The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 2. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.
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CHAPTER XIII - ITINERARY OF THE CLOSE PRECINCT AND THE GLEBE HOUSES
The Itinerary of the Close
After the suppression, the division of the parish into the 'Close' portion and the 'Fair' portion was continued: indeed in 1678 the vestry resolved (fn. 1)
'That from henceforth the Close shall be accompted a precinct by itself and that the inhabitants therein shall appoint watchmen of their own and pay them by themselves; and all other parish duties.'
It is clear from the registers, (fn. 2) from the rate collectors' books, and from the hearth tax accounts, that there was not only the internal division into two precincts, but that Long Lane by itself formed a third and separate precinct, and that at first each precinct had its own constable.
When speaking of Bartholomew Close, the main open space in the south-west portion of the parish is generally indicated; though the narrow road which leads from the north-west corner of this greater close to the church gate, those leading from the south-east corner to Albion Buildings, and those from the north-east corner past Queen's Square to the schools, as well as the square formerly known as Little Bartholomew Close, are now all included under the name of Bartholomew Close.
One of the principal buildings in the great Close at the present time, on the west side, is the Butchers' Hall, erected in the year 1884 on the site of Nos. 87 and 88 Bartholomew Close. It was built to the design of Mr. Alexander Peebles, and opened on the 7th September 1885. From 1730 the hall had been in Pudding Lane. Opposite are the City of London Union Offices, to build which, in the year 1870, the ancient monastic dormitory was pulled down. The arched entrance from the cloister to the dormitory, in the northern end of the west wall of the Union Office buildings, still remains, though bricked up. (fn. 3)
Next door, but at right angles, is No. 62 Bartholomew Close, in the back yard of which is the east cloister arch, of which a small portion only is at present visible. (fn. 4)
The houses Nos. 63–66 occupy the site of the frater or refectory of the monastery (pl. LXXXV b). No. 67 was the new kitchen. All of these houses were evidently rebuilt in the eighteenth century.
Next door to the Union Offices, on the south, is a large red building which occupies the sites of Nos. 60 to 57 Bartholomew Close (pl. LXXXV a). This was built, as recorded on an incised stone in the west wall, in the year 1879. It was preceded by a building erected in 1767 by John and Mary Eliot (the Quakers), as shown by a stone from the old building inserted in the same wall. The present building was erected to the design of Sir Aston Webb, P.R.A., which design, when exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1880, was described as 'worthy of the better time of Flanders'. A device in the south gable displays two shields, one with the arms of London, the other with those of Liverpool surmounted by a Canadian beaver—the trade mark of the company of wholesale druggists owning the premises.
The intervening houses, Nos. 55, 56, are occupied by Willmott & Sons, the machine rulers, and were formerly—in the seventeenth century—the premises of Thos. Roycroft, the famous printer of the Polyglot Bible. (fn. 5) In the same century, in 1697, Hogarth the painter was born at No. 58. (fn. 6)
Opposite to No. 59 is the Royal General Dispensary, rebuilt in 1880 to the design of Mr. W. Ward Lee. This dispensary is the oldest institution of its kind in England, having been founded in 1770. It was located, until 1850, in Aldersgate Street, and it was there that Dr. Livingstone, the missionary and explorer, was a pupil under Sir James Risdon Bennett.
To make an itinerary of the Close it will be best to follow the route of the rate collectors, as was done until the houses were first numbered about the year 1833. (fn. 7)
No. 1 Bartholomew Close was, before the suppression, the gatekeeper's lodge, and afterwards, as now, one of the glebe houses. At No. 12 commence Albion Buildings, built in 1764 on the site of what had been in 1544 Dr. Bartlett's house and garden. (fn. 8) These were afterwards owned and occupied by Sir Walter Mildmay and in 1628 by the Earl of Westmorland, (fn. 9) when the house was known as Westmoreland House, and the passage there has since been called Westmoreland Buildings. Before the present buildings were built in 1764 the passage was known as Porridge Pot Alley. (fn. 10)
Returning to Nos. 15 and 16 Bartholomew Close, where stood the southern portion of London House, already referred to, (fn. 11) there is a court described in Rocque's map (1741) as Westmoreland Court, (fn. 12) and by Strype in 1720 as 'a square place, formerly a large house, now converted into tenements'. On the portion of London House which faced Aldersgate Street the Albion Tavern was built, from which Albion Buildings derived their name. Immediately in the rear of Nos. 15 and 16 Bartholomew Close was the Bishop of London's chapel, the site of which is now occupied by the south-western end of the Manchester Avenue; but, although within the parish of St. Bartholomew the Great, it can only be entered from Aldersgate Street, which is in St. Botolph's parish.
Proceeding past No. 25 Bartholomew Close (the Royal General Dispensary), (fn. 13) and No. 27, destroyed by bombs in 1917, at Nos. 29 and 29a is the site of the old parish watch-house projecting beyond the fronts of the other houses. At its northern side is Queen's Square. This was built in 1708 and at the east end there was, says Strype, (fn. 14) 'a curious picture of Queen Anne in full proportion', but that has long since disappeared. From Queen's Square, a passage named Bowman's Buildings, formerly known as Black Horse Alley, leads into Aldersgate Street, but it is in St. Botolph's parish. At the junction of the square with the passage, on the house on the north side, are the arms of the Fishmongers' Company, with an inscription stating that the Company's property extends 5 ft. 9 in. to the south. The parish boundary marks of St. Bartholomew the Great and St. Botolph Aldersgate are in the same place.
Next to Queen's Square, at 31 Bartholomew Close is Halfmoon Passage, to which reference has already been made. (fn. 15) Until it was rebuilt some years ago the passage was less than 4 ft. wide. It leads through what is described in the Bounds as Petty Wales and Paradise. (fn. 16) On the north side, before the rebuilding, there were two small courts; one, Gregory's court, inhabited by a questionable class, is now covered with warehouses; the other, Elliot's Court, is now occupied by an extension of Collingridge's printing works. The name 'Paradise' denotes an enclosure, or place walled. There was a Paradise at the hospital; there is one at Stoke Newington.
This particular Paradise contained eleven small houses or sheds. In 1676 Counsel's brief for proving the Half Moon Tavern to be in this parish—from which we have already quoted—refers both to Paradise and Petty Wales. (fn. 17)
The name Petty Wales we assume was derived from the houses being occupied, some time before the suppression, by a small colony of Welshmen; just as Little Britain is said to have gained its name from being occupied by the Dukes of Brittany. (fn. 18) There was a Petty Wales in the parish of All Hallows Barking, and another by the Custom House in Lower Thames Street. (fn. 19)
Passing still northward, at No. 38 Bartholomew Close is the 'Rose and Crown' public-house, built in red brick, with stone facings, at the end of the nineteenth century. It has a centre gable, with a prettily bayed window on the first floor and three arched entrances below. On the south side of it is the entrance to a court now known as Bartholomew Place. In monastic times it formed a small part of 'the large garden within the close'; early in the seventeenth century it formed part of Sir Henry North's garden; later in that century it was called Parker's Yard.
The name of William Parker appears in the rate books from 1682 to 1693, and of his widow down to 1718. The Parish Register in August 1695 records that 'A dissenter's child was born in Parker's yard in Bartholomew Close'; and in October 1702 'Roger Ferry, the parish clerk' was buried from Parker's Yard. Strype in 1720 said 'over against Middlesex Court is Parker's Yard, indifferent good'. In the particulars of a sale of 54 dwelling-houses in the parish in the year 1807, lot 4 was described as '38 Little Bartholomew Close with rooms over the gateway into Parker's Yard'. Therefore the parish map of 1828 in the vestry room, which marks a Parker's Yard between Queen's Square and Halfmoon Passage, is probably not so correct as Rocque's map (pl. LXXX b p. 174).
We are now at the northern limit of the close precinct, and turning to the left pass the end of Kinghorn Street, where stood, as Strype says, the 'gateway the bounds of this close', (fn. 20) which has already been referred to. Next to this is Red Lion Passage, which, according to Ogilby's map, was not a thoroughfare in the seventeenth century.
We are now in a square space called simply Bartholomew Close, but which was known in the eighteenth century as Middlesex Court, after the Earl of Middlesex who lived (as already seen) (fn. 21) in the prior's house in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth century it was known as Little Bartholomew Close, a convenient title to distinguish it from the greater Close, and this might have been retained with advantage.
On the north side of this square are the parochial schools, erected in 1888, to the design of Sir Aston Webb, on the site of the buryingground of the canons (pl. XLVIII c). (fn. 22) The Lady Chapel of the church lies behind the schools: when the former was filled with tenements it was numbered 40, 41, and 42 Bartholomew Close. Next to the schools are the steps leading down to the men's club below the schools, to the south door of the Lady Chapel and to the new choir vestry erected on the ancient walls of Rahere's south chapel.
On the west side of the square was, in monastic times, the prior's house, built by Prior Bolton about the year 1517. (fn. 23) After the suppression it was occupied (as already seen) (fn. 24) by Sir Richard Rich, and then, in about the year 1630, by the Earl of Middlesex. After it was destroyed by fire in 1830 a row of small cottages was built on the site, at right angles to the main building of the prior's house, by a certain Joseph Cockerill who lived in part of the Lady Chapel, No. 40 Bartholomew Close, in about the year 1846. These cottages were known as Cockerill's Buildings. (fn. 25) They ran westward parallel with the church, with a paved walk to the south transept (known then, as now, as the green churchyard), and covered the remains of the chapter-house. On the opposite side of the paved walk, in the year 1849, two other cottages were built, with their backs against the south wall of the church, by one Joseph Pope, who occupied No. 1 himself; they were known as Pope's Cottages.
