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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This entry concerns the shops on the Soper Lane and Cheapside frontages on the E. and N. sides of 145/8. In Soper Lane the southernmost shop was bounded by 145/6 on the S., and in Cheapside the westernmost shop was bounded by 145/9 on the W. In the 13th and early 14th centuries there may have been 11 shops in all, identified here as 7A-L. The more westerly shop on the Cheapside frontage (7L) was probably 9 ft. (2.74 m.) deep. The Soper Lane frontage was occupied by 10 shops, including the corner shop (7K). The mean frontage width of these 10 shops and the 5 other shops (145/3-6) which lay between 8 and Soper Lane would have been just over 5 ft. (1.52 m.), and where the frontage measurements of individual shops are recorded (5B, 7G, ?7J) they are just below or just above 5 ft. (1.52 m.). The shops on the Soper Lane frontage appear to have diminished in depth from S. to N. (cf. 5B, 7F) and this criterion can be used to establish the relative positions of some shops within the row (cf. 7A, ?7F, ?7J). About 1360 there were 10 shops in all, of which 2 occupied the Cheapside frontage of 7, and 8 the Soper Lane frontage. In the 15th century the shops on the Soper Lane frontage (7A-K) appear to have been demolished, leaving a vacant site which was taken into Soper Lane. The subsequent descent of the remaining part of the Cheapside frontage is discussed under 8, the owners and tenants of which in the late 16th or early 17th century made encroachments on to that part of Soper Lane which had once been occupied by 7.
Thirteenth to mid-fourteenth century
The shops conveyed with 8
In the early 13th century several of these shops, on both the Soper Lane and Cheapside frontages, were in the possession of the owner of 8. These probably included 7F-J, 7L, and possibly one or more of the other shops on the Soper Lane frontage (7A-E). Between 1199 and 1216 the owner of 8, who also owned 7F, disposed of 7F. 8 and the shops in 7 which were associated with it then appear to have descended intact, and in 1252-3 came into the possession of the dean and chapter of the church of St. Martin le Grand, who between then and the mid 14th century acquired full possession of all the shops represented by 7 (cf. Fig. 3).
At some time during the reign of John (1199-1216) 8 and some of the shops in 7 lying between 8 and the two street frontages were in the possession of Martin Niger, glover (want'), who was also known as Martin Wanter. Martin disposed of 7F (see below) and other parts of 7 and 8. The remainder of the property descended to Martin's son Lawrence, who c. 1220-30 granted his seld (8) with the shops (parts of 7) in front (i.e. Next to Cheapside) and next to the new street (novus vicus, i.e. Soper Lane) to Hervey Blundus, currier (coriarius) and reserved a substantial rent from the property. Hervey's son William inherited this property, and in 1252-3 granted it to the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 1)
This shop may have been acquired by St. Martin le Grand in 1252-3, and it may have been the shop 3 ells (9 ft.; 2.74 m.) long in Soper Lane which in 1289 the dean and chapter leased to Roger le Cheyn' and his wife Isabel on a repairing lease for the term of their lives at £3 rent. The length of this shop indicates that it was towards the S. end of 7. Later the shop may have been that which Alice, widow of John de Folsham, mercer, held for the term of her life from St. Martin le Grand. In 1299 Alice quitclaimed for that term to Richard de Forsham, citizen and mercer, in this shop, which was said to lie between a shop [held?] by the same Richard to the N. (7B?), and a shop held by John le Botoner senior to the S. (probably 6). (fn. 2) Later this shop appears to have been in the possession of St. Martin le Grand (see 7B).
