The Royall Exchange of London
|Cornhil Ward. Royal Exchange. ||135
In the Yeere 1509. the first of Henry the 8. Darby, Smith, and Simson,
false Inquests in London, rode about the Citie with their Faces to the Horses
Papers on their Heads, and were set on the Pillorie in Cornehill, and after
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
appeare upon Nisi prius's ere he be warned, or procure himselfe to be warned to
on by a Tallis. Hee will also procure himself to be Fore-man, when hee can, and
upon him to over-rule the rest to his Opinion: such an one shall be laboured by
and Defendants, not without Promise of Rewards; and therefore to be suspected of
bad Conscience. I would wish a more careful choice of Jurors to bee had: for I
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
of their Wardmote Inquest. What I know of the like, or worse Men, preferred to
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
Draper, Maior, that then dwelt in that Ward; he inlarged the Cestern of this
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
his back Gate opening into Cornhill, against the said Conduit, minded to have
the Cesterne thereof with a West end, like as Robert Drope before had done
East. View and Measure of the Plot was taken for this Worke: but the Pillory
being removed, they found the Ground planked, and the Well aforesaid worne out
Memory. Which Well they revived and restored to use; [it is since made a
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
Merchants and others; amongst the which, one large House is called the
where Merchandises brought from beyond Seas, are to be weighed at the Kings
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
carry the Wares from the Merchants Houses to the Beame, and back againe; now
Horses serve the turn. Sir Tho. Lovell, Kt. builded this House, with a faire
Tenements toward the Street. All which he gave to the Grocers of London,
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:
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
Bethlehem. As appears by this Record.
"On Honour, &c. To the Honour of
Lord Jhu Crist and his swete Moder Seint Marie owr Ladie of Bethlem; in which
holie place our seid Lord Jhu Crist was chosen to be born in hys Salvacion of al
People: In which place of Bethlem the Starre apperyed to the Shepherds, and gave
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
same Honour, in amendment of their Lyves, by
the Assent of the Fryar Wyllyam Titte, Fryar of the Hospital of owr Ladie of
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
Points that follow, &c. To pay xx Shillings entrance, and every year two
and every quarter six Pence."
Which Fraternite was extant 1361. and their
was on the Purification of our Lady.]
Drapers of Cornhill.
Then have ye the said Finkes Lane, the South end of which Lane on both sides, is
Then next is the Royall Exchange, erected in the Yeere 1566. after this order,
Certaine Houses upon Cornehill, and the like upon the backe thereof, in the Ward
Broadstreet, with three Alleys; the first called Swan Alley, opening into
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
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
and carry them thence. Also the Ground or Plot was made plaine at the Charges
Citie, and then Possession thereof was by certaine Aldermen (in the name of the
Citizens) given to Sir Thomas Gresham, Kt. Agent to the Queens Highnesse,
to build a Burse, or place for Merchants to assemble in, at his owne proper
And hee, on the seventh of June, laying the first Stone of the Foundation,
Bricke, accompanied with some Aldermen, every of them laid a piece of Gold,
the Workmen tooke up, and forthwith followed upon the same with such diligence,
by the Moneth of November, in the yeere 1567. the same was covered with Slate,
shortly after fully finished.
The Burse upon Cornhill, or the Royal Exchange.
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.
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
City by Temple-Barre, through Fleetstreet, Cheape, and so by the North side of
Burse, through Three Needle Street, to Sir Thomas Greshams in Bishopsgate
where she dined. After Dinner, her Majesty returning through Cornehill, entred
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
Wares in the Citie; She caused the same Burse, by an Herauld and a Trumpet, to
proclaimed the Royall Exchange, and to bee so called from thenceforth, and not
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
Builder. And about five or six Years after the Shops were all furnished with
Gresham constrained all the Shopkeepers that had Shops above, to take Shops
in the lowest Vaults of the Exchange, where was an equal number of Shops to
above. At which time every one paid four Marks a Year for every Shop above; and
would have as much Rent for every Shop below, or else they should not have a
above. But after they had kept Shop below a little while, what with the damp of
Vault, the darkness of the Place, and the unwillingness of Customers to buy
Wares, they were so wearied,