Next to these cottages eastward the rector of that time, Mr. John Abbiss, in the same year (1849) built a girls' school and school-house over the south chapel and over the northern end of the site of the prior's house, approached from Cockerill's Buildings. In 1857 Thomas Durran built a warehouse abutting upon the south side of the school-house. All these buildings were pulled down in 1912, when the present lofty warehouse was erected by Messrs. Israel & Oppenheimer (to the design of Mr. Walter Pamphilon). It occupies the sites of Nos. 43 and 44 Bartholomew Close.
In the centre of the square there is a detached block of houses known as Fenton's Buildings. They occupy, by tradition, the site of the prior's stables. The buildings do not appear in Ogilby's map of 1677, (fn. 26) but there were stables here in the year 1783, for a Mr. Fenton was granted leave by the vestry in that year 'to project his buildings on ground recently Roger and Dyson's stables in Little Bartholomew Close 36 ft. 2 in. westward'. There were Fentons living in the parish or at the hospital for 200 years or more. One Joseph Fenton was assessed to the Lay Subsidy Roll at 'Little St. Bartilmews' in 1623, another Thomas Fenton signed the rate collector's book as churchwarden of St. Bartholomew the Great in 1780, while a third Thomas Fenton, in the year 1807, had a lease of No. 46 Little Bartholomew Close, dependent on the life of Thomas Fenton the younger, then aged 30; so we assume that these buildings were erected by Thomas Fenton, the elder, in 1783.
Out of the west side of this square, under part of No. 45, runs Middlesex Passage, which, after turning south, again turns west and passes under the City Union Offices and so into the north-east corner of the great close, at No. 61 (pl. LXXXl b, p. 182). In monastic times it would have passed, on its left hand, first the site of the infirmary garden, then the site of the mulberry garden, and so under and through the dormitory building. In Rocque's map (p. 174) the passage is called Middlesex Court. There is a wooden gate in the passage which is opened at 8 a.m. and closed at dusk, Sundays excepted. It was erected by order of the vestry in 1773 (fn. 27) (as already stated) and ordered 'to be shut every night till the houses in the passage or any of them' were inhabited. The gate has been allowed to remain until now, as the passage is dark, narrow, and winding.
Returning to Little Bartholomew Close, we pass No. 47, rebuilt in 1910, Nos. 48 and 49 which were pulled down in 1917, and turning south we pass Nos. 50, 51, 52, 53, and 54, the first three of which were pulled down in 1913 and rebuilt in 1920; these eight houses, Nos. 47 to 54, form part of the premises of the wholesale druggists already referred to as being at 57 to 60 Bartholomew Close.
No. 54, though having a very small frontage, runs back a long way and extends to the rear of Nos. 46 and 47. In the middle of the nineteenth century there was a large yard here, which, with the dwelling-house and other buildings, was in the occupation of Boord & Son, the distillers. The portion in the rear of 46 and 47 was, in monastic times, the 'farmery' house and kitchen (fn. 28) and the dwellinghouse was part of the infirmary. In the London Directory of 1770, No. 54 was in the occupation of the Vanderplanks, cloth workers, who lived in the parish until the middle of the nineteenth century. The other houses, from 55 (fn. 29) to 67, (fn. 30) have been referred to above. At No. 66 we turn to the north up the narrow road that leads to the church gate over what is believed to have been the site of the guesthouse (as already shown). (fn. 31) No. 67 is the site of the kitchen offices of the 'frater'. Nos. 67 and 68 are built on the site of the west cloister. Pritchard and Burton's stables (fn. 32) at No. 69 occupy the centre of the cloister garth. No. 71 is the 'Coach and Horses' public-house, which stands against the church gate, and was rebuilt in 1856. (fn. 33) The yard is the northern half of the cloister garth. The stables are on the site of the north cloister walk. At the east end of the yard are the three bays of the cloister recovered and restored to the church in 1905. (fn. 34) When the present leases fall in in the year 1926 the church authorities will come into possession of a portion still farther westward.
Returning down this narrow street, the houses on the west side, Nos. 72 to 84, have their front doors in Little Britain and are there numbered 57 to 48. Nos. 84 and 85, in the corner next to the 'Queen's Head' public-house, were demolished in 1913 and rebuilt into one warehouse, together with No. 86, which was not a glebe house, but belonged to the parish until 1884, when it was taken away under the City of London Parochial Charities Act. This was the 'little house in the close the gift of the Countess of Bolingbroke', referred to by Thomas Gundrey in his letter of the 19th September 1666 addressed to the vestry. (fn. 35) Gundrey lived at No. 94 or 95 Bartholomew Close in one of the glebe houses. (fn. 36) Nos. 87 and 88, the Butchers' Hall, have been already referred to above. No. 89 was Hugh ap Harry's house in 1544, and was involved in the dispute with the rector David Dee. The other six houses to No. 95 were the glebe and are described below.
In the centre of the Close there is a drinking fountain. In 1845 a plan was drawn for a garden at this spot, (fn. 37) and of recent years the owners of No. 60 offered to provide trees to be planted there, but nothing was done.
In the year 1720 Strype says, 'The close is open and large with several good houses, which generally are all well inhabited; as being a creditable place to live in'. Now it is a place of warehouses and offices, with several carriers' dépôts, which cause a great congestion of carts at all times of the day.
In the Hearth Tax Roll of 1666 there were in all 84 houses taxed in the Close precincts: one with 18 hearths; one with 17; one with 15; two with 14; one with 13; four with 12; fifty with between 10 and 5; and twenty-four with under 5 hearths. (fn. 38)
The houses in the Close are not recorded in the rate books as being numbered until 1833; but in a Cloth Fair rate book the numbers of the houses are given as early as 1769, whilst in other parts of London houses were numbered as early as 1738, as is shown by the London Directory of that year.
The Close seems to have been called St. Bartholomew's Close until the time of the Commonwealth, when the prefix was dropped and has never been restored.
The eastern half of Duck Lane, now Little Britain, as seen by 'the bounds' is within the parish. Its name was changed to Duke Street about the year 1780, but in 1885 it became a mere continuation of Little Britain, (fn. 39) which, coming from Aldersgate Street past St. Botolph's church, had previously ended at the entrance to Bartholomew Close. At the time of the suppression the first nine houses from the church gate to the 'Queen's Head' were called Church Row (pl. LXXXIV a, p. 211). (fn. 40)
In the seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth centuries the street was largely occupied by second-hand book shops. Pepys in his diary on the 10th April 1668 wrote: 'To Duck Lane and there kissed bookseller's wife and bought Legend'. (fn. 41) This would probably have been the Golden Legend of Jac. de Voragine. Pepys frequently visited this bookseller's shop, where he had purchased Montaigne's Essays (fn. 42) and Des Cartes' Musique, (fn. 43) both in English. The bookseller's wife shared with the books the attractions of the shop, for on the 20th April he wrote: (fn. 44) 'passing through Duck Lane among the booksellers only to get a sight of the pretty little woman I did salute the other night and did again in passing', and on the 10th August he wrote: (fn. 45) 'and then abroad to Duck Lane when I saw my little femme of the book vendor'.
Strype, writing in 1720, calls Duck Lane 'a place generally inhabited by booksellers that sell secondhand books'; but Maitland, in 1756, wrote: 'a place once noted for dealers in old books but at present quite forsaken'. At present the southern half is occupied by large factory and warehouse buildings, whilst the northern consists of small tradesmen's shops.
The Glebe Houses.
The king in his grant of the suppressed monastery to Sir Richard Rich in the year 1544, gave him licence (fn. 46) to grant houses, up to the yearly value of £11, to John Deane, rector, and his successors, rectors, for their maintenance, and also gave to them licence to receive the same. Rich accordingly by deed on the 24th May 1544 granted and confirmed 'to his beloved in Christ John Deane, clerk, Rector of the Parish church of St. Bartholomew the Apostle in West Smithfield', (fn. 47) the following messuages and tenements on the west side of the Close. (They are here entered in the same order as in the grant by Rich. The rents paid by the tenants are those in the 'particular for the grant' by the king to Rich.) (fn. 48)
|Richard de Tyrrell, gentleman||40||0|
|Geoffrey Daniel, gentleman, late Richard Mody, Esquire||46||8|
|Richard Alen, gentleman||40||0|
|Joan Martin, widow||13||4|
|Mathew White, gentleman (fn. 49)||33||4|
These sums, less the 6s. 8d. which had to be paid to John Usher as gatekeeper, amount to the £11 which Rich had to grant. This sum was free from any other outgoings except tithes to the king. The messuages and tenements are described in the grant to Deane as being 'within the Close', but as Agas's map cir. 1563 and Hoefnagel's cir. 1572 both show a continuous row of buildings along Duck Lane (now Little Britain) the houses must have abutted upon the street and the gardens or yards on to the Close, (fn. 50) except Tyrrell's house, which was next the Close with stables, probably facing Duck Lane, as was the case with ap Harry's property next door, which was not glebe. In the case of Alen's and Barton's houses, the rear portion is called in the early leases 'waste ground with the standing of booths at Bartholomew Fair'.
With the exception of Mathew White's house, which was separate from the other houses, and is so dealt with in the grant, the history of these houses can be traced by the leases, most of which are entered in the episcopal registers of St. Paul's. As a rule the leases were signed by the rector and ratified by the bishop and patron, but a lease granted by Rector Binks in 1579 and five leases by Rector Bateman in 1739 were ratified by the bishop only; whilst those by Bateman in 1760 were ratified by the patron only. Mathew White's house probably was intended for the parsonage house, and, if it was so occupied by the earlier rectors, that may account for there being no trace of any leases in connexion with it. A list of thirty-seven leases, delivered by Rector Spateman to Rector Bateman in 1737, is among the archives of the church; (fn. 51) twenty-six of these leases came into the possession of the Rector and Churchwardens in 1915. One of these now hangs framed in the cloister; it is dated 12th August 1553 and bears the signature and seals of Sir John Deane, of Sir Richard Rich, and of Edmund Grindal, Queen Elizabeth's first Bishop of London; the date of the bishop's signature is later (8th February 1560). Deed No. 3 is signed by John Hayward, the historian, in 1622; No. 5 by Dr. Westfield in 1641; No. 8 is signed 'Holland' in the same year; this was Henry Baron Kensington and Earl of Holland, the patron. Deed No. 9 is signed by the same Earl of Holland, and by Anthony Burgess, the rector in 1666; Nos. 10 and 13 are signed by Anne Countess of Warwick and Holland, Rector Burgess and Henry Compton, Bishop of London, in 1678 and 1683 respectively. No. 16 is signed by Edward, third Earl of Holland and Earl of Warwick in 1695, and No. 22 by Thomas Spateman, the rector in 1724.
In the year 1590 and until 1596 Rector Dee was engaged in a lawsuit with some of the tenants of the glebe houses. (fn. 52) The pleadings are preserved among the Chancery proceedings in the time of Queen Elizabeth in the Record Office, and give much additional information regarding the houses.
It will be most convenient to deal with the glebe houses here from south to north.
John Usher's and Joan Martin's houses were both comprised in the gatehouse. Usher's is described as 'a messuage and tenement and chamber . . . situate next the southern gate of the Close', and widow Martin's as a 'chamber and building . . . situate over the southern gate of the close' (pl. LXXXIII a, p. 210). The chamber over the gate seems to have remained until the year 1720, when Rector Edwardes says, in his book on the glebe houses, (fn. 53) that it was 'removed for the accommodation of the parish'. In 1582 Rector Pratt granted a thirtynine years' lease of these premises at an annual rent of £4 10s. to two servants of Lord Rich, William Bowland and Joseph Mannering, (fn. 54) which leases, in the time of Rector Dee's action, had been sold to one of the defendants, Thomas Peryn. The next we hear of the premises is in 1739, when, the room over the gate having been removed, a lease of the portion south of the gate was granted for forty years at a rent of £14 10s. (fn. 55) The plan on this lease, Ogilby's map, and the Ordnance Survey of 1875, all agree, and indicate that these premises are now represented by the creamery, No. 33 Little Britain, and the small house No. 1 Bartholomew Close. There is also a plan by Hardwick, in 1816, of No. 1 Bartholomew Close which is called 'the site of a glebe house'. (fn. 56)
Barton's house was on the north side of the gate and Alen's on the north side of Barton's. These two houses were from the first always leased together, though separately occupied. In 1579 Barton's was occupied by Morice Pleman, 'citizen and Merchant Taylor', and Alen's by one Thomas Sydney, and they were both leased in the same year, 1579, to Morice Pleman, at a rent of £3 8s., (fn. 57) an increase of only 1s. 8d. on the previous joint rents. In this lease permission was granted to build over the waste land which had been used as booths in Fair time. This lease was not ratified by the patron, but whether for that or some other cause, in 1583 Rector Pratt granted a new lease for forty years (fn. 58) which was ratified both by the patron and the bishop, the rent being raised to £4. At the expiration of this lease in 1623 it was renewed for a similar period at the same rent, after which, apparently, advantage was taken of the permission to build because, when the lease was surrendered in 1641, the rent was raised from £4 to £20, Thomas Gundrey, (fn. 59) referred to above, being the lessee. (fn. 60) This lease included certain 'shopps shedds and roomes' let to another man, built probably on the waste land, and it also included the 'libertie of building over the great gate there as to one of the said houses belonging hath been heretofore accustomed and enjoyed'. But as Barton's house did not project over the gate, probably the liberty was merely to build the south wall of the house as a continuation upwards of the north wall of the gateway. In 1666 Rector Burgess leased the two houses to John Doncaster, of Gray's Inn, for forty years at the same rent, the tenant undertaking to spend £300 on rebuilding and repairs. (fn. 61) In this rebuilding the premises were converted into no less than six houses. These are so shown in Ogilby's map, and in later years were approximately represented by 94 and 95 Bartholomew Close and 34, 35, 36, and 37 Little Britain. But in 1885 No. 34 Little Britain (then called No. 1 Duke Street), and a greater part of No. 95 Bartholomew Close, were taken down by the Corporation to widen the entrance to the Close. (fn. 62) Of recent years the small houses, which in the seventeenth century replaced the larger ones, have been in their turn giving way to the building of large warehouses, so that at the present time not only Nos. 34 to 37 Little Britain and No. 94 Bartholomew Close and the remains of No. 95, but also Nos. 92 and 93 in the Close, have all been incorporated in one large warehouse, now in the occupation of W. C. Beetles & Co., Ltd., skirt manufacturers. Previous, however, to these modern changes, in 1739 Rector Bateman granted a forty years' lease of the six houses at a rent of £29 a year to one Leonard Laidman, citizen and Barber Surgeon; (fn. 63) and in 1780 Rector Edwardes granted a single lease of all the glebe houses, excepting the gatehouse and Mathew White's, for forty years at a rent of £90 to one Francis Edwardes, surgeon, of Haverford West (fn. 64) (doubtless a relation of the rector and of the patron). This lease was apparently surrendered, for in 1786 the same rector granted a similar lease to a Daniel McCarthy. (fn. 65)
Geoffrey Daniel's house, late Mody's, adjoined Alen's on the north side. This messuage with the tenement, we learn from Dee's Chancery proceedings, was leased in 1552 by Rector Deane to John Mansell at the original rent of 46s. 8d. (the highest rental of all the glebe houses) and Mansell sold the lease to a Robert Sharpeigh. In 1583 a forty years' lease was granted by Rector Pratt to a William Downinge for £4 a year. (fn. 66) At its expiration in 1622 Rector Westfield granted another forty years' lease to Sir John Hayward, the historian, to whom reference is made later as an inhabitant of the parish. (fn. 67) This lease is not in the Episcopal Register, but in 1655 Rector Harrison granted a twenty-one years' lease to one Sarah Stone, to commence at the expiration of Hayward's lease (fn. 68) in 1662, at a rent of £16, and that lease is duly entered at St. Paul's, wherein is stated the fact that Sir John Hayward had been the tenant until his death. It is also mentioned that since his time the premises had been divided into three houses. In 1739 Rector Bateman granted a forty years' lease of the premises, (fn. 69) still at the same rent of £16, and therein the premises are described as consisting of five houses, of which two faced the Close and three Duck Lane. These houses are shown on Ogilby's map, and were, until of late years, represented by Nos. 92 and 93 Bartholomew Close and Nos. 38, 39, and 40 Little Britain. The two houses facing the Close have, as stated above, together with one of the Little Britain houses (No. 38) been absorbed into Beetles & Co.'s large warehouse. In 1780 the five houses were included in the single lease already referred to.
The next glebe house on the north was the messuage and tenement of Richard de Tyrrell. (fn. 70) It was leased in 1553 by Rector Deane to Nicholas Wyllye for ninety-nine years from Michaelmas 1565, at a rent of 40s. (fn. 71), (fn. 72) This lease was afterwards sold to Richard Holland (another of the defendants to Dee's claim), who was in occupation in 1590. The original of this lease can now be seen in the cloister of the church; by it the tenant covenanted, among other things, to pave and keep in repair the pavement in the 'King's hyghe streate' before the premises. We are unable to trace any of the subsequent leases until 1739, when the land had been divided into three parts, as shown in Ogilby's map: two of the houses being towards the Close and one next to Duck Lane. In that year the house next to Duck Lane, and the more southern one next the Close, were let by Rector Bateman at a rent of £10 10s. for forty years, (fn. 73) and the more northern one next the Close to Elizabeth Clare at £8 for twentyone years (fn. 74) and the same house in 1760 to Martha Downing at the same rent. (fn. 75) All these houses were included in the one lease of 1780. The two houses facing the Close were subsequently represented by Nos. 90 and 91 Bartholomew Close, and that next Duck Lane by No. 7 Duke Street, now 41 Little Britain. The site of the former is at present covered by the large warehouse in the occupation of Van Oppen & Co., Ltd., forwarding agents, and that of the Duck Lane house is incorporated with Nos. 39 and 40 (part of Mody's site) in a warehouse now in the occupation of the Dundee Floorcloth and Linoleum Co., Ltd., which is really one structure with that occupied by W. C. Beetles & Co.
The last portion of the glebe lands granted by Rich, though to the north of Tyrrell's, was separated from it by Hugh ap Harry's house. It is mentioned in the grant quite separately and apart from the other glebe lands as 'all that my messuage and tenement now in the tenure and occupation of Mathew White, gentleman, situate and being within the aforesaid Close . . . between the messuage and tenement in the tenure of John Williams, taylor, on the north side' (now No. 48 Little Britain, the Queen's Head and French Horn public-house) . . . 'and of Hugh ap Harry, gentleman, on the south side abutting westward on Duck Lane'.
We learn from the Chancery proceedings that this house, at the first, was used as the parsonage house and was probably so occupied by Sir John Deane, the first rector. After Deane's death, in October 1563, there was a long interval before another appointment was made—apparently about two years. (fn. 76) What happened as regards the parsonage house during that interval does not appear. Rector Dec asserted, as will be seen, that one Ann Lupton encroached upon it. We have no record that the house was, after this time, used as a parsonage house, and in the year 1693 the rector and churchwardens presented that 'they had no parsonage or rectory house nor ever had'. (fn. 77)
We have no exact knowledge as to how far Mathew White's house extended eastward; the rent paid, 33s. 4d., hardly suggests that it extended to the open Close so as to include the corner plot (now the Butchers' Hall); moreover, there is nothing to show that the corner plot was ever glebe land. We do, however, know that in 1666 the small house between the corner plot and Mathew White's, i. e. 86 Bartholomew Close, was not glebe land, for the reason that it was the house given to the parish by the Countess Bolingbroke in that year, and it is not likely therefore that the corner plot was glebe, at least at that date.
On the other hand, we know that Hugh ap Harry's house extended from Duck Lane to the Close, yet when described in the Chancery proceedings no other house beside Mathew White's is mentioned as being on the north of it, which would not have been so if the corner plot had been occupied as a separate messuage; we therefore conclude that the corner plot was not built upon at the time of the grant but was probably open land used for stalls at fair time, and most likely by Hugh ap Harry.
There is, however, to be considered the very small sum, 26s. 8d., at which ap Harry was rented, as compared with Mody, rented at 46s. 8d., a fact commented on by David Dee. But this small rent may be accounted for by assuming that ap Harry was in favour with the king, for whom he had done work at the church after the destruction of the nave and parish chapel, and by the fact that he collected the rents in the parish. It looks as if it was part of the arrangement with Rich that the lease of these low-rented premises should be granted to ap Harry, because the lease was made within two days of Rich's grant of the glebe, and within a few months ap Harry had realized by selling them to some one else. That the rent was out of proportion to the premises is further shown by the house being' described as 'a great dwelling-house', a term not used regarding any of the other glebe houses.
A further reason for assuming that ap Harry had secured preferential treatment is that otherwise the obvious thing for Rich to do would have been to make ap Harry's house part of the glebe instead of Mathew White's, thus making the glebe lands self-contained. The rents would have amounted to the requisite sum of £11, and the fee of 6s. 8d. of Usher the gatekeeper could have been paid by the general parishioners.
About the year 1590, ap Harry's house, after passing through several ownerships, came into that of Richard Durante, who divided the property and sold it in two lots, one of which came into the possession of Philip Scudamore, and the other into that of one Thomas Crane. Scudamore's lot contained three stables (used probably by ap Harry in connexion with his 'great dwelling-house') and these, by 1596, had been converted into three houses facing Duck Lane, now represented by 42, 43, and 44 Little Britain. Crane's lot contained the great dwelling-house facing the Close and 'a parlour and cellar under a room in Mathew White's house'. By 1596 Crane had conveyed part of it to trustees for the use of his daughter Elizabeth, and another part to one David Waterhouse for life, which two parts are described in the proceedings as 'sometyme used and reputed as one house'. Thus ap Harry's house had, as early as the sixteenth century, been converted into five houses—three in Duck Lane, now represented by Nos. 42, 43, and 44 Little Britain, and two in Bartholomew Close, now represented by Nos. 87, 88, and 89, which form the Butchers' Hall premises. Mathew White's house was, at some time unknown, also cut up into five houses—three in Little Britain, until lately Nos. 45, 46, and 47, and two in Bartholomew Close, Nos. 84 and 85. These five houses, and what was the parish house, No. 86 Bartholomew Close, acquired for the glebe in 1910, have recently been demolished, and on the sites of these there has been erected in their place one large warehouse now occupied by Messrs. Virgoe Middleton & Co. The house, No. 86, was taken out of the possession of the parish under the City of London Parochial Charities Act of 1883. If we are right in the assumption that the corner plot was part of ap Harry's property, then we incline to the opinion that No. 86, which on the ground floor had a frontage of only 16 ft. and a width of 9 ft. 9 in. in the rear, was built on a part of the small garden claimed by Ann Lupton, the rest of the garden being to the east of it, as shown in Ogilby's map, and her parlour adjoining on the west side under No. 85. It is a curious fact that the house, No. 86, had an encroachment on the glebe house No. 85 until the year 1820, but instead of encroaching under the glebe house it did so on the first floor and the encroachment was not much more than a cupboard, measuring 5 ft. 3 in., in front of the house with a depth of 9 ft. 6 in. In the year 1820, when a sixty-three years' lease of the house was granted to Rector Abbiss (fn. 78) by the churchwardens, the parish relinquished all claim to this little encroaching chamber on the rector engaging to build a party wall between the two houses at his own expense.
The total value of the rectory when Hatton wrote in 1708 (fn. 79) was £50 a year; in 1914 it was, according to Crockford, £1,100.
The Chancery proceedings referred to (fn. 80) originated in a complaint by David Dee, the rector, that one Ann Lupton, a widow, occupied a room and two cellars below in a house with a little garden, which Rich had granted to Sir John Deane as the parsonage house, and that she did this by the toleration of previous rectors, but that now she declined to pay rent. Dee had complained to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had referred the matter to Sir Walter Mildmay, who in turn had referred it to an inhabitant of the parish. This man—whose name is illegible owing to the document being damaged—seems to have told Mildmay that Ann Lupton had no right at all to the rooms, and so Mildmay pronounced in Dee's favour. Ann, however, still would not give up possession; so on Dee's petition a commission to hear and determine the case was appointed. After the rooms had been viewed the commission reported to the Court that the rooms stood underneath the parsonage house and were all under and within one frame, and that the whole house should be Dee's unless some other good conveyance could be shown to void Dee's claim. The case was then ordered to be tried at the Common Law, whereupon Dee petitioned for an injunction to install him in possession, but at the hearing Ann Lupton claimed title by a lease of this room and two cellars which she held from 'one Durant's wife'; and she further stated that her title to the rooms and garden had been established in the Court of Arches. Dee also made Thomas Crane, who—as we have seen—held another part of ap Harry's house, party to the suit on the plea that he also wrongfully held part of the parsonage house, and Dee pleaded in favour of a speedy hearing that he was very poor and charged with a great family.
