Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY


[S. Anne Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [Their Liberties.]184

[S. Anne Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [Their Liberties.]

"12. Item, The said Precinct hath always been shut up and kept by Walls and Gates. So as there was no egresse that way, but by licence of the Porters, who were maintained and placed by the Owners of the said Friers, and Liberties of the same; by especial and general Words, granted by Letters Patents under the great Seal of England; to divers Owners and Freeholders there of the Queen's Majesty. And in especial, above all other, to Sir Thomas Cawarden, Kt. deceased, in his Letters Patents dated the 12th day of May, in the 4th Year of King Edward VI. in as large, ample and full manner, and with as many pithy and effectual Words, as ever was read or seen in any Patent, made for grant of Liberties of any Place exempted, as by the same Patent more largely appeareth. The true Copy whereof is annexed to these Articles, by the delivery of Master Moore, true Owner of the most part of the said Liberties."

Walls and Gates belonging to the Precinct.

" 13. Item, That James Norrice, Curate of St. Peters in Cornhill, being sometime one of the Friers, and Brethren of the Black Friers aforesaid, near Ludgate, in London, saith and affirmeth, That one Robert Struddell, late Prior of the said Friers, was by order of Law, constrained to pave the high Street adjoining round about the Channel Walls, from the Flower de Lize, towards the Hill at Creed lane end. And a Cage at that time standing on that side the Street, adjoining to the foresaid Wall, within the Parish of St. Andrew; which Cage was plucked down by the said Prior, and not since set up again; the Prior aforesaid saying: Seeing they of the City cause me to pave all this side of the Street next my Wall; they shall have no Cage of others standing on my Ground, against mine own Wall. And so the City never builded Cage on that side after."

The Curate of St. Peters in Cornhil, his Affirmation.

" 14. Item, Moreover, the said Master Norrice saith, That the Liberties of the Black Friers in the said Prior's Days, were such, that the Lord Maior of the City of London, nor the Sheriffs, did Arrest any Man within the said Liberty for any Thing, as free, as he well remembreth, in all his time."

The Liberties of the Precinct in the Prior's Days.

" 15. Item, He remembreth, that four Gates were shut in, during the Friers time, by the Commandment of the Prior. And one Father Seagar being then Porter, appointed by the said late Prior, Robert Struddell, with others after him, at the appointment of other Priors then succeeeding. And not by the Maior of London, nor any other."

Four Gates belonging to the Friers and Porters.

The Saying of Thomas Ulverston, alias Wolverston, of Garlick Hithe, Officer to the Vintners of London, and sometime a Frier of the Black Friers. Taken before me Sir Thomas Saunders, Kt. the 30th day of May, Anno Domini 1562:


"16. ITem, He saith, he hath heard say many times among the Friers and others, that Master Peacocke of London, and his Predecessors, had never Door into the Black Friars out of his House; but by Fine and Agreement made for the same, long before his time of remembrance."

Of other Men Doors into the Black Friers.

" 17. Item, He saith, That the Porters of the Friers always kept their four Gates, time out of mind, by the appointment of the Prior and Covent, cleer exempted from the City. And when the Porters perceived any suspect- ed Persons or Malefactors, within the limits of the Friers; they declared it to the Prior, who forthwith commanded them to take the Aid of the honest Inhabitants within the Friers, to make search and watch for the apprehension of such lewd Persons. Which so found, were always examined by Sir William Kingston, Kt. and other good Men there inhabiting within the Friers, at the Porter's desire, and not otherwise."

How the Porters of the Friers kept their four Gates.

" 18. Item, He never heard, nor did know in all his time, any search or watch to be made within the Precinct of the Friers, by any Watchman or Constable of the City; who could never come within any of the Friers Gates, but by the Porter's licence of the same Friers."

No search or watch within the Precinct, &c.

" 19. Item, He saith, That the Prior and Covent did once pave the Streets (by his time) from the Friers Turngate, unto the Flower de Liz, along by the Wall, to the Channel of the same Street. But as for pulling down of any Cage, he doth not well remember."

Paving the Street by the Prior and Covent.

" 20. Item, He saith, If any Vagabond, or any Drunkard, or misordered Person, were taken culpable within the Precinct of the Friers, they were always punished in the Friers Stocks against the Church Door, by the Prior's Commandment; and not by the Lord Maior's, or Sheriffs of London."

For punishing disordered Persons.

" 21. Item, Sir John Portenary, Kt. inhabiting within the late Black Friers, near Ludgate in London, about Thirty Years past, doth well remember, that after the Suppression of the said Black Friers, the Lord Maior of London would have entred into the said Black Friers, and claimed the Liberties of the same. For the which, the Lord Cobham, the Lord Zanche, Sir Thomas Cheiney, Sir William Kingston, Sir Francis Brian, Knights, with many other Worshipful Gentlemen, then being Inhabitants within the Liberties and Precinct of the said late Black Friers, denied the Lord Maior and Citizens entrance; and would not permit nor suffer them, or any of them, to enter within the same. And shortly after, Sir Francis Brian, and Sir Thomas Cheyney, moved the King's Majesty, then being King Henry VIII. how the said Maior and Citizens would hav entred into the said Friers. And then the King's Majesty said unto them these Words following. Are not We as able to keep our Privileges and Liberties, as the Friers did keep their Privileges always before time, free from the City? Whereupon, they all (by one Consent and Agreement) sent the said Lord Maior Word of the King's Majesty's Answer and Pleasure therein. Whereupon the Lord Maior and Aldermen were satisfied, and would no further proceed upon the King's Right and Title of the Liberties; as then they promised and affirmed by the Mouth of the Recorder, being sent by the Maior to the Worshipful of the said Friers. And the said Sir John Portenary further saith, That after the said Friers were supprest, the Lord Cromwell, Vicar General, caused to be delivered unto the said Sir John Portenary, the Keys of all the said Friers, safely to keep them from the said City; and to provide, that all within the said Liberty, should be in Safety and Safeguard. The which Keys were afterward delivered by the said Sir John Portenary, to the Hands of Dr. Layton, and Dr. Wendie, they being Visitors there. For the which, the said Sir John Portenary had a certain Reward paid unto him by the Lord North, then being Chancellour of the Augmentation Court. All which Matter, the said Sir John Portenary will depose to "

Against claiming the Liberties of Black Friers.


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