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 this section
- 25, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
- 25, later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
- 25 and 29-32a, fifteenth century
- Quit-rents from 25, 29-32, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
- Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: 25
Before the Great Fire, the block of property 105/25-35 faced westwards down Cheapside and was bounded by the street now known as Poultry on the N., by the street now known as Bucklersbury on the S., and by properties in the parishes of St. Mildred Poultry and St. Benet Sherehog on the E. The Great Conduit lay at this end of Cheapside and 25 and the adjoining properties were often said to be at or opposite the conduit. After the Great Fire an area comprising most of 25 and frontage strips from 26A and the other properties on Poultry were cut off to widen the street. (fn. 1) The remainder of 25 was approximately represented by no. 1 Poultry in 1858.
Most or all of the block was in one ownership in the early 13th century (see 26), but 4 shops towards Cheapside, possibly originally an encroachment by the owners of 26, became a separate property (25) by the later 13th century, and a row of shops on the frontage towards Poultry also became separate holdings (27-35). 26, described in the later 13th century as a stone house, lay behind these shops. It also included some shops along the Bucklersbury frontage which did not become separate holdings.
25, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
25 probably originated in an encroachment made in front of 26, which may have taken place in the early 13th century. 105/10, on the S. side of Bucklersbury-Cheapside, was said in a 13th century rental, probably dating from after c. 1220, to be opposite the house which Henry de Waltham had made (105/19) under the church of Colechurch. This description is only really appropriate if 25 did not then exist. In 1246 Reginald le Hauberger, who then held 26, was said to have built a pentice which encroached on Cheapside above his cellar. In 1274-5 the jurors of Cheap ward said that 4 shops in the gable of the stone house (once) of Reginald le Hamberger towards Cheapside were once a certain pentice, and a purpresture: the plot was said to have been enclosed and built on by Alexander le Ferron 20 years ago or more. In 1300-1 a shop on the W. side of 26 was said formerly to have belonged to Walter le Feroun, son of Alexander (cf. 25D). From the later 13th century onwards this site seems to have been occupied by 4 shops (25A-D), with solars above, in intermixed tenures. (fn. 2)
This property lay between Cheapside to the W., 26 to the E., and the street now known as Bucklersbury to the S. It seems to have comprised a shop on the ground floor on the corner, with solar(s) above, and the solar(s) over 25B. John Ferrarius held a shop identifiable as 25A, charged with a quit-rent of 9s. to Westminster Abbey; he is probably identical with the John le Ferroun who by his will proved in 1278 left all his lands, rents, and tenements in London to his wife Margery, except for 2 quit-rents of £3. 6s. 8d. (5 marks) each from certain properties in the parish of Colechurch, which he left to a chaplain celebrating in the church of St. Stephen Walbrook and to his daughter Margery, a nun, for life. Probably neither of these quit-rents was charged on 25A. Margery le Ferrun held a shop to the W. of 26 in 1300. By 1306 25A was occupied by Roger de Bronne coram le conduc'. In 1306 Alice la Haubergere, widow, granted to Richer de Refham, citizen and mercer, 26 and a quit-rent of 13s. 4d. (1 mark) from the solar situated ultra the shop of Roger de Brunne, which (presumably the solar) he held of her at the corner contra the Conduit. The solar abutted against the Conduit to the W., 26 to the E., the tenement of Walter de Reyleye (25C) to the N., and the highway from Cheap to Walbrook to the N. (sic; recte S.). This implies it lay over 25B as well as part of 25A. By 1322 William Brunne held the shop late of Roger de Brunne, situated as the solar, but with 26B to the N.: John Feron son of Walter Feron, citizen, granted a rent of 11s. from this shop (among other rents in the parishes of St. Stephen Walbrook and St. Mary Colechurch including a rent of 13s. 4d. from 26B) to Adam de Masshebury, citizen and cutler, his wife Isabel, and Adam their son. Later in 1322 John Ferroun, citizen, son of Walter Ferroun, and his wife Mary, granted or confirmed the same rent to Adam Masshebury, citizen and cutler, who could have been either the father or the son in the other deed. (fn. 3)
Andrew Brunne, ironmonger, may have occupied 25A in 1321. In 1323 Adam de Mayssbur' distrained in the tenement of William de Broune for arrears of the 11s. rent which John le Ferroun and his wife Mary had granted him extra seisinam suam. William denied that Adam was seised of the rent. The record of the plea is incomplete, but Adam appears to have continued to receive the quit-rent. By his will, proved in 1327, he left all his lands, rents, and tenements to his son Adam, with remainder for sale if the latter died under age and unmarried. The younger Adam became indebted to Gerard Corp, citizen, who by a judgment of 1342 was empowered to raise 100 marks from this estate, which included the 11s. rent. In 1343 Corp assigned this right to William Bishop, sergeant-at-arms. By his will, dated and proved in 1338, William de Brunne left his tenements in the parishes of St. Benet Sherehog and St. Mary Colechurch to his son William, charged with 10 marks (£6. 13s. 4d.) for the maintenance of 2 chaplains in the churches of St. Thomas the Martyr (? of Acre) and St. Peter Broad Street for 12 years. If William the son died without issue the tenements were to pass to the testator's wife Alice for life, and to be sold after her death. In a rental of Westminster Abbey of 1344-5, John Brunne was said to owe 9s. rent from a tenement in Cheap. Possibly he was another member of the family, or the name may have been a copyist's error for one of the known members. (fn. 4)
By her will of 1349 Alice, widow of William de Brounne the father, and now widow of Philip de Aungre, devised that, if Gregory son of William de Brounne her son should die without issue, the tenements she and her late husband William had jointly acquired in the parishes of St. Benet Sherehog and St. Mary Colechurch should be sold. This devise was probably invalid, according to the terms of the will of William de Brunne, citizen and merchant (mercator), the father, and it was the latter's executor Richard Peticru who in 1350 sold the tenements to Walter de Somersham, citizen and draper. In 1351 Richard Godchild, citizen and cutler, and his wife Juliana, widow of William son of William Brunne, late citizen and ironmonger (ferro), granted the third part of a shop and solar(s), held by Juliana as dower for life, opposite the Conduit ad corneriam in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, to Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, and his wife Maud. The property lay between the street to the S. and W., 26 to the E., and the shop of Henry and Maud (26B) and the solar of John de Kyllyngworth (26C) to the N. In 1352 Walter de Somersham granted the little corner shop (parva shopa corneria) with 3 solars above, located as above, which he had with other tenements by the grant of Richard Peticru, executor of William de Brunne, citizen and ironmonger (sic), to Henry de Ware and his wife Maud. Richard Peticru quitclaimed in the same to them. (fn. 5)
Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, may already have been tenant of 25A in 1349, when Benedict de Fulsham, executor of Adam de Massheberi the father, distrained in Henry's tenement in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, probably for arrears of rent. De Fulsham sold the rent of 11s. from the shop sometime of William Brown to Henry and his wife Maud in the same year. In 1352 Roger de Refham, brother and heir of John de Refham, late citizen, former owner of 26, quitclaimed to Henry and Maud in the 13s. 4d. quit-rent from the solar over their shop at the corner opposite the Conduit in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. The solar, with the shop below and other solars above, had been granted to Henry and Maud by de Somersham and the property lay between the street to the S. and W., the grantor's tenement (26) to the E., and 25B, also held by Henry and Maud, to the N. Edward de Refham, brother of Roger, ratified the transaction. It is clear from this grant that in 1352 25A had at least three storeys above ground. (fn. 6)
This property appears to have been a ground-floor shop only; the solars over it belonged to 26A to the S. Both shop and solars were bounded to the N. by 25C, to the E. by 26, and to the W. by Cheapside. 25B was held c. 1300 by Agnes de Writele. In 1322 John Feron son of Walter Feron, citizen, granted 13s. 4d. quit-rent from this shop, now held by Peter de Monpelers, in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, together with other rents including 11s. from 25A, to Adam de Masshebury, citizen and cutler, Isabel his wife, and Adam their son. The shop lay between 26 to the E., the street to the W., 25A to the S., and 25C, the shop of Thomas le Cordewaner, to the N. A deed enrolled in the same year from John Ferroun son of Walter Ferroun, and his wife Mary, to Adam Masshebury, citizen and cutler, confirmed the transaction. By 1342 Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, and his wife Maud, had bought 26B from Peter de Mounpellers; in that year Adam de Masshebury, son and heir of Adam de Masshebury, late citizen and cutler (he died in or before 1327), quitclaimed to Henry and Maud in the 13s. 4d. quit-rent he used to receive from their shop, which they had bought as above. The shop lay under the solar sometime of William de Brunne, sometime of Roger de Brunne, between William's shop (25A) to the S., 25C to the N., 26 to the E. and the street to the W. In 1349 Benedict de Fulsham, executor of Adam de Masshebury the father, sold the rent, which Adam had entailed on Adam his son with remainder for sale, to Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, and his wife Maud. (fn. 7)
In the later 13th century, 25C-D probably comprised the two shops described as the shop held by Walter brother of John le Ferroun (D) and the little shop next to it of John le Ferroun (C). By his will, proved in 1278, John le Ferroun left a rent of 3s. 4d. from the little shop next to Walter's shop, together with rents from 27-31, for a chantry in St. Mary Colechurch, and a rent of £3. 6s. 8d. (5 marks) from the corner shop opposite Colechurch (probably D) to his daughter Margery, a nun, for life. John left all his lands, rents and tenements to his wife Margery, as dower and legacy. By his will proved in 1289, Adam of St. Albans, senior, left to his wife Eleanor a quit-rent of 6s. 8d. from the shop sometime of Walter le Feroun in cornerio in the parish of Colechurch, which may have been 25D. Walter was probably the Walter le Feroun, son of Alexander, whose former shop was in 1300-1301 said to lie on the W. side of 26. In the same year Adam of St. Albans, junior, ironmonger, left to his daughter Agnes a little shop prope conductum which he had by the demise of Hamo le Feroun. Possibly this last is identical with 25C. In 1300 the W. abutments of 26 were the tenement of Edith le Ferrun (? 25C-D), the tenement of Agnes de Writle (25B) and the shop of Margery le Ferrun (25A). By 1306 25C and D were held by Walter de Reylegh, citizen and tawyer (allutarius), who left his 2 shops with solars over in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, between the shop (? 25A) which Roger de Bronne now lived in on one side coram le conduc', and the shop which Hervey le Ismongere had lived in, to his wife Agatha for life, with remainder to his son Simon. He also left 32A in the same way. (fn. 8)
Agatha married Thomas de Chigwell, citizen and tawyer (allutarius). In 1320 they were involved in a plea of intrusion against Sir Richer de Refham, kt. (see 26), concerning what was probably the wall between their tenements. This was settled when Thomas and Agatha quitclaimed to Richer in a certain arch (archa) of a certain stone wall of the latter's in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, containing 9 ft. (2.74 m.) in length and 4 ft. (1.22 m.) in width as the arch was built, for a certain sum. In 1321 Adam de Forsham left a rent of 10s. from the shop of Thomas de Chigewell and his wife Agatha at the E. end of Cheapside in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, to his wife Margery, to sell. The shop lay between Cheapside to the W., 26 to the E., the highway to the N. and the tenement of Andrew Brunne, ironmonger (?25A), to the S. Adam had the rent by the grant of Walter son of Gilbert le Wodemongere. Later in 1321 Margery and her co-executors sold the rent to John de Cherleton, citizen, for £4. 13s. 4d. This rent does not seem to be recorded later. In 1325, when Agatha had probably died, Alan de Redyngge, tawyer (allutarius), executor of Walter de Reylegh, sold 25C-D and 32A to Thomas de Chigwell. By his will of 1328 Thomas de Chiggewell left all his tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch to his executors for 4 years, to find 2 chaplains celebrating in the church of St. Margaret (Moses) for the souls of Walter de Reyle and his wife Agatha, and one in the church of St. Mary Colechurch. After four years the tenements were to be sold, reserving a rent of £3. 13s. 4d. to support one chaplain and candles in the church of St. Margaret. In 1331 de Chigewell's executors sold 25C-D, two shops and solars between the highway to the W. and N., and 25A to the S., and 26 to the E., together with 32A, to William de Mymmes, citizen and tawyer (allutar') and his wife Alice. (fn. 9)
By his will of 1334, proved 1335, William de Mymmes left all his tenements, except certain specified ones, to his wife Alice for life, with remainder for sale. She appears to have married John de Kyllyngworth, who held the solar to the N. of 25A in 1351. Alice at some time granted 25C-D to Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, and his wife Maud, to hold for her life. In 1357, in her widowhood and as the sole surviving executor of William de Mymmes, she sold them the reversion of the same, and quitclaimed to them. The property was described as the corner shop with 3 solars above, beside the Conduit, between the highway to the W. and N., 26 to the E., and the shop without solar over (25B) of Henry and Maud to the S. Henry and Maud then granted the property back to Alice for life. (fn. 10)
25, later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
By 1357 Henry de Ware, ironmonger, held 25A and B and the reversion of 25C-D after the death of Alice widow of William de Mymmes. In 1371 he granted all his tenements, houses and shops in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, together with the reversion of the shop with 3 solars over, held for life by Alice de Killyngworth, widow of William de Mymmes, to Simon de Wynchecombe, citizen and armourer, and his wife Joan. The tenements lay between the highway leading from Westcheap to Poultry to the N., the highway opposite the Conduit to the W., the highway leading from Westcheap towards Bucklesbury to the S., and 26 to the E. In 1377 the rector of St. Margaret Moses brought a plea of intrusion against Alice Kyllyngworth, Richard Kyllyngworth, Simon Wynchecombe, Simon Ware, and Robert Parys, cofferer, concerning his free tenement in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. This presumably related to the rent left by Thomas de Chigewell charged on 25C-D and 32A; though the first 3 named are associated with these tenements at this date. Simon Ware and Robert Parys may have been neighbours named in error, though the latter later held 32A. Also in 1377, Simon Wynchecombe and his wife Joan granted an annual rent of £40, and a pipe of Gascon wine from all their tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch and elsewhere, to Agnes, widow of Richard Wynchecombe, for life. In 1382 the rector of St. Margaret Moses again impleaded Simon Wynchecombe for intrusion in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. In 1395 Simon de Wynchecombe, citizen and armourer, granted 25 and 29-32A (qq.v) to William Eviot, draper, John Seymour, John Clee, draper, William Horston, Matthew Rede, and Richard Person. 25 was described as tenements, houses and shop(s) sometime of Henry de Ware, citizen and ironmonger, between the street leading from Westcheap to Poultry to the N., the street leading from Westcheap to Bucklersbury to the S., the street opposite the old conduit to the W. and 26 to the E. (fn. 11)
In 1401 Evote, Seymour, Clee, Horston, Rede and Person granted 25 and 29-32A to Sir William Marchall, chaplain, John Creek, Robert Whityngham, Thomas Medbourne, John Garnet, John Colbroke, and John Ballard, citizens and tailors, and the heirs of John Ballard. Part of 25, a corner tenement towards Bucklersbury, was now held for life by Anne, widow of John Lethenard, late citizen and tailor, by an earlier grant of Evote and his associates. She died in 1406 x 1408. This grant was one, probably the first, of a series of transactions ending with conveyance to the Merchant Taylors' Company in 1413. John Garnet had died by 1408, when his co-feoffees granted a quit-rent of £6. 13s. 4d. from their properties in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, late of William Evote and others, to John Clee and John Knyght, drapers, and Thomas Panter, citizen, to be leviable only if John Ballard failed to pay the sum of £46. 13s. 4d. in 3 yearly instalments to Clee, Knyght, and Panter. In 1412 Marchall, Creek, Whityngham, Medbourne, Colbrook, and Ballard granted the same lands and tenements, between the Conduit to the W., 26 to the S. and E., and Poultry to the N., to William Sevenoke, alderman, William Gobyon, esquire, Richard Osbarn, clerk, John Lagage, goldsmith, John Chadde, cutler, and Thomas Panter, citizens. John Ballard quitclaimed in the same. Later in 1412 Sevenoke and his co-feoffees granted the same properties to Peter Mason, citizen and tailor, Sir John Whitby, clerk, Thomas Bridlyngton, and John Colbrook, citizens and tailors. Thomas Panter quitclaimed in the same. Whitby, Bridlington, and Colbrook released their right to Mason, who by his will of 1412, proved 1413, left the same properties to the master and wardens of the tailors and armourers of linen armour of the fraternity of St. John the Baptist, to hold for the relief of paupers and poor brothers of the fraternity. The tenements were also charged with a quit-rent of £7 to the church of St. Peter Cornhill, for a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of the testator, his wife Joan, their parents, and others, the chaplain to be chosen by the rector and churchwardens and presented to the master and wardens of the tailors and linen armourers. (fn. 12)
25 and 29-32a, fifteenth century
For more than 30 years the income from these properties was recorded as a single sum (de le rente al condyt) in the Merchant Taylors' accounts. It is never clear how much rent was due in total, and the amount due may have varied, as the amount received certainly did. In 1413 £10. 1s. 8d. was received, and in 1414 £12. 3s., with another £1. 3s. 4d. due. In the following years amounts between £10. 15s. and £13 were received, with up to £14. 3s. 4d. being recorded as due. From 1422 to 1429 £12. 13s. 4d. was received yearly, in 1430 £10 and an uncertain amount in shillings and pence. £11. 16s. 8d. was received in 1431, £10. 3s. 4d. in 1432, £9. 6s. 8d. in 1433, with another 16s. 8d. due. £11 was received in 1434, and £13. 13s. 4d. yearly from 1435 to 1439. £14 was received in 1440 and 1441 and £14. 13s. 4d. from 1442 to 1445. In 1424-5 John Page, ironmonger, Thomas Godyng, ironmonger, and John Davy, tailor, were probably occupying 25 and/or 32. During the period 1413-45 repairs were done to William Pelham's house (? 29 or 32A), to Petrefeld's, Thomas Shragger's, and John Benet's houses, Widnes's house and, in 1445, to John Sinette's and Nicoll Bride's houses, all under the heading for this group of properties. The total cost of these repairs cannot be calculated precisely, but about £50 seems to have been spent on repairs during this period. For the quit-rent charges, which in theory came to nearly £10, though they may not all have been kept up, see below, section iv. (fn. 13)
