Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward

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THe next is Cordwainer street warde, taking
that name of Cordwainers, or Shoemakers,
Curriars, and workers of Leather dwelling
there: for it appeareth in the records of H. the
. the ninth of his raign
, that an order was ta-
ken then for Cordwainers and curriars in

Corney streete, and Sopars lane.
This warde beginneth in the East, on the west side of Wal-
, & runneth west through Budge Row (a street so called of
the Budge Fur, and of Skinners dwelling there) then vp by Saint
through Aetheling (or Noble streete) as
Leyland termeth it, commonly called Wathling streete, to the
Red Lyon, a place so called of a greate Lyon of Tymber placed
there at a gate, entering to a large Court, wherein are diuers
fayre and large shops well furnished with brode clothes, and o-
ther draperies of all sortes to be solde, and this is the farthest west
part of this warde.
On the South side of this streete from Budge Row, lieth a
lane turning downe by the west gate of the Tower Royall, and
to the south end of the stone wall, beyond the said gate is of this
ward, and is accounted a parte of the Royall streete, against
this west gate of the Tower Royall, is one other lane, that run-
neth west to Cordwainer streete, and this is called Turnebase
: on the south side whereof is a peece of Wringwren lane
to the northwest corner of S. Thomas church the Apostle. Thē
againe out of the high streete called Wathling, is one other street
which runneth thwart the same, and this is Cordwainer streete
whereof the whole warde taketh name, this streete beginneth
by west Cheape and Saint Mary Bow church is the head there-
of on the west side, and it runneth down south through that part
which of later time was called Hosiar lane, now Bow lane, and
then by the west ende of Aldmary church, to the new builded
houses, in place of Ormond house, and so to Earlicke hill, or hith,
to Saint Iames church, the vpper part of this streete towardes
Cheape was called Hosiar lane of Hosiars dwelling there in
place of Shoomakers: but now those Hosiars being worne out by
men of other Trades (as the Hosiars had worne out the Shoma-
kers the same is called Bow lane of Bow church. On the west
side of Cordwainers streete is Basing lane, right ouer against
Turne basse lane. This Basing lane west to the backe gate of the
Red Lion, in Wathling streete, is of this Cordwainers streete
Now againe on the North side of the high street in Budge Row,
by the East ende of S. Anthonines church, haue ye S. Sithis lane

so called of S. Sithes church (which standeth against that lanes
end: and this place is wholly of Cordwayner stréet warde: and
also the south side of Needlers lane, which reacheth from the north
end of S. Sithes lane, West to Sopars lane. Then somewhat
west from S. Anthonines church is that Sopars lane, which took
that name not of making sope there, as some haue supposed, but of
one Alleyne le Sopar, in the 9. of Edward the ſecond. Then in
Bow lane (as they new call it) is Goose lane by Bow church, W.
Mercer had tenemenies there in the 26. of Edward the 3.
Then from the south end of Bow lane, vp Watheling streete,
till ouer against the red Lyon: And these be the bounds of Cord-
wayner stréet warde
. Touching monuments therein, first you
haue the faire parish church of S. Anthonines in Budge rowe, on
the North side thereof. This church was lately reedified by Tho-
mas Knowls
Grocer Mayor, & by Thomas Knowles his sonne,
both buried there, with Epitaphes, of the father thus.
Here lyeth grauen vnder this stone,
Thomas Knowles,
Epitaph of
Tho. Knowles
both flesh and bone
Grocer and Alderman, yeares fortie
Sheriffe, and twice Mayor truly,
And for he should not lie alone,
Here lyeth with him his good wife Ioane,
They were together sixtie yeare,
And nineteene children they had in feere &c.
Thomas Holland Mercer was there buried 1456. Thomas
Mercer Alderman, and Katherine his wife, Thomas
Mercer, 1528. He was a benefactor to this church, to
Aldemary church, and to Bow: Hugh Acton Merchantaylor
buried 1520. He gaue 36. pounde to the repayring of the steeple
of this church: Simon Streete Grocer lyeth in the Church wall
toward the south, his armes be thrée Colts, and his Epitaph thus.
Such as I am, such shall you be,
Simon Streete
his Epitaph.
Grocer of London sometime was I,
The kings Wayar more then yeares twentie,
Simon Street called in my place,
And good fellowship faine would trace,
Therefore in heauen, euerlasting life
Iesu send me, and Agnes my wife:

