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.
This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.
This property, on the E. side of Soper Lane, lay between 26 to the S., 28 to the N., and part of 36, which extended to Cheapside, to the E. Surveys at the time of the Great Fire suggest that it measured some 27 ft. N.-S. and 16 ft. E.-W. (8.23 m. by 4.88 m.). (fn. 1) It was one of a group of properties (25-30) from which quit-rents were due in the mid 13th century to Lawrence son of William son of Benedict: this may indicate that the group had once been in one ownership. (fn. 2)
In 1858 the site of the property lay approximately within that of nos. 89-90 Queen Street.
Thirteenth to fifteenth century
In 1243-4 27 was described as the shop of Lawrence Ruffus. By 1287 it belonged to Haliwell Priory, though it is not clear by whose gift. In 1292-3 it was described as the shop of Robert de Bury, and in 1324 as late of Robert de Bury, now of Robert de Keleseye. Probably these two were the priory's tenants. In 1330 the prioress, sub-prioress, precentrix, and sacrist of Haliwell granted a quit-rent of £4 (6 marks) from their tenements in London, and especially from 27 in St. Pancras parish and from tenements in the parishes of St. Stephen Walbrook and St. Peter Wood Street, to support a chantry in the church of St. Thomas Apostle, for the souls of John de Bureford, citizen and merchant (mercator), and his wife Rose. John's executors paid the priory £100. The house of St. Thomas of Acre made a similar agreement at this time. Little is known of the property in the later 14th and 15th centuries, but in 1433 it was said to be 2 shops. (fn. 3)
In 1258-9 Lawrence of St. Michael, son of William son of Benedict, granted his quit-rents from 27 and other properties to Philip le Taillour, who by his will proved in 1292 left them to a chantry in the church of St. Michael Paternoster. In 1424 this endowment, with others, was transferred to the college of St. Michael Paternoster (Whittington College). In 1433 the master of the college complained that he had been disseised of rent from 5 shops (25-28) in St. Pancras parish; Haliwell Priory held 2 shops from which 12s. was due. The defendants denied the disseisin but the verdict was for the plaintiff. In a rental of 1514-15 the priory was charged with 12s. p.a. to Whittington College from the tenement in St. Pancras parish. No such rent is recorded in the Chantry Certificate of 1548. (fn. 4)
Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
In 1530 the prioress of Haliwell leased one of the 2 units comprising 27, describing the shop as a tenement with cellars, solars, and appurtenances called the Platter, to William Hobbe, citizen and barber-surgeon, who already held it, for 20 years at £2 rent. The tenant was to repair and the landlord to pay all quit-rents. In 1533 the prioress leased the other part of 27, describing it as a tenement with shops, cellars, solars, etc., to William Morer, citizen and merchant tailor, who already lived in it, for 50 years at £2 rent. The landlord was to repair, maintain, pave, and cleanse. Richard Battell, now dead, had formerly held this part. The priory was surrendered in 1539, and a rental of about this date records 2 properties in St. Pancras parish, at £4 rent together, one to be repaired by the king and the other by the tenant. Morer was resident, probably here, in 1541. In 1543 both parts were granted to Richard Tate, esquire, the king's servant, to hold for 1/10 of a knight's fee and the service or tenth of 8s. p.a. for both. The particular for the grant of the second part of 27 wrongly ascribes it to St. Helen's Priory, and gives the tenant as Richard Batall, by virtue of the lease to William Morrar (sic); William Hebbe and Richard Batall were said to be tenants in the patent grant. (fn. 5) The 8s. rent to the Crown was paid until 1652, and again after 1660. (fn. 6)
In 1552 Sir Richard Tate, kt., conveyed various tenements including the Platter, late held by Hebbe, and another tenement, (late) held by Batall, in Soper Lane in St. Pancras parish, to Francis Morgan, Thomas Phillips, and William Fuldo, by means of a fine, to hold to his own use and to the use of his will for a year after his death. After that, half of the properties was to go to Bartholomew Tate, son of Sir Bartholomew Tate, kt., and half to Richard Pauncefote of Hasfield, Glos. By the time of his death in 1554, however, Richard Tate's heirs were his nephews John Bewphoo, son of John Bewphoo, aged 26, and Richard Pauncefote, son of Henry Pauncefote, aged 40. 27 came to Pauncefote, and in 1558 he had licence to grant his 2 adjacent tenements in Soper Lane, one held by John Lee, scrivener, and the other by Hugh Robyns of London, wire-drawer, late belonging to Haliwell Priory, to Humphrey Broke of London, gentleman. Humphrey Brook, notary public, died in 1586, leaving 27 to his daughter Elizabeth, who lived in one part, while Hugh Robinson (sic, probably for Robyns) occupied the other, to hold for 60 years, paying 10s. rent to his heir, who was his eldest son Gabriel. The rent and reversion of 27 descended from Gabriel Brooke to his son Callisthenes, by whom the 2 parts were divided. Until this time it is not possible to say which part of 27 was occupied by each tenant, but after 1638 27A represents the S. part and 27B the northern. (fn. 7)
In 1638 Callisthenes Brooke of Gateforth, Yorks., sold the Maidenhead in Soper Lane, lying on the S. side of another tenement belonging to him, to Jane Chapman, widow of Thomas Chapman; it was then occupied by her or her under-tenants. It was still subject to the 60-year term in the whole of 27 which Humphrey Brook had left to Elizabeth, but this was due to expire in 1646. Brooke agreed to suffer a recovery, which Marcellus Rivers and Edward Gilbert were to bring, and with his wife Anne to levy a fine to Jane Chapman's use. He covenanted to defend the tenement against all claims made through Gabriel and Humphrey. The recovery and fine were effected; the latter was to the use of John Wharton, Jane Chapman, widow, Matthew White, John Ducy, and William Fitzhugh and his wife Marian, and the heirs of Wharton. (fn. 8) It is not clear which names in the parish assessment lists represent the tenant(s) of this property: both Wharton and Mrs. Chapman appear, but probably for other properties. (fn. 9)
By 1643 27A was held by Richard Thorne, citizen and draper, who made a lease of it to Ephraim Thorne, citizen and merchant tailor, for 7 years at a peppercorn rent. In 1645 Richard and his wife Elizabeth made a lease to Ephraim for a further 30 years from 1650, at a peppercorn rent. The tenant then was John English. Ephraim was to do all repairs. In 1647 Richard and Elizabeth sold 27A to Ephraim, describing it as a tenement called the Maidenhead, now or late occupied by John Inglish, silkman, on the S. side of another tenement now or lately belonging to Callisthenes Brooke. By 1650 Ephraim's widow Sarah had married Thomas Diconson of Plaistow, Essex, who also acquired the freehold or reversion of 27A: in September 1650 they leased the Maidenhead to John Shipside of London, citizen and vintner, and William West, silkweaver, for 3 months, and the next day quitclaimed in it to them to hold to the use of the grantors for their lives, with remainder to Thomas's heirs. In 1652 the fee-farm rent of 8s. from 27 was sold, with other such rents, to Bryan Blomely of London, but was apparently recovered by the Crown at the Restoration. In 1664 the whole rent was said to be due from John Evanes, who might have been tenant of 27A and B, or perhaps only of one, answering for both. In 1662-3 and 1666 27A was occupied by Thomas Hodgkins or Hotchkis, confectioner. In 1662-3 his house was assessed at only one hearth, represented by a stove, but in 1666 he had 4 hearths. (fn. 10)
No foundation survey for 27A, after the Great Fire, seems to exist, but it is clear that Thomas Diconson's tenement lay between 25-6 to the S., 27B to the N., and part of 28 to the E. (fn. 11) A strip was cut off the front of Thomas Dickison's tenement in Soper Lane, now Queen Street, measuring 13 ft. 10 in. (4.22 m.) N.-S. and 5 ft. (1.52 m.) in width (69 sq. ft.; 6.41 m.) for which he was compensated £17. 5s. (fn. 12)
This property, the N. half of 27, remained with Callisthenes Brook after 27A was sold in 1638, but it is not clear for how long; nor is it known who the tenant(s) were in the assessments of the 1630s and 1640s. The occupant under a lease in 1655 was Thomas Cage, citizen and grocer, who by his will dated and proved in that year left the house in which he lived, with wainscot and painted cloth, to his wife Elizabeth for life, with remainder equally to his sons Thomas and Cornelius Cage for the rest of the term. Elizabeth Cage occupied the house, which had 4 hearths, in 1662-3, but by 1666 appears to have been succeeded by John Hollis, seedsman. (fn. 13) In 1668 the property was said to be occupied by Cornelius Cage, but belonged by inheritance to John Oliver the surveyor, who himself surveyed the foundation. It measured 13 ft. 3 in. N.-S. and 15 ft. 7 in. E.-W. (4.04 m. by 4.75 m.), of which 5 ft. 7 in. (1.7 m.) was cut off to enlarge Queen Street. (fn. 14)