The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
This castle which stood on the site of warehouses on the side of the river Thames, and opposite Benet's-hill, was built by Baynard, a Norman adventurer who came over with William the Conqueror. He received many marks of that king's favour, and obtained from him the barony of Little Dunmow, which being forfeited to the crown, in the year , by the felonious practices of William Baynard, was given by Henry to Gilbert, earl of Clare, and his heirs, together with the honours of Baynard castle. From him it descended in the female line to Robert Fitzwalter, who was castellan and banner bearer of London.
About , there arose a great contention betwixt king John and his barons on account of Matilda, called The Fair, a daughter of the above mentioned Robert Fitz-Walter, whom the
whereupon, and for other causes of the like sort, there ensued a war throughout the realm. The barons, being received into London, did great damage to the king, but, in the end, the king did not only banish the said Fitz-Walter, among others, out of the realm, but also caused his castle, called Baynard's castle, and his other houses, to be demolished. After this a messenger was sent to Matilda the Fair about the king's suit, but she, not consenting to it, was poisoned.
In the year , king John being then in France with a great army, a truce was made between the kings of England and France for years. There being a river or arm of the sea between the armies, a knight among the English called out to those on the other side, to challenge any among them to come and take a just or with him, whereupon, without any delay, Robert Fitz-Walter, who was on the French side, ferried over, and got on horseback, without any to help him, and shewed himself ready to the face of this challenger, and at the course struck him so violently with his great spear, that both man and horse fell to the ground, and, when his spear was broken, he went back again to the king of France. King John, seeing this, cried out,
his usual oath,
The friends of Robert, hearing these words, kneeled down, and said,
Whereupon he was sent for the next day, and restored to the king's favour, by which means a peace was concluded, Fitz- Walter was restored to his estates, and had leave given him to repair his castle of Baynard, and other castles.
This Robert died in the year , and was buried at Dunmow, and Walter his son succeeded him. This barony of Baynard was in the ward of king Henry during the non-age of another Robert Fitz-Walter, who, in the year , married Aelianor, daughter and heiress to the earl of Ferrers.
The rights that belonged to Robert Fitz-Walter, as castellan and banner-bearer of London, lord of Wodeham, were these:--
The said Robert and his heirs ought to be and are chief bannerets of London, in fee for the castelary, which he and his ancestors had by Castle Baynard in the said city. In time of war the said Robert and his heirs ought to serve the city in manner as followeth: that is,
The said Robert ought to come, he being the man of arms, on horseback, covered with cloth or armour, unto the great west door of , with his banner displayed before him of his arms. And, when he is come to the said door, mounted and apparelled as before is said, the mayor, with his aldermen and sheriffs, armed in their arms, shall come out of the said church
| of St. Paul unto the said door, with a banner in his hand, all on foot; which banner shall be , the image of St. Paul, gold; the face, hands, feet, and sword, of silver: and as soon as the said Robert shall see the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, come on foot out of the church, armed with such a banner, he shall alight from his horse and salute the mayor, and say to him, |
And the mayor and aldermen shall answer,
These were the rights that Robert Fitz Walter had in time of war. The rights belonging to him and his heirs in the city of London, in time of peace, were as follow:
The old castle was destroyed by fire, in , after which it was rebuilt by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. At his decease, Henry VI. gave it to Richard, duke of York, who resided here, with his armed followers, to the number of , during the important convention of the great men of the nation, in , the forerunner of the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster.
This was also the residence of Richard III. when he took upon him the title of king. It was afterwards beautified, and made more commodious, by Hen. VII. who frequently lodged here. An act of parliament was passed in ( Henry VIII) for settling this castle on Henry duke of Richmond. The privy council met here, on the , for the purpose of proclaiming queen Mary; at which time it was the property and residence of William Herbert, earl of Pembroke.