Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1

Wilkinson, Robert


Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate.

Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate.



Notwithstanding the many authentic documents which are extant illustrative of the history and possessions of this ancient and celebrated Religious House, there appears to be some doubt concerning the person by whom it was actually founded. The Register of the Priory itself, and the authorities followed by Stow, state it to have been by Matilda, Queen to Henry I., daughter of Malcolm III., King of Scots: but Matthew Paris, and some other ancient historians assert it to have been by the Prior, Norman, of the Regular-Canons of St. Austin in England; and in a record preserved by Dugdale, the institution is ascribed to Richard De Belmeis, Bishop of London.[a]  It is probable, however, that the claims of the latter amount only to the interest which they took in the erection of the Priory, and the establishment of the new Monastical Rule: for the original and principal endowments seem to have emanated solely from the Queen. By the advice and persuasion of the Bishop of London, and of Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, she appears to have completed an imperfect church, which Syredus sometime began to erect in honour of the Holy Cross and St. Mary Magdalene; and having redeemed it from the payment of which the Dean and Chapter of Waltham were accustomed to receive from it, by giving them a mill in exchange,—she gave the church to Norman who was made Prior there, the Nones of April (), . The foundation was dedicated to the Holy Trinity; though, like other establishments of the same name, it soon came to be called , even in formal documents, and in the charter of the Queen it is entitled only

the Church of Christ within the Wall of London.

The same benefactress also endowed the Church and those serving GOD therein with her own demesne property of the Port, or Gate, of , and the Soke, or civil government, belonging to it; with all customs, to be held by them as freely as she herself had possessed them: and likewise with by weight, in the money called Blanks,[b]  due to her from the farm of the City of Exeter. All these gifts were confirmed by charters from the King,[c]  in which the fraternity is called

the Prior and Canons of the Holy Trinity, of London.

The Queen also gave to them the Churches of Braughing in Hertfordshire, with the appurtenances; and of St. Augustine near the Wall, St. Edmund the King, , and Allhallows upon the Wall, in London, to which the Prior and Convent presented: from which they received the yearly payments of from St. Austine's,— from St. Edmund's, and from Allhallows. All Saints or St. Catherine-Colman, Fen-Church Street, belonged likewise to the same house, and paid yearly; and William Corbyl, Archbishop of Canterbury, added the Church of Bix or Bixhill in Kent.

The edifice of the Priory was erected on a piece of ground in the Parish of St. Catherine, towards , lying lengthwise between the leading to , and the north side of that Chapel of St. Michael at the union of Leadenhall and Fen-Church Street, inserted in the Volume of the present work. The ancient measurement of the length of the premises is set down by Stow[d]  at ells half quarter and quartern, of the King's Iron Ell; but by another charter of Henry I., the Priory was privileged to enclose the way along , as well as to stop the passage there, and to enlarge the house and offices to the wall itself.[e]  The original title of the superior of this foundation, appears to have been Prior of Christ's Church, in the Parishes of St. Mary Magdalene, St. Michael, St. Catherine, and the Blessed Trinity, anciently the Parish of the Holy Cross or Holy Rood; all which districts were at this time re-united into Parish of the Holy Trinity. The inhabitants of the Parish of St Catherine however, at length procured that a Chapel or Church should be erected for them in the churchyard of the Prior, for their more convenient and quiet resort to divine service; in which of the Canons of the House was appointed by the Prior to say mass, though they were still obliged to bring their children to be christened at the Conventual Church, as well as to attend it upon all solemn feasts as the parochial church.[f]  The entire extent of the Priory freehold, was equal to that of the ancient Ward of ; and some notion may be formed of it from the following particular account published by Strype from a statement drawn up by a member of the Convent, and copied into the City Record called [g]  It extended

from the Gate of


as far as the Gate of the Bailey of the Tower, called Cungate; and all Chekyn-lane towards Barking Church, as far as the Churchyard, excepting


house nearer than the churchyard. And the journey is returned the same way as far as the Church of St. Olave; and then we come back by the street which goes by the Church of Coleman Church, then it goes forth towards Fen-Church; and so there on this side our houses is a lane, through which we went into the house of Theobald Fitz-Ivo, Alderman, which lane is now stopped up because it hath been suspected for thieves in the night: therefore, because, a way is not open there, we come back again by a lane to the Church of St. Michael, and so as far as


to the house of Richard Cavel. This, therefore, is our inward Soke, (namely that within the walls of the City) and these are the bounds of it. This the Queen-Mother gave to us with the Gate of





we go through the street by the Church of St. Andrew (Under Shaft) as far as the Chapel of St. Augustine upon the Wall; and then as far as the gate of the churchyard. This is the circuit of our inner Soke.

Soon after its foundation, the territory of the Priory was increased by the gift of that extra-liberty at the Port of called , an ancient account of which gift is also contained in volumes of the City Records marked C. and , and printed in the to Stow in the following abridged translation.[a] 

In the year of Christ


, and in the


year of King Henry, was the Church of the Holy Trinity, within


, founded by the venerable Lady Maud, wife unto the said King, by the persuas on of Archbishop Anselm. It was given unto Norman, who became the


Prior; not only there, but


Canon- Regular of the whole kingdom: for by him was all England, saith my record, adornea with the Rule of St. Augustine, and the canonical habit of that Order. By which Order, through the gathering together of many friars into that church, was the number of those that praised GOD day and night so much increased, that the whole City was much delighted with the sight of it. Insomuch that in the year


