The Port and Trade of Early Elizabethan London: Documents. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1972.
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1. The Survey of 1559. E. 159/34, rot. 222.
Note: the survey was authorised by letters patent under the exchequer seal, dated 14 June 1559 and addressed to the lord treasurer, his undertreasurer Sir Richard Sackville and the chancellor, Sir Walter Mildmay. The three, or two of them, were required to survey the creeks, wharfs and quays of the port and recommend which should be used for handling cargoes, in accordance with the statute 1 Eliz. I, c. 11. (fn. 1) Their survey and recommendations were recorded in the following schedule or certificate.
The certificate of vs William marques of Winchester lorde treasourer of England Richard Sackevile knight vnderthreasourer of the quenes highnes courte of theschequier at Westminster and Walter Myldemay knight chauncellor of the same courte appoynted and auctorised by the quenes highnes letters patents hereunto annexed for the lymytacon assigninge and appoyntinge of all kayes and wharfes and places apperteyninge and belonginge to the porte of London for the charginge and landinge discharginge vnlodinge and laynge on lande there of wares and merchaundizes accordinge to an Acte of Parliament made and enacted in the Parliament begonne at Westminster the xxiijty day of January in the first yere of the raigne of our soueraigne lady Elizabeth by the grace of God of England France and Ireland Quene defendour of the faithe etc., and there proroged vntil the xxvth day of the same moneth and then and there holden kept and contynued vntill the dissolucon of the same beinge the eight day of May in the said first yere of our said soueraigne lady the quenes majesties reigne. Be it remembred that we the commyssioners aforesaid accordinge to the quenes majesties commyssion to vs directed dated the xiiijth day of June in the yere of her graces reigne above written have the xxiiijth day of August in the firste yere of our said soueraigne lady the quene searched surveyed and vywed by all the wayes and meanes we can all the open places kayes and wharfes and other ladinge and discharginge places for the chardge and dischardge of merchandizes within the porte of London and in all creeks to the same apperteyninge. And vpon deliberate advise by metes and boundes have by thauctorite of the said statute and commyssion aforesaid appointed assigned and limyted the places here vnder written to be open ladinge and discharginge places of wares and merchaundizes accordinge as they be hereafter seuerally lymytted and assigned and all other places of ladinge and dischardginge of wares and merchaundizes heretofore accustomed within the said porte and all creekes and places to the same porte belonginge vtterly to be abolyshed and debarred by force of the said statute and other the premysses. First we have appoynted limitted and assigned by force of the premysses these kayes or places next folowinge that is to say the quenes majesties twoo kayes in London lyenge together at the Custome House there the one called the Newe Wolle Kay otherwise called the Custome House Key conteyninge by estymacon est and west in length fourescore and eleven footes. And from the water of Thames southe and northe in breadeth fourtie and three footes. The other of the quenes kayes is called the Olde Wooll Kay and conteyneth est and west in length one hundreth and seven footes and a half and from the water of Thames south and north in breadeth fortie and eight footes and a half. One other key in London aforesaid called Galley Kay next the Tower of London conteyninge est and west in length one hundreth and fyftene footes and from the water of Thames south and north in breadeth fiftie and one footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Andrewe Morys Kay conteyninge est and west in length threscore footes and from the water of Thames north and south in breadeth fiftie and one footes and a half. One other Kay in London aforesaid called Ambrose Thurstanes Kay conteyninge est and west in length thirtie and twoo footes and from the water of Thames south and north in breadeth twoo and twenty footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Raffs Kay conteyninge est and west in length fourescore footes and from the water of Thames north and south in breadeth xxxviij footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Cocks Kay in the tenure of William Lothbury conteyninge est and west in leingth thre and fiftie footes and from the water of Thames south and north xxxiiij footes eight ynches. One other Kay in London aforesaid called Gybsons Kaye conteyninge est and west in length liij footes and from the water of Thames south and north in breadeth lx footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Haddocks Kay conteyninge est and west in breadeth fiftie and fyve footes and in length from the Ryver of Thames vnto the strete beinge south and north clxxvij footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Dyce Kaye conteyning in length from the water syde to the strete south and north clx footes and in breadeth est and west liiij footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Beare Kay conteyninge est and west by the Thames syde in breadeth xxxij footes and in length from the Thames south and north lxij footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Somers Kaye conteyninge est and west in length lxxiiij footes and from the water of Thames south and north xxx footes. One other kay or wharffe in London called Botolphe Wharffe conteyninge est and west in length lxxviij footes and from the water of Thames south and north fiftie and