[Guild-Hall.] Cheape Ward. 41

[Guild-Hall.] Cheape Ward.

nostrorum Majoris & Aldermannorum Civitatis London. Concessimus, quod ipsi habere possint quatuor batellos per aquam, & quatuor carectas per terram cum dictis servientibus suis; Viz. Johe. Lorekin, Stephano Charles, Waltero Alphey, & Adamo Wynter, Servitoribus Batellorum predictor. Ac Henrico Cok, Johe. Freek, Johe. Stevenes, & Johe. Davy, Servitoribus predictar. Carectarum, as veniend. transeund. & redeund. conjunctim vel divisim, per aquam & per terram, ad petras vocatas Ragge, Calces, & liberas petras, pro operatione & factura Guyhalde dict. Civitatis nre. ducend. &c.]

The first Year of Henry VI. John Coventry, and John Carpenter, Executors to Richard Whittington, gave towards the paving of this great Hall, 20l. and the next Year 15l. more to the said Pavement, with hard Stone of Purbecke. They also glazed some Windows thereof, and of the Maior's Court; on every which Window, the Arms of Richard Whittington are placed. The Foundation of the Maior's Court was laid in the 3d Year of the Reign of Henry VI. and of the Porch, on the South side of the Maior's Court, in the 4th of the said King. Then was builded the Maior's Chamber, and the Council Chamber, with other Rooms above the Stairs.

The Foundation of the Maior's Court.

Having here so just occasion, speaking of the former ancient Council Chamber, which hath continued so ever since; I cannot but account it expedient, (as in no place better fitting) to remember the fair and goodly new Council Chamber; a worthy Act and Honour, whereby to renown deservedly the City for ever. The said new Council Chamber, with a fair Room over the same, appointed for a Treasury, wherein to preserve the Books and Records belonging to the City; and another Room also underneath the said Chamber, reserved for necessary Use and Imployment; began to be builded the first Week after Easter, in the time of the Maioralty of Sir Thomas Middleton, Kt. and Alderman; in the Year of our Lord 1614. It was fully finished shortly after Michaelmas, 1615. at the latter end of the Maioralty of Sir Thomas Hayes, Kt. and Alderman. But the Lord Maior, and the Aldermen his Brethren, kept their first Court in the said new Council Chamber, on the 7th day of November: in the Year of our Lord 1615. Sir John Jolles, Kt. and Alderman, being then Lord Maior. By whose order and direction, the said Building was performed, from the first beginning thereof, to the final finishing of the same, amounting to the Charge of 1740 Pounds; than which, no Money (in my mind) could be better bestowed; nor more to the City's Credit and Renown.]

The new Council Chamber at the Guild hall, and the building thereof.

A. M.

The Treasury.

The first Court kept in the new Council Chamber.

Last of all, in the said King Henry the VIth's time, a stately Porch, entring the great Hall, was erected; the Front thereof, towards the South, being beautified with Images of Stone; such as is shewed by these Veses following, made about some Thirty Years since, [reckoning from Stow's first Edition, An. 1598.] by William Elderton, at that time an Attorney in the Sheriffs Courts there.

The Porch to Guild-hall.

Though most the Images     
be pulled downe,
And none be thought     
remaine in Towne,
I am sure there be     
in London yet
Seven Images, such,     
and in such a place,
As few or none,     
I thinke, will hit:
Yet every day     
they shew their face,
And thousands see them     
every yeere.
But few, I thinke,     
can tell me where:
Where Jesu Christ     
aloft doth stand,
Law and Learning     
on either hand;
Discipline in     
the Divels necke,
And hard by her     
are three direct;
There Justice, Fortitude,     
and Temperance stand.
Where finde ye the like     
in all this Land?

Verses made on the Im ges over the Guild-hall Gate.

Name of the Images.

And to make this Fancy (for so I take it) the more probable; One of these Images appears with the Tables of the Ten Commandments, and another hath a Whip, and another a Sword, and another a Pot; which seem to have been Emblems added to these Statues of later times, to make them the better to correspond to the Rhimes. But by their antient Habits, and the Coronets on some of their Heads; and according to the Practice in former times, to set up on publick Structures, the Effigies of Patrons and Benefactors; I rather conclude these Figures to denote other Persons. As for that which represented Jesus Christ, it is now wholly gone; the two others aloof, bespeak them to be two venerable Persons. The one hath a long Beard, and a grave Aspect; who, it may be, might be good Bishop William, Bishop of London, a Norman, but a great Friend to the City; and who obtained from the Conqueror, the continuation of its Privileges. The other Figure on the other side, hath also a long Beard; and a Coronet, as it seems, on his Head; which might be the Conqueror himself, or some other great Nobleman that had deserved well of the City.

Or rather others represented thereby.

J. S.

The Four lesser Figures, two on each side the Porch, shew them to be Four Noble Ladies; and, by their Dress and Habit, of great Nobility and Religion. Who they were, I do not pretend to assign, leaving it to the Conjecture of Antiquarians: But it is very probable they were some eminent Benefactresses or Friends to the City. One of these might be Maud the Empress, who was born in London; and another might be Queen Philippa, Wife to King Edward III. who gained great Love of the Citizens, by reason of a Request she once made for some of them, on her Knees, before the King and his Council.

He that made the former Verses, might, perhaps, have this crafty Design hereby; namely, the better to preserve these antient and curious Statues from the Violence of the People, by concealing them under these feigned Fancies of his; whereby they might escape the ignorant Zeal of the Vulgar, who were in those times, wherein he wrote his Verses, viz. 1568. very busy in pulling down and defacing all Images, as Popish Saints, and Monuments of Idolatry.

These Stone Statues are venerable for their Antiquity, and over-living the great Fire of London; which, 'tis likely, were set up first when the Porch was built and finished, which was not far from the beginning of King Henry the VIth's Reign; that is, by computation, near 300 Years ago.]

Divers Aldermen glazed the great Hall, and other Courts, as appeareth by their Arms in