

    _A thowsand thre hyndyr and nynty yhere
    Frà the Byrth of oure Lord dere_

    The gud Lyndyssay, Schyr Dawy,
    Of Glenesk the Lord mychty,
    Honest, abil, and avenand,
    Past on (safe) conduct in Ingland.’

“This Author, indeed, never mentions London Bridge, and assigns a
different day for the encounter, as we read in the verses on the next

    ‘Swà ewyn a-pon _the sext day
    Of that moneth that we call May_,
    Thai ilk forsayd Lordis tway,
    The Lyndyssay and the Wellis thay
    On horse ane agane othir ran
    As thare taylyhè (_tally, a bond, or indenture to fight_) ordanyd than.
    The Lyndyssay thare wyth manful fors
    Strak qwyte the Wellis fra his hors
    _Flatlyngis downe a-pon the grene_.
    Thare all his saddile twm (_toom, empty_) was sene.’

“We have, however, sufficient authority for believing that this Justing
did actually take place on St. George’s day, for Hector Boethius
states, on page 336 b. of his ‘_History_,’ that because it was through
the protection of St. George, on whose day Sir David, or rather Earl,
Lindsay fought, he had gained this victory, he founded a Chantry, with
a gift of 48 marks,--£32 yearly,’--for seven Priests, with divers
Virgins, for ever to sing holy Anthems to the Saintly Soldier in the
Church of Dundee. ‘The which,’ adds he, ‘they did unto our time,’--that
is, about eighty years afterwards--‘not without singular commendations
to the Earl.’

“The Poem also speaks of the use of other weapons than lances; and
gives both Sir David Lindsay and King Richard a less degree of courtesy
than we find mentioned elsewhere, as you will discover in the following

    ‘Qwhen all thare cursis on hors wes dune,
    To-gyddyr thai mellayid on fute swne,
    Wyth all thare wapnys, as by the taylyhè
    Oblyst thai ware, for til assaylyhè.
    Swà wyth thare knwys at the last
    Ilk ane at othir strak rycht fast,
    Swà of this to tell yow mare
    _The Lyndyssay fastnyd his daggare_
    In-till Wellis armowris fyne
    Welle lauche (_a good depth_) and hym lyftyd syne
    Sum thyng fra the earth wyth pyth;
    And all (rycht) manful wertu wyth
    Oppynly before thame all
    He gave the Wellis a gret fall,
    And had hym haly at his will
    Qwhat evyr he wald have dwne hym til.
        The Kyng, in his Swmere Castelle
    That all this Towrne sene had welle,
    Sayd, ‘Lyndyssay, Cusyne, gud Lyndissay,
    Do forth that thow suld do this day.’
    As to be sayd, do furth thi dete,
    Thare shall ná man here mak lete.’”

“Let _me_ finish this story, Mr. Postern,” said I, as he concluded his
repetition of these old Scottish verses; “if it _be_ to have a finish,
and you do not really intend to keep me all night in the year 1390 for
we must not, certainly, let two such champions pass without one word
concerning their families and their Arms; nor leave without distinction
the actual Sir David Lindsay, and Lord Wells, who were engaged in
this very famous passage of arms. You must, I am sure, remember, Mr.
Barnaby, that the immortal Sir William Dugdale, Garter King of Arms,
hath, in his ‘_Baronage of England_,’ London, 1676, folio, volume ii.,
page 11, a memoir of Lord Wells, very meet to be mentioned here. His
Lordship was the descendant of Adam de Welles, who lived in the time
of Richard I. and he had served in the wars in Flanders, France, and
Scotland, under the Kings Edward III., and Richard II., and the valiant
John, Duke of Lancaster. As he was ten years old at his father’s death
in 1360, he must have been about forty when he justed on London Bridge;
and after having been summoned to Parliament from 1376 to 1420, he is
supposed to have died in the following year, on the Tuesday next after
the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, which being Sunday, August
the 24th, 1421, made it the 26th of the month. Andrew of Wyntown, whom
you have quoted, says of this Lord, you remember, in his Chronicle,
volume ii., page 354, alluding to the Justing on London Bridge:--

    ‘For in all Ingelond afore than
    The Welles was a commended man;
    Manful, stoute, and of gud pyth,
    And high of harte he was there wyth.’

“He bore for Arms, Or, a Lion rampant double queuée, Sable. Of Sir David
Lindsay, of Glenesk, commonly called Earl of Crawfurd, you may see some
notices with proofs, in ‘_The Peerage of Scotland_,’ by Sir Robert
Douglas, Edited by John Philip Wood, Esq., Edinburgh, 1813, folio,
volume i., page 375. He married Catherine, fifth daughter of Robert
II., King of Scotland, and his brother-in-law, Robert III., created him
Earl of Crawfurd, April 21st, 1398; though Hector Boethius, on page 336
b of his ‘_History_,’ denies this, saying:--‘There are who write, that
the before-named David was created the first Earl of Craufurd by King
Robert the Third; but because we discover by the witness of ancient
volumes, that James his father,’--rather his uncle, who was created
Baron of Crawfurd, January 1st, 1382,--‘was made Earl by Robert the
Second, we have followed a different manner in the history of this
family.’ Earl David was, however, twice a Commissioner and Ambassador
to England, in 1404 and 1406; and it is probable that he died before
1412. The arms borne by the Lindsays were Gules, a fesse Chequé Argent
and Azure; but his victorious banner has long since fallen a prey to a
mightier conqueror: the lance and the falchion which struck down all
before them, have been in their turn overcome by slow-consuming decay:
the champion himself lives but in these scattered fragments; remembered
only by descendants, or antiquaries; his tomb, and that of his rival,
are alike unknown, and even if they could be traced,--

    ‘The Knights are dust,
    And their good swords are rust,
    Their souls are with the Saints we trust!’”

I must own that I thought it a little uncivil in Mr. Barnaby Postern,
as I finished these reflections with an air of great philosophical
wisdom, to give a short dry cough, push the tankard towards me, and
then to say, “Sorrow is dry, Mr. Geoffrey, and morality is musty; so do
you take another draught of the sack, and I’ll give you another chapter
from the Chronicles of London Bridge.”

“And now, Sir,” recommenced my visitor, “that our history may not be
without the mention of at least one strange fish, connected with London
Bridge, let me tell you, that on Christmas day in the year 1391, as
Stow tells us in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 30 b, ‘a Dolphin came forth of
the Sea, and played himself in the Thames at London to the Bridge;
foreshewing, happily, the tempests that were to follow within a weeke
after; the which Dolphin being seene of Citizens, and followed, was,
with much difficulty, intercepted and brought againe to London, shewing
a spectacle to many of the height of his body, for he was tenne foote
in length. These Dolphins are fishes of the sea, that follow the
voices of men, and reioyce in playing of instruments, and are wont to
gather themselves at musick. These, when they play in rivers, with
hasty springings or leapings, doe signifie tempests to follow. The
seas containe nothing more swift nor nimble, for oftentimes with their
skips, they mount ouer the sailes of ships.’ The original of this story
is to be found, with many more particulars concerning Dolphins, in the
‘_Historia Brevis_,’ of Thomas Walsingham, London, 1574, folio, the
admirable edition by Archbishop Parker, page 380.

“As the political troubles which succeeded the appearance of this
monster, were productive of a very sumptuous triumph upon London
Bridge, I shall take the freedom to remind you, that King Richard being
greatly attached to regal magnificence and banquets, naturally found
his revenues very insufficient to support the splendours of his Court;
for, as Walsingham and Knyghton, the best historians of the time,
assert, he valued himself upon surpassing all the other Sovereigns of
Europe in magnificence; they add that he daily entertained no less than
six thousand individuals; that three hundred servants were employed in
his kitchen alone; and that his Queen had an equal number of females
in her service. To supply the means for this extraordinary splendour,
he endeavoured to procure aid from the Citizens of London; and sent to
borrow from them the large sum of £1000; but it then was an unhappy
time in England, for a dreadful Plague and Famine had overspread the
land, and they not only refused his Majesty’s request, but, upon
a Merchant of Lombardy offering to comply with it, they violently
attacked, and almost slew him. This was early in the year 1392; and on
the 25th of May following, the King, incensed to a very great degree,
summoned a Parliament at Stamford, when the City Charter was seized;
the Law Courts were removed to York; and the Mayor, Sheriffs, and
principal Citizens, deposed and imprisoned; until, by the mediation
of Queen Anne, the Bishop of London, and the Duke of Gloucester, the
King’s anger was in some degree pacified, and he consented to indulge
the Londoners with an audience at Windsor. At this interview the
Citizens, after submitting themselves to the King’s pleasure, offered
him £10,000 for the redemption of their privileges; but were dismissed
in dejection and uncertainty; though when Richard was informed of their
sorrow, he determined to proceed immediately to London, to re-assure
them of his favour. It was upon this occasion, that the Bridge bore a
very important part in the triumph; though the ceremony of receiving
the King and Queen with great splendour and a considerable train,
began at Wandsworth; where four hundred of the Citizens well mounted,
and habited in one livery, entreated him to ride through his Chamber
of London. At St. George’s Church, in Southwark, the procession was
met by Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, and his Clergy of the
City, followed by five hundred boys in surplices, who attended them
through the streets towards Westminster. When the train arrived at the
Gate of London Bridge, nearly the whole of the inhabitants, orderly
arranged according to their age, rank, and sex, advanced to receive
it, and presented the King with a fair milk-white steed, harnessed and
caparisoned in cloth of gold, brocaded in red and white, and hung full
of silver bells; whilst to the Queen was presented a palfrey, also of
white, caparisoned likewise in white and red. The other streets of
London, too, put on all their bravery; the windows and walls being
hung with cloths of gold, silver, and silk; the Conduit in Cheapside
poured out floods of red and white wine; a child, habited like an
angel, crowned the King and Queen with golden crowns, from a sumptuous
stage covered with performers in rich dresses; a table of the Trinity
wrought in gold, and valued at £800, was given to the King, and another
of St. Anne to his consort; and truly I know of nothing which might
so well express the splendours of that day, as the passage with which
Walsingham concludes his notice of it. ‘There was so much glory,’ says
he, ‘so much pomp, so great variety of divers furniture provided, that
to have undertaken it might have been a triumph to any King. For horses
and trappings, plate of gold and silver, clothes of gold, silk, and
velvet, ewers and basons of yellow gold, gold in coin, precious stones,
and jewels so rich, excellent, and beautiful, were given to him, that
their value and price might not easily be estimated.’

“This gorgeous scene took place on the 29th of August, and you will
find my authorities for this account of it in Henry Knyghton’s
books ‘_De Eventibus Angliæ_,’ printed in Twysden’s ‘_Scriptores_,’
already cited, page 2740; in Robert Fabyan’s ‘_Chronicles of England
and Fraunce_,’ London, 1559, folio, volume ii., page 334; in Stow’s
‘_Annals_,’ page 307; and in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume i., page
180. I will but observe, to finish this portion of history, that the
Citizens redeemed their Charter by the payment of £10,000; and the
King, by his Letters Patent, dated at Westminster, in February 1392-93,
restored them to his favour; and so, observes Stow in his ‘_Annals_,’
‘the troubles of the Citizens came to quietnesse; which troubles, the
Dolphin in the Thames at Christmas last past, did happily signifie afar
off.’ Though Maitland, at page 180 of his ‘_History_,’ volume i., most
unaccountably makes the Dolphin appear the Christmas _after_ this fine
was paid.

“I can scarcely imagine, worthy Mr. Barbican, what could induce the
accurate Stow,--and of course all other Authors of London history,--to
remark, when speaking of the year 1395, our next eminent epoch in the
Chronicles of London Bridge, that, because the Justing which we have
already spoken of was, as he says, then holden upon it, such ‘history
proveth that at that time, the Bridge being coaped on either side, was
not replenished with houses built thereupon, as since it hath been, and
now is.’ You will observe that this passage, which occurs in volume
i., page 61, of his ‘_Survey_,’ is no interpolation of later, or more
unskilful, Editors, because it is to be found in the first black-letter
edition of that most valuable work, 1598, small folio. Now, in most
of his preceding pages he has been giving proofs of the Bridge being
built upon at an early period to some extent; and I also, after him
and others, have adduced to you abundant evidence that such was the
case. I have shewn that the Gate and Towers were certainly as ancient
as 1264; that in the Patent granted to Isenbert of Xainctes, in 1201,
it is stated ‘that the rents and profits of the several houses, which
the said Master of the Schools shall cause to be erected on the Bridge,
shall be for ever appropriated to repair, maintain, and uphold the
same;’ that in the Patent of relief granted by Edward I., in 1280,
it is observed that the dilapidations of the Bridge may occasion not
only its sudden fall, ‘but also the destruction of innumerable people
dwelling on it;’ and that in the reign of the same Edward, the Assize
Rolls mention the very rents and situations of houses then standing
on London Bridge. All this, I imagine, might be received as fair and
conclusive evidence that this part of the City was built upon and
inhabited, long before 1395; to which let me add, that Richard Bloome,
one of the continuators of Stow, observes, on page 62, when speaking
of the dreadful conflagration of the Bridge in 1632-33, that some of
the houses remained unbuilt until the year 1666, when the Great Fire
of London destroyed all the new edifices. ‘But,’ rejoins he, ‘the old
ones at the South end, some of which were built in the reign of King
John,’--and he died, you will remember in 1215,--‘were not burnt.’
It is, however, extremely probable, that London Bridge did not even
in 1395 present that form of a continued street which was afterward
its most celebrated and peculiar character. There were, I doubt not,
several places open to the water, perhaps, as Stow says, ‘plainly
coped with stone;’ and in one of these, it is most probable, that the
Justing, which he erroneously mentions in that year, took place.

“Anne of Bohemia, the Queen of Richard II., dying in 1394, his sorrow
for her loss was both passionately expressed, and deservedly bestowed;
though, so early afterwards as in 1396, during an interview between him
and that insane Monarch, Charles VI. of France, a truce was concluded
betwixt the two Kingdoms for twenty-eight years, and Richard espoused
Isabel, the French King’s eldest daughter, although she was then under
eight years of age; whence she was called ‘The Little,’ and the English
Sovereign was about thirty. This marriage was solemnized by Thomas
Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Church of St. Nicholas, at
Calais, on Wednesday, October the 31st, or rather the 1st of November,
when Richard is said to have expended on the occasion, the immense
sum of three hundred thousand marks, or in modern coinage £200,000.
On the 2nd of November they sailed for England, and on arriving at
Blackheath the Royal train was met by the usual procession of the
Mayor and Aldermen of London, habited in scarlet, who attended the
King to Newington, where he dismissed them, as he was to rest for
a short time at Kennington. On the 13th, however, Richard and his
Consort entered the City on their way to the Tower; when so vast a
multitude was collected on London Bridge to see the young Queen pass,
that nine persons were killed in the crowd, of whom the Prior of the
Austin Canons at Tiptree, in Essex, was one, and a worshipful matron
of Cornhill was another. John Stow is commonly cited as the authority
for this circumstance, and it may be seen related in his ‘_Annals_,’
page 315; though it is also to be found in ‘_The Chronicle of Fabian_,’
London, 1559, small folio, page 338. Robert Fabian, as you must well
remember, was, in 1493, an eminent Merchant and Sheriff of London,
and died in 1512, about thirteen years previously to the birth of
John Stow. You will also see the following notice of the event in the
Harleian Manuscripts, No. 565, article 5, page 61 a, which consists of
‘_A Chronicle of English Affairs, and especially of those relating to
the City of London, from the first year of King Richard I., 1189, to
the 21st of Henry VI., 1442, inclusive_’--‘In yis yere, a bouzte y^e
feste of Alhalwen, Isabell y^e Kynges doughter of Fraunce was spoused
to Kyng Richard at Caleys: whiche afterward on y^e viij day of Januer
was crowned Quene at Westm^r. At whos comynge to London, y^e Priour
of Typtre in Essex, with other viij persones vp on London bregge in
y^e gret prees weren crowsed to y^e deth.’ Now, as I shall hereafter
frequently, have to cite this Chronicle for some particulars of events
not to be found in any other Annals, I must observe that it is a small
quarto, fairly written on parchment, in a current Court-hand of the
time of Edward IV., and decorated with vermillion lines and ornaments.

“It was, you will recollect, in 1397, that Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of
Gloucester, and uncle to Richard II., being charged with disaffection
and conspiracy, was suddenly carried to Calais; in which confinement
and exile he died, on the 24th of September in the same year, of an
apoplectic fit, as some Historians relate, although the greater number
charge Richard with his murder, and assert that he was smothered,
or strangled: for he was rude and overbearing in his disposition,
and usually opposed the King in most of his measures; censured his
extravagant expenditure, and on several occasions is said to have
reproached and upbraided him with great severity of language. On these
accounts is the Duke’s death charged upon the King, and his favourites;
and you have a very curious and interesting examination of the
circumstance, in Richard Gough’s ‘_History and Antiquities of Pleshy,
in the County of Essex_,’ London, 1803, quarto, pages 85-123. The reign
of this unfortunate Monarch was, however, nearly at a close; for, on
the 29th of September, 1399, he resigned the ensigns of Royalty to the
Duke of Lancaster, afterwards Henry IV., and in the formal accusation,
consisting of 33 Articles, drawn up for his deposition, in the fourth
he is charged with having caused the murder of the Duke of Gloucester.
When these accusations were read over to Richard, and he had named his
principal advisers in each action, it was Henry of Lancaster’s care to
discover the four Knights who actually strangled the Duke of Gloucester
in the Castle of Calais; and having done so, he confined them in four
separate prisons in London, ‘and would not,’ says Sir John Froissart,
‘have taken twenty thousand nobles for their deliverance.’ Sir Thomas
Knolles, the Mayor, and the Citizens of London, were next acquainted
with the Articles of Deposition, and the King’s confession concerning
the four Knights; when the crowds, which had assembled in the
Guildhall, cried out with execrations against them, and loudly demanded
their immediate condemnation. This very speedily followed, and old
London Bridge, which has in its days witnessed so many scenes of blood,
was appointed the place for the exhibition of their heads; but in
giving you a short narrative of this execution, we can go to no better
authority than to the Herodotus of his time, Sir John Froissart, who,
as you will doubtless recollect, was born at Valenciennes in 1337, and
was Priest, Canon, and Treasurer of the Collegiate Church of Chimay; he
died about 1401, and his Chronicles of his own time were compiled from
the most authentic sources.

“The French of that part of Froissart’s Chronicles to which I have
alluded, commences ‘_A donc se tirerent ensemble le Maire de Londres_,’
&c., volume iv., chapter cxii.; but we shall take the excellent
English of Colonel Johnes’ translation, Hafod Press, 1803, quarto,
volume iv., pages 663-664. ‘The Mayor and Lawyers,’ says he, ‘retired
to the judgment-seat, and the four Knights were condemned to death.
They were sentenced to be brought before the apartment of the Tower
of London in which King Richard was confined, that he might see them
from the windows, and thence drawn on sledges by horses to Cheapside,
each person separately, and there beheaded, their heads affixed to
spikes on London Bridge, and their bodies hung upon a gibbet, and there
left. When this sentence was pronounced, they hastened to execute it.
Every thing being prepared, the Mayor of London, and the Lords who had
assisted him in this judgment, set out from Guildhall with a large body
of people, and came to the Tower of London, where they seized the four
Knights of the King, Sir Bernard Brocas, the Lord Marclais, Master John
Derby, Receiver of Lincoln, and the Lord Stelle, Steward of the King’s
Household. They were all brought into the court, and each tied to two
horses, in the sight of all in the Tower, who were eye-witnesses of it
as well as the King, who was much displeased, and in despair; for the
remainder of the King’s Knights that were with him looked for similar
treatment, so cruel and revengeful did they know the Londoners. Without
saying a word, these four were dragged from the streets to Cheapside,
and on a fishmonger’s stall had their heads struck off, which were
placed over the Gate on London Bridge, and their bodies hung on a
gibbet. After this execution, every man retired to his home.’

“The fatal tragedy of the reign of King Richard II. was at length
consummated by his murder at Pontefract Castle, February 14th,
1399-1400; for whether he died of grief, starvation, or by the weapon
of Sir Piers Exton, his death cannot be called by any other name;
though Henry of Lancaster was not yet so firmly seated on the throne
as to prevent numerous insurrections throughout the realm, on behalf
of the younger Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, the legitimate heir to
the crown. For about the year 1386, King Richard had appointed as his
successor Roger Mortimer, the son of Edmond, second Earl of March, and
Philippa his Countess, who was daughter and heiress to Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, _third_ son of King Edward III.: whereas Henry of Lancaster
was the son of John of Ghent, who was only _fourth_ son of that
Monarch. One of the most famous of these insurrections, was that raised
by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, which was overthrown by Sir
Thomas Rokeby, Sheriff of York, at Horselwood, on February the 19th,
1407-1408. In which encounter, Lord Thomas Bardolf,--who is a character
in Shakspeare’s ‘_Second Part of King Henry the Fourth_,’--was mortally
wounded, and died soon afterwards; but being on the party of the
Earl, his body was quartered as a traitor’s, and set up at several
places, with the Earl’s, one of which was London Bridge. This you find
identified by Thomas of Walsingham, in his ‘_Historiæ Angliæ_,’ page
419; for there he says, with considerable pathos: ‘The root of Percy
dies in ruin wild! for surely this Nobleman was altogether the living
stock of the Percy name; and of most of the various others who were
lost in his defeat. For whose unhappy end the common people did not
grieve the least; recalling that famous, glorious, and magnificent man,
and applying to him the mournful song of Lucan, where he says,

    ‘But not his blood, his wounds did not so move
    Our grieving souls, or wake our weeping love,--
    As that we saw, in many a town, appear
    His aged head transfixed on a spear.’
                                    PHARSALIA, ix. 136.

For his venerable head adorned with its silver locks, set upon a pole,
was publicly carried through London, and regardlessly placed upon the

“Sir William Dugdale, in his ‘_Baronage_,’ volume i., page 683, says
that Lord Bardolf’s head was erected over a gate at Lincoln; and this
is partly supported by the Chronicle in the Harleian Collection, No.
565, page 68 a, which states that in the ninth year of Henry IV., ‘the
Erle of Northumberland and y^e Lord Bardolf, which arysyn a yeynis
y^e Kyng, were taken in y^e north cuntre, and be heded, and y^e hed
of y^e forsaid Erle, and a quarter of y^e Lord Bardolf, were sent to
London, and sett vp on London Brigge.’ Dugdale adds, however, from the
authority of the Close Rolls, that Avicia, the widow of that Baron, was
permitted by the King to take down his body and bury it.

“The only historical notice which I find connected with London Bridge,
immediately succeeding the last unhappy story, is of a light and
even trivial nature, being nothing greater than a dispute in the
Bridge-Street, between Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence, and John
of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, the second and third sons of Henry IV.,
their followers and the Citizens. Stow, in relating this circumstance,
in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 338, makes no farther mention of the place than
that they ‘being in East-Cheape, in London, at supper, after midnight,
a great debate hapned betweene their men and men of the Court, lasting
an houre, till the Maior and Sheriffs, with other Citizens, ceased the
same:’ and Maitland adds, in volume i., of his ‘_History_,’ page 185,
that these Officers were, in consequence, summoned before Sir William
Gascoigne, the Chief Justice, to submit themselves to the King’s mercy
on behalf of the Citizens. Richard Marlow, however, the then Lord
Mayor, and John Law and William Chicheley, the Sheriffs, with the
Aldermen, strenuously asserted their innocence, alleging that they had
only done their duty in preserving the peace of the City; and the King
being fully satisfied with this answer, the Corporation returned to
London. I have only farther to remark, that Prince Thomas of Clarence
was engaged in a similar fray in East-Cheap in the year previous to the
present, namely 1407-8; and that it is to him that Shakspeare makes the
dying King Henry deliver that noble speech in the ‘_Second Part of King
Henry IV._,’ Act 4, Scene 4. We derive, however, such a character of
John of Lancaster from Falstaff, that we wonder to find him either in
East-Cheap or Bridge-Street; for in that very same dramatic history,
and in the preceding scene, he says of him: ‘Good faith, this same
young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him
laugh;--but that’s no marvel, he drinks no wine.’ Here, then, close all
the events of London Bridge which have come under my reading, in the
year 1409.

“The Festival of St. Mary Magdalen, July 22nd, in the first year of
Henry V., A. D. 1413, brings to us the recollection of a very ancient
and curious Saxon law, namely that of Sanctuary: by which privilege,
if a person accused of any crime,--excepting Treason and Sacrilege,
in which the Crown and the Church were too nearly concerned,--had
fled to any Church, or Church-Yard, and within forty days after went
before the Coroner, made a full confession of his crime, and took the
oath provided in that case, that he would quit the realm, and never
return again, without leave of the King, his life should be safe. At
the taking of this oath he was brought to the Church-door, where being
branded with an A, signifying Abjured, upon the brawn of the thumb of
his right hand, a port was then assigned him, from which he was to
leave the realm, and to which he was to make all speed, holding a cross
in his hand, and not turning out of the highway, either to the right
hand or the left. At this port he was diligently to seek for passage,
waiting there but one ebb and flood, if he could immediately procure
it; and if not, he was to go every day into the sea up to his knees,
essaying to pass over. If this could not be accomplished within forty
days, he was again to put himself into Sanctuary. These privileges of
Sanctuary and Abjuration were taken away in 1624, by the Statute of
the 21st of James I., chapter 28: but you will find the ancient law
on these points fully set forth in William Rastall’s ‘_Collection in
English of the Statutes now in force_,’ London, 1594, folio, under
their proper titles, folios 2 a, 399 b, and also in Andrew Horne’s
learned work of ‘_La Somme, appellé Mirroir des Justices_,’ London,
1624, 12mo., chapter 1, section xiii., page 102. Rastall, you will
recollect, was Chief Justice of the Common Pleas under Queen Mary; and
Horne was a Lawyer of great erudition and eminence, in the reigns of
the First and Second Edwards.

“Well, Sir, having brought to your remembrance these ancient
privileges, I am next to tell you that in 1413, a train of five
abjurants of the realm crossed London Bridge on their way to Calais;
having issued from a member of the famous Sanctuary of St. Martin’s
le Grand, which was founded by Ingelric, Earl of Essex, and his
brother Girardus, in 1056, and confirmed by Pope Alexander II., and
King William I., in 1068. For these facts I must refer you to Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ volume i., pages 605-606; and to page 16, &c. of a modest
little volume of much curious information by Mr. Alfred John Kempe,
entitled ‘_Historical Notices of the Collegiate Church, or Royal Chapel
and Sanctuary, of St. Martin’s le Grand_,’ London, 1825, 8vo. As for
the circumstance which caused these worthies to fly their country, we
have it set down in the following terms, in that Chronicle contained in
the Harleian Manuscript, No. 565, folio 74 a. ‘And in the same yere, on
Seynt Marie Maudeleyn day,’--July 22nd.--‘John Nyaunser, Squyer, and
his men, sclowen Maist^r. Tybbay, Clerk,’--Archdeacon of Huntingdon,
and Chancellor to Joan, Queen of Henry IV.--‘as he passyd thorugh lad
lane. For the whiche deth the same John Nyaunser and iiij of his men
fledden in to Seynt Anne’s Chirche with inne Aldrich gate,’--that is
to say, St. Anne in the Willows, as we now call it, though without
exactly knowing why,--‘And with inne the said Church they were mured
vp. And men of diuers wardes wacched them nyzt and day. And y^e forsaid
John Nyaunser and his men for suoren the Kynges lond, and passyd
through the Citee of London,’--on August the 21st,--‘toward Caleys, in
there schertes and breches,’--a purse about their necks,--‘and ich of
them a cross in ther hand.’ Let me add, that you will also find this
circumstance recorded in Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ page 345.”

“My worthy Mr. Postern!” exclaimed I, for I now began to grow
exceedingly impatient, “I really can bear this no longer: you promise
to give me a descriptive history of London Bridge, and here you tell me
of nothing but a riot which took place in the street _near_ to it, and
of a troop of knaves which _probably_ walked over it. Positively, my
good Sir, it’s too bad; and unless your story mend, why----”

“‘It shall be mended, Mr. Barbican,’” answered the imperturbable
Antiquary, in much the same tone of voice as that with which _Lope
Tocho_ calmed the enraged Muleteer, in the same words;--“‘It shall
be mended,’ and our Chronicles too, Mr. Geoffrey; but sweeten your
disposition, my good friend, I pray you. Remember, that an Antiquary
may _ruffle_ his shirt, but never his temper; for though I confess to
you that the collateral events which I am obliged to introduce, are
somewhat like--

    ‘Rich windows that exclude the light,
    And passages which lead to nothing:’--

yet, when we consider how little the tooth of Time hath left to us of
continuous History, we should labour to supply that defect by joining
all the fragments with which we meet, wherever they may be united to
the principal, but still imperfect, chain. We are, however, now arrived
at a period, which our Bridge Historians do in general pass over, with
little information to their readers, and less labour to themselves; yet
even here, although we have no pictorial delineations to refer to, yet,
with a little research, we have enough of descriptive story to call up
the very scenes before our eyes, and to bring the actors again living
before us.

“The year 1415 is not only immortalized in History by the famous
Battle of Agincourt, fought on the 25th of October, but even in the
Chronicles of London Bridge it is a most memorable era, on account
of the splendid Pageants which welcomed the victorious Henry V., as
he returned over that edifice to his Palace at Westminster. About the
middle of November, or, as some tell us, the 16th, the King embarked
for England, bringing his principal prisoners with him; and you may
remember, by the way, that his fleet being encountered by a violent
storm, two of his ships were sunk, and all were in extreme danger. You
will find a few particulars of these facts in Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ page
351, and also in that Chronicle which I have so often quoted, in the
Harleian Manuscript, No. 565; of which latter, the following are the
words, from page 76 b.

“‘Also in this yere, that is to say the xxviij day of Octobr., the Kyng
com to his Town of Caleys, and was there til y^e xvj day of Nouembr.
And that same day y^e King schypped fro his Town of Caleys toward
Engelond: And he landed y^e same day at nyzt, at Douerre, and com forth
all y^e woke after toward London. And y^e fryday at nyzt, y^e King
come to Eltham, and there he lay all that nyzt; and on y^e morwe was
Satyrday, y^e xxiij day of Nouembr. The Maire of London, and alle y^e
Aldermen, with all y^e Craftes of London, reden euery man in reed, with
hodes reed and white, and mette with y^e Kyng on y^e Blake heth comyng
from Eltham ward, toward his Citee of London; and ayens his comynge was
ordeyned moche ryalte in London: that is to weten, at London Bregge,
at y^e Conduyt in Cornhill, at the grete Conduyt in Chepe; and at y^e
Crosse in Chepe was mad a Ryall Castell with Angells and Virgynes,
syngynge there jnne. And so y^e Kyng and hise presoners of Frensshmen
reden thorugh London vn to Westminster to mete.’

“It is fortunate for us Antiquaries, however, that we have still better
descriptions of these Pageants, and especially of that exhibited on
London Bridge; and if in relating them to you, I seem to speak over
much upon one subject, I pray you to remember, as I said, how very
slightly that subject--at least so far as concerns the Bridge,--has
been treated by Historians in general; and how many of those who have
pretended to write of this edifice, have omitted it altogether. Give me
your patience, then, whilst I translate for you two curious accounts
of those Pageants, which welcomed King Henry into the best and the
greatest of Cities.

“The first which I shall cite, is, most probably, from the pen of an
eye-witness, both of the King’s valour abroad, and of his triumphs at
home; since it is from a Latin Manuscript in the Cottonian Library,
marked _Julius_, E. IV., Article 4, which the Catalogue at page 17
calls ‘_The Acts of King Henry V.: the Author, a Chaplain in the Royal
Army, who saw them for himself_.’ This Manuscript is written on paper,
in a very small and fair current black-letter, full of contractions;
and on page 122 b, the account of the Bridge Pageants runs thus. ‘And
therewith, about the hour of ten in the day, the King came in the midst
of them all; and the Citizens gave glory and honour to God, and many
congratulations and blessings to the King, for the victories he had
brought them, and for the public works which he had wrought; and the
King was followed by the Citizens towards the City, with a proper,
but a moderate, protection. And for the praise and glory of the City,
out of so many magnificent acts of the noble Citizens, some things
worthy of note the pen records with applause. On the top of the Tower
at the entrance of the Bridge, which stands, as it were, on going into
the strength of the City, there stood on high a figure of gigantic
magnitude, fearlessly looking in the King’s face, as if he would do
battle; but on his right and left hand, were the great keys of the
City hanging to a staff, as though he had been Gate-keeper. Upon his
right, stood the figure of a woman not much less in size, habited in
the gown, tunic, and ornaments of a female, as if they had been meant
for a man and his wife, who appeared favourers of the King, and desired
that they might see his face, and receive him with many plaudits. And
the towers about them were ornamented with halberts and the Royal Arms;
and trumpeters stood aloft in the turrets, which were resounding with
horns and clarions in winding and expanding melody. And in the front of
the fortress this appropriate and elegant writing was imprinted, ‘_The
King’s City of Justice_.’ And there appeared, on both sides, all the
way along the Bridge, very little youths; and, also, on both sides, out
of the stone-work before them, was a lofty column, the height of the
smaller towers, made of wood, not less delicate than elegant, which was
covered over with a linen cloth painted the colour of white marble and
green jasper, as if it had been of a square shape, and formed of stones
cut out of the quarries. And upon the summit of the column on the right
side, was the figure of an Antelope rampant, having a splendid shield
of the Royal Arms hanging about his neck, and in his right foot he held
a sceptre extended, and offered it to the King. Upon the top of the
other column was the image of a lion, also rampant, which carried a
spear having the King’s banner displayed upon the upper end, which he
held aloft in his dexter claw. And across, at the foot of the Bridge,
was erected the fabric of a Tower, the height of the aforesaid columns,
and painted; in the midst of which, under a superb tabernacle, stood a
most beautiful effigy of St. George, all in armour, excepting his head,
which was adorned with laurel interwoven with gems, which shone between
it like precious stones for their brightness. Behind him was a tapestry
of cotton, having his Arms resplendently embroidered in a multitude of
escutcheons. Upon his right was suspended his triumphal helmet; upon
his left his shield of Arms of a correspondent magnitude; and he had
his right hand upon the handle of his sword, which was girt about him.
Upon the tower was raised an extended scroll, containing these words,
‘_To God only be honour and glory_;’ and in front of the building,
this congratulatory prophecy,--Psalm xlvi. 4.--‘_The streams of the
River make glad the City of God_:’ and all the principal towers were
gallantly adorned with the Royal Arms embossed upon them, or displayed
in banners upon lances reared above them. In the house adjoining to the
fortress behind, were innumerable children representing the English
Priesthood, in radiant garments with shining countenances: others were
like virgins, having their hair adorned with laurels interwoven with
gold; and they continued singing from the coming in of the King, with
modulation of voice and melody of organs, according to the words of
this song in English.’

“I know very well that it is most common for the events of the reign
of Henry V., to be cited from the ‘_History of his Life and Actions_,’
written in Latin verse by Thomas, a Monk of Elmham, in Norfolk, in
his time Prior of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Lenton, in the
County of Nottingham. As that part of his Poem, however, which treats
‘_De adventu Regis ad Pontem Londoniarum_,’--concerning the King’s
entrance at the Bridge of London,--is considerably inferior to the
account which I have already given you, I shall dispense with your
labour in listening to it, and mine in translating it; and only observe
to you, that an authentic copy of Thomas of Elmham’s ‘_Historia de Vitâ
et Gestâ Henrici V. Anglorum Regis_,’ is preserved in the Cottonian
Manuscript which I last cited, article 3, fairly written on parchment,
in the small black text-hand of the latter part of the fifteenth
century; and that the passage will be found at folio 101 b. Capitulum
xliiii. I would remind you, also, that a printed edition of this work
was published by Tom Hearne, Oxford, 1727, 8vo., which is not one of
his most common books; the text was taken from several old Manuscripts,
and the value of a large-paper copy fluctuates between four and six
guineas. The next authority, therefore, whom I shall quote upon this
subject, is supposed to have been the production of the justly famous
old John Lydgate, who was in his days a very eminent English Poet;
being born about 1375, and dying about 1461. He was a Monk of the Abbey
of Bury, in Suffolk; and of these historical verses by him there is a
Manuscript copy, written on parchment in an old Court-hand, ornamented
with vermillion chorusses and lines, in No. 565, of the Harleian
Manuscripts, in the British Museum. You will find them forming Articles
8 and 9 of that volume, and thus entered in the Catalogue, volume i.
page 351. ‘_A Poem upon the Wars of King Henry the V. in France; and
his return to England, after the battle of Agincoure; composed perhaps
by John Lidgate_.’--‘_The making of_ (i. e. Poem upon) _the comynge
of the Kynge_ (Henry V.) _out of Fraunce, to London. By John Lidgate,
the Monke of Bury._’ Such are the titles of these verses, from which
I shall repeat to you all that concerns the King’s entry at London
Bridge; and, firstly, at page 111 b. the story runs thus, beginning at
the second stanza of ‘_Passus Tercius_.’

    “The Mayr of london was Redy bown,
    With all y^e craftes of that Cite
    Alle clothyd in red, thorugh out y^e town
    A semely sight it was to se:
    To y^e black Hethe thanne rod he,
    And spredde y^e way on euery syde;
    Xx^{ti} M^l. men myght wel se
    Oure comely kynge for to abyde.
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    The kyng from Eltham sone he nam,
    Hyse presoners with hym dede brynge;
    And to y^e Blake Heth ful sone he cam,
    He saw london with oughte lesynge.
    ‘Heill Ryall london,’ seyde our kyng,
    ‘Crist y^e kepe from euere care!’
    And thanné zaf it his blessyng
    And preied to Crist that it well fare.
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    The Mair hym mette with moche honour
    With alle y^e Aldermen with oughte lesyng;
    ‘Heyl,’ seide y^e Mair, ‘thou conquerour,
    The grace of God with the doth spryng:
    Heil Duk, Heil Prynce, Heil comely Kyng;
    Most worthiest Lord vndir Crist ryall,
    Heil rulere of Remes with oughte lettyng,
    Heil flour of knyghthood now ouer all.’
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    ‘Here is come youre Citee all
    Zow to worchepe, and to magnyfye;
    To welcome zow bothe gret and small,
    With zow euere more to lyue and dye.’
    ‘Graunt mercy Sires,’ oure kyng ’gan say,
    And toward london he ’gan ryde;
    This was vp on Seynt Clementys day
    They welcomed hym on euery side.
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    The lordes of Fraunce thei ’gan say then,
    ‘Jngelond is nought as we wene;
    Jt farith by these Englyssh men,
    As it doth by a swarm of bene:
    Jngeland is lik an hyve with jnne,
    There fleeres makith vs full evell to wryng,
    Tho ben there arrowes sharpe and kene,
    Thorugh oure harneys they do vs styng.’
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    To london Brygge thanne rood oure kyng,
    The processions there they mette hym ryght;
    ‘_Ave Rex Anglorum_,’ thei ’gan syng,
    ‘_Flos Mundi_,’ thei seide, ‘goddys knyght.’
    To london Brigge whan he com right,
    Vp on the gate ther stode on hy
    A gyaunt, that was full grym of myght,
    To teche the Frensshe men curtesy.
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._

    And at the Drawe brigge that is faste by,
    Two toures there were vp pight;
    An Antelope and a Lyon stondyng hym by,
    Above them Seynt George oure lady’s knyght.
    Be syde hym many an Angell bright,
    ‘_Benedictus_’ thei ’gan synge;
    ‘_Qui venit in nomine domini_, goddys knyght’
    _Gracia Dei_ with zow doth sprynge.’
        _Wot ze right well that thus it was,
        Gloria tibi Trinitas._”

“Thus finish Lydgate’s verses, so far as they relate to these Pageants
on London Bridge; but as they tell us nothing of the Royal display upon
that occasion, let me remark to you, that we are told, in an Heraldical
Manuscript in the Harleian Collection, No. 6079, folio 24 a, that ‘At
the cominge in of Kinge Henry the V^{th} out of Fraunce into Englande,
his coursers were trapped w^{th} trappers of partye colours: scilicet,
one syde blewe velute embroudered w^{th} Antellopes sittinge vpon
stayres w^{th} longe flowers springinge betwixt their horns.’ Which
trappings were, by the King’s order, subsequently given to the Abbey of
Westminster for the vestry, where they were converted into copes and
other Ecclesiastical habits.”

“But before you quite shut up your account of these Pageants, my good
Mr. Postern,” said I, as he came to a close, “let _me_ say a word or
two, touching those Royal supporters, which sat upon the columns on
London Bridge; since there are many curious little points of Antiquity
to be met with in the history of Heraldic bearings. The first use of an
Antelope as a supporter to the King’s Arms, is doubtfully hinted at in
a Manuscript in the Harleian Library in the British Museum, No. 2259,
as having been so ancient as the reign of King Richard II.; though
we are much more certain that King Henry IV. entertained a Pursuivant
named Antelope, and probably adopted such an animal as his dexter
supporter, from the family of Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, into
which he married. The instance of a Lion also appearing as a supporter,
is mentioned in Gough’s ‘_Sepulchral Monuments_,’ which you have
already quoted, volume ii., part ii., page 68, from the information of
John Charles Brooke, Esq., Somerset Herald, who says that when Henry
V. became King, he bore on the dexter side of his Arms, a Lion rampant
guardant, and on the sinister, an Antelope. We read also that he bore
an Antelope and a Swan, and two Antelopes; and you may see all these
excellently drawn and described in Mr. Thomas Willement’s ‘_Regal
Heraldry_,’ London, 1821, 4to., pages 21, 28, 30, 33, and 36.”

“Many thanks to you, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican,” recommenced my visitor,
“for this most opportune display of your Heraldical learning: and, in
returning to London Bridge, I must observe, that as all history is but
a record of the evanescent scenes of human life, it must, of course,
be formed of all those strong lights and shades which are so very
conspicuous in its original; and hence arises that striking contrast
of events, which so frequently fills us with solemnity and awe. We
retire, perchance, from a banquet to a prison, or from a triumph to an
execution; at least, such is the nature of the next event which I find
for our Chronicles, for the Towers of London Bridge usually claimed
a portion in most of the victims of the axe and the scaffold. The
principles of the Lollards, as they were invidiously called, were then
rapidly spreading; and Sir John Oldcastle, commonly called the good
Lord Cobham, was one of the most active leaders in the religious reform
commenced by Wickliffe: as he was not only at a very considerable cost
in collecting and transcribing his works, which he caused to be widely
distributed, but he also maintained many of his disciples as itinerant
preachers throughout the country. Oldcastle had, however, escaped
from the power of the Clergy who had condemned him as a heretic, and
confined him in the Tower; when King Henry being persuaded by them
that he headed 20,000 Lollards for his destruction, he was attainted,
and a large reward offered for his head: in confirmation of which Stow
informs us, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 352, that on the ‘viii day of
October’--1416--‘was a Parchment maker of Trill-melle Streete drawne,
hanged, and headed, for that he had harboured Sir John Oldcastle:’
and the Harleian Chronicle, No. 565, page 77 a, adds, that his head
‘was set upon London Bridge for tretory.’ Another obscure person, most
probably concerned in the same unhappy society, is also recorded as
coming to a similar end: for, ‘John Benet, Woolman,’ says Stow, in
the place I last cited, ‘who had in London scattered sceduls full of
sedition, was drawne, hanged, and beheaded on Michaelmas-day:’ and the
Harleian Chronicle adds, that his head was also fixed upon London

“Our next ceremonial procession over this edifice was the solemn
and splendid funeral of King Henry V.; when that gallant Sovereign
had departed this life, on Monday, the last day of August, 1422, at
the Castle of Bois de Vinciennes, a short distance from Paris. That
sumptuous spectacle is described in several places, although I do not
find it mentioned either in the Life by Thomas of Elmham, or in that
by Henry’s Chaplain; but Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 363, says that
the Royal body arrived in London about the tenth of November, and so
was conveyed by London Bridge through Cheapside, to the Cathedral
Church of St. Paul, where funereal exequies were performed; and
thence it was carried and interred in Westminster Abbey. As the corse
advanced in rich and solemn procession over the Bridge, it was truly
a magnificent and imposing spectacle. On a royal chariot, decorated
with cloth of gold like a bed of state, was laid a figure exactly
representing the late King, habited in a robe of purple velvet, lined
with ermine; wearing an imperial diadem of gold and jewels on the
head, and bearing in the hands, the regal sceptre, and the mound and
cross. The face, which was painted exactly to resemble the life, was
uncovered, and looking towards Heaven; and on the bed lay a covering
of red silk beaten with gold. The chariot was drawn by six stout
horses, richly harnessed, with heraldic devices upon their housings:
thus, the first bore the Arms of St. George; the second, of Normandy;
the third, those of King Arthur; the fourth, those of St. Edward the
Confessor; the fifth, the coat of France, alone; and the sixth, those
of France and England quarterly. When the chariot passed through any
town of eminence, a rich and costly canopy was held over it, by some
of its more honourable attendants; and it was surrounded by three
hundred torch-bearers habited in white; by five thousand men-at-arms
on horseback in black armour, holding their spears reversed; and by a
multitude of Lords bearing pennons, banners, and bannerolls; whilst
twelve captains went before carrying the King’s achievement. After
the body followed the servants of the Household all in black; then
came James I., King of Scotland, as Chief Mourner, with the Princes
and Lords of the Royal blood, in mourning habits; and lastly, at the
distance of two miles in the rear, followed Queen Katharine, no less
honourably attended.

“We learn, also, from a very interesting history of King Henry V. in
English, contained in the Harleian Manuscripts, No. 35, folio 138 a,
that when the funeral ‘should enter the Cittye, ten Bishopps, w^{th}
their pontificall adornments revested, and many Abbotts mytored, and
other men of the Church in greate number, with a right great multitude
of Cittizens of the same Cittie, went out thereof to meet the Corps,
and receaued it with due honnour. And all y^e saide Spiritualls
singinge, the officers accustomed in like case, conveyed the same Corps
by London Bridge, and by Lumbart Streete, thoroughe the Cheape vnto
y^e Cathedrall Churche of Saint Paule.’ This life of King Henry is
partly a translation from the Latin of Titus Livius, an Historian of
his reign, who called himself by that name, and the French Chronicles
of Enguerrant. The other particulars you will find set down in Stow,
as I have already cited him, and in two Manuscript volumes of Heraldic
ceremonies, in the Harleian Library, No. 2076, folio 6 b, and No. 6079,
folio 23 b; and in finishing our imperfect notices of this reign, let
me close with almost the very words of the good old London Historian to
whom we are so much indebted--‘Thus this most victorious and renowned
King entred the way decreed for every creature, in the flower and most
lusty time of his age, to wit, when he was six and twenty years old,
when he had reigned nine years, and five months with glory.’

“You must, doubtless, worthy Mr. Barbican, well remember the discord
which Shakspeare represents to have existed between the Protector,
Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester; and Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop
of Winchester: and the fray which takes place between their serving-men
in blue coats and tawny coats, on Tower-hill. This is in his ‘_First
Part of Henry the Sixth_,’ Act I, Scene 3; but we learn from Fabyan’s
‘_Chronicle_,’ page 413, that they once disturbed London Bridge with
a brawl that wore a much darker aspect. It was customary in the more
ancient days of this City, that the Lord Mayor should be elected on
the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, on the 28th of October; and that
on the day following he should be sworn in at Westminster. It was
then, during the subsequent banquet of Sir John Coventry, Citizen and
Mercer, that the Protector sent for him in great haste, and commanded
him to watch the City securely during the night following; and on
Tuesday, the 30th of October,--for, in 1425, St. Simon and St. Jude’s
day happened on a Sunday, and therefore the Lord Mayor was elected the
day after,--about nine in the morning, some of the Bishop’s servants
came from his Palace on the Bankside, to enter at the Bridge Gate, when
the warders, as they were commanded, kept them out by force. Upon which
repulse, they retired in great discontent, and, gathering together a
larger body of Archers and men-at-arms than that which kept the gate,
assaulted it as a hostile City. All London was immediately alarmed;
the Citizens shut their shops and hastened down to the Bridge in great
multitudes; and a conflict would speedily have commenced, had it not
been for the prudence and mediation of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen,
Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Prince of Portugal;
who rode between the Protector and the Bishop, eight several times, ere
they could bring them to any agreement; until, at length, they both
consented to refer their dispute to the decision of John Plantagenet,
Duke of Bedford, and Regent of France. The quarrel was, however, not
concluded until the following Easter, which began on the last day
of March. In defending London Bridge, the Protector appeared to be
only retaliating upon the Bishop; for, in the third article of his
charges against him, he stated, that once, when he was quietly riding
to attend the King, the Bishop attempted his death at the Bridge foot,
by assembling archers and soldiers in Southwark; by setting up engines
to stop his way; by drawing the chain, used in ancient fortifications,
across the Bridge; and by placing men in windows and turrets to cast
down stones upon the heads of him and his followers.

“I have already mentioned to you, that there were several Towers
erected on London Bridge, both for defence and ornament; although we
have not any authentic historical notice concerning them, until we
arrive at the year 1426, when Stow tells us in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume
i., pages 61, 65, that the Tower at the North end of the Drawbridge,
over which the heads of Traitors were wont to be set, was then began
to be newly built, in the Mayoralty of Sir John Raynewell, Citizen and
Fishmonger; who bore for his Arms, Parted per pale indented Argent and
Sable, a Chevron Gules. He laid one of the first stones of the edifice,
and the Bridge-Master, with John Arnold and John Higham, the Sheriffs,
laid the others. Upon each of these four stones, the name IHESUS was
engraven in fair Roman characters, and at the rebuilding of this Gate
and Tower in April 1577, they were laid up as Memorials in the Bridge
House. The Drawbridge over which it was erected, was, at this period,
readily raised up or lowered, that ships might pass up the River to
Queenhithe; which was, during the use of this convenience, a principal
strand for their lading and unlading, as being in the centre and heart
of the City.

“In the year 1428, we find a short, but certain proof, that the passing
beneath London Bridge was not less dangerous, than it is at present.
You will see the circumstance mentioned in Stow’s ‘_Annals_.’ page 369,
but I prefer giving it you in the words of the often-mentioned Harleian
Manuscript, No. 565, folio 87 b, which was, very probably, the original
authority of the good old Chronicler. ‘Also this same yere,’--says the
record,--‘the viij day of Nouember, the Duke of Norfolk, with many a
gentil man, squyer, and yoman, tok his barge at Seynt Marye Ouerye be
twen iiij and v of y^e belle a yens nyzt, and proposyd to passe thorugh
London Bregge. Where of the forseid barge, thorugh mysgouernance of
stearyng, fell vp on the pyles and ouerwhelmyd. The whyche was cause
of spyllyng many a gentil man and othere; the more ruthe was! But as
God wolde, y^e Duke him self and too or iij othere gentyl men, seying
that myschief, leped vp on y^e pyles, and so were saved thorugh helpe
of them that weren a bove y^e Brigge with castyng downe of ropes.’ The
Duke of Norfolk, to whom this misfortune happened, was John Mowbray,
the second of that title, who had served under King Henry V. in
France, and who died October the 19th, 1432.

“We next come down to the April of 1431, when an association was
formed at Abingdon, in Berkshire, headed by one William Mandeville,
a weaver, and Bailiff of the Town, who entitled himself Jack Sharp,
of Wigmore’s land, in Wales. The Protector took instant order for his
apprehension, and when examined, he confessed that it was intended ‘to
have made Priests’ heads as plenty as Sheeps’ heads, ten for a penny.’
His own, however, did not remain on his shoulders long after, for he
was executed as a traitor, at Abingdon, and his head erected on London
Bridge, whilst his companions were also hanged and quartered in other
places. You find this fact related by Fabyan in his ‘_Chronicle_,’ page

“From these scanty notices of misery, infatuation, and crime, it
is with much delight that we turn to a spectacle of the greatest
magnificence, and the most distinguished character, which London Bridge
ever witnessed: the entrance of King Henry VI. to the City, after his
Coronation as King of France, in the Church of Nôtre Dame, at Paris,
on Friday, the 7th of December, 1431. On the 9th of the February
following, he landed at Dover, and upon Thursday, the 21st of the same
month, he was met by the Mayor and Corporation of London at Blackheath.
Of their ceremony in conducting him towards the City, and the numerous
Pageants which they had prepared to meet him at London Bridge, I shall
now proceed to give you an account, extracted from Alderman Fabyan’s
‘_Chronicle_,’ volume ii., pages 423-425, and from Lydgate’s Poem on
the ‘_Comynge of y^e Kynge out of Fraunce to London_;’ of which a very
fair copy is preserved in that Harleian Manuscript which I have already
quoted, No. 565, folio 114 b. The verses by Lydgate are not very
common in any form, and they have, as I think, been but once printed
in connection with the history of London Bridge, which is in Malcolm’s
‘_Londinum Redivivum_,’ already cited, volume ii., page 397; and,
although you may conceive that I quote too much of them, I cannot deny
myself the pleasure of beginning at the very commencement, since it is
but little less beautiful than Chaucer’s immortal Tales. Listen, then,
Mr. Barbican, I pray you listen; if you have ears for either Poesy or

    ‘Towarde the ende of wyndy Februarie,
      Whanné Phebus was in y^e fyssh ronne
    Out of the signe whiche callyd is Aquarie;
      Newe kalendas were entred, and begonne
      Of Marches comyng, and the mery sonne
    Vp on a thorsday, shed hys bemys bright
    Vp on london, to make them glad and light.

    The stormy reynes of all there heuynesse
      Were passyd a way, and allé there greuaunce;
    For the syxte Henry, rote of there gladnesse,
      Ther herty’s joye, the worldis suffissaunce,
      By trewe assent was crownyd king of Fraunce.
    The heven reioysyng the day of his repaire,
    Made at his comynge the wether to be so faire.

    A tyme J trowe of God for hym prouydyd,
      Jn alle the heuenes there was no clowdé sayne;
    From other dayes that day was so deuydyd,
      And fraunchisyd from mystys and from rayne.
      The erthe attempred, the wyndes smothe and playne,
    The Citezeines thorughe out the Citté
    Hallow’d that day with gret solemnnyte.

    And, lyk for Dauid after his victorie,
      Reioysyd was al Jerusalem;--
    So this Cité with laude, pris, and glorie,
      For ioye mustred like the sonné beme,
      To geue ensample thorughe out this reem.
    Al of assent who can so conceyue,
    There noble Kyng were glad to resceyue.

    There clothyng was of colour ful couenable,
      The noble Mair was clad in red velvet;
    The Shireves, the Aldermen ful notable
      In furryd clokes, the colour of Scarlet;
      In stately wyse whanné they were met
    Ech one were wel horsyd and mad no delay,
    But with there Maire rood forthe in there way.

    The Citezeyns, ech one of the Citté,
      (In there entent that they were pure and clene)
    Chose them of white a ful faire lyuerye,
      In euery crafté as it was wel sene:
      To showe the trowthe that they dede mene
    Toward the kyng, hadde made them feithfully
    Jn sundry deuyses embrowdyd richely.

    And for to remembre of other alyens,
      First Geneweys,--though thei were strangéres
    Florantynys and Venyciéns,
      And Esterlyngés clad in there manéres;
      Conveyd with serjaunts and othere officéres,
    Statly horsyd after the Mair ridyng
    Passyd the subbarbes to mete with the Kyng.

    To the Blake heth whauné they dyd atteyne
      The Mair,--of prudence in especiall,--
    Made them hove in renges tweyne
      A strete be twen ech party lik a wall;
      All clad in whit, and the most principall
    A fore in red, with the Mair rydyng
    Tyl tymé that he saw the Kyng comyng.

    Thanne with his sporys he tok his hors a non--
      That to be holde it was a noble sight
    How lyk a man he to the Kyng is gon,
      Right well cheryd of herté glad and light;
      Obeinge to hym as hym ought of right,
    And after that be kunnyngly a braid,
    And unto the King even thus he sayd.

‘Souereigne Lord and noble Kyng ze be wolcome out of youre Rem of
Fraunce in to this zoure blessyd Rem of Jngelond, and in especial vn to
zoure most notable Citee of London, other wise called youre chambre;
we thankynge Almyghty God of the good and gracious acheuyng of zoure
crowne of Fraunce: Besechynge of his mercyful grace to sende zow
prosperite and many yeris to the comfort of alle zoure lovyng pepille.’

    ‘But for to tellen alle the circumstauncys
      Of euery thyng, shewyd in centents,--(_sentence_)
    Noble deuyses, diuerse ordinauncys
      Conveid by Scripture with ful gret excellence,--
      Al to declare y have none eloquence;
    Wherfore y pray to alle tho that it schalle rede
    For to correcte, where as they se nede,’”

“So came the procession to London Bridge; and I very much suspect that
the Corporation of our good City was so economical, as to entertain
King Henry with some of the very same pageants which it had displayed
to his father seventeen years before: for we find Fabyan stating, that
‘when the Kyng was comen to y^e Bridge, there was deuised a mightie
Gyaunt, standyng with a sweard drawen.’ However, Lydgate will tell the
story in the more interesting terms, and he continues thus:--

    ‘First, when they passyd, was y^e Fabour
      Entring y^e Briggé of this noble Towne,
    There was a peler reysyd lik a Tour,
      And theron stod a sturdy champyoun;
      Of look and cheré stern as a lyoun,
    His swerd, vp rered prowdly, ’gan manace
    Alle foreyn enemyes from the Kyng to enchace.

    And in defens of his estat Rialle
      The geaunt wolde abyde ech auenture;
    And alle assautés that were marcyall
      For his sake he proudly wolde endure;
      In token wher of he hadde a long scripture
    On either syde, declaryng his entent,
    Whyche saydé thus by good avisement.

    ‘_Inimicos ejus induam confusione._’--Psalm cxxxii. 18.

    ‘_Alle those that ben enemys to the Kyng
      J schal them clothé withe confucion:
    Make hym myghti by vertuos leuyng,
      His mortall fone to oppressen and bere a down;
      And hym to encreasen as Criste’s champion,
    Allé myschevys from him to abrigge
    With the grace of God at the entryng of this Brigge._’

    Too Antilopis stondyng on either syde,
      With the Armes of Jngelond and of Fraunce;
    Jn token that God schalle for hym provide
      As he hath title by iuste eneritaunce,
      To regne in pees, plenté, and alle plesaunce:
    Cesyng of werre, that men myzte ryden and gon,
    As trewe liegis there hertys mad bethe oon.’

“‘And when,’ says Fabyan, ‘the Kyng was passed the first gate, and was
comen to the Draw-bridge, there was ordeined a goodly tower, hanged and
apparailed with silke and clothes of arras, in most riche wise.’ Of
which building thus speaks Lydgate.

    ‘Forthermore, so as the Kyng ’gan ryde,
      Myddes of the Brigge ther was a toure on lofte;
    The Lord of Lordes beynge ay his gyde
      As he hath be, and yit wil be full ofte:
      The toure araied with velwetty softe,
    Clothys of gold, silk, and tapicerie,
    As apperteynyth to his Regalye.

    And at his comyng, of excellent beauté
      Benygne of port, most womanly of chere,
    There issued out Emperesses thre,
      Ther hair displaied as Phebus in his sphere;
      With crownettys of gold, and stonés clere,
    At whos out comyng thei gaf swyche a light
    That the beholders were stonyed in there sight.

[Sidenote: _Nature._]

    The first of them was callyd Nature,
      As sche that hathé vndyr here demayne
    Man, beest, and foul, and euery creature,
      With jnne the bondys of here goldyn cheyne:
    Eke heuene, and erthe, and euery creature,
      This Emperesse of custum dothe embrace;
      And next her com her Suster callyd Grace.

[Sidenote: _Grace._]

    Passyng famous and of gret reuerence,
      Most desyryd in allé regiouns;
    For where that euere shewith here presence
      She bryngith gladnes to Citees and to townys;
      Of all well fare she halt the possessionys:
    For, y dar sey, prosperite in no place
    No while abidith, but if there be Grace.

[Sidenote: _Fortune._]

    Jn tokene that Grace shal longe continue,
      Vn to the Kyng she shewyd here ful benygne;
    And next here com the Emperesse Fortune,
      To hym aperyng with many a noble signe
      And Rialle tokenys, to shewe that he was digne
    Of God disposyd, as lust ordeygne
    Vp on his hed to weré crownés tweyne.

[Sidenote: _Natura, Gracia, et Fortuna._]

    These thre Ladies, al of on entent,
      Thre goostly gyftés, heuynly and deuyne,
    Vn to the Kyng a non they dyd present,
      And to his hignesse they dyd a non enclyne:
      And what they weren pleynly to determyne,
    Grace gaf hym first at his comynge
    Two ryché gyftés, Sciens and Cunnynge.

    Nature gaf hym eke Strengthe and Fayrnesse,
      For to be louyd and dred of euery wight;
    Fortune gaf hym eke Prosperite and Richesse,
      With this scripture aperyng in ther sight,
      To hym applied of verey due right:--
    ‘_First vndirstonde, and wilfully procede,
    And longe to regne_,’ the Scripture seide in dede.

        ‘_Intende prosperitate procede et regna._’

      ‘_This is to mene, who so vndirstondith a right,
      Thou schalt by Fortune haue long prosperité;
      And by Nature thou shalt have strenghthe and might,
      Forth to procede in long felicité;
      And Grace also hath grauntyd vn to the,
    Vertuosly long in thi Roialle Citeé
    With Sceptre and crowne to regne in equyté._’

    On the right hand of these Emperesses
      Stode vij madenys, very celestiall;
    Like Phebus bemys shone there golden tresses,
      Vp on there hedes ech hauyng a crownall:
      Of port and cheré semyng immortall,
    In sight transsendyng alle erthély creatures,
    So angelik they weren of there figures.

    All clad in white, in token of clennesse,
      Liche pure Virgynés as in there ententys,
    Schewynge outward an heuenly fresh brightnesse;
      Stremyd with sonnys weren alle there garmentys.
      A forum prouydyd for pure jnnocentys,
    Most columbyne of chere and of lokyng,
    Mekly roos vp at the comyng of the Kyng.

    They hadde on bawdrikes al on saphir hewe
      Goynge outward, ’gan the kyng salúe;
    Hym presentyng with ther gyftés newe,
      Lik as thei thought it was to hym duwe:
      Whiche gostly giftés here in ordre ’suwe
    Down descendyng as siluer dewe from heuene,
    Al grace includyd with jnne the giftés sewene.

    These riall giftés ben of vertu most,
      Goostly corages most soueraygnely delite;
    The giftés callyd of the Holy Goost
      Outward figuryd by seven dowys (_doves_) white;
    Seyenge to hym, lik as clerkés write,
    ‘_God the fulfille with intelligence,
    And with a spirit of goostly sapience.
      Impleat te Deus Spiritu sapientiæ, et intellectus,
        Spiritu consilii, et fortitudinis, scientiæ, et pietatis,
        et spiritu timoris Domini._’

    ‘_God sendé also, to thi moost availe,
      The to preserué from all heuynesse,
    A spirit of strenghthé, and of good counsaile,
      Of cunnyng, drede, pite, and of lownesse._’
      Thus thise ladies ’gan there gyftés dresse,
    Graciously at there out comyng,
    By influence light vp on the kyng.

    These Emperesses hadde on there left syde
      Othere vij Virgines pure and clene;
    By accordaunce continually to a byde,    (_shining stars_)
      Al clad in white samete, (_satin_) ful of sterres shene;
      And to declaré what they woldé mene
    Vn to the Kyng with ful gret reuerence,
    These wreten there gyftes shortly in sentence:

    ‘_Induat te Dominus Coronâ Gloriæ, Sceptro Clementiæ,
    Gladio Justitiæ, Pallio Prudentiæ, Scuto Fidei,
    Galiâ Salutis, et Vinculo Pacis._’

    ‘_God the endue with a crowne of glorie,
      And with a Sceptre of clennesse and pité;
    And with a sheld of right and victorie,
      And with a mantel of prudence clad thou be:
      A shelde of feith for to defendé thee,
    An helme of helthé wrought to thine encres,
    Girt with a girdell of loue and perfect pees._’

    These vij Virgynes of sight most heuenly
      With herte, body, and handys reioysyng,
    And of there cheres aperid murely,
      For the Kynge’s gracious hom comyng:
      And for gladnesse they be gan to synge
    Most angelik, with heuenly armonye,
    This same roundell which y shall now specifie.

    ‘_Souerayne lord wolcome to zoure Citee,
      Wolcome oure Joye, and our hertys plesaunce;
    Wolcome, wolcome, right wolcome mote ye be,
      Wolcome oure gladnes, wolcome oure suffisaunce:
    Syngyng to fore thi Rialle mageste
      We saye of herte with oughten variaunce
    Souereign lord wolcome, wolcome oure Joye,
    Wolcome you be, vnto your owne newe Troye.’
    ‘Mayr, Citezines, and al the commonté,
      At zoure hom comyng newé out of Fraunce,
      By grace releuyd of there olde greuaunce,
    Synge this day with gret solempnyté._’

    Thus resceyuyd, an esy paas rydyng
      The King is entred in to yis Citee.’

“The King next passed on to the Conduit in Cornhill, where he was
awaited by other Pageants equally sumptuous and interesting; but as
these are out of our province, we shall mention them no farther.

“There seems to have gone abroad a singular conception, that the Chapel
of St. Thomas on London Bridge did not exist beyond the time of King
Henry the Sixth; in the 23rd year of whose reign,--1458,--there were
four Chaplains serving in it; though it was originally founded but for
two Priests, four Clerks, and their officers, independently of the
several chantries, or revenues, left to the establishment, for the
singing of daily mass for the souls of its benefactors. The income
of the Chapel, however, more than ten years before that period, was
considered as worthy of some inquiry on the part of a neighbouring
ecclesiastic; for we find, in Newcourt’s ‘_Repertorium_,’ which I
have already cited, volume i., page 396, the following particulars
concerning it. ‘In the year 1433,’ says this Author, ‘Sir John Brockle,
then Mayor of London, upon a controversie that was then like to arise,
between the said Mayor and Commonalty of London, and the Bridge-Masters
on the one part, and Richard Morysby, Archdeacon of London, and
Rector of St. Magnus Church, on the other, about the oblations and
other spiritual profits, which were made in a certain Chapel, called
the Chapel of St. Thomas on the Bridge, within the precincts of this
parish; there was a composition, or agreement, then made, and confirmed
by Robert Fitzhugh, then Bishop of London, whereby (inter alia) it was
agreed, that the Chaplains of the Chapel, and their successors, should
receive all the profits of the Chapel to the use of the same, and the
Bridge, and should pay yearly at Michaelmas the sum of xx_d._ to the
said Church of St. Magnus, and to the Rector of the same, and to his
successors for ever.’

“And now that we are speaking of the property appertaining to London
Bridge, it will be a fit place to give you some idea whence it was in
general derived; I say, in general, because the inquiry into all its
sources would be not only difficult, but almost impossible. Stow tells
you in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 59, that after the erection
of buildings upon London Bridge, ‘many charitable men gave lands,
tenements, or sums of money, towards the maintenance thereof: all
which was sometimes noted, and in a table fair written for posterity
remaining in the Chapel, till the same Chapel was turned to a
dwelling-house, and then removed to the Bridge-House.’ The honest old
Antiquary states, however, that he would willingly have given a copy of
this table of benefactors, but that he could not procure a sight of it;
for, as he was known to be a notable restorer of decayed and dormant
charities, he was occasionally refused admission to such records
as would have enabled him to compile a lasting register of all the
pious gifts and benefactions in London. He never hesitated to reprove
unfaithful Executors, whether Corporations, or private persons, some
of which he caused to perform the testaments which they proved; whilst
the dishonesty of others he left on record to futurity. It is then
not to be wondered at, if he often-times met with a repulse instead
of information; ignorance opposed him in one quarter, and interest
in another; and he might very well have taken up the significant,
though homely complaint of Ames, when he was composing his History of
Printing, ‘Some of those persons _treats_ folks, as if they came as
spies into their affairs.’ We have, however, some particulars of the
Bridge property, as well collected by Stow, as gathered since his time;
and, firstly, I must notice to you, that at page 60 of his ‘_Survey_,’
he states that ‘John Feckenham, _Civis et Bracciator_,’--Citizen
and Brewer, or perhaps, Corn-Meter, ‘by his will, dated May 11th,
1436, bequeathed to the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London,
a Tenement with a Shop and Garden, in the Parish of St. Augustine
Pappey,’--that is to say in St. Mary at Axe,--‘between the tenement and
lands of the Bridge of the City of London on the East, &c. To have to
the Mayor and Commonalty of London, _ad usum et sustentationem operis
Pontis prædictis in perpetuum_,’--for the use and support of the work
of the aforesaid Bridge for ever,--‘on condition that the Chaplains of
the Chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, on the Bridge, celebrating, have
his soul, and also the souls of the late Lord Richard II., King of
England, Edward Boteler, knight, and the Lady Anne his wife, Richard
Storme, and Alice his wife, and the soul of Joan, his’--the said
Feckenham’s--‘wife, perpetually recommended in their prayers.’ You may
see both the original and an authentic copy of this Will, and that
which I shall hereafter mention, in the Bishop of London’s Registry in
St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Chamber in which they are kept, is entered
through the Vestry on the Northern side of the nave; whence a flight
of dark winding stairs, lighted only by loop-holes, leads you to a
small square room, surrounded by oaken presses containing the original
Wills tied up in bundles. The Calendar, or Index to the Register Books,
extends from 1418 to 1599; all after that year being kept at the
Bishop’s Consistory Court in Great Knight-Ryder Street. It is a small
folio volume, having a parchment cover, anciently tied with strings,
and is written in a small neat black text upon parchment, though now
much soiled by time and the continual dust of the chamber. If ever you
visit this Registry, however, I would not have you trust too much to
this Calendar; for in referring to the Will which I have now quoted,
its volume and page are called ‘_Moore, prima pars, folio_ iiij.;’
though the true reference is ‘_3 Moore, folio_ cccclxij a.’ This
volume, _Moore_, is so called from the first Will entered in it, and
it contains registers of Wills from the year 1418 to 1438, beautifully
written in a small black text upon parchment, in a very thick square

“Another benefactor to London Bridge mentioned by Stow, was one John
Edwards, Citizen and Butcher, who ‘gave by his Will, dated the 8th of
November, 1442, to John Hatherle, Mayor of the City of London, and
to John Herst and Thomas Cook, Masters of the work of the Bridge of
London, for ever, his tenement, with a garden, in the Parish of St.
Botolph, Aldgate, situate between the tenement lately John Cornwallys’s
on the South, &c., and extending from the King’s Street leading from
Aldgate towards the Tower on the West, &c. towards the sustaining and
reparation of the said Bridge.’ You will find this Will in the Register
called 4 _Stacy_, now _Prowet_, folio ciiij b, which extends from 1438
to 1449; though the Calendar marks it as entered at folio xxv. Both of
these Wills are in Latin.

“Without, at present, referring to the multitudes of books and records
of Bridge property, which must exist in the office of the Comptroller
of its Estates, I will give you an abstract of one of these volumes,
of which a Manuscript copy is to be found in the Harleian Collection
in the British Museum, No. 6016, folio 152. This book is entitled ‘_A
Repertory by way of Survey, of all the forren landes belonging to
London Bridge, to geather with all the quitt rents due to, and other
rents due from the same_:’ and the industrious mortal who copied it out
has added, ‘Borrowed the booke 21°. ffebr. 1653 of Captaine Richard
Lee, Clarke of the Bridge-house.’ The Survey is written in corrupt
and abbreviated Latin, which, from the expressions which are made use
of, would appear like the language of the fifteenth century; and it
contains many curious particulars of the names of persons and places,
not elsewhere to be found. I purpose, however, giving you only a
general statement of the amount of Bridge property in different places,
with a few notices and extracts from the more interesting parts;
reminding you, that these abstracts have never yet been printed.--In
the Parish of St. Andrew the Bishop, London Bridge possessed 20 huts
or cabins, occupied by the Brotherhood of Friars Minors, which were
valued at £12. 3_s._ 4_d._ Then follows an entry of ‘Lands and Meadows
belonging to the Bridge of London without the bar of Southwark, at Le
Loke, in Hattesham, Camerwelle, Lewesham, and Stratford.’ In Lambeth
field without Southwark, or St. George’s bar, 19 acres of land, lying
towards Newington and Lambeth, held of the Prior of Bermondsey,
for the yearly rent of 14_s._ 10_d._ At Le Loke,--that is to say,
partly on the site of the New Kent Road, and on part of which was,
doubtless, built that row of houses in Blackman Street, now called
Bridge-house-Place,--4 acres of arable land, called Longland, and 2-1/2
acres and 1 rood of meadow land, held by the yearly rent of 5_s._
10_d._, payable at the Feast of St. Michael. Also, on the South part
of King Street, 2 acres of arable, and 2 acres of meadow land, called
Carpenterishawe, held of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the yearly
rent of 6_d._, payable at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. Also
near St. Thomas Wateringgs, on the South part of King’s Street, 7 acres
of arable, and 2 acres of meadow land, called Fourecrofts, by the
yearly rent of 4_s._ 8_d._, payable at the Feast of St. Michael, and at
Easter; another piece of land lying towards Hattesham,--perhaps Hatcham
Manor,--containing 10 acres of arable, and 2-1/2 acres and 1 rood of
meadow land, called Tevatree, was held for the same sum. At Le Steerte,
near the wall of Bermondsey, one acre of meadow ground, for the rent
of 2_d._ per annum; and at Hattesham, at the entrance of the Marsh,
6 acres of arable land enclosed by a ditch, were held of the heirs
of Simon de Kyme, for the rent of one penny per annum. In Lewisham,
London Bridge seems to have had large possessions, since they were let
out to farm at the immense rent of £3. 4_s._; and to the property of
the Manor was attached the ancient feudal rights of heriot,--taking of
the best beast, when a new tenant came on the estate; wardship,--the
holding and enjoying the profits of a tenant’s land, who was a minor;
marriage,--claiming assistance from all the tenants once, to furnish
a dowry for the Lord’s eldest daughter; Reliefs and Escheats,--the
payment of a certain sum on the entry of a new tenant, and the return
of forfeited estates. The land itself was divided, and the original
rents were as follow.

“‘24 and 11 acres of arable land, called the Greggehouse, 5 acres
of wood, in two groves, 42 acres of arable land, and 2 acres of
meadow land, held of the Abbot of Gaunt, at the yearly rent of 14_s._
9-1/2_d._; 22 acres held of the heirs of Lord John de Backwell, Knight,
at the yearly rent of 3_s._; 10 acres, and 10 acres in the field called
Edwinesfelde, held of the Abbot of Stratford, at the yearly rent of
10_d._; 2 acres held of the heirs of Lord William Bonquer, Knight, at
the yearly rent of 8_d._; 1-1/2 acre lying in the road near Depeford
Bregge, held of the heirs of William Clekots, at the yearly rent of
1-1/2_d._; 3 acres in a croft near Leuesham Street, held of the heirs
of Henry Boyding, and William Atteford, at the yearly rent of 2_d._;
1-1/2 acre at Rombeigh, for which nothing is paid; 10 acres in the
field called Brodefelde, held of the heirs of William de Hinntingfeld,
Knight, at the yearly rent of 1_s._ 8_d._ _Item._ There is owing for
the said Manor to the heirs of Nicholas de Farndon, the yearly rent
of 1_d._ At Leuesham, a water-mill, with 2 acres of pasture belonging
to it, held of divers persons for the rent of 1_s._ 5_d._ and half a
quarter of corn out of the tolls yearly, and the value of the tenths,
from this time forth for ever.’

“The possessions of London Bridge, at Stratford, have been already
referred to, but for the sake of perspicuity, I repeat them, and they
were as follow:--One water-mill, called ‘Saynesmelle,’ and four acres
of meadow land belonging to the same; ‘whereof one acre lies within
the close of the said mill, and four roods opposite to it on the East;
and they are every where planted round with willows.’ One acre and
one rood of meadow land lie near ‘Wyldemersh-bregge,’ and are called
‘Horslese.’ They are held of the heirs of the Lord Richard de Playz,
Knight, for the yearly rent of £1. 17_s._--Also at Stratford are ten
acres of meadow-land held of the same, and for the same rent: whereof
four acres are adjoining to the mill-pond called ‘Spileman’s Melle,’
and four acres are lying near to the meadow called ‘Gryggewyche’s
Mead,’ and adjoin, in like manner, to the same mill-stream. And one
acre lies near the Bridge called ‘Wildenmersshbregge,’ and is enclosed
by willows; and three roods of the same meadow lie near ‘Golynant,’
and one acre and one rood of the same meadow are lying in one piece,
adjoining to the mill-stream of ‘Saynesmelle.’ At Royeshope, is one
acre of meadow land, formerly held by John Breggewrythe, at the yearly
rent of 2_s._ which is held, &c. as aforesaid. Also there are of the
same, 1-1/2 rood near Horslese, originally bought by Roger Atte-vyne,
and John Sterre, then Keepers of the Bridge, which are held of the
heirs of Thomas le Belevere, for the annual rent of 1_d._ The Vicar
of West-Ham also held one acre of meadow, assigned to him for his
tythe for the whole meadow; and 13_s._ 4_d._ were paid to him yearly,
as tythe for the two mills. At Stratford, also, was another water-mill
belonging to London Bridge, called ‘Spylemanne’s Melle,’ which was held
of the heirs of Lawrance Stede, for the payment of 1_d._ yearly; which
mill being of Sutler’s estate, tythes were paid for it by that estate,
and it was therefore free for ever. There were also four acres of
meadow and pasture belonging to it. All the foregoing were, at the time
of this survey, let out to farm by London Bridge.

