The Suburbs without the walls

A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.

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John Stow, 'The Suburbs without the walls', in A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603, ed. C L Kingsford( Oxford, 1908), British History Online [accessed 15 July 2024].

John Stow, 'The Suburbs without the walls', in A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Edited by C L Kingsford( Oxford, 1908), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024,

John Stow. "The Suburbs without the walls". A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Ed. C L Kingsford(Oxford, 1908), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024.

The Suburbes without the Walles of the said Citie, briefely touched. As also without the Liberties, more at large described.

Hauing spoken of this citie, the originall, & increase, by degrees. The Walles, Gates, Ditch, Castles, Towers, Bridges, the Schools and houses of learning. Of the orders and customes, sports and pastimes. Of the honour of Citizens, and worthines of men. And last of all, how the same Citie is diuided into parts & Wards. And how the same be bounded. And what Monuments of antiquity, or ornaments of building, be in euery of them, as also in the Borough of Southwarke: I am next to speake briefly of the Suburbs, as wel without the gates, & wals, as without the liberties. And of the monuments in them.

Fitz Stephen.; Liber Albus.; Suburbe without the Postern by the Tower of London. Wapping in the Woze.; Nightingall lane. Hermitage. West smithfield. Bramley. Shadwell.; Lime hurst.; Free schoole and Almes houses at Radcliffe.; Tower hill without the walles.

Concerning the estate of the Suburbs of this Citie, in the raigne of H. the 2. Fitz Stephen hath these words.Vpwards on the west (saith he) is the kings Pallace; which is an incomparable building, rising with a vawmure & bulwark. Aloft upon the riuer, 2 miles, from the wall of the city, but yet conioyned with a continuall Suburb. On all sides, without the houses of the Suburbs, are the citizens gardens & orchards, planted with trees, both large, sightly, & adioyning togither. On the north side, are pastures, & plain medows, with brooks running through them, turning water mils, with a pleasant noise. Not far off, is a great forrest, a well wooded chase, hauing good couert for Harts, Buckes, Does, Boores & wild Bulles. The corne fields are not of a hungry sandie mould, but as the fruitfull fields of Asia: yeelding plentifull encrease, & filling the barnes with corne. There are near London on the north side, especiall welles in the Suburbes, sweet, holesome, and cleare. Amongst which, Holywell, Clarkenwell, and saint Clemons well, are most famous, & most frequented by schollers & youthes of the City in summer euenings, when they walke forth to take the aire. Thus farre out of Fitz Stephen, for the Suburbs at the time. The 2. of H. the 3. the Forest of Midlesex and the Warren of Stanes were disaforested: since the which time, the suburbs about London hath bin also mightily increased with buildings: for first, to begin in the East, by the Tower of London, is the Hospitall of saint Katheren, founded by Matilde the Queene, wife to King Stephen, as is afore shewed in Portsoken ward, from this precinct of S. Katheren to Wapping in the Woze. (fn. 1) the vsuall place of execution for hanging of Pirats & sea Rouers, at the low water marke there to remaine, till three tides had ouerflowed them, was neuer a house standing within these 40 yeares: but since the gallowes being after remooued farther off, a continuall streete, or filthy straight passage, with Alleyes of small tenements or cottages builded, inhabited by saylors victualers, along by the riuer of Thames, almost to Radcliff, a good mile from the Tower. On the east side, and by north of the tower, lieth East Smithfield, Hogs streete, and tower hill, and east from them both was the new abbey called Grace, founded by E. the 3. From thence Radcliffe, vp East smithfield, by Nightingall lane (which runneth south to the Hermitage, a Brewhouse so called of an Hermite sometime being there) beyond this lane to the Mannor of Bramley (called in record of R. the 2. Villa east smithfield, & Villa de Bramley) and to the Mannor of Shadwell, belonging to the Deane of Pauls, there hath been of late, in place of Elme trees many small tenements raysed, towards Radcliffe: And Radcliffe it selfe hath beene also encreased in building eastward (in place where I haue knowne a large high way, with fayre Elme trees on both sides) that the same hath now taken hold of Lime Hurst, Lime Host, corruptly called Lime house, sometime distant a mile from Radcliffe. Hauing said this much for building, at Wapping, East Smithfield, Bramley and Shadwell, all on the south side of the high way to Radcliff: now one note on the North side, also concerning pirates. I reade that in the yeare 1440. in the lent season, certaine persons with 6. ships brought from beyond the seas fish to victuaile the city of London, which fish when they had deliuered, and were returning homeward, a number of sea theeues, in a barge, in the night came vpon them, when they were a sleep in their vessels, riding at anker on the riuer Thames, and slew them, cut their throates, cast them ouer boord, tooke their money, and drowned their ships for that no man should espie or accuse them. Two of these theeues were after taken, and hanged in chaynes vpon a gollowes set vpon a raysed hill, for that purpose made, in the field beyond East Smithfield, so that they might be seene farre into the riuer Thames. The first building at Ratcliffe in my youth (not to be forgotten) was a fayre free schoole, and Almes houses, founded by Auice Gibson, wife to Ni. Gibson Grocer, as before I haue noted. But of late yeares ship-wrights and (for the most part) other marine men, haue builded many large and strong houses for themselues, and smaller for Saylers, from thence almost to Poplar, and so to Blake wal. Now for Tower hil, the plaine there is likewise greatly diminished by Merchants, for building of small tenements: from thence towards Aldgate was the Mineries, whereof I haue spoken.

From Aldegate east, againe lieth a large street, replenished with buildings, to wit, on the north side, the parish church of S. Bottolph, and so other buildings, to Hog lane, & to the barres on the both sides.

Suburbe without Aldegate.

