A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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Honor of Citizens, and worthinesse of men in the same.
This Citie (saith Fitzstephen) is glorious in manhoode: furnished with munitions: populous with inhabitants, insomuch that in the troublesome time of King Stephen, it hath shewed at a muster twenty thousand armed horsemen, & threescore thousand footmen, serviceable for the warres. Moreouer saith hee, the Citizens of London, wheresoeuer they become, are notable before all other Citizens in ciuilitie of maners, attire, table, and talke. The Matrones of this Citie are the verie modest Sabine Ladies of Italie. The Londoners sometime called Trinobantes, repelled Cæsar, which alwaies made his passage by shedding bloud, whereupon Lucan sung.
The Citie of London hath bred some, which haue subdued many kingdomes, and also the Romane Empire. It hath also brought forth many others, whome vertue and valour hath highly aduaunced, according to Appollo in his Oracle to Brute, sub occasu solis, &c. In the time of Christianitie, it brought foorth that noble Emperour Constantine, which gaue the Citie of Rome and all the Emperiall signes to God, Saint Peter and Pope Siluester: choosing rather to bee called a Defender of the Church, then an Emperor: and least peace might be violated, and their eyes troubled by his presence, he retired from Rome, and built the Citie of Constantinople. London also in late time hath brought forth famous kings: Maude the Empresse, king Henrie, sonne to Henrie the second, and Thomas the Archbishop, &c.
This Thomas, surnamed Becket, borne in London, brought vp in the Priorie of Marton, student at Paris, became the Shiriffes Clarke of London for a time, then person of Saint Marie hill had a Prebend at London, an other at Lincolne, studied the law at Bononie, &c., was made Chancellor of England, and Archbishop of Canterburie, &c. Unto this might bee added innumerable persons of honour, wisedome, and vertue, borne in London: but of actions done by worthie Citizens, I will onely note a few, and so to other matters.
In the yeare 1197. Walter Brune a Citizen of London, and Rosia his wife, founded the Hospital of our Ladie called Domus Dei, or Saint Marie Spittle without Bishops gate of London, a house of such reliefe to the needie, that there was found standing at the surrender thereof, nine score beds well furnished for receipt of poore people.
In the yeare 1283. Henry Wallice then Maior, builded the Tun vpon Cornhill, to be a prison for night walkers, and a Market house called the Stocks, both for fish and flesh standing in the midst of the Citie. He also builded diuerse houses on the West and North side of Paules Churchyard; the profits of all which buildings are to the maintenance of London bridge.
Sir Iohn Poultney Draper, foure times Maior, 1337. builded a fayre Chappell in Paules Church, wherein he was buried. He founded a Colledge in the parrish Church of Saint Laurence called Poultney. He builded the parish Church called little Alhallowes in Thames streete and the Carmelite Friers Church in Couentree: he gaue reliefe to prisoners in Newgate, and in the Fleet, and ten shillings the yeare to S. Giles Hospitall by Oldborne for euer, and other legacies long to rehearse.
Iohn Stodie Vintener, Maior 1358. gave to the Vinteners all the quadrant wherein the Vinteners hall now standeth, with all the tenements round about, from Stodies lane, where is founded thirteene Almes houses, for so many poore people, &c.
Henrie Picard Vintener, Maior 1357. in the yeare 1363, did in one day sumptuously feast Edward the third king of England, Iohn king of France, Dauid king of Scots, the king of Cipres, then all in England, Edward prince of Wales, with many other noble men, and after kept his hall for all commers that were willing to play at dice, and hazard: the Ladie Margaret his wife, kept her chamber to the same effect, &c.
Iohn Lofken Fishmonger, foure times Maior, 1367. builded an Hospitall called Magdalens in Kingstone vpon Thames, gaue therevnto nine tenements, ten shops, one Mill, 125. acres of land, ten acres of medow, 120. acres of pasture, &c. More, in London, hee builded the faire parish Church of Saint Michaell in crooked lane, and was there buried.
Iohn Barnes Maior, 1371. gave a Chest with three locks, and 1000. Markes therein, to bee lent to young men vpon sufficient pawne, and for the vse thereof, to say De profundis, or Pater noster, and no more: he also was a great builder of S. Thomas Apostles parish church, as appeareth by his armes there, both in stone and glasse.
In the yeare 1378.Iohn Filpot sometime Maior, hired with his owne money 1000. souldiers, and defended the Realme from incursions of the enemie, so that in small time his hired men tooke Iohn Mercer a sea Rouer, with all his Ships, which hee before had taken from Scarborrow, and fifteene Spanish shippes laden with great riches.
In the yeare 1380.Thomas of Woodstocke, Thomas Percie, Hugh Caluerley, Robert Knowles, and others, being sent with a great power to ayde the Duke of Brytaine, the said Iohn Filpot hyred ships for them of his owne charges, and released the Armour, which the souldiers had pawned for their vittailes, more then a thousand in number. This most noble Citizen (saieth Thomas Walsingham) that had trauelled for the commoditie of the whole Realme, more then all other of his time, had often relieued, the king, by lending him great summes of mony, and otherwise, deceased in Anno 1384. after that hee had assured landes to the Citie for the reliefe of 13. poore people for euer.
In the yeare 1381. William Walworth then Maior, a most prouident, valiant, and learned Citizen, did by his arrest of Wat Tyler (a presumptuous Rebell, vppon whom no man durst lay hands) deliuer the king and kingdome from the daunger of most wicked Traytors, and was for his seruice knighted in the field.
Nicholas Brembar, Iohn Filpot, Robert Laund, Nicholas Twiford, and Adam Francis, Aldermen were then for their seruice likewise knighted, and sir Robert Knoles, for assisting of the Maior, was made free of this Citie.
Iohn Churchman Grocer, one of the Shiriffes 1386. for the quiet of Marchants, builded a certaine house vpon Wooll wharfe, in tower warde, to serve for Tronage (fn. 1), or waying of wooles, and for the Customer, Comptrollers, Clarkes, and other Officers to sit, &c.
Adam Bamme Goldsmith, Maior, 1381. in a great dearth, procured corne from partes beyond the seas, to be brought hither on such abundance, as sufficed to serue the Citie, and the Countries neare adioyning; to the furtherance of which good worke, he tooke out of the Orphants Chest in the Guildhall, 2000. Markes to buy the said corne, and each Alderman layd out 20. l. to the like purpose.
Thomas Knoles Grocer, Maior 1400. with his brethren the Aldermen, began to new build the Guild hall in London, and in steed of an olde little Cottage in Aldermanberiestreet, made a faire and goodly house, more neare vnto Saint Laurence church in the Iurie: he reedified Saint Anthonies Church, and gave to the Grocers his house neare vnto the same, for reliefe of the poore for euer. More, he caused sweet water to be conuayed to the gates of Newgate, and Ludgate, for reliefe of the prisoners there.
Thomas Falconar Mercer, Maior, 1414. lent to King Henrie the sixt towards maintenance of his warres in France, 10000 Markes vpon iewels. More he made the posterne called Mooregate, caused the ditches of the citie to be clensed, and did many other things for good of the same Citie.
Richard Whittington Mercer, three times Maior, in the yeare 1421. began the librarie of the gray Friers in London, to the charge of foure hundred pound: his executors with his goods founded and builded Whittington Colledge, with almes houses for 13. poore men, and diuinitie lectures to bee there read for euer. They repaired Saint Bartholomews Hospitall in Smithfield, they bare some charges to the glasing and pauing of the Guildhall: they bare halfe the charges of building the Librarie there, and they builded the West gate of London, of olde time called Newgate,&c.
Iohn Carpenter Towne Clarke of London, in the raigne of Henrie the fift, caused with great expences to bee curiously painted vpon boord, about the North Cloyster of Paules, a monument of death, leading all estates, with the speeches of death, and answere of euerie state. This Cloyster was pulled downe 1549. He also gaue tenements to the Citie, for the finding and bringing vp of foure poore mens children, with meate, drinke, apparell, learning at the schooles in the Universities, &c. vntil they be preferred, and then other in their places for euer.
Robert Chichley Grocer, Maior, 1422. appointed by his Testament, that on his minde day, a competent dinner should be ordained for 2400. poore men housholders of this Citie, and euerie man to haue two pence in money. More, he gaue one large plot of ground therevpon to build the new parish Church of S. Stephen neare vnto Walbrooke. &c.
Iohn Welles Grocer, Maior, 1432. (fn. 2) a great builder of the chappell or Colledge of the Guild hall, and was there buried: he caused fresh water to be conueyed from Tyborne to the standard in west Cheape for seruice of the Citie.
William Eastfield Mercer, 1438. appoynted his executors of his goods to conuey sweete water from Teyborne, and to build a faire Conduit by Alderman berie church, which they performed, as also made a Standard in Fleetstreete by Shewlane end: they also conueyed water to Cripples gate, &c.
Stephen Browne Grocer, Maior, 1439. sent into Prussia, causing corne to be brought from thence, whereby hee brought downe the price of wheate from three shillings the bushell, to less then halfe that money.
Philip Malpas one of the Shiriffes, 1440. gaue by his Testament, 125. l. to reliefe of poore prisoners, & euery yeare for fiue yeares 400. shirts, and smockes, 40. paire of sheetes, and 150. gownes of Freese to the poore, to 500. poore people in London, euery one 6s. 8.d., to poore maides marriages 100. Markes, to high wayes 100. Markes, twentie Markes the yeare to a graduate to preach, 20. pound to Preachers at the Spittle the three Easter Holidays, &c.
Robert Large Mercer, Maior 1440, gaue to his Parish church of S. Oliue in Surry 200. l., to Saint Margarets in Lothberie 25., to the poore 20. li, to London bridge 100. markes, towardes the vaulting ouer the water course of Walbrooke 200. marks, to poore maids marriages 100. marks, to poore householders 100. li, &c.
Godfrey Bollein Maior of London, 1458. by his Testament gaue liberally to the prisons, hospitals, and laser houses, besides a thousand pound to poore housholders in London, and two hundred pound to poore housholders in Norffolke.
Richard Rawson one of the Shiriffes, 1477, gaue by Testament large legacies to the prisoners, hospitals, laser houses to other poore, to high wayes, to the water Conduits, besides to poore Maides marriages 340. pound, and his executors to build a large house in the Churchyard of Saint Marie Spittle, wherein the maior and his brethren do vse to sit and heare the Sermons in the Easter holydayes.
Hugh Clopton Mercer, during his life a batchler, maior, 1492. builded the great stone arched bridge at Stratford vpon Auon (fn. 3) in Warwickshire, and did many other things of great charitie, as in my Summarie.
Robert Fabian one of the Shiriffes, 1494. gathered out of diuerse good Authours, as well Latin as French, a large Chronicle of England, and of France which he published in English, to his great charges, for the honour of this Citie, and common vtilitie of the whole Realme.
SirIohn Perciuall marchant Tayler, maior, 1498. founded a Grammer schoole at Macklefield in Cheshire where hee was borne: he indowed the same schoole with sufficient landes, for the finding of a Priest maister there, to teach freely all children thither sent, without exception.
The Ladie Tomasine his wife founded the like free schoole, togither with faire lodgings for the Schoolemasters, schollers, and other, & added 20. li. of yearely reuenew for supporting the charges. at S.Mary Wike in Cornwall (fn. 4), where she was borne.
Stephen Gennings Marchant tayler, Maior, 1509. founded a faire Grammar Schoole at Vlfrimhampton in Staffordshire, left good landes, and also builded a great part of his parish Church called S. Andrewes Vndershaft in London.
Henrie Keble Grocer, Maior, 1511. in his life a great benefactor to the new building of old Mary Church, and by his Testament gaue a thousand pounds toward the finishing thereof: he gaue to high wayes 200. pound, to poore maides marriages, 100. Markes, to poore husband men in Oxford and Warwickeshires, 140. Ploughshares, and 140. Cultars of iron, and in London to seuen almes men, sixpence the week for euer.
Iohn Collet a Cittizen of London by birth, and dignitie, Deane of Paules, Doctor of Diuinitie, erected and builded one free schoole in Paules Churchyard, 1512. for 153. (fn. 5) poore mens children, to be taught free in the same schoole, appointing a maister, a surmaister, and a chaplaine, with sufficient stipends to endure for euer, and committed the ouersight thereof to the mercers in London, because himselfe was sonne to Henrie Collet Mercer, maior of London, and indowed the Mercers with lands to the yearly value of 120 pound, or better.
Iohn Tate Brewer, then a Mercer, Maior, 1514. caused his Brewhouse called the Swan, neare adioyning to the Hospitall of S.Anthonie in London, to be taken downe, for the enlarging of the said Church, then new builded, a great part of his charge: this was a goodly foundation, with almes houses, freeschoole, &c.
George Monox Draper, Maior, 1515. reedified the decayed Parish Church of Waltomstow or Walthamstow, in Essex: hee founded there a free schoole, and almes houses for 13. almes people, made a Cawsey of timber ouer the Marshes from Walthamstow to Locke bridge, &c.
SirIohn Milborne Draper, Maior, 1522. builded almes houses fourteene in number by the crossed Friers Church in London, there to be placed fourteene poore people, and left to the Drapers certaine Messuages, Tenements, and Garden plots, in the parish of Saint Olaue in Hartstreete, for the performance of stipends to the sayd Almes people, and other vses. Looke more in Ealdgate ward.
Robert Thorne Marchant tayler, deceased a Batchler, in the yeare 1532. gaue by his Testament ot charitable actions, more then 4440. li. and legacies to his poore kindred more 5142. li. besides his debts forgiuen, &c.
Sir Iohn Allen Mercer, Maior of London and of counsaile to king Henrie the 8. deceased 1544. buried Saint Thomas of Acres in a faire Chappell by him builded. He gaue to the Cittie of London, a rich coller of golde, to bee worne by the maior, which was first worne by sir W. Laxton. He gaue 500. markes to bee a stocke for Sea coale, his lands purchased of the king, the rent therof to be destributed to the poore in the wardes of London for euer. He gaue besides to the prisons, hospitals, laser houses, and all other poore in the Citie, or two miles without, very liberally, and long to be recited.
SirRowland Hill mercer, maior, 1550. caused to be made diuerse cawseys both for horse and man, he made foure bridges, two of stone contayning 18. Arches in them both: he builded one notable free schoole at Drayton in Shropshire: he gaue to Christs Hospitall in London 500. li. &c.
Sir Andrew Iud skinner, maior, 1551. erected one notable free schoole at Tunbridge in Kent, and almes houses nigh Saint Helens church in London, and left to the Skinners landes to the value of 60. li. 3.s. 8.d. the yeare, for the which they bee bound to pay twentie pound to the schoolemayster, eight pound to the Usher, yearely for euer, and foure shillinges the weeke to the sixe almes people, and 25. shillings foure pence the yeare in coales for euer.
Edward Hall Gentleman of Grayes Inne, a Citizen by birth and office, as common Sergeant of London, and one of the Iudges in the shiriffes Court, he wrote and published a famous and eloquent Chronicle, intituled The uniting of the two noble families Lancaster and Yorke.
Richard Hils Marchant tayler, 1560. gaue 500.li. towardes the purchase of an house called the mannor of the Rose, where in the marchant taylers founded their free schoole in London: hee also gaue to the said marchant taylers one plot of ground, with certaine small cottages on the Tower hill, where he builded faire almes houses for 14. sole women.
Sir Thomas Gresham mercer, 1566. builded the Royall exchange in London, and by his Testament left his dwelling house in Bishops gate streete, to be a place for readings, allowing large stipends to the readers, and certaine almes houses for the poore.
Sir Thomas Roe Marchant Taylor, Mayor, 1568. gaue to the Marchant Taylors lands or Tenements, out of them to bee giuen to ten poore men Clothworkers, Carpentars, Tilars, Plasterers, and Armorers, 40.li. yearely, vz. 4.li. to each, also 100.li. to bee lent to 8. poore men: besides hee inclosed with a wall of bricke nigh one acre of ground, pertayning to the Hospital of Bethlem, to be a buriall for the dead.
Ambrose Nicholas Saltar, Mayor, 1576. founded xii. Almes houses in Monkeswell streete, neare vnto Creples gate, wherein he placed xii. poore people, hauing each of them vii.d. the weeke, and once euery yeare v. sacks of coales, and one quarter of a hundred Faggots, all of his gift for euer.
Sir T. Offley Marchant Taylor, Mayor, deceased 1580. appointed by his testament, the one halfe of al his goods, and 200.li. deducted out of the other halfe, giuen to his sonne Henry, to bee giuen and bestowed in deedes of charity, by his Executors, according to his confidence and trust in them.
Barnard Randolph, common Sargeant of London, 1583. gaue and deliuered with his owne hand, 900.li. towards the building of Water Conduits, which was performed: more, by Testament he gaue 1000.li. to bee employed in charitable actions, but that money being in holde fasts hands, I haue not heard how it was bestowed, more then of other good mens Testaments, to bee performed.
Iohn Fuller Esquier, one of the Iudges in the Shiriffes court of London, by his Testament dated 1592. appointed his wife, her heires and assignes, after his decease, to erect one Almes house in the parish of Stikonheth (fn. 6), for xii. poore single men aged 50. yeres for vpwardes, and one other Almes house in Shoreditch, for xii. poore aged widdow women of like age, shee to endow them, with one hundred pound the yeare, to witte, fiftie pound to each for euer, out of his landes in Lincolne shire, assured euer vnto certaine Feffies in trust, by a Deede of Feffement. Item, more he gaue his Messuages, lands and tenements lying in the parishes of S. Benet, and S. Peter by Powles wharfe in London, to Feffies in turst, yearely for euer to disburse all the Issues and profites of the said landes and tenementes, to the relieuing and discharge of poore Prisoners in the Hole, or two penny wardes, in the two Comptars in London, in equall portions to each Comptar, so that the Prisoners exceede not the somme of xxvi.s. viij.d. for euery one Prisoner, at any one time.
Thus much for famous Cittizens, haue I noted their charitable actions, for the most part done by them in theyr life time. The residue left in trust to their Executors: I haue knowne some of them hardly (or neuer) performed, wherefore I wish men to make their wone hands their Executors, and their eyes their Ouerseers, not forgetting the olde Prouerbe:
One worthy citizen marchant taylor hauing many years considered this prouerb afore going, hath therefore established to 12. poor aged men Marchant Taylors 6.li. 2.s. to each yearely for euer: hee hath also giuen them Gownes of good broade cloath, lined thorough with Bayes, and are to receiue euery 3. years end, the like new gownes for euer.
And now of some women: Citizens wiues, deseruing memory, for example to posterity shall bee noted: Dame Agnes Foster widdow, sometime wife to Stephen Foster Fishmonger, Mayor, 1455. hauing inlarged the Prison of Ludgate, in 1463. procured in a common Counsell of this Citie., certayne Articles to be established, for the ease, comfort and reliefe of poore Prisoners there, as in the Chapter of gates I haue set downe.
Auice Gibson, wife vnto Nicholas Gibson Grocer, one of the Sheriffes, 1539. by licence of her husband, founded a Free schoole at Radclyfe neare vnto London, appointing to the same for the instruction of 60. poore mens Children, (fn. 7) a Schoolemaister, and Vsher with 50.poundes: shee also builded Almes houses for xiiii. poore aged parsons, each of them to receiue quarterly vi.s. viii.d. the peece for euer (fn. 7). The gouernment of which Free schoole and Almes houses, shee left in confidence to the Coopers in London. This vertuous Gentlewoman was after ioyned in marriage with SirAnthony Kneuet Knight, and so called the Lady Kneuet: a fayre paynted Table of hir picture was placed in the Chapple which she had builded there, but of late remooued thence by the like reason, as the Grocers Armes fixed on the outer Wall of the Schoolehouse are pulled downe, and the Coopers set in place.
Margaret Danne, widdow to William Danne Ironmonger, one of the Sheriffes of London, 1570 gaue by his Testament to the Ironmongers 2000. pound, to bee lent to young men of that Company, paying after the rate of v. li. the yeare for euerie hundred, which C. li. so rising yearely, to bee imployed on charitable actions, as she then appointed, but not performed in more then 30. yeares after.
Dame Mary Ramsey, wife to Sir Thomas Ramsey Mayor, about the yeare 1577. beeing seased of landes in Fee simple of hir inheritance, to the yearely value of 243. poundes, by his consent gaue the same to Christes Hospitall in London, towardes the reliefe of poore children there, and other waies as in my summarie and abridgement I haue long since expressed, which gift shee in hir widdowhood confirmed and augmented, as is shewed by monumentes in Christes Hospitall erected.
Of Seauen thinges I prayse this Citty.
Of true meaning and faithfull obseruance,
Of righteousnes, truth and equity.
Of stablenes aye kept in Legiance,
And for of vertue thou hast suffisance,
In this lond here, and other lond<e>s all,
The kinges Chamber of Custome, men thee call.
Hauing thus in generality handled the originall, the walles, gates, ditches, and fresh waters, the bridges, towers and castles, the schooles of learning, and houses of law, the orders and customes, sportes and pastimes, watchinges, and martiall exercises, and lastly the honor and worthines of the Citizens: I am now to set downe the distribution of this Citty into parts: and more especially to declare the antiquities note worthy in euery of the same: and how both the whole and partes haue beene from time to time, ruled and gouerned.