From 1445 to 1449 there is a gap in the accounts. In 1449 £16 was due from the tenements in Cheap, less £1. 16s. 8d. for the vacancy of the tenement late of Thomas Holme. In 1450-1 the £16 total was shown to be due from John Saudrey, ironmonger, at £3, John Synete, ironmonger, at £3. 6s. 8d., John Petrisfeld, ironmonger, at £6, and the tenement late of Thomas Holme, skinner, at £3. 13s. 4d. It is not clear which of these represents which part of 25 and 29-32A, or whether all were part of the group. 32A may have been added to the Merchant Taylors' holding at around this time. This might explain the rise of the total value from £14. 13s. 4d. in 1445 to £16 in 1449-50, but it is still possible that, even with the addition of 32B, the value of 25 and 29-32 had fallen (as it continued to do later in the century), and that one of the tenements included in the Cheap total was not part of the group 25, 29-32. The company had property in parishes at the W. end of Cheapside at this time. If this is the case, the tenement late held by Thomas Holme, skinner, the only rent-payer of the 4 names not an ironmonger, seems the most likely. The largest rent, £6, was probably due from 25, and the two remaining from 29- 32, possibly divided as 29-31 and 32A-B as they were later. If Holmes's tenement was part of this group, the division of tenements was probably 25, 29, 30-31, and 32A- B. (fn. 14)
John Petrisfeld, ironmonger (d. 1459), first recorded separately as a rent-payer in 1450-1, for a rent of £6, had held one of the tenements at the Conduit from the Merchant Taylors as early as 1430, when repairs were done to his stair. Further repairs were done to his house in 1432. Possibly he was 'the armourer' to whose house repairs were done in 1442 and 1445. He continued to pay the £6 rent until 1458, when he was replaced by Richard Bronde, paying the same from 1458-9 until 1462. From 1462-3 until 1470 at least Richard Bernes paid the same rent. For the next few years in the accounts the names and/or rents are illegible. £6 was paid in 1471, 1473, and 1477; in 1480 Richard Bernes paid £5 or £6; thereafter both names and rents are illegible or lost until 1484, when the account ceases. The company paid for repairs to its tenements in Cheap during this period, but it is not usually stated which tenement was being worked on. (fn. 15)
John Sinett or Synett, ironmonger, held a house of the Merchant Taylors in 1442 and 1445, to which repairs were then done. He may have succeeded John Page, ironmonger (d. 1430), whose servant or possibly apprentice he had been. In 1450-1 he paid £3. 6s. 8d. rent for his house in Cheap. He died in 1458 but his name was recorded as rent-payer until 1461; the house was vacant for half a year and then William Ryse began to pay the £3. 6s. 8d. rent, and continued until 1464. The house was vacant for 2 1/2 years until 1466, when John Rose, cutler, appears to have replaced Ryse, paying only £2. 6s. 8d. rent. Rose paid until 1469, when the tenement was again vacant for half a year. The accounts for the next few years are largely illegible; in 1476-7 2 rents of £2. 6s. 8d. were paid. In 1479-80 Richard Newell and Ralph Writhill each owed rents of £2. 6s. 8d.; probably the latter occupied this house. Of the repairs done by the company in this period only 16s. paid in 1453-4 for locks, keys, and hinges for John Synet's house can be ascribed with certainty to this property. (fn. 16)
John Saudrey, ironmonger, first occurs in 1450-1, owing £3 rent for a house in Cheap. John Sawerdy, probably identical, paid the same rent in 1455-6, and John Pikeman, grocer, paid the same from 1456-1461. Robert Walssh, pewterer, paid £3 rent from 1461 to 1466; from 1466 to 1470 at least he paid only £2. 6s. 8d. rent. The accounts for several years following are illegible. In 1476-7 two rents of £2. 6s. 8d. were paid. In 1479-80 Richard Newell and Ralph Writhill each paid £2. 6s. 8d. rent. Newell was probably the occupant of this tenement. The privy in John Saudrey's house was cleansed in 1454-5 for 4s. Amendments to the foundations of the apothecary's tenement in 1457-8 could refer to this property, then occupied by John Pikeman, grocer. The pewterer's stall in Cheap, for which a board was bought in 1467-8, might also have been part of this property, which by then was occupied by Robert Walssh, pewterer. (fn. 17)
The tenement formerly of Thomas Holme, skinner, may or may not have been part of 25, 29-32. It was vacant for half a year in 1453-4, but £3. 13s. 4d. was paid for the same in 1454-5. William Gryme, grocer, was responsible for that rent in 1455-6, but Thomas Holmes' tenement was vacant for 3/4 of that year. Thomas Warwik paid £3. 13s. 4d. in 1456-7 and 1457-8, but his tenement was vacant for half of 1458-9 and the whole of 1459-60 at that rent. The rent seems to have been reduced to £2. 13s. 4d. in 1460-1, when the tenement of Thomas Wardewyk was vacant for half a year at that rent. William Tyllyng paid £2. 13s. 4d. rent from 1461 to 1469 at least. He probably also paid in 1469-70. Rents of this amount were received in 1470-1, 1472-3, and 1476-7, but most details are illegible or missing. George Seman may have held it for part of 1472-3, when his house was vacant for 2 quarters at 13s. 4d. a quarter. John Fysh paid a rent of £2. 13s. 4d. in 1479-80. (fn. 18)
No accounts survive for these properties from 1484 to 1545. By the latter date it is possible to distinguish between 25, at the Conduit, and the two tenements representing 29-32, in Poultry. The subsequent histories of the last two are given in the sections 29-31 and 32, but the account of quit-rents from the whole group of properties including 29-32 up to the mid-16th century is given below.
Quit-rents from 25, 29-32, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
The properties acquired by the fraternity of tailors and linen armourers in 1413 by the will of Peter Mason were charged with quit-rents of 9s. to Westminster Abbey (from 25A); £1. 6s. 8d. to the church of St. Margaret Moses (from 25C-D and 32A); an uncertain amount, probably £1. 6s. 8d. but not regularly paid, to Clerkenwell Priory for 31 and 32A; 13s. 4d. to Adam Fraunceys, probably for the solar over 32B; and in theory at least £1. 16s. 8d., possibly £2, to the church of St. Stephen Walbrook for 29- 31 and possibly 25C. There was also a charge of £7 on the whole estate to the church of St. Peter Cornhill for the soul of Peter Mason. The complexity of these obligations led to some confusion in the accounts, and while some charges seem to have been abandoned without apparent complaint by those to whom they were due others continued to be paid until the Dissolution or the suppression of the chantries.
The quit-rent of 9s. to Westminster Abbey was due from 25A from the late 13th century at least. In an abbey rental of 1429, recording previous payers, it was said to be due from the tenement now of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist, in Cheap in the parish of St. M. (Mary Colechurch), between Cheap to the W., the highway leading to Bucklersbury to the S., the tenement of Sir Thomas Charlton (26) to the E., and the shop belonging to (lost) civitati to the N. It is not clear what the last abutment refers to. The abbey's chamberlain recorded the receipt of 9s. p.a. from the tenement of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist, late of John Ballard, in a number of separate account rolls from 1418 to 1542. The fraternity or company's own accounts also record this payment yearly from 1413 to 1473, and from 1486 to 1492. The rent was granted to the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of St. Peter Westminster in 1542, after the dissolution of the abbey, and by Philip and Mary to the refounded abbey in 1556. Elizabeth granted it to the college or collegiate church of St. Peter Westminster in 1560, and it was paid until the Great Fire; during the Interregnum it was paid to the school and almshouses of Westminster after the dissolution of the collegiate chapter. (fn. 19)
By his will of 1328 Thomas de Chiggewell, citizen and tawyer (allutarius), charged his tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch (25C-D, 32A), with £3. 13s. 4d. quit-rent to support a chantry in the church of St. Margaret Moses. In the later 14th century the rector and churchwardens made several attempts to claim this rent from the tenants, with uncertain success. In 1405 John Ballard, citizen and tailor, paid 2 marks (£1. 6s. 8d.) quit-rent to the church for his tenement late of Simon Wynchecombe, near the Great Conduit in London. (fn. 20) The fraternity or company never seems to have paid the rent. In 1424 the rector of St. Margaret Moses distrained in the tenements of John Page, ironmonger, Thomas Godyng, ironmonger, and John Davy, tailor, for arrears of this rent. The naam taken consisted of one anvil of iron, worth 2s. 4d., taken from John Page, two iron frying pans, worth 1s. taken from Thomas Godyng, and two doublets, from John Davy. These were probably all tenants of the fraternity. In the plea brought by Page the will of Thomas (de) Chiggewell was recited; Page denied it, but the case was not concluded. In 1430 the master and wardens of the fraternity were summoned to answer the rector of St. Margaret Moses in a plea of right concerning the same rent, from 9 shops and solars in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. Again the plea does not seem to have been concluded, but it seems unlikely that the church recovered the rent. No such charge was recorded in the Merchant Taylors' reply to the chantry inquiry of 1546, or in the Chantry Certificate of 1548. (fn. 21)
The quit-rent of £3. 6s. 8d. (5 marks) made up partly from rents of 13s. 4d. each from 29 and 30, 10s. from 31, and possibly 3s. 4d. from 25C, left by John le Ferroun for a chantry in St. Stephen Walbrook in 1278 was not paid by the fraternity in the 15th century. In 1413 the rector of St. Stephen Walbrook brought a plea of intrusion against the master and wardens of the fraternity concerning his free tenement in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. In 1413-15 the fraternity spent money pur defendre les quitrentes de Pier Mason or del Rente a le Condyt, and in 1415-16 paid 3s. 6d. to counsel in connection with the quit-rent of the church of St. Stephen Walbrook. (fn. 22)
Of the property acquired under the will of Peter Mason, 31 and 32A had been part of the row of 8 shops granted to Clerkenwell Priory in 1320-2, and were probably charged with rents of 13s. 4d. each to the priory, though no such payment is recorded until 1438. 32A also included the solar over 32A, which had also belonged to Clerkenwell and was charged with 13s. 4d. to the priory. The fraternity, as holders of 32A, paid a quit-rent of 13s. 4d. to the holders of 32A and 26, Adam Fraunceys and his heirs. In about the middle of the 15th century 32A seems to have been acquired by the fraternity, though this did not increase their liability to Clerkenwell Priory, which continued to regard the holders of 26 as liable for 13s. 4d. quit-rent. In 1415-16 the fraternity paid £2 to Adam Fraunceis for 3 years arrears of quit-rent. It paid 13s. 4d. yearly to him, then his heirs Sir William Porter and Thomas Charleton until 1426-7, when the rent was paid to William Porter only until 1436-7. No payment was made to Clerkenwell in this period. In 1437-8 no rent was paid to Porter, but 13s. 4d. to Clerkenwell, and this continued until 1445. There is no record for 1445-53. In 1453-4 the fraternity paid £1. 6s. 8d. to the priory of Clerkenwell, and (or including) 10s. to John Norman, alderman of Cheap, for the prioress of Clerkenwell, for a rent of the same from a tenement sometime of Simon Winchecombe in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. In 1454-5 they paid 16s. 8d. to Clerkenwell and 10s. to John Norman. From 1454 they paid £1. 6s. 8d. to Clerkenwell Priory every year until 1474. From 1474 to 1484 the accounts are illegible or missing, and in 1484 the series ceases. From 1487 to 1492 the fraternity paid £1. 6s. 8d. p.a. to Clerkenwell for its tenement(s) in Colechurch parish, sometime of John Winchecombe. (fn. 23)
In 1489-90 Clerkenwell Priory's rents in the parish included 13s. 4d. from the tenement of Adam Fraunces, due from the heirs of Richard Charleton, and £1. 6s. 8d. from the fraternity of tailors, of which only half was received. In 1524-5 the priory's rent included 13s. 4d. from the tenement late of Adam Fraunces, kt., afterwards of Thomas Charleton and then his son Richard, now also listed under the heading decasus redditus, and £1. 6s. 8d., apparently paid in full, from the tenement of the fraternity of tailors, previously of John Wynchcombe, chaplain. The same rents were listed in 1525-7, 1532-3 and 1534-5. In 1539-40 and thereafter only the £1. 6s. 8d. from the Merchant Taylors' Company was recorded. This rent passed to the Crown on the dissolution of the priory. In the chantry inquiry of 1546 the Merchant Taylors answered that the tenements of Peter Mason in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch were worth £13. 6s. 8d. p.a., less £7 to a chaplain in St. Peter Cornhill, £1. 6s. 8d. to the King for quit-rent, and 9s. to Westminster, leaving £4. 11s. clear. The rent of £1. 6s. 8d., said in the later 16th century to be due to the queen from 3 houses in the Poultry near to the Little (sic) Conduit in Cheap, continued to be paid until the Great Fire. During the Interregnum it was paid to the receivers of the king's revenue. (fn. 24)
The charge of £7 for a chantry in St. Peter Cornhill was paid out of the general revenue of the fraternity, not as a quit-rent specifically charged on these properties. It was correctly listed as a charge on this endowment in 1546 and 1548, however, it passed to the Crown, and in 1550, was bought by Augustine Hynde and Richard Turke, citizens and aldermen, and William Blackwell, common clerk of London, who conveyed it, with numerous other rent-charges formerly paid by the company, to the Merchant Taylors. (fn. 25)
Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: 25
In 1529 the corner tenement of the Merchant Taylors, to the W. of 26, was occupied by Thomas Mill, grocer. In 1546 the company had 3 tenements in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, held on lease ('by indenture') by Clement Cornwall at £5. 6s. 8d. rent p.a., by Thomas Rydley at £4. 13s. 4d., and by Roger Metcalf at £3. 6s. 8d. The first of these is equivalent to 25; the other 2 are described under 29-31 and 32. The 3 tenements were charged together with quit-rents totalling £8. 15s. 8d., so their net value was only £4. 11s. £7 of the charges was redeemed after 1550. (fn. 26)
In 1546 Clement Cornwall, ironmonger, paid £40 fine for the lease of his dwelling-house in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch. He paid the rent of £5. 6s. 8d. from 1545 to 1557. There are no rent accounts from 1557 to 1569, but he was living in this house in 1558. In 1565 several suits were made for the lease of Cornwall's house at the E. end of the Great Conduit in Cheap, in the parish of St. Mary Colechurch, on the expiry of the current lease in 1566. Edward Stephenson, recommended by the duke of Norfolk, was granted a lease for 25 years at £5. 6s. 8d. rent and a fine of (probably) £120; the tenant was to repair. Cornwall, whose suit was rejected, though he had the support of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, was rebated one year's rent, and paid the sum of £14. 