BASSINGS HALL WARD. The Bounds.
The Family of the Bassings.
Blackwel Hall, a Market for Cloth.
St Michael Bassishaw.
The present State of this
THE next adjoyning to Coleman street Ward, on the West
thereof, is Bassings Hall Ward, a small Thing, and consisteth of one Street,
Bassings hall Street, of Bassings Hall, the most principal House, whereof the
name. It beginneth in the South, by the late spoken Market House, called the
which is the last of Coleman street Ward. Ths Street runneth
North, down to London Wall; and some little distance, both East West, against
Wall. And this s the Bounds of Bassings Hall Ward.
Monuments of Building on the East side thereof, amongst divers fair Houses for
Merchants, have ye three Halls of Companies; namely, the Masons Hall for the
first; but of
what Antiquity that Company is, I have not read. The next is the Weavers Hall:
Company hath been of great Antiquity in this City, as appeareth by a Charter of
II. in these Words; Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. to be englished thus:
Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy, and of Guian, Earl of Anjou, to the
Justices, Sheriffs, Barons, Ministers, and all his true Lieges of London,
Know ye, that we have granted to the Weavers in London, their Guild, to be had
London, with all the Freedoms and Customs that they had in the time of King
Grandfather. So that none but they intromit within the City of their Craft, but
he be of their
Guild; neither in Southwark, or other Places pertaining to London, otherwise
than it was
done in the time of King Henry my Grandfather. Wherefore I will and straightly
command, that over all lawfully they may treat, and have all aforesaid; as well
free, worshipful, and wholly, as they had it, freer, better, worshipfullier, and
than in the time of King Henry my Grandfather. So that they yield yearly to me
of Gold, at the Feast of St. Michael. And I forbid, that any Man to them do any
disease upon pain of ten Pound. Witness Thomas of Canterbury, Wawick fil.
Gar. Chamberlaine, at Winchester.
Patent of Henry II.
Also I read, that the same Henry II. in the 31st of his eign,
Confirmation to the Weavers, that had a Guild or Fraternity in London. Wherein
appeareth, that the said Weavers made Woolen Cloth, and that they had the
thereof. But amongst other Articles in that Patent, it was decreed, That if any
Cloth of Spanish Wool, mixed with Englsih Wool, the Portgrave, or principal
of London ought to burne it, &c.
Moreover, in the Year 1197. King Richard I. at the instance of Hubert,
Canterbury. and Justiciar of England, ordained, That the Woolen Cloths, in every
this Realm, should be in breadth two Yards within the Lists, and as good in the
as in the sides, &c. King Henry III. granted to the Citizens of London,
That they should
not be vexed for the Burels, or Cloth-listed, according to the Constitution made
of Cloth the 9th of his Reign, &c. Richard II. in the 3d of his Reign,
granted an Order of
Agreement between the Weavers of London, Englishmen, and Aliens or Strangers
brought in by Edward III.
Lower down, is the Girdlers Hall: And this is all touching the East side of this
On the West side, almost at the South end thereof, is Bakewel Hall, corruptly
Blackwel Hall, [antiently called Bassings Hall.] Concerning the Original
whereof, I have
heard divers Opinions, whioch I over-pass as Fables, without the least colour of
For though the same seemed a Building of great Antiquity, yet (in mine Opinion)
Foundation thereof was first laid since the Conquest of William Duke of
the same was builded upon Vaults of Stone, which Stone was brought from Cane in
Normandy. The like of that of Pauls Church, builded by Mauritius and his
Bishops of London. But that this House hath been a Temple, or Jewish Synagogue
some have fancied) I allow not; seeing that it had no such form of roundness, or
likeness. Neither had it the form of a Church, for the Assembly of Christians,
Fabricks are builded East and West. But contrariwise, the same was builded
South, and in form of a Noblemans House. And therefore the best Opinion (in my
judgment) is, that it was (of old time) belonging to the Family of the Bassings.
in this Realm, a Name of great Antiquity and Renown; and that it bare also the
Name of that
Family, and was called therefore Bassings Haugh, or Hall. Whereunto I am rather
induced, for that the Arms of that Family were (of old time) so abundantly
placed in sundry
parts of that House, even in the Stonework, but more especially on the Walls of
which carried continual painting of them on every side so close together, as one
could be placed by another; which I my self have often seen and noted, before
Building was taken down. These Arms were a Gerond of twelve points Gold and
Of the Bassings therefore, Builders of this House, and Owners of the Ground near
adjoyning, that Ward taketh Name: As Coleman street Ward of Coleman, and
Ward, of William and Nicholas Faringdon; Men that were principal Owners of those
Arms of the Bassings.
How Bassings Hall Ward took that Name.
And of old time, the most Noble Persons that inhabited this City, were appointed
principal Magistrates there: As was Godfrey de Magun (or Magnaville) Portgrave
Sheriff, in the Reign of William the Conquerour, and of William Rufus: Hugh de
the Reign of Henry I. Aubery de Vere, Earl of Oxford. After him, Gilbert
Becket, in the
Reign of King Stephen. After that, Godfrey de Magnaville, the Son of William,
the Son of
Godfrey de Magnaville, Earls of Essex, were
Noble Persons principal Magistrates in London.