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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For a general description of the block 145/17-38, see the introduction to 17. 18 was probably the largest single property in the block, with a frontage to Pancras Lane to the S., extending some 105-110 ft. (32 m. to 33.53 m.) N., and surrounded by 17 and 38 to the E., 36 and 37 to the N., and 19-26 (of which 21 and 22 later came into the same ownership as 18) to the W. A small lane usually known as Popkirtle Lane ran N.-S. between 18 and 19-26; another lane, also known as Popkirtle Lane, perhaps the N. end of the previously-mentioned lane, though not on the same alignment, ran into Cheapside between 36 and 37 and probably provided access from 18 to that street. It is possible that 18 and 36 and/or 37 on the Cheapside frontage, were once one property, but they were distinct by the time of the earliest records relating to them.
On the street frontage the property corresponded approximately to no. 14 Pancras Lane in 1858.
Thirteenth to mid sixteenth century
By his will proved in 1275 Thomas de Basing left his tenement in Pupekertillane to be sold by his executors, who later that year sold it to Richard le Poter, citizen. It was said to lie between 17 to the E., 37, already held by Richard le Poter, to the N., and 19 and 20 to the W. The grant included free access to Cheapside, probably by way of the lane or entry between 36 and 37. The tenement was charged with 1/2d. socage to the king and a clove of gillyflower to Thomas son of John Adrian, pepperer. By 1294 the tenement was held by Adam de Bedyk, the king's tailor, and his wife Joan, who then granted to Simon de Parys, citizen and mercer, their plot of land with houses on either side of Popkirtle Lane in St. Pancras parish. The abutments given in this grant were 17 and 38 to the E., 36 and/or 37 and the tenement of Simon de Parys (uncertain) to the N., 19-22 to the W., and the street (later Pancras Lane) to the S. The tenement was said to be charged with 1d. in socage to the king and a clove to the grantors, and Simon paid them £60. (fn. 1) Deeds relating to 24 and 25 show that Simon de Parys's property formed the E. abutment of these also. (fn. 2)
Simon de Parys had acquired 22 by 1294, and subsequently acquired 3, 4, and 21 also. The following account therefore covers the descent of 3, 4, 18, 21, and 22. By his will, dated and proved in 1324, he left the shop and solar he had by the grant of Roger de Amyas (3), the shop and solars above he had by the grant of John Sharlet (4), all the tenements with shops, solars, and cellars he had by the grant of Adam de Bydik and his wife Joan (18), of Bartholomew de Castello (uncertain), and of John of Canterbury, pepperer (22), in Sopereslane and Puppekirteleslane, and the shop he acquired from Roger de Parys (21) in Sopereslane, all in the parish of St. Pancras, for sale. In 1325 his executors sold all these properties to John de Grantham, citizen and pepperer. In 1336 John de Horwod, who was building a new kitchen in his tenement (38) adjoining John de Grantham's tenement along a length of 10 1/4 ells (30 ft. 9 in.; 9.37 m.), agreed to provide a lead gutter between the tenements, to take the flow of water along de Grantham's stone wall, while the latter agreed to receive the water from the gutter. Margery, widow of Simon de Parys, still held some of his former properties in the parish of St. Pancras and elsewhere as dower in 1344. By his will, dated 1344 and proved in 1345, John de Grantham left the reversion of these, and all the tenements and shops he had by the grant of Simon's executors in Soper Lane and Popkirtle Lane, with all the chests, cupboards, vessels, and utensils there to his son John. John de Grantham the father also left a perpetual quit-rent of £2, charged on these tenements, to a chantry in the chapel he had built in St. Antonin's church, for the souls of himself, his parents, and his late wife Cecilia. Within a few years John de Grantham the son, who was probably under age in 1344, appears to have died without issue, and the heir to all the estate was his younger brother Thomas, who came of age in 1353. In 1355 Thomas made a general release, concerning chattels, rents, etc., to John de Gonwardeby, pepperer, his father's executor. (fn. 3)
In 1362 Thomas de Grantham leased a shop and warechaumbr' in Soper Lane, opposite the Broad Seld to Adam de Wroxham, citizen and mercer, who already held them, for 6 years, for a sum already paid. This shop was probably part of 21 or 22, nearly opposite the Soper Lane entry to Broad Seld (10). Before 1368 Thomas de Grantham assigned certain rents, and also the marriage of his daughter and heir Elizabeth, to Robert de Charwelton, clerk, until a debt was paid. De Charwelton, by his will dated 1368 and proved 1369, left the rents and marriage to his executors, to hold until Thomas paid the debt. Thomas de Grantham was dead by April 1370 when his widow Elizabeth claimed her dower from the estate of Elizabeth the daughter, then an orphan under age and in the city's custody. The estate was valued at £154. 8s. 4d. p.a., subject to various rents and charges, including a rent to St. Antonin's church for John de Grantham's chantry. One third of this in value was assigned to the widow; this included tenements in St. Pancras parish, held by Margaret Spencer at £4 and Adam Wroxham at £6. Another tenement in the same parish, held by Alice More, was assigned to the widow, in addition to the one-third share, but its value was not given. At the same time Elizabeth the daughter and heir was given in marriage to Gilbert Poruays. (fn. 4)
In 1388 22 (adjoining 23) was held by Hugh Middleton, who may have been married to the daughter or the widow of Thomas de Grantham. (fn. 5) By 1407, however, the tenements had descended to Richard Pavy and his wife Joan, daughter of Gilbert Purveys and his wife Elizabeth. Richard and Joan's daughter and heir Alice married Robert Reynham, citizen and mercer, who held the property in 1418. He subsequently granted his tenements in Soper Lane, Popkirtle Lane, and elsewhere in the city to Walter Roger, merchant (mercator). In 1440 Roger granted these tenements to William Gilbert, citizen and mercer, John Welles, Thomas Knolles, John Carpenter, William Osbarn, citizens, and Robert de Heworth. Possibly all these were acting as feoffees for the Reynham family. In 1465 Richard Lee, citizen and alderman, recovered 2 messuages in St. Pancras parish against Thomas Reynham, who was the son and heir of Robert and Alice. Later in 1465, by a deed describing his own descent from John de Grantham, Thomas Reynham quitclaimed to Lee in tenements in Soper Lane and Popkirtle Lane, in St. Pancras parish, and in 1466 he acknowledged payment of £10 (sic) for these and other tenements. It seems probable that a larger sum, or other considerations, were actually involved. It also seems probable, however, that the property by now consisted only of 18, 21, and 22, which might plausibly be described as 2 tenements: 3 and 4, with the other shops on the W. side of Soper Lane, seem to have disappeared during the 15th century. (fn. 6)
In 1468, by grant and regrant to and from Thomas Wynchecombe, clerk, and Thomas Kyrton of London, gentleman, Richard Lee settled the tenements he had acquired from Reynham, including those in St. Pancras parish, on himself and his wife Lettice and George Irland, alderman, Master John Lee, clerk at law, Dr. John Lambe, John Crosby, John Michell, and John Stokes, citizens and grocers, and their heirs. Thomas Reynham and his wife Agnes quitclaimed to all these in 1470. Sir Richard Lee died in 1472, and by her will dated 1477, but not proved until 1489, his widow Lettice Lee, widow, citizen, and freewoman (libera femina) of London, left the tenements in Soper Lane and Popkirtle Lane in St. Pancras parish, and other properties elsewhere, to the rector and churchwardens of St. Stephen Walbrook, to find a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of herself and her husband, parents, and children, at £7 p.a.. Obits were also to be kept. (fn. 7)
Records of the rents, charges, and repairs of Lee's estate in St. Pancras parish survive sporadically in the parish records of St. Stephen Walbrook from 1504 to 1548. In 1504 Thomas Fyssher, mercer, held the property at £9 rent, which he paid to succesive churchwardens, by varying amounts, to 1511. In 1507-8 he paid £12, probably for a year and arrears, and the churchwardens paid £2 to St. Antonin's church (for John de Grantham's chantry), £1. 6s. 8d. for 'Master Ley's obit', and £7 to their chantry priest. 1s. 7d. were spent for a tiler, labourer, and materials, for two days' work on Fyscher's and Rowys's (?) houses. It is not clear if Rowys's house was part of 18 or not. Fysher appears to have been paying the £9 rent for a number of shops and houses together, and in 1512 or 1513 asked for allowance for several that were empty. He said that one shop, valued at 13s. 4d. p.a., had been empty for 10 years, and another, valued at £1. 13s. 4d. p.a., had been empty for 5 years, both for lack of repair by the parish. He also claimed that he had surrendered his lease, with 5 years yet to come, on the churchwardens' promise to repair the tenements, but they had spent only £7 in repairs. Fysher may have stopped paying his rent, and in 1513 the parish calculated that he owed £34 in arrears, but reduced this to £20, to be paid at £2 yearly, on his promise to pay the rent also. The records are too scanty to say whether the parish undertook repairs at this period or not. (fn. 8)
Fyscher died in 1518, and was succeeded by Thomas Comberford, who paid £6. 15s. for three quarters' rent in 1518-19 and £9 for the whole year in 1519-20. In the latter year, repairs totalling over £10 were done in 'Master Lee's lands' in St. Pancras parish. These included tiling, and paving the kitchen in Comberford's house; repairs to a great oven and hearth in the tallow-chandler's house, for which Comberford seems to have paid and been reimbursed; and making a lead gutter in another of Comberford's tenants' house, and a pipe in Sawnder Brown's house. The obit and chantry charges were maintained, and Thomas Culpeper, overseer of Thomas Fisher's goods, paid £2 for Fisher's debt. In 1522-3 the tenants of the various parts of the property rendered their rents individually: William Knyghte, chandler, paid £2. 8s. 8d. for a whole year; Giles Bayly, £1 for one year; [blank] Barbour, 12s. for half a year; Thomas Leycetur, 3s. 4d. for one quarter; John Flowre, mason, 3s. 4d. for half a year; and a butcher, 7s. 6d. for three quarters. It is not clear whether some of the holdings were empty for part of the year, or were occupied but the rent not paid, or were let at different rents to successive tenants. If all these represent separate tenements, the total amount due from them for one year was £6. 2s. 8d., and the total received was £4. 14s. 10d. In this year work was done on the back wall of the house in which Thomas Fisher used to live, using 6300 bricks, and a carpenter made windows. In 1525-6 the tenants were William Knight, paying £2. 9s. 8d. for one year, Robert Raynold, paying £1 for a year, Giles Bayle, paying £1. 6s. 8d. for one year, John Karre, paying 8s. for one year, Sir Henry Berker, priest, paying 1s. 8d. for half a year, Alice Fluet, widow, paying 6s. 8d. for half a year, Elizabeth Smythe, widow, paying 2s. for one quarter, John Hart, paying 11s. 8d. for half a year, and John Love, butcher, paying 5s. for one year. If all these represent separate holdings, the total amount due was £7. 16s. 4d. and the total received £6. 9s. 4d. One quarter's rent (2s. 6d.) was owed from a previous year from a butcher who had had a chamber in Fisher's rent. Obit and chantry charges and 3s. 4d. for paving, were paid in 1525-6. (fn. 9)
In 1526-7 John Hart paid £6. 10s. for one year's rent for all the houses in St. Pancras parish; he paid £3. 5s. for half a year's rent in 1527-8, but no other payment is recorded for that year. In 1529-30 £9 rent was said to be due from Fisher's house in St. Pancras parish. The rents actually received were: William Knyth, £2. 6s. 8d., for one year, and 1s. for half a year for a chamber out of Fisher's house; Giles Baylle, 10s., for half a year; Thomas Leycet', 3s. 4d., for one quarter; John Flower, 1s. 8d., for one quarter, and John Lowe (?Love), 2s. 6d. for one quarter. Rents apparently due totalled £4. 18s. 8d. and rents received £3. 5s. 2d. Vacancies, or the difference between £9 and the amount actually received, came to £5. 14s. 10d. Repairs to properties in St. Pancras parish in that year, the last for which they are identifiable, comprised daubing and tiling, at a cost of 9s. 1d. In 1532 there was a dispute between Merton Priory, as owner of 38, and the rector and churchwardens of St. Stephen Walbrook, over the wall that separated their properties. The wall was said to belong to the rector and churchwardens, and stretched N. from the parsonage of St. Pancras (17) 13 ft. 6 in. (4.11 m.) to an overhanging quoin of stone, and then 19 ft. (5.79 m.) further N. to a brick wall belonging to St. Thomas of Acre (37). The wall between 18 and 38 may have been the same stone wall described in 1336 (see above) when the tenements apparently abutted for a length of 30 ft. 9 in. (9.37 m.). (fn. 10)
In 1534-5 William Obbe paid 15s. 2d. for half a year and William Kyng (? recte Knyght) £1. 4s. 10d. for half a year. In 1536-7 Obbe paid £4. 0s. 4d. and Knyght £2. 9s. 8d., a total of £6. 10s. Obbe paid £3. 0s. 3d. for 3 quarters in 1537-8, and Knight £1. 9s. 8d. for a whole year. After this there is a gap in the accounts until 1548-9, when the only tenant recorded in St. Pancras parish was Robert Saunders, paying 10s. for one quarter. Accounts relating to the £2 quit-rent to St. Antonin's name Robert Collins as tenant of the St. Pancras property c. 1548, but this is the only occurrence of the name. In 1546 the endowment of Lettice Lee's chantry in St. Stephen Walbrook was said to be a carpenter's yard and appurtenances, in Soper Lane and Popkirtle Lane in St. Pancras parish, held by Robert Saunders at £2 p.a. It was actually used as a carpenter's yard, as a sawpit is mentioned a few years later, and it seems probable that several of the houses or holdings recorded in the 1520s and 1530s were unoccupied or had fallen down. The decline in numbers of holdings, from at least 7 and possibly 9 or more in 1525-6, to at least 3 and possibly 5 or more in 1529-30, to 2 in the later 1530s, and only one in 1546, is as striking as the decline in rents from £9 in 1504 and as late as 1519-20, by several stages to only £2 in 1546. The property came to the Crown in 1548, and was granted to John Sikelmore, citizen and fishmonger, and Walter Williams, draper, for £80. It was described as a void plot of land in Soper Lane, called a carpenter's yard, between St. Pancras churchyard (17) to the E., Pancras Lane to the S., Soper Lane to the E., and the tenements of Mr. Bowland (37) and John Gresham (36C) to the N. The plot was said to measure 105 ft. 6 in. E.-W. by 48 ft. 4 in. N.-S. (32.16 m. by 14.73 m.); it seems certain that these directions have been reversed in error. Later in 1548 Sykylmore and Williams sold the property to Robert Saunders. (fn. 11) Saunders then sold it in two parts, the larger of which is described in Section iii, below, and the smaller under 21 (q.v.). The latter lay on Soper Lane to the N. of 20 and must have corresponded to some extent with 21 in the early 14th century, though it could have been larger or smaller.
