The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas


Priory of Augustine Friars.


On the spot of ground still retaining the name, formerly stood a convent of Mendicant-friars, called properly Friars Eremites of the order of St. Augustine. The house was a priory, founded A.D. , by Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, and lord high constable.

Reginald Cobham gave his messuage in London to enlarge it, in the year . Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, re-edified this church in the year , and his body was buried in the choir. The small spired steeple was overthrown by a tempest of wind in the year , but was raised anew, and was standing in the year , in a very dangerous and tottering condition; but such was the venerable regard the city had for it, that a petition being preferred to the lord-mayor and aldermen, by the inhabitants of St. Peter le Poor, they readily concurred to


promote the repair thereof all they could, by using their interest with the marquis of Winchester, to whom the property of that monastery and the lands adjoining belonged, and for that purpose drew up a letter to him, in the most pathetic words, and moving arguments, exciting him to proceed with that work; which was as follows:

Right honourable, my very good lord,

There hath been offered of late unto this court a most jest and earnest petition, by divers of the chiefest of the parish of St. Peter le Poor in London, to move us to be humble suitors unto your lordship, in a cause which is sufficient to speak for itself, without the mediation of any other, viz. for the repairing of the ruinous steeple of the church, some time called the Augustine fryars, now belonging to the Dutch nation, situated in the same parish of St. Peter le Poor, the fall whereof (which, without speedy prevention, is near at hand) must needs bring with it not only a great deformity to the whole city, it being for architecture one of the beautifulest and rarest spectacles thereof, but a fearful imminent danger to all the inhabitants next adjoining. Your lordship, being moved herein (as we understand) a year since, was pleased to give honorable promises, with hope of present help; but the effects not following, according to your honourable intention, we are bold to renew the said suit again, eftsoons craving at your lordship's hands a due consideration of so worthy a work, as to help to build up the house of God, one of the chiefest fountains, from whence hath sprung so great glory to your lordship's most noble descendency of the Paulets, whose steps your lordship must needs follow, to continue to all posterity the fame of so bountiful benefactors both to the church and commonwealth.

So that I trust we shall have the less need to importune your lordship in so reasonable a suit: first, because it doth principally concern your lordship, being the owner of the greatest part of the said spire or steeple : but especially that by disbursing of a small sum of money, to the value of 50 or 60l. your lordship will do an excellent work, very helpful to many, and most grateful to all, as well English as strangers; who by this means shall have cause to magnify to the world this so honourable and charitable an action. And I and my brethren shall much rejoice to be relieved herein by your lordship's most noble disposition, rather than to fly to the last remedy of the law of the land, which in this case hath provided a writ De reparatione facienda.

Thus hoping as assuredly on your lordship's favour, as we pray incessantly for your continual felicity, we humbly take leave of your lordship. From London the 4th of August 1600.

Your lordship's humbly to be commanded,

Thomas LoweNicholas Mosly, mayor. Leonard HolidayRichard Markin, Robert HampsonJohn Hart, Ry. GodardHenry Billingsly John WattesStephen Soame, Thomas SmytheWilliam Ryder, Willam CravenJohn Gerrard, Humphrey WeldThomas Bennett.Mr. Malcolm very justly remarks we are at a loss which to wonder at most, the extreme meaness of his lordship, or the want of spirit in the corporation and the inhabitants of the rich parish of St. Peter-le-Poor.

But this took no effect, and this fine ornament of the city was demolished.

This house was valued at and was surrendered by Thomas Hammond the prior, with brethren, to the king, on the , in the of Henry VIII. A great part of this friary was granted to William Paulet, baron St. John of Basing, in Hampshire, created earl of Wiltshire, Jan. , and marquis of Winchester .

There were buried in this church, among many others of less note, Edmond, son of Joan, mother to king Richard II. .

Lady Margery de Ilderton, in Com. Northumberl. buried in Augustine Friars, London. Her will bore date, .

Guy de Mericke, earl of St. Paul.

In the middle aisle Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, lord high constable, K. G., who died .

Richard Fitz-Alan, earl of Arundel, Surrey, and Warren, K. G., beheaded .

John de Vere, earl of Oxford, beheaded on , .

William Bourchier, lord Fitz-Warine, obit circa .

Dame Jane Norris, lady Bedford.

Anne, daughter to John viscount Welles.

In chapel, John, son of sir John Wingfield.

The lord Angleure, of France. By him the lord Tremayle of France.

In the Chapter-house, many of the barons slain at Barnet field, .

In the body of the church, sir Thomas Courtney, son to the earl of Devonshire, and by him his sister.

Between St. James's altar, and , the lord William, marquis of Berkeley, and earl of Nottingham, and dame Joan, his wife. This William, marquis of Berkeley, by his last will, bearing date , bequeathed his body to be buried here in the friary of Augustine: and friars to sing perpetually in the White-friars church in , in the suburbs of London, for the testator's soul, and the soul of Thomas Berkeley, his son, &c. Sir Thomas Brandon, knight, who married the lady marchioness, bequeathed by his will, anno , to these friars Augustine, for a perpetual


memory to be had of the said marquis Berkeley, and the said lady his wife: and his own, to be buried in the friars preachers, London.

William Collingborne, esq., beheaded, .

Sir James Tirrell, sir John Windany, knights, beheaded .

Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, K. G., beheaded .

Guischard D«Angle, earl of Huntingdon, K. G., obit .

In the successful cruises made by the English in the year , about French ships were taken; Henry converted the conventual churches into so many warehouses for the cargoes. This and the Black-friars he filled with herrings and other fishes, and the Grey friars were filled with wine.

That portion of the church which was eastward, and not granted to the Dutch, the before-named Paulet, earl of Wilts, obtained in the year of king Henry VIII., who of his special grace granted him

The other part, namely, the steeple, choir and side aisles to the choir adjoining, the earl reserved to household uses, as for stowage of corn, coal and other things. His son and heir, the marquis of Winchester, sold the monuments of noblemen (there buried) in great number, the paving stones, &c. (which cost many thousands) for , and in place thereof made stabling for horses. He caused the lead to be taken off the roof of the church, and laid tile instead; which exchange of lead for tile, proved not so profitable as he looked for, but rather to his disadvantage.

In the of king Edward VI, he granted by letters patent, dated the , all that church, except the choir, to John Alasco, and a congregation of Germans, and other strangers, fled hither for the sake of religion, and to their successors, ; and the church to be called

The temple of the Lord Jesus;

Alasco to be the superintendent, and Gualter de Leone, Martinus Flandrus, Francis Riverius, and Richardus Gallus, to be the ministers: and this gift was confirmed by the successive princes to the Dutch strangers, and remains to them to this day, for the holy uses of prayer, preaching and administration of the sacraments.

It is customary for the Dutch and Walloon churches to pay a deference to every bishop of London, and to each lord-mayor, upon their accession to their dignity and charge, and to present


them with a piece of plate. Their ministers and elders of both churches, as representatives of the whole, at some convenient time, make their appearance before them, and of the ministers makes a short congratulatory speech to the bishop in Latin, to the mayor in English.

