St. Pancras Soper Lane 145/33

Pages 772-774

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 was a shop on the E. side of Soper Lane, between 32 to the S., 34 to the N., and 36 to the E. In the mid 15th century it measured some 7 ft. 7 in. (2.31 m.) N./S. by 12 ft. 3 in. (3.73 m.) E./W. (fn. 1) From the mid 14th century 33 was in the same ownership as 35A, itself only a ground-floor shop under and next to 35B, which was by then in one ownership with 34. Consequently some of the descriptions of the properties, and especially abutment references, can be confusing; see Fig. 11. In the early 17th century 33-35B became one property.

In 1858 the site of the property lay largely within that of no. 70 Cheapside.

Thirteenth to sixteenth century

In 1259 Nicholas Bat left to his wife Elizabeth 13s. 4d. quit-rent quam Butunar ei tenetur in venella de Sopereslane. This could have been charged on 33, which in 1286 was described as the shop of Geoffrey le Botiner. In 1301 it was held by John le Botoner, senior, and in 1304 by John le Botoner, junior. In 1316 it was said to be sometime of John le Botiner. In 1336 it was held by Sir John le Botoner, clerk, son and heir of John le Botoner, junior, late citizen and mercer. It appears to have been held in 1344 by John de Cavendish, mercer, probably as le Botoner's tenant. 35A was by now in the same ownership, and the following account relates to both. (fn. 2)

In 1349 Master John le Botoner, rector of the church of Wold Newton (E. Yorks.), granted his 2 shops in Soper Lane held of him by Joan Taylour, silkwife (selkwyf) (33) and by his brother William le Botoner (35A), to his sister Joan, then sole, for 5 years from 1348 for a sum of money. She was to pay the quit-rents and services from the shops, and to maintain them in good repair. In 1372 33 was held by Thomas Everard, again probably as tenant. In 1377 John le Botoner, chaplain, nephew and heir of John le Botoner, vicar of Wisbech (probably identical with the earlier rector of Wold Newton), granted his 2 shops in St. Pancras parish, 33 and 35A, to William de Storteforde called atte Ravene, citizen and taverner, to hold for life, with reversion to William atte Abbottes of Badburgham. In 1382 William atte Abbotes granted his reversionary interest to Walter Doget, citizen and vintner, who was in possession by 1386. By his will, dated 1375 but not enrolled until 1388, Walter Doget left tenements in London to his wife Alice for life, with remainder to his son John in tail. In 1390 John Doget, Walter's son, granted 33 and 35A to John Shadworth, John Wodecok, John White, John Lane, citizens and mercers, and Richard Forster, citizen. Alice, widow of Walter, quitclaimed in the same. (fn. 3)

In 1401 Shadworth and his co-feoffees granted the 2 shops to John Cosseham, mercer, John Reve, tailor, and Stephen Pettele, pouchmaker, citizens. They subsequently granted them to John Lane, John Middleton, mercer, John Bisshop, goldbeater, Robert Barfote, cutler, Walter Adam, founder, and Thomas Aleyn, citizen and mercer. These men may have been acting as trustees for the fraternity of the Holy Cross in St. Lawrence Jewry, for in 1426 and 1430 33 and 35A were referred to as shops belonging to that fraternity, late of Walter Doget. The shops were not conveyed to the fraternity until Thomas Aleyn, sole survivor of the group, by his will of 1437, enrolled in 1448, left them to the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, the vicar, the wardens of the fraternity of the Rood light, and the lights of St. Katharine and St. Anne. The measurements of both shops were given in his will: 33 measured 7 ft. 7 in. (2.31 m.) at the E. end and 7 ft. 7 1/2 in. (2.32 m.) at the W. end, by 12 ft. 3 in. (3.73 m.) along the N. side and 12 ft. 4 in. (3.76 m.) along the S. side. 35A measured 5 ft. 2 in. (1.57 m.) on the W., 4 ft. 11 in. (1.5 m.) on the E., 4 ft. 7 in. (1.4 m.) on the N., and 4 ft. (1.22 m.) on the S. Its height, from the top of the plate to the top of the joist (of the floor above, part of 35B) was 8 ft. 6 in. (2.59 m.). (fn. 4) St. Lawrence Jewry parish retained 33 and 35A up to and after the Reformation.

Quit-rents from 33

It is possible that the 13s. 4d. (one mark) quit-rent which 'Butunar' owed Nicholas Bat in Soper Lane in 1259, and which Bat left to his wife Elizabeth, is identical with the 13s. 4d. quit-rent from John le Botoner's shop, identifiable as 33, which in 1316 Richard of St. Alban's, clerk, granted to William de Leyre, citizen, together with rents from 5B, 6, 7, and 24. The descent of these rents is given under 24. They passed to the Goldsmith's Company, and are last referred to c. 1496-7 in a list of the company's 'proper lands' for members' obits, when 13s. 4d. quit-rent from a shop in Soper Lane was noted. It is not certain how long the quit-rent continued to be paid; it is not identifiable in the Chantry Certificate of 1548. (fn. 5)

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

33 and 35A

By the mid-16th century 33-35 seems to have been regarded as one house, usually occupied by one tenant, in which there were two freeholds. It is not clear whether the physical division was the same as in the medieval period. In 1548 St. Lawrence Jewry parish had £1 rent from a tenement in Soper Lane, given for an obit by John Chickham, and also lands worth £2. 3s. 4d. given by Joan, widow of John Chigham. Although the Chighams or Chickhams are not known to have been involved in the grant of 33 and 35A, it seems probable that these entries refer to those properties. The property passed to the Crown, and in 1552-3 the churchwardens of St. Lawrence Jewry were said to owe the Crown £9. 15s. arrears for the rent of £2. 3s. 4d. p.a. from the tenement at Soper Lane held by Robert Hick. (Probably the White Bear where Robert Hick, silk mercer, had his business (see Middlesex Sessions Rolls IV, 330).) One Hick also held 34 and 35B at about this time. His successors as tenants of 33 and 35A probably also held 34 and 35B. By 1556 33 and 35A were again held by the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry, probably by a grant from the Crown. In that year the parish agreed that the vicar and churchwardens should have the power to let the house in Soper Lane for the church's profit, preferably to a parishioner. Alexander Caufield's house in Cheap at Soper Lane end was viewed in 1557, and a 40-year lease granted him, for £20 fine, £2. 3s. 4d. rent, and rebuilding and repairs. In 1559 John Bull held a new tenement at the corner of Soper Lane, for £2. 3s. 4d. rent. There may have been some threat to the parish's possession at the time of the inquiry into concealed lands in the 1570s, as in 1575 the churchwardens went to the Exchequer to search out the copy of a plea concerning the lands in Soper Lane, but there is no further reference to this. The tenant at Soper Lane end in 1579-80 was Master (William) Hudson, at £2. 3s. 4d. rent, less 3s. 10d. to the Crown for quit-rent (formerly due to Holy Trinity Priory). Hudson paid the rent until 1586, and was succeeded in 1587 by Mrs. Smyth; Thomas Smith or Smyth, girdler, paid from 1590. In 1595 the parish agreed to grant him a new lease for 21 years at £100 fine and the old rent. It is not certain whether this was granted, as in 1598 the churchwardens took counsel's opinion on their right to make a lease, but Smith continued in occupation and paid the rent to the parish until 1607. (fn. 6)


In 1607 the parish of St. Lawrence purchased the freehold of 34 and 35B, described as 'the halfe house in Sopar Lane' from William Archbold and his wife Anne for £160, and was thereafter landlord of the whole of 33-35. Thomas Smyth continued as tenant of the whole house (33-5), now paying £4. 10s. p.a. to the parish; the parish paid quit-rents of £1 and 3s. 10d. to the Crown, and 1s. for acquittances for them. In 1611 a quit-rent of 3s. 4d. to the Crown was demanded, and said to be in arrears for 20 years; it is not clear what this was for, but the rent does not seem to have been paid. In 1614 the parish realised that the lease on the part of their property representing 34 and 35B had expired 3 years ago. They offered Smith £40 to give quiet possession, or else a lease of the whole for 21 years at £5 rent and £300 fine. Then they decided to ask £20 rent for the part out of lease, and granted him a lease for 5 years only, probably without fine, at £22. 3s. 4d. rent. He paid this rent until 1619, when the parish agreed to give him £33. 6s. 8d., in consideration of his old age and the quiet surrender of the property. He did not leave at Midsummer 1619, as promised, and the parish's offer was withdrawn. However, on his death shortly after, they agreed to forgive his executors and heirs the half-year's rent due from Easter 1619. A new lease was granted to Stephen Lees, for 21 years from Michaelmas 1619, at the rent of £22. 3s. 4d. and £250 fine, paid in one sum. In 1637 Humphrey Smith, citizen and alderman, probably a relation of Thomas Smith, granted and released 34 and 35B to a group of 19 men, whose names are given, and who were probably St. Lawrence Jewry parish feoffees. (fn. 7)

Stephen Lees, citizen and haberdasher, was recorded as paying the rent from 1619 to 1630, but in fact had died in 1625-6. He was succeeded by his widow Mary, who paid until 1637. In 1637 she was succeeded by Timothy Whiting. Mr. Whiting occupied a house valued at £20 p.a. in 1638, and he paid the rent until 1647. He probably took a new lease, but no fine is recorded. In 1647 he was succeeded by Thomas Trottman, who paid the same rent for 2 1/2 years, and then £24 p.a. from the end of 1649. Trottman paid at least £130 for a fine, in instalments, for a lease probably of 21 years; in 1650 he paid a further £35 to make the lease up to 31 years. Trotman paid the same rent until 1660. A new lease was granted in 1659 for 22 years at £24 rent; this was raised to £27 and the term extended to 31 years. He paid this rent up to the Fire. In 1666 he was described as Thomas Trottman, hosier, occupying a house with 3 hearths. (fn. 8) The quit-rents of 3s. 10d. and £1, due to the Crown, were listed in a rental of 1664 and appear still to have been paid. (fn. 9)

After the Fire a strip 3 ft. (910 mm.) wide and 14 ft. (4.27 m.) long was cut off this property to widen Soper Lane. The parish leased the remaining ground to Trottman for 40 years beyond his present lease, at £12 rent; he was to rebuild. His current lease was cancelled and a new one sealed. (fn. 10)


  • 1. HR 176(18).
  • 2. HR 2(55), 16(92), 30(52), 32(116), 44(112), 63(280); LBF, 95 (f. 78v).
  • 3. LBF, 187(f. 159v); HR 106(127), 111(50), 114(106), 118(96, 100).
  • 4. HR 130(72), 154(52), 158(60), 176(18).
  • 5. HR 2(55), 44(112); see 24; Goldsmiths' Company, MS 1521, p. 166; Chant C, nos. 43, 222.
  • 6. Chant C, no. 44; PRO, SC6/Edw 6/705, 291, 293-7; PRO, E179/144/120, m. 18a; GL, MS 2590/1, pp. 3, 5, 8, 49, 107, 111, 116; GL, MS 2593/1, ff. 20v-21, and annual a/cs from 1579.
  • 7. GL, MS 2590/1, pp. 158-9, 177, 189-191, 210, 230, 232, 235; GL, MS 2593/1; HR 311(6).
  • 8. PRO, PROB11/150, ff. 37v-38; GL: MS 2590/1, pp. 409, 432-7, 518, 526; MS 2593/1, 2. PRO, E179/252/32/16.
  • 9. PRO, SC11/957 (under headings of House of Acon and Hospital of St. Giles (sic)).
  • 10. M & O iv, f. 11v; v, f. 177. CLRO, Comp Deeds K, bdl L, no. 24; GL, MS 2590/1, pp. 593, 598; GL, MS 2590/2, p. 10; GL, MS 2593/2.