St. Mary Colechurch 105/19

Pages 518-526

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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In the early 13th century there was a substantial house on the W. corner of Cheapside and Old Jewry which probably included the site of the parish church of St. Mary Colechurch and adjoined the church on its N. and W. sides. This property was acquired by the house or hospital of St. Thomas of Acre. Part of it came to be occupied by the eastern end of the church of St. Thomas and probably also by buildings within the precinct of the hospital on the N. side of the church. The church and precinct were set back from the street and the two frontages were occupied by houses which the hospital let to tenants. The houses in Cheapside have been identified as 19, while those in Old Jewry in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch have been identified as 21 (q.v.). The hospital also acquired property in Old Jewry extending N. as far as the cemetery of the church of St. Olave. Here too the hospital let houses between its precinct wall and the street to private tenants. They are identified as 142/1 (q.v.).

On the street frontage the property corresponded approximately to nos. 81-4 Cheapside in 1858.

19-21 in the thirteenth century

In the late 12th century the property on the corner was probably the residence of William son of Alulf, sheriff in 1193-4. Subsequently it belonged to his son Peter and included Peter's capital messuage iuxta Coleskirke (see 142/1 in Appendix 2, below). Peter was in debt to the Jews, or had inherited his father's debt, and seems to have discharged some of his obligation by selling off parts of his property and charging them with the burden of repayment (see 142/1). Between 1220-1 and c. 1237, probably before 1228, Peter granted two parts of his property to William the Jew, son of Reginald de Berkhamstede. One of these was a chamber in a great cellar beneath Peter's stone house extending in length from Peter's stone wall on the W. to the door of his stone house on the E., in width from Peter's stone wall on the S. to the stone wall of his house on the N., and in height from the ground to the joists (ad trabes). This stone house was perhaps approximately equivalent to the property later identifiable as 19 (A on Fig. 10). The other part of the property granted to William the Jew was the land extending from Peter's stone house to a part of 18 (q.v.) on the N. along a length of 22 1/2 ells according to King Henry III's iron ells (67 ft. 6 in.; 20.57 m.), and in width from 18 on the W. to Peter's stone wall on the E. William and his heirs were to hold the property in fee and inheritance for a rent of 2s. p.a. to Peter and his heirs, and were to have access to the chamber and land by a great door on the S. side towards Cheapside and through the middle of Peter's stone wall towards the N. This door was perhaps identical with the later entry to the Mitre Tavern (19A cf. below). In return for the grant William gave £2. 10s. in gersumam. (fn. 1)

Between 1220-1 and 1228 Peter granted three other parts of the property to Aaron son of Leo Blund of London, Jew, Aaron's brother Elias, and Leo son of Leo Blund of London, Jew. The first was a stone chamber with a middle storey and a cellar (camera mea lapidea cum medio stagio et cum cellario), a building perhaps of three storeys in all, two of them above ground. This was in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch between the stone wall of Peter's stone house on the S. and 18 on the W. (C on Fig. 10). The second was a privy on the N. side of the chamber (cloaca in capite prenominate camere versus aquilonem) between it and the land of William le Colier (see 21) and measuring 3 1/2 ells (10 ft. 6 in.; 3.2 m.) in width by 4 5/8 ells (13 ft. 10 1/2 in.; 4.23 m.) in length (D on Fig. 10). The third was a piece of land in the same parish (E on Fig. 10) extending from the chamber to the street on the E. and between the land of William le Colier (21) on the N. and Peter's land (F on Fig. 10) on the S. This measured 14 1/4 ells (42 ft. 9 in.; 13.03 m.) in depth, and in width was 14 ells 4 in. (42 ft. 4 in.; 12.9 m.) next to the street, 13 1/2 ells (40 ft. 6 in.; 12.34 m.) at 10 1/8 ells (30 ft. 4 1/2 in.; 9.26 m.) back from the street, and 13 ells (39 ft.; 11.89 m.) next to the chamber. The grantees were to hold the property in fee and inheritance and to pay a rent of 1 lb. cummin or 2d. to Peter and his heirs. Peter was not to impede the view from the windows of the chamber, nor of the solar and cellar unless he wished to make a building covered with tiles (edificium tegulis coopertum). Further, if the grantees wished to make windows towards Peter's land in the house which they intended to build on the land he had granted them, the bottoms of the windows were to be at least 3 ells (9 ft.; 2.74 m.) from the ground. If they wished to make a privy (privata camera) on the land it was to be at least 10 feet from Peter's land, but they were to be able to make a privy in the said stone chamber where they wished, according to the assize of the city. Peter and his heirs were not to impede the view from the windows of any house which the grantees might build on the land, and they were to receive the eavesdrip from the stone chamber on any gutter facing in their direction. For all this the grantees gave £40 in gersum'. (fn. 2)

