[Cross in Cheap] Cheape Ward. 35

[Cross in Cheap] Cheape Ward.

Cross, and the great Conduit at Sopars lane end. There was no such Standard, or other Obstacle between them; neither was that Street paved with hard Stone, as now it is. We read, that in the year 1293. three Men had their Right Hands stricken off at the Standard in Cheape, for rescuing of a Prisoner arrested by an Officer of the City. It is very likely therefore, that the old Cross in Cheape, (which was then newly builded) was also the Standard.

But of the Executions at the Standard in Cheape, we read further; that in the Year 1326. the Bugesses of London caused Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Excester, Treasurer to Edward the IId, to be beheaded, with others, at the Standard in Cheape; (but this was by Paul's Gate.) In the Year 1351. the 26 of Edward the IIId, two Fishmongers were beheaded at the Standard in Cheape; but I read not of their Offence. In the Year 1381. Wat. Tyler beheaded Richard Lions, and others, there. In the Year 1399. Henry the IVth caused the Blank Charters made by Richard the IId, to be burnt there. In the Year 1450. Jack Cade, Captain of the Kentish Rebels, beheaded the Lord Say there. In the Year 1461. John Davy had his Hand stricken off there, because he had stricken a Man before the Judges at Westminster, &c.

Executions at the Standard

Then next is the great Cross in West Cheape, (but in Faringdon Ward within,) which Cross was there erected in the Year 1290. by Edward the 1st, upon Occasion thus: Queen Elianor, his Wife, died at Herdeby (a Town near unto the City of Lincoln;) Her Body was brought from thence to Westminster, and this King, in memory of Her, caused in every Place, where her Body rested in the way, a stately Cross of Stone to be made and erected, with the Queen's Image and Arms upon it; as at Grantham, Woborne, Northampton, Stony- Stratford, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, West Cheape, and at Charing; from whence she was conveyed to Westminster, and there buried.

Great Cross in West Cheape first builded.

This Cross in West Cheape, being like to those which remain till this Day, and being by length of time decayed; John Hatherly, being Mayor of London, procured in the Year 1441. license of King Henry VI. in the 21st of his Reign, to re-edify the same in more beautiful manner, for the Honour of the City: And had License, also, to take up Two hundred Fodder of Lead, for the building thereof, amd of certain Conduits, and a common Granary.

Cross in Cheape new builded.

For there was now, not only a fair Cross to be set up in West Cheape, but Conduits, with Standards, to be built, and Leaden Pipes, that conveyed the Water for above three Miles; and the Works about them to be look'd after, and a common Granary to be erected a-new. For the authorizing and licensing the City in which Works, the said King Henry VI. issued out Letters to this Tenor.

The King's Letters for the Cross in Cheape, and other Works.

J. S.

Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. Salutem. Sciatis, quod cum dilecti nobis Johannes Hatherle, Maior & Cives London. pro communi Utilitatis & decenciæ tocius ejusd. Civitat. [causa] & ad universale proficuum, necnon ad omnium Ligeorum nostrorum ibidem confluentium complacentiam, locis ibidem quamplurimis, prout decet, diversos aque recentis conductus cum Standardis ceterisq; machinis & pipis plumbeis, que ultra tria milliaria sub & supra terram decurrerunt & decurrunt construere & erigere; ac quandam communem Garnariam de novo fabricare, & quandam Crucem spectabilem in West Chepe dict. Ci- vitatis pro quadam augea eisdem conductibus tanquam mater deservitur. Que sine summa plumbi notabili, ac operariis eisd. operibus necessariis exequi non valet, construere & erigere proponant.

Pat. 21 H. IV. p.2. m. 14.

Non utilitatem, decenciam & commodum predict. intime considerantes, de gra. nostra spiali. concessimus, & licenciam dedimus, &c.

This common Garner or Granary, spoken of in these Letters Patents, to be built a-new, was that which was built by Simon Eyre, or Leyre, Alderman, at Leaden-Hall, for the publick Use of the City. This Cross to be erected here at West Chepe, exprest in these Letters Patents to serve pro quadam Augea tanquam mater, seems to be for an increase and supply of Water, as the Mother Aqueduct, to the rest of the Conduits; as though there were Pipes laid from hence to the rest.]

The Granary.

This Cross was then curiously wrought, at the Charges of divers Citizens. John Fisher, Mercer, gave 600 Marks towards it; the same was begun to be set up, 1484. and it was not finsished before the Year 1486. the 2d of Henry the VIth. It was new gilt all over, in the Year 1522. against the coming in of Charles the fifth Emperour; and was new burnished against the Coronation of Edward VI. and in the Year 1553. against the Coronation of Queen Mary. And gilt again in the Year 1554. against the coming in of King Philip. Since the which time, the said Cross having been presented by divers Juries (or Quests of Wardmote) to stand in the High-way, to the let of Carriages, &c. as they alledged, but could not have it removed; it followed, that in the Year 1581. the 21st of June, in the Night, the lowest Images round about the said Cross, (being of Christ his Resurrection, of the Virgin Mary, King Edward the Confessor, and such like) were broken and defaced. Whereupon Proclamation was made, that whoso would bewray the doers thereof, should have Forty Crowns, but nothing came to light. The Image of the blessed Virgin, at that time, robbed of her Son, and her Arms broken, by which she staid him on her Knees; her whole Body was also haled with Ropes, and left ready to fall; but was, in the Year 1595. again fastened and repaired. And in the Year 1596. about Bartholomew Tide, a new Son, mishapen, (as born out of time) all naked, was laid in her Arms; the other Images remaining broken as before. On the East side of the same Cross, the Steps being taken thence, under the Image of Christ's Resurrection defaced, was then set up a curious wrought Tabernacle * of grey Marble, and in the same, an Alabaster Image of Diana, a Woman (for the most part naked) and Water conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked Breasts for a time; but the same is oft-times dryed up, and now decayed.

The Cross curiously wrought.

Cross in Cheape, indicted by Juries.

The Images broken and robbed.

*Frame, first Edit.

Image of Diana set upon the Cross in Cheape.

Socrat. lib. I. cap. 13.

In the year 1599. the Timber of the Cross at the top being rotted within the lead, the arms thereof bending, were feared to have fallen, to the harming of some people; and therefore the whole body of the Cross was scaffolded about, and the top thereof taken down, meaning in place thereof to set up a Pyramis; but some of her Majesties honourable Counsillors directed their Letters to Sir Nicholas Mosley, then Maior, by her Highness express Commandment concerning the Cross, forthwith to be repaired, and placed again as it formerly stood, &c. Notwithstanding, the said Cross stood headless more than a year after: Whereupon the said Counsillors in great number, meaning not any longer to permit the continuance of such a contempt, wrote

Top of the Cross being feared to fall, was taken down.

Cross in Cheape, commanded to be repaired.