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.
This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.
In this section
- Thirteenth century
- Late thirteenth to sixteenth century
- Late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
- After the great fire
This property lay on the W. side of Soper Lane between a lane (now Well Court) leading to 104/23 on the S., 104/23 and 104/34 on the W., and 145/10 and a vacant plot in Soper Lane (probably 145/2) on the N. In the late 13th or early 14th century the property was divided into 2 parts, which then passed through separate successions of owners and tenants. Of those 2 parts, 1A was next to Soper Lane and 1B occupied the W. part of the site, although there was some intermixture between the two. After the Great Fire 1A was acquired by the City for making Queen Street. In 1858 1B was nos. 6-8 Queen Street and nos. 1 and 2 Well Court.
By 1260 the property adjoining the S. end of 145/10 was described as the land formerly of Peter Ketel, deceased. 1 can thus probably be identified as a property where there was a shop from which before c. 1218 x c. 1222 Peter Ketel granted 2s. rent to the cathedral church of St. Paul. Of this rent 1s. was due to the chapter and 1s. to the fabric of the church. The shop itself lay in the new street (novus vicus, i.e. Soper Lane) in the parish of St. Pancras, and Ketel had taken it from the rent and tenement of Reginald de Cornhull. Reginald's property probably corresponded to 1. The rents to St. Paul's were due at the feasts of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and Christmas. Thirteenth-century rentals of St. Paul's record only 6d. rent due from the property at these feasts. The rentals make it clear, however, that Peter Ketel remained in possession of the shop and was succeeded by his widow. It is just possible that the 2s. rent was in fact due from 5B, from which St. Paul's had a 2s. rent during the 13th and early 14th centuries. In 1325 this latter rent (see 5) was due at Michaelmas and Easter, and so is unlikely to have been the same as that granted by Peter Ketel. (fn. 1)
Peter Ketel had a son Thomas who succeeded to some of his father's properties. The Soper Lane property may therefore have been identical with the house in St. Pancras parish held in 1234-5 by Gilbert Ketel and formerly belonging to Asketill Daci. In that year Robert le Burse granted 4s. rent from this house to Andrew Bukerel son of Andrew Bukerel, citizen, who was to have them until a debt which Robert owed him had been repaid, when the properties were to revert to Robert. By 1280 1 was a tenement in the possession of Henry le Wympler, who died in 1281. (fn. 2)
Late thirteenth to sixteenth century
After Henry le Wympler's death his widow, Alice la Wymplere, acquired a life interest in the property, which was evidently to remain to his heirs. At this time the 2 parts of the property become recognizable. By 1309 1A was described as a former tenement of Robert Gratefige and included at least 2 shops and a cellar. Robert Gratefige had been a colleague of le Wympler in 1276 and had probably been his tenant; his son William married Henry's daughter Joan. In 1299 William Gratefige sought to recover from Henry le Wympler's widow Alice a messuage in Soper Lane next to a tenement (probably 1B) which had belonged to Henry le Wympler. The outcome was an agreement that William should quitclaim to Alice in the messuage (1A), which was further described as a great house with shop(s), solar(s), and cellar(s) which had belonged to Robert Gratefige. (fn. 3)
On other occasions 1B was described as a messuage and it may have been Henry le Wympler's residence; later in the 14th century it was described as a seld. Both parts of 1 were charged with rents to Kilburn Priory and 1B was in addition charged with a rent to Haliwell Priory.
According to her will, not dated, but enrolled in 1309, Alice la Wymplere leased one of the shops in this tenement to Andrew le Brocher and his wife Amicia until 'next Christmas' (possibly Christmas 1309) and thereafter for a term of 10 years, at a rent of £1. Andrew and his wife assigned their interest to Geoffrey le Brochere and his wife Alice. In her will Alice la Wymplere left this shop after the term had been completed to Geoffrey and Alice for their lives, specifying that the rent was to be paid to Willam Gratefig, his wife Joan, and William's heirs. This shop was probably the tenement of Roger de Beri in St. Pancras parish, where in 1298 Alice widow of William (rectius Henry) le Wympler took naam for arrears of a rent of £1 which she claimed to have by demise of William Gratefige. Roger de Beri denied that she was seised of the rent. Another part of Robert Gratefige's former tenement was a shop with the moiety of cellar which Alice leased to Peter de Grenewyche until 'next Michaelmas' (possibly Michaelmas 1310) and thereafter for 7 years at a rent of £1. 13s. 4d. In her will Alice left the reversion of this shop and moiety of a cellar after the end of the term to Geoffrey le Brochere and his wife Alice for their lives, the rent being payable during this term to William Gratefig, his wife Joan, and William's heirs. Alice la Wymplere left to her daughter Avicia the rent due from these shops and the moiety of the cellar for the terms of 10 and 7 years. Avicia was also to have the remaining part of Robert Gratefig's tenement and the rents arising from it for the term of her life with remainder to William Gratefig, his wife Joan, and William's heirs; while she lived, Avicia was to provide William and Joan with food and clothing out of these revenues. (fn. 4)
