St. Mary Colechurch 105/16

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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'St. Mary Colechurch 105/16', 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) pp. 475-485. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


On the Cheapside frontage this property lay between 95/18 on the W. and 105/17 on the E. It extended N. as far as 95/13-15. In the first half of the 13th century the shops on the Cheapside frontage were part of the same fee as 17, except possibly for a single shop between 16 and 17. In the 14th century there was some confusion over this shop which came to be regarded as part of 17, but stood below solars forming part of 16 (see 17). In the late 13th or early 14th century the shops in front of 16 came into the same ownership as the remainder of the property. The solar or solars over these shops was in the same ownership as the rear part of 16 from at least as early as the mid 13th century.

On the street frontage the property corresponded approximately to nos. 88-9 Cheapside in 1858.

The shops on the cheapside frontage in the thirteenth century (fig. 4)

In the 13th century there were five shops here which probably once belonged to Thomas son of Andrew Bukerel, the owner of 17. The shops descended to Alice daughter and heir of Thomas son of Thomas Bukerel and her husband John de Aspal, who by 1259 jointly granted the three westernmost shops to Godfrey de Herwes, chandler (unctarius), and his heirs, in return for a rent of £2. 5s., and the two easternmost shops to William de Manhale, chandler (unctarius), and his heirs in return for a rent of £1. 10s. The five shops were bounded by shops forming part of 95/18 on the W. and a shop of Peter son of Alan (see 17) on the E., and they were beneath a solar of Master Thomas Eswy (part of 16, cf. below). In 1270 de Aspal and Alice granted the rents which they had from these shops to Roger de Aspal, clerk. At the same time William Bukyrel came and had his claim to the property enrolled on the grounds that under the will of the elder Thomas Bukerel the property should revert on Alice's death to Thomas's nearest legitimate heirs, should Alice have no legitimate heirs of her body. Roger de Aspal granted the rent to Roger Beyuin, citizen and draper, who by his will, proved in 1277 in the archdeacon's court and in 1278 in Husting, left it as part of the endowment of a chaplain celebrating in the chapel he had had built at the church of St. John Zachary. (fn. 1)

In Beyuin's will the five shops were said to be held by William de Manhale, chandler (unctarius). By his will, proved in 1278, William left the two westernmost shops, which he had acquired from Godfrey the chandler (unctarius; probably identical with Godfrey de Herwes) to his wife Lucy for the term of her life with remainder to his son John; Lucy still held these shops in 1283. William left the 'fourth shop from the stone wall', charged with 15s. rent to the capital lords of the fee, to his apprentice Adam, who was to maintain a lamp in the church of St. Michael Bassishaw; this was presumably the shop which in 1283 Adam de Manhale held of the chaplain celebrating for the soul of Roger Beyuin. Under William's will the shop which Warin the chandler (unctarius) held of him at farm was to be sold at the end of the term; this was probably the shop which in 1283 the executors of Warin de Mimmes held of the chaplain celebrating for the soul of Roger Beyuin. William de Manhale mentioned a fifth shop in his will, but this was probably part of 95/18 (q.v.). Both the will and a list of chandlers holding shops in Cheapside suggest that by about 1280 there were no more than four shops in front of 16. (fn. 2) One of the five may have been taken to form the entry later recorded in the Cheapside frontage.

The main part of the property, thirteenth to early sixteenth century

In 1206-7 the greater part of 16 was probably the land which had belonged to Roger the furbisher (furbar'). By 1246-7 the property had been acquired by Master Thomas Eswy, who had a solar over the shops on the Cheapside frontage (see above) and also held 95/13-15 (q.v.). Eswy may have combined these properties to form a single great residence, entered towards the rear by a gate leading off Ironmonger Lane within 95/13-15. He seems still to have held the properties in 1261-2. By 1268-9 (cf. below) Richard le Potyr, citizen, had acquired 105/16 and also 95/16, and from then on the two properties were in the same ownership (for separate tenancies and interests in 95/16, q.v.). Richard le Potyr did not acquire 95/13-15 and it may have been from his time onwards that 105/16 had its rear entrance by means of a gate in Ironmonger Lane between 95/16 on the N. and 95/17 on the S. By his will, proved in 1281, Richard le Potter left his capital messuage in St. Mary Colechurch parish (probably 105/16) and his other houses and rents in London to his son William, with remainder, should William die without heirs, to Richard's daughter Isabel. By 1299 Richard le Potyr's former properties in this neighbourhood were in the hands of William de Betoyne and his wife Isabel (cf. 145/36-7). It is possible that de Betoyne acquired control of the estate by marrying Richard le Potyr's daughter. William de Betoyne died c. 1305 and in 1309 was named as a former owner of 105/16. (fn. 3)

