Bishopsgate Ward. St. Ethelburgh. 99

Bishopsgate Ward. St. Ethelburgh.

There were also found divers Dishes and Cups, of a fine red coloured Earth, which shewed outwardly such a shining smoothness, as if they had been of Corral. Those had (in the bottoms) Roman Letters printed, there were also Lamps of white Earth, and red artificially wrought with divers Anitiques about them, some three or four Images made of white Earth, about a Span long each of them: One I remember was of Pallas, the rest I have forgotten. I my self have reserved (amongst divers of those Antiquities there found) one Urna, with the Ashes and Bones, and one Pot of white Earth very small, not exceeding the quantity of a quarter of a wine Pint, made in the shape of a Hare, squatted upon her Legs, and between her Ears is the Mouth of the Pot.

Dishes and Cups found here,

And Lamps.

There hath allso been found (in the same Field) divers Coffins of Stone, containing the Bones of Men: There I suppose to be the Burials of some special Persons, in time of the Britons, or Saxons, after that the Romans had left to govern here. Moreover, there were also found the Skulls and Bones of Men, without Coffins, or rather whose Coffins (being of great Timber) were consumed. Divers great Nails of Iron were there found, such as are used in the Wheels of shod Carts, being each of them as big as a Man's Finger, and a quarter of a Yard long, the Heads two Inches over. Those Nails were more wondered at than the rest of the things there found, and many Opinions of Men were uttered of them; namely, that the Men there buried, were murthered by driving those Nails into their Heads; a thing unlikely: For a smaller Nail would more aptly serve to so bad a purpose, and a more secret place would lightly be employed for their burial.

Troughs of Stone found in the Spittle Field.

Great Nails of Iron found in the Field.

Fond Opinions of Men.

But to set down what I have observed oncerning this Matter. I there beheld the Bones of a Man lying (as I noted) the Head North, the Feet South, and round about him (as thwart his Head, along both his Sides, and thwart his Feet) such Nails were found. Wherefore I conjectured them to be the Nails of his Coffin, which had been a Trough, cut out of some great Tree, and the same covered with a Plank of a great thickness, fastened with such Nails, and therefore I caused some of the Nails to be reached up to me; and found under the broad Heads of them, the old Wood, skant turned into Dust or Earth, but still retaining both the grain and proper colour. Of these Nails (with the Wood under the Head thereof) I reserved one, as also the nether Jaw-bone of the Man, the Teeth being very great, sound and fast fixed; which (amongst many other Monuments there found) I have yet to shew; but the Naile lying dry, is by sealing greatly wasted.

A Conjecture what they should be.

Dr. Meric Casaubon, (since thoise times wherein the things beforementioned were observed) came into these Fields, being but a Boy, and saw one of these Graves newly opened; where was a Skull Bone broken by him that digged the Ground, and the pieces scattered, and some carried away. But being observed to be beyond the ordinary size, the King was acquainted with it, who appointed that the pieces should be retrieved as many as might be, and set together. Which was done and then being drawn out according to Art, the proportion equalled a Bushel in the compass of it. There were Coins also found in that Grave. Some whereof the said Casaubon had: And as for the Skull he conjectured it was once a Giants, though some thought it might be an Elephants. Such another Grave he speaks of, found in Dauphiné in France with old Coins about it: The Bones and Skeleton about 25½ Foot in length. Which he supposed might be a certain ancient Giant, named Teutelochus; of which they had Traditions.]

A Skull here found as big as a Bushel.

J. S.

Dr. Casaubon of Credulity.

And thus much for this part of Bishopsgate Ward, without the Gate: For I have in another place spoken of the Gate, and therefore I am now to speak of that other part of this Ward, which lyeth within the Gate.

The Ward within the Gate.

Only, the mention of certain Places hereabouts, in the Bishop of London's Register of Testaments, let this be inserted.

J. S.

Walter Caketon by his Will, Aug. 18. 1430. gave to the Dean and College of the Royal free Chapel of St. Stephen's Westminster, 45s. 4d. Rent: Which he had of the Gift and Grant of John Preston, Clerk, going yearly out of the Tenement Brewhouse called, Le Scot on the Hoop, situate in Bishopsgate Street, between the Tenement of the Prior of the Hospital of St. Mary without Bishopsgate on the North, and the Lane [Venellam] of St. Helen's on the South, and the Garden of the Parson of the Church of St. Mary Somerset on the West. To have to the said Dean and College for ever: Under Condition, that they keep the Anniversary of Robert Fewlmer, late Canon of the Chapel aforesaid, and of the said John Preston, Canon of the said Chapel.]

Scot on the Hoop in Bishopsgate Street.

Regist. Lond.

And first to begin on the left hand of Bishopsgate Street, from the Gate ye have certain Tenements of old time pertaining to a Brotherhood of St. Nicholas, granted to the Parish Clerks of London for two Chaplains to be kept in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, near unto the Guild Hall of London, in the 27th of Henry the Sixth. The first of these Houses towards the North, and against the Wall of the City, was sometime a large Inn or Court, called the Wrestlers of such a Sign, and the last in the high Street towards the South, was sometime also a fair Inn called the Angel, of such a Sign. Amongst these said Tenements was (on the same Street side) a fair Entry or Court to the common Hall of the said Parish Clerks, with proper Almshouses, seven in number, adjoining, for Parish Clerks, and their Wives, their Widows, such as were in great Years not able to labour. One of these, by the said Brotherhood of Parish Clerks, was allowed sixteen Pence the Week, the other six had each of them nine Pence the Week, according to the Patent thereof granted. This Brotherhood (amongst other) being suppressed: In the reign of Edward VI. the said Hall with the other Buldings there, was given to Sir Robert Chestre, a Knight of Cambridgeshire. Against whom the Parish Clerks commencing Sute, in the Reign of Queen Mary, and being like to have prevailed, the said Sir Robert Chester pulled down the Hall, sold the Timber, Stone and Lead, and thereupon the Sute was ended. The Almshouses remained in the Queen's Hands, and People are there placed, such as can make best Friends. Some of them taking the Pension appointed, have let forth their Houses for great Rent, giving occasion to the Parson of the Parish, to challenge Tithes of the Poor, &c.

Clerks Hall and their Almshouses in Bishopsgate Street.

Sir Rob. Chester obtains the Parish Clerks Hall.

The Parish Church of St. ETHELBURGE.


Next unto this is the small Parish Church of St. Ethelburge, Virgin. This Church was repaired and beautified at the Charge of the Parishioners in theYear of our Lord 1612. In the Year 1620. the Steeple greatly decayed was repaired. And in the Year 1630. a Gallery was built in the South Ile, at the proper Cost of Owen Saint-peere of this Parish.

St. Ethelburge Parish.


William Mefflin,
Peter Gaile,