These two deeds indicate that while this property included substantial stone buildings, possibly of twelfth-century date, on the Cheapside frontage and towards the rear, the more northerly part of the Old Jewry frontage was not yet built up. Building there was evidently contemplated, however, and probably took place during the 1220s. A contemporary endorsement on the latter deed includes the phrase de magna domo lapidea in medie curie, which perhaps refers to the isolated position of the stone chamber over the solar and cellar in the yard of the residence of Peter son of William son of Alulf. Alternatively, the phrase may concern the subsequent location of the building within the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre.

Aaron the Jew's messuage in London came into the king's hands and in May 1228 the king gave orders for it to be delivered to the earl of Chester. The earl seems to have taken possession of the house which Aaron had acquired from Peter son of Alulf, but this was probably an error for in June 1228 the king gave orders for the house to be returned to Aaron on condition that no Jew lived there. In 1234 Aaron, his brother Elias, and Leo son of Isaac, all Jews, granted the house (C, D, and E on Fig. 10) to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre in return for £26. 13s. 4d. paid by the king. (fn. 3)

It is not clear when the hospital acquired the land (B on Fig. 10) and the chamber in the cellar below the stone house of Peter son of William son of Alulf which William the Jew had purchased from Peter. The stone house itself, however, and the remaining parts of Peter's property here were at sometime in the possession of Henry de Waltham, who made a house ubi venduntur cultelli sub ecclesia de Colecherche which was opposite 105/10. About 1220 105/10 (or 105/9-10) was somewhat imprecisely described as lying between Bordhaw and the land which had belonged to H... (the remainder of the name is lost) ecclesie de Colechurche vico medio. The street mentioned was probably Cheapside and the land was probably 19. H... may thus have held 19 from Peter son of William son of Alulf and may have been the priest of Colechurch. Another possibility is that H... was associated or identical with Henry de Waltham. (fn. 4) Henry was the steward of the abbot of Westminster and played a leading part in the wrestling match which in 1222 led to an outbreak of rioting in London. The citizens, urged on by Constantine son of Alulf, an uncle of Peter son of William son of Alulf, pulled down houses belonging to the abbot and to his steward. These houses may have included buildings on this site in Cheapside. Henry held lands close to London and was later a royal justice. The affair may have caused a breach in his relations with the abbot, from whom at the time of his death in 1234 he was attempting to claim damages in connection with the citizens' attack. His house was still remembered in 1244 when the case of one of the citizens exiled in 1222 was a matter of controversy. In 1230 a part of the property on this site, described as half a cellar beneath Colechurch, was in the possession of 'the citizens of London', who had perhaps acquired it in the belief that it was part of the birthplace of St. Thomas (see 105/0 and 105/18). The remainder of the property at that time presumably belonged to Henry de Waltham, and on his death in 1234 probably passed into the care of his widow, Hawise. In 1247-8 Henry's son and heir, John de Waltham, granted his father's former property here to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre in return for a payment of £2 and an annual rent of £12. The property was described as the land and tenement with houses built on it which John had inherited from his father at the E. end of Cheapside in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, together with the advowson of that parish church. (fn. 5)

The descent of the £12 rent can be traced until 1368. In 1285 it was due from a house of cutlers opposite the Conduit and passed by inheritance from Roger de Northwode to his son John. Lora widow of William de Peyfrer died in 1325 and at that time held the rent for the term of her life by the grant of John de Northwode senior. John's heir was Roger son of John de Northwode the younger, then aged 15. (fn. 6) In July 1331, when Roger de Northwode granted the rent to Durand de Widmerpole, it was due from the tenement between the door of the church of St. Thomas and the church of Colechurch. Later in the same month Durand granted the rent to Roger and his wife Elizabeth, who died without heirs by her husband. In 1356 Roger de Northwode of Kent, knight, granted the rent to John de Scheldon, rector of Cooling (Kent) and John Barry of Kent, who in the following year granted it to Roger de Northwode, knight and his wife Agnes. Roger was dead by 1366 when his son, John de Northwode, granted his reversionary interest in the rent to John Gower, who later in the same year granted the interest to Simon de Benyngton, citizen and draper (pannarius). By his will, proved in 1368, de Benyngton left the reversion of the rent to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre in support of a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of John de Abyndon and his family. (fn. 7)