, certain Burgesses of the City descended of the ancient race of the English Knights, by name Ralfe, the son of Algode, Wolfard le Deverish, Orgar le Prude, Edward Upcornhill, Blackstan, and his cousin Alwyn, Alwyn, and Robert his brother, sons of Leofstan, Leofstan the Goldsmith, and Wyzo his son, Hugh the son of Wolgare, Algar Secusenne, Orgar the son of Dereman, Osbert Drinchepin, and Adelardus Hornpite;—meeting together in the Church of Christ which is situate without the walls of the City near


, freely gave unto the said Church, and unto the Canons serving GOD, all that land and soken, which was called in English


, which lies by the wall of the City without



The extent of this Guild was from Aldgate, to the present City-bars on the east; to Bishopgate, and the house of William Presbyter, afterwards that of Geoffrey Tanner, the heirs of Colver, John Easby and of Sir John Bouchier, &c. on the north; and on the south to the Thames, as far into the same river as a horseman could ride into it at low water and throw his spear. This space included all East Smithfield, with the right side of the street leading to Doddings Pond to the Thames; and the Hospital of St Catherine, the mills founded in the reign of Stephen, and the stone wall and new ditch of the Tower, made in the reign of Richard I. The estates and Guild were originally granted by Canute or Edgar, in the tenth or eleventh century, to thirteen English Knights who were to receive it upon the very honourable condition of each of them engaging in three combats (tilting) upon the lands and as many in the water, and gaining the victory: as also that on an appointed day they should hold a tilting in the field of East-Smithfield against all comers. This being performed, the King gave them the franchise by charter, and named it Knytte Guilden, or Cnihten Guild, in memory of the persons who obtained it: which charters were confirmed by Edward the Confessor, William II., and Henry I. The record of this grant mentioned above, states that by the forming of the outer stone wall and new ditch at the Tower in the reign of Richard I., the Priory lost half a mark, 6s. 8d., of its yearly revenue, in addition to the removal of a mill belonging jointly to the Priory and St. Catherine's Hospital. A garden also was nearly destroyed, which the King rented of the Brotherhood of the Hospital at six marks, 4l. yearly; for which, however, Edward I. secured to them the rent of five marks and a half.—Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. ii. pp. 3, 4, 9, 10. A part of this land was afterwards granted by the Priory of the Holy Trinity to Maud, the Queen of Stephen, on which she founded St. Catherine's Hospital; and for which the King gave in exchange six yards of land of his own demesne in the Manor of Braughing, in Hertfordshire. By the charters of some Bishops of London, confirmed by some Archbishops of Canterbury, the collation and donation of the Hospital were assigned to the Priory of the Holy Trinity; and the canonical rule was given back to the same by a bull from Pope Urban IV. in 1264; in consequence of a dispute upon a dispensation granted to the Hospital by a Bishop of London, with the Queen's sanction.—Ibid. pp. 12, 13.

and reaches unto the Thames. They gave it, I say, themselves becoming friars, and partaking of the benefits of that place by the hand of Norman, the Prior, who received them into the society, as he had done others before them, by an oath taken upon the text of the Gospel. And to the intent that this gift of their's might stand firm and unchangeable, they surrendered up, with other writings which they had for it, that Charter of St. Edward: after which they gave the Prior seisin and possession of the said land by the Church of St. Botolph, which had been builded upon the same and was the head of it. All this was done before these witnesses, Bernard, Prior of Dunstable, John, Prior of Landa, and divers other French and English people. The said donors hereupon sent


of their own company, Ordgar le Prude by name, unto King Henry, with their petition that he would be pleased to give his consent and confirmation to their said gift. Whereupon the King very willingly allowed the said land and Soken unto the Church: and to be free and acquitted from all service to himself, as Frank-Alms ought to be: which he thus confirmed by his charter —Henry, King of England to (Richard de Belmeis) Bishop of London, to the Sheriffs and Provost, and to all his Barons and faithful people, French and English, of London and Middlesex, Greeting. Know ye me to have granted and confirmed to the Church and Canons of the Holy Trinity of London the Soke of the English Knighten Guild, and the land which pertaineth thereunto, and the Church of St. Botolph, as the Men of the same Guild have given and granted unto them. And I will and straitly command that they may hold the same well, and honourably and freely; with Sac and Soke, Toll and Thea, Infangtheof, and all customs belonging to it, as the Men of the same Guild in the best sort had the same in the time of King Edward; and as the Kings William my father and brother did grant it to them by their writs. Witness A (delicia) the Queen, Geoffrey De Clinton, the Chancellor, and William of Clinton: at Woodstock.

This charter was afterwards confirmed by Gilbert, William, and Roger, Bishops of London; then by St. Alphage, Archbishop of Canterbury, and then by the Popes Innocent II. and Alexander III. The former Pontiff also glanted to the Prior and Convent that St. Botolph's Church should be served by of the Canons, to be removed at the Prior's pleasure: and by a bull in he appointed that whatever possessions and goods the said then justly and lawfully possessed, or might hereafter by the concession of Fopes, grants of Kings or Princes, offerings of the faithful, or by other just means, might be gotten,—should remain firm and inviolable to them and their successors. The same instrument also confirmed

the land and Soke of Anglische Cnihte Gild,

and whatever churches or lands, without the City of London or within, which had been reasonably bestowed by faithful people, or which should happen to be offered hereafter.[c] 

In consequence of the possession of this franchise, the Prior of the Holy Trinity was, for himself and his successors, admitted as of the Aldermen of London, namely of the Ward of Portsoken, to govern the same land and Soke; and as such the Prior was accustomed both to sit in the Court of Aldermen and to ride in their processions, wearing the scarlet, or other livery used by them, but made in the form of a religious habit, until the time of the dissolution of this house. Stow adds that he had been a witness of this practice in his own childhood; at which period also

the Prior kept a most bountiful house of meat and drink, for both rich and poor, as well within the house as at the gates, to all comers according to their estates.

[d]  Sometimes, however, this dignity appears to have been transferred to a secular deputy; since

Eustacius, the


Prior, about


, because he would not deal with temporal matters, instituted Theobald Fitz-Juonis Alderman of Portsoken Ward under him:

[e]  and in the ancient instrument engraved on the of the annexed Plates, in the time of Prior Richard, between and , Gilbert Fitz-Fulke appears as the witnessing Alderman. In -, the year of Richard II., William Rising, Prior of Christ's Church, was sworn Alderman of Portsoken Ward.—By a Bull of Alexander III., dated at Viterbo the , of the Ides of July (), in the year of Henry II, , the Superior of the House was invested with very considerable ecclesiastical authority; since it recites that the Pontiff granteth to the Prior upon his request whereby the state of the Church may be preserved and reformed for the better, that the persons of the said Church under the discipline of regular observance, may give to GOD worthy and acceptable service,—we grant him free power of correction, as is expedient; as to him belongs correcting of excesses of those under him, and recalling of fugitives[f]  to the same Church, as it pertains to his office,


Let no man, therefore, infringe this page of our grant, or oppose it by any rash boldness: but if any presume to attempt it, let him know that he shall incur the indignation of the Almighty God, and of the Blessed Apostles, the Saints Peter and Paul.[a]  It might be possibly from presuming upon this internal authority in connection with his civil power, that the Prior was at length presented in an Inquisition of Quo Warranto in -, the year of Edward I., for holding

his Wardmote of Portsoken of


within the Priory

, unjustly; because his wardmote was wont to be held within the Portsoken and not without:

the Priory of the Holy Trinity was in the Ward of .[b] 

In the civil wars between John and the English Barons, and in his dispute with the Pope, the Canons of this House appear to have been so zealously opposed to the King, that Cardinal Gualo, the Legate, in , gave them a Charter of the Church of Brackinges of Braughing in Hertfordshire;[c]  wherein he commends them for being such obedient sons to the Holy Mother Church of Rome, in the late disturbance in England, wherein they underwent heavy losses and no small wrong. With all these endowments the Priory of the Holy Trinity in the course of time became, as it is expressed by Stow,

a very fair and large church, rich in lands and ornaments, and passed all the Priories of the City of London or Shire of Middlesex.

A long and particular record of the houses standing on the Priory estates in London, with copies and abstracts of many of the charters conveying property in various parts of England,[d] —may be consulted in John Stevens' , vol. ii. pages -. It appears to have been drawn up about the century, after much of the conventual-property had been alienated on account of London having been twice destroyed by fire,[e] 

by which this House was reduced to great straits, in consequence of the City being to be rebuilt: and for the better maintaining of this Church for the future, the Prior and Brothers then all unanimously thought fit to sell the lands then acquired to this Church, though reserving for ever some small income from the same. And now because the world takes pleasure in deceiving every


, and is grown so wicked as to contradict and oppose the actions of the ancients, that scarcely any


will willingly suffer our revenues to be quietly paid us, without very great store of evidences, and those most authenticly proved from antiquity for our present justification;—I, therefore, Brother Thomas of Exebrugge, called the son of John Cornwall, Priest and Professed Canon of this Church, do undertake to renew this Rental, not according to the names of the several Priors, but according to the order of the old books, with the names in them written; as also, if I can, to express the Tenements, and with whose tenements they now stand; as also the names of those now inhabiting the same, for the better information of posterity.

It is possible that the deed of sale from the Prior and Convent of the Holy Trinity to the Prioress and Nuns of St. Helen's, represented in the of the annexed Plates,—was of the alienations above referred to; though it should be observed that the words of the chapter are

sine aliquo retenemento


and consequently no quit-rent was reserved in this instrument. The property conveyed by it was but a small part of that possessed by the Priory in the Parish of All Saints, or St. Catherine-Colman Church, Fen-Church Street; the total revenue of which is entered in the Rental above noticed at In noticing the engraved fac-simile of this ancient charter, it should be farther observed, in illustration, that it was written in duplicate upon the same parchment, the heads of the copies being placed opposite each other, with a word or certain letters inserted between them; which being cut through the middle when the instrument was executed, the counterparts had each of them half the word at the top, and might at any time be proved genuine by their perfect agreement when laid together. Instruments of this kind are generally called a pair of indentures, from the separation being usually made with an indented or waving line; but they were anciently frequently entitled , from the word being usually written between them in capital letters. In the present instance the initials appear to be R. P. F. & C.; characters perhaps signifying Richardus Prioris et Fratrum Conventus; the hand-writing is of the species called the Norman current. The original of the present charter was doubtless that preserved in the archives of the Priory at , since it bears the common seal and secretum of the Nunnery of St. Helen; whilst the copy retained at that House would have affixed to it the seals of Trinity Priory. The seal, that of the Dean of , was added in confirmation of the sale; since the same charter of Queen Maud which liberated this establishment from the authority of the Church of Waltham and all others, adds,

excepting that of the Church of St. Paul, and of the Bishop, in all things which belong to them.


