Book 2, Ch. 14: Castle Baynard ward

Pages 579-587

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

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Castle-Baynard ward.

History of Baynards castle.

This ward derives its name from an antient castle built on the bank of the Thames by a Norman baron of the name of Baynard, who came over to England with William the Conqueror. His grandson forfeiting his barony for felony, this castle was granted to Robert Fitz Richard son of Gilbert earl of Clare; and through him descended to Robert Fitz Walter, who in 1303 acknowledged his service to the city for his Castle of Baynard, before Sir John Blunt, mayor of London; and swore upon the Evangelists, that he would be true to the liberties thereof, and maintain the same, to his power, and keep the counsel of the same, &c. He was made banner bearer to the city; and in his civil capacity enjoyed a seigniory which was thus described.—"That is to say, the said Robert Fitz-Walter had a soke or ward in the city, where was a wall of the eanonry of St. Paul, which led down, by a brewhouse of St. Paul, to the Thames, and so to the side of the mill which was in the water coming down from Fleet-bridge, and went by London-wall betwixt the friars preachers and Ludgate, and so returned by the house of the said friars to the wall of the canonry of St. Paul; that is all the parish of St. Andrew, which was in the gift of his ancestors by the said seigniory," &c. This Robert died in the year 1305, leaving issue Walter Fitz-Robert, who had issue Robert Fitz-Walter; to whom the citizens of London, in the year 1320, acknowledged the right which they owed to him and his heirs for the Castle-Baynard. He died in the year 1325 and was succeeded by Robert Fitz-Robert Fitz-Walter, &c. How Baynard's Castle, with the appurtenances, fell from the Possession of the Fitz-Walters does not appear; but it may be supposed to have been seized by the crown during the contests between the houses of York and Lancaster, as from the time of Henry VI. we find several of our princes lodged occasionally there. It was afterward in the possession of the earls of Pembroke; but this castle, as well as that of Mont fitchet in the neighbourhood of it, have been long since pulled down and converted into wharfs and private buildings.

Figure 16:

Plan of Castle Baynard and Farringdon within wards

Boundaries of the ward.

The ward of Castle-Baynard is bounded on the east by Queenhithe and Bread street wards; on the south by the river Thames; on the west and on the north by the ward of Farringdon-within.

Principal streets.

The principal streets comprehended within these limits are, the west end of Thames street, St. Peter's hill, Bennet hill, Addle hill, Puddle-dock hill Knight-Rider street, Carter lane, St. Paul's chain, part of St. Paul's-church yard, the east side of Creed lane, Ave Maria lane, and Warwick lane, with the west end of Paternoster row. These streets, including the several courts and alley in them, are divided into ten precincts.

Heralds office.

On the east side of St. Bennet's hill stands the college of arms called the Heralds office. This office was burnt in 1666, but the records and books were happily preserved, excepting one or two. By the act for rebuilding the city, the edifice was to have been begun to be restored within three years after: the estimate amounted to 5000l. but the corporation, not having any money, petitioned his majesty for a commission to receive subscriptions of the nobility angentry. This petition was referred to the commissioners for executing the office of earl-marshal; and, upon their report, was granted December the 6th, 1672. But the commission directing the money so collected to be paid to such person and laid out in such a manner, as the earl marshal should appoint, so disgusted the officers, that it caused a coldness in them to promote the subscription: then fore, though they had reason to hope for large contributions, little more than 700l. was raised. What sums were farther necessary were made up out of the general fees and profits of the office, or by the contribution of particular members. Sir William Dugdale built the north west corner at his own charge; and Sir Henry St. George, Clarencieux, gave the profits of some visitations, made by deputies appointed by him for that purpose, amounting to 530l. The houses on the east side, and south east corner, were erected upon a building lease, agreable to the original plan; by which means the whole was made one uniform quadrangular building, inclosing a court as it now appears, and is one of the best designed and handsomest brick buildings in London: the hollow arch of the gateway is esteemed a curiosity. In November, 1683, the college part of the building being finished, the rooms were divided amongst the officers according to their degrees, by agreement among themselves, and afterward confirmed by the earl-marshal; which apartments have been ever since annexed to their respective offices. The inside of the lodgings were finished, at different times, by the officers to whom they belonged.

The principal front of this college is, in the lower story, ornamented with rustic, upon which are placed four Ionic pilasters, that support an angular pediment. The sides, which are conformable to this, have arched pediments, that are supported by Ionic pilasters. Within is a large room for keeping the court of honour, a lib rary, with houses and apartments for the king's heralds and pursuivants.

This corporation consists of thirteen members, viz. three kings at arms, six heralds at arms, and four pursuivants at arms: they are nominated by the earlmarshal of England, as ministers subordinate to him in the execution of their offices, and hold their places by patent during their good behaviour. They are thus distinguished.

Kings at Arms. Heralds. Pursuivants.
Garter, Richmond Rouge Dragon,
Clarencieux, Lancaster, Blue Mantle,
Norroy, Windsor, Portcullis,
Chester, Rouge Croix.

However antient the offices of heralds may be, we have hardly any memory of their titles or names before Edward III. In his reign military glory and heraldry were in high esteem, and the patents of the Kings at Arms to this day refer to the reign of king Edward III. The king created the two provincials, by the titles of Clarencieux and Norroy: he instituted Windsor and Chester heralds, and Bluemantle pursuivant; beside several others by foreign titles. From this time we find the officers of arms employed abroad and at home, both in military and civil affairs; military, with our kings and generals in the army, carrying defiances and making truces, or attending tilts, tournaments, and duels; as civil officers, in negotiations, and attending our embassadors in foreign courts; at home, waiting upon the king at court and parliament, and directing public ceremonies.

In the fifth year of king Henry V. armorial bearings were put under regulation, and it was declared, that no persons should bear coat arms, that could not justify their right thereto by prescription or grant; and from this time they were communicated to persons, as Insignia Gentilitia, and hereditary marks of noblesse. About the same time, or soon after, this victorious prince instituted the office of Garter King of Arms; and at a chapter of the Kings and Heralds, held at the siege of Rouen in Normandy, on the fifth of January, 1420, they formed themselves into a regular society, with a common seal; receiving Garter as their chief. Their first charter of incorporation was however granted by king Richard III. who assigned them a proper office and residence; from which they were ejected by Henry VII. Edward VI. confirmed their antient privileges, but his premature death left the fulfilment of his intentions in their favour to his successor Mary; who, at the intercession of Thomas duke of Norfolk, hereditary earl-marshal, incorporated them again, and granted them all that capital messuage or house called Derby-place, situate in the parishes of St. Bennet and St. Peter, in a certain street leading from the south gate of the cathedral church of St. Paul to a place called Paul's-wharf; as the same had been occupied by Sir Richard Sackville, Knt. and belonging to the estate of Edward earl of Derby, in as ample manner as the said Edward earl of Derby possessed the same, or as it was then held by the queen.

The office of Garter king at Arms was instituted for the service of the most noble order of the garter: and, for the dignity of that order, he was made sovereign within the office of arms, over all the other officers subject to the crown of England; by the name of Garter king at Arms of England. By the constitution of his office he must be a native of England, and a gentleman bearing arms. To him belongs the correction of arms, and all ensigns of arms usurped or borne unjustly; and the power of granting arms to deserving persons, and supporters to the nobility and knights of the Bath. It is likewise his office to go next before the sword in solemn processions, none interposing except the marshal; to administer the oath to all the officers of arms; to have a habit like the register of the order, barons service in the court, lodgings in Windsor castle, to bear his white rod, with a banner of the ensigns of the order thereon, before the sovereign; also, when any lord shall enter the parliament-chamber, to assign him his place, according to his degree; to carry the ensigns of the order to foreign princes, and to do, or procure to be done, what the sovereign shall enjoin relating to the order; with other duties incident to his office of principal king of arms. The other two kings are called Provincial Kings, who have particular provinces assigned them, which together comprize the whole kingdom of England; that of Clarencieux comprehending all from the river Trent southwards, that of Norroy or North roy, all from the river Trent northward. These kings at arms are distinguished from each other by their respective badges, which they may wear at all times, either in a gold chain or a ribbon, Garter's being blue, and the provincials purple.

The six heralds take place according to seniority in office. They are created with the same ceremonies as the kings, taking the oath of an herald, and are invested with a tabard of the royal arms embroidered upon sattin, not so rich as the kings, but better than the pursuivants, with a silver collar of SS: they are esquires by creation.

The four pursuivants are also created by the earl-marshal, when they take their oath of a pursuivant, and are invested with a tabard of the royal arms upon damask. It is the duty of the heralds and pursuivants to attend in the public office, one of each class together, by a monthly rotation.

These heralds are the king's servants in ordinary, and therefore, in the vacancy of the office of earl-marshal, have been sworn into their offices by the lordchamberlain. Their meetings are termed chapters, which they hold the first Thursday in every month, or oftener if necessary, wherein all matters are determined by a majority of voices: each king having two voices.

All these officers, as was before observed, have apartments in the college, annexed to their respective offices. They have likewise a public hall, where the earl-marshal occasionally holds courts of chivalry. Their public library contains a large and valuable collection of original records of the pedigrees and arms of families, funeral certificates of the nobility and gentry, public ceremonials, and other branches of heraldry and antiquities (fn. 1).

Doctors Commons.

Fronting the Heralds-office is a passage into Doctors Commons; though the principal entrance is through a court in Knight-Rider street. This is properly a college for such as study and practice the civil law: and where causes in civil and ecclesiastical cases are tried under the bishop of London, and the archbishop of Canterbury. The addition of commons is taken from the manner in which the civilians live here, commoning together, as in other colleges.

This college consists of two square courts, chiefly inhabited by doctors of the civil law.

The causes cognizable by the civil and ecclesiastical law are these: blasphemy, apostacy from christianity, heresy, schism; ordinations, institutions of clerks to benefices, celebration of divine service, matrimony, divorces, bastardy, tythes, oblations, obventions, mortuaries, delapidations, reparation of churches, probate of wills, administrations; simony, incests, fornications, adulteries, solicitation of chastity; pensions, procurations, commutation of penance, right of pews, and other things, reducible to those heads.

The civil and ecclesiastical law courts are various:

Court of Arches.

1. The Court of Arches, which is the highest court under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury; it takes its name from Bow-church, in which this court first sat for the dispatch of business. Here all appeals are directed in ecclesiastical matters within the province of Canterbury. The judge of this court is stiled the dean of arches, because he holds a jurisdiction over a deanery in London, consisting of thirteen parishes, exempt from the bishop of London's jurisdiction.

Prerogative court.

2. The Prerogative court: so denominated from the prerogative of the archbishop of Canterbury, who can here try all disputes that arise concerning the last wills of persons within his province, who have left goods to the value of 10 l. within the diocese of London, or to the amount of 5 l. in any other diocese. In this court is a judge, stiled Judex curiæ prerogativæ Cantuariensis; and a register, in whose office are deposited all original wills; which are here proved, and administration taken: under him are a deputy and several clerks.

Court of Faculties.

3. The court of Faculties and Dispensations; which can empower any one to do that which in law he could not otherwise do, viz. to marry without the publication of banns; to succeed a father in an ecclesiastical benefice; to hold two or more benefices, incompatible; &c. agreeable to act of parliament (fn. 2). The chief officer of this court is stiled magister ad facultates.

Court of Admiralty.

4. The court of Admiralty; erected in the reign of king Edward III. and in former times kept in Southwark. This court belongs to the lord high admiral of England, and takes cognizance of the death of any person murdered on the high seas. Here also are cognizable all matters relating to seamens wages, &c. The judge of this court must be a civilian, and is called Supremæ curiæ admiralitatis Angliæ locum tenens judex. This court is held in the hall of Doctors Commons, where the other civil courts are kept; except in the trial of pirates, and crimes committed at sea; on which causes the admiralty court sits at the sessions house in the Old Bailey.

Court of Delegates.

5. The court of Delegates. This is the highest court for civil affairs, to which appeals are carried from the spiritual courts; for upon abolishing of the papal power by Henry VIII. it was enacted by parliament (fn. 3), that no appeals should from thence forward be made to Rome; but in default of justice in any of the spiritual courts, the party aggrieved might appeal to the king in his court of chancery, upon which a commission under the great seal should be directed to such persons as his majesty should think fit to nominate. These commissioners, to whom the king thus delegates his power, generally consist of noblemen, bishops, and judges, both of the common and civil law; and as this court is not fixed, but occasional, these commissioners, or delegates, are varied at the pleasure of the Lord Chancellor, who appoints them.

Causes are managed in these courts by advocates and proctors.

The advocates are such as have taken the degree of doctor of the civil law, and are retained as counsellors or pleaders. These must first, upon their petition to the archbishop, obtain his fiat; and then they are admitted by the judge to practise.

The proctors, or procurators, exhibit their proxies for their clients, make themselves parties for them, and draw up and give pleas, or libels, and allegations in their behalf; produce witnesses, prepare causes for sentence, and attend the advocates with the proceedings. They act by virtue of the archbishop's fiat.

The terms, or times for carrying on causes in the civil courts, differ very little from the term times of the courts at Westminster. The court of arches has the pre-eminence of sitting first, and regulates the sittings of all the rest.

The present college was built upon the ruins of the house given to the civilians by Dr. Harvey, and burnt down in 1666. The library is a spacious room well stocked with books of all sorts, especially in civil law and history. For which they are indebted greatly to James Gibson, Esq; and to the benefactions in money given by every bishop at his consecration, to purchase books for this library.

Camera Dianæ.

Upon Paul's Wharf hill, within a great gate next to the Doctors Commons, were many good tenements, which, in their leases made from the dean and chapter, used to go by the name of Camera Dianæ, i. e. Diana's Chamber; so denominated from a spacious building, that in the time of Henry II. stood where they were afterward erected. In this Camera, or arched and vaulted structure, full of intricate ways and windings, this Henry II. (as sometime he did at Woodstock) is reported to have kept his favourite mistress, whom he there called Rosa mundi, and here Diana.

The other public buildings in this ward are three parish churches, which are now to be mentioned.

St. Andrew Wardrobe.

On the east side of Puddle-dock hill stands the church of St. Andrew Wardrobe, a rectory of very ancient foundation, originally known by the name of St. Andrew juxta Baynard's-castle; but when that castle was destroyed, and the king's wardrobe built near this church, in the year 1300, it changed its name from Castle-baynard to that of St. Andrew Wardrobe. By which also we are led to suppose it to be of equal antiquity with Baynard's-castle, and founded probably by the same nobleman: for the patronage of this church descended to the family of Fitz-Walters, who were constables of Baynard's-castle, after the attainder of its founder, William Baynard, lord of Dunmow. After this the patronage passed into many hands; and at last, by some means, the crown claimed the advowson, and presented to this living from the reign of king Charles II. by the lord-chancellor, who presents alternately with the parishioners of St. Anne's Black-friars, annexed to it since the fire of London.

Of the church of St. Anne's Black-friars, the following account is delivered down. In the year 1276, Gregory Rokesley, mayor, and the barons of London, granted to Robert Kilwarby, archbishop of Canterbury, two lanes or ways next the street of Baynard's-castle, and the tower of Mountfitchet, to be destroyed: on the scite of which streets the said Robert built the church of Blackfriars, with the stones that were left of the said tower, and were not used by the bishop of London in the repair of St. Paul's cathedral. This priory church was very large, and divers parliaments with other great meetings were held here: particularly the tribunal by the cardinals Campeggio and Wolsey for annulling the marriage of king Henry VIII. with queen Catharine of Arragon (fn. 4). On the dissolution of religious houses, Henry VIII. granted this priory to Sir Thomas Corden, who soon demolished both the house and church. The parishioners who had been accommodated in the priory church, and were now left without a place of worship, complained of this circumstance in queen Mary's reign; and Sir Thomas being obliged to find a church for the inhabitants, allowed them a lodging chamber, which, in the year 1597, fell down. After this the parishi oners purchased an additional piece of ground to enlarge their church, which they rebuilt by subscription; it was consecrated and dedicated to St. Anne, and ordained to be called "The church or chapel of St. Anne, within the precinct of Black-friars." This precinct increased so much with inhabitants, that, in the year 1613, they found it necessary to enlarge their church; and for that purpose purchased ground on the south side, having before purchased the church, church-yard, and parsonage house, with the right of patronage, from Sir George Moore. The scite of St. Anne's church, at this time, serves as a burial place for the inhabitants of the precinct of Blackfriars.

The church of St. Andrew Wardrobe which now serves for the united parishes, is a plain but neat building; the body is enlightened by two rows of windows; it has a square tower, without turret, pinnacles, or spire.

St. Bennet Paul's Wharf.

At the south west corner of St. Bennet's hill, is the church of St. Bennet Paul's Wharf so called from its being consecrated to St. Benedict, and its vicinity to the above wharf. It is of very ancient foundation, as appears by Diceto, dean of St. Paul's, who has it in his register, under the year 1181. The old church being destroyed by the fire of London in 1666, the present one was erected in its place from a design of Sir Christopher Wren; and the church of St. Peter Paul's Wharf not being rebuilt, the parish was united to St. Bennet: the livings are both in the gift of the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. The church is a neat structure; the body is well proportioned: the tower has rustic corners; and the turret and small spire are raised from the crown of a dome.

St. Mary Magdalen.

At the south west angle of the Old Change, where Old Fish-street and Knightrider-street join, stands the church of St. Mary Magdalen Old Fish-street, so called from its dedication to the above saint, and its vicinity to Old Fish-street. This was a vicarage in the tenure of the canons of St. Paul's in the year 1181: but has for some ages been a rectory in the gift of the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. The old edifice was destroyed by the fire of London, and the present structure was built in the year 1685.

It is a small church, but well proportioned, built with stone, and enlightened by a single series of arched windows, ornamented with cherubs and scrolls, supporting a cornice, which runs round the building: but these windows are of such an unusual height from the ground, that the doors, which are low and plain, open compleatly under them. Both these and the windows are of the same general construction, and the wall is terminated by a balustrade. The tower is divided into two stages, in the upper of which is a large window on each side. From the top of this tower the work suddenly diminishes in the manner of high steps on each side, and on the summit of these is a turret, crowned with a very short spire, on which is placed a vase with flames.

This living was a very poor one, before the parish of St. Gregory was added to it; which is one of the peculiars under the dean and chapter of St. Paul's cathedral. St. Gregory's church stood at the south west angle of St. Paul's church yard; but after the union of the parish with St. Mary Magdalen, the ground was laid into the church-yard.

St. Paul's college.

Behind where this church stood is St. Paul's college, a place of residence for the petty canons, which is a small court backward, consisting of houses appropriated to each stall. Directly facing this college, at the north west corner of the said church, which is now called London-house-yard, and covered with houses that pay a ground rent to the bishop of London; there once stood the bishop of London's palace, a very large and magnificent house before the fire of London.

Lollard's tower.

At each corner of the west end of St. Paul's cathedral were formerly two strong towers, made for bell towers; of which that to the south was called Lollard's tower, and was the bishop's prison for confining persons accused of heresy.


  • 1. These particulars relating to the college of heralds, are the substance of the account given by Stephen Martin Leake, Esq; Garter king at Arms, to Mr. Maitland.
  • 2. Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 25 c. 22.
  • 3. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19.
  • 4. Vid. p. 117, ante.