Before the mid-13th century this property lay between 95/13-15 on the N., 105/16 on the W., and the house where Thomas Becket had been born (18) on the E. The property was then divided: the rear part was acquired by the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre in 1261-2, while the shops on the Cheapside frontage remained in private hands until they were acquired by the hospital in 1444. The street frontage of the property corresponded approximately to no. 87 Cheapside in 1858.
In 1227-8 this was the land of Thomas son of Andrew Bokerel, and by about 1246-7 it was described as the land which had belonged to Thomas Bokerel and adjoined the S. side of the eastern part of 95/13-15. In 1206-7 18 was said to adjoin the S. side of 95/13-15 at its E. end, and between then and the 1240s Thomas Bokerel may have extended his holding towards the N. (fn. 1) Bokerel's property included the shops in front of 105/16 (q.v.). Thomas Bokerel, senior, left his properties to Thomas Bokerel, junior, and his legitimate heirs, and by 1258-9 they were in the possession of the latter's daughter and heir, Alice, and her husband John de Aspal (or de Hospedale). By about this date Adam de Basyng had purchased from the daughter (unnamed) of Thomas de Bokerell and her husband Bartholomew a rent of £2 from 16, which was described as the house nearest the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre on the W. De Basyng bequeathed the rent as part of the endowment of a chantry he had established in the church of St. Mary Aldermanbury. (fn. 2)
In 1258-9 John de Hospedale and his wife granted the rear part of 17 to Hervey le Ferron, citizen, in return for a gersum of £10 and rents of 1/2 lb. of cumin or 1/2d. to the donors and £2 to Adam de Basinges and his heirs. This property was described as a house lying between the house of St. Thomas of Acre on the E. and 16 on the W. together with an entry between the wall of the chapel of St. Thomas on the E. and the grantor's shops on the W. The shops on the Cheapside frontage, the two solars above them, and the means of access to the solars were specifically excepted from the grant. In 1261-2 Hervey le Ferron granted this house to the master and brothers of St. Thomas of Acre in return for a gersum of £32. (fn. 3) The hospital appears to have acquired this property in order to enlarge its church and in an adjustment of boundaries with the owner of 16 in 1268-9 land which probably lay behind the more westerly shops was ceded to 16 (q.v.).
By 1259 William de Manhale, chandler (unctarius), held the shops from John de Aspal and his wife, and at about the same time a shop on the E. side of 16 was said to belong to Peter son of Alan (later part of 17, cf. below). John de Aspal and his wife Alice granted the front part of 17 to Roger of St. Albans, chandler (candellar'), also known as Roger le Chaundeler, for a term of 40 years from Easter 1269 at £6. 13s. 4d. rent. By 1270 this gift had been converted to a grant in perpetuity. The property was described as 7 shops with solars above and access to the solars by a door, the whole lying between the chapel of St. Thomas on the E. and a shop formerly of Peter son of Alan on the W. (cf. Fig. 4). (fn. 4)
The £6. 13s. 4d. rent from these shops had a long history. By 1270 de Aspal and his wife had granted it to Roger de Aspal, clerk, who granted it to Roger Beyvyn, citizen and draper. By his will, proved in 1277-8, Beyvyn left £4 out of the rent to maintain a chaplain celebrating in the new chapel in St. Paul's cemetery over the charnel. At this date the shops were said to be bounded by the entry to the chapel of St. Thomas on the E. In 1429 David Fleur, chaplain of Beyvyn's chantry, granted the £4 rent to Henry Jolipace, chaplain, and John Carpenter, and the grant was confirmed by the then owners of 17 (cf. below). In 1439, Jolipace having died, Carpenter granted the rent to Robert Chichele, citizen and grocer. Bevyn left £1. 6s. 8d. of the £6. 13s. 4d. rent to St. Mary Spital, which still received it in the mid-15th century. He left 13s. 4d. of the rent to the mayor, who was to appoint the chaplain to his chantry: this presumably ceased to be paid in 1429 or earlier. Beyvyn bequeathed the remaining 13s. 4d. of the rent for the benefit of the souls of the brothers of St. Thomas the Martyr at the Conduit: in the 14th century this rent was received by the city chamber; it was presumably the rent claimed by the chamberlain from the silk weighhouse of the Mercer's Company (see 18) in 1542; and noted as due from the company in 1584-6; this rent was entered in the rentals in the city cash accounts from 1632-3 onwards, but was noted as 'desperate' and was removed from the rental in 1651-2. (fn. 5)