It is stated by Fuller that

Christ-Church near




and solely dissolved, whilst as yet all others Abbeys flourished in their height as safely and securely as before;

but notwithstanding the extent of its ancient possessions, it is probable that the irretrievable decay of its prosperity, and the Prior's hope of being better provided for, were the chief causes which induced so ready a resignation of the Church. It appears by the instrument of surrender that it was given up to the King, -, the d year of Henry VIII. by Nicholas Hancock, the last Prior, with the Convent assembled in Chapter, by a deed sealed with their common seal; and on the of the same month, the Prior and eighteen of the Canons recognised and subscribed the surrender in the Chapter-house, before Richard Watkins, LL.B., Public Notary, and Rowland Lee and John Olyver, Masters in Chancery. In this instrument it is stated that the House was not moderately sunken in its produce, rents, provisions, and emoluments; but was in reality entirely reduced and heavily oppressed with debt. The Chapter, therefore, maturely weighing and considering that it must be utterly annihilated in both spirituals and temporals, unless the King, as the existing founder and patron of the Monastery or Priory, presently provided and succoured it with some speedy remedy:—gave and granted it to the King, to all the effect of law; and submitted themselves, their Monastery, and all their rights, into his hands, with free power and authority to alienate and dispose of them to whatever purposes he thought proper.[g]  By Letters Patent dated , the year of Henry VIII., the site of the Priory was granted to Sir Thomas Audley, Knight, and the boundaries of the place are therein described to be

from the great gate of our City of London called


, and thence on the north side of the

King's Street


Aldegatestreet, (the present




,) unto the Bell-house or steeple of St. Katherine

Christ Church

; and from thence by a certain street reaching from the said

King's Street

by the said Bell-house unto the great gate of the said late Monastery unto the stone wall of our City of London, and so by the said wall unto the said great gate called



[a]  By another charter dated , the year of Henry VIII., Sir Thomas Audley was invested with all that belonged to this Religious House lying within or without; namely in the Parish of St. Katherine Christ-Church, within , or in that of St. Botolph without:— to be held in Socage, by fealty only. Another charter, dated , in the year preceding, gave to Sir Thomas Audley, Sir Henry Parker, and others, the Manor and Rectory of Brawling, or Brawgling-Bury, in the County of Hertford, parcels of the lands of the said Priory.[b]  The Rectory was afterwards presented by Sir Thomas Audley to Hancock the late Prior, to whose compliance in the surrender he appears to have been greatly indebted for his quick possession of the property of this place bestowed upon him by the King. Stow says that

Henry VIII. minding to reward Sir Thomas Audley, Speaker of the Parliament against Cardinal Wolsey, as ye may be read in Hall, sent for the Prior, commending him for his hospitality, and promised him preferment; which promise surely he performed and compounded with him, though in what sort I never heard.

[c]  Fuller adds, though apparently on Stow's authority, that

it was an excellent receipt to clear Audley's voice, and make him speak shrill and loud for his master;

and that

though afterwards all other Abbeys were stormed by violence, this Priory only was fairly taken by composition.

[d]  The only known advantage, however, derived by the Prior, was the presentation to the Rectory of Braughing to which he was admitted , and which he resigned in :[e]  the Canons his brethren were sent to other houses of the same Order. Previously to concluding the present article by some account of the subsequent state of this place, the preceding notices of the Religious House which stood there will be most appropriately terminated by the following
LIST OF THE PRIORS OF THE HOLY TRINITY.The above catalogue is taken from that drawn up from the Register of the Priory, and inserted in Stevens' Supplementary Volumes to Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii. pp. 79, 80. Another list, extremely imperfect, is contained in Newcourt's Diocess of London, vol. ii. pp. 560, 561, which was copied by Browne Wihis in his History of Abbeys, Lond. 1718. 8vo. vol. ii. p. 127. The catalogue contained in the Register, however, extends no farther than the year 1420, and the names of the remaining Priors have been supplied from Willis and Newcourt.
   Name. Created. Died. 
 1. Norman.A very curious and interesting account of this Prior, translated from the Registers, is contained in Stevens' Supplement to Dugdale, vol. ii. pp. 76, 79. Nones of April (5th) 1107. 2nd Ides January (12th) 1147. 
 2. Ralph.The Register states that after the death of this Prior the house continued without a superior two years, thirty-two weeks, and one day; during which time all affairs were transacted under the common-seal and the name of Prior Edward, though no such person had really been elected, as appears by the testimonial letter of Gilbert Bishop of London. 16th Calends February (Jan. 17th) 1148. Prid. Ides October (14th) 1167. 
 3. Stephen. 16th Calends June (17th May) 1170. Deposed 6th Calends May (26th April) 1197. Died 19th Calends September (August 14th) 1198. 
 4. Peter of Cornwall. 7th Ides May (9th) 1197. July 1221. 
 5. Richard. 17th Calends August (16th July) 1223. 19th Calends September (14th August) 1248. 
 6. John De Totynge. 9th Calends September (24th August) 1250. 17th Calends August (15th July) 1258. 
 7. Gilbert. A. D. 1260. 3rd Calends January (30th December) 1264. 
 8. Eustace. 7th Ides January (7th) 1264. 13th Calends January (20th December) 1280. 
 9. William Aiguel. Prid. Cal. January (31st December) 1280-81. 12th Calends June (21st May) 1289. 
 10. Stephen of Watton. A. D. 1289. Deposed 6th Ides March (10th) 1302. Died in October following. 
 11. Ralph of Canterbury. 4th Ides March (12th) 1302. 14th Calends July (18th June) 1314. 
 12. Richard Wymbysh. 7th Calends June (26th May) 1314. Deposed 4th Calends June (29th May 1325. Died 16th Calends April (17th March). 
 13. Roger Poly. 3rd Calends June (30th May) 1325. Deposed 7th Calends June (29th May) 1331. Died 7th Ides January 7th. 
 14. Thomas Heyron. 6th Calends June (27th May) 1331. 11th Calends March (19th February) 1360 
 15. Richard de Algate. 6th Calends March (24th February) 1360. 17th Calends August (16th July) 1362. 
 16. Willam Rising. 6th Calends August (27th July) 1367. Calends of August (1st) 1391. 
 17. Robert Exeter. 19th Calends of September (14th August) 1391. Prid. Cal. Aug. (31st July) 1408. 
 18. William Haradon. A. D. 1408. September 1st 1420. 
   Thomas Pomeray. Occurs as Prior in 1457.   
   Thomas Percy. A. D. 1481.   
   Richard Charnock. Died Prior in 1507.   
   Thomas Newton. August 1507.   
   John Bradwell. A. D. 1509.   
   Nicholas Hancock. July 27th, 1524. Surrendered February 4th, 1531-32. 