“Such were some of its possessions out of the metropolis; and I now
proceed to notice that more interesting part of the volume, entitled
‘_Quit-rents of London Bridge, issuing from divers tenements of London
and Southwark, according as they lie in different Parishes; and,
firstly, of its property in the Parish of St. Magnus the Martyr_.’

“‘Three shops, with galleries built upon them, now held by Robert Kots
and Lawrence Schrouesbury, Glovers, standing at the Bridge stairs
towards London, with the houses belonging to London Bridge on the
South side. They were formerly belonging to the Fraternity called
‘_Le Salue_,’ in the Church aforesaid. Two shops with galleries built
thereupon, held by Peter Wydynton, Spicer, belonging to the same
Fraternity, which are situated by the same stairs, between the way
leading down to the common sewer on the South; the tenements belonging
to the same Fraternity on the North, the tenements of John Zakesle
on the East, and the King’s road on the North; and they owe yearly to
the Bridge of London, 3_s._’ Another Tenement, held by Henry Ziuele,
Mason, paid 5_s._: and it was situate between the King’s Road on
the East, and the Oyster Gate on the West. Another Tenement paid 5
marks,--£3. 6_s._ 8_d._;--it stood ‘at the corner opposite to St.
Magnus’ Church,’ between the King’s Road towards ‘Byllyngesgate’ on
the South, and the King’s Road, called ‘Brigge-streete,’ on the West.
It belonged to a certain perpetual Chantry in St. Magnus’ Church,
for the soul of Thomas le Bener; also belonging to the same Chantry,
and standing about the same spot, was a tavern, which paid to the
Bridge 2_s._ 6_d._ yearly, and the shop of the same paid 1_s._ 3_d._
Certain other shops and tenements belonging to Richard, the son of
John Horne,--perhaps the eminent Town-Clerk of that name, whom I have
already mentioned,--paid £2. of yearly rent; and they were lying near
the narrow way called Rederes lane on the East, in the Parishes of St.
Magnus and St. Roth’i. A house belonging to the Priory and Convent of
St. Mary, in Southwark, paid 1_s._: it stood between Oystergate on the
East; and the houses belonging to St. Magnus’ Church on the West; and
extended from the King’s Road called ‘Stokfissmongeres Rewe,’ on the
North, down to the River Thames on the South. Another house in the
Bridge Street, standing by that of John Somervyle, the Goldsmith, paid
8_s._ 9_d._ to the Bridge; as did also an adjoining shop and house;
thus making the whole Bridge Rents in St. Magnus’ Parish amount to £7.
8_s._ 11_d._ per annum. I have been the more particular in detailing
the property of London Bridge in this part of City, because it in some
measure illustrates the ancient state of it; but I shall be much more
brief,--and, I dare say, much more to your content,--in speaking of its
possessions in the other parishes mentioned in this Manuscript.

“‘In the Parish of St. Botolph, near Byllyngesgate,’ the Bridge owned
the following:

“‘One Tenement in the King’s Street leading to ‘Byllyngesgate,’ 16_s._
One Tenement, a Granary, or Brewery, with two Shops in the same, 12_d._
Total 17_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Mary atte Hulle.’ One Messuage on
‘Byllyngesgate’ Quay, called the ‘Boleheued,’ 11_s._ 8_d._ The Priory
and Convent of the Holy Trinity on the Quay called ‘Treyerswarfe,’
6_s._ 8_d._ The house of William Walworth in the narrow way leading to
‘Treyerswarfe,’ 3_s._ 4_d._ Total £1. 1_s._ 8_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Dunstan the Bishop, towards the Tower of
London.’ A Tenement called ‘Cokeden-halle,’ standing ‘at the corner
of the narrow way called Martelane,’ on the East, and the Tenements
belonging to St. Dunstan’s Church on the West, and the King’s Road
called ‘le Tourstreete’ on the South, 8_s._ A Tenement adjoining the
same, 7_s._ A Tenement belonging to John Atte Vyne, son and heir of
William Atte Vyne, standing near ‘the narrow way called Mengehouslane,’
3_s._ A Tenement belonging to ‘Gyhalle,’ standing between the corner
of the narrow way called ‘le Chirchelane,’ Eastward, and the foregoing,
4_s._ 8_d._ The House of Andrew the Canon, standing West of the
foregoing, 4_s._ 8_d._ Tenements of John Pyebaker, belonging to the
same Canon, 2_s._ 6_d._; of Alie. Bemehoo, belonging to the same Canon,
2_s._ 6_d._; of John Morton, Clerk, in the corner of the Church-yard
of St. Dunstan’s, near the narrow passage leading to the Tower, 4_s._
8_d._; of Isabella Rotheryng and her sister, standing by the Thames,
2_s._ Total £1. 19_s._

“‘In the Parish of All Saints de Berkyngcherch.’ A Tenement of John
Longe, the Fishmonger, standing between the Tenements of London Bridge,
on the East, the Tenements of Walter Denny, the Fishmonger, on the
West, and ‘le Tourstreete’ on the North, 3_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Andrew Hubert in Estchepe.’ A corner Tenement
held by Richard Croydon, standing by the said Church on the North,
between the narrow way adjoining, and the King’s way called
‘Seyntandrewys-lane’ on the West, 12_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Margaret in Brigge Streete.’ A Tenement of John
Littele, the Fishmonger, standing in ‘le Crokedelane,’ 4_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Leonard, the Abbot, in Estchepe.’ One Tenement
in ‘Candelwykstreete,’ held by William Yuory, £1. 6_s._ 8_d._ A Shop
held by the same, between the Tenements of the Prior and Convent
of ‘Cristecherche,’ on the North, and the King’s road, called
‘Grascherchestrete,’ on the East, 8_s._ Another Tenement, 1_s._ Another
Tenement standing by the corner Tenement of the Hospital of the Blessed
Mary without ‘Busshopisgate,’ on the North, and the King’s road, called
‘Estchepe,’ on the East, 2_s._ A Tenement of the Prioress of St.
Helen’s, having ‘Grascherchestrete’ on the West, 13_s._ 4_d._ There
was also another Tenement of 1_s._ rent, having Eastcheap on the East.
Total £2. 12_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Benedict de Grascherche.’ One Tenement, a
Granary, or Brewery, with two Shops, of Benedict de Cornewayle, having
the King’s road, called ‘Fancherchestreete’ to the South, 9_s._ 4_d._

“‘In the Parish of All Saints de Grascherche.’ One Tenement with a
forge and 4 Shops, standing between the corner Tenement of the Prior
and Convent of Ely on the South, and the Tenement belonging to the
Brethren of the Cross, called ‘le Cardinaleshat’ on the North, and the
King’s road, called ‘Grascherchstrete’ on the West, 40_s._ A Granary,
5_s._ Total £2. 5_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Katherine de Cricherch.’ A Granary standing in a
corner between the narrow way called Bellezeterslane on the East, and
the Tenement of Philip Page on the West, 8_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Mary Attenaxe.’ Ten Shops, with Galleries built
upon them, standing in a corner, between the King’s way, which is
between London Wall and the aforesaid Shops, and the way that leads
from the Church of St. Mary Attenaxe, to the Church of ‘St. Augustine
Papheye,’ on the West, 1_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Augustine Papheye.’ The Tenement of Richard
Schet, Fuller, standing by the Tenements of London Bridge on the East,
and the King’s road under London Wall on the North, and the Garden of
the Prior of Cricherch on the South, 12_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Martin Otiswych.’ A Tenement with a large door,
and a Shop on both sides of it, standing between the Church-yard on the
North, and the King’s road, called ‘Bisshopisgatestreete,’ on the East,

“In the Parish of St. Michael upon Cornhulle.’ A Tenement with two
Shops, having Cornhill upon the South, 8_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Edmund in Lumbardstrete.’ Certain Tenements
with Shops, standing between the Tenements of St. Thomas’s Hospital in
‘Sothewarke,’ on the North, and the King’s way, called ‘Berchers-lane,’
on the West. They owe yearly to London Bridge, by the Will of Henry of
Gloucester, Goldsmith, 5_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Clement, near Candelwyk-stret.’ A tenement of
the Abbot and Convent of Stratford, standing between the Tenement of
Thomas Clench, Fishmonger, on the South, the Tenement of the perpetual
Chantry of the said Church, which was formerly John de Charteneys, on
the North, and the narrow way called ‘Seyntclementslane’ on the West.
It owes yearly to London Bridge, by the legacy of Henry of Gloucester,
2_s._ A Tenement with four Shops, 2_s._ Three Shops with galleries
erected upon them, and a certain place called ‘Wodehagh,’ bounded on
the South by Candlewick-street, 4_s._ Total 8_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Michael in le Crokedelane.’ A Tenement in
‘Stokfisschmongeresrewe,’ belonging to the Chaplain of ‘Kyngeston,’
5_s._ An ancient Tenement, having the Tenement of the perpetual Chantry
of the said Church, which was formerly John Abel’s, on the West, and
the narrow way called ‘Crokedelane’ on the North, 5_s._ Total 10_s._

“‘In the Parish of All Saints the Less.’ A Tenement having the
Tenements of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital on the West, and the King’s
way called ‘Tamystrete’ on the South, 4_s._ Certain Tenements standing
in the short narrow way of St. Lawrence, between the Tenement of the
Master of St. Lawrence’s College on the North, and Thames-street on the
South, 10_s._ The Tenement of the said Master, 6_s._ Total 20_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Lawrence, near Candelwyk-stret.’ A Tenement
belonging to ‘Gyldhalde’ of London, having the College of the said
Church on the East; the narrow way which goes from the Church-yard of
the same Church to Candlewyck-street, on the West; the said Church-yard
on the South; and a Tenement belonging to a perpetual Chantry in the
Church of St. Swythin on the North, 19_s._ 8_d._

“‘In the Parish of the Blessed Mary of Abbecherch.’ A Tenement, having
the Tenement of the Hospital of St. Katherine, near the Tower, on the
North, and the Burial-place of the aforesaid Church on the East, 10_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Swythin the Bishop. A Tenement held by Solomon
Faunt, standing between the Church aforesaid on the South; the Tenement
of Henry Fyuyan, Draper, on the North, and the King’s way called
‘Swythynislane’ on the East, 2_s._ 6_d._ The Tenement of the said Henry
Fyuyan, standing by that of John Hende, Draper, 2_s._ Total 4_s._ 6_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Mary de Bothhaghe.’ A Tenement held by
Lord Thomas de Salesbury, Knight, standing between the Tenement
with the Great Gate also belonging to the same, on the East, and
Candlewick-street on the South, 12_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Stephen de Walbrok.’ Two Tenements under one
edifice, standing by the Tenement of John Norwich, the Goldsmith, on
the South, and the King’s way, called Walbrook, on the West, 2_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Mary Woolnoth.’ A corner Tenement, which
formerly was Hamon Lumbard’s, having the narrow street, called
‘Seyntswythinislane,’ to the East, and that called ‘Berebyndereslane,’
to the South, 13_s._ 4_d._ Another Tenement standing in a corner in
‘Schytelboanelane,’ 2_s._ Total 15_s._ 4_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Bartholomew the Less. A Tenement, a Granary, or
Brewery,’ having the King’s way called ‘Braddestrete’ on the North,
2_s._ 6_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Pancras.’ One Cell, called ‘le Brodecelde,’ of
which one entrance is by the large open place towards ‘Soperslane’ on
the East, and another is toward ‘Chepe,’ at the sign of the Key, on the
North, 6_s._ 8_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Michael at Queen’s bank,’--or Wharf.--‘A
Tenement, with its offices, which belongs to the Abbot and Convent
of the Monastery of the Blessed Mary of Grace, near the Tower of
London: it stands in a corner between the narrow way that leads to the
Saltewarf on the East, and the Tenement of the Abbot of Jesus on the
West, and it extends from the narrow way, called ‘Ratonneslane,’ on the
North, down to the Thames Southward,’ 2_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Martin at Ludgate.’ A Tenement with a forge
standing in a corner without Ludgate, having the narrow street, called
‘Little-bayly,’ on the West, and the King’s way, called ‘Fletestrete,’
on the North, 9_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Bridget, the Virgin, in Flet-strete.’ A
Tenement, a Granary called ‘le Horsothehop,’ with two Shops, having
Fleet-street on the North, and belonging to a certain Chantry in St.
Paul’s Church, for celebrating Mass for the Soul of Walter Thorpe, 8_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Alban de Wodestret.’ A Tenement, called ‘le
Horsscho,’ 4_s._ Another Tenement, having the Tenement of the Hospital
of the Blessed Mary without ‘Busschopesgate,’ on the South, and the
King’s way, called ‘Wodestret,’ on the West, 2_s._ Total 6_s._

“‘In the Parish of the Blessed Mary of Athelmanbery.’ A Tenement
standing in a corner between the narrow way called ‘Phylippeslane,’ on
the West; that called ‘Paddelane’ on the South, and the Tenements of
St. Paul’s Church on the North, 2_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. Michael de Bassyngeshawe.’ A Tenement with eight
Shops, standing in a corner, towards London Wall, having the King’s
way, called ‘Bassyngeshawe,’ on the West, 2_s._ Two other Tenements,
6_s._ 6_d._ Total 8_s._ 6_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Olave at the Wall.’ A Tenement, formerly
belonging to the Prior of the Hospital of the Blessed Mary without
Bishopsgate, having the King’s way, called ‘Mugwelle stret,’ to the
East, 3_s._ 6_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Stephen in Colmanstret.’ Certain vacant places,
by the legacy of Henry of Gloucester, 2_s._

“‘In the Parishes of St. Faith and St. Gregory.’ Certain Shops standing
in ‘Paternostrerewe,’ under the Palace of the Bishop of London, newly
erected by the venerable Lord Michael de Northborough, formerly Bishop
of London, 40_s._

“A Tenement in ‘Redecrouchstrete,’ which cannot be found, 4_d._
Also in ‘Est Smethfeld’ was formerly a Tenement, which is now the
common Church-yard, 4_d._ Another in ‘Blachynglegh,’ 12_d._ Also in
Stratford, a piece of meadow land, formerly held to farm of the Bridge
keepers, being the sixth part of a meadow called ‘Ruschope,’ 2_s._ Also
at ‘Sabryschesworth,’ a Tenement, 3_d._ Total 3_s._ 11_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Olave of Sothewerk.’ Two Shops of the Hospital
of St. Thomas of Sothewark, standing in a corner at the stairs of
London Bridge towards Southwark, between the Tenements belonging to the
said Bridge on the North, the King’s way of Southwark on the South,
and the stairs aforesaid on the East, 8_s._ A corner Tenement, now
belonging to the Church of St. Michael in ‘le Reole, which is called
Paternostercherche,’ and standing at the aforesaid stairs, having the
King’s way leading to ‘Bermundeseye,’ on the South; the Tenements of
the Bridge aforesaid on the North, and the aforesaid stairs on the
West, 13_s._ 4_d._ Total 21_s._ 4_d._

“‘In the Parish of St. Margaret in Sothewerk.’ One Tenement of the
Hospital of St. Thomas of ‘Sothewark,’ having the King’s way of
‘Sothewerk’ on the East, 4_s._

“‘In the Parish of St. George in Sothewerk.’ A certain Tenement and
Garden called ‘Exuuiwe,’ which the Prior and Convent of the Blessed
Mary of Southwark now hold; standing in a corner at the Cross in
‘Kentestreete,’ between the King’s way which leads to Bermondsey on
the North, the King’s way called Kent-street on the West, and a garden
on the South, 13_s._ 4_d._ A Tenement called ‘le Mote,’ having the
Tenement of the Hospital of St. Thomas of Southwark on the North, a
garden on the South, and Kent-street on the West, 8_s._ A Tenement
standing at ‘Le Loke,’ near the Bridge Tenements, 2_s._ Total 23_s._

“Such, Mr. Barbican, were the gifts to London Bridge of Quit-rents,
or small sums reserved by various landlords out of their charters and
leases, for the support and improvement of this noble edifice. Their
whole amount was £30. 0_s._ 2_d._ _per annum_, a splendid revenue,
if, as I imagine from several circumstances, this very curious survey
was made about the middle of the thirteenth century. Several of these
gifts are authenticated by references to the original grants, read and
enrolled in the Court of Hustings at Guildhall, at various meetings
held during the reign of King Edward I.: whilst another authority,
often cited, is called ‘the Red Rental,’ which also makes mention of
Godardus, a Chaplain, and his brethren of London Bridge. The light
these very brief but curious notices shed upon Parochial history and
antiquities, has made me give you a more particular account of them,
than might be perfectly agreeable to you; though, as I have not quite
finished the volume, I must request you patiently to hear me a little
longer speak of the ancient landed property of London Bridge.”

“Oh! go on, Sir, pray go on!” said I, in a tone of mock resignation,
“take your own time, Mr. Barnaby; though, to be sure, there seems but
little reason why I should say so. I had, indeed, fondly hoped, that
when you could no longer plague me with a Patent Roll, I might rest
secure from any thing more provoking; but I must certainly own I was a
most short-sighted mortal for thinking so, since your genius can never
want a weapon to be drowsy with: but, I suppose that you rarely meet
with a hearer so quiet, so mild, so undoubting, and so easily satisfied
as I have proved: and therefore, suffer I must.”

“I have truly,” said he, in a short dry voice, “seldom met with
a companion like you: but, I am sure, you will not think these
extracts wearisome, when you remember that so little is known about
the possessions of London Bridge; and that the fragments which
I have repeated to you are all of the most undoubted authority,
as yet unprinted, and almost locked up in a barbarous mixture of
abbreviated and corrupt French, Saxon, and Latin. To return then to the
Survey,--which, I assure you, I have very nearly concluded,--it next
records the Bridge property at ‘Les Stocks,’ somewhat of which, you may
remember, I have already spoken: and contains one of the most curious
and ancient descriptions of that once-famous market now extant:--thus
commences the entry.

“‘Near the Church of the Blessed Mary of Wolcherchehawe, is a certaine
Cattle-Fold called _les Stocks_, ordained for Butchers and Fishmongers,
where the same may sell flesh and fish; the rent of which is uncertain,
because any greater or smaller value arises from the way in which
places in it may be occupied by the Butchers upon Flesh-days, and
by the Fishmongers on Fish-days. Upon this Cattle-stall are three
mansions, and one slaughter-house, built above it, the principal of
which mansions is towards Cornhill, being now held by William Vale,
Fishmonger, and it yields to London Bridge, yearly, 30_s._ Also, on
the West side, towards the Conduit, is another mansion, held by John
Louekyn, Fishmonger, which pays yearly 20_s._ Also there is another
little mansion in the middle of the house upon the Stocks on the
North side, paying 10_s._ Also on the South part of the Stocks is
a slaughter-house, for which rent is not paid. Total 60_s._ And in
the stalls aforesaid, called the Stocks, are places measured for the
Fishmongers’ tables, namely four feet and a half and two thumbs breadth
in length, and called _Poulisset_, having legs, the which places are
occupied by the Butchers on Flesh-days at the price of 4_d._ the week.
And the same places are occupied by the Fishmongers on Fish-days, at
the price of 3_d._ by the week. Of these places there are 19 on the
South part next the Church; 18 on the North; 15, in one row, in the
middle of the house on the South; and at the Eastern front of the said
house are four places for Fishmongers, three of which are occupied by
Butchers on the Flesh-days. In the West front of the said house are two
places, occupied as well by Butchers as by Fishmongers; but the certain
amount of the rents of these cannot be ascertained, because any of the
aforesaid places may be occupied or not, and thus a larger or a smaller
sum may appear upon the account-rolls of the gate-keepers of the place
aforesaid, in different weeks and years. Without the Stocks, at the
West front, are five places for Fishmongers, where, on Fish-days, they
sell their fish; and, on Flesh-days, three of them are occupied by the
Butchers. There are also 22 places and a half under the walls of the
house, appointed for Butchers to sell flesh on Flesh-days; whereof 18
places are under the North wall, and 4 places and a half are under the
wall of the Eastern front, of which places the value, when they are
occupied, is 4_d._ per week: but now they are not fully engaged, and
therefore no certain sum can be stated.’

“‘Also, it is to be known that the gifts, legacies, and oblations
of the Corbell-Chapel, standing on the Bridge, with’--the Pontage
from--‘the carts carrying bread for sale crossing over it, and the
passage of vessels under it, are uncertain in amount, because they may
be greater or less in value, as they appear in the account-rolls of the
Keepers of the said Bridge for different years.’

“The Survey concludes with an abstracted list of rents paid by London
Bridge for lands and tenements held in various places, both in, and
out of, the City; but as I have already given you several particulars
of these, and as they do not contain any great additional information,
I shall but observe from them that their total amount appears to be
£20. 0. 9-1/4_d._; and as we are occasionally informed that the lands
were let out to farm, we may conclude that the Bridge-keepers were
amply recompensed for the payment of a sum even so great as this. The
disbursements of London Bridge were, indeed, always considerable,
for Stow observes in his ‘_Survey_,’ page 59, that the account of
William Mariner and Christopher Elliott, Wardens of that edifice, from
Michaelmas, in the 22nd year of Henry VII.--1506,--to the Michaelmas
ensuing, amounted to £815. 17_s._ 2-1/2_d._, all payments and
allowances included.

“We must now set sail again on the ocean of English History, as it is
connected with London Bridge; and you are to remember that we are yet
in the reign of King Henry VI., though we have mentioned a multitude of
dates since the commencement of our digression: and the next event in
its Chronicles, relates to the destruction of a considerable portion of
it in the year 1437. I have already cited to you some of the writings
of William of Worcester, and in another work of which he was also
the author, entitled ‘_Annales Rerum Anglicarum_,’ he gives a slight
notice of this event, which you will find in the edition printed in
Hearne’s ‘_Liber Niger_,’ volume ii. page 458, taken from an autograph
manuscript in the Library of the College of Arms. The best accounts,
however, are furnished by Fabyan, on page 433, of his Chronicle, and by
Stow in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 376. From these we learn that on Monday,
January the 14th, the Great Stone Gate, and Tower standing upon it,
next Southwark, fell suddenly down into the River, with two of the
fairest arches of the same Bridge: ‘and yet,’ adds the habitually
pious Stow, ‘no man perished in body, which was a great worke of God.’

“In the year 1440, the Annals of London Bridge became again interwoven
with the great historical events of the kingdom, which impart such
dignity to its own records, inasmuch as the Bridge-Street, by which is
meant as well the passage over the Thames as the main street beyond it
on each side, was one scene of the public penance of Eleanor Cobham,
Duchess of Gloucester, for Witchcraft. The inflexible honesty of
the Duke, who was Protector of England during the minority of Henry
VI., and presumptive heir to the crown, had created a violent party
against him, the heads of which were Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop
of Winchester, and William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk. With
regard to his Sovereign, however, not all the spies, which were placed
about Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, by these powerful
and inveterate enemies, could find even a pretence for the slightest
charge; though that which they were unable to discover in him, they
found in his Duchess, who was then accused of Witchcraft and High
Treason: it being asserted that she had frequent conferences with one
Sir Roger Bolinbroke, a Priest, who was supposed to be a necromancer,
and Margaret Jourdain, a witch, of Eye, near Westminster; assisted
and advised by John Hum, a Priest, and Thomas Southwell, Priest, and
Canon of St. Stephen’s, Westminster. Shakspeare, in his ‘_Second Part
of Henry the Sixth_,’ Act i. Scenes 2 and 4, and Act ii. Scenes 1 and
4, has recorded several particulars of this circumstance; and makes
the Duchess ask some questions concerning the King’s fate; though she
was, in reality, charged with having his image made of wax, which,
being placed before a slow fire, should cause his strength to decay
as the wax melted. The result of the enquiry was, that Jourdain was
burned in Smithfield; Southwell died before his execution, in the
Tower; Bolingbroke was hanged, drawn, and quartered, at Tyburn; and, on
November the 9th, the Duchess was sentenced to perform public penance
at three open places in London. On Monday the 13th, therefore, she
came by water from Westminster, and, landing at the Temple-bridge,
walked, at noon-day, through Fleet-street, bearing a waxen taper of two
pounds weight to St. Paul’s, where she offered it at the High Altar.
On the Wednesday following she landed at the Old Swan, and passed
through Bridge-street and Grace-Church-street to Leadenhall, and at
Cree-Church, near Aldgate, made her second offering: and on the ensuing
Friday, she was put on shore at Queen-Hythe, whence she proceeded to
St. Michael’s Church, Cornhill, and so completed her penance. In each
of these processions her head was covered only by a kerchief, her feet
were bare; scrolls, containing a narrative of her crime, were affixed
to her white dress, and she was received and attended by the Mayor,
Sheriffs, and Companies of London.

“The leading features of these events are of course in all the numerous
volumes of English History, but for the more particular circumstances
I must refer you to Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ pages 381, 382; to folio
lxiiii. a, of the Chronicle of Edward Hall, an eminent Lawyer who
died in 1547, and whose work is entitled ‘_The Vnion of the two Noble
Houses of Lancastre and Yorke_,’ London, 1550, folio; and, finally,
to the Harleian Manuscript No. 565, page 96 a. Of which latter most
curious work we now take leave, for soon after recording this event it
terminates imperfectly; though I may observe, that when speaking of the
fate of Roger Bolingbroke, on page 96 b, it adds, concerning him, that
the same day on which he was condemned at Guildhall, he ‘was drawe fro
y^e Tower of London to Tiborn and there hanged, hedyd, and quartered,
and his heed set up on London Bridge.’ His quarters were disposed of at
Hereford, Oxford, York, and Cambridge.

“In 1444, William de la Pole, whom I have just mentioned, was one
of the King’s Ambassadors in France, when, with his usual lofty and
impetuous spirit, he suddenly proposed a marriage between Henry VI.,
and Margaret, daughter of Réné, Duke of Anjou, and titular King of
Jerusalem, Sicily, Arragon, Valence, &c. without any instructions
from his Sovereign, or even acquainting his fellow-commissioners with
his design. Notwithstanding the Duke of Gloucester opposed this union
at the Council Board in England, yet the Earl managed his proposal
so skilfully, that he procured himself to be created a Duke, and
despatched into France to bring over the Queen: and on Thursday,
the 22nd of April, 1445, she was consequently married to Henry at
Tichfield Abbey, Southwick, in the County of Southampton. It was,
probably, in her way from Eltham Palace to Westminster, before her
Coronation, that she was greeted by the famous pageants prepared for
her on London Bridge, on Friday, the 28th of May; for you will remember
that she was crowned at Westminster Abbey, on Sunday, the 30th of
the month, by John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury. However it
might be, she was met at several places by many persons of rank, with
numerous attendants having their sleeves embroidered, or decorated in
the most costly manner, with badges of beaten goldsmith’s work; and
especially by the Duke of Gloucester, who received her with 500 men
habited in one livery. At Blackheath, according to custom, the Mayor,
Sheriffs, and Aldermen, clothed in scarlet, attended her with the
several City companies, all mounted and dressed in blue gowns, having
embroidered sleeves and red hoods: and in this manner Queen Margaret
and her followers were conducted through Southwark and the City, ‘then
beautified,’--says Stow in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 384, where he relates
all these particulars,--‘with pageants of diuers histories, and other
showes of welcome, maruellous costly and sumptuous.’ He gives, however,
but a very brief statement of them in his printed book; though in his
Manuscripts, several of which are extant in the Harleian Collection
in the British Museum, there are the very verses spoken to the Queen
on the Bridge, composed, as he says, by John Lydgate. The Manuscript
I allude to, is one to which I have already made a reference, being
No. 542, a small quarto volume written on antique paper, in Stow’s own
plain, but minute hand-writing. In this volume, therefore, article
16, on page 101 a, is entitled, ‘_The speches in the pagiaunts at y^e
cominge of Qwene Margaret wyfe to Henry the syxt of that name Kynge of
England, the 28th of Maye, 1445, y^e 23rd of his reigne_.’ The first
pageant, which was an allegorical representation of Peace and Plenty,
was erected at the foot of London Bridge, and the motto attached to
it was ‘_Ingredimini et replete Terram_,’--Enter ye and replenish the
earth,--taken from Genesis ix. according to the Vulgate Latin. The
verses addressed to Queen Margaret were as follow:--

    ‘Most Christian Princesse, by influence of grace,
      Doughter of Jherusalem, owr plesáunce
    And joie, welcome as ever Princess was,
      With hert entier, and hoole affiáunce:
      Cawser of welthe, ioye, and abundáunce,
    Youre Citee, yowr people, your subgets all,
      With hert, with worde, with dede, your highnesse to aváunce,
    Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! vnto you call.’

“Upon the Bridge itself appeared a pageant representing Noah’s Ark,
bearing the words ‘_Jam non ultra irascar super terram_,’--Henceforth
there shall no more be a curse upon the earth,--Genesis viii. 21. and
the following verses were delivered before it:--

    ‘So trustethe your people, with assuráunce
      Throwghe yowr grace, and highe benignitie.--
    ’Twixt the Realmes two, England and Fraunce,
      Pees shall approche, rest and vnité:
      Mars set asyde with all his crueltyé,
    Whiche too longe hathe trowbled the Realmes twayne;
     Bydynge yowr comforte, in this adversité,
    Most Christian Princesse owr Lady Soverayne.

    Right as whilom, by God’s myght and grace,
      Noé this arké dyd forge and ordayne;
    Wherein he and his might escape and passe
    The flood of vengeaunce cawsed by trespasse:
      Conveyed aboute as god list him to gye.
    By meane of mercy found a restinge place
      Aftar the flud, vpon this Armonie.

    Vnto the Dove that browght the braunche of peas,--
      Resemblinge yowr symplenesse columbyne,--
    Token and signé that the flood shuld cesse,
      Conducte by grace and power devyne;
      Sonne of comfort ’gynneth faire to shine
    By yowr presence whereto we synge and seyne
      Welcome of ioye right extendet lyne
    Moste Christian Princesse, owr Lady Sovereyne.’

“We shall here take our leave of the poet Lydgate, by whose descriptive
verses we have illustrated three splendid scenes in the history of
London Bridge; and I pray you, if it be but in gratitude for this
single circumstance, reject, as malignant and untrue, the character
given of him by Ritson, when he calls him a ‘voluminous, prosaick,
and drivelling Monk.’ Warton is not only more liberal, but more just,
in his estimate, when he says that ‘no poet had greater versatility
of talents, and that he moves with equal ease in every mode of
composition.’ He admits that he was naturally verbose and diffuse,
tedious and languid: but he asserts, also, that he had great excellence
in flowery description; that he increased the power of the English
language; and that he was the first of our writers whose style is
clothed with modern perspicuity. ‘His Muse was of universal access,’ he
continues, ‘and he was not only the poet of his monastery, but of the
world.’ Alike happy in composing a Masque, a Disguising, a May-game,
a Pageant, a Mummery, or a Carol, for Ritson’s list of his poems,
amounting to 251, embraces all these, and numerous other subjects.

“The year 1450 was made memorable by the daring insurrection of
Jack Cade and the commons of Kent, which arose, partly, out of the
popular belief that the Duke of Suffolk had caused the loss of a
great portion of France to the English Crown; and, partly, from the
pretensions of Richard, Duke of York, to the throne; in consequence
of the haughtiness, despotism, and usurpation of Queen Margaret, and
William De la Pole, her favourite. After some vain attempts to satisfy
the commons concerning the Duke of Suffolk, King Henry banished him
from the realm for five years; when after his embarkation his vessel
was chased by an English ship called the Nicholas, belonging to the
Constable of the Tower, by which it was captured, the Duke seized,
and his head struck off on the side of a boat in Dover-roads; after
which, it was carelessly cast with the body upon the sands. This
murder, however, did not restore quietness to England, for the Duke of
York being thus relieved from a powerful enemy, immediately proceeded
in his own designs upon the Crown. By his instigation, therefore,
one John Cade assumed the name of Sir John Mortimer, of the house
of March, who, in reality, had been beheaded in 1425, on a charge
of treason. Cade was a native of Ireland, and formerly a servant to
Sir Thomas Dacre, Knight, of Sussex; but having cruelly murdered a
pregnant woman, he took sanctuary, and forsware the kingdom. With
such a character, he began his work of reformation in Kent, in May,
1450; assuming also, as some tell us, the title of John Amendall, and
easily drew so many malcontents together, that, in a few days, he
was enabled to approach London, and to encamp with his rebel forces
upon Blackheath. When Henry marched against him, he retired into a
wood near Sevenoaks; where he remained, until the King, supposing
his followers dispersed, returned to London, and contented himself
with despatching after them a detachment of his army commanded by
Sir Humphrey Stafford; which division falling into the ambush, was
cut in pieces, and its leader slain. Elated by this success, Cade
again marched towards London, whilst Henry and his Court retreated to
Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire; leaving a garrison in the Tower,
under command of the Lord Scales. The rebels, however, now became
increased by multitudes, which joined them from all parts; and on
Wednesday, the 1st of July, Cade arrived in Southwark, where he lodged
at the Hart, for, says Alderman Fabyan, in his ‘_Chronicle_,’ from whom
Stow almost verbally copies this story, ‘he might not be suffered to
enter the Citie.’ Jack Cade, however, had but too many friends within
the gates of London. The Commons of Essex were already in arms, and
were mustered in a field at Mile-end; and upon a discussion in the
Court of Common-Council on the propriety of admitting the rebels over
the Bridge, the loyal-hearted Alderman Robert Horne so incensed the
populace, by speaking warmly against the motion, that they were not
reduced to order until he was committed to Newgate. About five o’clock
then, on the afternoon of Thursday, July 2nd, London stained her Annals
by opening the Bridge-gates to Cade, and his rabble rout. As he crossed
the Draw-bridge, he cut with his sword the ropes which supported it;
and on entering into the City, so beguiled the inhabitants, and even
Nicholas Wilford, or Wyfold, the Lord Mayor, that he procured a free
communication between his followers and London, though he himself again
withdrew to his lodging in Southwark.

“In Shakspeare’s vivid scenes of this rebellion, in his ‘_Second Part
of King Henry the Sixth_,’ Act iv., Scene 4th, a messenger tells King

    ‘Jack Cade hath gotten London Bridge; the Citizens
    Fly and forsake their houses:’--

and in the next scene a Citizen says, ‘they have won the Bridge,
killing all that withstand them.’ In Scene 6th, Cade cries, ‘Go and
set London-Bridge on fire;’ and Edmund Malone, in his note upon this
passage, tells us, what we certainly cannot find by any other history,
that ‘at that time London Bridge was built of _wood_;’ adding, from
Hall, that ‘the houses on London Bridge were, in this rebellion,
burnt, and many of the inhabitants perished.’ This note you may see
in the Variorum edition of ‘_Shakspeare’s Plays_,’ by Isaac Reed,
London, 1803, 8vo., volume xiii., page 341. London Bridge, however,
was not even yet entirely captured, and two robberies which Cade had
committed in the City, speedily roused the wealthier inhabitants to a
sense of his outrage, and their own danger. Whereupon, ‘what do they,’
as honest John Bunyan says of the Captains in Mansoul, ‘but like so
many Samsons shake themselves?’ and send unto the Lord Scales, and
the valiant Matthew Gough, at the Tower, for assistance. The latter
of these commanders was appointed to aid the City, whilst the former
supported him with a frequent discharge of ordnance; and on the night
of Sunday, July 5th, Cade being then in Southwark, the City Captains,
the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of London mounted guard upon the
Bridge. ‘The rebelles,’ says Hall in his ‘_Chronicle_,’ folio lxxviii.
a, which contains the best version of the story,--‘the rebelles, which
neuer soundly slepte, for feare of sodayne chaunces, hearing the Bridge
to be kept and manned, ran with greate haste to open the passage,
where betwene bothe partes was a ferce and cruell encounter. Matthew
Gough, more experte in marciall feates than the other Cheuetaynes of
the Citie, perceiuing the Kentishmen better to stand to their tacklyng
than his ymagination expected, aduised his company no farther to
procede toward Southwarke, till the day appered; to the entent, that
the Citizens hearing where the place of the ieopardye rested, might
occurre their enemies and releue their frendes and companions. But this
counsail came to smal effect: for the multitude of the rebelles drave
the Citizens from the stoulpes,’--wooden piles,--‘at the Bridge foote,
to the Drawe-bridge, and began to set fyre in diuers houses. Alas! what
sorow it was to beholde that miserable chaunce: for some desyringe
to eschew the fyre lept on hys enemies weapon, and so died: fearfull
women, with chyldren in their armes, amased and appalled lept into the
riuer; other, doubtinge how to saue them self betwene fyre, water, and
swourd, were in their houses suffocate and smoldered, yet the Captayns
nothyng regarding these chaunces, fought on this Draw-Bridg all the
nyghte valeauntly, but in conclusion the rebelles gat the Draw-Bridge
and drowned many, and slew John Sutton, Alderman, and Robert Heysande,
a hardy Citizen, with many other, besyde Matthew Gough, a man of greate
wit, much experience in feates of chiualrie, the which in continuall
warres had valeauntly serued the King, and his father, in the partes
beyond the sea. But it is often sene, that he which many tymes hath
vanquyshed his enemies in straunge countreys, and returned agayn as a
conqueror, hath of his owne nation afterward been shamfully murdered
and brought to confusion. This hard and sore conflict endured on the
Bridge till ix. of the clocke in the mornynge in doubtfull chaunce and
Fortune’s balaunce: for some tyme the Londoners were bet back to the
stulpes at Sainct Magnes Corner; and sodaynly agayne the rebelles were
repulsed and dryuen back to the stulpes in Southwarke, so that both
partes beynge faynte, wery, and fatygate, agreed to desist from fight,
and to leue battayll till the next day, vpon condition that neyther
Londoners shoulde passe into Southwarke, nor the Kentish men into
London.’ William Rastall, who produced his curious Chronicle, called
‘_The Pastimes of People_,’ in the year 1529, adds to this account,
that ‘the Kentysshemen brent the Brydge;’ see page 265 of the excellent
edition of that work, by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin, D. D. &c. London, 1811,

“During the truce that followed this most valiant defence of London
Bridge, and which nearly effaced the deep stain of the Citizens opening
their gates to a rebel, a general pardon was procured for Cade and
his followers, by John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord High
Chancellor. Upon which, some accepted of the King’s grace, and all
began, by degrees, to withdraw from Southwark with their spoil, whilst
Cade himself was soon after slain by Alexander Iden, Esquire, of Kent,
in consequence of a reward being offered for his apprehension. His dead
body was brought to London, and his head erected on the Bridge-gate,
where he had so recently placed that of one of his greatest victims,
Sir James Fynes, Lord Say, Treasurer of England. Concerning these
events see also Shakspeare’s ‘_Second Part of King Henry the Sixth_,’
Act iv., Scenes 7th and 10th; Fabyan’s ‘_Chronicle_,’ pages 451-453;
and Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ pages 391, 392.

“I have but little more to subjoin to close the history of this
rebellion; but I may add, that in January 1451, twenty-six of the
Kentish rebels were tried before the King and his Justices Itinerant,
and executed at Dover, and other places in the County; and that on
Tuesday, February 23rd, as Henry returned to London, great numbers more
met him on Blackheath, dressed in their shirts only, and imploring his
clemency on their knees, were all pardoned. Against his entering the
City, nine heads of those who had been executed were erected on London
Bridge, that of their leader standing in the centre. ‘This,’ says Hall,
in closing his account of Cade’s insurrection, ‘is the successe of all
rebelles, and this fortune chaunceth ever to traytors: for where men
striue against the streame, their bote neuer cometh to his pretensed

“In June 1461, previously to his Coronation, King Edward IV. crossed
London Bridge with some ceremony, on the way from his Palace of Sheen
to the Tower; whence it was anciently customary for the English
Sovereigns to ride to Westminster in solemn procession the day before
they were crowned. We have this information in an article printed
by Hearne, and attached to his ‘_Thomæ Sprotti Chronica_.’ Oxford,
1719, 8vo. It is entitled ‘_A remarkable Fragment of an old English
Chronicle, or History of the Affairs of King Edward the Fourth,
Transcrib’d from an old MS_.;’ and on page 288, we find the following
particulars. ‘The same xxvi^{th} of Juny, the King Edward movid from
Sheene towardis London, then being Thursday;’--in reality though it
was Friday, as this very extract subsequently shews--‘and upon the
way receyvid him the Maire and his brethirn all in scarle, with iiii
c commoners well horsid and cladde in grene, and so avauncing theime
self passid the Bridge, and thurgh the Cite they rode streigte unto
the Toure of London, and restid there all nigt.’ The day following,
King Edward made 32 Companions of the Bath. He then proceeded to
Westminster, attended by the new Knights habited in the white silk
dress of the Order; and on the morrow,--which was St. Peter’s day, and
Sunday,--he was crowned at Westminster by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop
of Canterbury.

“The revenues of London Bridge seem greatly to have flourished under
the reign of this Sovereign, for in his 5th year, 1465, the Wardens of
the same, Peter Alford and Peter Caldecot, paid, on account thereof,
the immense sum of £731. 10_s._ 1-1/2; as you may see in Maitland’s
‘_History_,’ volume i., page 48, which information he has quoted from
Stow’s ‘_Survey_.’ You, doubtless, remember, that although Edward IV.
was, at this period of our history, seated on the English throne,
yet that King Henry VI. was only deposed by the partizans of Edward
Plantagenet, Earl of March, and son to the late Duke of York, and the
Earl of Warwick, in March, 1461. In October 1470, therefore, Henry
was again restored to his crown, which he retained with a disturbed
sway for seven months only, and in April, 1471, was again imprisoned
in the Tower, whence he had been taken to remount the throne. There
were, however, not even then wanting some zealous adherents to the
declining House of Lancaster, who made several brave, though unavailing
efforts on the behalf of King Henry, Margaret of Anjou, and the
young Edward, Prince of Wales. Under the sanction of their cause an
impudent attack was made upon London in 1471, which forms an important
feature in the history of this Bridge; which being mentioned by Stow
in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 61, is thence copied by all who
have written its Annals. The Earl of Warwick had appointed to be
Vice-Admiral of the Channel, one Thomas Neville, an illegitimate son
to William, Lord Falconbridge, and thence called ‘the Bastard of
Falconbridge.’ When he lost this employment, as he was a man alike
devoid of morals and of money, he saw, says Rapin, with a very singular
expression, ‘no other way to subsist than turning Pirate;’ for which,
however, he probably required very little transmutation. As Edward was,
at this time, engaged in pursuit of Elizabeth, his Queen, Falconbridge
collected some ships, and a number of persons of desperate fortunes,
and landing on the coast of Kent, intended no less than to surprise
London, and enrich himself with the plunder of the City. He arrived in
Southwark in May, giving out that he came to free King Henry from his
captivity, and soon becoming possessed of that place, on Tuesday, the
14th, he ordered 3000 of his followers to cross the river in boats,
and assault Ald-Gate and Bishops-Gate, whilst he himself attempted to
force the Bridge. This he endeavoured to effect by firing it, by which
he destroyed sixty houses standing upon it; though the Citizens were so
well provided with ordnance, that even if the passage had been entirely
open, says an ancient Chronicler, ‘they should have had hard entering
that way.’ It is singular, however, that in this account of the number
of the houses burned on London Bridge, Stow should be so greatly at
variance with the earlier Historians; since they state it to be sixty,
whilst, in his ‘_Survey_,’ he says only that Falconbridge ‘burned
the Gate and all the houses to the Draw-Bridge, being at that time
_thirteen_ in number.’ It is, perhaps, possible that the old Citizen
is in the right; and that the other Annalists include some of those
buildings which were destroyed in the suburbs of Southwark.

“One of the bravest defenders of London Bridge was Ralph Joceline,
Alderman and Draper, afterwards made a Knight of the Bath, and
Lord Mayor, in 1464 and 1476; since he not only manfully resisted
Falconbridge and his party, when they attacked the Draw-Bridge, but
upon their retiring, as they were at last forced to do, as well from
the City as from the Bridge, he sallied forth upon them, and following
them along the water-side beyond Ratcliffe, slew and captured very many
of them. The Arms of this worthy were Azure, a mullet within a circular
wreath Argent and Sable, having four hawk’s bells joined thereto
in quadrature, Or. I have given you these particulars from Stow’s
‘_Annals_,’ page 424; from Holinshed’s ‘_Chronicle_,’ volume ii., page
690; and from Fabyan’s ‘_Chronicle_,’ page 590; in which last authority
it is added that ‘the Bastarde, with his shipmen, wer chased vnto their
shippes lying at Blackewall, and there in the chase many slaine. And
the saied Bastarde, the night followyng, stale out his shippes out of
the riuer and so departed, and escaped for that tyme.’

“Another record of the destruction of part of London Bridge, marks
the year 1481, for page 61 of volume i. of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ informs
us, that a house called ‘_the Common Stage_,’ then fell down into the
Thames, and by its fall five men were drowned. What this building
really was, you may see in Holinshed’s ‘_Chronicle_,’ volume ii.,
page 705, where this fact is quoted from the volume entitled ‘_Scala
Temporum_,’ or, the Ladder of the Times, a contemporary record of
remarkable occurrences.

“We are indebted to that singularly curious work, known by the name of
‘_Arnold’s Chronicle_,’ for an account of the expenses of London Bridge
in several of the latter years of the fifteenth century, beginning with
1482, and terminating with 1494. The best edition of this volume is
that edited by Francis Douce, Esq., London, 1811, quarto, for the series
of modern reprints of ancient English Chronicles, which appeared about
that time. The modern title of the book is ‘_The Customs of London,
otherwise called Arnold’s Chronicle_;’ but in its original state it was
devoid of a Title-page, the Table of Contents being headed thus: ‘In
this booke is conteyned the names of y^e Bayliffs, Custos, Mairs, and
Sherefs of the Cite of London, from the tyme of King Richard the Furst;
and also th’ Artycles of the Chartur and Libarties of the same Cyte;
and of the Chartur and Libarties off England, wyth odur dyuers matters
good for euery Citezen to vndirstond and knowe; whiche ben shewid
in Chaptirs after the fourme of this kalendir following.’ The first
edition of ‘_Arnold’s Chronicle_’ is usually supposed to have been
printed by John Doesborowe, at Antwerp, about the year 1502, in small
folio; though it is without either date, or name of place, or Printer.
It seems that Richard Arnold himself was a Citizen and Haberdasher,
who resided in the Parish of St. Magnus, London Bridge, where he
flourished in the year 1519. His work is a most singular compilation,
for it not only contains all the subjects which I have already named to
you, but numerous others which seem to have no sort of connection with
it: such, for instance, as forms for legal instruments, ‘the crafte
to make a water to haue spottys out of clothe;’--‘the vij ægesse of
the worlde fro Adam forewarde;’--‘the crafte of graffyng and plantyng
of tryes;’--‘to make a pickell too kepe fresh sturgeon in;’ and the
ancient original of Prior’s beautiful ballad of the Nut-brown Maid!
But now to shew you its references to London Bridge in particular, I
must observe that one of its articles is entitled ‘The lerning for to
make a count by y^e yerly rentis of London Brygge, Fo. 270;’ nearly
all of Arnold’s examples being given from real and public documents:
indeed, he was, as Mr. Douce observes of him, ‘a very active, and even
a meddling character.’ To that activity and meddling, however, we owe
too much extremely valuable information, to visit his sins of officious
curiosity with any very severe censure; or to blame him too violently
for having compiled his volume of such very singular materials. The
first extract from these Account-rolls is for 1482, and is as follows:--

“‘The Yerely stint of the Lyuelod belonging to London Brydge. Fyrst,
for all maner ressaitis in y^e yere vii. C. _li._ or therabout;’ namely
£700. ‘The Chargis goyng out.

                                           _Li._    _s._ _d._

     ‘For wagis and fees of the Officers    lxix.    vj. viij.
     Item, for rewardis of the Officers    xxiij.    vj. viij.
     Item, paid out for quyt rentis          xxx. xiiij.   vj.
     Item, for quyt rentis dekayed            ix.   iij. viij.
     Item, for vacacions                     xxx.    --    --
     Item, for costis of the Chapell     xxxiiij.     v.  iij.
     Item, the expencis vpon the Auditors     --     xl.   --
     Somme of this parte    C.lxxxxviij.  xvj.   ix. £198. 16_s._ 9_d._
     Rest cler                    v.C.i.  iij.  iij. £501.  3_s._ 3_d._’

“As there is not in this account any mention of the particular
salaries actually received by the Bridge Keepers, I must refer you for
information to a modern copy of some ancient documents, entitled ‘_An
Account of the Fees or Salaries and Rewards of the Wardens or Keepers
of London Bridge, from the 20th year of the reign of King Edward IV.
Ann. Dom. 1482, to the present year, 1786, stating the times when
their salaries were augmented, and also the Rental, or yearly income
of the Bridge-House estate at each particular period._’ Single folio
sheet.--‘A. D. 1482. William Galle and Henry Bumsted, Wardens, to the
said Wardens because of their office, to either of them, £10. Also
for their Clothing, or Livery, to each, £1. Also allowed to the said
Wardens, in reward for their attendance and good provision done in
their office this year, to either of them as hath been allowed in years
past, £10. Total to each of them, £21. Total Income, or Rental of the
Bridge-House Estate this Year, £650. 13_s._ 7-1/2_d._’

“I regret, Mr. Barbican, and I am very sure that _you_ do, that our
Bridge Annals must, for some few years, be carried on principally by
these documents; for I do not, in my limited reading, find any more
interesting matter to record in them. Thus much, however, may be said
in their defence, that we may certainly learn from them the increasing
prosperity of the Bridge, and discover, in the items of their charges,
many a curious fragment of the ancient value of money, and the articles
contained in them. Having thus then, Mr. Geoffrey, deprecated your
wrath against these matters, which certainly are somewhat dull in the
recital, I proceed to the accounts of London Bridge for the years
1483-85, as they are given in ‘_Arnold’s Chronicle_.’

‘The Acompte of Willyam Galle and Hery Bumpsted, Wardeyns of London
Bredge, from Mychelmasse Anno xxij. Edw. iiij. into Mychelmasse after,
and ij yeres folowynge. The Charge. First the areragis of the last
acompte, ij. C. lxvij. _li._ xiiij. _s._ _ob._’--£267. 14_s._ 0-1/2.
‘Item, all maner resaytis the same yere, vij. C. xlvi. _li._ xvi. _s._
_ob._ Somma, M. xiiij. _li._ x. _s._ i. _d._’--£1014. 10_s._ 1_d._
‘Allowans and paymentis the same yere, vij. C. xliiij. _li._ x. _s._
ij. _d._ _ob._ Rest that is owyng ij. C. lxx. _li._ xix. _s._ x. _d._
_ob._--Wherof is dew by Edward Stone and odur, of ther arrearagis in
ther tyme, liij. _li._ vj. _s._ vj. _d._ _ob._ Item, ther is diew by
the sayd Wyllyam Galle and Hery Bumpstede, Somma, ij. C. xvij. _li._
xiij. _s._ iiij. _d._’

‘The acompte the next yere suyng, from Mychelmasse in the first yere
of the reign of King Rycharde the iij. vnto Mychelmasse next folowyng,
the space of an hole yere. The Charge.

                                                  _Li._  _s._  _d._

     ‘First the Areragis of the last acompte  ij.C.xvij. xiij. iiij.
     Item, proper rentis                     v.C.lxviij.  xij. iiij.
     Item, foreine rente                            lix.   xi.    v. ob.
     Item, ferme of the Stockis                     lix.   ix.   xi.
     Item, quite rente                             xxxi.  xij.   vj.
     Item, passage of cartis                         xx.  xij.  vij.
     Item, incrementis of rentis                     --    vj.   vj.
     Item, casuell ressaitis                         vi.   --    --

“‘Somma of all their charge, ix.C.lxiij. _li._ vii. _s._ ix. _d._ _ob._

“Allouaunce and Dischargis the same yere. Fyrst, in quyt rentis, xxx.
_li._ xiiij. _s._ vj. _d._ To Saint Mary Spytell, w^t annuities, l.
_s._ viij. _d._ Item, decay of quyt rente, ix. _li._ iij. _s._ viij.
_d._ _ob._ Item, allowaunce for store-houses, xxxv. _s._ iiij. _d._
Item, in vacacions, xxxiiij. _li._ xvij. _s._ iij. _d._ Item, in
decrements, iij. _li._ vij. _s._ i. _d._ Item, allowaunce for money
delyuerd to the Mayre, xl. _li._ Item, for buying of stone, xvij. _li._
xiij. _s._ iiij. _d._ Item, for buying of tymbre, lath, and bord, li.
_li._ xi. _s._ v. _d._ Item, for buying of tyle and brik, xiij. _li._
ix. _s._ iij. _d._ Item, for buying of chalke, lime, and sond, xxiiij.
_li._ xi. _s._ xi. _d._ Item, for yren werke, xxxij. _li._ viij. _s._
iij. _d._ _q._ Item, requisites bought, xviij. _li._ viij. _s._ iiij.
_d._ Item, in expencis, viij. _li._ xviij. _s._ xi. _d._ Item, costis
of cariage, xij. _li._ xix. _s._ vj. _d._ Item, led and sowder, xiij.
_li._ viij. _s._ Item, for glasyng, xxxvij. _s._ i. _d._ Item, costis
of the rame, xxxiij. _li._ vj. _s._ ix. _d._ Item, masons wagis,
xlviij. _li._ xviij. _s._ iiij. _d._ _ob._ Item, Carpenters wages, C.
xiiij. _li._ v. _s._ Item, laborers wages, xxij. _li._ x. _s._ ix. _d._
_ob._ Item, Costis of the Chapel, xxxiij. _li._ v. _s._ iij. _d._ Item,
the wagis of the tylers, xij. _li._ xij. _s._ vi. _d._ Item, for wagis
of the dawbir, xij. _li._ vi. _s._ Item, for sawiars, xij. _li._ xv.
_s._ vi. _d._ Item, for wagis of paviours, xviij. _s._ viij. _d._ Item,
to the Baker at the Cok, l. _s._ Item, for fees and wagis of Officers,
lxix. _li._ vi. _s._ viij. _d._ Rewardis of Officers, xxiij. _li._ vi.
_s._ viij. _d._ Item, expencis vpon the auditours, xlij. _s._ viij.
_d._ Somme of all the paymentis and allowaunce, vij. C. xx. _li._ ix.
_s._ iiij. _d._ _qu._:’ or £720. 9_s._ 4-1/4_d._ ‘Reste, CC. xlij.
_li._ xviij. _s._ vi. _d._ _qu._ Wherof is owynge and dieu by Edward
Stone, for arereage in his tyme, Somma liiij. _li._ vi. _s._ vi. _d._
Item, by W. Galle and H. Bumpsted, C. lxxxix. _li._ xi. _s._ xi. _d._
_ob._ _qu._’

“The last document of this nature recorded in ‘_Arnold’s
Chronicle_,’ is for the year 1484, and it contains the following
particulars.--‘Ther Acompte, Anno ij. Ric. Tercij. The Charge. First,
the arreragis of ther last acompte, C. lxxxix. _li._ xi. _s._ xi. _d._
_ob._ _qu._ Item, all maner ressaitis, vii. C. xliiij. _li._ x. _s._ v.
_d._ _qu._ Somma of the Charge, ix. C. xxxiiij. _li._ ij. _s._ iiij.
_d._ Discharge. Fyrst, allowaunce of paymentis the same yere, vi. C.
xxiij. _li._ iiij. _s._ x. _d._ Soo there remayneth the somme CCC.
x. _li._ xvij. _s._ v. _d._ _ob._ Wherof is dieu by Edward Stone and
other of their arrerage in their tyme, liij. _li._ vi. _s._ vi. _d._
_ob._ And soo remayneth clerly dieu by William Gale and Herry Bounsted
CC. lvij. _li._ x. _s._ xi. _d._’ I must not omit to notice, before
quitting these particulars of the ancient expenses of London Bridge,
that they are to be found also printed in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’
volume i., pages 48, 49.

“We have frequently, in the course of these fragmenta, mentioned
various officers set over the affairs of London Bridge, and some of
the instruments which I have quoted, have shewn that several of them
were anciently appointed by the King’s Writ or Patent. The principal of
these Officers are two Bridge-Masters, having certain fees and profits,
yearly elected, or continued, by the Livery at the Common Hall, held
upon Midsummer day, after the Sheriffs and Chamberlain. Strype, the
continuator of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ whose signature is J. S., states, in
volume ii., page 25, that the Bridge-Master is some freeman elected by
the City and set over the Bridge-House, ‘to look after the reparations
of the Bridge;’ he adds, too, that ‘he hath a liberal salary allowed
him; and that the place hath sometimes been a good relief for some
honest citizens fallen to decay.’ We are also farther told by the same
author, on page 472 of the same work and volume, that at a Court of
Common Council, held on Friday, April 15th, 1491, in the 6th year of
King Henry VII., it was enacted that at the election of Bridge-Master,
the Lord Mayor and Aldermen should annually present four men to the
Commonalty, from whom they were to elect two to be Bridge-Masters. This
act appears to have been in force until Thursday, April the 15th, 1643,
when it was repealed, and the whole election has since remained in the
Livery. Of the names and ancient fees of these Bridge-Masters I have
already given you some specimens, and shall cite you several others in
the future years of our history.

“We must again be indebted to ‘_Arnold’s Chronicle_’ for a fragment
illustrative of the property, persons, and houses, in the Parish of
St. Magnus, and on London Bridge, in the year 1494; for on page 224 of
that mass of singular information, we find an article entitled ‘_The
Valew and stynt of the Benefyce of St. Magnus at London Brydge yerly
to the Person. The Rekenyng of the same the fyrst day of Decembre,
Anno Domini_ M. CCCC. lxxxxiiij.’ I am not going to give you the long
bead-roll of names, rents, and rates which follow; but I shall observe
that, at this period, the rents amounted to £434. 12_s._ 8_d._, and the
offerings paid to the Parson came to £75. 8_s._ 8-1/2_d._ The rent of
‘the Shoppis in Brig-strett,’ amounted to £70. 3_s._ 4_d._, and their
offerings to £12. 3_s._ 3_d._; but the only building that is mentioned
as immediately connected with our present subject is ‘the Ymage of our
Lady on the Brydge, valet iiij marke,’ or £2. 13_s._ 4_d._ You may,
perhaps, remember that this very article from ‘_Arnold’s Chronicle_,’
was afterwards printed in a small volume commonly supposed to have
been compiled by the learned Dr. Brian Walton, Bishop of Chester, and
Editor of the famous London Polyglot Bible, in 1657. This tract is
entitled ‘_A Treatise concerning the payment of Tythes and Oblations
in London. By B. W., D. D._;’ 1641, 4to., and the original manuscript,
written in an ancient hand on folio paper, is, to our delight, yet
remaining in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth Palace, No. 273.
Whilst I am speaking of this collection, I may observe that it contains
another manuscript in which are some few curious particulars concerning
the buildings on London Bridge. This is marked No. 272; was written in
1638, on folio paper; and is entitled ‘_A Catalogue of inhabitants of
the several Parishes in London, with the rent of houses and tythes paid
out of them; in order to a new settlement of Tythes_.’ The contents of
this manuscript set forth not only the names of the dwellers in the
various houses, but also ‘a moderate valuacion’ of them, ‘and other
things tithable;’ wherein, however, it is added, of St. Magnus, that
‘the Parish would not ioyne.’ This district forms article 48 of the
volume, and we find mentioned in it the following buildings ‘on London
Bridge.’ ‘One great house, shop, warehouse, cellars, &c. clear value
£50., Tithes, £1. 16_s._; it hath bin letten for above £8.’--‘One faire
house and shop, part of the Little Nonesuch,’ value £40., Tythes,
£1. 7_s._ 6_d._; and the same for the other part. ‘One Ale-cellar,
Tythes, 3_s._’ On the South side of Great Thames Street, the following
buildings are mentioned connected with the Bridge: ‘One house, wharf,
and Engines to carry water, valued at £500. cleere profitt.’--‘One
great house divided into divers tenements, Bridge-House Rents, over
them, value £20.’

“In giving you these particulars, I must own that I have considerably
anticipated the period to which they belong, but as it is my wish to
say something of the history of St. Magnus’ Parish, it could scarcely
be more properly introduced than when we were noticing the ancient
amount of its tythes, &c. The earliest mention of the Church of St.
Magnus is said by Pennant to be in 1433, though Stow speaks of several
monuments considerably older; and if you will turn to Newcourt’s
‘_Repertorium Ecclesiasticum_,’ volume i., page 396, you will find
that Hugh Pourt, one of the Sheriffs of London, in 1302, and Margaret
his wife, founded a perpetual Chantry in this edifice: and further,
that the list of Rectors commences with Robert de Sancto Albano, who
resigned his office on the 31st of August, 1323. There was also a
Guild, or Fraternity, called ‘Le Salve Regina,’ held in this Church,
as Stow shows you in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 495, which was
flourishing in the 17th year of Edward III.,--1343.--The intent of that
convention will best be shewn by an extract from Stow’s translation of
the certificate of this species of religious Benefit Society, which
is as follows:--‘Be it remembered that Rauf Capeleyn, du Bailiff;
William Double, Fishmonger; Roger Lowher, Chancellor; Henry Boseworth,
Vintener; Stephen Lucas, Stock-Fishmonger; and other of the better
sort of the Parish of St. Magnus, near the Bridge of London, of their
great devotion, and to the honour of God and his glorious Mother, our
Lady Mary the Virgin, began, and caused to be made a Chantry, to sing
an Anthem of our Lady called ‘_Salve Regina_,’ every evening: and
thereupon ordained five burning wax lights at the time of the said
anthem, in the honour and reverence of the five principal joys of our
Lady aforesaid, and for exciting the people to devotion at such an
hour, the more to merit to their souls. And thereupon many other good
people of the same Parish, seeing the great honesty of the said service
and devotion, proferred to be aiders and parteners to support the said
lights and the said anthem to be continually sung; paying to every
person every week an halfpenny. And so that hereafter, with the gift
that the people shall give to the sustentation of the said light and
anthem, there shall be to find a Chaplain singing in the said Church
for all the benefactors of the said light and anthem.’

“I do not find that the Patron Saint of this edifice is at all
mentioned by Alban Butler; nor are all writers perfectly agreed as to
who he actually was; seeing that there were two Saints named Magnus,
whose festival day was kept on the 19th of August. One of these was
Bishop of Anagnia in Italy, and was martyred in the persecution raised
by the Emperors Decius and Valerian, about the middle of the third
century after the Birth of Christ. The other St. Magnus; was the
person to whom Newcourt supposes this Church was dedicated, though he
erroneously calls his feast August the 18th. He is named, by way of
distinction, St. Magnus the Martyr of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, because
he suffered at that City, under Alexander the Governor, in the time
of the Emperor Aurelian, A. D. 276. Having vainly endeavoured to make
him do sacrifice, he caused him to be twice exposed to the flames of
a furnace, and thrice to be thrown to wild beasts; but none of these
things moving him, he was at length stoned, and when all imagined
that he was dead, he suddenly prayed that his soul might have a
peaceful exit, and presently gave up the ghost. An extended history
of these famous men, you will find in that wonderful work the ‘_Acta
Sanctorum_,’ which I have before quoted, in the third volume for
August, pages 701-719: though there is a much longer account of the
Swedish St. Magnus, the Abbot, whose festival is September the 6th,
and whom I pray you never to mistake for the Martyr of London Bridge.
The Rectory of St. Magnus, says the tract which I last quoted from
the Lambeth Library, is rated higher in his Majesty’s books than any
living in, or about, London, being valued at £69. and 40_s._ more in
pensions, but is without any glebe attached to it. Before I close these
_spicilegia_ of the rents, &c. of St. Magnus and London Bridge, I must
observe to you that when Arnold is speaking in his ‘_Chronicle_’ of the
fifteenths raised by every Ward in London, he states, at page 48, that
the quarter of the Bridge itself, at a fifteenth, amounted to £14.
3_s._ 4_d._; and that the Bridge-street quarter produced £11. 5_s._
8_d._ So much then for a few particulars of the history of this Church
and Parish, the North-East boundary of London Bridge, to the Chronicles
of which we shall now return, taking them up again with the year 1497.

“It was in this year, you may remember, that the forces of Henry VII.,
which were proceeding to Scotland, were suddenly recalled to subdue
a commotion raised in Cornwall, in consequence of a subsidy voted by
Parliament, in 1496. The rebels were headed by one Thomas Flamoke, a
Lawyer and a gentleman; and a Blacksmith, or Farrier, of Bodmin, called
Michael Joseph; both of them, says Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 479,
‘men of stout stomackes.’ Under these leaders, then, they penetrated
even to Blackheath, but on their march were so valiantly opposed in
Kent, that numbers of the insurgents fled from their company. On
Blackheath the Royal troops were already encamped under several valiant
commanders, by whom the rebels’ retreat was immediately cut off; and in
a short engagement which ensued on June the 22nd, Flamoke and Joseph
were both taken prisoners. On the 28th following they were executed at
Tyburn; and their quarters were to have been erected in various places
in Cornwall, but Hall states, in his ‘_Chronicle_,’ folio 43 b, that,
as it was supposed it would incite the Cornishmen to new insurrections,
they were set up in London: and their heads greeted Henry VII. on
London Bridge, as he triumphantly returned over it from Blackheath.

“During this same year, London Bridge appears to have been repaired
to some extent, although it is probable that the only notice of it
may exist in the manuscript records of the Bridge Comptroller. In the
‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ however, for October 1758, volume xxviii.,
page 469, is a Letter from Joseph Ames, Secretary to the Society
of Antiquaries, and Author of the ‘_Typographical Antiquities_,’
containing three inscriptions engraven on stone, found in pulling down
a part of the edifice. These, it is supposed, were laid in the building
at the different times of its repair, specified by their several
dates; but though so very ancient, yet the descriptive account states
that, ‘they are all as fresh as if new cut;’ they being then in the
possession of Mr. Hudson, the Bridge-Master. The oldest inscription is
sculptured upon a stone 9-3/4 inches in height, by 16-3/4 inches long;


the letters being raised and blacked, and the words, within a border,
being ‘_Anno Domini_,’ with the date of 1497, in small black-letters,
and ancient Arabic figures. I shall introduce the other stones to your
notice in the years to which they refer; and only now remark, that they
are engraven in Plate 1, Numbers I. II. III. page 470, of the work to
which I have already referred you, whence they were copied into Gough’s
‘_Sepulchral Monuments_,’ volume ii., part i., page cclxvi., plate xxv.

“Hitherto, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, I have quoted you an abundance of
authorities which make mention of the history, or appearance, of
London Bridge, but notwithstanding my researches I find only a very
few ancient representations of it. If, however, you would see an
interesting and sweetly-touched portraiture of it about the year 1500,
look into that stout roan-coated folio, marked 16 F. ii. xv. in the
Royal Library of Manuscripts in the British Museum, and you will be
enraptured. The volume professes to treat of ‘_Grace entiére sur le
gouvernement du Prince_,’ and it is written in prose and verse, in the
common large black script of the fifteenth century, on vellum, with
most noble illuminations, executed in the best style of the best period
of the art in England, and by one of the most gifted of the Brethren of
St. Luke. The Author of the poems was Charles, Duke of Orleans, father
of Louis XII.; and this particular copy of his works seems to have been
illuminated for Henry the Eighth, when Prince of Wales; for it not
only contains numerous initial letters and borders richly coloured and
embossed with gold; but in the frontispiece, on the first page, are his
father’s well known badges of the red and white roses; the former of
which are supported by the white hound, and red dragon: with glorified
white roses in the margin. The poems are divided into several books of
various amatory subjects, as ‘_Venus et Cupidon_,’--‘_Epitres d’Abelard
et Eloise_,’--‘_Les Demandes d’Amours_;’ and the second division of the
volume is adorned with a large and beautiful illumination representing
the Duke of Orleans in the Tower, sending despatches to his friends
abroad. The Tower, wharf, and river before them, occupy the whole
foreground of the painting; and in the back appears the East side of
London Bridge, with numerous houses standing upon it, the Chapel of
St. Thomas reaching down to the sterlings, and the violent fall of the
river through the different arches; whilst, beyond it, rise the spires
of several Churches, especially the very high one of old St. Paul’s,
and the other buildings of London erected along the banks of the
Thames. It is, indeed, hardly possible to give you an adequate idea of
the spirit and beauty of this view of LONDON BRIDGE IN THE YEAR 1500,


the colouring is so vivid and harmonious: a sky of ultra-marine blue
is spread over the whole of the back-ground, against which the distant
buildings appear in white, the nearer ones being touched with different
shades of brown. You will, however, find a fair copy of this noble
painting, engraved by Basire, in Gough’s ‘_History of Pleshy_,’ which
I have already cited, page 193; and the _same plate_ has also been
published as an additional illustration to the Rev. T. D. Fosbrooke’s
‘_Encyclopædia of Antiquities_,’ London, 1825, volume ii., page 923.

“You must, doubtless, recollect that in November 1501, Arthur, Prince
of Wales, and son to King Henry VII., was married to Katherine,
daughter of Ferdinand V., King of Spain, and that on Friday, the 12th
of that month, the young Princess was conveyed from Lambeth, through
London, to witness the pageants which had been prepared by the Citizens
to do honour to her nuptials. The whole City was full of triumph
and splendour; and Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 482, says that on
London Bridge there was ordained a costly pageant of St. Katherine
and St. Ursula, with many virgins. ‘I passe ouer,’ says Hall, in a
very brilliant paragraph, folio, liii a, and using that most powerful
oratorical figure called Paralepsis, or Omission, which declares
that of which it denies saying any thing:--‘I passe ouer,’ says the
old Chronicler,--‘the wyse deuises, the prudent speches, the costly
woorkes, the conninge portratures practised and set foorth in vij
goodly beautifull pageauntes erected and set vp in diuers places of the
Cite. I leaue also the goodly ballades, the swete armony, the musicall
instrumentes, which sounded with heavenly noyes on every side of the
strete. I omit farther the costly apparel both of goldsmythes woorke
and embraudery, the riche jewelles, the massy cheynes, the styrrynge
horsses, the beautifull bardes and the glytteryng trappers bothe with
belles and spangles of golde. I pretermyt also the ryche apparell of
the Pryncesse, the straunge fasshion of the Spanishe nacion, the beauty
of the Englishe ladyes, the goodly demeanoure of the young damoselles,
the amourous countenaunce of the lusty bachelers. I passe ouer also the
fyne engrayned clothes, the costly furres of the Citizens standing on
skaffoldes, rayled from Gracechurche to Paules. What should I speake
of the oderiferous skarlettes, the fyne veluet, the plesaunt furres,
the massye chaynes, which the Mayre of London with the Senate, sitting
on horseback, at the Litle Condyte in Chepe, ware on their bodyes, and
about their neckes. I will not molest you with rehersyng the ryche
arras, the costly tapestry, the fyne clothes bothe of golde and syluer,
the curious veluettes, the beautiful sattens, nor the pleasaunt sylkes,
which did hang in every strete wher she passed, the wyne that ranne
continually out of the condytes, the graueling and rayling of the
stretes nedeth not to be remembered.’ I have given you the whole of
this fine, but certainly extended, extract, that you may derive from it
some general idea of the pageantry of this festival, concerning which
our Bridge historians are, in general, altogether silent.

“The night of Thursday, November 21st, 1504, was rendered memorable by
a dreadful Fire, which commenced at the sign of the Pannier, at the
Northern end of London Bridge, where six tenements were consumed, ‘that
could not be quenched.’ Fabyan and Holinshed tell us this in their
‘_Chronicles_,’ page 534 and volume II., page 791; adding, that on the
7th of the following month certain other houses were also destroyed,
near St. Botolph’s Church, in Thames Street. It was, probably, when the
repairs occasioned by these conflagrations were completed, that another
of those sculptured stones which I lately mentioned, was placed at the
Bridge. It measures 10 inches in height, by 13-3/4 inches broad; and,
carved in the same characters, and figures, as the former, are the
words ‘_Anno Domini_ 1509.’ At the end of the date is an arbitrary mark
of a cross charged with a small saltire, which is supposed to have been
the old device for Southwark, or the estate of London Bridge: and you
know that the Arms used for those places are still Azure, an Annulet,
ensigned with a Cross pateé, Or interlaced with a saltire conjoined in
base, of the second. I have yet to mention a third sculptured stone,
which, it is supposed, records the public benefits conferred by Sir
Roger Achiley, Draper, upon the City during his Mayoralty in 1511.
This tablet is 11-1/2 inches wide, by 9-1/2 high; and the inscription
is ‘_Anno_’--the City sword--‘_Domini._ R. 1514 A;’ these letters
being the initials of that very eminent Citizen, who was then senior
Alderman, representing the Ward of Bridge Within. Such were the other


“I have already mentioned to you the situation, and general intent, of
the Bridge-House and Yard, and I have now to remark, that they seem, at
a very early period, to have been used for the erection of Granaries
for the City to preserve Corn, &c. in, during the times of famine
and scarcity of provisions. This information we derive from Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ volume ii., page 24; where he adds, that there were also
certain public ovens built in the same places, for the baking of such
bread-corn as was there laid up, for the relief of the poor Citizens at
such seasons. These ovens were ten in number, six of them being very
large, and the remainder only half the size; and for their erection,
Stow observes, that John Throstone, or Thurston, Citizen and Goldsmith,
one of the Sheriffs in 1516, gave, by his testament, the sum of £200.

“We have now arrived at the days of King Henry the Eighth, about the
period when Pope Alexander the Sixth sent over the celebrated Polydore
Vergil to receive the tribute called Peter-pence, of which he was the
last Collector in England. As he was already celebrated for his Poems
and his books, ‘_On the Invention of Things_,’ and ‘_on Prodigies_,’
he met with great encouragement in this country; where he not only
received several ecclesiastical preferments, being made Archdeacon of
Wells, and Prebendary of St. Paul’s, but in 1521 he was employed by the
King to write a History of England, which he performed in most elegant
Latin, and which was first printed at Basil, bearing the date of 1533
for 1534. He left England in 1550, and died at his birth-place, Urbino,
in Italy, in 1555. The best edition of this work, entitled ‘_Polydori
Vergilii Urbinatis Historiæ Angliæ_,’ which contains a descriptive
eulogy on London Bridge, is that of Leyden, 1651, octavo;--though
I quote from the Basil folio of 1570,--and if you turn to page 4
of that volume, you will find the passage commencing ‘_Is fluvius
amoenissimus_,’ &c. of which I shall attempt to give you a translation.
‘This most delightful river’--the Thames,--‘rises a little above the
road to Winchcomb, whence flowing several ways, it is first increased
at Oxford; and the beautiful wonder, having washed the City of London,
pours itself into the Gallic Ocean, who welcomes it into the impetuous
waves of his seas; from which, twice in the space of twenty-four hours,
it flows and returns more than the distance of sixty miles, and is of
the greatest national advantage, for, by it, merchandise may easily be
returned to the City. In this River there is a stone Bridge, certainly
a most wonderful work! for it is erected upon twenty square piers of
stone, 60 feet in height, 30 feet in breadth, and distant from each
other about 20 feet, united by arches. Upon both sides of the Bridge
there are houses erected, so that it might appear not to be a Bridge,
but one substantial and uninterrupted street.’ The same author, at page
25 of the same ‘_History_,’ says farther of London Bridge:--‘This part
of the City, which looks Southward, is washed by the River Thames, in
which stands the Bridge, as we have said before, leading towards Kent,
erected upon 19 arches, and having a series of extensive magnificent
houses standing upon both sides of it.’--But I fear you are drowsy, Mr.
Barbican; take another draught of the sack, good Master Geoffrey, and
then we’ll to it again.”

“Eh!--What!”--said I, starting up and shaking myself, “drowsy, did you
say? Oh no! Heaven defend that I should be drowsy, when a gentleman of
your inveterate learning and lungs condescends to give me a lecture!
I was, indeed, for a moment thinking of the Chinese devotee who vowed
never to sleep at all, and so cut off his eyelids: but I never slept,
my ancient; I never winked over your homily, though I would fain have
you come to your nineteenthly, lastly, and to conclude. However, whilst
we live we must drink, and so here’s to your reformation, friend
Postern. Now, by St. Thomas of the Bridge!” ejaculated I, as I took up
the tankard, “you’re either a wizard, Master Barnaby, or else this
tankard hath no bottom; and, truly, it’s the first time I ever saw wine
keep hot on a mahogany table.”

“Fancy, Mr. Geoffrey, mere fancy,” replied the placid old man with a
shrewd smile; “but even as it is, it will serve as a good prelude to
some of the more amusing scenes with which the fragments of Bridge
history furnish us in the sixteenth century. Indeed, all I have been
able to lay before you are but fragments: cyphers which derive their
value by connection, and look considerable only by their number.

“It was then in the year 1526, when Cardinal Wolsey was meditating a
marriage between King Henry VIII., and the Duchess of Alençon, that
his adversaries had anxiously contrived for him to be despatched on
an embassy to France, in order to remove him from about the throne,
or, at the least, to weaken his power. On July the 26th, the Cardinal
left England, and in that extraordinary and entertaining piece of
biography, called ‘_Cavendish’s Life of Cardinal Wolsey_,’ we have a
particular account of the grand procession in which he rode through the
City to cross London Bridge, on his road to Dover. The best edition
of this work is, past question, that by Samuel Weller Singer, Esq.,
1825, octavo, 2 volumes; in the first of which, at page 86, you may
see an engraving of the Cardinal’s progress, from a Manuscript in
the possession of Francis Douce, Esq., and read the passage I have
alluded to in the following words. ‘Then marched he forward out of
his own house at Westminster, passing all through London, over London
Bridge, having before him of gentlemen a great number, three in a rank,
in black velvet livery coats, and the most part of them with great
chains of gold about their necks. And all his yeomen, with noblemen’s
and gentlemen’s servants following him in French tawny livery coats;
having embroidered upon the backs and breasts of the said coats these
letters: T. and C., under the Cardinal’s hat. His sumpter mules, which
were twenty in number and more, with his carts and other carriages of
his train, were passed on before, conducted and guarded with a great
number of bows and spears. He rode like a Cardinal, very sumptuously,
on a mule trapped with crimson velvet upon velvet, and his stirrups of
copper and gilt; and his spare mule following him with like apparel.
And before him he had his two great crosses of silver, two great
pillars of silver, the Great Seal of England, the Cardinal’s Hat, and
a gentleman that carried his valaunce, otherwise called a cloak-bag;
which was made altogether of fine scarlet cloth, embroidered over and
over with cloth of gold very richly, having in it a cloak of fine
scarlet. Thus passed he through London, and all the way of his journey,
having his harbingers passing before to provide lodging for his train.’

“As the Account Rolls of the Bridge estates, in 1533, furnish us
with a very good conception of its prosperity and revenues at that
period, I shall request you to listen to only a very short abstract
of the charges as they appear upon a printed document which I have
already quoted. ‘1533, Thomas Crull and Robert Draper, Wardens of
London Bridge, Salary to each of them, £16. 8_s._ 4_d._--£32. 16_s._
8_d._ Winter’s Livery to each, £1.--£2. Reward to each, £10.--£20.
For horse-keeping to each, £2.--£4. Total to each of them, £29. 8_s._
4_d._ Sum of the whole, £58. 16_s._ 8_d._ Rental this year, £840. 9_s._

“I have next to speak of an event occurring on London Bridge, in 1536,
which is probably better known, and more often related, than most other
portions of its history; I allude, as you will guess, to the anecdote
of Edward Osborne leaping into the Thames from the window of one of
the Bridge Houses, to rescue his master’s daughter. The particulars
of this circumstance are given by Stow in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume
ii., page 226, in the list of Lords Mayors of London; when having
arrived at the year 1559, and the Mayoralty of Sir William Hewet, a
Cloth-worker, he farther speaks of him as follows:--‘This Mayor was a
Merchant, possessed of a great estate, of £6000 per Annum; and was said
to have had three sons and one daughter,’--Anne,--‘to which daughter
this mischance happened, the father then living upon London Bridge.
The maid playing with her out of a window over the River Thames, by
chance dropped her in, almost beyond expectation of her being saved.
A young gentleman, named Osborne, then Apprentice to Sir William,
the father, which Osborne was one of the ancestors of the Duke of
Leeds, in a direct line, at this calamitous accident leaped in, and
saved the child. In memory of which deliverance, and in gratitude, her
father afterwards bestowed her on the said Mr. Osborne, with a very
great dowry, whereof the late estate of Sir Thomas Fanshaw, in the
Parish of Barking, in Essex, was a part, as the late Duke of Leeds
told the Reverend Mr. John Hewyt, from whom I have this relation;
and together with that estate in Essex, several other lands in the
Parishes of Hartehill, and Wales, in Yorkshire; now in the possession
of the said most noble family. All this from the old Duke’s mouth
to the said Mr. Hewyt. Also that several persons of quality courted
the said young lady, and particularly the Earl of Shewsbury; but Sir
William was pleased to say ‘_Osborne saved her, and Osborne should
enjoy her_.’ The late Duke of Leeds, and the present family, preserve
the picture of the said Sir William, in his habit as Lord Mayor, at
Kiveton House in Yorkshire, to this day, valuing it at £300.’ Pennant,
in his collection of anecdotes, called ‘_Some Account of London_,’
which I have already cited, page 322, says, after relating this story,
‘I have seen the picture of Osborne’s master at Kiveton, the seat of
the Duke of Leeds, a half-length on board; his dress is a black gown
furred, and red vest and sleeves, a gold chain, and a bonnet.’ There is
also an engraved portrait of Osborne himself, said to be unique, in a
series of wood-cuts in the possession of Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart. They
consist of the portraits of forty-three Lord Mayors in the time of
Queen Elizabeth, reduced copies of six of which, exclusive, however, of
Osborne, one of the most interesting, were, between the years 1794 and
1797, published by Richardson, the print-seller, of Castle-street, and
the Strand.

“This gallant action of Osborne has, likewise, been the subject
of a graphical record; for there is a small, but rather uncommon,
engraving of him leaping from the window, executed for some ephemeral
publication, from a drawing by Samuel Wale. As this artist died in
1786, it is of course but little authority as being a representation of
the fact, but it is, nevertheless, interesting as giving a portraiture
of the dwellings on London Bridge in his time; and with this print I
may also mention one designed by the same hand, and engraved by Charles
Grignion, of the first Duke of Leeds pointing to a portrait of Hewet’s
daughter, and relating to King Charles II. the foregoing anecdote of
his ancestor. You will find it in William Guthrie’s ‘_Complete History
of the Peerage of England_,’ having ‘_vignettes at the conclusion of
the history of each family_,’ London, 1742, quarto, volume i., page

“Before you pass on to any other event, Mr. Postern,” said I, as the
old gentleman came to a period, “let _me_ say a word or two of the
fortunate hero of this anecdote. Sir Edward Osborne was the son of
Richard Osborne, of Ashford, in Kent, a person certainly in a most
respectable situation in life, if not immediately of gentilitial
dignity. He became Sheriff of London in 1575, and Lord Mayor in
1583-84, the 25th of Queen Elizabeth, when he received the honour
of Knighthood at Westminster. ‘He dwelled,’--says a manuscript in
the Heralds’ College, to which I have already referred, Pb. No. 22,
folio 18 a,--‘in Philpot Lane, in Sir William Hewet’s house, whose
da: and heire he married, and was buried’--in 1591,--‘at St. Dennis
in fanchurch Streete.’ His Armorial Ensigns, according to the same
authority, were Quarterly, 1st and 4th. Quarterly, Ermine and Azure, a
Cross Or; for Osborne: 2nd. Argent, 2 bars Gules, on a Canton of the
second, a Cross of the first; 3rd. Argent, a Chevron Vert, between
three annulets Gules. To these we may add the coat of Hewet on an
Escutcheon of Pretence, it being Parted per pale, Argent and Sable,
a chevron engrailed between three rams’ heads erased, horned Or; all
counterchanged, within a bordure engrailed Gules, bezantée. On the
15th of August, 1675, Sir Thomas Osborne, the great-grandson of Sir
Edward, was raised to the Peerage by the titles of Viscount Latimer,
and Baron Kiveton, in the County of York, by Patent from King Charles
the Second; on the 27th of June, in the year following, he was created
Earl of Danby; on April the 20th 1680, he was advanced to the dignity
of Marquess of Caermarthen; and he became First Duke of Leeds on
May the 4th, 1694. So much then, Mr. Postern, for an historical and
genealogical illustration of the anecdote of the gallant apprentice of
London Bridge.”

“I regret, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican,” recommenced my visitor, after
thanking me for having added the above information to his narrative,
“I regret that I have so little to lay before you, touching the state
and revenues of the Chapel of St. Thomas on London Bridge, at the
time of the Dissolution of Monasteries, &c. by the famous act of the
31st year of King Henry VIII.,--1539,--Chapter the 13th. It does not
appear that its revenues yielded any considerable profit to the King’s
Augmentation Office; but yet it certainly must have existed even in
the form of a religious establishment so late as that King’s reign,
because we find it mentioned in several lists of those institutions
in London made about that period; though it does not appear in the
‘_Valor Ecclesiasticus_,’ also made by order of the same Monarch. This
celebrated and most authentic historical record, was an ecclesiastical
survey of England, made in pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed
in the 26th of Henry VIII.,--1534,--chapter iii., section x., for the
payment of First Fruits, Pensions, &c. to the King. The survey was, of
course, executed by Commissioners, and many of the original returns
to their enquiries are yet preserved in the First-Fruits and Tenths’
Office, in the Court of Exchequer: whilst the ‘_Valor Ecclesiasticus_’
itself has been printed under the direction of the Commissioners of
Records, in five volumes folio, London, 1810-1821. The survey for the
City of London is contained in the first volume, in which we find
London Bridge frequently mentioned as receiving certain reserved rents
from the property of other establishments. Thus, on page 388, column
ii., in the rents paid to divers persons by St. Bartholomew’s Hospital
in West Smithfield, 9_s._ are set down as being paid ‘to the Master
or Keeper of the Bridge of London, out of the corner tenement at the
Litill Bayly without Ludgate.’ On page 390, column i., Elsyng Spital
is stated to pay 33_s._ 4_d._ to the Master of London Bridge, out of
the tenements in the Parish of St. Benedict, Grace-Church: and on page
431, column ii., it is recorded that the House of the Carthusians was
to pay 9_s._ 4_d._ to the House of London Bridge: though the Chapel of
St. Thomas is never mentioned in the valuation of St. Magnus’ Rectory,
which amounted to £71. 7_s._ 3-1/2_d._

“I have hardly less regret in stating our absolute want of information
relating to the Bridge Chapel at the Dissolution, than I have to speak
of that concerning the Common Seal belonging to the officers of London
Bridge. Stow tells us, as you may remember, in volume ii., page 25, of
his ‘_Survey_,’ that ‘at a Common Council, July 14th, Anno 33, Henry
VIII.--1540,--it was ordered, that the Seal of the Bridge-House should
be changed; because the image of Thomas Becket, sometime Archbishop
of Canterbury, was graven therein; and a new Seal to be made, devised
by Mr. Hall, to whom the old Seal was delivered. _Note_, this was
occasioned by a Proclamation, which commanded the names of the Pope,
and Thomas of Becket, to be put out of all books and monuments; which
is the reason you shall see them so blotted out in all old Chronicles,
Legends, Primers, and Service-books, printed before these times.’ Of
these erasures, the best account is in Bishop Burnet’s ‘_History of the
Reformation of the Church of England_,’ London, 1681, folio, volume i.,
book iii., page 294; where it is asserted that such alterations were
but slight, and that the old Mass-books were still in use, until the
time of Queen Mary, when the castrated volumes were every where brought
in, and destroyed; all Parishes being compelled to furnish themselves
with new copies of the Church Offices: and Stow, on page 191 of the
second volume of his ‘_Survey_,’ states that in the book marked D of
the City Records, the name of St. Thomas was omitted, in pursuance of
the King’s edict.

“We have thus come down to the times of that most eminent and laborious
Antiquary, John Leland, to whose works I have already made some slight
illustrative references; and the volume to which I am now about to
request your attention, is one of the most rare, and curious, though
not the greatest, of his productions. Let me remind you, however,
before I mention the work itself, that Leland was, very probably, born
in the Parish of St. Michael le Quern, London, in September, about
the year 1506; that he was educated at St. Paul’s School, in both the
Universities, and in France; that he made a literary and an antiquarian
tour, of amazing minuteness and research, by virtue of a commission
from King Henry VIII., in 1533; and that he died in a state of mental
derangement, April the 18th, 1552, having lived about five years
under its heaviest pressure. The particular volume of his writings
to which I would refer you, as containing much original and curious
matter concerning London Bridge, is a Latin poem, written in verses of
five feet, yet not strictly in pentameters, entitled ‘_Kykneion Asma,
Cygnea Cantio: A Swan’s Song: the Author, John Leland, the Antiquary_.’
Of this book there are two editions; a quarto, printed at London in
1545; and a duodecimo, also published here in 1658: though the poem and
commentary were again inserted in the 9th volume of Hearne’s edition
of ‘_Leland’s Itinerary_;’ since, as he states in his Preface thereto,
they ‘ought to be looked upon as part of the Itinerary;’ and that they
were grown so very rare, that though twice reprinted, they had sold,
even so far back as 1712, for forty shillings in auctions. Bishop
Nicolson, in his ‘_English Historical Library_,’ page 3, characterises
this work as ‘a poetical piece of flattery, or a panegyric on King
Henry; wherein the author brings his Swan down the River of Thames,
from Oxford to Greenwich, describing, as she passes along, all the
towns, castles, and other places of note within her view. And the
ancient names of these, being sometimes different from what the common
herd of writers had usually given, therefore, in his commentary on this
Poem, he alphabetically explains his terms, and, by the bye, brings
in a great deal of the ancient geography of this island.’ The first
passage that I shall cite you from this curious volume, is from page
8, verse 213, edition 1658; which commences ‘_Mox et nobilium domos
virorum_;’ but as I have, for the first time, done it into English
verse, I will repeat you only my paraphrase, rather than the original
Latin, observing that I have strictly adhered to all the actual facts.

    ‘More plainly now, as o’er the tide
    With swift, but gentle course we glide;
    The sight embraces in its ken
    Those dwellings of illustrious men,
    Where Thames upon his banks descries
    The brave, the courteous, and the wise.
    But, Oh! that sight too well recalls
      The name of one, whose love was shrined
    Within his river-seated halls,
      Less richly furnish’d than his mind!
    For Wisdom had endow’d his heart
      With all that gilds mortality;
    But he _was_ man, and Death’s keen dart
      Changed so much of him as _could_ die,
    Into his body’s native earth,
    To give his soul an heavenly birth.
    Yet, whilst we muse on Time’s career,
    And hail his care-worn kindred here,
    The streaming river bears us on
    To London’s mighty Babylon:
    And that vast Bridge, which proudly soars,
    Where Thames through nineteen arches roars,
    And many a lofty dome on high
    It raises towering to the sky.

    ‘There are, whose truth is void of stain,
    Who write, in Lion Richard’s reign,
    That o’er these waves extended stood
    A ruder fabric framed of wood:
    But when the swift-consuming flames
    Destroy’d that bulwark of the Thames,
    Rebuilt of stone it rose to view,
    Beneath King John its splendours grew,
    Whilst London pour’d her wealth around,
    The mighty edifice to found;
    The lasting monument to raise
    To his, to her eternal praise,
    Till, rearing up its form sublime,
    It stands the glory of all time!

    ‘Yet here we may not longer stay
    But shoot the Bridge and dart away,
    Though, with resistless fall, the tide
    Is dashing on the bulwark’s side;
    And roaring torrents drown my song
    As o’er the surge I drift along.’

“Such then, Mr. Barbican, is my rapid version of those interesting
verses contained in the ‘_Cygnea Cantio_;’ and we shall next refer to
the famous passage in the Commentary upon it, though, in order to be
perfectly explicit, I must previously mention some of the circumstances
which caused it to be written.

“John Bale, an intimate friend, and most fervent admirer of Leland,
admits, in the Preface attached to his ‘_New Year’s Gift_,’ that he
was not quite free from the weakness of boasting and vain-glory. An
instance of this is to be found in the Commentary on that part of
the ‘_Cygnea Cantio_,’ where he is speaking of London Bridge; and
you will find the passage referred to in a work to which I have been
greatly indebted for these notices of Leland and his writings:--‘_The
Lives of those eminent Antiquaries John Leland, Thomas Hearne, and
Anthony à Wood_,’ Oxford, 1772, 8vo., volume i., page 47, where it is
also stated, that London Bridge was then the subject of much public
attention. By far the most curious reference to Leland’s invective,
however, is to be seen in an original Letter written from Hearne to
Bagford, and preserved in the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts,
No. 5910, Part iv. at the end; whence I shall give it you in all its
original simplicity.

     ‘_Oxf. 11th July, 1714._


     ’Tis a pretty while since I received another part of your
     observations about London, together with some fragments and
     books, and a copy of Leland’s ‘_Encomia illustrorum virorum_.’
     The gentleman who lent this copy is a person for whom I have a
     great honour, and I desire you would return him my service and
     thanks, altho’ I have already done this myself in a letter I writ
     to him. I should be glad to know whether he be Esq., or what other
     title I may call him by, if I should have occasion to make public
     mention of his name. I am extremely obliged to you for your care
     and trouble, and for your readiness to assist me. As for what
     Leland says about London Bridge, ’tis in the word _Pontifices_ in
     his Com. upon the ‘_Cygnea Cantio_.’ Some ignorant persons, and
     particularly one, had found fault with his making only _nineteen
     arches_, in London Bridge, when, as they alleged, there were
     _twenty_. Mr. Leland acknowledges there were _twenty cataracts_,
     or _passages_, but observes that one of them was only a sluice,
     or Draw-Bridge, and that there were only _nineteen stone arches_.
     Upon this he takes occasion to animadvert in short upon the
     aforesaid person, who had been so pert, and promises to take more
     notice of him afterwards, and at the same time to expose him
     according to his deserts. He tells us he had survey’d the whole
     City, and took notes of every thing of consequence in it, and
     insinuates that he would publish a most full and exact account
     of its History and Antiquities. ’Twas in this work the remarks
     of the aforesaid Observator were to be fully considered; but Mr.
     Leland dying before he could finish either this, or divers other
     undertakings, his papers came into other hands, and those about
     London (which were considerable) coming to Mr. Stowe, many of them
     are published in the Survey of London as Mr. Stowe’s own, and
     others are entirely lost, or, at least, ’tis not at present known
     who has the possession of them.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                                        ‘_For Mr. John Bagford, at the
                                            Charter House, London._’

“After this flourish of trumpets, concerning Leland and London Bridge,
I proceed to translate for you the very amusing passage itself,
premising only that you will find it on page 133, in that edition of
the work which I have already cited.--‘_Pontifices: Bridge Masters_,
officers who derive their name from the nature of their employment,
namely, the constructing of Bridges, or the keeping of them in order;
of whom also are the two Governors charged with the care of London
Bridge. These officers have an excellent house in the suburb of
Southwark, as well as a storehouse containing every thing belonging to
their occupation. Rodolphus à Diceto relates in his History, that Peter
of Colechurch, a Priest, laid the foundations of a new Bridge: but
though it was at first very inconsiderable, Royal and Civic munificence
afterwards brought it to be the edifice which it now appears. Upon
this subject, Courteous Reader, I am assailed by a whole herd of
blustering smatterers, of whom there is one more insignificant than
even the rest; a fellow more notorious for loquacity than eloquence,
and prodigiously self-conceited; he, truly, shamelessly asserts me
to have mistaken in my enumeration of the Arches of London Bridge.
And he being, I warrant you, a critic of rare sagacity, plucks up by
the roots, rends, and mangles, all by his own mighty authority, an’t
please you, the pretended oversight on my part. But no more at present;
for upon another opportunity I am about to overwhelm his intolerable
stupidity, and trample down his arrogance: I merely then reply to him,
that one eye-witness is of more value than ten hearsays. I am a Citizen
of London, nor do I repent me of my country; and I hope also that she
may never have any reason to repent her of her son. To thee then, thou
vile companion, Geta,’--the name, you may remember, of a very knavish
servant in Terence’s ‘_Phormio_,’--‘to thee I say

    To none the City better known _can_ be,
    All London is a monument to me!

Suppose thou wert to try thy skill at searching into that antiquity
which involves this wonder of our City? Perchance thou mayest learn
something, unless thou art half-ashamed to learn under my tuition. But
why should we not now return to the matter of the Bridge? London Bridge
then, as it extends itself from North to South, has _twenty cataracts_;
but of _arches_, incurvated passages formed of solid stone, there are
no more than _nineteen_. That platform, having the figure of a Bridge,
made of level wooden planks, capable of being raised or lowered by
machines, that an enemy may not find an open passage, I neither can,
nor will, nor ought reasonably to call an arch. And yet thou wert
greatly in hope of a mighty triumph over me in this matter; but by
these words thus easily do I snatch away from thee thine air-built

    For though Antæus thou should’st be, or Polyphemus vast,
    Or Atlas, on whose shoulders broad the world itself was cast,
    To hope to triumph o’er me were but labour spent in vain,
    And thou, I deem, wilt wiser be if e’er we meet again.

‘And now, get thee hence, thou Geta, and fail not to proclaim to all
your pot-companions, your notable discovery of _twenty arches in London

“I have next, Mr. Barbican, to commend to your notice the account of
London Bridge and the Thames, given to us by that most learned man and
voluminous writer, Paulus Jovius, Bishop of Nocera, an historian who
was born at Como, in Italy, in 1483, and died in 1552. The passage to
which I allude, is in his ‘_Descriptio Britanniæ, Scotiæ, Hyberniæ, et
Orchadum_,’ Venice, 1548, small quarto, or octavo, page 12 a, beginning
‘_Sed harum et denique omnium et famam Londinum penitus obscurat_;’ but
I shall here again take the freedom to anticipate time a little, and
give you under one year a translation of Paulus Jovius, and Sir Paul
Hentzner’s description of the same object; since the former is cited by
the latter, and both are excellently well rendered into English in that
very curious and rare production of the Strawberry-Hill press, entitled
‘_A Journey into England, by Paul Hentzner, in the Year M.D.XC.VIII._,’
printed in 1757, octavo; on page 4 of which the passage thus commences.
‘On the South is a Bridge of stone, 800 feet in length, of wonderful
work; it is supported upon 20 piers of square stone, 60 feet high, and
30 broad, joined by arches of about 20 feet diameter. The whole is
covered on each side with houses, so disposed as to have the appearance
of a continued street, not at all of a Bridge. Upon this is built a
tower, on whose top the heads of such as have been executed for high
treason are placed upon iron spikes: we counted above thirty. Paulus
Jovius, in his description of the most remarkable towns of England,
says, ‘All are obscured by London; which, in the estimation of many,
is Cæsar’s City of the Trinobantes, the capital of all Britain, famous
for the commerce of many nations; its houses are elegantly built,
its churches fine, its towers strong, and its riches and abundance
surprising. The wealth of the world is wafted to it by the Thames,
swelled by the tide, and navigable to merchant ships, through a safe
and deep channel for 60 miles, from its mouth to the City. Its banks
are every where beautified with fine country seats, woods, and farms;
below, is the Royal Palace of Greenwich; above, that of Richmond;
and between both, on the West of London, rise the noble buildings of
Westminster, most remarkable for the Courts of Justice, the Parliament,
and St. Peter’s Church, enriched with the Royal tombs. At the distance
of 20 miles from London, is the Castle of Windsor, a most delightful
retreat of the Kings of England, as well as famous for several of their
tombs, and for the most renowned ceremonial of the Order of the Garter.
This river abounds in swans, swimming in flocks; the sight of them,
and their noise, are vastly agreeable to the fleets that meet them in
their course. It is joined to the City by a Bridge of stone wonderfully
built; is never encreased by any rains, rising only with the tide, and
is every where spread with nets, for the taking of salmon and shad.’
Thus far Paulus Jovius.’

“I have given you the whole of this passage, because it is curious in
itself, most elegantly translated by Lord Orford, and because, in the
accounts of ancient London which we derive from the foreigners who have
visited it, there is most commonly a delineation of some feature which
others have neglected; as I shall have several opportunities of shewing
you hereafter. I have only to add at present, that Paul Hentzner was an
eminent German Counsellor and traveller, who died in 1623; and whose
work, whence I have extracted the foregoing description, is entitled
‘_Itinerarium Germaniæ, Galliæ, Angliæ, et Italiæ_,’ &c. best edition,
Nuremberg, 1629, 4to. It was written during a journey which he made
through those countries with the young Count Rhediger, with whom he
had been at the University of Strasburg; its elegance of language is
particularly remarkable, and the part relating to England is generally
considered as the best.

“In the fourth year of the reign of King Edward the
Sixth,--1550,--those extensive Letters Patent were granted to
Southwark, by which the famous Fair was instituted in that Borough, to
be held on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of September. The Patent was dated
the 20th of April, and the sum of £647. 2_s._ 1_d._ was paid for it to
the King, by the Mayor and Corporation of London. At the time of this
Fair, anciently called ‘Our Lady Fair in Southwark,’ the Lord Mayor,
and Sheriffs, used to ride to St. Magnus’ Church after dinner, at two
o’clock in the afternoon; the former being vested with his collar of
SS., without his hood, and all dressed in their scarlet gowns, lined,
without their cloaks. They were attended by the Sword-Bearer wearing
his embroidered cap, and carrying ‘the Pearl Sword;’ and, at the
Church, were met by the Aldermen, all of whom, after Evening Prayer,
rode over the Bridge in procession, passed through the Fair, and
continued either to St. George’s Church, Newington Bridge, or to the
stones pointing out the City liberties at St. Thomas of Waterings. They
then returned over the Bridge, or to the Bridge-House, where a banquet
was provided, when the Aldermen took leave of the Lord Mayor, and, all
parties being returned home, the Bridge-Masters gave a supper to the
Lord Mayor’s officers. Stow and his continuators are my authorities for
these particulars; see volume ii. of his ‘_Survey_,’ pages 5, 249.

“Our voyage down the stream of history, and of time, has at length
conducted us to the reign of Queen Mary, and the year 1554; when her
proposed marriage with Philip II., of Spain, alarmed all the nation,
lest the Inquisition should be established in England, and the people
become the vassals of the Spanish crown. But although the Protestants
were the most alarmed at this marriage, when the treaty was made public
the complaints and murmurs against it became almost universal; and,
finally, produced a conspiracy against Mary, of which it was certainly
either the cause, or the pretence. One of the principal leaders of this
plot was Sir Thomas Wyat, a gentleman of Kent, who had frequently been
Ambassador to Spain, where the cruelty and subtilty of the people had
alarmed him for the future fate of his own country. As the insurrection
was intended to be general, _his_ sphere of action was to be Kent;
whilst Sir Peter Carew excited a rising in Cornwall, and the Duke of
Suffolk in Warwickshire, as being the centre of the kingdom. From too
hasty preparations, however, and too rapidly assembling his forces, the
designs of Carew were discovered before they were entirely perfected;
one of his accomplices was arrested; and he saved himself only by
deserting the enterprise and escaping to France. This unexpected
discovery accelerated all the other measures; for, though it was
intended to await the arrival of King Philip, to give a colour to the
rebellion, Wyat, notwithstanding he was unprepared, marched his few
followers to Maidstone, and gave out that he took up arms to preserve
England from being invaded. He had little success on his way to London,
but the City Trained-bands being, by a manoeuvre, induced to desert to
him, he arrived with about 4000 men in Southwark, on Saturday, February
the 3rd, 1553-54. The prudence of that excellent man, Sir Thomas White,
then Lord Mayor, had, however, already prepared for his coming; added
to which, the Queen, who remained in Guildhall, appointed Lord William
Howard Lieutenant of the City. The Draw-Bridge at London Bridge was
then cut down and thrown into the River; the Bridge gates were shut;
ramparts and fortifications were raised around them; ordnance was
planted to defend them; and the Mayor and Sheriffs, well armed for the
conflict, commanded all persons to shut their shops and windows, and to
stand ready harnessed at their doors for any event which might occur.
As Wyat found there was no opposition made to him in Southwark, some
of his soldiers completely sacked the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace,
and destroyed his extensive library; whilst at the Bridge foot he laid
two pieces of ordnance, and dug an extensive trench between the Bridge
and his forces. In order to gain an entrance to the Bridge, Sir Thomas
brake down the wall of a house adjoining the gate, by which he ascended
the leads over the gate, and then coming down into the Porter’s lodge,
about eleven at night, he found the Porter sleeping, but his wife, with
several others, watching over a coal fire. On beholding Wyat, they
suddenly started, when he commanded them to be silent, as they loved
their lives, and they should have no hurt; and, they timidly yielding
to him, he and some others went upon the Bridge to reconnoitre. On the
other side of the Draw-Bridge he saw the Lord Admiral, the Lord Mayor,
Sir Andrew Judd, and one or two more in consultation, for defence of
the Bridge, as we may suppose, by fire or torch light; and after, for
some time, carefully observing their deliberations, he returned to his
party, unseen and in safety. Having stated to his followers the active
measures of the Citizens, they began to consult what course they had
better adopt to secure their own success and safety. The advice of some
was to return to Greenwich, and crossing the water into Essex, enter
London at Aldgate; others, though they were suspected of treachery,
were for going back into Kent to meet some friends and supplies; when,
at length, it was concluded that they should march along the Thames
towards Kingston, and, crossing the Bridge of that place, enter the
City on the West.

“On the night previously to their departure, Monday, the 5th of
February, as ‘Thomas Menschen, one of the Lieutenant’s men of the
Tower,’--says Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 619,--‘rowed with a
sculler over against the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace, there was
a water-man of the Tower stayres, desired the sayd Lieutenant to
take him in, who did so, which being espied of Wyatt’s men, seauen
of them with harquebusses called to them to land againe, but they
would not, whereupon each man discharged their piece, and killed
the sayd Waterman, which foorthwith falling downe dead, the sculler
with much paine rowed through the Bridge to the Tower wharfe, with
the Lieutenant’s man and the dead man in his boat; which thing was
no sooner knowne to the Lieutenant, but even the same night, and the
next morning, hee bent seauen great pieces of ordnance, cvluerings
and demi-canons, full against the foote of the Bridge, and against
Southwarke, and the two steeples of Saint Olaues and Saint Mary
Oueries, besides all the pieces on the White Tower, one culuering on
the Diueling Tower, and three fauconets ouer the Water-gate: which
so soone as the inhabitants of Southwarke vnderstood, certaine both
men and women came to Wyat in most lamentable wise, saying, ‘Sir, wee
are all like to bee vtterly vndone, and destroyed for your sake, our
houses shall by and by bee throwne downe vpon our heads, to the vtter
spoyle of this borrough, with the shot of the Tower, all ready bent
and charged towards vs, for the loue of God therefore take pittie vpon
vs:’ at which wordes hee being partly abashed, stayed a while, and then
sayd: ‘I pray you my friends bee content a while, and I will soone ease
you of this mischiefe, for God forbid that you, or the least here,
should be killed, or hurt, in my behalfe.’ And so, in most speedie
manner, hee marched away.’

“He next proceeded to Kingston, where he devised the means of crossing
the river, though the bridge was destroyed; and on the 7th of February
he entered London. His unhappy story is no farther connected with that
of London Bridge; and it will therefore be sufficient to observe that
he was executed on the 11th of April, on Tower-hill, his quarters being
set up in several places, and his head on the gibbet at Hay-hill, near
Hyde Park; whence, however, it was soon after stolen and carried away.
In addition to Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ let me observe that I have also
quoted from Holinshed’s ‘_Chronicle_,’ volume iii., page 1097.

“Although, as I have fully shewn you, London Bridge was, in general,
most intimately connected with the principal executions of the times,
yet I do not read that it was rendered remarkable, in the days of
Queen Mary, by being made the scene of any of the numerous Protestant
martyrdoms, which have eternally blotted her short, but sanguinary
reign. There is, however, in Fox, a short anecdote connected with our
present subject, which I quote the more readily, as it also bears
a reference to the Church of St. Magnus. Upon the death of Pope
Julius III., in 1555, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Lord
Chancellor, wrote to Bonner, Bishop of London, to command him, in Queen
Mary’s name, to order those prayers to be used throughout his diocese,
which the Roman Church has appointed during a vacancy in the Papal See.
‘Vpon this commandment,’--says John Fox, in his immortal ‘_Acts and
Monuments of Martyrs_;’ London, 1610, volume iii., page 1417, column
2,--‘on Wednesday in Easter weeke,’--which, in 1555, was the 17th of
April,--‘there were hearses set vp, and diriges sung for the said
Julius, in diuers places. At which time it chanced a woman to come into
Saint Magnus Church, at the Bridge-foot in London, and there seeing
an hearse and other preparation, asked what it meant: and other that
stood by, said that it was for the Pope, and that she must pray for
him. ‘Nay,’ quoth she, ‘that I will not, for he needeth not my prayer:
and seeing he could forgiue vs all our sins, I am sure he is cleane
himselfe: therefore I neede not to pray for him.’ She was heard speake
these words of certaine that stood by: which by and by carried her
vnto the cage at London Bridge, and bade her coole her selfe there.’
In some of the editions of Fox there is an engraving representing this
circumstance, which shews that the Stocks and Cage stood by one of the
archways on the Bridge, and in one of the vacant spaces which looked on
to the water.


I will but add, that Cages and Stocks were ordered to be set up in
every Ward of the City by Sir William Capell, Draper, and Lord Mayor,
in 1503.

“I cannot illustrate the year 1556 farther than by an extract from the
Account-Rolls of the Bridge-Keepers, taken from the printed document
already mentioned; and the general particulars are as follow. ‘1556.
Andrew Woodcock and William Maynard, Bridge-Masters, received for this
year’s fee, each, £26. 13_s._ 4_d._--£53. 6_s._ 8_d._ Horse-keeping,
to each, £2.--£4. Livery, each £1.--£2. Total, to each of them, £29.
13_s._ 4_d._ Sum of the whole £59. 6_s._ 8_d._ Rental, £1069. 11_s._

“The next view which we find representing London Bridge, is supposed to
have been taken about this time, or at least _before_ the year 1561,
since it shews the Cathedral of St. Paul surmounted by its famous
spire, which was then destroyed. The picture, itself, is a prospect
of London, taken from St. Catherine’s, below the Tower, over the
gate of which are two turrets, since gone, and behind the Tower is a
view of Grace Dieu Abbey in the Minories, with the spires and tops
of several other Churches and buildings. Mr. Gough, in his ‘_British
Topography_,’ volume i., page 748, esteems this to be the oldest view
of London extant; and states that it was a painting in the possession
of Mr. John Grove, of Richmond, who had it engraven in Nov. 1754, by
J. Wood, and dedicated to the Right Honourable Philip, Lord Hardwicke,
Lord Chancellor, &c. This view consists of a whole-sheet folio plate,
executed in the line-manner; the Bridge is shewn in the distance,
having fifteen arches only, with three separate piles of buildings and
towers above: and in the front are several ancient vessels and boats.
Though Mr. Gough states that the plate has been mislaid, impressions
from it are by no means exceedingly rare, excepting when they are in
fine preservation, as to colour and margin; and, it should be remarked,
that there is also a quarto copy of it in the second number of a
singular, but unfinished work, published by Messrs. Boydell and Co. in
1818, entitled ‘_London before the Great Fire_.’ This view of London
Bridge is, however, much too distant for _our_ purpose; even if its
authority were less apocryphal, than it is generally supposed to be.

“The year 1564 was remarkable, inasmuch as it concerned London
Bridge, for a severe frost upon the Thames, which began on Thursday,
December the 21st, and of which Stow, in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 658, and
Holinshed in his ‘_Chronicle_,’ volume iii., page 1208, give you some
particulars. It is there stated, that the frost continued to such an
extremity, that on New-Year’s Eve ‘people went ouer and alongst the
Thames on the ise from London Bridge to Westminster. Some plaied at the
football as boldlie there, as if it had beene on the drie land: diuerse
of the Court being then at Westminster, shot dailie at prickes set vpon
the Thames; and the people, both men and women, went on the Thames in
greater numbers, than in anie street of the Citie of London. On the
third daie of January at night, it began to thaw, and on the fift there
was no ise to be seene betweene London Bridge and Lambeth, which sudden
thaw caused great floods and high waters, that bare downe bridges and
houses, and drowned manie people in England: especiallie in Yorkshire,
Owes Bridge was borne awaie with others.’

“Stow relates in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 64, that in April,
1577, the Tower which stood at the Northern end of the Draw-Bridge on
London Bridge, was become so decayed as to require taking down and
removing. A new building was consequently then commenced, and the
heads of the traitors which had formerly stood upon it were re-erected
on the Tower over the Gate at the Bridge foot, Southwark; which was
subsequently known by the name of TRAITORS’ GATE.


“Whilst I am speaking to you of the removal of these heads to the South
end of London Bridge,--though it comes a little out of the order
of time,--I must not forget to notice the increase of their number,
by those of several persons who were executed for not acknowledging
King Henry VIII. as Supreme Head of the Church of England. The Act,
by which he was so constituted, was passed in the 27th year of his
reign,--1535,--and it ordained that all who refused to take the Oath
of the King’s Ecclesiastical Supremacy, and renounce that of the Pope,
whether Clergyman or layman, should be considered as guilty of High
Treason. The first who suffered under this Act were several of the
Carthusian Monks of the Charter-house,--preceded by their Prior, John
Houghton, on Tuesday, May the 4th,--whose heads were then set up on
the Bridge: but two of the most eminent and remarkable instances, were
those of Bishop Fisher, and Sir Thomas More, to which I shall request
your attention whilst I give you a few particulars.

“John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed on St. Alban’s day,
Tuesday, the 22nd of June, 1535, about ten in the morning; and his head
was to have been erected upon Traitors’ Gate the same night, but that
it was delayed to be exhibited to Queen Anne Boleyn. We gather these
particulars from that most curious little duodecimo, written by Hall,
but attributed to Dr. Thomas Baily, entitled ‘_The Life and Death of
that renowned John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester_,’ London, 1655; in
which also, at page 211, there is the following interesting passage
concerning London Bridge. ‘The next day after his burying, the head,
being parboyled, was pricked upon a pole, and set on high upon London
Bridge, among the rest of the holy Carthusians’ heads that suffered
death lately before him. And here I cannot omit to declare unto you the
miraculous sight of this head, which, after it had stood up the space
of fourteen dayes upon the Bridge, could not be perceived to wast nor
consume: neither for the weather, which then was very hot, neither for
the parboyling in hot water, but grew daily fresher and fresher, so
that in his life-time he never looked so well; for his cheeks being
beautified with a comely red, the face looked as though it had beholden
the people passing by, and would have spoken to them, which many took
for a miracle, that Almighty God was pleased to shew above the course
of Nature, in this preserving the fresh and lively colour in his face,
surpassing the colour he had being alive, whereby was noted to the
world the innocence and holinesse of this blessed father, that thus
innocently was content to lose his head in defence of his Mother, the
Holy Catholique Church of Christ. Wherefore the people coming daily to
see this strange sight, the passage over the Bridge was so stopped with
their going and coming, that almost neither cart nor horse could passe:
and, therefore, at the end of fourteen daies, the executioner was
commanded to throw downe the head, in the night time, into the River of
Thames, and, in the place thereof, was set the head of the most blessed
and constant martyr, Sir Thomas More, his companion, and fellow in all
his troubles, who suffered his passion’--on Tuesday,--‘the 6th of July
next following,’ about nine o’clock in the morning.

“The circumstances attendant upon the relique of this most eminent
man, were but little less singular than the preceding; and Thomas
More, his great-grandson, in his very interesting Life of him, printed
at London, in octavo, 1726, pages 276, 277, says, ‘his head was putt
vpon London Bridge, where as trayters’ heads are sett vpon poles:--and
hauing remained some moneths there, being to be cast into the Thames,
because roome should be made for diuerse others, who, in plentiful
sorte, suffered martyrdome for the same Supremacie, shortly after it
was bought by his daughter Margarett, least,--as she stoutly affirmed
before the Councell, being called before them for the same matter--it
should be foode for fishes; which she buried where she thought fittest.
It was very well to be knowen, as well by the liuelie fauour of him,
which was not all this while in anie thing almost diminished; as also
by reason of one tooth which he wanted whilst he liued: herein it was
to be admired, that the hayres of his head being almost gray, before
his martyrdome, they seemed now, as it were, readish or yellow.’
The pious daughter of this most celebrated Chancellor, is said to
have preserved this relique in a leaden case, and to have ordered
its interment, with her own body, in the Roper vault, under a chapel
adjoining St. Dunstan’s, Canterbury, where it was seen in the year
1715; and again very recently.

“About the time of removing the black and decaying fragments of
these heads, there seem to have been several other alterations and
improvements effected upon London Bridge; for Stow tells us that,
to replace the Tower which was taken down, ‘a new foundation was
drawn, and Sir John Langley, the Lord Mayor, laid the first stone of
another building, in presence of the Sheriffs, and Bridge Masters, on
Wednesday, the 28th of August, 1577. In September, 1579, the Tower was
finished, being a beautiful and chargeable piece of work, and having
all its fabric above the Bridge formed of timber.’ This erection, then,


The structure consisted of four circular turrets, connected by
curtains, and surmounted by battlements, containing a great number of
transom casements; within which, having their roofs and chimneys rising
above the Tower, were several small habitations, whilst beneath, was a
broad covered passage; the building itself projecting considerably over
each side of the Bridge, the width of the carriage-way, at this part,
being about 40 feet. Perhaps, however, the most splendid and curious
building which adorned London Bridge at this time, was the famous


so called, because it was constructed in Holland, entirely of wood,
and, being brought over in pieces, was erected in this place with
wooden pegs only, not a single nail being used in the whole fabric. It
stood at some distance beyond the edifice which I last described to
you, nearer the City, at the Northern entrance of the Drawbridge; and
its situation is even yet pointed out to you, by the 7th and 8th Arches
of London Bridge, from the Southwark end, being still called the Draw
Lock, and the Nonesuch Lock. On the London side of the Bridge, the
Nonesuch House was partly joined to numerous small wooden dwellings,
of about 27 feet in depth, which hung over the parapet on each side,
leaving, however, a clear space of 20 feet in the centre; though, over
all these, its carved gables, cupolas, and gilded vanes, majestically
towered. Two Sun-dials, declining East and West, also crowned the top
on the South side; on the former of which was painted the old and
appropriate admonition of ‘_Time and Tide stay for no man_;’ though
these ornaments do not appear to have been erected until the year
1681, in the Mayoralty of Sir Patience Ward. This we learn from Edward
Hatton’s ‘_New View of London_,’ volume ii., page 791.

“Like most of those other buildings, this celebrated edifice also
overhung the East and West sides of the Bridge; and there presented to
the Thames two fronts, of scarcely less magnificence than it exhibited
to Southwark and the City; the columns, windows, and carving, being
similarly splendid; and, thus, equally curious and interesting, was the


Its Southern front only, however, stood perfectly unconnected with
other erections, that being entirely free for about fifty feet before
it, and presenting the appearance of a large building projecting beyond
the Bridge on either side; having a square tower at each extremity,
crowned by short domes, or Kremlin spires, whilst an antiquely-carved
gable arose in each centre. The whole of the front, too, was ornamented
with a profusion of transom casement windows, with carved wooden
galleries before them; and richly sculptured wooden panels and gilded
columns were to be found in every part of it. In the centre was an
arch, of the width of the Drawbridge, leading over the Bridge; and
above it, on the South side, were carved the Arms of St. George, of the
City of London, and those of Elizabeth, France and England quarterly,
supported by the Lion and Dragon; from which circumstance, only, can we
estimate the time when the Nonesuch House was erected.”

“Allow me, however, to observe at this place,” said I, as Mr. Postern
pronounced these last words, “that we have another, and a very curious
piece of evidence too, for believing that the Nonesuch House on
London Bridge was placed there about this very period: inasmuch as
that excellent and indefatigable antiquary, Mr. Sharp, of the most
ancient City of Coventry, has discovered, in the manuscript accounts
of that place, a memorandum which certainly has reference to this
very building; and which, as he has favoured me with a copy, I shall
repeat to you.--‘1585. Paid to Durram, the paynter, to bye Coulors to
paynt the _Vawte_ at the Maior’s palace, in parte of payment of xxx
_s._, to ley the vawte in oyle Colers substancially, the greate posts
in jasper Collur, as _the newe house on London Bridge ys_: all the
rayles in stone Coulo^r, the smale pillors in white leade Coulors, the
great pillars in perfect greene Coullo^r xiij._s._ iiij._d._’--‘The
_Vawte_,’--he adds,--‘was a balcony, or colonnade, in front of the
Mayor’s Parlour, supported by large pillars, and having a ballustrade
of smaller pillars round the flat-leaded roof of it.’ This, Mr.
Barnaby, it must be confessed, is very like the features of the
Nonesuch House on London Bridge: and it is not at all improbable but
what we have here almost the very year of its erection.”

“You are right, worthy Mr. Barbican, you are right,” said the old
Historian of the Bridge; “and I would to Heaven, that no Antiquarian
discussion ever demanded a heavier concession. But now let us return
for a while from the buildings on London Bridge, to the scattered
events which illustrate its history; for I purpose again speaking of
its appearance when we arrive at the close of this century, and of then
mentioning all the ancient prospects of it, whence I have drawn my
descriptions of its edifices.

“It was in 1582 that the idea was first formed of erecting Water-works
against the Arches of London Bridge; and of adapting the violence of
the torrent, as it rushed through its narrow locks, to some purpose of
general utility. As a good account of these original works is given
in Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ page 696, and in Holinshed’s ‘_Chronicle_,’
volume iii., page 1348, I shall give you the very words, as conveying
the best illustration of them. ‘This year,’--says Abraham Fleming,
Holinshed’s continuator,--‘Peter Moris, a Dutchman, but a Free-Denizen,
having made an engine for that purpose, conueied Thames water in
pipes of lead ouer the steeple of St. Magnus Church, at the North end
of London Bridge, and so into diuerse men’s houses in Thames Street,
New Fish Street, and Grasse-street, vp vnto the North-west corner of
Leadenhall,--the highest ground of the Citie of London,--where the
waste of the first maine pipe ran first this yeare, one thousand five
hundred eightie and two, on Christmasse eeuen; which maine pipe, being
since at the charges of the Citie brought vp into a standard there made
for that purpose, and diuided there into foure severall spouts, ranne
foure waies, plentifullie seruing to the vse of the inhabitants neere
adioining, that will fetch the same into their houses, and also clensed
the chanels of the streets, North towards Bishopsgate, East towards
Aldgate, South towards the Bridge, and West towards the Stocks Market.
No doubt a great commoditie to that part of the Citie, and would be
farre greater, if the said water were mainteined to run continuallie,
or at the least at euerie tide some reasonable quantitie, as at the
first it did; but since is much aslaked, thorough whose default I know
not, sith the engine is sufficient to conueie water plentifullie:
which, being well considered by Bernard Randolph, Esquier, Common
Sergeant of the Citie of London, he, being aliue, gaue and deliuered
to the Company of Fishmongers, in London, a round sum to be imploied
towards conducting the Thames water, for the good seruice of the
Commonwealth, in conuenient order.’ It was probably the success of this
engine which occasioned another of four pumps, worked by horses, to be
erected at Broken-Wharf, near Queenhithe; invented, as Stow observes
in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 769, by Bevis Bulmar, ‘a most ingenious
gentleman.’ It was at first intended to convey the Thames water, by
leaden pipes, to the whole Western part of London; but after working
it for a short time, it was laid aside, on account of its great charge
both to the tenants and the proprietors.

“After this I meet with but little to notice in our Bridge Annals, for
several years, excepting, that in 1583, Sir Edward Osborne, being then
Lord Mayor, is said to have introduced the custom of drinking to the
new Sheriffs, although there is a ludicrous instance of such a ceremony
in 1487; and that Stow’s ‘_Annals_’ inform us, at page 698, that on
the conclusion of the Irish rebellion, James, Earl of Desmond, a
principal leader, ‘secretly wandering without any succour, being taken
in his cabine by one of the Irish, his head was cut off and sent into
England, where the same,--as the head of an arch-rebell,--was set on
London-Bridge on the thirteene of December.’

“It was on December the 4th, 1586, that the Commissioners appointed to
try the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, issued their sentence against
her from Richmond; which, on the 6th, was openly read in London, by
William Sebright, the Town-Clerk. This proclamation, as Stow relates
in his ‘_Annals_,’ page 741, was made with the Serjeants at Arms,
and by sound of trumpets, about ten o’clock in the morning, at four
places in the City; namely, at the end of Chancery lane; at the Cross
in Cheapside; at the corner of Leadenhall; and also at St. Magnus,
London Bridge. It was witnessed by several of the Nobility; the Lord
Mayor, and Aldermen, in their scarlet dresses; the City Officers; the
principal part of the gentry of London, and the most eminent Citizens
habited in velvet with gold chains; all mounted on horseback. The
tidings which were thus made known, were received by the people with
every kind of rejoicing; ‘as manifestly appeared,’--says Stow,--‘by
ringing of bells, making of bonfires, and singing of psalmes in euery
of the streetes and lanes of the Citie.’

“I do not find, in the preparations for defending London against the
Spaniards, in 1588, any orders concerning the guarding of the Bridge;
though in the scheme for marshalling the City, then drawn up by Edmund
York, and printed in volume ii. of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ page 569, it is
observed that the Bridge is to be one of the places watched as a gate
of London. This, however, was not the first time that the Citizens had
been under military discipline, for Stow relates, in the same volume,
page 567, that in September, 1586, when so much danger was anticipated
from the conspiracies of the Papists, a series of orders was drawn up
for their instruction. In these regulations it was stated, that the
gates should be shut every night, and the Portcullises put in order;
and that one of the stations of the watch by the water-side, should
be by the engine which supplied the City with water, which was at the
North-West corner of London Bridge, and almost adjoining to the present
site of Fishmongers’ Hall. Both these anticipated dangers, however,
passed away without any other effect upon London, than that of evincing
the courage of the Citizens; and, after the notable defeat of the
Armada, eleven of the captured standards were hung upon London-Bridge,
towards Southwark, on Monday, September the 9th, the day of the Fair in
that place, to the great rejoicing of all who saw them.

“Besides the before-mentioned engines for supplying the City with
water, there were, however, also Corn Mills erected near London Bridge,
at a very early period in the sixteenth century: for Stow, in volume
i. of his ‘_Survey_,’ page 42, observes that they were built on the
Thames, about the year 1508. These were, however, not the most ancient
machines of that nature erected about this place; for in the year
1197, in an exchange of the Manor of Lambethe for the Manor of Darent,
made between Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Monks
of Rochester, there is a notice of a Mill which ‘the aforesaid Monks
have without Southwark on the Thames, towards the East, against the
Tower of London.’ You may see the original instrument in the third
volume of Dugdale’s ‘_Monasticon Anglicanum_,’ London, ‘In the Savoy,’
1673, folio, page 4. It was therefore, upon these precedents, for the
better supply of the City, in consequence of the dearth and scarcity
of corn which had extended for several miles round London, and also on
account of the difficulty of grinding meal for the poor, that in March
1588, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty, petitioned Queen Elizabeth
that they might erect four Corn Mills under two roofs on the Thames,
near the Bridge, in parts where they could not occasion any injury.
On the 1st of April, therefore, a commission was addressed from the
Court, at Greenwich, to Mr. Rokesby, Master of St. Katherine’s, Mr.
Fanshaw, Master of the Requests, and Mr. Peter Osborn, Remembrancer of
the Exchequer, to call before them such persons as should be appointed
by the City to manage their cause; some of the principal Officers
of the Navy, and certain Masters of the Trinity-House, to consult
with them whether the erection of such Mills would be beneficial, or
inconvenient; and to consider in what places they should be set up, in
order that the Queen might be moved to grant the City’s petition. After
this consultation, a certificate, dated May the 16th, was returned by
all the parties summoned, and the eight Masters and Overseers of the
River, and others of the Assistants of the Company of Watermen, that
the erecting of such Mills could not in any way be hurtful to the
Thames. But as Stow has left on record the Trinity-House Certificate, I
shall give it you in the original form and words.

“‘Whereas it hath pleased the Lords of Her Majesty’s most Honourable
Privy Council to direct their letter to the Worshipful Mr. Rookesby,
Master of St. Katherine’s, Mr. Fanshaw, Mr. Osborn, Commissioners
for the building of certain Mills on the South side of Thames upon
the starlings above the Bridge: and the Commissioners above-named,
have sent for us, the Master and Assistants of the Trinity-House of
Deptford-Strand in Kent, that we should make the survey, whether the
erecting of those Mills might be prejudicial, or hurtful, to the said
River; We whose names are hereunder written, with others, have taken
a view of the said place, and do find, as far as we can judge and
foresee, it will not be hurtful, nor prejudicial, to the said River in
any way. April 4th, 1588.

     John Hawkins.                   William Holstock.
     Richard Gibs, _Master._         _By me_, Edw. Wilkinson.
     _By me_, Will. Harris.          _By me_, Peter Hills.’
     _By me_, Tho. Andros.

“In Stow’s same work and volume, page 62, he states, that as soon
as these Mills were set up, complaint was made to the Court, which
produced the foregoing enquiry; and that it was then ordered, that the
water should have free course through the arches of the Bridge, and
that the parts of the Mills which stood nearest to the stone-work of
the edifice, should still be twelve feet distant from any part of it.
The intent of these Mills was to provide a remedy for times of dearth,
when the common people paid from 4_d._ to 6_d._ the bushel for grinding
their corn, and often, for a considerable time, could not get it ground
at all; to supply which they were constrained to buy meal at the
meal-sellers’ own prices, which they increased at their pleasure.

“We have no very perfect idea left us of the appearance of either the
Mills, or the ancient Waterworks erected against London Bridge. Gough,
in his ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., page 735, states on the
authority of Bagford, that in the Pepysian Library, at Cambridge, there
is ‘a draught of London Bridge, expressing the Mill at the end;--as
also a very old drawing of this Bridge on Fire, on vellum.’”

“Yes, Master Postern,” said I, “he does so; and that same ‘very old
drawing,’ is nothing less than a most fair and interesting view of the
Western side, as it appeared about the time of Elizabeth, or James I.,
delicately drawn with a pen, slightly shaded, coloured, and gilded,
but all faded by time, and nearly worn out by having been folded in
two, from the continual friction of the surfaces. It measures about
24-1/4 inches, by 4-3/8 inches; and is now contained in the portfolio
marked ‘_London and Westminster_, 1. 246, 247. C.’ As the Bridge is
represented with the Northern end in a perfectly entire state, it must
have been drawn anterior to the great conflagration which destroyed it
in 1632-33; though it was probably to commemorate that event, that some
rude and barbarous hand has disfigured it with those numerous streaks
of red, which Bagford and Gough supposed to represent flames. From
the minute and careful manner in which it is drawn, it may certainly
be esteemed as peculiarly authentic; and, therefore, I proceed to
notice to you, that it, very probably, contains a representation of
the four Mills, which you have already mentioned as being set up near
this place. At the Southern end, below the Traitors’ Gate, is a kind of
long shed, formed of shingles, or thin boards, erected on three of the
sterlings, and covering, as the Citizens proposed, four water wheels,
which edifice is, doubtless, intended to represent the ANCIENT CORN


“Now, Mr. Barnaby, as this building stands out so far from the Bridge
itself as to leave a considerable space between them, though enclosed
on all sides, a sort of water-square open at the top, it appears to me
an evident proof that it represents those very Mills. In the roof of
the building are three sets of windows; and an open stage, or floor,
appears a short distance below it. At the North end, also, of this most
interesting prospect, against the first sterling, is a high square
building, like a tower, having a low wooden gallery in front of it;
and a single water-wheel turning beneath it; which are, most probably,


“With regard to the other principal features of the Pepysian view, I
shall remark to you only, that the Western side of the Nonesuch House
is delineated in the richest and most delicate manner, all its carvings
and columns being minutely drawn and touched with gold; whilst a whole
grove of heads and quarters raised upon staves stands upon the top of
the Traitors’ Gate beyond it; and so much then for a brief description
of this ancient prospect of London Bridge.”

“I am much your debtor, most worthy Master Geoffrey,” said Mr. Postern,
as I concluded, “I, truly, am greatly your debtor, for these curious
notices of a view, at once so rare, so interesting, and so antique:
and, touching the Water-house, or Tower, to which you have alluded,
although we have not any certain information of the time when it was
erected, yet from the circumstance of its appearing with a name in John
Norden’s very scarce view of London Bridge, which I shall presently
mention, it may be supposed to have been set up in the time of
Elizabeth, and was, perhaps, as old as the Water-works themselves. In
the first edition of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ by Strype, London, 1720, volume
i., book ii., page 174, there is a passage relating to the Water-house,
which does not appear either in the original edition of 1598, nor in
the last ancient one of 1633; and therefore may be very justly supposed
to refer to the wooden building erected _after_ the Great Fire; when it
will most properly be noticed.

“I must here again refer to the Account-rolls of the Bridge Keepers,
for the memoranda of some past years’ revenues and expenditure, to
inform you that in the year 1562 the rental was £1071. 6_s._ The
salaries, and allowance for horsekeeping, to William Draper and Robert
Essington, the Wardens, were the same as those paid in 1556; but the
liveries were increased to £3. 6_s._ 8_d._ each. The whole amount for
the year being £64. In 1565,--says the same authority,--the allowance
to each Bridge-Master for fees, livery, &c. was £33.: and the rental
of the estates amounted to £1168. 8_s._ 5-1/2_d._: while in 1590,
the Bridge rental was £1369. 7_s._ 2_d._; and Robert Aske and James
Conneld, the Wardens, paid the two Bridge-Masters for their Year’s fee,
£50. each, with £3. each for their horses and liveries; making the
whole charge £106.

“In the year 1591, a most singular instance of drought occurred in
the vicinity of our history, as you may read in Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’
page 765, where he states, that on ‘Wednesday, the sixth of September,
the wind West-and-by-South, as it had beene for the space of two days
before, very boysterous, the riuer of Thamis was so voyd of water, by
forcing out the fresh and keeping backe the sault, that men in diuers
places might goe 200 paces ouer, and then fling a stone to the land. A
Collier, on a mare, rode from the North side to the South, and backe
againe, on either side of London Bridge, but not without danger of
drowning both wayes.’

“The year 1594 was particularly remarkable for a dearth of corn,
occasioned, as Stow tells us, it was supposed,--see his ‘_Annals_,’
page 769,--by the English Merchants having exported it too largely.
The summer had been extremely wet; for not only much rain fell in
May; but, in the following two months, it commonly rained every day,
or night, until the 25th of July, the Feast of St. James, and two
days after, without intermission. Notwithstanding these floods a fair
harvest followed in August, but the price of grain rose to 5_s._ for a
bushel of Rye, whilst Wheat was sold from 6_s._ to 8_s._ the bushel,
and increased even still higher. In consequence of this, Sir John
Spencer, the Lord Mayor, procured it to be ordered, that the several
Companies of the City should presently provide themselves with certain
proportions of wheat and rye, to be laid up in the public granaries
at the Bridge House. In December, however, the greatest part of their
stores was yet wanting, and the Lord Mayor, therefore, issued a new
order on the 13th of that month, directing that the whole quantity
should be laid up in the Bridge-House before the 8th of the ensuing
January; since corn was then being imported into England. At this
period, Elizabeth was, most probably, preparing those twenty-six
vessels, which she despatched, the following year, to Spanish America,
under Sir John Hawkins; since, in his capacity of Treasurer of the
Navy, he demanded of the Lord Mayor the Bridge-House, granaries,
ovens, &c. for the use of the Queen’s Navy, and baking biscuits for
the fleet. Cecil, Lord Burleigh, who was then Lord Treasurer, being a
great patron and protector of the City; to him the Lord Mayor addressed
a remonstrance against Sir John Hawkins, stating all the foregoing
circumstances, that the City would be deprived of its provision, if he
lent the granaries; that the Companies would neglect to lay up the corn
they were enjoined to do, and that grain must either be bought from
the Badgers, or Meal-sellers, or else the Merchants be discouraged from
importing any more. He added also, that the ovens in the Bridge-House
were required for baking bread for the City poor, at reduced rates;
and he concluded by representing that the Queen had not only granaries
about Tower Hill, Whitehall, and Westminster, but that Winchester House
was also in her possession, in which large quantities of corn might be
deposited. This honest and spirited conduct of the Lord Mayor produced,
on the part of Admiral Hawkins, the reply ‘that he should hear more to
his further dislike,’ as well as some letters from the Privy Council
in censure of his proceedings. Upon which he again addressed the Lord
Treasurer, entreated his favour and protection, and petitioned that the
granaries might still be employed for the use of the City, lest the
dearth of corn should yet increase, or the poor of London should be
distressed for provision: adding that, as the City was then unprovided,
his Lordship would hold him excused from resigning the Bridge House,
and submitting himself to his good pleasure. With these answers,
Hawkins was probably forced to be content, as we meet with no farther
correspondence upon this subject.

“With these particulars, then, terminate our annals of London Bridge
for the sixteenth century; but before we pass on to the opening of the
following one, let me mention to you the views of this edifice which we
possess, illustrative of the period we have now arrived at, and give
you a general idea of its appearance, whilst it yet remained in its
greatest state of splendour.

“One of the most ancient representations of London Bridge is contained
in that painting of the procession of King Edward VI. from the Tower,
to his Coronation at Westminster, February the 19th, 1547; the original
of which was executed to decorate a part of the Great Dining Room of
Cowdray Hall, Sussex, the seat of Viscount Montague, where it was
destroyed by fire in 1793. An engraving of this interesting picture
was, however, published by the Society of Antiquaries in May, 1797;
and the Bridge is there represented at the left hand of the engraving,
containing four or five buildings erected on the side, in the centre
of which rises a spire, perhaps meant for the Chapel of St. Thomas;
and at the Southern end appears the gate. This, however, is but an
oblique view, and by no means to be depended upon for its accuracy;
though, at the same time, the plate contains numerous other interesting
features of antiquity, which render it invaluable to all the admirers
of London in the olden times. The next most ancient prints of this
edifice are those maps and plans of London which include the Bridge;
such as that contained in the ‘_Civitates Orbis Terrarum_,’ by George
Braun and Francis Hohenberg, volume i., Cologne, 1523, folio, signature
A:--the famous map of Radulphus Aggas, published about 1588; and some
others of less note, of which you have a tolerably accurate account
in Richard Gough’s ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., pages 743-760.
These plans, however, although exceedingly interesting, are, from their
great extent, less pleasing than a view, as it regards particulars;
for the buildings are sometimes so rudely and minutely sketched, as to
convey no perfect idea to the minds of such as desire to contemplate
old London in all its original quaintness and antique beauty.

“But, perhaps, the rarest and most curious prospect of London Bridge
in the reign of Elizabeth, is that engraven by John Norden, of which
an impression rests in Mrs. Sutherland’s sumptuously-illustrated copy
of Lord Clarendon’s History of the Rebellion, in 31 volumes imperial
folio, comprising 5800 prints and original drawings. Norden, you will
recollect, was Surveyor to Henry, Prince of Wales, and died about
1626; and his view of London Bridge was, most probably, published two
years before, for, though it is without date, it bears the arms of,
and is dedicated to, Sir John Gore, Lord Mayor in 1624. The dedication
states, however, that Norden had ‘described it in the time of Queene
Elizabeth, but that the plate had bene neare these 20 yeares imbezeled
and detained by a person till of late vnknowne.’ The view of the
Bridge is taken from the Eastern side, and the edifice is represented
horizontally, from South to North; though it is singularly enough
stated to be from East to West: it measures 20-1/2 inches by 10-5/8,
and is engraved in a border surmounted by the arms and supporters of
James I., having its name written upon a scroll. At each end of the
print is a naked boy flying; the one bearing a shield with the City
Arms, and the other those of the person to whom it is dedicated. With
respect to the Bridge itself, it is filled with buildings, in which the
Traitors’ Gate with the heads, the Nonesuch House, and the Chapel of
St. Thomas, are particularly visible; whilst above the houses, at the
North end, is seen the top of ‘_The Water Worke_.’ From the windows
of several of the houses, buckets are being let down by long ropes
into the water, which is seen rushing through the arches with great
impetuosity, although there is no fall. On the right appears a boat
overturned, its oars floating about, one man drowning, and two others
being saved by another boat; whilst two or three more vessels, &c. are
seen in different parts of the picture. Along the lower part of the
water are engraven the words ‘_Tame Isis Flvvius vulgo Temms_;’ and
below the print are the Dedication, and ‘_The description of London
Bridge_,’ in letter-press in three columns, surrounded by a border
of metal flowers, and signed John Norden. As this account is, of
course, very short, and is chiefly taken from Stow, it gives us but
little information; though, perhaps, the concluding paragraphs may
not be unworthy of your attention.--‘It were superfluous to relate
vnto such as well know, and duely do consider the forme and beauty
of this famous Bridge: but to intimate it to the apprehension of
strangers, I haue deliniated the same to the eye, how it is adorned
with sumptuous buildings, and statelie and beautifull houses on either
side, inhabited by wealthy Citizens, and furnished with all manner of
trades, comparable in it selfe to a little Citie, whose buildings are
so artificially contriued, and so firmely combined, as it seemeth more
than an ordinary streete, for it is as one continuall vaute or roofe,
except certaine voyde places, reserued from buildings, for the retire
of passengers from the danger of carres, carts, and droues of cattell,
vsually passing that way. This description representeth vnto the eye
the true forme of this famous pyle, as neare as arte--in this kinde
of deliniation,--can be demonstrated: the number and forme of euery
arch, and all the buildings; their true height, breadth, and distance
of euery particular, from the East towards the West: as for the other
side it like wise appeareth in my prospectiue description of the Citie;
the vaults, sellers, and places in the bowels as it were of the same
Bridge,--which are many and admirable,--excepted, which arte cannot
discouer to the outward view. The situation, arte, and workmanship,
in and about the Bridge, are affirmed by obseruing trauailers in all
respects to exceede all the Bridges of the world. And, therefore, I
thought it fit to represent it to the view of the world, that it may
know, that if one part of this Citie be so famous, how much more the
whole: which, for state and Christian gouernment, may well challenge
place before any Citie in Christendome. And therefore I present
vnto you this simple modell of one of the wonders of the world.’ So
concludes the descriptive eulogy of Master Norden. And now, Sir, having
mentioned to you the great rarity of this print of London Bridge, and
that if another impression of it were to appear, it would probably
produce the respectable price of ten, or fifteen guineas; I must add
that there has been an excellent fac-simile of it published by Mr.
William Scott, of Great May’s Buildings, St. Martin’s Lane, for the
more moderate sum of 10_s._ 6_d._, which no genuine lover of London, or
London Bridge, should hesitate to procure.

“The last view of this edifice which I shall at present notice to
you, is one copied by Thomas Wood, Engraved by J. Pye, and dedicated
to Brass Crosby, Esq., Lord Mayor, the Aldermen, and Common Council
of the City of London; and it represents the ‘_South View of the said
City and part of Southwarke, as it appeared about the year 1599_.’ I
am half inclined to believe, however, that this prospect is made up
from Hollar’s View, published in 1657; as it is certainly taken from
the same point. The Bridge rises obliquely on the right hand: at the
South end of it appears the Southwark Gate, and beyond it is placed
the rich tower which I have already described to you; whilst a series
of buildings, forming two distinct groups, with spaces between them,
finish the picture, which has the old Church of St. Magnus for its
Northern boundary. Even at this period, probably, some of the Arches
of London Bridge had received those names by which they were so long
afterwards known, though they were first inserted in Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’
by Richard Bloome, one of the last of his Continuators before Strype;
but his account of these locks I shall speak of in the next century,
and I will now only observe that such were the features of LONDON


“‘Thanks be praised!’ Master Barnaby,” said I, as my indefatigable
historian arrived at this period, “‘thanks be praised!’ as the
Countryman says in the Play, ‘I thought we would never ha’ got hither,
for we’ve had a power of crosses upo’ the road.’ If you do not make
the better speed through the next two centuries, mine honest friend,
you will scarcely allow me time to conclude your narrative by a brief
account of the New Bridge, and the grand ceremonial of its foundation:
here’s your health, however, and if contributing to one’s repose, be
a praiseworthy action, why, truly, I’m much your debtor, good Mr.

“Rest you merry, Sir,” replied he of the sack tankard; “I see that
you’re one of the humourists of Old London; and, methinks, you ought
to be somewhat grateful to me for furnishing you with occasion to be
witty; but, to speak more seriously, I pray you to recollect that I
have conducted you through a period of more than six hundred years,
and that too in a history of which the materials are to be sought
for, and extracted, from a vast multitude of very opposite sources.
And even when we have found them, you know, my good Mr. Barbican,
that they resemble those grains of gold which the wandering Bohemians
recover from the sand; of little or no value till collected into a
mass, and even then surprising by their insignificance. Surely, he is
to be pitied, who becomes the historian of a subject equally ancient,
interesting, hopeless, and unknown.”

“A very good reason,” answered I, “for not becoming one at all, Master
Barnaby; Odzooks! do men write your thick folios, only because they
know nothing of the matter? But you have no such excuse, for you quote
me a dozen authors to tell of one event; and then there’s such ‘fending
and proving’ about a handful of years, that where subjects are lacking,
’fore George! you seem to me to create them.”

“Well, Sir, well,” resumed the mild old man, “your wit becomes you; but
as we may never meet again, I would fain pour into your bosom all the
little knowledge which I possess upon this point; and so we will pass
on to the Chronicles of London Bridge in the seventeenth century.

“The inhuman cruelties which Queen Mary, Bishop Bonner, and others of
their faith, practised upon the Protestants, may reasonably be supposed
to have so embittered their minds, as to have excited in them no
slight feelings of revenge, when, in their turn, they came into power.
Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any other cause for the severities
which they practised, or for the laws which were enacted to authorise
them. The principal of these Statutes, you may remember, were five:
one in the 27th of Elizabeth, 1585, chapter ii., entitled ‘_An Act
against Jesuits, Seminary Priests, and other such like disobedient
persons_;’ and a second passed in her 35th year, 1593, chapter ii.,
and called ‘_An Act for restraining Popish Recusants to some certain
place of abode_.’ Under King James I., were introduced three others
strengthening and confirming the former, the first of which was made
in the 1st year of his reign, 1604, chapter iv., being ‘_An Act for
the due execution of the Statutes against Jesuits, Seminary Priests,
Recusants, &c._’: and in his third year, 1606, were passed two others,
see chapters iv. and v., namely, ‘_An Act for the better discovering
and repressing of Popish Recusants_;’ and ‘_An Act to prevent and avoid
dangers which grow by Popish Recusants_.’ History, Master Barbican,
blushes to record what cruelties were perpetrated under the sanction
of those laws; and I should have omitted all notice of them, but that
they are so interwoven with several anecdotes of London Bridge. My
authority is a work, entitled ‘_The Catholic Book of Martyrs, or a true
British Martyrology commencing with the Reformation_;’ by the Right
Rev. Richard Challoner, Bishop of Debora; of which the new edition of
1825 is a singularly curious book. He states from Stow, in volume ii.,
page 9, that in 1578, February 3rd, John Nelson, a Priest, was executed
at Tyburn, for denying the Queen’s supremacy, and that his head was
erected on London Bridge; whilst, on page 74, is a similar relation
of another Priest named James Fenn; but I proceed to notice a much
more remarkable instance. In the year 1605, Father Henry Garnet, the
Principal of the English Jesuits, was taken up and imprisoned in the
Tower, for being a party concerned in the famous Gunpowder Plot: after
many examinations, he acknowledged that Father Greenway, a Jesuit, had
communicated it to him under the seal of confession from Catesby, the
Chief of the conspirators. Both the Priests were struck with horror at
the design, and vainly endeavoured to prevent its execution. Greenway
fled beyond the seas, but Father Garnet was taken, condemned, and
executed in St. Paul’s Church Yard, on the 3rd of May, the Anniversary
of the Invention, or Finding of the Holy Cross by the Empress Helena,
the Mother of Constantine. ‘His head,’ says Bishop Challoner, in
his ‘_Catholic Book of Martyrs_,’ volume iii., page ii., ‘was fixed
on London Bridge, and it was much remarked, that his countenance,
which was always venerable, retained, for above twenty days, the same
lively colour which it had during life, which drew all London to the
spectacle, and was interpreted as a testimony of his innocence; as was
also an image of him wonderfully formed on an ear of straw, on which a
drop of his blood had fallen.’ Dr. Challoner gives his authorities for
this narrative at its commencement.

“But to pass from these unhappy subjects to the story of London Bridge,
and the River Thames, let me next observe that the year 1608 was
remarkable for a great frost near this edifice, of which we have a very
curious account in Edmond Howe’s ‘_Continuation of the Abridgement of
Stow’s English Chronicle_,’ London, 1611, duodecimo, page 481; from
which take the following extract. ‘The 8th of December began a hard
frost, and continued vntill the 15th of the same, and then thawed:
and the 22nd of December it began againe to freeze violently, so as
diuers persons went halfe way ouer the Thames vpon the ice: and the
30th of December, at euery ebbe, many people went quite ouer the Thames
in diuers places, and so continued from that day vntill the third of
January: the people passed daily betweene London and the Bankside at
euery halfe ebbe, for the floud remoued the ice and forced the people
daily to tread new paths, except onely betweene Lambeth and the ferry
at Westminster, the which, by incessant treading, became very firm and
free passage, vntill the great thaw: and from Sunday, the tenth of
January, vntill the fifteenth of the same, the frost grew so extreme,
as the ice became firme, and remoued not, and then all sorts of men,
women, and children, went boldly upon the ice in most parts; some shot
at prickes, others bowled and danced, with other variable pastimes;
by reason of which concourse of people, there were many that set vp
boothes and standings vpon the ice, as fruit-sellers, victuallers, that
sold beere and wine, shoomakers, and a barber’s tent, &c.’ He adds,
that all these had fires; that the frost killed all the artichokes in
the gardens about London; and that the ice lasted until the afternoon
of the 2nd of February, when ‘it was quite dissolued and clean gon.’
There is a very rare tract, containing an account of this frost,
mentioned by Gough in his ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., page 731,
which has a wood-cut representation of it, with London Bridge in the
distance: and is entitled ‘_Cold doings in London, except it be at
the Lottery: with newes out of the Country. A familier talk, between a
Countryman and a Citizen, touching this terrible Frost, and the Great
Lottery, and the effect of them._’ London, 1608, quarto. I may observe
that the Lottery was then drawn at St. Paul’s, the prizes were all of
plate, the highest being £150, and the price of each ticket was one
shilling only. The same year of 1608 was also memorable for two tides
flowing at London Bridge, on Sunday, the 19th of February. Edmond Howes
records it in his Continuation of Stow’s ‘_Annals_,’ page 893, and
states that ‘when it should haue beene dead low water at London Bridge,
quite contrary to course it was then high water; and, presently,
it ebbed almost halfe an houre, the quantitie of a foote, and then
sodainly it flowed againe almost two foote higher than it did before,
and then ebbed againe vntill it came neere the right course, so as the
next floud began, in a manner, as it should, and kept his due course
in all respects as if there had beene no shifting, nor alteration of
tydes. All this happened before twelue of the clocke in the forenoone,
the weather being indifferent calme; and the sixt of February, the next
yeere following, the Thames againe shifted tydes very strangely.’

“We know not, Mr. Barbican, at what exact period London Bridge was
first occupied by shops, but in the Survey of Bridge-lands which I
have already repeated to you, it appears very probable that some of
the shops in the Bridge Street were actually erected on the Bridge.
Houses with distinguishing signs, however, must have been built upon
this edifice at a very early period; for the first notice of one, which
I can now recollect, is in the fire which brake out at the Pannier,
at the North end of the Bridge in 1504; whilst the next is not older
than 1619, and occurs in a letter written October the 6th, by George
Herbert, the pious author of the ‘_Temple_,’ and printed at the end of
Izaak Walton’s ‘_Lives_,’ fourth edition, London, 1675, 8vo., page 340.
‘I pray, Sir, therefore,’--says this epistle,--‘cause this inclosed to
be carried to his brother’s house,’--Sir Francis Nethersole,--‘of his
own name, as I think, at the sign of the Pedlar and his Pack on London
Bridge, for there he assigns me.’ Norden, as I have already shewn you,
says that this place was ‘furnished with all manner of trades;’ and
as this is rather a curious, though an unexplored portion of Bridge
story, I shall at once lay before you all the information which I
have collected upon it, under the present period of time, since it is
infinitely too small to be divided into different years. The principal
ancient residences of the London Booksellers were, St. Paul’s Church
Yard, Little Britain, Paternoster Row, and London Bridge; and of books
published at the latter place let me first exhibit to you some titles,
taken from that vast collection, which John Bagford made for a General
History of Printing, preserved with the Harleian Manuscripts in the
British Museum. The ensuing are from No. 5921, pages 5 b, 6 a, 7 a, and
9 b,

“‘_The Merchandises of Popish Priests; or, a Discouery of the Jesuites
Trumpery, newly packed in England. Laying open to the world how
cunningly they cheate and abuse people with their false, deceitfull,
and counterfeit wares. Written in French, by John Chassanion, and
truly translated into English. Printed at London, for Henry Gosson,
and are to be sold at his Shop on London Bridge. 1629._’ Small quarto.
Above the imprint is a rude wood-cut of a corded bale, labelled with
the words ‘_A Packe of Popish Trinkets_,’ and exhibiting a crucifix,
rosary, bell, book, taper, a chalice signed with the cross, and an
Aspergillum for scattering holy-water.--‘_The Wise Merchant, or the
Peerless Pearl; set forth in some meditations, delivered in two
Sermons upon Matth. xiii. 45, 46. By Thomas Calvert. London. Printed
by H. Bell, for Charles Tyns, dwelling at the Three Bibles on London
Bridge. 1660._’ octavo.--‘_The Seaman’s Kalender: By Henry Phillippes,
Philo-Nauticus. London. Printed by W. G., for Benjamin Hurlock,
and are to be sold at his shop over-against St. Magnus Church, on
London Bridge, near Thames Street. 1672._’ small quarto.--‘_England’s
Grievances, in times of Popery. London. Printed for Joseph Collyer,
and Stephen Foster, and are to be sold at the Angel on London Bridge,
a little below the Gate, 1679._’ small quarto.--‘_The Saints’ Triumph;
or, the Glory of Saints with Jesus Christ. Discoursed in a Divine
Ejaculation; by J(ohn) B(unyan). Printed by J. Millet for J. Blare, at
the looking Glass on London Bridge. 1688._’ small quarto. A rude, but
characteristical wood-cut portrait of Bunyan is indented in the margin
of this title-page. We also find one Hugh Astley living ‘at St. Magnus
corner,’ in 1607; and, in 1677, R. Northcott kept ‘_the Marriner and
Anchor upon Fish-street Hill, near London Bridge_.’”

“Whilst you are speaking of the Booksellers and Tradesmen who lived on
old London Bridge, Mr. Postern,” observed I, as he came to a period,
“let me add to your account some other circumstances which, at various
times, and from different sources, I have collected illustrative of
that subject. The sign of ‘_the Three Bibles_’ seems to have been a
very favourite device upon that edifice, and, most probably, continued
so until the houses were removed; for we trace it into the eighteenth
century, at which time there were two shops so denominated; and one
of them also appears to have been famous for the sale of a Patent
Medicine, as you will find from the following particulars communicated
to me by Mr. John Thomas Smith, Keeper of the Prints and Drawings in
the British Museum. ‘_The Mariner’s Jewel; or, a Pocket Companion
for the Ingenious. By James Love, Mathematician. The sixth edition,
corrected and enlarged. London. Printed for H. and J. Tracy, at the
Three Bibles on London Bridge. 1724._’ duodecimo. At the end of the
volume bearing this title, is an advertisement of a medicine, called
‘_The Balsam of Chili_,’ which is succeeded by the following curious
note. ‘All persons are desired to beware of a pretended Balsam of
Chili, which, for about these seven years last past, hath been sold,
and continues to be sold, by Mr. John Stuart, at the _Old Three
Bibles_, as he calls his sign, although mine was the sign of the Three
Bibles twenty years before his. This pretended Balsam sold by Mr.
Stuart, resembles the true Balsam in colour, and is put up in the same
bottles; but has been found to differ exceedingly from the true sort by
several persons, who, through the carelessness of the buyers intrusted,
have gone to the wrong place. Therefore all persons who send, should
give strict order to enquire for the name Tracy; for Mr. Stuart’s
being the very same sign, it is an easy matter to mistake. All other
pretended Balsams of Chili, sold elsewhere, are shams and impositions;
which may not only be ineffectual, but prove of worse consequence. The
right sort is to be had of H. Tracy, at the Three Bibles on London
Bridge, at 1_s._ 6_d._ a bottle, where it hath been sold these forty
years.’ There also appear to have been two Booksellers’ shops known
by the sign of ‘_the Looking Glass_ on London Bridge;’ for you have
already mentioned that ‘_the Life and Death of John Overs_’ was printed
for T. Harris at such a sign, in 1744; and at the very same time, as
well as earlier, one T. Hodges was an extensive publisher of popular
books, ‘_at the Looking Glass on London Bridge over against St. Magnus
Church_,’ as you will find in the title-pages to a multitude of small
volumes of that period. One of the little tracts to which his name
appears, is ‘_The whole Life and merry exploits of bold Robin Hood,
Earl of Huntingdon_,’ 1737. duodecimo; and we also read the name of
S. Crowder and Company, London Bridge, attached to ‘_The Delightful,
Princely, and Entertaining History of the Gentle Craft; adorn’d with
Pictures suitable to each story_.’ 1760. duodecimo. I could easily,
Mr. Postern, increase this list of books published on London Bridge,
from the advertisements which continually appeared in the columns of
‘_The Daily Post_,’--‘_The Daily Courant_,’ and other Newspapers of
the early part of the last century, but I rather wish to point out to
you the names and signs of some other persons dwelling in the same
place; for it seems to have been occupied by a variety of trades.
Thus, in 1722, we have John Body, Silversmith, at the White Horse on
London Bridge;--Hotham, Bookseller, at the Black Boy; and E. Herne,
Milliner, at the Dolphin and Comb. The shop-bills of these tradesmen,
however, from whence we generally derive this kind of information, are
so exceedingly rare, that after a very careful search through that
extensive collection belonging to the late Miss Banks, now preserved in
the Print Room of the British Museum, I have found only _one_! although
the Portfolios contain many thousands. But what I there sought for
in vain, has been supplied to me from two private sources; for Henry
Smedley, Esq., of Whitehall, and Mr. William Upcott, of the London
Institution, are in possession of impressions of several, of which they
have kindly permitted me to take the following copies.

“1. A copper-plate shop-bill, card size, having the figure of a Roebuck
enclosed in a rich architectural square frame, surmounted by a shield
of arms, 3 roebucks statant regardant, probably a copy from the sign of
the house. On the lower parts of the frame are the date ‘1714,’ and the
initials ‘_W. O._;’ beneath which is ‘_William Osborne, Leather seller,
at the Roe-buck upon London Bridge_.’

“2. A copper-plate shop-bill, 5 inches by 3-1/2, having, within a rich
cartouche frame, a pair of embroidered small-clothes and a glove;
beneath is written ‘_Walter Watkins, Breeches Maker, Leather Seller,
and Glover, at the Sign of the Breeches and Glove, on London Bridge,
Facing Tooley Street, Sells all sorts Leather Breeches, Leather, and
Gloves, Wholesale and Retail, at reasonable rates_.’

“3. The copper-plate head of a bill, ‘_London 17.., Bought of Churcher
and Christie, Leather Sellers and Breeches Makers, at the Lamb and
Breeches, London Bridge_.’

“4. Copper-plate shop-bill, 5-3/8 inches by 3-3/4, with the device of
a Crown and Anchor, in a square cartouche frame; below which appears
‘_James Brooke, Stationer, at y^e Anchor and Crown, near the Square, on
London Bridge, sells all sorts of Books for Accounts, Stampt Paper, and
Parchm.^{nts}, variety of Paper Hangings for Rooms, and all sorts of
Stationary Wares, Wholesale and Retail, at reasonable rates_.’

“5. A small copper-plate Tobacco-paper, with a coarse and rude
engraving of a Negro smoking, and holding a roll of tobacco; above
his head a crown, two ships in full sail behind, and the sun issuing
from the right hand corner above. In the fore-ground are four smaller
Negroes planting and packing tobacco, and beneath is written ‘_Iohn
Winkley, Tobacconist, near y^e Bridge, In the Burrough Southwark,

“6. An elegant ornamental copper-plate shop-bill, 5-5/8 inches by
4-2/8, with an allegorical design of two figures representing Genius
and Prudence, with books and articles of stationery below; and between
them, a circle, with the words, ‘_John Benskin, Stationer, at y^e Bible
and Star on y^e Bridge, London_.’

“7. A copper-plate shop-bill, 6 inches by 3-1/2, with a rich cartouche
shield, enclosing three tufts of hair curled and tied; beneath is
written ‘_John Allan, at the Locks of Hair on London Bridge. Sells all
sorts of Hair Curled or Uncurled, Bags, Roses, Cauls, Ribbons, Weaving,
Sewing Silk, Cards and Blocks. With all goods made use of by Peruke
Makers at the Lowest Prices_.’

“One of the most eminent and well-known tradesmen on London Bridge,
however, was William Herbert, the Print-seller, and Editor of Joseph
Ames’s ‘_Typographical Antiquities_;’ who, upon his return from India,
having probably acquired a considerable knowledge of the relative
situations of the coasts, countries, and rivers, which he had seen and
surveyed abroad, thought himself qualified to undertake the occupation
of an Engraver, and Publisher, of Maps and Charts. With this view he
took a house upon London Bridge, and continued in it, until the houses
were taken down in 1757-58; when he removed to Leadenhall Street, and
thence to Goulston Square, White-Chapel. The very first night which
Mr. Herbert spent in his house on London Bridge, there was a dreadful
fire in some part of the metropolis, on the banks of the Thames; which,
with several succeeding ones, suggested to him the plan of a floating
fire-engine. He proposed it to Captain Hill, of the Royal Exchange
Assurance, who told him that ‘there must be a fire every now and then
for the benefit of the insurance:’ Herbert, however, published his
proposal in the Gazetteer, and it was soon after adopted. You will find
these anecdotes originally printed in the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ for
1795, volume lxv., part i., page 262; supposed to have been written by
Mr. Gough; whence they were incorporated into the Memoirs of Herbert,
attached to the Rev. Dr. Dibdin’s edition of the ‘_Typographical
Antiquities_,’ volume i., London, 1810, quarto, page 76. The pretty
copper-plate shop-bill of Master Herbert is yet preserved in a most
beautiful state, in the vast collection of the late Miss Banks, to
which I have already alluded, volume iii., class, _Print-sellers_. It
bears the date of 1749, and represents a country view, surrounded by
columns, vases, temples, statues, &c. On the left are two figures,
one in the full dress of the time, and the other in a morning dress,
exhibiting a portrait to him. Round the whole print is a rich ancient
frame, ornamented with flowers, laurel branches, busts, books,
instruments, scrolls, and a globe standing in the centre beneath. At
the top is an eagle supporting a large robe, or piece of drapery, which
hangs half way down, and on which the following words are inscribed in
ornamental writing. ‘_Great variety of English Maps and Prints, plain
and colour’d. Also French, and other Foreign Prints, chiefly collected
from the works of the most celebrated artists. Sold by William Herbert,
at the Golden Globe, under the Piazzas on London Bridge. N. B. Prints
neatly framed and glazed for Exportation, Rooms and Staircases fitted
up in the modern or Indian taste._’

“Another source whence we derive much of our information concerning the
old shopkeepers of London, and, of course, those of London Bridge, is
to be found in that species of unauthorised coin commonly known by the
name of Tradesmen’s Tokens. For many centuries, you remember, gold and
silver money only was regularly current in this kingdom; for, though
the earliest inhabitants of Britain probably used copper, there was
none coined of an authorised mintage, until the time of Charles II.
The silver pence, and even halfpence, which were previously current,
were of so minute a size, that, as an eminent author on this subject
observes, ‘a dozen of them might be in a man’s pocket, and yet not be
discovered without a good magnifying glass;’ and, consequently, they
were not adapted to any very extensive circulation. To remedy this,
and to provide change for the increase of retail trade, these Tokens
were originally issued; being pieces of coin of a low value, to pass
between Grocers, Bakers, Vintners, &c., by which the lower classes
might have smaller quantities of goods, than they would otherwise be
obliged to procure. These Tokens were first issued about the latter end
of the reign of Henry VII., or the beginning of the following one, when
they were made of lead, tin, latten, and even of leather. In the time
of Elizabeth their numbers increased; and, though the silver farthings,
coined by James I., and Charles I., for a while supplied the want of
small coins, yet, in the Civil Wars, the private Tokens multiplied to a
great excess, and every petty tradesman had his pledges for a halfpenny
payable in silver, or its value in goods, to bearer upon demand, at
his shop: upon the credit of which it therefore depended, whether they
should circulate through one or two streets, a whole town, or to some
little distance in the country round. The London Gazettes for July
the 25th, 1672, and February the 23rd, 1673, contained advertisements
against these Tokens, and of the issuing of the first national copper
coinage, referring to ‘the Farthing Office in Fen-Church Street,’ as
the place of exchange. Previously, however, to the issue of a lawful
coinage in 1797, the debased state of the copper money gave rise to
another general striking of Provincial and Tradesmen’s Tokens, which
was commenced by the famous Anglesey Penny in 1784. Such, then, is
a general view of the nature and history of these coins, and we now
proceed to notice those which record for us some particulars of London

“The general impresses of these Tokens consisted of the names,
residences, initials, and signs of their owners, by whom they were
issued and paid; and the quantity used in London was so great, that
Sir Robert Cotton supposed, about 1612, that there were 3000 persons
who cast leaden Tokens to the amount of £5. annually, upon the
average; of which they had not one tenth remaining at the year’s end.
Notwithstanding this immense quantity, we meet with but few relating
to London Bridge; and yet, by the experience and kindness of Edward
Hawkins, Esq., Assistant Keeper of the Coins and Medals of the British
Museum, and of Mr. M. Young, the well-known Dealer in those articles,
I am furnished with a list, and drawings, of most of those which are
known to be extant, and of which I shall now give you a description.


“1. _A Brass Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Lion rampant,
_Legend_,--‘JOH. WELDAY. AT. Y^E LYON,’--_Reverse_,--‘ON LONDON BRIDGE.
I.W. 1657.’

“2. _A Brass, or base copper Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Sugar
Loaf, _Legend_,--‘EDW. MUNS AT THE SUGAR’--_Reverse_,--‘LOAF ON LONDON


“3. _A Copper Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Bear passant,
chained, _Legend_,--‘ABRAHAM BROWNE. AT. Y^E’--_Reverse_,--‘BRIDG FOOT.

“4. _A Brass, or base Copper Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Dog,
_Legend_,--‘JOSEPH BROCKET,’--_Reverse_,--‘BRIDGFOOT SOUTHWARK. ^{B.}

“5. _A Copper Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Bear passant,
chained, _Legend_,--‘CORNELIVS. COOK. AT. THE’--_Reverse_,--‘BEARE. AT.
THE. BRIDG. FOT. ^{C.} _{CA.}’


“6. _A Brass Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Lion rampant,
_Legend_,--‘AT. THE. WHIT. LYON,’--_Reverse_,--‘NEIR LONDON BRIDGE.
^{C.} _{T.A.}’

“7. _A Copper Token_,--Farthing size: _Obverse_, a Sugar loaf,
_Legend_,--‘HENRY. PHILLIPS, AT.’--_Reverse_,--‘BRIDG. FOOT. SOVTHWARK.
^{P.} _{H.S.}’

“Such, then, are some specimens of the Tradesmen’s Tokens current
on London Bridge; and though they are sufficiently rude in their
workmanship, and base in their metal, yet with some collectors, they
are of a far greater degree of rarity, and of value too, than the
handsomest modern silver coin you could present them with. You will
observe, however, that I have noticed those Tokens only, on which
the Bridge is actually mentioned; but an extensive list of such as
were issued in Southwark, will be found in Messrs. Manning’s and
Bray’s ‘_History of Surrey_,’ already referred to, volume iii.,
‘_Appendix_,’ pages cxi-cxv. Let me add too, that my authorities for
these historical notices of coins, have been ‘_An Essay on Medals_,’ by
John Pinkerton, London, 1789, octavo, volume i.; and ‘_Annals of the
Coinage of Britain_,’ by the Rev. Rogers Ruding, London, 1819, octavo,
volume iii., pages 127, 319, 324, volume iv., page 61. I must not,
however, conclude these particulars of the numismatic reliques of London
Bridge, without observing to you that there are some Medalets also
extant, commemorative of its buildings. Of these coins we find a list in
James Conder’s elegant volumes, entitled ‘_An Arrangement of Provincial
Coins, Tokens, and Medalets, issued in Great Britain, Ireland, and
the Colonies, within the last twenty years, from the farthing to the
penny size_.’ Ipswich, 1798, octavo. Medalets, you know, Mr. Postern,
are of that description of coins which were struck by the Romans, and
used for scattering to the people upon solemn occasions: and those of
which I am now speaking are of the class distinguished by bearing the
representation of public buildings. In volume i., pages 72 and 73,
of Mr. Conder’s work, are mentioned the following Medalets of London
Bridge, of the penny size, executed by P. Kempson.


No. 40. A Bronzed or Copper Medalet: _Obverse_, a view of a Bridge,
REPAIR’D, 1758.’--_Reverse_, a figure of Britannia with spear and
shield, seated on a rock, holding an olive-branch;--_Legend_, indented
on a raised circle round the field, ‘BRITISH PENNY TOKEN.’ On the
Exergue a cypher ‘P.K.--MDCCXCVII.’ _Legend on the edge_,--‘I PROMISE

No. 47. A Bronzed or Copper Medalet: _Obverse_, an ancient
gateway,--_Legend_,--‘BRIDGE GATE AS REBUILT 1728.’--_Legend on the
Exergue_, ‘TAKEN DOWN, 1766.’ _Reverse_, an upright figure of Justice.
Legend and date on the rim as before.

There were also two Medalets of the halfpenny size, executed by P.
Skidmore, of Coppice Row, Clerkenwell, which are likewise mentioned by
Conder, in volume i., pages 103, 106.

No. 267. A Bronzed or Copper Medalet: _Obverse_, a view of a
church,--_Legend_,--‘ST. MAGNUS LONDON BRIDGE. 1676.’--_Reverse_, a
cypher, ‘P.S.C^o.,’ in a circle, _Legend_,--‘DEDICATED TO COLLECTORS OF

No. 300. A Bronzed or Copper Medalet: _Obverse_, an ancient
gateway,--_Legend_,--‘BRIDGE GATE, BT. 1728:’ within the Archway the
name of ‘Jacobs.’--_Reverse_, as before.

“I am inclined to think, Mr. Barnaby Postern, that there have been
several traditional mistakes perpetuated, as to persons supposed to
have dwelt upon London Bridge; for, upon investigating the subject,
I can find no authority to support my recording them as inhabitants
of that part of London. The author of an exceedingly amusing work,
entitled ‘_Wine and Walnuts_,’ London, 1823, octavo, in which are
contained many witty scenes and curious conversations of eminent
characters in the last century, has entitled the seventh chapter of
his second volume ‘_Old London Bridge; with portraits of some of its
inhabitants_.’ In this article, on page 81, we are told that ‘Master
John Bunyan, one of your heaven-born geniuses, resided, for some time,
upon London Bridge;’ though I cannot discover any such circumstance in
either of the lives of that good man now extant, though he certainly
preached, for some time, at a Chapel in Southwark. Perhaps, however,
this assertion may be explained by the following passage from the
Preface affixed to the Index attached to the first volume of ‘_The
Labours of that eminent servant of Christ Mr. John Bunyan_,’ London,
1692, folio. It is there stated, that in 1688 ‘he published six books,
being the time of K. James 2d’s. liberty of conscience, and was seized
with a sweating distemper, of which, after his some weeks going
about, proved his death, at his very loving friend’s Mr. Strudwick’s,
a Grocer,’--at the sign of the Star,--‘at _Holborn Bridge_, London,
on August 31st.’ It is also recorded on the same page of ‘_Wine and
Walnuts_,’ that ‘Master Abel, the great importer of wines, was another
of the marvels of old London Bridge; he set up a sign, Thank God I am
_Abel_, quoth the wag, and had, in front of his house, the sign of a
bell.’ As I have also heard the same particulars repeated elsewhere,
it is possible that there may be some traditionary authority for
them; but upon carefully reading over the very rare tracts relating
to Mr. Alderman Abel, preserved in the British Museum, I find nothing
concerning his residence on London Bridge, and I should rather imagine,
from their statements, that he lived at his Ticket, or Patent Office,
situate in Aldermary Church-Yard. The same chapter, however, contains
some authentic notices of Artists who really did live upon this
venerable edifice. Of these, one of the most eminent was Hans Holbein,
the great painter of the Court of Henry VIII.; but though we can
hardly suppose that he inhabited the Nonesuch House, yet his actual
residence here is certified by Lord Orford, in his ‘_Anecdotes of
Painting_,’ vide his ‘_Works_,’ edit. London, 1798-1822, quarto, volume
iii., page 72, note. ‘The father of the Lord Treasurer Oxford’--says
the noble author in that place,--‘passing over London Bridge, was
caught in a shower; and stepping into a goldsmith’s shop for shelter,
he found there a picture of Holbein,--who had lived in that house,--and
his family. He offered the goldsmith £100. for it, who consented
to let him have it, but desired first to shew it to some persons.
Immediately after, happened the fire of London, and the picture was
destroyed.’ Another famous Artist of London Bridge, who is mentioned
in both the works which I last cited, was Peter Monamy; so excellent
a painter of marine subjects, as to be considered but little inferior
to Vandevelde himself. Lord Orford says of him, at page 421, that he
‘received his first rudiments of drawing from a sign and house-painter
on London Bridge;’--and that ‘the shallow waves, that rolled under his
window, taught young Monamy what his master could not teach him, and
fitted him to paint the turbulence of the ocean.’ This artist died at
Westminster in 1749. We are also informed, by Edward Edwards, in his
‘_Continuation of Walpole’s Anecdotes of Painting_,’ London, 1808,
quarto, page 214, that Dominic Serres, the Marine Painter, who died in
1793, also once kept a shop upon London Bridge. To these celebrated
men, the author of ‘_Wine and Walnuts_’ adds Jack Laguerre, the
Engraver, ‘a great humourist, wit, singer, player, caricaturist, mimic,
and a good scene-painter,’ son to that Louis, who painted stair-cases
and saloons, where, as Pope says, ‘sprawl the saints of Verrio and
Laguerre.’ His residence, according to our lively author, who states
that he received his information from ‘old Dr. Monsey and others,’
was on the first floor of the dwelling of a waggish bookseller, and
author of all-work, named Crispin Tucker; the owner of half-a-shop on
the East side, under the Southern gate. The artist’s _studio_ was,
chiefly, in a bow-windowed back room, which projected over the Thames,
and trembled at every half-ebb tide; in which Hogarth had resided in
his early life, when he engraved for old John Bowles, of the Black
Horse in Cornhill. It resembled, we are told, on page 135 of the
work and volume which I have already quoted, one of the alchemist’s
laboratories from the pencil of the elder Teniers. It was ‘a complete
smoke-stained confusionary, with a German-stove, crucibles, pipkins,
nests of drawers, with rings of twine to pull them out; here a box of
asphaltum, there glass-stoppered bottles, varnishes, dabbers, gravers,
etching-tools, walls of wax, obsolete copper-plates, many engraved on
both sides, caricatures, and poetry scribbled over the walls; a pallet
hung up as an heir-loom, the colours dry upon it, hard as stone; an
easel; all the multifarious _arcanalia_ of engraving, and, lastly, a
Printing-press!’ This curious picture is also from the information
of Dr. Monsey, but I cannot produce you any other authority for its
truth; and I shall likewise, therefore, leave you to read, and judge
for yourself, the amusing account of Dean Swift’s and Pope’s visits and
conversations with Crispin Tucker, of London Bridge, in chapters viii.
and ix. of the work I have referred to.

“It was, however, not only the ordinary buildings in the Bridge-street,
which were formerly occupied as shops and warehouses, but even
the Chapel of St. Thomas, which, in its later years, was called
Chapel-House, and the Nonesuch-House, were used for similar purposes
before they were taken down. Mr. John Nichols, in his ‘_Literary
Anecdotes_,’ tells us, volume vi., part i., page 402, note, on the
authority of Dr. Ducarel, that ‘the house over the Chapel belonged to
Mr. Baldwin, Haberdasher, who was born there; and when, at seventy-one,
he was ordered to go to Chislehurst for a change of air, he could
not sleep in the country, for want of the noise,’--the roaring and
rushing of the tide beneath the Bridge,--‘he had been always used to
hear.’ My good friend, Mr. J. T. Smith, too, in his very interesting
volume of the ‘_Ancient Topography of London_,’ which you have already
quoted, page 26, has also the following observations concerning the
modern use of this Chapel. ‘By the _Morning Advertiser_,’ says he,
‘for April 26th, 1798, it appears that Aldermen Gill and Wright had
been in partnership upwards of fifty years; and that their shop stood
on the centre of London Bridge, and their warehouse for paper was
directly under it, which was a Chapel for divine service, in one of the
old arches; and, long within legal memory, the service was performed
every sabbath and Saint’s day. Although the floor was always, at
high-water mark, from ten to twelve feet under the surface; yet such
was the excellency of the materials and the masonry, that not the
least damp, or leak, ever happened, and the paper was kept as safe
and dry as it would have been in a garret.’ In that ‘_Survey of the
Cities of London and Westminster_,’ printed in 1734, and purporting to
have been compiled by Robert Seymour, Esq., but which was in reality
the production of the Rev. John Motley, the famous collector of Joe
Miller’s Jests, it is stated in volume i., book i., page 48, that at
that time one side of the Nonesuch House was inhabited by Mr. Bray, a
Stationer, and the other by Mr. West, a Dry-Salter. So much then, Mr.
Barnaby, for the few anecdotes which I have been able to collect of the
dwellings and inhabitants of old London Bridge.”

“And a very fair Memorial too, Master Geoffrey,” answered the
Antiquary, “especially when we consider the extreme difficulty of
procuring such information as this is: but, to carry on our history, I
must now enter upon a less amusing subject; the summary of the Bridge
Accounts for the years 1624 and 1625, taken from the printed sheet
which I have so often cited. ‘1624. To John Langley, and Richard Foxe,
Bridge-Masters, half a year’s fee at our Lady-day, £50: and for the
other half year augmented by order of the Court of Aldermen, £66. 8_s._
4_d._, and for their Liveries, &c. £6. Total £122. 8_s._ 4_d._ Rental
£2054. 4_s._ 2_d._--1625. To the said Bridge-Masters, £133. 6_s._ 8_d._
Liveries, &c. £6. Total to each of them, £69. 3_s._ 4_d._ Rental,
£2054. 4_s._ 2_d._’ These notices of the prosperity of this edifice,
conduct us down to the time when so much of its glory was lost in
devastating flames and mouldering ruins.

“The year 1632-33 must be ever memorable in the history of London
Bridge: for scarcely in the awful conflagration which consumed almost
the whole City, did our brave old edifice suffer so severely. And now,
Mr. Barbican, you must forgive me if I be a little prolix in describing
that desolating fire, since it not only destroyed more than a third
part of the Bridge Houses, but, at one time, its ravages were feared
even in the City itself. I shall commence my account then by reminding
you that Richard Bloome, one of Stow’s continuators, on page 61 of his
‘_Survey_,’ thus speaks of the calamity. ‘On the 13th day of February,
between eleven and twelve at night, there happened in the house of one
Briggs, a Needle-maker near St. Magnus Church, at the North end of the
Bridge, by the carelessness of a Maid-Servant setting a tub of hot
sea-coal ashes under a pair of stairs, a sad and lamentable fire, which
consumed all the buildings before eight of the clock the next morning,
from the North end of the Bridge to the first vacancy on both sides,
containing forty-two houses; water then being very scarce, the Thames
being almost frozen over. Beneath, in the vaults and cellars, the fire
remained glowing and burning a whole week after.’

“There are not wanting several general views of London taken before
this fire, by which we are made acquainted with those extensive piles
of dwellings it destroyed; several of which I have already mentioned to
you. Another also, which is most excellent and rare, is that entitled
in Latin, ‘_London the most flourishing City of Britain, and the most
celebrated emporium of the whole world_.’ It was engraven by John
Visscher in 1616, and published in Holland, ‘by Jud. Hondius at the
sign of the Watchful Dog;’ a four sheet print measuring 7 feet 1-1/2
inch by 1 foot 4-3/4 inches, with an English description beneath it.
‘A Capital View,’ adds Gough, in his ‘_British Topography_,’ already
cited, volume i., page 749, ‘the plates destroyed in Holland about twenty
years ago. T. Davies sold the only impression of it to the King for ten
guineas.’ There is, likewise, a variation of this view, without a date,
having eight Latin verses at either corner, with the name of ‘Ludovicus
Hondius Lusitt.’ It is, says Mr. J. T. Smith, in his ‘_Ancient
Topography of London_,’ page 25, ‘extremely well executed, and exhibits
a wind-mill standing in the Strand, very near where the New Church
is now erected; and another above the Water-works at Queenhithe.’
He considers it as earlier than the productions of Hollar, from the
circumstance that the Palace of Whitehall appears in its original
state, before the Banquetting House and York and Somerset Water-gates
were erected by Inigo Jones. It is also shewn to be a view of the time
of King James I., by a royal procession being introduced on the water,
in which the royal barge is surmounted by the thistle. London Bridge
forms a very large and important feature in this engraving, and I have
been informed, that the edifice alone was copied in quarto, for the
work entitled ‘_London before the Great Fire_;’ but as that publication
stopped with the second number, it was never exhibited for sale.

Of the very curious print by Visscher, however,--and I must not forget
to observe that a fine impression of it is in the possession of John
Dent, Esq.--there was also an imitation of the same size, but somewhat
inferior, called, from the place where it was engraven, ‘the Venetian
copy of Visscher’s View.’ It is, like its prototype, entitled in
Latin, ‘_London the most flourishing City in Britain_,’ &c. to which
is added, ‘_Printed in Venice, by Nicolo Misserini, 1629, Franco
Valegio fecit_:’ it also contains a Latin dedication, and a description
in Italian. There is an impression, probably, of this latter print,
preserved in volume xiii. of the famous illustrated Pennant’s London,
bequeathed by the late Charles Crowle, Esq. to the British Museum; but
all the inscriptions have been cruelly cut away, and the print itself
doubled in numerous folds to make it fit to the size of the volume!
This engraving, however, bears the name of Rombout Vanden Hoege, and
shews us, with great minuteness, on rather a large scale, the GROUP OF


which extended to the first opening, and which, from the very
appearance which they present, must have contained a considerable
number of inhabitants; but of the fire itself, and of all the
distressing events attending it, I am about to give you a very
particular and interesting account, from the pen of an eye-witness
of the conflagration. This narrative is contained in a coarse paper
Manuscript volume, of a small quarto size, written in the print-hand
of the 17th century, with some lines of faded red ink and chalk
interspersed. The volume contains 517 pages in all, and is entitled ‘_A
Record of the Mercies of God; or, a Thankefull Remembrance_;’ it being
a collection, or journal, of remarkable providences and reflections,
made by one Nehemiah Wallington, a Puritan Citizen and Turner, who
lived in Little East-cheap, and who was evidently a friend of Burton
and Bastwick, he having been several times examined concerning them
before the Court of Star-Chamber. In this most singular record then,
at pages 479-488, is an article entitled ‘_Of the great fire vpon the
Bridge_;’ preceded by Mottoes from Psalms lxvi. 5; lxxi. 17; cxi. 2;
Isaiah xlv. 7; and Amos iii. 6; which runs in the following terms.

“‘1633. It is the bounden dutie of vs all that haue beene the
beholders of the wonderfull workes of the Lord our God, his mercyes
and iudgements shewed heretofore; and now of late of a fearefull fire,
wee should not forgett itt ourselues, and we should declare it to all
others, euen to y^e generations to come.--On the xi. day of February,
(being Monday, 1633) began, by God’s iust hand, a fearefull fire in the
house of one Mr. Iohn Brigges, neere tenn of the clocke att night, it
burnt down his house and the next house, with all the goods that were
in them; and, as I heere, that Briggs, his wife, and childe, escaped
with their liues very hardly, hauing nothing on their bodies but their
shurt and smoke: and the fire burnt so fearcely, that itt could not be
quenched till it had burnt downe all the houses on both sides of the
way, from S. Magnes Church to the first open place. And allthough there
was water enough very neere, yet they could not safely come at it, but
all the conduittes neere were opened, and the pipes that carried watter
through the streets were cutt open, and the watter swept down with
broomes with helpe enough; but it was the will of God it should not
preuaile. And the hand of God was the more seene in this, in as much as
no meanes would prosper. For the 3 Engines, which are such excellent
things, that nothing that euer was deuised could do so much good, yet
none of these did prosper, for they were all broken, and the tide was
verie low that they could get no watter; and the pipes that were cutt
yeilded but littel watter. Some ladders were broke to the hurt of many,
for some had their legges broke, some had their armes, and some their
ribbes broken, and many lost their liues. This fire burnt fiercely all
night, and part of the next day (for my man was there about twelue a
cloke, and he said he did see the fardest house on fire) till all was
burnt and pulled downe to the ground. Yet the timber, and wood, and
coales in the sellers, could not be quenched all that weeke, till the
Tuesday following, in the afternoone, the xix of February, for I was
there then my selfe, and had a liue cole of fire in my hand, and burnt
my finger with it. Notwithstanding there were as many night and day
as could labour one by another to carry away timber, and brickes, and
tiles, and rubbish cast downe into the liters. So that on Wensday the
Bridge was cleared that passengers might goe ouer.’

“‘At the begining of this fire, as I lay in my bed and heard y^e
sweeping of the channels and crying for water, water, I arose about one
of the cloke, and looked downe Fish-street-hill, and did behold such a
fearfull and dreadfull fire vaunting it selfe ouer the tops of houses,
like a Captaine florishing and displaying his banner; and seeing so
much meanes and so little good, it did make me thinke of that fire
which the Lord threateneth against Ierusalem, for the breach of his
Sabbath day. He saith thus: ‘But if ye will not here me to sanctifie
the Sabbath day, and to beare no burden, nor to goe through y^e gates
of Ierusalem in the Sabbath day, then will I kindle a fire in y^e gates
there, and it shall deuoure the palaces of Ierusalem, and it shall not
be quenched.’ Iere. xvii. 27.

“‘I did heere that on the other side of y^e Bridge, the Bruers brought
abundance of watter in vessells on their draies, which did, with the
blissing of God, much good; and this mircie of God I thought on, that
there was but littel wind; for had y^e wind bin as high as it was a
weeke before, I thinke it would have indangered y^e most part of the
Citie; for in Thames Street there is much pitch, tarre, rosen, and
oyle, in their houses: Therefore, as God remembers mercy in iustice,
let us remember thankefullnes in sorrow. ‘Therefore will I praise
the Lord with my whole heart, and I will speake of all thy marvellous
workes;’ ‘for it is of the Lord’s mercy that wee are not consumed,’
Lament. iii., 22. The Names, and Trades, and number of the Houses burnt
vpon the Bridg, heere you may see vnder nethe.--

“‘1. Mr. William Vyner,--_Haberdasher of smal Wares_. 2. Mr. Iohn
Broome,--_Hosier_. 3. Mr. Arther Lee,--_Haberdasher of smal Wares_. 4.
M^{ris}. Iohane Broome,--_Hosier_. 5. Mr. Ralph Panne,--_Shewmaker_.
6. Mr. Abraham Marten,--_Haberdasher of Hattes_. 7. Mr. Ieremiah
Champney,--_Hosier_. 8. Mr. John Terrill,--_Silke man_. 9. Mr. Ellis
Midmore,--_Milliner_. 10. Mr. Francis Finch,--_Hosier_. 11. Mr. Andrewe
Bouth,--_Haberdasher of small Wares_. 12. Mr. Samuel Petty,--_Glouer_.
13. Mr. Valentin Beale,--_Mercer_. 14. M^{ris}. ---- Chambers,
_Senior_. 15. Mr. Ieremiah Chamley,--_Silke man_. 16. The Blew
Bore,--_empti_. 17. Mr. Iohn Gouer,--_Stiller of Strong Waters_. 18.
Mr. Iohn Wilding, _Iunior_,--_Girdler_. 19. Mr. Daniel Conney,--_Silke
man_. 20. Mr. Stephen Beale,--_Lyning Draper_. 21. M^{ris}. Iane
Langham,--_Mercer_. 22. Mr. Iames Dunkin, _Wolling Draper_. 23. Mr.
Matthew Harding,--_Salter_. 24. Mr. Abraham Chambers,--_Haberdasher
of smal Wares_. 25. and 26.--Mr. Lyne Daniel,--_Haberdasher of
Hattes_, _a double house_. 27. M^{ris}. ---- Brookes,--_Glouer_. 28.
Mr. ---- Couerley,--_Hosier_. 29. Mr. Iohn Dransfielde,--_Grocer_.
30. Mr. Newman, _emptie_. 31. Mr. Edward Warnett, and 32. Mr. Samuel
Wood, _partoners_,--_Haberdashers of Small Wares_. 33. Mr. Iohn
Greene,--_Haberdasher of Hattes_. 34. Mr. Heugh Powel,--_Haberdasher
of Hattes_. 35. Mr. Samuel Armitage,--_Haberdasher of Small Wares_.
36. Mr. Iohn Sherley,--_Haberdasher of Small Wares_. 37. Mr. John
Lawrymore,--_Grocer_. 38. Mr. Timothy Drake,--_Woolling Draper_.
39. Mr. Iohn Brigges,--_Needle-maker_.’--at whose house the fire
commenced,--‘40. Mr. Richard Shelbuery,--_Scriuener_. 41. Mr. Edward
Greene,--_Hosier_. 42. Mr. ---- Hazard,--_the Curate_, and 43. Mr. ----
Hewlett,--_the Clarke_,--_at S. Magnus Cloyster_.’

“This narrative has, however, already appeared in print in the
‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for November, 1824, pages 387, 388; the
extract having been furnished by the possessor of the volume, Mr.
William Upcott, of the London Institution.

“Of the ground-plot of London Bridge, after the damage done by this
fire, there is yet extant a very curious survey, preserved under the
care of Mr. Smith, in the British Museum. It consists of an unpublished
drawing on parchment, measuring four feet five inches in length, by ten
inches in breadth: and it, perhaps, belonged to Sir Hans Sloane, as it
is kept with some other fragmenta of his property. In this drawing,
the piers are represented in a tint of yellow, placed upon sterlings
of Indian ink; and it was executed, as I suppose, soon after this
fatal conflagration, since there is a note written in an ancient hand
attached to the seventh pier from the City end, stating that ‘_the Fire
burnt to the prickt line_,’ which is drawn from it; and which accords
with all the subsequent views taken of the platform, and houses on the


“I am next to speak,” continued my unwearied Historian, “of the manner
in which this terrible destruction of London Bridge was repaired: and
concerning this we are informed by Richard Bloome, a Continuator of
Stow, who tells us in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 61, that after
the fire, ‘this North end of the Bridge lay unbuilt for many years,
only deal boards were set up on both sides, to prevent people’s falling
into the Thames, many of which deals were, by high winds, oft blown
down, which made it very dangerous in the nights, although there were
lanthorns and candles hung upon all the cross beams that held the pales
together.’ We have two views of London Bridge, in which the Northern
end of it appears in this state, but in each of them the temporary
erection is quite of a different nature; and it is somewhat singular
that the writer whom I last cited, should positively speak as follows,
concerning the early restoration of the destroyed houses, when there
seems no real authority to support his assertions. ‘For about the year
1645,’--says he,--‘the North end of this part last burned, began to
be rebuilt; and in the year 1646 was finished: the building was of
timber, very substantial and beautiful, for the houses were three
stories high, besides the cellars, which were within and between the
piers. And over the houses were stately platforms leaded, with rails
and ballusters about them, very commodious and pleasant for walking,
and enjoying so fine a prospect up and down the River; and some had
pretty little gardens with arbours. This half being finished, the other
half was intended to be rebuilt answerable to this, which would have
been a great glory to the Bridge and honour to the City, the street, or
passage, being twenty feet broad; whereas the other part, at the South
end, was not above fourteen, and, in some places, but twelve.’

“Now, notwithstanding this particular description of these new
buildings, neither of the engravings which I have alluded to have any
indications of them; although one of them was published in 1647, and
the other in 1666. The first of these represents the North end of
London Bridge, from St. Magnus’ Church to the houses beyond the first
opening, as occupied by a _covered_ passage formed of planks, leaving
recesses standing out from the main erection, which was supported by
buttresses of wood fastened to platforms on the outside of the Bridge.


“We derive this view of the dilapidations of London Bridge from a very
rare and magnificent print, well known to collectors and antiquaries,
by the name of the ‘_Long Antwerp view of London_;’ for which, Mr.
Geoffrey Barbican, if you ever meet with it, you may consider twenty
guineas as a very moderate price. This famous engraving is an etching
by the matchless Wenceslaus Hollar; it is in seven sheets, measuring
two yards and an half in length, by 17-1/2 inches in height: it bears
a dedication to Queen Henrietta Maria, and William Prince of Orange,
with a copy of Latin verses written by Edward Benlowes, Esq.; and,
though it was sold in London, the following publication line appears on
one side written in Latin:--‘_Sold at Amsterdam by Cornelius Danckers,
in Calf Street, at the sign of the Image of Gratitude, in the year
1647_.’ The e is, by the way, a pretty fair, but smaller copy of this
view of London and Westminster in two sheets, in a series of prints
commonly called ‘_Boydell’s Perspectives_,’ measuring 37-1/2 inches, by
10-1/4 inches, signed ‘_R. Benning, del. et sculp._,’ and entitled ‘_A
View of London as it was in the year 1647_.’ The publication line is,
‘_Sold by J. Boydell, Engraver, at the Unicorn in Cheapside, London,
1756_.’ You will find both the original, and the copy, in the xiii.th
and xiv.th volumes of Mr. Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant, which I have
already cited to you, and the view takes in from above the Parliament
House at Westminster to beyond St. Catherine’s; but the Bridge is the
_keimelion_ of the plate, for that noble edifice is represented with
all its buildings, from St. Magnus’ Church, down to the Southwark
Tower, the size of 10 inches in length, with the principal buildings
about two inches square. The other view to which I have alluded, was
also etched by Hollar, upon two sheets measuring 27 inches by 4-1/4:
and it consists of two prospects, one over the other, on the same
plate, the upper one representing, ‘_London from St. Mary Overies
Steeple in Southwark, in its flourishing condition before the Fire_;’
and the lower one entitled, ‘_Another prospect of the said City, taken
from the same place, as it appeareth now after the said calamity and
destruction by Fire_.’ Copies of these interesting etchings are,
however, neither dear nor uncommon; though, if you would have so fine
an impression as that in the Print Room of the British Museum, you
will scarcely procure it under three Guineas. In the upper of these
prospects, the Northern end of London Bridge is shewn to be a passage
fenced by wooden palings without any houses, excepting one building,
which occupies the whole width of the Bridge; having a gate in it
surmounted by the King’s Arms, and standing immediately before the old
Church of St. Magnus.


“Independently of these views, we have another very strong evidence
that this part was not built upon even in the year 1665, contained in
that most interesting and curious work, the ‘_Memoirs and Diary of
Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S. and Secretary to the Admiralty in the reigns
of Charles II. and James II_.’ Edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke,
London, 1825, 4to. volume 1., page 388: where, under the date of
January 24th, 1665-66, that observant journalist has the following
entry. ‘My Lord,’--Edward Montague, Earl of Sandwich,--‘and I, the
weather being a little fairer, went by water to Deptford; and the
wind being again very furious, so as we durst not go by water, walked
to London round the Bridge, no boat being able to stirre; and, Lord!
what a dirty walk we had, and so strong the wind, that in the fields
we many times could not carry our bodies against it, but were driven
backwards. It was dangerous to walk the streets, the bricks and tiles
falling from the houses, that the whole streets were covered with them;
and whole chimneys, nay, whole houses, in two or three places, blowed
down. But above all, _the pales on London Bridge, on both sides, were
blown away_;’--almost the very words, you observe, which I have quoted
you from Richard Bloome,--‘so that we were forced to stoop very low,
for fear of blowing off the Bridge. We could see no boats in the Thames
afloat, but what were broke loose, and carried through the Bridge, it
being ebbing water. And the greatest sight of all was, among other
parcels of ships driven here and there in clusters together, one was
quite overset, and lay with her masts all along in the water, and
her keel above water.’ The desolation, and wintry chillness of this
picture, is enough to make one shiver even in the Dog-days.”

When the worthy old Chronicler had arrived at the conclusion of this
narrative, as usual I took up the story, and began thus:--“This, Mr.
Barnaby Postern, was indeed a fatal destruction, and one would imagine
that it was no such happy event as to cause a jesting ballad to be made
to commemorate it; but yet, though in the following verses there are
some discordant circumstances, and even the date is at variance with
that which you have already given, there can be little doubt but that
they relate to the Fire of which you have now spoken. You will find
them printed at the end of a very rare, but, at the same time, a very
worthless publication, entitled ‘_The Loves of Hero and Leander, a mock
Poem: Together with choice Poems and rare pieces of drollery, got by
heart, and often repeated by divers witty Gentlemen and Ladies that use
to walke in the New Exchange, and at their recreations in Hide Park_.’
London, 1653, 12mo., pages 44-48. There is also another edition of
1682; but I pray you to remember, that many of the fescennine rhymes,
some of which would have done honour to Hudibras, and many of the witty
points of this song, are, in that latter copy, most vilely perverted; I
shall give it you, therefore, as it stands in the former impression.

    ‘_Some_ Christian people _all_ give ear
      Unto the grief of us:
    Caused by the death of three children dear.
      The which it happen’d thus.

    And eke there befel an accident,
      By fault of a Carpenter’s son,
    Who to saw chips his sharp ax-e-lent
      Woe worth the time may Lon----

    May London say: Woe worth the Carpenter!
      And all such _block-head_ fools;
    Would he were hanged up like a _sarpent_ here
      For meddling with edge tools.

    For into the chips there fell a spark,
      Which put out in such flames,
    That it was known into South-wark
      Which lies beyond the Thames.

    For _Loe_! the Bridge was wondrous _high_
      With water underneath:
    O’er which as many fishes fly
      As birds therein do breathe.

    And yet the fire consumed the Brigg,
      Not far from place of landing;
    And though the building was full big,
      It fell down,--_not with standing_.

    And eke into the water fell
      So many pewter dishes,
    That a man might have taken up very well
      Both boil’d and roasted fishes!

    And thus the Bridge of London Town,
      For building that was sumptuous,
    Was _all_ by fire _half_ burnt down,
      For being too _contumptious_!

    Thus you have _all_ but _half_ my song,
      Pray list to what comes _ater_;
    For now I have _cool’d_ you with the _fire_,--
      I’ll _warm_ you with the _water_!

    I’ll tell you what the River’s name’s
      Where these children did slide--a,
    It was fair London’s swiftest Thames
      Which keeps both Time and Tide--a.

    All on the tenth of January,
      To the wonder of much people;
    ’Twas frozen o’er that well ’twould bear
      Almost a country steeple!

    Three children sliding thereabout,
      Upon a place too thin;
    That so at last it did _fall out_,
      That they did all _fall in_.

    A great Lord there was that laid with the King,
      And with the King great wager makes;
    But when he saw that he could not win
      He sigh’d,--and would have drawn stakes.

    He said it would bear a man for to slide,
      And laid a hundred pound;
    The King said it would break, and so it did,
      For three children there were drown’d.

    Of which, one’s head was from his should--
      ers stricken,--whose name was John;
    Who then cried out as loud as he could
      ‘Oh Lon-a! Lon-a! Lon-don!’

    ‘Oh! tut--tut--turn from thy sinful race!’
      Thus did his speech decay;
    I wonder that in such a case
      He had no more to say.

    And thus being drown’d, Alack! Alack!
      The water ran down their throats,
    And stopp’d their breath three hours by the clock,
      Before they could get any boats!

    Ye parents all that children have,
      And ye that have none yet,
    Preserve your children from the grave,
      And teach them at home to sit.

    For had these at a sermon been,
      Or else upon dry ground,
    Why then I never would have been seen,
      If that they had been drown’d!

    Even as a huntsman ties his dogs,
      For fear they should go fro him;
    So tye your children with severity’s clogs,
      _Untie ’em_--and you’ll _undo ’em_.

    God bless our noble Parliament,
      And rid them from all fears;
    God bless _all_ the Commons of this land,
      And God bless--_some_ of the Peers!’

“And now, Sir, I shall, by your favour, say a few words with respect
to the tune to which these verses were formerly sung; which I am the
better enabled to do by the researches of a gentleman, to whom, in
several other particulars of our history, I have been considerably
indebted. By his information, I shall first inform you, that the
foregoing Song exists in its original state, in the Pepysian Collection
of Ballads preserved in Magdalen College, Cambridge, volume ii., page
146; where it is called ‘_The Lamentation of a bad market, or the
drownding of three children on the Thames. To the tune of the Ladies’
Fall. Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke._’ Now
the old verses, entitled ‘_A Lamentable Ballad of the Lady’s Fall_,’
you will find, with some account of it prefixed, in Bishop Percy’s
‘_Reliques of Ancient English Poetry_,’ volume iii., book ii., article
x., page 137, fourth edition, London, 1794, octavo; or, indeed, you
may consult any edition but the last. From the Editor’s notice of this
latter poem, we learn that it was sung to the tune of the verses called
‘_The Shepherd’s Slumber_;’ better known by the first three words of
the commencing stanza.

    ‘In pescod time, when hound to horne
      Gives eare till buck be kill’d;
    And little lads with pipes of corne,
      Sate keeping beasts a-field.’

“I have not, Mr. Barnaby, found the musical notation of _this_ song,
though I am almost inclined to think it was sung to the very common
tune of ‘_Flying Fame_,’ so familiar to every body under the name of
‘_Chevy Chace_;’ for in volume iv., page 1, of Tom D’Urfey’s collection
of Songs called ‘_Wit and Mirth_,’ London, 1719, 12mo., you may see
this very ballad on London Bridge, entitled ‘_Three children sliding
on the Thames. Tune, Chevy chace_.’ Listen then, my good Sir, whilst,
with my very unmelodious voice, I attempt to give you some idea of
it;--the music I have alluded to, runs thus:--


    ‘Some Chris-tian peo-ple all give ear,
      Un-to the grief of us:
    Caused by the death of three Chil-dren dear.
      The which it hap-pened thus.’”]

“Thank ye, thank ye, honest Master Geoffrey Barbican,” said my visitor,
as I concluded; “my thanks to you, both for your music and poetry;
for I verily think as you do, that the verses which you have repeated
relate to this conflagration of 1633, although there was the difference
of a month between the actual fact, and your rhyming record of it. It
appears to me, too, as if I recognized in the 16th stanza,--where the
last words of the drowning victim are uttered by his head in broken
accents,--the original of Gay’s description of the death of Doll, the
Pippin-woman, contained in the 2nd book of his ‘_Trivia_,’ since she
died in much the same place and manner.

“The rental of the Bridge House was, doubtless considerably lessened
by this destructive fire; but in the printed document of the
Bridge-Masters’ Accounts, there is not any notice of the amount of
rents for some years after it. In 1636, however, we are informed that
the salaries, horsekeeping, and liveries, of John Potter, and David
Bourne, the Wardens, amounted to £71. 3_s._ 4_d._ each; and in the
following year the rental is stated to have been only £1836. 7_s._
6_d._, whilst the fees, &c. of John Hawes and Noadiah Rawlins amounted
to £72. In that Manuscript treatise on the payment of Tythes, which
I have mentioned to you as being in the Archiepiscopal Library at
Lambeth, Cornelius Burgess, the then Rector of St. Magnus, observes
that ‘the best third part of the Parish was consumed by the late fire
on London Bridge: yet no part of the annual charges lying on the
Parsonage is abated. And it is yet capable of a large improvement, by
reason that a good part of it being Citty land, provisions have been
accordingly made to keepe downe the tithes generally throughout the
Parish to vnreasonable low proportions, some very few houses excepted.’
According to Newcourt, in his ‘_Repertorium Ecclesiasticum_,’ volume
i., page 396, these tythes before this conflagration amounted to £109.
for 90 houses, of which about 40 houses were destroyed; though, in the
Manuscript valuation of 1638, they are reduced to £81. 12_s._ 8_d._

“The destruction of London Bridge, however, was not allowed to pass
without a more appropriate memorial than the song which you have
repeated; for in the parochial records of the Church adjoining, it
is stated, that Susanna Chambers by her will, dated the 28th day of
December, 1640, left ‘unto the Parson of the Parish Church of St.
Magnus, on, or near, London Bridge, or unto such other Preacher of
God’s word as my said son Richard Chambers, his heirs, administrators,
and assignees shall yearly appoint, the yearly sum of twenty shillings
of lawful English money, for a Sermon to be preached on the 12th day of
February, in every year, within the said Parish Church of St. Magnus,
London Bridge, or any other near thereunto, in commemoration of God’s
merciful preservation of the said Church of St. Magnus from ruin in the
late and terrible fire of London Bridge; and also the sum of seventeen
shillings and sixpence to the poor of that Parish of St. Magnus; and
two shillings and sixpence to the clerk and sexton.’ This gift is
mentioned by most of the London Historians; and I would observe to you
that I am informed, with regard to the present state of this bequest,
that the money for the Sermon, the Clerk, and the Sexton, has not been
claimed within the memory of the oldest inhabitant of the Parish: but
that the poor have, ever since, duly received their legacy. Whilst I am
speaking of St. Magnus’ Church, I may also remark, that in consequence
of the dissolution of the Fraternity belonging to it, which I have
before mentioned, there has been a perpetuity of £21. 6_s._ 8_d._ paid
by the Exchequer ever since the time of Queen Mary.

“In the 43rd volume of that most extraordinary collection of Tracts,
which the late excellent King George III. presented to the British
Museum, there is a pamphlet of four leaves commemorating a remarkable
flow of the Thames at London Bridge, the title to which is given by
Gough in his ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., page 731: and it
bears the same proportion to its contents, as the show-cloth of a
travelling menagerie does to the actual exhibition. ‘_A Strange Wonder,
or the Citie’s Amazement. Being a Relation occasioned by a wonderfull
and vnusuall accident, that happened in the River of Thames, Friday,
Feb. 4, 1641. There flowing Two Tydes at London Bridge, within the
space of an houre and a halfe, the last comming with such violence
and hideous noyse, that it not onely affrighted, but even astonished
above 500 watermen that stood beholding it on both sides the Thames.
Which latter Tyde rose sixe foote higher then the former Tyde had done,
to the great admiration of all men._’ London, 1641. Small quarto.
This tract is subsequently named ‘_True Newes from Heaven_,’ and the
author takes occasion, from the event which he records, to lament the
vices and confusion of his time. The fact itself occupies but a small
portion of his text; and he relates it thus.--‘Fryday, Februarie
4, 1641, it was high water at one of the clocke at noone, a time--by
reason so accommodated for all imployments by water or land,--very fit
to afford witnesse of a strange and notorious accident. After it was
full high water, and that it flowed its full due time as all Almanacks
set downe; and water-men, the vnquestionable prognosticators in that
affaire, with confidence mainetaine it stood a quiet still dead water,
a full houre and halfe, without moving or returning any way never so
litle: Yea, the water-men flung in stickes to the streame, as near as
they could guesse, which lay in the water as vpon the earth, without
moving this way or that. Dishes likewise, and wodden buckets, they
set a swimming, but it proved a stilling, for move they would not
any way by force of stream or water; so that it seemed the water was
indeed asleepe or dead, or had changed or borrowed the stability of
the earth. The water-men not content with this evidence, would needs
make the vtmost of the tryall, that they might report with the more
boldnesse the truth of the matter: and with more credible confidence
they tooke their boates and lanched into the streame or very channell:
but the boates that lay hailed up on the shore moved as much, except
when they used their oares; nay,--a thing worthy the admiration of
all men,--they rowed under the very arches, tooke up their oares and
slept there, or, at least, lay still an houre very neare, their boates
not so much as moved through any way, either upward or downeward: the
water seeming as plaine, quiet, even, and stable as a pavement under
the arch, where, if any where in the Thames, there must be moving by
reason of the narrownesse of the place. In this posture stood the water
a whole houre and halfe, or rather above, by the testimony of above
five hundred water-men, on either side the Thames, whom not to believe
in this case were stupiditie, not discretion. At last, when all men
expected its ebb, being filled with amazement that it stood so long as
hath been delivered, behold a greater wonder, a new Tyde comes in! A
new Tyde with a witnesse, you might easily take notice of him; so lowde
he roared, that the noise was guessed to be about Greenwich when it was
heard so, not onely clearly, but fearfully to the Bridge; and up he
comes tumbling, roaring, and foaming in that furious manner, that it
was horror unto all that beheld it. And as it gave sufficient notice to
the eare of its comming, so it left sufficient satisfaction to the eye
that it was now come; having raised the water foure foote higher then
the first Tyde had done, foure foote by rule! as by evident measure did
appear, and presently ebbed in as hasty, confused, unaccustomed manner.
See here, Reader! a wonder, that--all things considered,--the oldest
man never saw or heard of the like.’

“Lord Clarendon, in his ‘_History of the Rebellion_,’ volume i., part
ii., book iv. page 521, Oxford, 1819, 8vo., states that when John
Hampden and the four other members of Parliament were accused of High
Treason, and were, by their own party, brought back in triumph from the
City, January the 11th, 1641-42, ‘from London-Bridge to Westminster,
the Thames was guarded with above a hundred lighters and longboats,
laden with small pieces of ordnance, and dressed up with waistclothes
and streamers, as ready for fight,’ These forces, together with
the City Trained-bands under Major General Skippon, were not less
to honour, than to defend, the return of the accused Members. The
same noble Historian tells us farther, in the same volume and part,
book v. page 661, that about the end of March in the same year, the
Justices, and principal gentlemen of the County of Kent, prepared a
Petition to the two Houses of Parliament, that the Militia might not
be otherwise exercised in that County than according to Law, and that
the Common Prayer Book might still be observed. This was construed by
the Parliament into a commotion in Kent; the Earl of Bristol and Judge
Mallet were committed to the Tower only for having seen it; and strong
guards were placed at London Bridge, where the petitioners approaching
the City were disarmed, and forced to return, and only a very few
permitted to proceed with the petition to Westminster.

“That it was the unhappy custom, even late in the seventeenth century,
to erect heads over the South Gate on London Bridge, we have, Alas!
too many proofs; though, indeed, it seems to have been only the case
with such as were considered traitors, as were those unfortunate Romish
Priests executed under the Statutes of Elizabeth and James I. When
Bishop Challoner is speaking, in his work already cited, volume iii.,
page 112, of the death of Bartholomew Roe, a Priest of the Order of
St. Benedict, in January, 1642, he states that, on the morning of his
execution, he exhorted the Catholics who were present at his Mass in
the prison, and desired them ‘that as often as in passing through the
City, they should see that hand of his fixed on one of the Gates, or in
crossing the water, should see his head on London Bridge, they would
remember those lessons which he had preached to them, of the importance
of holding fast the Catholic faith, and of leading a Christian and
holy life.’ In October, 1642, the head of Thomas Bullaker, a Priest
of the Order of St. Francis, was also set up on London Bridge. See
Bishop Challoner, page 132, in the same volume: and another unhappy
instance of a similar execution is to be found in Dr. Challoner’s
life of Henry Heath, a Father of the Order of St. Francis, contained
on pages 141, 143, of the same volume of his work. Having left Douay
and landed in England, this Priest travelled to the metropolis in the
greatest poverty. ‘At London he arrives wearied, as well he might,
having travelled barefoot forty miles that day, and it being the Winter
season. It is now time to take up his quarters, and give some little
rest and refreshment to the body. But how shall this be done, for money
he has none, nor acquaintance? however, he ventures to call at the Star
Inn, near London Bridge, but the people of the house finding that he
had no money, turned him out of doors at eight o’clock in a cold winter
night.’ In this distress, he laid down to rest at a Citizen’s door,
where the owner of the house had him seized for a shoplifter, and, when
examined by the watch, some writings in defence of the Romish faith
being found in his cap, he owned himself to be a Priest. He was then
tried and convicted upon the Statute of Elizabeth, and was executed
on April the 17th, 1643, at Tyburn, and his head erected upon London

“On the 7th of March, 1642, the two Houses of Parliament ordered that
the City of London should be fortified, for its better security and
safety; and on the day following the order was printed, in small
quarto, a copy of which is in the King’s Collection of Tracts in the
British Museum, volume 97; and of which, if I repeat you a portion
of the title, you will receive all the information contained in the
pamphlet itself. ‘_An Ordinance and Declaration of the Lords and
Commons assembled in Parliament, that the Lord Mayor and Citizens
of the City of London, for the better securing and safetie thereof,
shall have full power and authority, according to their discretion,
to trench, stop, and fortifie all high-waies leading into the said
City, as well within the Liberties, as without, as they shall see
cause. And for the better effecting thereof, shall impose upon all the
inhabitants within the same, upon every house worth £5. a year, six
pence, and every house of greater rent, after the rate of two pence in
the pound._’ Another copy of this ordinance was printed in April, 1643,
and is to be found in volume 104 of the same collection. Maitland, in
his ‘_History_,’ volume i., pages 368, 369, also mentions an act of
Common Council passed for the same purpose, February the 23rd, 1642-43:
and gives a plan of the fortifications erected round the City. It was
enacted, says he, that ‘all the passages and ways leading to the City
should be shut up, excepting those entering at Charing Cross, St.
Giles’s in the Fields, St. John’s Street, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel;
and that the exterior ends of the said streets should be fortified
with breast-works and turnpikes, musket-proof; and all the sheds and
buildings contiguous to London-Wall without, be taken down; and that
the City Wall, with its bulwarks, be not only repaired and mounted
with artillery, but, likewise, that divers new works be added to the
same at places most exposed.’ When this act had been confirmed by the
above ordinances of Parliament, the fortifications were commenced and
carried on with considerable rapidity; men, women, and children, were
employed upon the works; and, in a short time, an earthern rampart,
with redoubts, horn-works, batteries, forts, and bulwarks, was
erected round the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough
of Southwark. We have no particular account, however, of the manner
in which London Bridge was fortified at this period; and the great
events which took place in the history of the Civil Wars seem to have
swallowed up every circumstance connected with this edifice. We learn,
indeed, that in the year 1647, the Parliamentary Army entered the City,
whilst the Corporation was engaged in an irresolute debate as to the
measures to be adopted for its defence: when frequent conciliatory
messages passed between the chief Officers and London; and, the less to
alarm the Metropolis, the soldiers were quartered at some distance from
it. ‘However, in this calm,’--says Lord Clarendon, who relates these
circumstances in his ‘_History_,’ volume iii., part i., book x., page
104,--‘they sent over Colonel Rainsborough with a brigade of horse, and
foot, and cannon, at Hampton Court, to possess Southwark, and those
works which secured that end of London Bridge; which he did with
so little noise, that in one night’s march he found himself master,
without any opposition, not only of the Borough of Southwark, but of
all the works and forts which were to defend it; the soldiers within
shaking hands with those without, and refusing to obey their officers
which were to command them: so that the City, without knowing that any
such thing was in agitation, found in the morning that all that avenue
to the Town was possessed by the enemy; whom they were providing to
resist on the other side, being as confident of this that they had
lost, as of any gate in the City.’

“Bulstrode Whitelock, in his ‘_Memorials of the English Affairs_,’
London, 1732, folio, page 263, enables us to add to this account,
that on Colonel Rainsborough’s advance to Southwark, he found the
Bridge gates shut, the Portcullis lowered, and a guard within; but
upon placing a counter-guard with two pieces of ordnance, against the
gate, in a short time the great fort was surrendered; about two in the
morning of Monday, the 2nd of August, 1647.

“A curious invention, which, very probably, was never carried into
execution, was, in the year 1643, connected with the history of London
Bridge; being the scheme of an unsuccessful engineer named Captain
John Bulmer. You may see an original copy of his ‘_Propositions in
the Office of Assurance, London, for the Blowing up of a Boat and a
man over London Bridge_,’ in the King’s Collection of Tracts in the
British Museum, Miscellaneous Pieces, volume 3*, folio, article 88.
In this statement, which consists of a broadside of one page, he thus
commences. ‘In the name of God, Amen, John Bulmer, of London, Esquire:
Master and Surveiour Generall of the King’s Maiestie’s Mines Royall,
and Engines for Water-workes, propoundeth--by God’s assistance,--that
he, the said John Bulmer, shall and will, at and in a flowing water,
set out a Boat or Vessell with an Engine, floating with a man or a boy
in and aboard the said Boat, in the River of Thames, over against the
Tower-wharfe, or lower. Which said Boat, with the said man or boy in
or aboard her, shall the same tide, before low-water againe, by art
of the said John Bulmer, and helpe of the said engine, be advanced
and elevated so high, as that the same shall passe and be delivered
over London Bridge, together with the said man or boy in and aboard
her, and floate againe in the said River of Thames, on the other
side of the said Bridge, in safety.’ He then proceeds to covenant
for himself, his heirs, &c., to perform this within the space of one
month, after he shall have intimated at the Assurance Office that he
is about to put it in practice. This announcement was to be made ‘so
soone as the undertakers wagering against him six for one,’ should have
deposited in the Office such a sum as he should consider sufficient
to ‘countervaile his charges of contriving the said Boat and Engine.’
Captain Bulmer was also to deposit his proportion of the money, and
the whole, being subscribed and signed, was to remain in the office,
until he had either performed his contract, when he was to receive it;
or till his failure, when it was to be re-delivered to the subscribers.
This curious paper is dated November the 6th, and concludes with the
following promise: ‘And all those that will bring in their monies into
the Office, shall be there assured of their losse or gaine, according
to the conditions above mentioned.’ I imagine, however, that this
scheme met with but little or no encouragement, because I find a new
edition of it, dated March the 20th, 1647, printed in small folio,
and inserted in the King’s Tracts marked ‘_Single Sheets_,’ volume
5, article 130. It varies, however, somewhat from the foregoing, and
states that ‘the blowing up of a Gun from under the water by the breath
of a man’s mouth, shall occasion the raising of such Boate or vessell;
which said gun shall then forthwith after be discharged by fire given
thereunto, and presently sinke againe: after the sinking whereof,
another gunne shall be raised by such meanes as aforesaid, which shall
be discharged also, forthwith upon the floating of the said Boate or
Vessell on the other side of the sayd Bridge.’ He no longer mentions
his terms to be ‘six for one,’ but states that his performance shall
take place within a month after the amount of his expenses shall be
subscribed by ‘persons pleasing to afford assistance and furtherance
to arts and mysteries of this nature.’ He adds too, that security
will be given at the office, and that his reason for desiring these
deposits is, ‘for that losse of time in collection of the same after
performance, would hinder him from prosecution of businesse of greater
consequence, and tending to the publique good. He was, however, I
doubt not, still unsuccessful; for his time was not only one of
national poverty, arising from the Civil Wars, but it was also one of
projectors as forward and as promising as himself: whilst the people,
in general, seemed but little disposed to encourage any new scheme,
however wonderful, and to be of the mind of Goldsmith’s Scrivener, when
he said, ‘For my part, I believe all the money is gone to the Devil,
or beyond the seas, and he who has a little is a fool if he don’t
keep it to himself.’ The Captain, notwithstanding, seems to have made
another effort in November, 1649, in the form of a small folio sheet,
entitled ‘_A note of such Arts and Mysteries as an English Gentleman,
a Souldier, and a Traveller, is able, by God’s assistance, to perform;
he having means to perfect the same_;’ of which there is also a copy
in the King’s Tracts, marked ‘_Single Sheets_,’ volume 8, Article 90.
It consists of five propositions concerning Mines, Warlike Engines,
Draining and raising water, and Machines for recovering goods from the
sea: which secrets he states himself to have discovered ‘with much
study, travell, and expenses of many thousands of pounds;’ and that
now ‘being old and out of employment, he is willing to shew his art in
these things to any which are desirous to learn, upon assurance of such
reward as they shall agree upon.’ To this is added a certificate of
his ability to perform several of his projects, from Emanuel College,
Cambridge, dated 1646; and the paper concludes by a copy of most
lamentable verses vindicating himself from his detractors.

“In February, 1644-45, the head of Henry Morse, a Priest of the
Society of Jesus, was set up on London Bridge. See Bishop Challoner’s
‘_Martyrology_,’ volume iii., page 164.

“The manuscript Survey of Bridge Lands which I have already mentioned,
bears a memorandum that it was lent in 1653; and it commences with a
regulation, which, from its language and orthography, appears to have
been made much before that period, relating to an officer called the
_Sheuteman_, who was, probably, an overseer of the Bridge works, and
watched the cataracts or falls in the arches. The article is entitled
‘_An Order taken and made for the Sheuteman, by us Symond Ryse, and
William Campion, Wardens of London Bridge_;’ and in substance it is
nearly as follows. ‘For as much as diuerse and sundry nights the
Sheuteman hath occasyon to ryse in the night-seison to come to his
boots, (boats) to see the tydes as they fall erly or late for the
occupations of the Bridgehouse, so that the Porter muste open him the
gate at vn due tymes of the night, contrary to the ordinances made for
the same; whiche is not onely to his greate payne and daunger, but
also to the great perell and daunger that myght fall to the house;
for, when the gates be opened at ded tymes of the night, it is to be
doutyd that some lewed persons myght entre in after them, and not onely
robbe thys house, but also putt in daungre of their liues so many as
be within. For Remedye whereof, we, the said Wardene, have ordeyned
and appoynted a lodging to be made att the ende of the Crane Howse,
within the Bridge-howse Yarde, with a chemnye in the same lodging, and
sufficient for two or three persons to lye in yt; to the entente that
the Sheuteman, with such persons as of consequence he moste have with
him for causes requysyte for the tydes, may lye there drye, and tarye
theyre tydes when theye fall in the nyght, very erly or late, hauing
business to do for the howse; and also when they come from theyre
labour weete, or att vn due tymes of the nyght, to goo home to theire
houses, may tarye there, and make them fyre to drye them and keepe them
warme, of such chyppes as ys hughed of the timber in the yerd, and
none other, and nott to keepe any hospitalitie, or dwelling there at
ony tyme, but att such tyme and tymes afore rehersed. And according to
the old vse and custome, that when the Sheuteman by daye tyme be not
occupyed with the boats about the affairs of the Bridge workes, that
then he is to doe all such workes within the Bridge-house yerde and in
all other places as other laborers doeth, and so he is to receyue his
wages, or els not. And this ordinance to be alwayes kept.’

“In the year 1657, James Howel published his volume entitled
‘_Londinopolis; an Historicall Discourse, or Perlustration of the City
of London_,’ to which he attached some Latin verses in praise of
London Bridge, on the leaf immediately following the title-page. They
are entitled in Latin, ‘_Concerning London Bridge, and the stupendous
site and structure thereof, in imitation of those celebrated six verses
of the Poet Sannazarius, on the City of Venice, commencing ‘Viderat
Hadriacis._’ This beautiful hexastichon is to be found in that old
and fair edition of his Latin Poems printed at the Aldine Press,
Venice, 1535, 8vo., in the first book of Epigrams, page 38 b, and it
is entitled ‘_On the Wonders of the City of Venice_.’ Now, that you
may have some slight idea of the original of Howel’s rhymes, before I
recite them, perhaps you will permit me to repeat to you an English
paraphrase of Sannazario’s _own_ verses, fairly composed in the Sonnet
stanza, but not possessing the elegant conciseness of the Latin?”

“Pray, go on, Sir,” answered I, with a good deal of satirical ceremony
in my voice; “Pray go on, Mr. Barnaby; it’s long since I have had any
choice as to what you shall put in, or what you shall leave out, of
your discourse; and, therefore, let’s have the Sonnet, such as it is:
you know the proverb,--in for a penny, in for a pound.”

“A facetious gentleman, truly,” was the Antiquary’s reply; “but let me
observe for your consolation, Master Geoffrey, that we are now rapidly
passing through the history of the Bridge, and that on later events I
shall frequently have but little information to impart. However, to
return to the matter in hand,--this is the Sonnet.

    “As Neptune saw, reclined upon his waves,
      In the fair Adriatic Venice stand
      A City, o’er its waters to command,
    And placed in rule o’er all its billowy caves!
    He cried, in wonder at the pile it laves,--
      Thy Tarpeian arches Jove himself hath plann’d,
      And thy vast walls were wrought by Mars’s hand.
    Hail, City! which the main in triumph braves!
    Though some esteem the Tiber’s royal pile
      The glory of the deep Pelagian sea;
    Venice, look round on mainland and on isle,
      There is not one so mighty and so free!
    ‘They are of men,’ thou say’st with lofty smile,
      But God alone hath rear’d and planted thee!

“This is truly somewhat ‘in Ercles’ vein,’” continued the old
gentleman, as he finished the Sonnet; “but I think you will agree with
me that it is completely ‘out-heroded’ by Howel’s imitation of it;
as, indeed, his Latinity is vastly inferior to Sannazario’s. I really
cannot imagine, how some have supposed that Howel’s Latin verses were
written by the Italian; but this grievous mistake has been made, in
consequence, perhaps, of the words ‘_ad instar_,’--after the manner
of,--being overlooked. The original poem you may read and criticise at
your leisure, but his well-known English translation runs thus.

    “‘When Neptune from his billows London spyde,
    Brought proudly hither by a high spring-tyde;
    As through a floating wood he steer’d along,
    And dancing castles cluster’d in a throng;--
    When he beheld a mighty Bridge give law
    Unto his surges, and their fury awe;--
    When such a shelf of cataracts did roar,
    As if the Thames with Nile had changed her shore;--
    When he such massy walls, such tow’rs did eye,
    Such posts, such irons, upon his back to lye;--
    When such vast arches he observed, that might
    Nineteen Rialtos make, for depth and height;--
    When the Cerulean God these things survay’d,
    He shook his trident, and astonished said,
    Let the whole Earth now all her wonders count,
    This Bridge of wonders is the paramount!’

“I cannot imagine, Mr. Barbican, why the ‘_Londinopolis_,’ in which
these verses are printed, should ever be quoted in preference to Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ from which it is little more than a transcript, as Howel
himself acknowledges in his Advertisement. I should mention, however,
that it contains two fine prints, for which it is, perhaps, chiefly
desirable: one consisting of a very spirited whole-length portrait of
the author, resting against a tree, and executed in that singular style
for which Claude Mellan was so famous; and the other an interesting
half-sheet etching by Hollar, of London, before the Great Fire. With
these embellishments, and its own popularity, the volume sells for
about £1. 11_s._ 6_d._; but a fine impression of the latter engraving
alone will produce the sum of 10_s._ 6_d._ From this work, then, at
page 22, we learn that the destruction occasioned by the ‘most raging
dismal fire’ of 1633, was not wholly repaired at the time of its
publication; for, after stating that it consumed a third part of the
buildings on the Bridge, it is added, ‘by the commendable care of the
City, there are other goodly structures rais’d up in some of their
rooms, of a stronger, and more stately way of building; and pity it is,
that the work were not compleated, there being no object,--after the
Church of St. Paul,--that can conduce more to the glory and ornament
of this renowned City.’ Yet, notwithstanding this Author’s praises of
‘the Bridge of the World,’ as he calls it, on page 20, he makes us
acquainted with what may be considered as an ancient satire upon it;
since he says, ‘_If London Bridge had fewer eyes, it would see far
better_.’ The arches of this edifice, and the dangerous passage through
them, have also given rise to another quaint saying, which is recorded
in the Rev. J. Ray’s ‘_Compleat Collection of English Proverbs_,’
London, 1737, octavo, pages 13 and 251, and which is, ‘London Bridge
was made for wise men to go over, and fools to go under.’

“On Tuesday, the 29th of May, 1660, King Charles the Second entered
London in triumph, after having been magnificently entertained in St.
George’s Fields. About three in the afternoon he arrived in Southwark,
and thence proceeded over the Bridge into the City, attended by all
the glory of London, and the military forces of the kingdom. Lord
Clarendon, who makes this ‘fair return of banished Majesty’ the
concluding scene of his noble History, gives us but little information
as to the King’s reception at London Bridge, though we learn from
him that ‘the crowd was so great, that the King rode in a crowd from
the Bridge to Whitehall; all the Companies of the City standing in
order on both sides, and giving loud thanks to God for his Majesty’s
presence. ‘All the streets’--says White Kennet, Bishop of Peterborough,
in his ‘_Historical Register of English Affairs_,’ London, 1744, folio,
page 163,--‘were richly adorned with tapestry, from London Bridge to
Whitehall;’ and beyond Temple-bar, were lined with the Trained bands,
and a troop of the late King’s Officers, headed by the loyal Sir John
Stawell. The procession, which was chiefly an equestrian one, was begun
by Major-General Brown, and 300 Citizens in cloth of silver doublets;
who were followed by 1200 more all in velvet, with footmen and
liveries in purple. Alderman Robinson then led other parties habited
in buff coats with sleeves of silver tissue, and green silk scarfs;
some in blue liveries with silver lace; and footmen and trumpeters in
sea-green, grey, and silver liveries. Eighty of the Sheriffs’ followers
attended in red cloaks lined with silver, holding half-pikes; and 600
of the City Companies rode in black velvet coats and gold chains, with
their respective servitors in cassocks and ribbands. Drums, trumpets,
streamers, and the Life-guards, in satin, scarlet, and silver,
followed; then came the City Marshal, with 8 footmen in French green,
trimmed with crimson and white; whilst the City Waits and Officers,
the Sheriffs, the Aldermen, and their attendants, blazed in red, and
cloths of gold and silver in the next rank. Heralds and Maces, in
their splendid habits, preceded Sir Thomas Allen, the Lord Mayor;
who, to gratify the City, was permitted to carry the Sword of London
immediately before the King, which had not been done in any former
public entry, excepting when Charles I. returned from Scotland in 1641,
and even then the Sword of State had the precedence.

“I have next to mention a very rare and curious pamphlet, never yet
cited in the history of London Bridge, of a Vision seen upon that
edifice in March, 1661. It is contained in Article 6, No. 867, of that
invaluable collection of Tracts which the late King presented to the
British Museum. Like most of the wonderful pamphlets of the seventeenth
century, its title is truly astounding, but the book itself is only a
small quarto of four leaves; of which, as all that now concerns us is
contained in three pages, I shall give you the whole, and first for the
magnificent Title-page.

“‘_Strange News from the West, being a true and perfect account of
several Miraculous Sights seen in the Air Westward, on Thursday last,
being the 21 day of this present March, by divers persons of credit
standing on London Bridge between 7 and 8 of the clock at night.
Two great Armies marching forth of two clouds, and encountring each
other; but, after a sharp dispute, they suddenly vanished. Also,
some remarkable Sights that were seen to issue forth of a cloud that
seemed like a mountain, in the shapes of a Bull, a Bear, a Lyon, and
an Elephant with a Castle on his back, and the manner how they all
vanished. London, Printed for J. Jones, 1661._’ Such is the entry into
this exhibition of wonders; the tract itself commences thus.

“‘An exact relation of severall strange wonders, that were seen on
Thursday last, by several persons then on London Bridge, appearing in
the West of England.--Apparent hath been many signs and wonders made
to us here in England, whereby the incredulous have been convinc’d of
their obstinacy. It being a great question, and doubtfull now with
the generality of people, whether those things lately published which
appeared in foreign parts were feasible or no, they have since been
verified by other credible persons from those parts, to the great
satisfaction of some hundreds: therefore I shall forbear mentioning
them, and give you an exact account of what hath lately been visible
to divers persons now resident in the City of London, which was as
followeth, _viz._

“‘Upon the 21 day of March, about, or between 7 and 8 of the clock at
night, divers persons living in the City--as they came over London
Bridge,--discovered several clouds in strange shapes, at which they
suddenly made a stand, to see what might be the event of so miraculous
a change in the motion of the Heavens. The first cloud seemed to turn
into the form or shape of a Cathedral, with a Tower advancing from
the middle of it upwards, which continued for a small space and then
vanished away. Another turned into a tree, spreading itself like an
oak,--as near as could be judged,--which, in a short space, vanished.
Between these two was, as it were, standing, a great mountain, which
continued in the same form near a quarter of an hour; after which, the
mountain still remaining, there appeared several strange shapes one
after another, issuing out of the said mountain, about the middle of
the right side thereof: the first seemed to be formed like a Crokedile,
with his mouth wide open; this continued a very short space, and, by
degrees, was transformed into the form of a furious Bull; and, not
long after, it was changed into the form of a Lyon; but it continued
so a short time, and was altered into a Bear, and, soon after, into a
Hog, or Boar, as near as those could guess who were spectators. After
all these shapes had appeared, the mountain seemed to be divided and
altered into the form of two monstrous beasts, fastened together by the
hinder parts, drawing one apart from the other: that which appeared on
the left hand, resembled an Elephant with a castle upon his back; that
upon the right hand, we could not so well determine, but it seemed to
us like a Lyon or some such like beast.

“‘The Castle on the back of the Elephant vanished, the Elephant himself
loosing his shape; and, where the Castle stood, there rose up a small
number of men, as we judged, about some four or six: these were in
continual motion. The other beast, which was beheld on the right
hand, seemed to be altered into the form of an Horse, with a rider on
his back, and, after a small proportion of time, the whole vanished,
falling downward. Then arose another great cloud, and in small time
it formed it selfe into the likenesse of the head of a great Whale,
the mouth of which stood wide open. After this, at some distance on
the right hand, appeared a cloud, which became like unto a head, or
cap, with a horn, or ear, on each side thereof, which was of very
considerable length. Between these two rose a few men, who moved up
and down with a swift motion; and immediately after they all vanished
except one man, who still continued moving up and down with much state
and majesty. In the mean time arose near adjacent unto this head, or
cap, another cloud, out of which cloud issued forth an Army, or great
body of men; and upon the left hand, arose another Army, each of which
marched one towards the other; about this time the single man vanished
away,--and the two Armies seemed to approach very near each other, and
encounter, maintaining a combat one against the other, and, after a
short contest, all vanished. During all this time there seemed, to our
best apprehension, a flame of fire along the Strand, towards the City
of London.’ Such is the notice of these ‘strange sights,’ as they are
truly called; but, though I do not cite them, the remaining two pages
of the pamphlet are filled with an account of some much stranger seen
in Hamburgh, in the preceding February: and now that I have finished,
Mr. Barbican, pray what do you think of it?”

“What do I think of it?” returned I: “Why, as _Captain Ironside_
says in the Play, ‘that it’s a lie, to be sure!’ You very well know,
Mr. Postern, that a great part of the seventeenth century was quite
an age for seeing wonders in the air: for they were continually being
exhibited to all sorts and conditions of men; whilst, ever and anon,
came forth a pamphlet full of marvel and trumpery, detailing the
last revelation, occasionally ornamented ‘with a type of the vision
curiously engraven on copper.’ You may remember how the Author of
‘_The History of the Great Plague_,’ tells you that he was in some
danger from a crowd in St. Giles’s, because he could not discern an
Angel in the air holding a drawn sword in his hand. Believe me, good
Mr. Barnaby, such visions are extremely rare; and, when they _do_
appear, they come not in the uncertain forms of that which you have now
referred to. Minds of more weakness than piety gave a ready faith to
them, and in convulsed or sorrowful times, were often hearing voices
which spake not, and seeing signs which were never visible: willing to
deceive, or be deceived, they saw, like _Polonius_, clouds ‘backed like
an ousel,’ or, ‘very like a whale;’

    ‘So hypochondriac fancies represent
    Ships, Armies, Battles, in the firmament;
    Till steadier eyes the exhalations solve,
    And all to its first matter, clouds, resolve!’”

“Truly, Mr. Barbican,” answered the Antiquary, as I concluded, “truly,
Sir, I should never have divined that you had any dislike to dull
reflections, had you not yourself assured me so; but now if you
will pledge me in another draught of sack, I’ll furnish you with a
new scene of London Bridge, from the pencil of an eminent foreigner,
as it appeared in May, 1663. This is selected from the very amusing
‘_Voyages de Mons. de Monconys_,’ and the best edition of his book is
that bearing the imprint of Paris, though it was in reality published
at Lyons, in 1695, duodecimo. In the second volume of this work, and
on page 14 of the part relating to England, he thus speaks of London
Bridge. ‘After having passed this place,’--that is Greenwich, which
the Author calls _Grenuche_,--‘we soon came to London, of which the
length is truly incredible; but more than two thirds of the River sides
are occupied by warehouses and very small buildings of wood, even
upon the Bridge, at the foot of which, on the City side, is a large
edifice erected wholly of wood, without any iron, which seems to be
of hewn stone it is so regularly built. At the other extremity of the
Bridge, above the towers of a castle, are many of the heads of the
murderers of King Charles.’ On page 21, M. Monconys is speaking of the
‘_bots_’--boats,--which formerly plied on the Thames to carry persons
to the City, or Westminster, by way of avoiding the rude English
coaches, and the ruder paved streets of London: ‘They never,’ says he,
‘go below the Bridge; although there is not any place to which they
cannot be had, but it is considered dangerous for these small boats
to go under the Bridge when the tide is running up, for the water has
then an extreme rapidity, even greater than when it is returning, and
the two currents are united.’ On page 121, in mentioning his visit to
the Tower, he states that neither in going nor returning did his boat
pass under the Bridge; for the tide being running up, there was a fall
of more than two feet. The passengers left the boat, crossed to the
other side of the Bridge, and then re-entered it: whilst the watermen,
he adds, had no difficulty in descending the fall, but a great deal in
mounting up it again.

“It has been reported, that during the awful time when London was being
devastated by the terrible Plague of 1665, the inhabitants of the
Bridge were free from its ravages; which is attributed to the ceaseless
rushing of the river beneath it. I have not yet discovered, however,
the least foundation for such a tradition in any of the numerous
publications which appeared concerning the pestilence; and, indeed, the
only place in which I find this edifice at all mentioned, is in that
terrible volume attributed to Daniel Defoe, and called ‘_A Journal of
the Plague Year, by a Citizen who continued all the while in London_;’
London, 1722, octavo, where, on page 255, when speaking of the fires
made in the streets for clearing the air after the pestilence, he says,
‘I do not remember whether any was at the City gates, but one at the
Bridge foot there was, just by St. Magnus’ Church.’

“I cannot imagine, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, that in the fearful
conflagration of London, which occurred between the night of Saturday
and the morning of Sunday, the 2nd of September, 1666, the Bridge
suffered in any proportion to the rest of the City; for I have already
shewn you, from Strype’s Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ that some of the original
houses of King John’s time, were subsequently standing at the Southwark
end. I attribute this preservation to the vacancy opposed to the flames
at the North end of the Bridge; but as the fire forms so memorable an
epoch in the history of London, I shall bring before you some evidence
concerning its actual effect upon this building. ‘’Twas at still
midnight,’ says one of the most particular accounts of it extant, ‘when
all was wrapt in a peaceful silence, and every eye shut up in quiet
slumber, that this dreadfull fire brake forth, whose hidden flames at
first obscurely crept within close limits; but quickly scorning to be
so confined, in a bright blaze brake openly upon us. And now the voice
of fire in every street--with horrid emphasis,--is echoed forth: these
dreadfull screems disturb our midnight quiet, and raise affrighted
people from their beds, who, scarce awake, all seems to be a dream.
Each one appears but as a moving statue, as once Lot’s wife, viewing
her flaming Sodom, transformed into a pillar: a powerfull wind aided
these raging flames, which, like a growing foe, increaseth still.’ Such
is the commencement of a broadside, entitled ‘_A Short Description
of the fatal and dreadfull Burning of London; divided into every day
and night’s progression. Composed by Samuel Wiseman_;’ but yet this
most particular sheet relates nothing concerning the Bridge. We have,
however, some little information in a narrative written by Thomas
Vincent,--a non-conformist Minister, who was ejected from the living
of St. Mary Magdalen, in Milk-street;--and called ‘_God’s terrible
Judgements in the City, by Plague and Fire_.’ Now, says the Author,
it ‘rusheth down the hill towards the Bridge; crosseth Thames-street,
invadeth St. Magnus’ Church at the Bridge-foot; and, though that Church
were so great, yet it was not a sufficient barricado against this
Conqueror; but, having scaled and taken this fort, it shooteth flames
with so much the greater advantage into all places round about; and
a great building of houses upon the Bridge is quickly thrown to the
ground: then the conqueror, _being stayed in his course at the Bridge_,
marcheth back to the City again, and runs along with great noise and
violence through Thames-street, Westward.’ The minute and pathetic
narrative of the accomplished John Evelyn, adds nothing to these
particulars; for he says only in his ‘_Diary_,’ edit. 1818, volume i.,
page 375, on September the 7th, upon the destruction of certain houses
erected about the Tower, if they had ‘taken fire and attacked the White
Tower, where the magazine of powder lay, they would undoubtedly not
only have beaten and destroyed all y^e Bridge, but sunke and torne the
vessells in y^e River.’ The report of Samuel Pepys, in his ‘_Diary_,’
already quoted, does not give us much additional information; though
he tells us in volume i., page 445, that on the morning of the 2nd,
he went on the Tower battlements, whence he saw ‘the houses at that
end of the Bridge all on fire; and an infinite great fire on this and
the other side the end of the Bridge, which, with other people, did
trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the Bridge.’ He
subsequently adds that the fire increased on both sides the North end
of London Bridge, but there is nothing said farther concerning its
attack upon the edifice itself.

“There are several prospects of this dreadful conflagration, though
few of them are worthy of any credit, most having been executed in
Holland; and it is probable, indeed, that the best was a small and
spirited etching by Wenceslaus Hollar, measuring 7 inches by 2-3/4,
and inserted on the right hand side of ‘_A New and Exact Map of Great
Britaine. Published by John Overton, at the White Horse, without
Newgate_. 1667.’ Single sheet. This view is taken from Hollar’s old
observatory, the tower of St. Mary Overies Church; and represents the
fire spreading furiously Westward, whilst the Bridge appears untouched.
This fine little print you will find to be the first illustration in
volume ii. of Mr. Crowle’s Pennant in the Print Room of the British
Museum; and it is entitled ‘_Prospect of the Citty of London, as it
appeared in the time of its flames_:’ it has frequently sold for 10_s._
6_d._, and sometimes for 15_s._, even without the plate it belongs to.
Hollar’s long view of the City immediately after the conflagration, I
have already mentioned; and in that we see with much more certainty the
actual damage sustained by our unhappy old edifice, in the RUINS OF


“The alteration appears chiefly to consist in the destruction of that
large square building, which terminated the Northern end of the Bridge;
and, of course, the entire demolition of the wooden pales and passage,
which had been erected after the fire of 1633; but beyond this the
flames do not seem to have penetrated. The banks of the River, indeed,
presented a more entire picture of ruin. Of the grand Church of St.
Magnus nothing remained but some of the walls, and the buildings in
front of it were destroyed even to the water’s edge; whilst on the
Western side of the Bridge, the Water-works and Tower, numerous houses
lining the River, and the ancient edifice of Fishmongers’ Hall, were
reduced either to smouldering fragments, scarcely bearing even the
forms of what they once had been, or else had not one stone left upon
another. ‘_The Long Antwerp View of London_,’ which has been already
so minutely described, furnishes us with a good representation of


and it appears to have been a plain narrow edifice, castellated and
covered with lead on the top, having two principal stories, the lower
one of which had a kind of gallery or balcony, an ornament which was
very common to buildings in this part of London. The Companies of
the Salt-fish and Stock-fish mongers were anciently possessed of so
many as six Halls; of which two stood in New Fish-street, now called
Fish-street Hill; two more were in Old Fish-street, and two others
were erected in Thames-street; in each place one for each Company.
These, however, were all united in the year 1536, the 28th of Henry
the Eighth; after which they were to have but one Hall, namely, the
house given to them by Sir John Cornwall, afterwards created Baron
Fanhope, in 1427, the 6th year of Henry VI., which I take to have been
the building represented in the print; since Stow, in his ‘_Survey_,’
volume i., page 499, from whom we derive these few particulars, says
that it was in the Parish of St. Michael, Crooked Lane: and adds on the
preceding page, that ‘Fishmongers’ Hall, with other fair houses for
merchants, standeth about midway between the Bridge foot and Ebgate,
or Old Swan-lane.’ Still more brief, however, are the notices, which
he furnishes us concerning the Company’s other Halls, which once
stood about the same spot. ‘On the West side of this Ward,’--says
the old Citizen,--‘at the North end of London Bridge, is a part of
Thames-street, which is also of this Ward, to wit, so much as of old
time was called Stock-Fishmonger Row,’--a place, you will remember,
referred to in that manuscript Survey of Bridge lands which I some
time since recited to you--‘of the Stock-fishmongers dwelling there,
down West to a Water-gate, of old time called Ebgate, since Ebgate
Lane, and now the Old Swan.’ I will not enter into the history of the
Fishmongers’ Company, Mr. Barbican, because it does not belong to our
present subject, and you may read the chief particulars for yourself,
in Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 498, and volume ii., page 268;
and shall therefore only add a very few particulars concerning the
present Hall. According to the splendid plan of Sir Christopher Wren,
for adorning the banks of the Thames, it presents to the river, a
handsome, though somewhat old-fashioned front of red brick, having
the windows ornamented with stone cases. From the wharf on which the
Shades’ Tavern is situate, a grand double flight of stone steps leads
to the chief apartments; and the door is decorated with Ionic columns
supporting an open pediment, containing a shield with the Company’s
Arms, all of stone. I shall say nothing, however, of the handsome North
front of this building, its spacious court-yard, and its beautiful
carved gateway in Thames-street; nor yet of the rich state chambers,
their fine paintings of fish, their massive and richly-chased silver
branches, their large brazen chandeliers, the interesting relique of
Sir William Walworth, nor of the interior of the spacious Hall. I
will tell you nothing of either of these, Mr. Geoffrey, since they
cannot be observed from London Bridge; but before I entirely quit the
Fishmongers, let me observe that Strype, in his Fifth Book of Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ has two very singular notices concerning them, which I do
not remember to have seen mentioned in any historical account of yonder
passage across the Thames. They consist of certain ancient statutes
peculiar to this Company, taken from the record called ‘_Horn_,’ in the
Chamber of London; and they state that it should be prohibited that any
Fishmonger should ‘buy a fresh fish before Mass at the Chapel upon the
Bridge be celebrated:’ which Chapel, it is elsewhere stated, is one of
the bounds, beyond which no Fishmonger ought to go to buy fish.

“I have already observed that Hollar’s View of London after the Fire,
shews the fine old Church of St. Magnus, which we may consider the
North-East boundary of London Bridge, reduced to a pile of ruined
walls; having all those costly repairs and beautifyings, which Stow, in
his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 494, records as having taken place from
1623 to 1629, destroyed in the flames. Before I speak, however, of the
re-edification of this fane, I shall notice the means employed for that
of the Bridge itself, as they are related by the continuators of Stow
in his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., page 62. Most of the buildings erected
upon it, were, as they tell us, totally consumed; excepting the Chapel,
and a few edifices standing on the South end, of the time of King John:
though this, as I have shewn you, must be erroneous. We may believe,
however, from all the circumstances attendant upon the fire, that
the stone-work of the Bridge was so battered and weakened, ‘that it
cost the Bridge-House £1500. to make good the damage in the piers and
arches, before the leaseholders could attempt to rebuild the premises
destroyed by the fire.’ Though ‘the stone work,’ continues this
passage, ‘was no sooner secured, than a sufficient number of tenants
offered; who conditioned with the Bridge-House for building-leases
of 61 years, at the rate of 10_s._ per foot, running, yearly, and to
build after such a form and substantial manner as was prescribed.’
This was so rapidly carried into effect, that in five years the North
end was all completely finished, with houses four stories high, and
a street of 20 feet in breadth between them, measuring from side to
side. To make the South end equally perfect, however, and, at the
same time, to equalize the rent of the whole, required the invention
of some expedient; since the older buildings were already leased to
several tenants, with longer and shorter portions of their time yet to
elapse, whilst the leases of others were entirely expired. To arrange
all these with propriety, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty,
who were appointed for the letting of the Bridge-House lands, with the
assistance of Mr. Philip Odde, then Clerk Comptroller of those estates,
took the following method. For the first class of tenants, they
measured the number of feet in the front of each house; and ascertained
the amount of rent, and the time of the lease yet unexpired: whilst a
second and third classes were formed of those whose leases were nearly
out, or entirely finished. To such as had the longest term to run, a
moderate time was added, with an abatement of rent answerable to the
cost of re-erecting their buildings, in uniformity with those at the
North end. Of the tenants whose leases were nearly expired, and who
were unable to build, they were redeemed for valuable considerations;
the dilapidated stone-work for the new buildings was then repaired by
the City, at an expense of nearly £1000; and in about four or five
years the whole edifice was completed.

“We are not, however, now informed of any repair of the Draw-Bridge,
although it certainly existed until the great alteration of 1758;
but, probably, even long before _this_ time, had ceased to be of any
great utility. You may see, in Stow’s historical notices of Queenhithe,
(vide his ‘_Survey_,’ volume i., pages 697-700,) that in the reign of
King Henry III. ships and boats laden with corn and fish for sale,
were compelled to pass _beyond_ the Bridge to that most ancient wharf
and market. In 1463, however, the third year of King Edward IV., the
same authority informs us that the market at Queenhithe was ‘hindered
by reason of the slackness of drawing up of London Bridge,’ which
seems to infer some difficulty in raising it even at that period;
fresh ordinances being then made to cause vessels with provisions to
proceed up the river. I cannot, however, tell you at what time the
Draw-Bridge was made wholly stationary; though it seems not to have
been till _after_ the publication of the last ancient edition of Stow’s
‘_Survey_,’ in 1633, folio, as, in Strype’s excellent new one, of
1720, volume i., book i., page 58, he adds some notices of the arches,
in which occurs the following passage. ‘Two of these arches are much
larger than the rest, _viz._ that over which is the Draw-bridge; and
the other called _the Simile Lock_. These were for the use of greater
vessels that went through Bridge Westward. The Draw-Bridge formerly
was, upon such occasions, taken up; but now-a-days never, but when it
wants repairing.’ The additions of Richard Bloome also, on page 56 in
the same volume, furnish us with several particulars of these arches,
which I shall introduce to you in this place, because they apply,
almost equally, both to the Bridge before the Fire, and to the ancient
appearance of the present one. ‘There were,’ says he, ‘three vacancies,
with stone walls, and iron grates,’--rather rails,--‘over them, on
either side, opposite to each other; through which grates, people, as
they pass over the Bridge, may take a view of the river both East and
West; and also may go aside, more to each side, out of the way of carts
and coaches, the passage being but narrow, and not only troublesome
but dangerous. These three vacancies are over three of the middle
arches, for all the piers are not of a like thickness, nor stand at
equal distance one from the other; for under those three vacancies are
much wider than the rest, and are called the navigable locks, because
vessels of considerable burthen may pass through them. One of these is
near unto the second gate, and is called the Rock Lock. The second is
under the second vacancy, and is called the _Draw-Bridge Lock_. And the
third is near the Chapel, and is called _St. Mary’s Lock_. There is a
fourth between St. Magnus’ Church and the first vacancy, and is called
the _King’s Lock_, for that the King in his passage through Bridge,
in his barge, goes through this lock.’ In Strype’s additions to these
particulars, which I have already referred to, he says, ‘The two Arches
next London are now stopped up for the use of the Water-mills, but
without any prejudice to the current of the Thames. The third arch on
the Southwark side is seldom, and very rarely, passed through, because
of a rock grown there a little to the East, which is visible at low
water. This rock hath been observed this many a year, and is called
the _Rock Lock_. The reparation of these arches, and the striking down
piles for securing them, is continual, and men are kept on purpose to
take care of it, and to do it. Whereof they have two Master-workmen,
_viz._ a Head-Carpenter,’--whose name in Strype’s time was Wise,--‘and
a Head-Mason, whose office it is to look after the Bridge under the
Bridge-Masters.’ The common report of the rock growing beneath the
water, under one of the Arches of London Bridge, is, however, one of
those popular traditions which are generally to be found connected
with almost every edifice, engendered partly by ignorance, and partly
by the desire mentioned by the Indian in Robinson Crusoe, ‘To make the
great wonder look!’ ‘We have been assured,’ says the Rev. John Motley,
in ‘_Seymour’s Survey of London_,’ volume i. page 48, ‘by a person of
great veracity as well as curiosity, that a friend of his in the year
1715, when the tide was so kept back that many people walked over the
river, went near enough to examine this, and found it to be stones
joined together with cement, and iron in some places; and therefore
supposed it was part of an arch that had formerly been broken down,
and never since removed,’ It has been generally believed, that these
ruins were the fragments of the two arches, and the Bridge-gate,
which, as I have related to you, fell down in the year 1437: and
which, having now lain nearly four centuries, and been increased by
the deposits which millions of tides have cast upon them, have become
almost as impenetrable as a solid rock, and the arch, therefore,
retains its ancient name. Such was London Bridge after it was rebuilt,
‘peopled’--as Evelyn says of the City, but a very few days after the
fire,--‘with new shops, noise, and business, not to say vanity.’--‘A
Bridge,’ exclaims Richard Bloome, in his continuations to Stow, volume
i. page 499, ‘not inferior to any in Europe for its length, breadth,
and buildings thereon, being sustained by nineteen great stone arches,
secured by piles of timber drove to the bottom of the river, having a
Draw-Bridge towards Southwark, as also strong gates; and, by its houses
built thereon on both sides, it seemeth rather a street than a Bridge,
being now garnished with good timber buildings, which are very well
inhabited by sufficient tradesmen, who have very considerable dealings,
as being so great a thoroughfare from Southwark into London.’

“Whilst I am mentioning this praise of London Bridge, I may express
my wonder that Michael Drayton, in his ‘_Poly-Olbion_,’ London, 1613,
folio, says so little concerning it, whilst John Selden, in his very
learned notes to that poem, wholly omits it. As I purpose next to say a
few words touching the rebuilding of St. Magnus’ Church, I will close
this part of our Bridge history by repeating Drayton’s verses from Song
xvii., page 259: where, speaking of the Thames, he says,--

    ‘Then goes he on along by that more beauteous strand,
    Expressing both the wealth and brauery of the land;
    ----So many sumptuous bow’rs, within so little space,
    The all-beholding sun scarce sees in all his race:--
    And on by London leads, which like a crescent lies,
    Whose windowes seem to mock the star-befreckled skies:
    Besides her rising spyres, so thick themselues that show,
    As doe the bristling reedes within his banks that growe:
    There sees his crowded wharfes, and people-pester’d shores,
    His bosome overspread with shoales of labouring oares;
    With that most costly Bridge, that doth him most renowne,
    By which he clearly puts all other Riuers downe.’

“Bloome, the continuator of Stow, to whose labours we are in general
little less indebted than we are to those of the old historian himself,
gives us but few particulars concerning the rebuilding of St. Magnus’
Church; stating only that it was erected of free-stone, with ‘a tower
and steeple of curious workmanship; to which Church,’ he adds, ‘is
united the Parish of St. Margaret, New Fish-street, that Church not
being rebuilt.’ Newcourt, in his account of the Rectory of St. Magnus,
says likewise very little as to its history; though he tells us, that
when the Parishes were united, the yearly value of them was made £170,
whereas, in 1632, that of St. Magnus amounted only to £83, and that of
St. Margaret to £70: and he states also, that part of their Church,
before it was rebuilt, was laid into the street, for enlarging the
passage. We have, however, a very fair though brief description of the
new Church of St. Magnus, in the ‘_Memoirs of the Life and Works of
Sir Christopher Wren_,’ by James Elmes; London, 1823, quarto, pages
357, 490; wherein he states that it was begun in 1676, and that the
lofty tower, lanthorn, cupola, and spire, were added in 1705. It is
then, as all may see for themselves, an elegant and substantial Church,
built of stone and oak timber, covered with lead, and crowned with a
handsome lofty steeple, consisting of a tower, a lanthorn containing
ten bells, and a cupola surmounted by a well-proportioned spire. The
interior, measuring 90 feet in length, 59 in breadth, and 41 in height,
is divided into a nave and two aisles, by columns, and an entablature
of the Ionic Order; whilst the roof, over the nave, is camerated,
and enriched with arches of fret work, executed in stucco. For the
monuments, epitaphs, and benefactors of this Church, both ancient and
modern, I must refer you to Strype’s Stow, volume i., page 494; and
will mention only the gift of the clock by Sir Charles Duncomb, in the
year 1700, at the cost of £485. 5_s._ 4_d._ The dial of this clock was
formerly ornamented with several richly gilded figures, which have
since been removed, but a view of the Church, before the archway was
opened,--of which we shall speak hereafter,--having also the clock in
its original state, will be found in Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ at my last
reference, and in Maitland’s ‘_History of London_,’ volume ii., page
1124. Tradition says, that it was erected in consequence of a vow made
by the donor, who, in the earlier part of his life, had once to wait
a considerable time in a cart upon London Bridge, without being able
to learn the hour, when he made a promise, that if he ever became
successful in the world, he would give to that Church a public clock,
and an hour-glass, that all passengers might see the time of day. There
is in ‘_The Protestant Mercury_,’ of September the 11th, 1700, the
following rather curious mention of this clock: ‘On Monday last, the
Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, accompanied by the worshipful Aldermen
and Sheriffs, went, with the usual formalities, to proclaim Southwark
fair; after which they were nobly entertained at the Bridge House,
according to an ancient annual custom. In their passing by St. Magnus’
Church, they were presented with the view of that noble and magnificent
Dial erected at the West end, at the charge of the generous Sir Charles
Duncomb, which equalizing, if not exceeding, all others of that kind,
seems to answer the design of the donor.’ This donation is also
recorded upon the clock itself; for upon a small metal plate, shaped
like a shield, and silvered, screwed to the interior, are engraven the
giver’s arms,--a chevron between three talbot’s heads erased,--with
the following inscription: ‘The Gift of Sir Charles Duncomb, Knight,
Lord Major, and Alderman of this Ward. Langley Bradley fecit, 1709.’
The same liberal Citizen also presented the modern fane of St. Magnus
with an organ, of which the ‘_Spectator_’ of February the 8th, 1712,
thus speaks: ‘Whereas Mr. Abraham Jordan, senior and junior, have,
with their own hands, joynery excepted, made and erected a very large
organ in St. Magnus’ Church, at the foot of London Bridge, consisting
of four sets of keys, one of which is adapted to the art of emitting
sounds by swelling notes, which never was in any organ before; this
instrument will be publicly opened on Sunday next, the performance by
Mr. John Robinson. The above-said Abraham Jordan gives notice to all
masters and performers, that he will attend every day next week at
the said Church, to accommodate all those gentlemen who shall have a
curiosity to hear it.’ I will conclude these notices by referring you
to Malcolm’s ‘_Londinum Redivivum_,’ volume iv., pages 30-35, where you
will find several other particulars concerning St. Magnus.

“Upon the rebuilding of London, after the Great Fire, it was the
proposal of Sir Christopher Wren to form a grand quay, or esplanade,
from the foot of London Bridge to the Temple; of which scheme there is
the fullest information, from an original manuscript, in Mr. Elmes’s
‘_Memoirs_,’ pages 270 to 284, _Notes_. It was proposed that the Quay
should be 40 feet in width, between the Thames and the houses on its
banks; and, in the year 1670, a petition from the inhabitants of this
part of London was presented to the Privy Council, stating that it
would be of great detriment to them if such way or wharf should not
be carried into effect, from London Bridge to Bridewell Dock, the
petitioners having commenced their several houses near the Bridge,
as well as the pipes and engines of the Water-House. Of the ancient
Water-House at this place, I have already given you some idea; but
I may observe, from the authority last cited, that its supplies were
constantly defiled by the public drains, and other offensive buildings
erected upon this spot. Notwithstanding that the Commissioners of
Sewers had ordered their removal, and the King’s Surveyor General
had directed that no such contagious places should be constructed
here, even so late as 1670 they had been again renewed, polluting
both the water and the passage across the Thames. In consequence of
the petition, Sir Christopher Wren, assisted by the City Surveyors,
inspected the whole line of the intended wharf; and his report
was:--That the houses then begun to be built fronting the Thames, which
were not a third in number of what the range would contain, were, in
general, conformable to the act, as to their being 40 feet distant
from the River, and that some of them towards the Bridge were not
ungraceful; but that others were unequally low, and, as well as the
warehouses, irregularly built; whilst some habitations were constructed
only of board. The Quay between the row of houses and the River, which
should have been left open for passage, was every where enclosed either
with pales or brick walls; and covered with stacks of timber, faggots,
and coals. The cranes erected West of the Bridge, he states to be
unhandsome, and larger than were required, boarded down to the ground,
and having warehouses beneath them. The old towers of Baynard’s Castle,
he observes, were also still standing upon the wharf; the walls,
wharfings, and landing-stairs, were, for the most part, unrepaired;
and, in some places, the Quay was likely to be broken by bridges and
docks. Sir Christopher’s report also mentions numerous other obstacles,
in consequence of which, their immediate removal was ordered, and the
construction of the Quay directed, by an Act of Parliament, in the 22nd
of Charles II., 1670, chapter 11, Sections xliv.-xlix.; as well as by a
Patent passed in the year following.

“The impediments to this design, however, were never entirely removed;
and, in modern times, their number has considerably increased. Of
these, Calvert’s Brewery is one of the most prominent, which is
supposed to occupy the exact site of the mansion anciently called Cold
Harbour; where it now forms the two sides of Champion-lane, formerly
called Quay-Wharf-lane, which, with All-hallows and Red-bull lanes, was
once open to the river. The last important remains of Sir Christopher’s
grand Civic esplanade was shewn in a line of wharf 40 feet in width,
and extending from London Bridge to the Steelyard, entitled New Quay;
and it may be seen in the plans in Strype’s ‘_Stow’s Survey_,’ volume
i., pages 486, 510; and in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume ii., pages
790, 1046.

“The Act of Parliament which I have recently cited, also contains a
very considerable portion of information relative to the new buildings
of London; and from section liii. we learn, that the Water-House at
London Bridge was not renewed at the time of its being passed, though
in the Act for rebuilding London, passed in 1667, the 19th of Charles
II., chapter 3, section xli., it is ordained: ‘that it shall and may be
lawful for the Water-House, called Mr. Thomas Morris his Water-House,
formerly adjoining to London Bridge, to be rebuilt upon the place it
formerly stood, with timber, for the supplying the South side of the
City with water, as it for almost an hundred years hath done.’ Most
of the ancient engravings of London Bridge, after the Fire, present
us with a view of this Water-House, by which it appears that it was a
lofty narrow wooden building, standing close to the North West corner
of the Bridge. On its Western side, a flight of stairs led down to the
river; and its front looked on to the wooden stage which supported the
Water-works. Strype, in his ‘_Stow’s Survey_,’ volume i., page 500,
says, that ‘by wheels, iron chains, &c., it drinketh, or rather forceth
up water through leaden pipes to the top, where there is a cistern,
and from thence descendeth in other leaden pipes to the bottom, and
thence, received by other pipes, is conveyed under the pavements of the
streets, and so serveth many families in this part of the City with
water; who have branches, or small pipes, laid from the main ones unto
their houses, to their great convenience, and no small profit to the
City.’ In the very amusing ‘_Voyages_’ of Mons. Aubri De la Motraye,
Hague, 1727-32, folio, volume iii., pages 360-362, and plate iv., we
have an engraving of the interior mechanism of a public fire-engine
erected near this building, with an account of the means employed
in it for raising of the water. One of the most picturesque and
interesting representations of this modern WATER-HOUSE at LONDON BRIDGE,


is contained in a series of five views by S. and N. Buck, which forms
a sort of panoramic prospect of London, from Westminster to below the
Tower; each being taken from a different point of observation. They are
dated September the 11th, 1749, and the Bridge as it then appeared,
covered with buildings, forms a very prominent feature. I have to add
only, that you will find a set of these prints in volume xiii. of Mr.
Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant in the British Museum.”

“Well, Master Barnaby,” said I, as well as I was able for yawning,
“though _you_ can find no more to say about this Water-House, I must
add a few fragments which would otherwise be lost; even as the song

    ‘Mister Speaker, though ’tis late,
    _I_ must lengthen the debate.’

I have been informed, upon the evidence of a very ancient servant
of the present London Bridge, that the water rose in this Tower to
the height of 128 feet, through a pipe 12 inches in calibre, often
bringing very fine fish up with it; and that from beneath the cistern
at the top, issued nine main pipes which supplied all London. As the
particular direction of each of these pipes was, of course, entirely
different, in the event of a fire, all of them were stopped excepting
the one which led immediately through that district; and thus the whole
weight of water was thrown towards any place desired. From the same
source, I have also received a curious and very particular drawing
upon vellum, in colours, representing the North end of London Bridge,
the Water-House and works, and the directions of the pipes issuing
therefrom, taken from actual measurement, and executed, as I should
suppose, before the fire by which they were destroyed, on Sunday,
October the 31st, 1779; but this view shall be referred to hereafter.
The fire to which I have alluded, brake out in the warehouse of Messrs.
Judd and Sanderson, Hop Merchants, at the foot of London Bridge, and
having speedily communicated to the Water-works, in less than an
hour they were reduced nearly to a level with the river. The wooden
Water-Tower having been pitched but a few days before, all the efforts
of its engines were, therefore, ineffectual. But enough of water, Mr.
Postern: what say you to another draught of sack, and then another
spell at the history of London Bridge itself?”

“I like your motion mightily,” replied my companion, “and, once more,
here’s your health. In speaking of the Great Fire of London, its
consequences, and the new buildings to which it gave birth, I have
brought forwards many fragments of our Bridge annals, and anticipated
several events, because I wished to draw my information, as much as
possible, into one focus. We next pass to the year 1669, though I
should not mention to you the short notice of London Bridge by Lorenzo
Magalotti, which occurs in ‘_The Travels of Cosmo III., Grand Duke of
Tuscany, through England, during the reign of King Charles II. 1669_,’
London, 1821, quarto; but that it affords something like a proof that
the destruction occasioned by the Fire of London was not extensive, so
far as it regarded this building, which by that time seems to have been
repaired. You will find the passage at page 317, and it runs thus. ‘On
the morning of the 27th’--of May,--‘after hearing Mass, his Highness
went through the City as far as London Bridge, on which are erected
many large buildings, almost half of which escaped the fire there; and
those which were consumed have been rebuilt of smaller size, the upper
part being used as dwellings, and the lower part as Mercers’ shops, all
of which are abundantly filled with goods of various sorts. We crossed
the Bridge with some difficulty, owing to the number of carts which
are constantly passing and repassing.’ He then proceeds to speak of
the Marshalsea, the prisoners of which, he adds, have liberty to take
a walk over the Bridge, their promise being first taken that they will
not pass the limits, which they very rarely infringe.

“Having mentioned to you, Mr. Geoffrey, several famous Frosts which
occurred in the earlier periods of our history, I must not omit to
notice that which overspread the Thames from the beginning of December,
1683, until the 5th of February, 1684. ‘It congealed the River
Thames,’--says Maitland, in his ‘_History_,’ volume i., page 484,--‘to
that degree, that another City, as it were, was erected thereon; where,
by the great number of streets, and shops, with their rich furniture,
it represented a great fair, with a variety of carriages, and
diversions of all sorts; and, near Whitehall, a whole ox was roasted
on the ice.’ Evelyn, however, who was an eye-witness of this scene,
furnishes the most extraordinary account of it in his ‘_Diary_,’ volume
i., page 568; where, on January the 24th, 1684, he observes that ‘the
frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was
still planted with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and
shops furnish’d, and full of commodities, even to a printing-presse,
where the people and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed,
and the day and yeare set down when printed on the Thames: this humour
tooke so universally, that ’twas estimated the printer gain’d £5. a
day, for printing a line onely, at sixpence a name, besides what he got
by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from
several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes; sleds, sliding
with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet-plays, and
interludes, cookes, tipling, and other lewd places, so that it seem’d
to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water.’”

“It is singular, Master Postern,” said I, as he finished this extract,
“that the author whom you have now quoted, never once mentions that
King Charles the Second visited these diversions, and even had his
name printed on the ice, with those of several other personages of the
Royal Family. The author of some curious verses, entitled, ‘_Thamasis’s
Advice to the Painter, from her Frigid Zone: or Wonders upon the Water.
London: Printed by G. Croom, on the River of Thames_,’ 74 lines, small
folio half sheet, says,

    “‘Then draw the _King_, who on his _Leads_ doth stay,
    To see the _Throng_ as on a _Lord Mayor’s day_,
    And thus unto his _Nobles_ pleas’d to say;

    With these _Men_ on this _Ice_, I’de undertake
    To cause the _Turk_ all _Europe_ to forsake:
    An Army of these _Men_, arm’d and compleat,
    Would soon the _Turk_ in _Christendom_ defeat.’

“The original of this poem is in the possession of my friend, Mr.
William Upcott, of the London Institution, whose invaluable collection
of rarities can also boast one of the very papers on which the King and
his Royal companions had their names printed! This truly interesting
document consists of a quarter sheet of coarse Dutch paper, on which,
within a type border, measuring 3-1/4 inches by 4, are the magnificent
names of



     _London_: Printed by _G. Croom_, on the ICE, on
     the River of _Thames, January 31, 1684_.]

“Here, then, we have King Charles the Second; his brother James,
Duke of York, afterwards James the Second; Queen Catherine, Infanta
of Portugal; Mary D’Este, sister of Francis, Duke of Modena, James’s
Second Duchess; the Princess Anne, second daughter of the Duke of York,
afterwards Queen Anne; and her husband, Prince George of Denmark: and
the last name, which I think was doubtless a touch of the King’s
humour, signifies ‘Jack in the Cellar,’ alluding to the pregnant
situation of Anne of Denmark. This most remarkable paper may, with
great probability, be considered _unique_; and not to mention several
of a similar nature containing common names, I may notice to you that
there is in the same collection another bearing the noble titles of
‘Henry, Earl of Clarendon,’ son of the Chancellor; ‘Flora, Countess of
Clarendon,’ and ‘Edward, Lord Cornbury.’ The date of this is February
the 2nd, and I will conclude these notices of printing on the ice, by
some lines from the poem I have already quoted, which tell its readers

    ‘---------------- to the _Print-house_ go,
    Where _Men_ the _Art of Printing_ soon do know:
    Where, for a _Teaster_, you may have your _Name_
    Printed, hereafter for to shew the same;
    And sure, in _former Ages_, ne’er was found,
    A _Press_ to _print_, where men so oft were dround!’”

“I am very much bounden to you, honest Mr. Geoffrey,” recommenced the
Antiquary, as I concluded, “for these most appropriate and interesting
illustrations: for although the sports of this frost can hardly be
said to form an immediate portion of the history of London Bridge, yet
so memorable an event on the Thames well deserves some pains to be
bestowed in recording it.

“The principal scene of this Blanket-Fair, indeed,--for so the
tents and sports on the Thames were denominated,--was opposite to
the Temple stairs, for few, or none, of the festivities approached
very near to London Bridge; as we are informed by the many rude, but
curious memorials of it, which are yet in existence. One of the most
interesting of these is an original and spirited, though unfinished,
sketch in pencil, slightly shaded with Indian ink; supposed to have
been the production of Thomas Wyck, an artist particularly eminent
for his views at this period. In the right hand corner, at the
top, the drawing is dated in an ancient hand, ‘_Munday, February
the 4_: 1683-4;’ and it consists of a view down the River from the
Temple-stairs to London Bridge, the buildings of which are faintly seen
in the back ground. In front appear various groups of figures, and a
side prospect of that line of tents which stretched all across the
Thames, known during the frost by the name of Temple-street. You will
find this drawing in volume viii. of Mr. Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant,
in the British Museum, after page 262; and it measures 28 inches by
9-3/8. Gough, in his ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., pages 731,
784,* mentions several other publications ‘illustrative of this frost,
some of which are also in the same volume of Mr. Crowle’s Pennant,
and the principal particulars of them I shall give you briefly in the
following list.

“A large copper-plate, 20-1/2 inches by 16-5/8, entitled ‘_A Map of
the River Thames, merrily call’d Blanket Fair, as it was frozen in
the memorable year 1683-4, describing the booths, footpaths, coaches,
sledges, bull-baiting, and other remarks upon that famous river_.’
Dedicated to Sir Henry Hulse, Knt. and Lord Mayor, by James Moxon, the

“A large and coarse engraving on wood, representing the sports, tents,
and buildings on the ice, taken from opposite the Temple buildings,
which are shewn in the back ground; beneath are 106 lines of very
inferior verse, and the title:--‘_A true description of Blanket-Fair,
upon the River Thames, in the time of the great Frost. In the year of
our Lord 1683._’ Broadside sheet, 12-3/4 inches by 16-1/2.

“‘_Wonders on the deep, or the most exact description of the frozen
river of Thames; also what was remarkably observed thereon in the last
great frost, which began about the middle of December, 1683, and ended
the 8th of February following: together with a brief Chronology of all
the memorable strong frosts for almost 60 years, and what happened in
the Northern kingdoms._’ A wood-cut.

“‘_A wonderfull fair, or a fair of wonders; being a new and true
illustration and description of the several things acted and done on
the river of Thames in the time of the terrible frost, which began
about the beginning of Dec. 1683, and continued till Feb. 4, and held
on with such violence that men and beasts, coaches and sledges, went
common thereon. There was also a street of booths from the Temple to
Southwark, where was sold all sorts of goods: likewise bull-baiting,
and an ox roasted whole, and many other things, as the map and
description do plainly shew._’ Engraved and printed on a sheet, 1684.

“A volume of coarse and worthless narratives, entitled ‘_An historical
account of the Late Great Frost, in which are discovered, in several
Comical Relations, the various Humours, Loves, Cheats, and Intreagues
of the Town, as the same were mannaged upon the River of Thames during
that season_.’ London. 1684. 12mo.

“‘_Freezland-Fair, or the Icey Bear Garden. 1682._’

“‘_News from the Thames; or the frozen Thames in tears. January
1683-4._’ Half sheet, folio.

“‘_A winter wonder, or the Thames frozen over; with remarks on the
resort there. 1684._’

“‘_A strange and wonderfull relation of many remarkable damages
sustained, both at sea and land, by the present unparaleled Frost._’
London. 1684. Half sheet small folio, 2 pages.

“Notwithstanding the admiration with which London Bridge had long
been regarded, on account of its appearance as an actual street over
the Thames; in 1685 its very confined limits seem to have attracted
attention, and to have produced at least somewhat of reformation. There
is a tradition extant, though I have not as yet been able to trace it
to any printed authority, that the cross over the dome of St. Paul’s
having been cast in Southwark, the street of London Bridge was too
narrow, and its numerous arches too low, to allow of it being that
way brought into the City: and Hatton, in his ‘_New View of London_,’
volume ii., page 791, shews us that in his time the enlarging of the
Bridge was recorded upon the North side of the Nonesuch House, in the
following inscription:--


This Street was opened and enlarged from 12, to the
width of 20 foot:


“Even until the time, however, when London Bridge was entirely cleared
of its houses, the street over it has always been described as dark,
narrow, and dangerous. ‘The houses on each side,’--says Pennant, page
320,--‘overhung, and leaned in a most terrific manner. In most places
they hid the arches, and nothing appeared but the rude piers.--I well
remember the street on London Bridge, narrow, darksome, and dangerous
to passengers, from the multitude of carriages: frequent arches of
strong timber crossing the street, from the tops of the houses to keep
them together, and from falling into the river. Nothing but use could
preserve the repose of the inmates, who soon grew deaf to the noise
of falling waters, the clamors of watermen, or the frequent shrieks
of drowning wretches. Most of the houses were tenanted by pin or
needle-makers, and economical ladies were wont to drive from the St.
James’s end of the town, to make cheap purchases.’

“The ‘_New and Universal History, Description, and Survey of the
Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, and their
adjacent parts_,’ by Walter Harrison, London, 1776, folio, furnishes
some few additional features to this scene: although the work itself
is, perhaps, anything but reputable; being chiefly a compilation from
Stow and Strype, without much acknowledgment of the originals. Some
particulars of London Bridge, however, the compiler himself actually
knew, and on page 24, he says,--‘Across the middle of the street there
were several lofty arches, extending from one side to the other, the
bottom part of each arch terminating at the first story, and the upper
part reaching near the top of the buildings. These arches were designed
to support the houses on each side the street, and were therefore
formed of strong timbers bolted into the houses, which, being covered
with lath and plaister, appeared as if built with stone.’ The Rev. J.
Motley, in his ‘_Seymour’s Survey of London_,’ volume i., page 48, also
says,--‘On each side, between the houses, are left three vacancies,
opposite to each other, two with stone walls, upon which are iron
rails, that people passing along may take a view of the river East
and West, and may also step out of the way of carts and coaches, the
passage being formerly very narrow, and the floors of the houses that
lay cross the streets being low, they not only rendered those places
dark, but likewise obstructed the free passage of carts, if they were
loaded any way high, and coaches, so that they could not pass by one
another, which oftentimes occasioned great stops upon the Bridge, and
was a great hindrance to passengers.’ As there was no regular foot-way
over the Bridge, it was therefore the most usual and safest custom to
follow a carriage which might be passing across it. The brief notice
of London Bridge in Hoffmann’s ‘_Lexicon Universale_’ is not worth
repeating, but you will find it in volume iii., page 833, column i.,
character ξ [Greek: x]: and though a much better account of it in 1697
appears in Motraye’s ‘_Voyages_,’ volume i., page 150, it contains
nothing new. He calls it ‘one of the strongest buildings which he had
seen in this nation.’

“A very melancholy instance of suicide which took place in April, 1689,
bears testimony to the power of the torrent at London Bridge at that
period; and you will find it recorded in that very interesting work,
entitled ‘_The Travels and Memoirs of Sir John Reresby, Baronet_,’ best
edition, with a Preface by Edmund Lodge, Esq., London, 1813, 8vo. page
406.--‘About this time,’--says the Author of this volume,--‘a very sad
accident happened, which, for a while, was the discourse of the whole
town: Mr. Temple, son to Sir William Temple, who had married a French
lady with 20,000 pistoles; a sedate and accomplished young gentleman,
who had lately by King William been made Secretary of War; took a pair
of oars, and drawing near the Bridge, leapt into the Thames and drowned
himself, leaving a note behind him in the boat, to this effect: ‘My
folly in undertaking what I could not perform, whereby some misfortunes
have befallen the King’s service, is the cause of my putting myself
to this sudden end; I wish him success in all his undertakings, and a
better servant.’ Pennant, in repeating this anecdote in his ‘_Account
of London_,’ page 323, adds that it took place on the 14th of April;
that the unhappy suicide loaded his pockets with stones to destroy all
chance of safety; and that his father’s false and profane reflection on
the occasion was, ‘that a wise man might dispose of himself, and make
his life as short as he pleased!’

“From a very remote period, the City of London has protected the
persons and property of its Orphans; and so early as the year 1391 the
Orphans’ Fund was possessed of very considerable wealth, since the sum
of 2000 marks, or £1333. 6_s._ 8_d._, was then borrowed from it to
procure corn during a dearth. In the year 1693, the City stood indebted
to the same source, as well as to other creditors, in the amount of
£747,500, and an Act of Parliament was at length procured, establishing
a fund for their re-payment; by which all the City estates, excepting
those belonging to the Hospitals, London Bridge, and such places as
were liable to its repairs, were charged with raising the annual sum
of £8000, clear of all deductions, as a perpetual deposit for paying
an interest of 4 per cent. to the said creditors. The act itself is in
volume iii. of Owen Ruffhead’s ‘_Statutes at Large_,’ London, 1770,
4to., the 5th of William and Mary, 1694, chapter x., section 2. In
which year also, during the Mayoralty of Sir William Ashurst, the
Common Council passed an Act, on Wednesday the 15th of June, that as
the ensuing Midsummer day, the time for delivering the Bridge-House
accounts, would fall on a Sunday, for ever after, in such a case, they
were to be delivered the next day following. An original copy of which
Act is in the xxv.th volume of London Tracts in the British Museum,

“I have already mentioned several particulars of the Bridge-House
revenues, and the salaries of the Wardens at various periods; and I
shall now shew you the ancient estimation of several other offices
of the same establishment. In the xxviii.th volume of London Tracts
last cited, is a folio sheet, entitled ‘_A List of the Rooms and
Offices bought and sold in the City of London_;’ the total amount of
which is £145,586; and there occur in it the following valuations
of places belonging to the Bridge. ‘1 Clerk of the Bridge House,
£1250.--2 Carpenters of the Bridge-House, £200 each.--1 Mason of the
Bridge-House, £200.--1 Plasterer to the Bridge-House, £200.--1 Pavier
to the Bridge House, £250.--1 Plummer to the Bridge-House, £250.--2
Porters of the Bridge-House, £100 each.--1 Purveyor of the Bridge
House, £200.--1 Shotsman of the Bridge-House, £200.’ The whole of
this list is also printed in Motley’s ‘_Seymour’s Survey of London_,’
volume i., page 261: and at the end of the original is the following
note, more particularly fixing the time when these offices were held
in such estimation. ‘Whereas, James Whiston, in a late book, intituled
‘_England’s Calamities Discovered_,’ &c.--London, 1696, quarto,--‘set
forth the mischievous consequences of buying and selling places in
Cities, States, and Kingdoms: and the discovery of the disease
being the first step towards the cure; for that end some persons,
well-affected to the government of this City and Kingdom, have taken
great pains to find out the number and value of y^e places bought and
sold within this City; which are to y^e best information that can at
present be got, as followeth.’--And now, pledge me once more, Mr.
Geoffrey Barbican, in a farewell libation to the seventeenth century,
for this notice brings us down to the year 1701.”

“Marry, Sir, and I’m heartily glad on’t,” said I, “for I began to be
like honest Bunyan’s Pilgrims on ‘the Enchanted Ground,’ and to have
much ado to keep my eyes open: but as I now really think there is
some _little_ prospect that your tale will have an end, I shall do
mine endeavour to be wakeful during the next century and a quarter,
which you have yet to lecture upon. And, in the meanwhile, like Peter
the Ziegenhirt, in Otmar’s German story, which gave Geoffrey Crayon
the idea of Rip Van Winkle, I shall take another draught of the
wine-pitcher; and so once again, Mr. Barnaby, here’s to you.”

“My most hearty thanks are your’s,” replied he, “and let me add, for
your consolation, that I really have comparatively but little to
say in the next century; for a great portion of it was occupied in
doubting whether the Bridge would stand, in surveying its buildings,
in repairing it, in disputing concerning the erection of a new one, in
receiving the reports of architects, and in adopting schemes for its

“The year 1701 may be considered as the important period, when the
Water-works at London Bridge began to advance towards that extent and
power at which they afterwards arrived. Peter Moris, the original
inventor, had a lease from the City for 500 years, paying 10_s._
of yearly rent for the use of the Thames water, one arch of the
Bridge, and a place on which he might erect his mill. The Citizens
soon experiencing the benefit of his invention, granted him, two
years after, a similar lease for a second arch, by which his wealth
considerably increased; and, with various improvements, the property
continued in his family until this time, when the proprietor finding
his profits lessened by the works at the New River, it was sold to
one Richard Soams, Citizen and Goldsmith, for £36,000. That it might
be the more secure, Soams procured from the City, in confirmation of
his bargain, another grant for the fourth arch,--the third belonging
to a wharfinger,--and a new lease of the unexpired term, at the
yearly rent of 20_s._, and a fine of £300. He then divided the whole
property into 300 shares of £500 each, and formed it into a company;
all which information you will find in Strype’s ‘Stow’s _Survey_,’
volume i., page 29; and in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume i., pages 51,
52. Subsequently, however, a fifth arch was granted by the Court of
Common Council, after a long debate, on June the 23rd, 1767; under an
express condition that if, at any time, it should be found injurious to
the navigation of the river, the City might revoke their grant, upon
re-payment of the expenses. A particular description of these works,
which I shall speak of hereafter, will be found in the ‘_Philosophical
Transactions, volume xxxvii. for the years 1731, 1732_,’ London, 1733,
4to. No. 417, pages 5-12, written by Henry Beighton, with a plate,
of which I possess the original drawing, executed very carefully in

“The earliest view of London Bridge in this century, I take to be that
very barbarous print by Sutton Nicholls, an Engraver who resided in
London, about the year 1710, was much employed by the booksellers,
and who executed several of the plates in Strype’s edition of ‘Stow’s
_Survey_.’ His prospect of the Bridge is a large and coarse engraving
in two sheets, measuring 35 inches, by 22-1/2, and is divided
lengthways into two parts; the upper one entitled ‘_The West side of
London Bridge_,’ on a ribbon, and the lower one the Eastern side,
in the same manner. Both of these views are horizontal, and of most
execrable drawing, especially with respect to the water and vessels;
and the Print seldom produces more than a few shillings, though I
should observe that there are two editions of it. One bearing the
imprint of ‘_Printed for and Sold by I. Smith, in Exeter Exchange in
the Strand_,’ which is the earliest and best; and another marked
‘_Printed for, and Sold by, Tho. Millward and Bis. Dickinson, at Inigo
Jones Head, next the Globe Tavern, in Fleet Street_;’ which latter is
probably still in existence, as impressions of it are by no means rare.
Below the views are engraven ‘_An Historical Description of the great
and admirable Bridge in the City of London over the River of Thames_,’
and Howell’s verses, which I have already cited to you. But although
its present value is so trifling, it is yet far beyond the original
price of it, for in the Harleian MSS., No. 5956, is an impression
of the following curious original copper-plate Prospectus for its

“‘Proposals for Printing a Prospect of London Bridge, Thirty-five
Inches Long, and Twenty-three Inches Broad.

‘1st. Every Subscriber paying half a Crown at the time of subscription,
shall have a Prospect pasted on Cloath in a Black Frame, paying half a
Crown more at the receipt thereof.

‘2dly. Every Subscriber paying one shilling at the time of
subscription, shall have one of the Prospects on Paper only, paying one
shilling more at the receipt thereof.

‘3dly. He that subscribes, or procures subscriptions, for six framed
ones, shall have a seventh in a Frame, Gratis; and he that subscribes,
or procures subscriptions, for six in sheets, shall have a seventh in
sheets, Gratis.

‘4thly. Any person that desires it, may see a Drawing of the same
in the hands of Sutton Nicholls, Ingraver, against the George Inn,
in Aldersgate Street, London, where subscriptions are taken in. At
the same place is taught the Art of Drawing, by Sight, Measure, or
Instrument; also the Art of Writing: Prints and Mapps, Surveys, Ground
Plotts, Uprights, and Perspectives, are there Drawn and Coloured at
reasonable rates.’ This view of London Bridge is mentioned by Gough, in
his ‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., page 734.

“Although the Thames was again frozen over at intervals in the year
1709, and some persons crossed it on the ice, yet the frost was neither
so intense nor so permanent as to cause another fair; though, in the
illustrated Pennant in the British Museum, there is an impression of
a coarse bill, within a wood-cut border of rural subjects, containing
the words ‘_Mr. John Heaton, Printed on the Thames at Westminster,
Jan. the 7th, 1709. The Art and Mystery of Printing first invented by
John Guttemberg, in Harlem, in 1440, and brought into England by John
Islip_.’ 7 inches by 5-3/4.

“About the end of November 1715, however, a very severe frost
commenced, which continued until the 9th of the following February,
when the sports of 1683 were all renewed; but of this I shall mention
only the few curious memorials of it to be found in Mr. Crowle’s London
collections in the British Museum.

“A copper-plate, 6 inches by 7-1/4, representing a view of London from
the opposite shore, with London Bridge on the right hand, and a line
of tents on the left, leading from ‘_Temple Stairs_.’ In front, another
line of tents marked ‘_Thames Street_,’ and the various sports, &c.
before them: below the print are alphabetical references, with the
words ‘_Printed on the Thames 17-16/15_;’ and above it, ‘_Frost Fair on
the River Thames_.’

“A copper-plate, 16 inches by 20-1/4, representing London at St.
Paul’s, with the tents, &c. and with alphabetical references; ‘_Printed
and Sold by John Bowles, at the Black Horse, in Cornhill_.’ In the
right hand corner above, the arms and supporters of the City; and
in the left, a cartouche with the words ‘_Frost Fayre, being a True
Prospect of the Great varietie of Shops and Booths for Tradesmen,
with other curiosities and humors, on the Frozen River of Thames, as
it appeared before the City of London, in that memorable Frost in y^e
second year of the Reigne of Our Sovereigne Lord King George, Anno
Domini 1716_.’

“‘_Frost Fair: or a View of the booths on the frozen Thames, in the 2nd
Year of King George, 1716._’ A wood-cut.

“‘_An exact and lively view of the booths, and all the variety of
shows, &c. on the ice, with an alphabetical explanation of the most
remarkable figures, 1716._’ A copper plate.

“In the year 1716, a very remarkable phenomenon occurred at London
Bridge, when, in consequence of the long drought, the stream of the
River Thames was reduced so low, and from the effects of a violent gale
of wind, at West-South-West, was blown so dry, that many thousands of
people passed it on foot, both above and below the Bridge, and through
most of the arches. Strype, in his edition of Stow’s ‘_Survey_,’ volume
i., page 58, states, that he was an eye-witness to this event; and
observes that, on September 14th, the channel in the middle of the
River was scarcely ten yards wide, and very shallow; the violence of
the wind having prevented the tide from coming up for the space of
four and twenty hours. Whilst the Thames remained in this state, many
interesting observations were made on the construction and foundation
of London Bridge; and the ‘_Weekly Packet_,’ from September the 15th
to September the 22d, states, that a silver tankard, a gold ring, a
guinea, and several other things which had been lost there, were then
taken up.

“The author of ‘_Wine and Walnuts_,’ in one of his chapters, which
relate to this edifice, volume ii., page 112, gives a few notices of a
feast held upon it in April, 1722, whilst some repairs were carrying
on about the Draw-Bridge: and states, that it being settled that the
Bridge should be shut on the Saturday and Sunday, the old street was
empty and silent; tables were set out in the highway, where, besides
the residents, several of the wealthy tradesmen in the vicinity sat
drinking through the afternoon; that they might be enabled to say--adds
Malcolm,--who notices the circumstance in his ‘_Anecdotes of the
Manners and Customs of London during the Eighteenth Century_,’ London,
1808, quarto, volume ii., page 233,--‘however crowded the Bridge is,
I have drank punch upon it for great part of a day.’ Though I do not
find this festivity recorded in any of the public prints, yet in the
‘_Daily Courant_’ for Friday, April the 13th, 1722, is a notice from
the Wardens of London Bridge, that the Draw-Bridge Lock, through which
hoys, lighters, and other vessels usually passed, would be boomed up
on the following Wednesday, the 18th, for repairing; whilst in the
same paper for Friday, April the 20th, a second notice appeared, that
on Saturday, the 12th of May, between the hours of 9 and 10 in the
evening, the Draw-Bridge itself would be taken up in order to lay down
a new one, which was completed by the Thursday following. At the same
time, the Rulers of the Company of Watermen issued a notice, that the
Stairs at Pepper Alley would be dangerous during the repairs; and that
persons were requested to take water higher up the River. It is also
stated in the ‘_Daily Post_’ of Tuesday, May the 15th, that the new
Draw-Bridge was to be considerably stronger than the old one, both in
wood and iron; and that the former had been laid down in the Whitsun
holidays, exactly fifty years previously, on May the 12th, 1672, the
work being completed in five days.

“About the end of the seventeenth century, the improvement of the
passage over London Bridge seems to have been actively considered,
if not executed: for in 1697, the 8th and 9th year of William III.,
(chapter xxxvii.,) an Act was passed concerning the Streets in
London, Westminster, Southwark, &c. ‘_and for widening the Street
at the South end of London Bridge_.’ In section 8 of which, it is
stated that ‘the Corporation of London have of late years, with great
charge and difficulty, pulled down and new built all the houses upon
London Bridge, and caused the street or common passage over the same
to be opened and enlarged; which good and public intention is not
yet perfected, by reason of certain tenements on or near the South
end of the Bridge, which yet continue a great hindrance to commerce
by occasioning frequent stops, and endangering the lives of many
passengers.’ Commissioners are then appointed to treat with the owners
of such houses, as they shall think fit to be pulled down. See the Act
itself in Ruffhead’s ‘_Statutes at Large_,’ volume iii., page 687.
Again, in the year 1722, during the Mayoralty of Sir Gerard Conyers,
an Act was issued by the Corporation of the City, for preserving the
passage of the Bridge free, which you may read at length in Motley’s
‘_Seymour’s Survey_,’ volume i., page 49: it ordains that there shall
be three persons, appointed by the Governors of Christ’s Hospital, the
inhabitants of Bridge Ward Within, and the Bridge-Masters, to give
daily attendance at each end of the Bridge. Their duty being, to oblige
all carriages coming from Southwark, to keep the West side, and others
the contrary; and to prevent any cart from standing across the Bridge
to load or unload. It was also ordered, that the Toll Collector--whose
station was in the present Watch House, at the North-west corner of
the Bridge,--should collect the duties without delay; and, in 1723,
they were ‘For every cart or waggon with shod wheels, 4_d._; For a dray
with five barrels, 1_d._; For every pipe or butt, 1_d._; For a ton of
any goods, 2_d._; for any thing less than a ton, 1_d._;’ which order
was directed to be printed and published in the most public places
within the City, and upon London Bridge itself. I may merely add, that
Maitland tells us in his ‘_History_,’ volume i., page 48, that in
1725, when it was proposed to erect a Bridge at Westminster, Mr. Henry
Garbrand, the Deputy Comptroller of London Bridge, and Mr. Bartholomew
Sparruck, the Water Carpenter, measured the River at this building, and
found it to be 915 feet 1 inch in breadth; the height of the Bridge,
43 feet, 7 inches; the width of the street, 20 feet; and the depth of
the houses on each side, 53 feet, or 73 feet in the whole. One of the
last fires which happened on London Bridge, took place on the 8th of
September in this year, during the Mayoralty of Sir George Mertins,
Knight; and, as Motley tells us in his ‘_Seymour’s Survey_,’ volume i.,
page 49, commenced at the house of a brush-maker, near St. Olave’s,
Tooley Street, through the carelessness of a servant. It burned down
all the houses on that side of the way as far as the Bridge-Gate, with
several of the buildings on the other; and ‘_Mist’s Weekly Journal_,’
of Saturday, September the 11th, describes it in the following
words:--‘On Wednesday night, between eleven and twelve o’clock, a fire
broke out at a Haberdasher’s of Hats, on the Bridge foot in Southwark,
which burnt on both sides of the way with great violence for four or
five hours. We hear that about sixty houses are consumed, some upon the
first and second arch of the Bridge; and had it not been for the stone
gate which stopp’d the fire very much, the rest of the houses on the
Bridge had in all likelyhood been down: the Bridge for some time was,
by the fall of the timber and rubbish, render’d impassable for coaches,
waggons, and carts, which were oblig’d to cross over at Lambeth Ferry.
The damage done amounts to many thousands of pounds, but no just
computation can yet be made.’ The old Bridge-Gate was so much damaged
by this conflagration, that in 1726 it was taken down and re-built,
being finished in the year 1728. THE NEW SOUTH GATE ON LONDON BRIDGE,


was furnished with two posterns for foot-passengers, and was decorated
with the Royal Arms, under which was inscribed, ‘This Gate was widened
from eleven to eighteen feet, in the Mayoralty of Sir Edward Becher,
Knight, S. P. Q. L.’ The medalet, with a representation of this
edifice, I have already mentioned to you, and it may now be stated that
it was taken down in the year 1760, with all the other buildings on the
Bridge, and the materials sold by auction. At which sale, the fine old
sculpture of the Royal Arms was bought, with some other articles, by
a Mr. Williams, a stone-mason of Tooley Street; who, being soon after
employed to take down the gateway at Axe and Bottle Yard, and to form
the present King Street, in the Borough, introduced several of the old
Bridge materials in erecting it. The ancient Royal Arms, too, are yet
to be seen on the front of a small public house, on the right-hand side
of the Western end of the same street, between the numbers 4 and 67;
with the inscription ‘G. III. R. 1760., King Street,’ carved around
them. Mr. Williams also bought several of the facing stones of the old
London Bridge, of which he built a very curious house, the roof being
of the same stone, and which, about three years since, was standing in
Lock’s Fields, near Prospect Row, Newington, usually known by the name
of ‘_Williams’s Folly_.’ The new Bridge-Gate stood near the corner of
Pepper Alley Stairs, and you will find a representation of it in the
Frontispiece to the first volume of Maitland’s ‘_History_.’ I imagine,
that upon the removal of the old gate, the custom of erecting the
heads of traitors there was discontinued, as I find no subsequent
notice of it; and the last heads which, probably, were placed upon its
towers, are said to have been those of the Regicides in 1661, as I
have shewn from Monconys, though, in the numerous pamphlets of their
Trials, &c., I find no account of their being thus disposed. From ‘_The
Traytors’ Perspective Glass_,’ London, 1662, 4to., we learn, however,
that the heads of Cromwell and Ireton were set over Westminster Hall;
and of the others, it is said, ‘their heads, _in several places_, are
become a spectacle both to angels and men, and a prey to birds of the

In Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume i., page 49, we are furnished with ‘a
brief state of the Bridge Account, from Lady-day 1726 to ditto 1727, by
the Bridge-Masters, Matthew Snablin and John Web.

                             ‘_Charge._                 £. _s._ _d._
     ‘By Money in the Bridge-Masters’ hands, at the}
         foot of the last Account                  }   576   9   9
     By ditto in the Tenants’ hands in arrears        4271  13   3
     By the General Rental this year                  3299   0   5
     By Fines this Year                                493   4   2
     By Casual Receipts                                267   6   8
                           The whole charge.         £8907  14   3

                          ‘_Discharge._                 £. _s._ _d._
     ‘To Rents and Quit-Rents                           49  12   8
     To Taxes and Trophy-Money                         209  14   3
     To Weekly Bills, Expenses, and Emptions          1648   0   7
     To Timber and Boards                              430  18   9
     To Stones, Chalk, Lime, Terrass, and Bricks       197   6   0
     To Iron-work                                      170   0   0
     To Plumber, Glazier, Painter, and Paviour         278   8   0
     To Shipwrights’ Work and Cordage                   61   5   0
     To Benevolence to the Lord Mayor, &c.             145   6   8
     To particular Payments by Order of Court          173   7   0
     To Fees and Salaries                              270   4   0
     To Costs at Audit and Lady Fair                   296   2   0
     To Money due to balance                          4977   9   4
                                                     £8907  14   3’

On Wednesday, the 26th of December, 1739-40, commenced another Frost,
the most severe which had occurred since 1716. The Thames, as we are
told by the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ of 1740, volume x., page 35,
January 31, floated with rocks and shoals of ice; and when they fixed,
represented a snowy field, every where rising in masses and hills of
ice and snow. Of this scene, several artists made sketches; whilst
tents and printing-presses were erected, and a complete Frost-fair was
again held upon the River, over which multitudes walked, though some
lost their lives by their rashness. It was in this fair that Doll, the
Pippin-woman, whom I before mentioned, lost her life, as Gay relates
it in the Second Book of his ‘_Trivia_,’ verses 375-392; the last line
of which seems to be an imitation of that song which we formerly
considered, and which was extremely popular even in the time of Gay
himself. The passage I particularly allude to is this:

    ‘Doll every day had walk’d these treacherous roads;
    Her neck grew warp’d beneath Autumnal loads
    Of various fruit: she now a basket bore;
    That head, alas! shall basket bear no more.
    Each booth she frequent past, in quest of gain,
    And boys with pleasure heard her thrilling strain.
    Ah, Doll! all mortals must resign their breath,
    And industry itself submit to death!
    The crackling crystal yields; she sinks, she dies,
    Her head, chopt off, from her lost shoulders flies;
    Pippins she cried, but death her voice confounds,
    And pip--pip--pip, along the ice resounds.’

“Mr. J. T. Smith, in his ‘_Ancient Topography of London_,’ page 24,
states that another remarkable character, called ‘_Tiddy Doll_,’ died
in the same place and manner.

“In the treasures of Mr. Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant, are several
contemporary memorials of this Fair; which I shall very briefly
mention, and give some specimens of the poetry attached to them.

“A coarse copper-plate, entitled ‘_The View of Frost Fair_,’ 10-1/4
inches by 12, scene taken from York-buildings Water-Works; twelve
verses beneath.

“A copper-plate, 7-1/2 inches by 5, representing an altar-piece with
the ten commandments, engraven between the figures of Moses and Aaron;
and beneath, on a cartouche, ‘_Printed on the Ice on the River of
Thames, Jan^{ry.} 15, 1739_.’

“A coarse copper-plate engraving, looking down the River, entitled
‘_Frost Fair_,’ with eight lines of verse beneath; and above ‘_Printed
upon the River Thames when Frozen, Janu. the 28, 173-9/40_.’ 9-1/2
inches by 12-1/4.

“A copper-plate 5 inches by 8-1/4, representing an ornamental border
with a female head, crowned at the top; and below, two designs of the
letter-press and rolling press. In the centre in type, ‘_Upon the Frost
in the year 1739-40_;’ six verses, and then ‘_Mr. John Cross, aged 6.
Printed on the Ice upon the Thames, at Queen-Hithe, January the 29th,

    ‘Behold the Liquid THAMES now frozen o’er!
    That lately SHIPS of mighty Burden bore.
    Here You may PRINT your Name, tho’ cannot Write,
    ’Cause numb’d with Cold: ’Tis done with great Delight.
    And lay it by; That AGES yet to come
    May see what THINGS upon the ICE were done.’

“A copper-plate, representing a view of the Thames at Westminster,
with the tents, sports, &c., and alphabetical references, entitled
‘_Ice Fair_.’ ‘_Printed on y^e River Thames, now frozen over, Jan^y 31,
1739-40_;’ 7-1/2 inches by 12-1/2.

    ‘Amidst y^e arts y^t on y^e Thames appear,
    To tell y^e Wonders of this frozen Year,
    Sculpture claims Prior place, since y^t alone
    Preserves y^e Image when y^e Prospect’s gone.’

“An altered copy of these verses was printed upon the Thames in the
great Frost of 1814; and from an advertisement in the ‘_London Daily
Post_’ of Thursday, January the 31st, 1739-40, we learn that this and
the following print were originally sold for 6_d._ each.

“A Copper-plate printed in red, 9-1/2 inches by 13-1/4, the view taken
opposite St. Paul’s, with tents, sports, &c. in front, sixteen lines of
verse beneath, with ‘_Frost and Ice Fair, shewing the diversions upon
the River Thames, began the 26th of Decem^r 1739-40, ended Febru^{ry}
the 17th_.’”

“In the beginning of this Frost, the houses on London Bridge appear
to have received considerable damage, from the many vessels which
broke from their moorings, and lay beating against them; the notice
of which, we derive from the two most celebrated newspapers of the
time,--the ‘_Daily Post_,’ and Woodfall’s ‘_General Advertiser_.’ The
latter of these, for Monday, December the 31st, 1739, states that
‘all the watermen above the Bridge have hauled their boats on shore,
the Thames being very nigh frozen over:’ and in the same paper, for
Wednesday, January 2nd, 1739-40, it is observed, that ‘several vintners
in the Strand bought a large Ox in Smithfield on Monday last, which is
to be roasted whole on the ice on the River of Thames, if the Frost
continues. Mr. Hodgeson, a Butcher in St. James’s Market, claims the
privilege of selling, or knocking down, the Beast, as a right inherent
in his family, his Father having knocked down the Ox roasted on the
River in the great Frost, 1684; as himself did that roasted in 1715,
near Hungerford Stairs. The Beast is to be fixt to a stake in the open
market, and Mr. Hodgeson comes dress’d in a rich lac’d cambric apron,
a silver steel, and a Hat and Feathers, to perform the office.’ After
the mention of numerous accidents near London Bridge, the repetition
of which would occupy considerable time with but little gratification,
the ‘_Daily Post_,’ of Tuesday, January the 22nd, 1740, thus notices
the first breaking-up of this famous frost. ‘Yesterday morning, the
inhabitants of the West prospect of the Bridge were presented with a
very odd scene, for, on the opening of their windows, there appear’d
underneath, on the River, a parcel of booths, shops, and huts, of
different forms, and without any inhabitants, which, it seems, by the
swell of the waters and the ice separating, had been brought down from
above. As no lives were lost, it might be view’d without horror. Here
stood a booth with trinkets, there a hut with a dram of old gold; in
another place a skittle-frame and pins, and in a fourth ‘the Noble
Art and Mystery of Printing, by a servant to one of the greatest
trading companies in Europe.’ With much difficulty, last night, they
had removed the most valuable effects.’ To conclude my information
upon this subject, I have to observe only that the ‘_Daily Post_’ of
Thursday, February the 14th, states that the Sterlings of London Bridge
had received so much damage during the frost from the great weight of
ice, that their repairs would amount to several thousand pounds.

