An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey.
, the title of this district, is usually supposed to be derived from some Saxon proprietor of the name of Beormund: the termination ea or eye, which signifies water, denoted the nature of the soil, and is frequent in the names of places whose situation on the banks of rivers renders them insular or marshy.
A full account of this manor is given in Domesday Book as follows: The manor-house or palace, given by William II, in , to the monks of , was, after its surrender to Henry VIII, granted by him in to Sir Robert Southwell, who in the same year sold it to Sir Thomas Pope; by whom, soon afterward, the ancient edifice was taken down, and a capital mansion erected. Having been occupied by the Earl of Sussex and various owners, part of it was in the property of Wm. Richardson: and now () of James Riley, Esq. in whose garden there is an ancient wall with crosses and other devices in glazed bricks. The remainder of the site belonged to Wm. Smith, Esq. of Chiswick, so far as the new street called extends: beyond that, to the east, is , which extends to the Neckinger. This ground no doubt originally was a part of the Abbey Grange or Farm, and is now the property of George Choumert, Esq.
The parish of is situate in the county of Surrey and of Brixton, and is bounded by the parishes of St. John, St. George, and St. Olave in , and those of and Deptford. In it was computed to contain acres of land; a considerable part of which has been since built upon. In the parish was assessed in the annual sum of to the land-tax, being at the rate of in the pound.
The ravages of the plague appear to have been in most fatal, the number of deaths being . In there died persons of this distemper; and in , the number cut off was .
The increase of population in this parish between the years and , was very rapid; but in the last century comparatively small. In contained houses, and in the number was . In it contained houses and inhabitants; and in it had houses and inhabitants.
is now a place of great trade. The tanners are very numerous; and that business is carried on to a greater extent here than in any other part of the kingdom. They were incorporated by Queen Anne, in the year of her reign, by the title of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Tanners of the Parish of , . The waterside division is occupied by ropemakers, anchorsmiths, boat-builders, coopers, and others employed in making various articles used in the navy; and there are small docks for ships. Calico printing and dying were formerly carried on here. There are also some manufacturers of pins and needles. A brewery was established here by Mr. Fendall, and afterward carried on by Mr. Gibson till about the year , when the ground he occupied was let to build on. A manufacture of paper, from straw, was a few years since begun at the Neckinger, but it did not succeed; and at this time () it is occupied by Messrs. Bevington, leather-dressers.
The Priory and Abbey of St. Saviour of .
Aylwin Child, citizen of London, founded a Priory here in the year , and the of the reign of William I, called the Priory of St. Saviour of ; and placed therein a society of monks, from the Cluniac Monastery of La Charité, in Normandy, by the procurement of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury. William II augmented the revenues of this foundation, and completed the Conventual Church. Aylwin Child, the founder, died in the year . continued to be an alien Priory, dependent on that of Cluny, until , Ric. , when it was made denizen; and an Abbey. John Attilburg, the Prior from its foundation, was made the Abbot, by Pope Boniface IX, at the King's suit.
This religious house was enriched by numerous grants of land and bequests in money, by many pious persons; together with the advowson of several churches. The annual amount of the whole is estimated by a modern writer at , according to the present value of money.
The advowson of Priory was in the monks; but their election was not valid till confirmed by the King. In , by letters patent, dated , the King granted the next advowson to Thomas Wolsey then Bishop of Lincoln, and John Reve de Melford, abbot of St. Edmundsbury: but whether they ever collated under this grant, or it was afterwards resumed, is uncertain.
Of the internal state and history of Priory but little is known; the annals being nearly all lost in the general wreck of its fortunes.
It appears however that provincial chapters were sometimes held here, and that the Court occasionally made use of it for their meetings on affairs of state, where the King consulted with his nobles on the state of the kingdom. In the reign of Henry III many of the nobility, having taken the Cross upon them, met at this house to deliberate on the or er of their journey to the Holy Land; and in the of the same reign, William de Eborum, and his fellow justices itinerant, held their assizes here on the .
