other Lands, the high Altitude of the heavenly Counsels, marvelously wrought by
readier Devotion, it ought to be more worshipped; of which things the mortal
(after the Fall of our first Father Adam) hath taken the beginning of this new
Therefore forsooth, it beseemeth worthy, that the place, in which the Sonne of
become Man, and hath proceeded from the Virgins Womb, which is increaser and
beginner of Man's Redemption, namely ought to be with Reverence worshipped, and
with beneficial Portions to be increased. Therefore it is, that the said Simon,
Mary; having special and singular Devotion to the Church of the glorious Virgin
Bethelem, where the same Virgin of her brought forth our Saviour incarnate, and
in the Cratch, and with her own Milk nourished; and where the same Child to us
born, the Chivalrie of the heavenly Company sang the new Hymne, Gloria in
Deo. The same time, the increaser of our Health, (as a King, and his Mother a
willed to be worshipped of Kings: A new Starre going before them at the Honour
Reverence of the same Child, and his most meek Mother: And to the Exaltation of
most noble Lord, Henry, King of England; whose Wife and Child the foresaid
of God, and her only Son, have in their keeping and protection: And to the
increase of this City of London, in which I was born: And also for the health of
Soul, and the Souls of my Predecessors and Successors, my Father, Mother, and my
Friends: And especially for the Souls of Guy of Marlowe, John Durant, Ralph
Ashwye, Maud, Margaret, and Dennis, Women: Have given, granted, and by this my
present Charter, here have confirmed to God, and to the Church of St. Mary of
Bethelem, all my Lands which I have in the Parish of St. Botolph without
of London; that is to say, whatsoever I there now have, or had, or in time to
have, in Houses, Gardens, Pools, Ponds, Ditches and Pits, and all their
Appurtenances, as they be closed in by their Bounds; which now extend in length
the Kings high Street East, to the great Ditch in the West, the which is called
Ditch: And in breadth, to the Lands of Raph Downing in the North: And to the
the Church of St. Buttolph in the South. To have and to hold the foresaid
Bethelem in free and perpetual Alms: And also to make there a Priory, and to
Prior and Canons, Brothers and also Sisters, when Jesus Christ shall enlarge his
upon it. And in the same place, the Rule and Order of the said Church of
solemnly professing, which shall bear the token of a Starre openly in their
Mantles of Profession, and for to say divine Service there for the Souls
all Christian Soules: And specially to receive there the Bishop of Bethelem,
Brothers and Messengers of the Church of Bethelem for evermore, as often as they
shall come thither. And that a Church or Oratory there shall be builded, as
soone as our
Lord shall enlarge his Grace: Under such forme, that the Order, Institution of
Canons, Brothers, Sisters of the Visitation, Correction and Reformation of the
Place, to the Bisop of Bethelem and his Successors, and to the Charter of his
and of his Messengers, as often as they shall come hither, as shall seeme them
expedient, no Man's contradiction notwithstanding, shall pertain evermore,
alway the Services of the chiefe Lords, as much as pertaineth to the said Land.
the more Surety of this thing, I have put my self out of this Land, and all
Lord Godfrey, then chosen of the Nobles of the City of Rome, Bishop of Bethelem,
and of the Pope confirmed then by his Name in England, in his Name, and of his
Successors, and of his Chapter of his Church of Bethe-
lem, into bodily Possession: I have indented and given to his Possession, all
foresaid Lands, which Possession he hath received, and entred in form abovesaid.
in token of Subjection and Reverence, the said Place in London without
shall pay yearly in the said Citie, a Mark Sterling at Easter, to the Bishop of
his Successors or his Messengers, in the Name of a Pension. And of the
Goods of the said Place (our Lord granting) happen to grow more; the said Place
pay more, in the name of Pension, at the said term, to the Mother Church of
This (forsooth) Gift and Confirmation of my Deed, and the putting to of my Seal
and mine Heires, I have stedfastly made strong, the Year of our Lord God, A
two hundred, forty seven, the Wednesday after the Feast of St. Luke the
These being Witnesses, Peter the Sonne of Allen, then Maior of London, Nicholas
then Sheriffe of the said Citie, and Alderman of the said Ward; Raph Sparling,
Alderman; Godfrey of Campes, Simon Comicent, Simon Ronner, Rob. of Woodford,
Thomas Woodford, Walter Pointell, Walter of Woodford, &c.
A Star to be bore in the Copes of these Canons.
Godfrey Bp. of Bethlehem.
To him to be paid a Mark at Easter, and to his Successors.
Anno Dom. 1247.
Anno 39. Hen. 3.