St. Mary le Bow 104/34

Pages 364-368

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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This property lay between 104/33 on the W., 145/9-10 on the E., and 104/23 on the S. In the 13th and 14th centuries it consisted of shops on the Cheapside frontage with a seld behind. In 1858 the property corresponded on the street frontage to no. 67 Cheapside.

In the late 12th century this was the land of Ruelandus, from which Canterbury Cathedral Priory had a rent of £1, due in equal portions at Easter and Michaelmas. By c. 1220 the rent was due at the same terms from Thomas de Brantefelde, who later was said to hold the land from the heirs of R. de Rothesle. (fn. 1) The priory and its successors, the dean and Chapter of Canterbury, continued to receive the rent into the 17th century.

About 1200 the property was either the former land of Reginald senex or the former land of Robert de Cornhull which were said to adjoin 33. In 1247-8 the site was occupied by the seld of William de Brantefeld, who was dead by 1260. The property then came into the possession of Robert de Arraz, who held the seld in 1279-80. Later, Robert's widow Alice said that she and her husband had acquired the property from Michael Toui, junior, citizen and goldsmith. In 1293 John Darras, who was son of Robert and Alice, quitclaimed to his mother, now a widow, in the seld called Brandefeldesselde. In 1323 Alice granted the property to Richard Costantin, citizen and draper, who already had a substantial rent there (see below). At this time 34 was described as a seld with 4 shops and solars above in front towards Cheapside, with a whole house (domus integra) towards the rear. (fn. 2)

By his will, enrolled in 1275, Thomas de Basing left £10. 9s. 4d. rent from the seld in Cheapside which had belonged to William de Brantefeud to his widow Margery for life; half of this and other rents was to remain to Margery's heirs and the other half was to remain to the testator's brother, Richard Eswy and his heirs. This rent may earlier in the 13th century have been due to the heirs of R. de Rothesle, from whom Thomas de Brantefelde had held the property. Henry Walens' and William de Haddestok were Thomas de Basing's nearest heirs and claimed that Thomas should not have alienated his property to his wife. This claim appears to have had some weight, for in 1298 Adam Biddyk, tailor, and his wife Joan, who was daughter of William de Haddestok, now deceased, granted the £10. 9s. 4d. rent from Brantefeldselde to Richard de Ashwi, citizen. In 1311 Richard de Gloucestre, John de Gisorce, and Richard de Willehale, as executors of Richard Asshewy, citizen and draper, sold the rent to Richard Constantyn. (fn. 3)

There are records of several different parts of the seld and shops in the 13th and early 14th centuries. By his testament enrolled in 1281, Henry le Wimpler left his plot with a chest (placia cum cista) in the seld of Robert de Arraz, with 5 other chests there, to his son Thomas; this property appears to have passed by inheritance to Henry's son John le Wimpler and after John's death to Henry's daughters Joan and Avicia; in 1314 Joan, who was now widow of William Grapefige, and Avicia granted their 2 parts of a plot of land in Brantefeldesselde to Thomas le Sok; Thomas was perhaps identical with or related to the Thomas atte Puwe, who by his will, dated 1342 and proved in 1344, left to his wife Alice for life the reversion of a shop in Arracesselde which was due to him on the deaths of his mother Katharine and Avicia daughter of Henry le Wimpler. (fn. 4) By his testament enrolled in 1283, Stephen de Scholaunde left his 2 chests in the seld of Robert de Arras to his son Roger. Alice de Araz, widow of Robert de Araz granted a plot of land with free access in Brantefeldeselde to John de Douegate, who by his will, enrolled in 1302, left it with the chests, cupboards, and counters (cistis, armariolis, et comptor') to his daughter Joan and her heirs, with remainder to his daughter Alice; this property descended by inheritance to Joan's son Thomas, to Thomas's daughter Margaret, and to her son Nicholas Lachebrok, who as a minor in 1373 claimed it in Husting against William Walderne, citizen and draper, William's wife Juliana, and John Tanner; on this occasion the property was described as a messuage and 3 shops, a description which perhaps applied to the whole of 34; Tanner failed to appear and Juliana, who was sole tenant, was admitted to defend her right in the absence of her husband, but the outcome of the case is not known. Another part of the seld was held by Nicholas Picot, alderman, who by his will, enrolled in 1312, left his cupboards (almariole) with the chests there and the term he had in the plots where the cupboards stood, together with the term of his apprentices, to his children, Nicholas, John, and Juliana. Another part of the seld belonged to Robert de Worstede, citizen and mercer, who by his will enrolled in 1327 left to his son Richard his cupboard and chest with two lids or coverings (almariola mea et cista mea cum duobus cooperculis) in the seld of Alice de Arraz, and to his son William his other cupboard with all the chests there. Thomas de Worstede, citizen and mercer, held what was apparently another part of the property and by his will, dated 1345 and enrolled in 1346, left to Richard son of Robert de Worsted a cupboard with 3 chests standing in front of it in the seld sometime of Richard Costantin, and to his wife Isabel 6 'other chests' in the same seld. (fn. 5)

