St. Mary le Bow 104/20

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. Originally published by Centre for Metropolitan History, London, 1987.

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D J Keene, Vanessa Harding, 'St. Mary le Bow 104/20', in 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( London, 1987), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

D J Keene, Vanessa Harding, 'St. Mary le Bow 104/20', in 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( London, 1987), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

D J Keene, Vanessa Harding. "St. Mary le Bow 104/20". 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. (London, 1987), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.


This property was on the S. side of Cheapside between 104/17-19 on the E., the church of St. Mary le Bow on the S., and the way into the churchyard on the W. In 1858 the site was occupied by St. Mary le Bow steeple, nos. 56-7 Cheapside, and part of no. 58 Cheapside.

By the end of the 12th century the property belonged to Canterbury Cathedral Priory. It was probably among the 'lands and houses pertaining to the church of St. Mary' which are included in a list of cathedral properties drawn up between 1098 and 1108, and which with the church were given by Living the priest when he became a monk at Canterbury. In a letter of c. 1326, however, the property was said once to have belonged to the father and mother of Thomas Becket and to have been devised to the church of Canterbury 160 years before the time of writing, that is c. 1166. (fn. 1) The latter possibility cannot be disproved, but the statement may have been no more than an attempt to counter the claim of the parish church of St. Mary to a part of the site by associating the property with an authoritative and popular figure whose family had certainly held another property which was nearby but probably on the S. side of St. Mary le Bow churchyard (see 104/1). There is some evidence that the property was popularly associated with Becket as early as the 1260s, when an adjacent tenement was said to be next to the rent of St. Thomas of Canterbury (104/14).

Living's gift to Canterbury is probably to be interpreted as a deliberate acquisition by the cathedral, probably under Archbishop Lanfranc, of a church and land to serve as headquarters in London. The church of St. Mary was built, or rebuilt, during the late 11th century on a scale and in a manner exceptional for a parish church. Later the church is known to have served as the seat of Canterbury jurisdiction in the capital. Of all the Canterbury properties in London during the 12th century, only this house between St. Mary le Bow church and Cheapside remained in the full possession of the cathedral priory. It therefore seems possible that this house was initially intended as a residence for Canterbury monks and officials, and perhaps even for the archbishop, when they visited the city. By the late 12th century, when the archbishop had acquired permanent London headquarters at Lambeth, the house was being let for rent. Subsequently, the house, or the tavern there, was visited from time to time by Canterbury officials, but there is no evidence that it served as an official residence.

In a late 12th-century rental the property is described as a domus lapidea in Westchep. It was presumably a substantial structure, but nothing is known of it in detail. The stone house may have been first constructed in the late 11th century, at the same time as the surviving crypt of St. Mary le Bow, to which it may have served as a domestic annexe. The house, with its prominent position in Cheapside, was probably suitable to the dignity of Canterbury cathedral.

According to one of the late 12th-century rentals of Canterbury Cathedral Priory the stone house produced £9. 12s. a year rent. There was also a shop between the house and the church of St. Mary from which 5s. rent was due. (fn. 2) According to a rental which is probably slightly later in date the stone house produced £14. 6s. 8d. rent. (fn. 3) About 1220 the house was worth £15. 6s. 8d. rent and in the mid 13th century the same total of rent was received from 3 selds there let to John Adrian and William Esswi for the term of their lives at £11. 13s. 4d. rent, and from a fourth seld there let to Adam de Basinge for the term of his life at £3. 13s. 4d. rent. In 1246 a pentice built at the property was reported as an encroachment on to the street. (fn. 4)

In 1263-4 the bell tower of St. Mary le Bow was in danger of falling on the house, but in spite of a warning received from the mayor and alderman the parishioners did nothing about the matter. (fn. 5) The tower fell early in 1271, destroying the house and killing 13 people. The Crown received the stone, timber, and lead of the house as deodand, but granted them to the priory. (fn. 6) Rebuilding probably began before the end of the year and was certainly under way by Michaelmas 1272, when £17. 0s. 6d. had been spent. The allocation of money for building the new house is recorded in two series of priory treasurers' accounts and it is not clear whether the separate groups of payments duplicate one another or whether they should be totalled together. If the former is the case, the minimum sum spent on rebuilding was £572. 2s. 7 3/4d.; (fn. 7) if the latter, the minimum was £1008. 0s. 1d. (fn. 8) Both sums would have paid for a stone building of very substantial character. Thus a tower erected on the E. side of Winchester castle during the 1240s, when building costs were a little lower than in the 1270s, cost a little over £1000. (fn. 9) Canterbury Cathedral was obviously prepared to invest heavily in a prime commercial site in the city. The new work appears to have been completed by 1279, when the last of the sums was allocated for the rebuilding. To judge from the incidence of expenditure, most of the work was carried out from 1275 onwards, when annual payments were well in excess of £100 (or in excess of £200 if the separate series are to be totalled), but these payments may have been made in arrears. Few details of the work are recorded, but later the property was usually described as the 'great stone house' or the 'great house'. In 1275 and 1276 the expenditure included payments to Master Michael the mason and Thomas the plumber, and on Caen stone, iron, glass, and tin. (fn. 10) The mason may have been identical with the Master Michael of Canterbury responsible for building the great cross in Cheapside, begun in 1291, and for the first stage of St. Stephen's chapel, Westminster, begun the following year. (fn. 11) The remains of the vaulted stone undercroft excavated on the west side of the present tower of St. Mary le Bow (fn. 12) evidently represented the western end of the building erected during the 1270s. By accident the new building encroached slightly on the parish cemetery, but the work was so far advanced in 1276 that the archibishop ordered it to continue and enjoined the rector and parishioners, in consideration of the damages sustained by the collapse of the tower, not to make any claim in the future. In spite of this, however, the boundary dispute recurred continually. In the 1320s the rector made a claim for damages against the priory concerning the wall of the house measuring 3 1/2 ft. (1.07 m.) in width and 62 ft. (18.9 m.) in length which was said to stand in the cemetery on ground belonging to the church. Following the arbitration of the archbishop, the rector and 13 parishioners in 1327 renounced their claim in return for a payment of £40 from the priory. (fn. 13) A similar problem arose in 1517, when the prior and convent bound themselves to abide by the arbitration of the archbishop, the dean of St. Paul's, and John Newport, serjeant-at-law, concerning the title of the cellars and vaults beneath the church. In 1523, as a result of a variance over the same vaults, the city's viewers declared that all the ground below the church, for which measurements were given, belonged to it and not to Canterbury Cathedral Priory. (fn. 14)

It appears to have been possible to let parts of the property while the rebuilding of the 1270s was under way. Thus in 1278-9 the priory treasurer accounted for £100 received as rent for a period of five years (presumably an average of £20 p.a. for 1274-9). (fn. 15) The London rent collector noted rents in default from the property in 1273-4, 1276-7, and 1277-8 (when John Adrian was named as a tenant or recent tenant) and in the last of these years spent 5s. 8d. on having a chimney, a screen, and a gutter made there. (fn. 16) The records of rent received and of the total expended on repairs from then until the 16th century are summarized in the Table (at end). The best guide to the broad fluctuations in the rent value of the property is provided by the sum which the priory could hope to receive if it was fully let. In the early 1280s this may have been over £26 p.a., substantially more than the £15. 6s. 8d. which still seems to have been the rent due when the church tower collapsed. In the last decade of the 13th century and the first decade of the 14th it appears to have been possible to let the property for just over £24, but during difficult years in the mid 1290s and during the second decade of the 14th century the actual rent received could fall short of this target by as much as a third. The rent value of the property then fell in the long term, but the priory was not deterred from spending the substantial sum of £62. 6s. 10 1/2d. in 1318 on extending the new building towards the east. (fn. 17) During the early 1320s it was probably possible to let the property for about £20 p.a., but between the mid 1320s and the early 1340s it could be let for no more than £18. 6s. 8d., although in the years for which there are records the actual receipts did not fall far below that sum. After the Black Death the rent income seems to have recovered rapidly and the property could be let for £20 p.a. in the mid 1350s and for about £29 in the 1370s. A term's rent was lost during the year of the Peasant's Revolt, but in the years which followed the former high level was achieved. In the mid 1390s the rent slipped back to £26. 13s. 4d., at which level it remained until 1419. Between then and the mid 1450s the property brought in £24 or £25 rent, and was then regularly let for £24 p.a. From 1508 onwards the tenant was let off £4 of this rent, and from 1523 the property was let at £20 p.a. There are no records of the fines received for leases and so we cannot chart any increase in the demand for the property from the later 16th century onwards. By 1606 the tenant was obliged to maintain the property, but for the period up to and including that covered by the 30-year lease granted in 1536 the priory was responsible for repairs. The incomplete series of records of expenditure on the property suggests that the priory kept up regular maintenance well into the 16th century, but there is no evidence for major work after 1318, except for an expenditure of £21. 3s. 10d. at some date during the 15th century. (fn. 18) The rise in rent between c.1350 and c.1370 may be the result of unrecorded investment in rebuilding, but any such investment which may have taken place later does not appear to have had any marked effect on the value of the property.

