King John, in the 7th Year of his Reign, which was in the Year 1205, granted the Custody of London Bridge (which was in the Maior of London) to Friar West.]

Custody of London Bridge.

Pet. Le Neve.

Rot. Claus. 7 Joh. c. 19.

King John gave certain void Places in London to build on, the Profits thereof to remain towards the Charges of Building and Repairing of the same Bridge. A Mason, being Master Workman of the Bridge, builded (from the Foundation) the large Chapel on that Bridge, of his own proper Charges; which Chapel was then endowed for Two Priests, Four Clarks, &c. besides Chanteries, since founded for John Hatfeild, and others: So that in the23d Year of Henry VI. there were Four Chaplains in the said Chapel. After the Finishing of this Chapel, which was the first Building upon those Arches, sundry Houses (at Times) were erected: And many charitable Men gave Lands, Tenements, or Sums of Money towards the Maintenance thereof: All which was sometimes noted, and in a Table fair written for Posterity; remaining in the Chapel, till the same Chapel was turned to a dwelling House, and then removed to the Bridge House. The Effect of which Table I was willing to have published in this Book, if I could have obtained the Sight thereof: But making the shorter Work, I find by the Account of William Mariner, and Christopher Eliot, Wardens of London Bridge, from Michaelmas, the 22d of Henry the VIIth, until Michaelmas next ensuing, by one whole Year, that all the Payments and Allowances came to 815l. 17s. 2d. ob.; as there is shewed by Particulars. By which Account then made, may be partly guessed the great Charges and Discharges of that Bridge at this Day, when Things be stretched to so great a Price.

K. John's Gift.

Chapel on the Bridge, on the East side.

Gifts given to London Bridge, in a Table noted for Posterity in the Chapel.

The Chapel turned to a Dwelling House.

One Parcel of the Revenues of London Bridge, is a large Quantity of Ground, very improveable, situate at Eglinsgate, in the Parish of S. Olave's Southwark, near the Thames; which was offered publickly to be let by Lease in May, 1706, by the Committee of Bridge- House Lands: And all that would bid for the same, were desired to deliver their Proposals in Writing, sealed up, to the Clerk Comptroller of the said Revenues, at the publick Compting House at the Bridge-House.

Bridgehouse Ground at Eglinsgate.

J. S.

This Bridge, within less than Seventy Years after its first finishing, became ruinous. Now for the declaring what was done for the Maintenance and Reparation of it, I find they made use of Two ways: One was, By collecting well disposed Peoples Alms throughout the Kingdom: And the other, By laying certain Customs and Taxes upon the Goods and Provisions, that were brought either by Water, or over the Bridge only, or which way soever else, into the City, there to be sold. Thus 9 Edw. I. Anno 1280, London Bridge was in a ruinous Condition; and License was granted by the King, (which the Bridge Keepers had the Managing of) de colligend. piis devotorum Subsidiis per totum Regnum; i.e. for gathering the godly Aids of devout People throughout the Kingdom; pro Reparatione ejusd. quod minatur ruinam; i.e. for Repair of London Bridge, that threatneth Ruin.

Means for the Repair of the Bridge.

J. S.

There are very effectual Letters Patents of the said K. Edward I. extant in the Tower Records, exciting all his People to this Work of Charity; to this Tenor:

Pat. 9. E. I. m. 27.

" Rex omnib. Ballivis, & Fidelibus suis, ad quos, &c. Salutem. Dolentibus nobis, &c. "

K. Edw. I. his Letters to excite to a Contribution to London Bridge.

That is,

"The King, to all his Bailiffs, and Liege Subjects, to whom these Presents shall come, greeting."

" It hath been lately notified to us, and grieved us, that London Bridge is in so ruinous a Condition; to the Repair of which, unless speedy Remedy be put, not only the sudden Fall of the Bridge, but also the Destruction of innumerable People dwelling on it, may suddenly be feared: And that the Work which may now be helped by some before it fall, may for want of Aid, come to the Expence of a Damage not to be repaired. Wherefore We, who are bound to take care of, and more gently to provide for both the publick and the private Commodities, and with Affection to embrace those, whom We perceive to depend upon such Benefits, and them to defend with Royal Safeguard: WE command and require you, That when the Keepers of the said costly Work of the Bridge aforesaid, or their Messenger, shall happen to come to you, (being a Thing We take into our Especial Protection and Defence) to collect every where throughout our Realm Aids to the said Work from pious Devotion, friendly to admit them at the Contemplation of God, and in Regard of Charity, and for Shew of Devotion on this behalf: Not bringing on them, or permitting to be brought, Wrongs, Molestations, Loss, Hindrance, or Grievance. And if any Damage be done them, ye make them amends without Delay. And when ye shall be required by the present Keepers, or their Messengers, to keep the Reparation of the said Bridge, ye will humbly contribute somewhat of your Goods to the said Work, according to your Abilities. And let each of you endeavour to outrun the other in such great Works of Charity; for which ye must needs merit from God, and gain Thanks of Us. In Witness whereof, &c. Witness the King at Walsingham, the 8th Day of January."

And there were other Letters Patents to Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Rectors, and all other Ministers of Holy Mother- Church; commanding them, That when the Keepers of that costly Work of the Bridge aforesaid, or their Messengers, (whom the King took into his Special Protection) should come to gather every where through their Dioceses, Rectories, &c. or any their Jurisdictions, for the said Work, the pious Aids of the Devout, to admit them in the Contemplation of God, &c. And to permit them to excite the People there with pious Perswasions, and charitably to call for the Helps of their Alms, to repair the foresaid Bridge.

And because these voluntary Alms and charitable Benevolences were not like to bring in the whole Charge of the Business, therefore the next Year, viz. 10 Edw. I. Anno 1281. the same King issued out other Letters Patents, for taking Customs of all Commodities for the same in London; and that for a certain Term of Years. Which ran to this Tenor.

Customs to be taken for the Reparation.

" Rex Majori suo London. Cum nuper propter Subitum, &c. "

"When lately, by reason of the sudden Ruin of London Bridge, We commanded, That associating to you Two or Three of the Discreeter and more Loyal Men of the foresaid City, ye should take until our Parliament after Easter next past, for the Supply of the Reparation of the foresaid Bridge, a certain Custom, as in these Letters Patents, which We have caused to be made from that Time to you, more fully is contained: WE, willing that the taking of such Custom be continued longer, command you, That from the Feast of S. Margaret the Virgin next coming, unto the End of Three "