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


Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn.

Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn.



That large and interesting Plan of London about the year , ascribed to Radulphus Aggas, exhibits the ground lying between and , as spacious gardens or fields, surrounded by low walls or hedges, with trees and scattered houses; the line of street being very much broken and imperfect.[a]  Some of the buildings appear of considerable importance, and at the north end of stood a messuage called Bangor House, with a large quantity of waste land about it, which formerly belonged to the Bishops of that See. The original grant of it to those prelates is perhaps contained in that entry upon the Patent Rolls of the year of Edward III., -, Part i. membrane , entitled,

The King mortgages to the Bishop of Bangor, in succession,




plot of ground,


garden, and other edifices in

Shoe Lane

, London, in the Parish of St. Andrew of Holbourne.

The situation of these premises was immediately behind St. Andrew's Church and Court, and Thavie's Inn; and was long commemorated in the name of the narrow passage called Bangor Court, of which the remains of the edifice formed the north-west corner. The last Bishop who appears to have actually resided on this spot was Dr. David Dalben, Vicar of Hackney. He contributed the sum of for repairing the causeway leading from that village and Clapton to , communicating the gift to his late parishioners in a letter dated from Bangor-House, in , : he also died at the same place, on the of the same month, and was buried at hackney.[b]  This messuage, says Strype, in his additions to Stow's ,

after a term of


years then unexpired, Sir John Barksted, Knight, did, in the year


, purchase of the trustees for the Sale of Bishops' Lands, with the said waste ground thereunto belonging; containing in length


foot of assize, and in breadth, from east to west,


foot of assize, more or less, with a purpose to build thereupon at the expiration of the lease: the building there being the chief advantage he expected to make by the said purchase, as appeared in an Act of Parliament, made Anno


, Against New Buildings in and about the Suburbs; wherein a proviso was made for him in respect of his purchase, having given more than otherwise he would have done, but upon his purpose of erecting messuages and tenements thereupon; and in consideration that the said place was at that present both dangerous and noisome to the passengers and inhabitants near adjoining.

[c]  It is probable that the lease of these premises had not expired at the Restoration of Charles II., and that Sir John Barkstead had therefore never the opportunity of exercising his privilege; since in the estate reverted again to the See of Bangor. It was, however, entirely abandoned as an Episcopal Palace, and the ground having been leased out, some inferior dwellings were erected upon it; the only reliques of its former states being a rookery, and a garden planted with lime-trees, which were remaining between and years since. The mansion itself had then been divided into numerous tenements, which were inhabited by between and persons of the lowest classes of society, chiefly Irish. An octangular bay-window, or projection of the building, of stories filled with casements, was almost all that was left of the ancient structure in ;[d]  and every vestige of it was entirely removed during the autumn of the year . The whole site was afterwards cleared and levelled, and was then comprised within the southern church-yard of the Parish of St. Andrew; but the space formerly called Bangor Court is at present occupied by a handsome brick building in the Tudor style of domestic architecture, for the


City of London National Schools,

founded in , and erected in .

Nearly opposite Bangor Court, on the eastern side of , stood an edifice commonly called the Palace of OLDBOURNE HALL, some vestiges of which form the subjects of the annexed Engravings. From a date upon of the side tablets of the rich Compartment-Ceiling represented in the of these Plates, it appears to have been made, or decorated, in ; and therefore the arms and initials of James I., his Queen Anne of Denmark, and Charles, Prince of Wales, crowned and surrendered by the Garter, were wrought upon the panels in the centre, and at the upper end of the same ceiling.[e]  The apartment containing this ceiling and the fire-place hereafter mentioned, is that on the floor of the centre house represented in the lower part of the plate; but the room which also appears above the crane, with an open window, formerly the carpenters' shop of Messrs. Pontifex's manufactory, has likewise



an elegant ceiling, though less rich than the former, and some of the anti-rooms at the back are decorated in a similar manner. The great chamber only, however, is ornamented with any heraldical devices, but from the continual introduction of the pomegranate, in the compartment of all the ceilings, it may perhaps be considered probable that Oldbourne Hall was of the buildings assigned for the lodgings of the Spanish Ambassador, the Cónde Gondemar, who arrived in England in , and had

the Bishop of Ely's house in


taken up for him, with an example,

says Sir John Finett,

not unmurmured at.

[a]  This would sufficiently account for the royal armorial ensigns on the ceiling of the state-chamber. The building itself, however, must have been considerably more ancient than the above date, since Stow, in even the edition of his , published in , page , says,

In this Shooe-lane on the left hande is


olde house called Oldbourne-hall; is


letten out into diuers tenementes.

To this description, it is rather remarkable that none of the subsequent editions of his work add any farther information; and in the absence, therefore, of any other historical materials, the present notices can comprise only some particulars of the modern appearance of this structure, furnished in , by Mr. William Pontifex, Sen. its present possessor, to Mr. Wilkinson, the original proprietor of the Londina Illustrata, when the drawings were taken for the present Engravings.