“The last extract given us by Maitland, in his ‘_History_’ page 49,
from the Bridge-House revenues and accounts, extends from Lady-day 1752
to Lady-day 1753, and consists of the following particulars.”

                                              £  _s._ _d._
    “‘In the hands of the Bridge-Masters,}
      at the foot of their last account  } 2669   9    6

    In the hands of the Chamberlain of   }
      London, paid to him by Webb’s      }  600   0    0
      securities                         }
                                          --------------3269   9   6

    In Tenants’ hands in arrears at Lady-day, 1752      2413  18   9-1/2
    In arrear for fines then                              70   6  11
    Rental General this year, including Quit Rents      3843   8   7
    Fines set this year                                  662   0   0
                               Whole charge           £10259   3   9-1/2

                                                           £ _s._ _d._
    ‘Rents and Quit-Rents paid                            52   9   3
    Taxes and Trophy-money: sums collected for the }
      accoutrements and maintenance of the Militia }     194  11   4-1/2
    Expenses                                             351  17   1-1/2
    Emptions of Timber                      471   7    6
       Stone, Chalk, Terrass                340   4    4
       Iron-work                            158  18    0
                                         --------------- 970   9  10
    Mason, Painter, Glazier, Carpenter, &c.             1904  13   9
    Shipwrights’ work and Cordage                        104  18   0
    Benevolence                                          232  13   4
    Particular Payments by Order                        1254   7   3-3/4
    Fees and Salaries                                    287   4   5
    Costs at Audit and Lady Fair                         160  11   0
                                                       £5513  15   4-3/4

                                                           £ _s._ _d._
    ‘Amount of the preceding Charge                    10259   3   9-1/2
    Deduct the foregoing expenses                       5513  15   4-3/4
    Remainder                                           4745   8   4-3/4
    Whereof discharged by desperate arrears and    }      89   0   0
      remitted                                     }
    Remaining due to the Bridge-house, at Lady-day,}
      1753                                         }    4656   8   4-3/4

    _And thus disposed of._

    Arrears of Fines and Quit-rents                     2483  15   1-3/4
    Arrears and Fines                                     70   6  11
    In the hands of the Bridge-Masters                  1502   5   5
    In the hands of the Chamberlain of London            600   0   0
                                                       £4656   7   5-3/4’

“There appears to be some little inaccuracy in this statement by
Maitland, since the amounts which he sets down are not the products
of the sums when added together; but these I have rectified, though
the balance of the whole account does not quite accord with the sums
remaining in hand.

“We have at length reached that period, when the extensive alteration,
or even re-building, of London Bridge, began to form a matter of
grave and active consideration; and in relating the proceedings of
these times, there will be no little difficulty in condensing into
one consecutive account, all the numerous surveys, reports, plans,
proposals, and objections, which were then published. In treating of
this part of the subject, however, as it will be best and briefest to
do it in order, we will first consider the state of old London Bridge,
as it was represented by the various Architects employed to survey it;
then give some account of the schemes proposed for its alteration;
and lastly, describe that which was adopted, and the means used for
carrying it into effect.

“It appears extremely probable, that the contrast presented by the
broad and clear road of the new Bridge at Westminster,--which was
commenced in September, 1738, and completed in November, 1749,--chiefly
contributed to turn the attention of the Corporation of London to
the exceeding inconvenience of their own. Though to the building
of Westminster Bridge, Maitland, who knew the circumstances, tells
us in his ‘_History_,’ volume ii., page 1349, that there was very
considerable opposition; and that the City of London, the Borough of
Southwark, the Company of Watermen, and the West-Country Bargemen, all
petitioned the Parliament against it. On Friday, February the 22d,
1754, as we learn from the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of the day following,
the Court of Common Council took into consideration a motion for the
construction of a new Bridge between London and Southwark: when, after
a debate of nearly four hours, it was withdrawn, and a Committee
appointed, consisting, as usual, of the Aldermen, Deputies, and one
Common-Councilman from each Ward, to consider of the best means of
rendering the old Bridge safe and convenient; who were empowered to
draw upon the Chamberlain to the amount of £100, for plans, surveys,
&c. The Report of this Committee stated, that the Bridge foundation
was still good, and that, by pulling down the houses, and making such
repairs as should then be required, the edifice might be rendered
equally serviceable with Westminster Bridge; being capable of receiving
four carriages abreast, with a good foot way on each side. By pulling
down the houses at the corners of the narrow streets leading to the
old Bridge, it was also represented that it would be rendered so
convenient as to supersede the erection of any new one. To this it
was objected, that most of the houses declined considerably out of
the perpendicular; and that those on the Eastern side of the Bridge
decayed much faster than the opposite ones. In Harrison’s ‘_History_,’
page 24, this account is partly confirmed; since we are there told
that ‘on the outer part of the Bridge, on the East side, the view
from the wharfs and quays was exceedingly disagreeable. Nineteen
disproportioned arches, with sterlings increased to an amazing size
by frequent repairs, supported the street above. These arches were of
very different sizes, and several that were low and narrow were placed
between others that were broad and lofty. The back part of the houses
next the Thames had neither uniformity nor beauty; the line being
broken by a great number of closets that projected from the buildings,
and hung over the sterlings. This deformity was greatly increased by
the houses extending a considerable distance over the sides of the
Bridge, and some of them projecting farther over it than the others; by
which means, the tops of almost all the arches, except those that were
nearest, were concealed from the view of the passengers on the quays,
and made the Bridge appear like a multitude of rude piers, with only an
arch or two at the end, and the rest, consisting of beams, extending
from the tops of flat piers, without any other arches, quite across the

“The best view of London Bridge in this state, is represented in an
engraving by Peter Charles Canot, from a picture painted by Samuel
Scott, of whom Walpole says, ‘if he were but second to Vandevelde
in sea-pieces, he excelled him in variety, and often introduced
buildings in his pictures with consummate skill. His views of London
Bridge, of the Quay at the Custom-House, &c. were equal to his
Marines.’ He died October the 12th, 1772; _vide_ the ‘_Anecdotes
of Painting_,’ page 445. This view is also noticed by Gough in his
‘_British Topography_,’ volume i., page 735: and Mr. J. T. Smith, in
his ‘_Ancient Topography_,’ page 25, observes, that it was in the
possession of Edward Roberts, Esq., Clerk of the Pells, who probably
still retains it. It was exhibited, says the author of ‘_Wine and
Walnuts_,’ volume i., page 65, in 1817, at the British Institution; and
of the excellent engraving from it there are two editions: the earliest
and best is marked, ‘_Published according to Act of Parliament, Feb^y.
25, 1761_:’ and the latter may be known by the imprint of ‘_Printed
for Bowles and Carver, R. H. Laurie, and R. Wilkinson_.’ This plate
has been more than once copied in a reduced form; but the best,
engraved by Warren, appeared in that work by Dr. Pugh, known by the
name of ‘_Hughson’s History of London_,’ London, 1806-9, octavo,
volume ii., page 316. Another view of London Bridge with the houses,
of considerably less merit, but rather more rarity, was ‘_Printed and
sold for John Bowles, Print and Map-seller, over against Stocks-Market,
1724_.’ It consists of a small square plate, and shews the houses
on the Western side of the edifice in bad perspective, with a short
historical account beneath it; and it forms plate y of a folio volume,
entitled, ‘_Several Prospects of the most noted Buildings in and about
the City of London_.’ There are also some rather large representations
of this Bridge, in most of the old two and three-sheet views of London;
as in those published by Bowles ‘_at the Black Horse in Cornhill_,’
about 1732, &c.; and in the series of prints usually called ‘_Boydell’s
Perspectives_,’ is a folio half-sheet plate very much resembling
Scott’s, entitled ‘_A view of London Bridge taken near St. Olave’s
Stairs. Published according to Act of Parliament by J. Boydell,
Engraver, at the Globe, near Durham Yard in the Strand. 1731. Price
1s. J. Boydell, delin. et sculp._’ I could mention several others, as
in the Title-page to the old ‘_London Magazine_;’ in Strype’s edition
of Stow; in Maitland; Motley’s ‘Seymour’s _Survey_;’ in Hughson,
Lambert, and numerous other works; but for fidelity of feature, and
excellence of effect, none of them are in any respect equal to that of


“As at this period the public attention was generally directed towards
this edifice, the proprietors of Maitland’s ‘_History of London_,’
which was then appearing in numbers, issued an Advertisement, in the
‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Saturday, April the 6th, 1754, stating that
‘Number xv. will be illustrated with two fine Prospects of London
Bridge as it may be altered agreeable to drawings presented to Sir
Richard Hoare, by Charles Labelye, Esq.; and humbly inscribed to the
Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council, who _now_ have the state
of that Bridge under consideration.--Not one of this Number will be
delivered to any but Subscribers, and such as have bought, or shall
buy, the former Numbers.’ Like Strype’s edition of Stow, this work was
published at 6_d._ each Number.

“On Thursday, September the 26th, 1754, the Bridge Committee presented
their Report to the Court of Common-Council, an original verbatim copy
of which is in the xxviiith. volume of ‘_London Tracts_’ in the British
Museum, small folio. This Report stated, that the piles, &c. of old
London Bridge having been surveyed by Mr. George Dance, then Clerk of
the Works to the City, the foundations were declared good, and, with
common repairs, likely to last for ages. That the houses on the Bridge
being a public inconvenience, it was recommended that they should be
removed, from St. Magnus’ Church to the City Gate, on the East; and
from the corner of Thames Street to the Bear Tavern in the Borough,
on the West. That Mr. Dance had produced a plan for an alteration
of the Bridge, with estimates amounting to £30,000, in which were a
carriage-road of 33 feet, with two foot-paths of 6 feet each; but
that such expense might be reduced to £27,000, by leaving the houses
standing on the South side of the Gate. That the annual rents of the
houses to be taken down amounted to about £828: 6_s._, which would be
lost to the Bridge-House estates; whilst the Parishes of St. Magnus
and St. Olave would also lose in taxes, rents, and tythes, about the
yearly sum of £484: 19_s._ 10_d._; and that the estimate of the houses
then out upon lease, with others which must be bought, came to £8940:
11_s._ 7_d._; besides other satisfaction which might be required by the

“The substance of Labelye’s plan for altering this edifice, is given in
Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume ii., pages 826-832, together with the
result of several other reports made in 1746. His chief objection to
old London Bridge was to the sterlings surrounding the piers; which,
occupying almost one fourth part in five of the water-way, caused a
fall of nearly five feet perpendicular, during the greater part of
every tide, thus rendering the passage of vessels through the locks
equally difficult and dangerous. He, consequently, proposed casing the
piers with four feet of Portland Stone, and to lessen the sterlings
so as always to have about 400 feet of water-way, which, being twice
as much as the Bridge originally possessed, would reduce the fall to
about 15 inches. The expense of this plan, he conceived, would be about
£2000 for each pier; two or three of which could be altered in a year,
without stopping the passage either over or under the Bridge. He also
proposed to adopt the idea of Sir Christopher Wren, in new-modelling
the appearance of the building itself, by taking away eleven piers, and
forming nine broad-pointed Gothic arches, springing from the lowest
low-water mark: these were to be of different dimensions, and the
fifth from the South end was to be 90 feet in span. The parapet was to
be ornamented with Gothic crocketted recesses surmounting the piers;
by a cast-iron ballustrade; or by a dwarf-wall, or even houses; and,
according to this plan, there would have been a water-way of 540 feet,
and a fall of not more than 9 inches; whilst the amount of time and
expense would not be considerably greater than in the former.

“The Reports of Mr. George Dance, Clerk of the City Works, and
Bartholomew Sparruck, the Water-Carpenter of London Bridge, in answer
to the questions of the Committee, in 1746, also furnish several
very curious and interesting particulars concerning the building at
that period, and the original is to be found at length in Maitland’s
‘_History_,’ already cited; and in Nos. II. and III. of Dr. Charles
Hutton’s ‘_Tracts on Mathematical and Philosophical Subjects_,’ London,
1812, volume i., pages 115-122. The Report commences with a table of
the depth of water, above, immediately under, and below every arch,
beginning at the South end of the Bridge, which is to the following

          “‘Name of the Lock.       West Side. Under the Arch. East Side.
                                    Feet. Inch. Feet. Inch.   Feet. Inch.

     Shore Lock                      16    --     5    9         8  10
     Second Lock from Surrey Shore   14     6     9   --        10   4
     Rock Lock                       22     3     3   --        14  --
     Fourth Lock from Surrey Shore   14    --     7   --        15   7
     Fifth Lock from Surrey Shore    18     9    10    3        18   7
     Roger Lock                      17     7     8    7        15  11
     Draw Lock                       18     1     8   10        15  11
     Nonesuch Lock                   25     1     9    2        18   3
     Pedlar’s Lock                   17     8     5    9        18   6
     Gutt Lock                       21     2     5    6        17   8
     Long Entry Lock                 18    11     3    5        12   8
     Chapel Lock                     17    --     2    4        22  --
     St. Mary’s Lock                 24     6     8    9        20  --
     Little Lock                     22     3     9   --        17   4
     King’s Lock                     23     9     6    9        20   7
     Shore Lock                      19     9     6   11        21  10
     Mill Lock                       20     3     4    6        21  10
     Mill Lock                       19     4     7    9        14   1
     Mill Lock                       10    10     4   --        13  10
     Mill Lock                        6     7     6    1        10  10’

“The Report then proceeds to state, that the height of the under bed
of the first course of stones is very unequal; some being 2 feet 4
inches; and others varying from 1 foot 3 inches, to 1 foot 11 inches
above low-water mark; and from 4 to 6 feet above the level of the
sterlings. The rough and unhewn piles were found to be shod with
iron, and but little decayed: in some instances, they were separated
from the stone-work by planks of oak and elm, from 4 to 6 inches in
thickness, which were probably first inserted at some of the numerous
repairs; and each of the piers was protected by a stone base, extending
about 7 inches beyond them. It was from these reports, that Mr. Labelye
drew up his plans, which, together with his remarks on the old Bridge,
were presented to the Committee, on Wednesday, the 17th of September,
1746. As this Architect desired that his designs might be examined by
some eminent, scientific, and disinterested individuals, several such
persons were called in to assist the deliberations of the Committee;
though, after many other inquiries and consultations, the discussions
terminated in a proposal for building a new Bridge at Blackfriars.

“At a Court of Common Council holden on Thursday, December 18th, 1755,
after a very protracted opposition, the Corporation consequently
agreed to petition Parliament for leave to bring in a Bill to erect
another Bridge over the Thames at Fleet-Ditch, and on Tuesday, January
13th, 1756, the petition was presented and referred to a Committee;
another petition being also presented at the same time, praying leave
to bring in a Bill for improving and widening the passage over London
Bridge, by removing the houses and other obstructions thereon, and
for raising money to enable the Trustees to render the same safer and
more commodious. This also was referred to a Committee; on Friday,
March 12th, 1756, leave was granted to bring in the Bills; and on
Thursday, the 27th of May, they both received the Royal assent, when
the King closed the Session of Parliament. These Acts are printed
in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume ii., page 1387; though the best
authority is Ruffhead’s ‘_Statutes at Large_,’ volume vii., pages
728-738, 29th of George II., Chapter xl.; and I shall first give a
very few particulars of the Act relating to London Bridge, and next
shew how the alteration was effected. By this Statute, then, the
Corporation was empowered to buy and remove all buildings on, and
contiguous to, the Bridge, for enlarging its avenues, improving the
passage over, and widening one or more of its arches:--to devise how
the same should be executed, and kept in repair:--to erect an uniform
ballustrade on each side, with a passage of 31 feet for carriages, &c.,
and 7 feet for each of the footways:--to have it lighted and watched
at the expense of the Bridge-House estates:--to preserve the arches
and pipes belonging to the Water-works:--to establish, after the 24th
of June, 1756, an additional toll for the payment of the expenses
incurred by the alterations:--to keep the Bridge clear of buildings,
and of carriages standing upon it for hire, after the houses should be
removed; and to make all carriages keep on the Eastern side in going
towards Southwark, and on the Western side in coming to London. The Act
also provided penalties for destroying the Bridge or any of its works;
extensive powers for the Corporation in buying the various property;
an equivalent for the tythes, rates, &c., payable to the Rectors of
St. Magnus and St. Margaret, and St. Olave; and particular ordinances
concerning the tolls.

“Gates and toll-houses were to be erected on, or near, London Bridge;
but to continue only until the principal and interest of the borrowed
monies should be discharged. The additional tolls were, ‘for every
horse drawing any coach, chariot, hearse, berlin, landau, calash,
chaise, or chair, over the Bridge, 1_d._; for every such carriage
itself, 1_d._; and for every horse not drawing, passing across the
Bridge, 1/2_d._’ Loaded vessels also, passing under the Bridge, were
to pay 2_d._ for every 5 tons burthen; 3_d._ for ten tons; 6_d._ for
25 tons, and 1_s._ for vessels of greater capacity. In the Act for
building a Bridge at Blackfriars, 29th of George II.--1756,--Chapter
lxxxvi., it is stated, that the taking away of all tolls from that
of London, as soon as possible, would be of general advantage, they
being then leased out for 21 years at a fine of £2100, and a yearly
rent of £735; the redemption of all which was estimated at £36,000.
In 1757, the 31st of George II., Chapter xx., an aid of £15,000
was granted by Parliament towards the rebuilding of London Bridge,
because the tolls were not only difficult to collect, but were also
a considerable hindrance to commerce and navigation: _vide_ the
‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ at the end of volume ii.,
page 19. The powers of the new Act--which also protected the Bridge
and its works, by making it felony to destroy them,--commenced from
the 21st of April, and the additional tolls of the former one ceased
from the 24th of June, 1758. Whilst I am upon the subject, it will
probably be as well to include all our notices of the tolls of London
Bridge under one head; and therefore I may remark, that in 1767,
the 7th of George III., Chapter xxxvii., an Act was passed for the
completing of Blackfriars Bridge, making several improvements in the
City, and for treating with Mr. Edward Neale, the Lessee of the tolls
of London Bridge, for their redemption; to which latter purpose, the
sum of £30,000 was appropriated. About the end of September, 1770,
the Corporation proceeded to act upon this power, fifteen years and
three quarters being then unexpired of the lease; but the lessee
having altered his demand, on account of the tolls having increased
upwards of £600 per annum since 1766, it was found, that to reimburse
the City, it was essential that they should continue both upon London
and Blackfriars Bridges for some years longer. Upon petition of the
Corporation, therefore, in the 11th of George III., 1771, Chapter xx.,
an Act was passed for further continuing the tolls on London Bridge
until March the 25th, 1782, when the remainder of the lease was to be
bought and the tolls finally to cease. All these particulars will be
found in the ‘_Statutes at Large_,’ volumes vii., pages 728-738, 742;
viii., page 210; x., pages 306, 307; and xi., pages 154, 155; there
is also considerable information upon this subject, to be found in
Malcolm’s ‘_Londinum Redivivum_,’ volume ii., pages 392-396, derived
from authentic documents. From these authorities it appears that the
amount of the prescriptive tolls of London Bridge, at Midsummer, 1763,
produced £1785: 10_s._ 5_d._; in 1764, £1946: 4_s._ 1_d._; in 1765,
£1846: 7_s._ 4_d._; in 1766, £1878: 16_s._ 6_d._; and in 1770, £2465:
14_s._ 3_d._; estimating, therefore, the average to be about £1864, and
deducting from that sum the Rent, £735; Land Tax, £180: 12_s._ and the
expenses of collecting, £150, the lessee’s clear annual income would be
£798: 15_s._

“It was upon this calculation that the value of the remainder of his
lease was ascertained, and the Act for continuing the tolls first
devised; though on Wednesday, April, 24th, 1765, the Committee of City
Lands let to Mr. Neale a lease of 21 years of the toll of carts and
wheelage over London Bridge, for a fine of 2000 guineas, and the old
rent of £735 _per annum_. See the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for 1765,
volume xxxv., page 197.

“Notwithstanding, however, these active proceedings for the improvement
of this edifice, the parties in favour of, and against, a new
building ran extremely high, as you may see in the ‘_Continuation
of Maitland’s History_,’ page 4. That several interests were to be
consulted in the alteration of London Bridge, is evident, and they are
particularly shewn in the counter-petitions presented to Parliament
whilst the Bridge Bills were pending; as, one drawn up by the most
ardent supporters of the new Bridge at Blackfriars; and another by
the Rev. Edmund Gibson, Rector of St. Magnus and St. Margaret,
for recompense in loss of tythes, &c. to the amount of £48: 6_s._
2_d._, by taking down the houses. _Vide_ the ‘_Journals of the House
of Commons_,’ volume xxvii., page 574; and the ‘_Continuation of
Maitland’s History_,’ page 11; on page 7 of which authority it is also
stated, that on the 12th of June, 1755, ‘the Common-Council allowed
the Comptroller of the Bridge-House £410 _per annum_, in lieu of his
customary bills, which were so much reduced by the loss that would
accrue to the Bridge-House estate, in the repairing and improvement
of London Bridge.’ But whilst many persons were too much interested
even in the worst state of it, with all its inconvenient buildings,
not to oppose their alteration, they were found to be almost equally
dangerous both on the edifice and on the water. In the proceedings
in Parliament concerning the alterations, Mr. Dance, the Architect,
stated, that the piers were solid for ten feet above the sterlings,
upon which were erected walls of three feet in thickness, forming
cellars to the houses; and they having settled, the walls were much
injured. In consequence, also, of the contracted passage between the
houses upon the Bridge, the inhabitants experienced many inconveniences
peculiar to their situation. Mr. Deputy James Hodges declared, that he
‘had frequently known it happen, that coals had been thrown through
the windows of the houses, out of the barges going under the Bridge;
and that, as he is informed, the reason is, that the candle-lights
in the houses make it dangerous in the night-time to go through the
locks. That people on the river have always a glimmering light by which
they can distinguish objects, unless a very thick fog. That light
leaves them just when they come to shoot the locks, as far as the
shadows of the houses extend; and thereby they lose the possibility of
discerning the passage between the sterlings.’ See Malcolm’s ‘_Londinum
Redivivum_,’ volume ii., page 388, and the ‘_Journals of the House
of Commons_.’ The improvement of the passage over London Bridge was,
however, much accelerated by the passing of an Act in 1755, the 28th of
George II., Chapter ix., for taking away the ancient Market then held
in High Street, Southwark, after Lady-day, 1756: and in Chapter xxii.
of the former year, it was removed to its recent place on the site of
Rochester Yard. See Bray’s ‘_History of Surrey_,’ volume iii., page
550; and the ‘_Statutes at Large_,’ volume vii., pages 579, 620. Having
thus, then, given some idea of the proceedings of the Corporation
before the improvement of the old London Bridge, let us now go on to
consider the nature and manner of that alteration itself: and so, if
you’re not asleep, Mr. Barbican, here’s your health.”

“No, truly,” replied I, wakefully endeavouring to appear as brisk as my
drowsiness would let me, “Time has a wonderful effect in reconciling
us to the most tiresome employments; and I doubt not but to be able to
hold out through the remainder of your discourse, with the aid of this
Sack-posset, which seems to be little less interminable, and heated
beyond the power of cooling again. But go on, Master Barnaby, go on,

“You are next to be informed then,” recommenced the Antiquary, “that we
are told by the Rev. John Entick, in his ‘_Continuation of Maitland’s
History_,’ page 19, that the Committee appointed to repair London
Bridge resolved to take down all the buildings and erections which
stood upon it, of every kind whatsoever: to remove the great middle
pier, and to lay the two adjoining locks into one, by turning an
entire new arch, occupying the whole space: to add the depth of the
removed houses to the width of the Bridge: and to secure both sides
by a stone wall breast-high, surmounted by lofty ballustrades. To
effect all this, it was essential to stop up the Bridge, and, at the
same time, to provide a convenient passage to Southwark; on which, it
was determined to construct a Temporary Bridge of Wood. This edifice
consisted of stout unplaned oak timbers, to the amount of £2000; and
it was erected on the sterlings in a curved form, on the Western side
of the stone one, into which it opened at each end, extending from the
water-works to about the fourth arch on the Surrey side of the river.
The timber being taken back by the builder, his labour in erecting and
removing it being compensated, and one penny per cube foot allowed him
for the use of the materials. In Harrison’s ‘_History of London_,’
page 409, it is stated, that this temporary Bridge was opened in the
month of October, 1757, when it was ‘found to be very convenient, not
only for foot-passengers, but also for horsemen and carriages;’ but
there are few notices to be found of it in the public prints of the
period. By ‘_Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle_,’ however,
a quarto newspaper of several leaves, then published every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday, we are informed, in the paper for Wednesday,
September 21st, page 219, that, ‘to-morrow they will begin to lay
the first coat of gravel on the Temporary Bridge, so that it will be
passable by the end of this month:’ and the ‘_Public Advertiser_’
of Saturday, October 22nd, thus fixes the time when the Bridge was
actually finished. ‘Yesterday, the Committee appointed under the late
Act of Parliament for the improvement of London Bridge, met and view’d
the Temporary Bridge, and gave orders to have it open’d to-morrow
morning for foot-passengers.’ The houses on the stone edifice,
indeed, were already began to be removed; for, in the ‘_Gentleman’s
Magazine_,’ for 1757, volume xxvii., page 91, it is stated, that on
Tuesday, February 22nd, ‘three pots of money, silver and gold, of the
coin of Queen Elizabeth, were found by the workmen in pulling down the
houses on London Bridge.’ The whole of these buildings, however, were
not entirely taken away until some years after this time; for in the
‘_London Chronicle_’ of Thursday, May 17th, 1759, the name of ‘William
Herbert on London Bridge,’ occurs as one of the publishers of ‘_The
Lives of the Reformers_.’ By the same paper, too, for Thursday, August
the 14th, 1760, page 161, we are informed, that ‘in pulling down the
house called the Chapel-House, on London Bridge, there has been found
this week a very antique marble font, &c. curiously engraved, and
several ancient coins, &c. The stones used in the building of this
structure were so strongly cemented with different kinds of mortar,
and strong iron clamps, that the workmen found a most difficult task
in the demolition of it, which is not yet completed.’ The Committee
for altering London Bridge had, however, previously advertised for
persons to carry their intentions into effect, to meet at Guildhall on
the 1st of February, 1757; as may be seen in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’
of Monday, January 24th; and in the same authority for Monday, May the
2nd following, it is further stated, that Messrs. Blackden and Flight,
the contractors for taking down and clearing away the houses on London
Bridge, completed their engagement on the Saturday evening previously:
and that from the commencement of their work, there had not occurred
a single accident. The view of old London Bridge and its buildings by
Scott, to which I have already referred, furnishes us with large and
interesting prospects of several of the principal edifices which, after
this period, were removed; and I may add, that in the x.th volume of
Mr. Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant, there is an enlarged drawing of this
picture, executed by John Varley, in colours, measuring 3 feet 9-1/2
inches, by 1 foot 5-3/4; ruthlessly cut into three parts to fit the
size of the book. In these views, one of the most curious objects is a


a more particular engraving of which you will find in the ‘_Gentleman’s
Magazine_,’ for 1753, volume xxiii., page 432. But few remains of
the original structure were then perceptible on the outside of this
building; though its form of a semi-hexagon might be traced, whilst the
old pier of the Bridge, the basement standing on the sterling, and some
of the pinnacles and buttresses of the Chapel, were discernible in the
centre and at the sides. The greater part of it, however, was scarcely
to be distinguished from the other houses, being covered with brickwork
or boarding; whilst the Upper Chapel was converted into apartments,
and the Lower one into the Paper Warehouse of Messrs. Gill and Wright,
having a crane attached to it to take in goods from boats. In front of
the Bridge pier, a square fish-pond was formed in the sterling, into
which the fish were carried by the tide, and then detained there by a
wire-grating placed over it: and an ancient servant of London Bridge,
now verging upon his hundredth summer, well remembers to have gone down
through the Chapel to fish in this pond.



is also represented by Scott in a very dilapidated appearance,
especially when contrasted with its splendour in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries; and, when it was taken down, was probably in
the occupation of several persons in trade, or perhaps was shut up and
allowed to fall into decay. One of the most picturesque and interesting
objects in Scott’s View, is that group of buildings formed of the


with the Second Gate beyond it; beneath which is a very perfect
representation of one of the original arches, called the Rock Lock,
and one of the old piers, whilst above is shewn the third of those
open spaces guarded with iron rails, which alone varied the street-like
character of old London Bridge, and indicated to its passengers that
they were actually crossing a river. I know but of one engraving,
Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, which gives us any view directly up the
Bridge-street; and even that is so slight, that were it not that I
am unwilling to lose any fragment relating to old London Bridge, I
should omit mentioning it altogether. You will find it, however, in
that half-sheet copper-plate, after Antonio Canaletti, published
in ‘_Bowles’s Perspectives_,’ entitled ‘_The Monument of London in
remembrance of the dreadfull Fire in 1666. Bowles delin. et sculp.
Published according to Act of Parliament, 1752. Printed for John Bowles
and Son, at the Black Horse in Cornhil._’ This prospect, then, being
taken on Fish-Street-Hill, shews the Monument on the left hand, and the
termination of the street in the first Northern gate of London Bridge,
with some indication of the houses beyond it; though the whole view has
certainly a far more spacious appearance, than this part of London ever

“Before I close my notices of the year 1757, I have to observe, from
the printed document I have so frequently quoted, that from 1639 until
this time, ‘no addition of salary was paid to the Bridge-Masters,
nor any other allowance; but when the houses were taken down on
London Bridge, the sum of £10 per annum was ordered to be paid to
each of the Bridge-Masters, in lieu of fees, &c. arising from the
said houses. Order of the Committee made May 4, 1757. And also when
certain warehouses were taken away, and laid into the Bridge-House,
the annual sum of £6. 10_s._ was ordered to be paid in lieu of the
said warehouses to the Senior Bridge-Master. And after the Bridge was
finished, lighted, and watched, one of the Bridge-Masters was ordered
to superintend the Watchman on the said Bridge, and in the Bridge-Yard,
for which he received the sum of £12 by order of the Committee. The
whole Income of the Senior Bridge-Master at the present time (1786)
£100. 10_s._ Rental at Christmas 1785, £8280. 1_s._ 4_d._

     Present Income of the Junior Bridge-Master: Salary,
          &c. as before                                      72 0 0

     In lieu of a stable                                      4 0 0

     In lieu of fees for the houses lately standing on
          London-Bridge                                      10 0 0

     In lieu of Warehouses                                    0 7 6
                                              Total Income  £86 7 6’

“So terminates this very curious document, which has furnished so many
authentic particulars of the Bridge accounts at different periods,
shewing its increasing prosperity and revenues, between the times of
Edward the Fourth, and those of George the Third.

“Whilst the alteration of London Bridge was being carried rapidly into
effect, in the early part of the year 1758, an event occurred, which
not only destroyed some portion of the building itself, but also
nearly the whole of the works surrounding it. This was the fatal FIRE


which burst out about eleven o’clock, in the night of Tuesday, April
11th, as it is related in Entick’s ‘_Continuation of Maitland_,’
page 20; in the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ volume xxviii., page 192;
in John Noorthouck’s ‘_History of London_,’ 1773, quarto, page 390;
and in Harrison’s ‘_History of London_,’ page 410, where there is an
engraving of the fire, probably by Wale, after a drawing by Grignion.
From these accounts, we learn that the conflagration brake out suddenly
from the two ends of the Wooden Bridge, which, having been dried by
several days of bright sunshine, appeared instantly to be in flames,
entirely preventing any approach to suppress it. Though Sir Charles
Asgill, the Lord Mayor, came very early to the spot, and remained there
almost the whole time of the fire, exerting himself exceedingly to
stop its progress, it continued raging until the next day, when the
burning ruins fell into the river; and Entick observes, that he saw
the drawbridge a-light at twelve o’clock at noon. All communication
between the City and Southwark being thus suspended, excepting so
far as it could be carried on by water, forty additional boats were
licensed by the Lord Mayor to work as ferries on the three succeeding
Sundays; though the inhabitants of Southwark suffered still greater
privation from the destruction of the troughs which conveyed water to
them over the Bridge whilst it was repairing, instead of the pipes
which had been dug up from the water-works. The navigation was also
equally interrupted by the vast timbers that fell across the arches,
and the many large stones which almost blocked up the current of the
tide; so that the locks at each end only remained entirely clear. As
it was very generally suspected that this fire was not accidental,
the Lord Mayor waited on Mr. Pitt by nine o’clock the next morning,
by whom a Proclamation, dated Whitehall, April the 12th, was issued,
containing the King’s Pardon to any of the incendiaries, excepting the
person who actually set the Bridge on Fire; with a reward of £200 for
his discovery, from the Corporation of London. From the examinations
of several persons, there appears to have been considerable grounds
for this suspicion. The Watchmen and others in the vicinity, on both
sides of the river, declared that about eleven o’clock they observed
lights in several places under the Bridge; soon after which, the whole
building burst into flames; and it was also reported, that about
ten o’clock, on the night of the fire, several persons, apparently
intoxicated, were seen coming over the Bridge, with a torch, which,
in a struggle between themselves, was flung over the boarded fence,
where the light disappeared, till all the timber beneath burst into
flames. Another account, contained in the ‘_London Chronicle, or
Universal Evening Post_,’ for April the 11th to the 13th, 1758, page
350, states, that the Watchmen actually saw ‘a person in a boat with a
candle in a lanthorn, busy about the stone pier, which is to be taken
down to lay two arches into one; and after a short time he was seen
to extinguish the candle, and the boat went off, and in a few minutes
after the Bridge burst out in flames, and continued so until there was
no wood left above the water to burn.’ The deposition, also, of Mary,
wife of John Dennis, of George Alley, Thames Street, taken before the
Lord Mayor on April 14th, stated, that about ten o’clock on the night
of the fire, she was in the Watch House belonging to Dyers’ Hall,
near London Bridge, and, looking over the hatch of the door, she saw
a lanthorn in the Chapel pier. Soon after, she observed another, and
then, losing sight of both, there presently appeared three in the same
place. At first, she supposed that some vessel was at the Bridge, but
the appearance of the second light shewed her that they were between
the wood-work at the great pier; and when the three lanthorns were
visible together, she observed that one was held up and another down
towards the timbers. These lights she imagined to proceed from workmen,
but in a short time she saw a small flame burst out on the same spot,
which was damped, and then brake out again, and, after having been
damped a second time, blazed very fiercely; upon which the deponent
went to the next wharf, and gave notice that London Bridge was on
fire. This testimony of Mrs. Dennis was confirmed by that of several
other persons, who declared that they also saw the lanthorns. The City
was indeed filled with rumours and suspicions of every description;
the lower orders accused the Watermen and Lightermen; another class
attributed the fire to the supporters of the new Bridge at Blackfriars;
whilst a third party intimated that the scheme lay still deeper, and
believed the design to have been long concerted. We know, indeed, that
the Temporary Bridge was the object of many an imprecation from the
common people, who might be tempted to fire it from the inconveniences
which they experienced upon it; as in the Winter it was so excessively
dirty, that some supposed the Committee had contrived it so to increase
the toll, by obliging all passengers to cross it in carriages: whilst
in dry weather it was no less incommoded by dust. The real origin of
the fire, however, was never discovered; and Noorthouck observes,
that as there were enough of natural causes to have produced it, so
it is not probable that persons interested in obstructing the works
or creating new ones, would have exposed themselves to detection for
such an attempt. ‘In such a mixture of stone and wood,’ says he,
‘a heap of quicklime on the sterlings, accidentally wetted by the
tide, might kindle any adjoining timbers: or, as it is usual for
servants behind coaches, with flambeaux in their hands, to clear them
by striking them on the hinder wheels, it is no forced supposition
that some thoughtless fellow might have struck his flambeau on the
pallisade of the Bridge for the same purpose; the flaming wax of which,
dropping into some joint on the outside, would have been sufficient
for such a disaster.’ A curious letter on this subject, from which I
have added many particulars to my information, will be found in the
‘_London Chronicle_’ for April the 13th to the 15th, 1758, page 359. In
consequence of this destruction, the Corporation of London addressed
the Parliament for relief; and on Friday, April 21st, a resolution
passed the House of Commons, that ‘a sum not exceeding £15,000 be
granted to his Majesty, to be applied towards the rebuilding of London
Bridge.’ This produced the Act to which I have already referred, which
made any wilful attempt to destroy the Bridge or its works, to be death
without benefit of clergy.



presented a truly ruinous prospect; for nearly all the centre houses
being removed, there appeared a wide vacancy, with a broken chasm
in the middle, down to the water’s edge, where the new arch was
being constructed. There are three engravings of this edifice taken
immediately subsequent to the destruction, the rarest of which is
an extremely slight and rude etching, on a small folio half-sheet,
entitled ‘_The Melancholy Prospect of London Bridge South-East, April
12th, 1758. J. Jump Del. et Sculp. Published according to Act. To be
had at the Acorn in the Strand._’ In this most barbarous prospect the
buildings are represented in flames; and I have seen it marked so high
as 4_s._ I cannot imagine why Gough, in his ‘_British Topography_,’
volume i., page 735, calls the next of these engravings ‘a miserable
view,’ since it is certainly as good as the generality of the prints
of the period, and is very considerably better than the last. It
consists of a large half-sheet, entitled ‘_An Exact View of London
Bridge since the Conflagration of the Temporary Bridge_,’ which is a
copper-plate of 8 inches by 13-1/4; and beneath it, in letter-press,
is ‘_A Chronological and Historical Account from the first building
a Bridge across the River Thames from London to Southwark, till the
late Conflagration of the Temporary Bridge, the 11th of April, 1758.
Sold by William Herbert, under the Piazzas on the Remains of London
Bridge. Price One Shilling, Plain. Colour’d, Eighteen Pence._’ The only
additional information which we derive from this narrative, is, that
‘as the wind providentially blew the whole time at East,--tho’ all the
day before it had blown strong from the Southward,--it did no damage to
any of the houses at either end.’ But by far the best representation of
the effects of this fire, is a half-sheet copper-plate, entitled, in
French and English, ‘_A View of London Bridge, with the Ruins of y^e
Temporary Bridge, Drawn the day after the Dreadfull Fire, April the
11th, 1758, by A. Walker. Published according to Act of Parliament,
June 28, 1758. London: Printed for John Ryall, at Hogarth’s Head in
Fleet Street. A. Walker delin. et sculp._’ All these prospects were
taken on the West side of the Bridge, and represent the building
horizontally across the picture: Herbert’s extends from Fishmongers’
Hall to the Southwark Gate; but Anthony Walker’s takes in the whole
Bridge, and part of the buildings on the Surrey shore.

“Yet, if this fire were sudden, and its destruction extensive, the
exertions of the City Corporation were not less prompt and effectual in
repairing of the damage. The Common Council, like Bunyan’s Captains in
_Mansoul_, being always true lovers of London, like so many Samsons,
shook themselves and came together to consult upon and contrive a
remedy. The Court of Common Council met by one o’clock on the day
after the fire, and was attended by Mr. Dance, Mr. Taylor, and Mr.
Phillips, the builder of the Bridge, whom the Lord Mayor had previously
ordered to survey it; and their report was, that with a proper number
of workmen, who should be allowed to labour on days, they would
engage to make the old Bridge passable for carriages by the 1st of
May. A new Temporary Bridge was ordered to be immediately erected,
and upwards of 500 workmen were constantly employed upon it, by whose
means, as it is stated in the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for 1758, page
193, the Bridge was re-opened for foot-passengers, on Wednesday, the
19th of April; and the whole of the new wooden edifice was ready for
carriages in less than a month after the fire. During the erection
of this building, there seemed to be discovered an additional proof
that the last conflagration was not accidental; for Daniel Capel, the
Inspector of the Bridge, having been informed that Mary Dennis, before
mentioned, and John Scott, one of the Bridge Watchmen, had seen lights
about the new works at an unseasonable hour in the night of the 23rd
of August, brought them to give their evidence before Mr. Alderman
Francis Cokayne. The Inspector was then ordered to search if there were
any appearance of fire, and make his report to the Lord Mayor; upon
which he stated, that having carefully surveyed the Bridge with proper
attendants, they found the appearance of an attempt in three places,
where the new wood work was scorched quite black; and one of the
Watchmen also produced the remains of a link found in the unfinished
works of the Bridge. To prevent another conflagration, therefore, says
Entick, in his ‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ page 21, it
was ordered that two men, well armed, should be placed every night,
from sun-set to sun-rise, in a gallery erected from end to end of the
Temporary Bridge, just beneath the centre of the works, with lamps
lighted, and a bell, to alarm the neighbourhood in case of an attack.
This watch was continued under the direction of Mr. Capel, until the
whole of the Temporary Bridge was taken down. Before this, however, as
we are informed by ‘_Owen’s Weekly Chronicle, or Universal Journal_,’
for August 26th to September 2nd, 1758, page 173, five watermen, armed
with blunderbusses and cutlasses, had watched for a fortnight, from ten
at night until five in the morning, in a boat under the great Arch.
The opening of the second wooden erection for carriages did not take
place until Wednesday, the 18th of October, 1758, as we learn from
‘_Owen’s Weekly Chronicle_,’ October 14th to 21st, No. 29, page 230:
on page 206 of a former number of which, the watch is particularly
mentioned; and we are also told that there was a convenient pathway
for foot-passengers, railed in and elevated above the carriage-road.
Pages 183 and 198 of the same authority, shew that the edifice was
strewed over with gravel above the planks; that on each side there
were uprights for covering it; and that a month intervened between the
gravelling and the opening of the Bridge. In consequence, too, of the
recent attempt to destroy the New Bridge, this paper likewise informs
us, page 238, that orders were issued by the Lord Mayor, that no
coaches nor foot-passengers should carry any lighted torches over the
Temporary Bridge.

“It was not, however, until the middle of the year 1759, that the new
Arch of London Bridge began to assume its intended form; though we
can trace its progress only by slight occasional notices contained
in the periodicals of the day. Thus we learn from a paragraph in the
‘_London Chronicle_,’ of Saturday, July the 28th, 1759, page 88, that
‘the grand Arch at London Bridge is now completed. It is finished
in the Gothick taste, and the ballustrades upon it are fixing. The
foot-paths will be rather wider than those at Westminster; and it is
proposed to fix posts along them with chains from one post to the
other, to secure foot-passengers from any damage which might otherwise
happen from cattle.’ The strength and complication of the timber used
for forming this Arch, are particularly pointed out in an engraving
and letter signed E. M., in ‘_The London Magazine_’ for that year,
volume xxviii., page 672; where it is stated, that about 17,000 feet of
wood were contained within the arch, which, at some little distance,
appeared to be entirely solid, the vacant spaces being exceedingly
small in proportion to the beams themselves. Its actual contents were
13,872 cubic feet of timber, forming the centre; and 3570 feet more
occupied in booms, guard-piles, struts, and trusses required for the
preservation of the old and new works, and for keeping off the River
craft, tide-water, and ice. This alteration was carried into effect
by Sir Robert Taylor, Architect to the Bank of England, and Mr. Dance,
Senior; and the Carpenter employed for the construction of this


received 2_s._ per foot for the use of his timber, including labour,
and took it back again at his own expense. It measured 70 feet span,
by 48 feet wide, and the rise was 23 feet; it was formed of 16 ribs
or frames, and was supported on three Sterlings; namely, the two side
ones of about 6 feet each, and that from which the Chapel pier had been
removed. The author of the letter which I have referred to, censuring
the extraordinary quantity of wood used in the centre, observes that it
employed nearly 10,500 feet more than were used at Westminster Bridge;
notwithstanding the Arch at London Bridge is 4-3/4 feet narrower and
12 feet lower, though the Bridge itself is 4-3/4 feet wider. The
author’s own plan, which is also annexed to the letter, more resembles
that adopted by the late Mr. Rennie, in his alteration of Rochester
Bridge, in the year 1821. It consisted of five radii, supporting as
many timbers placed pentagonally; occupied only 7000 feet of timber,
and would have amounted to £1000 less than the plan actually adopted.

“Many months had not elapsed, however, when it was discovered, that,
by the removal of the large centre pier, the excavations around
and underneath its Sterlings were so considerable, as to place the
adjoining piers, and even the new arch itself, in very imminent danger.
The presentiments of many, and the apprehensions of almost all, were
consequently so great, that but few persons would pass either over
or under it; the Surveyors themselves were not prepared with any
adequate remedy; and Mr. John Smeaton, the celebrated Engineer, was
instantly summoned express from Yorkshire to relieve the difficulty.
Having immediately proceeded to survey the Bridge, and to sound about
the dangerous Sterlings, he advised the Corporation to buy back again
the stones of the City Gates, and throw them into the water, to guard
the Sterlings; preserve the bottom from farther corrosion; raise the
floor under the Arch; and restore the head of the current required for
the Water-works, to its original power. These City Gates, you will
remember, had been previously sold and taken down, in 1760 and 61, as
appears by the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for those years; volume xxx.,
pages 390, 440, 591, and volume xxxi., page 187: where we are informed,
that on Wednesday, July 30th, were sold to Mr. Blagden, a Carpenter in
Coleman Street, before the Commissioners of City Lands, the edifice of
Aldgate for £177: 10_s._; Cripplegate for £91; and Ludgate for £148.
Two months were allowed for the removal of each, the latter being
begun on Monday, August 4th, and Aldgate on Monday, September 1st.
Bishopsgate was sold on Wednesday, December 10th; and on Wednesday,
April 22, 1761, Moorgate was also sold for £166, and Aldersgate for
£91. It was probably the materials of the first of these, which lay
in Moorfields, when Mr. Smeaton advised their being thrown into the
Thames: and with so much promptitude was that advice followed, that
the stones were bought the same day; horses, carts, and barges were
instantly procured, and the work commenced immediately, although it
was Sunday morning. These particulars are related in the Life of this
Engineer, attached to his ‘_Reports made on various Occasions_,’ volume
i, London, 1812, quarto, page xix.

“Whilst we are speaking of this alteration of London Bridge, it seems
to be a proper place to say something of the massive features of our
ancient edifice, and the oldest contrivances used for the support of
Bridges in general. First, then, the Piers are said to be raised, so
far as their nature can at present be known, upon rough piles of oak
and elm, shod with iron, and driven very close, but apparently not
fastened. Upon the heads of these are frequently found pieces of plank,
chiefly oak, 4 to 6 inches in thickness; and the insides of the Piers
are filled up with rubble laid in mortar. This kind of building is
supposed to have been anciently used when the bed of the river could
not be laid dry; and the stilts or piles were then surrounded by a row
of other piles and planks, like a wall, called a Sterling or Jettee,
the vacant spaces of which were filled with loose stones, &c. to the
top. The inconveniences attending such a method are, however, so great,
that it is now entirely disused: as, on account of the very loose
composition of the Piers, they must be made both large and broad, to
prevent their entire destruction upon drawing the centre of the Arch.
This great breadth, also, very materially contracts the water-way, and
incommodes navigation; whilst the Sterling itself is in considerable
danger of bursting.”

“But, Mr. Postern,” said I, as the Antiquary arrived at this part of
his narrative, “although Maitland tells us, in his ‘_History_,’ volume
i., page 46, and volume ii., page 1349, that the use of Coffer-dams, or
_Caissons_, for building of the Piers of Bridges, was first introduced
into the Thames at the erection of Westminster Bridge, yet it has been
supposed that even this of London was constructed somewhat after the
same plan; and that those Sterlings are but the upper parts of the
machines themselves, left in the water to guard the Piers; though it
is certain, that in most of the Reports, illustrative of the great
repair of London Bridge, the Sterlings are mentioned as additions
to the original structure for the support of the Piers. I have been
obligingly furnished, however, with an interesting drawing, and
extract from the MS. Journal of Mr. William Knight, of Mr. Rennie’s
office, by which we are enabled to understand the construction of
these parts of the Bridge in a much clearer and more perfect manner.
Mr. Knight observes, that having received several different statements
as to the way in which the Piers of the old London Bridge had been
erected, he determined upon convincing himself by an actual survey.
This he effected on August 14th, 1821, when an excavation was made for
ascertaining whether the original structure would support new Arches
of a larger span; and he then found it to be built in the following
manner. ‘The foundation of the Piers on the North side,--between the
Great Lock and what is called the Long Entry Lock,--and in the Sterling
round it, appeared to be about 3 feet above low-water mark. The bottom
of the masonry originally laid of the pier, is about 2 feet 3 inches
above low-water mark; and the first course is laid upon a sill of oak,
16 inches wide, by 9 in thickness, and perfectly sound. Immediately
beneath this is a mass of Kentish rubble, mixed with flint, chalk,
&c., thrown in irregularly, but not mixed with any cement. The masonry
above the sill seems well bonded together, with good mortar joints,
but there are _no piles under the oak sill_. The external parts of the
pier seem to have been new-fronted at some period,--probably at the
time when the centre Arch was formed in 1759,--as the base of this new
fronting projects about 1 foot before the original Pier. There are _no
piles under the original part of the Pier_; but to the _new part there
are some small ones driven into the rubble_,--which can be of little
service,--with some planks laid upon their edges. The new masonry is
well bonded into the old work.’ Mr. Knight concludes, by observing
that, in all the accounts which he has hitherto met with, the old Piers
of this Bridge are described to _stand upon piles_; but that, as he
found this to be erroneous in the present instance, he considers it to
be a fair conclusion that all the other Piers were constructed upon the
same principle. His drawing represents a SECTION OF THE NORTH PIER OF


shewing the original manner of constructing it, and the Sterling,
or ancient Coffer-dam, standing around it; which, it thus appears
unquestionably evident that, not having the art to pump dry, was filled
up with loose stones. The Arch on the right hand is denominated the
Long Entry Lock, and that on the left is a part of the Great Arch in
the centre. I should remark also, that Mr. Knight has examined several
other parts of this edifice with no less care and industry, in order
to ascertain the plans adopted at the famous alteration of London
Bridge, of which we are now speaking; of all of which observations he
has made interesting sketches and memoranda. He states that he has
felt with his measuring rods the timber, &c., placed in the river to
strengthen the piers of the Great Arch, and that his sounding leads
have been broken by catching in it. In April, 1826, the opening of the
roadway of London Bridge for throwing of two more Arches into one, to
increase the water-way during the building of the New Bridge, also made
a curious discovery of many of the more ancient parts of the original
building. The crowns of the old Arches, observes Mr. Knight, were
about 8 feet 6 inches from the present surface of the ground, which
appeared to have been raised at different periods; and five several
strata were evidently to be traced over the centre of the original
Bridge, which was 20 feet in width. Immediately over the crowns of
the Arches was a layer of fine gravel, about 20 inches in depth,
perhaps the ancient roadway, as its upper surface had the appearance
of being trodden down and dirty, when contrasted with that beneath
it. The next stratum consisted of mixed chalk and gravel; the third of
made ground of various materials; the fourth, a thick layer of burnt
wood, ruins, and black earth; and the last another bed of different
substances, over which was the granite paving. The filling-in between
the Arches was composed of chalk and mortar, of so hard a nature that
it was taken out with great difficulty. With respect to the building
itself, he observes, that the stone of which the Arches were formed
consists of two courses: that of the soffits or flying ribs, being
Merstham Fire-stone, and the course above very similar to the stone
of Caen, or Normandy. In the additions, or casings, on each side of
the original structure, Portland stone has been used, as well for the
facing, as for the Arches; whilst the backing and filling-in, between
the spandrils of the Arches, was composed of chalk and mortar; which
latter was evidently of a very bad quality and carelessly applied.
Indeed, the ashler facing had been so little attended to in the
bonding of the work together, that it is surprising, with the great
weight behind, the careless manner of throwing in the backing, and the
slight nature of the facing itself, that the whole work has not been
thrown outwards some time since. Having thus, Mr. Barnaby, added these
curious observations to your narrative, I must once more entreat you to

“After making you my acknowledgments,” recommenced the Antiquary, “for
the very curious illustration you have now furnished; and before
quitting the Great Arch of London Bridge, let me observe, that it
contains the Trinity Standard of High Water, which is placed there for
the benefit of persons erecting buildings on the banks of the Thames,
and originally inscribed upon a metal plate, affixed under the Great
Arch upon the North East side, as it may be seen beneath the centre
Arch of Blackfriars Bridge. It is at present engraven in the centre of
each Pier of the Great Arch, in black Roman letters, about 7-1/2 feet
above the springing line of the Arch, or 8-1/2 feet over the sterling;
and consists of the inscription,--

     |              |
     |   TRINITY.   |
     |              |
     |    H. W.     |
     |              |
     |    1800.     |
     |              |
     |    ------    |
     |              |
     | Λ [Greek: L] |
     |              |

the character beneath being the average point of the ordinary rise of
a Spring Tide at High Water, which, above Bridge, is 14-1/2 feet or 15
feet, being 5 feet 3 inches above the Neap Tides. At high Spring Tides,
however, it has risen 16 feet and upwards; and in that remarkable one
combined with a land-flood on December 28th, 1821, it rose 2 feet, 10
inches, and five parts, above the mark below Bridge. From the official
tidal observations of the Trinity Company, it has been ascertained,
that, from Blackwall to London Bridge, the High Water ascends to the
same level; and that from the upper side of London Bridge to that of
Westminster the River is likewise generally level, excepting under the
influence of winds or land-floods. During that of 1821, to which I have
just referred, the banks of the River, and the marshes and gardens
above Westminster, were overflowed and damaged to a very considerable
extent; which has been attributed to the obstruction offered by the
present London Bridge to the passage of the water towards the sea, as
we learn from the ‘_Report of Ralph Walker, delivered into the House
of Commons, 11th of April, 1823_,’ octavo, page 9; where he states,
that the tides below this edifice during the flood, rose only to the
ordinary height, whilst at Low water the fall was increased by several
feet. This celebrated fall is, of course, most evident at Low water,
when it is about 4 feet 6 inches, or 6 feet in the Winter season; and
the most hazardous time for passing through any of the Bridge Locks, is
probably half an hour previous to, or, for barges, the last two hours
before, Low water below Bridge. The safest time of the tide is at High
water, or slack Low water: but boats may pass with safety for 2-1/2
hours after flood, and the last half hour of the drain of the tide at
ebb, above Bridge; the tide having then flowed nearly 4 feet below.
Deeply laden barges also take the drain through at Low water. The
Great Arch is doubtless one of the safest to pass under, and is always
used by craft and barges; but before the erection of the New Bridge
works, most of the other Locks were employed at the flood tide, when
the fall is extremely trifling. When the tide is on the ebb, the Arches
which are chiefly used for boats are, the Draw-Lock,--the 4th from the
Great Arch,--on the South; and St. Mary’s Lock,--adjoining the Great
Arch,--on the North, which is always taken on the first part of the
ebb. The Long-Narrow, once a favourite Lock, is now nearly abandoned;
but the Draw-Lock is perhaps considered the safest, and is the most
generally used since the erection of the New Bridge Coffer-dams. The
approach, however, is dangerous, and requires a skilful waterman, who
is obliged to pull his boat into the draft or eddy of the dam before he
can make the Lock. Though the works of the New Bridge have at present
closed several of the Arches of the ancient edifice, yet the 4th and
5th Locks from the Southwark end have been thrown into one, with a
strong wooden vaulting, parapet, and roadway above, to increase the
water-way beneath. Since the commencement of these works, the fall of
the river has also become less dangerous for barges, from the returning
tide sooner meeting with resistance; and instead of a direct fall of
6 feet in 50, it is now only about 6-1/2 feet in 250. The draft of
the tide, however, round the Coffer-dams, makes it very difficult
for lightermen to enter the Locks fairly; and some of the outer rows
of piles are driven inwards from their barges being carried against
them. In 1820 and 1822, the average fall at High water was only from
8 to 13 inches; and in 1823, after the removal of the London Bridge
Water-works, it decreased to between 3 and 4.

“Mr. Barnaby! Mr. Barnaby!” exclaimed I, fretted by this long
digression in the Antiquary’s narrative, “I protest you really put me
out of all patience: there’s no keeping you to one subject; for the
last of your annals referred to that most wearisome alteration and
repair of London Bridge which began in 1757, and now you are bewildered
in a discourse on the navigation and tides of the Thames! Truly, it’s

“I am aware,” replied the placid Mr. Postern, whom there seemed to
be actually no putting into a passion, “I am aware how much these
observations serve to lengthen and interrupt our history; but still
they are vastly important to its illustration. ‘Our life,’ says an
interesting and romantic author, ‘cannot be like an Arabian manuscript,
all flowers and gold,’ and neither can history be composed only of the
facts which naturally belong to it. There must be various incidental
notices, seemingly unconnected with it, which are at last found to
combine with the story, and to render it much more intelligible; and
if ever, Mr. Barbican, you publish these Chronicles of London Bridge,
make my words both your defence and your apology. The fact is, I really
am half unwilling to proceed to the close of the alterations of this
edifice, because we have subsequently so few interesting particulars on
record concerning it; and other events,--excepting the usual unhappy
accidents beneath its Arches,--are almost entirely wanting. At the
time of the formation of the Great Arch, it appears that the wooden
Draw-Bridge was first taken away,--though it had then long ceased to
be used,--and the present Stone Arch, entitled the Draw-Lock, about 30
feet in width, or 16 feet between the Sterlings, was erected instead of
it. This we learn from the ‘_Public Ledger_,’ of Monday, January 28th,
1760, which states ‘that the centre of the new Draw-Lock Arch of London
Bridge is struck; so that there is now a free passage for boats, &c.’
In this very Lock, however, only a few months afterwards, an accident
occurred which might have almost proved fatal to the Bridge itself; and
it is thus related in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Monday, December
29th, 1760. ‘On Tuesday, a large old French ship, that was coming
through the Draw-Lock at London Bridge, to be broken up above Bridge,
stuck in the Lock, and still continues there, having done considerable
damage to the same; and it is thought that she cannot now be got out,
but must be broken up where she now lies.’ The same paper for Friday,
January 9th, 1761, states, that ‘yesterday the workmen, who have been
employed, for this fortnight past, in breaking up the large French ship
that stuck in the Draw-Lock at London Bridge, as she was going up the
river, endeavoured, on the strong flow of the tide, to get her through
the Bridge, but could not effect it. This ship, it appears, was but 18
inches wider than the Lock.’ At length, however, in the same paper for
Friday, January 30th, it was announced that ‘Yesterday the watermen
cleared the Draw-Lock at London Bridge, of the large French ship that
stuck there some weeks ago.’

“The destruction of part of St. Magnus’ Church, by most authors
attributed to the year 1759, but which actually took place in 1760,
was the cause of a further improvement of the North-East end of London
Bridge; by the opening of that arched passage beneath the Church
Steeple, which the wisdom of Sir Christopher Wren had foreseen, and
provided for, fifty-five years before. This destruction then, took
place by a fire, which brake out between 9 and 10 o’clock, in the
morning of Friday, April 18th, at the house of Messrs. Barrow and
Reynolds, Oilmen, in Thames street, adjoining to the Church. It
consumed seven dwelling-houses, all the warehouses on Fresh Wharf,
with a considerable quantity of goods contained in them, and the
roof of the Church itself; which, falling in, very much damaged the
pews and altar-piece. The organ, the excellence of which we have
already noticed, was taken away, but was considered to have received
very serious injury in the removal. The whole of this destruction
was estimated at £40,000; and it was occasioned, says Entick, in his
‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ page 29, by the neglect of a
servant, who was appointed to watch the boiling of some inflammatory
substances, and who left his charge on the fire, whilst he went to
see the famous Earl Ferrers return from his trial and condemnation.
Before he could get back, the whole shop was in flames. Some of these
particulars you will also find recorded in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’
for Saturday, April 19th, 1760; and in the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for
that year, volume xxx., page 199. Before this fire, the main body of
St. Magnus’ Church extended to the tower, which was originally about
equal with the houses on London Bridge; but when they were taken away,
the West end so greatly interfered with the foot-path, that it was
proposed to take down so much of the building as enclosed the tower
on each side, and to form a passage under the steeple by arches. This
plan, however, does not appear to have been proposed, until after the
Church had been repaired; because the first notice of it which we
meet with, is in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Monday, September 29th,
1760, in the following terms. ‘The workmen have paved a great part of
the foot-path on the lower side of London Bridge; and the tower part
of St. Magnus’ Church has been lately surveyed, in order to make some
alteration in the lower part thereof, conducive to the convenience
of the passage of the Bridge.’ The danger which was supposed to be
attendant upon its alteration, was probably the cause of delay in its
execution; but the surveyor who was employed, had the ingenuity to
discover, that Sir Christopher, conceiving that such a convenience must
be required at some future period, had contrived the arch on which
the steeple stood, of such strength, that it was essential only to
clear away the intermediate space to perfect the alteration. Still the
work proceeded but slowly, since the next notice of it is contained
in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ for Wednesday, August 4th, 1762. ‘The
North and West Porticoes adjoining to the tower of St. Magnus’ Church
at London Bridge, are taking down, in order to form a passage to and
from that building, through the spacious arch upon which the steeple
is built; the South Portico is also down, which fronts the Bridge,
and makes a very agreeable appearance; and the taking down of the
West Portico, to compleat that useful work, is in great forwardness.’
It was yet, however, almost another twelvemonth before this
improvement was perfected, as we learn by the following notice, from
the last mentioned paper of Thursday, June 30th, 1763. ‘On Saturday
last,--25th,--the foot-passage under the arch of St. Magnus’ steeple
was opened; which, besides the convenience for foot-passengers, makes
a very pretty appearance. A vestry, built of stone, is to be erected
in the Church-yard, to front the new Toll-house, just erected at the
corner of London Bridge.’ Before we finally part with St. Magnus’
Church, I must not forget to state, that Malcolm, in his ‘_Londinum
Redivivum_,’ volume iv., page 31, observes,--though without citing his
authority,--that ‘in October, 1713, the Rector received an anonymous
letter, which discovered a design of setting fire to London Bridge, for
the purpose of plundering the inhabitants. The greatest precautions
were adopted in consequence, and nothing uncommon occurred.’ I find,
however, no notice of this letter in any of the periodical prints of
the time.

“In the mean time, the alterations of the Bridge itself were in
continual progression; though all the buildings were not even yet
removed, and the Temporary Bridge was still standing. The ‘_Public
Advertiser_’ for Thursday, December 25th, 1760, states that ‘notice
has been given to the people on the West side of London Bridge, to
quit their premises by the 25th of March next.’ In the same paper,
for Tuesday, February 3rd, 1761, an advertisement announces, that
six houses on the West side of London Bridge, from the North end of
the Temporary Bridge to the Toll House, were to be sold by auction
at Guildhall, to be put up at £156: and in the paper for Wednesday,
February 11th, we are informed that those houses were begun to be
pulled down. In your notices, Mr. Barbican, of the tokens issued
by the tradesmen of old London Bridge, you mentioned two who lived
at the sign of the Bear, at the Bridge-foot, which, perhaps, was
the building referred to in the following passage contained in the
‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Saturday, December 26th, 1761. ‘Thursday last,
the workmen employed in pulling down the Bear Tavern at the foot of
London Bridge, found several pieces of gold and silver coin of Queen
Elizabeth, and other monies to a considerable value.’”

“By no means unlikely,” replied I, “and I may also add, that at this
period was probably removed the house of the original manufacturer
of Walkden’s Ink-powder, with which we are still familiar. We learn
the situation of his dwelling by his Shop-bill, an impression of
which is in the possession of Mr. Upcott of the London Institution,
engraven on a copper plate, measuring 6-1/4 inches by 4-1/8. Within
a double line, and beneath an ornamented compartment containing a
Bell, is inscribed:--‘_Richard Walkden, Stationer, at y^e Bell on
London Bridge, near S^t Magnus Church, Makes and Sells all Sorts
of Accomptants and Shopkeepers Books, y^e greatest Variety of
Paper-Hangings for Rooms, and all other Sorts of Stationary Wares,
Wholesale or Retail at the Lowest Prices. Where may be had Bibles,
Common Prayers, Testaments, Psalters, &c. N. B. He is also the Maker
of the Fine British Ink-Powder, for making Black Writing Ink, w^{ch}
is Universally Allowed to Excell all other whatsoever, yet made, and
is of the greatest Convenience for Country Shopkeepers to make their
own Ink, to Sell again, as Likewise for Merchants and Sea Captains who
goe or Send Ventures to Sea, to whom great allowance will be given
with printed Directions of its Excellence and Use. At the same place
may be had y^e best Liquid Ink, in its Greatest Perfection. Customers
may Depend on being Serv’d as well by Letter as if present._’ I must
also take this opportunity of mentioning another Shop-bill connected
with this edifice, communicated to me by Henry Smedley, Esq.; and
consisting of a copper-plate executed about the latter end of the
17th century, representing a circle surrounded by fruit and foliage,
having two Cupids standing at the upper corners, and containing in the
centre, two palm-branches, enclosing a Sceptre surmounted by a Heart.
Round the whole are suspended lancets, trepans, saws, &c., and beneath
the device is engraven, ‘_Samvell Grover, at the Sceptre and heart on
London bridge, who maketh all sorts of Chirugeons Instruments, the best
sort of Razors, pen-knives, Scissers, and Lancetts: there are also the
best Hoans, and fine Fish Skin Cases_.’ You may remember, Mr. Postern,
that one of my former Shop Bills was that of James Brooke, Stationer,
‘near the Square on London Bridge,’ This Square was formed in the first
opening on the Bridge, above the 8th Arch from the North end, called
St. Mary’s Lock. It was surrounded by massive iron rails, and Mr. J. T.
Smith, in his ‘_Antiquities of London_,’ page 26, states, that when the
houses were taken down, the iron-work was bought by several inhabitants
of the Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, and placed upon the dwarf
wall on the Eastern side of the Church yard, where it is yet to be

“I have again to offer you my thanks,” answered the Antiquary, “for
your very curious and _recherché_ illustrations; and we will now close
up the year 1761 by stating, that we are informed by the ‘_Continuation
of Maitland’s History_,’ page 35, that on Monday, February 2nd, the
tide flowed so short up the Thames, that at high-water there was not
sufficient to cover the Sterlings; so that several persons waded over,
both above, and a little below, the Bridge at low water. We may, I
think, fairly consider the history of _Old_ London Bridge terminated
at this place; since the alterations we have recently described, made
its features almost such as we now behold them. I should not forget,
however, that one of the last pieces of poetry connected with it,
was written by the famous Anne Killegrew, celebrated by Dryden, and
entitled ‘_On my Aunt, Mrs. A. K. Drown’d under London Bridge in the
Queen’s Bardge: Anno 1641_.’ You will find it printed in Southey’s
‘_Specimens of the later English Poets_,’ London, 1807, Octavo, volume
i., page 15.

“As we are informed by the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Monday, June 7th,
1762, that the workmen had then begun to lay down the iron pipes, for
the conveyance of water from London Bridge into the Borough, we may
conclude that the stone-work of the edifice was then perfect; although
from those pipes leaking between the stones, there arose a report that
the new Bridge was falling to pieces, which was, some years after, the
origin of a particular inquiry.

“The destructive effects of some very high tides which happened early
in 1763, are the principal events connected with London Bridge at that
period; as the ‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ page 48, informs
us that, on Tuesday, February 15th, the tide rose to such a height in
the River, that many parts of Westminster were overflowed; and, below
London Bridge, the inhabitants of Tooley Street were obliged to keep
to their upper rooms. In the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of the following
Thursday, it is stated that the damage done to goods in warehouses
adjoining the Thames, was estimated at upwards of £20,000; the great
land-floods having occasioned the water to rise higher than it had ever
been known. That the Bridge itself was in some danger, may be inferred
from the same paper of Wednesday, February 23rd, where it is recorded
that ‘three engines are at work driving piles, for the security of the
large Arch of London Bridge; some of the small ones, it is said, will
be entirely stopt, to prevent the water from ebbing away too fast.’
It was probably this circumstance that was alluded to by Mylne, the
Architect, in his Report to the Corporation of London, concerning a new
grant to the Water-works, made in June, 1767; and which you will find
in the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ for Friday, July 17th. He there states,
that in the beginning of 1763, the first winter after taking up the
Pier from under the Great Arch, when the other Arches were stopped up
with ice, the whole force of the tide rushed so violently through it,
as to tear up the bed of the river, and the Sterlings, being deprived
of their support, gave way, and left the foundation-piles entirely
exposed to the water. He adds, too, that only to repair this damage,
the sum of £6800 was expended by the Bridge Committee. Mr. Smeaton’s
answers on the best manner of enlarging and improving London Bridge,
delivered on March 18th, 1763, may also be seen in the paper last
referred to, for Monday, July 20th, 1767, and subsequent numbers. In
the same journal of Tuesday, April 15th, 1763, it had been related,
that ‘the water in the Thames rose so high on Sunday, that many houses
on the Surrey shore were two or three feet deep in water; and at
Lambeth, the long walk by the Bishop’s Palace was overflowed, and boats
were employed in the town to carry people from house to house.’

“Although the famous winter of 1766-67 continued with remarkable
severity until January 16th, we find but few particulars of it
connected with London Bridge; excepting that the ‘_Gazetteer and New
Daily Advertiser_’ for Monday, January 12th, states that several of its
Arches were then stopped by the ice, and some accidents, which happened
there, are recorded in the subsequent numbers of the same paper. In a
notice of the proceedings of a Court of Common Council on Wednesday,
July 30th, 1766, also contained in the ‘_Gazetteer_’ of the following
Friday, it is stated that the Committee for conducting the recent
repairs of London Bridge, made the last report of their works; in which
they set forth, that they had executed the several trusts reposed in
them by the Acts of Parliament which I have recited to you, and at
the same time rendered an account of the money then owing for the
alterations. Of these it is observed by John Gwynn, in his ‘_London and
Westminster Improved_,’ London, 1766, quarto, page 120, _Note_, that
they amounted to nearly £100,000, beside the materials of the houses,
many of which were new. He adds, too, that the Bridge was rendered
worse than it had been, by the exceeding rapidity of the stream under
the Great Arch; and condemns both the appearance and effects of the
Water-works. Of the remaining debt, then, the Court ordered that £3000
in the Chamberlain’s hands should be immediately paid; and that bonds
should be given for the remainder, not exceeding £12,000, redeemable by
the City, and bearing interest at 4 per cent. The Committee was then
dissolved, and the concerns of London Bridge were again restored to
that belonging to the Bridge-House Estates.

“There seems, however, to have been but little satisfaction given by
the extensive alterations and improvements of this edifice; for, at
the very same Court, a petition for relief was presented from the
Watermen’s Company, stating that the navigation through the Great Arch
of London Bridge was very dangerous, from the two adjoining Arches
on the North side being stopped up; and vessels being caught in the
eddy it occasioned, received considerable damage before they could
escape, which had sometimes occasioned the loss of life. It was soon
discovered, too, that the iron pipes belonging to the Water-works,
laid across the Bridge, had greatly injured the stone-work and crowns
of the Arches, by frequent leaking; whilst the piers of the Great
Arch were weakened, and the current of the tide was altered, by a new
Arch being granted to the Water-works. These particulars are noticed
in the ‘_Gazetteer_’ of Thursday, October 23rd, 1766; whilst in
the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ for Tuesday, November 4th, and the former
paper for Saturday, November 22nd, a report is mentioned of entirely
removing both the Bridge and Water-works, and greatly improving the
whole of their vicinity. In the ‘_Gazetteer_,’ too, for Friday and
Monday, December 5th and 8th, the dirty and dusty state of the Bridge
is mentioned as arising from total neglect of cleaning and watering
it, though the usual advertisements for their performance were then

“For the consideration and removal of these defects, a very fair
opportunity was now offered; a Committee of the Proprietors of the
Water-works having presented a petition to the Corporation, for
renting, and erecting a wheel in, the 5th Arch at the North end of
London Bridge, which had been referred to a Committee, to examine, and
report upon. This petition was read at the Court of Common Council on
Thursday, November 28th, 1765, as we learn by the ‘_Public Advertiser_’
of the following day; and you will find a copy of it in the same paper
for Friday, July 3rd, 1767, forming part of a series of 13 official
documents, on the subject, inserted in that journal down to Thursday,
July 23rd, of the same year. I have already had occasion slightly to
notice these proceedings, of which you may find several particulars
in the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_’ for 1767, volume xxxvii., pages 337,
407; but I shall now give you some account of them from these more
authentic sources, and close up my history of the Water-works with a
short description of their mechanism, and final removal.

“The petition alluded to, contains a curious historical outline of the
Water-works at London Bridge, tracing their gradual extension from
one to four of its Arches; the leases of all which were to terminate
in the year 2082, being 500 years from the time when the original
grant was made, the remainder taking only the unexpired term. The 1st
and 2nd Northern Arches were let for 500 years, from November 24th,
1582, at 10_s._ _per annum_; and the 4th Arch, from August 24th, 1701,
for 381-1/4 years, also at 10_s._ _per annum_, and a fine of £300.
The lease of the 3rd Arch, however,--formerly stopped up and let to
a Wharfinger,--did not commence until Michaelmas day, 1761, when it
was granted for the term of 321 years, at the old rent; though the
Proprietors of the Water-works had made proposals for it in 1731 and
1743, when it was unoccupied, the last tenant having quitted it at
Lady-day, 1718. These leases were the more readily granted, as it was
supposed that the Water-works were a protection to the Bridge and the
vessels below it; whilst it was asserted that the Arches they occupied
were but very seldom used, and the lessees covenanted to secure their
engines by piles, as well as to keep the Piers and Sterlings built
upon, in proper repair. Their fire-plugs, too, were to be under the
direction of the Committee of City-Lands; the Works were not to rise
higher than the cellars of the buildings on London Bridge; and houses
in general, in the City and its liberties, were to be supplied with
water at 20_s._ _per annum_. In petitioning for a fifth Arch, it was
represented, that, notwithstanding the great expense incurred for the
Water-works, the engine was yet inadequate to the furnishing at all
times a sufficient supply of water. The wheels under the other four
Arches would never act with the same velocity as they did before the
late alteration of the Bridge; but as the 5th Arch stood nearer the
central current of the River, the continual flowing of the tide would
give the works additional power, without being any obstacle to the
navigation. On the other hand, however, several counter-petitions were
presented from the Wharfingers and Lightermen, stating the dangerous
eddy at the Great Arch, arising from the closing of those Arches
called the Long Entry and Chapel Locks, to give force to the current
at the Water-works; and praying that they might be opened, the middle
of the River kept free, or that two Arches at the South end might be
closed instead of them. We have already seen, that these suits made
but slow progress; and accordingly we find that the petition from the
Water-works was first referred to a Sub-committee by the Committee of
City-Lands, on Wednesday, December 4th, 1765; to the Committee itself
on Friday, November 28th, 1766: and on Tuesday, December 16th, their
Report was delivered to the Court of Common Council. Before these
Committees, the Proprietors of the Water-works appeared on Tuesday,
October 21st, and Wednesday, November 19th, 1766; when the complaints
of their pipes leaking, and the navigation being endangered, were
stated, and remedies ordered to be provided. They were also asked,
whether they would undertake, on forfeiture of their lease, ‘to keep
their engine at work during the times of dead high and low-water, when
their wheels lay still, provided they had leave to raise their tenants
1_s._ yearly for every house.’ To this they ultimately agreed, the
additional rent being made 2_s._; and to remedy the leakage of such
pipes as lay across the Bridge for the supply of Southwark, it was
proposed that they should be entirely removed, the first Arch on the
Surrey side of the Bridge being stopped up, and a wheel erected in the
second, 10_s._ _per annum_ being paid for each, whilst the Long Entry
and Chapel Locks were to be re-opened. Such then were the measures
recommended in the Committee’s Report, as being without danger and of
general benefit; but before they were acceded to, these particulars
were ordered to be printed, and a copy sent to some of the most eminent
Surveyors of the time, Messrs. Brindley, Smeaton, Yeoman, Mylne, and
Wooler, whose answers were read to the Common Council, on Wednesday,
February 25th, 1767. At the same time, too, as we are informed by the
‘_Gazetteer_’ of the day following, the Proprietors of the Water-works
were heard upon the subject of their alterations, though the decision
was referred to the next Court. The Engineers generally agreed, that
by opening the Long Entry and Chapel Locks, taking away the water-pipes
upon the Bridge, erecting a wheel in the 5th Arch, and occupying the
farthest two on the Surrey side, the edifice and navigation would be
generally improved. Mr. Mylne, however, recommended that the 5th Arch
should not be granted; but that so many Arches at the South end should
be wholly stopped, as would be equal to compensate the Water-works
for their loss by the Great Arch; adding, that the pipes were slowly,
but certainly, ruining the Bridge; and that a Water-company, then
established in Southwark, should be encouraged to supply the whole of
the Borough. The Corporation, however, did not yet come to a decision,
but on Friday, March 13th, 1767, the Town Clerk was again ordered to
solicit the Engineers to re-consider the subject, and to point out the
course most proper to be followed. The second series of answers, which
was read at a Court of Common Council, on Tuesday, June 23rd, chiefly
confirmed and referred to the former. Messrs. Wooler and Mylne were,
however, decidedly against any new grants to the Water-works, of which
they earnestly recommended the removal, as well as the opening of the
closed-up Arches; proposing to substitute a horse, or fire, engine,
on both sides of the river, or closing up three Arches on the Surrey
shore. Mr. Yeoman also recommended the taking away of the Water-works;
whilst Mr. Smeaton, considering that the bed of the Thames had become
so unequal that it would require several centuries to restore its
level, argued that the stoppage of London Bridge was useful both to the
Water-works and navigation in general, and that it remained only to
employ the force of water in the most beneficial manner. By his Report
the Corporation seems to have been determined; since the ‘_Gazetteer_’
of June 24th states, that Mr. Mylne was examined, and, after a
long debate, the 5th Arch was granted to the Water-works, upon the
conditions already mentioned: though there were, subsequently, several
disputes on points of law, and particularly upon the power which the
Corporation had to grant away the passage of a navigable river.

