Suburbs without the Walls. St. Mary Whitechapel. 44

Suburbs without the Walls. St. Mary Whitechapel.

Part) other Marine Men, have builded many large and strong Houses for themselves, and smaller for Saylors, from thence almost to Poplar, and so toBlackwall.

At Poplar, that lyeth within the Parish of Stepney, is a Chapel and an Alms House for poor Seamen; both belonging to the old East India Company. Here is the Isle of Dogs, a fine rich Level for fatning of Cattle. Eight Oxen fed here of late were sold for 34l. a Piece: and a Hog fed here was sold for 20l. and 6d. Here is also a well known wet Dock called Blackwall Dock, belonging to Sir Henry Johnson Kt. very convenient for building and receiving of Ships. About twenty Years ago, more or less, in breaking up an old Ship that was returned from the East India, they found a solid Piece of Oak in the Keel, pierced eight Inches deep with a kind of Horn, that stuck fast in it. The Master of the Vessel did remember that when they were on the main Sea the Ship received a sudden Shock, which made it stop for the present, tho' it were in full Sail. At first they thought they had struck on a Rock, but considering where they were, they concluded that could not be: and they found no harm tho' they went down and searched the Bottom of the Ship; but they observed the Sea bloody. But now the Cause appeared that it was some Sea Fish that struck the Ship and broke his Horn in the side of it.

Poplar, Blackwal.

J. S.

Blackwal Dock.

In the Year 1705. were two Whales of different Sorts brought and cut up at Blackwal. One of them was the Parma Ceti Whale, which had a great deal of Blubber, a filthy Stuff so called, coming out of the Brain, falling from him: which by the Direction of Dr. Meade was cured, and made excellent Parma Ceti, to the great Benefit of the Apothecary, into whose Hand this Blubber came. The other was that kind of Whale, whence the Whalebone is made.]

Two Whales at Blackwal.

Dr. Mead.

Now for Tower Hill; the Plain there is likewise greatly diminished by Encroachments, for building of small Tenements; and taking in of Garden Plots, Timber Yards, or what they list.

Tower Hill without the Walls.

From this Tower Hill towards Aldgate (being a long continued Street) amongst other Buildings was the Abbey of Nuns, called the Minorites or Minories, whereof I have spoken. And on the other side of the Street lyeth the Ditch without the Wall of the City, from the Tower unto Aldgate, now all built upon.

The Minories.

From Aldgate East again, lieth a large Street, replenished with Buildings, to wit, on the North side the Parish Church of Saint Buttolph, and so other Buildings to Hog lane, and to the Barrs on both sides.

Suburb without Aldgate.

Hog Lane.

Also, without the Bars, both the sides of the Street be pestered with Cottages and Allies, even up to Whitechapel Church; and almost half a Mile beyond it, into the Common Field; all which ought to lie open and free for all Men. But this common Field (I say) being sometime the Beauty of this City on that Part, is so incroached upon, by building of filthy Cottages, and with other purpresters, Inclosures, and Lay Stalls, that (notwithstanding all Proclamations and Acts of Parliament made to the contrary) in some Places it scarce remaineth a sufficient Highway for the meeting of Carriages and Droves of Cattel: much less is there any fair, pleasant, or wholesome Way, for People to walk on Foot: which is no small Blemish to so famous a City, to have so unsavory and unseemly an Entry or Passage thereunto.

Without the Bars.

A common Field formerly.

In the Time of Queen Elizabeth, some Part of the Way and Street hereabouts without Aldgate; particularly from the two Posts called the Bars, to a Corner House, then in the Occupation of one Thomas Sparrow, was very miry and deep. And beside this Place in the High Street, there were other Places extraordinary bad to pass, lying more towards the South, where the Queens Carriages used to pass from the Minories, Mary Graces [that is, where now are the Queens Victualling Houses for the Navy] and Radcliff, where that Queen had Storehouses; and so to the Tower: Namely, a Way leading from the Old Cage so called, in the Parish of St. Botolph, to the North end of Nightingal Lane in the Parish of St. Mary Matfelon: and another Way between the said Old Cage, and a Mill, called Crasse Mill in the said Parish of St. Mary. And as these bad Ways were very inconvenient to the Queen Carriages, so for the Carriages of all others. The great Passages here, Course and Recourse of the Queens Subjects both on Horseback and on Foot, became so miry and foul, in Winter time especially, that it was very troublesome to all that had Occasion to use these Ways. Whereupon, an Act of Parliament was made in the 13th of the said Queen, that from Michaelmas 1572. all these Places should be paved with Stone: Every Man to do his Part, along by their Manours, Lands and Tenements, adjoining to the said Ways.

An Act of Parliament for paving without Aldgate.

J. S.

And the same Act made Provision for securing the overflowing of the Towerditch by great Quantities of Water that fell often upon the Ways between the said two Posts next Aldgate, called the Bars, and the Corner House occupied by Sparrow aforesaid [which seems to be there where the Lane is, now called Bricklane] whereby the Towerditch might in short Time be filled up: It was ordered therefore, that the said Waters on both sides the said High Way, should have their Fall and Course only down by the said Corner House: And from thence into a Ditch lying on the North side of Hog Lane; and so to the Common Sewer at the East End of the said Hoglane.]

A Fall of Waters without the Bars.

Now Peticoat Lane.

The Parish Church of St. MARY WHITECHAPLE.


Now of Whitechapel Church somewhat, and then back again to Aldgate.

Of Whitechapel.

This Church is as it were a Chapel of Ease to the Parish of Stebinhith, and the Parson of Stebinhith hath the Gift thereof: which being first dedicated to the Name of God, and the Blessed Virgin, is now called Saint Mary Matfelon, upon this Occasion following. About the Year 1428. in the sixth of King Henry the Sixth, a devout Widow of that Parish had long time cherished and brought up, of Alms, a certain Frenchman, or Briton born: which most unkindly and cruelly in a Night murdered the said Widow sleeping in her Bed, and after fled with such Jewels and other Stuff of hers, as he might carry. But he was so freshly pursued, that (for fear) he took the Church of St. George in Southwark, and challenged Priviledge of Sanctuary there, and so abjured the Kings Land. Then the Constables (having Charge of him) brought him into London, intending to have conveyed him Eastward: but so soon as he was come into the Parish, where before he had committed the Murder; the Wives cast upon him so much Filth and Ordure of the Street, that (notwithstanding the best Resistance made by the Constables) they slew him out of Hand: And for this Fact it hath been said, that Parish to have purchased that Name of Mary Matfelon, but I find in Record, the same to be called, Villa beata Mariæ de Matfelon, in the 21. of Richard the Second.

The Church.

St. Mary Matfelon.

A devout Widow murdered.

More, we read, that in the Year 1336. the 10 of Edward the Third, the Bishop of Alba, Cardinal, and Parson of Stebinhith, Procurator General in England presented a Clerk to be Parson in the

The Bishop of Alba Cardinal, Parson of Stepney Presents to Whitechapel.