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 property was a shop on the E. side of Soper Lane, between 30 to the S. and 32 to the N., and (probably) 36 to the E. It was a very small shop, only 3 ft. 4 in. wide (1.02 m.); on one occasion it was described as the moiety of a shop, and could once, perhaps in the 13th century, have been a part of 32, but this is not certain.
Fourteenth to seventeenth century
In 1301 this was the shop of John de Pesemersh, according to an abutment from 32. In 1327 it was described as late of Adam de Horsham, and in 1333 was held by Margery de Horsham. By 1360 it belonged to John Stable, citizen and mercer, who by his will of 1360, proved in 1361, left the moiety of a shop in Soper Lane, and other properties, to his son Richard in tail, with remainder to his son Thomas in tail. Walter Blankeneye and Henry Forrest were to receive the rents and administer them for the profits of the children, presumably while they were under age. By 1384 Richard Stable, citizen and mercer, had died without issue, and the property came to Thomas. In that year he granted one third of several tenements to Thomas Mounteney and his wife Margaret, Richard's widow, as her dower. The one-third of 31 was the N. part of the shop, abutting N. on 32, and measuring in width 13 1/8 in. (330 mm.) from 32 to certain iron nails fixed between Margaret's part and the part held by Thomas. The area was presumably defined for the purpose of distraint for rent arrears, rather than separate occupation; the whole shop can only have been 3 ft. 4 in. (1.02 m.) wide. Thomas Stable, citizen and mercer, died in 1416 leaving all his tenements in Soper Lane, St. Pancras parish, to his wife Katharine for life, with remainder for sale by his executors. By 1427, when Katharine was presumably dead, Thomas's executors had sold 31 to John Twyford, esquire, and his wife Alice, who also acquired 32. (fn. 1) The two properties subsequently descended together.
In 1427 Twyford and Alice granted 31, the small shop late of Thomas Stable, and 32, the tenement to the N. of it, late of Hugh Garton, to John Hoton, chaplain, John Belham, John Saward, John Richemond, and John Trix, citizens. In 1437 the feoffees of William Brampton held the shop late of Nicholas Marchaunt (32). The descent of 31-2 in the later 15th and early 16th centuries is not clear. In 1537 an old house, in which John Nevyll then lived, lay to the N. of 30. At some time between the mid-16th century and the time of the Great Fire, and possibly not much after 1537, 30 was incorporated with 31-2. The following account may refer to one property or to both. (fn. 2)
The property was owned, before the mid-16th century, by Edward Wood, grocer, whose heirs were his 4 daughters. One of these was probably Margaret Hatche or Hacche, against whom in 1542 Roger Denys and John Wychehalf recovered the fourth part of £1 rent from 11 messuages in 6 parishes, including one messuage in St. Pancras parish in Cheap ward. Christopher Robson was called to warrant. Another daughter of Edward Wood was Alice who married Sir John Smythe, kt., baron of the Exchequer. In 1557, in performance of an arbitration or judgement given in 1555, William Powlett, esquire, and his wife Anne, daughter and heir of Edmund Smythe, esquire (elder), son of John and Alice, quitclaimed to Thomas Smythe, second son of John and Alice, in all the property formerly belonging to Alice in the same 6 parishes as above. A third daughter was Elizabeth (Mounke), whose son Thomas Mounke of Martyn, Devon, esquire, in 1559 recovered a fourth part of 7 messuages in 5 of the 6 parishes (including St. Pancras) against Thomas Smyth of Cressing (Essex), esquire, Alice's son. Ralph Squyre was called to warrant. Associated with Thomas Mounke in this recovery, probably as trustees for a settlement, were John Mallett of Bewford (Devon), esquire, Humphrey Mounke, Anthony Mounke, and Leonard Stofford, gentlemen. (fn. 3)
The 4 interests in 31-2 (or 30-32) seem subsequently to have been reduced to 2 equal shares, one of which was probably that of the Mounke family, incorporating that of Alice Smythe, and the other that of Margaret Hatche and her heirs, incorporating that of the fourth daughter, whose name is not known. It seems probable that the property was not physically divided but was held in common. In 1600 one half of the freehold was held by Robert Brett of Twickenham, Middx., esquire, and his wife Alice, who granted to Edward Bullock, citizen and scrivener, the moiety of half of a house or tenement which Bullock occupied on lease from Brett, together with all shops, cellars, etc. pertaining to the moiety or used for 30 years as parcel of the same. The property (or the moiety) lay between the tenement in which Richard Neade, scrivener, now lived to the S. (? the other moiety, or 30, or 28-9), the tenement in which Thomas Smith, girdler, now lived to the N. (33), Soper Lane to the W. and the tenement in which Robert Johnson, grocer, now lived, to the E. (36A1). Brett covenanted that he was the legal owner, and that he would acquit and defend Bullock against any claim made by Anthony, Humphrey, or Thomas Mouncke, and against any claim made by them in respect of a rent of £4 charged on the premises by the will of Elizabeth Hatch, widow, or otherwise. The property was free from encumbrances other than services to the chief lords and the lease made by Brett to Bullock, under which the latter had paid £1 p.a. as rent and £3 p.a. by way of a fine. Bullock paid £48. (fn. 4) The occupant in 1633 and 1638 was probably Mr. King, whose house was valued at £20 p.a.; he may have held both moieties. Mrs. King held the same in 1642. (fn. 5)
In 1647 one moiety of 31-2 (or 30-2) belonged to Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, who also owned 36A1. A lease of 36A1 made in that year specifically excepted a little shop and cellar, with new-built rooms above, occupied by Wilfred Lutye, lately by Stephen Kyng, now dead, and earlier by Nicholas Carew or his assigns. This shop probably represents Barnardiston's share of 31-2 (or 30-2); it is not clear from whom his ownership derived. By 1665 half of 30-32 was owned by Sir Samuel Barnardiston, younger son of Nathaniel, and half by William Yard, citizen and carpenter, who had 'lately' bought his half from John Reade, goldsmith, of the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate. In 1665 Yard and his wife Anne granted Barnardiston their moiety of a messuage adjoining or lying in common with Barnardiston's moiety of the same messuage, called the Red Cross and Golden Lyon, in the parish of St. Pancras in Soper Lane near Cheapside. The premises were unencumbered except for a rent-charge of £2 to the churchwardens of Mountsorrel, Leics., for 2 sermons yearly. Barnardiston paid £140. Barnardiston then leased the whole property to Yard for 30 years at £28 rent. Yard was the occupant in 1662-3, when the house was said to have 3 hearths, and in 1666, when it was said to have 4 and he was described as a seedsman. (fn. 6)
After the Great Fire, a strip of Barnardiston's land 5 ft. 2 in. or 5 ft. 6 in. (1.57 m. or 1.68 m.) wide and 16 ft. 6 in. (5.03 m.) long was cut off in front of Yard's house to widen Soper Lane. This length indicates that the property by now included 30 as well as 31-2. Barnardiston took Yard to the Fire Court in 1667 to settle rebuilding terms. Yard said that the depth of his property had been reduced to 14 ft. 9 1/2 in. (4.51 m.), but Barnardiston undertook to add land equivalent in amount to the land cut off, from his property (36A1) at the back. The court decreed that Yard should rebuild, surrendering his lease and receiving a new one for 51 years from 1667 at £20 rent payable from 1668. Barnardiston was paid £36 for the 90 1/2 sq. ft. (8.41 sq. m.) cut off. (fn. 7)