The descent of the quit-rents: 3, 4, 18, 21, 22
It is not always possible to be certain from which part of the de Parys/de Grantham property quit-rents were due. In 1331 John le Maseliner left a quit-rent of 12 1/2d. from the tenements in Soper Lane, late of Simon de Paris and now of John de Grantham, to his son James, a canon of St. Mary Spital, for life, with remainder to his daughter Isabel. This is probably identical with the 12 1/2d. rent from the tenement in St. Pancras parish, now held by Thomas de Grantham, which in 1361 John le Botiller, citizen and draper, left to the church of St. Peter Westcheap. No such rent is identifiable in the chantry certificate of 1548. (fn. 12) The rent of £2 to St. Antonin's church, left by John de Grantham in 1345, was paid by the churchwardens of St. Stephen Walbrook in the early 16th century and until the dissolution of the chantries in 1548. (fn. 13) A quit-rent of £1. 5s. was due from one or more of 3, 4, 18, 21, and 22 to Bermondsey Priory. In 1407 the prior complained that Richard Pavy and his wife Joan had disseised him of the rent, of which he had been seised time out of mind. Richard and Joan denied the disseisin but a jury found for the plaintiff. In 1418 Robert Reynham (husband of Alice, daughter of Richard Pavy and Joan) was liable for this rent. Bermondsey Priory also had rents in 8 and another tenement in St. Pancras parish, and it is not certain in which of these it was that the priory's rent-collector distrained in 1420, when William Sudbury, weaver, complained that the collector had unjustly taken a primer, worth 6s. 8d., and Margaret Roos, silkwoman, complained that 5 oz. of silk, worth 5s., had similarly been taken. The result of these pleas is not known. It seems probable that the £1. 5s. rent had been lost by the mid-16th century. (fn. 14)
Later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: 18, 22
18 and 22
In 1551 Robert Saunders of Feltham, Middx., yeoman, late carpenter of London, and his wife Elizabeth granted to John Aylworth of Marylebone, Middx., esquire, their house or tenement with courtyard, well, and sawpit, little garden and shed in the court, with other ground now occupied by Saunders or by Richard Atkynson, carpenter, in Soper Lane in St. Pancras parish, for £120. This grant did not include 21 (q.v.), which Saunders had already sold to John Bulle. Aylworth promised to acquit Saunders against Bulle concerning a jetty and light to be made on the W. side of the yard, overhanging the place where the sawpit then was, to measure 20 ft. 4 in. N.-S. by 3 ft. 8 in. E.-W. (6.2 m. by 1.12 m.). Bulle was rebuilding at about this time and the jetty may have been part of his house, but this is not clear. In 1552 Aylworth with his wife Elizabeth sold the property, described as above, to Edward Bradeley, citizen and haberdasher, for £115. In 1558 John Grevell, waxchandler, had a house with a N.-S. abutment of 15 ft. 7 in. (4.75 m.) on John Bulle's tenement or plot (21), on which the latter wished to build. Grevell was probably tenant only of part of 18 and 22. (fn. 15)
At some time in the later 16th or early 17th century (between c. 1551 and c. 1612) the property was divided again, though not along the lines of the medieval properties. The property described below as 18 lay in Pancras Lane, between 17A and 19, and extended not more than 38-40 ft. (11.58 m. to 12.19 m.) back from the street. The other part, described under 22 (q.v.), comprised the greater part of the property at the back, some 70 ft. (21.34 m.) in length N.-S., together with the remaining length of frontage to Soper Lane between 21 and 23.
This property, in Pancras Lane, was probably that occupied by Mr. Reade (as 2 tenements) in 1633. Mr. Read occupied a house valued at £8 p.a. in 1638, and Mr. Copland occupied the next one, also valued at £8 p.a.; probably the 2 together made up 18. James Reade and John Copland occupied adjoining houses in 1642. In 1662-3 and 1666, James Read occupied a house with 3 hearths and James Hollingsworth one apparently between Read and 17A, with 5 hearths. (fn. 16)
After the Great Fire, in 1669, a foundation in Pancras Lane was surveyed for James Read. After a strip 3 ft. (910 mm.) wide had been cut off to widen Pancras Lane, the foundation measured some 22 ft. (6.71 m.) wide at the S. end, 35 ft. 3 in. (10.74 m.) deep, and 30 ft. (9.14 m.) wide at the N. end, where it extended in part behind 17A. A vault 12 ft. (3.66 m.) wide occupied the E. half of the front part of the property. In 1673 Reade empowered James Comber or Cumber, citizen and draper, son of his daughter Rhoda and of Thomas Cumber, tanner, to treat with the committee for compensation on his behalf. Later in 1673 £3. 10s. were paid to Thomas Comber for the 67 sq. ft. (6.22 sq. m.) cut off. Shortly afterwards, 18, described as 2 messuages in St. Pancras Lane late in the occupation of Joseph Hiller, mealman, and Michael Henthorne, glazier, who may have been the tenants before the Fire, was conveyed to trustees for the marriage settlement of James Cumber and Susan Smith. (fn. 17)