In 1299 this shop probably belonged to Richard de Forsham (see 7A and 7C). Later this or 7C was probably the shop in Soper Lane bounded by 8 to the W. and by shops of St. Martin le Grand (7A and 7C?) to N. and S., which in 1347 Roger de Forsham, citizen and mercer, granted to St. Martin le Grand, probably as a result of the attempt by the latter in 1345 to recover possession of a shop and solar from Roger. The dean and chapter of St. Martin immediately in 1347 granted this shop at farm to Roger and his wife Alice for a term of 20 years in return for the payment of a lump sum. Included in this lease was a little plot of ground within the shop on its S. side which Roger had held as tenant of the church. Lessees were to be responsible for repairs, and at his death in 1348 Roger left his term in the shop to his wife Alice. In 1355 Roger de Wortham, rector of Tythleshale, acting as Alice's executor, entered the shop and delivered it back to St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 3)
In 1299 this was probably the shop in Soper Lane between 8 on the W., the shop held by Richard de Forsham on the S., and the shop held by Alice de Bredge, widow of Reginald le Botoner, on the N., in which Grace, widow of Pierir le Coilter, a Lombard thread-worker (overere de fil), had a life interest. Grace granted this interest to Richard de Forsham, mercer, and his wife Agnes, who were to pay rent of £2 to the lords of the fee, and reserved to herself two stalls at the front (deus estalles pardevaunt) 3 ft. (914 mm.) and 4 ft. (1.22 m.) long, to which she was to have free access in order to sit and sell her wares as before. (fn. 4)
In 1296 this was probably the shop in Soper Lane between 8 on the W., a shop of Alice de Ponte on the S. (?7D), and a shop of Roger de [P...r?] on the N. (?7F), which Geoffrey le Fleming and his wife Aubrey granted to Richard de [Forsham] and his wife Agnes, who paid £1. 10s. in gersumam and were to pay rents of 10s. to St. Martin le Grand and 13s. to the heirs of ... Castello. The shop was probably later in the possession of St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 5)
In 1290 the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand leased to John of St. Edmund and his wife Grace for the term of their lives at £2. 13s. 4d. rent a shop in Soper Lane in the parish of St. Pancras measuring 2 3/4 ells and 2 in. (8 ft. 5 in.; 2.57 m.) in length. This shop cannot be identified with any of the others recorded in 7 and so may have been that identified here as 7F. In 1296 a shop in this position (see 7E) was said to belong to Roger de [P...r?]. (fn. 6)
During the reign of John (1199-1216), probably c. 1210, Martin Niger, glover (want') granted to Richard Gallicus a piece of land and a shop which Martin had had in the parish of St. Pancras on the E. side of his seld. It was the 4th shop from Cheapside (magnus vicus fori) and measured 1 5/8 ells (4 ft. 10 1/2 in.; 1.49 m.) in width on the E., the same at the W. end next to the seld, and 2 1/2 ells less 2 in. (7 ft. 4 in.; 2.24 m.) in length. Richard gave 13s. 4d. in gersumam and was to pay a rent of 7s. to the grantor and his heirs; he was still paying this rent c. 1220-30 when Martin's son Lawrence granted 8 to Hervey Blundus. This shop later belonged to Ralph the smith (see 7H), from whom it passed to Lucy called the smith (dicta fab'), probably Ralph's widow. As a result of Lucy's testament a moiety of the shop passed to Henry de Wynchestra, tawyer (allutarius), and his wife Agnes (named on her seal as Agnes de Henle). In 1265-6 Henry and Agnes granted and quitclaimed in this moiety to William de Bradewell, chaplain, who gave them £2 and was to pay a rent of 3s. 6d. to the lords of the fee. At about the same time Cristina Rufa (named as Lerede on her seal) granted the other moiety, which she had had by the testament of Lucy called the smith, to William de Bradewell in return for a payment of £2. In 1270-1 de Bradewell granted the whole shop, the dimensions of which were given as at the beginning of the 13th century, to the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand who paid £5 in gersumam and were to pay the grantor and his heirs a rent of a clove of gillyflower. The income from this shop was assigned to the upkeep of the obits of Ingelric and of William de Turri in the church of St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 7)
