A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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Bridge warde without, the 26. in number, consisting of the Borough of Southwarke in the County of Surrey
Having treated of Wardes in London, on the North side the Thames (in number 25.) I am now to crosse ouer the said Riuer into the Borough of Southwark, which is also a Warde of London, without the walles, on the South side thereof, as is Portsoken on the East, and Faringdon extra on the West.
This Borough, being in the County of Surrey, consisteth of diuers streetes, wayes, and winding lanes, all full of buildings, inhabited: and first to begin at the West part thereof, ouer against the west Suburbe of the Citie.
On the banke of the Riuer Thames there is now a continuall building of tenements, about halfe a mile in length to the bridge. Then from the Bridge straight towardes the South a continuall streete, called long Southwarke, builded on both sides with diuers lanes and alleyes vp to S. Georges church, and beyond it through Blackman streete towardes New Town (or Newington) the liberties of which Borough extend almost to the parrish Church of New town aforesaid, distant one mile from London Bridge, and also southwest a continuall building, almost to Lambith, more then one mile from the said bridge.
Then from the bridge along by the Thames Eastwarde, is saint Olaues street hauing continuall building on both the sides, with lanes and alleyes vp to Battle bridge, to Horsedowne, and towardes Rother hith: also some good halfe mile in length from London bridge.
Then haue ye from the entering towards the said Horsedown one other continuall streete called Bermondes eye streete, which stretcheth south, likewise furnished with buildinges on both sides, almost halfe a mile in length, vp to the late dissolued Monasterie of S. Sauiour called Bermondsey. And from thence is one long lane (so called of the length) turning west to saint Georges church afore named. Out of the which lane mentioned, Long lane, breaketh one other streete towards the south and by east, and this is called Kentish streete for that it is the way leading into that countrie: and so haue you the bounds of this Borough.
The antiquities most notable in this Borough are these: first, for ecclesiasticall, there was Bermondsey, an Abbey of Blacke Monkes, S. Mary Oueries, a Priorie of Canons Regular, saint Thomas a colledge or Hospitall for the poore, & the Loke a Lazar house in Kent street. Parish churches, there haue been 6. wherof 5. do remaine, vz. S. Mary Magdalen in the priory of saint Mary Ouery, now the same S. Marie Ouery is the parrish Church for the said Mary Magdalen, and for S. Margaret on the hill, and is called S. Sauiour.
S. Margaret on the hill being put downe, is now a Court for Iustice. S. Thomas in the Hospitall serueth for a parrish church as afore. S. George a parrish church as before it did, so doth saint Olaue, and saint Mary Magdalen by the Abbey of Bermondsey.
The Bishop of Winchesters house.
The Bishop of Rochesters house.
The Duke of Suffolks house, or Southwarke place.
The Tabard an Hosterie or Inne.
The Abbot of Hyde his house.
The Prior of Lewes his house.
The Abbot of saint Augustine his house.
The Bridge house.
The Abbot of Battaile his house.
The stewes on the Banke of Thomes.
And the Beare gardens there.
Now to returne to the West banke, there be two Beare gardens, the olde and new places, wherein be kept Beares, Buls and other beastes to be bayted. As also Mastiues in seuerall kenels, nourished to baite them. These Beares and other Beasts are there bayted in plottes of ground, scaffolded about for the Beholders to stand safe.
Next on this banke was sometime the Bordello or stewes, a place so called, of certaine stew houses priuiledged there, for the repaire of incontinent men to the like women, of the which priuiledge I haue read thus.
In a Parliament holden at Westminster the 8. of Henry the second, it was ordayned by the commons and confirmed by the king and Lords, that diuers constitutions for euer should bee kept within that Lordship or franchise, according to the olde customes that had been there vsed time out of mind. Amongest the which these following were some, vz.
Lib. S. Mariæ Eborum.; English people disdayned to be baudes. Froes of Flaunders were women for that purpose.; Robert Fabian.; Stewhouses put down by H. the 7 for a time.; Signes on the Stewhouses.; Single women forbidden rightes of the church.
