The Clerk's House

Survey of London: Volume 8, Shoreditch. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1922.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'The Clerk's House', in Survey of London: Volume 8, Shoreditch, (London, 1922) pp. 126. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

In this section


General Description and History.

At the south-west corner of the churchyard, facing Shoreditch High Street, is the house known as the Clerk's House (Plate 43). Before the rebuilding of the church, the corresponding house occupied a site on the opposite side of the church, and at the time of the dissolution of chantries a part of the upper portion of the then existing house was occupied as a lodging by "a morrow masse preyste called Sr. Thomas," (fn. 1) obviously Thomas Stoughton (or Stockton) the priest connected with the Elrington chantry. (fn. 2) It seems likely that it was this circumstance which gave rise to the suggestion that both this house and a tenement over the vestry house had been forfeited to the Crown under the provisions of the Chantries Act. At all events, on 17th March, 1584–5, (fn. 3) Queen Elizabeth granted to Antony Collins and James Maylard "all that our tenement now or late in the tenure of Hugh Williamson in the parish of Shordiche and another tenement there in the tenure of Katherine Kingesfelde, widow." Collins and Maylard two days later (fn. 4) transferred their rights to William Thornton and Nicholas Alchorne, the former of whom claimed the tenements against the vicar, Dr. Hanmer. Finally the matter was settled by an agreement between the two parties, to the effect that the two houses "should for evermore thereafter remayne, continue and be used, at the disposition of the vicar for the time being, and of the parishioners, for the lodging of a minister, or a scolemaster, or a parish clerke, in such place where a lodginge hath beene in ancient time, and for the use of keeping of a scolemaster . . and of the church wardens for keeping their vestrie."

The present house, which was erected in 1735, (fn. 5) is built in stock brickwork and consists of two storeys, attics and basement. The windows have frames flush with the wall, with the glass divided into small panes by substantial sash bars. The entrance door has a hood supported on carved brackets. The interior of the premises contains some portions of panelling of a period (probably the 16th century) earlier than the remainder in the house. The front room on the first floor has square deal panelling, and a china cupboard with fluted pilasters and a semi-circular head. The staircase has well-turned balusters and moulded close strings.

Condition of repair.


The Council's collection contains:

(fn. 6) Exterior (photograph).


  • 1. Deposition of Thos. Haddon (Exch. Depositions, 31 Eliz., Easter, Midd. (No. 18)
  • 2. See p. 93.
  • 3. Patent Rolls, 27 Eliz. 1254.
  • 4. See indenture printed in Ellis, History of Shoreditch, p. 301.
  • 5. Ware's Account of Charities of Shoreditch, p. 68, which also contains a plan of the premises.
  • 6. Reproduced here.