Also without the barres, both the sides of the streete bee pestered with Cottages, and Allies, euen vp to White chappel church: and almost halfe a mile beyond it, into the common field: all which ought to lye open & free for all men. But this common field, I say, being sometime the beauty of this City on that part, is so incroched vpon by building of filthy Cottages, and with other purprestures, inclosures and Laystalles (notwithstanding all proclaimations and Acts of Parliament made to the contrary) that in some places it scarce remaineth a sufficient high way for the meeting of Carriages and droues of Cattell, much lesse is there any faire, pleasant or wholsome way for people to walke on foot: which is no small blemish to so famous a city, to haue so vnsauery and vnseemly an entry or passage thereunto.

Of white chappell.; S. Mary Matfellon. A deuout widow murdered.

Now of white Chappell church somwhat, and then backe againe to Aldegate. This church is as it were a chappel of ease to the parrish of Stebinhith, & the Parson of Stebinhith hath the gift thereof: which being first dedicated to the name of God, and the blessed Virgin, is now called S. Mary Matfellon. About the year 1428 the 6. of King H. the 6. a deuout widow of that parish had long time cherished, and brought vp of Almes, a certayne Frenchman or Briton borne, which most vnkindly and cruelly in a night murthered the said widow sleeping in her bed, and after fled with such Iewels and other stuffe of hers as he might carry: but he was so freshly pursued that for feare he tooke the church of Saint George in Southwarke, and challenged priuiledge of Sanctuary there, and so abiured the kings land. Then the Constables (hauing charge of him) brought him into London, intending to haue conuaied him Eastward, but so soone as he was come into the parish where before hee had committed the murther, the wiues cast vpon him so much filth and ordure of the streete, that (notwithstanding the best resistance made by the Constables) they slew him out of hand: and for this feate, it hath beene sayd, that parish to haue purchased that name of saint Mary Matfellon, but I finde in Record, the same to be called Villa beatæ de Mariæ de Matfellon in the 21. of Richard the second.

More, we reade that in the yeare 1336. the 10. of E. the 3. the Bishop of Alba, Cardinall, and Parson of Stebunhith, Procurator generall in England, presented a Clarke to be Parson in the church of blessed Mary called Matfellon, without Aldegate of London, &c.

Now againe from Aldegate northwest to Bishops gate, lyeth Hounds ditch, and so to Bishops gate.

Suburbe without Bishops gate.

North and by east from Bishops gate, lieth a large street or high way, hauing on the west side therof, the parish church of S. But<tolphe>.

Norton fall gate. Priory of S. John Baptist at Holywell.

Then is the Hospitall, of S. Mary of Bethelem, founded by a Cittizen of London, and as before is shewed, vp to the Barres, without the which is Norton fall gate, a libertie so called, belonging to the Deane of Powles. Thence vp to the late dissolued Priory of S. Iohn Baptist, called Holywell, a house of Nuns, of old time founded by a Bishop of London: Stephen Grausend Bishop of London, about the yeare 1318 was a benefactor therevnto, reedified by sir Thomas Louell knight of the Garter, who builded much there, in the raignes of H. the 7. and of H. the 8. Hee endowed this house with fayre lands, and was there buried in a large chappel by him builded for that purpose. This Priory was valued at the suppression to haue of lands by year, and was surrendred 1539. the 31. of H. the 8. The church thereof being pulled downe, many houses haue been builded for the lodginges of noble men, of strangers borne and other.

A Crosse at Soersditch now a Smithes Forge.

From Holy well in the high streete, is a continuall building of tenementes to Sewers ditch, hauing one small side of a fielde, already made a Garden plotte. Ouer against the north corner of this field, between it and the Church of Saint Leonarde in Shoreditch, sometime stood a Crosse, now a Smithes Forge, diuiding three wayes: forth right the high way is builded vpon eyther side, more then a good flight shoote, towardes Kinges land, Newington, Totanham, &c.


On the left hand is Ealdestreete, which reacheth West to a stone Crosse, ouer against the North ende of Golding lane, and so to the ende of Goswell streete. On the right hand of this Ealdestreete, not farre from Soers ditch, but on the North side thereof, is Hoxton, a large streete with houses on both sides, and is a Prebend belonging to Powles church in London, but of Soers ditch parish.

On the right hand beyond Soresditch church toward Hackney, are some late builded houses vpon the common soyle, for it was a leystall, but those houses belong to the parish of Stebunhith.

On the other side of the high way from Bishopsegate and Hounds ditch is the Dolphin, a common Inne for receipt of trauellers, then a house builded by the L. Iohn Powlet, then Fishers Folly, and so vp to the west ende of Berwardes Lane, is a continuall building of small cottages, then the Hospitall called S. Mary Spittle hard within the Barres, whereof I haue spoken in Bishopsgate warde.

Soerditch so called more then 400. yeares since, as I can proue by record.

From the which bars towardes Soersditch on that side, is all along a continuall building of small and base tenements, for the most part lately erected.

Almeshouses in Soersditch.; Rotten Row or Russel row.

Amongst the which (I meane of the auncientest building) was one row of proper small houses with Gardens for poore decayed people, there placed by the Prior of the said Hospitall: euery one Tenant whereof paid one penny rent by the yeare at Christmas, and dined with the Prior on Christmas day: but after the suppression of the Hospitall, these houses for want of reparations in few yeares were so decayed, that it was called Rotten Rowe, and the poore worne out (for there came no new in their place): the houses, for a small portion of money, were solde from Goddard to Russell a Draper, who new builded them, and let them out for rent enough, taking also large Fines of the Tenantes, neare as much as the houses cost him purchase; and building: for hee made his bargaines so hardly with all men, that both Carpenter, Brickelayer, and Playsterer, were by that Worke vndone. And yet in honour of his name, it is now called Russels Row.

Parish Church of S. Leonarde at Soersditch.

Now for the parrish of S. Leonards at Soersditch, the Archdeacon of London is alwayes Parson thereof, and the Cure is serued by a Vicar. In this church haue beene diuers honourable persons buried, as appeareth by monuments yet remayning: (fn. 2) sir Iohn Elrington with Margaret his wife, daughter and heyre to Thomas Lord Itchingham, widdow to William Blount, sonne and heyre to Walter Blount the first Lord Mountioy, which Margaret dyed 1481.

