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Title: Bygone London
Author: Ross, Frederick
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bygone London" ***

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BYGONE LONDON.



Of this book 500 copies have been printed, and this is

No.......12

[Illustration: STOW'S MONUMENT, IN THE CHURCH OF ST. ANDREW UNDERSHAFT,
LONDON.]



              BYGONE LONDON.

                    BY
         FREDERICK ROSS, F.R.H.S.,

                AUTHOR OF
 "LEGENDARY YORKSHIRE," "YORKSHIRE FAMILY
           ROMANCE," ETC., ETC.

                 LONDON:
  HUTCHINSON & CO., PATERNOSTER SQUARE.

                  1892.

[Illustration]



Preface.


Notwithstanding the multitude of books that have been written relating
to its history and antiquities, the History of London still remains
to be written, a work that cannot, from its ocean-like infinitude of
matter, be accomplished by a single hand, but will require the combined
action of a multiplicity of labourers.

By London is here meant, not the vast aggregation of buildings and
population spreading into four or five counties but that small fraction
lying north and south of the Thames, which is under the jurisdiction of
the Lord Mayor of London—that portion which was a considerable emporium
of trade under the Celtic Trinobantes; a military post and seat of
commerce under the Romans, with roads, of which one still retains its
name of Watling Street, in the centre of London, all radiating from
a central miliarium, which may still be seen, a venerable relic of
sixteen centuries of age, in the wall of St. Swithin's Church; which
was a capital city and place of great mercantile importance under
the Saxons and the Danes, and has in the subsequent thousand years,
gradually expanded its limits, and gathered population, wealth, and
commerce, until it has become the capital of the world, in magnitude
and wealth unprecedented, to which the capitals of other nations are
but as provincial cities: so vast and rich that Blucher might well
exclaim, when shewn its banks and docks, its warehouses and shops—"Ye
gods! what a place to sack."

Notwithstanding the many books in existence, descriptive of the various
phases of London, it appeared to the publishers there was still room
for a small, handy, and compact volume, of moderate price, which
should give a clear and comprehensive view of some of the more salient
features of the bygone history of the old city, which they presume to
hope may be found in this volume.



Contents.


                                                           PAGE

 The Walls and Gates                                          1

 Episodes in the Annals of Cheapside                         34

 Bishopsgate Street Within and Without                       76

 Aldersgate Street and St. Martin's-le-Grand                118

 Old Broad Street                                           142

 Chaucer and the Tabard                                     165

 The Priory of the Holy Trinity, Aldgate                    178

 Convent of the Sisters Minoresses of the Order of St.
 Clare, Aldgate                                             197

 The Abbey of St. Mary of Graces, or East Minster           208

 The Barons Fitzwalter of Baynard's Castle                  219

 Sir Nicholas Brember, Knight, Lord Mayor of London         239

 An Olden Time Bishop of London: Robert de Braybrooke       249

 A Brave Old London Bishop: Fulco Basset                    262

 An Old London Diarist                                      269

 Index                                                      291



BYGONE LONDON.



The Walls and Gates.


In prehistoric ages the valley of the Thames formed the bed of an
estuary or arm of the sea, whose waters flowed over the low lands of
Essex, and whose waves dashed against the sloping uplands of Middlesex
and Surrey, on whose summits now stand the Crystal and Alexandra
Palaces. In process of time, by the deposition of silt brought down
from the west, and of sand brought up by the flow of the tide, the
estuary was reduced to a river, afterwards still further reduced in
width by the embankments made by the Romans along the coast of Essex;
and the land intervening between the then and the former shores
became a succession of fens and morasses, some of which remained to
comparatively modern times, and have their localities indicated by such
names as Moorfields, Fenchurch, Marsh-gate, Lambeth, etc.

Amongst these morasses were oases of high and firm land; and beyond,
spreading up and over the slopes of the uplands, there grew a dense
forest, the home of wolves, boars, and other wild animals. Upon one of
these spots of dry land, at the time of the invasion of Cæsar, might
be seen a village of wattled or mud-built and thatched huts, inhabited
by the Celtic aborigines, with cattle and hogs feeding in the midst, a
few patches of cultivated land, and beyond, the forest. This was the
nucleus of the mighty London of the present, and is supposed to have
occupied a space of some quarter of a mile along the river shore, with
Dowgate for its centre, and stretching northward as far as Cheapside.
In all probability it would be surrounded by earthworks, ditches, and
stockades, for the purpose of defence, and would otherwise be protected
by the broad stream of the Thames, and by the Fleet river on the west,
and Walbrook on the east.

When the Romans completed the subjugation of the southern part of
Britain and began to make settlements, their practical sagacity at once
perceived the eligibility of this spot as a centre of commerce; and in
a short time it put on the appearance of a Roman city, and gradually
became adorned with residential houses after the Roman fashion—whose
tesselated pavements and other decorations are still often exhumed—with
marts of commerce, temples of the gods, basilicæ, baths, amphitheatres,
and other architectural appliances of an important city.

At what period the Romans substituted a wall of defence in place of
the old earthworks is uncertain, but previous to its construction they
appeared to have erected two forts on the north bank of the Thames—one
at the eastern extremity of the City, where the tower now stands; the
other at the western end, where the Fleet fell into the Thames. That it
was an open town, or very imperfectly defended, in the middle of the
first century, is evidenced by the facility with which Queen Boadicea,
_temp._ Nero, entered it with her army, slaughtered the inhabitants,
and most probably burnt it, as the charred remains of a great
conflagration have been frequently found in making deep excavations.
Henry of Huntingdon, and some other of the old chroniclers, tell us
that it was first walled by Constantine the Great, at the request of
his mother Helena, and that the materials he made use of were hewn
stone and British bricks, and that it was in compass about three
miles. Camden seems to credit this statement, from the fact that coins
of the Empress Helena have been found under the wall, but as these
might have been in circulation long after her death, it only goes to
prove that the wall was not built before her era. Constantine died in
the year 337, and we find some twenty-five years afterwards London was
entered and pillaged, and the inhabitants reduced to a state of great
misery, by a combined army of Picts, Scots, Saxons, and Franks, which
would scarcely have been possible if it had been walled, and defended
by the disciplined soldiers of the empire. The probability seems to be
that the walls were either built or commenced by Theodosius, the Roman
general, afterwards emperor, who in the reign of Valentinian, came
to Britain with an army, utterly routed the pirates and freebooters,
and entered London in triumph, where he remained for a considerable
period; and we are told by Ammianus Marcellinus that before he left
the island he restored to their ancient sound condition both the towns
and military strongholds throughout the country, and put everything
in such a state of defence that peace was maintained until the reign
of Honorius, when Britain was abandoned by the Romans. Hence we
may arrive at an approximate date for the building of the walls.
Constantine came to the throne in 306, and Valentinian died 375: and it
is almost certain that it took place some time within these 70 years,
the balance of evidence seeming to refer it farther to the period of
the sojourn of Theodosius in Britain, or about 368-70.

Fitzstephen is the earliest writer who mentions the wall. He lived
in the reign of Henry II., towards the end of the twelfth century,
and describes the wall as high and thick, with seven double gates and
many towers and turrets placed at proper distances. Originally there
were only four exits from the City—by way of Aldgate on the east,
Cripplegate on the north, Newgate on the west, and Dowgate on the
south; the latter was the entrance to the "Trajectus," or ferry across
the Thames, and derived its name from Dwr or Dour—water; or perhaps
from Dwyr Dover, as leading to the Dover-road. Near to this gate was
placed the _Miliarium_, a portion of which may still be seen in the
wall of St. Swithin's Church, whence distances were measured along the
roads, and from which radiated four roads—one by Dowgate and across
into Kent, and three others which passed respectively through Aldgate,
Cripplegate, and Ludgate. The wall commenced at the eastern fort, and
had a postern gate at its commencement which occupied the position of
the row of posts in Postern-row, north of the Tower, whence it ran
northward to Aldgate, the eastern exit (some portions of the old wall
are still remaining at the back of the houses in America Crescent);
from Aldgate it went in a north-western direction between Hounds-ditch
and Camomile Street to Bishopgate, whence it proceeded directly west to
Cripplegate. In the street called London-wall a fragment may be seen,
and the remains of a bastion may be found between St. Giles's Church
and the Barber Surgeons' Hall. From this point it turned southward for
a short distance down Noble Street, and again deflected to the west,
arriving at Aldersgate, after which it passed St. Botolph's Church and
Christ's Hospital, then turned southward at a sharp angle, coming to
Ludgate (which stood immediately to the west of St. Martin's Church),
and hence to the Thames. In 1276 that portion south of Ludgate was
taken down, and a new wall built from Ludgate to the Fleet river,
and hence south to the Thames, so as to enclose the new Blackfriars'
Monastery. It has been doubted whether the wall was continued along
the river bank, but Fitzstephen says:—"London once had its walls and
towers on the south, but that vast river, the Thames, which abounds
with fish, and enjoys the benefit of tides, and washes the City on this
side, hath in a long track of time totally subverted and carried them
away;" and adds, that in his day some relics might be seen. Salmon, in
his _Survey of England_, vol. i., disputes this, chiefly on the ground
that we have no historical account of any great inundation such as
would be necessary to effect such a result; and Maitland combats his
arguments at great length, contending that a period of 777 years was
quite sufficient to account for their decay and disappearance; and Lord
Lyttelton remarks that long previously it had not been necessary to
repair the south wall, the Tower and the bridge being amply sufficient
to prevent a hostile fleet approaching the City.

In the year 1707 considerable portions of the wall were laid bare in
digging for the foundations of some houses near Bishopsgate, which
Dr. Woodward carefully examined, and gave a description of the
materials and construction in "Remarks upon the Ancient and Present
State of London: Occasioned by some Roman urns, etc., discovered near
Bishopgate," originally published in the eighth volume of Leland's
_Itinerary_, and afterwards separately. He says: "It was compiled
alternately of layers of broad flat bricks and of ragstone. The bricks
lay in double ranges, and each brick being but one inch and three
tenths in thickness, the whole layer, with the mortar interposed,
exceeded not three inches. The layers of stone were not quite two feet
thick of our measure. To this height (eight feet) the workmanship was
after the Roman manner, and these were the remains of the ancient
wall. In this it was very observable that the mortar was, as usual
in the Roman work, so very firm and hard that the stone itself was
easily broke and gave way as that. It was thus far from the foundation
nine feet in thickness. The broad thin bricks above mentioned were
all of Roman make, and of the sort, as we learn from Pliny, that
were in common use among the Romans, being in length one foot and a
half of their standard, and in breadth one foot. The old wall having
been demolished, was afterwards repaired and carried up of the same
thickness to eight or nine feet in height; or, if higher, there was no
more of that work now standing. All this was apparently additional,
and of a make later than the part underneath it. The outside, towards
the suburbs, was faced with a coarse sort of stone, not compiled with
care, nor disposed into a regular method; but on the inside there
appeared more marks of workmanship and art. There was not one of the
broad thin Roman bricks mentioned above in all this part, nor was the
mortar near so hard as in that below; but from the description it may
be easily collected that this part, when first made and entire, with so
various and orderly a disposition of the materials—flint, stone, and
bricks—could not but carry a very elegant and handsome aspect. Upon
the additional work now described was raised a wall wholly of brick,
only that it terminated in battlements topped with copings of stone. It
was two feet four inches in thickness, and somewhat above eight feet
in height.... This wall was strengthened and embellished with stately
towers, which on the south, together with the wall, are long since
become a prey to the tide and weather; but the remains of those on the
land side, being fifteen in number, are still to be seen: one thereof,
about the middle of Houndsditch, is a Roman construction, composed of
stone with layers of bricks. It is situated almost opposite the end of
Gravel Lane, on the west of Houndsditch, and is still three stories
high, but sorely decayed and rent from top to bottom in divers parts."

The height of the Roman wall is supposed to have been about twenty-two
feet, and that of the towers about forty. Besides these towers there
were bastions and other defensive works usual in fortifications. In
Vineyard Street, on the south of Aldgate, the base of a tower about
eight feet high was made use of for a new superstructure early in the
last century, upon which had been fixed a stone with this inscription:—

"Glory be to God on high, who was graciously pleased in a wonderful
manner to preserve the lives of all the people in this house, twelve
in number, when the ould wall of this Bulwark fell down three stories
high, and so broad as two cartes might enter a breast, and yet without
any harm to their persones. The Lord sanctify this his great providence
unto them. Amen and Amen. It was Tuesday, the 23rd September, 1651."

There is reason for believing that the first western wall ran
southward, with a slight inclination to the west, from Cripplegate
to the Thames, passing eastward of St. Paul's, as urns and other
sepulchral remains have been found between this line and that
indicated above. The Romans never buried their dead within the walls,
consequently this locality must at some period have been extramural;
and it would appear that as these remains have been found beneath
pavements, as the City grew in population and required more space for
the habitations of the living, the old graveyards were built over. Some
forty years ago, in sinking a shaft in Paternoster Row, the excavators
met, at a depth of eighteen feet, a stone wall of such intense hardness
that it took the workmen three or four days to cut through it. This is
supposed to have been a portion of the primitive wall, and is described
by C. Roach Smith in the _Archæologist_, vol. xxvii., pp. 140-53.

After the departure of the Romans, the wall appears to have fallen to
decay, and the City was easily taken by the Saxon pirates, who also
neglected defences of this description to a great extent, trusting
more to their own valour than in bricks and mortar. It would no doubt
suffer greatly in the destruction of its towers and bastions in the
three great conflagrations which occurred in the years 764, 798, and
801, and consumed the greater part of the City. Such being the case,
it fell an easy prey to the Danes, who in 851 sailed up the Thames
with a fleet of 350 ships, speedily reduced it, and garrisoned it as a
basis whence to attack Wessex. Alfred the Great succeeded to the throne
of Wessex in 871, and from that period to 878 he fought no less than
fifty-six battles with the invaders. In 884 he laid siege to London,
drove out the Danes and compelled them to capitulate, after which he
repaired the walls and forts, and appointed his son-in-law, Ethelred,
governor. The repairs appear to have been of a substantial character,
as when Anlaf and Swegen, or Sweyn, the kings of Norway and Denmark,
attacked the City, with a fleet of 94 ships, in 994, the citizens
were enabled to defy all their endeavours to enter within the walls,
and compelled them to raise the siege with great loss, as happened
again in 1013, when the city was defended by Ethelred II. But after
some successes elsewhere, Sweyn returned, and again laid siege to the
City; and again the citizens might have closed their gates against
him, but Ethelred, their king, pusillanimously fled to Normandy, and
the citizens deemed it best to submit, whereupon the gates were thrown
open, the Danes admitted, and Sweyn proclaimed King of England.

Sweyn did not long enjoy this dignity; he died the following spring,
when the Londoners recalled Ethelred: and he also dying soon after.
Edmund Ironsides, his son, was proclaimed king, and crowned in London.
Canute, the son of Sweyn, however, claimed the crown won by the prowess
of his father, and came with a large fleet up the Thames, but could not
pass beyond the bridge, and finding he could make no impression on the
eastern walls and forts, he cut a canal across Southwark and Lambeth,
availing himself of certain watercourses, and conveyed his ships into
the Thames somewhere about Vauxhall, whence he sailed downward, and
attacked the western walls and towers; but the undaunted bravery of
the citizens and the strength of their defences compelled him to raise
the siege. Soon after, however, a treaty was entered into between
Edmund and Canute for the division of the kingdom: and London falling
to the share of the latter, he took up his winter quarters there. By
the death of Edmund a few months after, Canute became sole monarch of
England.

After the battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched upon
London, but was opposed by a body of the citizens in Southwark, whom he
repulsed; but recognising their valour and perceiving the strength of
the City's fortifications, he went to subdue the Western Counties, and
his success in that direction showed the Londoners that the wisest and
most politic course would be to submit; when the Norman duke entered
the City, and was presented with the keys and acknowledged as King of
England. He was no sooner in possession of the City than he caused
three castles to be erected, ostensibly for the protection of the City,
but really to overawe the inhabitants. These were the Tower at the
eastern, and Baynard and Montfichet Castles at the western, extremity
of the walls. The Tower became the residence of the Norman kings,
and Baynard Castle that of the chatelain and standard-bearer of the
City—offices held first by the Baynards, and afterwards by the Barons
Fitzwalter. Montfichet Castle was destroyed by fire in the reign of
William, and the Black Friars' Monastery built on the site—the best of
the stones being used in the re-edification of St. Paul's Cathedral,
which had been destroyed by fire.

Fitzstephen speaks of the walls being "both high and thick, with seven
double gates," which appear then to have been in good condition,
although the south wall had been "subverted and carried away by the
tide." But very soon after some portions seem to have fallen into a
ruinous condition; as Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris tell us that
the barons, when in arms against King John, in 1215, entered the City
by Ealdgate, and demolished the houses of the Jews, to obtain materials
wherewith to repair that gate and the adjoining walls. In 1257, also,
it is stated, Henry III. "caused the walls, which were greatly decayed,
and destitute of towers and turrets, to be repaired in a handsomer
manner than before, at the common charge of the City."

King Edward I. granted permission to Kilwarby, Archbishop of
Canterbury, to take down the wall, from Ludgate to the Thames, for
the purpose of enlarging the Church of the Black Friars, and in 1282
granted a murage charter to the Corporation for levying certain tolls
throughout the kingdom, for making a new wall from Ludgate—westward
to Fleet Bridge, along behind the houses and by the water of the Fleet
to the Thames, "from the aforesaid day to the end of three years
next following," from which none were exempt, saving the city of
Winchester, and a few other cities, which, by composition, were to pay
no Portage, Murage, or Pannage. After an enumeration of the articles
to be subjected to toll, amongst which are: "Riges, Cetewal, Kanel,
Frankincense, Cummin, Liquorish, Zuber, Cyromontani, Frails of Figs,"
etc., is added, "Whereas we have granted you for aid of the work of
the walls of our City and the closure of the same, divers customs of
vendible things, coming to the said City, to be taken for a certain
time, we command you that you cause to be finished the wall of the said
City now begun near the Friars-preachers, and a certain good and comely
tower at the head of the said wall within the water of the Thames,"
etc. Similar letters were issued by Edward II. in the first, second,
sixth, eighth, and twelfth years of his reign; but as it was found that
levying a toll on retail commodities caused an insufficient supply,
the patent ran in the latter year, that—"Victualia non adducuntur, in
detrimentum civitatis;" but that impositions should be levied in bulk
on all merchandise brought by land or water. Richard II., in a letter
to the Corporation, said in the preamble: "Know ye, that whereas the
walls and forts of the City be old and weak, and for want of repair are
fallen down in some places, as also the ditches of the said City are
exceeding filled with dirt, dunghills, and other filth, not only to the
evident danger of the said City and inhabitants thereof, but also to
the manifest disgrace and scandal of the whole City," etc.; and granted
to the Mayor and Corporation power to levy tolls for ten years for the
purpose of placing the wall in a state of thorough repair. In order to
enforce these murage tolls it was customary to have chains fixed across
the entrances to the City, and no country people with provisions for
sale were allowed to pass until they had paid the dues.

In the reign of Edward IV., Ralph Joscelyne, the mayor, repaired the
wall from Aldgate to Aldersgate, for which purpose he caused bricks
to be made in Moorfields, where also the lime brought from Kent was
burnt for that purpose. This was in the year 1477, and several of the
City companies—the Drapers (of which company the mayor was a member),
the Skinners, the Goldsmiths, and others—contributed to the work, and
placed their arms on the portions they executed. The executors of
Sir John Crosby also contributed freely out of the funds they held
in trust towards the same object. By an order of the Common Council
each parishioner also was directed to pay sixpence every Sunday at
his Parish Church until the work was completed. After this the walls
were neglected and suffered to fall in ruin. Camden, writing in 1607,
says that the north wall "having been repaired by one Joscelin, who
was mayor, it put on, as it were, a new face and freshness, but that
towards the east and west, though the barons repaired it in their
wars of the demolished houses of the Jews, is all ruinous and going
to decay. For the Londoners, like the Lacedæmonians of old, do slight
fenced cities, as fit for nothing but women to live in, and look upon
their own City to be safe, not by the assistance of stones, but by the
courage of its inhabitants." Nevertheless when the Civil Wars between
Charles I. and his Parliament had fairly commenced, the citizens
bethought them of their walls and forts as no contemptible means of
defence. London had declared most decisively for the Parliament; and
in 1643, the Common Council gave directions that the ditches should
be cleaned out of the accumulations of rubbish, all outside buildings
cleared away, the bulwarks put in repair and mounted with cannon,
and new works added to the weaker parts of the walls. The Parliament
confirmed this resolution, and extended a plan of fortification, so as
to include Southwark and Westminster. A chain of forts surrounding the
whole, and lines of communication, were ordered to be erected. All the
entrances to the City were closed excepting those at Charing Cross, St.
Giles-in-the-Fields, St. John's Street, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel;
and these were fortified with musket proof breastworks. To carry out
these extensive works a levy was made of eight-fifteenths on all the
wards of the City, which was cheerfully assented to by the citizens,
and the works were commenced without delay, and carried on with such
zeal and alacrity that the whole was completed in an incredibly
short space of time. In the year 1647, when the dispute was raging
between the Presbyterians and the Independents, the city was divided
in opinion: but when the army under Fairfax advanced from Hounslow
upon London, the Mayor and Corporation met and saluted the general
at Charing Cross; and by an ordnance of Parliament he was constituted
Constable of the Tower, the army thus becoming masters of the City. The
Parliament then demanded a loan of £50,000 from the City, which was not
complied with and in consequence an Act was passed for demolishing the
fortifications of London, Westminster, and Southwark.

Whether the Roman wall was protected by a ditch does not appear;
probably not, as the first mention we have of one being made is by
Dunthorn, who informs us that William, Bishop of Ely, Regent of England
when Richard I. was absent in Palestine, made a ditch round the Tower
as a defence against John, the King's brother, soon after which the
citizens dug a ditch round the walls generally, which they commenced
about 1190, but left it unfinished until 1213, as the register of
Barmondsey states, when it was recommenced, and completed in two
years. This ditch was 200 feet broad, but was afterwards neglected,
and gardens planted and houses built upon it. In 1354, Edward III.
caused it to be cleansed; and again in 1379, by direction of Lord
Mayor Philpot, as also by Lord Mayor Fawconer, in 1414, and Lord
Mayor Joceline, in 1477. In 1519, 10th Henry VIII., it was "cleansed
and scowered" between Aldgate and the Tower—the chief ditcher being
paid 7d. per day, the second ditcher 6d., other ditchers 5d., and
every "vagabond" (labourer) one penny and meat and drink at the charge
of the City. It was cleansed out again in 1549 at the expense of the
trade guilds, and twenty years after, _temp._ Elizabeth, at a cost of
£814 15s. 8d., at which time "it had therein great store of good fish
of divers sorts." After this the expense was defrayed by letting the
banks and "the whole spoil of the ditch," excepting in 1595, when the
Common Council granted two-fifteens for the purpose. In the following
century the ditch was filled up, excepting Fleet Ditch on the west,
which, after the Fire of 1666, was, by direction of the Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, ordered to be cleansed, enlarged, and made navigable
for barges up to Holborn-bridge. The sides were built of freestone,
and it was arranged that its banks should be lined with warehouses
and wharves, but this part of the project was not carried out in
its integrity. "This ditch was built and made by Sir Thomas Fitch,
bricklayer, who contracted with the City for a very considerable
sum, and enriched himself thereby." In 1723 the Corporation obtained
an Act of Parliament for filling up the channel from Fleet-bridge to
Holborn-bridge, which had become choked with mud and was no longer
navigable, and to build thereon a new market in place of Stocks Market,
near the Exchange, which it was proposed to dismarket and demolish, and
erect on the site a Mansion House for the Lord Mayor.

We have seen that in the old Roman walls there were four gates,
the exits of four roads radiating from the "milliarum," now called
London Stone. These gates were—Aldgate on the east, Aldersgate on the
north, Ludgate on the west, and Dowgate on the south. What were the
architectural features of these gates we know not, but undoubtedly they
were similar to the usual Roman gateways, with round-arched openings
and fortified upper chambers for the purpose of defence.

ALDGATE, or Ealdgate, so called by the Saxons on account of its
antiquity, was placed by King Eadger in the hands of the knights of the
Knighten Guild, who held the soke, now called Potsoken Ward Without, by
charter. Afterwards it became part of the demesne of Maud, queen of
Henry I., who bestowed it upon the prior and canons of her foundation,
the Priory of the Holy Trinity, along with the soke and franchise of
the ward. In 1215, the barons, in their war with King John, being
favoured by the Londoners, entered the City by Aldgate, which was in a
ruinous condition, and repaired, or rather rebuilt it, in the Norman
style, with an arched opening built from the ruins of the Jews' houses,
and bulwarks of Caen stone. In the 11th Edward IV., the Bastard of
Fauconbridge sailed up the Thames with his fleet, he being the admiral,
to attack London in the then hopeless interest of the Lancastrian
ex-king, when the Londoners hastily fortified the river front, and he
landed in Essex, marched to Aldgate, and forced an entrance; but the
portcullis having been lowered, separated his forces, and they were
defeated and driven back to Mile-end, many being slain and others
dispersed. Having fallen to decay, the gate was taken down in 1606, and
rebuilt, the finishing stone having been laid in 1609. It consisted of
two three-storied square flanking towers, with a deep recessed centre,
containing the archway and a room above, and a footway postern in one
of the towers. It was ornamented with two stone medallions, copies of
two Roman coins found on digging the foundations, a figure of King
James I., in gilt armour, over the arch, figures of two soldiers on the
battlements, and a representation of Fortune standing on a globe. The
rooms over the gate were appropriated to the Lord Mayor's carver as a
residence.

ALDERSGATE, like Aldgate, was denominated Eldergate by the Saxons
on account of its antiquity. It was at divers times enlarged, with
additional buildings, and was rebuilt in 1617 by direction of the
Corporation, William Parker, merchant tailor, contributing £1,000
towards that object. It was built with a recessed centre, and square
flanking towers four stories in height. Over the arch was an equestrian
figure of King James I., who entered London by this gate when he came
from Scotland to succeed Elizabeth on the throne of England, and on the
opposite or southern front were statues of the prophets Jeremiah and
Samuel, and another representation of King James, seated in a chair of
State, in his royal robes. The rooms over the postern were occupied by
the Common Crier of the City. This gate suffered great damage in the
Fire of 1666, but was restored at the charge of the City, during the
mayoralty of Sir Samuel Stirling.

LUDGATE, Geoffry of Monmouth informs us, was built by King Lud, _circa_
A.D. 66. It was repaired and partly reconstructed by the barons,
in 1215, out of the materials of the Jews' houses, and was again
rebuilt in 1586, when a stone was found in the old structure bearing
an inscription in Hebrew characters, "This is the station of Rabbi
Moses, the son of the honourable Rabbi Isaac." During some repairs in
1260, statues of Lud, and other ancient kings, were placed upon the
gate; "but," as Stow says, "these had their heads smitten off in the
reign of Edward the Sixth, by unadvised persons and such who judged
every image to be an idol. In the reign of Queen Mary, they were again
repaired, and had new heads set to their old bodies." In 1586, being
much decayed, it was entirely rebuilt by the Corporation, at a cost
of £1,500, with statues of Lud and other kings on the east, and of
Queen Elizabeth on the west. From the year 1378, this gate was used
as a prison for freemen of the City guilty of the crimes of "debt,
trespasser, accompts and contempts." It was consumed in the Fire of
1666, but substantially rebuilt, like an ordinary house, with central
archway and side portions, and ornamented with statues of Queen
Elizabeth, King Lud, etc.

The fourth ancient gate was the exit to the ferry across the Thames,
called DOWGATE, Downgate, or Dourgate, the great road to the
Kentish sea-coast, running from the opposite bank. It seems to have
disappeared, along with the ferry, when the bridge was built and the
gateway transferred to that locality.

By the time of Henry II. the exigencies of commerce, and, as Maitland
says, "the accommodation of the citizens in repairing to their gardens
and fields," necessitated more exits through the walls; and thus
we find, as Fitzstephen informs us, there were then seven double
gates. These Maitland conjectures to have been Aldgate, Aldersgate,
Cripplegate, Ludgate, Newgate, and the Tower Postern, but it seems more
probable that instead of the last-mentioned, the seventh was Bridgegate
which took the place of Dowgate.

BISHOPGATE was built by some bishop of London; Strype supposes
Erkenwald, _circa_ 675, but Maitland thinks it was William the Norman
in the reign of the Conqueror. There were effigies of two bishops
on the gate, conjectured to have been Erkenwald and William, and the
presumption is that the former was the original builder, and the latter
the rebuilder; as, if Erkenwald were the founder, the old gate would be
400 years old in the time of William. In the reign of Henry III. it was
placed under the charge of the Hanseatic Merchants of the Guildhalle
Teutonicorum, who undertook to keep it in repair in consideration of
certain privileges and immunities, but they neglected their duty, for
which they were called to account in the reign of Edward I., upon which
they paid 210 marks sterling to the Corporation for present repairs,
and entered into a covenant to be less remiss in the future, and in
the reign of Edward IV. they rebuilt it. In 1561 they had again made
arrangements to rebuild it, but before the reconstruction was commenced
they were deprived of their liberties, and the old gate remained
until 1731, when it was taken down. It was a building of castellated
character, with a pointed archway in the centre, and posterns in the
two side towers, with statues over the central arch, and, high up in
the towers, in niches.

CRIPPLEGATE dates from the Saxon era, and obtained its name from the
circumstance that cripples there congregated to supplicate for alms.
Maitland considers that it, and not Aldersgate, was one of the four
original Roman gates. It is related that, in the year 1010, during
an incursion of the Danes into East Anglia, the monks of Bury fled
to London, carrying with them the sacred relics of St. Edmund, and
entering by this gate, all the cripples crouching about it were
miraculously healed. It was sometime a City prison for debtors and
persons guilty of trespass, and was the residence of the water-bailiff
of the City. In 1244, it was rebuilt by the Brewers' Company, and again
in 1491, Edmund Shaa, goldsmith, and mayor in 1483, having left 400
marks for that purpose. It was repaired and beautified, and the foot
postern new made, at the charge of the City of London, in 1663, during
the mayoralty of Sir John Robinson, knight and baronet, and alderman
of the ward. In its last aspect it was a castellated structure with
battlements, two octangular turrets, a recessed centre with Tudor
archway, and a side postern through one of the towers.

NEWGATE.—In the reign of William I., the church of St. Paul's was
burnt, when Mauritius, Bishop of London, commenced re-edification.
In doing this he considerably enlarged the plan, and encroached so
much upon the main street which ran through Cheapside, from Aldgate to
Ludgate, that vehicles were compelled to take circuitous routes through
narrow streets with dangerous angles, north or south of the cathedral,
to reach Ludgate. The inconvenience became so great, that in the reign
of Henry I, or Stephen, a new exit was made through the wall facing
Holborn, to which there was better access from Cheapside, and was
called Newgate, in contradistinction to the old gates. Howell, in his
_Londinopolis_, says that it is a mistake to suppose that it was built
so recently as the reign of Henry I., that it was of much older date,
and was formerly called Chamberlaingate; and Maitland inclines to the
opinion that it, and not Ludgate, was one of the four Roman gates, from
the circumstance that there are vestiges of a Roman road leading in
this direction. For 500 years the gate was the common prison for felons
of London and Middlesex. In the year 1255, one John Offrem, a prisoner,
who had killed a prior, made his escape, and Henry III. was so
displeased that he committed the Sheriffs to the Tower, and inflicted
a fine upon the City of 3,000 marks. In 1422, the executors of Sir
Richard Whittington, out of funds bequeathed for that purpose, "builded
the Gate of London called Newgate," which Grafton says "before was a
most ugly and loathsome prison." The east side was repaired in 1630,
and the gate was entirely destroyed in the Great Fire of London; after
which it was rebuilt "with greater magnificence than any of the gates
of the City." The new building was a lofty structure, with battlemented
roof, a recessed centre, with pointed archway, and two five-storied
sexangular towers. It was ornamented on the west side with Tuscan
pilasters, with niches holding statues in the inter-columniations, one
of which was a figure of Liberty, with a cat crouching at her feet,
emblematical of the career of Whittington; and on the east were three
niches with figures of Justice, Truth, and Mercy.

MOORGATE was built in the year 1415, by Thomas Falconer, Lord Mayor. At
that time the land outside the wall in this part was a marsh, or moor,
whence the name. It was made for the easier access of the citizens to
their gardens and the fields beyond the marsh; and a causeway, with
dykes and bridges, was constructed across the moor, which was improved
by Roger Acheley, Lord Mayor in 1511. Afterwards, in the year 1606, in
the mayoralty of Sir Leonard Halliday, "the moor, before an unhealthful
place, was turned into pleasant walks set with trees, compassed with
brick walls, and made convenient by sewers under ground for the
conveyence of the water, which cost the City £5,000 or thereabouts."
It was afterwards, during the mayoralty of John Baker, 1733, "new
gravell'd and rail'd in a very strong and handsome manner." The old
gate, having fallen to decay, was pulled down in 1672, and a new one of
stone erected, with a central archway, and posterns with two stories
above in the Italian style.

BRIDGEGATE, which supplanted Dowgate, was constructed along with the
bridge, in the ninth or tenth century, and was situated at the southern
end. In 1436 it fell, along with the tower above it, and the two
southernmost arches of the bridge; and in 1471 the new gate was burnt
by the Bastard Fauconbridge. It was repaired at divers times, and was
considerably damaged by fire in 1726, but was reinstated within two
years. As it last appeared it had a central archway, above which was
one story ornamented with the City arms, and had two circular side
towers, with posterns for foot passengers. This gate is historically
memorable from the number of heads of traitors and victims of royal
jealousy which have been placed upon it _in terrorem_. Besides these
there were several posterns between the main gates, and many water
gates, such as Billingsgate, Wolfsgate, Botolphsgate, etc., which,
however, were only used for commercial purposes, as wharfs for the
purpose of landing goods from ships and barges.

In the great Fire of London, Ludgate, Newgate, and Aldersgate were
destroyed, and rebuilt. In 1760-1, eight gates being no longer
necessary, and proving to be obstructions to the traffic, were sold
for what the materials would fetch, and pulled down; Newgate was
destroyed by the Lord George Gordon rioters in 1780. Temple Bar which
was built by Sir Christopher Wren, 1670-2, has been removed to make way
for the improvements about the new Law Courts; it had some historical
associations connected with it, having succeeded the old gate on London
Bridge for the ghastly display of traitors' heads. It has been carted
away, very injudiciously, to be placed in some private grounds, whilst
there was one most suitable and alone proper place for it, where it
would have retained its characteristic name, stood in a conspicuous
position, and have become to a certain extent an ornament, and
certainly an interesting memorial of the past history of London—that
spot being on the Thames embankment, as the river-side entrance to the
Temple Gardens.



Episodes in the Annals of Cheapside.


There are many famous streets in the capitals of the world—the Rue de
Rivoli, Paris; the Nevski Prospekt, St. Petersburg; the High Street,
Edinburgh; the Broadway, New York; the Joseph Platz, Vienna; the High
Street, Oxford; and the Via Sacra of Old Rome, with many others. All
these are renowned for various characteristics of picturesque beauty,
architectural grandeur, or as the scenes of important events in bygone
times. In an æsthetic point of view, Cheapside is inferior to many of
these, although architecturally it is now rapidly improving, and in
a few years will be able to show ranges of buildings equal to those
of any street in the world; but of all the streets mentioned above,
excepting, perhaps, those of Edinburgh and Rome, there is not one that
can compare with it for its historical associations, and for the grand
series of events of national and world-wide importance which it has
witnessed during the thousand years of its existence. We purpose to
bring before the reader a few of the more striking and picturesque of
these events, which have occurred at different periods of its history,
which will have a certain amount of value as serving to illustrate
the modes of living, the customs and amusements, the fluctuations
of opinion in politics and religion, the relations between king and
people, and the ancient municipal glories of the citizens of London in
bygone centuries.

