Portsoken Ward. 14

Portsoken Ward.

Plots, &c. so it is of late, to wit, in the Year of Christ 1593. on the North Side thereof, and at the West End of Hog Street [or Hog Lane] beautified by certain fair Almshouses there, strongly builded of Brick and Timber, and covered with Slate for the poor by the Merchant Taylors of London, in place of some small Cottages, given to them by Richard Hills, some time a Master of that Company * certain Timber for that use, being also given by Anthony Radcliffe, of the same Society, Alderman.

Merchant Taylors Almshouses. at the Tower Hill.

R. Hills.

* One hundred Loads 2d Edit.

In these Almshouses 14 charitable Brethren of the said Merchant Taylors yet living, have placed 14 poor sole Women, which receive each of them of their Founders 16d. or better, weekly, beside 8l. 15s. yearly, paid out of the common Treasury of the same Corporation for Fuel.

In this Hog Lane, now mentioned, lying on the back side of Whitechapel, were eight Acres of Land, which about the Year 1574 were in the Possession of one Benedict Spinola, a rich Italian Merchant; whereof he made twenty Tenter Yards and certain Gardens. These, some pretended, were first enclosed by him, being before open and common. And hence it came to pass, that in the Year 1584 it was presented as an Annoyance to the Archers, and all the Queen's Liege People. And a Precept was awarded to the Tenants and Occupiers of the Premisses to remove their Pales and Fences, and all Buildings made thereupon: For now many Clothiers dwelt here, who, hereupon applied themselves to the Lord Treasurer of England, and brought Witness to the contrary: Shewing, that the same Field, before it was so converted as then it was, was a Piece of Ground several, not common, nor never commonly used by any Archers, being far unmeet for Archers to shoot in, by reason of standing Puddles, most noisome Laystals, and filthy Ditches in and about the same. Also the Way called Hog Lane was so foul and deep in the Winter time, that no Man could pass by the same. And in Summer time Men would not pass thereby for fear of Infection, by means of the Filthiness that lay there. So that the Presenters were utterley deceived, and not well informed in their Presentments. Afterwards Benedict Spinola bestowed great Cost and Charges upon levelling and cleansing the Premisses; and made divers Tenter Yards, by means whereof the common Ways and Passages about the said eight Acres were greatly amended and enlarged, that all People might well and safely pass. And poor Clothworkers by the Tenter Yards were greatly relieved: For that of late time divers Tenter Yards in and about London were decayed and pulled down, and the Ground converted to other Uses. And because the Queen had lately by Proclamation restrained all future Buildings and Enclosures in the Suburbs, they shewed that these Tenter Yards and Gardens were made long before the said Proclamation.]

Eight Acres enclosed in Hog Lane by Spinola.

J. S.


From the West Part of this Tower Hill, towards Aldgate, being a long continual Street, amongst other smaller Buildings in that Row, there was sometimes an Abby of Nuns of the Order of St. Clare, called the Minories, founded by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester and Darby, Brother to King Edward I. in the Year 1293, the length of which Abby contained 15 Perches and seven Foot; near unto the King's Street, or High Way, &c. as appeareth by a Deed dated 1303. A Plague of Pestilence being in this City in the Year 1515, there died in this House of Nuns professed to the Number of 27, besides other Lay People, Servants in the House. This House was valued to dispend 418l. 8s. 5d. yearly. And was surrendred by Dame Elizabeth Sal- vage, the last Abbess there, unto King Hen. VIII. in the thirtieth of his Reign, the Year of Christ 1539.

Abby of St. Clare Nuns called the Minories.

Concerning this House of Nuns, I find these Particulars. The Licence for Founding it bore Date 21 E. I. to the Abbess of St. Clare without Aldgate. There was a Charter granted 9 E. II. that the Sisters Minoresses without Aldgate, sint quiete de Tallagie, &c. i. e. be quit of Tallage on account of their Lands and Tenements in the City of London. In another Charter 14 E. II. it is called the Abby of the Minoresses of St. Mary of the Order of St. Clare without the Walls of the City: In which Charter are confirmed certain Messes of theirs in the Vintry, in Wood Street, Lad Lane, Old Fishstreet, and one Mess and two Shops in Lombard Street, Christ's Church Lane, and Shirburgh Lane; gotten of divers well affected Persons: What the Charters and Liberties of these Minoresses were, may be seen by the Confirmation thereof in 1 H.V. and Anno 16. and 25. and 2 H. 4. which remain in the Tower Records. The Manour of Apeldercome was granted to the Prioress of the Minoresses without Aldgate, 1 H. IV. and 22 H. VI. A Mess called Herteshorn, in the Parish of St. Mary Matselon, was granted to them by Nicholas Walshe, 7 E. IV. To all the rest let this be added.

The Founding, Privileges, Revenues of this Place.

J. S.

Record. Turr.

That this House was first erected to receive Nuns that were to be brought over by Blanch Queen of Navarre, Wife to the abovesaid Earl Edmund: And they were professed to serve God, the blessed Virgin, and St. Francis; as appears by this Charter of Licence, which the said Edmund obtained of the King his Brother the 21st of his Reign. Viz.

These Nuns at first brought over by Blanch, Queen of Navar.

J. S.

" Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. Volentes Edmundo fratri nostro gratiam facere specialem, dedimus ei licentiam, &c. quod ipse placeam quam habet ex dono Thomæ de Bredestrete in parochia Sancti Botolphi extra Aldgate, dare possit, &c. Monialibus de Ordine Minorum quæ per Nobilem Dominam Blancam Reginam Navarre, consortem ejusdem fratris nostri in Angliam sunt venturæ & merituræ, ac Deo & beate Marie ac beato Francisco serviture, ad quandam domum ibidem construendam, & habitandam, &c. "

Pet. Le Neve Esq;

Fundatio Monial. Minorum extra Aldgate.

Pat. 21. E. I. M. 11. 22 E. I. M. 2.

This dissolved Monastery, being a large old Messuage, became a dwelling House for divers great Men successively; whom the King pleased to allow to reside there. One of these, and the first, was John Clark Bishop of Bath and Wells, who was buried in the Minorites Church; and afterwards his Corps rested in Aldgate Church, as an old Inscription there in Brass testified: Afterwards, I think I have read, some Officers of the Tower had their Dwelling there. In the Year 1552. it came to Henry Duke of Suffolk by Patent from K. Edward VI. "Granting the chief Messuage, or Mansion, called The Minory House, within the Precinct of the said Monastery, called the Minores, without Aldgate, London; and divers Houses in London belonging to the said Monastery, which extend to the clear Value of 36.l. 11.s. 5.d. ob to hold in free Socage; and the foresaid capital House in Capite."

Henry Duke of Suffolk dwelt here.

J. S.

Wev. Monum. p. 426.

Cott. Librar. Julius B. 9.

An Account of the Monuments of such Persons of Quality as were buried in this Monstery, is wanting. I find one Matild Trussel buried here, and the Lady Elizabeth Keryel, who bequeathed her Body, by her Will An. 1419. to be buried in the Minoress Church, London, near the Tomb of her Mother, the foresaid Matild Trussel. And Elizabeth, Dutchess of Norfolk, in the Year 1506. by her last Will, ordered her Body to be lain in the Nuns Choir, in the Minoresses without Aldgate, London; nigh unto the Place where Anne Montgomery lay buried.