Suburbs. Antiquities. Rolls Liberty. 70

Suburbs. Antiquities. Rolls Liberty.
[  The pagination has been corrected; it is page 80 in the original. ]

Concerning this House of Converts some things have been spoken before in Farringdon Ward without. Let these Antiquities thereof be added here, for the better knowledge of this Place.

Antiquities concerning this House.

J. S.

I find, that one Henry a Convert, bequeathed a Tenement to it situate over against this House, in the Street called New-street, for the maintaining of a Luminary to the Holy Trinity in the Church of this House. Which Tenement the Master of the said House and the rest of the Brethren afterwards demised to Will. Ailemer, 9 Edw. II.

I find, that Women Converts were admitted here, as well as Men. And Edward III. in the 18th of his Reign, admitted one Alioner M. who had not wherewithal to live, granting her to have so much in all things for her Sustentation, as well in Money at the Exchequer, viz. One Peny a Day, and the Aisiamenta, i.e. the Conveniences of the Houses and Gardens, as any one of the other Women enjoyed; and also of the Deodands, and other Profits, as of the Rents and Tenements of the said Converts of London, being with the Kingdom of England, as much as any other Convert Women partook thereof.

Women Converts.

Concerning the Deodands beforementioned, the said King Edward III. in the 4th of his Reign, granted to the Master of the House of Converts, the Deodands belonging to him.

Deodands granted this House.

The King presented a Clerk to the Church of St. Dunstans in Fleetstreet, in the tenth of his Reign: But it was Salva pensione inde capiend. Regis in Domo Conversorum.

The Kings Pension.

There was also Provision made for the Maintaining of the Children of such as were of this House. And there is a Patent, Anno 15 of that King, concerning providing for the Children of one of them deceased in the same House.

Children of Converts.

And in the 20th of the same King the Converts were ordered to receive 10d. ob. every Week.

Their Pension.

There was a Governour of this House, who was called the Keeper of it, one John S. Denys, Archdeacon of Rochester, was Keeper there in the Time of King Edward I. Which King took a voluntary Oath to make Provision for them, Rex Johanni de St. Dionysio Archino, Roff. Custodi Domus Conversorium Lond. Salut. Quia ad augmentum Fidei, Nos, ut illi qui a Cecitate ad Lumen Ecclesiæ sunt conversi, in ipsa Fidei Firmitate roborentur, & alii qui adhuc in errore persistunt, lubentius ad graciam Fidei se convertant, deposuimus in eoruus sustentationem salubriter providero.]

A Custos of this House.

Rot. Edw. I. in Turr.

Mat. Hutt.

The same Street hath since been called Chancery Lane, by Reason that King Edward the Third annexed the House of Converts by Patent, to the Office of Custos Rotulorum, or Master of the Rolls, in the 15th of his Reign.

Chancery Lane.

This Chancellors Lane, (now called Chancery Lane) in Edward the Firsts Time was so foul and miry that John Briton, Custos of London, had it barred up, to hinder any Harm that might happen in passing that Way: and the Bishop of Chichester, whose House was there, kept up the Bar for many Years. But after divers Years, upon an Inquisition made of the Annoyanees of London, the Inquest presented that John Bishop of Chichester, ten Years past stopt up a certain Lane, called Chancellors Lane, Levando ibid. duas Stapulas cum una barra; i.e. by setting up there two Staples with one Bar, cross the said Lane; whereby Men with Carts and other Carriages could not pass. The Bishop said, that John Breton, while he was Custos of London, for that the said Lane so so dirty that no Man could pass, set up the said Staples and Bar ad viam illam defutand. and he granted, that what was an Annoyance should be taken away. And so the Sheriff was commanded to do it.

Chancery Lane dirty and stopt up.

J. S.

Baga de Quo Warrant. in the Exchequer.

In this Street, the first fair Building to be noted on the East side, is called the Coursitors [or Cursitors] Office, builded with divers fair Lodgings for Gentlemen, all of Brick and Timber, by Sir Nicholas Bacon, late Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, deceased in the Year 1578.

Cursitors Office in Chancery Lane.

Near unto this Cursitors Office be divers fair Houses and large Gardens, builded and made in a Ground sometime belonging to one Great House on the other side the Street, there made by Ralph Nevil, Bishop of Chichester. This Ground he had by the Gift of Henry the Third, as appeareth hence, viz.

Bishop of Chichesters Gardens.

" The King granted to Ralph, Bishop of Chichester, Chancellor, that Place, with the Garden which John Herlirum forfeited in that Street, called New-street, overagainst the Land of the said Bishop, in the same Street; which Place, with the Garden and Appurtenance was the Kings Exchete, by the Liberty of the City of London, as it was acknowledged before the King, in his Court of the Tower of London, in the last Pleas af the Crown of that City. Cart. 11. H. 3. "

Moris Brown, Citizen and Fruiterer, by his Will, July 6. 1488, gave to Margery his Wife the Profits of his Tenements and Gardens; which he held to farm of the Bishop of Chichester, lying in Chancellar Lane in the Parish of St. Dunstan in the West.]

The Bishop of Chichester hath still a Propriety and Rents here for Grounds belonging to the See, on both sides the Way. First on the West side from Lincolns Inn, in the Street Southward near the Pump to Feet of Ground; comprehending two Thorowfares, viz. Bishops Court, siding with Lincolns Inn; and sometime taking in part of of it; (which said Inn formerly paid 7l. per Ann. as an acknowledgment to the said Bishop:) And Chichester Rents, the other Thorowfare on that side. On the East side of Street forwards, the said Grounds extend from Whites Alley to the Rolls; and backwards East as far as Bonds Stables, with a Patch of Ground joining to it inclusive: comprehending all the Ground usually called The Tenter Yard, and Simmons Inn, and siding on the Rolls Southwards. Part of this Land Eastward is already built upon, and the whole on that Side is designed to be improved by building after the same Way by the Care of the late Bishop, the Right Reverend Father Dr. Williams: Who hath hitherto been at great Charges about it; intending to make a great and a smaller Square, as himself was pleased to impart unto me.

Bishop of Chichesters Rents in Chancery Lane. J. Williams, Bp. of Chichester.

J. S.

And Anno 7. Regin. Annæ, there was an Act made, for explaining and making more effectual a former Act, Anno Reginæ 1. granting further Time to John Bishop of Chichester and his Successors, to make Leases of certain Houses and Ground in and near Chancery Lane, belonging to the Bishoprick of Chichester.]

An Act for granting Leases of it.



There were many old Houses belonging to the Rolls: and to encourage and warrant the Tenents to rebuild or improve them, an Act was made 12 Charles II. to empower the Master of the Rolls to make Leases of them for Years. For before the Masters could not grant such Leases for Terms of Years as might prevail with Tenants to build their Houses. And so they came much out of Repair; and not capable of Improvement.

The Houses of the Rolls.

J. S.

Thomas Barrow was Master of the Rolls in King Richard III. his Reign. To whom that King gave a Grant of a Tun of Wine, to be taken in the Port of London. Which seemed to have been his Fee: as appears in a Ledger of that King.

A Tun of Wine to the Master of the Rolls.

Which Rolls are a Liberty, tho' of no great Compass. To set down its Circuit or Bounds,

The Rolls Liberty.

R. B.

I shall