19: thirteenth to sixteenth century

From the second half of the 13th century onwards 19 was bounded by the church of St. Thomas on the N. and W., the parish church of St. Mary Colechurch on the E., and Cheapside on the S. There were shops on the street frontage and a tavern behind. The tavern presumably occupied the cellar, which extended beneath the parish church. There were rooms above the shops and the tavern. The shops seem usually to have been held of the hospital by cutlers. John Deumars probably held two of the shops and by his will, proved in 1279, left to his daughter Cristina the term of a shop in Cheapside near the church of St. Thomas and the term of another shop next to the entry of the tavern of Elias of the Conduit (de Conductu). By his will, proved in 1312, Salomon de Lauuare, citizen and cutler, left as dower to his wife Isabel the remainder of his term in 2 shops in Cutlers' Row (cotellaria) between the shop formerly of Richard Russel and the shop of Henry de Merlawe, and his term in a solar above the shops extending in length from the entry of the tavern of the Conduit to the wall of the church of St. Thomas of Acre. (fn. 8)

By the mid 15th century the tavern was known as the Mitre (le Myter), and presumably took its name from the archepiscopal mitre of St. Thomas who had been born next door. John Shawe, citizen and vintner, was tenant of the Miter at the time of his death in 1417, when he left the remainder of the term of his lease to his kinsman Robert Brook, who was also to have a dozen of Shawe's silver cups used in the tavern. As landlord, the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre carried out repairs at the Mitre in 1449-50. A carpenter made new sockets for setting in two posts (stolpeys) from which to let barrels of wine down into the cellar out of Old Jewry, showing that the cellar of the tavern extended E. below St. Mary Colechurch as far as the street. In the same year the kitchen of the Mitre was paved in stone, a hearth in the kitchen was pitched, a rotten timber plate between the kitchen and the tavern was replaced, the lead cistern was repaired, and a new case of wood was made to set a lantern in. (fn. 9)

19: sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

In this period the property consisted of the Mitre itself (19A), in front of and below which were 4 to 6 shops (19B-G). In the middle of the row of shops was the public entry to the Mitre from Cheapside. The property passed to the Crown in 1538, when the hospital of St. Thomas of Acre was dissolved, and in 1542 was acquired by the Mercer's Company (see 18).

The mitre (19A)

In 1514 John Sandell, vintner, held the Mitre (19A) from the hospital and in 1516 took a lease of the property with its cellars and solars for a term of 60 years at £10 rent. The landlord was to repair the property and pay quit- rents, while the tenant was to pay tithes and parish dues. Specifically excluded from the lease were 4 shops (probably 19B, C, F, and G) beneath the messuage. In 1532 Sandell was succeeded by his widow Agnes and the £10 rent seems not to have been paid between 1529 and 1535. Privies were cleaned and tiling and carpentry repairs carried out in 1538-9 at a cost of £2. 2s. 6d. (fn. 10) Mrs. Sendall continued as tenant of 'the great tenement or tavern called the Mytter' until her death in 1545 and was succeeded by Thomas Lowe, vintner, although she continued to be recorded as paying the rent until 1549. Lowe sued for a new lease in 1570, but did not offer as much as some members of the Mercers' Company were said to be willing to do. The terms of the old lease were becoming progressively disadvantageous to the company and in 1573, with 3 years of the lease to run, Lowe took a new lease for the term of his life and that of his wife, the tenant repairing the property and paying the old rent and a hogshead of good Gascon wine for the company's annual dinner. The hogshead of claret continued to be part of the rent under all subsequent leases. In 1573 Henry Bisshop, mercer, who was looking for an establishment in this part of Cheapside (cf. 16, 18), was promised the next vacancy of the Mitre after the expiry of Lowe's lease, but nothing came of the proposal. Lowe was resident in 1558 and 1571-4, and in 1574, the year of his death, his household included his wife and 5 servants who were communicants. Between 1542 and 1573 the Mercers' Company spent £13. 1s. 9 1/4d. on repairing the property, but money was spent only in 10 out of the 31 years. More than £3 was spent in 1543-4 and more than £5 in 1551-2, but the highest sum spent in other years was only 17s. 4d. and the mean annual expenditure over the whole period was only 8s. 5 1/2p., about 4 per cent of the rent income. (fn. 11)