By July 1321 Alice la Wymplere's daughter Avicia had married Nicholas Fouke of Eton (also known as Nicholas de Eton), and William Gratefige had died leaving as his heir his kinsman, William Clement of Navestock (Essex). Before 1321 Clement obtained the 2 shops and part of a cellar by the demise of Robert Brown, who had presumably held them under the leases granted by Alice la Wymplere. Then on 4 July 1321, when Geoffrey le Brochere was still alive, Clement granted the 2 shops and part of the cellar to Nicholas Fouke and his wife Avicia for the term of their lives, with remainder to William Gratefige's widow Joan for the term of her life. Clement also granted that the tenements in Soper Lane in which Avicia had a life interest under Alice la Wymplere's will should remain after Avicia's death to Nicholas Fouke for life. Fouke and Avicia now held the whole of 1A, described as a stone house with shops, solars, and cellars, for the term of their lives. The property was then to remain to William Gratefige's widow Joan for life, and then to William Clement, who on 20 July 1321 granted his interest in the property to Walter le Foundour, citizen. On the same day Fouke and Avicia leased the property to le Foundour for the term of their lives at £10 rent, and Gratefige's widow Joan granted le Foundour her reversion on the understanding that he would pay her the same rent after the reversion was due. Le Foundour was to be responsible for repairing the property. Five days later William Clement quitclaimed to him. (fn. 5)
There had been an earlier connection between Walter le Foundour and William Clement, who in 1320 had lent Walter 100 marks to be repaid on the security of Walter's chattels and the moiety of his land the following year. The debt was not repaid, and in 1324 William obtained a royal order for the goods and land to be seized. On enquiry it was found that Walter had no goods in London, but that his property in the parish of St. Pancras (evidently 1A) consisted of 7 solars, two dwellings (mansiones) over the solars, and a cellar beneath the solars. This property was charged with quitrents of £10 to Nicholas de Eton and £1. 10s. to Kilburn Priory. Repairs were said to come to £1. 10s. a year, leaving a clear annual income of 6s. 8d. The sheriffs of London seized the moiety of this property and delivered it to William de Stoke, William Clement's attorney, until such time as the debt had been paid. (fn. 6) The description of 1A given in the return differs from other contemporary descriptions of the property in not referring to shops. The reference to the solars over the cellar suggests that the latter rose above street level. The 7 solars over the cellar were probably equivalent to the shops named in the other descriptions, so that the storey over the cellar was probably occupied by 7 shops, each of which would have been about 9 ft. 6 in. (2.89 m.) wide. The storey over the solars or shops was occupied by 2 dwellings.
Soon afterwards le Foundour was again in possession of the whole property, which in January 1325 he granted to John de Olney, knight. The property was now described as a tenement with shops, solar(s) and cellar(s) between Soper Lane on the E., 1B on the W., Thenwendlane on the S., and a vacant plot in Soper Lane (? 2) on the N. The purpose of this grant was to secure a loan of £150 made by de Olneye to le Founder and repayable by Christmas 1329. Should the loan be repaid, le Foundour was to regain possession. In February de Olneye made a further loan of £66. 6s. 8d. secured upon the property, which le Founder repaid in July 1325. Subsequently, as a result of an action in the court of King's Bench, the property was taken into the king's hands in order to ensure the repayment of a loan of £133. 6s. 8d. which Walter le Foundour had obtained from Richard de Rothynge, vintner. In 1326 the sheriffs of London on the king's behalf delivered the property to de Rothynge, who leased it to William de Montagu, citizen. In 1327 de Montagu leased a cellar beneath the tenements and shops to Simon Fraunceis, citizen and mercer, for a term of 10 years in return for a lump sum already paid. Simon was to be able to make an entry through the stone wall of the cellar into his own tenement (probably 1B, q.v.). At this time the whole of 1A was valued at £17. 6s. 8d. a year, out of which were due payments of £1. 10s. as quit-rent to Kilburn Priory, £10 to Nicholas de Eton, his wife Avicia and her sister Joan, and 13s. 4d. for repairs. De Rothynge appears to have recovered the amount of his debt out of the revenue from the property. Sir John de Olneye did not, however, and evidently remained in possession, for in 1330 John's son and heir, John de Olneye, granted to Simon Fraunceis and his wife Maud for the term of their lives at a rent of a rose, the stone cellar with doors and windows lying beneath the shops of John's tenements which had once belonged to Walter le Foundour. (fn. 7)