These and many more orders were to be obserued vpon great payne and punishment: I haue also seene diuers Patentes of confirmation, namely one dated 1345. the nineteenth of Edwarde the third. Also I find that in the fourth of Richarde the second, these stew houses, belonging to William Walworth then Mayor of London, were farmed by Froes of Flaunders, and spoyled by Walter Tighler, and other rebelles of Kent: notwithstanding I finde that ordinances for the same place and houses were againe confirmed in the raigne of Henry the sixt, to be continued as before. Also Robert Fabian writeth that in the yeare 1506. the 21. of Henry the seuenth, the saide stewe houses in Southwarke were for a season inhibited, and the dores closed vp, but it was not long saith he, ere the houses there were set open againe, so many as were permitted, for (as it was said) whereas before were eighteene houses, from thenceforth were appointed to bee vsed but twelue onely. These allowed stewhouses had signes on their frontes, towardes the Thames, not hanged out, but painted on the walles, as a Boares heade, the Crosse keyes, the Gunne, the Castle, the Crane, the Cardinals Hat, the Bel, the Swanne, &c. I haue heard ancient men of good credite report, that these single women were forbidden the rightes of the Church, so long as they continued that sinnefull life, and were excluded from christian buriall, if they were not reconciled before their death. And therefore there was a plot of ground, called the single womans churchyeard, appoynted for them, far from the parish church.
In the yeare of Christ, 1546. the 37. of Henry the eight, this row of stewes in Southwarke was put downe by the kings commandement, which was proclaymed by sounde of Trumpet, no more to be priuiledged, and vsed as a common Brothel, but the inhabitants of the same to keepe good and honest rule as in other places of this realme, &c.
The next is the Clinke, a Gayle or prison for the trespassers in those parts, Namely in olde time for such as should brabble, frey, or breake the Peace on the saide banke, or in the Brothell houses, they were by the inhabitantes there about apprehended; and committed to this Gayle, where they were straightly imprisoned.
Next is the Bishoppe of Winchesters house, or lodging when hee commeth to this Cittie: which house was first builded by William Gifford Bishoppe of Winchester, aboute the yeare 1107. the seuenth of Henry the first, vpon a plot of ground pertayning to the Prior of Bermondsey, as appeareth by a writ directed vnto the Barons of the Exchequer, in the yeare 1366. the 41. of Edward the 3. (the Bishops sea being voyde) for 8.1. due to the Monks of Bermondsey, for the Bishop of Winchesters lodging in Southwarke. This is a very fayre house wel repayred, and hath a large Wharfe, and landing place called the Bishop of Winchesters staires.
Adioyning to this on the south side thereof is the Bishoppe of Rochesters Inne or lodging, by whome first erected, I do not now remember me to haue read, but well I wot the same of long time hath not beene frequented by any Bishoppe, and lyeth ruinous for lacke of reparations. The Abbot of Wauerley had a House there.
East from the Bishop of Winchesters house directly ouer against it, standeth a fayre church called saint Mary ouer the Rie, or Ouerie, that is ouer the water. This Church or some other in place thereof was of old time long before the conquest an house of sisters founded by a mayden named Mary, vnto the which house and sisters she left (as was left to her by her parents) the ouersight and profites of a Crosse ferrie or trauerse ferrie ouer the Thames, there kept before that any bridge was builded. This house of sisters was after by Swithen, a noble Lady, conuerted vnto a colledge of Priests, who in place of the Ferrie builded a bridge of timber, and from time to time kept the same in good reparations, but lastlie the same bridge was builded of stone, and then in the yeare 1106. was this church againe founded for Channons Regular, by William Pont de le Arche and William Dauncy, Knights Normans.
