Gates and Posterns. 18

Gates and Posterns.

Edmund Shaw, Goldsmith, Maior in the Year One Thousand, Four Hundred Eighty Three, at his Decease, appointed by his Testament, his Executors, with the Cost of Four Hundred Marks, and the Stuff of the old Gate, called Cripplesgate, to Build the same Gate anew. Which was performed and done in the Year One Thousand Four Hundred Ninety One.

Cripplegate again was lately Repaired, and hath this Inscription on it, shewing the time of the Repair of it. "This Gate was Repaired and Beautified, and the Foot Postern new made at the Charge of the City of London, the 15th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord K. Charles the Second, and in the Maioralty of Sir John Robinson, Knt. and Baronet, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, and Alderman of this Ward, Anno Dom. 1663." ]

Cripplegate Repaired, Anno 1663.

J. S.

The Rooms over this Gate are set apart for the Water Bailiff of the City.]

R. B.



The next is ældresgate or Aldersgate: so called, not of Aldrich, or of Elders, that is to say, ancient Men, Builders thereof; nor of Eldern Trees, growing there more abundantly than in other Places, as some have Fabuled: But for the very Antiquity of the Gate it self, [signifying the Elder or Older Gate], as being one of the first Four Gates of the City, and serving for the Northern Parts, as Aldgate for the East. Which two Gates being both old Gates, are for difference sake called, the one Aldgate, and the other Aldersgate.


In a Book called, Beware the Cat.

This is the Fourth Principal Gate, and hath at sundry times been increased with Buildings; namely, on the Southside, or Innerside, a great Frame of Timber hath been added and set up, containing divers large Rooms and Lodgings. Also on the East Side is the Addition of one great Building of Timber, with one large Floor, paved with Stone or Tile, and a Well therein, curbed with Stone, of a great Depth, and rising into the said Room, two Stories high from the Ground; which Well is the only peculiar Note belonging to that Gate; for I have not seen the like in all this City, to be raised so high. John Day, Stationer, a late famous Printer of many good Books, in our time dwelled in this Gate, and builded much upon the Wall of the City, towards the Parish Church of St. Anne.

Fourth Gate.

A Well of great Depth at Aldersgate.

Day the Printer.

This Gate being very Old, Ruinous, and in Danger of falling, the Lord Maior, Aldermen, and Common Council, Ordered to have it taken down, and Re-built in a beautiful manner. Towards the New Building whereof, Mr. William Parker, Citizen, and Merchant Taylor, gave 1000l. the Money to be paid by his Executor into the Chamber of London, and to be distributed according to such Directions as were in his Will expressed, viz. 200l. at the taking down of the first Tile, which was upon the last Day of March, 1617; other 200l. at the laying of the first Stone, which was laid by the Right Worshipful Sir William Craven, Knt. and Alderman, on Monday the 26th Day of May following; other 200l. when the New Building should be one Yard high above the Ground; and other 200l. when the New Building should be Arched over the Gate; and the last 200l. when the Work should be compleatly finished. Mr. Richard Fox, Citizen and Clothworker, (a most painful, and industrious Person) having the Direction, Ordering, and Oversight of the said Work.

This Gate Rebuilt, in K. James I. his Time.

R. B.

1000l. given towards the New Building of Aldersgate.

Mr. Fox, Supervisor of the Works.

The Ornaments on the Outside of this Gate.


On the North, in a large Square over the Arch, is the Figure of K. James the First on Horseback, in the Posture as he came into England, (whose Entrance was at that Gate) And over that the Arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Quartered. On the other Side are two Effigies, viz. on the East side the Prophet Jeremiah, with this Text, Chap. 17. ver. 25. Then shall enter into the Gates of this City, Kings and Princes, sitting upon the Throne of David, riding in Chariots, and on Horses, they and their Princes, the Men of Judah, and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this City shall remain for ever.

And on the Westside of him, the Figure of the Prophet Samuel, with this Text, 1 Samuel, Chap. 12. Ver. 1. And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your Voice, in all that you said unto me, and have made a King over you.

On the Southside is the Effigies of K. James the First, sitting in his Chair of State in his Royal Robes.

This Gate received great Damage by the general Fire, but was Repaired and Beautified at the sole Charges of this City, in the Year 1670, Sir Samuel Stirling, Knt. being Mayor.

The Rooms over this Gate and Postern for Foot-People, is set apart for the Dwelling of the Common Cryer of this City for the Time being.]

The Posterngate out of CHRIST's Hosptial.


Then there is also a Posterngate made out of the Wall, on the Northside of the late dissolved Cloister of Fryers Minors, commonly of their Habit called Gray Friars, now Christ's-Church and Hospital.

A Postern out of Christ's-Hospital.

This Postern was made in the Sixth Year of Edward the Sixth, to pass from the said Hospital of Christ's-Church, unto the Hospital of Saint Bartholomew in Smithfield: And License was given to the Lord Maior and Aldermen, to break down so much of the Cities Wall as should suffice to make the same Passage, by Vertue of an Act of Common Council, made I. Augusti, Anno 6. E. 6. in the Maioralty of Sir Richard Dobbes, Knight.



THE next Gate on the West and by North, is termed Newgate, as latelier builded than the rest, and is the Fifth principal Gate. This Gate was first Erected about the Reign of Henry the First, or of King Stephen, upon this Occasion. The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, being burnt about the Year 1086, in the Reign of William the Conqueror, Mauritius, then Bishop of London, Repaired not the Old Church, as some have supposed, but began the Foundation of a new Work, such as Men then judged would never have been performed, it was to them so wonderful for Heighth, Length, and Breadth; as also in respect it was raised upon Arches or Vaults, &c. a kind of Workmanship brought in by the Normans, and never known to the Artificers of this Land before that time, &c. After Mauritius, Richard Beaumore did wonderfully advance the Work of the said Church, purchasing the large Streets and Lanes round about, wherein were wont to dwell many Lay-People, which Grounds he began to compass about with a strong Wall of Stone and Gates.


Fifth Gate.

St. Paul's Church in London New Builded.

By means of this Increase of the Church Territory, but more by inclosing of Ground for so large a CÅ“mitery, or Churchyard; the high and large Street, stretching from Aldgate in the East to Ludgate in the West, was in this Place so crossed and stopped up, that the Carriage through the City Westward, was forced to pass without the said Churchyard Wall on the Northside, through Paternosterrow, and then South down Ave Marie-Lane: and again West through Bowyer-row to Ludgate; or else out of Cheap or Wathelingstreet to turn South, through the Old Change, then West through Carter Lane, again North up Creed Lane,