Stow relates that when Sir Thomas Audley became possessed of the Priory, he offered the great Church[i]  with a ring of well-tuned bells to the inhabitants of the Parish of St. Catherine-Christ-Church, in exchange for their small Parish Church, intending to have taken it down and to have built on the site towards the street; but as there were many doubts of the lawfulness or security of the contract they refused it. He then offered the Priory-Church and steeple to any who would take them down and carry them away, but no person would venture to do so: whereupon, says Stow, to whom all these circumstances must have been well known,

Sir Thomas Audley was fain to be at more charges to take it down than could be made of the stones, timber, lead, iron, &c. For the workmen with great labour beginning at the top, loosened stone from stone and threw them down, whereby the most part of them were broken, and few remained whole, and those were sold very cheap; for all the buildings


made about the City were of brick and timber. At that time any man in the City might have a cart-load of hard stone for paving brought to his door for sixpence or sevenpence, with the carriage.

[k]  On the , Sir Thomas Audley was created Baron Audley of Walden, in Essex, and having built a mansion on this spot he appears to have made it his chief residence during his life, and to have died here in . In his Will, dated in that year, he bequeaths

to the Masters and Fellows of Maudlyn College in Cambridge, all my Parsonage of St. Catherine Christ-Church within


in London, with all tythes and profitts thereunto belonging, they serving the cure thereof: excepting therefrom all manner of tythes to be paid for my great mansion that I dwell in in the said Parish,


and the tythes of the howse in the tenement of Lord Clinton, and the howse late in the tenure of the Lady Burrough, and of all other howses in the churchyard next adjoining to my said chief mansion-howse, whereof I will no tithes shall be paid. After the death of Lord Audley, his daughter and heiress, Margaret,[a]  became the wife of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and the property at then received the name of

Duke's Place,

by which it is still known, though it has been long since destitute of every claim to such a character. I find, however, says Stow, in the Duke with his Duchess riding thither through to Leadenhall, and so to Cree-Church to his own house, attended with a horse in his own livery; his gentlemen afore, their coats guarded with velvet, and Heralds riding before him; namely, Clarenceux, Somerset, Rouge-Croix, and Blue-mantle.[b]  The Duke of Norfolk was executed for High-Treason, ; but the mansion of Duke's Place afterwards descended to his son Thomas, made Earl of Suffolk in ,—the eldest by Margaret Audley,—by whom the estate was sold to the Mayor and Corporation of London, by indenture of bargain and sale dated , the year of Elizabeth, —in whose possession it has ever since remained.

In the slight representation of this place contained in the Plan of London executed by Radulphus Aggas about , it appears of a triangular shape, enclosed by several buildings, extending from a square embattled gate leading into the churchyard of St. Catherine-Christ-Church, to ; where they form a rounded wall. Within this space, immediately behind the Church, are several large edifices, with gardens beyond; the northern side being bounded by a straight wall, leaving a long narrow lane between it and the City-wall: part of which lane is the present , . Another square embattled gate appears on this north side, leading into the great gardens of the place out of the lane; but the point of this triangle next is cut off by a straight wall, enclosing some smaller houses and a garden. The South Gate of the Priory of the Holy Trinity, represented in the of the annexed Plates, appears not to have been destroyed by Sir Thomas Audley, but was probably reserved as the principal entrance to his own mansion; though it is concealed in the Plan by Aggas, which shews only the walls leading up to it. This part of the Priory was situate in the lower end of , formerly called Cree-Church Lane, as exhibited in the Plan of the site below the annexed View. The gate was the last considerable vestige of either the Priory or Mansion which continued to modern times.[c]  The architectural remains at this entrance were considerably damaged by a fire which happened on the spot during the night of ; and a view of their appearance immediately afterwards, with some historical notices of Duke's Place and the Priory, are inserted in the for , vol. xlii. p. , in No. iii. of the


contributed by Joseph Moser. It is there conjectured that here, possibly derived its name from the figure of a Mitre erected by the Bishop of London against the walls of the Priory, to indicate his ecclesiastical authority over the House already noticed. After the fire the buildings in the vicinity received considerable improvement, and a stone tablet was erected against the house on the eastern side, with the following inscription,

Widened at the Expence of the Corporation of London, Harvey Christian Combe, Mayor,



In digging the foundations of the new houses, parts of the old building were discovered, which were evidently continuations of the vaultings formerly appearing adjoining to the gate. The whole of the ancient entrance was not entirely removed until the end of , and the present representation was taken during its destruction. In , the site was partly occupied by a new unfinished house, the whole passage having been rendered open; but in the last state of the gate it was surmounted by a modern house used as the school-rooms of Ward, which were quitted , for the new school-house in .[d]  From the name of the street leading through the arches into Duke's Place, this entrance received the title of King's Gate; but Hughson observes that the inhabitants distinguished it as Thrum Gate,

for no reason that can be now assigned.

