Cornhil Ward. Royal Exchange. 135

Cornhil Ward. Royal Exchange.
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The Royall Exchange of London
  The Royall Exchange of London ]

In the Yeere 1509. the first of Henry the 8. Darby, Smith, and Simson, Ringleaders of false Inquests in London, rode about the Citie with their Faces to the Horses Tailes, and Papers on their Heads, and were set on the Pillorie in Cornehill, and after brought againe to Newgate, where they dyed for very Shame, saith Robert Fabian. A Ring- leader of Inquests, as I take it, is he, that making a gainful Occupation thereof, will appeare upon Nisi prius's ere he be warned, or procure himselfe to be warned to come on by a Tallis. Hee will also procure himself to be Fore-man, when hee can, and take upon him to over-rule the rest to his Opinion: such an one shall be laboured by Plantifes and Defendants, not without Promise of Rewards; and therefore to be suspected of a bad Conscience. I would wish a more careful choice of Jurors to bee had: for I have knowne a Man carted, rung with Basons, and banished out of Bishopsgate Ward, and afterward, in Aldgate Ward admitted to be Constable, a Grand Jury Man, and Foreman of their Wardmote Inquest. What I know of the like, or worse Men, preferred to the like Offices, I forbeare to write, but wish to be reformed.

Ringleaders of false Inquests so served.

Ring-leaders of Inquests will proffer their Service, and bend every way for gaine.

Careful choice of Jurors is to be had: a Man detected, and that had sworne foolishly against his Brother, is not to be admitted a common Juror. Neither Butcher nor Surgeon is to be admitted.

The foresaid Conduit upon Cornehill was in the yeer 1475 inlarged by Robert Drope, Draper, Maior, that then dwelt in that Ward; he inlarged the Cestern of this Conduit with an East End of Stone, and Lead, and castellated it in comely manner.

Conduit upon Cornhill inlarged.

In the yeere 1546. Sir Martin Bowes, Maior, dwelling in Lumbard Street, and having his back Gate opening into Cornhill, against the said Conduit, minded to have inlarged the Cesterne thereof with a West end, like as Robert Drope before had done towards the East. View and Measure of the Plot was taken for this Worke: but the Pillory and Cage being removed, they found the Ground planked, and the Well aforesaid worne out of Memory. Which Well they revived and restored to use; [it is since made a Pumpe:] They set the Pillorie somewhat West from the Well, and so this Work ceased.

On the North side of this Street, from the East unto the West, have ye faire Houses for Merchants and others; amongst the which, one large House is called the Wey-house; where Merchandises brought from beyond Seas, are to be weighed at the Kings Beame. This House hath a Master, and under him foure Master Porters, with Porters under them; they have a strong Cart, and were used to have foure great Horses, to draw and carry the Wares from the Merchants Houses to the Beame, and back againe; now three Horses serve the turn. Sir Tho. Lovell, Kt. builded this House, with a faire front of Tenements toward the Street. All which he gave to the Grocers of London, himself being free of the Citie, and a Brother of that Company.

The Weyhouse or Kings Beame upon Cornhill.

Drapers from ancient times have had their Dwellings and Shops here in Cornhill: There was one John Olyver Pannarius de Cornhull. Between three and four hundred Years ago we meet with the Drapers of Cornhull: Who were of the Fraternity of S. Mary of Bethlehem. As appears by this Record. "On Honour, &c. To the Honour of our Lord Jhu Crist and his swete Moder Seint Marie owr Ladie of Bethlem; in which most holie place our seid Lord Jhu Crist was chosen to be born in hys Salvacion of al his People: In which place of Bethlem the Starre apperyed to the Shepherds, and gave and shewed Lyght to the three Kyngys of Coloyne, who offered in the same place of Bethlem three Gyftes, Golde, Myrrhe, and Insense; one Fraternite is begon, for the same Honour, in amendment of their Lyves, by the Assent of the Fryar Wyllyam Titte, Fryar of the Hospital of owr Ladie of Bethlem of London. Which is a Cell of the Place of Bethlem: And for other good People DRAPERS of CORNHULL, and other good Men and Women, which will be Borders and Systers, and maintein the same Fraternite for the term of their Lives, and al the Points that follow, &c. To pay xx Shillings entrance, and every year two Shillings, and every quarter six Pence." Which Fraternite was extant 1361. and their Feast was on the Purification of our Lady.]

Drapers of Cornhill.

Tow. Record.

J. S.

Then have ye the said Finkes Lane, the South end of which Lane on both sides, is in Cornehill Ward.

Then next is the Royall Exchange, erected in the Yeere 1566. after this order, viz. Certaine Houses upon Cornehill, and the like upon the backe thereof, in the Ward of Broadstreet, with three Alleys; the first called Swan Alley, opening into Cornehill; the second, New Alley, passing thorow out of Cornehill into Broadstreet Ward, over against St. Bartholomew Lane; the third, S. Christophers Alley, opening into Broadstreet Ward, and into Saint Christophers Parish, containing in all fourscore Housholds; were first purchased by the Citizens of London, for more than 3532. * Pounds, and were sold for 478. Pounds, to such Persons as should take them downe, and carry them thence. Also the Ground or Plot was made plaine at the Charges of the Citie, and then Possession thereof was by certaine Aldermen (in the name of the whole Citizens) given to Sir Thomas Gresham, Kt. Agent to the Queens Highnesse, thereupon to build a Burse, or place for Merchants to assemble in, at his owne proper Charges: And hee, on the seventh of June, laying the first Stone of the Foundation, beeing Bricke, accompanied with some Aldermen, every of them laid a piece of Gold, which the Workmen tooke up, and forthwith followed upon the same with such diligence, that by the Moneth of November, in the yeere 1567. the same was covered with Slate, and shortly after fully finished.

The Burse upon Cornhill, or the Royal Exchange.

Swan Alley.

New Alley.

St. Christophers Alley.

Housholders displaced for building of the Burse.

*It was above 4000l. as the Maior and Aldermen did set forth in their Answer to the Lady Greshams Supplication.

J. S.

The Cities Charges.

The Ground given by the City to Sir Tho. Gresham, to build the Exchange.

In the yeere 1570. on the 23. of January, the Queens Majestie, attended with her Nobility, came from her House at the Strand, called Somerset House, and entred the City by Temple-Barre, through Fleetstreet, Cheape, and so by the North side of the Burse, through Three Needle Street, to Sir Thomas Greshams in Bishopsgate Street, where she dined. After Dinner, her Majesty returning through Cornehill, entred the Burse on the South side. And after shee had viewed every part thereof above the Ground; especially the Pawne, which was richly furnished with all sorts of the finest Wares in the Citie; She caused the same Burse, by an Herauld and a Trumpet, to be proclaimed the Royall Exchange, and to bee so called from thenceforth, and not otherwise.

Queen Elizabeth came to the Burse.

The Burse called the Royal Exchange.

The Rent of the Shops here brought in considerable Gains to Sir Thomas Gresham the Builder. And about five or six Years after the Shops were all furnished with Wares, Gresham constrained all the Shopkeepers that had Shops above, to take Shops below, in the lowest Vaults of the Exchange, where was an equal number of Shops to those above. At which time every one paid four Marks a Year for every Shop above; and he would have as much Rent for every Shop below, or else they should not have a Shop above. But after they had kept Shop below a little while, what with the damp of the Vault, the darkness of the Place, and the unwillingness of Customers to buy their Wares, they were so wearied,

J. S.

E. Howes.