The old Mansion-house called Hall, says this description, in the year contained rooms, some being of large dimensions; at that time let to different persons in separate tenements. The whole of them had oaken floors, joisted doors, and oaken panelling all round the larger apartments; the ceiling of the principal of which, formerly used by Mr. Pontifex as a ware-room, has been already mentioned. The old entrance into the coppersmiths' shop, as shown in the view of the front of the manufactory beneath the representation of the ceiling, was traditionally said to have been a carriage-way to the coach-house and stables; but this front, together with a part of the houses on each side, was of a comparatively late erection, and did not form any of the original ancient hall, the real site of which appears to have lain backward from the street surrounded by gardens. The whole of the ground originally occupied by the mansion and gardens was about acres, the modern boundaries of which are Merlin's Rents on the north, and Eagle and Child Alley on the south; and its direction was straight downwards to the River Fleet, divided into parts by a line of old lime trees, removed by Mr. Pontifex in . In the lease of the premises the south of this line is called

the Great Garden,

and on this part stood the remains of the ancient hall, containing apartments for the domestics, and coach-houses of various sizes. The north side of the line of trees was called

the Pleasure Garden,

upon which spot was erected Messrs. Pontifex's extensive brass and copper manufactory in ; some of the premises had been, however, similarly employed for or years previous; and the occupant was a gunsmith who had resided on them years. On the south side of the line of trees, also, the greater part of the land was formed into a spacious burial ground for the poor of St. Andrew's Parish, containing about an acre and a quarter; at the western end was erected the workhouse, with dwellings; and at the eastern extremity, a number of houses formerly in Fleet Market, but at present constituting part of the western side of .

The of the annexed Engravings represents the stately Fire-place and Mantle-piece also taken from the same state-apartment of Oldbourne Hall, carved in the richest style of the early part of the century, and representing of the Labours of Hercules. The upper part is executed in oak, and is still sharp and perfect in all the panels and terminal figures: and the lower, or frame of the Fire-place, is carved in Portland stone. The old building containing these curious remains, is at this time, , still in the state represented in the Plate, though the apartments of it are now employed only for the depositing of articles not in continual use; as Messrs. Pontifex and Co. removed into a very spacious manufactory erected on the site of the house on the right hand side of the view, in .


[a] Some attention, however, seems to have been given to the state of the road here at a very early period, since on the Patent Rolls of the 40th year of Edward III., 1366. 67, Part ii. Membrane 39, is an entry for the Pavement of Faitour Lane, Shoe Lane, and Chanoery Lane.

[b] A copy of this letter is in Strype's Stow's Survey of London, 1720, fol. Vol. II. Appendix, p. 130, extracted form the Parish Books. Athenæ Oxoniensis by Anth. à Wood. Edit. Bliss. Lond. 1815, 4to. Vol. ii. Col. 881. Environs of London, by Rev. Dan. Lysons, Vol. ii. Lond. 1795. 4to, pages 491, 516.

[c] For this privilege one year's full and improved rent of all the buildings so erected was to be paid to the Exchequer of the Protector. Collection of Acts and Ordinances of general use made in the Parliament begun at Westminster, Nov. 3rd, 1640; and since to Jan 5th, 1659-60: by Henry Scobell, fol. Vol. iv.—Act for the Preventing of the multiplicity of Buildings in and about the Suburbs of London and within 10 miles thereof. At the Parliament begun at Westminster, Sept. 17th, 1656; Printed 1657, pages 20, 21.—Some other curious special licenses and exemptions are also contained in this Act: namely, to Francis, Earl of Bedford, for his charges in building and endowing a church, &c. for the Parish of Covent Garden: to the buyers of 250 acres of meadow-land at Deptford, for making harbours, &c. for 300 sail of ships: to the Governors of St. Bartholomew's, Bridewell, St. Thomas's, Bethlehem, and Christ's Hospitals: to the contractors for building on Lincoln's Inn Fields: to the Governors of St. Olave's Free-School, Southwark, for building on Horsey-down: to the Governors of the Poor of the Corporation of London, for improving a small piece of ground lying within the walls of the workhouse of the Minorites, without Aldgate: to John, Earl of Clare, for his new buildings in Clement's Inn Fields, useful for an open and free market: to the mariners, ship-carpenters, and caulkers, actually residing in any house or cottage below London Bridge, within two furlongs of the Thames: to the persons who have taken building-leases for 41 years of a certain parcel of ground in Stanhope Street along a dead wall, from the end of Blackmoor Street to Maypole Lane, in the Parish of St. Clement Danes.

[d] An engraved view of these bay-windows taken in the above year, was published in J. P. Malcolm's Londinum Redivivum, Vol. iv. Lond. 1805. 4to. p. 228.

[e] As the annexed representation of these arms and ornaments is extremely minute, and as the heraldical blazon of the former is very erroneously given by M. Gough in his edition of Camden's Britannia, vol. ii. Lond. 1789, fol. p. 26, from his view of this apartment March 8th, 1764,—the full and accurate armorial description of them is here inserted. Dexter shield at the south end of the room, Impaled: First coat, quarterly, 1st and 4th, quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure, 3 fleurs-de-lis or, 2nd and 3rd. Gules, 3 lions passant-guardant in pale, or, for England; 2nd, Or, a lion rampant gules, armed and langued, azure, within a double tressure flory and counter-flory of the second, for Scotland; 3rd, Azure, a harp or, stringed argent, for Ireland. Second coat, a cross Gules surmounted of another argent, in the dexter canton the arms of Denmark, viz. Or, semée of hearts proper, 3 lions passant-guardant in pale, azure, crowned of the field; in the sinister canton Norway, Gules, a lion rampant crowned or, holding an axeof-arms azure; in the dexter base Sweden, Azure, 3 crowns 2 and 1, or; in the sinister base Gothers, Or, 10 hearts, 4, 4, and 2, gules, in chief a lion passant-guardant, azure. In point of the escutcheon beneath the cross, the ancient ensign of the Vandals, Gules, a Wyvern, with wings expanded and tail nowed, or. Escutcheon in the centre of the cross, Quarterly: 1st, Or, 2 lions passant-guardant azure, for Sleswick; 2nd, Gules, a shield having a nail fixed in every point thereof, between as many hollyleaves, (3) all argent, for Holstein; 3rd, Gules, a swan argent; collared and chained or, for Stormer; 4th, Azure, an armed chevalier. plumed and brandishing his sword proper, upon a charger argent, caparisoned or, for Ditzmers. Over the whole an escutcheon impaled: 1st coat, Or, 2 bars gules, for Oldenburgh; 2nd coat, Azure, a cross formée-fitchée or, for Dalmenhurst. The shield is surmounted by an imperial crown for King James I. and Queen Anne of Denmark. Sinister shield at the south end. Quarterly: 1st and 4th, France and England quarterly, 2nd, Scotland, 3rd, Ireland, a file of 3 points argent; the whole within the garter and surmounted by a Prince's coronet; for Charles, Prince of Wales. Centre punel. The arms of James I. alone within the garter and ensigned by the imperial crown, between his initials and four roses and two thistles. Dexter panel at the north end. An ancient armed head, in profile, with the legend ROMVLVS ROMANORVM REX PRIMVS. Sinister panel a female head in profile, legend LVCRESIA ROMAE. Gough adds that the present building was called by tradition King John's palace.

[a] Finetti Philaexensis: or some choire observations of Sir John Finette, Knt. and Master of the Ceremonies to the last two Kings, touching the Reception and Precedency, the Treatment and Audience, the Puntillos and Contests, of Forren Ambassadors in England. Lond. 1656, 8vo. p. 62. The same volume contains several notices of the residences of Ambassadors in London, from which the following have been selected. 1615. July, Nov. M de Maretz from France, and Sign. Barbarigo from Venice, at the Charter House, pp. 26, 28.—1617. Nov. An Ambassador and Assistant Commissioner Chancellor from Muscovy; lodged by the Muscovy Company in Bishopsgate Street, p. 38.—1620. Dec. The Marquis de Cadenet from France, at Denmark House; namely, Somerset House, Strand, p. 68.—1621. Jan. Six Commissioners and Secretary from the United Provinces, in Lombard Street. p. 73.—1621. March. The Count Palatine Sindomerski from Poland, in Crutched Friars. p. 76.—1622. March. Thomas Simonwits from Russia, in St. Thomas Apostle, p. 93.—1622 April.—Swartzenburg from the Emperor of Germany, at Denmark House, p. 96 —1622, May. Don Carlos de Colonna from Spain, Ely House, Holborn. p. 103.—1624. Febr. Two Commissioners from the States General, in Lombard Street. p. 138.—1625. April. Sir Robert Snirley, from Persia, on Tower Hill. p. 145.—1625. May. Count de Tremes, and M. de Fyat, from France, at Suffolk House, Strand. p. 146.—1626. July. Two Commissioners from Hamburg. in Crutched Friars. p. 179.—1626. July. Paul Rosencrantz from Denmark, in Lombard Street. p. 180.—1626. Aug. Alano Contarini from Venice, at the Charter House. p. 181 —1626. Sept. M. de Bassompierre from France, in Leadenhall Street, p. 187. The house on the north side of the Strand, near Temple-Bar, occupied by the Duke de Sully and Christopher Harley, Count de Beaumont, both Ambassadors from France to England, was decorated on the outside with fleurs-de-lis, imperial crowns, roses, and conjoined hands. Antiquities of Westminster, by the late J. T. Smith, and J. S. Hawkins, Esq. Lond. 1807, 4to. p. 5, and plate.

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