Borough of Southwark. The Stews. 7

Borough of Southwark. The Stews.

Bromfield, &c. and the major Part of them, be the Patrons of the Church, they, their Heirs and Assigns for ever. III. That the Rector be empowered (without any License to purchase in Mortmain) to have, receive, purchase, and take to him all that is left by the Will of the said Marshal. IV. The Inhabitants shall be liable to all such Duties, Offices, Rates and Assignments, as if it had been an ancient Parish. V. The Ground and Soil whereon the Church standeth, and the Churchyard, to remain in the said Trustees, and their Heirs, &c. for ever, to the Uses aforesaid, and such Articles, Clauses and Agreements as are expressed in the Indentures made by the said William Angel, unto the said Trustees. VI. The Profits arising by Burials in the Church and Churchyard (except the Vaults made by William Angel) to go towards the Repairs of the Church, Chancel, and Walls about. VII. That there shall be yearly chosen by the Inhabitants of the said Parish, two or more Churchwardens, two or more Overseers, and two Surveyors of the Highways, and to have the same Powers as in other Parishes. VIII. The Trustees are authorized to pay the Rector, till the said Church be endowed, the 40l. per Ann. mentioned in the Will. IX. The Rector to receive all such Tythes, Compositions for Tythes, Oblations and Dues whatsoever, which are payable, or ought to be paid by the Inhabitants of Paris Garden. X. The Trustees allowed to raise farther out of the Estate of the said John Marshal, over and above the 700l. already raised, a Sum not exceeding 400l. as they, or the major Part of them shall judge necessary for the compleating of the said new Church, and for paying the Churchwardens or Impropriators of St. Saviours 100l. for, and in respect of such voluntary Contributions and Tythes as have formerly come unto the said Churchwardens from the Inhabitants of the said Lordship, Manour, or Liberty, for repairing the Church. And they are required to pay the said Sum accordingly.

Provided always, That nothing in this Act shall extend, or be construed to extend, to make any part of the Manour of Southwark, or the Clink Liberty, belonging to the See of Winchester, to be within the Parish of Christ's Church aforesaid, or to alter, diminish, or abridge any of the Passages, Bounds, Limits, Ways, or Bridges, of right belonging to the Manour of Southwark, or Clink Liberty aforesaid.

The Inhabitants hereabouts, on this West Part of Southwark bordering on the Thames, were multiplied considerably, consisting of Woodmongers, Timbermerchants, Shipwrights, Bargemen, Watermen, and such whose Livings depended upon the River. And being a good distance from St. Mary Overy's Church, it was a seasonable and pious Act to provide a nearer Place for this People to meet together for Divine Worship.]

Next, on this Bank, was sometime the Bordello, or Stews, a Place so called of certain Stew-houses privileged there, for the repair of Incontinent Men to the like Women; of the which Privilege I have read thus:

Liber Manuscr.

The Stews on the Bankside.

" In a Parliament holden at Westminster, the eighth of Henry the Second, it was ordained by the Commons, and confirmed by the King and Lords, That divers Constitutions for ever should be kept within that Lordship, or Franchise, according to the old Customs that had been there used time out of mind: Amongst the which, these following were some, viz. "

" That no Stewholder, or his Wife, should let or stay any single Woman to go and come freely at all times, when they listed. "

" No Stewholder to keep any Woman to Board, but she to Board abroad at her pleasure. "

" To take no more for the Woman's Chamber in the Week, than fourteen Pence. "

" Not to keep open his Doors upon the Holy days. "

" Not to keep any single Woman in his House on the Holy days, but the Bayliff to see them voided out of the Lordship. "

" No single Woman to be kept against her will, that would leave her sin. "

" No Stewholder to receive any Woman of Religion, or any Man's Wife. "

" No single Woman to take Money to lie with any Man, but she may lie with him all Night, till the Morrow. "

" No Man to be drawn or enticed into any Stewhouse. "

" The Constables, Bayliff, and others, every Week to search every Stewhouse. "

" No Stewholder to keep any Woman that hath the perilous Infirmity of Burning; nor to sell Bread, Ale, Flesh, Fish, Wood, Coal, or any Victuals, &c. "

These, and many more Orders were to be observed, upon great Pain and Punishment.

I have also seen divers Patents of Confirmation, namely, one dated 1345. the nineteenth Edward the Third. Also I find, that in the fourth of Richard the Second, these Stewhouses belonging to William Walworth, then Maior of London, were farmed by Froes of Flanders, and were spoiled by Walter Tylar * and other Rebels of Kent. Notwithstanding, I find that Ordinances for the same Place, and Houses, were again confirmed in the Reign of Henry the Sixth, to be continued as before. Also Robert Fabian writeth, that in the Year 1506. the one and twentieth of Henry the Seventh, the said Stewhouses in Southwark were (for a season) inhibited, and the Doors closed up. But it was not long (saith he) e're the Houses there were set open again, so many as were permitted, for (as it was said) whereas before were eighteen Houses, from thenceforth were appointed to be used but twelve only. These allowed Stewhouses had Signs on their Fronts, towards the Thames, not hanged out, but painted on the Walls, as a Boar's-Head, the Cross Keys, the Gun, the Castle, the Crane, the Cardinal's Hat, the Bell, the Swan, &c. I have heard ancient Men of good Credit report, that these single Women were forbidden the Rights of the Church, so long as they continued that sinful Life, and were excluded from Christian Burial, if they were not reconciled before their Death. And therefore there was a Plot of Ground, called the Singlewoman's Church yard, appointed for them, far from the Parish Church.

Lib. St. Mary Eborum.

English People disdained to be Bawds.

Froes of Flanders were Women for that purpose.

*Teighler. first Edit.

Roberrt Fabian.

Sewhouses put down by Henry VII. for a time.

Signs on the Stewhouses.

These Single Women forbidden Rights of the Church.

Their Churchyard.

In the Year of Christ, One thousand five hundred forty six, the seven and thirtieth of Henry the Eighth, this Row of Stews in Southwark was put down by the King's Commandment, which was proclaimed by sound of Trumpet, no more to be privileged and used as a common Brothel †, but the Inhabitants of the same to keep good and honest Rule as in other Places of this Realm, &c.

Stewhouses put down.

†Bordel, first Ed.

But tho' the Sin was no longer allowed in this Place, yet the same Sin still remained. For this Complaint was made before King Edward the Sixth, by a Reverend Father, Latimer, in his blunt, but honest way of preaching: "One thing here I must desire you to reform, my Lords, you have put down the Stue's; but I pray you what is the Matter amended? What availeth that? ye have but changed the Place, and not taken the Whoredom away, &c. I hear say, there is such Whoredom in England as never was seen the like ...... I hear say, there is now more Whoredom in England than ever there was on that Bank. These be the News I have to tell you: I fear"

Whoredom still prevails.

Latimer's Complaint.

J. S.