Sir Humfrey Starkie Recorder of London, Baron of the Exchequer, Iohn Gadde Shereman of London, and Anne his wife, 1480. sir Thomas Seymore Mayor of London, deceased 1535. sir Thomas Leigh Doctor of law, 1545. Item, vnder one fayre monument lyeth buried the Lady Katherine daughter to Edwarde Duke of Buckingham, wife to Raph Neuell Earle of Westmerland, who dyed 1553. also Elianor daughter to sir William Paston, wife to Thomas Mannars Earle of Rutland, 1551. Margaret daughter to Raph Neuell Earle of Westmerland, and wife to Henry Mannars Earle of Rutland, 1560 Katherine daughter to Henry Neuel Earle of Westmerland, and wife to Sir Iohn Constable of Holdernes, 1591. Anne daughter to T. Mannars Earle of Rutland, sir T. Mannars 4. son to Thomas Earle of Rutland, 1591. Oliuer Mannars, 5. son to Thomas Earle of Rutland, 1563. all vnder one monument. Richard and Harry Yong 1545. (fn. 2)

Notwithstanding that of late one Vicker there, for couetousnes of the brasse which he conuerted into coyned siluer, plucking vp many plates fixed on the graues, & left no memory of such as had beene buried vnder them: A greate iniurie both to the liuing and the dead, forbidden by publike proclamation, in the raigne of our soueraigne Lady Queene Elizabeth, but not forborn by many, that eyther of a preposterous zeale, or of a greedy minde spare not to satisfie themselues by so wicked a meanes.

A Fuller of Shoreditch for falsely accusing hanged and quartered. Deut. 16. The reward of a false brother.; Bethlem crosse.

One note of Shoreditch, and so an ende of that suburbe. I reade that in the year 1440. the 18. of H. the 6. a Fuller of Shorditch appeached of treason many worthy Esquiers and Gentlemen of Kent, but he being proued false, was attaint, condemned and had iudgement to be drawne, hanged and quartered, which was done, his head set on London bridge, and his quarters on the gates: this iustice was done, according to the 16. of Deuteronomie. 'The iudges shall make diligent inquisition, and if the witnes bee founde false, and to haue giuen false witnes against his brother, then shall they doe vnto him, as he had thought to doe vnto his brother,' &c. I reade of the Kinges Mannor Vocatus (fn. 3) Shorditch place in the parrish of Hackney, but how it tooke that name I know not, and therfore I wil turn backe from Shoreditch Crosse to Bethelem-Crosse, and so passe through that Hospitall into the More fielde, which lyeth without the Posterne called Moregate.

Fensbery fields & Morefieldes an vnprofitable ground.

This fielde of old time was called the More. As appeareth by the Charter of William Conqueror to the Colledge of S. Martin declaring a running water to passe into the Citie from the same More. Also Fitzstephen writeth of this More, saying thus: When the great Fenne or More, which watereth the walles on the north side is frozen, &c. This Fen or More field stretching from the wall of the City betwixt Bishopsgate and the posterne called Cripples gate to Fensbery, and to Holy, well, continued a wast and vnprofitable ground a long time, so that the same was all letten for foure markes the yeare, in the raigne of Edward the 2: but in the yeare 1415. the 3. of Henry the 5. Thomas Fawconer Mayor, as I haue shewed, caused the wall of the Citty to be broken toward the said More, and builded the Posterne called Moregate, for the ease of the Cittizens to walke that waye vppon Causeyes towardes Iseldon and Hoxton: moreouer he caused the ditches of the Citie, and other the ditches from Soers ditch to Deepe ditch, by Bethelem into the More ditch, to be new cast and cleansed, by meanes whereof the sayde Fenne or More was greatly dreyned and dryed: but shortly after, to wit in 1477, Raph Ioceline Mayor, for repayring the Wall of the Cittie, caused the sayde More to bee searched for Clay and Bricke to bee brente there, &c. by which meanes this fielde was made the worse for a long time.

Gardens without Moregate, destroyed and made plaine ground.; Ditches east to dreine the Morefield.; Slewces to conuey the standing water out of the More.; Morefield raysed, and wind mils set thereon.

In the yeare 1498. all the Gardens which had continued time out of mind, without Moregate, to witte, aboute and beyonde the Lordship of Finsbery, were destroyed. And of them was made a playne field for Archers to shoote in. And in the yeare 1512. Roger Atchley Mayor caused diuers dikes to be cast, and made to drein the waters of the sayde More fields, with bridges arched ouer them, and the groundes about to bee leuelled, whereby the sayd fielde was made somewhat more commodious, but yet it stoode full of noysome waters: Whereupon in the yeare 1527. sir Thomas Semor Mayor caused diuers sluces to be made, to conuey the sayd waters ouer the Towne ditch, into the course of Walbrooke, and so into the Thames: and by these degrees was this Fenne or More at length made main and hard ground, which before being ouergrowne with Flagges, sedges and rushes, serued to no vse, since the which time, also the further groundes beyonde Fensbury Court haue been so ouerheightned with Laystalles of dung, that now three windmilles are thereon set: the ditches be filled vp, and the bridges ouerwhelmed.

Edward Hall.; Hedges pulled downe and ditches filled vp.; Banqueting houses like Banquerontes bearing great shew and little worth.