In the early 13th century these 3 shops probably belonged to William son of Benedict. The shops, or rent from them, passed to William's son, Lawrence of St. Michael, who between 1250 and 1257 granted to Holy Trinity Priory, in return for a rent of £1 and a down payment of £20, a rent of £3 from the 3 shops in Soper Lane next to the corner of Cheapside. Of this rent £1. 8s. was due from one shop (perhaps 7K), £1 from another (perhaps 7J), and 12s. from the third (perhaps 7H). In 1256-7 Lawrence released to the priory the rent of £1 which he had reserved in return for a down payment of £10 and a rent of 2s. or 1 lb. of cumin. The priory continued to receive the £3 rent from the property into the 15th century (see below, ii). (fn. 8)
7H and a rent due from it are comparatively well recorded in the late 13th and 14th centuries. In 1285-6 Hugh Moton, pepperer and citizen, granted 7H to the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand, reserving a rent of £1. 2s. to himself and his heirs. The property was described as a shop in Soper Lane, between a shop sometime of Ralph the smith (probably 7G) to the S. and a shop sometime of Maud Hervy (probably 7J) to the N. The shop measured 1 3/4 ells less 1 in. (5 ft. 2 in.; 1.57 m.) in front next to the novus viculus (Soper Lane), and in length from the lane to the stone wall belonging to St. Martin le Grand 2 3/8 ells (7 ft. 1 1/2 in.; 2.17 m.). By his will, enrolled in 1290, Hugh Moton left 18s. quit-rent from a tenement of St. Martin le Grand in Soper Lane towards the maintenance of a chantry chaplain in the church of St. Mary Aldermary. Moton had probably already disposed of 4s. out of the £1. 2s. rent. This 4s. rent came into the possession of Richard of St. Albans, clerk, who in 1316 granted it to William de Leyre; there is no later record of the rent which was not listed in William's will of 1322. The 18s. rent, however, continued to be received by the church of St. Mary Aldermary, and was the subject of an enquiry in 1367. It was paid by St. Martin le Grand in 1385-6 and 1391-2, when it was said to be due from a shop on the corner of Soper Lane next to Cheapside. By that date the 3 shops on the corner (7H-K) may have been thrown into one, or as a result of confusion the rent may have been identified with the obvious corner structure. The chantry at St. Mary Aldermary church no longer existed in 1548. (fn. 9)
This shop lay in Cheapside. In a will enrolled in 1307 it was said to lie next to the door of the seld (8) belonging to St. Martin le Grand towards the E. William Bloundel had left the shop to his brother, Walter Blondel, girdler, who by his will, enrolled in 1307, left it to his former apprentice, Geoffrey Bloundel, and charged it with a rent of 3s. for the maintenance of candles in the church of St. Lawrence Jewry. Geoffrey was also known as Geoffrey Pride, and by 1308-9 bequeathed the shop, now said to be bounded on either side by the rent of St. Martin le Grand, to Reginald le Cheuenstrer and his wife Joan for the term of their lives, with remainder to the testator's brother, Geoffrey Pryde, girdler. In 1308-9 Geoffrey Pryde the brother quitclaimed in the shop to Reginald and his wife Joan. In 1325 Joan, now widow of Reginald le Cheuestrer, citizen, granted the shop to William of Shrewsbury, citizen and glover; the shop was now said to lie between tenements of St. Martin le Grand to S. and N. (rectius E. and W.), the seld of St. Martin le Grand to the E. (rectius S.), and Cheapside to the W. (rectius N.). By his will, dated 1344 and enrolled in 1345, William de Shrouesbery left this shop to his godson, William son of John de Guldeford. The shop was subsequently in the possession of John son of John de Guldeforde, formerly the city's common clerk, who in 1357 granted it to John de Creyk, a canon of St. Martin le Grand. The shop was now said to measure 1 3/4 ells 2 in. (5 ft. 5 in.; 1.65 m.) in width and 3 ells (9 ft.; 2.74 m.) in length from the highway on the N. to the seld of St. Martin le Grand (8) on the S. In 1358 de Creyk granted the shop to Simon de Reynham, citizen and mercer, his wife Margery, and their heirs and assigns. In 1368 the church of St. Lawrence Jewry still received its 3s. rent from the property, and in 1382 Simon de Reynham granted the shop to Thomas Braghyng, fell-monger, and his wife Maud, who in 1385 quitclaimed in it to the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand. At this time Brahgyng and his wife held the shop, which was said to lie between the entry of the seld (8) on the W. and a shop of St. Martin le Grand (7K) on the E. Braghyng and his wife were probably still tenants in 1398. (fn. 10)