The hospital of St. Thomas of Acre acquired most of the adjoining property to the E. (105/17) in 1261-2, probably with the intent of extending its church, and in 1268-9 there was an adjustment of boundaries between the hospital and Richard le Poter. The hospital granted to le Poter a piece of land between their two properties and measuring 6 ells (18 ft.; 5.49 m.) by 4 ells (12 ft.; 3.66 m.), where le Poter was to be able to build a wall. This plot perhaps lay in what was later the S.E. corner of 16 behind the shops representing 17 (A on Fig. 5). In return le Poter gave the hospital an adjacent piece of land measuring 17 ells 3 in. (51 ft. 3 in.; 15.62 m.) from S. to N., 1/4 ell and 1 inch (10 in.; 254 mm.) in width next to le Poter's kitchen, and 1/2 ell and 3 in. (1 ft. 9 in.; 533 mm.) in width at the N. end. This strip of ground was perhaps under or next to the W. wall of the hospital's church (B on Fig. 5). (fn. 4)

By his will, proved in 1305, William de Betoyne left the properties he had acquired from Richard le Poter to his son Richard de Betoyne, who by 1312 was in possession of 16. By 1347 an entry to 16 from Cheapside adjoined the W. end of 17. (fn. 5) In 1322 Richard granted to Hereman le Heaumer and his wife Margery for the term of their lives a rent of £6. 13s. 4d. from his properties in this parish and the parish of St. Antonin, and a tenement in All Hallows Bread Street. 105/16 apears to have been in disrepair in 1339 when, on account of defective gutters, rain-water fell from it onto the land of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre along a length of 16 ft. (4.88 m.) and onto the land of Robert Seymour, armourer, and his wife Benedicta, along a length of 30 ft. (9.14 m.; cf. 95/18). (fn. 6)

Richard de Betoyne died in 1341 and this property was among the rents and tenements which he left to his wife Margaret for the term of her life. She was to pay £13. 6s. 8d. to Richard's son Thomas and his wife Isabel, to whom and their male heirs the property was to remain on Margaret's death. Should there be no male heirs the property left to Margaret was to be divided between Richard's brothers, Thomas and John. Thomas and his wife Isabel died without male heirs and, in spite of the terms of Richard's will, the whole property passed into the possession of their daughter, Juliana, and her husband William de Thame. In 1366, when Juliana was still under age, John, son of Richard de Betoyne's brother Thomas, and Richard and John, sons of Richard de Betoyne's brother John, claimed the estate against her and her husband in the court of Husting by a writ of execution of testament. In 1368 Richard son of John de Betoyne, being admitted to sue sole, claimed a share in the estate. The defendants based their claim on a charter dated 1310 by which Alan le Potter, citizen and ollarius, granted to Richard de Betoyne, son and heir of William de Betoyne, citizen and pepperer, and to Richard's wife Margaret, daughter of Gilbert de Chesterton, a number of properties, including tenements in St. Mary Colechurch and St. Martin Pomary parishes, to be held to the grantees and their heirs and, in default of heirs, to the heirs and assigns of Richard. The plaintiff did not admit that Alan le Potter had been seised and based his claim on Richard de Betoyne's will. The defendants did not recognize the legacy and a jury swore that Alan le Potter had been seised. The case went in favour of William de Thame and Juliana. (fn. 7)

The tenements in Cheapside and Ironmonger Lane in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Martin were assured to William and Juliana by means of a feoffment from Robert de Thame, William's father, to Robert de Louthe junior, joiner, and John Chepsted, citizens, who in 1369, by a deed without warranty enrolled in Husting, granted them to William and Juliana. In 1369-70 William and Juliana brought an assize of nuisance against Elsing Spital, presumably over the boundary with 95/18. In 1376 William de Thame, citizen and fishmonger, and his wife Juliana granted their properties here and elsewhere to Thomas de Clifton, William Norwyche, William Blakewell, Geoffrey de Osmeston, and Edmund Walsyngham for the term of the grantees' lives. This may have been in anticipation of further legal activity, for in March 1377 Joan, daughter of John son of Thomas de Betoyne, and Richard and John, sons of John de Betoyne, claimed the estate which had belonged to Richard de Betoyne against William and Juliana by a writ of execution of testament. So far as Joan's claim was concerned, the defendants refused to acknowledge the legacy and based their right on Alan le Potter's grant in tail to Richard de Betoyne. As to Richard son of John de Betoyne, they said that his claim should not be admitted because of the verdict in 1368; and as to Richard's brother John, they said that in January 1377 he had quitclaimed in the former properties of Richard de Betoyne to William, Juliana, the five men who had a life interest under their grant of 1376, and the heirs and assigns of Juliana. In November 1377 the city took into its hands the share in the estate claimed by Joan, daughter of John son of Thomas de Betoyne, and Juliana essoined because she was on royal service as a laundress. In the following January Juliana was admitted to appear on behalf of herself and her husband and claimed that the heirs under Richard de Betoyne's will should bring separate writs, not one in common. In March 1378 Juliana appeared again and called Robert de Louthe to warrant. Joan objected to this delaying tactic on the grounds that neither Robert nor his ancestors had ever had any right in the property in question and that Juliana could not make a feoffment of the tenements before August 1376 when Joan's writ was sued out. Juliana claimed that Robert was seised before the suing out of the writ. A jury was summoned, but no more is recorded of the case. (fn. 8)