The records, principally the details of repairs and defaults of rent in the priory rent collectors' accounts, reveal something of the separate parts of the property and their tenants. (fn. 19) Regular repairs included work on the leaded roof, plastering the chimneys, carpentry, and paving, both inside and in the street. The cellar which is mentioned was evidently the vaulted undercroft revealed by excavation. This structure was on an E.-W. alignment with its north wall set back about 8 ft. (2.44 m.) from the 17th-century street frontage, and at its W. end measured 19 ft. (5.79 m.) wide internally and 28 ft. (8.53 m.) externally. References to rooms over the cellar (see below) suggest that, initially at least, it was contained within the new building erected during the 1270s, although after the further building in 1318 it may have been more extensive. In 1315-16, when it lacked a tenant for three terms, the cellar was said to have been let for £3 6s. 8d. p.a. In 1292-3 two windows in the house were pulled down and repaired in order to increase the light in the cellar. In that operation two of the existing windows casting light into the cellar from Cheapside were probably enlarged. One such window, in the westernmost bay of the cellar, was observed during the excavation. Overall, the cellar may have had 7 bays and 7 windows, 5 of them belonging to the building erected in the 1270s (cf. Fig. 1). (fn. 20) The rent rolls talk of the stalls outside the walls of the house. They were probably free-standing or lean-to timber structures occupying the space between the stone house and the street, where the pentice reported in 1246 had stood (cf. above) and where in the 17th century the sheds encroaching on Cheapside beneath the gallery of the house were to stand (see below). Initially the stalls must have been placed between the windows which lit the cellar from Cheapside. They may later have evolved into permanent structures blocking the cellar windows. The gallery was perhaps erected above the stalls, but perhaps not until 1547, since it is not shown on the representation of the building in that year (Fig. 3). A pentice covered in lead and apparently associated with two 'great windows' at the house, was repaired in 1312-13. It may have sheltered the stalls, and the ways in to the different parts of the building. The pentice made 'in Cheapside' in 1332-3 for the substantial sum of £15 4s. 1d. was evidently a large structure. It almost certainly projected forward into the street, and in the following year the large sum of £1 8s. 2s. was spent on repairing the street next to the house.

The stalls brought in £5 2s. rent in 1292-3, 21 per cent of the total from the property. In 1294-5 sixteen stalls ought to have produced £5 5s. 4d. rent, including a recent increase of 3s. 4d., although £1 15s. of that total was not received on account of vacancies. Ten stalls would normally have been let for 5s. rent each, two for 6s. 8d. rent, and four for 10s. rent. Two pairs of stalls were each held together, and were eventually amalgamated, so that in later accounts (1296-7 and 1312-13) no more than 14 stalls are mentioned. It was even more difficult to attract tenants for the stalls in 1296-7, when a total of £2 13s. 9d. due from them was lost through vacancies. The mid 1290s were years of high grain prices and extensive royal purveyance: this was evidently bad for retail trade in Cheapside, for in these years the defaults of rent from the stalls accounted for 33 per cent of all rent in default from the property. Trade then improved, so that in 1305-6 and 1312-13 defaults of rent from the stalls represented only 16 per cent of the total. The harvest crisis of 1315-16 and subsequent years is clearly apparent in the high level of total defaults in 1315-16, and in the fact that those from the stalls represented 22% of that total. By 1320 the nominal rent due from the wyhole property had been reduced, so that the total of rent in default became smaller, but the proportion represented by defaults from the stalls remained high (35% in 1320-1, 20% in 1322-3, and 33% in 1324-5; no later figures available). The nominal rents due from the stalls had also been reduced by 1320. In the record of defaults for 1323, for example, rents of 6s., 4s., 2s., and 1s. 3d. were said to be due from individual stalls. A few alterations to the stalls are recorded. When a new door was made in 1294-5, a new stall was made outside it for 6d. Twelve stalls were mended for 4 3/4 d. in 1292-3, two stalls were mended for 4d. in 1296-7, and by 1305-6 the 'first' (probably the easternmost) stall was removed in order to make an entry to the 'old solar' above.

The ground floor over the cellar was occupied by selds. In the 1290s there are references to the 'great seld', which was said to be above the cellar and above the door of the cellar, and to the 'old seld', which presumably occupied the eastern part of the structure not rebuilt until 1318. The great seld was vacant in 1294-5, but said to be worth £2 13s. 4d. p.a. In 1296-7 it was again vacant, but one moiety of it was said to be worth £2 13s. 4d. and the other moiety £1 6s. 8d. p.a. There were probably two great selds. In 1305-6 the £2 13s. 4d. due from the Great Seld over the cellar door was in default apart from 4s. received for the rent of a plot there. A further £2 was in default from parts of the same seld which John de Standon, hatter, held for only one term. The distinction between the different parts of the great seld may not have been very clear. In 1294-5 a new door was made for the old seld at a cost of 13s. 1d., and in the same year 7s. rent was in default because a plot there was vacant for one term. In 1305-6, 16s. rent was in default from some plots in the old seld which had not been let. These references suggest that when fully let the selds brought in at least £6 14s. 8d. rent. In 1315-16 a first, second, and a fourth seld (which was beneath the 'old house') should have brought in £5 6s. 8d. rent, but £4 3s. 4d. was in default. A 'new seld' occupying the eastern end of the house, was probably built in 1318. By 1322-3 it had been let with 3 stalls to Robert de Coventr', from whom 13s. 4d. rent was in default. By that date the selds were generally let in conjunction with other parts of the property (see below).

The upper storey was also mentioned, and some, if not all, rooms there were let out individually. In 1292-3 an 'old solar' (probably in the eastern end of the building) formerly held by Nicholas de Cantebrig' was repaired. Four upper rooms were mentioned in 1294-5: the 'first solar in the old house' was vacant for part of the year, and had previously been let for 2s. p.a.; the 'first solar in the new house' had been let for 10s. p.a., but was now vacant; two other solars were let. In 1296-7 a chamber which had been held by William of St. Bartholomew for 10s. p.a. was vacant for part of the year. The 'old solar' above or next to (supra iuxta (sic)) the new house was repaired with wood in 1305-6. The timber walls of a chamber were plastered with loam in 1312-13. A new pattern of letting was then established, following a sharp fall in demand and rebuilding. A new shop (or shops) with solar(s) were let to Walter de Staunford, who in 1322-3 was allowed a reduction of 8s. in his rent 'lest he should leave because of the poverty of the time' (ne vacaret propter penuriam temporis instant'). Other reductions of rent were also allowed: 6s. 8d. for a solar held by Henry atte Well, the same for a solar held by William de Colkirk, and 10s. for two solars. In 1323-4 a reduction of 21s. 4d. rent was allowed for 3 solars, and one of 10s. for another solar; 20s. rent was lost because a fifth solar was vacant. A solar vacant in 1324-5 had been let for 20s. p.a.

In 1320-1 Thomas Hamelden held the cellar, 2 selds, and a stall, his rent having been reduced by 7s. 2d. In 1331 Agnes de Hameldenn, perhaps his widow, made indentures with the priory concerning the cellar, 3 selds, and 9 stalls. (fn. 21) When her tenure came to an end in 1341, £2 was allowed for the seats and benches she had left behind, and a new stair or ladder was built. The priory then let that part of the property which Agnes had held, with its cellar, solars, and stalls, to John de Shirbourn, citizen and vintner, for a term of 10 years from Michalemas 1341 at £13. 13s. 4d. rent. (fn. 22) Shirbourn's occupation is the first clear indication that the cellar was being used as a tavern, but this may well have been the case since the cellar was built.

After 1350 the stone house was known as le Vaut. In 1356 John Lytle and Alban Frere held it from the priory for a term of 12 years at £20 rent, and the landlord had 13 seats in 'the tavern of the stone vault' made anew out of wainscot, and 8 stalls beneath the walls of the house repaired with timber. By the 1370s, when we next learn of the property, the pattern of tenure, and probably also the physical arrangement of the property, was considerably less complex than before 1350. There was now a stone house let to one tenant, and 4 shops or houses belonging to it and let to other tenants. The shops perhaps corresponded to the 4 earlier selds. There are no longer any references to stalls. By 1374-5 the stone house was being let for £14, paid by Thomas Hayward from then until 1388; Robert Grymstone and John Barley then paid this rent until 1391, and the same rent continued to be received until 1400-1. John Barley then took a lease of the stone house, a house representing one of the four shops, and another shop at £16 rent; this rent continued to be paid until 1420, but Barley was last named as tenant in 1408 and died in 1409. Barley lived in this parish, perhaps in a part of 20. The four shops brought in £14. 16s. 8d. p.a. rent in between 1374 and 1379, and £15. 3s. 4d. in 1378-9. A widow was dwelling in a house representing one of the four shops between 1378 and 1383, and both during this period and subsequently the rent of 26s. 8d. was paid by the tenant of the stone house until the house was incorporated in the lease to John Barley. Another of the shops was let for £1. 13s. 4d. rent: Alexander Materasmaker paid it between 1378 and 1389, a widow between 1389 and 1392, Maud Dyne between 1392 and 1396, and John Cornevyle between 1396 and 1401. This shop was then incorporated in the lease to Barley. Another shop was let for £7. 10s. p.a. rent: John Toures paid it between 1378 and 1388, his widow between 1388 and 1392, and John Clee between 1392 and 1394; Clee then paid £6. 13s. 4d. p.a. rent until 1409, £5. 6s. 8d. p.a. from 1409 to 1411, and £6. 13s. 4d. p.a. from 1411 to 1420. The fourth shop was let for £4. 13s. 4d. rent to Robert Somerset between 1378 and 1400; Somerset paid £4 rent in 1400-1, and Robert Beuer paid the same between 1401 and 1420. (fn. 23) An account for minor repairs in 1408-9 (fn. 24) mentions 4 chimneys in the house, perhaps one for each of the 4 units in which the property appears to have been occupied. An account for carpenters' and plumbers' work in 1413-14 described the whole property as le Kyngeshede, and the 'King's Head' seems to have been the name by which the house and tavern were most widely known into the 17th century.

In 1420 le Waut (i.e. 'the vault') with the shops annexed was let at farm to Adam Forster for a term of 20 years at £24 rent. (fn. 25) John Worsop, draper, held the King's Head in 1453, when he paid the arrears of rent due. He probably lived in the house, and was a resident of the parish at the time of his death in 1474. (fn. 26) In 1473 the tenement called le vaute et le Kyngeshede was let at farm to William Seyntwyn, citizen and vintner, for a term of 15 years. In 1481 the tenement with its shops, cellars, and solars was let to Robert Wattys and Henry Wattys, both citizens and drapers, for a term of 10 years at £24 rent. In 1489 it was let on the same terms to Thomas Bowyer, his wife Agnes, and William Redy. In 1491 the priory let the property to John Bothe, citizen and vintner, Robert Bartelot, citizen and fishmonger, Richard Wode citizen and vintner, John Banastre, citizen and draper, and John Hunter, citizen and stockfishmonger, for a term of 20 years at £24 rent; the priory was to maintain the property and to be able to remove a press with a counting house made of softwood (estrichbord) which stood in the principal chamber; the tenants were to keep a recently constructed latrine in good order and were to pay the socage rent; and before the end of the penultimate year the surviving tenant was to be able to renew the lease for a term of 10 years. (fn. 27) In 1513 a John Bond (perhaps an erroneous reading for Bothe) took a 10-year lease at £20 rent. (fn. 28) In 1522 John Goche, citizen and mercer, took a lease at £20 rent for a term of 20 years from Christmas 1523 on conditions similar to those in the lease of 1491. Goche renewed this lease for a term of 30 years in 1536, when Robert Goche and Richard Goche, both mercers, offered a bond in £100, presumably for the performance of the conditions. (fn. 29)

An undated 15th-century expenditure on repairs at the King's Head concerned the hall, chamber, 'larderhouse', and 'segehowse'. Another undated late 15th-century repair account refers to the chimneys, a 'hallpase' (a dias or gallery, probably internal) of timber, the high parlour, a new parlour (where bricks were used), a chamber, and a kitchen where a plumber made a new grate. Identical schedules of furnishings and fittings associated with the leases of 1522 and 1536 convey a fuller impression of the arrangement of the main part of the house. At that time there was a great hall containing two long trestle tables with forms, a table, and a chair. In the kitchen there were two great cisterns, of which one was under the pavement, two 'coberns', coops and shelves and a wooden case for storing vessels, grapples and hooks for hanging meat, and an iron for hanging pots in the west chimney. In a room or place known as 'the hynde' were hangings, two trestle tables and forms, a cupboard, and a ladder over the seat. The 'portolys' contained a form, and the chamber a press and counting house (as in 1491). There were shelves in the two butteries, one of which seems to have occupied the entry in the parlour, while the other was in the hall. A room or place called 'Bedlem', which seems to have been associated with the tavern, contained shelves. The tavern itself seems not to have been held underground, as had probably been the case in the 14th century, and contained three standards, a great cupboard, a bread bin, a great cage and irons that it stood upon, a 'man' (presumably an effigy) and a paving stone of marble, 10 seats, benches, tables, a chair with a box, a box on a post for putting money in, a lead cistern and laver with a pipe running into the street, and lattices for the windows. The cellar appears to have been divided into two main compartments: one known as the vault, where there were cantelyns for supporting wine barrels, a great 'cofyn', and an iron frame for hanging bushes on the sign; the other compartment, simply known as 'the cellar', was used for storing beer. There was also a place known as 'the pursse' containing a table and form. (fn. 30)

The main facade of the property appears to be represented in a contemporary painting of Edward VI's coronation procession through Cheapside in 1547 (Fig. 3). (fn. 31) This shows a striking and substantial building directly in front of what can undoubtedly be identified as the tower of St. Mary le Bow. The building contains 7 bays, a point which suggests that the painting is genuinely representative of the Canterbury property. It is of 2 storeys, but about the same height as the adjoining 3-storey houses. These nearby houses appear to have been of timber-framed construction and are depicted in a manner which contrasts sharply with the plain, solid character of the house by St. Mary le Bow. The artist may thus have been attempting to portray a stone facade. Each bay is defined by pilasters with capitals and bases, and is surmounted by a pediment-like gable. There is a two-light window in each bay on each storey, making 14 windows in all. The artist shows several string courses, including an interrupted string course just below the first-floor windows. The bottoms of the ground-floor windows appear to have been well above street level, perhaps allowing space for lean-to stalls beneath them although no such structures are shown. In appearance the facade is Renaissance rather than Gothic in character, but this may reflect the deficiency of the artist's technique (he even imparts a Renaissance character to the Great Cross in Cheapside), and so it is possible that the stone building of the 1270s and the early 14th century was still surviving largely intact and visible in 1547.

