Historical Gazetteer of London Before the Great Fire Cheapside; Parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St Mary Le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane. Originally published by Centre for Metropolitan History, London, 1987.
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Thirteenth to sixteenth century
In 1231 John de Pelham son of William de Pelham granted to Richard Derkyn, spicer, a plot of land in the parish of All Hallows Honey Lane, lying to the E. of Richard's own land (probably that in St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street parish), bounded to the N. by William Joymer's land (4 or 5) and to the S. by the land of Joceus son of Peter Serlon (2). The land measured 17 1/2 ells of the king's iron ell (52 ft. 6 in.; 16 m.) in length, 5 1/2 ells (16 ft. 6 in.; 5.03 m.) in width at the N. end, and 6 1/2 ells (19 ft. 6 in.; 5.94 m.) at the S. end. John warranted it to Richard for the service of 1 lb. cumin or 2d. at Michaelmas, and Richard gave him £8. The property subsequently passed to John de Berkyng, whose executors sold it to Elias and Emma de Honilane. Emma left it, now described as a tenement, by her will proved in 1307 to her son Ralph and his issue, with remainder for sale by her executors; Adam ad Arcus or de Arcubus was living there. The property of Ralph de Honilane, vintner, was delivered to Richard de Dorsete, corder, in 1307, to recover a debt of £19; it included a messuage, two shops, and a cellar in All Hallows Honey Lane, which Adam de Arcubus occupied, worth £3 yearly, less £1. 4s. to the chief lords of the fee and 6s. 8d. repairs. Ralph also by this time owned the cellar under the church, valued at £3. 6s. 8d.; whether it was associated with the ownership of 3 in the 13th century or earlier is not clear. (fn. 1)
In his will proved in 1315 Ralph left his house, cellar, and the advowson of All Hallows Honey Lane for sale by his executors, on condition that Lucy le Medewif should continue to hold the shop she had for life at 10s. rent. However, as he died without issue, Emma's surviving executors William and John de Honilane claimed the property; in 1316 they complained that Roger de Frowyk was detaining it from them. Roger's interest, with Idonea his wife, seems to have been in a £12 quit-rent granted them by Ralph, charged on his tenements in All Hallows Honey Lane; in 1317 they quitclaimed in this to Simon Crepping who now held the tenements. In 1316, however, Emma's executors seem to have made an effective grant of the tenement to William de Hoddesdon. (fn. 2)
William de Hoddesdon, citizen and apothecary, granted the tenement with houses sometime of Elias and Emma de Honilane, which he had acquired from Emma's executors, to Thomas de Maryns, citizen and apothecary, in 1339. It lay between 2 to the S., 4 and the cemetery of All Hallows to the N., Honey Lane to the E. and the tenement sometime of John Derkyn and now of William de Pountfreyt (in St. Mary Magdalen parish) to the W. It also included a little cellar, 4 ells by 5 3/4 ells (12 ft by 17 ft. 3 in.; 3.66 m. by 5.26 m.) and 4 ells 2 in. in height (12 ft. 2 in.; 3.71 m.) which lay in the N. of the tenement, extending from the tenement in question under the tenement of William Pountfreyt. Later in that year de Maryn let to William de Hoddesdon and Dionisia his wife the solars and easements over the cellar of his own tenement which he had by their grant in the parish, to hold while he built two mansiones on the said tenement; at his own cost halfway through the time of rebuilding he was to find them other houses suitable for them to dwell in, and when the two new houses were complete he would let them have one of them for life, for services to the chief lords and for a rose at midsummer. (fn. 3)
De Hoddesdon's widow Dionisia was holding tenements in All Hallows Honey Lane for life in 1349, when Thomas de Maryns left the reversion of the same, and all his lands in London, to his own wife Dionisia for life; after the deaths of both Dionisias his executors were to sell the tenement he had acquired of William de Hoddesdon, with the stone and new timber bought to repair it. In 1350 de Maryns' executors, who included his widow, sold the tenement and cellar, described as in 1339, to John de Mareys, servant of the king. It may be doubted whether the repairs proposed by Thomas de Maryns in 1339 had been carried out: though the property was described as a tenement with houses in 1350, in 1356 it was sold by de Mareys to John de Bovyndon, citizen and apothecary, as a plot of land with appurtenances, 'as it is enclosed within stone walls.' The bounds were 3 to the S., 4 and the cemetery of All Hallows to the N., Honey Lane to the E. and the tenement of William de Wircester (in St. Mary Magdalen parish) to the W. the grant also included the 'little cellar' 4 ells by 5 3/4 ells under the tenement of Wircester. (fn. 4)
