This property, a shop in Poultry between 28 and 30, may originally have been a part of 26, one of the wooden shops of Matthew Blundus lying to the W. of the 8 stone shops (31-35) which he granted to Clerkenwell Priory between 1220 and 1222.
In 1858 part of the site of the property was within that of no. 3 Poultry.
Thirteenth to fifteenth century
In 1278 this was probably one of the two shops held by Henry de Euere, from which John le Ferroun left a quit-rent of 2 marks for a chantry in the church of St. Stephen Walbrook. In 1284-5 and 1285-6 the shop of Adam of St. Albans the younger, which Henry and Clemencia de Eure had sold him, lay to the W. of 30, which they then also granted him. In 1286 the shop of Adam de Seint Auban the younger (le Joefne) lay to the E. of part of 28. In 1289 Adam of St. Albans, junior, ironmonger, left to his daughter Joan a shop (29) he had by the demise of Henry de Euere, next to 28; he also left 30, a shop similarly acquired, next to 31, to his son Richard. In 1291 Clemencia de Euere, widow of Henry de Euere, quitclaimed to Isabel of St. Albans, widow of Adam of St. Albans, junior, in two shops in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch in Sporieristrete, between 28 to the W. and 31 to the E., 26 to the S., and the highway of Sporieristrete to the N. The shops must have passed to Richard of St. Albans; in 1317 Reginald de Abyton left his two shops with solars over in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch which he had acquired from Richard of St. Albans, one (30) to his son Roger, and the other (29) to his apprentice Simon and his heirs for ever. (fn. 1)
By his will of 1327, proved in 1330, Simon Deynes, ironmonger, left to his wife Florence his shop with solar, in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, between 28 to the W., 26 to the S., 30 to the E. and the street to the N., to hold for life, with remainder to the testator's heirs. By his will of 1344 John son of Simon Deynes, late citizen and ironmonger, left his shop with solars in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, left to him by his father, to be let for five years, the money to be received by Geoffrey de Ware, citizen and ironmonger. £2 of the sum was to be paid to his brother Edmund, and the residue for masses and charity. After the term the property was to remain to the testator's brother Simon and his issue, with remainder to the testator's right heirs. Simon son of Simon Deynes held the tenement to the W. of 30 in 1345. In 1361 Edmund Deynes, citizen and ironmonger, probably the brother of John, left his shop with solar above which he had by inheritance in Colechurch parish to his wife Joan for life, with remainder to his son Thomas in tail, and ultimately for sale. Thomas died without issue, and in 1381 Hugh Richard and his wife Joan, widow and executrix of Edmund Deynes, granted the shop with solars over to Richard Goodchild, cutler, and Richard Cookham, taverner. This grant was either invalid in itself or superseded later that year, after Joan's death, when Robert de Parys, cofferer, executor of Edmund Deynes, sold the same shop to Simon de Wynchecombe, citizen and armourer, and his wife Joan, for 100 marks (£66. 13s. 4d.). Richard Goodchild and Richard Cobham quitclaimed to Simon Wynchecombe and Joan later in 1381. (fn. 2)
By 1395 Simon de Wynchecombe held 25, 29, 30-31 and 32A. He granted them all, with other rents and tenements elsewhere, to William Evot, draper, John Seymour, John Clee, draper, William Horston, Matthew Rede, and Richard Person, citizens. 29 was described as a shop with solar over, situated in Poultry, between the tenement of Adam Fraunceys (26-28) to the W. and S., 30-31 to the E. and the highway of Poultry to the N. In 1401, when Evote and his co-feoffees granted the same properties to Sir William Marchall, chaplain, John Creek, Robert Whityngham, Thomas Medbourne, John Garnet, John Colbroke, and John Ballard, citizens and tailors, 29 was held by Richard Person for life, and only the reversion of the same was granted. In 1409 a shop, probably 29, was held of Richard Person by John Hauke, ironmonger. The subsequent descent of 29, with 30-32A, to the fraternity of tailors and linen armourers (in 1413), and its history during the 15th century, when it is not clear which of the fraternity's tenants held it, is given under 25. (fn. 3)
29-31, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
In 1545 the Merchant Taylors' Company had two tenements in Poultry, of which the larger western one probably corresponds to the medieval tenements 29-31, and the smaller eastern one to 32A-B. The western one was held by Thomas Rydley on lease ('by indenture') at £4. 13s. 4d. rent. Rydley or Ridley paid this rent until 1555, when Giles Jacob, a brother of the company, paid £10 as part of his fine of £30 for a lease of the house in which Thomas Rydley late dwelt in the Poultry. Jacob also paid the £4. 13s. 4d. rent in 1555-6. He paid the residue of the fine in 1556-7 and continued to pay the same rent until c. 1562, though there is a gap in the accounts from 1557 to 1569. He occupied the house in 1558. In 1562 the company agreed to rebuild Giles Jacob's house in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. He was to pay £100 for this, to surrender his old lease and have a new one for 30 years from the time the building was complete, at a new rent of £8. After the rebuilding he was to do all repairs. Timber from Jacob's old house was sold in 1563 for £13. 6s. 8d., and it was decided to grant him a new lease for 40 years from 1563, on the same conditions as above. Jacob paid the £8 rent until his death in 1581. The occupant of 29-31 in 1571-4, however, was probably Robert Cutt; Jacob then occupied 35. In 1574 Cutt's household consisted of himself, his wife, and 4 other communicants. Giles Jacob's assigns paid the rent from 1582 to 1585, and George Pilkington paid £8 for the tenement late of Giles Jacob in 1585-6. Edward Dawkes or his assigns paid from 1586 to 1590, and Thomas Hussey, clothworker, or his assigns, paid from 1590 to 1598. In 1598 a draft lease was made out to Richard Langrey of the tenement in Poultry called the Plowe for 21 years from 1603, at £8 rent. The lease was shortly afterwards set over to Henry Hewitson, merchant tailor, for a fine of £50 to be paid by 1604. Thomas Hussey or Henry Hewitson his assign paid the £8 rent from 1598 to 1607, and Hewitson alone from 1601 to 1614. Mr. Hughson, probably Hewitson, occupied the house in 1602. (fn. 4)
Henry Huitson occupied a messuage sometime occupied by Giles Jacob, deceased, called the Plow, of Peter Mason's endowment, c. 1605. He paid the rent from 1601 to his death in 1614-15; his widow paid in 1614-15 and his executors from 1615 to 1619. Thomas Barber, who married Huitson's widow, paid the rent from 1619 to 1629. In 1624 a new lease of the Plough was granted to Thomas Barber, citizen and grocer, now living there, for 21 years at £100 fine, £8 rent, and the gift of a buck or £3. In 1629 Barber assigned the lease to Nathaniel Huitson, who surrendered it and was granted a new lease for the remaining 16 1/2 years of the term at the same rent. Nathaniel Huitson was given licence to assign to Mrs. Frances Manninge, widow, in 1629, but he paid the rent in 1629-30, his executor in 1630-1, and Frances Manninge, assign of his executors, in 1631-2. In a rental of 1632 his executors were said to hold the property for £8 rent. Frances Manninge is recorded as paying the rent from 1631 to 1645, but Thomas Carey or Carew, salter, held the lease before 1645. He may have been the 'Mr. Cory' in occupation in 1638, when the house was valued at £24 p.a. In 1643 the company agreed to grant him a new lease of the Plough in Poultry, in his occupation, on his surrrender of the current lease, for 21 years from 1645 at £300 fine, the old rent of £8, and the gift of a buck. The lease was sealed in 1645 and Carew was recorded as paying the rent from 1645 to 1653. (fn. 5)
In 1647 John Fletcher, citizen and baker, who now had the tenement late granted to Carew, petitioned for more time to pay the £100 remaining of the fine, in respect of 'the distracted times and the deadness of trading', and over £50 spent by him in repairs. The court of assistants granted him a brief respite, but part was still unpaid in June 1648. Carew was still recorded as paying the rent to 1653 but Fletcher's name was added to his in the draft accounts from 1649. A view was taken of the tenement in June 1653, and it was valued at £44 p.a. including the old rent of £8. Fletcher surrendered his lease and was granted a new one for 61 years from 1653 for a £200 fine, £8 rent, and the gift of a fat buck. Fletcher paid the rent until at least 1660; his widow paid from 1663 or earlier until the Fire. (fn. 6) The property was probably occupied in 1662-3 by Paul Carr (5 hearths), together with Jonadab Cullen (1 hearth). In 1666 Paul Carr's house had 6 hearths and Cullen is not mentioned. (fn. 7)
29-31, after the great fire
Almost two thirds of this property was cut off before rebuilding in order to widen Poultry. It had previously been an irregular quadrilateral, 17 ft. 8 in. (5.38 m.) wide at the E. end and 10 ft. (3.05 m.) wide at the W. and some 26 ft. (7.92 m.) along the S. side. After the staking out this was reduced to a triangle 22 ft. 6 in. (6.86 m.) along the street, 11 ft. 4 in. (3.45 m.) on the E., and 21 ft. 5 in. (6.83 m.) along the S. This foundation was surveyed for Mrs. Alice Fletcher and Thomas Jesson, apparently her son, in 1668. The ground cut off was estimated at 241 ft. 10 in. 'superficial' (22.47 sq. m.) and that remaining at 121 ft. 4 in. (11.27 sq. m.). The Merchant Taylors' Company granted Jesson a new lease for 86 years from 1669, on surrender of the old, which had 46 years to come, and in consideration of his rebuilding. He was to have compensation for the lost land from the City. Part of the triangle of ground left was too narrow for Jesson to make any use of, and in 1669 he agreed to lease to John Pulford, owner of 26 to the S., who could incorporate it into his new building, a triangle of land 9 ft. (2.74 m.) long on the N. and S. sides and 4 ft. (1.22 m.) at the E., to hold for 84 years, at a peppercorn rent and payment of £20. The parties agreed to allow one another to lay timbers through each other's wall, provided they did not project. Jesson was to have any compensation for the land cut off in front of the plot so leased. (fn. 8)
The City offered compensation to Mrs. Alice Fletcher of £132. 10s. This figure was arrived at by reckoning the original plot, some 380 sq. ft. (35.3 sq. m.), to be worth £70 p.a. rack rent, or £23. 6s. 8d. for the ground rent; the area cut off, some 2/3 of the whole, was therefore valued at £15. 10s. p.a. ground rent, or £232. 10s. in all (just over 15 years purchase). None of the frontage length had been lost, it was said, and the cutting-off had actually improved the house behind by giving it a frontage to Poultry which it had not had before. This improvement was valued at £100 and this amount subtracted from the £232. 10s. The settlement of compensation was still incomplete in 1676. The owners and/or tenants of this property seem to have been under-compensated for the land lost, unless they managed to obtain more than the £20 agreed above from the owner of 26 for the improvement to that property. (fn. 9)