The prior and convent were obliged to find a competent maintenance for the Earl of Gloucester and his heirs whenever they should come hither. And Ralph, Earl of Stafford, who married Margaret, daughter of Hugh de Audley, Earl of Gloucester, is said to have died seised in demesne, or fee, of an apartment or lodging within the priory. A remote ancestor of his having given the advowson of Camberwell to the convent, which was confirmed to them by Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, in Hen. . For this and other services their posterity enjoyed this appointment in the nature of a corrody.
The Bishops of Winchester claimed an annual procuration, or entertainment for day, when they held their visitations in this part of their diocese. On a revival of this claim in , by Nicholas de Ely, then Bishop, the convent pleaded an exemption. The Bishop contested it, and at length a compromise took place on the following conditions: That the prior and convent, and their successors, on the coming of every Bishop of Winchester to , after his installation, should meet him in procession; and in lieu of the entertainment should pay unto him, and his successors, of silver for that time, at his house in , and on every succeeding year at Michaelmas; and if the Bishop should go beyond sea, the prior and convent were to receive him in procession on his return.
The prior and convent of , who had a park and other lands adjoining the bank of the Thames called , sustained such damage from an inundation in , by a breach in those parts, that they were exempted from the purveyance of hay and corn.
Edward II, in , issued his letters patent, for arresting the prior and certain monks of this house, for harbouring rebels therein. These were probably some of the adherents of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, who, after his defeat at the battle of Boroughbridge years before, had taken sanctuary in this convent.
The Bishop of Ely, in , excommunicated certain persons for stealing a hawk from its perch, in the cloisters of this priory. A proof of the estimation in which this bird was held by persons of rank, at that period.
Saint Saviour's or St. Thomas' Hospital.
Richard, prior of , with the consent of the convent, in built an almshouse or hospital, on a piece of ground belonging to the cellarer or bursar, and adjoining to the walls of the priory, for the use of converts or poor children; and dedicated it to St. Thomas of Canterbury It was under the government of the almoner of the priory, and exempt, as the priory itself was, from all episcopal jurisdiction. This house, on account of its being dedicated to St. Thomas, hath been confounded, by several authors, with the hospital of that name in , which was founded about the same period.
Agnes, the sister of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and widow of Thomas Fitz Theobald de Heili, gave to the hospital of St. Saviour of annual rent, issuing out of her estate in London, situate at Blanch Apultune in the parish of Stanynge Cherche, in the tenure of William Cook; and it is probable she was moved to this act of charity by a pious regard to the memory of her brother.
Priors and Abbots of , from the Foundation to the Dissolution.
The Seals belonging to the prior and convent, which are engraved on the annexed plate, and exhibit curious specimens of ancient art, are appendant to the undermentioned deeds and grants remaining in the Augmentation Office, and Chapter House, . They have been accurately copied, the size of the originals, by permission of John Caley, Esq. F. S. A. Keeper of the Records.
The Arms of the Priory and Abbey, represented on the same plate, were borne different ways: . Party per pale, Azure and Gules, within a Border Argent. . The same surcharged with a lion passant gardant, holding in his paw a Pastoral Staff erect, surmounted with a Mitre. Or within a Border, Argent, semé of B for . This augmentation was probably given on the Priory being advanced to an Abbey.
An indenture was executed in the reign of Henry VII, between the King, the Mayor and Commonalty of the City of London, the Abbot and Convent of St. Peter, , and the Abbot and Convent of St. Saviour, : for holding an anniversary in the Abbey Church of on the , to pray for the good and prosperous estate of the King during his life, and the prosperity of his realm; also for the soul of Elizabeth, late queen of England, his wife, and for the souls of their children; for the soul of Edmund, Earl Richmond, his father, and his progenitors; and for the soul of Margaret, Countess of Richmond, his mother, after her decease; on payment of the annual sum of , with a stipulation, that if it should remain unpaid for days, the Abbot and Convent of St. Peter of were to forfeit the sum of exclusive of the above sum of
Several distinguished and royal personages have found an asylum, and died in this monastery, or have been interred within its walls; among whom the following are mentioned by different writers.
Leofstane, provost, shrive, or domesman of London, was interred here in .
William de Morteign, or Morton, Earl of Cornwall (son of Robert, who possessed a hide of land in this manor at the time of the survey), died and was buried here, in the beginning of the reign of Henry I. Ralph Broke asserts that he became a monk of this house.