The existing remains of the conventual church, comprising the whole of the nave, is a portion of the church which was re.. built in , by the earl of Hereford, and displays the most perfect example of the architecture of the century in the city; it is far less ornamental than the generality of edifices of that age, but when the transepts and choir, with the lofty and elegant spire existed, it must have been a grand and extensive church, as the portion still remaining is larger than any parochial church in the metropolis. The west front is made by buttresses into central and lateral divisions: the former contains an entrance with a pointed arch covered with a frontispiece and pentice of wood of the latest description of pointed architecture, the jambs have attached columns, and the head of the arch the square headed architrave above it, which marks the workmanship of the century; above this is a lofty and spacious window, with a pointed headway, bounded by a weather cornice, and divided into compartments by perpendicular mullions; the head of the arch is occupied by subarches, enclosing circles and trefoil tracery, and sustaining a larger circle, occupied by quaterfoils radiating from the centre; the whole forming an elegant and pleasing group of ornamental stone work. The gable above the window is finished with a modern coping, behind which, on the ridge of the roof, is a small cupola of modern construction; the lateral divisions each contain a window, divided into lights by mullions, the arch filled with elegant quaterfoil tracery disposed in pleasing and fanciful forms, and bounded by a sweeping cornice ; the elevation of both of these divisions is finished with a parapet raking up to the centre gable, and the southern angle is guarded by double buttresses; a poligonal staircase tower lighted by loopholes, is attached to the northern angle of the front; the upper part of this turret, as well as a portion of the walls of the main building, is modern. The north side of the church is partially concealed, towards the east, by attached buildings, and the part which is visible, is made by buttresses into divisions, each containing a window similar to those in the lateral divisions of the west front. The south side of the church is more concealed than the other, the portion which may be seen from an adjacent court shews divisions made by buttresses, and containing windows exactly similar to those on the other side; in this uniformity the present church differs from the buildings of the period, in which the tracery of the windows was generally studiously varied, a series of different designs being met with repeated in succession, so that the same design occurs in every or window; in the present subject only


designs are introduced throughout the whole of the building. Near the eastern extremity of the south side, is a modern arched entrance, with a heavy rusticated frontispiece, and the wall is finished, as well as the northern side, with a modern parapet of brickwork and stone coping; near the entrance is a sun dial, with the motto,

Docet Umbra

; the roof is covered with slates, which, as well as the finish of the side walls, are additions in modern times. The interior is divided into a nave and aisles, by pillars, each composed of a cluster of cylindrical columns, and sustaining pointed arches on each side of the nave; the arches are lofty, and are of the graceful and elegant form which prevailed in the period to which the church is above ascribed. The jambs of the windows are continued to the floor, forming a recess beneath the cills, almost universal in buildings of this period ; the east end of the church is closed by a blank wall. At the end of the south aisle, is still seen the arch of communication with the transept. The roof of the nave is composed of boards, supported on strong beams, all whitewashed, that of the aisles is modern, and plastered. The windows of divisions on the north side are destroyed, and the spaces walled up, with the exception of a modern window; on the opposite side windows are destroyed, and modern substituted; in of the windows of the south aisle, is the following inscription, times repeated,


surrounded by an ornamental border in stained glass, and these, together with a crown and a portion of the mantling of a coat of arms in the west window, is all that remains of stained glass in the building; the inscriptions, it is to be recollected, were only set up at the period of the conversion of the building into a protestant church. The division from the west end, is occupied by a gallery, vestry, and library, the former has a ballustraded Ionic front sustained upon columns; on the frieze is the following inscription :--




This gallery contains a fine toned organ; the next divisions are vacant, and form a nave to the church, which occupies the remainder of the building; the whole of the walls are handsomely wainscotted with cedar or mahogany, and the pews and screens are pannelled in the style of the early part of the century, and are very fine specimens of carpentry. The altar screen, which is affixed to the eastern wall, is painted to imitate Ionic columns of stone, with their entablature, the intercolumniations being inscribed with the commandments. In the pavement are several brassless slabs, which are alone the remnants of the numerous sepulchral monuments which once adorned the building; the inlaid brasses were removed when the monuments of the church were so shamefully disposed of


at the commencement of the reformation, which aura, it is to be lamented, was disgraced by many similar acts of Vandalism. stone in particular, had a cross flory in brass, the traces of which are very perfect. The numerous modern gravestones, almost composing the pavement of the church, commemorate many respectable Dutch families, whose names have graced the mercantile annals of the metropolis.


[] Strype's Stow, i. book ii. p. 114.

[] Holinshed, 968.

[] Maitland, ii. p. 842.

[] John Alasco was uncle to the king of Poland, and some time a bishop of the church of Rome, having been driven from his country for his change of religious opinions, he settled at Embden, in East Friesland. He was there chosen preacher to a congregation of Protestants, who, under the terror of persecution, fled to England, where they were protected by Edward VI. On the accession of Mary, Alasco was ordered to quit the kingdom, and died in Poland in 1560.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward