Liberties of the Dutchy. The Strand.105

Liberties of the Dutchy. The Strand.
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Somerset House.
  Somerset House. ]

who had been negligent in taking care of the Dutchy. The Earl of Leicester hearing of the Encrease of it there (where he also had an House) grew very angry with him: and threatned the said Ledsham (who was his Servant) to pluck his Coat from his Back, and to punish him otherwise for his Negligence: And for the Sick there he offered very honourably, to give as much as any should for their Relief. But Fleetwood, the Recorder, an active and a good Man, having something to do in that Liberty also, was very comfortably diligent, weekly himself surveying the Dutchy; and took order there to stop the Encrease of it. He twice past with all the Constables between the Bars and the Tiltyard in both the Liberties, to see the Houses shut in.]

Amongst other Buildings, memorable for greatness, the first was Excester House, so called, for that the same belonged to the Bishops of Excester, and was their Inn or London Lodging. Who was the first Builder thereof, I have not read; but that Walter Stapleton, was a great Builder there, in the Reign of Edward the Second is manifest: for the Citizens of London, when they had beheaded him in Cheap, near unto the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, they buried him in a heap of Sand or Rubbish, in his own House without Temple Bar, where he had made great Building. Edmond Lacy, Bishop of Excester, builded the great Hall in the Reign of Henry the Sixth, &c. The same hath since been called Paget House, because the Lord William Paget enlarged and possessed it: [obtained from John Bishop of Exeter (who made a great Spoil of his Churches Revenue) and was confirmed to Sir William Paget, and also a certain Parcel of Land within the Garden of the Middle Temple, London.]

Monuments of Strand Street.

Excester House, since Paget House.

J. S.

Then is Leicester House so named, because Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of late new builded there: and now Essex House, of the late Earl of Essex there inhabiting. And is thought the Bishop of Excester had no Recompence for the same, of any other House in or near London: as Sir Henry Spelman writes.]

Leicester House.

Reliq. Spelm.

J. S.

Then West was a Chapel dedicated to the Holy Ghost, called S. Spirit, upon what Occasion founded I have not read.

Chapel of the Holy Ghost.

Then is Milford Lane down to the Thames; but why so called, I have not heard, nor can conjecture.

Milford Lane.

Then was the Bishop of Baths Inn, (called also Hampton Place) lately new builded (for a great Part thereof) by the Lord Thomas Seimour, Admiral, being parcel of his Possessions. This House of the Bishop of Bath and Wells was assured to the said Admiral Seimour in King Edward the Sixth's Reign; and is now quite severed from that Bishoprick without Recompence.] Which House came sithence to be possessed by the Earl of Arundel, and thereof called Arundel House. [That Earl having upon the Admiral's Attainture, bought it of King Edward the Sixth in the third of his Reign, with several other Messuages; Lands and Tenements in the Parish, for 41l. 6s. 8d.

Bishop of Baths Inn.

Reliq. Spelman.

J. S.

Arundel House.

J. S.

Next beyond the which, on the street side, was sometime a fair Cemitory, or Churchyard, and in the same a Parish Church, called of the Nativity of our Lady, and the Innocents at the Strand; and of some (by means of a Brotherhood kept there) called of St. Ursula at the Strand.

Parish Church of St. Mary at the Strand, or Le Strand.

William Wynningham, Rector Ecclesiæ Sanctæ Mariæ Le Strand, Anno 1376.

St. Mary Le Strand.

In former time it was an Highway leading from London to Westminster, and so was called in a Deed. Roger called the Amner, gave and confirmed to Roger de Mulent, or de Molend, who was also called Longespe, Bishop of Chester, in the Year 1257. a Parcel of Land and Buildings, lying in the Parish of St. Mary Le Strand without London toward Westminster. And the same to hold to the said Roger and his Successors by the Yearly Rent of three Shillings at Easter, for the Purchase of which the said Bishop gave twenty Marks of Silver. On this Land we presume Chester Inn was built, situate by St. Mary Le Strond.

E. Al.

Bishop of Chester buys Lands in the Strand.

J. S.

Monast. Aug.

For near adjoining to the said Church, betwixt it and the River of Thames, was an Inn of Chancery, commonly called Chesters Inn, because it belonged to the Bishop of Chester. By others named of the Situation, Strand Inn.

Chesters Inn, or Strand Inn, an Inn of Chancery.

Then was there an House belonging to the Bishop of Landaff: for I find in Record, the fourth of Edward the second, that a vacant Place, lying near the Church of our Lady at Strand, the said Bishop procured of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, for the enlarging of this House.

The Bishop of Landaff his Inn.

Then had ye in the high Street a fair Bridge called Strand Bridge, and under it a Lane or Way, down to the landing Place on the Bank of Thames.

Strand Bridge.

Then was the Bishop of Chester (commonly called of Litchfield and Coventry) his Inn, or London Lodging. This House was first builded by Walter Langton, Bishop of Chester, Treasurer of England, in the Reign of Edward the First.

Bishop of Chester his Inn.

These two Bishop's Places, viz. that of the Bishop of Landaff; and this of the Bishop of Chester, (that is, of Litchfield and Coventry) were defaced and taken away, without any Recompence to the said Bishops.]

J. S.


And next adjoining to it, was the Bishop of Worcester's Inn. All which, to wit, the Parish of St. Mary at Strand, Strand Inn, Strand Bridge, with the Lane under it, the Bishop of Chester's Inn; the Bishop of Worcester's Inn, with all the Tenements adjoining, were by Commandment of Edward, Duke of Somerset, Uncle to Edward the Sixth, and Lord Protector, pulled down and made level Ground, in the Year 1549. In place whereof, he builded that large and goodly House, now called Somerset House.

Bishop of Worcester Inn.

Somerset House.

King James the First his Queen made this House her Palace: And on Shrove Tuesday, Ann. 1616. She feasted the King here. At this time the King changed the Name of this House, appointing it to be henceforth called Denmark House. This House was much repaired, and beautified and improved by new Buildings and Enlargements by this Queen. Who also brought hither Water from Hyde Park in Pipes.]

Denmark House.

J. S.

The Bishop of Worcester, in respect of his former House demolished was recompenced with an House in the White Friars: which formerly in Sir Henry Spelman's Time, the Bishop of Worcester enjoyed. This perhaps was in Favour to Bishop Hooper,Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, sometime the Duke of Somerset's Chaplain.]

Bishop of Worcester's House in White Friars.

J. S.

In the high Street near unto the Strand, sometime stood a Cross of Stone, against the Bishop of Coventry or Chester his House, whereof I read, that in the Year 1294. and divers other times, the Justices Itinerants sate without London, at the Stone Cross overagainst the Bishop of Coventry's House: and sometime they sate in the Bishop's House, which was hard by the Strand, [as is aforesaid.]

Stone Cross at Strand.

Justices Itinerants.

At or near which Cross in the Strand, stood, till of late, a Maypole, commonly called the Maypole in the Strand. Near to which is erected a Stone Building over a Spring, designed at first to supply the Neighbourhood with Water: but now of little Use.]


J. S.

Here in the Strand, by the Act of Parliament 12o. Regin. ANNÆ, for building fifty new Churches, in the broad Place, where the Maypole stood, and the Watch House, was so much of the vacant, or waste Piece of Ground to be granted for a Church, as contained in length from East to

A new Church built in the Strand.

J. S.