This text is the corrected text. The original is 198 202 1
Kerlie Merlie, my wordes were tho,
And Deo gratias I coupled thereto,
I passed to God in the yeare of grace
A thousand foure hundred it was, &c.
William Dauntsey Mercer one of the Sheriffes buried
1542. Henry Collet Mercer Mayor, a great benefactor to
this church, the pictures of him, his wife, ten sonnes, and tenne
daughters remaine in the glasse window on the North side of the
church: but the saide Henry Collet was buried at Stebun-
hith. Henry Halton Grocer, one of the Sheriffes, deceased
1415. Thomas Spight Merchantaylor 1533. and Roger
Mercer Mayor deceased, 1573. Next on the south side
of Budge rowe by the West corner therof, and on the East side of
Cordwayner stréete, is one other faire church, called Aldemary
, because the same was very old, and elder then any church
of Saint Mary in the cittie, till of late yeares the foundation of a
very faire new church was laide there by Henry Keble Grocer,
Mayor, who deceased 1518. and was there buried in a vault by
him prepared, with a faire monument raysed ouer ouer him on the
North side the quire, now destroyed and gone, he gaue by his te-
stament 1000. £. towards the building of that church, Richarde
Richard Chau-
father to
poet,2 as
may be sup-
Uintner gaue lands to that church, & was there buried,
1348. Iohn Briton, Raph Hollande Draper one of the She-
riffes deceased 1452. William Taylor Grocer Mayor deceased,
1483. He discharged that ward of fiftéenes to be paid by the poore,
Thomas Hinde Mercer buried in S. Anthonines, gaue 10. fodar
of lead to the couering of the middle Isle of this Aldemary church,
Charles Blunt Lord Montioy was buried there, about the yeare
. he made or glased the East window, as appeareth by his
Armes: his Epitaph made by him in his life time thus.
Willingly haue I sought, and willingly haue I found,
The fatall end that wrought thether as dutie bound:
Discharged I am of that I ought to my cuntry by onest woūd
My soul departed Christ hath bought, the end of mā is groūd.
Sir William Laxton Grocer Mayor, deceased 1556. was
buried in the vault, prepared by Henry Keble principall founder
of that church for himself but now his bones are vnkindly cast out,
his monuments pulled downe, and the bodies of the said Sir Wil-

This text is the corrected text. The original is 199 203 3
Laxton and of Sir Thomas Lodge Grocer Mayor, are laid
in place, with monuments ouer them for the time, till an other
giue money for their place, and then away with them.
At the vpper end of Hosiar lane towards west chepe, is the fayre
parish church of S. Mary Bow, called de Arcubus, of the stone
Arches or Bowes on the top of the stéeple, or bell Tower thereof,
which arching was aswell on the old stéeple, as on the new for no
other part of the church séemeth to haue béene arched at any time,
yet hath the said church neuer beene knowne by any other name,
then S. Mary Bow, or le Bow: neither is that church so called of
the court there kept, but the said Court taketh name of the place
wherein it is kept, & is called the court of the arches, but of what
antiquitie or continuation I cannot declare.
This church is of Cordwayner stréet ward, and for diuers ac-
cidents happening there hath beene made more famous then any
other parish church of the whole Citie or suburbes. First we reade
that in the yeare 1090. and the thirde of VVilliam Rufus, by
tempest of wind the roofe of the church of S. Mary Bow in Chepe
was ouerturned,
Roofe of Bow
turned by
wherewith some persons were slaine, and foure
of the Rasters of 26. foote in length with such violence were pitch-
ed in the ground of the high stréete, that scantly foure foote of them
remained aboue ground, which were faine to be cut euen with the
ground, because they coulde not bee plucked out (for the Citie of
London was not then paused.)
In the yeare 1196. VVilliam Fitz Osbert, a seditious trai-
tor, tooke the steeple af Bow,
Bow steéple
fortified with
and fortified it with munitions and
victuailles, but it was assaulted, and William with his complices
were taken, though not without bloodshed, for hee
A false accuser
of his elder
brother in the
end was han-
ged: God a-
mend or
shortly send
such an end to
such false
was forced by
fire and smoke to forsake the church, and then by the Iudges con-
demned, he was by the héeles drawne to the Elmes in Smith field
and there hanged with nine of his fellowes. Such was the end of
this deceauer, a man of an euill life, a secrete murtherer, a filthie
fornicator, a polluter of concubines, and (amongst other his dete-
stable factes) a false accuser of his elder brother, who had in his
youth brought him vp in learning, and done many thinges for his
In the yeare 1271. a great part of the stéeple of Bow fel down
Bow Steeple
fell downe,

and slew many people men and women. In the yeare 1284. the
13. of Edward the firſt. Laurence Ducket Goldsmith, hauing
grieuously wounded one Raffe Crepin in west Chepe, fledde into
Bowe church, into the which in the night time entred certaine e-
uill persons, friendes to the said Raffe, and slew the said Laurence
lying in the
ged in Bow
stéeple, and then hanged him vp, placing him so by the
window, as if he had hanged himself, and so was it found by inqui-
sition: for the which fact Laurence Ducket being drawne by the
féete was buried in a ditch without the Citie, but shortly after by
relation of a boy, who lay with the said Laurence at the time of
his death, and had hid him there for feare, the truth of the matter
was disclosed, for the which cause a certain woman named Alice,
that was chiefe causer of the said mischiefe was burned, and to the
number of 16. men were drawne and hanged besides others, that
being richer, after long imprisonment were hanged by the purse.
The church was interdicted,
Bow Church
the dores and windowes were
stopped vp with thornes, but Laurence was taken vp, and ho-
nestly buried in the churchyarde.
This parish church of S. Mary Bowe by meane of incroch-
ment and building of houses without, wanteth roome in their
Church yard for burial of their dead. Iohn Rotham or Rodham
citizen and Taylor, by his testament dated the yeare 1465. gaue
to the Parson and Church wardens there for euer, a certaine gar-
den in Hosiar lane, to be a churchyard, which so continued neare
100. yeares. But now is builded on and is a priuate mans house.
The old stéeple of this church was by little and little reedified, and
new builded vp, at the least so much as was fallen downe, many
men giuing summes
Bow bell to
be rong night-
ly at nine of
the clocke.
of money to the furtherance thereof, so that at
length, to wit, in the yeare 1469. it was ordayned by a common
counsaile, that the Bowe bell shoulde bee nightly rong at nine of
the clocke. Shortly after, Iohn Doune Mercer, by his testament
dated 1472. according to the trust of Reginald Longdon, gaue
to the Parson and churchwardens of S. Mary Bowe, two tene-
ments with the apurtenances, since made into one, in Hosiar lane,
then so called, to the maintenance of Bowe bell, the same to bee
rong as aforesaid, and other things to be obserued, as by the will
appeareth. Robert Harding Goldsmith, one of the Sheriffes

1478. gaue to the newe worke of that stéeple 40. £. Iohn Haw
Mercer 10. £. Doctor Allen 4. £. Thomas Baldry 4. £. and other
gaue other summes, so that the said worke of the stéeple was fini-
shed in the yeare 1512. The Arches or Bowes
Bowe or Ar-
ches on Bow
thereupon, with
the lanthornes, fiue in number, to wit, one at each corner, and one
on the top in the middle: vpon the arches were also afterward fini-
shed of stone, brought from Cane in Normandy, deliuered at
the Customers Key for iiij.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. vjď. the tunne, William Copland
Taylor, the kings Merchant, and Andrew Fuller Mercer, being
churchwardens, 1515. and 1516. It is said that this Copland
gaue the great Bell, which made the fift in the ring, and to be cal-
led the Bow bell, and so to bee vsed to bee rong nightly at nine of
the clocke. I haue also beene informed, that this bell was first
rong as a knell at the buriall of the same Copland. It sée-
meth that the lanthornes on the top of this stéeple, were meant
to haue béene glased, and lights in them to haue béene placed night-
ly in the winter, whereby trauailers to the Cittie might haue the
better sight thereof, and not to misse of their wayes. In this pa-
rish also was a Grammer schoole
schoole in
Bow church-
by commandement of king Hen-
the sixt
, which schoole was of olde time kept in an house for that
purpose prepared in the churchyard, but that schoole being decayed
as others about this cittie: the schoole house was let out for rent,
in the raigne of Henry the eight, for iiij.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. the yeare, a sellar be-
longing to the parsonage for ij.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. the yeare, and two vaults vnder
The monuments in this church be these: viz. of Sir Iohn Co-
Mercer Mayor, 1425. Richard Lambert Alderman,
Nicholas Alwine Mercer Mayor, 1499. deceased 1505. Robert
Goldsmith one of the Sheriffes 1478. Iohn Loke one
of the Sheriffes 1461. Edward Bankes Alderman Haberdasher
1566. Iohn Warde, VVilliam Pierson Scriuener, and Attur-
ney in the common place. In a proper Chappel on the south side
the church standeth a tombe, eleuate & arched, of some vnknowne
founder. Ade de Buke Hatter glased the chappell and most parte
of the church, and was there buried: all other
A shed or
standing for
the king cal-
led crowne
monuments be defa-
ced. Without the North side of this church of S. Mary Bow, to-
wards west Chepe standeth one faire building of stone, called in
record Seldam, a shed, which greatly darkeneth the said church,

for by meanes thereof all the windowes and dores on that side
are stopped vp: This building was made by K. Edward the third,
vpon this occasion. In the raigne of the ſayde king diuers iustings
were made in London betwixt Sopars lane and the Crosse in
Iusting in west
for the standard stoode not then in place where now it is,
namely one great iusting was there in the yeare 1330. the fourth
of Edward the third
, whereof is noted thus. About the feast of
S. Michæl4 there was a great and solemne iusting of all the stout
Earles, Barons and nobles of the realme, at London in West
, betwixt the great crosse and the great conduit, nigh So-
pars lane
, which iusting lasted thrée daies: where Quéene Philip
with many Ladies fell from a stage of timber, notwithstanding
they were not hurt at all: wherfore the Quéene tooke great care
to saue the Carpenters from punishment, and through her prayer
(which she made on her knées) she pacified the king and counsaile,
and thereby purchased great loue of the people. After which time
the king caused this silde or shede to bee made, and strongly to bee
builded of stone, for himself, the Quéene, and other estates to stand
in, and there to behold the iustings and other shewes at their plea-
sure. And this house for a long time after serued to that vse, name-
ly in the raigne of Edward the third, and Richard the ſecond, but
in the yeare 1410. Henry the fourth, in the 12. of his raigne, con-
firmed the said shed, or building, with all shops, sellers, and edifices
whatsoeuer appertaining, called Crounsilde (and in the 8. of the
ſame H
. called Tamarside) situate in the Mercery in west Chepe,
in the parish of S. Mary de Arcubus in London, and a certaine
shop in the said parish, betweene the same shed and the kings high
way of west Cheape, annexed to the said shed, with two shops, sel-
lers and edifices whatsoeuer, as well builded, or any way being o-
uer the said shop, as ouer the entry of the said shed, which were hol-
den of him in burgage, as all the Cittie of London is, and which
were worth by yeare in all issues, according to the true value of
them, vij.pound xiij.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs.iiijď. as was founde by inquisition thereof
before Thomas Knowles Mayor, and Eschetor in the said Citie.
Notwithstanding which graunt the kings of England, and other
great estates, as wel of forrein countries repayring to this realme,
as inhabitantes of the same, haue vsually repaired to this place,
therein to behold the shewes of this Citie, passing through West

Cheape, namely the great watches accustomed in the night, on
the euen of S. Iohn Baptiſt, and S. Peter at Midsommer, the ex-
amples wherof were ouer long to recite, wherefore let it
K. Henry the
came in
the likenesse
of a yoman of
his guard,
to the kings
head in Cheap
briefly to touch one. In the yeare 1510. the 2. of Henry the
, on S. Iohns euen at night, the king came to this place,
then called the kings head in Cheape, in the liuerie of a yoman of
the garde, with an halberd on his sholder, (and there beholding the
watch) departed priuily, when the watch was done, and was not
knowne to any but to whom it pleased him, but on S. Peters night
next following, hee and the Quéene came royally riding to the
said place, and there with their nobles beheld the watch of the Ci-
tie, and returned in the morning. This church of S. Mary, with
the saide shede of stone, all the housing in or about Bowe Church
yard, & without on that side the high stréet of Cheape to the stan-
darde be of Cordmayner stréet warde. These houses were of old
time but shedes: for I read of no housing otherwise on that side the
stréete, but of diuers shedes from Sopars lane to the standard, &c.
Amongst other I reade of thrée shops or shedes, by Sopars lane
pertaining to the Priorie of the holy Trinity within Aldegate: the
SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. by the yeare: Moreouer that Richard Goodchepe Mercer,
and Margery his wife, sonne to Iordain Goodchepe, did let to
Iohn Dalings the yonger Mercer, their shed and chamber in west
, in the parish of S. Mary de Arches, for iij.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs.iiijď.by the
yeare. Also the men of Bredstréete ward contended with the men
of Cordwayner street ward, for a selde or shede, opposite to the
standard on the South side, and it was found to be of Cordwainer
street ward
, W. Waldorne being then Mayor, the 1. of Henry
the 6
. Thus much for Cordwainer stréet warde: which hath an
Alderman, his Deputie, Common Counsellors 8. Constables 8.
Scauengers 8. Wardemote inquest men 14. & a Beadle. It stan-
deth taxed to the fiftéene in London at 72. £. 16. SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. in the Exche-
quer at 72. pound.


  1. Page number reads 198. (NAP)
  2. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer, by Sir Harris Nicholas, notes the contentious nature of Geoffrey Chaucer’s parentage, particularly page 119. (BT)
  3. Page number reads 199. (NAP)
  4. Celebrated on the 29 September. (KL)


  • Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

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Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 26, 2020.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz-Stephen, W. 2020. Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

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Database: The Map of Early Modern London
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A1  - Stow, John
A1  - fitz-Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/06/26
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 Stow, John
A1 fitz-Stephen, William
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 Survey of London: Cordwainer Street Ward
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2020
FD 2020/06/26
RD 2020/06/26
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English

TEI citation

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