twoo footes. One other kay in London called Sabbys Kay conteyninge south and north in length Ixxviij footes and est and west in breadeth xxxv footes. One other kay in London called Younges Kaye conteyninge north and south in length twoo hundreth and tenne footes and est and west in breadeth xlvj footes. One other kay in London called Crowne Kay conteyninge est and west in length fiftie and foure footes and from the water of Thames south and north xxxvij footes. One other kay in London aforesaid called Smartes Kaye adioyninge to Byllingesgate conteyninge est and west in breadeth xix footes and from the water of Thames south and north cx footes. And one other wharfe or kay called Freshe Wharfe conteyninge north and south xxxj footes and est and west xlij footes. And one other kay or wharfe called Gaunts Key liynge betwixt the said kayes or wharfs called Cocks Kay and Freshe Wharff conteyninge xxxvj footes euery wey fouer square to be open places for ladinge chardginge or shippinge landinge discharginge and vnladinge of all manner of wares and merchaundizes both inwardes and outwardes within the porte of London. Item we have appoyncted and lymyted by vertue of the premisses one open place called Byllingesgate in London aforesaid conteyninge one the west side from the water of Thames south and north in length clx footes and at thend of the same est and west xl footes and more est and west all the length of the same clx footes it conteyneth fouretene footes in breadeth to be an open place appoyncted for the landinge or bringinge in of any fyshe corne salt stones victualls and fruicts (grocery wares except) and to be a place of carienge furth of the same or the like and for noe other merchaundizes. Item we have further appoyncted assigned and lymyted by vertue of the premysses one place in London aforesaid commonly called the Three Cranes in the Vintre conteyninge from Dunghill Lane on the est towards the west in length cclxj footes and from the water of Thames south and north in breadeth Iviij footes to be an open place for the landinge or dischardginge of all maner of wynes and oyles. And also we have appoincted the same Three Cranes one kay in the tenure and occupacon of Thomas Johnson beinge in the parishe of great Alhallowes in Temmestrete in London conteyninge fourtie footes est and west that is to say from Cosyn lane one the west to the Styllyard on the est and from the water of Thames northwarde twenty footes. And one wharffe or kay called Busshers wharfe beinge above London Bridge in the parish of St. Magnes conteyninge est and west in lengthe Ixxij footes that is to say from the Stockefysshemongers hall one the west vnto Churcheyarde Alley on the east and south and north in breadeth xlviij footes to be open places for the landinge or dischardginge and layenge on lande of any the goodes hereafter ensuynge that is to say pytche tarre flaxe iron waynescotts clapbordes deles ores rasters ashes to make sope osmonds eles cabells halsers hemp stones chests playenge tables and all manner of fyshe and hoppes and to be open places for the shippinge and ladinge of any wollen clothes of the price of sixe poundes or vnder the cloth and conyskynnes and for no other merchaundizes. Item we have further appoincted assigned and lymyted bv vertue of the premisses that the Bridgehouse in Southwarke shalbe an open place for the landinge dischardginge or layenge on lande of any kinde of corne bought and provided or to be bought and provided for the provision of the victuallinge of the citie of London and for no other merchaundizes. Item we have further ordred and appoincted by vertue of the premisses that all sea coles otherwise called Newe Castell coles prouided or to be provided to be caried to the parties of beyonde the seas shall and may be shipped in any place within the porte of London. So that the same coles from tyme to tyme be shipped and laden in the presence of the searcher to and for the quenes highnes her heires and successors within the said porte of London or in the presence of one of his servaunts sworn to serve in that office. Item we have appoynted assigned and lymyted that all manner of beare shipped and to be shipped over the seas by way of merchaundize from any parte of the porte of London shalbe firste entred in the quenes majesties custome bookes in the Custome House within the said porte and then to be shipped or put in any vessell or vessells at any staires or wharffs within the Citie of London Southwarke or St. Katherins in the day tyme in the presence of the quenes majesties searcher of and within the said porte for the tyme beinge or one of his servaunt or servaunts sworne to serve in the said office and that done to be caried over the seas at the pleasure of the owner thereof. Item we have appoynted essigned and lymyted by these presents that all manner of deales bordes clapbordes wainscotts sparres rasters owers corn roddes to make basketts heath to make brushes bricks and salte which shalbe brought vnto any parte of the porte of London shall and may be dischardged and layed on lande in the day tyme at any place within the saide porte of London in the presence of one of the wayters sworne belonginge to the quene Custom Howse of and for the saide porte for the tyme beinge anythinge before remembred to the contrary notwithstandinge. And we have further appoynted assigned and lymyted by vertue of the premysses that the stayers and wharfe or kaye at the house in the Citie of London called the Styllard otherwise Guihalda Theutonicorum shalbe an open place for landinge or shippinge layenge on lande and dischardginge of all manner of wares and merchaundizes apperteyninge and belonginge to any merchaunts of the hanse havinge the said house called the Styllard and free of the same. And that the said merchaunts nor any of them nor any other person or persons for them shall not shippe or put to the water from the said stayers wharfe or kaye any merchaundizes but in the presence of the searcher for the quenes majestie her heires and successors within the porte aforesaid or one of his servaunts nor shall not take vp or discharge or lay on lande any merchaundizes at the same stayers wharfe or kaye but only in the presence of one of the wayters to the said Custome House appeteyninge or belonginge and not to be vsed as a place for the ladinge or dischardginge of any merchaundizes apperteyninge to any other person or persons but only suche as be free of the said house. This order for the Stilliard to endure duringe the pleasure of the quenes majestie her heires and successors and no longer. Item for the better aunsweringe of the revenues of the quenes majesties customs and subsydyes in the porte aforesaid the said commyssyoners have ordred and further appoynted that from and after the feast of Easter next comynge there shall no straunger nor straungers borne whether be or they be or shalbe made denyzen or not aswell inhabyte or be comorante in at or vpon any of the said wharffes or kayes or any parte of theym (the Stillyarde excepte). And that euery tenaunte or keper of euery of the said kayes wharfes and stayers shall from tyme to tyme be bounden in suche some or somes of money to the quenes highnes vse her heires and successors as by the lorde treasourer of England or other officers of the quenes majesties courte of theschequor for the tyme beinge shalbe thought good and convenient vpon condicon that there shalbe no goodes whereof custome or subsidy is or shalbe due layd on lande at their kayes wharfes or stayers or shipped or put from thence vpon the water to be caried ouer the seas by way of merchaundize before the said goodes be entred in the quenes custome bookes in the said porte. And also to be laden in the presence of the said searcher or one of his servaunts for the tyme beinge and dischardged and laide on lande in the presence of one of the said wayters for the tyme beinge. And other articles to be put in the said condicon as to the said treasurer and officers hereafter from tyme to tyme shall seeme good mete and convenient as the case shall require. And that all creeks wharfes kayes ladinge and dischardginge places in Gravesend Wolwyche Barkinge Grenewych Depford Blackewall Lymehouse Ratclyff Wappinge Saynt Katheryns Tower Hill Redderethe Southwerke London Bridge and euery of them. And all and singuler kayes wharfes and other places within the Citie of London and the suburbes of the same citie or ells where within the said porte of London (the seuerall kayes wharfes stayers and places before lymyted and appoynted only except) shalbe from hensfourth no more vsed as ladinge or dischardginge places for merchaundizes but be vtterly debarred and abolyshed from the same for ever by force of the said statute and other the premysses. In wytnes whereof we the commyssioners aforesaid to thies presents have put to our seales the xxviijth day of August in the yere aforesaid.
2. The Legal Quays. E. 178/7075.
Note: the following document was drawn up in 1584 when the extent of the 'legal' port of London was re-examined. (fn. 2)
3. Notes on the Legal Quays.
The quays are listed in the order as they lay west of Tower Dock.
Galley Quay. Owned by the Marowe family from the fifteenth century at least until 1538, (fn. 3) it was acquired by alderman Sir Ralph Warren and on his death in 1553 by his son Richard, who was leasing it out in 1582 for £80 a year. It then had a crane and a jibbet. (fn. 4) The quay did not extend right up to Tower Dock: there were several quays to the west which may have been too small to be authorised as legal quays in 1559. Later, however, they were merged into Brewers and Chesters Quays, which were authorised lading and landing places when the port was surveyed in 1667 after the Great Fire. (fn. 5)
Old Wool Quay. One of the oldest quays in London (dating back at least to the thirteenth century) it took its name from the wool-fleets which used to land there. The crown bought it in 1556 for £400 from the coopers' company which had acquired it four years earlier from a member, John Charley, who was trustee of the estate of Nicholas Gibson, the owner on his death in 1540. (fn. 6) The crown's tenant in 1582 was John Porter who paid £22 a year rental.
Custom House Quay. Also called New Wool Quay, it was purchased by the crown in 1558 from the heir of Phillip Linne of Bassingbourn for £600. (fn. 7) The rental in 1582 was £40 a year. The quay then had two jibbets. Subsequently it returned to private ownership, as did the Old Wool Quay. (fn. 8)
Greenberries Quay. Known also as the Andrew Morrice Quay, it was acquired by the fishmongers' company in 1518 as part of the bequest of Sir Thomas Kneseworth's estate. It was then named after the owner but had been given the name Greenberries, presumably from a tenant, by 1550. (fn. 9) The lessee in 1582 was John Porter, who was also tenant of the fishmongers' adjacent Crown Quay. By 1666 the two quays had been merged into one, named after Porter: as such it was known until the company disposed of the property to the crown in the eighteenth century. (fn. 10) In Porter's time the rent was £24; the quay then had 'a good crane'.
Crown Quay. Also acquired by the fishmongers, with Greenberries Quay, in 1518; and also leased to John Porter in 1582. Porter sub-let for £40 a year. The quay, used only for coastal traffic in corn and wood in 1559, had acquired a jibbet by 1582 and was used 'for merchaundize'.
Bear Quay. The property of the heirs of Sir William Roche (d. 1549), it had a jibbet in 1582 but was considered 'very unfitt for merchaundize'. The deputy searcher had his office on this quay.
Thrustans Quay. Or Ambrose Thurstons Quay, it was owned in 1582 by William Page who leased it for £50 a year. It had one jibbet. By the time of the Great Fire it had apparently lost its separate identity. (fn. 11)
Sabbes Quay. The property of Widow Bulley in 1582 with a rental of £50. It had a jibbet but was described as being 'very vnfitt to be vsed for marchaundize'.
Gibsons Quay. Formerly called Asselynes Wharf after John Asselyne, who owned it in 1366, it was purchased by Sir Christopher Draper a few years before the survey of 1559. (fn. 12) The quay, with one jibbet, was let in 1582 for £50 a year to William Wiggens. It was subsequently known by his name.
Yongs Quay. Worth £52 a year in rent, the quay was owned in 1582 by Richard Warren, heir of Sir Ralph Warren (d. 1553). It had a jibbet.
Raffs Quay. The property in 1582 of a Mr. Hearsdon who received £100 a year in rent. The quay had a crane and jibbet.
Dyse Quay. Owned by James Bacon who inherited from his father, alderman James Bacon, in 1573. The alderman had bought it for £900 from Robert Brittein, who presumably acquired the property from William Breton, the owner in 1559. (fn. 13) The quay, described in 1582 as being 'open without protection', was used almost entirely by coasters. The tenant was alderman William Webb.
Old Thrustons Quay. Also called Haddocks Quay, it was owned in 1582 by alderman Webb who leased out part of the property with Dyse Quay for £40.
Smarts Quay. This quay ran along the east side of Billingsgate. When surveyed in 1559 it was in private hands, (fn. 14) but by 1582 it had apparently become the property of the city chamber. It was then described as being 'very vnfitt for merchandize'.
Billingsgate. A 'common key or place' (fn. 15) Billingsgate was described by Stow as 'a large Watergate, Port or Harbrough for shippes and boats, commonly arriuing there with fish, . . . Orenges, Onions and other fruits and rootes, wheat, Rie and grain of diuers sortes . . .'. (fn. 16) The landing places for these cargoes were on the west-side and at the head of the harbour. (fn. 17)
Sommers Quay. Adjoining Billingsgate on the west-side, it was also owned in 1582 by the city chamber. It had a jibbet.
Buttolphe Wharf. Owned by the city chamber and leased to the Russia company. (fn. 18) It had a crane.
Cocks Quay. The owner in 1573 was Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex, who leased it to Lawrence Cockson, haberdasher. The rental in 1582 was £70 a year. The quay then had a jibbet. The Cookes subsequently sold the property to Robert and Edward Thurston. (fn. 19)
Gaunts Quay. About the time of the 1559 survey Gaunts Quay was owned by John Cheyne of Amersham, Buckinghamshire. In 1562 Vincent Ancotts, a fishmonger of London, acquired the quay from Cheyne as part of a property exchange. (fn. 20) The quay was small and ill-equipped.
Fresh Wharf. The last of the legal quays east of London Bridge In 1582 Sir Roger Manwood was owner; his will in 1597 also mentions the wharf. (fn. 21) The rental was £100. The wharf had a jibbet.
Busshers Wharf. This wharf or quay was probably one of two wharves which were part of a property owned in 1559 by Thomas Carter. His tenant was a Christopher Bussher. (fn. 22) There are no further references to the wharf, but Stow does mention two which were in the same area— Drinkwater and Fish wharves. (fn. 23)
The Steelyard. Containing the Hansards' Guildhall and wharf. An Elizabethan plan of the Steelyard shows stairs and a crane. (fn. 24)
Thomas Johnsons Quay. Like Busshers Wharf there is no mention of Johnsons Quay after 1559. It must have been virtually an extension of the Steelyard.
Three Cranes Wharf. The largest lading and landing place in the port. Its exact location is obscure since Dunghill lane, its eastern boundary according to the 1559 survey, is difficult to identify. A Dunghill wharf or stairs lay near to Anchor lane, (fn. 25) but this could not be the lane of the survey unless it is assumed that the surveyors had confused east for west. Otherwise the land must have been east of Three Cranes lane, which is shown on contemporary maps (e.g. the 'Agas' map and Wyngaerde's 'view') as separating one of the cranes from the other two.
Bridgehouse, Southwark. The only authorised landing place on the south bank, the Bridgehouse stood close to St. Olave's Church on the Thamesside. In Tudor times it had important connexions with the grain trade, providing granaries for storage, ovens for baking as well as landing places. (fn. 26)