In 1342 Michael Mynot held the tenement representing 1A. The freehold of the property, however, remained in the possession of John de Olneye, who appears to have granted it to Richard, son of William de Topefeld. The property was now described as tenements with the shops, solar(s), and cellar(s) bounded by Wendeaeinlane (now Well Court) on the S. and a vacant plot on the N. Richard seems immediately to have granted the property back to John and his wife Agnes. In 1358 John's son and heir William granted the property to Agnes and her new husband, Richard de Hakeneye, for the term of her life. This William was presumably the William Olneye, citizen and fishmonger, who by his will, dated and enrolled in 1375, left the tenements in Soper Lane in the parish of St. Pancras which had once belonged to John de Olneye, knight, to Adam Berden, rector of St. Mary at Hill, and John Stokyngbury, citizen and fishmonger. Later the same year these legatees granted the property to William Olneye's widow Isabel and her heirs and assigns. At about this time Adam Fraunceys, junior, was tenant of the property: it was said to belong to him in 1374 and to Adam Fraunceys in 1383. He was apparently succeeded by John Wade, to whom the property was said to belong in 1394. (fn. 8)
The freehold of the property again came into the possession of Adam Berden, who granted it to Richard Blounville and John Muster, citizens, and Henry Cokham, clerk, of whom Cokham as the survivor granted it to William de Bergh, clerk, Roger Burstede, clerk, and Richard Stile, junior, and Peter Exton, both citizens and fishmongers. These grantees apparently held the property in 1402, when they complained of intrusion by Thomas Rempston, knight, John Scarlet, clerk, William Skrene, Robert Chichely, and John Olneye, citizen and grocer, concerning a tenement in St. Pancras parish. This John Olneye presumably traced his claim from William Olneye's widow Isabel. De Bergh quitclaimed to his co-grantees in 1403, Peter Exton then quitclaimed to the other two, Burstede died, and in 1406 Stile as the survivor granted the property to Alan Everard, citizen and mercer, William Dionys, clerk, and Walter Cotton and Thomas Aleyn, citizens and mercers. Of these grantees, Everard appears to have had the use of the property. In 1425 he quitclaimed to Cotton and Aleyn, his surviving co- grantees, who immediately granted the property back to him, with remainder to Henry Frowyk, citizen and mercer, Thomas Frowyk, esquire, of Middlesex, John Fray, recorder of London, William Estfeld, mercer, and Robert Warner, and their heirs and assigns. (fn. 9)
Thomas Frowyk, William Estfeld, and Robert Warner died. John Fray then quitclaimed in the property to Henry Frowyk, who in 1454 granted it to his son Thomas Frowyk and his son's wife Joan, daughter of Richard Surgeon. In 1472 Thomas and Joan granted the property, described as lands, tenements, and rents with houses, shops, solar(s), and cellar(s), to their son Henry Frowyk, his wife Joan and their legitimate heirs. Joan died in 1487 and the entail on this property was broken in 1493, when Edmund Deny and Richard Legh recovered possession against Henry Frowyk, esquire, of 3 messuages in the parish of St. Pancras and the ward of Cheap. This recovery was to Frowyk's use. He died in 1505, and in an inquisition of 1508 the use of the property was said to have passed to his daughter Margaret, wife of Michael Fyssher, gentleman. In fact the property was shared by Margaret and her sister Elizabeth, who in 1530 as daughters and heirs of Henry Frowyk, knight, of Gunnersbury (Middx.) with their respective husbands, Michael Fyssher, knight, and John Spelman, sergeant-at-law, granted various properties, including a messuage in Soper Lane, to William Marten, esquire, and Thomas Fitzhugh, esquire. Michael Fyssher seems later to have been in sole possession of the property, and in 1535-6 the rent of £1. 10s., formerly due to Kilburn Priory and now due to the Crown, was charged on Fyssher's tenement, then in the tenure of William Cordall. As occupant of the property Cordall had probably succeeeded Humphrey Cordall, bead-maker (bedmaker), who c. 1522-4 had been taxed as an inhabitant of this part of the parish. In 1541 Michael Fyssher was succeeded by Nicholas Fyssher, knight, who was presumably a relative of Michael, and into the 17th century was named in the royal accounts as owing the quit-rent from a tenement held by Cordall. (fn. 10)
In 1321 this part of 1 was described as the tenements sometime of Henry le Wympler. These tenements may have been inhabited by Henry, who died in 1281, and by his widow Alice. After Alice's death the property was due to remain to John, her son by Henry le Wympler. In 1297 Alice and John leased the messuage with the vessels and utensils it contained to William de Insula, mercer, and his wife Alice, who were to hold for the term of their lives, maintain the property, and pay rents of £2. 13s. 4d. to the lessors, £1 to Haliwell Priory, and £2 to Kilburn Priory. In 1311, after Alice la Wymplere's death, William de Insula and Alice demised this property for the term of their lives to Elias le Kallere, mercer, and his wife Maud, who were to bear the cost of repairs. John le Wympler then died and in 1314 Joan, widow of William Grapefige, and her sister Avicia, both daughters of Henry le Wympler, granted the 2 parts of the rent of £2. 13s. 4d. which had passed to them on their brother's death, and the reversion of the 2 parts of the tenement due on the deaths of William de Insula and his wife, to Thomas le Sok. By 1315, when this deed was enrolled, Avicia had married Nicholas de Etone. Elias le Callere and his wife Maud held the property in 1314, and Elias still held it in 1325. Simon Fraunceis probably held it in 1327, when his tenement was next to a cellar which he held in 1A (q.v.). Simon may have had a life interest in 1B, for in 1358 he was named as owner of the tenement and in 1375 was said to hold the tenement on the S. side of a part of 145/10. (fn. 11)
