[Old Change.] Breadstreet Ward. [Alhallows.]199

[Old Change.] Breadstreet Ward. [Alhallows.]

"of London, except at or in the Exchange, or in Cheapside, among the Goldsmiths, and that publickly: To the end, that the People of the said Trade might inform themselves, whether the Seller came lawfully by such Vessel, or not. But that now of late the said Merchants, as well private as Strangers, brought from foreign Countries into this Nation, counterfeit Sterling: Whereof the Pound was not worth above sixteen Sols of the right Sterling. And of this Money none could know the true Value, but by melting it down. And also that many of the said Trade of Goldsmiths kept Shops in obscure Turnings and By-lanes and Streets; and did buy Vessels of Gold and Silver secretly, without inquiring, whether such Vessel were stolen, or lawfully come by. And immediately melting it down, did make it into Plate, and sell it to Merchants trading beyond Sea, that it might be exported. And so they made false Work of Gold and Silver; as Bracelets, Lockets, Rings, and other Jewels. In which they set Glass of divers Colours, counterfeiting right Stones; and put more Allay in the Silver than they ought. Which they sold to such as had no Skill in such Things."

Silver and Gold to be sold only in Cheap, or the Old Change.

"And that the Cutlers in their Workhouses, covered Tin with Silver, so subtilly, and with such slight, that the same could not be discerned and severed from the Tin. And by that means they sold the Tin so covered for fine Silver; to the great Damage and Deceit of the King and his People."

"Whereupon the said Goldsmiths petitioned the King, that he would be pleased to apply convenient Remedy therein. And he being willing to prevent the said Evil (as the Letters Patents ran) did, by and with the Assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons of the Realm, for the common Profit, Will and Graunt for him and his Heirs, that henceforth no Merchant, either Private or Stranger, should bring into this Land any Sort of Money, but only Plate of fine Silver. Nor that any Gold or Silver wrought by Goldsmiths, or any Plate of Silver, should be sold to the Merchant to sell again, and to be carried out of the Kingdom. But should be sold at the King's said Exchange; or openly among the said Goldsmiths, for private use only. And that none that pretended to be of the same Trade should keep any Shop, but in Cheapside; that it might be seen that their Work were good and right."

"And that those of the same Trade might, by Virtue of these Presents, elect honest, lawful, and sufficient Men, best skilled in the said Trade, to inquire of the Matters aforesaid. And that they so chosen, might upon due Consideration of the said Craft, reform what Defects they should find therein: And thereupon inflict due Punishment upon the Offenders; and that by the Help and Assistance of the Maior and Sheriffs, if occasion be. And that all trading Cities and Towns in England, where Goldsmiths resided, the same Ordinance be observed, as in London. And that one or two of every such City, or Town, for the rest of that Trade, should come to London, to be ascertained of their Touch of Gold; and there to have a stamp of a Puncion with a Leopards Head marked upon their Work, as of antient time it hath been ordained." These Letters Patents bore date at Westminster the 30th of March, in the 1st Year of that King.]

Then for Watheling street, which Leyland calleth Atheling or Noble street; but since he sheweth no Reason why it was so called, I rather take it so named, of the great High-way of the same calling. True it is, that at this present, (as of old time also) the Inhabitants thereof were and are wealthy Drapers, Retailers of Woolen Cloths, both broad and narrow of all Sorts, more than in any one Street of this City.

Watheling street.


Of the Old Exchange here, I have noted in Faringdon Ward. Wherefore I pass down to Knightriders street, whereof I have also spoken in Cordwainer street Ward. But in this part of the said Knightriders street, is a Fish Market kept; and therefore called Old Fishstreet, for a difference from New Fishstreet.

Knight iders street.

In this Old Fishstreet is one Row of small Houses, placed along in the midst of Knightriders street; which Row is also of Breadstreet Ward. These Houses, now possessed by Fishmongers, were at first but moveable Boards or Stalls, set out on Market-days, to shew their Fish there to be sold. But procuring Licence to set up Sheds, they grew to Shops, and by little and little to tall Houses, of three or four Stories in height, and now are called Fishstreet. Walter Turke, Fishmonger, Maior, 1349. had two Shops in Old Fishstreet, over against St. Nicolas Church; the one rented five Shillings the Year, the other four Shillings.

Fish Market, called Old Fishstreet.


Breadstreet, so called of Bread sold there, (as I said) is now inhabited by rich Merchants; and divers fair Inns be there, for good receit of Carriers, and other Travellers to the City.

It appears in the Will of Edward Stafford Earl of Wylshire, dated the 22d of March, 1498. and 14. Hen. VII. that he lived in a House in Bredestrede, in London, which belonged to the Family of Stafford, Duke of Bucks afterwards; he bequeathing all the Stuff in that House to the Lord of Buckingham; for he died without Issue. Genealogical History of the House of Mordaunt, pag. 211.

Buckingham House.

Pet. le Neve. Norroy.

The Parish Church of ALHALLOWS in Breadstreet.


On the East side of this Street, at the corner of Watheling street, is the proper Church of Alhallows in Breadstreet.

Alhallows Breadstreet.

This Church, in many decayed Places of it, was repaired, and in every part of it richly and very worthily beautified, at the proper Cost and Charges of the Parishioners, in the Year of our Lord God 1625.



Samuel Tucker,
William Hunt.

On the South side of the Chancel, in a little part of this Church, called The Salters Chappel, is a very fair Window, with the Poutraiture or Figure of him that gave it, very curiously wrought upon it, with this Inscription.

Thomas Beaumont, Salter, the Founder of this Chappel, and a worthy Benefactor to the Company of Salters, 1629. This Window being then erected.]

This Church ruined in the great Fire, is built up again without any Pillars, but very decent; and is a lightsome Church.

J. S.