From 1574 Lowe's former apprentice, John Pynder, held the Mitre as Lowe's assign and from 1576 to 1598 was recorded as the assign of Lowe's widow, Elizabeth. In 1574-5 the company was under great pressure to let the Mitre and another house nearby to Ralph Scudmore (see 16), but in 1575 at the request of Sir Thomas Gresham and the Master of the Rolls confirmed to Mrs. Lowe a lease for 28 years in return for a fine of £100. Mrs. Lowe died in 1586. Henry Frith, vintner, paid the rent from 1598 onwards. In 1602, when this lease would have run out, the company appears to have granted a 21-year lease of the property, less one of its shops (19D) to John Pynder. This lease had 9 years to run in 1614 when Frith surrendered it and took a new lease for 21 years in return for the old rents and a fine of £133. 6s. 8d. The lessee was not to remove any fittings. Frith was living in the property over the period 1612-24. In 1624 he was succeeded by his widow Elizabeth, who in 1629 was succeeded by Oliver Neeve. From 1630 onwards Thomas Dudley, vintner, held the Mitre, and in 1632 took a new lease for 21 years from 1635 for a fine of £350, which was to be paid in annual instalments of £50 from Michaelmas 1632. When Dudley petitioned for his lease it was proposed that part of the tenement might be taken in order to enlarge Mercers' Hall. The proposal found favour with the company, but after consultations with workmen it was found not to be convenient to make a parlour there for use by the company. (fn. 12)

A view taken in 1632 described the rooms in the Mitre then in Dudley's possession. (fn. 13) The cellars apparently extended E. as far as Old Jewry beneath the church of St. Mary Colechurch and seem to have included compartments beneath the westernmost group of shops on the Cheapside frontage (19B-C); the cellars may also have extended beneath parts of Mercers' Chapel (formerly the church of St. Thomas) and 21A. The drinking rooms were on the ground floor, which also included rooms below the church. Further rooms and a kitchen and larders appear to have occupied the first floor. The second floor appears to have included rooms over the church, but there seem to have been no rooms at a higher level, unless the first and second storeys together equalled the church in height so that the rooms over the church were at third-storey level or higher. For the possible layout of the cellars, see Fig. 11, but the arrangement of rooms in the upper storeys cannot easily be reconstructed. The parts of the Mitre were described as follows: a vault, 32 ft. by 19 ft. (9.75 m. by 5.79 m.; probably below parts of the church and 21A, and next to Old Jewry); a cellar and staircase, 75 ft. (22.86 m.) by 19 ft. (5.79 m.); a vault 23 ft. by 16 ft. (7.01 m. by 4.88 m.; perhaps next to Mercers' Chapel and below parts of 21A and St. Mary Colechurch); a vault, 23 ft. by 13 ft. (7.01 m. by 3.96 m.; perhaps next to Mercers' Chapel); a passage into the house, 13 ft. by 7 1/2 ft. (7.01 m. by 2.29 m.); the drinking rooms below and a staircase, 44 ft. by 19 1/2 ft. (13.41 m. by 5.94 m.); rooms under the church at the E. end of the 'barr' (presumably the bar was in the drinking rooms), 21 1/2ft. by 15 ft. (6.55 m. by 4.57 m.); the best room above stairs (on the first floor), 26 ft. by 13 ft. (7.92 m. by 3.96 m.); the passage to the best room and other rooms on that floor, 37 ft. by 4 ft. (11.28 m. by 1.22 m.); four rooms measuring 15 ft. by 13 ft. (4.57 m. by 3.96 m.), 12 ft. by 11 ft. (3.65 m. by 3.35 m.); 11 ft. by 6 1/2 ft. (3.35 m. by 1.98 m.), and 13 ft. by 6 1/2 ft. (3.96 m. by 1.98 m.), respectively; a kitchen and chimney, 15 ft. by 8 1/2 ft. (4.57 m. by 2.59 m.); a larder, 10 ft. by 9 1/2 ft. (3.05 m. by 2.9 m.); another larder 11 ft. by 8 1/2 ft. (3.35 m. by 2.59 m.); a passage on the 'third story' (i.e. on the second floor) as on the floor below, 37 ft. by 4 ft. (11.28 m. by 1.22 m.); a chamber, 18 ft. by 13 ft. (5.48 m. by 3.96 m.); a chamber, 26 ft. by 15 1/2 ft. (7.92 m. by 4.72 m.); a chamber paved with brick, 16 ft. by 11 ft. (4.88 m. by 3.35 m.); a garret 16 ft. by 14 1/2 ft. (4.88 m. by 4.42 m.); the faggot house, 20 ft. by 4 ft. (6.1 m. by 1.22 m.); a room over the church 10 ft. by 8 ft. (3.05 m. by 2.44 m.); another room over the church, 10 ft. by 8 ft. (3.05 m. by 2.44 m.); and a chamber, 21 ft. by 9 1/2 ft. (6.4 m. by 2.9 m.).