The shops and solars passed to Joan widow of Roger le Chaundeler, who by her will, proved in 1303, left them to be sold by her executors. If Matthew de Foleham, chandler and formerly Roger's apprentice, was alive and wished to buy the property, he was to be favoured by £3. 6s. 8d. Matthew de Foleham, citizen, did buy the property and by his will, proved in 1312, left the 7 shops with 4 solars above them, a stone wall, and free entry and exit, to his wife Margery for life. The shops were then to be sold, and if William Danyel of St. Albans wished to buy them he was to be favoured by £3. 6s. 8d. De Foleham had also acquired a shop between 16 and 17 (probably that which had once belonged to Peter son of Alan, cf. above) and left it to his apprentice John atte Holm. (fn. 6)
William Danyel appears to have purchased the 7 shops and under the name of William of St. Albans, chandler, by his will, dated 1336 and proved in 1337 left the property, now described as 4 shops, each with two windows, with solars above, to his wife Joan for life; on her death the shops were to be sold and the money used for pious purposes. In 1346 Joan granted the 4 shops with solars, which were now bounded by 16 and the church of St. Thomas on the N. to another William of St. Albans, citizen and chandler, for the term of her life. In the following year William leased the shops to Joan for the term of her life at 1d. p.a. rent, with remainder to him and his heirs and assigns. (fn. 7)
William Danyel of St. Albans, citizen and chandler, had acquired the shop which lay between 16 and 17 in 1323 by a grant from John atte Holmes of Enfield, citizen and chandler. In 1347 William's widow Joan, presumably acting as her husband's executor, granted this shop in perpetuity to John son of John of St. Albans, formerly citizen and tanner. The shop measured 1 1/4 ells (3 ft. 9 in.; 1.14 m.) in width between the boarded partitions (inter clausturas de bordis factis) of the entry to 16 on the W. and the other shops in 17 on the E., and measured 1 1/8 ells (3 ft. 4 1/2 in.; 1.03 m.) in length and 2 11/16 ells (8 ft. 9 in.; 2.67 m.) in height from le plate to the joists of the solar of William de Hatfield. In March 1348 John granted this shop to William Albon, citizen and leatherseller, and received from William £5 to trade with on his behalf. By his will, proved in 1349, William Albon, citizen and fellmonger, left the shop to his wife Agnes for life with remainders to his son Stephen and heirs and then to the testator's daughters Margery and Felicia. In 1351 Albon's executors granted the shop to William de Hatfeld, to whom in 1357 Albon's daughter and heir Margaret quitclaimed. (fn. 8)
William de Hatfeld was probably identical with the William of St. Alban's, chandler, who in 1352-3 brought an assize of nuisance and complained of intrusion against the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre concerning a tenement in this parish. The master of the hospital brought an assize of nuisance against William. William died in 1368-9 and in 1369 his executors, following the terms of his will, sold his tenement with houses and shops adjacent between 16 on the W. and the church of St. Thomas on the E., to Richard Norton, Ralph Brun, William Horstone, and Richard Godchild, citizens. (fn. 9) These grantees may have held to the use of William de Hatfeld's widow and executrix, Emma, and in 1371 there was a controversy between William de Thame and his wife Juliana, as owners of 16, and this Emma over the shop between 16 and 17. The uncertainty probably arose because the shops in front of 16 and 17 had been rebuilt and rearranged. The de Thames claimed that Juliana's ancestor, William de Betoyne (cf. 16), had been seised of the shop. Emma claimed that the four grantees of 1369 had assigned the shop to her as her dower in the 4 shops which her husband had left to be sold. There was evidently some confusion over how many shops there were in 17. It was decided in Husting that the de Thames should recover seisin of the shop and that Emma should have a third part of the 3 shops remaining in the hands of the 4 grantees as her dower. Later in the year William de Thame and his wife granted the shop to the 4 grantees, reserving to William and his heirs and assigns a rent of 13s. 4d. The shop was now said to be bounded by the stone wall of 16 at the back and to lie beneath the recently built solar of 16 and beneath the solar of 17. The grantees let the shop to Emma for life as part of her dower and in December 1371 sold the whole of 17, including the shop, to Simon de Wynchecombe, armourer, and Thomas Pope, shearman, both citizens. From the certificate of 1389 concerning the fraternity of St. Katharine in the parish church of St. Mary Colechurch it is clear that de Wynchecombe and Pope held the property for the benefit of the fraternity. The tenements and shops were said to be worth £6. 13s. 4d. (10 marks) p.a. out of which, after repairs had been paid for, a chaplain celebrating at the altar of St. Katharine in the church and 5 candles at the same altar were to be paid for. (fn. 10)
De Wynchecombe and Pope engaged in a dispute with the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre over a wall 11 ft. 3 in. (3.43 m.) long between their tenement and the house of St. Thomas of Acre next to the south door of the church sub volto (perhaps a reference to a vaulted entry to the church of St. Thomas). A panel of carpenters and masons judged that the wall had been built obliquely and encroached 4 in. (102 mm.) on to the ground of de Wynchecombe and Pope at the S. end, diminishing to nothing towards the N. In 1392 de Wynchecombe and Pope sold the property, described as a tenement with houses and shops, to Thomas Lyncoln, John Clee, John Mulstede, and Robert Luton, citizens and drapers, and John Seymour, who in 1401 apparently held the property on behalf of William Evot, citizen and draper. Mulstede died and in 1404 his cofeoffees granted the property to Evot's executors, who in the same year granted it to William Deuerston, Thomas Lyncoln, and Richard Clere, citizens, John Kyllam, citizen and grocer, and John Bryan of Suffolk. In 1421 Bryan quitclaimed to the other surviving feoffee, Clere, a draper, who immediately granted the property to John Prentout and John Elvys, citizens and drapers, who in the same year granted it to Thomas Pyke, John Pyke, Richard Clere, Reginald Welham, Richard Fordell, John Comber, William Hervy, Richard Osbarn, and John Chesham. Thomas Pyke, John Pyke, and Richard Clere died, and in 1435 the survivors granted the property to Henry Frowyk, mercer and alderman, Emma Boston, widow, Thomas Bataill, mercer, Nicholas Yeo, draper, Thomas Onhand, mercer, Alexander Sprot, vintner, John Notebroun, hatter, Nicholas Egremound, pewterer, and Richard Lindesay, scrivener, citizens. In 1438 the other grantees quitclaimed to Yeo, who by his will, dated October 1444, a few days before he died, left the property to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre as an endowment for the obit of his former master Thomas Pyke and his wife. The successive groups of feoffees had presumably all held on behalf of the fraternity of St. Katharine. The assignment of the property to the hospital may be associated with a reorganization of the fraternity, which continued to flourish into the 16th century (see 105/0). In 1458 St. Mary Spital quitclaimed to the hospital in the rent it had from the property. (fn. 11)
In 1382 the shop from which the 13s. 4d. rent to William de Thame and his wife was due was said to measure 4 ells 11 inches (12 ft. 11 in.; 3.94 m.) in length and 2 ells (6 ft.; 1.83 m.) in width. The length presumably represents the N.-S. depth of the W. end of the property. In 1377-8 the rent was subject to the same series of transactions as 16 (q.v.). De Thame and his wife granted it in 1382 to John Boosham and John Asshurst, citizens. In 1394, Boosham being dead, William, son and heir of John Asshurst, granted the rent to Richard Warde, citizen and sheather, who by his will, dated 1401 and proved in 1407, left it to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre as an endowment for his obit. (fn. 12) De Thame's kinsman and residuary legatee, Robert Louthe, junior (cf. 16), seems not to have known that de Thame had disposed of the rent, for in 1398 he granted a reversionary interest in it to Hugh Herland, John Cornwaleys, and Thomas Colred. (fn. 13)
In 1512 17 formed the greater part of the ground which the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre made over to the Mercers' Company for the enlargement of their hall and chapel. There were said to have been two tenements there in 1510, when the proposed enlargement is first recorded. In 1512 Thomas Michell, ironmonger, was said to have ceased to dwell in the one next to the door of the church of St. Thomas held under a 20 year lease of which 7 years had expired. The other tenement appears to have been held by Morgan Williams and his wife Joan for the term of their lives. In 1514 Henry Lodyngton inhabited the more westerly of the tenements, which were presumably demolished in 1517 when work on the new hall and chapel began. (fn. 14) For the later history of the site, see 105/18.