Survey of London: Volume 8, Shoreditch. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1922.
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(ii) Hoxton, between Kingsland Road and Hoxton Street.
Among the possessions of Holywell Priory acquired by Sir Thomas Legh was a close called Star Close. On 14th July, 1565, Sir James Blount, Lord Mountjoy, and Dame Katherine his wife, Legh's heiress, mortgaged (fn. 1) to Robert Browne, citizen and goldsmith of London, a considerable portion of the Legh property, comprising, inter alia, three closes in Hoxton, Shoreditch and Haggerston, respectively. This mortgage was never redeemed. On 20th June, 1579, Thomas, son of Robert Browne, sold (fn. 2) the whole of the property to Thomas Harris. In the Notes of Fines (Midd.) for 33 Elizabeth (Hilary), , is a record of a final concord between William Peake quer: and Thomas Harris def: concerning a messuage, a garden, an orchard and four acres of pasture in Hoxton. The details, however, are not very clear, as the entry is mutilated, and the Feet of Fines for that term are missing. In January, 1596–7, Peake died, leaving (fn. 3) the whole of his property in Middlesex to William Wall, his nephew. On 25th June, 1639, Wall died, and in the inquisition (fn. 4) taken of his property, mention is made of a close of meadow called "Starre close," containing about 4 acres, (fn. 5) adjoining the messuage and garden called "the Starre." It is said to be held of the King in chief by knight's service. There can be little doubt, therefore, that the pasture purchased by Peake was Star Close.
A plan of the close in 1588 (Plate 2) shows that it included the whole of the land south of Augustine Steward's property, and north of Old Street, except a rectangular plot at the south-east corner. It was then devoid of buildings except in the north-west. (fn. 6)
On 28th May, 1658, William Wall, grandson of the elder William, (fn. 7) sold a portion of the close, one rood in extent, for the site of Walter's Almshouses, and on 19th October, 1670, disposed of (fn. 8) the greater part (3¾ acres) of the remainder to Allen Badger. This latter portion contained seven houses, and in 1684 the number had risen to fourteen. (fn. 9) Wall's successors in 1689 sold to Thos. Toller, ten messuages on the eastern frontage of the close, (fn. 10) and Chassereau's map of 1745 (Plate 1) shows that considerable building had taken place during the preceding half century, though even then a large part lay open. (fn. 11) From a deed (fn. 12) dated 12th November, 1770, the estate is found at that time to comprise 14 messuages in Kingsland Road, including the Red Lion "lately the Crooked Billett," a parcel of ground "being part of a close formerly called Starr Close," containing 2¾ acres, and 10 messuages in Hoxton Street.
The Star, from which the close obtained its name, was one of the buildings shown on the plan of 1588 (Plate 2). It is referred to as early as 1501–2 in a plea by John Austen (fn. 13) as to "iiij messuagis wherof one is called the Sterre in Shordyche." On 6th September, 1502, Austen sold (fn. 14) to Edward Hales three houses: (1) a messuage called Toller house "in which I, the aforesaid John Austen, used lately to dwell," between the tenement late of William Hungerford east, that late of John Redy west, the land of the prioress of "Halywell" [Star Close] north, and the royal way south; (ii) a messuage called "le Sterre"; (iii) a messuage late called "le Belle," next to the Star on the north side of it.
In 1541–2 Marcelyn Hales sold to Thos. Armerer the house called The Star, the house to the south of it called "the corner house," and the house to the north of it called The Bell. Armerer died in 1549–50, leaving (fn. 15) to his wife, "my mansyon house . . . called the Starre," and to his sister, Maud Howton, the house called The Bell "lyenge on the north syde of my mansyon house called the Sterre, with a garden and an orchard thereto joynynge," and the house called The Corner House "lyenge on the southe syde of the Sterre afforesayd with the iij chambres over the sayd house . . . also the stayres betwyxte the foresayd corner house and the Sterre afforesayd."
The corner house is heard of again nearly a century later. On 20th April, 1646, Thomas Hill, of Fulham, demised (fn. 16) to George Cotterell "all that corner messuage or tenement . . . next adjoyning to the inn called the Starr." (fn. 17) This suggests that the Star was either still standing or had been rebuilt.
From the relative positions of the Bell, the Star and the Corner house, it is probable that their sites corresponded roughly with those of Bull Yard, Red Lion Court and Spread Eagle Court in Chassereau's Map. The first named is heard of in 1653, (fn. 18) when Euodias Inman and Jane his wife demised to George Cotterell 18 messuages ("ruinous and ready to fall down") called Bull Yard "thentofore known as the Bull Inn." In 1681 the premises were sold to William Cowland, (fn. 19) and in 1706 were again "in a ruinous state." (fn. 20) In 1720 (fn. 21) tenements "formerly belonging to John Cowland" are given as the northern boundary of the Red Lion Court property, which contained 18 messuages or tenements.
The property north of Star Close at the beginning of the 16th century consisted of a messuage with garden, pasture, and orchard. The Register of Augustine Steward, preserved at the British Museum, (fn. 22) contains transcripts of deeds relating to this property as far back as 1501. (fn. 23)
On 13th November in that year, John Burnet and Thomas Pulton released to Katherine Page "a certain messuage and divers buildings with garden, orchard, and close containing three acres and half a rood." extending on the west from the tenement of John Strete to the close of the nuns of Holywell called "le Starre Close," for 234 feet 6 inches, and on the east for 284 feet 6 inches. (fn. 24) On 12th May, 1521, Katherine sold the property to John Williams. On 22nd January, 1532–3, Williams disposed of it to Nicholas Serle, from whom it passed to Lawrence Serle, (fn. 25) who died in 1569, leaving his daughter, Lucy Campion, his sole heir. (fn. 26) The property is described as a messuage, toft, barn, garden and orchard which "of old were three roods of land and known by the name of three roods of land," held of the prebendary of Hoxton, and three acres, containing by estimation two acres, formerly belonging to Katherine Page, and held of the Queen as of the manor or priory of Holywell. (fn. 27) On 20th October, 1576, Lucy Campion leased the premises to John Curwyn, citizen and musician of London, for 21 years, and on 20th February following sold them to Augustine Steward, (fn. 28) whom she married a few months later. Among the records of this property contained in the Steward Register is a particularly interesting one of a survey made in 1588 (Plate 2). (fn. 29)
Steward died on 5th May, 1597, leaving a son, Augustine, aged 12, who, in 1628, sold the property to William Wall. (fn. 30) On the latter's death (25th June, 1639) he was found in seisin of a messuage, with a toft, garden and orchard, as well as of "all those closes or parcels of land containing two acres," all said to have been lately purchased of Augustine Steward. (fn. 31) His son Joseph died on 1st August, 1643 (fn. 32), and the property passed to William Wall the younger, who on 23rd April, 1658, disposed of it to William Moy. It was said to comprise a close or piece of ground, a stable standing at the west end of the close and adjoining the messuage, a barn erected on the other part of the close adjoining south on the garden wall, and a small tenement and garden near Ratcliff Row. On 2nd June, 1659, Moy sold the property, with 200,000 burnt bricks and 160,000 unburnt bricks then on the premises, to Richard Slater, (fn. 33) who, a few weeks later, transferred it to Charles Farewell. (fn. 34) In 1667–8 the premises were purchased (fn. 35) on behalf of Henry Regnier (or Reginer) "an alien born." After the latter's death, the premises were forfeited to the Crown, (fn. 36) but the King restored them to the widow Elizabeth. (fn. 37) By will, dated 30th September, 1682, (fn. 38) she left all her property in Hoxton to her daughter Susanna and the latter's husband, Captain Wm. Abrooke.
On 31st October, 1700, William Berman, of Hoxton Square, "minister of the Gospell," made his will (fn. 39) in which he directed his executors to purchase some estate or estates in houses or lands, and to utilise the proceeds according to directions given to them. Such was the origin of the William Berman's Trust. (fn. 40) The will was proved on 11th October, 1703, and on 21st July, 1704, the executors purchased from Margaret Smith and Samuel Bagwell the Regnier premises. (fn. 41) The eastern portion of the property still belongs to the Berman Trust, and extends from Windsor Place to No. 55, Kingsland Road.
With the assistance of the map of 1588 (Plate 2) it is possible to determine with some exactness the boundaries of the property. The measurement of 281 feet along the east frontage precisely corresponds with that of the present property of the Berman Trust. The western frontage is a little more complicated. According to the map, the orchard (49½ feet wide) did not extend to the road, and this is confirmed by the fact that the northern boundary of the western half of the Berman Trust estate, when purchased by the London County Council, at a point about 73 feet from Hoxton Street, turned southward for a distance of 49½ feet, entering Hoxton Street at a point 50 feet north of the Jews' Burial Ground. The 231 feet frontage to Hoxton Street, therefore, just included the site of the present schoolkeeper's house.
The greater part of the frontage was taken up with the garden, which had the house on its north and the barn on the south. On 25th March, 1707, the Berman Trust leased the garden (120 feet by 84 feet) for use as a Jews' Burial Ground. With this exception the whole of the western part of the premises is now in the possession of the London County Council, and is used for the purposes of the Hoxton Central and Hoxton House Elementary and Special schools.
Horwood's map of 1799 shows the eastern frontage of the estate occupied by buildings. The south-eastern angle contained The Castle public-house, "formerly called The Basing House," (fn. 42) from which apparently Basing Place and Basing Square, as yet not formed, afterwards derived their names. The almshouses belonging to Berman's Trust at present in Basing Square were formerly situated nearer Hoxton Street. (fn. 43) At some time after 1784 the whole of the western half of the estate (except the burial ground) was united to properties on the south and north belonging to Sir Jonathan Miles, and used with them to form the Hoxton House Lunatic Asylum. (fn. 44)
The plan of 1588 (Plate 2) shows that the frontage to Hoxton Street for some little distance north of the Steward property was occupied by a house (or houses) of Mrs. Heron, and that the main portion of the property to the north was in the hands of a "Mr. Whitt." The site of the house (or houses) was in the early part of the 18th century occupied by (i) (fn. 45) the site of "an old house" of 24¼ ft. frontage and 70¼ ft. depth, abutting "on an alley leading to the almeshouses (fn. 46) south" and on three tenements of Mr. Hunt north, and (ii) the three houses (fn. 47) of Hunt, bounded north and east by "Lamas's houses and lands."
The property of Mr. "Whitt" is met with in an indenture (fn. 48) of 20th April, 1614, by which Richard and George Gippes released to Nathaniel Carmarden a messuage with garden and orchard "sometymes in the tenure of one William White, and now of the said Nathaniell Carmarden," abutting on Hoxton Street west, the King's highway east, and "uppon the house, garden and barne late of Samuel Marrowe, late in the tenure of Magdalen Clifford, widdowe, on the north," as well as twelve houses newly built by Carmarden on part of the garden and orchard. Shortly after this the property was divided, the eastern half, containing the 12 houses, passing into the hands of Waldegrave Sidey, (fn. 49) who, on his death in 1656, left (fn. 50) to his wife Sarah a life interest in "all those my freehold messuages or tenements called Ratcliffe rents or Ratcliffe Rowe." (fn. 51) In 1663 the houses were purchased by Robert Swan. (fn. 52) The latter (or his son) disposed of them in 1697 (fn. 53) to Sarles Goatley. A description of the property occurs in 1741, when Goatley mortgaged (fn. 54) it under the title of "all those messuages . . . standing all in a rowe called Ratcliffe Rents or Ratcliffe Row, the ends of which row of houses stand north and south, and are now accounted to be in number 17 small tenements . . . and do abutt upon the lane then or late called Hoxton Street on the west part (fn. 55) and on the King's highway . . . on the east part; also the orchard or garden on the backside, extending from the said messuages westward to the garden and backside of two messuages in the occupation of, which orchard contains in length 83 yards and 89 yards, and in breadth from side to side on the east end 40 yards and . . . on the west end 30 yards." Ratcliff Row must have extended as far north as the site of Redvers Street.
The eastern portion of the estate was disposed of by Richard Gippes in 1618. On 15th October of that year he sold (fn. 56) to Matthew Nelson "all that messuage or tenement conteyning . . . fower roomes upon the ground and one olde porch, and fower chambers and a garrett and three studdyes or closettes in the said roomes." At the west end was a yard 18 feet by 9 feet, and on the east side a garden 156 feet long by 65 feet wide, containing a garden-house in the south-west corner. Free use was granted of the pump lately erected by Carmarden "in the yarde towards the streete before the said messuage," and free passage "in, by and through the great gate there." The premises are said to have been previously in the occupation of Hugh Sayer and then of George Argent. The latter evidently purchased the house, for in his will (fn. 57) dated 16th August, 1653, he left to his daughter, Elizabeth Porter [Potter] "all that messuage or tenement, garden, yards, stable, outhouses and the hangings in the bigger and lesser chambers . . . scituate in Oxton where I now dwell," with reversion to his son George. To his daughter, Mary Hodges, he left "all that messuage or tenement with appurtenances wherein Master Morrel, gouldsmith, dwelleth, scituate . . . in Oxton att the entrance into the gate leading into my now dwelling house," also with reversion to his son George. In 1656 the latter assigned his interest (fn. 58) to Henry Potter, husband of Elizabeth, and in 1665 Susan Potter and others disposed of the premises, then in occupation of John Lathum and Thomas Rawlins, to Daniel Lathum. (fn. 59) On 23rd May, 1693, Daniel Lathum sold (fn. 60) the property to Jeremiah Lammas. The premises are said to have been formerly in the occupation of George Argent and William Darling, "and sithence of John Lathum the elder, Thomas Rawlins and Henry Hoyle." Lammas pulled down the house and built three houses on the site, which were afterwards combined by Peter Lammas into one house. On 30th July, 1757, the premises were purchased, (fn. 61) under the description of "all that messuage or tenement in Hoxton, with garden, courtyard, school-house, summer-house and all other outhouses thereunto belonging" by Jonathan Miles.
On the same day that he sold Argent's house to Nelson, Richard Gippes sold (fn. 62) to John Gifford the remaining part of the "Whitt" estate. This was a messuage of twelve rooms, lately built by Nathaniel Carmarden, to the north of Argent's property, and the premises included an orchard or garden plot, 120 feet east to west, and varying from 51 to 60 feet north to south. The messuage apparently did not front on Hoxton Street, but lay a little to the rear, facing the "waye that leadeth out of Hoxton Streete unto the said demised mesuage and the mesuage of George Argent."
The property can be traced until 1637 (fn. 63) when the occupiers are said to have been William Day, Mary Day, widow, "and now . . . John Gifford, D.D." It reappears from 1733 to 1760. (fn. 64) In 1782 (fn. 65) its place is taken by three new-built messuages, described in 1811 (fn. 66) as Nos. 31, 32 and 33, on the east side of Hoxton Town. These numbers correspond with Nos. 58, 60 and 62 at the present time.
North of the Hoxton Street frontage of the "Whitt" property, and occupying the site of the modern McGrath Place, was a house traditionally connected with the Lords St. John. An illustration of it as it appeared in 1823 is given by Wilkinson, (fn. 67) who stated that "it is supposed to have been erected early in the reign of King James the First, by Oliver, third Lord St. John of Bletsoe . . . and until within the last thirty or forty years there was a vane upon the top of the building, the fan of which was perforated with [St. J. O. 1610], which was remembered to have remained many years in the recollection of a very respectable inhabitant lately living in the neighbourhood." He goes on to remark that the letters and date on the vane "evidently point out this house to have been the residence of Oliver St. John, the third Baron of Bletsoe, who died here in the year 1618."
The first precise information concerning this house appears in 1733, (fn. 68) when it was in the possession of Joseph Bayly, and was described as "that capital messuage heretofore known by the name of the White Hart . . . formerly in the occupation of Thos. Langley." In 1760, when sold to Geo. Scott, (fn. 69) it was in the occupation of Mr. Baddeley. In 1782 it was (no longer described as the White Hart) leased (fn. 70) by Scott to Joseph Barnes, who in 1788 (fn. 71) assigned the lease to John Smith, who in 1811 (fn. 72) sub-leased to Jonathan Tipple, the premises, described as "the messuage and garden adjacent to the sign of the White Hart in Hoxton Town called the Great White House . . . distinguished by the Number 34." Baddeley, Barnes, Smith and Tipple are the names of four of the six occupiers mentioned by Wilkinson, so that there can be no doubt as to the identity of the premises. The house was probably one of the two purchased by Thomas Bayly from William Pemble in 1704, but its earlier history has not been discovered.
It seems to correspond with the house "late of Samuel Marrowe, late in the tenure of Magdalen Clifford" mentioned in 1614 as the northern boundary of the "Whitt" estate. The occupants during 1666–83 seem to have been Gerard Wayman, Richard Powell and Arthur Barnardiston. (fn. 73) The story of the vane certainly seems very precise evidence, but it would be more satisfactory if it rested on something a little more reliable than the "recollection of a very respectable inhabitant." At any rate, so far as the suggestion that Lord St. John died there in 1618 is concerned, it is sufficient to point out that his death occurred at Abbot's Ripton, in Huntingdonshire. (fn. 74)
On 9th May, 1616, Robert Heigham and Thos. Polhill sold (fn. 75) to Thos. Hill "all that messuage or tenement and all edifices . . . orchards, gardens, yards, etc., in Hoxton alias Hogsdon . . late in the occupation of James Garnons . . . adjoining to a certeine orchard, garden, or garden ground, now or late of one Thos. Drayner . . . late in the occupation of one Nicholas Sutton on the south parte, a certeine peece of pasture ground now or late in occupation of John Blumson on the north and west partes thereof, the King's highway . . . towardes Ware on the east." The area of the premises was two acres.
These premises had previously belonged to Thos. Harbert, who died on 12th November, 1608. Hill's widow, Judith, on 8th July, 1652, sold the "great messuage" with all appurtenances to John Horner. (fn. 76) The property afterwards came into the hands of James and Augustine Poulter, (fn. 77) who in 1687 sold it to Samuel Norris. (fn. 78) Four years later Norris disposed of the property, described as nine cottages and two acres of land, to William Woolley. (fn. 79) On 12th December, 1693, the latter sold to Osmond Smith the westernmost portion of the property in three parcels, of which the frontage to Hoxton Street was 78 feet and the depth 87 feet. It is described as abutting west on Hoxton Street, north upon the messuage and ground now or late in the occupation of Dr. Thirold, south on the messuage and ground late in the occupation of Arthur Barnardiston. A document of 1697 (fn. 80) contains the information that the ground contained a "great messuage," then divided into tenements and seven other messuages which had recently been built. The present Nos. 70 (The White Hart) to 76, Hoxton Street, occupy the site.
