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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
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[The Bounds.] Breadstreet Ward. [Goldsmiths Row.]198

[The Bounds.] Breadstreet Ward. [Goldsmiths Row.]

BRREADSTREET WARD. The Bounds. The Bakers of London. Cheapside raised. Goldsmiths Row. The Old Change. Alhallows Breadstreet. Mildred Breadstreet. Gerard's Hall. The Compter in Breadstreet. St. John Evangelist. St. Margaret Moyses. The present State of this Ward.

BReadstreet Ward beginnneth in the High Street of West Cheap, to wit, on the South side, from the Standard to the great Cross. Then is also a part of Watheling street of this Ward; to wit, from over against the Red Lion, on the North side, up almost to Pauls Gate. For it lacketh but one House of St. Augustin's Church. And on the South side, from the Red Lion Gate to the Old Exchange. And down the same Exchange, on the East side, by the West end of Maiden lane, or Distar lane, to Knightriders street; or, as they call that part thereof, Old Fishstreet. And all the North side of the said Old Fishstreet, till over against the Trinity Church, and Trinity lane.

Breadstreet Ward.

The Bounds.

Then is Breadstreet it self, so called, of Bread in old time there sold. For it appeareth by Records, that in the Year 1302. which was the 30th of Edward I. the Bakers of London were bounden to sell no Bread in their Shops or Houses, but in the Market. And that they should have four Hall-motes in the Year, at four several terms, to determine of Enormities belonging to the said Company.


Bakers of London.

This Street, giving the Name to the whole Ward, beginneth in West Cheape, almost by the Standard; and runneth down South, through or thwart Watheling street, to Knightriders street aforesaid, where it endeth. This Breadstreet is wholly on both sides of this Ward. Out of the which Street, on the East side, is Basing lane; a piece whereof to wit, to and over against the Back Gate of the Red Lion in Watheling street, is of this Breadstreet Ward.

Then is there one other Street, which is called Friday street, and begins also in West Cheap, and runneth down South through Watheling street, to Knightriders street, or Old Fishstreet. This Friday street is of Breadstreet Ward, on the East side, from over against the North-East Corner of St. Matthew's Church; anE on the West side, from the South Corner of the said Church, down as aforesaid.

Friday street.

In this Friday street, on the West side thereof, is a Lane, commoly called Maiden lane, or Distaff lane, corruptly for Distar lane, which runneth West into the Old Exchange. And in this Lane is also one other Lane, on the South side therof, likewise called Distar lane, which runneth down to Knightriders street, or Old Fishstreet. And so be the Bounds of this whole Ward.

The Monuments to be noted here, are, first, at Breadstreet Corner, the North-East end, 1595. one Thomas Tomlinson, causing in the High Street of Cheap a Vault to be digged and made, there was found at fifteen Foot deep, a fair Pavement, like unto that above Ground. And at the further end, at the Channel, was found a Tree, sawed into five Steps; which was to step over some Brook, running out of the West, towards Walbrook. And upon the edge of the said Brook, as it seemeth, there were found lying along, the Bodies of two 'great Trees, the ends whereof were then sawed off; and firm Timber, as at the first when they fell: Part of the said Trees remain yet in the Ground undigged. It was all forced Ground, until they went past the Trees aforesaid; which was about seventeen Foot deep, or better. Thus much hath the Ground of this City (in that place) been raised from the main.

Monument of this Ward.

A fair paved Way found, 15 Foot deep, in Cheap street.

And here it may be observed, that within Fourscore Years, and less, Cheapside is raised divers Feet higher. For it hath been found to Twenty eight Foot higher than it was when St.Pauls was first built; as appeared by several eminent Marks, discovered in the late laying of the Foundation of that Church.]

R. B.

Next to be noted, is the most beautiful Frame and Front of fair Houses and Shops, that be within all the Walls of London, or elsewhere in England; commonly called Goldsmiths Row, betwixt Breadstreet end and the Cross in Cheap; but is within this Beadstreet Ward. The same was builded by Thomas Wood, Goldsmith, one of the Sheriffs of London, in the Year 1491. It containeth in number ten fair dwelling Houses, and fourteen Shops, all in one Frame, uniformly builded four Stories high, beautified towards the Street with the Goldsmiths Arms; and the likeness of Wood-men, in memory of his Name, riding on monstrous Beasts. All which is cast in Lead, richly painted over, and gilt. These he gave to the Goldsmiths, with Stocks of Money to be lent to young Men having those Shops, &c. This said Front was again new painted and gilt over, in the Year 1594. Sir Richard Martin being then Maior, and keeping his Maioralty in one of them; and serving out the time of Cuthbert Buckle, in that Office, from the 2d of July, till the 28th of October.

Goldsmiths Row in Cheap.

The Goldsmiths kept their Shops and Trade here in West Cheape, from antient times, even before the Days of King Edward III. unto our Times. And the Exchange for the King's Coin was not far off; the Place yet called the Old Change. As appears by this Record, shewing not only the Place of the Goldsmiths Habitation, but their Occupation and Business about the Coin and Plate.

Goldsmiths antiently in Cheap.

J. S.

Vpon the Goldsmiths Petition, exhibited to King Edward III. and his Council in Parliament, holden at Westminster in the 1st of his Reign; shewing, "That no private Merchant nor Stranger heretofore were wont to bring into this Land any Money Coined, but Plate of Silver to exchange for our Coin. And that it had been also ordained, that all who were of the Goldsmiths Trade, were to sit in their Shops in the High Street of Cheap; and that no Silver in Plate, nor Vessel of Gold or Gold or Silver, ought to be sold in the City "

Their Petition against Strangers bringing in Coin.


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