In 1306 the shop adjoining 145/9 to the W., and probably therefore the most easterly shop in front of 34 was said to belong to William Spot, (fn. 6) who was presumably a tenant of Alice de Arras.

According to the record of an assessment of 1321-2, 34 was known as le Huse (celda del Huse), probably because the sign of a leg of hose was displayed outside (cf. 32), and included 3 shops. In addition to the rent of £1 to Canterbury Cathedral Priory the property was charged with a rent of 10s. to the church of St. Mary, Southwark. (fn. 7)

By his testament, dated and enrolled in 1332, Richard Costantyn left the seld with the 4 shops, the solars, and the house at the rear to his son Richard and his heirs. Richard was dead by 1349, when his widow Margaret left her properties (not including 34) to her son John. John Constantyn, presumably the son of Richard and Margaret, was in possession of 34 in the period 1353-7, when he paid the rent to Canterbury Cathedral Priory. John granted the property to Richard de Notyngham, citizen and mercer, for the term of his life and then quitclaimed to him in the property. Richard de Notyngham may already have occupied 34 in 1340, when girdles of Paris, purses, velvet, and other cloths and goods were stolen from his house in the ward of Cheap. 34 passed by inheritance to Richard de Notyngham's son Richard, who in 1375 granted to Robert Knolles, knight, and his wife Custancia, his seld called le Huse with its shops, solars, stalls, chests, and cupboards. In the same year Robert Maunsell, citizen and grocer, quitclaimed to Knolles and his wife in the property. (fn. 8)

Knolles and his wife granted le Huse and a tenement in the parish of St. Dionis to John Boys, John Drewe, and Walter Donewich, clerks, who in 1382 granted the properties back to Knolles and his wife Custancia for the term of their lives. After their deaths half the property was to remain to Knolles's squire, William Cauley, his wife Alice, and their male heirs. The other half was to remain to Knolles's squire, John Stanley, and his male heirs. Should the male heirs fail, the property was to remain to the heirs and assigns of Knolles and his wife Custancia. Knolles died in 1407 and by his will, dated 1389 and enrolled in March 1408, he left 34 and other properties in London to the college which he and his wife had founded at Pontefract (Yorks.). 34 was now described as a great seld called le Leeg measuring 8 yds. 1 ft. 11 1/2 in. (25 ft. 11 1/2 in.; 7.91 m.) in width next to Cheapside, 8 yds. 9 in. (24 ft. 9 in.; 7.54 m.) in width at the rear, and 53 yds. 2 ft. 6 in. (161 ft. 6 in.; 48.92 m.) in length. The property brought in £33. 6s. 8d. a year in rent, out of which £1 was paid to Canterbury Cathedral Priory. (fn. 9)

