A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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Bassings Hall warde
The next adioyning to Colemanstreete ward on the west side thereof is Bassings hall warde, a small thing, and consisteth of one streete called Bassings hall streete, of Bassings hall, the most principall house, wherof the ward taketh name. It beginneth in the South by the late spoken Market house called the Bay hall, which is the last of Colemanstreete warde. This streete runneth from thence north downe to London wall, and some little distance both East and West, against the said hall, and this is the bounds of Bassings hall warde.
Monuments on the East side thereof, amongst diuerse fayre houses for Marchants, haue ye three halles of Companies, namely, the Masons hall for the first, but of what antiquitie that company is I haue not read. The next is the weauers hal, which companie hath beene of great antiquitie in this Citie, as appeareth by a Charter of Henrie the second, in these wordes. Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. to be Englished thus. Henrie king of England, Duke of Normandie, and of Guian, Earle of Aniow, to the Bishop, Iustices, Shiriffes, Barons, Ministers, and all his true Lieges (fn. 1) of London, sendeth greeting: Know ye that we haue granted to the Weauers in London, their Guild, with all the freedomes and customes that they had in the time of king Henrie my Grandfather, so that none but they intermit within the Citie of their craft but he be of their Guild, neither in Southwarke, or other places pertaining to London, otherwise then it was done in the time of king Henrie my Grandfather: wherefore I will and straightly commaund that ouer all lawfully, they may treate, and haue all aforesaid, as well in peace, free, worshipfull, and wholy, as they had it, freer, better, worshipfullier, and wholier, then in the time of king Henrie my Grandfather, so that they yeeld yearely to mee two markes of gold at the feast of S. Michaell, and I forbid that any man to them do any vnright, or disease, vpon paine of ten pound, witnes Thomas of Canterburie, Warino filio Gerardi, Camerario. Also I read that the same Henrie the second in the 31. of his raigne, made a confirmation to the Weauers that had a Guild of fraternitie in London, wherein it appeareth that the said Weauers made wollen cloth, and that they had the correction thereof: but amongst other Articles in that patent, it was decreed, that if any man made cloth of Spanish wooll mixed with English wooll, the Portgraue, or principall Magistrate of London ought to burne it, &c.
Moreouer in the yeare 1197. king Richard the first at the instance of Hubert Archbishop of Canterburie and Iusticier of England, ordained that the woollen clothes in euery part of this realme should be in bredth two yards within the listes and as good in the middest as in the sides, &c. King Henrie the third granted to the Citizens of London that they should not be vexed for the burels, or clothlisted, according to the constitution made for bredth of cloth the ninth of his raigne, &c. Richard the second, in the third of his raigne, granted an order of agreement betweene the Weauers of London, English men and Aliens or straungers borne, brought in by Edward the third.
On the west side almost at the south end thereof is Bakewell hall, corruptly called Blackewell hall: concerning the originall whereof I haue heard diuerse opinions, which I ouerpasse as fables, without colour of truth, for though the same seemed a building of great antiquitie, yet in mine opinion the foundation thereof was first laide since the Conquest of William Duke of Normandie: for the same was builded vpon vaultes of stone, which stone was brought from Cane in Normandie, the like of that of Paules Church, builded by Mauritius and his successors Bishops of London: but that this house hath beene a Temple or Iewish Sinagogue (as some haue fantasied) I allow not, seeing that it had no such forme of roundnes, or other likenesse, neither had it the forme of a Church for the assembly of Christians, which are builded East and West, but contrariwise the same was builded north and south, and in forme of a noble mans house, and therefore the best opinion in my iudgement is that it was of olde time belonging to the family of the Bassings, which was in this realme a name of great antiquitie and renowne, and that it bare also the name of that familie, & was called therefore Bassings Haugh, or Hall: whereunto I am the rather induced, for that the Armes of that family were of olde time so abundantly placed in sundry parts of that house, euen in the stone worke, but more especially on the wals of the hall, which carried a continuall painting of them on euerie side so close togither, as one escutcheon could be placed by another, which I my selfe haue often seene and noted before the olde building was taken downe: these armes were a Gerond of twelue poynts, Gold, and Azure. Of the Bassings therefore, builders of this house, and owners of the ground neare adioyning, that warde taketh the name, as Coleman streete warde of Coleman, and Faringden ward of William and Nicholas Faringden, men that were principall owners of those places.
And of olde time the most noble persons that inhabited this Citie, were appointed to be principall magistrates there, as was Godfrey de Magun (or Magnauile), Portgraue or Shiriffe in the raign of William Conqueror, and of William Rufus, Hugh de Buch, in the raigne of Henry the first. Auberie de Vere Earle of Oxford: after him Gilbert Becket, in the raign of king Stephen, after that Godfrey de Magnauile the sonne of William the sonne of Godfrey de Magnauile Earles of Essex, were Portgraues or Shiriffes of London and Middlesex. In the raigne of Henrie the second, Peter Fitzwalter: after him Iohn Fitznigel, &c. so likewise in the raigne of king Iohn, the 16. of his raigne, a time of great troubles, in the yeare 1214, Salomon Bassing, and Hugh Bassing, Barons of this realme as may bee supposed, were Shiriffes: and the said Salomon Bassing was Maior in the yere 1216. which was the first of Henrie the thirde. Also Adam Bassing sonne to Salomon (as it seemeth) was one of the Shiriffes, in the yeare 1243, the 28. of Henrie the third.
