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

Allen, Thomas


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.

Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. Sal. Sciatis quod assignavimus dilectos Clericos nostros Robertum de Hoton, & Thomam de Sibthorp, ad scrutand. arraiand. & recto ordine ponend. Chartas nostras de Pontefracto, Tutbury & Tonnebrug, [i. e. Tunbridge,] existentes; nec non illas quae de novo venerunt, & sunt in Custodia Custodis Turris n«rae London. & etiam oia illa [scripta] quae sunt in Domo Frum« Pradicatorum infra Civitat. London. In cujus Testimonium Rex apud Aldewerck xxiv Julii.

Et mandatum est Custodibus & Constabularis Castrorum praedictor. ac Priori Ordinis Frum« Praedicator. London. quod ipsos Robertum & Thomam Castra Turrim & domum doctor« Frum« ex causa praedict. ingredi permittant.

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:

That the precincts of the said friars were in London, and

therefore claimed the like liberty in them as in the rest of the city; and that divers felons, for felonies within the


precincts, were, in the friars times, indicted, arraigned, and tried in London. They claimed now to have from her majesty all waifs, strays, felons goods, amerciaments, escheats, &c. the execution of all processes, the expulsion of all foreigners; the assize of bread, beer, ale, and wine; the wardmote-quest, and such other jurisdictions as they had within the rest of the city. But the counsel against the city answered these allegations, and produced some other proofs for the better confirmation of the said liberties. They denied not the friars to be in London, but they affirmed them to be not of London, no more than

St. Martin's-le-Grand

, Creechurch, St. Bartholomew's, &c.

From the abstract of matters shewed before the lords chief justices by the council against the city, it appeared that,

Robert Kilwerbie, cardinal, surrendered unto king Edward I. the suite of Baynard's-castle, in London; whereupon the said Edward did graunt the graunt of the same to the friars-preachers to build the church there, &c. and also graunted it liberam et puram Eleemosynam The Black-friars founded the 7th of Edward I. Thomas de Bustings, of London, surrendered unto king Edward I. a messuage next to Baynard's-castle; the which the said king Edward graunted to the prior, to the enlargeing of the said Baynard's castle, to hold it of the said king Edward and his heirs. King Edward I. did graunt to the friars-preachers, that they might bring their conduit-water thorowe Smythefield unto their howse at Baynard's-castle. King Edward I. did graunt unto the prior all the tenements, &c. with howse thereon built, that came unto him by the surrendour of Will Dale, to the enlarging of their howses. King Edward I. did graunt unto the prior, that he should hold all the tenements within the precincts bounding to the same, to him and to his successors. King Edward II. did graunt unto the prior a messuage called Okeborne, in the ward of Baynard's--castle, to the enlarging of their howse, with a confirmation of all the former graunts unto them. And further granting unto the prior and convent, that they and their successors should be discharged of tenths, fifteenths, subsidies, quotas, tallages, or other burthens whatsoever, graunted, or to be graunted, to the clergie or commons, &c. An exemplification of an indenture made in French, between the maior of London and the prior, in Henry the third's time. The same incorporated by parliament, in the fifth of Henry VI. In 1484, John Alford, of the Black-friars, was executed for felonie; whose goods the sheriff of London would have had, but the prior answered the same to the lord of S. Johnes, of whom the scite was holden, and who did make the bridge at the Thames. In the 22nd of Henry VIII. ten serjeants would have served a writ on six priests in the Black-friars, and were resisted. The prior was by law constrained to pave the streets without the wall joining to the precinct; whereupon a cage being set up by the citie, he pulled it down, saying, That since the citie forced me to pave the place, they shall set no cage there on my ground. Sir John Portynarie reported, in his life, that, immediatelie after the dissolution, the maior pretended a title to the liberties but king Henry VIII. informed thereof, sent to him to desist from meddling with the liberties, saying, he was as well hable to keep the liberties as the friars were. And so the maior no further meddled, and sir John Portynarie had the keyes of the gates delivered to him, and a fee for keeping the same. The maior's officers arrested no person within the precinct in the friars' time. The fowre gates, enclosingthe precinct with walls, were in the friars tyme, and sithence to this present, kept shut from the citie by a porter. Malefactors found within the friars, were examyned by sir Will. Kingston, and others of the precinct, and not otherwise. The precinct never entred by the citie, nor watch there kept. Rogues, and such like, punished in the prior's stocks, at his commandment. The precinct inhabited by artificers not free, using their arts without controlment. Carpenters, masons, &c. have been fetched out of the countrie, and worked there without impeachment. The inhabitants never charged with any imposition to the citie. If any be slaine there, the coroner of the verge inquiered the deodands; which the lord of St. Johnes have. In king Edwardthe sixth's time, five citizens, committing a riott within the verge within the Friars, were indicted before sir Nicholas Hare, then justice of the same: and the maior then calling a sessions to inquire thereof in the citie, was, by two several letters from the council, inhibited to deal therein, to the infringing of the king's liberties: whereupon he desisted. In queen Marie's tyme the maior sought the liberties by act of parliament; but was rejected upon argument, and not brought to the question. The felon's goods, waifes, bloodsheds, fynes, forfeitures, amerciaments, and eschets, are still due to her majesty; which she should loose, yf the citie enjoy the liberties. All friars, and other spiritual precincts, were privileged from temporal jurisdiction through the realme, by divers statutes of this realme. All castles privileged; and the Black-friars was the scite of Baynard's-castle. Divers statutes, confirming the liberty of religious howses, especiallie in the 28th of Henry VIII. cap. 16. All liberties of suppressed houses vested in the king, by the statutes of 31 Hen. VIII. ca. 13, Hen. VIII. ca. 20. Larger liberties, than are now claimed, allowed in king Edward the sixth's time, to Robert Fitz-Waters, for the Black and White-friars. Which was since the liberties granted to the city. The Black-friars were of the fee of St. Johnes, and thereby greatlie privileged.Maitland, vol ii. p. 954.

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.

Ministers Accots London and Middlesex,32Henry VIII. Lands and possessions of the house or priory of Friars Preachers, within the city of London.
These possessions consisted of tenements and gardens within the city, the rents of which amounted to9334
Tenements'within the parish of St. Andrew by the Wardrobe14148
Rents arising from anniversaries5568

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.


of these pots, with the head in it,

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.

Who these were, there is no record, as I know of; nor had any of them names inscribed but


. They seem to have been some zealous priests or friars, executed for treason ; whereof there were many in the rebellion in Lincolnshire, anno


; or for denying the king's supremacy, and here privately deposited by these Black-friars.

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.

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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