St. Pancras Soper Lane 145/8

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'St. Pancras Soper Lane 145/8', Historical gazetteer of London before the Great Fire: Cheapside; parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St Mary le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane (1987), pp. 675-684. URL: Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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This was a seld between 145/10 on the W. and shops (145/3- 7), some of which belonged to the owner of the seld, lying between it and Cheapside on the N. and Soper Lane on the E. In the mid-13th century the property came into the possession of the collegiate church of St. Martin le Grand and thereafter was usually known as 'St. Martin's seld'. It was occasionally known in the 14th century as 'girdlers' seld' and as la Streyteseld, a name which distinguished it from the adjoining Broad Seld (145/10).

In 1858 the property was nos. 1 and 2 Queen Street and no. 69 Cheapside.

Thirteenth to mid-fourteenth century

The main freehold interest

In the early 13th century the seld and some of the shops adjoining belonged to Martin Niger, glover, also known as Martin Want', who c. 1210 disposed of one of the shops next to Soper Lane (see 7G). The property then passed to Martin's son, who c. 1220-30 as Lawrence son of Martin Want' (he is named as Lawrence Niger on his seal) granted to Hervey Blundus, currier (coriarius) his seld with houses and shops in the parish of St. Pancras which had belonged to his father. The property was bounded by 10 on the W. and the new street (novus vicus, i.e. Soper Lane) on the E. and had entries and exits towards both Cheapside and the new street. The shops lay both in front and next to the new street. Hervey gave £2 in gersumum and Lawrence reserved to himself and his heirs a rent of £13 (19 1/2 marks). Under an indented agreement of about the same date Hervey assured the rent to Lawrence by offering all his other properties as a counterpledge for default of rent. Hervey also undertook to rebuild the seld at his own cost if it were to be devasted by fire, agreed neither to mortgage any part of the seld nor give any part of it to Jews or a religious house without the consent of Lawrence or his successors, agreed to sustain the tenants of the seld and the shopkeepers (sopar') who held of Lawrence in fee, concerning both their shops and the places for their chests (loci cistar') according to their agreement with Lawrence and agreed not to exact from them more than they owed. The tenants in fee and their rents were listed as follows: Robert of Beverley, £1. 3s.; Maurice Want', £1. 4s.; Ralph de Bredef', 7s.; John de Straf', 4s.; Walter Gulle, 4s.; Ralph Blundus, 10s.; Thomas de Reigate, 4s.; Richard Gallicus, 7s. (for a shop in Soper Lane: 7G). There were presumbly several other tenants who did not hold in fee. (fn. 1)

Lawrence, who was a chaplain, granted his £13 rent and all his right in the tenement and seld to St. Mary Spital. The seld, houses, and shops passed to William son and heir of Hervey Blundus, who in 1246, as William Hervy, was presented for having built a pentice encroaching on to Cheapside in front of his property in the Mercery. In 1252-3 William granted the seld, houses, and shops to the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand. This property was now charged with rents of £13 to St. Mary Spital, £3 to Lawrence son of William son of Benedict and his heirs (due from 7H-K, which may not previously have been part of the property), and 1/2 lb. of cummin to the grantor and his heirs. In return for the grant the dean and chapter gave £16. 13s. 4d. Shortly afterwards William's wife, Alice daughter of Godfrey de Berking, quitclaimed and renounced all right of dower in the property, which her husband had sold with her assent for their urgent business and because the seld had fallen into ruin and they were unable to rebuild it. The dean and chapter purchased the property with money given them to buy an endowment for 2 chantry priests and 2 perpetual vicars in their church. In 1254 the priests, who were to celebrate for the souls of Thomas Maug and William de Wintonia, were themselves established as vicars, and in the late 14th century the 2 chantries each received £2. 6s. 8d. a year out of this endowment and property in Foster Lane which had been acquired to augment it. (fn. 2)


The church of St. Martin le Grand remained in possession of the property into the 15th century and paid a number of quit-rents for it. The most substantial of these, originally worth £13 a year, was due to St. Mary Spital. From time to time it fell into arrears and was also subject to erosion. In 1352 the prior of the hospital claimed 1 1/2 years arrears of a rent of £9. 2s., and this was the amount of rent paid for the property by St. Martin le Grand to St. Mary Spital in 1385-6 and, following a plea of intrusion, in 1393. The priors of St. Mary Spital brought further pleas of intrusion against St. Martin le Grand concerning the property in 1401-2 and 1407, and by the early 16th century (see below, iii) appear to have received no more than £6. 14s. 8d. a year from the property. (fn. 3)

By 1385-6 the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand were paying a quit-rent of £1. 18s. to Kilburn Priory for the seld. The rent was in dispute in 1391-2, and in 1399 the prioress brought a plea of intrusion against the dean concerning the property. Bermondsey Priory had acquired a rent of £2 from the property by 1385-6. This rent was in dispute in 1391-2, and in 1396 and 1398 the priory complained of intrusion by St. Martin le Grand concerning this property. The £2 rent was due to the priory in 1418, but no later record of it has been identified. In 1385-6 St. Martin le Grand owed 8s. quit-rent to the priory of St. Mary Overy for a tenement in London called Pollard, but this was probably not 8. (fn. 4)

Plots within the seld: mid-thirteenth century

The landlord of the seld let plots of ground within it to tenants who placed on them chests and coffers where they kept and displayed their wares. Many of these tenants probably held at will, but in a number of cases plots were granted to tenants in fee or for terms of lives, and from the records of these grants it is possible to reconstruct something of the interior arrangement of the seld (Fig. 4). The seld had stone walls on either side and there was presumably a roof since the landlord undertook to secure the plots against the wind and rain. The plots and chests were ranged along either side of the seld and there was presumably a passage down the middle, probably about 3 ft. (914 mm.) wide. Several of the plots were granted by William son of Hervey Blundus, probably shortly before 1252-3. In the following account the plots mentioned in the mid 13th century are identified as 8A-N.

Before 1252-3 William son of Hervey granted to William Throtegos 2 places for chests (loca cistarum) in the seld and 2 places for chests in front of the said chests (8A) containing in length next to the W. wall of the seld 4 1/8 ells (12 ft. 4 1/2 in.; 1.33 m.) in length from the chest of Geoffrey of St. Lawrence (8E) on the N. and 2 3/4 ells (8 ft. 3 in.; 2.51 m.) in width. The grant also included a free space 2 feet (609 mm.) of St. Paul in width between the 2 chests, where a bench could be placed if required, and a place for a chest and another chest in front of it (8B) measuring 1 3/4 ells (5 ft. 3 in.; 1.6 m.) in length next to the E. wall of the seld and in width 2 3/4 ells (8 ft. 3 in.; 2.51 m.). The latter plot (8B) was said to be near the chest of Thomas Bukelar (8C) towards the N., extra loco unius ciste. William Throtegos gave £1 for this grant and was to pay the grantor and his heirs 6s. rent. As an easement he was to have an open louvre (luuarium apertum) to be made at his own cost on the E. side of the seld. The plots described in this grant are the widest of those recorded and probably lay at the S. end of the seld where it was widest. This location is the more likely since no other plots or chests were said to adjoin them on the S. (fn. 5)

Thomas le Bukeler's place for a chest (placea ad locum unius ciste; 8C) descended to his daughter Amabilia, who between 1252-3 and 1258 granted it to Gunnora Ferebraz in return for a payment of £1. 13s. 4d. and rents of 1/2 lb. of cummin to the grantor and 2s. to the canons of St. Martin le Grand. The place lay between a chest of Peter Child (8D) on the N. and a chest of William Throtegos (8B) on the S. and measured 1 1/2 ells (4 ft. 6 in.; 1.37 m.) in length and 2 ells (6 ft.; 1.83 m.) in width. In 1258 the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand granted the same property to Gunnilda Fierbras, woman (mulier), who was to pay them the 2s. rent and renounce any right she had in the property by the earlier grant from Amabilia. After the death of Gunnilda and any heirs born of her, the plot was to revert to St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 6)

8F was on the W. side of the seld. Shortly before 1252-3 William son of Hervey the currier granted to Geoffrey of St. Lawrence (his seal depicts a gridiron) a place for a chest on the W. side of the seld measuring 7 ft. (2.13 m.) of St. Paul by 7 ft. between the chest held by John May (8G) on the N. and the chest held by the grantee (8E?) on the S. Geoffrey gave 5s. for the grant and was to pay the grantor and his heirs 4s. rent; the grantor was to protect the place against wind and rain. (fn. 7)

8H, J, and K lay on the E. side of the seld. Shortly before 1252-3 William son of Hervey le Coreer granted to Robert Sevenhod son of William de Wadingefeld and to Robert's wife, Alice la Koyfere, a plot on the E. side of the seld for a great chest and a smaller chest in front of it (8J), formerly held by Richard de Lamesse and lying between the chest of the grantees (8K) on the N. and the chest which Adam de Melkstrath, draper, held of the grantor (8H) on the S. The plot (8J) measured 2 ells less 2 in. (5 ft. 10 in.; 1.78 m.) in length and 2 1/4 ells and 1 in. (6 ft. 10in.; 2.08 m.) in width. The grantees gave 2s. and were to hold the plot for the term of their lives at 8s. rent. (fn. 8)

The position of 8L-N is uncertain. Shortly before 1252-3 William son of Hervey granted to Henry de Grantham for the term of his life a plot for a coffer with a chest in front of it (8M) in the seld measuring 1 3/4 ells (5 ft. 3 in.; 1.6 m.) in length by 2 1/2 ells (7 ft. 6 in.; 2.29 m.) in width, between a chest of Reginald Niger (8L) on the S. and a chest of Alexander le Orbatur (8N) on the N. Henry made a down payment of 6s. and was to pay a rent of 6s. (fn. 9)

In the mid 13th century the seld thus contained at least 14 plots on which there were at least 19 chests. Most of the plots were probably a little over 5 ft. (1.52 m.) from N. to S. and between about 7 ft. (2.13 m.) and 8 ft. (2.44 m.) in depth. Several of the shops on the W. side of Soper Lane were no larger in area. The recorded plots probably occupied about two-thirds of the available floor area within the seld. In the mid 13th century the seld may thus have contained a total of about 21 plots and perhaps more than 30 chests, with a corresponding number of traders.

Plots within the seld: late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries

There are several records of plots and chests in the seld during this period, but for only some of them can a location be suggested.

In spite of the terms of the grant of 8J to Robert Sevehod, both 8J and 8K appear to have remained in the possession of his descendants. In 1304-5 Thomas de Loddelowe and his wife Joan, who had formerly been the wife of Henry Sevehod, quitclaimed to St. Martin le Grand in the two places for 2 chests (placee duarum cistarum) on the E. side of the great seld of St. Martin (magna selda sancti Martini) measuring 4 ells less 5 in. (11 ft. 7 in.; 3.53 m.) in length by 4 1/2 ells and 2 in. (13 ft. 8 in.; 4.17 m.) in width. This width would have been almost equal to that of the full width of the seld and the plots must therefore have included ground not included in 8J and K in the mid 13th century. (fn. 10)

In 1290-1 the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand leased to John Scarlet, mercer, and his wife Idonia for the term of their lives at 4s. rent a plot of land in the seld between the entry of the house which the lessees held in the seld on the W. and the stone wall of the seld on the E. The plot measured 2 1/2 ells (7 ft. 6 in.; 2.29 m.) in length by 2 1/4 ells (6 ft. 9 in.; 2.06 m.) in width. John Scarlet's shop in Soper Lane (145/4) eventually came into the possession of John de Grantham, pepperer, who may also have acquired his former holding in the seld. At his death in 1344-5 de Grantham left his chests and cupboards (ciste et almariole) in the seld to his son John. (fn. 11)

By his will enrolled in 1285 Robert de Meldeburne left to his son Richard his chest (arca) which he had in the seld of St. Martin next to Soper Lane. (fn. 12)

There are records of another plot in the seld. John son of Roger le Stiwr granted the locus in the seld of St. Martin le Grand to Adam le Trogg, to whom by a deed enrolled in 1282 Gilbert de Farle, clerk, and his wife Juliana quitclaimed in return for a payment of 6s. 8d. By his will enrolled in 1316 Adam Trugg left to his son Matthew 2 chests with a plot standing in the seld, being the first on the W. side except for one. It was probably from this property that John Potyn, girdler, acquired a rent of 8s. from Richard de Trugh. In his will, dated 1332 and enrolled 1333, Potyn stated that the rent was due from a house in Cheapside in the parish of St. Pancras called Gerdleresselde and left half the rent to the fraternity of the candles before the cross in the church of St. Lawrence Jewry and half to the churchwardens of that church for supplying candles. (fn. 13)

Late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries

In 1354, when a major financial transaction took place there, St. Martin's seld was said to be in the Mercery (merceria). A rental of c. 1360 lists the tenants in the seld, most of whom were said to hold stations, above several of which there were solars. One tenancy was described as a shop, but this was probably not very different from a station. There seem to have been 11 stations or shops in all, that is about half as many units as in the mid 13th century. Altogether, £13. 6s. 8d. rent was due. The holdings were still ranged along either side of the seld (Fig. 5). On the W. side John Habram held the first station for 6s. 8d. rent, Walter Bret held the second for 4s. rent, Simon de Reynham's wife held the third for 12s. rent, John de Wychyngham held the fourth and fifth stations with solar(s) for £4. 13s. 4d. rent, and Thomas Startolf held the sixth shop for £2 rent. On the E. side of the seld Walter Berneye held 3 stations with solar(s) for £4 rent, Simon de Reynham's wife held the second station for 4s. rent, and Simon de Reynham held the third station for £1. 6s. 8d. The third station on the E. side was next to the door (hostium) of the seld, which probably opened into Soper Lane on the site of the former shop 7H (q.v.). The seld also had a door which opened directly on to Cheapside on the W. side of 7L (q.v.). At his death in 1361 Startolf, a mercer, left to Thomas Mordale, mercer, the remainder of the term of his lease of the shop he held of St. Martin le Grand, with its chests and cupboards. A vacant plot of land, probably on the E. side of the seld and equivalent to the third station there held by Simon de Reynham c. 1360, was in 1374 leased by the dean and chapter of St. Martin le Grand to Edmund de Feltham, citizen and mercer, for a term of 40 years at £1 rent. The plot measured 15 ft. 4 in. (4.67 m.) in length between the door of the seld on the N. and a shop held by Stephen Bottele, mercer, on the S. The other bounds of the plot were given as the stone wall of the seld and the entry of the seld on the E., a phrase which seems to include a clerical error and which probably means that the plot was bounded by the wall on the E. and by the entry (presumably the central passage within the seld) on the W. In width between the wall and the entry, the plot measured 6 ft. 2 in. (1.88 m.) at the lower (S.?) end and 5 ft. 3 in. (1.6 m.) at the upper (N.?) end. (fn. 14)

In several of the late 14th-century pleas of intrusion concerning the property private individuals were named as co-defendants with the dean of St. Martin le Grand. They were probably tenants of parts of the seld (8) or of the shops (7) which adjoined it. The names of some tenants in the seld are given in a repair account of 1391-2. Edward (rectius Edmund?) Feltham had a chamber there in 1391-2 and was perhaps identical with the Edmund Chelnetham named as a co-defendant in 1393, 1396, and 1398. John Bartholomew had a station in the seld in 1391-2 and was probably succeeded by Lucy Bartholomew (his widow?), who was a co-defendant in 1393. Margaret Stokes had a chest in the seld in 1391-2 and was a co-defendant in 1396. Margaret Undirwood was a co-defendant in 1396. Ten co-defendants were named in 1393, and those not already mentioned were: Cristina Vineut, William de Bury, Richard Outshale, Thomas Pychard, John Pychard, John Hake, and Thomas Brawghyng and his wife Maud. Brawghyng and his wife were also named in 1396 and 1398, and held one of the shops on the Cheapside frontage (7L). (fn. 15)

Several records of repairs to the seld, both required and actually carried out, provide further evidence of its physical character. Repairs costing £6. 6s. 8d. were necessary for its timberwork and its roof in 1349. Tiling, plumbing, and repairs to the underpinning and foundations costing £13 were necessary in 1360. Minor repairs were carried out in 1385-6, but there is a fuller record of the carpentry and smith's work done in 1391-2, when a chest was mended, nails and timber were used for work on the door of a station, and at least 8s. 4d. was spent on making and painting a sign and hanging it from a pole with an iron hook on the Cheapside frontage. (fn. 16)

Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries

During the 1390s and the early years of the 15th century the owners of the quit-rents due from 7 and 8, principally St. Mary Spital, appear to have made a determined effort to assert their rights in and perhaps also to dispossess St. Martin le Grand of the property. The church of St. Martin le Grand is last recorded in connection with the property in 1407, when it was co-defendant in a plea of intrusion (see above, i). In 1503 most of its endowments (the exception being property outside London) were appropriated to Westminster Abbey for the chantry of King Henry VII, but the abbey did not as a result acquire any interest in 7-8, which had presumably been lost to St. Martin le Grand before then. In 1520, in an abutment from 10, 8 was described as a former tenement of St. Martin le Grand. (fn. 17) It seems likely that by this time only St. Mary Spital had a claim to rent from the property (see below) and that at some time during the 15th century there may have been an unrecorded transfer of right from the church of St. Martin le Grand to the hospital.

