The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
House or Convent of Grey Friars or Friars Minors.
The of this order of friars in England, in number, arrived at Dover, out of Italy, in the year , the year of the reign of king Henry III. being of the order of the Franciscans, or friars minors: of them, being priests, remained at Canterbury; the other , being laymen, came to London, and were lodged at the Preaching-friars in for the space of days: and then they hired a house on of John Trevers, of the sheriffs of London. They built there little cells, wherein they inhabited: but, shortly after, the devotion of the citizens towards them, and the number of the friars so increased, that they were by the citizens removed to a place in St. Nicholas Shambles, which John Ewin, mercer, purchasing a void piece of ground, appropriated unto the commonalty, to the use of these said friars; and himself became a lay-brother amongst them about the year .
Divers citizens seemed herein to join with the said John Ewin, mid erected there very beautiful buildings.
This church, thus furnished with windows, made at the charges of divers persons, the lady Margaret Seagrave, countess of Norfolk, bore the charges of making the stalls in the choir, to the value of , about the year . Richard Whittington, in the year , founded the library, which was in length feet, and in breadth , all ceiled with wainscot, having desks, and double settles of wainscot: which, in the year following, was altogether finished in building; and within years after furnished with books, to the charges of whereof Richard Whitington bare ; the rest was borne by Dr. Thomas Winchelsea, a friar there: and for the writing out of D. Nicholas de Lira's works, in volumes, to be chained there, , &c.
The ceiling of the choir, at divers men's charges, , and the painting at : their conduit-head and watercourse were given them by William Taylor, taylor to Henry III. &c.
This noble church contained, in length, feet; in breadth feet; and in height, from the ground to the roof, feet inches, &c. It was consecrated ; and, at the general suppression, was valued at ; surrendered the , the of Henry VIII. the ornaments
|and goods being taken to the king's use. The church was shut up for a time, and used as a store-house for goods, taken as prizes from the French: but, in the year , on the , it was again set open; on which day preached at Paul's Cross the bishop of Rochester, where he declared the king's gift thereof to the city for the relieving the poor; which gift was, by patent of St. Bartholomew's Spital in , valued at and surrendered to the king, of the said church of the Grey-friars, and of parish churches, the of St. Nicholas in the Shambles, and the other of St. Ewin's in Newgate-market, which were to be made parish church in the said friars church : and in lands he gave, for the maintenance of the said church, with divine service, reparations, &c. a year for ever.|
The seal of this monastery is very elegant both in design and execution. It is oval, with a diapered back ground; in the upper portion are religious persons ( holding a cross) bearing a triangular shrine, within which is St. Peter with his sword, seated. The tabernacle is ornamented with trefoil canopies, pinnacles, &c. Between the figures in base is a tree flowering, with birds sitting thereon. The legend is .
The , the of Henry VIII. an agreement was made betwixt the king, the mayor, and commonalty of London, dated the ; by which the said Grey-friars church, with all the edifices and ground, the fratry, the library, the dorter, and the chapter-house, the great cloister and the lesser; tenements, gardens, and vacant grounds; lead, stone, iron, &c.; the hospital of St. Bartholomew in West-Smithfield, with the church of the same; the lead, bells, and ornaments of the same hospital, with all the messuages, tenements, and appurtenances; the parishes of St. Nicholas and of St. Ewin's, and so much of St. Sepulchre's parish as is within the gate, called Newgate, were made parish church in the Grey-friars church, and called Christ's church, founded by king Henry VIII.
The vicar of Christ's church was to have a year: the vicar of St. Bartholomew's, The visitor of Newgate, being a priest, and the other priests in Christ's church, ministering the sacraments and sacramentals, to have a piece: clerks each: a sexton Moreover, he gave to them the hospital of Bethlehem, with the laver of brass in the cloister, by estimation eighteen feet in length; and the watercourse of lead, to the Friar-house belonging, containing by estimation, in length, eighteen acres.
In this monastery, there was a
which was used in queen Mary's time to confine vagabonds and idle persons. The porter of this dungeon was Ninian. Here Thomas Green,
| servant to John Wayland, printer, was brought, and, after some time, |
The defaced monuments in this church were these:
At the right side, the lady Enforme de Pysans.
In that part of the church, before the entering of the choir, were interred, In the east wing of the choir.
In Allhallows chapel.
In our Lady's chapel.
In the Apostles chapel.
By the door underneath the rood.
In the body of the church.
Under the bell-house and ambulatory.
Before the altar, within the walls.
Before the midst of the altar,
In the chapter house. In the body of the church, between the pillars.
In the west wing of the church.
In this church of the Grey-friars there were tombs of alabaster and marble, environed with pallisadoes of iron, in the choir; and tomb in the body of the church, also coped with iron; all pulled down, besides gravestones of marble, all sold for , or thereabouts, by sir Martin Bowes, goldsmith, and alderman of London!
 Common seal. Indent. of foundation Hen. vii. chapel in the Chapter Ho. Westminster.