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

Allen, Thomas


The Cross.


It was erected in , of stone, and was of the affectionate tokens of Edward I. towards his queen Eleanor, built where her body rested on its way to interment in . It had originally the statue of the queen, and in all respects resembled that at Northampton; at length falling to decay, it was rebuilt with the addition of a conduit or water spout, in , by John Hutherby, mayor, assisted by several of the most opulent citizens. This cross, which is engraved in this work, was ornamented with various images, such as that of the resurrection, of the virgin, of Edward the Confessor, and the like. At every public entry it was new


gilt; All the magnificent processions took this road. After the reformation, the images gave much offence; the goddess Diana was substituted instead of the Virgin, after the latter had been frequently mutilated.

The goddess Diana,

says Stow,

was for the most part naked, and water conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked breasts, but oftentimes dried up.

Elizabeth disapproved of those attacks on the remnants of the old religion, and offered a large reward for the discovery of the offenders. She thought that a plain cross, the mark of the religion of the country, ought not to be the occasion of any scandal; so directed that should be placed on the summit, and gilt.

In , the parliament voted the taking down of all crosses, and the demolishing all popish paintings, &c.

On the

2nd of May, 1643

, the cross in


was pulled down. A troop of horse and


companies of foot waited to guard it; and at the fall of the top cross, drums beat, trumpets blew, and multitudes of caps were thrown into the air, and a great shout of people with joy. The

2nd of May

, the almanack saith, was the invention of the cross. And the same day at night was the leaden popes burnt in the place where it stood, with ringing of bells and a great acclamation; and no hurt at all done in these actions.

The standard was situated a short distance eastward of the cross. The time of its foundation is unknown; it appears to have been very ruinous in , at which time Henry VI. granted a licence for the repairing of it, together with the conduit. The standard was a place at which executions and other acts of justice were frequently performed.

Nearly opposite the cross, at the north east corner of , was situated the Nag's Head tavern, celebrated as the fictitious scene of the consecration of the Protestant bishops, at the accession of Elizabeth in .

It was pretended by the adversaries of our religion,

says Mr. Pennant,

that a certain number of ecclesiastics, in hurry to take possession of the vacant sees, assembled here, where they were to undergo the ceremony from Anthony Kitchen, alias Dunstan, bishop of Landaff, a sort of occasional conformist, who had taken the oaths of supremacy to Elizabeth. Bonner, bishop of London, (then confined in the Tower) hearing of it, sent his chaplain to Kitchen, threatening him with excommunication in case he proceeded. On this the prelate refused to perform the ceremony, on which, say the Catholics, Parker and the other candidates, rather than defer possession of their dioceses, determined to consecrate


another, which, says the story, they did without any sort of scruple, and Scorey began with Parker, who instantly rose archbishop of Canterbury. The refutation of this tale may be read in Strype's life of archbishop Parker.

Among the various appendages to the old cathedral church of St. Paul, was the celebrated



which stood in the north part of the church yard, and was used for various purposes, as well secular as profane. Stow observes that its

very antiquitie

was to him



I reade,

he continues,

that in the yeare


, king Henry III. commanded a general assembly to be made at this crosse, where he in proper person commaunded the mayor, that on the next day following, he should cause to be sworne before the aldermen, every stripling of


years of age, or upward, to bee true to the king and his heires, kings of England.

About years afterwards the same monarch caused the bull of Pope Urban IV. granting absolution to himself and others, from their oaths to maintain the articles made in the parliament of Oxford, in , to be read here. From these and other events, it would seem that the cross was the general place for holding assemblies of the people at this early period; whether for matter of political import, or of ecclesiastieal reference.

In the year , Ralph de Baldock, then dean of , anathematized, or cursed at

Paul's Crosse,

all those who had sacrilegiously violated the church of St. Martin in the Fields,

for an hoord of gold,

&c. In the next century, the ancient cross was destroyed or dilapidated, by a tempest; yet though several bishops of London, and in particular, William Courteney, and Robert de Braybrooke, collected considerable sums for re-building it, by offering indulgences to all contributors, it was not re-erected till about , when it was

new builded

by bishop Thomas Kempe,

in form as it now standeth.

This form was an hexagon pulpit of timber, covered with lead, elevated upon a flight of stone steps, and surmounted by a large cross: and thus it stood till the year ,


when, in pursuance of an order of parliament, it was demolished by the willing hands of the lord mayor, sir Isaac Pennington, who died a prisoner in the Tower.

At this cross the


Jane Shore did penance, by order of the duke of Gloucester; and here, too, the celebrated Dr. Shaw broached the project of Richard to ascend the throne, though with fatal consequence to his own reputation and life. From this cross, likewise, the marriage contract between James the of Scotland, and Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. was publicly announced, in ; when was sung, bonfires set a blazing, and hogsheads of Gascoigne wine given to the populace,

to be drunken of all men freelie.

Here likewise the English, or Tindal's translation of the Bible, was publicly burnt, by order of bishop Stokesley; and many are the examples of bearing the faggot, and making public recantations of their faith, of persons of both religions, at this place ; the last who appeared was a seminary priest, who, in , made his recantation. Previously to this, sir Thomas Newman, priest, bore the faggot here, on the singular occasion

for singing mass with good ale.

In a manuscript in the , are the following particulars relating to the promulgation of the

Pope's sentence against Martin Luther,

made on the , at Cross.

The lord Thomas Wolsey, by the grace of God,

Legate de latere.

cardinal of St. Cecilia, and archbishop of York, came unto

St. Paul's church

of London, with the most part of the bishops of the realm, where he was received with procession, and censed by Mr. Richard Pace, he then being dean of the said church. After which ceremony done,


doctors bare a canopy of cloth of gold over him, going to the high altar; where he made oblation. Which done, he proceeded forth as above said, to the cross in

St. Paul's

church-yard, where was ordained a scaffold for the same cause; and he sitting under his cloth of estate, which was ordained for him, his


crosses on every side of him; on his right hand (sitting on the place where he set his foot) the Pope's ambassador, and next him the archbishop of Canterbury; on his left hand the emperor's ambassador; and next him the bishop of Durham; and all the other bishops, with other noble prelates, sat on


forms. And then the bishop of Rochester (Fisher) made a sermon, by the consent of the whole clergy of England, by commandment of the Pope, against


Martin Eleutherius, and all his works; because he erred sore, and spake against the holy faith; and denounced them accursed which kept any of his books. And there were many burned in the church yard, of his said books during the sermon, which ended, my lord cardinal went home to dinner, with all the other prelates.



In the year , that unfortunate victim of priestcraft and intolerance, Elizabeth Barton, commonly denominated the Holy Maid of Kent, was with her accomplices, exposed upon a scaffold at Cross, whilst their confession was publicly read from it, previous to their execution at Tyburn; and in the year , , the famous Rood of Grace, or crucifix, from Boxley, in Kent, was shewn openly at the cross, by the enlightened bishop Fisher, and its artful construction, by which its supposed miraculous motions had been effected, fully explained to the people, after which it was consigned to the flames on the spot.

When the opposition of the see of Rome to the divorce of the



from queen Catherine, had determined that monarch to abrogate the Pope's authority, an order of the king in council was issued, commanding, among other things, that from

Sonday to Sonday,

such as should preach at Paule's Crosse, should

teach and declare to the people,

that neither the Pope, nor any of his predecessors, were any thing more than simple bishops of Rome, and had no more real authority within this realm than any other foreign bishop; the paramount jurisdiction which they claimed, being only usurped and

under sufferance of princes.

On the accession of queen Mary, the orations pronounced from the pulpit cross vacillated in favour of the ancient regimen, and that princess appointed several of her best divines to preach here in furtherance of her design to restore the papal supremacy. Several tumults were the consequence, and attempts were made, by some over-zealous reformists, to assassinate the preacher, whilst in the midst of his discourse, yet, on both occasions, the weapon was propelled with an erring aim.

The reign of queen Elizabeth was in like manner ushered in by the appointment of able men to preach from this cross, but on the very opposite tenets of the reformation, and of the rejection of papal authority. Dr. Bill, the queen's almoner, commenced these discourses on the ; and was followed by Horn, Jewel, Sandys and many others, who soon afterwards were promoted to the highest dignities of our church. Here also, by the royal command, a sermon of thanksgiving was preached, after the signal discomfiture of the invincible armada. Another sermon preached at


this cross, and

set out by command,

was for the ungenerous purpose of stigmatising the memory of the unfortunate earl of Essex, as if, says the earl of Clarendon, who alludes to this circumstance, there had been some sparks of indignation in the queen, that were unquenched even with his blood.