In a rental of 1516 concerning quit-rents and farms due to St. Mary Spital, 8 appears to be represented by a group of 11 shops in the parish of St. Pancras from which rents totalling £6. 14s. 8d. were due. It is not certain whether these were quit-rents or whether the hospital had obtained possession of the property. The former may have been the case, but even so these rents may have been the only ones due from the holdings at this time. Two or three of the shops appear to have been more substantial than the others and perhaps occupied the Cheapside frontage, on the site of 7L and the entry to 8. In 1516 these were a shop held by William Jakson, pewterer, for 13s. 4d. rent, another held by John Godley, gardener, for 13s. 4d. rent, and a third held by John Geoscelyn, gardener, for 12s. rent. The other 8 shops, which probably occupied the site of 8 and fronted on to Soper Lane, seem each to have been let either in that year or recently for 12s. rent, but the tenants' names are not given. There are also rentals for 1519 and 1523, when Godley and Geoscelyn still held their shops at the same rent. In 1519 Jakson's shop appears to be represented by one let to an unnamed tenant for £1 rent; this shop is not mentioned in 1523. The 8 shops seem not to have been let in 1519, but in 1523 each was let for 10s. rent. Two of the tenants were unnamed and the others were as follows: Richard Stagg, baker; William Knette, tallow chandler; one 'pyk monger' (probably a fishmonger with a specialized trade in pike); John Love, butcher; one 'pykemonger'; and Joan (sic) Geoscelyn, gardener. If those shops were ranged along the Soper Lane frontage of 8 they would have had a mean frontage width of 9 ft. (2.74 m.). (fn. 18)

St. Mary Spital no longer possessed these rents or shops at its suppression in 1538, and may have disposed of them during the 1520s, shortly after it disposed of its rent from an adjoining property (145/9-10). The descent of the property during the remainder of the 16th century is uncertain. A marginal note in the cartulary of Holy Trinity Priory next to the text of the 13th-century charter concerning the priory's rent from 7H-K on the corner of Soper Lane states pro magistro Pakyngton in foro Lond'. This may mean that during the 1530s 8 was held by Robert Pakyngton, who at the time of his death in 1536 was probably living in the adjacent property (145/9-10). (fn. 19)

During the first half of the 16th century 8 appears to have come into the same ownership and occupation as 9-10, although, unlike that property, 8 was not eventually acquired by the Mercers' Company. In 1557-8 the Bridge House began to claim from 8 a rent of 6s. 8d. which it had once received from 9-10, but which had probably not been paid since the 1460s. Thus, according to the Bridge House rental for 1557-8, the rent was received from the heirs of Richard Collyer (a former owner of 9-10) for a shed called 'ye Brokshedd' which Collyer (d. 1533) had built. Collyer had also rebuilt 9-10 (q.v.). Collyer's heirs were said to pay the rent in subsequent years, until 1571-2 when Roger James, beer-brewer, began to pay it. From 1599 onwards the rent was in arrears. By the time of its dissolution in 1539 Haliwell Priory appears to have acquired a quit-rent of £1 from the property, described at that time as certain tenements in St. Pancras parish held by Robert Dormer, gentleman, who also held 1B. The rent remained in the possession of the Crown and in 1651 was said to be due from a tenement in Soper Lane held by William Holmes, who is known to have been an occupant of 8 (see below). (fn. 20)

During the 1560s a part of 8, probably the S. part, was probably in the ownership or tenure of George Diamond, clothworker, who in 1565 obtained permission to extend the 'fore part' of his shop 1 ft. (305 mm.) into the void ground in Soper Lane in return for a rent of 4d. payable to the city chamberlain. By 1584 Diamond had been succeeded by one Holme, who was probably identical with Thomas Hulme, recorded as a tenant or occupant of a messuage in the parish of St. Pancras. Hulme's messuage passed into the tenure or occupation of John Snow, haberdasher, who died in 1590. It was then in the tenure or occupation of Edwin Babington, citizen and draper, who in 1591 purchased it from William Hodgeson, citizen and merchant tailor. Later in 1591 Babington and his wife Sarah sold, granted, and quitclaimed in the messuage with its shops, cellars, solars, chambers, entries, and easements to Thomas Laurence, citizen and goldsmith. (fn. 21)

Seventeenth century

By 1602 the property which seems to have represented 8 was in the possession of Arnold James, a beer-brewer of Wapping and probably son of Roger James, who in that year with his tenant, Richard Peerpoynt, citizen and grocer, began to rebuild the property on the foundation of the old house or shed which had occupied the site for a long time. The new house was to be higher than the old and threatened to block the lights of the property belonging to the Mercers' Company (145/9-10) which adjoined it to the W. In October 1602 James was ordered by the mayor and aldermen to remove the 4 posts he had set up. When he failed to comply with the order and began to erect an upper storey, the city sent a carpenter to cut off the joists of the jetty. The following April Peerpoynt was ordered to proceed no further with the building until he had acknowledged the city's right to a piece of ground there for which a rent of 4d. had been paid, evidence which supports the identification of the property with that formerly held by George Diamond (see above). James was then committed to Newgate Prison for having refused, with his hand on his dagger, to obey a summons from the sheriffs. Before the end of April, after great expenditure on legal and other costs, the Mercers' Company obtained an Order in Council prohibiting the work. The matter appears to have been settled in March 1604, when the city authorities decreed that the new building was to have a flat roof and that James and Peerpoynt were to have a lease of a piece of ground 1 ft. (305 mm.) wide along Soper Lane for the length of the property on condition they neither they nor anyone holding the shed obstructed the lights without the consent of the Mercers' Company. It was stated on this occasion that the cottage or house was anciently but a shed known as 'Brooks Shedde' and seemed to have been built to respect the lights of the Mercers' property. Some aldermen remembered that the shed had been used for many years for the sale of milk and herbs and for no other purpose. Stow, writing towards the end of the 16th century, may have had this shed in mind when he refers to the sheds (he probably meant selds) and shops which had formerly occupied the S. side of Cheapside 'as of late one of them remained at sopars lane end, wherein a woman sold seedes, rootes and herbs'. This part of Soper Lane was probably well-established as a herb market at the end of the Middle Ages, for in the late 15th and early 16th centuries there is a reference to herb wives in the area, and herbs were sold from a site on the opposite side of the lane (see 30). (fn. 22)

From now on the city seems to have reserved a rent of 6s. 8d. from the property. In 1608 Valentine James, probably Arnold's son, was granted a lease of the shed and a little coal house for a term of 21 years at this rent, and in 1609 he was licensed to transfer the lease to Edmund Maylor, embroiderer. In 1626 Rebecca Maylor, widow, was granted a new lease of the shop which she held for a term of 23 years at 6s. 8d. rent and £5 fine. By 1632 Rebecca had married Samuel Williamson, who was recorded as paying the rent to the city until 1650, when he was succeeded by William Holmes. (fn. 23)

There seems to have been a part of 8 which did not belong to the James family. This is mentioned in 1622, when the Mercers' Company ordered a view to be made of a house in Soper Lane then belonging to Mr. Bennet and formerly occupied by Thomas Lydall, deceased. The company was considering purchasing the house, which was in a ruinous condition and could be had for £500. If the company acquired the house it could preserve the lights of its property known as the Key (145/9-10) which might be stopped up by another purchaser. In the event, the company seems to have taken the matter no further, and there is no other record of this house, which can only have been part of 8. (fn. 24)

The freehold of the greater part of 8 was retained by members of the James family, and those who paid the 6s. 8d. rent to the city probably held part of 8 as their tenants. By 1623 John James (probably son of Valentine) was in possession of 8, or the greater part of it, and in 1624 paid 22 years arrears of the rent due to the Bridge House. He continued to pay this rent until 1642. In 1623 John James let a part of the property to Thomas Waterhouse, citizen and fishmonger, for a term of 21 years from that year at a rent of £6, plus yearly payments of £14 and a sugar loaf. In the same year, James let another part of 8 to William Pinckney, citizen and innholder, for the same term at £20. In 1632 James let a third part of 8 to Richard Foard (also spelled Foord and Ford), citizen and plasterer, for a term of 21 years at £19 rent. In this period 8 seems to have consisted of 3 houses or shops; in 1639 a fourth tenant, Thomas Cage, is recorded, but he was probably an undertenant of one of the other three. Neither Waterhouse nor Pinckney appear in the series of St. Pancras parish assessments, which begins in 1628, and they had probably assigned their leases by then. William Holmes was probably the successor to one of them and seems to have held the southernmost part of 8 on the Soper Lane frontage. He appears in a suitable position for the occupant of this property in parish assessment lists between 1633 and 1642; a part of his house appears to have been held by an undertenant, and in 1642 this part was described as the shop which had been Browne's. In 1638 Holmes's house was valued at £12 a year. The other successor to Waterhouse or Pinckeney was Mr. Munn (also spelled Monne), who was probably the James Nunn named in a deed of 1639 as one of the 4 tenants of John James's property. Munn held a shop which probably occupied the entire Cheapside frontage of 8. He was rated for this shop in parish assessments between 1633 and 1642, and in 1638 the shop was valued at £20 a year. From 1653 onwards he was named as owing the 6s. 8d. rent to the Bridge House, which was frequently in arrears. The third tenant, Richard Ford, was probably the 'Forde the chaundler' who appears in the 1628 parish assessment list. In 1633 a part of his house, probably a shop, was held by one Renalds; in 1638 his house was valued at £10 a year. He was dead by 1642 when Mrs. Ford, presumably his widow, was assessed both for herself and for Renalds. (fn. 25)