And now concerning the inclosures of common grounds about this cittie, whereof I mind not much to argue, Edwarde Hall setteth downe a note of his time, to wit in the fift or sixte of Henry the eight: before this time sayth hee, the inhabitantes of the Townes aboute London, as Iseldone, Hoxton, Shorsditch and others, had so inclosed the common fieldes with hedges, and ditches, that neyther the yong men of the City might shoote, nor the auncient persons walke for theyr pleasures in those fieldes, but that either their bowes and arrowes were taken away or broken, or the honest persons arrested or indighted: saying, that no Londoner ought to goe out of the City, but in the high Waies. This saying so grieued the Londoners, that suddainlie this yeare a great number of the Citie assembled themselues in a morning, and a Turner in a fooles coate came crying through the Citty, shouelles and spades, shouelles and spades: so many of the people followed that it was a wonder to behold, and within a short space all the hedges about the City were cast down, and the diches filled vp, and euery thing made plaine, such was the diligence of these workmen: the kinges councell hearing of this assembly came to the gray Fryers, & sent for the Mayor and councell of the city to know the cause, which declared to them the iniurie and annoying done to the citizens, and to their liberties, which though they wold not seeke disorderly to redresse, yet the comminalty & yong persons could not be stayed thus to remedy the same. When the kings councell had heard their answere, they dissimuled the mater & commanded the Mayor to see that no other thing were attempted, but that they should forthwith call home the younger sort: who hauing speedily atchieued their desire, returned home before the Kings Councell, and the Mayor departed without more harme: after which time (sayeth Hall) these fieldes were neuer hedged: but now wee see the thing in worse case than euer, by meanes of inclosure for Gardens, wherein are builded many fayre summer houses, and as in other places of the Suburbes, some of them like Midsommer Pageantes, with Towers, Turrets, and Chimney tops, not so much for vse or profite, as for shewe and pleasure, bewraying the vanity of mens mindes, much vnlike to the disposition of the ancient Citizens, who delighted in the building of Hospitals, and Almes houses for the poore, and therein both imployed their wits, and spent their wealthes in preferment of the common commoditie of this our Citie.

Suburbe without Criplegate.; Parish church of S. Giles.

But to come backe againe to Moregate, and from thence west through a narrow lane called the Posterne, because it hath at eyther end a doore to be shut in the night season, betwixt the More ditch inclosed with bricke for Tenter yardes, and the Gardens of the sayd More fielde, to More lane, a part of the Suburbe without Creplesgate: without this Posterne called Cripplesgate also lay a part of the sayde More euen to the Riuer of the Wels, as in another place I haue shewed, and no houses were there builded till the latter end of the raigne of William the Conqueror, and of his sonne William Rufus: about which times some fewe houses being there builded along East and West, thwart before the said gate, one Alfune builded for the inhabitants a Parish Church, which is of Saint Giles, somewhat west from the sayde gate, and is now on the banke of the towne ditch, and so was there a street since called Forestreet, as standing before the gate.

This Alfune, in the raigne of Henrie the first, became the first Hospitaler of S. Bartlemewes Hospitall in Smithfield, as in an other place I haue noted. And this Parish Church of S. Giles being at the first a small thing, stood in place where now standeth the Vicarage house: but hath beene since at diuerse times much enlarged, according as the Parish hath increased, and was at the length newly builded in place where now it standeth. But the same new church being large, strongly builded, and richly furnished with ornaments, was in the yeare 1545. by casualtie of fire sore burnt and consumed, notwithstanding it was againe within a short space of time repayred, as now it sheweth.

Some little distance from the east end of this Church, standeth a fayre Conduit castellated in Forestreet. Then had yee a Bosse of sweet water in the wall of the churchyard, lately made a pompe, but already decayed.

Then had yee a fayre Poole of sweete water neare to the Church of saint Giles, wherein Anne of Lodbery was drowned, as I haue before declared.


In the East ende of Forestreete is More lane: then next is Grubstreete, of late yeares inhabited for the most part by Bowyers, Fletchers, Bowstring makers, and such like, now little occupied, Archerie giuing place to a number of bowling Allies, and Dicing houses, which in al places are increased, and too much frequented.

Euerades Well streete.

This street stretcheth North to Euerades Well street, which thwarteth it to White Crosse street. The next from Forestreete North is White Crosse street, likewise extending it selfe vp to the West ende of Euerades Well streete, and from the end thereof to Ealdstreete.

Golding lane.

From the west end of Forestreete lyeth Red crosse street, from the which Crosse on the right hand East lyeth Beech lane, and reacheth to the White crosse streete. From Red Crosse north lyeth Golding lane, which stretcheth vp to a Crosse in Ealdestreet, which Golding lane on both the sides is replenished with many tenements of poore people.

On the left hand and west of the Red Crosse lyeth a streete of old time called Houndes ditch, and of later time named Barbican, of such cause as I haue before noted. And thus haue you all the Suburbe without Creplegate, being almost altogither in the Parish of S. Giles, which hath more then 1800. Householders, and aboue 4000. Communicants.

Suburbe without Aldersgate.

Without Aldersgate on the left hand is the Parish Church of S.Buttolph, on the North side of the which church lyeth a way called little Britane streete, towardes the Priorie of Saint Bartholomew in Smithfield, but the high way without Aldersgate runneth straight North from the said gate vnto Houndes ditch or Barbican streete on the right hand, and Long lane on the left hand which runneth into Smithfield.

Then from the farther ende of Aldersgate streete, straight North to the Barre, is called Goswell street, replenished with smal tenements, cottages, and Allies, Gardens, banquetting houses, and bowling places.


Beyond these bars, leauing the Charterhouse on the left hand or the west side, the way stretcheth vp towards Iseldon, and on the right hand, or East side, at a Red Crosse turneth into Ealdstreete, so called, for that it was the old high way from Aldersgate streete for the Northeast parts of England before Bishopsgate was builded, which streete runneth East to a Smithes Forge, sometime a Crosse before Shoreditch Church, from whence the passengers and Carriages were to turne North to Kings land, Tottenham, Waltham, Ware, &c.

Hospital without Aldersgate.

There was sometime in this suburbe without Aldersgate an hospitall for the poore, but an Alien of Clunie, a French order, and therefore suppressed by king Henrie the fift, who gaue the house with lands and goods to the parish of saint Buttolph, and a brotherhoode of the Trinitie was there founded, which was afterwards suppressed by Henry the 8. or Edward the sixt.

The Mount.

There is at the farthest north corner of this Suburbe a windmill which was sometime by a Tempest of winde ouerthrowne, and in place thereof a Chappell was builded by Queene Katherine (first wife of Henrie the eight,) who named it the Mount of Caluerie, because it was of Christs passion, and was in the end of Henry the eight pulled downe, and a Windmill newly set vp as afore.

Suburbe without Newgate.

Without Newgat lyeth the West and by North Suburbe, on the right hand or Northside whereof betwixt the said gate, and the Parish of saint Sepulchre turneth a way towards west Smith field, called as I haue shewed Giltspurre streete, or Knightriders street, then is Smithfield it selfe, compassed about with buildings as I haue before declared in Faringdon ward without.

S. Iohns street.; Charterhouse.; No mans land.; Pardon church yard by the Charterhouse.

And without the barre of West Smithfield lyeth a large street or way, called of the house of S. Iohn there, S. Iohns streete, and stretcheth towards Iseldon, on the right hand whereof stoode the late dissolued Monasterie, called the Charterhouse, founded by sir Walter Manny knight, a stranger borne, Lord of the towne of Manny in the Dioces of Cambrey, beyond the seas, who for seruice done to king Edward the third was made knight of the Garter. This house he founded upon this occasion. A great Pestilence entring this Iland, began first in Dorsetshire, then proceeded into Deuonshire, Somerset shire, Glocester shire, and Oxforde shire, and at length came to London, and ouerspred all England, so wasting the people, that scarce the tenth person of all sortes was left aliue, and Churchyards were not sufficient to receiue the dead but men were forced to chuse out certain fields for burials, wherevpon Raph Stratford Bishop of London in the yeare 1348. bought a peece of ground called no mans land, which he inclosed with a wall of Bricke and dedicated for buriall of the deade, builded therevpon a proper Chappell, which is now enlarged and made a dwelling house, and this burying plot is become a fayre Garden, retaining the old name of Pardon Churchyard.

About this in the yeare 1349. the said sir Walter Manny in respect of daunger that might befal in this time of so great a plague and infection, purchased thirteene Acres and a rode of ground adioyning to the said no mans land, and lying in a place called Spittle Croft, because it belonged to S. Bartilmewes Hospitall, since that called the new Church Haw, and caused it to be consecrated by the said Bishop of London to the vse of burials.

Charterhouse churchyard prepared for buriall of the poore, so to remaine for euer.; Bull of Pope Clement.; Vse of the Fraerie Cart.

In this plot of ground there was in that yeare more then 50000. persons buried, as I haue reade in the Charters of Edward the third: Also I haue seene and read an Inscription fixed on a stone Crosse, sometime standing in the same churchyard and hauing these wordes: Anno Domini 1349. regnante magna pestilentia, consecratum fuit hoc Camiterium, in quo &infra septa presentis monasterii, sepulta fuerunt mortuorum corpora plusquam quinquaginta millia, prater alia multa abhinc usque ad presens, quorum animabus propitietur deus Amen. In consideration of the number of Christian people here buried, the sayd sir Walter Manny caused first a Chappell to be builded, where for the space of twentie three yeares offerings were made, and it is to be noted that about 100000. bodies of Christian people had in that Churchyard beene buried, for the sayde knight had purchased that place for the buriall of poore people, trauailers and other that were diseased to remaine for euer, whervpon an order was taken for the auoyding of contention betweene the parsons of Churches and that house, to wit, that the bodies should be had vnto the Church where they were Parishioners, or died, and after the funerall seruice done, had to the place where they should be buried. And the yeare 1371. hee caused there to bee founded an house of Carthusian Monks, which he willed to be called the Salutation, and that one of the Monkes should be called Prior, and he gaue them the saide place of thirteene Acres and a Rode of land, with the Chappell, and houses there builded for their habitation: he also gaue them the three Acres of land lying without the walles on the North part betwixt the landes of the Abbot of Westminster, and the lands of the Prior of S. Iohn, (which three Acres were purchased, inclosed, and dedicated by Raph Stratford Bishop of London, as is afore shewed,) remained till our time, by the name of Pardon Churchyard, and serued for burying of such as desperately ended their liues, or were executed for Felonies, who were fetched thither vsually in a close cart, bayled ouer and couered with blacke, hauing a plaine white Crosse thwarting, and at the fore end a Saint Iohns Crosse without, and within a Bell ringing by shaking of the cart, whereby the same might be heard when it passed, and this was called the Fraerie Cart, which belonged to Saint Iohns, and had the priuiledge of Sanctuarie. In this Charter house were the Monuments of the sayd sir Wætar Manny, & Margaret his wife, Marmaduke Lumley, Laurence Brumley knight, sir Edward Hederset knight, sir William Manny knight, Dame Iahan Borough, Iohn Dorewentwatar knight (fn. 4), Robert Olney Esquire, Katherine daughter to sir William Babington knight, Blanch daughter to Hugh Waterton, Katherine wife to Iohn at Poole, daughter and heyre to Richard de Lacie, William Rawlin, sir Iohn Lenthaine, and Dame Margaret his wife, daughter to Iohn Fray, Iohn Peake Esquire, William Baron, and William Baron Esquire, sir Thomas Thwaites knight, Philip Morgan Bishop of Ely, 1434.

In the Cloystrie, Bartholomew Rede knight, Maior of London, buried 1505. sir Iohn Popham, &c.

This Monasterie at the suppression in the 29. of Henrie the 8. was valued at 642.l. 4.d. halfepenny yearely.

Charter house lane.; Conduit by the Charterhouse.

A little without the Barres of west Smithfield is Charterhouse lane, so called, for that <it> leadeth to the sayd plot of the late dissolued Monasterie, in place whereof, first the Lord North, but since Thomas Howarde late Duke of Norffolke, haue made large and sumptuous buildinges, both for lodging and pleasure. At the gate of this Charter house is a faire water Conduit, with two cockes seruing the vse of the neighbours to their great commoditie.

Cow Crosse.