In August 1377 William de Thame and Juliana granted the estate once of Richard de Betoyne and his son Thomas to Thomas de Clifton, and the others to whom they had granted a life interest in 1376, with warranty and to hold to the heirs and assigns of the grantees . On 3 December 1378 de Thame and his wife quitclaimed in the estate, and on 10 December de Clifton and the other feoffees granted the estate back to them, with warranty, to hold to William and Juliana and William's heirs. The aim of this transaction was presumably to break the entail on the heirs of Richard de Betoigne. In these grants 105/16 was described as a tenement called le Mayd on the hop', which included an entry in Ironmonger Lane and to which three shops were annexed. 95/16, described as a tenement in Ironmonger Lane, and a rent from 17 were also covered by the transaction. (fn. 9)

At this time 105/16, apart from the three shops, consisted of, a brewhouse (tenementum bracineum) occupied by John Bisouth, citizen and latoner, and his wife Lucy, to whom in 1380 de Thame and his wife let the property for the term of the grantees' lives, and to their executors for a year after that at a rent of £8. 6s. 8d. The lessees were to be responsible for repair, cleansing, and paving and were to pay socage and all services due except for murage. The lessors guaranteed their tenants against the nuisance of water falling from adjacent houses and any damage which might be caused by the collapse of the west wall of the church of St. Thomas, which was in a ruinous condition. The brewhouse contained a lead brewing vessel with a bronze base which the tenants were to return at the end of the term. The lessors reserved to themselves a chamber over the solar which was next to the hall also over the solar, together with access by the great gate towards Ironmonger Lane and the easement of a certain latrine. Since the solar was presumably above ground level, this description suggests that the house consisted of at least three storeys above ground and that the hall was on the second floor. The chamber reserved to the lessors may have been let with the tenement in Ironmonger Lane (95/16).

In 1379 de Thame and his wife granted the three shops forming part of 105/16 to William Rykill and Gilbert de Meldebourne, to hold to them and Rykill's heirs and assigns for a rent of a rose during Rykill's life and £40 a year thereafter. The intention was that de Thame or his successors should repossess the property, since if Rykill's heirs and assigns did not occupy the property after Rykill's death, they were to be quit of the rent. De Thame was bound to Rykill in £100, and Rykill granted that if the shops were recovered against him and de Meldebourne or their assigns during Rykill's life and if de Thame paid Rykill £66. 13s. 4d. then de Thame's debt should be nullified. De Thame agreed to recompense Rykill and de Meldebourne should they be expelled from the premises or suffer any recovery of rent other than £3. 15s. due to a chantry in St. John Zachary. The subject of this grant was three shops with houses over them together with houses over the entry to the Mayde on the Hop', which bounded the shops on the S., and over another shop (part of 17) on the E. side of the entry. The reference to the £3. 15s. rent shows that this property was equivalent to the five shops recorded in front of 16 in the 13th century. William de Thame reserved to himself access by the entry next to the shops and a fixing-place for the sign of the Mayde on the Hop'. (fn. 10)

In 1381 and 1396 de Thame and Juliana complained of intrusion by the master of St. Thomas of Acre and in 1387 sought the assize of nuisance against him. In 1392 de Thame and his wife granted a £3 rent out of le Mayde on the hoop, then held by John Bisouth, to Maud widow of John Daundeseye, plumber, for the term of her life. By his will, dated 1396 and proved in 1398, de Thame left his London properties to his wife Juliana for life, with remainder to his son Thomas in tail, and thence to William's kinsman Robert de Louthe, junior, and his heirs. Juliana was dead by 1398, when de Louthe granted the reversion to Hugh Herlond, John Cornwaleys, and Thomas Colred. (fn. 11)

In 1404 William Rykhill, then a knight, granted the three shops to William Bryncheslee, William Makenade, and William Skrene. Rykhill died in 1407 and then Robert Betoigne, citizen and goldsmith, claimed the shops by virtue of the will of Richard de Betoyne. In 1407 Skrene, as the surviving grantee, quitclaimed in the shops to Betoigne. The descent in the male line from Richard de Betoyne according to the terms of his will proved in 1341, was evidently still in force and now prevailed against the claim established by William Thame. Robert Betoigne was the son and heir of Richard Betaigne, citizen and goldsmith, (d. 1389) who was probably the son of John de Betoyne and grandson of William de Betoyne. Richard Betaigne, who probably lived in St. Mary Colechurch parish, appears to have ended up as sole claimant to the property under his uncle's will by virtue of a quitclaim from his brother John (described as John de Betoigne son of John de Betoigne, lately citizen and painter) to Bartholomew Dyne, clerk, Walter Kynton, John Bygmor, and Richard Betaigne, and another quitclaim from his cousin John (described as John de Betoigne son of Thomas de Betoigne, lately citizen and goldsmith) to the same. In 1405 John Bygmor as the sole survivor granted and quitclaimed in the estate to Robert Betoigne. Robert granted the properties to Richard Aleyn, chaplain, Ralph Clerk, citizen and grocer, and John Broughton, of whom the survivors, Aleyn and Clerk, in 1408 granted them to Robert and his heirs and assigns. This was a prelude to assigning the estate to a new body of feoffees for in June 1409 Robert granted the properties to Mr. Denis Lapham, clerk, Richard Aleyn, clerk, Richard Clerk, grocer, John Norman, goldsmith, Richard Osbarn, and John Bally. Aleyn, Clerk, and Norman acquired a sole interest in the estate by means of quitclaims and in June 1409 granted it to William Staundon, Thomas Knolles and William Chichele, citizens and grocers, and William Rokesburgh. Robert Betoigne probably lived in the parish of St. Martin Pomary, in the Lady Chapel of whose church he directed that he was to be buried, and by his will, dated and proved in 1410, directed his feoffees (not precisely the same list of individuals as in the grant of 1409) to enfeoff his widow Agnes of the estate for life with remainder to son Richard in tail and remainder to his daughters Margaret and Agnes equally in tail with cross remainders. (fn. 12)