Dudley undertook some building at the Mitre and in 1635 unsuccessfully sought an extension to his lease on this account. In 1638 his house was valued at £24 a year. In 1640, following the rebuilding of St. Mary Colechurch, it was agreed that Dudley might assign to the parish a piece of ground, part of a 'dark back room', for placing steps which were part of the new entry to the church (cf. below 19G). John Scattergood, vintner, succeeded Dudley in 1651, and in 1652 for a fine of £350 he took a lease at the old rent for a term of 31 years from 1652. A fine of £420 had been asked and £6 could be paid instead of the hogshead of claret. The fine was paid before Scattergood died in 1652, and later that year his widow Anne took a new lease for a term of 31 years from 1654. By 1655 Anne had married John Wyat, who paid the rent from then until 1666. In 1662-3 and 1666, on the eve of the Fire, the Mitre appears to have been occupied by Francis Putchin, who had a house rated at 10 hearths at the former date and at 11 hearths in 1666. (fn. 14)

The shops below the Mitre (19B-G)

The occupants of the 4 shops excepted from the lease of the Mitre in 1516 (see above) were listed, apparently from W. to E. as William Vere, leatherseller (19B?), Robert Lewes, wireseller (19C?), Robert Downe, ironmonger (19F?), and Thomas Michell, ironmonger (19G?).

Robert Lewys paid £1. 13s. 4d. p.a. rent for two little shops on the W. side of the Mitre (19B and C) between 1517 and 1537, except in 1528-9 when William Bucfold paid the rent. In 1537, when the 2 shops were let with 21B (q.v.) to Stephen Cobbe, citizen and haberdasher, for a term of 50 years from 1538, the one next to the Mitre on the E. (19C) was held by William Buckfold and the other (19B), which adjoined the church of St. Thomas on the W., was held by John Lewes. Buckfold and Lewes were both said to inhabit the shops. Robert Lewes was in some way involved in the lease of these properties to Stephen Cobbe, for in his will, drawn up in 1540 and proved in 1542, he left to his wife Joan his indenture and term of years in the messuage and shops then held by Cobbe. In 1540-1 11s. 2d. was spent on repairing Buckfold's shop. Buckfold, a citizen and girdler, still held the shop at his death in 1544, when he left the 'occupying' of his shop in St. Mary Colechurch parish to his brother Henry Buckfold, also a girdler, until his son Robert Buckfold came of age. William Buckfold and his successors were presumably Stephen Cobbe's undertenants. Cobbe is recorded as paying the rent under the lease of 1537 between then and his death in 1566, except for 1559-60 when it was paid by his son-in-law, Richard Buckfold, who was presumably identical with Henry Buckfold's son of that name. Stephen left the remainder of the term of the lease to his second son, Robert Cobbe, who paid the rent from 1567 to 1570; Richard Buckfold paid it as the assign of Stephen Cobbe and Robert Cobbe in 1570-1; and Robert Cobbe, girdler, then paid it as the assign of Stephen and Robert Cobbe until the lease expired in 1588. (fn. 15) In 1588 John Burneby, citizen and girdler, took a 21-year lease of the 2 shops (19B and C), still bounded by the Mitre on the E., for £6. 13s. 4d. rent. In 1608 Burneby took another 21-year lease of the 2 shops at the same rent and for a fine of £50 payable in instalments by Michaelmas 1609. By now the tenant was liable for all repairs and in the lease the 2 shops were said to measure 18 ft. (5.49 m.) next to the street by 10 ft. 8 in. (3.25 m.). The records of rent receipts state that the 2 shops were now used as one. Henry Burnbie paid the rent from 1614 onwards and in 1624 was succeeded by his assign Thomas Sherston, citizen and clothworker, who was promised a new lease on the expiry of the present one for a fine of £80. In 1630, in consideration of a fine of £90 to be paid in full by Michaelmas 1631, Sherston took a 21-year lease of the 2 shops (19B and C) and a third which adjoined them (19D, see below) at a rent of £10. The 3 shops had now been made into one, which in 1638 when Sherstone held it but did not live there, was valued at £16 a year. In 1648 Sherstone obtained a lease of this shop for a term of 26 years from 1647 at £10 rent and for a fine of £120, of which half had been paid. Sherston paid this rent until 1660, when he was succeeded by his executors who paid the rent until 1666. (fn. 16)