By 1530-1 John Goche appears to have been subletting the property to a man called Worley, evidently the John Warley who was living there in 1541 and 1544. In 1551 John Warley, citizen and mercer, took a 60-year lease at £20 rent, under which the tenant was probably responsible for repairs. Warley died in 1557, leaving his share of the lease of his dwelling house to his wife Margaret, who continued to occupy the property. Warley probably sublet one of the shops on the Cheapside frontage of John Loveis, who at his death in 1560 left to his son Humphrey Loveis his interest and term in a shop in Cheapside 'under Mistress Worley's house'. The shop had been called the Dove, but was now called the Gun, a name by which it was still known in 1661 (see below), and in 1560 was occupied by Richard Smith, fishmonger, who paid £20 rent. In 1560 Warley's executors sold his interest in 20 to Thomas Denman, citizen and mercer, who in 1575 sold it to Thomas Harbert, citizen and girdler. Harbert failed to pay the agreed sum and the lease reverted to Denman, who in 1582 still held the property. In 1580 Denman sublet a shop forming part of the messuage to Ambrose Smyth, citizen and mercer, on a repairing lease for a term of 30 years at £8 rent and for a down payment of £700, an exceptionally large sum which may have been intended also to cover the purchase of the merchandise in the shop. The shop itself measured 7 1/2 yards (6.86 m.) E./W. and 6 3/4 yards (2.51 m.) N./S. It adjoined another shop called the White Greyhound (a name which may still have survived in 1661, cf. below) on the E. or W. and the entry to the messuage apparently on the S. (fn. 32) If the other shops occupied about the same amount of frontage, the ground floor of the property would have contained 4 shops in all.

In May 1603 the Canterbury Chapter agreed that the King's Head should be let to the dean's nominee for a term of 40 years under the existing conditions, and in June Christopher Fleete, yeoman, took a new lease for a term of 40 years with responsibility for repair. Fleete renewed this lease in 1606; Alexander Nevile, the dean's brother, renewed it in April 1610 and again with a minor change in the conditions in the following August. In 1615 Tobias Worthington renewed the lease. In 1626 John Wardall; citizen and grocer, renewed the lease on Worthington's surrender, and in 1631 appears to have renewed it again following Worthington's death. On the surrender of this lease in 1660, William Hore of Westminster, a doctor of physic, took a new lease for a term of 30 years. Edmund Lewin was prepared to offer substantial sums for the lease on this occasion, but Hore outbid him or had the more powerful interest. (fn. 33)

John Wardall or his predecessor may have been responsible for the encroachments onto Cheapside in front of this property which were the subject of concern by the city authorities in 1627-8. They took the form of 'sheds under the gallery', and in 1629 Wardall took a lease from the corporation of the ground where they stood for a term of 40 years at £5 rent. Lawrence Speight, who presumably held the whole property, paid this rent from 1643-4 onwards. William Hore succeeded Speight in 1661, when he surrendered the lease and paid £110 to renew it for a term of 30 years. He was succeeded in 1665 by his widow and executrix Hester. (fn. 34) The gallery was probably not identical with the 'hallpace' mentioned in the 15th century (cf. above) and had perhaps been added to the front of the building above the stalls since 1547, for the representation of the house at that date shows no such feature (cf. above).

In 1661 the property as a whole consisted of a shop called the Greyhound and Hare, a shop and warehouse called the King's Head, a tenement with a shop, a shop called the Gunn, a tenement called the White Horse, and a shop called the Horseshoe. Bartholomew Layton, a citizen and goldsmith who inhabited the King's Head, paid the rent on Dr. Hore's behalf. In 1664 William ...(probably Hore) and ... Colville, citizen and goldsmith, assigned to Richard Yerbury, citizen and salter, their right in the White Horse and the shop under it then in the tenure of Richard Ladds, in the Horseshoe then in the tenure of Edward Neale, and in the Gunne then in the tenure of James Lancaster; this right appears subsequently to have been acquired by Bartholomew Layton and Thomas Potter, another goldsmith. Yerbury was later said to have had a lease from William Hore. After the Great Fire Potter, acting in trust for Layton, acquired an extension to the lease from the dean and chapter of Canterbury to enable him to rebuild the property. Potter and Layton then sold their interest for £1300 to the City, which intended to enlarge St. Mary le Bow church and ornament the street frontage. The westernmost part of the property was taken for widening the way into the churchyard. The ground immediately to the E. was occupied by the new steeple of St. Mary le Bow. The houses built on the remainder of the site were let by the City, which assigned to its tenants responsibility for paying the rent due to the dean and chapter of Canterbury. A protracted legal wrangle ensued. (fn. 35)

The occupants of the property can be identified in the tithe assessment list of 1638 and the Hearth Tax list of 1666. In 1638 they were Mr. Neale (probably the Edward Neale, tenant in 1664; cf. above) with a shop valued at £14 a year, Mr. Yong with a property valued at £8 a year, Mr. Dicker for a shop valued at £10, and Mr. Deyos for a property valued at £20 a year. The total value of these properties (£52) seems too small for 20 and it is possible that one or more of the tithepayers whose names come next in the list occupied parts of 20. There is less room for doubt in the 1666 list, when the occupants were probably: George Barr, boddice-seller, with a house of 2 hearths; Richard Ladd, boddice-seller, with a house (the White Horse, cf. above) of 3 hearths; James Lancaster, boddice- seller, with a house (the Gunne, cf. above) of 1 hearth; and Bartholomew Lattin (presumably Bartholomew Layton tenant of the King's Head) with a house of 7 hearths. (fn. 36) The low value of the property and the small number of hearths for its size suggest that in the 17th century the building was under used and perhaps in a bad state of repair.

Table 1
Date Rent due Vacations and defaults Rent on received Expenditure on repairs
£. s. d. £. s. d. £. s. d. £. s. d.
late 12th century 9 17 0
c. 1200 14 6 8
c. 1220 15 6 8
c. 1260 15 6 8
House destroyed 1271
1273-4 10 15 0
1275-6 £100 (average of £20 p.a.) rebuilding 1271-9
1276-7 ?11 13 4
1277-8 14 6 8
1281-2 (½ year) 13 6 0 13 6 0
1284-5 ? 8 19 6 ?
1292-3 24 3 4 24 3 4 1 11 5
1294-5 24 7 8 ?5 5 4 ?19 2 4 13 4
1296-7 24 7 8 8 2 6 16 5 2 3 1 ¾
1305-6 24 9 8 6 5 4 23 4 4 5 5 ¼
1312-13 24 9 8 7 17 3 16 12 5 2 5 2 ¼
1315-16 24 9 8 8 5 10 16 3 10 6 0
1318-19 ? ? ? 62 6 10 ¼
1320-1 20 2 4 7 2 19 15 2 10 6
1322-3 20 2 4 2 15 11 17 6 5 10 0
1323-4 20 2 4 3 8 8 16 5 8 16 11
1324-5 18 12 18 17 14 0 7 0
1326-7 18 6 8 18 6 8 8 6
1327-8 18 6 8 18 6 8 2 2
1332-3 18 6 8 3 4 18 3 4
1333-4 18 6 8 ?12 0 ?17 14 8 6 18 9
1334-5 18 6 8 ?16 17 10 8 10 12 8
1335-6 18 6 8 18 6 8
1336-7 18 6 8 18 6 8
1337-8 18 6 8 18 6 8 1 4 0
1339-40 18 6 8 18 6 8 2 17 9+
1340-1 18 6 8 2 0 0 16 6 8 6 7 9
1341-2 18 6 8 18 6 8 1 10 4
1342-3 18 6 8 18 6 8
1355-6 20 0 0 20 0 0
1356 (½ year) 10 0 0 10 0 0
1356-7 20 0 0 20 0 0 4 18 8
1374-5 28 16 8 28 16 8
1375-6 28 16 8 28 16 8 6 6 5
1376-7 28 16 8 28 16 8 1 5 11
1377-8 29 3 4 29 3 4 ?
1378-9 29 3 4 29 3 4 ?
1379-80 29 3 4 29 3 4 ?
1380-1 23 1 8 23 1 8
1381-2 29 3 4 29 3 4 7 1
1382-94 p.a. 29 3 4 29 3 4 ?
1394-8 p.a. 28 6 8 28 6 8 ?
1400-1 26 6 8 26 6 8 ?
1401-6 p.a. 26 13 4 26 13 4 ?
1406-7 26 13 4 12 12 4 14 11 0 1 1 11
1407-8 26 13 4 ? 24 6 8 11 4
1408-9 26 13 4 ? 23 13 4 11 4
1409-10 24 6 8 ? 24 6 8 ?
1410-11 25 6 8 ? 23 14 4 ?
1411-12 26 13 4 ? ? ?
1412-13 26 13 4 ? ? ?
1413-14 26 13 4 ? ? ?
1414-18 p.a. 26 13 4 ? ? ?
1418-19 26 13 4 ? ? 8 15 10 ½
1419-20 24 0 0 ? ? 3 17 11
now let at farm for £24 or £25)
1432-3 24 0 0 ?
1448-9 25 0 0 ?
1449-50 25 0 0 ?
1456-7 25 0 0 7 10 6 ½
1457-8 24 0 0 3 19 10 ½
1459-60 24 0 0 4 14 6
1463-4 24 0 0 2 1 8+
1481 24 0 0
1489 24 0 0
1491 24 0 0
1500-1 24 0 0 ?
1508-9 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 3 18 3
1509-10 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 2 0 3
1511-12 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 18 3
1512-13 24 0 0 24 0 0 nil 1 4 0
1517-18 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 18 8
1518-19 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 2 18 4
1520-1 24 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 18 8
1523 (let for 20 years) 20 0 0 20 0 0 from now on tenant probably liable for repairs
1536 (let for 30 years) 20 0 0 20 0 0 from now on tenant probably liable for repairs
1551 (let for 60 years) 20 0 0 20 0 0 from now on tenant probably liable for repairs
(no record of fines for later leases)


  • 1. B.W. Kissan, 'An early list of London properties' Trans LMAS n.s. 8 (1938-40), 57-69; idem, 'The earliest mention of Bow Church' Trans LMAS n.s. 7 (1933-7), 436-44 (citing Canterbury Reg I, f. 368). For the date c. 1326, see below.
  • 2. Canterbury, Lit. MS 14, ff. 15v-8 and Lit. MS 15, ff. 14v-17 (the shop is not mentioned in the version of the rental in Lit. MS 14). Unless otherwise stated, all subsequent references to MS sources concern records in Canterbury Cathedral Archives.
  • 3. Lit. MS 16, ff. 2-16 (the quarterly rents from the house are written in over erasures; there is no reference to the shop in this rental).
  • 4. Reg K, f. 66v; Reg J, p. 334; London Eyre 1244, no. 371.
  • 5. Reg K. f. 188 (a 14th-cent. memorandum).
  • 6. London Eyre 1276, no. 221.
  • 7. The sum of the totals recorded in the priory treasurers' accounts over the period 1271-9: Miscellaneous Accounts 1, ff. 115v, 116v, 117v, 119, 123v, 126, 128 (totals for each year except 1275-6).
  • 8. The sum of the legible totals recorded in the treasurers' detailed expenditure accounts, 1275-7 (£435. 17s. 5 1/4d.: Lambeth, MS 242, ff. 27, 33v, 43v) and the total as in the previous note.
  • 9. 9The History of the King's Works, ed. H.M. Colvin, ii (1963), 860.
  • 10. Lambeth, MS 242, ff. 27, 43v.
  • 11. The History of the King's Works, ed. H.M. Colvin, i (1963), 482-3, 510-12; John Harvey, English Medieval Architects (2nd. edn., 1984), 45.
  • 12. W.F. Grimes, The Excavation of Roman and Medieval London (1968), 168-70 and Fig. 37.
  • 13. Reg B, ff. 239v-40; Reg I, f. 368; Reg K, f. 188; Reg L, f. 147; Chartae Antiquae L119. HR 57(7). CUL, Ee 5.31, ff. 255v-7.
  • 14. Reg T1, f. 144v; Lambeth, ED 89; CLRO, Viewers' Presentments 1623-36, m. 27.
  • 15. Miscellaneous Accounts 1, f. 127.
  • 16. Reg H, f. 215, 'Bedels' Rolls, London', s.a. 1273-4, 1278-9.
  • 17. Lambeth, MS 242, f. 334; BL, MS Cotton Galba E. iv, f. 108.
  • 18. Treasurers' Accounts no. 22 (undated fragment).
  • 19. Unless otherwise stated, the following account is based on 'Bedels' Rolls, London', s.a., and on PRO, SC6/917/2, 4, and 5 (accounts for the years 1294-5, 1296-7, and 1305-6).
  • 20. Grimes, op. cit. in n. 12, above.
  • 21. Literae Cantuarienses, ed. J.B. Sheppard (RS, 1887-9) i, 400-1.
  • 22. LBF, 67.
  • 23. Miscellaneous Accounts 21-3; GL, MS 9051/1, f. 222v.
  • 24. Treasurers' Accounts no. 20.
  • 25. 'Bedels' Rolls London', s.a. 1420-1; Reg H, fo. 152v.
  • 26. Chartae Antiquae L127d; PRO, PROB11/6, f. 120v.
  • 27. Reg S, ff. 256, 323v, 354, 380-1.
  • 28. Schedule III of Bunce's MS Catalogue, pp. 256-7.
  • 29. Reg T1, f. 210r-v; Reg T2, ff. 82v-83v.
  • 30. Ibid.; Cartae Antiquae L127; MS Scrapbook B, p. 131.
  • 31. The painting, now destroyed, was at Cowdray, Sussex. There is an 18th-century copy at the Society of Antiquaries, London, of which an engraved version was published in 1787.
  • 32. Miscellaneous Accounts 17; Schedule III of Bunce's MS Catalogue, pp. 256-7; Church Comm Dep 70445-6. PRO: E211/209; PROB11/39, f. 198v; PROB11/43, f. 347v-348Av; E179/144/120; E179/251/123.
  • 33. Chapter Act Book 1581-1607, ff. 262v, 303; ibid. 1608-28, ff. 11, 15, 51, 146v; Reg Y, ff. 46r-v, 282r-v; Reg Z, ff. 124v-125v; 'Box in Basement 100'/ L. 15; Church Com Dep 70441.
  • 34. CLRO: Rep 42, ff. 13r-v, 58v; Rep 43, f. 23; City Lands Grant Book 3, f. 95; Surrenders of City Lands Leases 1630-90; City Cash Accounts, passim.
  • 35. Church Com Dep 70441. CLRO: Coal Duty account books i, ff. 113v, 128v; Comp. Deeds, Box 49 no. 14, Box 50 nos. 5, 6; 'City Leases c. 1660-90', ff. 39v, 40; City Lands Grant Book 4, ff. 56v, 73v; Fire Court Decrees E, f. 251v.
  • 36. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 109; PRO, E179/252/32/16.