St. Mary le Bow 104/36

Pages 374-376

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 is identifiable as a single unit from the later 13th century onwards, when it came into the possession of the Minoresses outside Aldgate. It lay on the E. side of St. Lawrence Lane between 104/37-41 on the S. and properties in St. Lawrence Jewry parish, provisionally identified as 81/E, on the N. To the E. the Minoresses' property adjoined the N. parts of 105/11-12 (later identifiable as 81/C) and 104/42, which also adjoined the S. side of the property. (fn. 1) The property was thus of irregular outline and extent towards the rear, and between the 15th and the 17th century land there may have been lost to 104/42. In the 15th and early 16th centuries the property consisted of 4 and then 3 tenements, apparently ranged along the street frontage: the most northerly of them was in St. Lawrence Jewry parish. In the 12th and early 13th centuries the S. part of what was to become 36 was probably part of a holding which fronted onto Cheapside (see 104/37-41) and its N. part was probably part of a holding which was closely associated with 105/11-12 (see 81/D, E).

In 1858 the property corresponded to nos. 2-4 Lawrence Lane.

Thirteenth to sixteenth century

In 1247-8 the S. part of 36, which had probably once been part of the same property as 37-41, was described as the dwelling (managium) of Arnold the saddler, who was to have right of access through 37-41 by the door of that property which opened on to Cheapside. In 1268-9 this right of way through 37-41 belonged to Henry Walemond, who was thus probably a successor to Arnold the saddler. (fn. 2) The existence of this right of way demonstrates not only the value of direct access to the Cheapside frontage, but also that Arnold's dwelling had probably once formed part of the property through which the right of way passed. The right of way probably ceased to be used long before the 15th century, when the interest of the owner of 36 in 37- 41 took the form of 3 quit-rents received from tenants of parts of the latter property (q.v.).

Henry Walemond also had property in Bow Lane (104/24) which by 1269 he had granted to Henry le Waleis, who is later recorded as a former owner of 104/36. (fn. 3) Le Waleis conveyed his property in St. Lawrence Lane to Lord Edmund, brother of King Edward I, who in 1294 obtained a licence to alienate it in mortmain to the Minoresses outside Aldgate. The sisters remained in possession of this property until their house was dissolved in 1539. At their dissolution they owed to St. Bartholomew's Priory a quit-rent of 8d. for their tenement in St. Lawrence's parish. This rent was probably due from the N. part of 36, but is not recorded in earlier accounts and rentals. (fn. 4)

In 1487-8 the Minoresses had a total of £13 rent from 4 tenants in St. Lawrence Lane: £4. 6s. 8d. from Gilbert Palmer, £4 from Ralph London, mercer, £2. 6s. 8d. from William Miller, and £2. 6s. 8d. from William Welbeck. By 1531-2 the number of tenants had fallen to 3, who paid a total of £10. 13s. 4d. rent. Of these 3 holdings the most northerly (36A) lay in St. Lawrence Jewry parish and the other 2 (36B and C) lay in St. Mary le Bow parish. (fn. 5)

36A was a tenement with shops, solars, and cellars, which in 1532 William Gresseham, citizen and mercer, took on a 40-year lease, under which the landlord was obliged to repair, at £3. 6s. 8d. rent. In 1536 this tenement was said to be held by Richard Glasyer, who was probably Gresseham's undertenant. Gresseham apparently still held the property in 1544 when the king granted 36A, 36B and many other properties to Roger Hyghame of London and William Grene, merchant tailor. (fn. 6)

The next property to the S., 36B, was described in 1531-2 as a tenement held by Thomas Habraham for £2. 10s. rent, which had been held once for £2. 13s. 4d. rent and formerly for £2. 6s. 8d. rent. In 1536 Thomas Habraham the elder, citizen and leatherseller, took a 31-year lease at £2. 10s. rent of this tenement with shops, warehouses, solars, and cellars in St. Mary le Bow parish, with responsibility for repair against weather except for principal timbers, tiles, lime, sand, and workmanship. Habraham appears still to have held under this lease in 1544 when the king granted the property to Hyghame and Grene. (fn. 7)

36C, the southernmost part of the property, in 1527 consisted of two tenements held and occupied by William Gressent, citizen and haberdasher, at £2. 16s. 8d. rent and for a term due to end in 1535, when John Edwards, citizen and haberdasher, was to commence a 20-year lease at the same rent with responsibility for repair, except for principal timbers, lime, sand, and workmanship. In 1531-2 Gressent was paying the rent and in 1536 the Robert Lucye, leatherseller, who was said to occupy the property, was probably Edwards's undertenant. Edwards held the two tenements representing 36C on lease in 1544, when the king granted them with many other properties to Hugh Losse of London and Thomas Bochier. Lucye was probably still living there in 1544. (fn. 8)

Seventeenth century

Few references to the property between the mid 16th century and the Great Fire have been identified. From the records concerning the rebuilding after the Fire it is possible to plot the bounds of 5 properties which occupied the site of 81D and E and 104/36-41. Three of these probably occupied the site of 104/36, and the reconstruction adopted here is based on the assumption that the boundary between the parishes of St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary le Bow were in the same position in the 16th century as in the 19th.

36C was probably the messuage in St. Lawrence Lane occupied by Roger Grafton which at his death in 1593 Thomas Rowland, citizen and draper, left to his third son, William Rowland. Later occupants were William Wallis, probably the Mr. Wallis who occupied a house valued at £20 p.a. in 1638, and then Robert Powell, who were both dead by 1660. The freehold of the messuage had descended from John Rowland, gentleman, of Egham (Surrey) to his son and heir Thomas Rowland, gentleman, of Stratford Bow in the parish of Stepney (Middx.), who in 1660 with his wife Elizabeth sold the messuage for £300 to John Mason, citizen and cook. In 1666, on the eve of the Fire, Mason, now described as a victualler, occupied a house of 6 hearths on this site, and in April 1667 the foundation of a new house was set out for him. (fn. 9)

In 1638 36B was probably a house occupied by Mr. Taylor and valued at £25 a year. In 1666, on the eve of the Great Fire, it was probably a house of 5 hearths occupied by Robert Conisby, silkman. In 1667, when Mr. Hind was named as landlord, a foundation there was surveyed for John Sadler. The survey gives dimensions and mentions an old stone wall on the E. side of the property which was in dispute, presumably with the owner of 104/42. The next foundation to the N. was surveyed for Nicholas Caplin, probably in 1667 or 1668, and may have occupied the site of 36A and 81/E; the Mr. Nettleship named as the N. neighbour of John Sadler in 1667 presumably had an interest in the same property. (fn. 10)

Ogilby and Morgan's survey of 1676 shows the site of Caplin's property to be occupied by two houses, of which one was in the parish of St. Mary le Bow and the other was in the parish of St. Lawrence. This map is sometimes wrong in its positioning of parish boundaries, but if it is correct in this instance there would appear to have been 3 houses on the site of 36 within the parish of St. Mary le Bow and this would be in accord with a possible identification of these properties in the list of tithe payers in 1638. If this interpretation is correct, however, the parish boundary would appear to have shifted between c. 1550 and 1676, and to have moved back again by the later 19th century. This would be compatible with the apparent listing of 3 houses here in 1638, but of only 2 houses in 1666. The third tithe-payer in 1638 was Mr. Hayton who held a house (perhaps 36A) worth £30 a year. Hayton's property, the least certain of identifications of the parts of 36, was perhaps the house, shop, and warehouse in St. Mary le Bow parish which Alice Tomlyns, widow of Edmond Tomlyns and a resident of the parish, held on lease in 1624, when she bequeathed to term of years to come to her kinsman Roger Hayton and his wife Joan. The will was proved in 1629. Roger Hayton perhaps still held in 1638, but later the property seems to have been in the possession of John Hayton, skinner and possibly Roger's son, who before the Great Fire assured to his wife Ann as her jointure a messuage 'in the new rents' in or near St. Lawrence Lane in the parish of St. Mary le Bow. In August 1666 John and Ann mortgaged the messuage to Isaac Hodgekin, vintner, for £100 on condition that £103 was repaid. John died and Ann was left with a life interest and their son Roger Hayton with the reversion, but by 1668 the day of repayment had passed and the principal was still outstanding. It was agreed that Hodgekin should rebuild the property, paying £18. 10s. each to Ann and Roger for their interest in it. (fn. 11) There are difficulties, however, over identifying this property with 36A since there is no other indication that Hodgekin was associated with the rebuilding.


  • 1. For these abutments, of later 13th- and 14th-century date, see: LBC, p. 169 (f. 103v), LBF, p. 62 (f. 50v); HR 32(78), 126(114).
  • 2. PRO, LR14/280; St. Bartholomew's Cart, no. 819.
  • 3. See above, n. 1.
  • 4. Cal Pat R 1292-1301, p. 106; PRO, SC11/955.
  • 5. PRO, SC6/Hen 7/395, SC6/Hen 8/2121.
  • 6. PRO, SC6/Hen 8/2396-2400, E303/9/181; L & P Henry VIII xix (2),no. 340(39).
  • 7. As previous note; also PRO, E13/586.
  • 8. PRO: E303/9/181, 199; E318/15/730; SC6/Hen 8/2121, 2396-2400; SC11/955; E179/144/120, E179/251/123. L & P Henry VIII xix (1), no. 1035(6).
  • 9. HR 334(7); Inhabitants in 1638, p. 109; M & O ii, ff. 1v-2; PRO, E179/252/32/16, PROB11/81, ff. 38v-40.
  • 10. M & O ii, ff. 1v-2, 53v, iv, f. 92v; PRO, E179/252/32/16; Inhabitants in 1638, p. 109.
  • 11. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 109; PRO, PROB11/56, f. 383v; Fire Court ii, 297.