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 and fourteenth centuries
Between 1220 and 1222 Matthew Blund, who held 26, granted a row of 8 stone shops in front of it to Clerkenwell Priory. 32A was probably the second stone shop from the W., with solar over, measuring 2 1/4 ells 1 in. (6 ft. 10 in.; 2.08 m.) in width in front and 5 1/8 ells (15 ft. 4 1/2 in.; 4.69 m.) in length. The priory probably granted all 8 shops out again, reserving quit-rents of 13s. 4d. from each. This shop seems to have been held at some time in the mid 13th century by Alexander le Ferun, who left it to his son Alexander. In a deed dating probably from the third quarter of the 13th century Alexander le Ferun (the son) quitclaimed to his brother John le Ferun in a quit-rent in Candlewick Street, and in a shop with 2 solars in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch which he had by his father's will. In the late 14th century it is clear that 32A included the solar(s) over 32B, and that may have been the case as early as this. John le Ferroun's will was proved in 1278, but he may have died earlier, as 32A (the shop to the E. of 31) was said to be late of John son of Alexander le Ferun in 1274. In his will John le Ferroun left rents from 27-31 for a chantry in St. Stephen Walbrook and all his other lands, rents, and tenements to his wife Margery, as dower and legacy. In 1298 Margery widow of John le Ferron' held 32A. By 1306 it had been acquired by Walter de Reylegh, citizen and tawyer (allutarius), who in his will proved in that year left his stone shop in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, between 31 to the W. and 33 (sic) to the E., to his wife Agatha for life with remainder to his son Simon. If Simon and the other children did not survive Agatha, the properties were to be sold. He also left 25C-D in the same way. In 1306 the owners of part of 35 complained that their neighbours John de Cotes (? 34), Robert de Farweberwe (33) and Walter de Bardeneye and Agatha widow of Walter de Reyle had diverted their gutters so that rainwater from there and from 26 ran onto the plaintiffs' tenement. Walter de Bardeneye said that his interest was only at the will of Agatha, suggesting that he was her tenant for 32A (including the solar(s) over 32B). Walter de Bardeneye held the tenement to the W. of 33 in 1315. (fn. 1)
Thomas de Chigewelle or Chikewelle married Agatha, and held 32A in 1322 and 1323. In 1325, probably after Agatha's death, Alan de Redyngge, tawyer (allutarius), executor of Walter de Reylegh, granted Thomas 25C-D (q.v.) and 32A, in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, with abutments as before. By his will of 1328 Thomas de Chiggewell, citizen and tawyer (allutarius), left all his tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch to his executors to hold for 4 years, to find 2 chaplains celebrating in the church of St. Margaret (Moses) for the souls of Walter de Reyle and his wife Agatha, and another chaplain in the church of St. Mary Colechurch. After four years, the tenements were to be sold, reserving a quit-rent from them of £3. 13s. 4d. (5 1/2 marks) for a perpetual chaplain and candles in the church of St. Margaret. In 1331 his executors sold the tenements (25C-D and 32A) to William de Mymmes, citizen and tawyer (allutarius), and his wife Alice. By his will of 1334, proved 1335, William de Mymmes left all his tenements in London, apart from certain ones specified, to his wife Alice for life with remainder for sale. John de Kenylworth held 32A in 1346. He may have been the second husband of Alice, widow of William de Mymmes, who was described as Alice de Killyngworth in 1371. In 1358 Alice widow of William Mymmes granted the shop with solar over, which she and William had bought from the executors of Thomas de Chigewelle, to Richard son of John de Keylyngworth, citizen and draper. It lay between 30-31 to the W., 32B to the E., 26 to the S. and the street to the N. The tenement of Richard de Kyllyngworth lay to the E. of 30-31 in 1373. (fn. 2)
