St. Pancras Soper Lane 145/5

Pages 664-667

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 13th and 14th centuries 5 consisted of 2 shops with rooms above on the W. side of Soper Lane between 4 on the S., 6 on the N., and 8 on the W. The S. shop is identified here as 5A, and the N. shop as 5B. The 2 shops were in the same ownership during the early 13th century; they again came into one ownership in the late 13th century, and in the 14th century were acquired by St. Paul's Cathedral as part of the endowment of a chantry. There are no specific references to the shops after 1418 and it seems likely that they were demolished during the 15th century, at about the same time as the shops on 7. The site then formed part of Soper Lane, although in the 17th century the owners or tenants of parts of 8 (q.v.) appear to have erected sheds on it.

Thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries

In the early 13th century the property belonged to William son of Benedict, alderman of Cheap between c. 1220 and c. 1237, who probably had 2 shops there. William seems also to have owned other shops on the W. side of Soper Lane (see 7) and on the E. side of the lane (see 33, 35A, 35B and probably 25-30).


By 1272 5A was described in an abutment from 5B as a shop which had belonged to William son of Benedict. It passed to William's son Lawrence, who granted it to John de Lavenham, skinner, reserving a rent of 12s. In 1260-1 de Lavenham granted the shop and solar, lying in vico de Sopereslane, to Walter le Weder of London, who made a payment of £10. 13s. 4d. and was to pay the rent of 12s. and a rent of a clove of gillyflower to de Lavenham and his heirs. In 1279 the shop was in the possession of Thomas Heyron, pepperer, who in 1283-4 enfeoffed William le Callere of the property. By this time St. Bartholomew's Hospital had a rent of 9s. 4d. from the shop, which the hospital had apparently acquired under the will of Nicholas Bat, enrolled in 1259. Bat's will mentions 2 rents in Soper Lane: one of 6s. 8d. which one Butunar owed him and another of 9s. due from Roger Burser. Bat left both, among other rents, to his wife Elizabeth for life, and she was to pay 4s. a year out of this income to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. One of the two rents (probably that due from Roger Burser) was presumably due from 5A. The descent of Walter le Weder's interest in the property is uncertain. He may have granted it to Thomas Heyron, reserving 6s. 8d. rent. In 1282-3, as Walter le Wodere, he granted 6s. 8d. quit-rent from the shop and solar, now said to be next to the S. part of the tenement of St. Martin le Grand (8), to Robert le Seneschal of London, chaplain, who gave £3 in gersuma. In 1283, when Robert took naam in the property for 3 terms' arrears of his rent, 5A was occupied by John le Chaucer and his kinsman Philip, who claimed that Robert had no right to the rent. (fn. 1)

By his will, enrolled in 1289, William le Callere left this shop to his brother Robert. This was Robert le Callere, citizen and mercer, who in 1319 leased the property for a term of 7 years to Richard de Elsing of Norfolk, a mercer of London, at rents of £3. 6s. 8d. for the first 2 years and £4 a year thereafter. The landlord was to be responsible for repairs and the tenant bound himself in £10 not to vacate or surrender the property. Richard's brother, William de Elsing, was also party to a pledge to observe the covenants. Richard still held the shop in 1325. This may have been one of his shops in Soper Lane where in 1332, shortly after his death, a large quantity of fine textiles and other goods worth more than £280 in all, was found to be in the care of his 3 apprentices. The lease of 1319 describes 5A, a shop with a solar above, in some detail: within the shop were 2 chests and 3 stalls, and there were a further 2 stalls before the door. In 1323 Robert le Callere granted the shop to Roger de Waltham, canon of St. Paul's. (fn. 2)

Lawrence son of William son of Benedict was also known as Lawrence of St. Michael, and under that name sold rents in Soper Lane totalling £3. 6s. 10d. and including the 12s. from 5A to Philip le Taylur. By his will, enrolled in 1292, Philip left these rents to the church of St. Michael Paternoster as part of the endowment of 2 chantry chaplains. (fn. 3)