Crane therefore (on the 3rd November 1591) traced his ownership of his house back to Rich and carried the war into the enemy's camp by accusing Dee of pretending title to the rooms over Ann Lupton's parlour, and to another room adjoining the kitchen abutting upon Duck Lane, and of making secret estate of them. Dee replied that John Deane, the rector, was in possession of these rooms over Ann Lupton's at his death, after which, he said, 'the parsonage for long time remained void of an incumbent' but that subsequent rectors succeeded, and on the resignation of Pratt, and a further voidance he (Dee) was duly appointed by Queen Elizabeth by title of lapse, and so he entered into possession of these rooms over Ann's parlour.
If our placing of the rooms in dispute, as above, is correct, then we incline to the opinion that Dee won in the action as far as the rooms were concerned, as they are still glebe, but that he did not win as regards the garden. Dee, however, was still not satisfied since he again appeared in the court in November 1596, where he complained that he was denied possession of the parsonage house, which he described as being, in the year 1544, in the tenure of Mathew White, of which he pleaded that he as rector, should have possession; instead of which Philip Scudamore, Esq., Richard Hollyland, Gent., Robert Sharpye, Gent., and Edmund Randolphe, Gent., Thomas Peryn and David Waterhouse, Gent., having all had possession of some part of this parsonage house by reason of some estate made at will by one of the previous rectors, long since determined at law, they still kept possession and had various deeds in their possession which rightfully belonged to him (Dee). As he did not know the contents of the deeds he pleaded for a subpoena against all these six men to appear before the Court and answer his complaint.
Philip Scudamore, who had been churchwarden in 1574, and who was knighted in the year of the action (1596) in his reply said that, as Dee had heretofore made claim to the rooms over the Smithfield Gate, as well as to the three messuages in Duck Lane (referred to above), all of them of his own freehold, he did not know to what part of these premises Dee's complaint now referred. He therefore described in detail by what right he held all of them and traced their possession back to Sir Richard Rich. In so doing he gives very valuable information concerning the Smithfield Gate, to which reference is made in the description of the church. (fn. 81) He tells us that it was he who pulled down the rooms 'anciently builded', and who rebuilt, in the year 1595, what is the present house over the gate.
As regards the three messuages in Duck Lane he shows clearly that these three houses were formerly the stables of the house which Rich conveyed to Hugh ap Harry, and that Hugh ap Harry conveyed his large house, with its curious parlour and cellar under the next door house, to George Maxye. In 1558 Maxye conveyed to Ashton Ayleworth; (fn. 82) Ayleworth conveyed to Richard Durante (of whose widow, as we have seen, Ann Lupton held a lease of the parlour and cellar), and in 1561 Durante conveyed the Duck Lane half of the premises to Anthony Rowe. On the 10th March 1583 Rowe conveyed them to Philip Scudamore, who pulled down ap Harry's stables and built the three houses in their place. As ap Harry's house was conveyed to him direct by Rich it is clear that it was never part of the glebe. But Dee, seeing that one room which was over ap Harry's parlour was used as part of his glebe house, claimed the parlour below it which did not belong to him; for Scudamore asserted positively that at the time when Rich conveyed it to ap Harry the messuage consisted not only of a great dwelling-house but also of 'one parlour and a cellar then and yet under a chamber then used with the house next adjoining on the north side called later the parsonage house'.
David Waterhouse proved his title to part of ap Harry's premises up to Durante's time, as Scudamore had done, then its possession by Thomas Crane, who, in 1594, conveyed part to William Lockey and William Fletcher (apparently trustees) for the use of his daughter Elizabeth, and part to the defendant, David Waterhouse.
Both he and Scudamore denied that Dee or his predecessors had any rights in their premises or that they had any deeds that belonged to Dee.
The other four defendants were all able to prove that they were lawful tenants of the glebe houses they occupied (in the way shown above), and they were indignant at the unjust, malicious, and vexatious charges to which they had been subjected.
Thomas Peryn showed that he had purchased the lease of Usher's and widow Martin's houses at the gate-house granted by Rector Pratt to William Bowland and Joseph Mannering, the two servants of Lord Rich.
Edmund Randolphe was able to show that he had purchased the leases of Barton's house and Alen's house granted by Rector Pratt to Morice Pleman.
Robert Sharpeigh proved that he had purchased the lease of Mody's house granted by Rector Deane to John Mansell; and Richard Hollyland (or Holland) that he had purchased the lease of Tyrrell's house granted by Rector Deane to Nicholas Wyllye. Thus all the glebe lands were accounted for.
Dee then replied to Scudamore and Waterhouse denying that Rich conveyed the premises to ap Harry, to which Scudamore and Waterhouse rejoined, and with these the records of the proceedings end.
The result of this case is not given, but we assume that it was against the rector, who, we shall see later, was deprived.