This Priorie was burned about the yeare 1207. wherefore the Chanons did found an Hospital near vnto their Priory, where they celebrated vntill the Priory was repayred: which Hospitall was after by consent of Peter de la Roch Bishop of Winchester remoued into the land of Anicius Archdeacon of Surrey in the yeare 1228. a place where the water was more plentifull, and the ayre more holesome, and was dedicate to S. Thomas.
This Peter de Rupibus,or de la Roch, founded a large chapell of S. Mary Magdalen in the said church of S. Mary Ouerie, which Chappel was after appointed to be the parish church for the inhabitants neare adioyning.
Iohn Gower Esquier, a famous Poet, was then an especiall benefactor to that worke, and was there buried on the North side of the said church, in the chapple of S. Iohn, where hee founded a chauntrie, he lieth vnder a tombe of stone, with his image also of stone ouer him: The haire of his head aburne, long to his sholders, but curling vp, and a small forked beard, on his head a chaplet, like a coronet of foure Roses, an habite of purple, damasked downe to his feet, a collar of Esses, gold about his necke, vnder his head the likenes of three bookes, which hee compiled. The first named Speculum Meditantis, written in French: The second Vox clamantis penned in Latine: The third Confessio amantis written in English, and this last is printed, vox clamantis with his Cronica tripartita, and other both in latine and French neuer printed, I haue and doe possesse, but speculum meditantis I neuer saw, though heard thereof to be in Kent: beside on the wall where he lyeth, there was painted three virgins crowned, one of the which was named Charity, holding this deuise.
The roofe of the middle west Ile fell downe in the yeare 1469. This Priorie was surrendered to Henry the eight, the 31. of his raigne, the 27. of October, the yeare of Christ, 1539. valued at 624.l. 6.s. 6.d. by the yeare.
About Christmas next following, the church of the said Priory was purchased of the king by the inhabitantes of the Borough. Doctor Stephen Gardner Bishop of Winchester, putting to his helping hand, they made thereof a parrish church, for the parish (fn. 1) of S. Mary Magdalen, on the south side of the said Quire, and of S. Margaret on the hill, which were made one parish of S. Sauiour.
There be monumentes in this church of Robert Liliarde, or Hiliarde Esquier, Margaret daughter to the Lady Audley wife to sir Thomas Audley, William Greuill Esquier, and Margaret his wife, one of the heyres of William Spershut Esquier, Dame Katherine wife to Iohn Stoke Alderman, Robert Merfin Esquier, William Vndall Esquier, Lord Ospay Ferar, Sir George Brewes Knight, Iohn Browne, Ladie Brandon wife to sir Thomas Brandon, William Lord Scales, William Earle Warren, Dame Maude wife to Sir Iohn Peach, Lewknor, Dame Margaret Elrington, one of the heires of sir Thomas Elrington, Iohn Bowden Esquier, Robert S. Magil, Iohn Sandhurst, Iohn Gower, Iohn Duncell Marchant Taylor, 1516. Iohn Sturton Esquier, Robert Rouse, Thomas Tong, first Norrey and after Clarentiaulx King of Armes. William Wickham translated from the sea of Lincolne to the Bishoprick of Winchester, in the moneth of March 1595. deceased the 11. of Iune next following, and was buried here.
Thomas Cure Esquier, Sadler to King Edward the sixte, Queene Mary and Queene Elizabeth, deceased the 24. of May, 1588. (fn. 2) &c.
Now passing through saint Mary Ouers Close, (in possession of the Lord Mountacute) and Pepper Alley into Long Southwarke, on the right hand thereof, the Market hill, where the leather is solde, there stoode the late named parrish church of Saint Margaret giuen to S. Mary Oueries by Henry the first, put downe and ioyned with the parrish of Saint Mary Magdalen, and vnited to the late dissolued Priorie Church of saint Mary Ouery.
A part of this parish church of S. Margaret is now a Court, wherein the Assizes and sessions be kept, and the court of Admiralty is also there kept. One other part of the same church is now a prison called the Compter in Southwarke, &c.
Farther vp on that side, almost directly ouer against Saint Georges church, was sometime a large and most sumptuous house, builded by Charles Brandon late Duke of Suffolk, in the raign of Henry the eight, which was called Suffolke house, but comming afterwardes into the Kinges hands, the same was called Southwarke place, and a mint of coynage was there kept for the King.
To this place came king Edward the sixte, in the second of his raigne, from Hampton court, and dined in it. He at that time made Iohn Yorke one of the shiriffes of London knight, and then rode through the Citty to Westminster.
Queene Mary gaue this house to Nicholas He<a>th Archbishop of Yorke, and to his successors for euer, to be their Inne or lodging for their repaire to London, in recompence of Yorke house neare to Westminster, which King Henry her Father had taken from Cardinall Wolsey, and from the sea of Yorke.
Archbishop Heth solde the same house to a Marchant, or to Marchantes, that pulled it downe, solde the leade, stone, iron, &c. And in place thereof builded many small cottages of great rents to the encreasing of beggers in that Borough. The Archbishoppe bought Norwich house, or Suffolke place, neare vnto Charing Crosse, because it was neare vnto the Court, and left it to his successors. Now on the south side, to return backe againe towards the bridge. Ouer against this Suffolke place, is the parrish church of S. George, sometime pertayning to the Priorie of Barmondsey, by the gift of Thomas Arderne and Thomas his sonne, in the yeare 1122. There lie buried in this Church William Kirton Esquire, and his wiues, 1464.
Then is the white Lion, a Gaole so called, for that the same was a common hosterie for the receit of trauellers by that signe: This house was first vsed as a Gaole within these fortie yeares last, since the which time the prisoners were once remoued thence to an house in Newtowne, (fn. 3) where they remayned for a short time and were returned backe againe to the foresaid White Lion, there to remayne as in the appointed Gaole for the countie of Surrey.
Next is the Gaole or prison of the kinges Bench, but of what antiquitie the same is I know not. For I haue read that the courts of the Kinges Bench and Chauncery haue oft times beene remoued from London to other places, and so hath likewise the Gayles that serue those Courts, as in the yeare 1304. Edwarde the first commaunded the Courts of the kinges Bench and the Exchequer which had remayned seuen yeares at Yorke, to bee remoued to their old places at London. And in the yeare 1387. the II. of Richard the 2. Robert Trisilian chiefe Iustice came to the city of Couentrie, and there sate by the space of a moneth, as Iustice of the Kinges Benche, and caused to be indited in that Court, about the number of two thousand persons of that Country, &c.
It seemeth therefore, that for that time, the prison or Gayle of that court was not farre off. Also in the yeare 1392. the sixteenth of the same Richard, the Archbishop of Yorke being Lord Chauncelor, for good wil that he bare to his City, caused the kings Bench and chauncery to be remoued from London to Yorke, but ere long they were returned to London.
Then is the Marshalsey, an other gayle or prison, so called as pertayning to the Marshalles of England. Of what continuance kept in Southwarke I haue not learned: but like it is, that the same hath beene remoueable, at the pleasure of the Marshalles: for I finde that in the yeare 1376, the fiftieth of Edwarde the third, Henry Percie (being Marshall) kept his prisoners in the Citie of London, where hauing committed one Iohn Prendergast, of Norwich, contrarie to the liberties of the City of London, the Citizens, by perswasion of the Lord Fitzwalter theyr Standard-bearer, took Armour and ranne with great rage to the Marshalles Inne, brake vp the gates, brought out the prisoner, & conueyed him away, minding to haue brent the stocks in the middest of their citty, but they first sought for sir Henry Percy to haue punished him, as I haue noted in my Annales.