By 1340 the seld on the site of 1B was in the possession of Katharine atte Puwe and her sister Avicia, daughters and heirs of Henry le Wympler. In October 1342, when they were both widows, Katharine and Avicia granted the tenement on this site and quitclaimed in the property to Richard Lacer, citizen and mercer. Katharine's son, Thomas atte Puwe, believed that he had a reversionary right to the property, which by his will, drawn up in July 1342, he left to his wife Alice for life. He described 1B as a tenement with a seld held by Simon Fraunceys. Simon died in 1358, but in 1375 was still said to hold the seld. When Thomas's will was enrolled in 1344, Richard Lacer made a claim to the property. The claim was apparently successful, and later that year Lacer granted all his land and tenements in London, and the chattels therein, to John Whyte of Hertford, chaplain, who in 1345 granted the tenements representing 1B, together with other London properties, to Lacer and his wife Juliana for life, with remainder to their son John and his legitimate heirs. By his will, dated and enrolled in 1361, Richard Lacer left the seld representing 1B to his wife Isabel, with remainder to his son Richard and his heirs. In a slightly later will concerning his chattels Lacer left £6. 13s. 4d. rent from this seld and from a tenement in St. Mary Aldermanbury parish to maintain a chantry in his parish church at Bromley (Kent). (fn. 12)
Lacer's daughters, Katharine, widow of John atte Pole, and Alice, with Alice's husband, Walter Brun, knight, made a claim on the property when these wills were enrolled in 1361. In 1363 Alice, by then a widow, granted her part of the tenements in London which she shared with her sister to John Brondissh, parson of South Ockendon (Essex), Robert de Bourton, parson of Layer Marny (Essex), John Mareys of Salcott Virley (Essex), chaplain, and Philip atte Bregge. It seems to have been agreed that after the death of Richard son of Richard Lacer the tenements would remain to Alice and Katharine and would be divided between them. Alice's share was to include 1B, described as tenements with shops and solars adjoining and bounded on the S. by Nedelereslane; this property was charged with rents of £2 to Kilburn Priory and £1 to Haliwell Priory. The division between Alice and Katharine was formalized in an agreement of 1365, by which time Brondissh had quitclaimed to his co-grantees, and Alice had married Robert de Marny, knight. In June 1374 de Bourton, then parson of South Ockendon, and Philp atte Bregge granted the tenement representing 1B to Adam Stable, citizen and mercer, Adam's wife Katharine, and his heirs and assigns. The grantors were acting as trustees for Robert de Marny and his wife Alice, who on the same day quitclaimed to Stable and his wife. This transaction was part of an elaborate financial arrangement between the 2 parties. Stable had agreed to pay de Marny and his wife 500 marks by Christmas 1374, but was to be free of this obligation if he paid 250 marks to de Marny and his wife in quarterly instalments of 25 marks, beginning at Michaelmas 1374. If Stable failed to meet these payments the grant and quitclaim of 1B were to be void. (fn. 13) Stable seems already to have been living in a large house immediately to the W. in St. Mary le Bow parish (see 104/23).
In 1383 Adam Stable and his wife Katharine granted this property to John de Heylesdon, mercer, and John Chircheman, grocer, who immediately granted it back to them for the term of their lives with remainder to the grantors. The final payment of 25 marks had been due on 8 January 1376, but no one had appeared at the church of St. Mary le Bow to receive it. Robert de Marny had subsequently refused to accept payment, perhaps to avoid extinguishing his claim to the property. In January 1384, when Adam Stable was dead, his widow Katharine handed the money over to the city chamberlain, who then returned it to Katharine's attorney, John Chircheman. Heylesdon died later that year, leaving his interest in 1B to Chircheman, who in 1394 granted the reversion of Katharine Stable's tenements to James Billyngford, Robert Chircheman, stockfishmonger, and John Doube, grocer. These grantees immediately granted the reversion of 1B to Richard Rede, William Marchford, and Nicholas Hamme, citizens and mercers, who in 1413, after Katharine Stable's death, granted the tenement to Alan Everard, Walter Cotton, Thomas Aleyn, William Otys, and James Cotys, citizens and mercers. (fn. 14)
Alan Everard thus acquired control of both 1A and 1B. In 1425, when his right in 1A was converted to a life interest, he quitclaimed his right in 1B to Cotton and Aleyn, his surviving co-grantees of 1413, who immediately granted 1B to Everard for life, with remainder to Henry Frowyk, citizen and mercer, Thomas Frowyk, esquire, of Middlesex, John Fray, recorder of London, William Estfeld, mercer, and Robert Warner. In 1426, after Everard's death, Fray and Estfeld quitclaimed in 1B to Henry Frowyk, Thomas Frowyk, and Robert Warner. Later that year Henry, Thomas, and Robert granted 1B to John Frankyssh, alias John Boston, citizen and mercer, William Estfeld, citizen and mercer, John Fray, recorder, and William Melreth, mercer. Of these grantees John Frankyssh probably had the use of the property, which seems then to have passed to his descendants or successors. In 1525-6 1B was described as a former tenement of Emma Boston, widow, which at that time belonged to Thomas Lyle, mercer. (fn. 15)
The priories of Haliwell and Kilburn continued to receive their rents from the property. In 1478 the tenement was inhabited by Richard Gardyner, alderman and at that time mayor, and Haliwell Priory received its £1 rent from John Grene, esquire, and Humphrey Starkey, sergeant-at-law, who presumably held the tenement as Gardyner's feoffees. In 1480 Grene and Starkey paid part of the £2 rent due to Kilburn Priory, and Gardyner still occupied the tenement. In 1535-6, when the £2 rent was due to the Crown, it was paid by Thomas Kele, citizen and mercer, for a great tenement where he dwelled. Kele, a merchant of the staple, had probably lived there c. 1522-4, when he was taxed as a resident of the parish. By 1539-40, when the £1 rent from 1B to Haliwell Priory was in the possession of the Crown, the tenement had passed from Kele to Robert Dormer, gentleman. Later 1B was described as a capital messuage with shops, cellars, and rooms in the possession of Thomas Pagington, knight, and his wife Dorothy, from whom it was purchased by Edward Banckes. Banckes died in 1566, leaving the tenement to his son Edward and his heirs. In an inquisition of that year Banckes's heir was said to be his son J. Banckes, then aged 12 or more. The property was valued at £7 a year after the payment of the 2 quit-rents. (fn. 16)
Late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Michael Fyssher died in 1549, after his son and heir apparent John, and his properties descended to John's daughter Agnes, who by 1543 had married Oliver St. John of Bletso (Beds.). In 1557 1A was a messuage in the possession of Oliver St. John, esquire, and his wife Agnes, against whom Thomas Standbrydge, citizen and girdler, and his wife Cristina recovered possession in the court of Husting. In 1569 Standbrydge and Cristina sold the messuage to Thomas Harbert, citizen and girdler, for £140, the sale to be void if this sum was repaid to Harbert by 24 December 1570. The messuage, with its shops, cellars, solars, yards and warehouses, had been held by Richard Skynner, mercer, under a lease, now expired, made to him by S... Fisher, kt., and his wife Margaret. Skynner had probably occupied the messuage in 1541 and 1544, when he was taxed as a resident of the parish. He was succeeded by Alexander Calfhill, merchant tailor, and then the house was divided into 4 units, for in 1570 it was said to be then or lately in the occupation of Edward Churcheman, ironmonger, Michael Gibson, Richard Reasby, scrivener, and Christopher Edwardes, haberdasher. Among the evidences conveyed as part of the title were a bond in £66. 13s. 4d. by William Wytt, sadler, and Thomas Bridge, and a bond in £40 by John Shrawley, both to the vendor. Harbert, also known as Herbert, continued in possession of the property, and in 1584 leased it to William Wildecotte for a term of 31 years, due to end in 1615, at £8 rent. The property descended from Herbert, who died in 1609, to his cousins and heirs, Roger Papworth, gentleman, of Tavistock (Devon) and Peter Payne of Shrewsbury (Salop.) who divided Herbert's estate between them. In May 1609 Papworth granted his share, which included 1A, to Giles Hawkeridge, gentleman, of London for a term of 300 years at a peppercorn rent. Hawkeridge's estate was then vested in himself, Hugh Jewell, and Henry Millner, gentleman, who in July 1611 jointly granted the messuages representing 1A for the remainder of the 300 years to William Fynche, citizen and salter, who was acting as the trustee of John Wright, gentleman, of Grays Inn. In December 1611 Papworth and Payne sold their interest in Herbert's former properties to Thomas Foxall and Edward James, citizens and grocers. In May 1612 Wright, Foxall, and James, in return for payments of £460 to Wright and 5s. to Foxall and James granted the messuages representing 1A to Robert Wilson, the elder, citizen and barber-surgeon, Richard Browne, citizen and plasterer, Richard Feild, citizen and stationer, and John Stokes, citizen and cook, who were to hold the property severally. In June 1612 Fynche, at the request of Wright, assigned the remainder of the term of 300 years to Robert Wilson the younger (son of Robert Wilson the elder), Roger Snelson, citizen and dyer, Thomas Feild, citizen and merchant tailor, and William Phillips, citizen and cook. Later that year Foxall and James gave up their right in the 4 messuages representing 1A to Wilson the elder, Browne, Feild, and Stokes by means of a fine and in return for a payment of £120. According to the conveyance of May 1612 the 4 grantees and their heirs were to hold each of the 4 parts of the property to the use of one of their number. The 4 parts, identified here as 1Ai-iv, were further described in a schedule attached to the conveyance. The arrangement of these parts is depicted so far as possible in Fig. 2. (fn. 17)
1Ai was to be held to the use of Robert Wilson the elder and his heirs, and consisted of a shop with a little room at the back occupied by Wilson. The shop measured 8 ft. 8 in. (2.64 m.) at the N. end, 22 ft. 6 in. (6.86 m.) on the E. side, and 10 ft. 8 1/2 in. (3.26 m.) at the S. end; it was 8 ft. 9 in. (2.67 m.) high to the ceiling at the N. end, and at the S. end, where there was a little shop measuring 6 ft. (1.83 m.) E./W. by 3 ft. (914 mm.) N./S., it was 10 ft. 2 1/2 in. (3.11 m.) high. A staircase leading up to 1Aii projected up to 2 ft. 2 in. (660 mm.) into the shop. The back room was at the S. end of the shop and was 5 ft. 10 1/2 in. (1.79 m.) high. There was a party wall between the shop and 1Aii on the W. side and another party wall between the shop and 1Aiii on the S. side. A sink or watercourse serving both 1Ai and 1Aii and to be maintained jointly by the owners of those properties ran through the little room into the street.
1Aii was to be held to the use of Richard Browne the elder and consisted of a house with a vault or cellar and several rooms then occupied by Browne. At the N. end the house measured 12 ft. (3.66 m.) E./W. and 13 ft. (3.96 m.) N./S., with a little break of ground on the W. side without the plate and containing 3 ft. (914 mm.) by the door coming in. There was a little room directly over the back room in 1Ai measuring 8 ft. (2.44 m.) N./S., by 10 ft. 8 1/2 in. (3.26 m.) wide, by 4 ft. 5 in. (1.35 m.) high. The kitchen measured 12 ft. 6 in. (3.81 m.) E./W. by 10 ft. (3.05 m.) N./S.; it included a chimney rising up through 1Aiii and measuring on the inside 5 ft. 3 in. (1.6 m.) E./W. by 5 ft. (1.52 m.) in depth. The house included rooms measuring 10 ft. 6 in. (3.24 m.) E./W. by 14 1/2 ft. (4.42 m.) N./S. over the shop in 1Ai and other rooms over that shop and the shop then occupied by Browne (possibly the little shop mentioned in the description of 1Ai). Browne also had half the great vault or cellar beneath 1A divided by a party wall from the other half.
1Aiii was a house to be held to the use of Richard Feild and was occupied by Thomas Feild. It contained a shop by the street measuring 10 ft. 3 in. (3.12 m.) N./S. by 15 ft. E./W. and everything above the shop. There was a little coalhole under the stairs belonging to 1Aii measuring 5 ft. 3 in. (1.6 m.) E./W. by 5 ft. (1.52 m.) N./S. A back room behind the shop measured 7 ft. 8 in. (2.34 m.) E./W. by 16 ft. 3 in. (4.95 m.) N./S. A kitchen belonging to 1Aiv adjoined the back room and shop. At the S. end of the back room was a staircase measuring 4 ft. by 3 ft. (1.22 m. by 914 mm.) and 5 ft. 9 in. (1.75 m.) high. There was also a little privy at the S. end of the back room, leading up 6 steps and measuring 5 ft. (1.52 m.) E./W. by 4 ft. 9 in. (1.45 m.) N./S. by 6 ft. (1.83 m.) high. The owner was to have access through the vault forming part of 1Aiv for emptying this privy. The house also contained a little plot between the privy and the back room measuring 5 ft. (1.52 m.) E./W., by 4 1/2 ft. (1.37 m.), by 9 ft. (2.74 m.) high. There was a room over the kitchen of 1Aiv measuring 17 ft. (5.18 m.) E./W. by 10 ft. 5 in. (3.17 m.) N./S. with a party wall on the S. side, and the rooms or garrets above were also part of the house. The kitchen of 1Aiii measured 22 ft. 6 in. (6.86 m.) from the 'range wall' of the shop. In 1624 (see below) the kitchen in this house was at first floor level over the shop, and if this was also the case in 1612 it might mean that the storey above the shop did not jetty out into the street, for the 'range' or street wall of the shop would not otherwise be a place from which it would be possible to take a measurement at first floor level. The distance from the street wall to the rear wall of the back room would have been almost exactly 22 ft. 6 in. (6.86 m.). There was a room over the kitchen and the 'dark room' in 1Aii measuring 26 ft. 4 in. (8.03 m.) E./W. by 10 ft. 9 in. (3.28 m.) N./S. The other rooms above this were also part of the house and there was a party wall between this room and the hall of 1Aii. The watercourse belonging to this house flowed through 1Aiv.
1Aiv was a house with a vault to be held to the use of John Stokes and was occupied by Joseph Holley and John Stokes. The house measured 18 ft. (5.49 m.) E./W. by 24 ft. 5 in. (1.65 m.) N./S. The kitchen was under a chamber belonging to 1Aiii and measured 15 ft. (4.57 m.) E./W., by 10 ft. 5 in. (3.17 m.) N./S., by 9 ft. 8 in. (2.95 m.) high; the kitchen chimney rose through the chamber above. There was a 'slip of housing' at first floor level over the back room and privy of 1Aiii, measuring 5 ft. 6 in. (1.68 m.) E./W. by 14 ft. (4.27 m.) N./S. The 'storey' (ground or first floor?) of this house was 11 ft. (3.35 m.) high. There was a funnel leading down into the vault through the room in 1Aiii which lay behind the shop of that house. The house also included half the great vault below 1A.
In 1624 Richard Feild, citizen and stationer, granted the messuage representing 1Aiii to Richard Browne, citizen and plasterer, in return for a payment of £100. The messuage was now occupied by Joseph Hollyes, glazier, who in 1612 had probably occupied part of 1Aiv. It contained a shop, a back room, a kitchen and 3 chambers on one floor over the shop and back room, and 2 garrets with a passage leading to them. This house evidently contained 2 storeys above ground with garrets in addition. 1Aii and 1Aiii thus came into the same ownership. In 1625 Browne, who occupied 1Aii, assured the use of these 2 messuages to himself and his wife Elizabeth for life, and then to his daughter Elizabeth and her legitimate heirs. Browne died in 1633, when he occupied one of the messuages and Abel Gurney occupied the other. Browne left the messuages to his wife Elizabeth, who before the end of the year married Edward Hurst of Kingston upon Thames. After this, but still in 1633, Browne's son, Richard Browne, quitclaimed in the property to Elizabeth and to his late father's daughter Elizabeth, wife of Henry Dixon, haberdasher. Only one of the houses, that occupied by Gurney, appears to be listed in the tithe assessment of 1638, when it was valued at £15 a year. (fn. 18)
Abel Gourney, citizen and cook, appears to have occupied the whole property (1Aii-iii) in 1641, when the owners, Edward Hurst, gentleman, his wife Elizabeth, Henry Dixon, and his wife Elizabeth leased it to him for a term of 30 years in return for a payment of £30 and a rent of £34. The tenant was to be responsible for repairs and the rent due to the chief lords (presumably a share of the £1. 10s. formerly due to Kilburn Priory and now due to the king). The house included cellars, and in the schedule of fixtures the following rooms and fittings were listed: a shop, of which the E. side was boarded and where there were painted cloths above the boards up to the ceiling; a kitchen, with 3 shelves and an old cupboard; an entry with a cupboard; a room over the barber's shop, wainscoted with a bench on the N. side and along half the E. end; a room adjoining, with 2 cupboards and 2 doors; a room over that over the barber's shop and containing painted cloth, a door, and another door with a lock and key leading to the room adjoining; rooms under the garret containing 2 doors, a table and 4 shelves; a study with a cupboard; a garret containing a door with a lock and 2 other doors. The barber's shop mentioned in the schedule was presumably part of 1Ai and this part of the structure evidently contained 3 storeys above ground, although there seems not to have been a garret above. Gurney may have occupied this house until his death in 1658. The occupants of this property cannot certainly be identified in the Hearth Tax assessment of 1666, but they may have been: Richard Hollis, hot-presser, for a house of 5 hearths (possibly 1Aiii); Thomas Dumsell, cook, Thomas Eatch, porter, and Elizabeth Baldwin for a single house (possibly 1Aii) where they had 1, 2, and 1 hearths, respectively. (fn. 19)
John Stokes, the owner of 1Aiv, died in 1618-19 leaving his house with the vault beneath to his son Thomas Stokes. The house was at that time inhabited by Thomas Berrye, salter. In 1627 Thomas Stoak, citizen and merchant tailor, leased it to William Darracke, citizen and grocer, for a term of 24 years at £4 rent. In 1628 Stoak leased his interest in the property to John Smith, citizen and leatherseller, for a term of 300 years at a peppercorn rent. Stoak's right in the property appears to have passed to John Harris, citizen and salter, and his wife Sarah, who later in 1628 sold the messuage, described as in 1612 and subject to the 2 leases granted by Stoak, to John Graves of Limehouse, shipwright, his wife Sarah, and their children John Graves and Sara Graves, in return for a payment of £250. The Graveses' interest in the property passed to Thomas Graves of Charlestown, New England, mariner, and Abraham Graves of Limehouse, shipwright, who in 1647 leased it to William Darracke, citizen and grocer for a term of 21 years from 1651 at £18 rent. Stoak's lease of 1628 was assigned to Benjamin Potter of London in trust for Daniel Tanner, citizen and girdler, and his heirs. Tanner's interest passed to his son, Ezekiel Tanner, citizen and girdler, who in 1664 with his wife Frances and in return for a payment of £300 granted the property to Matthew Randolph of London, merchant. The William Darracke who had taken the lease in 1627 was probably identical with the man of that name who took the lease in 1647 and probably continued to live in the house until his death in 1660, when he was a resident of the parish. He was probably the Mr. Darrack who in 1633 appears to have lived in this property and whose house in Soper Lane was in 1638 valued at £30 a year. In 1642 William Darracke was assessed for a fifteenth, probably as a resident of this house, and on the same occasion he was assessed jointly with Abel Gurney, the occupant of 1Aii-iii for a vault. He was succeeded by his son Enoch Darrick, seedsman, who between 1662 and 1666 occupied a house of 6 hearths in this part of Soper Lane. Enoch was presumably the 'Derrick' who in 1664 was said to owe the Crown a rent of 9s., formerly due to Kilburn Priory, for a tenement called the Trumpet. (fn. 20)