“The ‘_Gazetteer_’ for Monday, Dec. 28th, 1767, informs us that the
two Arches adjoining the South end of the Bridge were, at length, then
stopped up, and wheels preparing to be erected in each of them; and on
the 30th, most of the Locks at that part of the edifice were entirely
closed by the ice. It was not, however, until the year 1770, as we are
informed in Concannen’s ‘_History of Southwark_,’ page 233, that the
Borough Water-works were perfected by the erection of a Steam-Engine;
though a part of the machinery was originally erected on the
River-banks for the supply of Mr. Thrale’s Brewery, when it was worked
by horses. These works were then known by the name of their proprietor,
which was afterwards changed for that of the Company which bought them:
and an engine erected, wherein the pressure of the atmosphere acted
upon the Steam-piston.

“I proceed now, Mr. Barbican, to give you some account of the
Water-works erected at the North end of London Bridge, which were
considered to be far superior even to the celebrated hydraulics of
Marli, in France. You are already aware, that the wheels beneath
the Arches were turned by the common tide-water of the Thames; the
axle-trees being 19 feet in length, and 3 in diameter, having 4 sets
of arms, 8 in each place, on which were fixed 4 rings, or fellies, 20
feet in diameter, with 26 floats of 14 feet long, and 18 inches deep.
The gudgeons, or centre-pins, of these wheels, rested upon brasses,
fixed on 2 large levers 16 feet long, the tops of which were formed of
arched timber, the levers being made circular on their lower sides to
an arch, and kept in their places by 2 arching studs fixed in a stock,
through 2 mortices in the lever. To the lower part of the arch on the
lever, was fixed a strong triple chain, the links attached to circles
of 1 foot in diameter, having notches or teeth, to take hold of the
leaves of a cast-iron pinion, 10 inches in diameter, with 8 teeth in
it, moving on an axis. The other end of this chain had a large weight
hanging from it, to assist in counterpoising the wheel, and to preserve
the chain from sliding on the pinion. On the same axis with the pinion,
were 2 cog-wheels; one of 6 feet in diameter having 48 cogs, and
another of 51 cogs, each working in a trundle of 6 rounds: on this
axis there was also a winch, by which one man could raise or lower the
wheels as occasion might require. Near the end of the great axle-tree,
was another cog-wheel of 8 feet in diameter, and 44 cogs, working
into a trundle of 20 rounds, 4-1/2 feet in diameter; the axis of which
was fixed in brasses at each end of the lever before mentioned, and
communicated with iron cranks having 4 necks, each of which raised an
iron spear attached to levers 24 feet in length. To the other ends were
fastened iron rods and forcing-plugs, working in cast-iron cylinders
4-3/4 feet long, 7 inches in bore above, and 9 below, where the valves
were. These cylinders were placed over a hollow trunk of cast-iron,
with 4 valves in it, immediately beneath them; and as one end of the
trunk was furnished with a sucking-pipe and grate going into the water,
they were each filled alternately, and delivered their supplies through
curved pipes into a second trunk, furnished with an iron pipe, through
which the water was forced up to any height required. These were,
however, only half the works; the whole of the mechanism being double
to each wheel. The first wheel in the Arch next the City, worked 16
forcers; and in the third Arch were three wheels, one working 12, the
second 8, and another 16 forcers. Their utmost power of raising water
was estimated from four of the wheels, to be 2052 gallons per minute;
123,120 gallons--being equal to 1954 hogsheads--in an hour; or 46,896
hogsheads daily, to the height of 120 feet, including the waste, which
might be considered as a fifth part of the whole. Every revolution of
a wheel, made 2-1/2 strokes in every minute in all the forcers, the
wheels turning 6 times in a minute at high-water, and 4-1/2 times
at middle water; and it was stated before a Committee of the House
of Commons, that in the year 1820, these Works supplied 26,322,705
hogsheads of water. It is usual to give Dr. Desaguliers as the
authority for these particulars, but I have abstracted them from the
‘_Philosophical Transactions_,’ already referred to; and they are also
printed in Maitland’s ‘_History_,’ volume i., page 51, whence they have
been copied into almost every subsequent account of London. After the
grant of a fifth Arch to the Water-works, about July 1767, an improved
wheel was designed by Mr. Smeaton, to be erected at that part; of which
two engravings and several particulars, together with his remarks on
the Water-engine, are inserted in the Second volume of his ‘_Reports_’
already cited, Plates ii.-iii., pages 27-30.

“I have in my possession a large and curious old drawing, in colours,
representing two elevations, and a ground-plan of these Works and
the Water-Tower, executed before the grant of a fifth Arch, or the
erection of wheels at the South end of the edifice, which is chiefly
interesting, as shewing the courses of the main-pipes then attached to
every wheel for conveying water to the various parts of London; which
were connected and furnished in the following manner. Bishopsgate Main,
supplied from the Wheels under the 3rd Arch, and Western end of the
4th, called ‘the Upper, and Borough Wheels:’ Cheapside Main, from those
under the second and 3rd Arches, called the ‘Three-Ringed, and Low
Wheels:’ Aldgate Main, from those under the 2nd Arch, and the Eastern
end of the 4th, expressed by the same name: Fleet-street Main, from
a small Wheel in the 1st Arch, and another at the Western end of the
4th, called ‘the Two-Ringed, and Borough Wheels:’ Newgate-street Main,
from those in the 2nd Arch, and the Western end of the 4th, or ‘the
Upper, and Three-Ringed Wheels:’ Broad-street Main, principally from
‘the Low-Wheel,’ under the 2nd Arch; though it also derived some water
from that at the Western end of the 4th: Grace Church-street Main, from
those in the 1st and 2nd Arches, or ‘the Two-Ringed, and Three-Ringed
Wheels:’ Cannon-street Main, from ‘the Upper, and Borough Wheels,’ or
those beneath the 3rd and 4th Arches: Thames-street Main, from a ‘Low
Wheel’ at the Eastern end of the 4th Arch; and the Borough Main, from
the proper Wheel, which was situate at its Western extremity, forming
ten sets of main-pipes in all. At each end of the Bridge, round the
Western-sides of the Water-works, were wooden platforms or galleries,
occasionally decorated with plants and flowers; and immediately over
the Wheels at the City end, were the work-shops belonging to them.
Their history is now, however, fast drawing to a close: in March,
1817, the managers gave notice that they were about to rebuild their
largest Water-wheel; but on July 26th, 1822, the third Year of King
George IV., an Act was passed for their entire removal, with a view of
improving London Bridge, or erecting a new one. You will, of course,
find this document in ‘_The Statutes of the Realm_,’ by John Raithby,
Esq., volume viii., London, 1822, quarto, pages 1049-1054; it being
chapter cix. of the ‘_Local and Personal Acts declared public_:’ and I
shall now give you a slight idea of its contents. Having declared,
that about 260 years of the original grants to the Water-works are yet
unexpired, it is enacted that the Corporation of London shall raise
£15,000 out of the Bridge-House Estates, for carrying the Act into
effect; £10,000 of which should be paid to the Proprietors of the
Water-works, for rendering void all their licences, and transferring
all their machinery, buildings, &c. to the New-River Company, which
Company was entitled to commence receiving rents and defraying expenses
connected with the Water, from June 24th, 1822; and it was also
licensed to procure leave from the Corporation, to cut the River-banks,
&c. below low-water mark, not exceeding 100 feet from the East side
of the present Bridge, for laying down pipes, &c., saving the City’s
rights in the Thames; paying the sum of 20_s._ as a fine for so doing,
and 20_s._ annually afterwards. Full powers were likewise granted, that
the Company might lay down pipes in the streets, and over the Bridges
of London; and that it might resign the supply of a part of a district
to another party, and receive a recompence in return; adding that it
should neither be compelled to continue the supply, nor be considered
to have an exclusive right to it. Upon conclusion of the agreement,
the Company was to remove the whole machinery, &c. within the six
months following, which was otherwise to be taken up and sold by the
Corporation. The New-River Company was also charged with the payment
of certain annuities to the former Proprietors of the Water-works,
for the remainder of their lease, as well as with the pensions due to
their servants, &c. to be defrayed out of the rents received. Such,
then, was the end of the London Bridge Water-works; and the only other
remarkable event which I find recorded in the year 1767, connected
with our edifice is, that on Saturday, November 28th, about 5 o’clock
in the morning, the tide ebbed and flowed at this place, and at
Greenwich, twice within an hour and a half; as you will find recorded
both in the ‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ page 71, and in the
‘_Gazetteer_’ for Wednesday, December 22nd.

“The year 1768 commenced with so violent and general a frost, that
its effects were felt equally upon the land and the water. ‘It is
said,’ observes the ‘_Gazetteer_’ of Friday, January 1st, ‘that London
Bridge is in great danger by this severe frost: the most essential of
the piles which form the Sterlings have been lately observed to be
quite loose, and playing in the water; and workmen have been ordered,
notwithstanding the imminent danger, to throw Kentish rag-stone
round the piers.’ In addition to this, there were also several fatal
accidents, arising from the River being frozen, which were likewise
greatly detrimental to this edifice. The night of Tuesday, January
5th, was said to have been the most fatal ever known for damage done
upon the Thames: one French vessel was thrown upon the Sterlings of
the Bridge, with the loss of her bow-sprit, where it was obliged to
be kept for several days secured by ropes; and two others were driven
through the Centre Arch, losing their main-masts, and carrying away
the lamps from the parapet. Some barges also got across the other
Arches, and after the breaking up of the frost, which was about the
middle of January, the ‘_Gazetteer_’ of Thursday, 21st, states, that
‘yesterday a great many tons of Kentish rag-stones were thrown under
the Great Arch of London Bridge, as a supposed temporary remedy
against the damage the foundation received during the late frost. An
expedient productive of infinite ruin to the navigation, as they are
soon scowered away again, and an accumulating expense to the City of
an alarming nature.’ It is also added in the same paper for Tuesday,
February 2nd, that ‘the damages done to London Bridge Water-works in
the late severe weather, are not yet repaired, though the workmen have
worked over hours, and on Sundays, ever since the weather broke. The
last damaged wheel will be at work this week.’ It had been frequently
remarked in the papers of this period, that the amount of rents
received from the Proprietors of the London Bridge Water-works, was
not, in any degree, proportionate to the expenses of their repairs,
which were calculated at £2500 yearly; and in the ‘_Gazetteer_’ for
Friday, April 22nd, 1768, it is stated that they returned only £3000
clear of all expenses. It is also rather curiously observed, that ‘’tis
computed that there are drowned at London Bridge, about 50 people
upon an average every year; which, as they are the prime of watermen,
bargemen, and seamen, amount, at £400 each, to £20,000 _per annum_.’
The ‘_Continuation of Maitland’s History_,’ page 73, states, that on
April 10th, in this year, the Thames was so remarkably low, that it
was with difficulty even a wherry could cross it, the sand-banks on
both sides of the Bridge being entirely dry. And now, as I have already
mentioned to you several particulars concerning the foundation of
Blackfriars’ Bridge, let me conclude this year with a summary notice
of its completion. The Architect, then, was Robert Mylne, Esq.; the
first pile of it was driven in the middle of the Thames on Saturday,
June 7th, 1760; and the first stone was laid by Sir Thomas Chitty, Lord
Mayor, on Friday, October 31st. On Wednesday, November 19th, 1768,
it was made passable as a bridle-way, exactly two years after its
reception of foot passengers; and it was finally and generally opened
on Sunday, November, 19th, 1769. The total expense of this building
amounted to £152,840. 3_s._ 10_d._; exclusive of £5830 for altering
and filling-up the Fleet-ditch, and £2167, the cost of the Temporary
Wooden Bridge. Until June 22nd, 1785, there was a toll of 1/2_d._
for every foot-passenger, and 1_d._ on Sundays; the yearly amount of
which, from its commencement in 1766, with the purposes to which it was
applied, may be seen in the ‘_Second Report of the Select Committee
for Improving the Port of London_,’ 1799, folio, _Appendix_ B 11, page
49. The Toll-house was burned down in the Riots of 1780, when all the
account-books were destroyed.

“And now to return again to our memorials of London Bridge, I do not
find, even after the most careful search, any particulars of this
edifice, connected with the great Frost of 1785, notwithstanding
its extent and severity for 115 days; and for that of 1789, though
there are many descriptions of its appearance both up and down the
River, there are but few notices of it at this identical spot. The
‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Friday, January 9th, 1789, states, that the
shipping below the Bridge was in considerable danger, from the tiers
at Deptford, Greenwich, &c. being enclosed with ice; and that the
Thames being frozen over on the day preceding, ‘several purl-booths
were erected, and many thousands of persons crossed upon the ice
from Tower-wharf to the opposite shore.’ The same paper for the day
following, states, that the frost had then continued for about six
weeks; whilst its severity down the River kept still increasing.
Passages across the ice, strewed with ashes, were formed at Gun-Dock,
Execution-Dock, &c.; and these parts seem to have constituted the
principal scenes of attraction. ‘No sooner,’ says the ‘_London
Chronicle_’ from Saturday, January 10th, to Tuesday, January 13th, page
48, ‘had the Thames acquired a sufficient consistency, than booths,
turn-abouts, &c. &c. were erected; the puppet-shows, wild-beasts, &c.
were transported from every adjacent village; whilst the watermen,
that they might draw their usual resources from the water, broke in
the ice close to the shore, and erected bridges, with toll-bars, to
make every passenger pay a halfpenny for getting to the ice. One of the
suttling booths has for its sign ‘Beer, Wine, and Spirituous Liquors
without a License.’ A man who sells hot gingerbread, has a board on
which is written ‘no shop-tax nor window-duty.’ All the adventurers
contend in these short sentences for the preference of the company,
and the Thames is in general crowded.’ Another specimen of the humour
exhibited at this place, was contained in the following inscription
on a temporary building on the Thames, and printed in the ‘_Public
Advertiser_’ of Thursday, January 15th: ‘This Booth to Let. The present
possessor of the Premises is Mr. Frost. His affairs, however, not
being on a permanent footing, a dissolution or bankruptcy may soon
be expected, and the final settlement of the whole entrusted to Mr.
Thaw.’ On Wednesday, January 7th, a large pig was roasted on one of the
principal roads; and on Monday the 12th, a young bear was hunted on the
ice, near Rotherhithe. As usual, too, a printing-press was erected near
the same spot, of which there is a curious memorial preserved in Mr.
Crowle’s ‘_Illustrated Pennant_,’ volume viii., page 262, consisting of
a bill, having a border of type flowers containing the following verses;
afterwards altered and adopted in the Frost of 1814.

    ‘The silver Thames was frozen o’er,
    No diff’rence ’twixt the Stream and shore;
    The like no Man hath seen before,
    Except he liv’d in Days of Yore.

_On the Ice, at the Thames Printing-Office opposite St. Catherine’s
Stairs in the severe Frost, January, 1789. Printed by me, William
Bailey._’ The same collection also contains a small stippled engraving,
entitled ‘_A View of the Thames from Rotherhithe Stairs, during
the Frost in 1789. Painted by G. Samuel, and Engraved by W. Birch,
Enamel-painter._’ The severity of this frost, however, appears to
have been felt considerably beyond these scenes of amusement. The
East-India ships were hastily sent down to Gravesend, to which place,
and even below it, large shoals of ice had already floated, extending
almost through the whole Reach; the navigation of boats was entirely
stopped, and it was supposed that the River would soon be completely
impassable from London Bridge to Woolwich. Vast quantities of boiling
water were poured every morning upon the Bridge Water-works, before
the wheels could be set in motion, and 25 horses were daily employed
in removing the ice which surrounded them: whilst at Blackfriars the
masses of floating ice were said to be 18 feet in thickness, and were
continually increasing from the many cart-loads of snow constantly
thrown over the ballustrades. ‘The various parts of the River,’--says
the ‘_Public Advertiser_’ of Friday, January 9th,--‘present different
appearances; in some, the surface is smooth for a mile or two, and then
rough and mountainous, from the great quantities of snow driven by the
wind, and frozen in large bodies.’ Towards Putney Bridge and upwards,
the scene on the ice again became really entertaining. ‘Opposite to
Windsor-street,’ continues the same paper, ‘booths have been erected
since Friday last, and a fair is kept on the river. Multitudes
of people are continually passing and repassing; puppet-shows,
round-abouts, and all the various amusements of Bartholomew fair are
exhibited. In short, Putney and Fulham, from the morning dawn till the
dusk of returning evening, are a scene of festivity and gaiety.’

“At length, the expected thaw commenced with some rain, about two
o’clock on Tuesday, January 13th; and before night the streets were
almost overflowed. ‘Perhaps,’ says the ‘_London Chronicle_,’ from that
date to Thursday, January 15th, page 56, ‘the breaking up of the Fair
upon the Thames last Tuesday night below Bridge, exceeded every idea
that could be formed of it, as it was not until after the dusk of the
evening, that the busy crowd was persuaded of the approach of a thaw.
This, however, with the cracking of some ice about 8 o’clock, made the
whole a scene of the most perfect confusion; as men, beasts, booths,
turn-abouts, puppet-shows, &c. &c. were all in motion, and pouring
towards the shore on each side. The confluence here was so sudden and
impetuous, that the watermen who had formed the toll-bars over the
sides of the river, where they had broken the ice for that purpose, not
being able to maintain their standard from the crowd, &c. pulled up
the boards, by which a number of persons who could not leap, or were
borne down by the press, were soused up to the middle. The difficulty
of landing at the Tower stairs was extreme, until near 10 o’clock,
occasioned by the crowding of people from the shore, who were attracted
by the confusion on the water. The inconvenience to the shipping is now
increased more than since the setting in of the Frost, as no persons
will venture upon the ice to fetch or carry any thing for them, and it
is not yet sufficiently disunited for a boat to live.’ The succeeding
number of this paper, page 60, mentions that on Thursday, January 15th,
the ice was so powerful as to cut the cables of two vessels lying at
the Old Rose Chain, and drive them through the Great Arch of London
Bridge; when their masts becoming entangled with the ballustrades, both
were broken, and many persons hurt. The Thames, however, continued to
be considerably frozen for some time after this. I shall terminate
the year 1789, by informing you, that it is stated in the ‘_Public
Advertiser_’ of Friday, January 16th, that the shares of the London
Bridge Proprietors, which some years before had been worth £3000 per
annum in Life Annuities, had then fallen below £2000.

“In the years 1793 and 1794, the Great Centre Arch again became a
subject of consideration; for, in order to confine the rubble which
had been deposited there to raise and preserve the form of its bed,
nine strong beams of timber were sunk in it horizontally between the
Sterlings, having upright pieces at each end fitting into grooves cut
in the sides of the Sterlings, which forced them down and held them
in their places. This contrivance, however, was only of temporary
benefit, for, at the excellent survey of London Bridge, made by Mr.
George Dance, in 1799, he supposed that only two of these timbers
were remaining, the rest having been carried away by the ice. If we
remember, indeed, the accidents that were continually happening to
the Bridge, by vessels driving through it at this very part, there
can be no great reason to wonder at these defences being speedily
destroyed. So early as January 19th, 1795, we find by ‘_Dodsley’s
Annual Register_’ for that year, volume xxxvii., page 3 of the
‘_Chronicle_’ part, that, about 12 o’clock, two vessels broke from
their moorings a little below the Bridge, when the tide drove them
violently against it. One of them being a large West-Indiaman, making
the Centre Arch, had all its masts carried away close by the board,
when it drove through with a violent crash, and continued up the river
to Somerset House. In 1798, also, the same authority, volume xl., page
40 of the ‘_Chronicle_’ part, mentions, that on May 23rd, a sprit-sail
vessel, laden with hay, drove against the Bridge with great velocity,
and the mast not being lowered in time, it struck the ballustrades
over the Centre Arch and broke them away to the space of nearly ten
feet; the two persons on board being killed by the stones. But if I
were to record all the accidents of this nature, which are contained
in the registers of every year, my narrative would be much longer,
and more melancholy, than either of us would desire; and I shall
add only, therefore, that even the timbers, sunk as an improvement
to the passage of the Centre Arch, were found, in some degree, to
injure the navigation of the Bridge. For in the examination of Mr.
M. P.--now Alderman--Lucas, on June 26th, 1799, he stated, that the
chalk, &c. thrown into the water to support the foundation of that
part of the Bridge, had produced shoals both above and below it; and,
that the timbers recently laid there having prevented the rubble
being scattered, it was stopped up in the wake of the Great Arch,
where it formed a bar. On this account, the last three hours of the
ebb-tide, which were always attended with danger, became additionally
hazardous; empty craft under 3 or 4 tons burthen, could not go through
with safety, and loaded craft could not pass at all at that time. The
stream being then sunk below the level of the Sterlings, the passage
was reduced nearly one half; the fall commenced and increased until the
ebb was over; a barge of 30 or 40 tons would consequently pass with her
bows under water, of which it frequently shipped four or five tons;
whilst it was impossible for any one to stand upon the deck, without
holding on to some part of the vessel. Let me add, that you will find
all these particulars, together with a ‘_Plan and description of the
Timbers sunk in the Great Arch of London Bridge, in the years 1793 and
1794_,’ in plate vii. of ‘_The several Plans and Drawings referred to
in the Second Report from the Select Committee upon the Improvement of
the Port of London_,’ 1799, folio; and in the Appendix A 5, B 6, and
pages 19 and 35 of the Report itself.

“As I do not find that the famous Frost of 1794 produced any very
remarkable circumstance connected with London Bridge, I shall hasten to
the year 1799, when it again became the subject of considerable inquiry
and speculation, the particulars of which are so fully recorded in
that Report to which I have now referred you: pages 5 and 6, section
2, and ‘_Appendix_,’ B. 1,-B. 11, pages 21-49, plates v.-vii. The amount
of these proceedings was, that after a minute survey of the Bridge and
River, by Mr. George Dance, Clerk of the Works, and Mr. John Foulds,
his assistant, and Engineer to the Water-works, executed between
the months of May and July, it was ascertained, that, provided the
Sterlings were kept in repair, the structure itself was likely to stand
for ages. These defences, they added, had then been recently altered
and improved in shape, size, and construction, so as to retain the
chalk, &c. with which they were then filling; and though there were
many fractures in the building, they had not increased in the last 30
years. The average cost of its repairs had exceeded £4200 annually,
for the last six years, and the Wardens’ receipts for the same period
had varied from £9772: 2_s._ 1-1/2_d._ to £24,848: 10_s._ 4-1/2_d._
These financial particulars are recorded at length in the Report
whence we derive our information; ‘_Appendix_,’ B. 10, pages 38-49, in
a document entitled ‘_An account of the produce of the Estates of the
City of London, called the Bridge-House Estates, and the application
thereof, from the year 1756 to Christmas 1798_;’ which may properly be
considered as a continuation of that paper which furnished us with the
ancient revenues and expenditures. I should observe, however, that the
Report still represents the dangers of the Bridge navigation; stating,
that, although the stream was 10 feet deep under the Middle Arch at
low-water, yet, at the distance of only a few yards below it, there
were not more than 18 inches. These Reports contain also the following

“1. ‘_Ground-plan and Elevation of London Bridge in its present state,
2nd July, 1799, taken by Mr. Dance. R. Metcalf Sculp._’ A most curious
and interesting print, measuring 8 feet 5 inches, by 2 feet; shewing
the sizes of the several locks; the different heights of the tides; the
singular forms of the Sterlings; a Section through one of the arches
and roadway, and the measurement of every part set down in figures. See
Plate v. in the large folio of Drawings, &c. belonging to the Second
Report. If to these particulars we add the Water-works, the line of
Soundings taken along the points of the Sterlings, a Section of the
bed of the River beneath them, and Mr. Smeaton’s new foundation of the
Great Arch, we shall have the most accurate materials for constructing


“2. Another print belonging to this Report, consists of the ‘_Soundings
of the Great Arch of London Bridge, taken from the top of the
Sterlings, 29th May, 1799, by J. Foulds and I. K._:’ to which are
added the depths of the River, at, and between, London Bridge and
Billingsgate, taken at low-water. Plate vi. in the same volume. The
printed Report also contains three other engravings connected with
this subject, from drawings made by Mr. Smeaton, to illustrate his
observations on London Bridge, in March, 1763, and afterwards preserved
by Sir Joseph Banks, with the original manuscript of his Report. They
will be found at page 25, B. 5, of the ‘_Appendix_,’ and they consist
of--1. ‘_Section of the Water-way at London Bridge as it was before the
opening of the Great Arch, and at the beginning of Feb. 1763_:’--2.
‘_Plan of the Sterlings of London Bridge, before the opening of the
Great Arch_;’--3. ‘_Plan of the proposed Water-way under the Great Arch
of London Bridge_,’ shewing the bed of rubble, &c. laid down for lining
the foundation, and the additions to the two centre Sterlings. All
these engravings, however, you will find reduced upon one plate, by W.
Lowry, and inserted in Smeaton’s ‘_Reports_’ already cited, volume ii.,
page 1.

“And now, Mr. Geoffrey Barbican, though I am rapidly advancing towards
the end of my Chronicles, like the tired post-horse, which exerts
all his remaining strength when he sees his resting-place is not far
distant, though I may not delay my course to enlarge upon any part of
our subject, yet I think it not only a fair opportunity, but a positive
duty, to collect all the omissions that I can remember from the former
part of my history; ‘unconsidered trifles,’ as _Autolycus_ says, and
add them to the end of the 18th Century, which is to us the great
barrier between ancient and modern times.

“And firstly, I would observe, that so early as the year 1179-80, the
inhabitants of the vicinity of London Bridge appear to have formed
themselves into several of those fraternities anciently called Guilds;
though, having done so without lawful authority, they were fined in
various penalties. Whilst they all bore, however, the title of _Gilda
de Ponte_, or Bridge-Guild, we can only suppose that the members of
them lived in the Bridge-street, since the stone edifice had been at
that time no more than three or four years begun. You will find these
particulars recorded by Madox, in his ‘_History of the Exchequer_,’
chapter xiv., section xv., pages 390, 391, note z, and cited from
the Great Roll of the 26th year of Henry II.; the following being
those articles which immediately refer to the present subject. ‘The
Bridge-Guild, whereof Thomas Cocus is Alderman, oweth 1 mark,’--13_s._
4_d._: ‘the Bridge-Guild, whereof Ailwin Fink is Alderman, oweth 15
marks:’--‘the Bridge-Guild, whereof Robert de Bosco is Alderman, oweth
10 marks:’--‘the Bridge-Guild, whereof Peter Fitz Alan was Alderman,
oweth 15 marks.’

“In speaking, too, of the reign of Queen Mary, I omitted to mention
that short notice with which John Fox has furnished us, of certain
‘vaine pageants,’ exhibited to her upon London Bridge. You will find
the passage in the second volume of that edition of his ‘_Acts and
Monuments_’ which I have already cited, page 1338, and it runs thus.
‘And the next day, being Saturday, the xix. of August--1554,--the
King and Queene’s Majesties rode from Suffolk Place, accompanied with
a great number as well of noblemen as of gentlemen, through the City
of London to White Hall, and at London Bridge, as he entered at the
Draw-Bridge, was a great vaine spectacle set vp, two images presenting
two Giants, one named Corineus and the other Gogmagog, holding between
them certain Latin verses, which, for the vain ostentation of flattery,
I overpasse.’ I can discover no other particulars of this exhibition,
but the preceding paragraph was copied, by Holinshed, into his
‘_Chronicles_,’ volume ii., page 1120.

“In mentioning the tradesmen who resided on London Bridge, I ought,
also, to have pointed out to your notice that paragraph concerning
them, first inserted in Strype’s edition of _Stow’s Survey_, edit.
1720, Book i.; chapter xxix., volume 1, page 242; where it is
said that ‘Men of trades, and sellers of wares in this City, have
oftentimes,’--since the days of Fitz Stephen--‘changed their places
as they have found to their best advantage. For, whereas, Mercers and
Haberdashers used then to keep their shops in West-Cheap, of later time
they held them on London Bridge, where, partly, they do yet remain.’

“One would expect to find frequent references to London Bridge, in
the works of our ancient Dramatists, yet my memory supplies me with
but very few instances; though I may observe, that Shakspeare has
an allusion to the heads of traitors erected over the gate of this
edifice, in Act iii. Scene 2, of ‘_King Richard the Third_,’ where
_Catesby_ says to _Hastings_:

       ‘The Princes both make high account of you,--
     For they account his head upon the Bridge.      [_Aside._’

Another passage, referring to this custom, is also to be found in the
second Act of George Wilkins’s ‘_Miseries of Inforced Marriage_,’ first
printed in quarto, 1607, and inserted in Dodsley’s ‘_Select Collection
of Old Plays_,’ London, 1780, duodecimo, volume v., page 27; where
_Ilford_ says to _Wentloe_, ‘S’foot! you chittiface, that looks worse
than a collier through a wooden window, an ape afraid of a whip, or a
knave’s head, shook seven years in the weather on London Bridge;--do
you catechise me?’ In Act v., Scene 1, of Shakerley Marmion’s
‘_Antiquary_,’ originally printed in 1641, quarto, and published in the
preceding collection, volume x., page 97, is likewise the following
passage, the idea of which appears to be taken from the noisy situation
of the houses on the Old Bridge: ‘That man that trusts a woman with a
privacy, and hopes for silence, may as well expect it at the fall of
a bridge.’ But ‘rare Ben Jonson,’ in his ‘_Staple of News_,’ Act ii.,
Scene 1, has a reference to those frequent, and almost useless, repairs
of this edifice, of which we have recounted so many; since he makes
_Shunfield_ say of _Old Pennyboy_,

    ‘He minds
    A courtesy no more than London Bridge,
    What Arch was mended last.’

“In William Gifford’s ‘_Works of Ben Jonson_,’ London, 1816, octavo,
volume v., page 215, he has rather a violent note upon this passage, in
which he says, ‘Two hundred years have nearly elapsed since this was
written, and the observation still holds. This pernicious structure has
wasted more money in perpetual repairs, than would have sufficed to
build a dozen safe and commodious Bridges; and cost the lives, perhaps,
of as many thousand people. This may seem little to those whom it
concerns, but there is blood on the City, and a heavy account is before
them. Had an Alderman or a turtle been lost there, the nuisance would
have been long since removed.’ As I have already referred to the heads
of the Regicides, &c. standing over the Bridge-gate at the time of the
Great Fire, I may observe, that ‘glorious John Dryden,’ in his ‘_Annus
Mirabilis_,’ stanza 223, has this solemn mention of them, with a fine
allusion to the infernal hymns chanted on a Witches’ sabbath:

    ‘The ghosts of traitors from the Bridge descend,
      With bold fanatic spectres to rejoice;
    About the fire into a dance they bend,
      And sing their sabbath-notes with feeble voice.’

See ‘_The Works of John Dryden_,’ edited by Walter Scott, Esq., London,
1808, octavo, volume ix., pages 144, 186, _Note_ xlv.

“In recording these analecta of Old London Bridge, I may also take the
opportunity of observing to you, that from about July to September,
you may see almost every ‘jutty, frieze, and coigne of ’vantage, made
the pendent bed and procreant cradle’ of the small yellow flowers
and pointed leaves of the _Sisymbrium Irio_, or London Rocket. It
probably made its first appearance on this edifice soon after the
Great Fire of 1666, since the famous Botanist, Robert Morison, who
lived at the period, has a singular dialogue upon it in his rare and
curious ‘_Præludia Botanica_,’ printed in 1669; where he states, that
in 1667-68 it sprang up in such abundance from the City ruins, that in
many places it might have been mown like corn, though London Bridge
is not specially referred to. A coloured engraving of the plant, with
the foregoing particulars, will be found in William Curtis’s ‘_Flora
Londinensis_,’ London, 1767, folio. Fasciculus vi., plate 48, marked

“I have but few other fragments to mention; and the first of them
relates to the very extensive use which is made of London Bridge as a
thoroughfare. What it must have been formerly, when it was the only
passage across the Thames, we know not; but after the introduction
of a toll, the rent at which I have told you it was farmed, affords
some general idea of its importance. In July, 1811, however, when the
Southwark Bridge was projected, the Directors of that Company attended
one whole day, to ascertain the probable amount of passengers, &c.
over London Bridge; when it was found that 89,640 persons on foot, 769
waggons, 2924 carts and drays, 1240 coaches, 485 gigs and taxed carts,
and 764 horses, went across it.

“But, to descend from the roadway to the foundation, I shall next
remark, that the natural soil of the Thames, where the present London
Bridge is erected, consists chiefly of black gravel, for about 2 feet
in depth, below which it is gravel with red sand: and this we learn
from a table of ‘_Borings of the River betwixt London and Blackfriars’
Bridges, performed betwixt the 19th of May and the 16th of June, 1800,
by John Foulds and assistants_;’ printed in the ‘_Third Report_’ of the
Port of London Committee, ‘_Appendix_,’ A. 2, page 39.

“Another point, connected with this part of the edifice, concerning
which I am very desirous of giving some little information, is the
etymology of the word Sterling, or perhaps Starling, according to the
general pronunciation; yet what can I presume to say upon it, when we
find that, in the meaning of a defence to bridges, it is unnoticed
in the learned glossaries of Somner, Minsheu, Stephen Skinner, Sir
Henry Spelman, John Jacob Hoffman, Du Fresne, Edward Phillips, Francis
Junius, Doctors Johnson and Jamieson, and Archdeacon Nares? In the
last edition of ‘_Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary_,’ indeed, by the Rev. H.
J. Todd, this signification is inserted, though the Editor candidly
adds, ‘I know not the etymology;’ and, therefore, it seems alike futile
to search after, and presumptuous to conjecture it; howbeit, take
what hints I have met with upon the subject. And firstly, in a small
tract entitled ‘_A short Review of the several Pamphlets and Schemes
that have been offered to the Public, in relation to the building of
a Bridge at Westminster_,’ by John James, of Greenwich; London, 1736,
octavo, at page 16, we find the following conjecture. ‘It is very
probable, that the _Stallings_,--as I choose to call them, our workmen
after the Normans, having, perhaps, taken the name from the French
word, _créche_, which signifies a manger, or crib in a stall,--may
have been much enlarged since the first building of the Bridge.’ For
my own part, however, I am greatly inclined to think that the term is
of Northern origin, not very much corrupted, since the Danish word
_Staer_, and the German, _Starr_, or _Starck_, a defence, evidently
appear to be the root of it; and Christian Ludwig, in his ‘_Dictionary
of English, German, and French_,’ Leipsic, 1763, quarto, volume i.,
page 840, translates the word Starling by _Stahr_, explaining it to
be ‘a spur to the pillar of a stone bridge, for dividing the water.’
It is common, in most Dictionaries, to consider the word Sterling as
referring only to that authorized coin, originally manufactured by
the Flemings or Easterlings, whose name it has made immortal. Even in
this sense, however, it is still connected with the history of London
Bridge; since in Thomas Hearne’s ‘_Collection of Curious Discourses_,’
edit. London, 1771, octavo, volume ii., article xliii., page 316, is a
paper on the derivation of the expression Sterling Money, written by
that eminent Antiquary Arthur Agarde, containing a singular anecdote
on this subject; which, however, I shall give from the original
manuscript in the Cottonian collection, marked ‘_Faustina_,’ E V.,
article 10, folio 52 a. ‘I suppose,’ says he, ‘the name came by meanes
the Easterlinges from vs, being Germaynes, brought vp in the mynes of
syluer and copper there, were vsed here in Englaunde for the reducynge
and refyninge the diuersyte of coynes into a perfecte Standarde. As
in the beginning of the Quenes Mat^s raigne, they were brought hyther
by Alderman Lodge, (w^{th} whom I was famylyarlye acquaynted,) by her
Mat^s order, for the refining of o^r base coignes: And this he toulde
me, That the mooste of them in meltinge fell sycke to deathe w^{th}
the sauoure, so as they were advised to drynke in a dead man’s skull
for theyre recure. Whereupon he, w^{th} others who had thoversyght of
that worke, procured a warrant from the Counsaile to take of the heades
vppon London Bridge, and make cuppes thereof, whereof they dranke and
founde some reliefe, althoughe the mooste of them dyed.’ This wild and
romantic circumstance probably took place about the year 1560 or 1561,
when Queen Elizabeth had all the base coin in the Realm brought to
the Tower and melted there; when it is supposed that the fumes of the
arsenic which it contained induced the illness of the foreigners: see
Ruding’s ‘_Annals of the Coinage_,’ which I have already quoted, volume
iii., page 38, _note_. When, to these particulars, I have added, that
you will find a view of part of Old London Bridge with the houses, in
the sixth plate of Hogarth’s ‘_Marriage à la Mode_,’ my reminiscences
of this edifice are concluded to the end of the eighteenth century.”

“Well, sir, well,” said I, fetching a long breath, which sounded a good
deal like a yawn, “I know what you would say,--another libation of
Sack, to the memory of Old London Bridge; in the which I more readily
join you, seeing that your history of it is rapidly closing, and that
we are something like the Merchant Abudah, in Ridley’s Tales of the
Genii, when he first saw the distant light after his wanderings in the
murky caverns of Tasgi: though, indeed, Master Barnaby, I should ask
you, on your veracity, if we really are coming to a conclusion, or am I
only deceiving myself in thinking so?”

“No, truly,” answered the Antiquary, “I have but little more to
speak, and you but little to hear; for, excepting the usual accidents
of London Bridge, which I shall omit to notice, the great employment
of the last quarter of a century has been coming to the resolution
of building a new one, and considering the best means of doing it.
Whilst, however, I give you my hearty thanks for your attention and
assistance during upwards of eight hundred years of our Bridge-history,
I would only remind you of the great mass of information which we
have collected upon it, much of which was either never before brought
together, or adapted to it.”

“Why, really,” said I, with that kind of half agreement with which
men admit a truth not discovered by themselves, “there is something
in your remark; and he who next writes the history of London Bridge
will have some difficulty in finding new materials for it, at least
in any ordinary authorities. But then, you know, others, who are not
acquainted with the mass of matter relating to it, may accost us with
the old Italian saying of, ‘Where the Devil did you get all this
rubbish from?’”

“Out upon them for unthankful knaves, then,” replied Master Postern;
“let us console ourselves with the thought that virtue rewards itself;
and so, as I see that you are again set in a position either for
listening or sleeping, I shall, for the last time, take up my tale.” To
this remark I nodded assent, and the old Gentleman thus went on.

“The present century, Mr. Barbican, commenced with some active
exertions for the immediate erection of a new London Bridge, upon
the most extensive and elaborate scale; of the numerous schemes
for which, however, I can give you little more than a catalogue,
referring you for full particulars to various parts of ‘_The Third
Report from the Select Committee upon the Improvement of the Port
of London_,’ 1800, Folio, and the large volume of engraved ‘_Plans
and Drawings_’ belonging to it. It is stated in sections i. ii. of
the former authority, pages 4-6, that the great, continual, and
ineffectual expenses of the old Bridge, its irremediable insecurity,
and the dangers of its navigation, had induced the Committee to collect
information and provide designs for the building of a new one. In this
edifice it was proposed to construct a free passage for vessels not
exceeding 200 tons’ burthen, to that part of the River between London
and Blackfriars’ Bridges; where it was supposed, upon examination, that
they would always have a depth of from 12 to 15 feet above low-water,
formed and maintained at only a slight expense after the shoals had
been cleared away. To ascertain the number of ships which might be
expected to use this passage, the Committee procured an account of the
Foreign and Coasting Trade of London for 1799, with the measurements
of their masts, by which it appeared that an Arch of 65 feet above
high-water mark, at medium Spring-Tides, would allow vessels of 200
tons to pass it with their top-masts struck; and that of Coasters
under that burthen the number was 7248. Such, then, being the general
design, the Artists, who proposed sending in drawings, were directed
particularly to consider a convenient passage over the Bridge, with as
little acclivity as possible, as well as its access to the principal
avenues of London; to the attainment of these objects with the least
interference with private property; to the embellishment of the
Metropolis of London; and to the length of time, and expense of the
whole work. The designs presented were of three different characters:
being, firstly, for a Bridge with a lofty Centre Arch, and a descending
causeway leading to some principal street on each side of the River;
secondly, for a similar Bridge, having its approaches at right angles,
and parallel to the shores, to be raised on Arches on a new embankment
in front of the old wharfs, &c.; and, thirdly, for two Parallel
Bridges, enclosing a space sufficient for so many vessels as would
probably pass in one tide, their passage being through corresponding
drawbridges, one of which should always remain lowered for the use of
passengers. See the ‘_Third Report_,’ already cited, page 7; and having
mentioned these particulars, let us now take a glance at some of the
plans themselves.

“1. Mr. Ralph Dodd, Engineer, proposed the erection of a stone Bridge
of six Arches, 60 feet wide, and a centre one of iron 300 feet span,
and about 100 high, to admit shipping up the River; calculating that
the space between London and Blackfriars’ Bridges contained 3,353,180
square feet, and would accommodate nearly 1000 vessels. As this Bridge
was to be erected on the old foundations, and even to be built in such
a manner over the original structure as not to interfere with the
passage across it, it was to consist of two separate tiers, somewhat
in the manner of an aqueduct, excepting at the Centre Arch; the lower
range consisting of small elliptical Arches lying horizontally, and the
upper,--which was to be about 100 feet high,--of segmental Arches. The
whole was to be adorned with an entablature and ballustrade, statues,
sculptures on the lower Piers, and Corinthian columns above them; and
its declivity to extend from the upper corner of Monument Yard to St.
Thomas’s Street, Southwark, at an inclination of about 2-1/2 inches in
a yard. A pictorial elevation and ground-plan of this design, with its
relative bearing to the old Bridge, are to be seen in Plates ii. and
vii. of the Plans and Drawings belonging to the Third of the Port of
London Reports. Vide also the ‘_Report_’ itself, section 3, page 7, and
‘_Appendix_,’ B. 1, page 49.

“This Plan, however, having led Mr. Dodd attentively to survey the
foundations of old London Bridge, he became convinced of their
insecurity and of its impracticability, and referring to it only as
a specimen of its peculiar character, he sent the Committee another
design (2) for a highly decorated Stone Bridge, which he proposed to
be erected about 40 yards above the ancient one, on the East side of
Fishmongers’ Hall on the North, and near Pepper-Alley on the South
Shore. It was to consist of five elliptical Arches, the centre being
160 feet span and 80 feet high, the succeeding two 140 feet span and
75 in height, and the outer two 120 feet span, and 70 in height; the
structure was to be raised 90 feet from high-water, and occupy 210
feet of the river, leaving 840 for water-way. The whole was to be
embellished with statues, columns, &c.; and the estimate for building
it, including the avenues, &c. &c. was £350,000 for a Centre Arch of
80 feet; £332,000 for one of 70 feet; and £314,000 for one of 60 feet;
the erection to occupy five years. An Elevation and Ground-plan of Mr.
Dodd’s second design are in the volume of Plates already referred to,
Plate iii.; and farther particulars will be found in the ‘_Report_,’
page 7, _Appendix_ B. 1, page 51. These plans are also farther
illustrated by a pamphlet published in 1799, entitled ‘_Letters to a
Merchant_;’ for which see the ‘_Gentleman’s Magazine_,’ volume lxix.,
part ii., November, page 965.

“3. The next design, upon the principle of a large Centre Arch, was
by Mr. Samuel Wyatt, constructed wholly of cast-iron, with granite
piers, and the bulk of the superstructure filled up with chalk. This
Architect, however, sent only a model, without drawings, plans, or
estimates; see the ‘_Report_,’ page 8.

“4. The design furnished by Mr. Robert Mylne, proposed that a Bridge of
5 Arches, the centre being 60 feet above high-water mark, and 150 feet
wide, should be directed towards the Monument, which was to form the
centre of a square, and terminate in a new road into Kent on the South.
The particulars of this plan also propose a considerable improvement
in all the streets connected with the Bridge, as may be seen in the
‘_Third Report_,’ _Appendix_ B. 2, pages 51-56; but it has neither
estimates nor drawings.

“Mr. Thomas Wilson, Architect of the celebrated Bridge at Bishop’s
Wearmouth, near Sunderland, furnished a design (5) for one of
cast-iron, with stone piers, consisting of three large segmental
Arches, the centre one being 240 feet span, and 65 high, and the two
sides of 220 feet: the breadth of the road above was to have been 45
feet; and his estimate for the iron-work alone amounted to £55,061.
See the ‘_Third Report_,’ pages 9 and 17, and _Appendix_ C. page 76.
A large engraving of the Elevation and Sections is also contained in
the folio of Plans, &c. Plate viii. In section 4, article 9, page 14
of the ‘_Report_,’ the Committee appears to have given a preference to
this design, with the side-approaches and improvements of the shores
by other Architects; it being supposed that an ascent of about 2-1/2
inches in a yard would have been sufficient for such a Centre Arch.

“The next three designs (6, 7, and 8,) were also confined to Iron
Bridges, and were furnished by Messrs. Thomas Telford, Surveyor, and
James Douglass, Engineer, of which only one was published. Their
first idea was to diminish the ascent by increasing the length of the
Bridge on the Surrey side, and by placing the largest arch nearest the
City shore; its dimensions being 160 feet span, and 65 rise. Their
estimate, including some extensive improvements along the banks of
the River, amounted to £988,154; but this design was particularly
objectionable, both on account of its unsymmetrical appearance, and
the inconvenience of its navigation; and in their subsequent plans,
therefore, they placed the great arch in the centre, without any other
material alteration. The estimate for this was £1,041,654; but their
chief design (9) was constructed on the principle of inclined planes
gradually descending at the sides on to the wharfs at each end of the
Bridge, and rounded for the convenience of carriages. The edifice
itself was to be of iron, having an ascent of 2-1/4 inches in a yard,
and was to consist of five arches decorated with statues, trophies,
&c., commemorative of the Naval Triumphs of England, which were to
give it the name of ‘Victory Bridge.’ The principal Arch was to be 180
feet span, and 65 high; and the lateral approaches were to be formed
upon wharfs gained out of the River by embankments, and supported also
by iron Arches, having warehouses beneath them. As a protection to
the Bridge and its adjoining buildings, it was proposed that all the
Arches, but the centre, should be closed at night by a chain; that in
the spandrils of the great Arch, watch-houses should be constructed;
and that the communications with the wharfs should be cut off by gates.
The site of this Bridge was proposed to be the very line which the
New one is now taking, and the estimate for it was £1,054,804: see
the ‘_Third Report_,’ pages 8, 9, 17, _Appendix_ B. 3, pages 57-73;
and Plates ix.-xii. in the folio volume of Illustrations. The Report
states that this plan would prove, in some degree, the most speedy and
economical, and that it would interfere with existing buildings less
than the former; though it is admitted that the turns to the ascent
would be both inconvenient and dangerous.

“Mr. George Dance, Architect to the City, and Professor of Architecture
in the Royal Academy, was the only person who at this time furnished
the Port of London Committee with a design (10) for parallel Bridges
with Drawbridges for the passage of vessels; and a single glance at the
fac-similes of his drawings in Plates xiv-xix. of the folio of Plans,
&c., will probably be quite convincing as to their inconvenience. The
best idea of this peculiar design is, however, to be gained from a
large coloured bird’s-eye view of the perfect edifice, drawn by the
Architect, and engraven in aqua-tinta by Thomas Daniell, dedicated to
Lord Hawkesbury, and published November 10th, 1800; a copy of which
is in volume xiii. of Mr. Crowle’s Illustrated Pennant in the British
Museum. It was intended to consist of two low level bridges, one on
each side of the present; containing six elliptical Arches, having a
drawbridge of two leaves in the centre of each, flanked by four round
towers containing the mechanism for working them, and signal-staffs
for flags, or reflecting lamps, to announce which of the passages
was open. The space between the Bridges was to be 300 feet wide,
furnished with mooring-chains, &c. &c., for securing the ships in
tiers, so as not to interrupt the passage of smaller vessels. Each end
of the edifice was to be formed into a grand semi-elliptical area,
surrounding the Monument on the London side; and the estimate for
executing the whole was £1,279,714; though Mr. Dance also sent in two
more contracted plans, one amounting to £968,677, and the other to
£807,537. In speaking of his Double Bridge, I should observe that he
was led to the form of it by the great expense, steepness, deformity,
and inconvenience attendant on an Arch high enough for the passage of
vessels, which he explained in a Drawing marked Plate xiii. in the
folio volume of Plans, &c. The inclination of Ludgate-Hill he found
to be the steepest which he could adopt for an Arch of 60 feet, and
that would have extended the approaches from East Cheap to beyond
Union Street. The principal objections made to this plan were the
great expense and delay connected with it; that the shipping moored
in the basin would be exposed to a strong tide, with some danger; and
that whenever their number was considerable, it would be difficult to
provide for their uninterrupted passage, as well as for that of smaller
vessels. For all these particulars, see the ‘_Third Report_,’ pages 9,
10, 17; and the _Appendix_ D. pages 77-81.

“Such, then, were the designs laid before the House of Commons; and the
Committee concluded its labour for the year 1800, by recommending the
rebuilding of London Bridge of iron, with a centre Arch of at least
65 feet above high-water. It was advised, also, that the old edifice
should remain till the new one were completed; the place for erecting
which was opposite the West end of St. Saviour’s Church, as being the
narrowest part of the River, and having buildings of the least value
upon its banks, whilst the Northern end should form a street to the
Royal Exchange. The removal of the Water-works was also recommended;
and the funds for carrying these works into effect were proposed to
be raised, firstly, by a Bridge-toll on horses and carriages, which,
it was calculated, in 20 years would discharge a debt of £100,000;
secondly, by a sum charged upon the Bridge-House Estates equal to their
annual expenditure, which being taken at £4200, in 25 years would
amount to £105,000; and, thirdly, £100,000 more were to be raised by
an additional debt on the Orphans’ Fund: this sum of £305,000 being
considered as more than sufficient for erecting Mr. Wilson’s Bridge,
and making a proper compensation to the Water-works.

“Soon after the appearance of these resolutions, but too late for
publication in the Committee’s Report, two other designs were
presented, an account of which was printed in a _Supplement_ to it. The
first of these, see _Appendix_ H. pages 143-147, consisted of a design
by Mr. James Black, Civil-Engineer, (11) for a Bridge of Granite, with
three elliptical Arches; the centre being 230 feet span and 65 high,
and the sides having a span of 220 feet each: the inclination was to
be 2 inches in a yard, and the estimate, £294,089: 6_s._ Two folding
engravings, consisting of a Profile and Sections, will be found in
Plates xxii.-xxiii. of the Supplementary Illustrations of the folio
volume of Drawings.

“The other design (12) was by Messrs. Telford and Douglass,--see
_Appendix_ I., pages 148, 149,--for a cast-iron Bridge of a single
semi-circular Arch 65 feet high, and 600 feet in the clear; the roadway
being 45 feet wide in the centre, and increasing to 90 feet at each
granite abutment, to strengthen the foundation, afford a greater
space, and communicate better with the inclined planes. The estimate
was £262,289, and a very large engraving of it by Lowry, comprehending
an Elevation and Sectional Ground-plan, with another outline of the
ribs and framing, form Plates xxiv. and xxv. of the Supplemental folio

“In consequence of this last design, the attention of the Committee
was directed to the consideration of a metal Bridge with one Arch; and
on their meeting in 1801, a series of Questions was transmitted with
this last plan to Dr. Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal; the Rev. A.
Robertson, Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford; John Playfair,
Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh; John Robeson, Professor of
Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh; Dr. Milner; Dr. Charles Hutton, of
the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; Mr. Atwood of Knightsbridge;
Colonel Twiss, of Woolwich; Mr. William Jessop, of Newark; the late
Messrs. John Rennie and James Watt; Messrs. John Southern, of Soho,
Birmingham; William Reynolds, of Coalbrook-Dale; John Wilkinson, of
Bradley in Staffordshire; Charles Bage, of Shrewsbury; and General
Samuel Bentham, Inspector General of the Naval Works of the Admiralty;
whose answers for an Appendix to the ‘_Report of the Select Committee_’
for 1801: Nos. 1-16, pages 9-83. For the Questions themselves, see
pages 4-7 of the _Report_; they were 21 in number, and inquired the
nature of pressure and gravity in such a Bridge? whether it would be
strengthened by increasing towards the abutments? how the weight should
be distributed to make it uniformly strong? what weight it would bear?
and what force would overturn it at any particular part? concerning
the form of the Arch, and how to improve it? the importance of models
and experiments? the means of keeping ships in the centre of the
stream? the proportionate strength of the abutments? the possibility
of constructing centering for it, without obstructing the ordinary
navigation? the nature, power, dimensions, and method of casting the
metal and cement to be employed? how the design might be improved and
rendered more durable? and whether the estimates equalled or exceeded
the execution of the works?

“It was probably the very great diversity of sentiment prevailing
in the answers to these inquiries, which caused this design to be
ultimately abandoned; for though its practicability, magnificence,
and excellence, were universally admitted, yet there were so many
doubts as to the actual strength and cohesion of cast-iron, the power
of the crown of the Arch, the possibility of making the structure as
one self-dependent frame, and of fortifying the haunches without
overloading them, that few of the returns agreed with each other
throughout. Drs. Maskelyne, Hutton, and Mr. Rennie, recommended an
elliptical arch; Professors Robertson, Playfair, and Robeson, a
circular one: some considered increasing the width of the roadway at
each end of great importance; others proposed making it still wider;
Professor Robeson thought it not very essential; and Professors
Playfair and Robertson conceived that it took away from the strength
of the whole. Dr. Hutton, Mr. Robeson, and Mr. Watt, supposed that the
gravity of the Bridge would of itself be so great, that any additional
weight would be trifling; and that the mast of a ship striking it,
would break only that particular part, without damaging the rest,
though repeated shocks might in time destroy it. For its construction,
however, cast-iron of the soft-grey kind, or rather gun-metal, was
generally preferred, as well as liquid iron for a cement; which some
practical persons considered as not adapted for the purpose, and only
advised the whole to be well fitted together. The papers of Col. Twiss
and Mr. Watt recommended that the Bridge should consist of three
arches; and with that of Mr. Southern was sent a drawing,--Plate xxvi.
in the folio of Plans, &c.--of his method of more securely constructing
the arch and frame-work.

“The return sent in by General, afterwards Sir Samuel, Bentham, see
‘_Appendix_,’ No. 16, page 76-83, instead of considering the lofty
Bridge of Messrs. Telford and Douglass, was occupied by detailing a
new design, (13) engraven by Basire, on Plate xxvii., in the folio
of Illustrations. Its principal characteristic was an enlargement in
the centre, into a sexangular form of more than twice its ordinary
breadth, having in the middle an octagonal basin, spacious enough for
a ship to lie in, without touching a Drawbridge constructed in each
side; which Drawbridges were to be 30 feet wide, and so contrived, that
either should be sufficient for a temporary passage; and the vessel
having passed through one, it was to be let down and fixed, before the
other was opened. The edifice itself was to be of granite, on a rise
of an inch in a yard, and to have eight segmental arches, with the
Drawbridge-passage in the centre, guarded by four low round towers for
the machinery: the estimate was £210,411.

“The ‘_Appendix_,’ No. 17, pages 83-85, contains an additional paper
from Mr. Wilson, giving a farther account of his design, and of a model
which he had constructed of it; and concluding with an estimate of
£163,496 for the whole work.

“An interval of several years now occurs before we meet with any
farther proceedings concerning the erection of a New London Bridge;
which I shall fill up with some notices of the engraved views of the
present edifice, and a few memoranda of the other modern Bridges built
over the Thames. The prospects of this part of London are extremely
numerous; since it has not only frequently been delineated in separate
prints, but is also to be found in almost every volume which treats
of our metropolitan history. Perhaps some of the best representations
are those drawn by Joseph Farrington, R. A., about the latter end
of the last century, and engraven by F. C. Stadler to imitate the
originals. One of these is a large folio, and the other will be found
in Boydell’s ‘_History of the River Thames_,’ London, 1794, folio,
volume ii., plate 16, page 226. A small neat print of London Bridge is
also contained in Samuel Ireland’s ‘_Picturesque Views of the River
Thames_,’ London, 1792, octavo, volume ii., plate 24, page 221: but
etchings of an infinitely superior class, by William Bernard Cooke,
are in his beautiful work of ‘_The Thames_,’ London, 1811, octavo,
volume ii., plates 16 and 18. Two of the most recent views of this
edifice were published in Charles Heath’s ‘_Views of London_,’ 1825,
octavo, both taken on the Eastern side, by W. Westall and P. Dewint.
A perspective elevation of the Bridge, shewing the obliquity of its
arches, and a curious section of the River bed, also on the Eastern
side, surveyed by Mr. Ralph Dodd, is inserted in the folio volume of
‘_Plans, &c., belonging to the Third Report of the Port of London
Committee_,’ Plate vii.: and the same Engineer has likewise given a
large and interesting print of the ‘_South Pier of the Great Arch of
London Bridge_,’ exhibiting the two chasms in it, the iron clamps which
hold it together, and a section of the water-way. See Plate vi. of the
same volume, and the _Report_ itself, ‘_Appendix_,’ B. 1, page 52.*
A similar representation was furnished by Mr. Mylne, and is marked
‘_Drawing_, C.’ on Plate i. of the same illustrations: it consists of a
profile through the middle of the Great Arch, taken at still low-water
in 1767, and shows the excavations above and below Bridge, made by the
rushing of the current. The remainder of this Plate is occupied by
Tables of Soundings, Measurements, &c. at various points of the River
near this place; and ‘_A Section of the Locks and construction of the
Piers of London Bridge as ascertained in taking up of the Pier under
the Great Arch in 1762_.’ See Drawing A. Of this I have already given
several particulars, and in Mr. Mylne’s paper belonging to it, printed
in the ‘_Third Report_,’ ‘_Appendix_,’ A. 1, page 26, he has a curious
account of taking up the Piers, and its consequent effects. He was at
that time occupied in erecting Blackfriars’ Bridge, and a lighterman,
named Parsons, employed under him, having contracted for removing the
Pier, consulted him as to the best means of doing so. Having examined
the building, he advised his procuring some powerful screws, used in
raising the heavy wheels of the Water-works, which were fastened to
the heads of the soundest and securest piles. They first drew out a
few from the outer row, and then some of the original in the interior,
when all the stone-work which was worth preserving being removed, and
the remainder thrown into the River, the cross-ties of timber and
iron were loosened, and the whole Pier soon fell into ruins. It was
immediately carried away by the impetuosity of the fall; for the other
piles being removed, the middle of the work was borne off so suddenly
as scarcely to allow of its construction being examined and measured.
The Arch being thus opened, the danger at first anticipated by Mr.
Mylne soon followed; for the accumulated volume of water drawn from
all the other arches acted so violently upon the River bed, as greatly
to increase the depth and force of the tide; whilst the corrosion
spreading to the old Piers of the new Arch, attacked the stability of
the Sterlings beneath them: these defences being only 6 feet broad
under the haunches of the Arch, and so close to the Piers, that there
was neither room to make any substantial repairs, nor sufficient space
for a pile-engine to act. It was in this difficulty that Mr. Smeaton
advised the City-Gates to be thrown into the River, for transferring
the deep water to the lower side of the Bridge; an idea which he seems
to have taken from Henri Gautier’s statement concerning the Bridge of
St. Esprit. Mr. Mylne remarks, however, that the whole of this advice
not being followed, a farther quantity of 2000 tons of rubble-stone was
recommended for the construction of a new bed. And now, to come back to
my starting-place, and conclude my notices of views of this edifice,
let me remark that if you would see it in all its interest, with the
water rushing through its Locks, and the building itself surmounted and
bounded by the Monument and the Spire of St. Magnus’ Church, then the
very spot for such a prospect is the EASTERN SIDE OF LONDON BRIDGE.


“I come next to perform my promise of giving some account of the other
modern Bridges of London, and shall begin by reminding you that the
proposal for those at Westminster and Blackfriars was met by a steady
and violent opposition. This objection to new Bridges appears, however,
to have existed so early as the year 1671, when it was first designed
to build one over the Thames at Putney; upon the argument of loss to
the Thames watermen, to the tolls of London Bridge, and to the City
of London, as natural consequences. You will find all the particulars
of this subject contained in the Hon. Anchitell Grey’s ‘_Debates of
the House of Commons, from the year 1667 to the year 1694_,’ London
1763, octavo, volume i., pages 416-417: and it is singular, that in
this discussion the very places at which Bridges are now erected,
are mentioned as the most improper for such edifices. The kind of
prophetic objection which runs through the whole debate has rendered
it a very amusing article for modern reading; and an ingenious, but
amplified, paraphrase of it was inserted in the ‘_European Magazine_,’
for September, 1825, _New Series_, page 20-27. But even in the notes
to the Debates themselves, it is stated that ‘Experience has at
length convinced us of the weakness and fallacy of the objections
raised against another Bridge, though private interest, it may be
presumed, was the principal motive: since, not to mention the many
Bridges that have been raised higher up the River, this Metropolis now
boasts,’--1763--‘without any of the inconveniences, not only a Bridge
at Putney, but one at Westminster, where use and magnificence go hand
in hand; to which is adding a third at Blackfriars.’ The first of these
modern structures was the VAUXHALL BRIDGE, which was remarkable for
having had, in consequence of disputes, four Architects, Mr. Ralph
Dodd, Sir Samuel Bentham, Mr. Rennie, and lastly, Mr. James Walker,
who carried the design into effect. It consists of nine arches of
cast-iron, of 78 feet span, and 26 above high-water at spring-tides;
the first stone was laid by Lord Dundas, as proxy for the Prince
Regent, about 3 o’clock, on Thursday, May 9th, 1811; it was opened in
July, 1816; and its cost amounted to upwards of £300,000. The Strand,
or WATERLOO BRIDGE, was partly projected by Mr. George Dodd, but
wholly brought to perfection by Mr. Rennie: it has 9 elliptical arches
of 120 feet span, and 36 feet above high-water at spring-tides; the
first stone was laid on the Surrey side of the River close to Cuper’s
Bridge, by the Chairman, Henry Swann, Esq., and the Directors of the
Company, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, of Friday, October 11th,
1811; the building amounted to about £400,000; and it was opened with
great splendour by a procession of the Prince Regent, and the Dukes of
York and Wellington, about 3 o’clock on Wednesday, June 18th, 1817,
the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, when it received its name.
The last was the SOUTHWARK BRIDGE, of which the first stone was laid
by the late Admiral Lord Keith, at 12 o’clock on Tuesday, May 23rd,
1815, the Bill for erecting it having passed May 6th, 1811. It consists
of three immense Arches of cast-iron, the centre being 240 feet in
span, and those at the sides 210, and about 42 feet above the highest
spring-tides: the whole work was estimated at £400,000; the Architect
was the late Mr. Rennie; and the edifice was opened by lamp-light on
Wednesday, March 24th, 1819, as the clock of St. Paul’s Cathedral
tolled midnight.

“I come now, Mr. Barbican, to speak of the last Fair held on the
River Thames, by London Bridge, in the beginning of 1814. The Frost
commenced with a thick fog, on the evening of the preceding December
27th, which lasted for several days; followed by heavier falls of
snow than any within the memory of man, and continuing for almost two
days, with very short intervals. During nearly four weeks’ frost, the
wind blew, with little intermission, from the North and North-East;
and the cold was intense. The River was covered with vast pieces of
floating ice, bearing piles of snow, moving slowly with the tide, or
collected into masses wherever their progress was obstructed. A thaw,
which continued from January 26th to the 29th, floated so many of
these down the River, that the space between London and Blackfriars’
Bridges was almost impassable; and the severe Frost, which recommenced
the day following, and lasted to February 5th, speedily united the
whole into one immoveable sheet of ice. Even on Sunday, the 30th, some
persons ventured to walk over it at different parts; and on Tuesday,
February 1st, the usual entries were formed by the unemployed watermen;
particularly between Blackfriars’ Bridge and Three Cranes’ Wharf,
notices being written against the streets leading to them, announcing
a safe footway over the River, by the toll on which, many of them
received £6 per day. The standing amusements of an English Frost Fair
now commenced, and many cheerfully paid to see and partake of that upon
the frozen Thames, which at any other time they would not have deigned
to look upon. Beside the roughly-formed paths paved with ashes, leading
from shore to shore, there was a street of tents, called the ‘City
Road,’ in which gay flags, inviting signs, music, and dancing, evinced
what excellent entertainment was to be found there. That ancient
wonder, peculiar to the place, the roasting of a small sheep over a
fire, was exhibited to many a sixpenny audience, whilst the provision
itself, under the name of ‘Lapland Mutton,’ sold for one shilling a
slice! Several Printing-Presses were also erected, to furnish memorials
of the Frost, in old verse, and new prose; and as I have already given
specimens of the ancient Thames’ printing, let us not pass over this
last Great Frost without recording a few of its papers.

    ‘You that walk here, and do design to tell
    Your children’s children what this year befell,
    Come buy this print, and then it will be seen,
    That such a year as this hath seldom been.’

     ‘OMNIPOTENT PRESS! Tyrant Winter has enchained the noblest torrent
     that flows to the main; but Summer will return and set the captive
     free. So may tyranny for a time ‘freeze the genial current of the
     soul;’ but a Free Press, like the great source of light and heat,
     will, ere long, dissolve the tyranny of the mightiest. Greatest
     of Arts! what do we not owe to thee? The knowledge which directs
     industry; the liberty which encourages it; the security which
     protects it. And of Industry how precious are the fruits! Glowing
     and hardy temperaments which defy the vicissitudes of seasons,
     and comfortable homes which make you regret not the gloom that is
     abroad. But for Industry, but for Printing, you might now have
     been content, like the Russ and Laplander, to bury yourselves
     under that snow, over which you now tread with mirth and glee.
     Printed on the River Thames, and in commemoration of a Great Fair
     held upon it on the 31st of January, 1814, when it was completely
     frozen over, from shore to shore. The Frost commenced 27th
     December, 1813; was accompanied by a thick fog that lasted eight
     days; and after the fog came a heavy fall of snow, that prevented
     all communication with the Northern and Western parts of the
     country, for several days.’

“Another bill, on the same subject, ran thus:--

     ‘Friends! now is your time to support the freedom of the Press!
     Can the Press have greater liberty? Here you find it working in
     the middle of the Thames; and if you encourage us by buying our
     impressions, we will keep it going in the true spirit of liberty,
     during the Frost.’

“One of the last papers printed on the River was as follows:--

                      ‘To Madam Tabitha Thaw.

     ‘Dear Dissolving Dame,

     ‘FATHER FROST and SISTER SNOW have _Bonyed_ my borders, formed an
     _idol of ice_ upon my bosom, and all the LADS of LONDON come to
     make merry: now, as you love mischief, treat the multitude with a
     few CRACKS by a sudden visit, and obtain the prayers of the poor
     upon both banks. _Given at my own Press_, the 5th Feb. 1814.

                                                  THOMAS THAMES.’

“During the obstruction of this Frost, the tide did not appear to
rise above half its usual height; and about the Bridge the ice lay in
enormous blocks, where their occasional splitting very much endangered
the edifice, and caused several accidents; one of which forms the
subject of a highly spirited etching in Mr. J. T. Smith’s ‘_Antiquities
of London_,’ page 24, representing ‘AN ARCH OF LONDON BRIDGE,


_as it appeared during the Great Frost, Drawn February 5th,
1814_.’ This is a North-East view of the Prince’s Lock, or the 6th
from the City-end; and is particularly curious for shewing at once the
modern casing of the present Bridge, and the ancient edifice beneath
it. In the evening of Saturday, the very day when this view was taken,
Frost-Fair was visited by rain and a sudden thaw, when the ice cracked
and floated in several places. On the following day, about 2 o’clock,
the tide began to flow with great rapidity; the immense masses of
ice were broken up in all directions, and the River was covered with
wrecks; until returning industry and the rushing current removed every
vestige of the last Frost-Fair. The features of this British Carnival
are in the memories of the greater part of the present generation;
though, if it were otherwise, the representations of it are few and
scarce, and generally very inferior.

“It was, probably, the damage done to the Bridge by this Frost, which
again called the public attention to its effectual improvement, by
widening its water-way; and in November, 1814, Messrs. George Dance,
William Chapman, Daniel Alexander, and James Mountague, addressed a
Report to a Committee of the Corporation, for substituting four large
Arches for eight of the present. Their estimate amounted to £92,000,
supposing the Piers to be strong enough to bear the increased weight;
which were to be examined by Coffer-dams, each Coffer-dam amounting to
about £20,000, additional; when, if the edifice should be found too
weak, the expense would be considerably increased. By direction of the
Corporation, one of the Piers was opened, when Messrs. Chapman, and
Ralph and James Walker, were nearly satisfied as to the practicability
of the alteration; though Mr. Rennie’s confidence in the structure
was rather decreased. These particulars are given at length in ‘_An
Abstract of the Proceedings and Evidence relative to London Bridge,
taken from the Reports of a select Committee of the House of Commons,
the Journals of the Common-Council, and the Committee for letting the
Bridge-House Estates_,’ London, 1819, folio, pages 68-107: and also in
a Report of a Committee of the House of Commons, printed in ‘_Reports
and Evidences relative to London Bridge_,’ 1820, 1821, folio, pages
49-52. This Report candidly states the uncertainty and expense of the
whole plan, and earnestly recommends the erection of a new Bridge,
with not more than five Arches, as near as possible to the site of
the present: adding, from the evidence of numerous witnesses, the
universal agreement on the decided advantages to be gained from a free
current of water, and that the Water-works should certainly be removed,
whether the Bridge were altered or rebuilt. The annual rental of the
Bridge-House Estates, amounting to £25,800, and the property and stock
of the Trustees, £112,000 more, were conceived to be sufficient for the
proposed works; or that the remainder might be raised without levying a
toll upon foot-passengers.

“This Report is dated May 25th, 1821, and its strenuous
reccommendation of a new building was a natural result of the inquiries
of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, specially appointed
for that purpose; the Minutes of which are printed in the ‘_Reports and
Evidences_’ already cited, pages 7-47. This examination of witnesses
took place in consequence of several Petitions from water-men, owners
of barges, &c. relative to the dangerous navigation of London Bridge,
Mr. Heathfield being agent for the Petitioners; and as the nature of
their complaint is generally known, I shall be very brief in my account
of it. They stated, then, that the craft, &c. on the River having
increased one-third within the last 20 years, the water-way at London
Bridge was no longer sufficient for them; since the larger loaded
barges, in general, went through the Great Arch, which they could pass
only for about 6 hours out of 24, or the first 3 after high-water. On
this account, there was considerable danger at the flood-tide, because
the loaded barges, then crowding to get through, were all equally
impelled to the same point; and thus very frequently damaged, sunk,
or locked together in the Arch. Another cause of great danger was
the getting on a Sterling, when the water had covered it only enough
to prevent its form being visible; for if a barge passed over it but
a few feet, or even inches, and stopped upon not finding sufficient
water, if it got on the edge, as the water sank, it fell over; or, if
in the middle, was detained there until the next tide. This evil, too,
was stated to be continually increasing, from the constant repairs
of the Sterlings, which considerably extended their size; whilst much
of the chalk, &c. being daily washed over, served only to fill up
the Arches. For barges, however, not exceeding 25 tons’ burthen, St.
Mary’s and the Draw-Locks were both occasionally used at high-water;
but, besides their extreme narrowness,--neither of them being more
than 16 feet between the Sterlings,--they are both subject to peculiar
and contrary sets of tides; whilst the Sterling of the former has so
great a projection, that a barge striking it would probably go stern
foremost into the 4th Lock, where it would be detained the rest of
the tide, and considerably damaged, or sunk. Omitting the numerous
accidents at London Bridge recounted in these answers, I shall observe
only, that some of the Lightermen, &c. estimated their losses by it at
£100 yearly; and that Mr. Anthony Nicholl, a Wharfinger at Dowgate,
stated, that, having, in April, 1820, lost goods there to the amount of
£1000, he could not insure property passing through the Bridge, under a
premium of 5 per cent.

“Whilst this evidence, however, seemed decisive as to the great
importance of a new edifice, the Corporation of London appears to have
been much more inclined to alter the old one; since, on February 22nd,
1821, the Committee for letting the Bridge-House Estates was ordered
to attend the Select Committee of the House of Commons, during their
deliberations respecting London Bridge: and on the 22nd of the ensuing
March, the Select Bridge Committee was also directed to consider of
the Report on altering the structure, as proposed by Mr. Dance, &c.
The result of the latter inquiry was given in a Report dated April
11th, contained in the tract of Documents already cited, page 78; and
it stated that, on March 30th, a conference having been held with
the Earl of Liverpool and the Right Hon. Nicholas Vansittart, the
Committee, &c. were informed that His Majesty’s Ministers would not
sanction the appropriation of the public revenue towards the erection
of a new Bridge; though it was considered that tolls might be levied
for that purpose. From this interview, the Committee was induced to
recommend the alteration of the old London Bridge, as all the proposed
funds for building a new one were either objectionable or wholly
insufficient. The Corporation of London having agreed to this return,
it was delivered to the Select Committee of the House of Commons,
where evidence was being received on the part of the Corporation; as
contained in the tract of Documents before referred to, _Appendix_ No.
1., pages 53-129; the proceedings lasting from Wednesday, March 23rd,
1821, to Monday, May 14th, and the examinations on the part of the
City being conducted by Mr. Randle Jackson. This evidence was divided
into two principal parts; the first being intended to disprove the
allegations of the petitioners respecting the inconveniences; and the
second, that the proposed alteration of the Bridge would be both a
practicable and sufficient improvement. To ascertain whether the centre
had undergone any recent or continued settlement, since the great
alteration of 1758, Mr. Francis Giles surveyed it on March 6th, 1821,
and found, by a spirit-level on the cornice of the Great Arch, that
the Western side inclined only 2-1/2 inches below a right line of 83
feet, whilst the variation on the East was no more than 2-3/8 inches;
and even this depression was supposed to have taken place soon after
the striking of the new Arch, as there appeared neither crevices in the
joints, nor fractures in the stones, as indicating any later sinking.
The Sterlings and Piles were stated to be in generally good repair,
though the former had been increased from 4 to 5 feet each at the Great
Arch, to make them of a more easy sweep, and form a smoother passage
for the current. To guard against any increase of depth there, which
might render the Piles insecure, it was stated, that monthly soundings
were taken and registered, and large stones occasionally dropped in,
which were found to remain; but it was not the custom to throw them in
large quantities, though the Sterlings of St. Mary’s and the 4th and
5th Locks had recently received about 153 tons of chalk.

