TOWER of London. Building thereof. 78

TOWER of London. Building thereof.

was the original Author and Founder as well thereof, as also of many other Towers, Castles and great Buildings within this Realm. But (as I have already before noted) Cæsar remained not here so long; nor had he in his Head any such Matter, but only to dispatch a Conquest of this barbarous Country, and to proceed to greater Matters. Neither do the Roman Writers make mention of any such Buildings Erected by him here.

In my Annals.

And therefore leaving this, and proceeding to more grounded Authority, I find in a fair Register Book of the Acts of the Bishops of Rochester, set down by Edmond of Hadenham, that William the First (surnamed Conqueror) Builded the Tower of London; to wit, the great White and Square Tower there, about the Year of Christ 1078, appointing Gundulph, then Bishop of Rochester, to be principal Surveyor and Overseer of that Work; who was for that Time lodged in the House of Edmere a Burgess of London. The very Words of which mine Author are these; Gundulphus Episcopus mandato Willielmi Regis magni præfuit Operi magnæ Turris London. Quo Tempore hospitatus est apud quendam Edmerum Burgensem London. Qui dedit unum Were Ecclesiæ Roffen.

William the Conqueror built the White Tower, Anno 1078.

Ye have heard before, that the Wall of this City was all round about furnished with Towers and Bulwarks, in due Distance every one from other; and also that the River of Thames, with his Ebbing and Flowing, on the South side had subverted the said Wall and Towers there. Wherefore, it is supposed, King William, for defence of this City, in Place most dangerous and open to the Enemy, having taken down the second Bulwark in the East Part of the Wall from the Thames, Builded this Tower, which was the great square Tower (now called the White Tower) and hath been since at divers Times enlarged with other Buildings adjoining, as shall be shewed hereafter.

This Tower was by Tempest of Wind sore shaken in the Year 1090, the Fourth of William Rufus [when the Chronicles speak of the Roof of Bow Church taken off, and 600 Houses in London overthrown.] But it was again by the said Rufus and Henry I. repaired. They also caused a Castle to be builded under the said Tower, to wit, on the Southside toward the Thames. And also incastellated the same round about.

Damaged by the Tempest, and Repaired.

Will. Malmsb.

Matt. Paris.

J. London.

And the bearing of this expensive Building put the said K. William upon Exactions, as one of our Historians writes] William Rufus challenged the Investiture of Prelates: he pilled and shaved the People with Tribute, especially to spend about the Tower of London, and the great Hall at Westminster.

K. Will. Rufus, Polls the People for his Buildings about the Tower.

Hen. Huntingt. Libr. 6.

[Othowerus, Acolinillus, Otto, and Geffrey, Magnaville Earl of Essex, were Four the first Constables of this Tower of London by Succession. All which held by Force a Portion of Land, that pertained to the Priory of the Holy Trinity within Aldgate, that is to say, East Smithfield, near unto the Tower, making thereof a Vineyard; and would not depart from it till the Second Year of K. Stephen, when the same was adjudged and restored to the said Church.

The first Constables of the Tower.

They held Eastsmithfield, and made a Vineyard.

This said Geffrey, surnamed Magnaville, was Earl of Essex, Constable of the Tower, Sheriff of London, Middlesex, Essex, and Hertford Shires, as appeareth by a Charter of Maud the Empress, Dated 1141. He also fortified the Tower of London against K. Stephen. But the King took him in his Court at S. Albans, and would not deliver him, till he had rendred the Tower of London, with the Castles of Walden and Pleshey in Essex.

Geffrey Magnaville, Constable of the Tower. Ex Chart.

In the Year 1153, the Tower of London, and the Castle of Windsor were by the King delivered to Richard de Lucie, to be safely kept.

The Tower intrusted to Richard de Lucie, Custos of the Tower.

In the Year 1155, Thomas Becket being Chancellor to Henry II. caused the Flemmings to be banished out of England; their Castles lately Builded to be pulled down, and the Tower of London to be Repaired.

Tho. Becket repairs the Tower.

Roger WIndover.

About the Year 1190. the Second of Richard the First, William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, Chancellor of England, for cause of Dissension between him and Earl John the King's Brother, that was Rebel, enclosed the Tower and Castle of London with an outward Wall of Stone embattelled; and also caused a deep Ditch to be cast about the same, thinking (as I have said before) to have environed it with the River of Thames. By the making of this Ditch in East Smithfield, the Church of the Holy Trinity in London lost half a Mark Rent by the Year, and the Mill was removed, that belonged to the poor Brethren of the Hospital of St. Katharine, and to the Church of the Trinity aforesaid; which was no small Loss and Discommodity to either Part. And the Garden which the King had hired of the Brethren for six Marks the Year, for the most part was wasted and marred by the Ditch. Recompence was often promised but never performed, till King Edward coming after, gave to the Brethren five Marks and an Half for that Part which the Ditch had devoured; and the other Part thereof without he yielded them again, which they hold; and of the said Rent of five Marks and an half they have a Deed, by virtue whereof they are well paid to this Day.

Longchamp, L. Chancellor, encompasseth the Tower with a Wall and Ditch.

John Bever.

St. Katharine's Mill stood where now is the Iron Gate of the Tower.

It is also to be noted, and cannot be denied, but that the said Inclosure and Ditch, took the like or greater Quantity of Ground from the City within the Wall; namely, on that Part called the Tower Hill, besides breaking down of the City Wall, from the White Tower to the first Gate of the City, called the Postern. Yet have I not read of any Quarrel made by the Citizens, or Recompence demanded by them for that Matter; because all was done for good of the Cities Defence thereby, and to their good Likings.

Encroachments made by the Ditch upon the City.

But Matthew Paris writeth, that in the Year 1239, "King Henry the Third Fortified the Tower of London to another End; wherefore the Citizens fearing lest that was done to their Detriment, complained: and the King answered; That he had not done it to their Hurt; but (saith he) I will from henceforth do as my Brother doth, in building and fortifying Castles, who beareth the Name to be wiser than I am."

Mat. Paris.

Bulwarks of the Tower builded by K. Henry III.

" It followed in the next Year, (saith mine Author) the said Noble Buildings of the Stone Gate and Bulwark, which the King had caused to be made by the Tower of London, on the Westside thereof, was shaken as it had been with an Earthquake, and fell down, which the King again commanded to be built in better sort than before, which was done."

West Gate and Bulwarks of the Tower fell down.

" And yet again in the Year 1241, the said Wall and Bulwarks that were newly Builded, wherein the King had bestowed more than twelve Thousand Marks, were unrecoverably quite thrown down, as afore; for the which Chance the Citizens of London were nothing sorry; for they were threatned, that the said Wall and Bulwarks were builded, to the End, that if any of them would contend for the Liberties of the City, they might be imprisoned: And that many might be laid in divers Prisons, many Lodgings were made that no one should speak with another."

Wall and Bulwarks again fall down, and new Builded.

Thus much Matthew Paris avoucheth for this Building.