More, about the Feast of Easter next following, Iohn Duke of Lancaster, hauing caused all the whole Nauie of England to be gathered together at London: It chanced a certaine Esquier to kill one of the shipmen, which act the other shipmen taking in ill part, they brought their sute into the kings court of the Marshalsey which then as chaunced (sayth mine Author) was kept in Southwarke: but when they perceyued that Court to be so fauourable to the murtherer, and further that the kinges warrant was also gotten for his pardon, they in greate fury ranne to the house, wherein the murtherer was imprisoned, brake into it, and brought forth the prisoner with his Giues on his legges, they thrust a knife to his heart, and sticked him, as if hee had beene a Hogge, after this they tyed a roape to his Giues, and drewe him to the gallowes, where when they had hanged him, as though they had done a great act, they caused the trumpets to be sounded before them to theyr ships, and there in great triumph they spent the rest of the day.
Also the rebels of Kent, in the yeare 1381. brake downe the houses of the Marshalsey, and Kinges Bench in Southwarke, tooke from thence the prisoners, brake downe the house of sir Iohn Imworth, then Marshall of the Marshalsey, and Kings Bench, &c. After this in the yeare 1387. the eleuenth of Richard the second, the morrow after Bartholomew day, the king kept a great Councell in the Castle of Nottingham, and the Marshalsey of the king was then kept at Lughborrow by the space of sixe dayes or more. In the year 1443. sir Walter Man<n>y was Marshal of the Marshalsey, the 22. of Henry the sixt. William Brandon, Esquire, was Marshall in the eight of E. the 4. In the yeare 1504 the prisoners of the Marshalsey, then in Southwarke, brake out, & many of them being taken, were executed, especially such as had beene committed for Felony or treason.
From thence towards London bridge on the same side, be many fayre Innes, for receipt of trauellers, by these signes, the Spurre, Christopher, Bull, Queenes head, Tabarde, George, Hart, Kinges Head, &c. Amongst the which, the most auncient is the Tabard, so called of the signe, which as we now tearme it, is of a Iacquit, or sleeuelesse coat, whole before, open on both sides, with a square coller, winged at the shoulders: a stately garment of old time, commonly worne of Noble men and others, both at home and abroad in the warres, but then (to wit in the warres) their Armes embrodered, or otherwise depict vpon them, that euery man by his coate of Armes might be knowne from others: but now these Tabardes are onely worne by the Heraulds, and be called their coates of Armes in seruice: for the Inne of the Tabard, Geffrey Chaucer Esquire, the most famous Poet of England, in commendation thereof writeth thus.
It befell in that season, on a day,
In Southwarke at the Tabert, as I lay,
Readie to wend<en> on my Pilgrimage,
To Canterburie with full deuout courage,
That night was comen into the Hosterie,
Well nine and twentie in a companie,
Of sundrie folke, by aduenture yfall
In fellowship, and Pilgrimes were they all,
That toward Canterburie woulden ride,
The stables and <the> chambers weren wide,
And well we were<n> eased at the best, &c.
And then Theeues lane by S. Thomas Hospitall: the hospitall of Saint Thomas, first founded by Richard Prior of Bermondsey, in the Selerers ground agaynst the wall of the Monasterie, in the yeare 1213. He named it the Almerie, or house of Almes for conuarts and poore children, for the which ground the Prior ordained that the Almoner should pay ten shillings foure pence yearely to the Selerer at Michaelmas.
But Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, in the yeare 1215 founded the same againe more fully for Canons Regular, in place of the first hospitall: he increased the rent thereof to three hundred fortie foure pound by the yeare: thus was this Hospitall holden of the Prior and Abbot of Bermondsey, till the yeare 1428, at which time a composition was made between Thomas Thetford, Abbot of Bermondsey, and Nicholas Buckland, master of the sayde Hospitall of Saint Thomas, for all the landes and Tenements which were holden of the sayde Abbot and Couent in Southwarke, or elsewhere, for the olde Rent to bee payd vnto the said Abbot.
There be the Monuments in this Hospitall Church, of sir Robert Chamber Knight, William Fines Lord Say, Richarde Chaucer, Iohn Gloucester, Adam Atwood, Iohn Ward, Michaell Cambridge, William West, Iohn Golding Esquires, Iohn Benham, George Kirkes, Thomas Knighton, Thomas Baker Gentlemen, Robert sonne to Sir Thomas Fleming, Agnes wife to Sir Walter Dennis knight, daughter and one of the heyres of Sir Robert Danuars, Iohn Euarey Gentleman, &c.
In the yeare 1552 the Citizens of London, hauing purchased the voyde suppressed Hospitall of Saint Thomas in Southwarke, in the Moneth of Iuly, began the reparations thereof, for poore, impotent, lame, and diseased people, so that in the Moneth of Nouember next following, the sicke and poore people were taken in. And in the yeare 1553. on the tenth of Aprill, King Edward the sixt, in the seuenth of his raigne, gaue to the Maior, Comminaltie, and Citizens of London, to bee a workehouse for the poore and idle persons of the Citie, his house of Bridewell, and seauen hundred Markes landes of the Sauoy rentes, which Hospitall hee had impressed, with all the beddes, bedding, and other furniture belonging to the same, towards the maintenance of the said workehouse of Bridewell, and of this Hospitall of Saint Thomas in Southwarke. This gift, the King confirmed by his Charter, dated the twentie sixe of Iune, next following, and willed it to be called the Kings Hospitall in Southwarke.
But now to come to saint Olaues street: on the Banke of the riuer of Thames, is the parish church of saint Olaue, a faire and meetely large Church, but a farre larger Parrish, especially of Aliens or straungers, and poore people: in which Church, there lieth intombed sir Iohn Burcettur knight. 1466.
Ouer against this Parish church, on the south side the street, was sometime one great house builded of stone, with arched gates, <which> pertained to the Prior of Lewes in Sussex, and was his lodging when he came to London: it is now a common Hosterie for trauellers, and hath to signe the Walnut tree.
Then East from the said Parish Church of saint Olaue is a Key. In the yeare 1330, by the licence of Simon Swanlond Maior of London, <it was> builded <by> Isabell widow to Hamond Goodchepe. And next therevnto was then a great house of stone and tymber, belonging to the Abbot of saint Augustine without the walles, of Canterburie, which was an auncient peece of worke, and seemeth to be one of the first builded houses on that side the riuer, ouer against the citie: It was called the Abbots Inne of saint Augustine in Southwarke, and was sometime holden of the Earles of Warren and Surrey, as appeareth by a deede, made 1281. which I haue read, and may be Englished thus:
To all to whome this present writing shall come, Iohn earle Warren sendeth greeting. Know ye that wee haue altogither remised and quiteclaimed for us and our heires for euer, to Nicholas Abbot of saint Augustines of Canterburie, and the Couent of the same, and their successors, suite to our court of Southwarke, which they owe unto us, for al that Messuage and houses theron builded, and all their appurtenances, which they haue of our fee in Southwarke, scituate upon the Thames, between the Bridge house and church of saint Olaue. And the said Messuage, with the buildings thereon builded, and all their appurtenances to them and their successors, we haue granted in perpetuall almes to hold of us, and our heyres for the same: sauing the seruice due to any other persons, if any such bee, then to us: and for this remit and graunt, the sayde abbot and Couent haue giuen unto us fiue shillings of rent yearly in Southwarke, and haue receiued us and our heires in al benefices which shall be in their church for euer. This sute of court, one William Graspeis was bound to do to the said Earle, for the said Messuage: and heretofore to acquit in all things the church of S. Augustine, against the said Earle.
This house of late time belonged to sir Anthony Sentlegar, then to Warham Sentlegar, &c. And is now called Sentlegar house, but diuided into sundrie tenements. Next is the Bridgehouse, so called as being a storehouse for stone, timber, or whatsoeuer pertaining to the building or repairing of London bridge.
This house seemeth to haue taken beginning with the first founding of the bridge either of stone or timber: it is a large plot of ground, on the banke of the riuer Thames: containing diuers large buildings, for stowage of things necessary towards reparation of the said bridge.
There are also diuers Garners, for laying vp of Wheate, and other Grayners for seruice of the Citie, as neede requireth. Moreouer, there be certaine Ouens builded, in number tenne: of which sixe be very large, the other foure being but halfe so bigge. These were purposely made to bake out the bread corne of the sayd Grayners, to the best aduantage for reliefe of the poore Citizens, when neede should require. Sir Iohn Throstone knight, sometime an Embrotheror, then a Goldsmith, one of the Shiriffes 1516. gaue by his Testament towardes the making of these Ouens two hundreth poundes: which thing was performed by his Executors, Sir Iohn Munday Goldsmith then being Mayor. There was of late, for the enlarging of the said Bridge house, taken in an old Brewhouse, called Goldings, which was giuen to the City by George Monox, sometime Mayor, and in place thereof, is now a faire Brew-house new builded, for seruice of the Cittie with Beere.
Next, was the Abbot of Battailes Inne, betwixt the Bridge-house and Battaile bridge, likewise on the banke of the Riuer of Thames: the walkes and gardens therevnto appertaining, on the other side of the way, before the gate of the said house, and was called the Maze: there is now an Inne, called the Flower de Luce, for that the signe is three Flower de Luces. Much other buildings of small tenements are thereon builded, replenished with strangers and other, for the most part poore people.
Then is Battaile bridge, so called of Battaile Abbey, for that it standeth on the ground, and ouer a water course (flowing out of Thames) pertayning to that Abbey, and was therefore both builded and repaired by the Abbots of that house, as being hard adioyning to the Abbots lodging.
Beyond this bridge is Bermondsey street, turning South, in the South end whereof was sometime a Priory, or Abbey, of saint Sauior, called Bermonds Eye in Suthwarke, founded by Alwin Childe, a Citizen of London, in the yeare 1081.
Peter, Richard, Obstert, and Vmbalde, Monkes de Charitate, came vnto Bermondsey, in the yeare 1089, and Peter was made first Prior there, by appointment of the Pryor of the house called Charity in France: by which meanes, this Priory of Bermondsey (being a Cell to that in France) was accounted a Priory of Aliens.
Robert Blewet, Bishop of Lincolne (king Williams Chancelor) gaue them the mannor of Charlton with the appurtenances. Also Geffrey Martell, by the graunt of Geffrey Magnauile, gaue them the land of Halingbury, and the tithe of Alferton, &c.
In the yeare 1371. the Prior<ie>s of Aliens throughout England being seized into the kings hands, Richard Denton, an English man, was made Prior of Bermondsey: to whome was committed the custody of the said Priory, by the letters patents of king Edward the third, sauing to the king the aduowsons of Churches.
In the yeare 1380. the fourth of Richard the second, this priory was made a Denison (or free English) for the fine of 200. Markes, paid to the Kings, Hanaper in the Chauncery. In the yeare 1399. Iohn Attelborough Prior of Bermondsey was made the first Abbot of that house by Pope Boniface the ninth, at the sute of king Richard the second.
In the yeare 1417. Thomas Thetford Abbot of Bermondsey, held a Plea in Chauncery against the king, for the Mannors of Preston, Bermondsey, and Stone, in the county of Summerset, in the which sute the Abbot preuailed and recouered against the king.
In the yeare 1539. this Abbey was valued to dispend by the yeare, foure hundred seuenty foure pound, fourteene shillings foure pence halfe penny, and was surrendred to Henry the eight, the 31. of his raigne: the Abbey church was then pulled downe by sir Thomas Pope knight, and in place thereof, a goodly house builded of stone and timber, now pertayning to the Earles of Sussex.
