Book 2, Ch. 13: Candlewick Ward

A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark. Originally published by R Baldwin, London, 1773.

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John Noorthouck, 'Book 2, Ch. 13: Candlewick Ward', A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark, (London, 1773), pp. 576-579. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

John Noorthouck. "Book 2, Ch. 13: Candlewick Ward", in A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark, (London, 1773) 576-579. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

Noorthouck, John. "Book 2, Ch. 13: Candlewick Ward", A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark, (London, 1773). 576-579. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

In this section



Candlewick, Candlewick-street, or Candlewright-street-ward, as it is found in ancient records, takes its name from the street now called Cannon-street; formerly chiefly inhabited by candle-wrights, or makers of tallow and wax candles; a very profitable business in popish times when they consumed great quantities of wax lights in the churches.

Figure 15:

Plan of Candlewick and Langbourn wards

Boundaries.; Principal streets.

It is bounded on the north by Langbourn ward; on the east by Bridge ward; on the south by Bridge and Dowgate-wards; and on the west by Dowgate and Wallbrook wards. The principal streets in this small ward, are, the west end of Cannon-street, Great Eastcheap, and parts of some considerable lanes that run into them from the north and south, as will appear by the plan. Great Eastcheap originally took its name from a market kept there, to serve the east part of the city; which was afterward removed to Leadenhall. By the early account we have of Eastcheap-market, and its vicinity to the ferry, or Roman trajectus, over the Thames, there is great reason to suppose this to be the first, or one of the first markets in London. In this state it continued for some ages, especially for victuals; as may be collected from the song, called London Lickpenny, made by John Lydgate, a monk of Bury, in the reign of Henry V. (fn. 1).

Oldest tavern in London.

In this street is the Boar's-head tavern, the house that Shakespeare represents prince Henry indulging his frolics in, with Falstaff and the rest of his libertine companions; and which is said to be the oldest tavern in London.

St. Mary Abchurch.

The only public buildings in this ward are the churches, which are these following. St. Mary Abchurch stands near the south west end of Abchurch-lane, and is named from its dedication to the Virgin Mary, with the additional appellation of Ab or Upchurch, on account of its elevation in comparison of the neighbouring ground toward the Thames; to distinguish it from the many other churches of the same name in this city. A church dedicated to St. Mary has stood here from very early times; and we find that in the year 1448, it was in the patronage of the prior and canons of St. Mary Overy's; but devolving to the crown in the reign of queen Elizabeth, she granted the perpetual advowson to Corpus Christi college in Cambridge, in whom it has continued to the present time.

The old church being consumed by the fire in 1666, the present one was raised in its stead; to which is annexed the parish of St. Laurence Poultney, which church was so denominated from a college founded near it in the reign of Edward III. by John Poultney, who had been several times mayor of London; for a master, warden, 13 priests, and 4 choristers. The present church of St. Mary Abchurch is of brick, strengthened by rustic quoins of stone at the corners, with three windows on each side; the middlemost rising higher and taking up the space above, which is filled with round windows over the two smaller ones. The tower is square, the corners strengthened with rustic; and a large window in the center of each face, ornamented like the rest. From the tower rises a kind of dome: and upon its summit stands a plain spire, supported by a lanthern base.

St. Clement's Eastcheap

Near the south east end of St. Clement's-lane stands the church of St. Clement's Eastcheap, which is dedicated to St. Clement, disciple of St. Peter the apostle, and ordained bishop of Rome in the year 93. It has the addition of Eastcheap, from its situation, and to distinguish it from other churches dedicated to the same saint. It was founded in or before the year 1332: and, before the suppression of religious houses, was in the gift of the abbot and convent of St. Peter's, Westminster. But queen Mary, in the first year of her reign, gave the advowson thereof to the bishop of London for ever; who now is the patron. This church is a rectory, it was burnt down in 1666, but rebuilt soon after; and the living is considerably augmented, by the parish of St. Martin's Orgar being annexed to it. It is a neat though plain structure, having a square tower finished with a balustrade round the top.

St. Michael Crooked Lane.

The parish church of St. Michael Crooked lane, stands in St. Michael's lane, and at the corner of Crooked lane. It is of ancient foundation, for John de Borham, rector thereof, died in the year 1304. It is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel; but at first was a very ordinary building: all the grounds hereabout being then occupied and employed as slaughter grounds and lay-stalls by the butchers of Eastcheap market. John Loveken or Loufken, four times lord-mayor of London, obtained in 1366 a grant of the ground where these laystalls were, and built a handsome and capacious church thereon; which received considerable additions from the famous Sir William Walworth, lord-mayor, who had arrived to that wealth and dignity from being a menial servant to the said Loveken. Walworth also founded a college in this church, for a master and nine priests; settled his own new-built house adjoining, for the habitation of the said master and priests for ever, and was buried in the north chapel by the choir. Robert March, a stock-fishmonger, gave two pieces of ground to be a church-yard; which was consecrated in 1392.

The patronage of this church was of old in the prior and convent of Christ's church, Canterbury; but by some unrecorded means it fell into the hands of the archbishop, about the year 1408, and is one of the 13 peculiars in this city belonging to the see of Canterbury.

