Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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Portsoken Ward. 3

Portsoken Ward.
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 PORTSOKEN WARD
  PORTSOKEN WARD ]

16. Cheap Ward.
17. Coleman Street Ward.
18. Bassingshall Ward.
19. Cripplesgate Ward, within and without.
20. Aldersgate Ward, within and without.
21. Faringdon Ward within.
22. Bread Street Ward.
23. Queenhithe Ward.
24. Castle Baynard Ward.
25. Faringdon Ward without the Walls.


One Ward South the River of Thames, in the Borough of Southwark, by the Name of,

 

26. Bridge Ward without.



3

CHAP. II.


PORTSOKEN WARD;
The first Ward in the East Part.

 
Knighten Guild . The Bounds . Trinity Church and Canons . St. Katharine's . East Smithfield . The New Abby . The Minories . Goodman's Fields . St. Botolph Aldgate . Benefactors . The Modern State of this Ward .

SEeing that of every of these Wards I have to say somewhat, I will begin with Portsoken Ward without Ealdgate.

Portsoken Ward.

This Portsoken, which soundeth as much as the Franchise at the Gate, was some time a Guild, and had this Beginning, as I have read. In the Days of King Edgar, more than seven hundred Years since, there were 13 Knights (or Soldiers) well beloved to the King and Realm for Services by them done: who requested to have a certain Portion of Land on the East Part of the City, left desolate and forsaken by the Inhabitants, by reason of too much Servitude. They besought the King to have this Land, with the Liberty of a Guild for ever. The King granted to their Request, with Conditions following; to wit, That each of them should victoriously accomplish three Combats; one above the Ground, one under Ground, and the Third in the Water. And after this, at a certain Day, in East Smithfield, they should run with Spears against all Comers. All which was gloroiously performed. And the same Day the King named it Knighten Guild, and so bounded it, from Ealdgate to the Place where the Bars now are toward the East, on both the sides of the Street, and extended it towards the North, and the Gate, now since called Bishopsgate, unto the House then of William Presbyter, after of Jeffrey Tanner, and then of the Heirs of Colver; after that, of John Easeby; but since of the Lord Bouchier, &c. And again, towards the South, unto the River of Thames, and so far into the Water, as a Horseman, entring the same, might ride at a low Water, and throw his Spear. So that all East Smithfield, with the Right Part of the Street that goeth to Dodding Pond, into the Thames, and also the Hospital of St. Katharine, with the Mills, that were founded in King Stephen's Days, and the outward Stone Wall, and the new Ditch of the Tower, are of the said Fee and Liberty: For the said Wall and Ditch of the Tower were made in the Time of King Richard I. when he was in the Holy Land, by William Longshampe, Bishop of Ely, as before I have noted unto you.

Knighten Guild.

Lib. Trin.

The Original thereof.

Bounds of Knighten Guild or Portsoken Ward.

These Knights had as then none other Charter by all the Days of Edgar, Ethelred, and Cnutus, until the Time of Edward the Confessor: Whom the Heirs of those Knights humbly besought to confirm their Liberties; whereunto he graciously granting, gave them a Deed thereof, as appeareth in the Book of the late House of the Holy Trinity. The said Charter was fair written in the Saxon Letter and Tongue.

The Liberties confirmed.

Lib. Trinit.

After this, King William, the Son of William the Conqueror, made a Confirmation of the same Liberties unto the Heirs of these Knights in these Words:

William, King of England to Maurice, Bishop, and Godfrey de Magum, and Richard de Parre, and to his faithful People of London, greeting: Know yee me to have graunted to the Men of Knighten Guild, the Guild that belonged to them, and the Land that belonged thereunto, with all Customes, as they had the same in the time of King Edward, and my Father. Witness Hugh de Buche; at Rething.

K. William's Charter.

After him, King Henry I. confirmed the same by his Charter to the like Effect; the Recital whereof I pretermit for Brevity sake. After which Time, the Church of the Holy Trinity within Ealdgate of London, being founded by Queen Matilde, Wife to the said Henry, the Multitude of Brethren praising God Day and Night therein, in short time so encreased, that all the City was delighted in the beholding of them. Insomuch that in the Year 1115, certain Burgesses of London, of the Progeny of those Noble English Knights; to wit, Radulphus Fitzalgod, Wilmarde le Devereshe, Orgare le Prude, Edward Hupcornehill, Blackstanus, and Alwine his Kinsman, and Robert his Brother, the Sons of Leafstanus the Goldsmith, Wizo his Son, High Fitzvulgar, Algare Secusme, coming together into the Chapter House of the said Church of the Holy Trinity, gave to the same Church, and Canons serving God therein, all the Lands and Soke called in English Knighten Guild, which lieth to the Wall of the City without the same Gate, and stretcheth to the River of Thames: They gave it, I say, (taking upon them the Brotherhood and Participation of the Benefits of that House) by the Hands of Prior Norman.

Priory of the Trinity within Ealdgate.

Knighten Guild given the Canons of the Holy Trinity.

And the better to confirm this their Grant, they offered upon the Altar there the Charter of Edward, together with the other Charters which they had thereof. And afterward they did put the foresaid Prior in Seisin thereof, by the Church of St. Botolph, which is builded thereon, and is the Head of that Land. These things were thus done before Bernard, Prior of Dunstable, John,

Prior

© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY