A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.
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Liberties of the Dutchie of Lancaster
Next without the Barre, the new temple, and Liberties of the Citty of London, in the Suburbes, is a libertie pertayning to the Dutchie of Lancaster, which beginneth in the east, on the south side or left hand by the riuer Thames, and stretcheth west to Iuie bridge where it endeth, and againe on the north side or right hand, some small distance without Temple barre in the high streete from a payre of stockes there standing, stretcheth one large middle row or troupe of small tenementes, partly opening to the south, partly towardes the north, vp west to a stone crosse, now headles, ouer against the Strand, and this is the boundes of that libertie, which sometime belonged to Briane Lisle, since to Peter of Sauoy, and then to the house of Lancaster, as shall be shewed: Henry the third in the 30. yeare of his raigne did graunt to his vnckle Peter of Sauoy all those houses vpon the Thames, which sometimes pertayned to Briane de Insula, or Lisle, without the Walles of his Cittie of London, in the way or streete called the Strand, to hold to him and to his heyres, yeelding yearely in the Exchequer at the feast of S. Michaell Tharchangell, three barbed arrowes for all seruices. Dated at Reding, &c. This Peter of Sauoy builded the Sauoy.
But first amongst other buildinges memorable for greatnes on the riuer of Thames, Excester house, so called for that the same belonged to the Bishoppes of Excester, and was their Inne or London lodging: who was first builder thereof I haue not read, but that Walter Stapleton was a greate Builder there in the raigne of Edward the second is manifest, for the Citizens of London when they had beheaded him in Cheape neare vnto the cathedrall Church of S. Paule, they buried him in a heape of Sand of rubbish in his owne house without Temple barre, where he had made great building. Edmond Lacie Bishoppe of Excester builded the great hall in the raigne of Henry the 6, &c. The same hath since beene called Paget house, because William Lord Paget enlarged and possessed it. Then Leycester house, because Robert Dudley Earle of Leycester of late new builded there, & now Essex house of the Earle of Essex lodging there.
Then was the Bishop of Bathes Inne, lately new builded, for a great part thereof, by the Lord Thomas Seamer Admirall, which house came sithens to bee possessed by the Earle of Arundel, and thereof called Arundell house.
Next beyond the which on the street side was sometime a faire cemitorie or churchyeard, and in the same a parrish Church called of the Natiuity of our Lady and the Innocents of the Strand, & of some by meane of a Brotherhood kept there, called of S.Vrsula at the Strand.
And neare adioyning to the sayd church betwixt it and the riuer of Thames, was an Inne of Chancery commonly called Chesters Inne, (because it belonged to the Bishop of Chester,) by others named of the scituation Strand Inne.
Then was there an house belonging to the Bishop of Landaffe, for I find in record the 4. of Edwarde the 2. that a vacant place lying neare the church of our Lady at Strand, the sayde Bishop procured it of Thomas Earle of Lancaster for the enlarging of this house.
Then was the Bishoppe of Chester (commonly called of Lichfield and Couentrie) his Inne or London lodging: this house was first builded by Walter Langton Bishoppe of Chester, treasurer of England in the raigne of Edward the first.
And next vnto it adioyning was the Bishop of Worcesters Inne: all which, to wit the parrish of Saint Mary at Strande, Strand Inne, Strand Bridge with the lane vnder it, the Bishop of Chesters Inne, the Bishoppe of Worcesters Inne, with all the tenementes adioyning, were by commandement of Edward Duke of Sommerset vncle to Edward the sixt, and Lord Protector pulled downe, and made leuell ground, in the yeare 1549. In place whereof he builded that large and goodly house, now called Somerset house.
In the high street neare vnto the Strande, sometime stoode a crosse of stone against the Bishoppe of Couentrie or Chester his house, whereof I read that in the yeare 1294. and diuers other times, the Iustices Itenerantes sate without London, at the stone Crosse ouer against the Bishop of Couentries house, & sometime they sate in the Bishop house, which was hard by the strand as is afore sayd.