The cause, however, appears to be that it was also called Mopp Gate, and thrum being of the materials of which mops are made, the terms were probably considered synonymous: but the word is also an ancient term for a Statute for hiring servants, which perhaps at period took place at this gate. The Plate annexed, containing a View of the remains of the Priory in , represents the principal site of the edifice in the great square called Duke's Place, or , looking to the east. In the broken wall on the left, are shewn several ruins of arches of both the early pointed and later broad forms; the reliques of the Religious House and of the subsequent mansion erected here, some of which are drawn on a larger scale below, with reference-letters expressive of their situation. The Ground-Plan beneath is placed in the same position as the View; the narrow passage out of Duke's Street at the top of the former, being represented behind the broken wall in the latter; and the situation of the architectural remains in front is also indicated on the Plan.

Though the buildings of Duke's Place be now greatly improved, the square still remains a large space of unoccupied ground, surrounded by inferior houses, and occupied chiefly by Jews;[e]  who appear to have settled on this spot in upon their permitted return to England under Oliver Cromwell.[f]  Until within about the last years, it was the custom to hold a yearly Fair in this square, called

the Jews' Fair,

at the Feast of Purim,[g]  to commemorate the execution of Haman and the deliverance of the


Hebrews, about It is probable that for a considerable time after the re-establishment of the Jews in England their rejoicings at this season were quite private, and that the fair was not actually sanctioned by any authority, until the commencement of the present century, when the parish of St. James's, Duke's Place, was allowed the privilege of letting the ground in the square for shows, &c. for days; which it generally permitted to be made . The profit derived thence to the Parish was about ; but the Fair was at length suppressed as a nuisance, and not the less such that whilst it lasted many of the Jews went about in masks. After the dissolution of the Priory the inhabitants residing within this precinct, being left without any Parish-Church, became temporary parishioners of St. Catherine-Cree, or Christ-Church, on account of its vicinity in the churchyard of the late dissolved house. Though they became thus chargeable to another Parish, the benefit derived from them compensated for it; and they continued to enjoy the advantages and to exercise the offices the same as the real parishioners, intending, however, to erect a Church for themselves whenever they found the opportunity. At length when it was perceived that the ground of Duke's Place was to be occupied with buildings for the benefit of private persons, some of the inhabitants petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury to intercede with James I. for their formation into a Parish, and the erection of a Parish-Church; and his Letters Patent having been issued for the same, the edifice of Trinity Christ-Church,—as it was called whilst it was building,—was reared upon

the long-decayed ruins

of the Priory: Sir Edward Barkham, Lord Mayor, and the court of Aldermen being great benefactors to the building. It was Consecrated on Thursday, -, by George Mountaine, Bishop of London, and George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, between the hours of and o'clock in the morning, by the name of the Church or Chapel of St James Within , in the presence of Sir Peter Proby, Knight, Lord Mayor, and several of the Aldermen.[a]  This edifice stands adjoining to the City of London Schools of Instruction and Industry, in , , and escaped the Great Fire in . On the eastern side of Duke's Place is the very fine Synagogue belonging to the German Jews, erected in ; but the Synagogue established after their return was that in Bevis-Marks, a continuation of , in :[b]  previously to which it is probable that they followed their ancient custom in England of having each a Synagogue in his own house, since so late as the Jews in London did not exceed .[c]  The Parish of St. James is privileged, and, though within the City, non-freemen of London may trade in it: there belong to it constables, who are sworn into office by the Lord Mayor at the Mitre Tavern, , whilst those of all other parishes in the City attend before him at .


[a] In the Historia Major of Matthew Paris, Edit. Paris, 1644, fol. p. 43, under the year 1107, it is stated that Norman the Prior founded the Church of Christ in London, and collected Canons there under the Order of St. Augustine: and the same founder is also named in the Chronicle of Bartholomew Cotton, and another at Rochester, eited in John Leland's Collectanea, Edit. Lond. 1774. vol. iii. (iv.) p. 73 (74 marg.) In Sir William Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. ii. Lond. 1661. fol. p. 80. the Chronicon of St. Bennet Hulme mentions the same founder; but another MS. cited in the same place, says that Richard De Beaumeys, a Norman, Bishop of London, founded the Church of Christ in London, in which he placed many Canons. The Register of this Priory translated and printed in the Two Additional Volumes to Sir William Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, by John Stevens, Lond. 1723, p. fol. vol. ii. p. 74, ascribed the foundation to Queen Maud.

[b] The money named Blanca, Blankes, or Albus, appears to have been so called from its colour, being made of a debased silver, and to have been generally paid by weight. It is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and was current in the time of Alan, Duke of Bretagne, A.D. 1087, each piece being in value six pennies Tournais, and less than the black pence then used, from which it was distinguished by name. As this money varied in value according to the quality and weight of the silver of which it was coined, in A.D. 1180, when Henry II. issued a new currency, the Sheriff of Exeter refused to pay the Prior of the Holy Trinity his half-year's farm at Michaelmas, by weight, because the new coin was lighter than that in use, when the Queen gave the donation: so that at the new rate of 20 1/2d. per oz. or 20s. 6d. per lib., the sum due would amount to 25l. 12s. 6d. by weight. The Prior Stephen, however, procured the full payment by a charter from the King. Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap iv. pp. 55, 56. When Henry V. was constituted King of France he issued a coinage of Blanks at 8d. each; but their currency was prohibited with that of all other base money, by Stat. 2nd. Henry VI., 1423, cap. ix.

[c] Copies of the various charters of endowments to this Priory are give in both Latin and English in Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. ii. p. 80; Stevens' Supplement, vol. ii. p. 74, and Appendix, Nos. ccclxii—ccclxxvi. and the Rev. J. Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Lond. 1720. Vol. I. book ii. chapters ii. iv.pp. 4, 11,12,55,56.

[d] Survey of London, by Strype, Vol. I. book ii. chap. iv. p. 56.

[e] It appears that this right was subsequently questioned, since in an Inquisition of Quo-Warranto in 1274-75, the third year of Edward I., the jurors of Portsoken Ward presented the Prior of Christ's Church for having applied to himself a lane between his Priory and the City Wall; through which was wont to be a common way. Survey of London, book ii. chap. ii. p. 5. It appears that this lane was afterwards opened again as it is shewn in the Plan of London by Radulphus Aggas, executed about 1562, extending from Aldgate westward, between the wall of Duke's Place and the City Wall: part of the line of this lane is still existing in the lower end of Duke-Street, Aldgate.

[f] Previously to the erection of this Chapel the inhabitants of St. Catherine's Parish were accustomed to celebrate mass in the south part of the Priory Church, where stood the altar of St. Mary Magdalene: but the confusion which arose from two services being performed in the same church at the same time, was the cause that the Parish Church or Chapel of St. Catherine Christ Church, afterwards corrupted into Cree Church, was erected. The very curious history of this edifice, though closely connected with that of the Priory of the Holy Trinity, is too extensive to be farther entered into in this place.

[g] A manuscript register so called from the name of the writer, William Dunthorne, and consisting of a large folio volume, bound in wood, covered with rough calf leather, secnred with tarnished brass bosses and clasps, and bearing the name on the outside, written on parchment, under a plate of horn in a brass frame. The leaves are vellum, and the writing a very fair small and black law text; and the contents are ancient civic laws and privileges commencing with the charter granted to London by William I. It appears to have been chiefly on the authority of this record, that Stow affirmed the weapon in the City Arms to be intended for the Sword of St. Paul;

[a] Survey of London, Edit. by Anthony Munday, Lond. 1633. fol. The Remaines, pp. 930-933.

[c] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. ii. p. 4.

[d] This is a reference to the monastic custom of entertaining travellers and visitors, especially those of distinetion, in the ancient Religious houses, as well as relieving the poor with a daily dole at the gate, consisting of the certain portions, and the remains of the food of the brethren, delivered by the porter. The former, however, were received in a large apartment called the Guest-Hall, supported by columns and surrounded by bed-chambers; the whole being erected as much out of the way of the monks as the building would permit. Several curious particulars concerning the reception of guests in convents, may be seen in the Rev. T. D. Fosbroke's British Monachism, Lond, 1817. 4to. p. 327.

[e] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. iv. p. 57.

[f] In 1255-56, the 40th year of Henry III., the Priory of the Holy Trinity was seized into the King's hands for receiving a certain thief who had escaped thither from Newgate, Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Book ii. chap. ii. p. 5. This was doubtless considered a breach of the privilege of sanctuary, and to be quite out of the authority conferred by the above bull.

[a] The original of this bull may be consulted in Rymer's Fœdera, Lond. 1723, fol. vol. i. p. 20 —vol. i. part. i. p. 21. Edit. Lond. 1816. fol. In the same collection almost immediately following, is another bull of Alexander III., dated Viterbo the 6th of the Ides of October (10th) in the same year, confirming a tax made through the churches by the deputies of the Church of the Holy Trinity for the benefit of the Prior and Convent.

[b] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. iv. p. 57.

[c] The Rectory of Braughing with the advowson of the Vicarage was originally given to this Priory by Queen Maud, which gift was confirmed by Walter Gualo, Cardinal-Presbyter of St. Martin, in virtue of his Legatine power as above stated; and upon inspection of his charter William De St. Maria, Bishop of London, appropriated the living to the use of the house, and on the 16th of the Calends of May (17th) 1218, made an ordination and endowment of a Vicarage there. The Priors of the Holy Trinity claimed all ancient feudal authority in Braughing; with the correction of the assize of bread, wine, and all the View of Frank-Pledge, and the holding of Courts Leet and Baron for the Manor.—History of the Diocese of London, by Richard Newcourt, Lond. 1708. fol. vol. i. p. 806.

[d] A fragment of a manuscript Register of this Priory, consisting of twelve leaves of vellum, in folio, and containing the Foundation Charter, with some of the other grants of various benefactors,—is preserved in the Lansdowne Collection of MSS. Vol. 448.

[e] The first of the fires referred to happened in the time of Norman, the first Prior, in A. D. 1132, and extended from the house of Gilbert Becket to the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was burned with nearly all its offices. At his time, says the Register, our Lord shewed a great miracle in this church upon a certain cross; which, when the fire prevailed, men endeavouring to get out with other goods of the said church, and drawing the same with ropes, they could not remove it, and the lead of the church melting they were obliged to desist. But returning the next day, believing it to have been consumed with the rest, they found it untouched by the fire. The second fire is recorded to have happened in the time of Ralph the second Prior, between A. D. 1148 and A. D. 1167, and to have been that terrific conflagration which burned from the House of Ailward, near London-Stone, almost to Aldgate, and as far as the Shrine of St. Erkenwald in St. Paul's. There must, however, be some error in this statement, as the last fire really happened in A. D. 1136.

[f] Strype's Stowe's Survey of London, book ii. chap. ii. p. 12.

[g] The original of this instrument is printed entire in Rymer's Fœdera, Edit. Lond. 1128. fol. vol. xiv. p. 411.

