Limestreet Ward. Leadenhall. 86

Limestreet Ward. Leadenhall.

" Meekly beseeching, sheweth unto your good Lordship, and Masterships, divers and many Citizens of this City, which with your Favours (under Correction) think, that the great place called the Leadenhall, should, nor ought not to be letten to Farm, to any Person or Persons, and in especial, to any Fellowship or Company incorporate, to have and hold the same Hall for term of Years, for such Inconveniences as thereby may ensue, and come to the hurt of the common weal of the said City in time to come, as somewhat more largely may appear in the Articles hereafter following."

" First, If any Assembly, or hasty gathering of the Commons of the said City, for oppressing or subduing of misruled People within the said City, hereafter shall happen to be called or commanded by the Maior, Aldermen and other Governours and Counsellors of the said City for the time being; there is none so convenient, meet and necessary a place to assemble them in, within the said City, as the said Leadenhall, both for largeness of room, and for their sure Defence in time of their counselling together about the Premises. Also, in that place hath been used the Artillery, Guns, and other common Armours of the said City, to be safely kept in a readiness, for the Safegueard, Wealth and Defence of the said City, to be had and occupied at times, when need required. As also the store of Timber, for the necessary Reparations of the Tenements belonging to the Chamber of the said City, there commonly hath been kept."

Artillery, and Guns in Leadenhall.

And Timber kept there.

" Item. If any Triumph or Noblesse were to be done, or shewed by the Commonalty of the said City, for the Honour of our Sovereign Lord the King, and Realm, and for the Worship of the City; the said Leadenhall is the most meet and convenient place, to prepare and order the said Triumph therein, and from thence to issue forth to the places therefore appointed."

" Item, At any Largess or Dole of any Money, made unto the poor People of this City; by or after the Death of any worshipful Person within the said City, it hath been used, to be done and given in the said Leadenhall, for that the said place is most meet therefore."

Largesses and Doles distributed here.

" Item, The honourable Father, that was Maker of the said Hall, had a special Will, Intent and Mind, (as it is commonly said) that the Market Men and Women, that came to the City with Victuals and other things, should have their free standing within the said Leadenhall in wet Weather, to keep themselves and their Wares dry; and thereby to encourage them, and all other, to have the better will and desire, the more plenteously to resort to the said City, to victual the same. And if the said Hall should be letten to Farm, the Will of the said honourable Father should never be fulfilled, nor take effect."

Leadenhall a Market Place for Victuallers, and the People to stand dry.

" Item, If the said place, which is the chief Fortress and most necessary Place within the City, for the Tuition and Safeguard of the same, should be letten to Farm, out of the Hands of the chief Heads of the same City, and especially to any other Body Politick, it might at length (by likelihood) be occasion of Discord and Debate between the said Bodies Politick. Which God desend."

Leadenhall the chief Fortress of the City.

" For these and many other great and reasonable Causes, which hereafter shall be shewed to this Honourable Court, your said Beseechers think it much necessary, that the said Hall be still in the Hands of this City, and to be surely kept by sad and discreet Officers in such wise, that it may always be ready to be used and occupied, for the common weale of the said City when need shall require, and in no wise to be letten to any Body Politick." Thus much for the Petition.

About the Year 1534. great means was made about the Leadenhall, to have the same made a Burse for the Assembly of Merchants, as they had been accustomed in Lumbard Street: Many Common Councils were called to that end; but in the Year 1535. John Champneis being Maior, it was fully concluded, that the Burse should remain in Lumbard Street, as afore, and Leadenhall no more to be spoken of concerning this Matter.

Leadenhall meant to have been made a Burse for Merchants.

In the Year 1546. when King Henry's Corps lay in State in his Chapel at Westminster, in the Month of February, about twelve Days, here at Leadenhall, Heath Bishop of Worcester the King's Almoner, and other his Ministers and Assistants, did daily distribute to poor People of the City great plenty of Money; as well as at Westminster; and divers other Places in the several Wards, both in open Doles and by way of Proclamation.]

Here Money given by the King's Almoner.

J. S.

The use of Leadenhall in my Youth was thus: In a part of the North Quadrant, on the East side of the North Gate, were the common Beams for weighing of Wooll and other Wares, as had been accustomed: On the West side of the Gate was the Scales to weigh Meal: The other three Sides were reserved (for the most part) to the making and resting of the Pageants shewed at Midsummer in the Watch: The remnant of the Sides and Quadrants were imployed for the stowage of Woolsacks, but not closed up: The Lofts above were partly used by the Painters, in working for the decking of Pageants and other Devices, for beautifying of the Watch and Watchmen. The residue of the Lofts were letten out to Merchants, the Woolwinders and Packers therein to wind and pack their Woolls. And thus much for Leadenhall may suffice.

The Use of Leadenhall anciently.

Now on the North of Limestreet Ward, in the high Street are divers fair Houses for Merchants, and proper Tenements for Artificers, with an Alley also called Shaft Alley, of the Shaft or Maypole sometime resting over the Gate thereof, as I have declared in Ealdgate Ward.

The North of Limestreet Ward.

In the Year 1576. partly at the Charges of the Parish of St. Andrew, and partly at the Charges of the Chamber of London, a Water Pump was raised in this high Street of Limestreet Ward, near unto Limestreet Corner. For the placing of the which Pump, having broken up the Ground, they were forced to dig more than two Fathom deep, before they came to any main Ground. Where they found a Hearth made of Britain, or Roman Tile, every Tile half yard square, and about two Inches thick: they found Coal lying there also, (for that lying whole will never consume.) Then digging one Fathom into the main, they found Water sufficient, made their prall, and set up the Pump. Which Pump, with oft repairing and great Charges to the Parish, continued not 24 years, but being rotted, was taken up, and a new set in Place in theYear 1600. Thus much for the high Street.

A Pump in the high Street of Limestreet Ward Cornhill Street in some place raised two Fathom higher than of old Time, as appeared by Buildings found so deep.

In St. Mary Street had ye (of old time) a Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Ursula, and the 11000 Virgins; which Church was commonly called St. Mary at the Axe, of the Sign of an Axe, over against the East End thereof, or St. Mary Pellipar, of a Plot of Ground lying on the North side thereof, pertaining to the Skinners in London. This Parish about the Year 1565. was united to the Parish Church of St. Andrew Undershaft. And so was St. Mary at the Axe suppressed, and letten out to be a Warehouse for a Merchant. Here was afterwards a Free School kept. Against the East End of his Church was sometime a fair Wall, now turned to a Pump.

St. Mary Street, Parish Church of Mary, St. Ursula, and 11000 Virgins, called At the Axe, letten out for a Warehouse.