“These particulars were chiefly communicated by James Mountague, Esq.,
Superintendant of the Works at London Bridge, and Mr. John Kitching,
the Tide-Carpenter; but the most interesting and curious evidence,
which was intended to shew the nature and amount of the Bridge-House
funds, was given by Robert Finch Newman, Esq., Comptroller of the
Bridge-House Estates; and embraced a great variety of information
relating to the history, property, and officers belonging to this
edifice. From his answers, it appeared, that the real and personal
property of London Bridge produced an income of £30,503: 7_s._ 8_d._;
out of which the rental of the Bridge-House Estates amounted, in 1819,
to £23,990: 5_s._, and in 1820 to £25,805: 13_s._ 2_d._ This rental
consisted of ‘Proper Rents,’ or those arising from premises within
the City; ‘Foreign Rents,’ derived from places without London; ‘Quit
Rents,’ which have been already explained; and ‘Lands Purchased,’ or
possessions formerly bought of the Crown. Before the Reformation, we
have seen that some of these were subject to the expense of certain
religious services; and the ancient estate at Stratford, producing a
rent of £409: 4_s._, is still charged with the support of St. Michael’s
and Peg’s Hole Bridges there, on which £2,467: 8_s._ 11_d._, have
been laid out since 1724; and £50 per annum are paid as a composition
for repairing the causeway. It was farther added, that the City was
indebted to the Bridge-House the sums of £36,383: 4_s._ 6_d._ in cash,
and £9,000 in 3 per cent. Consols; whilst its capital consisted of

     4 per Cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, vested in
       the names of the Chamberlain, Town-Clerk,
       and Comptroller of the Bridge-House Estates.      £54,000  0 0

     3 per Cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities              17,257  1 6

     3 per Cent. ditto, in the name of the Accountant
       General of the Court of Chancery, to be vested
       in Freehold property                                3,860 12 6

     Exchequer Bills, and Cash, for the same purpose.        850 17 1

     Cash in the hands of the Chamberlain of London,
      as Banker to the Bridge-House Estates, and the
      Bridge Masters, about                                4,200  0 0

“The next branch of the evidence was to shew the practicability and
advantage of the proposed alterations, contrasted with the erection of
a new Bridge; Mr. Rennie’s estimate for which amounted to £450,000,
including £20,000 for a temporary passage, as it was to be erected
on the old site, with nearly the present approaches. The crown of
the principal Arch of this structure was intended to be 29 feet 6
inches over high-water mark, being 14 feet 3 inches more than the
present; and the quantity of stone for it was calculated at 70,000
tons. The principal argument for altering the old edifice was, that
the Piers might be examined at low-water, at a trifling cost, without
Coffer-dams, and in about a month’s time; on account of the apparent
strength of the fabric as discovered in an excavation made in May,
1821, on the City side of the North Pier of the Great Arch, about 14
feet from the Western front. There is a lithographic print of this
opening, by Mr. James Walker; and particular descriptions of its
construction are contained with it, in the tract of ‘_Reports and
Evidences_,’ as given by that Engineer, Mr. William Chapman, and Mr.
Thomas Piper, Stone-Mason to the City, see pages 87, 102, 111, and
127; but with its formation, as examined in this very year by Mr.
Knight, we are already perfectly well acquainted. As it was found,
however, as he also stated, that, in all probability, none of the Piers
rested solely on Piles, they were considered capable of bearing a much
greater weight than the present Bridge, though that was proposed to
be lightened in the alteration; and as the Piers of the Great Arch
supported the superstructure when the depth under it was 24 feet at
low-water, they were believed to be perfectly equal to carrying it with
a depth of 10, to which the River-bed was proposed to be levelled. Mr.
Chapman also stated, that though a new Bridge would admit of greater
perfection, yet that the intended alteration might answer the purpose,
and the whole work be rendered secure, if the Sterlings were kept in
repair; though he thought they might be both lowered and contracted.
And should this alteration prove even insufficient as to the water-way,
he considered that two new Arches might be formed at the North end,
giving an addition of 43 feet, for the expense of about £20,000 each.
This alteration was expected to reduce the annual repairs of the
Bridge, from one half to two-thirds of its former amount; and abate
the quantity of the fall of water from 5 feet to 3 inches: though the
velocity of the stream above Bridge would be thereby increased, since a
greater quantity of water would have to run through in the same time;
and as the tide would flow higher, and ebb lower, the inclination of
the River’s surface would likewise be increased. This inclination
amounts at present to 6 inches in a mile, or 1 foot between Westminster
and London Bridges, at low-water; and estimating it at double after
the alterations, it was calculated by Messrs. James Walker, and Stephen
Leach, Superintendant of Improvements in the Thames Navigation, that
its effect would extend as far as Kew Bridge. They also supposed that
the water would ebb sooner from the wharfs, and thus leave their barges
less time afloat; from all which circumstances, it seemed important
that the River should be artificially deepened, the shoals cleared,
and the whole navigation gradually prepared to meet the effects of the
enlargement of London Bridge.

“The last part of the evidence was intended to prove, that the
increased water-way would be more than sufficient to satisfy the
petitioners; but though the owners of the Coal-craft were contented
with this, some of the Wharfingers still objected to the short time
their vessels could work, from the rapid flow of the tide; and
contended that the remaining six Arches on the North would collect ice
enough to block up the River above the Bridge. From these examinations,
the Bridge-Committee was convinced of the superior advantage of
erecting a New Bridge, as expressed to the Corporation in a Report
dated April 12th, 1821; though, from the difficulty of raising funds
for it, unassisted by Parliament, on June 2nd, another Report was made,
stating that a Select Committee having attended the House of Commons,
it had adduced evidence to prove the stability of the Bridge; that the
inconveniences complained of were exaggerated; and that the proposed
alteration was both sufficient and practicable: notwithstanding which,
however, the House of Commons’ Committee, in its Report of May 25th,
recommended a Bill for a new Bridge to be presented early in the next

“These proceedings were followed by a survey of the Thames, from the
present Bridge to Old Swan-Stairs, made by appointment of the City,
about August, 1822, and taken at low-water mark, when the depth was
found to vary from 9 feet to 33-1/2; the greatest being at 84 feet from
the Sterlings, and the least at 290. The measurements were taken by a
line divided into spaces of 12 feet by pieces of red cloth, passing
between two others; one being extended from the Old Swan entirely
across the River, and the second from the Sterling-points at the Great

“To procure designs for a new Bridge, on June 15th, 1822, the
Corporation advertised premiums of £250, £150, and £100, for the
first, second, and third in merit, which produced about an hundred
drawings; their inspection being referred, November 15th, by the
Bridge-House Committee, to John Nash, John Soane, Robert Smirke, and
William Mountague, Esqrs.: whose answers were given in three Reports in
December, 1822, and the following January, and the premiums awarded to
Messrs. Fowler, Borer, and Busby; though one of the designs of the late
Mr. Rennie was that ultimately adopted. The rebuilding of London Bridge
was then officially referred to Parliament by order of the Corporation,
February 19th, 1823, when a Select Committee, formed from that for
managing the Bridge-House Estates, provided a Bill; though the measure
was still a matter of dispute, from the doubts existing of its effects
on the navigation, the expense which it would incur, and on the designs
already presented.

“On July 4th, however, 1823,--the 4th year of George IV. Chapter
50,--the Royal Assent was given to ‘_An Act for the Rebuilding of
London Bridge, and for the improving and making suitable approaches
thereto_;’ which is printed in ‘_A Collection of the Public General
Statutes_,’ London, 1823, folio, pages 478-536. It commenced by
noticing the title of the Corporation of London to be Conservator of
the Thames, and its right to the Bridge-House Estates for the benefit
of London Bridge; and after referring to the Acts for its improvement
and removing the Water-works, the evils of the present building, and
the expedience of a new one, it then proceeded to give the following
powers, to remain in force for 10 years. To take down, and sell the
old Bridge; either leaving it till the completion of the new one, or
erecting a temporary structure before removing it: to build a new
edifice of Granite, either on the present site, or within 180 feet
Westward, with convenient approaches, according to the designs of
John Rennie, Esq., with any alterations, being, with the Engineer and
Contractor, previously approved by the Lords of the Treasury; the new
building standing in the parishes where its abutments are placed, and
marking the extent of any jurisdiction instead of the old one: to
embank the River in a straight line, from the centre of the abutments
of the present Bridge, to the distance of 180 feet West, and 110,
East; to raise and lower, new pave, alter, or stop up, streets, &c.
in the approaches; and close them during the execution of the Act, to
the distance of 300 yards from the present edifice; to land materials
free of duty, and to occupy places for storing them, also within 300
feet; to take down houses, &c. beside those entered in the schedule,
upon recompense being previously made; to occupy the burial-ground
of St. Magnus’ Church, providing another; to set back houses on the
Western side of Grace-Church Street, Fish-Street Hill, and High-Street,
Southwark, between Lombard-Street and St. Margaret’s-Hill; to sell,
or grant leases of, ground not wanted, and apply the produce to the
purposes of the Act; to receive from the Lords of the Treasury the
sum of £150,000; additional funds being raised on credit of the
Bridge-House Estates by mortgages, annuities, bonds, &c.; to set apart
the yearly sum of £12,000 from the Bridge-House rents, for payment
of existing charges, and expenses; and to form a sinking-fund for
redeeming the monies borrowed; the residue of the rents being deposited
with the Chamberlain, for paying of interest, &c.; the expenses of
the Act, designs, &c. being discharged from other sums belonging to
the Bridge-House Estates. It was also provided, that the Corporation
should be answerable for the misuse of these funds, a yearly statement
of accounts being laid before Parliament; though it is not to be
liable for failure of the rents, &c. on which money is borrowed, for
damage occasioned by removal of the Bridge, nor for the work being left
unfinished, by the funds proving insufficient. The Act closed with
powers for appointing Committees, with Clerks, &c., to execute it,
saving interested persons; and with the usual clauses for lighting,
watching, making compensation for tithes, &c. &c. The schedule of
houses to be taken down contained the particulars of 43 buildings on
the City side, and of 109 in Southwark.

“It being determined to retain the old edifice till the completion
of its successor, the site of the new Bridge was fixed at about 100
feet Westward of the present, St. Saviour’s Church standing above it;
though the perfect plan of its approaches can scarcely yet be traced.
The first Pile of the work was driven near the Southern end of the
old Bridge, opposite the Arch called the Second Lock from the Surrey
shore, at the East end of the Coffer-dam, of which it formed a part,
on Monday, March 15th, 1824. About the same time, too, the whole of
the open spaces between the ballustrades on the Western parapet of
the present edifice, were closely boarded up; as well as those square
recesses, open at the top, which would have allowed spectators to
climb upon the cornice. The houses and other buildings abutting on
London Bridge on the Western side of the Borough High-Street, were
also rapidly sold, and some parts only of the lower fronts allowed to

“It might have been expected that, in excavating the new foundations,
several interesting antiquities would be discovered, illustrative of
London history, and of the ancient Bridge in particular; though, if
we consider the impetuous rush of the River at this place, it is not
surprising that but few articles of value have been yet brought up. The
most numerous have been, defaced brass and copper coins of Augustus,
Vespasian, and later Roman Emperors; Venetian Tokens; Nuremburg
Counters; and a few Tradesmen’s Tokens, very perfect; though I have
seen none of persons dwelling on the Bridge itself. There have also
been found, an old red earthen pitcher, or bottle, nearly perfect;
various rings and buckles of wrought and engraved brass, and silver;
some very ancient iron keys, and silver spoons; the remains of a
dagger which had once been engraven and gilt, and an iron spear-head,
engraven on the shaft; most of which are in the possession of Robert
Finch Newman, Esq., the Bridge-House Comptroller; whilst in the City
Library, at Guildhall, are some ancient carved stones with dates,
found in taking down the Arches of the old Bridge. There has also been
discovered a particularly fine bronze lamp, representing a head of
Bacchus, wreathed with ivy; standing upon the neck, which is made flat,
and on its forehead a circular lid, raised by the two curling horns,
whilst a handle is attached to the back of the head. This beautiful
antique is in very excellent preservation. One of the most interesting
reliques, however, which I have yet seen, is a small SILVER EFFIGY OF


which was presented to the British Museum, by Messrs. Rundell, Bridge,
and Rundell, of Ludgate-Hill, November 12th, 1825; and is preserved in
the Hamilton Room, No. xii. of the Gallery of Antiquities, Case, No.
11, under the care of Mr. J. T. Smith. The figure is about 2-1/2 inches
in height, and one in breadth, and represents the son of Osiris as a
winged boy, with his finger pointing to his mouth, as God of Silence;
the horns, emblematical of his mother Isis, on his head; and at his
feet his other attributes, of a dog, a tortoise, an owl, and a serpent
twined round a staff; by the number of which we may guess the figure to
have been made in Greece, after the time of Alexander the Great. The
style of sculpture is firm and massive; and on the back is a strong
rivet, through which pass a large ring and a very delicate chain of
pure gold, crossing like four belts in front; it being probably of that
class of figures which Winckelmann states to have been worn as amulets,
or the attributes of Priests.

“To proceed, however, with New London Bridge, I should state, that, Mr.
Rennie, senior, having died in 1821, the works have been principally
superintended by his son, Mr. John Rennie; and that the builders,
who have contracted to erect it, are Mr. William Jolliffe, and Sir
Edward Banks; the original amount of whose contract was £426,000, and
£30,000 for making alterations in the present structure; the whole to
be completed in six years, from March 2nd, 1824: which contract is
now increased to £506,000, by the addition of £8,000 for a new set of
centering for the 4th Arch; and of £42,000 granted by the Treasury
in 1825, for making the Bridge 6 feet wider; namely, 2 feet in each
foot-path, and 2 feet in the carriage-way. The exterior of the edifice
will be of three sorts of Granite; the Eastern side being of purple
Aberdeen; the Western, of the light-grey Devonshire Haytor; and the
Arch-stones of both, united with the red-brown of Peterhead: the
heartings of the Piers being of hard Brambley-Fall, Derby, and Whitby
stone. These materials are roughly shaped at the quarries; and after
being carefully wrought at the Isle of Dogs, are finally dressed and
fitted to their places, at the Bridge. The Pier-foundations are formed
of piles, chiefly beech, pointed with iron, and driven about 20 feet
into the blue clay of the River, about 4 feet apart; having two rows
of sills, each averaging about a foot square, and filled in with large
blocks of stone, upon which is laid a six-inch beech planking, bearing
the first course of masonry. The proposed form of the Bridge is a very
flat segment, the rise not being more than 7 feet; and it is to consist
of 5 elliptical Arches, having plain rectangular buttresses, standing
upon plinths, and cutwaters; with two straight flights of stairs, 22
feet wide, at each end. That on the Western side, at the City end,
will, however, cut so deeply into Fishmongers’ Hall, that it is to be
taken down, the Corporation paying £20,000 to the Company. My narrative
is now so near a termination, that I have to add only a few notices
concerning the Bridge-Officers, and a more particular and exact account
of the measurements of the new edifice than has yet been recorded.
Which dimensions, from high-water line, are as follow:--

                                                  Feet.    Feet. Inches.

     “Centre Arch of the New London Bridge, _Span_ 150  _Rise_ 29    6
       Piers to ditto, 24 Feet.
     Second and Fourth Arches                 ---- 140  ----   27    6
       Piers to ditto, 22 Feet.

     Land Arches                              ---- 130  ----   24    6
       Abutments at the base, 73 Feet.

     Total width of water-way, 690 feet; Length of the Bridge including
     the Abutments, 928 feet; Length within the Abutments, 782 feet;
     Width of the Bridge from outside to outside of the Parapet, 56
     feet; Width of the Carriage-way, 36 feet, and of each Footpath, 9
     feet; and the total height of the Bridge on the Eastern side, from
     low-water, 60 feet.

“All which particulars, however, are much better illustrated by A


“The Officers of old London Bridge, and its estates, are, firstly,
Two Masters, or Wardens, who receive and pay all accounts of the
Bridge-House, oversee its concerns, watchmen, labourers, &c., summon
and attend the Auditors, and Committees, and meet the Corporation on
Midsummer and Michaelmas days. The yearly salary of the senior is £250,
and a house; and that of the junior, £200, with £86 for house-rent
and taxes: their incomes being further increased by some trifling
official fees. The Comptroller of the Works and Revenues of London
Bridge receives a salary of £300, with other emoluments; and attends
all Committees, keeping their journals, and preparing their reports,
leases, contracts, and all other documents; he has also the custody of
the records, &c., and, being a solicitor, conducts all the Bridge-House
law-proceedings. The Clerk of the Works is occupied as a general
Architectural Surveyor, attending Committees, arbitrations, &c., and
making surveys, valuations, designs, and estimates. He superintends
all new buildings and alterations on the Bridge-House lands, inspects
the covenants and dilapidations of the tenants; as well as the time
and bills of the trades-men, and the Bridge-House stores, of all
which he makes reports to the Committee: his yearly salary is £500.
The Assistant Clerk at the Bridge-House resides in the upper part of
that building, with a salary of £200; assisting the Bridge-Masters in
keeping and copying their accounts. The Superintendent of the Works
at London Bridge overlooks and directs the repairs, the measuring
and examination of the articles, and certifies their quantities, &c.,
his yearly salary being £100. The Bridge-House Carpenter is foreman
of those works, with a residence and £200 per annum; he keeps the
workmen’s accounts, and receives and portions out building stores;
he also sets up marks on the Bridge-House estates, and repairs
such water-stairs as they support. The Bridge-House Messenger is
employed in summoning and attending the Auditors and Committees; in
delivering notices to the tenants, and in various other duties at
the Bridge-House, his salary being 36 shillings per week. To these
officers is added a Collector of Rents of Tenants at Will in St.
George’s Fields, who resides in a house belonging to the estate, and
is paid by a commission of 5 per cent. The manner of letting premises
pertaining to the Bridge-House, is, on the expiration of a lease, to
have them viewed by the Committee and Surveyor; when, if the Committee
and tenant agree, it is so stated to the Common Council; and, if
not, the premises are put up to auction. Finally, the Committee of
Bridge-House Estates is composed of a certain number of Aldermen, and
a Commoner from each Ward; but no payments exceeding £100 are made
without the sanction of the Common Council, a brief statement of the
accounts being annually laid before the Court, a copy of which is sent
to every member. The accounts and vouchers are then examined by four
Auditors, annually elected by the Livery, to whom a report is made; the
documents being sworn to by the Bridge-Masters; and these statements,
fairly transcribed on vellum, are deposited, one copy in the Chamber of
London, and another in the Muniment-Room at the Bridge-House. And now,
having observed, that these particulars were given in evidence before
a Select Committee of the House of Commons, in April 1821, and are
printed much more at large in the tract of ‘_Reports and Evidences_,’
pages 72, 73, 135-138, here I conclude with a parting libation, and
many thanks for your long-tried attention.”

Such, then, were Mr. Barnaby Postern’s historical notices of old London
Bridge; in which the reader may perceive, that he evinced a fair
proportion of antiquarian learning, and rather a large share of reading
and memory. When he had arrived at this period, however, as I thought
that my own information would enable me to add some curious modern
particulars to his narrative, I addressed him with, “My best thanks
are due to you, worthy Sir, for your interesting CHRONICLES OF LONDON
BRIDGE; for, although you have sometimes been prosy enough to have
wearied a dozen Dutchmen, yet, by my patience and your perseverance,
the story is safely brought down to the present day. You have steered
it, slowly enough, certainly, but surely, through all the intricate
navigation of the Record Rolls, and have carefully avoided several of
those rocks of error, upon which so many former historians have been
wrecked. And since the narrative has now reached the building of a
New London Bridge, pray allow me, so long your grateful hearer, to
relate the ceremony of Laying the First Stone thereof, from my own
observation, sketches, and memoranda.”

“My very hearty thanks are your’s for that most excellent proposal, Mr.
Geoffrey,” said the old Antiquary; “for I am now too far declined into
the vale of years, to describe modern ceremonials and festivities with
the spirit of a younger Citizen: whilst you are ‘not clean past your
youth;’ having yet only ‘some smack of age, some relish of the saltness
of time in you;’ therefore the story, good Mr. Barbican, the story.”

“You shall have it, Sir,” replied I; “you shall have it, and with all
the skill I can; though, after your highly-finished ancient historical
pictures, my modern delineations can appear only faint and imperfect.

“The Coffer-Dam, in which the ceremony of Laying the First Stone took
place, was erected opposite to the Southern Arch called the Fourth
Lock, and was constructed of three rows of piles, planks, and earth,
substantially secured by timbers of great strength and thickness; and
when the day for performing it was fixed, it was officially announced
by the following notice:--

     “‘LONDON BRIDGE. MANSION HOUSE, 23rd May, 1825. The Committee
     for Rebuilding the New London Bridge having appointed Wednesday,
     the 15th day of June next, for Laying the First Stone of the New
     Bridge, Notice is hereby given, that the Foot and Carriage-way
     over the present Bridge will be stopped on that day, from Eleven
     o’clock in the Forenoon until Four o’clock in the Afternoon.

     ‘By Order of the Right Honourable the LORD MAYOR.

                                                 ‘FRANCIS HOBLER.

     ‘N.B. Southwark Bridge will be open free of Toll during the above

“As the intervening space passed away, the preparations for the
ceremonial proceeded on a scale of equal celerity and magnitude. A
Steam Engine, with a high funnel, was erected against the City side
of the Coffer-Dam, for exhausting it of water, an entrance to which
was made through a covered stone recess of the old Bridge, on the
Northern side of the Dam. The rude and intricate walling of piles
and other erections now began to assume a more regular appearance; a
platform and flight of steps connected them with the parapet of the
old edifice; a broad raised passage surrounded the area in the centre,
and the whole was covered with an awning, above which rose numerous
lofty flag-staves. These, then, were the earlier preparations for
this splendid water-festival; and now let us proceed to recount the
wonders of the day itself. A finer and more freshly-breathing air was
certainly never abroad, than that which cooled the atmosphere and blew
out the gaily-coloured flags around old London Bridge, on the morning
of Wednesday, the 15th of June. At a very early hour, the workmen
began erecting the barriers, which were double, and at a considerable
distance apart. Across the whole space of Fish-Street Hill, from Upper
and Lower Thames Street, and again at Tooley Street, there stretched
wide wooden railings, having a moveable bar at each pavement, with an
opening wide enough for one person only; whilst the centre of the
Street was divided with posts and bars, allowing carriages to pass
between them also, but in single lines. Within these, at each end of
the Bridge, was erected a strong screen of rough planks, about fourteen
feet high, having four gates, answering to the former foot-paths
and carriage-ways. So long as the barriers continued open, the old
Bridge was crowded with gazers; who were especially collected opposite
that part of the parapet which was to form the grand entrance to the
Coffer-Dam; while on the roofs of the houses, and other buildings in
the vicinity, were platforms of seats, and awnings preparing, which
were afterwards crowded with spectators; as well as the Monument,
St. Magnus’ Church, the towers of St. Mary Overies’, and St. Olave,
Fishmongers’ Hall, and the Patent-Shot works. Many scaffolds were also
erected for the purpose of letting, the prices varying from 2_s._ 6_d._
to 15_s._ each, according to their accommodations; and the following
is a specimen of their announcements. ‘Seats to be let for viewing the
Procession, No. 2, Bridge Foot, for Laying the First Stone of the New
Bridge. Tickets 7_s._ and 5_s._ each:’ though more moderate exhibitions
were set forth in the words, ‘A full view of the whole works, Admission
6_d._’ Another bill of entertainment, also issued on that morning,
stated, that ‘This Evening, Wednesday, June 15th, the Monument will be
superbly illuminated with Portable Gas, in commemoration of Laying the
First Stone of the New London Bridge, by the Right Honourable the Lord
Mayor. Admittance Sixpence each, at Nine o’clock.’ And in the evening
a lamp was accordingly placed at each of the loop-holes of the column,
to give the idea of its being wreathed with flame, whilst two other
series were placed on the edges of the gallery; though the wind seldom
permitted the whole of the gas to remain lighted at the same instant.

“Long before the time appointed for the closing of old London Bridge,
the River and buildings around it were fully occupied with visitors;
the vessels were decorated with flags; and crowded pleasure-boats,
some carrying bands of music, floated round the Coffer-Dam. At eleven
o’clock, the Bridge was begun to be cleared, and that of Southwark
opened, for the first and only time, toll free. The various entries
were guarded by constables, who ascertained that every person was
provided with a ticket; and before noon, this famous passage across the
Thames had so completely changed its character, that the very striking
contrast to its usual appearance must have been seen to be appreciated.
The building of the New London Bridge having been entrusted to the
following Committee, the ceremonies of this day were also placed under
the same direction; the Members being distinguished by painted wands,
surmounted by the Arms of London and Southwark. These were,--

“THE LORD MAYOR, all the Aldermen, and Jonathan Crocker, Chairman
of the Sub Bridge-House Committee; Robert Fisher, of the Ward of
_Aldersgate within_; John Lorkin, of _Aldersgate without_; Samuel
Favell, of _Aldgate_; Henry Hughes, of _Bassishaw_; William Austin,
of _Billingsgate_; James Davies, and Sir William Rawlins, of
_Bishopsgate_; William Mathie, of _Bread Street_; John Locke, of
_Bridge_; Richard Webb Jupp, of _Broad Street_; Thomas Carr, of
_Candlewick_; Robert Slade, of _Castle Baynard_; Charles Bleaden,
of _Cheap_; Josiah Griffiths, of _Coleman Street_; Charles William
Hick, of _Cordwainers_; Spencer Perry Adderley, of _Cornhill_; Hugh
Herron, of _Cripplegate within_; Richard Lambert Jones, of _Cripplegate
without_; James Ebenezer Saunders, of _Dowgate_; Josiah Daw, and Adam
Oldham, of _Farringdon within_; William John Reeves, and James Webb
Southgate, of _Farringdon without_; Joseph Carter, of _Langbourn_;
Thomas Price, of _Lime Street_; Robert Carter, of _Portsoken_; William
Routh, of _Queenhithe_; Peter Skipper, of _Tower_; Thomas Conway, of
_Vintry_; and William Richardson, of _Walbrook_.

“The Tickets of admission to the Coffer-Dam were also issued by these
gentlemen, and were, of course, in great request; but their number
being limited, and the general arrangements peculiarly excellent, there
was ample accommodation for even a more numerous company. The Tickets
themselves--and how will they not be valued by the curious collectors
of a future day?--were elegantly engraven, and printed on stout cards,
measuring about five inches by eight: they consisted of an oblong
elevation of the New Bridge, looking down the River, ‘_Perkins_, _St.
Mary Axe_, _Sculpsit_,’ having beneath it the following words:

     OF THE

     Seal of the
     City Arms.

     _Clerk of the Committee._

     N.B.--_The Access is from the Present Bridge,
     and the time of Admission will be
     between the hours of Twelve and Two._
     No. 837.’

These, however, admitted only to the galleries of the Coffer-Dam,
the lowest floor being reserved for the bearers of a second Ticket,
printed in letter-press, on a pale pink card, of an ordinary size, and
containing the following words.

     TO THE

“The general passage was along the outer gallery, but the latter
admissions were conducted down a staircase, lined with crimson,
opposite to the principal entrance. Both these Tickets, however,
were required to be _shewn_ only, being intended for preservation as
memorials, and they were admitted at each end of the Bridge. Having
passed the barriers, the visitors proceeded to the GRAND ENTRANCE TO


which was formed by removing part of the stone parapet of the
Bridge, adjoining the fourth recess from the Southwark end, on the
Western side; the break being most expeditiously made just as the
Bridge was cleared. It was then that the extreme elegance of this
entrance became perfectly visible. Several steps, covered with crimson
cloth, led up to a kind of tent formed of flags, gathered in festoons,
with roses of the same, and surmounted by a white flag bearing a red
cross, and having the Union in the first quarter, the Sword of St. Paul
in the second, and the Saltire of Southwark in the fourth. The roof
of this entrance was also formed of two immense red ensigns, charged
with the Union in their quarters; the sides were elegantly divided
into arches, richly festooned and entwined with flags; and, on the
left-hand of the entrance, at the edge of the pavement, was erected a
board, which stated, that ‘All Carriages, not in the Procession, are,
on setting down the company, to pass on into Southwark, and return from
Southwark to take up.’ Round the whole of the Dam itself was a broad
stage; which formed a most delightful promenade, secured from the heat
of the sun by the tent above, whilst the air, light, and prospect,
might be enjoyed through the Arches. THE WESTERN END OF THE COFFER-DAM


terminated in a circular form, and presented a peculiarly beautiful
object from the water; whence a series of substantial ladders led to
the platform: over which floated the Union Jack, and a St. George’s


formed, however, its most magnificent prospect; especially when seen
from a point of sufficient elevation to comprise the whole extent of
its splendid and capacious amphitheatre. The nearest objects were
the thick and irregular walls of discoloured piles standing in the
water, from which all boats were kept off by persons stationed for the
purpose; and on the interior row was the outer gallery of the tent,
with its decorated arches. The awning above was raised on a little
forest of scaffold-poles, which would have appeared of unusual strength
any where but by the side of the huge blocks of timber immediately
beneath them: and, over the whole, the breeze unfolded to the sun the
several banners. In the centre waved the Royal Standard of England;
at the Western top of the tent was the flag of the Navy Board; at the
opposite point that of the Admiralty; and above these a rope extended
the whole length of the building, decorated with about five-and-twenty
signal-colours, furnished, like all the others, from the Royal
Dock-Yard at Woolwich.

“This erection was divided into four principal parts, consisting of a
floor and three galleries, the whole being capable of containing 2000
persons; nearly which number was probably present. The floor was laid
45 feet below high-water mark, and measured 95 feet by 36, being formed
of four-inch beechen planks, resting upon Piles headed with iron; upon
which was a layer of timber two feet thick, and a course of brick-work
and stone, each of 2-1/2 feet deep. It was surrounded by three rows of
seats, excepting at the entrance at the Eastern end; and on the North
side was a chair of state, covered with crimson cloth, having behind it
the seats appropriated to the Lord Mayor’s family and private friends.
The whole floor was capable of receiving 500 persons, and was entirely
covered with red baize, excepting at a rectangular space in the centre,
within which appeared a cavity, cut in stone, of 21 inches by 15, and 7
in depth, for the coins, &c., over which the First Stone was suspended
by a strong fall and tackle, secured to the upright timbers of the Dam.
Above the floor was a gallery, containing three rows of covered seats,
sufficient to hold 400 spectators; and over it were two others; the
lower one, of two rows for 400; and the upper tier for 300 more. Three
other galleries also stretched along the cross beams above; whilst a
still more lofty one, at the Western end, was appropriated to the Ward
Schools of Bridge, Dowgate, and Candlewick. The general character of
the Dam was strength and solidity; the tiers of seats being supported
by massive cross-beams, wreathed and decorated with flags and rosettes;
along the centre passed another very thick timber, bearing the uprights
and their respective supporters; and from the roof several large flags
hung heavily downwards. The taste and ingenuity which were exerted in
the arrangements, had indeed left nothing to be wished for; whilst the
general security was everywhere so palpably apparent, as to dispel the
apprehensions even of the most timid. Such was the appearance of the


which was of the best hard Aberdeen Granite, weighing 4 tons. Its
measurement was, 5 feet 5/8 of an inch long, 3 feet 6-3/8 inches
broad, and 2 feet 10 inches deep; containing 50 feet 7 inches in cubic
measure; and its situation as nearly as possible the centre of the
First, or South Pier, on the Southwark side. The Company continued
rapidly to arrive until the barriers were closed at 2 o’clock, when
most of the seats in the Coffer-Dam were occupied; and where, to
lighten as much as possible the interval of waiting, the bands of
the Horse-Guards, Red and Blue, and of the Artillery Company, which
were stationed in a gallery at the entrance, were employed to furnish
frequent entertainment: Refreshments of Tea, Coffee, Champagne, &c.,
being also liberally supplied by the Committee. About a quarter before
three o’clock, the Lady Mayoress, and her family, came to the Dam in
the private state-carriage; and at four, a signal-gun announced that
the Procession had left the Court-yard of Guildhall, nearly in the
following order; passing through Cheapside, Cornhill, and Grace-Church
Street, to the Bridge, where it was received by the Committee, and
other members of the Common Council; the principal persons being in
their own carriages.

     A Division of the Artillery Company, with their Field-pieces.


     Band of Music.


     The Junior City Marshal, Mr. W. W. Cope, on horseback.

     Nathaniel Saunders, Junr., Esq., the Water-Bailiff, and Mr.
     Nelson, his Assistant.

     Barge Masters.

     City Watermen, bearing Colours.

     Remainder of the City Watermen.

     Bridgemasters and Clerk of the Bridge-House.

     Contractors, William Jolliffe, Esq., and Sir Edward Banks.

     Model of the Bridge, borne by Labourers.

     Architect and Engineer, John Rennie, Esq., F. R. S.

     Members of the New Bridge Committee.

     Comptroller of the Bridge-House, Robert F. Newman, Esq.

     Visitors and Members of the Committee of the Royal Society.

     High Bailiff of the Borough of Southwark, John Holmes, Esq.

     Under Sheriffs, George Martin, and John S. Tilson, Esqrs.

     Clerk of the Peace of the City of London, Thomas Shelton, Esq.

     City Solicitor, William Lewis Newman, Esq.

     Remembrancer, Timothy Tyrrell, Esq.

     Secondaries of Giltspur Street and the Poultry Compters.

     Comptroller of the Chamber, Lewis Bushnan, Esq.

     Common Pleaders, Wm. Bolland, Esq., George Bernard, Esq.

     Hon. C. E. Law, and John Mirehouse, Esq.

     Judges of the Sheriff’s Court.

     Town Clerk, Henry Woodthorpe, Esq.

     Common Serjeant, Thomas Denman, Esq., M. P.

     Deputy Recorder, Mr. Serjeant Arabin.

     Chamberlain, Richard Clark, Esq.

     Members of Parliament and other Gentlemen, Visitors.

     Sir Humphrey Davy, President of the Royal Society.

     The Sheriffs, Anthony Brown, and John Key, Esqrs., Aldermen.

     Aldermen below the Chair.

     The Recorder, Newman Knowlys, Esq.

     Aldermen past the Chair.

     Visitors, Privy Councillors.

     Visitors, Peers.

     Officers of State.

     Music and Colours, with the Court of the Lord Mayor’s
     Company, the Goldsmiths.


     The Senior City Marshal, Mr. Neville Brown, on horseback.

     The Lord Mayor’s Household.

     The Lord Mayor’s Servants in their State Liveries.

     The Lord Mayor in his State Carriage, accompanied by His Royal
     Highness the Duke of York.

     Carriage of His Royal Highness the Duke of York.

     The remainder of the Artillery Company, as a guard of honour to
     the Lord Mayor.

“The streets through which the Procession passed, were all thronged;
every window was filled with spectators; and, on arriving at its
destination, the River, the Wharfs, the most distant buildings, and
even Southwark Bridge, were equally crowded with thousands of impatient
gazers. It was not, however, until a quarter before five, that the
field-pieces of the Artillery Company, at the old Swan Stairs’ Wharf,
announced the cavalcade’s actual approach, when the bands played
the famous Yäger Chor of Weber’s ‘_Freyschutz_.’ The City-Watermen,
bearing their richly emblazoned standards, soon afterwards entered the
Coffer-Dam, when, after the colours had been very ingeniously passed
between the timbers, and grouped around the Stone, it being found
that they would materially obstruct the view, they were, with similar
difficulty, conveyed back again. The narrow and winding passages of the
Dam destroyed much of the stately order of the Procession; but nearly
the whole Court of Aldermen, and a large party of the Common-Council,
in their scarlet and purple gowns, having appeared on the floor
beneath, they were followed by the City Officers; the Lord Mayor, in
his robes of state; and His Royal Highness the Duke of York, in a plain
blue coat, wearing the Garter round his knee, and the star of the order
upon his breast. In the same part of the Procession also came the Earl
of Darnley; Lord James Stuart; the Right Hon. C. W. W. Wynn, President
of the Board of Controul; Admiral Sir George Cockburn, M. P.; Admiral
Sir Isaac Coffin, Bart, M. P.; Sir George Warrender, Bart, M. P.; Sir
Peter Laurie; Sir Robert Wilson, M. P.; Thomas Wilson, Esq., M. P.;
William Williams, Esq., M. P.; George Holme Sumner, Esq., M. P.; and
several other personages of distinction.

“The Lord Mayor and His Royal Highness having arrived at the state
chair, amidst the waving of handkerchiefs, and the loudest cheers,
and having both of them declined that seat of honour, they remained
standing during the whole of the ceremony; which then commenced by the
Ward Schools and the visitors singing ‘_God save the King_,’ verse and
chorus, in which the Duke also joined with great enthusiasm. The Lord
Mayor then removed towards the Eastern end of the Platform, in the
centre of the Coffer-Dam floor, where there was a small stage covered
with crimson cloth, attended by four members of the Bridge Committee,
bearing the bottle for the coins, an inscription incrustated in glass,
the level, and the splendid SILVER-GILT TROWEL FOR LAYING THE FIRST


This elegant instrument, which was designed and executed by Messrs.
Green, Ward, and Green, of Ludgate Hill, measured 15 inches in its
extreme length, and 5 inches at the widest part of the blade; the
handle being 5-1/2 inches long, composed of wrought laurel, terminating
in very rich acanthus foliage at the end; and its depository, a green
Morocco case lined with white satin. The upper side was embossed with
a reclining figure of the Thames, with a vase, swan, and cornucopia;
beneath which was a shield, charged with the impaled arms of London and
Southwark, and surrounded by the supporters, crest, motto, and badges
of the City. The other side was perfectly flat, and was decorated
with a border of flowers; the armorial ensigns, crest, and motto, of
the Lord Mayor; and the following Inscription, engraven in ornamental

     OF THE
     ON THE 15th DAY OF JUNE, 1825,
     ON THE 15th DAY OF DECEMBER, 1786;
     ON THE 10th DAY OF MARCH, 1821;

“Mr. John Rennie having exhibited to the Lord Mayor and the Duke of
York a large and excellent drawing of the elevation of the New Bridge,
Richard Clark, Esq., the venerable Chamberlain of London, next produced
a white satin purse, containing a series of new coins of the reign,
each separately enveloped, which being uncovered, and deposited by the
Lord Mayor in an elegant square bottle of cut-glass, were placed in the
cavity; four glass cylinders, 7 inches long and 3 in diameter, intended
to support the engraved Inscription-plate, being fixed at the corners
in plaster-of-Paris. Another member of the Committee then handed to the
Lord Mayor a block of solid glass, 7-1/4 inches broad, 3-1/2 in height,
and 1-1/2 in thickness, enclosing these words, in Messrs. Pellats’ and
Green’s Ceramie Incrustation:--



“The Town-clerk, Henry Woodthorpe, Esq., who had recently received the
Degree of LL.D., then came forward with the brass Depositum-plate, and
read aloud this very fine Inscription, composed, at the request of
the Bridge Committee, by the Rev. Edward Coplestone, D.D., Master of
Oriel College, Oxford, and late Professor of Poetry in that University;
whose ‘_Prælectiones Academicæ_’ have so excellently illustrated the
beauties of the ancient Classic Poets.

     A. S. M.D.CCC.XXV.

“The following English translation of this truly elegant composition
was also engraven on the reverse of the plate; though not then read.

     ON THE 15th DAY OF JUNE,

“Printed copies of these Inscriptions, with an embossed border, were
presented to each person on entering the Dam; as was also another
edition of the Latin, engraven on copper, of the same size as the
admission-ticket, and having the same view of the New Bridge above
it. The brass plate was then placed upon the glass pillars, when Mr.
Richard Lambert Jones, Sub-Chairman of the Committee for erecting the
edifice, presented the splendid Trowel to the Lord Mayor, with this
address: ‘My Lord, I have the honour to inform your Lordship, that the
Committee of Management has appointed you, in your character of Lord
Mayor of London, to lay the First Stone of the New London Bridge; and
that I am directed to present your Lordship with this Trowel, as a
means of assistance to your Lordship in accomplishing that object.’
Upon which the Lord Mayor turned towards the Duke of York, and thus
addressed His Royal Highness, and the other witnesses of the ceremony.

“‘Though it is not essential for me to speak at any length upon the
purpose for which we are this day assembled, since its importance
to this great commercial City must be clearly evident; yet I cannot
refrain from offering a few observations, feeling, as I do, more than
an ordinary interest in the accomplishment of the undertaking, of which
the present ceremony is only the primary step. I cannot consider the
present a favourable moment for entering into any chronological history
of the present venerable Bridge, which is now, from the increased
commerce of the country, and the rapid strides made by the Sciences
in this Kingdom, found inadequate to its purposes; but would rather
advert to the many advantages which must naturally result from the
completion of this great national enterprise. Whether there be taken
into consideration the rapid, and consequently dangerous, currents
arising from the obstruction incidental to the defects of this ancient
edifice, which have proved so destructive to human life and property,
or its difficult and incommodious approaches and acclivity, it must
be matter of sincere congratulation, that we are living in times when
the resources of this highly-favoured country are competent to a
work of such great public utility. If ever there were a period more
suitable than another, for engaging in national improvements, it must
be the present; governed as we are by a Sovereign, the munificent and
accomplished Patron of the Arts, beneath whose mild and paternal sway,
by the blessing of Divine Providence, we now enjoy profound peace;
living under a government, by the enlightened policy of which, our
trade and manufactures so extensively flourish; and represented by a
Parliament, ever ready to foster, by the most liberal grants, any plans
for the improvement of the Empire; to which the present undertaking is
so deeply indebted for its munificent support. Thus happily situated,
it is impossible to hail such advantages with other feelings than those
of gratitude and delight; and it is to me a source of unqualified pride
and pleasure, that this great undertaking should have occurred in the
year when I have been honoured by the office of Chief Magistrate
of this great, this greatest, City, not of England only, but of the
world; and that this important ceremony should take place in the Ward
which I have the honour to represent in the Civic Councils. I cannot
conclude without acknowledging how highly complimentary I feel it to
the honourable office which I now fill, to meet such an auditory as now
surrounds me; in which I see the illustrious Prince, Heir-presumptive
to the Throne of this Kingdom; many of His Majesty’s Ministers, and
the distinguished Nobles of the land; my active brother-magistrates;
my kind fellow-citizens; and, above all, so brilliant an assemblage
of that sex, whose radiant smiles, this day, shed a lustre on our
meeting. Under such auspices, I rejoice to lay the Foundation-Stone
of a structure, which, I trust, will, through all future time, prove
an ornament to the Metropolis; reflect credit on the Architect; and
redound to the honour of this Corporation: and I offer up a sincere and
fervent prayer, that, in executing this great work, there may occur no
calamity; that, in completing what is most particularly intended as a
preventive of future danger, no mischief may overcloud the universal
rejoicings on the undertaking.’

“The very warm applauses which followed this most appropriate address
subsided only upon the commencement of the Masonic ceremonies, by a
portion of fine mortar being placed around the cavity of the Stone,
by several of the Assistants, and spread by the Lord Mayor with his
splendid Trowel; after which, precisely at 5 o’clock, the First Stone
was gradually lowered into its bed by a brazen block of four sheaves,
and the power of a machine called a crab. When it was settled, it was
finally secured by several Masons, who cut four sockets close to it on
the stone beneath, into which were fitted strong iron clamps, cured
with plaster of Paris. The Lord Mayor then struck it with a mallet,
and ascertained its accuracy by applying the level to its East, North,
West, and South surfaces. The work being thus perfected, the City Sword
and Mace were disposed in Saltire upon the stone; successive shouts
burst from the numerous spectators; the bands again played the National
Anthem of England; and a flag being lowered as a signal on the top
of the Dam, the guns of the Artillery Company, and the carronades on
Calvert’s Brewery Wharf, fired a concluding salute. The declining Sun,
also, contributed to shed a golden glory upon the closing ceremony;
for, as the day advanced, its radiance streamed through an opening in
the tent-covering above, and, gradually approaching the Stone, shone
upon it with a dazzling brilliancy, at the very moment of its being
deposited. The whole ceremonial terminated with an universal repetition
of ‘_God save the King_,’ and three series of huzzas, for the Duke of
York, Old England, and Mr. Rennie; after which, when the Procession had
left the Dam, amidst similar acclamations to those which first greeted
it, many of the visitors went down to the floor, to view the Stone
more closely, and to boast to posterity that they had stood upon it, or
walked over it.

“To conclude the festivities of the day with appropriate Civic
hospitality, the Lord Mayor, at his own private expense, gave a most
sumptuous banquet to the Corporation, and his noble visitors, at
the Mansion House. The dinner and wines included Turtle, Venison,
Champagne, Claret, and every other luxury; to which the following card
of Invitation, thus commemorated the event:--


     _The favour of an answer is particularly
     requested by the 6th of June._

     _Mansion House, May 25th, 1825._’

“A Royal dinner at Carlton Palace, on the same day, deprived him of
the presence of the Duke of York, who quitted the Bridge through
Southwark, immediately after the ceremony. His Lordship’s guests,
however, amounted to a greater number than had ever before dined within
the Mansion House, since, in addition to upwards of 360 in the Egyptian
Hall, nearly 200 of the Artillery Company dined in the Saloon; the
whole edifice being brilliantly illuminated with gas, both within and
without, and the entertainment superintended by a Committee of his
Lordship’s private friends.

“To mark the very deep public sense of the Lord Mayor’s munificent
conduct upon this memorable occasion, at a Court of Common Council
held on the following day, Thursday, June 16th, Adam Oldham, Esq.,
Deputy of the Ward of Farringdon Within, called the attention of the
Court to the very splendid manner in which his Lordship had conducted
himself towards the Members of the Corporation, at the recent ceremony
of Laying the First Stone of the New London Bridge; and suggested that
the Court should make some early and suitable acknowledgment of his
Lordship’s distinguished liberality. In consequence of which, at a
subsequent Court held on July 28th, a motion was made by R. L. Jones,
Esq., ‘That a Gold Medal be prepared, with a suitable Inscription,
commemorative of the circumstance of Laying the First Stone of a New
London Bridge, and presented to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor
in the name of this Court:’ which was unanimously agreed to, and its
provision referred to the said Committee.

“This Medal, however, has not yet been presented; and of two others
which were prepared, as memorials of this work, one had the die break
in the hardening, and the other was struck for private distribution
only: as their extreme rarity is, therefore, not to be questioned,
I shall give a short account of each of them; at the same time,
expressing my surprise, that so important an event has not called
forth an host of these classical memorials. The first private Medal
was executed by Peter Rouw, and William Wyon, Esquires, Modeller, and
Die-sinker, to his Majesty; the obverse containing a MEDALLION OF THE


and the reverse being occupied by the following Inscription:--


“The other Medal had about twenty impressions struck in silver, which
were distributed to the Engineers, assistants, &c., on the day of the
foundation. These were 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and nearly 1/8 of an
inch in thickness. The obverse consisted of a fine head of the elder
Mr. Rennie, from a former Medal; and the reverse contained a design,
by Mr. William Knight, of the New London Bridge Works, consisting of
an elevation of the edifice, with representations of the First Stone,
Mallet, and Trowel: the Inscription being as follows:--

     ‘. LONDON . BRIDGE .
     . THE . FIRST . STONE . OF . THIS .
     . WORK . WAS . LAID . BY . THE .
     . RIGHT . HON. . JOHN . GARRATT, .
     . LORD . MAYOR . OF . LONDON. .
     . ON . THE . XV . DAY . OF . JUNE, .
     . MDCCCXXV . AND . IN . THE . SIXTH .
     . YEAR . OF . THE . REIGN .
     . OF . GEORGE . IV. .
     . JOHN . RENNIE . ESQ. . F.R.S. . ENGINEER .

“Such are the few remaining reliques of this Ceremony, which have been
provided for posterity; for, with the exception of a slight etching of
the Western end of the Coffer-Dam, in a Memorandum Book, and an Indian
Ink Drawing, by Dighton, of some of the principal persons standing
about the First Stone, there is no other representation to record it.
There are, indeed, several prospects of the finished Edifice; though of
its exact features, it is probable we can form no very correct idea,
until we are a few years older; so then let us here take our last VIEW


for such are all the particulars and memorials which I can give you
concerning this interesting Civic ceremony; and if the Italian of old
could give his famous ‘ESTO PERPETUA!’ to his water-seated Venice, how
much rather shall every true-hearted citizen bestow it upon this rising
edifice, beneath whose expansive arches,

    ‘The time shall come, when, free as seas or wind,
    Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind;
    Earth’s distant ends our glories shall behold,
    And the new world launch forth to seek the old!’”

I concluded these lines of Pope’s “_Windsor Forest_” with so much
enthusiasm, that I did not immediately remark the silence which
followed; but upon looking up to wish my auditor a good night, how
greatly was I astonished to find myself alone! with only a few dim
lights in the empty coffee-room, and the waiter sleeping in a distant
box. Hastily starting from my seat, I inquired what had become of Mr.
Postern, when, to my great surprise, he absolutely denied that he
had seen him either come in or go out. Since that time, too, I have
everywhere, but in vain, sought “the learned Pundit” who had so long
conferred with me. I certainly cannot discredit the evidence of my
own senses, but, upon reconsidering all the circumstances, it appears
to me that I must have seen and conversed with the shade of Peter of
Colechurch, the original Architect of London Bridge! Our narrative,
however, rests upon more solid foundations; for, as I have verified
every authority referred to, these CHRONICLES are presented to
posterity as the collected memorials of that once-famous edifice, which
within a few years will exist no longer.”



     A, Book in the City Records so marked, 123, 124.

     Abel, Alderman Richard, 389.

     Abjuration of the Realm, ceremony of, 217, 218.

     _Acta Sanctorum_, (1643-1786,) 28, 29, 300.

     _Acts of Parliament_ concerning London Bridge, 460, 461, 475, 565,

     Agarde, Arthur, Anecdote of the Easterlings and London Bridge, 587.

     Alban, St., Wood Street, Bridge property in the Parish of, 264.

     Alexander, Daniel, plan for enlarging London Bridge, 613.

     All Saints, Barking, Bridge property in the Parish of, 259.
       ---- Gracechurch, ditto, 260.
       ---- the Less, ditto, 262.

     Ames, Joseph, on dates found at London Bridge, 302.

     Antwerp, Arms of London painted at, 181.
       _Antwerp View of London_, 406.

     Andrew Hubbard, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 259.

     Antelope, used by the English Kings in their Arms, 229, 230.

     Antiquities found at London Bridge, 302, 308, 514, 515, 627-629.

     Arches of London Bridge, various particulars of the, 451-453, 505,
       541, 542, 555-560, 563, 564, 612.

     Ardern, Thomas de, his gift from the Bridge Rents, 52.

     Arms of London, discussion on the, 176-184.

     Arnold, Richard, his _Chronicle_, &c., 289-296, 300.

     Arthur, King of Great Britain, his arms, 179.
       ----, Prince of Wales, rejoicings on his marriage, 305.

     Assize Rents, 120.
       ---- Pleadings, 121.

     Aubyn, Sir John, his portrait of Sir Edward Osborne, 314.

     Audery, Mary, notices of, 34, 38, 41-44.
       ---- John, _vide_ Overs.

     Augustine, Gate of St., its ancient site, 132.

     Aunger, Peter, evidence of his Jurors on the keeping of
       London Bridge, 117.

     Austin Pappey, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 261.

     Ayloffe, Sir Joseph, his account of London Bridge, 90, 98.

     Bagford, John, antiquarian illustrations from his collections, 9,
       11, 99, 100, 374.

     Baily, Dr. Thomas, his _Life and Death of John Fisher, Bishop of
       Rochester_, (1655,) 340.

     Baker, Sir Richard, his _Chronicle of the Kings of England_,
       (1733,) 176.

     Bakers of Southwark, notice concerning the, 124.

     Bale, John, his character of Leland, 322.

     Banks, Miss, her collection of Shop Bills, 378, 381.

     Banner of the City of London, device on, 177.

     Barbican, nature and use of the, 99, 100.

     Bardolf, Lord Thomas, his head on London Bridge, 214, 215.

     Barking Abbey, gifts to, from London Bridge, 143.

     Bartholomew the Less, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 264.

     Basing, Thomas de, evidence of his Jurors on London Bridge, 118.

     Basinghall, or Bassishaw Ward, evidence of the Jurors on
       London Bridge, 116.

     Battle Abbey, Sussex, Grant to, by King Henry I., 53, 54.

     Benedict, St., Gracechurch Street, Bridge property in the Parish
       of, 260.

     Bentham, Sir Samuel, 600, 608; his design for a New Bridge, 601, 602.

     Bermondsey Abbey, gift to, from London Bridge, 52.
       _Register_ of, 53, 58.

     Billingsgate, ancient tolls taken at, 30.

     Black, James, his design for a New Bridge, 598.

     Blackfriars’ Bridge, its erection, &c., 506, 568, 571.

     Blakethorne, John de, evidence of his Jurors on London Bridge, 117.

     Blanket-Fair, papers and prints relating to, 466-471.

     Bloome, Richard, his _Continuation of Stow’s Survey_, 208, 404,
       451, 454.

     Boethius, Hector, his _Scotorum Historiæ_, (1575,) 187, 192, 199.

     Bolingbroke, Roger, his treason and execution, 272, 274.

     Books published on London Bridge, 374-378.

     Borough Water-Works, 560.

     Bossewell, John, his _Workes of Armorie_, (1591,) 179.

     Botolph, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 258.

     Bow, Church of St. Mary le, London, dreadful damage done to, 48.

     Bowles, John, his Prints of London Bridge, 500, 519.

     Boydell, J., his Perspective Views, 500.

     Braun, George, his _Civitates Orbis Terrarum_, (1523,) 362.

     Brand, Rev. John, his _History of Newcastle_, (1789,) 150.

     Bray, William, his _History and Antiquities of Surrey_, (1804-14,)
       120, 386, 512.

     Brethren of London Bridge, protection granted to the, 106.

     Bridge-House and Yard, historical notices of the, 103, 104, 308,
         360, 361.
       Estates and Rental of, 271, 286, 290-295, 313, 336, 337, 358,
         393, 414, 475, 489, 495, 496, 577, 614, 619, 620.
       Revenues of for building the New Bridge, 625.
       Manner of letting the property of, 633.
       Offices, &c. of the Bridge Masters, 139-144, 295, 519.
       Bridge-House Committee, proceedings of, 616, 617, 622-624, 633.

     Bridges, ancient one near London, 10.
       General destruction of, 50, 51.
       Building of, an action of piety, 66.
       Ancient taxes for erecting, 68.
       Chapels built upon, 91, 93.
       Various ancient uses of, 121, 122.

     Bridge Street, custom of Fish paid at, 112.
       Disturbance in the, 214.
       Penance of the Duchess of Gloucester, 273.

     Bridget, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 264.

     Briggs, John, London Bridge fired from his house, 394, 398.

     Brompton, John, his _Chronicon_, 29, 30, 48.

     Bulmar, Bevis, his Water-Works at Broken Wharf, 350.

     Bulmer, Capt. John, his plan for blowing a boat over London Bridge,

     Bunyan, John, his residence and death, 389.

     Burnet, Dr. Gilbert, Bp. of Salisbury, his _History of the
       Reformation_, (1681,) 319.

     Butchers, Ancient City Ordinances for, 168-171.

     Butler, Rev. Alban, his life of St. Olave, 28.

     Cade, John, his Insurrection, 278-285.

     Cæsar, Julius, his Landing at London, 8, 9.

     Camden, William, Clarencieux King of Arms, his _Anglica_, (1603,) 174.

     Canaletti, Antonio, his View of the Monument, 519.

     Canot, Peter Charles, his engraving of Old London Bridge, 499.

     Capell, Sir Edward, his order for Stocks and Cages, 336.

     Carpenter, J., his compilation of City Customs, 123.

     Carthusian Monks executed for denying the King’s supremacy, 340.

     Catherine Cree Church, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 260.

     Challoner, Dr. Richard, Bishop of Debora, his _Catholic Book of
       Martyrs_, 370, 371, 420, 421, 428.

     Chambers, Susanna, her bequest to St. Magnus’ Church, 415.

     Chapel on London Bridge, 83-90, 304, 392.
       Taken down, 515, 516.
       Chapels on other Bridges, 91, 93.

     Chapman, William, his plan for enlarging London Bridge, 613, 620.

     Charles II., King of England, his entry into London, 433-435.

     Chapter House, Westminster, Records there, 119, 121, 139.

     _Chevy Chace_, the tune of, 413.

     Christmas Carol, London Bridge mentioned in, 149.

     Ciaconio, Alphonso, his _Vitæ et Res Gestæ Pontificum Romanorum_,
       (1630,) 61.

     Clarendon, Edw. Hyde, Earl of, his _History of the Rebellion_,
       (1819,) 419, 422, 433.

     Clement, Eastcheap, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 261.

     _Close Rolls_, references to the, 72, 103.

     Coffer-Dam, for laying the First Stone of the New London Bridge,
       635, 636, 638-646, 649.

     Coinage, historical notices of the English, 382-384.

     Coke, Sir Edward, historical illustrations from, 52, 67, 68.

     Cold Harbour, ancient festivities there, 14.

     Colechurch, St. Mary, its site, 60.

     Colechurch, Peter, the Chaplain of, rebuilds London Bridge, 58, 59.
       His death, 70,
         and burial in the Bridge Chapel, 87.

     Coleman Street Ward, evidence of the Jurors of, respecting
       London Bridge, 117.

     Commons, House of, proceedings concerning London Bridge, 614-617, 623.

     Common Council of London, proceedings concerning London Bridge,
       123-125, 168-171, 295, 553-555, 557-560, 661.

     Concannen, M., his _History of Southwark_, (1795,) 44, 560.

     Conder, James, his _Arrangement of Provincial Tokens_, (1798,) 386.

     Coplestone, Rev. Dr. Edward, his Foundation-Inscriptions for the
       New London Bridge, 653-655.

     Corn-Mills at London Bridge, 352-356.

     _Cosmo III., Grand Duke of Tuscany, his Travels through England
       in 1669_, (1821,) 464.

     _Cottonian Manuscripts_, 46, 47, 222-226, 587.

     Coventry, Walter and William of, 101.

     Coventry, Ancient House of the Mayor at, 347.

     Courts of Justice, origin of, 137.

     Cowdray Hall, Sussex, ancient Paintings at, 362.

     Crawford, David Lindesay, Earl of, his Passage of Arms on
       London Bridge, 187-196, 198-200, 202.

     Crosses anciently used in Arms, 179, 180.

     Crowle, J. Charles, his _Illustrated Pennant_, 462, 469, 481,
       515, 570, 574, 596.

     Crypt of London Bridge Chapel, 86, 87.

     Culham Bridge, Oxfordshire, verses on, 66.

     _Curia Regis_, account of the, 137, 138.

     Custom of Fish paid at the Bridge Street, 112.

     Dagger in the City Arms, 176-184.

     _Daily Courant_, (1722,) 484.

     Dance, George, his Reports on London Bridge, 502, 511, 574, 576,
         577, 613, 617.
       Design for a Double Bridge, 596, 597.

     Danes, their invasions of London, 16, 18, 21-23, 31.

     Defoe, Daniel, his _Journal of the Plague Year_, (1722,) 441.

     Desmond, James, Earl of, his execution, 350.

     Dewes, Sir Symonds, his Manuscripts, 72.

     Dion Cassius, his _Historiæ Romanæ_, 10.

     Dodd, Ralph, his Drawings of Old London Bridge, 593, 603.
       Designs for a New one, 591, 592.

     Dodsley, Robert, his _Annual Register_, 574.
       _Collection of Old Plays_, (1780,) 582.

     Dolphin taken at London Bridge, 203.

     _Domesday Book_, (1783,) concerning Southwark, 35, 36.

     Douce, Francis, his _Arnold’s Chronicle_, (1811,) 289.

     Douglas, Sir Robert, his _Peerage of Scotland_, 202.

     Douglass, James, his designs for an Iron Bridge, 594, 595, 599.

     Dowgate Ward, evidence of the Jurors of, respecting London Bridge,

     Drayton, Michael, his _Polyolbion_, (1613,) 455.

     Draw-Bridge and Draw-Lock at London Bridge, 326, 450, 483, 544, 616.
       Tower on, 236.

     Drought in the Thames, 135, 359.

     Droitwich, Worcestershire, Bridge and Chapel at, 91.

     Dryden, John, his _Annus Mirabilis_, 583, 584.

     Ducarel, Dr. Andrew Coltee, notices of, 64, 90, 392.

     Du Cange, N. L. du Fresnoy, Seigneur, his _Glossarium_, (1733-36,)

     Dugdale, Sir William, Garter King of Arms.
       His _Monasticon Anglicanum_, (1661, 1723,) 33, 35, 38, 352.
       His _Baronage of England_, (1676,) 201.

     Duncomb, Sir Charles, his gift to St. Magnus’ Church, 456.

     _Dunmow Chronicle_, 101.

     Dunstan, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 258.

     _Dunthorne_, a book in the City Chamber so called, 178.

     D’Urfey, Thomas, his _Wit and Mirth_, (1719,) 413.

     Easterlings, anecdote of the, 587.

     Edmund, St., Lombard Street, Bridge property in the Parish of, 261.

     Edward I., King of England, custom of wool paid to, 67, 68.
       Inquisitions made by, 115-119.
       Patents granted to London Bridge, 127, 129, 133, 154.

     Edward IV., King of England, his chapel on Wakefield Bridge, 91.
       Crosses London Bridge, 285.

     Edwards, Edward, his _Anecdotes of Painting_, (1808,) 390.

     Edwards, John, his bequest to London Bridge, 251.

     Eleanor of Provence, Queen of Henry III. insulted at London Bridge,
         108, 109.
       Custody of the Bridge granted to, 112.
       Inquisitions concerning, 116-119.

     Elizabeth, Queen of England, splendid book belonging to, 63.
       Her Statutes against Papists, 369.

     Elmes, James, his _Memoirs of Sir Christopher Wren_, (1823,) 451, 458.

     Elmham, Thomas of, his _History of Henry V._, 225.

     Entick, Rev. John, his edition and Continuation of _Maitland’s
       History of London_, (1772,) 19, 31, 33, 35, 36, 53, 70, 72, 87,
       96, 97, 99, 113, 119, 120, 122, 123, 127, 133, 134, 136, 165,
       166, 207, 216, 286, 295, 456, 460, 465, 478, 486, 488, 489, 494,
       497, 502, 503, 507, 508, 510, 511, 513, 521, 529, 535, 545, 550,
       563, 566, 568.

     Ethelred II., King of England, makes a peace with Olaf, 17.
       Defended by the Citizens, 18.
       Battle with the Danes, 21-23.
       Laws of, 30.

     Evans, J., on the music to the Ballad of London Bridge, 152, 153.

     Evelyn, John, his _Diary_, (1819,) 443, 465.

     Exchequer Chamber, Westminster, Records there, 115, 121.
       Excheq. Rolls, 105.

     Fabyan, Robert, his _Chronicles_, (1559,) 206, 234, 238, 288, 307.

     Faith and Gregory, SS, Bridge property in the Parishes of, 265.

     Falconbridge the Bastard’s attack on the Bridge, 287.

     Fall of the Thames at London Bridge, 542.

     Feckenham, John, his bequest to the Bridge, 249.

     Ferries over the Thames, 10, 16.

     Fesecock, Walter, Gate-keeper of the Bridge, 186.

     Fire of London, 441-445.
       Fires at the Bridge and its vicinity, 50, 54, 100, 394-402, 486,
         521, 545.

     Fisher, John, Bishop of Rochester, his execution, &c., 340-342.

     Fishmongers, ancient City Ordinances concerning, 168-171.
       Their Hall and Company, 1, 175, 446-448, 630.

     Fitz-Stephen, William, his _Description of London_, 7, 8, 12, 15,
       54, 55, 99.

     Fleetwood, Dr. William, Bishop of Ely, his _Chronicon Preciosum_,
       (1745,) 52, 53.

     Floods in the Thames, 48, 49, 540, 541, 551, 553.

     _Flying Fame_, tune of, 413.

     Foesoe, Island of, Monumental Bridge there, 122.

     Fordun, John de, his _Scotichronicon_, 197.

     Fords over the Thames, 9.

     Fore-Street Ward, evidence of the Jurors of, respecting
       London Bridge, 117.

     Forests near London, 7, 8.

     Fosbrooke, Rev. Thomas Dudley, his _Encyclopædia of Antiquities_,
       (1825,) 305.

     Foulds, John, his Soundings, &c. at London Bridge, 576, 579, 585.

     Fowle, Bartholomew, his account of the First building of
       London Bridge, &c., 33-35.

     Fox, John, his _Acts and Monuments of Martyrs_, (1610,) 335, 581.

     Friars Minors, their gift to London Bridge, 172.

     Frisell, or Fraser, Sir Simon, his execution, 163.

     Froissart, Sir John, his _Chronicles_, 212.

     Frosts and Frost-Fairs, (1091,) 49, 50, (1281,) 135, (1564,) 338,
       (1608,) 371, (1683,) 465-471, (1709, 1715,) 481-483,
       (1740,) 490-494, (1768,) 566, (1789,) 569-573, (1814,) 609-613.

     Funeral of King Henry V., 232-234.

     Gale, Dr. Thomas, his _Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores_ xv.
       (1691,) 49, 110.

     Garnet, Henry, his execution, 370.

     Garratt, Alderman John, (Lord Mayor,) Lays the First Stone of the
       New London Bridge, &c., 638-663.

     Gate of London Bridge, 99, 110,
         falls down with two Arches, 276.
       Medalet of, 387.
       Burned, 486.
       Rebuilt, 487, 488, 518.

     Gates of London thrown into the River at London Bridge, 534.

     _Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser_, 553-555, 558, 560, 566, 567.

     _Gentleman’s Magazine_, references to, 90, 147, 149, 302, 402, 490,
       510, 514, 516, 521, 534, 546, 555, 593.

     George, St., Southwark, Bridge rents in the Parish of, 266.

     Giffard, William, Bishop of Winchester, his gifts to St.
       Mary Overies, 35.

     Gifford, William, his censure of London Bridge, 583.

     Giles, Francis, his Survey of the Great Arch, 618.

     Gloucester, Humphrey, Duke of, his disputes with Cardinal Beaufort,

     ---- Eleanor, Duchess of, her penance, 272, 273.

     Godwin, Earl of Kent, his passage of London Bridge, 32.

     ---- Dr. Francis, Bishop of Landaff, his Book _De Præsulibus
       Angliæ Commentarius_, (1743,) 62, 65.

     Goodall, Walter, his _Fordun’s Scotichronicon_, (1759,) 198.

     Gough, Matthew, his defence of London Bridge, 282.

     ---- Richard, his _British Topography_, (1780,) 92, 336, 355, 362,
         373, 395, 416, 469, 481, 499, 527.
       His _Sepulchral Monuments_, (1786-96,) 44, 230, 303.
       His _History of Pleshy_, (1803,) 211, 305.

     Grafton, Richard, his _Chronicle at large_, (1569,) 176.

     Great Arch of London Bridge, 531, 533, 537, 540, 554, 567-575,
       579, 603-605, 618, 620.

     Green, M., on the Ballad on London Bridge, 147-149.

     Grey, Hon. Anchitell, his _Debates in Parliament_, (1763,) 607.

     Grose, Capt. Francis, his _Antiquities of England and Wales_,
       (1773-87,) 45.

     Grove, John, his ancient View of London, 337.

     _Guilda de Ponte_, notices of, 580.

     Guildhall, Arms in the Crypt of, 183.

     Guillim, John, his _Display of Heraldry_, (1724,) 179.

     Guthrie, William, his _Peerage_, (1742,) 315.

     Gwynn, John, his _London and Westminster Improved_, (1766,) 553.

     Hall, Edward, his _Chronicle_, (1550,) 274, 282, 301, 305.

     _Harleian Manuscripts_ cited, 15, 53, 72, 101, 163, 182, 210, 215,
       219, 221, 227-229, 233, 234, 237, 239-247, 252-271, 276, 323,
       374, 480.

     Harpocrates, effigy of, found at London Bridge, 628.

     Harrison, Walter, his _History of London_, (1776,) 472, 498, 513, 521.

     Hatton, Edward, his _New View of London_, (1708,) 184, 345, 471.

     Hawkins, Sir John, his dispute respecting the Bridge House, 360, 361.

     Hawksmoor, Nicholas, his _Historical Account of London Bridge_,
       (1736,) 76-79, 91, 95.

     Heads erected on London Bridge, 165, 274, 284, 301, 339, 340, 350,
       370, 371, 420, 421, 428, 582-584, 587.

     Hearne, Thomas, his _Collectanea_, 9, 11, 99.
       His _Leland’s Itinerary_, 60, 66.
       His _Liber Niger Scaccarii_, 70, 72, 103, 111, 112, 127, 129,
         130, 133, 155, 166, 167, 186, 271, 285.
       His _Thomas of Elmham_, 225, 226.
       His _Letter to Bagford_, 322.
       His _Collection of Curious Discourses_, 587.

     Heath, Henry, his execution, 421.

     Henry I., King of England, his grant to Battle Abbey, 53, 54.

     ---- III., ----, his impositions on the Citizens, &c., 106, 112,
       114, 116-119.

     ---- V., ----, builds Culham Bridge, 66.
       His victorious return to England, 220, 221, 227.
       Pageants at London Bridge, 222-225, 228.
       Antelope used as his supporter, 229, 230.
       His funeral, 234-236.

     ---- VI., ----, his return after his coronation in France, 238-247.
       Marriage to Margaret of Anjou, 275.
       Deposition, &c., 286.

     Hentzner, Sir Paul, his _Itinerarium_, 327, 329.

     Heralds’ College, Manuscript there, 182, 316.

     Herbert, George, his letters, 374.

     ---- William, a resident on London Bridge, 380-382, 514.
       His view after the fire, 527.

     _Hero and Leander, The Loves of_, (1653,) Poem, 409-412.

     Hewit, Sir William, 313, 314.

     Hoffmann, John Jacob, his _Lexicon Universale_, (1698,) 94, 474.

     Holbein, Hans, a resident on London Bridge, 389.

     Holinshed, Raphael, his _Chronicles of England, Scotland,
       and Ireland_, (1585-86,) 176, 197, 288, 289, 307, 348, 581.

     Hollar, Wenceslaus, views of London engraved by, 406.

     Horn, John, evidence of the Jurors of his Ward concerning
       London Bridge, 118.

     Horne, Andrew, his _Mirroir des Justices_, (1624,) 218.

     ----, Rev. Thomas Hartwell, his _Account of the Rotuli Scotiæ_,
       (1819,) 189.

     Hoveden, Roger de, his _Annales_, 23, 48, 49, 51.

     Howell, James, his _Londinopolis_, (1657,) 197, 429-432.

     Howes, Edmund, his edition of _Stow’s Annales_,
         (1631,) 135, 174, 187, 203, 206, 210, 216, 219, 221, 231, 232,
         234, 237, 271, 275, 288, 301, 305, 333, 338, 348, 350, 359.
       His _Continuation of Stow’s Chronicle_, (1611,) 371, 373.

     Hugo, Cardinal Deacon of St. Angelo, 61, 62.

     Hugo, the Illuminator, his account of the Chapel on London Bridge, 88.

     _Hundred Rolls_, explained and referred to, 115-119.

     Hutton, Dr. Charles, 599, 601.
       His _Mathematical Tracts_, (1812,) 504.

     Illuminated Manuscripts, 56, 57, 304, 305.

     Ingram, Rev. J., his _Saxon Chronicle_, (1823,) 17.

     Inquisitions of the Wards of London, concerning London Bridge,

     Inscriptions on the New London Bridge Tickets, 630, 660;
       on the Trowel, 652;
       on the Glass-block, 653;
       on the Depositum-plate, 654, 655;
       on Medals, 662, 663.

     Isabel, Empress of Germany, her dowry, 104.

     Isenbert of Xainctes, 70-72.

     James I., King of England, his Statutes against Papists, 369.

     James, John, his etymology of the word Starling, 586.

     Joceline, Alderman Ralph, his defence of the Bridge, 288.

     John, King of England, recommends a new Architect, and gives the
       custody of the Bridge to his Almoner, 70, 72, 73.

     Johnes, Colonel Thomas, his _Translation of Froissart’s Chronicles_,
       (1803,) 212-213.

     Johnson, Maurice, his Sepulchral Monuments, 44.

     Johnstone, Rev. James, his _Antiquitates Celto-Scandicæ_,
       (1786,) 20-24.

     Jones, Richard Lambert, Chairman of the New London Bridge
       Committee, 639, 656, 661.

     Jonson, Ben., his _Staple of News_, 583.

     Joseph of Arimathea, his Son’s banner, 179.

     Jovius, Paulus, Bishop of Nocera, his _Descriptio Britanniæ_, &c.,
       (1548,) 327.

     _Journals of the House of Commons_, 511, 512.

     Julius III., Pope, his death, 336.

     Jousting on London Bridge, 186-193.

     Kempe, Alfred John, his _Historical Notices of the Sanctuary of
       St. Martin’s le Grand_, (1825,) 218.

     Kempson, Peter, his Medalets of London Bridge, 387.

     Kennet, Dr. White, Bishop of Peterborough, his _Historical
       Register_, (1744,) 434.

     Killegrew, Anne, her verses on London Bridge, 551.

     King’s Bench, origin of the Court of, 139.

     King’s, or Prince’s lock, state of, in 1814, 612.

     Kitching, John, his evidence on London Bridge, 618.

     Knight, William, on the construction of London Bridge, 536-539, 620.
       His medal of the New Bridge, 663.

     Knute, King of Denmark, turns the River’s course, 31, 96.

     Knyghton, Henry, his Book _De Eventibus Angliæ_, 206.

     L., anciently borne in the City arms, 181.

     Labelye, Charles, his plans for altering London Bridge, 502, 503.

     _Lady’s Fall_, Tune of the, 412, 413.

     Laguerre, John, his supposed residence on London Bridge, 391.

     Lambarde, William, his _Dictionarium Angliæ Topographicum et
       Historicum_, (1730,) 34.

     Lambeth, Archiepiscopal Library, Manuscripts on London Tithes,
       in the, 297.

     Lands, &c. of London Bridge, survey of, 252-270.

     Lawrence Pountney, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 262.

     Lee River, Ancient Inquisitions concerning, 140-144.
       Mentioned in a song on London Bridge, 145, 146-148, 150.

     Leeds, Duke of, 316, _vide_ Osborne.

     Leland, John, his _Itinerary_, (1768-69,) 60, 61, 66, 320.
       Biographical notice of, 319.
       His _Cygnea Cantio_, 320-326.

     Leonard, Eastcheap, St., Bridge property in the Parish of, 259.

     Lethullier, Smart, his classes of Sepulchral Monuments, 44.

     Lewisham Manor, held by London Bridge, 253, 254.

     _Liber Albus Transcriptum_, 123, 124.

     Linsted, Prior, _vide_ Fowle.

     Lists for Joustings, order and measure of, 191, 192.

     Livius, Titus, an historian of Henry V., 234.

     _Lloyd’s Evening Post_, 514.

     Lodge, W., his engraving of Wakefield Bridge and Chapel, 91.

     Lollards, execution of, 231.

       Alterations in, 1-3.
       Ancient forest near, 7.
       Notices of British and Roman London, 8, 9, 11.
       Landing of Cæsar at, 9, 13.
       Ancient Bridge near, 10.
       Tavern on the River banks, 12.
       Festivities on ditto, 13.
       Ballad of _London Lickpenny_, 15.
       Ferry at, 10, 16.
       Captured by the Danes, 21.
       Surrendered to Ethelred, 23.
       Tolls at, 30.
       Great part burned, 50, 54.
       Public works at, 50.
       Impositions on, by Henry III., and custody taken from the
         Citizens, 106.
       Inquisitions concerning, 116.
       Evidence of the Wards of, on London Bridge, 116-119.
       Ancient Records of, 123-125.
       Waste places in, given to the Bridge, 131-133.
       Ordinances for Stocks Market, 167-171.
       Enquiry into the arms of, 175-184.
       Its Charter seized, 205.
       Pageants in, 206.
       Charter restored, 207.
       Quit-rents of the Bridge, 256.
       Tithes anciently paid in, 297, 415.
       Stocks and cages placed in, 336.
       Notices of ancient views of, 337, 362, 366, 406.
       Fortified, 351, 352, 421-423.
       Great Fire of, 441-445.
       Its ruins covered with flowers, 584.
       Act of Parliament for rebuilding, 460, 461.
       Gates of, sold by auction, 534.
       Registry of the Bishop of, in St. Paul’s, 250.

       (994,) Notices of the first wooden one, 17, 19, 33-37.
       (1008,) Snorro Sturleson’s description of, 21.
       Destroyed by Olaf, 23.
       Norse songs mentioning, 24.
       Tolls at, 30.
       (1013,) Dilapidated state of, 30.
       (1016,) How avoided by Knute, 31.
       (1052,) Earl Godwin’s passage at, 32.
       (1067,) Its original situation, 46, 47.
       (1091,) Destroyed by a flood, 48, 49.
       (1097,) Tax for rebuilding, 50.
       (1114,) River dried at, 51.
       (1122,) Rents given to, 52.
       Work of, remitted, 54.
       (1136,) Burned, _ibid._
       (1163,) Rebuilt of wood, 58.
       (1176,) First stone one commenced, 59.
       Benefactors to, 61, 62, 67.
       Tradition concerning, 67.
       (1201,) King’s letter for a new Architect, 70, 71.
       (1205,) Death and burial of Peter of Colechurch, 70, 8