In 1639 John James of Braughing (Herts.), gentleman, mortgaged the messuages and shops representing 8, or the greater part of it, to Robert Wilson, citizen and draper, for £400. The principal and interest were not repaid by the appointed day, and Wilson came into absolute possession. On Wilson's death the title passed to his widow and executrix Katharine, who in June 1641, with her husband, John Highlord, alderman, Anne Rudd of London, widow, Gilbert Harrison, alderman, Thomas Jennings, esquire, Thomas Austine, esquire, and John James himself and James's wife Anne granted the property to Matthew Collins, citizen and upholder, who was to pay £434 to Katharine and her husband and £166 to James and his wife. The intent of this transaction seems to have been that James would be able to redeem the mortgage, and in November 1641 James agreed that he, with his wife Anne and his mother Mary James, would convey and assure the property to Collins, in consideration of the £600 mentioned in the earlier deed, £24 almost due for half a year's forebearance of that sum, and £457 to be paid to James himself. In 1641-2 James moved to Barningham (Suffolk), and in his will of February 1642, before he had assured the property to Collins, he left it to be sold by his executor, Henry Garrard of Cavenham (Suffolk), gentleman. James then died and in May Collins was ordered in Chancery to pay the agreed sum to Garrard, who in July 1642, with James's widow Anne and his mother Mary, granted, sold, and released the property to Collins. (fn. 26)

The William Holmes who held part (probably the S. part) of the property from c. 1630 onwards was probably the William Holmes, citizen and fishmonger, a resident of St. Pancras parish who died in 1661. His son of the same name, also a resident of the parish, died in the same year. The elder Holmes seems also to have become tenant of Richard Ford's part of the property, and in 1652, as William Holmes, cook, was erecting a new building on the site. The Mercers' Company complained that the lights of their messuage called the Feathers Tavern and of their shop called the Key in Cheapside (parts of 145/9-10) would be blocked if the building were continued straight up. After an investigation it was agreed that Holmes's building should be no more than 2 storeys high and that the roof above it should have a single shallow pitch rising from W. to E. A plan and section accompanying the agreement show that the new house had a single, central chimney stack and 2 bay windows on Soper Lane. Holmes also made a cellar under the street measuring 10 ft. (3.08 m.) N./S. by 7 ft. (2.13 m.) E./W. On the S. side of this cellar there was also a shed measuring 10 ft. by 3 ft. (3.08 m. by 914 mm.) which in 1626 had been let by the city to Rebecca Maylor. Later in 1652 these encroachments were viewed for the city, which then leased to Holmes the cellar and 2 shops with stalls in Soper Lane for a term of 61 years at a rent of 6s. 8d. and for a fine of £13. 6s. 8d. The 2 shops and stalls presumably occupied the 2 projecting bays shown as the plan of Holmes's house. This lease was later in the hands of William Holmes, citizen and carpenter, probably a relative of William Holmes, cook, who in 1663 with John Cooke, of the parish of St. Dunstan in Fleet Street, gentleman, sold it to Richard Williams of London, gentleman, as security for a loan of £400. Holmes was assessed for Hearth Tax under this parish in 1662-3 but the number of hearths in his house is not legible. In 1666 the house was probably that with 6 hearths occupied by William Hotherley, victualler. (fn. 27)

After the Great Fire the site of Holmes's property was in the possession of Mrs. Anne Chesson, and the survey of 2 foundations set out for her records the bounds of the property. The site of the 2 sheds or shops, now said to measure 14 ft. (4.27 m.) N./S. by 2 ft. 4 in. (711 mm.) E./W., and that of the cellar or vault beneath the street, measuring 10 ft. by 7 ft. (3.05 m. by 2.13 m.), were laid into Queen Street. (fn. 28)

Matthew Collins bequeathed the remaining part of the property, a shop, warehouse, and cellar at the corner of Soper Lane and Cheapside occupied by Mr. Munns and known as the Half Moon and Diamond Ring, to Elizabeth wife of Felix Lewin, ironmonger, for life with remainder to her son Felix Lewin and his heirs. In 1661 Elizabeth and her husband leased the property to Thomas Trotman for a term of 21 years from 1665 at £50 rent. Trotman assigned the lease to one Cushey, who assigned it to George Tremaine for a fine of £150. In 1662-3 and 1666 the property was probably the house with 6 hearths occupied by John Oakes, grocer, who was presumably Tremaine's undertenant. George Tremaine was later said to have occupied the property at the time of the Great Fire, but was unable to rebuild, and Trotman declined to do so. Following an order of the Fire Court, Tremaine and Trotman surrendered their interest, and Felix Lewin the elder undertook to rebuild on the condition that he was to have a term of 40 years after the death of his wife at a rent of £25 payable to Felix Lewin the younger. The elder Lewin borrowed £200 for the rebuilding from Thomas Clarke, butcher, to whom in 1669 he granted the site for the term of Elizabeth's life and for his term of 40 years afterwards up to a period to 60 years. The property was to be returned to Lewin or his widow and her assigns should they repay the £200 plus a further £30 by certain agreed dates. The site measured 11 ft. (3.35 m.) E./W. by 27 ft. (8.23 m.) N./S. and the high building to be erected would replace a low one (probably of no more than 2 storeys and a garret) which had stood there before the Fire. (fn. 29)


1 WAM 13973-4 (identical witness lists, headed by William son of Benedict).
2 WAM 13311, 13979, 13981-2; HR 1(11); PRO, C66/149, m. 22; London Eyre 1244, no. 372.
3 WAM 13310-11, 14000; HCP 76, m. 22; HCP 125, m. 4; HCP 131, m. 5d; HPL 116, m. 1d.
4 WAM 13310-11; HCP 120, m. 5d; HCP 122, m. 10d; HPL 123, m. 7; PRO, SC6/1107/11, Cal Close R 1392-6, p. 40; Cal Close R 1402-5, p. 26.
5 WAM 13978.
6 WAM 13980, 13983.
7 WAM 13975.
8 WAM 13977.
9 WAM 13976.
10 WAM 13993, HR 33(10). Joan is named as Joan Sevenhode on her seal which depicts a helmet or hood.
11 WAM 13991, HR 72(3).
12 HR 16(34).
13 HR 13(61), 44(95), 61(24).
14 Cal Inq Misc iii, no. 155; WAM 13321, 13997; HR 89(129).
15 WAM 13311; HPL 116, m. 1d; HCP 120, m. 5d; HCP 122, m. 10d.
16 Cal Inq Misc iii, nos. 32, 426; WAM 13310-11.
17 Knowles and Hadcock, 431; MC, Collyer's Estate, The Key, no. 5.
18 PRO, SC11/977-9.
19 Aldgate Cart, no. 507.
20 CLRO, Bridge House a/cs vols. 8-12, passim. PRO: SC 6/Hen 8/2396-401; E307/B/2/11; E308/3/20.
21 Rep 15, ff. 430v, 432; CLRO, Chamber Accounts 2, f. 196v; HR 272(4).
22 Rep 26(i), ff. 34v, 42, 120v-121, 126, 129v, 187; Cal S P Dom 1603-10, p. 4. MC: Acts of Court iv, ff. 46-7; Renter Wardens' a/cs s.a. 1602-3; PRO, PROB 11/76, ff. 32v-33; Stow i, 268.
23 CLRO: City Lands Grant Book 1, ff. 95, 96v; ibid. 2, f. 42; City Cash a/cs, passim.
24 MC, Acts of Court 1619-25, f. 148.
25 HR 318(14), 319(13); GL, MS 5019/1, pp. 9, 37, 78; Inhabitants in 1638; p. 173; CLRO, Bridge House a/cs vols 13-22, passim; Bridge House Cash Books iii, sub 20 Nov. 1624; Bodl, MS Tanner 121, f. 133v.
26 HR 318(14), 319(13).
27 Lambeth, VH 98/3, 95/1008. CLRO: Rep 62, f. 129; City Lands Grant Book 3, ff. 24, 25v, 26; Comptroller's Deeds, Box G, no. 31. PRO: PROB 11/303, f. 373; E179/252/27; E179/252/32/16.
28 CLRO, Comptroller's Deeds, K, bundle C, no. 37; M & O iv, f. 48v.
29 Fire Court i, 47-8; HR 340(57); M & O ii, f. 71v, iv, f. 48v; PRO, E179/252/27, E179/252/32/16.