Saint Iohns streete from the entring this lane is also on both the sides replenished with buildinges vp to Clarken Well. On the left hand of which street lyeth a lane called Cow crosse, of a crosse sometime standing there, which lane turneth downe to another lane called Turnemill streete, which stretcheth vp to the West side of Clarken Well, and was called Turnemill streete for such cause as is afore declared.

One other lane there is called S. Peters, lane, which turneth from saint Iohns streete to Cow crosse.

Priorie of S. Iohn of Ierusalem.

On the left hand also stoode the late dissolued Priorie of saint Iohn of Irusalem in England, founded about the yeare of Christ IIco. by Iorden Briset Baron, and Muriell his wife, neare vnto Clarkes well besides west Smithfield, which Iorden (fn. 5) hauing first founded the Priorie of Nunes at Clarks well bought of them ten Acres of land, giuing them in exchange ten Acres of land in his Lordship of Welling hall in the Countie of Kent, saint Iohns Church was dedicated by Eraclius Patriarke of the holy resurrection of Christ at Ierusalem, in the yeare 1185. and was the chiefe seate in England of the religious knights of S. Iohn of Ierusalem, whose profession was, besides their dayly seruice of God, to defende Christians agaynst Pagans, and to fight for the Church, vsing for their habite a blacke vpper garment, with a white Crosse on the fore part thereof, and for their good seruice was so highly esteemed, that when the order of Templars was dissolued, their lands and possessions were by parliament graunted vnto these, who after the losse of Ierusalem recouered the Isle of Rodes from the Turke, and there placed themselues, beeing called thereof for many yeares knights of the Rhodes, but after the losse thereof, 1523. they remooued to the Isle of Malta, Manfully opposing themselues agaynst the turkish inuasions.

The Rebels of Essex and of Kent, 1381, set fire on this house, causing it to burne by the space of seauen dayes togither, not suffering any to quench it, since the which time the Priors of that house haue newe builded both the Church and houses therevnto appertaining, which church was finished by Thomas Docwrey late Lord Prior there, about the yeare 1504, as appeareth by the inscription ouer the gate house, yet remayning. This house at the suppression in the 32. of H. the 8. was valued to dispend in lands 3385. li. 19.s. 8.d. yearely, sir W. Weston being then Lord Prior, dyed on the same seuenth of May, on which the house was suppressed, so that great yearely pensions being granted to the knights by the king, and, namely to the Lord Prior during his life hee neuer receiued penny.

The king tooke into his hands all the lands that belonged to that house and that order wheresoeuer in England and Ireland, for the augmentation of his Crowne.

This Priory church and house of saint Iohn was preserued from spoyle, or downe pulling so long as king Henry the eight raigned, and was imployed as a storehouse for the kings toyles and tents, for hunting, and for the warres, &c. but in the third of king Edward the sixt, the Church for the most part, to wit, the body and side Iles with the great Bell Tower, (a most curious peece of workemanshippe, grauen, guilt, and inameled to the great beautifying of the Cittie, and passing all other that I haue seene) was vndermined and blowne up with Gunpowder, the stone thereof was imployed in building of the Lord Protectors house at the Strand: that part of the Quire which remayneth, with some side Chappels, was by Cardinall Poole in the raigne of Queene Mary, closed vp at the west end, and otherwise repaired, and sir Thomas Tresham knight was then made Lord Prior there, with restitution of some lands, but the same was againe suppressed in the first yeare of Queene Elizabeth.

There was buried in this Church, brethren of that house, and knights of that order. Iohn Botell, William Bagecore, Richard Barrow, Iohn Vanclay, Thomas Launcelen, Iohn Mallory, William Turney, William Hulles, —Hils or Hayles, Iohn Weston, Redington, William Longstrother, Iohn Langstrother, William Tong, Iohn Wakeline. Then of other: Thomas Thornburgh Gentleman, William West, Gentleman, Iohn Fulling, and Adam Gill Esquiers, sir Iohn Mortimor, and Dame Elianor his wife, Nicholas Siluerston, William Plompton Esquier, Margaret Tong, and Isabel Tong, Walter Bellingham alias Ireland, king of Armes of Ireland, Thomas Bedle Gentleman, Katheren daughter of William Plompton Esquier, Richard Turpin Gentleman, Iohan wife to Alexander Dikes, Iohn Bottle and Richard Bottle Esquiers, Rowland Darcie, Richard Sutton Gentleman,Richard Bottill Gent. Sir W. Harpden knight, Robert Kingston Esquier, and Margery his wife, Iohn Roch, Richard Cednor Gentleman, Simon Mallory 1442. William Mallory, Robert Longstrother, Ralph Asteley, William Marshall, Robert Sauage, Robert Gondall Esquiers, and Margery his wife, William Bapthorpe Baron of the Exchequer, 1442.

Priory of Clerken well.

North from the house of S. Iohns, was the Priory of Clarken well, so called of Clarkes well adioyning, which Priory was also founded about the yeare 1100. by Iorden Briset Baron, the sonne of Ralph, the sonne of Brian Briset: who gaue to Robert a Priest, fourteene Acres of land lying in the field next adioyning to the said Clarkes well, thereupon to build an house of religious persons, which he founded to the honour of God, and the Assumption of our Lady, and placed therein blacke Nuns. This Iorden Briset gaue also to that house one peece of ground thereby, to build a wind mill vpon, &c. He and Muriell his wife were buried in the Chapter house there: more buried in this Church, Iohn Wikes Esquier, and Isabell his wife, Dame Agnes Clifford, Ralph Timbleby, Esquier, Dame Iohan Baronnesse of Greystocke, Dame Iohan, Lady Ferrars. And of later time in the parish Church, Constances (fn. 6) Bennet, a Greeke borne, he gaue two houses, the one in saint Iohns streete, the other in Turnmill street, the rents of them to be distributed in Coales euery yeare against Christmas, to the poore of that parish.

