Memorial XXXV: John Speed, chronicler

Pages 186-187

Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.

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John Speed, the Chronicler, was also "a loving Brother of this House," as these entries prove:—

"Curtains for the Queen's Arms and Maps (fn. 1) :—It is agreed that provision shalbe made for curtens for the Queen's Armes in the Hall, and for the Mappes latelie given to this Companie by Mr. Spede, a lovinge Brother of this House."—[21st October 1600.]

"John Speede, a loving brother of this Company, became an humble suitor for a lease in reversion of a tenement in Fenchurch Street, submytting himself for a fyne to the consideration of the Company, whose humble suite the Company much respect, as well in regard that he is a brother of this Company, as also because he is a man of very rare and ingenious capacitie in drawing and setting forthe of mapps and genealogies and other very excellent inventions, and by three several mappes of his own invention wch he freely gave unto this Companie maie appeare."—[28th March 1601.]

"John Speed having surrendered his lease of a garden and tenement in the Moorefields, wherein there is yeat nine years to come, did desire that it would please the Company to grant him a new lease for a longer tyme; whereupon the Company, considering how he hath heretofore expressed his love to this house by psenting his labours of free guift, and that he hath built on the said ground a fayer house which may stand him in 400l., ordered that he shall have a new lease of the sayed garden and new tenemt for the terme of thirty-one years without fyne and paying the old rent, which is twenty shillings p. ann." —[18th March 1614.]

"An Indenture of Lease, bearing date the 8th daie of June 1618, made and granted unto John Speed, Citizen and Merchantaylor of London, of a tenemt garden and tayntor or Tayntor ground, situate and being neere Moore fields, in the parish of St. Giles wthout Creplegate, for 31 yeares, whereupon is reserved the yearely rent of three pounds."—[1st July 1618.]

"Ordered, that John Speed, a student in St. John's College, (fn. 2) Oxford, surrendering his lease in of the tenement and garden in Little Moorfields now in his tenure, and late in the tenure of Mr. John Speed, late Merchant Taylor, deceased, his father, and which was heretofore built by his grandfather, shall have a new lease thereof for 31 years from Michs next, for the accutomed yearly rent of 40s. and for the fine of 45l., to be paid within three months.—[16th July 1652.]


  • 1. These probably hung in the "Parlor." See Memo. xiv.
  • 2. He became a Fellow of St. John's, and he is noted hereafter as one of the Scholars of the Company's School. See Appendix L (3), p. 670.