Mary, daughter of Malcolm III. of Scotland, sister to Maud, wife of Henry I, and wife of Eustace, Earl of Boulogne (who gave the manor of Kynewardeston in ), died , and was interred in this church, with the following inscription on her tomb:
Walkelin de Mamynot the younger, a benefactor to the priory, died here in the beginning of the reign of Richard I, and recorded in a chartulary formerly belonging to the monks of this place.
The corpse of Thomas of Woodstock, and youngest son of Edward III, on its arrival from Calais, was conveyed to priory, and deposited in the church, until it was interred in .
Matilda, daughter of Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and wife of Geoffry Lord Say, died at priory, in -, and was buried in the church of the Black Friars in London.
Katherine of France, queen dowager of Henry V, died here , and was buried in the Lady's chapel in .
Elizabeth Woodville, queen dowager of Edward IV, died in this abbey, in which she had been immured for many years, by the jealousy of Henry VII, her son-in-law, or, in other words, his hatred of the house of York.
Margaret de la Pole, wife of Edmund de la Pole (the last Earl of Suffolk of this family), and daughter of Richard Lord Scrope, by her will bequeathed her body to be laid in the Virgin's chapel, on the left hand of the altar, in the monastery of St. Saviour of , appointing Sir John Heveningham, Kt. her executor.
Dame Anne, or Amie Audley, bequeathed her body to be laid in this abbey, and by her will, dated , appointed a priest to pray for the souls of John, late Lord Audley, her husband, James Lord Audley her son, and John Rogers her husband.
George, son of John Lord Audley; John Winkefield, Esq.; Sir Nicolas Blonket, Kt.; Dame Bridget, wife to William Trussell; and — Helgrave, Baron of ; were also interred in this monastery.
Adelaide, or Adelize, daughter of the Countess Beaumont in France, wife of Hugh de Grantmeisnell, a benefactor to this house, was interred here in the reign of Henry I.
Richard Guet, who gave Cowick in Essex to this house, in , professed himself a monk here at the same time, and was probably interred in this church.
In , Edw. , the greater church of St. Saviour of , and the great altar in honour of St. Saviour and the most blessed Virgin Mary and All Saints, were dedicated by the Bishop of Epo Corbamensi fratre minore, on the of the ides of January. And on the octave of the same day, altars were dedicated by the same prelate: the Altar of the Cross, in honour of the same; the Altar Drueth, in honour of the blessed Virgin and St. Thomas the martyr; and the Altar that is next the door of the monks' burying-ground, in honour of the Saints Andrew and James and all the Apostles.
This house appears (by the date of its surrender, , Hen. ) to have anticipated the designs of the Crown upon the greater monasteries, by a voluntary resignation of its estates. Nor is it improbable, when we consider the preferments the abbot was advanced to, who made the surrender, that he was put in by the Court with a view to this event. The annual revenue of the convent, as stated in the original account taken by commissioners, and delivered to the King, was ; but according to a valuation in Hen. , taken also by commissioners, These different accounts might be taken from the same valuation; being intended to exhibit the extended rents, and the other the clear value of the estates. Yet it seems more probable that the latter was a subsequent , in which the value of their estates was underrated, in order to bring as many as possible within the Act for suppressing the lesser monasteries, which was passed the year following.
Of the pensions granted to the monks of this house on its surrender, and which were allowed to all who were not novices, probationers, or already beneficed, there remained in charge, at the dissolution of the Court of Augmentations, in Edw. , .
