The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
House of Friars' Preachers.
This order at had their house in Oldborne, where they remained for the space of years. In the year , Gregory Rocksley, mayor, and the barons of this city, granted and gave to Robert Kilwarby, archbishop of Canterbury, lanes or ways next the street of Baynard's-Castle, and also the tower of Mountfichit, to be destroyed; in the place of which the said Robert built the church of the Blackfriars, and placed them therein. King Edward I. and Eleanor his wife, were great benefactors, and were reputed the founders. This was a large church, and richly furnished with ornaments; wherein divers parliaments, and other great meetings were held; namely, in the year , the of Henry VI. a parliament was begun at , and adjourned to the Blackfriars in London, and from thence to Leicester.
In the year , the emperor Charles V. was lodged there.
In the year , the , a parliament was begun at the Black-friars, wherein was demanded a subsidy of ; to be raised of goods and lands, in every pound; and in the end was granted in the pound, of their goods and lands that were worth or might dispend by the gear, and so upwards, to be paid in years.
The parliament was adjourned to , amongst the black monks, and ended in the king's palace there, the , at o'clock at night, and was therefore called the black parliament.
In the year , cardinal Campeius, the legate, with cardinal Wolsey, sat at the Black-friars; where before them, as legates and judges, was brought in question the king's marriage with queen Catharine, as to its unlawfulness; and before whom the king and queen were cited and summoned to appear, &c.
The same year, in the month of October, began a parliament in the Black-friars, in the which cardinal Wolsey was condemned in the premunire.
This house, valued at was surrendered the , the of Henry VIII.
King Edward VI. in the of his reign, of his special favour, granted to sir Thomas Cawarden, knt. the whole house, site or circuit, compass, and precinct, of the late friar-preachers within the city of London, and divers other lands and tenements in London. The patent was dated the ; the yearly value being reckoned at . But the hall, and the site of the prior's lodgings, within the precinct of Black-friars, was sold, in the of king Edward VI. to sir Francis Brian, knt. being valued at per annum.
In this house of the friar-preachers of London, the ancient kings of this land had their records and charters kept, as well as at the , and other castles in England, as appears by this patent following, of the of Edward II.
Several seals of this friary exist; is of an oval form, small, and represents St. John, in his right hand a label, and in his left a club. He is standing on the back of an eagle. The legend is, .
Another represents the Crucifixion, between female figures, above which is a neat pointed canopy. The legend is .
A is similar to the last, only with adouble legend, the outer as follows: .
In the reign of Elizabeth this precinct was much inhabited by noblemen and gentlemen.
In , the city and the owners of Black and White-friars in London, had a great contest. The former claimed the liberties of both these friars, upon such arguments as these, which their council urged:
From the abstract of matters shewed before the lords chief justices by the council against the city, it appeared that,
Among other privileges Black-friars and the other exempt places claimed, was, that they would not contribute to the musters, when the militia was raised in the city; as it was in the year , sir Thos. Pullison, mayor, who was therefore obliged to make a complaint to the court thereof, praying, that, by their authority, Blackfriars, and the other privileged places, might also bear their burthen in musters, as well as other inhabitants of the city. Advertising the lord treasurer, «That whereas the Black-friars, , White-friars, and other exempt places, were appointed to he contributory to this charge, they refused to be taxed, and would not yield to pay any thing, unless they had directions from the lord treasurer, or other of the lords of her majesty's privy-council, for the doing thereof: wherefore, and for that the service fell out to be of far greater charge than was expected, he humbly besought his lordship's order and commandment to those exempt places, for contribution.
Among the above possessions was a rent from the lady Grey, widow, for a tenement or mansion within the site of the late house, (of Friars) at the end of the great dormitory, with a garden belonging to the same, let to sir Edward Benyngfeld, knt.
Also a rent of from the lord Parre, for the firm of a tenement in the great cloister there. rent from sir William Kingston, knt. for a tenement in the garden, near the little cloister. of sir Thomas Chenye, knt. lord of the Cinque Ports, for a tenement newly built, in which he now dwells. for a tenement or mansion, with a garden, let to lord Cobham, called Larks Lodgyng.
for a tenement situated near the church gate, called the Comtes Lodging, in the tenure of the chancellor of Rochester.
The ancient church belonging to the Black-friars, London, was, before the dissolution of religious houses by king Henry VIII. of the most spacious and fair churches in London. But the friars being put out, the church, together with other buildings, was utterly demolished.
Among the eminent persons buried in this church were the following :
Mr. Maitland notices a curious circumstance that occurred in Blackfriars, soon after the fire of London. Some workmen digging in a place where the convent was formerly situated, to clear it from the rubbish, they came to an old wall in a cellar, of great thickness, where appeared a kind of cupboard; which being opened, there were found in it pots or cases of very fine pewter, very thick, with covers of the same, and rings fastened to the top, to take up or put down at pleasure. The cases were flat before, and round behind. And in them were deposited human heads, unconsumed, preserved, as it seems, by art ; with their teeth and hair, the flesh of a tawny colour, wrapped up in black silk, almost consumed. And a certain substance, of a blackish colour, crumbled into dust, lying at the bottom of the pots.
Mr. Strype says, he saw in , being in the custody of Mr. Presbury, then soap-maker, in : which pot had inscribed, in the inside of the cover, in a scrawling character, which might be used in the times of king Henry VIII. J. CORNELIUS. This head was without a neck, having short red hair upon it, thick, and that would not be pulled off; and yellow hair upon the temples: a little bald on the top, perhaps a tonsure; the fore part of the nose sunk, the mouth gaping, sound teeth, others had been plucked out; the skin like tanned leather, the features of the face visible. There was body found near it buried, and without any head; but no other bodies found. The other heads had some of the necks joined to them, and had a broader and plainer razure, which shewed them priests. These heads are now dispersed. was given to an apothecary, another was entrusted with the parish clerk, who got money by shewing of it. It is probable they were at last privately procured, and conveyed abroad; and now become holy relics.
The ample privileges, which the inhabitants of Black-friars formerly enjoyed, have been for many years lost; so that now the sheriff's officers can arrest there; the shop-keepers are obliged to be
|free of the city; and it now forms part of the ward of Farringdon-within.|
The parishioners of this precinct, who had been accommodated for their religious rites in the priory church, on the demolition of the establishment, were left without a place of worship: they complained thereof in queen Mary's reign, and sir Thomas Corden, being obliged to find a church for the inhabitants, allowed them a lodging-chamber above stairs; which, in the year , fell down. Then the parishioners purchased an additional piece of ground to enlarge their church, which they rebuilt by subscription, and it was consecrated and dedicated to St. Anne, on , A. D. , and ordained to be thenceforward called The church or chapel of St. Anne, within the precinct of Black-friars. This precinct increased so much with inhabitants, that, in the year , they found it necessary to enlarge their church ; and, for that purpose, purchased so much housing on the south side thereof, as enlarged the church feet inches in breadth, and in length; whereon they built an aisle, as an addition to it, and also a vault for a burial-place beneath; having before purchased the church, churchyard, porch, and parsonage-house, with the right of patronage, from sir George Moore. But it had no tythes belonging to it.
This church, which was a donative or curacy, was burnt down in the general conflagration of the city, and the parish was annexed to St. Andrew's Wardrobe.
Near to the north-west corner of stood the
 Cart 14 Edw. I, Duchy of Lancaster office.
 Attached to the surrender, 12th Nov. 30th Hen. VIII. in the Augmentation office.
 Duchy of Lancaster office.