It thus appears that William Darricke, or successive persons of that name, inhabited 1Aiv between 1627 and 1660. There are in addition, however, records of several individuals who appear to have held or inhabited parts of 1A (possibly parts of 1Aiv) in the mid 17th century, but who cannot be associated more specifically with individual houses. One of these was Thomas Perkins, assessed as such in 1642 and probably identical with the Mr. Perkins whose shop near here was valued at £5 in 1638 and who apparently occupied the same property in 1633. Another was Mr. Smith, whose house was valued at £5 in 1638; he was probably identical with the Josias Smith resident here in 1642. In 1637 Josias Smith, taylor, was said to be entertaining as inmates in his house in Soper Lane John Fox and his wife; by 1642, however, Fox appears to have been living on the opposite side of Soper Lane. References to the Crown rent once due to Kilburn Priory mention other people associated with the property at this period. In 1652 the commissioners for the sale of Crown rents conveyed 20s. 8d. out of the £1. 10s. rent due from 1A with many other rents to William Tucker. This rent was said to be due from a tenement formerly held by Alexander Cawfield and then held by one Stanbridge. These tenants were also mentioned in another document in connection with 9s. out of the £1. 10s. rent, and were presumably identical with Alexander Calfhill and Thomas Standbrydge, respectively, who had held the property in the mid-16th century (see above). In 1664, as we have seen, this 9s. appears to have been due from Darracke's tenement (1Aiv), but the same list, probably as a result of a confusion, records the full rent of £1. 10s. as being due from a tenement held by one Hall and others. Hall was probably identical with the Thomas Hall who had an interest in the site, possibly concerning 1Ai, in 1670 (see below). (fn. 21)
This part of 1 appears to have continued as one or two large houses. In 1637, in an abutment from 104/23B, it was described as a tenement occupied by John Parker, a merchant and member of the Haberdashers' Company, who in 1638 inhabited a house here valued at £53 a year. This was probably the W. part of the property, identified here as 1Bi. In 1638 the E. part of the property (1Bii) was a house occupied by Parker's brother, Joseph Parker, and valued at £25 a year. John and Joseph had purchased these 2 messuages in trust for John and his heirs. By his will, drawn up and proved in 1639 John, who died abroad, left the rent from his Soper Lane property, said to be worth £80 a year, to his wife Joan for life according to her jointure and then to be shared among his 5 daughters, Bridget, Sarah, and Mary, who each died without issue, and Joanna and Elizabeth. John stipulated that after the deaths of his daughters the fee simple of the houses was to pass to the right heirs of his body. Joseph Parker, citizen and skinner, died between 1642 and 1644, leaving as heir his daughter Elizabeth, who as Elizabeth Clarke, widow, in 1661 conveyed one moiety of the property to Joanna, daughter of John Parker, and her male issue by her deceased husband, Robert Wilson of Merton (Surrey), and the other moiety to Joanna's sister Elizabeth, who subsequently married Luke Cordwell, esquire, of Higham (Kent). Later in 1661 Cordwell and his wife Elizabeth agreed that they would levy a fine to Samuel Shucford, citizen and draper, and Patrick Bamford and John Marshall, citizens and merchant tailors, of the moiety of 1B and other properties to the use of Cordwell and his heirs. (fn. 22)
One of the 2 messuages in 1B was occupied by Henry Hickford, merchant, between 1651 and his death in 1659-60. His brother John Hickford, also a merchant, was lodging in a chamber in Henry's house when he drew up his will in 1651 (proved in 1656). The other messuage in 1661 was, or had recently been, occupied by Elizabeth Dewe. She was probably the widow of Arthur Dewe, citizen and skinner, who was a resident of the parish at the time of his death in 1652 and had probably lived in this messuage. The 2 houses were later said to have been occupied at the time of the Great Fire by Samuel Danvers and Thomas Trotman, neither of whose names appear in the Hearth Tax assessment of 1666. From this assessment it seems that the occupants of 1B in 1666 may have been James Bridger, merchant, with a house of 10 hearths and Richard Johnson with a house of 5 hearths. (fn. 23)
After the great fire
After the Fire most of 1A was taken by the City for making Queen Street. In 1670 Matthew Randolph of London, merchant, and Thomas Hall had interests in the site of a messuage, a shop, and a room which were to be acquired for enlarging the street and wished for more compensation than was offered. Since Randolph owned 1Aiv, and the owners of 1Aii-iii at this period are known, Hall was probably the owner of 1Ai. In 1670 Randolph sold the site of 1Aiv to the City for £161. The site of 1Aii and 1Aiii was in the possession of Elizabeth Dixon, daughter of Richard Browne, and now a widow, who in 1669 sold it to the City for £240. In 1670-1 Henry Dixon, who was probably a relative of Elizabeth, was paid £210 for ground in Soper Lane, presumably for an interest in this property. There is a drawn survey of the ground taken for enlarging this part of Queen Street which mistakenly identifies the owner as Luke Cordwell. (fn. 24)
In 1670 William Walters, esquire, of Knightthorpe (Leics.), his wife Joanna, widow of Robert Wilson, Luke Cordwell and his wife Elizabeth, in return for payments of £550 to Cordwell and 5s. to Walters and his wife, agreed that they would levy a fine to Edmund Draper, esquire, of Edmonton (Middx.) of the site of the 2 messuages representing 1B. The fine was to be to the use of William Bagnall, gentleman, of the Inner Temple, who was party to the agreement, so that he would become tenant of the freehold and thus allow Draper to effect a common recovery against him at Cordwell's cost. In March 1672, in return for a payment of £1300, Draper and his wife Susan sold the site to William Williamson, gentleman, of Newton Heath in Manchester (Lancs.) and John Heeth, yeoman, of Manchester. Later that month the city corporation sold to Williamson for £210 a strip of ground, presumably acquired as part of 1A and not required for widening the street, which lay in front of Williamson's new messuages in Queen Street. This strip measured 73 ft. (22.25 m.) from N. to S., 2 ft. (610 mm.) at the N. end, and 8 in. (203 mm.) at the S. end. In April Edmund Draper was paid £30 by the city 'for his damage in a parcel of ground in Queen Street'; this payment may have been for the small part of 1B to the W. of 1Aiv, which would appear from a comparison of the drawn survey of c. 1670 with the plan of 1A as reconstructed from the records of 1612 to have been taken into Queen Street. (fn. 25)