Portsoken Ward. Christ's Church Priory. 12

Portsoken Ward. Christ's Church Priory.

ye, that I have restored unto the Church of Christ in London, and to the Fryars there, their Mills near unto the Tower, and all their Lands without the Tower, belonging sometimes unto the English Cnitten-gilda, with Smithfield, and the * Tenants, and all other things belonging thereunto. I also restore unto them half a Hide of Land of Brebelegia, with the Land and Meadows and Pastures, and all other things, Liberties and Customs, as William Widois sometimes gave it unto them, when as he took the Habit of a Canon Regular upon him. And I will and command, that they hold the said Lands from me and from mine Heirs, free, cleared, and acquitted from all Claim and secular Service: That is to say, in such manner as it shall never be lawful either for me or for mine Heirs, to do them any Injury, or contumely, in consideration of the Lands aforesaid. Witness, R. * the Countess my Wife, Gregory Draper, Payn of the Temple, &c.

Mills near the Tower.


Hidam de terra de Brebelegia.

*In the Transcript taken out of the Original, which I used, I find her written Rocha with a Dash, ignorantly; so that I know not what to make of it.

And I also give unto them one Mark of Silver, out of the Service of Edward de Sekegeford. Witness those above-named, and William, Archdeacon of London.

King Stephen also restored something unto the said Church, as by this following Charter appeareth; which the Constables of the Tower had encroached. This was done after the Lands were proved by Oath to belong to the Church before the King's Chief Justice.


Stephen King of England, to the Bishop of London, the Justices, Sheriffs, Barons, Officers, and all his Liege People, both French and English, of the County of Hertford, greeting. Know ye that I have given and granted unto the Church of the Holy Trinity, and to the Canons serving God there, T.S. of Land in the Manour of Bracking in perpetual Alms, for the rest of the Souls, that is to say, of Baldwin my Son, and Maud my Daughter, which lie buried there. I have farther also given and granted unto the said Church and Canons six Yards of Land in the same Manour of Bracking, * for the Exchange of their Mill, and that Plat of their Ground, which they heretofore granted unto Queen Maud my Wife, near unto the Tower of London, upon which she hath now founded an Hospital * for the Poor. Those six Yards of Land, I mean, which I still kept in mine own Demaines*, after I had made Partition of the other Parcels of the said Manour; that is to say, that Part upon which the Church is founded, and unto which the Market belongeth. Wherefore I will, and firmly hereby command, that the said Church and Canons shall well, peaceably, freely, and honourably for ever possess the said Lands, acquitted from all secular Exaction, as it becometh free Alms: That is to say, my Demains with Sake, and Soke, and Toll, and Thea, and Infangtheof, with all such other Customs as they now hold other their Possessions. Witness Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Bishop of London, Robert Bishop of Hereford, and Robert Bishop of Excester, and Illard Bishop of Chichester, and William Bishop of Norwich, and Maud my Queen, and Earl Eustace my Son, and William, and Robert de Veer, and William Mart, Henry de Essex, and Richard de Lucye.

* Pro escamb.

* St. Katharines.

* Dominico meo.

Then next follows Queen Maud's Confirmation of the King's Gift, dated at London, under the same Witnesses: where the same things are repeated.

Other Things given by Queen Maud to the same Church.


Maud by the Grace of God, Queen of English, to Robert, Bishop of London, and to all that hold on holy Church, greeting. Know ye that by the Counsel of the Archbishop Anselme, and by the Grant and Confirmation of my Lord King Henry, I have given and confirmed the Church of Christ, within the Walls of London, to be free and acquitted from all Subjection, as well of the Church of Waltham*, as of all other Churches, excepting the Church of St. Paul, and of the Bishop of London, together with all Appurtenances, unto the Honour of God, and to the Canons Regular there serving God, with Norman the Prior, for ever; and that for the Redemption of our Souls, and the Souls of our Parents. In like manner have I given unto them the Gate called Aldgate, with the Soken thereunto belonging, which was mine own Demains; and two Parts of the Revenues of the City of Excester. And I will and command, that the said Canons shall well, peaceably, freely, and honourably possess those Lands, and all belonging unto their Church; together with those Customs and Liberties which my Lord King Henry hath by his Charter confirmed unto them, so that no Injury nor Reproach be therefore done unto them. Witness, William Bishop of Winchester, Roger Bishop of Sarum, Robert Bishop of Lincoln, &c. Dated at Westminster.

Out of Book C. Fol. 136.

* To understand this, see at Aldgate Ward.

Notes upon the foresaid Charters.


First, Observe the Time of the building of St. Botolph Church without Aldgate, which was about the Age of the Conqueror. So much we know by this, that it was builded betwixt the Time of Canutus and Henry I.

Aldgate Church, when builded.

Secondly, Whereas the Kings write to the Barons of London, Know what Matthew Paris in his Henry III. says, viz. That the Citizzens of London, both for their Antiquity, and the Honour of the City, were called Barons. But they were only the principal Citizens that had this Title. The chief Men of the City, whom we now call Barons, were heretofore styled Captains: They were the King's free Tenants, privleged all over England. Sometimes the King's Writs were directed to the Sheriff and Barons of London. The Church also had its Barons or free Tenants, and divers other Cities of England. See for this Word in Sir Henry Spelman's Glossary.


Thirdly, Observe London and Middlesex to be in those Days joined together, as in King Henry's Charter.

I add one Passage more concerning this Priory. In Process of Time, the Hospital of St. Katharines near the Tower, which had Dependance upon the said Priory, now in the Time of King Henry III. withdrew their Canonical Obedience, having a Dispensation from a Bishop of London, and some Countenance also from the Queen so to do. Whereupon the Prior and Convent applied, with and complain'd of the Wrong done them, unto Pope Urban. Who gave them his Bull in their Favour, which happened Anno1264. 48 Henry III. Which Bull set forth first the State of the Case, viz.

Pope Urban's Bull in Favour of the Priory.

J. S.

"That the Prior and Convent of the Church of the Holy Trinity of the Order of St. Augustines had shewn him that King H. and M. his Queen had granted the perpetual Custody, and whatsover they had of Right in, the Hospital of St. Katharines near the Tower of London, which they built of their own Goods, and en-"

FÅ“dera, Convention. p. 787.