A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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Downegate warde beginneth at the south end of Walbrooke warde, ouer against the East corner of Saint Iohns church vpon Walbrooke, and descendeth on both the sides to Downegate, on the Thames, and is so called of that downe going or descending thereunto: and of this Downgate the ward taketh name. This ward turneth into Thames streete westwarde, some ten houses on a side to the course of Walbrooke, but East in Thames streete on both sides to Ebgate lane, or old Swan, the lande side whereof hath many lanes turning vp, as shall bee shewed when I come to them. But first to begin with the high street called Dowgate, at the vpper ende thereof is a faire Conduit of Thames water, castellated, and made in the year 1568. at charges of the Citizens, and is called the Conduit vpon Downgate. The descent of this streete is such that in the yeare 1574. on the fourth of September in the after noon there fel a storme of raine, wherethrough the channels suddenly arose, and ran with such a swift course towardes the common shores, that a lad of 18. yeares old, minding to haue leapt ouer the channell near vnto the said Conduit, was taken with the streame, and carried from thence towards the Thames with such a violence, that no man with staues, or otherwise could stay him, till he came against a cart wheele, that stood in the said watergate, before which time he was drowned, and starke deade.
Somewhat lower standeth the Skinners hall, a faire house, which was sometime called Copped hall by Downgate, in the parish of Saint Iohn vpon Walbrooke. In the 19. yeare of Edward the second, Raph Cobham possessed it with fiue shops, &c.
This companie of Skinners in London were incorporate by Ed. the 3. in the first of his raigne: they had two brotherhoodes of Corpus Christi, vis. one at saint Marie Spittle, the other at saint Marie Bethlem without Bishops gate. Richard the second in the 18. of his raigne, graunted them to make their two Brotherhoodes one, by the name of the fraternitie of Corpus Christi, of Skinners, diuerse royall persons were named to be founders and brethren of this fraternitie, to wit, Kings 6. Dukes 9. Earles 2. Lordes 1. Kings, Edward the third, Richard the second, Henry the fourth, Henrie the fift, Henry the sixt, and Edward the fourth. This fraternitie had also once euery yere on Corpus Christi day after noone a Procession, passed through the principall streetes of the Citie, wherein was borne more then one hundred Torches of Waxe (costly garnished) burning light, and aboue two hundred Clearkes and Priests in Surplesses and Coapes, singing. After the which were the shiriffes seruants, the Clarkes of the Counters, Chaplains for the Shiriffes, the Maiors Sargeants, the counsell of the Citie, the Maior and Aldermen in scarlet, and then the Skinners in their best Liueryes. Thus much to stoppe the tongues of vnthankfull men, such as vse to aske, why haue yee not noted this, or that? and giue no thankes for what is done. Then lower downe was a Colledge of Priestes, called Iesus Commons, a house well furnished with Brasse, Pewter, Naparie, Plate, &c. besides a faire Librarie well stored with bookes, all which of old time was giuen to a number of Priestes, that should keepe commons there, and as one left his place by death or otherwise, an other should be admitted into his roome, but this order within this thirtie years being discontinued, the sayde house was dissolued, and turned to Tenements.
Downe lower haue ye Elbow lane, and at the corner thereof was one great stone house, called Olde hall, it is now taken downe, and diuerse faire houses of Timber placed there. This was sometime partaining to William de pont le arch, and by him giuen to the Priorie of S. Marie Ouery in Southwarke, in the raigne of Henrie the first. In this Elbow lane is the Inholders hall, and other faire houses: this lane runneth west, and suddenly turneth south into Thames street, and therefore of that bending is called Elbow lane. On the East side of this Downgate streete, is the great olde house before spoken of, called the Erber, neare to the Church of saint Marie Bothaw, Geffrey Scroope helde it by the gift of Edward the third, in the 14. of his raigne: it belonged since to Iohn Neuell Lord of Rabie, then to Richard Neuel earle of Warwicke, Neuell Earle of Salisburie was lodged there, 1457. then it came to George Duke of Clarence, and his heires males, by the gift of Edward the fourth, in the 14. of his raigne. It was lately new builded by sir Thomas Pullison Maior, and was afterward inhabited by sir Francis Drake that famous Mariner. Next to this great house, is a lane turning to Bush lane, (of olde time called Carter lane, of carts, and Carmen hauing stables there) and now called Chequer lane, or Chequer Alley, of an Inne called the Chequer.
