Cornhil Ward. Modern State thereof. 150

Cornhil Ward. Modern State thereof.

built of Brick and Timber, it is now rebuilt of excellent Portland Stone (except the Vaults under Ground) and with such curious Architecture, especially the South Front and the two pair of open Newell Stairs, with half Paces, Columns, Pillasters, with Architraves, Frizes, Cornices, and Nices, between them, that it far exceeds all other Exchanges in Europe; Quantum lenta solent inter Viburna cupressi.

New built.

The Form of it now, as to the open Court and Piazza's, is much the same as before; but without it is much enlarged, having new Piazza's both on the South and North Sides, wherein are Shops and Walks, and also Shops on the East and West Ends: And whereas before there was but one single Row of Shops above Stairs, there are now double Rooms, which encrease the Shops to double the Number. In the new Erection of this stately Fabrick, King Charles II. with his Brother, his Royal Highness then Duke of York, did honour the Work so far, as when they began to erect the Columns, the King laid the first Stone of the Column on the West side, and the Duke of York that on the East side of the Entrance on the North side of the Court. And in Memory thereof those two Columns have Royal Ornaments for their Capitals, as Imperial Crowns and Scepters. It is built as before Quadrangular, with a large Court, wherein the Merchants may assemble, and the greatest part, in case of Rain, or hot Sun-shine, may be sheltered under the Galleries in the Piazza's. A Prospect of this noble Structure, as it now is built, taken from a Loft from the South Side thereof, is here inserted.


At the new building King Charles II. came and laid the first Stone.

Prospect of the Royal Exchange.

The Charges of the erecting of this Building as before described did amount unto about 55000l. whereof the one Moiety was disbursed by the City, out of the Chamber of London, and the other Moiety by the Company of Mercers, and to reimburse themselves, there are let 190 Shops above Stairs at 20l. per ann. and a Fine of 30l. besides the Shops with low Chambers over them fronting the Streets and Passages round about the Change, and the huge vaulted Cellars under Ground whereon this Structure is erected; so that (possibly) it is the richest piece of Ground in the World; for the Ground on which it stands is but 203 Foot in Length from East to West, and 171 Foot in Breadth from North to South, containing but 34713 superficial Feet, which is but 8 Perches, or Poles, above three quarters of an Acre, and doth produce above 4000l. yearly Rent.

The Charges of the Exchange new built.

In the middle or centre of the Court, is erected at the sole Charges of the Merchant Adventurers of London, a stately Monument of the Effigies of King Charles II. in a Roman Habit and Posture, standing upon a four square Pedestal, all of white Marble 7 foot high, three Sides of the pedestal curiously carved with Angels holding Imperial Crowns over three Escutcheons; on the West side are the Arms of England quartered with France; on the North side the Arms of Ireland; and on the East side the Arms of Scotland: And on the South side of the Pedestal is an Inscription, Page 137, mentioned before.

A Statue of K. Charles II.

The whole enclosed with Iron Bars of good Workmanship.

Sweetings Alley or Rents, being two narrow Passages into Thredneedle Street, with Free Stone Pavements. Which Alleys are generally inhabited by Coffee-houses, and other publick-Houses; but the greatest part of these Alleys towards Thredneedle Street are in Broadstreet Ward.

Sweetings Rents or Alley.

Next Eastwards is Freemans Yard, a large open Court, with a Free Stone Pavement, well built, and inhabited. Newmans Yard likewise, an open Place with good Houses, well inhabited.

Freemans Yard.

Newmans Yard.

Finch, or Fink Lane, comes out of Cornhil, and falls into Thredneedle Street, overagainst the French Church. Of this Lane the Part from Spread Eagle Court unto the Corner by Cornhil, which is about 112 Foot on both sides, is in this Ward. The rest in Broadstreet Ward.

Finch Lane.

The Weigh-house Yard, a pretty open Place, with good Buildings: This was the Place where the Merchandizes brought from beyond Seas were to be weighed by the Kings Beam. But now the said House is converted into other Uses, and there is a new Weigh-house built in little Eastcheap for the said Use; but little regarded, for that the Power doeth not compel the Merchants to that great Trouble of sending their Goods so to be weighed.

Weigh-house Yard.

Star Court Eastwards of Weigh-house Yard, a large open Place, well built and inhabited; at the upper End of which was kept the General Penny-Post Office for these Parts: and on the West side is a genteel House, enclosed from the rest with handsome Pales.

Star Court.

Birchin Lane hath not above 170 Feet on both sides of the Way in this Ward; the rest toward Lombard Street being in Langborn Ward. It is a Place of a considerable Trade, especially for Men's Apparel; the greatest part of the Shopkeepers being Salesmen: In this Lane are these Alleys, viz. Castle Alley, but ordinary: It falls into St. Michaels Alley. White Lyon Alley also but ordinary, at the upper End is a Passage into George Yard, and in this Alley is Cock Court, which is but small, and on the other side is a Passage unto Castle Alley.

Birchin Lane.

Castle Alley.

White Lyon Alley.

Cock Court.

Beyond Birchin Lane is St. Michaels Cornhil Church, in the Diocess of London, the Abbot of Evesham was the Patron. It was destroyed in the general Fire of London 1666, and was rebuilt very handsomely, having a lofty towered Steeple, with a curious Ring of Bells, esteemed the best in the City. Yet some think those of S. Mary le Bow in Cheapside to surpass them; and towards the rebuilding of this Church and beautifying it within, besides the Imposition raised by Coals, the Parishioners were liberal Encouragers. and in particular some Persons mentioned before.

St. Michaels Church.

Burnt down by the Fire.

This Church is seated backwards, but its chief Door for Entrance is in Cornhil: and behind the Church is a handsome Churchyard enclosed with a Brick Wall. Adjoining to this Church Westward is a Passage out of Cornhil called St. Michaels Alley, which runs by the Churchyard, and turning Eastwards falls into Bell Yard, which leadeth to Grasschurch Street: In this Alley the Houses stand on the West and South sides, the other sides lying open, and looking into the Churchyard. Out of this Alley is a Passage into George Yard, and another into Birchin Lane.

St. Michaels Alley.

More Eastward, not far from the Church of St. Michaels, and at the very Corner of Grasschurch Street is the Parish Church of St. Peters Cornhil, being in the Diocess of London. The Maior and Aldermen of London are Patrons. It was destroyed by the Fire of London, and again rebuilt of Brick, with a Spire Steeple covered with Lead; and St. Peters Key for the Weather Cock. Adjoining to this Church is St. Peters Alley, well inhabited: and hath a Passage with a Free Stone Pavement into Grasschurch Street.

S. Peter's.

There are to watch in the several Stands in this Ward every Night, one Constable with the Beadle and 16 Watchmen.

The Jurymen returned by the Wardmote Inquest for this Ward, are to serve as Jurors in the