Then next is the Sauoy, so called of Peter Earle of Sauoy and Richmond, sonne to Thomas Earle of Sauoy, brother to Boniface Archbishop of Canterbury, and vncle vnto Heleanor wife to king H. the third.
He first builded this house in the yeare 1245. And here is occasion offered mee, for satisfying of some Denyers thereof, to proue that this Peter of Sauoy was also Earle of Sauoy. Wherefore out of a booke of the Genealogies of all the whole house of Sauoy, compiled of Phillebert Pingonio, Baron of Suzani, remayning in the handes of W. Smith, alias Rougedragon, officer of Armes, I haue gathered this. Thomas Earle of Sauoy had issue by Beatrix, daughter to Aimon Earle of Geneva, 9. sons & 3. daughters: Amadis his first son succeeded Earle of Sauoy in the yeare 1253. Peter his second son, Earle of Sauoy & of Richmond, in 1268. Philip his third sonne, Earle of Sauoy and Burgundie, 1284. Thomas the 4. Earle of Flaunders and prince of Piemont, Boniface the eight, Archbishop of Canterbury, Beatrix his daughter maried to Reymond Beringarius of Aragon, Earle of Prouince and Narbone, had issue & was mother to fiue Queenes: The first, Margaret, wife to Lewes king of Fraunce, 2. Elianor wife to Henry the 3. king of England, 3. Sanctia, wife to Richard king of Romaines, 4. Beatrix wife to Charles king of Naples, 5. Iohanna wife to Philip king of Nauarre.
To return again to the house of Sauoy, Queene Eleanor, wife to king Henry the third, purchased this place afterwards of the Fraternitie or Brethren of Montioy, vnto whome Peter of Sauoy, as it seemeth, had giuen it, for her sonne Edmonde Earle of Lancaster, (as M. Camden hath noted out of a Register booke of the Dukes of Lancaster). Henry Duke of Lancaster repayred or rather new builded it with the charges of 52,000. Markes, which money he had gathered together at the Town of Bridgerike. (fn. 1)
In the yeare 1381. the rebelles of Kent and Essex burnt this house, vnto the which there was none in the realme to bee compared in beauty and statelines, (sayth mine Author). They set fire on it round about, and made proclamation that none, on payne to loose his head, should conuert to his own vse any thing that there was, but that they should breake such plate and vessell of Gold and siluer as was founde in that house (which was in great plentie) into small peeces, and throw the same into the riuer of Thames: Precious stones they should bruse in mortars, that the same might bee to no vse, and so it was done by them: One of their companions they burned in the fire, because he minded to haue reserued one goodly peece of plate.
They found there certaine barrels of Gunpowder, which they thought had beene golde or siluer, and throwing them into the fire, more suddenly then they thought, the Hall was blowne vppe, the houses destroyed, and themselues very hardly escaped away.
This house being thus defaced, and almost ouerthrown by these rebelles for malice they bare to Iohn of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, of latter time came to the kings hands, and was again raysed and beautifully builded, for an Hospitall of S. Iohn Baptist, by king Henry the seuenth, about the yeare 1509. for the which Hospitall, retayning still the old name of Sauoy, he purchased lands to be imployed vpon the releeuing of an hundred poor people. This Hospitall being valued to dispend 529 pound, fifteene shillings, &c. by yeare, was suppressed the tenth of Iune, the seuenth of Edward the sixt, the beddes, bedding and other furniture belonging thereunto with seuen hundred markes of the said landes by yeare, hee gaue to the Citizens of London, with his house of Bridewell, to the furnishing thereof to be a workehouse for the poore and idle persons, and towards the furnishing of the Hospital of S. Thomas in Southwarke lately suppressed.
This Hospitall of Sauoy was againe new founded, erected, corporated and endowed with landes by Queene Mary, the thirde of Nouember: in the fourth of her raigne one Iackson tooke possession, and was made maister thereof in the same moneth of Nouember. The Ladies of the Court, and Maydens of honour (a thing not to be forgotten) stored the same of new with beddes, bedding and other furniture, in very ample manner, &c. and it was by patent so confirmed at Westminster, the 9. of May, the 4. and 5. of Philip and Mary.