In Thames streete, on the Thames side west from Downe gate is Greenewitch lane of olde time so called, and now Frier lane, of such a signe there set vp. In this lane is the Ioyners hall, and other faire houses.
Then is Granthams lane so called of Iohn Grantham some time Maior and owner thereof, whose house was very large and strong, builded of stone, as appeareth by gates arched yet remayning, Raph Dodmer, first a Brewer, then a Mercer, Maior 1529. dwelled there, and kept his Maioraltie in that house, it is now a Brewhouse as it was afore.
Then is Dowgate whereof is spoken in another place. East from this Dow[n]gate is Cosin lane, named of one William Cosin that dwelled there, in the fourth of Richard the second, as diuers his predecessors, Father, Gran<d>father, &c. had done before him. William Cosin was one of the Shiriffes, in the yeare 1306. That house standeth at the south ende of the lane, hauing an olde and artificiall conueyance of Thames water into it, and is now a Diehouse called Lambards messuage. Adioyning to that house, there was lately erected an engine, to conuey Thames water vnto Downgate Conduit aforesaid.
Steleyeard for marchantes of Almaine.; Gilhala Theutonicorum.; Marchantes of the Haunce of Almaine licensed to lay vp their corne in garners, but to sell it within 40. dayes after.; Act of Parliament forbidding corne to be brought from beyond seas.
Next to this lane on the East, is the Steleyard (as they terme it) a place for marchants of Almaine, that vsed to bring hither, as well Wheat, Rie, and other graine, as Cables, Ropes, Masts, Pitch, Tar, Flaxe, Hempe, linnin cloth, Wainscots, Waxe, Steele, and other profitable Marchandizes: vnto these Marchants in the yeare 1259. Henry the third, at the request of his brother Richard earle of Cornewell, king of Almaine, granted that all and singular the marchants, hauing a house in the Citie of London, commonly called Guilda Aula Theutonicorum, should be maintained and vpholden through the whole Realme, by all such freedomes, and free vsages or liberties, as by the king and his noble progenitors time they had, and inioyed, &c. Edward the first renued and confirmed that charter of Liberties granted by his Father. And in the tenth yeare of the same Edward, Henrie Wales being Maior, a great controuersie did arise betweene the said Maior, and the marchants of the Haunce of Almaine, about the reparations of Bishopsgate, then likely to fall, for that the said marchants inioyed diuerse priuiledges, in respect of maintaining the saide gate, which they now denied to repaire: for the appeasing of which controuersie the king sent his writ to the Treasurer and Barons of his Exchequer, commaunding that they should make inquisition thereof, before whom the Marchants being called, when they were not able to discharge themselues, sith they inioyed the liberties to them granted for the same, a precept was sent to the Maior, and shiriffes, to distraine the said marchants to make reparations, namely Gerard Marbod Alderman of the Haunce, Ralph de Cussarde a Citizen of Colen, Ludero de Deneuar, a Burges of Triuar, Iohn of Aras, a Burges of Triuon, Bartram of Hamburdge, Godestalke of Hundondale, a Burges of Triuon, Iohn de Dele a Burges of Munstar, then remaining in the said Citie of London: for themselues, and all other marchants of the Haunce, and so they granted 210. markes sterling, to the Maior and Citizens, and vndertooke that they and their successors should from time to time repayre the said gate, and beare the third part of the charges in money, and men to defend it when neede were. And for this agreement, the said Maior and Citizens granted to the said Marchants their liberties which till of late they haue inioyed, as namely amongst other, that they might lay vp their graine which they brought into this realme, in Innes, and sell it in their Garners, by the space of fortie dayes after they had laid it vp: except by the Maior and Citizens they were expresly forbidden, because of dearth or other reasonable occasions. Also they might haue their Aldermen as they had beene accustomed, foreseene alwayes that he were of the Citie, and presented to the Maior and Aldermen of the Citie, so oft as any should be chosen, and should take an oath before them to maintaine iustice in their Courts, and to behaue themselues in their office according to law, and as it stoode with the customes of the Citie. Thus much for their priuiledges: whereby it appeareth, that they were great Marchants of corne brought out of the East parts hither, in so much that the occupiers of husbandry in this land were inforced to complaine of them for bringing in such abundance, when the corne of this realme was at an easie price: wherupon it was ordained by Parliament, that no person should bring into any part of this Realme by way of Marchandise, Wheate, Rie or Barly, growing out of the said Realme, when the quarter of wheate exceeded not the price of 6. shillings 8. pence, Rie 4. s. the quarter, and Barley 3. s. the quarter, vpon forfeyture the one halfe to the king, the other halfe to the seasor thereof. These marchants of Haunce had their Guild hall in Thames street in place aforesaid, by the said Cosin lane. Their hall is large, builded of stone, with three arched gates towards the street, the middlemost whereof is farre bigger then the other, and is seldome opened, the other two be mured vp, the same is now called the old hall.