The next shop to the E. (19D) is not recorded before 1600, when it was said to be between 19C on the W. and the Mitre on the E. Before then the shop, or its site, was part of the Mitre (19A) and may have been held by an undertenant of the person who held that property. In 1600 it was held by Randal Pickeringe, citizen and haberdasher, who took a lease of the shop for a term of 21 years from 1602 for a fine of £25 payable in 1602 and at a rent of £3. 6s. 8d. The shop measured 9 ft. 5 in. (2.87 m.) E./W. and 9 ft. 10 in. (3 m.) N./S. In 1623 it was agreed that Pickering should renew his lease for a fine of £30, but John, Thomas, and Stephen Mosyer offered a fine of £50, for which they obtained a 21-year lease. John Moyser, citizen and cook, died and in 1626 his widow, Helen Moyser, gave up her interest. A new lease was granted to John's brothers, Thomas Moyser, citizen and cook, and Stephen Moyser of Exeter, merchant, for a fine of £50. The new lease ran for a term of 19 years from Michaelmas 1625 and in 1627 was assigned to Thomas Sherston, who united the shop with 19B and C. In 1630 Sherston surrendered the lease of 19D to the landlord and took a new lease of 19B, C, and D (see above). (fn. 17)

Next E. was the Mitre or the entry to the Mitre (19A). It seems probable that in the late 16th century the entry was moved W. or narrowed as a result of creating one or more shops next to it on the E. side (cf. 19F). Even before then, however, there may have been a shop forming part of the Mitre to the W. of the entry.

