SPITTLE FIELDS AND PLACES ADIACENT
|Suburbs. St. Dunstans Stepney. Antiquities
and Mary Magdalene at Mile End of Stephenhuch in the County of Middlesex. To
a Protection to beg was granted by King Edwards Letters Patents dated Febr. 18.
and John Mills appointed their Proctor. As I find it in the Journal of Goodrick
of Ely, Lord Chancellor.
Further, towards London on the North side of the Road are several handsome well
Alms Houses belonging to certain Companies of London. One whereof much
exceedeth the rest, and is indeed a beautiful Structure, having a very fair
two Gates, and a Chapel at the further End; founded by the Trinity House, for
Dwelling of Sea Captains, or Ship Masters come to Decay; or their Widows. Which
hath been spoken of in the first Book.
Trinity Hospital at Mile End.
Nearer the City, entring into Dog-Row is situate Captain Fishers Alms House,
1711. having four Rooms with Cellars for as many Sea Commanders Widows. Their
Allowance paid them from Trinity House is Six Pound per Ann. to each: and Twenty
Shillings more to each for Firing: and Gowns every Second Year. The Captains
Daughter is yet living, and sent them last Christmas Crowns apiece.
Captain Fishers Alms House.
Further Northwest lie Spittle fields, within this Parish, formerly, in the
some, pleasant Fields for the Citizens to walk in, and for good Housewives to
their Cloths: Now all built into Streets, with a very convenient Market-place,
Tabernacle for Divine Worship. It was very antiently a great Burying Place, and
fourscore Years ago, more or less, were many Roman Urns digged up here.
Whereupon Learned Men, (and particularly Dr. Merick Casaubon) have made their
Observations. Which hath been noted in Bishopsgate Ward.
But to pass from these North Parts of the Parish to the Southern, there lay
great Marsh, or Marshes, called Stebunhith Marsh, and Poplar Marsh. But it was
found by a Jury upon Inquisition to be one and the same Marsh, and not divers.
a Manour anciently called Pountfrets Manour lying in Stebunhith Marsh.
In the 4th of Henry VIII. the Abbot of Grace, or de Gratiis
[which was an
Abbey near the Tower] demised to the Bishop of London, for the Term of Fourscore
Years, all his drowned Ground, lying in the Marsh called, The Wet Marsh of
Stebunhith and Poplar, in the County of Middlesex, for the only consideration of
Twenty Shillings yearly Rent. King Edward VI. by Letters Patents granted unto
Lord Wentworth and his Heirs the Manour of Stebunhith, and all the Marsh Ground
Stebunhith. By which general Words the Lord Wentworth claimed the foresaid
Lands, demised to the said Bishop, which Lands letten by the Abbot were rated as
Parcels of his Value. In Queen Elizabeth's Days one Hyde a Servant of the Lord
Baron Manwood, pretending that the whole Wet Marsh, being worth now 160l. by
Year, should be the Abbots Land, and letten by him by the aforesaid Lease for
Shillings Rent. But he did not demise the Wet Marsh, but all his drowned Ground
lying in the Wet Marsh. And pretending that the said Wet Marsh should lie in
Marsh, and not in Stebunhith Marsh. Therefore all the same Lands so letten by
Abbot were suggested to be concealed from her Majesty. Hence Letters Patents
procured thereof unto Mr. Farnham, and his Heirs sixteen Years past.* Whose
therein Hyde purchased. The Lord chief Baron Manwood, and Sir Thomas Bromley
Lord Chancellor, examined the Title of the Lord Wentworth shortly after, upon an
Information of Intrusion before the chief Baron. And albeit her Majesty had
departed with her Right and Interest therein,
there was by Tryal and Judgment as much Land recovered from the said Lord as was
worth fourscore Pounds by Year; over and beside a great Sum of Money due for
Arrerages of the same.
Belonged to Abby of Grace.
Granted to Lord Went.
*Viz. About the Year 1570. and odd.
Which Judgment, examined and called in Question by Writ of Error before the Lord
Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer Burghley, and other her Majesty's Justices, was
reversed and made void. After, a new Information of Intrusion was exhibited
the said Baron for those Lands. Where upon Complaint unto the Queen for the
Barons partial Dealings, and that he was no competent Judge for the Cause, She
commanded her Attorney and Sollicitor that no further Proceeding in Suit should
her Name before the said Chief Baron. And that if Hyde so would, a new
should be exhibited in her Name before her Justice of her Common Pleas, or her
(at Hydes Election) of the same Lands, with good Regard, that there might be
Proceeding therein (in Favour of Hyde) with all Indifferency. Whereupon an
Information was exhibited in the King's Bench, and the Matter at Issue, special
was made of a Jury by the Attorney in the Presence of the said Hyde (not any one
admitted, against whom he did except.) Which Jury returned, the Matter was
deliberately heard before the Justice there; Mr. Attorney and Mr. Sollicitor
for her Majesty, and Hyde to inform them. The Jury found, that the Lands
the Abbot was twenty Acres; and that the Marsh wherein the same lieth was known
well by the Name of Stebunhuth Marsh, as Poplar Marsh: and that they were all
not divers. Upon which Verdict so found, Judgment was afterwards solemnly
pronounced for the Lord Wentworth; after that all the Judges had severally; upon
solemn Argument in open Court, shewed their Opinion to be very clear, that those
twenty Acres past for the King by Letters Patents made unto the Lotd Wentworth.
Lands in this Marsh recovered from the Lord Wentworth.
The Judgment reversed.
Sithence which Time, the Matter was called in question in the Star Chamber. And
sithence that Time, a new Suit by Information of Intrustion was commenced before
Majesty's Justice of Common Pleas. All this I have out of a Breviate drawn by
Lord Wentworth, Grandson to the first Lord Wentworth, to whom King Edward
The Matter called in question again.
In the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, and King James I. Contests happened between
Lords Wentworth, Lords of this Manour of Stepney, and of a Manour next adjoining
upon it at Hackney, and the Copyhold Tenants; concerning their Customs and
Privileges. Which at last was adjusted and agreed by Covenant between them,
Thousands of Pounds being paid by them to the said Lords. An Abstract of which
Covenant, and of the Customs and Orders established, being too large to be here
inserted, is reserved for a Chapter by it self at the End.]
A Contest between the Lord Wentworth, and his Tenants.
Now again from Aldgate Northwest to Bishopsgate, lieth Hounds Ditch, and so to
Suburb without Bishopsgate.
North and by East from Bishopsgate, lieth a large Street or High Way, having on
West side thereof, the Parish Church of St. Buttolph.
Then is the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlem, founded by a Citizen of London, as
before is shewed. Thence up to the Bars, without the which is Norton fall Gate,
Liberty so called, belonging to the Dean of Pauls. Here was first of all set up
School, by a voluntary Combination of well disposed Gentlemen; whereof Mr.
Seimour, Mr. Turner, &c. were chief: out of Compassion towards those poor
inhabiting in that Liberty, without any Parish, and so void
Norton fall Gate.
A Charity School here.