Ralph Freman, citizen and brewer, inhabited the Mayden on the hoop at his death in 1405, when he left the remainder of the term in a lease of the property which he had from Robert Betoigne, citizen and goldsmith, to his wife Alice together with his brewing equipment there and the furnishings of the hall, chamber, pantry, and kitchen. (fn. 13)

Robert Betoigne's estate descended to his daughter Margaret and her husband Robert fitzRobert, citizen, who in 1428 jointly granted it to Thomas Melton, alias Thomas Beteigne, and his wife Cecilia. In the same year Thomas and Cecilia granted the estate to Richard Aleyn, chaplain, Richard Davy, chaplain, and John Grace, citizen and pewterer (he was fitzRobert's uncle), who early in 1429 granted a rent of £5. 6s. 8d. from the properties to Thomas and Cecilia and Thomas's heirs and immediately granted the properties themselves to Robert fitzRobert and his wife Margaret and their issue in tail with remainder to Thomas Melton and heirs. (fn. 14) By his will, dated 1434 and proved in 1446, Robert fitzRobert directed his feoffees of this estate to deliver it to his wife Margaret for the term of her life, with remainders to Thomas Melton and his heirs and thence to the house of St. Thomas of Acre as an endowment for an anniversary and other pious purposes. In 1454, when Margaret widow of Robert fitzRobert was said to be about 60 years old, John Beteigne, gentleman, son and heir of Thomas Melton alias Thomas Beteigne, granted his reversionary interest in the estate to William Hole, citizen and skinner, and in 1455 John's brother, John Beteigne, clerk, quitclaimed to Hole. In 1458 William Bonde was dwelling in 105/16. Margaret fitzRobert then consolidated her interest in the property. In 1463 John Neel, clerk (at that time master of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre), as the surviving member of a group of feoffees to whom Robert fitzRobert had probably entrusted the property in 1435, quitclaimed to Margaret; in 1470 William Hole quitclaimed to her at the request of Margaret, daughter and heir of John Betoigne, gentleman, and her husband William Brocas; and in the same year Thomas Frowyk, esquire, son and heir of Henry Frowyk citizen and mercer, who had been one of a group of feoffees (including John Neel) to whom fitzRobert had entrusted his properties in 1434, quitclaimed to Margaret. In Neel's quitclaim of 1463 105/16 is described as a messuage called le Mayden on the hope and evidently included a cellar, while 95/16 is described as two messuages with shops and solars lying together in Ironmonger Lane. (fn. 15)

In 1471 Margaret fitzRobert granted the estate to feoffees (John Bowe, clerk, William Crofton, gentleman, and Thomas Cole, citizen and skinner) who immediately granted it back to Margaret and her assigns for the term of her life with remainder to William Brocas gentleman, the son and heir of William Brocas, esquire, and to the younger William's wife Margaret and the heirs of their bodies. Should there be no heirs, the properties in St. Mary Colechurch and St. Martin Pomary parishes (i.e. including 95/16 and 105/16) were to remain to Margaret and the legitimate heirs of her body, and in case of default to the house of St. Thomas of Acre under the conditions in Robert fitzRobert's will. The entails thus created were broken by a recovery of 8 messuages following a writ of right brought into Husting in 1486 by William Shirwode and three others (William Dunthorn, Thomas Harryson, and James Shyrwode) against William Langford and his wife Margaret (who was the widow of William Brocas and daughter of John Beteigne, gentleman). On 24 March 1492 William Shirwode and his two surviving fellows (Dunthorn was dead) granted the 5 messuages which lay in the parishes of St. Martin Pomary and St. Mary Colechurch to Langford, now described as gentleman, his wife Margaret and the heirs of her body, with remainder to her right heirs and their assigns. The intent of the recovery in 1486 was that Shirwode should have the use of the properties until he had levied £153. 19s. 8d. from them. On 27 March 1492, when £90 of this sum still remained to be paid, Shirwode agreed with Richard Hyll, gentleman, that Hyll's mother, Elizabeth Hyll widow of Sir Thomas Hyll, should pay Shirwode £15 p.a. until the £90 had been paid. Shirwode was to acquit Hyll concerning £1. 15s. which Simon Berlyngham, presumably a tenant of the properties, claimed for repairs he had undertaken. By this time another process of recovery concerning the 5 messuages and 3 others was under way, following a writ of right brought by Richard Hyll and six others against Langford and his wife Margaret. The recovery was completed on 2 April, and on 5 April Langford and his wife, in return for a payment of £269 made by Hyll, quitclaimed in the 8 messuages to Hyll and the others and their heirs and assigns. (fn. 16)

