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[St. Thomas de Acars.] Cheape Ward. 37

[St. Thomas de Acars.] Cheape Ward.

the Mercer at length by force took his Dagger from him, and brake it upon his head. The Stranger complained to the Maior; and he, together with the Court of Aldermen, sent the Mercer to Ward. But the Maior and Sheriffs walking homeward through Cheape, were met by a great number of Mercers Servants and others; and suffered them not to pass, till they had delivered the young Man that was sent to Prison.

This Story is thus continued by another of our Historians: That this Tumult ran to the Houses of divers Venetians, Lucas's and Florentines, and spoiled and rifled them. But at length the Maior with divers discreet and sober Citizens, having taken some of them, dispersed the rest, and perswaded them to go to their Houses. But upon this a Commission of Oyer and Terminer was issued to the Dukes of Exeter and Bucks, and other Noblemen, for Enquiry and Punishment of these Disorders. But when they were set in Guildhall, a number of light Persons in Armour came to the rescue the Prisoners lately apprehended, as they were carried to their Arraignment. Which made the two Dukes and other Commissioners quickly depart for that time. Yet certain discreet Citizens so handled the Matter, that no Disorder followed of that Jury: And the Maior the next day called a Common Council. Who appointed all the Wardens of the Companies to assemble their Companies in their Halls: and they to exhort them to keep Peace: and that if they espyed any ready to make a Stir, or to attempt the Deliverance of such as were in Prison, secretly to write their Names and deliver them to the Maior. This Course appeased this Outrage. And Commissioners afterwards sat at Guildhall: where many of the Robbers were attainted, and put to Execution; besides Fines set upon divers Merchants, for winking at the Matter.

Hollingsh. p. 645.

Richard Malory, a rich Citizen lived in West Cheape in S. Peters Parish (somewhat out of this Ward.) The Messuage wherein he dwelt, having been some Religious Possession, came into the hands of King Edward VI. Who in his second year sold it to the said Malory, for 128l. with all other Houses, Edifices, Shops, Cellars, Solars, Stables and Gardens thereunto belonging, being of the yearly Value of 8l.] Thus much for the High Street of Cheape.

Malory, a rich Citizen in Cheape.

Now let us return to the South side of Cheape Ward. From the great Conduit west be many fair and large Houses, for the most part possessed of Mercers, up to the corner of Cordwainers street, corruptly called Bow lane, which houses in former times were but sheds, or shops, with Sollors over them, as of late one of them remained at Sopers lane end, wherein a woman sold seeds, roots and herbs; but these sheds or shops, by incroachments on the high street, are now largely builded on both sides outward, and also upward, some three, four, or five stories high.

South side of Cheape street so far as Cheape Ward reacheth.

Mercers Chappel, called S. THOMAS of Acars, or Acons.


Now of the North side of Cheape street and Ward beginning at the great Conduit, and by S. Mary Cole Church, where we left. Next hereunto Westward is the Mercers Chappel, some time an Hospital, intituled of S. Thomas of Acon, or Acars, near to the great Conduit in Cheape, for a Master and Brethren Militiæ hospitalis, &c. saith the Record of Edward III. the 14th year. It was founded by Thomas Fitz-Theobald de Heily, and Agnes his Wife, Sister to Thomas Becket, in the Reign of Henry II. They gave to the Master and Brethren the Lands with the appurtenances, that sometimes were Gilbert Beckets, Father of the said Thomas, in the which he was born; there to make Church. There was a Charnel, and a Chappel over it of S. Nicolas and S. Stephen.

Northside of Cheape Ward.

Mercers Chappel.

Hospital of S. Thomas of Acars.

By whom founded.

The place where Thomas Becket was born made a Church.

From this S. Thomas anciently was a solemn Procession used by the new Maior. Who the afternoon of the Day he was sworn at the Exchequer met with the Aldermen here: Whence they repaired together to S. Pauls: and there prayed for the soul of Bishop William at his Tomb; who was Bishop of London in the time of William the Conqueror. Then they went to the Church-yard, to a Place where Thomas Beckets Parents lay: and there they prayed for all faithful Souls departed. And then they went all back to S. Thomas of of Acons again; and both Maior and Aldermen offered each a Penny.

L. Mayors Procession.

Lib. Alb.

J. S.

William Bovyndon, Magister Domus sancti Thomæ Martyris de Acon, March 1419. Johan. Chadde Civis & Cuttelar. London, by his last Will dat. Jun. 13. 1428. gave to John Neet, Master of the House of S. Thomas the Martyr, of Acon, and to the Brethren of the said Place, and their Successors, his Tenement in Bershaw Lane in the Parish of S. Mary de Cole Church.]

Reg. Lond.

S. Thomas of Acon. Reg. Lond.

This Hospital was valued to dispend 277 pounds, three shillings, fourpence. It was surrendred the 30th of Henry VIII. the 21st of October, and was since purchased by the Mercers, by means of Sir Richard Gresham, and was again set open on the Eve of S. Michael, 1541. the 33th of Henry VIII. yet all was not sold by that King, that belonged to this Fraternity. For King Edward VI. had Mills in West Ham in Essex, called S. Thomas Milnes, being a Messuage and a Tenement with two Mills belonging to S. Thomas of Acars. Which in that Kings first year he sold Gerard Harmond, to the yearly Value of 6l. 13s. 4d.

S. Thomas Milnes in West Ham.

The Image of Thomas Becket, to which Popish Saint this Chappel was dedicated, stood over the Gate. But in the month of January the first of Queen Elizabeths Reign, some body threw it down and broke it: and set a Writing on the Church door, reflecting on them that placed it there. It is now called the Mercers Chappel; and therein is kept a free Grammar School, as of old time had been accustomed, and had been commanded by Parliament.

Thomas Becket's Image on Mercers Chappel.

J. S.

A free School in the Hospital of S. Thomas of Acars.

There is also a Preaching in the Italian Tongue to the Italians and others on the Sundays.]



Here be many Monuments remaining, but more have been defaced: James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and Dame Johan his Countess, the 8th of Henry VI. John Norton, Esq; Stephen Cavendish, Draper, Maior, 1362. Thomas Cavendish, William Cavendish. The former, viz. Thomas Cavendish bequeathed his Body to be laid here in these Words (by his Will proved 1524.) 'I Tho. Cavendish of the Kings Exchequer, bequeath my Body to be buried in the Church of S. Thomas Acres within London, in the North Isle of the Quire, next my Grandfather William Cavendish.]


J. S.

Thomas Canon, [or Gernon,] called Pike, one of the Sheriffs, 1410. Hungate of Yorkshire. William Rule Civis & Pannarius, buried in the Church of S. Thomas the Martyr de Acon, Lond. this Will bore date March 1390. Wherein are these Words: Item, oia. illa terras & tenementa nuper Johannis Lenne in Stratford

William Rule buried in S. Thomas Acon.

J. S.


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY