Cheape Ward. [Mercers in Cheapside.] 36

Cheape Ward. [Mercers in Cheapside.]

to Will. Rider, then Maior, requiring him by vertue of her Highness said former Direction and Commandment, without any further delay, to accomplish the same her Majesties most princely care therein, respecting especially the antiquity and continuance of that Monument, and ancient Ensign of Christianity, &c. dated the 24th of December, 1600. After this a Cross of Timber was framed, set up, covered with lead, and gilded, the body of the Cross downward cleansed of dust, the Scaffold carried thence; About twelve nights following, the Image of our Lady was again defaced by plucking off her Crown, and almost her head, taking from her her naked Child, and stabbing her in the Breast, &c. Thus much for the Cross in West Cheap.

Command again sent for repairing the Cross in Cheape, it being an ancient Ensign of Christianity.

Then at the west end of West Cheape street, was some time a Cross of Stone, called the Old Cross. Ralph Higden in his Polycronicon saith, that Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exceter, Treasurer to Edward II. was by the Burgesses of London beheaded at this Cross, then called the Standard, without the North door of St. Pauls Church, and so it is noted in other Writers, that then lived. This old Cross stood and remained at the East end of the Parish Church, called St. Michael in the Corn, by Pauls gate, near to the North end of the Old Exchange, till the year 1390. the 13th of Richard II. in place of which old Cross then taken down, the said Church of St. Michael was enlarged, and also a fair Water-conduit about the 9th of Henry VI.

Old Cross at the West End of Cheape.

Ralph Higden.

In the Reign of Edward III. divers Justings were made in this street, betwixt Sopers lane and the great Cross, namely, one in the year 1331. about the 21st of September, as I find noted by divers Writers of that time. "In the middle of the City of Lodon, (say they) in a street called Cheape, the stone pavement being covered with sand, that the horse might not slide, when they strongly set their Feet to the ground, the King held a Tournament three days together with the Nobility, valiant Men of the Realm, and other, some strange Knights. And to the end the beholders might with the better ease see the same; there was a wooden Scaffold erected cross the street, like unto a Tower, wherein Queen Philip, and many other Ladies, richly attired and assembled from all parts of the Realm, did stand to behold the Justs: but the higher Frame in which the Ladies were placed, brake in sunder, whereby they were (with some shame) forced to fall down. By reason whereof the Knights and such as were underneath were grievously hurt: Wherefore the Queen took great care to save the Carpenters from punishment; and through her Prayers (which she made upon her knees) pacified the King and Council, and thereby purchased great love of the people." After which time the King caused a Shed to be strongly made of stone for himself, the Queen, and other States to stand on, and there to behold the Justings, and other Shews at their pleasure, by the Church of St. Mary Bow, as is shewed in Cordwainer street Ward.

Justings and Tournament in West Cheape.

Edward III. held Tournament or Justs in West Cheape three days together.

Queen Philip and her Ladies fell from a Scaffold in Cheap.

A shed or standing made for the King to behold the Shews in Cheape.

J. S.

Here in Cheapside in Bow Parish formerly, in the time of King Henry VIII. and some time after, lived a considerable Mercer, at the sign of the Crown, (And this perhaps that Crown of which we have that pretty odd Story in our Chronicles.) His Name was John Hare, of an ancient Family in Suffolk; Who left a fair Estate behind him to his Children, that were divers, besides his charitable Legacies, He died Anno 1564. To Richard Hare his fourth Son (who as it seems, continued his Father's Trade) he gave by his Will his said dwelling House at the Crown, with all the Shops, Cellars, Yards, and Ware-houses, thereunto belonging. He was also Owner of the Manour of Stow Bardolph in the County of Norfolk; which he purchased of Queen Mary; and also the Parsonage thereof, and other Lands and Tenements there, which he purchased of Richard Catlyn, Sergeant at Law: All which he gave by Will to his eldest Son, and Heir Nicolas Hare. He was likewise Owner of a great Mansion Place (as it is called in his Will) with Gardens, Orchards, Houses, Lands, and Tenements, in Whitecross street in the Parish of St. Giles Cripplegate: Another Tenement in Morelane in the said Parish, with Garden, Tainter-yards and other Commodities and Profits thence arising, or occupied with the same.

Hare at the Crown in Cheape.

J. Hare, Windsor Herald.

His charitable Legacies were as follows. To the poor people of the Parish of our Lady of Bow, where he then dwelt, 40s. to be divided among them. To the Poor of the Parish of our Lady in Homersfield in the County of Suffolk, where he was born, 20s. To the two Hospitals Christs and S. Thomas, to the Use of the Poor thereof, 40l. to be equally divided. To S. Bartholomews Hospital 10l. To the five Lazar Houses about London, 10s. to every House. To every Prisoner within Newgate, Ludgate, the Marshalsea and the Kings Bench, 4d. in Mony, to every one that were Prisoners there at his Decease. And to every one that should be then Prisoners in the Counters of Woodstreet and the Poultry 4d. a piece. To the thirteen poor Men in Whittington College 2s. apiece.

His charitable Legacies.

Other Liberalities by his Will were: To the Worshipful Company of Mercers, to make Banquet withal after his Decease 12l. to be paid within three Months after his Decease, to the Wardens of the Company then being. To evey Man or Maid Servant, not afore-named (the rest having particular Legacies assigned them) being his present Servants at the time of his Death 40s. apiece. Item, to divers Persons of Quality, and Citizens of Rank, he bequeathed Rings to each of fine Gold, already made, weighing near the weight of 3 quarters of an Ounce every Ring. These were, Sir Thomas Leigh, Alderman, and my Lady his Wife, Sir Roger Martin, Alderman, Edmund Jackman, Alderman, Sir Tho. Gresham, Kt. and my Lady his Wife, &c. to the Number of thirty five in all. All this I have extracted from Mr. Hare's last Will. Which I have set down thus largely, to shew the Wealth accruing to the Citizens in former times by their Trades and Diligence therein: and likwise their Charities and Generosities.

His Liberalities.

In this Ward in Cheapside, the Mercers chiefly had their Shops and Ware-houses in former times: Who were also great Merchants, and sometimes went abroad beyond sea for Traffick, and especially in Italy. A Story relating to which I find happening in the Year 1450. An Italian Servant walking through Cheapside with a Dagger at his Girdle, a Mercers Servant, that before had been in Italy, went to him, and blamed him for wearing a Dagger, being a Stranger, and out of his own Country: And knowing that in his Country no Stranger might do so. For this English Man had done so abroad, and was checked for it. But the Stranger gave such Language to the Mercer, that they fell to quarrel. And

A Quarrel between a Mercer in Cheapside and an Italian.

Fabian's Chron.