In 1377 the rector of St. Margaret Moses complained of intrusion, probably disseisin of his rent, against Alice Kyllyngworth, Richard Kyllyngworth, Simon Wynchecombe, Simon Ware, and Robert Parys, cofferer, in his free tenement in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. Simon Wynchecombe held 25C-D, from which the rent granted by Thomas de Chigewell to the church of St. Margaret Moses was also due, but it is not clear what interest Simon Ware and Robert Parys had in the tenements at this date, or whether they were named in error. Ware possibly had an interest in 25C-D, which Henry de Ware had recently held, and Robert Parys, subsequently owner of 32A, may perhaps have already been tenant. In 1378 Richard Killyngworth, citizen and draper, and his wife Katharine, granted 32A to Robert Parys, citizen and cofferer, describing it as their shop with solar(s) over, once of Alice Kyllyngworth, Richard's mother, in Poultry (in vico Pulletrie) in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, with abutments as before. Robert was to render 5 marks (£3. 6s. 8d.) p.a. for the grantors' lives. In 1379 Parys sold the shop and solar(s) to Simon Wynchecombe, who already held 30-31, and later acquired 29 (qq.v.). In 1382 the rector of St. Margaret Moses complained of intrusion by Simon Wynchecombe, citizen and armourer, of his free tenement in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. (fn. 3)
In 1395 Simon de Wynchecombe granted 25 and 29-32A to William Evot, draper, John Seymour, John Clee, draper, William Horston, Matthew Rede, and Richard Person, citizens. 32A was described as a shop with solars over which the grantor late bought of Robert Parys, cofferer, in Poultry, between 31 to the W., 32A and 33 to the E., and 26 to the S. In 1401, when Evote and his co-feoffees granted the same tenements to Sir William Marchall, chaplain, John Creek, Robert Whityngham, Thomas Medbourne, John Garnet, John Colbroke, and John Ballard, citizens and tailors, 32A was held by Sir John Wynchecombe, son of Simon, Henry Rede, armourer, John Kirkeby, and Richard Osbarn, for the life of John Wynchecombe. In 1410 John Wynchecombe, clerk, Henry Rede, and Richard Osbarne, clerk, quitclaimed to Richard Person, citizen and armourer, in 32A and the rent therefrom, which they had let to Person for the term of John Wynchecombe's life at £2 rent. The property was described as a shop with solars over, in Poultry, between 31 to the W., 33 to the E., and 26 to the S., with free entry and exit to the solar(s) by a gate and stair to the W. of the shop, as had been accustomed for a long time. Richard Person still held 32A for the term of John Wynchecombe's life, in 1412, when 25 and 29-32B, with the reversions of those parts held by Person and others for life, were granted to William Sevenoke, alderman, and others. The descent of the whole group in the late 14th and 15th centuries, to the fraternity of St. John the Baptist of tailors and linen armourers, subsequently the Merchant Taylors' Company, in 1413, and the 15th-century history of the group, are described under 25. 32B seems to have been added to the Merchant Taylors' holding, probably at some time in the later 15th or early 16th century, for which records are sparse. (fn. 4)
32 (A and B), sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
In 1546 the Merchant Taylors had 3 tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch by the gift of Peter Mason, corresponding to 25 and probably 29-31 and 32(A-B). Roger Metcalf held the last, at £3. 6s. 8d. rent, on lease ('by indenture'). (fn. 5) Roger Metcalf paid this rent in 1545-6 and 1546-7. In 1547-8 he was succeeded by Thomas Anderson at £4. 6s. 8d. rent, probably by a new lease, with repairs to be done by the tenant. Anderson paid until 1552, and Robert Bowyer then paid the £4. 6s. 8d. rent from 1552 to 1585. He occupied the house in 1558 and 1571-4: in 1574 his household consisted of himself, his wife, and 2 other communicants. In 1583 George Lerwyn asked for a lease of Bowyer's house, offering to pull it down and rebuild it, for a 50- or 60-year lease, including repairs. In 1586 Robert and Hugh Offley petitioned for a lease of the same on behalf of Dr. Jacob, for 40 years at £10 fine and the old rent, offering to rebuild it in proportion with the house of Giles Jacob (29-31, adjoining). Later in 1586 the lease of the house in Colechurch, now held by Robert Bowyer, was granted to Dr. Jacob, doctor of physic, for 40 years at £20 fine and £4. 6s. 8d. rent, conditional on his rebuilding it within 4 or 5 years in proportion to that to the W., late held by Giles Jacob, father of Dr. Jacob. Dr. Jacob was recorded as paying the rent in 1585-6, but Robert Bowyer was again recorded in 1586-7 and until 1594. In 1590 the Merchant Taylors' court heard that the fine was paid, but Dr. (Robert) Jacob was dead, and his brothers Sebright and Giles Jacob had the building in hand. Their uncles Robert and Hugh Offley asked the company to arrange with the neighbours so that they did not need to set up the principal timbers of the new house entirely on their own land. The company agreed to ask Mr. Robinson, reputed to be the owner of the neighbouring freehold (33-34) to come to an agreement, but declined to bear the risk of the ruin of his tenement on the demolition of their own. In June 1591 the building was finished and approved, and an extension to the lease to 40 years from 1590 granted. (fn. 6)