In the library of the Society of Antiquaries, is an old painting on folding boards, which, about years ago, was purchased for , out of the rectory house, at Lamborne, in Berkshire, and was of the means employed by Mr. Farley to promote his great object of exciting king James to repair the cathedral. In compartment the king was introduced to . On a , the cathedral was represented without a spire, with rooks flying over it: against the north wall of the nave, a gallery, containing the king, queen, and prince, with , &c. on pannels beneath. In another gallery to the left of the royal family, sat a group of bishops, lords, ladies, &c. above it were choristers, and below it was inscribed,

Mr. William Parker, citizen and merchant-taylor, gave


poundes towardes repaires of my windows.

The mayor and aldermen of London were depicted in a gallery;

a crowd of citizens of both sexes sit before

St. Paul's

cross, a hexagon, which was covered with lead, and surmounted by a large cross; a bishop preaches here by an hour-glass, with several persons behind him, and a verger at the steps. A brick wall inclosed the pulpit, within which were people taking notes of the sermon, their ink-horns lying on a step beneath the preacher. An elderly man seated near the cross, is addressed by a

person bowing,

I pray, sir, what is the text?

He answers the d of Chronicles, chap. . At the west door, a coffer, inscribed,

The offering chest.

The houses raised against the building are shewn with smoaking chimneys; a label adds,

Viewe, O Kinge, howe my wall-creepers

Have made mee worke for chimney-sweepers.

In another compartment the church is represented repaired, and the houses removed, with a gallery adorned by the arms of England, London, and the sees of Canterbury and London. Other inscriptions, besides those above-mentioned, appear on different parts of the picture.

The last sermon, attended by sovereign presence, at cross, was that preached by bishop King, before James the ; yet religious discourses continued to be delivered here, down to the time of the civil wars, as is apparent from the journals of the house of commons, under the date of , when an order of parliament was made, that the lord mayor, and court of aldermen, for the time being, should thenceforth nominate and



all and every the minister, or ministers, that shall preach before them on the Lord's day,


at Paules church, Paules cross, the Spittle, and other places;

and that all sums of money accustomed to be paid

for and towards the satisfaction of such ministers,

should be discharged as usual. Before this order the preachers had in general been appointed by the bishop of London.

It is evident from various prints of the

olde crosse,

that the greater part of the congregation sate in the open air, but the king and his train, and the lord mayor and aldermen, had covered galleries.

The preachers, who were occasionally called from the University, or other distant places, to lecture here, were mostly entertained from contributions and funds, under the controul of the lord mayor and aldermen. A kind of inn, called

The Shunamites House,

was kept by the appointment of the church, for the reception of such preachers; and, at period, they were each allowed for a sermon,

with sweet and convenient lodgings, fire, candle, and all necessaries, during


days ;

but those allowances were afterwards reduced to for a sermon, and days board and lodging at the


The funds for their support are said to have accumulated to the then considerable sum of besides annual rent charges to the amount of .

Within the precincts of the old cathedral, which appears to have been inclosed with a wall, by permission of Edward the , with gates to shut at night, in order to exclude the entrance of profligate and disorderly people, by whom almost every sort of crime had been committed here, under shelter of the darkness, stood


[] Vide ante, p. 433, from a painting of the time representing the procession of Edward VI. to his coronation.

[] Pennant, 4to. 423.

[] Sur. of Lond. Edit. 1598, p. 268.

[] Stow's Lond. p. 268,

[] Stow's Lond. p. 268.

[] Howe's Stow's Ann p. 484.

[] Pennant's Lond. p. 330.

[] Vitellius, B. IV. Cott. Lib.

[] Weever's Fun. Mon p. 92 edit. 1631.

[] The bishop of London was also ordered, at his peril, to suffer none other to preach there, but such as would preach and set forth the same. Ibid. From this pulpit, likewise, the death-bed gift of the tyrant to the city of London, of the church of the Grey-Friars, St. Bartholomew's hospital, &c. with lands to the value of 500 marks, yearly, for relieving of the poore people, was announced by the bishop of Rochester, Henry Holbetch.Howe's Stow's Sur. p. 592.

[] Strype's Ann. vol. i. p. 133; and Penn. Lond. p. 331.

[] See ante, p, 301.

[] Mal. Lond. Red. vol. in. p 76, and Gents Mag. vol. i. p 180.

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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