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Bassings Hall Ward. 65

Bassings Hall Ward.

BASSINGS HALL WARD. The Bounds. Weavers Company. Bassings Hall. The Family of the Bassings. Blackwel Hall, a Market for Cloth. St Michael Bassishaw. The present State of this Ward.

THE next adjoyning to Coleman street Ward, on the West side thereof, is Bassings Hall Ward, a small Thing, and consisteth of one Street, called Bassings hall Street, of Bassings Hall, the most principal House, whereof the Ward taketh name. It beginneth in the South, by the late spoken Market House, called the Bay Hall, which is the last of Coleman street Ward. Ths Street runneth from thence, North, down to London Wall; and some little distance, both East West, against the said Wall. And this s the Bounds of Bassings Hall Ward.

The Bounds.

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: Which Company hath been of great Antiquity in this City, as appeareth by a Charter of Henry the II. in these Words; Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. to be englished thus:

Masons Hall.

Weavers Hall.

Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy, and of Guian, Earl of Anjou, to the Bishop, Justices, Sheriffs, Barons, Ministers, and all his true Lieges of London, sendeth greeting. Know ye, that we have granted to the Weavers in London, their Guild, to be had in London, with all the Freedoms and Customs that they had in the time of King Henry my 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 in peace, free, worshipful, and wholly, as they had it, freer, better, worshipfullier, and whollier, than in the time of King Henry my Grandfather. So that they yield yearly to me two Marks of Gold, at the Feast of St. Michael. And I forbid, that any Man to them do any unright, or disease upon pain of ten Pound. Witness Thomas of Canterbury, Wawick fil. Gar. Chamberlaine, at Winchester.

Patent of Henry II.

Henry I.

Also I read, that the same Henry II. in the 31st of his eign, made a Confirmation to the Weavers, that had a Guild or Fraternity in London. Wherein it appeareth, that the said Weavers made Woolen Cloth, and that they had the Correction thereof. But amongst other Articles in that Patent, it was decreed, That if any Man made Cloth of Spanish Wool, mixed with Englsih Wool, the Portgrave, or principal Magistrate of London ought to burne it, &c.


Moreover, in the Year 1197. King Richard I. at the instance of Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury. and Justiciar of England, ordained, That the Woolen Cloths, in every part of this Realm, should be in breadth two Yards within the Lists, and as good in the midst, 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 for breadth 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 born, brought in by Edward III.

Mathew Paris.

Lower down, is the Girdlers Hall: And this is all touching the East side of this Ward.

Girdlers Hall.

On the West side, almost at the South end thereof, is Bakewel Hall, corruptly called 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 Truth. For though the same seemed a Building of great Antiquity, yet (in mine Opinion) the Foundation thereof was first laid since the Conquest of William Duke of Normandy: For 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 Successors, Bishops of London. But that this House hath been a Temple, or Jewish Synagogue (as some have fancied) I allow not; seeing that it had no such form of roundness, or other likeness. Neither had it the form of a Church, for the Assembly of Christians, which Fabricks are builded East and West. But contrariwise, the same was builded North and 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. Which was 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 the Hall; which carried continual painting of them on every side so close together, as one Escocheon could be placed by another; which I my self have often seen and noted, before the old Building was taken down. These Arms were a Gerond of twelve points Gold and Azure. 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 Faringdon Ward, of William and Nicholas Faringdon; Men that were principal Owners of those Places.

Bakewell Hall.

Basings Hall.

Bassings Hall.

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 to be principal Magistrates there: As was Godfrey de Magun (or Magnaville) Portgrave or Sheriff, in the Reign of William the Conquerour, and of William Rufus: Hugh de Buch, in 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.


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