The third and fourth shops excepted from the lease of the Mitre in 1516 (see above) are represented by 19F and G. In 1517-27 the shops were held by Thomas Michell and Robert Downe who each paid £1. 13s. 4d. rent. Downe then paid £3. 6s. 8d. rent for both shops, but was allowed £1. 13s. 4d. of this rent in 1529-30 and 1532-3. In 1532 Downe took a 50-year lease at £3. 6s. 8d. rent of the two shops, which were still held by himself and Mitchell. The landlord was to be responsible for repairs. By his will, dated 1556 and proved in 1557, Downe left his term in the shops to his wife Margery so long as she remained unmarried and used the shops as her husband had done. After Margery's death Downe's servant, William Chapman, was to have the shop next to the door of the Mitre (19F) and William Jackeman, ironmonger, was to have the other one (19G), which was next to the church door of St. Mary Colechurch. The survivor of the two was to have the other's interest in the shops. (fn. 18) Jackeman was tithed for the 2 shops in 1558 and is recorded as paying the rent for both shops between 1559 and 1566, although he died in 1562. William Chapman, ironmonger, succeeded him and paid the rent for the 2 shops from 1566 to 1580, when he was succeeded by his widow. In 1579 it was agreed that on the surrender of the old lease, due to terminate in 1582, Chapman should, in return for a fine of £100, have a new lease for 21 years at the old rent. Chapman was not to let the shops except to a mercer. This property was probably represented by the 2 shops and a cellar near the Mitre tavern occupied by Stephen Som(er)e or his assigns and the 'late widow Mrs. Chapman', which Thomas Lowe's widow Elizabeth Lowe held on 2 leases from the Mercers' Company and which in 1586 she bequeathed to her cousin, Edward Banks, goldsmith. In 1588-9 Mrs. Chapman's assigns, Thomas and William Chapman paid the rent to the Mercers' Company. Thomas Chapman, ironmonger, was the friend and partner of William Chapman and died in 1589. In 1597 William Chapman, citizen and ironmonger, took a lease of 3 shops (19E, F, and G) and a little cellar for a term of 25 years at £5 rent and for a fine of £150. The first shop (19G) was next to the door of the parish church and measured 9 ft. 2 in. by 11 ft. (2.79 m. by 3.35 m.). The second shop (19F) measured 10 ft. 2 1/2 in. by 11 ft. (3.11 m. by 3.35 m.). The third shop (19E) was next to the Mitre and had presumably once been part of that property (19A). It measured 8 ft. 6 in. by 11 ft. (2.59 m. by 3.35 m.) and the cellar lay beneath it. Chapman was to be responsible for repairing the shops and cellar with their stalls, shop windows, bars, and penthouses. Widow Chapman paid the rent under this lease in 1608-9 and was succeeded by her assigns, Daniel Ensor and Thomas Godfrey, ironmongers. Ensor died in 1610. Godfrey alone then paid the rent, and in 1620 took a new lease for a term of 21 years from 1622 at £6 rent and for a fine of £150. Godfrey obtained a licence to alienate the 3 shops and cellar in 1630, but did not do so. In 1632 Matthias Burgis was his undertenant for 19G. Godfrey continued to pay the rent to the Mercers' Company until 1638, when Richard Hynd and James Elkington held the property, which now consisted of 2 shops and a cellar. In 1638 the property held by Mr. Hide (sic) and his 2 partners, who were shopkeepers but not resident in the parish, was valued at £16 a year. (fn. 19)

In 1638 the church of St. Mary Colechurch was being rebuilt and it was proposed to take a part of these shops as a new door for the church. As a result the partitions between the shops were rearranged during 1639-40. The new doorway, 5 ft. (1.52 m.) wide and 8 ft. (2.44 m.) high, was taken out of the more easterly shop, which was held by Elkington. Elkington's new shop (part of F and part of G) measured 8 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft. 8 in. (2.67 m. by 3.25 m.). Hynd's new shop (E and part of F) measured 10 ft. by 13 ft. 4 in. (3.05 m. by 4.06 m.), and the cellar now measured 6 1/2 ft. by 12 ft. (1.98 m. by 3.66 m.). In 1641 Hynd and Elkington were granted a new lease of the rearranged property for a term of 21 years from the end of the existing lease (i.e. from 1643) at the old rent of £6 and for a fine of £150, payable in 3 6-monthly instalments from the commencement of the lease. Later in 1641 the company agreed to grant separate leases to the 2 tenants and Elkington sought permission to alienate his shop and cellar. Hynd died c. 1644. His executors then paid the rent on his behalf, and in 1646 his widow Grace and Elkington apparently sought an extension to their term, for in 1647 they were granted an additional 7 years to their lease. As a result the property was now let under two leases: one concerned a shop (comprising part of F and part of G) let to James Elkington, citizen and founder, for a term of 24 years from 1647 at £2 rent; the other concerned a shop (comprising E and part of F) let to John Johnes, a mercer who had married Hynd's widow, for the same term at £4 rent. Elkington and Johnes continued to pay these rents until 1666. (fn. 20)

19: after the great fire

After the Fire the arrangement of tenancies was altered and a group of houses of more or less equal size with a common facade and extending back to the hall and chapel of the Mercers' Company was erected here at the expense of the tenants. The lease of 19B, C, and D was in the hands of Thomas Parkhurst, assign of Mrs. Sherston. He took a new lease for 51 years from 1669 at the old rent of £10 and was probably responsible for the westernmost of the houses on the site which occupied the former frontage of 19B and C. (fn. 21) Ralph Box was probably responsible for the next two houses towards the E., which occupied the former frontage of 19D and E. Box took a new lease for 66 years from 1669 at £16 rent of 2 messuages on part of the ground where the Mitre stood. This rent was the total that had formerly been due from 19A. (fn. 22) The former frontage of 19F and G was occupied by part of a row of 3 new houses extending E. to the corner of Old Jewry (see 20).