This church being entirely destroyed by the great conflagration in 1666, the present edifice supplied its place. It is a plain stone structure, enlightened by a series of large arched windows: the tower is at the west end, and is carried square to a considerable height, the upper-most window in the centre of each face being ornamented with a head, and handsome festoons. From hence, instead of a balustrade, is a range of open work of the Gothic kind, with vases at the corners. From within this part the tower rises circular, diminishing in three stages, with an open buttress rising from each corner of the square tower, to the top of the first stage; from this buttress a large scroll extends to the top of the second, and a smaller to the top of the third stage: above this rises a short round spire of a peculiar kind, which swells out at the bottom, and then rounding off rises a small height, where it is terminated by a gilt ball and fane.

After the fire of London, the remains of the antient church of St. Martin Orgars, (so called from Ordgarus the founder) being found capable of repair, a body of French protestants, in communion with the episcopal church of England, obtained a lease of the tower and ruinous nave from the minister and churchwardens, and got it confirmed by parliament: in pursuance of which, the purchasers erected a church for their own use; in which they continue to perform divine service according to the rites of the English church.


  • 1. This song was only referred to by Stow; but as it was supposed to point out the circumstances of places in London at an early time, in the language and poetry of the age; the author took great pains to procure a copy of it, as a curiosity. Every year, by removing us farther from antient days, increases the difficulty of finding the perishing remains of them; but that noble repository of every thing relating to the history of mankind, the British Museum, at last afforded opportunity to give new existence to this specimen of old humourous description. LONDON LYCKPENY. A Ballade compyled by Dan John Lydgate Monke of Berry, about yeres agoe; and now newly oversene and amended. To London once my stepps I bent. Where trouth in no wyse should be faynt; To Westmynster ward I forthwith went To a man of law to make complaynt: I sayd fore Mary's love that holy saynt Pity the poore that would proceede; But fore lack of mony I cold not spede. And as I thrust the prese amonge, By froward chaunce my hood was gone, Yet for all that I stayd not longe Tyll at the kynge bench I was come: Before the judge I kneled anon And prayd hym for Gods sake to take heede; But fore lack of money I myght not spede. Beneth them sat clarkes a great rout, Which fast dyd wryte by one assent; There stoode up one and cryed about Rychard, Robert, and John of Kent: I wyst not well what this man ment, He cryed so thycke there indede; But he that lackt mony myght not spede. Unto the common place I yode thoo, Where sat one with a sylken hoode; I dyd hym reverence for I ought to do so, And told my case as well as I coud, How my goods were defrauded me by falshood; I gat not a man of his mouth for my meed, And for lack of mony I myght not spede. Unto the Rolls I gat me from thence, Before the clarkes of the chauncerye; Where many I found earnyng of pence, But none at all once regarded mee: I gave them my playnt uppon my knee, They lyked it well, when they had it reade; But lacking mony I could not be sped. In Westmynster-hall I found out one Which went in a long gown of Raye, I crouched and kneled before hym anon, For Maryes love of help I hym praye; I wot not what thou meanest gan he say; To get me thence he dyd me bede, For lack of mony I cold not spede. Within this hall neithere ryche nor yett poor Wold do for me ought although I shold dye; Which seing I gat me out of the doore, Where Flemynge began on me for to cry, Master what will you copen or by; Fyne felt hatts or spectacles to reede Lay down your sylver, and here you may spede. Then to Westmynster gate I presently went, When the sunn was at hyghe pryme; Cokes to me they tooke good entent And profered me bread with ale and wyne; Rybbs of befe both fat and ful fyne, A fayre cloth they gan for to sprede, But wantyng mony I might not be speede. Then unto London I dyd me hye, Of all the land it beareth the pryse; Hot pescods one began to crye Strabery rype and cherryes in the ryste: One bad me come nere and by some spyce Peper and sayforne they gan me bede But fore lacke of money I myght not spede. Then to the Chepe I began me drawne, Where mutch people I sawe for to stande; One ofred me velvet sylke and lawne, An othere he taketh me by the haunde, Here is Paris thred the fynest in the launde, I never was used to such thyngs in dede And wanting mony I myght not spede. Then went I forth by London stone, Throughout all Canwyke street; Drapers mutch cloth me ofred anone Then comes me one cryd hot shepes feete; One cryde makerell ryster grene, other gan greete One bad me by a hood to cover my head, But fore want of mony I myght not be sped. Then I hyed me into Estchepe, One cryes rybbs of befe and many a pye; Pewter potts they clattered on a heape There was harpe, pype, and mynstrelsye: Yea by cock, nay by cock, some began crye; Some sang of Jenken and Julyan fore there mede, But fore lack of mony I myght not spede. Then into Cornhyll anon I yode, Where was much stolen gere amonge; I saw where honge myne own hoode, That I had lost amonge the thronge: To by my own hood I thought it wronge I knew it well as I dyd my crede, But fore lack of mony I could not spede. The Taverner took mee by the sleve, Sir sayth he wyll you our wyne assay; I answered that can not mutch me greve, A penny can do no more then it may: I dranke a pynt and for it dyd pay, Yet sore a hungred from thence I yede, And wantyng my mony I cold not spede. Then hyed I me to Belyngs gate, And one cryed hoo, go we hence; I prayd a barge man for God's sake, That he would spare me my expence: Thou stepst not here quo' he under ij pence, I lyst not yet bestow my almes dede; Thus lacking mony I could not spede. Then I conveyed me into Kent; For of the law wold I meddle no more, Because no man to me took entent, I dyght me to do as I dyd before: Now Jesus that in Bethlem was bore Save London, and send trew lawyers there mede For who so wants mony with them shall not spede. Explicit London Lyck penny. Mss Harl. v. 367. p. 127, 126.