6s. 8d. from the poor box and some further amount by Stephenson for the ceiling and wainscot. Thomas Shottsham, another suitor, recommended by the earl of Suffolk, relinquished his suit, but was to be preferred to any other tenement. Edward Stephenson paid £5. 6s. 8d. rent from 1569 to 1574, and was succeeded by Lancelot Burton, who paid from 1574 to 1585. Burton may have occupied the tenement as early as 1571. In 1574 his household consisted of himself, his wife, and 2 menservants. In 1584 Burton surrendered the lease granted to Stephenson and was granted a new one for 30 years at the old rent of £5. 6s. 8d. and a fine of £100. The tenant was to repair. He died in 1585 and his widow paid the rent in 1585-6. Thomas Alsop or his assigns paid the rent for the tenement late of Lancelot Burton from 1586 to 1595. John Nashe, apothecary, paid the rent from 1595 to 1600, and Mrs. Nash his widow for part of 1600-1 and until 1607. In a rental of c. 1605 the widow of John Nash, apothecary, assignee of Lancelot Burton, held the corner messuage over against the Great Conduit, part of Peter Mason's gift, for £5. 6s. 8d. rent. In 1606 the court of assistants promised not to grant a lease of the same until the present lease was within 2 years of its expiry date (1614). (fn. 27)
From 1607 to 1614 the rent was paid by Libius Swann, fishmonger, who married the widow Nash. The occupant of 25 in 1612, however, appears to have been Mr. John Casson. In 1612 Libius Swann and his wife Margaret, tenants of the house near the Great Conduit in Cheapside, petitioned for a new lease of the same. Swann offered £150 fine or £30 rent, but after many counter-offers the lease was granted to Thomas Phillipps, merchant tailor, for 21 years from 1614 at the old rent of £5. 6s. 8d. and a fine of £250. Phillipps paid the rent from 1614 to 1628, and occupied the tenement in 1619. He was followed by Elizabeth Phillipps his widow who paid the rent from 1628. In 1632 she and her son petitioned for a new lease; this was granted to them on the surrender of the old lease for 24 years from 1632 at the old rent, a fine of £150, and the gift of a fat buck or £3. Elizabeth Phillipps paid the rent from 1628 to 1637, when she had licence to assign to William Symonds, goldsmith. He paid the rent until 1641, when he had licence to assign to Edmund Lewyn, merchant tailor. Lewin appears to have been in occupation in 1638 when his house was valued at £20 a year. In 1650 a view was taken of the tenement, and it was valued at £40 p.a. including the old rent. Lewyn surrendered the existing lease and was granted a new one for 27 years from 1650 at the old rent and for a fine of £180 and the gift of a fat buck. A new covenant stipulated the use of the company's workmen for repairs. In 1659 a further lease in reversion was granted to Lewyn for 43 years from 1677, at the old rent without deduction for taxes, and a fine, possibly paid in hand, of £230. Lewyn paid the rent from 1641 up to the Great Fire, but was not the occupant in 1662-3 or 1666. The most probable occupants in both years are Richard Sadler (3 hearths) and Robert Dauson (6 hearths 1662-3, 7 hearths 1666). The way in which 25 was divided between them is not clear. (fn. 28)
After the Great Fire
After the Fire a large part of 25 was staked out to be cut off to widen Poultry. According to Lewyn's lease, the house before the Fire measured 28 ft. (8.53 m.) N.-S. at the W. end to the street and 10 ft. 8 in. (3.25 m.) E.-W. In 1669 the foundation surveyed for the Merchant Taylors' Company and Lewyn was about this size, but a piece 17 ft. 6in. (5.33 m.) wide at the W. end and 15 ft. (4.57 m.) wide at the E. end was then staked out to be cut off to enlarge Poultry. The Merchant Taylors granted Lewyn a new lease of 90 years from 1677, for the old rent, in consideration of rebuilding at his own cost; this was actually sealed in 1674 as a lease for 93 years. Lewin began to rebuild but on a larger area than he was entitled to, extending his foundation by 3 ft. 2 in. (970 mm.) towards the W. and nearly 1 ft. (300 mm.) towards the N. He was ordered to stop building until the city lands committee had decided what to do. The house was viewed again and found to measure 13 ft. (3.96 m.) E.-W. along the N. and S. walls and 10 ft. 9 in. (3.28 m.) N.-S. towards Cheapside. Lewin was allowed to proceed after agreement with the committee for the land taken in. The land cut off, according to the original plan, totalled 162 1/2 square feet (15.1 sq. m.). It is not clear whether compensation was paid to the company or to Lewin. A plan of 1680 of the house gives the measurements (probably internal) as 9 ft. (2.74 m.) to the W., 11 ft. (3.35 m.) to the N., 13 ft. (3.96 m.) to the E., and 12 ft. (3.66 m.) to the S. A list in Oliver's notebook, apparently of frontages on the S. side of Poultry, gives Mr. Lewin as 12 1/2 ft. (3.81 m.). (fn. 29)