At the dissolution of monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, that of was valued at , according to Dugdale, and by Speed, at ; and it was granted by the King, , in the of his reign, to Sir Robert Southwell, Knight, Master of the Rolls, who had also a grant of court leet, view of frank pledge, and free warren. In the same year () it was sold by Sir Robert, with the manor, demesne, and appurtenances, to Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College, Oxford, who pulled down the ancient buildings belonging to the monastery, and with the materials erected a capital mansion, called House. This mansion, with the orchards, gardens, and out-houses, barn, stable, pasture, and ponds, at the back of the orchards, estimated at acres, he conveyed in , to Sir Robert Southwell, reserving the manor, and such other of the abbey estates as he had formerly purchased of Sir Robert, to himself; but in he sold the manor itself, with the estates belonging to the dissolved abbey, and the advowson of the rectory, to Robert Trapps, citizen and goldsmith of London, who died in , and Joan his wife, in -. The manor remained in the male branch of this family till , when it came by marriage to Edward Thurland, Esq. of Reigate. In it was purchased by Peter Hambly, of Streatham, Esq. who left it by will to his son William Hambly, Esq. of Carshalton, and by him it was bequeathed to his only son the Rev. Thomas Hambly (who was instituted to the rectory
|in , and in the year was in the possession of his widow. The advowson of the rectory of belonged to the abbey, and has undergone the same alienations as the manor.|
The water-side division of , or that part of the parish situate east of , and adjoining the parish of , is intersected by severa streams, or water-courses. Upon the south bank of of these, between and , stand a number of very ancient houses, called ; a south view of which is given in the annexed plate, together with a plan of the streets and lanes adjacent, as they appeared in , including the several wharfs on each side of , from an actual survey.
The parish church of , according to Stow, was built by the priors of monastery for the use of their tenants; the time of its erection and decay is unknown, but it appears that the Earl of Sussex, who became possessed of the mansion built by Sir Thomas Pope, was obliged to build a place for public worship at or near the place where the parish church now stands.
There had been anciently a royal palace in , probably that in in which Henry II resided, and held his parliament at Christmas . It was afterward occupied by the De la Poles, Marquises and Dukes of Suffolk. Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, built a sumptuous house on the site of it called Suffolk House; but falling afterward into the King's hands, the same was called , and a mint of coinage was established there for the King. Henry Gray, Marquis of Dorset and great-grandson of Elizabeth Queen of Edward IV, who was created Duke of Suffolk by Edward VI, resided here in . At the commencement of the reign of Queen Mary he was attainted of high treason, and beheaded in the following year. Queen Mary granted this house to Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, and his successors in the see for ever, to be their inn or lodging when they repaired to London; as an equivalent for York House near , which King Henry, her father, had taken from Cardinal Wolsey and the see of York.
The mansion built by Sir Thomas Pope (on the site of the monastery) was afterwards the residence of the Earl of Sussex, who held the office of Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, and died here in . Stow, in his Summary of the Chronicles of England, gives the following account of his funeral procession:
By a codicil to his will, dated , he ordered that his executors should keep house at days after his interment, on which they were to expend and no more; but the funeral charges alone amounted to , and the expenses of house-keeping to His effects at this place were valued at His executors were Sir Christopher Wray, Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench; Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls; Sir Thomas Mildmay, and others. A monument was erected to his memory in the church of Boreham, in Essex, executed by Richard Stephens, a statuary, who received for his part of the work
Of the mansion erected by Sir Thomas Pope, a correct idea may be formed of the style of building, and its interior arrangement, by an inspection of the plates, entitled
In the plate is shown the wainscoting or panneling of the room with its antique fireplace: over the latter is a large compartment, probably once filled by a picture. The details on this plate exhibit sections of the panneling and fireplace, with a Saxon ornament and cross in the wall near the gateway of the abbey. The plate exhibits a large room, the walls in part panneled in a plainer manner than the preceding room, and an ancient fireplace without ornament. The details of this plate are composed of specimens of the capitals of Saxon pillars, ornaments, and windows, from various parts of the abbey and the principal gateway.
The plate entitled
was probably the hall or refectory of the monastery, as its appearance is more ancient than those before described. The central vignette shews the exterior of the hall; the details explain the plan of the ceiling, its mouldings and those of the doorway leading to this apartment.
The Ground Plan, engraved from an original drawing taken in , exhibits a ground-plot of the old Conventual Church, with gardens enclosed by stone walls, and bounded on the north by the churchyard of ; the West and North Gates leading into the Base court-yard; the site of the Mansion-house, and the Gallery belonging to the same; and the East Gate leading into . On the south side of is shown the site of the Coney-grew, or Warren; the and Pond; and an Orchard called Wood's Orchard. No. shows the site of Mr. Whitaker's meeting-house, which occupied part of that of the abbey church; and No. . on the west side of the court-yard, shows the site of Mr. Mauduit's meeting house built in .
The plan is embellished with a vignette of the Church of ; and another showing the West Gate, and the North or Great Gate-house with its interior looking into the Base court-yard.
In the year there were a great many fragments of the venerable foundation of Abbey remaining, probably more than almost any religious edifice in or near London, owing to its remote situation, which has caused fewer improvements in the building line (that worst enemy to our architectural antiquities) than elsewhere. The principal entrance, called the Gate-house, was then nearly entire; its appearance the annexed plate will sufficiently explain: in addition to which, it may be necessary to observe that the front was composed of party-coloured tiles. This gateway stood directly north, and exactly faced the south side of church. An old stone wall ran eastward the whole extent of the churchyard. On the other side of this wall was a row of very old houses, whose stone-framed windows and style of building evidently pointed out their antiquity.
The present churchyard of was enlarged in , by taking about feet in width of the old conventual ground. It is enclosed by a brick wall, feet under ground, and above, on the top of which is an iron railing. In digging the foundation for this wall many bones were seen; some lying in the order they were interred, not having been disturbed before: and the late Mr. Ash, leather-dresser, in sinking some pits, found a stone coffin containing bones. All these circumstances prove that this was the conventual churchyard, as shown in the plan.
Since the annexed General View of the Remains of the Abbey was taken in , the great gatehouse, and nearly all the ancient buildings, with the exception of or dwelling-houses, have been destroyed, and a modern street (called ) erected on the site. The small portion of the abbey walls yet remaining is on the south side, and a fragment of the same wall on the north side of , the latter being a part of that which surrounded the conventual churchyard: but even these may probably soon be taken down, and all traces of this once famous Abbey will then be entirely obliterated.
|View all images in this book|
|Howell's View of London|
|View of the Fire of London|
|The Conduits of Cheapside and Cornhill|
|Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765|
|Frost Fair on the River Thames|
|Part of the Strand: St. Clement's Danes|
|Ancient Structure in Ship Yard: Temple Bar|
|St. Paul's Cross and Cathedral: With King James I and his Court at a Sermon|
|Ancient Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London|
|Paul's Cross (and Preaching There)|
|Elsinge Spital, Sion College, and the Church of St. Alphage, London Wall|
|Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle|
|The Priory and Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield|
|The Church of St. Bartholomew the Less: Giltspure Street, West Smithfield, in the Ward of Farringdon Without|
|Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street|
|The Priory and Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street|
|Monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Knight: In the Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Within|
|St. Michael's Church: Cornhill|
|The Parish Church of St. Paul, Shadwell: In the County of Middlesex|
|The Parish Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: In Cornhill Ward|
|Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill|
Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Interments in the Old Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Monuments and Inscriptions in the Present Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: Finished, A.D. 1681
Gifts and Charities of the Parish of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Rectors of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
Library and School of St. Peter's upon Cornhill
|St. Saviour's Church|
|St. Saviour's Church, Southwark|
|Winchester Palace, Southwark|
|Chapels at the Eastern End of the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark|
|Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem|
|An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey|
|Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate|
|St. Martin-le-Grand College, and St. Vedast, Foster Lane|
|A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London|
|Lambe's Chapel and Alms-Houses: Monkwell Street, Cripplegate|
|The late Mr. Skelton's Meeting House, Erected Near the Site of the Globe Theatre, Maid Lane, Southwark|
|Zoar Street, Gravel Lane, Meeting House and School|
|Oratory, Under the Antient Mansion, or Inn, of the Priors of Lewes in Sussex|
|Whitehall: Plate I|
|Whitehall: Plate II|
|Whitehall: Plate III|
|St. James's Palace|
|Fawkeshall, or Copped Hall, Surrey|
|Toten-Hall, Tottenham Court Road|
|King John's Palace|
|Clarendon House, called also Albemarle House|
|Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses|
|Sir Paul Pindar's House|
|Montagu House: Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury|
|The British Museum|
|Bedford House, Bloomsbury Square|
|Peterborough House, afterward Grosvenor House, Millbank, Westminster|
|Craven House, Drury Lane|
|Ancient Mansion called Monteagle House: Montague Close, Southwark|
|Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn|