Weavers' Company - Well Court, Alley

A Dictionary of London. Originally published by H Jenkins LTD, London, 1918.

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Henry A Harben, 'Weavers' Company - Well Court, Alley', in A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/weavers-company-well-court-alley [accessed 20 May 2024].

Henry A Harben. "Weavers' Company - Well Court, Alley", in A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918) . British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/weavers-company-well-court-alley.

Harben, Henry A. "Weavers' Company - Well Court, Alley", A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918). . British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/dictionary-of-london/weavers-company-well-court-alley.

In this section

Weavers' Company

The forty-second in order of the Livery Companies and said to be the oldest possessing the exclusive privilege of admitting to the freedom and livery of the Company persons not free of the City of London.

Roach Smith thinks it was of Roman origin, implements for weaving having been discovered amongst Roman remains (Illus. R. Lond. p.144).

First Charter of Incorporation granted by Henry II. 1184, with the seal of Thomas á Becket affixed to it.

By John's Charter (1202) granted on the petition of the Mayor and citizens, the Guild of Weavers was never again to be in the City (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 55).

The Charter of Ed. I. confirming their privileges is set out in Cal. L. Bk. D. p.221.

The weavers of woollen cloth dwelt in Candlewick Street at one time (S. 219).

See Webbes, Fraternity of.

Weavers' Hall

On the east side of Basinghall Street at No.22 (P.O. Directory).

First mention: " Weauers Hall" (S. ed. 1598, p.226).

Formerly the Hall of the Weavers' Company. Burnt in the Fire 1666, and rebuilt. Used as a Presbyterian Meeting-house in the 17th century. Taken down 1856 and a block of merchants' offices built on the site and named "Weavers' Hall" to commemorate the old building.

Webbeloft (le)

A Tenement in parish of St. Laurence de Candelwikstrate, 1317 (Ct. H. W. I. 273)

No later mention.

Webbe = weaver.

Webbes, Fraternity of

Gift to the Fraternity by John Fich or Fyssh, 1356 (Ct. H.W. I. 689).

Webbe = Weaver.

Weeden's Rents

See Bell and Wheel Yard.

Weigh House (The), Eastcheap

On the south side of Little Eastcheap, between Botolph Lane and Love Lane (O. and M. 1677-O.S. 1880).

The King's Weigh House, as it was called, was the place where the King's weights, known as the Great Beam, etc., were kept, "where merchandize brought from beyond the Seas are to be weighed at the king's beame" (S. 193).

In early days the weights were carried about from place to place, but by the "Statutum de Nova Custuma," 31 Ed. I., it was ordained that the weights should be kept in a fixed place (Lib. Cust. I. 208), and should be under the care of a Warden appointed,by the King (Cal. L. Bk. A. p.225).

The Small Beam, on the other hand, belonged to the City, and the appointment to the office of weigher of that Beam was in the hands of the Mayor and Sheriffs, etc. (Cal. L Bk. A. 191, L. Bk. C. 31, 56, 155, 239, and Riley's Memorials, p.26). In 1312 they seem also to have presented to the office of Weigher of the Great Beam (Cal. L. Bk. D. p.297).

The earliest mention of a Weigh House occurs in 1357, when the Weyhouse for weighing corn situate in Aldgate was alleged to belong to the Chamber of the Guildhall and not to the Mayor (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.104).

In 6 Ric. II. John Churchman built a house at Wool Wharf in Tower Ward for the ttronage or weighing of wool, and the King gave permission for the tronage to be kept in this House during Churchman's life, the king to pay him 40s. a year for the purpose (S. 137). Heath, in his history of the Grocers' Company, p.203, says that Churchman handed over the management of the Weigh House to the Grocers' Company, and in 1453 they made a tariff of charges for tronage, they having at that time the charge and management of the King's Beam (ib. 421).

Subsequently to this Sir Thos. Lovell built the Weigh House in Cornhill, which was held in trust and was bequeathed by John Billesden by his Will dated 1532 to the Wardens of the Grocers Company together with £300 for repairs on behalf of Sir Thos. Lovell (Ct. H. Wills, II. 635).

It appears that at this time the right of weighing at the Great Beam was in dispute and was claimed both by the Municipal authorities and by the Wardens of the Grocers Company.