There are buried in that church Leofstane, Prouost, shriue or Domes man of London 1115. Sir William Bowes knight, and Dame Elizabeth his wife. Sir Tho. Pikeworth knight, Dame Anne Audley: George sonne to Iohn Lord Audley, 10. Winkefield, Esquier. Sir Nicholas Blonket knight, Dame Bridget wife to William Trussell, Holgraue Baron of the Exchequer, &c.
Next vnto this Abbey church, standeth a proper Church of saint Mary Magdalen, builded by the priors of Bermondsey, seruing for resort of the inhabitants, (tenants to the prior or Abbots neare adioyning) there to haue their diuine seruice: this Church remayneth and serueth as afore, and is called a parish church.
Then in Kent streete is a Lazer house, for Leprous people: called the Loke in Southwarke: the foundation whereof I find not. Now hauing touched diuers principall parts of this Borough, I am to speake somewhat of gouernment, and so to end.
This Borough vpon petition made by the Citizens of London, to E. the third (fn. 4) in the first yeare of his raigne, was, for diuers causes, by Parliament granted to them for euer, yeelding into the Exchequer the Fee firme of 10. li. by the yeare: which grant was confirmed by E. the 3. who in the 3 of his raigne, gaue them license to take a tole towards the charge of pauing the said Borough with stone. H. the 4. confirmed the grant of his predecessors: so did E. the 4. &c.
But in the yeare 1550. King Edward the 6. for the summe of 647. pound two shillings and one penny, payd into his Court of Augmentations, and reuenewes of his Crowne, graunted to the Mayor and Comminalty, all his lands and tenements in Southwarke, except and reserued the capitall Messuage, two mansions called Southwarke place, late the Duke of Suffolkes, and all the gardens and lands to the same appertaining: the Parke and the Messuage called the Antilope. Moreouer, he gaue them the Lordship and Mannor of Southwarke, with all members & rights thereof, late pertayning to the Monastery of Bermondsey. And all messuages, places, buildings, rents, Courts, Waffes and streyes, to the same appertaining, in the County of Surrey, except as is before excepted. He also granted vnto them, his Manor & borough of Southwarke, with all the members, rights & appurtenances, late of the possession of the Archbishop of Canterbury & his sea in Southwarke. Moreover for the summe of 500. marks, he granted to the said Maior & Comminalty, and their successors, in & through the borough and towne of Southwarke: and in al the parishes of S. Sauior, S. Olaue, and saint George, and the parish of saint Tho. Hospitall, now called the kings Hospitall: and elsewhere in the said towne and Borough of Southwarke, and Kentish streete, Bermondsey street, in the parish of Newington, all waifes and streyes, treasure troue, all fellons goods, &c. within the parishes and precinct aforesaid, &c. The returne of writs, processes, and warrants, &c. together with a fayre in the whole towne, for three dayes: to wit, the 7. 8. and 9. of September, yearely, with a Court of Pye powders: A view of Franke pledge, with attachments, arrests, &c. Also to arrest all fellons, and other malefactors, within their precinct, and send them to Ward, and to Newgate. Prouided that nothing in that graunt should be preiudiciall to the Steward and Marshall of the Kinges house. The same premisses to be holden of the Mannor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, by fealty in free socage. Dated at Westminster the 23. day of April, in the 4. of his raigne. All which was also confirmed by Parliament, &c. And the same yeare in the Whitson weeke, in a Court of Aldermen kept at the Guildhall of London, sir Iohn Aylophe knight was sworne the first Alderman of the Bridge ward without, and made vp the number of 26. Aldermen of London.
This Borough, at a subsidy to the king, yeeldeth about 1000. Marks, or 800. li. which is more then any one Cittie in England paieth, except the City of London. And also the Muster of men in this Borough doth likewise in number surpasse all other cities, except London. And thus much for the Borough of Southwark: one of the 26. wards of London, which hath an Alderman, Deputies 3. and a Bayliffe. Common Councell none. Constables 16. Scauingers 6. Wardmote inquest 20. And is taxed to the fifteene at 17. li. 17.s. 8.d.