The immediate effect of Knolles's will is not certain, for the arrangement made in 1382 was still in force and at Knolles's death half of 34 came into the possession of John Stanley, then a knight, and the other half came into the possession of Alice, widow of William Cauley. Stanley and Alice seem already to have been in possession by 1400, when the rent to Canterbury Cathedral priory was paid on their behalf by John Typpup, mercer, who may have occupied the property. In November 1408 John Costatyn, son and heir of John Costantyn and therefore the great grandson of the Richard Costantyn who had acquired 34 in 1323, sought to recover possession of the property against Stanley and Alice. The defendants called Knolles's executor, John Drewe, to warrant and, since Drewe had no property in London and the court of Husting therefore had no power to summon him to attend, the case was transferred to the royal court at Westminster. The case was not immediately pursued, but was resumed in 1413. Little seems to have happened until 1415, when a view of Stanley's moiety was ordered, and in 1416 the case was again transferred to Westminster. Views of both moieties were ordered in 1417, when the defendants (Stanley and his wife) claimed that the plaintiff's father (John Costantyn) had not been seised. Judgement was then respited 3 times. Stanley died in 1414, but the case appears to have continued on the assumption that he was still alive until October 1418, when Costantyn sued out a new writ concerning his alleged dispossession of one moiety by Alice Cauley and of the other moiety by Robert Halstede and Thomas Spenser, clerks. After several summonses the case seems finally to have been dropped in July 1419. (fn. 10)

During the 15th and 16th centuries 34 was held as two moieties, of which one belonged to the descendants of John Stanley and the other was eventually acquired by the college at Pontefract. It was perhaps the intent of Knolles's will that the college should acquire possession in default of the male heirs of John Stanley and William Cauley. One moiety, perhaps Cauley's, came into the possession of William del Bothe, clerk, and William Chaunterell, who granted it to Everard Flete, mercer, Thomas Payn, clerk, John Cote, John Tretheny, Simon Barton, clerk, Thomas Burgh, clerk, Robert Syresten, Richard Wilhyhale, Robert Kendale, John Luky, and Robert Alger. Barton died and Flete, Payn, and Cote came into sole possession by virtue of a quitclaim from the other survivors. In 1433 Flete, Payn, and Cote granted the moiety of le Huse to John Symond, recorder of London, who immediately granted it to Flete, John Norman, mercer, and Walter Peryn, haberdasher. (fn. 11) The successive owners of the two moieties can be traced from the records of the rent received by Canterbury Cathedral Priory. Cauley's moiety was in the possession of John Pountfret, chaplain, in 1438-9, of John Lathum, gentleman from 1454 to 1462, and of the college at Pontefract by 1483 and until its dissolution c. 1546. Stanley's moiety passed to his son Thomas, the first Lord Stanley, and then to Thomas's descendants, the earls of Derby; in 1540 Ambrose Barker purchased the earl's interest in the property for £54. (fn. 12)

In 1522 le Legge consisted of 7 shops and was valued at £9. 6s. 8d. a year. This was probably an underestimate. In 1549 the Crown granted its share of 34, now known as le White Ledge, and other former properties of the college at Pontefract to William Warde, gentleman. At this date the property contained 6 shops and was held in three parts: next to Cheapside were 2 shops formerly held by William Butrye and afterwards leased to Robert Meredith; next to the S. were 3 shops lately leased to Ambrose Barker; and at the S. end was a shop lately leased to William Lock. Barker probably already occupied the property in 1538, when letters were addressed to Anthony (sic) Barker at the 'Legg' and at the 'Hangyng Legge' in Cheapside. (fn. 13)

William Locke purchased William Warde's interest in the property, which in 1550, when Lock died, was described as 5 tenements and shops called the 'White Legge entre' and was said to be worth £5 a year clear. By his will, drawn up in 1550, Lock left his moiety to his sons Thomas, Matthew, John, Henry, and Michael Lock. The property was subsequently in the tenures of George Dyamonde and William Chelsham, and in 1554 Thomas Lock conveyed his 1/3 share in the moiety (his brothers Henry and Michael were still alive) to trustees to hold for the use of himself and his wife Mary and then to the use of their son William and his heirs, with remainders in case of default to Thomas's other sons and their heirs. William died in 1558 and his heir was his brother Matthew, then aged 9. The William Chelsham who held part of the property in 1550 probably lived there and is probably identical with the William Chelsham, citizen and mercer of St. Mary le Bow parish, who died in 1573. Matthew Lock of Merton (Surrey) and his wife Margaret in 1598 granted the moiety of 34 which had once belonged to William Lock to Robert Johnson, citizen and grocer, at farm for a term of 41 years, in return for a fine of £200 and at a rent of £7. 3s. 4d., of which £2. 8s. were to be paid to Matthew's uncle, Michael Lock, while he lived. The property, which now measured 158 ft. by 22 ft. (48.16 m. by 6.71 m.) within the walls, was described as a messuage known as the White Leg, formerly held by Henry Bisshop, mercer, together with 5 shops or warehouses adjoining, formerly in the tenures of Thomas Oosley, skinner, William Ormeshawe, grocer, and Henry Parrishe, haberdasher, and now in the tenure of Nathaniel Byshoppe and the said Robert Johnson. (fn. 14)

Ambrose Barker's moiety descended to his son Thomas, who in 1580 as Thomas Barker of Chignall St. James (Essex), esquire, sold it for £100 to James Tawlke of London, gentleman. This conveyance was a security for a loan, for Barker was to remain in possession until 6 November 1581 and the sale was to be void if he repaid the £100 by then. At the time of the sale the moiety was said to be worth £15 a year, Henry Bishopp held the moiety of a shop there under lease for a term of 23 years at £4 rent, and the property was subject to other leases which expired in 1581. The other tenants were named as John Blounte, William Dowgill, and Cuthbert Edon. Barker repaid the loan, but on 7 November 1581 granted the moiety to Tawlke's widow, Anne Tawke, in return for a payment of £100. Barker was to remain in possession until 6 May 1582 and the grant was to be void if he repaid the £100. This loan was repaid and in April 1582 Barker sold the property to John Catcher, citizen and pewterer, and with his wife Dorothy quitclaimed to Catcher. At this time the property was occupied by Henry Bysshop, Thomas Ostleye, skinner, and William Ormeshawe, grocer. In 1593 Catcher, now an alderman, and his wife Helen sold the property to Robert Johnson, citizen and grocer, for a sum of £300 payable in instalments over the next 2 1/2 years. The property was now described as a messuage with 5 shops and a stable, and was in the tenures of Henry Bishopp, Henry Parrish, Nathaniel Bishop, and Robert Johnson. Bishopp's lease was said to have begun in 1579. (fn. 15)

Robert Johnson still owned the property in 1599, when he was found to be the sole owner of a stone wall on the E. boundary extending 65 ft. (19.81 m.) in length southwards from a point 43 ft. (13.11 m.) S. of Cheapside. The brick wall of the second storey of the house to the E. (145/9-10A) encroached on this wall along the northernmost 21 ft. (6.4 m.) of its length. Johnson was rebuilding at this time and agreed to leave a yard measuring 20 ft. (6.1 m.) E./W. and 13 ft. 8 in. (4.17 m.) N./S. at the E. end of his new building to allow light for the windows of 145/9-10A. The property remained in Johnson's family, for in 1614 the £1 rent of the dean and chapter of Canterbury was due from John Johnson. (fn. 16)

The messuage known as the White Leg seems later to have been in the possession of Robert Johnson, grocer and alderman, who died in 1626 and was presumably a son or other relative of John Johnson. In 1628 the property was in the possession of Martha wife of Timothy Middleton of Bromley (Middx.), esquire, who was seised in fee simple to herself and her heirs. She was perhaps the daughter and heir of Robert Johnson. The messuage was said to have been in the occupation of Robert Johnson and William Alleyn, and was now occupied by Alleyn, who probably lived in the rear part of the property (cf. below), and by Thomas Dauson. Johnson had died unexpectedly and in debt, and in order to meet these obligations Middleton and his wife in 1628 covenanted to levy a fine to William Gibson, merchant tailor, and Roger Hatton, haberdasher, to the intent that Middleton and his heirs should have sole use of the property. (fn. 17)

The messuage called the Leg later belonged to George Benson, esquire, of the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, who in 1643 assigned it to his nephew, John Benson. George Benson died that year or early in 1644, leaving an annuity of £20 from the messuage to his maidservant, Mary Shackspere, for life. At this time the house was inhabited by William Allen, grocer, who was presumably the Mr. Allen listed in 1638 as tithe-payer for a property valued at £40 a year, and who died in 1651. Allen held the rear part of 34, and in 1638 the front part was probably inhabited by Mr. Norton, who paid tithe for a house worth £30 a year. In 1650 John Benson, now of Lincoln's Inn and described as esquire, leased the rear part of the great messuage called the White Leg, formerly held by William Allen, to Thomas Allen for 21 years at £45 rent, and at about this time settled the whole of 34 on his wife Dorothy for life. By 1667 John Benson had died, Dorothy had married Patrick Cary, esquire, and Thomas Allen had sold his lease to William Hill for £180. Hill was presumably the William Hills, druggist, who occupied a house of 7 hearths here in 1666, when the front part of 34 was a house of 6 hearths occupied by Edward Merrill or Merridith, draper. By order of the Fire Court in 1667 Hill surrendered his lease to Cary and paid him £50 in addition to the rent due up to the time of the Great Fire. The rebuilding of this S. part of 34 was undertaken by Thomas Lunn, for whom two foundations were surveyed in 1670. These two houses were reached by means of an alley running out of Cheapside along the W. boundary of the property and known as Golden Leg Court. The N. part of 34, next to Cheapside, was at the time of the Great Fire a tenement occupied by Jacob Hooley, and in 1667 a foundation was surveyed for Patrick Carey on this site. In 1668 it was decreed in the Fire Court that in consideration of his expenses in rebuilding this and other properties Carey should have a term of 40 years in them after the death of his wife Dorothy, and should pay £50 a year to John Benson, her son by her former marriage and at that time an infant. (fn. 18)


  • 1. Canterbury: Lit. MS B14, ff. 15v-18; Lit. MS B15, ff. 14v-17, Lit. MS B16, ff. 2-16; Reg K, f. 66v; Reg J, p. 335.
  • 2. St. Bartholomew's Cart, nos. 816, 883 (f. 329); PRO, E40/14778, C146/2134, LR14/569; HR 2(111), 52(2); MC, Lady Gresham's Estate, no. 1.
  • 3. HR 7(48), 27(64), 39(120).
  • 4. HR 13(21), 43(68), 70(152).
  • 5. HR 14(112), 31(1), 41(2), 51(1), 76(86); HPL 95, mm. 1d, 26d, 29.
  • 6. HR 44(127).
  • 7. Canterbury, Reg B, ff. 264-5.
  • 8. Canterbury, Bedels' Rolls, London, s.a.; HR 60(46), 103(72, 76); LBF, 253.
  • 9. Bodl, MS Barlow 49, f. 158v; HR 135(88).
  • 10. Canterbury, Reg B, f. 251; HPL 133, mm. 3d, 5, 6d; HPL 138, mm. 1, 3; HPL 139, mm. 6, 7; HPL 140, mm. 4, 6; HPL 141, mm. 1, 4d, 6d, 8; HPL 142, mm. 1, 3, 6-8; HPL 149, mm. 2-5.
  • 11. HR 161 (37, 39).
  • 12. Canterbury: Bedels' Rolls, London, passim; Cartae Antiquae L 108a; Misc. a/cs 17; Church Com Dep 70445-6. Lambeth, ED 608. HR 273(16).
  • 13. Abs Inq PM i, 34-5; PRO, SC6/Hen 8/6146-7; Cal Pat R 1548-9, pp. 324-5; L & P Henry VIII, xiii (1), nos. 1169-70, 1186.
  • 14. Abs Inq PM i, 80-3, 225-8; PRO, PROB11/33, f. 163; PROB11/55, f. 182; HR 278(12).
  • 15. HR 264(44), 265(47, 68), 273(16).
  • 16. MC, Reg of Writings ii, ff. 199v-200; Canterbury Church Com Dep 70445.
  • 17. GLCRO, Acc 215/46.
  • 18. Fire Court i, 78-9, 231; M & O ii, f. 49; M & O v, f. 81; Ogilby and Morgan; Inhabitants in 1638, p. 109; GL, MS 9052/12, s.n. George Benson; PRO, E179;/252/32/16, PROB11/215.