The next was sometime the Bishoppe of Carliles Inne, which now belongeth to the Earle of Bedford, and is called Russell or Bedford house. It stretcheth from the Hospitall of Sauoy, west to Iuie bridge, where sir Robert Cecill, principall Secretary to her Maiestie, hath lately raysed a large and stately house of brick and timber, as also leuiled and paued the high way neare adioining, to the great beautifying of that street, and commoditie of passengers. Richard the 2. in the 8. of his raigne, granted licence to paue with stone the high way called Strand street from Temple barre to the Sauoy, and tole to be taken towards the charges, and again the like was granted in the 24. of H. the 6.
Iuie bridge in the high street which had a way vnder it, leading downe to the Thames, the like as sometime had the Strand bridge, is now taken downe, but the lane remayneth as afore, or better, & parteth the Liberty of the Dutchie, and the Citty of Westminster on that south side.
Now to beginne againe at Temple Barre ouer against it. In the high streete as is afore shewed, is one large Middle Rowe of houses and small Tenementes builded, partly opening to the South, partlie towardes the north. Amongst the which standeth the parrish Church of saint Clement Danes, so called because Harolde a Danish king and other Danes were buried there. This Harolde whome king Canutus had by a Concubine, raigned three yeares, and was buried at Westminster, but afterwarde Hardicanutus the lawfull sonne of Canutus, in revenge of a displeasure done to his mother, by expelling her out of the Realme, and the murder of his brother Allured, commaunded the body of Harolde to bee digged out of the earth, and to bee throwne into the Thames, where it was by a Fisherman taken vppe and buried in this Churchyeard: but out of a fayre leager Booke, sometime belonging to the Abbey of Chartsey, in the Countie of Surrey, is noted as in Francis Thin, after this sorte. In the raigne of king Etheldred, the Monastery of Chartsey was destroyed. 90. Monkes of that house were slayne by the Danes, whose bodyes were buried in a place next to the Olde Monastery. William Malmseberie sayeth, they burnt the Church together with the Monkes and Abbot. But the Danes continuing in their fury (throughout the whole lande) desirous at the length to returne home in to Denmarke, were by the iust iudgement of God all slayne at London in a place which is called the Church of the Danes.
This sayde middle row of houses stretching west to a Stone Crosse, now headles, by or against the Strand, including the sayd parrish Church of S. Clement, is also wholy of the libertie and Dutchie of Lancaster.
Thus much for the Boundes and antiquities of this libertie, wherein I haue noted Parrish Churches twaine, sometime 3. houses of name 6. to wit, the Sauoy, or Lancaster house, now an Hospitall, Somerset house, Essex house, Arundell house, Bedford or Russell house, and sir Robert Cecils house, besides Chesters Inne or Strand Inne, sometime an Inne of Chancerie, &c. This liberty is gouerned by the Chanceler of that Dutchie, at this present Sir Robert Cecil knight, principall Secretary to her Maiestie, & one of her Maiesties most honorable priuie Councellers. There is vnder him a Steward that keepeth court and Leete for the Queene, giueth the charge and taketh the oathes of euerie vnder Officer: then is there 4. Burgesses, and 4. assistants to take vp controuersies, a Bayliffe which hath 2. or 3. vnder Bailiffes, that make arrests within that libertie, 4. Constables, 4. Wardens that keepe the lands and Stocke for the poore, 4. wardens for high wayes, a Iury or Inquest of 14. or 16. to present defaults, 4. Alecunners, which looke to Assisse of weightes & measures &c. 4. Scauengers and a Beadle, and their common Prison is Newgate. There is in this liberty 50. men which is alwayes to be at an howers warning, with all necessary furniture to serue the Queene, as occasion shall require. Their charge at a Fifteene is 13.s. 4.d. Thus much for the Suburbe in the libertie of the Dutchie of Lancaster.