The two acres of land were not included in the sale of 1693, but later were in possession of Samuel Burgin (see Chassereau's Map, Plate 1). According to his will, (fn. 81) dated 18th September, 1741, he left "all that piece of ground in Hoxton . . . containing about 1½ acres, with the buildings thereon erected" to his widow for life, with reversion to the children of his cousin, Grace Bay. On 25th September, 1755, John Bay (Grace's husband) leased (fn. 82) to Bryan Davis the property, described as "all that parcel of ground in Hoxton . . . containing an acre and a half, enclosed with brick walls," abutting on Kingsland Road, 32 feet 10 inches, "which said ground now lyes for an orchard in which is now standing many fruit trees." The narrow frontage on Kingsland Road is explained by the fact that a piece of ground 100 feet long, extending southward 65 feet from the rear of the houses in Retford Street, had apparently become alienated from this property. (fn. 83) A distance southward of 32 ft. 10 ins., just reaches to the southern corner of Redvers Street. (fn. 84) On 18th April, 1786, the property was purchased by Morgan Thomas, (fn. 85) whose son, Rees Goring Thomas, on 26th May, 1802, sold (fn. 86) it to Asher, Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid under the description of "all that messuage or tenement . . . known as No. 12 in Kingsland Road . . . with the parcel of land adjoining and extending as far as Hoxton alias Hogsdon Town . . . and the scite of those premises contains in length from east to west in the longest part 525 feet and in width from north to south at the widest part 153 feet and contains . . . 1 acre 1 rood 34 perches." (fn. 87) It was not until 1817 that Wellington Street (now Redvers Street) was formed (fn. 88) and within the next ten years the greater part of the estate seems to have been built over.
In the inquisition (fn. 89) held after the death of Thomas Drayner (fn. 90) it was stated that he was seised of and in, inter alia, a capital messuage in Hoxton, wherein he dwelt during his life. This and other property had been settled jointly on himself and his wife Margaret, and after the death of the latter (fn. 91) came into the hands of his nephew Thomas Halton. On 29th November, 1692, Thomas and Phillips Halton sold (fn. 92) to William Wakelin the messuage or tenement in Hoxton "wherein the said Thomas Halton did formerly live, and wherein Samuel Thorold, apothecary, now doth or lately did inhabitt and dwell." The property passed to Wakelin's daughter Mary, wife of Christopher Parker, and on 29th December, 1736, the Parkers sold (fn. 93) to Richard Price, of Charles Square, "all that messuage or house, etc., formerly in the occupation of Samuel Thorold, afterwards of Doctor William Prouton, and now of Margaret Owen, situate in Hogsdon." On 26th April, 1749, Price assigned (fn. 94) to William Dolman the messuage or house "or such part thereof as was still standing and the materials for building," as well as two acres lying behind the same.
It is obvious that steps were being taken to rebuild the house, and when on 7th December, 1750, Price sold (fn. 95) the property to Dolman it is described as "all that newbuilt messuage, tenement or house and about two acres of land, lying behind the same . . . with all timber boards and other materials for building now being in and upon the said premises . . . formerly in the occupation of Samuel Thorold, etc."
The new-built house was apparently the "Red Lyon and Rising Sun alehouse" (now the Red Lion, No. 82) mentioned in a lease of 15th November, 1764. (fn. 96) The property dealt with in the lease extended 73 feet north from the passage on the south side of the Red Lion, corresponding to Nos. 82 to 88, Hoxton Street. A lease, dated 10th June, 1766, dealt with another part of the property, having 47½ feet frontage to Hoxton Street and 93½ feet depth, containing nine new-built messuages. This is obviously the plot south of Retford Street, and containing inter alia Nos. 78 and 80, Hoxton Street. The Hoxton Street frontage of the Drayner estate therefore comprised the sites of Nos. 78 to 88. Horwood's map of 1799 shows that, with the exception of the houses mentioned in the two leases quoted above, the only other buildings erected on the estate during the 18th century were a few on the Kingsland Road frontage.
Amongst the property of Holywell Priory which was leased to Sir Thomas Legh, and of which he afterwards acquired the freehold, was Hoxton Close. On 1st July, 1565, Sir James Blount, Lord Mountjoy, and his wife Katherine, Legh's heiress, sold to Thomas Stanley "all that close of pasture . . . 6 acres in Hoggesdon," abutting on the highway through Hoxton west, highway to Ware east, lands of John Drayner south, land of Richard Austen north, and then in occupation of Roger Martin, citizen and alderman. (fn. 97)
Stanley died on 13th December, 1571, (fn. 98) and his property came to his daughter, Mary, wife of Edward Herbert. In 1584 Herbert (now Sir Edward) and his wife sold the close to Thomas Herbert (Harbert). (fn. 99) The latter died on 12th November, 1608, and the inquisition (fn. 100) taken on 26th June, 1609, shows that he was seised of and in, inter alia, a "close of pasture containing six acres" in Hoxton, held in chief by knight's service. Harbert's property in Hoxton fell to Roger Papworth, from whom Hoxton Close passed to John Wright. (fn. 101) On 25th May, 1622, Robert Higham, at direction of Wright, sold to John Boston (fn. 102) "all that close and pasture . . . conteyning by estimacion six acres . . . abutting upon the King's highway leading from London towards Ware on the east part, and adjoining to the land now or late John Draners on the south part, and to the lands of Bassano, gentleman, late Richard Austin's, on the north part." Boston died on 21st September, (fn. 103) 1625, leaving a son, Paul, who on 9th March, 1649–50, sold (fn. 104) the close to Thomas Austen. The southern boundary is given as land now or late of Thomas Drayner, and the northern as land late of Daniel Bassano and now of Thomas Austen.
The property to the north is evidently that sold (fn. 105) on 2nd November, 1626, by Daniel, son of Edward Bassano, to Thomas Austen, and described as "all that capitall messuage . . . and one tenement . . thereunto adjoyninge." (fn. 106)
At the beginning of the 18th century the Austen estate extended from the northern boundary of the Drayner property as far as the rear of the gardens attached to the houses on the south side of Harman Street, embracing an area of about twelve acres. Of this Hoxton Close occupied five or six acres. It seems very unlikely that the Bassano property would take up the whole of the remainder. The Austen family, however, had a residence somewhere in the neighbourhood some time before 1626, (fn. 107) and it seems likely that it also occupied a part of the twelve-acre plot. Thomas Austen, son of Thomas who bought the Bassano property in 1626, died in 1658, leaving to his son, Thomas, (fn. 108) "my house in Hoxton wherein I dwell." The latter seems to have removed to South Mimms, (fn. 109) and the Hoxton estate was probably let. He died in 1701, and all his property "in Islington, Shoreditch, and South Mimms" and certain other districts passed to his eldest son, John (afterwards Sir John) Austen. The latter, on 4th August, 1703, sold (fn. 110) the greater portion of the twelve-acre plot to Francis Tyssen, in whose family it remained for very many years. From the plan accompanying the particulars of sale of the Tyssen-Tyrrell estate in March, 1920, preserved in the Shoreditch Public Library, it appears that the property comprised on the east Nos. 97 to 179 (odd), Kingsland Road, i.e., from the rear of the houses on the south side of Falkirk Street to the rear of the houses on the south side of Harman Street, and on the west Nos. 90 to 112, and 148 to 156, Hoxton Street, i.e., from the rear of the houses on the south side of Falkirk Street as far as Tyssen Street, excluding a plot about 210 feet wide extending from the rear of the houses on the north side of Essex Street as far as Barton Court. In 1703 it was made up as follows: (i) Two new brick messuages fronting Hoxton Street and a parcel of garden ground "late a ffeild of pasture land enclosed with a brick wall containing 5½ acres," and bounded, east by "Ware Road," west by "Hogsdon High Street or Road" and north partly by Lady Bowyer's garden and orchard and partly by the flower garden and other ground of John Austen. This is evidently the old Hoxton Close. Lady Bowyer's premises obviously formed the southern portion of the excepted plot. (ii) Two other messuages. (iii) Three orchards or pieces of garden ground, (a) containing 2 roods, 24 poles, (b) belonging to the White House and containing 2 roods, 33 poles, and (c) belonging to the Austen mansion house and containing 1 rood, 12 poles. (iv) The site of the White House (then demolished) with ground formerly used as garden thereto "containing about 60 rods as now walled and fenced in on the north, east and south sides thereof, but lies open towards the road in Hoxton." The White House must, therefore, have occupied a site between Nos. 148 and 156, Hoxton Street.
The northern part of the excepted plot was sold to Thomas Walker some time before 1720, but the details have not been discovered. (fn. 111) The southern part in 1720 (fn. 112) contained (i) a messuage (obviously formerly Lady Bowyer's) with courtyard, facing Hoxton Street with coach-house, stable, and two gardens (2 roods 15 perches) abutting on ground purchased by Tyssen on the south and east; (ii) two other messuages to the north, fronting Hoxton Street, with courtyards; (iii) a farmhouse, with yard, barn, cowhouse, etc. (fn. 113)
Proceeding northwards we come to an estate which, with other Hoxton property, was in the middle of the 16th century owned by Roger Haryong. (fn. 114) On 1st May, 1565, he mortgaged (fn. 115) to John Bales a capital messuage and tenement, as well as three other tenements, with barns, stables, orchards, gardens, etc. On 17th June, 1569, Bales mortgaged the property, described as then or late in occupation of "Raffe Tipping," to Thomas Stevens, and the conveyance was completed on 30th June, 1570. (fn. 116) In his will (fn. 117) dated 20th February, 1574–5, Stevens left to his wife, with reversion to his son, Henry, "all those the greate messuage, houses, buildings, gardens, orchards, landes, etc., in Hoxton . . . now in the tenure of Ralph Tipping." Most of the property descended to Henry's son, Uric, who on 10th May, 1615, sold (fn. 118) to Geoffrey Marchant the reversion in "all that capitall messuage or tenement, etc., now or late in the tenure of Walter Williams . . . and Chrystian his wife, late wife of Henry Stevens," as well as 13 acres to the east of Kingsland Road.
Another part of Roger Haryong's property also came into the possession of Marchant. On 3rd January, 1600–1, Henry Stevens sold to Thomas Harbert the three tenements specified in the 1565 indenture. They are described as the "three messuages or tenements, whereof one is commonly called the Queenes Head," with barns, stables, orchards, etc. abutting south on the lands "sometymes of Roger Henrieyoung . ., and nowe the said Henrye Stephens." (fn. 119) On 21st June, 1616, John Wright sold (fn. 120) to Marchant a considerable amount of Harbert's property, including "all those three mesuages or tenementes, whereof one is commonly called The Maydenhead."
Marchant died on 18th July, 1630, seised in the reversionary interest "after the death of Christiana, late wife of Walter Williams, deceased, and now wife of John Hawckes," of one capital messuage with appurtenances in Hoxton, and 13 acres of land, as well as of three messuages, one of which was formerly called the Maidenhead, but then the Queen's Head. (fn. 121)
By his will he left to Henry, his eldest son, all the messuages and lands in Hoxton "which I bought of Uric Steevves and Mr. Writh." In 1658 Henry demised to Robert Earle the capital messuage, with appurtenances, "formerly in occupation of Ann Jackson widdow, and then of Thomas Cusden," the 13 acres and other property including "three messuages, one of them called the Queens Head . . . situated together in Hoxton." (fn. 122) The capital messuage was apparently still in existence in 1681 when Cusden's lease ran out. (fn. 123) The property eventually came into the hands of John Swynfou and Roberta, his wife, cousin and heir of Henry Marchant, (fn. 124) who on 2nd September, 1703, sold (fn. 125) the 13 acres as well as "ten severall messuages or tenements, together with the outhouses, gardens, garden ground, etc., scituate in Hoxton" to William Ingram. The ten messuages in question represent probably both (i) the three houses of which the Queen's Head was one, and (ii) the capital messuage and ground belonging to it. Chassereau's Map (Plate 1) shows the property of Ingram between "Tyssen" to the south and "Poor Holborn" to the north, in other words occupying the site of Harman Street. Queen's Head Yard is shown somewhat to the north, occupying the site of the present entry to Ely Place. This is certainly too far north, for it is shown below that the entry to Ely Place was a portion of the property belonging to "Poor Holborn." At any rate the position of the combined property is secure. Between Albert Mews and the northern corner of Harman Street stood a private lunatic asylum, viz., Holly House Asylum. The site of this would be a natural one to assign to Haryong's capital messuage, but an interesting note in Ellis (fn. 126) casts doubt on this. He says: "About this time  (if tradition doth not deceive us) an old house at Hoxton, now known by the name of Burrows's Workhouse, was built by a license under Queen Elizabeth's sign manual." If, as this note implies, Burrows' house (i.e., Holly House) was built on a new foundation about 1580, it obviously could have nothing to do with the capital messuage which was in existence in 1565 (and probably long before).
A further portion of Roger Haryong's property in this neighbourhood still remains to be dealt with. On 15th December, 1612, Uric Stevens, son of Henry, mortgaged (fn. 127) to Richard Hewitt inter alia five messuages in Hoxton, and the schedule of deeds accompanying the indenture shows that these had formed part of the property mortgaged by Roger to Bales. On 7th July, 1613, the transfer was made absolute, (fn. 128) and there was included a plot of ground "now used for an entry" beneath the northern portion of one of the messuages which "abutteth upon the capitall messuage nowe in the tenure . . . of Walter Williams . . . towards the north." Under the house in question we are told "there now hangeth a great gate serving for passage into and from the yard belonging to the said capital messuage." Conrad Hewitt is afterwards found in possession of six houses. On 23rd November, 1647, he sold to the parish of Shoreditch (fn. 129) four of them, the sites of which occupy the ground from Tyssen Street to Stephen's Mews in the front, and to Albert Mews in the rear. The other two he sold on 28th September, 1655, to William Rawlins. (fn. 130) They are described as in the occupation of John Palmer and John Hilton "silck stockingweavers." By his will, (fn. 131) dated 3rd September, 1658, Rawlins left to the churchwardens of Shoreditch 20s. a year, to be paid out of the rent of the "brick house att Hoggsden wherein Hilton, silkestockinweaver, now dwells." The house of Hilton is marked by the letter N on Chassereau's map (Plate 1), and can thereby be identified as occupying a site at the southern corner of Albert Mews.
In 1551 William Merett purchased from Thomas Elrington one messuage, one toft, one garden, one croft and 5 acres of meadow in Hoxton. (fn. 132) Details of the property are disclosed a few years later. On 1st July, 1558, Merett mortgaged (fn. 133) to Paul Pope a close of four acres at "Bamesgate" and "all that mesuage or tenemente, tofte, garden, barne, and crofte of meadowe to the same mesuage adjoynyng, conteynyng by estimacion one acre of medowe . . . now in the tenure of William Roffe, monyer . . . whiche . . . lyithe and abutteth uppon the Kynges highewaye ther leadyng from London to Ware on the est and uppon the stret called Hoxston Stret on the west, and the land late of Thomas Warren on the north, and uppon the land late of Richard Harryyong (fn. 134) on the south." The mortgage was redeemed in the course of the year.
On 25th January, 1631, Richard Merrett sold (fn. 135) the property to George Whitmore. It is described as a messuage with two acres of land adjoining "as it is now converted in orcharding and gardening," as well as two other messuages, all lying together. On 10th November, 1651, Thos. Robinson purchased (fn. 136) the property. The three houses had then disappeared, and their place had been taken by "nyne houses or tenements, one stable, and a cowhouse."
On the following day Robinson disposed (fn. 137) of a portion to Francis Kirkman. It is described as a parcel of ground 34 feet wide and from 74 to 84 feet long, with four messuages thereon, and the entry way from Hoxton Street between the houses, another messuage with ground attached, and a garden plot of one acre extending eastwards to Kingsland highway. On 9th April, 1657, Kirkman sold (fn. 138) the property to Abraham Nunns, citizen and joiner of London. The next step is doubtful, but in 1665–6, the Joiners' Company purchased an estate at Hoxton (fn. 139) and an indenture (fn. 140) of 9th June, 1669, by which the Company sold the estate to the overseers of the poor of the Liberty of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden and Ely Rents, describes the property in precisely the same terms as those used in the deed of 1657. Its identity is thus established. It now consists of Nos. 186 and 188, Hoxton Street, Nos. 199, 201 and 203, Kingsland Road, and 77 houses in Ely Place. (fn. 141)
No early records have been discovered of the property (fn. 142) immediately north of Ely Place. In 1670–1, however, Abraham Harrison sold to Thomas Cudsden, the younger, two messuages, one adjoining the street, then or late in the tenure of Banks, and the other in the occupation of Charles Jerrard, together with orchards, gardens, etc., extending from Hoxton Street to the highway to Ware, and containing 2 acres. (fn. 143) The property was afterwards settled on Cudsden's son Thomas and the latter's wife, and their son John Cudsden on 29th April, 1736, joined in a transfer (fn. 144) of it to James Royston. It then consisted of a messuage or tenement, with yards, garden, washhouse, stables, etc., and a parcel of ground extending "from Hoggesden aforesaid unto the way leading from Shoreditch to Ware and doth contain . . . two acres," and is said to be "the same premisses which Thomas Cudsden the elder bought of Abraham Harison under the name of two messuages, etc." Chassereau's Map (Plate 1) shows the Royston property occupying the site of the modern Lynedoch Street.
We now come to the property somewhat euphemistically named The Land of Promise. This originally formed a part of the estate of Richard Haryong (fn. 145) who, in 1545, left to Margaret, his wife, a life interest in his lands, with remainder to his daughter, Alice Marowe. (fn. 146) In 1557, Alice and her husband sold to Thomas and Alice Haddon the reversion, after the death of Margaret, of a messuage, two barns, a stable, a garden and three acres of land in Hoxton. (fn. 147) Ten years later the Haddons disposed of the property to John Thomas. (fn. 148) It is now lost sight of for a while, but in 1623 William Slynehead and Katherine his wife sold (fn. 149) to John Furnivall a half share, and messuage, a cottage, two barns, a garden, an orchard and three acres of land in Hoxton. Furnivall, by some means, acquired the other half share, and in 1626 sold the whole to Richard Middleton. (fn. 150) The identity of the property is established by the fact that Furnivall gave warranty against the claims of Slynehead and Thomas.
On 9th April, 1633, Middleton sold it to the parish of Shoreditch as three tenements and three acres of land. (fn. 151) The property was leased out as a whole for successive periods until 1776, when there were 28 messuages on the ground. In that year the existing lease (to Samuel Beighton for 103 years from 1744) was surrendered, a fresh lease granted of the western part of the property, and the eastern portion utilised for the provision of a workhouse. On the expiry of the fresh lease in 1847 the remainder of the property was appropriated for workhouse purposes.
The plan of the Land of Promise given by Ware shows that at the south-west corner it did not reach to Hoxton Street, the boundary being a broken line running south-east from a point 75 feet from the highway. The earliest record that has been found of this excepted piece of ground is a final concord, dated 1693, by which Peter Briggins and Arabella his wife sold to John Waters six messuages with appurtenances in "Hogsden." Waters in turn sold to Robert Geary, who also purchased five adjoining messuages from James Hallet. (fn. 152)
On 4th February, 1589–90, Richard Austen, "monier," settled (fn. 153) on his younger son Thomas and the latter's prospective bride, Margaret Awsitor, (fn. 154) a messuage with garden and a croft adjoining, abutting on the royal way leading to Ware east, on the street called "Hoxton Streate" west, on the lane called "Webbes Lane alias the Whitehart lane" north, and on the land now or late in the tenure of John Thomas south. Webb's Lane must be (fn. 155) the ancient thoroughfare running from Hoxton Street to Kingsland Road, known in the 18th century as Dirty Lane, and at the present time as Nuttall Street, and the land of John Thomas is the Land of Promise Estate. The next trace of the property is nearly a century later.
On 19th August, 1673, James Burbidge Maxey settled (fn. 156) upon his wife "all that messuage called . . . the Golden Bull, as it is now severed and divided into severall tenements, and all houses, edifices, etc.," having a frontage of 77 feet to Hoxton Street, and 110 feet to the "highway leading from Shoreditch church to Kingsland," and a length of 684 feet, abutting north upon a lane called Haddon Lane (fn. 157) and south on land belonging to Shoreditch parish.
The next estate northward, marked "Featherstone, Esq." on Chassereau's Map (Plate 1), seems to have been composed of two distinct properties: one consisting of three messuages and three acres, and the other of three messuages and three roods. These are found in the possession of Conrad Hewitt in 1654–5 (fn. 158), but there is no evidence as to how he obtained them or what he did with them. It seems likely that the three messuages and three acres originally belonged to Lady Katherine Dormer, widow of Sir Michael Dormer. (fn. 159) On 23rd October, 1568, her executor, Dr. Valentine Dale, (fn. 160) sold to John Forth, certain property formerly belonging to Lady Katherine in Herts and Oxfordshire, as well as three messuages "in Hogston," with gardens and orchards, and two closes of pasture or meadow on the east side of the three messuages, abutting on the highway leading from Ware to Shoreditch Church, and containing three acres. The sale also included three acres of pasture (a part of Billing's Close) lying on the west side of Hoxton Street. (fn. 161) In the following year, Forth apparently re-sold (fn. 162) the whole of the property to Valentine Dale. On the latter's death it passed to his daughter, Dorothy, who married Sir John North. On 28th September, 1620, Gilbert North, fourth son of Sir John and Lady Dorothy, sold (fn. 163) to Thomas Austen what purported to be all the property in Hoxton and Shoreditch formerly belonging to Lady Dorothy. The three acres in Billing's Close are specified, but the rest of the property is described as a mansion house formerly in the tenure of Peter Proby and a messuage and garden formerly in the occupation of John Noble. This does not bear much likeness to the three messuages and three acres of 1558, and it must remain doubtful whether they had not been already disposed of. In any case the link connecting the Dormer property with Conrad Hewitt is missing.
On 28th March, 1672, Robert Richardson sold (fn. 164) to George Ricketts "all that messuage or tenement and seven tenements or cottages to the said messuage belonging . . . and also all that orchard or piece of ground conteyning . . . three acres lying behind or neare adjoyning to the said messuage and cottages, and also all the ground whereon two tenements or cottages now abolished did formerly stand." Richardson had obtained the property before 1663, for in that year he had mortgaged it to James Clotterbuck. (fn. 165)
A few years later George Ricketts apparently purchased the three messuages and three roods from Thomas Edwards. (fn. 166) The document specifies "one acre," but the feet of fines are rarely exact in their figures, and a mortgage (fn. 167) to Elizabeth Pickering by James Ricketts on 18th July, 1711, of "all those his three messuages or tenements, with the gardens to them belonging, inclosed with a brick wall, and three roods of garden ground adjoyning," states that they were formerly in the occupation of Thomas Edwards.
The freehold interest in both properties came into the hands of Robert Roden, who on 18th July, 1717, parted with it (fn. 168) to James Browne, of Southall. On the latter's death, the property passed to his only sister and heir, Sarah, wife of Matthew Featherstonhaugh. An indenture of 23rd August, 1742, (fn. 169) mentions both the premises, the three-acres property being said to abut east on Kingsland Road, west on "the way leading through Hoxton Town to Bammes" (i.e., Hoxton Street), north partly on a piece of ground formerly in tenure of Browning, butcher, and partly on ground heretofore of Bursinoes, and south on ground formerly of James Ricketts (i.e., the threeroods property).
A document (fn. 170) of 1725, dealing with a portion of the estate, gives the southern boundary as Dirty Lane, and mentions that the north-eastern corner of the plot, having a frontage to Kingsland Road of 53 feet, was occupied by a brewhouse in occupation of White. The estate evidently corresponds with that marked on Chassereau's Map (Plate 1) as "Featherstone, Esq.," and the plot occupied by the brewhouse is clearly shown thereon. No documents have been found relating to the 97 feet of the southern portion of the Hoxton Street frontage, which had a depth varying from 100 feet on the north to 170 feet (taking in Axe Place) on the south. It is possible, therefore, that this excepted plot did not form a portion of the estate. A document of 1742 (fn. 171) mentions that there was then standing on the Kingsland Road frontage south of the brewhouse a messuage known as The Swan, "commonly called Adams Curiosity House." This also is shown on Chassereau's Map. The interior of the estate was still open ground at the close of the 18th century.
Of the property next northward, marked "Benson" in Chassereau's Map (now Wilmer Gardens), and of the range of buildings fronting Hoxton Street as far as Langdon's Yard, no precise information has been discovered before 1722, but it is possible to make out a case for their identification with the house and grounds of Jerome Bassano. (fn. 172)
In 1590 Jerome purchased from Henry Jay a messuage, three cottages, a barn, a garden and six acres of meadow in "Oxton alias Hoggeston." (fn. 173) In 1634 Jerome enfeoffed his son, Noel, with certain property, including a parcel of ground in Hoxton 81 feet on the east side, 66 feet on the west, 50 feet on the north and 85 feet on the south, with three brick messuages thereon. (fn. 174) This parcel, with the three messuages, can be traced down to 1742, when it was in possession of Nicholas Langdon. (fn. 175) This suggests that its position was in the neighbourhood of Langdon's Yard.
The remainder of Jerome's estate seems also to have passed to Noel who, in his will (fn. 176) dated 27th September, 1651, mentions "my messuages, lands, etc., being freehold, which I have lying and being in Hoxton alias Hoggesdon." (fn. 177)
It will be seen below that Noel also inherited a portion of Mill Field, which had previously belonged to Edward Bassano, and Noel's son, the younger Noel, was in possession of both properties in 1702. (fn. 178) The latter certainly passed to Benson, although no deed of transfer can be found, and it seems more than probable that the other property, also in Benson's hands, was transferred at the same time. Some confirmation of the suggestion that it had been Bassano property may be found in the fact that the three acres belonging to Featherstonhaugh are in 1742 said to be bounded on the north by ground "heretofore of Bursinoes." "Bursinoes" may well be a corruption of "Bassano." In 1722 it was in the possession of Samuel Benson, (fn. 179) who let out the eastern portion of it described (fn. 180) as abutting south on a garden wall "now or late of James Browne" (i.e., the Featherstonhaugh property), and north on ground of Alexander Pitfield, Esq. Robert Benson, Samuel's son, mortgaged the property at least twice, and it is on each occasion described (fn. 181) as including a "messuage or tenement southward fronting Hoxton Road to the west," as well as a "messuage, tenement or mansion house." The latter is probably the building shown by Chassereau on the Kingsland Road frontage. The interior of the estate remained undeveloped throughout the 18th century.
North of the Benson estate on Chassereau's Map is a field marked "Ashley, Esq." This, in common with all other properties with this description, (fn. 182) formed part of the property belonging to the Pitfield family, which was not included in the original purchase of the so-called "manor" by Sir Charles Pitfield. It is referred to in several documents in practically unvarying terms as "that piece or parcel of land, meadow or pasture sometime called the Old or the Long Orchard, containing two acres . . . in Hoxton . . . abutting east on the highway from London to Ware, west on land heretofore of Robert Massey, gent., and north on land heretofore of Noel Besano." It is now covered by the buildings in Phillip Street.
The field to the west marked "Harvey, Esq." is the close of meadow (4 acres) "situate near Bawmes house," purchased by Sir Chas. Pitfield of Sir Edward Massie, (fn. 182) son of Robert Massie. This now includes the eastern side of Whitmore Road, and extends east to take in the whole of Halcomb Street and the west end of Phillip Street.
In the angle formed by the Harvey and Ashley properties are two fields in Chassereau's Map marked "Benson, Esq.," and "Bevoir, Esq." Together these formed in early times the whole or part of a field called Millfield. Among the property settled by Richard Austen in 1588, on his son Thomas, (fn. 183) were two parcels of land and pasture of 1½ acres each, lying in Millfield, one of them abutting north on land of John Philpot (i.e., Bammes), west on land formerly of Sir Humphrey Starkey, late of Sir Thomas "Seymor" and the heirs of Sir Thomas Leigh (i.e., the Harvey property) and east on land of Mascall, the other abutting north on land late of the prioress of "Halliwell," then of Sir Thomas Legh and afterwards of Mascall, and east on the highway to Ware. These two parcels make up the land marked "Benson, Esq.," and the part marked "Bevoir, Esq.," obviously corresponds with the Holywell Priory property.
On 17th January, 1593–4, Thomas Austen sold (fn. 184) the two parcels, then combined into one parcel described as abutting east on the highway, west upon the lands of Lady Bond (i.e., heirs of Sir Thos. Leigh) and north on the lands late of John Mascall (i.e., Holywell Priory property) to Edward Bassano. From the description of the Long Orchard given above, it is evident that it descended to Noel Bassano, whose son, Noel, was in possession in 1702. (fn. 185) It was in the hands of Samuel Benson at his death in 1723, but it has not been discovered how he acquired it.
Among the lands belonging to the priory of Holywell, which were acquired by Sir Thomas Legh, were four acres in Millfield at the High Elms. Together with Fairfield and the field lying between the latter and Dame Agnes A Clare, it passed successively into the hands of John Mascall and Dorothy, his wife, and Randolph Crewe. (fn. 186) What happened to it at Crewe's death is unknown, but when the manor of Bammes was purchased by Richard de Beauvoir in January, 1686–7, (fn. 187) the list of fields includes "all that ground or close called the 'Further Four Acres alias Millfield,' conteyning foure acres and one rood."
Canal Road now runs along the middle of Millfield, but the old name is still recalled by Mill Row, the houses in which practically cover the site of the southern of the two parcels belonging to Bassano.
The mortgage by William Merrett to Paul Pope of 1st July, 1558, has already been mentioned. (fn. 188) It included "one close in Hoxton conteyning . . . foure acres of land . . . lyinge at Bammes gate and abuttethe on the lane called Bammes lane [Whitmore Road] on the est parte, uppon the landes of John Jermyn, monyer, on the west, uppon the landes of the Lord North on the north . . . and uppon the lane called Hyde Lane on the south." It was sold by Richard Merrett to George Whitmore on 25th January, 1630–1, (fn. 189) and so came, with the manor of Bammes, to Richard de Beauvoir. (fn. 190) It is marked on Chassereau's Map as "Bevoir, Esq." Of the remaining field marked "Ashley, Esq.," nothing is known.