In the 14th century, from 1324 onwards, the site adjoining 145/9 on the E., which was presumably occupied by the entry to the seld (8) at ground level, was described as the shop or as the tenement of St. Martin le Grand. This was presumably because 7 adjoined 9 at an upper level. In 1255-6 the same site was described as the land which had belonged to Walter le Waunter, who may at one time have held part of 8 or one of the shops on the Cheapside frontage forming part of 7. (fn. 11)
Late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
In 1360 a royal commission found that 4 of the shops belonging to St. Martin le Grand in Soper Lane were ruinous and should be rebuilt at a cost of £10 each. A rental of about that date lists the tenants of the 10 shops representing 7 and the rents due to St. Martin le Grand. Altogether, £26. 13s. 4d. rent was due. The first shop in Soper Lane (probably 7A) was held by John Stable for £3 rent; the second (probably 7B) was held by the same for £2 rent; the third (probably 7C) by Richard Lomb for £4; the fourth (probably 7D) by Cecilia Pynee for £3; the fifth (probably 7E) by the same for £1; the sixth, seventh, and eighth shops (probably 7F-H) with the solar over the door of the seld (8) of St. Martin le Grand were held by Thomas Cheyner for £7. 13s. 4d. rent; the ninth shop (probably 7J and K) was on the corner of Soper Lane and was held by Isabel Goldsmyth for £4 rent; the tenth shop (perhaps 7L) was next to the ninth and was held by Clericia Pursere for £2 rent. The reference to a solar over the door of the seld in connection with 3 of the shops in Soper Lane suggests that there was now an entry leading into 8 from the lane and that the entry had replaced one of the earlier shops (possibly 7H). (fn. 12)
Thomas Cheyner, citizen and mercer, died in 1361 leaving his tenements and rents in London to be sold. These included holdings in St. Pancras parish which his executors sold in 1361 to Robert de Corby of Kent and his wife Joan, who in 1362 granted them to Agnes widow of Richard de Wynchecombe, citizen and armourer. Cheyner's interest in the 3 shops and a solar in 7 (probably 7F-H) may have descended in the same way. (fn. 13)
A repair account of 1391-2 mentions at least 2 of the shops. Timber and nails were used at the shops of Isabel Goldesmyth (probably 7J and K) and iron bolts, bars, staples, and hinges were bought for shops in Soper Lane, including the corner shop (probably 7J and K). (fn. 14)
The dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand paid the rent due to Holy Trinity Priory from 7H-K in 1385-6, but in 1391-2 the rent was in debate. The priory complained of intrusion by St. Martin le Grand concerning this property in 1401 and twice in 1404. Later the priory re- established its right to the rent from the corner property, and in 1423 acknowledged receipt of £53. 5s. to cover arrears. Later in the 15th, or early in the 16th century, however, the buildings on the site from which the rent was due were demolished and the rent itself lapsed. Thus in a rental concerning the Holy Trinity Priory estate compiled shortly after its dissolution in 1532 the rent of £3 was listed among those decayed 'because the tent' byn fallen down in the default of the owners of the same', and was said to have been due from a vacant land in St. Pancras parish which at one time had been built upon. By this date all the shops in 7 fronting onto Soper Lane had probably been removed and the land taken into the lane itself. It is possible that part of the structure was the house at Soper Lane end known as the Angell, which c. 1420-22 was reported to a wardmoot inquest for Cheap Ward as being old and likely to fall down. (fn. 15)