By his will, dated 1500, Richard Hyll, esquire, directed that one of his co-feoffees of his lands in London was to remain seised of them for the use of his mother during her life and was then to enable one of the co-feoffees, being a freeman of London, to devise the estate by his testament to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre as an endowment of an obit for the testator, his family, and others. By her will, dated 6 March 1501, Elizabeth Hyll, widow of Sir Thomas, directed that her feoffees of her lands in London (including those in the parishes of St. Pancras, St. Mary Colechurch, and St. Martin Pomary) should make an estate in them to her son Edward Hyll and his heirs on condition that after her death Edward should allow the master of St. Thomas of Acre (who was her cousin, William Hyll) as much of the estate as was worth £8 p.a. By a subsequent will, dated 24 March, Edward Hyll was directed simply to pay £8 p.a. in perpetuity for the maintenance of a chantry priest in the hospital church. In November 1501 3 of the surviving co-feoffees of Richard Hyll quitclaimed in the 8 messuages to the fourth, Sir William Martyn, citizen and alderman. By his will, dated and proved in 1505, Martyn left the 8 messuages to the master and brothers of St. Thomas of Acre. In the will 105/16 was described as three messuages in Cheapside and 95/16 as two messuages in Ironmonger Lane. In 1514 William Langford of London, gentleman, son and heir of William Langford and his wife Margaret, quitclaimed in the property to the master and brothers. (fn. 17)

In the possession of the mercers' company, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

By September 1510 the Mercers' Company intended to acquire 105/16-17 in order to enlarge its hall and chapel. In 1512 the company acquired 17 and a part of 16 which lay behind it. (fn. 18) In 1513-14 16 was a messuage called 'the Harpe' held and inhabited by William Assheley, citizen and grocer. By 1516 Assheley was dead and John Hyll, citizen and grocer, was living there. At this date the tenement was let for £10 rent. Before 1512-13 the property had been let for a total of £12 rent, of which £4 was due from a tenement and £8 from a tenement and shop. (fn. 19) The Mercers' Company had a lease of the property from 1517 and were in full possession from midsummer 1518 (cf. Fig. 8).

The buildings of the new hall and chapel of the Mercers' Company, largely completed by the summer of 1522, occupied the Cheapside frontage of 16. In the following March the company announced its intention of building a new house on the vacant ground to the rear of the hall. In 1524 William Stathom expressed an interest in taking a lease of any house which might be built so long as the Mercers' acquired 95/17, which had for some time been vacant, and incorporated it in the new property. Nothing came of this, and in 1525 negotiations were conducted with John Prest, grocer, who was to draw up a plan for the new house and was prepared to take a lease for 50 years at £11 rent and to contribute £160 towards the cost of building. Again no firm conclusion was reached, but in 1528, when the Mercers made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire 95/16- 17 and include them within the new property, John Judde of London, gentleman, agreed to take a lease of the void ground at the back of the hall on terms similar to those agreed with Prest. (fn. 20)

The new house had been completed by April 1530, when the Mercers' Company granted to Judde and his wife Alice a lease for a term of 50 years from Michaelmas 1529 at a rent of £10. Judde had lent the Mercers £160 towards the cost of rebuilding and in return was to hold the property rent free for the first 16 years. The new property consisted of a 'great mancion place' with solars, cellars, warehouses, and appurtenances recently built on void ground in the parishes of St. Martin Pomary and St. Mary Colechurch together with a warehouse and shop and cellars beneath extending back from the Cheapside frontage below the kitchen and parlour of the new Mercers' Hall. The lessees were to repair at their own costs and pay quit-rents and other charges. They were also to allow the Mercers to bring water, wood, coal and victuals to the hall through the gate in Ironmonger Lane and the yard of the house and to carry wine, ale, and beer into their cellar by the door beneath the shop on the Cheapside frontage. Later in 1530 Judde was paid £2 for having built a shed at the new house, where he was living. Judde was dead by December 1537, when the company let the property on the same conditions to John Blagge, citizen and grocer, and his wife Alice, for a term of 42 years and rent-free for the first 8 years. In addition the lessees were to let the Mercers have the use of a closet or little 'larderhouse' by the west door of the church of St. Thomas, on which the company had recently spent a great deal of money, once a year at the time of their banquet. In 1547 a corner of Blagge's shop by the window of the Mercers' cellar was let to Thomas Havenynge for 10s. rent on condition that he prevent 'naughty persons annoying our cellar by way of pissing in at the windows'. (fn. 21)