Wondrously different was the Westchepen of the eleventh century when
the Norman Conqueror granted his brief and pithy charter to the
citizens of London, from that of the nineteenth, with its stately
edifices, its asphalted pavement, and its rush and roar of never
ceasing traffic. It was then somewhat like an ill-tended country road,
in the summer rough and uneven and full of deep holes, and in winter
a quagmire of mud and filth knee deep, with better beaten causeways
at the sides for pedestrian traffic. It is recorded by Stow that in
1091, a terrible hurricane passed over London, when 600 houses were
blown down, and the roof of the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, erected
a few years previously, was lifted off, carried some distance, and
dashed into the street with such violence that four of the rafters,
twenty-five feet in length, were driven into the earth, "the ground
being of a moorish nature," leaving only four feet exposed, "which
were fain to be cut even with the ground, because they could not be
plucked out." The houses stood apart from each other like cottages
in a village, and were thatched with straw, which was the cause of
many fires, one occurring two years after the great storm, in which
nearly the whole of the remaining houses were consumed; and so did the
citizens continue to rebuild their habitations after each successive
fire, until 1245, when it was ordained that for the future they
should be covered with tiles or slates, instead of straw, in the
chief streets, "especially those close together, which were but few
in number, for in Cheapside was a void place called Crown Field, from
the Crown Inn which stood at the end of it." This field was at the
end of Soper's Lane, by Bucklersbury, and upon it were erected stages
for spectators of pageants. It was sold, 2 Ed. IV., to Sir Richard
Cholmley, but does not appear to have been utilized immediately for
building purposes, as we hear it spoken of in the time of Henry VII.

The curfew bell was tolled from the tower of St. Mary, and on the top
lanterns were suspended and lighted at night, "whereby travellers to
the City might have the better sight thereof, and not miss their ways."

For the supply of water there was a great standard or conduit at the
east end, where the Poultry commences, and a smaller one opposite
Old Change, by Paul's Gate, and opposite Wood Street stood one of
the Eleanor Crosses, erected in 1290, which having become decayed by
time, was re-edified by John Hatherley, Lord Mayor, who added to it a
fountain. These conduits were the frequent scenes of punishments for
misdeeds and executions. Wat Tyler beheaded Sheriff Lyon at the western
standard, and there Jack Cade chopped off the head of Lord Say; there
also Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, and treasurer to Edward II., was
beheaded in 1326 "by the burgesses of London." In the same localities
also was the pillory erected, where Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, had
their ears lopped off, and there Defoe and a multitude of other less
known defenders of public rights and freedom of conscience have been
exposed, sometimes to the derision, at others to the sympathy, of the
mob.

In the Plantagenet and Tudor eras Cheapside had assumed a different
and more street-like aspect. Continuous lines of houses, with gables
forming a vandyke sky line, with crossed timberings and latticed
windows, ran down each side, with the steeple of St. Mary-le-Bow, which
had fallen in 1271, and "slain many people, men, women, and children,"
and been restored gradually until the finishing stone was placed in
1469, standing proudly in the centre of the southern line. At the
eastern end, between Laurence Lane and a house, called the "cage," was
West Chepe Market, the goods being exposed for sale on stalls, which
were let at 13s. 4d. the standing, causing much bickering between
the street-sellers and the shopkeepers, in front of whose doors they
stood, and whose goods were often seized and burnt at the standards
for deficiencies in weight, or for inferiority in quality. The Eleanor
Cross, which had been rebuilt in 1441, and the eastern and the western
conduits still gave forth their supplies of water. The appearance of
the cross is indicated in an old print of the procession of Edward
VI. to his coronation in 1547; and again, with one of the conduits,
in La Serre's view of Cheapside, with the procession of Catharine de
Medicis, _temp._ Charles I. The shops were open in front like modern
butchers' shops, and the goods exposed for sale on bunks. Lydgate, in
his "Lackpenny" ballad, thus speaks of them:—

    "Then to the Chepe I gan me drawn,
    Where much people I saw for to stand,
    One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn,
    Another he taketh me by the hand,
    'Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land;'
    I never was used to such things, indeed,
    And, wanting money, I could not speed."

The 'prentices of Cheapside were a conspicuous feature of the street at
this period. During the day they paraded up and down in front of their
masters' shop, crying "What d'ye lack; what d'ye lack?" followed by an
enumeration and laudation of the articles within, and the wonderful
bargains to be picked up; and in the evening listening eagerly for the
sound of the curfew bell as the signal for shutting up shop. Stow tells
us that in his time the bell-ringer was sometimes late, and that the
'prentices, precursors of the "Early Closing Movement" of our own time,
addressed him as follows:—

    "Clerk of the Bow-bell, with the yellow locks,
    For thy late ringing thy head shall have knocks."

The bell-ringer, knowing that they would be as good as their word, and
deeming "discretion to be the better part of valour," replies:—

    "Children of Chepe, hold you all still,
    For you shall have Bow-bell ring at your will."

These 'prentices were a pugnacious race of mortals, and were ever ready
to issue forth at the cry of "Clubs! clubs! 'Prentices! 'Prentices!"
leaving the shop to take care of itself, to join in any fray that
was going on in the street, especially if it were a demonstration
against a foreign interloper in trade. They waited upon their master
and mistress at their meals, and on Sundays and saint-days followed
them demurely to church, carrying hassocks for them to kneel upon.
In the summer evenings, after the shops were shut and evening prayer
over, as Stow tells us, they were wont "to exercise their wasters and
bucklers, and the maidens, one of them playing upon a timbrel, in sight
of their masters and dames, to dance for garlands hanged across the
streets," and on holidays they went out to Finsbury Fields, and other
open places, and exercised themselves in leaping, dancing, shooting,
wrestling, casting the stone, etc., but especially in bow and arrow
practice.

Chaucer, in the _Cook's Tale_, thus describes the 'prentice of
Cheapside:—

    "A prentice dwelt whilom in our cite;
    At every bridale would he sing and hoppe;
    He loved bet the taverne than the shoppe,
    For when ther any riding was in Chepe,
    Out of the shoppe thider wold he lepe,
    And till that he had all the sight ysein,
    And danced wel, he wold not come agen."

Some of the more salient features in the past of Cheapside which
present themselves to our view in the gradual unrolling of the panorama
of the ten centuries are very varied in their character. We behold a
strange intermingling of gorgeous processions in honour of the birth,
marriage, and coronation of royal personages, with the pillory, the
stocks, and the executioner's block, and the accompanying lopping-off
of hands, ears, and heads, and whippings at the cart tail; Lord
Mayors' shows, generally more grotesque than refined, and trade guild
demonstrations of splendid liveries and floating banners; combined with
'prentices' club frays, and fights between rival trade companies, which
seldom ended without bloodshed; tilting at the quintain; tournaments
and joustings; alongside with insurrectionary risings and outbursts of
religious fanaticism.

A.D. 1196. At this period the rich and the noble of the land were
chiefly of the Norman race, and the poor almost all Saxons, who were
ground down to the earth by the tyranny and oppression of their
masters, to which they submitted with a sullen dogged obedience, having
still within them that spirit of freedom which animated the breasts
of their ancestors previous to the Norman Conquest. Richard Cœur de
Lion was king, and had just been liberated from his captivity. He
ruled the kingdom with a high hand, and had said on one occasion, when
remonstrated with for raising money by unconstitutional means, "Have I
not a right to do what I like with my own? I would sell London itself
if I could find a purchaser." At this juncture up rose a lawyer, one
William Fitzosbert, otherwise called Longbeard, who seems to have
been a designing character, and desirous of currying favour with the
people, he proclaimed himself the advocate of the poor, the redresser
of their wrongs, and the unflinching enemy of their oppressors. He soon
had a gathering around him of the penniless and discontented serfs,
amounting eventually to 50,000 men, armed with bows and arrows, rudely
fashioned pikes, clubs, axes, hedge stakes, and other similar weapons.
This army—or rather mob—went about offering insults to the rich,
breaking open their houses and plundering them in broad daylight. The
Corporation had then but little authority and power, and were not able
to cope with so formidable an insurrection; and Archbishop Hubert, the
chief justiciary, summoned the leader to appear before him, who came,
however, so numerously attended, that it was deemed wise to dismiss him
with a rebuke. After this the outrages of the insurgents became more
barefaced and open, as well as more numerous; whereupon more vigorous
measures were taken, and after murdering an officer sent to apprehend
him, Fitzosbert, with a concubine and a few followers, took refuge in
the church of St. Mary-le-Bow, and fortified it against his pursuers,
defying them for some time, many persons being killed in the assault,
until at length a fire of damp straw was lighted beneath, the smoke of
which compelled the garrison to issue forth, and after a fight in the
street, they were captured and carried to the Tower, before the judges,
who condemned them to death. "And then," says Stow, "he (Fitzosbert)
was by the heels drawn to the Elmes in Smithfield and there hanged
with nine of his fellows, where because his favourers came not to
deliver him, he forsook Mary's son (as he termed Christ our Saviour),
and called upon the devil to help and deliver him. Such was the end of
this deceiver, a filthy fornicator, a secret murderer, a pollutor of
concubines, and (amongst his other detestable acts) a false accuser of
his elder brother, who had brought him up in learning, and done many
things for his preferment." The people, however, looked upon him as a
martyr, secured his body, carried away the broken-up gibbet and the
bloodstained earth as relics, and reports were afterwards spread abroad
of sundry wonderful miracles which had been worked by their sacred
influence.

A.D. 1236. An aspect of a very different and much more pleasing
character was that which Cheapside assumed on one occasion in this
year. King Henry III. had in January married with great magnificence
at Canterbury, Eleanor, second daughter of Raymond, Earl of Provence,
and it was when she passed through the City, on her way to Westminster
to be crowned, that a civic display was made in Cheapside, which
surpassed in pomp and splendour everything which had preceded it,
and which is the earliest of which we have any detailed account. The
street was hung with arras, silk and cloth draperies of gay colours,
and banners and pennons floating from the housetops and windows,
accompanied by many strange devices, and pageants on scaffolds along
the route. Andrew Bockrel, the mayor, with the sheriffs and aldermen,
and a following of 360 citizens, rode forth to meet the king and queen,
and escort them through the City to Westminster. They were all clad
in long robes, lavishly embroidered with gold; their other garments
were of silk, diversified in colour, and their horses were covered
with trappings reaching to the ground, covered with embroidery and
blazonry of arms. Each man carried in his hand a gold or silver cup,
emblematic of the Lord Mayor's right to serve the office of chief
butler at the coronation feast, and they were preceded by trumpeters.
In the evening the city was illuminated with lamps, cressets, and
other lights "without number," Cheapside presenting a most brilliant
effect, with the bonfires blazing up from the ground, lights of
different kinds gleaming from the frontages of the houses, from end
to end of the street, and multitudes of men, with lighted cressets
on their shoulders, marching hither and thither, and mingling with
others bearing torches, a scene infinitely more picturesque than the
commonplace gas illuminations of the present.

A.D. 1249. In this year King Henry III. made a raid upon the
shopkeepers of Cheapside, who, true to their instinctive abhorrence
of regal interference with their liberties, presented so formidable
an opposition to his demands that he was fain to give way. Stow thus
narrates the occurrence: "This year the King kept his Christmas at
London, with the meanness of spirit worthy of himself, for he begged,
as it were, large new year's gifts of the citizens. But the money on
that occasion not being deemed sufficient, Henry soon after sent and
imperiously demanded much greater sums. This message occasioned a
great alarm amongst the citizens, who justly complained that no regard
was had to honour, justice, conscience, nor religion; and that their
liberties, which they had so often dearly bought, and had so many
times been confirmed and sworn to, were not able to protect them from
being treated as the worst of the slaves; yet, notwithstanding these
great truths, they were compelled to pay the tyrant the sum of £2,000,
a very great sum at that time. Nor did these wicked proceedings stop
here, for many shopkeepers in the City were spoiled of their goods
(especially those for the use of the kitchen) by the order of that
iniquitous prince." We may fancy the commotion that would be excited
in Cheapside when the king's officers appeared and seized the goods
which were displayed on the bunks for sale, and can only wonder that
the valorous 'prentices did not raise their usual war cry, seize their
clubs, and drive the officers back with a sound thrashing to their
master who sent them. Whether they did attempt to defend their master's
property in this their usual fashion is not recorded, but Stow adds:
"These diabolical oppressions caused many of the most eminent citizens
to retire into the country, choosing rather to cohabit with brutes
than to dwell in the capital of so wicked a tyrant.... Henry, being at
last conscious of his having frequently and unjustly imposed upon the
citizens of London by many heavy and intolerable exactions, resolved to
reconcile himself with them; and, in order thereunto, commanded them
to attend him at Westminster, where, being assembled in the great hall,
he, in the presence of his nobility, solemnly promised that for the
future they should live happily under his government, and not be liable
to such grievous taxations as formerly."

A.D. 1257. Sir Hugh Bigot, an itinerant judge, held a court in the
City, although contrary to the ancient rights and liberties of the
citizens, and made an example in Cheapside of certain bakers guilty
of malpractices such as giving short weight and supplying an inferior
article, "by setting them upon a tumbrell or dung-cart, wherein they
were exposed in the streets as bawds usually were,"—a very wholesome
punishment, which might be revived with advantage in the present day as
an example to the adulterators of food.

A.D. 1262 and 1264. At the eastern end of Cheapside is a street called
the Old Jewry, a name formerly applied to a limited district westward
of Lothbury, and so called from being the principal Jews' quarter of
the early race of Jews, who were banished the kingdom _temp._ Edward
I., and where they had a synagogue. Here they lived, as well as about
Jewin Street, and in a Jewery near the Tower, and then, as now, made
great wealth by the practice of usury, and despoiling the Gentiles by
means of hard bargains and crafty sharp practice in money dealings,
which gave rise to a great deal of ill-will between the two races, much
maltreatment, massacres, and unjust demands of money from the Jews, by
the kings and other authorities, and the frequent pillaging of their
houses by mobs.

In 1189, a general massacre of the Jews took place at the coronation
of Richard I., the survivors living in constant peril of murder and
confiscation, an instance of the latter occurring in 1241, when the
Jews of London were fined 20,000 marks because the Jews of Norwich had
circumcised a Christian child.

In 1262, a fierce quarrel broke out between a Christian and a Jew,
in the Church of St. Mary Cole, in the Poultry, relative to some
money transactions, which proceeded from words to blows, and the Jew,
having dangerously wounded his adversary, fled into the Jewry for
refuge, pursued by a mob of idlers who had witnessed the fray, and
of 'prentices from the shops, nothing loth to join in a Jew-hunting
frolic. The Jew was captured in his own house, dragged forth, and
bludgeoned to death. Not satisfied with that, the mob fell upon
the inhabitants of the quarter and murdered them indiscriminately,
afterwards plundering and burning their houses.

Two years afterwards the mob was again in arms, arising out of an
attempt on the part of a Jew to extort more than the legal interest
(twopence per week) for £20, which he had lent to a Christian. They
attacked the "Jewery" in great force, destroyed the synagogue—the first
erected in England—massacred 500, or according to another authority,
700 Jews, male and female, and "spoiled the residue of their property."

In the Westminster Parliament of 1273, laws were enacted to restrain
their exorbitant rates of usury, and in 1290, by an Act of the
Parliament assembled at Northampton, they were banished the realm, and
all their immovable property confiscated. The number who were thus
driven forth amounted, according to Matthew of Westminster, to 16,160,
and thus ended the first race of Jews in England, from which period
until the middle of the seventeenth century, although there might be
individuals, there was no organised body of Jews in the land.

A.D. 1269. In this year, the 53rd of the reign of Henry III., a great
fight took place between the Goldsmiths and the Taylors Companies,
which is thus graphically described by Fabyan: "In this lili. yere in
ye moneth of November fyll a very aulnce atweene the felys-shyppes
of Goldsmythes and Tayloures of London, whiche grewe to makynge of
parties, so that with the Goldsmythes take partie the felyshep or
craft of—and with the Tayloures held ye craft of Stayners; by meane of
this moche people uyghtly gaderyd in the streetes in harneys, and at
length as it were prouyded, the thirde nyght of the sayd parties mette
upon the number of V. C. men on both sydes and ran togyder, with such
vyolence, that some were slayne and many wounded. Then outcry was was
made that ye shyreffes, with strengthe of other comers, came to the
ryddynge of theym, and of theym toke certayne persones and sent them
into dyvers prysons and upon the morrowe such serche was made, yt the
moste of the chief causers of that fray were taken and put in warde.
Then vpon the Fryday followynge Saynt Katteryn's daye, sessyons were
kepte at Newgate by the Mayre and Lawrence de Broke, iustice, and
others; where xxx. of the sayd persones were arregned of felony, and
xiii. of theym caste and hanged."

A.D. 1330. King Edward II. had been murdered in Berkeley Castle, and
his son, Edward III., reigned in his stead, and now, five years after
the decapitation of Bishop Stapleton, Cheapside was witness of a scene
of a more joyous character. Unsuitable as it might be deemed nowadays,
with its endless throng of cabs, omnibuses, and other vehicles, for
such a display, it was then not unfrequently the chosen spot for
tournaments and jousts. Two years before, the young King had married
Philippa of Hainhault, and this year she had given birth to an infant,
afterwards the famous Black Prince. In honour of this event, and to do
honour to the visit of some French ambassadors, the King gave orders
for a tournament to be held in Cheapside. The street was decorated with
tapestries and silver draperies, pendant on the walls, and banners
streaming from the roofs. The bright eyes of beauteous damsels glanced
in the windows of the houses, and the street was filled with a crowd
of gaily dressed holiday-makers. The lists were formed between Wood
Street and Queen Street, and the ground bestrewn with sand to prevent
the horses slipping. There was seen all the glory and paraphernalia of
heraldry. Kings-at-arms and pursuivants, decked in habits emblazoned
with arms, trumpeters, and other officials; prancing steeds, bestridden
by knights in full panoply, with their achievements blazoned on their
shields, accompanied by their esquires bearing their arms. Across the
street had been erected a scaffold, shaped like a tower, whereon sat
Philippa and the ladies of her court, the great centre of attraction
for the spectators in the street below. Thirteen knights entered the
lists on each side; stalwart men and the flower of chivalry. Their
esquires handed to them their lances, and making deep obeisance to
the Queen, they ranged themselves at each end for the onset, when the
trumpets sounded and they dashed forward. Scarcely, however, had they
done so when the scaffold on which the Queen sat came down with a
terrific crash, which stopped the jousters in midway. The King rushed
to the spot, anxious for the safety of the Queen, but fortunately found
that no one had been hurt beyond a few bruises and a terrible fright.
Great confusion prevailed, and the King, in a tempest of rage, vowed
that all the careless carpenters who had constructed the stage should
be put to death, but the Queen, says Stow, "took great care to save the
carpenters from punishment, and through her prayers, which she made on
her knees, she pacified the King and council, and thereby purchased
great love of the people." After this the King caused a stone shed,
called Sildham, to be built in front of Bow Church, "for himself, the
Queen, and other estates to stand in, there to behold the joustings and
other shows at their pleasure." It served this purpose until the year
1410, in the reign of Henry VI., when it was disposed of to Stephen
Spilman, William Marchford, and John Wattel, mercers, for business
purposes, with the condition that "The kings of England and other great
estates, as well as those of foreign countries repairing to this realm,
should be entitled to make use of it for witnessing the shows of the
City, passing through Westchepe."

At the western standard by Paul's Gate, Jack Cade, the rebel leader, in
1450, caused Lord Say to be decapitated.

A.D. 1382-1445. In the interval between these dates, Cheapside was
the scene of much royal pageantry of great splendour. When Anne of
Bohemia, the first Queen of Richard II., entered London after her
marriage, in 1382, a castle, with towers, was erected in Cheapside,
on whose battlements stood a bevy of fair maidens, who flung in
their path counterfeit gold coins, and threw over them, as it were,
showers of butterflies made of gold leaf; and when she and Richard
passed in procession through Cheapside, afterwards, to celebrate his
reconciliation with the City, after a fierce quarrel, a tower was
erected, whence issued copious streams of red and white wine for all
comers, the King and Queen quaffing draughts therefrom out of golden
goblets, and an "angel descending from a cloud crowned them with golden
circlets." In 1423 Katherine of Valois, widow of Henry V., after
visiting St. Paul's Cathedral, passed through Cheapside, seated in a
chair of state, with her infant king, Henry VI., in her lap, whence
she proceeded to Newington Manor House. Henry VI. and his queen—the
masculine and brave, but unfortunate, Margaret of Anjou—passed along
Cheapside with much pageantry on the occasion of their marriage, in
1445, when they halted by the great conduit to witness a play called
_The Five Wise and the Five Foolish Virgins_, who were personated with
great spirit by ten City maidens. Twenty-seven years after—in 1472—the
corpse of the weak and unfortunate monarch, after his suspicious death
in the Tower, and the fall of the Lancaster dynasty, passed along
Cheapside in mournful funereal silence, by torchlight, and with the
face exposed, that all might see that the last of the Lancasters was
really dead, on its progress to St. Paul's, and hence to Windsor for
burial.

A.D. 1510. Perhaps the most splendid of the sights of Cheapside was the
setting of the Marching Watch on the Vigil of St. John the Baptist, in
June, and on that of Saints Peter and Paul in July. The City Watch was
instituted in the year 1253 by Henry III., and consisted of a body of
substantial citizens, with an alderman or magistrate at their head,
for each ward, to protect the houses from robbery and the streets
from outrages by night—crimes which had hitherto been very rife; and
it was ordained that if anyone suffered loss or violence whilst the
guard was on duty he should receive compensation from the ward. The
Marching Watch was a grand processional display of fire and light,
banners and music, glittering armour and flashing weapons, bonfires in
the streets, and numberless cressets borne aloft. The citizens' wives
and daughters, apparelled in their most fascinating costumes, occupied
the windows; men and boys clambered on the gabled roofs; whilst in
the street below tables were spread with viands and provided by the
citizens, which were presided over by their 'prentices, attired in
their blue gowns and yellow hosen, like the Christ's Hospital boys of
our time, who invited the passers-by—more especially if they were young
and pretty and of the other sex—to partake of their masters' cheer.

On the Vigil of St. John in 1510, Henry VIII., then a frolicsome
young man of nineteen, who had only been a year on the throne, with
a companion or two, perhaps Charles Brandon, came from Westminster,
disguised as a yeomen of the guard, to see this setting of the Watch,
of which he had heard so much. He came from Westminster in a public
wherry, and landing at Bridewell Stairs, proceeded on foot, like a
modern Haroun al Raschid, mingling with the people and cracking jests
with them as he went along. He stationed himself at the cross in West
Cheap, where he saw the proceedings admirably, and after partaking,
most probably, of a cake and a flagon of ale at some hospitable
citizen's door, he returned, so much struck with the splendour of the
festival that he vowed he would bring the Queen (Catherine of Arragon,
whom he had married the previous year) to see it on the next occasion,
in July.

The Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul arrived, and the gay monarch,
faithful to his promise, and wishing to give pleasure to his queen,
dreaming not then of divorces and the headman's axe, with which he
became so familiar in after life, brought her in regal state and
pomp, accompanied by a crowd of nobles and court ladies, to see the
civic spectacle, which they witnessed from the hall of the Mercers'
Company in Cheapside. The street itself, before the procession was
arranged, was a sight worth seeing, and one to be remembered for many
a long day. Huge bonfires were blazing up in different parts; the
houses were hung with tapestry, and were lighted up with oil lamps and
"branches of iron curiously wrought, containing hundreds of lamps,
lighted at once, which made a great show;" timber stages, hung with
variously coloured stuffs, and the latticed windows were filled with
elegantly-dressed ladies, whose diamonds flashed in the light; banners
and pennons floated in the evening breeze; "every man's door was
shadowed with green birch, long fennel, St. John's-wort, and such like,
garnished upon with beautiful flowers;" whilst prancing steeds in gay
trappings, armed men with plumed casques, city and guild officials in
gay liveries and a crowd of citizens, male and female, in the quaint
costume of the period, mingled in picturesque groups below. After
sunset the procession was arranged, and set out. First came a band of
music, followed by the officials of the Corporation in parti-coloured
liveries, and the sword-bearer mounted on a gaily-trapped steed, and
in armour. Then came the Mayor on a magnificent horse with housings
reaching to the earth, accompanied by a giant; two pages, mounted; a
band of morris dancers, footmen, and three pageants. After him came
the sheriffs, similarly attended with giants, morris dancers, and
torchbearers, but with only two pageants. Then followed a cloud of
demi-lancers, in armour, with the City arms emblazoned on their backs
and breasts; a company of archers with their bows bent; pikemen and
halberdiers, in corslets and helmets; and billmen, with helmets and
aprons of mail. The whole body consisted of about 2,000 men, and
between the divisions were bands of drummers, fifers, and whifflers,
and standard and ensign bearers. Interspersed amongst them were 940 men
bearing lighted cressets—iron frames filled with pitched rope, which
blazed up and sent forth volumes of black smoke, "which showed at a
distance like the light of a burning city," and the same number of men
to supply the cressets with fresh supplies of fuel. Two hundred of
these were supplied by the City; 500 were supplied at the expense of
the City companies, and the remainder were the ordinary watchmen.

The midsummer watch was kept up until 1539, when Henry VIII.,
considering the great expense it was to the City, caused it to be
abolished. It was revived, however, in 1548, and continued until 1569,
when in consequence of its bringing together "abundance of rogues,
pickpockets, quarrellers, whoremongers, and drunkards," it was again
abolished, and although some attempts were made afterwards to restore
it, they were not successful.

A.D. 1485-1610. In the interval between these dates, Cheapside was
the scene of many a grand spectacle, and it may be added of many a
so-called vindication of justice in a way of barbarous mutilations and
inhuman executions.

A.D. 1513. The Cheapsides 'prentices, of whom we have spoken, were a
turbulent and unmanageable element of the community, keeping their
clubs at hand in the shops, to be ready at any moment to rush out
and join a fray, and many a broken head they gave and got in these
fights, which generally arose, not so much out of malice as from pure
love of contention for mastery, which then developed itself in this
rough way as it now displays itself in games of cricket and athletic
sports. There was one class of persons, however, against whom they had
a special hatred, and nothing pleased them better than to insult them
with vile speeches, drag them in the gutter or belabour them with their
clubs. These were the foreign merchants, importers of silks, wine, and
other commodities; the Lombard money-lenders and stranger craftsmen
and citizens, who, they said, impoverished the English traders and
carried away the English gold. This jealousy continued to grow, and
was brought to a crisis by a Lombard seducing a citizen's wife, and
obtaining through her, his plate chest, and afterwards causing the
citizen to be arrested for a debt for his wife's board and lodging
during the time she was at his house. A rumour got abroad that on the
ensuing May Day a sort of Bartholomew's massacre should take place,
and that all foreigners found in London then would be put to death.
The 'prentices now began to insult and ill-treat them as they passed
along the street, and several fled from the city. A report of these
proceedings reached the king, and Wolsey sent for the mayor and charged
him to see that the peace was kept in the city, which he assured the
cardinal he was quite capable of maintaining, and departed. This was
about four o'clock on the eve of May Day, and on his return to the city
he assembled the magistrates and council, amongst whom was Sir Thomas
More, ex-under-sheriff, when, after some discussion, it was decided
to issue an order to the citizens to have their doors closed at nine
o'clock, and to keep all their 'prentices and servants within until
nine the following morning, and the aldermen went to their respective
wards to see that this mandate, which had been confirmed by the king
and council, was obeyed.

After the issuing of this order, which only took place about
half-an-hour before nine, Alderman Sir John Munday, on going down
Cheapside found two young fellows playing at bucklers in the middle
of the street, and a number of other young men looking on. He ordered
them to desist and go within doors, and upon their asking him why,
instead of explaining the order, which they had no knowledge of, he
threatened to send them to the compter, and after a little altercation,
seized one of the youths to commit him to prison. "But," says Stow,
"the 'prentices resisted the alderman, taking the young man from him,
and cried, ''Prentices! 'prentices! clubs! clubs!' Then out of every
door came clubs and other weapons, so that the alderman was put to
flight. Then more people arose out of every quarter, and forth came
serving-men, watermen, courtiers, and others, so that by eleven o'clock
there were in Cheap 600 or 700, and out of St. Paul's Churchyard came
about 300. From all places they gathered together and broke open the
compters, took out the prisoners committed thither for hurting the
strangers. They went also to Newgate and took out Studley and Bets,
committed for the like cause. The mayor and sheriffs were present and
made proclamation in the king's name, but were not obeyed." After this
they went in separate bands, breaking open and plundering the houses
of the foreigners, until about three in the morning, when they began
to disperse, and being thus disunited, the authorities were enabled to
capture about 300 of the rioters and place them in prison. Sir Roger
Cholmley, lieutenant of the Tower, had come forth with a military
force, "and shot off certain pieces of ordnance against the City, but
did no great hurt." About five o'clock the Earl of Shrewsbury and other
nobles, and the prior of St. John's, Clerkenwell, came with what forces
they could get together, as did the Inns of Court, "but before they
came the business was over."

A special commission of oyer and terminer was issued to the Duke of
Norfolk and other lords, with the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and justices,
to try the prisoners. The court was held in the Guildhall, on the
2nd of May, whither the delinquents, to the number of 278 persons,
were brought, tied together with ropes, and escorted by 1,300 men.
On the 4th, thirteen of them were condemned to be hanged, drawn, and
quartered, in divers parts of the City; which sentence was carried
out with great barbarity, in the presence of Lord Edward Howard, "a
knight marshal, who shewed no mercie, but extreme crueltie to the poore
younglings in their execution."

A few days after, Lincolne, Shirwin, and Bets, instigators of the
affray, with divers others, were dragged on hurdles to be hanged at
the Standard in Cheapside. They were placed under the gallows with
the ropes round their necks, when a reprieve arrived. The people
shouted "God save the king," and the condemned were taken back to
prison. On the 14th, the Recorder and some aldermen waited upon the
king at Greenwich, to solicit pardon for the rest of the prisoners,
which he bluntly refused, but ordered them to be brought before him at
Westminster on the 22nd. On that day the king sat in state, attended
by "the cardinal and many great lords," and the mayor and aldermen of
London. "The king commanded that the prisoners should be brought forth,
so that in came the poore yonglings and old false knaves, bound in
ropes all along, one after the other, in their shirts, and everie one
a halter about his necke, to the number now of foure hundred men and
eleven women. And when all were come before the king's presence, the
cardinall sore laide to the maior and commonaltie their negligence; and
to the prisoners he declared that they had deserved death for their
offence. Then the prisoners cried 'Mercie, gratious lord, mercie!'
Herewith the lords altogether besought his grace of mercie, at whose
sute the king pardoned them all. Then the cardinall gave unto them a
good exhortation to the great gladnesse of the hearers. Now when the
generall pardon was pronounced, all the prisoners shouted at once, and
altogether cast up their halters into the hall roofe, so that the king
might perceive they were none of the discreetest sort. Then were all
the gallows within the Citie taken downe, and many a good prayer made
for the king."

And thus came to an end the proceedings in connection with the frolic
of the Cheapside 'prentices, on what was long afterwards called "Evil
May Day."

When King John, in 1215, granted a mayor, it was stipulated that he
should present himself before the king or his justices for approval,
whence arose the annual procession on Lord Mayor's Day. At first it was
a very simple matter, the mayor riding on horseback accompanied by
the aldermen, and preceded by the beadle and a company of minstrels.
It gradually, however, added new features, such as banner bearers,
standards emblazoned with arms, trumpeters, "men apparelled like devils
and wild men to clear the way with squibs," "savages or green men"
with fireworks for the same purpose, wild animals of various kinds,
emblematic figures and devices, many exceedingly quaint and grotesque,
and some with punning allusions to the mayor. But the most conspicuous
features of the shows of the 16th and 17th centuries were the pageants,
a species of emblematical stage representation provided by the company
which had the honour of giving the mayors. These pageants displayed
a great deal of imagination and mechanical skill, and sometimes cost
nearly a thousand pounds.

Sir John Norman is supposed to have been the first mayor who went to
Westminster by water, whither he was rowed with silver oars, in 1621,
for which he was lauded in verse as "The Sun in Aries," by Middleton,
the Laureate.

From 1639 to 1655 the prevalence of Puritanism and the civil war
together abolished the show, as did the Plague and the Fire from 1664
to 1671. In 1703 the pageants were discontinued, much to the regret of
the people, who looked upon them as the best part of the show, and were
especially delighted with some time-honoured representations which were
repeated year by year, and never lost their interest, such as that of
the Goldsmiths, in which St. Dunstan, their patron saint, seized the
devil by his nose with the tongs, and made him roar with pain.

As an illustration of this olden-time mode of celebrating the
inauguration of a new mayor, we have selected a pageant of the
Fishmongers' Company, in the procession of Sir John Lemon, 1616,
of which company he was a member. The pageant consisted of several
sections: 1. The trade pageant, "A Fisshing Busse," ornamented with
carvings of fish and other devices, the company's crest at the head
and St. Peter's keys at the stern, with three fishermen aboard, one
casting the net and the others distributing live fish among the crowd.
2. A dolphin, argent, naisant and crowned, part of the company's arms.
"Arion, a famous musician and poet, rideth on backe." 3. The Emperor of
Morocco, in regal costume, with crown and sceptre, "gallantly mounted
on a golden leopard, and hurling gold and silver everywhere about him."
He is attended by six tributary Moorish kings "carrying ingots of gold
and silver and each a dart." 4. A lemon tree, in reference to the
name of the Lord Mayor, with a pelican at the foot feeding her young
with the blood of her own breast, emblematic of the love the chief
magistrate has for the citizens. Around sit the "five senses, picturing
flower, fruit, rind, pith, and juice." This portion is preceded by a
winged figure, seated on a white horse, and bearing a sword, eight men
in armour bearing emblazoned banners, and two trumpeters. 5. A man in
armour, on a white horse, carrying the head of Wat Tyler on a spear,
and five men in armour bearing truncheons. 6. A merman and mermaid,
heraldically habited with gold chains, and riding on the sea waves.
These are the supporters of the company's arms. 7. "The Fishmongers'
Pageant Chariot," pyramidal in form, with thirteen allegorical figures,
the upper part forming a throne, and seated thereon a winged and
crowned figure, over which is a canopy with the Fishmongers' crest.
In front of the throne sits King Richard II., in golden armour, whose
life was preserved by Walworth, the winged figure above being his
guardian angel, who inspired Sir William to use his dagger. There are
also numerous children seated in rows above each other, splendidly
dressed, representative of the Royal virtues. The stages of this part
of the pageant are made to appear as if passing over the sea waves. 8.
"The Fishmongers' bower." An arched recess with double columns, adorned
with shields of arms of former mayors of the company. This is supposed
to have been to a certain extent a copy of the tomb of Sir William
Walworth, who lies thereon, dressed in a purple robe trimmed with
ermine, and a hat and feather, after the style of the Jacobean period,
an anachronism considered at that time of but little consequence. Above
him stands an angel, "the genius of London," who bids him arise from
his tomb. Forthwith he stands up, makes a congratulatory speech to
the new mayor, and then "ridd on horsebacke with the rest of them,"
accompanied by representatives of the five citizens who were knighted
along with him for their services against the rebels in Smithfield.
From the time when the pageants were discontinued in 1702, the show
sank down into a mere procession, with banners, music, the companies
in their liveries, and the men in armour, as they have come down to
our day. Hogarth gives us, in his series of _Idleness and Industry_,
a graphic representation of the show of 1750, with the Prince and
Princess of Wales seated under a canopy at the end of Paternoster Row.

A.D. 1643. Cheapside was one of the nine resting-places of the body
of Eleanor of Castile, Queen of Edward I., on its progress from
Lincolnshire to Westminster for burial, and here, opposite Wood
Street, was erected, by Master Michael, a Canterbury mason, one of her
beautiful memorial crosses. It fell to decay, and in 1441 was rebuilt
with a conduit or fountain connected with it, but was not completely
finished until the accession of Henry VII. The fanaticism of the
Puritans after the Reformation caused them to look upon it and its
statues of Jesus Christ, the Virgin, the Apostles, and a figure which
they presumed to be, and which probably was, the effigy of a pope,
with feelings of superstitious horror, and on several occasions they
defaced the images and otherwise mutilated the cross. At length the
reign of the Puritans commenced, and in 1643 the Parliament decreed
its destruction, deputing one Robert Harlow to see it carried out.
Accordingly in May of that year he filled Cheapside with a troop of
horse, two companies of foot, and a body of workmen with ladders,
picks, crowbars, and hammers, and as the official report informs
us:—"On the 2nd of May, 1643, the cross in Cheapside was pulled down.
At the fall of the top cross, drums beat, trumpets blew, and multitudes
of caps were thrown in the air, and a great shout of people with joy.
The 2nd of May, the Almanack says, was the invention of the cross, and
the same day, at night, were the leaden popes burnt in the place where
it stood, with ringing of bells and great acclamation, and no hurt at
all done in these actions."

There is a print extant of the demolition of the cross, with workmen on
ladders, hammering at the statues, and two men pulling down the finial
cross with ropes, with a surrounding of horsemen, and beyond a body of
troops with banners and uplifted weapons. A copy of the print is given
in _Old and New London_, vol. i., p. 331.

In connection with that event a multitude of pamphlets appeared on both
sides of the question, which may be seen in the Guildhall Library.
From the mass we select two for notice, the former especially as
showing that the Cheapside 'prentices were then a power in the city
worthy of being courted by flattery and adulation. Generally they
adhered to the Puritanical side, but it would appear that there were
some amongst them who held opposite views, from their coming forth
with their clubs to prevent the demolition of the Cross; or it may be
that they looked upon their Cross as a sort of palladium; had come to
venerate it, and not being so bigoted as some of the Puritans, did not
care to see it demolished. The title of the pamphlet runs thus:—"The
Doleful lamentation of Cheapside Crosse: or, Old England sick of the
Staggers: Together with the hearty thanks, which I, Jasper Crosse,
hath lately returned to those noble-minded and gentele-bred 'prentices
thereabouts, for rescuing my honour from being ravished, especially to
Robert York, who was my chief protector at that time. London, 1641."

The second pamphlet, dated 1643, is entitled, "The Downfall of Dagon;
or, the Taking Downe of Cheapside Crosse, the 2nd of May, 1643. Wherein
is contained these principalls following, viz.: 1. Cheapside Crosse
sick at the heart. 2. His death and funerall. 3. His will, legacies,
inventory, and epitaph. 4. The reason why it was taken down, and the
authority for it. 5. The benefit and profite that is made of the
materialls of it, and the severall summes of money which is offered for
it. Likewise the satisfaction it will give to thousands of people. 6.
Notes worthy of the reader's observation that the crosse should just
happen to bee taken downe on that day which crosses were first invented
and set up."

We have now brought down the annals of Cheapside to comparatively
modern and more prosaic times.

We no longer see the splendid pageantry and quaint festivities
of the Norman, Plantagenet, and Tudor eras, with their bonfires,
cresset-bearers, morrice-dancers, mummers, allegorical pageants, and
house-fronts hung with tapestries, and other such textures. The joust,
and tournaments, the setting of the Midsummer watch, and other curious
and picturesque spectacles, are things of the past. It is true we
still have the Lord Mayor's Show, and the procession to Westminster,
but passing along the embankment instead of in the civic barges.
We still retain the men in armour and the old gilt coach, and have
representatives of the city companies in olden-time costumes, and we
sometimes introduce novelties, such as a group of elephants mounted by
"Africans."



Bishopsgate Street Within and Without.


Some fourteen or fifteen centuries ago what is now Bishopsgate Street
Within was a fashionable suburb of the Roman Londinium, the Belgravia
or South Kensington of the period, where the aristocracy and wealth
of the City located itself and built magnificent mansions after the
fashion of Rome, with columns, frescoes, and tesselated pavements, such
as we see in the disinterred city of Pompeii. In the streets might then
be seen charioteers driving rapidly along to contend in the chariot
race; fair ladies going to witness the gladiatorial displays in the
amphitheatre; bronzed soldiers from many a distant province of the
empire; slaves groaning beneath heavy burdens or employed in laborious
occupations—all mixed up with the ordinary traffic of a considerable
city. Northward, stretching eastward and westward, ran the City wall,
a portion of which may still be seen in the street call London Wall,
adorned with stately towers and bastions, one of the latter having
been exposed to public view by the opening of a pathway through St.
Giles's Churchyard. There was, however, no gateway in this part of the
wall, as beyond lay an untraversable morass, and beyond that a forest
extending to and up the heights of Highgate, Muswell Hill, etc., those
who wished to go northward from the city having to go eastward to
Aldgate or westward to Aldersgate. This probably was the reason why
the rich selected this portion of the environs of the City for their
residence, as being more retired and quiet than in the vicinity of a
thoroughfare leading to a City outlet.

Of these mansions of the patricians of Londinium several vestiges
have been found. On the site of St. Helen's, the foundations of large
edifices have been laid bare. In 1707, at the corner of Camomile
Street, a fine tesselated pavement was found; in 1752 another at the
side of St. Helen's Gateway; in 1761 another in Camomile Street; and in
1836 a splendid specimen, in red, white, and grey, at the north-west
angle of Crosby Square, besides fragments elsewhere.

This, however, was only in the later period of the Roman rule. When
they had subdued the Trinobantes, they found the capital of the
country, although a place of commercial importance, merely a scattered
collection of round huts with trackways in the midst, extending from
Tower Hill to the Fleet River and from the Thames to Cheapside and
Cornhill, defended on the north by earthworks, felled trees, and
a ditch; and in midst of these huts they erected more substantial
houses, with towers at the eastern and western extremities, and
probably a temple to Diana, where St. Paul's Cathedral now stands. The
northern outskirts, now Bishopsgate Street Within was appropriated
as a burial-place, as they never buried their dead in the midst of
the living; but in process of time the exigencies of the increasing
population demanded an extension of the City boundaries, and they
built over the old grave-yard, making a new cemetery on the site of
the modern Bishopsgate Street Without, Shoreditch, and the fenlands
lying eastward and westward of these. In 1576, when digging for clay
near where Christ Church, Spitalfields, now stands, a great number
of cinerary urns were found, containing burnt human remains, and
in each a piece of coin, wherewith to pay Charon for ferrying the
defunct across the Styx; also, as Stow says, "divers vials and other
old-fashioned glasses most cunningly wrought, such as I have not seen
the like of, all which had water in them, differing from spring water"
(_lachrymatories_), "cups and dishes of red earthenware and three
or four images of white earth, about a span long, one of Pallas."
Under the Camomile tesselated pavement, found in 1706, lay two feet
of rubbish, and beneath that several funeral urns. Stone and timber
coffins have also been found, or rather the nails of the latter, a
quarter of a yard long, the wood having perished, and a Roman vault in
St Botolph's Churchyard, all these, with skeletons or decayed bones in
them, indicating burial after Christianity had become the religion of
the empire, when the custom of burning the dead was abandoned.

The Saxons despised the effeminacy of decorated architecture and
luxurious appliances in the way of household furniture, hence when they
came into possession of London they allowed the sumptuous dwellings of
the Romans to fall into decay and crumble to dust, preferring their
own rough and uncomely habitations built of wood, but afterwards built
their churches, monasteries, and public buildings generally of stone,
and thus Roman London passed away.

The Saxons found it necessary to have another exit from the city
northward between Aldgate and Aldersgate Street, and pierced the wall
at the end of the street running from the river, whatever it may then
have been called, and erected there a new gate. Erkenwald, Bishop of
London, 679-97, has been credited with the work, but as this is only
based upon the discovery, near by, of the statue of a mitred bishop,
which it was presumed represented St. Erkenwald, the tradition may be
doubted, but it was unquestionably this supposition which gave it the
name of Bishops' Gate.

There are four churches in London dedicated to St. Botolph "the
Briton," all situated by gates, Aldgate, Aldersgate, Billingsgate,
and Bishopsgate. The latter lays claim to having been founded by the
ancient British Christians, but, more probably, was built by the Saxons
and dedicated to the British monk St. Botolph. It has been rebuilt no
doubt several times since then. It escaped the ravages of the fire of
1666, but having become very much dilapidated, an Act of Parliament
was obtained at the beginning of the last century for rebuilding it,
by means of a rate of two shillings in the pound upon all household
property in the parish, payable by the landlords, but this proving
insufficient a parish rate was laid to supply the deficiency. It was
commenced in 1725, and re-opened in 1728, having cost (there is nothing
like precision) £10,444 1s. 8½d.

Tradition says that it was the burial-place of a brother of King Lud.
The present building contains the tombs of Sir Paul Pinder; Edward
Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College; William, Earl of Devonshire,
from whom Devonshire Square takes its name; and in the churchyard lies
Hodges Shoughshware, "the chiefest servant of the King of Persia,
who came from the King of Persia and died in his service, 1626, and
Maghmote, his wife." The epitaph is in Persian, and entreats that all
Persians who may read it will pray for their souls.

The Rev. Stephen Gorson, author of _The School of Abuse_, was rector of
St. Botolph.

The venerable church of St. Helen is situated on the eastern side
of the street, standing back and approached by an archway. Popular
tradition ascribes its origin to the Emperor Constantine in honour
of his mother, which is doubtless an error, but it unquestionably
dates from the Saxon age, as in 1010 the relics of King Edmund the
Martyr were temporarily deposited within its walls, when brought from
East Anglia, to prevent their desecration at the hands of the Danes.
In the twelfth century the advowson appears to have been held by one
Ranulph, as in the reign of Henry II., _circa_ 1180, he and his son,
Robert Fitz-Ranulph, made a grant of it to the Dean and Chapter of St.
Paul's Cathedral. About half a century later, _circa_ 1212, William
Fitz-William, a London goldsmith, and ancestor of the extant Earls
Fitzwilliam, founded in connection with it a priory for nuns of the
order of St. Benedict, which was dedicated to the Holy Cross and St.
Helen, the prioress on her election to swear fealty to the Dean and
Chapter, who transferred to the priory the advowson of the church.

The church seems originally to have had simply a chancel and nave,
without transepts or aisles, but when the priory was attached, it was
duplicated by building another nave, and thus presented the appearance
of a double-aisled church without an intermediate nave. A wall of
division ran along the middle, one of the aisles being appropriated
to the parishioners and the other to the nuns. It is to be feared that
the fair inmates of the nunnery were not always very strict in their
devotional exercises and seclusion from the outer world, and were even
sometimes so naughty as to be subjected to punishments, one of which
was being shut up in the crypt, which still exists, with the gratings,
through which they could hear the service of the church without being
present. Reginald Kentwode, dean of St. Paul's, in his periodical
visitations, found so many "defautes and excesses" that he felt
constrained to draw up a fresh code of rules for the regulation of the
house, the original of which is amongst the Cotton MSS. in the British
Museum.

Willyam Basynge, Sheriff of London, 1309, added considerably to the
buildings, and came to be regarded as the second founder.

The seal of the priory was an oval, representing the Empress Helena
standing by the cross (which she found in the Holy Land and brought
to Europe) with the nails in her hand, and on the opposite side
worshippers in the act of adoration. An impression of it is pendant
from a deed in the possession of the Leathersellers' Company, and an
engraving of it is given in Malcolm's _London Rediv._, vol. iii., p.
548.

At the dissolution of the priory the site was given to Richard
Williams, one of the visitors of the monasteries, in exchange for
certain lands in Huntingdonshire. He assumed the name of Cromwell,
being a kinsman of Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and was ancestor of the
Protector, Oliver Cromwell. The dividing wall in the church was
taken down and the whole of the space appropriated to the use of the
parishioners. The Leathersellers purchased the nuns' hall, and made
it the hall of their company. The priory buildings remained, but in a
ruined state, until 1799, when they were cleared away, and St. Helen's
Place built on the site. A view of the ruins is given in Wilkinson's
_Londina Illustrata_, and a picturesque view of the church and the
Leathersellers' Hall in Malcolm's _London Rediv._, 1803.

The church contained more "altar" tombs with recumbent and kneeling
effigies than any other church in the City, but they suffered terrible
mutilation from the iconoclastic zeal of the Puritans, many of them
having been altogether destroyed. Sir Thomas Gresham had promised
to build a tower, which unhappily he was prevented doing by death,
and it was not until 1699, that it was furnished with a steeple. The
church has undergone many repairs and restorations, notably by Inigo
Jones, 1623-4, and frequently in the plaster and whitewash style of
decoration. The last and most judicious restoration was carried out in
1867-8, and the venerable old church may now be seen, after weathering
so many storms, with its graceful Gothic arches, its groupings of tombs
and monuments, the nuns' grating in the crypt, its grotesque heads,
and over one of the doors the black figure of St. Helena, for which
hundreds of pounds have been offered by foreign Catholics, and refused;
with many of the same features that were looked at by the Greshams, the
Crosbys, and other old parishioners of the Norman, Plantagenet, and
Tudor ages, with the addition of some modern stained windows and an
organ built in 1742, and rebuilt in 1868. The rectory was sold by Queen
Elizabeth to Michael and Edward Stanhope, with the proviso of paying a
stipend of £20 per annum to a vicar. Amongst the tombs are those of Sir
Thomas Gresham, a splendid monument; Sir John Crosby, in full armour,
and his wife, one of the oldest remaining; Sir John Lawrence, the
noble Lord Mayor of the Plague year; Sir John Spencer, "Rich Spencer,"
whose daughter and heiress eloped with her lover, Compton, in a baker's
basket.

St. Ethelburga is a small and very ancient church, squeezed almost
out of sight by intervening parasitic shops; when or by whom founded
not known, but most probably in the Saxon age. In an old print it is
represented with a spire similar to that in Langham Place. It escaped
the fire of 1666, was repaired and "beautified" in 1694, and again in
1701. St. Ethelburga was the daughter of Ethelbert, the first Christian
king of Kent, and patron of St. Augustine; she married Eadwine, King of
Northumbria, the convert of St Paulinus, after whose death, in battle
at the hands of Penda, the Pagan king of Mercia, she fled with her
children and Paulinus to her brother, who had succeeded to the kingdom
of Kent, and who nominated Paulinus to the see of Rochester.

Walter Brune, citizen, and Rosia, his wife, in 1235, founded a priory
of canons and hospital for the sick and needy, dedicated to our
blessed Mary, called St. Mary Spital Without, Bishopsgate. It was
suppressed in 1539, at which time it made up 180 beds, and supplied
the sick occupants with all necessaries at a cost of £478 per annum.
Outside was the pulpit where the famous Spital sermons were preached
at Easter before the Mayor and Corporation, and sometimes royal
personages, by the most eminent City divines. After the dissolution
they were preached at St. Paul's, then in St. Bride's Church, and now
in Christ Church, Newgate Street. The pulpit stood on a site that
now forms the north-east corner of Spital Square. There existed for
120 years in the precincts of Bishopsgate, near Camomile Street, a
curious fraternity called The Papey, a religious house of St. John and
St. Charity, sometimes called St. Augustine's Papey, consisting of
threescore priests, governed by a master and two wardens. Its objects
were to supply the necessities of the poorer clergy by providing them
with lodgings, coals, bread, and ale. Near by stood the church of St.
Augustine-in-the-Wall, the patronage of which was vested in the rich
Priory of the Holy Trinity, who presented to the living four rectors
from 1321 to 1375, but after that no one could be found to accept the
incumbency in consequence of the stinginess of the Priory—the stipend
not being sufficient to live upon—who therefore in 1430 gave the church
to the Papey guild. The fraternity was not rich in funds, and in order
to improve their exchequer they practised the singing of dirges and
attended funerals as professional mourners and dirge singers. The house
was suppressed 2 Edwd. VI.

From the thirteenth to the seventeenth century a conspicuous feature in
the line of road leading northward from Bishopsgate was the Priory of
Bethlehem, with its square-towered church, its gabled houses for the
brethren and sisters' habitations, and its gardens, situated at the
eastern edge of the moorland of Fensbury, a little beyond St. Botolph's
Church, and facing what are now New Street and Devonshire Place. It
was then built quite in the country, with the fens behind, fields
in front, and no houses beyond it. The roadway in front was nothing
more than a beaten trackway, almost impassable in winter, which when
houses came to be built along it, and it assumed the semblance of a
street, was called Bedlam Gate. There is no view extant of the priory,
excepting the bird's-eye view in Aggas' Map, _temp._ Elizabeth, where
there is a continuous line of houses along Bedlam Gate and onward to
St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, where the road apparently terminated;
eastward is the Spittel Fyeld, with archers and cattle; and westward,
Finsburie Fyeld, with windmills, bowmen practising at the butts, and
women spreading out linen to dry.

The priory was founded in 1246 by Simon Fitz-Marie, sheriff of London
in the same year, for brethren and sisters, canons of the Order of the
Star of Bethlehem, subject to the Bishop of Bethlehem, to whom they had
to pay one mark yearly at Easter. Their habit was a black gown with a
star embroidered on the breast. When it became a hospital for lunatics
is not known, but there are records of sick persons being nursed there
in 1330, and of insane patients in 1403, when six of the latter and
three of the former were maintained in the house. Weaver tells us that
at one time there was "a house for distraught and lunaticke people"
at Charing Cross, and that some king, he did not know who, not liking
to have an establishment of people of that class so near his palace,
packed them off to Bethlem Priory, which was probably the beginning of
its career as a hospital for the insane.

The Hospital-Priory does not appear to have been very amply provided
with funds, as in 1403 some of the houses were alienated, for the
purpose seemingly of raising money, and the brethren had to go abroad
collecting alms for the sustenance of the inmates. In 1523, one Stephen
Gunnings, a merchant tailor, left £40 in trust to the Corporation for
purchasing the house, to be continued as a receptacle for lunatics,
and the Mayor took some steps for that purpose; but before they were
carried out it was granted to the Corporation, after the Dissolution,
by King Henry VIII., who placed it in charge of the governors of
Christ's Hospital in 1556, and the following year transferred it to
the governors of Bridewell. In 1555 the income, arising chiefly out
of rents, amounted to £43 4s. 8d. per annum, and by 1632 they were
valued at £470, which, not being all forthcoming, was inadequate for
the support of the house, and the Spital preachers were directed to
appeal to their hearers on its behalf, there being then forty-four
lunatics within the walls, the revenues paying only two-thirds of
the cost of their maintenance. Besides, there were so many pressing
cases for admission, that it became necessary to discharge many of the
half-cured and less violent patients, to whom were granted licences
for begging, and they went abroad, dressed fantastically, singing "mad
songs," and imploring food or money. They went by the name of "Tom o'
Bedlams," and are alluded to by Shakespeare in _King Lear_, where he
says—

  "With a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam."

In the reign of Elizabeth the church and chapel were taken down, and
houses built on the site; and in the following century, the buildings
having become ruinous and much too small for the constantly increasing
patients, it was resolved to build a new and larger hospital. The
Corporation made a grant of land on the southern margin of Finsbury
Moors, where the Liverpool Street railway stations now stand, and the
public contributed £17,000 towards its erection. It was commenced in
1644, and completed in 1676; and in 1732 two wings were added, which
made the entire length of the building 540 feet, with a depth of forty
feet. The style adopted was that of the Tuileries in Paris, which so
offended Louis XIV. that he caused some out-offices of a more useful
and less dignified character to be built in the style of St. James's
Palace, London. It was adorned with figures of raving and melancholy
madness from the chisel of Caius Cibber, which are now in the hall of
the present hospital.

The estates belonging to the hospital afterwards rapidly increased in
value, and at the beginning of the present century the governors found
themselves in a position to build a larger and better-planned building,
and purchased a large plot of land in St. George's Fields, which with
the new hospital cost £100,000. The total income is now about £20,000
per annum.

Until towards the end of the last century the insane were treated in
a most barbarous way. Nakedness, chains, scourgings, and solitary
confinement were their lot, calculated rather to intensify than
alleviate their aberration of intellect, without any of the modern
appliances of modern asylums—music, flowers, prints, books, amusements,
cheerful society, and comparative liberty—which are now found to be
essential towards their recovery. A good idea of the old style of
madhouse may be obtained from the eighth plate of Hogarth's series
of "The Rake's Progress," which represents a scene in the Moorfields
Bedlam.

A few years ago a skeleton of a dwarf with fetters on the legs was dug
up near Bishopsgate, supposed to be that of a patient of Bedlam. The
road in front of the second hospital was formerly called "Old Bethlem"
and was changed to Liverpool Street in honour of Lord Liverpool, Prime
Minister 1812-27.

The Hon. Artillery Company, which originated here, removed to the
present Artillery Ground in City Road in 1622, and has numbered amongst
its officers Charles II., when Prince of Wales; James II., when Duke
of York, after the Restoration; and George IV., when Prince of Wales,
as Captain in Command. The old Artillery Ground in Bishopsgate Street
has left reminiscences of its existence in the names of Artillery Lane,
Artillery Passage, Gun Street, and Fort Street.

From a very remote period has the company of Leathersellers been
connected with Bishopsgate Street and its vicinity. In the Norman age
the tanners, curriers, and leather dressers clustered about Cripplegate
and further eastward, where the stream of Walbrook entered the City,
that locality being the Bermondsey of the period. The Company is
supposed to have been formed in the Saxon times, but little or nothing
is known of it until 1372, when the wardens and seniors presented
a petition to the Corporation praying that stringent measures might
be put in force against fraudulent craftsmen who used inferior dyes
for staining their skins. They were incorporated in 1397-8, and were
re-incorporated by Henry VI. in 1444, with power to elect four wardens
and fifteen members of the court, and to use a seal with arms. The
charter is a magnificent specimen of penmanship, and beautifully
illuminated. There is a picture extant of the king presenting the
charter to the four kneeling wardens in livery dresses of red and blue,
furred at the edges, descending to the knees, and fastened at the waist
with a girdle garnished with white metal. By this charter they were
empowered to regulate the mystery in London, which powers were enlarged
by Henry VII., who extended their supervision of the trade throughout
the kingdom. In 1604 James I. granted them a new charter, which, like
that of Henry VI., is a wonderfully fine specimen of art, with an
emblazonry of the company's arms and an illumination of eight liverymen
in their robes of office—black gowns trimmed with "foins," hoods of
scarlet, and black flat caps.

The first hall of the company was built in 1445, in the parish of All
Saints' by the Wall, south of the present Finsbury Circus, where now
stand Leathersellers Buildings. A century after it became too small,
and a portion of the site and buildings of the dissolved priory of St.
Helen was purchased in 1543, and the nuns' hall converted into that of
the company, which, with alterations and embellishments, came to be for
a long time the finest livery hall in London. The ceiling was enriched
with beautiful pendants, and at the end was a splendid Elizabethan
screen, elaborately decorated. In the courtyard was a pump with the
figure of a mermaid, from whose breast issued wine on gala occasions.
It was the work of Cibber, who gave it in 1679, in payment of his
admission fee to the membership of the company.

In 1799 the hall was sold along with other of the priory buildings,
to clear the site for the building of St. Helen's Place. A new hall
was built on the same site, but with new fittings, all the antique
decorations of the old hall having been disposed of. This, the third
hall, was destroyed by fire in 1819, the valuable collection of
records being fortunately saved, and the present hall, occupying the
north-east corner of St. Helen's Place, was built 1820-22.

The first record book of the company commences November 12th, 1472,
with the following as the earliest entry:—

    "Wyllyam J. Curtes gave to us this boke,
      For to regystre every wardenn's tyme in;
    Pray for hym when ye doe loke,
      That God will reward hym. Amen."

There are almshouses of the company in Clarke's Court, St. Helen's;
White's Alley, Coleman Street; and Hart Street, Cripplegate.

Excepting the Borough High Street, perhaps no street in London had
so many famous old inns, with galleried court-yards, cross-timbered
walls, quaint gables, and latticed windows, as Bishopsgate Street,
established for the accommodation of carriers and travellers from the
north-eastern towns. Amongst them were the White Hart; formerly the
Magpie, which stood by the gateway of Bethlem Priory, supposed to have
been originally the hostelry of the priory, afterwards an inn for
travellers who arrived after the gate was shut for the night. It seems,
from a date on the wall, to have been rebuilt in 1480, and was standing
in 1810, when a view was taken representing it with a double range of
bay windows. It was again rebuilt in 1829, and stood at the corner of
Liverpool Street. The Bull, where Burbage and his companions obtained
a patent from Queen Elizabeth for the performance of theatricals in
the quadrangle, the spectators occupying the surrounding galleries.
This was the inn to which old Hobson, the Cambridge carrier, resorted,
from whom came the saying of "Hobson's choice"—that or none. On a wall
of the inn was his effigy, in fresco, clutching a money bag, with an
inscription—"The fruitful mother of a hundred more."

The Green Dragon, an old Tudor house. The Catherine Wheel still a
carriers' house. The King's Head, at the corner of Spital Square. The
Wrestlers, a large inn, and the Angel, were in existence _temp._ Henry
VI. The City of London Tavern, with pillared facade, famous in modern
times for its public dinners, was converted, in 1839, into the Wesleyan
Centenary Hall, established in commemoration of the centennial year of
the formation of the Society of Methodists.

On the eastern side of the street, within and near to the gate, were
certain tenements belonging to a fraternity of St. Nicholas, which
were given (27 Henry VI.) to the Company of Parish Clerks for the
maintenance of two chaplains in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene,
near the Guildhall, and behind these stood the hall of the Parish
Clerks, and seven almshouses for the poor, to one of whom was given
sixteenpence and the other six ninepence per week.

The Post-office, which had been in Cloak Lane, Dowgate, was removed
after the fire of 1666, to the Black Swan, in Bishopsgate Street,
whence it was removed to Lombard Street, and subsequently to St.
Martin-le-Grand.

We have noticed the palatial character of the Bishopsgate quarter
of Roman Londinum, vestiges of its splendour having been frequently
disinterred in recent times, in attestation of the fact. A
thousand years afterwards it again became a district of sumptuous
mansions—palaces, not of the Roman patricians, but of the merchant
princes of the modern metropolis of the world. Most fortunately, the
ravages of the great fire of '66 only extended to the borders of the
ward, and thus have been preserved to us those precious architectural
relics of Crosby House; and the churches of St. Helen and St.
Ethelburga. The quaint old house of Sir Paul Pindar, has just been
taken down.

Sir John Crosby was born _circa_ 1420, and died in 1475; he was a
grocer (a wholesale merchant) and woolman, and at one time Mayor of the
Staple at Calais. He was elected an alderman in 1465; served the office
of sheriff in 1471, in which year he was knighted by Edward IV., and
represented the City in Parliament in the year 1461. He was a zealous
Yorkist, in high favour with Edward IV., particularly distinguished
himself in the defence of the City against the Lancastrian admiral,
the Bastard of Fauconbridge, and is introduced by Heywood, in his
drama of _King Edward IV_. In 1466 he took on lease from the Prioress
of St. Helen's certain tenements for a period of ninety-nine years,
at a rent of £11 6s. 8d. per annum, which he demolished, and built on
the site "ye highest and fairest house in ye citie," which he did not
enjoy long, as it was only completed four years before his death. Of
its grandeur we may form some conception from what remains of it after
the fire of 1674, especially the great hall, fifty-four feet long,
twenty-seven and a half feet broad, and forty feet high, with its oriel
windows eleven feet in breadth, and extending from the floor to the
ceiling, and its timbered roof of surpassing beauty. Around this old
mansion many most interesting historical associations have clustered.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, inhabited it for some time, and it figures
in Shakespeare's pages as the place where he concocted his plot for
the murder of his nephews, his marriage with his niece, which he could
not accomplish, and the usurpation of the throne. From 1516 to 1523,
it was the abode of Sir Thomas More, where it is supposed he wrote his
_Utopia_.

It has been occupied by several aldermen, some of whom held their
mayoralty there, amongst others, Alderman Bond, who added a turret to
the building; Sir John Spencer, who built a large warehouse behind it;
Sir Bartholomew Read, Lord Mayor, who entertained Catherine of Arragon
for two or three days within its walls, previous to her marriage with
Prince Arthur. The Emperor Maximilian lodged there when in London in
1502; Queen Elizabeth came there in 1594 to witness a masque by some
law students, and the famous Countess of Pembroke made it her residence
for some time, where it is probable Shakespeare visited her. During the
Civil War it was made a prison for captured Royalists, after which
the great hall was converted into a Presbyterian chapel. In 1678 the
drawing-room and throne room were used as warehouses by the East India
Company, and afterwards as a packer's workrooms, when they sustained
a great deal of mutilation. In 1831, it was advertised to be sold for
demolition, but some spirited persons came forward and rescued it
from that fate, besides restoring and repairing it. From 1842 to 1860
it was a literary institute, and is now a restaurant, the proprietor
having with great good taste preserved all the old features, and in
the necessary additional buildings has adhered to the same style. It
is supposed to have consisted originally of two quadrangles, separated
by the great hall, and that it had a facade of 100 feet in length to
Bishopsgate Street.

Sir John gave 500 marks towards the restoration of St. Helen's Church,
and his arms were placed on the walls and in the windows. He was thrice
married, and had an only son, who died without issue, the line thus
becoming extinct.

Sir Paul Pindar was a notable merchant and diplomatist, minister of
James I. in Turkey, who was born about the end of the sixteenth or
beginning of the seventeenth century, and died in 1650. On his return
from Turkey he brought with him a diamond valued at £30,000, which
the king wished to purchase "on tick," but the cautious merchant, not
having sufficient confidence in his credit, declined to let him have
it on those terms. However, he agreed to lend it to him to flash it in
the eyes of his subjects on State occasions. He afterwards sold it to
Charles I., but most probably was never paid for it. He was reputed
to have been worth a quarter of a million sterling at one time, an
enormous sum for that period. He gave £18,000 towards the repairs
of St. Paul's Cathedral, and expended other sums on charitable and
philanthropic objects, but although so wealthy he lost so much money in
bad debts, arising out of loans to Kings James I. and Charles I. that
he fell into comparative poverty, and died in debt himself.

He erected for his residence a magnificent house on the western side
of the street, without the gate, a portion of whose picturesque
frontal remaining in 1890, attracted the notice and admiration of
every passer-by. It was a fine specimen of Elizabethan architecture,
and richly decorated both without and within. There were rooms with
wainscoted walls, sculptured chimney-pieces, and ceilings profusely
ornamented, but most of them terribly mutilated; one splendid ceiling
represented the sacrifice of Isaac, with a radiation of beautiful
ornamentation. Behind the house was a park, with mulberry trees, some
of which were only cut down within the present century; and near by,
in Halfmoon Alley, stood a house, with sculptural details, which is
supposed to have been the gatekeeper's lodge. A small portion with
a narrow frontage was converted into a tavern, with the sign of the
Sir Paul Pindar, which has just been taken down by the Great Eastern
Railway.

Devonshire House.—Built by one Jasper Fisher, around which he laid out
extensive pleasure grounds. It was held by the Cavendishes until 1670,
but in the interval, during the ascendency of the Puritans, had been
taken possession of by them, and made use of as a chapel. Butler, in
his _Hudibras_, describes the Rump Parliament as like—

        "No part of the nation
    But Fisher's folly congregation."

After this it was opened as a "Bank of Credit," a sort of pawnshop,
which did not last long, as by 1708, Devonshire Square was built,
described by Hatton as "a pretty, though very small square, inhabited
by gentry and other merchants."

Sir Thomas Gresham, the wealthy and munificent founder of the Royal
Exchange, was born _circa_ 1519; died, 1579; was knighted, 1559;
married Anne, daughter of William Fernley, and relict of William Read,
and had issue an only son, Richard, who died v.p. and s.p. 1564.

He was a parishioner of St. Helen's, and in that parish he built his
house, which Stow describes as "the most spacious thereabouts, builded
of brick and timber," and that is about all he could say in eulogy of
it, for it appears, from engravings of it, to have been more remarkable
for size than for architectural grandeur. It was built in the Flemish
style, chiefly by Flemish workmen, and extended from the west side of
Bishopsgate Street to Broad Street. It consisted of a quadrangle of
two galleried stories, with gabled attics; a piazza and rows of trees
running round, giving it a quiet, collegiate air, and a picturesque
aspect, and was surrounded by gardens and pleasure grounds, with trees.
It was commenced about the year 1559, and was finished in 1562. Within
its walls Sir Thomas entertained Queen Elizabeth, and had the custody
of the Lady Mary Grey.

At his death he left it to his widow for life, and at her decease
in trust to the Corporation of London and the Mercers' Company, to
be converted into a College of Professors, with salaries of £50
per annum, to lecture weekly on divinity, astronomy, music, law,
geometry, medicine, and rhetoric, for the gratuitous instruction of the
young citizens of London, which were commenced in 1597. Amongst the
professors were several eminent men, one of whom was Sir Christopher
Wren, who, in conjunction with others, there laid the foundation of
the Royal Society. The trustees allotted two rooms to the Society,
one for their meetings, the other for their books and philosophical
instruments. Pepys tells of King Charles making merry over the people
of Gresham House, and Boyle in particular, amusing themselves with the
child's play of weighing air. The society met at Gresham House until
1710, when they removed to Crane Court.

After the Great Fire of 1666, when nearly all the public buildings
were destroyed, Gresham House became the Mansion House and residence
of the Lord Mayor, the Law Courts, and the Exchange, the merchants
assembling in the quadrangle, where they remained until their
establishments were rebuilt.

The collegiate lectures were not properly appreciated, and became
almost sinecures to the professors, until in 1768-70 the Government,
wanting an excise office in the City, agreed with the trustees to take
a perpetual lease of the site, at the absurdly low rental of £500
per annum, the trustees to take down the buildings, to do which cost
them £1,800. The lectures were then removed to a dull, upper room
in the Exchange, where they were delivered until the destruction of
the Exchange by fire, in 1838, when they were given in the City of
London School, until the opening of the New Gresham Lecture Hall, in
Basinghall Street, in 1843.

Dashwood House stood westward of St. Botolph's Churchyard, and was the
City mansion of the Dashwood family; afterwards it is supposed to have
been the residence of Lady Jane Grey. It was subsequently converted
into the Ottoman Bank, and Consular and Mercantile Offices; has
recently been taken down, and a colossal block constructed for suites
of offices.

There are many other fine old houses in the ward, dating from before
the Fire, whose fronts have been modernised by building up the space
beneath the overhanging upper floors and removing the gables, but which
retain many of their olden time features at their backs, and are still
adorned in their interiors with fine balustraded staircases, carved
chimney pieces, and timber-work ceilings.

Another house of a somewhat different but very useful character
stood in Bishopsgate Street. In 1649 the Corporation of London
founded a house called the London Workhouse, "for the entertainment
of the greatest objects of commiseration, but likewise to receive a
great number of the miserable and unhappy vagrant orphans known by
the infamous name of 'blackguard,' the pest and shame of the City,
pilfering and begging about the streets by day, and lying therein,
almost naked, in all seasons of the year by night." In 1662 a charter
of incorporation was granted, under the name of "The President (always
the Lord Mayor) and Governors of the Poor of the City of London."
In 1700 a large house was built for the reception of these objects
of charity, and in 1704 it is recorded that "368 children were fed,
clothed, and taught to work and the principles of religion;" besides
whom there were "maintained and employed 653 vagabonds, sturdy beggars,
and other idle and disorderly persons." It was taken down early in the
present century, the Poor law administration rendering it superfluous.

In the Parish of St. Helen's there lived and died a man of eccentric
opinions and evil reputation, very different in character from his
neighbours, the merchant princes of Bishopsgate. His name was Francis
Bancroft, and his vocation that of a summoning officer in the Lord
Mayor's Court, in which capacity he made a large fortune by issuing
false summonses, "not only pillaging the poor, but likewise many of
the rich, who, rather than lose time in appearing before the said
magistrate, gave money to get rid of this common pest of the citizens."
He was so much detested that at his funeral the populace nearly jostled
his coffin off the shoulders of the bearers, and they set the bells
ringing "for joy at his unlamented death."

He entertained an eccentric notion that in a certain number of years
after his death he should return to life and occupy his original
position in the City, and in accordance with this idea had a vault,
with folding doors and glass in the panels, constructed in St. Helen's
Church, and a coffin with hinges only, not screwed down, so that
when he came to life he would have nothing to do but to step out of
his coffin, open the doors of the vault, and walk out. His name is
remembered by his having bequeathed £27,000 for the foundation of
almshouses for twenty-four poor almsmen, a chapel, a school for one
hundred poor boys, and houses for two masters. The money was left in
trust to the Drapers' Company, who erected the buildings at Mile-end in
1735. There was a proviso in the will that the trustees should visit
his tomb and look upon his body, in May every year for ever, failing
which the money to be diverted to other purposes. They have long
discontinued the custom, but still hold the trust, and although the
testator has now lain 150 years in his unfastened coffin, he has not
come forth yet to rectify this direliction of duty on the part of the
Drapers.

From a very early period has Bishopsgate Street and Ward been a
centre of Nonconformity. Maitland, writing 1725-36, refers to three
Presbyterian, two Independents, and one Quaker's meeting houses in the
parishes of St. Botolph and St. Helen. The Devonshire Square Baptist
church was, excepting one in Kent, the oldest in England, and in its
early years suffered much from persecution. It migrated hither from
Wapping in 1638, and occupied a part of Devonshire House, or, as it
was popularly called, Fisher's Folly. The chapel was built in 1653,
which was taken possession of by the Episcopalians after the fire,
and used for Church of England services until the churches of London
were rebuilt. It continued to flourish until, the Metropolitan Railway
requiring the site, it was taken down and a new Gothic chapel, with
spire, built at Stoke Newington out of the proceeds of the sale, at
a cost of £11,000. It has had several notable ministers, the most
remarkable being William Kaffin, who made an eminent figure among the
Antipœdo-Baptists of the 17th century.

Crosby Hall Independent Church. The Rev. Thos. Watson, whose chief
work was "A body of Divinity," consisting of 176 sermons, fol., 1792,
posth. Stephen Charnock, B.D. Benjamin Grosvenor, D.D., a very
eminent man, who held the pastorate from 1704 to 1749, one of the most
popular preachers in London; and was also lecturer in the Old Jewry,
at the Weigh House, and at Salters' Hall. Portrait in Dr. Williams'
library. Edmund Calamy, B.D., son of Dr. Edm. Calamy, author of the
"Nonconformist Memorial." On the expiration of the lease in 1799, the
congregation was dispersed, and the chapel was rented by James Relly, a
rough and uncultured Welshman, but a powerful preacher, who established
a church of Rellyanists or Rellyan Universalists, who held a species of
anti-nomian doctrine. He was author of some controversial works, now
altogether forgotten.

A Presbyterian meeting-house was erected in Little St. Helen's in
1672, under the Indulgence, which became a place of importance in the
annals of Nonconformity. Within its walls the first public ordination
of Nonconformist ministers took place, and the Coward Lecture preached
there from 1721, till the demolition of the chapel. There was also a
seven o'clock morning lecture, preached every Sunday in the summer
months, to commemorate the accession of the House of Hanover. The first
minister, he who took out the licence and collected the congregation,
was the learned and pious Samuel Annesley, LL.D., the ejected of St.
Giles's Cripplegate, formerly rector of Cliffe, Kent, and of St.
Matthew's, Friday Street, London, lecturer at St. Paul's, and one of
the preachers at Whitehall during the Protectorate. He was first cousin
to Arthur Annesley, Earl of Anglesey; was a popular preacher, and
author of some published sermons and other works. He continued in the
pastorate until his death in 1694. Anne, his daughter, a very superior
woman in every respect, in piety, intelligence, and sound discretion,
was married to the Rev. Samuel Wesley, vicar of Epworth, and bore him
nineteen children, amongst whom were John and Charles Wesley, the
founders of Methodism.

Benj. Robinson occupied the pulpit from 1701 to 1724, a Derbyshire man,
of great reputation, and Merchant Lecturer at Salters' Hall. After him
the church gradually dwindled down until 1790, when Mr. Brown preached
there for two years, and removed with his congregation to Shoreditch;
after whom Christian Frederick Trieber, with a Lutheran congregation,
occupied it for two years, and on the expiration of the lease removed
to Cheapside. Some other ministers of various denominations preached
in the chapel for short periods until 1799, when it was taken down and
houses built on the site.

In Hand Alley, on the western side of Bishopsgate Without, stood a
large Presbyterian meeting-house. On the site had been a plague pit,
and when it was proposed to be built upon it, the bodies, some not
entirely decomposed, 2,000 in number, were carted away and buried
in another pit, over which is a passage to Rose Alley. The chapel
was built soon after Bartholomew Day for Thomas Vincent, famous for
his labours amongst the poor during the plague of 1665, who held the
pastorate until his death in 1678. After the fire of 1666, his chapel
was seized by the clergyman of a City parish, who performed service
there until his church was rebuilt. After him came a succession of
popular ministers, until the beginning of the 18th century, when the
congregation, a wealthy body, removed with their minister, Dr. John
Evans, author of "A Discourse on Temper," to a new chapel, which they
built in 1727, in New Broad Street, when the old chapel was pulled down.

A Particular Baptist Church, in Great St. Helens, existed during the
time of the civil war, when the famous Hansard Knollys was the pastor.
He was a Lincolnshire man of great oratorical talent, and gathered
about him a congregation of a thousand hearers. His doctrines, however,
were deemed irregular and unsound by the Presbyterians, and he was
summoned before the Westminster assembly of divines, who prohibited
him from preaching. This prohibition appears, however, to have been
withdrawn afterwards, as from 1645 to 1691, he preached the doctrines
in Curriers' Hall. He was author of "The Smoke of the Temple," "An
Exposition of the Book of Revelations," and some other works, including
an autobiography written in 1672. His death occurred in 1691, at the
age of 93, when he was buried in Bunhill Fields. Portrait in Wilson's
"History of the Dissenting Church."

The Society of Friends have a large meeting-house in Bishopsgate
Street, which is the head quarters of the society, where the annual
meetings are held, when Friends from all parts of England assemble
here, giving quite a picturesque aspect to the street, when it is
thronged by them in their somewhat grotesque costume. Their first
meeting-house was in Bull and Mouth Street, Aldersgate, which was
destroyed by the fire of '66, rebuilt and occupied till 1744, when they
removed to White Hart Court, Gracechurch Street. Many of the members of
this meeting were the originators of some of the most eminent banking
firms of Lombard Street, such as the Gurneys, the Barclays, the Hoares,
the Hanburys, the Lloyds, the Mastermans, the Jansons, the Osgoods,
the Dimsdales, and others; and it was from there that the remains of
George Fox were carried to Bunhill Fields for burial, followed by 3,000
Friends. This chapel becoming too small for the congregation, a new
one, that now existing, was erected in Bishopsgate Street on the site
of the Dolphin Inn.

In 1838 a Jews' synagogue was built in Great St. Helens. It is the
largest in London in the Italian style, with a splendid interior.

The Wesleyan Centenary Hall stands in a commanding position opposite
the end of Threadneedle Street, with a fine pedimented range of columns.

We have, in our historical retrospect, seen Bishopsgate under various
aspects. In the Roman era, when it was a suburb of aristocratic
residences, with all the appliances of Roman civilisation, and all
the beauties of Roman art; in the Saxon and Norman periods, with its
mean habitations and monastic establishments, with cowled monks, and
bare-footed friars, conspicuous amongst the wayfarers as they passed
along the thoroughfare ankle deep in mud, or blinded by the clouds of
dust from the unpaved roads; in the days of the Tudors and Stuarts,
when it was lined with picturesque gabled houses, with overhanging
upper floors, cross timberings, and latticed windows; with quaint old
hostelries and their galleried courtyards, frequently occupied by
fashionable crowds of spectators, witnessing the performances of the
actors of the Elizabethan drama; and with the noble mansions of the
City magnates and merchant princes. In addition to these, there was the
City gate and a conduit at each end of the street, one to the north,
just within the gate, erected by Lord Mayor Knesworth in 1505; the
other at the south end, at its junction with the streets of Cornhill,
Leadenhall, and Gracious Church. The street was rendered more passable
for pedestrians and vehicles by being paved in 1543, and the sloughs
of despond, previously so characteristic of London thoroughfares, and
so impedimental to locomotion, got rid of. After this followed the
Georgian or dark age of architecture, when the quaint old houses of the
past were replaced by the hideous abortions of the last and beginning
of the present century.

Now for the third time we see Bishopsgate Street again gradually
assuming an aspect of architectural grandeur, which will make it in
another fifty years one of the finest streets in London or any other
city. Within the last few years there have been erected several
blocks of buildings of a palatial character, and this process of
transformation is still going on with great rapidity. Among the more
notable we may mention the National and Provincial Bank of England, one
of the finest buildings of Modern London; the Royal Bank Buildings, the
London and Lancashire Life Office, the Capital and Counties Bank, the
South Sea Chambers, the Palmerston Buildings, the Devonshire Chambers,
the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the block of offices at the rear of St.
Botolph's Church.



Aldersgate Street and St. Martin's-le-Grand.


These two streets, forming one continuous thoroughfare, are so
intimately associated in their annals, that it is almost impossible
to write the history of one of them without constant reference to the
other.

Aldersgate Street derives its name from the old City gate which was
the north-western outlet of the City, and St. Martin's-le-Grand
(formerly Martin's Lane) from the collegiate establishment which
occupied the site of the older or eastern portion of the Post Office.
In the last century, that portion from the Barbican to the Bars was
called "Pick-axe Street." Aldersgate is supposed to have been one of
the four gates of Roman London, and was in the line of an ancient
British trackway, improved by the Romans into a road called Watling
Street, which came from Dover, crossed the Thames by a ferry, passed
along where the modern Watling Street is, emerged from the City by
Aldersgate, and went onwards towards Verulamium (St. Albans). As to
the origin of the name there are various discrepant presumptions.
Some assume that it was so called because it was one of the elder, or
one of the four original gates; others that it obtained its name from
a Saxon—one Aldrich, the builder or re-edifier of it; but the most
probable assumption is that it was so denominated from the alder, or
elder trees which grew in great profusion in that locality. The wall,
after leaving Cripplegate, proceeded westward for a short distance,
then turned at a sharp angle to the south, along the present Noble
Street, until it came to near where the Castle and Falcon stands, where
it again took a south-westerly direction, past St. Botolph's Church
and the Greyfriars' Monastery. As represented by Aggas's map, there
were four semicircular bastions in the Noble Street portion, looking
westward, and two in the line from Noble Street to Greyfriars, besides
the gate at the end of St. Martin's Lane, which is there represented as
a heterogeneous mass of buildings, fortified, and with two posterns,
the centre arch being hidden by a low building standing in front of
it. A little to the north-west of Cripplegate stood a watch-tower
called the Barbican, on the north side of the street bearing that
name. It was erected by the Romans, and was garrisoned by a cohort of
soldiers, who had a threefold duty to perform: first to keep an outlook
for approaching enemies, secondly to watch for the outbreak of fire
in the City, and thirdly to keep a beacon blazing on the top to serve
as a guide for travellers by night over the northern fens and moors.
Bridgewater House, which was destroyed by fire in 1698, is supposed to
have been built on the site, and now Bridgewater Square. Some remains
of the old Barbican were to be seen here in the last century.

Very little is known of the earlier history of Aldersgate. Stow says
"This gate was antiently at divers times increased with buildings,
namely on the south side, a great frame of timber was set up,
containing many large rooms and lodgings; and on the east side was the
addition of one large building of timber with one large floor, paved
with stone or tile, and a well therein curbed with stone to a great
depth, and rising into the said room two stories high from the ground."

In 1610, Thomas Hayes erected a conduit a little way to the north
of the gate, which was supplied with water brought in pipes from the
Thames.

It was usual to grant the rooms over the gates as residences for
officials of the Corporation, those over Aldersgate being generally
appropriated to the city crier. There is among the Corporation Records
a deed of grant, in Latin, dated 49, Edw. 3, 1378, which, translated,
runs thus: "Be it remembered that we, William Walworth, Mayor of London
and the Assembly of Aldermen, with the assent of the Commonality of the
City aforesaid, by reason of the good service by Ralph Strode, Common
Countor (pleader or common serjeant) unto us done and hereafter to
be done, have given and granted unto the said Ralph all the dwelling
houses, together with the garden and all other appurtenances, situate
over the gate of Aldrichesgate, to have and to hold the same as long
as he, the said Ralph, shall remain in the said office of Countor, it
being understood that the Chamberlain for the time being during the
next year shall cause at his own expense all and singular the defaults
in the said house to be repaired, etc." In the reign of Elizabeth it
was occupied by the famous printer, John Day. Frequently, as was
usual with city gates, Aldersgate presented to the view of passers-by
a ghastly garnishing of the dismembered limbs of traitors. Thus Pepys
writes, October 20th, 1660: "This afternoon, going through London
and calling at Crowe's (Alderman Crowe) the upholsterer in Saint
Bartholomew's, I saw the limbs of some of our new traytors set upon
Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and
the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn, and quartered."

The gate gives the name to a City ward which was instituted in 1285,
which is divided into two sections, each with four precincts. The first
Alderman was William de Maiener; of the subsequent Aldermen, two have
been baronets, Sir Samuel Garrard, Lord Mayor in 1709, whose ancestor,
Sir William Garrard, was Lord Mayor in 1555, and whose great grandson,
Sir John, was created baronet in 1621. Sir Samuel was the fourth in
the baronetcy, and left issue two sons, both of whom succeeded, and
both of whom died unmarried, the younger in 1767, when the baronetcy
became extinct. The other was Sir John William Anderson, Lord Mayor in
1798, created baronet the same year, who died without issue in 1813,
when the title expired. Three Aldermen also have been knighted, viz.,
Sir Peter Floyer, Sir Thos. Halifax, and Sir Peter Laurie. The Liberty
of St. Martin's College was comprehended in the ward, but was exempt
from its jurisdiction. Before the fire of 1666 there were six churches
in the ward, those of St. John Zachary, St. Mary Staining, St. Olave,
St. Leonard, St. Anne, and St. Botolph; of these the first five were
consumed in the fire, and St. Anne's only rebuilt. St. Botolph escaped
with a scorching. The most important religious establishment in the
ward was the Collegiate Church of St. Martin's-le-Grand. Tradition says
that it was founded in the time of the early British Christianity, by
Wythered, King of Kent, in honour of Cadwallon, King of Britain. It was
repaired and endowed _circa_ 1056 by two brothers (Saxons), Ingelricus
and Edward or Gerard, which was confirmed by William I., after the
Conquest, by charter, wherein it is declared to be a Royal free chapel,
with a collegiate establishment consisting of a dean and a fraternity
of secular canons, with many privileges and immunities, including
exemption from outward, civil, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the
right of sanctuary within the limits of the liberty.

Ingelricus was the first dean, and after him several distinguished men
held the office, of whom William de Wykeham, the famous architect,
Bishop of Winchester and builder of Windsor Castle, rebuilt
considerable portions of the College; and James Stanley, brother of the
Earl of Derby, who was instituted in 1493, and is supposed to have been
the last.

The college with all its appurtenances was given by Henry VII., in
1502, to the Abbot and Convent of Westminster, for the performance of
certain religious ceremonials; and on the suppression of the abbey, 34
Henry VIII., was transferred to the newly-created dean and chapter.
It was suppressed finally in 1548, 2 Edward VI., and the same year,
as Stow informs us, "the church was pulled down, and in the east part
thereof a large wine tavern was builded, and withall down to the west
and throughout the whole of the precinct of the college, many other
houses were builded and highly priced, letten to strangers borne and
others such as then claymed benefitte of privileges grannted to the
canons serving God day and night (for so be the words of the charter
of William the Conqueror) which may hardly be wrested to artificers,
buyers and sellers, otherwise than as mentioned in the 21st of St.
Matthew's Gospel."

The curfew bell was rung nightly, at eight o'clock, from the
churchtower. Edward I. issued a proclamation that "in consequence of
the many mischiefs, murders, robberies, and beating down persons by
certain Hectors walking arm in arm, none should be so hardy as to be
found wandering in the streets after the curfew had sounded at St.
Martin's-le-Grand. The other churches where the curfew bell was rung in
the City were St. Mary-le-Bow, St. Giles, Cripplegate, and Allhallows
Barking. At the sound of the bell the great gates of Aldersgate were
closed, but the wickets left open, which were also shut and fastened as
soon as it ceased ringing, and were not opened again until the morning
excepting by a special order from the Lord Mayor.

In digging the foundations for the Post Office in 1818, a range of
Saxon or early Norman vaults were discovered, which had belonged to the
college, the remains of a crypt of the time of Henry III., and a stone
coffin.

St. Botolph's church, situated on the western side of Aldersgate
Street, near Little Britain, is dedicated to a Cornish monk, who is
said to have lived in the time of King Lucius, and was buried at Boston
(Botolph's town), in Lincolnshire. It is an ancient rectory, formerly
in the gift of the dean and canons of St. Martin, and was given along
with the college to the Abbot and Convent of Westminster, and at the
dissolution to the Bishop of Westminster, who was suppressed by Queen
Mary, and the convent restored, to whom it reverted. Queen Elizabeth
restored it to the new dean and chapter, who still hold it, subject
to the approval of the Bishop and Archdeacon of London. It escaped
the fire of 1666, became ruinous, and was patched and repaired at
divers times until 1790, when it was rebuilt, a portion of the old
church being retained in the eastern wall. It cannot be considered a
handsome church exteriorly, but the interior is effective, although
of mixed styles. It has a painted window of Christ's agony in the
garden, executed in the dark age of glass painting. In another window,
by Jas. Pierson, the figure of St. Peter is very fine. Having been
spared by the Fire, the church contains a great many monuments of the
old citizens of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There is one
to Daniel Wray, F.R.S., Deputy Teller of the Exchequer, who died in
1783, æt. 83. He was a learned man, and collected a large library of
old authors, which his widow presented to the Charter House. Another,
a tablet and bust, by Roubiliac, is erected to the memory of Elizabeth
Smith, who died in 1750, æt. 15. There is an inscription commencing—

    "Not far remote lies a lamented fair,
    Whom Heaven had fashioned with peculiar care," etc.

At the north-east corner of Little Britain stood an alien Cluniac
Priory, or Hospital, founded in 1377, which was suppressed with other
alien houses by Henry V., and the endowments given to the parishioners
of St. Botolph's, who founded a brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, in
connection with the church, to celebrate masses in the church. It was
suppressed _temp._ Edward VI., and the hall of the priory converted
into a vestry and school. There were also two brotherhoods of St.
Fabian and St. Sebastian, and a sisterhood of St. Katherine in the
church.

St. Anne's Church is also called the Church of St. Anne and St. Agnes,
from a tradition that it was built by two sisters so named, and in old
records is styled St. Anne in the Willows, from its standing in a
grove of those trees. The date of its foundation is not known, but a
John de Chambrey was collated to the living in 1322. The rectory was
under the patronage of the Dean and Canons of St. Martin's, and went
with the college to Westminster. It was destroyed by fire in 1548,
restored in 1624, again burnt in 1666, rebuilt by Wren in 1680, when
the parish of St. John Zachary was united to it, and again "repaired
and beautified" in 1701-3. Within its walls was buried William Gregory,
Mayor of London 1451, in a chantry which he had founded. There was a
monument to Peter Helwood, who was stabbed in Westminster Hall, in
1640, by John James, a Dominican friar, for his zealous prosecution of
the Papists, as a justice of the peace. The inscription says:—

    "Reader, if not a Papist bred,
    Upon such ashes lightly tread."

The Rev. James Penn, lecturer at the church, was, along with the Rev.
S. Aldrich, rector of St. John's, Clerkenwell, appointed to investigate
the mystery of the Cock Lane Ghost.

There have been several notable Nonconformist chapels in and about
Aldersgate Street. Early in the reign of Charles II., the Society of
Friends established a meeting in Bull and Mouth Street, and George Fox
frequently preached there. As was common at that time, the congregation
was subjected to barbarous persecution. In 1662 a mob assembled,
dragged them out into the street, beating and mauling them severely,
and killing one outright.

In 1760 the meeting was given up, and the room taken by a congregation
of Sandemanians from Glovers' Hall, who held it many years until
they removed to Paul's Abbey Barbican. In 1767 appeared "A Plain and
Full Account of the Christian Practices Observed by the Church in
St. Martin's-le-Grand, etc.," which was attributed to the Rev. John
Bernard, minister of the chapel, a learned man, and author of some
other works, who was eventually expelled from his pulpit for "not being
sufficiently humble, and for thinking too highly of his preaching
abilities." He died in 1805.

Trinity Hall, at the corner of Little Britain, was occupied by a
congregation of Nonjurors, and afterwards by a society of Moravians.
It was here that a memorable event took place, which had an important
influence in the great revival of religion in the last century, and
resulted, along with other predisposing causes, in the outgrowth of the
now large and influential sect of Wesleyan Methodists. John Wesley,
in his journal, May 24th, 1738, writes: "In the evening I went very
unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading
Luther's Preface to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he
was describing the changes which God makes in the heart through faith
in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in
Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had
taken away my sins—even _mine_—and saved _me_ from the law of sin and
death."

Hare Court Independent Chapel was built on ground leased for 999 years,
from Sir Henry Ashurst, in the year of the Revolution, 1688. Originally
it stood with an open space in front, facing Aldersgate Street, with a
single entrance therefrom. It was built by a society gathered together
in the reign of Charles II. by the Rev. Geo. Cockayn, who had been
ejected from St. Pancras, Soper Lane, in 1662, consisting of many of
the foremost citizens and several officers of the army. It was rebuilt
in 1772, with three galleries, and a new entrance from Paul's Alley.
In 1857, the chapel was disposed of, and out of the proceeds a new one
built in Canonbury, to which was given the time honoured name of Hare
Court, and which maintains the popularity of its predecessor.

In 1804 a congregation of Calvinistic Methodists assembled in a large
room of Shaftesbury House, under the pastorate of the Rev. T. Madden,
who removed hither with his flock from Bartholomew Close.

From the time of the Plantagenets to that of the Stuarts, Aldersgate
Street was the Belgravia of London, the place of residence of prelates
and nobles. Compared with other streets of the City, it was spacious
and open, lined with magnificent buildings, and adorned with clusters
and lines of ancient trees. Howell, in his _Londinopolis_, 1657, speaks
of it as resembling a street in an Italian city; and Malcolm, in his
_Londinium Redivivum_, 1805, says; "Aldersgate Street is very unequal
in its buildings, but the majority are of superior excellence, and the
various shops and warehouses of the first respectability. In width it
is superior to most of the streets within the walls of the City."

The only one of the famous old mansions recently remaining was
Shaftesbury or Thanet House. It was built by Inigo Jones for the
Tuftons, Earls of Thanet, and was purchased by Anthony Ashley Cooper,
Earl of Shaftesbury, the Achitophel of Dryden. Pennant says: "It was
hired or purchased by the incendiary statesman, Lord Shaftesbury, for
the purpose of living in the City to inflame the minds of the citizens,
among whom he used to boast he could raise 10,000 brisk boys by the
holding up of his finger. He attempted to get into the magistracy, but
being disappointed in his views and terrified at the apprehension of
the detection of a conspiracy he had entered into against his prince,
he fled, in 1683, into Holland, where he soon died of the gout,
heightened by rage and frustrated ambition."

The house was afterwards let for manufacturing purposes; in 1750
it became a Lying-in-Hospital, which was removed to the City Road,
when it was opened as a Dispensary, with a Dissenting Chapel, called
Shaftesbury Chapel, on the first floor, until the migration of the
congregation to a new chapel opposite Westmoreland Buildings, called
Aldersgate Chapel.

Petre, Dorchester, or London House stood on the west side of the
street nearly opposite Shaftesbury House. It is supposed to have been
built by Sir William Petre, who became rich by monastic plunder at
the dissolution of monasteries, and died in 1572. It was occupied by
his descendants until 1639, when it came into possession of Henry
Pierrepoint, Marquis of Dorchester. During the Commonwealth it was
made use of as a state prison, and after the Great Fire of 1666 had
destroyed the palace of the Bishop of London, in St. Paul's Churchyard,
became the episcopal residence of the see, many alterations being
made, and the chapel built by various bishops, and was held by them
until 1725. In 1748 it was occupied by Jacob Ilive, "the crazy printer
and fanatical writer," and twenty years after by Seddon, the eminent
cabinetmaker, ancestors of the Seddons of Gray's Inn Road, who had the
misfortune to have it burnt, with the whole of his uninsured stock, on
two occasions. Afterwards, also, Miss Seddon was burnt to death in the
house, by her clothes catching fire.

The two mighty and illustrious northern families of Percy and Nevil
had both of them a town mansion in Aldersgate Street on the western
side—Northumberland House, on the site of Bull and Mouth Street; and
Westmoreland House, on the site of Westmoreland Court, extending to
Bartholomew Close. On the death of Henry, first Earl of Northumberland,
at the Battle of Bramham Moor, 1408, and his subsequent attainder,
King Henry IV. gave Northumberland House to Queen Joan for a wardrobe.
Afterwards it became a printing office, then a tavern, and finally was
divided into shops and tenements. Lauderdale House stood on the east
side, a little north of Shaftesbury House. It was the residence of
the Earl of Lauderdale, a member of the "Cabal" ministry of Charles
II. Upon the site was built Bote and Walsh's distillery. Close by
Shaftesbury House stood Bacon House, the residence of Sir Nicholas
Bacon, Lord Keeper to Queen Elizabeth, and father of Lord Chancellor
Bacon, one of the greatest of our philosophers. Ralph Montagu, third
Baron and first Duke of Montagu, "as arrant a knave as any in his
time," as Swift observed when he was raised to a dukedom, lived in
Aldersgate Street until he built Montagu House, Bloomsbury (the British
Museum), when he removed thither. Charles Mordaunt, third Earl of
Peterborough, one of the foremost men of the court of Queen Anne, was
also a resident. On the west side of the street there is a picturesque
old house (now a newsagent's shop) with an inscription stating that
"This was Shakespeare's House," which may possibly be true, but there
does not appear to be any documentary evidence in proof thereof. Mary,
Countess of Pembroke, sister of Sir P. Sydney, the subject of Ben
Jonson's famous epitaph, which was not inscribed on her tomb, died at
her house in the street in 1621.

Many other distinguished personages have been born, lived, or died in
Aldersgate Street, amongst whom may be noticed Milton, who in 1641 was
living in a house at the bottom of Lamb (now Maidenhead) Court; Brian
Walton, Bishop of Chester, the learned editor of the first English
Polyglot Bible; Thos. Flatman, the poet, who was born in the street in
1657; the brothers Rawlinson, who resided in London House—Thomas, the
"Tom Folio" of the _Tatler_, No. 158, and Richard, LL.D., F.R.S., and
F.S.A., both antiquaries and great collectors of books. The Right Hon.
Thos. Harley, a memorable member of the Corporation, and M.P. for the
City, also resided here.

The Company of Cooks had their hall on the western side of Aldersgate
Street, adjoining Little Britain. The company was incorporated by
Letters Patent in 1480, by Edward IV., under the style and title of
"The Masters and Governors and Commonalty of the Mystery of Cooks in
London," and their charter was confirmed by Elizabeth and James I. with
"a master, four wardens, and 25 assistants." The hall escaped the fire
of 1666, but was destroyed by fire in 1771, and was not rebuilt.

There have been and still are many taverns and hostelries of
considerable note in Aldersgate Street and St. Martin's-le-Grand. The
most interesting is the "Mourning Bush," a very ancient tavern with a
carved ivy bush for its sign—a timber-gabled house—with portions of the
old wall of London for its foundations. It stood on the east side of
the street, and had a back entrance in St. Anne's Lane. The landlord,
during the time of the Civil War, was a devoted royalist, and on the
execution of King Charles had the courage to paint his ivy bush black,
and call it the "Mourning Bush." In 1749, the sign was changed to "The
Fountain," and is referred to by Tom Brown as one of the "four or five
topping taverns of the City," whose owners might look for an alderman's
gown. In 1830, it was repaired and refitted, and instead of restoring
the old historically interesting name, it has since been christened
"The Lord Raglan." "The Bull and Mouth" (a corruption of Boulogne
Mouth, or Harbour) a very ancient hostelry, originally standing in Bull
and Mouth and Angel streets, with a galleried and gabled court-yard,
now taken down. It was rebuilt in 1830, and to meet the more fastidious
taste of the time its somewhat vulgar name was changed to the more
euphonious "Queen's Hotel." On a stone tablet was the following
inscription:—

    "Milo the Cretonian
    An ox slew with his fist,
    And ate it up at one meal,
    Ye gods, what a glorious twist!"

The new branch of the Post Office is being built on the site. Two doors
from Barbican stood the "Bell," an inn worthy of being remembered as
having been the resort of John Taylor, the Water Poet. The Albion is
celebrated for its public dinners, and for the trade sales of London
publishers. The Castle and Falcon is also a famous and very old inn,
standing close by, and probably on a portion of the site of the gate.

Aldersgate Street has been the scene of some incendiary fires for the
sake of plunder. Pepys, in his _Diary_, July, 1687, refers to a case
in which two boys, one "a son of Lady Montagu's, I know not what Lady
Montagu—got into the company of some rogues, who persuaded them to
rob their fathers' houses of plate and other valuables, of which they
appropriated the greater portion, and afterwards to set fire to a
house in the street, that they might abscond with the goods that were
thrown into the streets." Again in May, 1790, some scoundrels fired a
house at the corner of Long Lane, which eventuated in the destruction
of all the houses to Catherine (? Carthusian Street), involving the
loss of property amounting to £40,000, that they might plunder them in
the confusion. One John Flindall was apprehended, tried, and sentenced
to transportation for robbery during the fire, when he offered to
turn king's evidence, was accepted, and he revealed the diabolical
plot, implicating especially two accomplices, Lowe and Jobbins, the
ringleaders, who were hanged in front of the ruins. The Corporation
took advantage of the clearance to widen Aldersgate in this part of
the street, which had previously been very narrow, at a cost of £4,035.

The 7th of May, in the year 1603, was a day long remembered by the
worthy citizens of Aldersgate Street, as that on which King James VI.
of Scotland, entered the City through their gate to assume the title
of James the First of England. The street was adorned with triumphal
arches; arras and costly hangings decorated the fronts of the houses,
and numberless banners and pennons floated in the breeze from the
windows and points of the gables; the windows were filled with the
beauty of the City—matrons and maidens; while the 'prentices and other
venturous spirits perched themselves on the roofs, and the roadway
below was densely crowded by citizens, who ever and anon made the
welkin ring by their shouts of welcome. Sheriff Swinnerton, with ten
followers in rich liveries, met the King at Waltham, and congratulated
him on his safe arrival. At Stamford Hill he was met by the Lord Mayor
Lee and the aldermen, all in scarlet robes, and 500 of the most eminent
of the citizens, on horseback, all sumptuously apparelled in velvet,
with gold chains round their necks. The procession passed slowly
along, pausing at intervals to look upon some ingeniously-contrived
pageant, and listen to the congratulations of the characters
represented, and along Aldersgate Street to the Charter House, where
the king was magnificently entertained by Lord Howard four days. In the
evening the street was brilliantly illuminated by means of bonfires,
cresset-bearers marching up and down, and lights from the windows.

In the last and the preceding centuries Little Britain was the great
centre of the publishing and book-selling trades, and in Aldersgate
Street, of which it is a tributary, there have lived several eminent
members thereof. John Day, the famous printer, _temp._ Edward VI. and
Elizabeth, occupied rooms over the gate. He printed a folio edition of
the Bible, 1549, dedicated to King Edward VI.; published also the works
of Ascham, Tindal, etc., and it was at his suggestion that Foxe wrote
his _Book of Martyrs_, respecting which it was said—

    "He set a fox to write how martyrs runne,
    By death to lyfe."

Jacob Ilive, an eccentric printer, set up his press in London House,
where he printed several of his own fantastic writings, such as
"The speech of Mr. J. I., to his brothers, the Master Printers, on
the Utility of Printing, 1730; etc., etc." Robert Chiswell, who died
in 1711, of whom Dunton, in his _Life and Errors_, says, "The most
eminent in his profession in the three kingdoms, I take to be Mr.
Robert Chiswell, who well deserves the title of Metropolitan Bookseller
of England, if not of all the world." John Hereford, whose last
publication was the Newe Testament, 1548; Nicholas Borman; Anthony
Scholcker, _vix_ 1548, afterwards of Ipswich; William Tilly, who
published the new Testament in 4to. in 1549; Henry Denham, at the sign
of the Bear and Ragged Staff, Thomas Easte, at the sign of the Black
Horse, and Thos. Whitchurch, at the sign of the Well and Two Buckets,
St Martin's-le-Grand.



Old Broad Street.


The ward to which this street gives its name is unquestionably the
richest in the City of London, containing within its limits, extending
from Cornhill Ward on the south to Bishopsgate Ward on the north, and
from Bishopsgate Ward on the east to Coleman Street Ward on the west,
some of the most wealthy and important commercial establishments of
the metropolis. Within its boundaries are the Bank of England, and a
multitude of other high-class banks, the Royal Exchange, the Stock
Exchange, several Insurance offices, Consulates, the South Sea House,
the Inland Revenue Office, Drapers' Hall, Merchant Taylors' Hall,
Carpenters' Hall, and an infinite number of merchants' offices, where
mercantile transactions of incalculable magnitude take place daily. It
comprehends within its area several of the most important commercial
and financial streets of the City—Threadneedle Street, Lothbury,
Throgmorton Street, Great Winchester Street, Princes Street, Moorgate
Street, Austin Friars, with other smaller streets, courts, and alleys,
all full of life, bustle, and active commercial life. It comprehends
six parishes—those of Allhallows-on-the-Wall, St. Martin Outwich, St.
Bene't Fink, St. Bartholemew-by-the-Exchange, St. Peter-le-Poor, and
St. Christopher, Threadneedle Street. Besides these are the Dutch
Church, of the Austin Friars, and the Walloon or French Protestant
Church in Threadneedle Street.

Old Broad Street is a wide spacious thoroughfare extending from the end
of Throgmorton Street to London Wall and Wormwood Street, whence it is
continued northward to Liverpool Street by New Broad Street; at the
south end, by Throgmorton Street, it diverges at a slight angle to the
end of Threadneedle Street, this portion having formerly been called
Little Broad Street.

In the time of Charles I. it was one of the most fashionable streets
in London, the place of residence of several aristocratic families,
including, amongst others, those of the Earls of Shrewsbury, the
Careys, Barons Hunsdon, and Earls of Dover, and the Westons, Barons
Weston, and Earls of Portland, extinct 1688. The most important house,
however, was Winchester House, which, with its gardens, occupied the
site of Great and Little Winchester streets. The mansion was built by
Sir William Paulet, first Marquis of Winchester, one of the foremost
men of his age, and a remarkable man in many respects. He was born in
the year 1475, and lived to the age of 97, holding various offices
of state during two-thirds of that period, and at his death left
upwards of a hundred descendants. In 1539 he was created, by patent,
Baron St. John of Basing, to which title, by writ of summons, 1299,
he was eldest co-heir. In 1549 he was created Earl of Wiltshire, and
in 1551 Marquis of Winchester. He was Comptroller of the Household to
Henry VIII., an executor of his will, and guardian of the young king,
Edward VI., and afterwards became Lord Treasurer, and was made Knight
of the Garter. He died in 1572, having witnessed all the changes of
religion, and the turmoils and troubles attendant thereupon. On being
asked how he managed to maintain his position, and an unbroken flow of
prosperity, amid all the religious and political fluctuations of his
time, he replied that "he was made of the pliable willow, not of the
stubborn oak." He was twice married, first to Elizabeth, daughter of
Sir William Capel, Lord Mayor of London, who was mother of his heir,
the second marquis. At the dissolution of the Augustine Friary, the
house and grounds were granted by Henry VIII. to Lord St. John, who
pulled down a portion of the friary, built a mansion which he made his
town residence, and laid out the grounds afresh which extended to the
City wall, with a footway across, leading to Moorgate. This footpath
had gates at each end, which were kept locked during the night, and
no one allowed to pass along it. The Marquis was also the builder of
Basing House, Wiltshire, memorable for the siege it sustained in the
subsequent civil war.

In modern times Sir Astley Cooper, the celebrated surgeon, resided
in Broad Street, in a house at the corner of the paved court leading
to St. Botolph's Church, Bishopsgate Street, where he held a morning
_levée_ of City patients. His fees, the first year he commenced,
amounted to five guineas, and it was not until the 5th that they
reached £100 and the 9th, £1,000. After that they rose rapidly to
£1,500, and one year he received the sum of £21,000. Afterwards he
removed to the West-End, but he found a sensible diminution of his
receipts from those derived from the City millionaires. The abbot of
St. Alban's also had his town house opposite St. Augustine's Gate. Even
in the time of the Romans, this part of the City would appear to have
been inhabited by the aristocratical section of the community, as in
1854 a magnificent tesselated floor, 28-feet square, was discovered,
such as must have belonged to a large and high-class house. Humphrey
de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, in 1243, founded on a plot of
land extending westward from Broad Street, a priory for begging Friars
of the order of St. Augustine, which flourished until the dissolution,
when the house and grounds were granted to Lord St. John and the
church, appropriated by King Edward VI., in 1551, to "John Alasco, and
a congregation of Germans and other strangers fled hither for the sake
of religion," the church to be called "the temple of the Lord Jesus,"
and in the hands of the Germans, or rather Dutch it still remains.

There is but one church in the street—St. Peter's, originally St.
Peter the Apostle, but now St. Peter-the-Poor, a mean edifice, with
an ungainly tower, and might well be designated "the poor" from its
poverty of architectural merit. Maitland says that it "received the
appellation from the mean condition (as is supposed) of the parish in
ancient times. If so that epithet may at present be justly changed
to that of rich, because of the great number of merchants and other
persons of distinction inhabiting there." The probability seems to be
that it derived that name from its proximity to the house of Begging
Friars, who made a merit of their poverty, and this came to be called
St. Peter by the Poor Friars, to distinguish it from St. Peter's,
Cornhill, and others of the name. We have no knowledge of when or by
whom it was built, but it is a very ancient foundation, as there is
documentary evidence showing it to have been in existence in 1181.
Among the rectors of St. Peter's have been some notable men. Richard
Holdsworth, D.D., educated at St. John's, Cambridge, where he won a
name for proficiency in arts and theology, became master of Emanuel
College, and vice-chancellor of the university, who was preferred to
the rectory in 1636. He was a zealous loyalist, and ejected from his
living in 1642, his house plundered, and he imprisoned in the Tower.
In 1645, he was nominated to the deanery of Worcester and elected
Bishop of Bristol, but declined the dignity. He was permitted to attend
King Charles at Hampton Court and Carisbrook Castle, but he suffered
much by deprivation, sequestration, and several imprisonments. He
died in 1649, and was buried in the church of St. Peter. Benjamin
Hoadley, D.D., afterwards successively Bishop of Bangor, Hereford,
Salisbury, and Winchester, who held the living from 1704 to 1720. He
was eminent as a controversialist, and held views which would now be
termed Rationalistic, approaching closely to Unitarianism, which were
developed especially in his _Plain Account of the Sacrament_, and
his _Discourses on the Terms of Acceptance_. When Bishop of Bangor,
he published a sermon on "The True Nature of the Kingdom that Christ
came upon Earth to Establish," from the text, "My kingdom is not of
this world," which gave rise to the celebrated and long-protracted
"Bangorian Controversy." He published a multitude of works, chiefly of
a controversial character, and died in 1761.

John Scott, D.D., 1677-91, afterwards rector of St.
Giles-in-the-Fields, and canon of Windsor, a learned divine, author of
_Cases of Conscience_, 1683; _Texts Cited by the Papists Examined_,
1688; _The Christian Life_, 1683; ninth edition, 1702; and other works,
which passed through successive editions, and some translated into
foreign languages. His entire works were published in two vols., fol.,
in 1718, and in six vols., 8vo., in 1826.

In the fifteenth century Venice held the secret and the monopoly of
glass making. The works were situated on the island of Murano, and
many attempts were made by other nations to learn the secret, but the
Venetians asserted and spread abroad the report that it was impossible
to make glass elsewhere equal to that of Murano, even with the same
materials, the same workmen, and the same method of working, as there
was something in the air of the island which imparted a lucidity and
lustre, rendering the glass of the island superior to anything that
could be produced in any other part of the world.

About the middle of the sixteenth century the manufacture was
introduced into England, and works established in the Savoy and
Crutched Friars. Early in the following century a company of noblemen
and courtiers, with Sir Robert Mansell at their head, formed an
association for the manufacture of glass, and built works for that
purpose in Broad Street, near Austin Friars. At that time it was not
deemed derogatory to the dignity of a nobleman to engage in the glass
trade. In Venice the manufacture was held in such high esteem that
those engaged in the profession ranked as gentlemen, and in France a
decree was issued that glass-working should not lessen the dignity of a
noble.

In 1615 the company employed as their manager or steward James Howell,
afterwards Historiographer Royal to Charles II., whom they sent abroad
to obtain information for the improvement of their processes, and to
employ skilful workmen. He obtained from the Lords of Council a warrant
to travel for three years, on condition that he did not visit Rome or
St. Omer, and he started off in 1619, returning in 1621.

He tempted the best workmen, by a promise of a high rate of wages,
especially Signor Antonio Miotti, from Lealand, who had been a master
manufacturer, and was reckoned the ablest workman in Christendom, and
from Venice "two of the best gentlemen workmen that ever blew crystal."

Howell was a remarkable man, and led a somewhat varied life of
vicissitude. After his continental tour he threw up his situation, not
being able to bear the heat of the glass works, was elected a fellow
of his college, and in 1626 became secretary to the council of the
North, at York, and the next year was elected to represent Richmond,
Yorkshire, in Parliament. In 1632 he went to Denmark as secretary to a
special embassy, and on his return went to Ireland to seek employment
under Wentworth, but failed in consequence of the recall and execution
of that nobleman. In 1640 he obtained a clerkship in the council at
Whitehall, but lost it on the breaking out of the Civil War, and in
1643 was committed to the Fleet for his loyal predilections, where he
remained until the death of the king. On his release he found himself
not only penniless, but in debt. He contrived, however, to maintain
himself during the Protectorate by writing for the press, and at the
restoration was appointed Historiographer Royal, which office he held
until his death in 1666.

When Monk came to London to effect the restoration of monarchy, he
halted with his army in Finsbury Fields, had a conference with the Lord
Mayor and aldermen, who coincided with him in his views, which were
professedly the maintenance of a free Parliament. He quartered his men
in the Broad Street Glass House, and passed himself into the City, amid
the acclamations of the people, to the Bull's Head, Cheapside, where he
took up his quarters. The glass works, despite the monopoly, was not a
success, the manufacture was discontinued, and the house, or a portion
of it, taken by the Pinmakers' Company.

The Pinmakers, or Pinners as they were usually called, were neither
a numerous or a rich company. Indeed, Stow says that they met in
Plasterers' Hall originally, and in his time the house had gone to
decay, as "they were not worth a pin." The company was formed in the
reign of James I., and was incorporated 2nd Charles I. (1636). The arms
presented a crowned half figure of Queen Elizabeth, with the motto,
"Virginitas et unitas nostra fraternitas." Towards the end of the 17th
century they held their quarterly courts of assistants in Cutler's
Hall, Cloak Lane, Dowgate. In the Guildhall Library is preserved
the minute-book of the quarterly meetings from 1698 to 1723, some
portions of which are engrossed. It commences with a list of members in
1698; then gives the minutes of the meetings in succession. The chief
business appears to have been fining the members of the court 1s. for
being late, binding and unloosing apprentices, and voting donations to
the widows of members. The company has now entirely disappeared.

St. Augustine's passed through some strange mutations before it finally
disappeared. Originally the home of a fraternity of begging friars, it
became the stables and outhouses of the mansion of a nobleman. Then it
was converted into a glass factory; a soldiers' barracks for a short
time; after which it was appropriated by a City company, and finally
became a great centre of Protestant Dissent, from whose pulpit were
enunciated principles of theology at which, in the olden time, friars
would have stood aghast. In the reign of Charles II., Anthony Palmer,
who had been ejected from Bourton-on-the-Water, and who suffered much
under the Act of Uniformity, an able and learned man, author of _The
Tempestuous Soul calmed by Jesus Christ_, and other esteemed works,
collected a congregation here, took a lease of the building, and
fitted it up with two tiers of galleries, and died in 1678. He was
followed by a long succession of ministers who preached Calvinistic
doctrines, amongst the more notable of whom were George Townes, M.A.,
who had been apprehended in the pulpit at Bristol on a charge of
having being implicated in the "Presbyterian Plot," was removed by
_habeas corpus_ to King's Bench Prison, and eventually acquitted. He
suffered much persecution, and died of the stone, aggravated by his
imprisonment, in 1685. Richard Wavel, famous for his pulpit oratory,
who died in 1707. Joseph Hunt, D.D., a learned divine, who occupied
the pulpit 37 years. He is highly panegyrised by Dr. Lardner for his
erudition, strength of mind, and wonderful memory. Joseph Foster,
D.D., born 1697, pastor of Pinners' Hall Church 1774-1753, author of
_The Usefulness, Truth, and Excellency of the Christian Revelation_,
written in reply to _Christianity as Old as Creation_. He was buried
in Bunhill Fields. Caleb Fleming, D.D., born at Nottingham, 1698;
pastor, 1753-1778, having been previously minister of a congregation in
Bartholomew Close. Author of a multitude of pamphlets—some published
anonymously—quaint and obscure in style. He held opinions verging on
Socinianism, and "set down as fools all who held different opinions,"
including Watts, Bradbury, Pike, Wesley, Whitefield, and Sherlock.
This congregation only occupied the chapel in the mornings, and at the
expiration of the lease, in 1778, the church was dispersed. In the
afternoons an Independent Church, commenced by Thomas Cole, who died in
1697, rented the chapel. He was followed by Dr. John Singleton, who in
1704 removed with the church to Lorimer's Hall.

In that year (1704) Dr. Isaac Watts preached here in the afternoons
until 1708, when he removed to the new meeting house in Duke's Place.

Then followed, in 1708, a congregation under the oversight of James
Maisters, who came hither from Joiners' Hall, who, with his successor
Thomas Richardson, removed in 1723 to Devonshire Square. About 1741
Mr. Weatherley's congregation of General Baptists came here from
Artillery Place, Spitalfields, and continued until the expiration of
the lease, when they removed to Berry Street. A sect of Seventh Day
Baptists also occupied the chapel on Saturdays, under the pastorate of
Thomas Bampfield, "who died a martyr in Newgate in 1684." The church
afterwards removed to Curriers' Hall.

In 1779 a lease was taken of the chapel by Anthony Cole, a seceder
from the Countess of Huntingdon's connection, who gathered together a
numerous congregation, who assembled here until the expiration of the
lease in 1799, when they removed to Founders' Hall.

Shortly after this the building was taken down, and all traces of it
are now obliterated.

But that which rendered Pinners' Hall so conspicuous and celebrated in
the annals of Nonconformity was the establishment of the Merchants'
Lecture within its walls. In 1672, the Dutch war commenced, and Charles
II. and his advisers, thinking it desirable that there should be peace
at home in the religious world whilst there was war abroad, issued
the memorable Declaration of Indulgence, in the preamble to which it
was stated, "that there was very little fruit of all those forcible
methods which had been used for seducing erring and dissenting persons,
etc. His Majesty therefore, by virtue of his supreme power in matters
ecclesiastical, took upon him to suspend all penal laws about them,
declaring that he would grant a convenient number of public meeting
places to men of all sects that did not conform, provided they took
out licences, etc." This was welcomed by the Dissenters generally as
a gracious act of toleration, but there were those amongst them who
looked upon it as a stepping-stone to the re-introduction of Popery.
Taking advantage of the indulgence, the Presbyterians and Independents
who agreed in the fundamental principles of the Reformation, and in a
desire to tear away from the Anglican Church the shreds of Popery which
still adhered to it, met together, under the patronage of the merchants
of London, and agreed to establish in Pinners' Hall a weekly lecture,
to be preached on Tuesday mornings.

At first four Presbyterian and two Independent ministers, the most
eminent of their day, were appointed to preach in turn. They were Drs.
Bates, Manton, and Owen, and Messrs. Baxter, Collins, and Jenkyn, and
for a time the lectures were continued with success and acceptance,
and with tolerable unanimity, despite some little bickering on the
questions of Predestination and Reprobation, occasioned by a sermon
preached by Baxter, who defended his sermon in a tract entitled _An
Appeal to the Light_, when Dr. Manton came forward and partially
suppressed the clamour, but Baxter seceded.

A succession of distinguished ministers continued the lecture until
1694, when the Calvinistic question again cropped up, arising out of
the reprinting of the works of Dr. Tobias Crisp, which were published
under the editorship of his son in 1690, and written against by Mr.
Williams, one of the lecturers. Discord sprung up, and an attempt
was made to exclude him from the lectureship, upon which four of the
lecturers,—Dr. Bates, and Messrs. Williams, Howe, and Alsop,—sent in
their resignations, and set up an opposition lecture at Salters' Hall,
at the same day and hour.

At the expiration of the lease the lecture was removed to Little St.
Helen's, and afterwards to the chapel in New Broad Street, about 1780,
but was very thinly attended.

The Independent Chapel in New Broad Street, to which the Merchants'
lecture migrated, was built in 1728, for Dr. Guyse and a congregation
who separated with him from Miles Lane. Dr. Guyse was a learned man
and Merchant lecturer at Pinners' Hall, and was author of _A Paraphrase
on the New Testament_, 1739, a voluminous and valuable work, as well as
of some other works.

He was followed by John Stafford, D.D., who died in 1800, and was
buried in Bunhill-fields; author of _The Scripture Doctrine of Sin and
Grace_, _Twenty-five Sermons on the Seventh Chapter Romans_, _etc._

A writer in Knight's _London_ says: "If a stranger from any part
of England, Scotland, or Ireland, however remote, were to pause in
the midst of Broad Street, and enquire to what purpose that large
pile of buildings opposite to him were appropriated, he would, ten
to one, on learning that it was the Excise Office, have a livelier
idea of the operations of the Board of Revenue, which has its seat
there, than the inhabitant of London, provided that neither had
been brought into direct contact with its officers by the nature of
his business." In 1626, King Charles I. attempted to introduce the
excise, but a unanimous vote of the Houses of Parliament compelled
him to renounce the scheme. Nevertheless, in 1643, Parliament itself
levied an excise, for the maintenance of the forces raised by them;
the first articles on which the duty was laid were ale, beer, cider,
and perry. The Commissioners of Excise sat in Haberdashers' Hall. An
account of its establishment was given by Prynne, in a tract published
in 1654, entitled, "A Declaration and Protestation against the Illegal
and Detestable and oft-contemned New Tax and Extortion of Excise in
General, and for Hops, a native and uncertain commodity in particular."
An excise office was built in Smithfield, which was burnt down by the
populace, and many riots took place in London in opposition to the
tax, especially when salt and meat and other of the common necessaries
of life were subjected to it; and a multitude of pamphlets, some of a
very scurrilous character, appeared in opposition to it. The Excise
office was afterwards removed to the mansion of Sir J. Frederick, in
Ironmonger Lane, and remained there until 1768, when the trustees
of the Gresham estates let the ground on which Gresham College and
Almshouses stood, extending from Bishopsgate Street to Broad Street, to
Government for £500 per annum, the City and Mercers' Company further
agreeing to pay out of the Gresham funds the sum of £1,800 towards
the demolition of the college and the building of the Excise Office.
The architect was the elder Dance, who erected a plain but spacious
and commanding looking brick building, which served the purpose of the
commissioners until 1848, when the office was removed to Somerset House.

That portion of the grounds of the Gresham estate which faced Broad
Street, was occupied by the almshouses founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in
1575, and bequeathed by him in trust to the Lord Mayor and Commonalty
of the City of London. They consisted of eight tenements for eight poor
men, with an annual allowance of £6 13s. 4d. and a load of coals, and
a new gown every two years. On their demolition to make room for the
Excise Office, they were removed to the City green-yard, in Whitecross
Street.

Another Government office which stood in Broad Street was the Pay
Office for the Navy. It was situated in a portion of Winchester House
at the north-west corner of Great Winchester Street, has since been
removed, and is now located in Somerset House.

The South Sea House formerly extended from Threadneedle Street to Broad
Street, with a frontage in both streets; now it is confined to the
former street in a more modern building. The company was incorporated
in 1710 by Queen Anne, for the purpose of paying off a sum of ten
millions due to the seamen who had been engaged in the French wars.
In 1720 they obtained an Act of Parliament giving them a monopoly
of trading to the South Seas. By a series of iniquitous frauds and
deceptions they raised the shares to a fictitious value of 1,000 per
cent., and caused the nation to fall into a sort of financial madness
in their eagerness to get shares, which resulted in the "South Sea
Bubble." The panic on its bursting caused the ruin of innumerable
families, whilst a few clever rogues realised large fortunes. The
company has long ceased to be a trading body, and the remnant of the
stock, converted into annuity stock, is managed by Government, under
the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed in 1753.

The district northward of Old Broad Street was formerly called Petty
France, on which New Broad Street has been built. Seymoor in his
edition of Stow writes: "Petty France; the greatest part of this is new
built, and called New Broad Street. It is a most regular building; the
houses are after the manner of those by Hanover Square and Burlington
Gardens, and are the most elegant buildings in the City."

In New Broad Street, besides the Independent Chapel, mentioned _supra_,
a Presbyterian chapel was erected in 1729, for a congregation which
removed hither from Hand Alley, Bishopsgate, where a Church had been
formed early in the reign of Charles II. by Thomas Vincent, who
rendered himself famous by his labours amongst the sick during the
Plague. Dr. John Evans, a pious and eminent man, was minister of the
Church at the time of the removal, and was author of a great number of
published sermons, and other works, including "Two sermons preached at
the opening of a new meeting place, in New Broad Street, Petty France,
December 14th and 21st, 1730." John Allen, M.D., was a subsequent
minister of the chapel, author of several sermons which were printed;
and another was John Palmer, a controversial writer, and opponent of
Dr. Priestley. At the expiration of the lease in 1780 the chapel was
taken down and the church dispersed.

An illustration of the primitive mode of stopping the ravages of fire
occurred in 1314, when permission was asked by the officials of Broad
Street ward to cut down an elm tree standing by London Wall and sell
it, to enable them to purchase a new cord for their "wardhoke," a hook
which was kept in each ward of the City for the purpose of pulling down
houses to prevent the spreading of fires.

In 1500 an inquisition was held to ascertain the liability of the ward
to maintain two bridges over the Wall Brook running from "Vynesbury,"
now broken, and to replace the hinges of Bishopsgate, when it was found
that the Prior of Holy Trinity was bound by his charter to keep one
of the bridges in repair, and the Prior of the New Hospital without
Bishopsgate and Broad Street ward the other jointly, and that it
devolved on the Bishop of London to maintain the hinges of the gate,
as he claimed a stick from every load of wood that passed through the
gateway.

Broad Street of late years has become a thoroughfare of immense
traffic, especially in the mornings and evenings, of cabs and
pedestrians going from and to the half-dozen railways which have
erected stations and termini in Liverpool Street, so much so as to
render it at certain times of the day one of the most thronged streets
of the City.



Chaucer and the Tabard.


The Tabard has passed away! Another of the relics of old London—a link
between the picturesque past and the prosaic present—rich as it was in
remembrances associated with the birthtime of English poetry, is now
a thing of the past. We have but few of these relics of Bygone London
remaining; it is true the Tower, St. John's Gate, and the house of
Sir John Crosby still linger with us; but who knows how soon the site
of the Tower will be wanted for a railway station, the gateway of the
old knights be found to be an obstruction in the way of Pickford's
vans, and the old Bishopsgate Street house swept away by the broom of
"improvement?"

If there be one spot within the bounds of London that may be especially
termed classic—which may be looked upon as sacred to poetry—that spot
is Southwark, despite its hop warehouses, in the midst of which stood
the Tabard. The legend of the ferryman's daughter and the foundation of
the monastery and church of St. Mary Overies is redolent of romance.
In Clink Street, Shakespeare lived and wrote, and in the theatre on
Bankside he gave utterance to his inspired imaginings; in St. Saviour's
Church sleeps Gower, the contemporary of Chaucer; and in one grave
repose Fletcher and Massinger; whilst on Bankside, in twin fraternity,
dwelt Beaumont and Fletcher.

More than to others should this spot and the Tabard be dear to the
citizens of London, for he to whose shrine pilgrims of the hostelry
were wending their way was the son of a London merchant; and he who
describes, and has rendered immortal, that riding to Canterbury, in
April of the year of grace, 1383, was born within the walls of the City.

The Tabard owed its origin to the Abbey of Newere Mynstre, Winchester,
which was founded by King Alfred, and afterwards removed outside the
walls, when it assumed the name of Hyde Abbey, _temp._ Henry I. Alwyn,
the eighth abbot, was uncle to King Harold, and fought, with twelve
of his monks, under his standard at Hastings. In process of time the
Abbey waxed rich, and in 1307 the Abbot purchased a plot of land near
the palace of the Bishop of Winchester, and thereon, as Stow informs
us, "built a faire house for him and his train when he came to the
City to Parliament." At this spot was a convergence of roads from
the southern and western counties, from whence started eastward "The
Pilgrim's Road" to Canterbury, in consequence of which the Abbot built,
in close contiguity, a hostelry for the reception of pilgrims, where
they might repose until a sufficient number was gathered together to
proceed in company for protection from the dangers of the road. It
was built in the picturesque style of the period, with gables to the
street, cross timberings and latticed windows; in the interior was a
large courtyard, with balustraded galleries running round it, leading
to dormitories; and there was a "Pilgrims' Hall," a large room some
45 feet in length, with open fireplaces and long tables, at which the
pilgrims dined and supped during their sojourn. At the dissolution,
1538, it was sold, along with the Abbot's House, and is described as
"The Tabard of the Monastery of Hyde, and the Abbot's place, with the
stables and gardens belonging thereunto." Still, however, it retained
its character of an inn, and in the reign of Elizabeth was repaired
and partially rebuilt by "Master J. Preston." A view of it, as it then
appeared, is given in Urry's edition of Chaucer, 1721, representing it
in the old timbered and gabled style, with a beam stretching across the
road, from which the swinging and creaking sign was pendant, and on
which was an inscription,—"This is the Inn where Sir Jeffry Chaucer and
the nine-and-twenty pilgrims lay on their journey to Canterbury, anno
1383." In 1673, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, this cross beam,
with its supporting posts, was taken down, but the inscription, after
the rebuilding, was painted over the gateway, where it remained until
1813, when it was erased.

The street front of the inn was consumed in the great fire of
Southwark, 1676, along with 600 other houses, but was immediately
rebuilt, presumably in facsimile of the original, with its courtyard,
galleries, pilgrims' hall, and quaint old sleeping-rooms, and it is
possible that some parts which escaped the fire may have been a portion
of the Tabard, where Chaucer sat as "a chiel takin' notes," and where
the pretty prioress, the wife of Bath, the knight and the squire,
and the Sumpnour and the Pardoner chatted and laughed and flirted;
certainly the courtyard was the identical spot where the merry party
mounted their nags and palfreys, to ride forth along the "Pilgrims'
Road" to St. Thomas's shrine. The pilgrims' room was divided into
three apartments; on its walls was formerly a fragment of tapestry,
representing a procession of pilgrims, which afterwards disappeared.
After the fire, says Aubrey, "the ignorant landlord or tenant, instead
of the ancient sign, put up the Talbot or Dog." Truly he must have been
ignorant or destitute of veneration for antiquity or poetical feeling,
to commit such an act of vandalism, and his successors cannot have been
much better not to have restored the old time-honoured designation.

For all time will the name of Harry Bailly, the jovial landlord of
the Tabard towards the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the
fifteenth centuries, be remembered. He was a notable burgess of
Southwark, and evidently a popular character; he is supposed to be
identical with Henry Tite Morton, who, in 1380, was assessed, with
his wife Christiana, at 2s. to a subsidy, rented the customs of the
borough in fee farm at £10 per annum; was bailiff to Southwark, whence
his appellation, Henry le Bailly; represented the borough in the
Parliament of Westminster, 50 Edward III., and in that of Gloucester 2
Richard II. A jolly fellow he seems to have been, well adapted for his
profession:—

    "A seemly man our hoste was withall
    For to have been a Marshal in a Hall;
    A large man he was, with eyen steep,
    A fairer burgess is there none in Chepe:
    Bold of his speech and wise and well ytaught,
    And of manhood, him lacked righte naught;
    Eke thereto was he right a merry man
    And spake of mirth amonges ot'thing
    When than we hadden made our reckonings."

It was in the merry spring time of the year 1383, as the inscription on
the sign informs us—

    "Whenne that April with his showres sote
    The drought of March, hath pierced to the rote,
    And bathed every vein in such licour
    Of which virtue engendered is the flower,"

a time of the year when

    "Longer folk to go on pilgrimage,
    And specially from every shire's end
    Of Englande, to Canterbury they wend,
    The holy, blissful martyr for to seek,
    That them hath holpen, when that they were sick,"

that Chaucer and his company met at the Tabard.

St. Thomas of Canterbury was murdered in the year 1170, by four
knights, instigated thereto by a passionate exclamation of King Henry
II., who was at feud with him relative to the respective rights of
Monarchy and the church, and his shrine during the intervening years
had become one of the most popular in the kingdom; the Saxon people,
down-trodden by their Norman lords, looking upon him as a sort of
clerical Robin Hood, the defender of the rights of the poor against
Regal and Baronial oppression, and in process of time it had become
resplendant with precious metals and gems, the offerings of pious
devotees. Says Chaucer—

      "Befell that in that season, on a day,
      In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay,
      Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
      To Canterbury, with devout courage,
      At night was come unto that hostelry;
      With nine and twenty in a company,
      Of sundry folk by aventure yfall
      In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all,
      That toward Canterbury wouldeh ride.
      The stables and the chambers weren wide
    And well we weren eased atte best" (well accommodated).

He then gives a series of photographs of the pilgrims, representatives
of various classes of the people of England at a most eventful period
of our history—a period when Wycliffe was laying the foundations of
the Protestant Church; when Wat Tyler and his fellow serfs were
rising in assertion of their liberties; when Chaucer and Gower were
fashioning the English language into shape, as contradistinguished from
the Norman-French of the Court; when the feeble Richard occupied the
throne, to be shortly driven hence by his cousin Bolingbroke, which
eventually led to the Wars of the Roses, and resulted in the extinction
of a vast number of the Norman families, rendering it easier for the
Saxon element of the kingdom afterwards to gain the ascendancy.

Amongst the company are a knight, a worthy man, who had done deeds of
prowess in all parts of the world, yet was meek as a maid, who was
dressed in a "fustian gipon, alle besmattered" with marks of travel;
along with him was his son, "a younge squire, a lover and lusty
bachelor," with "lockes curl'd, as they were laid in press;" also his
attendant, a yeoman "clad in green," and under his belt "a sheaf of
peacock arrows bright and keen."

There was also a prioress

    "That of her smiling was full simple and coy;
      Whose greatest oath n'as of Saint Eloy,"

who sung the service "entuned in her nose full sweetly, and French she
spoke full fair and fetisly, after the school of Stratford-atte-Bow."

    "A monk there was, an outsider, that loved venery;
    Of pricking and of hunting for the hare,
    Was all his lust for no cost would he spare."

"A friar there was, a wanton and merry Limitour (a licensed beggar), a
full solemne man, who

    Was an easy man to give penance

There as he wist (to those he knew) to have a good pittance." Who

    "Knew well the taverns in every town,
    And every hosleter and gay tapstere,
    Better than a lazar or a beggere."

A merchant with a forked beard, "a Flandrish beaver hat, and bootes
clasped fair and fetisly."

A threadbare clerk of Oxenford, on a horse as "lean as a rake," who
would rather have twenty bookes of Aristotle and his philosophy,

    "Then robès rich, fiddle, or psaltry."

A sergeant-at-law, "wary and wise, that often had been at the Porvis"
(the portico of St. Paul's, where lawyers met for consultation).

A Frankelin, with white beard and sanguine complexion, and a silken
"Gipciere" (purse) hanging from his girdle; a pompous sort of man, fond
of good living, in whose house "snowed meat and drink, who was an
important man in his county, lord and sire at sessions, high sheriff,
and full often knight of the shire."

A haberdasher, a carpenter, a webbe (weaver), a dyer, and a tapiser;
citizens with pouches full of silver; "yclothed in one livery of a
solemn and great fraternity."

    "Well seemed each of them a fair burgess,
    To sitte in a Guildhall, on the dais,"

and all fitted by wisdom to be aldermen.

With them had they a cook, "to boil the chickens and the marrow bones,"
who, perhaps in consequence of the hot nature of his vocation, had a
wondrous _penchant_ for "draughts of London ale."

A shipman, "who rode upon a rouncy (hack) as best he could," somewhat
after the style of modern mariners.

A doctor of physic, "well grounded in astronomy," who

    "Kept his patient a full great deal
    In houres by his magic natural."

A wife of Bath, who had had five husbands and was ready for a sixth; a
buxom dame, dressed in scarlet hosen and hat as broad as a buckler, who
smirked and smiled upon the squire, much as the widow Wadman did, in
an after age, upon Uncle Toby.

A poore parson, "rich of holy thought and work," a learned man and
clerk "that Christe's Gospel woulde preach living at home in his parish
instead of running up to London," unto St. Paul's, to seek for a
chantry for souls.

    "For Christe's love and his Apostles twelve,
    He taught, but first he followed it himselve."

With whom was his brother, a ploughman, "that had of dung laid many
of fother: a true swinker, who would thresh and dike and delve for
Christ's sake, for every poore wight, withouten hire, if it lay in his
might."

A miller, "a stout carle for the nones, full big of brawn and eke of
bones, with beard red as any sow or fox, a wart on the cop of his nose,
whence sprouted a crop of heres, red as the bristles of a sowe's ears;
a jangler and goliardeis (reveller), who could well stealen corn and
tollen thrice," and moreover "a baggepipe well could he blow and soun,
and there withal he brought us out of town."

A Manciple, or purchaser of victuals for Inns of Court.

A Reeve, or land steward, a slender, choleric man, closely shaven and
shorn, with calfless legs, who "ever rode hinderest of the rout."

A Sumpnour, or appositor of an Ecclesiastical court, "with a fine red
cherubinne's face and a visage with knobs on his cheeks, of which
children were afraid; a great drinker and garlic eater, and likerous
(lecherous) as a sparrow."

His friend, a Pardoner, fresh from Rome, with a wallet "bretful of
pardons and relics," making more money of them in a day than the parson
of the parish in "moneths tway."

When this motley company had settled their reckoning with Harry Bailly,
their host, he offered to be their guide to Canterbury, and as this was
not the time when pilgrims hobbled along with peas in their shoes, he
suggested that, to beguile the tedium of the way, they should each tell
a tale, one going and another returning, and that he who told the best,
should, on their return to the Tabard, be entertained at supper at the
cost of the rest, which proposition was carried by acclamation; and the
following morning the merry party mounted their nags in the court-yard
and set forth, headed by the landlord, beside whom rode the miller,
playing lustily on his bag-pipes until they got clear of the town,
when the tale-telling commenced.

It may be supposed that they arrived safely at Canterbury, knelt at the
shrine of the martyr, purchased their brooches, in evidence of their
having been there, and caroused again on their return in the Pilgrims'
Hall; but Chaucer leaves them on the road, prevented, perhaps, by
troubles or death from giving the tales of the backward journey.

As the pilgrimages are coming into fashion, it may be that fresh
gatherings may take place in Southwark; but it will not be at the
Tabard, under the guidance of Harry Bailly, but at the London Bridge
terminus, under the leadership of Cook, the excursionist; and it
is to be feared that, instead of a Chaucer to depict the humours
of the journey, their proceedings will be narrated by a newspaper
correspondent.



The Priory of the Holy Trinity, Aldgate.


Not long had the Norman dynasty ruled over England. Scarcely more than
a third of a century had elapsed since the Norman Duke unfurled his
standard at Hastings, and in that interval the first William and the
second William had passed away, and Henry le Beauclerk, by an act of
usurpation had leapt into the vacant throne, which belonged by right
to his elder brother Robert. The Saxon people, reft of their lands,
deprived of their liberties, and subject to oppressive laws, had become
the vassals and serfs of their Norman feudal lords, and chafed with
sullen submission under the yoke. Great, therefore, was their delight
when their new king announced his intention of marrying a daughter of
their old line of kings—a descendant of the great Alfred, and they
cherished hopes that by this infusion of Saxon blood into the veins of
their future kings, the Saxon race would be elevated in position, and
that, being vastly more numerous, they would eventually, by marriages,
absorb the Norman few and England again become Saxon.

Matilda, Henry's Queen (born 1079, married 1100, died 1118), was the
daughter of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland, by Margaret, daughter
of Eadward, the ætheling, who was the son of Eadmund Ironside, the
lineal descendant of King Alfred. She was originally called Editha,
which name was changed, at the request of her godfather, Prince Robert,
brother of her future husband, who wished her to be named after his
mother. "Matildem quœ prius dicta Edithe," say Ordericus Vitalis. In
the year 1093, her father was slain before Alnwick Castle, and her
mother died of grief shortly after. Donald Bane usurped the throne of
his nephew, and Eadgar, the ætheling, removed his nephews and nieces to
England, not deeming them safe in Scotland. Matilda was educated in the
Nunneries of Romsey and Wilton, under her aunt, Christina, the Abbess.
She had two or three eligible offers of marriage, and it was with some
reluctance, and not until a council had determined that she was under
no religious vows, that she accepted the hand of the king.

She became very popular by influencing the king in the reformation of
abuses, the granting of charters of privileges, and making good laws.
Robert of Gloucester says—

    "Many were the good laws that were made in England
    Through Maud, the good Queen, as I understand."

Amongst other good deeds besides founding the Priory, she established a
hospital at St. Giles-in-the-Fields, built a bridge over the river Lea,
afterwards called the bridge of Stratford-le-Bow, which was so named
because it was the first "bowed" or arched bridge built in England,
and was generally called Maud's Bridge; made new roads, repaired old
ones, and was a benefactor to the Abbey of St. Alban's, in whose
"Golden Book," now in the British Museum, is her miniature, with an
inscription, "Queen Matilde's gave us Ballwick and Lilleburn."

William of Malmesbury thus sums up her character:—"She was singularly
holy ... a rival of her mother's piety; never committing any
impropriety. Clad in hair cloth, beneath her royal habit, in Lent, she
trod the thresholds of the churches, barefoot. Nor was she disgusted
at washing the feet of the diseased." She had issue a son, William,
drowned with his bride and a host of nobles in the "Blanche Nef," when
coming from Normandy, and a daughter, afterwards the Empress Matilda,
mother of King Henry Second.

The most splendid act of munificence on the part of the Queen was the
foundation of the magnificent Priory of the Holy Trinity, in the year
1108, which became in process of time the greatest and richest priory
in the City.

At this period, when the City was a forest of spires and towers, there
stood, on the north-east of Leadenhall Street, just within Aldgate,
four parish churches, those of St. Catherine, St. Michael, St. Mary
Magdalene, and the Blessed Trinity. The church of St. Michael is
supposed to have been one of the most ancient Christian temples in
England; at this time the earth had risen twenty feet above its level,
and it was only necessary to take down the tower to make way for the
priory. The body or crypt of this venerable relic of antiquity was
discovered a few years ago, and unhappily destroyed. The church erected
to the honour of Christ and St. Mary Magdalene was founded by Siredus,
charged with an annual payment of 30s. to the Dean and Chapter of
Waltham, which the Queen compounded for by giving them possession of a
mill. These four churches and parishes were cleared away for the site
of the priory, which was built on the ground occupied by that of St.
Michael. It was 300 feet in length facing Leadenhall Street, and was
bounded on the east by what is now the street of Houndsditch.

Just outside the gate was the church of St. Botolph the Briton, a
rectory of very ancient date, belonging to and standing on the land of
the Knighten Guild, which was given by the knights to the prior and
brethren, who rebuilt it and placed their arms over the door. It was
repaired 1661, escaped the fire, became ruinous, and was rebuilt 1741-4.

After the clearance of the land, the buildings rapidly rose, and,
when completed, were filled with Canons Regular of the order of St.
Augustine, with Norman as the Prior, and is said to have been the first
House of Canons Regular established in England.

For endowment, the Queen granted to the fraternity lands within the
walls, which, when they obtained the Soke outside the walls, was
called "the Inner Soken," the boundaries of which are described
in a book called _Dunthorne_, written by one of the brethren, as
extending from Aldgate to the Bailey of the Tower, to St. Olave's
Church, Coleman Church, and Fen Church, by the house of Theobald
Fitzloo, "the lane leading wherto is now stopped, because it had been
suspected of thieves," then by the Church of St. Michael to Lime
Street, and by the Church of St. Andrew as far as the Chapel of St.
Augustine-upon-the-Wall. She gave them also Aldgate and £25 per annum
from the city of Exeter.