William Herne, a Maister of defence, and yeoman of the gard, 1580. gaue lands and tenements to the Clothworkers in London, they to pay yearely for euer, fourteene pound to the Churchwardens of Clarken well, and fourteene pound to the Churchwardens of S. Sepulchers, towards reparations of these Churches, & reliefe of the poore men, more, he gaue after the death of one man, yet liuing, eight li. the yeare for euer, to the mending of high wayes.

Thomas Sackeford Esquier, one of the masters of requests, gaue to the poore of that parish 40. shillings the yeare for euer, out of his Almes house at Woodbridge in Suffolke, where he is buried. Henry Stoke, Gardiner, buried there, gaue 20.s. the yeare for euer, towards reparation of that church. This Priory was valued to dispend 9.s. by yeare, and was surrendred the 30. of H. the 8. Many faire houses are now builded about the Priory, namely by the high way towards Iseldon.

So much of the Church which remaineth, (for one great Ile thereof fell downe) serueth as a parish Church of Saint Iohn, not onely for the Tenementes, and neare inhabitantes, but also (as is afore sayde) for all vp to Highgate, Moswell &c.

Neare vnto this Church besides Clarkes well lane, diuers other welles, namely Skinners well, Fags well, Tode (fn. 7) well, Loders well, Rede well &c. now dammed vp.

Portpoole, in Greyes Inne lane, Greyes, Inne an Inne of Court.

Now to returne agayne to Giltspurre street, where I first began with this Suburbe, there standeth the Parrish Church of Saint Sepulchre in the Bayly, as is before shewed, from this streete to Turnagaine lane by Hosiar lane, Cow lane & Holdborn Conduite downe Snore hill to Oldborne bridge, and vp Oldborne hill, by Gold lane on the right hand, and Lither lane beyond it, to the Barres, beyond the which Barres on the same side, is Porte Poole, or Grayes Inne lane, so called of the Inne of Courte, named Grayes Inne, a goodly house there scituate, by whome builded or first begun I haue not yet learned, but seemeth to be since Edward the thirds time, and is a prebend to Paules Church in London.

This lane is furnished with faire buildings, and many tenements on both the sides, leading to the fieldes, towards Highgate and Hamsted.

Widow Alington her building.

On the high streete haue ye many fayre houses builded, and lodgings for Gentlemen, Innes for trauellers, and such like vp almost (for it lacketh but little) to saint Giles in the fieldes: amongst the which buildinges for the most part being very new, one passeth the rest in largenesse of roomes, lately builded by a Widdow sometime wife to Richard Alington Esquier, which Richard Alington deceased in the yeare 1561. And thus much for that north side of Oldborne.

South side of Oldborne.

Now from Newgate on the left hand or south side lyeth the old Bayly, and so downe by Seacole lane end to Oldborne bridge, vp Oldborne hill, by Shooe lane and Fewters lane to the barres.

Old Temple.; The Bishop of Lincolns Inne.; Southampton house.; New streete.

Beyond the barres had ye in old time a Temple builded by the Templars, whose order first began in the yeare of Christ 1118. in the 19. of Henry the first. This Temple was left and fell to ruine since the yeare 1184. when the Templars had builded them a new Temple in Fleet streete, neare to the Riuer of Thames. A great part of this old Temple was pulled downe but of late in the yeare 1595. Adioyning to this old Temple, was sometime the Bishop of Lincolnes Inne, wherein he lodged when he repayred to this City. Robert de Curars (fn. 8) Bishop of Lincolne, builded it about the yeare 1147. Iohn Russell Bishop of Lincolne, Chauncellor of England in the raigne of Richard the third, was lodged there. It hath of late yeares belonged to the Earles of Southampton, and therefore called Southampton house. Master Ropar hath of late builded much there, by meanes whereof part of the ruines of the old Temple were seene to remaine builded of Cane stone, round in forme as the new Temple by Temple barre and other Temples in England. Beyond this old Temple, and the Bishoppe of Lincolnes house, is New streete, so called in the raigne of H. the 3. when he of a lewes house founded the house of Conuerts, betwixt the old Temple and the new.

New streete or Chancery lane.

The same street hath sithence beene called Chauncery lane, by reason that king E. the 3. annexed the house of Conuerts by patent to the office of Custos Rotulorum, or maister of the Rolles, in the 51. of his raigne.

Coursitors office in Chancery lane.

In this streete the first faire building to be noted on the east side, is called the Coursitors office, builded with diuers fayre lodgings for Gentlemen, all of Bricke and timber, by sir Nicholas Bacon late Lord keeper of the great Seale.

Neare vnto this Coursitors office, be diuers faire houses & large gardens, builded and made in a ground, sometime belonging to one great house on the other side the street, there made by Ralph Neuel Bishop of Chichester. This ground he had by the gift of H. the 3. as appeareth. The king granteth to Ralph Bishop of Chichester Chancellor, that place with the Garden which Iohn Herlison forfeyted in that street, called Newstreete, ouer against the land of the sayde Bishoppe in the same streete, which place with the garden and appurtenance was the kinges exchete by the libertie of the cittie of London, as it was acknowledged before the king in his court at the tower of London, in the last pleas of the crown of that Cittie, cart. 11. H. 3.

Then was the house of conuertes, wherein now the Rowles of Chancery be kept. Then the Sergeants Inne, &c.

Black fryers Church in Oldborne.

On the West side of Newstreete, towardes the North ende thereof, was of olde time the church, and house of the Preaching Friers: the which house I finde that in the yeare of Christ, 1221. the Friers Preachers 13. in number came into England, and hauing to their Prior one named Gilbert de Fraxineto in company of Peter de la Roche Bishoppe of Winchester, came to Canterbury, where presenting themselves before the Archbishop Steuen <Langton>, hee commaunded the sayde Prior to preach, whose sermon he liked so well, that euer after hee loued that order. These Fryers came to London, and had their first house without the Wall of the Cittie by Oldborne, neare vnto the old Temple.

Earle of Kent buried in the Blacke Fryers.

Hubert de Burgo Earle of Kent was a great benefactor vnto these Fryers, and deceasing at his Mannor of Bansted in Surrey, or after some writers, at his Castle of Barkamsted in Hartfordshire, in the yeare 1242. was buried in their Church, vnto the which church he had giuen his place at Westminster, which the sayde Fryers afterward solde to Walter Grey Archbishop of Yorke, and he left it to his successors in that sea, for euer to be their house when they should repaire to the Cittie of London. And therefore the same was called Yorke place, which name so continued vntill the yeare 1529. that king Henry the eight tooke it from Thomas Wolsey Cardinall and Archbishop of Yorke, and then gaue it to name White hall.

Margaret sister to the King of Scottes, Widdowe to Gilbert (fn. 9) Earle Marshall, deceased 1244. and was buried in this church.

Conuocations of Black Fryers in Oldborn

In the yeare 1250. the Fryers of this order of preachers through Christendome and from Ierusalem, were by a conuocation assembled together, at this their house by Oldborne, to entreat of their estate, to the number of 400. hauing meat and drink found them of almes, because they had no possessions of their owne. The first day the king came to their Chapter, found them meate and drinke, and dined with them. An other day the Queene founde them meate and drinke: afterward the Bishop of London, then the Abbot of Westminster, of S. Albons, Waltham, and others. In the yeare 1276. Gregory Rokesley Mayor and the Barons of London graunted and gaue to Robert Kilwerbie Archbishop of Canterbury, two lanes or wayes next the street of Baynards Castle, and the Tower of Mountfichet to be destroyed. On the which place the sayde Robert builded the late new church, with the rest of the stone that were left of the sayde Tower. And thus the blacke Fryers left their church and house by Oldborne, and departed to their new. This olde Fryer house, (iuxta Holborne sayeth the Patent) was by king Edwarde the first, in the 16. of his raigne, giuen to Henry Lacy Earle of Lincolne.

Bishop of Chichesters Inne.

Next to this house of Fryers, was one other great House, sometime belonging to the Bishop of Chichester, Whereof Mathew Paris writeth thus: Raph de noua villa, or Neuill, Bishop of Chichester and Chauncellor of England, sometime builded a noble house, euen from the grounde, not farre from the newe Temple and house of Conuertes, in the which place hee deceased in the yeare 1244.

Lincolns Inne.; Lincolns Inne and Inne of Court.

In this place after the decease of the sayde Bishoppe, and in place of the house of Blacke Fryers, before spoken of, Henry Lacy Earle of Lincolne, Constable of Chester, and Custos of England, builded his Inne, and for the most parte was lodged there: hee deceased in this house in the yeare 1310. and was buried in the new worke, (whervnto he had beene a great benefactor) of saint Pauls Church, betwixt our Lady chappell and saint Dunstones Chappell. This Lincolnes Inne sometime pertayning to the Bishops of Chichester, as a part of the sayde great house, is now an Inne of Court, retayning the name of Lincolnes Inne as afore, but now lately encreased with fayre buildinges, and replenished with Gentlemen studious in the common lawes. In the raigne of H. the 8. sir Thomas Louell was a great builder there, especially he builded the gate house and forefront towardes the east, placing thereon aswell the Lacies armes as his owne: hee caused the Lacies armes to bee cast and wrought in leade, on the louer of the hall of that house, which was in the 3. Escutcheons a Lyon rampart for Lacie, 7. Mascules voyded for Quincie, and 3. Wheat sheaues for Chester. This Louer being of late repayred the sayde Escutcheons were left out. The rest of that side euen to Fleetstreete is replenished with fayre buildings.

Hospitall of S. Giles founded.

Now the high Oldborne street, from the north end of Newstreet, stretcheth on the left hand in building lately framed, vp to S. Giles in the field, which was an Hospitall founded by Matilda the Queene, wife to Henry the first, about the yeare 1117. This Hospitall, sayeth the record of Edward the third, the 19. yeare, was founded without the barre veteris Templi London & conuer sorum.

Burton Lagar an Hospitall in Leycestershire.

This Hospitall was founded, as a sell to Burton Lager of Ierusalem, as may appeare by a deed dated the 24. of H. the 7. in these wordes: Thomas Norton knight, Mayster of Burton Lager of Ierusalem in England, and the Bretheren of the same place, keepers of the Hospitall of saint Giles without the barres of the olde Temple of London, haue solde to Geffrey Kent Citizen & Draper of London a messuage or house with two sollars (fn. 10) aboue edified in the parrish of Alhallowes Hony lane in west Chepe, adioyning to the west part of a tenement called the Gote on the Hope, pertayning to the Drapers of London, for

S. Giles bowle.

At this Hospitall, the prisoners conuayed from the City of London towardes teyborne, there to be executed for treasons, fellonies, or other trespasses, were presented with a great Bowle of Ale, thereof to drinke at theyr pleasure, as to be theyr last refreshing in this life.

Suburbe without Ludgate.

Now without Ludgate lyeth the south end of the olde Bayly, then down Ludgate hill by Fleet lane, ouer Fleet bridge, vp Fleetestreete by Shooe lane, Fewtars lane, Newstreet or Chauncerie lane, and to Shire lane by the Barre on the right hand. And from Ludgate on the left hand or south side by Bride lane, Water lane, Crokers lane, Sergeants Inne, and the new Temple by the barre: all which is of Faringdon Ward as is afore shewed.


  • 1. Woze] 1598; West, 1603
  • 2. Sir J. Elrington … Richard and Harry Yong 1545] om. 1598
  • 3. Vocatus] Vocator 1603
  • 4. Dore, want Water] 1598, 1603
  • 5. Brian] 1603
  • 6. Constantius 1633
  • 7. Gode 1603
  • 8. Curars: Robert de Chesney, cons. 1148.
  • 9. Gilbert] Geffrey 1603
  • 10. sollars] 1633; sellars 1603