Of later time, to wit, in the sixt of Richard the second, they hyred one house next adioyning to their old hall, which sometime belonged to Richard Lions a famous Lapidarie, one of the Shiriffes of London, in the 49. of Edward the third, and in the 4. of Richard the second, by the rebels of Kent, drawne out of that house and beheaded in west Cheape: this also was a great house with a large wharfe on the Thames, and the way thereunto was called Windgoose, or Wildgoose lane, which is now called Windgoose Alley, for that the same Alley is for the most part builded on by the Stilyard Marchants.
The Abbot of S. Albons had a messuage here with a Key giuen to him in the 34. of Henrie the 6. Then is one other great house which somtime pertained to Iohn Rainwell Stockfishmonger, Maior, and it was by him giuen to the Maior, and communaltie to the ende that the profites thereof should be disposed in deedes of pietie: which house in the 15. of Edward the fourth, was confirmed vnto the sayd Marchants in manner following, vz. 'It is ordayned by our soueraigne Lord and his Parliament, that the sayd Marchants of Almaine, being of the companie called the Guildhall Teutonicorum (or the Flemish Geld) that now bee or hereafter shall be, shall haue, hold and enioy to them and their successors for euer, the said place called the stele house, yeelding to the Maior and communaltie an annuall rent of 70. pound, 3. shillings foure pence, &c.'
Then is Church lane, at the west end of Alhallowes church called Alhallowes the more in Thames streete, for a difference from Alhallowes the lesse in the same street: it is also called Alhallowes ad fœnum in the Ropery, because hay <was> sold neare thereunto at hay wharfe, and ropes of old time made and solde in the high street. This is a faire Church with a large cloyster on the south side thereof about their Churchyard, but foulely defaced and ruinated.
The church also hath had many faire monuments, but now defaced: there remaineth in the Quier some Plates on graue stones, namely of William Lichfield, Doctor of Diuinitie, who deceased the yeare 1448, hee was a great student, and compiled many bookes both moral and diuine, in prose and in verse, namely one intituled the complaint of God vnto sinfull man. He made in his time 3083. Sermons, as appeared by his owne hand writing and were found when hee was dead. One other plate there is of Iohn Brickles Draper, who deceased in the yeare 1437. he was a great benefactor to that Church, and gaue by his testament certaine tenements, to the reliefe of the poore, &c. Nicholas Louen and William Peston founded Chaunteries there.
At the East end of this Church goeth downe a lane called Hay wharfe lane, now lately a great Brewhouse, builded there by one Pot: Henrie Campion Esquire, a Beerebrewer vsed it, and Abraham his sonne now possesseth it. Then was there one other lane, sometime called Wolses gate (fn. 1) now out of vse, for the lower part therof vpon the bank of Thames is builded <vpon62; > (fn. 2) by the late Earle of Shrewsburie, and the other end is builded on and stopped vp by the Chamberlaine of London. Iohn Butler Draper, one of the Shiriffes, in the yeare 1420. dwelled there: he appoynted his house to be sold, & the price therof to be giuen to the poor: it was of Alhallowes parish the lesse. Then is there the said parish church of Alhallowes called the lesse, and by some Alhallowes on the cellers, for it standeth on vaults, it is said to be builded by sir Iohn Poultney, sometimes Maior. The Steeple and Quire of this Church standeth on an arched gate, being the entrie to a great house called Cold Harbrough: the Quire of late being fallen downe, is now againe at length in the yeare 1594. by the parishioners new builded. Touching this Cold Harbrough, I find that in the 13. of Edward the 2. sir Iohn Abel knight, demised or let vnto Henrie Stow Draper, all that his capitall messuage called the Cold Harbrough, in the Parish of All Saints ad fœnum, and all the purtenances within the gate, with the key which Robert Hartford Citizen, sonne to William Hartford, had, and ought, and the foresaid Robert paid for it the rent of 33. shillings the yeare. This Robert Hartford being owner thereof, as also of other lands in Surrey, deceasing without issue male, left two daughters his co-heyres, to wit, Idonia, maried to sir Raph Bigot, and Maude maried to sir Stephen Cosenton knights, betweene whom the sayd house and lands were parted. After the which Iohn Bigot sonne to the said sir Raph, and sir Iohn Cosenton, did sell their moities of Cold Harbrough vnto Iohn Poultney, sonne of Adam Poultney the 8. of Edward the third. This sir Iohn Poultney dwelling in this house, and being foure times Maior, the said house tooke the name of Poultneys Inne. Notwithstanding this sir Iohn Poultney the 21. of Edward the 3. by his Charter gaue and confirmed to Humphrey de Bohune Earle of Hereford and Essex, his whole tenement called Cold Harbrough, with all the tenements and key adioyning, and appurtenances sometime pertaining to Robert de Herford, on the way called Hay wharfe lane, &c. for one Rose at Midsommer, to him and to his heyres for all seruices, if the same were demaunded. This sir Iohn Poultney deceased 1349. and left issue by Margaret his wife, William Poultney, who died without issue, and Margaret his mother was married to sir Nicholas Louell knight, &c. Philip S. Cleare gaue two messuages pertaining to this Cold Harbrough in the Roperie, towardes the inlarging of the Parish church, and churchyard of All Saints, called the lesse, in the 20. of Richard the second.