Vnto this Adam de Bassing, king Henrie the third in the 31. of his raigne, gaue and confirmed certaine messuages in Aldermanbury, and in Milke streete (places not far from Bassings Hall) and the aduouson of the Church at Bassinges hall, with sundrie liberties and priuiledges.
This man was afterwards Maior in the yeare 1251. the 36. of Henrie the thirde. Moreouer Thomas Bassing was one of the Shiriffes, 1269. Robert Bassing Shiriffe, 1279. and William Bassing was Shiriffe 1308, &c. for more of the Bassings in this Citie I need not note, onely I read of this family of Bassinges in Cambridgeshire, called Bassing at the bourne, and more shortly Bassing bourn, and gaue Armes as is afore shewed, and was painted about this old hall. But this familie is worne out, and hath left the name to the place where they dwelt. Thus much for this Bassings hall.
Now how Bakewell hall tooke that name is another question: for which I read that Thomas Bakewell dwelled in this house in the six and thirtieth of Edwarde the third, and that in the 20. of Richarde the second, the saide king for the summe of fiftie poundes which the Maior and Comminaltie had paide into the Hanapar graunted licence, so much as was in him, to Iohn Frosh, William Parker, and Stephen Spilman (Citizens and Mercers) that they, the said Messuage called Bakewell hall, and one Garden with the appurtenances in the parish of Saint Michael of Bassings Haugh, and of Saint Laurence in the Iurie of London, and one messuage, two shops, and one Garden, in the sayde parish of Saint Michaell, which they held of the king in burgage, might giue and assigne to the Maior and Comminaltie for euer. This Bakewell hall thus established, hath beene long since imployed as a weekely market place for all sorts of Wollen clothes broade and narrow, brought from all partes of this Realme, there to be solde. In the 21. of Richard the second, R. Whittington maior, & in the 22. Dreugh (fn. 2) Barringtine being maior, it was decreed that no forrein or stranger should sell any wollen cloth but in the Bakewell hall, vpon paine of forfeyture thereof.
This house of late yeares growing ruinous and in daunger of falling, Richard May marchant Tayler at his discease gaue towards the new building of the outward part thereof 300. pounds, vpon condition that the same should bee performed within three yeares after his discease, whervpon the old Bakewel hall was taken downe, and in the moneth of Februarie next Following, the foundation of a new strong and beautiful storehouse being laid, the worke therof was so diligently applied, that within the space of ten moneths after to the charges of 2500. poundes, the same was finished in the yeare 1588.
Next beyond this house be placed diuerse faire houses for
marchants and others, till yee came to the backe Gate of Guild
hall, which gate and part of the building within the same, is
of this warde. Some small distance beyond this gate, the
Coopers haue their common hall. Then is the Parish Church
of S. Michaell, called S. Michaell at Bassings hall, a proper
Church lately reedifyed, or new builded, whereto Iohn Barton
mercer, and Agnes (fn. 3) his wife were great benefactors, as appeareth by his marke placed throughout the whole roofe of the
Quier and middle Ile of the Church, he deceased in the yeare
1460. and was buried in the Quire with this Epitaph.
Iohn Barton lyeth under here,
Sometimes of London Citizen and Mercer,
And Ienet (fn. 3) his wife, with their progenie,
Beene turned to earth as ye may see,
Friends free what so ye bee,
Pray for vs we you pray,
As you see vs in this degree,
So shall you be another day.
Frances Cooke, Iohn Martin, Edward Bromflit Esquier, of Warwickeshire, 1460. Richard Barnes, Sir Roger Roe, Roger Velden, 1479. Sir Iames Yarford mercer, Maior, deceased 1527. buried vnder a fayre Tombe with his Ladie in a speciall Chappell by him builded, on the North side of the Quire. Sir Iohn Gresham mercer, Maior, deceased 1554. Sir Iohn Ailife Chirurgion, then a Grocer, one of the Shiriffes, 1548. Nicholas Bakhurst one of the Shiriffes 1577. Wolston Dixi, Skinner, Maior 1585. &c. Thus haue you noted one Parish Church of S. Michaell, Bakewell hall, a Market place for wollen clothes, the Masons hall, Weauers hall, Girdlers (fn. 4) hall, and Coopers hall. And thus I ende this Ward, which hath an Alderman, his Deputie, for common Counsaile foure, Constables two, Scauengers two, for the Wardmot inquest seuenteene, and a Beedle, it is taxed to the fifteene in London seuen pound, and likewise in the Exchequer at seuen pound.