The Weigh House in Cornhill was burnt down in the Great Fire 1666 and was rebuilt on the south side of Eastcheap, between Botolph Lane and Love Lane, on part of the site of the church of St. Andrew Hubbard.

By this time, however, it had ceased to be of much importance, as the Merchants did not care for the trouble and expence of having their goods weighed and no one had sufficient authority in the City to compel them to do so (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 173).

The subsequent history of the building is, however, of some interest, for over the Weigh House was founded, about 1697, a Meeting House or Chapel for Dissenters from the Church of England, members of the congregation of the Rev. S. Slater, who had been compelled in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity to resign the living of the Church of St. Katherine by the Tower.

In Rocque's map, 1746, it is described as a Presbyterian Meeting House.

It continued to be used for religious worship for a long period, being known as the King's Weigh House Chapel, and in 1834 the congregation had become so numerous that the old bnilding no longer provided sufficient accommodation, and it was found necessary to erect a new chapel in Fish Street Hill.

In 1883 the site of this King's Weigh House Chapel was acquired by the Metropolitan and District Railway Company for the extension and completion of their lines, the original building in Eastcheap being also removed about the same time for the widening of that thoroughfare.

Eventually in 1888 a new site was secured for the chapel in Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, at the junction of Duke Street and Robert Street, and it was completed and opened for divine worship in 1891. Its origin is still commemorated in its name, " the King's Weigh House Chapel."

Weigh House Yard, Cornhill

See Sun Court, Cornhill.

Weigh House Yard, Eastcheap

East out of Botolph Lane to Love Lane (O. and M. 1677-O.S. 1880). In Billingsgate Ward.

Removed for the widening of Eastcheap, 1881-4, under the Metropolitan and District Railways (City Lines and Extensions) Act, 1882.

Named:after the Weigh House (q.v.) erected there after the Fire.

Weigh House, Cornhill

On the north side of Cornhill, for weighing merchandize at the king's beam (S.193).

A master and Porters (ib.).

The house was built by Sir Thos. Lovell (ib.).

Now converted to other uses and a new Weigh House built in Little Eastcheap (q.v.) (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 150).

Left to the Grocers' Company 1532 (Ct. H.W. II. 635).

The Weyhouse for weighing corn was at Aldgate, 1357 (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.104) and 1408 (Ct. H.W. II. 378).

Welcheman (The)

See Walsshman (the).

Weld Close

See Wellclose Square.

Weld Court, Queen Street

See Well Court.

Welhouse (le)

..-Tenement of William Ostage called " le Welhous" in parish of St. Christopher, 1349 (Ct. H.W. I. p.565), and 1361 (ib. 21).

There seems to )1ave been a brewery so called in Candelwykstrate in parish of S. Mary de Abcherche, 1335 (ib. I. p.406).

Also a tenement so called in parish of St. Michael in Crokedelane, 18 Ed. III. 1343-4 (Cal. L. Bk. F. p.103).

See Wellehous (le).

Perhaps named after wells or springs in the various localities.

Well Alley

See Well Court, Shoe Lane.

Well Alley

East out of Mark Lane, north of Hart Street. In Tower Ward (O. and M. 1677-Strype, 1755).

Seems to be further north in O. and M. than in Strype. Site rebuilt in:.the 18th century.

Well Close

See Well Yard, Little Britain.

Well Close

See Wellclose Square.

Well Court

East out of Shoe Lane, in Farringdon Ward Without (Strype, 1720, to .L.G. 1758).

"Well Alley" in O. and M. 1677, and P.C. 1732. Site now covered by the City Temple.

Well Court

West out of Queen Street, at No.9, to Bow Lane (P.O. Directory). In Cheap and Cordwainer Wards.

First mention: O. and M. 1677.

Other names : " Weld Court " (Strype, 1720 and 1755, and ed. 1720, I. iii. 24, 25, 27).

The western end into Bow Lane was called George Yard until 1885, when that name abolished and the whole called Well Court (L.C.C. List, 1901).

Well Court, Alley

East out of the Minories, at No.22 (O. and M. 1677-L,C.C. List, 1901).

Called "Well Alley" (O. and M. 1677-Strype, 1755). Site rebuilt for business purposes.