St. Paul's had a rent of 2s. from this property during the 13th century. It is just possible that this had been granted to the cathedral c. 1220 by Peter Ketel from a shop which had once formed part of a property belonging to Reginald of Cornhill. It is more likely, however, that Ketel's property was identical with 1 (q.v.). Towards the end of the reign of Henry III (d. 1272) Walter son of Reginald of St. Edmund and his wife Avice granted to Gonnilda Fierbraz a shop representing 5B in return for a payment of £5. 6s. 8d. and rents of 1/8 lb. of cummin or 1/4 lb. less 1/2d. to the donors, 4s. to Lawrence son of William son of Benedict and his heirs, and 2s. to the church of St. Paul. The shop measured in front next to the novus viculus (Soper Lane) 1 5/8 ells of King Henry III less an inch (4 ft. 9 1/2 in.; 1.46 m.), at the rear 1 1/2 ells less an inch (4 ft. 5 in.; 1.35 m.), and in length 3 3/8 ells (10 ft. 1 1/2 in.; 3.09 m.). In 1279-80 Gonnilda Fierbraz granted the same property, now described as a shop with a solar, to Hugh de Chelmersford, ironmonger, and his wife Alice de Geldeford, who paid £12. 13s. 4d. in gersummam and were to render a rent of 1/2d. to the grantor and her heirs and the other rents as in the previous grants, except that the 4s. was now due to Adam of St. Albans, junior, who had perhaps purchased it from Lawrence son of William son of Benedict. Hugh de Chelmeresford and his wife Alice then, in 1291-2, granted 13s. 4d. quit-rent out of the shop to William de Garton, mercer, who paid £6 for it. In 1293, on or before 23 October, Hugh and Alice granted the shop itself to de Garton, now described as citizen and mercer, who paid £4. 6s. 8d. for it and was to render 1/2d. rent to the donors. In a document dated 15 October 1293 de Garton granted to Hugh and Alice a place in this shop and a stall in front which were to serve for Alice to trade in (pur le mestier cele Aliz) and which they were to hold for the term of Alice's life only. The place measured 1 1/2 ells (4 ft. 6 in.; 1.37 m.) in depth from the stall in front; the stall was in the window (en la fenestre: presumably the stall could be lifted up in order to close the opening at night) and extended 1 1/4 ells less 2 in. (3 ft. 7 in.; 1.09 m.) in length from the entry to the shop on the S. to the post of the window on the N. If these dimensions were correct, the width of the entry (i.e. the width of the shop less the length of the stall) can have been only 1 ft. 2 1/2 in. (368 mm.). (fn. 4)

This shop, or perhaps that part of it which was not used by Hugh de Chelmeresford and his wife Alice, came into the possession or tenure of William le Callere, who by his will, enrolled in 1289, left to his brother Richard his shop on the W. side of Soper Lane which was the nearer to Cheapside of his 2 shops there (the other shop was 5A). Richard le Callere, in a nuncupative testament enrolled in 1291, left the shop to his brother Robert le Callere. Robert presumably obtained full possession of the property in 1295-6, when William de Garton granted him the shop and appurtenances, with dimensions as in the earlier deeds, in return for a sum of money and a rent of a clove of gillyflower. In 1303 Hugh de Chelmeresford and his wife Alice quitclaimed in the shop to Robert le Callere, who in 1323 granted it to Roger de Waltham, canon of St. Paul's. (fn. 5)

The 4s. rent due from 5B descended to Richard of St. Albans, clerk, who in 1316 granted it to William de Leyre, citizen. By his will, dated 1322 and enrolled in 1323, William left the rent to his son Robert de Leire, who by his will, dated and enrolled in 1326, left his rents in London to be sold. In 1336 Robert's executors sold this and other rents to William de Waynflete, chaplain, who in 1337 quitclaimed in the 4s. rent to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, Roger de Waltham, and the chaplains celebrating for Roger. (fn. 6)

Fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries (includes 25-6)

During this period these 2 shops and a third on the opposite side of the lane (25-6) were in the possession of St. Paul's Cathedral and formed part of the endowment of a chantry. The 3 shops can usually be distinguished from the other properties recorded in the rent accounts concerning this chantry, but, except in 1325, it is not possible certainly to identify specific references concerning any one of the shops, and so in the following account the 3 shops are dealt with as a group. The tenants of each of the shops can be identified, however, in a list of 1325 and it is possible that in later rentals the tenants' names were entered in the same order. This is the principal basis of the identifications suggested here.

Roger de Waltham acquired the 2 shops representing 5 from Robert le Callere in 1323. At the same time Roger acquired a body of evidences concerning the shops, most of the originals of which now survive in the St. Paul's archive, and agreed to return the evidences to Robert or his heirs should they be called to warrant or defend the title. In 1325 a royal licence was obtained for de Waltham to alienate these and other properties, worth £8. 6s. 8d. clear in all, to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's as the endowment for a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of Roger, his ancestors, relations, benefactors, and friends and for the soul of Anthony Bek (d. 1311), formerly bishop of Durham. Later that year the properties were granted to St. Paul's and the chantry was established. A further agreement concerning the endowment and running of the chantry was made in 1329 and confirmed by the bishop of London. In 1325 5 was said to be charged with rents of 12s. to the chantry of Philip the tailor in the church of St. Michael Paternoster, 9s. 4d. to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 2s. (due at Michaelmas and Easter) to the work (opus) of St. Paul's. The 4s. rent once due to Lawrence son of William son of Benedict had probably not been paid for some time and was formally extinguished in 1337 (see above). The 9s. 4d. rent was received by St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1389, but by 1413-14 seems no longer to be being paid by the chaplains at St. Paul's. Philip the tailor's chantry received £1. 2s. rent altogether from the 3 shops in Soper Lane in 1325, but by 1413-14 only 15s. 2d. of this total was being paid. The 2s. rent due to the work of St. Paul's was probably extinguished in or soon after 1325. In 1413-14 and 1417-18 the chantry chaplains paid a rent of 10d. out of the shops in Soper Lane to Bermondsey Abbey. An account of the abbey's revenues in the summer of 1418 noted that 6s. 10d. rent was due from a tenement of John Wade, chaplain, in the parish of St. Pancras in Soper Lane, and a St. Paul's source of c. 1440 records the same sum as being due to Bermondsey Abbey from the 3 shops in Soper Lane. Wade may have been one of the chaplains of Roger Waltham's chantry, although he seems not to have held that position in 1417-18 or earlier. (fn. 7)

The 3 shops (5A, 5B, 25-6) were let for £11. 6s. 8d. rent in 1325, when the landlord was probably responsible for repairs to all 3 (as he certainly was for 5A: see above). In 1363-4 the 3 shops were let for £9 rent, the landlord being responsible for repairs, and this rent was probably received until 1368-9 when the shops were let for £7, the tenants now being responsible for repairs. From 1369-70 onwards the landlord seems again to have assumed responsibility for repairs, and minor repairs are recorded in the accounts from 1383 onwards. A total of £7. 13s. 4d. rent was expected, and probably received, for 1369-70. £8 was received in 1370-1, £7 in 1371-2, and £5. 2s. 6d. in 1384-5. For Easter term 1411 £1. 1s. 8d. rent was expected, representing an annual rent of £4. 6s. 8d., but on account of a vacancy only 15s. was received. In 1413-14 £4 rent was received, and in 1417-18 £3. 2s. was expected, but on account of a vacancy for one term only £2. 17s. 6d. was received. (fn. 8)

The repairs undertaken mostly concerned the doors, their locks, and the windows of the shops. At least one of the shops had a tiled roof and they probably all had upper storeys which served as domestic accommodation. On several occasions cords were purchased for the windows, perhaps for raising and lowering the stalls and shutters with which the shop windows seem to have been closed. In 1413-14 2 cords and 2 pulleys (poleis) were purchased for one shop. (fn. 9)

In 1325 Richard de Elsyng held 5A for £4 rent, John de Orleton held 5B for £3. 6s. 8d. rent, and William de Elsyng held 25-6 for £4 rent. (fn. 10)

Between 1369 and 1418 the tenants of each of the shops are recorded in the accounts and their successions can be established. The shop let for the greatest rent was probably 25-6. Before 1369 it was held by Thomas Mordal, whose widow paid £3 rent for it in 1369-70. John Whyte, mercer, paid the same rent between 1370 and 1372. The next tenant known is Thomas Vynent, from whose shop £1 rent was in default in 1383-4 and who paid £2. 2s. 6d. rent in 1384-5. Between 1411 and 1414 Maud Feltham held the shop for £2 rent and was said to dwell there. Cecilia Estmonden paid £1. 4s. rent for 1417-18. The other 2 shops were probably 5A and 5B. 5A was probably the one let for the larger rent. Before 1369 John Hardingham held it. Elizabeth Hardingham, probably John's widow, paid £2. 13s. 4d. rent in 1369-70. William More, vintner (vynet') paid the same between 1370 and 1372. 13s. 4d. was in default from More's shop in 1383-4, and in 1384-5 he paid £2 rent. Alice Belgrave lived in the shop between 1411 and 1414, paying £1 rent, and Joan Andrew paid 18s. rent in 1417-18. The third shop was probably 5B. William Willesden held it for £2 rent in 1369-70 and paid 13s. 4d. for part of the following year, when Nicholas Skynner paid £1. 13s. 4d. rent and Skynner's wife paid 10s. rent for the pentice there. Skynner paid £2. 6s. 8d. rent in 1371- 2. £2 rent was in default from this shop in 1383-4, £1 was received in 1384-5, and at Easter 1411, when it was vacant, the shop had recently been held by Katharine Bekeryngton or Ivebercon, for £1. 6s. 8d. rent. Joan Athelard paid £1 rent in 1413-14 and John (rectius Joan?) Adelard the same in 1417-18. (fn. 11)

The rapid decline in the rent-value of these shops during the late 14th and early 15th centuries suggests that the buildings were falling into disrepair. There are no later references to 5A and 5B, although 25-6 (q.v.) appears in the St. Paul's records of the early 16th century. 5A and 5B were probably demolished during the 15th century.


  • 1. GL, MSS 25121/10, 11, 19, 1639, 1643; HR 2(55), 14(174); St. Bartholomew's Cart, no. 818; SBH, Little Cartulary, ff. 184v-5; HCP 12, m. 4.
  • 2. HR 18(86), 51(128); GL, MSS 25121/1637-9, 1648; PRO, E154/1/18a.
  • 3. HR 21(66).
  • 4. HR 14(174), 22(47-8); GL, MSS 25121/19, 1640-1, 1643.
  • 5. HR 18(86), 20(6), 51(128); GL, MSS 25121/1632, 1636.
  • 6. HR 44(112), 51(98), 63(280); Goldsmiths' Company, Great Register, ff. 51v-52v; GL, MSS 25121/1645.
  • 7. GL, MSS 25121/1639, 1650, 3036-7, 3039; 25161/1-10, passim (a/cs of de Waltham's chantry); 25241/13, 23. PRO, C143/184/12; Cal Pat R 1324-7, p. 162.
  • 8. GL, MSS 25161/1-10, passim (a/cs of de Waltham's chantry).
  • 9. See previous note.
  • 10. GL, MS 25121/3037.
  • 11. See note 8.