In 1594 Sebright Jacob, brother and executor of Dr. Robert Jacob, to whom the latter's lease had been made over, asked for it to be granted to Nicholas Chapman, citizen and haberdasher, for the term agreed in 1591. In 1595 a lease was made to Chapman of the tenement near the Stocks for 34 years at £4. 6s. 8d. rent. Robert Bowyer was recorded as paying the rent until 1594; Nicholas Chapman paid in 1594-5 and until 1598. A licence to assign to Hercules Whitfield was granted in 1597. Chapman's assign, not named, paid the rent in 1598-9, his widow from 1599 until 1604, and his executors or assigns from 1604 to 1609. In a rental of 1605 Simon Osboston was recorded as paying £4. 6s. 8d. for a messuage granted by lease to Nicholas Chapman, now dead, one of the 3 in Colechurch acquired by Peter Mason's will. In a rental of c. 1610, possibly outdated, Hercules Whitfield, assign of Nicholas Chapman, was recorded for the rent of £4. 6s. 8d. for a tenement in Colechurch near the Stocks. William Chapman, executor of Nicholas, paid the rent from 1609 to 1627. In 1612, however, the house appears to have been occupied by Thomas Brownell, and in 1619-22 by John Gadson (? Gadsden). In 1627 the Merchant Taylors' committee viewed the house in Poultry occupied by Mrs. Barbara Gadsden, widow, suitor for a new lease of the same, and agreed to grant her a 21-year lease from 1629, on the expiry of Nicholas Chapman's former lease, for £100 fine and £4. 6s. 8d. rent. Barbara Gaddesden, widow, paid the rent in 1627-8, but was succeeded in 1628-9 by (Thomas) Jeanes, who paid the same rent until at least 1648. (fn. 7) The occupant in 1638, however, appears to have been Mr. Haccet or Hacker, and the house was valued at £12 p.a.
In 1646, some years before the lease was due to expire, a view was taken of the tenement in Poultry, called the ...Keys (sic), held by Mr. Jeanes (Fig. 15). The ground floor measured (internally) 15 ft. 4 in. (4.67 m.) E.-W. towards the street and 15 ft. (4.57 m.) N.-S. There was a cellar under the whole house, and the stairs (? to the cellar), the foundation of the chimneys and the funnel of the vault were all defective. The shop occupied the whole of the ground floor; on the first floor, over the shop was the hall, half wainscoted, with a chimney and stone mantle tree, 3 carpenters' windows and 4 iron casements. Above the hall on the second floor was a chamber with a chimney and stone mantle-tree, and a transom window. The kitchen and buttery occupied the 3rd floor, half paved with Purbeck stone, with a transom window, an oven, a dresser board, two settles, and shelves. On the 4th floor was a chamber divided with 'slitt deale', a chimney with a stone mantle tree, and a 'clear storey'. The garret above had a chimney and house of office, and must have risen above the house(s) to the S. because its S. side needed weatherboarding. The whole house required plastering. The viewers valued the house at £40 p.a. including the rent of £4. 6s. 8d. In 1647 Jeanes surrendered his current lease and was granted a new one for 24 years at the old rent, a fine of £133. 6s. 8d., and the gift of a fat buck. (fn. 8)
Jeanes paid this rent until 1648, when there is a break in the accounts until 1652. In 1652 Richard Edwards, barber-surgeon, surrendered the lease of the tenement in Poultry late granted to Jeanes, now in his own occupation; in consideration of his charges in supporting and building the same, he was granted a new lease in his own name for 41 years at the old rent, a fine of £40, and the gift of a fat buck. Edwards paid the rent from 1652 until the Great Fire. (fn. 9) The occupant in 1662-3 and 1666 appears to have been Simon Sands, whose house was said to have 3 hearths in the former assessment and 5 in the latter. (fn. 10)
After the great fire
The property was held at or soon after the Fire by Arthur Smithson. Some land fronting Poultry was cut off to widen the street: in 1669 it was certified that a strip 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.) wide by 16 ft. 10 in. (5.13 m.) long, or 105 sq. ft. (9.75 sq. m.) had been cut off. It later appears however that the area cut off was a strip 6 1/2 ft. (1.98 m.) wide at the E. end by 9 ft. (2.74 m.) at the W. end, totalling 124 sq. ft. (11.52 sq. m.). The terms on which rebuilding were agreed are not recorded, but Smithson continued to occupy the tenement at the same rent, probably for a much extended lease. In 1680 he held the company's tenement in Poultry measuring 16 ft. (4.88 m.) to the N. towards Poultry, 11 ft. (3.35 m.) to the E., 16 ft. 6 in. (5.03 m.) to the S. and 7 ft. 6 in. (2.29 m.) to the W. (fn. 11)