Thus runs the deed of gift: "Maud, by the grace of God, Queen of
England, to R. Bishop of London, and all the faithful of the Holy
Church, greeting. Be it known to you that I, by the advice of
Archbishop Anselm, and with the assent and confirmation of my Lord King
Henry, have given and confirmed to the Church of Christ, seated near
the walls of London, free and discharged from all subjection, as well
to the Church of Waltham, and all other churches, except the church
of St Paul, London, and the bishops, with all things appertaining to
the same, for the honour of God, to the Canons regularly serving God
in the same with Norman the Prior, for ever, for the redemption of
souls, and of those of our parents. I have in like manner given them
the gate of Aldgate, with the Soc belonging to the same, which was my
lordship, and two-third parts of the revenue of the city of Exeter. And
it is my will and I command that the said Canons hold the lands and all
things belonging to the Church, well and peaceably and honourably and
freely, with all the liberties and customs which my Lord, King Henry,
by his charter confirmed to them, so that neither wrong nor injury be
done to them. Witness: William, Bishop of Winchester; Roger, Bishop of
Salisbury; Robert, Bishop of Lincoln."

Henry confirmed this deed, with further privileges of sac and soc,
thol and theam, ingfang theft and outfang theft, and all other their
customs, as were within as without.

The Inner Soke is identical with the present ward of Aldgate, but there
is no record to show that the priory was represented in the Court of
Aldermen for this ward, as they were afterwards for their Outer Soken.

Soon afterwards, in the year 1115, the Priory had a considerable
accession of landed property, by a grant of what now constitutes the
ward of Portsoken.

In the reign of King Eadgar, thirteen knights who had done service
to the realm, asked the king to bestow upon them a tract of land
lying desolate outside Aldgate, comprising what is now covered by the
Minories, Houndsditch, Petticoat Lane, etc., and Whitechapel to the
Bars. Eadgar consented on two conditions, that they should each be
victors in three combats, one under ground, one upon ground, and one
above ground, and that on a certain day they should tilt with lances
against all comers in East Smithfield. All this was accomplished by the
knights with great glory, and the king made them a grant of the land,
constituting them a guild under the name of the "Knighten Guild," the
land being named "Portsoken," signifying the "Franchise at the Gate."

Eadgar's charter of incorporation was confirmed by Eadward the
Confessor, William I., William II., and Henry I.

After the establishment of the priory, the knights of the guild, for
the glory of God and the Blessed Trinity, and out of a chivalrous
admiration of their pious Queen, gave to the prior and canons the whole
of their land, franchise, and liberties, and the church of St. Botolph
the Briton, and took upon themselves the habit of the order, becoming
members of the fraternity.

In attestation of their grant they placed their charters upon the altar
of the priory church, and gave Norman, the prior seisin of the land in
the church of St. Botolph, which stood upon the land; Barnard, Prior
of Dunstable; John, Prior of Derland; Geoffrey Clinton, Chamberlain of
London, and other clerks and laymen being witnesses thereof. King Henry
gave a confirmatory charter, as did, afterwards, Gilbert, William, and
Roger, Bishops of London, St. Alphage, Archbishop of Canterbury, and
Popes Alexander and Innocent, the latter adding that the Church of St.
Botolph should be served by one of the canons of the priory, removable
at the discretion of the prior.

In consequence of this acquisition, the prior was admitted as a Ward
Alderman of the City of London, the land, although lying beyond the
boundaries, being within the liberties of the City. He met in the
Council Chamber, took part in the deliberations, feasted in the hall,
and rode forth in pageants, clad in scarlet as other aldermen, but had
his robes cut in clerical fashion.

Allen, in his History of London, intimates that he sat in the
Guildhall, in a clerical capacity, to look after the interests of
the church, which was not correct, his position there being the
representative of the temporalities of the Ward.

Prior Norman appears to have been entrusted with the superintendence of
the building of the priory, and, like others not trained in commercial
pursuits, to have been somewhat unthrifty in the expenditure of money,
for we find that when he had built up his refectory, kitchen, and
larder, his funds were exhausted, and he had not the wherewithal to
supply the necessary food for his hungry canons; but the matrons and
maidens of the city passing by, and seeing the tables laid out without
the necessary appliances, brought them loaves of bread every Sunday for
the week's consumption, until the rents began to come in and they were
able to provide for themselves.

After the destruction of the four churches it became necessary to
celebrate mass in two parts of the new church at the same time, which
caused a great deal of confusion and discord, until at length a
separate church was built for the St. Catherine's parishioners in the
priory churchyard, where mass was performed by one of the canons; but
the people were required to attend the conventual church at festivals
and fasts, and to have their children baptised there. This gave rise
to some ill-feeling and disputes, the people wishing to have all the
services and sacraments of religion celebrated in their own church; and
in 1414, when William Haradon was prior, the matter was referred to the
Bishop of London for arbitration, and he decreed that St. Catherine's
should have a baptismal font, and be allowed to ring their bells on
Easter day; that they should celebrate the feast of the dedication of
their own church within its walls, but should attend at the festival
of the dedication of the conventual church, and then and there "give
their pence, halfpence, and farthings in token of submission;" and that
the Sacrament in St. Catherine's Church should be administered by a
canon of the Priory, "but that the Priory should be at no other charges
for the chapel." All this the bishop, "out of his paternal affections,
yielded unto."

The church was denominated St. Catherine Cree, the word Cree being
an ancient method of spelling the name of Christ, as pronounced by
the French, and was added as being an adjunct of the conventual
or Christ Church. A bell tower was built 1504, Lord Mayor Sir John
Perceval having left money for that purpose. The present church was
built 1630, and escaped the fire of 1666. It was at its dedication that
Laud indulged in Popish ceremonials, which aroused the indignation
of the Puritans, and assisted in paving the way of the Archbishop to
the block. The churchyard of St. Catherine was a popular place for
the performance of moralities and miracle plays, which took place
on Sundays. There is an entry in the parish books—"Received of Hugh
Grymes, for licence given to certain players to play their interludes
in the churchyard from the feast of Easter An. D'ni. 1565, until the
feast of St. Michael the Archangel, next coming, every holyday, to the
use of the parish, 27s. 8d." Hans Holbein is supposed to have been
buried in the church.

The Priory had not been built twenty ears when it ran a great risk
of being destroyed by the fire of 1136, second only to the great
conflagration of 1666, which broke out near London stone, and destroyed
the City westward to Clement's Danes, and eastward to Aldgate, the
flames sweeping up to the walls of the Priory, northward to St. Paul's
Cathedral, which was partially, or, as Matthew Paris states, entirely,
consumed, and by London Bridge, which was of wood, and entirely burnt,
into Southwark.

Ralph the Prior, _circa_ 1145, with the consent of the Canons,
exchanged a plot of land near the river, in the outer-soken, and "all
the mills there in the shambles," with Maud, Stephen's queen, for land
in Hertfordshire, where she built and endowed the Hospital of St.
Katherine, which was repaired and enlarged by Queen Eleanor in 1273. It
was removed to Regent's Park in the present century to make way for St.
Katherine's Docks.

King Henry II. having debased the coin of the realm, Stephen, the
Prior, 1180, demanded £25 12s. 6d. from the city of Exeter, as the
then value of the £25 per annum granted out of the city revenues. The
citizens refused to pay the additional 12s. 6d., but were compelled by
a mandate from the King.

In the year 1215, when King John was at feud with his Barons, Matthew
Paris informs us that, after the siege of Northampton, the Barons
came, by way of Bedford and Ware, to London, entering the City by
Aldgate, and that "as they passed along, they spoiled the Fryars'
Houses and searched their coffers," on which occasion, doubtless, the
Brethren of Holy Trinity, lying so near the gate, would have black-mail
levied on them. At the same time they repaired the ruined gate and put
it in a state of defence, obtaining the materials from the houses of
the Jews.

Eustacius, the eighth Prior, 1264, appointed Theobald Fitz-James as
his deputy in the Aldermanship, he deeming it inconsistent with his
spiritual vocation to perform secular duties.

William Rising became Prior in 1377, when there is a record of his
taking the oaths as Alderman.

The year 1348-9 (23rd Edward III.) was long after remembered for
a great pestilence, which broke out in Northern Asia, spread over
Europe, and this year committed terrible ravages in London. The city
graveyards became choked with corpses, and suburban cemeteries were
extemporised for the wholesale reception of the dead. Nicholas, then
Prior, sold to John Grey, clerk of the Corporation, a plot of ground in
the outer-soken, near East Smithfield to be used as a place of burial,
with the condition annexed that it should be called the Churchyard of
the Holy Trinity, "which ground he (John Grey) caused, by the aid of
divers devout citizens, to be enclosed with a wall of stone." It was
consecrated by Ralph, Bishop of London, and a chapel built "for the
honour of God," and near by King Edward built a small monastery "of
our Lady of Grace," in gratitude for preservation from shipwreck in a
tempest at sea.

One Sunday morning, the 11th of May, 1471, when the brethren were at
Mass, they were alarmed by an attack on Aldgate. For some days arrows
had been shot into the City over the wall, and the houses of the
outside suburb had been burnt. The besiegers were Sir Thomas Nevil,
usually called the Bastard of Fauconbridge, and his followers. He
was a kinsman of the Great Earl of Warwick, who, after his defection
from the cause of Edward IV., had made him Admiral of the Lancastrian
fleet. Warwick had fallen a month ago at Barnet, and the Yorkist King
Edward in consequence became firmly established on the throne, when
Sir Thomas conceived the mad project of landing with his sailors,
marching to London, and re-establishing the Lancastrian family. The
Londoners shut their gates against him, but he broke down Aldgate on
this Sunday morning, and several of the insurgents rushed through
when the portcullis was let down, and those within were slain by the
citizens, headed by Basset, Alderman of the ward. The Lieutenant of the
Tower then came up with a body of troops, the portcullis was raised,
and the Bastard and his followers driven into Essex, "with sharp shot
and fierce fight," being pursued as far as Mile End.

The priory waxed rich, grew famous, and nourished during a period of
433 years, no doubt becoming luxurious, idle, and corrupt, like other
fraternities; until at length, in 1531, the end came. King Henry
VIII., wishing to reward Sir Thomas Audley, afterwards Lord Chancellor
and first Baron Audley of Walden, for his service as Speaker, in the
impeachment of Wolsey, cast his eye upon this Priory, sent for Nicholas
Hancock, the last Prior, whom he cajoled with complimentary praises,
commending his hospitality, and telling him that a man of his merit and
ability deserved higher preferment, and that if he would surrender the
Priory into his (the King's) hands, he should have something better.
After some hesitation the Prior gave up the house, the Canons were
sent to other houses of the same order, and the Priory, with all its
appurtenances, bestowed on Audley.

Sir Thomas Audley determined to build himself a mansion on the site,
and offered the church to any one who would take it down, but it was
so strongly built that no one would undertake the cost. He then pulled
it down himself, and allowed any one to have the materials who would
carry them away, giving the four large bells to Stepney Church, and
the five smaller to St. Stephen, Coleman Street. He then added new
buildings, where he dwelt until his death, 1544, when the property
passed, by the marriage of his daughter, to Thomas Howard, Duke of
Norfolk, who was beheaded 1572, and it was then called Duke's Place. It
descended to their son, Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who sold it to
the Corporation, was eventually taken down, and streets built on the
site. The only vestige remaining is a stone arch between 73, Leadenhall
Street and 39, Mitre Court.

The Priory possessed a messuage, dovecote, and garden of seven acres,
on the east side of Houndsditch, which were given to Sir T. Audley,
and which he bestowed on Magdalen College, Cambridge. In the street
leading thereto, one of the priors had built some cottages for
bedridden people, which Stow remembered as having seen in his boyhood,
the bedridden people, men and women, lying by the windows, that devout
persons might see them as they passed and bestow alms upon them: which
street, afterwards, according to Munday, was inhabited by "these men,
or rather monsters in the shape of men, who profess to live by lending,
and yet will lend nothing but upon pawns."

Stow, who lived in the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, and was buried
in the parish church, speaks from personal recollection of the Prior
"keeping a bountiful house for rich and poor, as well within the houses
as to all comers at the gate," and, when a boy, of going to farmer
Goodman, in the outer-soken, where Goodman's Fields now are, for milk
at the rate of "three pints, hot from the kine, for a halfpenny."

The inhabitants of Duke's Place being left without a church, after
the demolition of the Priory Church, attended that of St. Catherine
Cree until the reign of James I., when Trinity Christ Church was
built for them out of the ruins of the Priory, and was consecrated in
1622. It escaped the Great Fire, and has since been called the Church
of St. James, Duke's Place. In Strype's time it claimed the right of
solemnizing marriages without licence or proclamation of banns.



Convent of the Sisters Minoresses of the Order of St Clare, Aldgate.


Wondrously different was Plantagenet London from that of the Victorian
era: different in every respect, notably in size, population, and
aspect. It was chiefly comprised within the walls, which commenced at
the Postern Gate of the Tower, and completed the circuit at the river
near the present Blackfriars Bridge. There were a few outlying groups
of houses and villages; a road along the river strand through the
little village of Charing to Westminster, and marshes on the north,
with causeways to the villages of Clerkenwell, Hoxton, and Islington.
It was, however, an eminently picturesque city, with its gabled and
timbered houses, its monastic edifices, and its church towers. It was
computed that then two-thirds of the entire space was occupied by
religious edifices and their grounds. Towards the end of the fourteenth
century there were within the walls, eight friaries, five priories,
four nunneries, five collegiate establishments, seventeen hospitals
with resident brotherhoods, nine other religious fraternities, and
more than one hundred parish churches. At that time the court end of
the town was the neighbourhood of the Tower. There royalty dwelt; and
clustering round were the mansions of nobles and the town houses of
bishops and abbots.

The locality immediately under notice was a road running from the Tower
postern, outside the City wall and ditch, to Aldgate, along what is now
called the Minories. Aldgate, or Ealdgate, so named from its antiquity,
was the eastern outlet from the City, the great Essex road running
eastward therefrom. Immediately within the gate stood the magnificent
priory of the Holy Trinity, founded by Matilda, Queen of Henry I., and
close by was the town house of the Barons Nevil, afterwards Earls of
Westmoreland, who gave an abbess to the convent of St. Clare. Outside
the gate there stretched an open expanse of country, with foliaged
trees, meadows, and silver streamlets, where, on holidays, the young
citizens gambolled, practised archery, and, in the more secluded
parts, whispered in the ears of the young citizenesses "the old, old
tale." Looking eastward, the low square-towered church of the village
of Stebenhede (Stepney) by the riverside morasses might be seen; and
nearer London, its chapel-of-ease, at the villa Beatæ Mariæ Matfelon,
on the Essex road, whilst more to the north might be discerned the
priory of St. Mary Spittal, founded a century previously. Here, outside
the gate, in the year of grace 1293, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, and
Blanche, his countess, whilom Queen of Navarre, founded the convent
of Minoresses of the order of St. Clare, dedicated to the "Blessed
St. Mary," and amply endowed it with lands and messuages. St. Clare,
Clara, Claire, or Chiara, as the name is rendered in different tongues,
was born of a noble and wealthy family at Assisi, 1193, died 1253,
and was canonized 1256. She was exceedingly beautiful, and had many
offers of marriage, but when quite young, despite the opposition of
her parents, resolved to dedicate herself to God. St. Francis had just
then founded the Franciscan branch of the Mendicant Orders, and lived
with ten "Frati Minores," in a hut on the Porziunculo, near Assisi,
living austere lives, in absolute poverty, depending upon charity for
their daily food, and maintaining strict silence, excepting when it
was absolutely necessary to speak. To them Clare fled, and desired to
be admitted as a nun of the order. She was followed by her kinsfolk,
but clung with such tenacity to the altar, that they were compelled
to leave her. She then founded the Order of Poor Clares, or Sisters
Minoresses, with rules of the most rigid austerity, relating chiefly to
abstinence, poverty, and silence. Their bed was the bare earth, they
usually went barefooted, and were habited in grey robes, girdled with
a knotted rope, and a white coif on the head. Within fifty years after
her death, however, they were released from the vow of poverty, and the
others were modified, from which time they accumulated property, built
themselves comfortable houses, and indulged in social converse. The
first convent was erected outside the walls of Assisi, but afterwards
removed within, where a splendid church—the church of Santa Chiara
d'Assisi—was erected over her tomb. In pictures St. Clare is usually
represented either with the Pix, to denote piety, or the lily, the
emblem of purity. She was generally spoken of by the nuns as the "Madre
Serafico."

Edmund Plantagenet, surnamed Crouchback, was the second son of King
Henry III.; born 1245, died 1295. In his eighth year, 1253, he was
created Earl of Chester, and invested by the Pope with the title of
King of Sicily and Apulia, but neither was of much value, as the former
was soon afterwards transferred to his elder brother Edward, afterwards
King Edward I., and Conrad, the real King of Sicily, was still living.
He was afterwards created Earl of Leicester, 1264, and Earl of
Lancaster, 1267. He fought in the wars of Gascony, Wales, and Scotland,
and was two years in Palestine. He had grants of the forfeited castles
and manors of the rebel barons, Simon de Montfort, Ferrers, Earl of
Derby, and Nicholas de Segrave, and had licence, 21 Edward I., to
castellate his house, the Savoy, in the Strand. His death occurred in
France; he had invested Bordeaux, and not being able to reduce it,
grief brought on a disease which terminated fatally. His body was
brought to England and buried in Westminster Abbey, but not until,
in accordance with the instructions in his will, all his debts were
paid. He married, first, Aveline, daughter and heiress of William de
Fortibus, Lord of the Seigniory of Holderness, Co. York, who _d.s.p._
the following year. Secondly, he married Blanche, daughter of Robert,
Earl of Artois (third son of King Louis VIII., of France), and relict
of Henry, King of Navarre, by whom he had issue Thomas, second Earl,
who, after heading the rising of the barons against Gaveston, _temp._
Edward II., was taken prisoner at Boroughbridge, Co. York, beheaded at
Pontefract, and attainted 1321. Henry, his brother, was restored in
the earldoms, whose son Henry was created Duke of Lancaster, 1351, but
_d.s.p.m._, leaving issue Maude and Blanche, the latter of whom married
John of Gaunt, Earl of Richmond, afterwards Duke of Lancaster, by whom
she had issue Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards King Henry IV.

Piously disposed, as we may charitably suppose them to have been, or
perchance for the welfare of their souls—as it was usual, in that age,
to make bargains with Heaven to build religious houses as the price
of exemption from the pains of purgatory—the Earl and Countess built
the nunnery in the precincts of the court, and filled it with nuns of
the order of St. Clare, brought over from some Continental convent by
Queen Blanche, "to serve God, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Francis,"
for which they had a licence from King Henry III. Stow informs us
that the frontage of the convent was fifteen perches twenty-seven feet
in length, with all needful interior appliances, and garden land;
doubtless a pleasant home for the Sisters, with its outlook over the
Essex fields and the river Thames, with its quaintly-fashioned vessels
passing up and down. It was well endowed by its founders, but had other
benefactors as well, and had messuages in the Vintry, Wood Street, Lad
Lane, Lombard Street, Christ Church Lane, Shirburgh Lane, etc. The
Sisterhood also held the Manor of Apuldercome, and had a grant from
William Walshe, 7 Edward IV., of a messuage, called Harteshorn, in the
parish of St. Mary Matfelon.

The original licence for the foundation is dated 21 Edward I. A charter
was granted to "the sisters Minoresses, without Aldgate," quitting them
of tallage of their land in the City, dated 9 Edward II.; and in the
fourteenth of the same reign, another to "the Abbey of the Minoresses
of St. Mary of the order of St. Clare, without the walls of the City,"
confirming the holding of certain lands and messuages "gotten of divers
well-affected persons." Other charters of confirmation were granted to
the Sisterhood, 2 Henry IV., and 1, 16, 25 Henry V.

The Sisters of St. Clare flourished here for a period of 246 years,
praying, fasting, and mortifying the flesh, with intervals possibly
of laughing, feasting, and enjoyment of their pleasant home; or it
may be, as we know is often the case, even with the Angelic sex, when
thrown together for days and years, the fasting and feasting and prayer
might be mixed up with ingredients of wrangling, envy, and jealousy,
until it all came to an end, when the ruthless Tudor king laid his
sacrilegious hands on the monastic establishments, and spared not even
the homes of the gentler sex, and the house of the Sisters Minoresses
was surrendered by Dame Elizabeth Salvage, 1539.

During these two-and-a-half centuries the Sisters witnessed many
important events in the annals of England; the deposition and murder
of kings Edward II. and Richard II., the usurpation of Henry VI. and
Richard III., the Wars of the Roses, the rise of Lollardism, the
Interdict of the Kingdom under John, the Reformation, the introduction
of the press, and the birth of English literature under Chaucer and
Gower. It may be that the prioress who rode to Canterbury with
Chaucer's pilgrims was the head of the Aldgate Minoresses.

    "There was also a nun, a prioress,
    That of her smiling was full simple and coy;
    Her greatest oath was but by Saint Eloy;
    And she was cleped Madame Eglantine.
    Full well she sang the service divine,
    Entuned in her nose full sweetley;
    And French she spake full fair and fetisly,
    After the school of Stratford-atte-Bow."

From their own windows they would see many a gay cavalcade of barons,
knights, and ladies issue from the portals of the Tower to follow
the sport of hawking in the fields, or play at some martial or other
game, and many a brilliant procession going forth to tournament in
Smithfield, or coronation in Westminster. They would behold the
coronation pageants and feasts in the Tower of Richard II., the
marriage of the rival Roses in the persons of Henry VII. and the
Princess Elizabeth, and that of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Arragon,
when a splendid tournament was held hard by. Their soft hearts would
also often be awakened to compassion at hearing of the bloody deeds
perpetrated in their neighbourhood, the murder of the young princes
by their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, and the decapitation of Lord
Cobham, Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, Queen Anne Boleyn, and many
another noble and distinguished personage. From their lattices, too,
they would look upon the riding forth of the barons of the realm
through Aldgate to attend the Parliament of Edward I., 1299, held at
the mansion of Lord Mayor Wallis, at Stepney; the Wat Tyler mob rushing
along, "with shouts and cries as if all the devils of hell had come in
their company," to ransack the Tower, chop off the heads of the Lord
Chancellor and Treasurer, and rudely kiss the King's mother, the "Fair
Maid of Kent," and Princess of Wales, in 1381; and again in 1450, that
of the Jack Cade insurgents, when they took Lord Say and Sele from the
Tower and beheaded him in Cheapside.

After the dissolution, the Priory became the residence of John
Clerke, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1523-41, Master of the Rolls, and
Diplomatist, who was poisoned in Germany, when sent on an Embassy to
the Duke of Cleves, to explain to him why Henry VIII. had divorced his
sister; after whom it was inhabited by some officials of the Tower, and
in 1552 was granted to Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, by King Edward
VI. Afterwards it became a storehouse for arms, and workshops for the
fabrication of implements of warfare, but does not seem to have been
of high repute, as Dryden says, "a comic writer who does not cause
laughter, or a serious dramatist who does not excite emotion, is no
more a good poet than is a Minories gunsmith a good workman."



The Abbey of St. Mary of Graces, or East Minster.


It was in the autumn of the year 1347, that a storm-shattered vessel
might be seen threading its way up the Thames. Its single broad sail
was rent in divers places, its single mast broken, and considerable
portions of its lofty poop and its high pointed stem reft away. It
had come from Calais, and in mid-channel had encountered a terrific
tempest, every soul on board deeming himself lost, and offering up
heartfelt prayers to the Virgin or his favourite saint for succour, or
for intercession in case of death. Nevertheless, like English mariners
in every after, and indeed former age, the crew depended not on prayers
alone, but battled manfully with the winds and the waves, and at length
with great difficulty succeeded in getting their vessel into the river,
and slowly ascended its reaches, with their rent sail fluttering in the
still boisterous wind.

It was said of one our Norman monarchs, when he desired to pass over
into Normandy, whilst a storm was raging and the seamen represented
the perilous nature of the attempt, "Who ever heard of a King being
lost at sea? go I will, and at once, storm or no storm," and he did go,
arriving safely at his destination. Perchance the fact of this Calais
ship having a king aboard, with the immunity of kings from shipwreck,
may have had something to do with its escape from destruction, at any
rate it did survive the peril, and its having done so was the cause of
the establishment of the Abbey of St. Mary of Graces.

The royal personage who passed through the peril of the Straits was
none other than the victor of Creci and Calais, the illustrious
Plantagenet, Edward the Third. The three sons of Philip IV. of France
having successively died without issue, his nephew, Philip of Valois.
according to the Salique law, became his successor, but Edward of
England claimed the throne as son of the daughter of Philip IV., and
entered France to assert his claim. He met his rival, Philip VI., at
Creci, with 36,000 men, opposed to the French army of 130,000, and
obtained a great victory, 36,000 of the French being slain and the
rest taking to flight. He then marched to Calais, which he invested
and took after a most obstinate defence of twelve months, on August
4th 1347, after which occurred the famous historic incident of the six
brave burghers of Calais presenting themselves before the victor in
their shirts, and with ropes round their necks, as voluntary victims
to sate the vengeance of the king and save their town, and their
subsequent pardon at the intercession of the Queen. Notwithstanding the
obstinate defence of the town, the King could scarcely do less than
accede to Philippa's request, since within its walls she had presented
him with a fair daughter, afterwards called Margaret of Calais.

His Queen and the newly-born princess were with him in the frail bark
when it was tossed hither and thither, and its timbers riven by the
storm, and in the midst thereof he prostrated himself and made a solemn
vow, calling upon the nobles and ecclesiastics who accompanied him to
bear witness thereto, that if God in His mercy should permit him to
land safely in England, he would build and endow on the spot where he
landed a monastery to the honour of God and our Lady of Graces.

At length, after beating up the river as well as they were able with
their broken rudder and shattered sails, the mariners drew the vessel
alongside the shore a little to the east of East Smithfield, when the
royal party landed, and passed, amid the acclamations of the few people
congregated on the river bank, to the Tower, and offered up thanks in
the chapel for their deliverance.

Very different in aspect was the district eastward of Aldgate and
the Tower when King Edward and his retinue landed there, from what
it presents at present, with its docks, wharves, and warehouses, its
stately ships and steam-vessels, to which the ship of King Edward might
have served as a boat slung on davits by their side; its wilderness of
houses, countless miles of the squalid homes of wretchedness, poverty,
and crime; with multitudes of lofty chimneys, belching forth volumes of
black smoke rising from the midst, and railways traversing it in every
direction, accompanied by the incessant thunder of rushing trains, and
the screeching whistle of the locomotive.

The scene that presented itself to the monarch when stepping upon the
river bank from his vessel was that of a flat expanse of pasture land
and marshes, stretching away northward and eastward, protected from
inundation by the embankment of the river, the work of the Romans,
which, however, was not always effectual, as the Thames frequently
overflowed defective portions of the bank and laid the land under
water. There were also many rills and streamlets meandering along from
the high lands of the north, which lost themselves in the marshes or
found an outlet into the river.

Scattered here and there on the more elevated parts were a few hamlets,
mere clusterings of a few cottages, claybuilt, with cross timberings
and straw-thatched roofs, with holes for chimneys, and in the walls
latticed openings to admit light to the interiors. These were the
abodes of cowherds, who tended their masters' cattle in the marshes,
swineherds who drove their charges into the neighbouring forest to
pick up the fallen acorns, fishermen who plied their daily toil on the
river, and a few artizans, carpenters, smiths, and wrights, such as are
now met with in remote country villages. These people were wretchedly
poor, half-starved, ill-clad, and profoundly ignorant, the slaves of
monkish superstition, and the downtrodden serfs of the nobles. Yet had
they within them the old Saxon instinct of freedom and liberty, and
they were the men who in the following reign ranged themselves under
the banners of Wat Tyler and Jack Straw.

Westward stood the Tower of London, frowning grimly on the river
bank—at once a palace, a fortress, and a prison. Stretching northward
therefrom, was the eastern wall of the City terminating in Aldgate,
whence ran the road into Essex. Within the gate, with its tower
overtopping the wall, might be seen the magnificent Priory of the Holy
Trinity, founded by Matilda, the Saxon Queen of Henry I., in the year
1108, and outside, along the road now called the minories, the humbler
and more lowly built convent of the Nuns Minoresses of the Order of
St. Clare, founded in 1239, by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. And hard by,
close to the gate, was the Church of St. Botolph, formerly belonging
to the knights of the Cnighten guild, now to the Holy Trinity Priory.
Close by the landing place was the hospital of St. Katherine, founded
in 1148, by Matilda, Queen of Stephen, for the repose of the souls
of her children—Baldwin and Matilda; refounded in 1273 by Eleanor,
widow of King Henry III. Eastward was St. Chad's Well, round which
grew up a hamlet, so called, since corrupted to Shadwell. Further on
lay the hamlet of Stebenhithe (Stepney), with its low broad-towered
church. North-westward of it, in the Essex Road, was the chapel of
St. Mary Matfellon, whose name has given rise to much discussion,
without any satisfactory result. Afterwards it was called the White
Chapel, and hence it gave the name to the line of road running from
Aldgate. Northward might be discerned the priory and hospital of St.
Mary Spittle, a timber building with an angle turret, founded by Walter
Brune and his wife, in the year 1197; and not far distant, on the west,
the priory of St. Helen, with its hall, hospital, cloisters, and crypt,
founded in 1210 by William Fitz-William, and dedicated to the Holy
Cross and St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine.

Here, then, on the north side of St. Katherine's Hospital, and
eastward of Little Tower Hill, King Edward laid the foundations of the
monastery, and made it subject to the monastery of Beaulieu, in France,
of which he was the founder. It was called also East Minster, or New
Minster without the walls.

"In the charter of endowment, dated March 2nd, 1349, he gave the abbot
and monks all those messuages, with the appurtenances at Tower Hill,
which he had of John Corey, in pure and perpetual alms, ordering the
house to be called 'The Royal Free Chapel of St. Mary of Graces.'"

In another charter it is said, "The king founded this house in
remembrance and acknowledgement of the goodness of Almighty God, and
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom he had
often called upon and found helpful to him by sea and by land; in
wars and other perils, and therefore ordered this house to be called
'The King's Free Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of Graces, _in memoriam
Gratiarum_.'"

He imported some monks from Beaulieu to occupy the house, and appointed
Walter de Sta Cruce first president of the chapel, "whom he enjoined
kindly to receive and treat the said religious who were to profess
religion in the said chapel."

The house was a stately building of the new decorated Gothic, with
its floriated windows, crocketted pinacles, flying buttresses, and
clustered pillars, presenting a fair aspect to passers by on the
river, as it stood a little way back from the bank, glowing in its
pristine freshness and beauty. And the boatmen would rest on their oars
and listen to the matins or vespers chanted by the brethren within its
walls.

In the 50th year of his reign, the King further augmented the endowment
by placing the Manors of Poplar, of Gravesend, and other manors in
Kent, in trust for the abbey.

Of the Abbots, the names of but few have survived. William de Santa
Cruce, formerly Abbot of Geronden, was the first, to whom the king made
an allowance of £20 per annum for the maintenance of the household.

William Warden, probably his successor, was Abbot in 1360. Paschalis
occurs in a record of the eighth Henry V., 1418. John Langton is named,
in 1495, in a bequest from Jane Hall, of a tenement for her soul's
health. In 1494 he was presented to the vicarage of Gedington, and in
1498, by Sir T. Lovelace, to that of Stokedanbey in the diocese of
Lincoln. John, probably the same, occurs in 1503. Henry More made his
profession as Abbot in 1516.

The house was surrendered in 1539, when the revenues were estimated at
£602 12s. 6d. gross, and £546 10s. net per annum.

Dugdale says: "Of the manner of the surrender we find no account
which gives occasion to guess that it was done by such as were in no
authority, and therefore it was thought fit to conceal the knowledge
thereof. It was granted by Henry VIII., 34th, to Sir Arthur D'Arcy;
was clean pulled down, and of late times, in place thereof, is built a
large storehouse for victuals, and convenient ovens are built there for
baking biskets for the Royal Navy, and it is the victualling office for
the same to this day. The grounds adjoyning, and belonging formerley to
the said abbey, have small tenements built thereon."

Maitland, 1772, in his _History of London_, says that a portion of
the original building was then standing, "now converted into a bisket
bake-house," which is probably an error, as Dugdale states that it was
"clean pulled down."

In the Chapter House, Westminster, there is an impression of the seal
of the abbey, appended to an indenture for the foundation of Henry
VII.'s Chapel. In the centre is the Virgin with the infant Jesus, with
a royal personage—probably Edward III.—kneeling in prayer on the dexter
side, and a group of figures on the left. Underneath is a shield of the
Royal arms, and the legend, SIGIL LUM COMVNE MONASTERIJ BEATE MARIE DE
GRACIIS.



The Barons Fitzwalter of Baynard's Castle.


It was with mutterings of discontent and gloomy forebodings that Saxon
London beheld, soon after the victory at Hastings, the erection of
a fortress at the east end of their city—replaced soon after by the
earliest portion of the present Tower of London—and two huge castles
to the west, ostensibly to guard, really to keep the City in awe. Duke
William, after the Battle of Hastings, knowing how important it was
to hold possession of the largest and most influential city in the
kingdom, hastened up to London. The citizens, who felt not disposed
to surrender their liberty to a foreigner, and who, influenced by
Archbishop Stigand, had caused Eadgar the Atheling to be proclaimed
king, crossed the river to oppose his advance but were repulsed;
nevertheless, the Conqueror did not follow up his success by entering
London, but burnt Southwark and went to subjugate the western
counties. During his absence, the citizens deeming it the best policy
to submit, at any rate for the present, tendered their homage to him
at Berkhamstead. Suspicious, however, of their loyalty, he caused
the castles to be erected, and to conciliate the citizens granted
them a charter of four and a half lines written in Saxon, on a piece
of parchment six and a half inches long and one broad. This laconic
charter ran thus:—"William the King salutes, with friendly greeting,
William the Bishop, and Godfrey the Portreve, and all the burgesses
within London, both French and English, and I declare that I grant you
to be all law-worthy as you were in the days of King Edward; and I
grant that every child shall be his father's heir, after his father's
days; and I will not suffer any person to do you wrong. God keep you."

The two western castles were built, at the confluence of the Fleet with
the Thames. The one by the Baron Montfichet, soon afterwards destroyed
by fire, stood at the bottom of Addle Hill, where the Carron Wharf is
now located, and its western walls were washed by the Fleet, whose
course was afterwards diverted further westward to make a site for the
Dominican Friary.

It was built by the Norman, Ralph Baynard, feudal baron of Little
Dunmow, Essex, who had followed the Conqueror to England, and was
rewarded for his services at Hastings with grants of land in Essex
and Middlesex, and, in connection with Baynard's Castle, the military
governorship of London, as castellan and standard-bearer of the City.

William, third lord, sided with Helias, Earl of Maine, in his attempt
to throw off his allegiance to King Henry I., for which he was
attainted, and his estates and honours given to Robert Fitz Richard,
fifth son of Richard de Tonbridge, descended by the bend sinister from
the Dukes of Normandy.

The church of St. Andrew, on the east side of Puddle-dock Hill, is
supposed to have been built by Ralph Baynard, and was called "St.
Andrew juxta Baynard Castle" until the erection, near by, of the King's
Wardrobe, when it came to be called "St. Andrew by the Wardrobe." It
was repaired by the parishioners in 1627, destroyed in the Great Fire
of 1666, and rebuilt in 1672. The advowson was held by the Fitzwalters,
and after passing through various hands came to the Crown in 1633.

This Robert was steward and cupbearer to King Henry I., and a great
favourite with that monarch, who, upon the attainder of William
Baynard, bestowed upon him his forfeited estates, including the barony
of Dunmow, and the castle by the Thames, with its appurtenant civic
offices. He took an active part with Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, against
the designs of John, Earl of Moreton, upon the crown, during the
absence of his brother, Richard I., in Palestine; died in 1198, and was
buried at Dunmow. Robert Fitzwalter, his eldest son, died in 1234.

The tyranny of King John caused great discontent amongst the barons,
with whom Fitzwalter agreed in sentiment, and this discontent was
brought to a head, driving the barons to take up arms, by a flagrant
attempt on the honour of Fitzwalter's family. Matilde, "the fair," his
daughter was exceedingly beautiful, and John attempted her chastity,
which she indignantly repelled; "whereupon," says Stow, "and for other
causes of the like sort, there ensued a war throughout the realm. The
barons being received into London did great damage to the king; but in
the end the king did not only banish the said Fitzwalter, among others,
out of the realm, but also caused his castle and other houses to be
demolished. After that a messenger was sent to Matilda the Fair about
the king's suit, but she not consenting to it, was poisoned." This was
done at Dunmow, by sprinkling a deadly poison on a poached egg, which
she ate.

Her exiled father retired to France, and entered into the service
of the king. In the year 1214, John of England invaded France, and
concluded a truce with the French for five years. The two armies
lying on each side of a river one day, soon after the signing of the
treaty, an English knight of great strength and valour came forth and
challenged any French knight to a joust, when Fitzwalter crossed the
river in acceptance thereof, and at the first course unhorsed his
antagonist in gallant style. "By God's truth," exclaimed John, "he is a
king indeed who is followed by such a knight as that!" "He is your own
knight, O king," said one of his attendants, "Robert Fitzwalter whom
you banished." Upon this the king sent for him to his tent, restored
him to favour, gave him back his estates, and granted him permission to
repair his castle and houses.

The tyranny of the king, however, compelled the barons again to take
up arms, to establish on a sure basis the laws and liberties granted by
Edward the Confessor, of whom Fitzwalter became the head by the title
of "Marshal of the Army of God and of the Church." Eventually they
obtained the reluctant signature of the Magna Charta at Runnymede, when
Fitzwalter was one of the twenty-five barons appointed to enforce the
observance of the charter. In the reign of Henry III. he fought with
great bravery under the baronial banner at the Battle of Lincoln, where
he was taken prisoner, but was not detained long, as the next year he
went as a crusader to the Holy Land, and displayed great valour at the
siege of Damietta.

Camden informs us that he instituted the custom of the flitch of bacon
of Dunmow. He says: "On the Priory here" (Dunmow), "Robert Fitzwalter
(a powerful baron in the time of Henry the Third) instituted a custom
that whoever did not repent of his marriage, nor quarrelled with his
wife within a year and a day, should go to Dunmow and have a gamon of
bacon. But the party was to swear to the truth of it, kneeling upon
two hard pointed stones set in the Priory churchyard for the purpose,
before the prior, the convent, and the whole town."

Sir Robert, Kt., his grandson, was summoned to Parliament by writ,
23rd Edward I. (1295) and died in 1325. In 1275 he alienated Baynard's
Castle, by licence, to Robert Kilwardby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who
removed hither the Dominican or Black Friars from Holborn, but took
special care to reserve all the rights and official duties connected
with his barony.

In the year 1303, before Sir J. Blount, Kt., Lord Mayor, a
specification of his duties to the City was drawn out, which he swore
upon the Evangelists to observe, and to the utmost of his power to
maintain the rights and liberties of the citizens. His privileges and
immunities in connection therewith are also given, which were confirmed
by Sir John on the part of the Corporation. As this document presents
some curious features of London life in the beginning of the 14th
century, it is given below _in extenso_.

The Rights that belonged to Robert Fitzwalter, Chastilion and
Banner-Bearer of London and Lord of Wodeham.

"The said Robert and his heirs ought to be and are chief
Banner-bearers of London in and for the Castlry which he and his
ancestors have of Baynard's Castle in the said City. In time of war the
said Robert and his heirs ought to serve the City in manner hereinafter
written.

"That the said Robert ought to come upon his Horse of Service, with 20
men at arms, mounted, harnessed with mail or iron, even to the great
door of the Minster of St. Paul, with a Banner of his Arms displayed
before him. And when he has thus come, then ought the Lord Mayor of
London, with the Sheriffs and Aldermen, come on foot out of the Minster
to the said door, with his banner in his hand, and the banner ought to
be gules, an image of St. Paul d'or, the feet, hands, and head, argent,
with a sword argent, in the hand of the said Image.

"And as soon as they shall have come forth, the said Robert shall
alight from his horse and salute the Mayor, as his companion, saying,
'Sir Mayor, I am come to do my Service which I owe to the City,' and
the Mayor shall answer, 'We allow you here as our Banner-Bearer, this
banner of the City to carry and govern to your power, to the honour and
profit of our City.' Then shall the said Robert take the banner in his
hand, and the Mayor, Alderman, and Sheriffs shall present him with a
horse of £20 value, with a saddle, garnished with the arms of the said
Robert, and covered with a sendal of the same arms, and deliver £20 to
his Chamberlain for the charges of the day.

"The said Robert shall then mount the horse, banner in hand, and desire
the Mayor, forthwith, to cause a Marshall to be chosen out of the host
of London, which being done, he shall then cause the signal to be
sounded through the City, for the commons to assemble, and follow the
banner carried by the said Robert to Aldgate, and a Council of two sage
persons from each ward be chosen, in the Priory of the Holy Trinity,
to look to the safe keeping of the City in case the said Robert should
have to absent himself for the purposes of war. And if the said Robert
with the army of London shall continue for the space of a year at the
siege of any town or castle, he shall have 100 shillings from the
commonalty of London, and no more. These are the rights of the said
Robert in times of war; in times of peace they are as follows:—

"That is to say, the said Robert shall have a soke or ward in the said
City, viz., from the wall of the canonry of St. Paul, as a man goes by
the Bracine (brew-house) of St. Paul to the Thames, and so to the side
of the mill standing by the water that runs down by Fleet Bridge, and
thence by the wall, round about the Friers preachers to Ludgate, and so
return by the back of the said Fryers' House, to the corner of the said
canons' walls of St. Paul. That is to say, all the parish of the church
of St. Andrew, which is in his gift in right of his lordship. Appendant
to his soke he hath all these things under-written:—

"That he shall have a Soke-man of his own choice, provided he be of the
Sokemannery of the Ward, and if any of the Sokemannery be impleaded
at the Guildhall, his sokeman may demand a court of the said Robert,
which shall be granted by the Mayor and Citizens. And if any thief be
taken in his soke, he shall have stocks and prison in the soke and be
taken hence to the Guildhall before the Mayor of judgment, but which
shall not be pronounced until he is brought into the court of the
said Robert and Franchise; and if the judgment be death for treason
he shall be tied to a post in the Thames for two tides, and if he be
a common Larcin he shall be hanged at the Elms and there suffer his
judgment, as other thieves. Also the said Robert and his heirs have a
great honour in holding such a franchise in the said City, where the
Mayor and Citizens ought to do him right, that is to say, that when the
Mayor is minded to call a great council he shall call the said Robert
or his heirs thereto, and he shall be sworn thereof against all people
saving the king and his heirs. And when the said Robert cometh to the
Hustings of the Guildhall of the said City, the Mayor or his Lieutenant
shall arise against him and set him down near to him; and so long as
he is in the Guildhall all the judgments shall be pronounced by him,
according to the records of the Recorders of the said Guildhall. And
all the waifs which shall happen whilst he is there he shall give to
the bailiffs of the City or to whomsoever he pleases, by advice of the
Mayor of said City."

Robert, second baron, died in 1328, three years after his father.

Sir John, Kt., third baron, died in 1361, who was knighted for his
bravery in war.

Walter, fourth baron, died in 1386. In the 44th Edward III., he was
captured when fighting in Gascony, and was obliged to mortgage one
of his castles for £1,000 to raise money for his ransom. He held many
other military employments.

Walter, fifth baron, died in 1407, having married Joane, sister and
heiress of John, second Baron Devereux, who died in 1379, when the
Baronies of Fitzwalter and Devereux became united, Walter Fitzwalter
becoming Baron Devereux, _jure uxoris_, his heir succeeding in his own
right.

Humphrey, sixth baron, died _s.p._, a minor, in 1422. Walter, his
brother, seventh baron, was summoned from 1429 and died in 1432, the
last of the line of the Fitzwalters. He fought under Henry V. in the
French wars with great distinction, and for his services had a grant of
lands in Normandy. His daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, conveyed the
baronies by marriage to Sir John Radcliffe, Kt., an eminent military
commander, who became Baron Fitzwalter, _jure uxoris_. Dying 39th Henry
VI., he was succeeded by his son, Sir John, Kt., who was beheaded in
1495 for implication in the Perkin Warbeck Conspiracy, attainted, and
the barony forfeited. Nevertheless, his son, Robert, finding favour
at the court of Henry VII. was restored in blood and estates; and
in the 1st Henry VIII. to the forfeited barony. For bravery in the
French Wars, and other services to the State, he was created Viscount
Fitzwalter in 1529, and four years after further elevated in the
peerage to the Earldom of Sussex, and was decorated with the order
of the Garter. He was thrice married, having issue by all his wives,
and died in 1542, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Henry,
K.B. and K.G., who died in 1556, from whom descended Sir Edward, sixth
Viscount and Earl, who died, _s.p._, 1641, when these honours became
extinct, the barony falling into abeyance, as it remained during the
civil wars and after the Restoration, until 1669, when it was called
out, in the person of Benjamin Mildmay, descended from Frances, second
daughter of Sir Henry, second Earl of Sussex, who married Sir Thomas
Mildmay, of Mulsho, Essex. He died in 1679, was succeeded by his eldest
son Charles, who died _s.p._ 1728, to whom followed his brother Henry,
who in 1730 was created Viscount Harwich and Earl Fitzwalter; but
dying, in 1753, without surviving issue, the two latter titles became
extinct, and the barony fell into abeyance, which was terminated
in 1868, in the person of Sir Brook William Bridges, fifth baronet,
who was called to the House of Peers as Baron Fitzwalter, of Woodham
Walter, in the county of Essex, and who died in December, 1875. Having
thus disposed of the Barons, Viscounts, and Earls Fitzwalter, it
becomes us to inquire into the subsequent history of the old Norman
castle, which, flinging its shadow over the then silvery Thames, was
the home of the Castellans of London. We have no record of what the
Castle of Ralph Baynard was like, but may presume that it was in the
usual Norman style, heavy and ungainly, and in its general features not
unlike that given in Aggas's Map, _temp._ Elizabeth, as it appeared
after its restoration in the 15th century. A view of it was published
in 1780, and its site is indicated in the map of Baynard Castle Ward
in Northouk's _History of London_. It appears to have been a huge,
quadrangular block, the body presenting five gabled divisions, with
sextangular corner towers, each division and the towers containing two
lofty stories, with narrow slits for windows, and rooms in each gable.
Little is known of the castle after its alienation to the Dominicans
in 1275, until the reign of Henry VI. It appears to have come to the
Crown, and was in the possession of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,
fourth son of King Henry IV., to whom it had probably been granted
by that king. In 1428 it was partially destroyed by fire, but was
re-edified by the duke, who continued to reside within its walls until
his death. Incurring the jealousy and hatred of Margaret of Anjou and
her faction, the duke, who was arrested on a charge of high treason
when attending the Parliament of St. Edmundsbury, 1446, at the instance
of the queen was committed to prison, and there murdered by suffocation
or strangulation, when the castle reverted to the Crown.

In 1460 the Earl of Warwick defeated the Lancastrians at the second
battle of St. Alban's, the result of which was a deputation to Edward,
Earl of March, now Duke of York, and living in Baynard Castle, to
request him to assume the Crown; and it was from its portals that he
went in procession to St. Paul's to hear the _Te Deum_ sung for the
Yorkist Victory, and hence to Westminster, to be vested in the mantle
of Royalty, after which he summoned a great council of barons and
ecclesiastics to Baynard Castle, to consult with them on the state of
the realm. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was residing in Baynard Castle,
after the murder of his nephews, when he was waited upon by the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen of London, for the purpose of requesting him to
assume the Crown. Shakespeare delineates the scene with wonderfully
graphic power in his drama of _King Richard III._, act 3, scene 7.

King Henry VII. occupied the castle as a place of residence some three
or four years; and Henry VIII. expended large sums of money in repairs
and embellishment, and entertained there the King of Castile, but
appears to have granted it to the Earl of Pembroke, a gentleman of the
bedchamber, who had married Anne, sister of Queen Katherine Parr. On
the death of Edward VI. he favoured the pretensions of Lady Jane Grey
to the Crown, but almost immediately changed his opinion; and in his
City castle a council was held, where it was determined that Mary, King
Edward's sister, should succeed, and she was at once proclaimed Queen
at Cheapside Cross. In the reign of Elizabeth it appears to have been
occupied by Sir John Fortescue, master of the wardrobe, close by, and
the Queen is said to have supped there occasionally. It afterwards
became the town residence of the Earls of Shrewsbury, coming to that
family, probably, through the marriage of John, the tenth earl, with
Mary, daughter of Sir Francis Fortescue, and so remained until the
Great Fire of 1666, when the venerable old castle, which had witnessed
so many important and tragical events connected with the City of which
it was the guardian, was finally, and for ever, destroyed, not a
vestige now remaining.



Sir Nicholas Brember, Knight, Lord Mayor of London.


Edward III. was one of the greatest of English kings, and the
progenitor, by Philippa of Hainault, of a family of stalwart sons,
brave warriors and able statesmen, whose names will long live in the
annals of England and the poetry of romance. They were Edward the Black
Prince, the hero of Creci and Poictiers; Lionel, Duke of Clarence; John
of Gaunt, "time-honoured Lancaster," titular king of Castile, father
of King Henry IV. and of two queens, and the most conspicuous figure
in the pages of Froissart; and Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, the most
persistent opponent of his nephew, King Richard, and his government by
favourites.

Unfortunate was it for England that the Prince of Wales died
prematurely, and equally unfortunate was it that he left behind him a
son, by the quondam "fair maid of Kent," who succeeded to the throne
of his grandfather as Richard II. at eleven years of age, A.D. 1377.
In his nonage a council was appointed for the government of the
realm, from which all his uncles, the best fitted by affinity and
great abilities for the office, were excluded; a measure which gave
rise to jealousy and antagonism on their part to his government, with
disastrous results to the king's favourites, and ultimately to the
king himself. Richard was spoilt by adulation and flattery, and became
the tool of intriguers; never displaying much ability, caring more
for the display of his grandeur than for the good government of his
people; desiring to rule absolutely, but lacking the power; impetuous,
fierce, revengeful, and weak-minded, and attempting to accomplish by
crooked ways what would have been better carried out by straightforward
measures. His chief favourites were Robert de Vere, ninth Earl of
Oxford, created Marquis of Dublin in 1336, and Duke of Ireland the
following year: Michael de la Pole, a Hull merchant, created Baron de
la Pole 1366 and Earl of Suffolk 1385; Alexander Nevill (a younger
son of Ralph, second Baron Nevill), Archbishop of York; Sir Robert
Tresilian, Chief Justice; and Sir Nicholas Brember, Knight, alderman of
London.

Sir Nicholas was a merchant of London of considerable wealth and
influence. He is styled by Froissart, "King's Draper," but seems rather
to have been a wholesale merchant. Towards the end of the reign of
Edward III. the ancient trade-guilds, crafts and mysteries which had
hitherto been confined, each to one special trade, were reconstructed
as Livery Companies, by charter, and endowed with certain privileges
and immunities; as the means of developing commerce.

From _Rot Parl._ ii. 278, it appears that at this period, certain
wholesale merchants established the "Grossers' Company," which
threatened to ruin some of the smaller crafts. In a petition, 36
Edward III., it is stated that "great mischief had arisen, as well to
the king, as to the great men and commons, from the merchants called
Grossers, who engrossed all manner of merchandize vendible, and who
suddenly raised the price of such merchandize within the realm, putting
to sale, by covin and by ordinances, made by themselves, and keeping
goods in store till times of dearth, etc.," suggesting as a remedy
that these merchants should not be permitted to deal in more than one
class of these commodities; and an Act based upon this suggestion was
passed 37 Edward III. Although Brember was one of the original members
of this monopolizing company, he enforced the penalties provided by
the Act with great strictness, as, when he was Lord Mayor in 1385, he
disfranchised several freemen for carrying on trades other than their
own.

At this time the aldermen were elected annually until 17 Richard II.,
when they were chosen for life, or during good behaviour. Brember, who
had been elected several years in succession, served the office of
sheriff in 1372, and that of Lord Mayor not less than four times—in
the years 1377, 1383, 1384, and 1385, being the first alderman who
held the office in two consecutive years. This, however, was not by
the goodwill of the freemen, but in opposition of their wishes, the
citizens being favourers of the Duke of Gloucester, and disliking
Brember as one of the evil counsellors of the king. In the _Chronicle
of London_, printed 1827, from a MS. in the British Museum, is the
following passage:—"Also this yere Sr. Nicholl Brembre was chosen Maire
agene be the saide craftes, and by men of the contre at Harrow and the
contre there aboughte, and not be fre eleccion of the citee of London,
as it owith to be; and the olde halle was stuffed with men at armes
overe even be ordinaunce and assente of Sr Nicholl Brember fur to chose
hym maire on the morrowe, and so he was." This interference with the
rights of free election was not allowed to pass without remonstrance.
"The folke of the Mercerye" made it the subject of a petition to the
King, in which they stated that "Though the eleccion of mairelte was to
be to the fremen of the citee bi gode and paisable avys of the wysest
and trewest, at a day in the yere, frelich," (free) "Nichol Brembre
wyth his upberers, had through debate and stronger partye and carrying
grete quantities of armure to the Guyldehall," overawed the citizens
and procured his re-election, adding that they of the Mercery or other
crafts protested against the election as illegal, "they were anon
apeched for arrysers ageins the pees" (impeached as the disturbers of
the peace). Although Brember's election was not set aside, this and
other remonstrances led to certain reforms in the Corporation.

In 1381 the memorable meeting between King Richard and the Kentish
rebels took place in Smithfield, when their leader, Wat Tyler, was
stabbed by Lord Mayor Walworth, and when the boy king, by a bold and
masterly act, appeased the mob, who were preparing to avenge the death
of their captain. Speed informs us that Walworth, after the fall of
Tyler, rushed into the City and returned accompanied by Sir Robert
Knowles and a thousand citizens in armour, when he "commanded the head
of Wat Tyler to be chopt of from his dead carcase and borne before him
on a speare to the king." Froissart says, "among the first" (from the
City) "came Sir Robert Knolles and Sir Perducas d'Albret well attended,
then several aldermen, with upwards of 600 men at arms, and a powerful
man of the City, by name Nicholas Brember, the king's draper, bringing
with him a large force on foot." After the dispersion of the mob with
ample promises of a redress of their grievances, the king knighted
Walworth, and gave him a fee farm worth £100 per annum, as he did
also Aldermen Brember, Philpot, Laund, Standish, Twiford, and Traver,
granting to each a fee farm of £40 per annum. Thomas of Woodstock, the
king's youngest uncle, created Duke of Gloucester, 1385, was the most
vehement opponent of his nephew's policy, and the favourites Vere,
Pole, and Brember, perceiving him to be the greatest obstacle to their
assumption of the supreme direction of affairs conspired to remove
him. They arranged that he should be invited to a supper in Brember's
house, and whilst there should be assassinated. It was, however,
necessary that the invitation should be sent through Lord Mayor Exton,
"who," says Maitland, "was no sooner acquainted with this wicked design
than he received it with the utmost abhorrence and detestation, and
boldly declared that he would never consent to so flagitious an act
of villainy," and forthwith gave information to the duke, who took
measures for his safety, and resolved upon the destruction of the
conspirators, in which he was backed by the citizens of London, who
suggested that he should assume the government of the country, hinting
that they would be ready to give him support. This, however, was not a
practicable scheme, for even if York and Lancaster should approve of
the deposition of Richard, they, as elder brothers, would have prior
claims to the succession.

The question was brought before the Parliament of 1386, which met at
Westminster, when a council of eleven, with Gloucester at the head,
was appointed to govern the kingdom under the king, who was required
to dismiss Pole, his chancellor, and the rest of his favourites, which
he promised to do, but as soon as Parliament broke up he carried them
with him into the west of England to devise measures for opposing the
confederacy. They resolved to take up arms against the duke, and, as a
preliminary, called a council of the judges at Nottingham, who, under
compulsion, declared the acts of the Parliament invalid, and those who
passed them traitors. Whilst at Bristol the king sent Pole, Brember,
and Sir Peter Gouloufre to London for intelligence, where they had an
interview with the governor of the Tower, who told them that they ran
great risk in coming there. "How so," they inquired; "we are the king's
knights, and have a right of entry into his palaces?" The governor
replied "that it was true the Tower belonged to the king, and that he
would be obedient to him, but could no further than when his orders
were not in contravention to the will of the council and the Duke of
Gloucester; and (added he) I tell you for your welfare that you had
better depart, for if it become known that you are here, the Tower will
be besieged by the citizens, and you will be torn to pieces." Upon
hearing this they departed, not caring to brave the fury of a London
mob, returned to Kensington, mounted their horses, and rode back to the
king.

Meanwhile Gloucester and his nephew, the Earl of Derby, afterwards
King Henry IV., finding that none but the most decided measures would
prevail with the king, raised an army of 40,000 men, with which they
marched towards London—not with the object of dethroning the king, but
to uphold the council and destroy the power of the favourites. Richard,
who was not deficient in boldness, came to London, and it was reported
that Brember and Sir Thomas Trivet accompanied him with a thousand
armed men, who were secretly placed in the mews at Charing Cross, with
the view of killing the most obnoxious of the king's enemies as they
passed from London to Westminster.

Richard kept state in Westminster Hall, and when he was informed of the
rumours relative to Brember and his thousand men, swore solemnly that
he knew nothing about them, but contrived to get them away and join
De Vere in the West, who was raising an army in Wales in the king's
service.

When the lords presented themselves before the king, the Bishop of
Ely, the new Lord Chancellor, asked them why they were assembled in
warlike array at Haringey Park, to whom they replied, "For the good
of the king and the kingdom, and to weed out the traitors by whom he
is surrounded." On being asked to name the traitors, they answered,
"Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland; Alex. Nevill, Archbishop of York;
Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk; Sir Robert Tresilian, that false
Justicier; and Sir Nicholas Brember, that false knight of London;"
and then threw down the gage of challenge. The king, having sent his
favourites out of immediate harm's way, rated the lords soundly for
presuming to take up arms against his supreme will and authority.
"You," said he, "whom I could kill like cattle, and whom I esteem
no more than the basest scullion in my kitchen!" yet he eventually
promised that the matter should be taken into consideration by the
Parliament, which would assemble at Westminster on the morrow after
Candlemas.

A proclamation was soon after issued by Richard, forbidding any one,
under pain of death, to supply arms, ammunition, or provisions to the
rebel army, and he sent word to De Vere to hasten his muster of men,
and march towards London to put down the rebellion. Simultaneously with
the proclamation, the confederates sent a letter to the Corporation
of London, soliciting their sympathy and aid, which was immediately
responded to with assurances of both.

The Duke of Ireland, with his Welsh army, marched eastward and came to
Oxford, when he heard that the Dukes of Gloucester and York and Lord
Mayor Exton were coming to meet him, and were not far distant, having
crossed the Thames by Reading Bridge—those of Staines and Windsor
having been broken down by direction of de Vere. He had been appointed
Lieut.-General of the king's forces, with Suffolk and Brember in
command under him; but on hearing this intelligence he became terribly
alarmed. He called a council of war, and it was decided that they must
give battle to the enemy; but it was also arranged that they—De Vere,
De la Pole, and Brember—should station themselves on fleet horses in
the wings of the army, so that if the day went against them, they might
save themselves by flight.

Soon afterwards the army of Gloucester made its appearance, and the
King's Welshmen, panic stricken, threw down their arms, and took to
flight in disorder. Their leaders followed—or set the example—and
escaped to Wales, and hence De Vere, De la Pole, and the Archbishop
gained the Continent by way of Scotland, the Duke of Ireland dying an
exile in Holland, Suffolk in France, and Nevill as a parish priest
in Flanders. With respect to the others. Froissart says: "Brember
was arrested in Wales, brought to London, and beheaded;" Speed: "Sir
N. Brember and others were aprehended, and kept in straight prison
to answere such accusations (which if meere calumniations) as in
the next Parliament at Westminster, should be objected. Parliament
met at Candlemas: Tresilian had sentence to be drawn to Tyburne in
the afternoone, and there to have his throat cut, which was done
accordingly. This Bramber" (saith Walsingham) "was saide to have
imagined to bee made Duke of New Troye (the olde supposed name of
London), by murthering thousands of such citizens (whose names he had
billed for that purpose) as were of such likelihood to oppose him."
Maitland says, "Soon after Nicholas Brember, late Lord Mayor of London,
one of the wicked favourites of Richard, was condemned by Parliament
for High Treason, for which he was adjudged to be drawn and hanged,
which was accordingly executed upon him at Tyburn, and not according
to that idle story mentioned by Holingshed, Stow, and others, of his
being beheaded with an ax, which he had prepared for the execution of
all such as opposed his measures. If this perfidious and cruel man and
his accomplices had succeeded in their wicked schemes he was to have
been made Duke of New Troye, as London is denominated by the fabulous
Geoffrey of Monmouth."

Brember was buried in Christ Church, Newgate Street. His arms are
emblazoned in the Hall of the Grocers' Company.



An Olden Time Bishop of London: Robert de Braybrooke.


In the pleasant Northamptonshire village of Braybrooke, on the verge
of a forest, and near the Leicestershire border, there was born, some
five-and-a-half centuries ago, a child who was destined to pass his
name down to posterity in the annals of London.

In the earlier portion of the thirteenth century, Robert May, otherwise
de Braybrooke, a favourite of King John, and landed proprietor in
Braybrooke, built a castle on his estates for his residence. His eldest
son, Henry, married Christian Ledlet, a great heiress, and assumed the
name of Ledlet. The estates passed by marriage to the Griffin family,
who were created Barons de Braybrooke, 1688, the barony expiring for
lack of male heirs, 1742; but the heiress married William Whitwell,
whose son assumed the name of Griffin and was created Baron Braybrooke,
1788, with limitation to his nephew, Richard Neville Aldworth, who
succeeded to the barony, and assumed the name of Neville in addition
to and after Aldworth, from whom is descended the extant Baron
Braybrooke. Henry de Braybrooke, probably the son of Robert, was a
"justice itinerant" in county Beds. and was dragged from the bench
at Dunstable by the Norman Falcasius—who held Bedford Castle for the
King against the barons—and cast into a dungeon of the castle for
having given adverse judgments in thirty-five law suits which had been
instituted by Falcasius.

The boy Robert was probably born in the castle, and educated in the
little monastery in the forest hard by, or possibly in the more
distant great abbey of Medehamsted (Peterborough), and in his youthful
wanderings would doubtless sometimes visit the neighbouring town of
Lutterworth, where Wyclif, the leader of the Lollards, Braybrooke's
victims, was afterwards to pass away from this world.

After his preliminary studies he went to Oxford, where he became a
licentiate of civil law, and took Holy Orders.

His very first act after ordination displays his character as a
determined supporter of Papal supremacy, and at the same time
demonstrates the influence of his family. In spite of the statute
of provisors, recently passed, and of præmunire, he obtained a
provision from the Pope for induction into the living of Hinton,
in Cambridgeshire, the patronage being vested in the Fellows of
Peterhouse; and notwithstanding the penalties attaching to the offence,
obtained the living in 1360, and held it nineteen years. In 1366,
he was nominated Prebendary of Fenton, in York Cathedral, which he
exchanged for that of Friday Thorpe in the same cathedral, 1376, and
the same year was appointed Archdeacon of Cornwall, and Prebendary of
Wells. In 1380, he was constituted Dean of Salisbury, and a few months
after exchanged his archdeaconry for the rectory of Bideford, resigning
at the same time the rectory of Hinton. The following year, by virtue
of a Bull of Pope Urban VI., he was appointed sixty-third Bishop of
London, succeeding Courtney, who had been translated to Canterbury in
place of Archbishop Sudbury, who had been beheaded on Tower Hill three
months before by the Wat Tyler insurgents.

Braybrooke lived in one of the most important periods in the annals
of England—a transition period—when the religious, political,
and intellectual systems of the country were experiencing
earthquake-throes, essential in working out that liberty and social
civilization which we now enjoy.

In the early portion of his life, the throne was occupied by "the
greatest of the Plantagenets;" in his middle life, by one of the
weakest; and the latter portion witnessed that change of dynasty which
resulted in the Wars of the Roses, sweeping off vast numbers of the
Norman lords, and leaving England more Saxon than it had been since
the Conquest. In the century preceding his birth the feudal barons had
been struggling with John and Henry III. against oppressive monarchial
prerogative; had wrested from John the Magna Charta; and under the
leading of Simon de Montfort, had in the latter reign summoned the
first representative Parliament. And now the mass of the people—who
had remained serfs, mere chattels, who could be bought and sold like
cattle—rose under Wat Tyler and Jack Straw to assert their rights,
proclaiming that all men were by nature equally free, and demanding the
abolition of serfdom, the abrogation of unjust and oppressive laws,
open markets, etc., adopting as their motto,—

    "When Adam delved, and Eve span,
    Who was then the gentleman?"

Their demands eventuated in certain concessions; but it was not until
the Stuarts, by their exaggerated notions of kingly prerogative, had
precipitated rebellion, that the liberties of England were established
on a sure foundation by the victories of Cromwell. It was the period,
too, of the commencement of the struggle with Rome for liberty of
conscience. Never had England sunk so low in degradation as in 1213,
when John, after boldly defying the Pope, found himself compelled to
lay his crown at the feet of Pandulph. But now, "the morning star of
the Reformation" was, by voice and pen, awakening the people to a
consciousness of their slavery to a foreign priest, proclaiming that
the Scriptures were the only rule of faith, and asserting the right
of private judgment. Under the vigorous rule of the third Edward,
the authority of the Pope in the realm was materially curbed, and
enactments made declaring John's submission illegal, lacking, as it
did, the assent of the representatives of the people, and making it
penal to publish bulls, or any other Papal instruments, in the kingdom
without the consent of Parliament.

Nevertheless the Lollards were looked upon as heretics by the
authorities of the Church, and in 1377, Wyclif was cited to appear
before the Primate and Bishop Courtnay in St. Paul's Cathedral. He
went thither accompanied by his patrons, John of Gaunt and the Earl
Marshal (Lord Henry Percy), when the latter, in consideration of the
age and feebleness of the venerable reformer, desired him to be seated,
"which," says Foxe, "eftsoons cast the Bishop of London into a furious
chafe," which resulted in an altercation, the abrupt breaking up of
the assembly, and the rush of the London mob, with whom the Duke of
Lancaster was not then popular, to his palace of the Savoy, where they
murdered a priest, but were dispersed by the Lord Mayor.

After the murder of Archbishop Sudbury and the elevation of Courtnay to
the primacy, he called a synod together at the House of the Preaching
Friars, London, at which the new bishop (Braybrooke) attended. Soon
after their assembling, a shock of an earthquake occurred, which
alarmed the ecclesiastics, but Courtnay adroitly turned it to account,
saying that earthquakes were but the expulsion of noxious vapours from
the earth, and it was a sign that Heaven looked with approval on their
efforts to expel noxious doctrines from the Church, and the meeting
very speedily pronounced fourteen of Wyclif's tenets erroneous or
heretical.

This was, however, but the seed-time of religious liberty; the seeds,
nevertheless, in spite of opposition, fructified under Henry VIII. and
his daughter Elizabeth, grew apace under the Commonwealth, and the
harvest was reaped after the expulsion of the second James.

Intellectually, too, Braybrooke was the contemporary of the transition
from ignorance to learning. Chaucer, in his _Canterbury Pilgrims_, and
Gower in his _Confessio Amantis_, were laying the foundation of our
modern language and literature; and Faust, Gutenberg, and Schœffer
were establishing their printing presses in Germany, to be introduced
into England by Caxton in the next century, to aid in the diffusion
of knowledge, and in the liberation of the people from political and
spiritual thraldom.

When Braybrooke, half a millennium ago, was elevated to the episcopal
bench, London was a comparatively small city, encircled by two miles
of walls, gates, and ditch, with but one bridge over the Thames—that
built by Peter of Colechurch, with its movable centre for the passage
of vessels. The Tower was the Court and king's residence; with
Baynard's Castle, in Thames Street; the magnificent Palace of the
Savoy, the Monastery of the Knights Hospitallers, in Clerkenwell, and
many another noble edifice lay in ruins, demolished by the Wat Tyler
insurgents; the city was crowded with monasteries and churches; and the
streets presented a mingled crowd of nobles, monks, friars, priests,
and merchant burghers.

His cathedral was that which had risen on the ruins of the one
destroyed by fire in the reign of the Conqueror, which had been 200
years in course of erection, and now stood forth a grand building,
covering four acres of ground, with its Norman nave, two transepts, its
pointed Gothic choir, its spire, 510 feet in height, and its beautiful
Ladye Chapel, majestic in its magnitude, and beautiful in some of its
details; with St. Paul's cross outside, where, every Sunday, some
eloquent friar or priest addressed the citizens; and where many a
memorable political sermon has been preached. On the northern side,
near Warwick Lane, stood his residence, the Bishop's palace, described
as being "a stately and spacious pile."

Internally he found the ecclesiastics in a lax state of discipline, and
"the house of God a den of thieves." The cathedral was devoted more to
secular than to religious uses. "The south alley for usury, the north
for simony, and a horse fair in the midst, for all kinds of bargains,
meetings, brawlings, murthers, and conspiracies; and the font for the
payment of money;" which were associated with the shooting of arrows,
ball playing, and deeds even more reprehensible than these. These
abuses he set himself to correct, and effected a great reformation.
The sacred edifice was also a sort of theatre, where mystery and
miracle plays were performed, the stage consisting of three platforms,
the upper representing the Creator, surrounded by angels; the second
occupied by apostles, saints, and martyrs; and the lower presenting
the mouth of hell, vomiting flames and smoke, and resounding with the
shrieks of the lost. But it pleased the taste of the age that the
monarch of the nether regions should correspond with the clown of the
modern pantomime; and in the midst of solemn passages, the devil,
with a troop of his imps, would issue forth, to perform all sorts of
antics, and regale the ears of the audience with drolleries, filth, and
what would now be considered blasphemy. With these representations the
bishop did not interfere, considering them the only mode of appealing
to the hearts and consciences of the ignorant multitude; unless,
indeed, he sanctioned the petition of St. Paul's Players to Richard
II., to prohibit ignorant and inexperienced persons from "acting the
History of the Old Testament to the prejudice of the clergy of the
Church." A favourite device of these plays was the descent of a white
dove from an aperture of the roof, with the swinging of censers, to
represent the descent of the Third Person in the Trinity.

On the surrender of the chancellorship by Sir Richard Scrope, 1382,
"Robert Braybrooke, Bishopp of London," says Speed, "was made
chancellor in his place. This act of the King's was displeasant to
the whole realme, and one of the first things by which hee fell into
dislike, it being among the infelicities of King Richard that those
times were too full of sower and impatient censors for a Prince of so
calme a temper, and as yet unseasoned in yeares, but hee onely held
the office a yeare."

The distinguishing characteristic of Braybrooke's career was his
unrelenting persecution of the Lollards. It was enacted, 5 Richard
II., that any person preaching against the Catholic Faith should be
imprisoned until he could "justify himself;" and 2 Henry IV. that all
persons "suspected" of heresy should be imprisoned until they were
"canonically purged," or until they abjured their errors, and that
if they persisted in their heresy they should be delivered to the
secular arm and "burnt to death before the people." Toleration was a
word not known in that age. The oppressed ever cried out for liberty
of conscience, whether Romanist or Reformer, but when they became the
dominant power they were alike intolerant; and the cruelties of the
bishop to the Lollards must be ascribed to the spirit of the age,
backed by his own intense conviction that the Romanist was the one
"sole Apostolic Church," and that to destroy the enemies who were
beleaguering her was doing a service to God.

The bishop appears to have always been on friendly terms with the
citizens of London, and was, with the Duke of Gloucester, instrumental
in the reconciliation of King Richard and the Corporation after
their serious quarrel about a loan of £1,000, afterwards heading a
procession of 400 citizens on horseback to tender their submission,
on which occasion a fountain of wine was set playing at the door of
the cathedral, and the streets presented an animated spectacle, with
streaming banners and tapestries hanging in front of the houses, the
whole enlivened with instrumental music.

Notwithstanding his conservative sentiments, he welcomed the landing
of Bolingbrooke, assisted actively in the deposition of Richard,
was one of the signers of the document consigning him to perpetual
imprisonment, which meant death, within the walls of "bloody Pomfret,"
and crowned the usurper; afterwards conducting a service in St. Paul's,
at which King Henry was present, when the corpse of the murdered
Richard was exposed there, to certify to the citizens that he was
really dead, and obviate the possibility of revolts in his name.

Bishop Braybrooke died in the year 1404 (his epitaph says 1405), and
he was buried in the Ladye Chapel of his cathedral, under "a faire
marble stone inlaide with letters made every one of a several piece
of brasse." Two-and-a-half centuries after his burial the cathedral
was destroyed in the great fire of London, and on the removal of the
rubbish for the rebuilding the tomb was found open, with the slab
broken. "The body," as Camden states, "was found entire, the skin
still inclosing the bones and fleshy parts; only in the breast there
was a hole (made, I suppose, by accident) through which one might view
and handle his lungs. The skin was of deep tawny colour and the body
very light, as appeared to all who came to view and touch it, it being
exposed in a coffin for some time without any offensive smell: and then
reinterred."



A Brave Old London Bishop: Fulco Basset.


At the period when this prelate lived, England was struggling to free
itself from the shackles of its Norman and Angevin rulers. The feudal
system had been introduced at the Conquest, which constituted the king
the absolute master of the land; the barons were his vassals, holding
their lands by tenures of military service, and the great mass of the
people were either vassals of the barons, holding portions of land by
knight's service, or were mere serfs, excepting some merchants and
traders in the cities and towns, who enjoyed a modified species of
freedom, for which special charters were granted by kings. The citizens
of London have ever been famous for the bold and resolute way in which
they have preserved and defended the liberties and immunities granted
in such charters, and when Basset became their bishop they gladly
welcomed him as one who would not be backward in lending them his
countenance and assistance in any attempted invasion of their chartered
rights.

Beyond this permissive freedom, however, they aimed at something
further; the notion that kings were not the masters, but the servants,
of the sovereign people had been bruited abroad, and the initiative had
been taken by the barons, who revolted against the tyranny of John, and
extorted from him the Magna Charta, in which they were backed by the
Londoners and the merchants of other large towns; but the peasantry and
labourers were too much down-trodden in serfdom to make any assertion
of their natural rights, and it was not until more than a century
afterwards that they, under Wat Tyler, Jack Cade, and other leaders,
began to put forth the strange notion that they also were men with
natural rights, which they ceased not to reiterate, until a couple of
centuries afterwards they established their claims at Marston Moor and
Naseby and Worcester.

Thurstan Basset came to England at the Conquest, whose descendant
Ralph (_temp._ Henry II.,) by his great abilities raised the family
to distinction and wealth, and was the author of many salutary laws,
notably that of Frank Pledge. From him issued three baronies by writ,
those of Basset of Sapcoate, 1264-1378; Basset of Drayton, 1264, in
abeyance 1390; and Basset of Welden, 1299-1410.

Thomas, his second son, was founder of the Wycombe branch, whose eldest
son, Gilbert, had issue by Egeline, daughter of —— Courtney, three
sons—Gilbert, Fulco, and Philip—all of whom succeeded to the paternal
estates, one after the other.

Fulco was born at the end of the 12th century, was brought up to
the Church, and became Provost of Beverley, 1206-1238; Rector of
Cottesbrook, Northants, which he resigned, 1239; Dean of York,
1239-1242; Bishop of London, 1241-1258, but not consecrated until 1244,
in consequence of a vacancy in the See of Canterbury. He died of the
plague, 1258, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.

In the year 1250, he had a warm altercation with the Archbishop of
Canterbury, relative to metropolitical visitation, to which the
archbishop had an undoubted right, but which Basset denied. "Comming
to London, Boniface (the archbishop) tooke a small occasion to defoce
the bishop with fowle and reprochfull speeches, and being resisted by
the Dean and Chapter of Paules (who had appealed from his visitation
to the Pope), he made no more adoo but excommunicated them every
one." The next day he proceeded to the priory of St. Bartholomew, in
Smithfield, telling the sub-prior and monks, who came in their copes to
meet him, that he had come to visit them, who replied very respectfully
that "they knew their bishop (whose only office it was) to be a very
sufficient man in his place," and that, "although they were sorry to
disappoint him, they could not recognise any other." "This answere
so enraged this lusty Archbishop, as not being able to containe his
anger within any bounds of discretion, he ranne violently to the Sub
Prior, strucke the poore old man downe to the ground, kicked him,
beate him and buffeted him pitifully, tore his coape from his backe,
rent it into a number of pieces, and when he had so done stamped upon
it like a madde man." His followers also fell upon the monks, and a
general fight took place; but the Londoners hearing of the fray took up
cudgels in behalf of their bishop and prior, when the archbishop took
to flight, and got safely across the ferry to Lambeth. "If they (the
Londoners) could have met with him, they would surely have hewen him
into a thousand peeces." As soon as he got home he excommunicated the
whole of the inmates of the priory, and along with them Bishop Basset.
Appeals on both sides were made to Rome, the Dean of St. Paul's going
thither, followed by the archbishop. A great deal of bribery took
place, the Pope pocketing the proceeds from both parties alike, and
delaying his decision in order to exact more money, which seems not to
have been spared. At length he gave judgment that the archbishop had
the right of visitation all through his province, but for the unseemly
brawling and fighting in Smithfield he condemned him to rebuild, at his
own cost, Lambeth Palace, which was then in a dilapidated condition.

Although he was ever zealous and earnest in his defence of the people
against kingly and priestly tyranny, and supported the barons in this
and the preceding reign, it was in his old age, when verging upon the
grave, that Basset especially made a display of that bravery and sturdy
English love of freedom and hatred of oppression which entitles him to
the designation at the head of this chapter.

King Henry and the Pope had conspired together to levy a tax on the
English clergy, and share the plunder. Rustand, the Pope's legate,
with this view, convoked a meeting of the clergy of London, and
made his demand in the name of the Pope. Basset rose and replied,
in unmeasured terms, on the illegality and oppressive nature of the
exaction, finishing by saying that rather than submit to so intolerable
a demand he would lose his head, and in this he was backed by his
clergy, who passed an unanimous resolution to ignore any such claim
altogether. The legate laid his complaint before the king, who sent for
the bishop, abused him with vile and menacing language, and threatened
him with deprivation and Papal censure. Basset listened meekly to all
the king had to say, but when he left his presence he said to those who
he knew would carry it to the king, "He may remove my mitre, if it so
pleases him, but he will find a helmet beneath it, and he may take away
my crosier, but that is easily replaced with a sword."

M. Paris says of him, "He was a noble and honourable man, and,
excepting his last slip, the anchor of the whole kingdom, and
the shield of stability and defence." Weever also says, "As he
was a man of great lineage, and also of ample—both temporal and
ecclesiastical—possessions, so he was a prelate of an invincible, high
spirit; stout and courageous to resist those insupportable exactions
which the Pope's legate, Rustandus, went about to lay upon the clergie."

In the year 1256 he commenced the erection of the church of St. Faith,
under St. Paul's cathedral, founded a charity in St. Paul's for the
repose of his soul, and bequeathed to the cathedral a golden apple, two
carved chests for relics, some vestments, and a few manuscripts.



An Old London Diarist.


In the sixteenth century there dwelt in the parish of Holy Trinity the
Less, Queenhithe, a worthy and honest citizen, one Henry Machyn, a
member of the Merchant Taylors' Company. He was born about the period
of the accession of Henry VIII., and lived until after the accession of
Elizabeth, dying, it is presumed, in 1563, of the plague which visited
London in that year, when his diary comes to an abrupt conclusion.

The age in which he lived was a most important period, that of the
transition from Popery to Protestantism, accompanied by the discords,
troubles, evil passions, and cruelties incidental to transitional
epochs. During his life, he witnessed not less than three changes in
the national faith: First, the rejection of the Papal supremacy, the
suppression of monasteries, and the establishment of the reformed
religion under Henry VIII.; secondly, a return to the old Papal
allegiance and faith at the accession of Mary; and thirdly, the final
downfall of Popery, under Elizabeth. Our diarist, although, like the
Vicar of Bray, he seems to have accommodated his conscience to the
prevailing religion, evidently had a leaning towards the old faith,
which is manifested by the gusto with which he describes the Church
ceremonies and regal pageants of Mary's reign, and the "sarve them
right" sort of style in which he records the pillorying, whipping at
cart-tails, and lopping off the ears of utterers of "haynous wordes
aganst the Queen's magesty," as compared with the somewhat despondent
tone of the entries after the accession of Elizabeth.

It would appear, although not stated, that he was a purveyor of
trappings for pageants and funerals, heraldic painter, and undertaker
in general; his place of business was near to the Painterstainers'
Hall and the College of Arms; and it is supposed that he kept several
workmen employed in emblazoning flags, pennons, escutcheons, etc., for
public processions and spectacles.

The diary at the beginning appears to have been nothing more than a
trade record, consisting almost entirely of notices of funerals and
the pomp thereof, most probably those which he conducted himself.
Afterwards he notices other pageants—Lord Mayors' Shows, Royal
processions, guild companies' displays, etc., in most of which he would
probably have some professional connexion. Subsequently he records
notable events outside his profession, such as "preching at Powlle's
Crosse;" changes in religion; proceedings of Queen Mary, her marriage,
etc.; the punishing of heretics on the gallows and at the stake;
standings in the "pelere;" "rydyngs in Chepe;" penance in churches; and
sundry other events of a similarly lively character, which were marked
features of the time.

The diary is remarkably free from egotism, being written throughout in
the third person, even when speaking of himself or family, which is
very seldom. The following entries relate to himself and family: 1.
1550, the funeral of his brother—"30th November was bered Crystoffe
Machyn, Marchand Tayllor in the parryche of Sant James and broder of
Henry Machyn: the Cumpene of Marchand Tayllors behyng at the berehyng
and the Compene of the Clarkes syngyng and—Maydwell dyd pryche for
hym." 2. The birth of a daughter. September 25th 1557; he writes that
his wife was "browth a 'bed with a whenche," that she was attended by
his "gossip Master Harper," who was surgeon accoucheur to the Queen;
and that two days after was "chrysten'd Katheryn, doythur of Hare
(Harry) Machyn;" further that "Mistress Grenway, an Altherman's wife,
and Masters Blakwelle and Grenwell" were the sponsors. 3. A notice of
his own doing penance, but recorded in the third person and with a
Frenchifying of his name. "November 23rd, 1561: the third yere of Quen
Elesabeth, dyd preche at Powlle's crosse, Renager, yt was Sant Clement
Day; dyd syt alle the sermon tym Henry des Machyn for two (words) the
wyche was tolde hym, that Veron, the French—the precher was taken
wyth a wenche, by the reporting, by on (one) Wylliam Lawrence, dark
of Sant Mare (Mary) Maudlen, in Mylke Streete; the wych the same Hare
(Harry) kneelyd down before Master Veron and the byshopp, and yett
(they) would nott for (forgive) hym for alle ys fryndes that he hadde
worshepefulle." 4. Marriage of his niece. July 7th, 1562, "that Symon
Smith browth to the Gyldhalle, Kynlure Machen for to have lyssens
(licence) to have her a husband, Edw. Gardener, Cowper ... dowther of
Cristofer Machyn." These are all the references to himself and family,
but there is a memorandum on one of the sheets of a business nature,
which indicates his having been an emblazoner of arms: "Rember yt my
lade (Lady) Masum byll for armes,"—the rest illegible.

The diary extends from 1550 to 1563; it is couched in language and
orthography which denote deficient education even for that time, but
is valuable as a reliable record of events, interesting as a picture
of the age, and amusing from its quaint style. Strype made great use
of it in the way of quotation in his _Ecclesiastical Memorials_, as a
trustworthy authority. The MS. is in the Cotton collection. It suffered
in the fire at Sir Robert Cotton's house, Westminster, and now remains
in a fragmentary form, being much scorched and burnt at the edges. In
the year 1848, it was published by the Camden Society, edited by Mr.
John Gough Nichols, F.S.A., with a glossary, notes, etc.

The following extracts from the diary give a vivid picture of London
300 years ago; the tone of public opinion, and the turbulence of the
time, with the picturesque accessories of pageants and processions,
and the less pleasing but ever present spectacles of whipping,
pillorying, hanging, quartering, and burning of heretics and rebels.

1. The restored Papal rule. Queen Mary ascended the throne in 1553,
and immediately reversed all the doings of her father and brother in
matters of religion. Thus writes Machyn:—

"August 5th, 1553. Cam out of the Marselsay the old Bishop of London,
Bonar, & dyvers bysshopes bryngyng him unto home ye plasse at Powlces,
& doctor Coke whent to the same plass yn the Marselsey that the
bysshope was in."

February 12th, 1573-4. After Wyatt's rebellion "there was mad at evere
gate in Lundun a newe payre of galous, & set up 11 payre in Cheapside;
11 payre in Fletstrett, 1 in Smythfyld, 1 in Holborne, 1 at Ledyn-hall,
1 at Sant Magnus, London Bridg, one at Refer Allay Gatt, one at Sant
George's, 1 at Borunsay (Bermondsey) strett, 1 on Towr hylle, 1 payre
at Charyng Crosse, and 1 payre besyd Hyd Parke corner." The executions
took place on the 14th, and "on the iiii daye of junii wasse all the
galus in London plokyd done in all plases."

September 23rd, 1554. "Dyd pryche doctur Rud at Powlle's Crosse, and
he recantyd and repentyd that he ever was mared (married) and sayd
openly that he cold not mare by God's law."

September 15th, 1556. "A sermon was preached at Powlle's," when was
declared, "the Popes jubele and pardon from Rome, and as mony as wyll
rescyffe ye pardon so to be schryff (shrived) and fast three days in
on weeke and to rescyff the blessed sacrament, the next Sunday affter,
clen remyssyon of alle ther synnes tossyens quossyens (_? toties
quoties_) of all that ever they dyd."

March 25th, 1556. A grand day at Bow Church. "Our Lady Day, the
Annunsyasyon, at Bow Chyrch was hangyd wyth cloth of gold and with
rich hares (arras) and cossens (cushions) for the commyng of my Lord
Cardenal Pole. Ther dyd the Bysshop of Vossetr (Worcester) syng he
(high) masse, mytyred, and ther were dyver bysshopes, as the B. of
Ely, London, and Lynkkolne, and the Yerle of Pembroke, and Ser Edw.
Hastynges, the Master of the Horse, and dyvers odur nobul" (unfinished).

It seems there were those in London who did not approve of the Queen's
proceedings, and even resorted to violent measures, besides Sir
Thomas Wyatt and his followers. 1554-5. "The 17th day of Feybuary, at
about mydnight, ther wer serten lude feylows cam unto Sant Thomas of
Acurs, and over the dore ther was set the ymage of Sant Thomas, and
ther they brake ys neke and the tope of ys crosier, the wych was mad
of fre stone. With grett sham was yt done." On March 14th, the same
year, "Serten velyns dyd breke the neke of the ymage of Sant Thomas of
Cantarbere, and on of ys arms broke."

The next day was issued, "A proclamassyon that wo so ever cold bring
word to the mare who dyd breke ys neke shuld have C. (100) croones of
gold for his labur." He does not state whether the iconoclasts were
discovered. There are numberless entries also, such as the following:
"July 24th, 1553, was a felow set in the pelere [pillory] for speykyng
agaynst the good Quen Mare." September 17th, 1557, "Ther whent out of
Newgatt unto Yylyngton beyond the buttes, towards the cherche, in a
valey, to be borned, four—three men, on woman, for herese duly—two of
them was man and wyfe dwellyng in Sant Dunstan's in the East." November
12th, 1558. "Saturday, ther was a woman sett on the pelere for sayhing
that the Quen was ded and her Grace was not ded."

After the death of Queen Mary, we read: "August 24th. (The Lord) Mare
and the althermen and the (sheriffs) wher at the wrastleyng at Clarke
in Well, and it was the fayre daye of thynges kept in Symthfeld, Sant
Bathellmuw, and the same daye my lorde (mayor) cam hom through Chepe
and agaynst Yrmonger (lane), and agaynst Sant Thomas of Ocurs two gret
(bonfires) of rodes (crosses) and of Mares (images of the Virgin Mary)
and Johns and odur emages ther they wher bornyd with gret wondur."

Also, in the same year: "The tyme afor Bathell muwtyd and after was
alle the rodes (crosses), and Mares and Johns, and many odur of the
cherche gudes both copes, crosses, censers, altar-clothes, rod-clothes,
bokes, baner-bokes and baner-stays, waynskott wyth myche odur gayre
(gear) about London ... (which were all destroyed); and ther was a
felow within the chyrche (St. Botolph, Bishopsgate Street) mad a sermon
at the bornyng of the chyrch goodes."

2. Funerals.—In describing these the author is quite at home, with his
penons and skotchons, and torchys and blake clokes, which he catalogues
minutely. These occupy about half the diary. Be it also observed that
Englishmen then, like Englishmen of the nineteenth century, could not
assemble for any purpose or conclude any regal or civic procession
without a "gret dener."

"May 20th, 1551, was bered my lade (Lady) Hobullthorne, late (Mayoress)
of London, with 2 herolds, 4 penons of armes, and ther was (the)
clerkes of London, and ther had powre (poor) men and women many fryse
gownes, and there was 4 althermen morners, and 2 of them knyghts, and
ther a grett doll (dole) was, and the morrow a grett dener, &c."

"March 22nd, 1552, was bered Master John Heth dwellyng in
Fanchyrche-strett, and ther went affor him C (100) chyldern of
Grayfreers, boys and gyrlles, 2 and 2 together, and he gayff them
shurts and smokes and gyrdulls and moketors; and after thay hadde
wy(ne) and fygs and good alle, and ther wor a grett dener; and ther
whor the Cumpane of Painters and the clerkes, and ys cumpony had xxs.
to make mere (merry) with alle at the taverne."

"October 9th, 1554, was bered Master George Medley, merser and late
Chamberlayn of the Cete of London, with 2 whyt branchys and 12 pore
men, with 12 stayffes, torchyes, and 12 gownes, and dyvers men and
women in blake gownes; and ye comes afore ys body, and the compene of
clarkes and of the mersors; and when alle was don they went hom to
drynke; and the morrow after the masse of requiem and ther dyd pryche
doctur Smyth, and after hom to dener."

In the same year was buried "Richard Townley in Sant Austyn parryche
syd Poweles, with 10 torchys and 4 gret (tapers) and 2 whyt branchys
with a herold of armes, with a standerd, a penon of armes, cote, elmet,
target, sword, the crest, a hawke, and 6 dosen of scochyons and piests
and dyrkes."

"September 10th, 1555, was bered my Lade Lyonys, the Mares (Mayoress)
of London, with a goodly herse mad in Sant Benet Sherog perryche, with
2 branchys and 24 gownes of blake for pore men and 3 of emages and 6
dosen penselds and 6 dosen of schochyons, and the althermen folohyng
the corrse and after the Compane of Grosers, and the morow, the masse,
and master H—— did pryche and after a grett dener."

At the burial of Master Robin, of Mark Lane, in Barking church, the
street and church being hung with black cloth, and the Lord Mayor and
Alderman. After an account of the heraldic and other paraphernalia, he
concludes, "and affter they whent to dener for thys was affor none."

The following describes the funeral of Sir John Gresham, uncle to Sir
Thomas Gresham, the builder of the Royal Exchange, who was apprenticed
to him. He served the office of Sheriff in 1537, and that of Lord Mayor
in 1547.

"Oct. 30th, 1556, was bered Ser John Gressem knyght and merser and
merchand of the stapul of callys and merchand venterer, and late mare
and altherman of London, with a standerd and a penon of armes—armur
of damast and 4 pennons of armes—a elmet, a targett, and a sword,
mantylles, and—and a goodly herse of wax and 10 dosen of pensils and
12 dosen of scochyons, and he gayff C blake gownes unto pore men and
powre women of fyne blake cloth, 3 dosen of grett stayffe torchys,
and a dosen of long torchys and he gayff a C.d. (150) of fyne blake—2
unto the mare and the old mare, and to ser Rowland Hylles, and to
ser Andrew Jude, and to boyth the chamberlayns, and to the Master of
Blakwell, and to Master the common huntt and ys men, and to the porters
that longs the stapul, and to alle ys farmers and ys tenantts, and alle
the chyrche hangyd and the strett with blake and armes grett store, and
morow three goodly masses song, on of the Senete (Trinity) and a nodur
of owre lade (Lady), and the third of requiem and a goodly sermon.
Master Harpfield dyd pryche, and after as grett a dener as has bene
sene for a fysse day (a day of fasting) for alle that came to dener,
for ther laket (lacked) nothyng dere."

3. Pageants, Processions, and Feasts.—The following are samples of a
great number of similar entries:—

1551. "The 2d daye of Nov. cam to London from Hamton Courtte and
landyd at Benerd Castyll, the old Qwyne of Schottes" (this would be
Mary, daughter of Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise, who married King
James V. of Scotland in 1515, was mother of Mary Queen of Scots, and
died in 1560), "and cam rydyng to the bysshope pallas at Powlles, with
many lordes, the Duke of Suffolke, &c.... and then the Qwyne and alle
her owne lades and her gentyll women was to the nombre of C (100),
and ther was sent her mony grett gyftes by the Mayre and Aldermen as
beyffes, mottuns, velles, swines, bred, wylld ffule, wynes, bere,
spysys, and alle thinges, and qwaylles, sturgeon, wod and colles, and
samons by dyvers men," and very useful "gyfftes" too, although the
"qwaylles," if by that whales are meant, would be rather cumbrous
presents to take away with her, but possibly they were quails.

"September 30th, 1552, the Mayre and the alderman and the new shreyffes
took berges at III Cranes in the Vyntre, and so to Westmynstre Hall,
and ther they tote hoyth (oath) in the excheker, and then they cam to
dener. Ther was as grett a dener as youe have sene, for ther wher mony
gentyll men and women."

In 1553 the new Lord Mayor went to Westminster, attended by "the
craftes of London in ther best liveray, with trumpets blohyng and
whets (waits) playing, ... all the craftes barges with stremers and
banars, and so to the cheker, and so homwards." They landed at "Banard
Castyll," and arranged a procession in "Powlle's Chyrche yerde." ...
"Furst wher 2 tall men bayreng 2 great stremors of the Marchand
Tayllers' armes; then cam on (with a) drume and a flutt playing, and
a nodur with a gret f——, and alle they in blue sylke; and then cam 2
gret wodyn (woodmen) with 2 gret clubes, alle in grene and with skwybes
(squibs) bornyng, with gret berds and syd here (great beards and side
hair), and 2 targetts upon their bakes ... and then cam XVI. trumpetrs
blohyng ... and then a duyllyll (devil); and after cam the bachelors
alle in a leveray and skarlett hods; and then cam Sant John Baptyst,
gorgyusly, with goody speches ... and then my Lord Mayre and 2 good
henchmen, and then alle the althermen and shreyffes, and so to dener,
and after dener to Powlle's, and alle them that bere tergetts dyd
(bear) after stayff torchys with all the trumpets and wettes (waits)
blowhyng, thrugh Powlles, round abow the quiers and the body of the
chyrche blowhyng, and so home to my Lord Mere's howsse."

"July 2nd, 1555, was the Merchand Tayllers' fest, and ther dyned my
Lord Mayre and dyvers of the counselle and juges, and the shreyffes,
and mony althermen and gentyllmen, and they had agaynst ther dener 58
bokes (bucks) and two stages (stags)." A somewhat plentiful banquet,
after which followed the appointment of the warden and other officers
for the ensuing year. "Alle five borne in London, and tayller sounes
alle."

"1556. The furst daye of September was Sant Gylles Day, and ther was a
goodly procession abowt the parryche (St. Giles', Cripplegate), with
the whettes (waits), and the canape borne and the sacrament, and ther
was a goodly masse songe as bene herd (as has been heard), and Master
Thomas Grenelln, wax-chandler, mad a grett dener for Master Garter and
my lade (lady), and Master Machylle the shereyff and ys wyff, and boyth
the chamberlayns, and mony worshepefull men and women at dener, and
the whettes playing and dyvers odur mynstrelles, for ther was a grett
dener."

"10th June, 1560. Feast of the compane of Skyners and ther mony
worshepefull men wher at dener, for ther was a worshepefull dener."
After which is narrated the election of the master and other officers
of the company for the coming year, "and Master Clareshur mad a grett
bankett for the master and hys compene, furst spysed bred, cheres
(cherries), straberes, pepyns, and marmalade and suckett comfets, and
portingalles (Portugal oranges), and dyvers odur dyssays, (dishes),
epocres, rennys (Rhenish wine), claret wyne, and bere, and alle grett
plente and alle was welcome." Not quite so substantial a repast as that
of the Merchant Taylors with their 58 bucks and 2 stags.

4. Amusements.—Although the fires of Smithfield during the reign of
Mary overcanopied the City with a cloud of gloom, and notwithstanding
the people had a constant source of delectation in witnessing the
hangings and quarterings, and ear-lopping on pillories, the whippings
at cart-tails, and the penance-doing at Paul's Cross, of rogues and
heretics, they found time to amuse themselves in other ways, sometimes
perhaps in sports of a rough and barbarous character, at others of a
simpler and unobjectionable nature, of which the favourite was dancing
round the maypole, but always accompanied by loud and boisterous shouts
of merriment. Machyn frequently refers to these pastimes. The following
are specimens:—

"May 26th, 1552. Cam into Fa(nchurch) parryche a goodly maypole as
you h(ave seen), pentyd whyt and gren, and ther the men and women
dyd wher abowt ther neke baldrykes of whyt and gren: the gyant, the
mores danse, and the —— had a castylle in the myd with pensels and a
—— plasys of sylke and gilded, and the sam (day the) Lord Mayre by
conselle causyd yt to be (taken) done and broken."

"December 9th, 1554. At afternon was a bere baytin on the Banksyde, and
ther the grett blynd bere broke losse, and on runnyng away he chakt
(caught) a servyng manne by the calff of the legge and bit a grett
pease away, and after by the hokyl (ancle) bone, that within 3 days
after he ded (died)."

"1557. May 30th was a goly (jolly) May-game in Fanchyrch Street, with
drumes and gunes and pykes, and nine wordes (worthies) dyd ryd; and
they had speches evere man, and the morris dansse, and the saudon
(soldan or sultan) and a elevant (elephant) with a castyll and the
sauden and young morens (Moors) with targettes and darttes, and the
lord and lade of the Maye."

The sextons' merry-making was of a more sober kind as befitted their
craft, thus: "1554. June 25th, anodur masse kept at the Gray freers for
the saxtons of London and after pressessyon, with the whetes plahyng
and clarkes syngyng thrug Chepesyd unto Soper Lane and again thrug
Powlles-chyrchyard, by master denes (house) and thrug Warwick Lane
unto Gray freers, and so to dener unto the Kukes' (Cooks') hall."

5. Punishment.—"November 4th, 1554. Master Harpfield preched at Powlles
Crosse, when ther wher fyve did penans with shetts (sheets) abowt them
and tapurs and rods in ther handes, and the prycher dyd stryke them
with a rod, and ther did they stand tyll the sermon was well done. On
of these was a priest some tyme chanon at Eyssyng Spyttyll; three of
them were relegyous men (monks or friars), and the fifth a temporall
man that had two wyeffes."

"1559. The 20th August was Sonday: ther was a sarmon at Powlles Crosse;
ys name was ——, and ther was a menester dyd penans for the marchyng of
a setenn cupolle that was mared (married) afor tym."

"1551, May 2nd. The same day was hangd at Tyburne IX fellows. The same
year on the 12th September there was hanged IX women and II men."

"1562, June 27th. Whent to Tyburne; V men and VI women for to hange for
theft."

These were "the good old times" that poets rave about.

"1554. The XVII day of Septembre a proclamasyon that alle vacabonds
and loitherus boyth Englysmen and alle maner of strangers that have no
master should avoid the cete (City) and subarbes apon gret pain." An
edict which appears to have been speedily put in force, as we read a
day or two after:—

"Two men wher wyped about London after a carts hors for loythring, and
as wagabones." Also, "A lad was wypd at the post in Chepe for ronnyng
abowt masterless as a vagobond."

"August 19th, 1552. Ther was a mon in the (pillory) in Chepe for
spykyng agaynst the Mayre and his br(ethren)."

"1559. Desembre 18th, did a woman ryd upone (a horse) with a paper on
her bed for boderie with a basen ryngyng."

1558-9, February 18th and 20th. "A man stood in the pelere with a coler
of smelts aboutt his neke for buying them as taken for the Qhwen" (by
pre-emption) "and sold them at his vantage amonge the fyswyffes."

"November 29th, 1560. Ther was a man ryd for bryngyng messele (measly)
porke to selle." A very wholesome punishment, which might be revived
with advantage amongst some of our sausage dealers. It would appear
that the French notion of John Bull selling his wife in Smithfield
is not altogether without foundation, as we read: "The XXIII day of
Novembre, 1553, dyd ryd in a cort cheken parsun of sant Necolas Cold
Abby round abowt London, for he sold ys wyff to a bowcher."

"1561. June 25th. Two pelores in Chepsyd, wher wer sett seven men for
kungaryng (conjuring)." It is fortunate for Messrs. Maskelyne and Cook
that they live in the nineteenth and not in the sixteenth century.

"1555. XXIX April, a man bawd was putte in the pelore for bryngyng
men's prentes (tradesmen's apprentices) harlots, the wyche they gayff
hym and them serten of their masters' goodes and wasted." And richly
did the rascal deserve the punishment; it is to be hoped he was well
pelted with rotten eggs.

Ring-dropping appears not to be a modern dodge of roguery, but of
the venerable age of three centuries at least, for we find that in
1553, April 17th, "a man was put in the pelere for fasshele (falsely)
deseyvyng of the Qhwens subgettes, sellyng of ryngs for golde and was
nodur seylver nor golde but cowper, the wyche he has deseyved money;
thys was done in Chepe." Also on July 3rd in the same year, "A man was
wypyd abowtt the post of reformacyon (a very good name) be the standard
in Chepsyd for sellyng of false ryngs."

The year 1557 was a glorious one for householders, for on September 5th
in that year "was a proclamasyon mad that the bochers of London shold
selle beyffe and moton and velle, the best for a penny fordyng the
pound, and nekes and legges at iii fordynges the pound, and the lambe
the quorter viiid., and yff they wyll not thay loysse ther fredom for
ever and ever."

The fire brigade of 1557 was on a very moderate scale as compared with
that of the present year of grace, and the members had charitable and
religious duties imposed on them which the brigade of modern times
would scarcely consider as coming within the sphere of their duty.
We read: "Jan. 7th, 1556-7, in Chosdwener Street Word a bellman was
appointed to go round the ward and ring his bell at the strett ends in
case of fire, and to helpe the powre (poor) and pray for the ded."



Index.


  Abbey of St. Mary of Graces, 208;
    abbots of, 216

  Aldgate, 22;
    churches, 181;
    attacked, 192;
    barons in, 190

  Aldersgate Street, 118;
    Aldersgate, 24;
    churches, etc., 123

  Amusements, 285

  Anne of Bohemia, 55

  Annesley, Samuel, 112

  Artillery company, 93

  Audley, Sir Thomas, 193


  Bailly, Harry, 169

  Bakers punished, 48

  Bancroft, Francis, 108

  Basset, Fulco, 262

  Baynard's Castle, 232

  Bishop, a brave old London, 262

  Bishopgate, 26;
    in charge of Hanseatic merchants, 27

  Bishopsgate Street, 76

  Boadicea, 3

  Braybrooke, Robert de, Bishop of London, 249

  Brember, Sir Nicholas, 236

  Bridgegate, 31

  British village, the, 2

  Burning heretics, 276

  Butchers' price of meat fixed, 290


  Canterbury pilgrims, 170

  Canute attacks London, 13

  Charter, the Conqueror's, 220

  Chaucer and the Tabard, 165

  Churches, 35, 38, 43, 80, 81, 86, 87, 126, 127, 146, 181, 188, 195

  Conduits, 37

  Convent of St. Clare, 197

  Cooks, 136

  Cooper, Sir Astley, 145

  Coronation, Queen Eleanor, 44

  Cottage hospitals, 195

  Cripplegate, 28

  Cromwell family, 84-5

  Crosses and images burnt, 277

  Crosby, Sir John, 99

  Crown Field, 36

  Curfew, 36, 125


  D'Albret, Sir Perducas, 241

  Diarist, an old London, 269

  Ditch, London, 20

  Dowgate, 26

  Drowning, execution by, 229

  Dunmow flitch, 224


  Edward III. in peril, 208-9, 236

  Eleanor Cross, the, 38, 71

  Excise Office, 159

  Executions, 37;
     _re_ Wyatt's rebellion, 274


  Falcasius and the justice, 250

  Fauconbridge, 23

  Fires, incendiary, 138;
    bellman at, 290

  Fitzwalter, Baron, of Baynard's Castle, 219;
    service and privileges, 225-6

  Foreign merchants, 27, 61-64

  Funerals, 278


  Gates, 5, 22

  Glass, 149

  Gloucester, Duke of, 241-4

  Gresham, Sir Thomas, 104;
    Sir John, funeral, 280

  Grossers' Company, 238


  Helwood, Peter, 128

  Henry III., 46

  Henry VI., 56

  Henry VIII., 57-60

  Hoadley, Benjamin, 148

  Holbein, Hans, 189

  Holdsworth, Richard, 147

  Hostelries, 136-8

  Howard, Lord Edward, 65

  Houses, historic, 99, 102-4, 106, 131-6, 143-6;
    religious, and chapels, 87, 110-11, 113-15, 130, 153

  Howell, James, 150

  Hurricane, A.D. 1091, 35


  Iconoclasm, 276

  Inns, 96

  Inscription, curious, 10


  James I. enters London, 139

  Jews, usury, massacre, etc., 49, 50;
    synagogue, 115

  Joscelyne, Ralph, _re_ walls, 17


  Katherine of Valois, 55

  Knighten Guild, 185

  Knollys, Hansard, 114

  Knowles, Sir Robert, 241


  Leathersellers' Company, 93;
    charters, 94;
    halls, 95

  Lollards, 259

  London, pillaged, 4;
    fortified, A.D. 1643, 19;
    Roman remains, 77

  Longbeard, W. Fitzosbert, 42

  Lord Mayor's Day, 66

  Louis XIV., anecdote, 91

  Lud, King, 25

  Ludgate, 25

  Lydgate, 39


  Machyn, Henry, 269;
    diary, extracts from, 274

  Marching watch, 56-60

  Margaret of Anjou, pageant, 55

  Matilda the Fair, 222-3

  Matilda, Queen, 179

  May Day, the Evil, 62

  Mayors and aldermen, 122

  Merchants' lecture, 156

  Miracle plays, 257

  Moorgate, 30


  Nevil, Sir Thomas, 192

  Newgate, 28;
    John Offrem's escape, 29

  Norman, Prior, 183, 186

  Norman, Sir John, 67


  Old Bishopsgate, 116

  Old Broad Street, 142;
    public buildings in, 161

  Old Jewry, 48


  Pageants, 55, 68, 281

  Pamphlets, 73

  Papey, the, 87

  Paulet, Sir William, 144

  Pawnbrokers, 195

  Pestilence, 191

  Pickaxe Street, 118

  Pillory, 276-7

  Pinder, Sir Paul, 101

  Pinmakers, 152

  Plantagenet, Edmund, 200

  Post Office, 99

  Praed, 97

  'Prentices, 39

  Printers and publishers, 140

  Priory and Hospital of Bethlehem, 88

  Priory and Hospital of the Holy Trinity, 178

  Punishment, 287


  Radcot Bridge, affair of, 246

  Richard II., 237

  Riots, goldsmiths' and tailors', 51

  Roman Catholicism—Queen Mary—275

  Roman remains, 77

  Royal Society, the, 105


  Seals, St. Helen's, 83;
    St. Mary of Graces, 217

  Scott, John, D.D., 148

  Sildham, 54

  St. Augustine's, 153

  St. Bartholomew, fracas at, 265

  St. Clare, 199

  St. Mary Spital, 86

  St. Paul's, 256


  Tabard, the, 166

  Temple Bar, 32

  Thames, Valley of the, 1

  Tombs, St. Botolph, 81;
    St. Helen, 84

  Tournament in Cheapside, 52

  Traitors' quarters exposed, 122

  Tresilian, Sir Robert, 245

  Trinity Hall, 129

  Tyler, Wat, slain, 240-1


  Villeins, 212


  Walls of London, 3-18

  Walworth, Lord Mayor, 241

  Wardhoke, 164

  Wesley, John, 130

  Wesleys, the, 112

  Wife, sale of a, 289

  William builds the Tower, 14

  Workhouse founded, 107

  Wyclif, 254


       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's Notes


Italic text is denoted by _underscores_

Minor punctuation and printer errors repaired.

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully
as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other
inconsistencies.





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