[a] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. ii. p. 5.

[b] Ibid. p. 6.

[c] Ibid. book ii. chap. iv. p. 58. The passage in Hall's Chronicle concerning Sir Thomas Audley, will be found in the xxi year of Kyng Henry the viii; Edit. Lond. 1809. 4to. p. 765.

[d] The Church Historie of Britaine, by Thomas Fuller, Lond. 1655. fol. book vi. p. 306.

[e] History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford, by Robert Clutterbuck, Esq. fol. vol. iii. Lond. 1827. p. 156.

[i] A list of some of the Monuments contained in the great Church of the Priory of the Holy Trinity, will be found in Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. iv. p. 58; the most remarkable of which were those of Baldwin, son of King Stephen, and Maud, daughter of the same Monarch, married to the Earl of Milan; Henry Fitzalwine, First Lord Mayor of London; and Geoffrey Mandeville, Earl of Essex.

[k] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. chap. iv. p. 58.

[a] She had been already married to the Lord Henry Dudley, youngest son of John, Duke of Northumberland, who was slain at the battle of St. Quentin in Picardy, August 10th, 1557.

[b] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, book ii. p. 58.

[c] Pennant observes that two gateways and some parts of the ruins of this Priory may be still traced enveloped in more modern buildings; and some of the south transept may be discovered in certain houses: from which it appears that the architecture was of the round arch or Saxon style. Some Account of London. Edit. Lond. 1791. 4to. p. 264. These remains were destroyed about 1803, previously to which, however, drawings of them were made by Carter, and a view of them will also be found in J. P. Malcolm's Londinum Redivivum, vol. iv. Lond. 1807. 4to. p. 1.

[d] Ancient Topography of London, by J. T. Smith, Lond. 1815. 4to. p. 19., in which place will be found an excellent view of the gate of this Priory, taken in Angust, 1790; and another view by the same artist will be found in his Antiquities of London and its Environs, Lond. 1791-1800. 4to. Plate 61.

[e] It is observed by Mr. J. T. Smith that in 1815 all the inhabitants of the houses in Duke's Place were Jews, with only one exception, those residing at the sign of the Fishmongers' Arms on the western side.

[f] The Jews were in effect banished from England by the passing of the Statutes of Jewry under Edward I., when they left the kingdom to the number 15,060, and remained in exile until the time of Oliver Cromwell; but previously to their departure they solicited the King for his writ of safe-conduct through the realm, the form of which is preserved by Sir Edward Coke, and is dated July 18th, 1289. Upon the establishment of the Commonwealth, the Jews sent over Manasseh Ben Israel from Holland to petition the Council of State for the repeal of such laws as had been made against them, that they might return to England and be allowed St. Paul's Cathedral for a Synagogue, with the Bodleian Library at Oxford; for the procuring of all which privileges they offered 5,000l. and Harry Marten and Hugh Peters undertook to solicit for them. The Jews who were subsequently re-established in London were chiefly from Spain and Portugal, but those who had been formerly banished were all Germans. Dr. D'Blossiers Tovey's History and Antiquities of the Jews in England. Oxf. 1738. 4to. pp. 259, 301.

[g] The Feast of Purim is held on the 14th and 15th days of the month Adar, the first being the principal. During this festival the book of Esther is read in the synagogue, and whenever the name of Haman is uttered, all the hearers clap their hands, stamp with their feet, and exclaim Let his name and memory be blotted out! The name of the wicked shall rot! It is also customary for the children to have little wooden hammers and to strike against the wall, as if to assist in constructing the gibbet of Haman; and as a memorial that they should endeavour to destroy the whole generation of Amalek. The prayers of this time for the deliverance of Israel, are attended by curses on Haman and his wife, and blessings on Mordecai and Esther. This is a feast of peculiar gaiety, when alms are given to the poor, relations and friends exchange presents, all furnish their tables with every luxury in their power, and somewhat indulge themselves in drinking, in memory of Esther's banquet of wine at which she defeated the designs of Haman. The origin and festivities of this season are recorded in the book of Esther, chap. ix. 17-19, and the modern masquerade appears to be noticed by Buxtorf, who states that some Jews wore party-coloured garments during the Feast of Purim, with the tails of young foxes in their hats, in which they ran about the synagogue, exciting the congregation to laughter; and that farther to increase the mirth the two sexes changed dresses, which, though prohibited by the Law (Deut. xxii. 5.), was considered both innocent and allowable at this time of rejoicing. Introduction to the Holy Scriptures, by Rev. T. H. Horne, Lond. 1825. 8vo. vol. iii. pp. 314, 315. The month Adar, in the Jewish Calendar, is the sixth month of the civil, or the twelfth of the ecclesiastical, year; and corresponds with part of February and March: in 1834 the Feast of Purim on the 14th and 15th of Adar, fell on March 25th and 26th.

[a] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Vol. I. book ii. chap. iv. p. 60; where the ceremonies of this Consecration are printed by Strype from a Register-book of the Parish.

[b] Smith's Ancient Topography of London, p. 19.—It is there added that the four other Jewish Synagogues in London, are that in Church Row, Fen-Church Street, built in 1724; that at Bricklayers' Hall, Leadenhall Street, fitted up in 1760; that in Back-Alley, Denmark Court, Strand, fitted up in 1765; and one in Brewer Street, established about 1813.

[c] Tovey's Anglia Judaica, pp. 279, 392.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 Howell's View of London
 View of the Fire of London
 City Wall
 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
 Sion College
 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
 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
 Guildhall Chapel
 A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London
 Knightsbridge Chapel
 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
 Somerset House
 Suffolk House
 York 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