39. WALWORTH'S COLLEGE IN ST. MICHAEL CROOKED LANE
The church of St. Michael Crooked Lane
owed much to two prominent London citizens,
John Lovekyn, who was four times mayor, and
his sometime apprentice, William Walworth, of
Wat Tyler fame: Lovekyn rebuilding the
church and Walworth adding the choir and side
chapels. (fn. 1) In 1381, moreover, Walworth obtained permission from the king to suppress
certain chantries established in the church by
Pentecosten Russel and John Harewe, William
Burgh, Henry Gubbe, William Jordain, Walter
Mordon, and Thomas atte Leye, the endowment of which had in course of time become
insufficient, and to found in their place a college
of a master and nine chaplains to celebrate for
the founders of the chantries, for Walworth and
his wife Margaret, and for John Lovekyn. (fn. 2)
The property which had belonged to the chantries in Crooked Lane, Bridge Street, Thames
Street and elsewhere was settled on the college, (fn. 3)
and further provision for its maintenance must
have been made by Walworth on a very ample
scale, (fn. 4) since the royal licence given to the college
in 1381 to acquire in mortmain lands and tenements to the annual value of £40 could only
have been granted with a view to his benefactions. (fn. 5) At the time of the foundation Walworth
had assigned to the priests a house near the
church for a dwelling-place. (fn. 6) Important, however, as the college was in size, it remained only
a chantry and never absorbed into itself the
organization of the parish church (fn. 7) as did Poultney's College and Whittington's.
It lasted until the general suppression of colleges and chantries in the reign of Edward VI. (fn. 8)
Pensions of £5 a year were then paid to seven
priests and one 'conduct.' (fn. 9)
||Stow, Surv. of Lond. (ed. Strype), ii, 185.
||Pat. 4 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 12, printed in Dugdale,
Mon. Angl. vi, 1380.
||Either by grants during his lifetime or by bequest. He seems to have arranged by his will in
1385 that his wife should assign the revenues of
certain property in the City to the college, and that
after her death some tenements and rents should be
entrusted to the rector and churchwardens of St.
Michael's for that purpose. Sharpe, Cal. of Wills, ii,
Cal. of Pat. 1377–81, p. 612.
||The rector of the church continued as before and
seems not to have been connected in any way with
the college. Sharpe, Cal. of Wills, ii, 251; Valor
Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 371; L. and P. Hen. VIII, v,
||Tanner, Notitia Mon.
||Chant. Cert. No. 88, m. 5. By 1556 the eight
were reduced to five. Add. MS. 8102, fol. 4.