Towers and Castles. Castle Baynard.59

Towers and Castles. Castle Baynard.

Of such antient Towers and Castles, as have been in and about this City of LONDON . Tower on London Bridge . Baynard's Castle . Mountfichet Tower on the Thames . Tower on the West Bridewell . Barbican . Tower Royal . Sernes Tower .

IN this Chapter I shall say nothing of that famous Tower of London, but rather assign it a few Chapters by it self: For that so many Things are to be spoken of it, being now in a better Condition both for Strength and Beauty than ever it hath been since its first Building. This Chapter shall shew us such other Towers, and Castles in the City, as (except the Name) Time hath decayed, or rather quite demolished.] And First;

J. S.

The Tower on London Bridge.


The next Tower on the River of Thames was on London Bridge, at the North End of the Draw Bridge. This Tower was new begun to be builded 1426, John Reynwell, Maior of London, laid one of the first Corner Stones in the Foundation of this Work; the other Three were laid by the Sheriffs and Bridge Masters; upon every of these Four Stones was ingraven in fair Roman Letters the Name of IHESUS. And these Stones I have seen laid in the Bridge Storehouse, since they were taken up, when that Tower was of late newly made of Timber.

Tower at the North End of the Draw Bridge.

This Gate and Tower was at the first strongly builded up of Stone, and so continued until the Year 1577, in the Month of April, when the same Stone Arched Gate and Tower, being decayed, was begun to be taken down, and then were the Heads of the Traytors removed thence, and set on the Tower over the Gate at the Bridge Foot towards Southwark. This said Tower being taken down, a new Foundation was drawn, and Sir John Langley, Lord Maior, laid the first Stone, in the presence of the Sheriffs and Bridge Masters on the 28th of August. And in the Month of September, the Year 1579, the same Tower was finished, a beautiful and chargeable Piece of Work, all above the Bridge being of Timber.

Tower on the South of London Bridge.


Another Tower there is on London Bridge; to wit, over the Gate at the South End of the same Bridge, toward Southwark. This Gate, with the Tower thereupon, and two Arches of the Bridge fell down, and no Man perished by the fall thereof, in the Year 1436. Towards the new Building whereof divers charitable Citizens gave large Sums of Monies; which Gate being then again new Builded, was with thirteen Houses more on the Bridge, in the Year 1471, Burned by the Mariners and Sailers of Kent, Bastard Fawconbridge being their Captain.

Tower at the South End of the Bridge.

W. Dunthorne.

The South Gate on London Bridge burnt.

Baynard's Castle.


In the West Part of this City (saith Fitzstephen) are two most strong Castles, &c. Also Gervasius Tilbury, in the Reign of Henry the Second, writing of these Castles, hath to this Effect: Two Castles (saith he) are built with Walls and Ramparts, whereof one is in right of Possession Baynard's; the other, the Barons of Mountfitchet. The first of these Castles, Banking on the River Thames, was called Baynard's Castle of Baynard, a Nobleman that came in with the Conqueror, and then Builded it, and deceased in the Reign of William Rufus; after whose decease Geffrey Baynard succeeded; and then William Baynard, in the Year 1111, who by Forfeiture for Felony, lost his Baronry of little Dunmow, and King Henry gave it wholly to Robert Fitz Richard, the Son of Gilbert Earl of Clare, and to his Heirs, together with the Honour of Baynard's Castle. This Robert Married Maude de Sent Licio, Lay of Bradham, and deceased 1134, was Buried at St. Needes by Richard Earl of Clare. Walter his Son succeeded him, he took to Wife Matilda de Becham; and after her Decease, Matilde the Daughter and Coheir of Richard de Lucy, on whom he begat Robert, and others. He deceased in the Year 1198, and was Buried at Dunmow; after whom succeeded Robert Fitzwater, a valiant Knight.

Baynard's Castle. Fitzstephen. Gervas. Tilbery.

S. Neots.

Matilde de Lucy. First Edition.

About the Year 1213, there arose a great Discord betwixt King John and his Barons, because of Matilda, surnamed the Fair, Daughter to the said Robert Fitzwater, whom the King unlawfully loved, but could not obtain her, nor her Father would consent thereunto; whereupon, (and for other like Causes) ensued War through the whole Realm. The Barons were received into London, where they greatly endamaged the King. But in the End, the King did not only (therefore) banish the said Fitzwater amongst other, out of the Realm, but also caused his Castle, called Baynard, and other his Houses to be spoiled. Which then being done, Matilda the Fair, a Messenger being sent unto her about the King's Suit, whereunto she would not consent, was Poisoned; Robert Fitzwater, and some other being then passed into France, and some others into Scotland, &c.

Lib. Dunmow

Robert Fitzwater Banished. Baynard's Castle destroyed. Virginity defended with the Loss of Worldly Goods, and Life of the Body, for the Life of the Soul.

It happened in the Year 1214, King John being then in France with a great Army, that a Truce was taken betwixt the two Kings of England and France, for the Term of Five Years, (and a River, or Arm of the Sea being then betwixt either Host) there was a Knight in the English Host that cryed to them of the other side, willing some one of their Knights, to come and just a Course or twain with him; whereupon, without stay, Robert Fitzwater, being on the French Part, made himself ready, ferried over, and got on Horseback, without any Man to help him, and shewed himself ready to the Face of his Challenger, whom at the first Course he strook so hard with his great Spear, that Horse and Man fell to the Ground; and when his Spear was broken he went back again to the King of France: Which when the King had seen, By God's Tooth, quoth he (after his usual Oath) he were a King indeed, that had such a Knight. The Friends of Robert hearing these Words, Kneeled down and said; O King he is your Knight. It is Robert Fitzwater. And thereupon the next Day he was sent for, and restored to the King's Favour; by which Means Peace was concluded, and he received his Livings, and had License to repair his Castle of Baynard, and other Castles.

King John's Oath.

Robet Fitzwater restored to the King's Favour.

Baynard's Castle again Builded.

This Year 1216, the First of Henry the Third, the Castle of Hertford, being delivered to Lewis the French, and the Barons of England, Robert Fitzwater requiring to have the same; because the keeping thereof did by ancient Right and Title pertain to him, was answered by Lewis; That Englishmen were not worthy to have such Holds in keeping, because they did betray their own Lord, &c.

The keeping of Hertford Castle belonged to Robert Fitzwater.

This Robert Deceased in the Year 1234, and was Buried at Dunmow, and Walter his Son succeeded him, 1258. His Barony of Baynard, was