John de Bovyndon, in a codicil to his will of 1361, left this plot of land with stone walls to his wife Katharine for life, with remainder to his children and their heirs and ultimately for sale. Katharine was in possession in 1364, holding for life with reversion to John de Bovyndon her son, when she compounded with Merton Priory for arrears and future payment of the 10s. quit- rent with which the plot was charged. By 1372 John, Thomasina, and Margery, children of the first John de Bovyndon, had died without heirs, and Katharine as executrix of John the father, her late husband, with her present husband John (de) Furneys or Fourneys, citizen and draper, sold the plot with houses on it to Adam Fraunceys, John Osekyn, and John Maryns, citizens and merchants. The rector of All Hallows Honey Lane, John English, to whom the ultimate power of sale after Katharine's death had been left by de Bovyndon, confirmed this sale. In 1374 Fraunceys and Maryns (Osekyn presumably having died) granted the same lands and tenements to John Furneys and Katharine and the heirs of John for ever. (fn. 5)
John Furneys died before 1396, when John Poydras, clerk, Richard Brendwode, citizen and draper, Walter Brigham and John Hegge, possibly his executors or trustees, proposed to found a chantry at the altar of St. Mary in the church of All Hallows Honey Lane, for the souls of John Furneys, Katharine his wife, Thomas de Broghton, clerk, William Slene, clerk, Adam Fraunceys, John Oskyn and Isabel his wife, and John Furneys' parents, relations and benefactors. The chantry was to be endowed with the messuage in Honey Lane, worth 6s. 8d. clear, and with lands in Beech Lane, St. Giles Cripplegate, worth 26s. 8d. clear. Licence was granted in 1396, but the property may not have been granted immediately: John Whatele, mercer, granted the lands late of John Furneys in All Hallows Honey Lane and St. Giles Cripplegate to Alexander Sprot, Thomas Barwe, and John Crouchere, citizens and vintners, William Burton, citizen and grocer, Richard Jepe, rector of All Hallows Honey Lane, John Curteys, esquire, and Richard Brendewode, in 1403. The last-named 3 died and Barwe, Crouchere, and Burton released their right therein to Sprot in 1430. They may all have been holding in trust for John Furneys' purpose with intent to convey the premises in mortmain by will: Sprot, by a will of 1430 (proved 1439) referring only to this property, devised it to Master Robert Oppy, rector of All Hallows, John Norman and William Hervy, churchwardens, and the parishioners, to hold for ever and to find a chaplain celebrating daily at St. Mary's or St. Thomas' altar in the church, for the souls of John Furneys, Amina and Katharine his wives, his ancestors, and Sprot himself. (fn. 6)
The parishioners were impleaded by the parishioners of St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street, owners of the tenement to the W., in 1476, for damage to the party wall, a stone wall 2 ft. 6 in. (0.76 m.) wide, stretching 10 ft. 6 in. (3.2 m.) N.-S. from the tenement of Thomas Frowyk (4). The defendants had broken and bruised the wall and were ordered to restore it. The parish continued to hold the property until the Reformation, but the only quit-rent then still being paid, of the £1. 4s. charges mentioned in 1307, was 10s. to Merton Priory. In an account for the priory of 1537-8 this was said to come from the tenement called Hoddesdens in the parish of 'Honnychurch' which the churchwardens held. (fn. 7)
Henry Phylippes was probably the tenant of 3 in 1544, when he was assessed for subsidy on goods valued at £30 in this parish. In the chantry inquiry of 1546 the parish held by the will of Alexander Sprot a house in Honey Lane let at £3. 6s. 8d., tenements in Cripplegate let at £3. 10s. and a quit-rent of £4 in St. Peter Wood Street. The charges on the properties totalled £8. 13s. 10d., excluding repairs. In 1548 the rent in Wood Street, already much in arrears, was omitted from the valuation, and the charges exceeded the income. Henry Phillips, haberdasher, was the tenant in Honey Lane by lease at £3. 6s. 8d. rent in 1548, when the property was sold to William Boxe, grocer, for £53. 6s. 8d. (16 years' purchase), quit of all charges. (fn. 8)
Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
William Boxe, citizen and alderman, granted the property to Nicholas Backhouse, citizen and grocer, in 1572, and in 1573 quitclaimed in it, with his wife Anne, describing it as a tenement or messuage with houses, shops, cellars, solar(s) and curtilages, late in the tenure of Henry Phillips and now or late in the tenure of Thomas Thirkins. Backhouse, who had bought 2 to the S. from John Eccleston, goldsmith, in 1562, died in 1580. This property, described as a messuage and tenement in the parish of All Hallows Honey Lane, late in the tenure of Thomas Thickens, was said to be held in free burgage and valued at £3. 6s. 8d. p.a. (fn. 9)
By his will of 1576, proved 1580, Nicholas divided 2 and 3 again, leaving 2 to his eldest son Samuel, and 3 to his third son Roland and his heirs in tail. In 1608 Basil Nicole and Lawrence Littler, gentlemen, recovered a messuage in the parish of All Hallows Honey Lane against Roland Backhouse, possibly in order to break the entail. Roland Backhouse, citizen and mercer, held the property in 1626, when he created certain trusts for his children, by indenture with Sir John Backhouse, K.B., Sir Maurice Abbott of London, kt., and Simon Wood, citizen and merchant tailor, concerning this property and others. He revoked these trusts in 1634. The occupants and tithe payers in 1638 appear to have been Mr. Lane, with a house worth £10 p.a., and Mrs. Wren, with a house and shop worth £10 p.a. Mr. Lane also had a shop in Cheapside but this was probably part of 2. Roland Backhouse, alderman, died in 1648, aged 90, survived by his wife Elizabeth (d.,1664), and son Nicholas (d.1650). In 1660 Nicholas' son William Backhouse (created baronet later in 1660), together with Elizabeth, Roland's widow, leased 2 to Edward Griffith, citizen and clothworker, for 51 years at £26 rent, with repairs to the tenant, describing it as a messuage with shops, cellars, and warehouses in Honey Lane, in the occupation of Griffith or his undertenants. Sir William Backhouse married his second cousin, Flower, widow of William Bishop (d.1661), and daughter of William Backhouse of Swallowfield (Berks.), to whom 2 descended on her father's death in 1662. (fn. 10) In 1662 and 1666 John English, silkman, occupied a house with 6 hearths; Nathaniel Pockocke occupied one with 4 hearths in 1662, and Matthew Pockocke the same one in 1666. These 2 houses probably comprised 3, but could also have included part of what was originally 2 as well.
After the great fire
In 1668 a double foundation was surveyed for Mr. Griffith in Cheapside and Honey Lane, the S. part of which probably represented 2 and the N. part the greater part of 3. This N. part of the double foundation measured 33 ft. 8 in. (10.26 m.) N.-S. and 18 ft. 6 in. (5.64 m.) E.-W. at the N. end. Another unlocated piece of land was measured for Griffith in 1669, consisting of a plot 22 ft. (6.71 m.) N.-S. and 16 ft. (4.88 m.) E.-W. at the N. end, with a vault to the W. measuring 11 ft. (3.35 m.) N.-S. and 16 ft. (4.88 m.) E.-W. These 2 plots added together measured 55 ft. 8 in. (16.97 m.) N.-S., by something over 18 ft. 6 in. (5.64 m.) wide at the S. end and 16 ft. (4.88 m.) at the N. end, and correspond quite well with the dimensions of the land John de Pelham granted to Richard Derkyn in 1231 (52 ft. 6 in. long by 19 ft. wide at the S. end and 16 ft. 6 in. wide at the N. end; 16 m. by 5.79 m. at the S. and 5.03 m. at the N.). The vault is also similar in size to the cellar extending W. of the tenement measured in 1339 (12 ft. by 17 ft. 3 in.; 3.66 m. by 5.26 m.). (fn. 11) The plot and vault measured in 1669 were laid into Honey Lane market, though the area from the dimensions given in the survey (528 sq. ft.; 49.05 sq. m.) is less than that for which Griffith was compensated (604 sq. ft.; 56.11 sq. m.): a part of the land surveyed in 1668 may also have been laid into the market. (fn. 12)
Griffith had rebuilt the messuage on the remaining part of the plot at his own cost by June 1671, when he came to an agreement over costs with his landlords, Henry Hyde, Lord Cornbury, and his wife Dame Flower, widow of Sir William Backhouse, Bt. (d.1669), who had a life interest by way of dower, and Ezekias King and his wife Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir William Backhouse, and William King their son, the heir in tail. The landlords granted Griffith a lease of 60 years from 1669 at £14 rent, from which he could also recover £33. 6s. 8d. as their contribution. The Fire Court decreed accordingly. (fn. 13)