London Viewers and their Certificates, 1508-1558: Certificates of the Sworn Viewers of the City of London. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1989.
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CORPORATION OF LONDON RECORDS OFFICE MISC. MSS BOX 91 [A] (Envelope marked 'Viewers' Certificates circa 1508')
The envelope contains five certificates. All are undated and only one (3) has a visible endorsement: 21 June 1 Henry VIII (1509). It is impossible to know their exact chronological order, although a rough order can be imposed based on the names of the viewers and other internal evidence.
1. [A.1; undated; between 22 October 1479 and 6 December 1500] (fn. 1) To the right honourable lord and worshipfull sovereynes the Mayer and Aldermen of the Noble Citee of London
Shewen unto your honourable lordship and discrete Wisedomes Thomas Wade John Burton Robert Crosby and Thomas Mauncell, the fower maysters of Fremasons and carpenters sworn to the said Citee, That where they were late charged by your honourable comaundement to oversee a Noysaunce of a Wall of stone & breeke beyng part therof under the plates of the side of a ten[emen]t now pertayning to Robt Tate of London, Alderman, sett & beyng in the parissh of Seynt Mighell Pater Noster beside the Vyntree in London and [another] parte of the said Wall beyng sett and fixed in the void grounde hereafore beyng ten[emen]tes next adioynyng thereto, now beyng perteyning to the Wardeyns and [Fellowship] of the Craft of Vyntners of the Citee of London. And the said wall is in variance betwene the same Robt Tate on the oon partie and the said Wardeyns and Felaship of Vyntners on the other partie, Which Noysaunce the same iiii maisters by oon assent will and agrement of the said parties have serched seen and ripely examyned by all their discrecions. And thereupon they say that they fynde the same Wall New made to thentent behove and ease aswele of the same tenement perteynyng to the same Robt Tate As of the same voide grounde . . . ten[emen]ts perteyning to the said Wardeyns and Felaship. Also the said iiii maisters say that they fynde by all their discrecions as all manner Lightes there owe to be contynewed reserved . . . kept . . . as of old tyme have been accustomed and used unto the ease profit and Wele of both the parties on lesse than ther can be shewed any evidence or specialtie unto the contrary. Also they fynde by their discrecions that the said Wall conteyneth in length by measure in the Este there stretchyng by the side of the grete ten[emen]t there of . . . Robt Tate now in the tenure of the Felaship of Inneholders from a principall post in a part of the ten[emen]t Brewhouse next adioynyng to the said Wall set & beyng in the parish of
Alhalowes the More beside Dowgate in Theamstrete of London, unto the comon lande there called the Bowe lane in the West, xxxv fote ix ynches and an half of assyse. Also they fynde by measure the said voide ground stretchyng on the Est side thereof from the north to the South to a corner post there perteynyng to a ten[emen]t belongyng to the Abbot and Covent of the [place] of Our Lady of Grace beside the Tower Hill xlvi fote & iii ynches of assise. Also they fynde by measure the same voide grounde stretchyng by the Southsyde from the Este to the West to the said lane called Bowe Lane xlvii fote vi ynches. And an half of assise. And also they fynde the same voide grounde by measure strechyng in the same Bow Lane from the South to the North xlvi fote x ynches and an half of assise.
2. [A.2; undated]
To the full noble lord and Right Worshipfull Soverains the Mare and Aldermen of the Citee of London
Shewen unto your good lordship and maisterships Thomas Wade John Burton Robert Crosby and William Chacom, the four maisters of Masons and Carpenters sworn to the seid Citee [that where they were late] charged by your honorable comaundement to oversee a noysaunce in the parish of Seint Sepulcre without Newgate of london betwene Robert Laverok, John Goldyngton, Sadiller, William Heyward . . . Baker, wardeyns of the Fraternite of our lady and seint John Baptist founded in the parissh Churche of Seint Sepulcre aforesaid, plaintifs on that oon partie, and John Walden, Gentilman, defendant on the other partie, Whiche noysaunce the seid iiii maisters have serched sene and ripely examined by their alther discrecions And thereupon they say that they fynde there how the seid defendant hath buryed a Foreyn . . . a Siege, in the West part of his Gardyn abuttyng upon a Stonewall belonging to the seid plaintifs. And the seid iiii maisters seyen also by their alther discrecions that the seid Foreyn hath a . . . wall and caused it to go down and so it hath put the housyng of the seid plaintifs stondyng upon their seid stone wall in iepde [jeopardy] of fallyng down contrary to the constitucions of this honorable Citee . . . Furthermore that the seid defendant by their discrecions owed not to have buryed his seid Foreyn ageynst the seid stonewall without he had made a lawfull defence upon hym self to defende the seid . . . of lesse thanne he have or can shewe any evidence or specialte unto the contrarie.
3. [A.3] (fn. 2) 21 June 1509
To the full honourable lord and right wise sovereignes the maire of [sic] Aldermen of the Citie of London
Shewen unto your good lordship and wise discretions Thomas Wade Thomas Smart John Hilmer and Philip Cosyn the iiii Maisters of Fremasons & Carpenters sworne to the [said City that whereas they were] late charged by your honorable commaundement to oversee a gate hows with certayn grounde therto perteyning set & being in the parisshe of seynt Andrew Undershaft . . . belonging to Henry Hichecok of London, Baker, partie playntif, being in variance betwene the same Henry on that oon partie and Robert Fenrother of london, Goldsmith . . . Pasteler, defendauntes on that other partie. Whiche gate hows and grounde the same iiii maisters have seen serched and examyned by all their discretions and . . . Gatehows ys in brede Est and West by the kynges high wey there xii fote ii ynches of assise perteynyng and belongyng all the same . . . to the same party [plaintiff] . . . poste there the grounde stretching in length Northward xxxiiti fote & vii ynches of assise. Also they say from a south Est poste there the grounde . . . lengeth . . . ynches of assise. And they say at the ende of the saide length upon bothe sides of the same grounde there it is in brede xi fote & x ynches belonging to the . . . that the same xxxiiti fote & vii ynches of lengith Northwarde the said grounde stretcheth in lengith upon the bothe sides of the same grounde xxti fote & fyve ynches . . . north part of the same grounde xi fote & ii ynches and a half of assise belonging to the same partie playntif. All the lengith and bredeth afore rehersed line right and plombe . . . or specialties shewed unto the contrary.
Endorsed: Importat[ur] ista bill[a] xxi Junii A[nn]o r[egni] r[egis] Henrfici] VIII primo
4. [A.4; undated]
To the right honourable lord maire of this Citee of London and to his Bretheryn Aldermen of the same Citee
In right humble wyse shewen unto your good lordship and wyse discrecions Thomas Wade Thomas Smart John Helmer and Philip Cosyn, the iiii maisters of Fremasons and Carpenters sworn to the said Citie that whereas they . . . comaunded by your honourable comaundment to oversee a variance now beyng between Maist[er] Nicholas Mattok, Chamberleyn of the Citie of London, and the comonaltie of the Warde of Dowgate in London in the . . . right . . . and Comons of the said Citie, playntyfes on the oon partie, And the Wardeyns and Felaship of the Craft of Dyers of the said Citie of London, defendauntes on the other partie, touchyng to a certeyn ground . . . the edificacion upon the same, late . . . [Robert] Tate, Alderman, now perteyning to the same Craft and Felaship of Dyers in the parish of Alhallowes the Little in Theamstreet of London within the Warde of Dowgate aforesaid being next adioining to the comon hall of the said Craft and [Felaship of Dyers] on the Est parte, and the landes and ten[emen]ts perteyning to Roger Lee, Gentilman, on the West partie. The which grounde the same iiii maisters have seen examyned and serched by all their discretions. And thereupon they say that the said . . . the Theames side upon the South partie xxxviiiti fote and i ynches of assyse and so stretchyng in length Northwest lixti fote fyve ynches of assise. And the said ground . . . xxxti fote . . . and strechyng . . . in length strechyng Northward viiixx and ix fote of assise. And the said grounde is in brede East and West xix fote iiii ynches of assise and ys from the said . . . strechyng in length . . . Thamestrete hundredth and six fote of assyse. And the said grounde is in brede East and West xviii fote Which forsaid grounde so beyng in variance . . . belongyth to the foresaid Craft or Felaship of Dyers Without there can be any other evydence or specialtie shewed to the contrary.
5. [A.5; undated]
To the full honourable lord the Mayre and Aldermen of the Citie of London
Shewen unto your good Lordship and discrete wysedomes Thomas Wade Thomas Smart John Helmer and Philip Cosyn the iiii maisters of the Fremasons and Carpenters [sworne to the said Citie that where] as they were late charged by your honourable comaundement to oversee a . . . in the parish of Alhalows the . . . of London in the . . . variance bitwene Thomas Bulstrode, Gentilman, and William Grene . . . defendant on the other partie, Which stonewalle the said iiii maisters have . . . by all their discretions . . . that the said stone wall is . . . defendant strechyng in length from the Kynges highwey there Eastward . . . to the place called the . . . Stywards [?Inn] . . . the said stone wall as it is nowe builded and edefied from the Northside of the said [?stonewall] . . . all the said length in thyknes xxiiii ynches of assyse. Also they say that plaintiff oweth to withdraw his wall from the Southside of the aforesaid stonewall perteyning to the partie defendant all the said length of xxvii [?fote]. . . defendant may make his said stone Wall all the said lengith, lyne right and plome. Also the said iiii maisters say that . . . to bere his own house withoute there can be any other evydence or specialtie shewed to the contrary.