Blagge began to pay the rent in 1545-6 and in 1552 was succeeded by his widow Joan. By 1555 the lease had been assigned to Henry Buckfold, who was living there in 1558, when his house was valued for tithing purposes at £10 a year and his 2 shops there at £3. 6s. 8d. a year. By 1565-6 Buckfold's son-in-law John Tudball, haberdasher, was sharing the house with him. Buckfold then moved to the country and died. About 1570 the property was divided into two tenements separated by a yard. The more northerly of these including the gate in Ironmonger Lane, was assigned to Tudball, apparently in a document which stated that the tenement was in St. Martin's parish, while the more southerly tenement was assigned to Tudball's brother-in-law, Henry Buckfold. Both Tudball and Buckfold inhabited these houses. This division caused the door in Ironmonger Lane to be used more often and in 1572 the rector of St. Martin Pomary made an unsuccessful attempt to claim Tudball's house as part of his parish. Tudball, however, paid 1s. 4d. a year for scavage to St. Martin's parish since the water from both his house and Mercers' Hall flowed into Ironmonger Lane. On the occasion of this suit the Mercers' Company asserted that part of 16 had once been part of the churchyard of St. Thomas of Acre and that the door in Ironmonger Lane had once been used as a common way to the rear of the hospital. Tudball's house, however, was not included among the tithe assessments for St. Mary Colechurch parish for 1571-4, when Henry Buckfold, haberdasher, held the house and his son Stephen held the 'long shop' which was equivalent to the 2 shops formerly held by his father. The entry in the parish Easter Book for 1574 which seems to concern this house lists Henry Buckfold, his wife, and 5 other communicants. (fn. 22)

Henry Buckfold's lease from the company was due to expire in 1579, and the future of the property now began to be considered. The Mercers were thinking of taking a part of it to enlarge their hall, where they were short of space, and for this reason in 1573 refused Peter Osborne's application for a lease of the house where Buckfold lived. In October 1574 the company refused Osborne's application for a lease of Tudball's house or a part of it, and in the same month refused an application from Ralph Scudamore, esquire, supported by letters from the queen, the earl of Leicester, and the Lord Treasurer, for a lease of Buckfold's house. By May 1575 the company had decided to take Buckfold's house and shop into its hall. Buckfold, now described as a citizen and girdler, left the house soon afterwards and, contrary to the custom of the city, took away wainscot and certain other fittings. An inquiry into this matter made in February 1576 mentions the following rooms in his house: a hall, a parlour, a chamber over the hall, a kitchen, and a chamber in the upper storey called the 'hott house' where there were tiles, lead, and pots. (fn. 23)

Buckfold's interest in the lease held from the Mercers' Company was purchased by Henry Bisshop, mercer, who inhabited the whole of the property from 1575 onwards. In 1580-1 the property was divided between Bisshop and the Mercers' Company. Two proposals for a division were considered and from the successive views which were made in 1580 it is possible to reconstruct something of the layout of the house (Figs. 6 and 7). The main part of the house occupied the western side of the site. Here there was a range of cellars extending from Cheapside to the rear of the property, probably to where it adjoined 95/16. On the ground floor was a shop (for its dimensions, see the lease of 1608, below) next to which, and apparentlyextending back in succession over the cellars, were a parlour now used as a warehouse, a hall, and a kitchen and larder. The house included chambers over the parlour, hall, and kitchen and further chambers on a second storey. The shop, which formed part of the structure of Mercers' Hall erected between 1517 and 1522, was presumably built of brick and stone, but the range behind was of timber- framed construction. This range, and probably also the rear part of the shop, faced onto a yard where there was a porch with three steps leading into the yard. On the opposite side of the yard, next to the Mercers' church, formerly that of St. Thomas, was a little kitchen with rooms above. The north side of the yard was marked by a boarded partition, presumably erected to separate the areas used by Buckfold and Tudball. There were buildings at the N. end and on the E. side of the yard which had probably formed Tudball's residence. The first proposal to divide the property would have involved a complex intermixture of the Mercers' and Bisshop's interests, both sharing the entry from Ironmonger Lane. Eventually it was decided that the Mercers should have the whole of the yard and the buildings at its N. and E. end with access from Ironmonger Lane, while Bisshop's house was apparently to be accessible solely from Cheapside and occupied the W. side of the site. Bisshop was to have the shop, parlour, hall, kitchen, and larder on the ground floor. The Mercers were to have the two cellars below the hall and kitchen and the two cellars below the shop by Cheapside, while Bisshop was to have the two middle cellars with access to them from the shop. Bisshop was to have all the upper rooms of the house except the great chamber over his hall, which was next to the Mercers' pastry, and the chamber over that which was next to the Mercers' armoury. Bisshop was to block up the doors leading from his house into the yard, replace the bay window of his hall by a 'clerestory', and make arrangements for conveying the water out of his kitchen and larder into Ironmonger Lane. Under the new lease for this much-reduced accommodation, which ran from midsummer 1581, Bisshop was to pay a fine of £200 in annual instalments of £50, and a rent of £15. In 1585, in consideration of the £100 he had spent on repairs, the Company allowed Bisshop to pay the remaining £100 of his fine over 5 years and extended his lease to 21 years from midsummer 1586. Bisshop continued to find the terms difficult to meet and in 1587 was allowed merely to set bolts on his doors into the yard and was pardoned £50 of his fine. In 1589 he agreed to give up his interest in the lease in return for a payment of £250. (fn. 24)

One problem had evidently been that the accommodation offered to Bisshop was insufficient, and the company now resolved to add some rooms to it. Several offers were received for the newly arranged house, which it was agreed should be let to Edward Haydon, embroiderer, and his brother Jerome Haydon for a term of 21 years from 1590, a fine of £320, and a rent of £10. The tenants were to nail and wall up the doors into the yard. Jerome Haydon alone paid the rent from 1597, and in 1608 a new lease for 21 years at £10 rent was granted to Jerome Haydon, citizen and ironmonger, who then occupied the property and was to pay a fine of £450, of which £150 was to be paid then and the remainder in 6-monthly instalments of £100. According to the parish assessment lists Haydon was resident in 1602 and 1612, and he probably continued to dwell there until his death in 1616. The house described in the lease of 1608 evidently consisted of the whole of the structure of the W. side of the yard as occupied by Bisshop before 1580 and probably by the Haydons since 1590. It included the full range of cellars below the shop, parlour, hall, and kitchen and all the rooms over the hall, kitchen and larder(Fig. 7). The house included a small paved yard fenced in next to the kitchen measuring 8 ft. 4 in. (2.54 m.) E./W. and 10 ft. (3.05 m.) N./S. The Mercers were to have access to their cellar by the door in Cheapside under the shop. The shop itself measured 50 ft. (15.24 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.). The schedule of fixtures reveals that the shop had a glazed window next to Cheapside, that the warehouse was glazed on the E. side and contained a chimney, that the hall had a fretted ceiling with wainscot pendants and still had a bay window, and that next to the hall there was a counting-house adjacent to or contrived within the stairs. On the first floor were a chamber with a bay window over the larder; a counting-house which led into a privy; a chamber said to adjoin (i.e. to be over?) the kitchen and containing a bay window and a chimney; the stairs appear to have come up between this chamber and the dining chamber, which was over the hall and contained a bay window and a chimney. The floor above appears to have consisted of two chambers to the N. and S. of a garret. The N. chamber contained a bay window, a chimney, and a door to a privy and the S. chamber a bay window, a chimney, a counting-house and a privy. The garret had two doors and windows and a glazed casement at the stairhead. The house thus occupied three storeys and a cellar, and apart from the cellars, counting-houses, and privies contained a total of 11 rooms. It had probably not been altered significantly since 1580. (fn. 25)

From 1616 Henry Boxe, citizen and grocer, held under this lease as Jerome Haydon's assign. He was resident between 1619 and 1624. In 1627 Boxe occupied the tenement, which was now known as the Golden Helmet, and took a new lease for a term of 26 years at £10 rent, and for a fine of £350 to be paid in 6-monthly instalments of £50. A view in 1627 recorded the following parts of the house (cf. Fig. 7): a cellar, 49 ft. (14.94 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a second cellar, 19 ft. (5.79 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a shop, 50 ft. (15.24 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a warehouse, 20 ft. (6.1 m.) by 14 1/2 ft. (4.42 m.); a third cellar, 32 ft. (9.75 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a parlour with a closet in it, 23 ft. (7.01 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a kitchen, 22 ft. (6.71 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a pastry within the kitchen, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 9 1/2 ft. (2.89 m.); a room over the pastry, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 9 1/2 ft. (2.89 m.); a yard 10 ft. (3.05 m.) by 8 ft. (2.44 m.); a buttery, 23 ft. (7.01 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.); a chamber, 15 ft. (4.57 m.) by 11 ft. (3.35 m.); a second chamber 22 ft. (6.71 m.) by 16 ft. (4.88 m.); a closet, 8 ft. (2.44 m.) by 4 ft. (1.22 m.); a great chamber, 23 ft. (7.01 m.) by 9 ft. (2.74 m.); a fourth chamber 15 1/2 ft. (4.72 m.) by 10 1/2 ft. (3.2 m.); a fifth chamber, 17 ft. (5.18 m.) by 10 ft. (3.05 m.); a passageway, 26 ft. (7.92 m.) by 6 ft. (1.83 m.); a sixth chamber, 21 ft. (6.4 m.) by 18 ft. (5.49 m.); a garret, 26 ft. (7.92 m.) by 14 ft. (4.27 m.); a second garret, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.); a third garret, 16 ft. (4.88 m.) by 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.); and a little room, 18 ft. (5.49 m.) by 5 ft. (1.52 m.). Henry Boxe and his successor, Henry Box, esquire, paid the rent for this property until 1661. They lived in the property, and in 1638 Mr. Box's house was valued at £24 a year and included part of an adjacent property in St. Martin parish (see 95/18A). In 1652 Henry Box, esquire, took a new lease for 31 years from 1653 at £10 rent and for a fine of £600. The company had asked for a fine of £650 and Box had offered £350 and requested the use of the Mercers' armoury, which, as we have seen, adjoined the house. In 1657 Box obtained permission to alienate the property, but seems not to have disposed of it, and between 1661 and 1666 his executors paid the rent. In this period the house was inhabited by Ralph Box (presumably Henry's son) who in 1662-3 was assessed in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch for a house of 13 hearths. This establishment seems in fact to have been partly in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch and partly in that of St. Martin Pomary (where it probably included part of 95/18A), for in 1666 Ralph Box was assessed for a house of 7 hearths in the former parish and for 7 hearths in the latter parish. After the Great Fire Henry Box's executrix came to a new agreement with the Mercers' Company and in consideration of rebuilding a house on the Cheapside frontage took a new lease for a term of 61 years from 1667, paying £10 rent for the first year and £20 thereafter. The rebuilt hall of the Mercers' Company was erected over the rear part of the property. (fn. 26)

The buildings at the N. and E. end of the yard of 16, which were retained by the Mercers' Company from 1581 onwards, seem in 1619 to have been represented by the house behind Mercers' Hall inhabited by Mr. Sotherne. In 1619 the company decided that its clerk should live there, presumably rent-free, as soon as alternative accommodation could be provided for Sotherne, and the clerk gratefully accepted the proposal. This house was in the parish of St. Martin Pomary and in the 1638 tithe assessment was described as 'part of the Mercers' Chapel in which their clerk dwelleth' and was said to be worth £20 rent. In 1640 a new study was ordered to be built in the yard there for the clerk's servant to write in and for the storage of books. This building came to be known as the clerk's counting-house and was apparently on the E. side of the yard next to the great house on the N. side of the Mercers' chapel. The wall there was cracked in 1641, and in 1651 the clerk's house was ordered to be repaired. In 1655 the counting-house was occupied by Thomas Singleton, its N. wall was again cracked, and there was a danger of fire spreading from the ovens of the great house which adjoined the cracked wall. In the Hearth Tax assessment of 1662-3 the clerk's house was counted as part of Mercers' Hall, in St. Mary Colechurch parish, which had 11 hearths in all. In 1666 the hall was still rated at 11 hearths, but John Godfrey, the Mercers' clerk, was assessed for a house with 7 hearths in St. Martin Pomary parish, which may, however, have been part of 17 in that parish (see 95/17). (fn. 27)


  • 1. HR 2(66-7), 4(56), 9(1), 23(8). MC, Reg of Writings 1, ff. 26v-28v.
  • 2. HR 9(78); LBA, p. 221.
  • 3. MC, Reg of Writings 1, ff. 5-7, 48v-50. BL, MS Cotton Cleop. C vii, f. 142. HR 4(85), 12(94), 31(40), 42(119).
  • 4. MC, Reg of Writings 1, ff. 29v-30.
  • 5. Ibid. ff. 33v-4. HR 33(61), 40(119).
  • 6. HR 50(132). AN, nos. 343-4, 347. MC, Reg of Writings 1, f. 44.
  • 7. HR 68(37); HCP 90, m. 10; HCP 91, m. 26d; HCP 92, mm. 3d, 8, 8d.
  • 8. HR 97(159), 104(157); HPL 91, m. 35; AN, no. 571; HCP 92, m. 35; HCP 101, m. 6; HCP 102, mm. 3, 6, 9.
  • 9. HR 107(53), 107(73, 79).
  • 10. HR 107(110).
  • 11. HCP 106, m. 1; HCP 120, m. 2; HPL 109, m. 23; HR 120(126), 127(1, 8).
  • 12. HR 118(42), 133*(32), 135(90), 136(84), 137(13, 78).
  • 13. GL, MS 9171/2, f. 69.
  • 14. HR 157(40, 43, 46, 49). PRO, E135/2/57, ff. 4-5.
  • 15. HR 174(7), 183(23), 187(24), 206(1). PRO, E135/2/57, ff. 6-10.
  • 16. HPL 169, mm. 2, 21. PRO, E135/2/57, ff. 8v, 9, 13v- 15v.
  • 17. HR 236(16). PRO, E135/2/57, ff. 16-18v, 29v-36. Cal Close R 1500-9, pp. 25-6.
  • 18. See below 105/18, sn. 'Mercer's Hall and Chapel' and Fig. 8.
  • 19. PRO: E135/2/57, ff. 56-7, 85-6v; E315/269-70. Mercers' Acts of Court 1453-1527, p. 449.
  • 20. Mercers' Acts of Court 1453-1527, pp. 676-7, 685-7, 694-5, 697, 770. MC, Acts of Court ii, ff. 7, 10r-v.
  • 21. MC: Acts of Court ii, ff. 36v, 213; Reg of Leases i, ff. 87-90, 133-7.
  • 22. MC: Reg of Writings ii, ff. 11-14; Reg of Writings iii, ff. 24v-28v; Acts of Court iii, ff. 214v, 226r-v; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim.
  • 23. MC: Acts of Court iii, ff. 229v-30, 262-6v, 277; Reg of Writings ii, f. 198v.
  • 24. MC: Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim; Acts of Court iii, ff. 293v, 301, 338r-v, 343-4, 369-71v, 374, 391, 399v, 409, 425v, 426v, 429, 441, 443v, 446.
  • 25. MC: Acts of Court iii, ff. 446-7, 448v; Reg of Leases ii, ff. 151-5; Reg of Writings ii, f. 14v. GL, MS 66, f. 4. PRO, PROB11/127, f. 184.
  • 26. MC: Reg of Leases iii, ff. 1-5v; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim; Acts of Court 1625-31, ff. 86, 109v; ibid. 1651-7, ff. 9r-v, 12, 13v, 59v, 231v. GL, MS 66, ff. 27v, 35, 37v. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 112. PRO, E179/252/27 and 32/1.
  • 27. MC: Acts of Court 1619-25, f. 14; ibid. 1637-41, f. 149v; ibid. 1641-5, f. 1; ibid. 1645-51, f. 245v; ibid. 1651-7, f. 152v. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 125. PRO, E179/252/27 and 32/16.