  • 1. MC, Reg of Writings i, f. 4r-v (witnessed by William son of Benedict, alderman).
  • 2. MC: Reg of Writings i, ff. 44v-45; 'Henry VIII's estate: St. Mary Colechurch early deeds 1' (witnessed by William son of Benedict, alderman).
  • 3. Close R 1227-31, pp. 47, 53-4; Close R 1231-4, pp. 484, 490, 583-4.
  • 4. Canterbury: Reg K, f. 66v; Reg J, pp. 333-4. London Eyre 1244, no. 221.
  • 5. MC, Reg of Writings i, f. 7r-v.
  • 6. Cal IPM ii, no. 582; ibid. vi, no. 632.
  • 7. 7MC, Reg of Writings i, ff. 8v-13v. HR 59(72, 82), 84(75), 85(9), 94(36, 107), 96(214). PRO, LR14/534.
  • 8. HR 10(23), 40(77).
  • 9. GL, MS 9171/2, f. 378; PRO, SC6/917/23.
  • 10. PRO: E135/2/57, ff. 85-6v; E315/269-70; SC6/Hen 8/2373-4, 2396-401. MC, Reg of Leases i, ff. 321v-3.
  • 11. MC: Acts of Court iii, ff. 161v, 162v, 230r-v; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim; Reg of Writings ii, ff. 11-14. PRO, PROB11/56, f. 264; GL, MS 9171/11, f. 169.
  • 12. MC: Acts of Court iii, 263-69v, 273v-4v, 276v; ibid. 1631-7, ff. 30v, 39; Reg of Leases ii, ff. 243v-5; Reg of Leases iii, ff. 164v-6v; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim, GL, MS 66, ff. 4, 27v, 35, 37v. PRO, PROB 11/68, f. 69.
  • 13. MC, Acts of Court 1631-7, ff. 38v-9.
  • 14. MC, Acts of Court 1631-7, ff. 191v; ibid. 1637-41, f. 177; ibid. 1651-7, ff. 9, 23, 108; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 112. PRO, PROB11/233, f. 195, E179/252/27 and 32/1.
  • 15. MC: Reg of Leases i, ff. 319-20, 321v-3; Renter Wardens a/cs, passim. PRO: E315/269-70; E316/16/758; SC6/Hen 8/2373-5; 2396-7; PROB11/29, f. 32v, PROB11/30, f. 143r-v. GL, MS 9171/15, ff. 257v-259v.
  • 16. MC: Acts of Court iii, f. 437v; ibid. 1625-31, ff. 19v, 266v; ibid. 1645-51, ff. 33v, 38, 118v; Reg of Leases ii, ff. 155-6v; Reg of Leases iii, ff. 97-9v; Renter Wardens a/cs, passim. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 112.
  • 17. MC: Reg of Leases ii, ff. 52v-3, 426v-30; Reg of Leases iii, ff. 97-9v; Acts of Court 1619-25, ff. 165v, 171v, 176v, 192v; ibid. 1625-31, ff. 21v, 43v, 77v, 240; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim.
  • 18. PRO, E315/269-70. MC: Reg of Leases i, ff. 316-17; Renter Wardens a/cs, passim. HR 248(136). PRO, PROB 11/39, ff. 11-12.
  • 19. MC: Acts of Court iii, f. 327; ibid. 1631-7, f. 61; Reg of Leases ii, ff. 14-15v, 307v-9v; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim; Reg of Writings ii, f. 11r-v. PRO, PROB11/45, f. 180, /68, f. 169, /74, f. 176, /116, f. 367. Inhabitants in 1638, p. 112.
  • 20. MC: Acts of Court 1637-41, ff. 67r-v, 122r-v, 189, 200-2, 204v-205, 217, 234; ibid. 1645-51, ff. 54v, 65v, 76, 78, 93; Renter Wardens' a/cs, passim.
  • 21. MC: Renter and Second Wardens' a/cs, s.a. 1668-9; Plan Book c. 1780, p. 20.
  • 22. MC: Renter and Second Wardens' a/cs, s.a. 1668-9; Plan Book c. 1780, pp. 21-2.