Gates and Posterns. 17

Gates and Posterns.

Whereupon Gerard Marhod, Alderman of the Haunse, and other then remaining in the City of London, for themselves and all others, Merchants of the said Haunse, granted 210 Marks Sterling to the Maior and Citizens; and covenanted, that they and their Successors should (from time to time) repair the same Gate. This Gate was again beautifully Builded in the Year 1479, in the Reign of Edward the Fourth, by the said Haunse Merchants.

Bishopsgate repaired by the Merchants of the Haunse.

Bishopsgate new Builded.

Moreover, in the Year 1551, these Haunse Merchants, having prepared Stone for that Purpose, caused a new Gate to be framed, there to have been set up: But then their Liberties, through Suit of our English Merchants were seized into the King's Hand, and so that Work was stayed, and the old Gate yet remaineth.

Bishopsgate provided to have been new Builded.

Over the Gate-Way on the South and Northsides of this Gate are Figures in Stone (mentioned before) of some Antiquity, and (if I mistake not) of the greatest Antiquity of any now remaining in London; being probably as old as the Gate it self, that is 240 Years and more. The Stone Figure of a Bishop on the South-side which standeth high, hath a long Beard, Eyes sunk, and an old mortified Face. The Mitre on his Head, but both his Hands beat or worn off by Time. On the North-side of the Gate over the Cart Passage is another Figure in Stone of a larger Size, standing somewhat lower than the other; hath his Mitre on, cloathed in his Pontificalibus; his Left Hand with the Crozier broken off, the Right Hand blessing with the two Fore Fingers: His Face smooth. Both these I take to be Bishops of London, (as I hinted before) and this last named, to be the Courtly Bishop William the Norman, and the Conqueror's Favourite; the other to be Erkenwald, that lived near 400 Years before Bishop William, and was, for his Mortification and good Works, Sainted. Whose Shrine extraordinary rich, and set out with precious Stones, was preserved in former Times at St. Pauls. Beside the Bishop on that Part of the Gate looking Northward, on each side of him, but advanced somewhat higher, stand two ancient Stone Images; on his Left Hand a Saxon King; very probably K. Alfred, who, after the Destruction of the City by Fire, and other Calamities of the People brought upon them by the Danes, restored and honourably repaired it. The other is the Representation of some great Nobleman, and seems to be Aeldred, Earl of Mercia, Son in Law to the saide K. Alfred, to whom he committed the Custody thereof.

The Stone Figures on this Gate, who they represent.

J. S.

The Rooms over this Gate are allotted for one of the Lord Maior's Carvers; who is also one of the Serjeants of the Chamber for the Time being.]



Touching the next Postern, called Mooregate, I find, that Thomas Falconer, Maior about the Year 1415, the third of Henry the Vth, caused the Wall of the City to be broken near unto Coleman-street; and there Builded a Postern now called Mooregate, upon the Mooreside, where was never Gate before. This Gate he made for ease of the Citizens, that way to pass upon Cawseys into the Field for their Recreation; for the same Field was (at that time) a Marish. This Postern was, Re-edified by William Hampton, Fishmonger, Maior in the Year 1472. In the Year also 1511, the Third of Henry 8. Roger Achely Maior, caused Dikes and Bridges to be made, and the Ground to be levelled, and made more commodious for Passage. Since which time the same hath been heightned so much, that the Dikes and Bridges are covered; and it seemeth to me that if it be made Level with the Battlements of the City Wall, yet will it be little the dryer, such is the Moorish Nature of that Ground. Thus it was in Mr. Stow's Time; but we see what an Alteration Time, Pains and Expence have made for the better. For these Fields, before an unhealthful Place, in Sir Leonard Halliday's Maioralty, were turned into pleasant Walks, set with Trees for Shade and Ornament; compassed with Brick Walls, made convenient with Vaults under Ground for Conveyance of the Water, which stood the City in 5000l. or thereabouts.]

Postern called Moregate.

The Field a meer Marish Ground.

But now turned into pleasant Fields.

This Gate being very old, was in the Year 1672 begun to be pulled down, and a new one of Stone was Erected, having a lofty Arch, for that then the City intended to have had a Hay Market in Little More-fields, which Design did not take Effect. However the Gate is Built with Posterns on each Side of the Arch for Foot Passengers, this being a great Thoroughfare: The House was the Residence of a City Officer, but of late it was made use of by a Coffee-Man.

A new Stone Gate made.

R. B.

A Postern made into Morefields.

Between Bishopsgate and Mooregate, about the Year 1636, the City Wall, overagainst Winchester-street, was broken down, and a Postern, or Passage, there made for Foot People, and a Gate to it.

Also in the Year 1655, another Place in the Wall was broken down overagainst the North End of Aldermanbury; and another Postern made with double Gates for a Passage into Forestreet.

Another Postern made.

And soon after, another near the North End of Bassinshawstreet, leading into the aforesaid Forestreet, formerly called the Postern leading into More-fields.]



The next is the Postern of Creplegate, so called long before the Conquest. For I read in the History of Edmund, King of the East Angles, written by Abbas Floriacensis, and by Burchard, sometime Secretary to Offa, King of Mercia; (but since then, by John Lidgate, Monk of Bury,) that in the Year 1010, the Danes spoiling the Kingdom of the East Angles, Alwyne, Bishop of Helmeham, caused the Body of King Edmund the Martyr to be brought from Bedrisworth, (now called Bury S. Edmunds) through the Kingdom of East Saxons, and so to London, in at Creplegate. A Place, saith mine Author, so called of Cripples begging there. At which Gate, (it was said) the Body entring in, Miracles were wrought, and some of the Lame to go upright, praising God. The Body of King Edmund rested for the space of Three Years in the Parish Church of S. Gregory, near unto the Cathedral Church of S. Paul. Moreover, the Charter of William the Conqueror, confirming the Foundation of the College in London, called S. Martin the Great, hath these Words: I do give and graunt to the same Church, and Canons serving GOD therein, all the Lands, and the Moore without the Postern, which is called Creplegate, on either Part of the Postern. Besides this, Alfune builded the Parish Church of S. Giles, nigh a Gate of the City, called Porta contractorum, or Cripplesgate, about the Year 1090.

Postern of Creplegate.

Abba Floriacensis. Burchard.

Martin le grand. Liber 9. Bartilmew.

This Postern was sometime a Prison, whereunto such Citizens and others, as were Arrested for Debt, or common Trespasses, were committed, as they be now to the Compters. Which Thing appeareth by a Writ of Edward the First in these Words: Rex Vic. London salutem. Ex gravi querela B. capt. & detent. in prisona nostra de Criplesgate pro x.l. quas coram Radulpho de Sandwico, tunc Custod. Civitatis nostræ London, & I. de Blackwell Civis recognit. debit. &c.

Creplegate a Prison for Trespassers.


This Gate was new Builded by the Brewers of London, in the Year 1244, as saith Fabians Manuscript.

Creplegate new Builded.