In the yeare 1397. the 21. of Richard the second, Iohn Holland Earle of Huntington was lodged there, and Richard the 2. his brother dined with him, it was then counted a right fayre and stately house, but in the next yeare following, I find that Edmond Earle of Cambridge was there lodged, notwith standing the saide house still retained the name of Poultneys Inne, in the raigne of Henrie the sixt, the 26. of his raigne. It belonged since to H. Holland duke of Excester, and he was lodged there in the yeare 1472. In the yeare 1483. Richard the third by his letters Patents granted and gaue to Iohn Writh, alias Garter, principall king of Armes of English men, and to the rest of the kings Heraulds and Purseuants of Armes, all that messuage with the appurtenances, called Cold Harber in the parish of All saints the little in London, and their successors for euer. Dated at Westminster ye 2. of March anno regni primo without fine or fee: how the said Heraulds departed therewith I haue not read, but in the raigne of Henrie the eight, the Bishop of Durhams house neare Charing crosse, being taken into the kings hand, Cuthbert Tunstal Bishop of Durham was lodged in this Cold Harber, since the which time it hath belonged to the Earles of Shrewsburie by composition (as is supposed) from the said Cuthbert Tunstall. The last deceased Earle tooke it downe, and in place thereof builded a great number of smal tenements now letten out for great rents, to people of all sortes.
The Dyers hall.; Bush lane.; Suffolke lane.; Marchant Tailers schoole.; The Manner of the Rose.; S. Laurence lane.; Poultney lane.; 13. wardes on the east side of walbrooke, not hauing one house on the west of the said brook.
Then is the Diers Hall, which companie was made a brotherhood or Guild, in the fourth of Henrie the sixt, and appoynted to consist of a gardian or Warden, and a communaltie the 12. Edward the 4. Then bee there diuerse large Brewhouses, and others, till you come to Ebgate lane, where that ward endeth in the East. On the North side of Thames street be diuers lanes also, the first is at the south end of Elbow lane before spoken of, west from Downegate, ouer against Greenwich lane: then be diuerse fayre houses for Marchants and others all along that side. The next lane East from Downegate, is called Bush lane, which turneth vp to Candlewicke streete, and is of Downegate warde. Next is Suffolke lane, likewise turning vp to Candlewicke streete, in this lane is one notable Grammar schoole, founded in the yeare 1561. by the master, wardens, and assistants of the Marchant taylers in the parish of Saint Laurence Poultney. Richard Hilles sometime master of that companie, hauing before giuen 500. pound towards the purchase of an house, called the Mannor of the Rose, sometime belonging to the Duke of Buckingham, wherein the said schoole is kept. Then is there one other lane which turneth vp to saint Laurence hill, and to the southwest corner of S.Laurence churchyard: then one other lane called Poultney lane, that goeth vp of this ward to the southeast corner of Saint Laurence churchyard, and so downe againe, and to the west corner of S. Martin Orgar lane, and ouer against Ebgate lane: and this is all of Downgate ward, the 13. in number lying East from the water course of Walbrook, and hath not any one house on the west side of the said brooke. It hath an Alderman, his Deputie, common Counsellors nine, Constables eight, Scauengers fiue, for the Wardmote inquest fourteene, and a Beedle, it is taxed to the fifteene eight and twentie pound.